Disclaimer: I do not nor will I ever own the Harry Potter story, characters, villains, heroes and creatures. I also sadly do not make any money off this story. Trust me; my bank account cannot lie about that.
Thanks to Nancy for her help as always!
FLAMES OF BETRAYAL
Harry woke up several hours later to someone shaking him. He moaned in complaint and tried to hit whoever was shaking him. "Stop," he whined.
"Bloody hell, Harry. It's such a pain to wake you up," Ron exclaimed.
"M'tired," Harry slurred.
Ron chuckled. "I know, but if you want to leave Hogwarts, you need to wake up. Snape dropped off a couple of potions that you need to take. Hopefully, the energy potion he made will help you somewhat," he said.
"Snape? Git," Harry mumbled into his pillow.
Ron rolled his eyes. "Yes, Harry, Snape's a git, but you still need to wake up."
Harry rolled over and glared at Ron tiredly. "You know I hate you, right?" he asked with a yawn.
"Yep," Ron chirped cheerfully while he watched Harry sit up and leaned against the pillows. He handed one of the potions to Harry. The messy-haired boy took it and swallowed it down with a grimace. "Blah! Snape's potions always taste bad."
"True, but they'll help you," Ron said as he handed another potion. After he drank it, Ron handed him the last one and watched as he swallowed it down. Harry began to look a lot more alert and energetic.
"That's one thing I can be glad about. Once we leave, I don't have to take these stupid potions anymore," Harry commented gleefully.
The redhead smirked. "Wrong. It was strange really. When Snape dropped off your potions, he left a week's worth and basically told me to leave before the Headmaster could regroup. Apparently, our esteemed Headmaster is not a happy man. It's as we thought; he's going to try something. We need to be sure we're gone by then," Ron said.
Harry nodded his head, looking thoughtful. "Did you know Snape visited me before my trial?" he asked.
"No. Really? What did he want?" Ron questioned.
"He came to tell me that no matter what happened, he wanted me to know that he believed me innocent of the murders. He told me there was nothing he could do since he couldn't find any proof of who had done it. He told me that even though he thought I was an arrogant child, I wasn't capable of murder. Isn't it sad that the one man who is supposed to hate you, believes you over everyone else? I was grateful to know that someone else believed me. Even if it was Snape," Harry whispered softly.
"You know its funny, but after you were thrown into Azkaban, he no longer picked on me. He still picked on Neville and Hermione, but he left me alone. I had always thought that rather strange," Ron commented thoughtfully.
"Maybe he respected you for sticking up for me," Harry replied.
Ron and Harry looked at each other and burst into laughter. The day that Snape respected any Gryffindor was the day that he told Neville he was a master at potions. Whatever the reason for Snape's actions, they were appreciated.
"Come on. You need to get up and get ready to go. Dobby has his things and he's very eager to get going. Without the Invisibility cloak, it's going to be a lot harder to sneak out. I think the doors to the castle are locked now so I'm not sure how we're getting out. I'm sure Dumbledore has all exits watched," Ron said.
Harry's eyes had darkened at the mentioned of his destroyed cloak but he smirked at the comment about the doors. "Not to worry. I know a way out of the school that even the Headmaster doesn't know about," Harry replied slyly.
"Really?" Ron asked, an interested look on his face.
Harry nodded his head and got off the bed, walked into the bathroom and shut the door. Ron looked at the door curiously and shrugged. He would find out later. He checked his pocket for his items, making sure he hadn't lost anything. The shrunken trunk and the papers with the location of the castle on it were still in his pocket. He laid them down on the bed and searched his other pocket. He pulled out the thin box and the shrunken book that he had taken out of his vault and laid them down on the bed carefully.
The bathroom door opened and Harry came out rubbing his hair with a towel. He glanced at Ron who was staring at something on the bed. He walked up behind his friend and touched him on the shoulder. Ron jumped and whirled around. "Bloody hell, mate. You shouldn't scare me like that."
