Harry Scamander and the King of the Animals 5
Ravenclaw tower was now looking positively livelier with the lack of notes all around and the students coming back to the familiar common room and dormitories. Of course Harry held little doubt it would last for more than a week, considering the remaining Ravenclaw students from last year, Basileus included, were going for the Newts with newly minted 'Owl' troops.
"We shall know no fear," Basileus was intoning to the Owl-corps, "We shall fear no knowledge."
The Owl-corps dutifully repeated said words, looking a bit squirmy as if they had been bestowed with an extremely important honor that could not and should not be taken lightly.
"We will learn all that we need," the now sixth year Basileus remarked, "And we will need all that we learn."
The Owl-corps nodded vividly, repeating the words, and then with a loud and cheerful scream, they went off to an early bed.
The first years looked around positively worried. Even the female prefect wasn't there, having disappeared somewhere out of the corridor. Lacking a prefect to turn to, it was like watching chickens strutting around not knowing what to do.
"First years?" Harry began, coughing lightly as he saw those shiny eyes looking at him with new found purpose. It was like giving a bone to a dog, only these dogs here were human and particularly sad looking. At least in his opinion they were sad. Sad looking and in need of having their hair ruffled.
"Right staircase for females and left for males." He began, "Names are on the tags outside of the bedrooms, be nice to one another and remember to always be polite when talking to your professor. If you need help…well, just ask around alright?"
There was a set of bobbing motions, and then the kids dutifully separated themselves and went to bed. They were probably excited and tired about it all. He was the one who would have wanted to cringe. The second year schedule was harsh and Wednesday? Wednesday was murder: double Potion, double Herbology, and mixed with Transfiguration and Defense against the dark arts. Yet his day would start being ugly since Monday…
But September 1St 1992 was a Tuesday.
And the next day was a Wednesday.
He'd have to survive an entire morning plus most of the afternoon before confronting his father at the end of the lesson…because he had no doubt his father would confront him. He should have gone to be immediately, but he decided he'd rather sit on the comfortable sofa in front of Helena's portrait and wait.
"Young Raven, it is good to see you again." The portrait began slowly, before taking a deep breath. Just as the ghostly figure of the Grey Lady emerged from the portrait, so too did the 'Portrait Helena' disappear.
"Henry wouldn't admit it, but he was positively worried for you." The woman added.
"Why?" Harry asked, "It was just the orphanage…right?"
"That and Bellatrix," Helena commented on with a hint of anger briefly flashing by, "Newton Scamander is currently our new resident ghost…not that headmaster knows or should be brought up to know."
Harry actually felt guilty about not having told Helena all about it…he'd be getting around it, eventually. No. Actually he wouldn't have spoken of it at all. The boy sat there on the couch as the ghost hovered in front of him quietly, before finally taking a deep breath.
"Newton kept an eye out on you by remaining invisible…He was positively willing to snap Bellatrix neck by the end…but he couldn't, being a ghost." The Grey Lady moved her head to the side, "Now he's eagerly waiting to start his lessons on magical animals within the…" The female ghost stopped, eying towards the stairs of the female side for a moment.
A first year with blond hair had apparently decided not to go to sleep, and was slowly walking towards the common room's sofa and fire pit. She was sheepishly holding on to a half-moldy teddy bear, and once she got there, she looked with a light frown all around her.
"There aren't Nargles here. You know why?" The first year asked, blinking lightly.
"Nargles?" Harry queried curiously.
"Nargles." The blond haired girl commented with a quick nod. "They are witty creatures that are generally rude to others."
"Uhm…" Harry mused, looking over towards the Grey Lady who was apparently in the process of tapping her chin with her ghostly right hand. "You can't really sleep on the sofa." He wasn't a prefect after all: he should just…let the girl…survive on her own?
"Are naps permitted?" She retorted quickly sitting on the sofa in question, and looking around for whatever could be used as a sheet.
