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And there's a deadly snake downstairs.

Chapter Text

Harriet woke up as early as usual. The sun had just begun to rise. She looked around the room and sighed. Hedwig wasn't back yet. She pulled out the letters her friends had written her. Turned out they were all having amazing holidays. Pansy was on holiday in southern Africa. Blaise was on holiday in New Delhi. Crabbe and Goyle were somewhere in Norway and Draco had been to France. Theo had been to Alexandria in Egypt. The Library sounded amazing.
Suddenly Hedwig swooped in and dropped a letter on her bed. It was written in very neat handwriting that she didn't recognise. She opened it and read:
Harriet Potter,
After your help last school year I have been able to return to a Physical form. I would thank you in person but I doubt your relatives would appreciate another wizard in their house. If only for a short amount of time.
(Harriet could hear the sneer in the way the word relatives was written. )
I am also currently staying at Malfoy manor an I will be picking you up tomorrow. If convenient, pack your things. If inconvenient, do so anyway.
Greetings,
Tom Riddle
Harriet stared. She reread the letter. Then again. She stared some more before it dawned on her who had written to her. She leapt out of bed and packed her things as quickly and quietly as possible. Then she finished the 3 foot long essay on burn soothing potions. And the 2 foot long essay on goblin wars for history of Magic. She couldn't wait for tomorrow. Today was her birthday too! Her friends had sent her birthday presents a week prior. She opened them and hid them under her bed. They were all magical so the Dursleys could not know about them. She sighed.
Then she got up and went downstairs to start with her daily chores. These included cooking, cleaning and gardening. It was 8 o'clock. The Dursleys were eating breakfast and Harriet was still working in the garden. Aunt Petunia called her in at about 9. Uncle Vernon cleared his throat importantly and said,"Now as we all know, today is an important day."

Harriet rolled her eyes. They had been over this at least 123 times. The dinner party. Uncle Vernon was hoping to score a fantastic deal with a certain mr. Mason who was offering 10 million for a couple of drills. The Dursleys had been practicing all week to make a good impression and Harriet had practiced keeping a straight face. After the Family meeting was over, Harriet got back to work singing Happy Birthday in her head and calculating the circumference of Jupiter all whilst doing chores. Then she cleaned the house ate her very small dinner and went into her room. Flopping down on her bed she pulled her charms homework toward her and began on the final foot of information about levitation and flying charms feeling dejected.

All in all this birthday wasn't the worst but she still felt like crying. Another year gone by and still no recognition of her as a family member. She would never be good enough for the Dursleys.

She got out of bed and drew a cake on a spare piece of parchment. Then she conjured some non burning fire to make up for the candles. She screwed her eyes shut and made her wish. Then she blew it out. She heard laughter from downstairs. This, if possible, made her feel even worse. She felt as if they were laughing at her. She kept glancing at the clock over and over. She felt as if she had been locked up.

'How long until tomorrow?' she thought,'can't 3 hours go any faster?'

A while later she heard the Dursleys saying their goodbyes to the masons. Then victorious laughter. She guessed that Vernon had scored the deal. She packed her birthday presents into her trunk and closed it. She waited until the house was deathly quiet and the Dursleys has fallen asleep, then she crept outside with all of her things and sat down on the front steps to wait. What kind of person she was waiting for she had no idea. Voldemort, well Tom Riddle now she supposed, hadn't mentioned anything about his apearance except that he now had a physical form of his own. It was really dark outside. She prayed that he would come early and get her out of this hell hole. Then a man appeared on the front steps next to her.

"Hello Harriet." he said smiling.

Chapter Text

"Tom!?" gasped Harriet.

"Yes. It's me. Is this all you've got?" He said motioning to her trunk and owl. Harriet nodded. Tom sent a silent glare into the house then he smiled at Harriet again, " Sorry I missed your birthday. I was still regenerating. I brought you some cake though."

"Thanks!" Harriet exclaimed smiling and practically wolfing down the cake.

After she had finished Tom turned to her and said," It's about time we get going don't you think?"

Harriet nodded and stood up. Tom grabbed her trunk and owl and started walking down the street, Harriet following him. They stopped at a corner that was obscured from view by some hedges. Tom turned to her and asked,"Have you ever apparated?"
Harriet shook her head.
"Know what apparating is?"
Harriet shook her head again.
"Apparation is a wizarding form of travel. I believe Muggles call it teleportation. Hold onto my arm."
Harriet grabbed his arm. There was a stirring of leaves a small 'pop' and they dissapeared from where they had been standing. They reappeared in front of a large gate which Harriet immediately recognized. A huge smile spread across her face. They were at Malfoy manor.

"Harriet! " She heard someone yell. She scanned the building and almost immediately noticed Draco Malfoy , her best friend, hanging out of a window waving at her madly, his hair slicked back as usual. She waved back. The gates opened and Harriet and Tom walked through. Harriet thanking Tom about five times until they reached the front door. Narcissa opened it, greeted Tom and encased Harriet in a hug. Lucius simply nodded at them both.
Draco ran down the stairs and hugged Harriet too.
"Harriet,  how are you? I heard about what the Dursleys are like. Also, I have to tell you all about France! I'm sure you would have loved the Louvre and Versaille. For something that Muggles built it was pretty amazing. " He started showing her a bunch of photos that he was holding. Harriet smiled.
" Also I got you a book. I know you love reading.  It's about old french spells and enchantments that are rarely used today. I hope you like it." Draco babbled on like he usually did when he was a) showing off,  b) really happy about something or c) nervous.  Harriet assumed it was b).
They all settled down for breakfast. They looked a bit like a mismatched family. Tom and Narcissa were talking about Hogwarts. Lucius, Draco and Harriet were talking about the ministry of Magic.
"- and when the minister didn't intervene he got angry-"
"-I can't believe they are letting Dumbledore keep his position as head master-"
After dinner Draco brought out a game of chess. Harriet kept winning so the decided to do the rest of their homework or all of it (in Draco's case ). Draco looked horrified at the simple thought of having to write a 4 foot long essay for charms.
Halfway through helping Draco with his homework,  Harriet fell asleep. She woke up just in time for lunch. Somebody had brought her a blanket. She shrugged it off, folded it and placed it on a nearby chair. Then she walked into the dining room. Lunch was almost uneventful except that  the equipment lists for Hogwarts arrived.
It read:
SECOND-YEAR STUDENTS WILL REQUIRE:
The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2
by Miranda Goshawk

Break with a Banshee by Gilderoy Lockhart
Gadding with Ghouls by Gilderoy Lockhart
Holidays with Hags by Gilderoy Lockhart
Travels with Trolls by Gilderoy Lockhart
Voyages with Vampires by Gilderoy Lockhart
Wanderings with Werewolves by Gilderoy Lockhart
Year with the Yeti by Gilderoy Lockhart

"That's unfortunate. Those books are awful and Lockhart is a complete fraud." Tom said peering over Harriet's shoulder," They're rather expensive too."
Harriet looked at him,"You know this guy?!"
"I went to school with him. He had a gift for memory charms.
Suddenly, a tawny owl swooped in.
"It's from Pansy! "Draco said. He grabbed the letter and read out loud:

Dear Draco, and Harriet if you're there,
I hope everything went all right and that Harriet is okay . Tom sounds like a nice person. South Africa was amazing I'll tell you all about it when I get back. I also got Harriet a book on Ancient African spells-
"Sounds like I'm going to get a lot of books. " Harriet quipped.
-I know she'll like it.
We're going to London next Wednesday to buy my new books. Why don't we meet in Diagon Alley?
Let me know what's happening as soon as you can.
Greetings,
Pansy.

Wednesday came and before they new it the Malfoy's and Harriet were standing in the middle of Diagon Ally.
They went to Gringotts first and then set to getting whatever they needed for school. Harriet dragged them off to buy ink and parchment. An hour later, they headed for Flourish and Blotts. They were by no means the only ones making their way to the bookshop. As they approached it, they saw to their surprise a large crowd jostling out side the doors, trying to get in. The reason for this was proclaimed by a large banner stretched across the upper windows:

  GILDEROY LOCKHART will be signing copies of his autobiography MAGICAL ME today 12:30 P.m. to 4:30 P.m.

They shoved their way inside.
Gilderoy Lockhart came slowly into view, seated at a table surrounded by large pictures of his own face, all winking and flashing dazzlingly white teeth at the crowd. The real Lockhart was wearing robes of forget-me-not blue that exactly matched his eyes; his pointed wizard's hat was set at a jaunty angle on his wavy hair.

  A short, irritable-looking man was dancing around taking photographs with a large black camera that emitted puffs of purple smoke with every blinding flash.

  "Out of the way, there," he snarled at Draco, moving back to get a better shot. "This is for the Daily Prophet -"

"Big deal," said Draco, rubbing his foot where the photographer had stepped on it.

Gilderoy Lockhart heard him. He looked up. He saw Draco and then he saw Harriet. He stared. Then he leapt to his feet and positively shouted, "It can't be Harriet Potter?"

The crowd parted, whispering excitedly; Lockhart dived forward, seized Harriet's arm, and pulled her to the front. The crowd burst into applause. Harriets face burned as Lockhart shook her hand for the photographer, who was clicking away madly. She forced a smile.

"Nice big smile, Harriet," said Lockhart, through his own gleaming teeth. "Together, you and I are worth the front page."

When he finally let go of her hand, Harriet could hardly feel her fingers. He tried to sidle back over to the Malfoys, but Lockhart threw an arm around her shoulders and clamped
her tightly to his side.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he said loudly, waving for quiet. "What an extraordinary moment this is! The perfect moment for me to make a little announcement I've been sitting on for some time!

"When young Harriet here stepped into Flourish and Blotts today, she only wanted to buy my autobiography -which I shall be happy to present her now, free of charge-" The crowd applauded again. "He had no idea," Lockhart continued, giving Harriet a little shake that made her glasses slip to the end of her nose, "that she would shortly be getting much, much more than my book, Magical Me. She and hee schoolmates will, in fact, be getting the real magical me. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have great pleasure and pride in announcing that this September, I will be taking up the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!"

