A/N:- We know this has been a long time coming, and we're sorry. College life is just too hectic - you finish one test and its already time to study for the next one. Not to mention that our colleges are just about 20 kilometers from the sea. The heat and humidity is so high that you can sweat by standing in one spot. To top it all off, we don't deal with the heat well.

That aside, this chapter is shorter than normal ones, explaining the events going on with Harry. Currently, they haven't had enough contact with Elsa to change much from the original story. You all know what goes where,

DISCLAIMER - We're not billionaires, so no, we don't own anything except the plot.



In all honesty, this was, for the record, not Harry's best start of the school year. In fact, it was even worse than his previous year. Yes, somehow, this start of the school year was even worse than the one in which he had nearly been killed, expelled (It was pure luck that his talent had impressed Professor McGonagall.), discovered that one of the teachers had a serious grudge against him, had made enemies even before stepping onto school grounds, and had gotten his friends into deep trouble.

This year, he had nearly been killed, expelled, discovered that one of the teachers had a serious crush on him, had made even more enemies before stepping onto school grounds, and had gotten his friends into even deeper trouble. Only this time, he had managed to nearly expose the magical world to the muggles while he was doing all of the above.

The silver lining to this cloud was Quidditch, the one thing he was 100% sure about. But even so, he was more on edge than he would like. Last year, he had been unconscious for the finals, which had lead to Gryffindor's complete and utter defeat. Considering the stunt he had just pulled to get into school this year, he could not afford to make any more mistakes.

Yet he could not help but yawn at Oliver Wood's extensive strategical maps, which accounted for everything. EVERYTHING, ranging from rain to a dragon attack. Fred and George Weasley weren't faring much better than him. Fred (or George) was using George's (or Fred's) shoulder as a pillow while George (or Fred) was using Fred's (or George's) head as a pillow. Alicia and Katie's eyes were drooping, and Angelina looked bored out of her mind.

"All right, now that we've gone over the basic plays, let's put them into action!"

"Finally!" Angelina said, stretching her back, which let out several unhealthy cracking sounds. "Oi! Fred, George! Wake up, we're starting!"

"Huh? Is it still Saturday?" One of the twins said, trying to rub the sleep out of his eyes.

"Of course it's Saturday, Fred. We've been here a whole week!"

"Quit it, you two. It's only been two hours." Angelina said, before muttering "Two hours that could have been spent training. Dragon attack, my arse." The twins stood up with over-exaggerated groans, and the Gryffindor team made its way to the pitch. Harry saw that Ron and Hermione were waiting for him.

"Whoa, mate! Why do you look like you've just been through six hours of potions with Snape?!" Ron exclaimed. Harry looked him dead in the eye.

"Pray that you never have to sit through one of Wood's lectures." Was all Harry said, before kicking off the ground and soaring into the air on his Nimbus 2000. The feeling of the cool wind on his face blew the exhaustion out of him as he tore through the air, pushing his broom to the maximum.

"Yeah, go Potter!" The twins yelled out enthusiastically as they both performed loop-de-loops around each other. Once they had a minute to get used to high-speed flight, they gathered on the center of the pitch, where Oliver held the case containing the balls.

"Now, remember your plays, everyone! We'll be going through the wyvern formations first and then….."

It was apparent why Oliver had trailed off. For in the distance, they could see the Slytherin quidditch team headed towards the pitch, wearing all green. Oliver descended immediately, followed by the rest of the team.

"Reckon they're trying to figure out our strategies?" Katie murmured.

"They wouldn't be in their quidditch uniforms if they were." Angelina said, scowling. Even Fred and George looked pretty mad.

"Oy, what's going on here, Flint? We booked the pitch a week ago!" Oliver demanded, not bothering to hide his hostility.

"Sorry, but we'll be taking the pitch," Marcus Flint said, practically overflowing with smugness. He was a little taller than Oliver Wood, and was far more muscular. He handed Oliver a sheet of parchment, with utmost confidence clearly displayed in his posture and on his face. "We need to train our new seeker."

Oliver stared at the permission slip, bug-eyed, before looking back up. "Well, who is it?" The tall Slytherins stepped aside, revealing their much shorter, all too familiar seeker.

