Out of Shadows
Writter: fall shadow
Summary: Harry has been raised to follow a path of darkness, but when he meets Hermione things start to change and he finds out everything he has been led to believe is a lie. Now, with a strengthened resolve, he must do whatever it takes to stop the one he once considered his master.
The next day, Harry somehow found himself signed up for a mission to sneak out of the Room of Requirement during the day, with Neville, to try to bring back a few muggle-born underclassmen. Hermione and Luna were discussing theories on what might be going on at Hogwarts with Ron before he went out to look for his sister .
Harry was taking point in his invisibility cloak, consulting the map for directions, with Neville trailing close behind, waiting in passages, empty doorways, or closets until Harry gave the go-ahead. They picked a time of day when Neville knew that most students had classes to avoid traffic in the halls.
Once they located the student, who was still in class when they got to him, they set up in position, waiting. They switched so that now Neville wore the cloak and Harry hid in a nearby safe place Neville showed him. Once Harry was safely hidden, Neville flanked the classroom door . As the student walked out of the classroom, his plan was to use a spell to break his bag, causing his items to fall. Then, while the student was left to pick everything up, Neville would grab him and pull him under the cloak, explaining the situation quickly .
If the student made it past Neville without him being able to grab them, Harry was supposed to discretely try to stall him again somehow. He wasn’t completely sure how he was going to do that, so he hoped Neville wouldn’t need back-up.
They did this three times, moving around the castle while most students had class and then taking them when class let out. Of the three students, one decided not to come to the hideout yet – he wanted to remain in classes and make sure his girlfriend stayed safe. Neville respected his decision, and the boy agreed to feed them information whenever he could.
After spending most of the day with him, Harry thought that Neville seemed like an alright guy. He seemed to really care about the other students and want to do whatever he could to help them, especially the younger ones.
To Harry, Neville appeared humble, and a bit unsure of himself, which went along with what Hermione had said about him before. Despite this, Harry felt he could see why Neville was in Gryffindor .
“Thanks for your help today, Harry,” Neville said as they entered the Room of equirement. “I’d never have been able to do that so easily without your cloak and your help.”
“Sure, no problem,” Harry told him, and they shared a brief smile.
A few hours later, Harry and Hermione were sitting together on his cot, their backs against the wall of the room with the map opened in front of them. They were watching Draco’s dot as they talked quietly .
Ron, who had returned disgruntled after having no luck finding Ginny , was sitting with Luna and Neville on the other side of the room. There were several other groups scattered around the hideout, and Harry was glad that no one seemed to mind letting them be for now.
“Hey, he’s going somewhere!” Hermione suddenly whispered, pointing to the map and sounding somewhere between nervous and excited.
Harry said nothing, but focused his eyes unblinkingly on Draco’s name. They watched as he left the dungeons. It was obvious from his movements that he did not want to be followed and was being extremely careful not to be seen. When he reached the first floor, he hid for a minute before walking down another hallway .
There, to their surprise, Draco entered the girls’ bathroom. Less than a minute later , his name simply vanished from the spot.
“His name just disappeared! He was definitely in the girls’ bathroom on the first floor!” Hermione whispered unnecessarily to Harry.
“Then that’s where we are going,” Harry said decisively .
Hermione nodded, and they stood up to get ready .
Harry looked at the Sorting Hat before deciding that it would be dangerous to leave it there with a group of strangers. He wasn’t sure he could trust them. Grabbing it, he reached over and thrust it into Hermione’s bag.
As they left the hideout, Harry tried to steel himself for whatever they might find.
“Do you think he flushed himself down a toilet?” Harry asked, making a face. “That’s how most of the workers get into the Ministry of Magic, right?”
They had quickly made it to the girls’ bathroom and were now inspecting it to try to figure out where Malfoy had gone.
“I’m sure one of the Headmasters would have checked that before,” Hermione told him.
“Who are you?”
The ghost of a girl floated out of one of the bathroom stalls.
“Girls hardly ever come in here,” she said, eyeing Hermione. “Oh, and who are you?” she asked Harry , giving him a playful smile and a wink. “I haven’t seen you in here before.”
Harry glanced at Hermione, an alarmed expression on his face.
“Did someone else come in here recently?” Hermione asked, ignoring the ghost’s questions.
“Oh, of course, don’t talk to Myrtle – she’s only good for getting information,” she snapped. “No one ever comes to talk to moping, crying, Moaning Myrtle.”
Harry and Hermione exchanged an uncomfortable glance, and Hermione subtly gestured to Harry in a way that said ‘well, do something’.
Harry frowned at her .
Glancing at the ghost, Myrtle, and seeing that she was still talking and not really paying attention to them, Hermione leaned over to Harry .
“She’s seems more interested in you than me,” she whispered quickly . “Just try to talk to her,” Hermione suggested.
“Err , so your name is Myrtle?” Harry asked.
“Y es,” she stopped whining to answer . “You were actually listening?”
“O-of course,” Harry said uncertainly , “who wouldn’t, um, want to listen to you?”
She floated closer to Harry and he took a half-step back.
“Are you flirting with me?” she asked, giving him a suggestive look. “You are much nicer than the other boy who comes in here. What’s your name?”
“U-umm,” Harry stammered, still edging away from Myrtle.
“Other boy,” Hermione chimed in. “There was another boy in here?” she asked, trying to sound surprised and only mildly interested. “But isn’t this a girls’ bathroom?”
Myrtle, who was now pretending to snuggle against a clearly uncomfortable Harry , turned her attention toward Hermione. She scowled at the living witch skeptically .
