Disclaimer: Honestly, at this point it seems redundant, but I'll say it anyway, I don't own Harry Potter
AN: Okay folks, this is it, the final chapter of year 2. Hope you enjoy it and look forward to all future chapters.
May 20th, 2013
Harry was sitting under the shade of a tree, Hermione sitting beside him with her head on his shoulder, her eyes closed and purring contently. Harry's arm was around her waist and he smiled at her. When they first got her to the hospital wing to reapply Hermione's glamor charm after the Polyjuice debacle, Harry was glad to hear that this specific glamor only worked on those who didn't know that Hermione wasn't human. That meant that Harry wouldn't have to worry about not seeing the real Hermione for the rest of the year. Though her form did flicker momentarily to human to show the glamor was on.
It was only a few months since Harry and Hermione got together, but he could say that he really did love her. There was just something about her that drew him in. It could've been her captivating feline eyes, her affectionate nature, her fiery and independent personality or the fact that she was physically appealing. Harry preferred to think it was all of the above.
Harry hadn't been idle with what was going on in the school though. On the days he wasn't with the others, he was trying to find out what the hell was going on. With how smug the blonde ferret looked throughout the year, Harry knew that either Malfoy or his father were involved. It was 3 months ago that Emily told him about her encounter with the house elf at the start of the year.
That story brought a smirk to Harry's face, as even though house elves need a bond to survive, they were crafty little buggers. It was always funny when Harry saw a pureblood supremacist get outsmarted by a house elf that found a hidden loophole in their orders. Harry remembered one case where a trafficker told his elf not to 'tell' anyone of his operation and the elf didn't. He just left his master's journal with all his dealings in the I.C.W. Well, he didn't 'tell' anyone. Harry still laughed about that. Though he knew the elf that Emily met was a huge clue, but Emily never got the name of this 'Dobby's' master, so that was a dead end. Harry did have his suspicions though.
There were also two more attacks in that time span. A young first year Gryffindor named Colin Creevey, along with a Hufflepuff student named Justin Finch-Fletchley. Though what really cemented it for Harry was the fact that the Gryffindor ghost was also petrified. There was only one creature he knew of that could petrify a ghost, considering they were already dead. The only thing that confused Harry was creatures like this were meant to protect, not attack, so something was definitely wrong with this picture.
"Are you okay, Harry? You've been really quiet the last few days." said Hermione.
"I'm fine, Hermione. It's just these attacks are really getting out of hand. I think I finally have a solid idea of 'what's' causing this, and I have suspicions on 'who', but I want to deal with it quietly. No need to cause mass panic." said Harry, wrapping his arm tighter around Hermione.
In truth, while Harry seemed confident about the situation, internally he was actually scared as hell. The cause of this fear was worrying about the beauty that was currently beside him in his arms. It was bad enough she had to pose as a first-gen when it was first-gen's getting attacked, but he knew that if Hermione got hurt during these attacks, the more feral side of his magic could possibly be unleashed.
That side of his magic only ever unleashed when those close to him were hurt or in life-or-death trouble. That was the reason Harry always practiced occlumency when he could. Until he learned to control that side of his magic, he wanted to avoid situations that would force it out.
"Harry, you know that if there's anything worrying you, you can tell me, right?" asked Hermione.
"I know, Hermione. I just don't want you to get hurt. Now, before you say that you can handle yourself, I know you can. I've seen 5-year-old Nekomata take down Ogre's, so I know how tough your people can be. I just hate seeing those close to me get hurt, it….brings out a side of me I can't control yet." said Harry, his voice dropping to a whisper at the end.
Hermione snuggled closer to Harry, providing physical comfort for Harry's worries. Hermione was actually grateful that Harry would do so much for his loved ones, which was one of the reasons she never complained about his 'chivalrous' attitude. That was one of the reasons she fell for Harry. While her mother taught her how to protect herself, when faced with her first instance with the troll last year, she froze. She hated herself for that, but was actually glad that she didn't fight. Hermione knew she wasn't ready for the real deal yet, but since she officially got together with Harry, she was now willing to fight back if necessary, as Harry just had this calming and encouraging presence about him.
"Harry, while I understand your worry for your friends and loved ones, you don't always have to do everything alone. Each of us helped you and Emily last year, we can help you….if you let us." said Hermione.
Harry sighed, he knew that he'd never win this discussion against Hermione. Harry leaned in and kissed the top of Hermione's head, before leaning his head on hers.
"Alright Hermione, if you want to help, I have a small job for you." said Harry as he leaned in and whispered in Hermione's ear. Hermione's eyes became wider with each passing moment, she now understood why Harry never told other's what he suspected was attacking others.
"Alright Harry. I'll go to the library sometime this week and find out how it's getting around." said Hermione, who had tightened her grip around Harry throughout his explanation.
"Just promise me that you'll be careful. I don't know what I would do if you or anyone else got hurt…." said Harry. He was cut off, however, when Hermione kissed him full on the lips, preventing him from voicing the rest of his concerns.
"Harry, relax. I promise, I will be fine. So stop worrying or I'll go to Flitwick and ask him to write to Steve about dealing with my worrywort of a boyfriend." said Hermione. Harry paled when she said this, because he knew that if Steve got involved, the dragons wouldn't be far behind. And if they got involved, he was screwed big time, and not in the good way.
'Wait, where the hell did that come from? Oh, right. Too much time around Steve over the years.' thought Harry.
"Okay, okay. I'll relax, oy. I just can't help it, I'm an incredibly paranoid individual when things start going arse over tea kettle." said Harry. Hermione chuckled at this, as it was true. Harry could be incredibly paranoid.
Harry and Hermione remained sitting under the tree for the remainder of the day, which was only about an hour-and-a-half before curfew, before they headed back to the castle for the night. Before going their separate ways to their dorms, they shared one last kiss, then headed to their dorms to sleep off the relatively boring day.
May 24th, 2013
Harry was sitting in the great hall, as it was currently their lunch break, but he hadn't eaten anything all day. He had spent time with his friends over the last few days, but he hadn't seen Hermione since he told her goodnight last night. Emily had told him that she went to the library earlier that morning and he shouldn't worry, due to how much time Hermione spent in the library the previous year.
However, Harry couldn't get rid of his sense of foreboding. He even decided to miss the quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff that was due to start soon. His worry began growing as he saw Flitwick enter the great hall, since said professor had gone to watch the match earlier, and walking towards him.
"Mr. Potter, I must ask you to accompany me, it is of great importance. Ms. Potter is already being escorted by professor McGonagall." said Flitwick. Harry got up and began following Flitwick without question.
Harry's feeling of dread kept increasing as he followed Flitwick. It became even worse when they arrived at the hospital wing. Harry heard arguing through the door, and recognised the voices of James, Lily, Snape and Dumbledore.
Upon entering the hospital wing with Flitwick, he froze. It wasn't the fact that Lily and James were currently looking at Snape and Dumbledore as if they were going to use them for target practice, it was the petrified body of Hermione in one of the beds with Emily kneeling beside her.
Another shocking fact was the form of madam Pomfrey was close to the bed as well, with her wand pointed towards the headmaster and potion bat. Harry didn't care about that however, as he ran over and knelt beside Hermione, grasping one of her unmoving hands. While on the outside Harry looked calm, on the inside he was downright murderous. Not only was someone using a creature of protection to attack innocents, but had now gone after one of his loved ones. Heads were definitely gonna roll for this one.
'I never should have let her go alone. She's like this because of me.' thought Harry.
Emily looked towards Harry, noticing the fact that he was hiding his emotions. This caused Emily to get up and walk over to Harry before placing a hand on his shoulder.
"Harry, this isn't your fault. She wanted to help you, there's nothing wrong with that." said Emily.
"I know, she would've helped anyway, even if I could tell her 'no'. I just hate it when someone close to me gets hurt." said Harry. Emily just gave his shoulder a comforting squeeze, trying to give him as much support as he could.
While Emily was busy trying to comfort Harry, James and Lily were in an argument with Dumbledore and Snape about both Hermione and Emily.
"You have a lot of nerve to demand something like that, Snivellous." snarled James.
"It's well within my rights as head of Slytherin house to demand punishment on your spawn for harming Mr. Malfoy." snarked Snape.
"It would be, if Mr. Malfoy wasn't in the process of attempting to harm an unarmed and defenseless student. As such, I believe Malfoy got off easy since it was only a stunner." said Lily, who was close to going full 'mother dragon' mode if these two idiots didn't get the point.
"Now Lily, violence is never the answer, I'm sure Mr. Malfoy was just concerned about Ms. Granger's well being." said Dumbledore.
"And the fact that he said 'it's bad enough she's a mudblood, but also a half-breed' while having a cutting curse ready? And one that Snivellous here is known to use? Are we just going to disregard that?" asked James. Harry had managed to hear that, which would explain why Pomfrey had her wand pointed at Dumbledore and Snape. Hermione's glamor must've dispelled when she was petrified.
"Please, she's lucky we haven't contacted the minister about a creature of near human intelligence having snuck their way into the school as a student. If it was me, I would've contacted them and have her removed already." smirked Snape.
However, the smirk left his face when Snape was sent careening into the wall by an overpowered knockback jinx. The other three professors were shocked at this before looking toward Emily and Harry. Harry currently had his wand raised, the tip smoking from the spell he just fired.
"If that's the case, then maybe I should contact Steve and tell him that a Death Eater is near children in a school." growled Harry. That was another thing that Steve did. He showed Harry the photos of known, 'suspected' and 'imperioused' Death Eaters so Harry knew when to watch his back. It was one of the reasons Harry took such pleasure in nearly bankrupting Malfoy last year.
"I don't know how you knew of Professor Snape's past, Mr. Potter. However, I assure you, Professor Snape is remorseful for what he has done and is trying to make it right, there was no need to assault him just for having an opinion." said Dumbledore, attempting to use a compulsion charm on Harry to force forgiveness out of him.
What the idiot didn't know was that it would never work due to Harry's magic.
"If calling someone like Hermione a half-breed because she's not fully human and saying people like her need to be 'regulated' by your ministry is what you'd call an opinion, by that logic you should either be in an old folks home, or retired as I highly doubt that you are under 65….headmaster." snarked Harry.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, James couldn't help the loud snort he gave out trying to hide his laughter at that comment. However, Dumbledore could barely hide his rage at the audacity of this boy, and Snape fixed a glare at Harry as he slowly got up. Though you could tell Snape was in intense pain due to the grimace he made as he moved. What's worse for him was that there were witnesses when he was blasted into the wall, so he couldn't give Potter any kind of punishment. It didn't help that every witness, bar the headmaster, hated Snape with a passion.
"Now Harry, I understand your anger at the situation, but it still doesn't give you the right to attack a teacher." said Dumbledore while internally smirking at the situation. He believed he finally had a way to get rid of the boy.
"You know Dumbledore, the amount of effort you put into protecting Snape, I would suspect an ulterior motive. It's also suspicious that you put effort to protect him, but not the students. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were the one who's keeping the 'light' and 'dark' mentalities going. But I don't have time to deal with you or your greasy pet." said Harry. Harry turned back to Hermione's frozen form and gently kissed her forehead, before using his right thumb to caress her cheek. Harry also subtly grabbed a small piece of paper he felt in her hand earlier. After a full minute and a brief look at the paper, Harry's eyes narrowed before he looked at Emily.
"Emily, keep an eye on her for me, have the others help if you have to." said Harry, before he got up and started storming towards the door.
"Harry, where are you going?" asked Lily.
"To do the headmaster's job. However, I first have to speak with Hagrid, I'm gonna need some kind of backup to deal with this. When I find out who corrupted that majestic beast, I'll end them painfully." said Harry as he shoved the doors open and left the hospital wing.
Dumbledore's eyes widened as he realized that if Harry gained Hagrid as an ally, then he would lose a valuable pawn in his plans. Realizing this, Dumbledore ran out of the room to head to his office. He didn't want to resort to this, but since he knew Hagrid was the suspect the last time the chamber was opened, it wouldn't take much to get the minister here and arrest Hagrid on suspicion. Dumbledore didn't want to resort to this, but soon came to the conclusion that it would both prevent Harry from getting an ally, but also cement the half-breed's loyalty when Dumbledore 'helped' Hagrid get out of Azkaban. He never counted on one snag at the starting gate though.
After Dumbledore took off, Flitwick, who had been silent through this whole ordeal, looked towards Snape with a glare.
