The Three Brothers: Book 1

A Dragon and a Plan

AN: The text in bold has been directly borrowed from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

22nd February 1992

"You mean the Stone's only safe as long as Quirrell stands up to Snape?" Hermione asked, alarmed.

Harry nodded. He'd just returned after eavesdropping on a conversation between Snape and Quirrell after the Quidditch Match against Hufflepuff.

His fears about his safety had been laid to rest when he'd seen that Dumbledore had joined the stands as a spectator. Snape had also seemed irritated, and Harry had figured that it was due to his plans being spoilt.

After the match which finished in not more than fifteen minutes, Harry had been coming out of the locker room when he'd spotted Snape walking towards the forbidden forest. Taking a risky chance, he followed the Potions master from the air on his Nimbus.

Looking for Snape through the thick foliage had been difficult, so Harry had been forced to follow through the branches. When he had heard voices, he's settled on a thick branch to follow the conversation, which surprisingly was between Snape and Quirrell

"… d-don't know why you wanted t-t-to meet here of all p-places, Severus …"

"Oh, I thought we'd keep this private," said Snape, his voice icy. "Students aren't supposed to know about the Philosopher's Stone, after all."

Harry leaned forward. Quirrell was mumbling something but Snape interrupted him.

"Have you found out how to get past that beast of Hagrid's yet?"

"B-b-but Severus, I —"

"You don't want me as your enemy, Quirrell," said Snape, taking a step toward him.

"I-I don't know what you —"

"You know perfectly well what I mean."

An owl hooted loudly, and Harry had nearly fallen out of the tree. He had managed to steady himself in time to hear Snape say, "— your little bit of hocus-pocus. I'm waiting."

"B-but I d-d-don't —"

"Very well," Snape cut in. "We'll have another little chat soon, when you've had time to think things over and decided where your loyalties lie."

Harry had immediately returned, and had told his friends about how he reckoned that Quirrell was one of those protecting the stone and how Snape wanted to get past them.

"It'll be gone by Tuesday, then," Ron remarked.

Mark looked around in awe. He had decided to follow Corky's instructions and come to the Come and Go Room. And he was not disappointed at all.

In order to test if the room could turn into anything, he had thought about the restricted section of the Library. And lo behold, he was now standing in the room surrounded by bookshelves containing books from the Restricted Section.

'This will be really useful,' he thought. Walking in the aisles, he browsed the various sections. He was surprised to see that most of the volumes were not anything radically different from the books in the non-restricted section. They were mostly just advanced books, kept under lock so that they could only be used judicially. Others were books about controlled subjects, like the one he saw on Portkeys.

He finally found a book on the subject he'd been hoping to know more about- Legilimency. Taking the book, he asked the room for a place to sit comfortably. An armchair and a small seating area materialised nearby.

"Awesome," he said to himself, before slumping into the chair. He thought of asking the room for some snacks, but none appeared.

'Must be a limitation due to Gamp's Law,' Mark thought. They had been introduced to empirical Gamp's Law of Elemental transfigurations as well as its exceptions by Professor McGonagall.

Settling in, he was quickly absorbed in the book in his hands. After about twenty minutes of reading, he found a passage that seemed to apply to him.

Not much is known about those who have been called 'Natural' Legilimens. It is speculated that the ability manifests in the subjects pre-adolescence. They are thought to be able to read minds without the need for a wand or spell.

It is quite possible that the legilimens spell itself was developed to mimic this ability in the first place. Some evidence even points to the fact that a Natural Legilimens can read the thoughts from an unprotected mind without the need for eye contact, most widely thought to be essential for the ability.

However, the few records that have been found all indicated that such individuals do not make into adulthood, killing themselves to escape the 'voices in their head.' As opposed to Natural Legilimens, Natural Occlumens, however, have confirmed evidence for their existence, with many notable wizards recorded in history as examples.

'Natural Legilimens,' Mark pondered. All the descriptions did match all the symptoms after all. The part about not making into adolescence sent a chill through his bones. His thoughts went to Edwin, and what would have happened if he hadn't learned to control his ability.

Looking at his watch, he saw that it was time for curfew. He got up and kept the book back. He would have to return here to check out everything else. He wondered if he should tell about this to his friends.

'No,' he realised. Maybe Neville, after some time. But not Fred and George. Heaven knew what would happen if the two pranksters got access to the Restricted Section. And in any case, they had a few secrets of their own. This could be his.

1st March 1992

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"

Ron stood dumbfounded in the middle of his dorm. He hadn't expected his birthday to be celebrated today. When no one had said anything in the morning, he just assumed they had no idea. Seeing the people surrounding him, he realised that they must have planned the surprise.

All the Gryffindor first years were there, and so were the members of the Quidditch team. The room was decorated with streamers, and the twins were standing to the side with a cake.

"I - I thought you guys must have forgotten," he stammered.

"We wouldn't forget ickle Ronniekins birthday now would we," George said.

"No way, brother mine," Fred chimed.

"Hermione reminded them," Mark spoke, standing smugly in the corner. The girl blushed heavily at this, and quickly retorted,

"It was Harry's plan. He thought of the party."

