I thought I'd add a couple of things before the fic gets started. First, the disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and am just writing this fanfic as an unpaid hobby.
Secondly, the start of the fic is what it is. This is my first attempt at creative writing and the start is certainly not top tier quality. I don't mind leaving it as a marker for how my writing started; hopefully it encourages others to see that they too can write poorly and then work to improve.
With that said, I hope you enjoy reading it or find other fics that are more to your preferences to read. The chapters have been run through Grammarly by Nauze, to catch some of the spelling and obvious formatting issues that were originally missed.
Harry Potter sat up in his four-poster bed in the 4th year's Gryffindor dormitory. He groaned and thought back to what happened last night before blissful Morpheus had taken him. Ah, yes, he recalled now with more clarity than he would've preferred. Yesterday was Halloween. The day marked on his calendar each year to ensure he gained a new reminder of why he loathed that day.
This, absolutely lovely, Oct 31, 1994, was the one in which his name came out of the Goblet of Fire. An event that literally still makes no sense. He was a fourth competitor in a Triwizard Tournament. Tri, meaning three, which can, apparently, mean four in the wizarding world. A world seemingly apt at making the illogical, logical. Three does not mean four unless it involves ancient magic, Department Heads from the Ministry of Magic, the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, the Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, the Heads of the three most prestigious schools of magic across Europe and an auror so paranoid that his moniker was 'Mad-Eye'. When faced with a fourth competitor in a three-participant tournament, those esteemed and distinguished members of the Wizarding World, simply agreed it would happen regardless.
Somehow, being the 4th champion for an unnamed school forced him to compete on the tournament or he'd lose his magic. The best part of the night, though, was yet to come. Harry, over the years, had found himself in absolutely ridiculous situations at this school already and in those circumstances, he always had his two best friends with him. Ron Weasley, his male best friend, was not with him for this one. The yelling and punch he'd received made that abundantly clear. Hermione Granger, his female best friend, had asked how and why he had done it.
That question hurt Harry far more than the punch. Ron had always been a bit jealous and Harry could see them having a fall out eventually. Hermione, though, should've known better. Her asking was an irreparable breach of his trust and as if that wasn't enough, her telling him in that condescending tone of hers that she wouldn't be mediating the boys' fallout was the icing on the cake. She'd be distancing herself from both to not show favouritism until they worked it out between them. As Harry had done nothing to bring about Ron's ire, this meant, from his perspective, that she had sided with Ron, and now his two "best friends" were no longer his friends.
Harry wasn't sure if his Quidditch teammates believed him. Angelina and Alicia were upset that they didn't get picked and also distant with him, not openly supportive. George and Fred told him on the train they were going to try and date those two, so even the twins might fail to be vocally supportive of him and since Katie usually stuck with Angelina and Alicia, he had no idea what she would do.
As Harry sat in his bed, realizing just how messed up his year had become, he knew what was about to happen. The fickle school would turn on him, once again. The Slytherins, simply because they were led by Draco Malfoy, would harass and bully him whenever they had the chance. Snape would support them and protect his charges from reprisal of any kind. It was always fair to pick on Harry Potter at school. This was a lesson he'd learned long ago, in primary school with Dudley, and was reinforced over the last three years at Hogwarts. Yelling out racial slurs against muggle-borns, being hexed in the corridors, verbal threats against your life or blatant sabotage in classes were just part of his educational experience.
This time, however, not a single person would be having his back. No friends to help keep his spirits up as he weathered the storm. No adult within the castle that would stand up for him. Apparently, Dumbledore believed he'd not put his name into the Goblet, just as he knew Harry wasn't the Heir of Slytherin back in his second year, not that he ever protected Harry from the mistreatment his peers, and Snape, dished out at him. Harry supposed he would just go to breakfast to confirm it.
A small part of Harry still held out hope. The same tiny part, that sliver of light that kept his spirit burning in the bleak life he'd had before Hagrid smashed down the door and the world of magic burst into his life. Harry was going to force himself to trudge on down to the Great Hall just to see if there was anyone still left in his corner. He'd not been able to think of anyone who would be. He yearned for someone to give him unconditional support. The support he thought his best friends would've given him. That the Gryffindor House would be his new family, just as he was told back in his first year.
Harry didn't know what he would do if he ended up all alone again. There was no cupboard at Hogwarts to go and hide in, no place to get some respite if even his housemates turned on him fully. Perhaps behind the curtains of his four-poster bed, he could find his new cupboard. A place where he could at least trust that he would be left to rot in peace, for the most part.
It only took him ten minutes to shower and get ready to go to breakfast. His roommates had already left. Hermione wasn't waiting for him in the common room, watching the stairs with a book in hand eagerly, ready to get their day going together. No Ron to wake up and drag along to get a massive meal down into the unending pit that was his stomach. No, Harry descended the stairs into the common room and there was nobody. A lump formed in his throat as he realized just how lonely he felt.
In a warm common room full of life and students, he was left out in the cold. People wouldn't give him a smile or a friendly look. Those who willingly met his eyes only shot nasty or indifferent looks at him. Harry dropped his chin and focused on getting out of there quickly. He made it through the portrait and began working his way through the castle towards the Great Hall. If the looks he got from Gryffindor's were unfriendly, then a stronger adjective would be needed even for the ones he got from the Ravenclaw students.
Still, Harry kept his head down and walked briskly to get to the Great Hall for breakfast. He made it into the room and forced himself to not look around and see all those who were staring and whispering at him. He could still hear a few jeers calling him a cheater or something in that vein, yet he put one foot in front of the other repeatedly until he got to his table. His normal seating area was devoid of the usual suspects.
Ron sat further up the table with his brothers and the Quidditch team. None of them made space for him, in fact, they looked as if they were trying to ensure no space would be open for him. Harry spied Hermione sitting with the 4th year girls that she normally never spent time around, finding them too full of gossip and not academically inclined enough for her tastes. She sat between Parvati and Lavender with the spot across taken by Fay.
Neville, Seamus and Dean were all sitting by Ron and there were no gaps between them and the 4th year girls. Harry sighed and sat down at his usual place without anyone beside or across from him. Nobody within easy speaking distance to even try and make polite conversation with as he ate.
Harry had finished most of his breakfast by the time the morning post arrived. It was obvious who was the main topic on the front page of the paper. A picture of him and the headline The Cheating Champion? Was in bold letters above his name. Harry scanned the Head Table and no kind looks to be found there. The same as second-year, however without his friends. Harry munched on his food absently until Malfoy interrupted him.
"Like them, Potter?" he said with his usual sneer marring his face.
