Chapter 2 - The Dueling Club

Harry woke Sunday morning to the blazing winter sunlight shining in his face. 'Great' he thought to himself somewhat dejectedly.

'Colin was attacked and I'm still here in this dungeon of terrors. Uh oh… Speaking of the dungeon here comes the dungeon mistress now.'

Seeing he was awake, Madam Pomfrey came bustling over with a breakfast tray, and began testing his fingers, making sure they had full movement.

"All in order." she said as he clumsily fed himself left handed. He thought that more breakfast ended up on his pajamas than in his mouth.

"When you've finished eating, you may leave."

Harry dressed quickly, all the while muttering of white haired dungeon keepers, and idiot house elves. Dobby had been by just before Colin was brought in. It was the little wanker whom had broken his arm with a Bludger, supposedly so that Harry would want to leave school. 'Stupid little wanker' he thought to himself viciously. Oh yes, Harry Potter was irritated. Both at the fact that he'd nearly gotten his head crushed by a rogue Bludger, and that he hadn't been able to do anything about the attacks.

Well, Dobby was useful in a way. He'd let slip that the Chamber of Secrets had been opened before. Then the maniac started hitting himself.

"You mean the Chamber of Secrets had been opened before?" Hermione said.

'Duh. Didn't I just spend ten minutes explaining everything?' Harry thought sarcastically.

"This settles it," Ron said in a triumphant voice. "Lucius Malfoy must have opened the Chamber when he went to school here and now he's told dear old Draco how to do it. It's obvious. I wish Dobby's told you what kind of monster was in there. How is it nobody's noticed it sneaking around the school?"

"Maybe it can make itself invisible," Hermione theorized. The rest of the conversation as was lost on Harry as he was lost in thought.

' Hmm, Slytherin's monster. I hear voices that others can't hear…. If I were Slytherin, what creature would I use in my Chamber? What am I missing here? A snake? Slytherin was a slippery git. I don't know of any snakes that can petrify people… Gah! What am I missing here?' he thought in ever growing frustration.

The news that Colin had been attacked and was now lying as though dead in the hospital wing had spread through the school by Monday morning. The air was suddenly thick with rumour and suspicion. First years were now moving around in tight-knit groups, as though scared they would be attacked if the ventured forth alone.

Ginny Weasley, who sat next to Colin in Charms, was distraught but Harry felt that the twins were going about it the wrong way in cheering her up. Meanwhile hidden from the teachers, a roaring trade of talismans, amulets, and other such nonsense protective devices was sweeping through the school. Neville had even bought a large foul smelling plant… thing, and some sort of purple crystal. Harry thought it was all just silly, since Neville was a pureblood and among the least likely to be attacked. It was everyone else who had something to worry about.

A week later, the trio was walking across the entrance hall when they say a small knot of people gathered around the notice board, reading a piece of parchment that had just been pinned up. Seamus and Dean beckoned them over, looking excited.

"They're starting a Dueling Club!" said Seamus. "First meeting tonight! I wouldn't mind dueling lessons; they might come in handy one of these days…"

"What, you reckon Slytherin's monster can duel?" said Ron, but he, too, read the sign with interest.

"Could be useful," he said to Harry and Hermione as they went into dinner. 'Shall we go?"

"I wonder who'll be teaching us?' said Hermione as they edged into the chattering crowd. "Someone told me Flitwick was a dueling champion when he was young - maybe it'll be him."

"As long as it's not - oh no" Harry began but ended with a groan.

"Gather round! Gather round! Can you all hear me? Can you all see me? Excellent!" Lockhart a.k.a. the "Large Walking Golden Penis" (As Harry and Ron had taken to calling him) waved and arm for silence.

"Now, Professor Dumbledore has granted me permission to start this little Dueling Club, to train you all up, in case you ever need to defend yourselves as I have done on countless occasions - for further details, see my published works." the ponce said as he flung his cloak into a small group of witches.

