Harry Potter and the Ashes of Chaos
Year 1: The Forsaken’s Ascension
Chapter 15: The Dragon’s Wrath Part I
Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction based on the Harry Potter universe. All recognisable characters, plots and settings are the exclusive property of J.K Rowling. I make no claim to ownership.
Acknowledgements: Thank you to my betas Yoshi 89 and Umar for their work on this story. Additionally, a massive thank you is extended to Fezzik. She became a beta for me at a later date and has graciously agreed to assist me in revising these early chapters.
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March 21, 1992
The Quidditch Stands
“Look at the stupid blood traitor go for the snitch.” Malfoy jeered when it became evident that Diggory was about to make the catch. “What an idiot! They’re behind by 160.” Crabbe and Goyle smirked stupidly.
“I’m surprised you can count that high, Malfoy.” snarked Charlus, who had endured about as many of the blond’s comments as he could handle over the near two-hour duration of the Quidditch match.
“Really, Potter? I would suspect you of doubting Weasley’s ability to count, but not mine.” Malfoy smirked. “But then again, I suppose he could practise on all of his brothers while I practised on more important things.”
“Money isn’t everything, Malfoy.” stated a quiet, slightly shaky yet defiant voice from nearby. When they all turned, many of them had to do double-takes to make sure they were recognising the speaker for whom he truly was.
Malfoy did not even seem to know how to respond at first but then, his face split into a wide grin and he started to laugh. “Apologies, Longbottom, if I don’t take a squib’s view on the world seriously.”
Neville flushed but did not back down. “It’s not my view, Malfoy, it’s the truth. If money was everything, you’d have friends, not followers. If money was everything, you’d have all of Slytherin eating out of your hands, but you’re not even the top player in your year!”
Malfoy’s face flushed as Charlus and Ron howled with laughter in support of Neville. “Not the top player? Shut up! You filthy, little blood traitor! Who is then? Who is the top player?”
Malfoy froze and for a second, an emotion that Neville could not place flashed across his face before Malfoy sneered. “Competent Potter will get his soon enough.” Malfoy promised. “I thought there was hope for him but he’ll go the same as you,” he sneered at Charlus, “the same as your parents, or maybe even yours!” This last bit was directed towards Neville and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Before Malfoy could do so much as move, Neville had hurled himself at the blond and knocked him forcefully onto his back. Neville hardly even registered the fact that he was sitting atop the blond’s chest, raining down blows, or that Nott had tried to curse him and Charlus had leapt between them. Or even, that Ron had tried to take on the two largest kids in the year on his own. Neville only saw red as his anger exploded out of him in waves.
March 23rd, 1992
The Potions Classroom
After partnering with Daphne the previous Friday, Harry had chosen to partner with Neville once more and had once again managed to shepherd him through what he thought would be a low O level potion. As the class made to depart, however, Harry stopped Neville with a hand on his shoulder.
“I heard about what happened at the match.” he said seriously. It was true. Parkinson had loudly told the story in the common room, something that had annoyed Malfoy to no end.
Neville smiled sheepishly. “Yeah, I’ve got detention with McGonagall for the next two Saturdays, but it was worth it.”
Harry grinned genuinely back at him. “Yeah, that was good work, Neville. In the future though, don’t land yourself in too much trouble on my behalf. I didn’t do anything to earn that kind of loyalty from you and you shouldn’t rise to his taunts about your parents. They were heroes — still are.”
Neville shook his head. “You’ve helped me a lot, Harry. I would do a lot more than punch Malfoy for you. Plus,” Neville added with an uncharacteristic smirk, “he’s a bit of a git.”
Harry could not help it. He broke his no laughing out in public rule on the spot, which drew the attention of much of Slytherin’s first year, but he did not care. “Too true, Neville.” he said once he had recovered enough to speak. “Too true.”
March 28th, 1992
An Abandoned Classroom
“Is this the room you always use?” Harry asked his older group of friends as they ushered him into an abandoned classroom that he could feel was warded in some way or another.
“Yes,” Calypso told him with a rather proud smile, Hestia and I have spent almost two years warding the place.”
