Grey Maiden II: Slytherin's Heir
Welcome to Book Two of the Grey Maiden AU. If you haven't read book one, you will probably be quite lost.
Summary: After saving the Philosopher's Stone, Harry, Hermione, and Daphne are hoping for an uneventful year. But when students begin to be attacked, Harry finds the school turning against him once again. But as the attacks mount, Harry is forced to answer the most difficult question: What if they are right?
Chapter 1: An Unexpected Visitor
In the drawing room of his ancient family estate, Malfoy Manor, Lucius Malfoy, respected wizarding citizen, and former servant of the Dark Lord, sat at a desk. On the desk top was a plain black diary with T.M. Riddle inscribed in gold across the cover.
The room was lavishly furnished, as was every room in Malfoy Manor. As the heir of dozens of generations of a wealthy pureblood family with roots in the south of France, Lucius was among the wealthiest and most influential men in the wizarding world.
This particular room was painted in a light green, with antique dark green armchairs and a polished oak desk, at which the master of the manor was currently sitting. The room was one of the smallest in Malfoy Manor, and Lucius utilized it as his personal study. On the opposite side of the room, a spotless fireplace surrounded by an ornate mantle, on top of which were small wizarding photos of Lucius's family.
Lucius pondered the small book in front of him. A House-elf had discovered it during the cleanup of the room directly underneath where he was sitting.
Due to the passing of this ridiculous Muggle Protection Act, championed by the muggle-loving blood traitors Arthur Weasley and Kendrick Perkins of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office, Ministry raids against private citizens had increased tenfold. Even a respected pureblood family was no longer safe.
For example, the Ministry had showed up unannounced at the home of Thomas Avery, an old family friend of the Malfoy's.
According to Lucius's former comrade and servant of Voldemort, the Ministry agents had burst into the house like a pack of rampaging trolls. They had forced open doors, destroyed several family heirlooms by their carelessness, and arrested Thomas after discovering several artifacts of a questionable nature, despite the fact that the majority had lain untouched on his shelves, and posed no threat to wizarding kind.
And so that was why he was sitting at this desk. The diary in front of him had belonged to his master, and from what Lucius understood, the diary was capable of controlling those who wrote in it.
Furthermore, it implanted compulsions to continue writing in the diary until the intelligence had full control over the victim.
Such a diary would be a powerful weapon. Lucius had reason to believe that the mythic Chamber of Secrets was not a myth, but a reality, and that the Monster of Slytherin was still waiting for its master to call.
Whoever was taken over by the diary would likely unleash the Monster of Slytherin on the student population, more specifically, the mudbloods and blood traitors.
And he had two potential targets. Harry Potter and Ginevra Weasley.
The points in favor of using the diary against Potter were numerous, and quite obvious. While Draco reported that he had made a truce with the Boy-Who-Lived, the boy associated with a mudblood and had the capacity to poison the Slytherins against their natural loyalty.
For Lucius believed that no matter how long it took, his master would return.
The rumors that Lord Voldemort himself had infiltrated Hogwarts indicated he was still alive in some form. If Potter was expelled for attacking students, no doubt he would be an easy target. Perhaps he would even be thrown into Azkaban, where he could be broken by the Dementors, and his exceptional power perhaps used against the Light.
The downsides were that Potter was extremely observant and intelligent, and had learned everything he knew from the Grey Maiden, Daphne Dressler. Even Lucius had to admit that the woman, who was of good breeding, was a superbly talented and skilled witch. A pity she fought with Dumbledore and the mudblood lovers. She had killed Evan Rosier in the last war, a feat that had achieved legendary status. The odds of Potter discovering the malicious nature of the diary were much higher.
The points in favor of using the diary against Arthur's only daughter were also sizable. First, if Arthur's own child was found to be attacking and killing mudbloods, he would be disgraced, and it would be pitifully easy to eradicate the Muggle Protection Act. Weasley was probably young and impressionable, and would be easily seduced by the diary's intelligence. The odds of success were greater, but the Dark Lord would not reward him for getting Ginny Weasley expelled from Hogwarts.
