Hi, here is this week's update. Enjoy.
It was now evening of 2nd November and all students were sitting on their house tables again. They all had been told that Professor Dumbledore would make an important announcement. All around the Great Hall the aurors and the Professors were standing to watch for any suspect reaction to the information that the basilisk was killed. They hoped to get an idea who was the heir of Slytherin that had freed the monster. They also looked out for signs of possession. While Madam Pomfrey would test all students anyway, it would be easier for her if they could get an idea where to start.
"If you would please quiet down, I have some things to announce," Dumbledore spoke loudly and waited for the students to quiet down.
"Thank you. First things first, I want to thank you all for your cooperation in our recent dangerous situation. You all have behaved admirably and made things easier for us teachers to handle. I have called you all here to give you the happy news that the monster in the Chamber of Secrets has been killed today and doesn't pose any danger to you anymore," Dumbledore said, getting many cheers from the students.
The aurors noticed some faces that weren't ultimately happy and memorized them.
"Therefore classes will start again tomorrow morning. As I know that you all are curious about what kind of threat we had to deal with, I want to give you some basic facts. Your heads of house have informed you about the history of the Chamber of Secrets. It was built by Salazar Slytherin and until today we thought he built it to give his heirs a way to clean the school from those he regarded unworthy of learning magic. We found evidence in the Chamber of Secrets that this isn't the full truth. When Salazar Slytherin started Hogwarts with the other three founders, he was one of the greatest healers of his time. Parselmagic, magic that only those born as descendants of the famous ancient Greek healer Asclepius, the very first parselmouth, can use, is the most powerful healing magic there is," Dumbledore announced and had to wait until the shouts of disbelief had stopped.
He knew it would take time to get the wizarding society to accept this truth.
"I know you are confused, especially those of you that grew up in the wizarding world. It is a common misconception that speaking parseltongue is the mark of a dark wizard. It isn't. Historic documents tell us that the first parselmouths were always healers. The best healers of all times were parselmouths. Sadly snakes are used in many dark rituals and therefore have got a bad name. The reason they are used in dark rituals is that those rituals corrupt the inherent good magic of the snakes and twist them into evil. Dark magic was what corrupted Slytherin into becoming the man history portrays him as. He tried to fight it, but the common fear of magic at the time Slytherin lived had cost two of his prized students and his intended their lives. Driven by revenge, Slytherin turned away from healing and started using the dark arts. I want to warn everybody here. Dark Magic is dangerous and has a lure that few can get away from once they have experienced it. Over time it corrupts and forms you into a bad caricature of the person you once were.
"A team of three teachers, four aurors and one parselmouth, who agreed to help us open the doors to the Chamber of Secrets, but wants to stay anonymous for now, went into the chamber to kill the monster inside. The monster was a basilisk. For those who don't know what that is, it is a giant snake that can kill with one look into its eyes," Dumbledore said.
Shouts of fear sounded through the Great Hall and Dumbledore needed to fire two cannon blast spells in the air to get the students to calm down again.
"I know that you are rightfully frightened, but remember, the basilisk is already dead. There is no need to worry about it anymore. Basilisks can be killed by the crow of a rooster, which we used once we knew where the basilisk stayed. While we took care of the monster, we still don't know who the heir of Slytherin is," Dumbledore said and the doors flew shut, shocking the students.
"I know who opened the Chamber of Secrets fifty years ago, but I know for certain that student didn't have children and is currently far away. Therefore I fear that one of you is unwillingly his tool. To make sure that none of you is used by him, Madam Pomfrey will do short diagnosis spells that will tell us if you are suffering from a form of possession or have been in contact with dark magic. Considering my former explanations, I hope you will cooperate and just let Madam Pomfrey do her job," Dumbledore said.
Madam Pomfrey walked up to the aurors and got some ideas where to start. She nodded and then walked up to the front of the Great Hall.
"I will do this by years, so I ask those that won't be examined first to be patient. The spell only takes one minute. For those that have to wait you are encouraged to start dinner. I will start with the first-years and work my way up to the seventh-years. And even if I find something early on, everybody will still be examined to make sure we don't overlook anything," Madam Pomfrey announced. "First up the Hufflepuff first-years please."
