Chapter 4A: Enemies of the Heir
The days went by quickly. Lee spent more time outside flying. After spending so much time on her dragons, she finally let Sarah try flying with her on Aero Shield. Their classes with Lockhart hadn't improved. Instead of teaching spells, Professor Dim-Wit, as the four had began calling him, took to reenacting his adventures for the class. Lee's discussion with Professor Dumbledore hadn't resulted in anything changing; they still had to sit through his classes.
"Why did Dumbledore hire him in the first place?" Sarah groaned as they left yet another DADA class.
"Because Lockhart was the only person that even applied for the position," Lee answered. "I'd give anything to have Quirrell back. At least he taught us something."
"You would prefer the guy that had Voldemort in the back of his head to Professor Dim-Wit?" Harmony asked in disbelief. "Well now you know Lockhart's really bad."
They walked down to the library and met Kaede, who was doing her potions essay. They took seats at her table and pulled out their homework.
"So, I'm assuming your classes were dull, as usual," Kaede stated, not glancing up from her book.
"Yup. By the way, you're going to be watching Lockhart reenact his defeat of some werewolf," Sarah replied, pulling out her star charts from astronomy. "Kaede, can you check this for me? I can never remember Jupiter's moons."
They fell into the routine. Each of them doing their homework and asking for another to check it. Harmony passed Lee her History of Magic essay. As she glanced at the notes she shook her head.
"Harmony, how did you pass this class last year?" Lee joked.
"I didn't," Harmony replied. "Well I did, but just barely."
"It's a miracle that anybody passes that class," Sarah stated. "Professor Binns is so boring."
Lee reviewed the notes, correcting Harmony when needed. Eventually, they all went down to Great Hall. It was bedecked with floating pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns. The four separated to their tables and began enjoying the Halloween feast. It seemed that last year's events would not be repeating themselves. As it came to a close everyone made their way back to the common rooms, only for a horrible event to be revealed.
Lee and Harmony were walking with the crowd of Slytherins when everything came to a halt. Harmony quickly pushed Lee to an alcove away from the crowd, but the sight was absolutely horrid. Filch's cat was hanging by its tail, completely frozen. The writing on the wall was even more disturbing.
THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS HAS BEEN
OPENED. ENEMIES OF THE HEIR, BEWARE.
"Enemies of the Heir, beware! You'll be next Mudbloods!"
Both of them recognized the voice as Malfoy's, but Lee was too shocked to be furious with the little worm and Harmony was focused on the writing. The drama only escalated as Filch, probably drawn by Malfoy's declaration, came hobbling in. His outrage was instantly announced as he began advancing on someone. Lee's eyes widened when she saw that it was Harry. Couldn't that boy stay out of trouble?! Dumbledore soon arrived and quickly took control of the scene. He directed Harry, Ron, Hermione and some of the staff to Lockhart's office, taking the cat with them. The crowd began dispersing and Lee left the alcove to follow.
"Lee, what are you doing?" Harmony asked, bewildered. "We aren't needed and we should probably get to bed."
"They might need some help," Lee said with a shrug. "I might be able to provide some assistance."
Harmony rolled her eyes and followed her. The two made it into Lockhart's office to hear Filch's sobs and some of Lockhart's mumblings about Transmorgrifian Torture. The two dismissed his ramblings and Lee walked up to the desk next to Dumbledore.
"Sir," Lee said calmly. "Might I be able to offer my special set of skills?"
"Yes, that would be greatly appreciated, Ms. Lee," Dumbledore answered. "An outside opinion would be most helpful."
Lee looked over Mrs. Norris as critically as she could. There were no fang or claw marks. It wasn't a physical attack, but she didn't know what kind of magic could have possibly done this. Dumbledore straightened up and addressed Mr. Filch.
"She's not dead, Argus," he said softly.
"Not dead?" Filch choked, peeking through his fingers at his cat. "But why's she all- all stiff and frozen."
"She has been petrified," Dumbledore said. "But how, I cannot say…."
"Ask him!" Filch shrieked, turning his face to Harry.
