Categories > Books > Harry Potter > We're In This Together

Aftermath, pt II

by zugrian 0 reviews

A conversation with Dumbledore, a return to the Chamber, and Harry buries an old friend.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Humor,Romance - Characters: Dobby,Harry,Pansy - Warnings: [!!!] [X] - Published: 2018-08-24 - 5430 words

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.

Author's Note: This was originally supposed to be the second half of the last chapter, but the first part took me longer than I wanted to finish and after how long it turned out, I think breaking it in half was probably for the best. I wrote this part a lot faster anyway- three days for over 5k words is as fast as I've written anything so far.

The next chapter might take a bit longer as I am still trying to get everything in order. For now, enjoy!



The headline screamed out from the front page over a picture showing Harry and his draconic Patronus driving off the dementors that were swooping around the students in the Gryffindor section of the bleachers. He had to give it to Colin, it was a really well done photo. A good thing, really, that the boy had some talent. To be that attached to a camera and not have any skill with it would be pitiful.

It was breakfast, and many people were reading the Daily Prophet for news about the dementors. It seemed that the word had gotten out about the near tragedy. For once, people were paying attention to the students of Hogwarts and how they had been endangered. 'About damn time,' Harry thought to himself. 'It would have been nice to not have had to deal with the basilisk nearly single-handed last year.' He still found it hard to believe that Dumbledore couldn't have figured out something about the basilisk when Hermione had as a second year, and despite having been there when it was opened fifty years ago. Maybe the old man was getting senile?

The good news was that the dementors were being recalled to Azkaban that day. The bad publicity of the attack on the school was enough to over-ride the decisions by the ministry's Department of Terrible Ideas, and Harry was very thankful. He would not be persuaded that there wasn't such a thing after what he'd seen this year.

It turned out that the lone auror who had been in Hogsmeade supposedly overseeing the dementors had been attacked and had his soul sucked out before the creatures went on the rampage and headed towards the school. Whatever spells or magical items the ministry had to keep those monsters under control clearly weren't strong enough. That was a pretty terrifying thought.

Harry cleared his mind with happier thoughts of how the rest of his weekend had gone. Pansy had talked him in to finishing all of his assignments for the week and spent extra time in bed, following Pomfrey's advice. It probably wasn't what the healer would have called rest, but it sure did make him feel a lot better. Pansy took very good care of him. It was almost enough to make Harry wish he would need to save her life again. Better not to tempt fate though, he had learned.

Honestly, he wasn't even that upset about the loss of his Nimbus 2000. He had plenty of money to buy a new broom anyway.

The thought of money did bring another thing to mind. Christmas was little more than a month away. He was planning on spending the break not at Hogwarts for the first time, which sounded fun, but he wondered what they should do about presents. Money wasn't an issue for him, but the money that actually belonged to Pansy was very limited. After all, her parents were never going to give her any more, and he worried about problems developing between them in the future over it. He remembered one of the only times the Dursleys had argued about something in front of him and naturally it had been about money. Greedy bastards. Vernon and Petunia had spent more than they intended on a trip (which of course they didn't take Harry on) and had to scramble to have enough to buy Dudley thirty some presents for his birthday. As Harry remembered, the little ingrate had broken half the toys within a week.

Seeing such awful behavior had taught Harry's subconscious a lesson, even as the boy had sadly wished they would give him a single present half as nice as what they spoiled their brat with. Wealth clearly did not bring happiness. He didn't think Pansy could buy him anything as precious as what he already had with her. Regardless, a frank discussion about money was probably a good idea sooner rather than later. Even if they argued about it, Harry would rather get it out of the way now than to have a fight looming somewhere in the future.

He already had her birthday presents planned. One of them he knew she would love. Another was maybe a bit silly, but he hoped that she would enjoy it anyway.


It was two days later that Dumbledore summoned him to his office after dinner.

Pansy suggested he go alone. They agreed that the headmaster probably wanted to talk about the dementors and Harry's Patronus, which meant that he should not encounter any problems. Neither of them trusted Dumbledore completely- whatever games he was playing with allowing Snape's ridiculously atrocious behavior were still going on, although admittedly, the greasy bastard had avoided any more confrontations with Harry recently. He still was completely biased against everyone not in Slytherin and Pansy had heard through gossip (aka Patil and Brown) that he had covered up for at least three different fights that Slytherins had started with Gryffindors, taking points and assigning detentions only to those students not in his own house.

