Disclaimer: H.P. is J.K.R.'s, not L.V.'s or N.H.'s.
Peacock. Purple preening peacock. Perhaps that was the best way to describe Gildeory Lockhart. He certainly looked like one right now. Deep purple robes, too shiny white teeth, and hair slicked back with so much gel, even Draco Malfoy would be ashamed of the man. And yet he was here at Hogwarts teaching.
Harry wondered how the man even got the post teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. Yes, there was a curse on the job, but surely it couldn't be that bad to where Dumbledore had chosen this man as a last resort. He'd rather kill himself than have him teaching at Hogwarts.
But Harry was just a student, and there wasn't much he could say about that matter. Defense was hell, and he wondered if he was actually learning anything this year. The entire class seemed to be one big commercial for Gildeory Lockhart and the 'heroic' things he'd done while traveling the world, not anything useful.
Therefore, when Lockhart cleared his throat and made an announcement, he was surprised that it was actually anything noteworthy.
"Yes, that's right. I spoke with Headmaster Dumbledore, and he has given me permission to start a dueling club for all you young students. The first meeting will be held in the Great Hall at seven o'clock sharp tomorrow evening! If you want personal instruction from me and a surprise guest, then I suggest you come." He struck a pose, and Harry wondered if the professor had even realized what he was doing. "And who knows, you might even get to see me duel."
And so with that, there was new buzz about, a topic that was beginning to overcome the talk of Colin Creevy and the message on the wall.
"I can't wait until tomorrow. It's brilliant that he's already here teaching us. I'm sure Lockhart knows a bunch of useful spells and hexes he can teach us. Maybe even some he created himself." Harry rolled his eyes as Lavender Brown and Parvarti Patil passed them in the hallways. It was more than likely to be a load of self righteous crap, just like all his classes. But he'd go anyway, at the very least to see how much of a fool Lockhart looked while in front of the rest of the school.
"Are you guys planning on going?"
Hermione nodded while Ron just shrugged his shoulders.
"It's going to be interesting. I know that much."
Harry, Ron and Hermione stood amidst the crowd of students, watching Lockhart and his lovely assistant, the sour looking Professor Snape. They were demonstrating the Expelliarmus charm, and it appeared that Snape was winning the impromptu duel. It was probably the first time that either Ron or Harry had ever cheered for the Potions Master, but it was an occasion that called for the lesser of two evils.
So it was with triumphant smirk that he watched Lockhart get blasted across the room, to the cheers of some of the boys in the room.
Disheveled, the blond got off his feet, brushing off his robes and fixing his once perfect hair. "Good show, Professor Snape. I could've had you there, but I decided it would be best to show a person what it's like to be on the receiving end of that hex.
Now, as I said before, you all had a chance to learn and practice the Expelliarmus charm in class. We will now use that in a dueling environment. Any volunteers?"
Before any hands could go up, Snape interrupted. "Allow me to choose." It didn't take him long to pick. "Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Potter. I think you two would do very well." He beckoned to them with a sharp gesture.
"Go knock him out, Harry." Ron said with a pat on his back.
Pulling his wand out, Harry stepped onto the raised dueling stage, and took his place on the stage.
"You will only use the Expelliarmus charm." Lockhart explained as Malfoy took his place as well. "The winner will receive 20 points for their respective houses. Now, assume the dueling position."
Both students' wands rose in the air, ready to strike. "Begin!"
"Expelliarmus!" Two voices yelled in near unison. Harry's spell was the first to be released, his wand work slightly faster.
He didn't have to move to dodge his opponent's spell, as its aim was off, going instead off in a wide arc. Harry's however, hit home.
The Slytherin bounced back, hitting the floor hard, yet still managing to hold onto his wand. Snape picked him off the floor, shoving him back towards Harry.
"Good job boys!" Lockhart made to step back onto the platform again, but was interrupted by Draco casting another spell.
A large snake plopped onto the ground, hissing wildly in anger.
