Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, just the plot. Sort of.
Ginny woke early. She rolled over and looked at the clock beside her bed, which read 7:04am. She groaned and got up. She checked Ron's room first, not surprised to find him in his bed snoring. Ron had never been a morning person as long as she could remember. Next she went to Hermione's room. All that was visible of her friend was her bushy hair sticking out from under the cover. Ginny grinned, and closed the door softly. Next was Harry's room. She opened the door quietly, poking her head through, to find only an empty bed.
Figuring he was already up, she made her way downstairs to find only Tonks and Remus in the kitchen. They both greeted her, smiling. Ginny saw their hands were clasped. She returned their greeting, helping herself to some toast.
"Have either of you seen Harry this morning?" she asked them, as she buttered the toast carefully.
"Not yet," Remus told her, frowning. "Why… is something wrong?"
Ginny shook her head, her mouth full. She chewed and swallowed before replying, "no, he just wasn't in his bed when I checked. I'll go find him."
She grabbed a few extra pieces of toast in case Harry was hungry, then made her way up the stairs. As she was about to open the attic door, she noticed the library door was open. At the far end she could she a large shape. She opened the door curiously, making her way over, wand at the ready. As she got closer she could see it was Harry. Asleep.
"Harry," she whispered urgently, bending over him and shaking him slightly. He opened his eyes and looked up, seeing a messy haired Ginny Weasley in front of him.
"Are you alright?" she asked.
He stood, nodding.
"I need to talk to you and the others together as soon as possible. Just you and Ron and Hermione."
Ginny nodded. "I'll go get them then. Should we meet back here?"
Harry shook his head. "No. In the attic."
Ginny nodded again and shoved the toast at him.
"In case you're hungry," she explained. He gave her a small smile in reply.
The others looked at Harry, their faces as pale as his.
"Are you sure?" Hermione asked him.
"For the last time, Hermione, I am sure," he told her.
There was silence.
"So…" Ginny began. "What does that mean then?"
"There are six horcuxes," Harry replied, "the cup, the locket, the ring, the snake, the diary, and something of Ravenclaw's or Gryffindors. That thing might be me. That book right there proves that I'm the heir of Gryffindor and it makes sense… the sixth Horcux is me. That night when he came to my house and killed my parents… you need to commit murder in order to create a Horcrux."
"That doesn't make sense," Hermione contradicted. "If you're the sixth Horcrux, then why would he try to kill me all these years?"
Harry thought for a moment, but came up only with a blank. "I… I don't know. But if for some twisted reason I am… it can't be good. The prophecy… well it said it's a kill or be killed situation. But in order to kill Voldemort I would have to kill myself first. Maybe you're right Hermione…."
"I think I am, Harry," she told him, "but perhaps you're not too far off… who is the Ravenclaw heir?"
Harry picked up the book of pure blood wizarding families that he had found in the box of photographs. He flicked through it, until he found what he was looking for. A familiar face stared up at him from the book.
"Cho Chang," he said quietly.
Harry was sitting in the kitchen quietly, reading the Daily Prophet. Lord Voldemort had struck again. This time a family of four had been killed. He sighed and turned the page. Just as he did, Hermione came rushing down the stairs.
"Harry," she gasped, a bit short of breath, "look what I found."
Harry read the passage she pointed to in the book she was holding and grinned at her.
"Hermione, you're a legend!"
The book she was holding was one of those that Harry had put on the bookshelf the day before. It was a book on the Dark Arts… not one that would be found in the Hogwarts library. In the book was a section on Horcuxes. It told what they were, how to make them… and how to get rid of them without destroying the object in question.
"We have to find Cho and perform it on her," Harry told her urgently. "If she is a Horcrux the spell will destroy it but leave her unharmed. If she isn't a Horcrux it won't harm her."
"But how?" Hermione asked, "You can't just tell her what's going on… what if it leaked out?"
Harry thought for a moment. "I might have to," he finally said. "The only alternatives I can think of is to trick her or tell her then erase her memory and I don't want to do either of those."
"Then at least don't tell her everything," Hermione practically begged. "Be very brief and tell her not to tell anyone… I can use the same sort of charm I used with the DA on it if you want."
"I suppose," Harry said slowly. "I can owl her and try to arrange something."
Hermione nodded. "Then we'll go with that for now. What I don't get is why Voldemort would hide it in something that's right under your nose… as in a student that went to your school."
"The last place you look is always right in front of you," Harry told her with a lopsided grin.
Harry looked down at the note with satisfaction. Him and the others had written it together to get it write. Harry signed his name at the bottom. They had kept it short, asking if she could meet up with Harry sometime as they needed to talk. Harry smiled as he saw the tips of Ginny's ears go red. He could tell she was a bit peeved off at the thought of him writing to his ex-girlfriend. He slipped his hand into hers and smiled at her. She returned the smile, the redness in her ears disappearing.
Ron picked up the letter and tied it to Hedwig's leg, giving her instructions on who to take it to. Harry released the breath he'd been holding. Now they just had to hope that Cho would agree to let Harry extract the Horcrux from her… if she was one. Harry sort of hoped she would be. It would make things somewhat less difficult.
The next morning at breakfast the whole Great Hall was talking excitedly about something. Harry slid into a seat opposite Neville.
"What's going on?" he asked quietly.
"Haven't you heard?" Neville asked, "the enquiry about Crabbe and Goyle has started. They were taken away by the Ministry last night. Professor McGonagall said they might be calling students as witnesses and using Veritaserum."
Harry nodded solemnly. "It's about time," was all he said.
Cho's reply arrived that Thursday at breakfast. Harry opened it nervously, while Hedwig helped herself to his pumpkin juice.
"She wants me to send her the dates of our next Hogsmeade village and she'll try to meet me there," he told Ron, Hermione and Ginny, who were waiting impatiently for news. Hermione and Ron exchanged glances at this.
"Well," Hermione said, "it's a start."
A/N: Yes, I know it's been awhile and I didn't intend it to be this long, but you can't possibly imagine how busy my schedule has been lately. I get only a few hours sleep every night and the other day I finally found time to listen to the new CD I got a few weeks ago. It's been chaotic. I will update again as soon as I get the chance.