Standing outside Harry's room, a harried looking Severus Snape knocked yet again. “Harry, it's Professor Snape, please open the door.” With no response to his third call, the frustrated potions master pulled his wand and intoned, “Alohamora.” The lock clicked after a moments pause, though the door refused to budge when pushed. Putting his shoulder to it, Severus was able to force it open and see into Harry's room.
“Well,” he said lightly. “If this is the state in which you keep your quarters at Hogwarts, I'll be having a word with Professor Flitwick.”
Professor Snape regarded Harry from the across the wrecked room. The bed, desk, wardrobe and anything larger than a football was smashed and strewn about the floor haphazardly. Hedwig and Loki, both looking a bit flustered, flitted about the room as if they were afraid to land on anything that might suddenly explode. In the far corner, Harry sat amongst the rubble, looking physically and emotionally drained. Using his wand to clear a path, the professor made his way across the room and sat down beside his student, patiently waiting for him to speak, it wasn't long in coming.
“My father's best friend betrayed them to Voldemort,” Harry croaked in a weak voice. “Not that I should expect any different, really. What with the crap Draco pulled last year and now Neville... I'm beginning to think friendship really doesn't mean that much to anybody.”
Arching an eyebrow, Severus leaned back against the wall and said, “I see your point. Not fifteen minutes ago, Young Draco came bursting into my potions lab, nearly hysterical. It seems that he'd run all the way from here after you began... remodeling and wouldn't answer anyone's calls. Draco was so affected by your outburst he never even thought to use the floo, he ran through nearly a foot of snow without a coat and in his stocking feet. After gasping out what happened, the boy collapsed and I had to leave him lying on the couch in my office. Hardly the act of a concerned friend.”
A flush of embarrassment appeared on Harry's cheeks and he asked, “He's alright, then?”
“I cast a charm to dry his clothes and warm him up before I left, The question I have is, how are you?”
“Angry... confused I guess... I mean I do trust Draco, he 's changed so much since last year. The whole thing with Black just – I guess it's really messing with my head. He was so close to my parents yet he helped murder them.”
“I must admit,” Snape conceded. “I was more than a little shocked when I found out it was him betrayed them. Though he was a bully and thoughtlessly cruel at times, he always seemed devoted to them. He followed your father around like some damned puppy at school.”
“That's what I don't get,” growled Harry. “How could he do it? Was it for money, power, revenge or something?”
“The black family is an ancient house with strong ties to the dark arts,” the professor explained thoughtfully. “I was made to understand he was cast out for turning his back on them, his betrayal may have been an attempt to regain his families good graces. There is also the possibility that Black was dark all along and fooling everyone. I sincerely doubt it, however, to me it never seemed like he'd have the native intelligence to pull it off.”
“Was he ever asked?” Harry questioned, his anger rising again. “When he was arrested or during his trial, did they ask him why he did it? I want to know what he thought was proper payment for my parent's lives.”
“Things happened rather quickly in the confusion after the Dark Lord's fall,” Severus answered in a calming tone. “By the time I heard of Black's arrest, he was already in Azkaban. That would mean he was either tried immediately upon his apprehension or by secret tribunal at a later date. I would assume the former as the Prophet proclaimed both his crime and sentence the next day.”
As Severus spoke, the look of raw anger on Harry's face began to be replaced with determination. “How would I go about finding out what was said at the trial; does the ministry keep transcripts of its trials or some other record?”
“I'd have to speak with Petunia about retaining a solicitor,” he replied after a short pause. “Being the victim, you have certain rights concerning disclosure but with the ministry it's best to have a professional handling it.”
Harry slumped back against the wall as the tension visibly drained from his frame. “Thanks Severus,” he said with a sigh. “I guess it must seem ridiculous but I have to know.”
“It's no matter,” the potions master replied with a rare grin. “I admit to a bit of curiosity myself. There's no doubt in my mind that Black is capable of murder but I never thought him bright enough to fool all his friends for so long. I'd be interested to find out his reasons as well.” Standing and adjusting his robes, he added, “now that we have that all sorted out, perhaps you should go downstairs and let your aunt know that everything is alright. She seemed quiet upset when I arrived.”
I guess that is my fault for the most part,” Harry admitted sheepishly. “I didn't take this whole thing with Black very well. Then again, she was already a bit upset herself after finding out you knew her and mum when you were all kids and never said anything about it when she didn't recognize you.”