"What? Where am I? Who did this to me?" There were shrieks as it slithered to the edge of the platform, close to the watching students.
"No worries, I'll get rid of it." Lockhart stepped forward, sending a yellow hex its way. Instead of getting rid of the snake, it just hissed and spit.
"Fool! I'll teach you not to hurt you. Stay there, so that I can eat you." It moved closer to Lockhart, and seeming to change its mind, drew closer to a small group of Hufflepuffs.
Harry stepped forward, mouth parted to speak. He wanted to tell the snake that it was safe, and that no one would harm it if it didn't. But then he remembered where he was, and that people probably wouldn't take it too kindly if he all of a sudden started speaking Parseltongue. So he shut his mouth and watched as Snape silently vanished it.
"I think that will be all. Thank you Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Potter." Lockhart said, gaining control of the situation once again. "Now that we have seen that, intriguing demonstration, split up into pairs and practice between yourselves. And remember, only Expelliarmus, thank you." As the last bit was said, he sent a glare by way of Malfoy.
Harry hopped off the platform to rejoin his friends. "Well that was fun." He commented, not looking like he had fun at all. What could he expect? Malfoy was a Slytherin and was probably used to using backhanded ways to make a fair fight unfair.
The remainder of the club meeting continued on in relative peace. Neville Longbottom had managed to give his partner the head of a Llama, but incidents like that were to be expected when it came to dealing with the boy.
Ginny was scared. There was blood on her hands, and she didn't know where it came from. All she knew was that she needed to get rid of the evidence of whatever crime she had committed. She looked in the mirror, and noticed that there were small white things in her hair. Reaching her hand up, she plucked one out and examined it. Squinting, she realized that it was a feather. They were all over her hair in little white patches.
As she plucked them out, she wondered where they could come from and if the blood came from the same source as well. It frightened her that she couldn't remember what had happened and what had caused her to be covered in blood and feathers. She would've thought that it was one of Fred and George's pranks if it weren't for the fact that she had 'woken up' in strange places before with no memory at all. She was too afraid to go to anyone in fear that she was imagining things. After all, it was her first year of school, and she still had to adjust to things. Perhaps it was just stress and she would get over it soon enough.
Finishing up in the bathroom, she exited and locked herself up in her four poster, pulling out her diary from underneath her pillow. Maybe Tom would know what was going on. He was always smart and sensible, and seemed to ease her fears whenever they cropped up.
Hi Tom. She wrote as per her usual greeting.
Hello Ginny. Are you doing well? It was his normal response.
I blacked out again today. But this time I had stuff all over me. Blood and feathers. What do you think it means?
Maybe you fell asleep and started sleepwalking again? This isn't the first time this has happened, remember?
I know, but I think I would've remembered falling asleep. And I don't know where I would've gotten the blood and feathers.
I can't think of any answer to give you.
I know. I'm sorry to have bothered you with this. I'm just, scared, I guess.
It's okay Ginny, you're young. I'm sure there are things that you don't understand.
Yeah, I guess. Thank you Tom, you're always so understanding.
No, thank you Ginny. It's nice to hear about what you're up to at Hogwarts. My creator made me over fifty years ago, so I guess you could say that I'm a little outdated.
I wish you would tell me more about your time. It seems so much more interesting that what I do all the time.
Maybe after you tell me about your day. Does that sound agreeable?
Yeah, that works. Besides the thing with the blood and feathers, I explored the castle with my friend, Luna. She's the one that's always going on about the Nargles and such. We found some new passage ways, and I got a chance to get to know Luna more. She doesn't have too many friends around the school. Most of the other Ravenclaws avoid her because they think she's so weird. I like her well enough, considering we grew up in the same village….