"Malfoy?!" Harry and Ron uttered in confusion.

"Me," Draco Malfoy said, smirking all the while. "Surprised?"

"Well, yeah," Harry said, fully prepared to end Draco's whole career. "I mean, how in the world did you get on the team? You're not even that good."

Five seconds of silence followed, during which Draco's jaw remained slack, unable to move, while everyone else tried to process what had just happened. Then the explosion happened.

"AHAHAHAAAA!" The Gryffindors burst out laughing, with Fred, George, and Alicia rolling on the ground. Katie was using Angelina's shoulder to support herself, Angelina was using Oliver's shoulder, and Oliver was using his broom to keep himself from falling over. Ron was guffawing rather loudly, clutching his stomach, while Hermione was trying – and failing- to hide her laughter.

Even a few Slytherins had to suppress their chuckles. Draco, on the other hand, was sporting a face so red that it better resembled a tomato. His fists were clenched around his broom, and steam came out of his ears.

"Laugh while you can, Potter," Draco said hotly. "Because my father was generous enough to supply the Slytherin team with top-of-the-line brooms. What does the rest of your team use, Cleansweep Fives?" Draco and the rest of the Slytherins mistakenly felt that they had made a clever comeback.

"Well, having to buy your way into the team tells us exactly how skilled you are," Hermione said, overflowing with mirth. "I don't know who will win the quidditch cup, but now I know who will lose!"

There were more peals of laughter from the Gryffindors, and Draco's face contorted with fury.

"How dare you speak to me, you filthy little mudblood!"

The laughter of the Gryffindors was silenced instantly, and Draco was at the focal point of multiple glares, including some of the Slytherins. Harry didn't know what 'mudblood' meant, but what he did know was that the youngest Malfoy had royally messed up.

"How dare you!" Ron yelled, drawing his wand and pointing it straight at Draco's face. Hermione was the only one who seemed to remember that Ronald's wand was not exactly functional.

"Ron, no!" She yelled, but it was too late.


There was a bang and a flash of light, and Ron was thrown backwards. The Gryffindors rushed to his side, and once Draco had gotten over the shock, he started laughing loudly.

"You should watch it, Weasley! At this rate, you'll be even worse than Longbottom!" and with that, the Slytherin team marched off towards the quidditch pitch.

"Ron! Ron, are you all right?!" Hermione asked frantically, helping Ron sit up.

"'M okay," Ron mumbled, before his eyes bulged. He bent over and spat out a slug.

"You are most definitely not okay," Harry said, helping Ron to his feet. "Let's get you to Hagrid's."

"We're done for today!" Oliver announced. "I'm off to have a chat with professor McGonagall."

The Gryffindor quidditch team dispersed, a mixture of dejected, elated, and furious. Harry, Ron, and Hermione made their way to Hagrid's hut.

Ron was still chucking up the occasional slug, even when detentions began. Ron was supposed to clean everything in the trophy room without magic, while Harry was tasked with helping Lockhart with his fan mail. He would have gladly traded punishments with Ron, because he had practically been raised for the job. In fact, he was quite confident that without magic, he was possibly the second-best cleaner in the school, right after Filch. But Snape had insisted, and had assigned Harry to the task himself. Harry had been confused. He had expected Snape to do something more drastic, like taking away his Quidditch privileges, or sending him into the depths of the Forbidden forest without his wand.

But he hadn't, and yet, he was smiling like Harry was about to be expelled. The boy-who-lived was genuinely confused. But at that time, Snape had remembered something that Harry hadn't-

Lockhart was one of the most popular, single wizards on the face of Earth.

Upon seeing the absolute mountain that was Lockhart's fan mail, Harry felt like making a run for it and taking his chances with Snape and McGonagall.

Harry did not know how long he had been there. What he did know that if this was the price for being famous… then he was getting a plastic surgery as soon as he had enough muggle money saved up. His fingers ached and his head was pounding. The clock which made no sense at all didn't seem to be working, and Lockhart's unchanging voice was driving him insane. Sweat dripped from his forehead, and he was just about ready to explode. He only hoped Ron was doing better.

