Disclaimer: In the beginning, nothing of this will be original. Harry potter and all characters plots and elements that are used are property of the author J.K.Rowling. This is an alternate universe fictional story beginning from the end of year one (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone), the differences should become greater with each chapter.
Please let me know if I have substituted quallity for quantity.
Severus Snape finally was off in his personal little world. He was doing what he loved. The aromas and steam surrounded him in the warm glow that the bubbling cauldron cast off. He carefully stirred the pale gloppy mixture that hissed and cracked every few seconds so as to keep it from spoiling. After several hours of careful brewing he added the last ingredient to his draught, three drops of adolescent Mandrake extract. Almost instantly there was one last great bubble that broke the surface, before the mixture became as thin as alcohol. It smelled of chocolate but tasted like wine and was considered one of the greatest of the healing potions known to wizard kind. He only made it for his own personal stores. As he let the potion cool off on its own he walked over to another cauldron and threw a pinch of a white powder into it before he picked up a crystal rod to stir it in a figure eight pattern. The Arrowroot, even though it gave the potion a horrible flavour, sped up the regrowth of the bones. It was not essential but Madam Pomfrey would not allow her patients to remain in pain for over a week as the original formula slowly regrew their bones. Personally he could not see why not. It kept them out of his classroom for an extended period of time. Amazingly it was always Gryffindors or Hufflepuffs that were idiotic enough to experiment with charms on themselves. It was like clockwork almost every year and he even had a running bet with the nurse about whether or not the Weasleys would have to use the potion again before the end of their seventh year.
Thinking of foolish Gryffindors, the Potions Master had a new puzzle that was now available to him. Harry Potter is not the same boy he saw at the end of last year. He still looked the same and shared mannerisms with that brat, but inside he was different. So far it had not been brought to his attention by any of the other staff members and he had even thought he was imagining it until that one inconsequential remark proved it. If he had allowed the grinning idiot to brew the potion that Potter suggested he was sure that the man would for once know his limits.
He grinned at the thought of the prepubescent voice the man would be forced to have until the counter potion could be obtained. It would have been worth the few extra months for another set of Mandrakes to mature. The suggestion by itself would not be surprising if any old ingredient could alter the potion but Mandrakes are unique for their restorative properties. (It was a balance he supposed. The positive nature of their components counteracted the lethal cries that it produced.) It was almost impossible to force it to act in any other way. There were barely a handful of ingredients that could do so if added and these he had only read once in his entire Potion Mastery. He only recalled it when Potter quietly suggested the Salamander tail, for these were among the above mentioned handful. Not even seventh year knowledge. It was possible that the boy stumbled across this in some obscure passage and remembered it for trivial purposes, but the spontaneity of the barb and the very obscurity of this hinted otherwise. If so this could not be the same boy he belittled the previous year. Yet all of his tests and essays to date have been exactly as they should. The errors he makes are the same ones any second year should make. His answers were uniquely his own with maybe a line or two of Granger's regurgitated garbage in his essays. Thus the enigma, known as Harry Potter, was formed. If Potter was as well read as he hypothesised then why would he not be showing off? His father in the same situation would ensure that everyone would know how impressive his knowledge was. At the very least the Potter senior would have applied the knowledge to his everyday class work. He felt sick at the though of so much potential being squandered. He was starting to get a headache just thinking about it. He would best put it out of his mind because the brat was not his responsibility. If he ignored him he might just go away.
'Perscribo,' a very useful spell. Harry had stumbled across it in an old charms text that he had picked up at one point. Writing down essays was somewhat inconvenient. With just quill and ink he would have to write a letter followed by another to make up words which when strung together made sentences which progressed to paragraphs which when grouped made sections and eventually this jumble of words became essays. This was perfectly fine if you did not mind taking a few hours to pull it all together. With the charm however most of the process could be circumvented. Its intent, to transfer words from idea to reality, using whatever material it is cast upon. The young wizard was now able to cast entire paragraphs straight to parchment (the most important factor being he was able to shape the writing as his own) so now instead of hours it only took him minutes to complete his homework (not including the time it took to reread the necessary chapters.)
The green eyed Gryffindor was up, in the early hours of the morning. Dawn had you to break as he sat quietly in his room. Harry called it his room because he had found that it was easier to just come in to the lounge he had commandeered than to walk on egg shells around his house mates. He even had a cot in the corner from a broken quill he had transfigured. Albeit it was no four poster, it meant that he did not have to be in the dorms for any longer than it took him to shower and grab a change of his clothes and his books. The rest of his time he spent in secluded areas where there were not dozens of students around him watching to see when he would strike next. He enjoyed taking walks by the lake and along the battlements. The tops of the towers (even though they were hard to get to) especially appealed to him. When he got the courage he even visited Myrtle in her loo.
Phobos had left him two nights ago without prior word. Harry was not really worried because between the invisibility and lethal glare nothing could even get a chance to harm the three. He still felt them on the edge of his senses but he was sure they were nowhere near the school. They had been quite insistent about not hanging Mrs Norris (not that the thought had not crossed their mind) and they had no clue besides finding the one who did it to fix it. He might have been worried at one point what exactly they were up to but the small number of existing parselmouths limited what they could do.
As far as experiments potion wise from the "Book incident" onward Harry had not touched any of them. They may be useful at some time in the future but right at the moment he could not figure out where he would use the Drought of Living Death and no matter how much fun it would be to slip a house mate truth serum in their tea it was supposed to be a restricted substance and therefore could cause him quite a lot of angst if anyone were to report it.
His mind started to wander into what plans needed to be made to ensure the safety of his guardians when the empty Privet Drive was found. He hoped that no one would notice it before he had already completed schooling so as there would be no reason for anyone to do anything. He knew his luck and his fame and imagined it would be found out within the next year that no one lived at his previous address. It could cause a problem if some individual took it into their mind he needed more of Dumbledore's "protection."
In his musings Harry had not noticed the increase of foot traffic in the corridors until something grabbed his attention. A good sized package appeared floating about a metre off of the stone floor in front of him. He immediately pulled out his wand and re- warded his door before he whispered to Phobos it was fine for them to become visible.
'We comess bearing giftsss!' Osirus called out into the room.
'She got lost!' Prometheus accused.
'Who wasss it that had to sstop and sssample the local wild life?' Osirus countered.
'Their sssmell was unique!'
'It wass a blassted skunk!' Anubis hissed in response.
'Well if you had not let the blood sssucker bathe usss we could have been back even sssooner!' the other two simply rolled their eyes.
'Invisibility is pointlessss if they can ssmell yousss a mile away!' an angry hiss came from Anubis.
'Ssso they would not knowss what they smellss! We could sstay in greasssy manss sstore and we would fitss right inss,' Prometheus tried a arguing a new angle.