They wrote to each other for almost another hour, Ginny providing information about her activities, and little tidbits about the other students she would run into. She thought it was rather boring, but was more than willing to have someone to talk with that actually understood her. Her brothers hardly ever cared about what their first year sister had problems with, and her parents were always too far detached to fully understand. She had her friends yes, but they just weren't as mature as Tom was. He always knew the right things to say, and she sometimes wished that he were real so that she could meet him. The way he talked was so old fashioned, and he sounded like he was powerful and handsome. At least, he seemed to act that way.
The worry about her blackouts was lessened by the time she put the diary away and gave her the needed comfort that allowed her to more easily fall asleep.
How are things holding up at Hogwarts? From what I've heard, our little pet project seems to be working according to plan. I only have a small token of advice to give you. Be careful. Move to fast, and people are more than likely to notice you more. I have faith in you Harry. The night we met, you proved to be a young man that is strong in spirit. You show much potential. I have to admit, your plight reminds me slightly of myself. I only hope that I may be able to guide you away from making some of the same mistakes I made when I was younger. Until next time, Harry.
As usual, the letter ended with no name, but he was used to the letters by now. It had actually come as a surprise. So wrapped up he was in his activities, he hadn't noticed the length of time that had passed since the previous letter. And he wasn't exactly looking forward to it. A letter meant that he would write back with progress. Perhaps a simple note would do. I'm alright. Thanks for asking. Bye!
That probably wouldn't be the exact wording, but something along those lines would suffice. And if he did happen to get curious, it wasn't like the Dark Lord would be able to waltz into Hogwarts and fix the problem.
Harry liked that he was trusted to complete an important mission. Asking for help would only be seen a sign of weakness. And besides, things hadn't seemed like it had deteriorated that badly anyway. Yes, there was a slight problem of someone else running around the castle with his Basilisk in tow, announcing that the Chamber of Secrets had been opened, but he was coming up with plans to handle it.
Filch was dead, and even if he had only accidentally done the deed, he had still managed to accomplish something. The next step would be to find out who next to attack. The only reason why he hadn't done any real thinking yet was because he didn't that he would even be able to handle the fact that he would be plotting the death of another person. He was twelve, he shouldn't be plotting murder.
A memory flashed in his mind, one he knew for sure wasn't his. It was one of a sixteen year old Tom Riddle standing over three bodies, triumph evident in the emotion. Harry then knew that they had been murdered. Muggles that had been taken by surprise and killed by the most hateful of magic.
His father and grandparents, that's who Tom Riddle had killed at the young age of sixteen,. Harry didn't know what bringing up that memory was supposed to do to him. Maybe tell him that he wasn't the only one with enough gut to go around killing people? He didn't know. He didn't want to kill. It was wrong, of course. But then he wanted to prove that he was more than capable. He had had those musing in his head plenty of times since the summer that he was told that he was supposed to play the role of Heir of Slytherin. But still, he hadn't been able to figure out what to do with what he assumed was his conscious. It was screaming 'no', telling him that he should tell someone what he had been up to before it got out of hand.
He couldn't tell anyone though. It would mean that he would have to admit that he was in contact with Lord Voldemort, and he would also have to confess to killing Argus Filch. And then he would go to Azkaban and rot in there for the rest of his life. No, he was dug in too deep and he would follow it through to the bitter end if he had to.
Sighing, Harry placed the letter deep inside his trunk, and pulled out quill and parchment so that he could pen a quick reply.
It was then that he realized that he hadn't actually written the Dark Lord before. So far, it had been one way correspondence and that he probably wasn't expected to write back to this letter either. But he felt that he should acknowledge that he was taking the given advice to heart.
Thank you for the advice, it is much appreciated. Right now, I'm considering the next path to choose, since there are many options for me to take into account. I have run into some minor roadblocks, but they shouldn't be too much of a problem. I should have it fixed in no time. I apologize for the short letter, and for not replying to your other letters before. I just assumed that it was a one way thing. Since you found out about the other incident, I guess that you'll learn of the next one as well.
Hoping you succeed in your goals,
The letter finished, Harry set it aside to mail later and made his way down to the Common Room to join Ron and Hermione at a table.
