It was a fairly quick ride and Harry stepped out into a dusty office full of cobwebs and dirt, possibly a thousand years worth. It was plain, not much more than a desk, desk chair, and two sitting chairs in front of it, along with a small book shelve that was empty. Harry cast a strong but simple cleaning charm and removed most of the dirt from the room in hopes of keeping him from inhaling it.
Harry then went over to the door and opened it. He peaked outside. Evidently, he was still in Hogwarts. He closed the door back so he wouldn’t be seen by a portrait. He knew they reported things to the Headmaster. Looking around the office, he wondered if this was Salazar’s fake office. Thankfully, there were no portraits. Maybe it was the office where he used to meet with students when he taught here, Harry thought.
Walking back over to the fireplace Harry cast a big cleaning charm on it so he could see if there was a way back to where he came from without having to call Dobby. After he cleaned it, a similar brick in about the same spot as before had some writing on it in Parseltongue. It read, ’Salazar’s Snake Pit.’ Interesting, but probably better than having a clear descriptive word of his secret Chamber.
Harry noticed that there was some old Floo Powder on the mantle of this fireplace. He wondered if it had access to the outside.
Hissing the phrase, the green flames started again and Harry was whisked back to the apartment. Well, at least he now had an easy way to get out of the Chamber without Dobby. He would just have to ask Dobby to clean up the office better for him. He would also have to look up a strong locking charm in Parseltongue so he could lock the door to the hallway up there. No need to take any chances, he thought.
Harry went ahead and looked up more common spells using Parseltongue. He came across a book that looked like it might do the trick. It took him about twenty minutes to find the spell he was looking for but his time wasn’t wasted since he came across many other useful spells he could use. What was interesting was Parseltongue often used common words for common spells. This made it much easier to learn how to use them.
The spell to lock something using Parseltongue was appropriately the same word but in snake language – lock. Harry already knew the unlocking spell since he used it to get down into the Chamber. It was simply open. What made it difficult to get past is the need to be able to speak Parseltongue. This made it practically full proof.
It was pretty late by the time he was done, so he decided to go to bed. He hadn’t seen Dobby for several hours but knew he and the other elves were hard at work, so he decided not to disturb him. He was waiting for Dobby to let him know when the elves were gone and he could open the statue up again. Until then, he kept it closed.
When he woke in the morning, he grabbed a shower, then grabbed his invisibility cloak and the Marauder’s Map so he could use the floo and see where he came out in the hallway. He also wanted to lock that door using Parseltongue.
“Office,” he hissed. The green flames sprung up and it whisked him away again to the office.
Harry stepped out of the floo and into the semi-dirty office. Harry checked his map and saw that he was in the dungeons, but nowhere near a place he was familiar with. No one was in the hallway so Harry put his cloak on to hide himself then walked out the door and shut it. Turning he tested the door and it was already locked. He tried Alohomora but that did nothing.
In parseltongue he said open and the door clicked and opened on its own. Interesting. That must be why the office was so filthy. No one had been able to get into it for a thousand or so years. He suspected the elves cleaned the unused part of the castle at least once a year and that was during the summer when they had time and needed more work to do.
He cast the lock spell then tested the door to make sure it was locked. It was.
Harry headed down the hall then stopped and looked at the map again. It was obvious, now that he could actually see the hallways, that he was in an unused section of the dungeons. This section was further back from the stairs, much further back than the Slytherin common room. The entrance to their dorms was actually fairly close to the stairs leading up to the first floor.
Salazar’s office was almost on the opposite end of the dungeons from the stairs, which were toward the front of the castle and near the entryway. His office was actually closer toward the back of the castle. Harry also noticed there were no portraits in this part of the castle. Since no one was cleaning this part very often, that made sense. After he discovered there were back stairs in this part of the castle and they appeared to be the fastest route out, Harry turned back thinking he should find something for breakfast.