The crowd cheered and clapped and Harriet found herself being presented with the entire works of Gilderoy Lockhart. Staggering slightly under their weight, she managed to make her way out of the limelight to the edge of the room, where the Malfoy's were waiting.  They had been joined by the Parkinsons.
" Can we please get out of here?" She whined.
" Of course dear," Narcissa said, "That must have been awful."
They excited the shop and Pansy began telling them all about her holidays in South Africa.

Chapter Text

The end of the holidays came too soon for harriet. She loved hogwarts but with Dumbledore as headmaster she was in no hurry to get back. They were about to leave for kings cross when Tom pulled Harriet aside.

"Harriet, I know you probably have a lot on your mind already but I need a favour."

"What is it?"

"Someone at Hogwarts has a diary. A black one. My name will be written on the back. This book contains a piece of my soul. If you see it can you send it back to me?"

"If I see it-sure."

"Thank you.  Do not under any circumstances tell anyone about this unless it's  relevant. Also I'm kind of stuck in here. Send me a letter?"

"Will do. Erm, Tom, I really need to get going."

"Oh yes. See you during the christmas holidays."

"Bye!"

Harriet rejoined the Malfoys and was swept off to london. They raced through Kings cross station and the gate just in time. Draco and Harriet practically hurled themselves onto the train and siezed an empty compartment. They were soon joined by Pansy, Blaise, Crabbe,Goyle and Theo. Harriet was presented with a lot of books foilled with ancient spells and a papyrus which contained almost all the curses that the egyptians had placed on the pyramids to make sure no one could escape with the treasure.

They spent a lot of time playing chess. Harriet slaughtered them all. Crabbe, Goyle and Blaise were finishing some last minute homework that was written about as well as nearly headless nicks head had been chopped off. That meant, not at all.

Harriet thought about what Tom had asked her to do. How the hell was she supposed to find a single black book in Hogwarts? There were over 420 people there. Approximately 15 in each year per house. If not more.

It was getting dark outside. Harriet yawned. She had absolutely no idea what Pansy was talking about and simply nodded along.
By the time they got of the train, the moon had risen and the stars were out. This year Harriet and the others were brought to the school in coaches. They were black and we're being pulled by something invisible. They were more comfortable than the boats though so that was a plus. The great hall was decorated as it had been last year with floating candles and the house banners hanging above the tables.  The golden plates and goblets were set out. They all found a seat.
A while later, McGonagall led in the first years and the sorting commenced. Draco immediately pointed out a Weasley who, of course, was put in Gryffindor.
" Knew it, " He whispered when she sat down.
Pansy and Harriet were far to bust analysing the new slytherins to notice. They snapped out of it once the food appeared.
" Yay! Food!" Harriet exclaimed happily.
" Pass the spaghetti! " Pansy ordered.
" Chicken!" Said Blaise.
Draco simply loaded his plate. The feast was always a joyful occasion and the one time where you could eat as much as you damn well wanted without feeling judged. Slytherin Prefects Higgs and Whittington were no exception.  Both were politely stuffing their faces. Slytherins always did everything with a certain air of dignity that no situation could take away from them.
Something flashed passed the window along with the sound of a car engine. All heads turned.  Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape hurried out of the hall.
After the feast was over, They all went to their common rooms. Harriet and Pansy gracefully barged their way to the stairs at the end and towards the second year girls dormitory.
They siezed the best beds in the room. Their things had already been brought upstairs so all they had to do was unpack. After they had done that they got ready for bed.
They fell asleep almost as soon as their heads touched the pillow.
Meanwhile,  Draco, Blaise, Crabbe and Goyle were caught up in a pillow fight. Draco was winning and Blaise was getting his ass kicked with his honour still intact. The other boys in the dorm had joined in and were sitting in the looser corner. They fell asleep very quickly after it was over.

Chapter Text

The next morning, the news that Ron Weasley had driven a flying car to hogwarts and had crashed it into the Whomping Willow  reached them. They were outraged that he hadn't been expelled. 
  "STEALING THE CAR, I WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN SURPRISED IF THEY'D EXPELLED YOU, YOU WAIT TILL I GET HOLD OF YOU, I DON'T SUPPOSE YOU STOPPED TO THINK WHAT YOUR FATHERAND I WENT THROUGH WHEN WE SAW IT WAS GONE -"
The yelling shocked everyone.
"Looks like Weasleys got a howler." Draco whispered gleefully.
   "- LETTER FROM DUMBLEDORE LAST NIGHT, I THOUGHT YOUR FATHER WOULD DIE OF SHAME, WE DIDN'T BRING YOU UP TO BEHAVE LIKE THIS, YOU COULD HAVE DIED -"
Harriet's eardrums started to hurt.
  "-ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED - YOUR FATHER'S FACING AN INQUIRY AT WORK, IT'S ENTIRELY YOUR FAULT AND IF YOU PUT ANOTHER TOE OUT OF LINE WE'LL BRING YOU STRAIGHT BACK HOME."

"Serves him right. "Pansy stated matter of factly.
The gang left the table together, and made for the greenhouses, where the magical plants were kept. The had herbology with the Hufflepuffs.
  As they neared the greenhouses they saw the rest of the class standing outside, waiting for Professor Sprout. The gang had only just joined them when she came striding into view across the lawn, accompanied by Gilderoy Lockhart.

  Professor Sprout was a squat little witch who wore a patched hat over her flyaway hair; there was usually a large amount of earth on her clothes and her fingernails would have made Aunt Petunia faint. Gilderoy Lockhart, however, was immaculate in sweeping robes of turquoise, his golden hair shining under a perfectly positioned turquoise hat with gold trimming.

  "Oh, hello there!" he called, beaming around at the assembled

  students. "Just been showing Professor Sprout the right way to doctor a Whomping Willow! But I don't want you running away with the idea that I'm better at Herbology than she is! I just happen to have met several of these exotic plants on my travels . . ."

  "Greenhouse three today, chaps!" said Professor Sprout, who was looking distinctly disgruntled, not at all her usual cheerful self.

  There was a murmur of interest. They had only ever worked in greenhouse one before - greenhouse three housed far more interesting and dangerous plants. Professor Sprout took a large key from her belt and unlocked the door. Harriet caught a whiff of damp earth and fertilizer mingling with the heavy perfume of some giant, umbrella- sized flowers dangling from the ceiling.
Professor Sprout was standing behind a trestle bench in the cen ter of the greenhouse. About forty pairs of different-colored ear muffs were lying on the bench. When Harriet had taken her place between Draco and Pansy, she said, "We'll be repotting Man drakes today. Now, who can tell me the properties of the Man drake?" To nobody's surprise, Sierra's hand was first into the air. Hufflepuff or not, no one could deny that she was the brightest, smartest and most talented witch in the year.
 "Mandrake, or Mandragora, is a powerful restorative," said Sierra, sounding as usual as though she had swallowed the textbook. "It is used to return people who have been transfigured or cursed to their original state."

  "Excellent. Ten points to Hufflepuff ," said Professor Sprout. "The Mandrake forms an essential part of most antidotes. It is also, however, dangerous. Who can tell me why?"

Sierras hand shot into the air again.
  "The cry of the Mandrake is fatal to anyone who hears it," she said promptly.

  "Precisely. Take another ten points," said Professor Sprout. "Now, the Mandrakes we have here are still very young."

  She pointed to a row of deep trays as she spoke, and everyone shuffled forward for a better look. A hundred or so tufty little plants, purplish green in color, were growing there in rows. They looked quite unremarkable to Harriet, who didn't have the slightest idea what Sierra meant by the "cry" of the Mandrake.

  "Everyone take a pair of earmuffs," said Professor Sprout.
Everyone grabbed a pair. The Hufflepuffs letting the Slytherins pick first. The gesture was much appreciated.
 "When I tell you to put them on, make sure your ears are completely covered," said Professor Sprout. "When it is safe to remove them, I will give you the thumbs-up. Right - earmuffs on."

Harriet snapped the earmuffs over his ears. They shut out sound completely. Professor Sprout put the pink, fluffy pair over her own ears, rolled up the sleeves of her robes, grasped one of the tufty plants firmly, and pulled hard.

  Harriet let out a gasp of surprise that no one could hear.

  Instead of roots, a small, muddy, and extremely ugly baby popped out of the earth. The leaves were growing right out of his head. He had pale green, mottled skin, and was clearly bawling at the top of his lungs.

  Professor Sprout took a large plant pot from under the table and plunged the Mandrake into it, burying him in dark, damp compost until only the tufted leaves were visible. Professor Sprout dusted off her hands, gave them all the thumbs-up, and removed her own earmuffs.

  "As our Mandrakes are only seedlings, their cries won't kill yet," she said calmly as though she'd just done nothing more exciting than water a begonia. "However, they will knock you out for several hours, and as I'm sure none of you want to miss your first day back, make sure your earmuffs are securely in place while you work. I will attract your attention when it is time to pack up.

  "Four to a tray - there is a large supply of pots here - compost in the sacks over there - and be careful of the Venemous Tentacula, it's teething."

  She gave a sharp slap to a spiky, dark red plant as she spoke, making it draw in the long feelers that had been inching sneakily over her shoulder.
Harriet,  Draco, Pansy and Blaise grabbed a tray.
" Let's get this over with." Pansy said pulling a face. She hated herbology and dirt. Both at the same time was unacceptable.
By the end of the class, Harriet, like everyone else, was sweaty, aching, and covered in earth. Everyone traipsed back to the castle for a quick wash and then the Slytherins  hurried off to Transfiguration.
 Professor McGonagall's classes were always hard work, but today was especially hard. They were supposed to be turning a beetle into a button.
None of them managed.
At lunch, they realised that their next lesson was Defense Against the Dark Arts.
They finished lunch and went toward the classroom.  They all walked as slowly as poosible without making it obvious.
Harriet yanked her robes straight and headed for a seat at the very back of the class, where she busied herself with piling all seven of Lockhart's books in front of her, so that she could avoid looking at the real thing. Pansy and Draco sat down next to her.
  When the whole class was seated, Lockhart cleared his throat loudly and silence fell. He reached forward, picked up Neville Longbottom's copy of Travels with Trolls, and held it up to show his own, winking portrait on the front.

  "Me," he said, pointing at it and winking as well. "Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defense League, and five-time winner of Witch Weekly's Most- Charming-Smile Award - but I don't talk about that. I didn't get rid of the Bandon Banshee by smiling at her!"