“A teacher, no, anyone in fact, could walk right by and they’d never notice a thing.” Hestia Carrow added with a rather proud smile, something that was a rarity on her visage.
“Duelling then?” Flora asked, twirling her wand suggestively.
“Sure,” Calypso told her, removing her own wand from a holster with a lazy flick of her wrist. “I’ll take you on if you’d like. Cassius, Hestia, would you like a round?” She turned to Harry. “You don’t mind observing a round or two, do you?”
Harry shook his head. “Not at all.” he answered honestly. He thought he could learn a great deal from watching the older students duel.
Calypso smiled. “Cassius, Hestia, would you like to go first?” Hestia simply stepped forward with a flourish. Cassius nodded stiffly and stepped into the circle of Runes drawn upon the floor, standing across from his foe. “What do you say Harry takes on the loser of this duel?” Neither older student objected and Harry’s focus on the duel quickly sharpened.
Within the first thirty seconds, he realised he likely would not win either way, though privately, he thought he should have a considerably better attempt overcoming Cassius. It was not a mismatch, per se. Cassius seemed good, but it was clear that Hestia was on another level. Within two minutes, the duel had ended with Cassius casting a spell apparently called ‘dueller’s defeat’ when a rather nasty looking spell from Hestia had caused him to cry out in pain.
“You see the Runes on the floor?” Calypso asked, indicating the circle in which Hestia and Cassius had duelled, he nodded. “Those will keep any magic within them, as long as you’re not going too overboard. Anyway, it will keep the duellists confined and if one of them gets hit with something like Cassius did, they can just cast duellers defeat and the wards will push them out and counter the spell. Again, within reason.”
Harry nodded as Calypso and Flora stepped forward.
This duel was faster and far more intense. Flora seemed on a level similar to her sister in terms of ability, but it was clear almost immediately she would lose. Calypso seemed to be in a completely different league altogether and though Flora managed to hold her off for a time, she did not really manage anything offensive and was beaten quite soundly.
‘Damn, she is good; really good.’
“You’re up, Harry.” said Calypso after a few minutes of discussion. He nodded mutely and stepped into the circle across from Cassius before bowing. Cassius reciprocated and they both raised their wands.
Calypso counted them down. “Three, two, one — commence!”
Cassius’s stunner and Harry’s full-body-bind met in mid-air, causing a flash of bright red light and a sound like a firecracker as they were both sent off course. Harry reacted to the break faster than Cassius and sent a quick disarming spell at him chained with a full body bind. Cassius’s eyes widened at the chaining, but his shield managed to hold against both spells, if just barely.
“Lacero!” he returned, and having no idea what that spell would do, Harry dodged left. Unfortunately, Cassius had anticipated that and intercepted Harry with a less dangerous but rather painful cutting curse that opened up a gash on his arm. Snarling, Harry dodged Cassius’s next two spells and fired a bolt of fire at Cassius with the Incendio charm that forced the older boy to dive to the side.
“Aguamenti, Glacius!” Quickly, Harry sprayed and froze the ground underneath Cassius as he dived to the side, causing him to skid out of control. Harry took aim with the disarming charm, but before he could get it off, Cassius had fired a spell Harry did not recognise towards his legs and he had to leap to the side. That gave Cassius enough time to stand to his feet and the boy’s visage was hard and cold now.
Cassius’s eyes widened again as Harry’s hastily conjured shield absorbed the spell and allowed Harry to go on the offensive. He managed to land a cutting curse on Cassius’s arm but that was the extent of his success in the duel. He did well, extremely well for somebody his age, but he had inevitably been overwhelmed. By the time the duel had concluded, he had taken a nasty bludgeoner, another cutter and a spell that Harry did not recognise that caused a rather vicious burn on his arm. Eventually, Cassius caught him with a well-placed tripping jinx before an Everte Statum sent him to his knees as a shockwave of pain ran up his body. In that time, Cassius had snuck in an Expelliarmus to end the duel.
As soon as Harry’s wand had been apprehended away from him, Cassius strode towards him and offered him a hand up. “That was brilliant!” Cassius congratulated him. “You surprised the hell out of me!”
