Hour 8: 2 AM
Previously in Harry Potter: 24
Ron, Ginny and Hermione were searching for Harry Potter: the three Gryffindors could not see who was coming towards them. But they could hear the voice of one of the people in the group, and it was a voice that they had hoped they would never have to hear again. "Now children," said Umbridge to the students who were with her, "stay alert as I am sure I heard someone just around the corner. Have your wands at the ready."
Harry heads to the Chamber of Secrets in search of a horcrux, and he ends up meeting with a certain ghost: "Sorry Myrtle, but other than Tom Riddle, no one else is trying to kill me tonight," answered Harry. "At least not that I know of," he added under his breath. "Why do you always think your future is so black?" asked Myrtle……"Kreacher!" called out Harry. I hope he can hear me, thought Harry. And hopefully he will do what I say as Sirius did name me as his heir. "Kreacher! I need you now!"
The Eighth Hour, 2 AM to 3 AM, Saturday October 19, 1996
Moaning Myrtle's bathroom
Harry had called out to his house elf, or more specifically, to the Black Family house elf. The curmudgeon of a servant still looked bedraggled and half crazy when he suddenly appeared in front of Harry with a slight pop.
"The half-blood traitor calls, does he? What does the filthy mud-blood loving brat want with old Kreacher?" stammered the old house elf.
"Kreacher, I am sure you must be aware that I am presently the head of the House of Black, according to Sirius' will," stated Harry.
"Of course you are," grumbled the abrasive elf.
"Right. Then as the head of House Black I need you to take me directly to 12 Grimmauld Place," said Harry, hoping that he had been clear enough so as to not allow the diminutive imp to find some way to twist his words and deposit him somewhere else.
Harry could barely make out some sort of mumbling from the old elf before he suddenly felt a slight pop as the bathroom disappeared around him.
Tracey and Daphne were both out of breath by the time they reached the Slytherin Common Room. In the confusion of the conjured birds and the magical smoke and the hexes being fired randomly they eventually were able to make their way down the halls and back to their dorm. Once the hallway where the brief skirmish had taken place had cleared of the smoke the tow Slytherins had steadily made their way back to the dungeon where their house dormitory was located.
Sinking into one of the couches in the room, Tracey let out a long breath, while Daphne simply sat down and stretched her long legs. They sat together in silence for several minutes.
"Is this how Potter and his friends spend every weekend?" wondered Tracey.
"What I want to know," asked Daphne, "is why the blazes is that toad back?"
Tracey nodded in agreement, "And why is Pansy and that group working with her."
Daphne stared at Tracey at that comment. "We know why that brown nosing no good slag is working with her," commented Daphne.
Tracey had a lost look on her face as she asked, "We do?"
Daphne threw a cushion at her friend. "She sees it as a way to get power in the corrupt government." She paused for a moment and then added spitefully, "And maybe she realises that hanging onto Draco will really get her no where."
With that, Daphne stood up and she said they both should head to bed, considering how late it was, and if Pansy wasn't in the dorm yet they didn't want to be found to be still up and awake in case the Inquisitorial Squad returned and figured out that they had something to do with the recent altercation.
12 Grimmauld Place
Harry was slightly dazed when he arrived at 12 Grimmauld Place. Kreacher had simply deposited Harry in front of the portrait of Walburga Black, and she had instantly begun to screech about trespassers, mud-bloods, blood traitors and how the magical world was being corrupted by such filth and how it was an embarrassment that the Black Family home was becoming a breeding ground for such treachery.
Harry quickly escaped from the verbal tirade and began to search the house. By 2:15 he had made a thorough search of Regulus' old room but he had found nothing that was I any remotely connected to Voldemort or the Death Eaters. Slowly he made his way down the stairs as he tried to figure out where else he should look for some unknown item that could possibly be hidden here. But then he started to doubt himself, and he wondered why he even thought that this might be a good idea.
When he walked into the kitchen and sat down at the table he noted that Kreacher was spying on him from behind a counter. An idea came to his mind and that was to actually try talking to Kreacher.
"Kreacher," called out Harry, "would you please come and speak with me." Harry had considered that if he needed the old elf to help him that perhaps he might get further with him if he actually treated him kindly.
"What does horrid blood traitor master want of useless old Kreacher?" croaked the elf as he came out from hiding behind the cabinets.
"I have a problem and I was hoping that you could help," stated Harry. He noted the elf's eyes grow larger slightly and Harry took that as a positive sign, so he pressed on. "I am looking for an item, and this item is a dark magic object, and it might have been in the possession of your former master Regulus," explained Harry.
The elf continued to stare blankly at Harry.
"It's very important that I obtain this item," said Harry, hoping that he and guessed correctly that there might be one in this old house."
Kreacher laughed at Harry's comment, although it sounded more like a dying hyena than actual mirth.
Harry leaned back into his chair as he let Kreacher's laughter abate.
"Is there something funny I said?" asked Harry.
The elf actually made a snorting sound, and then he looked Harry in the eye as he replied, "This house is full of dark magic. The old blood traitor sow tried to remove all of the dark items, the Black Family items, but Kreacher wouldn't let her. Kreacher knew enough to keep Black items safe from blood traitor weasel-cow."
Harry tried not to laugh out loud at how the crotchety elf described Ron's mother. But then Harry noted something else — it appeared that Kreacher was actually upset about something. Harry then spoke softly to Kreacher, "Is something upsetting you Kreacher? I'm sure you didn't like having all of those people here last year," said Harry, "but is something more than that bothering you?"
Kreacher looked at Harry warily, for no one had ever considered the old house elf's feelings on anything before. Not that he ever thought about it before, but he had so much time that he was alone without doing anything for anyone. He had years of serving the Blacks, making meals, fetching items, doing everything he was ever told. Even doing horrible tasks for other people who weren't Blacks, people who made his master tell him to do horrible things. A tear welled up in one of his large bulbous eyes.
