Chapter 1: Dobby, the House Elf
Harry's summer was going wonderfully. His friends wrote him and he wrote them back. Until a week before his birthday. That was when he stopped getting letters back from them. His father was gone on business and Harry didn't know who to turn to to ask for advice. Until one morning Harry went to his room after breakfast and found a strange House Elf sitting on his bed. He found out his name was Dobby and that he had been sent to warn him that Hogwarts was not going to be safe in the coming weeks and that Harry Potter should not go back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Dobby was one of the weirdest house elves he had every met. He seemed to be working for a very dark wizard. He wasn't sure though if Dobby was sent by that wizard to try and stop Harry from going to school or if Dobby was coming on his own and just feared for Harry's life.
What he found out of course was that Dobby was stopping all of the mail from his friends. The letters from his father didn't come by Owl. They just appeared on the kitchen table. Harry sent his back by Owl because while he was not being watched for magic outside of school, it was best to attract too much attention to the house.
Before Harry could make Dobby, leave, a letter from his father appeared on the kitchen table. Harry grabbed it and ripped it open to read.
I need you to go to the Weasley's. I am going to be gone longer than I though and I do not trust you to be alone. Molly is expecting you. I will not be back before you start school. You have the money for your school items and I am sure that the Headmaster will send your letter to them. Use the Floo. I am sure that you can remember how to do that. Be safe, Son.
Harry looked at Dobby. The House Elf was staring at Harry.
"Dobby, thank you for the warning but I have to go back to school. As unsafe as it would be, me here by myself while my father is away working in another country it would be worse. Go back to who ever sent you and tell them you failed. I would suggest that you get out of here and never come back. My father wouldn't like that you are here."
Dobby acted like he was going to make a comment but he instead disappeared. Harry had a feeling that it would not be the last time that Harry would see him.
It took a few hours but finally Harry was read to head to the Burrow. He dragged his school trunk behind him, which held everything he needed. Hedwig's cage was shrunk and stuck in his trunk. She was flying there on her own. He didn't know how well she would like traveling by Floo.
"The Burrow," Harry said as he stepped into the green flames. The trip was quick and uneventful. He stepped out into the living room of Ron's house. There standing was a woman. He assumed it was Molly Weasley. "Mrs. Weasley."
"Harry, no one else is expecting you. I figured you would want to get settled before getting mobbed. Arthur is not awake yet. You will be staying with Ron in his room. I will take care of your things later, just go sit down to breakfast."
"Yes, Ma'am. I have already ate. I fix my breakfast when I wake up at five thirty. I may eat some toast."
"Aren't you just a little grown up."
"No, Ma'am. I can get into trouble if I want to. My Owl, Hedwig is on her way here. I hope it is fine that she come?"
"Yes, of course. Oh, I hear Arthur. Go sit Harry. I need to finish breakfast."
Harry sat down at the large table. Minutes later, an older man sat down beside him. He turned to Harry and then looked away. His head snapped back and he stared at Harry.
"Who are you?"
"Harry Potter, Sir."
"Good God really. Well, it is a pleasure to meet you. How did you get here? Did your father bring you?"
Harry narrowed his eyes at Arthur. So even the Ministry was trying to find out who was raising him. Of course, by now they would know that Ron and he were friends and would be trying to pressure Arthur into finding out.
"I arrived by Floo. Father wrote ahead and asked your wife if it was alright. I packed my bags and then came here. You can tell your bosses that if my father trusted them to protect me, he wouldn't have to hide me."
"Of course, my boy. I will pass that along to them."
"Thank you. And if Dumbledore asks you as well, you can tell him the same thing."
"Lets talk of other things," Molly said as she set down a plate of toast on the table. Seconds later, giant thumps could be heard from all over the house. "The boys are awake."
"Just the twins, Percy, Ron, and Ginny."
"Bill and Charlie are not here?"
"Charlie's in Romania and Bill is in Egypt for Gringotts."
"I was hoping to meet them. I guess it will have to wait."
"Harry?" Ron asked as he practically jumped to the middle landing. "What are you doing here?"
"Dad's job is keeping him away a lot longer than he felt safe with leaving me alone. He trusts your family the most."
"That's great. We have the rest of the summer together. I have so much that I want to show you. We can play Quidditch!"
"Ronald, leave him alone. You have the rest of the summer...Oh!" A thump from behind scared Molly. She turned to see Errol, their family Owl, sliding down the glass of the window. He jumped back up and dropped his group of letters into the basket for them. Molly walked over and grabbed them as the rest of the family finally came down the steps. "Oh, Harry! Yours is in here as well. Dumbledore is a smart man."
Harry said nothing he just accepted his school list. He opened the letter and looked at the books listed. It was quite a haul this year. All of Gilderoy Lockhart's books were listed. He heard the twins making comments about the prices of the books and sighed. He didn't have that much money on him. He knew that the Weasley's didn't have much money, he wondered how they were going to get them all.
"We best be getting on to Diagon Alley. Everyone finish up and get dressed."
Harry bought all of his school items but not his books with no problems. He met back up with the Weasley's outside of Flourish and Blotts. There it seemed that Gilderoy Lockhart was signing copies of one of his books. Harry was not looking forward to going into the store. There had to be reporters in there and he was going to be a magnet to them. Molly went to the line to have her book signed and to get the other books signed. Before Harry could slip to the front of the store, Lockhart saw him.
"It can't be, Harry Potter!" Lockhart grabbed him and pulled him close to have his picture taken with the Boy Who Lived. Harry felt the weight of some books being shoved into his arms and hearing something about Lockhart teaching at the school that year. Harry finally pulled himself away from Lockhart. He handed Ginny his books, muttering about buying his own.
"Well, well look what we have here, the Weasley's," drawled a voice. Harry looked around and saw Draco with someone, Harry assumed it was his father. Draco looked up at his father and then at Harry. Harry looked at Arthur.
"I have to go get the rest of my books." Harry walked away from the group and went to the back of the store. He didn't care if anyone followed him. He heard a noise and spun around. It was Draco. Harry looked around and saw that no one was around them. Harry hugged Draco. Draco laughed.
"How have you been?"
"I've been good, Draco. Missed you. Dad was away most of the summer. Doing things for work. I have just gone to the Weasley's for the last month of summer. There is so much that I need to tell you. I can't send Hedwig to you though. She is too recognizable."
"I have an Owl that I can send that no one would know. Of course, once we get to school it won't be so hard. I'll send him to you."
Harry turned away from Draco and walked away like they didn't know each other. He gathered all of his books and moved to where he was to pay for the books. Before he even reached the register the owner meet him in the middle of the store.
"We have already received word to take the cost of the books out of your account at Gringotts. Did you get any extra books?"
"No, Sir. Thank you for helping me. I do not think that my father expect all these books for this year." The owner charmed the books to shrink and Harry put them inside his robes. When Harry found Arthur, who looked scuffed up.
