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Harry Potter and the Prince Hidden in the Shadows
Author :CrossArk
© Webnovel

78 Valentines

The sun had now begun to shine weakly on Hogwarts again. Inside the castle, the mood had grown more hopeful. There had been no more attacks since those on the one Ravenclaw boy called Micheal Corner and Madam Pomfrey was pleased to report that the Mandrakes were becoming moody and secretive, meaning that they were fast leaving childhood.

"The moment their acne clears up, they'll be ready for repotting again," Arthur heard her telling Filch kindly one afternoon. "And after that, it won't be long until we're cutting them up and stewing them. You'll have Mrs. Norris back in no time."

Arth was now well known as there were posters of him all over the school. They were obviously made and spread by the Weasley twins as their signatures sat boldly on the bottom right corner of the posters. They all had a picture of Arth that was posed to look strict and valiant. However, picture would crack a small smile when you stared at it long enough.

Arth couldn't help but think that he was pretty handsome. Compliments to his blood mother and blood father. They were also of the handsome and beautiful type.

Lockhart, to Arth's great disgust, seemed to think he himself had made the attacks stop.

Arthur had overheard Lockhart telling Professor McGonagall so while the Gryffindors were lining up for Transfiguration.

"I don't think there'll be any more trouble, Minerva," he said, tapping his nose knowingly and winking. "I think the Chamber has been locked for good this time. The culprit must have known it was only a matter of time before I caught him. Rather sensible to stop now, before I came down hard on him."

"How... great if you." Replied Professor McGonagall dryly.

"You know, what the school needs now is a morale-booster. Wash away the memories of last term! I won't say any more just now, but I think I know just the thing..."

He tapped his nose again and strode off.

Lockhart's idea of a morale-booster became clear at breakfast time on February fourteenth.

Arth woke up early as usual and went down to eat breakfast. When he pushed open the doors, he though he had entered the wrong room.

The walls were all covered with large, lurid pink flowers. Worse still, heart-shaped confetti was falling from the pale blue ceiling. Arth stood there shocked for he was not expecting anything like this.

Arth glanced at the teachers table and froze once more.

He decided that it was best to ignore everything he had seen and to quickly finish eating and go. However once he sat down, he realized that the plates were empty.

It seemed as though Professor Lockhart wanted to wait for everyone to arrive before starting breakfast.

More and more people started to arrive and some teachers did too.

Arth could tell by the look on Professor McGonagall's face that Lockhart had kept this event a surprise.

Soon, Ron, Hermione, And Harry arrived. Ron was looking sickened, and Hermione seemed to have been overcome with giggles.

"What's going on?" Harry asked him, sitting down and staring at the empty plate in front of him.

Arth pointed to the teachers' table. Lockhart, wearing lurid pink robes to match the decorations, was waving for silence. The teachers on either side of him were looking stony-faced. From where he sat, Arth could see a muscle going in Professor McGonagall's cheek. Snape looked as though someone had just fed him a large beaker of Skele-Gro.

"Happy Valentine's Day!" Lockhart shouted. "And may I thank the forty-five people who have so far sent me cards! Yes, I have taken the liberty of arranging this little surprise for you all — and it doesn't end here!"

Lockhart clapped his hands and through the doors to the entrance hall marched a dozen surly- looking dwarfs. Not just any dwarfs, however. Lockhart had them all wearing golden wings and carrying harps.

"My friendly, card-carrying cupids!" beamed Lockhart. "They will be roving around the school today delivering your valentines! And the fun doesn't stop here! I'm sure my colleagues will want to enter into the spirit of the occasion! Why not ask Professor Snape to show you how to whip up a Love Potion! And while you're at it, Professor Flitwick knows more about Entrancing Enchantments than any wizard I've ever met, the sly old dog!"

Professor Flitwick buried his face in his hands. Snape was looking as though the first person to ask him for a Love Potion would be force-fed poison.

All day long, the dwarfs kept barging into their classes to deliver valentines, to the annoyance of the teachers, and late that afternoon as the Gryffindors were walking upstairs for Charms, one of the dwarfs caught up with Harry.

"Oi, you! 'Arry Potter!" shouted a particularly grim-looking dwarf, elbowing people out of the way to get to them.

Harry tried to escape, desperately too. The dwarf, however, cut his way through the crowd by kicking people's shins, and reached him before he'd gone two paces.

"I've got a musical message to deliver to 'Arry Potter in person," he said, twanging his harp in a threatening sort of way.

"Not here," Harry hissed, trying to escape.

"Just listen too it," Arth said while trying to hold back his laughter. "It'll be entertaining."

"He's right, stay still!" grunted the dwarf, grabbing hold of Harry's bag and pulling him back.

"Let me go!" Harry snarled, tugging.

With a loud ripping noise, Harry's bag split in two. His books, wand, parchment, and quill spilled onto the floor and his ink bottle smashed over everything.

Harry scrambled around, trying to pick it all up before the dwarf started singing, causing something of a holdup in the corridor.

"What's going on here?" came the cold, drawling voice of Draco Malfoy.

"What's all this commotion?" said another familiar voice as Percy Weasley arrived.

Harry tried to make a run for it, but the dwarf seized him around the knees and brought him crashing to the floor.

"Right," he said, sitting on Harry's ankles. "Here is your singing valentine:

His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad, His hair is as dark as a blackboard,

I wish he was mine,

he's really divine,

The hero who conquered the Dark Lord"

Arth fell to the floor laughing while Hermione and Ron sent sympathetic gazes towards Harry.

The dwarf got off of Arth and pulled out a letter. Looking around once, the dwarf asked in a ugly merry voice.

"Is there an Arthur Kingscrown in here? I can't seem to find him."

Arth froze and slowly faced Harry.

Harry had a burning flame in his eyes as he pointed towards Arth.

"That's him. That's Arthur."

"Thank you my boy. I've got a musical message to deliver to Arthur Kingscrown in person."

Arthur paled before taking out a black potion bottle.

"Oh hell no."

He threw the potion on the ground and the whole hallway became covered with black smog.


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