Feb 26, 2020 2:22 AM
Demon Cam in the Potterverse
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"Almost any wizard would rather lose their hand than their wand, even if hands weren't more easily replaceable."

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He sighs and hands over the wand; its ice has long since melted.

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"Thank you. If it's any consolation, he will lose his reputation, and knowing him that will be almost as harsh." She pockets the wand and shows Cam to an unused classroom with a handful of desks and chairs pushed up against the wall.

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Cam sets about tracing the evil diary's steps.

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The used bookstore turns out to be blameless. Ginny's textbook doesn't acquire its evil passenger until a couple hours after purchase, when an extremely sinister-looking blond man sticks his hand in the cauldron, inserting something that can't be conjured but crushes the right amount of pages.

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Cam picks up the model of the sinister blond man and goes looking for McGonagall.

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She's in her office, pulling her head out of a small head-height fireplace on the wall. The fire in it is bright green, and goes out as she steps back.

"Hello, Mister Swan. Was your investigation successful?"

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"This guy, whoever he is, tucked the evil diary in her textbook." He displays Tiny Evil Guy.

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McGonagall sighs. "Lucius Malfoy. Utterly immoral, and politically untouchable. Still, I confess myself surprised that he would do such a thing while his son is a student here."

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"It's questionable on a lot of levels. What's politically untouchable about him, is he like Wizard Emperor?"

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"No, but he's been making generous political donations for years, and gotten away with worse crimes with more or at least more legible evidence. . . . Perhaps I should give you an overview of recent British wizarding history. I'm beginning to suspect the involvement of He Who Must Not Be Named."

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"Why must he not be named, does his name make people's ears bleed?"

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McGonagall looks slightly put out by the levity, but continues, "He Who Must Not Be Named is a dark wizard, convinced that those of "pure" wizarding blood are superior to muggles and to wizards with muggle ancestry. He and his followers terrorized wizarding Britain for years, and came perilously close to overthrowing the Ministry of Magic. Eleven years ago, he attempted to kill the infant Harry Potter and was instead somehow incapacitated. Malfoy was one of his followers. He claimed to have been controlled by the Imperius Curse, a powerful dark spell that lets the caster overrule another's will, but it is widely believed that he went willingly. And He Who Must Not Be Named was a parselmouth. Between the involvement of Malfoy and the basilisk, I believe he is somehow behind all this."

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"I guess that's a reasonable guess given those clues."

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"Didn't Miss Weasley say the spirit went by Tom Riddle? I knew a Tom Riddle at school . . . a Slytherin, and rather nastily charismatic. I don't suppose you could discern his current whereabouts, or whether he's still alive?"

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Tom Riddle and surroundings?

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Tom Riddle is . . . 

In a creepy shack!

And in the drawing room of an even creepier mansion!

And in a pile of gold in a vault!

And in a pile of random books and Hogwarts furniture!

And he's a snake in a forest somewhere!

And also he's in the Gryffindor common room, with Harry, Ron, and Hermione!

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"........what the fuck," says Cam, failing to hold all these dioramas as they tumble to the floor. "I was aiming for one guy! This wouldn't happen if he just has half a dozen namesakes. I blame wizard shenanigans, can you explain."

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"What in Merlin's name . . . I can't explain this either.You didn't even get a body for him; has he just been possessing various objects? Never mind, the most pressing one is clearly whoever or whatever is in the common room; can you narrow it down?"

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"Should be what's in the very middle which is... Harry? ...did it jump out of the diary, or Ginny -"

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She doesn't answer. Instead she twists her wand in a complicated pattern, producing an ethereal silver cat-spirit, and tells it, "Private message. Dark wizard named Tom Riddle was possessing Ginny Weasley and may now be possessing Harry Potter. Probable connection to You-Know-Who."

The cat leaps through the wall; McGonagall heads for the door. "Dumbledore should be here within the hour; in the meantime your assistance would be appreciated."

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"My assistance with..."

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"Ensuring that mister Potter retains control of his own faculties. And tracking the . . . entity, in case he tries to jump to anything else."

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"You got it."

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"Thank you."

They're not far from Gryffindor Tower; when they arrive it's still the same three kids.

"I'm glad I caught you before you went down to dinner. Mister Potter, how have you been feeling?"

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