When Dobby came back a little later to check on Harry, he found him eating cold pizza and drinking water, which he had produced from his wand.
“Dobby is so sorry for not getting the Great Harry Potter, sir a hot breakfast. Dobby is bad elf.”
“Nonsense, Dobby. This breakfast is fine. Plenty of people eat cold pizza in the morning. I could use some juice though. I noticed we don’t have any food in the place other than the pizza from last night. I know you likely get all our food from the kitchens but it would be a good idea to have some food here in case I want to cook something.”
“Dobby will take care of it right away, Harry Potter, sir.”
“Oh, there’s no hurry Dobby. How’s the work coming out there?”
“We is very busy but should be all done in a few more days.”
“Big job, huh?”
“Very big job and the elves are very, very happy to work.”
“Great! Let me know if I need to do anything.”
“Dobby will go get Harry Potter’s juice and bring plenty of food back for Harry’s Chamber.”
“Thanks, Dobby. Look, I know you’re busy but if you get a chance, I have something I want to show you. It’s not that important right now, so it can wait. Just let me know when you have a minute. Plus, if you’ll bring down some food, then I can handle my own lunch. I’m actually a pretty good cook you know and I like to cook every once and a while.”
“Dobby will be right back.”
Dobby left so Harry finished off the cold pizza and started cleaning up his dishes. Dobby showed back up with juice for Harry and lots of food for the pantry and cold storage. He nearly had a conniption when he saw Harry cleaning, but Harry told him it was okay because he didn’t mind helping. It was the same as when he sometimes likes to cook for himself, Harry explained. He also told Dobby how he used to have to cook all the meals for the Dursleys. He never enjoyed cooking for them, but he didn’t mind cooking for himself and a friend or two.
Dobby was not sure how to take that but calmed down considerably when he realized he was not being a bad elf and his master just liked to help. Dobby wasn’t surprised. After all, he believed Harry Potter was the greatest wizard ever!
Hermione was worried about her friend Harry. He was obviously very sad about Sirius and apparently, he had no one to talk to about it. His relatives, from what she could gather, would be no help whatsoever. Plus, for some reason Harry was keeping secrets. That wasn’t something he did much of before. Well, he was always reluctant to talk about how his relatives treated him but he let a few things slip over the years and it wasn’t that hard to see what was going on.
Then she noticed that Harry wasn’t staying in the boy’s dorm after they came back from the Ministry. Of course, she wasn’t really aware of this until the last night when she was back in the dorms herself. Both Neville and Ron had no clue where he was sleeping. As far as that goes, Dean and Seamus confirmed that they hadn’t seen him in the dorm room at all since their group returned from the Ministry. In fact, they said that all of Harry’s things went missing a couple days later after that. Neville had checked the Room of Requirement but he wasn’t there. Harry had the map with him so they couldn’t find him at all.
But, what was with this new ability he had? It was almost as if he could use magic just with his mind. His wand wasn’t in his hand and his hands weren’t used either for that matter. They were definitely by his side. Actually, they were balled up into tight fists so she was pretty sure he didn’t even flick his fingers.
The other odd thing was how Malfoy was acting. He always came by to insult them every trip. He couldn’t seem to leave well enough alone in that area. Of course, this time he may have been upset about his father being arrested, but what was weird was his attitude. It was almost like he was trying to get Harry to react to his taunting.
That’s not so weird, she thought, considering he usually did that. However, normally he did that only if he could get Harry in trouble with a professor. That was not the case this time since there were no professors around. It was definitely different from usual.
There was also the incident with Draco and his four Slytherin friends that Harry stunned but nobody knew how. At least that was the rumor floating around. Pansy seemed determined to figure out how he did that. She wouldn’t shut up about it no matter how many other Slytherins asked her to. He wasn’t talking about it though. Then Harry apparently did something similar on the train but once again, he wouldn’t tell how he did it.
