Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Heir of Blood

The Chamber is Opened

by ShadeDancer 0 reviews

Chapter 5

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Blaise Zabini, Harry - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2005-10-20 - Updated: 2005-10-20 - 6061 words

Disclaimer: I own nothing!

"Look Blaise" Harry said Monday morning as Ciara flew in "looks like Dad and Trevor sent us a package."

Expertly Ciara landed between the two friends and held herself in dignified stillness so that Blaise could untie the package from her talons, all the while eyeing the bacon in Harry's hand. The two friends exchanged amused glances and began to feed the raptor owl from their plates before the now content familiar settled down into her master's lap. It appeared that Ciara did not feel like going back to the owlery just yet and had decided that Harry's lap made a good perch for a nap. Awkwardly Harry shifted around his familiar and plucked the envelope with his name from the top of the package.

Suddenly Harry gave a low whistle and passed his note to his friend "check this out Blaise."

My dearest son,
I have sent you a package full of candy and...other fun stuff. If you get caught I have no idea where any of it came from and you better not either. I hope you are studying hard and I miss you terribly. It's just no fun visiting people without you there beside me. But anyhow, the true point of this letter, we tested the forces the other day for loyalty using a trick Trevor knew. The Dagger Vasile is one of your kind and will be very happy to help your tutor with your studies this summer. Blaise will also be happy to know that the Wolf Nara has also admitted to being a muggleborn witch. Two of the guards have knowledge that a wizarding world exists from relatives, but that is it, and one of the household staff is a disinherited squib. It's a bit disconcerting to know that they have been under our noses all this while, but at least none were disloyal. Keep up your training and we shall see you over the holidays.

Harry and Blaise exchanged looks; things had just gotten a bit more interesting in the Darkov clan.

"I'm glad I'm not the only witch at the house anymore" Blaise grinned "I was feeling outnumbered there for a bit. It's just too bad none of the other Wolves know about the wizarding world."

Harry nodded as he riffled through the package his father had sent them, knowing he didn't have too much time to do so before class. He wanted to see if there was anything in there he could use against Lockhart. His mind was also going over the implications of the letter. The Daggers were the most deadly of the Darkov forces, highly specialized, and it was a bonus for one to be a wizard; hopefully that number would swell to two when Bill finished his apprenticeship under the Daggers. The Wolves were also a specialized ground, higher ranking than the Guards and composed of all women. That wasn't to put down the Guards though. The Guards were more than capable and most all of them had some sort of military training, they were just more geared towards open confrontation than the other two groups. Harry's eyes lit up, he had just found the perfect thing.

"Come on Blaise" Harry said with a smirk, nudging Ciara to make her take flight "let's put this in the dorm and then head to class. We don't want to be late."

~~ ~~ ~*~

By the time Potions rolled around people were still laughing about their Defense class that morning. It appeared that Professor Lockhart had been suffering from a severe flatulence problem that morning. Of course the whole fiasco had nothing to do with the remote control hidden in Harry's hand and an interesting spell possessed by the Slytherins that allowed electronic devices to work in areas of high magical concentration; the pureblooded Slytherins might not be fond of muggles and muggleborns but did acknowledge that some of their inventions were worthwhile. Professor Snape swept into the room, robes billowing out behind him, causing instant silence to reign in the room.

"I have heard of the...distasteful problem of your Defense professor" Snape began "but I will not have you sitting in my class discussing it when there is work to be done. You will be brewing a swelling solution today. Begin!"

Harry and Blaise shot Severus a disgruntled look as they passed by him for the ingredients they would need. They were still upset with him for commandeering their whole Sunday for training. They had started with their usual morning work out, but had progressed from there to working on dueling strategies and spells way beyond what they would learn in second year. Severus had also worked with them on any classwork they had needed help with before setting them to helping him brew minor healing potions for the hospital wing. The lessons wouldn't be so bad if they weren't already so far ahead of the rest of their classmates. Trevor's pre-Hogwart's tutoring had set them ahead for first year as had the extra studying they had done during their first year. Then they had continued to keep ahead in their studying during the past summer. It really was a shame that they couldn't skip grades in Hogwarts as they had in their muggle schooling, classes just weren't a challenge for them right now.