It was obvious that he and Lucius had been in fight. Hagrid was standing beside him talking. Molly was ushering the kids out of the store all the while chastising Arthur for fighting.
Chapter 2: King's Cross
Harry's summer flew by. He enjoyed living with the Weasley's but he missed his father and was worried about him. His father's job was very dangerous. He feared the letter that told him that his father was dead.
On the last day of summer, a great feast was cooked by Molly. She wanted to send them off with a good meal in their stomachs. Harry and Ron had tried to stay up late but their full bellies betrayed them and they fell asleep early. The next morning, it was a flurry of activity as the Ford Anglia was filled with six trunks, eight people and their various pets. He was sure that Arthur charmed the car without Molly knowing.
Several stops for thing left behind and finally they were on their way to King's Cross for the train. They arrived just in time. Molly and Arthur went through with Ginny and the others followed. Ron and Harry were the last through. They decided to go through together so that they could save time. When they were a few feet from the barrier, they picked up speed and then crashed into the wall. There was a commotion from their things and Hedwig's cage hitting the floor. An employee asked what they were doing and Harry answered that they lost control of the trolly.
Ron and Harry watched in horror as the clocked ticked down. Other showed up late. Ron knew a few of them others introduced themselves. Eleven O'clock came and went. The train was gone. Six students were left waiting. Harry, Ron, Theodore Nott, Padma and Parvati Patil, and Cedric Diggory.
"What if they can't get through?" Ron asked, worried about his parents. Harry wasn't too worried. They were adults and would be able to figure out how to get back. Cedric's father pulled out a piece of paper and started writing something down.
"I am writing to Dumbledore. I will use magic to get the letter to him and hopefully they will have an answer."
"Sounds good, Mr. Diggory. I fear what would have happened given that we wouldn't have been able to make it through. I hope that those on the other side are fine."
They waited for over an hour before something happened. Professor Severus Snape walked out of one of the restrooms and walked to them.
"I hear that we are having some problems. Parents are stuck on the other side and you are stuck on this side. Yes?" Snape asked Mr. Diggory, who nodded. "Aurors are on their way. I am here to escort the students to the school. We have six yes? Good. Mr. Diggory, I will need your help. We are to Apparate to Hogsmeade and walk from there. I will take Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley, and Mr. Nott. You can take the others, sound good?"
"Sure. Come now we must hold hands. Grip tight and don't let go," Mr. Diggory said. Cedric grabbed his father's hand and then he grabbed Padma's. Parvati grabbed Mr. Diggory's other hand and then they were gone. Snape held out both his hands. Theodore grabbed one and Harry the other. Ron grabbed Harry's other hand.
"Do not let go," Snape said harshly. Harry had Apparated before and knew what to expect. What felt like seconds later, they appeared in Hogsmeade. Ron and Theodore threw up as soon as they let go of the hands they were holding. Cedric was fine just like Harry but the twins were also throwing up. "Since you are here much before the rest of the students, you will go to your rooms and wait. House Elves will have brought your things to your rooms by now I would think. Headmaster Dumbledore sent them to get your things. Mr. Potter, the Headmaster would like to speak to you along with your Head of House."
The students followed Snape up the long path to the school. When they arrived at the grounds, Snape left them to fend for themselves.
"Professor?" Cedric asked. Snape turned back around. "What about the passwords?"
"The house ghosts will tell you they are waiting on you. Mr. Potter, you are with me. I will take you to the Headmaster."
Harry nodded and followed Snape into the school. Harry figured that Dumbledore wanted to try and talk him into telling him who is father was. Harry and his father had been expecting that. Harry wondered if Dumbledore was going to have Snape try and Occlumency again to try and get the information out of his head.
Harry was brought back to what was happening in the outside world as the stone Gargoyle shifted so that they could make their way up the stairs to the office. Dumbledore and McGonagall were sitting on either side of the desk talking in low tones. Snape cleared his throat.
"Ah, Yes. Harry, welcome, welcome. I trust everything is fine now?"
"Yes, Sir. Have you got word on what caused the failure?"
"Not as of yet but it seems to be working fine now. The Weasley's and other parents are safely home and resting."
"That's good. Why did you want to see me, Sir?"
"I have been hearing stirrings of darkness over the summer. I fear what will happen at school this year. I need to know who raised you. The Ministry and myself need to make sure that you are protected."
"I'm sorry, I cannot tell you that. My father and I feel that you and the Ministry cannot protect me. He feels that secrecy will protect me the most. We went over this last year. That has not changed."
"Surely, Harry, you have to see the sense of this. You're father cannot protect you while here."
"I can protect myself against anything that would be able to get inside these walls and get me. My father has trained me well. I know charms and defensive magic."
"You shouldn't have to. We can protect you."
"No, you cannot. You did not protect when I was at the Dursley's. You never once sent me there and never once checked on me. Even with others telling you that they were the worst kind of Muggles. Yes I may not have had the blood wards but I fear that if I had stayed there I wouldn't have made it seventeen anyway. I have my things to unpack and I need to get dressed for this years sorting ceremony, may I be excused?"
"Certainly, Harry," McGonagall said as she stood up. Snape opened the door for Harry and waited for Harry to just get out of the doorway before he slammed it shut. Harry waited around. "Albus that is not the way to go about things. Just find out where he goes. The trace has to be on him."
"No, the trace was lifted off of him when he was sent to the Dursley's. It was to be put back on him when he turned eleven," Dumbledore said. Snape laughed.
"You had no way of tracking the boy? Why don't we put the trace back on?" Snape asked.
"We can't. The Trace is only allowed to go on wizards that are under 17. The magic itself breaks and they can't be placed with it. The Ministry tried last year, to the spell he is seventeen. He has a ward around him that makes magic think he is seventeen. Who ever his father is, he is very powerful and knowledge about the Trace."
"What proof do we have that it is not a Death Eater keeping him around until Voldemort needs him?" McGonagall asked.
"We have none. The House Elf that took him from King's Cross was untraceable. No one knows the Elf at all. Of course, House Elves are meant to be invisible. It's a good thing from some peoples points of view that no one can tell us the name."
"Potter cannot be trusted. His father was..." Harry heard Snape say.
"Severus we have heard enough about his father from you. Now our students are arriving and we have to get ready. I expect you to treat the students better this year."
"I will treat the students how I wish. I cannot have silly antics in my class. You know that just as much as I do."
"Yes, Severus. I remember who you are talking about."
Harry knew that his time was coming short and he needed to get to his common room. He needed to get changed. Harry found his common room with ease and found he was in the same rooms as the year before with the same roommates. Ron was already halfway dressed. Ron turned around and looked at him.
"How'd it go?"
"Just wanted to try and press upon me that value of having himself and the Ministry protect me. I think that if they could have protected me then my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin would still be alive."
"Spot on, Mate. Listen, why do you think the barrier failed?"
