Meadow shook her head, unable to believe that the second most stubborn boy she knew had apologized for treating her horribly all for some potion lessons. She'd have to talk to her father about being able to get potions ingredients from him.
Chapter Thirty-One: The Library
The next day Harry, Shane, and Hermione pulled Meadow aside during their free period. Meadow had been studying the potions book Hermione had given her for Christmas, there were a few different potions that caught her interest, but the one she was by far going to try would be the Animagi Potionem. It was a potion to help become an animagus, but it required practiced hands, which Meadow was sure her hands were practiced enough, as well as high transfiguration skills. She had just turned to the page where the potion ingredients and amounts were before the three had grabbed her.
"It was Hagrid, he opened the Chamber of Secrets fifty years ago," Harry whispered to her.
Meadow rolled her eyes, "Don't be so sure, Hagrid was expelled because he had brought a spider into the school and kept it as a pet."
"The spider was the monster," Harry said back, urgently.
"No, it wasn't," she insisted and Hermione nodded.
"Exactly, we all know that Hagrid loves creatures, but there's no way he'd honestly put others' lives at risk. He knows better than that," the Gryffindor girl responded in a know-it-all tone. She still had the habit of using that tone when she knew she was right, but no one would listen.
"How exactly did you figure this out?" Meadow asked raising her eyebrows with a skeptical look on her face.
Harry launched into the story of how the diary talked back to him after he wrote in it, and then sucked him into a memory that Tom Riddle had fifty years ago on June 13, or something like that. How Riddle found Hagrid with the spider, whom was trying to get it to leave the castle. How Riddle turned the gamekeeper in after a girl died in a bathroom.
"As much as Hagrid might have the monster in mind, he doesn't have the heart to keep something that is that dangerous, especially if it killed someone," Meadow said when he finished the tail of Riddle's memories. "Honestly, it sounds like this Riddle guy framed Hagrid when he was the one to blame, didn't you say Riddle seemed like he knew something more to the attacks and wanted to stay for the summer holidays? It sounds like he wanted to blame someone else for the attacks when he was behind them."
"You don't understand, you weren't there," Harry said shaking his head.
"No, I wasn't, which is why I'm telling you from a different point of view. Do you really believe Hagrid would keep a monster like that?" Meadow replied harshly. "Besides, if you're so adamant about it, go ask him!"
In the end, Harry decided not to go to Hagrid about it, leaving Meadow to her Moste Potente Potions book that Hermione had given her. Shane kissed Meadow's cheek before he went to Madame Pomfrey for the full moon cycle, and Hermione sat down across from Meadow working head on school work. Meadow had thought about it, but with Easter breaking coming up, she didn't really feel like working ahead for no reason.
However, things were looking up, it had nearly been four months since the last attack on Justin and Nearly Headless Nick. Whoever it was, must had retired for good, but Meadow still had her doubts. She pushed them aside as she read through the instructions for the Animagi Potionem. It was easy, with practiced hands, but one step wrong, everything was a total fail. At the bottom it mentioned that it was step one of four to become an animagus. But the book never went on to explain the next steps, and Meadow groaned and slammed the book together, causing Hermione to look up at her startled.
"This book doesn't say anything about Animagi," Meadow explained to her Gryffindor friend.
Hermione raised an eyebrow, "You could always try Intermediate Transfiguration. Its next year's book for Transfiguration, there's a lecture on Animagi in there. Maybe you can figure something out from that."
"You're kidding," Meadow said and stood up and Hermione shook her head. She darted off towards the school section of the Library and then towards the Transfiguration section. As she ran her finger through the spines of the books as she skimmed the titles. Once the blonde found the book she pulled it and wandered back through the shelves to where she and Hermione were sitting.
"I don't know what you're up to, but if has anything to do with animagi, you best talk to Professor McGonagall. She'd know what to do," Hermione said lightly when Meadow sat down.
"We'll see…" Meadow mumbled as she looked through the contents of the Transfiguration book. When she found what she was looking for she flipped to the page and began skimming.
