His fate was shifted.
"I'm really glad," Harry said. He smiled a true smile that made Draco a little giddy inside and held out a hand to lead him to Dumbledore with the news. Draco still hesitated a little, not because he was scared of holding Harry's hand, but because he was rather intimidated by the old Head Master.
"Yes, I suppose I am as well," Draco admitted and allowed himself to follow Harry into the main library. They dropped hands and pretended to be pissed off at each other as they dropped a couple of books with Prince and then left.
"Cool Whip," Harry said to the goblin.
"Where do you two think you're going?" Snape asked after appearing from the shadows.
"To speak with the Head Master," Harry replied defiantly.
"Sev, you ought to come up as well." Draco held out a hand to him as if inviting him, "I won't bite and neither will the Boy-Wonder."
Snape shot Harry a very cold look but accepted his godson's outstretched hand. They walked up the stair case and Draco kicked the door hard before anyone could knock. He didn't appear to be in pain, it was simply how he alerted the Head Master to his presence.
"Come in Mr. Malfoy," came the voice.
The door swung open thanks to unseen forces and Draco led the three in. Dumbledore looked at them with a tiny bit of surprise, obviously not expecting both Harry and Severus to be there.
"What can I do for the three of you?"
"Harry and I have found some information about the prophecy."
Severus Snape nearly gasped, he had been working on the prophecy, speaking with Amelia Tains specifically about it. She admitted the prophecy was in her family but she wasn't the one who wrote the message in Morag's blood.
They related the story about Pietro and Mikal and Draco told them he'd defected and planned to spy with his godfather. He explained to them about serving the Dark Lord unwillingly but before today he had no intention of helping the Light Side either, admitting he wasn't being particularly useful to Voldemort either.
Dumbledore asked why he'd defected and Draco grudgingly informed them about his mother and then with great nervousness and a silent conversation with glances with Harry he told them about the kisses.
Snape fell from his chair in shock, Dumbledore looked dead surprised but not as much so as Snape. Draco explained what they had spoken about earlier, the possibility of being mates in a more than friends way. He glazed over the Veela business and went right into what he expected needed to happen to prepare the castle for war.
"Do you believe it is necessary to employ a mercenary force to stand at the gates?" Draco asked the Head Master suddenly.
"I doubt we need mercenaries to protect us…unless you know some particularly good ones…?" Dumbledore peered at the heir.
"Some," Draco said vaguely and said something to Snape in a different language. He raised his brows and nodded, admitting it could be a good idea.
"Do you wish to share their names Mr. Malfoy? I won't have dark side criminals protecting my school," Albus said, searching the face of the young Veela.
"Navian Phillips and his small army are good friends of mine and would be willing to protect the school," he said.
Navian Phillips? Harry'd never heard of him.
"Mr. Phillips used to attend this school if I'm not mistaken, he and his twin Boden?"
Draco nodded, "Boden was killed last year by Death Eaters, Navian wouldn't help them or let any of his men help them either."
Dumbledore considered for a long time, "how much?"
"The Ministry will pay so it is no concern of ours," Draco answered with a smirk.
It took a few more minutes of questioning before Dumbledore agreed. "But I want to meet them before it is finalized."
"Of course," Draco complied. "They can come by tomorrow after dinner if you like, Navian is staying in Forgsmean on the Gole River, it won't take them long to come to Hogsmeade, a night's ride on horse-back. I'll call them tonight then." Draco spoke mostly to himself, calculating the time and distance on his long thin fingers.
"Then call," Dumbledore nodded but he didn't appear to like the idea.
Draco had just stood to go to the fire when a panicked knock interrupted. McGonaggle opened the door without being asked in. Cole and Quest and Duran were with her, glancing about nervously and looking exhausted. Minerva breathed heavily, barely registering anyone but the Head Master.
"Another student, Alisa Sharp, was found in the dungeons, she's been dead for a few hours," she said. "I've already told Sprout and Flitwick to take their houses to the Great Hall, Gryffindor is going as well. I asked Ms. Parkinson to lead Slytherin there."
Dumbledore stood, "Mr. Malfoy, see how fast Mr. Phillips can get here. After that come directly to the Great Hall," he swept from the room. "Robert, Justine, stay here to escort Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Potter to the Great Hall. Severus, Fred, Minerva, come with me," they left the room.
Quest went to Harry and put a hand on his shoulder and looked at him, making sure he was okay.
"What exactly has happened?" Draco asked, taking some powder from a bowl on the mantle.
"Alisa Sharp was found just a half-hour ago in Dungeon 8267, she was barely recognizable. We think now that there may be a werewolf or other creature free in the castle. She was pretty badly mauled, the prophecy was written again on the walls." Cole explained, blanching at the mental image.
Draco looked terrified, "we'll have to tell students not to travel alone for any reason." Draco threw the powder in. "Blood Shot Inn, Forgsmean on the Gole River, Navian Phillips."