'Do not even think about going near greas- Ssnapess sstoress. I think he hass a tendanccy to sshoot firsst and asssk quesstionss latter,' Harry spoke firmly. 'I for one do not want to know what potionss he would ussse your partsss in!' As one they turn towards the young wizard finally acknowledging his presence. They immediately set down the paper wrapped package down followed by a small envelope.
'Sshouldn't you be at breakfasst?' Osirus hissed. The three shrunk a few sizes before curling around his neck and vanishing into thin air. Their familiar weight across his shoulders provided some small comfort. At least someone at the school was still willing to be around him.
He grabbed his school bag as he locked and warded the door on his exit. He knew Hogwarts would ensure that no-one would find his room, but the wards made him feel safer especially if he had a Damon present situated in the middle of the room. It was more for everyone else's safety than in fear of theft that he added the wards.
'Minerva he is not going to vanish into thin air the moment you take your eyes off him,' a grinning Herbology teacher spoke to her colleague. 'What on Earth did he do to earn your continuing wrath?'
The Transfiguration teacher blushed scarlet and mumbled something under her breath.
'What was that dear?' Poppy questioned from her other side.
'He sent me Lockhart's blasted fan mail from his detention,' she hissed in aggravated tones.
'Is that all? I thought that the Twins have done far worse,' the uppercase "T" was emphasised so all staff members knew exactly which twins.
The Transfiguration teacher mumbled something under her breath which caused the hospital matron to spit coffee across the table.
'It was my favourite scratching post!' McGonagall glared.
'Surely a simple repair spell could fix it?' the nurse questioned.
'That is not the point! I am still frightened when ever I go near it now,' Professor McGonagall hissed back.
'What do fan letters and scratching posts have to do with each other?' Professor Sprout questioned.
Minerva McGonagall's response was to place her head face down on her arms on top of the teacher's table in the Great Hall. Madam Pomfrey only laughed harder but she tried to collect herself when the Transfiguration teacher waved her to explain.
'Apparently Minerva used to play with her scratching post before her classes, at least that was the rumour Filius had been spreading. At the time she received the fan mail she was already "active,"' the matron only grinned, trying to keep a straight face.
'But what does that have to do with anything?'
'She was playing inside the post...'
'It is a real nice one with all these openings that I could climb in and out of. There is this little catnip mouse on a string in the lowest section,' Minerva decided she might as well get it over with. 'The letters buried it,' she turned to look directly at the Herbology teacher, 'while I was inside.'
All eyes in the hall turned to witness two female staff members hysterically laughing on either side of an extremely red McGonagall with her head in her hands.
The last mumble from the Professor was not audible to anyone but herself. Which considering some of her choice words was a good thing in a school filled with impressionable young children.
Snape had kept him back after class to scrape gunk off of the desks. Harry grumbled under his breath as he worked, about idiots and cauldrons. The task took him most of lunch.
Harry grabbed a sandwich from the kitchens before he made way to his lounge to check out the package Damon had sent him.
Here is a book that should have what you want. I have been reading over it over the last few weeks trying to find some decent spells but I figured with your imagination that you would come up with the right one.
I don't know what your friends got into. I had to get a mate to deodorise them before I could get near them. My kind tends to have very sensitive noses just so you know.
Please send them back in about a week I should be able to give you a lot more details.
Be careful with the text. It is ministry highly restricted material (some of it is not quite human magic but it should not be too much trouble for you to handle.)
Your fanged friend
PS Too many people are around at the moment to do any of the usual spells so I hope this comes right to you
Harry immediately tore into the paper wrapping to find a thick book encased within. In thin writing in gold letters the cover of the book read 'Diacompotis Vox Manesoti.' The pages were made of parchment that was brittle under his fingers. The first thing that he did as he opened the cover was to cast a dozen different preservation charms. He had experience with a book several weeks ago that had disintegrated underneath his fingers. He was forced to use a very high powered reparo in order to restore it but he had learned his lesson. With another swish and flick the archaic language that it had been written in instantly translated itself into his language of choice, parseltongue. He was glad that Damon had given him that spell for it upped the level of security of his, ahem 'rarer' texts. As he started to read it he heard the bell sound. Cursing the timing he quickly grabbed the book and shoved it into his bag before he headed to his next class, History of Magic.
When he arrived at the classroom there was only one seat left. This is not to say he was running late or that the class was full but there was only one chair for him to sit in. Initially he was confused as to why this had happened at almost every class he turned up in sans potions, but after this had happened over a few days he turned up early (invisible of course) to see what was happening. The students apparently were transfiguring the chairs around them to save seats for friends. (Otherwise known as project "Keep the Evil Young Dark Lord Away From Me") They were always careful to leave a seat for him in fear of what he might do in the attempt to gain a chair from one of them. It had hurt until he rationalised that it was nothing personal. He still was bitter about it even though he had accepted the reality. If he held anyone to blame it was the Transfiguration professor who introduced the disproportionate transfiguration a year ahead of the proposed syllabus. She had particularly shown how to turn a chair into a matchstick and back.
Harry left his essay on 'The Medieval Assembly of European Wizards' on Professor Binns' desk before he took his seat. Hermione and Ron ran into the class just before the teacher appeared, coming through the blackboard. They took two seats that 'magically' appeared two desks in front of him when Lavender waved her wand at a set of quills. Hermione actually had guile to turn around and look guiltily at him before she sat down.
Harry knew anything less than the school falling down on his head (and because he is ghost even this is in debate) would distract the teacher from his lecture, so he took out his newest book to gain some insight of what kind of spells he was looking at.
Professor Binns drone faded to the background as he started to turn the pages. The book contained detailed description as to what rules ghosts obeyed in their movements through their afterlife. Where they could go, what they could do, how they did it, what caused them to continue in life even after death. It even made some references into the true afterlife that Harry was positive no human could have any perception of. Its nature and how it affected the land of the living. This was a curiosity that the young boy would sate later when he could afford the time that would be required of the research. He hoped that Damon could at the very least point him in the right direction for the materials. Then there came the spells and rituals that could be preformed on these spirits. Ones of banishment, of protection, of binding, on finding or losing, the possibilities were endless. There were rituals that could last for days and spells that were nothing more than a swish and flick. Some altered appearance or nature, their clothing or what they remembered. Spells to silence to blind to deafen. To freeze and burn. Spells that could give them senses into life and references to rituals to resurrect them. Spells of blood, of body, of bone, and soul. The further that he read into this the more he realised how dark the magic could be perceived and the fact that this book barely hinted into greater spells that had been created specifically for the spirit and the soul nearly frightened him. Quickly discarding the rituals as too complex the wizard started to pick out simple spells that were not too malicious. He found a spell that would force the poltergeist to be solid and ones to force him to remain visible. Another charm that made him obey the laws of physics and a few that would banish him or wards to keep spirits out of a house that Harry quickly realised he could modify them to apply to single rooms or sections of castles. He imagined what would happen if he bound the spirit to a common room like Slytherins or Gryffindors.
