Harry & Daphne
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Kassien - Runic Animagi
Chapter 26 - Weird Encounters
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter!
Rated M = Mature, sex, language, drugs, ...
Chapter 26: Weird Encounters
Damn February is a short ass month, how is it that every other month gets at least thirty days while that pathetic month only gets 28, or 29 every fourth year ...big deal. Why not give the poor February an extra day from January and March, then all three months would be equal and on the same footing, but no ...the short month just gets the shaft and ends before you even realize. I guess I should be thankful February is now over, because Dobby is back to smoke with in the mornings and before dinner every day. He and Winky had spent the remainder of February at the Black Chateau in France with their new baby Haphne, for whom we threw the biggest welcome home party for in my suite.
Daphne and I were still dealing with a few stares and rumors since the last Daily Prophet to be published reached Hogwarts that one crazy Sunday over two weeks ago. The only truly good news to come out of that was when Gringotts contacted me about part ownership in the Daily Prophet since Levy Strainer only qualified for a loan big enough to cover half, which I quickly agreed to since his loan payments were also being made to me. Also Rita Skeeter had apparently not returned from an assignment tailing me, and was reported missing by the Ministry ...no big loss there.
Classes had really started to pick back up and began piling on the homework and preparation time needed to be ready for class, but luckily I usually only had the one main class a day and was easily keeping up since Runes and COMC rarely had homework or took up any of my time outside of class. I had spent the free time I had continuing to practice turning into a phoenix and rereading the runes book Luna gave me by Rowena Ravenclaw, since Dumbledore and I were searching for any clues on where the intelligent founder's diadem could be located. At our last lesson, Albus had encouraged me to ask Luna about it, since it was the Lovegood family that last possessed any items of their ancestor and house founder, and that if anyone might be able to help it would be the apparently brilliant but unusual Ravenclaw whose teachers felt she could have passed her OWL exams after her third year.
It was at Thursday's DA class the first week of March when I was finally able to meet with Luna, who would wait after class to speak with Daphne and I about whatever we wanted. Ever since Dumbledore told me about the younger Ravenclaw's knowledge I began noticing little things about the quirky girl, and came to the conclusion that Luna's whole 'weirdness' was an act and defense mechanism so people ignored and underestimated her ...and they say only Slytherins are cunning, what a laugh. The younger girl was an intense observer of people and magic and had often been caught looking oddly at Daphne and I making me wonder just how much magic Luna could actually see.
"Hey Luna, thanks for meeting me," I spoke gladly as she remained after the DA class in the Room of Requirements as it changed into a more casual sitting room for our purposes. "You don't mind if Daphne joins us, do you?"
"Not at all," she responded dreamily. "I'm sure you'd tell her everything anyway ...she is your fiance after all."
"How did you know that?" Daphne asked in surprise as she found a seat on the larger sofa and I joined her while Luna took the chair opposite us.
"I can see auras and magic ...and you both have more than most in and especially on your bodies. I can also see your engagement ring plain as day through your glamour as well as some interesting runic marking all over both your bodies, but I'm sure you know about those," she deadpanned, shocking Daphne and I to the core.
"B-but ...how?" I asked still stunned, but finally able to voice my thoughts and realize what those odd looks Luna was always giving Daphne and I were all about.
"Magic silly," she answered innocently, causing both Daphne and I to stare at her incredulously hoping for a little more than that. "It was a gift of my ancestor that you came to talk to me about."
"You really are Ravenclaw's descendant," stated Daphne slowly getting over her initial shock.
"As much as Harry is Gryffindor's, yes," she answered in her usual far away tone and aloof manner that was now a confirmed act with how sharp and perceptive I now knew Luna to be.
"Why didn't you say anything about the runic markings?" I asked unsure of how everybody else knew more about me and my family than I did.
"I figured you concealed them for a reason," she replied simply and with an innocent smile that was anything but, "as did your House's founder and ancestor."
"Wait ...Gryffindor had runic tattoos? How do you know?" I asked in shock but for some reason completely believed her.