"Severus, your biased attitude is truly becoming a nuisance. Also, need I remind you that I am a 'half-breed' as you call it. I will be speaking with Pomona and Minerva about this, and we will come up with an appropriate punishment for you." said Flitwick as he left the hospital wing.
Hearing this caused Snape to pale drastically, so much so that he didn't even curse the male Potter brat.
30 Minutes Later
Harry arrived at Hagrid's and quickly knocked on the door. As Harry waited, he was relieved that he had calmed down slightly, but he was still pissed at the fact that Snape had the gall to threaten a petrified Hermione with contacting the ministry about her being a nekomata.
As Harry waited for Hagrid to answer the door, he heard footsteps coming up behind him. Turning around, Harry saw Neville running towards him.
"Hey Harry, wait up!" called Neville.
"Nev, what are you doing here?" asked Harry. It took Neville a few seconds to catch his breath.
"Emily told me, Susan, Hannah and Luna what happened. She didn't want you doing this alone in case you did something stupid, so she sent me to tag along." said Neville.
"You fight a possessed professor alone one time, and it labels you for life." mumbled Harry. This caused Neville to smirk as he remembered something that his parents once told him when he mentioned Harry and his adventures to them last summer.
'When it comes to Potters, they're either insane, stubborn or lucky. It sounds like Harry is all three. Merlin help us all.' was the general message. Neville couldn't help but agree with that, especially after Harry told them about the 'Veela's Bane' debacle.
It wasn't long after Neville arrived that Hagrid finally answered the door.
"Harry, Neville, what brings you two here?" asked Hagrid.
"No time to talk Hagrid, we came here for your help. I know what's in the chamber and have a plan to deal with it, but I'll need back-up. Do you know anyone in the forest that could help?" asked Harry.
Hagrid thought for about a minute, trying to think of who could be helpful.
"Well, there's the centaur's, but they don't really like wizards. The unicorns, but the herds are hard to find. Hippogriff's, the occasional werewolf….Oh, and Aragog." said Hagrid.
"Aragog? Who's that?" asked Neville.
"Oh, he's my closest friend, raised him from a hatchling. An Acromantula he is. Though some asshole named Tom Riddle used him to get me expelled from Hogwarts. Used Aragog as his evidence too, but Aragog never hurt anyone, he only attacked things like rats. He was downright terrified when the chamber was opened the first time though." said Hagrid.
Harry and Neville should have been shocked by the fact that Hagrid had an Acromantula, but considering he thought a cerberus was as harmless as a chihuahua, it made a lot of sense.
"That makes sense, all spiders are terrified of the creature. Though Acromantula venom could be helpful. It won't kill it, but should incapacitate it long enough to help. Where can we find Aragog?" asked Harry.
"Well, you can always follow the marked trees, but the best way would be to follow the spiders." said Hagrid.
Before either Harry or Neville could thank Hagrid, a loud knock on the door was heard. Hagrid walked to his window to look outside and saw Fudge, Dumbledore and worst of all, Malfoy.
"You two better slip out the back. Don't know why they're here, but if I had to guess, they're here because I was accused last time." whispered Hagrid.
"Right, thanks Hagrid. We'll be rooting for ya." whispered Neville. Harry and Neville quietly snuck to the back door with Harry opening it to let Neville through first, before turning back to Hagrid for a moment.
"Hey Hagrid, if you need any help in the future, just ask and I'll get in touch with Steve and see what we can do. I might even see if he can help get your expulsion over-ruled. Think of it as paying ya back for the info today." smiled Harry as he went out the door, closing it quietly.
Once both Harry and Neville were out the door, Harry placed a hand on Neville's shoulder to get his attention. This caused Neville to look towards Harry, who gestured to the hut. Neville understood and both went closer to the front door, remaining out of sight, in order to hear what was going on. Harry didn't know why Lucius was here, but it couldn't be good.
It wasn't much longer before Hagrid opened the door again, having stalled long enough for Harry and Neville to vanish, or hide in their case.
"Professor Dumbledore sir, what brings ya here?" asked Hagrid, though he already knew. What nobody but Harry realized was that Hagrid was way smarter than he looked.
"Rubeus Hagrid, you are hereby under arrest on suspicion of being behind the attacks on students." said Minister Fudge. Harry rolled his eyes at the pompous windbag. Harry knew that this guy was a 'nothing bad happens during my term' type and wanted most of the wizarding world's problems dealt with under the radar or swept under the rug.
"Now minister, surely this is unnecessary." said Dumbledore. After Albus had contacted the minister, he used a memory altering spell to make Fudge forget that Dumbledore called him. However, that had the unintended side effect of allowing Malfoy to tag along.
"Unfortunately Dumbledore, you currently have no say in this matter. Me and the rest of the board of governors have agreed to suspend you, pending 'investigation' on your involvement." smirked Lucius. Harry's eyes narrowed at Malfoy. This just brought more credence to the fact that this pompous high-elf wannabe was behind this.
'That's it, this son of a bitch is going down.' thought Harry.
"As such, Albus, Rubeus will have to come with us." snarked Fudge.
"Where? Not Azkaban prison." said Hagrid.
"Unfortunately, all the ministry holding cells are currently full due to a mass influx of muggleborn inmates getting retried at the I.C.W. courts. So there is no other choice." said Fudge. He was still rather pissed that his judicial choices were in question, and it took him forever to prevent an investigation into his term as minister. What's worse is that Fudge and many other 'I'm better than you' purebloods could already feel the loss of much of their vaults due to this mishap with the compensation orders that would undoubtedly come at them.
Hagrid just shrugged and began following the minister, while Lucius turned to smugly look at Dumbledore.
"As for you, I'm afraid that you must vacate the grounds until the 'investigation' is complete. Fortunately for the board, I will be leading the 'investigation' so it will be completed post haste." smirked Lucius.
Dumbledore just started walking away, not bothering to fight it as he knew this would be another great test for Emily. Lucius walked away, still having that smug look on his face, as he believed he finally gained a victory after the loss of half his family fortune.
Harry glared at Malfoy's retreating form, before gaining a mischievous, yet creepy smile. He drew his wand before pointing it at Malfoy's back, sending a small blue light at Malfoy. Luckily, the spell Harry used was a passive spell, so the idiot wouldn't know about it….yet, due to it not having a feeling of impact.
"Uh, Harry….what's with the creepy smile?" asked Neville.
"I'll tell ya on the way. Right now, we've gotta collect some acromantula venom." said Harry as he walked towards the forest, the grin never leaving his face.
Neville followed after Harry, while also wanting to know what Harry did to Malfoy Sr. If there was one thing that everyone knew, it was when Harry got that smile on his face, it was never good for those in his crosshairs.
It was a few minutes into the forest that Neville decided to get an explanation from Harry.
"So Harry, what exactly did you do to Malfoy?" asked Neville. Harry couldn't help it and burst out laughing.
"Oh, that. Well, there's this lady at the reserve in Romania that Steve has had his eye on. Her name is Kate. She had created this spell when she was a student in the Mayan Temple of Mystics. It was a project of hers to help Auror's with serial 'assault' cases. She made two versions for both genders, but this one shrinks the offending 'part' until a counter curse is applied. She helped me modify it to work as a prank." said Harry.
Neville couldn't help it and burst out laughing at Malfoy's future 'performance issues'. It was fitting for a guy who helped bring the 'prince of Slytherin' from annoying putz, to ego driven diva.
"So, how was it modified?" asked Neville through gasps of air as he was laughing too hard.
"We modified it to only last an hour….unless the affected individual lies." smirked Harry. This caused Neville to laugh even harder, as he knew that there was very little truth that came from Lucius Malfoy.
"I figured you would enjoy hearing that. Now, let's find Aragog and head back to the castle before this whole thing goes to shit. Knowing my luck, it will anyway." said Harry as he and Neville kept walking.
'I also have to be sure to be there when they revive the victims, I wouldn't trust Snape to not hurt Hermione to get to me.' thought Harry.
30 minute later
It was now nightfall, though with how thick the trees in the forest were, you'd never be able to tell. Harry could tell they were getting close, both because there were webs becoming more obvious in the area, and he could hear the slight hissing sound. It wasn't the kind of hiss you hear with parseltongue, it was more of a silent predator type hiss.
It was a few minutes later when Neville started hearing the hissing, and if he was honest, it was starting to creep him out. He wasn't afraid of spiders, unlike a certain weasel, but he knew that acromantula were literally giant spiders.
"Harry, are we at the nest yet? Because I'm getting seriously freaked out at this point." said Neville.
"Don't worry Nev, I see the nest just ahead. Be on your guard though, acromantula are not known for being trusting." said Harry.
It was only another minute or so of walking, due to the uneven ground, before they reached a clearing with a large cave opening, which was obvious to Harry as Aragog's home. The minute they entered the clearing, everything suddenly went silent. There were no hissing sounds, no wind, no movement, nothing. As they got closer to the cave, they heard a slight breathing.
"Neville, I apologize in advance for what I'm about to do. Even I still find this language slightly unnerving." said Harry and he walked two paces ahead of Neville before stopping.
"Aragog, I know you're in there. I must speak to you, it is extremely urgent." called Harry. Harry did shudder a bit as, like he said, the language is creepy.
Neville shuddered as well, finding the language unnerving. However, his panic level was about to go from 'slight fear' to 'what the fuck are we doing?' pretty damn soon. Soon enough, the sound of something large moving around inside the cave and making its way out was heard.
The sound was soon followed by a long leg and beady black eyes. It wasn't long before Aragog stood before them. He was soon followed by another, slightly smaller acromantula, which Harry assumed was his mate.
"You….you are the one the creatures of the forest speak of. The one who understands all magical beings. We acromantula, and many inhabitants of this forest have heard of you from our kin around the world. But I'm curious as to why you are here." said Aragog.
"I've come to ask for your help. The chamber of secrets at Hogwarts has been open again, and I plan to stop what's inside." said Harry.
Both Aragog and his mate shuddered at what Harry said. Aragog because the last time it was opened, he was almost killed by that fleshbag Riddle. His mate was both scared and enraged when she heard, as she lost both her parents to the beast. Before Aragog could say anything, his mate cut in.
"We will give you whatever aid we can. I have already lost my parents to this beast, I will not lose any of my children or love to it." said the female.
While you would expect the leader of the colony to disagree, even be angered at being overruled, he wasn't. Aragog was also protective of his mate and family, he even killed the leader of a rival colony when he demanded Aragog's daughters for his brood. Besides, Aragog's mate scared the shit out of him, not that he'd ever admit that.
"I agree, Mosag. What is it you need, young one?" asked Aragog. Harry reached into the back pocket of his pants, pulling out a small potion vial.
"All I need is a small amount of your venom. It will allow me to paralyze the creature long enough to hopefully free it from the control of whoever's behind this." said Harry.
"That is an acceptable request. We hope that you can end this swiftly." said Mosag. Harry nodded and cautiously walked towards Aragog, as he knew that Aragog's children were nearby, to assure he wasn't a threat.
After reaching Aragog and getting an entire vial full of his venom, Harry corked the bottle and placed it back in his pocket.
"I thank you for the aid you are providing me. I promise that when this problem is solved, you will never have to fear the chamber again and will be able to live peacefully." said Harry.
"We will hold you to that. Also, if you are able to, could you get Hagrid to visit more often. It would be nice for him to see his godchildren more frequently." said Mosag.
'Hagrid is the godfather of acromantula? Oddly, that's not the strangest thing I've ever heard.' thought Harry.
"I will, Lady Mosag. We'll have to get him out of Azkaban first, that bastard Fudge just arrested him for 'suspicion' of opening the chamber. Seems to me the ministers don't want to actually investigate, oy. Anywho, we have to get going and stop this whole fiasco. Merlin knows that Dumbass hasn't done anything." said Harry as he walked back towards Neville.
"Good luck, friend of all creatures." said Aragog.
'That fool Dumbledore better hope he doesn't find me. Letting Hagrid get arrested, if I was a more violent Acromantula, I would outright kill him.' thought Aragog.
However, as Harry and Neville walked away, Neville was going on about asking Harry not to speak acromantula around him anymore. However, it was what Aragog and Mosag heard next that made both them, and their hidden children laugh.
"Itsy-Bitsy spider my ass!" yelled Neville, causing both him and Harry to hear a form of laughter throughout the forest.
One Week Later
Harry and Neville had arrived back at the school, having been out by the lake brainstorming ideas to deal with the problem as there hadn't been an attack in the past week, but it was oddly quiet. There were no students in the halls, no teachers, not even prefects. Seeing this, Harry and Neville double timed it to the hospital wing, hoping that at least James and Lily were there to explain what the hell was going on.
