-Year Two: Chapter XX: Whiskers-
The grass was cool to Naruto who was lying in the middle of a park looking up at the stars with Camille who was lying next to him with her legs crossed. They had been there for about a half-hour. The abandon house was a fun place to explore until the police showed up and they had almost been caught trespassing. Well, Naruto, Camille, and Adelyn had almost been caught, the other two weren't so lucky. Camille glanced at Naruto who was currently playing with a piece of paper that had a bunch of weird markings covering it. "Do you think we should have stayed with Noah and Trey?"
"No," said Naruto as he placed the piece of paper into his pocket and looked at her. "I was the reason you got into all that trouble the first time, I wanted to make sure you didn't get in trouble this time."
"I would have been in trouble either way that night, whether you lied or not."
"I'm sorry about that by the way. Harry lives with some really strict unpleasant people. If he would have got in trouble that night, who knows what would have happened."
"Its fine, I got over it." Camille glared at him and held up a fist, "though if you do it again I'll beat you."
Naruto put his hands in front of his face and smirked, "Oh, I'm so scared."
"You should be." Camille stood up and looked at Naruto who was climbing to his feet. "I'm really glad you came and spent some time with me tonight. We wouldn't have another chance to do something for awhile."
Naruto dusted off his pants and smiled at her. "Thank you for inviting me, I had a good time. Though why wouldn't we have another chance to do something?"
"Because my family and I are going on vacation," said Camille as she got closer. "Can I ask you something?"
Naruto watched as she intertwined her fingers nervously. "Ask me anything."
Camille stayed quiet for a few seconds, trying to decide if she should really ask him. "Do you regret the night we almost…you know…"
Naruto shook his head, trying to figure where this was going. "No, no I don't regret it. Not to be rude, but I am kind of glad we didn't do it, I mean, the toilet isn't really the place someone wants to lose their virginity at."
Camille stepped closer and giggled. "It's not the most romantic place." The smile slowly faded from her face as she stared at the boy who was inches away from her. "I need to go," she whispered as she traced her fingers along his birthmarks. "Walk me home, Whiskers?" She asked as she grabbed his hand.
The streets of Surrey were completely empty except for the two teens that were silently walking together. Camille stopped walking once she was in front of her house and looked Naruto at nervously. "Thank you," she said quietly.
"Anytime," Naruto replied giving her hand a squeeze.
Camille stepped as close as she could towards Naruto and tried to calm herself down. She grabbed Naruto's free hand with hers, closed her eyes and placed her lips softly against his. She could feel all of her nerves relax when she felt him kiss her back. It wasn't like the one they were both dared to do back at the restaurant which was very sloppy and wet, this one was soft and tender. The porch light flipped on and she slowly pulled away from him. "Be safe," she whispered before walking towards her father who was standing on the porch.
Naruto watched Camille enter her house before he looked at her father whose muddy-brown hair was a mess and his green-eyes were burning holes into his head. Her father wasn't incredibly big, but big enough to where he could hold his own without a problem. Naruto watched her father look him up and down as if he was trying to figure out how big of a threat he was. "You better get home, boy; someone might think you are up to no good."
Naruto nodded and started to walk away. He could hear the door shut and see from the street darkening her porch light turn off.
October arrived, spreading a damp chill over the grounds and into the castle. Madam Pomfrey, the nurse, was kept busy by a sudden spate of colds among the staff and students. Her Pepperup potion worked instantly, though it left the drinker smoking at the ears for several hours afterward. Ginny Weasley, who had been looking pale, was bullied into taking some by Percy. The steam pouring from under her vivid hair gave the impression that her whole head was on fire.
Raindrops the size of bullets thundered on the castle windows for days on end; the lake rose, the flower beds turned into muddy streams, and Hagrid's pumpkins swelled to the size of boulders. Naruto sat in Snape's office, waiting for the man to come back. The lessons hadn't really been lessons anymore as they have been using the time to just talk and get to know each other more. The topics ranged from Quidditch to their lives. They didn't share anything personal, just more of their preferences like the kind of food they liked or what season they preferred. It was nice and he was glad for the change.