It took Hermione Granger half an hour to finally work up the courage to interrupt the professor. Really it was a matter of internal debate as to whether or not her question was more important than the lecture that the ghost was giving. Her deciding point to this was that because of the internal debate she was missing more of the lecture than understanding it. Her hand slowly rose up into the air.
Professor Binns looked up from his notes and stopped mid sentence. His mouth opened and shut several times almost as if he had no idea how to handle this situation. (When she latter thought about this she realised it very well could have been true)
'Miss - er -?'
'Granger, Professor. I was wondering if you could tell us anything about the Chamber of Secrets,' she forced her voice to remain steady as she ventured the question, that was so far off topic, in the middle of the class.
She heard a thump come from a desk to her right and noticed Neville was rubbing his chin as he appeared to be waking from a daze.
'My subject is History of Magic,' he wheezed as he looked sternly at her. 'I deal with facts, Miss Granger, not myths and legends.' He cleared his throat as he attempted to get back on track.
Another student may have lost courage in this light but his blunt refusal only fuelled the witch's curiosity. She raised her hand and started to wave it around, a different time she would have been mortified at her action.
The professor's shock only increased when he was interrupted a second time in as many minutes. It took a moment for him to collect himself before he addressed the student.
'Miss Grant?' Hermione forced herself to forge on.
'Please, sir, don't legends always have basis in fact?'
The witch now had the full attention of the professor, who at the moment looked to be recovering from a mild shock.
'Well,' the ghost said slowly, 'yes, one could argue that, I suppose.' He focused completely on Hermione as if it was the first time he had ever seen her. 'However, the legend of which you speak is such a very sensational, even ludicrous tale ...'
Now that he had the entire class' attention Hermione knew he could not stop. She finally might get some of her questions answered. Hence, she might be able to focus properly on her studies.
The professor seemed amazed at how many students were focusing on him in the middle of class.
'Oh, very well,' he caved in. 'Let me see ...the Chamber of Secrets ...'
But no one ever heard what the professor knew of the Chamber of Secrets. When questioned later by the various professors and headmaster the class would only be able to comment on how they had felt this wave of freezing ...power surge through the room before there was a flash of blinding light. When they looked up the professor was gone, never to be heard of again by anyone in the wizarding world.
'You all know, of course...what the..?'
The ghost blinked and looked around. The room was dark and absent of any students. He did not have anything with him. Not even his most cherished notes in his possession. He appeared to be in some sort of kitchen but he had never seen it before. He thought it was of muggle nature because between the lack of house-elfs and the cleanliness it could not be any wizard's that he knew of. On closer inspection he was positive it was a muggle kitchen. Even though he had never seen one in person he recognised some of the appliances that rested on the countertop. He had regular tea on Thursdays with the Muggle Studies professor and Professor Emission had the tendency to collect muggle things in all states of repair.
Out of curiosity he started to look around. On top of the stove he found this object that he could not discern its purpose. It looked similar to a clock but it did not have any hands nor did he hear any ticking from inside. There appeared to be a little knob in the centre that when he turned he finally started to hear the ticking. Apparently the face itself moved. Not knowing how to stop it he just set it down and continued his exploring. Through an archway he floated looking around to find himself in a dining room. No where near as large as Hogwarts Great Hall but still large enough to fit at least a dozen people a sturdy table sat in the middle of the room. Pictures lined the walls of what he assumed was the family. He did not recognise any of the individuals and he was glad of that for they looked like an unsavoury bunch of characters. He approached a glass door that apparently led to the outside. He started to wonder where and when he was for when he peered through the glass he came to the conclusion that it was the middle of the night, the stars shown clearly in the night sky above.
It was at this point that he heard a buzzard go off in the kitchen. He made his way back there not noticing the grunt or footsteps that came from above him. The buzzing sound was coming from the sort of clock. He turned it over in an attempt to figure out how to shut off the annoying sound. He never heard the opening of the kitchen door and did not notice anything amiss until he saw this metal stick thing pass straight through him smashing the clock thing that he was holding before slamming into the stovetop.
He turned around and heard this bloodcurdling scream come from this extremely wide man, before said man backed away into a corner, breaking down in the gibbering mess.
Maybe it was the first time he had seen a ghost?
'Sorry about the intrusion ...er do you know where Hogwarts is?'
The large mans eyes widened as his face paled before his eyes rolled up into the back of his head.
'I guess I should take that as a no?'
He really had not meant to.
He really, Really did not mean to.
He had found the perfect revenge; he could kill off two birds with one stone.
The spell was rather simple and only required a moderate level of power. The ritual to collect the power would not be needed because he instinctively knew he could direct the amount of magic himself. He had been paying no attention to the class around him and never even saw Hermione raise her hand to ask her question. The wand movements were very precise and the casting words were an archaic Latin that required precise pronunciation. He was lucky that he had been reading it in parseltongue because it was such a phonetic language. The spell itself was to bind a spirit to an individual or a family but the best feature of it was that the spirit became unable to appear or affect anyone or anything unless it was directly related to its bound target. That way only they would be able to see or hear it and all mischief that he could do would remain limited. The targets in his mind were Peeves and his beloved relatives, the Dursleys. He started to practice the wand movements as he attempted to get his mouth to shape the words correctly.
This would have been all well and good if he had not felt the surge of magic that had gathered around him leave him. Quickly looking up to see what he caused, he noticed that his History of Magic professor was missing. To compound the situation all of his classmates for some reason were fully focused on what the said professor had been saying. They all looked around confused as Harry cursed under his breath before slipping the book back into his bag.
Thankfully no one was blaming him for it yet.
Unfortunately the rumourmongers would for once come to an at least partially correct conclusion.
Harry Potter had gotten rid of the only non-living professor to date. The fact that this banishment occurred just as the professor was about to reveal his knowledge of the Chamber of Secrets did not bode well to the supposed future Dark Lord.
All it took was a little research and any individual would know that any magic that is supposed to effect ghosts was of the darkest nature. Even though the headmaster still insisted he was not to blame every one else in the school now feared him. The headmaster only encouraged this silently as he intentionally left himself open as Harry's ally when all others were to turn against him.
Harry jumped in his seat and turned around to find his only human friend, living or dead. 'Myrtle, you scared me. How did you find me?'
She giggled and grinned. 'You are right underneath the prefects' bathroom,' she replied as if that was an obvious answer.
'What do you have to do with the prefects?' Harry knew there was something he was obviously missing.
