The afternoon seemed to flash by and before Harry knew it it was time for him to head to Lockharts office. He was in his usual place for that time of the evening, sitting in bed with Ron and chatting with the other boys. Hermione had decided to hang out with Ginny, since she knew the boys were going to be gone and as she put it "I need to have more girl friends."
"We'd better go." Ron said
"Do we have to." Harry groaned
"Skive off?" Neville suggested
"McGonagall would kill us." Ron said.
Harry grumbled and the two of them headed out of the room
"Harry." Dean called. Harry turned back around
"Try not to murder Lockhart okay." Dean tipped him a wink
"Shove off, Dean." Said Harry playfully.
He miserably entered Lockhart's office and started his detention. It was dull work and Lockhart kept giving him snide comments about his so-called taste for fame. He was going to go mental if he didn't do something to drown out Lockhart. He smirked to himself as an idea came to him. Without stopping his letter addressing he focused on the invisible Threads linking him to Ron and Hermione..it was the perfect time to practice his communication with his friends.
Ron? 'Mione? Can you hear me? He thought
Sort..not..well.. That was Hermione
Focus. Harry thought, increasing his own concentration as he jotted down another address.
Harry? 'Mione? Ron's voice sounded like a badly tuned radio but he could hear him. Harry was exceptionally pleased with himself.
How's detention going? Hermione thought, her voice was low and fuzzy
Bad topic 'Mione.. Ron grumbled
Yeah...bad.. Harry agreed, putting down his quill to rest his hand. It was starting to ache.
What are you doing? Ron asked Hermione, he sounded grumpy but Harry could tell he was happy to be talking to them. Their voices were getting clearer and clearer with each thought.
Ginny just went to bed. I'm gonna wait up for you guys. Hermione answered
Okay. Ron said, his voice was a bit too enthusiastic. Harry was sure if the guys could have heard it they would have laughed. He grinned to himself.
Time passed. Harry found it easy to drown out Lockhart's rambling with small talk from his friends.
It's..time... Said a voice in his head suddenly. Not Ron or Hermione. This voice was different, unfamiliar, cold. Harry felt himself shudder, the voice seemed to fill him with the opposite effect of communicating with his friends. A cold dread instead of a warm happiness.
"What?" He muttered
"Did you say something Harry?" Lockhart
Then there was another voice a low hissing voice
Kill..Kill... That voice wasn't in his head. Someone was here. Harry gasped and knocked over an ink pot.
"What's wrong Harry?" Lockhart asked, staring at him
"Didn't you..didn't you hear that?" Harry asked, looking shocked
"Hear what?" Lockhart asked
"That voice..a voice that said...never mind-" Harry frowned. He strained his ears, that second voice was coming from somewhere
Rip..tear..kill.. The hissing voice again
Free...it...free..it... The cold voice in his head was back again as well
"Harry." Said Lockhart, making him jump "Perhaps you're getting a bit drowsy..and no wonder..we've been here nearly four hours! Time flies when you're having fun I suppose..well off you go."
Harry practically ran out of the office, straining his ears for the voice. He was used to hearing voices nobody else could but hearing somebody besides Ron and Hermione felt like an intrusion. He hated it.
When he was back in Gryffindor tower he didn't see Hermione. He figured that meant one thing. He slipped quietly up to the boys' dorm and found her in Ron's bed waiting for them. He was still freaked out by the voices he'd heard. He climbed into bed beside Hermione and snuggled up to her. She felt him shaking
What's the matter, Harry? Hermione thought.
Wait..We'll wait for Ron. Harry replied, Hermione began to rub soothing circles on his back. Harry's breathing evened out. Half an hour later Ron made his way into the room along with a smell of polish. He climbed into bed with the other two.
My muscles are all seized up...made me clean that Quidditch cup fourteen times..then I had a new slug attack on a special award for services to the school..took ages before I could get the slime off-Harry? What's the matter?
Harry told them what he had heard in Lockhart's office
And Lockhart didn't hear it? Ron asked
No..the one voice felt like the Thread..but different. Cold, scary... He shuddered
And the other one? Hermione asked
It wasn't in my head.. Harry replied I can tell the difference.
Odd.. Thought Ron Even someone invisible would have had to open the door.
Yeah..I know..it doesn't make any sense.
They spent a bit of time talking about what the voice could mean and then they fell asleep. Harry was awake after the others he had a feeling that something bad was coming. He watched his friend sleep and sighed. He tucked his head under Ron's chin and finally fell asleep.