Concepts contributed by: Leah & Heather
Spankys narrative continued:
I trailed Orel back to his flat in London, which he had filled with a
lot of rare and dangerous stuff. One of the things he had was a
Pensieve. I was surprised to see it, having read that Dumbledore had rid
England of the things, with a few closely guarded exceptions. I had
always wanted to mess around with one, and I must admit that I had never
understood what was so dangerous about them. I was about to learn a very
Orel used the Pensieve a great deal during the next few days, while his
deadline for dealing with Lily Potter drew near. Finally he seemed to
have stirred enough thoughts around in it that a plan took shape. At any
rate, there was a sudden change in his mood, from listless anxiety to
exuberant energy. When he rushed out of the flat, taking a sack of
galleons with him, I decided that he was not coming back very soon, so I
broke cover and stole into his flat.
I quickly found the Pensieve and was delighted to find that Orel had
rushed off without removing his thoughts and plans from the bowl. So I
plunged in and had a look around. What I found made my blood run cold.
Evidently, Orel and his associates had gathered a lot of information
about Lily Potter, her habits, and her tastes. Orel had pieced together
several of her most charming traits and planned his attack through them.
For instance, Lily had a weakness for chocolate, loved children, and was
constantly throwing money into every charity that appealed to her soft
heart. So it seemed that Orel was going to do something dastardly to her
in the guise of a Merlin Scout going door to door selling chocolates to
collect money so that underprivileged little wizards and witches could
buy spellbooks and potion ingredients.
I knew I had to warn Lily and James. But before I could get out of
Orels memory, something truly apalling happened. The scoundrel came
home, sooner than expected, and made haste to stuff the thoughts in his
Pensieve back into his brain. He did not even take the trouble to look
for anyone who did not belong in his thoughts. He didnt seem to know I
was there. But I knew what was happening the moment I started seeing the
world through Orels eyes. He was going to try to murder Lily Potter,
and I could do nothing to stop it.
Words cannot describe how desperate I was. I knew I was doomed whether
Orel killed Lily or not. If he succeeded, I would never be able to live
with myself, seeing it all from behind the killers eyes while powerless
to stop it. Plus, James would no doubt hunt Orel down and destroy him
before long. And if Orel failed, he was going to get sizzled by You Know
Who, probably before I would have a chance to get out of Orels brain.
Now any of us can imagine how embarrassing it must be to get caught
poking through someone elses memories in a Pensieve. But to escape
detection, and get stuck into a persons brain without any hope of
getting out, is a fate I had never dreamt of!
Things did not look good. I raced around among Orels thoughts, unable
to get his attention, scarcely daring to try, hoping to find some lever
that I could push to move him off his dangerous course. Meanwhile, Orel
put a slight shrinking charm on himself, vanished his goatee, conjured
up a Merlin Scouts uniform, and stirred together a potion that
was meant to look and taste like chocolate but have the effect of the
Draught of Living Death. By the time he had wrapped up the chocolates in
pretty little papers, I had only managed to figure out how to make Orel
That night, Orel slept soundly for the first time since I had been
following him. I, however, was tormented by all the weird things going
on in his subconscious mind. I huddled terrified in a corner,
wondering whether the horrid things passing on every side were the
afflictions of a guilty conscience, the fantasies of a perverted mind,
mere dreams, or even memories of things he had seen in You Know Whos
service. He awoke early, dressed himself in the Merlin Scouts uniform,
gathered up his collecting box and his chocolates, and apparated to a
trail in the wood near Godrics Hollow. In a matter of minutes, Orel was
knocking on the Potters front door.
Lily answered, looking radiant as always--no, strike that--more radiant
than ever! She was looking very pregnant with little Harry, but she did
not seem to be slowing down at all. Her fingers and the tip of her nose
were stained with potion ingredients, her hair was loosely tied up, and
she held her wand as if the caller had knocked when she was in the
middle of doing something that she couldnt wait to get on with. But
when she saw Orel, disguised as a Merlin scout, she forgot about being
in a hurry, and beamed at him the way Lily always beamed at children.
'Is it already that time again? she asked. She rubbed her hands
together, apparently wishing her fingers werent so dirty, because she
clearly wanted to pat Orels head. Suddenly Orel stood beside me, in his
own brain, looking on. The lousy mudblood had better not touch me, he
'You watch your mouth, I retorted, and thats when he noticed me.
'Who the blazes are you? Orels hidden self demanded, goggling at me.
And what are you doing in my mind?
'Please, maam, said the counterfeit Merlin Scout. Wont you spare a
few galleons for young witches and wizards less fortunate than yourself?
In return, we would like you to have a box of these fine nougats as a
Meanwhile, the Orel within was trying to bury me in jagged pieces of
memories, broken plans, buried dreams, and various other kinds of
gibberish. Every time I tried to run from him, I found him in front of
me. He was walling me up in his mind.