No, the choice was obvious.
"It will be Potter, then," Lucius said aloud to the room. Yes, he was the best choice. His master would reward him greatly if he could make this work.
"DOBBY!" Lucius bellowed for his pathetic House-elf.
There was a loud CRACK and a small creature with grey-green skin, large, protuberant green eyes, wearing a dirty pillowcase, and sporting a filthy tea cozy as a makeshift hat, appeared in a small burst of smoke. Dobby immediately began to shake with fear.
"Master Lucius…c-c-called for D-D-Dobby?" he stuttered. Lucius threw him a look of contempt.
"Yes, Dobby, I did. Fetch Draco immediately, and bring him here. Now get out of my sight!"
Dobby nodded nervously and disappeared with another loud CRACK.
A minute later, his son appeared in the room, Dobby standing in the door way, hunched over in an effort to not be seen. Lucius ignored the creature and addressed his son and heir. "Draco, I have a task for you."
Draco's grey eyes lit up with anticipation. "What is it that you wish me to do for you, father?"
He picked up the diary, and showed it to him. "This is a powerful Dark object. I will tell you nothing more, as I don't want that old coot to know, nor Severus. What I will tell you is that your task is to plant this diary on Harry Potter the first opportunity you have. He must be entirely oblivious to its source. It features a mild compulsion that will calm his suspicions. Can you do this?"
Draco frowned. "Of course, father, but it will be difficult. Potter is extremely observant."
"I'm sure he is. The ward of Daphne Dressler would stand for no less. Consider it a test of your cunning."
"Very well, father. Are you giving me this…diary now?" Draco asked, extending a hand. Lucius slapped it away.
"No, Draco. I have means of knowing when Potter will arrive at Dressler Manor. If he does, that means they will likely be going into Diagon Alley."
"Brilliant, father. I'll start thinking of a plan."
"Yes, Draco. And get your homework done. It wouldn't be fitting for a Malfoy to cram their summer schoolwork," Lucius scolded him.
"Of course, father. I'll see you at dinner, then." Draco exited the room. Lucius smiled with pride at his son.
"Yes. Potter will be either dead or in prison if all goes to plan. I'm sure my master will approve of this." He smiled and went back to his work of repealing the Muggle Protection Act.
And just outside the doorframe, Dobby rocked back and forth, his eyes wide at what he had just heard. Harry Potter, the savior of the wizarding world, and the greatest Light wizard ever, was in trouble.
And Dobby had to help him.
Harry Potter bid his aunt goodnight with a quick hug, and the twelve-year old wizard tore up the stairs, diving onto his soft bed. He stretched out, and reached onto his bedside table for Quidditch Through the Ages. As he began to read, he mentally reviewed the events of his summer up to this day, July 30th.
Harry had been dreading finally coming clean to his childhood friends about how who he really was, but it turned out to be unnecessary. As Harry had suspected, labeling his Christmas gift to them of pictures from Hogwarts and some sweets as 'Your Friend, Harry Potter," had all-but confirmed his real identity.
Overall, they had understood. Patricia had slugged him in the arm (for a girl, she packed a wallop), then kissed him on the cheek, leaving him dazed and confused, and Connor and Tanner had ragged on him for it, and were a bit annoyed, though that disappeared when Harry started telling them about the his year at school.
And quite an interesting year it had been. He told them about being Sorted into Slytherin, and the outcast that it made him. He told them about the troll (editing out the part about how he nearly went into shock and died; they were terrified enough by the fact that there had been a troll in a school), and the beginnings of his friendship with Hermione.
He talked a lot about his bushy-haired best friend, and Trish seemed quite inclined to meet the girl. He also told them about Tonks, and showed off his limited Metamorphic abilities. They were awed by his ability to change his eye color.
Harry could now switch to and from his natural green, dark blue, sky blue, yellow, purple (that had taken a while), and light brown. He wasn't sure if he could do red or not, and wasn't particularly inclined to try to look like the most evil wizard on the face of the earth.