Upon reaching the hospital wing, they both heard quiet sobbing behind the door. When they both entered, they saw James, Lily and Emily on the bed next to Hermione, who was covered by a curtain charmed so only specific people could open it. The crying came from Emily.
Also there was the rest of their circle of friends, which included Luna over the first few months of the year.
"Hey guys, what happened?" asked Neville.
The group turned towards Harry and Neville, 5 out of 6 of them had anger in their eyes to such a level that a gorgon would turn to stone.
"Ginny was taken into the chamber, they found the message earlier tonight. But that's not the worst part." said Susan. Harry got the feeling that once he heard the worst part, someone was gonna end up dead.
"Lucius barged in about 5 minutes ago, saying that he's allowing Lockhart to deal with the situation. His payment demand….was Emily." snarled James.
"What? How can that asshole even make a deal like that? I doubt James and Lily would allow such a thing." yelled Neville.
"We don't know how, but we suspect he used beyond illegal means to obtain our signatures. We used a spell on the parchment he showed us and it showed as valid." said Lily through tears.
Pulling out the contract that Lucius left, James handed it to Harry who read through it, hoping to find an out. The temperature in the room started continuously dropping as Harry read the parchment. Harry knew that bastards like Malfoy used underhanded methods for things like this, but to make a binding contract without the knowledge of the Potter's, something was rotten in Hogwarts. Harry would have to get Steve on this ASAP. However, when he reached the end, the most evil grin appeared on Harry's face. Letting out a high pitched whistle, Hedwig appeared on Harry's shoulder.
"What's wrong, dad?" asked Hedwig.
"I need you to bring Lockhart here, now. And make sure it's painful." said Harry. Hedwig, noticing the tone in Harry's voice, nodded before flaming away.
It was only about 5 seconds later that Hedwig reappeared with her claws dug into Lockharts scalp, a few patches of his hair missing.
"Get this fucking bird off of me!" yelled Lockhart as he tried to swipe at Hedwig.
Almost immediately, Harry stormed over and slugged him in the jaw. Both for what he was probably planning to do to Emily, and for trying to hurt Hedwig.
"Mr. Potter, what is the meaning of this, I was just about to…." started Lockhart before Harry grabbed him by the front of his shirt, and stared him right in the eyes.
"I know exactly what you were doing, you over gelled pedo. I don't know how you and Malfoy pulled it off to make that contract binding, but the fact that the only way out is for you to die, or be permanently incapacitated, that makes this easy for me." snarled Harry.
The others were shocked when they heard this. Sure, Harry had killed Quirrell and the troll last year, but they had never heard him actually threaten death before.
"Ha, you can't do anything to me. There's a rune that Lucius gave me to hide on my person, should you, or any other Potter's harm me, he'll be here with Aurors in a heartbeat." smirked Lockhart.
"Oh, don't worry. It won't be me or anyone here who does it. It just so happens that the conditions you placed on yourself will work in my favor." smirked Harry. This caused Lockhart to lose his smug look, replacing it with confusion.
"What?" asked Lockhart.
"You said you would deal with the threat of the chamber before you could get Emily. Then let's go. Hope you're not afraid of snakes." said Harry with the scariest grin anyone had seen.
Lockhart paled and tried to draw his wand, before it flew out of his hand to the ground. Harry and Lockhart looked at the others in the room, seeing Luna putting her wand away while whistling inconspicuously. Harry smiled at Luna and nodded to her, before returning his glare to Lockhart.
"Now, move it pretty boy!" commanded Harry as he moved his hand to the back of Lockharts shirt and started marching out the door.
The others were staring at each other, wondering if they should follow him. However, all of them were confused about Harry mentioning snakes, until Neville placed a hand on his chin in thought.
"Wait a minute. Hermione petrified when using a mirror, Hagrid's 'friend' plus said friends' family terrified of it, Harry mentioning snakes….you're shitting me, he's going after one of them?!" exclaimed Neville.
"Going after what, Neville?" asked Hannah.
"That crazy bastard is going after a BASILISK!" yelled Neville as he ran out the door to follow Harry.
"A b-b-b-Basilisk, is he INSANE?!" yelled Susan.
"You do know that this is Harry we're talking about, right?" asked Emily.
"Touche." said Susan.
"Um, Lils, do you want me to follow the boys or….?" asked James. Lily was internally debating her answer, however, it didn't take her long to decide.
Even though she wouldn't admit it, Lily was jealous of James when he and Harry had that prank war, as it was a way the two seemed to temporarily bond for that small moment in time. Lily wanted to have a moment like that with her estranged son, even if it was a risky life or death situation.
"No James, you stay with Emily and the others. Anybody comes in here that isn't trustworthy, hex 'em. I'll go help Harry and Neville. One Potter doing something stupid today is enough." said Lily as she headed out of the hospital wing.
'Okay, now that is stereotyping.' thought James with a frown.
5 minutes later
The trip to Myrtle's bathroom was quick for many reasons. 1: Harry wanted to finally end this, 2: an innocent bystander in the form of Ginny Weasley was taken, despite being the sister of the human waste bin, 3: Lockhart and Malfoy had pissed him off and he needed to hit something.
After opening the door with enough force that it slammed into the wall, Harry shoved Lockhart through the door, causing him to hit his back on the sink.
"Hey Lockhart, before we go any further, have you ever heard the famous phrase 'Don't Tickle the Sleeping Dragon'?" asked Harry with narrowed eyes.
While this was going on, Neville stayed closer to the door, Lily entering soon after. Neville extended his left arm to prevent her from getting closer to Harry and Lockhart, knowing Harry needed a moment to vent.
"Y-yes." stuttered Lockhart. Lockhart was now beyond terrified, as he was staring into Harry's narrowed eyes that were slowly turning into the void black eyes of a dementor. It was at this point that Harry's voice also changed into the ethereal demonic voice of a dementor that he used on Flint.
"Well, you did something far worse. You not only pissed off a boy raised by a semi-retired I.W.C.O. agent, but also a boy who has a mother-son relationship with four full grown mother dragons. To put it in terms that even an idiot like you can understand…." started Harry before he turned to the sink, smirking when he saw a small snake engraving on one of the taps.
"Open" said Harry, switching to parseltongue. As the sink slowly started separating, revealing a large tunnel leading underground, Harry turned back to Lockhart, returning to his normal voice as he dragged Lockhart to the edge of the tunnel.
"Magic tells me that it can get me out of this mess….but it's pretty sure, you're fucked!" said Harry with an evil smirk. Harry then let go of Lockhart, before sending a side kick to his chest, sending Lockhart screaming into the tunnel.
Neville and Lily cautiously walked towards Harry. Neville had seen Harry this pissed last year when he figured out about the stone, but Harry had time to vent before going after Quirrell. Harry didn't have time to vent before now, but he found it hard to feel sorry for Lockhart due to the shit he and Malfoy Sr. were trying to pull.
"H-h-Harry, are you okay?" asked Lily. She had never seen him this pissed before, in fact, she hadn't seen him angry. Even in her first interaction with him, he was more neutral instead of angry at them.
"I'll be fine once I can punch something at full strength." said Harry as he jumped into the tunnel.
"Um, Neville, did Harry really just jump down there with no regard for what is down there?" asked Lily.
"Professor, I will tell you the same thing we tell everyone in our circle of friends. Don't bother trying to figure him out, it will just lead to more questions and headaches." said Neville as he followed Harry into the tunnel. As Lily walked towards the tunnel, ready to follow the boys, she had one thought going through her head.
'Even when we didn't raise him, he's a combination of me and James. My compassion and intelligence, James' stubbornness and can-do attitude. It'll be a miracle if the school is still standing when he graduates.' thought Lily as she followed the boys.
After Lily landed at the bottom, she noticed the ground was snapping with each step. Casting the lumos spell, Lily found the reason to be hundreds of animal skeletons all over the ground, which if she was honest, really grossed her out. She soon heard the entrance to the chamber closing, which worried her, as that meant they were now trapped in a chamber with a giant, thousand-year-old snake possibly roaming around.
'Maybe I can use my old connections with the Unspeakables to get better wards for the school. Merlin knows that Albus never has.' thought Lily.
Lily soon saw two more lights a few feet away from her and walked over, seeing Harry and Neville perfectly fine, but Lockhart was missing a few patches of hair courtesy of Hedwig when he was first brought to Harry, a bruise on his jaw, and looking as if he had wet himself.
"Hey Harry, one thing that confuses me….how the hell did you know where the entrance to this place was?" asked Neville.
"A good magician never reveals his secrets, Neville." smirked Harry as he grabbed ahold of Lockhart's collar again.
Neville didn't buy that as he knew Harry was smarter than that.
"You saw the engraving on the sink during our polyjuice debacle, didn't you?" asked Neville sarcastically.
"Damn….I mean, I don't know what you're talking about." said Harry. Despite the situation, Lily couldn't help but chuckle at the friendly banter between Harry and Neville. However, she was also concerned about Harry. The way he was acting, it showed that he'd been in some intense situations. Even during Yule last year, Harry didn't tell them much about his travels with Steve, and she had a feeling that he refrained from saying too much due to her 'overprotective' nature.
The group of four, including a super reluctant 'get me the hell out of this mess' Lockhart, continued down the mass expanse of tunnels, hoping that it wouldn't take long to reach the main chamber. Each was focused on specific reasons for wanting this over fast.
For Harry, an innocent was in danger, Hermione was petrified in the hospital and at risk of being exposed as a nekomata by Snape, the pompous prick and Lockhart and Malfoy Sr. were trying to get rid of/use Emily. Neville was worried about Ginny, he had made friends with her earlier in the year and was hoping to get her into their small circle, but she was getting more distant as the year went by, and that to Neville was a cause for concern.
Lily was focused on helping the young Weasley, despite the fact that they were currently in an underground area in near pitch black darkness while hunting a giant thousand year old snake….she would need a lot of calming drought after this.
The thoughts of the group were broken by a loud exclamation from Neville.
"Holy Fucking Merlin and Morgana. Is that the thing's skin? That's gotta be about 12 feet long and we're going after that?" asked Neville in slight fear. Even Lily was worried, and Lockhart was paler than Malfoy on a good day. All Harry did was smirk.
"Uh, Nev? Snakes shed their skin when they grow, so….it's going to be much larger when we find it. Not by much as it's probably roughly a thousand years old, give or take a couple decades." said Harry.
"Wait a moment, are you saying that the contract me and Lucius made would have me fighting THAT?" yelled Lockhart.
"Ya know, for a former Ravenclaw….you're an idiot." snarked Harry. Lockhart's eyes rolled into the back of his head before he went limp. Harry just dropped him, not really caring about the bastard.
"Harry, I think we should go back and get professionals to handle this." said Lily in concern,
"Professor, I appreciate the concern, but I know what I'm doing…." said Harry before Lockhart's hand shot out and snatched Harry's wand from him.
"Well, this has been fun, but it's the end of the line….but don't worry, the world will know our story. How I was too late to save the girl, how you three tragically lost your minds at the sight of her mangled body. Oh, and don't worry Lily, after I off James, I will take good care of Emily." smirked Lockhart.
Neville and Lily were enraged at what Lockhart said, especially Lily. Harry was only slightly worried. He knew Lockhart was dangerous in his own right, you don't get into Ravenclaw when you're a first year student for being an idiot (What happens when they leave is another story). However, there was a small fact about Veela hair in wands that very few knew.
"Uh, Lockhart? I wouldn't cast a spell with my wand if I were you." said Harry with a smirk, knowing this guy was to stupid to listen.
"Fuck you, Potter. You've gotten in the way of my plans for too long, now, say farewell….to you memories. OBLIVIATE!" yelled Lockhart.
However, instead of the spell being fired at Lily, Harry and Neville, a strange combination of what looked like the spell mixed with fire shot from the wand going up Lockharts arm, launching him back into the wall so hard that you could hear a crack as he hit.
"Uh, what the hell just happened?" asked Lily.
Harry walked over to Lockhart while picking up his wand from where Lockhart dropped it. After he reached Lockhart, Harry checked for a pulse, not finding one at all.
"I tried to warn ya, Flophart. Enjoy your journey to the pits of whatever underworld exists, you'll have company soon enough asshole." snarled Harry.
He stood up and walked back towards Lily and Neville.
"If that guy really did everything he said in his books, he would've known that certain creatures that are used for wand cores can backfire if the wand is mismatched." said Harry.
"What do ya mean, Harry?" asked Neville.
