Harry nodded in response, turned around on the spot and took a step forward, the leaning house pictured clearly in his mind. He felt the normal sensation, and then his feet hit the ground.
For a moment he kept his eyes shut tight, trying to oust the picture of the horrified, screaming girl from his mind.
She wouldn’t go away.
“Harry’s here!” He heard the voice before he had opened his eyes. Just as he was about to see who had spoken, there was a flurry of red hair and somebody leaped into his embrace. The sweet smell of perfume drifted through his nostrils.
Ginny held onto Harry tightly until Ron and Hermione had walked over to them, in front of the house. Harry had to nudge her to get her to notice her brother and friend.
“Oh,” she said softly, her cheeks reddening immediately.
“Like I said,” remarked Ron, smirking, “All that talk of ‘Harry’s right,’ and ‘We can’t see each other,’ that you’ve been bugging us with all summer was a right load of rubbish.”
“Shut up…” murmured Ginny, but she was still smiling.
“Glad you’re back, Harry,” continued Ron. “Knew you’d make it.” He winked. “C’mon; the others are inside.”
The four of them—Harry, Hermione, Ron and Ginny—marched across the lawn and entered the house once again.
The first person Harry noticed was Remus Lupin, who sat up immediately and ushered them inside. “C’mon, c’mon,” he said, eyes twitching nervously about the outside. He shut the door and, aiming his wand at it, muttered a few words. The door hissed and sealed itself. “They’re in the kitchen.” His voice sounded tired and hushed. Harry noticed he still looked as pale and haggard as usual.
Harry followed the others as they walked into the kitchen, with Lupin walking behind.
“Nice to see you,” whispered Lupin. He managed a half-hearted smile.
Harry smiled in response.
In the kitchen, seated at the long, wooden table was Mrs. Weasley, Professor McGonogall, Fred and George (who both looked uncharacteristically serious), Mad-Eye Moody, and Nicodemus Tonks.
Before the quartet had a chance to sit down, Mrs. Weasley spoke up. “Ginny, upstairs, now.”
“But, Mum…” began the red-head, her voice protesting.
“I’m serious,” said Mrs. Weasley, her voice venomous. Ginny spun around irritably and left the kitchen. “Ron? Hermione? There are some things we need to discuss with Harry. It would be better if only… he heard them.”
“But Mum, he’s just going to—” Ron was cut off by Hermione.
“Let’s go,” she whispered sharply. They both exited the kitchen, following Ginny.
With the wave of a wand, the air in the kitchen was filled with an odd sucking noise. “Sound-proof spell,” said Mrs. Weasley in response to the curious look on Harry’s face. “Well, take a seat, then,” she said, trying to sound reassuring.
Relax, Harry; relax, he thought, forcing himself to take a deep, calming breath. He took a seat at the table, which seemed to have elongated since the last time he had seen it.
“Before we start, Mr. Potter, there are a few things that need to be said.” Professor McGonagall’s voice sounded tired and frail, just as her body looked. “Dumbledore told us about… well, he told us what he told you.” Her eyes surveyed Harry, wondering and waiting to see his reaction.
This didn’t come as a surprise to him. He thought Dumbledore would have told the Order what he had told Harry. But how much had he revealed? Everything? he silently wondered to himself, but what was everything?
When Harry didn’t answer, Professor McGonagall continued wary-eyed. “We know about the Horcruxes.” Once again she stopped, waiting for a reaction.
Now that your word is up and running again, is there any kind of pacing we can expect? Not deadlines, not pressure, just an approximation? Another post every night? Every two or three nights?
Your writing is magnificent, I am really astounded. It may not be the real story, but it sounds pretty close. Except in a couple scenes, Harry doesn't seem as serious as I'd expect. I don't remember exactly where, but I think you said something about pushing Voldemort and the Horcruxes from his mind, whereas I thought he'd be dead-set on them. But maybe he isn't all grown up yet, and doesn't want to face the responsibility. Who knows.
Your style really is astounding though, and so far, the story seems VERY believable. Nothing at all like some of the fan fics I've read. Thank you much for this, and PLEASE post more.
And you hit the nail on the head: I wanted the purpose of my story so far to show that Harry is still in a stage between being an adult and accepting his fate fully and completely, and being a child, attempting in vain to ignore what is set before him.