After describing his holiday with the young Auror-in-training, he talked about solving the mystery of the Philosopher's Stone. The three friends were quiet as he described how the events unraveled. He described his adventure through the defenses surrounding the Stone, editing out the more disturbing parts.
When it got to his confrontation with Voldemort, Harry was forced to include surviving the Killing Curse for a second time.
Predictably, Trish had burst into tears and clung to him, while Connor and Tanner had haunted looks in their eyes. Harry had assured them that he was fine, and wasn't planning to go on any other adventures anytime soon. Fortunately, his descriptions were just graphic enough that the three intelligent children understood the seriousness of the situation.
Harry breathed a sigh of relief at that; he didn't think he could stand to have the only kids that had ever treated him normally worshipping the ground he walked on.
Connor and Tanner had apparently been fully indoctrinated into the world of Quidditch (much to Trish's disgust), and were thrilled to hear that Harry had made the House Quidditch team, becoming the youngest Seeker in a century, no less. Harry had described his matches ad nauseum, editing out the part about nearly being killed by a 30 foot fall and a well-aimed Bludger.
After nearly a week of Harry doing all the talking, he finally got his friends to tell him about their year at the Magical Academy of Ottawa. Apparently, they'd enjoyed it greatly, and found the quality of the classes to be very high. One thing it was lacking was Dark Lords masquerading as DADA teachers and blood-thirsty trolls, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.
Interestingly enough, Trish mentioned that as much as she'd liked the Academy, she'd asked her parents about a future transfer to Hogwarts. Apparently, the Herbology program left much to be desired, and Pomona Sprout was a well-known expert in the Herbological community. Harry told her about Sprout, and she seemed to like what she heard.
The rest of the summer was spent playing Quidditch, reading, rehashing Harry's adventures, and learning more about the wizarding world from Daphne. More specifically, becoming more fluent in the complicated customs and traditions of the purebloods that made up the majority of Slytherin house.
Daphne had been surprised by Harry's interest, but supportive of his latest research project. As a pureblood herself, she was aware of some of the more basic customs. She also had a collection of books on the subject in the Dressler family library, which she had retrieved by one of the house-elves. Harry had read all about the 'dances,' or ancient traditions which involved elaborate ceremonies, symbolic gifts and important dates, and were used for truces, rivalries, and other types of family relationships.
They were mostly obsolescent, but when they were used, they received complete and total respect, and were as reliable as Unbreakable Bonds. In addition, he had read about the common practice of arranged marriages. He wondered just how many of his classmates had been betrothed since birth.
They differed from the Muggle variety, because they required a Compatibility Spell, an old form of magic which determined whether or not a marriage was feasible for two partners. The marriages didn't always end up well, but they produced far more content couples than not. It was the sole reason why there were so many fewer divorces and estrangements in the wizarding world. Overall, Harry found a number of things that he had overhead in various conversations the previous year to suddenly make quite a bit more sense.
Harry's birthday was, without question, his best ever. Daphne threw a massive party, and while he was expecting a day of celebrating with his three childhood friends, what he hadn't expected was to be awoken the morning of July 31st by a rather large bucket load of frigid water. He was especially not expecting the bucket to be held by a beaming Hermione and giggling Tonks, while Trish, Connor, and Tanner rolled around on the floor laughing as Harry rummaged around for his wand to hex his two friends.
His wand that Daphne was currently twirling in her fingers, an evil grin on her face. Harry settled for leaping off the bed, and, still soaking wet and in his pajamas, chasing Hermione and Tonks around the House, running circles around an amused looking Andromeda.
Hermione escaped his wrath, but Tonks ended up tripping over a rug and crashing to the floor. Harry proceeded to jump on the old girl and tickle her mercilessly while Hermione cheered him on. When Tonks surrendered, he proceeded to pull Hermione into a bone-crushing embrace, which the bushy-haired girl returned just as fiercely. It had the added benefit of making the resident know-it-all of Gryffindor soaking wet, which she yelled at him for as he smirked.