"I'll tell ya on the way, we're on the clock." said Harry as he, Neville and Lily started heading towards a large circular door with seven snake shaped locks.
"Now, when I mentioned about certain wand cores harming those who are mismatched, I was referring to a Veela hair in my wand. Veela hair only works flawlessly to those they are freely given to. If someone steals the wand and tries to use it, the magic of the spell and hair will backfire, harming the caster. Lockhart overpowered his memory charm to hit all three of us, which caused a major backlash, so if slamming spine first into the wall hadn't killed him, the stress on his magical core would have." said Harry.
This shocked both Lily and Neville, as they had never heard of such a thing happening, though both knew that Olivander didn't use any type of wand core that wasn't found in Britain, due to a law by the ministry, specifically Fudge backed by Lucius, that prevented him importing more powerful cores, so it was understandable as to why they didn't know. Just another way that pureblood's were hindering first-gen's, as the law stated 'pureblood's' could order wand cores and Olivander was 'obligated' to make a wand from the core. However, pureblood supremacists were getting fewer compatible cores due to inbreeding causing them to weaken.
"Damn, I never realized how little we actually knew about the wider magical world." said Neville.
"Don't fret about it too much Neville. It's just another way your ministry has screwed up, it's one of the reason's your Auror corp is lacking in wizards and witches. The first-gen's who apply and get rejected move on to I.C.W. auror positions, and between us and professor Potter here….it's better pay to. Plus, let's face it, the ministry here believes that they are the center of the wizarding world. It's that thinking that has cost them in their last 2 wars." said Harry with a smirk.
It wasn't much longer before Harry, Lily and Neville reached the door to the inner chamber. While Lily and Neville were extremely nervous, which was obvious by the looks on their faces, Harry was completely void of any facial expression. Currently, Harry was focused on three things, saving this Ginny girl (Harry hasn't met her face-to-face yet), freeing the Basilisk from whoever or whatever was controlling it, and beating the shit out of the one behind this.
"Open" hissed Harry.
The seven snake shaped locks on the door suddenly started loosening as the door slowly started to swing open, revealing the mass expanse of the Chamber of Secrets itself. There were snake statues spaced across both sides of the walkway, brazier's of fire between each statue. At the very end of the chamber, the back wall was in the shape of a face Harry assumed was Salazar himself.
"Ok, this isn't ominous at all." said Lily, voice dripping with sarcasm.
'Oh, so that's where I get my skills at being a smartass.' thought Harry. The three started walking towards the statue at the end, as all three heard the door close behind them.
As the three were walking down the pathway, they suddenly noticed the unmoving body of a young red-headed 11-year-old girl.
"GINNY!" yelled Neville as he double timed it towards the girl, followed by Lily and Harry.
Lily and Neville knelt down next to Ginny, shaking her shoulder in an attempt to wake her while Harry was getting a closer look at the girl, hoping to find out what was going on.
'Ok, she's still breathing, but is unresponsive. She seems to be getting paler by the second and….her wand is missing?' thought Harry. Harry thought for a moment before his eyes widened at the only conclusion that made sense.
'Someone or something is siphoning her life force.' thought Harry.
"Neville, she's alive, but barely. I need you to concentrate, was there anything odd about Ginny's behavior before she ended up here?" asked Harry.
"Yeah, when she first arrived at the common room, she was energetic and excited about being at Hogwarts, but as the year went on, she became more closed off and distant. There was something else, she dropped some sort of diary one night when she was heading to bed and when Hermione grabbed it and brought it to her, she freaked out, snatching it from Hermione and holding it like it was her lifeline." said Neville.
"Shit, an object possession. Whatever is connected to it is siphoning her life bit by bit." said Harry.
"How do we stop it?" asked Lily.
"By destroying the object." said Harry before he stiffened and his eyes started darting in every direction.
"Harry, what's wrong?" asked Lily.
"I get the feeling we are being watched, and from experience, this is normally the point in time that the perp shows up." said Harry. He suddenly heard light, almost non-existent footsteps coming from behind him.
Harry slowly stood up and turned in the direction of the footsteps to see a figure in Slytherin robes now standing there, almost as if he was waiting for them to arrive.
"Wow, I never thought it was possible, but this guy looks like he has a bigger stick up his ass than Snape." said Harry, loud enough for the figure to hear. This caused the figure to scowl and glare at Harry.
"So, it's true then. There is a student in Ravenclaw with the traits of all houses. It has been painstaking to finally meet you face to face, boy." said the figure.
"I'm sure it has, whatever-you-are. However, I'm about 90% sure that you aren't really here, not completely anyway. It must be tough for ya, siphoning the life from another to regain a physical form. Judging by your Slytherin robes and uptight attitude, this isn't ideal for ya." snarked Harry. The figure's eyes narrowed and he scowled at Harry, pissed about Harry pointing that weakness out.
Harry felt a small tug on his sleeve, drawing his attention. Harry turned his head slightly and saw Lily looking at him, confused.
"Harry, what are you doing?" whispered Lily.
"It's called 'stalling for information'. If I can manage to get this guy pissed off enough, he'll spill everything about what's going on." Harry whispered back, while moving his eyes in the direction of the figure.
Harry then turned back to the figure, glaring right back at him.
"Also, for a Slytherin, you're not very cunning. I mean, seriously, the attacks you caused were about as subtle as a giant trying to pass off as a house-elf, and believe me, that's more hilarious than it sounds." smirked Harry. He remembered seeing that, the result was a flattened manor in the Bahamas owned by some asshole named McNair.
"You have a lot of nerve to insult me, boy. However, I suppose it's customary for those about to die to have a few more minutes of joviality. I'll be honest though, I am surprised that a Ravenclaw of all things would dive into a place like this with no previous thought." smirked the figure.
"Believe me, it wasn't really my choice. You're using an innocent person for your scheme, and I can't let that continue. What I'm trying to figure out though, is how you're siphoning her life force. You're currently using her wand, which means you're solid enough to cast magic, but you haven't moved from that spot since we spotted you, which means you aren't complete yet and can't move far from the object." said Harry as he glanced down at the figures feet, seeing a small black book.
"That's it! That's the diary that Hermione saw Ginny drop the other day, the one that Ginny held like a lifeline." exclaimed Neville as he saw the diary as well when he looked up at the figure.
"Yes, a rather intriguing method of preservation to be sure. The blood-traitor discovered the diary in her possession about a week into the first term. My guess is a subordinate had slipped it to her to aid me in my return." said the figure.
Lily narrowed her eyes, trying to think where she saw this figure before, until it suddenly hit her like a bludger to Snape's nuts.
"I recognize you. You're Tom Riddle, the head boy in 1944!" exclaimed Lily.
"Wait, this is the bastard that got Hagrid expelled?!" yelled Neville.
"Ah, that abomination. How headmaster Dippet allowed something like him to walk around unrestrained, I have no clue. The only thing that oaf was good for was being a scapegoat when Dumbledore grew suspicious of me during the attacks long ago. It actually helped when that mudblood in that bathroom died, though I had to stop the attacks afterwards. The only downside to my plans when that half-breed was expelled, thus, my chances to unleash the beast ceased." snarled Riddle.
"Well, Slytherin cunning must not have counted for much back then. However, I'm more interested in what happened afterwards, considering you were head boy in 1944, you must've been one of the first recruits for that over-hyped 'dork' lord, Voldemort. Fucking coward to, 'flight from death', what kind of name is that?" laughed Harry.
Another reason Harry was laughing was the look on Riddle's face. With how enraged the guy looked, if Harry didn't know that Riddle wasn't a complete being yet, he would've sworn Riddle's head was gonna explode.
"You dare insult me? The greatest Dark Lord in the history of the wizarding world?!" yelled Riddle.
"Um, question. Why are you calling yourself the greatest dark lord? You look like you're just a 16-year-old punk with a massive inferiority complex." said Neville with a quirked eyebrow.
"Besides, you-know-who was bald, pale, had red eyes and no nose. The only thing he was missing was sharp teeth and a guitar and he'd be a good recruit for Slipknot." laughed Lily.
"YOU FUCKERS KNOW NOTHING! Voldemort will forever be my past, present and future." snarled Tom before using some type of flame spell to write the name 'Tom Marvolo Riddle' in the air. Riddle then swiped his wand through the air, causing the letters to rearrange themselves into the phrase 'I am Lord Voldemort'.
Seeing this caused Lily and Neville to pale, as they realized they were looking at a younger Voldemort, who was responsible for one of the worst genocides in british wizarding history. Harry, however, was lost in thought. He remembered hearing the name Marvolo before when he was reading about old wizard families. While the last name was currently escaping him, he did know he had never seen the name Riddle during his self studies. This caused Harry to burst out laughing, which confused Lily and Neville, but enraged Riddle.
"Oh Merlin, this is great. The leader of the pureblood cause was a half-blood. I may not remember the last name of Marvolo, but I know that Riddle was never a wizard family name. Who would've thought that a half-blood from Slytherin would have one of the worst Napoleon complex's I've ever seen." laughed Harry.
Riddle at this point was beyond furious that this brat would dare mock him. He was/would become the greatest dark lord the wizarding world ever knew, but this damn half-blood was openly mocking him without any hint of fear. Riddle would no longer stand for this and was about to call on his weapon, before a musical trill filled the chamber.
This sound drew the attention of Lily, Harry, Neville and Riddle, seeing a red Phoenix enter the chamber, carrying the sorting hat. The trill seemed to cause injury to the specter Riddle, while seeming to give Ginny a little more of her natural skin tone back.
'It's Fawkes.' thought Harry. Lily and Neville were relieved to see Fawkes, and to see that his song was helping Ginny, though they were confused as to how. Harry held out his right arm as Fawkes dropped the hat on the ground and landed on Harry's arm.
"So, this is what the great Albus Dumbledore sends for aid, a song bird and an old hat!." snarled Riddle, before he turned to the statue.
"Speak to me Slytherin, Greatest of the Hogwarts Four!" commanded Riddle in parseltongue.
The mouth on the statue slowly started to open, and a loud hissing was heard from the tunnel inside. Lily and Neville tensed at the sound, interpreting it as aggressive. Harry, however, knew otherwise. Harry heard an underline sound of pain, anguish, regret and sadness. The poor creature obviously knew what it was doing, but had no control of itself. At this point, Harry only had two options. 1: put the poor creature out of its misery, or 2: hit it hard enough with enough magical energy to allow it to fight back against Riddle's control. He was hoping the acromantula venom he had would help him in that regard, but he had to find something sharp to coat the venom on first. Harry cursed himself for not remembering to grab a knife before he got to the chamber.
Now, a sane person would take the first option, or even the unlisted third option of getting the hell out of there, but this was Harry, doing something stupid was a habit….and nine times out of ten, it worked. Harry's thought process was interrupted by the sound of movement and the sight of two glowing, yet slightly glazed over yellow eyes in the tunnel. Harry wanted as few casualties as possible, so he glanced at Fawkes.
"Fawkes, I need you to take Neville, Lily and Ginny to the outer chamber while I deal with this. Until I somehow end this, they're at a higher risk as only parseltongues are immune to a Basilisk's eyes." said Harry.
"I'm on it. Make sure you make it out though, because I have something to ask you when this is over. Though to be honest, I was expecting to see Emily down here, at least, that's who that lemon-drop sucking Gandalf wannabe said would be down here….speaking of which, that's another thing I have to discuss with you when this is over." said Fawkes. Harry nodded to the phoenix, but also laughed at Fawkes' description of Dumbledore, as Fawkes flew over to the three others, gesturing to his tail-feathers.
Lily and Neville grabbed ahold of Fawkes' feathers while the phoenix grasped Ginny's shirt with his claws. However, Lily noticed that Harry hadn't grabbed a feather as he was still in front of them, once again staring down Riddle.
"Harry, what are you doing?" asked Lily. Lily knew asking that was a stupid question, and judging by the look Neville was giving Harry, she wasn't going to like his answer. Harry turned back towards Lily and Neville, but kept his guard up.
"Making sure you three are safe. Fawkes' song can preserve Ginny long enough for me to take this bastard out. I shouldn't be more than ten, maybe twenty minutes. Lily, trust me on this, I know what I'm doing and I'll be fine." said Harry, as he saw the concerned and teary look Lily was giving him.
Neville, however, just sighed, knowing that nobody would be able to talk Harry out of something like this.
"Twenty minutes is all you get Harry. If you're not out by then, I'll tell Hermione you fought the basilisk alone." smirked Neville.