  He waited for them to laugh; a few people smiled weakly.

  "I see you've all bought a complete set of my books -well done. I thought we'd start today with a little quiz. Nothing to worry about

  just to check how well you've read them, how much you've taken in -"

  When he had handed out the test papers he returned to the front of the class and said, "You have thirty minutes - start - now!"

  Harriet looked down at her paper and read:

  1.What is Gilderoy Lockhart 's favorite color?

"This is a joke right?" She whispered to Draco.
"I don't think so. I mean it is 30 pages long." Draco said looking like he'd swallowed a slug.
She read on:
  2.What is Gilderoy Lockhart's secret ambition?

  3.What, in your opinion, is Gilderoy Lockhart's greatest achievement to date?

  On and on it went, over 30 sides of paper, right down to:

  4.When is Gilderoy Lockhart's birthday, and what would his ideal gift be?

  Half an hour later, Lockhart collected the papers and rifled through them in front of the class.

  "Tut, tut - hardly any of you remembered that my favorite color is lilac. I say so in Year with the Yeti. And a few of you need to read Wanderings with Werewolves more carefully - I clearly state in chapter twelve that my ideal birthday gift would be harmony between all magic and non-magic peoples - though I wouldn't say no to a large bottle of Ogdeds Old Firewhisky!"

  He gave them another roguish wink. He bent down behind his desk and lifted a large, covered cage onto it.

  "Now - be warned! It is my job to arm you against the foulest creatures known to wizardkind! You may find yourselves facing your worst fears in this room. Know only that no harm can befall you whilst I am here. All I ask is that you remain calm."
"What is it? Something to mess up his hair? " Draco joked.
  "I must ask you not to scream," said Lockhart in a low voice. "It might provoke them."
Lockhart whipped off the cover.

"Yes," he said dramatically. "Freshly caught Cornish pixies. "

"So I was right." Draco said.
Harriet tried not to laugh.
  "Right, then," Lockhart said loudly. "Let's see what you make of them!" And he opened the cage.

  It was pandemonium. The pixies shot in every direction like rockets. Two of them seized Crabbe by the ears and lifted him into the air which was quite a feat considering how much he weighed. Several shot straight through the window, showering the back row with broken glass. The rest proceeded to wreck the classroom more effectively than a rampaging rhino.
  "Come on now - round them up, round them up, they're only pixies," Lockhart shouted.
 He rolled up his sleeves, brandished his wand, and bellowed,
 "Peskipiksi Pesternomi!"
 It had absolutely no effect; one of the pixies seized his wand and threw it out of the window, too. Lockhart gulped and dived under his own desk.

  The bell rang and there was a mad rush toward the exit. In the relative calm that followed, Lockhart straightened up, caught sight of the gang who were almost at the door, and said, "Well, I'll ask you three to just nip the rest of them back into their cage." He swept past them and shut the door quickly behind him.
"Can you believe him?Just wait until my father hears about this!" roared Draco as one of the remaining pixies bit him painfully on the ear.
Harriet  Whacked to pixies with a book and Pansy stunned some. The continued like this until all the pixies were back in their cages. Then they somehow managed to get Crabbe down from the chandelier from which he was hanging. After that they headed back to the common room and flopped down on some chairs.

Chapter Text

The next day, Harriet and Draco were running through the halls because they were late for class. It was the 4th time this week. Pansy had told them not to wait until the last minute to start making their way there. Of course, they hadn't listened to her.  They raced through the classroom door with "sorry I'm late"'s.
Professor McGonagall lectured them and gave them a detention.
"A detention?  Wait until my father hears about this! " Draco muttered to Harriet as they made their way to their seats.
" He'll tell you it's your own fault. "  Harriet said sighing.
They sat down and payed 100% attention to the lesson and tried to make up for their lateness by turning a bird into a water goblet correctly.  They both managed. Crabbe came to them after the lesson.
"I wanted to thank you for not leaving me hanging from a chandelier in a room full of pixies yesterday. That was nice of you." He said.
"No problem. Your house is your family. " Harriet  said reciting the lines slytherin prefect Higgs had told her a year prior. She had really taken them to heart.
At lunch , Harriet and Draco both received an owl with their respective detentions written on the piece of paper they were carrying.
"Filch'll have me there all night," said Draco heavily. "No magic! There must be about a hundred trophies in that room. I'm no good at Muggle cleaning."

 "I'd swap anytime," said Harriet hollowly. "I've had loads of practice with the Dursleys. Answering Lockhart's fan mail ... he'll be a nightmare ......

Friday afternoon seemed to melt away, and in what seemed like no time, it was time for their detention, and Harriet was dragging her feet along the second-floor corridor to Lockhart's office. She gritted her teeth and knocked.

  The door flew open at once. Lockhart beamed down at her. Harriet briefly debated leaving.

"Ah, here's the scalawag!" he said. "Come in, Harriet, come in -"

Shining brightly on the walls by the light of many candles were countless framed photographs of Lockhart. He had even signed a few of them. Another large pile lay on his desk. Harriet felt like gagging.

  "You can address the envelopes!" Lockhart told Harriet, as though this was a huge treat. "This first one's to Gladys Gudgeon, bless her - huge fan of mine -"

The minutes snailed by. Harriet let Lockhart's voice wash over her, occasionally saying, "Mmm" and "Right" and "Yeah." Now and then she caught a phrase like, "Fame's a fickle friend, Harriet," or "Celebrity is as celebrity does, remember that."

The candles burned lower and lower. Harriet moved her aching hand over what felt like the thousandth envelope, writing out Veronica Smethley's address. It must be nearly time to leave, Harriet thought miserably, please let it be nearly time...

And then she heard something - something quite apart from the spitting of the dying candles and Lockhart's prattle about his fans.

It was a voice, a voice to chill the bone marrow, a voice of breathtaking, ice-cold venom.

  "Come ... come to me.... Let me rip you.... Let me tear you .... Let me kill you . . . ."

  Harriet gave a huge jump and a large lilac blot appeared on Veronica Smethley's street.

  "What?" She said loudly.

  "I know!" said Lockhart. "Six solid months at the top of the best- seller list! Broke all records!"
Harriet who had Acctually meant the voice decided to play it cool.
"That's amazing!" She said.
Then she let Lockhart babble on and went back to writing adresses.
Ah while later she was released from this hell.
"Great Scott - look at the time! We've been here nearly four hours! Id never have believed it - the time's flown, hasn't it?" Lockhart exclaimed.

  Harriet didn't answer. She was straining her ears to hear the voice again, but there was no sound now except for Lockhart telling her  she mustn't expect a treat like this every time he got detention. Feeling dazed, Harriet left.

  It was so late that the Slytherin  common room was almost empty. Harriet went straight up to the dormitory. In a quiet voice that was almost a whisper she told Pansy what had happened. Pansy looked shocked when she got to the voice. But then put on a straight face and told Harriet to blame Peeves the Poltergeist.
 October arrived, spreading a damp chill over the grounds and into the castle. Madam Pomfrey, the nurse, was kept busy by a sudden spate of colds among the staff and students. Her Pepperup potion worked instantly, though it left the drinker smoking at the ears for several hours afterward. Some of the older Slytherins started running a successful black market on cold healing potions that didnt leave you smoking.
  Raindrops the size of bullets thundered on the castle windows for days on end; the lake rose, the flower beds turned into muddy streams, and Hagrid's pumpkins swelled to the size of garden sheds.
Draco, Pansy and Harriet
 

  And then Harry heard it.

  ". . . rip . . . tear . . . kill . . ."

  It was the same voice, the same cold, murderous voice she had heard in Lockhart's office.

 "This way," she shouted, and he began to run, up the stairs, into the entrance hall. It was no good hoping to hear anything here, the babble of talk from the Halloween feast was echoing out of the Great Hall. Harry sprinted up the marble staircase to the first floor, Ron and Hermione clattering behind him.

  "Harriet, what're we -"

  "SHH!"

 

  Harriet strained his ears. Distantly, from the floor above, and growing fainter still, he heard the voice: ". . . I smell blood. . . . I SMELL BLOOD!"
Harriet hurtled around the whole of the second floor, Draco  and Pansy panting behind him, not stopping until they turned a corner into the last, deserted passage.

  "Harriet, what was that all about?" said Draco, wiping sweat off his face. "I couldn't hear anything. . . ."

  But Pansy gave a sudden gasp, pointing down the corridor.

  "Look!"

  Something was shining on the wall ahead. They approached slowly, squinting through the darkness. Foot-high words had been daubed on the wall between two windows, shimmering in the light cast by the flaming torches:
the chamber of secrets has been opened. enemies of the heir, beware.

  "What's that thing - hanging underneath?" said Pansy , she looked ready to faint.

They inched toward the message, eyes fixed on a dark shadow beneath it. All three of them realized what it was at once, and leapt backward with a splash..Mrs. Norris,the caretaker's cat, was hanging by her tail from the torch bracket. She was stiff as a board, her eyes wide and staring.

  For a few seconds, they didn't move. Then Draco said, "Let's get out of here."

"Hell yeah!" Harriet agreed and they bolted.
Later they found out that Mrs. Norris had been petrified.