There was a pregnant pause and Severus actually held his breath for a moment after hearing Harry's statement. “Perhaps,” he said finally, “we should stay up here a bit longer and put your room to rights... we wouldn't want her any angrier over a bit of broken furniture.”
“Right,” Harry answered with a tired grin. “You want me to hold onto your wand when we go down?”
Christmas came and a sense of normalcy returned to the house. Dudley, while still overly excitable, had matured a great deal in his first term. He only bounced on Harry's bed for five minutes trying to wake his 'brother' up. Severus and Petunia had their discussion and neither party required medical attention. Harry received gifts from family and friends, the most original coming from Luna; it was being with his family, however that he considered the greatest gift of all.
The one big shock came on New Years. Professor Snape presented Petunia with a simple silver band and asked permission to begin formally courting her. Aunt Petunia looked shell shocked and with a slight tremor in her voice, accepted wholeheartedly. Harry and Draco were both thrilled that the adults were finally going forward though Dudley seemed a bit put off by it. The holiday went on, however, and they soon found themselves making the walk back up to the castle.
Classes resumed the next day and their schedule returned to normal. Harry was still spending most of his free time buried in his book, much to the annoyance of his friends. Two weeks into the new term, Draco found him sitting over it in the Great Hall, busily reading with a frustrated expression, his meal forgotten.
“What's wrong?” The blond asked as he sat down across from his friend.
“I don't think it's in here,” Harry grumbled as he turned another page. “This is my third time through the book and I still haven't found anything like the snake we're looking for.” He was about to turn the page again when Draco lay his hand on the book.
“What was the name of that creature Lovegood was going on about?”
“A Ksilisab,” Harry replied. “I haven't found any mention of it in all the books I've looked in, why?”
“There's no way you could know this but Lovegood reads that rag her father puts out upside down... that means,” he smirked triumphantly as he tapped the page. “everything is backwards.”
“Back...” Harry murmured as his hand ran over the page. “Basilisk... well, that explains Luna's Christmas gift; I'll have to owl Aunt Petunia and tell her not to expect eggs any time soon. I've read through this entry it really doesn't match our monster. They have a really poisonous bite and can kill you outright with a look but they don't pet... damn,” he muttered as his hand reached the end of the page. “it's in a footnote, 'The basilisk's deadly gaze , when viewed indirectly or through a reflective surface, has been known to result in petrification rather than immediate death.'
“What do we do now?”
“We'll take it to Severus,” Harry replied as he closed the book. “I doubt the headmaster would take us seriously. We should probably try and figure out where the chamber is as well.”
“Where would we even –”
Draco's words were cut off by a small commotion that rippled through the Great Hall. Harry could feel Aunt Petunia and someone else, an unfamiliar wizard enter and make their way toward the head table.
“She looks mad,” Draco whispered in excited anticipation. “This should be good.”
True to form, Petunia began dressing down Professor Dumbledore in front of the students and faculty. Not close enough to hear exactly what was said, Harry could still tell she was at top form, only pausing to allow her companion to make the occasional quiet contribution. Everyone straining to hear groaned in disappointment as the headmaster stood up.
“They're leaving,” Draco whined. “Just as it looked like it was getting good. I bet they're all going up to his office.” A moment later he snickered and nudged his friend. “Dumbledore just passed his wand off to Professor McGonagall.
Echoing Draco's grin, Harry added wistfully, “I wish I was going with them.”
“You may get your chance, Professor Flitwick is headed this way.”
Just as Draco said, the charms master scooted up to the table and addressed Harry. “The headmaster has asked if you'd join him and your aunt in his office.”
Nodding happily, Harry got up and grabbed his bag, promising Draco that he'd fill him in on everything that went on later. Together, he and Professor Flitwick made their way to the headmaster's office where Petunia and the other wizard were already in a heated discussion with Professor Dumbledore. Professor Flitwick's knock ended the adults argument and he was bid, enter.
Harry stiffened on stepping through the door, tension was palpable in the room even without the aid of his senses. Allowing himself to be guided to a comfortable chair, he sat and cocked his head in silent question. Present in the room was Professor Dumbledore, Aunt Petunia, the yet unnamed wizard along with Professors Flitwick and Snape. Apparently wanting to take charge of the meeting, the headmaster was first to speak.
“Good afternoon Harry. As you might be aware, your aunt and her companion have come today to clear up a few small matters and requested you be present as well. I'd fully understand if you'd rather not be bothered.”
“I assume you're talking about my parent's things,” Harry answered tightly. “Remus said everything was packed up after Voldemort's attack and you took charge of it.”
