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Chapter 4 - The Second-To-Last Horcrux

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1 Chapter 4 - The Second-To-Last Horcrux on Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:58 am

Mrs.KreszentiaBlack

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Harry, Ron, and Hermione looked around. The place was beautiful. There were green hills as far as you can see that even looked green in the dark. To the east, there was a little cluster of lighted houses, which looked like a small town, complete with a bus stop and railroad tracks. When they looked left, they saw an even smaller village with no train tracks, but which looked very well kempt.

“This can’t be the place,” said Harry, looking accusingly at Hermione.

“Well, you apparated us to the wrong place, Harry,” said Hermione defensively.

“What wrong place? You told me to go to a circle of stones on the Highlands. We are standing right in the middle of a circle of standing stones ”

“Maybe there is another place in Scotland that has a circle like this one,” said Ron doubtfully.

Hermione sighed in exasperation, “There are lots and lots of circles of standing stones scattered all over Scotland. Don’t you guys ever read anything?”

“No ” said Harry and Ron together.

“But if you read so much why don’t you tell us specifically which circle of standing stones we are looking for,” said Ron raising an eyebrow.

“Well, I know where it is, but it’s hard to explain it exactly with apparation. Lets walk over to this village, here, and ask about the circles of stones near this area. Maybe we can just get there the Muggle way if it’s not far.”

Ron and Harry followed Hermione down to the little village on their left. But when they got there, Harry had a feeling that this was no Muggle neighborhood. Before he had a chance to mention this to Ron, they heard a very excited voice from behind them.

“Oh my goodness You’re all here?”

When they whirled around they were standing face to face with Marietta, Cho Chang’s friend.

“Harry, you’re alive You’re okay ” she exclaimed, “Everyone thinks you’re -,”

“What do you mean?” interrupted Harry, wondering how this news could have possibly traveled all the way to Scotland.

“Well, it was all over the newspapers, the whole story. How You-Know-Who surrounded your house,” Marietta looked at Ron, “And how Harry surrendered so that You-Know-Who wouldn’t kill you...”

“How the-, how on earth did they find out about that?” asked Harry angrily.
Hermione looked thoughtful. “Who wrote the articles? Do you remember?” she asked.
“Rita Skeeter, why?”

“Ohhh ” said Harry and Ron together, looking at each other and nodding.

“That explains it,” said Ron.

“You should have kept her in that jar, Hermione,” said Harry annoyed.

“So how did you escape this time, Harry?” inquired Marietta.

“I didn’t,” said Harry, “My friends came to the rescue this time.”

“So this is a Wizarding village?” asked Harry in attempt to change the subject, “do you live here?”

“Yes. This, here, is my house,” pointed Marietta, “Thanks for helping me with Cho, Hermione,” she added cheerlessly.

“How is she doing?” asked Hermione.

“Worse than ever. Daniel broke up with her last week. Same reason everyone does.”

“I thought she was dating Roger Davies?” asked Harry.

Hermione and Marietta looked at each other. “She’s been dating the entire male population. But everyone dumps her because they claim she is miserable, and it’s depressing to be with her. Honestly, I don’t think she ever really loved anyone besides Cedric, and she never yet got over - you know...” Marietta looked sad.

Harry felt suddenly very guilty at the way he reacted every time she wanted to talk about Cedric. Hermione kept telling him he needed to be more understanding towards Cho. Harry knew that Cho was desperate to talk to him about Cedric, because he was there when Cedric died. Harry didn’t know what to say, but he was spared the effort. Ron was asking Marietta about the circles of standing stones in the area.

“Well there is one about ten kilometers to the south, and another one a little closer, to the east but I wouldn’t think you would want to go there. There used to be a dark wizard school years ago near that location, but it was closed down. The rumor is that the founders weren’t happy about it being closed. The Muggles in that area are scared silly of that place.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione looked at each other significantly. This sounded like the exact place they wanted to go to.

“It was nice to see you, Marietta, sorry we disturbed you this late at night. Say, do you usually stay up this late?” said Ron.

“Naw, my mom isn’t feeling well and I went out to collect some herbs for a Pepperup Potion. I guess I’ll see you around then.”

They waved to each other and Ron, Harry, and Hermione disapparated with a small pop.

