The Issue of Mine Enemy

BY : PerfesserN
Category: Harry Potter > Het - Male/Female
Dragon prints: 38182
Disclaimer: Okay, okay. I'm NOT JK Rowlings, I do not own Harry Potter. I make no money from writing these stories, I do it because it's fun and other people seem to enjoy what I write - the best of whom write review and tell me when I get it right and







Chapter 27 – Back to Hogwarts



 



Harry, Belle and Marietta appeared near the Three
Broomsticks in Hogsmeade the following day and began the long slog up to the
castle that was Hogwarts.  The cooler highland air was invigorating and the
trio enjoyed the walk and the companionship.  They arrived at the gates to find
them locked and chained, a sign across the gate read “By Order of the Ministry
of Magic, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is Closed until further
notice,” the sign was signed by R. Scrimgeour.



 



Harry tapped the lock and said in a clear, authoritative
voice “alohamora!”



 



The chains began to slide off, then stopped, retightening
themselves like a petulant metal snake.



 



Snake.



 



“I wonder” Harry mused, then repeated his actions this
time saying *alohamora* in parseltongue.



 



The chains slinked to the ground, then raised a set of end
links in Harry’s direction as if awaiting orders.



 



“Belle?” he asked “can you transfigure this into a snake
for me?”



 



“Of course, m’lord, do you have a preference?”



 



“I wish you would just call me Harry” he sighed, knowing
she was from an old traditional family and would never be comfortable not
addressing her perceived head of family by anything other than an honorific, “Um,
how about a boa constrictor?”



 



She nodded and raised her wand, a moment later a two-meter
long Colombian Boa Constrictor lay on the ground.



 



“Can we shrink it a bit?”



 



She said “of course” and the snake was now about half a
meter in length and about as thick as their other snake friend, the adder Sssai-hath
Ssseck.



 



Harry got down on one knee and extended his hand, saying *would
you like to come with usss
?*



 



The small boa answered by slithering up the sleeve of his
robe to cuddle against the warmth of his arm.



 



“Oi, can’t you read?  Ministry says we’re closed!” the
nasally gravelly voice of Argus Filch, caretaker called down from a low
crenellated wall.



 



“This is Ministry business, kindly inform Headmistress
McGonagall that we’ve arrived Mr. Filch.”



 



Filch, used to taking orders from those he perceived to be
authority figures was very much impressed with the auror officer’s uniforms and
braid.



 



“Roit you are sirs, come straight in an’ I’ll guide you
up!”



 



“That’s all right Mr. Filch, we know the way, thank you. 
We won’t keep you from your duties.”



 



The old caretaker nodded and walked off.



 



Harry put on his “official” demeanor as they neared the
office of the current head of Hogwarts.  As they arrived at the stone gargoyle
Harry said, “Official Business, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Magic to see Headmistress
McGonagall.”



 



The gargoyle nodded and slid to one side, Harry and the
ladies rode the spiraling staircase up to the office.  Just before Harry
knocked a strong Scottish brogue called “come in” through the door.



 



Harry stood before his old transfiguration teacher and
noticed for the first time just how old she looked.  He wondered if it came
with the job, the pressures of running the preeminent school of its kind in Europe.



 



She remained seated behind her massive desk as Harry and Marietta stood at attention before her, clearly letting her know that in this place she
was in command.  Belle stood respectfully to one side although not at
attention.



 



“Headmistress, I am Commander Evans, I believe you know
Lieutenant Edgecombe?”



 



Minerva’s eyes widened in recognition, “Lieutenant
Edgecombe; so soon?  You’ve done very well for yourself Miss Edgecombe, I’ll be
the first to say it and very glad too!”



 



“And you are?” the headmistress asked Belle.



 



“This is Miss Black, headmistress, my bondmate, who also
just happens to be a special consultant in the case we’re currently working
on.”



 



“We’ve had several members of the Black family attending
here, I don’t recall you though Miss.  That hair is striking, I’m sure I would
have remembered seeing it before.  It’s redder than the Weasley’s as their hair
tends more to the orange end of the spectrum.”  She smiled at the recollection.



 



“Headmistress, might we all sit down, I’m afraid my Lady
Black is in a delicate way.”



 



“I’m pregnant m’lord, not crippled” she said in an
exasperated tone.  Thankful that Harry had redirected McGonagall from her
uncomfortable scrutiny.



 



“Of course, my apologies and congratulations, both of you,
do you know whether it’s a boy or girl?”



 



“Oh yes, it’s a little witch, and our healer says ours is
the strongest bond he’s seen in years so she’s already magical!” Belle
practically gushed.



 



“You are such a girl sometimes” Harry sent over their bond
and smirked.



 



“Well congratulation again, both of you, I fully expect to
have this school up and running again long before your daughter. . .”



 



“Alexis” Belle and Harry offered simultaneously and
smiled.



 



“. . . long before your daughter Alexis is due for her
letter.  I’m afraid this damn war is going to keep us from opening anytime
soon.” 



 



Having said that Minerva McGonagall seemed to collapse in
upon herself.



 



“Headmistress,” Harry offered, “if we are successful today
I believe you may be able to reopen sooner rather than later.”



