Harry, Hermione and Ron rushed down the stairs and into the study. They looked and saw the clock had been moved.
“Where’d it go?” Ron asked.
“There!” Hermione said and pointed to one of the large bookshelves.
They went over and Harry pulled it off the shelf. He put it on the end table and opened the glass door.
They found nothing but the innards of the clock.
“Now what?” Ron said.
Harry was thinking. He remembered the memory from the journal. He suddenly picked it up and smashed it on the floor. Hermione and Ron jumped back covering their faces from the debris flying around.
They looked down and found a small scrap of paper. Harry bent down and picked up the paper and opened it.
To Whom May Find This Note,
If you’ve found this then you have found my journal. The final horcrux you are looking for has been destroyed. It was the Seal Ring of Godric Gryffindor.
The ring was to be given to the youngest descendant when they were of age. Voldemort stole it from them.
Regulus A. Black
“He stole your heirloom?” Hermione asked. At Harry’s quizzical look she added, “You are the only descendent of Godric Gryffindor left.”
“Well at least it’s been destroyed,” Ron said, “We know he’s gone now.”
“No Ron,” Hermione said, “He can’t be dead and still be terrorizing the wizarding world. There must be one more horcrux.”
“Are you crazy ‘Mione?” Ron exclaimed, “We know Harry destroy him!”
Harry’s mind began thinking in triple time.
“Unless there was another person he was able to control.”
“What do you mean Harry?” Ron asked, “Another Death Eater?”
Harry nodded his head, “Someone who’s very impressionable. Someone like Colin.”
“Colin Creevey?” Ron asked, “Are you batty now?”
“He has been acting very odd lately,” Hermione said.
“Of course he is,” Ron said, “Ginny dumped him for Harry.”
“No,” Harry whispered, “she dumped him, but not for me.”
“He could be the Death Eater we’ve been looking for,” Hermione said, “He’s not been a supporter of you since they broke up.”
Harry threw the note away and went to the fireplace with Ron and Hermione in tow.
“Harry, where are you going?” Ron asked.
Harry grabbed a handful of Floo Powder and shouted, “Hogwarts!”
With a flash of green flame he was gone.
Hermione turned to Ron, “There’s your answer.”
Colin entered the portrait into the common room and stopped when he saw the other person in the room.
“Oh hi,” he said and tried to smile, “I thought you weren’t here.”
“I am here.”
Colin shifted his feet, “Can I talk to you for a moment?”
He went over sat down in the armchair next to her, “I know I wasn’t the best boyfriend, but I can change. I was just jealous of what you had with Harry. I really like you and I would like to mend our differences. I guess I’m asking you for… well, please give me another chance?”
The other person smiled sweetly and pointed her wand at him, “No.”
Colin stared wide-eyed and in shock at her, “Wait! What are doing?! N………”
“You don’t seriously think Colin had anything to do with this?” Hermione asked Harry as they approached The Fat Lady.
Harry, with a grim look on his face, merely replied, “I don’t know, but his attitude towards everybody could be a clue.”
“Oh good to see you three again!” The Fat Lady exclaimed as they stopped in front of her, “Oh it’s so good to see you up and around again Miss. Granger!”
“Open,” Harry ordered.
“Uh, uh, uh,” The Fat Lady said sweetly, wagging a finger at them, “You know you need the password.”
“We don’t know it,” Ron said.
“Then I can’t let you in,” The Fat Lady replied.
“But this is urgent,” Hermione said, “We need to get in.”
“I’m sorry, but you know…,” she stopped when Harry pulled out his wand and held it up
“I’ll rip you from your hinges,” he said.
The Fat Lady became indignant, “What?! How dare you threaten me!”
Harry opened his mouth and was cut-off by The Fat Lady, “Ok! Ok! Ok!”
The portrait opened and the three walked in. They stopped just inside and Ron and Hermione looked at Harry.
“Harry?” Hermione asked.
“Something’s wrong,” he whispered.
Hermione and Ron both took out their wands and they cautiously entered the common room. It was quiet with the exception of the ticking of the old grandfather clock in the far corner. They spread out and slowly entered farther into the main area. They saw a boy lying on the ground with their back turned to them. They recognized the boy immediately.