Harry laughed. "What has you soon engrossed?" he asked.
"I brought you something. I've been holding it in a vault for the last eighteen months," he replied, looking flustered. Ron picked up his wand and enlarged the book, grabbed it and gave it to Harry. The messy-haired stared at it, shock shining on his face. He glanced at Ron, "How?" he asked, his voice strangled.
"I took it out of the trunk before Mum...Molly decided to burn it. I tried to save the cloak, but Hermione had already taken it and destroyed it. I grabbed this because I know how much it means to you. These are the only photos you have of your parents. I know that it's priceless to you," Ron said quietly.
Harry had tears in his eyes as he looked at the photo album he thought had been destroyed. He opened it and found the picture of his parents holding him. He ran his finger along the faces of his mother and father. He closed the book suddenly, laid it down on the bed and grabbed Ron for a quick hug. "Thank you so much, Ron," he whispered harshly, the tears clogging his throat.
Ron gave him a hard hug and took a step back. He held onto Harry's arms and squeezed. "You're welcome, mate." He watched as Harry wiped the tears that had fallen. "Now, for the other surprise." He picked the thin box up off the bed and handed it to Harry.
Harry took the box and opened it. His mouth dropped open in amazement and disbelief. "Oh, Merlin. Ron, how in the hell did you get this? I saw it broken by Fudge after my trial," Harry said, shocked as he picked up his wand. He felt the wind move gently and the magic flowed over him. He knew wandless magic, but magic was much easier to use with a wand.
Ron smiled at his friend's happy expression. "I took one of the twin's fake wands and transfigured to look like yours. I replaced your wand right after you were arrested. I actually had Dobby's help with that. I got him to replace the wand that had been left in Dumbledore's office. It had been scanned to see what spells had been used. Since they had already confirmed that it was indeed the wand that was used to kill the students, they didn't need it. I asked Dobby to switch wands and then I took your wand and the photo album and placed them into a vault that no one knew about," Ron explained proudly.
Harry stared at his friend in amazement. "Ron, don't take this the wrong way, but that was damn Slytherin of you." Harry looked at him proudly. "You have got to be the best friend ever!"
Ron grimaced slightly at being called a Slytherin, but he didn't take offense. He knew Harry didn't mean it as an insult. He beamed with pride when Harry called him the best friend ever. Yes, he was indeed that.
"Dobby," Harry called out. The house-elf appeared before him. The glow that surrounded him was stronger. He glanced at Ron and asked, "Can you see the glow that surrounds Dobby?"
Ron looked at the house-elf and shook his head. "No, why can you?"
"Yes, I noticed it right after he made the oath. It was weak, but it was there. Now, it's brighter. It's a soft yellow glow with small streaks of greens and blues intertwined," Harry explained.
"Figures," Ron sighed with a roll of his eyes.
"What do you mean by that?" Harry asked, irritated.
"It sounds like you can see magic. It is not a rare ability, but it's not common. About two wizards out of thirty have the ability. Bill has it, which makes him such a good curse breaker. You can see the magic that surrounds magical creatures. Later you may develop the ability to see the magical auras of Wizards or objects. It takes time to develop. You may try to develop it later when you have the chance," Ron explained.
Harry looked thoughtful then nodded. "All right. Now, are we ready to go?"
Ron and Dobby nodded eagerly. "Right then, lets go." They turned to walk towards the door when Harry stopped. He looked at Ron anxiously. "What if the Headmaster put a tracking spell on us? He would know the instant we leave this room."
Ron chewed on his lips thoughtfully. "It's a distinct possibility. He was in this room several times today before I changed the password. I'm not sure how to get rid of a tracking spell."
"Dobby can check," the small house-elf piped up. "Dobby can see if there are spells on Harry Potter and Wheezy. Dobby has stronger magic now. Dobby needs it to protect Harry Potter and Wheezy," he said.
