Ron kept quiet about what had happened while the group was in the common room. He knew it would have been easier to sign had his friends' known sign language. He knew Hermione understood a few phrases but was nowhere near proficient. Telling Harry, Neville, and Hermione about what had occurred in the hall that the teachers were covering up would be difficult but necessary. It would also be the best opportunity to find out what the message on the wall had meant. Who was the heir? What was the Chamber? Why attack Miss Norris?
He also knew he was going to send a letter to his dad about it. Even if his dad wasn't magical, he was still a spy. Ron wasn't sure if America had any information on what the mysterious Chamber could be, but he wanted to have his bases covered. On the same note, he was going to ask Doctor Strange about the whole petrification aspect of the thing. Perhaps there was a spell he could learn that would protect himself and his friends? He certainly hoped so.
It was simple and somewhat easy to stay awake longer than all of his roommates. Most were pleasantly overstuffed from the Halloween Feast. He slid out of bed silently and made his way towards Neville. Ever so gently, he placed his hand on his shoulder. He gave a gentle nudge. Neville didn't react. Ron rolled his eyes and shoved him a bit harder. Neville moaned and opened one tired eye.
"Ron? What is it? Do you know how late it is?"
"Not very. About eleven, I think," Ron spoke softly. "Can we talk?"
He figured he would wait till morning for Harry and Hermione. He kind of wanted to keep it contained but also felt like he needed to share what had happened with someone. It was a conflicting feeling. It was one thing he understood with his family in America, where who you told was rather specific and for a certain reason. He wasn't used to the idea of having friends his own age. Heck, he had only known Neville and Hermione for about two years, and Harry even less.
Neville rubbed his eyes and stifled a yawn.
"Sure," he barely got out. Ron darted his eyes around the room, making sure that no one else was waking.
"I need to tell you about what happened."
Neville's eyes sparked with understanding. Sleepiness seemed to evaporate from him as he leaned in closer to Ron in interest.
"So, Peeves didn't prank the hall?" He said just above a whisper.
"No. I don't think so. But there was water all over the floor. It was coming from the girl's bathroom. You know, the one no one ever uses?"
"Yeah. Mum mentioned it. Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. She was a student here way back when."
"Well, it was flooding. There was water everywhere. And I saw something in the water. I got curious and decided to investigate." Ron felt his throat tighten a bit as fear coiled in his heart and stomach. Neville put a hand on Ron's shoulder, much like his dad would.
"Ron, it's okay. What happened?"
"Someone... Someone hung Miss Norris in the hall by her tail. She wasn't moving."
"Someone killed Filch's cat?" Neville gasped. His eyes were bugged
"No. Professor McGonagall said she was still alive. Just petrified. It was behind her that was more terrifying. It said The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir beware."
"Chamber of Secrets. I've never heard of anything like that."
"I was hoping you wouldn't say that."
"Well, I can always mail my mum. Or my Gran. If it happened when either of them were in school, I might be able to figure out what happened."
"I'd appreciate it, Neville."
"Do you uh, do you need to talk?"
Ron was quiet for a moment. Did he? Didn't he just talk to Neville about it?
"I think I don't right now. I'll mention it to Hermione and Harry tomorrow. I know Hermione would be up all night trying to figure it out, and Harry wouldn't know anything about it either."
Neville raised a brow in a manner that reminded Ron of Percy.
"You just didn't want your brother to know you told anyone."
"Neville, please don't tell Percy you know."
"I won't. I have a feeling he'd be watching me like a hawk if I told him. I like not having a stalker. I know how he is."
"Well, he is a prefect," Ron commented.
"Ron, you know that your mum and my mum are friends right? I did visit and I know the Weasleys."
It took Ron a moment to take in the information that Neville knew his biological family in a more intimate way than him.
"I didn't know that," he said dumbly.
"Mum and Mrs. Weasley aren't really talking right now. There was a bit of a spat between the two of them and they don't talk a ton anymore."
"Um... So were Fred and George always so, chaotic?"
"Yes. Oh man, there was one time where they were able to get the garden gnomes to line up and hold tools like they were weapons. They looked like little army men and it freaked Mrs. Weasley out. It was beautiful. They were making chaos in the yard and it took Charlie corralling them all up that made it stop."
Ron chuckled. Neville continued to tell Ron stories about his brothers' chaos until his eyes grew heavy. He quietly was able to guide Ron back to his bed where he had passed out rather quickly. With a yawn, he walked back to his own bed, thinking of a simpler time when he would travel around with his mum, suffer from jet lag and play with the Weasley children. He knew he would be tired the next day, but he didn't go to sleep right away. Instead he reached into his belongings and pulled out a souvenir from America. It was what American's called a flashlight, essentially a british torch. But what made it useful, was the fact that it was magically powered and didn't lose it's energy as fast as other muggle items when around magic.
He flipped the switch, careful not to wake his dead to the world roommates. As quietly as he could, he began to write out letters to his mum and his Gran.
He hoped they might be able to answer Ron's question. He also hoped that whatever happened to Ms. Norris was just a prank, and not a warning. After the last year, Neville couldn't help but feel a mix of worry and determination. If anything happened, he would stand by his friends, not try and figt them like he did last year.
Another chapter people. This time some much needed Ron and Neville.