Harry actually paled as Neville said that. If there was one thing Harry could say truly terrified him, it was when one of his girlfriends was pissed at him. It was bad enough when his dragoness' found out about the stone fiasco last year, Vriska was at least more mello about it. Now, add a nekomata into the mix and he'd have to hide in Alaska until they calmed down.
Harry just nodded hastily, before gesturing to Fawkes, who flamed out of the main chamber. As they flamed out, Lily only had one thought going through her mind.
'Be safe, Harry, I want my son back in one piece.' thought Lily. While Lily knew that they were probably still a ways off from full reconciliation with Harry, that didn't mean that she wasn't worried about him.
Almost immediately after Fawkes left with his three passengers, the basilisk began to fully emerge from the statue and stare down at Harry.
'Ok, I'm caught between a stone wall with the door closed, a large thousand year old reptile, and an asshole….why can't I have at least one normal year at this facasa school?' thought Harry.
"Parseltongue won't save you this time, Potter. It only obeys me!" snarked Riddle. The basilisk lunged towards Harry, who managed to dodge at the last minute, a single fang barely missing him.
'The only reason it only obey's you is because you did something to it, you bastard.' thought Harry. At this point, Harry was trying to figure out how he was going to get the venom into the Basilisk in order to paralyze it.
As Harry was trying to come up with a plan, while dodging a controlled, thousand year old snake, Harry could see a smug grin on Riddle's face. Harry scowled at the asshole, but suddenly noticed something shining within the sorting hat, which was still over where Fawkes had dropped it.
'Ok, whatever that is, it might be my one chance to help the poor creature and get rid of Riddle. Now, how to distract the basilisk long enough to get over there?' thought Harry. Harry narrowly dodged another lunge from the basilisk, before he got an incredibly ridiculous idea. He knew it was a long shot but honestly, at this point, he would try anything except stabbing the basilisk through the top of its mouth, he was crazy, not stupid.
"ACHOO!" sneezed an older looking Harry on platform 9 ¾. He had just sent his son's off to Hogwarts when he had the feeling someone called him stupid.
"Are you okay, Harry?" asked an older Ginny Weasley.
"Yeah, I'm fine hon. I just get the feeling that someone called me stupid for what happened to me in second year." said Harry. After the express was finally out of sight, Harry linked arms with Ginny and headed home.
(Sorry, couldn't resist, anyway, back to business)
Harry currently had his back against a wall as the basilisk loomed over him. Now was the time to implement his plan, though he internally vowed that if this worked, he would let Neville tell Hermione what happened regardless. However, once again he had a gut feeling that he was going to regret that.
"Hey look, a rooster!" yelled Harry, pointing behind the basilisk. Comically, the basilisk's eyes widened and did a complete 180 to look behind it, giving Harry time to run towards the hat.
'Seriously, that useless, overgrown reptile fell for that?' thought Riddle with a completely dumbfounded look on his face.
By the time Harry was within reach of the hat, the basilisk had realized it had been fooled and lunged towards Harry again. Harry managed to grab the hat before dodge-rolling to the left, however, he received a slight hit to the arm by one of the creature's fangs. Harry took a quick glance at his arm, noticing a scratch from the tip of the fang and was already starting to feel slightly weakened. Luckily it was only a scratch as opposed to a full puncture wound, so Harry estimated that he had about 2-3 minutes to subdue the basilisk and call Hedwig to get healed.
Looking back to the hat in his left hand, he saw the hilt of a sword sticking out of it. Grabbing the sword and drawing it from the hat, Harry dropped the hat and reached into his pocket, pulling out the vial of venom. Harry pulled the stopper with his teeth before pouring the venom on the blade. Harry was slightly confused when the venom was seemingly absorbed into the blade, but didn't have time to dwell on it at the moment as the basilisk was rearing up for another attack.
As the basilisk lunged at Harry again, Harry waited until the last possible moment, before he spun to the right while swinging the sword. Hearing a pained hiss, Harry looked behind him at the basilisk as it hit the opposite wall. He saw that he had managed to make a decent cut to the creature, deep enough for the venom's effect to be near instant, but not enough to fatally wound or permanently injure the creature.
Harry suddenly started to feel even more sluggish due to the venom of the basilisk. Using what was left of his strength, he let out a high pitched whistle as Riddle stood by, smirking at the situation.
"Ironic, isn't it? You managed to take down the basilisk, but it managed to start taking you down much earlier. This is the end of the road for you, boy. Once you're gone, it'll only be a matter of time before I return completely, that damn phoenix won't save that girl for long." laughed Riddle, when suddenly he felt an intense surge of pain as a calming song filled the chamber.
Hedwig suddenly appeared, but her feathers were ruffled. However, she was glaring at Harry in a way that Harry knew meant that he was in deep shit. He seemed to be getting a lot of those looks since he started Hogwarts.
"Dad, considering the obvious situation, you'd better give me a summary of what the hell happened, because I had to break through three wards to get here from home. And that FUCKING HURT!" said Hedwig while glaring at Harry. Don't get her wrong, she was more worried than angry. Harry didn't need to know that though.
"The short version, fought a basilisk, knocked it out with acromantula venom coated on a sword that somehow absorbed said venom, got skimmed by one of its fangs and I need you to heal it right away. I also need you to heal the cut on the basilisk while I try to kill 'lord psychopath' over there. One last thing, tell Steve that I'm gonna make my first week home a living hell for him for teaching you how to curse. That was supposed to be my job." said Harry, smirking at Hedwig, causing the phoenix to roll her eyes.
Hedwig once again narrowed her eyes at Harry, but leant down and let a few tears fall from her left eye onto his injury regardless. Though Harry knew from her look that he was going to be hearing about this when he got home. Though if there was one thing Harry was good at, it was talking his way out of the majority of the trouble he got himself into. The only problem he had at the moment was trying to figure out how to take out Riddle.
"Hedwig, go and heal the basilisk, but keep it unconscious for me, I'm gonna see what I can do about that diary." said Harry. Hedwig lifted her head and nodded, however, before she flew off, Harry wiped a stray tear from her right eye.
"Don't worry, I'm fine now. Though if it makes you feel better, you and the others can throttle me when I get home. That is, if there's anything left when Hermione finds out." smiled Harry. Harry suddenly shuddered at the evil smirk that appeared on Hedwig's face. He didn't even know phoenix's could smirk at all, let alone look that evil doing it, before she flew over to the unconscious basilisk.
'What are the consequences of what I've just done.' thought Harry. Harry got the funny feeling that he was going to be extremely grateful for his creature durability.
Turning back towards Riddle, Harry saw that he was almost completely red in rage, which almost caused Harry to burst out laughing. Harry then glanced down at the diary that Riddle was still standing over. Harry decided to finally use his Ravenclaw side, as he was mostly using his Gryffindor side of charging in like an idiot, and pointed his wand at the diary.
"Accio diary!" called Harry. The diary suddenly shot into Harry's hand, which also caused Harry to finally burst out laughing when it did.
The reason for Harry's laughter was the fact that as the diary shot out from under Riddle, the semi-physical shade ended up on his back, looking like his legs were pulled out from under him. As Harry started getting to his feet, he hit the diary across his knee as he was laughing so hard, but his laughter paused instantly as he heard a grunt of pain from Riddle as the diary hit his knee.
Harry started looking between the diary and Riddle, before he gained an evil smirk. Harry tossed the diary in the air before catching it in his hand again, failing to hold a laugh as Riddle went into the air before crashing back to the ground. He did this a few times before Riddle shot a familiar sickly green spell at Harry, which forced him to dodge, allowing Riddle to get back to his feet.
"Ok, that guy is a little more dangerous than I thought. Ok, think, how to destroy this thing." Harry said to himself as he continued to dodge spellfire from Riddle.
While dodging the spellfire, Harry noticed that the majority of the spells were the killing curse. With Harry being the smartass that he is, he couldn't resist bringing it up.
"Hey Dickless, is the killing curse the only real spell you know? I always thought that Slytherin's prided themselves on cunning, but I guess you missed that memo. Not surprising since you probably couldn't cast a decent blasting curse if your life depended on it." laughed Harry. Riddle was really getting pissed off at Harry at this point.
"BOMBARDA!" yelled Riddle. The spell hit the ground right behind Harry, sending him crashing to the ground right next to the unconscious basilisk, and one worried phoenix.
"DAD! Are you ok?" asked Hedwig. You could hear the extreme worry in her voice, as this was the first time she'd seen Harry actually GET injured. Any other time she was there to give him shit for the aftermath.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I've had worse, though even I admit that taunting the bastard was a stupid idea." said Harry. As Harry slowly got up, due to the proximity of the blast and crashing halfway across the room, he saw how close he was to the open jaw of the basilisk.
Taking quick glances between the sharp teeth and the diary, Harry slapped his forehead with the diary in realization of his 'mid-combat stupidity' as Steve always called it. It was lucky he did, however. As Riddle was running towards Harry, and when Harry hit the diary with his head, Riddle hit the ground as if he was hit by a full sprint clothesline. The only reason Harry knew he bought himself some time was the fact that Hedwig went from worried to full blown laughter.
'Well, when in Rome.' thought Harry as he re-holstered his wand, before firmly grasping the diary with both hands. Riddle was just getting back to his feet when he noticed what Harry was about to do.
"STOP!" called Riddle. However, before Riddle could even raise Ginny's wand, Harry slammed the diary over one of the basilisk's teeth, piercing it through completely. Riddle screamed in excruciating pain as cracks started appearing on his body, before he faded from existence.
"I swear, if I have to keep fighting the same asshole every year….I am going to go Balrog on that Gandalf wannabe." snarled Harry as he pulled the destroyed diary off of the tooth. Harry suddenly fell to his knees as the adrenaline finally subsided from his system.
Hedwig flew from the recently healed basilisk to Harry's shoulder, trilling a calming song to try and help strengthen him. The song was also, unknowingly, reviving the basilisk. The sound of the basilisk regaining consciousness actually worried Harry slightly, as he was taking a gamble in his theory that the creature would be freed from Riddle's control by destroying the diary. Harry's worries were proven unfounded, however, when the basilisk started looking around in anger.
"Where is he?! Where is that bastard?! I'll pump so much venom into him that he'll WISH my gaze could kill parseltongues!" yelled the basilisk in a very femanine voice.
"Whoa, whoa. Easy there, girl. Riddle's history, you don't have to worry about him anymore." said Harry. The basilisk turned to look at Harry, before lowering her head so she was eye level with him. Harry noticed a slight sheen to her eyes, leading him to believe that it was a protective eye layer so she wouldn't harm Hedwig, who was still on his shoulder.
"You….you are the one that freed me from that bastard's control. For this, I am eternally grateful. I never wanted to hurt the innocent, and I never meant to kill that girl. Salazar brought me here to protect the children from the muggles, due to the amount of young ones getting murdered for having magic." said the basilisk.
"I already knew you were originally here as a protective measure. That's what basilisk's normally do. It's similar to dragon's being used to guard treasure. Though, it saddens me that so many nowadays seem to forget that. I'm glad that I was able to free you from Riddle's control. I just hope that you'll never have to go through that again." smiled Harry as he ran a hand across the side of the basilisk's head. The basilisk let out a soft snake-like purr at the gentle touch.
This was actually the first time since Salazar left the school that someone had shown any care towards her. It was one of the reason's Riddle was able to gain and keep control of her. He had feigned concern for her, then used a strong imperius curse when her guard was down, and connected it to his preserved self in the diary. Hence, as long as the diary existed, the basilisk would remain in Riddle's control. Now that she was free and this human was showing genuine concern and care towards her, she refused to let him go.
Catching the scent of a small amount of her venom in his veins, which she still felt guilty for, a slight glow covered her before a snake tattoo appeared, going along and encircling the entire length of the arm. This confused Harry, who looked at the basilisk with a questioning look.
"That mark shows that I am now connected to you. I was able to give it to you due to a small amount of my venom in your system. The last one to have this mark was Salazar himself, before it vanished when he left the school. I believe, in some way, I knew what I was doing when I nicked you with my fang. I am yours to command….master." said the basilisk.
Harry continued to rub the side of the basilisk's face, though he could tell by the tone of her voice that she was relieved to be free, but also afraid of being alone again, as 1000 years is still quite young by basilisk standards.
"Hey, everything's gonna be OK now. Though I refuse to have you call me 'master'. I will never treat you as a servant, but as a friend. I'm also making you the same promise that I made to a mermaid friend of mine and visit you as often as I can. You'll never be alone again, I promise. So from now on, just call me Harry." said Harry in a soothing tone.