"An animagus, or plural, animagi, is a witch or wizard who can transform into an animal. The animal chosen represents one's true personality. For a witch or wizard to become an animagus, one would have to go through certain steps. The first step would be to make the 'Animagi Potionem' which only precise hands are required to brew such a potion. The second step, after taking the potion, requires the witch or wizard whom would like to change into an animagus to carry a single Mandrake leaf in their mouth for a month, without swallowing or spitting out the leaf. The third step requires the outmost advanced skill in Transfigurations, as it needs concentration, deliberation, and the charm 'mutamus animali'. However, as one would become an animal, a form unwilling chosen by the performer, one would be stuck in animal form until the countercurse would be spoken by someone trusted 'mutamus humana' until the witch or wizard transfiguring themselves into an animal could master both without a wand.
"There are only seven registered animagi; and in order for one to not receive a sentence in Azkaban, the witch or wizard whom is an animagus would have to register themselves with the Ministry of Magic. Please do not try if you are underage, becoming an animagus is a very difficult and daunting task which could end in disfigurations and a trip to St. Mungo's Wizarding Hospital."
"That seems easy," Meadow murmured to herself, causing Hermione to look up at her again.
"What does?" She demanded.
Meadow raised her eyebrows in surprise, "Hmm? Oh, nothing."
She jotted down some notes and a plan, she could easily make the potion as she helped Weasley out with his potion issues. Grab a leaf from one of the Mandrakes that Professor Sprout had, or rather ask the Professor for one that would probably be left over. The plump woman had excitedly told her classes that the Mandrakes had thrown a huge party the other night and all she needed them to do next was try and crawl into each other's pots for them to be adults. She could continue with the potion throughout June of the summer Holidays, hold the plant leaf in her mouth during July, and just go from there. It was simple, and then during school she could help Shane during his time of the month without getting hurt.
Meadow was so lost in her own thoughts she didn't realize the time Weasley was standing right next to her. "Snape, Snape!"
"Huh? Wha- oh, hi," She looked at him slightly confused, "Oh! Hi, I'm so sorry. Let's get going." She stood up and shut both books. She put her book into her bag as she stood up, pulling on her bag, she carried the Transfiguration book to the front desk to check it out. Madam Pince gave her a pointed look but allowed her to check the book out.
The two walked in silence down to the dungeons, it was easiest because the potions ingredients were already there. When they got closer to the classroom Meadow bit her lip, "So where do you want to start?"
"Erm…" Weasley replied.
Meadow looked at him, his ears were red already, "Why don't we start with the basics; types of potions, what ingredients are which, and you know… the easy stuff." Of course, it was difficult for Meadow to tell what was easy and what was difficult for her year, she had excelled at potions and was way beyond her year.
"Okay, sounds like a start…" the redhead replied softly.
As they got into the classroom, Meadow put her bag on a large potion table, where usually about four cauldrons would sit if they would make a potion during a class. "Okay, wait here, I'll grab ingredients. I want you to sort what is plant based and animal based at first and then we will focus on properties and names," She said as she walked towards the student store. The blonde waved her wand and pointed it at one of each of the potion ingredients before having them hover behind her as she walked back to the table. One of the very best things about magic, not having to make multiple trips.
At first Weasley was very fast at separating the ingredients into the two groups. Rosemary, plant; dried unicorn hair, animal; spiders, animal; devil snare, plant; and the list went on and on until only a few things were left. Meadow pointed Ronald Weasley in the right direction giving off clues on where to point something before she had him focus on one group and splitting into two; one poisonous plant group, one non-poisonous plant group. Then he split the other group up into poisonous animal ingredients and non-poisonous animal ingredients. And so on, until Meadow had hoped Weasley was starting to grasp each different potion ingredient characteristics. They called it a night, both having headaches from snapping a few times at each other, Meadow trying to think of hints rather than simply telling him what's what, Weasley actually thinking about potions, and it resulted in headaches, body aches, and complete and utter tiredness.
Meadow bid the stubborn Gryffindor a goodnight and she made her way towards the Slytherin common room, not even caring that Peeves threw chalk at her. Meadow had lazily glanced up at him as he had hit her on the cheek with a blue piece of chalk, and he soon got bored without getting a rise out of Meadow. As she walked into the Slytherin common room, she looked around slightly, some people had been able to go home, it had an option for third years and up. The young Snape caught sight of her friends at their usual couch and joined them, curling up and putting her head on Daphne's shoulder. She immediately fell into a deep sleep as soon as she closed her eyes.