“Seconded!” said Calypso, stepping forward and healing the cut on Harry’s shoulder with her wand. “Harry, that was incredible! You just kept up with a fourth year for several minutes on end!”
He shrugged. “I played my cards too early.”
“Yes, you did,” admitted Hestia with what sounded like genuine respect, “but they kept you in the duel long enough for it to become interesting, which was a lot more than any of us expected.”
Harry smirked. “That may be the first compliment you’ve ever paid me, Carrow. Backhanded as it is, I’ll take it.”
“Hestia.” she told him sharply. She did not smile, but there was no sign of the usual coldness in her eyes. Harry had earned her respect, it seemed.
“Flora.” echoed her twin.
Harry genuinely beamed at the two of them. “That wasn’t so hard, was it? Harry for me, please.”
April 5th, 1992
The Gryffindor Common Room
“I’ve got it!” Hermione exclaimed victoriously, snapping Ron and Charlus out of their rather one-sided chess game to blink at their bushy-haired friend. Hermione’s smile was wide and beaming and she held up a rather hulking tome that neither boy had ever seen before.
“Got what?” Ron asked, bemused.
“Nicholas Flamel!” she said again, not daring to mention the Philosopher’s Stone in the crowded confines of the Gryffindor common room. All at once, the drowsiness left Charlus’s visage as he quickly summoned his wand to his hand and gave it a twitch.
Immediately, the magic flowed from his Holly wand. “We won’t be overheard.” he told the two of them. Both were familiar with the charm, as he had used it several times during similar discussions about the mystery of Flamel and the stone. “You think you’ve figured it out, Hermione?”
“I’m sure of it!” she said proudly, turning the page to face them. “Read this!” Shooting each other wary glances, Charlus and Ron leant forward.
The intricacies of Alchemy are complex and multi-layered and on the path to alchemical mastery are many hurdles, both physical and intellectual in nature. In saying so, the applications of Alchemy are primarily limited by creativity alone. The common consensus is that the greatest alchemical discovery/innovation of all time was created by Nicholas Flamel in the early 15th century. The Philosopher’s Stone, or to give its original name in Flamel’s native tongue, La Pierre Philosophale is an object that can create two separate elixirs. The first is capable of transforming any metal into gold upon making contact and the second is commonly referred to as ‘the elixir of life’. The latter elixir does not grant unconditional immortality, but it will permanently protect the drinker from death via natural causes if it is consistently consumed. Nicholas Flamel has lived a long, happy life spanning over six centuries. He now nears his 665th birthday, whereas his wife, Paranel, recently celebrated her 658th.
An oppressive silence followed Ron’s and Charlus’s completion of that excerpt. “Blimey,” Ron muttered, “endless money and immortality.”
“I can see why somebody wants to steal it.” Charlus admitted, his visage resolute. He turned towards Hermione. “Hermione, you’re brilliant and all, but how the hell did you find this?”
“When you mentioned the Philosopher’s Stone after that Quidditch match, I remembered a muggle myth about it. They have the alchemy bit right, so I just ordered a book on alchemy from Flourish and Blotts.”
Ron and Charlus exchanged looks. “This is not good.” Charlus decided. “Not good at all.”
April 15th, 1992
The first three days of the Easter holidays had passed thus far in peace for Charlus, Ron and Hermione. Now, the three of them sat in the library. Hermione had taken the liberty of drawing them up exam study guides and they were, thanks to her intense persistence, finally putting them to use. That was until a hulking, familiar, impossible to miss figure sidled his way out of a row of shelves.
“Hey, Hagrid!” Ron greeted cheerfully, seeming to exalt at the break in work. Rather uncharacteristically, Hagrid flinched upon hearing his name and made a rather obvious show of shoving something behind his back.
“Oh, mornin’ Ron, Charlus, Hermione.”
“What are you doing in here, Hagrid?” Charlus asked. He was pretty sure that he had never spotted Hagrid in the library before today.
“Jus’ lookin’.” Hagrid said innocently. “How are yeh’re lessuns goin’?”
“We’re on break now,” Ron pointed out, “but they were going all right, I guess.”
“Good, good,” Hagrid said distractedly, “well it was nice talkin’ to the three o’ ya’s. I’ve gotta go down to me hut n’ check on me dinner.”