'No matter,' if she was mortal he was sure she would be blushing. 'I am just glad I ran into you,' she abruptly changed the topic. 'A witch dragged the redhead that attacked you into my bathroom. They started asking questions as if you had anything to do with that awful cat. Then they started getting really rude and started whispering about me while I was still standing right in front of them! I got so upset that I flushed myself all the way out to the lake,' she said morosely.
'You know that what they say and do has nothing personal to do with you, right?' Harry questioned the spirit.
'Then why do they always pick on me?'
'I suppose that it is because no one knows you so they don't feel as bad when they offend you,' he responded quietly. 'I bet they don't even realise they are doing it half of the time and with the other half who are you going to tell? At least people talk to you though,' the boy spoke morosely.
'Am I a person?' The ghost questioned quietly though there was a glint in her eye.
'Of course you are, but you know what I mean. Everyone else runs away from me as soon as they realise that I am there. Why aren't you afraid of me?'
'Well, you are nice enough when we talk and it is not like everyone is just begging to be in my company. They all think I will go bawling the instant they walk in my toilet!'
'Myrtle you said yourself that you can be overly emotional at times. It is part of this whole moping persona that you have built. What was the name you told me they called you?'
'Moaning Myrtle, there is no reason for you to go dragging it up now is there?'
'They call me You-Know-Who as if I am already going off and gathering followers and going on killing sprees!'
'Well you did petrify a cat and vanish a ghost,' she gave him a broad grin as she asked; 'do you take requests?'
'Oh I know! You can set up a suggestion box in the entrance hall,' Myrtle declared, 'take recommendations of who your next target is!'
'Maybe even let them suggest a method of offing them!'
'You are pushing it...'
'Oh maybe it could be last requests! People could let you know how they want to g-'
Myrtle started laughing as a pillow was thrown through her head.
'Well I will be going if you are going to be getting violent,' she exclaimed as she stuck her nose into the air and passed through the wall. Just as Harry sat down on a couch she stuck her head back in to the room, 'your lordship,' then she vanished as the wizard glared at the spot where she had departed.
Harry decided earlier in the day that the untamed fear that his peers had of him could be a mixed blessing. In Defence Against Dark Arts the professor had attempted to re-enact his amazing feat which saved a poor village from attacks from a vicious werewolf. The man had not even made it through his introduction before he started whimpering from Harry's glare. 'Whimpering for heaven's sake! Really! This from a full grown wizard who had apparently faced off against the very worst that the magical world could give. Well at least he excused us early,' the boy thought to himself, though it was an interesting side note that Hermione and the red headed idiot had stayed after to talk to the blond buffoon. From the little that he heard from the corridor the two were attempting to retrieve a book from the Restricted Section of the library. He would not have been surprised if the idiot gave them an unrestricted pass, which after a second thought would not be that bad of an idea. It might not have been too noteworthy if it had been any individual beside his one time friends. Between those two a little knowledge could go a long way. He just hoped that their current subject of investigation was not himself.
Harry woke up early. The Slytherin versus Gryffindor Quidditch match was to be played from an hour before noon. Admittedly Harry woke up early almost every day and after all it was just a simple game. In the grander scheme of things it was nothing. Chances were that almost no one would remember anything more than the score come graduation. He would be the same person when he lands as when he takes off yet the entire school would judge him depending on if he caught a little gold ball. The fact that they all thought he was a dark lord would be ignored in the final moments of the game. If he caught the Snitch he would be once more idolized by three quarters of the school. If he didn't then they would try to vilify him even more if possible. Regardless, within a week they all would be afraid to utter his name once more. Oh how far their one time hero had fallen; yet he remained the same boy that had stepped on the platform at the beginning of the year and chances were that he would be the same boy who stepped off it at the end of the school year.
Harry climbed out of his bed and carefully pulled on some comfortable clothes. The only one to comment anything about his change of wardrobe had been a brief positive statement the first morning of term. All of the wizarding blood roommates probably saw nothing beyond the fact that it was muggle.
The air was cool and slightly damp as he made his way through the hallways in the pre-dawn grey hours of the morning. There was a secluded spot on the shore of the lake that he liked to sit when he wanted to be alone. No one here questioned his motives. The forbidden forest's edge crept out onto the school ground so as if he pretended hard enough he could find himself isolated from the rest of wizard kind. No one talking behind his back. Dew was forming on the grass as the sky continued to lighten. No one twisting words until truths became lies. The wind was cool against Harry's face and suggested possible rain to come. No dark corners and no dust filled passages. Gentle waves lapped against the grassy bank. No one sitting and judging him on events he could not even control. The giant squid made patterns across the surface of the water and Harry wondered if it ever rested. No whispered conversations held where people believed he could not hear. The birds slowly woke and their song drifted in the fresh morning breeze. No friends that never were. The humidity was so high that the boy was surprised that the air was not thick with rain. No fools or idiots who spoiled even the nicest of days. The sun rose as the fog on the far side of the lake evaporated. Once the golden flaming orb cleared the horizon Harry stood up to make his way inside.
Wings kissed his neck letting him know that his familiar was still with him. They would stick by him through thick or thin.
Considering there was a match today Harry figured he would have to sit with his house at least for breakfast.
Harry was just a little late to the meal.
When he walked in there was only one seat left at the table, right next to Colin Creevey. Regardless Harry's best efforts the kid was still star struck in his presence, which Harry found quite unnerving. Harry wanted to avoid such a situation at that moment in time so he quickly cleared his throat and asked for a house mate to make room for him only to be stoutly ignored. Not wanting to confrontational he turned to another only to find the same results. After two more attempts and realising that his house mates actually were moving only the moved so as he would not have any room. Giving up Harry finally moved to sit next to Colin only to have a fifth year take the seat.
Growling in frustration and not wanting the school to think they could just bully him he walked over to the nearest table and said 'Boo!' Instantly the Hufflepuffs (which was the closest table to Gryffindor) cleared a space for him a metre in all directions. He sat down and ate his scrambled eggs and toast ignoring the glares from the three houses. Harry did not want to even see the Slytherins laughing at his expense. Anyone who made even a peep towards him was silenced by the murderous glint in his eye.
After breakfast Harry quickly made his way to the dormitories.
He dug through his trunk to find the small runic scroll. He had advanced far enough that he was able to etch and activate some of the minor runes of power. The more powerful ones required a firm foundation on all of the minor ones. If he understood it properly if he tried to use any runes that were not properly guided it could cause quite a bit of damage. Just trying a minor rune of destruction without the initial foundation runes almost brought down an entire wall in his lounge. If he had not been able to reign in the magic... he did not even want to imagine the consequences. Vanishing an individual ghost, that was not a key part of the wards, was one thing. Taking out a wall that is an essential part of the structural integrity of the school was an entirely different matter. Not that it would be a catastrophe. All that would happen is every staff member keyed to the wards would know that the damage had been done in a section of the school that should have been magically inactive. The rest of the schools wards would shift to accommodate the excess loads until when and if the repairs were complete. The castles wards were of a variety that has been lost in the interim since the founding of Hogwarts. They would still exist until the last foundation stone was shattered and even then they would fight the destruction with as much force as possible. Even then the dust itself could possibly sustain them.
