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Harry Potter and the Story of GUMSHOE: Part Nine

Chapter Sixteen: Through the Trapdoor

Harry’s scar has been hurting for the entire week of exams, ever since he encountered the hooded figure in the forest. He believes it is a warning that danger is coming. He’s right, of course, and the sense keeps him alert to a clue he previously missed. (We’ll say Harry’s player spent a point out of Curse-Scarred to get his memory jogged.)

Harry runs to Hagrid’s hut with the others in tow. There, he asks Hagrid about the man who gave him Norbert’s egg (Oral History). Hagrid recalls that the man never removed his hood, but that he asked about Fluffy. Hagrid told him that you just have to play music to calm the dog down. The three kids are convinced that Snape was the man in the hood and that he knows the last secret to reaching the Sorcerer’s Stone.

They rush to warn Dumbledore, but Professor McGonagall tells them he’s just left for London and won’t be back until tomorrow. They try to warn her of the impending theft, but she doesn’t believe them. They then run into Snape, who is very suspicious, and they decide to stake out the restricted corridor to keep him from getting inside. This plan is foiled by Snape and McGonagall.

Finally, Harry announces that he will have to steal the Stone himself. The others make it clear they won’t let him go alone. They wait until everyone else has gone to bed and then Sneak to the restricted corridor under the invisibility cloak. They are caught by Neville on their way out, and Hermione is forced to cast a full Body-Bind on him (Wand Magic).

They find the door to Fluffy’s room ajar, warning them that Snape has already entered. Inside, Harry uses the flute Hagrid carved for him to put the dog under. The three open the trap door and drop through, into a “plant thing.” Hermione recognizes it as Devil’s Snare (with her Herbology ability); the more they struggle, the tighter it will constrict around them. She struggles to remember what kills Devil’s Snare (and her player spends a point of Herbology). She thinks fire will work, but laments there is no wood to burn. Ron reminds he she's a witch, and she casts her bluebell flame spell (Wand Magic; likely a toll test, where success is assured but you roll to see if it costs you anything). This drives the plant away and lets them fall through to the floor below.

In the next chamber, countless keys have been enchanted to flutter about like birds. One will open the door forward. Ron examines the door (spending a Notice point) and figures they want an old silver key. There are broomsticks against the wall, and Harry must use his Flying to catch the key, with Ron and Hermione assisting.

The next chamber is filled with a life-size wizard’s chess set. Ron surmises that they must win the game to advance. It’s unlikely the GM made them play out an entire chess match at the table. Instead, perhaps she offers to let Ron's player spend his remaining Wizarding Society points to win, with the cost that Ron must sacrifice himself to secure victory. He does, and Hermione and Harry continue.

The next room holds an unconscious troll, already dispatched by their quarry. Then, a small room with just a table inside. On the table are a number of potions and a riddle. Walls of flame seal the doors ahead and behind. The riddle says that one potion will let them turn back and one will let them progress. Two others are harmless, but three will kill if they guess wrong. It provides four clues to solve the puzzle.

Hermione, of course, is a master of logic (and the GM probably did make her player work it out herself). There's only enough potion for one to go forward and one to go back. Harry tells her to get Ron out and warn Dumbledore. He will try to hold Snape off for as long as he can. He drinks his potion and steps into the next room.

And is very surprised by what he sees.

Ability Tally

Harry

Drive: “Saving People Thing”
Investigative Abilities: Assess Honesty, Credit Rating, Curse-Scarred*, Notice, Oral History, Parseltongue*, Reassurance (spent 1 point)
* special Investigative ability
General Abilities: Athletics, Fleeing, decent Flying (especially for a first year), Sneaking, Stability, Wand Magic

Ron

Drive: Follower
Investigative Abilities: low Credit Rating, Intimidation (spent 1 point), Notice, Wizarding Society (includes wizard chess; spent)
General Abilities: Athletics, Fleeing, Flying, Sneaking, Stability, Wand Magic

Hermione

Investigative Abilities: Flattery, Herbology, Library Use, Notice
General Abilities: Fleeing, Flying, Sneaking, Stability, Wand Magic

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