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"…" Speech

Bold parseltongue

italics thoughts

Chapter 19:

After a good nights sleep, Harry felt nearly back to normal.

"I want to go to the feast," he told Madame Pomfrey as she straightened out his many sweet boxes. "I can, can't I?"

"Professor Dumbledore says you are to be allowed to go," she said sniffily, as though in her opinion Professor Dumbledore didn't know how risky feasts could be.

"Great!" exclaimed Harry and immediately jumped out of bed ready to run down to the great hall at once.

"Exactly where do you think you're going?" asked the nurse threateningly. "The feast doesn't start for another three hours. Potter, get back here!" When he didn't return, she raised her voice more. "This minute, if you please, Mr. Potter!"

Unfortunately for her, Harry was already out the door and down the stairs before she could even finish her sentence. Smirking in triumph he slowed down to a walk as he neared the dungeons (after all he had to think of his image; Slytherins had to keep their composure calm and impassive) and soon after reached his dormitories. Entering the common room, he saw that Draco and Blaise didn't seem to be there. Walking over to fellow Slytherins Louise Feral and Pansy Parkinson, he asked, "Hey, do any of you know where Blaise or Draco are?"

"Oh hi Harry! Sorry, I haven't got a clue. What happened by the way? Why were you in the hospital wing?" Pansy asked in a rush. Harry didn't like her nor dislike her, because he knew so little of her as it was.

"Oh, I was trying to steal a Philosophers Stone," said Harry offhandedly. "Long story short, damn Quirrell was there, distracted me. Got into a bit of an… argument per say."

"Wow, there's a Philosophers Stone at Hogwarts?" exclaimed Gregory Goyle coming over to where the other first years were. Harry hid his sneer at him. The boy seemed to be Slytherin material, but seemed to lack talent in the wits area. Though after all, appearances could be decieving. There could be more to the boy than met the eye. "Awesome, where is it?"

"It's been destroyed," said Harry, scowling full force this time.

"Tough luck," said Louise Feral sympathetically.

"Tough luck?" repeated Thomas Nott in disbelief. "A magical artefact that gives you unending life and gold has just been destroyed, and all you can say is tough luck!" Harry agreed with him mentally. The boy was definitely made for Slytherin, that was for sure.

"I prefer more of a challenge in life," drawled Louise. "I don't see the point of having everything handed to you. And remember, money isn't everything."

"No, but it's high up on the list," said Thomas Nott unhappily, still mourning the loss of his imaginary fame and fortune. Harry silently cheered for him.

"Well, my first priority is power," said Millicent Bulstrode. "You need power to rule the world." Harry smirked at this point. How interesting it was to see his fellow Slytherins in a debate. It was interesting hearing the different ambitions his class mates had.

"Yeah, but then someone is always going to overthrow you," pointed out Louise. Which is a very true fact, thought Harry. "It's much easier just to be second in command. You have a lot of power without having all the responsibility. If it all goes wrong you can probably slither your way out of the wreckage. Ruling the world isn't all it's cracked up to be."

"You just say that cause you know you'll never get to the top," said Millicent dismissively.

"Oh, like you would get anywhere with your looks!" replied Louise scathingly.

"Why you little--" growled Millicent drawing her wand and pointing it at the other girl.

"Ladies, ladies. Calm down," said Harry smoothly cutting into the argument. He really did not have time to waste on petty fights. "As fascinating as it is seeing you two blow each other up, why don't you try exercising some self control and refrain from fighting until you have answered my question. Does anyone know where Draco and Blaise are?"

"Sorry, Harry. The left a short while ago," said Vincent Crabbe. "Draco was muttering something about hanging Weasley out of a window upside down. That's all I know. They'll come to the feast though, so you may as well wait till then. Blaise would never miss a meal and tonight will be a real celebration. Slytherin have won the house cup by miles."

"With no thanks to you," muttered Pansy staring pointedly at Harry.

"What the hell do you mean by that, Parkinson?" asked Harry angrily rounding on her.

"Oh, just ignore her," said Thomas Nott. "She's only sulking about you missing the last Quidditch match while you were in the hospital wing."

"Oh yeah, I forgot. Awfully sorry about that," said Harry, nervously wondering what Flint would say, or do, to him for leaving Slytherin without a Seeker.

"Don't worry, we still won. Vincent and Gregory here took out every single player on the Hufflepuff team so they had to forfeit the match," said Louise looking extremely smug.

"I've got the whole game recorded on my Omniocculars if you want to see it," offered Millicent. "It was absolutely hilarious. The Hufflepuffs dropped out like flies."

"Yeah, yeah, enough about Quidditch," drawled Pansy. "It gets so boring after a while. I want to know more about this Stone."

"I agree. Come on Harry, out with it. What happened," demanded Gregory.

"I'm not saying," said Harry determinedly.

"Look Harry," said Louise sweetly with an evil glint in her eye. "We can do this the easy way, which is you telling us what we want to know, or there's the hard way, where we nag, curse, whine, threaten and scream at you until you give in."