Chapter Text

Harriet woke up. During the night, she had somehow managed to sleep-climb onto the chandelier and was hanging upside down. As far as she could tell it was 7o'clock on a Saturday. She attempted to neatly climb down an ended up falling gracefully on her face. She got to her feet and changed into some baggy clothes that had once belonged to her cousin, uncle or aunt. She glanced at the notice board.
"Duelling club. Open for all. Tuesday  7pm. Great hall. Sounds like fun." She said to herself. Then she went down to the great hall to eat breakfast.
A while later she and the rest of the gang were sitting in an abandoned classroom. 
"You're hearing voices!"Pansy snapped at her,"That's not normal. Not even for a wizard . It's really creepy!"
"But still, It is pretty cool." Blaise said.
"Cool? My best friend is hearing voices, We found a petrified cat, I'm willing to bet there's some kind of giant evil and all you can say is it's cool?" Pansy snapped at him. Needless to say, she was pissed off.
Harriet sighed and placed her head in her hands. This again? Really? They had been arguing about her hearing voices and wether it was a good thing or bad thing for at least 2 weeks. She had also started the search for Tom's diary. It kept leading her to the Gryffindor tower or somewhere else. The thing was, Ginny Weasley was always present. Conclusion: Ginny had the diary. She had no idea how she was going to get it. She kept keeping Tom updated. He occasionally wrote back.
She drummed on the desk she was sitting on. Draco was reading a potions book. Probably from the restricted section of the library. Honestly, Lockhart would put his signature on anything these days which actually brought a lot of benefits with it, like being able to read any book you liked. Pansy and Blaise were still arguing.
Theo finished his homework.  All of it. He had started it when Pansy had brought up the voice. He looked out of the window not really seeing anything because of the fog. He thought about it: a voice without a body, dead roosters (the news had arrived this morning ) and a petrified cat.  Not that he didn't think Mrs. Norris deserved it, because she did, he just thought that if a cat was petrified,  Mabye a student would  be too. He thought about what McGonagall had told him about how the chamber of secrets had been built by Salazar Slytherin who decided Muggle-borns were unworthy of magic. That meant that they would be next. If the chamber had indeed been opened. There were plenty of Muggle-born students in Ravenclaw.  Not as many as in Hufflepuff but still enough to be worried about. His friend (crush but that's not important) Cassie was a Muggle-born. OK , now he was really worried.
" - and that is why it is not good hearing voices!" Pansy finished.
"Mabye what McGonagall told Theo about the snake in the chamber of secrets is correct and Harriet is just a parselmouth. Ever thought if that." Blaise countered.
"If she was a parselmouth she would have told us!" Pansy stated angrily.
"Or Mabye she doesn't know!" Blaise suggested.
"I'm sitting right here guys!" Harriet interrupted.
"We know!"
"Have you ever talked to a snake?" Draco asked bored from a window. He was fed up with Pansy and Blaise's constant arguing.
"Once, yes. I accidentally set a boa constrictor on my cousin in the zoo. That was before I even knew about magic- er, why are you all staring at me?"
"You're a parselmouth! " Pansy shrieked flailing her arms.
Harriet started at her blankly. She blinked twice. Then-
"Oh Merlin's most baggy Y fronts! It's true. If I'm a parselmouth and there's a deadly snake moving around the castle, It's no wonder no one else can hear the voice then. Because they don't speak snake language! Now, the question remains who opened the chamber? I mean if it is  as I suspect, and it usually is, then we need to figure out where the chamber is, catch the culprit and turn them in."
Everyone nodded in agreement.
"Library! " Theo shouted and ran off.
"Truth potions and spells!" Draco and Blaise said at the same time and hurried off aswell.
Harriet and Pansy sighed and decided to go look around the castle for potential hidden entrances to the chamber of secrets. They even searched the secret passageways Harriet had found the year prior. Nothing. Pansy jokingly suggested they try moaning Myrtle's bathroom. All they got was a screaming ghost. They walked back to the common room dissapointed. That evening Harriet made a case board that held the facts and hid it under her bed. She also made a long list of suspects. Theo had found out everything he could about the chamber of secrets. There wasn't much.  Draco and Blaise had poured truth potions into drinks and asked if anyone knew anything. After a while they had given up. Harriet elegantly flopped down on the bed. It didn't take long for her to fall asleep.

Chapter Text

t was tuesday evening. Excitedly, the students stood in the great hall. Draco and Blaise were making bets on who would be their Duelling teacher. Harriet told them she didn't care as long as it wasn't -
"Hello dear students! Allow me to introduce your new Duelling teacher. Me. Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defense League, and five-time winner of Witch Weekly's Most - Charming-Smile Award. "
Harriet face palmed. Pansy's jaw dropped. Draco placed a hand on Pansy's shoulder to keep her from doing something stupid (she was known for temper tantrums)  and whispered," Wait until my father hears about this!" with as much venom as possible.

"Now allow me to introduce my assistant, who was courageous enough to volunteer, Professor Snape!"

A slightly annoyed looking snape walked onto the platform Lockhart was standing on. Harriet smirked. Lockhart was in for it.

"Professor Dumbledore has given me permission to start this Duelling club,  to train you all incase you ever need to defend yourselves as I have done on many occasions - for full details see my public works," Lockhart said.

"Product Placement seems to be a hobby of his. " Blaise commented quietly.
"Yes, remember the anti wrinkle lotion in class last week? Why the hell would we buy or need that. Who would even be interested.  We're 12, not 50!" Draco agreed.
"I can't even remember what it is called. " Harriet said.
Lockhart and Snape turned to face each other and bowed; at least Lockhart did, with as much twirling of hands as possible, whereas Snape jerked his head irritably.  Then they raised their wands in front of them like swords.
" Clearly,  we are holding our wands in a combative position.  On the count of three we will cast our first spells. Neither aiming to kill obviously. " Lockhart explained.
"One- Two - Three-"
Snape yelled, " Expelliarmus! "
There was a flash of red light and Lockhart's wand flew out of his hand whilst he was blasted backwards off his feet. All the Slytherins cheered.
Lockhart wobbled to his feet.
"Ah yes, good idea of yours to show them that Professor. Disarming charms are very useful. Of course, in a real fight I would've won." He stated smiling around at the students.
"As if!" Harriet and Draco said in perfect sync. Pansy snorted softly.

Lockhart and Snape then put them in pairs to practice disarming and disarming only. Harriet who was paired with ginger weasel was slightly dissapointed. She would have loved to set him on fire but his wand was probably still able to do that judging by the state of it. There was a cacoon of duct tape around it.
" Scared Potter? " he asked at the same time Lockhart yelled begin. Harriet wasted no time.
"Ex fenestram in murum" She yelled.
Weasel flew around the room crashing into every window and wall at least once. She was suprised when he got back to his feet and cried,"Bombada".
Harriet dodged, rolled under the platform, jumped up and directed another spell at Weasley.  He dodged and yelled ," Serpensorcia."
A snake flew in her direction. She dodged and mentally cursed him.
The snake turned around and came back her way. Professor Snape was quick to act and turned the snake into ashes and gave Weasley a detention for almost releasing a deadly snake on the school.
After the Duelling club had finished, Harriet studied summoning charms for the next hour before she got ready for bed and fell asleep. The next day she got up early.  Why? She had no idea.  She felt like she could acctually use her brain today. By that, she meant she could use her extraordinarily observant, super fast, very logical way of thinking that she kept pushing down because she had not yet found a good use for it. The children at her muggle school had always laughed at her for it. She wondered if her friends would react differently to it. But for now she had to get Tom's diary, pass her classes and figure out this whole chamber of secrets thing that was going on. Tom's diary was in Ginny Weasleys backpack. Her classes were easy. The chamber of secrets was a running investigation.

Chapter Text

Harriet crept along the corridor quietly following Ginny Weasley. She was with a group of friends that made it tricky to get the book without anyone noticing. She needed a diversion to open Ginny's bag. Then she would use a summoning charm to get the diary an send it to Tom per Owl Post. At least that was the plan. She probably had to rethink half of it. She looked around. Using a spell, she knocked over a vase near Ginny. It crashed to the floor. The girls shrieked. Quickly, Harriet used Alohomora to open the lock on Ginny's bag. Then she used a summoning charm.The diary flew out of the bag into her waiting hands. Harriet raced into the owlery , wrapped up the diary and gave it to Hedwig to take to Tom. Then she let out a sigh of relief. Phew! That was finally out of the way. She skipped all the way to the Defense against the dark arts classroom getting a few wierd looks. Some looks were on the verge of terrified. A Slytherin smiling!? That could only mean some sort of trouble. Either someone they didn't like was in the hospital wing or they were planning something evil or they had done something particularly evil. Harriet was just happy her plan had worked.

She siezed the seat at the back of the classroom next to Pansy and Draco. Lockhart walzed in like he was the king of the world and Harriets good mood dissapeared. Lockhart beamed at the students sitting in his classroom.
"How are we all today?" He asked.
Harriet zoned out for the rest of the lesson. This wasn't worth using  her brain cells for. Especially if Lockhart started monologue-ing, which he always did. She would have fallen asleep if she hadn't had to take notes. That, and Pansy prodded her constantly to ask what a word like 'gnarlegnomephopia' meant. Harriet was pretty sure Lockhart didn't know what half of them meant either. The sentences he used them in. You couldn't use gnarlegnomephopia against a gnome because a) it meant fear of gnomes, b) it was only discovered in humans and c) a gnome couldn't be scared of its self.  Also, why the bloody hell we're the studying de-gnome garden hacks. It wasn't even on the book list. She glowered at Lockhart and spitefully turned a page. 
Draco leaned over to her and whispered, "I can't wait for this lesson to be over. I'm so glad we have potions next."
"I wouldn't even mind history of Magic.  Nothing sucks more than this."
She replied.
The last ten minutes of the lesson proceeded to drag by. She made a mental note to find out if you could file a complaint against a teacher with no talent. She hoped it was possible.
After class had finished she was the first one out of the classroom. Pansy and Draco hot on her heels.  They leapt down the stairs to the dungeons and onward to potions.
Potions lessons were, without a doubt, Draco's favourite subject. He was rather good at them too. Harriet was in permanent denial of the fact that she was any good at them. It reminded her of the many times she had to cook for her nasty relatives. She had yet to tell her friends about the Dursleys. Tom knew but he had been sworn to secrecy. He hadn't wanted to but Harriet had begged him. It had taken 2 hours but he had finally complied. That didn't mean he stopped bugging her to tell the others.
Pansy had often asked her why she always wore such baggy, poor quality clothes. Harriet had repeatedly told her they were comfortable (lie), they were practical  (half truth) and that she didn't like the way she looked (truth) until she dropped the subject. Not getting enough to eat were a norm at the Dursleys. She tended to fill out slightly during her time at Hogwarts but after a while at the Dursleys you could start to see her ribs again.
Harriet turned her attention towards the potion she was making. It stank. The worst part was that the dungeon had no windows. She felt sorry for the next class. She hoped wizards had something similar to Febreeze.
As soon as class was over everyone dashed to the great hall for lunch. After she'd eaten Harriet raced to the bathroom. She really needed to pee. She finished her business quickly and made to walk out when she heard a sob coming out of a nearby stall. She walked over and knocked.
"Is everything OK in there?" She asked.
There was a wail and a ghost shot through the  cubicle door and hovered over the sinks.
"What makes you think I'm okay?" The ghost screeched.