Severus walked into the room and sat down in front of Naruto handing him a brown box. "Happy Birthday, Naruto."
Naruto took the box and carefully opened it up. What he saw was a whole bunch of potion supplies, but what caught his attention was the photo at the bottom. He carefully moved the supplies and pulled out the picture. He could feel a lump form in his throat when he saw his mom standing in the Quidditch stands smiling and waving excitedly at him.
Snape watched Naruto carefully and saw his eye water up, but no tears fell. "I took that picture during the Gryffindor versus Slytherin game during our fifth year. She was a very kind woman, though she had a temper. She kind of took the people that lit her fuse down aggressively as she used her fists and not her wand."
Naruto let a smile onto his face when he heard that, he preferred using his fists too. "What house was she in? It's hard to tell in this picture as she isn't wearing her robes or jumper."
"Gryffindor, though she did mention once that the Sorting Hat had said that she would do well in Ravenclaw. She was brave, intelligent, and got top marks in all of her classes, especially in Defense Against the Dark Arts. She excelled at Dueling and Wandless Magic.."
"When did you two become friends?"
"It was during our Third year. We had Care of Magical Creatures together and we had been paired up for a project which required us to find an animal of our liking and study it. After we found it we had to figure out what it ate, where it lived, was it nocturnal or not, that sort of thing. We had an argument on which animal we were going to study and she had taught me what it felt to get punched."
"She punched you?" Asked Naruto surprised.
"It's a long story," said Snape as he rubbed his chin.
"What did you do to piss her off?"
"I don't know. I don't remember doing anything, so it's possible I said something. I won't ever know for sure."
Naruto looked at Snape curiously. "Didn't you ask her why she hit you in the face?"
Snape nodded. "I did, but the only reply I received was 'you know why.'"
"Women are so confusing," Naruto muttered.
"Indeed they are."
"Why did she leave?"
"It was only supposed to be temporary, but it eventually became permanent. She always wanted to see different parts of the world and when she finished her schooling she took off."
Draco glared at Lockhart who was now lecturing Pansy on why writing 'Lockhart is a cunt' across her test in all caps was very disrespectful and inappropriate.
"You will be serving detention with me for the remainder of the week, and with Snape next week." Lockhart gave Pansy one last look of disappointment before walking off towards his office.
"Whatever, you bloody wanker…" Pansy mumbled while ripping her test in half and throwing it to the floor.
Draco looked towards Theodore and Tracey who had become friends over the past couple of weeks and had completely ignored him. Blaise and Daphne had become friends as well and completely avoided him. Crabbe and Goyle were the only ones who really stuck by him anymore as Pansy also started to ignore and avoid him whenever possible. He didn't realize how much influence Naruto had over the group until now. He had always thought he was the leader of their group and he was proud of it. Now he realized he was never the leader like he thought he was; he didn't have the control he thought he had. Naruto was the one who had been running things ever since their group started, rather unknowingly, but still the one with control. The only reason anyone besides Crabbe and Goyle did the things he told them to do was because Naruto did it. What surprised him the most though was Naruto didn't intimidate them with fear, they willingly listened to him. He didn't threaten them or their families and that went completely against what his father had taught him.
Draco was brought out of his thoughts when he heard the door to the classroom open and saw Naruto walk into the classroom. Lockhart, who surprisingly looked away from his mirror to see the new occupant of the room, strode up to Naruto with a big smile on his face. "I'm so glad you could make it, Naruto!" Lockhart placed a hand on the blonds shoulder and led him towards an open seat in front of the room. "We are in the middle of a very important test!"
"Don't touch me." Naruto brushed away Lockhart's hand. "I am not here to take a stupid test. Professor Snape sent me to retrieve Theodore and Blaise for about a half hour or less." Naruto pulled out a note and handed it to Lockhart.
Lockhart read the note and nodded. "Theodore and Blaise, you may leave! Come to me when you have some free time so you can finish your test! It is very important! Naruto, you still need to take yours!"
Naruto left the classroom with Theodore and Blaise following closely behind him. He stopped when he reached the corner of the hallway and scratched the back of his head and grinned at both of them. Theodore returned the grin and then raised a lone eyebrow. "So does Snape actually want to speak to us or did you pull me out of class to enjoy my company?"
