"WHOO! NICE JUMP HARRY!" Seth McGrange cried out in glee, as Harry practiced his jumps with his horse, Black, or Blackie as he nicknamed him.
Harry galloped over, "This is amazing!"
Seth grinned, "I was right, you're a right natural! You're really gonna blow their socks off this Saturday! Now we're gonna practice the barrel run, let me set up the barrels."
When Tom and Harry had come back to the ranch, it was a surprise. He usually didn't come back as soon as this. His visits were usually at least two to three months apart. But Tom had explained that Harry had really wanted to partake in the rodeo event, so they'd come back and he had even enrolled Harry in the local high school. And more than that, he'd hired a mess of new ranch hands to help on the ranch, so that Seth could spend all his time training Harry to make sure he was ready.
Tom came out of the house and over to the corral where they were practicing. "How's he doing?"
Seth set up one of the barrels and turned to answer, "He's a natural, Tommy. He makes those jumps without even a flinch. I have no doubt he'll be ready for this weekend." He motioned for Harry to come over. "Ready? Remember, the current record is fifteen seconds. You need to be able to beat that, without knocking over any of the barrels." He pulled out a stopwatch. "On your mark, get set, GO!" he pushed the start button on the watch as Harry bolt away to the barrels.
With the disappearance of Dumbledore, McGonagall was given the job of Headmistress, and Severus Snape took deputy headmaster. She still struggled to reconcile with the revelation of her former colleague and friend's true intentions and actions. How could she have so badly misjudged him. He had seemed so kind and good. He always spoke with a soft tone, rarely lost his temper. He'd always said that while he'd never taken a wife and had children of his own, he considered all of the children that entered this school to be his children, or grandchildren considering his age, he would joke.
Everything was more subdued with Dumbledore gone. The students were worried and suspicious. If Dumbledore had been so capable of deceiving them, who's to say no one else could do it too? How could trust anyone. Harry Potter was gone, so was Hermione, Ron and nearly all of Slytherin. It was a little scary, but at least, the old coot wasn't able to try and hurt anyone anymore.
Or so they thought…
Deep underneath Hogwarts, in what was known as the Chamber of Secrets, the old Headmaster crouched next to the underground pool beneath Slytherin's statue. As the former headmaster, he knew all of the old castle's secrets, including the second entrance into the Chamber through a cave in the Forbidden Forest. With one of his scrying spells, he used the water to view what Mr. Potter…no, Mr. Riddle and his friends were up to. So, Harry was going to be in a rodeo that Saturday. A potentially dangerous, and deadly competition where someone could be hurt if things went wrong.
AN: So SOOOO Sorry for the mass delay on this story. I've had issues with coming up with ideas for this chapter. But here it is. Next Chapter: The Rodeo