Sadly, McGonagall had once again not done anything to help her own students in any of these cases. Pansy was appalled by this, but Harry was used to it by now. He had been told that his house was to be like a family; Gryffindor's parent didn't seem to actually care enough about her charges to stand up for them. MacGonagall wasn't abusive, but the neglect and unfair punishments were far too familiar for both Harry and Pansy.

Harry forced himself to focus on dealing with Dumbledore as he once again approached the guardian statue blocking the stairway up to the headmaster's office. Ice mice were not a magical treat that Harry cared for, but Dumbledore seemed to have quite a sweet tooth.

"Welcome, Harry, please have a seat."

"Thank you headmaster."

"I wanted to congratulate you for recent events. First off, conjuring a Patronus at thirteen is an extraordinary accomplishment. Without your timely intervention, I might not have been able to save everyone. I admit to being disappointed that none of the other teachers were at the ready to deal with the dementors. I had been dreading such a thing happening for months now."

"I understand and feel the same, professor Dumbledore. As soon as I heard about them and Black this summer, I started work on learning the spell. With my luck, I just knew that something was bound to happen. And after running into one on the train at the beginning of the year...

"Well, what happened at the quidditch match was just the other shoe dropping, so to speak."

"Indeed. I am glad that you are more driven this year; it certainly has paid off so far. However, I was wondering why exactly your demeanor has changed so much. I take it something having to do with the events of the Chamber last year?"

This was what he really wanted, Harry suddenly understood. A look into his mind. He could not tell Dumbledore too much, as there were still things he had not fully decided, and how much he needed to hide from the headmaster was one of the most important things. Harry decided to tell bits and pieces and skirt around some of the darker corners.

"The Chamber of Secrets had a lot to do with it. But so did everything that happened with the Philosopher's Stone. Two years in a row, I had come close to dying while playing the hero."

"I do not think you were merely playing the part, Harry. You have shown courage far beyond your years. I'm sure your parents would be quite proud."

'That was a low blow,' Harry thought and a small part of his mind prayed that the old man wouldn't try to bring up Lupin. He looked across the room at Fawkes, which would be a good distraction and give him a chance to calm down. Harry got up and walked over to the phoenix.

"Thanks for saving me last year, Fawkes."

The bird trilled out a calm, happy sequence of notes as Harry scratched his feathers.

"Anyway, professor, I realized that if I was going to survive much longer that I would need to work harder. Other students might be able to just be students, but it seems fate has decided that I will have a lot more on my plate than next week's Charm to learn or the Transfiguration essay I still need to finish."

"That is understandable, Harry, although I do wish that you didn't feel such pressure, especially at your age."

"If I didn't feel such pressure, we might be short more than a few students today."

"Indeed, that is sadly true. Thankfully, your speech seemed to do just the trick. Convincing the ministry to have the dementors withdrawn to Azkaban might be an even bigger accomplishment."

"I agree."

"Yes, dealing with the government and politics is never an easy thing. I hope you'll remember that in the future."

Harry thought that was a bit much, considering all the varied titles and jobs Dumbledore held. He could certainly hand off some of that power to others if he really wanted to- and the fact that he didn't, even while complaining about it now to Harry, was very worrying. Harry's distrust spiked up, so he turned back to give Fawkes some more attention.

"Can I ask about your summer, Harry?"

"What exactly are you asking, sir?"

"When I found that you did not return to your family, I was most worried."

Harry did not respond to this. It wasn't a question after all, and he had learned a few tricks from Pansy. He waited for the old man to say more. Besides, it would not be a good idea to start yelling about those scumbags.

"I spoke with your friends, Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger, trying to find out where you might have gone. The Weasleys in particular were most displeased once young Ronald told of the Dursleys having bars on your window. I am most sorry to have heard of that. How safe did you feel in your new home?"

"Safer than I had ever felt before."

"Really? Even safer than here at Hogwarts?"

Harry gave him a look of sarcasm in response.

"We did just go over the Philosopher's Stone, the Chamber of Secrets and now the dementors, sir." Harry was able to hold in more biting comments, but it took much of his resolve.