The nine Hufflepuff first-years stood up and followed Madam Pomfrey. She set up a makeshift privacy area with some conjured curtains. Ten minutes later the first-year Hufflepuff were dismissed to get dinner.
"Next up are the Ravenclaws," She informed the students.
The fourteen Ravenclaw first-years stood up and went to Madam Pomfrey. They also were dismissed once Madam Pomfrey was done.
"Slytherin," Madam Pomfrey called and the twelve first-years complied.
After the Slytherins were done, the Gryffindors came up. Madam Pomfrey checked them all and noted some things on her notepad. She dismissed them as well. While she had found some things already, she didn't want to tip anybody off too early on. She would first finish all examinations before she picked out those that had been influenced by dark magic. That had been the plan that the teachers and aurors had agreed upon.
"Hufflepuff second-years," Madam Pomfrey called.
So one house after another by years all the students were examined. Finally the Gryffindor seventh-years completed the examination. Madam Pomfrey walked up to Professor Dumbledore and informed him about her findings. He was shocked to find out just how many students had been exposed to dark magic already.
"Madam Pomfrey informed me that she found several of you that have come in contact with dark magic. We will take all of those to the hospital wing to undo as much damage as we can. We will call out all the names that are concerned. All the other students are free to return to their common rooms or stay here in the Great Hall. If I call your name, please stand up and come here." Dumbledore said, making the students whisper who could have been meant.
"Francis Hogleg, Undine Illias, Percival Bloom, Jane Cillock, Thomas MacNair, Ivy Avery, Eleanor Winter, Neville Longbottom, Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter, Luna Lovegood and Ginevra Weasley. These twelve are to follow Madam Pomfrey to the hospital wing. She will do a more thorough scan there and determine what kind of medical treatment you need. To make sure you aren't victims of cursed objects, your heads of house will examine your things in your presence. If we find such an object we will confiscate it and get it destroyed so it can't do anymore danger to you. Thank you for your cooperation," Dumbledore ended his speech.
The twelve called students stood up and wondered what would happen now. Especially the younger ones looked really nervous. Well, except for Luna Lovegood, who seemed to find this all thoroughly interesting.
"Do you know why you were called up, Harry?" Neville asked.
"I think so. I had dark magical residue in my scar for ten years. It was only remedied one year ago," Harry informed his friend.
"Really? Well, I don't really know why I was called. I will see what they tell me," Neville said.
"Oh, I know why I am here. I have noticed that dark presence in the castle where I often walk along to find my things," Luna said dreamily.
"Your things? What do you mean, Luna?" Harry asked.
Inside of Ravenclaw he called all those that introduced themselves to him by their first name. Outside he mostly called them by their surname. That was the small distinction he made.
"Oh, some people think I am 'loony' and have taken to hide my things sometimes," She answered airily.
"Who?" Harry asked angrily.
"Oh, some girls. Don't worry about it," Luna said.
"I do worry. You can't let bullying like that go on or it will get out of hand. It has to be stopped early on. Tell Professor Flitwick," Harry stated firmly.
He had too much experience with that to just look away.
"But what would that help?" Luna asked.
"It will prevent them from continuing tormenting you. Nobody has the right to hurt somebody else. No matter if they dislike the other person or think he or she is weird. And the least it should happen in your own house," Harry said.
Luna looked at him strangely like having somebody defend her was completely foreign to her.
"You are the knight of the moon!" She said with wide eyes.
"Huh? I have been called blessed by the guardian of the moon before, I think that means my familiar Hedwig, but what do you mean with knight of the moon?" Harry asked.
"To find that out, you need to contact the guardians of the forest," Luna said and left it at that.
Harry wondered why people only gave him more riddles to solve and no clear answers.
At the hospital wing Madam Pomfrey sorted the students by gender first and then by degree of severity of the exposure to dark magic. Soon those students that weren't obviously suffering from any effects of the dark magic anymore were given a vitamin concoction that would help their bodies to deal with any last little remaining remnants of dark magic. Those were Harry, Luna, Undine Illias, Percival Bloom and Ivy Avery. For Neville she gave him a stronger version of that potion and additionally a potion to heal miniscule brain damage. Neville was shocked to hear that he had had a little exposure to the cruciatus curse as a toddler. It must have been when the Lestranges had tortured his parents. From what Madam Pomfrey found out he had been subjected to the curse for one second before somebody had stopped it. His sometimes problems with remembering things were probably originally caused by that.