“Who are you, his girlfriend?” she asked in an annoyed tone.
“Harry,” he interrupted, not liking the looks Myrtle and Hermione were giving each other . “My name is Harry .”
This effectively won him back the ghost girl’s attention, and she turned to look at him more closely .
“Well, Harry, it is so nice to meet you,” Myrtle said in a sickeningly sweet voice. “I live here in this bathroom, and I hardly ever have any visitors… but you are welcome to come here any time you want.”
Her smile gave Harry the creeps.
“Uh, thanks, Myrtle,” Harry told her, although all he wanted to do was get as far from her as possible. “So, you said there was another guy who visited you,” he started, trying to think on his feet and really wanting to figure out where Malfoy had gone before even more time passed. “Do you know who it was or where he went?” Harry asked, hoping he sounded casually interested.
“I don’t know his name,” she answered, “but he started coming in my bathroom a few weeks ago. “I came out of my stall one time to ask what he was doing, but he was gone.”
“Do you know where he went?” Harry asked, now obviously curious.
“No,” Myrtle said, “but he comes back almost every night. He goes over and stands by the sinks. I try to stay away from him. I don’t think he is very nice,” she explained. “Not like you, Harry .”
An awkward laugh left Harry’s lips as he tried to figure out what else to say .
“Harry, look at this,” Hermione said from behind him. She was leaning over looking at a sink. “There’s a snake on the faucet of this sink.”
Harry walked over to where she was standing, in front of one of the sinks which were arranged in a circle in the center of the bathroom. Looking closer, there was indeed a small snake on the faucet of one of the sinks.
“Slytherin’s symbol is a snake,” Hermione explained needlessly .
“This must be it,” Harry said. “But where is the entrance? And how do you get in the chamber?”
Myrtle was now just floating behind them, looking interested, though much less so than she had been in Harry.
Hermione took out her wand and went to work, but after several minutes, still nothing had happened.
“Come on, open!” Harry said in frustration. “We need to get into the Chamber of Secrets,” Harry angrily said to the sink. “Open,” he repeated.
He looked at the snake symbol again, wondering if there was some clue he was missing. For a moment, the snake almost seemed alive as his green eyes focused on it.
“Open,” he whispered again, concentrating on trying to think of how it might work.
Suddenly, there was a loud sound near them and Harry leapt back. The sinks rumbled and slowly moved outward from the center. The one he had been inspecting moved and sunk into a hole which had opened in the floor of the bathroom.
Harry stood frozen, staring at the empty spot where the sink had been, which now led to a decently-sized hole in the floor of the bathroom where the circular cluster of sinks had been.
“Harry, how did you do that?” Hermione asked, looking at him with wide eyes and a troubled expression.
“Do what?” he asked.
“You- well, you sort of hissed at the sink,” Hermione explained. “Can you speak Parseltongue?” she asked.
“Can I do what?”
“Speak Parseltongue,” Hermione repeated, “snake language. Some witches and wizards can speak to snakes, but it’s really rare.”
“I didn’t hiss,” Harry protested, confused as to why she was saying he had.
“Harry, I was right here; I heard you,” Hermione insisted. “You spoke in a hissing voice and then the sinks started moving.”
“Well, I don’t know what you heard Hermione, but as far as I know , I just said ‘open’… in normal, human words,” Harry said.
“I know what I heard, but we can talk about this later . Right now we have more important things to worry about,” she said.
An uneasy silence settled around them, and Myrtle chose not to interrupt.
“It looks like a giant pipe,” Hermione said after a minute.
“Yeah, it does,” Harry agreed, scanning the entrance with his eyes.
After a stretch of silence, Harry spoke again.
“Malfoy must be down there.”
“Ginny and the other students who disappeared could be, too,” Hermione added anxiously .
“Then we have to go down there and find out,” Harry said, remembering his promise to Hermione to try to help her friend.
“You’re right,” Hermione confirmed, “but… we have no idea what we’ll find down there.”
“I know .”
Harry looked down, thinking and considering the possibilities.
“Why don’t you go and get McGonagall?” Harry suggested. “I’ll go down there and try to-”
“Forget it!” Hermione cut him off, realizing where this was going. “There is no way I am letting you go down there by yourself. If there is some sort of monster in the Chamber you can’t just go and fight it by yourself!”
“Myrtle can go and get Professor McGonagall,” Hermione suggested, “but I am going with you.”
“Oh, I can just go and do that, can I?” Myrtle asked in a snooty tone.
“Myrtle,” Harry tried to appeal to her in what he hoped was a charismatic, pleading voice, “please, we really need your help. Could you go and get McGonagall for us? Getting back-up or not could be the difference between life and death.”
Myrtle considered this before settling for a nod and saying, “But, if something does happen to you down there, Harry , you are welcome to share my toilet.”
A shaky ‘thank you’ was all Harry could manage in response to the ridiculous offer. Apparently Myrtle seemed to think it was a spectacular proposal as she smiled at him widely.
“Let’s go,” Harry said, looking to Hermione. “I’ll go first,” he stated.
“No,” she took his hand and laced their fingers together tightly, “together .”
So together they walked to the edge of large hole. Looking down, all Harry could see was darkness, meaning he had no idea how far of a drop it would be before they hit the bottom.
He took out his free hand and muttered, “Lumos.”
“Ready?” Hermione asked him.
He could feel his palms sweating and his heart rate picking up, tightening his grip on Hermione’s hand.
And together , they jumped into the darkness.
Suddenly they were falling fast, with no idea what to expect.