"blah" - normal speech;
"Blah" - overheard conversations;
'blah' - thoughts;
[blah] - letters, diary entries, book passages, etc.
$blah$ - Parseltongue;
"blah!" - spells;
Previously on 'Harry Potter: The Black Lord'
Finally Dumbledore decided to do some damage control:
"No, now… settle down everyone. The excitement is over. Those affected by the… color change, please go to the Hospital Wing, Madam Pomfrey will sort you out in no time."
And so the five unlucky people went up to the Hospital Wing, while the others stayed behind to enjoy a calm and quiet breakfast.
On with the story.
After the first prank on Ron time seemed to fly by rather quickly. Harry would go to classes and make sure to do better than Granger in every subject possible and Draco was there to keep the muggleborn know-it-all under control in those subjects where Harry couldn't keep up, which were just a few, namely Potions, History of Magic and Astronomy. That, coupled with the charm on her ink which still no one could figure out how to undo, made sure that Hermione Granger had no time to spy on Harry. Ginny, oddly enough, didn't really acquire much attention, since she was practically unseen all the time. Ronald… well, he was Ronald… he was as thick as a brick. No matter how many times Harry told the carrot top to go away, Ron would still bounce back up a few days later as if nothing happened. But beside those Harry had another problem – the problem's name was Gilderoy Lockhart and by the time Halloween arrived, the Boy-Who-Lived was seriously contemplating poisoning or otherwise getting rid of the idiot.
"Urgh… leave me alone…"- whined Harry, as Neville attempted to get his roommate out of bed.
"Harry, we have classes. Get up, you lazy git." – came the already expected reply.
"Don't want to… It's Halloween… I'm not going out of this room today!"
"Oh, come on! Do you want me to get George?" – Neville threatened idly.
"Okay! Fine! I'm up!" – grumbled the Potter heir as he flung away the covers and crawled out of bed.
Neville snickered at his friend's fear of George. Somehow over the past two months the Weasley twins became like older siblings to Harry and Neville. And while Fred was very fun to hand out with and the one to help them out with their pranks, George was more of a mother hen. Of course that didn't mean that he became a responsible person. But when it came to Harry and Neville, he was like a totally different person. He helped them with their homework; made sure they ate healthily and exercised regularly. He even tuck them in when they went to bed. Obviously no one except his twin and the boys never saw this side of George and if one were to ask Fred about this side of his twin, he'd go dreamy eyed and sigh all the time, probably imagining what a good mother his twin would make for their future children.
"I don't get so important. I haven't missed a single class so far, there is no harm in missing one day…" – grumbled Harry as he went for a shower.
Back in their room Neville snickered quietly and readied himself for classes.
"A duelling club you say?" – asked Minerva McGonagall incredulously – "Are you sure you're up to it?"
It was indeed a lucky day for the Scottish witch. Early in the morning Dumbledore left to visit his sister's grave and thus making decisions was in her hands right now. Unfortunately she couldn't fire the idiot, who was in front of her right now, but it still felt good, no matter that it was only for a little while.
She sighed in relief when Severus swept into the room. One glare from the Potions master was enough to make the coward slink back to his classroom:
"Morning, Severus." – she greeting the younger man –"You're right on time as always."
"Obviously, Minerva." – said the wizard – "Was there something you needed?"
"Nothing in particular. Though our resident idiot proposed an interesting idea…"
"You don't say?" – drawled the man, snorting derisively.
"He proposed to make a dueling club. Of course he wanted to be in charge, but I told him to get lost. Now however I realize that the idea itself is not a bad one. Thus I'm asking you to take charge of it, if there enough children who want to take part."
"A dueling club?" – Severus muttered. He has always wanted to be the DADA professor, but Albus didn't trust him, a former Death Eater, to teach that to children. While a dueling club wouldn't be the same as actually teaching DADA, and it would be additional work load, Severus found that he wanted to do it.
"I'll do it." – he blurted out without even realizing that he said it out loud.
"Excellent." – smiled the deputy headmistress – "Now, how is the children's progress in Potions?"
Professor Snape blinked at the abrupt subject change:
"Well, Draco Malfoy is on top of things as usual, though this year he is closely followed by Mr. Potter." – it was hard for Severus to admit that the Potter spawn was not just a mini-James, but the boy's near perfect marks did a lot of good – "Mr. Weasley, the youngest that is, is doing even worse than Crabbe and Goyle, not that I thought such a thing possible. That know-it-all Granger is still affected by the spell, whoever put it on her. Also I was rather pleasantly surprised with Longbottom. After becoming friends with Potter he apparently found his spine, with his extraordinary knowledge of Herbology, they really work well together. How are your classes?"
Minerva shrugged a bit:
"Also pretty good, well not counting Miss Granger that is. I just don't understand it… why would someone put such a spell on her?"
"You don't really get it? All last year she was a bloody menace. Whenever I ask the class a question, she practically jumped out of her seat to answer. It was like she didn't understand that she was not the only student in the class."
Minerva blushed a bit, recalling that she herself was very similar to the bushy haired Gryffindor:
"Well, you are right on that point. But it's been going on for two months now…"
Snape shrugged uncaringly:
"Well then inspect her belongings like parchment, quills… that sort of thing… if there is nothing there, then take her St. Mungoe's."