"I don't know. I am going to write my father about it though. He will tell me his ideas on it."
"How would he know about it?"
"I will tell him of course. He is still out of the country on business for his work. I'll write the letter after the Sorting Ceremony. Hedwig can send it out tonight. She's missed Father." Harry opened his trunk and grabbed his robes out. He quickly dressed while
"Harry, why won't you even tell me and Hermione. We would never tell anybody."
"You can't promise that. Veritaserum could make you spill the beans. We can't risk it. I couldn't even spill the beans. I am under the Fidelius Charm. My father is the secret keeper."
"The only way to keep me safe." Harry looked at the watch on his arm. He gasped. "We better get going. We don't want to be late."
Harry and Ron arrived at the same time as the students from the train. The others who had been unable to make the train had arrived minutes before them. Harry looked for Hermione and the rest of the Weasley's in the crowd. He spotted them at the back of the group. Percy was the one to spot them. Harry couldn't hear what he said but the other three Weasley's and Hermione looked their way. Harry and Ron made their way back to the group.
"What happened?" Fred asked.
"The barrier closed on us. Mom and Dad couldn't get out either. Snape came and got us. Along with the Patil's, Cedric Diggory, and some Slytherin named Nott."
"Ginny, you should head up," Percy said. Ginny nodded.
"Have you heard from Mom and Dad?" George asked. Harry and Ron shook their heads.
McGonagall opened the doors for the rest of the students to enter. They had little time to talk before McGonagall brought in the First Years and the Sorting Hat started his song.
"I may not look to smart,
But I assume you that I am
I've plenty of brains to spare
But I am quite a ham
I give my performance
once a year
I give it on this stage
I give it right here.
I look into your head
I tell you what I see
Put me on your head
I'll tell you where you be
You might belong in Gryffindor
They take their fear
and give not a thought
Gryffindor's have no peer.
You might belong in Hufflepuff
Where friends are made,
Hufflepuffs have love
and give you more is trade
Then there is old Ravenclaw
If you value a book
and have wit
then Ravenclaws your hook
Lastly is Slytherin
These cunning folks achieve their ends
by any means necessary
Here lie your true friends.
So put me a top your ready head
I've thought about you all year long
I'll give you a good home,
Here ends my song."
The whole room clapped except the First Years. Harry watched them and saw that many were looking at him. He knew that he had be the talk of the Wizarding World. He was the Boy Who Lived Again. He survived Voldemort's original attack as well as the one that had killed the last of his family. His father had not let him read the papers. Harry had been isolated from the world during first part of the summer. Starting the summer coming though, he would be allowed to get the paper delivered to himself. If he kept his grades up.
Harry looked up at Professor Snape. The man was staring at him. His father had told him over the summer that Snape had been a Death Eater. That had changed his whole outlook on the man. Another reason for the man to hate him. While it was proposed that he did serve the light. There was no way that any person joined Voldemort's rank just to spy. He had to have joined and changed sides after.
Harry heard clapping and looked around Dumbledore was sitting down. The speech was over. That was strange. He didn't give his speeches before eating. The food was one the tables and Harry started eating.
Chapter 3: Defense Against the...
Harry awoke the next morning a little later than he would have liked. He had to rush down to the Great Hall and barely had time to eat a full breakfast. He was given his schedule and looked it over. The first class of the day was Herbology and after that there was Defense Against the Dark Arts.
When they arrived at the greenhouses, she told them that they were to be in greenhouse three that day. When they entered Harry knew that they were doing. Something with Mandrakes. There were earmuffs all along the tables were the pots were. Harry knew they were Mandrakes because of the shivering of the plants in the small pots. His father had trained him to know a good deal about magical plants.
"We'll be repotting Mandrakes today. Now, who can tell me the properties of the Mandrake?" Hermione's hand was the first in the air but several including Harry raised theirs as well. "Mr. Potter."
"Mandrake is a very powerful restorer. It can be used on people who have been cursed or transfigured. It returns them to their original state."
"Very good, Mr. Potter. Ten points to Gryffindor." The rest of the class was a race between Harry and Hermione to see who could get Gryffindor the most points. They were joined at their repotting station by Justin Finch-Fletchley, a Hufflepuff.
By the end of class, everyone was tired and sweaty. Harry didn't want to go to his next class. Transfiguration was up next. It was one of the hardest classes for Harry. It took the most energy and after Herbology, he just didn't have it. It was a recap lesson. To test them after the summer off. Luckily all they had to do was turn a beetle into a button. Harry got it on his first try. Harry spent the rest of the class reading his book for the class.
The lunch bell finally rang and class was dismissed. Harry was starving. Hermione was put out that she hadn't been the best in both classes. Harry looked at his schedule and saw that Defense Against the Dark Arts was next. Ron saw Hermione's schedule was covered in little pink hearts. Well Lockhart's class was.
The class was just as bad as Harry thought it would be. It started out with a first year named Colin Creevey cornering him before class and asking for Harry's picture. Harry had to decline and spend several minutes talking him out of it. Of course, Lockhart over heard them. That conversation with the man made Harry dislike him more. Harry had read through the books for his class and found that he didn't believe most of it.
They had to take a quiz in the class that was all about Lockhart. None of the questions on the test were relevant to defending themselves against the dark arts. It went downhill from there. He brought a cage of Cornish Pixies and had them use Peskipiksi Pesternomi to try and catch them. It didn't work. Hermione tried to defend him by saying he was giving them hands on experience. They ended up using a freezing charm to try and stop them. All of the girls left the class more in love with him and the guys started to think that he was lying about all Lockhart said he had done in his books.
Classes passed in a quick manner for Harry. Between dodging Lockhart and Creevey in the halls and trying to keep up the pretense that he and Draco were enemies gave Harry very little time for anything else. He and Draco exchanged letters on a weekly basis and no one was the wiser. His father wrote him back that he didn't know what could have caused the barrier to fail. He did give Harry the warning. It had failed for Ron and Harry, so it was a good indication that Harry was the target. His father warned him to be very careful. There were whispering of bad things that were going to happen at the school.
Ron was getting along in his classes but not nearly as well as he should have been. Hermione's grades were wonderful. She had the best marks in the whole of the second years. Harry's were perfect as well. He didn't have to try all that hard. When he tried he could remember everything that he read word for word.
Harry completed his homework as soon as he got it so he found that he had some free hours after dinner on most nights. He walked the halls reciting facts in his head. The common room on most nights was too noisy for him. Walking along the halls one night was the first time that he heard the voice.
"Come...come to me...Let me rip you...Let me tear you...Let me kill you..."
Surprised by the voice, Harry ran into a suit of armor. Snape found him just seconds after.
"Destroying property are you now, Mr. Potter?"
"No, Sir. I think that I fell asleep walking. I'll go back to my common room now."
"Why were you out in the halls so late? It's almost curfew?"
"I finished my homework that I have gotten so far. The common room was too noisy so I wanted to take a walk to clear my head."