As soon as he had left the library, Hermione was on her feet, clearly intent on investigating whatever gangway Hagrid had emerged from. When she came out she wore a rather worried, rather thoughtful look on her face.
“Well?” Charlus asked, having picked up on her intentions several minutes earlier.
“Dragons,” she told them darkly, causing Ron to look up sharply from his Charms textbook, “more specifically, dragon breeding.”
April 16th, 1992
“So, you mean to tell me,” Harry asked his brother during their weekly Thursday get-together in the library under the protection of the Muffliato spell, “that you, Weasley and Granger think that Hagrid is hatching a baby dragon in his wooden hut?” Harry knew Hagrid was not the brightest soul around, but he could not fathom the sheer stupidity one would have to possess to think it a good idea to raise a dragon in a hut built from wood.
Charlus nodded solemnly. “We’re almost positive.” he told his twin. “Last night, me, Ron and Hermione went down there. There was something in the fire but he wouldn’t let us get a look at it. All the windows are covered by curtains and it’s hot as hell in there. Hermione’s been doing research and said that dragons are best hatched in hot, humid environments.” he let that statement hang in the air.
“Please, please don’t tell me you’re planning to get involved or go anywhere near that dragon?”
“We can’t just let Hagrid get thrown out for raising the thing!”
“Charlus, I don’t know how to break this to you, but the law is there for a reason. If somebody chooses to break the law, they have also chosen to face the consequences. If you go near that hut, and let’s just ignore the possibility of you getting burned to a crisp and focus on all of the other very real things that could go wrong. You could be expelled for conspiring with Hagrid. If you try to get rid of the dragon, you could be expelled for smuggling a dragon; which is also a five-year sentence in Azkaban if I’m not mistaken.” Tracey was rather fond of magical creatures and had once said how brilliant it would be to raise a dragon if the ministry allowed her, but she had mentioned the Azkaban sentence.
“But we can’t let Hagrid-“
“Listen to me, Charlus! If you’re expelled from Hogwarts over something as stupid as a dragon, your reputation as The-Boy-Who-Lived isn’t going to be able to save you. At best, you’ll be given a chance to flee the country if Father pulls some hefty strings. At worst, you’ll be thrown in Azkaban right alongside Voldemort’s old lot. Suit yourself, Brother dear, but you could not pay me to get involved in that disaster waiting to happen.”
That shut Charlus up in a hurry.
April 16th, 1992
The Speaker’s Den
Silence followed Harry’s retelling of his meeting with Charlus earlier that day. He had not bothered imposing Salazar’s Sanction for such a meeting, but he had wanted to do it well out of prying eyes and ears.
“So you mean to tell me that our esteemed Gamekeeper is raising a dragon?” Blaise asked, sounding almost amused by the thought. “That is delightfully foolish.”
“And let’s not skip over the fact that your Brother wants to help him.” muttered Daphne. “How are you two related?”
“Because we grew up in two opposite environments.” Harry proposed darkly. “I always thought I got the short end of the stick, but things like this make me wonder.” The look Daphne shot him made it clear that such jokes were not funny when one had more context, but Blaise allowed a bell-like laugh and Tracey grinned.
“You have a very morbid sense of humour.” Blaise told him approvingly.
‘Oh, Zabini, you have no idea.’
“So, the Philosopher’s Stone is at Hogwarts; somebody is probably trying to steal it, AND there’s a dragon?” Tracey asked for clarification.
“And,” Harry added exasperatedly, “my Brother has taken an interest in both.”
Blaise snorted. “See, Harry? Even before we were friends I didn’t lie to you. Dumbledore is off his rocker!”
“Or completely incompetent.” proposed Tracey.
“Definitely not,” Daphne said darkly, “nobody has more secrets than Albus Dumbledore, and he is almost always in control.”
That sounded awfully familiar and then, Harry realised why.
“Nobody has more secrets than Albus Dumbledore.” Lady Weitts said darkly. That was rather interesting. Those two statements seemed way too similar to one another.