Chapter Text

"I just wanted to know why you were crying! " Harriet said.
" I've been dead 50 years and people still won't cease to make fun of me. Moaning Myrtle they call me. HA!" The ghost snapped.
"That's not very nice of them."
"Of course not.  Why else would I have been crying."
"Wait , you died 50 years ago?"
"Yes."
"When the chamber of secrets was last opened?"
"Yes."
"Do you mind if I ask how you died?" Harriet questioned immediately regretting it. But Myrtle smiled as if no one had ever asked her something as nice.
"Oh, it was horrible! " Myrtle said happily," I was hiding in this bathroom because some girls were chasing me. Myrtle Murping they called it."
"My cousin and his friends do that to me during summer. They call it Harry Hunting. "
Myrtle beamed.
She then continued,"someone knocked on the door. I thought it was them so I opened it to tell them to piss off but instead there were two yellow eyes staring right at me from that sink over there. I blacked out and when I came around I was already dead."
"That does sound horrible. " Harriet said, " Thanks for telling me. I'm sorry I have to go. I need to get to history of Magic. "
"Oh , no worries. You're welcome back into my bathroom anytime. "
" Thanks, Myrtle. " Harriet said smiling.

The next day brought a giant shock for everyone. Theo 's crush had been petrified and Harriet told her friends about Myrtle.
"She screamed in our faces!" Pansy said, "How are you suddenly chummy with her?"
"She's acctually pretty nice and she gave us a hint as too what might be in the chamber. Glowing yellow eyes, are there any snakes with glowing yellow eyes in the beastiary?" Harriet said.
"It narrows our search down to 14." Draco said, "Oh and by the way, does anyone know where Theo is?"
"Hospital wing with Cassie. " Blaise answered joining them.
"Who's Cassie? " Draco asked.
"Theo's crush, duh!" Pansy said.
"Oh..." Draco said. He scratched the back of his neck awkwardly. 
"How did you not know that?" Pansy screech - hissed at him.
Draco paled and held his hands up in surrender muttering an apology.
"Let's get to class," Harriet intervened before Pansy could hit him.
They ran towards Transfiguration as fast as possible. They flew to their seats. A moment later Professor McGonagall came in.
"Students settle down please. Today we are transforming powder boxes into pocket watches. The spell we will be using is Vigilate de pulvere . The wand movement is like so." She told them demonstrating the movement.  Some of the class copied her.
Then they got to work. Harriet managed it pretty quickly. Draco and Pansy managed it after 3 tries. Crabbe, Goyle and Blaise managed it in their own time. Weasel almost blew up his desk. Granger had finished around the same time as Harriet and was now talking to her.
"- and I think everyone should do their best." Hermione finished her sentence.
" I agree. I myself was raised by Muggles and I think it's such a waste of potential to not do your best in every subject. I really appreciate the chance I got to come to Hogwarts and I can't believe that someone would just give it up." Harriet said.
" I understand completely. "

That evening Harriet received a letter from Tom. It read:

Hello Harriet,
I hope you are well. I heard that the chamber of secrets was open again.
I do believe that was my fault. Apologies. I do believe my diary got into someone else's hands before yours.
I'm afraid that due to the fact that putting a piece of your soul into an object is dark magic and the results can lead to evil deeds if in the hands of anyone but the owner. Sorry I forgot to mention that.  Thank you for getting it back.
Don't worry, not all Weasleys are awful. Arthur and Molly hated Dumbledore nearly as much as I did and knowing them, they raised some pretty decent kids (with the exception of Ronald apparently ). I believe that his older brothers are a good choice of friends. They seem like our type of people.
Tom M. Riddle

Harriet stared at the letter. Perfect, just Perfect. She made a mental note to talk to the older Weasleys. She finished off her homework and went to bed. Her dreams were about as sweet as lemon juice. She kept dreaming of an angry, 16 ft snake. It was kind of cute acctually.

Chapter Text

The next day Harriet was walking along the corridor quietly.  The  castle seemed so empty given the fact that a lot of the students had gone home for the Easter holidays.  Harriet didn't want to disturb the peace.  She took her usual route past Filch's office where she met the Weasley twins.

" What did you do this time?" She asked cheerfully.
" We may have pulled something on Lockhart. " Fred began.
"It was his own fault really. " George added.
" Tell me about it!"Harriet commanded.
"Yes ma'am. " They said at the same time.
The began to tell her about how Lockhart had given all those who hadn't known his favourite colour was lilac a D. By the time they had finished describing his reaction to a bucket of every colored waterproof paint over his head, Harriet was almost in tears. She had often spoken to the Weasley twins before.  She liked them. They were funny and their pranks were hilarious. They were also very nice to her in contrast to some of the other Gryffindor students.  It was hard to believe that they were related to Weasel. After their usual exchange of prank ideas and weekly list of most hated teachers , Harriet walked on.
She had gotten a list of subjects to choose for the third year. She had already elected care of magical creatures and Arithmancy. She was so engrossed in the list she bumped into Percy Weasley. Again with Percy,  it was hard to believe that he was related to Weasel. He always offered homework help to the younger students and if they needed it he would tutor them.
" Hello Percy. " Harriet said smiling.
" Harriet, what can I do for you?" Percy greeted her, helpful, as always.
"Oh, I'm trying to decide on subjects for next year. Any hints as to what I should choose?" She asked showing him the list.
"I would choose Ancient runes, Politics and Muggle Studies in addition to what you have chosen. Also, maybe you could take Languages as well. It only teaches you the basics of all the magical languages but if they interest you , you can always continue them after Hogwarts."
"That sounds like a good plan. Thanks, Percy. Oh, erm ,can you help me with Defense against the dark arts . Lockhart can't teach to save his life and his classes turn into a monologue of how amazing he is very quickly."
"Of course I can do that." Percy said brightly, " It's good to know someone appreciates my efforts to help them."
5 hours and a ton of interesting defence against the dark arts teachings later, Harriet found herself sitting in the corner of the great hall with the 3 Weasley brothers, all telling her stories about themselves. In return she told them things about herself.

When she got back to the Slytherin common room that evening she wasn't suprised to find it empty. Most of the Slytherins had gone home to their parents. Harriet felt jealous and lonely. She grabbed a book and curled up in an armchair by the fireplace. She hated being alone. But then again, she tended to cut herself off from society. Society was boring. Almost everyone had the same opinion. She sought out those with interesting charachters and listened to their views. She enjoyed listening to other people. It was far more interesting than telling people about herself. Not that there was much to tell anyway.

She looked down at the book in her hand. Magical Serpants: A summary. She shrugged and began to read. A few chapters later, she got bored. This was the kind of book Theo would like. The boring one packed full with information one already knew. She placed it on the coffee table next to the armchair and looked outside the window. It was sundown. Harriet, having nothing better to do, started on her Easter holidays homework. Mentally, she cursed the teachers for even thinking to give them this much annoying stuff to do. Especially Lockhart. A 5 page essay on Gaddeling with Ghouls. She considered setting his robes on fire the next chance she got but decided against it. She didn't think Lockhart would know how to put them out and she didn't want to be held responsible for murder.

She went to bed at 10 o'clock.

Chapter Text

The rest of the Easter holidays dragged by. Harriet spent a lot of time with the Weasley twins and Percy.  The twins introduced her to Oliver Wood, the Gryffindor Quidditch captain,  with whom she spent hours talking about the different teams. Percy introduced her to diverse students of all houses and some prefects.  She quickly made sure she was on good terms with everyone.
The Hufflepuff seeker had introduced herself as Jiyu Burokami. She was from Tokyo and a was a friend of Fred and George Weasley 's . She often pulled them out of difficult situations.

Harriet sighed.  She was currently sitting in the Slytherin  common room waiting for her friends to come back from their time at home. Impatient , she tapped her fingers on the nearby table.
" Harriet!" Came an excited yell. Next thing she knew she was being hugged by Pansy Parkinson. It was more of a death lock to be honest.
"Hi....Pansy.....can't breathe!" Harriet gasped for air. Gently, Draco pried Pansy off of Harriet and hugged his best friend. He was glad to have her back.
Pulling back, he asked, "Anything new?"
"Besides the fact that I probably chose too many subject for next year, not remotely. " Harriet replied.
" What about the COS?"
"It was opened by Ginny Weasley, a Gryffindor first year. She was under some sort of spell when she did it. I know she doesn't remember anything. I know where the COS is. The only things I don't know are are what snake and how do we close it."
Draco sighed and scratched his forehead.
" Library then?"
"Library." Harriet confirmed.
After that Harriet and the gang spent every spare second in the library.  They took turns searching for answers seeing as they still needed to study for their exams.
Harriet was on top of everything and sorted everyone else out too. Suprisingly, it was Crabbe and Goyle who figured out the snake. It was a Basilisk. When they told the others they got some wierd looks before a small round of applause and a pat on the back from Blaise. Now the problem was that no book seemed to be able to tell them how to close the chamber.
Harriet turned to Tom.
She wrote:
Tom,
Sorry to bother you again. Do you have any idea how to close the chamber of secrets? We really need to know.
Thanks,
Harriet J. Potter
Hedwig grabbed the letter as soon as she arrived in the owlery, stopped a moment to be pet and then flew off. Harriet walked over to the window and looked out.  It was sunny. She hated it. Why was it sunny? Didn't the sky realize there was a killer snake on the loose? Of course it didn't.  It was the sky, not a pair of eyes. Harriet sighed and drew herself away from the window. Screw the bloody sunshine. Screw the chamber of secrets.  Screw everything that was wrong today.
Meanwhile, Theo was visiting Cassie in the hospital wing. He sat there unsure of what to do. I mean, how in the name of Helena were you to have a conversation with a petrified person? He sighed. This sucked badly.
What was he supposed to do now? Cassie was practically the Ravenclaw 2cnd year ringleader as she always said in reference to a song by Biffany Lears, or whatever the singer she'd mentioned 's name was. To be honest he didn't care. He just wanted Cassie to get better.
At the same time, Blaise, Crabbe and Goyle were sitting in the library trying to find answers to their problem. Considering that they rarely showed their faces in said room, they got some wierd looks. Draco Malfoy swaggered into the room, looked around and joined them in their search.
In the common room they all sat in silence around the fireplace feeling sorry for themselves. The couldn't find a single,  measly piece of information. Harriet angrily finished her homework. All of it. Then she stomped to bed and went to sleep hoping tomorrow would come as soon as possible, but quicker.

