The new school year arrived quickly for Harry, who was still confined to his bed by Madam Pomfrey. On the night the students were to arrive at the castle, she bustled into the infirmary carrying a vial of pale white liquid, which to Harry looked like a cloud swirling in a crystal.
"Finally!" the nurse exclaimed, putting the tip of her wand at the brim of the opened vial. The substance was sucked into it like a vacuum, and her wand started to glow very faint silver. "This will shrink the wings for a while. Come to me before breakfast in exactly a month's time!"
She lowered her wand to the joints on Harry's right wing, and the silver substance seemed to spread through the bones and feathers. A feeling seemed to burn his shoulder blade, and it spread through his back. The wing shuddered, and then drew itself into Harry's back, before the process was repeated with the other wing.
"Join your friends in the Great Hall, but don't forget to come back in a month!" Madam Pomfrey reminded him, handing him a shirt and robe. Harry pulled them on and walked as fast as he could to the Great Hall. He searched the Gryffindor table for a tall red-haired boy and a bushy-haired girl, who were currently sat near the front table. He rushed over and sat himself down on the bench.
"Evening all!" he greeted.
"Harry!" Hermione squealed, throwing her arms around him. "How are you?"
"Fine but I need to show you both something soon. Alright there Ron?"
"Alright Harry! Missed you over the holidays, it was torture! Glad to say I don't have Divination this year. Looking forward to Defence though, especially if he is going to be teaching it!"
Ron pointed up at the staff table. Harry followed his gaze and almost jumped in his seat when hazel eyes met his green ones, and a warm smile was sent his way.
The doors into the Hall opened, and Professor Mcgonagall strode in, leading a crowd of eleven year olds to the other end of the Hall. Harry looked at some of them; some were small and timid, others seemed proud and confident. But his eyes didn't stay on the first years at the front; rather they strayed toward a tall boy who stood at the back near the Slytherin table.
He was about Harry's height, maybe taller. He had light brown, almost blonde hair, which had been magically gelled into a spiky position. He wore the black robe that was required of all students, plus a black cloak, a black jumper and trousers. Around his neck was a gold chain, and on the end was a beautiful cross, with emeralds encrusted into the horizontal beam. His skin was smooth and tanned, and a scar rested around his forehead, reminding Harry slightly of a dark halo.
He was gorgeous!
When the small first years had been sorted, Dumbledore then turned his attention to the boy.
"As well as the new first years, I would like you all to meet Francis Abelen! He will be joining the sixth years in their lessons this year. His family comes all the way from Germany, and his previous school was Durmstrang. Come forward Mr. Abelen."
'Francis' walked slowly to the stool, where he picked up the hat and placed it on his head. He must've been very interesting, for it was a whole five minutes before the hat screamed "GRYFFINDOR!" and Harry's table burst into applause.
He wasn't the only one who was staring. Most of the girls from every table (and even some boys) were staring at Francis. He sat down next to Hermione and opposite Harry. Hermione tensed noticeably.
"Good evening Harry," the new boy greeted. "I'm sure you heard the Headmaster, but for introduction's sake, I'm Francis. I'm glad to finally meet you."
"Hi Francis, nice to meet you too. These are my best friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley."
"Nice to meet you both," Francis said, shaking Ron's hand and kissing Hermione's, making her blush and giggle.
There was a chorus of delighted and shocked gasps from the first years as food materialised on their plates, and everyone dug into their food; everyone, Harry noticed, but Draco Malfoy, who was staring coldly at Francis. His silver eyes were narrowed in disgust, while Francis's were sparkling with laughter.
Harry took in the delicious chocolate brown that were the new boy's eyes. They were light, like light chocolate with dark chocolate chips mixed in.
Harry's stomach growled at him angrily, and he tucked in to his dinner, catching up with his best friends as he ate.
"I'll take it you knew about the new Minister for Magic?" Hermione asked after swallowing a piece of chicken.
"There's a new minister?" Harry managed after a choking fit. "Who? Is he better than Fudge?"
"Rufus Scrimgeour, and of course he's better than Fudge! Anyone could be! He's the former Head of Auror Office, so he's had practise at fighting dark magic. He might actually be useful."
"I wouldn't bet on that."
They all turned to look at Francis.
"My mother apparently knew him as a child. She said he's all for covering up just to rid people of their fears, which may seem like a good thing, but I think, and I'm sure you'll agree with me, that's just injecting false hope into the countries."
"Francis has a good point," Hermione agreed. "We need a Minister who is open about the truth, and won't cover up or lie."
When the remains of the students' dessert had vanished from their plates, professor Dumbledore stood up from his seat at the staff table.