"All right, go ahead." Harry watched as Dobby's hand glowed softly as he waved it over Ron and Harry. Dobby looked grim and his eyes were squinted with concentration. He growled slightly, startling Harry and Ron. They looked at the house-elf, concerned. There was a sudden rush of magic, then Dobby's eyes widened. He waved his other hand and two mice appeared. Dobby waved his hand over the mice and froze them. He disappeared for a second then reappeared, looking satisfied.
He smiled at them happily. "Dobby found several spells. Dobby took them off Harry Potter and Wheezy. Dobby placed the spells on the mice then froze them and put them into Harry Potter's bed. The Headmaster shouldn't put spells on Harry Potter and Wheezy. Headmaster is a bad wizard," Dobby said with a growl.
Ron and Harry stared at Dobby with wide eyes. Ever since Dobby gave them the oath, he has become a different house-elf. He was a lot more aggressive and assertive. Harry liked the change, but it was something to get use too.
"Thank you, Dobby," Harry said. Dobby beamed up at Harry.
"Well, then, everyone lets go," Ron stated.
They walked out of the room quickly. They made their way down the hall, staying in the shadows. Harry glanced around corners to make sure that no one was in the hallways. He heard Ron comment about how much easier it would be to sneak out of the castle with the map and cloak. Harry felt a pang at the comment, but shook it off. They walked down several hallways and up a couple of stairs. They had finally reached the corridor that Harry had been looking for when they heard footsteps. They scrambled back into the shadows and waited for the person to pass. The dark figure was upon them and had just walked past when it stopped. The dark figure turned around slowly and growled out, "I don't know what you possibly thought you were accomplishing by sneaking out tonight, but I will be taking points and there will be detentions. Now, show yourselves."
Harry and Ron stayed still. They knew that voice. Snape had been roaming the halls, searching for sneaking teenagers. "I mean now, before you lose any more points."
Not knowing what to do they stood still before Ron sighed and walked forward, out of the darkness. "Evening, Professor. You can take all the points you want, but it won't do you any good."
Snape looked at Ron, a surprised expression on his face. "What are you doing skulking around at this time of night, Mr. Weasley?" he asked suspiciously.
"Taking your advice," Ron retorted.
Snape arched an eyebrow. "The doors out of the castle are several floors down. There's nothing on the floor that will get you out of the castle."
"Yes, actually, there is," a voice called from the darkness. Snape peered into the shadow trying to see who made the comment. Harry Potter walked out of the darkness, eyes alert and very much aware. "You just have to know how to get there."
The two men looked at each other for a few minutes before Snape sighed, irritation showing on his face. "I see you have recovered your awareness."
Harry smirked at his old teacher. "The rumors of my catatonic state are highly exaggerated."
Snape gave Harry a small smirk in return. "Meaning you were aware the whole time?" he inquired.
Harry gave a small nod. "Of course."
"How very Slytherin of you," Snape said coolly, hoping to get a reaction from the young man.
Harry smiled at him and replied, "Of course it was. I was supposed to be a Slytherin, you know. I had to argue with the Hat to let me be in Gryffindor. I had just met Malfoy," he said with a grimace.
Snape stared at Harry, shocked. "What?"
"You heard me. As much as I would like to discuss this, Ron and I really need to go before the Headmaster finds out we're not where we're supposed to be. Perhaps when time allows it, we can continue this conversation at a later time. Maybe you would like to come by for tea?" Harry asked.
Snape studied the young man before him realizing that Potter was serious in his invitation. "I look forward to it. Very well, then. Good night, gentlemen. I never saw you." He turned and walked down the corridor. He stopped a moment and turned back towards them. "I would like to know how you're getting out of the castle. All the exits are watched and the front doors are closed and locked."
Harry gave Snape a wicked grin and replied, "Not to worry Snape, I have a way to leave the castle that even the Headmaster doesn't know about. Let's just say that only I and one other can get open the door."