“Eleven years,” Petunia snarled accusingly. “All that time and you never saw fit to turn it over to us or even admit it exists!”
“Petunia, Harry,” the headmaster pleaded. “You have to understand, we were reeling, not only from Lily and James death but the upheaval created by Voldemort's fall. I had originally planned to come with the key to the ministry vault a few weeks after Harry had been placed. After seeing the difficulty you and you husband were both having with Harry's magical nature, I decided it best to simply wait until he reached his majority and present it to Harry himself.”
“Wait,” Harry broke in, sounding even more annoyed than before. “You knew... All along you knew what my aunt and uncle were like before the accident and you did nothing. Why not send somebody to talk with them, maybe help Aunt Petunia deal with Mum's death? You know she had to be an emotional wreck but you thrust an infant on her with nothing but a note for explanation. To me, it looks like you cared more for my parents things than you did either of us.”
Rocked by Harry's words, Dumbledore seemed to deflate in his chair. Likewise, reminded of her early behavior toward Harry, Petunia had the grace to look ashamed.
“All that being said,” Harry continued. “Is there any good reason you haven't given me the key since I started school?”
“As I'd said before, I was planning on delivering this to you on your majority.” Reaching into his desk, the headmaster dug around a bit before coming up with a simple silver key. “Here we are, the key to ministry property vault 767. I do hope you'd consider waiting until summer break to sort through it,” Dumbledore added in a concerned tone as he placed the key in Harry's hand. “There might be sensitive papers or spell books that could be dangerous to someone at your level. I'd like to be there to help you separate inappropriate materials and perhaps take charge of them until you were more prepared.”
“I hardly think Lily or her husband would have left such things just lying around,” growled Petunia angrily. “I also see no reason to have you there. Severus has already volunteered to help us sort through everything and identify anything to boys might be unready to use unsupervised.”
“I also need to check on something of my father's,” Harry interjected. “It's a Potter family heirloom that Remus Lupin thinks may have been misplaced, my dad's invisibility cloak.”
“His... you won't find his cloak among their things, I'm afraid,” said the headmaster weakly. “Your father left it in my care shortly before the attacks so that I might study it.”
“You do have it then,” Harry said quickly as he felt Remus' suspicions becoming reality. “I'd like to have it back now, please.”
Sounding more and more uneasy, Dumbledore answered, “There may be a bit of a problem with that.”
“Surely you're not refusing to return a Potter family artifact,” said the wizard that accompanied Petunia to the school. “The Goblin pacts of 834 clearly state that Heredity property cannot be withheld from its designated recipient except when said person is a minor, and only then by their legal guardian. You, Mr Dumbledore, are of no relationship to Mr Potter, nor are there any papers granting you guardianship or control of the Potter estates in their stead. As Mrs Dursley and Mr Potter's solicitor, I must advise you to return said proper immediately or a complaint will be filed before the Wizengamot in the morning. You are aware, involvement in any legal action will require you to be suspended from your post as chief warlock. If found guilty, you'll be permanently removed from the body.”
Peering over his spectacles with a frown, the headmaster asked, “and you are?”
“Smythe, Wesley Smythe, Barrister for magical and muggle law since 1953,” he said, proffering Professor Dumbledore his card. “I've been retained by my clients to look into the chain of custody regarding the management of Potter family properties since the attack on 31st October, 1981. Now, about the cloak?”
Professor Dumbledore studied the card handed to him for a long moment before looking up with a resigned expression. “Of course, you're right. I don't have the cloak with me at the moment but I can have it here first thing in the morning. Would that be sufficient?”
“Neville has it, doesn't he?”
Though softly stated, Harry's question caused the headmaster to flinch as though he'd been slapped. While his expression was lost on Harry his guilt was broadcast to everyone else.
“You gave away Harry's cloak?” Petunia screeched, her face nearly purple in anger. “Lupin said it was a family heirloom, what gave you the right?”
“Please calm yourself,” the headmaster said in a tone that sounded scandalized. “It wasn't actually given to Mr Longbottom, merely loaned for a time. There is no harm done, really.”
“He got it as a present for Christmas,” Harry insisted. “The note was read to me. You left my cloak to Neville as a gift.”
“Professor Dumbledore,” interjected Smythe, his patience clearly gone. “In light of this development, and the fact that the cloak does appear to still be on school property, I'll have to ask you to retrieve it now. Otherwise, we'll be forced to contact the DMLE.”