If his inability to test them was not enough of hindrance each rune was not only created by the scratching or drawing of an archaic character but by the emotions and thought and will guided into it. The symbols were just that, symbols. Essentially, if he so desired, he would eventually be able to create them by sheer force of will alone. The symbols were just a guide, a grounding point to reality. Something that could be calculated and quantified if need be. If he could not sense the magic behind each of them he would hardly be able to use them. That was part of the lessons of the scroll. As well as encouraging thought and idea it increased sensitivity to the world at large. Not just magical but empathy, and life and death, of mankind and machine, of reality. Each time he opened the scroll the lessons increased in difficulty and precision. His ability to sense was slowly exercised and built up over time. Unknown to him Harry had already achieved a level beyond what most humans could.
While Harry was lost in his work the time shown by his watch slowly approached the time of the match. He may have missed it all together if Prometheus had not stuck his tongue in Harry's ear and whispered that it was time. Quickly the boy sat up from his four posted bed in his dormitory and grabbed his broom before heading through the castle and towards the pitch.
The whole team was there besides their Seeker. Harry really did not need the encouragement if the practices were any indication. If his pure natural talent had not secured him a position last year the sheer balls that he had been showing at practice would have guaranteed it for him. If last year he was born for the air this year he was one with it. As long as the boy even put an ounce of effort this season they were shoe in for the cup. But it was a poor captain that relied on the actions of a single player so the rest of them needed one of Oliver's famous pep talks.
'Slytherin have better brooms than us,' he began, 'no point denying it. But we've got better people on our brooms. We've trained harder than they have, we've been flying in all weathers-' a classic twin comment inserted here '- and we're going to make them rue the day they let that bit of slime, Malfoy, buy his way onto their team.'
Moments after he finished the speech the green and purple streaked ebony haired second year made his way into the locker room.
'Close one Harry, I almost thought we were going to have to forfeit,' Oliver commented just loud enough for everyone to hear.
'Sorry lost track of the time,' the boy replied.
'You ready to fly today?'
'Sure,' he nodded.
'Let's go win!'
The air suggested that a storm was brewing. Harry thought he heard thunder coming from near the horizon yet the clouds were not quite ready to release their loads. The crowds cheered wildly as the Gryffindors made their way to the centre of the pitch though the Slytherin supporters made their views known through their boos and hissing. Madam Hooch, the Quidditch teacher and referee firmly instructed the two glaring captains to shake hands. Harry thought that at least one of them broke some bones in the 'firm' hand shake.
'On my whistle,' announced the teacher, 'three... two... one...'
The crowds cheered as the fourteen players rose into the air. Harry could tell exactly where the Snitch was already. Its constant presence sung on the edge of his mind. He had no desire to end this match too early so he just decided to do a little free flying. Malfoy sailed below him an instant before a Bludger tried to pummel him. Harry dived out of the way only to have it come right at him a moment latter. Fred and George were focusing on the other one as the ball missed his head by a few hairs' breaths. Looking around to see where the other players were the boy wondered why the Bludger was so focused on him. He was not too scared of it and only the thought crossed his mind that it added a little more challenge to his game. As Harry did a loop de loop to avoid the Bludger as Malfoy circled the pitch in a lazy figure eight pattern. As Harry dropped several metres before rising at an angle, the clouds threat started to become a reality. So at the moment Harry had to actually try to focus the Snitch. The Bludger barely missed his elbow when he was momentarily distracted and he started to become annoyed. The wind forced the rain to whip against his exposed skin. Gryffindor started to edge ahead in points as they had more experience with the wet weather. The Bludger whistled past his ear once more forcing Harry to try and focus entirely on the blasted ball that wanted nothing more than to crush his skull.
Not sure what exactly was wrong with it he tried to find the other Bludger that was not to far away. The difference in their spells were subtle but finally he saw how they were warped and with a twist of effort and a little will he bent the other Bludgers magic to the first ones hopefully restoring it to its proper state.
He had let his focus of the Bludgers drop a moment too soon and payed the price as one slammed into his elbow, breaking his arm. Harry did not even have a chance to cry out as the other came towards his head. Diving to get out of the way the first Bludger followed his tail.
The wind really picked up and the house banners that were attached to the stands waved frantically. Oliver had just saved the ball as Angelina raced to the opposite end of the pitch to score bringing it 130 to 90, Gryffindor's lead. The Slytherin goal keeper did not even notice her until the ball sailed through the hoop.
A Bludger swooped under Harry's broom as he briefly stood on it to get his feet out of the way. Instantly the second one aimed for his chest forcing Harry to swing under the broom holding on with his one good hand as he circled the handle like a gymnast on a set of parallel bars. Not even waiting until he was firmly seated he manoeuvred the broom so as he zig zagged out of both Bludgers' paths. Quickly he realised that he screwed up big time and instead of one insane Bludger aiming to maim him he had two.
The twins looked around the pitch confused trying to find the balls that were their responsibility. The Slytherin Beaters not in much better shape.
Quickly tiring of the evasive game Harry located the Snitch which at the moment hovered not to far away from Malfoy and dived down in a path that he hoped would bring him close to it without drawing too much notice. The gold ball all of a sudden decided to drop fifty metres forcing Harry to go in a steep dive while he held on and cradled his broken arm to his chest. As his hand clutched the gold ball their was an explosion from behind him that knocked him off his broom and into the mud, that had at one time been the pitch, with a splash where he briefly blacked out.
To say Draco Malfoy was nervous would be an understatement. He was surprised that he did not throw up as he stood there in the middle of the pitch. He had seen Potter play last year and even he had to admit bitterly that he was good. If only Potter had not improved over the summer he might have had a chance. His mind drifted towards that odd encounter during his first practice session. He almost felt like he connected with him up in the air that day. When Potter dived off his broom only to pull up on said broom the last possible instant holding the Snitch in his hands Malfoy knew he could not even dream to compete against him. A Malfoy never admits defeat and he already had plans in his head of cursing the boy so he could win. He knew it was the only way, but then came the entire heir thing and the firm orders from his father to keep a low profile. At first he laughed it off. I mean how could the light's Gryffindor golden boy be a danger? He still imagined himself at this point slipping a potion into his goblet or something but then there was that entire disappearing teacher incident. It was not the rumours that bothered him but the fact that the green eyed wizard was not denying them. He had denied that he had petrified the cat vehemently. He said that he was not the heir. Yet he did not make any fuss when the students pointed at him as the one that banished that ghost. Draco knew exactly how dark the wizarding world considered spells that worked on spirits and if the Gryffindor had access to them the chances were he had access to other Dark Arts sources. This is what planted the seed of doubt. If there was one thing that was stronger than the Malfoy desire to win it was their survival instincts. Their family had existed through seven separate governments including three separate reigns of one dark lord or another as well as aiding at least twenty separate dark campaigns without their name being sullied in the process. Malfoys would thrive in peace times or war times. It was an accepted fact and even at a young age Malfoys could tell the direction history would be heading. All of Draco's survival instincts screamed for him to leave the boy-who-lived alone. So Draco had already accepted one loss for a possible win in the long run. After all he knew without out a doubt that if Potter played on any professional team he would be unbeatable.
