Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Luna's Hubby

The Heir of Slytherin

by Meteoricshipyards 7 reviews

The fallout from Luna's kindness to a snake.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Sirius - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2006-08-07 - Updated: 2006-08-07 - 4875 words - Complete

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Many thanks to Moine Green and Kaetti for beta-ing.

Chapter 9 The Heir of Slytherin

Later in the evening Harry was brushing Luna's hair in the common room. The dueling club fell apart soon after Luna had left. It seemed that Lockhart had lost his audience, and nothing he could yell would bring the focus back on him for any length of time. Harry left, hearing a lot of people whispering, "Loony's the heir of Slytherin!"


"Yes, Luna?"

"It's snowing outside. Do you think anyone will care if I put the snake in Greenhouse 2?"

"If it stays hidden, it shouldn't matter. I suppose we should tell Professor Sprout, just so she's not surprised by it."

"OK. We'll tell her tomorrow during class."

As they were talking, Harry slowly began to notice that very few other people in the common room were talking, and a lot of them were looking at Harry and Luna, and not in a friendly way. Harry noticed Hermione sitting not too far from them, and got her attention. She came over to them.

"Hermione, do you know why everyone is looking at us?" Harry asked.

"Probably because no one knew Luna was a Parselmouth. And with what was written on the wall when Filch's cat was petrified, some people think that Luna is the heir of Salazar Slytherin. Slytherin was a well-known Parselmouth. It's supposedly hereditary in his family."

Luna looked at Hermione for a moment, seemingly deep in thought.

"No," she finally said. "I'm pretty sure Mum or Daddy never said they were related to Slytherin. Or any of the other founders, either. But I'm not a Parselmouth."

"But everyone heard you! You hissed at the snake and it coiled around your arm." Harry noticed the whole common room seemed to be listening to this conversation.

"It was a spell. I'm not a Parselmouth normally. And now I think the spell has probably worn off, so if you were to bring in a snake now I wouldn't understand it until I cast the spell again. Harry . . . ."

Harry interrupted her, "I know it too. We learned it from a Dryad."

"So you could teach this, and anyone would know?"

"Yes," Harry answered, "But we'd need a snake or turtle or something here to know if you got it right."

"Why a turtle?" someone else in the room asked, proving that the conversation was of interest to everyone.

"The spell is like Parseltongue, but it's not exactly the same. It gives you the ability to talk to any reptile. But you don't know if it works unless there's something there you can test it on."

"Will you teach me?" Hermione asked.

"Sure, once we have a snake or something."

A few of the other students had drifted closer. "What was the Dryad like?" one asked. Luna seemed in her element telling the other children about the people they met on some of their trips.

- - -

The next day Hogwarts was snowed in, and the last Herbology class of the year was canceled. The story of the spell seemed to spread as quickly around the school as the story of Luna speaking Parseltongue. Harry and Luna kept repeating the explanation that if you weren't actually talking to a reptile, you spoke English. They related a story of when they tried to use the spell to keep secrets from Luna's parents, but just as you couldn't tell that you weren't speaking English when you spoke to a snake, you couldn't tell that you weren't speaking Parseltongue when they spoke to each other.

The next day was Saturday, and the Hogwarts express wouldn't take them home until Monday, so the first and second years' study groups met in the Great hall to get their holiday homework done. They took a long break in the afternoon to play in the snow, and a couple of students got detention from Filch for dripping water on the floor. The rest quickly used a drying charm (or learned it right away). Those that didn't have detention met again after supper. As they were breaking up, Harry asked Nott to teach him the Serpensortia spell. He agreed, if Harry would teach him the Parseltongue spell. Harry agreed, but delayed for another time. It had taken Luna more than an hour to get the spell right, and it was too close to curfew.