"You can go back to class if you want; this task only requires two people." Naruto smirked when Theodore went silent.
"So what do you need us for?" Asked Blaise
Naruto pulled a book out of his bag and handed it to Blaise who read the page Naruto bookmarked. Blaise handed the book to Theodore and looked at Naruto confused. "What does that book have to do with anything?"
"It has everything to do with anything."
Theodore handed the book back to Naruto who placed it back into his bag. "Ever since you left to hang out with that Muggle chick, you have been rather short with us."
"Not everything I do is your business."
"Well Blaise, it seems like Naruto here has girl problems."
Naruto glared at his two friends who were grinning at him. "What girl problems?
"Well, you have that Granger chick you like to protect."
"Then there is Pansy who likes to steal half of your bed." Added in Blaise
"You also have that Muggle girl you kissed the night you left." Finished Theodore with a wink
Naruto shook his head and sighed. "First of all, I don't protect Hermione, I defend her. Secondly, I rather enjoy a females company in my bed, something you two have yet to experience. Finally, I got lost in the moment."
Theodore folded his arms and looked away from Naruto, a pout on his features. "Well aren't you special."
"Back to the reason you saved us from Lockhart." Said Blaise who was rather interested in what Naruto had planned. "What does that book have to do with anything?"
"Lockhart is a lying, thieving piece of shit to put simply. His book resembles the one in my bag perfectly, and that my friend, is a crime." Naruto looked at his friends who looked nervous. "What are you two so nervous about?"
Theodore cleared his throat and swallowed. "Well…I'm glad that you found some dirt on Lockhart, a bit giddy to be honest, but I know that you have something planned and your plans usually don't end well…"
Blaise nodded, agreeing with Theodore. "You're like a magnet to danger, and serious physical injury."
Naruto raised his eyebrows and eyed both of them. "What's your point?"
"I don't want to be put in the infirmary!" They both said in sync
Naruto narrowed his eyes at both of them and slung his bag over his shoulder. "Okay, I understand. If you both of you bitches want to sit in your little bubble of dullness then so be it, but don't come crying to me when we have to deal with Lockhart next year because you refused the opportunity to get rid of him!"
Theodore grabbed Naruto by the arm, stopping the blond from walking away. "First of all Mister Big Nuts, we are not what you call 'bitches,' and nor do we sit in a bubble, it's more like a dome of gold."
Naruto pulled his arm from Theodore's grip, and turned to face him. "I don't care what you call it."
"Secondly," continued Theodore, completely ignoring Naruto. "We never said we wouldn't help you, but we are going in with a bit caution."
Naruto nodded and let a mischievous smile crawl onto his face. "Good to hear. I'll see you two later tonight!"
Theodore watched Naruto disappear around a corner before looking at Blaise a bit worried. "What do we get ourselves into?"
Mrs. Norris, the caretaker's cat, was hanging by her tail from the torch bracket. She was stiff as a board, her eyes wide and staring. Pansy glanced at the large puddle of water on the floor, and then at the writing on the wall. The chamber of secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir, beware. She glanced over at Draco who looked like he wanted to say something badly, but was attempting to keep his mouth shut. Her eyes fell on Naruto who was looking at the writing on the wall with a bit of curiosity, but most of all it was like he was waiting for something to happen. She watched as Naruto placed his hands on the backs of Theodore and Blaise and instantly disappeared. If one wasn't paying attention they wouldn't have noticed it.
"What's going on here? What's going on?"
Pansy's head instantly shot towards the direction she heard the voice and saw Argus Filch shouldering his way through the crowd. Then he saw Mrs. Norris and fell back, clutching his face in horror. "My cat! My cat! What's happened to Mrs. Norris?" he shrieked. And his popping eyes fell on Harry. "You!" he screeched. "You! You've murdered my cat! You've killed her! I'll kill you! I'll -"
"Argus!" Dumbledore had arrived on the scene, followed by a number of other teachers. In seconds, he had swept past Harry, Ron, and Hermione and detached Mrs. Norris from the torch bracket. "Come with me, Argus," he said to Filch, "You, too, Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley, Miss Granger."
