(This was written for a Harry Potter/fairytale fan fic contest.)
Soon the group stood in front of a large stone statue that resembled some giant carved beast. Darwin said loudly, “No Nonsense!” which made the statue leap aside, revealing a spiraling staircase.
“How did you know that password?” Eric asked curiously.
“I’ve been here enough this year,” Darwin snickered in reply.
Dorothy was trying to be brave, but her heart was hammering in her chest and she clutched Toto even tighter. She’d barley stepped on the staircase when it began to move, much like an escalator, only made of stone. What if the bad witch Bella had been right? What if these were really the bad guys? After all, they were in a huge castle! Suddenly she wanted very much to go home!
The stairs stopped, dumping them on a small landing, and she found herself staring at a large oaken door. Darwin moved forward, muttering about bleeding cowards and jerked the door opened, dragging Dorothy behind him.
The room inside was huge. Sunlight streamed through tall, narrow windows, and shelves cluttered with mounds of books and odd silver objects lined all the walls except one, which was covered instead with paintings, all with moving occupants. A large desk sat in the esters of the room, but no one was at it, the large green chair stood empty.
“McGonagall’s not here,” Eric remarked.
“Obviously,” Darwin rolled his eyes. “But she wanted to see Dumbledore anyway.” He continued to tug her through the room, leading her to a portrait of a sleeping wizard who had a very pointed purple hat. “Yo! Professor?”
Dorothy stared in wonder as the painted wizard opened his eyes. A smile creapt across his weathered face as he spied Dorothy and the furry bundle in her arms. “Ah, so you’ve come at last have you?”
“What?” Sid came up behind the pair.
“Put that little fellow over there in the chair, would you my dear?” the portrait asked, nodding to Toto.
Dorothy stared at the picture in confusion, “But please, sir, I just want to go back to Kansas!”
“Of course, my dear, of course, but first thing’s first, hmmm? We must do things in the proper order. If you would kindly put our dear canine friend right there in the green chair and then continue to follow my instructions, you shall soon see that things will turn out quite nicely.”
Dorothy wasn’t sure, but she finally did as instructed, crossing the room and carefully putting Toto in the large stuffed chair. “All right,” she called.
“Now, in the right hand drawer of the desk you’ll find a vial of purple liquid. Remove the lid and sprinkle three drops – no more than three – on the dog,” the portrait instructed.
Dorothy found the vial easily enough, removed the cork and carefully dropped the fluid on Toto, one drop at a time. Smoke curled up from his fur and he barked loudly, yapping at Dorothy. Tears sprang to her eyes and she cried out, reaching for him. Suddenly, a white light enveloped the dog and something invisible slammed into Dorothy, knocking her backwards.
She sat up carefully, rubbing the back of her head where it had collided with the floor and stared towards the chair where, instead of Toto, she saw a white haired man who resembled the painting she’d just been speaking with.
“Dumbledore!” the boys cried together, rushing towards the desk. Even heartless Darwin looked glad to see the wizened man.
“Hello boys.” He peered over his spectacles at them, standing and stretching. “My but it feels better to be back. The fleas were really becoming quite a nuisance,” he paused and scratched at his beard. “Alas, it seems they’ve stayed with me.”
“Toto?” Dorothy gaped, blinking.
“I am dreadfully sorry, my dear, but I must inform you that your dear Toto is no more, nor has he been for the last year, I am afraid.” He looked truly sorrowful about it.
“We thought you were dead!” Sid exclaimed.
“And so it appeared, did it not?” He smiled. “But such was not the case. Your Potions Master is a brilliant man, and at the last moment rather than casting the spell that everyone supposed he cast, instead he used a switching spell, to switch the real me with a fake me that had been fabricated earlier. After that was finished I simply aparated to the most out of the way place I could imagine and found myself on a small farm in the middle of Kansas. There was a small dog there who was very ill and died late that night, and it was a simple enough task to disguise myself as the animal and hide, just as Peter Petigrew had done.”
“But why did no one tell us?!” Eric cried.
“Because had it been widely known the purpose would have been defeated. Those who needed to know knew. I have been communicating via owl with the order and the venerable headmistress all year.” He stretched. “And now, to get this most worthy young lady back home, though I dare say she’d be far better off here then returning to her home.” He glared at the three boys. “And I am rather ashamed of the three of you taking advantage of a girl’s innocence.”
The three boys flushed, staring at their feet and looking thoroughly ashamed.
“What do you say, Dorothy? Would you like to remain here or do you wish instead to go back to your farm?”
“I…I want to go home,” she said slowly. The idea that her beloved Toto was gone was still dim in her mind, but turning more into reality with every second.
“As you wish my dear.” Dumbledore stood and crossed the room, offering her a hand and helping her to her feet. “I shall return momentarily,” he informed the boys and with a loud pop they disappeared and reappeared in Kansas.
The sky overhead was slowly clearing of the thick clouds and the ground was damp with rain.
“And here you are, my dear. Before I depart I would give you a word of advice. The next time one of the farm hands take you to the barn there is a much easier way to fix their problems permanently.”
“Really?” she asked, looking around in wonder, unsure of how she’d gotten home or if she’d ever left.
“Yes, I believe the machete hanging on the wall will do the trick. One good whack should sever them from their problems.” He winked “And now, I think a short nap will be in order for you,” and with a flick of his hand Dorothy passed out, landing safely on a mound of fresh clover. The old wizard shook his head, carefully removing the enchantment that kept the slippers on her feet. Sticking the ugly shoes on his own feet, he nodded and in a pop he was gone, leaving her to determine what had been real and what hadn’t.