Harry glanced up seeing a badge on his chest. It read Support Cedric Diggory the true Hogwarts Champion. He tilted his head in confusion as he read it. Why was the badge an issue, he wondered, until he saw the words change. Potter Stinks was now written on them in glaringly obvious size which anyone could read in the hall. The button itself was plain black and the size of an adult hand in circumference.
The look of triumph on the blonde Slytherin's face was obvious, gleeful at seeing his rival's face change from confusion to disgust at the taunt.
"Every Slytherin already has one and the other houses are clamouring for them. Want one, Potter?" Draco asked with a short laugh.
Harry tore his eyes away from the blighter to see if it was true. Most of the students clad in black, green and silver had a button. He could already see Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw students with the offending pin on as well. His face turned to the Head table and he saw many of the professors were watching the exchange. Showing, yet again, that bullying was blatantly tolerated. A student could walk across the Great Hall in front of the faculty and student population for the sole reason of tormenting another student without worry of admonishment. Harry wondered how he could've been this naive.
Harry had his answer now. Nobody was in his corner. Not a single soul in the room spoke up for him or defended him. He did not even see any pity on the faces of any of his peers. There was no point staying in the hall, nothing to be gained responding to Draco. Getting a reaction is why he came over in the first place. If he retaliated with a verbal exchange, or Merlin forbid even pulling his wand, he would have Snape bearing down on him to give him detention. No, his only logical course of action was to leave, to get away from the students and faculty, retreat back to his dorm and figure out what he was going to do. How was he going to get through this now?
The only two items he had from his father were in his trunk and suddenly became even more priceless than they were before. He quickly made his way back through the deserted corridors and got to his bed. He went to his trunk and saw someone had tried to get into it. The upgraded security he had put on it after it had been rummaged through in 2nd year held out though. He had his trunk upgraded the following summer, not willing to be so careless with its security again. He could've had his family's heirloom stolen that year by Ginny.
The only place within the castle that Harry felt he would find some peace was now compromised. Not even his possessions were safe! What was he going to do now? Harry pulled out his map and cloak then shrunk his trunk and put it on his bed. He closed the curtains but cast a silencing spell. He wanted to hear if anyone entered the dorm. He sat on the bed with his invisibility cloak on and all of his possessions on him.
What was he going to do now? He remembered what McGonagall told him. Champions are excused from the end of year exams and classes. They also cannot be assigned detentions which would impact their preparations for the tournament. Harry wondered if he was really even a student now. He wasn't a Hogwarts champion. He was the champion for an unnamed school. Does this mean he doesn't have to attend Hogwarts this year?
That was a jarring thought for the teenager. Hogwarts had become his home but now it felt as welcoming as the horrible house he grew up in. If he wouldn't attend Hogwarts, where could he stay? Could he get to Gringotts and see if he could stay at the Leaky Cauldron again? No, Harry knew that Dumbledore would never allow that, last time he ran away, he was found at the pub by the Minister of Magic himself. Going there wouldn't get him away from all this vitriol, they'd have him back in his four-poster bed that night.
He needed somewhere where he could be hidden, with the Wizarding World none the wiser, a place to crash and begin to figure out what he should do. Today was the day that made him realize something. He was alone in the world. Truly alone, moreover with his life was in danger every year. He needed to do more than just rely on bad friends and useless adults. Platitudes and good intentions were not enough. The rhetoric of being kept safe was no longer enough. He had to take charge and look out for himself.
Perhaps he could go into the muggle world and hide for a while. However, Harry realized that as a fourteen-year-old, they'd not let him rent a room anywhere. No decent hotel would take an underage teenager, and if a place ever did, it was more than likely someplace he would want to avoid. The muggle world wouldn't work, so that left the magical world. Harry chuckled to himself at how naive he was.
The magical world for Harry Potter consisted of Platform 9 ¾, Diagon Alley, and Hogwarts. He had no idea of what else was around or even if there was something else. No way to navigate or move around. Diagon Alley wasn't an option, as he'd already dismissed the Leaky Cauldron as a possible lodging. Kings Cross wasn't viable either, how would he even get there and back to Hogwarts for the tasks? That only left Hogwarts, the Shrieking Shack and the Forbidden Forest as options. Harry pulled out the Marauder's Map and spoke the words to activate it, "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good."
That made him softly laugh. He wasn't up to no good as in pranking or anything. He was trying to find a place to stay that was safe, hidden and secret within a magical castle. A secret place? Could that be his answer? Could he stay in the infamous Chamber of Secrets? Nobody but himself could access it, at least in the school. The map provided nothing concrete. Unused classrooms were a possibility but he would be discovered in time. A couple of days, possibly, but not a whole year. Harry was really considering the option when he heard voices in his dorm room.
"Potter's not here," Dean said to someone Harry couldn't see.
"That bloody wanker, he cheated and didn't even have the balls to tell me. We could have done it together," after a short pause, he quickly amended what he'd said. "So we could have all done it together," Ron's voice said.
"I can't believe he'd cheat just to get some attention, I would've never thought him to be like that." Dean's voice carried the words to Harry, his voice a bit despondent.
"First year, everyone fawned over him, second was the Parselmouth thing, third-year he had Black after him and, instead of having a quiet fourth year, he cheated himself into the tournament…Maybe he got a taste for the spotlight," Ron mentioned to Dean.
"Yeah, he's always been in the middle of everything. Wonder how he did it. You'd think he'd have told his best mate," Dean wondered aloud.
"Probably just showing his true colours. Harry told me the hat wanted to put him in Slytherin." Ron groused.
"No way! You're pulling my leg!"
"I swear to Merlin, it's true!" Ron's voice made the vehement argument, Harry knew his words were truthful, he'd told Ron that in confidence, not so it could be blabbed about behind his back.
"Wow! Guess we should have known when the snake went after Justin in the Duelling Club," Dean said in realization.
Harry's mind was reeling. He felt as if he had just been blindsided with a punch to the guts. His, now former, best friend was spilling his secret and twisting the events they, as friends, went through, over some stupid tournament! He almost died saving the git's bloody sister! He was so mad that he missed what the two boys were saying for a minute.
"I tried to get into his trunk and throw his stuff out of here, but he had it locked and now it's gone! Where could that tosser have gone?" Ron mused loudly.
"Forget about that betraying twat for now...gobstones?"
Harry didn't hear Ron agree to play with Dean and leave. He couldn't believe what he had just heard. Ron had tried to break into his trunk and throw him out of the dorm. This went beyond any jealousy which might've been forgiven. Irreversible damage had just occurred to their friendship. His friendship with Ron Weasley would never fully recover from this.