Ronald Weasley groaned as he wiped the slug slime off the giant medal for the fortieth time. Stupid Tom Riddle and the stupid special services to the school award.

Filch had forced him to painstakingly polish every last medal in the cavernous room, and even after a thorough polishing, he still managed to find dust where there was seemingly none. Why couldn't someone just put a dust-repelling charm on the whole room? In fact, why not put it on the entire castle? Behind him, Filch growled impatiently, tapping his foot against the ground while Mrs. Norris watched him like a hawk. Which was stupid, because she was supposed to be a cat.

Ron was hit by a sudden bout of all-too-familiar nausea. "Oh no, not again!" He thought in vain, before violently spitting out another slug at the exact same medal. "Oh, for the love of Merlin…."

Behind him, Filch growled even more angrily, and the pace of his foot-tapping increased. Ron could only sigh as he once again began wo wipe the medal clean. "Stupid Tom Riddle and his stupid Medal."

He could only hope that Harry was faring better than him.

Harry's eye twitched as he read a letter from a witch that was so explicit that he felt as though he would never truly be pure again. It was the fiftieth of its kind. "Seriously, if you love him that much, then why don't YOU help him answer his stupid fan mail?!" Harry raged internally.

With a shudder and a deep breath, he discarded the letter and picked up another one which looked least likely to shoot a love potion at him the moment he opened it. Thankfully this one was one of the very, very few letters that wasn't an outright love confession. It was still waaaay to sugary for Harry's taste, but the gist of it was regarding when Lockhart's next book containing his inevitable crusades of bravery at Hogwarts would be on sale.

Harry sincerely hoped that no such book would be necessary. He'd had two life-and-death experiences too many already, thank you very much. It would be a dream come true if everyone just forgot that Voldemort had somehow been bested by baby Harry.

"FinAlly frEE! AfTER sssooOOo long! AnothER SlyyytHEriin hasss CAlled! Hunt, EeeeAT!"

Harry jumped up at the voice that he heard seemingly out of nowhere. The voice was deep, raspy, and the tone was definitely not human. Lockhart, on the other hand, seemed completely oblivious to it.

"Professor! Do you hear that?"

"Hmm?" Lockhart looked up from his letter, looking questioningly at Harry. "Hear what, my boy?"

"That voice!" Harry exclaimed. Lockhart, rather worriedly, looked around the room and strained his ears, but heard nothing.

"I'm afraid not, Harry. Are you feeling all right?" he asked, and glanced at the clock which he somehow miraculously managed to understand the time from. "Goodness gracious! We've been in here for over six hours now! Funny how quickly time passes when you're doing something you enjoy, isn't it?" Harry had to struggle quite a bit to not strangle him on the spot.

"Nevertheless, you should get going, or you'll miss dinner!" Lockhart said with a fake smile that stretched beyond the boundaries of his face. Harry had a small internal debate with himself before shrugging it off. After six hours of being bombarded by love potions and scented letters, he doubted his brain was fully functional anyway. It was probably nothing more than a hallucination.

"Had fun, Mr. Potter?" Came the greasy voice of Severus Snape as Harry exited Lockhart's room. His smirk was even wider than that of Lockhart. Harry only gave him a dirty look before making his way down to the great hall.

Even the magnificent Hogwarts dinner couldn't take away Harry and Ron's exhaustion as they collapsed into two of the plush chairs in the Gryffindor common room. These had to have been the most intense detentions ever. Not that they could complain, because what they had done was halfway worthy of being sentenced to Azkaban. Although personally, Harry doubted that anything could be as bad as answering Lockhart's fan mail.

"I sure do hope you two have learned your lesson!" Hermione said aggressively.

"Yes, we have!" Both Harry and Ron exclaimed simultaneously, without hesitation. Hermione took a step back.

"Was it really that bad?"

"How about this - I'll convince Lockhart to let you assist him in answering his fan mail for an hour." Harry deadpanned.

"Really?!" Hermione said, excited. "You would do that for me?" Harry was extremely exhausted, and thus was extremely cranky. Especially when someone as supposedly smart as Hermione made light of the near-death experience he had just been through.