"Now that you're all full with what I'm sure was delicious food, I'd like to say a few words.
"First of all, I'd like to welcome back the old students, and welcome the new. I'd also like to Professor Slughorn, who will be taking up the position of Potions Master. Which now means Professor Snape will be taking the of Defence Against the Dark Arts post."
A short and extremely fat man stood up to the applause, as well as several people's protests at Snape.
"Second, I'd like to warn you all that the security at Hogwarts will be tightened. There is to be absolutely no straying from the castle or into the forest" (he looked at Harry over his glasses) "or wandering the castle at night. This is for your own safety. Points will be taken from your house in the area of fifty per student found, and detentions will be given. As I'm sure you all know, Lord Voldemort has returned to power, and gaining in strength. While I don't want any of the students to get paranoid, I do however ask that you keep a sharp eye for any suspicious behaviour from friend or foe, and report any such behaviour to your Head of House, a prefect, or myself. Dark and dangerous times await us, and it is during these times that we will unite the houses.
"On lighter notes, our caretaker, Mr. Filch," he raised his at the horrid caretaker, and everyone gasped, "has asked me to say there will be a ban on all Weasley joke items."
"What happened to his hand?" Harry hissed. Dumbledore's right hand was withered and black, looking like it had been pulled from a sea of flames. Dumbledore, having heard the muttering, shrugged so his violet sleeve fell over the hand.
"However, the mountains and oceans of sleep await you in the form of a comfy bed. Take yourselves to your respected houses and rest up for your lessons tomorrow. So, with those final words, I bid you goodnight."
The old man bowed as the students stood from their seats and left the hall. Hermione took the lead of the Gryffindors, and led them up to their tower, and told them the password, while Ron held back and walked with Harry.
Five minutes later, Harry was getting changed into a spare pair of shorts and a large black t-shirt, and climbing into bed. He felt soft pain spread through his shoulder blades, then quickly die as it tried to press into his lungs. Seamus had finished pulling off his jeans and climbed into bed, blowing out the last candle.
Harry lay awake, however, and his mind lingered on the new boy, Francis. Harry had feelings for him he'd never had for anyone else other than Cho. He was almost positive he wasn't gay, but then again he hadn't really given it much thought.
There was a shuffling from the bed on his right; Harry assumed Francis had turned over. But no more than five seconds later, there was the quiet shuffling of feet, which led the walker right up to Harry's bed. Harry waited to see if anyone poked his head though, but nothing happened
Harry opened his curtains slightly, and peered out. Francis had his head in his hands, and was staring out at the grounds.
"Beautiful aren't they?" he whispered, not bothering to look at Harry. "They're brilliant at the Japanese school. Cherry blossom trees surrounding the lake, so the leaves fall into the lake at fall, beautiful sight. My friend from Durmstrang, Adolf, would've loved this place though."
"Adolf?" Harry questioned.
"Yeah. Well, actually, now it's Adalwolf. Noble wolf…it seemed almost impossible to his father. Wolves aren't to be noble, especially of the were kind…"
"But you don't agree with that?"
"Half-bloods are just strong as pure-blooded wizards, stronger even." He looked at Harry with a smirk. "They have the strength of both, in a sense, and if they're half muggle, knowledge to survive without magic. Useful…especially in these times."
"Sounds like you've given this much thought," Harry whispered in reply.
"Well when your father forces you too…"
The pause was unbearable. Harry was waiting for Francis to continue, listening to any word that would spill from his mouth.
"As long as he still cares, I suppose. That's all that matters."
"It's not something I want broadcast around the castle Harry."
"Trust me, no one will know."
Francis' gaze hardened at the window, and he raised the left sleeve of his pyjama top.
"Wake up Draco!"
The blonde-haired Slytherin groaned and turned over so his face was buried in his pillow. As a reply, Blaise pulled his bedcovers off.
"Blaise!" Draco moaned, curling himself into a ball (and Blaise noticed that his boxers were pulled tighter around his thighs as he did so)
"Draco, get out of bed NOW!"
"Alright, alright! Just don't turn into my mother?"
"That would never happen and you know it! I'm not that uptight," Blaise joked as Draco pulled himself into a sitting position. "Seems Hogwarts is warmer than your Manor."
"Not too much. Get me my bloody clothes would you?"
"But I prefer you like this!"
Draco pulled a face at his friend and flipped him off, before standing and searching for a sweater, some jeans and his school robe. He pulled them on, ignoring Blaise's admiring looks at his body.
"Must you stare at me while I'm getting dressed, Blaise?"
"Yes. What's with you and that Francis guy, by the way? I saw the way you two looked at each other last night!"