He knew that with Potter at full capacity he had no chance in freezing hell to win. So he calmly walked on to the pitch his new broom gripped tightly in his right hand. His brand new green robes billowed slightly in the wind and he had already consciously accepted defeat. As he rose into the air with his acceptance his nerves faded and he just enjoyed the chance to fly. He made a pass under the smaller boy and noticed that his eyes for the most part were closed. That was the point that he decided if he was going to lose he was going to go down trying. Five minutes into the game he noticed Potter's acrobatics which took him a bit to realise that he was trying to avoid a Bludger. He knew that it had been tampered with and wondered if someone on his team wanted to increase their chance of winning. Draco doubled his effort to find the Snitch keeping his eyes focused at a distance so as he could spot it immediately. His attention completely on finding the winged ball he almost missed the Bludger hit by one of the twins near the scoring area. Fortunately he was able to drop down in time and instead the ball curved its path so as now it was heading towards his counterpart. As the ball got nearer his jaw dropped when all the boy did in response was close his eyes. Not even an instant later reopened them. Draco never even noticed the change in weather conditions as his attention refocused on finding the Snitch. He felt when the Bludger was making its way towards him and tried to duck out of the way only to be shocked as he turned around and found both the heavy balls attempting to pummel his opponent. Distracted in his musings of above mentioned balls he missed Potter's initial dive only to catch on quite quickly. He saw the Snitch that was flying down ward now and knew instinctively that Potter's path would take him to directly intersect the gold ball's own. The two Bludgers continued to tail him moving in such a way that it looked like they were dancing with each other to a tune that only they could hear. The other Seeker pulled up short to grab the ball but he never realised how much danger he was in. The dancing Bludger both made a last ditch effort to murder the boy only to find that their paths intersected. Draco felt the waves of magic rush off of them as they smashed into each other, destroying themselves in a violent explosion of magic and energy. After madam Hooch blew her whistle signalling the capture the blond Slytherin made his way down to the now muddy pitch and carefully weaved his way through the advancing crowds to the Slytherin locker room.
As Harry slowly came to he realised that he was now surrounded by several concerned house mates. His focus quickly trained itself on a figure that was leaning over him. It took a moment to comprehend what was happening but by the time his mind was ready to respond it was already too late.
'Not to worry, Harry. I'm about to fix your arm.'
He slowly sat up as he could feel his bones burning, already starting to knit together. He heard a familiar clicking noise.
'Colin, send that camera home right now before I decide to transfigure it into something not quite edible and shove it down your throat,' Harry growled at the boy.
'Sit back, Harry,' said Lockhart soothingly. 'It's a simple charm I've used it countless times.'
'How about I go to the Hospital Wing instead?' said the boy as he started to search his memory for an appropriate curse.
'He should really, Professor,' said a muddy Wood, who had a grin pasted on his face from ear to ear regardless of the condition of his Seeker. 'Great capture, Harry, really spectacular, your best yet, I'd say.'
Students gathered round as Lockhart rolled up his jade-green sleeves. 'Stand back,' he ordered.
'Don't!' The bones of his arm were already once again whole but the, Professor, ignored him. With a twirl of his wand he pointed it at Harry's arm. He felt the magic twist through him but he was already too tired to fight it.
Harry felt as his recently knit bone vanished from its present location as well as all the other bones along his arm all the way up to his shoulder. When he heard the frantic clicking noise he turned to glare at Colin and the boy's camera lens shattered. He instinctively knew that he could heal his a broken bone himself as long as there was one to heal but he was frightened of the fact that he was unsure of how to re-grow a missing one. He knew it was possible and he hoped that the school nurse knew how.
'Ah,' said blond idiot. 'Yes. Well, that can sometimes happen. But the point is, the bones are no longer broken. That's the thing to bear in mind. So, Harry, just toddle up to the Hospital Wing - ah, Mr Weasley, Miss Granger, would you escort him? - and Madam Pomfrey will be able to - er - tidy you up a bit.' And there were his one time friends once again who immediately started fussing over him like they had not bashed and snubbed him respectively. They ignored his glare as they carefully dragged him to the nurse.
'Those Bludgers could have killed you!' Ron exclaimed.
'I kind of realised that when they started hurtling as me,' Harry growled out.
'I know you must be upset with how we have treated you but you wouldn't tell us what happened!' Hermione said sorrowfully.
'Did you even ask?!'
'Well you should have told us!' Ron shouted.
'What? When you called me slimy backstabbing snake or Slytherin scum?' Harry roared, 'or when you started to beat me up!'
'Well-' Harry interrupted Ron before he could try to give some feeble excuse.
'Oh I know how about when you joined the rumours about me being the next dark lord!'
'But-' Hermione tried to interrupt Harry's rant.
'Hey I know how about this morning when I tried to sit down and you had all the people around you move so as I could not find a seat?'
'We were-' Ron again.
'How about when you started shooting curses at me while I slept!'
'I um-'Ron fumbled.
'Oh I know the time you burned my homework that I had been working on for five hours straight! You just looked ready to hear me out!'
'We're so-' Hermione tried to input.
'Oh no! Don't think you can even start to apologise. You called me a backstabbing snake and look what you did to your supposed best friend,' Harry glared.
Hermione had the audacity to try to defend herself. 'I didn't do any of that though!'
'Granger quick question,' Harry stopped for an expectant pause, 'did you even once try to defend me?'
'Well I...,' she could not say that she had.
'Silence is the greatest crime of all. When neither of my best friends,' the Seeker spat bitterly, 'defended me the rest of the house and then the school started believing the rumours that they were spreading. Especially without any evidence more than me being at the wrong place at the wrong time,' Harry paused as if in thought. 'Correction. Let me make that at the wrong place at the right time because now I know exactly who I can trust. At least this knowledge did not come to light when I might have actually needed you.'
'Harry-' Hermione cried.
'No! Don't even try. Don't even speak my name!' He glared at them both. 'You disgust me! I am sure I can make my own way from here without you hypocrites,' he turned to walk down the hall. 'At least I can know that you won't lead me to some abandoned class room to stab me in the back for real,' he spat back over his shoulder as he stormed his way to the hospital wing. He just moved his head out of the way when Weasley shot a curse at him.