"I think they are." Harry nodded slowly. He had expected the girl to curl up on the other side of the sofa and fall asleep with her back to the fire. He hadn't expected said girl to outright fall asleep with her face against his shoulder. Either she was the greatest fake sleeper of them all, or she was really dead tired.
The pleading gaze he sent to the Grey Lady did not work much, as the ghost in question just mouthed a 'later' and with a pair of smiling nods disappeared back into the painting.
"Do you wish for me to kill her?" Of course the talking snake had to awaken just that moment. He couldn't have kept quiet.
"No." Harry's reply was curt, but it delivered the point home that there wasn't going to be a dead body only because someone thought his shoulder was comfortable…and then the girl's head fell on one of his legs. Alright…Harry needed to think.
The next day was a Wednesday. He should be going to sleep. He should be gently nudging the blond haired girl to move and get back to her own bed. He should have…but truly, he was tired, and a quick nap wouldn't have hurt anyone…right?
The screams of the dying were such a wonderful melody! He was waltzing through the corpses with the unbearable scent of death and sweat being nothing more than primrose to his nose…it was a good day to die. The sun was high in the sky, the clouds pure white, and in front of him stood his mortal enemy: his mortal enemy who would die in the most horrible of ways.
"It pains me that it had to come to this." He muttered, "You were my best student, Merlin." Explosions roared around them, as Merlin, a disheveled looking guy with brown hair and a goatee raised his wand.
"I thought you could do no wrong, master." Merlin replied slowly, guilt clearly evident in his tone, "But they opened my eyes."
"Who did, Merlin?" He replied with an amused tone, "My enemies? Those whom you should have known would lie to you forever, if to put you against me?"
"I will not fall to your guiles, master. I will ask only once: surrender."
And he smiled. He smiled as his mind pronounced spells too terrifying to be said by human voice. He smiled as the spells' power tore through the battlefield. The time Merlin gave him was enough to give his army the upper hand, and even if he were to lose…
Excalibur would be stolen. King Arthur would die…and he would have the last laugh.
Harry's eyes opened with a jolt at the fact that someone was pinching his cheek.
It was still early in the morning, and Basileus was hovering over him with a bandana covering his forehead with the words 'Study or die' inscribed on it.
He was just glad there was no incriminating weight next to him. Had he really slept on the sofa?
"No, you're not off the hook." Basileus commented in a low whisper, "But I didn't think we'd be going from Notice-Me-Not charms to 'Snog-Me-Yes' this year." The red haired teen had his arms crossed, and was lightly tapping with his right foot against the floor, while behind him the portrait of Helena was looking elsewhere, whistling a light tune.
"I…" Embarassed and half intentioned to fling himself out of the window, Harry closed his mouth swiftly.
"On the first night of the second year no less…" Basileus sighed, "What is it? Hormonal storm starting up?"
"Maybe it's the stress? You want to get all O's in your scores?"
"A-I-O completes the vocal alphabet…ah, and also the epsilon is part of it too." Basileus remarked after a few seconds of simply staring at Harry. "In any event: I'm not going to remove points this time around. There aren't points to take to begin with so…but if this is repeated…" and the threat lingered and stayed there. "Anyway, good luck for this year's ploy." And with that, the red haired teen walked quickly away…probably to the library.
Harry wobbled on his feet and headed over to the male's side of the dormitories. Once more he found his bed and once more he collapsed upon it…only to be woken up five minutes later when the screech of a Rooster startled him and his roommates up.
"Bloody Rooster." Anthony, if he recalled correctly, exclaimed.
"Whose pet is it to begin with?" Michael remarked, standing up and stirring.
"I think it's one of the sixth years." The third student in the room muttered as slowly the rest of them walked out, probably for the bathroom.
Harry grumpily walked out too a few minutes later, and holding the lower back of his spine firmly he grumbled. The light pain he was feeling was clearly nothing compared to the Crucio, but the next night he'd be sleeping in the bed, no matter what would happen on this particular first day of lessons.