"No second year could have done this," Dumbledore stated firmly. "It would take Dark Magic of the most advanced-"
Filch began protesting vigorously. He pointed out the writing on the wall, and said that Harry found out he was a Squib and about a Kwikspell letter. Harry defended himself, saying that he didn't even know what a Squib was. Lee was about to jump to Harry's defense when Snape spoke up.
"If I might speak Headmaster," Snape said from the shadows. "Potter and his friends may have simply been at the wrong place at the wrong time."
Lee's face must've shown her confusion. Snape standing up for Harry? He despised Harry! Snape's mouth curled into a slight sneer as he continued.
"But we do have a set of suspicious circumstances here. Why was he in the upstairs corridor at all? Why wasn't he at the Halloween feast?"
Harry, Hermione, and Ron launched into an explanation about something called a Deathday party. Harmony noticed the small smile that Lee tried to hide as they frantically tried to provide their alibis.
"But why not join the feast afterwards?" Snape questioned. "Why go up to that corridor?"
"Because- because-" Harry said shakily. "Because we were tired and wanted to go to bed."
At that point, Lee zoned out. Snape would keep the questioning going until he could find something that would get Harry in trouble. She kept staring at the cat. There had to be something she was missing.
"This certainly is a mystery," Cora whispered giddily.
Lee bit her tongue and resisted the urge to pull her mirror out. She certainly didn't want Lockhart to see it, or any of the other people. She was forced to do this conversation completely in her head, which meant a splitting headache could erupt any moment.
"You could merely use your magic and then the cat would be just fine," Alban suggested.
"That would raise too many questions that I don't even know the answers to," Lee replied. "Now please shush. I can't think if you two are distracting me."
Her eyes kept searching for anything. There was nothing! What could possibly attack without leaving a trace?! The words on the wall passed through her thought. 'Enemies of the Heir beware'. What was the Heir? Malfoy said something about muggle-borns being the next targets. What if the next victim was going to be a human?! Filch's furious shrieks pulled her out of her head.
"My cat has been Petrified!" He shrieked, his eyes popping out of his head. "I want to see some punishment!"
"We will be able to cure her, Argus," Dumbledore said patiently. "Professor Sprout managed to procure some Mandrakes. As soon as they have reached their full size, I will have a potion made that will revive Mrs. Norris."
"I'll make it," Lockhart butted in. "I must have done it a hundred times. I could whip up a Mandrake Restorative Draught in my sleep-"
"Excuse me," Snape interrupted icily. "But I believe I am the Potions Master at this school."
There was a very awkward pause in the room. Harmony and Lee glanced between the two professors. They sided with Snape on this one.
"You may go," Dumbledore dismissed Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
As soon as they shut the door Lee broke her gaze on the cat and turned to Dumbledore.
"Professor, what kind of magic has the ability to do this?" She asked.
"Very dark magic," Dumbledore answered. "If the writing was indeed correct, then there is a possibility of it being a horrible creature."
"I'm sure I could apprehend it. I've handled many dangerous beasts," Lockhart boasted.
Lee rolled her eyes. "Yeah, sure. Says the guy that thought the cat was killed using Transmorgrifian Torture."
"Miss Lee!" Mcgonagall scolded. "Do not talk to your professor in such a manner. Fifteen points from Slytherin."
"Apologies," Lee replied carelessly. "I'm just saying that this might require more than Professor Di- I mean Professor Lockhart's notable skills."
Harmony glanced at Lee with an unamused expression. Lee just gave a small shrug and returned to the conversation at hand.
"Whatever the case may be, Lee provides a fair point," Snape stated.
"If there's any possibility that it's a magical creature I'm sure I could figure out how to find it," Lee interjected. "Everything leaves a trail. Sarah could also help. She's one of the best trackers I know."
"I hardly think two second years would be up to this kind of challenge," Lockhart scoffed. "This clearly requires a professional."
"Technically I am a professional," Lee deadpanned.
"Unless it becomes absolutely necessary, I will not implore you and Ms. Blitz to investigate," Dumbledore interjected firmly. "I do not wish to put any student in harm's way."