"You finished my essay? It was two feet on the properties of Mandrake in potions. It's all done?"
"Actually Sir, I wrote nearly three feet on the subject. I hope that you don't mind."
"Hand it in tomorrow. We'll see how you did on it. Go back to your room now."
Harry quickly made his way from Snape with a quickness he usually didn't use inside the school. He made it back to his room well before the curfew and went to his bed immediately. He brought out his quill and parchment and wrote to his father about the voice. He knew that it wasn't good that he was hearing voices.
October came and went with nearly everyone coming down with colds. Madam Pomfrey was busy giving out her Pepperup Potions. Ginny was bullied into taking some because she had been looking pale. It caused her to look like her head was on fire, the potion caused the person who drank it's ears to smoke for several hours.
Harry was wondering around the castle and found Nearly Headless Nick muttering to himself about something, Harry heard him talking about something called the Headless Hunt. Harry was just about to ask Nick about it when Mrs. Norris spotted Harry. While Harry was doing no bad. He had cleaned himself up after Quidditch practice. Filch rarely ever thought that students weren't doing bad. Harry spun around and went back where he came from. He didn't want Filch catching him.
It wasn't until several weeks later that Harry heard the voice again. He still hadn't heard back from his father. That's wasn't unusual when Hedwig wasn't even back yet. A school owl was delivering his mail when he had it.
Harry was leaving the Halloween party early. He hadn't slept well the night before and wanted to go back to the common room and finish his homework and go to bed before the rest of them made it back. Harry was not far from the Great Hall when he heard it.
It was the same voice, the same cold, murderous voice he had heard weeks ago before being caught by Snape. He stopped and listened for the voice again and he heard it.
"...soo hungry...for so long..."
Harry cocked his head to the side to hear clearer where it was coming from.
"...kill...time to kill..."
The voice grew fainted and Harry knew it was moving around above him. He took off after whatever was talking. He ran up the stairs. He went to the first floor. The voice came to him again, even farther above him.
"...I smell blood. ...I SMELL BLOOD!"
Harry's stomach lurched and he was afraid. "It's going to kill someone," he whispered to no one but himself. He ran up the next set of stairs and tried hear the voice again. There was nothing. What he did find was Draco Malfoy standing in front of a wall. There was something shiny on the wall. Foot high words were wrote on the wall. Draco was staring at them with all the blood from his face drained away. Harry read the words.
THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS HAS BEEN
OPENED. ENEMIES OF THE HEIR, BEWARE.
Harry followed Draco's direct gaze and saw that Mrs. Norris was hanging from a torch. Seconds late he heard voices.
"I saw him go this way. Running," Hermione said. Ron didn't answer. He saw the same that Harry was seeing. Following behind them were a great deal of students.
"Enemies of the Heir, beware! You'll be next, Mudbloods!" a unknown voice called out from the crowd. Harry didn't see who said it. Filch was seconds behind the students and saw Mrs. Norris hanging from the torch. He immediately blamed Harry. Draco nodded at Harry.
"Malfoy was here before me. I didn't have nothing to do with it."
Filch didn't listen to reason and Dumbledore had to calm him down. Harry and Draco were taken into Lockhart's office, which was closest, and had a talk. Filch still blamed Harry. Saying that Harry somehow knew that Filch was a Squib. Snape was the one who brought Filch to bear.
"I want to know the reason that Potter left the feast early. From the look of his plate he barely ate any food."
"Harry?" Dumbledore asked. Harry sighed.
"I didn't sleep well last night. I was hoping to finish my homework and get to bed before the rest of my dorm came back."
"Sounds like a good excuse, Mr. Potter. He was rather lethargic in my class today," McGonagall said. Dumbledore nodded. Snape glared at Harry and Harry's scar ached him a little. He wondered why it was doing that all of a sudden. He hadn't had a twinge in it since he faced Voldemort and Quirrell.
"My cat has been Petrified. I want to see some punishment!"
"We will be able to fix her, Argus. Professor Sprout has a very nice crop of Mandrakes. When they mature, we can make a draught to restore her."
"I'll make it. Must have done it a hundred times. I could whip up a Mandrake Restorative Draught in my sleep..." Lockhart said. Snape turned to look at the man.
"Excuse me but I believe I am the Potions master at this school," Snape said icily. Harry stared at the man.
"Harry, Draco you may both go. Go to your rooms and get some sleep."
Harry and Draco nodded and walked out of the room. Harry turned to say something to Draco but found that Snape had followed them out of the room.
"I am going to walk both of you to your dorms. We don't need you getting Petrified as well."
"Professor, I am not in any danger. I am a Pureblood," Draco said. Snape sighed.
"Whatever did this does not know the difference. Otherwise it wouldn't have gone after a cat. I have feeling that not long from now, the whole school will be ushered from class to class by us teachers. Just another thing added to our list of duties that we have not the time for."
Harry and Draco looked at each other but did not comment. Snape took Harry's to his common room first. Surely to keep the location of the Slytherin common room a secret.
The next day Ginny was upset about the attack on Mrs. Norris and was inconsolable about it. Even though she truly didn't like the cat. Classes went on as normal except for History of Magic where Hermione asked Professor Binns about the Chamber of Secrets. That line of questioning didn't really pan out though. Binns told them nothing really except that the Chamber didn't exist.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione looked around the area where the attack happened and found spiders acting strangely. They also met Myrtle for the first time. Percy caught them in the girls restroom and took points for Gryffindor. Later, they talked about who could be the Heir of Slytherin. While Ron and Hermione favored Draco, Harry knew better but he couldn't really announce that he knew it wasn't Draco. Hermione brought up the Polyjuice Potion. Harry had heard Snape mention it in class. While he was a good brewer in class he let Hermione take the reins on it. They just couldn't get their hands on the book that the recipe was in.
Hermione found a way around that. Lockhart. He would be willing to do anything for his favorite student. The book was retrieved from the the library and they set up shop in Myrtle's bathroom. With the help of Harry's store of Potions ingredients that his father had made sure he had with him, they had everything they needed for the potion. It was still going to take a month. Still they had their plan in motion and were ready to start on it.
Chapter 4: Crabbe and Goyle and Cat and Owl
That month passed quickly for Harry. He wanted to get Draco's name cleared and start looking for the real person who had opened the Chamber. The first match of the year came and went. It was his house against Draco's. Everything had been going rather well until a Bludger seemed to have it out for Harry. It followed him around and seemed to be trying to kill him. Harry could tell by the look on Harry's face that he was worried.
Finally, Harry got sight of the Bludger and went after it. He took his mind of the Bludger and it caught him in the elbow and broke it. Harry though still caught the Snitch. Lockhart had tried to fix his arm but Harry had been aware enough to yell for another Professor. Snape and Dumbledore were the first to make it to him. When Lockhart tried to mutter the spell, Dumbledore grabbed his arm.