Meadow Snape woke up very disoriented and confused on where she was. It seemed that she and her three friends slept in the Slytherin common room. They were all still in their school uniforms, Terrance's hair was spiked up in all different directions and his head was in Meadow's lap. She blushed slightly but noticed she was laying in Daphne's lap, and Daphne was slouching as she was leaning on Theo, whom managed to look incredibly uncomfortable sitting normally but his neck was angled weirdly as it sat on top of Daphne's head.
She shut her eyes in hopes of falling back asleep, but after what seemed like half an hour (more like five minutes), Meadow ended up just playing with Terry's black hair, it wasn't shaggy long like Shane's, but it wasn't buzzed short like Theo's, it was just the perfect length to where Meadow was able to twist the hair around her fingers and shape it how she wanted. It was surprisingly calming, and Meadow had just zoned out. She didn't notice that Terrance had woken up and was smiling.
She stopped as she heard a noise from behind her and her friend lifted his eyelids, "You know, you don't have to stop."
Meadow flinched, causing Daphne and Theo to wake up; Meadow gasped loudly and held her heart, "Merlin's bloody beard!" She exclaimed, "Don't you ever scare me like that again!"
"That's hardly likely, you're so jumpy anyways," Daphne mutter as she wiped sleep from her eyes, which earned her a glare from her blonde haired friend.
As the four untangled themselves from each other, they talked about classes for next year, they had to sign up during the Easter Holiday. Core classes: Transfiguration, Charms, DADA, Potions, History of Magic, and Herbology everyone had to continue on with, but there were a few classes that were new, elective classes: alchemy, arithmancy, care of magical creatures, divination, muggle studies, and study of ancient runes. However, Alchemy didn't allow students under sixth years, which Meadow was slightly put down by, but it was understandable, it was a very difficult and daunting. The more Meadow thought about it, the more she wasn't very interested in it. Terrance and Theo were only taking Care of Magical Creatures and Divination. Daphne signed up for Care of Magical Creatures and Ancient Runes. Meadow, seeing that everyone was signing up for Care of Magical Creatures signed up as well, she also picked Ancient Runes, Muggle Studies, and Arithmancy.
Her friends just shook their heads at her as she told them she just wanted to learn about each subject next year before narrowing her choices even more. Meadow could only be found in the library or an empty classroom, pouring over the Intermediate Transfiguration and Moste Potente Potions during her free time. Which, was slightly limited due to Quidditch practices every morning before breakfast, classes restarting, and Weasley's potion tutoring sessions every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Eventually, she had gone the next step up and had checked out the book A Guide to Advanced Transfiguration. She was writing more notes down about the process and even ran an interview with Professor McGonagall about how she became an animagus.
The Transfiguration teacher was delighted to talk about the subject with Meadow, only after lecturing the girl on how dangerous it could be for someone who was lacking skill within the subject. However, McGonagall did launch into the Animagus subject, and confirmed that the potion would just make it easier to transform the first few times until the animagus would get the hang of it wandless; the potion would also make it possible for the witch (or wizard) to turn back into their human form without needing the second person to do it for them. As Meadow asked questions about the process, such as the Mandrake leaf in one's mouth for a month, the Head of Gryffindor House also said it was necessary, and having had done it herself, she said it was the worst step because it was bitter tasting, and made everything taste horrible for weeks after the leaf finally disappeared into one's mouth. Professor McGonagall said the leaf was like a slow melting ice cream that had to sit in one's mouth for a month (or longer) before it would be completely absorbed by the blood stream.
Meadow had also begun sneaking a few ingredients out of the student store room each time she and Weasley met for the extra potion lesson. Luckily, it didn't look suspicious because Meadow had allowed him to start brewing potions from the book and mixed in her needed ingredients and said she just wanted to make sure he was paying attention. After that she would just pocket them rather than putting the ingredients back.
Sooner than later, she had over three-fourth of the ingredients needed, however, there were a few that were hard to come by, except, they were all in her father's personal stores. Meadow decided to ask if she could borrow Harry's invisibility cloak to sneak in after hours and grab what she could. And he allowed her to for a week before he wanted it back.
Luckily, within the week she had the cloak, Harry's things got raided, and Tom Riddle's diary was missing after that. "Just be happy your cloak wasn't there, mate, otherwise that would have been gone, too," Shane said to Harry after they had cleaned up the dormitory.
