A/N: Alright, some review replies. First, Robin Black DID show up briefly in First Year, during the Sorting. He's a friend to the group, but not a member, yet. You'll find out more about him once we get to the next summer, I promise. Next, to DeadDragonZero, I know that about the Nimbus, but remember, this series takes place 10 years further ahead than in canon, so the broom number changes. As for the Flue, I know how it's spelt in the books, but the flue is an actual part of the fireplace, so why would the magicals change the spelling for the travel? And Inurima, as far as I understood the story of the Three Brothers, Cadmus died without any children, thus leaving the Resurrection Stone available for anyone to find.
Thanks to the Basilisk
Chapter One: The Secret to the Chamber
Saturday, March 27, 2004
Draco Malfoy was having a peaceful study session in one of the abandoned classrooms with his best friends, Blaise Zabini and Daphne Greengrass, when his empathy abilities went mad. He collapsed to the floor, screaming at the sheer power of the emotions he was feeling: rage (How dare they hurt her?!), fear (This can't be happening! Why her?), love (I was going to ask her to be my girlfriend today!), and, most of all, a cold, burning need for vengeance (I will destroy whoever is responsible for this! No one touches her!)
"Draco, are you alright?" Daphne asked cautiously. Blaise and herself were the only ones who knew everything about Draco, including where his loyalties lay and his friendship with Harry Potter. They only knew because Draco had carefully sounded the duo out on the train ride the previous year and found out that he could trust them.
"Empathy's . . . gone wild. Something's happened to Hermione," Draco explained.
"How do you know?" the young Italian wizard asked.
"All of Harry's thoughts are about her, and whatever's happened. I-I think she's been petrified."
The two friends turned to each other in shock. Then, turning back to Draco, Blaise asked, "Draco, since when can you hear thoughts?"
"I can't, this is the first time I've been able to hear clearly, but I've been hearing whispers ever since Harry shook my hand in First Year." Daphne and Blaise took another look at each other before Draco said, "Listen, we can figure that out later. For now, Blaise and I will head back to the Common Room. Daphne, I want you to go to the Hospital Wing, tell Harry about you and Blaise, and give him a message for me."
"That if he wants to end this reign of terror and avenge Hermione, he needs to solve this. I'd be there to help, but right now, I have no idea what would happen if I got too close to him. And tell him good luck, and to be careful."
"You be careful as well, Draco Malfoy, or someone might think you're fond of Harry," Daphne teased before turning and heading to the Hospital Wing. However, before she could complete her mission, Professor Snape caught her and almost dragged her back to the Common Room where he gave the Slytherins the new rules following the attack on Hermione: all students had to be in their house's Common Room by six in the evening and stay there until morning. Teachers would now escort students to every class and to the loo. Quidditch was cancelled, as well as all evening clubs. As for the Slytherins, they were to stay together in groups no smaller than three each, and the larger the group, the better.
Monday, March 29, 2004
Harry knew none of this as he refused to be moved from Hermione's side. He felt guilty for letting Hermione go to the library without an escort, and now he stayed by her side as still as if he had been petrified with her. The only time he left her side was to use the loo, and the only other time he moved was when Madame Pomfrey insisted that if he would not eat, then he must at least take a nutrition potion. Not even the threat of lost points or detention with Snape or Filch could move him.
Suddenly, a feminine voice woke him from his stupor. "Harry? Are you awake?"
"Hermione?" he asked with a shock of hope, but a single look told him that the Mandrake Draught had not been finished. He turned to see where the voice had come from and was shocked to find Daphne Greengrass next to him. "What do you want, Greengrass?" he asked in a hiss so venomous it was nearly Parseltongue.
"I'll let that slide, considering the circumstances, Potter. But to answer your question, I'm here for two reasons: first, I want to say that I'm sorry about Granger. Everyone could see that you two were close, even those idiots Crabbe and Goyle. Second, I'm here to pass on a message."
"What message? And who's it from?" Harry demanded.
"It's from Draco, and he-"
"Malfoy? Why would he send me a bloody message?"
Daphne stared at the young Gryffindor in shock. Had Draco been lying to her about their friendship? Or was Harry Potter more of a Slytherin than she and Blaise had thought? "He asked me to send you the message because I know you two are actually close friends, Potter."
"Oh, really? Prove it."
Yep, he was a Slytherin alright. Daphne just grinned and answered "Well, last Christmas, he got you a book on Seekers' tactics; then for your birthday, a book on traditions; and a few months ago, The Greatest Duels in History. Oh, and he helped you fight You-Know-Who last year by beating McG's chess set and actually faced him with you."
Harry stared at her, taking her measure, and decided to give her two last tests. "Okay, say that Malfoy and I really are friends. If it's true, than he would have told you where we first met and the real reason he's not here right now." If Draco really trusted Greengrass, then Harry was sure that he'd have told her about his empathic abilities, which Harry believed was the reason Draco hadn't visited since . . . how long had it been? Harry had trouble dealing with his emotions, and he had been living with them for his entire life; he could only imagine what their unparalleled strength would do to someone like Draco.
Daphne just grinned as she answered. "So, you believe me now? You two met at Madame Malkin's on your birthday, but you weren't properly introduced until September 1st, where you very tactfully turned down Draco's hand but thanked him for the offer. As for the other question, that saves me one part of the message, since you obviously understand how strongly you impact his empathy."
"Yeah, I can imagine. So, what's the other part?"
"Solve this, Potter. If you want to save Hogwarts and avenge Granger, then solve this. Find the Chamber and kill the Heir."
Harry stared at her in shock. "What do you mean 'save Hogwarts'?"
"Basically, if there's even one more attack, Hogwarts is through. The school governors have already sacked Dumbledore and arrested Hagrid. If anything happens now, Hogwarts will be closed, maybe for good."
