Harry Potter and the Year of Unveiled Secrets

Chapter 12: Traipsing into Unknown Territory

The next morning Talia woke to the sounds of girls giggling and clothes being thrown about. Blinking sleepily, she opened her curtains to see Lavender and Parvati going through her wardrobe, obviously looking for the perfect outfit for her to wear into Hogsmeade. She was glad that her clothes had lost their glamour's after her secret was out, she'd hated going around wearing a skirt when it was made to look like she was wearing a set of trousers. She had found it highly disconcerting, and a daily irritation.

Breaking herself from her thoughts, Talia decided to let the two have their fun and went through to their bathroom to have her morning shower and do all her other morning routines. By the time she'd walked back out into the dorm, Parvati and Lavender had a pair of clothes lying on her bed and shoes sitting on the floor, awaiting her approval.

As she looked over them, she had to admire the girl's keen eyes. The clothes they'd chosen were both modest yet still fun. First they'd picked out a mid-calve length forest green skirt, that cut diagonally from just above the knee to half way down her calve. Next they'd found one of her black blouses with short sleeves and clipping clasps all the way down the front with a small flat collar. To finish it all off they'd pulled out her black kitten heels, her phoenix jewellery set along with her hair clip.

Looking up, she smiled at her two friends before thanking them quietly. Seeing that the time was almost 8:30, she suggested the other two start getting ready.

"Nah uh, not until we've finished getting you ready," Lavender said, waving her finger under Talia's nose before handing her the clothes and nudging her back into the bathroom. Once she was dressed, they practically dragged her to her dressing table and started their magic.

Over the next half hour, the two fashion queens pampered Talia, whilst Hermione watched from her bed, quietly laughing from behind the book she was pretending to read. Having already called for breakfast from one of the school house elves, they were done without much hassle, almost crying with joy at the result of their work. All three girls knew that whoever Talia's date was, they wouldn't be able to resist her.


Draco, Kalli and Blaise exited the Great Hall and walked to the Entrance Hall stairs. Looking at Blaise you wouldn't think him to be anything but cool and calm, but on the inside his stomach was in knots. He'd spent half the night before pacing in front of the common room fire, thinking that his date wouldn't turn up, that she'd go with one of her friends instead. Whilst he was doing this Kalli sat laughing at him, she knew that he wouldn't be turned down, some of the shy glances were enough to know she would come.

It was nearing 9:30 when their was a bit of commotion going on at the top of the staircase. Gazing up, they could see the 3rd year Gryffindor boys walking around the four girls, speaking loudly to one in particular.

Blaise couldn't help but stare as his date descended those stairs. To him, she was a vision of an angel with her skirt flowing about her legs and her hair bouncing on her back in soft curls. The soft makeup she wore brought out her eyes and lips wonderfully, making her practically glow. Glancing back at her hair, he noticed his gift was holding her fringe back. She was breathtaking, even at such a young age.

Stepping closer to the stairs, Blaise was able to hear what the boys were saying. "Talia, please, you have no idea who this guy is. Why don't you forget about it and just come with the rest of us?" Ron was saying as they drew closer to the Slytherins.

But Talia was having none of it, she was intrigued to find out who her mystery date was. Stepping from the last stair, she raised her eyes to glance around the hall in search of her admirer, when she felt someone staring at her. Turning, she found herself looking into the pale blue eyes of Blaise Zabini, who was watching her with something akin to awe in those soulful eyes.

Shaking himself out of the stupor, Blaise stepped forward, took hold of Talia's hand, bent down and kissed it ever so lightly. Her cheeks lit up with pleasure, though the guys behind her scowled.

"Is it safe to assume that you are the one who sent me this beautiful phoenix, Mr. Zabini?" the young girl asked as the girls giggled at the expression on the boys faces.

"Yes, that is a correct assumption dear Ms. Potter," Blaise replied with a soft smile. "And please, call me Blaise."

"Only if you call me Talia." She gave a small shy smile of her own.

Finding that there were no more reasons to stick around, Lavender, Parvati and Hermione grabbed the boys and dragged them away towards the line leading to the carriages.

Looking back at his own friends, Blaise saw them nod to him before leaving also to join the queue. Turning back to the still smiling girl, he saw her looking intently at his hand, which still grasped hers. Slowly he lowered them before releasing it then putting other his arm in an offer to take it. Talia looked up and gently grasped Blaise's arm as he gracefully guided her out the now clear doorway and into a horseless carriage. She stared out the window, trying to think of something to say to her companion but was saved from doing so by the aforementioned male.

"So, Talia, where would you like to go first?" Blaise questioned as he stared attentively at the shy girl sitting across from him. He smirked to himself as he watched her face scrunch up in thought. 'She looks so cute when she does that.'

"Umm... I don't really know what's there.. Why don't you tell me about your favourites?"

"Alright, well there's Honeydukes, best sweets and chocolate money can buy. The Three Broomsticks is a very popular place for the students, Madame Rosemerta is someone you'd love to talk to and she has the best meals in town. Then there's the Shrieking Shack. Supposedly the most haunted house in Britain, though no ones heard anything for years." Blaise listed off each place that held his interest and just as he finished, they felt the carriage slow to a stop.