It was time for double potions. He made it a point to arrive fashionably on the clock, earning himself the last cauldron in the last corner, but at the same time avoiding becoming a chat objective of Ron, Hermione or Lillian. All three of them apparently wanted to talk to him, if his arrival coupled with their flighty staring at the door was of any indication…Neville, who turned out to be the one in the corner with whom he'd share the cauldron, said nothing to him.
Severus Snape strolled inside the class with his usual stern composure, before addressing them at large.
"This year, you who have so far survived your own idiocy," somehow, Harry thought the first few words were addressed to a particular 'brand' of students: those whose surnames were probably Potter and Weasley…"Will be introduced to some more complicated aspects of potion-making. I expect you all to learn and be prepared for the exams...Mr. Scamander! What is bat spleen useable for?"
"Poison of rotting teeth, blinding sickness and mild organ growth. Coupled with nettle and Puffer-Fish eyes it can make the swelling potion. There are least two-hundred thirty two possible combinations, of which one-thousand three different effects can be rendered depending on the other factors such as direction of spin and wand movement." Harry spoke even before he could control himself, and judging by the small smile sent his way, Snape was utterly pleased.
"Very well…twenty-five points to Ravenclaw…Is it correct to assume you have been reading the Encyclopedia de Potionatus?" Harry meekly nodded: it was one of the first books the Scamander's library held. It was a recount of every single potion ingredient and the list of which major potions and poisons could be made, coupled with the statistics inherent the numbers of uses and the likes. There were no instructions on making the actual potions, but it did explain what every single ingredient did…and bat spleen was at the 'b'.
"Good. Mr. Weasley, what is the best lunar phase needed to gather bat spleen?"
The red haired teen said nothing as Hermione's hand shot in the air swiftly.
"It's a trick question sir." Harry replied quickly, "Lunar phase doesn't affect living creatures."
"Ten points to Ravenclaw…since apparently stating the obvious on some people is an actual mental workout." The low snickering echoed through the entire dungeon, as Harry merely watched unfazed as Ron turned slight shades of varying scarlet. He didn't know why the potion professor was picking on the Weasley or why he was dishing out points to Ravenclaw and not usually to Slytherin, but he knew what was to probably come.
Eventually the man would ask him to remain behind, to answer some questions. Or maybe he'd just Obliviate him somehow, or bring him to Dumbledore…he'd have to leave quickly in order to avoid that.
"I am here..."
The hissing sound apparently came from the wall behind him, because he could now distinctively hear it. It couldn't just be that he had now passed from mental hallucinations to auditory ones now, could it?
"The King of Snakes, the humblest of familiars awaits you...I will take my leave now." And then Harry felt the distinctive sensation of a snake slithering down from his body, alongside his robes and all the way out of the door. That actually brought him up to another thought…he had taken a shower earlier, but there had been no snake around. Sure, he did tend to bath with the invisible cloak on, considering it was both magical and charmed to not get soggy with water, but…did the snake simply decide when to make his own 'weight' known?
Nobody noticed him leave however, and maybe that was a little bit of grace fate had decided to bestow upon him.
The double hours of potion passed with doing experiments in stewing ingredients, which was relatively easy considering Neville didn't talk and was now apparently able to read. It was as the lesson finished and Harry turned to leave, that the Hufflepuff finally gathered the courage to speak.
"Harry…Are you walking on the footsteps of the others near you?" The question made apparently no sense, but Harry knew better.
"No." He replied curtly, "I walk and the others follow, Neville." The boy said nothing in reply, and Harry swiftly left before the Gryffindor trio could intercept him. Transfiguration was next; he'd just have to reach it before…
"Harry!" Lillian exclaimed, literally running towards him and nearly tackling him on the ground halfway through.
"What do you want?" Harry retorted hotly, pulling his robes away from the girl's grasp. As she turned to stare at her, he realized just how different the two of them were: she was tanned and with the baby fat still there, her hazel eyes were still there, but she had cut her hair short casket-like, probably for Quidditch reasons.
