Harry Potter: Lord of Darkness

Chapter 3

Lord of Darkness

Revenge & Obsession

***One day ownership will be mine... BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY! ***

***LoD***

Terence Higgs concealed a dark smirk as he watched the young bookworm run crying down the hallway. It was a sign from Merlin himself to teach the young Mudblood a lesson, and get some enjoyment for himself at the same time.

'It is almost too easy' the boy pondered, as he slipped from the crowd and stealthily followed after her moments later. 'The Mudbloods always isolate themselves in the first few years, and who is going to believe them when they try and claim rape?'

It had become somewhat of a tradition for the Slytherin boy, just as it had been for his father. Choose one of the 'worthless' first or second years, wait for them to be alone, and then show them their place in the world.

On their knees, or their backs.

The best part? Most of the time they wouldn't even say anything. All it took was a bit of intimidation and bullying and they would silently endure the rest of their years looking over their shoulders. Even better when they would withdraw from the school instead.

Thus the older boy made his choice and followed the young girl at unawares, but neither noticed that their departure hadn't gone unnoticed, that a single pair of emerald-eyes followed them as they retreated down the passageway.

***LoD***

"A troll! A troll in the dungeon!"

One feinted professor later and Dumbledore had immediately called for all students to return to their assigned common rooms while the teachers went with him after the creature. No one thought to mention, for some odd reason, that the Slytherin dorms were in the dungeons themselves.

Nor did anyone notice the dark smile that had momentarily crossed a young boy's face.

***LoD***

"Oh little Mudblood" a teenage boy sang out, in a dark and awful tone, "where are youuuu?" His strides became almost whimsical as he journeyed down towards where his spell pointed him, true it was more fun to try and hunt for her but... well they didn't have that much time unfortunately.

As he neared the corridor which lead to the bathroom his heart rate began to increase, his palms sweating as his pupils dilated. The chase was almost as fun as the screams that would eventually reward him.

'Soon there will be a look of confusion on her face, then worry, finally fear and horror.' Those were his favorite moments, when you could see the thought processes go through the girl's face.

It was like the finest of wines.

Suddenly a sound behind the older boy alerted him to something else in the corridor, and spinning around he was faced with an odd reversal of situations.

First confusion, then worry, finally fear and horror. A troll stalked forward, as the boy slowly moved backwards, his mind trying to come up with a solution. Troll vision was supposed to be based on movement right? So if he just took slow steps then maybe...

The beast's eyes changed, glowing a bright green as a terrible smirk appeared on it's face.

The boy screamed out, before he was silenced with a sickening crash.

***LoD***

Minerva McGonagall could have gone a thousand years without seeing the sight before her. The teachers had stumbled upon the troll only moments beforehand, and a flurry of spellwork dropped the creature before it could even react. Then she spotted the bloody mess on the ground. It was the remains of something lying in a pool of blood.

Something with the remains of a tattered cloak mixed in with organs, bones, and muscles.

The transfiguration mistress turned, and emptied her stomach onto the floor. Glancing over she noticed that many of the others looked ill as well, and Dumbledore looked every bit as old as he was.

"It... it's a student..." Filius whispered out in horror."

"Severus?"

The potion expert covered his nose and mouth using one arm of his cloak, before slowly advancing forward, looking for any signs that might identify the child.

There seemed to be none, any house colors would have been mangled with the remains of the body, and covered in the fluids. The awful stench was a thing he never hoped to encounter again, as he retreated back to the other adults.

"Hard to say Headmaster... I suggest we... that we take a role call to see..." He couldn't say it, despite his own experiences and life up to this point even he didn't want to acknowledge what had happened so early on.

"To see who is missing..." Dumbledore finished, wiping a few tears from his old eyes. "Return to your common rooms, be discreet about it but find out... we need to inform the parents..."

"How could such a thing happen Albus?"

"I do not know Minerva... I simply do not know."

An hour later and only two students were missing, a first year Gryffindor and a fifth year Slytherin. When Hermione was found she was given detentions for a week and docked one hundred points, seconds later she had been pulled into a fierce hug by her head of house, who was silently crying tears of relief onto the girl.

Snape didn't have such luck, and had to inform the Headmaster

***LoD***

"I can't believe Higgs is dead..."

"I know right? Right good guy, strong Pureblood values."