"In that case, you should also know my name. Salazar named me Ivy. I would be honored if you would call me by that name….Harry." said the basilisk began to lean into Harry's touch, before nuzzling him.
Seeing this caused Hedwig to chuckle at Harry. She didn't know how, but Harry just had this calming and loving aura about him that drew in female creatures. Hedwig would happily admit that it was nice to know she had a caring father figure in Harry, and future mother figures in whoever Harry knowingly or unknowingly woo's. That didn't mean Hedwig was never involved with her biological mother, who lived in the owlery during the school year.
"Now, do you know an easy way to get out of here? Because my adrenaline is wearing off and I'm getting exhausted. I also doubt Hedwig wants to flame us out, considering her state when she first got here." said Harry, receiving a 'damn straight' from Hedwig.
"Well, have you ever ridden on the back of a basilisk before?" asked Ivy. Harry cocked an eyebrow in curiosity before he and Hedwig looked at each other. It wasn't long before a mischievous smirk appeared on Harry's face, and a similar glint to show in Hedwig's eyes.
Outside the Main Chamber
Lily, Neville and Fawkes were currently sitting in worry around a still unconscious Ginny, who was still getting paler, albeit a lot slower thanks to Fawkes' song. Lily's worry was increasing the more she heard the muffled sound of the basilisk trying to kill Harry. Neville himself was keeping an eye on Ginny, but also keeping track of the time, as he told Harry he would do. It was exactly at the 17 minute mark that the color returned to Ginny's face and she shot up, gasping for air.
Ginny was looking around in panic before she noticed she wasn't in the main chamber anymore. After Ginny had calmed down enough, she saw both Neville and Lily looking at her, relieved that she was alright.
"Professor, it was me who opened the chamber, but I swear I didn't mean to. Riddle made me." said Ginny with tears in her eyes. Ginny was afraid that she would be expelled for her unwilling involvement in the attacks. Ginny suddenly felt a calming hand on her shoulders. Looking up, she saw both Neville and Lily giving her understanding looks.
"Ginny, this wasn't your fault. I will do everything I can to make sure you face no repercussions for this. Besides, it would make Dumbledore look like a hypocrite if he just expelled you for this, especially given he prides himself on 'second chances'." said Lily with a calm, reassuring smile.
"Thank you Professor. I'm just glad that it's all over." whispered Ginny. When Ginny said the fact that she was glad the fiasco of the chamber was over, he remembered that he was still timing Harry.
Casting a quick tempus spell, Neville saw that Harry only had 30 more seconds before he would be in deep shit with Hermione when she woke up. When the misty timer showed 10 seconds remaining, the group heard the door to the chamber start to open. When the door was opened only a crack, it suddenly slammed into the wall, revealing Harry with Hedwig on his shoulder, riding the basilisk.
"Hey guys, anybody need a ride out of here?" asked Harry with an energetic smile. The three humans and one red phoenix were frozen in shock. Though luckily, Harry had asked Ivy to make sure her gaze wouldn't kill anyone, which she did by using a protective third eyelid to nullify her gaze. The group of four suddenly collapsed, fainting on the spot at the sight of the giant snake. Harry just looked at the scene, wondering why they had fainted.
"Was it something I said?" asked Harry while looking at Hedwig, confused. Hedwig just rolled her eyes at Harry's momentary idiocy and whacked him over the head with her wing.
"OW!" yelled Harry, rubbing the spot that Hediwg hit.
Tunnel to Myrtle's Bathroom
The journey back had been quiet so far, due to the fact that Neville, Ginny and Lily were still out cold. Fawkes had woken up a few minutes ago and was sitting on Harry's right shoulder while Hedwig took a shift trying to slowly wake the other three, due to the fact that they were currently on the back of a giant snake. For an alibi, and the fact that he wanted to see the looks on the faces of Lucius and Dumbledore, he had picked up the corpse of Lockhart on the way, having Ivy carry the body in her mouth. Plus, even though Lockhart was a sick bastard, Harry figured he should at least get the body to any family he might have. Harry hated the guy, but he wasn't heartless.
"So Fawkes, what did you want to talk to me about?" asked Harry.
"Well, I want to get the whole 'bringing the hat to Emily' thing out of the way first. I heard about that 'contract' Lockhart and Malfoy had. It was written not long after the Creevy boy was attacked. I overheard the old fool mumbling about needing a backup plan if Emily didn't figure it out sooner. He skirted around the parental permission by signing it in 'loco parentis' as headmaster and 'guardian during school' for Emily, since James and Lily are teachers and can't act in parental capacity during school, a law the founders made to prevent favoritism, before using a glamor to make it appear as if James and Lily signed it. After Dumbledore was ousted, the contract appeared on Lockharts desk while he was meeting with Malfoy, allowing both to sign it. Lockhart as the beneficier and Malfoy as a witness. I did what I could to destroy it beforehand, but the old goat put a shielding charm around it, so even I couldn't destroy it." admitted Fawkes.
Hearing this made Harry incredibly enraged at Dumbledore. However, Harry got an Idea worthy of all the prankster and revenge gods in existence. Pulling out a slip of paper and a pen, which he kept on him for emergency use, he drafted a quick letter to Steve before turning to Hedwig.
"Hedwig, the minute we are back in the bathroom, I want you to take this letter to Steve and have him work on it ASAP. Okay?" asked Harry. Hedwig nodded, as she was still concentrating on waking the other three and keeping them calm at the same time. Harry looked back to Fawkes and stared him right in the eye.
"What was the second thing you wanted to talk about?" asked Harry. Fawkes suddenly looked very nervous. What he was about to ask wasn't going to be easy, especially since this was the first time in his life he had ever faced this situation.
"Well, the thing is, for as long as I've been here at the school, I've never met or even seen another phoenix. So, I was hoping that I could, maybe…." said Fawkes, before Harry interrupted him.
"Hold up, I see where this is going. I will allow it, but I'm warning you now. I really do love her like a daughter, so if you hurt her…." said Harry. This caused Fawkes to pale and quickly nod his head. Harry smirked at Fawkes before he returned to looking ahead, noticing they weren't far from the tunnel heading up to the bathroom.
"Open." hissed Harry. Once the entrance opened, it was mere seconds before Ivy had let Harry off her back and gently deposited the other three living passengers. It wasn't long before Lily, Ginny and Neville started to regain consciousness.
"Ugh, I just had the weirdest dream. We were in the chamber of secrets and we left by riding on the back of a basilisk." said Neville. Neville then looked at Harry and noticed the same smirk he always got when he found something funny.
"That wasn't a dream….was it?" asked Neville. A small, non-threatening, but still utterly terrifying hiss behind him was his answer. Turning to look behind him, Neville came face-to-face with Ivy.
Before Neville could panic, however, Harry placed a hand on his shoulder. The fact that Harry was calm actually reassured Neville, though the fact that he was staring at a giant snake was still quite terrifying. Harry just reached up and began petting the side of Ivy's heads again.
Lily and Ginny finally regained consciousness. At first, seeing the head of the basilisk freaked them out, but seeing Harry so calm, as well as petting the basilisk, was helping them calm down slightly.
"H-Harry, is there a reason you're being friendly with the basilisk?" asked Lily.
"Don't worry, she won't hurt anyone anymore. Riddle was controlling her and perverted her original purpose of protecting the school and students. Which reminds me….Myrtle, come out here for a minute." called Harry.
A small splash of water was heard before Myrtle appeared out of her stall. She floated over, before she paused seeing the basilisk.
"It's okay, Myrtle. Ivy here told me about the whole thing. She regrets what happened to you. I wanted to let you know that, since you won't understand what she's saying." said Harry with a kid smile.
Myrtle slowly floated closer to the basilisk, she may be a ghost, but she was still scared of the creature that killed her. However, when Myrtle reached the basilisk, she looked into her eyes and saw nothing but regret and guilt. A small smile appeared on Myrtle's face, before she turned to Harry.
"Tell her that it's water under the bridge. I died 69 years ago, even Nick hasn't held a grudge that long. Though I want you both to promise me that when and if you find that boy I heard in here that day, kill him." snarled Myrtle. Harry relayed the message to Ivy, who turned her head to Myrtle and nodded.
"I was planning on it anyway, so consider it done." said Harry. Myrtle smiled at Harry in gratitude before she floated back to her stall, waving at the group.
"S-so, does this mean we can stop worrying about any attacks in the school?" asked a slightly scared Ginny.
"Yeah, it does. The only ones who have to be afraid of Ivy now, are the idiots who'll want to harm the students. So dark lords, evil wizards, rouge creatures, you know, the usual overhyped assholes." said Harry. Despite where they were and the fact that the basilisk was there, this brought laughter to the group while Hedwig flashed out to deliver Harry's message to Steve.
"So, the mystery of the chamber's been solved, the creature has been freed, Riddle obviously defeated and Ginny saved….now what?" asked Neville. This earned him deadpanned looks from the rest of the group, including Ivy.
"I know, I realized how stupid that sounded when I said it….let's just get to the hospital wing." said Neville as he got up and walked out the door.
"Ivy, if you could, we'll need the body." said Harry. Almost immediately, Ivy spat out the corpse, before getting a disgusted look on her face.
"About time, ugh. Some of the creatures in the forbidden forest don't even taste as horrible as the amount of hair gel on that guy." said Ivy. Lily cast a levicorpus on Lockhart's body and began leading Ginny to the hospital wing, while also comforting the poor girl about her ordeal. Before Harry left, he had to bring up one more item with Ivy.
"Hey Ivy, there's an acromantula colony in the forest that had suffered losses when you were controlled by Riddle. I'll be visiting them near the end of the year to tell them the danger has passed. I'd like for you to come with me, so they can bury the hatchet." said Harry.
"I-I guess that would be ok. It'll be a nice start towards making up for what I've done under that bastard's control." whispered a nervous Ivy. Harry walked up to her and rubbed the side of her face once more.
"It'll be ok, Ivy. Don't worry about the acromantula either. I can be very convincing and persuasive." smirked Harry as he gave a couple light pats on her snout before he also left for the hospital wing.
Hogwarts Hospital Wing
10 minutes later
Harry arrived at the door to the hospital wing, only to see Lily and Ginny with Lockhart's still floating body, standing outside the door. Before he had a chance to wonder why, he heard loud arguing through the door. He recognized the voices involved. One being Neville, who seemed to be arguing over who ended the chamber fiasco. Another being James, who was arguing over the validity of the 'contract' and the means in which it was rendered so. The last being Lucius, who was demanding that Emily pack her stuff and be ready to change residence to Lockhart's personal chambers, and his home during the summer. It was the quiet sobbing that was near unnoticed that made Harry see red.
Harry turned to Lily, who noticed the unbridled rage in his eyes. It was the same look that she would get if something really pissed her off.
"Lily, drop the body and give it to me. It's time that a certain idiot learns not to mess with his betters." snarled Harry. Seeing the look in Harry's eyes and hearing the tone of his voice, Lily levitated the body to Harry before releasing the spell, causing the body to fall to the floor.
Without hesitation, or saying a word, Harry grabbed the back of Lockhart's collar and started dragging the body through the door after kicking it open. The noise startled everyone in the hospital wing, causing them to look towards the door. While everyone else was shocked and slightly frightened when they saw the look on Harry's face, Lucius looked smug.
"Ah Potter, come to see your sister off, have you? Well, I suppose being as "sympathetic" as I am, I will allow it." said Lucius with a smug grin. The look was wiped off Lucius' face, however, by what Harry said and did next.
"Nope, I'm here to make sure that contract is destroyed, as it now has as much worth as this does…." said Harry as he tossed Lockhart's lifeless body at Lucius' feet. This action shocked all those in the room, bar Lily and Ginny as Lily knew what Harry was gonna do and explained it to Ginny.
'This isn't possible, if anyone with Potter blood or a connection to the school had killed him, those runes would have notified me.' thought Lucius. The contract in Lucius' hand suddenly burst into flames, leaving no evidence that it ever existed. This made Harry internally curse.
'Damn it. Must've been a failsafe charm Dumbass used to hide his involvement. I guess even Dumbledore can get lucky once in a while.' thought Harry in rage.
"What happened, boy?" snarled Lucius.
"Oh, you know. Hidden underground chambers, attempted mass obliviation with a wand containing a bonded core, death by stupidity, giant snakes and a phantom connected to a diary….oh, speaking of which," said Harry as he pulled the diary out of his pocket and tossed it to Lucius, hitting him in the face. Once the diary fell to the ground, Lucius paled, recognizing it as the same diary he made his son plant on the blood-traitor. An object that was very important to his master and it was destroyed. He was so fucked.