"Thanks, mate," Ron said, giving his friend a hug. Harry just shrugged.

It was good to have friends.

24th April 1992

"Hagrid, you live in a wooden house," remarked Hermione, and Harry agreed with her assessment. There was no way this situation could turn out for the better.

Hermione had realised a week earlier that the end-of-year-exams were drawing nearer, and had diverted both Harry and Ron's attention away from their worries about Quirrell. The Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor hadn't cracked yet, much to their relief, and Hermione had taken up to nag them about their revisions.

Today while in the library, Ron had spotted Hagrid sneaking around in the section on Dragons. They'd followed their large friend to his hut on the grounds, where they had quite an interesting conversation about the protections around the Philosophers Stone.

However, before they left, Harry had noticed something in the fireplace. Sitting underneath the kettle, in the heart of the fire was a huge black egg.

Hagrid had procured a dragon's egg from somewhere, and Harry remembered that the gamekeeper had mentioned how he would like to have one.

When he questioned Hagrid about it, his friend answered that he was fine and the manner in which he'd come across the egg- he had won it last night at the pub from a passing stranger. He told them how he had read up all about raising dragons from the books he'd gotten from the library

But Harry's worries were not laid to rest. Ron had informed them earlier in the library how dragon breeding was outlawed centuries ago, and winning an egg in a pub was by no means legal.

Hagrid was in a lot of trouble.

30th April 1992

"I'm telling you Malfoy is up to something," Neville whispered to Mark after Charms, which was the last class of the day.

"And how is that any of your concern?" Mark replied. Neville had been going on and on about some illegal dragon that Harry and Ron had been talking about, and how Malfoy had heard them. Afterwards, Neville had seen the boy look very smug, like the cat that caught the canary.

"Because I don't want them to get caught," Neville replied vehemently. "Why don't you believe me?"

Mark held his tongue and considered his friend's words.

"Ok, let's say you heard correctly. Don't you think there is a chance that the two of them might have intentionally let Malfoy overhear to get him in trouble? You know, a reply to that trophy room trap?"

Neville clenched his jaw and answered in a confident tone.

"No, because they're not like that. It's as-"

"Ok, they're not deceiving anyone. Say there's really a dragon. Don't you think Harry will have a plan for it?" Mark interrupted.

"That's what I've been trying to tell you. Malfoy knows of Harry's plan!" Neville replied, exasperated. "You know, forget it!" he said finally, before walking away angrily.

Mark shook his head. He decided to head to the common room and practice his transfiguration assignment. They had to figure out how to transfigure different source materials into the same target material, and write an essay on it. The actual practical transfiguration would not be required of them until their third year; for now, they were studying the theory.

The restricted section from the Come and Go Room was quite brilliant and was even helping him a lot with his coursework. He had limited his time there of course, since Fred and George had questioned him about his mysterious disappearances.

Taken aback at their persistence, Mark had gleaned them to find that they had a magical map of Hogwarts, which had the ability to track every occupant. The next time he visited the Come and Go Room, he simply asked it to make it appear on any map that he was inside the library or the lavatory.

Reaching the common room, he groaned when he remembered the Herbology essay due on Monday. He'd need to beg Neville to help him with that.

8th May 1992

Ron was lying in the hospital wing feeling horrible. How could he have been so stupid?

First, he'd spoke a little too loudly when discussing Hagrid's new dragon egg with Harry and Hermione, and Malfoy had most likely overheard them. After receiving the message from Hagrid, they'd gone to watch the egg hatching after Herbology ended. To their horror, Malfoy had seen the dragon from the crack in the window curtains.

After thinking about what to do with Norbert, the now rapidly growing Norwegian Ridgeback, for a week, Harry had the most brilliant idea. He had suggested they contact Charlie in Romania. Hagrid had reluctantly agreed.

Ron cursed himself. Why hadn't he thought of Charlie? It was his own brother, after all. Was he o incompetent that he couldn't even remember such a simple thing?

The cursed dragon had even bit him. He had been helping Hagrid feed Norbert dead rats, and the bloody animal had bitten him. He tried to put off going to the hospital wing, as Madam Pomfrey might recognise the dragon bite, but his hand swelled to twice its size and the wound turned green.

Charlie's letter had arrived, telling them to go on top of the tallest tower with Norbert at midnight on Saturday. Now, stuck in the hospital wing, he was of no use to his friends.

To top all of it, he'd been even more stupid and kept Charlie's letter in a book. Malfoy came in the hospital wing to laugh at him, telling Madam Pomfrey that he wanted to borrow one of his books. And Ron gave it to him, completely forgetting about the letter inside.

Since it was too late to change the plan, Harry and Hermione had decided to go with it, counting on the advantage of having an Invisibility Cloak.

Ron's insides churned. He hoped he had not doomed his friends.

AN: Hello guys. Hope you're enjoying the story. I'm purposefully not elaborating too much on events that are completely similar to the books, since that's just boring for me as a writer. I might work on it ome time in the future, but for now all near-canon events will be basically summarised. Do not worry though; major divergences will begin in the next few chapters.

I would really appreciate knowing your thoughts on my writing. They say experience and feedback is the best teacher, so feel free to give your review.