"Let me introduce me assistant, Professor Snape," he said with a large smile. "He tells me he knows a tiny bit about dueling himself, and has sportingly agreed to help me with a short demonstration. Now, I don't want any of you to worry - you'll still have you Potions master when I'm through with him, never fear! We won't be using any lethal spells."

"Damn!" came the anguished moan of Ron, as Harry sighed in disappointment.

"Of all the rotten luck. It would have been great if they'd just finish each other off." Ron muttered in Harry's ear, which caused Hermione to glare at them.

Snape's upper lip was curling. Harry couldn't tell if it was almost a smile, or if Snape had just eaten something foul.

In short order, Lockhart had been blown arse over elbow by a powerful "Expelliarmus" from Snape. Lockhart of course tried to save face by going on about how if he'd wanted to stop Snape it'd have been "Too easy." Yeah right.

Soon they were marching through the crowd, matching up partners. Neville was matched with Justin, but Snape reached Harry and Ron first.

"Time to break up the dream team I think." he sneered.

Ron was teamed with Seamus, as Harry tried to sneak over toward Hermione. "I don't think so Potter. Mr. Malfoy, come here. Let's see what you make of the famous Harry Potter. And you, Miss Granger - you can partner with Miss Greengrass."

Harry had to double-take. He hadn't noticed Daphne in the crowd before. He was too busy watching Lockhart get his arse handed to him to notice anyone else.

Malfoy strutted over, smirking. 'Git' Harry thought. Behind him walked Daphne, who gave Harry a slight smile as she paired off with Hermione, who was looking nervous. She knew Daphne was top in their year a fact that irritated Hermione to no end.

Daphne was no slouch with a wand either. Within seconds of the call to start, Hermione was on the ground; bound with a bloody lip, and a slightly dazed look in her eyes. Daphne looked a bit sheepish at this and quickly helped her up. Malfoy and Harry had been pretty even. Both of them were suffering from the effects of mild jinxes, Malfoy laughing uncontrollably on the ground from a Tickling Charm, and Harry flat on his back with his legs jerking wildly.

Around the entire hall, students lay moaning in pain or otherwise suffering from other jinxes and hexes. It was a disaster that Lockhart put a stop to quickly before anyone else got hurt.

"I think I'd better show you how to block unfriendly spells," said a flustered Lockhart in the midst of all the carnage. "Let's see, I'll need a demonstration pair - Longbottom and Finch-Fletchly, how about you -"

"A bad idea, Professor Lockhart," said Snape, gliding over like a large malevolent rabies infected bat. "Longbottom causes devastation with the simplest spells. We'll be sending what's left of Finch-Fletchly to the hospital wing in a matchbox." Neville's round face went crimson at Snape's insult.

"How about Malfoy and Potter?" said Snape with a twisted smile.

"An excellent idea!" said Lockhart, gesturing Harry and Malfoy onto the dueling platform in the middle of the hall. After some idiotic tips on dueling from Lockhart, who managed to drop his wand, Harry and Malfoy faced off at the centre of the stage.

"Scared?" muttered Malfoy, so that Lockhart couldn't hear him.

"You wish dick-face." said Harry out the corner of his mouth, as Malfoy's face pinked.

"Just do as I did Harry." said Lockhart pompously.

"What drop my wand?" Harry asked innocently, which caused the male population in the hall to laugh.

"Yes… well, on the count of three. One… Two…" Malfoy's wand was moving at the count of two. Harry expected no less from the little slime ball, and was moving to dodge the incoming strike. Draco's spell went wide, and Harry retaliated instantly with a banishing hex that caught Malfoy square in the chest, sending him flipping end over end to the other edge of the stage, landing hard… on his arse.

Snape quickly grabbed Draco and hurled him back on his feet.

"Everti Statum!" cried Malfoy.

The spell was coming at Harry fast. In a moment of desperation, Harry's mind yelled 'SHIELD!' In an instant, Malfoy's spell bounced off the bright ethereal blue shield that appeared in front of Harry, right back at the little ferret faced git, knocking him on his back. After a moment of stunned silence, Snape hurled Malfoy to his feet, but this time whispered something in Draco's ear.

