This is the last chapter for Heir of Blood. Finally! I do plan on doing year three for those who are curious, though I'm not quite sure when I'll get that started. Hopefully soon. Enjoy! I'm off to work on Deceptive Appearances now.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter and can't get money for this, but I can make him into a Mafia Prince.
Warning: Some chapters (the ones including pranks and mimes) might not be appropriate to read at work. Laughter may ensue leading your co-workers to see you as even more insane than they previously thought.
Chapter 21: The Worry of Parents
Harry continued to follow the phoenix after the bird had flown them from the Chamber and didn't know whether to be surprised or not when it lead him to the Headmaster's office. The gargoyle guarding the door sprang open at their approach and Harry carefully maneuvered the two floating bodies onto the revolving staircase before him. At the top of the stairs Harry gave a brief knock before pushing the door open to allow the phoenix through. Following the phoenix in with the girls he watched as the bird dropped the Sorting Hat back on its shelf before settling upon a perch near the Headmaster's desk.
"Ginny" the sob had Harry looking towards Mrs. Weasley who was encased in her husband's arms "oh Merlin, no!"
"She's alive" Harry said wearily "she just fainted. Granger's been petrified."
Before Harry could do or say anything more he found himself in Mrs. Weasley's arms and it was all he could do not to drop the levitated girls to the floor. The sword on the other hand, did go clattering to the floor since he didn't really wish to stab Mrs. Weasley with it. He didn't think that would go over too well and he actually liked the woman even if she could be a little overbearing with her mothering.
"You saved her" Mrs. Weasley was sobbing "you saved my daughter. How did you do it?"
Professor McGonagall managed to find her voice, her hand still clutching at her chest from the shock "I think we'd all like to know that."
Professor Dumbledore had remained silent throughout all this, but his twinkling eyes encouraged Harry to speak even as the headmaster called for house elves to bring refreshments. He must have also told one of the batty creatures to send for Madam Pomfrey, for she was soon there to take charge of Ginny and Hermione, whisking them away to the hospital wing. For a moment Mr. and Mrs. Weasley hesitated before following after their daughter, deciding they could get the story later from the professors.
Left alone with the two professors, Harry began to tell an edited version of his story and what he faced down in the Chamber of Secrets. There were some things that had occurred that he didn't want to reveal, and others that would have to be filled in by Ginny when she woke up. By the time Harry had finished his story, McGonagall was pale and began to give him a stern dress down on his actions. Harry just stood there and calmly took the lecture, it would be nothing compared to the one he would later get from his father and Trevor once they got done worrying over him.
Finally Dumbledore interrupted "you know Minerva, I think all this merits a good feast. Might I ask you to go and alert the kitchens?"
"Right" professor McGonagall said crisply "I'll just leave you to deal with Potter then. Do you want me to send for Severus as well? He is the head of Slytherin house after all and should be present to deal with his student."
"Severus is still locked away in his lab" Dumbledore informed his deputy headmistress "I believe he can be filled in later."
"Sit down Harry" Dumbledore said once McGonagall had left "you shall not be getting in trouble from me. In fact I believe you have earned a Special Award for Services to the School for your heroic actions tonight."
Harry resisted telling him that there had been no thoughts of heroics in his mind when he went down to the Chamber, only revenge for Blaise.
"I would also like to thank you" Dumbledore continued "you must have shown me real loyalty down in the Chamber. Nothing but that could have called Fawkes to you."
This time Harry had to resist raising an eyebrow and snorting. Showing loyalty to Dumbledore? He hadn't been trying to do that, he had been trying to piss Riddle off, but he wasn't going to knock whatever had brought Fawkes to his aide. It was because of the phoenix that he was still alive to receive whatever punishment his father would choose to hand out when he got home. Thanks to Fawkes his father would not be burying another child. A phoenix really was a handy creature to have around.
Harry and Dumbledore spent a good twenty minutes after that touching on some of the things Riddle had said to Harry while down in the Chamber, even touching briefly on the irony of Harry pulling Godric Gryffindor's sword out of the Sorting Hat and how the Potters had been Gryffindors for ages. The Sorting Hat of course felt the need to put in a smug comment at this point, something about how a sword didn't make a house, but to Harry's relief the Hat did not mention Slytherin's daggers. Harry hadn't minded handing the sword over to Dumbledore, but he wanted to keep the daggers; they were a fine piece of metal work and he felt he deserved a souvenir from this adventure.