Harry chuckled at the nearby whispers, earning a dark glare from the Malfoy heir. "Something funny Potter?"

"A bit" the boy shrugged, as he took another bite of his food, "I find it interesting that no one even bothered to find out why he was down there to begin with. Only two students were absent during this time, but not one teacher finds that odd."

"You think he was a Mudblood lover!? Terence Higgs was a great Quidditch player and an exemplary Slytherin. She would have been honored to even gain his attention!"

"Whatever you say Malfoy."

"You know Potter it is people like you that give the rest of us wizards a bad name. You had the potential to be great but then your father knocked up some stupid Mudblood whore and then we end up with someone like you. Worthless trash all around. Hell, I heard that they got themselves killed just so they didn't have to deal with the shame of raising you. Is it true Potter? Are you some unwanted bastard?"

Harry merely stared back at the blonde boy, and if Draco was being honest it was a tad creepy. There was no anger in his eyes, no fury or promise of retribution. He merely stared back, with an emotionless gaze.

"What's wrong Potter? Can't think of a good retort? Figures that a useless Half-Blood like yourself wouldn't be able to, isn't that right Crabbe?"

With a laugh the Malfoy heir turned to the boy seated on his left, only to freeze. Vincent Crabbe, along with the rest of the table on that side, was also staring at him. No conforming laughter, no snickers, no sneers... just stares.

"What's wrong with you? Fine just because none of you could understand my joke doesn't mean..."

But glancing to his other side was just as futile. More emotionless stares. Glancing around the room Draco Malfoy noticed something even more disturbing, it was silent, and all of those in attendance were staring... at him. Even the teachers, including his godfather, held him in their gaze. Their faces blank and empty, expressions never wavering even as the Slytherin first year stood and stormed towards the doorway.

"Fine! See if I care what any of you think! My father will hear of this, and when he does I will end up owning this wretched school!" Pushing the doors to the great hall open Draco stepped forward... and back into the room he had just emerged from. He blinked in confusion, what was going on? Was someone playing some sort of prank on him? Who dared to prank a Malfoy?

His eyes briefly snapped over to the Gryffindor table, but none of them even cracked a smile.

With a growl of annoyance the boy marched over to a different door, stepped through it and back into the main hall once more.

"DO YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY!?" the boy screamed, not realizing that the various students had begun rising at this point.

He did notice when they began to advance towards him, slowly walking with their empty eyes. Draco pulled his wand out, walking backwards to put distance between the group as he did so, not that he had anything in mind but simply the act of doing so gave him hope to stop the oncoming mass.

"S-stay back!"

When he backed into the far wall he winced in shock, closing his eyes for just a moment. Upon opening them again the Malfoy heir wished that he hadn't. No eyes stared back at him... because they were all missing. Instead those advancing bodies had black, empty holes in their skulls, from which black fluid seemed to pour.

They reached out for him, grabbed onto him, pulled him down, and then...

A scream from the Slytherin table earned Severus Snape's attention, as his godson fell back off of the bench he had been sitting on, his eyes wide with terror as he shouted incoherently.

"S-s-s-stay back! STAY AWAY!"

"Mr. Malfoy what is the meaning of..."

But the boy quickly clambered to his feet and then bolted out of the room, earning confused gazes, and a few snickers from the Gryffindor table.

Turning around the potion master silently observed the student sitting across from where Draco had been moments prior, the student he had been insulting up until mere seconds ago.

Harry Potter merely shrugged, before returning to his meal.

***LoD***

"I am telling you Albus the boy is responsible!"

The aged Headmaster let out a tired sigh, thus far he had been through two different 'official inquiries' concerning the death of a student. Luckily, he had managed to hide the presence of the Philosopher's Stone from the committees. It was always regrettable that when someone so young lost their life, but Voldemort's spirit had to be stopped, a resurrected Tom Riddle would claim far more in his return than the traps that had been setup inside the castle ever would.

Still there was doubt about what he was doing, perhaps he should have...

"Headmaster?"

Ah yes, he had forgotten that the Potion Master was currently stuck on a different obsession.

"Why do you think that Mr. Potter is the one who caused Mr. Malfoy's screaming fit Severus?"

"B-b-because he is a Potter!"

Another sigh escaped the man's lips, "Severus you really must let go of this hatred towards the boy's father. From what I have seen young Harry is nothing like James Potter save for his appearance, and several of his scholarly talents."

