Disclaimer: I obviously don't own the idea of Harry Potter or any of the money making forms of it.
Thanks for the reviews :)
AN: I'm posting two parts today since putting all of this in one would just be too much to digest and a pain to write a review for (if you were to write an in-depth one :P) so enjoy :). I figured I'd be nice and do this since it's been a while (because of classes, life and stuff). Also, those who are reading my other fic, Guardian--I haven't forgotten about it, I just don't have a set plan for where it's going to go right now, so don't want to end up writing junk. Hope you understand.
Harry using spells from his memories: He is able to use them if a situation calls for them. As for the unforgivables, using them he would need to have a serious reason (like in canon it was through rightous anger he used the cruciatus on Lestrange, which is why it didn't last long). However, because of what he had seen done with them through the memories, I doubt he will ever use any of them in my story.
Crabbe and Goyle's intelligence levels: A lot of the reason behind how people act is through what people expect from them. Originally, all that Crabbe and Goyle were expected to be were body guards and never think. Now that they are expected to participate in things (since there are now people who care about their opinions) and are being given the chance to look into things they may be interested in (like runes and creating new spells). I think this kind of thing can make all the difference, especially when the person is still rather young. Hope that clears that up.
Snakes: They DO have bones. They have ribs and a backbone, in fact, that is what their internal structure mostly is. If you don't believe me, do a search on the internet: 'snake's skeletal structure' or something like that. You will find pictures. I'm not trying to be smart or anything, just want to make sure something that people often confuse has been rectified.
Susan Bones: Six words... Don't worry. I have a plan.
Year of the twins: I am so confused with what year they actually are, so sorry if I have it wrong, but I'm just going to keep them in the third year.
Ceremony on the Diary: I'm just going to say it did more than just 'wake it up'.
Sorry if I've missed any other questions, ask them again if I have, I'll try to answer them next time.
Well, now onto the story.
- - - Book 2 — Part 15 A: Elimination
The rest of that week was hectic, and the first chance Harry got, he went down into the chamber, ready with his mirror to contact the others if there was trouble.
It had been decided, since Harry had made the pact with Salandra, he was the best choice to go down and talk to her. Revlis agreed, saying that he knew Salandra would never hurt any of them willingly, and that there had to be an explanation.
So that's what Harry did, he went and spoke to her while half of the others were in the bathroom, the rest in the Come and Go Room, gathered around their mirrors in case he needed them.
:Salandra?: Harry called once he was in the chamber.
:Harry: Salandra answered, slithering forward, her voice actually laced with worry. :I am glad you have come, after what has happened, I was concerned you wouldn't:
:I had to come, to learn what had happened. I know there must be a reason:
:There is. Harry, there is a dark artifact possessing someone. I don't know who, because when they speak it is not their voice…but… Harry, it is his voice, Riddle's:
:I don't know how, but this item, it speaks through this person:
:And you have no idea who this person is?:
:No, I don't look at them, mostly because I do not want to kill a possible innocent. I am certain they are not doing this willingly. They could be a student, or maybe an outsider, or even a professor:
:Riddle?: Harry asked, trying to keep his thoughts organized.
Could this be part of what would lead to the second prophesy? Was this the start of what would occur in March?
:It is, and his voice is just as it was. At first I was going to disobey, but then he would know I had been bonded or had made a pact, so I went along with him. I didn't want to risk the safety of the one he is possessing. He might have gotten angry and taken it out on them. This way, I can petrify instead of kill and blame it on bad luck, such as the water on the floor, and see what Riddle really wants:
:That's good. When did they come down here?: Harry asked.
:An hour before you and the other students ate dinner:
:So if this person is a student or a professor, they wouldn't have been there at dinner?:
:That is right. What are you thinking, Harry?:
:I think me and the Custosae can narrow down who this person could be, if they're an insider and not an outsider. I also know what item to look for:
:You know what the dark artifact is?:
:Yes, it is one of his horcruxes, his first actually. His diary. I just hope we can find it before they come back down here again:
:What do you wish me to do if they come down again?:
:Go along with them for now, just don't kill anyone. Hopefully you will not need to blow your cover. If they think you are on their side, hopefully we will be able to surprise them and take care of this before anyone gets hurt:
:I will send Revlis down occasionally to see if they have visited you. We will then go from there:
Harry nodded, but then realized that was pointless, since Salandra wasn't looking at him.