"Old rivalries, that's all. No need to get involved.
"So Abelen and Malfoy hate each other then. Then why did he smirk at you?"
"Favour of the Dark Lord. His father is quite close to Voldemort. So is my father, but Richard Abelen is even closer due to old Abelen/Gaunt relationships. Don't ask how Voldemort is Gaunt because I have no idea."
Draco shrugged on his robe and led the way up to the Great Hall, where they took their usual seats at the Slytherin table.
"Tell anyone what I just told you and I swear to god, a punishment from Voldemort will be the least of your problems!" the blonde hissed as breakfast appeared in front of him.
"Don't worry I won't. HOLY SHIT!"
"Very much," Blaise whined, rubbing his shin. "Bitch."
"I heard that Zabini!"
Ron collapsed into one of the comfy chairs in the Gryffindor common with a long groan. Hermione sat herself gently down on the couch, where Harry and Francis joined her.
"Today was one of the worst starts to a year I've ever had. EVER! And I came from Durmstrang."
"Did you hear Snape going on about the Dark Arts?" Harry asked, looking at his friends with a look of disgust. "It's one thing to respect them as your enemy, but the way he was saying it! I could've sworn there was a purr in his voice!"
"He sounded like you from the DA last year," Hermione spoke up. "No, listen. You said it wasn't just memorising a load of spells and throwing them at him. You said it took all your knowledge and guts, pretty much what Snape was saying, it all comes down to quick thinking and fast reactions."
Harry frowned, but felt honoured that Hermione remembered his words like she had the words from a textbook, so didn't argue back.
"What's the DA?"
Forgetting that Francis was new, Harry explained their previous Defence teacher, but was interrupted by an owl landing on his shoulder. The writing was thin and slanting, and written on sparkling gold ink.
would to start private lessons with you this Saturday. Apologies for
not telling you this before term started, but as you know you were
not in a state for conversation. I will discuss what you are to see
and learn in our first lesson. Kindly come to my office at eight pm
sharp. I hope you have enjoyed your first day back at school.
"Lessons?" Francis muttered as he finished reading over Harry's shoulder. "What could they be about?"
"Maybe he's teaching Harry jinxes that Death Eaters wouldn't know about, and wouldn't be ready for?"
"Ron, the only magic Death Eaters aren't aware of is extremely illegal, it goes beyond the boundaries of Dark magic. No, he's probably just teaching Harry advanced defensive magic."
Harry wasn't too sure himself.
P.S. I do enjoy Acid Pops.
Later that night, Harry was walking down the second floor corridor toward Moaning Myrtle's bathroom under his cloak. He was happy to see there were very few teachers, and no sign of Filch or his cat on that floor.
He pushed the door open gently, shutting it behind him as he walked to the false sink; surprised to see it was already open. He lowered himself into the entrance of the pipe and let go.
He landed with a thud in the narrow entrance tunnel. Harry pulled his wand out and muttered "Lumos" before heading down the dark tunnel. A little way down, the horrible crunch echoed against the walls as he stepped in what was left of a rat. Looking down to avoid any more cracks, Harry turned round a dark bend in the tunnel.
Something huge lay in front of Harry. He flung his arm over his eyes to hide them, but remembered the skin left behind by the horrible Basilisk he, Ron and Gilderoy Lockheart in his second year. Moving around it, Harry dodged past the boulders form the cave in. He crept around bends, hoping to find the final door to the main Chamber, which finally loomed into view. The emeralds in the snakes' eyes had vanished, so, using his wand light, Harry squinted to make the snakes seem real.
"Open!" he hissed in parseltongue.
The smell of old blood flooded Harry's nostrils, but it faded after a moment. He was standing at the end of the long chamber, which was lit by candles on the towering pillars, held in the mouths of the snakes. The pillars seemed to tower into nothingness.
The Chamber of Secrets itself loomed into view, where the statue of Salazar Slytherin stood, staring down at him, and his face still as monkey-like as ever. In the centre of the room, dressed in only a pair of trainers, a short tank top and his boxers, was Francis.
Harry stared at the boy as he punched and kicked the air with professional martial art attacks, straining his muscles to breaking point. Sweat ran down his back and over his legs. Harry's eyes followed one drop from the boy's blonde hair, down his back until it finally stopped at the waistband of his grey boxers.
The raven-haired boy walked forward, making sure his footsteps echoed through the corridor. Francis slipped to the ground as he failed to perform a ten hit combo, and then turned to look at Harry.
"Oh, Harry, it's only you!" he gasped.
"Only me? Yes it's me on my own but only me? I'm insulted."
"I thought you hated people treating you famous?"