"I think it's time we start thinking up the perfect prank to get our dear old head of house with" Harry grumbled to Blaise "we've let him off the hook long enough."

~~ ~~ ~*~

Halloween rolled around and with it came increased Quidditch practices as well as the finishing touches on a prank that had started out to only involve Severus but had expanded drastically. Harry and Blaise had also continued with their training with Snape, but they had been more focused on learning spells not taught at Hogwarts and dueling. Harry and Blaise had almost considered relaxing their prank just a bit because of this, but then Snape had commandeered them into brewing potions for the hospital wing again during one of their sessions. It wasn't that they disliked brewing potions, but if they had to brew them during their training session then they should at least be something interesting that they could put to good use. Speaking of the prank-

"Did you do it" Harry asked the twins, they had included the two pranksters in on the plan earlier that day.

"Of course" Fred acted affronted, but ruined the effect by grinning throughout.

"Peeves showed up and inadvertently helped as well" George added on.

"Good" Harry had a satisfied smirk upon his face "I was hoping Peeves would come through on his end."

The twins looked surprised "you got Peeves to actually help you?"

Harry shrugged, not ready to tell even the twins of his alliance with Peeves "not really. We just mentioned to him that he might have a bit of fun tormenting the house elves before the feast since he wasn't allowed to go. We'd better go now, we'll see you at the feast."

"Wait" the twins cried out as if just remember something "we meant to ask you, where did you come up with the spells and potions for this prank? We know they don't teach stuff like this in second year classes."

Blaise smirked "there's something called a library and in it are things called books. You should look into it sometime."

The twins pretended to look faint "no, anything but that. Our poor hearts. Please tell us that was meant to be a tasteless joke!"

Harry and Blaise shook their heads in amusement before heading back to the Slytherin dorms to get ready for the feast that would be starting soon. It wouldn't do for them to show up late and possibly cast suspicion upon themselves.

" smell blood..."

Harry paused briefly as Blaise kept walking when he heard the words, but then he shook himself. It had to have been the twins trying to pull one over him and he wasn't about to give them the satisfaction of searching for them and letting them know their hissed words had gotten him. Shaking his head and rolling his eyes, Harry easily caught up with Blaise and they started whispering about that evenings prank.

~~ ~~ ~*~

The Halloween feast started later than the usual dinner time, and the Great Hall was decorated for Halloween much as it had been in their first year. Candles and jack-o-lanterns floated over head, bats squealing as they winged their way through them, and skulls leered down at them. The food, if possible, was also of better quality and variety than what they were served on other days. As they ate, the wailing of ghouls serenaded them; but that was gradually replaced by another sound, one that had the whole school glancing up. The school song had just started playing out of nowhere in a dirge like fashion and as if in a bad scene from Fantasia a bucket, a sponge, a mop, and a bar of soap came dancing through the doors of the Great Hall to head for one Severus Snape. Their Potions master had no chance to get away before he was being brutally scrubbed clean by the sponge, mop, and soap.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, Headmaster Dumbledore banished the trio of cleaning supplies and broke the enchantments upon them. He had forgotten the bucket though. On cue the bucket tipped over and drenched both Professor Snape and Headmaster Dumbledore with its contents, a changing solution. To the horror of many muggleborns, both Professor Snape and Dumbledore began to change and swell into two identical purple creatures: Barney. After that it was pure pandemonium. Barney-Snape ran around scowling and baring his overly white teeth at the students, causing a third year to burst into tears. What was perhaps worse though was the Headmaster running around hugging people and trying to feed them lemon drops as he sang the school song.

Thankfully, after nearly twenty minutes, Flitwick was able to reverse the effects and the two Barney's were back to normal. As usual a bright twinkle was in Professor Dumbledore's eyes, but Snape's scowl was promising death to everyone and anyone in sight.

"That was a most unusual prank" Professor Dumbledore said, straightening his robes and popping a lemon drop into his mouth "but now I'm afraid that it is time everyone should be heading to their common rooms if they do not wish to be caught out."