On top of all that, Professor Dumbledore quietly asked Ron and herself not to write to Harry this summer. He told them that Harry needed time to think and grieve over the loss of Sirius. She could understand his reasoning but wasn’t sure she completely agreed with his decision. After all, Harry could simply tell them himself if that was what he really wanted. Nevertheless, she agreed to follow his instructions. He is the Headmaster after all and the great Albus Dumbledore. She supposed he knew what he was doing.
Ron, on the other hand, was going through quite a few adjustments in his life. The healers all assured him that he was acting within the normal range for a wizard, but that didn’t help him understand all the changes in his way of thinking. He was quite sure he never thought this way before. Thinking about it carefully, he surmised that he had simply grown up. He looked at things more logically now. His emotions were no longer rising to the surface and hindering his thinking. His grip on that part of his former self was firmly in hand.
There was a lot he wanted to accomplish. He knew his friend Harry was probably hurting after losing his godfather but Dumbledore told them to leave him be and that is just what Ron planned on doing. After all, Ron had enough to be getting on with. It was time he concentrated on himself so he could work out who exactly he had turned into. He was definitely different from before and now the best idea he could come up with was to just run with it.
He was behind in his studies and up until now, he’d been purposely taking easier electives so he wouldn’t have to work so hard. This would never do, not for the new Ron anyway. The first thing he planned on doing was reading through all the books he used at school so far. He certainly never read all of them before, only what he was forced to read. This way he would pick up on all the theory and that will help him with the practical.
After that, he could move on to more advanced books in those subjects. He also wanted to do some self-study on subjects he never took in school, such as Runes and Arithmancy. Since the whole family was still staying at Grimmauld Place for their safety, then he would take advantage of the big library and read as much as he could. Learning was now something he craved and enjoyed.
Grabbing a book, Ron began to read and absorb everything very quickly.
Ginny was happy to have her brother Ron back whole and healthy after he was injured at the Ministry, but she wasn’t very confident that her family actually received Ron back. Oh, he looked like Ron, the spitting image in fact, but he was not the old Ron. No, this was a new Ron and it was obvious he was a much-improved Ron. He was acting so mature now, she noted. The bad part was he lost a lot, if not all, of his joking nature. In the past, Ron was always good for a laugh. Who knows? Maybe he’ll find that again. He was far more serious about everything now and Ginny always found him reading.
This was not normal for Ron, unless he was reading about Quidditch.
Ron even ate normally now. He actually had manners. He still ate a good bit but that had more to do with his fast Weasley metabolism than anything else. Sometimes he even read a book while eating. Usually, only Hermione did that sort of stuff. It was kind of cute to see them both at the table eating and reading at the same time, like two peas in a pod.
Ginny remembered when Hermione caught a glimpse of Ron reading and eating when Hermione looked up from her book. Up to that point, Hermione had been too engrossed in her own book to notice Ron. When she saw him though, she did a double take then watched him for a bit before returning to her book. Ron never looked up and Ginny wondered if Hermione missed all the interruptions Ron used to do when she was trying to read. Or, was she more pleased with the new Ron? Only time would tell.
Dumbledore had told Ginny as well that she shouldn’t write to Harry this summer but she was not so sure she wanted to follow his directive. She decided to give it some thought though. She certainly didn’t want to get herself into any trouble by owling Harry a letter.
She was very anxious to know how he was able to do that to Malfoy and how he stunned those Slytherins before that. The whole school heard about it, but no one knew how he did it. Harry wasn’t sharing either.
Dumbledore was finishing up some last minute paperwork for the year and planning his trip to the ICW in a few days, when he called an elf for some tea. The elf appeared happier than usual. As he was accustomed, the elves tended to be less jolly once school let out. He knew they tended to busy themselves with the unused parts of the castle that they never had time for during the school year but they always finished long before summer was over and that made them unhappy.
