Harry Scamander and the King of the Animals

Chapter 20

Harry looked satisfied at the results of hard work, stern discipline and good old stubbornness. The Slytherin's official dormitories were now clean, useable and perfectly able to contain the entirety of the house of the snakes. The House Elves were contacted only for the last part: to transfer the luggage of those who actually wished to make the change of 'residence' from the dungeons to the tower. Strangely very few refused it. Having windows, for once, was a really welcomed change. The Hufflepuff dormitories could be put on hold, considering there wasn't actually a stressful reason to start working on them, and as such Harry filed it on a thing to do in the future.

Still, he was glad everything had turned out fine. The chamber of secrets now held, instead of a Basilisk, a thrilling phoenix who actually enjoyed being able to flap her wings around. The murders would be over, and the King's men club would get a boon in applicants soon. They had subconsciously believed him to be the one staging the deaths, and that he would use such means to harness more applicants: yet now that the threat had been proven not staged by him, he had risen as a true defender of school unity against all odds. That a Gryffindor was being considered the primary suspect, when said house had been the one to accuse him the most, just showed how much more innocent he was.

There is no better way of winning, than to make the enemy fool himself. Point being had Harry consciously done anything of the sort then indeed he could claim the praise for this 'diabolical' plot. Problem being he didn't. It had all happened like that, naturally. He had just been in the right moment at the right time and doing the right thing. The only question that remained was just how professor Snape was going to get him out of Hogwarts now. Sure, the Aurors had left, but the security had tightened noticeably. Somehow a paranoid Albus wasn't a good sight to be seen.

The House Elves of the kitchen had been moved into specific points in the various halls, and they had been all too grateful to get to work even more. It felt strange walking and being called 'Sir' by a suit of armor or similar spot where an elf hid every five minutes, but still it was probably all that the Headmaster could do, considering the portraits were refusing to even be in the same room or hallway as him.

Harry took a deep breath, as he began to clasp hands with the Slytherin pouring into their new common room and from there to their dormitories. Professor Snape was holding his face in a tight small smirk, and as he saw the last of the 'volunteers' for transfer within, he finally commented.

"I feel I should assign points to all houses, but that would pretty much be against the point your club is trying to make, isn't it, Mr. Scamander? Thus I award fifty points to Hogwarts: well done."

The cheerful chorus was met with a following off of food offered from the kitchens and a small party, some Slytherins went as far as hugging Harry claiming that finally they had windows! The week-end passed in that way with ease, and finally as December moved into the middle days, and the Dueling Club began being led by Gilderoy Lockhart on the seventeenth of said month.

On that day, the King's men stood at attention at the entrance of the room of requirements. The original first seven members watched him with trepidation, as he walked the three needed time in front of the hallway's stone wall. They watched as a door opened from the very stone bricks of the wall. They followed Harry, as he strode in with his robes billowing behind him.

Harry's gaze was settled on the room and how it had changed. He had wanted the Founder's room to be a place only for the original seven, those who had believed in him from the very beginning, and yet now that more wanted in, he had to come up with a different meeting room.

Justin whistled his appreciation, as both Tracey and Ginny held their breath sharply. Draco had his mouth open in disbelief as Hannah made a small exclamation of shock. Kevin Entwhistle clutched tightly on his book bag in shock as Seamus Finnigan merely pointed out loud while sharing the opinion of the rest of them.

"Merlin's beard: it's frigging huge!"

The archway of the room had grown to epic proportions, with towering shelves of books piled upon multiple floors. The first floor was covered in sophisticated renditions of the golden H of Hogwarts tiled together with white and black marbles that clacked and made the sound propagate throughout the rest of the giant room.

A set of luscious silk drapes showcasing the very same H of Hogwarts stood at specific intervals from one shelf to another, their inner color a somber black which contrasted tastefully with the golden symbol of Hogwarts. Columns etched with the images of slithering dragons held the ceiling atop their heads, as at the dead center of the room stood a dozen of chairs with a long table at the other end. Suits of armor were holding upon halberds as if to act as royal guards at the entrance of the room, and a narrow red carpet led them through the room, towards the chairs.

In the center of the table, that stood opposite to the many chairs, was differently from the other chairs, a throne of black obsidian with the letters S, G, R and H inscribed on it in gold and encircled in a silver lining. It was with a slight fright, that Harry took the first step inside. Immediately he recoiled together with the others, as the suits of armor raised their weapons to attention.