"So," He began after looking around to make sure that there wasn't anyone nearby that appeared interested in their conversation. "How's the potion coming along, Hermione?"
"It's almost halfway done now. It should be ready in time for Christmas break, but I'm pretty sure that we'll be cutting it close by a good day or two."
"Good job, Hermione." Harry complimented. He hadn't taken part in much of the actual brewing of the potion, since it required delicate work, and jobs like that were usually left to Hermione. It had been agreed between that while Hermione brewed the potion, Ron and Harry would each take turns to make sure that the potion remained un-tampered. The potion was being brewed in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom of all places. According to Hermione, no one ever went in there on account of the ghost, and Myrtle probably wasn't going to go run off to tell a professor that some second years were brewing potions in the girl's bathroom.
"Who are we going to turn into, anyway?" Ron asked.
"I was thinking that you two could turn into Crabbe and Goyle, and I'll turn into Millicent Bulstrode. I managed to pluck off some of her hair at the dueling club. I don't think anyone noticed me."
"Hermione, did you really have to pick to three grossest people in the school to change into?"
She nodded. "Yes Ronald, I did. Of all the people in Slytherin House, those two are probably the most likely he'd go around gloating anything about to. And I don't know about Millicent, but she probably hangs around those goons as well. I think she has a crush on Goyle, I can't be too sure." At that remark, she cringed at the thought of anyone wanting to have a crush on one of Malfoy's minions.
"That's… interesting to hear." Harry laughed, shuddering as well. "How'd you figure out if they're staying for the holidays, anyway?"
"I saw them signing up last week at lunch when Professor Snape went around with the sign ups."
"You're turning out to be a bloody good spy if you're noticing all that." Ron commented.
"Yes well, that's why you are my minions and do everything I tell you." Hermione sniffed, trying her best to look like she was their superior.
"Hey! What makes us your minions instead of you guys being mine?"
"For once, you two do very well at pointing and grunting. And I'm a girl, so it's in my nature to take two hopeless boys under my wing so that they might help me to dominate the world."
"Are you listening to this, Harry?" Ron asked, turning to his friend with a slightly horrified expression on his face.
"Sounds right to me, mate. She rewards us with homework help, so I'd say that she definitely has a point there Ron."
"Good minion, Harry." Hermione patted him on the head. "Maybe Ron, if you're as good as him, you'll get a cookie for good behavior."
Ron looked at her for a few moments before bursting out into laughter, Harry following him, and Hermione giggling along with them, their noise earning them a few looks from some of the upper years.
"Right," Harry said once the trio got themselves under control once more. "How about we just leave the taking over the world to me, eh?"
"Whatever you say Harry, just know that I'll be in control all along, no matter what you do."
For what seemed the millionth time in a row, Harry sat perched on a toilet with an open door, watching the entrance pipes for any signs of movement. And for the millionth time in a row, he wished that was able to apply charms to alarm him whenever someone decided to open up the Chamber of Secrets once more. He was getting tired of the same old game where he had gotten no results despite all his patience. The alarms wouldn't work outside the entrance because the only ones that he knew of wouldn't alert just him to an intruder, but anyone else in the vicinity as well. Doing that would go against any kind of subtlety that he was trying to maintain. Instead, he had to do it the old fashioned way under the cover of his invisibility cloak.
He tried preventing a large yawn from escaping his mouth, but it was to no avail. He had simply been away from too long, and trying to stay up late wasn't helping him any. He wasn't even sure if he was watching the place properly. For all he knew, the other guy was coming after he had left, and was doing who knew what with his snake. And Harry wasn't even sure if they were going to keep coming again, since there had already been one attack. Too many variables and too many things that he didn't know about.