Finally Dumbledore called a halt to their meeting and began rummaging through a drawer "what you need, Harry, is some food and sleep. I suggest you go down to the feast while I write to Azkaban—we need our gamekeeper back."
Glad for the suggestion, the tea and biscuit he had eaten during the talk hadn't done much to fill him, Harry got up and walked towards the door after bidding goodbye to Fawkes. The phoenix trilled warmly back at him as Harry reached for the handle, but the door opened before he had the chance to do more than touch the knob. Lucius Malfoy stood there, looking every inch the pureblooded aristocrat he was, and crouching at his feet was the annoying house-elf from the hospital wing. Harry decided to remain and see what happened.
"Good evening Lucius" Dumbledore greeted the man pleasantly as he looked up from his searching.
"So" Lucius drawed, ignoring the pleasantries "you've come back. The governors suspended you, and yet you still saw fit to return to Hogwarts."
"Well, you see Lucius" said Dumbledore, smiling serenely "the other eleven governors contacted me today. It was something like being caught in a hailstorm of owls, to tell the truth. They'd heard that Arthur Weasley's daughter had bee killed and wanted me back here at once. They seemed to think I was the best man for the job after all. Very strange tales they told me, too...Several of them seemed to think that you had threatened to curse their families if they didn't agree to suspend me in the first place."
A slight smirk seemed to twist Lucius' lips as if he had heard or found something to be glad about, but didn't want to show it. Harry found it to be an odd reaction for a man who had just been accused of threats in such a manner.
"So—have you stopped the attacks yet" Lucius was sneering as he talked, but there seemed to almost be a hopeful note in his voice "have you caught the culprit?"
"We have" Dumbledore was giving off one of his twinkling smiles.
"Well" said Lucius "who was it?"
"The same person as last time Lucius" said Dumbledore "but this time, Lord Voldemort was acting through somebody else. By means ofa diary."
As he spoke, Dumbledore watched Lucius closely. Lucius almost seemed to flinch in pain at the mention of the diary and a slight movement glimpsed out of the corner of his eye had Harry looking at Dobby. The elf was doing making discrete gestures before smacking himself in punishment. First Dobby pointed at a book on Dumbledore's desk that looked remarkably like a diary, then at Mr. Malfoy, and then clutched one boney arm as if in pain. Then Dobby began to hit himself on the head all over again, mouthing 'bad Dobby' silently.
Dumbledore's voice brought Harry's attention back to the conversation going on around him "A clever plan, because if Harry here along with Miss Granger hadn't interfered, we would have suffered the loss of Miss Weasley and Voldemort would have found his way back into this world. Yet, fortunately Riddle's memories have been wiped from the diary and it is now just another, harmless book."
Lucius' face had become a set mask, though he appeared to be slightly paler than he had at the beginning of the conversation. Dobby kept up his miming act and something clicked in Harry's mind as he watched Dumbledore casually facing off with Lucius. Dobby was clenching his arm and pointed to Lucius, meaning it was something the Lord Malfoy had done. In reading up on Voldemort's last reign of terror Harry had read about the Dark Mark. So Lucius had the Dark Mark and was connected to the diary, had been the one to slip it to Ginny. The only time that could have happened would have been the day of the run-in outside of Flourish and Blotts in Diagon Alley. Lucius had picked a book up out of Ginny's cauldron and had probably slipped the diary in with the rest of her things then. Lucius Malfoy was slick, none of them had caught the action or suspected he was being anything more than disdainful to the Weasleys.
In the meantime, Dumbledore had obviously caught onto the little elf as well for he warned Lucius "I would advise you, Lucius, not to go giving out any more of Lord Voldemort's old school things. If any more of them find their way into innocent hands, I think Arthur Weasley, for one, will make sure they are traced back to you…"
Lucius stood for a moment, and Harry distinctly saw his right hand twitch as though he was longing to reach for his wand. It was a movement he had seen before, but then those people were usually reaching for a knife or a gun. What puzzled him was that at the same time Lucius desired to reach for a weapon, he was fighting that same desire. Harry could understand fighting against the action itself, but the desire to do something? It was almost as if he didn't want to desire the urge to reach for his wand.