The Chamber of Secrets and the rotting basilisk corpse didn't sound so bad now. It was a place that held rather bad memories and an ancient monster, and yet, that sounded better than being at school. Harry made up his mind after overhearing his so-called friends talk about him. He slowly crept through the common room and waited for someone to exit the common room, quickly following them. He wanted to give no clues as to his whereabouts.
It didn't take long to descend from the Gryffindor tower to the second-floor bathroom, usually haunted by Moaning Myrtle. The wailing ghost was not present and that perfectly suited to keeping his entrance into the fabled Chamber a secret. Harry opened the way and hopped down. Upon landing, he realized he had forgotten an important detail. The entrance had collapsed and only Fawkes had been able to get him out.
He looked at the mess Lockhart had caused and sighed, realizing he would need to try and burrow his way through the rock pile, towards the main Chamber entrance. Harry pulled out his wand and began levitating the rocks from the small opening he and Ron had communicated through. His hand tightened on his wand just by thinking about his former friend. How could he turn his back on Harry and accuse him of cheating, after this harrowing ordeal in the Chamber?
Slowly but surely, an opening was beginning to form. Rock after rock was moved and beads of sweat rolled down his face as he continued to try and make a hole large enough to get through. It took fifteen minutes of levitating and a couple near collapses before there was an adequate opening.
Harry climbed up the rock pile and slipped through the gap to the other side of the cave-in. Harry thought he'd feel a sense of foreboding but it never came. The massive shed skin was outside the main chamber and the door had sealed itself. Harry said open in parseltongue and the doors did as commanded. He slowly sauntered in and was confused by what he saw.
The massive carcass of the basilisk was still there, looking the same, as far as he could tell, from the day he left the chamber. It had not decomposed at all and didn't even smell! Furthering his befuddlement was the lack of damage to the Chamber. He distinctly remembered the basilisk causing damage as it moved around and struck at him. Instead, the Chamber of Secrets looked as it had when he first entered. Now that he thought about it further, shouldn't the place be caked in dust with so few people ever coming down here?
He looked around the chamber for further evidence of his previous time here. There was the broken fang that he used to destroy the diary but the blood from his wound was no longer staining the floor. Though he had not felt uneasiness when he first entered, he was now on edge. Even the unused classrooms had layers of dust if they hadn't been used for years, and yet, this secret chamber was spotless. Was there someone or something that cleaned it? Could it be a house-elf? Some kind of magic embedded in the Chamber? Harry continued to move towards the centre of the Chamber with his wand in his dominant hand and a clinch on it that made his knuckles pronounced and white in his exertion.
Another thought struck him, just how useless his magical education had been for practical things. It would certainly be nice to know a spell to detect people, animals, magical presences, or any kind of magical being. Instead, he had to look around like a common muggle, albeit with a magic wand in hand, not that the wand was overly useful since he knew only a few offensive spells and they weren't quick to cast. Their wand motions were not second nature to him and if anyone got a jump on him, he'd be hard-pressed to make his wand the formidable weapon he knew it was and which he should be wielding. It was closer to a fancy stick in a life and death situation, based on his magical education so far. He used his bare hands against Quirrell like a common thug. In his second year, he used a sword like a medieval muggle. At least in third year, he did disarm someone and cast the Patronus to drive off the dementors.
That encounter still had a bad taste in his mouth though. Without Sirius being an animagus, he would've been dead to rights against the werewolf. Three years of schooling and he was still rather useless, with what should've been an incredibly dangerous weapon. Instead, it was nothing more than a well-crafted stick in his hands.
The one item he had that gave him some peace of mind, while creeping around the Chamber, was his father's invisibility cloak, a family heirloom. Even then, it had been seen through by Dumbledore and it didn't make him imperceivable. Harry continued moving around as quietly as he could, looking for anything that seemed out of place. His gut, however, didn't give him the sense that there was anything to be concerned about.
After walking around the main chamber for a while, Harry was unable to detect anything suspicious. Some unexplained anomalies bothered him, particularly his blood missing, for he was unable to explain how it disappeared. The prevalent theory in his fourteen-year-old mind was that a Hogwarts house-elf cleaned the Chamber of Secrets. There was a benefit to the theory as Harry happened to know a Hogwarts elf.
Taking his cloak off, Harry tested if he was liable to be attacked by anything he had failed to detect. He stood fifteen feet away from the basilisk and called for his friend Dobby. With the standard pop, Dobby arrived, all beady-eyed, in front of Harry.
"Master Harry Potter, sir!" The elf squeaked with fanatical adoration for the teen who'd freed him.
"Hi Dobby, how are you?" However much he wanted help, it would be rude to not inquire after the elf's wellbeing, at the very least. He was also surprised that the little elf was able to pop down here. He could've helped with the cave-in.
"Great Master is too kind to ask after poor Dobby!" The quick change from excited adoration to delighted tears threw Harry off-kilter. The elf seemed unbalanced. Perhaps all the punishing from the Malfoy's knocked a few screws loose. Having not met many House Elves, Harry didn't have much of a sample size to accurately comment on how sane this particular elf was.
"Dobby be so happy now that Harry Potter calls for him! What can Is be doing for Great Master Harry Potter sir?"
Harry kind of wanted to get right to the point of calling Dobby because he still had the lingering feeling he was missing something about the Chamber.
"Dobby, do the Hogwarts elves clean this place?"
"Where be we Master Harry Potter, sir?"
Harry's head moved back half an inch in surprise. How did the elf not know he was still in Hogwarts? That question postulated practical testing but at the present point, it wasn't the time for practical tests. Perhaps later, if his plan to make this his home for the year worked, he may have the time to do just that.
"We are in the Chamber of Secrets, at Hogwarts, can't you tell?"
Dobby, for once, did not answer right away. He seemed to concentrate on…something before looking around quickly. "Dobby be knowing we's not be in Hogwarts. Magic be different but Hogwarts be...connected?" The little elf was actively trying to accurately articulate some kind of complexity about magic to Harry.
Apparently, the Chamber was more than just a hidden cave which could only be found by parselmouths. The place was clearly connected to Hogwarts however, a House Elf, one who works at Hogwarts, thinks they are somewhere else. Fascinating indeed, but far beyond Harry's understanding of magic. He'd love to investigate the mystery if he wasn't just too busy in a deadly tournament, finding housing for himself and figuring out how to survive on his own. He snorted at how absurd this year had become in the span of 2 days.