She recoiled ever so slightly, before pulling herself back together and gathering enough courage to speak.
"I just wanted to know…" She began softly, "Is it true? Are you really my brother?"
"No. I was born from the deepest pits of darkness and death." Harry retorted hotly, "Only to make your life a living hell."
"Harry, calm down." Neville was strangely at his side now; the boy had probably walked fast to catch up with him, "You're making a fuss."
"Me? I'm not the one who has to kidnap a toad to get some information out." Harry commented, his eyes aiming straight at the Granger girl who eeped backwards, "Or who has to put his nose where it doesn't belong." He added, this time looking straight ahead at Ron. "Leave me alone, and stop asking stupid questions."
With that he turned and began to walk away from the trio, soon shadowed by the Hufflepuff who apparently had decided to follow him to talk.
"Wasn't that a bit excessive?" Neville's question was met with a deep silence, before Harry decided to whisper back in reply.
"If I associate with them, if I even talk to them…I'll pay for it when I get back home, Neville." The boy whispered, looking at the Hufflepuff while clenching his fist, "I…I can't."
"Wh…Why don't you say something to Dumbledore?" Neville queried, "He could help you."
"No. He…He's the reason I'd rather be with Bellatrix than the Potters, Neville. Why do you think I don't want anything to do with them?" He whispered back, "Dumbledore…he's bad, Neville. Just like Voldemort." The boy shivered slightly, but kept walking ahead.
"You have proof?"
"I can't tell you. Not unless you know how to keep people out of your head." Harry muttered, before shaking his head. "You decided?" He finally asked, as they were nearing the Transfiguration classroom.
"I…I think if you don't trust Dumbledore…maybe my grandmother could," and then Neville stopped, "No, scratch that. What's your plan?"
"Survive." Harry replied with a small smile, "And get out of here with enough power to stand on my own." He added with an afterthought. "Nothing more."
"No ambitions, huh?" Neville replied in a low murmur, "That's…unexpected."
"Yeah," Harry snorted, "Let me guess: you thought I wanted to conquer the world?"
"Well…kind of." The boy replied embarrassedly, "Better that way: I'd make a horrible friend for a World Ruler."
Harry smiled a bit more, before nodding slowly.
Transfiguration held little surprises, except for bunnies being transmuted into slippers. Actually…he wouldn't slip in a pair of bunny-slippers even if they paid him, because if you left the things on your feet when they transformed back…Harry shivered.
He shivered as the woman asked a couple of questions around while handing out points, but most of all he began to tremble with cold as he ate lunch, and by the time they moved out towards Herbology he was positively freezing. It couldn't be that cold yet, since it was barely the second of September, and still he was shivering and thinking about getting warmer clothes from his trunk...
It was like there was some sort of freezing wind that was trying, somehow, to pass through his entire body. His teeth began to clatter one against the other as his skin turned paler and paler. He was halfway towards the greenhouses, with Neville in tow silently, when he fell down on the ground too cold to even move.
So Harry was actually befriending a pureblood Hufflepuff. Draco wasn't being jealous of course. Jealousy was unbecoming of him. He knew his friend had to keep up the appearances of not being involved, but he couldn't help but feel those slight fits of anger bursting through his chest. He knew this was just…misdirection, he knew Harry wouldn't do something like that but…
But then Harry fell on the ground trembling, his entire body pale and quaking with shivers and Draco cared far less for misdirection and far more for the boy.
Neville was positively scared out of his wits, but he was a Hufflepuff: keeping calm wasn't their primary specialty. Getting scared and running around like headless chickens was more of their work. He was hurrying close to him together with Gregory and Vincent, before he even realized what he was doing. If he did help the boy, then the plans of him being kept in the shadows would be outdone. If he didn't…hell, he was genuinely befriending Harry.