The Head of Gryffindor blinked a few times and fought down the urge to bang her head on the table:
"Now why didn't I think of that myself?" – she muttered under her breath, but the younger wizard still heard thanks to his keen senses and smirked at the older woman.
Soon the other professors arrived and the meeting went smoothly, it turned out that unfortunately Ms. Granger wasn't doing well in any of her classes, while Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter and even Neville Longbottom were on a roll. Minerva also announced the creation of the Duelling Club and made Severus the one in charge with professor Flitwick as his aid. That was of course done so that Dumbledore wouldn't have the chance to involve Lockhart. Well, Lockhart himself was enraged that his idea passed, but he was not the one in charge. The idiot tried to argue with the decision and so Minerva said that he'd have to prove his skill first and defeat Severus in a formal wizarding duel. Obviously the blond turkey had no guts to do something like that, so the matter was resolved.
While Neville managed to drag Harry to classes that day, the boy flat out refused to go the feast. Instead he accepted Nearly Headless Nick's invitation to the ghost's Death Day party. The twins and, surprisingly enough, Pansy went with him, since it was a more unique thing than a Halloween Feast… that and they didn't want to leave Harry alone.
The party itself turned out to be rather dull and the food was totally inedible and so Harry felt guilty for being the reason his friends came here:
"I'm sorry, guys…" – he muttered as they were going back to Gryffindor Tower – "… I didn't know it would be that boring…"
"Well," – drawled Pansy, as came to the staircase that led to the dungeons – "at least it was interesting from an academic point of view. Don't worry, Potter, as long you do not make your birthday party like that I don't think it matters."
"Yeah, like little Ms. snake said…" – chuckled Fred, earning himself a dirty look from Pansy – "We wanted to keep you company, so we went. No big deal, now hurry up, if we're lucky we can have a snack in the kitchens."
George rolled his eyes at the unoriginal nickname:
"Goodnight Pansy…" – then he frowned at something at the end of the corridor – "You guys, what is that?"
Harry and Fred turned to look and saw the huge puddle of water. Harry was confused and went to have a closer look:
"Shit! We have to get out of here!" – he ran back to Fred and George – "We can take the long way to the tower. If Filch sees us here, he'll kill us."
Fred, who was also quite curious and followed Harry for a closer peek was equally unnerved. Thus the trio ran off back to the Great Hall and took the stairs up to the Tower.
When Neville came back from the Feast, the boys told him all about the water in the corridor, the strange message on the wall and the apparently dead cat hanging from a torch by her tail.
"Enemies of the Heir beware?" – he repeated quietly – "The Chamber has been opened?... It does sound sort of ominous… you guys were really lucky you weren't caught."
George nodded with a sigh:
"That's true I suppose. I wonder… what is Dumbledore going to say about the episode?"
"My money goes on he tries to cover it up." – said Fred at once.
Neville rolled his eyes:
"That's so obvious that even I'm not going to argue. Of course he'll cover it up, as long as no one else saw the cat before he was alerted to the event. However we should really try and figure out who's this Heir and what Chamber they mean… because if someone is up to something serious, I don't think they'll stop with a dead cat."
George watched his friends with a smile, but he was really worried. Strange things always happened at Hogwarts, but not the sort of things that could kill someone… until last year that is. From all the bragging Ron had done over the summer, the twins, along with the rest of the family, were aware of pretty much all the detail of the 'Sorcerer's Stone' fiasco. However they didn't know what happened at the end, when Harry was left alone to face Quirrel who was trying to steal the stone.
'Really, why do these things happen around him?' – thought the older Weasley twin – 'It's like he's a danger magnet. Oh, well… I guess we should be more careful from now, because I'm pretty sure this will not end with just a cat…'
Harry sat down near George and asked nervously:
"Do you think I'll manage to avoid getting involved in this?"
The ginger ruffled Harry's hair with a smile:
"Well how should I know? I'm not a Seer. However, one way or another you have us: me, Fred, Neville, even Draco and Pansy. We won't let you face whatever this is on your own. You're not alone Harry."
The boy gave the older wizard a radiant smile:
"Thanks. You know, I really envy Ron and Ginny…"
"Oh? Why would that be?"
"They get to have you two as brothers… I wish I had brothers like the two of you…" – Harry's voice was a little sad.
Fred and Neville came over and dropped down to sit beside Harry. Neville gave him a pat on the back:
"You idiot, just because we're not related by blood… though I'm sure that if we study our family trees close enough, we'll discover that we are some distant cousins, like all purebloods are."
This caused Harry to pause:
"Yeah, I suppose that is true… I never really thought about it like that. Cool."
"Well anyway, boys, it's late." – Fred broke the moment – "Go to bed. Even though it's Saturday tomorrow, you really should get a good night sleep."
"Wow, Fred…" – drawled his brother as he stood up and went to the door – "That was the most mature thing you've ever said…" – with that he winked at the younger boys and ran out of the room with Fred hot on his heels.
Author's Note: And I'll stop here. Finally things began moving :) I hope you liked the chapter.
Now I have another question for you:
Should the Weasley twins be:
1) straight (paired with different girls);
2) bi-sexual (paired with each other and one of the girls);
3) gay (paired with each other or different boys or with each other and another boy).
Though I'll say this now - I'm giving the twins a creature inheritance, just not sure what kind.