Chapter Text

A week went by and Harriet was starting to feel restless. It was like the universe wanted someone to die. Fuming she paced around the common room. Draco and Pansy were sitting in nearby armchairs glancing at each other worriedly. Harriet flopped down on the couch with elegance. Seriously, why couldn't they find the information they needed? Harriet wanted to punch something. Ugh! How dare the universe keep one miserable piece of information from her. In protest, she finished her homework with a neat flick of her quill. She rolled it up and shoved it in her bag. Then she made her way to the dormitory to go to bed.
The next morning she woke up to the flutter of wings and a white feather falling onto her face. She sneezed.
"Hedwig!" she cried leaping out of bed. She fed Hedwig a few owl treats and took the letter from her. It was from Tom.

Harriet,
I'm sorry but I don't know anything but rumors. Apparently someone has to die for the chamber to be shut.  Like a human sacrifice of sorts. The other option is another Basilisk to "replace" the old one. I suggest a young one. They're the most vicious and effective.  The 'eyes of death' wears off after a while. You're a parselmouth so you should be able to handle it. Sorry for the lack of helpfulness.
Tom Marvolo Riddle

Harriet stared at the letter. A human sacrifice or a new snake. Great. Just great. She wondered how the others were going to react.
Pansy's jaw dropped. Draco's eyebrows rose to his hairline. Harriet grinned sheepishly.
" How the hell do we get a Basilisk? " Pansy asked.
" We can always wait for someone to die..." Draco trailed off when both of the girls fixed him with a murderous glare.
" No one is dying." Harriet said firmly, "No one."
Draco just nodded, eyes wide.
Pansy rolled her eyes and said,"Well, I'll be going to the library to research the trade of magical creatures.  I'm pretty sure this Illegal though."
"When have we ever followed the law to 100 percent? " Harriet asked.
" Erm. I don't know. " Pansy said at the same time as Draco said, " Never. "
"Exactly! " Harriet exclaimed, "We didn't give a damn last year when we saved the philosopher's Stone! Why should we care now? We're doing the world some good aren't we?"
"Technically, it was just the school." Draco said.
" Whatever, meet you in the common room. " Pansy said walking towards the library.
Draco decided to head to the owlery and send a few 'contacts ' a letter asking if they knew how one could get their hands on a Basilisk. He disguised his intentions to acctually get one behind a very confusing series of sentences.
Meanwhile,  Harriet ,who had no idea how to go about this, wandered aimlessly around the castle thinking. She felt useless and she hated it.
She kicked a nearby wall. Pain shot through her foot. She hissed in pain.
"Morgana's Foot stench, OW!" she cursed.
" What 's got you in a fit?" Asked Jiyu Burokami.
"Stubbed my toe." Harriet replied.
"Want me to give you a pain killing spell?"
"No thanks."
"OK.  See you later."
" See you."
Jiyu rounded the corner. Harriet mentally hit herself. She could help her friends! She went to moaning Myrtle's bathroom. Myrtle was sitting on a sink wailing.
" What's wrong Myrtle. " Harriet asked.
Myrtle's crying ceased instantly and she started beaming.
" Harriet! It's nice to see you!"She exclaimed, " Don't worry, Peeves was just making fun of me. How's the murder investigation coming along?"
"Well, we found a way to shut the chamberof secrets but we need a Basilisk for it. I have no idea how to get one." Harriet replied in answer to the question. "
" Oh, if this was 1942 I could tell you about my uncle Billy Bradshaw who was a smuggler of illegal items. He was part of the smugglers gang 'the blue eagles'. Mabye he's still around! Then you could ask him!"
" I read about the blue eagles in the library. Honestly,  I think you might be onto something. Thank you!"
"Anytime. See you later. "
" Bye. "
Harriet went to the Library and looked up everything she could about the blue eagles. In 1/2 an hour her mind had formed a plan. She ran back to the common room to tell everyone of it.

Chapter Text

"You're insane!" Pansy shrieked at her.
" I don't know Pansy, this might work in our favour." Blaise said.
" I think we should give it a shot." Draco said.
" I'm in." Crabbe and Goyle said at the same time.
"You are all out of your minds! Smugglers usually ask for a large amount of money or something really extraordinary and Valuable in return for their services. " Pansy snapped.
" I've thought of that too. I collected a few Occampy shells from the forbidden forest a while ago. If we find a few other things that we don't need and are still of some value we can add those to the list of rewards." Harriet said.
" I have a few dragon scales from my trip to New Delhi over the summer. About 40 grams. " Blaise wrote that down on a piece of paper." How much do the Occampy shells weigh?"
"About 3 kg." Harriet said. Blaise put them on the list.
" I can offer a book of the dead from Alexandria. " Theo threw in. Blaise wrote that down too.
Crabbe and Goyle gave up an enchanted battle axe and Balmung. How they had gotten ahold of these, nobody knew or asked. Draco added a bottle of Des cauchemars sans fin. A potion that was made illegal in 1642. Pansy eventually added a puzzle box from South Africa. It contained an evil spirit. How the group of 12 year olds came by these objects, no one will ever know. Why? Well, they weren't placed in Slytherin and Ravenclaw for no reason. They knew how to keep secrets.
Together they wrote a letter stating their buissnes to the Blue Eagles and enclosed the list of rewards in the envelope. They sent it off with Hedwig. A few days later they got a reply asking about a checkpoint in Hogsmead. Harriet suggested the shrieking shack, Saturday night.  They agreed.
Saturday was coming quickly. Harriet had found a secret passageway that led from the Whomping Willow to the Shrieking shack. Draco had placed the "rewards " into a bag and had hidden them under his bed for the time being. Pansy, Blaise, Crabbe, Goyle and Theo had made a plan that allowed them all to sneak out of bed at the same time and head to the shack. Harriet, Draco and the rewards went throughthe passage first. Then Crabbe and Pansy, followed by Blaise, Theo and Goyle.
On Saturday night, Harriet stepped into a run down shack with Draco. The floorboards creaked slightly. They went into what would have been the living room. Inside were a few men and women who looked like a cross between Gypsies and a Biker gang. They had a blue eagle tattooed on their left forearms. They were also overly polite and bowed them in through the door. Crabbe and Goyle stood watch at the door. Blaise, Pansy and Theo stood back a bit. The snake and the rewards were handed to the respective people with best regards from both sides. The snake , which was undoubtedly a Basilisk, slithered up Harriet's arm and hung itself around her neck.
" I like you, kid." It said to her.
Harriet briefly smiled at it. They concluded buissnes with the blue eagles and left. Once she was back in the dormitory,  Harriet explained to the snake what was going on.
"Lemme get this straight,  there's this evil snake slythrin round here and you want me to get rid of it?" The snake said.
Harriet nodded.
" Kay kid. If we're partners I need to know your name and you need to give me one of my own. Also, I'm not livin in some chamber where I only get let out every 50 years or so, ya dig?"
"My names Harriet Potter.  I never said you had to stay in the chamber and as for your name, pick it."
"Make some suggestions and I'll tell ya if I like one."
"OK.  Sorry to ask this, are you male or female? "
" Female. Names now."
"Right. Tanith?"
"Nah, too posh."
"Lilo?"
"Too childish."
" Persephone."
"Hades, no."
"Konan."
"Too japanese."
"Laura?"
"Too common."
" errm...Akira?"
"I like it!"
"OK then. Your name is Akira. "
" Sweet.  Let's end this plumbing lover. What a start to our friendship!"
Harriet laughed. Soon the snake joined in.
" Erm. Guys? Could you mabye be quiet. I'm trying to sleep." Pansy said.
" Sure." Harriet chuckled and went to sleep. Her new snakey friend coiled up on the sheets at the foot of the bed.

Chapter Text

Two mornings later, Harriet was woken by a Basilisk demanding breakfast.

"Get up. I want my food!" Akira hissed.

Harriet startled and fell out of bed. she threw on her school uniform. She scraped her hair into a messy ponytail. Akira slipped into her bag, harriet picked it up and went to the great hall. Slipping into her seat she began piling things onto her plate. As she ate she fed Akira bacon underneath the table. By the time the others got there half the plate was gone. The gang helped themselves to porridge. No one wanted to get inbetween a hungry snake and her new favorite food.

After Breakfast they hid in a secret passage to plan their extermination of a very large rodent. No, not Scabbers, though Weasel's face would be more than worth it. They were talking about  the Basilisk. Akira told them to do whatever and leave the damn snake to her. Harriet translated.

In the end they agreed that they would take Lockhart with them.He was the Defense against the dark arts teacher. Even if he couldn't cast a spell to save his life, he would still make a 5 second shield. The opportunity presented it's self sooner than expected.

The news that Dumbledore had been kicked out by the board of governers reached them even sooner.

Suddenly McGonagall walked into the hall and went to stand at the teachers table.
  
"I have good news," she said, and the Great Hall, instead of falling silent, erupted.

"Dumbledore's coming back!" several people yelled joyfully. Harriet face palmed.
"You've caught the Heir of Slytherin!" squealed a girl at the Ravenclaw table.
"Quidditch matches are back on!" roared Wood excitedly.
When the hubbub had subsided, Professor McGonagall said, "Professor Sprout has informed me that the Mandrakes are ready for cutting at last. Tonight, we will be able to revive those people who have been Petrified. I need hardly remind you all that one of them may well be able to tell us who, or what, attacked them. I am hopeful that this dreadful year will end with our catching the culprit."
There was an explosion of cheering.

The gang could barely concentrate on their lessons. They waited desperately for the bell to ring. Instead, echoing through the corridors came Professor McGon agall's voice, magically magnified. 'All students to return to their House dormitories at once. All teach ers return to the staff room. Immediately, please. "

On their way to the dormitories the gang came across a broom closet and, on Harriet's signal hid themselves inside it, listening to the rumbling of hundreds of people moving overhead, and the staff room door banging open.  When everything was clear they listened at the door.
"It has happened," McGonagall told the silent staff room. "A student has been taken by the monster. Right into the Chamber itself."

