67 Chapter 67: The Diary

It's my birthday. I thought about taking the day off to hang out with my friends, only to realize that I don't have any. So, I guess I'm writing a new chapter instead.

If you want to support me check out my patréon at https://www.patréon.com/athassprkr

I tend to upload drafts of early chapters on there to get people's opinions of them so you can read up to 20 chapters ahead as a bonus.

I would like to thank my beta, Akisu, for his help in this chapter.


2 August 1992, Diagon Alley

Harry ignored Tracy's gasp when she first saw the famous wizard, he ignored the giant camera that was constantly flashing. He was only focused on what he picked up using his Arcane Hearing. It was a disgustingly familiar song, a shard of a whole, an abomination created using death. The unnaturalness of it made Harry clench his fist. The diary was there and with it, was his chance to finally steal it.

On his left, Blaise let out a pitiful groan, "Why did we decide to come in today? Practically the entire wizarding world and their mother decided to come to the alley today."

"We wouldn't have come today if it wasn't for a certain fangirl that wants Lockhart's autograph," Daphne remarked.

Harry interrupted the brunette's inevitable retort, "Let's just get our books while Tracy goes in line to get an autograph. We should save some time, then."

"But you'll miss Lockhart's announcement. He's been teasing it for weeks on witch weekly that he's planning on revealing something huge at his book signing today," Tracy protested.

Harry released a sigh. He didn't have time to deal with Tracy's crush on the probable fraud that is Lockhart. He just decided to pull the band-aid, "Tracy, you're being inconsiderate here. None of us really care about Gilderoy Lockhart. As for the announcement, he's probably going to be our Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. So, now that we're all on the same page, Daphne, Blaise and I will go get our books, and you can stand in line for his autograph."

His three friends looked at him with wide eyes. Blaise murmured, "Mate… Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?"

"I'm sorry, it's just there's something I need to get at Flourish and Blotts, and I don't want to stand in line for some celebrity I don't care about."

"How could you not care about him," Tracy said while giving him a baffled look, "And how do you even know that he's our new Professor?"

"Look, Tracy, for all his supposed accomplishments, the most remarkable thing I can see about him is that he's a good author who's somewhat attractive. Someone with his accomplishments should have gotten hurt somewhere, but he's practically spotless," Harry answered.

"So, you think he's some sort of fraud?" Daphne asked with her eyes suddenly alert.

"I don't know. But some of his stories really did happen, even if the facts are embellished or sometimes even just wrong. They're too clean, without any real mistakes or gore. It's always the good hero against the horrible monster. That's not how life is. I honestly think that he's probably an author that's narrating someone else's story, or even multiple other people, that actually did all this stuff and is selling himself as this celebrity hero to get more sales, and with it more gold. It's not actually illegal. He's not selling his competence, just his character. If he had tried to help out Aurors or remove a curse professionally, then there would be issues with the law. But he's currently just a celebrity with some bold claims, nothing more. It's how I know he's our next Defense professor after all."

"And how do you that?" Tracy answered with a heated tone.

"You're joking, right? Did you even look at our booklist?" the Potter scion answered with another question.

"Not really. It just came in a few days ago," the brunette responded.

"Well take it out, and you'll understand."

The girl did as he asked her and gaped at the piece of parchment that was sent to her with her Hogwarts letter. On it was written:

Second-year students will require:

The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2 by Miranda Goshawk

Break with a Banshee by Gilderoy Lockhart

Gadding with Ghouls by Gilderoy Lockhart

Holidays with Hags by Gilderoy Lockhart

Travels with Trolls by Gilderoy Lockhart

Voyages with Vampires by Gilderoy Lockhart

Wanderings with Werewolves by Gilderoy Lockhart

Year with the Yeti by Gilderoy Lockhart

Daphne looked furious, "These are all Lockhart's books. Who in their right mind would require us to buy seven books just for a single class."

"No, Daphne," Harry replied, "Who would require every single student, from first year to seventh year to buy the exact same seven books for a single class."

Blaise was frowning, "That has to be illegal somehow. My mother read a few of them. They're adventure books at best, not actual textbooks."

The Potter scion nodded, "Yeah, who would do it, but the actual author? It's not for educational purposes, that's for sure. It can't be a fan, because they wouldn't really be taken seriously. Unless they don't care about it and want to gain something. That meant that it has to be the author, which in this case is Lockhart. And he's getting a lot of money out of it too. Assuming that there are at least a hundred students in Hogwarts, Lockhart's books are almost two Galleons each, so each student will be paying fourteen Galleons to Lockhart, that's at least fourteen hundred Galleons just this summer for only accepting the job. That's without the free advertisement he's getting with the parents."

Believe it or not, that was a lot of gold to be made in just a few months, for no effort whatsoever. The man probably leveraged his acceptance of the job to these requirements.

The other three Slytherins just gaped at him again. They really need to stop doing this every time he needed to do something. Harry didn't really have the energy to deal with them. He missed them and all, but the library was more important. He needed to find it, "Alright, I need to get something. I'll get back when I find it."

The Potter scion didn't even wait to see their reaction and ran towards the abominable song. He needed to concentrate. It was very difficult to locate with so much noise going on. He was, of course, talking about magical noise. Outside of the wards on the property, every single person in the shop was exuding a magical noise. What Harry was doing was like trying to isolate a voice in a loud concert. But he had no choice, he needed that diary.

The song, distorted as it might have been, starts somehow blending in with its surroundings. It was hard to explain. It was trying to hide, and it was working. With every second, the sound became less sinister, less abominable, and less wrong. Oh, Harry would no doubt be able to discern its true nature if he was on his own with it, but in a crowd, that posed a lot of issues.

