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"This can't be," Daphne whispered, "the lost family vault of the Slytherin house!"
"Yea," Harry said distractedly, his sole attention was occupied with the great chamber.
Besides all the gold scattered about, and the treasures and valuable pieces of knowledge and great lores, what drew Harry's attention more than anything was the nest in the center room.
On it was a sickly green giant egg, which was as large as his torso and head. Walking towards it, Harry stared at it long and hard then very slowly reached out and brushed his hand over the hard egg shell. Somehow he could feel the life within it as it pulsed to his touch.
This could only be one thing, and one thing only....
"Look!" Daphne shouted as she picked up a dark green covered book from off a pedestal.
A family grimoire or to be more exact, the Slytherin family grimoire! Harry wondered about all the powerful spells contained inside that worn green book. It was said House Slytherin had major affinity to Potionnering and a minor affinity to the Dark Art.
It really looked like they struck it rich today! A nice three in one!
"You won't believe this," Harry said as he pointed to the egg.
Turning around to face him, he heard a gasp come out of Daphne's lips as she too came up to the giant egg. "Is... is that a Basilisk egg!"
"Yeah," Harry said breathlessly.
Basilisk have long gone extinct from the world, there hadn't been a trace of them on the face of the earth for centuries on end. To most, if they knew that there was a Basilisk underneath the school which he promptly killed they would be shocked because that would be the first live proof of them in over 800 years.
Basilisk were legendary magical creatures who could rival Leviathans, Phoenixs, Royal Gryphons, Alicorns, Dragons, Kirins, and the such. With their deadly stares, their poisonous breath, their tough scales, and humongous bodies they were a deadly force in any field of battle.
It was just through sure luck and childhood ignorance he was able to defeat the Basilisk underneath the tunnels. Plus it helped that the creature was very ancient, it must have been dying of old age more than anything which lead to him being able to kill it. Oh and he can't forget his ridiculous amount of luck on his side to accomplish it.
In all honesty, it was also dumb luck that no one died to the Basilisk and its deathly stare. If it had been allowed to run lose instead of coming out at the insistence of Ginny who was passed by the spirit of the much younger Voldermort then this very school would have been no more.
There would have been no stopping the creature as it could make a peace meal out of all the Professors like it was nothing and Dumbledore would have been in for a tough fight.
"I can't believe it, weren't they suppose to be extinct," Daphne spoke out loud his thoughts exactly.
"Yea, this must be the last Basilisk in the world!" Harry voiced as he stared at the egg.
Then turning to look at Daphne, he remarked, "You should care for it."
"Me?" Daphne repeated as she spun around to face him.
"I do have budding familiar with one of my family's Royal Gryphons," he stated which was the honest truth. He and Sunchaser were forming a familiar, something that took ages to create but they were now in the process of that as they got to know each other better and understand one and another.
He really could have done it with Hedwig, but sadly she was just only an owl messenger! He would always keep her around and take care of her and pamper her as well, but a familiar needs to be something strong and great, which Sunchaser is.
"Do you have a familiar bond with any creature, like say your family magical beasts?" Harry asked, his mind already heading towards one direction.
"No, I was to make a bond with the leader of the sea serpents when I became Head of House," she answered with a shake of her head.
"Well this would be a much better familiar!" Harry stated, "and it is your right as future Lady of house Slytherin," he added with a grin.
"You... I..." she tried to form the proper words, however really couldn't. Then taking a deep breath she collected herself and looked him in the eyes, "Thank You! This is the most wonderful gift ever."
"I know you will make a good mother... the perfect mother and daughter pair," he said. He didn't know how, but somehow he knew that the Basilisk was a female. "And it could be the perfect practice before you know..."
Smacking his arm playfully, Daphne wasn't perturbed from lovely caressing the egg.
Grinning, Harry took out his main surprise, finding the Slytherin treasure trove, the Slytherin grimoire, and the last very last Basilisk where surprises he really didn't account for, though they were still pleasant ones. But he came here today to offer Daphne something a bit more personal, and now he feared it wouldn't be as great as what they found here, though he carried on.
"What are you doing?" Daphne asked as she paused in stroking the egg.