Daphne watched in shock as Harry's eyes brightened from their normal emerald green to the bright green of the Killing Curse, while at the same time becoming as hard as emeralds. For the first time, she understood just how dangerous he could be. Finally, she could understand why Draco decided to side with Harry over He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. "That won't happen, Daphne Greengrass. Not while I can still draw a breath." And with that, Harry Potter stood up and left the Hospital Wing, and Daphne knew that he was going to solve this mystery, no matter what it took.
Harry's first destination was one of strictly research, but not the library. No, he knew there was only one place to go in order to get the information he needed: the Slytherin dungeons. The Bloody Baron, aka Baron James Rothschild, was the person to see in order to find information about what happened the last time the Chamber had been opened.
"So, Potter, you really are the Heir, aren't you?" Great, it was Zacharias Smith, the one person who had no right to be in his house—Hufflepuff. Really, there were times that Harry wondered what the Sorting Hat was thinking when it Sorted some people. "I knew you must have petrified that Granger bint to throw off the scent, unless, of course, you don't actually like her. And really, why would anyone like her-"
And with that, Harry lost his temper and hit him before Smith even knew what had happened. He continued beating the other boy up, not allowing him much time to recover before hitting him with one of the Parselmagic spells he had learned from Form of the Serpent. "Listen up, Smith, and listen well," Harry hissed. "If I were the Heir, I wouldn't be attacking Muggleborns; I would be attacking arrogant little shites like yourself. Remember, my mum was a Muggleborn, as is my best friend. And don't you ever insult Hermione again, or I swear you will regret it, understand?" Smith, in absolute terror of Harry's rage, nodded quickly, and ran off.
"Well done, Mr. Potter. A lord should always defend the honour of his lady-love," a cold voice said.
"Baron, I'm glad to see you," Harry grinned at the ghost. "I need to ask you a question."
"Ask away, young Potter."
"I've heard that the last time my ancestor's Chamber was opened, a girl died. Do you know where she died?"
"I can do better than that, Mr. Potter; I can tell you who it was. Moaning Myrtle was the one who died last time."
"Thank you, my lord." Harry immediately ran for the loo. Moaning bloody Myrtle? How could they have missed it? All of them had been in her loo for hours on end doing research or working on their illicit potions! As soon as he arrived, he called out for Myrtle, who reluctantly came by. "Myrtle, I need to know, where did you die?"
"Ooooh, it was dreadful," she said with relish. "It happened right in here. I died in this very stall. I remember it so well. I'd hidden because Olive Hornby was teasing me about my glasses. The door was locked, and I was crying, and then I heard somebody come in. They said something funny. A different language, I think it must have been. Anyway, what really got me was that it was a boy speaking, so I unlocked the door to tell him to go and use his own toilet, and then -" Myrtle swelled importantly, her face shining, "I died."
"How?" said Harry.
"No idea," said Myrtle in hushed tones. "I just remember seeing a pair of great, big, yellow eyes. My whole body sort of seized up, and then I was floating away . . . ." She looked dreamily at Harry. "And then I came back again. I was determined to haunt Olive Hornby, you see. Oh, she was sorry she'd ever laughed at my glasses."
"Where exactly did you see the eyes?" said Harry.
"Somewhere there," said Myrtle, pointing vaguely toward the sink in front of her toilet.
Harry leaned in close to take a look at the sink, and almost instantly found what he was looking for: a faucet with a snake carved in it. There was nothing he could do but grin. He had solved a mystery that had stumped headmasters since Salazar Slytherin had left, one that only one other person had solved, and he had a sneaking suspicion as to whom it was, so the only thing he could do now was wait. Eventually, Tom Riddle would strike again, and Harry would be ready.
Until then, Harry would need to keep up with classes, if only for Hermione's sake. But the only class Harry had that day was DADA with Lockhart. He ignored it in order to bring Hermione up to date. He stroked her hand as he told her, "I did it, Hermione; I found the entrance to the Chamber. All I need to do is wait for Tom to strike again, and it's over. He'll need to get out of the diary, and based on what we know about Dark Magic, I'd say he'll probably drain the life of whomever he's using as a host." Just then, his hand went a tad further than before, and he felt parchment. Curious, he gently pulled the page from Hermione's hand and read it. When he finished, he burst out in laughter. "Hermione, you genius! Who else could have solved out what the creature was, and with so few clues on top of it!" He was in such a good mood that he did something that shocked even him: he kissed her straight on the lips.
He needed that good mood when he went in for his first meal since before the aborted Quidditch match because the only teacher inside the Great Hall at the time was Harry's current bane at Hogwarts: Gilderoy Lockhart. "Harry, Harry, Harry, why weren't you in my class today? I thought that with all the Dark things going on, you'd value my class even more than usual."
Harry turned his glare on the man before laughing at him. "Value your class? And I thought you were an idiot before! Your classes do nothing but allow you to promote your own books. You teach us absolutely nothing about the creatures you supposedly faced, or the spells you used against them. You couldn't even hold your ground against bloody pixies! So forget it; I'm not coming to another DADA class so long as you're the teacher, and I refuse to go to any detentions where you're in charge." Lockhart just gaped at him in shock, while Harry marched off. As a final parting shot, he turned and said, "Oh, and before you go spouting off about my fame, listen to this: I bloody hate being the Boy-Who-Lived. I'd much rather have my parents than that stupid title. I am perfectly content living my life without the scrutiny that celebrities face and the insecurity of having to constantly wonder if someone wants to be my friend because I'm famous or because they like me for me." With that, he went back to the Hospital Wing and brought Hermione up to date before heading back to the Gryffindor dorm and having a nice long, peaceful night's sleep.