No Obvious Truths

Chapter 28

Trouble At The Feast

"Welcome back to Hogwarts, Mr. Potter, how are you feeling?" asked Minerva, staring down at the child a tiny smile on her face. You could still tell Harry had been very sick, but what a change a few months had made to him. She couldn't help but always think this, after reading the paperwork on how Harry was and how sick - she'd been quite horrified how close he'd come to dying. She was glad the Malfoy's had come into Harry's life when they had. Not only did they have enough money to ensure Harry got better, but they seemed to adore him and were deeply concerned when things went downhill. She hadn't known Harry before they were in his life, but from Severus' words, he didn't come right out and say it though, rather just said things and left her to assume. She could guess he had been a very lonely boy, and her heart broke for him.

"I'm a lot better, Professor McGonagall," said Harry beaming at her, excitement rendering him unable to stand still for longer than a few minutes.

"Harry asked earlier if you wouldn't mind transfiguring his hat again," said Narcissa watching her sons proudly.

"Of course, come here Mr. Potter," said Minerva, meeting him half way despite her words, not wanting him to over exert himself. Seeing him standing there patiently, she flicked her wand and muttered the spell, watching the hat disappear and in place Harry had a head full of hair. She wondered when his hair would start to come back on its own, or if it already was, she hadn't seen him without his hat on.

"Thank you ma'am," said Harry touching at his head, it felt so odd having hair there and it felt so real like his old hair. Unfortunately for most of his life, he hadn't had any; it constantly fell out with the chemotherapy. Even the wizarding world wasn't able to stop it, but Harry didn't mind as long as he got better and nobody stared. He didn't like people staring at him, regardless, he was going to make the most of tonight.

"Come on, Harry! Let's get in…wait till you see it!" said Draco.

"It's amazing, I love Halloween!" said Ron grinning like a loon.

"That's because you can eat lots of sweets," said Draco, he didn't know where his friend put it, but he had a bottomless pit.

"Not all sweets boys. Don't make me have to tell your mothers," said Narcissa in only a way a mother could reprimand people and not just their own children.

"Yes ma'am," they all said in unison before laughing their way into the Great Hall. They'd already been warned by their head of house, and here he was the scarier one than Draco's mum, well to everyone other than Draco and Harry who knew just fiery and scary she could be. She had to be though, to put up with three crazy men, Tom and Lucius who have yet to grow up and a very stubborn Severus.

Narcissa watched them going in shaking her head in fond exasperation; boys will be boys at the end of the day. She'd always wanted a little girl to spoil, but she would just have to make do with her two budding teenagers who wouldn't need her soon - and that was a depressing thought indeed. She and Lucius had tried for another child; especially after she spoke of her desire, artificially but after years of trying they'd both given in. it was rare for magical women especially pureblood women to have more than one child. They were very lucky if they had two, and rarer still three.

"How has he been really?" asked Minerva walking with Narcissa and Lucius who was impassive as always, but his hawk eyes remained firmly on the children.

"He's doing really well, he isn't being sick as much as he was a while ago which is a good thing. He's feeling a little claustrophobic though, he misses being outside, but we can't blame him." said Narcissa, they just couldn't risk him getting sick, Harry knew that and understood but sometimes you can't help how you felt. Going through adolescence was hard enough, without the added pain of fighting cancer and everything that came with it. She refrained from saying any of this to Minerva. She, Tom, Lucius and Harry would face it when it came to it.

"That is a relief to hear," said Minerva.

"Indeed," said Lucius, sitting himself down right next to Severus, looking relieved that he was away from the riff raff like Dumbledore. He would never like the old fool, no matter how hospitable he was being. There was always something wrong about Dumbledore that he hated, too helpful and good for words and seemingly incorruptible, and Lucius didn't think it was possible for that such to happen. He would never allow himself to be indebted to the Headmaster, it's why he always went through Minerva, or rather Severus did to get whatever they needed.

"This place is awesome!" said Harry, gazing around in awe, such a transformation from last time. Now the welcoming feast had been the best he'd ever seen, now though the Halloween feast had taken its place in his number one spot. He could barely wait until he was well enough to join Draco and the others full time here. He was determined that he would come for his second year; he would be well he just had to be. The pumpkins hung in mid air, all different faces and expressions, so much food there couldn't possibly be doable to eat it all.