"Dobby, I want to move here instead of staying in the Gryffindor Tower. Can you help me with setting it up with a bedroom, furniture to study, a loo and maybe even a shower?"
"Master Harry Potter sir be staying here?" The elf didn't seem to like that answer from the obvious change in his body language.
"Yes, do you think you can help me with that?" Again, Harry was cursing how useless his education had been on practical magic. He knew it was certainly possible to transfigure items into furniture or even conjure them but he'd not learned it. Plumbing or water conjuration and vanishing would've been rather important to know right about now. Hopefully, Dobby could help in the meantime. Harry had to get to work on learning practical magic.
"There already be's a bedroom, bathroom and study heres! Master Harry Potter sir be wanting more?" The elf asked with confusion.
"There are?" Utterly bewildered, Harry blurted out the question in response. The little elf nodded enthusiastically, proud to be helping the boy who freed him. "Where?" he asked immediately.
Dobby quickly walked towards the main statue where the basilisk came out of the mouth of Salazar Slytherin but broke off to the right. He walked along the side of the pool of water and then right, to what appeared to be a dead end.
"It be's right heres." As he said it, he snapped his fingers and a faint outline of the door opened. The rectangle was illuminated as well as a single point that could where a door handle or locking mechanism would be. Harry ran his hand along the stone wall and right in the centre of the illuminated circle was a sharp point which Harry's middle fingertip ran afoul of. It pricked it enough to draw blood. Almost immediately the illuminated portion of the wall swung back from one side with the other, seemingly on a hinge.
Harry cast Lumos and looked at Dobby, "Can you tell if it is safe, Dobby?"
Dobby got a look of complete concentration on his face and he shut his eyes tight. His little hand pointed towards the door for a moment before he broke his concentration, "Dobby not be feeling any traps or humans."
Harry plucked up that ever so useful Gryffindor reckless courage and went for it. He did have the presence of mind to put on his cloak, however. Harry went through the door with Dobby trailing after him. He found himself in a rather wide hallway with multiple doors on each side.
From what he could see, there were two doors on the left and three on the right side. The first door he could reach was on the left side. Harry cast 'nox' to end the light from his wand as the hall seemed to have sensed his presence and lit up. Harry reached the first door and held down the handle to open it, pushing the heavy wooden door inward.
The room was illuminated and Harry was surprised to find what was inside this room. A large four-poster bed, a small fire, a bird perch and a comfortable looking armchair and couch set by the fireplace. The room was finished with a lighter coloured wood flooring with dark wood furniture and dark green, almost black, couches and linens. There were silver coloured metal accents on the furniture and they shined almost as if they were the actual metal.
Harry cautiously entered into the room and when he did, he noticed there was a large bookshelf to his right. The bed was on the far left, its back towards the entrance to the hallway he'd just entered through, the fireplace and furniture were almost directly in front and a large area rug was positioned underneath the fireplace sitting area. Harry noticed the same oddity from back in the main chamber. The place was clean and looked as if it could be a current place of habitation for Salazar Slytherin himself. It was certainly lavish enough.
Pushing the thought from his head, he crossed the room towards the door that was straight ahead on the opposite side of the door facing the hallway. It was an entrance to what looked to be a bathroom, seeing as the door was ajar. As he stepped through, he saw he was actually wrong. It was to a closet, a walk-through, a closet which leads into a bathroom.
Harry did feel eery with this discovery. Lots of clothing was hung from the racks and probably in the chest of drawers, though he was not going to open at this time. He could see Acromantula silk robes and surmised most of the wardrobe would be of high quality. Harry walked towards the bathroom and continued on through the closet and into the bathroom. Opulent was the word that came to mind. It was very bright as well. Whitestone floors that were warm, a massive tub that doubled as a pool large enough for multiple people to move around comfortably. Large counter spaces, a silver sink and dark green highlights on the mostly white and silver room. Harry had seen lavish hotel advertisements in the muggle world and 5-star felt as if it was a star short of the rating he'd give the accommodations so far. There was a distinct feeling that the elegance of the room was only possible with magic.
At the opposite end, of the ridiculously spacious bathroom, there was another door, though it was closed. Harry moved towards it with Dobby still padding on behind him. Neither was saying anything as they were investigating and observing the living quarters found within the Chamber of Secrets. Harry took the time to try the taps and dip his hand into the water to see how they fared. The water in the pool was the perfect temperature and everything worked better than he had expected. After spending time checking out the bathroom, he went into the next room.
The door opened towards him and swung back into the bathroom. Another heavy wooden door. Harry was shocked at what he was seeing. The Headmaster had a large office with endless books and ornate furniture but they paled compared to this room. It was the pinnacle of a personal study that Harry could ever imagine. Rows of perfectly ordered books, well at first glance anyway, adorned the bookcases. The bookcases looked to be hand-carved with a snake motif and the Slytherin crest. The scales on the snakes were carved and they looked almost lifelike, aside from being made of wood.
Harry took his sweet time moving through the room. It was very large for a personal study. It was so large and filled to the brim with books that it would be more accurate to call it a personal library with only a single desk to work at. Harry decided to try and open and a book. He plucked one off the shelf and opened it. He was thankful it didn't scream or anything like some books in the restricted section did the first time he was in there, under his cloak.
Instead, the book was completely blank, without a single word. Harry thought he could feel that the contents of the book were simply masked from his perception, as though he knew it was there but it was magically protecting its contents. Shrugging to himself, he put it back and tried a couple more, each time with the same results. All of the books he had tried were empty and he felt they were obscured in some magical way for some reason he hadn't grasped yet. Harry continued around the room and pulled the odd book to see the same results as with all of them.
He made his way to the massive desk that commanded the room and saw a single leather-bound black book in the middle. The rest of the desk was devoid of any further items. The large desk, which could accommodate a dozen books, had but a single plain-looking black book on it. Harry didn't really give heed to any traps as he sat in the incredibly comfortable chair and opened the first page.
To my descendent:
My life's end fast approaches; my time has been nearing its end, I have long seen my death and the end of my path is almost at hand. I have quarrelled with Godric and Helga for the last time. Rowena sides with me but will not broach the issue, to the brink of where it will cause a chasm between us and thus I have decided to retire to my hidden Chamber. Only those of the serpent bloodline will be able to enter into my personal quarters. My familiar will remove anyone unworthy from gaining entry. Those that speak the Noble Tongue may gain entry into the main chamber, nevertheless, just the serpent bloodline will garner access to my quarters. This is my final place of solitude where I will spend the end of my days. My final project is of utmost importance. I have long laboured to bring about this task and seek to leave a path for worthy heirs to glean my wisdom.
