A/N: Nearly four months without an update, if you don't count Side Stories, I'm really sorry! Life kind of got away from me.
Also, I added a bit to chapter 18 because I realised that I had left something out of there. It's towards the end if you want to skip the rest of the chapter.
[Brother, something is making Paper sad,] Jin informed just before breakfast one day, while stealing some of Harry's food, [Yummy bacon!]
Harry laughed at the hyena's thoughts before turning to his friend, "What's wrong this time, 'Mione?"
"How do you... Jin, am I right?" the brunette glanced at the creature that was eating most of the food from Harry's plate.
"He tells me everything," Harry shrugged, grabbing some more meat for Jin, "So, what's the problem?"
"...a certain annoying redhead has been bothering me..." Hermione trailed off.
"Ron?" Harry clarified, to which Hermione confirmed. The boy let out an annoyed sound as he ate a piece of toast before following after the Gryffindor when he left his table.
Hermione and Luna shared a look before quickly getting up and going after him, Draco saw the motion and when after them but taking care that no one noticed.
"It's really pathetic, picking on a girl," Harry stated as he confronted Ron, who was with a few of his friends, out in the hallway, "Are you scared to face another guy or are you just weak?"
"I can beat you anytime," Ron boasted, "Wizard's Duel, no contact. Seamus is my second, who's yours?"
"I am," Draco spoke, stepping forward with a smirk on his face.
Ron face flushed red with anger before pointing at Harry, "Why's a slimy Snake your second?"
Harry responded by punching Ron in the face, "Sure Draconis slicks back his hair, but that doesn't make him slimy."
A small stream of red came from beneath the other boy's hand, which was held up to his nose, indicating that Harry had at least gotten it to start bleeding if not broken it. Ron quickly got up and ran off, calling over his shoulder, "We'll meet in the trophy room at midnight!"
"Idiot," Harry muttered under his breath before turning to the blonde, "What is so special about a Wizard's Duel that I need a second?"
"The second is that in case you die, the other person can step in and finish the duel," Draco explained, noting the look on the barely blue haired boy's face, "I doubt either of you know enough magic to hurt each other and that's why he said no contact, judging from how hard you can punch you'd easily beat him there."
Harry grinned, "I'm glad you have such faith in my abilities to physically hurt people.
"You'll get get detention!" Hermione pointed out.
"That's if we get caught, I have no intention of that happening," Harry smirked before turning back to Draco, "I'll meet you outside your common room about half an hour or a quarter til midnight, that fine by you?"
Draco simply nodded his head in agreement, "The entrance is-"
"In the dungeons, I know," Harry cut off, a secretive grin crossing his face.
"How do you know that?"
"When I'm bored, which is often, I wander the castle and I talk to the paintings," Harry admitted., "You'd be surprised at what info you can get from them just by stopping and having a nice chat... by the way, your house comes up with some borderline pseudo-racist passwords..."
"You know the password?!"
"I know a lot of things," Harry laughed.
[Brother, I don't trust that one,] Jin chimed in, nudging the Raven's hand.
"Which one?" Harry asked.
[The sibling of the Fox Twins, the one I call Annoying Weasel.]
Harry laughed at Jin's nickname as he scratched the hyena's ears, "I wonder what he's got in store... how do you know what a weasel is?"
[I don't, I just guessed that he's like one,] Jin answered, wondering why his brother thought that was even funnier than the nickname.
That night, Draco quietly exited his house's common room and was immediately pulled away from the entrance as it closed.
"Don't panic, it's just me," Harry whispered, keeping a firm grip over Draco's mouth.
The Slytherin pulled away from Harry, breathing harshly from surprise, "Where'd you come from?!"
"You'd be surprised how easy it is to hide in shadows or plain sight," Harry quietly laughed, adjusting what he was wearing over his eyes instead of his glasses.
"What're those?" Draco curiously asked.
"My goggles, I figured my glasses might slip off my face so I wore these instead," Harry answered.