There was a squeal of terror. Then Snape's voice asked, "How can you be sure?"

"The Heir of Slytherin," said Professor McGonagall, "left another message. Right underneath the first one. 'Her skeleton will lie in the Chamber forever. "'
Professor Flitwick burst into tears.
"Who is it?" said Madam Hooch, "Which student?"
"Hermione Granger," said Professor McGonagall, "We shall have to send all the students home tomorrow. This is the end of Hogwarts. Dumbledore always said. . ."
 The staffroom door banged open again. It was Lockhart.
"So sorry - dozed off - what have I missed?"
They heard Snape's voice again.
"Just the man," he said. "The very man. A girl has been snatched by the monster, Lockhart. Taken into the Chamber of Secrets itself. Your moment has come at last."
Lockhart blanched.
"That's right, Gilderoy," chipped in Professor Sprout. "Weren't you saying just last night that you've known all along where the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets is?"
"I - well, I -"sputtered Lockhart.
"Yes, didn't you tell me you were sure you knew what was inside it?" piped up Professor Flitwick.
"D-did I? I don't recall -"
"I certainly remember you saying you were sorry you hadn't had a crack at the monster before Hagrid was arrested," said Snape. "Didn't you say that the whole affair had been bungled, and that you should have been given a free rein from the first?"
"I - I really never - you may have misunderstood -"
"We'll leave it to you, then, Gilderoy," said Professor McGonagall. "Tonight will be an excellent time to do it. We'll make sure everyone's out of your way. You'll be able to tackle the monster all by youself. A free rein at last."

"Very well," he said. "I'll - I'll be in my office, getting getting ready."
And he left the room.

" OK, Harriet, recap of everything we know, killing method, other information.  Now please." Draco said.

"The basilisk kills people by looking at them. But no one's died - because no one looked it straight in the eye. Colin Creevey  saw it through his camera. The basilisk burned up all the film inside it, but Colin just got Petrified. Justin Flinch-Fletchley must've seen the basilisk through Nearly Headless Nick! Nick got the full blast of it, but he couldn't die again  and Cassie and that Ravenclaw prefect were found with a mirror next to them. Cassie had just realized the monster was a basilisk. I bet you anything she warned the first person she met to look around corners with a mirror first! And that girl pulled out her mirror - and -" Harriet trailed off.
"And Mrs. Norris?" he whispered eagerly.
Harriet thought hard, picturing the scene on the night of Halloween.
"The water." She said slowly. "The flood from Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. I bet you Mrs. Norris only saw the reflection ."
"And how is it getting around?" Pansy asked.
"Pipes," She said. "It's been using the plumbing. I've been hearing it's  voice inside the walls. The entrance is in moaning Myrtle's bathroom. The taps to be precise. We have everything we need. Let's get Lockhart and go."

Chapter Text

The Gang waited for the teachers to leave. Darkness was falling as they walked down to Lockhart's office. There seemed to be a lot of activity going on inside it. They could hear scraping, thumps, and hurried footsteps.

Harriet knocked and there was a sudden silence from inside. Then the door opened the tiniest crack and they saw one of Lockhart's eyes peering through it.

"Oh - hello -" he said, opening the door a bit wider. "I'm rather busy at the moment - if you would be quick -"

"Professor, we've got some information for you," said Harriet. "We think it'll help you."

"Er - well - it's not terribly -" The side of Lockhart's face that they could see looked very uncomfortable. "I mean - well all right -"

He opened the door and they entered.

His office had been almost completely stripped. Two large trunks stood open on the floor. Robes, jade-green, lilac, midnightblue, had been hastily folded into one of them; books were jumbled untidily into the other. The photographs that had covered the walls were now crammed into boxes on the desk.
"Are you going somewhere?" said Harriet.

  "Er, well, yes," said Lockhart, ripping a life-size poster of himself from the back of the door as he spoke and starting to roll it up. "Urgent call - unavoidable - got to go -"

"What about the girl in the chamber?" said Pansy jerkily.

"Well, as to that - most unfortunate -" said Lockhart, avoiding their eyes as he wrenched open a drawer and started emptying the contents into a bag. "No one regrets more than I -"

"You're the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher!" said Harriet. "You can't go now! Not with all the Dark stuff going on here!"
"Well - I must say - when I took the job -" Lockhart muttered, now piling socks on top of his robes. "nothing in the job description - didn't expect -"

"You mean you're running away?" said Harriet disbelievingly. "After all that stuff you apparently did in your books -"
"Books can be misleading," said Lockhart delicately.
"You wrote them!" Draco shouted.
"My dear boy," said Lockhart, straightening up and frowning at him. "Do use your common sense. My books wouldn't have sold half as well if people didn't think Id done all those things. No one wants to read about some ugly old Armenian warlock, even if he did save a village from werewolves. He'd look dreadful on the front cover. No dress sense at all. And the witch who banished the Bandon Banshee had a harelip. I mean, come on -"
"So you've just been taking credit for what a load of other people have done?" said Pansy incredulously.
"Folks," said Lockhart, shaking his head impatiently, "it's not nearly as simple as that. There was work involved. I had to track these people down. Ask them exactly how they managed to do what they did. Then I had to put a Memory Charm on them so they wouldn't remember doing it. If there's one thing I pride myself on, it's my Memory Charms. No, it's been a lot of work. It's not all book signings and publicity photos, you know. You want fame, you have to be prepared for a long hard slog."
He banged the lids of his trunks shut and locked them.
"Let's see," he said. "I think that's everything. Yes. Only one thing left."
He pulled out his wand and turned to them.
"Awfully sorry, folks, but I'll have to put a Memory Charm on you now. Can't have you blabbing my secrets all over the place. Id never sell another book -"

Harriet reached her wand just in time. Lockhart had barely raised his, when Harriet bellowed,"Expelliarmus!"
Lockhart was blasted backward, falling over his trunk; his wand flew high into the air; She caught it, and flung it out of the open window. The rest of the gang pulled out their wands. Well, except for Crabbe and Goyle,  who cracked their knuckles menacingly.
"Shouldn't have let Professor Snape teach us that one," said Harriet furiously, kicking Lockhart's trunk aside. Lockhart was looking up at him, feeble once more. Harriet was still pointing her wand at him.
"What d'you want me to do?" said Lockhart weakly. "I don't know where the Chamber of Secrets is. There's nothing I can do."

"You're in luck," said Harriet, forcing Lockhart to his feet at wandpoint. "We think we know where it is. And what's inside it. Let's go."
They marched Lockhart out of his office and down the nearest stairs, along the dark corridor where the messages shone on the wall, to the door of Moaning Myrtle's bathroom.
They sent Lockhart in first. Harriet was pleased to see that he was shaking.
Moaning Myrtle was sitting on the tank of the end toilet.
"Where exactly did you see the eyes? I mean, when you died you saw a pair of eyes. Where? " said Harriet.

 "Somewhere there," said Myrtle, pointing vaguely toward the sink in front of her toilet. She was smiling.
The gang hurried over to it. Lockhart was standing well back, a look of utter terror on his face.

It looked like an ordinary sink. They examined every inch of it, inside and out, including the pipes below. And then Harriet saw it: Scratched on the side of one of the copper taps was a tiny snake.
"That tap's never worked," said Myrtle brightly as she tried to turn it.
"Harriet," said Theo. "Say something. Something in Parseltongue."
" You could have woken me up when things started to get interesting ya know. But he's right. Start talking." Said Akira from around her neck. Lockhart looked ready to faint when he saw a mini Basilisk.
Harriet looked back at the copper snake, willing herself to believe it was alive. If she moved her head, the candlelight made it look as though it were moving.
 "Open up," she said.

Except that the words weren't what she heard; a strange hissing had escaped her, and at once the tap glowed with a brilliant white light and began to spin. Next second, the sink began to move; the sink, in fact, sank, right out of sight, leaving a large pipe exposed, a pipe wide enough for a man to slide into.
Harriet heard everyone gasp and looked up again. She had made up her mind what he was going to do.
 "I'm going down there," she said.
She couldn't not go, not now they had found the entrance to the Chamber, not if there was even the faintest, slimmest, wildest chance that Hermione  might be alive.
"Me too," said the rest of the gang and Akira simultaneously.
There was a pause.
"Well, you hardly seem to need me," said Lockhart, with a shadow of his old smile. "I'll just -"
He put his hand on the door knob, but Crabbe and Goyle grabbed him.
"You can go first," Blaise snarled.
White-faced and wandless, Lockhart approached the opening.
"Folks," he said, his voice feeble. "Folks , what good will it do?"
Harriet kicked him in the back and he fell in. They all followed. And then, just as they had begun to worry about what would happen when they hit the ground, the pipe leveled out, and they shot out of the end in a series of wet thuds, landing on the damp floor of a dark stone tunnel large enough to stand in. Lockhart was getting to his feet a little ways away, covered in slime and white as a ghost.
"We must be miles under the school," said Blaise, his voice echoing in the black tunnel.

"Under the lake, probably," said Pansy, squinting around at the dark, slimy walls.
" No shit Sherlocks. " Harriet snapped.
Everyone turned to stare into the darkness ahead.
"Lumos!" Harry muttered to her wand and it lit. "C'mon," She said to the gang and Lockhart, and off they went, their footsteps slapping loudly on the wet floor.
The tunnel was so dark that they could only see a little distance ahead. Their shadows on the wet walls looked monstrous in the wandlight.
It was quiet as the grave, and the first unexpected sound they heard was a loud crunch as Crabbe stepped on what turned out to be a rat's skull. Harriet lowered her wand to look at the floor and saw that it was littered with small animal bones. She gulped, thinking about what Hermione might look like when they finally found her.
Suddenly they froze, watching. Harriet could just see the outline of something huge and curved, lying right across the tunnel. It wasn't moving.
"Seriously, hello, 'tis just the skin of a snake. Bloody idiots. Get moving."Akira snapped after a while.
Harriet translated.
There was a sudden movement behind them. Gilderoy Lockhart's knees had given way.
"Get up," said Blaise sharply, pointing his wand at Lockhart.
Lockhart got to his feet - then he dived at Blaise, knocking him to the ground.
Harriet jumped forward, but too late - Lockhart was straightening up, panting, Blaise's wand in his hand and a gleaming smile back on his face.
"The adventure ends here, Folks!" he said. "I shall take a bit of this skin back up to the school, tell them I was too late to save the girl, and that you lot tragically lost your minds at the sight of her mangled body - say good-bye to your memories!"
He raised Blaise's wand high over his head and yelled, "Obliviate!"
At the same time, Draco yelled, "Expelliarmus!"
The spells exploded with the force of a small bomb. Harriet flung her arms over his head and ran, slipping over the coils of snake skin, out of the way of great chunks of tunnel ceiling that were thundering to the floor. Next moment, she was standing alone with Pansy, gazing at a solid wall of broken rock.
"Guys!" She shouted. "Are you okay? GUYS!"