A head appeared in the fire. He was long faced with a large nose and chin and narrow eyes half covered by very dark, wild hair. "Draco? What can I do for you?"
"Hogwarts needs your protection. The Ministry will pay you, I promise. Two students have been killed, how fast can you and your men get here?"
Navian looked shocked and then pensive, "ten hours if we move fast. Is it that bad?"
"Two students Navian, I don't want to be next."
"Of course," he said sharply, "you understand that if this is a creature of some sort we can track it."
Draco nodded, "I think Hound will be of great use to us, come soon."
"We'll be there by dawn," he nodded, "be careful young Master." He gave a little smile and Draco returned it.
"Be safe." Draco said and the head disappeared.
Cole and Quest watched the two carefully.
"Harry?" she put a little pressure on his shoulder.
"Is this really happening?" Harry asked, looking up at her feeling worn already.
Justine nodded, "It is."
"Drake," Cole addressed him, "do you remember the vortex in the ceiling a few days back?"
"Of course, I was nearly sucked in."
"Do you think it was an effect of the prophecy and what ever is in the castle?"
Draco thought for a long moment, "one of the students who was taken through said it was like they were in the bottom of the lake. Is it possible what ever this is, is getting in through the water, the pipes, like the Basilisk in second year? Or maybe they're using similar vortex's to get in." Draco began pacing, his mind working at an incredible rate. "They can be created through simple spells. So we should put up monitoring spells to catch that incantation. A simple Incanta Movolia Vurutix Aquate should do that. Dumbledore will have to activate it all over the castle. Harry," he faced the other boy, "you entered the Chamber of Secrets, maybe we can take a look, see if anything is living down there and using the pipes." he paused for a second, "the rainy season is coming. The prophecy said the devourers of doom come and go as easily as rain, what if they literally mean that each time it rains someone will die?" He threw open the curtains and they it was drizzling lightly. "Was it raining that day Morag was killed?"
Everyone thought, "a light rain, nothing proper but some rain."
Draco looked at them with worry.
"Pretty damn smart, aren't you Malfoy?" Harry said with a smile.
"I always have been." he answered smartly. "Send word to Dumbledore, get that monitoring spell up as soon as magically possible. Harry, you remember how to get into the Chamber?"
"Of course," he nodded and stood, almost expecting to leave that instant.
"We'll go tomorrow with Hound and Vengeance," he motioned for Harry to sit back down. Draco turned to Cole and Quest, "when you get to Dumbledore, with any luck the Heads of Houses will be with him. All the students will travel in groups of three or more. Professors and or ghosts will escort students to and from classes. Restrict students from leaving Common Rooms alone, that means tell the portraits, statues, walls, whatever to only let out students traveling in groups. After dinner the students will travel to their Common Rooms together, third years and below will travel in the middle of the pack, no straggling."
Harry was surprised by what a hard ass the blonde was.
"Where you involved in the restrictions during second year?"
"What? Oh, no, if I had been things would have been figured out a load faster," Draco looked pointedly at the Head Master's desk. "And not so many would have been petrified."
Harry smiled and motioned the strained Veela over to him. He came and seated himself on the arm of the chair Harry'd taken residency in, "you should be careful not to strain yourself, maybe some rest?"
Draco nodded, "I think I'll do that," he nodded in finality and stood, glancing around the room before placing a soft kiss on Harry's cheek and rushing out to be escorted to the Great Hall. Harry watched him go, a flipping feeling slowly draining from his stomach. Harry stood and followed the blonde down to where Quest was waiting for him, her wand drawn and dark eyes slipping over the shadows cast by the torches. She stood up straighter as Harry walked over.
"Robert and Draco just went to the Great Hall, pull your wand," she instructed, her eyes flashed towards the staircase they were to go down.
"Professor, aren't you overreacting just a little bit? It seems to me like only one murder would occur during each rain," Harry said.
"That is a theory, everything is a theory until it is admitted as a fact or pattern, even then it is all subject to change." She looked at him through the corner of her eye, "Auror training from, my nearly fifty years ago."
"Forty seven if my math is correct," she smiled, "I'm growing older every day Mr. Potter. I understand," she stopped him before he mentioned Dumbledore, "that Albus is upwards of a hundred, but that doesn't mean I'll live so long," she tilted her head towards him slightly, "teaching is the best way, I think, to end up killing yourself." She laughed and then stopped in an instant, she turned and Harry saw someone walking through the darkness at them. "Stupefy!" the spell exploded towards the figure and hit them dead centre. She rushed over and looked down at them, then kicked them hard in the side, "Severus, you idiot. Eneverate."
He grunted and stood, "Justine, I was just coming from the corridors on a sweep, not tracking or stalking anyone, but then you so kindly attacked me-"
"You deserved it, Severus," she answered and went back to Harry's side and they continued down the hall.
"Excuse me Professor Quest but shouldn't you and Mr. Potter be headed towards the Great Hall?"