"Sure thing, I'll tell him tomorrow." Harry said extremely sarcastically, but Hermione was too star-struck to notice. Hermione's fantasies of working with Lockhart, however, were cut short by a redheaded first-year approaching them.

"Hey, Ron! Have you seen Ginny since lunch?" Anna Frost asked.

Harry could not have imagined two more dissimilar siblings. Admittedly, he didn't know Elsa very well, but from the train ride to Hogwarts last year, he had figured that she was the cool and quiet type who didn't speak all that much but could completely destroy anyone with words if needed, and on the train ride back, Hermione had complained about being second in their year after Elsa for half the journey. He also remembered that from time to time, her hand went up even before Hermione's in the classes they shared. According to Hermione, Elsa had lost exactly zero points throughout the year.

Anna, on the other hand, was very loud, very confident, and very, very stubborn. Her energy was not to be underestimated. He had heard the stories – Anna had shot clear over Hogwarts in her first flying lesson. She also apparently had Seamus Finnigan's talent of making things explode spectacularly, and was the type to rather fight with her fists than her mouth. Ron had mentioned that she and Ginny could have been twins, except that Harry had rarely heard Ginny say a complete sentence.

Anna got along spectacularly with Ginny, for reasons that Harry could not fathom, but their friendship seemed perfectly natural to everyone else. She also got along too well with Fred and George Weasley. So far, it appeared as if the twins were teaching her the ropes, but Harry was dreading the day she caught up to their level.

In fact, the only things the Frost sisters had in common was their love for all things chocolate and that one streak of silvery-white in Anna's hair.

"I dunno," Ron said, shrugging. "I haven't seen her." Anna let out a combination of a growl and an exasperated sigh.

"No one has! It's like she's disappeared!"

"I wouldn't worry too much. It's her first time being away from home for so long, she's probably just homesick." Ron said, but Harry could clearly see that Anna didn't buy that reasoning for a second. Regardless, the younger girl didn't say anymore and walked off towards the girls' dormitories.

"How was it, Ron?" Harry asked.

"It was horrible," Ron groaned. "There were hundreds of them! Would it really be so hard to just put a bloody dust-repelling spell on them? It didn't help that I was still spewing slugs all the while. I reckon I had to polish some of them at least a dozen times. What about you, Harry?"

"A pain in the neck and the wrist. If he has to answer that much mail, I don't know when he's going to come up with lesson plans."

"Don't be silly, Harry," Hermione injected. "Of course, he would have made those plans before coming to Hogwarts."

Harry and Ron exchanged looks, and decided not to say anything. Harry had read how star-struck people could get by scavenging the Dursley's newspaper, and Ron's own mother was also a victim of Lockhart's charm. They knew better than to try and contradict Hermione, because she would go into denial.

Lockhart may have been a great wizard, but it was clear that his days of action were over.

"But here's the thing – towards the end, I heard a really weird voice from within the walls, but Lockhart couldn't."

"Really? What did it say?" Ron asked.

"I don't remember it clearly. Something about hunting? But hey, magic, right? Anything is possible."

"No, Harry," Hermione said worriedly "Even in the magical world, hearing voices that others can't is not a good sign."

"It could also be because every third letter spat who-knows-which potions at me. I suppose I started hallucinating at some point."

Hermione opened her mouth to argue, but was cut off when Ginny walked through the portrait-hole.

"Oi, Ginny! Anna has been looking for you!" Ron called out. Ginny, who was looking rather confused as she entered the room shook her head.

"Thanks, Ron." She said, before noticing that Harry was also present.

"Hi." Harry said tiredly. Ginny's face flushed and she made a mad dash for the girls' dormitories. "What did I say?" Harry asked in genuine condition. Hermione rolled her eyes.

"Goodnight, Harry, Ron." Hermione said as she followed Ginny up the stairs.

"What?" Harry asked, looking at Ron, rather stumped.

"Don't look at me, mate. Girls are weird."

Harry and Ron fell asleep in the plush chairs, unable to get up from their seats. Tomorrow was a Sunday, so it didn't matter.

They fell asleep, blissfully unaware of the lethal force that had just been unleashed upon Hogwarts.

A/N:- Short, yes, but more is coming. Trust us, much more is coming.

Next time - Halloween.