Harry Potter and the Weaver's Wizardry
Year 2 Part 6
Harry woke up the next morning feeling quite refreshed and in a lot of pain. Now that the adrenaline had worn off Harry could feel each and every bruise, welt and burn that he received the previous night. He slowly rose out of bed and staggered in to the bathroom. The cascade of hot water was working wonders on his body and it was almost an hour later before he climbed back out. He got changed and wrote out an order to Madam Malkin asking for a restock of all of his supplies, most of it being from the non-magical world, hoping he would be able to get it as soon as possible.
As soon as he had this thought he heard a tapping on the window and looking over, noticing his extremely smart owl who always showed up no matter what. Moving over to Hedwig, he smoothed her feathers and scratched her head as she leaned into his ministrations before tying the letter to her leg.
"Fly fast and safe but don't push yourself. If you need to hunt then do so, I won't be angry." Harry informed Hedwig, who hooted in thanks as she took off into the morning.
He moved towards his table to collect his books and equipment he would need for the day when he noticed the scraps of dragon leather left over from last night's escapade. As he examined the pile his thoughts turned to what he could do with it since repairing it was out of the question. He figured he could cut it into strips and weave it into his other clothing as padding, since it had been rather comfy.
Figuring he could leave it for another time, he got dressed in his uniform and made his way to the Great Hall to grab some food. He took 3 steps into the Common Room when he was tackled from behind by Hannah.
"Harry! Where did you go? What did you do? Why didn't you ask for help? Are you ok? Are you still bruised? Oh Merlin I just tackled you while you were still injured." Hannah fired off her questions in rapid fire, not allowing him to respond until he placed a finger on her lip.
"I went into the forest. I asked some spiders some questions. I didn't think anyone would want to join me in asking giant spiders some questions. I'm tired and sore but ultimately fine." He responded just as fast without lifting his finger. He felt her shudder when he mentioned the giant spiders and could hear the silence spread through the Common Room.
"Merlin Potter. How are you still alive?" Cedric asked the question everyone wanted to ask.
"I almost didn't make it. There was some sort of sentient blue car that saved me. No idea why it was there but I outlined its seats with silk as thanks so there's that." He said with a grin and sent a smile towards Susan, who he had noticed had just walked in, but she had a cold expression on her face and brushed past him without so much as a good morning.
He watched her walk out with an uneasy expression on his face. He turned to Cedric when he leaned in to whisper something in his ear.
"I think she's angry." He whispered in Harry's ear, causing Harry to smack him on the back of the head in irritation. Of course being 12 he didn't have that much reach so he had to jump up to do it but the feeling remained the same. Cedric merely pouted and pet Harry on the head, ruffling his hair before wrapping his arm around Harry's shoulder and dragging him out to the Great Hall.
Seeing Susan sitting alone at the table, he made to move towards her when he watched her slowly raised her fork and the moment he took a step towards her, she rather violently stabbed into the bacon platter. It was at that point that Harry deemed it safer to stay away from Susan for a bit in the name of self-preservation.
The group dynamic remained like that for 2 weeks, Harry had eventually gotten sick of her behaviour and rather irrationally started acting cold towards her, deciding that until she relaxed and attempted to speak to him, he wouldn't speak to her either. Hannah was torn between the two and tried to make peace between them until Harry took her aside and told her that he understood that she needed to be by Susan's side.
While it didn't solve as many problems as it could have, things were certainly easier for Hannah. She sent him multiple apologetic looks as she followed Susan whenever she decided to leave in order to avoid him. Meals were taken further away, the study group divided between two tables but refused to take sides and she left for her room whenever he entered the common room while she was inside.
It was driving Harry mad, the way she was behaving was not a reasonable reaction to his stunt in the forest, but he had insisted that it wasn't like he wanted to go into the forest in the first place. He only wanted to ask Hagrid some questions but was told to follow the spiders if he wanted answers. He did mention that he found out the beast was a basilisk but her replies to his arguments had become repetitive and he gave up.
He understood that she was worried about him and that she feared that if he died in the forest no one would be able to find him, but it still hurt that she had moved away from him after being one of his first and closest friends and having confided in her. The two weeks that they had spent apart had caused him to become slightly more distant, he still spent time with the rest of his friends but refused to confide in anyone about anything important.
Harry had taken to walking around the corridors with the invisibility cloak on since he hadn't had time to make himself a new cloak. He considered it a blessing that he still had his dragonhide boots charmed for silencing his footsteps. He was currently on the first floor avoiding the Great Hall as he hadn't felt like eating when a loud wail tore through the hallway.
He moved down the staircase to see what all the fuss was about when he heard Dumbledore shout, which was odd since he never shouted.