While Nott and Harry were talking, everyone else had left the Great Hall. They walked out, still talking about the the two spells, heading for the Entrance Hall where Nott would take the stairs to the dungeons, and Harry would take the great staircase to the upper levels, to eventually make his way to the Ravenclaw tower. The Entrance Hall was not empty, and as they came to it, they hid out of sight in an alcove.

Dumbledore and Lockhart were near the large, oak front door to the castle. There were several elaborate and expensive looking trunks lying around.

"You can't fire me! I'm an honorary member of the Dark Forces Defense League!"

"I'm an active member, and it wouldn't stop the Board from firing me if I didn't do my job."

"You'll never find anyone with more experience fighting monsters than I have."

"That is neither here nor there, although your qualifications have been questioned. . . ."

"If you are talking about that anonymous letter that was sent to my publishers. . . ."

"It wasn't anonymous, Gilderoy, it was written by a first year who researched some of your statements."

"So I stretched the truth a little! You have to, to sell books."

"We are not selling books, we are teaching children, and you have failed to teach the students how they can protect themselves. I just hope it's not too late for those taking NEWTs and OWLs this year. Now please leave, I believe a carriage is here to take you away."

"You'll regret this Dumbledore! You'll hear from my solicitors!"

"I'm sure I will. Goodnight, Gilderoy."

Lockhart went out the door, his luggage floating after him. Dumbledore shook his head, and walked up the grand staircase.

"Well, that was interesting," Harry remarked.

"About time," Nott added.

"If I don't see you on the train, have a good Christmas, Nott."

"Hey, Lovegood? Why don't the first years hate Slytherins like most of the rest of the school? Why don't you hate Slytherins like most of the rest of the students?"

Harry thought for a second before answering. "I think you have the question backwards. The question is why shouldn't I like Slytherins like any other house? Why do the other students hate Slytherins? I was friends with Draco before he became a Slytherin. He's the same person. I still like him. Mike's a good guy too, even though I didn't get to know him until after he was sorted. I think once you get past the house, and get to know the people you see that the Slytherins are just people, just like anyone else in the other houses."

"So, do you think we should get rid of the houses?"

"Get rid of them? No. They're useful. But I think people let them become too confining. And people buy into ideas that aren't true about them. 'Slytherins are evil.' Well, they aren't. I know for a fact that Draco and Mike are good guys. 'Gryffindors are noble and good.' I know for a fact that one of them was a traitorous murderer in the war against You-Know-Who. So, ignore what people say about the other houses. Get to know them, and let them get to know you, and you might find out that people don't hate Slytherins, but only what they thought Slytherins were like."

Nott went towards the dungeons with a thoughtful look, and Harry hurried up the stairs.

- - -

Sunday was exhausting for Harry and Luna. In the morning Nott taught them the snake spell, and they tried to teach everyone in both years the Parseltongue incantation. Strangely, it was three Muggle-raised who learned it first -- Mike, Tim Vale who was a roommate of Harry's, and a Hufflepuff Mary Shrake. Tim, after speaking with Mike and Mary, thought that it was because all three of them had had musical training before coming to Hogwarts. Tim played the trumpet, Mary played piano, and Mike had voice lessons and sang in a choir. Their ears were probably better tuned to pick up the variations in the hissing.

Five other students were able to cast the spell, but only with Harry or Luna incanting the hiss so they could copy it. Two Gryffindor first years, Jayne Cooper and Brian Poster learned it by heart, though. As they broke for lunch, people were commenting on the irony of the most anti-Slytherin house learning the spell.

After lunch was a humongous snow ball fight. It started with just the first few years, but soon included most of the students. They started out building four snow forts, one per house, and it grew from there. The Hufflepuffs were situated closest to the school, and thus were lacking in snow. They started the escalation by getting older students who could create snow to join the battle, supplying ammunition. The other houses quickly followed suit. When the Weasley twins tried to melt the Slytherin fort, all three other houses banded together against Gryffindor. After a few hours, the students were ready to go in. Harry and Luna were soon in the middle of a much larger group than they had that morning, and after they went in (a group of upper class Hufflepuffs stood by the doors casting drying charms on everyone entering the castle) Harry found himself with about sixty students who wanted to learn to speak to reptiles. They met in the Great Hall, and the twins arranged with the Hogwarts house elves to move the Gryffindor table away from the fireplace, get cushions and rugs for people to sit on around the fire, and an endless supply of hot chocolate for anyone who wanted it.