“This is all great to know about,” Blaise said carefully, eying Harry with a certain degree of caution, “but please tell me you’re only telling us this to be safe? You don’t have any plans of joining in on this, do you?”
“Not unless I really have to.” he answered. “But something tells me this whole thing is going to go terribly wrong.” ‘And I’m going to get dragged into it.’ he added internally.
April 24th, 1992
The Slytherin Common Room
For the first time since receiving the gift from Dumbledore at Christmas, the piece of parchment Harry had that was linked to the one in his brother’s possession emitted a soft, blue light. Harry’s eyes narrowed. The two twins had made a pact only to use these pieces of parchment in emergencies in an effort to keep them secret. As discreetly as he could manage, Harry pulled out the parchment and eyed it carefully.
The dragon hatched today. It’s apparently a Norwegian Ridgeback if that means anything to you. The more important thing is that Malfoy almost definitely knows. We caught him spying through a gap in the curtains and he ran from the hut at full speed.
Harry actually cursed aloud. Well, whispered, but it still drew startled expressions from Tracey, Daphne and Blaise. He shook his head, indicating for them to go back to their prep as he wrote his response.
Hagrid better get rid of it quickly then. Whatever you want to say about Malfoy, he’s not going to pass up an opportunity like this.
It took only a moment for the response to come.
Wow, what a display of Slytherin cunning. I would have never thought of that.
Harry smirked at the reply. He had not been quite certain his brother was capable of sarcasm; although reflecting on it sarcasm was the lowest form of wit.
April 27th, 1992
The Potions Classroom
Harry and Neville had brewed what the former considered to be quite the impressive potion that Monday morning. It was, without a doubt, the best the pair of them had managed up to that point and for the first time working together, they managed to finish only behind Daphne and Tracey.
“Brilliant work, Neville.” Harry said with a smile. It was half-true. Harry had carried him through the brewing process for certain but now, unlike when the pair had first been partnered together over a month ago, Neville did not panic and try to add ingredients at random every time Snape came within twenty feet of the pair. He was still incompetent in the subject even if he was nearing closer to competency every time Harry worked with him but by this point, he was no longer a danger to his partner and those in his general vicinity.
Neville beamed at him. “Thanks a tonne, Harry. This has been… uh, really helpful.”
Harry smiled. “I’m only doing what I can, Neville. That’s what friends are for.”
The bell chose that moment to ring, signifying the end of the lesson and with a pleasant goodbye to Neville, Harry made his way out of the classroom. When he did so, Goyle chose that same moment to try to rush out of the door. The hulking boy slammed into Harry and both of them stumbled. Goyle reached out, whether to catch Harry or steady himself Harry was not sure but in the process, he managed to pull a few hairs cleanout of Harry’s head. Within a second, Harry had extricated himself from the boy and was glaring at him openly, allowing the damper he usually put on his eyes to slip. “What the hell are you doing, Goyle?”
The boy gulped nervously. “Uh… nothing, s-sorry, Potter. I was j-just in a hurry.”
“Hurry up then.” Harry snarled, waving a hand for the idiot to go ahead of him.
“That was odd.” commented Blaise a minute later after Harry had caught up with him, Daphne and Tracey.
“He’s an idiot.” Harry bit back with a roll of his eyes. “He doesn’t know his lefts from his rights. Probably thought grabbing me would keep him upright, and let’s just ignore the fact he’s twice my size and would have just pulled both of us down.”
“That would have been unfortunate.” Blaise said dryly. “I dare say you’d be a bit embarrassed and I have a feeling poor Goyle would be spending a night in the infirmary.”
Harry crooked an eyebrow. “What makes you think I could put him in the infirmary?”
Blaise’s smirk was all too knowing. “Oh, just a suspicion, Harry. You can call it a gut feeling if you’d like.”
May 1st, 1992
A Room in the Dungeons
“Before we begin tonight’s session,” Hurst began, “I would like to inquire as to how you are holding up in light of the oncoming examinations? I have no doubt that you will perform more than admirably on said examinations, but I do not wish to monopolise your time if you believe it could be spent better studying.”
“I’m doing okay, Professor.” Harry answered honestly. “I’m quite far ahead of the curriculum, to be honest.”