"Wha….Bu….HOW!?" demanded Lucius.
"That, Lucy old boy….is my little secret." said Harry. Lucius scowled at that dreaded nickname from his youth. He slammed his cane on the ground, causing a specific house elf to appear, though the elf seemed cautious, even scared.
"DOBBY! Take that trash and dispose of it….as for you boy, I don't know why you believe I was involved in this, but you couldn't be farther from the truth." snarled Lucius. However, what Lucius didn't know was that after Harry had left the bathroom, he had hidden a sock in the diary, coming to the realization that the elf that was trying to help Emily belonged to the bastard.
"Open it." whispered Harry as Dobby followed Lucius, who was now making his way out of the hospital wing. Dobby did so, noticing the sock. Picking up the sock from the diary, you could see the relief and joy in his eyes.
"Master has given Dobby a sock." said Dobby. This caused Lucius to pause at the door.
"What? I didn't give…." said Lucius as he turned towards Dobby. When Lucius noticed the sock, his eyes widened.
"Master has presented Dobby with clothes. Dobby is FREE!" exclaimed Dobby. Harry had to try extremely hard to not laugh at Lucius' face. The reason being that Lucius had a look of utter humiliation on his face, it didn't help that the rest of the hospital wing was snickering at Lucius costing himself his own elf.
Lucius looked towards Harry, who had his patent-pending smug smirk on his face, before Harry lifted his right pant leg enough to see a sock was missing. Lucius' look of shock suddenly turned into one of pure rage.
"You lost me my SERVANT!" yelled Lucius as he drew his wand. However, before Lucius could even utter a spell, a hand suddenly grasped Lucius' shoulder quite hard. Lucius grunted in pain before turning to threaten the one who was preventing him getting, in his eyes, rightful justice. Lucius paled, however, once he saw the offender was Steve with Hedwig on his shoulder.
When Hedwig delivered the letter to Steve, he knew he had to back up Harry quickly. So Steve sent Hedwig with a message to both Flitwick and McGonagall for permission to enter the grounds. He received the reply from them, along with permission to use Hedwig to enter the school almost immediately. Once he arrived, he made a bee-line to the hospital wing, where Harry's letter said he would be, and it's a good thing he did.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you, asshole. Bad things tend to happen to those who harm the innocent around either me or Harry." snarked Steve. Don't get him wrong, Steve would have enjoyed seeing the lordly putz get his ass handed to him by a 12-year-old, but with the ministerial corruption, and the fact that Malfoy still had enough sway with the minister, he was saving Harry a trip to a kangaroo court.
"Who do you think you are threatening me, you disgusting mud…." snarled Lucius before he suddenly launched out the door into the hall, hitting the floor with a loud thud. This brought laughter to the group in the hospital wing, including Pomfrey. Steve looked at Harry with a look that clearly said 'really'.
However, when Steve noticed that Harry, while laughing, looked confused as to how that happened, Steve was stumped. Suddenly, everyone noticed there was another person laughing. It was a slightly high pitched laugh that could only belong to one person, or creature in this case. Everyone looked to where Dobby was standing and sure enough, it was said elf laughing his ass off. What Dobby said next, however, brought more laughter from the group, as it was the last thing they expected to hear from a house elf, free or not.
"You have no idea how long I've wanted to do that." smiled Dobby.
While the laughter was slowly dying down, Steve walked over to James and handed him a business card. This gained a confused look from James, Emily and Lily, who walked over to comfort Emily after the reveal of the contract being voided.
"You should contact the guy on the card as soon as school lets out. Just tell him about the contract incident and he'll know what to do." said Steve.
"Uh, thanks, but how will this guy help?" asked James.
"Let's just say that he enjoys screwing with people who overstep their boundaries and leave it at that for now." said Steve. Steve didn't mention the whole 'Dumbledore made the contract' thing because one, the bastard was to well connected and could weasel his way out, and the fact that James Potter was a stereotypical Gryffindor and wouldn't think before he acted in his rage against Dumbass-dore.
"Thank you, Mr. Feros." said Emily with her first genuine smile since that morning.
"Hey, none of that Mr. Feros stuff. Just call me Steve. And it was my genuine pleasure to offer help with that problem." smiled Steve as he began heading for the now busted open door. Steve stopped by Harry for a brief moment though.
"You know you're in deep shit when you get home this summer, right?" smirked Steve. Harry gave an over exaggerated sigh of defeat.
"Yeah, I know. But don't forget, you seem to be very unlucky around me during the summer, and I'VE never been caught." smirked Harry.
"Is that a threat, you little shit?" said Steve. The mirthful look he was giving Harry, however, proved that it was just their usual brotherly banter.
"Well it wasn't a quote from an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical." smirked Harry. Steve just shook his head while laughing, before he had Hedwig flame him back to the reserve. However, the group saw the victorious, yet mischievous smirk on Harry's face.
"Uh, Harry, you're doing that 'I know something you don't' smirk again." said Neville. Harry just kept smirking and pulled something from behind his back.
"Wait, Harry, isn't that Steve's belt?" asked Emily.
"Yup." was Harry's simple answer.
"How the hell did you get that without anyone noticing?" asked James, who was actually impressed that Harry pulled it off.
"What, you didn't think that street magicians were only good for entertainment value, did ya? They are some of the best pickpockets ever with their sleight-of-hand skills. You'd be surprised how many of those guys are actually squibs who love to stick it to their pureblood families for abandoning them." smirked Harry.
The others once again began laughing, imagining what Steve's reaction would be when he found out, since it looked like the pants Steve was wearing were a few sizes too big that day.
A Few Days Later
Today was the day that Harry had been anxiously waiting for ever since Hermione was petrified. The day when the mandrake draught was ready to give to the victims. Harry has been in the hospital wing next to Hermione since that morning. He also had the rest of their friends keep an eye on the draught delivery. It was a good thing he did, as it turned out that Snape had only bottled enough for three students and Filch's cat. It was obvious that he planned to keep Hermione imobile so it would be easier to remove her when he reported her true nature.
Luna managed to sneak into Snape's personal lab while he was bottling the potion to bottle the last dose herself, then skedaddled before he even knew anyone else was there. The only evidence that anyone else was in his lab was the unbridled scream of rage that the dose Snape planned on disposing of was gone, as he only brewed the full amount since he was worried about being monitored during brewing.
Luna had brought the dose for Hermione before Snape had even calmed down enough to make it to the hospital wing. When Snape arrived with the rest of the doses, Harry could tell Snape wanted to blame him, but couldn't as he had no real proof. Though before Snape left, he gave Harry a smug smirk, as he had contacted the ministry before he started brewing the potion about a creature of 'near human intelligence' endangering students in the school. However, as Snape left, he was confused as to why Harry was returning his own smug smirk, as if Harry knew something he didn't.
Fudge and Umbridge were currently going over the papers for the 'disposal' of the half-breed that Snape had reported. Umbridge was disgusted that a 'creature' was attending Hogwarts for the last 2 years. Worse still, she was disguising herself as a filthy mudblood. However, Umbridge was looking forward to being rid of her, because Snape's letter informed them of the fact that she was close to the Potter boy, and as such, she convinced Fudge that it was perfect blackmail. If that Canadian mudblood Feros surrendered and willingly spent life in Azkaban, or got the dementor's kiss for mass murdering 'innocent purebloods' they would allow the half-breed to remain in Hogwarts, which was of course a lie.
Fudge was just happy that his undersecretary had found a way to end the headache that was Steve Feros and was planning to announce either Feros' surrender, or the public execution of Hermione Granger at the ending feast at Hogwarts, where they would publicly out Granger as a half-breed.
Neither Fudge nor Umbridge would foresee the shitstorm just around the corner. Nor could they foresee the further investigations into a few of the British wizarding laws that would result from the humiliation to come. All because of a Canadian wizard spec-ops and a 12-year-old with a penchant for pissing off the ministry and the pureblood 'status quo'.
Back with Harry
The mandrake drought had just been administered to Hermione, the others in the hospital wing had already been awakened and given the go-ahead to leave. Hermione was given the drought last at Harry's request for two reasons. The first was so the others could wake up and leave so he could be alone with Hermione. The second was so that nobody, specifically Snape and Dumbledore, knew that Hermione had gotten the potion. Even though Snape had originally planned to dispose of Hermione's dose of the potion, he wouldn't put it past either him or Dumbledore poisoning it if they were caught before they got rid of the rest of the potion.
It was five agonizing minutes, which felt like an eternity for Harry, before Hermione's hand grasped Harry's, who was holding Hermione's hand at the time. It wasn't much longer before Hermione's entire form relaxed and she turned her head towards Harry.
"Harry, where am I? The last thing I remember was seeing the basilisk in the mirror I had, then….nothing." said Hermione.
"You're in the hospital wing. You've been in a petrified state for some time. You were lucky you were just petrified. This is why I didn't want to let you help. If I hadn't told you to take a mirror when I let you research how the basilisk was getting around, I would've been that one of the girls I love was…." said Harry, before Hermione silenced him by placing her left index finger on his lips.
"Harry, what happened wasn't your fault. I would've gotten involved with or without getting your ok. You know I'm not one to stand helplessly on the sidelines. Especially since we started dating, and you found out about me. Don't use that troll fiasco as an example, that doesn't count. The point is, I'll be right beside you, always. So don't let this one setback change that." said Hermione.
Hermione removed her finger from Harry's lips, before kissing him, which Harry happily returned. At that moment, the only thing the two were focused on was each other, so much so that they didn't hear Pomfrey approaching until she cleared her throat.
"Ms. Granger, I'm glad to see you moving again. However, I need to perform some final diagnostic charms. So if you could detach yourself from Mr. Potter, I would appreciate it." smirked Pomfrey.
"Oh, cut her some slack Madame Pomfrey. I haven't been able to kiss my girlfriend in so long, so I think she deserves to latch on to me after being petrified for so long." said Harry, smiling at Hermione.
"Be that as it may, Mr. Potter, I do have a job to do. Now, if you would be so kind." said Pomfrey as she drew her wand.
Harry just gave an over exaggerated sigh, before moving aside and letting Pomfrey do her work. It took all of five minutes before Pomfrey was finished and gave Hermione the OK to leave. Both Harry and Hermione thanked the nurse before they both left the hospital wing, hand-in-hand.
As Harry and Hermione were making their way to the great hall for dinner, as that was the time of day when Hermione woke up, Hermione noticed that people were whispering as they walked past. Some Slytherin's were openly glaring at her in disgust. It was then that Hermione began worrying, she had a feeling she knew why she was getting those reactions, she just hoped he was wrong.
"H-Harry, are the students reacting like this for the reason I think they are?" asked Hermione in slight fear. Harry sighed in defeat, before removing his hand from Hermione's and wrapping his arm around her shoulder, bringing her closer to him to comfort her.
"Unfortunately, yes. Your glamor dispelled when you were petrified and Malfoy found you. Emily stunned him and brought you to the hospital wing, but the damage was done. I got there close to the end of an argument between Snape, James and Lily with Dumbledore trying to look like a mediator. I'm not sure if the dumbass tried to make it look like he was defending you, but he did try to get Malfoy off the hook for trying to curse you when you couldn't fight back. My guess is Snape already contacted the ministry to 'deal' with you. He probably also let it slip near some of Malfoy's goons so it spread throughout the school, or let Malfoy do it unimpeded." said Harry.
Tears came to Hermione's eyes, before she buried herself in Harry's chest. She cried, not only for her true nature obviously being revealed, but also for the fact that her life may be over, figuratively and literally. Harry just rubbed her back, doing what he could to calm her down.
"Don't worry, Hermione. I won't let anything happen to you. I sent a letter to Steve a few days ago to handle the situation, I promise that these jackasses won't even be able to touch you." said Harry in a calming whisper.
Hermione slowly started to calm down. If it was anyone else who told her that, she wouldn't believe them. Harry, however, was the type that would do everything for his friends and loved ones. On a normal day, she knew Harry would defend them on his own, but the fact that he's having his guardian help her with this, it showed how much he loved her.
After Hermione had fully calmed down, they both finally made it to the great hall. Upon entering, the hall suddenly went dead silent, before the whispers started again, causing Hermione to tense up. However, a quick glare from Harry using his draconic eyes shut them up instantly. Harry led Hermione to the Ravenclaw table, sitting her down right next to him and holding her close.