As one the school rose and filed out of the Great Hall, all of them recognizing the warning the Headmaster had given them about being out after curfew. Tonight they especially did not want to be caught out and run the risk of being found by Snape. They would probably disappear only to reappear as unidentified potions ingredients. Harry, Blaise, Fred, and George on the other hand appeared to be a bit put out as they filed out of the hall in front of most everyone else. No one had gotten around to eating desert and that was where the final leg of the prank lay. The various deserts had been charmed with color changing effects. They had been so hoping to see McGonagall end up in neon pink or some other such vibrant shade.

Harry suddenly stopped short, barely managing to avoid colliding with the transfixed student in front of him. The hallway in front of them was flooded, but that was not what had caught their attention. Upon the wall, written in blood red lettering were the words:


Hanging from a torch next to the lettering was the stiff form of Mrs. Norris, Filch's cat. To make matters worse, Draco Malfoy sauntered forward smugly, his pale face flushed bright in anticipation.

"Enemies of the Heir, beware! You'll be next, Mudbloods" he crowed.

In front of Harry, the student he had almost ran into stepped backwards against him and he steadied her with his hands upon her arms; Hermione Granger.

"Shut it Malfoy" Harry growled, fed up with the blond's attitude; he had been insufferable ever since he had bought his way onto Slytherin's Quidditch team.

Malfoy sneered "watch it Potter. My father has money and-"

"Get over yourself Malfoy" Harry sneered back "just because you have money doesn't mean you have to flaunt it to get everything you want, and for your information I could buy your family and everything you own with spare change."

If possible Draco flushed even further and drew his wand quickly, a hex ready upon his lips. Seeing no other recourse as there were too many people in the way for him to dodge the spell, Harry drew his wand as well.

"What's going on here? What's going on?"

It was Filch, shouldering his way through the gathered crowd. Then he saw Mrs. Norris and fell back, clutching at his face in horror.

"My cat! My cat! What's happened to Mrs. Norris" he moaned before his eyes fell upon Harry, wand out "You! You! You've murdered my cat! You've killed her! I'll kill you! I'll-"


Dumbledore had managed to push his way through the choked hallway along with a handful of the other professors just in time to hear the caretaker's words. With swift surety the old man detached Mrs. Norris from the torch bracket and hid her from sight.

"Come with me, Argus" he said to Filch "you too Mr. Potter. Miss Zabini, I believe you wish to come as well?"

Blaise nodded as Lockhart stepped forwards eagerly "my office is nearest, Headmaster. Just upstairs. Please, feel free-"

"Thank you Gilderoy" said Dumbledore.

Harry moaned quietly "not that git's office; his damned classroom is bad enough, now your going to make us suffer his office?"

The silent crowd parted to let them pass and all too soon the group found themselves in Lockhart's office, Miss Norris was laid out upon the polished surface of the desk while Dumbledore examined the stiff cat. McGonagall was next to Dumbledore, leaning in close as well, though Snape remained in the shadows and appeared to be trying not to smile. Lockhart was being his usual annoying self and making suggestions that could possibly be of no help, but did boast his already over inflated ego.

"It was definitely a curse that killed her-probably the Transmogrifian Torture-I've seen it used many times, so unlucky I wasn't there, I know the very countercurse that would have saved her..."

Filch was openly sobbing now, a series of dry-heaves that made Harry nearly feel sorry for the caretaker. In the background Lockhart continued to drone on about how much of a shame it was that he hadn't been there and how many times he had seen similar things happen.

"She's not dead, Argus" Dumbledore finally announced, cutting Lockhart's babble off.

"Not dead" choked Filch, looking through his fingers at Mrs. Norris "but why's she all-all stiff and frozen."

"She has been petrified" said Dumbledore "but how I cannot say."

"Ask him" Filch shrieked, pointing a bony finger accusingly at Harry.

"No second year could have done this" said Dumbledore firmly "It would take Dark Magic of the most advanced-"

"He did it, he did it" Filch spat "he had his wand out and everything."

"I can assure you that Harry could not have done this" Dumbledore's voice was firm, putting an end to the discussion "though I do need to ask Mr. Potter as to why he had his wand drawn."

Throughout this all, Harry had remained silent. There was no point in protesting his innocence and it was wiser to analyze the situation he had found himself in than to jump in feet first like a Gryffindor. When the statement about him having his wand drawn was made, Harry didn't even bother to share a discreet glance with either Blaise or Severus for their reactions. He knew he wouldn't be ratting Draco out, it wasn't the Slytherin way.

