May 2016


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Nano #37: Draco the Storyteller: Heart of Gold

Title: Draco the Storyteller: Heart of Gold
Author: [info]elfflame
Characters: Harry, Moody
Rating: PG
A/N: Harry and Moody find the cave of treasure.

The Cave of Wonders

The two men set off the next morning well before dawn. Harry pulling a cart that would hold the riches from the cave, and Moody with a backpack filled with food Minnie had made for them to share.

It was a long journey, Moody told him, but Harry knew he could be patient. The Duke's son wasn't going anywhere any time soon.

Harry did most of the work, but he didn't mind. He just saw it as paying off his share of the treasure. After all, Moody hadn't had to share it with him at all, even if he had helped.

It was a day and a half before they reached the cave, and Harry could see just what Moody meant about the entrance. It looked like only the slenderest could fit inside. Good thing he was small for his age.

"Now, Harry," Moody said as he handed him a torch. "All you have to do is go in there and find this lamp, bring it back, and then you can go back and take anything else your heart desires. All right?"

Harry frowned. Now that seemed odd. "Just…a lamp? That's all you want?"

Moody nodded. "Yes. It's got great historic significance. As soon as you have it, come back and give it to me, all right?"

"Okay…" Suddenly, though, Harry wasn't so sure. What would Moody want with a musty old lamp? But Minnie trusted him, so it must not be anything to worry about. "All right. I'll be back as quick as I can, then."

He moved to the door, opening it, and realized that it opened into a hole leading down into the earth. "How am I supposed to get down there?" he asked, looking up at Moody.

Moody smiled, though the expression was not at all pleasant. "Ah, right…" He opened his robe, pulling out a long twine of rope. "This should help. Here…why don't we fasten it against that rock over there, and I'll help you lower yourself inside?"

"I don't know…" Harry was agile. Otherwise he'd likely have been caught by the Duke's guards for stealing, or trampled to death by their horses at one time or another, but going down into a hole that he couldn't get out of on his own? That made him nervous. "You'll pull me up when I call?"

"Of course, Harry," Moody said, giving him that same horrible smile. "Now go on, that lamp's not going to find itself…"

Nodding, Harry moved to the entrance and looked in. "How will I hold the torch?" he asked.

"Just toss it down, boy." Moody sounded as though he were getting annoyed by Harry's questions, and Harry glanced up at him once more. Something told him this was a bad idea. But then he remembered the Duke's son, and he knew he had to try. He tossed down a torch, then turned and took a hold of the rope, then lowered himself into the cave.

It was slow going, but eventually he touched the cave floor and looked up at Moody.

"Now find that lamp, boy. Then you can take your pick!"

Sighing, Harry picked up the torch and lit it, then looked around, his eyes widening at the trove of wealth around him. "Good lord…"

"Stop gaping like a bumpkin and get that lamp!"

Harry glowered up at Moody, then moved further into the cave where Moody wouldn't be able to see him. It looked like centuries' worth of wealth here, all waiting for someone to come and claim. All waiting for him to reach out and take.

But first, he had to find Moody's lamp.

Slowly, Harry made his way through the piles of gold, jewels and treasure, following a narrow cleared path between them. Every so often his eye would land on this treasure or that, but he promised himself he'd be back later to look at everything in more detail.

And all the while, he scanned the piles, looking for the lamp. It was odd. Why, with the wealth of treasure down here, was Moody so focused on that lamp? Still, it meant more for Harry, and so he let the thought drop—for now. He could worry about why later.

He made his way around one extra-large pile of jewels and jewelry and crowns to find a suddenly-near empty path leading to a small dais. And on that dais—"The lamp! I found it!" He called back to Moody. He heard nothing in response but his voice echoing through the chamber.

He approached the lamp, wondering now if it might have some sort of spell-trap on it. After all, something set out like that in a cave like this? It had to be special, didn't it? He whispered a few detection charms, but there seemed to be nothing, and he frowned. Did that mean that the lamp itself was the trap?

As he stepped onto the dais, Harry was wary for any strange sound or feeling that might happen. But nothing did. But there had to be a trap, didn't there? It didn't make sense. He reached out for the lamp, trying to see if he could feel anything there. Nothing. It was just an old, dented, horribly smudged lamp.

Sighing, Harry lifted it off the pedestal it was on, then turned and made his way back toward the entrance. He supposed he'd just have to ask Moody what was so special about the lamp once he got it to him.

Next Part


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