"It is, isn't it?" grinned Ron after swallowing a piece of meat. The day after the welcoming feast Professor Snape had pulled him aside and he would never repeat what he said. He didn't know what a bovine was, but he didn't want to find out. It was an insult judging by the diatribe, but at least he had been alone and nobody knew what had happened. So he no longer spoke with his mouth full or stuffed his face, his head of house explained that there was more than enough to go round and there was no need for despicable table manners that reflected badly on Slytherin on a whole. The longer he was in Slytherin the more proud he felt to be there. In what had been a last minute plan…was turning out to be one of the best decisions ever. He wouldn't be in his brother's shadows anymore; he would shine in his own way.

"Are you cold, Harry?" asked Draco seeing his brother shivering slightly, and immediately becoming concerned.

"No," said Harry shaking his head negatively, but something was off he just couldn't put a name to it. "Where are the twins?" he asked determined to enjoy himself despite the weird feeling he had.

"Over there, they'll come over…hopefully, they've been dying to meet you." said Draco.

"I can't wait to meet them! They sound real fun!" said Harry hyper, the feeling already forgotten in the eagerness of youth.

"Try growing up with them," said Ron snorting.

"Was it really that bad?" asked Harry, whispering and not even attempting to listen to the speech the Headmaster was giving. The last one had been as Ron would put it 'barmy' as he liked to say. Telling everyone they would 'die horrible painful deaths' like that chilled him to the bone. Most laughed it off, but he didn't think dieing was funny. Having come so close…himself, it twisted his stomach to see them react that way. He wasn't scared of death, far from it, just scared of dying alone and in pain.

"Not always," conceded Ron.

"I would have loved to have brothers growing up," said Harry solemnly, family had never been a joke for him.

Ron flushed red, the knowledge that Harry was slightly jealous or maybe envious of him because he had brothers made him feel bad. Harry hadn't just lost his parents that night but any other potential family he could have had. Some of the time having so many brothers sucked, especially because everything he got was second hand. Yet he realized he had it easier, compared to Harry. "You have one now, a whole family that's good isn't it?" asked Ron unsurely, he wasn't used to comforting anyone, growing up he'd been the one jealous.

"Yes, and I will never take them for granted, you shouldn't do the same with yours," said Harry seriously.

"I know," said Ron, but he didn't mean that really, no Ron would finally understand that in his second year of Hogwarts what Harry had learned young in life.

"How are the tutoring sessions going?" asked Draco, pouring more vegetables onto Harry's plate. He wanted him to get as stronger so he could finally join them all here at Hogwarts. He missed him a lot, it wasn't the same without him, and he could barely wait until Christmas holidays.

"They are going great, they've all been really kind to me." said Harry, speaking of course about the teacher tutoring sessions, not the ones Narcissa, Severus, Lucius and Tom did.

"Good," said Draco.

"Make way, or lose…"

"An arm, we are serious…"

"And armed!" said the twins, causing Harry to laugh at their antics, they were exactly what he expected from the letters. They sat down with identical grins on their faces, Harry could see the family resemblance not just the freckles and red hair either.

"Hi, I love your pranks! I hope I get to see some!" said Harry smiling widely at them.

"Oh you will," said Fred smugly, they never stop.

"I'm just glad it's not me anymore," murmured Ron.

"What did they do?" asked Draco perking up, as he put his cutlery down having finished his main course. He couldn't wait to hear about the twins pranks on Ron, if it was anything like he and Harry last month he'd bet it was so fun. Before Harry had come to their home, he had been lonely; Harry was by far the most exciting thing to happen to him. The best thing of all? He hadn't needed to wait until a baby grew up to have a brother. Which is exactly what would have happened if his mum got pregnant.

"This I can't wait to hear," said Blaise laughing in amusement. Since he didn't have anyone other than his mother in his life. His father had died before he could get to know him properly, and he missed him or rather who he was meant to be.

"It's not funny!" said Ron in feigned petulance.

"What did they do?" asked Harry ignoring the desert that came on the table, Ron however drooled at the sight of it and with manners collected a few things for himself. Sitting back he looked around and saw they were genuinely interested in what he had gotten up to when he was younger.

"Which time?" asked Fred and George innocently?

"If you must know, when I was three, Fred turned my - my," said Ron, glaring at the twins who were already laughing uproariously. "My teddy bear into a great big filthy spider all because I broke his toy broomstick."

