44 Legend of the Chamber of Secrets
For a few days, the school could talk of little else but the attack on Mrs. Norris. Filch kept it fresh in everyone's minds by pacing the spot where she had been attacked, as though he thought the attacker might come back.
Arthur had seen him scrubbing the message on the wall with Mrs. Skower's All-Purpose Magical Mess Remover, but to no effect; the words still gleamed as brightly as ever on the stone. Arth even tried to help him clean it, yet it was in vain.
When Filch wasn't guarding the scene of the crime, he was skulking red-eyed through the corridors, lunging out at unsuspecting students and trying to put them in detention for things like "breathing loudly' and "looking happy."
"What a poor man," Arthur said with sympathy. "I wish I could really help..."
"Why?" Asked Ron angrily. "You haven't really got to know Mrs. Norris and honestly, we're much better off without her."
"I found her smart and adorable." Said Arth with a frown.
"Hahaha, sure. Whatever, they'll catch the maniac who did it and have him out of here in no time. I just hope he's got time to Petrify Filch before he's expelled."
"Oh shut it Ron. He is a good guy. He just had some bad experiences with students."
Harry raised an eyebrow.
"How did you get on friendly terms with Filch? Isn't he know to hate all students?"
Arth gave a warm smile.
Holy light came from the heavens and blessed Arth with heavenly might. Arth's handsome face only served to enhance it, making it as though Arth was a merciful angel from heaven.
"I am but a human being who looks at one's heart and wishes. I give everyone a chance to repent and forgive."
"Yeah right." Ron said while Harry roared in laughter. They made their way down the library.
The attack had also had an effect on Hermione. It was quite usual for Hermione to spend a lot of time reading, but she was now doing almost nothing but reading.
They went to the back of the library to work, Ron was measuring his History of Magic homework, while Harry was scribbling extra lines in his essay.
Professor Binns had asked for a three foot long composition on "The Medieval Assembly of European Wizards."
"I don't believe it, I'm still eight inches short said Ron furiously, letting go of his parchment, which sprang back into a roll.
"And Hermione's done four feet seven inches and her writing's tiny."
"Hahaha, you think that's a lot? Arth did five feet with minuscule hand writing that looks artistic." Harry boasted.
"It isn't even you paper, stop boating about it. speaking of Hermione, where is she?" asked Arthur.
"Somewhere over there," said Ron, pointing along the shelves. "Looking for another book. I think she's trying to read the whole library before Christmas.
"That my friend, isn't easy to do, I've read about 40% already. And there are like ten thousand of books in here."
Harry had an aha moment and told them about Justin Finch-Fletchley running away from him.
"Dunno why you care. I thought he was a bit of an idiot," said Ron, scribbling away, making his writing as large as possible. "All that junk about Lockhart being so great."
"That I agree with. I'm starting to think he is a fraud." Said Arth.
Suddenly, Hermione emerged from between the bookshelves. She looked irritable and at last seemed ready to talk to them.
"All the copies of Hogwarts, A History have been taken out," she said, sitting down next to Harry and Ron. "And there's a two-week waiting list. I wish I hadn't left my copy at home, but I couldn't fit it in my trunk with all the Lockhart books."
"Why do you want it?" said Harry.
"She wants it to read the legend of the Chamber of Secrets," Arth answered before glancing sympathetically at Hermione.
"I would lend mine to you but Dean and Sean wanted to borrow mine first."
"What's that?" said Harry quickly.
"That's just it. I can't remember," said Hermione, biting her lip. "And I can't find the story anywhere else —"
"What a shame," said Arth, "I would tell you but I'm feeling a bit lazy right now, I'll tell you after classes are over."
"Hermione, let me read your composition," said Ron desperately, checking his watch.
"No, I won't," said Hermione, suddenly severe. "You've had ten days to finish it —"
"I only need another two inches, come on —"
Harry subtlety took Arth's scroll out from his bag and started to copy while in amazement, to which Arth laughed at.
The bell rang.
Ron and Hermione led the way to History of Magic, bickering.
History of Magic was the most fascinating subject on their schedule. Professor Binns, who taught it, was their only ghost teacher.
Ancient and shriveled, many people said he hadn't noticed he was dead. He had simply got up to teach one day and left his body behind him in an armchair in front of the staff room fire; his routine had not varied in the slightest since.
He had been speaking for half an hour when something happened that had never happened before. Hermione put up her hand.
Professor Binns, glancing up in the middle of a deadly dull lecture on the International Warlock Convention of 1289, looked amazed.
"Miss — er —?"
"Granger, Professor. I was wondering if you could tell us anything about the Chamber of Secrets," said Hermione in a clear voice.
Dean Thomas, who had been sitting with his mouth hanging open, gazing out of the window, jerked out of his trance; Lavender Brown's head came up off her arms and Neville Longbottom's elbow slipped off his desk.
Professor Binns blinked.
"My subject is History of Magic," he said in his dry, wheezy voice. "I deal with facts, Miss Granger, not myths and legends." He cleared his throat with a small noise like chalk slipping and continued, "In September of that year, a subcommittee of Sardinian sorcerers —"
He stuttered to a halt. Hermione's hand was waving in the air again.
"It's Granger. Please, sir, don't legends always have a basis in fact?"
Arth couldn't help but clap in admiration.