I had trouble getting this chapter finished, my site has lost a lot of canon charries, so I have been busily trying to find people that can fill the bill. Surprisingly no one has a desire to play Neville, the Weasley Twins, or become a Death Eater...meh, people have no taste I say lol
Evening had come far too fast for Aurora. She had tried her best to dawdle as much as she could before the detention with Lockhart, hoping that maybe by some chance the Golden Idiot would forget and she would be off the hook. But no, he had remembered and of course every time she passed him he would wink or express his eagerness for their detention in the evening. It was absolutely awful and all Aurora could hope for was that something would come down and stomp her into the earth before she had to go through with it. And her father could not help but smirk and sneer at her misfortune, she supposed that it was the ultimate form of payback where he was concerned…but Aurora had her own little plan set forth. And it would be brilliant…however she decided that she was going to wait a bit…give her father time to lose his suspicion and THEN she would strike.
However, plotting and formulating would have to wait, she was already a tad late for her detention and she was sure her father would lecture her into next year if he found out. So dragging her feet she made her way up the large spiral staircase to the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. The room that has been covered in various portraits of a man that claims to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. However Aurora would keep her lunch down in such a place was a mystery.
Her feet dragged on and on as she continued to make her way down the corridors and towards a spiraling staircase. Merlin, why couldn't he just strike her down now? Some might have considered Aurora's innermost thoughts dramatic, but in all reality if any other person had to spend more than ten minutes with Professor Lockhart they would have agreed with her completely! She didn't even know why he deserved the title of Professor! It was clear as day that he could not cast a single spell! He would end up killing everyone in his classroom before he taught them anything! Hopefully Aurora would have the capacity to sleep through such a death, so as not to wake up and have to deal with her father killing her the period after.
Finally, although it felt far too soon in Aurora's personal opinion, she had reached the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. The door was slightly ajar, so she doubted she would have to knock…but maybe she would have time to come up with a new plan. She could find the Weasley Twins and see if they could make her physically ill so she would not have to go through with it…or maybe she could throw herself down the spiral stair case and go into a coma until her father forgot all about her detention with Lockhart.
Jumping up slightly Aurora's eyes raced to her Professor.
"H-Hello, Professor…I am here for my detention."
"Ah yes!" Lockhart smiled. "Professor Snape sent me a note, not moments ago informing you that you would be arriving! Please, please come in!"
Aurora bit her lower lip, but continued through the doorway. There was no way this detention could last for more than an hour or so, her father said she would be answering fan-mail for him, and Aurora was certain that something like that wouldn't take her long at all. Not compared to scrubbing cauldrons with her father…those took her hours upon hours.
Aurora's hand was cramping…truly she felt that her fingers were going to fall off and if she didn't have carpal tunnel before this affair she sure as Hell had it now. How could someone get so much fan-mail, when he was such a blithering idiot? Aurora had to laugh though, because as she was going through the letters she had found one from Granger. So, in a way the night had not been a complete waste.
"Rory, Rory, Rory," Lockhart sighed. "Can you think of any better way to spend your evening?"
-Why I bet you will be telling this story to all of your classmates later in the day tomorrow, won't you?"
"Mmm…you have no idea…" Aurora grumbled.
"Come…come to me…let me rip you…let me…tear you…let me…..kill…you!"
Aurora's head whipped up and she turned to her Professor.
"I beg your bloody pardon?"
Lockhart's blond head turned to face her and his shimmering eyes narrowed a bit.
"Didn't you say something?"
"Me? Miss Potter, I believe you are hearing things…" he yawned and looked at the clock. "And it's no wonder; we have been here for nearly four hours!"
Aurora stood, bid her Professor farewell, and began making her way down the stairs to the Dungeon's. Her ears were straining against the sounds of the school as she tried to hear the icy voice that had called to her not moments ago. However, no matter how hard she tried, it was almost impossible to pinpoint it again. Perhaps she had been tired…perhaps it all had been a figment of her imagination. She had been wishing death on her Professor four hours before her detention…it might have been her innermost thoughts coming out agai-
"Blood…I smell blood…hungry…must…kill!"
Pressing her ear against the wall Aurora began to run…she could hear it moving through the walls, it was going to attack; it was going to attack someone! Her feet clattered against the ground, her hands shaking a bit as the voice became louder and louder. God, what if it hurt Ashley or Draco? What if it hurt one of her friends; or God forbid…her father?