:Good bye, Salandra. We'll figure this out: Harry said.
:I believe you, Harry: She answered softly, before slithering away.
With that, Harry looked down and looked at the mirror in his hand, which had been activated the whole time so the others could hear what was going on.
"We'll start a list of possible people, Harry," Hermione said.
"We'll also be on the look out for that diary," Goyle said, the mirror shifted over to display his face after Hermione's.
Harry nodded as he made his way out.
- - -
It was quiet for some time after that, which only made the Custosae uneasy, even with classes, meetings, homework assignments, tests and the upcoming Quidditch game. However, they had been able to determine the person being possessed wasn't a professor, but they had too many students as suspects, and the possibility of the person not being an inhabitant of Hogwarts still existed, though they had decided that possibility was remote.
Revlis continued to go to Salandra to check if the person had returned, or to even see if he could catch them and see who was being possessed, but no such luck. Salandra had gotten a few more visits, but had not learned anything helpful and had not been asked to go out again, though she had determined the person was small, according to their footsteps.
They all continued to keep an eye out for the diary, Harry having told them what it looked like, but they hadn't been able to find it yet.
After Filch had been petrified, Dumbledore had given a few subtle glances to Harry and the others, and they had gotten the silent message to be careful. Harry and the others had been tempted to tell him what they knew, but they didn't want Dumbledore to become focused on the fact there was a basilisk when the true danger was the Heir, besides, even if he knew the majority of what they did, what good would that do? However, they did decide to tell him if the need arose.
The lessons with Snape continued, covering ways to defend one's self from some rather dark curses, even to the point of reflecting them back. It was impressive to say the least, though Snape was rather insistent about making sure they knew which ones they could and could not return.
Army Meetings continued, and it was rather amusing to watch the expressions of their 'commanders' when they were actually able to consistently work together and put House rivalries aside, for the most part. Everything was going rather well, and they were already into counter curses and shields. The Army of Hogwarts was already becoming a formidable force, and though the Heads of Houses kept it to themselves, they were impressed and wished they had formed this group a long time ago, it may have helped in the war with Voldemort over a decade ago….
Finally, the day of the Quidditch game came, Gryffindor vs. Slytherin.
The Slytherin seeker was Jade Marks, a fourth year and member of the Army of Hogwarts. The weekend before the game, Jade had joked with Harry, saying that she and the other Slytherins would beat the Gryffindors to the point of embarrassment. Harry returned it, joined by the twins and the other Gryffindors.
The other Slytherins of the Hogwarts Army backed Jade, but they and the other Gryffindor 'soldiers' surprised McGonagall and Flitwich, the commanders there at that meeting, by not killing or trying to kill each other, but simply having friendly and playful competition rather than hateful.
"Not scared are you, Potter?" Jade shouted at him as both teams went out onto the field.
"You wish," Harry shouted back, hiding a smile.
A moment later, the game started.
It was slow goings at first, Gryffindor and Slytherin both scoring a few goals and no snitch in sight. The bludgers whizzed to and fro, the twins and the Slytherin beaters working hard to hit them towards the other team.
"50 to 60, Slytherin!" Lee shouted, and then Harry saw it.
Shooting forward, he went after the snitch, so focused and moving so fast he was oblivious to what was happening behind him, until his hand had closed around the golden ball.
Harry turned around in the air to see, far behind him, a body beginning to fall, a dark bludger shooting away, leaving behind a shattered broom and a limp body.
He heard the screams from the crowd, first in triumph (seeing the snitch caught) and then in shock (seeing a quidditch player beginning to fall, no matter their House). The snitch was still in his left hand as he saw two forms shot towards the falling Slytherin seeker—one red, the other green.
George Weasley and Adrian Pucey—the fourth year Slytherin Captain of the Hogwarts' Army.
They caught her together, her damaged broom falling past them just a few feet away.
The stadium went wild, Harry releasing a breath he didn't know he was holding as he immediately flew his broom to Jade and the others.
"How is she?" Harry asked.
"I'll live," she breathed with her eyes closed, cradling her side with her left arm, her right arm over George's shoulders, his right arm around her back while his left hand gripped his broom; Adrian had her legs.
They quickly went down, setting her down on the ground, several people pouring onto the field.
"You got the snitch," Jade managed, holding in a grimace.