"I do, but I love annoying people."
"Whatever. Anyway, what are you doing here?"
"I'm here to sort out this chamber. I thought I could use it to practise my spells and jinxes. I'm not sure I need to ask what you were doing, but I will ask why you're doing it in your underwear?"
"It's easier to move," Francis replied, not in the least bit embarrassed. "Let me just get dressed and I'll join you in tidying the place up."
Francis walked to the foot of Salazar Slytherin where a green top and a pair of white trousers were folded up. He pulled them on, and Harry noticed the gold line running from just below the waistband of the trousers to the hem.
"Very nice," Harry muttered under his breath. "Well, I think we better get rid of that," he said, pointing to the twisted form of the dead basilisk in the corner of the chamber. He aimed his wand at its head, which suddenly vanished, while Francis used the spell to get rid of half of its body.
"What colours do you think?" Harry asked, looking at the walls.
"How about red, green, blue and gold? The house colours?"
"Hai, let's just clean the walls, see if we can't get the actual stone to show itself through the grime. Why are you looking at me like that?"
Harry was indeed looking at Francis with a confused expression on his face.
"Oh, 'hai'? It's Japanese for yes. Gomenasai (that's sorry) it's just a habit. Me and my friends love Japanese stuff."
"Ah, I see."
The two spent the next ten minutes removing layers of filth, dirt and blood from the walls, casting as many cleaning charms in quick succession as possible. They then did the same to the floor. When they were done, Francis pointed his wand at the wall, and suddenly a huge tapestry of red and gold rolled down it, bouncing as the tassels at the bottom reached the floor.
"You've got to show me how to do that!"
"All you need to do is point your wand at the wall, then imagine the tapestry falling wherever you want it to fall."
Harry followed the instructions, and a similar tapestry, this time of gold and black, fell from nowhere over the wall. Harry decided he would do one wall, and Francis would do the other, and they were done within the hour (which included straightening them and shortening them).
"Now, we need to think of something for the floor."
"How about black marble?"
"Sure, but I don't know any spells for a marble floor. It's one of the few things they don't seem to teach at Durmstrang. We'd probably be doing it in the Tokyo-Fuji Institute right now!"
"I'll ask Hermione tonight, she'll probably know. Well I'm of. Coming?"
"Sure. There's not much else to do. Maybe we could replace the statue of the monkey with one of Dumbledore? Then it's not in favour of the Slytherin House."
Francis looked behind him, but a split second before he could, he felt Harry grab his wrist and pull him to the floor as he slipped in a small puddle. The two landed with their bodies pressed close, with Francis on top, pinning Harry to the ground where he'd tried to support himself.
Harry blushed from the close proximity of their faces, and was inwardly praying that Francis would stand up. But he didn't. Instead, he leant down to meet Harry's head as it rose, and their lips gently touched.
It was only a soft one, but the kiss set Harry's senses on fire; he could suddenly hear every slight shimmer in the puddles, he could smell a strange scent similar to vanilla and strawberries, and most important to him, he could see all of the boy's eyes, which were blue glittered with green.
Possibly hours later, Harry could feel air rushing through his mouth. Francis had pulled back.
"Sorry about that," Harry mumbled, looking away.
"Don't be sorry. That was the best first kiss a boy could ask for."
"That was your first kiss?"
"Yes, is that such a surprise?" Francis asked, sitting up and allowing Harry to do the same. It was then he noticed he was positioned between the younger boy's spread. Smiling, he stood up completely and offered his hand.
"Yes, actually," Harry replied, grabbing Francis's hand and pulling himself up. "I mean look at you! You're the most beautiful person I've ever seen."
Francis smiled, and then looked directly into Harry's eyes. Gold flashed over the blue in his eyes for a moment, but he blinked and it disappeared.
They set off again down the winding tunnel, reaching the entrance pipe in silence.
"How are we going to get back out?" Harry asked. He was surprised the thought had never occurred to him before he came down.
"Come here," said Francis. Harry walked over to him, stopping directly at his side. He wrapped his around Harry, and told him to do the same, aiming his wand into the tunnel. "Carpe Retractum!"
Four thin orange ropes threw themselves from the tip of his wand, before winding up the tunnel. A small "chink" met their ears, and Francis pulled on the ropes, which suddenly started to rise with speed. Within seconds, Francis had pulled them both out of the pipe.
"We'll go back under my cloak," said Harry, lifting the said garment and throwing it over their heads at Francis's agreement. Neither of them noticed as their hands slowly grabbed each other as they walked.
Yeah, a bit crap, I know. Sorry, but I tried, and this chapter took forever to do! Please leave a review?