Ron slept lightly for the rest of the night. A touch easier having told one of his friends, but not a full relief burden.
Fear he had felt. Danger, he had been close to within the past year at the very school he was at now. But standing alone, seeing the flooded hall and the dangling body of Ms. Norris... and the writing on the walls. It was like an unpleasant chill that wouldn't go away.
He felt like if he needed to, he could keep quiet. His dad had been able to with his occupation, as had everyone in his family before coming to Europe. He didn't want to though. Not with his friends and what he had seen.
He'd tell them while Percy was busy being a prefect he decided once he had gotten up for the day. Neville had risen early as well, though looked worse than Ron felt. He felt slight guilt ruining his sleep when he had decided to hold off Hermione and Harry. Or at least on Harry considering he had no good way to tell Hermione yet. Neville locked eyes with Ron and gave a reassuring smile. Ron gave a smile back.
No time like the present it seemed. He approached Harry's sleeping form. He figured he would wake him so they wouldn't have to worry about leaving the room to talk about what he had seen.
He was maybe two steps from Harry's bed when a wrench was thrown into his plans.
"Morning everyone," Percy spoke loudly from the entrance of their dorm space. Ron paused and looked over Percy. He was the epidemy of unassuming with his relaxed form and default yet stern stare. He gazed about the room as the Harry, Dean and Seamus began to groan, entering the world of the awake and living. Despite Percy's neutral gaze, Ron swore that his focus was on him, because of what they had seen the night before.
Even if they weren't, he couldn't say anything with Percy looming by. Nor did he want Dean or Seamus to hear what had happened. They were roommates and got along fine, but they weren't close like he was with Harry, Hermione and Neville.
"Oh can't we sleep longer?" Dean groaned from his bed.
"Don't sleep too much longer. You'll miss breakfast. Ron, may I speak with you?" he spoke in a dull tone. Ron was a bit impressed. He had seen his dad shift his emotions to the back burner in favor of professionalism. From what he had seen with his moments with the Weasleys, they were not ones to hide their emotions at all. He didn't think that any of them would be capable of that level of concealment.
"Sure," Ron responded to Percy. He didn't look back at Neville or Harry. He had a feeling he knew what the conversation Percy wanted to have. He didn't want Percy to think that he was going to tell Neville and Harry about what he had seen, even though he had already talked to Neville and was without a doubt intending on telling Harry and Hermione.
He walked out of the room and followed Percy.
"You haven't told anything to anyone have you?"
"I was tired last night. I went to bed and I just woke up a few minutes before you arrived," Ron answered. Percy locked eyes with Ron, stopping in an alcove by the stairs.
"I can imagine how hard it is not to say anything. But I am here if you need to talk Ron." The tone was sincere and welcoming.
"I know Percy. But I'm still kind of processing it," Ron did his best to shrug it off.
"There you are!" a more vibrant and familiar voice called out, "OI GRED!"
"Found him Forge!?"
"Yep!" George responded, "We've been looking all over for you Ronnie."
George looped his arm through one of Ron's and wasted no time leading him away from Percy. Percy sighed at his younger brothers' antics. He hoped that Ron had enough common sense and control to not do something crazy or dangerous.
Ron was more focused on the fact that the twins got him away from Percy's paranoid and possibly potentially stalkerish behavior.
"Hey Ron. What did you do to get Percy so paranoid?"
"Something to do with the flooding last night?"
The twins wiggled their brows suggestively at the incident.
"If so, marvelous work."
"It wasn't me," Ron responded. "I don't know who did it. Percy's probably right that it was Peeves."
"Oh?" the twins both reacted.
"Care to share?"
"Only if you can distract Percy for the morning," Ron muttered.
"Deal," Fred agreed.
"Don't worry Ron, we'll keep him busy. You'll have to tell us after he's done yelling at us."
"Wait what?" Ron blurted out. He didn't get an answer as the twins ran to undoubtedly pester and prank Percy. Ron didn't move for a minute.
"Morning Ronald," a well known and female voice spoke with a yawn.
"Morning Mione. Hey, can we talk real fast?"
"Sure. Where's Harry and Neville?"
"Back in the room. Come on."
He led Hermione back to his room where he was hoping Harry and Neville were when he heard a loud popping noise. Ron was certain it was the beginning of whatever the twins were doing to distract Percy.
Gilderoy Lockhart sat alone in his room, ruminating over the unfortunate staff meeting he had been forced to be a part of. It was not something that he had signed up for when he agreed to return to his Alma Mater. An attack on the cleaner squib's cat. A threat that had been last brought forward back before Dumbledore was the Headmaster of Hogwarts.
The Chamber of Secrets. A rumor whispered from paintings he had been able to charm with his warm personality and brilliant smile. Oh how easy it was to to glean information from those works of art that littered the entire school. From knowing about teacher's pop quizzes to who was interested in who, the paintings were a wealth of information. And they were so eager to share it.
It was a small blessing that he knew the rumors of the Chamber of Secrets. When they were alerted of the warning on the wall, he didn't stand there unaware of the implication. It wouldn't do for one of the house of Ravenclaw and of his legacy to not know of the school's skeletons in their closets. He knew that the chamber had once been opened fifty or so years ago. He knew that a student had been expelled, but the creature responsible was never captured. He also knew that an unfortunate ghost he had the pleasure of never running into, was the student killed by the beast all those years ago.
Positively dreadful for her. And it wouldn't be good for his career if a student died during his time here at Hogwarts. It was his goal to make it two years as a Defense teacher before returning to his calling of writing for the world.
He of course knew of the "curse" of the Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers. But it had been tested time and time again by the highest curse-breakers that came from the top wizarding schools in all the world. The curse was nothing more than coincidence or sabotage, something he wouldn't put past someone who wanted the position, or someone who disliked the school. Of course, it could always be a form of hazing. The teachers were all of high caliber, even Professor Snape. The youngest potion master of their time.
Pity that the effort would be wasted if that were the case. He had no interest in their future when he had his own to look forward to.
Even bigger pity that the school didn't know about the Chamber. He could make it grander and it could elevate his fame even higher. He wouldn't need to do anything. They would be aware and watching each other's back. He just needed, a little exposure.
A small and charming smile came to his face. If he recalled correctly, there was one student who carried a camera with him wherever he went. He'd have to hold him back after class to give him a little nudge in the right direction.
Tony looked over of blue prints of his suit, occasionally looking over at the sparse documents of one Harry Potter who he had a bit of an interest in. No social media, he hasn't seen him even turn on his gifted Stark Phone, nor had it been charged so he could force it on himself. And the Dursley's seemed so saccharine he could taste the artificial set up. Even after two months, this was the best he could do? What kind of individuals didn't have their information accessible online in this day and age?
Media pages were limited heavily but when active seemed to dote on their "perfect" domestic moments.
And there was a severe lack of their "red headed step child". He was mildly curious. And when he was mildly curious and the answer wasn't being provided he got antsy. Antsy and even more curious.
Someone had to have information on the kid who was Spy-guy's and Bruce's kids' friend.
"Jarvis, who was the guy who helped Barton in court?"
"That would be a Mister Phoenix Wright."
A cocky smile came to Tony's face. One that promised something chaotic.
I updated. And a little more expansion.