"We best let Madam Pomfrey tend to him, Gilderoy. He was hit rather hard and their could be other injuries."
"Of course!" Lockhart said with a giant smile. Harry was thankful. He allowed Ron and Hermione to escort him to the Hospital wing. Madam Pomfrey was able to mend his bones in a pinch but she was worried about other things so she kept him overnight.
That night Dobby made an appearance in the Hospital. It was he who had sent the Bludger after him and who had closed the doorway at King's Cross Station. He kept going on and on about Harry needing to leave Hogwarts for his own good. Harry was not going to leave as long as his friends were in trouble. Dobby had been happy that Harry didn't want to leave his friends but he kept worrying about Harry's own safety.
Before Harry could get much out of him, Dobby heard something and took off. Harry waited and Dumbledore came into the room. He was carrying what appeared to be a statue. McGonagall came in after with the other end of the statue. He listened as they discussed with Madam Pomfrey what was to happen. What he over heard shook him to the core. Dumbledore was afraid.
They confirmed. The Chamber of Secrets was opened and they had no clue who had opened it. Whatever was inside there had gotten it's first human victim, Colin Creevey.
That next morning when he was released he found Ron and Hermione in the Girl's bathroom working on the potion. It was half way done. They just had to add the last of the ingredients and they would be set.
Dueling Club took their minds off of things for a day. It had gone horrible. Now the whole of the school thought that he was the Heir of Slytherin. He had spoke Parseltongue to the snake that Draco had set on him. He knew that Snape had told Draco to do it. It was no matter.
Now the whole of the school hated Harry. They thought that he was attacking Muggleborn students and half-bloods. It didn't matter that he himself was not Pureblood. His mother was Muggleborn but the school seemed to have forgotten that. Only the Gryffindors stood by him.
Then he was caught near Justin Finch-Fletchley after he and Nearly Headless Nick were Petrified. Only Dumbledore and McGonagall believed that he hadn't really done it. Other than Ron and Hermione. They needed that potion and they needed it quick.
Harry wrote his father again and this time he had to use a school owl to deliver it to a Muggle post box and have it mailed to a post box near their house that his father regularly had the mail from it sent to where ever he was at. He was starting to get worried about Hedwig. He hadn't had word at all. He hoped she was all right.
Life as Christmas neared was strange. Fred and George thought it ridiculous that everyone thought Harry was the Heir. They asked who was next and warded him off with cloves of garlic. It made Harry feel better.
They made their plans for when they were going to impersonate Crabbe and Goyle. During the Christmas break there were going to be very few students at the school. On Christmas morning it would ready. Harry devised a nice plan to get Crabbe and Goyle's hair without harming them. He just asked Draco for them. He also told Draco what was going on. They wanted into the Slytherin common room to try and figure out who it was. Draco told Harry that he would help by keeping Crabbe and Goyle out of the room while staying inside himself. Harry had no idea who's hair Hermione was going to be using but it was up to her to use it.
After the feast they made their move.
Hermione's hair ended up being that of a cat. She was out and had to go to the hospital wing. Harry and Ron found out nothing during their escapade. Hermione spent weeks in the hospital, many thought that she was gotten by the creature from the Chamber or by the Heir himself.
Things were back to normal for a while. Classes went on and life went on. There were no further attacks and Harry hadn't heard any voices. The only thing that happened out of the ordinary was that Myrtle flooded the corridor right outside the Girl's bathroom she lived in. When they went in to investigate they found that someone had thrown something at her and that was what had upset her. Harry ended up pocketing the book and saving it to look through later.
They found it was T.M. Riddle's diary. A search found out that fifty years before he had been given a special award for services to the school. Fifty years before was when the Chamber of Secrets was opened. Harry spent days trying to find out what was hidden in the diary but with no luck.
Valentine's Day came and went with Lockhart trying to cheer up the school with things that made most of the school want to hurl. Harry luckily escaped with no Valentine's being delivered to him. One bad thing did happen. One of the students who hadn't seen Harry suddenly looked up and got scared. He ran and knocked Harry's bag form his shoulder. Causing his ink to coat all of his books. The diary though was perfectly clean.
That night Harry wrote in the diary. It wrote back. What Harry found out was that the Chamber was opened and someone was killed back then. Riddle had caught the one who had done it but the creature in the Chamber was never found and killed. Harry was taken inside the diary and saw Riddle's memory first hand. Hagrid was the one who had opened the Chamber the first time.
Nothing happened and Easter arrived. Now they had something to think about. They had to decide what classes to take the next year. Hermione took the lot and Neville was sent letters from all his family members telling him what to take. Harry decided that he would take Care of Magical Creatures and Divination. He didn't need Muggle Studies, Ancient Runes, or Arithmancy. If he wanted to know the last two his father would teach him what he needed to know. Harry didn't want to add too much to his classes. Divination was an easy class. Ron decided to take the same classes that Harry did. That way they had someone to talk to if they got too boring.
Harry was looking forward to the next Quidditch match. It was against Hufflepuff. Wood was driving him nuts with practice but as least Harry didn't have to think about the fact that Hedwig still had not returned. Friday night after practice, Harry went to drop off his broom. Give it a good rest before the game the next night. Neville met him at the doors. It took a little before Harry was able to get it out of Neville.
The room had been broken into. Harry's things were scattered everywhere. The diary was gone. What was more frightening was that it had to be a Gryffindor who stole it. No one else besides the teachers could have gotten into Harry's room. Hermione agreed when they told her in the Common Room.
Before much else could be done Professor McGonagall entered the Common Room. She asked to talk to Harry alone in her office. Harry wondered what it could be about for the whole of the trip. Before Harry could ask when McGonagall shut the door a soft hoot sounded in the room. Harry turned to look at the desk. It was Hedwig. Harry took off running towards the desk. Hedwig looked fine. She had not a scratch on her. Harry turned to look at McGonagall.
"A person from a neighboring village brought her to Hogsmeade when she was better. Seems that she had a broken wing and several other things wrong with her. The farmer who found her said that she was escaping from several Ministry members when he found her."
"Ministry?" Harry whispered. He picked up Hedwig and held her close to his body.
"She didn't give them her secrets. The farmer had her for months. Curses were used on her. There was no cure but time for her. In Hogsmeade, another villager said that they had seen this owl going to and from the school. She was shown to Hagrid who told us that she was yours. Harry, I know that you can't tell me who but..."
"I sent her off a while ago to my father. I figured that he had kept her because it wasn't safe to send her back. I was starting to get worried though. Thank you Professor. I will not be sending my father any other letters. I am sure that he thought it was too unsafe for him to send me one back."
"Could he go to some place and use it to Floo talk to you. Someplace that can't be tracked back to him?"
"No. He isn't safe where he is at. I can't really talk about his job. I trust you Professor. My father fears for his own life. He is rather high profile and would become a target if it was found out that he had me. Look what happened to my aunt, uncle, and cousin. He fears what I would do to get him back."