Lee gave an affirmative nod and took that as her cue to leave. Harmony followed her and they proceeded down to the Slytherin common room. She had a very unsettling feeling in the pit of her stomach.
"What's bugging you?" Harmony inquired.
"Malfoy said the next people to be attacked would be muggle-borns," Lee stated. "I'm worried that one of us might get attacked. Sarah and you are muggle-borns and I'm a presumed muggle-born. The risk doesn't sit well with me."
"You are scared of a risk? I thought you lived to take risks," Harmony joked.
"I take calculated risks," she replied seriously. "This one has too many unknown factors for my taste."
Sarah couldn't stop pacing the Gryffindor common room. Malfoy's words rang in her head and the frozen figure of Mrs. Norris was stuck in her head. Fred had tried to get her to calm down, and normally she would've. It wasn't like her to let people see that she was nervous or anxious. She could just imagine her father roaring at her for being so weak. Sarah shook away that thought and returned to the current problem.
"Sarah, don't worry, I'm sure everything's fine," Fred said calmingly.
"He said that the muggle‐borns were next," Sarah stated shakily. "Harmony's a muggle-born, Lee's a presumed muggle-born, I'm a muggle-born. I can't calm down knowing that my friends are going to be targets!"
"We won't let anything happen to you or your friends," George pipped. "Ain't that right Fredie?"
"Of course," Fred replied confidently. "Besides, Dumbledore and the other professors will make sure everybody's safe."
"I trust Dumbledore and the other staff, but do you really think I find comfort in knowing that Professor Dim-Wit is one of the people watching me?"
The two twins chuckled at Sarah's statement. They always snickered when they heard Lockhart's nickname. Seeing Fred laugh at a joke always managed to to get Sarah to calm down. She took a deep breath and sat in an armchair in front of the fire.
"Are you sure they'll be okay?" Sarah asked uncertainly.
"You and your friends are the toughest people in Hogwarts," Fred answered. "You'll be fine."
No one talked about anything else but the attack for days. It didn't help ease Sarah's nerves, though people saw the affect more on Lee and Kaede's nerves than her's. Lee refused to leave the subject alone and found the legend of the Chamber of Secrets. She came running into the Room of Requirement with her bag slung over her shoulder. Sarah pushed a beanbag chair into a corner and Lee collapsed in it before pulling out her History of Magic book.
"How did you even fit that in your trunk with everything else?" Kaede questioned. "I could barely hold anything with those Lockhart books."
"You'd be surprised how empty my trunk is," Lee stated absently.
Sarah raised a questioning eyebrow at Lee, but she was buried in her book, flipping page after page.
"Aha!" Lee exclaimed happily. "I found the right chapter!"
"What exactly were you looking for?" Sarah inquired.
Lee rolled her eyes as if it were obvious. "The legend about the Chamber of Secrets."
"Why are you looking into the legend of something that's probably going to kill you?" Harmony asked.
"How exactly are we supposed to protect ourselves if we don't know what we're protecting ourselves from?" Lee countered.
Lee's eyes skimmed over the pages of her book about six times before she began to explain it to the others.
"So it says that the founders were seeking out the children developing their magical powers and bringing them to the school, but one founder thought they weren't being selective enough," Lee stated.
"Three guesses which founder it was," Sarah grumbled.
"It was Salazar Slytherin, of course," Kaede pipped with an eyeroll.
"He thought the muggle-born children would spill all the wizarding secrets," Lee continued. "Slytherin apparently made a secret chamber in the school and sealed a monster inside to one day purge the school of muggle-borns when his heir returned to the school."
"They've probably searched the entire school top to bottom," Sarah stated. "You'd've thought they could find it."
"Well, it said that it couldn't be opened until Slytherin's heir returned to the school," Kaede pointed out. "So if this is the first time Slytherin's heir has returned to the school then this is probably the first time the chamber's existence has been confirmed."
"What do you think's in the chamber Lee?" Harmony asked.
Lee puffed her cheeks out in slight frustration. "I have no idea. I've been looking over everything and I can't find anything!"