"A spider?!" giggled Harry, amused. "Awesome, that's hard to do - animate items I mean and before Hogwarts."

Fred and George sobered, finding themselves strangely humbled; in a way Harry had told them he thought they were powerful. That wasn't something anyone had told them before that's for sure.

"That wasn't the worst," said Ron.

"What else did they do?" asked Blaise still sniggering at Ron's misfortune.

"They gave me an acid pop, it burnt a hole through my tongue, had to go to St. Mungo's our parents weren't happy." said Ron, as they burst into more jovial laughter.

Once they quietened down Ron sniggered thinking about another particular time.

"What's funny?" asked Blaise.

"Do you remember what dad done that day you tried to get me to swear an unbreakable vow?" chortled Ron.

"No!" said George flushing red.

"Dad went mental, it was the only time he's ever been really mad, it's usually our mums job." explained Ron.

"Not funny, my backside has never been the same since." said Fred rubbing at his left buttocks in remembrance. His dad had one hell of whack on him; they'd certainly learned that lesson. They'd never attempted to make a Vow again.

"Why?" asked Harry the only obvious one.

"A Vow is a very serious thing Harry, break it and you die, only in dire circumstances or honourable ones should the magic be used." said Draco in explanation. "Like if you promise not to hurt someone, and you do the magic in the vow will see it as a break in honour and your heart will stop beating."

"That's scary," admitted Harry.

"So was our dad," said Fred and George in unison causing Ron to snort in laughter.

As they were laughing, they jumped when the doors of the Great Hall banged open with such force the sound exploded around the room. They laughed some more seeing the teacher running the length of the hall, but their laughter hitched in their throats at his announcement.

"T-t-troll in the d-d-d-dungeons," screamed the Defence against the Dark Arts teacher completely terrified. It was written across his face, there was little doubt he was telling the truth. The students immediately began to panic but his other words were head perfectly fine. "T-thought you ought to know."

Harry blinked finding it odd; when you fainted you lost control of your body, completely. The knees should have been the first to buckle. Yet Quirrell just went down stiff as a board as if he had been petrified.

"Have you seen Hermione?" asked Neville coming over to the Slytherins extremely pale and sick looking. He would forever hate himself if anything happened to Hermione; he hoped he hadn't done the wrong thing in giving her the space he felt she probably needed.

"No," said Draco immediately, and it was true she hadn't been.

"She's in the girl's bathroom, the haunted one," said Daphne, she'd mistakenly gone in. She was certainly not going to do the toilet when a ghost was in there. During that time she had heard Granger in the toilet, muttering to herself. She'd asked her how she was, but she hadn't got a response other than 'go away'.

"You best tell your dad," said Harry as Dumbledore told the students to follow their prefects back to the common rooms.

"But what about the Slytherin's?" snapped Harry, he was telling them to go back down to the dungeons when a troll was down there?

"Dad, Hermione's in the haunted girl's bathroom!" called Draco in concern.

Severus and Lucius looked at one another before nodding; Severus went to explain everything to the teachers as Lucius spoke to Narcissa.

"Keep Harry and Draco with you, stay here, there's two exits and only one Troll," said Lucius, not worried about his wife. She was one of the best duellers out there, for a witch anyway, some could say she was better and fiercer than her sister. That was for a single reason, she was a mother, and there was just a fierceness and protectiveness bred into you when you experience motherhood.

"Alright, be careful," said Narcissa, her gaze however was on Severus as she said it. "Keep him safe." she knew how Severus got when children were in danger. For reasons she couldn't understand, any child being harmed or the thought of it infuriated Severus. Or someone he loved, but that was a whole new level one that people rarely experienced.

Lucius nodded, the room had cleared out completely other than the unconscious Quirrell who was being tended to by Poppy, who got him on a stretcher and left the room as well. The teachers all split up, Severus and Lucius both headed for Hermione as the others all descended to the dungeons. Read to face the mountain troll.

Inwardly Quirrell was cursing, there was no way he could get out of this without arousing suspicion he hadn't expected the school matron to take him to the hospital wing. All he could do was pray she left him alone for a few seconds so he could slip out grab the stone and get back to his quarters and feign confusion.

A frustrated Quirrell, a united Severus and Lucius off to the rescue...and a Narcissa in the Great hall...just who will be attacked this time around? three delicious morsels in the Great Hall or one unlucky skinny morsel in the bathroom? ;) lol R&R