Harry and Nott summoned a few snakes, and Harry and Luna went around trying to teach the spell. Luna tried, but Harry had to admit she was a terrible teacher. She started at the end or in the middle, and filled in the rest in a haphazard manner, almost guaranteed to confuse the listener. Harry had her stop trying to teach and just continuously repeating the incantation for groups of students. Harry went around too, and slowly more and more students got the incantation correct. He wasn't sure how many would get it right the next time they tried. He had them keep practicing anyway. As it was getting close to dinner (and the enchantment that created or brought the snakes there ended and they disappeared) the students started singing Christmas carols.

Mike Daly, Muggle-born, was reminded of a comic strip his grandfather had shown him. The characters were a bunch of animals from a swamp in the U. S. ('New World' Harry said to himself) that were singing Christmas carols the same way -- singing the parts they knew, and making up the parts they didn't. As dinner time came, the teachers broke up the gathering (which had only increased throughout the afternoon) and the school had it's final feast before Christmas break.

- - -

The train ride home was without incident. Everyone was excited about the upcoming holidays. Luna and Harry were happy to be going home. Once there, they had a very busy holiday. There were presents to buy and then wrap; decorations to put up; people to visit; and big dinners to make and clean up afterward.

The first gift that Harry and Luna gave was to Willow the Dryad. They gave her a glass ball for her tree. However, they couldn't get the plant spirit to understand the tradition of decorating a tree.

The family had a Christmas Eve celebration. Luna's uncle Ollie and Mr. Croaker were also there. Aunt Sibyll, who despite being a professor at Hogwarts, Harry had never met, was also invited, but turned down the invitation.

On Boxing Day the Lovegoods went to Sirius' house for what had become an annual event. Hermione and both her parents were there, as were most of the Weasleys (Bill was in Egypt, and Charlie was in Romania and didn't come), Neville and his Grandmother, Narcissa and Draco, and Remus Lupin. There were three other people there that Harry hadn't met before: Andromeda and Ted Tonks, and their daughter Nymphadora, who insisted that people call her Tonks. Harry and Draco suppressed their laughter as they watched her pale face redden when her mother called her 'Nymph.' However, they found out that she knew some of the hexes that Harry had been working on countering in his defense class when he called her that. The look in her eye told him to take her threat seriously when she warned him not to call her that again. The twins didn't believe her, and ended up without elbows for about an hour. Not being able to bend your arms in the middle is rather limiting, Harry realized.

At one point, Draco got Neville, Luna, Harry, and Hermione alone in a room.

"Well, it's time for me to try to bring you around to the pure-blood way of being a bigot," he started.

"And what does this have to do with me?" Hermione asked, a little icily.

"I just wanted to point something out to you. If pure-bloods ruled, and the Muggle-born weren't invited, you would still be smart, right? And you'd still be leading your class, but it would be a Muggle school, right? So really, you'd be doing almost the same thing as you do now, only without magic."

"But I like magic!"

"Yes, but if you had never hear of it, you wouldn't know that you like it, would you? So you'd be just as happy as you are now. So, guys," he started addressing the other students, "if the pure-bloods were in charge it wouldn't really affect the Muggle-born."

"I object!" Hermione said, forcefully.

"So do I! I'm half-blood. What about us?" Harry asked.

"No, wait a minute, Harry, Hermione," Neville said. "I think Draco has given us all something to think about seriously. Let's go back to the party, and we can discuss this another time. We'll be along in a minute Draco."