 



“Commander what are you saying?”



 



“I’m saying that the key to Voldemort’s defeat is within
the walls of this castle, wouldn’t you agree, Professor Dumbledore?”



 



The portrait of Albus Dumbledore seemed surprised to have
been caught eavesdropping.



 



“Whatever do you mean Commander?” the painting asked.



 



“Have you told the current head of Hogwarts about Tom’s
horcruxes?”



 



The painting stood tall and imposing within its frame
“What do you know of horcruxes, and most importantly how do you know of
horcruxes?”



 



“Tom Riddle was so afraid of dying that he split his soul
into seven different pieces, one he’s kept in that travesty of a human form he
currently inhabits; the other six were placed into objects of particular
significance to him.”



 



“How do you know this?” Minerva stood and asked, not sure
if she could believe it.



 



“He told me” Harry said, hooking his thumb at the
portrait.



 



“The first horcrux was destroyed by a twelve-year-old boy,
in the Chamber of Secrets. The second was destroyed, along with the previous
headmaster’s arm last summer.  The third . . .” Harry reached into his robes
and pulled out Slytherin’s locket “. . . the third is right here in the
headmistress’ chambers as are the fourth and fifth soul receptacles.”



 



Albus sat in his painting, Minerva sat in her chair.



 



“That scabbard is a horcrux” he said pointing to the worn
leather scabbard behind the glass display case that held Godric Gryffindor’s
sword.



 



“And the alabaster inkwell on Rowena Ravenclaw’s desk, the
one that writes in green ink no mater what color inks you fill it with?  That’s
the fifth one.”



 



“And Helga’s cup?” Dumbledore’s painting asked.



 



“That would be in Salazar’s chamber, inside the statue of
his head.”



 



“But only a parselmouth can enter that chamber.” Minerva
offered.



 



Harry raised his arm and said *come out and ssshow
yourssself, Irisss
*



 



The little boa came out, *Irisss, why Irisss?*



 



*Because Isssisss isss too long*



 



If Iris’d had shoulders she would have shrugged them.



 



“Until recently there hasn’t been a parselmouth in this
school since the days of Tom Riddle, who are you?” McGonagall demanded.



 



The portrait of Albus Dumbledore laughed, “Don’t you know,
Minerva?  Oh this is too droll for words, please reveal yourself, my young old
friend.”



 



Harry shrugged and waved his wand over his features
changing his hair back to the unruly black mop and reconfiguring his glasses to
the black rimmed goggles that people had become accustomed to over the past six
years.



 



“Mr. Potter!”



 



“Professor McGonagall.” He rejoined.



 



“Mr. Potter, where have you been, what have you been up to
all summer?”



 



Both Marie and Belle smirked at the last question.  A
reaction not missed by the sharp eyed professor “other than the obvious, really
Potter at your age . . .”



 



Both Belle and Marietta took umbrage at the last comment.



 



“Harry is a very old soul in a young man’s body,” Belle
told the headmistress, “and you don’t know the circumstances that have brought
us together, as happy as I am about how things are progressing for us; you
would not like hearing the details.”



 



“Nor does anyone need to, Belle, that’s all behind us.” Harry
said gently.



 



“Actually, m’lord, it will be before us for the next six
and a half months or so” she teased.



 



“And you will address him as Commander, Professor, he’s
earned it” Marie finished



 



“I’ve been under the tutelage of Sergeant Major Moody, Mad
Eye to you, Ma’am.  He’s been helping me prepare to meet the Dork Lord and had
arranged some really high powered help to go along, but before we can take on
Moldishorts and his death nibblers we have to destroy the remaining horcruxes.”



 



“Be careful Harry, each horcrux demands a price for its
sacrifice.”



 



“Yes, about that Sir.  The horcruxes are not dangerous to
Tom or anyone who shares a bit of his magic.”



 



“You mean?”



 



“Yes sir, if you had given me the ring, I could have
smashed it without any danger to myself.  I could have drunk the potion
containing the faux horcrux without any ill effects whatsoever.”



 



“Ah yes, as always, in hindsight it seems so obvious.”



 



“Yes sir” he turned to the headmistress, “if I may begin
collecting the rest of Tom’s soul?”



 



“Of course” and for the first time Minerva emerged from
behind her desk in her tartan overcoat and fuzzy slippers. “Well, these stone
floors are cold.”



 



She retrieved the inkwell as Harry pulled the scabbard
from behind the glass case.



 



“Just the cup left then, I’ll take them to the Quidditch
Pitch, My Lady Belle is an accomplished researcher and has determined that dark
magics are least powerful at solar noon, which will be in just under two hours
so, if you’ll excuse me?”



 



His ladies rose to join him but he forbade it.



 



“Not this time I’m afraid, first there’s no need for all
of us to go, as I’m the only one who can open the chamber and I don’t want you
jostled about on the slide down.”



 



“Yes m’lord, might I go with you to the entrance?”



 



Harry rolled his eyes but smiled, “Yes milady, of course.”



 



“And as I’m your adjutant, I really must insist.” Marietta said, in a tone that would brook no argument.