Defeated, Professor Dumbledore tiredly picked up a small bell on his desk and rang it. Immediately, a house elf appeared and bowed to the headmaster.
“You needed Dizzy, Mr. Dumbles sir?”
“Yes,” he replied. “I need you to find Professor McGonagall, ask her to locate Mr Longbottom. They should both come to my office with the cloak he received Christmas last.”
After the house elf popped out, Harry sat back while Petunia and Mr Smythe began grilling the headmaster over what else he might have taken upon him self to do in regards to Harry's property. Off to the side, he could feel professor Flitwick's disappointment and I bit of anger directed at Professor Dumbledore. Of Professor Snape, Harry could feel nothing. He suspected, however, there would be another confrontation in the office after he and his aunt left. Another ten minutes of arguing went on before it was interrupted by a knock on the door.
Harry frowned as the two entered. Professor McGonagall was her normal self, a powerful swirl of sparks with a feline shape super-imposed. Neville, on the other hand, was nearly unrecognizable. All of his sparks, both the ones Harry had come to recognize as related to physical health and of magical strength were significantly dimmer and less energetic than he'd sensed from the other boy just before Christmas. From Aunt Petunia's quiet gasp, whatever was wrong with Longbottom must also be quite visible.
“Are you alright, boy?” she asked, rising from her chair.
“M' fine,” he slurred. “Just coming down with something, I think.”
“Could we hurry this along, Albus?” Professor McGonagall asked. “I'd like to get Mr Longbottom over to the Hospital Wing.”
“Of course,” the headmaster said, sounding a bit distracted. “Neville, I'm sorry but it seems that a mistake was made when you received the invisibility cloak. It turns out that it actually belongs to Harry's family.”
“What? No,” Neville exclaimed weakly, finally animated by his upset. “You gave it to me; you said it was mine!”
“I know and I'm sorry, Mr Potter is quite adamant that it be returned to him.”
Harry could feel Neville's baleful gaze on him, though the other boy's anger felt half-hearted at best.
“Is this how you're trying to get back at me, Potter?” he hissed unsteadily. “You've been jealous of me ever since I stopped Professor Quirrell stealing that stone. Now you're taking away the gift that Al... that Professor Dumbledore gave me.” Neville staggered forward two steps before collapsing. The folded cloak fell from his nerveless fingers as he passed out.
The first to react, Harry leaped. Forward, pulling out his wand to do a diagnostic spell even as the headmaster flooed the Hospital Wing. Professor McGonagall, stirred from her shock, transfigured one of the chairs into a couch and stood back as Professor Flitwick levitated Neville onto it without disturbing Harry in the process. Reaching into his satchel, Professor Snape pulled out a calming drought and handed it to Harry.
“The boy is distraught. Give him this, It'll help.”
While carefully administering the potion to his semi-conscious patient, Harry tilted his head in Professor Mcgonagall's direction. “When you found him, was Neville practicing any difficult spells?”
“No,” she replied. “He was in the Merlin commons, fast asleep against young Miss Weasley as she read, why?”
“The diagnostic spell I used says he's suffering from Magical and physical exhaustion. Do you know if he's been sleeping alright?”
Professor McGonagall started to answer but was interrupted as Madam Pomfrey came through the floo. The medi-witch took Harry's report as she cast her own diagnostic spells and clucking about students working themselves too hard. Levitating the boy, couch and all, she marched out the door, on her way to the Infirmary. Harry made to follow but was stopped by Professor Dumbledore.
“I think Poppy has things well in hand, why don't you escort your aunt and her guest to the Entry Hall.”
“Thank you, Mr Potter,” Dumbledore said, thrusting the cloak into Harry's hands. “You've done quite enough for today.” Unbelievably, he had the nerve to sound disappointed.
Freshly enraged, Harry held his tongue till they'd reached the corridor along with Professor Flitwick. Severus and Professor McGonagall had accompanied the headmaster to the Hospital wing.
“How dare he,” Harry growled, his tone reminiscent of Aunt Petunias. “He just tried to make me feel like that was my fault... that bas-”
“Harry!” Professor Flitwick barked. “I understand your upset but it isn't proper to disrespect your elders. I'll have to ask you not to use those words to describe the headmaster... in my presence,” he added with a wink before leaving them all to find their way out.
“Mr Potter,” Smythe began respectfully when the three of them were alone. “Allow me to properly introduce myself,” he said, taking Harry's hand. “Wesley Smythe, your Aunt hired me on to look into the disposition of your parents things. She says that theres something else you needed as well?”