Snape looked at him in confusion then his eyes widened. He gave Harry a small nod. "Very well, Potter. I will be seeing you later." With that said, the man whirled around and stalked down the hallway, his robes flowing out behind him.
"Well, that was bloody bizarre," Ron commented as they began to walk down the corridor and Harry hummed in agreement.
"Why didn't you tell me we were going there?" Ron asked with a groan as he suddenly realized where they were going. Harry just grinned and the continued walking until they arrived in front of the door they needed. Harry opened it and walked in. The girl's bathroom looked the same from the last time he had been here. He looked around for Moaning Myrtle, but didn't see her. He made sure the door was shut and locked it when everyone was in.
"She asked to be sent to the other side," Ron commented.
"Huh?" Harry asked absently.
"Moaning Myrtle. She got tired of being a ghost, so she asked Dumbledore to send her to the other side. She no longer haunts the bathroom," Ron explained.
Harry walked over to the sink and stopped in front of it. "/Open,/" he hissed in Parseltongue. They watched as the sink moved and the opening was revealed. After a few minutes of staring, Ron commented warily, "I haven't been here since my second year. I bet it's going to be just as creepy."
"Not really. I cleaned it up some. I came back here many times. This was the one place where nobody could find me. I also investigated the Chamber, which is how I know of the exit from the castle. You ready?" Harry asked.
"As much as I'll ever be," Ron said with resignation.
Harry smiled brightly at Ron. "See you on the other side," he quipped before jumping down the hole and disappearing. Ron could hear his shouts of excitement. He looked at Dobby and asked, "Ready, Dobby?" The house-elf nodded vigorously and jumped down the hole. Ron could hear his squeaks of excitement. With a sigh, he jumped down the hole. He slid down the pipe at a high speed. He finally reached the bottom and stood up, swaying a little. He noticed Harry watching him with concern.
"You alright there, Ron?" Harry asked.
Ron waved off Harry's concern and looked around. He saw that the bones of the dead animals were gone. Harry must have gotten rid of them after one of his visits. It didn't matter though the cavern still looked creepy. He walked over to Harry and waved him forward. They walked past the pile of rocks that had fallen the last time Ron had been down here. He shivered at the memories of Ginny, Harry and that twit, Lockhart. They came upon a large, round seal that had snakes carved on it on it. Harry spoke in Parseltongue and Ron shivered. It was always freaky to hear Harry hissing like a snake. He watched as the seal opened.
Harry pulled the seal open the rest of the way and they all made their way in. The walked into the Chamber and Ron looked around. He hadn't ever been this far before. He noticed the large statues of snakes that were lining the long walkway. He followed Harry, who had begun to walk towards the front of the Chamber.
Harry glanced around the Chamber. It had been a while since he had been here, but nothing had changed. They came upon the large statue of Salazar Slytherin. Harry gave him a mocking salute and went past the statue to a corridor to the left of the statue. He walked down the corridor and stopped at a door. He opened the door and went inside. He waited for Ron and Dobby to appear. When they were all in the room, he waited and smiled when he heard Ron.
"Bloody hell, there isn't anything in this room. Why are we here?"
Harry snickered and walked up to a brick wall that had a snake emblem hanging on it. "/Reveal,/" he hissed. The brick wall disappeared and there was an opening to a dark corridor. "/Lights/," he hissed and the corridor lit up. Harry began to walk with Ron and Dobby following. It took them several minutes before they came upon a door. Harry hissed again and the door opened. The moved past the door and found themselves inside a cave. Harry turned and shut the door and with a hiss, locked it. With another hiss, the door disappeared.
Ron took out his wand and called out, "/Lumos/." Light filled the darkened cave.
"The entrance to the cave is just around the bend. After that, we can apparate to the castle. We are beyond Hogwarts wards now," Harry said.
"Before we go, I have a question. How does the entrance to the Chamber disappear? We left it standing open in the girl's bathroom. Dumbledore is bound to find it and know how we left," Ron said anxiously.
