Harry Potter and the Forbidden Scroll.

At last. After navigating his way through a virtual blind maze of dead ends and obstacles that challenged every ounce of his ingenuity, Harry had recovered the Forbidden Scroll and was now determined to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

Harry slipped past the front doors that led him back into the safety of Hogwarts and was scurrying down the main hallway when suddenly a leg appeared out of the darkness, directly in his path. Before he could even see it, he tripped on the leg and fell forward, releasing the Scroll into flight. He kept his eyes on the Scroll even after landing on the soft carpet and was horrified to see it out of his reach. Then a dark figure walked out of the darkness and into the hallway to pick up the Scroll.

“Thanks for the Scroll, Potter,” drawled a familiar voice. “I was going to say I owe you one, but I hardly consider you putting my father in prison a favor.”

“Don’t open that Scroll, Malfoy!” Harry pleaded.

“Why?” Malfoy fired back. “The Scroll was never yours to begin with!”

“You don’t understand!” Harry yelled. “The words of the Scroll are fatal to anyone who reads them!”

“You’re just saying that to scare me,” Malfoy retorted. “And unfortunately for you, I don’t scare easily. Well, gotta run.”

With Scroll in hand, Malfoy ran down the hallway, ignoring Harry’s bitter protests which echoed in the dark, empty hallway.

“You got the Scroll!” Crabbe shouted when he saw Malfoy waving the Scroll in triumph as he entered the Slytherin dormitory. “How’d you get it so fast?”

“It was too easy,” Malfoy snorted. “It was like taking candy from a Mudblood.”

“So who’s going to read it first?” Goyle asked as he watched Malfoy pull out the ragged parchment from its leather sleeve. The other Slytherins in the room had gathered excitedly around Malfoy to watch what was about to happen.

“Who else? Me, of course.” Malfoy replied as he unrolled the parchment to silently read the words inscribed within. Suddenly he dropped the Scroll, staring straight ahead with a vacant look on his face.

“Are you all right, Malfoy?” Crabbe asked.

Malfoy responded with a long, loud, deep, continuous belch that resonated around the dormitory. The other Slytherins broke out into hysterical laughter but Malfoy continued staring straight ahead, belching with the same blank expression etched onto his face.

“Wow, Malfoy!” Goyle gasped between fits of laughter. “I didn’t know you could belch that long!”

“LOOK AT HIS HEAD!” Crabbe screamed.

Immediately the laughter ceased and the only sound in the room was Malfoy’s belching. His head began to swell and within minutes it had expanded to twice its normal size. The belching continued, louder and deeper than before and the Slytherins began backing away from the horrifying sight unfolding before their very eyes.

Just when Malfoy’s head grew to three times its normal size, there was a flash of light and a deafening bang as his head exploded. His lifeless body collapsed in a heap on the floor and the terrified Slytherins fled the dormitory screaming, leaving only Crabbe and Goyle behind, ever faithful to their fallen friend.

After a few minutes of dreadful silence, Goyle spoke up. “No way did that just happen,” he said, walking up to the Scroll. “Say, what does that Scroll say anyway?”

“GOYLE, NO!” Crabbe yelled but it was too late. Goyle too was standing silently, staring straight ahead with a vacant expression on his face and letting out one loud, continuous belch.

“NOT YOU, TOO!” Crabbe screamed and fled the dormitory. Sure enough, just moments later there was another loud bang as Goyle’s swollen head exploded.

“Did you hear that, Harry?” Ron called out from his bed in the Gryffindor dormitory. “That’s the second one tonight.”

“Yeah,” Harry replied with a smile as he stared at the ceiling. “I hate to admit it, but that’s just about the most soothing sound I ever heard.”

As if on cue, Harry and Ron heard a faint sound of a third explosion which rang out from the Slytherin dormitory. At the same time, smiles formed on the faces of Ron and Harry as they both dozed off to the soft sound of Slytherins’ heads exploding during the cool, damp night.

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