Aurora gasped as her body slammed into another and looking up she gasped as it was her father, he grabbed her arms gently, as it was clear her body had yet to stop and let her mind catch up with her. She had to follow the voice, it was still moving!
"Let me go!" she pleaded. "It's still moving!"
Severus's eyes widened and he continued to hold his daughter's arms in his firm grasp. He didn't know what was going on with her, but the look of utter terror on her face was not sitting well with him at all. She looked like she had seen a ghost, or Voldemort himself!
"Aurora, calm down, what's moving?"
"It's going to kill someone!" she yelled, yanking from Severus's hands and racing down the hall.
Aurora could still hear it and the voice just got louder and louder, until finally it all but stopped. Brushing a couple of strands from her forehead she closed her eyes briefly to see if she could hear it again…only, the voice she heard next was not the same icy one she had heard moments ago.
Eyes snapping open Aurora gasped and covered her mouth with her hands to keep from crying out. On the wall in bright red, blood, letters was a message.
The Chamber of Secrets has been open. Enemies of the heir, beware.
-my cat! You murdered my cat!"
Aurora scanned the wall once more and her eyes widened. Mrs. Norris was hanging from a small wall lantern by her tail, completely immobile and almost statue like. She did not understand what was going on, but she had no part in it! Aurora loved animals; she would never lay a hand on one! No matter how much she detested Mrs. Norris and Filch.
"I would never, Mr. Filch!" Aurora said, turning towards the caretaker…and apparently the group of students that had tuned into the fiasco.
Aurora could feel all eyes on her, and hear voices that were whispering her name and motives as to what had just happened. Aurora didn't know what to say or what to do, no one would believe her or even give her a moment to speak! She was literally backed into a wall, where everyone was asking her questions and giving her looks that she wasn't sure she deserved. And just before she felt like she might shrink up into a little, ball…she felt two arms wrap around her.
"Hey, it's okay, Aurora…" Draco whispered. "Everything will be okay."
"You murdered my cat!" Filch roared. "You little brat, I will KILL you!"
"FILCH!" a loud voice boomed overhead. "Don't you DARE threaten my daughter!"
Aurora jumped when she saw the black of her father's robes whip by and the look on the Potion Master's face when he got nose to nose with the caretaker. Granted, her father was a tad taller than Filch, but both of them looked like they were about to murder the other. Aurora seriously doubted, though, that Filch would ever win.
"Your DAUGHTER killed my cat!"
"If you had any common sense in that unwashed skull of yours, Filch, you would know that NO second year could ever perform that kind of curse!"
"Then how do you explain-
-Mr. Filch! Professor Snape…I do believe that is enough…"
Aurora was really getting sick of people just popping up when she least expected them, but she had to admit that the Headmaster randomly coming into the corridor. He could explain all of this and possibly clear the hall of all the wandering eyes and whispering voices. Aurora almost wanted to leave with them, she was exhausted and all the commotion was making her head spin. At this point all she really was really concerned with was being able to go to bed and sleep this horrible day away.
"Professor Dumbledore," she said softly. "I swear…I would never…never…harm an animal or human ever! What would I have against Mr. Filch's cat?"
Her eyes pleaded with the Headmaster, hoping that he would hear her unspoken words and make this all go away. Normally this was a look she would give to her father, but he was preoccupied not murdering Mr. Filch at the moment.
"Miss Potter," he said gently. "I have no doubt in my mind that this was no fault of your own…however, the fact still remains that Mrs. Norris was petrified and you were the one to happen upon her."
"P-Petrified?" Filch repeated. "What does that mean?"
Severus snorted and moved to stand by his daughter.
"Means you are a blundering idiot that needs to go back to muggle grade school." Severus grumbled.
-Severus…" Albus warned. "It is curable, Mr. Filch…Professor Sprout and Severus will easily be able to brew an antidote, which will no doubt revive Mrs. Norris."
"My cat has been petrified! I want to see some punishment!"
Severus rolled his eyes and swept by Filch to his daughter. He had no interest in what the, deranged, caretaker wanted. He more or less just wanted to take care of Aurora and make sure she was safe for the night. She looked pale and scared out of her mind, not at all a good combination when it came to his ward.
"Come along Aurora," he said gently. "Let's go and get you some supper."