That meant he wasn't a tool.
That meant he didn't care about blowing away his cover to save him.
And maybe his father would even be glad.
"Bring him to the infirmary Gregory, Vincent!" Draco ordered snapping his fingers as the two bodyguards of his obeyed the order without delaying. They would probably have done it nevertheless, and that actually went a far way in displaying just how much Harry meant to the Slytherin of Hogwarts.
Whoever had cursed their King would suffer hell, of that much Draco would make sure…and he'd probably participate too.
The Longbottom was looking at him as if he had grown a second head, and Draco couldn't help it, really: he sneered at the boy.
"Did you see who cursed him?" The Hufflepuff, of course, had to shake his head. The blond haired boy barely repressed the need to howl out in anger, and instead angrily stomped his way towards the greenhouse. Madame Sprout would understand or he would make her understand: he wouldn't be cutting plants with the King sick and a curser around.
Mentally, he hoped either Gregory or Vincent would remember to ask what had happened, and who the primary suspect was, but while in doubt, he'd take it out on the Gryffindors…had to be one of them of course.
Madame Pomfrey was an understanding woman; stern, apparently hard to please, but understanding and fair. She had been there for Hogwarts for decades now, and at her passing it was wholly possible that she'd pass on the mantle of head nurse to her, Madam Potter.
Yet now she knew she had to choose whether to have the red haired woman in question know or not that her biological son had apparently begun, once more, to visit her infirmary. He had been practically a guest during the first year, and now it was quite seemingly starting again.
This time it was a curse that lowered the body temperature down on a person until it reached a nearly hypothermic point. Next time she just hoped it wouldn't escalate to a Crucio.
There was a great deal of animosity between the various houses of Hogwarts, especially between Gryffindors and the others. Once, all that she had to treat were a couple of Slytherin a year, the unlucky ones who got the bad side of the Weasley twins pranks or of some other twat of another house. This year, she just hoped it would remain like that, if with no casualties at all.
Starting on the infirmary on the first day of lesson however wasn't something Madam Pomfrey liked to have, and thus she decided that, in reason of fairness, she'd warn both the Headmaster and the Deputy Headmistress. They'd decide what to do from there.
Of course she also compiled and sent a letter to the boy's adoptive mother, because it was indicated within school regulation that any and all reasons for a student to enter the infirmary would warrant the need for the family to be warned of it.
So the owl had already been sent, and Madam Pomfrey was once more heading towards the infirmary, when she saw something strange out of the corner of her eyes. It reflected against the metallic glint of the armor, and then it was no more. Strange…and what was that hissing sound now?
"Curse…them…who…dares…I will…kill them…"
He felt a light weight on his chest, soon followed by the familiar hissing noise of his snake.
"Heir of Salazar, I am deeply sorry. My task was to protect you and I failed. Punish me as you see fit." The snake hissed slowly in front of him, as Harry blinked his eyes open blearily.
"What hit me?" He asked groggily, half expecting someone to answer him.
"A curse the nurse lady said. To freeze your blood and painfully send you to your death."
"I do not know Heir of Salazar: I am ready for my punishment." The snake's voice was kind of sorrowful, as much as a voice made of hisses could be. It was kind of nasal and funnier than not, but it still held that underlying tone of lingering sadness.
"Melodramatic." Harry mumbled. "I'm fine…" There was no need to punish the snake…he knew all too well what actually warranted a punishment and what not, and he held little doubt he would ever punish someone. The pain he felt during the summer was enough to acknowledge that he would never submit anyone else to his own level of suffering. Still the snake was slithering all over his chest in wait, coiled and ready to suffer with its head downcast.
"No punishment. You learned your lesson enough." Harry decided, "Just avoid it repeating, alright?"
"Yes Heir of Salazar, you are most kind."
Then the snake slithered quickly within his invisible cloak, disappearing from the sight and letting his own weight be undone. He'd have to ask how the reptile managed that last part though…it could be quite useful.