He well knew that an elf with not enough work to do was a sad elf and they started getting sad as soon as the kids left. They realized they would run out of work to do way too soon so they started getting a bit depressed early. Not the past few days though. He had never seen them this happy after the kids go home. He was wondering what had changed.
The ones in the Order who were guarding Harry reported that he never left the house. He was likely still grieving for Sirius and thinking over the information Dumbledore shared with him, which was to be expected. The last thing the boy needed was to have to worry about anything else. Hopefully the boy’s friends would abide by Dumbledore’s wishes and not share any news with Harry about what was going on in the magical world or what they overheard the Order was doing.
Dumbledore was confident Harry would be fine by the end of summer. He was young and resilient. He would bounce back soon enough.
Finally, one afternoon Dobby informed Harry that the elves were done with the basilisk. They had all gone back up so he could open the statue and come out and see. He also informed Harry that he and a few of the other elves had sold all of the parts to the basilisk. Everything except for the hide, that is. He planned to get the elves to make the Great Harry Potter clothes and boots from it. The elves were looking forward to the extra work.
Dobby took all the money that was made from the sale of the basilisk parts and deposited it in Harry Potter’s family vault, with Bonebreaker’s assistance of course. The total sale of all the parts came to over 6,000,000 galleons. This was in addition to the increased reputation for Harry at Gringotts after Dobby explained to Bonebreaker how Harry slew the giant beast.
Word spread quickly amongst the goblins about the young wizard warrior who could slay a 1,000-year-old, 60-foot long basilisk at the mere age of 12 and only use a sword. Not only that, the young wizard was bitten by the giant beast, which should have killed him outright but he refused to die, saving the young maiden instead. Of course, Dobby had no compunction to play down the event like Harry always tends to do when he talks about his own exploits. As a matter of fact, Dobby had no problem praising his Great Harry Potter to the high heavens for his magnificent deeds.
After the tale spread, Bonebreaker was given a raise, a promotion, and a bigger office just for being the young warrior’s account manager.
When Harry entered the lower chamber he could not believe his eyes. The whole place had changed. Not only was the giant basilisk gone, but the whole chamber was completely redecorated. There was no longer water spreading around on the floor. Instead, it had been retained and redirected into two separate water fountains on each side of the room, creating a nice soothing sound effect for the place.
There were plants, flowers, and a couple of small trees scattered around. Sunlight was provided magically. Colorful drapes were hanging from the high columns. The stone from floor to ceiling had been scrubbed clean and it was shining. The whole place was beautiful and brighter, almost like an oasis – a big oasis, that is.
Then Harry noticed something different.
“Dobby? Did you guys add a room?”
“Yes, Harry Potter, sir. Dobby knows the Great Harry Potter is a warrior and will need a place to practice his magic. The elves made sure the room was well protected from damage so it will stand up to even the Great Harry Potter’s powerful magic.”
Harry walked toward the room to check it out. Dobby met him over there and opened the door for him. He wanted his master to see what all the elves had done. The elves were so happy to be given all the extra work that they went all out to make the space the best it could be for Harry Potter. Dobby knew he was not the only elf that was fond of the Great Harry Potter.
When the elves saw how big the basilisk was and knew that Harry Potter had killed it in his second year to save a first year, their respect for the wizard grew by leaps and bounds. Plus, he provided all that work for them to do. They envied Dobby very much and understood why Dobby worshipped the young wizard.
When Harry stepped into the room, he could not believe how big it was. They obviously used Expansion Charms to get it this big. As he looked around at all the space he thought it would be good to add a few practice dummies. Suddenly five practice dummies appeared. What?
“Dobby, did this room do what I think it did?”
“Yes, Harry Potter, sir. The elves copied the magic from the Come and Go Room so it would provide whatever the Great Harry Potter needed.”
“So you can cast the same spells that Rowena Ravenclaw used to create the Room of Requirement?” he asked incredulously.