"I am telling you Dumbledore the boy did something. Draco was ridiculing him moments prior and then..."

"Yet you did nothing to stop Mr. Malfoy, was he given a detention, or docked house points for his actions?"

The pale man grumbled out an excuse while averting his eyes to the ground.

"Was there any noticeable damage, save for that to Mr. Malfoy's pride?"

This time the Slytherin merely shook his head.

"I have not forced you to engage Mr. Potter, despite the fact that he is under your care, but I do expect that you at least remain neutral towards him Severus. You are a teacher first and foremost, and you are therefore required to put aside any petty childhood hatreds."

"Of course Headmaster... but I hope you will allow me to continue my investigations."

With a defeated nod Dumbledore gave his approval, allowing the man to depart. Hopefully the rumors about Harry lacking any real friendships would soon be proven false, the orphan needed as much kindness as he could acquire.

***LoD***

Draco Malfoy paced back and forth in the first year dorm. Thankfully he was alone, having asked his godfather for a day off to bring himself together after the 'incident'. Snape had been hesitant, but knew that the Slytherin could not be seen as weak more than one time or risk losing respect.

The real reason was that he needed time. Time to figure out exactly how Potter had done it. It wasn't any spell that he knew of, and his father had gone over quite a few mind oriented spells with him over the last summer just in case.

Reading someones mind was possible, even minor manipulators could be done but this... his senses had been taken over, his consciousness driven as if he had been in a nightmare. But such things were high level magic, if they could be done at all. Not something that a student of less than two months could accomplish.

He had to get answers, needed answers, but most of all he needed to feel that again. It had lasted no more than a split second, but in that moment he had felt power. A darkness that had swirled around him like a dense lake of magic. Dark, twisting, terrible, tempting, seductive, all of these and more paled in comparison to that wonderful power.

But how had Potter done it? How could he wield such awe inspiring magic? He was talented, Draco reluctantly admitted, hell everyone in Slytherin had taken notice that the boy effortlessly achieved the highest grades in any class he bothered with.

He was intelligent, he was powerful, he was charismatic, he was fierce... Draco had to know more.

***LoD***

Neville Longbottom felt as though he was standing at the edge of a precipice. He had been given a chance, given hope for the first time since arriving at Hogwarts that he could amount to something, that he could be worthy.

The problem was that the one who had offered such a thing was a Slytherin... taking him up on an offer would mean that he owed the opposing house. If such knowledge came to light...

The first year paused, what would really happen? Ridicule from the other Gryffindors? That was already a daily occurrence. Bullying? Hell it was suspicious when it didn't happen at this point. It also wasn't as though the other boy was evil. He was Harry Bloody Potter after all, the one who had destroyed the Dark Lord, savior of the Wizarding world, champion of the light... If he couldn't be trusted then who could?

He might even make a friend, the thought of such a thing brought a rare smile to the Gryffindor's face. The idea of having someone to talk to, someone he could confide in, someone who would help me and whom in turn he could help sent warmth through his body.

***LoD***

"How did you do it?"

Harry glanced up from the book he had been flipping through to see the blonde Slytherin standing before him.

"Do what Malfoy?"

"You know what. How did you do it? Tell me!"

The emerald-eyes narrowed in annoyance, "I don't know what you are talking about, so go find someone else to bother."

"No"

"Excuse me?"

"I said no, you will tell me or... or..."

"Or what?" Harry inquired, almost curious what the other's response would be.

The wand was in the blonde's hand before he could think about it, perhaps as more of a reaction than anything else. The book was set down by the opposing by, and Harry slowly stood, forcing the Malfoy heir back a few steps. But there was no fear in the raven-haired boy's eyes, nor anger, or even annoyance. It was more of apathy, as if Draco wasn't even worth harming.

"I-I-I'll..."

"Yes?"

Draco made a decision, one that he would probably end up regretting in the long run but... he had to experience it again. "I'll tell everyone about how much of a whore your mother wa..."

A hand had wrapped around his throat as the blonde was thrown against a wall faster than he could even react, green eyes blazing up at his as the skinny raven-haired boy held up off the ground with one hand alone.

"I grow tired of this banter Malfoy, and I grow tired of your comments about my family so consider this your last warning." Black Magic flowed around the two first years, darkening the light and suffocating the Pureblood as the air grew heavy with power and rage. For a moment he could see his death in those blazing eyes.