What the histories speak of me is no concern of mine. Those born of the mundane world should be treated as magical orphans and their existence wiped from the mundane world. Their lack of education, inability to navigate the magical world and ignorance slow down the entire first two years of education. Our students would be better served learning magic and theory from a young age and beginning spellcasting after their first magical maturity, aged 11. Important courses like Runic Magic and the Arithmancy of Magic could be taught prior to their magical maturity. The material covered in their final year should be taught in their fifth year followed then by two years of apprenticeship.
A whole new wing of the Castle would need to be added. Additional staff necessary to teach and look after those students and magical orphans as well. Magical children have no place in the mundane world and every mundane that learns of us increases the threat. Already we have had to withstand multiple sieges upon our lands. Rowena understands the necessity for the academic success of our students but the unholy pair of Godric and his wife Helga refuse to consider breaking up mundane families, even when they return home and are murdered by the mundanes!
Our arguments are well documented and I will say no further on the matter. The two will not be swayed and Rowena is too content in her pursuit of magical knowledge to consider taking up the cause with me. Mine own endeavours have left me a broken and crippled man. I have long since lost my magical prowess, though none of the three is aware of it. Delving into ritualistic magic has left me with numerous unwanted ailments that I can no longer delay. My pursuit of advantages and power over any opponents has caught up to me. My line will die with me as I have intended. I have sired progeny however none will carry my name on. They may be spawned by mine own loins and carry my blood within, but they won't be my heirs. Only those with the ability to heed my words, who yearn for knowledge and accept wisdom will be worthy. Slytherin is a name for a true heir of mine. My seed and blood do not make one entitled to be the heir of Salazar Slytherin.
My firstborn son, to the only wife I took, was a simple proof of it. The boy was too eager to follow in my footsteps. He failed to understand the consequences of his actions as he tried to gain my notoriety. The boy was foolish, naive, and power-hungry. His arrogance and lack of wisdom caused his death and the heart of my wife as well. I fathered him the best I could and the boy failed to heed my words. I lead him to the fountain of wisdom but he would not drink of it. The great sorcerers of magic have oft let their name pass on and while I have accepted that I will not pass mine name to any of those I have directly sired, my hope is one day someone will prove worthy of my name. A gifted heir that will heed my teachings and allow my mistakes, forged through mine own failures, to temper them with experience and wisdom.
You who have found this book and are currently reading it have passed the first set of tests. You were able to find the hidden chamber of mine, speaks the Noble Tongue and have bypassed the protector of my private sanctuary and also have proved cunning enough to find that which is not obvious. You have the potential to be great, a true Serpent Lord, continue to prove yourself worthy. Contained within this book is the path to becoming more than even myself.
Magical power on its own does not make one formidable. Magical power without knowledge is wasted. Power and knowledge without being tempered by experience are impotent. My purpose in writing this book is to pass on my wisdom, knowledge, experience. To create a path to power that will allow you to become more than myself. My lack of experience and knowledge led to mistakes, which have now caught up to me. I have not been a true power, in magic, for a few years now. My magic is weak, my body failing, but my mind is as sharp as ever. It is my mind that has kept the facade of my greatness intact.
Harry was enraptured as he continued reading until his stomach growled loudly. He realized he had missed lunch and was now well into dinner time. He'd continued reading the anecdotes of the infamous founder. The introduction went page by page and seemed to have a way of determining if he actually read the words or not. It was disconcerting, much like the Chamber itself, yet more comfortable than being in the castle proper. Harry looked around to see if Dobby was around. He had gotten engrossed in the book and forgotten about the diminutive being.
"Dobby?" He called out sceptically after not seeing him.
He popped into existence. "Yes, Master Harry Potter sir?"
The elf was far too excitable in his talking and general demeanour. He was a good friend and useful person, who was totally loyal, and that was what mattered right now.
"If I stay here are you able to help me out with food, drinks and clothes and stuff? I brought my trunk and everything and I can stay in the room here this year if you can help with that stuff."
Dobby actually frowned at that. "You means bes like your elf?" Harry couldn't tell if that was asked in muted excitement or if it was upsetting him that he was being asked to not be free. So he backtracked.
"Sorry Dobby, I thought you'd want to help me but if it means you have to do something you don't want to, then I'll figure something out…" Harry wasn't really sure what he was going to do. He could sneak to the kitchens but he'd be found out rather quickly then. Someone would notice, probably Dumbledore, and catch up to him. He was hoping to go off the grid except during the tasks.
Harry hadn't noticed Dobby's eyes tearing up as his eyes had dropped along with his head. The elf was so overcome with happiness he hadn't been able to respond. Harry's own insecurity was rearing its ugly head, thinking another person was going to reject him.
Dobby launched himself at the raven-haired teenager saying yes over and over at how excited he was. He'd never thought he'd be worthy enough for Harry Potter. The miscommunication was solved and Dobby bonded.
With the day getting away, Harry only ate dinner then set himself up, not having even explored the other side of the hall. Dobby had and told him there was a larger library with all blank books, a potions lab and a large room for practising magic and physical training.
Harry trudged into another day of classes. Today was Thursday and the first class was Transfiguration with Ravenclaw. He'd already experienced the other house's feelings towards him being the 4th champion. Harry's wonderful luck had his very first class after being selected as a champion be Herbology.
The course was taught by the Head of Hufflepuff and if that wasn't rotten enough, the Gryffindors were paired with the Hufflepuffs. Sprout made it very clear how happy she was with Harry for being selected as a champion. He'd lost house points before in Herbology when he had deserved, on rare occasions. Sprout had always been genial and fair to Gryffindor. Two days after his name coming out of the accursed goblet, her entire demeanour towards him changed. She channelled her inner Snape and made it clear he was persona non grata in her greenhouse.
The class felt the same as the worst potions classes with the Slytherins. He was actively sabotaged by his classmates and she turned a blind eye like Snape. Macmillan and Abbot acted like they were Malfoy and Parkinson. Sprout ignored it and took off needless points for him just breathing the same air, it seemed. She even allowed a group of three so that Harry couldn't have a partner. How he made it out of class without a detention, he didn't know.
His two former best friends had partnered up with others and given him the cold shoulder. Ron even glared at him and smirked at him being picked on by another member of the faculty. Snape was only worse in that he actively insulted both Harry, Gryffindors and James Potter. Sprout didn't drop to quite that level, not that it made Harry feel any better.