The rest of Harry's day wasn't quite as exciting, though it was certainly enjoyable. As expected, Hermione and Trish hit it off, and disappeared entirely for several hours, though Harry saw Trish carrying an armload of Herbology texts with her into the room where the two girls were talking. Harry finally stuck his head in and asked them if they'd like to watch the Children-Parents Quidditch match.
It was basically Harry, Tonks, Tanner, and Connor against Daphne (who was quite good on a broom, though she didn't have the same love of flying as her adopted son), Joseph Toland, who played Quidditch for Hufflepuff, Marie Roberts, who played Quidditch at Beaxbatons, and Samuel Dowling, who could handle a broom, though he didn't have the experience of his teammates. Andromeda flat out refused to participate.
With only four players on both teams, they settled to use two chasers, a seeker, and a keeper a piece. Harry and Marie searched for the Snitch, while Daphne and Toland opposed Tonks and Tanner in the Chaser role. The Keepers were Dowling and Connor. The game was fun, if only because they weren't really playing for anything else but enjoyment of the game. The Chasers scored with reckless abandon, while Harry flew rings around the more experienced Roberts. Hermione and Trish cheered on and watched safely from the ground. When it was over (Harry finally found and caught the Snitch, they had been playing for hours, and the final score was 490-560 in favor of the children (and Tonks).
Predictably, Harry's presents comprised primarily of books, though Hermione shocked him by getting a Broomstick Servicing Kit (Well, it did contain a book, but still). He thanked Hermione, and reminded himself to embark on a long-overdue cleanup of the Nimbus and Cleansweep 6.
Harry thanked his friends for coming, and Tonks, as agreed upon by the Grangers, flooed back to England with Hermione. As he was cleaning up and happily reflecting on this day, he realized he hadn't gotten a gift from Daphne. Puzzled, he turned around to ask her, and she had it in her hand. She slowly pushed it into his and turned away slowly, the pain evident in her eyes.
Before Harry even opened it, he knew that it was something from his mother. The pain and grief that he had seen in her eyes only showed when it involved Lily. A brief surge of anger flashed through Harry's mind. He hated Voldemort for doing this to them.
The gift itself was delicately placed inside a blue velvet box. It was a necklace, with a plain gold pendant on which was inscribed, 'To our only son' – L&J Potter. Harry froze as he stared at it, then turned to look it his guardian, who had tears streaking down her face.
"I found that…I found that in my vault. I had a chance to go…go through it a few weeks before you came home. L-L-Lily and James must have left it for me…to give to you…I'm sorry I didn't find it sooner…" she broke off, and took a deep breath, trying to compose herself. Harry now understood why she had waited until everyone else had left. She did not like to break down like this in public.
Harry's throat was dry. He moved his mouth, but couldn't think of anything that wouldn't sound pathetic. Daphne nodded in understanding, and opened her arms to him. He walked over into his aunt's embrace and squeezed her tightly.
They stated there for what seemed like hours, both trying to overcome the despair and pain of loss.
Two days after his birthday, Harry entered his room to a rather unusual sight. A nervous looking house-elf dressed in a dirty and tattered pillowcase and wearing a filthy tea cozy on his head was standing next to his bed. Harry stared for a long moment, then closed the door.
"Um…Hello. What can I do for you?" Harry asked, rather baffled.
"…Master asked if he could do something for me…Dobby is not worthy of such respect…Dobby is only a lowly house-elf…Harry Potter is a great wizard…" the small creature mumbled.
"Dobby? Is that your name?" Harry asked.
"Yes sir," Dobby replied nervously. "Dobby has come to warn Harry Potter, but Dobby cannot say why…but Dobby must say why!...Dobby is going to be in great pain tomorrow, Dobby knows…"
Harry thought about what he had just heard. He knew that it wasn't unusual for house-elves to punish themselves when they failed their masters, though this one seemed to be taking it to an extreme. "Very well. Does your master have a message for you?" Harry asked.
"No…not master…master is bad, Dark Wizard…NO! BAD DOBBY! BAD DOBBY!" the creature squeaked. It ran over and began banging it's head on Harry's bed.