"Do you see now Malfoy? Do you see how utterly insignificant you are? I could choke the life out of you right here, or snap your neck, or end you in one of a hundred different ways and do you know what would happen to me? Nothing, I could dispose of your remains so that 'daddy' would never know what happened to you, the only reminder to your family would be a few photos and memories."

Releasing his grip Harry allowed the boy to fall onto the flow, coughing as his lungs struggled to make up for the air they had been denied.

Turning Harry gave one last glare before walking towards the exit.

"W-wait!"

The Potter heir paused, his fist tightening for a moment as he mentally stopped himself from simply ending the annoying boy's life.

"Did you not learn your lesson?"

"I-I did... please, allow me to follow you."

That... had not been what he was expecting.

"Pardon?"

"Allow me to serve you... my Lord."

Turning around fully the boy-who-lived beheld what few ever had, a Malfoy on one knee, his head bowed in submission. Harry advanced towards the kneeling boy, his eyes flashing in curiosity.

"Do you know what it means to serve Malfoy? To show submission to someone whom you have always deemed inferior?"

"I was wrong my Lord."

"Of course you were, but are you willing to give everything up? Would you forsake your riches, your family, and you name to serve me? Would you live in poverty, do whatever is commanded and necessary without a hint of reward?"

The answer was given without hesitation, "Yes, my Lord."

"Then rise, Draco."

***LoD***

The following day found a rarity in the Slytherin common rooms, that situation being a shocked silence. Everyone had been made aware of Draco Malfoy's utter hatred towards all things Harry Potter, save for the house points he continuously gave them, and thus watching as the two boys walked in together was a bit shocking to say the least.

"D-Draco... what are you doing!?"

The blonde boy glanced over at Pansy Parkinson, "What do you mean?"

"What do I mean... WHAT DO I MEAN!?"

"Are you sure that you belong in Slytherin Miss Parkinson? You seem to be acting more like an excitable Gryffindor than a sly, manipulative snake."

"UP YOURS POTTER!"

"Miss Parkinson, is there a problem here?"

The girl froze, slowly turning to face her head of house. "P-professor I..."

"Mr. Malfoy is free to associate with whom ever he wants."

"Y-yes of course."

Snape glanced over at his godson, before departing for the main hall.

***LoD***

"Seriously though Draco what is the deal?"

The blonde glanced up at the Slytherin who had approached, "It is rather simple Blaise, I reevaluated my priorities and have decided on a different course of action."

"But siding with Potter? Following a Half-Blood?"

"You don't know what he is capable of Blaise... he is far more than you realize."

The dark-skinned boy paused, before glancing around to ensure they were away from prying ears and took a seat by the blonde boy. "Okay, so explain it to me."

"Are you sure you want to know? I am following him now Blaise, if you plan on using this somehow... consider this my declaration of my allegiances."

"I am sure. Just because I am in Slytherin does not make me a manipulative backstabbing bastard Draco you know that."

With a nod the Malfoy leaned in closer to his friend. "He is powerful Blaise... his magic is... I cannot describe it. It is dark and thick. When he exposed me to it I felt as if I was drowning in it with no hope for rescue."

The Zambini whispered a few choice swear words. "You're sure about this aren't you?"

"I wouldn't have declared him to be my Lord if I wasn't..."

"Draco... do you realize what..."

"Of course I do. He asked me if I would give up everything and I said yes, and I will. But there is more to it Blaise, there is something else going on. Have you ever noticed how effortlessly he does... well everything? It is like he isn't even trying to get perfect grades, and the way he observes us, some days I feel like he is a predator watching for his next meal, and others like he is a king looking for those with potential."

"I don't know Draco the way you are talking... are you sure he didn't slip you anything?"

"Tell you what, how about I set up a meeting. If you aren't convinced then no harm no foul, but at least you will have your answer."

***LoD***

"My Lord, I have a small... request."

"Oh? Barely my follower for a week and you are already making requests? I am starting to think this relationship of ours is favoring you far more than me."

"A-apologies my Lord, I..."

"Relax Draco, what is it that you want?"

"Blaise Zambini... he has doubts about you. If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion I believe he too would follow you if he could see what I have."

"You wish him to join you?"

"Indeed, he would be a loyal follower my Lord. Whatever your plans for the future may be, I can only assume that the more soldiers you have to call upon the easier it will be."