Herbology was followed by Care of Magical Creatures with the Slytherins and that did not add anything positive to his day. Hagrid had been standoffish to him, unsure on how to act considering Harry's two friends were antagonistic or outright ignoring him. Divination comprised his afternoon and was filled with predictions of his imminent suffering and death. Harry took all of his meals in the Chamber and used the map and his cloak to navigate around. Day after day he saw no understanding, no compassion, no kindness. Hatred and contempt lurked all around him and they were only buoyed by indifference to his loneliness.
Tuesday brought History of Magic in the morning and Potions in the afternoon. He did not deign to go to 'nap time'. Instead, he continued reading and learning from the works of Salazar Slytherin. Potions was as bad as he expected. Wednesday he only bothered to leave the chamber for Charms class, where at least Flitwick didn't loathe him by sight. Thursday was the day he had hoped would be helpful. Double Transfiguration with his Head of House.
Harry took off his cloak in an alcove not far from the classroom and walked cautiously towards the classroom. He'd been hexed more than once in the hallways and was now wary of any approaching student. He'd taken to walking with his wand in hand. He rounded the corner and took the half dozen steps and entered the classroom.
Upon entering he could already see Hermione was paired up with Lavender and Ron with Seamus. Everyone was ignoring his looks. Su Li put her book bag onto the empty seat beside her when she caught him looking at the open place beside her. Harry sighed understanding how this was going to be. Harry found an open pairing and sat down there. He was in the back right corner of the classroom. Only Parvati and Padma Patil sat behind him. He'd taken to sitting in the periphery of the classrooms so he could see potential sabotage or hexes coming easier.
McGonagall made her way to the front and began lecturing on cross-species transfiguration and Harry zoned out. He had read the chapter ahead of time and was well aware of the theory already. He was thinking about what he should do. His time in the castle was making him dread every second he spent out of the Chamber of Secrets. Everyone hated him or was indifferent. Even his father's two best friends were useless. Sirius sent a short reply to listen to Dumbledore and follow his advice. Remus hadn't even written back. He was with Sirius wherever they were at, as they both signed the same useless letter back to him.
McGonagall caught Harry not paying attention.
"Mr Potter" Her voice rang out through the deadly quiet atmosphere like a hot knife through butter. Harry perked back up and focused back on what was going on in class again.
"Care to repeat what I've just said?" She gave him her stern glare.
Harry quickly glanced around with just his eyes and saw there was no help from any other students. He didn't have to speak as the Transfiguration Mistress easily could see he had not been listening.
"Would you care to enlighten us as to what was more interesting than paying attention to your professor?" She continued to try and drill his into his head with her piercing gaze.
"Nothing professor." He responded knowing he was caught zoned out. Excuses that he already knew the material wouldn't help him in the least when she was looking at him like that. They never worked for anyone else before and he wouldn't start now.
"Detention tonight with me." She glared at him one final time and the continued lecturing.
Harry glanced around the room again and caught the smug look on Ron's face. Seamus and Dean sported similar looks. In fact, most of the room seemed rather jovial at him be handed out a detention.
After a week of being in the Chamber of Secrets, for the first time, Harry felt at ease with his new accommodations. He wasn't at the Dursley home, where he was treated as a slave. He wasn't at the overcrowded Weasley home and he also wasn't in a dorm room full of snoring boys. No shared accommodation at all. He was in a place for just himself. That was the crux of the situation, really.
Harry had always tried to find adults to rely on. He had always yearned for a family. For somebody to come and be his knight. A saviour to love and protect him. It was a dream he'd always had. Growing up in a dank cupboard and being mistreated had left its mark. A family, love, support was what he wanted. When Hagrid knocked down the door, that was what he saw.
Finally, somebody was coming for him! Just him!. Rather, it was an introduction into a new world which also treated him poorly. New bullies to pick on him that the teachers ignored. New trouble to get into, to try and help those that he thought cared about him. Instead, he now had a new list of people who were nought but acquaintances.
Albus Dumbledore controlled his life and sent him to live with his Aunt and Uncle. The man that never told him what was truly going on. He gave only enough information to sate you while holding back the real substance. He'd never been told just why he was so important to Riddle, even when he'd asked in his first year. The dementor induced memory of what really happened on October 31st, 1981 was clear. Voldemort was willing to spare his mother to kill him. He was the target, not his parents. He always wanted to know why and had asked, only to never be told. He was given platitudes and fed milk when he wanted substance. He was treated like a baby in terms of dispensing information. There was something at work with Dumbledore that Harry could not trust.
Far too many questions that he had not riddled out yet. Why did Hagrid have his bank key? Why did Dumbledore not give his father's cloak back to him immediately if he had it? What happened to his parent's stuff. All he had were the photos from Hagrid and a cloak. Didn't his parents and grandparents have physical items? Their home was attacked but now, apparently, it was a monument of some kind. Even Neville had his Dad's wand!
Where were his parent's wands and why did Harry not have them? The Hogwarts books for most core subjects were the same as when his parents went to school- could he not have used theirs? Given the money in the trust vault, there must be more somewhere with records of their previous financial statements. Nobody had offered to take him to see the final resting place of his parents and Albus Dumbledore, his magical guardian, should have done so. Was he really bound to compete as Crouch and Dumbledore told him? There was far too much that didn't add up around the headmaster to trust him.
His parent's best friends hadn't even truly looked out for him. Remus Lupin had taught him the Patronus charm but Harry had to almost beg him for it! Aside from that, he'd never offered to help the only child of his best friends. Where was he during the other dozen years of his life? Why did he not help, or even visit, Harry when he was growing up. The man had, negligently, tried to kill Harry when he hadn't taken his Wolfsbane Potion. Then he ran away again after being outed as a werewolf by Snape. He wouldn't have even bothered to say goodbye if Harry hadn't caught him in the act. Then, he hadn't even sent any letters or anything. If 'best friends' were the same as Ron was to him, then he certainly understood Lupin's actions.
Ron was a friend with deep issues that never let him be truly loyal. He was a fair-weather friend. When things were going well he would bask in the relationship. When he felt slighted and perceived something to be jealous and petty about he broke the friendship. Normally he turned back into being his 'best friend' again shortly afterwards. For Harry, that meant he was never truly a friend in the first place. There were things in Ron's life that were far more important than his friendship with Harry. If those things were limited to blood family he would have understood. When the more important things to Ron were fame, fortune and being more than a sidekick, Harry failed to understand.