 



“Someone please remind me that I’m the ranking officer
here?”



 



“Of course Commander” Marietta said kissing his right
cheek.



 



“Of course m’lord” Belle said kissing his left.



 



Harry placed the scabbard around his waist and pocketed
the (empty) inkwell along with the locket and said “shall we?”



 



As they entered the second floor girls bathroom Harry
heard a familiar voice.



 



“You’re not welcome here anymore Potter!”



 



“Oh, hello Myrtle” Harry said in an effort to be cordial.



 



“Don’t you ‘oh hello’ me you murderer, you assassin.  Tell
me, did it feel good when you slashed and tried to murder the only friend I’ve
had in ages?  Did you brag to all your friends about how he lay bleeding on my
floor?  He was so sensitive and good and gentle and kind and so frightened and
you had to ruin everything!”



 



Harry had just about had enough.  He was not looking
forward to going back into the chamber in the first place and now there was a
psychotic ghost in his face. 



 



He raised his hand, palm out and in his command voice said
“Myrtle, stop; have you managed to convince yourself that I attacked him?” he
demanded, green eyes boring into her grey ethereal ones, “who started with the
unforgivables?  Who started cursing in the first place?  What was he planning
to do, and . . . wait a minute?” Harry realized something that he should have
known all along.  “You and he talked for hours; you must have known what he was
trying to do!”



 



Myrtle shrank back toward a wall.



 



“When did you know, Myrtle?  When did you know that he
planned to attack this castle, to bring death eaters into these halls, to kill
Albus Dumbledore?”



 



Belle interrupted, “Myrtle, are we talking about Draco?”



 



Myrtle nodded.



 



“Well, let me show you what your good and gentle and kind boyfriend
is capable of!”



 



Saying that she undid the lacings of her emerald green
velvet dress and peeled the top down so that she could remove the white
camisole, then she presented her scarred back to the ghost girl.



 



“This is what your good and gentle and frightened
boyfriend did to me, and you know what?  It wasn’t enough, he would have
crucioed me too if someone hadn’t been there to stop him.”



 



She restored her top with great dignity and said, “Now
stop annoying us little ghost, and think in the future how your actions
reverberate through the land of the living!”



 



This time Myrtle moaned in shame and guilt as she did a
header into one of the toilettes.



 



Harry walked over to the sinks and found the one with the
faucet that bore the snake emblem.



 



*Open* he said in parseltongue.



 



The sink retreated into the floor revealing the slide
tunnel behind it.



 



“All right ladies, stay here, I’ll be back as soon as I
can.”



 



“Wait, Harry.” Belle said, “I know the Dork Laird, he
would never slide down a hole like this – too undignified.”



 



“What would he do?”



 



“He would have a conveyance of some sort, or at the very
least, stairs.”



 



Harry shrugged, then said *Ssstairsss*



 



The slide angled every foot or so forming a long graceful
spiral staircase.



 



“My Lord?” she said holding out her hand.



 



Harry groaned and took it leading her carefully into the
dark chambers below.



 



“Commander?” Marietta said and drew her wand as she
stepped past them and whispered “Lumos!



 



The directed beam of light allowed them to safely navigate
the stairs all the way to the bone littered base.



 



“There was only the one basilisk, but if you see anything
moving shut your eyes straight away, all right?”



 



Both ladies nodded their agreement.



 



As they all entered the main chamber torches magically lit
showing off the serpentine architecture.  At the end of the great chamber was
the statue of the monkey-faced Salazar Slytherin, the mouth still open since
the last time Harry had entered the chamber four years before.  There was no
trace of the basilisk’s body.  Harry didn’t want to think about what could
render twenty meters of snake to nothing, not even a skeleton. 



 



“Keep your eyes out, have your wands ready, just in case.”



 



“Harry, do you know something you’re not telling us?” Marietta asked.



 



“I’m not sure, but there should be a very large dead snake
here and there isn’t; not even a pile of bones.”



 



Both ladies appreciated his honesty and candor.  Of course
both pulled their wands and started scanning the room.



 



“Stay close, it’s going to be a bit wet here.”



 



He strode ahead of them into the knee deep water until he
reached Salazar’s open mouth, the lighted wand tip revealed nothing but a dark
furnished room, some books and a large desk.  Looking back to make sure his
ladies were watching his back and each other’s he slipped inside.



 



There to the left of the door was a small recessed alcove,
and resting on a shelf was Helga Hufflepuff’s golden goblet.



 



He picked it up and thought, “This is too easy.”



 



“Harry, get out here!”  Marietta shouted.



 



He jumped out of the small room and joined the two ladies
standing near the water’s edge.



 



“What is it?” he asked.



 



Both ladies were still scanning the chamber.



 



“See that?” Belle asked.



 



“See what?” Harry asked.



 



“Just keep looking at the far entrance.” Just then a dark
shape scuttled through the distant opening – through the roof of the opening.



 



All three mages redirected their wand lights toward the
ceiling of the chamber. 



 



The ceiling was alive with multi-legged creatures with
multiple multifaceted eyes.



 



The acromantulae had found a new home.



 



The three humans were welcome guests.



 



Welcome for dinner.



 



 








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