"Hmm, a decent point I suppose... just keep something in mind Draco, just as no two eyes are the same so are no two perspectives. What you see in me may not be the same as what Blaise will see."

***LoD***

"I can't believe this Tracey..."

"What? I am telling you it is just a fad or something. It will all blow over soon enough."

"That is what we thought last month and now..." Daphne Greengrass glanced over to where the large majority of the first-year Slytherins were seated, in a large circle with Harry Potter as the obvious center of attention.

It had started with Draco Malfoy, followed a few days later by Blaise Zambini. Two days after the dark-skinned boy's change Crabbe and Goyle had been seen following the trio, and then Pansy Parkinson.

Of course none of these were huge shocks after the blonde. Crabbe and Goyle were followers, not leaders, and Parkinson was practically in love with the Malfoy Heir, although her 'secret' glances seemed to stray in the raven-haired boy's direction more and more with each passing day.

"I am telling you they know something that we don't, and in Slytherin..."

"Knowledge is power, yes Daphne I know. I do pay attention when you talk after all."

"We need to figure out what is going on, then we can decide how to best approach this."

Tracey nodded, before going wide-eyed. "Looks like we had better do so soon, otherwise we will be the only ones left."

Glancing up Daphone noted that Millicient Bulstrode had quietly made her way over to have a whispered conversation with Pansy.

***LoD***

"Care to repeat that?"

"You heard me Potter, I want to know how you got the others to start following you around like lost puppy dogs."

The emerald-eyed boy tilted his head slightly at the larger girl standing before him, in the otherwise abandoned hallway, "And if I refuse?"

"Wh-what?"

The boy chuckled, "Ironic how the tables turn, I said 'and if I refuse' as in I am curious to know what exactly you are going to do if I deny your... command."

"Not sure if you realize this Potter, but I am a great deal larger than you are."

"Indeed, and I am not sure if you have realized this but size doesn't matter much in the Magical World."

"I know more curses than you precious light has taught you."

"Considering that I haven't been taught any spells, save for those that we learned during school, it is not that surprising."

The larger girl gritted her teeth, before taking a step into the other student's personal space. "Listen here you Half-Blood..."

She found herself pushed out of the nearby window, the only thing stopping her from falling being a hand wrapped around her collar.

"If you insist on calling me that again I will be conducting an experiment to see just how much of you remains solid after falling several hundred feet."

"W-wait! Please!"

"And why is that? I am growing tired of these childish games that children your age insist on playing. I give you opportunity after opportunity to simply leave me be, and yet you continue to push. I assure you miss Bulstrode, I might not be the first one to strike, but I will be the last."

With a jerk of his arm he tossed the girl across the hallway and into the opposing wall, before making his way to the next class.

***LoD***

"Millie, what the hell were you thinking!? I told you not to pester him!"

"I... I didn't think..."

"Of course you didn't... I told you that we follow him by choice. Do you really think we would just because he is cute?"

"N-no of course... wait, cute?"

"I...I... you know what I mean!"

"Oh I do..."

"Millie..." the dark-skinned girl growled, hand unconsciously reaching for her wand.

"I'll make you a deal Pansy, you convince him to give me another chance... and I will forget about your comment."

The Parkinson heiress gritted her teeth, before letting out a sigh and nodding, "Fine but if he turns you into paste it isn't my fault."

***LoD***

"My Lord, are you sure that..."

"Draco, if you ask me one more time about the fact that I am the only Slytherin staying at Hogwarts for the holidays I will think of a creative way to express myself."

"Y-yes my Lord, of course. I will speak to my parents about future arrangements. Surely they will allow you to stay with us for the week next year."

"Oh yes, the child responsible for the murder of your father's previous master staying in the guest bedroom..."

The blonde Slytherin winced, before giving a nod and heading with the other students toward the carriages that would lead to the Hogwarts Express, and their waiting families.

Harry, on the other hand, merely chuckled before heading back into the castle. An entire week without having people follow him around every moment of every day? It was a welcomed change.

"Mr. Potter"

"Professor Snape"

"I am surprised to find you at school for the holidays."

"I was told not to return until the summer, it appears as though my place of residency wanted to save as much money as possible on food and heating."

Severus Snape blinked at the deduction that the eleven-year-old had just made, before giving a curt nod. "Undoubtedly you have found that everyone else has left for the week."