"Nothing will happen to you." said Harry, once again reassuring Hermione, making her relax and smile at him. However, Harry would be running for his life in about five seconds, and he was gonna curse someone's very existence for the rest of the summer.
"So Harry, what was it like fighting a basilisk on your own?" called the unmistakable voice of Neville, who decided, after seeing Hermione so upset at her secret being revealed, should have something to distract her. This caused multiple reactions around the great hall. Silent shock from the students, gasps from the faculty, laughter from Harry's group of friends, and Harry going paler than an albino vampire. The reason Harry had gone pale was the cold child running down his spine as he looked at Hermione, who was now glaring at him the same way Hedwig does when he does something incredibly stupid.
"You. Did. WHAT?!" yelled Hermione. Harry laughed nervously, as there were two things in the magical world you absolutely do NOT do. Piss off your girlfriend and piss off a nekomata, and Harry had just done both.
"Well, ya see, it's like, uh….I don't, uh….I got nothing." said Harry before taking off so fast you could almost see a smoke outline of him.
"GET BACK HERE POTTER!" yelled Hermione as she ran after him. The rest of their friends, now fearing for their unofficial leader, ran after the two.
It was roughly ten minutes later when they found them, but instead of Harry beaten to a pulp, he and Hermione were making out with one another. The only sign of Hermione venting her anger were slight scratches that littered Harry's arms.
"Uh, Harry, I thought you were incredibly durable. Why are there scratches on your arm?" asked Susan.
"It was either get the scratches while Hermione vented, or use my enhanced durability and possibly piss her off more." said Harry after he managed to separate from Hermione.
"Ok, next question. How the hell did she go from wanting to pummel you, to making out with you?" asked Neville.
"That was actually very difficult to do. Though if you can manage to lightly scratch behind a nekomata's ear, they calm down almost instantly. The hard part is actually pulling it off while they're attacking ya." said Harry as he scratched behind Hermione's ear while smiling lovingly at her.
This caused Hermione to gasp lightly before purring in comfort and contentment.
"You know, sometimes I hate the fact that you know so much about the different creatures in existence. But if you promise me that you'll stop doing something stupid….alone at least, I'll let this distraction from my rightful fury as your girlfriend slide." said Hermione. She'd decide on the 'alone' bit as she knew that Harry always ended up doing something stupid, regardless. However, she couldn't help but smile as she looked into Harry's eyes.
"I can promise you that, at least. I can also promise that no matter what, I'll come back to you and the others. Then you guys can put me in lockdown or anything else that will help reassure you, barring any permanent damage of course." smirked Harry. This caused the group to laugh, glad that things were back to normal, at least until the next school year.
"So, who's hungry?" asked Emily. Harry just rolled his eyes as the entire group headed back to the great hall.
End of Year Feast
The students were all chatting happily, glad that another year was over. For those 7th years who were graduating this year, they were glad they were leaving, as they didn't want to have to go through a repeat of what happened this year. Dumbledore had returned to the castle the day before once an investigation into the so-called 'investigation' that Lucius was supposed to conduct, proved that the Malfoy patriarch did nothing but threatened the other school board members and abused his power to out Dumbledore 'pending analysis of the situation'. As a result, Malfoy Sr. was stripped of his position in the board of governors.
It was utterly amazing what an anonymous letter, a quick inquiry and a freed house elf could do. The only downside was Dumbledore was back, but Harry considered costing Malfoy more of his influence was worth it….for now.
Harry glanced around the great hall at his friends sitting at their house tables. Susan and Hannah were with Hufflepuff, he was grateful that they were working on convincing the others that Hermione being a creature didn't change anything about who she was.
At the Gryffindor table, Emily, Neville and even Ginny were doing the same. Ron, however, was openly trying to turn the house against Hermione. That was why he was attending the feast with green hair, long ears and braying like a donkey. Harry would have to remember to thank the Weasley twins for aiding him in that. Harry made a silent vow to figure out how to enter the other common rooms. While he was glad he partnered with the twins and Peeves, he didn't want to always rely on them for his pranks. He had pride in himself after all.
It was into this happy gathering that Fudge, Umbridge and a guy dressed as a medieval executioner with a large axe, barged into the great hall. Harry had a feeling he knew why they were at Hogwarts, but Harry was always one to be prepared. Steve had sent him confirmation on his plan yesterday, he hadn't told Hermione yet as he wanted it to be a surprise.
Dumbledore stood from his seat, glaring at Fudge. Dumbledore was still pissed about his plan of altering Fudge's mind before arresting Hagrid backfired when Malfoy ousted him. Dumbledore refused to admit his fault in the fiasco. The only thing Dumbledore was glad about was the contract was destroyed, which means his plan to get Emily to fight the basilisk had succeeded. He was apparently behind the times, by complete chance….yeah, right.
"Minister, to what do we owe this untimely intrusion?" demanded Dumbledore.
"We are here to oversee the execution of one Hermione Granger. As a creature of near-human intelligence she was obligated to register with the department of regulation and control of magical creatures." said Fudge, looking quite smug. Hermione paled when the minister said execution, while Emily and Neville placed their arms around her shoulders in comfort while Harry glared at the minister. Harry was gonna enjoy what he had planned now.
Dumbledore was deep in thought. On the one hand, he could allow Fudge to execute the half-breed in order to dishearten Harry Potter. On the other hand, if he allowed it, he could lose Emily Potter's trust entirely, as Emily was close friends with the half-breed. Deciding that Emily's trust was worth more than getting rid of the younger male Potter, he had to try and prevent this.
"Minister, surely you're mistaken. Ms Granger is harmless and an exemplary student. Even if her people are magical creatures, surely execution is unnecessary." said Dumbledore.
"He Hem, I assure you Dumbledore, execution is the only way to keep the students safe from such dangerous creatures. However, we are willing to overlook such blatant disregard for the students if you expel the creature and Mr. Potter has Steve Feros come to the ministry and surrender himself for trial." said Umbridge, turning to Harry with a smug look.
'That's it, time to act.' thought Harry as he stood up and fired a disarming hex at the executioner, sending the large axe he had out of his hand. The axe flew through the air, barely missing Umbridge, causing her to freeze up and split the minister's hat down the middle before landing at Fudge's feet.
"MR. POTTER, HOW DARE YOU?! NOT ONLY DO YOU ASSAULT A MINISTRY OFFICIAL, BUT YOU'RE ACTIONS NEARLY KILLED ME! I HAVE HALF A MIND TO CHARGE YOU FOR…." yelled Fudge before he was cut off by Harry.
"HOW ABOUT I HAVE YOU CHARGED WITH BREAKING INTERNATIONAL WIZARD LAW!" yelled Harry, his eyes now draconic. Harry was willing to just simply educate the minister, but the fact that he actually brought an executioner to the school, Harry was done playing nice this year, he needed to vent at some idiots.
"What are you babbling about, boy? We've broken no such laws." snarked Umbridge, who had pulled herself together.
"Oh really? Then here, read this and educate yourself, you toady eyesore." snarled Harry as he stormed up to the minister and Umbridge, before slamming a piece of parchment onto the minister's chest.
Fudge glared at Harry, before deciding to just read the parchment, and it caused him to pale. It was an international law signed by all countries over 500 years ago. It stated that certain creatures that had flawless control over their magic could and are encouraged to go to a magical school to increase relations with wizards and witches. These creatures, such as Veela, Nekomata, etc. were also permitted to have wands, as those with more 'wild' magic, like goblins, would burn through a wand after 2 or 3 spells. What made it worse for Fudge, was that the British minister at the time was first to sign the law.
Seeing that he literally had no leg to stand on, as the law was ironclad and was one of the 'permanent, irrevocable' laws, Fudge knew he had no choice. If the I.C.W. found out that he had authorized the execution of a creature, and a young student at that, he would never survive the political backlash, as no matter what Fudge tried to portray to the public, he was nowhere NEAR being the top dog.
Snarling in defeat, Fudge tossed the parchment to the ground and gestured to Umbridge and the executioner, before storming out of the great hall, already planning his next move. Too bad for him that this move would cost him a lot of support in the future when the students with parents in the political world mentioned it to said parents.
"Oh, and Fudge? I'd be extremely careful about what you do and who you piss off from now on. My patience will only go so far." smirked Harry. Fudge turned an interesting shade of puce before he continued storming out with his 'entourage'.
As soon as the three stooges had left, Harry was sent to the ground by a brown haired missile. Harry slowly got up while holding Hermione, who was lightly crying into his chest.
"Hey, it's okay Hermione. I told you I'd never let anything happen to you and I meant it." said Harry. Hermione tightened her grip on Harry, comforted by his words, as well as noticing what the parchment which was still on the floor said. The fact that she wouldn't have to hide her true self anymore was just a bonus.
"Professor McGonagal, I would prefer it if Hermione sat with me for this end of year feast." said Harry. McGonagal gave a small smile, understanding the situation. Plus, it looked like Hermione wasn't letting go of Harry anytime soon.
"That will be fine Mr. Potter. Ms. Granger has had a trying year, so it's understandable that she wouldn't want to be separated from you at this time." said McGonagal. Harry nodded in gratitude, before leading Hermione to the Ravenclaw table.
After taking a seat, which was thankfully next to Luna, the feast continued on without any further interruptions. However, Dumbledore was once again focused on Harry. Dumbledore had done everything he could to keep Britain as 'independent' of the I.C.W. as he could. The idiot seemed to forget that Harry was raised by a semi-retired I.W.C.O. agent. Dumbledore may never learn.
Once the feast had concluded, Dumbledore stood from his seat to deliver his end of year speech.
"Another year gone. For those who will be back next year, we hope you enjoy your summer. To our graduating class, the first part of your journey has ended, but the unknown now awaits you. I'm sure you will become great contributors to the wizarding community." smiled Dumbledore.
This brought applause from a few students. Dumbledore glanced around the great hall, but he was dreading his next announcement, due to his favoritism.
"It is also my p-p-pleasure to announce that Ravenclaw is this year's winner of the house cup. Congratulations Ravenclaw." said Dumbledore with barely noticeable stutter and grimace.
This time, the applause and cheers were much louder, as the school knew that this time, the score was fair. It was then that McGonagall stood from her seat and cleared her throat. Harry got the feeling that he was gonna enjoy this.
"I also have an announcement to make. Due to blatant favoritism and attempting to harm or kill a student through indirect means, Severus Snape is hereby stripped of his power to give and take points as well as give detentions to the students." smiled McGonagall.
The cheers were near deafening, even from many Slytherin's. The only thing McGonagall, Flitwick and Sprout couldn't do was fire him, as Dumbledore had given Snape tenure when he was hired. Ego driven old fossil.
When the cheering died down, Dumbledore delivered the last of his announcements, which were unimportant and the house cup was given to Flitwick before Dumbledore dismissed the great hall.
Before Harry and Hermione had to go their separate ways to their common room for the night, Harry pulled Hermione into a kiss.
"Hermione, if you're up for it this summer, you could come and visit me in Romania, or I could visit you at your place." said Harry.
Hermione adopted a thinking pose for a moment. If she went to Romania, she could see where Harry grew up, but she didn't feel ready to meet the four dragons fully yet. So in the end, she decided to have Harry visit her.
"I'd like it if you came and visited me. It's nothing against visiting Romania, I'm just not ready to meet your dragoness' yet." said Hermione. Harry smiled in understanding and nodded.
"I understand completely, they can be intimidating. I'll send Hedwig, with a date and time and you can let me know if that works, ok?" asked Harry. Hermione smiled and kissed Harry on the cheek before she began heading up the stairs.
"Goodnight Harry, see you on the express." said Hermione.
"Goodnight Hermione." said Harry.
'Hate to see her go, love to watch her leave.' thought Harry as he headed for his common room.
After entering his common room and heading right to bed, Harry's mind began to wander to the madhouse that was Hogwarts during his second year. While he hated the fact that he fought the same asshole twice, and students were in danger this year, he had to admit that this school wasn't as boring as he thought. Harry wondered what chaos would occur next year. Oh well, he'd deal with that when the time came. Right now, he had a summer to prepare for….and four dragons he would have to try and calm down….again.
AN: Alright folks, there it is, the end of year 2. The next chapter will be the Hogwarts express and events through the summer, then on to year 3. I would also like to apologize for the delay in getting this chapter out. It's the longest one I've done and some just didn't want to be written right. I'm also moving in June so if I don't get many chapters out beforehand, I'll post all the ones I have done at the time when we get the internet connected at the new place. Until then, please review, no flames and I'll see ya next chapter.