Sorry, but I can't give an apporximation, besides this: My story will probably never be updated nightly. I apologize for this, but for all my stories--this one no exception--I take my time. I take my time... very slowly, compared to others.
But, alas, if I don't take my time, I wouldn't be happy with my story, so there is some kind of trade-off there.
And again, thanks for the post.
As for the next update, which I can give you a ballpark, possibly tonight, probably tomorow or Saturday. Could be tonight as I'm sick, and have a bit of free time to kill.
No worries, I wasn't suggesting you update nightly, I was just giving an example of approximation. Taking your time is a good thing, Im very sure the story wouldnt be as high quality as it is if you didnt take your time, continue to do so.
Thanks for putting in the effort, and I really hope we get to read the next bit tonight!
Well, here's the next bit. It's kind of the first part of two parts, so it's not really a cliffhanger of a post.
Harry could feel the others’ stares boring holes into him. He didn’t dare make eye contact—with anyone. Even Fred and George stayed deadly silent.
“You aren’t alone in this, Harry. That’s what we want you to know. The Order is behind you, whenever you need it.” This came from Mrs. Weasley. Her face was flushed; Harry wasn’t sure why.
He could feel his own face reddening. All he could do was nod in return.
Lupin, who had just taken a seat, spoke up. “You won’t have to do this alone. We’ll help you take down Voldemort.” His voice was an echo of the others’.
Harry nodded. Again. He felt stupid.
To this point, Mad-Eye Moody had stayed silent. He was leaning back in his chair, crystal blue eye fixed on Harry, with a grim look plastered onto his face. “There’s business to be done here.” His voice was gruff and serious.
“Right,” replied Professor McGonagall. “These… horcruxes. Dumbledore told you of his assumptions about them.”
This time, Harry forced himself to speak. “Yes. He told me he had good reason to believe Voldemort had split his soul into seven pieces, storing six of them away into horcruxes.” Thinking of Albus Dumbledore made his voice feel dry and scratchy.
McGonagall nodded. “And did he tell you what he thought these six horcruxes might be?”
“He told me that Tom Riddle’s diary was one, and that I had destroyed it. He told me that he had found and destroyed a ring that he had suspected to be one—”
“His black hand…” interjected Moody.
“And he told me what he thought could be the remaining four.”
“What were his suspicions?” asked McGonagal. Harry had the distinct feeling that she knew all of this but wanted Harry to say it himself.
“He said he thought Voldemort’s snake, Nagini, was one. And then there was a thing of Hufflepuff’s—a cup that she had owned. He thought Voldemort might have used that because he probably wanted things from the four founders of the school.” Harry paused for a moment, gathering himself. “He thought he would have something of either Gryffindor’s or Ravenclaw’s, because he already had something of Hufflepuff’s—the cup—and something of Slytherine’s—a locket that he thought Voldemort had gotten a hold of.” Harry paused. It was the first time he had really concentrated on what had happened not so long ago—Dumbledore, the horcruxes, the locket…
“Go on, Harry. It’s important we get all of these details sorted out.”
What McGonagall said made sense to Harry. He reprimanded himself for being so blatantly childish. He knew he needed to move on and focus on the problem at hand. “That was what we were looking for… We went to this weird cave—I don’t know where it was; we Apparated. He thought the horcrux was in there.”
“What happened while you were there?” asked Professor McGonagall.
Before answering, Harry looked around the table. The others seemed to be paying rapt attention. It occurred to him then that perhaps Dumbledore told McGonagall what he knew, but not the others, and she wanted Harry to be able to tell them himself.
“When we first arrived, we had landed on some sort of large rock next to a cliff. There was water—we had to swim across the water.” Harry closed his eyes, messaging his temples with his fingers, attempting to drudge up the details of the night that he had so strongly tried to block from his memory before. “And there was a crevice in the cliff that opened into a dark tunnel. Dumbledore—”
He stopped before continuing, realizing it was the first time he had uttered Dumbledore’s name in his explanation.
“He started walking around the tunnel walls—feeling the rocks with his fingers and talking under his breath. He told me he could feel magic in there—that he knew Voldemort had used magic there.”
McGonagall nodded in understanding. Moody shot her a look. “Albus knew Sensivency,” he said bluntly. “I never knew.”