Harry looked at him a moment before grinning. He pointed towards the door that had disappeared. "When I closed and locked that door, all openings to the Chamber were sealed. There is no way for the Headmaster to get down here or to know that we used the Chamber to leave. Even the locking spell that I used on the bathroom door will dissipate in another hour," Harry explained.
Ron blew out a breath of relief. "Good. The less Dumbledore knows about what we do, the better," he said. "Come on. Let's go."
They ambled towards the opening of the cave before finally reaching the opening. They walked out and stood in what looked like a forest. It was dark, and the moon was shining brightly in the night sky. The wind was moving gently through the forest and one could hear the howls of wolves far off to the north.
Harry looked over at Ron with a hopeful expression. "You can apparate, can't you?" he asked and Ron nodded. "Good, because I can't. You'll have to apparate me to my castle."
"All right, but as soon as you can, you're learning how to apparate," Ron commented.
"Agreed." Harry looked at Dobby. "You can find your way, right?"
Dobby nodded his head vigorously. "Dobby can find Harry Potter wherever he is at now."
"Good. Ron and I will apparate first, then you follow." Dobby nodded in agreement.
"Ready, Harry?" Ron asked.
"Sure, why the hell not." Harry grabbed onto Ron's arm and waited.
Ron disapparated and reappeared in front of some castle ruins. Dobby appeared at Ron's side a moment later. Harry glanced around the area. "Where exactly is this castle located?" he asked as he poked around the ruins.
"According to the papers the goblin gave me, it's on the outskirts of Cashel. The muggles see nothing but ruins because of the wards that surround the castle. The rightful owner of the castle should be able to find the passageway into the castle," Ron explained as he looked around the ruins.
"Found it," Harry called from inside the ruins. Ron followed the sound of Harry's voice. He found Harry standing in front of a stone wall that had revealed a passageway. "I think this used to be a cathedral," Harry said as he pointed to the crosses that were engraved on the wall. They entered the passageway and felt the magic of the wards as they passed through them. They heard the wall slip back into place, once again blocking the way they came. They walked out of the passageway and stopped in surprise. There in front of them stood a large Irish Castle.
"Wow! It's not as large as Hogwarts, but it's still large nonetheless. Just think Harry, this belongs to you," Ron said excitedly.
Harry smiled at Ron's excitement. He looked over at the eager house-elf. "Dobby, I have to ask you something," he said.
"Yes, Harry Potter?" Dobby asked.
"Will you be our secret keeper?" Harry asked the house-elf.
Ron looked surprised before grinning widely. "Brilliant idea, Harry. No one would think of asking a house-elf your location," he stated excitedly.
Dobby eyes welled up with tears. "Harry Potter trusts Dobby?"
"Yes, Dobby, I do. I had planned on asking you before your oath. That was one of the reasons I wanted you to come with us. Since you gave us the oath, I knew I was making the right choice. Do you want to do it?" Harry asked.
Dobby nodded with joy. "Dobby would be honored to be your secret keeper," he squeaked out, his happiness obvious.
"Thank you, Dobby." Harry pulled out his wand and performed the Fidelius spell. They saw the castle waver in front of them. They knew the spell had worked. Dumbledore wouldn't be finding this place anytime soon.
Ron looked at Harry, confused. "Why is it you can do the Fidelius spell, but you can't apparate?" he asked.
Harry shrugged carelessly. "Dumbledore made sure I knew how to perform the spell in case I needed it for whatever reason. Of course, I don't think he thought I could perform it since it's a high level spell."
Ron snorted with annoyance. "This from the student who could perform the Patronus spell in his third year? Yeah, right."
Harry just grinned at him and put his arm around Ron's shoulder. He looked at the castle then back at Ron. "Well, Ron, me lad, lets go check out our new home." With that, the three of them walked up to the cobbled stone trail to the castle doors.
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