"It seemed like the best idea at the time sir" Harry said, staring directly at Dumbledore "I didn't know if it was another prank, or something more serious, but with Mrs. Norris hanging there like that next to the message I didn't want to take any chances."

Dumbledore seemed to realize that while there was more to it than what Harry was saying, he also wouldn't be getting anymore out of Harry and dropped the subject.

"Thank you Mr. Potter, I believe it would be best if you and Miss Zabini return to your common room then" Dumbledore dismissed them before turning back to Mrs. Norris.

"My cat has been Petrified" Filch shrieked, before Harry and Blaise could leave "I want to see some /punishment/!"

"We will be able to cure her, Argus" said Dumbledore patiently "Professor Sprout recently managed to procure some Mandrakes. As soon as they have reached their full size, I will have a potion made that will revive Mrs. Norris."

"I'll make it" Lockhart butted in "I must have done it a hundred times. I could whip up a Mandrake Restorative Draught in my sleep-"

"Excuse me" said Snape icily, stepping from the shadows "but I believe I am the Potions master at this school. Now if you will excuse me, I will escort my students to the common room."

"Thank you professor" Blaise spoke for the first time, and she and Harry left with Snape.

"Boy, am I glad to be out of there" Blaise sighed once they were free of Lockhart's office "did you see all those horrible pictures of himself? How conceited can one person be?"

"We all know of Lockhart's narcissistic tendencies" Harry said "but I think the more important thing right now is this mention of the Chamber of Secrets being opened. What do you know of this Severus?"

Severus gave Harry a half-hearted glare "during the summer and our practice sessions you may call me Severus, but not during school. As for the Chamber of Secrets, not much is known but rumors. It is said that Salazar Slytherin built a secret chamber somewhere in this school, housing inside of it a monster only his heir could control and that one day his heir would return and loose the creature upon the school. It is also rumored that the chamber was opened before, about fifty years ago, and a student died."

By the time Snape had finished his tale they were outside of the Slytherin dormitory and Harry and Blaise had been given something to think upon. Uttering the password, Harry and Blaise went to enter the Slytherin common room only to be halted by their Head of House.

"I'm going to talk to the house tomorrow morning before breakfast after I speak with the Headmaster and see what I can find out" Professor Snape told them "but I want you two to be careful and watch each others backs. It's clear that Dumbledore is slightly on edge and that in itself is enough cause for worry."

"We will Professor" Harry and Blaise promised "you be careful as well."

Though none of the three would admit it, they had become friends over the summer and during their continued training. Harry and Blaise were among the few students Snape could actually stand, and Snape was the only professor who knew the truth about them and had also earned their respect.

For the next few days, the school could talk of little else but the attack on Mrs. Norris. Filch kept it fresh in everyone's minds by pacing the spot where she had been attacked, as though the attacker might come back. Harry and Blaise had seen him scrubbing the message on the wall with Mrs. Skower's All-Purpose Magical Mess Remover, but to no effect; the words still gleamed as brightly as ever on the stone. When Filch wasn't guarding the scene of the crime, he was skulking red-eyed through the corridors, lunging out at unsuspecting students and trying to put them in detention for things like "breathing loudly" and "looking happy." He had especially focused on Harry, but had been unable to get him on anything yet.

Ginny was particularly disturbed by what had happened to Mrs. Norris and the twins had enlisted the help of Harry and Blaise to cheer her up. They had pulled some minor pranks, not on Ginny herself, but had stopped when it had seemed to make matters worse. Harry and Blaise had also noticed Hermione Granger seemed to be in the library even more often that before, driven to discover something about the Chamber of Secrets. It had crossed Harry's mind to tell the Gryffindor what he knew, but she seemed to have an unnatural fear of him and Blaise so he didn't approach her. Harry and Blaise merely continued to study and train, spending what time they could in the library to look up new spells; they teachers were worried and that was more than enough to put Harry and Blaise on their guard.

All this was washed away when the first Quidditch match of the year rolled around on Saturday. The school was in high spirits and Flint had been working the Slytherin team extra hard. The deck was already slightly stacked against the Slytherins by the fact that most of the school was routing for the Gryffindor team to win. It was going to be one hell of a game and the Slytherins were planning to win.