"Of course, I am terribly sorry if this is an inconvenience to you though, having to stay at school due to one student remaining."

"I am here through the winter regardless Mr. Potter. If you need anything my quarters remain in the same location."

"Of course sir, have a pleasant evening."

With a nod the Potions master departed, trying to shake the feeling that his movements were being followed by some sort of monster, rather than it being a preteen.

***LoD***

One day

It had taken all of one day for Harry Potter to complete his work for the rest of the year, read all of the books available in the Slytherin common room, and make a complete mental map of every corridor in Hogwarts.

Six days remaining.

He had originally been rather excited about having some 'alone time'. After revealing himself to the Slytherins he found that his time was constantly occupied by at least one of them, as in constantly. It was beginning to become difficult for him to even use the bloody toilet without someone anxiously awaiting him on the other side of the door.

Then there had been the 'babysitting'. At first it was amusing, almost funny how the other first-years looked to him for approval. They would glance at him silently before making any comments towards the other houses, before cheating on a test or even doing homework. Then it became a bit ridiculous. The girls would ask him every day about their appearances and whether it 'pleased him'. The boys were constantly inquiring about his opinion on everything, from Quidditch, which he couldn't care less about, to politics.

All in all he found himself even more stressed with followers than he did without, but now that he was beginning to become used to the attention, having it suddenly removed made the time he could not spend with Hedwig almost eerily silent and dull.

Of course he had missed one opportunity for excitement, one of the corridors, the one that Albus Dumbledore had explicitly told them to stay away from was still 'unmapped'. He also had another day before Christmas, which meant he had time to kill so to speak...

With a shrug, and a glance around to ensure that no one was watching him, the boy made his way to the 'forbidden corridor'.

"One locked door in the entire hallway... oh yes this is going to be so very difficult..." After sweeping aside the wards on the barrier Harry found himself face to three faces as a massive dog stood before him, growling.

"Oh my, aren't you a big one." With a glare of his own, and the slightest release of his natural magic, the dog went prone before retreating with a whimper.

"Now, let us see what is so very important to hide under a massive guard dog..."

***LoD***

Harry Potter stared into a mirror, and saw himself staring back, but it wasn't quite himself. This mirror image had a knowing smirk on his face.

"I am surprised it took us so long to get down here." it intoned.

"What can I say? I wanted a bit of excitement for my first Christmas Eve at school."

"This certainly is pushing our luck. Dumbledore might notice we are gone."

"I can only hope so, if the next six and a half years are this boring I might just leave and start a cult or something... at least that would be mildly interesting."

"Oh yes, because we aren't already doing that."

The real Harry rolled his eyes, before reaching out expectantly. "So?"

"Yeah yeah here you go."

The mirror reached into his pocket and pulled out a red rock, which was now in the real world as well. "Not like anyone else is using it right?"

"Exactly, so why not add a bit of mystery to my life."

"You know whoever those defenses were meant for is going to come after it eventually."

The real Potter's face turned into a blood thirsty grin, "Oh I can only hope so."

***LoD***

"Headmaster, we have a problem!"

"Ah Severus my boy, please come in. Would you care for a lemon drop?"

"Of course not. I wanted to make a few alterations on the wards surrounding the stone but... they were already breached."

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled slightly, as he rose from his desk. "Recently? If so we should proceed immediately to captu..."

"I have already investigated, I figured there would not be enough time. The other traps have been passed as well. Albus, the Philosopher's Stone is gone."

The older man paled, "Quirrell?"

"Still in his office, muttering to himself as always. Were we wrong Albus? Could it have been someone else?"

"There have been no signs of entry up until today, Minerva checked just before the students left. Even if a seventh year could have attempted it they would not have made such progress in so little time. It had to be a wizard of considerable experience."

"Perhaps it isn't Quirrell then? Maybe the Dark Lord has taken on a different form?"

"He is the only one unaccounted for before the Troll incident, and the only one I could not place on every evening that a Unicorn was attacked. It has to be him."

"Should we strike now then? If he is bluffing..."

"Why would he do so? Nothing is stopping him from leaving if he truly has the stone. Let us wait and see what he does with the staff at a minimum. With the celebration this evening and tomorrow this is the best chance for him to make his escape. In the meantime I will monitor every other staff member and those few students who stayed behind."

