Harry Potter 24

Hour 2: 8 PM

Second Hour: 8 PM to 9 PM

8:00 PM

7th Floor Hallway (in front of the Room of Requirement)

Draco Malfoy had insisted that his two muscle bound enforcers accompany him to the seventh floor hallway to help him with his current mission. He never thought of Crabbe and Goyle as friends. That much he had learned from his father, they may be on the same side in this war, but some people were just tools to be used by those with skill and power and prestige to get what they wanted. And right now, Draco wanted to make sure he wasn't disturbed.

"But why do we have to be changed into girls while we guard the hall?" whined Crabbe who did not want to drink the polyjuice potion he was handed.

"Because I don't want anyone else knowing who is in the room," stated Draco, as he became increasingly irritated with the buffoon in front of him. He wondered if it really was worth it for his father to had paid all of this galleons to keep these two neanderthals from being expelled, just so Draco would have his own little army with him all the time. "If someone comes by and sees you two blokes out here, they'll know I am here too."

Goyle eyed the potion suspiciously. He looked at the bag he had in his hand. Then he gave a pleading look to Draco like he was a hurt puppy dog.

"Fine," snarled Draco. He then proceeded to walk back in forth in front of the empty wall three times. A small door appeared. "You two go in there right now, drink your potions, get changed, and come right back out. And bring your clothes with you after putting them into the bags you have." He rubbed his forehead trying to stave off a headache as he regretted that the had to spell everything out so plainly to these two. He understood why he had to keep them around. With Crabbe and Goyle standing behind him, even the spoiled Harry Bloody Potter wouldn't mess with him, even if the fool of a headmaster always let him get away with everything.

The two larger than average sixth year students lumbered through the doorway. Draco had to wait impatiently for ten minutes before the two came back out. He was almost startled by the appearance of two first year girls in simple robes who stumbled out into the hallway.

The one on the left, whom Draco assumed was Crabbe, whined to him. "What do we do if someone comes by?"

"Just sit down on the floor and pretend you're looking for something. Play exploding snap. I don't care, just don't bother me. I may be in there for a while." Draco shook his head as he knew they had reviewed this over half a dozen times already tonight. Then he paced back and forth three more times. The door changed on the wall and he grasped the handle and pulled the door open.

8:10

Gryffindor Common Room

Harry wasn't sure just how he was going to go about explaining everything to Hermione and Ron that he had just learned during his meeting with Dumbledore. How do you tell someone that the person whom you are prophesied to kill has effectively made himself immortal. Plus, he had to find his two friends. He hoped that part would be easy as he walked through the painting of the fat lady to enter the house common room. To his relief, he found Hermione sitting with Ron at a table working on an essay. He actually was surprised Ron was doing some work.

Ron looked up at the sound of the entrance opening, while Hermione merely rolled her eyes at him for allowing himself to get distracted again so easily.

"Good timing mate!" exclaimed Ron. "I was dying over here, actually doing school work on a Friday night! Who does such things?"

Harry shrugged his shoulders in response but he gave a smile and a wink to Hermione. He then apologised to her for interrupting the school work they were trying to finish. "Could you guys come with me, I need to tell you somethings, and we probably ought to do it in a place with a little less ears to hear."

Ron's face contorted into a frown as he tried to understand what exactly Harry had meant.

"Fine Harry," replied an obviously exasperated Hermione. "It's not like we're really getting anywhere right now as it is." She resigned herself to not being able to make any more progress with her friend on his of her resented the way that Ron relied on her help so much at school, but another part of her relished in the idea that people needed her help. "We'll just put our things away and then we'll join you. Maybe we can take a walk down by the lake. That ought to get us away from little ears who don't need to know your business."

The two put away their books and returned them to their room. In a few minutes they were on their way down the stairs and heading out towards the Black Lake. It was a pleasantly warm fall evening, warmer than usual for this time of year. Hermione thought to herself about how in America they referred to such pleasant fall weather as an Indian summer, but she couldn't figure out just why they had come up with such an odd name. She was interrupted from her thoughts as Ron elbowed her lightly.

"Hermione, are you even listening to what Harry was saying?" asked the red head.

"Sorry, what were you saying again, Harry?" she asked as she felt a slight blush rise in her cheeks as she had allowed herself to get distracted and missed part of their conversation.

Harry had cast a silencing charm around them to make sure that no one could overhear their discussion. "Horcruxes," stated Harry. "Dumbledore was telling me all about horcruxes."

"What exactly is a horcrux?" asked a bewildered Hermione.

"As I was saying," continued Harry, "they're very dark magic. They are basically a repository for part of your soul. Someone who does the ritual would have their soul torn apart and part of that soul would be stored in an object Not too unlike the diary of Tom Riddle's from when he was a student, the diary that Lucius Malfoy had given to Ginny."

As they continued their walk out towards the lake, Harry tried to explain even more details. "Well, as it turns out, and just my luck, that if I am in way going to be able to defeat Voldemort, then I have to find away to destroy his horcruxes."

