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HBP - Chapter 26 - The Cave - Louisville Write Club
HBP - Chapter 26 - The Cave
Harry and Mr. D Apparate at the edge of the sea, waves crashing below them, towering rock behind them. Harry finds it an odd place for a school picnic, but Mr. D believes only Tom and his two victims came to where they are. But they have further to go. Mr. D beckons Harry to the edge of the rock where there are some footholds leading down to boulders half-submerged in water, closer to the cliff. With a Lumos, Mr. D shows Harry a fissure in the cliff. They’ll have to swim for it. They slide off the boulder and swim towards the rock face.

The fissure opens into a dark tunnel. Harry is freezing his ass off in the water. Eventually, the tunnel curves left and he sees Mr. D step out of the water. As Harry gets out of the water, Mr. D stands in the middle of the cave, slowly looking around. This is the place, and he can tell because it has known magic. Guess Harry has some more schooling to do to get to that point, eh? After Mr. D walks around, touching some of the rough rocky walls of the cave, he stops and puts his hand flat against the wall. The entrance is concealed. Mr. D points his wand at the spot and an arched white outline appears for a moment. He thinks that they have to pay in blood to pass. Harry offers to cut himself, but Mr. D does it, saving Harry from a future disorder. And according to Mr. D, Harry’s blood is worth more than his. Mr. D cuts his arm, puts some of his blood on the rock, and then heals his cut. The silver outline of the arch appears again and doesn’t fade away, leaving an opening into what seems like total darkness.

Inside, they find themselves on the edge of a great black lake, so big that Harry can’t see the other side or the ceiling. Just a misty green light in the middle of the lake. They begin to walk around the lake’s edge. Mr. D tells Harry to be careful not to step into the water. Harry asks if they should try a Summoning Charm and Mr. D gives the go ahead. After Harry's “Accio Horcrux”, they hear an explosive noise and see something jump out of the water and vanish again. Now Mr. D knows what they are facing in an attempt to get the Horcrux.

After a little more walking, Mr. D stops again and manages to find a boat by grasping an invisible chain. How did he know it was there? Magic always leaves traces, and Mr. D. taught Tom… he knows his style. They get into the boat and it moves at once. Then Harry sees a hand in the water and realizes that the jumping thing from before was a body. There’s a lot of bodies in the water, Harry says in a high-pitched voice. Eep! But since they live in cold and darkness, the mostly likely fear light and warmth and fire. Harry’s inwardly freaking out.

They reach the island and alight. The island is no larger than Mr. D’s office. The green light is coming from a stone basin, much like the Pensieve set on top of a pedestal. When they look inside, they see the basin is filled with an emerald liquid. Mr. D tries to touch it, but can’t, thanks to an invisible barrier. Harry asks of the Horcrux is in there. Uh. Duh. And Mr. D can’t move the liquid in anyway and deduces that it is supposed to be drunk. He conjures up a crystal goblet. But what if it kills you? Mr. D doesn’t think that’s the case, as VoldeTom would want the person alive long enough to question him before killing said person. Mr. D is to drink the potion. Harry’s job is to make sure he keeps drinking no matter what. Harry seems reluctant and Mr. D reminds him of his promise to do whatever he was asked to do. Harry wants to know why he can’t take the potion instead. Because Mr. D is older, much cleverer, and much less valuable. After making sure Harry’s going to follow orders, Mr. D dips the goblet into the liquid and begins to drink. And drinks some more. Halfway through the fourth cup full, Mr. D stumbles. He doesn’t want anymore. Repulsed with himself, Harry dips the goblet into the basin and force drinks the foul stuff to Mr. D. Mr. D even screams. Harry tells him that each successive cupful of crap will make the pain go away. Liar! After 6 cupfuls, Mr. D. is on the ground. Before the 11th glass, Mr. D wants to die. When he finishes drinking, he yells, “Kill me!” After one more, Mr. D rolls over onto his face. He looks dead, but eventually asks for water.

Harry grabs the goblet from where he dropped it in the basin, barely registering the locket lying beneath it. Harry tries to make water appear in the goblet, but it keeps disappearing. After repeated tries, Harry goes to the edge of the rock and fills the cup with lake water. Mmm.. I bet that’s tasty. But a hand reaches for Harry’s wrist and pulls him back. The water is churning and here come the Inferi. Harry paralyzes the Inferius that grabbed his arm and shoots a few more spells at the incoming Inferi. Nothing works for long. One of them grabs Harry and picks him up to carry him back to the water. Harry thinks he’s going to drown and become and Inferius.

But Mr. D saves the day with a golden ring of fire that sends the Inferi running. He grabs the locket and he and Harry get back into the boat and go back across the water, still encircled by the ring of fire. Way to forget about the fire, Chosen One, Harry! They get back to the edge of the lake. Harry helps Mr. D out of the boat. When they get to the archway, Harry uses his blood, since he got cut on the rock thanks to the Inferi. Once back in the water, Harry keeps reassuring Mr. D that everything is going to be all right and not to worry. To which Mr. D replies, “I am not worried, Harry. I am with you.”

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