Pansy looked at Lockhart who stepped forward eagerly. A frown fell upon Pansy's face as she turned around and pushed her way out of the crowd of students.
Theodore opened the door to Lockhart's office and poked his head in, a grin crawling onto his face. "It's empty!"
Naruto shook his head and pushed past Theodore. "Thanks, Captain Obvious."
Blaise followed Naruto into Lockhart's office and looked at all of the pictures of Lockhart in disgust. "What are we looking for exactly?"
Naruto shrugged his shoulders. "I am not really sure. Just find something that proves he is a fraud."
Blaise nodded and started to look through the stacks of papers while Theodore started to go through the all of papers that were scattered across the desk. Naruto looked around the office, looking for something that looked familiar. Theodore picked up a bottle and raised an eyebrow, "Occamy Egg Yolk Shampoo?"
Naruto looked at the bottle and sighed. "Our professor is probably the biggest fairy I have ever met."
Blaise glanced at Theodore and smirked. "Maybe you should use the Shampoo Theodore… Get yourself some locks of lustrous luminosity."
Theodore quickly shook his head and threw the bottle into the trashcan. "My hair is sexy enough as it is."
Naruto tried to hide his grin and failed miserably. "Come on now Theodore, we can't have another narcissistic douche roaming our hallways."
"What? I can't admire myself?"
"Not when it's about your hair. Drool over your body or something."
Theodore looked over at Blaise offended. "What kind of whore does he take me for?" Theodore leaned against Lockhart's desk and looked back at Naruto. "If I fail school, which is impossible because all of the professors love me, but if I do, I need something to fall back on. I mean look at Lockhart. He is probably the biggest idiot we know and he is rich. His looks got him somewhere." Theodore looked at his two friends who were giving him blank stares with their mouths hanging open a bit. Theodore stood there for a second before realization dawned on him. "Oh very funny, Theodore's gay, ha ha!"
Naruto blinked a couple of times and grinned when heard Theodore call him an asshole. "You said it, not me." He froze in place when he heard the sound of Lockhart's obnoxious voice echo off of the walls. He looked back at Theodore and Blaise who were giving him worried looks. "Uh-oh…"
Draco looked up from his essay when the fire in the common room turned green and spat out Theodore and Blaise before it went completely out. Both of them stood up and started to dust themselves off. They both froze and started to frantically look around the common room. "We abandoned a soldier, Blaise! We're scum!"
Draco watched as the fire roared back to life and watched it shoot Naruto half-way across the common room. He looked at Theodore and Blaise who looked relieved and gave them both a confused look. "Err… What happened?"
"We survived!" Theodore exclaimed with a lot of enthusiasm. He turned his attention to Blaise who had plopped himself onto the couch, breathing heavily. "Could you imagine the look on Snape's face if he saw three of his students covered in orange perfume?"
Draco blinked a couple of times, "Orange perfume?"
Naruto plopped himself down next to Blaise and threw his cloak into the fire. "I can't believe I smell like pumpkin pie!" He glared at Theodore who refused to look him in the eye. "You just had to knock over Lockhart's stand of seasonal perfume, didn't you?"
"Hey!" Theodore folded his arms and glared at Naruto. "I was scared for my life and tried to high tail my ass out of that office! So what if I tripped over a few copies of his books and knocked over a stand of perfume? We survived and we have showers so get over your-self."
Blaise stood up from the couch and started to walk towards the dormitories. "I'm going to bed."
Theodore quickly followed after him, leaving Naruto and Draco by themselves. Draco quickly packed up his things and looked at Naruto. "See you tomorrow?"
Naruto nodded and lied down on the couch. "Yeah, sure."
Draco nodded and picked up his things walked towards the dormitories. "Have a good night."
Pansy sat on her bed with knees pulled against her chest. Her hair was sticking to her forehead from sweat, and she had tears streaming down her cheeks. She wiped the tears away with her forearm and pushed herself out of bed, flinching a bit when her feet touched the cold stone floor. She walked out of her dormitory and continued to walk until she reached a lone door at the end of a hallway. She knocked once and waited a few seconds before knocking again only to receive no answer. She grabbed the handle and pushed the door open, her eyes scanning the empty room. The fireplace wasn't lit and the lone bed was made and showed no signs that it had been slept in. She turned around, disappointment clearly etched on her face, and was about to leave the room when the person she was hoping to find appeared in front of her.