Harry noticed the reaction. He tried to speak kindly but sternly as he talked to the elf once more. "Kreacher, as the head of the Black family, and as you as the Black family house elf, you must tell me what is upsetting you."
Kreacher flashed his teeth momentarily and Harry briefly wondered if the elf would dare bite him or attack him in some way. But the magic that bound a house elf to its family would surely protect him, he thought, and he made sure not to flinch visibly to the threat made by the elf. After a few minutes of what seemed to Harry to be a continuing internal struggle, the aged magical servant finally spoke.
"Kreacher has always served the Black family honourably. Kreacher always does what master or mistress tells Kreacher." The elf actually wiped a tear from his eye with his grimy wrist, and then he continued. "Kreacher even went with the Snake Man, the one they called the Dark Lord, because Master Regulus told Kreacher to do what he says. Kreacher drank the poison to help the Dark Snake. Kreacher was very sick. The dark snake left Kreacher to die in the cave, but Kreacher didn't die, because Master Regulus told Kreacher to return home after Kreacher helped the dark master. Master Regulus was angry. Master Regulus was angry that poor old Kreacher nearly died. He asked us about what was hidden away in the cave. Master Regulus made Kreacher bring him to the cave. Master Regulus said the item was very dark, very bad, and needed to be destroyed. Master Regulus drank the poison this time to get the object because Kreacher was too ill. Kreacher brought Master Regulus home and the dark item. But Kreacher was not able to save Master Regulus. Kreacher was still too weak from the poison, Kreacher's magic wasn't enough for Master Regulus. Master Regulus made Kreacher promise to destroy the dark object, but Kreacher has failed. Kreacher has failed the Black family and the last true and honourable Lord Black."
"Kreacher," spoke Harry softly, "if you bring me this item, I can destroy it. I will destroy it. I do not think that any house elf could ever destroy it on their own. But Master Regulus was right, Kreacher, we do need to destroy it. If you bring it to me, I can help you fulfil your obligation to Master Regulus."
Kreacher's eyes widened even more. "Bad blood-traitor master would do that for miserable Kreacher?" asked the stunned house elf.
"Of course I would," answered Harry. "That is the whole reason why I called you to bring me here, because I was hoping to find an object of the Dark Lord, the former master of your master. The dark snake, as you called him, he is the one who is responsible for Regulus' death. He is the reason why there are so few members of the Black family left. The dark snake man attacked my family too, and I need to stop him, once and for all. But I cannot do that if I don't get that item and destroy it."
"Master Harry will destroy the item?" he asked again.
"Yes, I promise I will," claimed Harry.
Tracey Davis was tossing in her bed. The events of the night so far kept playing through her mind. She had never done anything quite like this before — the adventures, the intrigue, the guerrilla warfare of sending spells out from behind the classroom door.
"Are you asleep Daphne?" she asked.
"Not with all the noise you continue to make over there," sighed Daphne.
"So the toad is really back," commented Tracey.
"We both saw her, and the students with her," replied Daphne, starting to feel a little irritated. "Maybe Pansy wants to learn about being a toad if she has no future as Lady Malfoy," she added thoughtfully, hoping that neither Millicent or Lily would wake up.
Tracey laughed out loud at the last comment. Daphne quickly cast a silencing charm around their beds so as not to disturb their roommates.
Tracey spoke again after the two friends had lain quietly in their beds after Tracey's burst of laughter. "Have you noticed how much Weasley has grown up this year? He is so much cuter than he ever was, and he seems to actually be able to handle his wand pretty well lately."
"You're pathetic, you know that," said Daphne. "Besides, can't you see the way he pines for Granger. Not to mention he is an absolute pig."
"But he's turning into such a cute pig," protested Tracey.
"But to that cute pig, you're still nothing more than a slimy snake, so you're just being ridiculous," quipped Daphne.
"Really? Well, you're just an emotional desert. And besides, I've seen the way miss Ice Princess melts anytime the Gryffindor Golden Boy is near," snapped Tracey.
"Do not!" protested Daphne.
"Do too!" replied
12 Grimmauld Place
Kreacher had disappeared for a moment and then he reappeared and held out his hand. In it was a shiny locket with silver and green and an ornately carved snake wound around it. Harry recognised it as the Locket of Slytherin, a magical item that had gone missing at least 30 years previously, possibly longer, as the former owner of the locket was never quite clear about who they had obtained it or how they had lost it in the first place.
"Thank you Kreacher," said Harry as he took the locket from the old house elf, and Harry wondered if the little old guy didn't seem to be a bit younger and healthier appearing.
Luna Lovegood awoke in her bed and she realised that she was shaking and covered with sweat. While she was accustomed to having strange visions what she had just experienced was nothing like she had ever experienced before.
She could vividly recall the images of her friend, Harry Potter, lying in the bottom of a pit, covered with stones and snakes. He wasn't moving. Around the pit were the faces of many students from school who were just pointing and laughing. Off to one side, behind a fence were his friends Ron and Hermione. Off to another side, behind a different fence, were some other students who looked like they were trying to help.
She sat up quickly and looked in the mirror. "No nargles, no wrackspurts, and definitely no blibbering humdingers,"she said to herself.
She stood there in silence and then she gasped as she realised, "Oh my, I need to go warn Harry Potter!"
She quickly through on a pair of pants and shirt and grabbed the first two shoes she could find, a red plaid trainer and a blue dress shoe and made her way out of her dorm and down the hallway.
"Harry's probably not in his dorm right now," she thought out loud, even though she knew there was no one there to hear her. "I better start by checking on the girl's bathroom on the second floor. Perhaps Myrtle knows where I can find Harry Potter."