Sirius, his father's best mate, had a similar issue. Sirius had far too many trivial priorities ahead of taking care of his godson. He was supposed to look after Harry like a parent if anything happened to his. Due to his own actions, he never was able to. Further, he was also not a suitable adult figure to learn from or emulate to any real degree. The man had prioritized revenge over Harry not once, but twice! When he freed himself, he didn't even try and contact Harry or set things right. He didn't try and get legal help or prove his case. All he cared about, again, was killing the traitor. He certainly had James Potter at the very top of his priority list but that did not transfer to his duty as a godfather. Harry was yet again, an afterthought. Harry had even gone back in time with Hermione and saved the man's life. Sirius still had more urgent matters – running off to a tropical island and living it up was the correct thing to do, apparently.
Harry lived behind blood wards and apparently the safest place for him during the summer. The ministry had never even stepped foot on the property and they hadn't deemed any reason for extra protection at all. Instead of finding a way to visit Harry or even stay with him in secret, he left. Sending only token letters to keep in contact. It was as if the gift of his Firebolt would make it all better. Harry really thought that it was guilt or just wanting to buy his affections. Perhaps it was a desire to see Harry fly, so he was reminded of his best friend, James Potter.
Whatever Sirius Black's reasons were, Harry knew the man didn't care about him like his parents would have hoped. He cared, he just did not care enough to put Harry at the top of the things most important to him. Practical jokes, seducing women, running from his family legacy, living a carefree life were what mattered to him. If Harry could find a way to assist in those areas, he would be a great fit. If he could vicariously live through Harry in one of those areas, he would be all over it. Harry could well imagine the letter he would get back if he asked for help seducing girls or pranking Slytherins. Sending one asking for help from a life-threatening tournament, he only got a lame response about listening to the man who had failed to protect him from it in the first place! One of the few adults who had Harry near the top of their priority list was, ironically, Severus Snape.
The man had caught some kind of ceaseless contagion to ensure he hates Harry Potter. Remus hinted it was something to do with his dad and Snape's comments that he was like his father were the trail of breadcrumbs to validate that theory. Snape had incessantly picked on him and destroyed his potions education. He'd protected his Slytherin's when they bullied and sabotaged Harry, or anyone in general, and was an absolutely horrible professor. Harry had no idea why Dumbledore would ever let that man teach, though there had to be a good reason.
Snape was always at important meetings or events. Why was he in the meeting with the school heads when his name came out? Moody as a former auror, his presence made sense. McGonagall is his Head of House and the Deputy Headmistress, it was simply logical she was there. Snape had no business being there! His only contribution to the whole meeting was harassing a fourteen-year-old orphan, one who was being railroaded into participating in a deadly tournament for of-age wizards and witches. Snape was the man who'd ruined Lupin's teaching career and kept Black from being set free. He even tried to get the man killed. His hatred of James Potter and his friends ran far too deep. How Dumbledore allowed him to even be around him was a wonder.
Hermione had been the one that cut the deepest. She had been saved by him in his first year and was steadfast in her support of him, mostly. Harry had not really noticed it until he truly began to reflect back on his life at Hogwarts. The girl was his friend so long as it came after what was important to her. In fact, most of his friendship with her could be explained by her desires and not actually being his friend. She desired to not be alone and be a cast out. Befriending the most famous student at the school achieved that. It also ensures she gained the notoriety she wanted for her academic achievements. She valued authority and knowledge far more than his friendship. She never truly understood Harry. How could she, when she and Ron never asked him many personal questions? They were never interested in getting to know Harry Potter just him as the boy-who-lived.
In the end, Harry realized there wasn't a single adult in the muggle or wizarding worlds he could trust to look out for his interests. Every single one of them who should've helped look after his safety and well being had failed in unconscionable ways. He'd never had any real friends. He was willing to put his life on the line for his best friend's sister. He was willing to give his life to stop a madman and perhaps that was what they wanted all along...
Neville's family was targeted like Harry's was. His parents were tortured into insanity and yet he was okay to live in the wizarding world. It was fine for Harry to live at the Leaky Cauldron while the apparent right-hand man of Voldemort himself was actively trying to kill him, no issues spending huge bouts of time in Diagon Alley, unsupervised even, while any wizard could have a chance to abduct him. But Harry had to grow up with muggles who hated him and return there every year. There was no rational thought process which allowed that to make sense in Harry's mind.
No, at the end of the day Harry was on his own, just as he always had been. He really only trusted Dobby and Hedwig. Everyone else he knew, he just couldn't trust, after really taking the time to examine his life. With a little luck, he'd found his way into what could possibly be a mentor. The memoirs and magic left behind by Salazar Slytherin. Harry had read incessantly in the man's personal study all about his history. He'd lived a hard life and admitted to being too power-hungry, too eager for infamy and not wise. With age came wisdom and he was a teacher at heart in his older years. He was three decades older than Godric, Harry had discovered. He was in his 70s by the time Hogwarts was proposed.
He had already married and buried the love of his life. He'd had to personally end the life of his own son, bringing about his wife's death. He admitted he did not have the heart to confirm if she'd killed herself or if natural heartbreak and the loss of her will to live did her in. By this point in time, he was already notorious as someone you dared not cross. A powerful wizard that was the epitome of ambition and cunning. He was renowned for being politically savvy and ruthless in ensuring he got what he wanted.
There were scant few details so far, but the man painted quite the tale to open his memoir. Understanding that power was a means to an end, that it was not in and of itself a worthy goal. Gaining power for the sake of having more power was what had led him to his downfall. Sacrificing trivial things that built up over time to undo all of his hard work. By the time when he was founding Hogwarts, he was already aware he was declining. Powerful wizards could live to be two hundred years old and three decades short of his reaching the first century, he was deteriorating. The decline for a wizard normally began prior to being 100 but it was a slow and steady erosion of magical and physical abilities. Salazar had become almost unimaginably powerful for just half a century, then he had a sharp decline. Harry wondered if this was what led to the twisting of the story.
There was a fallout with two of the three other founders and frustration at the third, however, Salazar had not indicated any altercations beyond a verbal disagreement, only a difference of opinions on how to best educate students. Salazar wanted to push their education standards to their zenith at the cost of taking mundane children from their parents. It was hard to tell for sure, but it seemed like Slytherin had a rather rough upbringing and had an inability to appreciate the importance of families raising their children. Nothing that he read hinted that Salazar was a bigot of the highest order who fought to rule over or kill mundanes as he was now portrayed.
Perhaps the voluntary isolation, as he could not stand to see himself decline in front of others, was the cause to the generally accepted theory of him being a pureblood supremacist. It was something to consider looking into and yet Harry's attention was on continuing to read the memoir. Apparently, it was going to teach him and Harry was eager to see where it got started. He looked up from the book when he heard Dobby pop into existence beside him with a plate of food.