"All Hail Harry Scamander, of the noble house of Scamander! Blood of the noble house of Potter, protégé of the noble houses of Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff!" A metallic voice echoed through the room as he looked around in fright.

"Bollocks!" Tracey exclaimed. "Move it King, I want a turn too!"

As Harry moved forward, the girl walked soon after him.

"All Hail Tracey Davis!"

"What? Only that?" The girl deflated, leaving the spot to Draco who gingerly walked through it.

"All Hail Draco Malfoy, of the noble house of Malfoy! Blood of the noble house of Malfoy!"

"Hah! Take that!" He puffed his chest up, "I like this room more and more!"

"Yeah right." Seamus retorted, walking through as the armors chanted his name. So they kept on going, until the last one through was Ginny. Finally, with all of them through the suits, they began to look through the room's nooks and crannies. Justin was the first to find something, soon followed by Seamus.

"Hey: there's a map of Hogwarts here too!" The two boys exclaimed, pointing at a coat of arms on the wall to the side of the table, "It's got all the members of the club that move through Hogwarts!"

Harry smiled at the sight as his hand just so carefully traced the wooden surface of the table. He just wondered how this magic worked, to create such grandiosity at apparently no price. It had to be wrong. Everything had to hold a price of sort, this…all of this…it was strange and awe inspiring. An entire titanic room created by the will of anyone who would take three small walks in front of a wall. Just what were the limits of magic? Was this…this wonder, only peculiar to Hogwarts? Was this why the castle was considered the most famous, or was it the power of the four founders within it?

"Ehi King!" Tracey pointed out from the floor above them, "There's something you have to see up here!" Harry obliged the girl, expecting a book or something like that. He hadn't expected a collection of suits of armors and weapons, hidden behind glass panels. Furthermore, he hadn't expected specific armors or famous weapons.

"Wait. Is that really the axe of Gengis Khan?" Ginny muttered pointing at a ferociously, but crude looking, axe placed on a golden holder. Next to it was a roman shield, apparently used by Caesar himself, together with his Gladius. In another corner, a round shield with different colors and a stocky sword claimed to have been weapons of King Arthur, just like the Roman-looking armor claiming to be his by the tags written beneath it. Yet the sword was not Excalibur. Not that it would have mattered anyhow: it wasn't as if they needed weapons after all.

"They must be self-updating tags." Hannah muttered, "I mean: it's not as if we can read Celtic now, right? So…"

"Translation spells?" Tracey raised an eyebrow, but then nodded slowly. "Possible. Highly possible."

"Elementary, Watson." Kevin remarked monotonously, parroting Tracey as the Ravenclaw's hands grabbed a tome from the shelves to peruse it. "Seems authentic! This here is the Hamlet…anyone care to guess how a muggle book found its way here?"

"When in doubt, give the fault to magic!" Harry said back, as he subconsciously touched the ring of Salazar in his left index hand. The pocket watch was safely tucked away within his invisible cloak, just like the locket was instead placed around his neck. He felt at ease at having those tools with him, and while he had no idea what the locket or the ring could do of more, he was pretty much certain he'd find out with time.

Spending time with Sophie also helped to soothe his nerves, and his bouts of anger and rage had practically subsided. The medicine Draco had provided him, furthermore, worked wonders to make him sleep easily. He had to remember to get Draco a gift of sorts this Christmas. Thinking about Draco, Harry turned around to search for the boy. He finally found him staring with his nose up in the air. Curious, he did the same.

The archway terminated in an ample oval shaped clearing upon which someone had painted deliciously a battle being waged. On one side a mighty dragon stood blaring fire upon a horde of armed men, while on the other side a group of wizards fought thousands upon thousands of goblins. There was no other way to put it, except that the painting was both terrifically haunting and marvelous at the same time…coupled with a hint of nostalgia.

Harry's face scrunched up in surprise. Why did it seem a familiar thing to see? It was just that, a fresco on the ceiling: nothing more. Yet his hand was itching for his wand to cast that pretty green flame that one of the four wizards up in the painted battle was doing. He thrilled upon the sight of the burning flesh of the enemies, and…and he took a deep breath, and calmed down.

Everything was good. The Crucio had done its course, he wasn't suffering, and everything was fine. He could actually enjoy his club and have a normal last year at Hogwarts, of that he was sure.

"Hey, I was thinking." Draco began. "The Dueling Club is training a few in the dueling skills. Shouldn't we be doing the same?"