The only thing that he did know was what he was going to do once he found the other person. He wasn't going to confront them right away as that would be just plain stupid. He'd probably just follow them around for a bit and see what they were up to and if they were too large of a threat to get rid of on his own. If they were, he'd get someone else, namely the Dark Lord to take care of the problem. And if it wasn't going to be a problem, he'd figure out how to get rid of them himself. Either by blackmail or by force. Whichever one would work the best. He actually didn't care too much for the idea of blackmail, since too many things could go wrong with that as well.
He was just getting ready to call it quits for the night when a glimmer of something caught his eye. It looked like some sort of bend in the air, almost like when water refracted light, and a stick look oddly bent when placed in the water. He held still, staring at the distortion, trying to figure out what it was. He would've passed it off as a trick of the light if not for the fact that it looked like he had seen it move. As he stared harder, he could make out the vague shape of a humanoid. It wasn't ghost that was for sure. From what he knew, they could turn completely invisible. He figured that it was a Disillusionment charm that was being used on the person. It was decent camouflage, but it never quite managed to give a person true invisibility.
He couldn't get a good look at them, but figured that they were heading to the stand of sinks sitting in the middle of the bathroom. He craned his neck, unwilling to risk making noise by standing up from the toilet. Whoever it was, he could barely make out where they were standing. He would have to move around if he wanted to get a better look at them. Or maybe he could get a spell off and cancel the charm. Either way, he estimated that he would still have to change his position.
With an internal sigh, Harry gingerly stood up, careful to make as little noise as possible. This had to be the one time that he was grateful that the faucets dripped on account of Moaning Myrtle's constant drama. He creeped forward, silently slipping his wand out from its place inside his robes. He could barely make out the distortion hovering in front of the sink. He didn't know why they hadn't opened the Chamber just yet, but Harry wasn't going to wait around any longer to find out why they hadn't done that just yet.
"Finite Incantum!" Harry cried out, moving his wand through the movements as fast as he could.
His spell hit home, but before he could get a good look at the person that he had just attacked, he slipped on a patch of wet tile, saving him from a spell sent back his way. He rose to his feet, making sure to keep his cloak wrapped tightly around him.
The room was oddly silent, and he wildly looked around, trying to see where the other person had gone to. A flash of red caught his eye. Instead of staying to fight, it seemed that they had taken the easy way out and decided to run. He wouldn't let them get away that easily. He ran after them.
He rushed out the bathroom, and barely managed to see the figure turn down a corridor. He sprinted after them, wishing to the powers that be that he would be able to keep up with them. Years of playing Harry Hunting had allowed him to be able to sprint rather quickly, but he only needed to run long enough that either Dudley gave up, or he was able to find a suitable hiding place. This chase, he had a feeling would turn into some kind of endurance race, which he hadn't really been counting on doing that night.
By the time he caught up with them, they were already halfway down the hall, approaching what he knew to be another turn. Still, he kept on, not really caring that he was making a bunch of noise, but still making sure that his cloak stayed on.
As he figured, they turned again, and Harry followed a few seconds later. This time, there was a set of stairs at the end of the hallway. Their hood was up now, and Harry couldn't tell for sure what they looked like.
His feet slammed against the stairs as he ran up them, panting slightly. The only good thing about coming this way was that there was a dead in just barely ahead. Obviously, they weren't thinking, or else they would've gone another way. Either that or they just didn't know the school that way.
At the top of the staircase, he stopped. Not because he had all of a sudden decided to have given up, but because they had disappeared completely. All that that stood in front of him now was a blank stretch of hallway with a wall at the end. Any doors up here would be locked. The purpose of the rooms, he didn't know, but he did know that there was no getting in them at all. He had tried.
He took his wand out in case he was attacked again. But there was nothing. Just silence. Not even the distortion of a Disillusionment charm. It was disconcerting that his quarry had been able to disappear without a trace. It wasn't like they apparated. Hogwarts had wards against things like that. It was irritating that he had lost the chase and didn't even know how he had done it. But he had to give it to them, they were good. And they had given him the break that he had longed for since starting his personal stakeout.