Hurst’s eyebrow quirked. “I shall not inquire as to Defence, because I have a fairly accurate idea, I would presume. How far ahead are you in your other subjects? If, of course, you do not view my inquisition as invasive.”
Harry shrugged. “Near the end of the second year in Transfiguration and Charms. I hope to finish the second year curriculum in the former before the end of the school year, but I don’t know whether or not that will actually happen.”
“And the other subjects?” It was a mark of either Hurst’s perceptiveness or self-control that she did not even react to that information. Either she had pieced as much together herself, or she was remarkably adept at hiding her emotions. Harry thought both were likely true.
“That depends on the subject.” he said honestly. “I’m probably in the middle of the second year in Potions and a bit into the year in Herbology.” he shrugged. “I’m really not that far ahead in Astronomy and History, but I think I’ll be able to manage Outstandings without too much issue.” That response was far more open than the variants he would typically give out, but if any adult had earned Harry’s trust this year, it was Professor Hurst.
She nodded curtly. “In that case, I think these lessons can continue until the beginning of exams themselves unless you have any objections?”
“No ma’am, I would actually prefer that.”
Hurst’s lips twitched. “I had suspected as much, but I do not wish to sacrifice your grades so I had to be sure.”
Harry nodded; he understood. “What shall we be covering tonight, Professor?”
“Tonight, we will be covering an offensive spell that is a staple in the arsenals of most any duelist from the level of amateur to former and future World Champions.” She took aim at the dummies on the far wall, the ones that were charmed to react to magic as a person would.
A bolt of red light streaked out from the end of Hurst’s wand and slammed into the dummy’s chest, dead centre. In response, it immediately crumpled to the floor, where it lay, unmoving until Hurst flicked her wand and caused a flash of silver. Harry presumed she had ended the spell, though its counter was very obviously not the typical Finite Incantatem.
“I think I may have seen that spell before.” Harry mused quietly, more to himself than to Hurst. It had looked awfully reminiscent of one that Cassius had sent his way during their brief duel, and he thought that Stupefy had been the incantation.
Hurst’s eyebrows rose, if marginally. “Oh? It is not an overly complex spell, though it is not taught until the fourth year. I must confess to being curious as to where you have seen the spell before?”
Harry hesitated. He trusted Hurst, but was this something to reveal? Again, he just felt like he could trust her, so hesitantly, he answered. “I… took part in a bit of practise with some of my friends in the older years.”
Hurst showed no visible reaction. “Is the question of whom these friends of yours are, be too personal?”
Harry debated for a second before answering. “Cassius Warrington Jr., the Carrow twins and Calypso Rosier.”
Hurst’s eyebrows rose further. “An impressive lineup.” she complimented. “Cassius Warrington is above average in my subject, both Hestia and Flora are among my top students and I would say that Calypso Rosier is bordering on the title of prodigy.”
Harry blinked; he had known Calypso was good, very good even, but to be considered even close to a prodigy by Hurst, who was fair but extremely harsh and critical was a feat in and of itself.
“See that you maintain those alliances if possible.” Hurst told him. “They will be very beneficial to you in the future.”
That was all she said on the matter as she quickly transitioned into helping Harry through the process of learning the stunning spell and its counter.
May 7th, 1992
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
After spending several hours in the library, Harry paused while making his way back down to the dungeons when his ring began to press its magic against his consciousness. There were three people nearby, up ahead and around the corner. Slowly, Harry took a breath and vanished before peeking around the corner. There was nobody there, but he could feel the magic emanating from the nearest classroom door, which stood ajar. With a mental roll of his eyes, Harry wondered when people would learn to close doors around here.
Focusing on the room, Harry turned his ring three times to the right and the conversation suddenly came into clear focus.
“We’ll get him.” It was Malfoy speaking, and he spoke with as much confidence as Harry could imagine. “When Potter tries to smuggle the dragon out tomorrow night, we’ll get him.” Harry’s heart froze. He had told Charlus that he wanted nothing to do with the plan, but hearing the fact that his brother was going to smuggle the dragon out in twenty-four hours was rather jarring. That was, of course, assuming that Malfoy was not simply bluffing. The confidence in his voice was evident though, and privately, Harry did not think Malfoy was that good of an actor. “We’ll intercept it without any problems.” Malfoy continued easily. “When we do, it’s game over for Potter.”