"Yeah, but I think more people are focused on what happened to you," he said.
"So that's what that cheering was about," she said, both teasingly and seriously.
"Those in the Army definitely weren't," George stated, before any non-members were in earshot.
"That bludger came out of nowhere," Jade muttered.
"They usually do," Adrian agreed.
"Got me right in the ribs before bouncing into my broom handle," she finished.
"Pomfrey will take care of it, don't worry," Harry said as both of their teams gathered around.
"I can fix her injuries in a jiffy," a cheerfully cocky voice stated, suddenly coming through the Slytherins and Gryffindors.
"Just perfect," Jade hissed quietly, her eyes narrowing.
George and Adrian moved closer to her as Harry turned around and stood up, snitch still in his hand.
The game was obviously over, but something else was clearly about to start.
"I'll heal your wounds, no need to worry," Lockhart said as he went forward, Harry standing partly in front of Jade, blocking Lockhart from really getting a good view.
"No, Pomfrey will fix me," Jade stated flatly, those in Hogwart's Army nodding solidly, the others shocked she wouldn't want Lockhart to heal her since she was in obvious pain and Lockhart was famous. "With all due respect, I don't want you to heal me," she continued.
"Poor girl, she doesn't know what she's saying," Lockhart said as he continued forward, only to bump into Harry who had decided not to move.
"Now young Harry, I know it is a shock to see someone almost die like that, but you mustn't let it freeze you like this," he said pompously, trying to move around Harry, but Harry sidestepped with him, as if by accident.
"Didn't you hear her, sir? She wants to be healed by Madam Pomfrey, not you," Harry said. "It's within her rights to choose who will heal her."
Harry had been listening to Sirius' legal advice, since both he and Sirius had decided it was something good to know.
"She's delirious, doesn't know what she needs right now," he barely managed to recover.
"More reason to get her to Madam Pomfrey, she needs to feel safe so she will be able to calm down," Harry said, before Lockhart stiffened.
"Potter is correct," a voice said from behind Harry.
Harry turned slightly to find Snape right behind his left shoulder.
How did he get there so fast? Harry wondered.
"I will accompany Ms. Marks to the hospital wing," Snape stated, eyeing Lockhart dangerously.
"Of-of course," Lockhart managed.
Harry glanced back to Jade as Snape levitated her onto the stretcher to see her mouth 'thank you' to both himself, George, and Adrian.
He gave her a short nod in return.
- - -
After the game, things fell back into a routine, though Harry and the others never let the prophesy stray too far from their present thoughts, though Ron was a little more concerned about the random spiders that seemed to be fleeing the halls of the school. He wasn't overjoyed with seeing them, but seeing them leave was a plus.
Jade was healed by Madam Pomfrey, leaving most of the school wondering why Harry had practically stood against a professor, and for a Slytherin no less. People were also responding to George's part of the rescue, shocked that he had worked together with one of the opposite team's beaters to complete it.
It was causing many people to ponder about a lot of things.
However, House rivalry was still a problem outside the Army, but that didn't stop some other Slytherins from privately going to Harry and George to thank them for helping Jade.
"Something bad would have happened if you hadn't done that," Draco said in the Come and Go Room after Harry was wondering why everyone was making such a big deal about it. "We all know how well Lockhart wields a wand; you may have saved Jade's life. Slytherins know that, even the ones who don't like you, forget about the fact you stood in the way of a professor. That's why it's a big deal."
Harry sighed. Everything he did seemed to get attention, and most of it unwanted. Why did it seem the stuff he felt compelled to do always brought about the most reaction from people? It sure was getting old.
Ron suddenly snickered.
"You know, George and Jade seem to be getting along well now, if you know what I mean," Ron said suddenly. "He asked her out…"
"What did she say?" Hermione asked, clearly interested.
"Yes, of course. We Weasley's are studs."
Hermione rolled her eyes, while the others held in smirks and snorts.
"Uh, guys, I've been thinking," Neville said after a pause.
"Yeah, Neville? About what?" Vince asked.
"I uh… I think my Gran should become an Amici…. She'd be helpful, and she's influential in the Ministry and stuff," Neville said.
"You know, Neville," Hermione said, "I think that's a good idea."
"Yeah?" he asked.
"You'd have to be one of her contacts though, do you think you could handle that?" Harry asked.