~~ ~~ ~*~

"Welcome to the first match of the year" Lee Jordan hollered from the commentary box "Noble Gryffindor versus Slimy Slytherin."

"Lee" McGonagall snapped irritably "stick to unbiased commentary!"

"Alright Professor" Lee chimed cheerfully "For Gryffindor we have Keeper Oliver Wood; Chasers Angelina Johnson, Katie Bell, and Alicia Spinnet; Beaters Fred and George Weasley; and Seeker Kenneth Towler. For Slytherin we have Keeper Miles Belchley; Chasers Marcus Flint, Montague, and Warrington; Beaters Harry Potter and Blaise Zabini; and Seeker Terrance Higgs. Incidentally Blaise is the only female to be on the Slytherin team in years and the Slytherin team is flying on Nimbus 2001s purchased by Lucius Malfoy so that his son could make the team-"

"Lee Jordan" McGonagall began to threaten the commenter.

"Alright, alright, keep your robes on" Lee pacified McGonagall as Madam Hooch made the captain shake hands "and they're off and Slytherin is in possession. I am pleased to point out that Harry and Blaise, while flying on Nimbus 2001s, are flying upon their own brooms instead of the ones presented to the Slytherin team in the spirit of bribery."

Nearly everyone who could take the time to focus on the commentary thought McGonagall was going to strangle Lee, either that or have an apoplectic fit. Lee must have decided that it was in his best interests to focus on the game for a bit, for that was what he did. Harry had mainly tuned them out though as he, Blaise, and the twins were involved in a heavy bludger war. For a while both teams of beaters would be focused on taking out the other teams chasers, then a bludger would be sent with extreme force at one of the beaters and they would attempt to take out each other for a while. Unfortunately it soon became very clear that something was wrong when a bludger Harry had just hit reversed almost instantly and slammed back towards the Darkov heir. Now it wasn't unusual for bludgers to reverse suddenly in mid-air, but not like that one did.

"I think it's been tampered with" Fred called to Harry as he helped his friend fend off the rogue bludger, team boundaries be damned.

"And Slytherin scores" Lee called in disappointment "60-50, Slytherin. Where were Gryffindor's beaters when they were needed? Uh oh."

Lee had just noticed what was going on "it appears that we have a rogue bludger sighting for Slytherin beater Harry Potter and the twins are helping fend it off. We'll excuse them for that then."

By now Harry was pulling out all the stops, contorting his body on top of his broom as he accelerated and looped around in an attempt to dodge the murderous black ball that was out for his blood. Harry was getting to the point where he was soon going to pull his wand and blast the bludger to bits even if it did cost Slytherin the game. That was of course until a green and silver blur streaked past him, knocking him askew and directly into the path of the rogue bludger as Malfoy finally caught the snitch. It truly had been no contest that Slytherin would get the snitch; Gryffindor's seeker was terrible and flew a Cleansweep.

"Slytherin wins 230-80" Lee finished with his commentary "but in the confusion it seems the rogue bludger managed to finally take out the Slytherin beater when Malfoy knocked into his own teammate. Harry look out!"

The last was shouted out into the stadium and Harry groaned, rolling just in time to avoid having his head smashed in by the bludger. It appeared that the damn thing didn't think its job was done even after it had smashed into his arm, broken it, and sent him hurtling to the ground. By then a small crowd had congregated around Harry while Blaise and the twins circled above Harry to fend off the bludger while Madam Hooch tried to get it under control.

"Let me through" a pompous voice could be heard and Harry groaned when he realized who it was.

"No" Harry supported his broken arm against his chest so that he could attempt to stand even though he knew he should lie still "not you!"

"Doesn't know what he's saying, poor chap" Lockhart tsked and murmured a spell without warning "there, that should be all better."

A strange and very unpleasant sensation started at Harry's shoulder and worked its way numbingly down his right arm. When he dared look he realized that while his arm was still there, the bones were not. What was left of his arm looked like a rubbery sleeve that would occasionally twitch with a life of its own. For a moment Harry closed his eyes in an attempt to rein in his temper but gave up after about three seconds.

"You bloody incompetent bastard" Harry snapped "I warned you about touching me or turning your wand on me and now you've gone too far."