“Yes,” he answered quietly. “The trial of Sirius Black. I want a copy of the transcripts and any statement he may have made before or after. Theres too much to explain, but I need to know why he betrayed my parents.”
“Right,” Wesley said uncomfortably. “I'll see what I can dig up. A bit of a warning, however, It's likely to take a bit of time, the bureaucracy is notorious for moving at a crawl.”
Saying their goodbyes in the Entry Hall, Smythe and Petunia began their trek toward Hogsmeade while Harry went to find his friends. They had a lot of work ahead of them. The following weeks were hectic for Harry as they weren't only doing their school work, but also trying to come up with decent defensive plans without help from the staff.
They'd gone to Severus with their belief about the basilisk, convincing him that it was a real possibility. He, in turn, had taken it to the headmaster, returning hours later, furious. Having been told of the potion master's suspicions, Dumbledore had been completely unsurprised and apathetic about it. He proposed no plan of action beyond asking for more strict enforcement of the curfew and that no student travel the corridors alone.
“He's got to be doing something else,” Harry demanded as he paced around Severus' quarters. “What about getting more roosters or bringing in Aurors to patrol the halls... I really don't get him!”
“The headmaster seems to think we'd be best served to locate the Chamber of Secrets before confronting the beast,” Severus said with a scowl. He says we have to remove its avenue of escape and preferably capture the heir if we want to even have a chance against it.”
“So we do nothing?”
“No,” Severus corrected. “The headmaster has forbid the staff from assisting any of you researching basilisks to keep the students from trying something foolish. There's nothing to keep you from doing it yourselves.”
The next weeks were odd but busy for Harry. Curfew had been moved back to sunset and the prefects now roamed the halls in groups of three. There hadn't been another attack since before Christmas and some of the student body was beginning to relax a bit, not Harry's crowd. The study group had begun to grow again as word got out about the basilisk and how they were looking for ways to defend against it. The workload and seriousness of the situation made Harry all business. He was shaken out of it one morning, mid February, when he walked into the great Hall with Terry.
A wave of magic had him instinctively shutting his inner eye as the sound of chaos washed over him. There were multiple serenades going on at once and several harps were being played, each with a different tune. At the same time, the student body was either protesting whatever was going on or sighing and tittering to each other.
“Is it as bad as it sounds?” Harry asked over the sound of a dozen crooning cherubs.
“Worse,” Terry moaned as he pulled his friend toward the Merlin table. The hall was filled with pink streamers and floating hearts; better than half of them had Lockhart's picture on them. “You should see Lockhart at the head table, he's sitting there waving to everybody like he's the bloody king.”
“I don't know what it is,” Draco said as he made room for them at the table. “Something about today just makes girls all lose their minds.”
“I don't think today is any different,” proclaimed Luna the stuffed rooster on her hat gave Draco a baleful glare and clucked in warning.
“Apologies, Lady Lovegood,” Draco said bowing his head to her mirthfully. “A day like this would affect you least of all.”
Paying attention to his friends and distracted by the din, Harry missed the approach of Ginny Weasley until she spoke into his ear.
“Ginny,” he responded blandly after an initial start. “How's Neville today? Where is he? You two are usually joined at the hip.”
“We had a bit of a row,” she explained, boldly sitting down between him and Draco. “I think we got off on the wrong foot and was hoping we could get together sometime soon to... talk.”
Getting a weird feeling from the redhead and her sudden turn around, Harry gracefully declined. “Some other time, maybe.”
Spinning around, she growled at an angry looking Neville as he approached. “What?”
Neville appeared much recovered from the day in Dumbledore's office. While still worn, the time under the healer had allowed him to recoup. His attitude, however, was less than sparkling.
“Come on,” he said tersely, taking her almost roughly by the arm. “We're leaving. As for you, Potter,” he snarled. “”You'll stay away from her if you know what's good for you.”
“Longbottom-” Draco said in warning as he stood up, only to be cut off again by Neville as he pulled Ginny away.
“You heard me, stay away.”
The Merlins watched in varying levels of shock at the two's odd behavior. “There's something really wrong with Neville,” Terry said quietly, a good portion of the table nodded in agreement.
“The problem is, nobody knows what exactly what's wrong,” Harry replied, echoing everyone's concern. “Madam Pomfrey is stumped, all his tests show is magical exhaustion and nothing he does accounts for it.” Everyone talked about it for a bit more before packing up and heading to class.