Harry had heard all he needed to. Disabling his disillusionment, he made to step around the corner and get away from the room, but as he did so, his entire body went rigid, even though no spell had hit him.
Within a second, the conversation inside the room had died off and Harry felt someone grabbing and dragging him into said room. Before he knew what was happening, he was propped up against the wall, still completely immobilised from what felt like a full-body-bind as Malfoy sneered down at him.
“Thought I left the door ajar, did you Potter?” he asked with a taunting smirk. Mentally, Harry took note to never underestimate an opponent again.
Draco smiled down at him. “It’s nice of you to join us though. You’re just in time for us to tell you what’s going on.” Harry then spotted the other three boys in the room. One was Theodore Nott, which Harry really should have expected after the fiasco in Defence all those months ago. The other two, one, again, he should have anticipated. Andrew Macnair had made it pretty clear what he thought of Harry on the first night, but the third… Daniel Selwyn, the fifth year prefect. Harry had never said so much as a word to Selwyn. He had no idea what the boy would possibly have against him.
“Surprised, Potter?” Malfoy drawled casually, leaning up against the wall as he leered down at him. “You really shouldn’t be. You didn’t think I’d just let that frame job go, did you?” He was not smirking anymore. “I still don’t know how you did it, but it doesn’t really matter, does it?”
“I think we should let the halfblood talk, Draco.” Macnair drawled. “It would be amusing and ropes will have the same effect as the body-bind.”
“Go on then if you want, Andrew.”
For a second, Harry felt the relief of the full-body-bind lift but before he could so much as move, ropes tied themselves so tightly around his body that they dug painfully into his skin. It took every bit of Harry’s will not to scream at Malfoy when he spoke, however, instead, his voice was calm, measured and almost bored in tone.
“A fourth and a fifth year, Malfoy? I’m disappointed. You couldn’t take down a first year without their help?”
“Couldn’t is a strong word, Potter. When you have friends, true friends, you don’t need to do all of the heavy lifting sometimes.” he smirked. “Especially when they both don’t like you.”
Harry glared at Macnair. “I would expect this from you,” he snarled, “and you,” he added to Nott dismissively, “but what did I ever do to you, Selwyn?”
The boy sneered. “You’re not worth my time, Potter. This is bigger than you.”
“Don’t tell me he’s paying-“
The dark purple curse that left Selwyn’s wand struck Harry and racked his body. Every muscle felt as if it was folding in on itself. He managed not to scream, but it was a near miss and he bit right through his bottom lip in the process, causing a thin stream of blood to trickle down his chin and onto his robes. When the pain lifted about fifteen seconds later, he was breathing heavily.
Now he sneered at them with his hatred unmasked. “This is going to backfire like a bitch, Malfoy.” he hissed. If that line was out of character for an eleven-year-old, he did not care. He had heard plenty of Vernon’s more inventive curses while locked up in his cupboard and it was only inevitable that he would have picked up a few. “When I get out of here, I’m going to ruin you, and I have older friends too, friends that will ruin your lap-dogs.” That comment earned him another round of the Tormensia curse from Selwyn. This time, it drew a groan from Harry, but he would not give the bastard the satisfaction of hearing him scream.
“That’s the beauty, Potter.” Macnair told him. “By the time you get out, it will already be too late. You’ll be thrown out of this place and hopefully into Azkaban to boot. You won’t do shit and it’ll be too late for Weitts to save her favourite protégé.” If Harry were calmer, he may have wondered how the boy had come to the conclusion that he was Weitts’s protégé. Currently, however, he was too busy dealing with far more pressing matters like the pain of Selwyn’s spell and the internal panic that racked his brain.
“Care to fill him in, Draco?”
“With pleasure, Andrew. This room has been warded by Daniel here,” he indicated Selwyn. “No one will find you until we come to get you tomorrow night. By that time, we’ll have intercepted the dragon that your Brother’s brought into the castle and bring it into Professor Snape.” Malfoy smirked. “Of course, your Brother is annoying, but he’s no more so than that. You, Potter, for all of your drawbacks have actually been too much of a problem. Sure, I could sell out your Brother, but this whole thing started with frame jobs, so it may as well end that way.”