"It was actually the unknown tribal runes tattooed to Godric's body that began Rowena's study of runic languages and the book I gave you," replied Luna who seemed happy to finally have someone to talk to about this with. "Godric was orphaned at seven, and never knew how he got his runic tattoos, only that he had them for as long as he could remember, that's how Rowena got involved ...how did you discover them?"
"Dobby got me the book, he said it was from Scribner's," I answered while making a mental note to ask Dobby later. "It's the best book I've ever read ...outside of maybe my mum's notebooks."
"Is she the one who discovered your animal runes?" asked Luna plain as day and curious, and I had to shake my head at the Ravenclaw descendant's brilliance.
"Yes, she is the one who started it," I answered in defeat, realizing there would be very little I could avoid telling Luna that she didn't already know.
"They're brilliant," she exclaimed, "if I wasn't already a raven animagus, I would have wanted one of those runic bracelets I've seen on your other friends."
"You're still welcome to one if you ever want a variety," added Daphne with a smirk and wink to me, having continually used the argument on me in order to keep researching more animals and giving her more animagus options.
"Do you have Snorlacks ...or Panthers?" asked Luna excitedly.
"I don't think I know enough about Snorlacks, but I could probably figure out some big jungle cat," I responded thinking about the large cat Jim tattooed on my calf this summer, and showed Luna, "maybe one like this?"
"That would be wonderful," she answered while clapping happily. "So, what did you need to talk to me about?"
"Ravenclaw's diadem," I deadpanned since we had wasted enough time already, and there was no point trying to lie or mislead Luna.
"You should ask her daughter, she hid it after her death," answered Luna easily enough and I knew something was weird about that unusual statement.
"Her daughter?" asked Daphne thinking along the same lines as myself.
"The Grey Lady of Ravenclaw," she answered with a dreamy smile.
"The Ravenclaw ghost is Rowena's actual daughter?" asked Daphne, in a familiar expression tonight ...shock.
"Rosalyn is a wonderful person and teacher," kind of answered Luna with the same dreamy smile that I took to be a yes, "her lessons during my first few years were my absolute favorite."
I think from now on, dealing with Luna I should put on a face of stunned shock mixed with an incredulous glare coupled with total uncertainty. How many bombshells can one person hit you with during the course of an evening, it just didn't seem possible and yet here we are. We thanked Luna and told her we would start trying to keep her in the loop and get more involved, since she was obviously capable if she had the whole wizarding world fooled to believe her whole family was crazy. When we finally left the Room of Requirements, I noticed Draco Malfoy hiding behind a nearby statue either spying on us or waiting to get into the Room ...but for what purpose would either accomplish I didn't know.
What the hell is Draco up to? It's been almost a week since my meeting with Luna, and using the Marauder's Map have watched him disappear into the Room of Requirements during all of his spare time. At least he's not actually following or spying on Daphne and I, but something is definitely up with the blonde ponce ...and I hope we figure it out before it's too late. I also began working on the panther runic animal seal, and had been trying to seek out and speak with the Grey Lady who had proved quite difficult to track down as of late.
"Why are you looking for me?" came a soft ethereal voice as Daphne and I purposefully wandered the halls around Ravenclaw's Common Room after our nightly workout and exercises hoping for just such an encounter.
"I need to ask you about a student many years ago ...Tom Riddle," I answered after turning around and seeing the Ravenclaw ghost slowly float towards Daphne and me with an unreadable expression on her semi-translucent face.
"Tom Riddle was a charmer and a liar, much like his ancestor Salazar," she answered in the same soft ethereal voice still showing little to no emotion.
"He used you to get the diadem ...and then stole it, didn't he?" Daphne interjected brilliantly, and was rewarded by the first emotional response from the Grey Lady ...the proud look of a teacher who witnessed a student figure something out for themselves.
"You would have done well in my mother's house, dear," answered the Ravenclaw ghost proudly, before her eyes became slightly unfocused as she began her tale. "When he was a student here, he was very interested in the heritage and lineage of the Founders, and later items of theirs believed to still be out among the world. Eventually, I told him of the diadem my mother wore and cherished, and where I hid it before my death and didn't think anything else about it."