After a few moments, the door of the infirmary opened, as a figure strolled inside. She was wearing the nurse outfit, and her red hair was cropped at the back of her head while her green eyes were frantically looking around the beds, until they settled on him.
Lily Potter was over by his side a moment later, tears running down her cheeks.
"Who did this? Harry please, tell me…Was it a Slytherin? Were you cursed back at the Scamanders? Are they torturing you? Are you in pain? Are…" She kept on blabbering for a while, with Harry shell-shocked from the sheer amount of questions to even be able to answer one of them.
At least now he knew where Lillian got her attitude from. He turned his gaze to the other side while refusing to answer even a single question…it would be for the best not to give an inch at all, to just…keep the cut clean. That wasn't his mother and she shouldn't fuss over him. His mother was Petunia. Yet he couldn't help but feel the pain in doing so. He had always dreamed that his real parents hadn't died. He had always dreamed to see them smiling and welcoming him back, that they had just lost their memory and hadn't really died. Yet now…now he knew how stupid he had been.
He knew the pain he felt was nothing compared to what was to come later on…he had clearly made a mistake somewhere, and Bellatrix would make him pay…he knew of it.
"Not even after lunch, and already in the infirmary." A cold voice clipped in from the door, as Bellatrix Scamander walked in, "I mean, Harry dear…" And then the woman stopped at the sight of the nurse.
"How is my son doing?" Bellatrix queried, suddenly perking up and moving with a bright smile to the other side of Harry's bed. The fact she had stressed the 'my son' part was pretty clear. "And what precisely happened?"
"M…Harry," Lily muttered after a moment, "Was the subject of a freezing curse: we are now investigating the matter. I was just asking him when he began to feel chilly, to pinpoint a possible hour."
"Of course you were…are you always that sentimental with the sons of others?" Bellatrix remarked offhandedly, "In any case…how could you let something happen to my wonderful son? Shouldn't Hogwarts be the safest school possible?" The woman had even the strength of will to actually 'flutter' her eyelids, while at the same time grabbing Harry's hand in a gentle hold and bringing it close to her chest, "Don't worry, mom's here for you Harry." Positively mad. The woman was definitively mad.
"Yes." Lily muttered, mumbling something that sounded something like 'crab-stopper' but didn't make much sense. "Harry?"
"During Transfiguration." Harry replied slowly, "I was in one of the middle rows so…"
"Do you remember who was behind you? Or next to you?" Lily asked again.
"No." Harry was quick in his reply this time. He still didn't know if Neville would end up being one of his 'acceptable' friends or not. He didn't know if the boy was a pureblood or not and frankly he didn't care…but he didn't want his moth…Bellatrix, to know if he could avoid it.
"Harry, if you are hiding secrets from me I will find out." The raven haired woman said sweetly, "And then you won't like your punishment." She sing-sung with a bright pearly white smile…Harry's fists clenched unintentionally, thus tightening his grip on Bellatrix's hand: she did have warm hands though.
"I'm not hiding anything mom." Harry replied quietly, while mentally he could pretty much hear the cracking and destroyed heart of Lily Potter giving way as the red haired woman was paling and trembling slightly after his words. "Really."
Bellatrix merely smiled, before giving him a quick peck on the forehead.
"Good boy...look forward to Christmas!" She exclaimed while winking towards the boy, before turning to look at the nurse with a bright smile.
"Take good care of him, alright?" And with those words said, without even waiting for a reply, the witch left the room leaving behind a lips-trembling Lily and a silently awkward feeling Harry.
"I…I'll go check with Madam Pomfrey," Lily whispered, her voice clearly broken from emotional turmoil as she slowly walked out too. Harry closed his eyes once more, taking a deep breath to avoid having a heart attack. The bed sheets were white and clean, and they did kind of smell like lavender, yet he didn't feel all that comfortable in there. It wasn't safe enough. He needed somewhere he could be safe enough to sleep. Somewhere possibly hidden from sight to the others, someplace good enough for him, kind of like an invisibility cloak, only tailored for his sleeping needs…an Invisibility bed.