"Lunch for Master Harry!" Dobby exclaimed with his usual excitement. It had taken multiple conversations to shorten 'Great Master Harry Potter sir' into just 'Master Harry'. Dobby refused to not acknowledge him as 'Master'. Harry tried pointing out friends don't call each other master but the elf steadfastly refused.
"Thanks, Dobby. How are you today?" Harry was doing his best to try and turn the relations closer to that of friends instead of servant and master. Asking how Dobby's day was did seem to confuse the little guy for a few days. It was something he'd never had to respond to before.
"Dobby be good and Dobby be having news, Master Harry."
Harry turned from his food to look at the elf. "What kind of news?" he asked aloud.
"Headmaster be searching for yous. Yous been missing and they think you have run away."
Ah, Harry had been so engrossed in his new solitary dwelling that he'd forgotten that leaving the castle life abruptly would draw attention. He should have realized it but he hadn't even considered it at all. Oh, he'd also forgotten to make sure he could see Hedwig… That was seriously not a good idea. The owl was going to be so angry at him for this. Realizing which situation was more important, he made immediate plans to react accordingly.
"Dobby, do you know if there's a way to be able to let Hedwig in here?"
The elf closed his eyes and concentrated again. Harry had asked him about it earlier in the week. Dobby had said it was how he focused on feeling his surroundings. Extending and focusing his senses to find out more about his dwelling. It was House Elf magic he'd learned and used for a long time.
"There be charmed wall where the owl can get through. Dobby be doing it," the little elf popped away before Harry could respond to go do the work.
That meant Harry could send out letters. He'd not thought about the fact nobody could contact him while he was here. That was certainly an issue to consider. Harry felt his list was growing longer, day after day, of all the items he needed to look into. First and foremost still was securing his own future. If he actually had to compete in the tournament and looking into how to become independent. A visit to Gringotts might be prudent to find out about a full accounting of his assets. A trust vault implies there is more than just what is held in the trust vault. In the muggle world, often rich kids were given a set amount until they became adults. Perhaps it was the same in the wizarding world.
That rocketed to the top of his list. Visit Gringotts and see if they are aware of how to become an adult in the Wizarding World. He should probably ask what types of services they offer to their clients and see if they can help him with anything else. At this point, he was more likely to trust a business than a person. Businesses were about making a profit and as long as they could make a profit by servicing their clients, they should be somewhat trustworthy. He'd have to be careful to read everything clearly before signing, however.
Now though, he had to write a note for Hogwarts. What should he tell them? 'I am hidden and you will never find me hahaha' might be fun to send. No, he should mislead them to make them look elsewhere for him. He'd not put it past Dumbledore to send people searching for him. Sending them on a bit of a wild goose chase would be for the best. With that in mind, he wrote out a letter to send.
To Whom It May Concern,
As I have been named a Triwizard Tournament Champion of no school, I have sought to remove myself from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. My fellow Gryffindors and the school's population made it clear I am not their Champion and I have removed myself. There were hexes, curses, verbal remarks, and physical demonstrations that I was persona-non-grata in the school, yet again. After my trunk was attempted to be broken into, I no longer felt safe. Many of the altercations which led to this belief occurred in front of Hogwarts staff and they took no action. I even became the focus of their ire for something beyond my control.
I am a Champion for an undesignated school and am seeking education alternatives at this time. I am withdrawing from Hogwarts this year. Regardless of my withdrawal, as a Champion, I am excused from classes, detentions, and examinations. I will not be at Hogwarts while learning and have been given no information on the first task other than the fact it is on November 24th. Please provide any further details for events or requirements for the Champion's attendance by mail with Hedwig. My owl is the only one able to reach me at this time.
While writing the letter Harry came to the realization he should send it to McGonagall. She wrote the letters for Hogwarts and he wouldn't put it past the Headmaster to try and use Hedwig to find him. Well, Hedwig may actually be a bad option. They could try and keep her hostage. Now that he considered it further, Harry thought there was a rather small chance they wouldn't try and track Hedwig. He was a runaway celebrity after all. Perhaps a different solution…
"Yes Master Harry," he said after appearing out of thin air.
"Can you deliver a letter to Professor McGonagall?"
"Of course Master Harry! Dobby can be doing!" he replied exuberantly.
"Okay, I'm going to send Hedwig to Gringotts and when she leaves, can you deliver it then to the professor?" Dobby nodded and Harry handed the elf the letter before he left.
Harry then composed his letter to Gringotts.
I am Harry James Potter and have only been to your bank on a couple of occasions. I was told the vault I access is a trust vault. This has led to my suspicion that I possibly have more than a single vault or the vault that I am using has limits given my status as a minor. I was hoping to find out more about what assets I am entitled to at this point in time and what is to come in the future. If there is a person to ask for when I come to the bank next, please advise me so I can best follow your procedures.
The other item I would like to ask about is if you are able to provide a list of services Gringotts offers its clients. A description of the service and the cost would also be appreciated. As I was muggle raised I am unaware of your complete service offerings. I am currently housed in a location that will only accept mail from my owl. I have instructed her to remain until a reply is ready.
Harry James Potter
Harry tied the note and Hedwig had already landed at the desk in front of him. She always had a knack of knowing when she was needed. With that, Harry decided this was enough for the day and to get back to the memoir of Salazar Slytherin. His best guess was, as he worked through the memoir, more books in the library would stop being blank. How the magic worked, Harry had no idea. The magic that Salazar had cast to guide this place was simply astounding. He realized he shouldn't expect less from a founder of such a marvellous school.
This is the first fanfiction I've written/published. I've read quite a bit of Harry Potter fanfiction, in the past couple of years, and I began looking for specific plots. On occasion, I failed to find them and thus began my entry into creative writing, as I let my mind wonder how ideas and concepts would work out. I've outlined quite a few, in very rough fashion. This fanfiction is the result of about half a dozen concepts joining together.
The fic has gained way more popularity than I had ever expected. This isn't a bashing fic, I wanted to get Ron & Hermione out as main characters and, as this is my first attempt at writing, I didn't handle it well. I'm told, now, that by the time you hit the early teens chapters that the fic really starts to pick up.
To those of you who would say I should come back and fix/rewrite things, well, I'm only on chapter 41 right now and the fic has a ways to go. I don't mind that this fic doesn't start particularly well. When I wrote this that is where my ability was. Each chapter marks a bit of a waypoint in my progression as a writer.
Also, so it is clear, if you leave a guest review I cannot message you back.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy it. If you do not, thanks anyways for taking the time to read.
Beta'd by Nauze.