Madam Pomfrey was not pleased when amateurs attempted to heal others. She even remembered when the same Hufflepuff had done the exact same thing the first time he tried to. She was however relieved that this time this patient seemed to be able to accept magic. The potion went down smoothly enough and he hardly even commented on its taste. She did not know if the potion would even work but she hoped that the burning sensation that he was talking about was a good indicator. He sat quietly the rest of the evening thinking to himself. He even appeared to be studying at one point. She did not even have to chase the Gryffindor captain out when he came to visit leaving a few sweets on the side table. She shook her head sadly when the boy pointed his wand at the chocolate frogs and uttered a revealing spell. She knew he would never have it easy. She was glad that he had turned out as well as he did considering his harsh life. She knew the signs of neglect and abuse but it was not her say to go against the will of Albus Dumbledore. It was just another crime that she put on her imaginary list of her friend. She knew that he had to make hard choices and often...
-for the best future for all of his charges.
He spent most of the afternoon having a mental conversation with his three no-legged friends. He cheered up when Prometheus told him that they were happy to consider him a slimy snake. The three tried to tell him about some of their adventures. Harry never knew how interesting the dungeons could be and wondered how hard it would be for him to enter some of the rooms that the three described. He was positive that the castle would allow if he asked.
During dinner the matron had left for the Great Hall and a house-elf brought him his meal. He had to eat one handed and kindly rejected the trio's aid.
Myrtle came to visit soon after he finished his meal but vanished through a wall when the hospital ward's door swung open. The matron came back in and asked him if he was comfortable and fluffed up his pillows before she wished him a good night ensuring that the blanket was firmly tucked up around him.
He pulled out his runic scroll and started to continue his studies.
He had no idea about how much time had passed when he heard the quiet crack that indicated a house-elf's appearance. The Hogwarts elfs were unique in nature, most house-elf are bound to specific individuals or families where as the Hogwarts ones were bound to the castle itself. Usually this implied that the headmaster or the board of governors had the highest say to them. They were even more unusual in the fact they actually knew of the schools consciousness and respected the castle and its decisions. That is the reason why Harry Potter was given more authority than any other individual since the flying car incident at the Opening Feast. Not that he knew this fact. The only noticeable difference that he found was that they had no fear of him only respect and if he ever "forgot" to grab a meal they would chase him down. Unfortunately they were not the best conversationalists for the school's secrets were its own and house-elfs refused to ever reveal them.
Harry's mind drifted from his musings when he heard a slight scrape as something moved a chair in the dim light and then carefully stood up on it. When Harry caught sight of the house-elf he could not refrain from gasping. The poor creature was filthy and the rags it wore barely covered him. He was slightly emaciated and the wizard realised that not all house-elfs were treated with the same respect as Hogwart's.
The pitiful creature lifted a sponge to Harry's brow and Harry noticed that his own eyes were closed and he had been using his other senses to 'see' the house-elf. When the small creature climbed on top of him in order to reach his forehead easier Harry carefully opened his eyes.
'Hello, little one,' the wizard spoke softly so as not to startle the poor creature too much.
'Harry Potter!' the small creature cried. 'So long has Dobby wanted to meet you, sir... Such an honour it is...'
'So,' Harry raised a single eyebrow, 'am I what you expected?' The poor creature's eyes only widened and it looked like it might faint any second. 'Oh my you had better sit down you look like a light wind could throw you off.'
'S-sit down!' He wailed. 'Never ...never ever ...'
The boy felt terribly horrible for distressing the elf so much.
'I'm sorry,' he spoke quietly; 'I didn't mean to offend you or anything.'
'Offend Dobby!' Dobby gasped. 'Dobby has never been asked to sit down by a wizard -like an equal -'
'Trust me; I am not your usual wizard. There is no reason for you to get so flustered,' Harry tried to comfort the poor creature. 'Here let me,' the wizard waved his wand and cast some silencing wards around the room so as he did not have to worry about attracting undue attention.
Harry knew a little about creatures and knew how they would react to any negative words towards their family, so he held his tongue at the comment he was about to say.
'How can I help you?' he ventured instead.
Harry really started to question the poor elf's mentality. If he had not thrown up the silencing charm he thought the wails of gratitude would have brought half the school down on him.
'Harry Potter asks if he can help Dobby ... Dobby has heard of your greatness, sir, but of your goodness, Dobby never knew ...'
'Rubbish, the Harry Potter that you speak of is an ideal created by the rest of the wizarding world who just give into the media's sensationalism. I am no greater than any other wizard. Maybe just a touch more lucky,' the boy spoke his opinion of the matter.
'Harry Potter is humble and modest,' said Dobby reverently, 'Harry Potter speaks not of his triumph over He Who Must Not Be Named.'
'Voldemort?' questioned Harry.
Dobby pressed his hands hard against his bat-like ears. 'Ah, speak not the name, sir! Speak not the name!'
'Sorry,' Harry apologised. 'I know several people that fear his name. It is all right to be afraid.'
Dobby's eyes widened as he leant forward, 'Dobby heard tell,' he harshly whispered, 'that Harry Potter met the Dark Lord for a second time, just months ago ... Harry Potter escaped yet again.'
Harry gave a curt nod and indicated the elf to continue as the elf's eyes started to tear.
'Ah, sir, Harry Potter is valiant and bold! He has braved so many dangers already! But Dobby has come to protect Harry Potter, to warn him, even if he does have to shut his ears in the oven door later ... Harry Potter must not stay at Hogwarts!'
'Why am I different from all the other students?' Harry shot the elf a glare.
'Harry Potter came back to school. Dobby tried to warn Harry Potter!' This comment had Harry take a closer look at the creature in front of him. What he found made his eyes widen.
'It was you at my relatives' house the night when the wards failed,' something tickled the back of his mind when the elf nodded and then it came to him, 'and you're the one that sealed the barrier!'
Dobby's eyes were as wide as saucers as he trembled, 'Dobby knew not that his magic would not stop the great Harry Potter! Dobby sealed the platform barrier so that Harry Potter would miss the train,' tears welled up in his eyes but Harry waved them off.
'Don't worry there was no harm done. I made it here safe and sound,' Harry finished trying to ease the elfs troubles to little affect.
'Why did Harry Potter come back to school? Dobby was so shocked when he heard that Harry Potter was back at school he let his master's dinner burn! Such a flogging Dobby never had, sir ...'
Harry discarded the cruel images of the violence of the punishment. 'You wanted to keep me from coming back here?'
'Harry Potter must go home! Dobby thought that his Bludger would be enough to make -'
'That was your Bludger?' Harry said amusedly. 'Thanks, I needed the challenge, of something else trying to take off my head.'
'But Dobby never knew about the other Bludger! Dooby wanted to send you home, grievously injured, not kill you!'