"Maybe some other time," said Harry hastily." Gotta go, see ya at the feast!" With that he was out of the common room as fast as he could. To make sure his classmates couldn't follow him he sneaked down a parseltongue passageway and spent the remaining time until the feast lazing around in the pool.

Later on that evening Harry made his way down to the end-of-year feast alone. The hall was decked out in silver and green to celebrate Slytherin winning the house cup for the seventh year in a row. A huge banner showing the Slytherin serpent covered the wall behind the High Table.

When Harry walked in there was a sudden hush and then everybody started talking loudly at once. He slipped into a seat beside Draco and Blaise and tried to ignore the fact that people were standing up to look at him. Looking around himself, Harry happily noticed that Flint was sitting at the other end of the table. Harry really did not want to die a slow and painful death right now. And he had no doubt that the Fifth year Slytherin would arrange some kind of revenge. And unfortunately for Harry, he also had to deal with his classmates, who were looking at him with deadly determination.

"So Harry, you going to tell us more about what we discussed earlier today?" asked Louise with narrowed eyes. Harry grinned inwardly, knowing that she couldn't mention the Philosopher's Stone in front of the rest of the school so he was relatively safe from interrogation.

"I'm sorry, I have no recollection of talking about anything," replied Harry calmly.

"Don't try to slither your way out of this-" began Pansy before being interrupted by Dumbledore arriving. The babble from the different tables died slowly away and the students waited for the annual end of year speech. They were not disappointed.

"Another year gone!" Dumbledore said cheerfully. Harry mentally rolled his eyes. That old man was too cheerful for his own good. "And I must trouble you with an old man's waffle before we sink our teeth into our delicious feast. What a year it has been! Hopefully your heads are all a little fuller that they were… you have a whole summer ahead to get them nice and empty before the next year starts."

The Slytherins were by this time bored out of their minds and had turned to each other and started talking in quite voices. Their attention was immediately brought back though by what Dumbledore said next.

"Now, the house cup needs awarding and the points stands thus: in fourth place, Hufflepuff, with three hundred and twelve points; in third, Gryffindor, with three hundred and fifty-two; Ravenclaw have four hundred and twenty-six and Slytherin five hundred and seventy-two."

A storm of cheering and stamping broke out from the Slytherin table. Beside Harry, Draco was banging his goblet on the table and even elder Slytherins such as sixth year Daisy Thornbell relaxed their attitudes enough to show some pleasure through their usually frozen exteriors. Up at the staff Professor Snape was seen smirking and shaking hands with Professor McGonnagal with a very smug and self-satisfied look on his face.

"Yes, well done Slytherin," said Dumbledore obviously not meaning it. "But there are some last minute points to give out." The Slytherins quieted after this point. Harry smirked to himself. Oh he was going to enjoy what this old man was going to say next. "To Mr Harry Potter, for his acts of extreme bravery and pure nerve, I award Slytherin twenty points." Harry let his smirk loose as he spotted some of the Gryffindors scowling furiously towards him. "Mr Potter's courage, selflessness and chivalry are an example to us all." His smirk faltered slightly. Dumbledore was portraying him as a Gryffindor! Oh the shame!

After some halfhearted applause by some of Harry's fans in other houses the Hall fell silent, filled only with the angry mutterings from the Slytherin table. Harry had to give Dumbledore credit; in a couple of sentences he had managed to destroy all the triumph felt by the Slytherins. Even an extra twenty points were not enough to stem the malice that they now harboured towards the Headmaster. Their was a general consensus that Dumbledore had overstepped all boundaries by effectively calling one of their own a Gryffindor. For a Slytherin to be congratulated for such sickening emotions as bravery and selflessness was a deadly insult. Harry was generally well liked and his housemates took an attack on him very personally.

"What the hell is he playing at!" hissed Draco angrily to Harry. "He knows perfectly well that a Gryffindor wouldn't have lasted a second against Quirrell and Voldemort. It took Slytherin cunning and guile to survive at all let alone manage to drive Voldemort away. Slytherin power and ruthlessness were the things that got you through that. Not reckless bravery and acts of stupidity. A Gryffindor would have been pulverised within seconds."

Harry didn't even bother answering. He was busy glaring a Dumbledore with a look of the utmost loathing on his face. The aging headmaster looked slightly worried at seeing the hatred Harry directed at him and for once did the intelligent thing and shut up, letting the school get on with the feast.

By the end of the meal the Slytherins had regained their composure and were thoroughly enjoying exulting over the other houses at winning the house cup. By the time they were down in the common rooms they were fully recovered and were ready to celebrate all night long.

Drinks were served, lights dimmed and music turned up full volume. The students spent the rest of the night dancing and making out, for once letting down their guard. The few Slytherins that managed to drag themselves up to bed early in the next morning were completely satisfied and were content to plot revenge the next day, as soon as the room stopped spinning and they got rid of their dreadful headaches.