"Stop that!" Harry snapped. "I know that when a house-elf visits another wizarding household, they are required to obey the rules of that household. And the first rule of this home is that House-elves must not punish themselves."
Harry had seen house-elves before, both at Hogwarts and at Dressler Manor. But this poor thing looked like it was a wee bit wrong in the head. Harry wondered who the master was, but knew better than to ask. Dobby was obviously fighting himself already. Best leave it as it was.
"…Harry Potter is kind wizard…far too kind to Dobby…" Dobby murmured.
"Well, you seem to have quite a high opinion of me, Dobby," Harry observed. "Any reason why?"
"Master does not know?...Master Harry Potter defeated He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, sir…before he did, we house-elves we treated like vermin!...of course, Dobby is still treated like vermin, sir." The house-elf froze in mid sentence and began to run at the wall. Harry grabbed him by the back of his pillowcase.
"Dobby, what did I say about punishing yourself?" Harry said sternly. He didn't want to scare the creature, but if he was going to get any information out of Dobby, he needed to get it now. He figured that Dobby might not be so forthcoming with Daphne in the room. "Now, what is you wanted to tell me?"
"There is a plot sir…a deadly plot at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…a plot that involves Harry Potter…bad things happening to Harry Potter." The elf seemed to be speaking as if no one else was in the room. "Dobby must warn Harry Potter…Harry Potter must not go back to Hogwarts!" Harry stared.
"Dobby, I can handle myself. And I'm not going to abandon my best friend. By the way, have you been tampering with the wards?" Harry asked on a whim. Daphne had been baffled by the unauthorized anti-owl wards that kept springing up over the summer, but she'd been able to remove them.
"…Dobby is sorry, Harry Potter sir. Dobby only felt that if Harry Potter sir thought that he had no friends he would not go back…Dobby was only doing it for Master Harry Potter's own safety…Promise Dobby that Harry Potter will not go back to Hogwarts…" the house-elf pleaded.
"I can't do that, Dobby. And if you try to stop me, I will call Daphne in here. I appreciate you trying to help, but really, I can take care of myself."
"…Master Harry Potter doesn't know…oh, bad Dobby…Please sir, please do not-"
The was a banging on the door. "Harry?" Daphne called.
"Dobby…?" Harry began. The elf shook his head sadly. "Dobby must go!" A with a loud CRACK, he disapparated. The pounding got louder.
"Harry, let me in now!" Daphne demanded. There was a tremor of nervousness in her voice. Harry unlocked the door and opened it. Daphne burst though it.
"Sorry, Daph. I just had an…interesting visitor…"
"What? What do you mean?" Daphne asked.
"A house-elf. The same one that's been trying to block out our mail. He was talking about some dangerous happening at Hogwarts…he didn't want me to go back…he said his master were Dark Wizards, then tried to punish himself."
Daphne frowned worriedly. "Would you mind if I used Legillimacy to get the whole context?" Harry shook his head and looked his aunt in the eyes.
After about a minute, Daphne broke the eye contact. "Interesting. You seem to have some primitive mental defenses, Harry, took me a little while to get through, and your mind trusts me. That's not a bad thing, by the way. As for our visitor, I understand why you didn't want me there; the poor thing was already scared to death. What he could mean is a different matter..."
"You're not going to forbid me to go to Hogwarts, right?" Harry asked a bit nervously. Daphne blinked.
"Of course not. You're as safe there as you'll ever be. Just try not to get in the way of as many trolls or possessed teachers." She said this lightly, but there was an undertone of seriousness.
"Okay. Well, I'll see you in the morning, Daphne."
Unfortunately, soon after Harry's birthday, his three friends left to attend the Magical Academy of Ottawa, which started several weeks before Hogwarts did. Harry said goodbye to his friends and was then left alone with Daphne. He used the opportunity to get the rest of his homework done, and exchanged a few owls with Hermione. She apparently hadn't told her parents much about her school year, especially the part about how she was nearly murdered. Harry sympathized with his friend, and hoped that the whole thing wouldn't blow up in her face.
However, the next day, it was Harry's turn to regret not telling his aunt about certain things.