"Believe me, Harry. I understand. Take her back to your room. I don't think that she will leave your side. Don't let her go to the Owlery. If another student complains, I will take care of them."
Harry nodded at her and took his leave of her. He was worried. He wasn't safe. He wasn't safe anywhere. It was only a matter of time before he was confronted by the Ministry. He had to learn to test his food for unknown things. He wondered who he could go to. He didn't trust Dumbledore. Snape didn't trust him. It wasn't easy enough for Draco to try and help him. Lockhart was out of the question.
The next morning dawn with perfect Quidditch conditions. Harry was looking forward to the game. It would help get his mind off of things. Hermione was trying to get him to tell the Professors of the theft but Harry didn't want to bring up Hagrid and everything else that the diary would bring up. Harry finished his breakfast and was heading up to get his things when one of his other worries popped to the front of his mind.
"Kill this time . . . let me rip . . . tear . . ."
Harry exclaimed and looked at the others. They still hadn't heard the voice. Hermione though thought of something. She ran off to the library and left Harry and Ron just standing there. Neither could understand or even think of what Hermione could have thought of. Harry tried to shake it off but he couldn't.
The match ended up being canceled. McGonagall asked Harry and Ron to come back with her while the rest of the school went to their Common Rooms. Ron was mad. They couldn't think that Harry was doing it. Harry had been with him all morning. McGonagall lead them to the Hospital Wing of the school. Hermione and a Ravenclaw were laying on beds. They were petrified. There was no way that they thought that Harry could have done it this time. Hermione was one of his best friends. Hermione was holding a tiny mirror in her hand. She had been found the library.
"I will take you back. I have to make and announcement anyway."
Harry was numb the whole of the trip back. He barely listened to Ron as he chatted nervously beside them. When they go t to the Common Room Harry and Ron entered first with McGonagall following. She unrolled a piece of parchment and started reading. "All students will return to their House common rooms by six o'clock in the evening. No student is to leave the dormitories after that time. You will be escorted to each lesson by a teacher. No student is to use the bathroom unaccompanied by a teacher. All further Quidditch training and matches are to be postponed. There will be no more evening activities. I need hardly add that I have rarely been so distressed. It is likely that the school will be closed unless the culprit behind these attacks is caught. I would urge anyone who thinks they might know anything about them to come forward."
Everyone was scared. It had attacked a Prefect this time. There wasn't anyone that was safe.
That next day, Harry had decided to ask Hagrid about it. He really wasn't sure that what Hagrid had had in the Dungeons was actually what had gone after the students. Hagrid liked his pets kind of scary but he wouldn't take it if they actually hurt anyone. They decided to go under the Cloak.
Hagrid met Harry and Ron at the door with a crossbow. Before they could really talk about it a knock came at the door. They dove under the cloak and waited for Hagrid to answer the door. It was Dumbledore. Behind him was someone that Harry thought would have came to see Harry personally. It was Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic.
Just as Fudge was about to take Hagrid to Azkaban, another knock came at the door. This time it was Lucius Malfoy. Harry feared what he was there for. He was there to remove Dumbledore as the Headmaster of the school. Harry's stomach fell. Every Muggleborn was now in danger. He was probably the only thing keeping the school safe.
Before Hagrid left he said something about following spiders. The second the cabin door closed, Ron pulled of the Cloak.
"We're in trouble now. No Dumbledore. They might as well close the school tonight. There'll be an attack a day with him gone."
Life was not the same at the castle. There were no visitors allowed to those in the Hospital Wing. Harry looked high and low for spiders but found none left in the castle.
Chapter 5: Basilisk
One day during Herbology Harry spotted a group of spiders fleeing. They were headed straight for the Forest. Harry no intention of going into the forest. While Dumbledore had told them that is was unsafe, his father had forbid him from going inside unless a teacher was with him. He had no intention of breaking that rule.
That night a strange Owl was at his window. Harry never seem a prettier Owl before. Harry let her into the room. Just as Harry go the letter off her leg, she took off again.
Moaning Myrtle is the key. Talk to her about her death at the hands of Slytherin's creature. Spiders are scared of it.
That was all the letter said. Harry recognized the writing as his father's. Harry showed the letter to Ron. Ron wasn't so sure about going back into that bathroom. They didn't have long to think on it because McGonagall brought up that exams were coming and that the Mandrakes were ready. That night they would be able to help the Petrified people.
They tried to get away from the other classes by tricking Lockhart but McGonagall caught them. Harry told her that they were trying to get to the Hospital Wing and see Hermione. McGonagall softened and let them. Harry as glad that they did so see her because they found in her hand a page from and old book. It was about the Basilisk. Hermione had wrote one word on the page.
Harry hit his head in exasperation. It all made sense. He could speak Parseltongue and there for could understand it. That was why only he could hear the voice. The pipes had to be how it was getting around the castle. The last piece fell when Harry thought about what his father had told him.
"The entrance has to be in Myrtle's bathroom. We have to go there now. We should tell McGonagall though. She should be in the staffroom in ten minutes.
They never got to talk to her directly. They hid out after the announcement told them that they had to go to their dorms. Harry was glad they did. Ginny had been taken into the Chamber itself. The rest of the Professors talked Lockhart into going into the Chamber to get her. He had been boasting that he knew where it was and how to kill the monster all along.
"Ron, I want you to stay here. I'm going to tell Lockhart what I know," Harry said later that night in the Common Room. Ron nodded. He was upset that his sister had been taken.
Harry didn't find Lockhart getting ready to go into the Chamber. He was getting ready to leave and leave Ginny down there. Harry found out that Lockhart had stolen all of the stories from other Witches and Wizards and wiped their memory and took credit for what they had done.
Lockhart turned to try and wipe Harry's memory as well but found Harry ready for him. Harry disarmed him and threw his wand out a window. Harry marched him to the bathroom. They were going to get her out.
Harry talked to Myrtle and found out how she had died and where exactly she saw the eyes before she did die. It was near the sink. One of the taps had a small snake etched into it. Myrtle supplied that that particular tap had never worked. Harry used Parseltongue to tell the tap to open. It took a few tries but finally it worked. What became exposed was a large pipe that was big enough for a man to slide into. Harry sent Lockhart down first.
Lockhart tried to take Harry's wand from him the moment he hit the ground but Harry was ready for him. His father had prepped him to take on other wizards. "Obliviate!" Harry cast the spell at Lockhart. His father had taught him that spell because if the person attacking couldn't remember why he was attacking he wouldn't be a threat.
Lockhart reeled and looked at Harry. Harry had erased his whole memory. The man didn't remember anything. Harry convinced him to stay where he was. It wasn't safe to take Lockhart deeper into the tunnel. Harry went on and found a very large snake skin from where the Basilisk had shed. Harry stopped in front of a large wall. on which two entwined serpents were carved, their eyes set with great, glinting emeralds. Harry didn't have any trouble thinking the snakes were alive. Their eyes looked alive. He whispered the word open to them and the doors opened. This was it.