"True." Dumbledore let out a sigh. "I would prefer that you had gone back to your family. There was powerful protection in living with someone of your mother's blood. As you should remember from what happened in your first year."

"That protection was not worth it."

"I think you are very wrong about that, Harry."

"Well, you didn't grow up being treated like a slave, so I don't really care what you might think." The headmaster looked pale and shocked.

"Was it really that bad?"

"You should just be glad that I don't have a desire to kill muggles like Tom Riddle did. It hasn't escaped my mind that we both were orphans treated very badly in the muggle world. I've heard that orphanages weren't very pleasant, especially decades ago, but I would have gladly traded places with Riddle."

Albus Dumbledore sighed again, and when Harry looked over at him, he seemed much older than usual. The merry twinkle in his eye was gone for once.

"Well, with you not returning over the summer, the protection has failed by now anyway. I am sorry to hear that they treated you so badly."

Harry wasn't sure if he could believe him, not with what he knew, but he nodded in response and looked back to Fawkes to try to calm himself. He noticed the sword of Gryffindor in a display case and thought again of the basilisk. He rubbed his forearm without even realizing it.

"I plan on giving you an award for saving your fellow students this weekend. Saturday night at dinner, please be on time."

"I can do that professor."

"Well, it is getting late. Thank you again for your excellent work with the Patronus."

"It was my pleasure sir. Good night, professor."

As Harry left his office, Albus Dumbledore wondered how wrong things might have gone and how far his mistake may have pushed the young man to a much darker path.


Saturday night came and went. Harry was still not completely comfortable with being the center of attention. His years with the Dursleys had taught him that making himself as inconspicuous as possible was the best path- being in the spotlight meant violence and yelling. He was struggling to overcome that conditioning.

Pansy, as usual, was a godsend. She rewarded him with an excellent end to his Saturday night in bed. She was becoming very adept at reading Harry's mood and knowing just what to do to help him relax. Even on the rare occasion when sex wasn't the answer.

He woke up in her arms, for once. He remember falling asleep with his head on her breast, suckling like a babe post-coitus. He licked and kissed her nipple that was still right in his face as his eyes opened. She moaned sleepily, but once awake, they spent an hour enjoying each other before eventually showering and preparing for the day. Pansy had convinced him that showering together was not a good idea if they wanted to actually, you know, get clean and go about their day. Not that that stopped him from trying to get her to join him as often as possible.

"Hey Pansy, do you have anything planned today?"

"No, why?"

"I'm feeling anti-social after being stared at last night."

"Of course you are. And?"

"And I had an idea for us to do something else today."

"This better not be an excuse to spend the whole day having sex."

"Getting tired of me already?" The twitch of his lips into the beginning of a smile made her shake her head. She knew she would pay for that remark.

"We just don't need an excuse. I assume you had something else in mind."

"Oh, I do," he said as he approached her. He unwrapped the towel she had around her and pulled her over toward her bed. "But, you know, we rarely spend any time in your bedroom, so I think we need to rectify that first."

"Harry, we just got cleaned up."

"I know, and you should be thankful that I'm not making you waste any time get dressed and then undressed yet."

She closed her eyes and moaned as he lifted her onto the bed that barely ever saw any use, with his mouth trailing kisses down her chest.

"Besides, we're going to be getting a lot dirtier."

His hands were already doing all the things she liked, so she did not bother to complain. It would be easier, not to mention more fun, to just let him have his way. And after all, girls had hormones too.


An hour later...

"Why exactly did I have to dress like this?"

Harry snorted with amusement at Pansy's distaste for being told to wear her something grungy. He hadn't told her yet of his idea for the day, and he found her frustration delightful. It would almost certainly make spending the night with her more interesting. But also, he thought it would be worth it to see the surprise he had in store for her and her reaction to it.

Once they were in an empty corridor, he threw his invisibility cloak over them and led her to an unused girl's bathroom.

"Are you feeling kinky today?" she whispered as he led her inside.

"Not any more than usual," he said with a laugh.

"Who's there?"

"Hi, Myrtle," Harry answered as he removed the cloak.

"Oh, Harry," she blushed. "You came back to see me."

"Yes, how are you today?"

"Just thinking of death," the morose ghost said.