“Oh, no, Harry Potter, sir,” Dobby replied shaking his head. “Elves can’t cast those kinds of spells, but elves can see magic and it takes three of them working together in perfect harmony to make a copy… if they are very careful… and then they can place it somewhere else.”
“That is amazing! You guys rock!”
Dobby smiled real big. He was happy that his master was so pleased. After all, it was not an easy task for the three elves that did it. Even now, they were still resting from the exertion.
“Well, no time like the present to try out the new room. I have a few spells I’ve been wanting to test for myself. They’re likely to be really big and dangerous though, Dobby. Are you sure the room can handle it?”
“Yes, Harry Potter, sir. The room will be just fine,” Dobby replied while snapping his finger at the door to close it.
“Stand behind me then, Dobby. This could get really big.”
Harry moved back further away from the dummies while Dobby moved behind Harry and watched carefully. Then Dobby heard Harry hissing like a snake before pointing his wand at the center dummy. Suddenly a huge ball of orange light exploded from Harry’s wand and hit the middle dummy square in the chest. There was a massive explosion causing Harry to turn and grab Dobby, putting himself between the explosion and the little elf. Harry covered him completely and protected his friend.
Thankfully, Harry never felt anything hit his back. When the room became silent again, Harry let go of Dobby and peered back over his shoulder. The room was alright but there wasn’t a dummy in sight. All five of them, who were previously spread out a bit, were completely gone. There was only small, tiny bits of them still visible and scattered across the floor. Some small bits were floating in the air.
Dobby peeked around Harry and saw the same thing. He then looked up at his master.
“Harry Potter sir is so powerful. He must be careful with how much power he uses.”
“That was a Parseltongue Battle Magic spell, Dobby. It’s meant to be big. I was just not expecting it to be quite that big,” he said with a grimace.
Dobby looked again at the missing dummies.
“Will Harry Potter, sir be trying another big spell?” he asked worriedly.
“No, not today, Dobby. I think I’ll read about those spells again and pay more attention to the precautions about using them. As I recall, there were quite a few.”
“Good. Dobby will go prepare some food for dinner. Dobby will let you know when it’s ready. Please be careful Harry Potter, sir.”
“Thanks, Dobby. I’ll just work on some regular spells until dinner. That should be safe enough.”
After dinner, Harry showed Dobby Salazar’s office that he accesses via the floo. Dobby went to work right away cleaning it until it was shining. Harry donned his dad’s cloak and went exploring again while Dobby cleaned the office. He took the back stairs up this time and found a back door once he reached the first floor. It was probably heavily warded, he thought, since it looked like another unused area. He decided to read up on some spells he could use to test for what wards and magic was in use on an object. Perhaps that would come in handy. It would certainly be good information to know.
As the long summer days passed, Harry and Dobby found themselves staying busy with all the things they wanted to do. Harry continued to train and learn new spells, especially Parseltongue spells, and even managed to cast silently after a few weeks. The interesting thing he noted about parseltongue magic was how it did more than the other magic he was taught. For instance, the spell to unlock was open but it did more than just unlock. It unlocked and opened the door. If he used the spell lock he could do it with the door open. The spell would cause the door to close first then lock it.
As he studied Parseltongue magic more he noticed that carried through for pretty much every spell. It always did a little extra. He supposed that was why the command was open instead of unlock. It unlocks and opens the door. Harry then started taking note of what the spells did extra so he would have a thorough knowledge of Parseltongue magic. He found himself really getting into the research and studying, mainly because he could then use his training room to practice what he just learned. Seeing what the spells could do was sometimes amazing.
The interesting part was Parseltongue spells could not be seen when used. There was no color to them at all, unlike regular spells. They were invisible and did not require even aiming the spell with wand or hand. It was all about intent and who or what you wanted to use the spell on. However, the Parseltongue Battle Magic spells did have color and had to be aimed. Harry thought the difference was intriguing until he realized that the really powerful battle magic spells should at least be aimed away from yourself. To not do that could be very dangerous.