Though it was a break, all he knew was that they looked like a student. Nothing else at all. And for all Harry knew, it could've been a disguise as well. But on the plus side, they would be taking steps to be more careful about how they accessed the Chamber of Secrets, and maybe, if he was lucky enough, they would stop using the Basilisk altogether. It probably wasn't going to happen, but for whatever reasons, it still seemed nice to keep those thoughts in hand.
Calling it a night, he headed back down the stairs, senses still on high alert just in case anything else decided to happen to him that night.
As he quietly made his way up the five stories it took to get to the Gryffindor common room, he sighed, thinking that maybe it was time to rethink his problem and how to solve it. The thing was, nothing else seemed to come to mind. It wasn't like he could just go around asking for help. There was one person that he could ask, yes, but that was only to use as a very last resort, and only because both the Gryffindor and Slytherin side of him was telling him that he could handle it all himself. It was his mess; he could deal with it on his own.
Once back in the comfort of his dormitory, he quietly removed his cloak and slipped into bed. There was a lot to think about and hopefully it wouldn't keep him up too much longer.
It was the Christmas holiday already, and Harry couldn't believe it. It seemed like it was only a few weeks since his return to Hogwarts and they were already into the winter break. As he settled into a chair in the nearly empty common room, he realized that it was a break much needed. He had been spent too much time worrying and fussing over things that were clearly outside of his control. His only solace was that he had friends that would look after him, and he would do the same in return. He couldn't exactly tell them what he was up to, but it was still nice to be able to relax and chat about non important things. It helped him to remember that he was still an eleven year old boy, and that he shouldn't forget how to act like one.
Besides the thing with the Polyjuice Potion, he promised himself that he wouldn't do anything that concerned anything not school or friend related.
That said, he enjoyed his cup of hot chocolate that Fred and George had somehow managed to smuggle into the dorms. Even Percy, who was staying at Hogwarts as well, didn't complain about the hot drink. After all, hot chocolate was a staple of all things to do with winter and Christmas, and Harry was glad that the prefect wasn't too much of a prude to say anything about the drink. Judging by the quality of the beverage, Harry had to guess that it came somewhere in the vicinity of the kitchens, courtesy of the house elves inhabiting the place.
"Who's winning?" Harry asked Ron, who was currently playing a game of chess against Percy.
Ron answered without looking up from the board. "Who do you think?"
"Not for long, my dear brother." Said Percy, finally moving a piece of his own. "Old age and treachery is no match for youth and enthusiasm.
"Well said, old chap! We knew you'd finally admit that you were getting a bit soft in the head." Either Fred or George said that remark, who was who, Harry could never figure out. How molly did it, he never knew.
"Oh shove it, you two. I could take house points from you for disrespecting a prefect." He grumbled.
"Ah, how you wound us, Percy," Started one of the twins.
"You would punish your own flesh and blood."
"On the eve of Christmas, nonetheless,"
"Whatever would mum say?"
Percy merely ignored the pair, instead choosing to concentrate on the game before him.
"You play a cruel game with your brother, you know that, right?" Harry said to the twins.
"Us?" The said in unison, daring to look affronted at his comment.
"Percival knows that we're only joking."
"Yeah, I see." He shook his head before turning back to the book his was reading. He didn't continue reading though, and instead pondered what it would've been like if he had parents who were still alive.
It was depressing to think about, that he knew, but still he couldn't help but to do so. Every year at Christmas, the Dursleys would go out of their way to make sure that he knew that he had no other family. He had to be grateful to them for their willingness to take him in. When he was younger, he had wished he had other family that he could go to. Not because he had missed them, but because he had wondered if he would've been less of a burden to his aunt and uncle if they didn't have to take care of them now.
But this year, there was no gloating, as it was the year previous. It gave him time to dwell on what possibly could have been. He was enjoying himself; he wasn't going to deny that. He had friends to share the holiday with both presents to receive and to give. But as he watched the interaction of Ron and his brothers, he wondered what it was like to have true flesh and blood to share that with. He wondered what it would be like to have a constant source of family that he could laugh and play with, tease and cry with.