Neville had known that his experience of that attack coupled with the treatment he got from his family had made him subconsciously suppress his magic. But to find out that he too had been a victim of that unforgivable, made him feel sick to his stomach. To Harry's surprise Draco looked equally sick when he heard that. Then Harry remembered that his aunt Bellatrix Lestrange had been one of the attackers of Neville's parents. Perhaps this would shake the beliefs his father had drilled into him more than Harry had already done.
Draco himself was found to have been hit with some dark curses before he came to Hogwarts. Madam Pomfrey identified them as typical 'disciplinary spells' of dark families. Draco had to stay overnight to get treated for some damage that hadn't healed on its own.
Some others also had to stay. The one Madam Pomfrey was most worried about was Ginny Weasley. The girl showed clear signs of possession. She was the one who most probably had been used to open the Chamber of Secrets. Madam Pomfrey had already informed Professor McGonagall to get the girl's things from her dorm to inspect them for dark artefacts. There was no way that Ginny was doing what she probably did out of her free will.
Those that had been cleared to return to their common rooms did that after Madam Pomfrey gave them permission. For others their things were also fetched to inspect them. It was a first in the history of Hogwarts to examine all students for exposure to dark magic, but regarding the recent discoveries, it was a responsible thing to do. Madam Pomfrey also had written down the statements of the students how they had probably been exposed to dark magic, if they weren't victims of spells directed at them. Luna's comment was one of the most troubling. Professors Dumbledore and Snape went to the place where Luna had said she had felt the dark magic. But while they could determine that there indeed was some dark magic, they didn't know how to get to it.
Lucius Malfoy was not a happy pureblood at the moment. He had got a warning from the DMLE to refrain from using dark magic spells on his son or he would have to defend himself in court. Following the opening of the Chamber of Secrets and the killing of the monster in the Chamber of Secrets, all students at Hogwarts had been examined by the school nurse and his son had been found to have been subjected to dark magic, which was known as 'disciplinary spells' in dark families. A new law, brought forward by Amelia Bones after getting the results of the investigation team at Hogwarts, gave children more rights against abuse at home. As at the time he had used the spells, the law hadn't been active, he couldn't be sued for them, but all use of them from this point on was punishable by one year at Azkaban for each occurrence.
He was furious that his plan to use the diary to unleash the monster in the Chamber hadn't worked out like he had planned. He didn't know how the stupid muggle-loving fool Dumbledore had managed to find out within two days just what kind of monster was in the chamber and more importantly how to kill it. His master had informed him that only he would be able to enter the chamber and that the diary was a means to open it through a medium. He had chosen the daughter of that nuisance Arthur Weasley to get his muggle protection act undone. It had been so easy to get the book into the girl's things. But now, only a few days after the Chamber of Secrets had been opened for the first time, the basilisk was already dead, killed by a group of teachers and some aurors.
Who in Merlin's name was that anonymous parselmouth he had read about in the Daily Prophet? Following the event, Dumbledore had called Skeeter and her photographer to the school and let them see the Chamber of Secrets, the dead basilisk and a translation of the last message of Salazar Slytherin. How the hell did this go so wrong? With the information about parseltongue originally being healing magic, proven by several historical documents about legendary healers that had been parselmouths, starting with Asclepius, another supposed dark ability was lost to the light.
Another article, Skeeter just had to write about everything, informed the witches and wizards in the country that from now on mandatory health checks of all new first years would be done at the beginning of each year on the first day of school and that over the first week all other years would have to get the check taken. No exceptions based on examinations of family healers anymore. This would mean that any and all abuse of children would be spotted and treated. The new law was printed and the repercussions for breaking it. This wouldn't have happened if only the dark lord hadn't lost his power. He knew he was still out there somewhere. If only he had come to him last year and hadn't depended on that weak fool Quirrell, then he would already be back in power and the purebloods would again be close to their proper station in society.