"I-I think so," he said. "But I don't think she can know about me being a Custosae, at least for right now."
"Yeah, you're probably right," Ron said.
"Well, Neville, if you feel she should be added, we'll send her a letter. Augusta Longbottom will soon receive a letter from the Custosae de Lux," Hermione declared.
"You'll make contact during the holidays," Draco said.
"Who should her other contact be?" Ron asked.
"Hmm, I think Jean Burry would be good, but I think she will need someone more…well, important-like," Neville said.
"Dumbledore?" Draco asked.
"Moody," Harry said.
They all looked at him, remembering how Moody and Madam Longbottom had gotten along.
"Moody," they all said together, agreeing.
Later that week, they received word from Peg (Moody) that 'Lioness' had accepted.
Augusta Longbottom was now a member, contacts: Peg, Nightingale, and Fly Trap.
- - -
It was a week before Thanksgiving when it happened. One of the Prefects from Hufflepuff, Leeann Doe, a muggleborn, was found petrified with the Fat Friar.
Harry and the others concluded Leeann must have looked through the Fat Friar, thus saving her from death, though they also knew Salandra must have planned it like that. They hoped Riddle wasn't mad at her for that 'bad luck', and sent Revlis to see how she was.
Revlis returned with moderately good news. Though Riddle was annoyed, killing muggleborns didn't seem to be a priority, and to Salandra, it almost seemed to be more of a distraction for Dumbledore than anything else. They were certain this was important and was tied to the prophesy, the only question now was, what did Riddle really want? Why was he doing this, was he trying to return, or was it more than that?
It was clear the Professors were becoming worried, and in the Army meetings, they pushed the members harder than before. Nobody minded this, and due to these things happening, they pushed themselves further, hoping it would help them if they faced whatever had petrified Filch, Leeann, and the Friar.
Hagrid was also worried, but more than simply worried about the students, and the others knew why. If these attacks continued, the Ministry may feel forced to do something, no matter how right or wrong it was, which would mean taking Hagrid into custody. Harry and the others hoped it wouldn't come to that, though they decided that if it did, certain Amici members would be notified, and something would be done to at least ease the situation.
Harry also spoke to Sirius, and though Harry already knew what had happened the last time the Chambers had been opened, Sirius told him anyway (not knowing Harry already knew). Sirius was understandably concerned, but after Harry convinced him Dumbledore would take care of it, Sirius calmed down, though made Harry swear to get help if he needed it.
Harry and Sirius' chats soon turned towards the Holidays, which were just around the corner, but before it arrived, Dumbledore called Harry to his office again….
It was a day before they would be leaving for the holidays on the train, and Harry couldn't help but fidget as he made his way to the door leading into Dumbledore's office.
"Come in, Harry," Dumbledore called.
Harry stepped in, wondering what Dumbledore was going to talk to him about.
Dumbledore motioned him to take a seat with a small smile. It was clear he was worried about recent events, but he offered a lemon drop anyways.
After they got settled, Dumbledore started.
"I don't think I need to explain why I've called you here, Harry," he said.
Harry nodded in agreement.
"After recent events, I believe it is clear that things pertaining to the prophecy are in motion. I know you already know to be careful, within and outside of Hogwarts, so since there is nothing more for me to really say, I must ask you, Harry, whether there is anything you'd like to tell me," he said gently. "Anything at all."
Harry looked down at his hands and thought.
There had been a second attack, should Dumbledore be told a little more? What if something were to happen that Harry could have prevented if Dumbledore had been informed? Could he live with himself if that happened?
Coming to a decision, Harry looked up and met Dumbledore's solid blue eyes.
"I uh… think I know some of what might be going on, sir," Harry said, his heart silently racing, part of him so glad he was finally going to tell Dumbledore something, but at the same time terrified.
"Oh?" Dumbledore leaned forward slightly, do doubt interested in what Harry had to say.
"The monster's a basilisk, but she's really not, she doesn't like doing this, she's being told to," Harry blurted out, unable to contain himself any longer.
He had been wanting to tell Dumbledore at least some of what had been going on, but at the same time, he was concerned about what may happen to Salandra. It had been eating at him for several weeks, which was why he said what he had, immediately trying to explain that it wasn't the basilisk's fault.
He actually blinked, a long slow blink.
"I'm sorry, Harry, but as an old man, I have to double check things I may not have heard correctly. Could you repeat that?"