"You didn't tell anyone the password, did you?" Harry had asked Meadow after his room was attacked.
Meadow shook her head, "Honestly, I don't even pay attention to what weird words you Gryffindors have to say, the last password I remember was Nimbus Nimbotoes and that was before Christmas. It would have had to be another Gryffindor or teacher. No one knows the password."
Harry nodded and thought about what she said, she had never lied to her before, why start now and loose everyone's trust. Meadow didn't have a reason to lie about things. Meadow gave him a quick hug before she split off and went back to the Slytherin common room, one of the few times she would actually go there right after dinner. Harry had noted she looked increasingly exhausted now a days, and although he had been meaning to ask why, he would always seem to forget when he had the chance.
The next morning, the sun was shining so bright that the dungeon dormitories were lit up by the reflecting light in the Black Lake. The Slytherins could see the merpeople, fish, and seaweed again from their windows. The weather was great for the first Quidditch match of this semester. When Meadow had gone to breakfast early to wish Harry, the twins, and the rest of the Gryffindor team good luck, she noticed that Wood was enthusiastic as ever.
The Weasley twins grinned at her, since she had burrowed herself in her animagus studies, she hadn't talked to them much. "So, we heard—" Fred said.
"—you were helping—" George interrupted.
"—our little brother with potions," they finished together.
"That is true," Meadow replied and rubbed her eyes, "He's doing much better in class. I'm honestly surprised he asked me, of all people for help." The two grinned at her, and her heart sank in her chest, "What did you two do?"
George winked at her, "We might have mentioned to Percy—"
"—that Ron was failing potions—"
"—and that you were the best in your class—"
"—so Percy threated to owl mum if he didn't go apologize—"
"—and ask you for help," George finished.
Meadow felt like she was already watching a game of quidditch the way those two would talk with each other as a unit. "You blackmailed your brother?"
The two looked at one another with matching grins, and Fred spoke up, "Something like that." Meadow just shook her head and finished the rest of her breakfast. As she stood up, she tried to bid the two good luck, but George winked at her and said he needed a kiss from her for good luck to know that his day was on track with luck. This caused Meadow's cheeks to light up red, but she quickly walked out of the Great Hall after the three Gryffindor's with her head down as she tried to ignore the cat calls from the twins.
Meadow walked with Harry, Hermione, and Shane towards the Gryffindor common room for Harry's Quidditch things. "The voice!" Harry yelled causing the other three to jump, and Meadow slightly trip over her own feet. "I just heard it again –didn't you?"
Shane shook his head like, 'Oh bloody hell, not this again,' and then Hermione facepalmed her forehead and Meadow locked eyes with her friend's.
"You don't think—" Meadow started.
"—That's exactly what I think," Hermione cut her off and the two exchanged a squeal, "We're off to the library! I think I understand—"
The two dashed down the hall and Meadow called "Good luck, Harry!"
Hermione pulled Newt Scamander's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Meadow pulled out her copy of Hogwarts, A History. In hushed voices the two exchanged what they found.
"…he created a secret chamber within the school. It was said that only his true heirs could be allowed in, it is unknown where it is located or how to get into the chamber. Salazar Slytherin, after creating the chamber, and making his own house more selective to blood-types disappeared to never be seen again. It is said in the chamber it holds a monster… Only Salazar back then could talk to snakes, it has to do with something with Snakes, Mione," Meadow said and leaned forward, shifting her weight so she was sitting on her knees.
"I found it, here. 'The Basilisk is a giant serpent, also known as the King of Serpents. It is a creature bred by Dark Wizards. Herpo the Foul was the first to breed a Basilisk; he accomplished this by hatching a chicken egg beneath a toad which resulted in the creature known as a Basilisk. Basilisk breeding was banned in Medieval times. The practice can be hidden when the Department for Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures comes to check by simply removing the egg from the toad. Although classified as an XXXXX creature, meaning it is a known wizard-killer that cannot be domesticated due to its immense powers, because the Basilisk is still a serpent, a Parselmouth may place a Basilisk under his or her control.'" Hermione looked up at her, "That's why Harry can hear it. That's why we can't. It's a snake. But 50 years ago… Hagrid wouldn't have kept it, or been able to breed it, it's illegal."