"SILENCE! PROFESSORS WILL CONDUCT A HEAD COUNT. EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE IF YOU ALL REMAIN CALM AND SEATED."
Harry was confused as to what had happened to result in a headcount and moved to enter the Great Hall when he was intercepted by a hand grabbing his shoulder.
"Potter!" Harry turned around to see that it was the youngest male Weasley that had grabbed him. He raised an eyebrow at the forceful tone and merely stared at Weasley, waiting for him to speak. He could see him arguing with himself before taking a forceful gulp.
"Harry. I need your help." He looked quite tense, but Harry supposed that it was from having swallowed his pride and actually asking for help.
"What can I help you with Ronald?" He figured that if Ronald could use his name then he could do the same.
"It hurts to ask for your help but I have no other choice. My sister is missing, and there's a creepy message on the wall on the first floor saying that 'her skeleton will be in the chamber forever.' I think she was taken…" Ronald looked quite pale after saying that, his fear for his sister splashed all over his face.
"Really?" Harry was genuinely shocked that this had happened. There hadn't been any sort of idea that a student would be kidnapped. "I need to see this message before we do anything."
The pair rushed up the stairs to the first floor where there was water everywhere once more. He was quite confused as to why the hallway would be flooded when he paused and stared at the message.
'Her skeleton will lie in the chamber forever.' It was written just underneath the first message and looked to be written in the same sort of liquid.
"Well that's ominous." He muttered. Harry turned to Ronald and asked him straight out.
"Do you have a plan or are we just winging it? Also, why didn't you go to a professor?" He was rather curious about the latter question. He was after all, just a second year student and nowhere near as deadly as the professors.
"They wouldn't believe me. After all the trouble I've gotten into this year I doubt they would listen to anything I say." Ronald sounded rather bitter at that, the one time he needed help, he doubted anyone would listen to him. Harry figured it was why he managed to swallow his pride and ask him of all people for help.
"Right then. Let's find a professor and try to save your sister. I have an idea where the chamber is but I'd rather have an adult with us before we do anything."
Harry sent out a pulse to try to find any professors available but most of them were in the Great Hall. The only one available was Lockhart who seemed to be in his office.
"Looks like Lockhart's the only one available. Hopefully he knows something besides how to look good." He had just finished muttering the last part of his sentence but by then he was already being dragged by Ron towards Lockhart's office.
They reached the office in under a minute and Ron barged in, not paying attention that a closed door usually meant privacy. It looked like privacy was indeed intended as when Harry reached the door and peered in, what looked back were covered portraits and half-filled trunks.
"You're leaving? What about my sister?" Ron blurted out. He simply couldn't believe that he was leaving in the middle of such a crisis. "What about your books? You've done loads of stuff like this so why are you running?" Ron's voice was full of suspicion and accusation, while folded arms and a stubborn expression faced Lockhart.
"He's running because he hasn't done anything. If you actually bother to read the books, you'd notice that they have conflicting dates in them at multiple points. My guess is that other people did the things he claimed to but I'm unsure of how he managed to make the claims his." Harry chimed in at this point.
"Now see here boys. It took a lot of work to get the stories out of the people who accomplished these tasks, and if they can't remember what they did, then they can't claim the credit. It's rather genius of me, I'd say."
"Right." Harry drawled. "Well you're coming with us for this. You must have learned something while you were stealing people's stories." With a flick of his fingers, Lockhart's wand flew into Harry's hand and was tucked into the holster that Harry wore by habit. With another flick, Lockhart started being dragged forward by his clothing despite his attempts at anchoring himself with his feet.
The trio walked/dragged themselves to the second floor, girl's bathroom and splashed their way to the circle of sinks. Ron and Lockhart looked around then at Harry, as if asking why they were in a flooded bathroom when there was a girl missing.
"Hello Myrtle. Sorry to be so blunt but we're running short on time. May we ask how you died?" Harry wasn't in the mood to play games so he came out and threw away any tact he had at the moment.
"Oh it was dreadful. I was in here, crying, because Olive Hornby was making fun of my glasses. Then I heard this strange sound, maybe it was another language, but what really got me was that it was a boy speaking. I opened the door to tell him to go away and then, I died." The way she told them made Harry wonder if she was secretly over her death and just remained behind to scare the girls who try to use this bathroom.
"Did you see where the boy was standing?" Harry gestured vaguely around the room.
"He was standing by the sink over there." Myrtle replied, jerking her head in the general direction. "It was odd, because that sink never works."
Harry moved towards the sink in question, sitting there innocently. He tried turning on the tap but frowned when nothing happened. He tried the adjacent sinks and was rewarded with two wet sleeves. He leaned forward for a closer look at the sink and noticed a slight engraving in a vague S shape.