Naruto looked at Pansy's tear stained face and frowned. He could see the fear in her eyes the second he looked at her, but what she was afraid was the mystery he was trying to figure out. A few tears leaked from her eyes and her bottom lip started to tremble. Naruto frowned and placed his hand on her back and pulled her into a hug. "Bad dream?"
Pansy nodded into his shoulder, holding onto him tightly.
"Come on," Naruto said quietly, escorting her into his dorm. "You can sleep here tonight."
For a few days, the school could talk of little else but the attack on Mrs. Norris. Filch kept it fresh in everyone's minds by pacing the spot where she had been attacked, as though he thought the attacker might come back. Harry had seen him scrubbing the message on the wall with Mrs. Skower's All-Purpose Magical Mess Remover, but to no effect; the words still gleamed as brightly as ever on the stone. When Filch wasn't guarding the scene of the crime, he was skulking red- eyed through the corridors, lunging out at unsuspecting students and trying to put them in detention for things like "breathing loudly' and "looking happy."
The attack had also had an effect on Hermione. It was quite usual for Hermione to spend a lot of time reading, but she was now doing almost nothing else. She also pulled Naruto along to all of her study sessions to his dismay and wouldn't let him leave until she left. Naruto sighed into the palms of his hands and glanced up at Hermione who searching every book shelf in sight. "What are you looking for again?"
"I am looking for a copy of Hogwarts, A History, and all of the copies have been taken out," she said, sitting down next to Naruto who folding a piece of paper into an airplane. "And there's a two-week waiting list. I wish I hadn't left my copy at home, but I couldn't fit it in my trunk with all the Lockhart books.
"Why the hell do you want that boring book?" Asked Naruto who had just finished folded the last wing to his plane.
"The same reason everyone else wants it," said Hermione, "to read up on the legend of the Chamber of Secrets."
Naruto gripped the bottom and gently tossed it forward and grinned when it started to fly around the library much to the students occupying the room annoyance. "Oh, and what exactly is the Chamber of Secrets?"
"That's just it. I can't remember," said Hermione, biting her lip. "And I can't find the story anywhere else."
"Well," said Naruto grabbing another piece of paper. "You can always borrow mine if you want. I tried to read it and didn't even get through the first sentence before falling asleep."
"Oh that would be perfect!" The bell rang much to Hermione's disappointment. "Thanks for your help Naruto!"
"What subject do you have next?" Naruto shouted at Hermione's retreating form.
"History of Magic!"
History of Magic was the dullest subject on their schedule. Professor Binns, who taught it, was their only ghost teacher, and the most exciting thing that ever happened in his classes was his entering the room through the blackboard. Ancient and shriveled, many people said he hadn't noticed he was dead. He had simply got up to teach one day and left his body behind him in an armchair in front of the staff room fire; his routine had not varied in the slightest since.
Today was as boring as ever. Professor Binns opened his notes and began to read in a flat drone like an old vacuum cleaner until nearly everyone in the class was in a deep stupor, occasionally coming to long enough to copy down a name or date, then falling asleep again. He had been speaking for half an hour when something happened that had never happened before. Hermione put up her hand.
Naruto strode into the classroom with Hogwarts, A History hanging loose in his hand. He looked at Hermione and blinked a couple of times. He glanced at the rest of the class and noticed that were all dozing off and that Hermione really did have her hand up. He silently walked over to her table and dropped the book in front of her causing the entire class to jump in surprise. "I brought you the book you wanted."
Professor Binns, looking up from his deadly dull lecture on the International Warlock Convention of 1289, looked amazed. "Miss - er -?"
"Granger, Professor. I was wondering if you could tell us anything about the Chamber of Secrets," said Hermione in a clear voice.
Dean Thomas, who had been sitting with his mouth hanging open, gazing out of the window, jerked out of his trance; Lavender Brown, who Naruto thought was a giant twat, lifted her head off her arms and Neville Longbottom's elbow slipped off his desk.
