I woke up with a jolt. I looked to my right as I heard the cries coming from Harry. I fumbled in the dark to locate my wand and got up to break Harry away from whatever nightmare he was in.
"Lumos," I whispered quietly to light up my wand. As I tiptoed and stood at the foot of Harry's bed, I noticed that Harry's face was covered in a sheen of sweat, and he seemed to be trembling in his sleep. "N-no, please, please!" he wheezed out somehow, just as I realised that he was having trouble breathing.
"Harry! Harry! Wake up, Harry!" I frantically shook his shoulders. Nothing happened, and Harry's breathing seemed to be getting worse. I took a step back and lifted my wand. "Renervate!" I cried loudly, as Harry opened his eyes with a big gasp.
"Harry, are you okay?" I asked him anxiously. Harry just lay there for a minute, one hand on his scar with the other one on his throat. "Harry?" I repeated, "Should I call the headmaster?"
"No, no... Don't," Harry seemed to have finally calmed down now. "It's Christmas Eve, and everyone's been up late anyway," he said, as he closed his eyes and evened his breathing.
Before I could say anything, Harry sat up in a flash. "Look," he said to me, "Something isn't right. The nightmare I just had was definitely a premonition." His eyes glazed somewhere over the distance. "Something bad is coming, enough to strip us bare of all our powers. No magic will be able to stop it and once it has infiltrated our system, it will spread its evil like the plague from person to person." Harry said to me while I could only gape at him in shock.
"I… You… Huh?" I could only manage to garble out words at this point.
"Listen to me," Harry pressed on urgently, "This evil, it leaves no trace. It will seep into our magic without any notice and we will not feel the changes until it has already made itself a host inside of us. Each day that it feeds on our magic, the higher the chance of this evil leading us to our death."
I sat down with a thump. Confused, I asked him, "So, what does this mean for us?" Harry absent-mindedly touched his scar again. "It means," he murmured, "Dumbledore has to put protections around the school immediately and there's gotta be a lockdown. No one comes in, no one goes out. It's the only way we can slow the spread and possibly contain it."
"But will anyone agree to it? We're supposed to be going to Hogsmeade this week, right? Everyone's been looking forward to it."
"Well, they have to agree. There's no other way," Harry said softly, gazing out of the window, into the empty grounds.
And somewhere much less interesting than wherever it is that Hogwarts exists, a reader keenly turned the next page of her book, curious to know what happened next. Traffic noise floated up to her window, while the sounds of a live concert played out from the TV in the living room.
Roshni has accepted that she will never get over her admiration for Harry Potter. If you feel likewise and also secretly wonder about attending a Hogwarts feast, please reach out to plan the journey at firstname.lastname@example.org