They watched the Slytherin leave.

"Do you mind explaining what that was all about?" Hermione asked.

Neville complied, "His father is forcing him to try to convert us to his pure-blood way of thinking. Draco doesn't agree with it, but if he doesn't talk to us about it, he'll be punished. So now he can truthfully tell his father he talked to us, and what we said, and his father will tell him to keep trying, because we haven't told Draco that we reject his ideas. It doesn't hurt us to listen, and Draco doesn't get punished."

"Is it that bad at his house?" Hermione asked.

"His father can't stand to be in the same house as Muggles or what he calls Muggle-lovers, like Sirius or the Weasleys. I think it is that bad for Draco."

Hermione mused, "His mother seems nice."

"Yes, she does," Neville said, and headed back to the rest of the party.

Once again the party finished with a huge game of exploding snap. Harry, many players away from Luna at the magically expanded table, noticed that she wasn't winning. He watched a bit before realizing that she was losing on purpose.

After the party was over, Harry and Luna sat in the parlor of the Meadow drinking hot chocolate before the fire. Harry asked Luna about losing at cards.

Luna explained, "I don't think the game would be as much fun for everyone else if only one person kept winning. Did you see how happy Ron was when he finally won? And the twins when their cheating let them win a game?"

"Does everyone know that the twins cheat?"

"I think most people do. They only really try to stop their parents from noticing."


"It was funny when Tonks got mad at them."

"Yes. Wonder why she made her hair pink?"

"I don't know. It was strange magic, though."

"Really? I would assume it was just a transfiguration."

"Well, yes, and no. It's like your animagus magic. It's part of your aura. Her transfiguration was part of her aura. It wasn't a spell, it was inherent."

"So, you think she can change other parts of her appearance?"

"Yes. But it's like your animagus, or my Sight -- it's just something that's part of us, but we can't really share."

"Oh! I forgot!" Harry exclaimed. "I was going to ask Sirius about becoming an animagus!"

"We'll write him a letter." Luna had a thoughtful look on her face. Harry waited.

In the hall, Selene paused to look at the kids. They sat on the love seat, talking, drinking hot chocolate, seemingly enjoying each other's company. She was content. So far nothing had come between them. She called to them.

"Harry, Luna. I'm going to bed. Bank the fire when you're done in here, and don't stay up too long."

There were a pair of "good night" and "we won't." Selene went upstairs.

A few minutes later, Luna turned to Harry and said, "Harry, I was thinking about that diary. It's intelligent, and we think it possessed Liz and forced her to petrify the cat, or get Slytherin's monster to do it. . . ."


"So I was thinking that it was more dangerous than the others, and we probably should get rid of it sooner rather than later. While all the objects are black, that one has intelligence, too."

"That makes sense. Shall we toss it in the fire?"

"We can, but I think it's warded against it. We can try, though. Either it will work or it won't. There's no danger in trying."

Harry went to his room and was down with the book in short order. They looked at each other, and he tossed it into the fire. They watched it for about 10 minutes, then Luna said, "Well, it's warded, but at least now I can see which ones are the protection from fire. When we go back to school we need to learn as many fire spells as possible so we can remove that ward. But we have to be very careful not to open it!"

They removed it from the fire with the poker, banked down the fire, put their dirty dishes in the sink, and went to bed.

- - -

While Harry was very happy with all his gifts, he was particularly interested in the book on wand making and enchantments that Uncle Ollie gave him. Along with a lot of practical aspects of wand making, it explained the theory of enchanting items. Harry and Luna read and re-read it, and discussed how it might apply to their collection of dark artifacts. As with most things they learned, it led to more questions than answers. They made sure that Harry packed that book when they got ready to return to Hogwarts.

