May 2016


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Nano #38: Draco the Storyteller: Heart of Gold

Title: Draco the Storyteller: Heart of Gold
Author: [info]elfflame
Characters: Harry, Moody, Dumbledore
Rating: PG
A/N: Harry discovers the secret of the lamp.

The Genie of the Lamp

The rope was still dangling from the entrance when Harry got there, and he saw Moody's face as he leant down to see Harry. "You found it, boy! Good job! Now come here and give it to me."

Harry moved to the rope and started to climb.

"Don't bother with that, boy, just give me the lamp!"

Harry frowned. "But…what's so special about it? He shifted his grip, already more than a foot off the ground, and not wanting to fall.

"Stop asking stupid questions, boy, and just give it here!" Moody made a snatch for the lamp, but that was when Harry noticed there was something wrong with his face.

"What happened to you? Are you…" Harry's eyes widened as Moody's face began to shift alarmingly, as though it were melting. "What the…" Harry hopped back down, and out of Moody's reach, not entirely sure what was going on. "Who are you? And what did you do to Moody?"

Moody's already misshapen face twisted even further, making Harry recoil from him. "Give me that lamp!" He tried to reach for Harry, but his arms were too short. Though they did seem to be growing longer…and thinner. "Come back here and give me that lamp!" He was terrifying now, and Harry knew that whoever he'd been traveling with, it hadn't been Minnie's old friend, though he had looked like him. At least enough to fool her.

Still, Harry wasn't about to let him get the lamp, so he turned and ran into the stacks of treasure once more.

Unfortunately, he'd dropped his torch to climb the rope, which meant that the further away from the entrance he got, the darker it got, until Harry could barely see at all. He could still hear the fake Moody screaming at him at the entrance, though he could no longer make out what he was saying.

Not only was it growing darker, but now Harry realized it was growing cooler, and his cloak was outside. He'd not expected to need it here in a cave, so he'd left it behind. He passed a few chests and glanced inside, finding nothing that would be particularly warming. Most contained only more gems or gold. But finally, he found one that had a single folded cloak at the bottom.

He pulled it on, not really caring why it was the only thing inside, then began to move once more. It was a few minutes before he realized something was wrong, and looked down to realize he could no longer see his body. But he could still see the treasure around him. What had caused it? He couldn't even see the lamp any longer! What had Moody done to him?

Reaching out to touch the nearest statue to see if his hand would pass through it, his cloak fell away, revealing his hand. Harry realized what had happened. It was an invisibility cloak! Maybe he could use it to get past Moody? Unfortunately, unless Moody pulled away from the entrance, he'd feel Harry trying to get through, so that wouldn't work.

Finally, Harry settled by a stack, waiting for the ranting to die down. How would he get out of here? Surely Moody would have to leave sometime? Then maybe Harry could leave? So long as Moody'd left the rope, that was. No, Harry knew there was little chance of that. But there had to be some way out of here, didn't there?

Looking down at the lamp, Harry frowned. What in the world was so special about this lamp, anyway? Maybe if it were shined up…? Harry pulled the cuff of his shirt down over his hand and began to rub at it, trying to see if it were perhaps made of gold or some other precious metal. But it was just simple copper.

Before Harry could turn it over, suddenly the room began to fill with smoke, and when harry realized it was coming from the lamp, he dropped it. "What the hell is going on?" He backed up against the treasure behind him, staring as the smoke grew, swirled around, and eventually coalesced into a shape. A human shape.

"What the…?"

The shape turned into an old man in violet robes with a beard down to his knees and a twinkle in his eyes. He bowed low to Harry, then looked at him. "Thank you for freeing me, Harry. For setting me free, I can grant you three wishes. What is your first wish?"

"Wishes?" Harry stared at the odd man. He'd never seen anyone dressed quite like that before, though he thought he remembered something from one of Minnie's books. "Are you…a genie?" he asked, slowly realizing.

The man smiled, his beard twitching at the expression. "That I am, Harry. And I have waited for you for a very long time."

"For me…? Why me?"

"Ah, because only you could get to the lamp. Only you could get close enough to set me free." He looked Harry over. "I see you found the cloak. I think you will find it very useful in the days to come."

Harry looked down, remembering his initial reaction to not seeing himself because of the cloak. "Uh…yeah. So…you can get me out of here, then?" he asked, his brain finally catching up with what that meant. "Those wishes, I mean."

"Of course, Harry!" The genie snapped his fingers, and with that, Harry found himself outside, near the entrance to the cave, but far enough that the fake Moody couldn't see him.

"Wow…" He grinned at the genie. "I…should get home. How do I call you again?"

"Just rub the lamp, Master, and I will come." And with that, the genie turned to smoke once more, and disappeared into the lamp.

Harry pulled the invisibility cloak tighter around himself, hiding his face before peeking around to see if the fake Moody were still there. He wasn't. The things Harry had brought with him were gone as well, so with a grumbling stomach, Harry started back towards Hogsmeade.

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