"Why?" Hannah asked quietly, "The problem is gone right? Granger was caught and everything is fine now."

"She's being processed right now, and you can't be that thick: come on, it's clear she was being possessed!" Draco exclaimed. "Did you read the daily prophet? She claims she doesn't remember a thing."

"Which is an excuse you know well, don't you Malfoy?" Seamus said with a snicker, only to stop as a hand slapped itself down on the nearby table. Harry looked at Seamus with narrowed eyes, and hissed.

"No background insults. No house insults. No racial insults. We are equals."

Seamus' eyes fell pretty quickly, as Draco gulped down nervously, before continuing slowly.

"Yeah, I suppose I do…" He muttered, "Anyway, we all know that whoever did this to the Granger girl is still at large, right? If You-Know-Who had a possession diary, what if there's another one? What if there is more than one of such things? Shouldn't we at least be ready to fight them?"

"Why should we?" Hannah asked hesitantly, "I mean…there are Aurors for the job."

"Better to prevent than to cure." Kevin quoted wistfully, "If, let's say hypothetically, there indeed was a need to learn, then we should be off to the dueling club, right? Aren't they doing a lesson right now?"

"Completely useless with Lockhart in there," Tracey snorted. "I can't believe there are people who read his stuff."

"For a Fantasy writer he's good, at least." Kevin replied, "As long as you take all he writes as a story of course."

"You think they're really going to get the Granger girl to Azkaban?" Ginny asked carefully, "She was friends with my brother Ron and Lillian."

"Sorry." Seamus heartedly said, "I know it's tough but it's like that now. Ministry does what makes it look good, not what it should."

"It's still unfair." Ginny murmured, "It's not like she had any fault in it, right?" Hesitantly, they all convened at the table back down at the first floor. Harry tapped on the wooden surface of the table, before replying with a low murmur.

"Life is not fair: but what can we do now? Nothing. We're barely scraping the surface of the problem. Maybe in years, maybe, we could get her out…maybe she could have had an honest process in ten years, maybe in twenty or thirty…but now? Now she won't." He murmured. "If you think this is wrong, then you are right. If you think this has to change, then you are right. Never let anyone else tell you differently…" He took a deep breath.

"She will be judged on Christmas, right?" He asked to Draco, who merely nodded.

"Then there's nothing we can do. The Daily prophet has her already in the Azkaban holding cells…she's as good as taken."

"Dumbledore will fight against it!" Ginny yelled, with far more…fright, than usual.

"Why would he?" Harry replied. "It helps his case better if he can guilt trip others into following him. Oh yes," he began imitating the sound of Albus' voice, "I knew Miss. Granger, a wonderful student, Muggleborn you see but great…yet the ministry accused her and she fell to the Dementors, mad and kissed and gone…we must fight so that she may be remembered as a martyr to our cause…the cause of the greater good!"

There was silence for a while, before Kevin narrowed his eyes.

"You have a bone to pick with Dumbledore, right?" He asked hesitantly.

"Did he do something to you?" Draco queried worriedly, "You know I can write to my father: he's on the board of the governors and…"

Harry chuckled and shook his head slowly.

"No. Nothing we can do now will ever help…" He wistfully began to look around the giant room, "better to wait and see…you do not tickle a sleeping dragon. You wait and behead him before he can awaken." He added carefully. "We're recruiting, but the difference between recruiting en masse and single handedly is a matter of trust. I can trust you, because you came to me first, when there was nothing to gain apparently. You risked with me, and with me you won." He mused, "The problem is: what of the others? Would they follow or would they dare betray?"

"The…Dark Lord had an inner circle and an outer circle." Draco explained slowly, "With large organizations, it's always a matter of who you can trust and who you can't…and so…"

"That would clearly go a long way." Tracy ironically muttered, "Hey guys, we're the inner circle but no, we don't want to start a dark army."

"All must be treated equally." Harry said out loud, "Yet some are more equal than others." He chuckled "George Orwell got the problem right. How do you lead others by claiming all are the same, if you can't have an opposite view? How do you bring all to follow the right path, while the easy one would be what majority prefers? And who can claim what the right path is, and that the easy path is actually easy?"

"So what do we do?" Kevin asked. "We accept them all?"

"Of course we do." Harry grinned back. "We need not tell others there's an inner circle after all now, do we?" He winked. "All we have to do is claim one thing and do another. We can keep on meeting in the Founder's room, and as long as nobody talks, everything is bound to be fine."

