Title: Unusual Inheritance
Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated
Disclaimer: I do not own Hermione, or Susan, or Su Li, or Tracey, or... I would buy them all but I am broke.
Summary: While staying at the Leaky Cauldron after his 'incident' with Marge, Harry finds out that he has an unusual inheritance. One that could change the course of his life forever.
"I have a question." Lavender said the following morning as they group sat in the living room of their apartment before heading down to breakfast. "You mentioned before that the rumours from last year with Ginny were true. What the hell was the monster in the Chamber?"
Harry and Hermione looked at each other in shock.
"I thought the rumour mill got hold of the story." Harry said. "Shouldn't you already know?"
"There were half a dozen rumours. Everything from it was a Medusa to Ginny was possessed by an ancient Goddess." Lavender said with a shrug.
"Well, Ginny was possessed, but no, the monster in the Chamber was a Basilisk. Salazar Slytherin's pet apparently." Harry replied. "I killed it by shoving the Sword of Gryffindor through the roof of its mouth."
Hannah and Lavender were shocked to silence.
"You did not tell me you were experienced with swords." Su said evenly.
Harry could tell she was annoyed, thinking she could have saved time by instructing him in a weapon he had experience with.
"I would not exactly call myself experienced. It was more running, desperately flailing and almost dying." Harry said, pulling up the sleave on his right arm, to reveal a faded circular scar that looked several years old. "I got the brain, but one of the fangs went through my arm. The venom would have killed me but Fawkes cried on it and neutralised the venom."
"Neutralised the venom? What is Fawkes that could neutralise the most potent magical venom in the world?" Hannah asked in shock.
"Just the Headmaster's Phoenix." Harry replied as if knowing a Phoenix was an everyday thing.
"Harry, you don't do anything normal do you?" Lavender asked ruefully.
"What is normal anyway?" Harry replied with a shrug.
The girls all laughed at that and after a second Harry joined in. This was more comfortable than much of the time spent with both Hermione and Ron over the last two years, but that was mostly due to Ron's attitude. It did feel much more like the few times he had spent with just Hermione, usually when Ron was either having second or third breakfasts; or was in detention.
"What happened with the body?" Hannah asked. "Basilisk's are extremely rare and their parts are extremely valuable for potions and such."
"Don't know." Harry mused. "As I am the only one who can get into the Chamber, I guess it is still down there."
"So… field trip?" Hannah asked.
"After class?" Hermione asked, getting a shocked look the others. "What? I missed going down there, I was petrified remember. I want to see it."
"We can't after class." Su interrupted. "Sir and I have a meeting with Professor McGonagall, a few of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team and Madam Hooch to talk about Sir's place on the team this year."
"How about after dinner then?" Lavender asked. "Meet back here and then go down."
"I have some study to do after dinner." Hermione pointed out.
"So do a few hours, turn back and come with us." Harry said with a pleading tone and expression.
"Ok, fine." Hermione admitted. "I hate it when do puppy dog eyes."
"No, you don't." Harry said cheerfully.
Hermione rolled her eyes and the other girls chuckled.
"Unacceptable." Su said simply, staring at Oliver Wood.
Harry and Su sat in an old classroom. Sitting facing them were Oliver Wood and Angelina Johnson, who was vice-captain of the team. McGonagall and Hooch sat off to the side, letting the students negotiate.
"Come on Potter." Oliver pleaded.
"Don't look at me." Harry said. "When it comes to my security, Su has full authority."
Oliver and Angelina looked shocked but recovered quickly.
"I will be present for every game and every practice. Don't worry, I won't pass on any secrets to Ravenclaw, my loyalty is to House Potter. When Sir is on the ground, I will be no more than three feet from him, which includes in the change rooms and showers. When he is in the air, I will be on the ground by the sideline, inside the stadium. I understand the inherent risks involved in the game. Any threats external to the game, or any malicious attacks from the players outside the rules of the game will be seen as a direct assault on House Potter, and will be dealt with accordingly."
There was silence from the room. The two teachers were concerned about the threats comments, given what has happened a few times in previous games and the typical kind of play the Slytherin Team did. Wood was concerned about something else.
"Showers?" Wood said. "You want to be in the showers with us?"
"Bloody Hell, Wood." Angelina interrupted. "Grow a pair. If you are that concerned, we will let Harry and Su into the female showers."
"Now wait a second." McGonagall began.
"Miss Li is not going to back down on this, Professor." Angelina interrupted. "Unless you want to lose the best Seeker Gryffindor has had since Charlie Weasley, and Harry's probably better than Charlie, you have to allow this. I don't see anything sexual going on. None of us are interested in Harry that way, no offence Harry, and even if we did, I am quite sure that if any of us Chasers make a move on Harry then Miss Li will able to beat all of us to a pulp without working up a sweat."
"No offence taken." Harry replied.
It was no secret in the team that Angelina and Alicia were both interested in the Wesley Twins and Katie Bell had a girlfriend in Hufflepuff, though the gender of Katies paramour was kept under wraps outside the team.
"Fine." McGonagall replied.
"As long as Miss Li does not interrupt the game, I will allow this." Hooch added.
Harry led the four girls into Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, to find the Ghost herself floating over one of the toilets with the stall door open.
"Harry!" Myrtle said happily. "Oh, and Hermione too. Who are your other friends?"
"This is Hannah, Lavender and Su." Harry replied. "We are heading down to the Chamber."
"Ok." Myrtle said. "My offer still stands."
Harry walked over to the sinks and hissed at them to open.
"What offer?" Hermione asked, as she walked over to the now open hole in the bathroom.
"When she heard we were going after the Chamber, she said if I died, I could share her u-bend." Harry said offhandedly, looking at the hole with a frown. "This is the way down but… we needed Fawkes to get out."
"It looks like it was designed for the Basilisk, not for people." Su observed. "How did you find this?"
"There's an engraved snake on the tap." Harry said.
"Right. Let's see if there is another engraved snake around here." Su ordered.
Lavender found the other engraved snake on the wall behind the last stall. Harry hissed at the snake and the entire wall moved up to reveal a narrow downward sloping stairwell. Su took the lead, with Hermione close on her heels and Harry close behind. Hannah went next and Lavender brought up the rear. By the time they reached the bottom of the stairwell, everyone but Su and Harry were breathing heavily.
There was another concealed door at the bottom, which when closed looked just like the tunnel wall. It looked like the hidden door was on the Chamber side of where the cave in had been. The group approached the big door that sealed the chamber. Harry hissed to open the big door, and they watched the snake move around the outside of the door and then the door began to open.
"Oh my God."
The stench that accompanied the opening of the door would stay with all five of them until the day they died. It was the stench of putrefaction, the smell of decay. In the months that had passed between when Harry had killed the snake and now, the natural process of decay had set in with a vengeance. Most of the head was a sloughing mess, and there were patches of the long body that was more rotted than the rest. Maggots and other insects crawled over parts of the body like a writhing mass.
Within seconds of the first opening of the door, Harry had determined that the carcass was useless and ordered the door to close. Hermione and Hannah had backed well away from the door and Lavender was bent over vomiting on the floor. Even Su's features were tight and her face was pale.
"Well, that was a waste." Harry mused. "But it was still a good idea."
"God, I need to flush my sinuses." Hermione moaned.
"Urgh, I can still taste it. Anyone got mouthwash?" Hannah added.
"Flushing your sinuses works better, as most of your tastebuds are in your nose." Hermione advised. "Simple saline wash. That is just salt water."
The last comment was added when she saw the confused looks.
"Let's get back to the apartment." Su insisted, turning to lead them back to the stairwell.