"Hermione, 50 years ago, there would have been someone closer to Salazar Slytherin's blood line. Plus, the monster, say it is the Basilisk, would have been born way before that, when Slytherin made the Chamber. But how would it be Petrifying people rather than killing?" Meadow asked softly, "Does it say anything about killing?"
"The Basilisk has yellow eyes that kill anyone on direct eye contact. Never look one in the eye unless you wish death upon yourself…" Hermione rattled off as she skimmed the book.
"So… No one looked them in the eyes. Mrs. Norris, the water on the ground; Creevey saw it through his camera; Nick must have looked full force into the eyes, but he's already dead so he became as dead as a ghost could get, and Justin must have looked through Nearly Headless Nick…" Meadow muttered aloud. "How could it get around without everyone else knowing though?"
"Pipes," the Gryffindor replied and the two locked eyes in surprise. "Pipes! Doe! Pipes! What if the girl who died 50 years ago, died in a bathroom and never left?"
"Moaning Myrtle!" Meadow whispered excitedly. The two dashed out of the Library only to barrow into a Ravenclaw Prefect, Penelope Clearwater.
"What are you two doing here? Shouldn't you be watching the match?" She asked softly.
"We have some information about the Chamber of Secrets," Hermione breathed excitedly. "It's a Basilisk, I could show you!" She whipped out a pocket mirror and began shinning it in corners and walls, everything happened so fast.
Meadow's heart was beating in her throat and she shut her eyes quickly as she saw a shimmer of movement in the mirror. Her voice caught and her mouth went dry; next to her she felt Hermione become stiff, Penelope screamed slightly but then she must have looked indirectly into those yellow eyes as her scream stopped as quickly as it started. Meadow crumbled to the ground and hid under her robe, she started to sob.
She wasn't sure how much time passed before someone found the three students. Professors McGonagall, Flitwick, and Snape had been informed right away, since it was their students who were attacked. She had been questioned, but Meadow found herself unable to talk, from shock was what many of the professors said as well as Madam Pomfrey, the school nurse. Pomfrey had said Meadow was staying in the Hospital Wing until she was no longer affected by the trauma she went through.
Meadow was the only one who had escaped being petrified when the culprit had attacked, not only had she escaped, but she basically watched her friends turn to stone. Not many things happened after that. Harry and Shane came to visit Hermione quickly as Professor McGonagall asked them if they knew anything about it since Meadow was unable to speak. When Shane saw his 'little sister' he ran over and hugged her so tightly Meadow thought she would pass out.
All too soon she had to say her goodbyes before her hellos had even started. Theo, Daphne, and Terrance had been able to make sure Meadow was alive and well, apart from her missing voice, but then were also kicked out after one minute. Meadow had strict rules of not being able to leave the Hospital Wing; she'd have to owl if she wanted to talk to anyone. Her father would bring class work at the end of each day so she'd have something to work on for the next day.
It was a routine now. Professor Sprout would meet with Pomfrey and update her on the progress of the Mandrakes around lunch time every other day. Pomfrey would eat breakfast and dinner with Meadow, and in between meals, the matron allowed for Meadow to work on the classwork that Professor Snape would bring in the night before. When Meadow couldn't sleep, she'd use lumos and work on her animagus notes, refining them, and reworking a few flaws Meadow could already see in the potion.
Meadow felt like she was in a prison, her voice still not back, Poppy wouldn't allow her to leave the Hospital Wing. She also wouldn't allow anyone in, until one day Harry and Shane came in, apologizing to Madame Pomfrey, but Professor McGonagall had given them permission to visit Hermione and Meadow. Harry had filled her in on everything that had happened. With Dumbledore and Hagrid being taken away, exams still going on, Aragog the massive spider who tried to eat them but Author Weasley's car came to the rescue, Ron Weasley had been a lot nicer towards them and was asking about Meadow (apparently those extra potion lessons helped, he wasn't on Snape's shite list), how Malfoy had been a lot smugger lately, and all the rumors of what happened to her. He had started to explain that the Mandrakes were ready but Meadow waved him off, she already heard.
Meadow grabbed ink, a feather, and parchment, 'Chamber… Hermione's hand… We figured it out.' Harry cocked his head slightly, but he traced Hermione's stiff hand with his own. Meadow had the bed next to her Petrified friend, despite Madam Pomfrey's protests about the placement. "There's something in her hand… Shane?" Harry whispered.