He wondered if it was all connected, and when he thought connected, his thoughts moved to the plumbing around him.
"PIPES!" Harry blurted out. He whirled around and snapped his fingers, dragging Lockhart back towards them where he was trying to sneak out the door while Harry and Myrtle talked.
"The basilisk has been using the plumbing to get around. That must have been the reason the floor was flooded when Mrs Norris was attacked. They weren't sure which sink was the correct one so they turned them all on." Finishing his tangent, Harry leaned towards the sink once more and frowned.
"There must be some way to use the sink." He though out loud, the mystery surrounding the broken sink momentarily taking over. His eyes traced the S shape once more and another idea slithered into his mind. Taking a moment to focus on what he thought might be a snake he whispered to the sink.
"Open!" With a groan, the sink started sinking in to the floor and revealed an stomach dropping hole that went on and on with no end in sight.
"Right then." Harry turned around with a bright, excited sheen in his eyes. "Who wants to go first?"
Lockhart started backing away. "Congratulations boys on solving a mystery not recorded in the history books but this is where I take my leave. Good luck and all that and I'll just be off." The two boys merely gave him unimpressed looks and with a jerk of Harry's hand brought him to the lip of the pipe.
"Now really. There really is no need for this." He protested but with a prod in the back with Ron's wand sent him over and sliding down the tunnel.
"You or me next?" Harry asked as he listened to Lockhart's shrill scream slowly lower in volume as he moved further and further away.
"I'll go. Better make sure he doesn't hurt himself." Ron replied before he too jumped into the hole.
Harry looked over to Myrtle and stated in a rather somber voice.
"If we don't make it out, tell the professors would you?"
"Sure thing Harry. If you do die down there you are more than welcome to share my toilet." She sounded slightly too cheerful for Harry to be reassured.
"Thanks for the offer I guess. Down I go." With that said he jumped down and into the darkness.
The way down was much like an extremely fancy water slide, with plenty of twists and turns. He lost count of how deep they went before he shot out of the tunnel and slamming into the other two who were just picking themselves up, Lockhart a second time.
Harry jumped up and looked around him, before noticing the many rat skeletons lying on the floor.
"Now isn't this a cheerful place." The sarcasm was lost on the other two, who looked rather pale at the skeletons on the floor and the 40 foot snake skin just to their right. Harry was more interested in the runes on the walls and had moved closer to the torch to see them properly.
He had taken a few steps away when he heard the sound of a body falling on to the ground rather roughly. What he turned around to was the sight of Ron on the ground and Lockhart pointing a poorly repaired wand in his direction.
"This is where the fun and games end boys. When I get back to the surface I'll have a gripping tale of how the three of us went on a rescue mission but alas, the lack of experience proved too much for you and I was the only survivor. 'Banishing the Basilisk' I think I'll call it. Not that you'll remember any of this." Lockhart looked like the cat got the canary before he sealed their fates. "'Obliviate'."
Harry couldn't tell what had happened due to the bright flash of light and the loud rumble but when his vision came back he noticed the giant wall of rocks blocking the way out and cutting him off from the other two.
'Lovely.' He thought to himself, before moving to the rock wall and climbing to where he could see a gap.
"Are you alright Ronald?" Harry's call was hesitant as if he didn't want to know if the other two were crushed underneath a pile of stones or not.
"We're fine Harry. Sprained my leg when Lockhart tackled me but I'm a right sight better than he is. Looks like his spell bounced back on him. Don't think he even remembers his own name." Ron's voice was muffled, most likely from the stone.
"Try to clear some space from this gap for when I return with your sister." Harry tried to sound more confident than he felt. With time being of the essence and much of his newly refurbished supplies not being charmed, the chances of them all making it out alive were looking smaller and smaller with each passing minute.
"Harry." Ron's voice was gentle and very different to how he had been for the past two years. It was only now that Harry saw past the greedy boy and saw the boy overshadowed by his 5 older brothers. "I just want to say thanks. Even if we don't leave here alive, I just want you to know I appreciate this. We may never be friends but I don't think I can hate you after this. You didn't have to help but you did anyway. So you better make it back, you hear." His voice grew gruff once more as if to pretend that his moment of weakness hadn't happened.
"Yeah. I will!" He didn't feel like any more needed to be said and it was clear that Ron felt the same.
Pulling out 2 wheels of needles and infusing a platform of magic into each of them, spelling them with piercing charms, he hoped that it would be enough. He also pulled out a strip of black silk and charmed it for one way transparency before wrapping it around his eyes and under his glasses. Pulling the silk tight against his eyes, he quickly wove a light charm and hung it around his neck, making a makeshift lantern as he marched into the depths of the castle.