During Hermione’s two-week stay at the Hospital Wing, Draco had been visiting her, at least once or twice a day. He would bring her the homeworks which she refused to accept.
Instead of pushing it more, he just came to taunt her every day. His visit would only last at least a minute or two, not getting any longer than that. He assigned Dobby to watch over her and report everything that happened in the evening.
He’d been spending his night laughing at his ‘Crookshanks’. He remembered seeing the owner’s large, tabby cat with bottlebrush tail at a magical pet shop in Diagon Alley. The owner got angry because Crookshanks, the cat, was bothering Draco who wanted a second owl, but he couldn’t care less because Crookshanks was actually cuddling him.
Meanwhile, Hermione kept drinking the de-furring potion, a stronger dose on her third day, which sped up her recovery. She didn’t miss a single lesson because Harry and Ron brought her homeworks and lessons. She maybe coughing up fur balls, but at least she’s getting better.
“Look at this! I found this in Myrtle’s lavatory!” Harry exclaimed and held up a wet diary.
“What is it?” Hermione asked.
“I don’t know. But it’s from Tom Marvolo Riddle. I think it’s a diary.” Harry replied.
“Let me see!” Ron said and snatched the diary from Harry. “Uh-huh. This is very useful for it’s blank.”
Hermione pointed her wand to the diary and chanted several spells to reveal what is written in the diary.
“Hmm, it’s not written with invisible ink either.” Hermione said to Harry.
A week had passed since Harry got the mysterious diary from Tom Riddle and he isn’t even mentioning it like he used to when he found it.
It has been going around, since Harry left the Hospital Wing to grow some bones back, that the young Colin Creevey from Gryffindor was also petrified.
The trio’s more scared than ever. They couldn’t let this happen again, especially to Hermione, so they were taking all necessary precautions. Even the professors have noticed the hysteria and panic going on.
Dumbledore put up announcements. Students should be escorted by their professors to their next classes, curfew is set by 6pm, and so on and so forth. Quidditch training is even a no-no on weekends.
Parents have sent their concerns and wrote dozens of letters to Dumbledore to give them permission that they could go home.
It’s happening, just like what Draco said. Hermione thought, surrendering to the fact. I better go to the library.
“Young Master, Young Master!” Dobby the house-elf called, banging the door to his master’s bath, sounded panicky. “Young Masteeeeer!”
Sigh. Draco turned off the shower, much to his irritation and went out.
“Goodness, Dobby. This better be good. What is it?” Draco asked and folded his arms.
“It’s Ms. Granger! She has been petrified, along with a Ravenclaw Prefect!” Dobby said, flailing around Draco’s dorm room. “She’s in the Hospital Wing. Ms. Granger has been petrified!”
He can’t put it in his head yet. “Hermione!” Draco said at last and dressed up speedily.
Harry and Ron was led into the Hospital Wing by Prof. McGonagall. The day’s Quidditch match against the Hufflepuffs was cancelled, reason still unknown.
On a curtained bed, Harry saw a marble-like Hermione beside Penelope Clearwater, a Ravenclaw prefect. Both were petrified.
Beside Hermione’s bed was a hand-mirror she was caught holding.
“Is this of any relevance to you, boys?” Prof. McGonagall asked the two.
“No, ma’am.” And Harry didn’t say anything. He and Ron held Hermione’s uphelded hand.
Though Hermione is petrified, she can still hear and see people around her, but only just.
As much as she wanted to call out to Harry about the things she found out about the Chamber of Secrets, she can’t.
She recalled everything that had happened earlier….
Earlier that day…
Hermione ran to the library as soon as she remembered about a monster she just read a few weeks ago. It could possibly be the monster inside the Chamber of Secrets. She hunched. Better get started.
Hermione went to the Restricted Section and went to Dangerous Magical Creatures part. She was flapping pages so fast, almost five books are on her lap.
She found what she was looking for in a short time. This must be it! ‘Basilisk are also known as the King of Serpents…Aside from its venomous fangs, it also has a murderous stare, and whoever looks at it will suffer instant death…Basilisk flees only from the crowing of the rooster which is fatal to it.’