They arrived at a neglected looking field, overgrown with weeds and smelling like a garbage dump. They could barely find the circle of standing stones because the weeds were so tall. They were walking slowly toward the bad smell and realized that they had reached a cave.

As they walked, Harry asked, “What have you been helping Marietta with?”

Oh, just speaking to Cho’s mother about letting her take those Anti-Depressant Potions given to her by the Healer. She’s really very nice, Marietta.”

“Yeah, I noticed she's not pimply anymore,” smiled Harry.

“Oh, that, I got rid of it in a minute. It was pretty rude, I feel bad now.”

"Don’t,” said Ron finding it much harder to forgive, “Do you realize that it was her fault that Draco Malfoy knew about the Room of Requirement? And if it wasn't for your idea with the Galleons used for communication, Dumbledore might have still been alive...”


When they got closer to the cave, they heard a sound like howling wind coming from inside it. They entered the cave.

There was a whirlpool in the middle of the cave going all the way up towards the sky. There must have been a hole in the cave right on top of where the whirlpool started.

They tried to get closer and take a look, but it was impossible. The wind was so strong it was ready to suck them right in.

“Well, we will never find out unless we get in. You two keep watch for Death Eaters, I will get into the current,” said Harry.

Bracing themselves, Ron and Hermione nodded and walked to each side of the cave, their wands out, looking resolute.

Harry walked straight into the current. It swept him upward in a violent circular flow. He tried to pay attention to what was inside the vortex, but the maelstrom was so rapid that all he could do was go with the flow. As he was rotating, he noticed something small flying around along with him. He was trying to grab hold of it but it kept slipping away. He almost gave up when he suddenly felt it at his elbow. He quickly lunged for it and finally grabbed it. He wasn’t sure but it felt like a wand. So he quickly pointed it upward, said a resourceful spell and he was shooting up and out of the current.


He landed on the ground next to Ron and Hermione, who were looking shaken.

“What happened?” asked Harry.

“Death Eaters. We just finished dueling with them. They knew we were here the moment you got into the storm. As if your getting into it caused some kind of an alarm,” said Hermione.

“It was so cool. The moment they saw us, they cursed us with Stunning Spells and all their spells rebounded onto them. They all got stunned except for a few who we stupefied without much effort,” said Ron proudly.

Harry looked around and saw seven Death Eaters lying stupefied on the ground.

“We really are protected by your love, Harry,” whispered Hermione tenderly, “Just the way you were by your mother’s love. They really can’t touch us - any of us. They can’t hurt us.”

“And the best part,” said Ron happily, “You-Know-Who didn’t even have to kill you for that ancient magic to take effect. Dumbledore was right about the Power of Love.”

“But Pettigrew got away. Just turned into a rat and-”

“Peter Petigrew was here?” interrupted Harry.

Yes, and now he’s probably on the way to get Voldemort and tell him about what we are up to. I don’t think Voldemort expected us to do it so soon or he would be here himself.”

“The evil git,” said Harry evenly, not raising his voice.

They felt before they saw the Dementors coming their way. There were at least a hundred of them, gliding down towards Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

Harry felt the cold pressing in on him. It was getting inside his bones, inside his soul. He heard Voldemort’s voice laughing through the white fog, “Just another dose of pain, you’ve almost completely lost your mind.”

“Expecto Patronum ” cried Harry, thinking about Ginny being safe from Voldemort, protected by his own love.

A large silver stag erupted from the end of Harry’s wand and galloped around the Dementors, chasing them away.

Suddenly, Harry got an idea. “Hey ” he yelled at the nearest Dementor handing him the wand.

For a moment, the Dementor stopped. Then, slowly it lowered its hood, put the wand to its mouth, and inhaled from it as though from a straw. When it was done, the Dementor dropped the wand to the ground and disappeared along with the others.
Harry picked up the wand and inspected it. “We did it,” he said.

“Wow, Harry, this was the easiest Horcrux to destroy,” laughed Ron.

“No,” smirked Harry, “The diary was even easier.”

“Oh, yeah, I forgot that one,” said Ron.

“We’d better disappear before Voldemort gets here,” exclaimed Hermione

And with a loud pop they were on their way back.



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