When Halloween arrived Harry was regretting his promise to go to the deathday party. He wasn't looking forward to missing the delicious Halloween feast but Hermione had told him he should keep his promise so the three of them headed away from the brightly lit and amazingly decorated great hall and towards the dungeons.
It was, of course, a miserable time for the three young Gryffindors. A deathday party was no place for live people. The dungeon was cold, the music sounded like nails on a chalkboard and gave them a headache, they were somewhat frightened by all the strange ghosts and the food was rotten and inedible. Harry and Ron met the ghost of a girl not much older than themselves named Myrtle. Hermione told them that she haunted a girls bathroom and that she had a horrible temper. Myrtle was chased out by Peeves and then the Headless hunt arrived. After all the ghosts were sufficiently distracted by the hunt's antics Harry, Ron and Hermione decided they'd had enough and made their way out of the dungeon and up the corridor towards the entrance hall.
Ron, who was feeling cheerful now that they were out of there, grabbed the other two by the hands and led the way up the stone steps.
"Desert might not be finished yet." He said excitedly. Harry smiled, he was about to say he hoped that there was still some Treacle Tart left as it was his favorite when he heard it: The frightening Anti-Thread voice in his head. The same voice he'd heard in Lockhart's office.
It has begun.. Harry froze. The voice filled him with a cold dread, just as it had before Go..
Yes..go...kill.. It was the second voice, the low hissing voice.
Harry? Ron thought What's wrong?
It's the voices..the ones from Lockhart's office Harry thought
Kill. Time to kill. The hissing voice seemed to be moving away from them, upward. Without thinking Harry took off up the stairs into the entrance hall a bewildered Ron and Hermione behind him he kept running up the stairs to the first floor he heard the hissing voice again
Blood..I smell blood I smell blood!
Kill The voice in the back of Harry's head said.
Yes, kill. The second voice responded. Harry felt his stomach lurch
They're going to kill someone! Harry thought in a panic.
He kept running and what they found next was horrible. As they made their way into the final deserted passage on the second floor they found a huge puddle of water on the floor and a message on the wall between two windows in bloodred paint:
The chamber of secrets has been opened enemies of the heir beware
There was something else as well..hanging from a torch bracket under the message by her tail was Mrs. Norris, she looked as though she had been recently stuffed.
Let's go..now.. Ron thought, backing away
Shouldn't we..do something? Harry asked awkwardly
Are you crazy..we do NOT want to be caught here.
Too late. A sound like a low thunder rumble sounded, signaling the end of the feast and the three of them found themselves surrounded on all sides by a huge throng of chattering students. The noise died away as everyone took in the scene before them: The hanging cat, the threat on the wall and the three scared looking second year Gryffindors in the middle of it all.
They were busted.
The silence was suddenly broken by a cold malicious voice "Enemies of the heir beware? It'll be you next mudbloods." It was Malfoy. He had fought his way to the front of the crowd of students and looked more excited than Harry had ever seen him, his normally pale face was flushed and he was looking between the hanging cat and Hermione with a kind of twisted smirk on his face.
"What's going on here?" Filtch yelled, he was pushing his way through the crowd no doubt attracted by Malfoy's shout. He then spotted Mrs. Norris and his eyes widened with horror "Mrs. Norris? Mrs. Norris! What happened to my cat!" he then saw Harry standing there between Ron and Hermione.
"You.." He screeched "You murdered my cat...I'll kill you! I'll-"
"Enough Argus." said a voice from behind them. Dumbledore and a group of other teachers had arrived on the scene. He swept past the speechless trio to release Mrs. Norris from the torch bracket.
"Everyone will return to their common rooms at once." Dumbledore ordered. Harry, Ron and Hermione attempted to make a break for it "Everyone except..you three." the trio froze and then shuffled miserably back to Dumbledore who said "Come, everyone."
"My office is closest, Headmaster, please feel free." Lockhart insisted
"Thank you, Gilderoy." Dumbledore said. Dumbledore, Snape, McGonagall, Lockhart Harry, Ron and Hermione headed to Lockhart's office. Harry, Ron and Hermione sank into chairs outside the pool of candle light, not talking silently or aloud, they were far too nervous for conversation. Dumbledore placed Mrs. Norris on the desk and examined her his nose inches from her fur while Lockhart buzzed around making suggestions about what might have killed the unfortunate cat and Filtch sobbed loudly.
Dumbledore then took out his wand and tapped her it while muttering strange words under his breath. Lockhart began boasting again for awhile until Dumbledore stood up and said "She's not dead, Argus."
"Not dead? But..she's all frozen and stiff." Filtch said, finally able to take his head out of his hands.
Dumbledore explained that Mrs. Norris had been petrified and that there was no way Harry had anything to do with it. Filtch didn't believe it and said Harry had to have been guilty because he'd seen the Kwikspell letter and knew that Filtch was a Squib. Harry argued that he didn't touch Mrs. Norris and that he didn't even know what a Squib was. Snape then stepped in.
"If I might, headmaster, perhaps Potter and his friends were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time." He said, although his sneer indicated that he doubted it "But the circumstances are suspicious..I for one don't recall seen them at dinner."
Harry Ron and Hermione explained the deathday party and the hundreds of ghosts and Nearly Headless Nick who could vouch for them being there.
"Why not join the feast afterward?"
"We were tired..wanted to go to bed." Harry said, thinking that the true answer of 'I was lead here by disembodied voices' wouldn't go over too well.
"Without any supper?" Snape said, a note of triumph in his voice "I don't think ghosts provide food edible for the living at their parties."
"We weren't hungry.." Ron said but at that exact moment his stomach rumbled and a crooked smile curled Snape's lips.
"I suspect that Potter and his friends aren't being entirely truthful. Perhaps until they're ready to tell us the truth their little ring leader, Potter, ought to be punished. Perhaps a Quidditch suspension will loosen his tongue."
"Now see here, Severus." Said Professor McGonagall "The cat wasn't hit with a broomstick. I see no reason to stop the boy playing Quidditch."
Dumbledore looked at Harry, who felt as if he was being x-rayed and then said "Innocent until proven guilty, Severus." he said, he then reminded Filtch that Professor Sprout was growing mandrakes and a potion could be made once they matured that could revive Mrs. Norris. Lockhart offered to make the potion but Snape shot that one down, stating coldly that he was the potions master at this school
"Dumbledore dismissed the trio who were more than happy to leave.
Harry looked at the others after they'd shut the office door behind time
Do you think I should have told them about the voices? He asked
No..even in the wizarding world, hearing voices nobody else can isn't a good sign. Ron answered
Gonna ignore the irony here... Harry chuckled But seriously, you do believe me don't you?
That's different and you know it. Ron answered But yeah, I do believe you but..it's strange isn't.
Of course it's strange. Harry thought What was that writing on the wall about, the chamber of secrets has been opened...
It rings a bell...I think I remember someone telling me a story about a secret chamber at Hogwarts..might have been Bill.. Ron thought
after and explanation of Squibs, children born to magic families with no magic powers, they heard the bell chime midnight and headed to bed before Snape could come along and frame them for something else.