With his left hand Harry pulled his wand and began to reel off a set of curses that should not have been combined. Futilely Lockhart tried to throw up a shield but was hit with the first barrage of curses regardless. The incompetent teacher then attempted to dodge, but tripped over his own robes in the process and making himself an easier target for Harry. Harry's ire had caught the attention of everyone, even Blaise and the twins flying above him, and they didn't notice the bludger coming back for another attempt.

"Reducto extresmo" a powerful male voice roared and the bludger exploded in midair, the pieces vaporizing until there was nothing left.

Harry knew that voice and turned "Trevor! Dad!"

The crowd parted around the boy-who-lived and Manuel Darkov and Trevor Zabini strode confidently forward, scowls on their faces as they glanced at Lockhart. In a moment Blaise had flown down and jumped into her father's arms while Harry had moved to embrace his father as well as he could with only one useable arm.

"Good job exacting your revenge there Harry" Manuel easily lifted his son into his arms "but I think we best get you some medical attention and so help that bastard if this isn't reversible. Not that anyone will dare help him once Trevor and I are done with him anyhow."

"Sweet Merlin" a Ravenclaw by the name of Penelope Clearwater was suddenly heard "that's Manuel Darkov. He's one of the richest men in Europe; his fortune makes the Malfoy one look pitiful."

Manuel turned at hearing this "Ah, Miss Clearwater. I had not realized that you were a witch. Please do extend my greetings to your mother and father; it has been a while since I have had the pleasure of doing business with them."

As his father continued to carry him towards Hogwarts Harry could have sworn he heard some girls comment on his father being hot, but was distracted by Manuel brushing a strand of hair away from his face.

"Does it hurt" Manuel asked in a loving gesture not many would ever think of to connect to the mafia king.

"No" Harry shook his head slightly "but it doesn't feel pleasant either. I wish I could have hexed the bastard more."

"Don't worry Harry, Trevor and I will take care of that man" Manuel assured "though I doubt Trevor will allow me to deal with this in a manner of my choosing. At the very least we'll have him out of this school for good."

Harry nodded contentedly and settled himself more comfortably into Manuel's arms, pointing out the direction of the hospital wing to his father who couldn't quite remember the way from the year before. It didn't help matters that the staircases and corridors could change at whim and secret passageways were always popping up to confuse the unsuspecting. They got to the hospital wing without hitch though and all too soon Harry found himself under the strict care of Madam Pomfrey who forced a nasty tasting potion called Skele-Gro down his throat.

"You should have come directly to me" she fussed "I could have mended the bones in a second, but now you'll have to re-grow them and it won't be painless at all. What was that incompetent man thinking, only someone trained in healing should attempt to mend breaks."

Madam Pomfrey continued to rant, but thankfully she did not kick Manuel out of the hospital wing when he insisted upon staying. She did kick Trevor and Blaise out when they showed up actively cursing Lockhart though, muttering all the while about disruptions to her patients rest. It seemed that Dumbledore was not willing to let Lockhart go as there was no one else available for the position of Defense Against the Darks Arts teacher. Trevor wasn't out of tricks yet though and had indicated that he was going to have a 'talk' with one Gilderoy Lockhart. Manuel decided to follow for this confrontation and Blaise was sent back to the Slytherin dorms, leaving Harry to suffer all alone the pains shooting through his arm.

~~ ~~ ~*~

Gilderoy Lockhart was preening himself in front of his mirror, wanting to look his absolute best for dinner, when a gust of wind blew out all the candles in his chambers and messed up his hair. The problem: there was no reason for there to be wind in his room, all the doors and windows were shut. Shrugging like the idiot he was, Lockhart turned back to the mirror that was charmed to keep up a constant stream of flattery whenever he looked into it only to find the glass had fallen silent. The reason: the darkly cloaked figure that suddenly loomed up behind him with a menacing air.

"W-w-who a-a-r-are yyy-you" Lockhart stuttered in a manner very reminiscent to his predecessor for the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher "I-I'm w-w-warn-ning y-you, I-I am t-th-the Gil-deroy L-l-lo-lockhart."

"I know who you are you incompetent buffoon" the cloaked figure hissed "and I don't give a damn about what you say you've done-I've done worse."