Harry found a large chamber that had a giant statue of a face. Ginny was lying on the floor in front of the statue. Harry ran to her and tried to shake her awake.
"She won't wake up," a voice said. Harry looked and found a tall black haired boy leaning against one of the pillars in the room. Harry knew the boy. Tom Riddle, the boy from the diary. He was standing there looking no older than he had in the memory. Seeing him in the flesh Harry felt like he knew the boy.
"Are you a ghost?"
"A memory preserved in a diary."
"We need to leave here. It's not safe. There is a Basilisk somewhere in here." Harry turned and looked around. He gripped his wand tighter.
"It won't come until it's called. I've waited a long time to talk to you in person, Harry Potter."
Harry was getting worried. Riddle was freaking him out. "How did Ginny get like this?"
"Because she opened her heart and mind to an invisible stranger. The diary. My diary. It's been very boring listening to an eleven year old girl. She told me everything about her life. I grew stronger as she poured her soul into me. I grew strong enough to pour some of my soul back into her."
"What do you mean?" Harry asked. He was scared that he knew the answer already.
"Ginny Weasley opened the Chamber of Secrets. She strangled the school roosters and daubed threatening messages on the walls. She set the Serpent of Slytherin on four Mudbloods, and the Squib's cat. Ginny Weasley a Pureblood tried to kill all the Mudbloods. She didn't know at first what she was doing. She started distrusting me though. That was when she threw the diary away in the bathroom. Then you found me. I was so happy. I had been wanting to meet you, so much."
"Ginny told me all about you," Tom' gaze went to Harry's scar. "I thought showing you about Hagrid was going to get you to trust me but it didn't. Then Ginny stole me back. I had spent years getting the knowledge together to open the chamber. It was really too easy. I would have thought that someone would be suspicious about it. I mean Hagrid was rather...dumb."
"I bet Dumbledore saw right through you though."
"Yes. I knew it wouldn't be safe to open the Chamber again while I was at school. I left the diary so that I could lead someone else down the path."
"No one has died this time. You failed."
"That hasn't been my aim these past few months. My target has been you. I have many questions for you, Harry Potter. How is it that you, a skinny boy with no extraordinary magical talent, managed to defeat the greatest wizard of all time? How did you escape with nothing but a scar, while Lord Voldemort's powers were destroyed?"
"Why would you care?" Harry asked. He didn't like the way that this was going. It wasn't good. It was a good ting though that Harry still had his wand. "Voldemort was after your time."
"Voldemort is my past, present, and future." Riddle threw his hand into the air and in fire the words Tom Marvolo Riddle appeared in the air. Harry was scared. If the memory could do that then Ginny was nearly dead. Then Riddle waved his hand and the letters rearranged themselves. It was as Harry feared. I am Lord Voldemort appeared where the name was. Harry was gripped with fear for a few seconds. He was scared for himself and for Ginny who was nearly dead.
Harry cleared his mind. Being scared was not going to help him. He had to think. Harry stood up and stepped back from Riddle. "HELP!" Harry screamed into the air. Then a sound filled the air and Harry's body. A crimson bird was flying around the room. Harry knew that it was a Phoenix but he didn't know where it came from. In it's claws was a black mass. As the bird got closer he saw that it was the Sorting Hat.
"This is what Dumbledore sends his defender! A songbird and an old hat! Do you feel brave, Harry Potter? Do you feel safe now?"
Dumbledore? Harry thought. It must be his bird. Harry heard Riddle go on about something but Harry wasn't listening. Dumbledore had to have sent him the Hat and bird for a reason. He had to think of why. The Phoenix dropped the Hat in his lap before landing on his shoulder.
"I still want to know know how you lived and I was nearly killed!"
"My mother died for me. She gave her life so that I might live."
"Then it was mere luck. That's all I wanted to know. Now, Harry, I'm going to teach you a little lesson. Let's match the powers of Lord Voldemort, Heir of Salazar Slytherin, against famous Harry Potter, and the best weapons Dumbledore can give him. . . ." Riddle turned around and moved to the statue. He started hissing but Harry knew every word he said. "Speak to me, Slytherin, greatest of the Hogwarts Four."
Slytherin's giant mouth started to open and it didn't stop opening. Something inside the mouth moved and Harry went as far backwards in the room as he could. The Phoenix left him to take flight in the chamber. Harry looked down at the floor of the Chamber. He felt the creature fall out of the hole and land on the floor.
"Kill him!" Riddle said. Harry shuddered. He wasn't going to die like this. He could live. He just had to think. He couldn't attack Riddle. He was as good a ghost. The Basilisk was going to be a hard creature to fight. The snake didn't come after his though. Harry looked cautiously at why. The Phoenix was flying around the snakes head. Distracting him.
In just a few moments the bird had poked out both eyes of the snake. Riddle was going on about killing him and smelling him. Harry didn't know what to do. He remembered the hat and shoved it on his head. He pleaded for help from the hat. He hope that the hat could tell the teachers that he was in trouble. Instead the hat just shuddered. Something hard hit his head and made him see stars. Harry pulled the hat off and tossed it aside. Something metal hit the floor. Harry saw a sword with rubies in the hilt on the floor. Harry picked up the sword in time to see the snake lunge at him. Harry dodged to the side and tried to swipe at the snake. He missed.
The Basilisk lunged at him again and this time it's aim was true. It's mouth was wide open and Harry was able to drive the sword up through the roof of it's mouth. Harry gasped as a severe pain shot through his arm starting at his elbow. One of its fangs was lodged in his arm. As the snake fell over it broke off and stayed in his arm.
The Phoenix landed beside him. He knew that he was dead. The venom of a Basilisk was poisonous. Before Harry knew it he couldn't stand and he was losing his vision. Harry felt the brush of feathers over his arm.
"You're dead, Harry Potter. Dead. Even Dumbledore's bird knows it. Do you see what he's doing, Potter? He's crying."
Harry nearly cried out at that. Tears. Phoenix tears could cure him. He felt the liquid drip onto his arm and the pain left him. Riddle was muttering about watching him die. Harry tried to work out how to free Ginny as he got stronger from the tears taking care of the poison in his system. He knew it wouldn't be long until Riddle noticed he was getting better instead of worse.
It had to be connected to the diary. It was out of his reach though. A bang scared Harry and he looked around. Riddle was pointing the wand at where the Phoenix had been. It was not there anymore. Seconds later something fell into his lap. The diary The fang. Before Riddle could react Harry grabbed the fang where it had fallen and he raised it high above his head and brought it down on the diary. A scream filled the air and the book started to gush ink.
Riddle was gone. Harry sighed. Again he had faced Voldemort and again he had won. He was tired though. He needed to go to sleep. But he couldn't not until he and Ginny were safe. Harry pulled the sword from the snake, grabbed the Sorting Hat, and put his wand in his pocket. He needed to check on Ginny. Just as he stood up she moaned. Harry smiled, she was alive.