- - -

Sirius took a big breath, reached for the doorknob, and pulled back his hand as if burned. He tried again, and this time succeeded in getting the door open. He had to be crazy to take this job. Admittedly the Christmas party had a lot of people in it, but he knew each and every one of them. (Well, except for Mr. Granger; he hadn't met the man until the Boxing Day party. But he was the only one!) Now they expected him to face a crowded roomful of strangers? To be honest, it isn't anything he hadn't faced before. But that was before years of torture in Azkaban! Years of solitary confinement without seeing another human being!

He forced his legs to keep carrying him. While he wasn't totally familiar with this area, he had been here before. And it wasn't that large. He was soon in a familiar corridor, heading down a well known stairs and finally down the grand staircase of the Entrance Hall. He headed towards the Great Hall and his pace slowed. The doors were open, and sound came flooding out. It was like a physical barrier -- and as he got closer and the noise got louder he had more and more trouble making forward motion.

He reached the door and looked in. There were more people there than he had seen since Azkaban. He couldn't do it. He couldn't go in there. He fled. It appeared like he was just walking away, but he knew that he was in full retreat. What had he gotten himself into? How could he teach all those strangers!

- - -

Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, stood and addressed the student body.

"As you are probably aware, Mr. Lockhart is no longer a professor here at Hogwarts. Starting tomorrow we will have a new Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor, a former Auror -- Mr. Sirius Black."

There was a lot of murmuring around the hall.

Harry turned to Luna, with a smile on his face. "Sirius! This will be great! Hopefully we'll actually learn defense. And we can ask about becoming an animagus!"

Luna had that dreamy look on her face that Harry associated with her illness around the time that school started.

"Yes," she answered, "I think this will be very good for him."

"Uh, Luna? Are you alright?"

She focused on him. "Yes, I'm fine. I want to go to bed. I'm tired."

- - -

The next day, Monday, the Ravenclaw first years had Defense. They eagerly headed from breakfast in the Great Hall to the Defense classroom. There they found Professor Black already in the classroom.

"Hello, Sirius!" Luna called out as she entered the room with Harry.

"Hello, Luna. But while we're at school, I'm afraid that I have to insist that you call me Professor Black."

"Hello, Professor," Harry called happily.

"Hello, Harry," Sirius called back. Luna and Harry got some strange looks from Nancy Bixler, one of her dorm mates.

"You know Sirius Black?" she whispered.

"Oh, yes. He's a friend of the family."

"Before or after he was acquitted?"


"Oh, that's alright, then."

Sirius called out, "Take your seats, everybody!" interrupting the conversation. "It seems we have a lot of catch up to do. Traditionally, first years learn -- either in class or out -- a set of hexes to use on your friends. We will be learning them and the counter curses. Yes, uh, Mr. Lynch?"

Tom Lynch asked, "Why do we need to learn the hexes? Isn't this defense against the dark arts?"

"None of the hexes you will be learning will qualify as dark. As to why you need to know them -- you'll need to know them so you can practice the counter curses. Good question, by the way.

"Now, let us begin with the tickling charm. How many of you know it? About a third. Can I have a volunteer? Thank you, Luna. Let me show you the spell, then I'll show you the counter curse, then I'll cast it on Luna, and cast the counter."

He pointed his wand at a blank wall, and said, "/Rictusempra/." Sirius realized that something was wrong. The spell didn't cast, and suddenly he knew that this whole job thing was a mistake. He looked to where someone was coughing.

Harry, seeing that Sirius was looking at him, stopped coughing and quickly went through the wand motion for the spell, keeping his hand in front of his body, thus blocking most students from seeing what he was doing. Sirius saw the motion, and took a big breath.

"Sorry, it's been a long time since I've done that spell. Probably haven't used it since school -- doesn't have a lot of practical uses, really. Let me try again. Rictusempra!" He accompanied the incantation with a circle, twist, and jab motion. This time a beam of light sped from the wand into the wall.

"And the counter goes like this!"

The lesson continued. Luna did indeed get the giggles when the spell was cast on her. She was just the first, as everyone got multiple chances to cast the hex, and cast the counter curse.