Harry actually laughed loudly, if a bit maniacally. “How the hell do you think you’re going to frame me while I’m locked up in here? My Brother is a lot of things but he’s too stupid and too noble to let me take the fall, even if you somehow manage it.”
“That’s the thing, Potter. For all Professor Snape will know, you’ll be in this room because you put up too much of a fight to bring quietly. Your dear old Brother, for all of his talents, isn’t immune to a memory charm.”
Harry’s eyes widened in horror. “You can’t-“
“No, but I can.” drawled Selwyn with a smirk.
“And for you, competent Potter,” Malfoy drawled, reaching into his pocket and removing a glass vial with a single hair, “we’re going to make sure this ends up on whatever container the idiots try to bring the dragon in with.” Silently, Harry realised that was now twice he had underestimated somebody and twice that it had backfired. He had merely thought Goyle was an idiot, but there had been a greater purpose after all. Malfoy smirked at him as he came to these revelations. “With that plus the word of three heirs to Ancient and Most Noble Houses, you’ll not only be expelled, but you’ll be convicted of dragon smuggling.” Malfoy’s grin widened. “Do you know what the sentence is for dragon smuggling?”
“Five years.” Harry bit out, refusing to let Malfoy realise how utterly terrified he was as realisation began to set in.
Malfoy’s smile was wide and predatory. “Got it in one! Do you know, Potter, what that means for the heir of an Ancient and Most Noble House?” When it became clear he didn’t, Malfoy decided to enlighten him. “It means, Potter, that you’re eligible to be disinherited.” Harry’s eyes practically bulged out of his head. Malfoy smirked. “Now, I don’t think your Father’s cruel enough to just do it for no reason, but if his forgotten Son disgraced the family by committing such a heinous crime…”
“And it opened the door for the famous Boy-Who-Lived to take his rightful spot as heir.” added Macnair.
“And if he needed some help with the affairs in the next five years.” Nott spoke up for the first time.
“He wouldn’t want his heir to be such a public disgrace.” Selwyn chimed in. “Not after the Potters have done everything since the Dark Lady’s downfall to stay as the darlings of the wizarding world.”
“I think our odds are pretty good.” Macnair sneered at Harry. “You’ll be thrown out of the family, Potter. By the time your ass gets the fuck out of Azkaban, you’ll have nothing. No wand, no money, no-name. At best, you’ll have to leave England.” he smirked cruelly. “At worst, well, it would be such a shame if someone or something took advantage of just how helpless you were.”
Harry could not even speak, he was just too shocked, too afraid. This could not be happening!
“Well,” Malfoy said, sounding all business, “it was a pleasure dancing with you, Potter, but you should have stuck to your station and realised who your betters were.”
The four boys’ laughter could be heard ringing throughout the corridor as they left Harry, helpless, bound, and terrified.
A quick note here since it has come up a few times in the reviews and this is the absolute last time I shall speak on this since I have already done so before. I cannot write an eleven-year-old to save my life. I have made this blatantly obvious in at least one AN already, but I shall reiterate the point. This is not me trying to write realistic dialogue and thought processes for an eleven-year-old, though I shall show mental progression as they grow older. I do not spend enough time around eleven-year-olds to write one accurately, and I have not since I was eight or nine, seeing as I always hung around with older kids. Also, if I were to write them accurately in regards to their age, I would greatly limit what I could do in terms of events, and that would be no fun.
On a brighter note, I can confirm that there will be NO delay between years 1 and 2! The final chapter of year 1 will go up on Saturday, June 6th, and the first chapter of year 2 will be posted under this same story the very next Saturday, June 13th.
I know that this was a rather cruel cliffhanger on my part, but I must confess, they are quite fun. Things may not play out the way you anticipate but trust me, they will only get worse before they get better…
Please read and review.
PS: Year 1’s Penultimate chapter will be posted next Saturday, May 31st 2020 at approximately 3:00 PM EST.
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