The Phoenix carried Ginny, Lockhart, and Harry to the top of the pipe. Ron was standing at the top waiting on them. Ron ran forward and hugged his sister. Ginny was in bad shape she was feeling so guilty about what she had done. There was time for any talking because the Phoenix called them out of the bathroom and lead them down the hall to McGonagall's office.
Harry didn't know what to expect on the other side. His father could be there. Drawn out by the fact that Harry had been hurt. He shoved open the door and looked at who was in the room. Molly and Arthur were there along with McGonagall and Dumbledore. The Phoenix trilled at Harry before going to land on Dumbledore's shoulder.
"Ah, Fawkes, you did find them," Dumbledore said.
Chapter 6: Mr. Malfoy
Molly rushed forward and hugged Ginny before moving onto Harry. She was babbling about how had saved Ginny and wanted to know how he had done it.
Harry spent almost half of an hour telling them everything, including what Lockhart had tried to do to him. No one interrupted him. Dumbledore tried on several occasions but Arthur stopped him. Harry told them about how Voldemort used the diary to enchant Ginny. The Weasley's lead Ginny out to the Hospital Wing to get herself checked out. That left Harry, Lockhart, McGonagall, and Dumbledore in the room. That didn't last for long though because Dumbledore asked McGonagall to alert the kitchens to a feast and take Lockhart to the Pomfrey as well.
When they were alone, Dumbledore gave Harry a long hard look. "You must have shown me loyalty in the Chamber. That is the only thing that could have called Fawkes to you."
"He is a wonderful bird, Professor."
"Yes, he is. Do you have any questions?"
"That sword, is that Godric Gryffindor's?"
"Yes, it is. Only a true Gryffindor could have pulled it out of the hat. Now I need to write Azkaban and have then send our game keeper back. I also need to write the Prophet, we need a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. We go through them don't we?"
Harry stood up and walked to the door. Just as he reached for the knob it turned on it's own. The door opened and slammed against the wall. Standing there was Lucius Malfoy. He strode into the room and nearly knocked Harry over. What surprised Harry though was that behind Malfoy was Dobby.
Malfoy and Dumbledore talked for many minutes before Harry started to listen to the conversation. He was lost in his thoughts. Draco must have sent Dobby to warn Harry but surely not to hurt Harry. Draco was a friend even though they hadn't seen each other much over the past two years.
Before Harry could do anything Malfoy left the room with Dobby trailing behind him. Harry thought about for a minute or so and then ran out into the hall after him. Harry caught up with him several halls away. Malfoy spun to look at him.
"My son sends his regards. I had a lot of trouble getting Dumbledore back to the school without making it seem like I wanted him back here. Voldemort is returning Mr. Potter and we can't waste time."
"Sir?" Harry was dumbfounded. Lucius Malfoy was one of the worst Death Eaters out there.
"You will find that several previous Death Eaters have learned the error of their ways. We were one of the first to join the the ones that joined for good reasons. We saw no way out the Dark Lords grasp. Draco is who sent Dobby to warn you and when he found out what Dobby had done, wrote me and let me know what happened. I trust that you will keep my secret? I don't trust Dumbledore not to exploit me."
"Yes, Mr. Malfoy. I understand. I am also glad that I have other adults that I can trust."
"My wife, Narcissa, would love to meet you sometime. I understand that you father is away most of the summer. Maybe you could pop by the Manor. I would be able to give you perfect seclusion there. No one would know that you were their. No even the elves, outside of Dobby."
"I would have to ask my father."
"Yes, your hidden father. There are some who think that you have raised yourself you know. That you have no guardian at all."
"I assure you that I do have one. He is fiercely protective of me."
Malfoy did nothing but nod and turned to leave. Dobby waved at Harry before following his Master out of the castle. Harry stood there for quite a few minutes for he went to the Gryffindor Common Room.
The feast that followed was the best that the school had ever seen. Hagrid returned late into the feast and practically broke Harry's back cuffing him on it to tell him what a good job he had done. All those who had been petrified were returned to normal. Exams were canceled as a school treat, much to Hermione's dismay. Defense Against the Dark Arts classes were canceled and the rest went by in a rush of sun.
On the train ride to King's Cross, Ron, Hermione, Harry, Ginny, Fred, and George found a cabin. Ginny told them all of Percy's girlfriend, the Ravenclaw that had been attacked. Fred and George promised not to make fun of them, everyone knew that they were lying.
"Harry, does your house have a telephone number? Hermione asked. Harry shook his head.
"No, other than owl you can't contact me. My father will have tightened security even more due to what has happened. Especially with Dobby finding me. I am still not sure how that happened. Still give it to me, just in case."
"Do you think that he will allow you to come to the Burrow?" George asked as Fred wrote down the number and then handed it to Harry. Harry shrugged. He wondered if his Dad would let him go to the Malfoy's. He really wanted to. He missed spending time with Draco.
"I don't know. I am sure that I will be heading you way a couple of weeks before term starts. I will make sure of that. I really had fun."
Harry looked around at his friends and found Ginny staring at him. Harry shrugged it off but the rest of the trip to the station she still stared at him. Harry wondered if she was developing a crush on him. She had to be in reaction to Harry saving her. Harry wished she wouldn't but it looked like she was.
When the train stopped Harry wondered which House Elf his father had sent to pick him up. Harry knew that no one would step forward to claim him until the rest of the people were gone. He could feel many people watching him. One of those sets of eyes was the House Elf who had been sent to collect him.
Several Slytherin's and their families were hanging around a lot longer than normal, probably trying to catch a peek. The Weasley's offered to stay but Harry asked them to kindly leave. He explained that until everyone was gone the House Elf would not come forward. Arthur looked reluctant to leave him alone but did.
It took over an hour but finally the last few straggler students left the platform. Harry looked around for the House Elf, he hoped it was Zook, his favorite one but no one came. Ten minutes later, Harry was about to leave the platform and call the Weasley's to come and get him when a man stepped out of the shadows and walked towards him. Harry dropped the handle on the chest and drew out his wand. The man didn't draw his but still Harry kept his pointed at the man. Harry had his spell ready and on his lips.
"I once healed a young little wolf for you because it got hurt and you couldn't stand to see it in pain," the man said in a whisper when he got close to Harry. Harry relaxed. It was his father. He must be concealing himself with a spell or with Polyjuice Potion.
"My name for that wolf cub was Lunar because he loved to sit outside the house at night and howl to wake me," Harry said back so that his father knew that it really was him. Harry hugged him. He had missed his father a great deal over the year. His father used a spell to shrink Harry's trunk and he put it in his pocket before he slung an arm around Harry's shoulder lead out of the platform. The second that both were solid on the other side, he Apparated them away.
End of Book Two
Will continue in Book Three