"Did you say horcruxes?" asked a very worried Hermione.

"Yes," answered Harry, his tone seemed quite dejected.

"How does one make a horcrux?" she asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.

"You have to tear your soul apart by killing someone," added Harry, his voice flat.

"That's just so wrong mate," said Ron.

"Well, the headmaster already found one of them and he used the sword of Godric Gryffindor to destroy it," explained Harry.

Hermione shivered at the thought. "How many more are there?" she asked, although she was worried that she really didn't want to know the answer to her question.

"We're not sure," said Harry simply. "We have reason to think he made at least six, so we need to find four more."

"Can anything be turned into a horcrux?" she asked.

"Umm, I don't know," he added, "but apparently Riddle used things that were either important to him or important to the magical world at large."

Hermione was ready to bombard Harry with question after question, but she could tell that he was not in the mood for such a talk. 'Maybe later' she thought to herself as she excused herself from her two friends. "I have some more work I need to get to," she added and quickly she was heading back into the castle.

8:35 PM

7th Floor Hallway

Draco kicked the door open into the hallway and stormed out of the Room of Requirement. Crabbe and Goyle both jumped up off of the floor where they were trying to play a game of exploding snap.

"Hey should we come with you?" whined one of the girls. Draco had no idea if it was Crabbe or Goyle and frankly, he didn't even care.

"Why would I want to be seen walking around the school with a couple of first year girls?" Draco shook his head in bewilderment at the question. "You run along and find something to do to stay out of trouble until you change back, that should take about another 25 minutes or so."

He didn't wait for a reply but just started on his way back towards the dungeons where the Slytherin dorms were located. "Bloody hell," he muttered to himself, "I don't know what it will take to finish that thing. And I have to get it done by tomorrow afternoon."

As he turned a corner to head down another hallway making his way back towards the dungeons, Draco Malfoy did not notice anyone hiding behind a tapestry at the bottom of the stair way he and just descended. Once his footsteps had stopped echoing down the hall way the two girls who were hiding there made their way out into the hall.

"What do you think he was on about?" asked Tracey.

Her blonde companion was still staring down the hallway where their housemate had disappeared.

"I have no idea," she said softly, "but if it has anything to do with Death Eaters and his mission, I'm sure it can't be good."

Daphne then turned and started heading the other way down the corridor.

"Now where are you going?" asked Tracey.

Daphne didn't look at her friend as she answered, "I don't know, but what I do know is I really don't want to be heading the same direction that Draco is heading tonight."

Tracey smirked at the comment. "Well, that makes perfect sense," she said as she put her arm around her best friend.

The two friends were walking down the hall when they heard rapid footsteps approaching them. Daphne quickly noted an empty classroom nearby and the two young women stepped into the open door. They peered out around the edge of the door and watched Hermione Granger move quickly up the hallway.

"Where is she in such a rush to get to?" wondered Daphne out loud.

"Looks like she's heading to the library," answered Tracey.

"Why the hell would she be doing that on a Friday night?" asked Daphne, not expecting an answer.

"Its Granger," stated Tracey, "who knows? Besides, if she's heading to the library on a Friday night, what would be so surprising about that. All she does is study."

"She usually hangs out with the rest of the 'Golden Trio' on the weekends," explained Daphne. "And she seemed determined and in a hurry." Daphne stepped out of the classroom and started to follow the direction in which they had watched Hermione head down the hall.

"Where are you going?" asked a puzzled Tracey.

"I think I'm going to the library," said Daphne with a slight laugh.

8:45 PM

Hogwarts Library

"I told you she was heading here," whispered Daphne.

"No, I told you," corrected Tracey.

"But what is she doing in here and where is she headed?" whispered Daphne again.

The two Slytherins carefully made their way through the library, trying to be careful to not look like they were following Granger, even if there were only a few students even present in the library. A fourth year Ravenclaw boy looked at the two Slytherin beauties and a smile started to grow on his face. Daphne glared at him and silently communicated that he better not think anything about her or Daphne. Apparently the boy got the message as he gulped and immediately buried his face in the textbook in front of him.

"Your Ice Queen reputation works again," whispered Tracey with a smirk.

"Where did she go off and hide?" wondered Daphne.

"Do you think she went over there?" asked Tracey as she pointed at the sign in front of several book shelves.

Restricted Section. All students: Keep Out

8:55 PM

Gryffindor Common Room

"I told you she wouldn't be here," commented Ron. "The crazy bird must have gone to the library. She always runs off to the library."

Harry nodded slightly as he answered, "Well then, I guess we go find her in the library."

"On a Friday night?" gasped Ron. "We can't go anywhere near the library on a Friday night."

"Why not?" asked Harry.

"Because it simply just isn't done, mate," stated Ron as if it was the most obvious thing since noticing that the sun rises every morning and sets every evening.

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