Professor Binns blinked. "My subject is History of Magic," he said in his dry, wheezy voice. "I deal with facts, Miss Granger, not myths and legends." He cleared his throat and continued, "In September of that year, a subcommittee of Sardinian sorcerers" He stuttered to a halt. Hermione's hand was waving in the air again. "Miss Grant?"
"Please, sir, don't legends always have a basis in fact?"
Professor Binns was looking at her in such amazement, Naruto was sure no student had ever interrupted him before, alive or dead. "Well," said Professor Binns slowly, "yes, one could argue that, I suppose." He peered at Hermione as though he had never seen a student properly before. "However, the legend of which you speak is such a very sensational, even ludicrous tale -" But the whole class was now hanging on Professor Binns's every word. He looked dimly at them all, every face turned to his. Naruto was just simply amazed that something interesting in this class was actually happening.
"Oh, very well," he said slowly. "Let me see ... the Chamber of Secrets ... You all know, of course, that Hogwarts was founded over a thousand years ago - the precise date is uncertain - by the four greatest witches and wizards of the age. The four school Houses are named after them: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. They built this castle together, far from prying Muggle eyes, for it was an age when magic was feared by common people, and witches and wizards suffered much persecution."
He paused, gazed blearily around the room, and continued. "For a few years, the founders worked in harmony together, seeking out youngsters who showed signs of magic and bringing them to the castle to be educated. But then disagreements sprang up between them. A rift began to grow between Slytherin and the others. Slytherin wished to be more selective about the students admitted to Hogwarts. He believed that magical learning should be kept within all-magic families. He disliked taking students of Muggle parentage, believing them to be untrustworthy. After a while, there was a serious argument on the subject between Slytherin and Gryffindor, and Slytherin left the school."
Professor Binns paused again, pursing his lips, looking like a wrinkled old tortoise. "Reliable historical sources tell us this much," he said. "But these honest facts have been obscured by the fanciful legend of the Chamber of Secrets. The story goes that Slytherin had built a hidden chamber in the castle, of which the other founders knew nothing. Slytherin, according to the legend, sealed the Chamber of Secrets so that none would be able to open it until his own true heir arrived at the school. The heir alone would be able to unseal the Chamber of Secrets, unleash the horror within, and use it to purge the school of all who were unworthy to study magic."
There was silence as he finished telling the story, but it wasn't the usual, sleepy silence that filled Professor Binns's classes. There was unease in the air as everyone continued to watch him, hoping for more. Professor Binns looked faintly annoyed. "The whole thing is arrant nonsense, of course," he said. "Naturally, the school has been searched for evidence of such a chamber, many times, by the most learned witches and wizards. It does not exist. A tale told to frighten the gullible."
Hermione's hand was back in the air. "Sir - what exactly do you mean by the `horror within' the Chamber?"
"That is believed to be some sort of monster, which the Heir of Slytherin alone can control," said Professor Binns in his dry, reedy voice.
The class exchanged nervous looks. "I tell you, the thing does not exist," said Professor Binns, shuffling his notes. "There is no Chamber and no monster."
"But, sir," said Seamus Finnigan, "if the Chamber can only be opened by Slytherin's true heir, no one else would be able to find it, would they?"
"Nonsense, O'Flaherty," said Professor Binns in an aggravated tone. "If a long succession of Hogwarts headmasters and headmistresses haven't found the thing -"
"But, Professor," piped up Parvati Patil, "you'd probably have to use Dark Magic to open it -"
"Just because a wizard doesn't use Dark Magic doesn't mean he can't, Miss Pennyfeather," snapped Professor Binns. "I repeat, if the likes of Dumbledore-"
"But maybe you've got to be related to Slytherin, so Dumbledore couldn't -" began Dean Thomas, but Professor Binns had had enough.
"That will do," he said sharply. "It is a myth! It does not exist! There is not a shred of evidence that Slytherin ever built so much as a secret broom cupboard! I regret telling you such a foolish story! We will return, if you please, to history, to solid, believable, verifiable fact!"