Getting up from his seat, Blaise exited the carriage before turning and holding out his hand to help Talia down. Still holding her hand, he started leading her through the village, answering any questions that popped to her mind and pointing out the various stores to her.

They soon came upon Honeydukes and upon entering, Talia felt like she was in heaven. The whole store was top to bottom of sugar filled sweets and delicious looking chocolates. Glancing at the ceiling, she gasped. Flittering above everyone's heads were golden Snitches that seemed to just scream 'Sugar'. Blaise seeing what had gotten his dates attention chuckled and tugged her hand to bring her attention to him.

"You're allowed to catch them. And if you do, they're free."

With a gleeful grin, Talia's hand shot up and snatched one of the small flying sweets right out of the air. Blaise smiled and clapped to her politely as she curtsied before tugging him over to the sugar quills and fizzy whizbees.

The two exited the shop a short while later with Blaise carrying a small bag full of fascinating and sugary treats as Talia sucked on another Snitch.

"A large sweet tooth I see," Blaise laughed as he steered her towards a bookstore she said she'd thought was interesting earlier. Opening the door, he held it open so the young Gryffindor could step through before him. The young Italian allowed his companion to browse through the sections, picking up books which caught her eye. Keeping in mind which books she liked, though put back, Blaise followed her through the store.

It wasn't long before the two were once again walking through the streets of the small town, just wandering around and getting to know each other. Soon their feet carried them up a long winding track through a thicket of trees. Having not noticed, the pair was surprised when upon reaching a clearing they saw they were standing in the shadows of the Shrieking Shack. Having already been in the village before, Blaise wasn't overly taken by the appearance of the shack, but Talia was different.

Not having seen the structure before, the young lion was surprised at its look. She'd expected it to be deserted and rundown of course, but not to the extent that she was seeing. Glass windows smashed and crossed with bars, doors rotting in places and falling from their hinges, roof tiles sliding off in every which way and walls cracking and peeling of paint. It was rather a sad sight. However, what really stunned Talia was the feeling the shack was giving off. To her it was as though it was warding people away from the terrors within its tattered walls.

Blaise glanced down at the hand he was holding and noticed the slight tremors running through it.

"What's wrong Talia?" he queried in concern as her tremors strengthened. When the young beauty looked into his eyes, he was shocked at the haunted look he found buried in the emeralds. He quickly wrapped his arm around her shoulders and asked again what was wrong.

"This house.. it's so dark.. Something's in there and it needs help… So much pain.." Talia's answer worried Blaise, but when she went to go to the gate, he tightened his hold. Talia glanced back at him and smiled slightly. "It's okay, nothing will happen."

Still unsure if it was a good idea, the young Slytherin released his hold on her but immediately grabbed her hand again and followed her as she pushed aside the gate and trekked to the half rotten front door. Before she could reach out and touch the rusted handle, Blaise take hold of it and carefully opened it, avoiding any chance of it falling from its hinges.

Stepping inside, Blaise kept himself in front of Talia, holding his wand tightly in his other hand. Glancing around and scanning the area, he found nothing harmful, only ancient furniture that looked to have been attacked. Walking further into the dissolving house, Blaise led Talia through each room, asking if it was in there that she'd felt the pain coming from. Each time she'd shake her head, but she tightened her hold on his hand with each room they visited.

It wasn't long before they came to a flight of steps that looked to have seen better days. Sensing from his dates grip on his hand, that what they were looking for was up the stairs, Blaise slowly started to ascend, keeping a firm hold on Talia's hand. Each step creaked and squeaked under their feet, making the wizard cringe as he climbed. Once at the top, he turned his head and looked to Talia; she was still shaking but wasn't grasping his hand as tight anymore. Feeling a tug on his hand, Blaise allowed himself to be directed towards a door at the end of a wide hall, with it set slightly ajar.

Glancing down to the girl beside him, Blaise found her staring closely at the slice of room visible. Moving forward the Slytherin cautiously pushed the door open further, his wand at the ready. Stepping lightly over the threshold, he cast his gaze around the darkened room. He paused though when he saw a shaking bundle laying under the covers of the old and damaged bed in the far corner.

Training his wand on the bed, he allowed Talia to come in behind himself, making sure to keep between her and the rooms occupant. The two teens crept quietly over to the occupied bed, making extra sure not to step on any creaking boards.

Just before they reached the corner, the covers were thrown back and whoever was under them bolted up with a startled gasp. Stopping short, the students stared at the person as their face came into view.

Hello again. I'm sorry, I just had to leave that one there, just wanted to put more space between this and the revelation of who's in the room. You can all kill me if you wish, but then you wouldn't find out who it is.

At this point in time, I'm not all to certain myself... So yeah... Bear with me and I'll see who pops up in my mental cased brain.

I hope you've all enjoyed this chapter, and the previous one, and quite hopefully the rest that are to come. I'll be starting chapter 13 tomorrow or Sunday, depending what I end up doing with my friend. So I shall see you all when I've once again posted.


The Love Dragon.