"But what if one of us talks?" Hannah said, "I mean, I'm good friends with Susan, and I can hardly keep something secret from her when she…"

"Do you value your life?" Harry merely spoke back quietly, silencing the teen as everyone else paled at the same time while looking at him. "Because, do not mistake me…we are not talking of merely a breach of the club's security. I said there would be no unbreakable vows required, and what I say remains true: you can leave the club at any moment, nobody will stop you…and you won't die. Hogwarts however won't be that lenient."

"W-What?" She squeaked out.

"Hogwarts has looked at those who have signed. Should you decide to…leave, then you are welcomed to, but should you decide to stay and…betray, then I'm afraid Hogwarts will not take kindly to it."

"And when were you planning on telling us this, Harry?" Draco asked with more curiosity than anger.

"Well, I found out…five seconds ago?" He retorted hotly, "Apparently the four founders decided it would be good and nice to make sure none would get the upper hand on the other during the construction of the school. So the Architect is there to ensure 'equity' is met. If you don't meet 'equity' or 'honesty' if you rather prefer that term, then the punishment is doled out by the school. I suppose it means you might end up with a rather drafty room for a series of nights or a trip to the infirmary…"

"Yeah, nice and all but…how the hell do you know that now!?" Draco insisted as the others looked at him as if he had grown a second head.

"Oh." Harry blinked, before looking at both his locket's chain and his ring. "One of these two has to be it I suppose."

"Has to be what?" Tracey asked, not actually wanting to know the answer to her question.

"I think Salazar wanted someone to know how Hogwarts worked, in the event he couldn't be there to explain it to his successor." Harry intoned quietly as he finally realized memories were being fed to him, "So he held a series of rings: all contained some information on something of his life, and he infused them also in his personal objects…Oh so that's why I'm remembering stuff of the founders' era!" He exclaimed far louder and excitedly. "Basically, the ring I recovered from the locket that my mother gifted me," since that was the lie after all, "tells me about Hogwarts' functions…now that's neat!"

"Oh." Ginny muttered, "Must be…nice?"

"Nice? You're telling me you've got two objects that belonged to Salazar on your person!?" Draco and Tracey yelled at the same time. "Bloody hell!" They both said together, before looking at one another with a hint of annoyance in their eyes.

"No doubts ya are the heir of Slytherin with that…" Seamus muttered, "And…well…Hell who am I to say I don't feel angry about it? You didn't know then and ya know now, and it's pretty of you to tell us the way out of it but…I'm not going to betray ya for this little so it's fine for me." The Irish boy shrugged.

"Binding contracts are normalcy in pureblood society." Draco deadpanned. "And I'm not going to cry over spilled milk: not when this one is the loosest type of contract I have ever seen."

"I'll have to agree with him." Kevin remarked, "I mean, some contracts are pretty damn bad and wrong, but this? Heck, if you want out just go and tell it to the statue I suppose."

In the end, nobody left and it was decided that after the Christmas vacations, they would begin inviting people into the 'club' and have their first meeting. Till then…time passed. Caught in the twirl of time, Harry found himself waking up on the twenty-fifth of December, with his bed crammed with stuff. Somehow people believed in him now. It was kind of a surprise to see gift cards and happy Christmas notes in front of his bed. The Slytherin were especially prolific and quite a few offered 'to meet him under the mistletoe' all the time he wanted.

Being the Heir of Slytherin was probably granting also this type of benefit…not that he cared much about that at the present. He wouldn't probably be seeing anyone else anytime soon. He'd leave Hogwarts at the end of the school year. He was set on that. Maybe he'd even cry a bit, but in the end any other place was better than this. It was with dread that he opened up his 'mother's' gift. Quietly, the parchment gave away to display…a cup.

He was holding a cup.

A cup with a nice pretty emblem of Hufflepuff, but still a cup…and this was starting to turn strange, because the message his mother sent him was mostly wrong in its intended effects.

"To my loveable son who is too busy to write enough to his mother," Harry groaned. He had written to his mother. Thrice a week he would write useless and worthless stuff that would get the woman out of his hair, wasn't it enough? What did she want, a daily correspondence? "I am pleased the murderer has been found and it is, of course, a lurid wench of a mudblood. I will personally oversee you have the most wonderful Christmas ever, since you have decided to remain at the castle to foster your connections with those who remained. I am sure I will be pleased of whatever gift you have instead decided to gift me, but I do hope it is something with taste and not Muggle made.

