A Professor of Magic at Hogwarts - C.310: Voldemort’s Mistake

A Professor of Magic at Hogwarts

C.310: Voldemort’s Mistake

The terrain by the seaside abruptly rose, revealing a black cliffside sculpted by the relentless pounding of the waves, forming a straight, plunging precipice.

The waves crashed against the rocky shore, producing white foamy crests and emitting a resounding roar.


On the exposed rocks, three figures suddenly appeared - two adults and a child. One of them, Felix, stumbled and nearly fell.

"Dragging your Animagus form is like dragging a mountain, Felix," panted Sirius.

"Forgive me, perhaps I've overloaded myself with magical items," Felix replied uneasily. Within his ring, he concealed several Dementors, these prisoners squeezed together in a cramped space without any magical barriers. Consequently, it was as if Sirius was carrying a group of people with his Animagus transformation.

Now they had a moment to observe their surroundings - the abrupt black cliffs, the ocean with its roiling waves, and the snaking mountains on the other side. Felix gazed into the distance and faintly saw a village halfway up the mountainside.

Apart from that, the landscape was bare and desolate. Other than the vast sea and rocks, not a single tree, grassy area, or beach was in sight.

Sirius pointed towards a reef in the water. "The entrance is right beneath the cliff. We can Apparate to that stone in the middle of the sea and then proceed..."

"Let's go."

This time, with Felix leading, they swiftly Apparated to the narrow crevice at the base of the cliff. They took a few steps forward before the surging seawater could reach their feet.

Soon, the crack transformed into a pitch-black tunnel. The rock walls on either side, covered in sticky mud, were only a couple of feet apart. Occasionally, they stepped on crushed shells or other similar trinkets. The air carried a salty, decaying odor.

"This was brought in by the tide," Sirius explained as he raised his illuminated wand, kicking a fish out of their path, along with a small stone that hit a blocking rock wall, "I cleared this before, but within a few days, it reappears."

Felix carefully examined the rock wall. In his black and white vision, powerful magic was layered onto the dark surface. He detected the scent of potent curses.

It was evident that Voldemort was proficient in curses and dark magic.

"I was blocked here. When I asked Kreacher, even he didn't know. When he and Regulus came here, they didn't encounter this wall..." Sirius explained.

"Kreacher, I recall you've been here twice?" Felix asked softly as he ran his hands over the magical inscriptions on the wall.

"Yes, Mr. Harp," Kreacher said with a fearful expression. "The first time, young Master Regulus found Kreacher. He said the Dark Lord needed a house-elf... It was an honor. Young Master Regulus instructed Kreacher to fulfill the Dark Lord's task, and then... return home."

"Kreacher followed the Dark Lord here, without encountering this wall, and went straight to a black lake. There was a boat... On the island, there was a basin filled with potions. The Dark Lord forced Kreacher to drink from it..."

"Kreacher remembered many terrifying things - memories of punishment, illusions of being cast out... Agonizing pain in every fiber of his being... Kreacher pleaded with the Dark Lord, but he only laughed and made me drink all the potion..."

Sirius fell silent. He had heard this story before, yet the taste it left behind was still bitter. Felix whispered, "It was a test. He was testing his protective measures."

"Kreacher felt like he was dying. The Dark Lord abandoned Kreacher, leaving on the boat alone... But Kreacher remembered young Master's orders, to return home. Young Master Regulus found Kreacher, deeply worried, and hid Kreacher away. He took care of me alone..."

The house-elf's voice quivered.

"After a while, young Master Regulus came to find Kreacher... His behavior was strange at night. I knew he was troubled during that time, as if he worried about something... Young Master asked Kreacher to take him to the cave. There was no wall then. We boarded a boat and reached the island in the lake, then... then..."

Sirius clenched his fist; he knew what happened next. Regulus drank the potion himself, made Kreacher return home, forbidding him to come back and commanding him not to reveal this secret to the mistress of the house. Apart from instructing Kreacher to destroy the locket, the Horcrux, Regulus himself was dragged into the dark lake...

Felix was also deeply moved by this past story. It's hard to imagine a pure-blood sacrificing his life for a house-elf, but he was conflicted. He had once fervently followed Voldemort, sincerely believing that Voldemort could bring a better life to wizards.

"My brother - Regulus, he was young at the time, believed Voldemort's lies, he was only eighteen..." Sirius's voice rasped, "Truly... a fool."

Drips of water fell from the cave entrance, masking Sirius's inhalations. Felix pretended to be engrossed in the magic inscriptions on the wall, staring intently, not speaking for a while. After a long time

"Voldemort was quite confident. When he later added outermost protective measures, he didn't check"

"No, Mr. Harp, young Master Regulus crafted a fake locket, a replica... When he arrived, when he drank the potion, he threw the locket into the lake, then let the potion pass over it again..."

"Hmm," Felix murmured softly, "That makes sense. He missed a chance to correct his mistake."

Sirius asked, "How do we get through this wall? I've tried various spells, all in vain, and the closer I get, the more interference my spells face. Look"

He pointed his wand at the wall, a delicate incantation flew from the tip, and the outline of an arch appeared on the wall, emitting a dazzling white light, as if a strong light was shining behind the crack. But soon, that outline disappeared, and the rock remained as solid and impenetrable as before, devoid of any change.

"My theory is that the wall conceals malicious intentions. It's a rare curse - making visitors pay a price, weakening themselves. Voldemort wants us to mark the wall with blood infused with magic. However," Felix's expression turned scornful, "All his efforts have been in vain... We have a better approach."

Felix took off his ring and placed it on a seashell nearby. He said gently, "Kreacher, would you be willing to help us cross?"

Kreacher looked at him in surprise, "C-Can I? I'm just a humble, obedient servant"

"No, Kreacher. In certain aspects, you're more clever than Voldemort."

Kreacher stared, his bat-like ears twitching uneasily. He didn't even have decent clothes, but someone was telling him he was cleverer than the feared Dark Lord.

"Are you willing, Kreacher? To do your part for Regulus?"

"Of-of course! Kreacher is willing!"

Trembling, Kreacher extended his hand, Felix took hold of it, and then the aged, wrinkled house-elf looked up at Sirius with expectant eyes. Sirius extended his hand too.

The next moment, the three of them disappeared in front of the wall.

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