The only good thing about the last two years was that his son was successfully building a network of important students and gaining much respect in Slytherin house. While he wasn't top-student of his year, he had got the equivalent of three O's and four high level E's on his last report card. He had scored 98% in Potions and 101% in Astronomy where he was top of class. In History of Magic he got 95%. Transfiguration was 88%, Charms 89%, Herbology 89% and Defence Against the Dark Arts 87%. He was satisfied with his son's performance, especially as it got him to third overall score of his year. While he didn't like that Draco had been beaten by Harry Potter and that mudblood Granger, he didn't have much to complain about with his son's performance. Draco had been told to make sure to do better than the mudblood this year though.
From what he had heard from several sources, his friends and acquaintances that had children at Hogwarts themselves, Harry Potter was a known genius. Beating somebody like that was very difficult. And going up openly against the boy was ill-advised after his performance in the trial for Sirius Black. Another annoyance. He had hoped that once Black died innocently in Azkaban, Draco would inherit the fortune as he was the only remaining male descendant of the Black family through Narcissa. But now that Black was free and had custody of the Potter boy, it would make sense that he made Potter his heir for as long as he didn't have children of his own. Which could happen now that he was a free man again and was gaining respect through his work as an auror.
He was glad that nobody would be able to trace the diary to him if they found it, which was probable. With how alerted everyone at Hogwarts was now, they would search the girl's things after finding out about her exposure to the dark magic from the diary.
Arthur and Molly Weasley sat in the office of Minerva McGonagall and listened to the report from Madam Pomfrey on the exposure of their Ginny to dark magic through an enchanted diary. They were very glad that the problem was found out this early in the year and that it didn't go on for longer. When they were shown the diary to see if they recognized it, they had to shake their heads. They hadn't seen it before. From what Ginny told Madam Pomfrey how the diary had worked, a boy called Tom, who was very understanding and nice, answered to what she wrote. She didn't want to give up the diary, but Madam Pomfrey had put her under some potions to get over the compulsion the diary obviously had on her.
"We sadly don't know the culprit behind this. There are no indications how the book got into Ginny's possession. She said she found it in her school things when she returned to the Burrow after you went shopping in Diagon Alley this year. It won't be possible to find this out. It could have been slipped to her anywhere. Ginny doesn't know this as we wanted to spare her the knowledge, but T.M. Riddle, the former owner of the diary, is none other than Voldemort. Tom Marvolo Riddle is his full and real name," Dumbledore informed the shocked parents.
"Our Ginny was possessed by You-Know-Who?" Molly asked frightened.
"Yes. Thankfully we managed to stop this before something really bad could happen. The only one petrified was Mrs Norris and we can cure her as soon as Professor Sprout's mandrakes are fully mature," Dumbledore said. "We got important information on Halloween evening that let us deduct the kind of monster in the chamber. Once we knew it was a basilisk, we called for back-up from the DMLE and went down there to kill the basilisk. Ginny won't remember anything about this, which is good. She probably has some empty spots in her memories, which you will need to help her get over. Otherwise there are no problems anymore since we destroyed the diary."
Dumbledore pointed at the diary which had a burn hole from basilisk venom, taken from the dead basilisk, in the middle. Like Dumbledore had feared the diary had been another horcrux, probably the first one made. He didn't dare trying to find out more information from the diary though and just had it destroyed. Who knew what kind of lies it would tell the user or how it would try to steal his life-force like it had started to do with Ginny?
"Will Ginny suffer any lasting damage from the exposure of the diary?" Arthur asked.
"We don't think so, but Madam Pomfrey will keep her under observation for the next two months. With the new rules concerning dark magic that was detected to have been close to any of our students, we can easily justify those regular checks. The other students that were found out to have had contact with dark magic will go through a similar process, so she won't stand out for it. We are trying to keep this all very low key," Dumbledore explained. "We don't want to frighten the students. The danger has been dealt with and now we want to return to normal teaching."
"I can understand that, Professor Dumbledore. Thank Merlin nothing more happened. How did you find out what the monster in the Chamber was? The article in the Prophet wasn't very informative on that point," Molly wanted to know.
"We got some information from one of our students who had observed some things. I won't tell you more right now as the student doesn't want it known for now. As said student's information led to the killing of the basilisk, I will respect his privacy," Dumbledore evaded giving up more information.
The two Weasleys nodded. They had to accept that there was nothing they could do about it. What was important was that Ginny would be alright and that nothing really bad had happened.
And cut for now. Till next time.