"We're going, Dobby" Lucius finally said, before stalking from Dumbledore's office.
For a moment Harry watched them go before he turned to professor Dumbledore "I'll see you at the feast, Headmaster."
Without another word, Harry finally left the office and moved swiftly after Lucius Malfoy. Dobby's actions coupled with those of Lucius had given Harry a pretty clear idea of what was going on.
"Mr. Malfoy" he called as the man came into sight "wait a moment."
Impatiently, the Malfoy Lord stopped and waited for Harry to speak again.
"Trevor seemed to have held you in respect once" Harry stared Lucius in the eyes "I could tell that much by the way he addressed you in Diagon Alley. I can also tell you are fighting against yourself. He is nothing but a bodiless spirit right now, free yourself from him while his hold is still weak enough for you to resist."
"What do you know of anything, Mr. Potter" Lucius' voice bordered on sneering, he was fighting himself again.
"I have faced him," Harry kept his voice neutral "I have denied him, and I have defeated him. That is what I know."
Lucius stared at Harry for a long moment, obviously wanting to say something, then nodded moments before the sneer twisted his aristocratic features once more. With a twirl of his cape, Lucius Malfoy left the school, Dobby hurrying to catch up with his master's longer stride. A painful clench of his stomach reminded Harry of the feast that was being served and he decided to slide into the Great Hall and grab some food before heading down to the Hospital Wing, he wanted to be there when Blaise woke up.
… … … … …
Hermione became aware slowly, knowing that she was in the hospital wing, but not sure how she had gotten there. The last thing she remembered was tripping and seeing a pair of great big yellow eyes in a puddle of water. The basilisk! Harry! Ginny! Her eyes flew open and she looked wildly around for a professor or Madam Pomfrey only to find Harry standing next to her bed.
"Next time you're on your own Granger" Harry said with a smirk before walking away to sit next to Blaise's bed.
Hermione could only stare after him in disbelief before she realized it was the closest she would ever get to a thanks from Harry Potter.
… … … … …
Harry stepped off the Hogwarts Express with Blaise at his side, Trevor practically hovering in worry behind them. He had been treating Blaise with kid gloves ever since she had been revived and it was really starting to annoy the girl. Trevor had actually wanted to bring her home the moment she had been revived, especially since exams had been canceled, but Blaise had thankfully managed to win that round. And speaking of worried fathers, his was coming right towards them. Harry suppressed a wince, he knew Trevor had sent an owl home about everything that had happened and knew Manuel would have come directly to the school if he had been able to find it by himself. Thankfully Vasile and Nara didn't know where Hogwarts was as they had attended Durmstrang and Beauxbatons respectively.
"You're alright" Manuel crushed Harry in a firm hug, ignoring the crowd moving around them "let me look you over. You are grounded for putting yourself in such danger. I'm restricting you to the grounds for the summer. You're not going anywhere without at least a dozen guards. I should never let you leave the house again…"
"Fuck the summer" Manuel's thoughts changed course "you're grounded for life for doing such a foolish thing. I'm not letting you out of my sight. You'll probably run into another damn thirty foot snake, or something equally deadly…"
Manuel continued along in this vein even as they left platform 9 ¾ for the muggle world, listing all sorts of crazy things he could get into, as he made sure to keep Harry close. Harry knew his dad was just ranting right now and would calm down after awhile, but he would probably still be grounded for a bit. He was also hoping the dozen guards was just his father talking in excess, having them around would certainly hamper his pranking possibilities and limit the mischief he could get into with Blaise. Manuel kept scolding Harry even after they had climbed into the back seat of the limo his father had decided to come in that day and Harry listened with a smile, curling up at his father's side to enjoy the ride home.
Well, that tied off nicely and I got to put Manuel in father mode. Thanks for the reviews everyone! I love 'em!
Sky 05: The daggers were basically the Hats way of being a smart ass on Harry asking for something more useful.
Posted On: August 17, 2005