Harry Potter 24

Hour 4: 10 PM

The Fourth Hour, 10 PM to 11 PM

10:02 PM

Hogwarts Library, Restricted Section

Hermione had opened the book to the page indicated and she had started to read about horcruxes. The two girls from Slytherin standing on either side of her were reading along with her. When Tracey read how a horcrux is created by murdering another person, after completing a specific ritual she let out a slight squeal. Daphne reached around Hermione and scolded her best friend in a hushed tone, "Cut that out, do you want us all to get in trouble?"

"I thought you said you casted a silencing charm?" asked Hermione in a cheeky tone.

"Well, we can't be too careful, what with three of us standing here in the middle of the restricted section," commented Daphne as she tried to explain her reaction.

"Then maybe I should simply cast a notice me not charm on us so people won't bother us at all," added Hermione. She then pulled out her wand and quietly cast the appropriate charm. Then she turned back to the book in her hand, "Now where were we…"

10:10 PM

Stairs in Front of Gryffindor Tower

Harry and Ron and not made it very far in their search for Hermione. After they had witnessed Pansy Parkinson and a group of Slytherins leave the castle, they were more concerned about what that group was up to, and they ended up heading back towards the Gryffindor tower during their debate. The two friends were still arguing about what it could mean, if anything, when Neville came walking by.

"Hey guys, what are you up to?" asked the tall dark haired boy.

"Nothing much, Neville," snapped Ron.

Harry gave Ron a silent glare and then he turned to speak with Neville. "We were about to go track down Hermione, who is off doing some research, when Ron and I saw a group of Slytherins head outside of the castle."

Neville looked down the stairs towards the main entrance. "Oh, that's all," stated Neville with a shrug. "I've seen groups of students head out in the evening on nights when the weather is nice like this a lot. I'm not sure it means much of anything."

Ron just shook his head in frustration with the both of them. "They're snakes, they're always up to no good."

Neville frowned and then turned to Harry. "What sort of research is Hermione doing on a Friday night? I now she likes to study and all, but it's still Friday."

Ron didn't respond to the question but Harry looked at Neville and decided that he could trust him. "Look, Neville, what I'm about to tell you, you can't tell anyone. Don't talk about it with anyone, well other than Ron or Hermione or me, as long as no one is around."

Ron whispered, "Don't do it Harry, don't tell Neville."

Harry now glared at Ron and turned back to speak to Neville. "I know I can trust you, Nev, after all, you helped us all out back at the Department of Mysteries."

"Of course," stated Neville with a broad grin, "a Longbottom always helps out a Potter. It's something that my family has done for yours for generations."

"Great Nev," replied Harry with a nod of his head. "The thing is, I need to find some things that Voldemort made, some very dark magic. These things need to be destroyed before we can stop him for good."

Neville just nodded n response to Harry's comments.

"And the thing is," Harry continued, "I think it's very likely that Voldemort hid one of these things in the castle."

"When could he have done that?" asked the young Longbottom heir.

"That's what I want to know," chimed in Ron. "With Dumbledore here, there is no way that wanker could make it into the castle and hide anything. If he could, he would have already shown up and killed us all."

Harry rolled his eyes at his best mate. "No, Ron, it wasn't always that way. Before he became Lord Voldemort, Tom Riddle applied for a position as the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Of course, Dumbledore refused to hire him. I think that during his time back at the school he might have snuck away from the headmaster and hid it somewhere."

"Like down in the Chamber of Secrets?" asked Neville.

"I thought about that," said Harry, "but I'm not sure he would have done that. I guess maybe. I should probably head down there and take a look."

"What about that room we had our meetings in last year?" asked Ron who actually tried to be helpful as Harry had already told Neville about the secret items they needed to find.

"The Room of Requirement?" asked Harry.

"If Riddle was so smart, then maybe he found the room. Maybe he found a place to hide things, thinking no one else would ever find it there."

Harry and Neville just stared at Ron. Finally Neville spoke up. "I don't know why everyone thinks you're so dumb, Ron."

Ron's glare at Neville was like icy daggers.

"Okay, enough you two," said Harry trying to ease the tension. "We also know that Riddle gave one of the items to Lucius Malfoy, but Malfoy had no idea what it really was. Do you think he might have given another one to someone else?"

"If he was trying to hide these things, then he might just do that," answered Neville.

"But who else would he give one to?" asked Harry.

Ron scrunched his eyes tight.

"What's wrong?" asked Harry watching Ron make faces of pain.