"We are Severus," she said and looked around a corner then snapped back and made a shushing motion to them. Snape's brow furrowed heavily, "what?" he mouthed.
She motioned for them to listen and Harry heard the voices.
"Where did you put our wands?" a deep voice asked.
"I-in m-my b-b-bag, s-sir, just a-a-as you a-a-a-asked," a higher but still male voice answered.
"Good," it stopped and they heard what sounded like someone sniffing the air. "We have company," the voice growled and they heard footsteps coming towards them and the sound of muscles and bones changing shape.
Quest moved back from the corner a little, her wand held out to stun the person. Around the corner came a huge navy creature, sort of dog-like but with a distinctly reptilian quality. Scales instead of fur but the build and shape of a large dog, one eye was a white blue with a blackened scar cutting right across it. The other was a vicious red color, blood running just beneath its surface.
"Stupefy," she yelled and the spell rebounded from the creatures' hide.
"Who are you?" it asked in a rough and deep voice.
"Professor Justine Quest of Hogwarts School of Withcraft and Wizardry, who are you?"
"Hound," he answered and began to change back into a human, "I apologize for the scare, Slink and I have come from Navian Phillips to make a blanket map of the school. We were taken though, somewhere we didn't expect and have been trying to find our way to Dumbledore for quite some time now, since just after Master Draco contacted Navian." As a full human Hound was upwards of six feet and as broad as Hagrid, his hands were huge, larger than Harry's head most likely.
"We're going there too, come with us," Quest looked around the corner and saw a very small man, no taller than three feet and not much wider around than Harry's thigh, standing there with a twitching lip and satchel around his shoulder.
"Slink," Hound barked and the man was immediately at his side. "We've found ourselves some guides," he said and jerked his head to indicate for the small man to follow him.
"Y-yes s-s-s-ir," he nodded and took up a pace on the huge man's heals.
"'t's what I said, sn't it?" he grumbled, using his good eye, still a wicked red color, to look at the Boy Hero.
"Draco said you and someone named Vengeance would come with us to the Chamber of Secrets tomorrow," he supplied quickly so as not to seem nosey.
"Vengeance Calthine?" he asked.
"There's more than one?" Harry was surprised, he did not think it a common enough name for there to be two.
Hound nearly snarled at him, "Vengeance is a dangerous beast," he snarled and looked over his shoulder at Slink, "He was attacked by that," he paused to bear his teeth, "creature."
Slink nodded and turned his head to show a trio of very deep scars running from somewhere in his hair down below the neckline of his shirt. "V-v-v-veng-geance i-is a-a-a w-wicked b-bitch," he spat.
"'t's true," Hound said. Harry looked up to see the icy blue eyes swivel, like Mad-Eye's fake eye, backwards in the socket, a sort of gory red colored eye replaced it and the man blinked a few times to adjust to seeing from two eyes. "Where is this Great Hall anyway?" he asked loudly.
Quest pointed at the large doors up ahead of them, "just in there."
They walked through the doors and immediately every professor had their wands pointed at them. "It's just us," Snape said, still sour at being attacked by his aunt. Hound bristled lightly and Harry saw his skin begin to scale up, darken and separate out.
"Hound," Draco removed himself from a crowd of younger students, "I didn't expect to see you so soon."
"Navian sent us ahead to map out the area, make sure we have guards patrolling every where," he said and held out an arm to embrace the Veela boy.
"They are on their way?"
"Aye," the man nodded and then lowered his voice, "the other boy said you thought Vengeance would accompany us to the Chamber of Secrets."
"A wicked creature, I know, but the Calthine best, you cannot deny that. Never has a better shot existed and we need that now. Hate as much as you want but please, for me, we need to stop these attacks before I or my friends are hurt."
Hound seemed to think it over before he nodded and stood straighter, "what food can you offer us?"
"Dinner was just being served," Dumbledore said and the tables moved from the walls and students began to seat themselves. Harry smiled at Draco during the great confusion and no one noticed when Draco smiled back and then took Hound and Slink to the Slytherin table where they sat on either side of him.
Harry found Hermione and Ron sitting with Neville, Ginny, Seamus, Dean, Luna and the Creevey brothers. "Hey," he slid in beside Ron and filled his goblet with warm cider. "Are you all okay?"
"We're fine Harry, it's so scary though, two students dead, first Morag then Alisa, it's just so horrible Harry," Hermione sounded incredibly exhausted.
"I know," he patted her arm, "Malfoy called in some mercenaries to protect the school, I think we'll figure this all out and stop them."
"I hope so too," Ginny said and began to poke at her corn.
I'm sooooooooooooo sooooooooooooo sooooooooooooooo sorry for how long this took to update and I feel like the worst author to ever log onto fanfiction. I got wrapped up in Rapid Expansion and Turning you into Someone New. My two new stories as well as school started and it got crazay. Damn private school.
I really hope you liked this chapter, review if you did and I will be inspired to write more, it was long and maybe the next one will be long too.