With love and a tight hug, your mother.

Ps: the cup is cursed: anything poured in it and then served is poisonous and will most likely kill the drinker with extremely excruciating bouts of pain. Fun, isn't it?"

Of course it was 'fun', if the definition had suddenly changed to something far more on the dark side. He carefully slid the cup deep within his trunk and forgot it there. He grabbed the usual bags of sweet and was surprised when he came up with a parchment. A strange looking parchment that held a note pinned to it, and that appeared a lot old.

"This is the 'Marauders' map. I solemnly swear that I am up to no good: those are the words to pronounce for the map to activate. I would like for you to keep this hidden and safeguarded, never reveal it to anyone! I hope it may help you in your escape…

Sincerely, a friend."

The writing was clearly feminine, and yet Harry couldn't help but be suspicious of the parchment. Maybe it was the paranoia of post-Diary possession, but out of the gifts…he rather preferred that of his mother: at least he knew that one to be dangerous and that had to be tastefully destroyed somehow. Just like his mother Petunia did with the gifts of Aunt Marge: somehow they always met their demise in the trash can. By chance of course, the fault always had to end up with an accident while cleaning.

Harry groaned as he filled his trunk: the cup at the bottom together with the map. Then he closed his trunk and trudged out of there. He didn't spare a glance at the portrait of Helena, who did try her best to get his attention however. How could he trust the ghosts, when he had no idea who had spoken to Quirrell?

The funny thing was that someone had told the mad vampire-possessed-muggle studies professor about his escape plan for Heather, and whoever had was going to pay. The only ones who knew were however either Henry or Helena. There couldn't have been anyone else…oh and professor Snape. Yet the man had nearly died twice in carrying him through the forest: it was simply impossible for him to be the culprit of the staged ambushes.

Unless he had some sort of suicidal streak or it had all been carefully planned. Harry sighed as his hands carefully clasped the invisibility cloak beneath his invisible cloak. It seemed stupid, but as long as the invisible one stood above, then he was not invisible at all. It had to be the opposite for it to actually work, and while he admitted keeping the cloak at hand was handy, he also rather preferred not to show around in an invisibility cloak.

The common room of Ravenclaw was packed with students exchanging words and some of the older ones apparently drinking eggnog, whatever it was. Basileus was holding thoughtfully on a half torn teddy bear, looking at it in a corner and lost in great thoughts, probably the likes of which he wouldn't understand. Still the teddy did seem familiar.

"Happy Christmas!" A few Ravenclaws exclaimed, seeing him coming down from the dormitories. "Filled with gifts?"

"Yeah." He replied awkwardly, as he began to walk towards Basileus, who merely shrugged as if having reached a conclusion with the teddy bear, and then cast a repairing charm on it, returning it to full functionality.

"Harry." Basileus smiled, "Is everything all right?"

"I've got the marauders map." He blurted out with a slightly low voice, "You know anything about it?" As soon as he asked, the red haired teen blinked twice, before shaking his head and stilling for a few seconds.

"What would…the map do?"

"I haven't yet tried it." Harry replied, "I thought you had sent it…it was signed 'a friend'."

Basileus raised an eyebrow. "Why would I?"

"I don't know." He shuffled on his feet for a moment, "so you didn't send it?"

"No, I did not." The older teen replied. "However I must say you work pretty well for a second year. Already got yourself a firsty, eh?" As the Ravenclaw prefect winked at him, Harry owlishly blinked back. What was the boy talking about now?


"Miss Lovegood Luna is the reason I managed to save you in time." He replied in a low hushed whisper. "I do think she's a seer…she does possess rather insightful knowledge after all."

"Oh…" Harry blinked, the blond haired girl who seemed to live in fantasy land? Oh yes. He nodded quietly, "I'll thank her then…do you think she knows anything more then?"

Basileus shrugged, "Doesn't matter. Nobody believes the madmen even when they're true."

Harry sighed, and then meekly waved goodbye to the strange teen he had stopped trying to make head from tails of. He finally managed to walk into the common dining hall, when a sharp female voice interrupted his musings on where to seat.

"Harry! I'm over here!" The chirping, warm and clearly motherly voice of Bellatrix Scamander came to attack his ears as if a truck had passed over him. Christmas was a time to spend in happiness and bliss with an overdose of chocolate. It wasn't a time to spend with a psychopathic madwoman who would punish you for the slightest of errors. Yet that wasn't the most dreadful thing. The most dreadful thing was that at the single common table, Ginny Weasley, 'blood-traitor' and the rest of the muggle-born or half-blood members of the King's army were looking at him with anticipation.