"Where'd you get those, I've never seen a shop selling them," Draco asked, a tinge of jealousy in his voice.
"An uncle of mine gave them to me as a birthday present, but had to take them back for a few extra days since I had to get special lenses made because of my messed up eyes," Harry clarified.
"Why don't you get your eyes fixed?" the Slytherin inquired.
"I like my goggles and I never really thought of getting surgery or magic to fix them," Harry shrugged, nudging the blond to start walking.
As they walked pass a lit torch, Draco noticed something, "Your hair's green and silver..."
"The color was fading and I thought this would make Ron royally ticked off," Harry grinned as he ran a hand through the multicolored locks, "Can you imagine the look on his face?"
The Slytherin could not help but smile at the image the suggestion brought to mind, "I wonder if his head would pop off from being royally mad?"
Harry laughed at the image that came to his mind, "Would be awesome if that happened."
The two quietly made their way towards the trophy room when they were greeted by some unexpected guests.
"What're you doing here?" Draco asked.
"Trying to get you two back to bed before you get in trouble!" Hermione answered.
"I wanted to see Harry jinx Ron," Luna piped in.
"What about him?" Harry asked, pointing to Neville.
"I don't like Ron and wanted to see you beat him," the Hufflepuff answered.
"And you snuck out of your House to do so?" the green-haired Ravenclaw grinned, "That's pretty gutsy of you, Nev."
"It's almost midnight, we need to hurry up," Draco reminded, nudging Harry down the corridor.
"Do you not like 'Mione or something?" Harry asked, noting that the Slytherin stayed away from the Muggleborn.
"It's nothing..." Draco muttered.
"I'll be bugging you about this until you tell me, you know that?" Harry pointed out.
"I don't feel like answering," the Slytherin responded, cutting off the conversation.
Harry stored this away in his growing file of 'things to talk about later' in his mind.
"What're they doing here?" Ron spoke, seeing Hermione, Luna, and Neville before noticing Harry's hair.
"They're here to cheer me on, by the way, I didn't think you'd show up," Harry taunted the Gryfindor, amused at how angry Ron seemed to be upon seeing his hair, "There a way to choose who goes first, you annoying little weasel?"
The question was answered when Ron immediately shot off a spell, aimed at Harry's head but was casually dodged by a simple tilt to the side.
"Silencio," Harry cast, smirking as Ron's mouth opened and closed wordlessly, "Can't fight if you can't talk."
"That means Harry wins," Draco announced, surprised that Harry knew an upper year spell.
"Let's go," Harry grinned, leading his friends away when Seamus stepped in and tried to fight; Harry responded by grabbing a nearby trophy and throwing it at the speaking Gryffindor causing him to stumble back, crash into Ron, and both of them to fall into a display case with a loud sound.
"That would be our cue to leave," Neville spoke up, knowing that the noise would most likely attract Mrs. Norris, Filch or both.
As the group fled, they ran into someone whose presence was very much unwanted.
"Ickle firsties out of bed!" Peeves crowed, happy to cause them some trouble.
"Peeves, there's two Gryfindors in the trophy room, if you call Filch on them instead of us, I'll give you something in exchange," Harry quickly bargained.
"What could a firstie offer me?" the poltergeist responded, trying not to sound interested but failing.
"An exchange of pranking goods, ones that this school has yet to see," Harry grinned, knowing that Peeves would go for something that would cause mayhem and distraction, especially if no one else has used them yet, "Rat out the two in the trophy room and I'll have the house elves deliver them to you."
"Hmm...deal!" Peeves responded and the two shock hands, as best they could before they parted ways.
"That was brilliant!" Neville remarked.
"I agree, Peeves has only ever listened to the Bloody Baron and even then that's only when he's threatened," Draco chimed in.
"What can I say, I'm have a way with words," Harry grinned as they stopped to catch their breath on a staircase. After a moments pause, the group heard Fitch's yelling coming from the trophy room.
"A galleon says they lose fifty house points and get detention," Luna spoke up.