Harry's day went by quickly and he was never happier not to have defense. Spending that period with Madam Pomfrey and her endless medical tomes was more than a fare trade to spending even a minute in that idiot's class. He was so wrapped up in his studies that he missed the last bell and had to be interrupted by Draco and Terry barging in to look for him.
“Come on, Harry, class is over,” Daco whined as he pulled the quill out of his friend's hand. “Let's go, I want to drop my books off at the dorms before we eat.”
His Ravenclaw side firmly in control, Harry grumbled that he wasn't finished. His friends dragged him away, regardless of his protests as the medi-witch watched them leave with silent approval. Making quick time, they go to the dungeons and dropped Draco's books on his bed before heading back toward the Great Hall. They hadn't made it out of the dungeons, however, when Harry's foot splashed in water and they heard terrible wailing ahead.
“Is it the basilisk?” Terry asked nervously, they'd all drawn their wands at this point.
“I don't think so,” Harry replied quietly. “I can't hear it hissing.”
“It's Myrtle,” Draco said, sounding oddly concerned as he began moving quickly toward the nearby girls bathroom. “She sounds more upset than usual.”
Entering, they found the room flooded. All the taps were open and the sinks stopped up. Myrtle herself was flitting about the room carrying on horribly.
“Myrtle... Myrtle!” Draco called, eventually getting her attention. “What's wrong?”
“Drake?” she asked, blinking at him, distracted from her tantrum. “Oh, Drake,” she cried. “It was horrible”
“Drake?” Harry and Terry whispered to each other in disbelief. Harry was suddenly sorry he'd missed coming down for Draco's chats with the ghost.
“I was minding my own business in the U-bend and somebody dropped a book on my head!”
“A book...” Draco repeated, sounding a little annoyed but covered quickly. “How rude! Did you see who did it?”
“No,” she sighed wistfully. “By the time I'd come out of the stall, they were already gone. I guess I really should expect it though. Nobody cares about Myrtle, Let's go throw books at Myrtle, she can't stop us... she's DEAD! Ten points if you can get her between the eyes!”
While Draco went about trying to calm the ghost, Terry returned with a sodden book. “I found it, he said. “It's a little wet but okay otherwise.”
“What? Now you're going to throw it at me too?” Myrtle became completely inconsolable at that point and flew about the room, wailing loudly. Unable to stand the noise any longer, the boys ran from the bathroom, into the corridor.
“All that over a stupid book,” Terry said with disgust. “She's loony!”
“She is not,” Draco said defensively. “Myrtle just doesn't get to socialize much, it's made her kind of twitchy... what?” he asked as the other two boys wiped disbelieving looks from their faces.
“Let me see,” Harry requested, holding out his hand. Taking the sodden tome in his hands, Harry explored the cover with his fingertips. It was bound in leather, good quality, with the lining hand stitched inside. The pages were paper, not the rougher texture of parchment. He could also tell it was enchanted, the pages were drying quickly, even as he held it. The book's aura was also highly magical and oddly familiar, in fact, if he hadn't known better, he'd of thought it was a person in front of him instead of an object.
Intrigued, he asked, “You mind if I hold on to this?”
Neither of his friends objecting, Harry slipped the book into his bottomless bag and they were on their way.
Things quickly fell back into routine. Classes, their study group and training with the custodians filled their days. They'd decided on a possible quick defense against the basilisk based on some of the spells used in Harry's duel. Nobody knew if it would work but it was a start and they all went about learning two fairly difficult spells.
The time he spent with Madam Pomfrey had become his favorite and he was beginning to think that there was a possible future for him as a healer. The medi-witch had already offered to sponsor him if he decided to study medicine after Hogwarts. His days were full and he'd almost forgotten the book they'd found until he pulled it out of his bag one day in the Merlin Common room
At first, it seemed like nothing more than an empty journal. The only writing on it was a Muggle address, likely the bookseller, and the initials, TMR. Harry assumed TMR must be the journal's owner. Though why someone would try flushing an empty journal was beyond him, he became more convinced that there must be something hidden in it, though how still eluded him.
On a whim, Harry picked up his quill and opened it to the first page. “I am Harry James Potter,” he wrote.
He could see the magical ink sparkling in before his mind's eye, though it quickly faded away. Now thinking the journal must be some prank item, he was about to set it aside when new writing appeared in an unfamiliar hand.
'Hello Harry, my name is Tom.'
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