"W-what do y-yo-you want f-f-fr-from m-m-me" Lockhart continued to cower.

"Leave Hogwarts" the figure loomed even taller than before "It's just a suggestion, but if you value your life you will take it."

A second shadowy figure appeared just inside Lockhart's line of vision, trailing a knife across his cheek and down his throat "have you ever experienced muggle torture. It's a hobby of mine, there's a precise art to leaving the perfect scars that the victim will never forget. You look like you would scream prettily."

"I-I-I'll leave" Lockhart sobbed, losing control of his bladder "I'll resign. J-just d-d-don't-"

But the two figures were already gone; Lockhart almost would have believed he had dreamt the whole thing except for the blood running down his face and his soiled robes. Outside of the room, two figures were smirking and trading congratulations on a performance well done.

"That was true mafia style" Trevor grinned, teeth flashing white from beneath his hood.

"No" Manuel corrected "that was true Darkov style. Now let's get back to our children, it would be a shame to ruin this visit any more than it has been."

~~ ~~ ~*~

Hours after his father had left for the guest quarters where he would be staying the night, Harry was dealing with a problem of his own. He had been unable to rest because of the pain in his arm, Madam Pomfrey had been unable to give him a pain killer, and then some batty eared house-elf had shown up on his bed.

Harry Potter should not have come back to school" the house-elf in a ratty pillow case was saying "tried to stop him Dobby did, but he went through the barrier anyhow and now Dobby had to hurt Harry Potter with his bludger. Harry Po-"

"Your bludger" Harry was pissed and would have strangled the creature had he had two good hands "what do you mean your bludger. You made that bludger try and kill me?"

"Not kill you, sir, never kill you" Dobby appeared shocked "Dobby wants to save Harry Potter's life, send Harry Potter home where he be safe."

"Oh is that all" Harry said sarcastically "and why do you want to send me home?"

"Ah, if only Harry Potter knew what he meant to us lowly and enslaved house-elves" Dobby sobbed "terrible things are happening at Hogwarts and Dobby cannot let Harry Potter stay here now that history is to repeat itself, now that the Chamber of Secrets is open once more-"

Dobby froze before grabbing a bedpan and began to smash himself over the head with it, muttering "bad Dobby, very bad Dobby."

Harry rolled his eyes and pried the bedpan from Dobby with his good hand "I already know about the Chamber of Secrets, unless you would happen to know who opened it?"

"Dobby can't, sir, Dobby can't, Dobby mustn't tell" squealed the elf "go home Harry Potter, sir, go home."

"I won't Dobby" Harry said firmly "I can take care of myself."

Dobby looked to say more, but stopped, his bat ears quivering "Dobby must go!"

With a loud crack the house-elf was gone and Harry managed to drop back down to his bed and pretend to be asleep just as the doors to the hospital wing were flung open.

"Get Madam Pomfrey" Dumbledore whispered to McGonagall, settling something down upon a bed.

"What happened" moments later Madam Pomfrey was rushing out to bend over the figure upon the bed, McGonagall hovering behind her.

"Another attack" said Dumbledore "Minerva found him on the stairs."

"We don't know what he was doing out" McGonagall whispered "but he had his camera and some chocolates with him. He's been obsessed with taking pictures of Mr. Potter and we think this was where he was heading."

"Petrified?" Madam Pomfrey question.

"Yes" McGonagall sounded worried as Albus leaned forward "you don't think he managed to get a picture of his attacker, do you Albus?"

Dumbledore didn't answer, but opened the back of the camera. A jet of steam hissed out of the camera and the smell of burnt plastic and overheated metal wafted through the hospital wing.

"Melted" said Madam Pomfrey wonderingly "All melted-"

"What does this mean, Albus" Professor McGonagall asked urgently.

"It means" said Dumbledore "that the Chamber of Secrets is indeed open again."

The rest of the words were lost to Harry, but his mind was already working furiously. The first attack had been enough to put him on guard, but this reoccurrence proved that there was something to worry about. Tomorrow when he was released from the hospital wing he was going to gather together all the facts he knew about the Chamber of Secrets and Salazar Slytherin before he hit the library; the worst type of danger was the unknown kind.
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