He was screwed.

He was so royally screwed the only way to save himself would be to run out of Hogwarts in that instant. If only Draco had been there he could have tried to explain the situation beforehand, but without him…he had no choice, the woman was merrily chirping his name and inviting him to sit closer to him. With slow hesitant steps, he took his spot next to her and…on the other side stood Ginny Weasley. The red haired girl was keeping her cool while buttering up a piece of toast, trying to look as much refined as possible while her brother, standing on the other side of the table, was instead eating as if his life depended on it.

Seamus was talking with Justin and ignoring him too, so maybe, just maybe, he had a chance as long as Tracey and Hannah didn't do anything like talk to him when they came down for breakfast. At the professors' tables, Snape was watching him like a hawk while Albus was merely 'twinkling' his eyes at the display of 'motherly' love.

"My darling son, I missed you so much!" Bellatrix chirped hugging him as he sat down, "I'm going to stay only until lunch: I've got lots of things to do today and the days to come after all." She tussled his hair affectionately, "Now tell me everything you didn't tell me in your letters. How is the school? Are the teachers treating you with the respect you deserve? Have you made any useful connections? Are your friends all purebloods?" He nearly gagged at that, sending distraught glances to his side and strangely wondering why nobody was looking back at him. Did the woman already do something?

"School is fine now, mother." He replied as politely as he could muster his tone, "The murderer has been apprehended, and the teachers are all very respectful." He hoped to Merlin that whatever 'Notice-me-not' charm that was on the two of them would keep on working till the end of their conversation. "I've got a lot of friends, mother: all from respectable families…" Bellatrix frowned. Harry subconsciously tightened his grip on his cup. That wasn't a good thing. He was going to get punished and he didn't want to be punished, "And all purebloods of course." The woman smiled normally back: he was safe. The 'sweetly' smile was made before the punishments. The normal smile meant he was safe.

He was starting to get the hang of it; maybe his Christmas could pass by without accidents this time around. As his thought drifted on the chance of having a normal holiday, it was then that the doors swung open, and a crew of Aurors followed another man inside. The man, as the whispers came around them, was none other than the prime minister for magic Cornelius Fudge.

Albus stood up, and it was then and only then, that the feeling of dread within his stomach intensified.

"Headmaster: please deliver to us all scholastic information pertaining Miss Granger. She had her wand snapped this morning," gasps echoed through the hall, "And she is bound to suffer the Damnatio Memoriae from Hogwarts. She is furthermore imprisoned in Azkaban at the medium security level, and she will stay there to serve a life sentence for the deaths of Mr. Colin Creevey and Mr. Ernest Macmillan. You may warn the families of the victims that justice has been meted." Then the minister gestured for the aurors to move and follow the Headmaster, while he himself…walked over to where Bellatrix was and sat down ahead of her.

"Bellatrix…what a surprise to see you here." Fudge said with a bright smile.

"Oh…my little Fudgey." Bellatrix cooed back.

Harry didn't blink this time.

No, he did not blink. He merely realized that he had it all wrong. Nazis were in the government too, and apparently, his 'mother' was having a fling with the minister. There was no 'right' side. There were the Nazis and there were the Fascists with Dumbledore…and there wasn't another faction.

It was…

No. He refused to believe anyone would fall for Bellatrix knowing what kind of woman she was.

"Oh…is this your son?" Fudge asked, suddenly turning a bit more serious at seeing him, "Well…I'm afraid I'll have to cut it close since I have to show the example to the younger generation of what duty is." He pompously exclaimed as he stood back up and left, trying his best to put his chest up in the air as he did so.

It was then that Harry saw Bellatrix smile morph from 'normal' to 'sweetly' so…and he knew that, deep down, he was going to be punished before the day was over.

Author's notes

And Hermione gets the axe. Yet…somebody stole the marauder map from Lillian with the Obliviate, and handed it over? Curiosity is female apparently. And Fudge with Bellatrix? What is the world going to become!?

I believe that the Room of Requirement is severely undervalued. As is the rest of the magic of Hogwarts. Really. Nobody remembers the talking doors or the scratch the handle to make the door open things…

Of course now that it turns out Harry is the real heir things are changing…and 'of course' things are just going to get worse.