"Stay still," Harry said as he begin to put on his gift around her neck.
Touching the pendant, Daphne looked at him, and asked, "What is it?"
"It is a magical item I found in my family vault," he answered as he stepped back and took her in. The silver necklace with the green snake etched on it looked wonderful on her.
When he visited his family vault, he knew that he needed to familiar it with himself, he set to getting to know the Black family vault for later as just getting to know his family vault personally would take ages.
Thankfully there was a catalog as it would seem his ancestors were wise in the fact that a complete list of items and treasures were needed. One item that perked his interest... okay everything got his interest, but one magical item that one of his ancestor procured was this necklace.
It had many functions but the most important that it let you know when the wearer was in danger, also allowing you to teleport to their side quickly and past any wards, they might be in. It tracked the wearer's life signals, health, magical reserves, and much more.
Immediately Harry had it withdrawn from the vault as it was the perfect item to make sure his women were safe at all time. He had the goblins key it to his lordship ring and have them study it and request for more of the magical item to be made.
It was the perfect item for his new betrothal, he wanted to present it to her that day he came calling to her home, but the goblins were still studying it and transfiguring the medallion head into his specific specifications.
"It is beautiful," she said as she looked at it.
"No, you make it beautiful," Harry grinned at her.
Biting her lips, she turned to him and slowly rubbed his chest with slow carcasses felling his muscles and limbs. "I think I need to find a way to reward you for all this today! Why don't you come to my room, I think I can find it within myself to properly reward you amply."
"Mmm," Harry said as if he just tasted something delicious. "I think that sounds wonderful," he said as he grabbed her hand, "why don't you lead on?!"
"What about all this?" she asked as she pointed to the literal treasure trove they were standing on.
"I will have the goblins come down and collect it and secure it into the Slytherin family and gold vaults." He knew that the little guys would take it up with gleeful joy, the security fee that they will be collecting would make them all wild with joy and eyes shining wide shock and desire.
Anyways he couldn't help himself from thinking about how Voldermort would feel if he found about all this treasures and gold stored in, right under his nose. The idiot didn't even think to connect the locket and the statue of Salazar Slytherin together.
With the arrival of the other schools, the halls of the castle were always full. It was like the livelyssnes of the place was maxed out to 11 and with it came all its noises and chaos.
You could see students from other schools mixing as they chatted about their own little corner of the world. Harry guessed more than anything this was what the tournament was made for. For students all over the world to get to know each other and learn more about the bigger wider world.
He won't deny that he too made some new friends as he got to know many visitors and learn more about them.
Still classes carried on even with the massive influx of new and interesting things to be doing, there was one constant, learning and studying.
All the classes were made open to every foreign to sit through and get to learn about what Hogwarts offered at the behest of Dumbledore. Thus on many occasions, you could see some new additions to classes as foreign students sat along with Hogwarts students in on their classes.
As the days went by, Harry one day got a note which was from the old goat himself. He found it a bit strange that he would invite him to his office, their potion classes had become self-study sessions since he was busy entertaining the visiting headmasters and mistress.
To get a summons to his office really was strange and a bit unsettling. Putting the letter away for now, he still had a whole day to look forward to and classes to get to, and the invitations were only for after supper.
As the day settled down, Harry made his way to the old man's office. Greeting the gargoyles that guarded the door, he walked inside to the grand room.
Sitting on his perch was Fawkes who seem to glare at him as his flaming feather plumes arched up. It was obvious that the fiery bird didn't forget about him setting him to blame.
Smiling awkwardly at the majestic creature he took out one of its favorite treats as a peace offering. It stared at it long and hard for a long moment, seemingly deciding if it should go for it, and in the end, it's gluttonous appetite won out as it swallowed it whole.
"Friends now?" Harry asked as he rubbed its head.
The bird stared at him long and hard, and he added, "I will make sure to send you more treats, a lot more, all for you!"
Inside he saw Dumbledore peering over some maps which laid astride his desk in a mess. The old man didn't seem to notice him as he walked in or he was just too busy to look up.
Harry came over silently, not interpreting the old man as he looked down at what he was doing. On his desk were maps of the school ground in detail, covering just about everything on the school grounds really.