"Naturally," Harry said with a smile. "If you didn't hear the good news last year, I killed the basilisk that was partially responsible for your death down in the Chamber."

"What do you mean, partially responsible?"

"Do you remember Tom Riddle?"

"Oh yes," she said with a dreamy look on her face. "He was such a handsome boy. A Slytherin prefect, but I wouldn't have held that against him, if you know what I mean."

"Yes, well, he was the one controlling the basilisk, so..."

"Oh no. Why do you have to crush my dreams Harry?"

"Sorry, Myrtle. Would it make you feel any better to know that he grew up to become Voldemort?"

The ghost shrieked and disappeared back down the toilet.

"Was that really necessary?" Pansy looked over at him and saw Harry smirking.

"Probably not," he said as he walked over to the sinks and hissed at them. She had forgotten how unnerving it was to hear him speak Parseltongue, but it also sent a strange shiver down her spine.

Harry took off his robe and called for Dobby.

"Could you take our robes to our quarters then come right back, Dobby?"

"Yes, master Harry!"

Pansy handed him her robe as well. Harry smiled at her clothing choice. The long skirt and top were not nearly as nice as what she usually wore, but Harry had a feeling she was still going to be annoyed with how filthy they were going to get very soon.

And of course, just the thought of getting filthy with Pansy started a reaction that even that morning's activities couldn't prevent. Ah, teenage hormones.

Dobby returned a moment later and Harry stood over the hole that had appeared where the sink had been a few moments ago.

"Pansy, Dobby, you two will be the fourth and fifth people to see the Chamber of Secrets, probably since the time of Slytherin himself."

Even with as little care she had towards most of her house, this thrilled Pansy.

Harry drew his wand and cast a Scourgify down the hole.

"Wait a few seconds before following me." Harry slid down the tube before tumbling out. He tried to time a cushioning charm before he landed but wasn't quite quick enough. He did get one up before Pansy came out behind him. He helped her to her feet and they heard Dobby squealing with joy as he came down last.

"That was so much fun master Harry!" Harry actually giggled a little bit at the elf's glee; for one thing, it was such a ridiculous contrast with the last time he was down here. But for another thing, he had to agree with Dobby, although he probably enjoyed the cart ride at Gringotts more. Harry would have to remember to take Dobby with him the next time he went there.

"Glad you liked it Dobby. I'll probably need your help soon down here."

Harry led them through the tunnel before coming to the place where Lockhart had caused a partial cave in. Dobby was fast to get to work, removing rocks and debris. Harry and Pansy both helped, but the house-elf was a master at this sort of thing and his humans' efforts didn't bother him too much. There was a lot of work to do here, enough in fact, that Dobby didn't mind sharing.

Soon, they were moving further through the cavern, past the shed snake skin that made both Pansy and Dobby stop.

"My god, Harry. That basilisk must be huge," Pansy said.

"Yeah," he answered, not bothering to mention that the actual snake was at least fifty percent longer than this old shedding.

"Dobby could harvest the shed snakey skin. The skin of the real snakey will be even better."

"I suppose that it could be good for all sorts of potions and things like that."

"Definitely, Harry," Pansy added. "Basilisks are incredibly rare, and this one was probably the biggest ever if it really was around since Slytherin's time. I didn't even know they could live that long."

"Me neither. In a way, it's a shame I had to kill it. It would have been interesting to speak to, you know, under different circumstances."

"Now I know why you like Hagrid so much," Pansy snorted.

"Mostly because he was the first person who was actually nice to me that I can remember. Well, and because he cursed my fat bastard of a cousin with a pig's tail when he ate the birthday cake Hagrid had brought for me."

"That would have been amusing to see. Anyway, we should see what condition the basilisk is in. The venom is nearly priceless if some is still left."

"That makes sense," Harry replied as he saw the door to the Chamber proper coming into view. "It was what I had to use to kill Riddle's diary."

He hissed 'open' once again and led the way inside with his wand raised and a Lumos to help guide them. They got closer, and Harry knew exactly when Pansy could see the remains of the basilisk- she dug her fingernails into his arm as she stopped walking.

"It's alright, it's dead now," he assured her. He lifted her chin to look up at him, breaking her stare away from the monster's corpse.

Suddenly, she was kissing him madly.