Aurora found herself being pulled down the corridor by her father, only able to watch in mild shock as Filch removed his cat from the lantern and began following the Headmaster down the opposite hallway. Her father was talking to her about supper, but Aurora was barely listening. All she could think about was that cold voice, and how she was terrified that no one could hear it but her. She would have to talk to Ashley about the voice she heard later…maybe he knew something of it. She wasn't sure she wanted to talk to her father about. She adored him, but he had a habit of wanting to protect her when she necessarily did not want protecting.
"Aurora," she heard her father call gently. "Did you hear me, child?"
"No…sorry, daddy." She whispered.
"I asked what you wanted me to have the house elves to send you."
Aurora shook her head; the last thing she wanted to think about was food. If anything her stomach had turned completely at the prospect of putting anything into her gullet. No, all she wanted to do was go to the Slytherin Common Room and talk to Ashley and Draco.
"I'm not hungry…"
Severus's eyes scanned over his ward and he nodded. Normally he would press on Aurora to eat, but something told him that she had gone through enough of an ordeal. Sleep was clearly what she wanted and needed, and Severus would not be so cruel as to deny her something like that. He would just make sure that Aurora ate something hearty for breakfast the next day.
"Alright, child, let's just get you to the Slytherin Common Room…unless you would rather stay in my quarters?"
Aurora knew that it was going to look weird to her father; usually she never turned down an offer to stay with him in his rooms. However tonight she truly needed to speak with Ashley and Draco on the voice she had heard. She wanted to know if there was someone out there that might have heard it to. It was clear that her father hadn't, he would have known what she meant when she said that the creature was going to kill. Thankfully, it also appeared that Severus had forgotten entirely about her mentioning the voice.
"I think it would be better if I slept in the dorm room, daddy…" she said gently. "I want to say goodnight to Ashley and Draco."
"Oh, have you and Mr. Blake made up?"
Aurora looked up at her father and nodded. She knew that he was probably just trying to make her feel better, but it really was doing her no good. What if whatever it was that had attacked Mrs. Norris went after someone else? What if that thing achieved killing someone and it was her father or one of her friends? She could hear what no one else could, did that mean that SHE was going to be killed next, and a person could only hear it just as they were about to die? There were so many questions reeling through her head that she felt like she might be sick.
"Sweetheart," Severus said softly. "You look so pale…and with how quiet you are, you are worrying me. Did something else happen in the corridor? What happened before you ran into me…you said-
-I thought I saw something daddy…" Aurora said softly. "I was just…overreacting to a shadow."
Severus cocked his eyebrow, he wanted to call her out on what she had just said, and being an Occlumens gave him the gift of always knowing when his ward was lying to him. However, she was so tired and looked so fed up from today, he did not want to cause her anymore stress. Aurora, to him, was still a very fragile girl and he constantly worried about breaking her.
"If you are certain, child…but I want you to know that no matter what it is you can come to me."
"I know daddy…and I promise I will."
Just as soon as she made sure that she wasn't going nutters. She was already being sent to a therapist regularly…the last thing she needed was to be chained to a bed because she could hear a voice that no one else could.
"Alright Rory," Severus said, gently pulling her to a stop. "I am letting you skip dinner tonight because you look dead on your feet…please do not skip breakfast."
"I won't daddy." Aurora said softly. "I promise."
"I trust you, goodnight, dear."
Aurora closed her eyes gently as Severus kissed her forehead and turning away she disappeared into the portrait hole and was pleased to find Ashley and Draco waiting for her. Taking a seat between them both around the fire she let out a sigh of relief and leaned back into the comfy sofa. There was just something so wonderfully comforting about the Slytherin Common Room to her. Though the comfort quickly faded, as she had to regale the night's events to her two friends.
"I'm not going mad, am I?" she asked, turning to Draco.
"How can you be, you were already there." Ashley smirked.
"Not the time, Ashley!" Aurora whined, pushing him onto the ground. "I'm seriously scared here…how can I hear something like that, but no one else can?"
Ashley glanced up at Aurora and gently pulled himself back up onto the sofa.
"Well, you were in detention for four hours Rory…" Draco sighed. "For all you know, you could just be tired."
"No," Aurora said with a shake of the head. "I've been tired before, Draco…this was something completely different. The voice I heard was real…I just need to figure out why no one else can hear it."
Sorry it took so long, please review, but not flames