"How do you know he took it?" I asked trying to follow along.
"He returned here to Hogwarts with it twenty five years ago when seeking to become a professor, and hid it in the hiding room on the seventh floor," she answered softly and with obvious regret. "I cannot physically touch it ...nor would I want to now that it is filled with such evil, it needs to be destroyed."
"Thank you Lady Ravenclaw, the Headmaster and I will be destroying it soon ...and hopefully Tom as well," I answered sincerely and with a respectful bow of my head.
"You have the markings of Gryffindor ...they will serve you well in your battles to come," she answered loftily, and making me stare sharply at her wondering if she too was like Luna and her mother Rowena. "Do not be alarmed Chosen One ...my bloodline will follow and protect yours until the end of time."
Daphne was partially giddy all night over what we learned, and how much closer we now were to permanently putting an end to Voldemort. She took the almost prophetic words of the Ravenclaw ghost as a good sign that I truly could and would defeat Tom and live on to have a family and semi normal life continuing the lines of Gryffindor, Potter, Black, and Greengrass. Her good mood lasted throughout our late night intense cardiovascular workout under the covers and into the morning when she left for breakfast with her friends and I went for a long smoke session with Dobby out on the balcony.
Albus and I met later that morning for our usual Friday lessons, and it was hard to believe it had already been four weeks since the Valentine's Day weekend Hogsmeade trip. We began as usual with a light banter and discussion that covered classes, the Ministry, the Order, and Voldemort before we got to the purpose of this particular lesson. I told him about my discovery of Rowena's daughter, just not the who or how I learned that, and highlighted my conversation last night with the Ravenclaw ghost. Needless to say, Albus was rather shocked that Tom had sweet talked his way into the ghost's confidence to learn of the diadem and it's location, but even more so to learn that Tom returned it to Hogwarts in 1970 when he applied for the DADA teaching position.
He agreed with me, and felt it imperative to seek out and find the priceless Founder's artifact that contained one of the last pieces to Voldemort's soul, before it fell into someone's hands much like the diary did to Ginny. I told him where the Grey Lady said it was, and that she too wanted it destroyed due to the evil it now contained and represented, so generally the pair of us made our way up to the seventh floor. We passed the blank stretch of wall several times that marked the entrance to a place I had been coming for ages now and never knew about, while thinking about a room of hidden things before a door materialized.
"Holy Shit!" I exclaimed upon opening the appearing door and walking into a room easily as big as the Great Hall, but filled to almost capacity with shelves upon towering shelves of items of all kinds and variety.
"I must agree Harry ...although I would have chosen different words than yours," responded the Headmaster with a soft glare that did little to hide his amusement or sense of curiosity at everything around us.
"This is going to take awhile, isn't it?" I asked with dread, thinking this may have been one of the easier of the horcruxes to collect. but with no such luck.
"I have nothing else planned all day," answered the now smiling Headmaster to my impatient grumbling, probably having a laugh about impatient teenagers ...of course we're impatient, our whole lives are still ahead of us.
I've been in this junk room for far too long now, and it's all starting to blend together as my stomach rumbled for the seemingly seventeenth time as I approached one of the back most shelves. I could vaguely hear a door open and close from somewhere in the distance, and hoped Dumbledore didn't just leave me in this place to look for myself ...I could seriously get lost in here. It was another few minutes of searching when I began to feel magic being performed back near where I started when Albus and I split up to cover more ground. As I approached where the spells were coming from I noticed Albus also heading towards the magic and making me realize that someone else was currently in the junk room with us, and was most likely unaware of our presence as we approached.
"Damn ...I'm so close," came the frustrated ranting yell of who could only be Draco Malfoy, once again spending his free time in the Room of Requirements and completely clueless ...was he looking for the horcrux too? "Work already, you blasted cabinet! I can't fail the dark lord again ...he needs this bloody cabinet to work to get inside Hogwarts, and I can't bloody fix it! Fucking Potter ...always training here at night when I need to be working ...Borgin already got his half of the cabinet working ...WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?"