He was racing against the time although, he isolated the noise to the front of the shop. Harry practically ran towards the noise, uncaring about who exactly he was trampling. The thought of a Basilisk roaming free in these corridors was frightening enough. He even pushed around the photographer from the Daily Prophet that was for some reason taking photos of an uncomfortable Neville Longbottom and Gilderoy Lockhart, who was handing him a bad filled with his books.

"Hey!" the man exclaimed, "Get back here you little brat."

Harry didn't give him any mind and ran towards the fading sound of the song, just as a redhead, whom Harry assumed to be Arthur Weasley, practically threw himself at a pale man with long platinum hair, probably Lucius Malfoy. Well, at least things are going according to the script. The redhead knocked the former Death Eater backwards straight into a bookshelf without using any magic whatsoever. Dozens of heavy magical books came thundering down on all their heads. The Weasley twins were in pure Gryffindor mood screaming "Get him, Dad!" would have made Harry laugh if it wasn't for the seriousness of the situation.

A plump woman with red hair, probably the Weasley matriarch was shrieking "No Arthur, no!" and at the same time the crowd present inside the store was running in every direction casting spells, with the employee of Flourish and Blotts trying to restore order without any success.

By the time the assistant started breaking the fight, Arthur Weasley had a split lip, and the Malfoy Patriarch had a visible bruise that would probably swell into a black eye. The man was still holding a first-year transfiguration book, which was put in a redhead girl's small cauldron as he pulled himself up, "Here, girl — take your book — it's the best your father can give you…"

Having given his last dig into the Weasleys, he motioned his son to leave. By this time, the book had camouflaged his song perfectly. Harry could not detect it, especially with the crowd there. But thankfully, he knew the stories. The redhead girl – Ginny Weasley – is supposed to get Tom Riddle's diary, thanks to Lucius Malfoy putting it discreetly with her transfiguration book.

Now that he understands the reasoning behind the fight, Harry could see how staged it was from the Malfoys' perspective. They were purists and would try to avoid a physical conflict at any cost, preferring to use their wands. Lucius Malfoy was obviously provoking the Weasley Patriarch into a physical brawl to sneak something in. And no one would have batted an eyelash at it, since to everyone else, it was Arthur Weasley that had escalated the encounter.

Discreetly, Harry slowly followed the family of redheads, as the Weasley Matriarch kept scolding her husband in front of her children. The Potter scion slowly walked towards the redhead girl, hoping to spare her from the fate that awaited her.

"Hello there," he spoke up with a charming smile, "I'm sorry but someone knocked over my cauldron back at the shop, and I lost a journal of mine. A small black book. Do you mind if you look for it in your cauldron? It's rather precious to me."

The youngest Weasley blushed furiously before nodding and looking inside her cauldron filled with her schoolbooks, "I'm sorry, there isn't anything like that here."

Harry stiffened, "Are you sure? It's very important to me?"

The girl just handed him her cauldron and he peeked inside. Yes, there weren't any unusual books. There was no black Diary, and yet Harry was sure that Lucius Malfoy had dropped it off somewhere in the shop. The fact that the diary was somehow camouflaging itself from his Arcane Hearing was already very troublesome. He didn't even know that this was possible. Magic was always transparent in a way to him. It never tried to hide anything. Harry could detect wards, curses and any spell, and yet a sixteen-year-old boy enchanted a diary that was actively fooling him.

But if it could hide from him, why had he sensed it when it entered the shop? The sheer wrongness of it was overwhelming and probably anyone with a modicum of magical sensing would have noticed that it was an abomination. Did a sudden change in the environment disable its protection, which is why it needed time to hide its song once more? If that was the case, then theoretically, when they arrived in Hogwarts, the abrupt change in the wards should disable the protections momentarily, allowing Harry to track it down.

It would be better if he didn't wait that long. A lot of damage could be done in a month. Harry needed to find it as soon as possible. he tried to spread his senses another time, hoping to find any trace of it, and yet there was nothing. Fucking mysterious protection that Harry had never even heard of before.

Of course, Ron Weasley of all people had to disturb Harry again, "What are you doing near my sister, Potter?"

Thankfully Ginny stopped him, "He just wanted to see if I had a book he lost, Ron. Now, go away."

Harry shook his head, "It's fine. We figured out that it wasn't with you. Have a good day."

The Potter scion walked away. He still did his best for an hour trying to locate the damn Diary, until deeming it to be a lost cause and returning to see his friends. They obviously noticed his foul mood, since they didn't comment on how long he spent there. He was thankful for it because all he could feel was disappointment. He had lost the Diary and the students of Hogwarts were going to pay for it.

He had failed. Ginny Weasley did not have the diary. From now on, he couldn't rely on the stories, and for the first time, Harry dreaded his return to Hogwarts.



For those who are freaking out about me forcing canon in some way. I'm sorry but this will be completely different from Canon. I won't go into detail to avoid spoiling things but you'll understand when the year starts. I'm kinda planning something a little ambitious this year and the diary will play a critical role there. Honestly, just having Harry destroy the diary is a waste of potential since it's a very good plot source and could be used in many ways.

So yeah, I'm done following Canon, so don't worry about that.


If you want to support me check out my patréon at https://www.patréon.com/athassprkr

I tend to upload drafts of early chapters on there to get people's opinions of them so you can read up to 20 chapters ahead as a bonus.

Thank you guys for your support in these hard times.

Next chapter