By the time the class was done, Sirius felt much better. Luna, Liz, and Harry stayed behind for a minute, and Sirius thanked Harry for his assistance, giving Ravenclaw some points in the process.

"Professor," Luna said, "can you teach Harry and Liz to be animagi like you?"

Sirius' eyes widened. "What makes you think I'm an animagus?"

"Your aura. It has the same animal magic as Harry, and Liz, and Scabbers, who turned out to be Mr. Pettigrew."

"Well, I can probably give you some pointers -- all theoretical, you understand."

Harry answered, "Thanks, Professor! That would be great. We haven't made much progress, since all the books about it are in the Restricted Section."

"Well, we'll just see about that. I may know one or two that weren't. At least when I was here. Now you better get to your next class."

- - -

After the first class, Sirius wasn't as anxious about the other classes. There were some problems with the Slytherin classes, but with some quick shield spells, and a number of points (and one detention for a sixth year) he got through all his classes over the next few days. It was a lot of work, but once he got past the stress, the work didn't bother him. He still had trouble going to the Great Hall for meals. That was too much for him.

When the Deputy Headmistress explained about detentions in the astronomy tower for upper class sudents caught in the broom closets, he told her he was a bit surprised. Actually, he was flabbergasted. He agreed with the rules, and that only other professors who knew about it were Flitwick and Sprout, and the need to keep it that way.

He also spent some time in the library, and did find the books that the Marauders used to learn how to become animagi. He stressed to Liz and Harry that it was dangerous, and they should learn a lot more Transfiguration theory before they attempted to change. He helped with finding books about that, too.

- - -

A few days into the new term, Harry was accosted by a large group of older Slytherins. One particularly large (and ugly) seventh year, Marcus Flint, their Quidditch captain, acted as spokesman.

"Lovegood! You know a Parseltongue spell?" he demanded.

"It gives you the power to speak to all reptiles, yes."

"We want you to teach us."

Harry looked around. He was completely surrounded by people who seemed two to three feet taller than him. There was no escape, except one. He took it.

"Sure. How about this Saturday after breakfast in the Great Hall. I'll get Mike Daly and Tracy Davis to help, too." Arrangements made, Harry was allowed to go.

The lesson went similar to the last. A lot of repetition of the Parseltongue phrase to a complete set of the fifth, sixth, and seventh years Slytherins, some people getting it, some giving up in disgust after a while, the snake insulting their accent. In the end, Mike and Harry guessed that less than a third would be able to cast the spell correctly after a few days.

They had regular refresher courses for the first and second years in their study groups. Throughout the rest of the school year Harry, Luna, Mike, Tim Vale, and Mary Shrake would be accosted in the halls for quick reviews of the hiss needed to cast the spell. Only the original three, and Luna, seemed to be able to keep the incantation in their heads. Harry, of course, knew it because he was a Parselmouth.

- - - -

But the strangest class Harry taught was to a group of professors. At the request of Professor Flitwick Harry, Mike, Tim, Mary, and Luna tried to teach the Headmaster, Professors Snape, McGonagall, Flitwick, Vector, and the Runes instructor how to cast the spell. Everyone except McGonagall eventually got it successfully cast, but only Flitwick was able to keep the hiss pattern in his head to cast it a second time without help. Snape left angry when the conjured snake responded in as insulting manner as Snape had addressed it. His mood wasn't improved as he heard Luna scolding the snake for using such language, and the other professors laughing.

After that, though, Harry never again heard anyone claim that Luna was the heir of Slytherin.
- - - -

As the weeks passed, the fear caused by the attack on Filch's cat disappeared. Mr. Filch was still very angry, and the littlest thing could get you detention, but the students were quick to learn to stay out of his way. The consensus of the school was that the whole thing was a prank. The destruction of the rumors that Luna was the heir didn't hurt either.
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