"Slytherin's monster, the one this heir is using, she's a basilisk," Harry said.
"How do you know this, Harry?" Dumbledore asked seriously, though he didn't seem as surprised about the basilisk as Harry had thought he should be — he had been surprised about the second half of Harry's statement.
"Me and Draco, we can hear her," Harry said, being as vague as possible, letting Dumbledore fill in where and when they had.
"How do you know she doesn't like doing this?"
"By what we hear and how she says stuff," Harry said.
"Like 'I hope this will end soon,' 'I hope he won't suspect me and accept the petrifications just as bad luck or coincidence,' and 'The children of Hogwarts are mine to protect. I will not kill them,'" Harry said, recalling things he had heard her say, and what Revlis had relayed to him.
Dumbledore leaned back, clearly thinking.
"Mirrors," Dumbledore whispered.
"Sir?" Harry asked.
"Thank you, Harry. I had my suspicions about there being a basilisk, especially with the sudden deaths of the roosters, but now that I know her… intentions, I can provide some precautions to aid in her not permanently harming students. Prefects and those who patrol the halls will now be given a mirror to look around corners. For I believe that is how Ms. Doe became a victim. I am just thankful the Friar was with her," Dumbledore said.
Harry knew exactly why he felt that. Moaning Myrtle hadn't been so lucky.
"Well, Harry, I will let you go now. Have a good Christmas with your godfather," he said.
"Thanks sir, have a good Christmas too," Harry said before leaving.
Harry and the others all went home for the holidays the next day, spending time with their families (Revlis going with Draco), but promising they would arrange a time to meet together, especially about Custosae matters, for Harry would reveal himself to Lupin as a contact, and get the weapons from Rook/Griphook to destroy the Horcruxes.
- - -
Harry stepped into Diagon Alley with Sirius and Lupin after they had gotten him from 9¾.
"Gringotts, Harry," Sirius declared happily. "We'll be getting a few things, and then we'll be going to my place, which I have fixed up…for the most part, and enjoy the holidays together!" he declared.
They entered the bank, Harry hoping Sirius and Lupin would allow him to meet with the Goblins alone again.
They went up to the counter, the goblin peering down at them.
"Ah, Mr. Potter, Griphook is waiting for you. Freetee shall escort you," he said.
"Oh, thanks," Harry said, hurrying towards the goblin, who was apparently Freetee, before Sirius or Lupin could object.
"He did that last time, he'll be fine," Siruis muttered to Lupin with a shake of his head. "The goblins seem to like him."
Lupin had the decency to look confused and simply nod.
"Yeah, I don't understand it either, but I'm not going to question it," Sirius finished.
- - -
Harry was led into a chamber, and then into a runed room where Griphook was waiting.
"Thank you Freetee, I will take it from here," Griphook said. Freetee nodded and closed the door as he left.
"Griffin," he said, motioning to a seat beside him.
Harry quickly took it.
"Here are the items for you," he said, sliding over a box. "Three special goblin daggers, and the original Hufflepuff Cup. I merely want you to see the cup, for proof these daggers work," he said.
"Thank you, this will prove very helpful. We will be able to eliminate the other Horcruxes quickly now," Harry said, opening the box.
There within, lay three daggers with short narrow blades with decorative handles. Their blades were barely longer than his hand, but as he took them from the box, he knew they would do what he needed them to do.
"Their holsters are included, and can blend over both cloth and flesh, if need be, depending on where you decide to secure them."
Harry took them, and quickly secured them under his robes to be retrieved later.
"I am honored you and your people are allowing me to use these," Harry said, knowing the goblins probably wouldn't allow them to keep them indefinitely. "I will return them as soon as the threats have been taken out."
"They are gifts. From one nation to another. May future years be prosperous for both our people."
Harry was stunned.
Rook was letting them have goblin blades?!
"Th-thanks," Harry managed.
"I do have a requirement, however," Rook said.
"These blades are not to leave the Custosae or her allies."
"They won't," Harry promised.
"Send me word when they have been used," Rook said.
"I will," Harry said as Rook stood up.
Harry followed suit.
Rook gave a short bow as they exchanged farewells, and before Harry knew it, he was walking back to Sirius and Lupin to shop — the weapons capable of destroying Voldemort forever secured to his chest under his robes.
- - -