He came down to breakfast and ate. Daphne was reading the paper, and wasn't saying a word. Puzzled, he got up to leave, but as he did so…
"Harry, we need to have a talk. Now."
Harry swallowed, and followed his guardian into the sitting room. She gestured for him to sit, and then began pacing around, staring at the floor. She stopped and looked up at him. "Harry, why didn't you tell me about how awful Snape was treating you? He was using Legillimacy, by the way, which is illegal."
"Um…what exactly to you mean, Daph…" Harry said nervously, though he knew exactly what she wanted to know. How she found out was another matter. He had been afraid of this. He loved his aunt to death, but if she came up to Hogwarts and hexed everyone that so much as glared at Harry, he wouldn't make many friends that way either.
Her expression softened considerably. "You know what I mean, Harry," she said in a soft, loving voice full of sadness. "You shouldn't have had to go through that. Snape's behavior was ridiculous, and while I've seen Hogwarts students act that way before, it's still unacceptable. I'm amazed you got through it so well."
"I'm sorry, Daphne. You have so much on your mind, I didn't want to worry you. And it's well…kind of embarrassing."
"Harry, you are my life. You are the reason I get up in the morning, the reason I keep living and breathing. I might have given up long ago if it wasn't for you." She paused, and came over, squatting down next to the chair he was sitting in. She cupped his chin, and turned his face to hers. "And you are the best thing that's ever happened to me, Harry. I'm always here for you. Please, please don't forget that."
"Daph, I…I did some things I'm not proud of…" Harry said nervously.
She nodded. "Go on."
"Well, I kind of threatened Weasley and Malfoy on a…well, a consistent basis. They were just making me so angry and miserable and I…" He couldn't speak anymore because Daphne had pulled him into a hug.
"And you know what, Harry? I'm proud of you. I'm not proud of you for threatening them, though I'm glad you stood up for yourself. That's a skill you need to have, especially in Slytherin. But I'm proud that you didn't hex them beyond all recognition. Because I would have."
"Well, I hexed Malfoy a few times…after he attacked me, of course. And I slugged Weasley once, for being an arse. You know all about the Leaving Feast fiasco."
"I do, and it sounds like he deserved it, though it would be better of you to just ignore him. You and Hermione know you are better than him, and that's what matters. I do wish you had told me you were being bombarded by Stinging Hexes, but attacking unprovoked won't win you points with anyone. On the other hand, given your situation, it's perfectly okay to fight back. Just don't overdo it, okay? Trust your gut instincts, Harry, they won't steer you wrong."
She pulled him into another embrace. "I love you Harry."
"I love you too, Daph," Harry mumbled into his aunt's robes.
A/N: If you haven't figured it out yet, I love posting these these chapters as much as you like reading them. That's why I struggled to wait six hours between posts.Writing them is fun too, which is why I've been neglecting my schoolwork to write these things. And now baseball's begun, and I'll be neglecting the Yankees too. I hope you are happy. (JK!)
So welcome to Book 2 of my Grey Maiden Series. Based on the reviews of the previous book, I'm guessing you weren't expecting what I wrote in that scene with Lucius, Draco, and Dobby.
Just a note: Connor, Tanner, and Trish are secondary characters. They are more or less just a part of Harry's "normal" childhood. What I care about happens in Britain, not in Newfoundland. And they will drop off the face of the earth sooner or later. So if they seem to be lacking in development, and Harry doesn't seem that loyal to them, it's because ultimately, they don't matter that much. Just thought I'd get that out there.
Ginny will make her debut in Chapter 3...and I can guarantee that after reading the aformentioned chapter, you will probably hate Ginny more than you hated her before. But I'm not changing her upbringing. Anyway, you'll see.
Thank you for all the reviews (positive and negative) for PS. That was my first fic, and I think I did a good job. Either way, as I figure out where this is going, a lot of things might start making more sense.
Oh, and remember the diary is NOT a horacrux. I'm going to make up alot of stuff to make it's power and such make more sense.
Finally, despite appearances, the majority of this book will actually be lighter than PS.