Not that he could have one or make one, but as he slowly got on his feet, he exhaled and inhaled quietly. He was still dressed, probably removing the curse hadn't taken all that long of a time, and the sun was still pretty much high now.
He could go to Herbology now, couldn't he? And later on he could do Defense against the Dark Arts…but he had no intention of.
He still needed to meet with Henry, with Newton and the likes and…what a stupid boy he was! The room of requirements!
He carefully inched out of there, glad that the few people around hadn't known whether he had been jinxed or not, and by the time he reached the seventh floor he was positive no-one was following him. Well, except for Mrs. Norris who was meowing at him by his legs, apparently wanting to be petted and purring in pleasure once Harry held her with his arms.
He felt so much like one of James Bond's evil guys that the only thing missing was an eye patch, an evil plan, an extremely evil monologue and a comfortable looking turn-around chair. He walked three times in front of the tapestry of dancing trolls, and once inside, he blinked to a halt.
There wasn't the usual room he used to study in, or a room with beds. Sure, he had wanted a safe place where he could sleep in peace, but he hadn't expected…a sewer?
The water did not reach him as he took hesitant steps upon a stone surface, while all around him statues of an old bearded man looked at him, vaguely reminiscing him of how peculiarly familiar that man was to…to who?
He blinked slightly as the door closed behind him with a sound clack, transforming into the stone wall from which he had come. Slowly, ever so slowly, the mouth of the statue in front of him lowered its jaw and something…something slithered out of it.
"Master arrived…The Heir of Salazar is here…" The snake was…the…the thing was…it was enormous. It was like watching an Arbok from the pokemon series, only it didn't have those strange side things and it was even bigger. Harry looked at the thing with shock, surprise and fear...and the thing looked back at him.
The yellow eyes washed over him with soft warmth, but as he blinked and took a deep breath, he spoke back.
"You're…You're a basilisk!" He exclaimed, as the giant snake merely coiled around itself, its head nestled atop his spires while his tail swished the air around…just like a dog happily welcoming its master back home.
"Master! I am yours to command! Let us cleanse this school from the pathetic filth that has occupied it! Let us bring forth a new era! One of death for those of worthless blood!"
The basilisk belonged to the magical Hitler party.
He was screwed.
Cliffhanger. Once more.
Now, as for why Harry can sustain the Basilisk' gaze: first off, if it was Salazar's familiar, then it either has some sort of magic by which it cannot harm its master, or Salazar had some object to shield it from him. (Harry does have the pocket watch), it is probable that Tom held the same thing however, as I doubt it that when you go exploring a sewer you don't actually look at where you're walking and just kind of, you know, keep your eyes closed and yell 'ehi mystical familiar! You there!?'
So the heirs of Salazar are either immune, OR the Basilisk can turn off the 'death' rays of its eyes.
Which is kind of obvious. Because in retrospect would you enjoy turning to stone because of your own eyes?
(or being immune to it, like a snake's own poison)
That said, 'of course', why Ginny is a Slytherin will be shown later on.
Who cursed Harry ties directly with the 'main' plot of the second 'book'.
And I just broke Lily's heart, I know.
Now, as for 'Luna's' actions on the first night, it ties into the girl being some sort of whacked up seer and similar, there is NO pairing intended as of yet. And as always (if anyone ever read another of my stories) I usually refrain until the characters are of age OR the chapter has reached count 28 before even thinking about it. (in this case, it's definitively the former: wait until of 'age' (fourth/fifth) and thus nothing done before that time can be considered 'romantic' as it should be considered 'plot related'. I do not dig slash or Yaoi (everyone has its own tastes, mind you, and mine aren't those) so even if Draco appears on the verge of going, you know, on the other side…it's plot related, and definitively not homosexual.
That's all in these notes.