She ripped the page of the book and asked herself a few questions. How could a giant snake get through without getting noticed? I know Harry mentioned hearing voices, that’s because he speaks parseltongue, so he understand. What if…? “Hey, Penelope!” Hermione called out as she was about to go out of the library.
“Yeah? What is it? Oh, and what are you doing here?” Penelope asked but answered her own question. “Of course, you’re Hermione Granger. You’re probably the smartest student in all of Gryffindor, you would love to learn more. So what is it again that you’re going to ask?”
“Oh, uhm, do you have any idea how big the pipes in Hogwarts are?” Hermione asked the puzzled prefect. “I know it’s a weird question but, do you?”
Penelope answered back. “It’s probably 95% smaller than the doors of the Great Hall, though when you think about it, it’s still big. Why?”
“Nothing, just curious.” Hermione said.
She and Penelope were about to make an exit when Hermione heard a faint sound, like slippery skin brushing on a rough surface. It’s the Basilisk. Hermione’s mind said. Think fast or it could kill you with a single look!
“Uh, Penelope, check out the hand mirror my grandma gave me.” She said as she took a hand mirror she never had time to use from her pocket.
As she held up the mirror, they saw great yellow eyes looking down at them through the mirror. They were about to scream when Hermione felt her body becoming heavier and heavier until she couldn’t move any longer. Her senses stopped functioning, except for her eyes which stayed stationary and her ears which only hardened but can still hear perfectly.
Thanks for the hand mirror, grandma. Hermione thought to herself, still lying immobile on her Hospital Bed.
“I already told you, it’s dangerous.” A cold voice was heard, which only Hermione can hear, but barely. “First you were Crookshanks and now you’re Venus de Milo, only with arms.”
Crookshanks? Venus de Milo? How could he even—- Hermione thought furiously.
“You wanted to learn so much, you would risk even your life. That’s too bad, Granger”.
A warm hand touched hers and she saw the face clearly. It’s Malfoy.
“I thought you got my message already, but I was wrong.” He said.
Wrong, where? Did you really say anything? Hermione thought, confused.
“I thought my constant taunting would make you aware about what’s going on, but I was wrong still.”
Oh. You mean the ‘mudblood’? That was the warning? How lame can you get? She wanted to say.
“Anyway, I already asked Prof. Snape to speed up brewing the Mandrake potion. Not because of you, I told him, because of Mrs. Norris. Filch is becoming unbearable.” He said and laughed softly. “See you soon. I’ll update you about the potion. I know you wouldn’t hear a thing about what I just said and it’s foolish but, there you go.” He said. “I can’t believe I’m saying this but, do take care next time. Coming Madam Pomfrey!”
Hermione heard footsteps fading away.
Half an hour later, Ron and Harry came to visit her. She even heard the lamest excuse ever. “We just wanted to talk to her and, erm, update her about homeworks.” to which Pomfrey agreed to.
“We miss you, Hermione.” Harry said. He said and held her closed hand, on Ron’s side. Ron saw the paper Hermione was supposed to give them. A few trying minutes later, the two got the paper and read its contents.
“Thank you, Hermione!” Harry said. “We’ll be right back to figure this out, I promise.” Ron said as he and Harry ran outside the Hospital Wing.
Good luck, you two.
Just as all of her curtains were closed by Madam Pomfrey, a booming voice sounded all over the halls of Hogwarts.
“All of the staffs, please proceed to the staff room immediately.” A voice which seemed to belong to Prof. McGonagall said.
“What is it this time?” Madam Pomfrey asked Prof. Sprout, who was also on her way to the staff room.
“Another student has been attacked.” She said in a panicked tone as both the women ran to the staff room.
“Dobby had been told by Professor Snape that the potion would be ready in a few days, a week at most, Young Master.” The house-elf bowed to Draco.
“Can’t it get any faster?” Draco asked the house-elf.
“No, Young Master.” Dobby said. “But I have heard that your father will be coming here in a few days. It’s been going around that Hagrid the Groundkeeper may have opened the Chamber of Secrets.”
“Impossible!” Draco said. “And father very well knows he caused this.”