Still, I could see and hear what Lily Potter was doing. She bit her lip
and twisted her hands, evidently considering a box of those tempting
chocolates. Orel, in his youthful form, kept telling her about the
lovely caramels and the hazelnut creams. Just when I was ready to give
up and let him wall me inwhen Lily began digging in her pockets for
loose coinsthe commotion stopped.
'I beg your pardon, maam? Orel asked her, almost forgetting to sound
like a polite Merlin Scout.
'I said, I dont mind making a donation, but I really must say no to
the sweets. I dont know what they would do to the baby, you know. Ah!
Here you go! That should be enough for you to have a box or two for
yourself, and some to spare. Good luck, and give my best to Mr.
Ladderhold, if hes still troop leader.
'But I really want you to take the sweets, Orel insisted, holding the
box out to her.
Lily grinned. Thats very nice of you, but the answer is no. Here,
take another galleon. Its really about those poor children, after all,
Orel was growing desperate. In his mind, he was seething with fury.
Take the chocolate, you cursèd Muggle, his brain roared, forgetting
all about me.
'But maam, the boy-Orel squeaked, what am I to do with these sweets?
I cant go around selling them twice. People will say I stole the money,
or overcharged someone.
'Well, if youre that concerned about it, said Lily, I will buy a box
'Excellent! Orel said, a bit too eagerly perhaps.
'Ill send it to Mrs. Gwinn up at Golden Branch Farm, just over the
hill past the village there. Perhaps you would be so kind as to deliver
them with my compliments? I cant spare the time to go myself, theres a
good boy. Here, have a box for yourself, too. Would you like a receipt?
With a wave of her wand, she gave him one, and gave him another one of
her delightful smiles. You really are the sweetest one theyve sent
round since weve lived here. Whats your name again?
'Philip Smith, lied Orel. His fingers trembled as he took the receipt
from Lily. The children thank you, he added, almost tearfully. In his
brain, he and I stood viewing one scene after another of his destruction
by You Know Who. In each scene, a hideous dark figure sneered: You mean
to say, she gave you money?
'Goodness, you really do care about those children, dont you? Lily
exclaimed. Ive never seen anyone so moved by a donation of three
galleons. What year are you at Hogwarts, then?
'Wont you even try one? Orel begged. On a sudden inspiration, he
ripped open one of the packages. Here, have a caramel from the box you
bought for me. Just a taste.
'Oh, no, Ive had too many of those before, said Lily. And I have to
think of the little one. Hell have a weakness for sweets in his own
time, if I have anything to say about it, but that time is not yet. And
now she actually did pat the boys head, potion-stained fingers and all.
'Well, have a nice day, said Orel miserably, and he turned away. As
soon as he was out of sight of the Potters house, he apparated to a
smoke-filled parlor that had a stuffed mermaid on one wall, and the head
of a hippogriff on another. Eustace put down his hookah, brushed a bit
of dust off his smoking jacket, and stood up out of a very soft-looking
'I say, Orel, is that you? he cried. I never would have put you down
for a Phoenix Scout. You dont look as if it went well. Tell me all
'Just a moment, said Orel, striding over to the bar below the stuffed
mermaid, and pulling yet another unregistered Pensieve out of a hidden
drawer. First, I want to introduce you to somebody.
+++ RIDDLE TIME! +++
The Pensieve scenario in this weeks Magic Quill was inspired by some
readers feedback about last weeks Pensieve-related riddle. So think
about itcould this happen? If it did, it would mean that when Harry
(for instance) stuck his head in the Pensieve, he was physically
transported into Dumbledores or Snapes memory; he didnt simply stand
there with his head in the bowl, experiencing everything in his mind. So
if Snape hadnt known to look for Harry, or hadnt chanced to see him
before stuffing the memory back into his head, Harry could have been
lost in Snapes brain! This is a major problem with the physically
entering the Pensieve scenario. However, the other scenario (head only,
and the experience of being inside the memory is an illusion) has even
more problems, such as: (1) How does Harry see Dumbledore and Snape when
they come into their own memories to fetch him out? (2) How is it that
he sees and feels Snapes bruising grip on his arm? (3) How can more
than one persons head fit inside the bowl? Etc.
Do you know any really good riddles (not just Harry Potter-related
ones)? I would like to see them. The Red Herring one that the sphinx
asked Merlin is the best one I know. Send me a cool riddle and Ill see
if I can find room for it in the story!
Finally, a belated thank you to everyone who kindly wrote to tell me how
desperately they missed The Magic Quill while I was moving. No one is
happier than I to find myself back at work with my friends at
What happens next? Send us your idea in 150 words or less, and tune in
next week for another installment of the Magic Quill.
Discuss this installment in the forums.
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