"Promise me you won't be fighting any more monsters like that." Harry chuckled in response.

"I promise I will only be fighting monsters if absolutely necessary."

"Good enough, I suppose." Pansy walked forward, her brief moment of terror rescinding as she began studying the basilisk more carefully. "Dobby, what can you tell us about this thing?"

"Dobby sees much work to do! Dobby can skin the snakey, Dobby can drain the snakey poison, Dobby can butcher the meat. The bad snakey's eyes are all clawed up; Dobby can't do anything with them."

"Be very careful with the venom Dobby," Harry warned.

"Dobby will master Harry!"

Harry wondered if there was anything out there that didn't excite his little friend.

Pansy noticed him rubbing his arm absent-mindedly.

"Show me Harry."


"Your arm," she pointed to what he was doing and he stopped and rolled up his sleeve. He held his wand with his other hand and showed her the scar from where it pierced his forearm. It wasn't a particularly large thing, just a faded circle, but six months ago it very nearly killed him.

He then noticed that they were nearly standing where it had happened. The broken fang lay on the ground a couple of feet away; the black ink still stained the floor.

"I think I've had enough of this place," Harry said.

"Dobby," Pansy called him over to them, his eyes still lit up in excitement about dealing with the huge snake's carcass. "Can you take us back to our quarters from here?"

"Yes miss Pansy."

And with that, Harry once again left the Chamber of Secrets behind.


"I'd like to thank you all for coming." Harry looked around at his the gathering of Gryffindor students. All of his year mates had joined him, as well as the quidditch team, and a hand full of others. Pansy was there too, of course, standing in the back, surreptitiously watching the gathering. Harry noticed her holding her wand in her palm, much of it hidden up her sleeve. He'd have to remember to ask her about that.

Dobby had dug a small hole in the ground here, near Hagrid's hut. He had absolutely refused to let Harry help. Harry was 'to be doing the speakings while Dobby's doings the fun dirty work' and the elf was not budging on this.

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to lay to rest an old friend of mine," Harry said as he lay the pieces of his Nimbus 2000 into the dark wooden box that was serving as a make-shift coffin.

"This broom brought me much good luck. Our team was undefeated when I used her. But more than that, the last 3 years she and I faced danger together in all three matches we played against Slytherin. First year, we had Quirrel hexing us in the middle of the game. Second year, a rogue bludger was trying to smash us."

No one but Pansy noticed Dobby looking ashamed of himself. Even Granger wasn't paying attention to the little guy.

"Unfortunately, the fraud Lockhart made everything even worse after the game. Some day I'll have to pay him back for vanishing all those bones." People laughed at that, but Pansy recognized that Harry actually did feel anger at that buffoon. His betrayal at the end of the year had put Harry in even more danger. The fact that he had tried to steal Harry's memories made Pansy want to break into St. Mungo's and do some real harm to the bastard, regardless of his lost memory.

"Finally, we came to this year. Dementors, of all things, decided to try to interrupt the game and do terrible things to all of us. My trusty Nimbus 2000 paid the ultimate price on that day. But I think we are all glad that she was the only loss any of us suffered. Her sacrifice was not in vain.

"I will think of her fondly, even in the future when I find a new girl to ride in the quidditch matches." Some students were laughing, others were just blushing at Harry's risque comments. He noticed Pansy had cast some sort of spell behind the backs of at least three of the people gathered there, so Harry decided to carry on before anyone saw her.

Harry turned and levitated the coffin into the hole. It was only a couple of feet deep, but then even dead brooms didn't decay the same way a corpse might.

"Farewell, dear lady. May you find peace flying in the skies of broom heaven. Amen."

One of the Weasley twins stepped forward and poured out a butterbeer over the gravesite after Dobby had filled all the dirt in.

"It's a muggle tradition," the older boy said, "but I wasn't willing to waste fire whiskey."

People laughed at that and Wood immediately went over to Harry, asking him about when he would get a new broom. Harry promised to go shopping over the holiday break and was going to milk that excuse for as long as possible. Wood had reluctantly not scheduled any practices since the game, and with the weather worsening, the rest of the team had been secretly thanking Harry whenever their obsessed captain wasn't around to over hear them. The next match wasn't for three months anyway.