"Not being aware of your audience for one," I spoke up loudly not able to pass up the chance of interrupting his confessional rant any longer, as Albus and I both stared at him from our end of the aisle as he raged against a vanishing cabinet that looked identical to one I once hid inside of at Borgin & Burkes when the Malfoys showed up and I was lost after my first unsuccessful floo travel.
"U ...uh ...uh," stuttered a slowly turning and extremely pale faced and wide eyed ferret as he saw me.
"Having trouble speaking Draco? You where doing so well a moment ago confessing your crimes ...please continue," I added sarcastically and with a glorious smirk on my excited face at the trouble Malfoy now found himself in.
"Fuck you Potter," snapped a cornered and frantic Draco who quickly went for his wand ...is he a fucking kamikaze psychopath drawing on me and the Headmaster, "avada ke-"
That was as far as he got through the unforgivable spell before Dumbledore had silently stunned, bound, silenced, and disarmed the arrogant blonde ponce making my triumphant smirk grow even bigger if possible. One look at Albus and I knew he understood the implications of what Draco was trying to do to help Voldemort's cause, and I calmly went to his bound form and lifted his left sleeve to see the newly tattooed Dark Mark. Albus shook his head in total disappointment that one so young would be so cruel or power hungry to seek Tom's horrible service, and put all of his students at a great risk. I could tell how hard it was for Albus, someone who always believed in second chances and giving kids the benefit of the doubt, to see first hand one of his students take the wrong path from which was there was little return, since Malfoy was no Severus Snape, who despite being a snarky ass, was beyond talented, intelligent, and cunning ...something Malfoy lacked across the board. I felt bad for Albus as he looked down at Draco with such disappointment and a small trace of failure in himself that it was hard to watch one so strong beat himself up so much for the decisions he had to make.
Albus needed to deal with the Draco issue immediately, and I told him I would get Dobby's help to finish looking for Ravenclaw's diadem since we didn't want to miss our chance at the horcrux. Once the Headmaster left, leading the bound and floating Draco from the Room of Requirement's junk room, I had Dobby bring several empty trunks and began packing up the cabinet for a retaliatory strike as well as anything else of importance or interest. Within twenty minutes, we had filled several trunks worth of shrunken books, or items of interest or value until Dobby commented on an evil magic feeling he could sense coming from a certain area we had yet to explore.
"What a bad wig," I commented upon seeing what had to be the diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw sitting perched atop a bust of a statue with a stringy white wig that looked Medusa like, "for a pretty tiara."
We decided to levitate the whole bust, wig, and diadem combination straight into an empty trunk and deal with it at next weeks lesson with Albus since I was starving. We went back to my suite since I already missed lunch, and had Winky make us a large pepperoni pizza before we went out to the balcony to smoke and catch up. Draco hadn't shown up by dinner time, and I wondered if he had finally gotten into trouble his daddy or his family name couldn't get him out of. Actually, with his dad now a fugitive, and his family flat broke I guess it wasn't too much of a surprise that he was in even more trouble than I would have originally guessed. Nobody at the Slytherin table for dinner seemed to notice or care about Draco's absence since his standing within the house had fallen greatly after the news of what I did to his family at Christmas became common knowledge among the serpent house at least.
"Okay Potter spill, what's with the goofy grin?" asked Blaise towards the end of dinner, apparently his curiosity won out.
"What, I can't be happy it's the weekend?" I responded back easily.
"You're practically dancing in your seat," added Daphne with an amused grin, but curious look that demanded answers since she had spent the day with her friends and hadn't yet heard about my day.
"Of fine, spoil my fun," I sulked like a five year old, before my smile returned and I leveled them all with an amusing glare. "Well, since he's not here gloating about avoiding punishment ...I think you may be down one Slytherin sixth year already."
"What ...who?" asked Tracey as all four Slytherins began scanning their house table looking for their missing housemate, until Daphne gasped and gave me a wide eyed look that was seemingly filled with both questions and relief.