Daphne watched the entire affair with more than a little amusement. After the little shit had tried to get fresh with her, she thought that he was getting exactly what was coming to him. She was as stunned as everyone else that Harry had yet to utter a single word, and yet, he managed to blast Malfoy across the stage, and even raise a shield. She was becoming more and more intrigued with Harry Potter. He was already very powerful for someone his age.

The two adversaries faced each other again. Malfoy raised his wand and bellowed, "Sepensortia!"

The end of his wand exploded. Harry watch, aghast, as a long black snake shot out of it, fell heavily on the floor between them, and raised itself, ready to strike. There were screams from the crowd as everyone backed away from the stage.

"Don't move, Potter. I'll get rid of it for you." said Snape lazily as he enjoyed the sight of Harry standing motionless, eye to eye with an angry snake.

"Allow me!" shouted Lockhart. He brandished his wand at the snake and there was a loud bang; the snake instead of vanishing, shot straight up into the air and fall back onto the stage with a loud smack. Enraged and hissing furiously, it slithered straight for Justin Finch-Fletchly and raised itself again, fangs exposed, ready to strike.

Harry wasn't sure what made him do it. He wasn't even aware of deciding to do it. All he knew was that his legs carried him forward as he shouted stupidly at the snake, "Leave him alone!" And miraculously, the snake slumped to the floor, docile as a thick black garden hose, its eyes now on Harry. Harry felt his fear drain out of him. He knew the snake wouldn't attack anyone now, though how he knew it, he couldn't explain.

He looked up at Justin, grinning, expecting to see Justin looking relived, or puzzled, or even grateful - but certainly not angry and scared.

"What are you playing at Potter?" he shouted at Harry, and before he could reply, Justin had turned and stormed out of the hall.

Daphne Greengrass was stunned. Not only was Harry Potter a very powerful wizard, but he was also a Parslemouth! A trait commonly attributed to only dark wizards and witches. Not that she believed such tripe. It was like the misconception that all Slytherins were evil. Well she certainly was NOT evil. Since that evening she had spoken to him in the hospital wing, she'd found herself thinking more and more about the raven haired boy. She couldn't explain why, but there you have it. She had a crush on Harry Potter.

"This school of witchcraft and idiocy are all probably going to think Harry is the heir of Slytherin." She muttered to herself as she dressed down for bed. She was going to have to find him when he was alone so that she could talk to him. She saw how his "Best friend" Ronald Weasley was looking at him as Granger dragged Harry out of the hall.

She knew that the weasel was probably going to distance himself from Harry. She could feel it. Granger would probably stick by him no matter what. Like an over protective older sister. Still she couldn't help but feel a little jealous of Granger. She was after all the only girl to almost always be with Harry. Daphne knew she'd just have to wait until she happened upon the cute raven haired destroyer of ferrets when he was alone. She could wait.

X x x x x x x x x x x

Note: 12/14/2010 Beta'd.

A/N: there you have it folks, Chapter two of my story. I get the feeling it's going to be a long one too. I think I'll put it all into one story instead of breaking it up year by year. That's too much of a pain keeping track of all the chapters on FFN. I already have two other stories, and it gets quite annoying uploading new documents. Read and review. I've come to the decision that they will not reveal their friendship until the Yule Ball. So! To keep this story from becoming too monotonous, I'll gloss past or even skip whole parts of each year that don't really matter. It irritates me when people write about ALL the things a character did that day. Day after day! NO ONE CARES! There is no need to describe exactly what someone has for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Or what they pick out to wear! Get on with the story already! So I do my best not to get trapped in that pattern, which really says to me the reader, that the writer has run out of things to write about and is just using up hard drive space with that crap. Sorry for this rant, but it's just something that irritates me to no end. Many a good fic have been ruined this way. Cheers!