153 Knife over the Bed
Time went by quickly and Hermione and Arth somehow managed to avoid Ron and Harry even more than before.
Even when Harry had his quidditch match with Ravenclaw, Hermione and Arth decided to be in the library and finish up their homework.
Even all of the extra hours they could get from the time turner were no longer enough to keep them completely awake.
Arth had attempted to create a long-lasting energy drink and had succeeded in a way.
The drink would provide a guaranteed twenty-four hours of perfect clarity of the mind however would bring about an earsplitting headache right after. Nothing he could seem to fix it.
It seemed that the Gryffindor had won the match as the entire House was up celebrating. Having enough of the loud noise, Arth and Hermione went to bed early and slept soundly.
Arth was dreaming about going to sleep when Ron let out an ear-splitting scream.
Arth woke as suddenly as though he'd been woken up from a nice nap.
Disoriented in the total darkness, he fumbled with his hangings — he could hear movements around him, and Seamus Finnigan's voice from the other side of the room: "What's going on?"
Arth heard the dormitory door slam. At last, finding the divide in his curtains, he ripped them back, and at the same moment, Dean Thomas lit his lamp.
Ron was sitting up in bed, the hangings torn at one side, a look of utmost terror on his face.
"Black! Sirius Black! With a knife!"
"What?" Asked Harry who had also gotten up.
"Here! Just now! Slashed the curtains! Woke me up!"
"You sure you weren't dreaming, Ron?" said Dean.
"Look at the curtains! I tell you, he was here!"
They all scrambled out of bed; Arthur reached the dormitory door last still groggy from the lack of sleep, and they sprinted back down the staircase. Doors opened behind them, and sleepy voices called after them.
"What're you doing?"
The common room was lit with the glow of the dying fire, still littered with the debris from the party. It was deserted. "Are you sure you weren't dreaming, Ron?"
"I'm telling you, I saw him!"
"What's all the noise?"
"Professor McGonagall told us to go to bed!"
A few of the girls had come down their staircase, pulling on dressing gowns and yawning. Boys, too, were reappearing.
"Excellent, are we carrying on?" said Fred Weasley brightly.
"Everyone back upstairs!" said Percy, hurrying into the common room and pinning his Head Boy badge to his pajamas as he spoke.
"Perce — Sirius Black!" said Ron faintly. "In our dormitory! With a knife! Woke me up!"
The common room went very still.
"Nonsense!" said Percy, looking startled. "You had too much to eat, Ron — had a nightmare —"
"I'm telling you —"
"Now, really, enough's enough!"
Professor McGonagall was back. She slammed the portrait behind her as she entered the common room and glared furiously around.
"I am delighted that Gryffindor won the match, but this is getting ridiculous! Percy, I expected better of you!"
"I certainly didn't authorize this, Professor!" said Percy, puffing himself up indignantly. "I was just telling them all to get back to bed! My brother Ron here had a nightmare —"
"IT WASN'T A NIGHTMARE!" Ron yelled. "PROFESSOR, I WOKE UP, AND SIRIUS BLACK WAS STANDING OVER ME, HOLDING A KNIFE!"
Professor McGonagall stared at him.
"Don't be ridiculous, Weasley, how could he possibly have gotten through the portrait hole?"
Arth let out a groan.
"Can we all just use our brains and just go ask the god damn painting outside to get this over with? I want to sleep."
Raising an eyebrow at Arth, Professor McGonagall pushed the portrait back open and went outside. The whole common room listened with bated breath.
"Sir Cadogan, did you just let a man enter Gryffindor Tower?"
"Certainly, good lady!" cried Sir Cadogan.
There was a stunned silence, both inside and outside the common room.
"You — you did?" said Professor McGonagall. "But — but the password!"
"He had 'em!" said Sir Cadogan proudly. "Had the whole week's, my lady! Read 'em off a little piece of paper!"
Professor McGonagall pulled herself back through the portrait hole to face the stunned crowd. She was white as chalk.
"Which person," she said, her voice shaking, "which abysmally foolish person wrote down this week's passwords and left them lying around?"
There was utter silence, broken by the smallest of terrified squeaks. Neville Longbottom, trembling from head to fluffy slippered toes, raised his hand slowly into the air.
"Can we go to sleep now?"