Harry blushed at this comment, '...uh, that sort of was my fault-'
Dobby ignored him and continued his pleads, 'Dobby only wanted Harry Potter hurt enough to be sent home!'
'Oh, is that all? Is there a reason for this?'
'Ah, if Harry Potter only knew!' Dobby groaned, tears were now soaking his pillowcase. 'If he knew what he means to us, to the lowly, the enslaved, us dregs of the magical world! Dobby remembers how it was when He Who Must Not Be Named was at the height of his powers, sir! We house-elfs were treated like vermin, sir! Of course, Dobby, is still treated like that, sir,' he admitted as he scrubbed the tears from his face with a corner from the pillow case that he wore. 'But mostly, sir, life has improved for my kind since you triumphed over He Who Must Not Be Named. Harry Potter survived, and the Dark Lord's power was broken, and it was a new dawn, sir, and Harry Potter shone like a beacon of hope for those of us who thought the Dark days would never end, sir ... And now, at Hogwarts, terrible things are to happen, are perhaps happening already, and Dobby cannot let Harry Potter stay here now that history is to repeat itself, now that the Chamber of Secrets is open once more -'
'So there is a Chamber of Secrets and you say it was opened before? Can you tell me what you know?' Harry did not notice the elf reach for the water jug before it was too late. The elf smashed his head with it causing himself to fall off of the bed. A moment later water jug and elf reappeared from the edge of the bed.
'What on Earth was that for? Why did you just try to brain yourself?' to say that the wizard was shocked was an understatement.
'Dobby had to punish himself, sir, Dobby almost told Harry Potter, sir, of Dobby's family's secrets. Ah, sir, ask no more!' Dobby cried out loud. 'Dark deeds are planned in this place, but Harry Potter must not be here when they happen. Go home, Harry Potter. Go home. Harry Potter must not meddle in this, sir, 'tis to dangerous -'
'Dobby, if the person who has opened the chamber is specifically after me then it would only delay the inevitable,' Harry tried to reason with logic to the creature.
'Harry Potter must go home,' the house-elf sobbed.
'What about all of the other students here?' Harry questioned, 'I can't abandon them when I can help!'
'Harry Potter risks his life for the sake of others!' Dobby cried out in tormented bliss. 'So noble! So valiant! But he must save himself, he must, Harry Potter must not -'
Harry heard the sounds of people approaching. If he knew their magic it was his two favourite staff members.
'Dobby must go!' the house-elf cried before the loud crack that indicated its departure.
Harry let the silencing wards drop with barely the sound of a soap bubble popping.
The Hospital Wings door swung open as the headmaster carried in, what Harry knew in an instant was a petrified Colin Creevey. In a different situation might have gained some amusement in Dumbledore's attire, but he realised how tense the situation was. Professor McGonagall then moved through the doorway, carrying Creevey's feet. They both heaved him up onto a bed.
'Get Madam Pomfrey,' whispered Dumbledore, and Professor McGonagall hurriedly made her way to a doorway at the opposite side of the ward. Harry kept his breathing constant so as not to alert the staff to his consciousness though he knew that the old goat already knew such things. He would have been an idiot if he did not feel the brief tingle that indicated the silent status check. After an exchange of furious words the two witches made their way towards the other occupied bed.
The matron gasped. 'What happened?' she queried quietly when she caught sight of the frozen student.
'Another attack,' said Dumbledore. 'Minerva found him on the stairs.'
'There was a bunch of grapes next to him,' the Head of Gryffindor spoke. 'We think he was coming to see Potter,' she hissed.
'Petrified?' whispered Madam Pomfrey.
'Yes, but I shudder to think ... If Albus hadn't been on the way downstairs for hot chocolate, who knows what might have ...'
Harry felt exasperated when he felt the camera resting in the first year's hands. He felt a slight shift in the magic around Dumbledore as he prised the camera out of the boy's death grip. Apparently someone repaired the camera for the first year. He could almost bet money that it was Lockhart.
'You don't think he managed to get a picture of his attacker?' asked Professor McGonagall eagerly.
Though on closer inspection there seemed to be something odd about it...
'Good gracious!' Madam Pomfrey exclaimed.
Harry opened his eyes to see if he saw the same thing that he sensed. The acrid smell of burnt plastic confirmed that his other senses were completely accurate.
'Melted, all melted ...'
'What does this mean, Albus?' McGonagall sounded frightened.
'It means,' said Dumbledore, 'that the Chamber of Secrets is indeed open again.'
Harry was the only one that could sense the glee held by the headmaster's voice behind his façade. 'What could the headmaster gain from this?' the boy thought to himself. The staff's conversation ended soon after this statement and they all retired for the night. Harry wondered how it was only he who noticed the headmaster destroying the film.
Thankyou to everyone who reviewed you have spurred me to release this chapter so soon. I fear that the quick turn over might have lowered the quality of my work. And I also thank all my readers, for without you what point would a story have?
Elssha - my Lady, I always read the reviews regardless of their contant.
I had no intention as coming off so harsh in that statement, for that I appologise
to anyone I offended, it was not my intent
szelij - fear not, the resolutions to the problems you highlighted are already woven into the future plot. I guard my secrets well.
Dumbledore - what's an 'n' between friends?
Gryphnwng - I already have most of my key events mapped out. My stories hardly ever leave my mind. I have not set how many chapters I will have, nor hav I any idea of what the final word count is. Right now I am undecided as to whether I am going to break the story up so as I do a new story for each year or if I should just forge on with it only under the one name. There is no finale planned for my story. I have enough new ideas to continue with this well beyond graduation if I wanted.
hikari-kage, Melissa, wanderingwolf, sharade, Mikito, SilverKnight7, Eriee, and Angelis1 - thanks for the positive feedback
fullsailnate - I sent you an e-mail. The key to any character is the motivation. Readers don't need to know it but for writers in ensures the characters are consistant.
Zekkers - Dumbledore has other ways of controling people than magic, so I will say Snape has free will just no choice in what he can do.
Luthey1 - thanks
Star Mage1 - I am a unique case to my shrink, but I do not want to pull up any of his notes.
Thanks for the offer of beta-ing i'll send you the next chapter when I am finished with it.
To those inconcistancies that you highlighted, what I wrote is what I intended in those cases. The maths will become clear later on.
ManIACjAcKaL - *growl* stupid freaking tenses. Why is it that you had to highlight the largest problem I have in my writing?
Cataclysmic - you know I get a kick out of getting reviews to authors of stories I like (what is taking so long with the next chapter? *evil grin*)
**when reviewers pop up out of the woodwork**
JadedEros - *bashes head against keyboard repeatedly* You know I want to nibble on your neck, I just don't go for much blood.
Thanks again everyone for your support. I have gotten this far because of you.