Or if he had siblings, would he have the same closeness that the Weasley family seemed to have with each other? Yes, they seemed to have their differences from time to time, but it looked like underneath it all, there was underlying factor that was keeping them all together. Harry could only assume that it was love. He had read enough books and seen enough movies to have a general idea of what it looked like, and he was somewhat jealous of it.
He was starting to get himself down. It was Christmas - it was supposed to be one of the happier times of the year. No need to be a party pooper to himself, it just wasn't going to get him anywhere worthwhile.
"Hey, where's Hermione and Ginny?" Harry asked, realizing that there were people missing from their little impromptu party.
"They're up in the dorms." replied Ron. "They're probably talking about boys or stuff like that. Glad I don't have to hear it."
"How come we never talk about girls, Ron?"
"Are you kidding me? We're twelve, for Merlin's sake! We don't start thinking about that kind of stuff until we're old, like Percy."
"I'm right here, Ronald." Percy sniffed, pushing up his eyeglasses further up his nose.
"I know that. Pawn to E-7. Checkmate." He ignored his brother's protests and continued speaking. "Like I said, Percy's old, he can get away with looking at and talking with girls. Just look at him and Penelope Clearwater."
"Penelope and I are merely friends, Ron."
Ron snorted. "Right and I'm the bloody Minister of Magic."
"Yes, mum." He rolled his eyes.
"What about Hermione, she's a girl?" pointed out Harry. "We talk with her; shouldn't she be excused from that then?"
"No, cause she's a friend. And we met her before she got real gross, so I think it's alright."
"Yeah, your logic is unflappable. Remind me not to go against it again."
"Think we ought to go to bed now?" Ron asked, putting away his chess set.
"Why? It's not like we have any classes to go to tomorrow."
"But tomorrow's Christmas! I don't want to sleep in, and neither should you, Harry. It's like the only day that I'll actually get up early on. Don't you remember me waking you up last year?"
"Yeah, I didn't even get a chance to look at the clock before you attacked me with my own presents. But I guess you've got a point there, Ron." Harry drained the remainder of his hot chocolate, and rose from his cushy seat. "Night guys," He said to the remaining Weasleys.
"Night Harry." Said Fred and George.
"Goodnight Ron, Harry." Percy said before returning to his book.
Harry yawned as he climbed the stairs behind his friend. He supposed the thought of actually going to bed at that point made him actually start to actually feel sleepy. He didn't mind though, he was excited for Christmas, and was even excited to be excited for the next day. It was enjoyable to actually have something to look forward to for the second year in the row. Last year, he hadn't believed that he would actually get presents of any sort, but this year, he thought that he could actually get used to the idea of giving and receiving gifts.
"Fun day tomorrow, eh Ron?" Harry said as they both prepared for bed.
"Yeah. The best part is going to be the sweater that mum sends. Even though it's probably going to be maroon again. But I guess I don't really mind all that much, they're warm and remind me of home."
"Yeah, they're pretty nice. I'm still surprised that your mum sent me one last year. I don't think I'd had a decent conversation with her before Christmas."
"That's mum for you." Ron observed as he crawled into bed. "You could be Draco Malfoy of all people, and if she thought that he needed a sweater, I'm pretty sure she'd make the ponce one anyway."
Harry chuckled at the thought of Draco strutting around Hogwarts in a Weasley sweater. The image didn't seem to suit the Slytherin very well. "If I have dreams about Malfoy walking around in a sweater, I'll know who to blame it on."
"Whatever mate. Go to sleep. We're waking up early tomorrow."
Harry drew his curtains shut. "Happy Christmas, Ron."
"Happy Christmas, Harry."
A/N: Thanks again for reading, and thanks again to my new beta Allanah-x. Review and tell me how weird my story is!