Shane shuffled over to block Madam Pomfrey's view as Harry pulled it out. Meadow started smiling as the two boys figured out what this meant, Harry added in a bit of information Meadow wasn't told before. "… The crowing of the rooster… is fatal to it! Hagrid's roosters were all killed, obviously the Heir of Slytherin didn't want his precious monster getting killed that easily. …spiders flee before it… just like Aragog said. It all fits!"
"But Harry, a Basilisk is a giant snake—" Shane started to say, but Meadow smacked him and pointed at the bottom of the page. Hermione's neat handwriting said pipes.
The two boys talked some more and Meadow dipped her quill in ink writing, Moaning Myrtle was murdered 50 years ago. She poked Harry's shoulder and he read it quickly. As they figured everything all out, Meadow wiped her wand out and magically arranged the pillows to look like she was sleeping, she wrapped a robe around her and slipped on some shoes. She tugged the boys to leave quickly, Madam Promfrey was distracted by Professor Snape and Sprout as they disgusted the fate of the Mandrakes.
"All students will return to their House dormitories at once. All teachers return to the staff room. Immediately, please."
Professor McGonagall's voice echoed throughout the whole castle said. The three raced to the staff room and shoved themselves into a wardrobe, full of teachers' cloaks. Meadow was shoved in between the two boys and she clapped a hand over her mouth and nose to try to stop the noise of her breathing be so loud.
"It has happened," Professor McGonagall's voice said, "A student has been taken by the monster. Into the Chamber itself."
"How can you be so sure?" Meadow's father asked trying to maintain an even voice.
"The Heir of Slytherin left another message," McGonagall replied, her voice was shaking. "'Her skeleton will lie in the Chamber forever.'"
A teacher burst into tears, Meadow could see it being Sprout or Flitwick.
"Who is it?" Madam Hooch said, her voice was still made of steel, but it was weak, "Which student?"
There was a pause and Meadow felt faint, the Weasleys never were cut a break, granted there was about five-billion of them.
"We will sent all the students home tomorrow, this is the end of Hogwarts. It is no longer safe." Mutters started, but were silenced by the staff doors opening
"So sorry—dozed off—what have I missed?" Gilderoy Lockhart.
Meadow smirked slightly as she heard her father's voice, "Just the man we needed. A girl has been snatched by the monster and taken in the Chamber of Secrets itself. Your moment has come at last."
Lockhart didn't say anything and Professor Sprout spoke up, "That's right, Gilderoy, you were saying just last night that you've known all along where the entrance to the Chamber is."
"I certainly remember you were saying you were sorry you hadn't had a crake at the monster before Hagrid was arrested," Professor Flitwick pipped up, "You told me you were sure you knew what was inside it."
"I—I really never—you may have misunderstood," Lockhart stuttered, but McGonagall cut him off.
"We'll leave it to you the, Gilderoy, tonight will be an excellent time to do it. We'll make sure everyone's out of your way. Free rein at last, correct?" Professor McGonagall's voice was so harsh it stopped the rest of the teachers from talking.
"V-very well, I'll—I'll be in my office, getting—getting ready," Lockhart said and left the room.
"Right," McGonagall continued, "that's got him busy. Heads of Houses, return to your students and let them know that the Hogwarts Express is leaving tomorrow morning to take them home. The rest of you, please make sure no one is wandering around." The teachers left the room.
When they were all gone, Meadow, Harry, and Shane raced towards Lockhart's private rooms. They ran into Ron Weasley along the way, he was just wandering through the castle trying desperately to find a way to save his sister, and joined them.
The four had a silent argument about who would knock, but when they listened to what was going on behind the door, there was a lot going on behind it. Scraping, thumps, and fast footsteps heard beyond the door. Meadow pushed Harry forward and he knocked. The door opened slightly and Lockhart's blue eye peered through it.
"Oh—Potter, Weasley, Lupin, Snape—" he said as he opened the door a bit wider. "I'm rather busy at the moment—"
"We have information for you," Meadow cut him off, her heart racing. "We think it'll help you."
"Erm… well—alright, make it quick—" Lockhart was clearly uncomfortable, he opened his door for the four to shuffle in.