"There is evidence, though." Naruto looked at all of the heads that snapped in his direction. He suddenly wished he didn't say anything.
"What evidence is there, Mister-?"
"Uzumaki… and there is the writing on the wall that said the chamber has been opened. Mrs. Norris has been attacked and she was at the scene of the crime!" Naruto looked at the class who looked back at Professor Binns.
"That could have been a joke pulled by a student-"
"Sounded more like a threat to me," said Naruto, cutting Professor Binns off.
"The Chamber of Secrets does not exist!"
"What about the cold, murderous voice that is apparently very hungry, wants to kill, and can smell blood? I heard the voice and followed it to where everyone found the writing. Something is happening and it has to do with this chamber, and the voice I heard probably belongs to the monster…."
Naruto glanced around the classroom and saw the fearful looks he was receiving. He looked at Harry, Ron, and Hermione who were looking at him with wide eyes and started back up towards the door. "I think I'll just excuse myself…"
"Who can it be?" asked Hermione in a quiet voice, as though continuing a conversation they had just been having. "Who'd want to frighten all the Squibs and Muggle-borns out of Hogwarts?"
"Let's think," said Ron in mock puzzlement. "Who do we know who thinks Muggle-borns are scum?" He looked at Hermione.
Hermione looked back, unconvinced. "If you're talking about Malfoy -"
"Of course I am!" said Ron. "Come on, you've only got to look at his foul rat face to know it's him -"
"Malfoy, the Heir of Slytherin?" said Hermione skeptically.
"Look at his family," said Harry, closing his books, too. "The whole lot of them have been in Slytherin; he's always boasting about it. They could easily be Slytherin's descendants. His father's definitely evil enough."
"They could've had the key to the Chamber of Secrets for centuries!" said Ron. "Handing it down, father to son..."
"Well," said Hermione cautiously, "I suppose it's possible ..."
"Do you think that Naruto could possibly have something to with it?" Asked Ron. "I mean he could hear the same voice that Harry heard and he is friends with Draco..."
Hermione shook her head and glared at Ron. "Don't bring Naruto into this! I'm pretty sure he has nothing to do with it, and there is most likely a reason as to why Harry and Naruto can hear the voice!"
"Sorry," said Ron quietly, surprised by her quick defense. "Okay, we all agree its Malfoy."
"But how do we prove it?" said Harry darkly.
"There might be a way," said Hermione slowly, dropping her voice still further with a quick glance across the room at Percy. "Of course, it would be difficult. And dangerous, very dangerous. We'd be breaking about fifty school rules, I expect -"
"If, in a month or so, you feel like explaining, you will let us know, won't you?" said Ron irritably.
"All right," said Hermione coldly. "What we'd need to do is to get inside the Slytherin common room and ask Malfoy a few questions without him realizing it's us."
"But that's impossible," Harry said as Ron laughed.
"No, it's not," said Hermione. "All we'd need would be some Polyjuice Potion."
Naruto walked into the Slytherin Common Room and saw Draco, Blaise, and Theodore sitting on one of the couches doing some homework. He quickly made his way over to them and sat down next to Draco. "How much do you know about the Chamber of Secrets?"
Draco looked up from his essay, looking a bit surprised that Naruto was actually talking to him. "Well, not much…"
"What about your father? Think he might know something?"
Draco thought for a moment before nodding. "Yes, I have a feeling he might know quite a bit. Why?"
Naruto looked at Theodore and Blaise making sure he had their attention. "You know the writing on the wall that said the Chamber of Secrets has been opened? Well, I know it exists and I want to find it." Naruto sighed before leaning his against the back of the couch. "The only problem is that no one knows where it is."
"I could write my father and ask him what he knows…" said Draco. He was also interested in this secret chamber.
"Does this mean that our quest on proving that Lockhart is fraud is on a hiatus?" Asked Theodore
Naruto nodded. "Our new goal is to find the Chamber of Secrets. You can include Tracey and Daphne to our plan if you feel like it, the more the merrier."
Draco nodded and pulled out a piece of paper. "I am going to start on the letter."
Naruto stood up from the couch and started to walk towards the girls dormitories. "I am going to go and fill Pansy in. Maybe her parents know a thing or two."