Chapter Text

"We're here!"Draco yelled, "Theo doesn't look to good though. He's KO and bleeding!"
"Keep him alive. Put pressure on the wound. Try and move some of these rocks. Anything new on Lockhart? " Harriet called through.
"Lost his memory but fine. He's saying that this is a nice place." Draco called.
" We're going to find Hermione. Hold your position. " Pansy yelled.
" OK.  Good luck! " Blaise called back.

 Harriet and Pansy walked on. Soon the distant noise of what they assumed were Crabbe and Goyle straining to shift the rocks was gone. The tunnel turned and turned again. Every nerve in Harriet's body was tingling unpleasantly. She wanted the tunnel to end, yet dreaded what she'd find when it did. And then, at last, as she and Pansy crept around yet another bend, she saw a solid wall ahead on which two entwined serpents were carved, their eyes set with great, glinting emeralds.

 They approached. Harriet's throat was very dry. There was no need to pretend these stone snakes were real; their eyes looked strangely alive.
She could guess what she had to do. She cleared her throat, and the emerald eyes seemed to flicker.
"Open, "said Harriet, in a low, faint hiss.
The serpents parted as the wall cracked open, the halves slid smoothly out of sight, and Harriet, shaking from head to foot, walked inside. Pansy followed equally terrified.
They were standing at the end of a very long, dimly lit chamber. Towering stone pillars entwined with more carved serpents rose to support a ceiling lost in darkness, casting long, black shadows through the odd, greenish gloom that filled the place.

Her heart beating very fast, Harriet stood listening to the chill silence. Could the basilisk be lurking in a shadowy corner, behind a pillar? And where was Hermione Granger?

She and Pansy pulled out their wands and moved forward between the serpentine columns, back to back. Every careful footstep echoed loudly off the shadowy walls. They kept their  eyes narrowed, ready to clamp them shut at the smallest sign of movement. Then, as They drew level with the last pair of pillars, a statue high as the Chamber itself loomed into view, standing against the back wall.

What they saw made them feel sick. Hermione Granger was standing perfectly still in the centre of the chamber whilst a huge snake circled her. Her eyes were shut tightly.
" Leave the snake to me," Akira whispered, " You get bushy hair out of here."
"Be careful. " Harriet whispered back.
Akira slipped off her shoulders and slid towards the older Basilisk.
"OK , you big fat slug, Take this." She hissed and bit into the Basilisk's tail.
It snarled and whipped around hissing angrily. Akira darted away and shot off down some pipes. The Basilisk followed hissing angrily.
They waited until it was out of sight. Then Harriet and Pansy ran forward.
"Hermione, come on, let's get out of here! " Pansy yelled grabbing her arm and pulling her towards the exit. Hermione stumbled along, still in shock. Harriet followed close behind wand drawn,  eyes flickering in all different directions.

Meanwhile, Draco was pressing on Theo's wound. It ran down the side of his neck so it was difficult to stop the bleeding without choking him. Lockhart was humming happily and had no idea what was going on.
" Don't you dare think about dying dammit! You're one of us and we can't do without you! " Draco snarled at Theo angrily. Crabbe and Goyle managed to clear a passage in the rock wall. Draco kept checking Theo's pulse.

Pansy and Harriet rounded a corner dragging Hermione behind them. There was a flashof green. Harriet and Hermione snapped there eyes shut. Pansy looked up and stared into some big yellow eyes.

At the very same moment,  Theo's pulse seemed to stop.

" Dammit! " Draco cursed, a feeling of dread rising.

Chapter Text

A dead Basilisk dropped from the roof. Pansy's knees gave out. The girls breathed a sigh of relief.
" Gotcha! You acctually fell for that. You kids are hilarious! " Akira laughed slithering down from where the other(now dead) Basilisk had dropped and up around Harriet's shoulders again.
" Never do that again please!"Harriet said.
" OK, ok. I just thought you should loosen up before your friend dies from blood loss. If he's not dead already. " Akira said glumly.
"Merlin's foot! Theo!" Pansy shrieked.
" How many-" Hermione began.
" Shut up and follow us!"Harriet cut her off, racing down the passages back to where they had left their friends.
They turned corners and slipped through openings and then, finally, they saw the rock opening.
" Theo!" Cried Pansy, rushing to her injured friends side.
Harriet approached slowly. Lockhart was still humming.
Harriet shot him a glare.
" Shut up." She said and then hit him with a nearby rock efficiently knocking him out. Then she knelt down by Theo's side too. She placed a hand on Pansy's shoulder, trying to comfort her. She bit back her own tears. Slowly, she stretched out a shaking hand and placed it on his pulse point. Then, after a few agonising seconds, she felt it. She breathed a teary sigh of relief. When had she started crying? She didn't care. They needed to get Theo out of the Chamber. She signaled for Crabbe and Goyle to pick him up and carry him. Goyle hoisted Theo into his arms and began the slow, steep climb back up the pipe. The rest of them struggled back up with Lockhart.

When they reached the top of the pipe, Harriet turned towards the chamber and whispered, "close."
Immediately, the sink moved back into place and the Chamber of Secrets was shut at last.

When they arrived in the hospital wing they told the story that the monster had tried to attack them on the way to their dorms and Lockhart had saved the day. Tragically, however, he had lost his memory in the act. Everyone believed them. They didn't seem to take much convincing. McGonagall, Snape and Flitwick gave them questioning looks but didn't say anything.
They were all wrapped in shock blankets and gI've calming drafts. Some healers from St. Mungos arrived to take a look at Theo and do what they could.
The rest of the gang and Hermione huddled together in the corner of the hospital wing, waiting for some news on how he was doing. No one sent them away. They sat there until a healer came up to them. He wore a grim face. They all feared the worst until, "Your friend will live." The healer spoke calmly, "however, he will have a scar on his neck for life. It is estimated he will wake up next week. When he does, make sure he takes things easy, alright? "
The gang nodded and thanked him. They then sat with Theo for a whlie before Madam Pomfrey shooed them out of the hospital wing. Hermione bade them goodbye as they passed they passed the Gryffindor tower.
They walked on in silence. They paused in the middle of the courtyard to see what they thought was the most beautiful sunrise they had ever seen. The stood for a moment, just watching, before they hurried on towards the homely slytherin dungeons.

Chapter Text

The last weeks at Hogwarts were the best yet. The exams had been cancelled much to the gang's newest member's dissapointment. Yes, Hermione had joined. So had Fred and George Weasley. Percy and Jiyu also. Theo woke up in the Hospital wing and the first thing he did was stuff his face with sweets. The gang paid him lots and lots of visits and brought him lots of sweets. Slytherin won the house cup and the Quidditch cup. Oliver Wood suprised everyone by congratulating Marcus Flint in front of the entire school. Harriet was almost sure she had seen Marcus blush. Cassie had given Theo her a dress and told him to write to her over the summer. As soon as she had left he had leapt all over the deserted classroom the gang making sure he wasn't reopening his wound. The gang  had come up with a new name and we're now known as the Circlet. The gang of the Circlet consisted of Harriet, Draco, Pansy, Blaise, Theo, Crabbe and Goyle. The Circlet celebrated the last night at Hogwarts with a midnight feast consisting of Theo's leftover sweets, some cakes Fred and George had arranged and some homemade fudge from Percy (his mother had made it). Needless to say, they were very tired the next morning. They boarded the Hogwarts express together and got off of the train together, promising to write to each other. Fred, George and Percy introduced Harriet to their mother. Mrs. Weasley was a very nice woman who spent her time fussing over Harriet until the Malfoys arrived. Narcissa and Molly seemed to be very good friends.
Everyone left with their families saying goodbye to Harriet and sending her sympathetic smiles.  Harriet waited and waited outside the station. No one came. She sat there the entire day. When night came she took shelter inside and accepted the fact that no one was coming. Akira, who was still around her neck, did her best to comfort her.

A few hours later, Harriet was asleep in a completely abandoned station. The leaves on the platform stirred. She blinked her eyes open.

" Hello Harriet."
A familiar pair of dark brown eyes were looking at her.
" Tom!" Harriet exclaimed joyfully. She hugged him crying into his shoulder.  He had come to get her just like at the start of the year. After a while he hugged her back and apparated away.
Seconds later they reappeared outside a familiar iron gate. They were at Malfoy manor.
Narcissa and Lucius welcomed them home. Not in, home. Harriet broke down in tears of joy for the second time that night. This time it was Draco who hugged her.
The next day Narcissa bought her a whole new wardrobe consisting of Muggle and Wizard clothing. Harriet couldn't thank her enough. Tom had reattached the piece of his soul that had been in the diary to the main piece inside him. He seemed a lot more at piece than at the start of the year. Harriet felt happy for him. Professor Snape came to visit often in the following week and warmed up to the girl quickly enough. Soon he treated her like one might treat their favorite niece. He told her a lot about her parents when he visited and Harriet would listen for hours on end. She kept in touch with her friends as promised and decided that her life was now officially amazing.
She decided she couldn't wait for the following weeks. She loved it here. Malfoy Manor had become her new home.

Chapter Text

I, as an author who has been improving their skills over the years, am no longer happy with the way I wrote this and thus am rewriting the series. Some major changes will be made. The series, for now, is discontinued and will be completed via the new version.

Here is the link to the first part of the new series:
https://archiveofourown.org/works/19979674

I beg your forgiveness and understanding,

XOXO, Drachma