The gathering began making its way back inside with butterbeers passed all around and the Weasley twins sharing a flask they kept offering to the chasers. Harry thought it would have been better to give a snort to Wood, who could have used something to take the edge off. He dropped behind most of the group walking slowly with Pansy fairly easily. It was a cloudy late November day, and even though it was just after lunch, the wind was picking up, blowing quite cold.

"What were you casting?" he asked her in a whisper.

"Just checking something. I'll tell you later."


"So," Harry was trying to slow his breath from panting. He had convinced Pansy to warm up in the most fun way possible, and now they were sweaty and naked in bed. "What was with the spells you were casting on people at the funeral?"

Pansy chuckled, "I still can't believe you got that many people to go to a funeral for your broom."

"Well, she was a great broom. And I might have a bit more sway than usual after the whole Patronus driving off the dementors spectacle."

"That's true, and that's related to what I was doing. Remember what I said in the hospital wing? I think everyone at the quidditch match owes you their souls after saving them from the dementors."

"Dumbledore might have been able to save everyone with his Patronus though."

"He might have, but you were faster Harry. I'm sure he helped. But I was checking on my theory."

"Which is?"

"That everyone there now owes you a life debt."


"And I'm pretty sure that I'm right. At the very least Patil, Brown, Thomas, and Longbottom do. I didn't bother checking Granger or the Weasley girl, as they already did. Thankfully, as everyone was going inside, I was able to check Johnson too, she owes you one as well, even though she wasn't in the same area. This could be really useful in the future."

"Wow, that's..."

"I know."

"We need to check people in other houses."

"Especially Slytherin."

"Right, if Malfoy owes me one..."

"Narcissa was there too. She might even know; that could be why she was inviting you to her New Year's Eve party. Getting into your good graces to help protect her family."

"We'll need to think about this. Carefully. This should mean we're even safer while we're here at Hogwarts."

"Yes. Now, if we were just as safe everywhere else."

Harry looked over at her, and saw a dark look in her eye. She was thinking of her father again. He could tell. He had meant to do this earlier. Part of him was anxious. Another part just wanted to get it over already. He would ask Dobby tonight.


It was late when he felt Dobby prodding him with his long fingers. Harry stirred awake and slowly pulled his arms away from Pansy. He paused and listened for a moment to make sure he hadn't disturbed her sleep, then he followed the elf out into the sitting room.

"Were there any problems, Dobby? No one saw you or anything, I hope."

"No master Harry. Dobby was most sneaky. But Dobby found a problem."


"Dobby couldn't find Leddy. Dobby checked the whole house, all the rooms. No house-elf trace was even there. Dobby worries what could have happened to Leddy."

"Shit. What about Pansy's parents?"

"Miss Pansy's mean daddy was there sleeping. But miss Pansy's mum wasn't there either. Dobby looked everywhere."

"That's really not good." Harry took a deep breath and looked into the fire.

"I should have sent you weeks ago, Dobby. This might be all my fault."

"No, master Harry. Master Harry is good. Getting miss Pansy safe was good. Bad old mister Parkinson's being bad is not master Harry's fault."

"Thanks, Dobby, but..." Harry just didn't have it in him to argue right now.

"Are you tired Dobby?"

"Not at all, master Harry." Looking over, Harry could see his friend seemed pretty wired. It must have been pretty exciting sneaking around like a spy. Harry was just glad he got in and out safely.

"Would you like to have some tea with me? I could use the company. I'm going to need to think for awhile."

"Dobby would love to have tea with master Harry." The elf went to the kitchen and Harry sat back with his thoughts. A few minutes later, Dobby sat on the couch next to Harry after handing him a cup of tea.

"You're sure nothing you did set off any alarms or anything Dobby?"

"No, master Harry. Wizards don't be making alarms for house-elves."

"That's very foolish of them. They underestimate you."

"Well, Dobby has probably told master Harry more secrets than Dobby should. Most house-elves don't tell their masters a lot of things."

"It's probably just as well for us then." He took a drink of his tea and stared into the embers of the fire. "Pansy is worried Dobby. About her father. About him trying to hurt us. But I'll never let him hurt her again."

"Dobby knows and Dobby will help master Harry."

"You're a good friend Dobby. I've got a plan, and I think I know what I'll need for you to do..."
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