"The Headmaster and I caught Draco in the Room of Requirements trying to fix a connecting cabinet to one at Borgin & Burkes, that Voldemort was trying to use to get into the school," I replied after casting a small privacy bubble around the five of us since their exclamations drew some attention to us. "It gets better, he didn't know we were there, and we found him in mid rant confessing his plans and crimes over failing the dark dick-head, and when we confronted him he tried to attack us ...me and the Headmaster."
"With what spell?" "What happened?" came the differing questions.
"Dumbledore had him stunned, bound, silenced, and disarmed before the putz even started the kedavra," I answered with an amused grin.
"He didn't?" gasped Daphne as the others matched their wide eyed looks of astonishment at Draco trying to kill me with the Headmaster present, since they couldn't believe even Draco was dumb enough to try to kill Albus Dumbledore.
"He also bore Voldemort's mark," I added to their already shocked faces, which were now flinching at the name and the action.
"He was already marked?" breathed out Sophia in a near whisper as she looked at Blaise with slightly nervous and scared eyes, as the group seemed to instantly tense before slowly looking up and down the rest of their house table wondering if he was the only one, and knowing in their hearts that he wasn't.
"It still looked fresh ...he was probably marked over the Christmas holidays, not that it was much of a holiday for him I imagine," I responded lightly, and with a small grin at the end hoping to bring them out of their contemplative stares.
"Come on Harry," spoke Daphne as she slowly began to stand and pull me up beside her, "let's go train, the sooner we finish the longer the cardio workout."
"Bye folks," I waved after her friends literally jumping to follow, more than ready to get started so we could get to the fun part, as Daphne just smirked in triumph at my reaction knowing the control she had over me ...and I was definitely not complaining.
Daphne really made me work tonight before I could get to the cardio reward, but damn did she make it worth my while in spades ...and whipped cream. Throughout the earlier training with swords and wands I had told her all about the day with Albus and the junk room that Dobby and I began pilfering. She was very interested to spend some time this weekend going through what we collected, and maybe even going back for a whole lot more ...Merlin, I love that woman.
Saturday at breakfast in the Great Hall I got two brilliant pieces of news, and I'm struggling to determine which is truly greater. The first was that Draco did not sleep in the Slytherin dorms nor are any of his possessions still there, although no official announcement had been made the rumor and speculation of his disappearance would keep everyone bust and quite a few happy. The other news came from Gringotts in the form of a letter explaining that without the incoming revenue of the Daily Prophet for the next month in getting everything ready, Levy Strainer wouldn't be able to make this month's payment and could be completely bought out with only spending ten percent of the Black Family vault and giving me sole ownership of the Wizarding World's media outlet ...fucking brilliant!
"Are we having movie night tonight?" asked Sophia near the end of breakfast.
"Yeah, and I invited Neville and Luna too," I answered, just then remembering to tell Daphne that I had invited them as we discussed.
"Why, do you have more nefarious plans to set up?" asked Tracey with a challenging raise of her manicured eyebrows.
"Hundreds," I answered back with a smirk, "know anybody that wants to get into the newspaper business?"
"What do you mean?" inquired an alert Blaise who might not be a bad person to bring aboard for this venture down the road.
"Let's just say that I might have connections," I smirked back, finally getting the hang of bantering with the Slytherins and usually finding myself quite liking the small close knit group not too unlike my own Gryffindor one I've been neglecting a bit recently.
Movie night was a hit as usual, and we kept the talk light between the thriller classic and romantic comedy before we said goodbye to our friends and spent a wonderful night in bed together. On Sunday Daphne and I made another trip to the junk room within the Room of Requirements, where we each loaded up several more trunks full of antiques, books, and valuables. She couldn't wait to show some of this stuff to her dad who she knew would be ecstatic to get his hands on any of it. I was just happy to have found a few rune books that looked promising as well as many others for future study. By the time we retired Sunday night we had gathered over fifty enlarged school trunk filled with our finds, and had an absolutely enjoyable weekend mostly spent together.
AN: Bye Draco ...I won't miss you! You'll find out what happens to him next chapter ...I think?