A sort of routine developed between Harry and Pitch, Harry easily able to hide their almost nightly visits, Pitch couldn't always show up because he was still the King of Nightmares, even if he stopped causing them on purpose they were still necessary, and Harry sometimes had too much homework or was just too tired and Pitch would often show up late on those nights to watch him dream for awhile before leaving. They started getting together inside the castle soon after, the weather slowly getting worse and worse and drowning the grounds until no one spent more time outside than they were forced too, colds going around the castle along with the weather. Harry and Pitch had taken to meeting in an empty classroom, close enough to the Gryffindor common room in a hurry but far enough away they didn't have to worry about anyone seeing them. The two had only gotten closer as Harry had accepted the Boogeyman and the nightmares that came with him, and Harry had, in turn, told Pitch of his home life, and forced Pitch to promise not to do anything untoward against the Dursley's, aside from the occasional nightmare of course. Pitch had learned quickly that Harry, while good-hearted and smart, also had a mischievous side that would rival even Jack Frost's from what he knew of the winter spirit, having never met him himself, and didn't tolerate bullying of any form, Pitch had actually had to step in when he had been watching Harry secretly during the day to stop one of his potions from exploding when someone tried to sabotage it after Harry told a boy off for insulting someone. One thing that always made Pitch smile was the ranting Harry sometimes did about his DADA teacher who, on top of being completely conceited and annoying, was a total idiot and didn't teach them anything and Harry was forced to learn everything himself, much the way he had to last year since no one could understand what his old teacher said through all the stutters. The only time Harry could practice what he knew was with Pitch, since it was dangerous for students to practice spells on their own while their magical core was still developing and could cause serious damage if not monitored, but he was still ages ahead of all his classmates in the subject. There were a few nicer days where Harry would drag Pitch into the forbidden forest and show him around, making sure that the Whomping Willow and some of the forest residents, like the acromantulas, wouldn't attack him, and they both enjoyed those nights, Harry because he got to spend time in the forest and Pitch because he got to learn more about Harry and parts of the wizarding world, having never been very interested in human affairs even if most of the magical community didn't have stories about the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, though for some reason everyone knew about the Sandman, and thus didn't believe.
Pitch noticed something about Harry very early on, before he'd opened about about his relatives, and he still had a hard time not literally scaring them to death for what they'd done. They had neglected and abused the kindest child that Pitch had ever come across, used him as a slave and a punching bag, and it was very hard on Pitch's monumental self-control, the only things stopping him were Harry's promise for him not to and the thought of making them suffer for as long as he could the first chance he got. Most would would probably consider Pitch Black a stalker for all the watching he did over one Harry Potter, but it was understandable when one thought of how he was the Boogeyman, even when someone did believe in him they were terrified of him. Harry was the first who had accepted Pitch as a necessary bad, fear was a good thing sometimes. Pitch could tell the boy knew when he was there even if he couldn't see him, he had asked the boy about it once and Harry had told him that he felt like a living shadow to him, comforting and safe for him but with the potential to strike fear into others. Harry always smiled just a little bit brighter and was a little bit happier whenever Pitch was around, and Pitch enjoyed the happiness and joy he felt instead of the fear he used to revel in, centuries had made things tedious compared to the beginning when he was always excited and looking for people to terrorize. The only thing he was worried about was the voice Harry had heard recently in the castle. Only Harry heard it, Pitch hearing nothing but a faint hissing noise like water going through half-empty pipes when Harry heard it, and he was getting worried for the boy.
Pitch had been glad to discover that almost none of the castle's occupants could see him, something he was currently taking advantage of, and slipped soundlessly through the castle behind Harry, randomly scaring people as they passed. The reason for this was Halloween, the only day that the Guardians gave Pitch complete free reign and didn't try to stop him, the day when all the ghosts and ghouls were supposedly able to interact with the living and the only holiday where scaring others was encouraged. Both Pitch and Harry could tell who could see the Boogeyman when they stepped into the great hall, mostly muggleborns that were avoiding them in a way that was probably meant as subtle, and Pitch took great pleasure in sinking into Harry's shadow on the floor and spreading it out slightly to scare some of the kids nearby. Harry greatly enjoyed the feast that night, Pitch sticking close by most of the time but periodically moving around the room and making people jump and enjoying himself immensely, and he wished that Halloween would never end. The spell was broken though when everyone was let out to go back to their dorms for the night, the crowd of students filtering back out into the halls and stopping in the corridor. Harry was too short and far back to see what was going on up ahead but Pitch wasn't, his tall form easily seeing over the children's heads, his sharp eyes taking in the petrified cat on the wall and the words scrawled above it.
THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS HAS BEEN OPENED.
ENEMIES OF THE HEIR, BEWARE.
A blond boy, one that Pitch had seen bullying people and who Harry often butted heads with, broke the silence and brazenly spoke the words, adding a threat at the end, and the hall soon erupted with murmurs. Pitch knowing that he could easily lose Harry in the crowd even if he couldn't touch anyone else, leaned down and wrapped his arms over the boys shoulders, most of the tension in his body easing at the comforting touch. "You should hurry back to your dorm, Harry, before things start getting worse."
Harry nodded imperceptibly and was glad to leave at the first chance he got, slipping through the crowd easily when they were ordered to their dorms by the teachers, and slipping into an empty classroom when no one was looking. Pitch let go of him then, Harry settling on a nearby desk while Pitch stood by the door. "Did you see what was wrong with Mrs. Norris?"
"She was petrified, frozen in place but still very much alive, the last thing she saw must have been terrifying because I could still sense the cat's fear."
Harry bit his lip and shifted on the desk. "Do you think it has something to do with the voice?"
Pitch looked alarmed at that, the possibility not having crossed his mind, but feeling that there might be some truth to what Harry had said. "I do not know, but I do know that whatever it is will not get anywhere near you if I can prevent it."
Harry smiled and jumped off the desk, reaching Pitch in a second and hugging him tightly around the waist, the highest he could reach with his shorter than normal height, and getting one in return. Pitch had figured out quickly that Harry liked giving hugs, something he was glad to give the boy in return. "Thanks, Pitch. I should go back before anyone notices I'm not there."
"Would you like to take my way?"
Harry nodded enthusiastically and Pitch picked him up, walking to the shadows in the corner and stepping into them, taking them straight to Harry's dorm where he left Harry for the night, there were a lot of nightmares in the castle tonight that he had to take care of. "Night Pitch."
Sorry for the shortness but I've decided to write shorter chapters and post them quicker instead of long chapters that have absurd amounts of time between posts. I'm sorry if any of you are disappointed by this but I had a feeling people thought I was dead for awhile because of my long gaps between posts, I am not abandoning any of my stories, even if I haven't updated them for a long time.