A sudden spark came from her fingers, making everyone jump. They all gave Lee scolding glares.
"Oops," Lee said apologetically.
"I thought you said you had better control," Kaede scolded. "We can't have magic sparking from your fingers every time you're aggravated."
"Well...It's better than last year," Lee replied. "Besides, look at Sarah's magic."
"Don't drag me into this!" Sarah exclaimed. "My magic only manifests in my drawings."
"You both need to learn to control it," Kaede interjected sternly.
"Back to the current topic?" Harmony asked timidly. "Are any of you going to try and find this thing?"
"If Dumbledore hadn't explicitly said 'no', I would," Lee answered. "I don't think I'll try anything unless there's another attack."
"I say we should find that thing now before it has a chance to attack a second time," Sarah inserted. "I don't want to sit by and wait for it to hurt a student."
"There's not much else we can do," Lee replied. "Dumbledore said he wasn't going to risk any students for that unless it was absolutely necessary. Even then I doubt he'd let us investigate."
"We should decide if we want to take that risk," Sarah debated.
"He's in charge of our safety," Lee countered. "What happens if one of us gets petrified or killed? That's not put on us, it's put on Dumbledore and I don't think he wants to face that guilt if we get hurt."
"Where did you learn to read people?" Kaede questioned in surprise.
"It's not that different from reading dragons, in fact, humans are easier to read," Lee replied.
They stayed in the Room of Requirement until the end of their break. Kaede and Sarah went to their DADA class while Harmony and Lee departed for transfiguration. Sarah had long since given up on trying to pay attention to Lockhart's lessons. Ever since the pixie fiasko he reenacted scenes from his books, using Harry as a character every other day. Today he was going on about how he cured the Wagga Wagga Werewolf.
"He is utterly incompetent," Kaede whispered.
"I thought we already established that on the first day," Sarah replied.
"We did, but now I swear he must be pulling facts from his butt," Kaede stated. "Anyone who has a decent amount of brain cells knows that there's no known cure for Lycanthropy."
Sarah raised a questioning eyebrow at Kaede. "Where did you find this exactly?"
"Last year Lee was looking into an area that was common for werewolf sightings" she answered. "I decided to look into the topic for her and see if there were any useful spells she could use in case she came across one."
The bell rang and the two rushed to get out of the classroom. They went to the Charms classroom and met Lee and Harmony. Now that their classes were over for the day they were planning on going to visit Hagrid. When they reached his hut Sarah knocked a pattern on the door.
"Comin' Sarah!" Hagrid called from inside.
The door opened promptly and Hagrid beamed down at the four of them.
"I wasn' expectin' you te bring everyone," he said cheerfully.
"We all wanted to come see you," Lee replied.
He brought them all inside and they took seats around his giant table. Hagrid began making some tea and offered them some of his rock cakes.
"So, Sarah, Lee, are ye ready fer the Quidditch match tomorrow?" Hagrid asked.
"I'm ready, but I just might 'forget' my broom and have to use a school one," Lee answered, putting air quotes around the 'forget'.
"I'm ready for the Gryffindor team to kick some Slytherin butt," Sarah pipped. "I want to wash the smug look off of Flint's face."
"You and me both," Lee agreed.
"Yer on the Slytherin team," Hagrid interjected, puzzled.
Lee let out a groan. "I really wish I wasn't. I can barely stand them and I wish I could hit them all upside the head with my bat."
"Your sacrifice for the good of the other teams is greatly appreciated," Sarah said gratefully.
"Besides, I'm sure you'll have fun trying to out beat the other beaters," Kaede added.
They wandered from the topic of Quidditch and stayed at Hagrid's until it was time for dinner. The last hours of the day flew by and they ignored the normal buzz of the Great Hall. They each peacefully sank into a quiet slumber.
A/N: So, I've gotten some DM's about OC's and other stuff in regards to the quartet. Firstly, I'm so happy that some of my work inspired some of you to create your own characters, second off, I'd love to see and hear more about your work. Also, please leave a review. I'd love to hear your thoughts about the fic. Thanks!