"I agree with the detention but I say they lose more points," Harry chipped in, "I'm guessing seventy-five."
Hermione sighed as Neville guessed detention and forty-five house points while Draco went with the Gryffindors losing one hundred. "This is not the time to mess around, we need to get back to our houses!"
"You do have a point," Harry muttered but before they could move, the staircase shifted positions, "I hate when these do that..."
"Let's get off here," Neville advised as the stairs stopped and believing to hear Fitch coming.
"The door's locked," Luna pointed out, tugging at the handle.
"Alohomora!" Hermione quickly cast on the door, pulling it open and heading inside.
"Well... that was a close one," Harry tried to joke after they went through the door.
"I think I would've preferred Filch," Neville suddenly stated.
"Why in the world are you... thinking... that..." Draco turned to look at the Hufflepuff and saw that they were not alone in the room.
"...that's a big doggie..." Harry muttered, staring up at the three-headed beast.
"That's a Cerberus," Luna pointed out, smiling while everyone else was panicking.
Hermione pushed opened the door and everyone piled out, save for Luna who was attempting to pet the creature and had to be dragged out.
"What is something like that doing in a school?!" Neville exclaimed as they hid in an unused classroom.
"It was guarding something, it was standing over a trapdoor," Hermione pointed out.
"Guarding something... could that've been Fluffy?" Harry muttered out loud, drawing the attention of the rest of the group.
"A while back Hagrid let slip about it after I mentioned that Jin saw him," Harry responded, "Hagrid said that he loaned it to Dumbledore to guard something but he clammed up before he could spill exactly what."
"It's irresponsible that have that in a school," Hermione spoke.
"But it's confined to the third floor and it doesn't look like it can get out easily anyways," Harry pointed out.
A moment of silence reigned as they thought over what Fluffy could be hiding before Neville spoke up.
"I think tonight has enough excitement for the year for me," the Hufflepuff muttered as he sneaked off to his house.
After a moments thought, Draco spoke, "I agree with him."
"One thing in common, other than me; you're off to a good start making friends outside of your house," Harry smiled.
For some reason, this news made the Slytherin seem uneasy as he left the group.
"Wonder what's wrong with him?" the green-haired Raven muttered.
"Most likely he's conflicted," Luna shrugged.
"About what?" Hermione responded as they quietly ducked into a secret passage that Harry led them to.
"The Malfoys are an old family, set in their ways, and all have been in Slytherin as far as I can remember," Luna answered, "He can justify being friends with Harry because he's the Boy-Who-Lived but doesn't know what to do about me, Neville, Hermione... mainly Hermione."
"What's wrong about Hermione?" Harry asked, honestly puzzled since the brunette seemed like a wonderful person to him but then again his adoptive parents harm and occasionally kill people so he might not be the best judge of character.
"Draco's a Pure Blood, they're raised to think that anyone who isn't also a Pure Blood is beneath them, especially those that weren't born into magic," Luna explained.
"So... in a way Draco was raised with ideals that he's better than everyone else because of his blood?" Harry clarified.
"That's about right," Luna responded.
"How do you feel about this?" Harry questioned Hermione.
"It doesn't matter to me," the brunette answered.
"Eh, forget Pure Blood crap, you're a good friend to me and that's all I care about! If it'll cheer you up, I'll make you something special in the kitchens!" Harry promised.
"Sounds good to me," Hermione smiled before asking, "By the way Harry, where did you get that spell you used on Ron? It's not in our course books."
"It's in one of the books for fifth year, I think," Harry grinned, "There's a reason I'm a Raven, I like to accumulate knowledge since you never know when you might need something, one of my uncles taught me that."
"How many uncles do you have?" Luna inquired.
"Four or five I guess, I kind of lose track when we're running everywhere... the uncle I just mentioned would love seeing the Wizarding World if only to try and figure everything out," Harry smiled to himself as he envisioned his Uncle Riddles pouring over the numerous books from Diagon Alley with a childish glee.