Harry had almost forgotten that the exam results were still to come, but come they did. Draco, Blaise and Harry had all done extremely well. Draco had got the highest mark in Potions and, surprisingly, Astronomy. Blaise had come top in Transfiguration, Care of Magical Creatures and came second to Harry in Charms. Harry had also got top marks in Defence, which was far and away his favourite subject. Their marks were not very surprising, Blaise's Metamorph abilities and her love for dangerous animals made her work hard in both Transfiguration and Care of Magical Creatures. Draco was Snape's favourite pupil so him getting any less than 100 would be close to impossible. All in all, the three Slytherins were happy, though Draco was sulking about coming second place to Granger, a bushy haired Gryffindor, in a couple of subjects.

All the other Slytherins had also done well, and even Vincent Crabbe managed to threaten and bribe his way up to a pass mark in most subjects.

And then it was the last day before the train ride home. Notes were handed out to all the students warning them not to do magic during the holidays, Draco caused one last scuffle in the hallways where a Hufflepuff ended up hanging upside down from the candelabra, and Harry spent his time frantically packing and trying to avoid Marcus Flint.

As the 1st years boarded the train, Harry, Blaise and Draco snuck of into a separate compartment by themselves. Pansy and Louise were still trying to get information out of Harry and at the moment were in their whining, whinging and nagging stage, and Harry felt as if he was going to crack any second. Luckily, the other Slytherins were too busy tormenting the first year Gryffindors to notice the trio sneaking off.

"At last, the holidays are finally here," squealed Blaise happily as she jumped up and down in excitement.

"Ow! Blaise, do you have to be so high pitched? It's making my head hurt," moaned Draco, rubbing his ears with a pained expression.

"Oh stop whining," said Blaise, waving her hand at him dismissively.

"I'm not whining!" glared the blonde, drawing himself up indignantly. "Malfoys never whine. We always behave with the utmost grace and style."

"Whatever, it sounded like whining to me," grinned Blaise.

"I'm telling you, I did not whine. I merely remarked that-"

"Will you two please stop bickering? Blaise, stop trying to get a rise out of Draco. His constitution can't take it," drawled Harry with a grin. Blaise just smirked back at him while Draco looked offended. Before the blonde could start ranting again, however, Blaise asked,

"What's wrong Harry? You've been looking depressed for ages. If you're worried about Flint, I know for a fact he's at the other end of the train making out with his Ravenclaw girlfriend."

"As much as I thank you for the fascinating info, I wasn't actually worried about Marcus at all. I was just thinking about the holidays and how utterly miserable I'm going to be," replied Harry looking extremely sorry for himself.

"With your relatives and all you mean? I don't know what the big deal is. You can just threaten them with magic. And don't forget you have Nemesis as well. I'm sure she'll bite them for you," said Blaise helpfully.

"What an excellent idea," grinned Harry, an evil smirk beginning to form on his face. "I can't believe I didn't think of that."

"Speaking of Nemesis," said Draco, who had finally decided to stop sulking. "Where is she by the way?"

"Here," replied Harry, lifting up his robe sleeve revealing a snoozing Nemesis curled around his arm.

"Aww, isn't she so sweet," said Blaise, making baby noises. Harry pulled the snake away from her in disgust.

"First of all, Nemesis is one of the most deadly snakes in the entire world. I would hardly call her sweet. And not only that, she's also the most annoying snake on the entire planet. She's extremely uncaring towards her friends," sniffed Harry. He was currently annoyed at the snake for not coming to visit him in hospital, and wouldn't accept Nemesis' excuse that she was having a girly chat with one of her friends in the Forbidden Forest the whole time Harry was ill. He was sure she had just been too busy being made a fuss of by Blaise to bother visiting.

"Well, anyway, I'm not going to have that good a summer, though I am hoping to bully my father into buying some tickets to a Quidditch match. You guys can come too if you want. I'll owl you during the holidays," interrupted Draco in his usual Malfoy drawl.

The rest of their time was spent eating sweets, talking about their holidays, and thinking up new pranks to play on Weasely. Harry was feeling much happier about the two months off from school now that he had Blaise's advice. He could get the Dursleys to do pretty much anything he wanted if he threatened them with magic. A smirk made its way onto his face. He was going to have a lot of fun with Dudley this summer. Watch out Dursleys, he thought maliciously as the train sped off to King's Cross to said people waiting for him.

Author's Notes: Okay, this story is finally over. Please review and tell me what you think. All you have to do is push the little button at the bottom of the screen. Anyway, thank you to all my reviewers who encouraged me along the way, and a special thank you to Jeni Black, my amazing beta reader. Without her, I would probably have given up on this story weeks ago. Ms. Jeni Black has given me lots of ideas over the past month or so, and has always encouraged me immensely. She is actually currently writing a fic of her own called 'Two Worlds One War' which is an excellent story and well worth reading, so check it out.

I will be writing a sequel to this story, but I first have to sort out my ideas, so it may come out in one week or five months. I really don't know. Anyway, keep a look out for it, and, if I receive suitable encouragement (cough review cough)

Beta Note: I think this will be the final conclusion of this story. I'm not sure if Ms. SR is going to release the sequel soon, but keep watching out for it. Thank you for all your wonderful reviews. Everyone clap for Ms. SlythsRule for her outstanding work in writing this story!