“Nor did I,” answered McGonagall. Harry frowned, bewildered.
“Professor?” he said, hesitating. “Sensivency?”
“It’s an old technique—people say Merlin was the first. It allows the witch or wizard to… sense, for lack of a better word, the traces that magic leaves behind. Very, very few wizards still know about it, and even less can use it properly.”
“Professor, isn’t that like the Dementors? Mr. Weasley was saying that the Ministry suspects Dementors sensing magically populated areas,” inferred Harry.
“It is possible, but we are getting off topic. Please, continue.”
“Right. Well, when he was feeling around the rock walls, he said that there would need to be payment in order to pass through.”
“Payment?” This was from Mrs. Weasley, who sat with utmost attention in her chair, listening to Harry’s every word.
Harry nodded. “He said we needed to give blood to the rock door, so he cut himself. When the blood touched the wall, an arch-shaped part of the rock just…” he paused, searching for the right word, “vanished.” Now that he was talking about it, the details of that night came back vividly to Harry. He remembered just about everything as clearly as if it had happened days before.
“That wall opened up to another room with a giant lake. I remember I couldn’t see the whole room. It was so dark and so big that we couldn’t make out the other walls or the ceiling.”
“In the middle of the lake was a pedestal. Dumbledore thought that’s where the horcrux was. We walked around the shore until he stopped again. I think he was sensing for magic again—like in the tunnel—because he started feeling the air with his hand. He must have found something, because he grabbed at the air. When he tapped his fist, a chain appeared out of nowhere.”
“Hmm…” mumbled Moody, apparently deep in thought. Fred, George, and Tonks stayed completely silent; Harry thought it was the first time he had ever seen any of them quiet.
“He tapped the chain, and it pulled in a boat.”
“A boat?” Tonks’s voice was hushed with anticipation. Her eyes were large bulges, and her hair changed instantly to a dark brown, falling past her shoulders.
Harry nodded. “It came out of the water. We got in it—he told me not to touch the water. It pulled us, but when we were going, we began to see these…” he hesitated a moment. “bodies. Inferi is what they’re called, I think.”
“Inferi? Interesting…” spoke McGonagall, her voice a slight whisper. “Predictable, though.”
Harry waited before starting again. “While we were in the boat, they didn’t do anything—just floated there—but that was what had jumped up when we had tried to summon the horcrux.”
“When we got to the island where the pedestal was, we got out of the boat. The pedestal had a… basin with this green potion in it.”
“Green?” asked Moody. He sat up in his chair, evidently interested. He frowned. “A green potion?”
Harry nodded. Moody narrowed his natural eye, frowning, but didn’t say anything. Harry wondered briefly why the Auror had reacted this way but dismissed it and continued.
“Dumbledore made me promise,” Harry paused. “He made me promise to do anything he asked me. He tried to Vanish the potion—he said he thought the horcrux was there—but he couldn’t.”
“He said he would have to drink it. He conjured up a goblet, made me promise to obey him again, and began to drink the stuff.”
Moody mumbled something incoherently.
“When he got about halfway through, though, he started to scream… like he was in pain.”
“What did he say, Harry?”
Silence. Harry reached up to message his head. This was even more painful than he had imagined it would be.
“He was saying things like, ‘Stop. Make it stop,’ and I remember him saying, ‘I don’t want to…’ ‘Don’t make me.’ I knew the potion was hurting him, but I had to make him—I had to make him drink it.”
Moody leaned forward, resting his arms on the table. His blue eye swiveled quickly at first, before slowing and stopping at Harry. “Was there anything he said that was particularly… interesting, Harry?”
At first, Harry was ready to answer right away. “No,” he replied. “No, there was nothing…” But he stopped, trailing off, thinking. “Actually, he was saying—he did say, ‘I know I did wrong. Make it stop and I won’t ever do it again…’ or something like that.” Now it was Harry’s turn to furrow his brow. He hadn’t really thought of that night like this before, reliving every single painful detail. “And… and he said, ‘It’s all my fault.’”
you better hurry, nothing else but write write write, i feel like i already have book seven, when i finally get the real one, im going to be like "what, no, this is not what happens!!!" really, your stuff is awesome, just post more quick