"No, I just don't want to think about it," he replied looking away.

"Think about what?" asked Neville.

"Who is the most twisted and devoted follower of his?" asked Ron rhetorically. "Do you really want to try and get something that belongs to the Dark Lord away from Bellatrix Lestrange? How the bloody hell are you going to that?"

Harry started to smile slightly.

"Don't tell me you have an actual plan!" demanded Ron.

"When the time comes," said Harry with a grin, "maybe I need to use my potion of Felix Felicis that Slughorn gave me at the beginning of the year. That might come in handy."

10:20 PM

Library

Ginny had been studying with Luna this Friday evening as they wanted to get as much work out of the way as possible, with this being a Hogsmeade weekend. She and Luna were finishing up and she decided to try and find where Hermione had gone, as she was sure she had seen her walk in and go off behind some bookshelves a while ago. Ginny began to search the library but was not able to find her friend anywhere. She had seen a few groups of students sitting at tables and reading books and writing essays, and even a couple of students looking at books near the bookshelves, but she was not able to find any sign of the fifth year Gryffindor witch.

10:35 PM

Malfoy Manor

Bellatrix Black Lestrange, one of the most feared witches in over a century. People who knew her when she was young knew her to be talented and bright and beautiful. She was known to be headstrong, but few people would have ever imagined she would have grown up to become the most feared enforcer for a cruel and powerful dark lord. Even before her time spent in Azkaban she had seemed to become unhinged. While she was considered cold hearted at times during her years at Hogwarts, she was never considered deranged. At some point in time everything seemed to change for her when she was a young women. Those who knew her wondered if it had anything to do with when she married Rodolphus Lestrange.

Bellatrix never thought about any changes that happened to her. She never had time for that. Her time was spent as a devoted follower to the Dark Lord. She knew she would even stab her own husband in the back if it meant gaining more favour from Lord Voldemort. One of the happiest days she could recall was when the Dark Lord showed up at Azkaban prison and personally freed her from her cell. Ever since then all that she had yearned for was to hear him tell her, "Well done Bella," those words were all she needed to live on.

But now she was waiting for her lord and master to call a meeting of his loyal Death Eaters. She knew that he had big plans for the night, however he had not shared his plans with even his closest followers, his Inner Circle. All that she knew was that he and sent several individuals off on special secret missions. So far, all of these missions were simple and would involve minimal risk. But no one was allowed to speak of what they were doing. Until tonight that is, and she knew that they would all learn of his master plan tonight. She was sure that somehow it would involve finally ridding himself of that pesky Harry Potter and possibly even Albus Dumbledore.

She was pacing in her room, anxiously awaiting the meeting that she knew would be called later this evening. What better time t create mischief than when everyone was at home, asleep, thinking they were safe. As she walk around her room, her eye was fought by something on a shelf. She turned and look closer at this object. It was just a simple moving photo from when she was a child. Bellatrix didn't understand what made her do it, but she instinctively picked up the photo and started to stare at it. She sat herself down on her bed as she looked at the picture. She saw her playing with her sisters when they were all children, and even her cousins Sirius and Regulus were in the background. She gazed at the expressions on everyone, the smiles on their faces, the joy and happiness they shared back then. Delicately she began to trace her finger along the outlines of each of the children in the picture. Times were so much simpler back then she began to think.

Then suddenly a sneer came across her face. The pleasant memories were pushed from her mind as she stood up and tore the picture into shreds. She tossed the remains of the picture onto her bed as she left her room. Quickly she headed into a wash room to clean the tears off of her face before anyone could possibly see her in this state.

10:55

Library

The three girls had been taking turns reading the various passages in the book as they stood in the middle of the restricted section. Then they heard madam Pince announce to all of those who were still in library that it would be closing as curfew was about to start. Hermione quickly closed the book and slid it into her bag. Once she had done that the girls left the restricted section by heading out of different rows from between the shelves in hopes that they would not be too conspicuous when they left the area where they were hiding. Hermione hoped that the notice-me-not charm would keep them hidden from any students who might still be in the library.

Once they were in the hallway the girls began to speak quietly as they didn't want anyone to possibly overhear.

"We need to find a place to talk about his now," stated Daphne.

The other two girls agreed.

"How about this empty classroom over here?" asked Tracey.

The trio poked their heads in around the door and found an unused classroom. Hermione quickly transfigured some old desks into a comfortable sofa and lounge chair, and the three girls sat down to talk about what they had just read.

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