It sort of reminded him of the marauder map...
Within the maps, he saw people denoted by their names walking around the map which was basically a representation of the school. Thankfully he saw that the whole school ground wasn't shown as some parts of it didn't seem to be shown as the old man didn't seem to know about it.
Also thanks to how large the number of people in the school, it was nearly impossible to keep track of everyone at all times since names blurred with each other and blotted out the castle ground through the day.
Clearing his throat to get the old goat's attention, Dumbledore turned around as if this was the first time taking notice of him. "Ahh, Harry my boy," he said with his kind grandfatherly smile.
"Headmaster," he nodded his head respectfully. He held no respect for the old man any longer but still, he just keep up the facade for now.
"Interesting maps," he noted as he looked at the maps of the school with each and every person on it.
"Oww, these," the old man said, "your father's and his friends were the inspirations for it. A wonderful item they created, that marauder map of their gave me the idea for this but on a much larger scale."
He was right, this had complete detail of everything or nearly everything, the old man obviously did not know every secret that was contained in this school like he did thanks to being in control of the wardstone, but he came close.
His father's map as much as it was awesome and very handy could only be used during the night or when there weren't that many souls around as the map would be crammed full of people.
He didn't know how to feel that his father bright idea was the inspiration for an old man that ruined his life.
"What are you doing?" Harry asked as he changed up the topic, he really did not want to dwell there.
"I have finally tracked down where Moddy... I mean the real Alastor Moody is being kept!"
"Where?" Harry asked as his ears perked up. This was indeed very good news, finally, they could lock down on Barty Jr. and find out where his master was. Voldermort was finally within his grasp, he could just see it!
"I should have looked in the most obvious place," the old man shook his head, "I must be going senile in my age, but it looks like Barty is keeping Moody in his office!"
"In his office," Harry repeated, "where he has office hours with the students and grades assignments?" The disbelief was clearly evident in his tone. Why didn't they think to look over there, well maybe because it was so obvious no one would think of it.
Barty Jr. used the oldest trick in the book, stowaway Moody in one of the few places no one would look. While they were all thinking he must have the old Auror some secret hideout or abandoned warehouse which they would never find on their lonesome, Barty did the smart thing, the wise thing that had everyone stumped.
"How did you find out about it, did this map tell you?" he asked, inquiring about the obvious.
"No," the old man shook his head, "I notice how much time Barty spends in his office, a bit too much really. Professors don't really sleep and eat in their office rarely only heading out for teaching classes and the privy.
No, he was spending too much time, too much that it became suspicious, too suspicious that he gave himself away.
"So you think that is where he is keeping Moody," Harry connected the dots.
"Yes and no," the great wizard answered as he held out one hand, "when I tried to peer in close," he said as he pointed his wand at the dot representing Barty Jr. Suddenly the neat drawn map gave way to an image of Barty's office however it seem to contorted as they could barely make out anything.
"This happens," the old man declared. "He wouldn't be putting up this sort of powerful wards if he wasn't hiding plenty of stuff."
"So what are we to do about this discovery?" Harry asked. Really all that matter was what they did next, it was good and all that they found out about this information, but it would do them nothing if they didn't act.
And if he knew the old man, he would want to play it carefully, that was basically his middle name really. Taking it smooth and....
"We will move in!" Dumbledore declared.
"We will what?" Harry repeated.
"You heard me," the old man said, "we struck now and we struck hard. This might be our only chance to rescue Moody, Barty Jr. might soon be able to detect that someone was trying to spy on him and would change Alastor's location. So we take our chances now and hope for the best."
Harry just couldn't believe what he was hearing coming out of the old bastard's mouth. Was a different person taking over for him because this wasn't the Dumbledore he knew?
However this worked perfectly for him, a plan of action was much to his whole hearted agreement. Finally making a move on Voldermort's puppet was what he wanted. It made catching the snake and getting the jump on him all the more easier.
"Alright let's do it!" Harry said as he drew out his wand.
"Then let's move out," the old man said as he too withdrew his wand ready for battle.
Basilisk egg: https://custom-gwent.com/cards/f56e8b505b7ac7494740ea2c04b73586