***LoD***

Upon returning to his dorm room Christmas Eve night Harry felt himself feeling a bit claustrophobic. With the theft of the jewel someone was going to come looking, which meant that someone would be going through his possessions. While he could care less about them damaging his books, schoolwork, or any such nonsense he was rather protective of his companion, who had just awoken from her midday nap.

"It appears Hedwig, that we need to find a different place to sleep. This one is simply not private enough for my needs."

'There aren't very many places that you can sleep without drawing notice Harry.' a soft voice echoed in his mind.

"True, but I have located one, and once there you will be able to take your other form as often as you wish without fear."

Even without the mental connection the emerald-eyed boy could feel his companion's excitement.

***LoD***

The young Potter had to admit, that it was rather odd finding a dozen or so presents in the common room all addressed to him. In his short life he had never actually received any wrapped gifts before, and the only thing he had ever been given for Christmas was having Hedwig give him a back rub before cuddling up next to him for the evening.

This still remained his favorite gift thus far, even with the looming boxes. A slight gesture later and the pile had been moved into his new room, while Hedwig was busy soaking in the massive bathtub that he found was connected to it.

"Everything okay?"

"Quite, it appears as though my housemates have seen fit to try and bribe me with gifts."

Harry would never tire of the musical laughter that the girl could produce. "Let me know if there is anything I should be jealous over. I noticed the way those girls look at you."

"As I said before Hedwig, you do not like anyone."

"And as I said before, I disagree I like you, and I like you even more that you have found a room with a private, and very large, bath."

"I thought you would, Merry Christmas."

Moments later the boy unwrapped the first box and found a rather expensive looking trunk from Draco. Next a pair of leather boots from Blaise followed by a wide assortment of candy and sweets from Greg and Vincent.

The rest of the gifts from his classmates had been various articles of fine clothing up until he reached a small envelope from Pansy Parkinson. In it was a magical photo, one of her doing a rather poor job of what would be considered a 'strip tease' with a note telling him to enjoy.

The boy shook his head, before sending the mental image to his companion, a broad smile appearing on his face as he heard the rather loud string of profanities aimed at the younger girl. A man named 'Hagrid' had sent him a rather lovely photo album of his parents, while his Head of House had left a library pass to the more advanced potions books, a subtle hint to earning Slytherin more House Points no doubt.

Interestingly enough Professor Sinistra had also sent him a gift, a rather nice silk shirt with a card emphasizing that if he ever wanted to 'talk' she was available. This earned another round of curses from the pale skinned girl when she heard.

The final package was a small box, one without a marked sender and containing a silvery cloak and a mysterious card claiming that it had been his father's and to use it well.

***LoD***

"I still don't find it very funny..."

"Oh? I thought you would be amused by miss Parkinson's attempt at 'sexily' taking off wizard robes without revealing anything too scandalous. Or perhaps my professor's less than subtle way of hinting at desire."

"Bitch is lucky she was wearing knickers in that photo or I would be pecking out her eyes... AND THE OTHER IS STILL TOO OLD FOR YOU!"

The boy shook his head slightly, Hedwig's jealousy seemed to be getting progressively worse as time went on in the Magical World.

"Yes, yes I know. No sex until I am married, and no murder unless in self-defense or extreme boredom. You really are taking the fun out of being child celebrity you know."

The girl gave a 'hmph' before mentally muttering something about not necessarily waiting until marriage.

"Well as soon as you offer..."

This comment, however, did earn him a smack to the arm from the blushing girl.

***LoD***

"Harry?"

"Go back to sleep."

"Where are you going?" Hedwig asked in her half-asleep voice as the boy made his way from their Super King sized bed towards the hallway connecting their chamber to the Slytherin Common room.

"Just on a short walk to get some air, I have been stuck in the school for too long. I will be back shortly."

"O-okay"

With that she went back to cocooning herself into the luxurious blankets, earning a soft chuckle. It wasn't his fault that he was feeling a bit pent up. Dumbledore really needed to tell the gigantic man who sat next to him to keep his voice down while talking about unicorns being attacked at midnight, otherwise students would become interested and investigate.

Luckily Harry was just bored enough to solve yet another problem for them.

***LoD***

A/N Fun fact: In the United Kingdom they seem to use different mattress sizes than the USA. For instance they skip the "queen" size and go straight to King, then "Super King" which is sometimes called a "Queen".