“Colin!” Ron shouted.
The three ran over and knelt down beside the boy. Hermione put her hands to his neck and felt for a pulse. She looked up at her two friends and silently shook her head.
“How?” Ron asked shocked.
“Or who?” Harry replied.
He looked at Hermione who returned his gaze. She shrugged and shook her head. She didn’t have any clue either.
“Hey what’s this?” Ron said.
Harry and Hermione looked and saw Ron reach under the sofa and pull out a wand. He held it up and Harry’s stomach clenched in a knot.
“That’s Ginny’s wand,” Hermione said taking it from Ron.
Harry’s mind began whirling, “’Mione, we need to see the last spell performed,” he asked her quietly.
Hermione raised the wand, “Priori Incantatum!”
The ghostly image of Colin Creevey appeared through the end of the wand. The form looked around before turning and looking at the three of them. It looked down at his body on the ground. He looked at Harry and as if answering Harry’s silent question nodded.
“Please help her Harry. I know you can,” Colin’s ghostly form said before giving them a brief smile and faded into nothingness.
Ron and Hermione looked at him in confusion, “Ginny what?” Ron asked.
“Ginny did this,” he whispered.
“Ginny?!” Ron nearly shouted, “Have you gone completely bonkers Harry?”
Harry looked at them, “Ginny’s the last horcrux.”
Harry then remembered the line written in Dumbledore’s journal:
The horcrux that will be the hardest to find may not even be a tangible object. I haven’t been able to completely determine to what extent that this may mean, but I’m certain will hold the final key to ending Voldemort’s life.
Ron’s face screwed up in disbelief, “Not Ginny. How could she? She’s never been in contact with You-know-who.”
Harry looked at Hermione and saw Hermione struggling to believe him. She looked at Ron to Harry and then divine inspiration hit her. She turned to Harry excitedly and said, “Our second year. The Chamber of Secrets! Harry, the diary!
“His diary,” Harry breathed, “She was linked with him through the diary and he fed off her until I was able to destroy him. Voldemort must have been able to transfer the horcrux in the diary to her before it was completely destroyed.”
He still had nightmares about that particular incident. He knew Ginny still did too, but now it made sense why. It was Voldemort that was causing the nightmares.
Ron shook his head still not willing to believe his best friend, “No, she can’t be.”
Harry stood and looked down at the lifeless form of Colin Creevey, “She is. There’s no other answer.”
“But You-know-who’s dead!” Ron exclaimed, “He dead and gone!”
Harry shook his head, “Not unless there’s one more horcrux left and that would be Ginny.”
“Then Ginny would have been perfect,” Hermione said looking at Harry, “Not too mention Voldemort knew already that he could control her because of what happened her first year.”
Harry nodded, but Ron shook his head, “No, Ginny still couldn’t have done this and be in league with him.”
“She may not be aware of it like last time,” Harry’s jaw tightened, “but yes, she can.”
“Ron,” Hermione said softly, “There’s no other explanation.”
“No!” Ron shouted, “My sister would never do something like this and I will stop anyone who thinks otherwise! Even you!”
“Ron, please be reasonable,” Hermione said trying to convince her boyfriend.
“No!” he turned on Harry angrily, “She couldn’t and I won’t let you hunter her down and destroy her!”
Harry backed up, “Ron, there’s no other way. I have to stop her before Voldemort completely consumes her.”
Ron raised his wand and pointed it at Harry, “No! I will stop you! Petrif…”
“Expelliarmus!” Hermione shouted.
Ron’s wand flew from his grasped and Harry quickly drew his wand, “Petrificus Totalus.”
He and Hermione caught Ron before he fell and gently lowered him down.
“I’m sorry mate,” he whispered to Ron, “I hope you will forgive me.”
“Harry look!” Hermione said pointing to the window.
Harry looked up and went to the window. The Dark Mark of Voldemort was brightly shinning, marking the spot where evil had struck.
Hermione swallowed hard and looked at Harry with a worried expression, “Harry, how do we find her? Where could she be?”
“I know,” Harry said and turned and started walking down the hallway.