Meadow looked around, taken back as she noticed all the walls of his face were stripped, any metals and awards given were gone from their shelves, and two trunks lay on the ground with various things crammed in them.
"Are you going somewhere?" Harry asked.
"Er, well, yes…" Lockhart replied as he ripped off a life-size poster of himself from the back of the door and rolled it up, "Urgent call—unavoidable—got to go—"
"What about my sister?" Weasley demanded.
"Well, as to that—most unfortunate—" the professor replied. "No one regrets more than I—"
"You're the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher!" Harry exclaimed as he narrowed his eyes. "You can't go now!"
"Well—I must say—when I took the job—" Lockhart protested as he opened another drawer and emptied the contents into a bag.
"You didn't expect anything like this?" Shane spoke up and raised an eyebrow, "Neither did we, but you're the one fluffing your own feathers—'It's a good thing the attacks stopped before I could get a piece of him—'"
"Nothing in the job description—didn't expect—" Lockhart rambled on.
"You mean you're running away?" Harry said, "After all that stuff you did in your books—"
"Books can be misleading!" Lockhart replied and Meadow narrowed her eyes.
"I told you he was a fraud, committing crimes to gain fame and fortune," Meadow spat.
"You mean he's been taking credit for what a load of other people have done?" Shane asked, his eyes bugged.
Lockhart shoved a blonde wig into his trunk, "Now you four, it was not nearly as simple as that. There was a lot of work involved. It was hard to track them down—"
"Expelliarmus!" Meadow whipped out her wand and disarmed her teacher. "Enough, this is ridiculous."
"What d'you want me to do? I don't know where the Chamber of Secrets is. There's nothing I can do," Lockhart said weakly as he watched his wand get tossed out the window.
"You're in luck," Harry said and added another wand pointing at Lockhart, "We think we know where it is. And what's inside it. Let's go."
Meadow and Harry forced the Professor up at wandpoint and marched to Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. Meadow was surprised to see such a smug look on Harry's face as they made Lockhart in first. Myrtle was sitting on the tank of the end toilet.
"Oh, it's you," She said as she eyed Harry up, she let her mouth form a small pout and Meadow suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. "What do you want this time?"
"To ask you how you died," Harry responded quite bluntly.
"oooooh, it was dreadful," Myrtle said as she hid behind her hand, like it was one of the most flattering questions she had been asked. "It happened right here in this exact stall," she pointed to the one she was floating over before she dipped down and swept over to Harry. "I remember it so well. I'd hidden because Olive Hornby was teasing me about my glasses. The door was locked and I was crying. I heard someone say something in another language, it was a boy speaking. I opened the door to tell him to go away—and I died."
"How?" Shane asked and Myrtle narrowed her eyes behind her large, round glasses.
"No idea," she replied before turning her attention back to Harry, "I just remember seeing a pair of great, big, yellow eyes; right over there." She pointed towards one of the circled sinks. The four shuffled over to it, trying to find anything weird or different about it.
A snake was carved into the side of the tap. "That tap's never worked," Myrtle added brightly.
"Say something in Parseltongue," Meadow spoke quietly.
"Open up," Harry said.
Shane shook his head, "English."
"Siih ahseen," Harry said spitting out hissing noises.
What happened next was the tap started spinning uncontrollably, and then all of the sinks moved, one after another after another. First forward, and then suddenly out of sight as they sank into the floor. "I'm going down there," Harry said.
"Me too," Meadow added.
"Same, that's my sister down there," Weasley nodded.
"Well, you hardly seem to need me, I'll just be going—"
"Oh no you won't be," Meadow said and pointed her wand at him, "You're going first."
As Lockhart drew nearer to the entrance, Weasley just pushed him down. "I never did like him," the redhead shrugged.
Harry took one look at the rest of them, "Alright, we'll be able to cover more ground with three of us going—"
"We're all going," Shane said, but Meadow shook her head.
"No, we're not—Shane, you should go get the teachers, find anyone, and get Professor Dumbledore back in the castle," Meadow said.
"If anyone shouldn't go it should be you," Shane protested.
Meadow waved him off, "I think I know how to handle myself." She winked at him before jumping into the pipe. Hearing him yell at her as she slid down the endless, slimy, pitch-black slide. She heard the next person duck into the pipe and then Weasley's yells as the two boys thudded behind her as they hit the curves.
And that is chapter 31!