Disclaimer: This story contains facts that were in all six Harry Potter books. If you haven't read any of the books and don't want to be spoiled, don't read. The world of Harry Potter does not belong to me. I just like to alter it.

This story is also a continuation of Midnight Guardian, Trials of a Champion, Burden of a Destiny, and Power of Hogwarts. Reading those stories first will probably help understand this one.

Chapter 1

The First Step

Harry James Potter was frustrated, an understandable emotion for someone who was nearly seventeen but not for a reason most teenagers would be frustrated. Instead of worrying about friends, dating and summer homework, Harry was currently searching through his home with his guardians and was frustrated because they would not stop bickering. Harry Potter's life had never been what anyone would declare normal. The past six years had been anything but normal however Harry wouldn't trade those years for anything in the world.

In that time, he had learned that magic actually existed and that he was a wizard scheduled to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. To add to the shock, Harry also learned that he was the-boy-who-lived, the only person alive to survive from the Avada Kedavra curse which was supposed to kill him on contact when he was only a year old. His parents had died that Halloween night, leaving him an orphan to be raised by his non-magical (Muggle) Aunt and Uncle.

That arrangement didn't work out so well. Life with the Dursleys had never been easy but it had been the only option Harry had until Vernon Dursley went too far and took his anger out on Harry…while someone had been watching. Sirius Black had escaped from Azkaban where he had been wrongfully imprisoned for serving the Dark Lord Voldemort and witnessed Vernon's charming behavior in his Animagus form. Without a second thought, Sirius took Harry from the Dursleys and hid out in London to avoid the magical and muggle authorities. After a few days, Sirius finally handed Harry over to the Hogwarts staff where Harry met Remus Lupin.

For the entire school year, Harry was torn whether to believe the stories of Sirius Black or the friendly dog who he had welcomed in his home. Finding out that his temporary guardian was a werewolf didn't help matters either. Because of Remus' ailment, he was forbidden to adopt Harry, which was why Harry was extremely grateful everything worked out the way it did. The real culprit had been discovered to be Peter Pettigrew who had been living as the pet rat of Harry's best friend, Ron Weasley. After a rather pointless trial, Sirius had been declared free and had taken guardianship of Harry and Remus had become Harry's secondary guardian.

After so many years, Harry finally had his family.

Unfortunately, the happiness wasn't meant to last. The following school year, Harry had been forced to compete in the TriWizard Tournament as the fourth champion. He had been three years younger than the remaining champions and had nearly driven himself to a stay in the hospital wing to compete at their level. In addition to the tournament, Harry also had to worry about magical outbursts that came and went without warning. The only reason Harry had maintained sanity was because of the suppression necklace Professor Albus Dumbledore had given him…until Harry and Cedric Dggory were taken from Hogwarts during the third task to a graveyard.

It was there that Cedric lost his life, Voldemort returned to mortal form and Harry had nearly died from injuries sustained from the ordeal. An intense duel, three painful magical outbursts and coming face to face with a few that Voldemort had murdered (including his parents) had nearly been too much for Harry's body could take. That had been the start of the second war as well as the start of a long battle for Harry to recover completely.

Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts was one headache after another. In addition to lingering injuries, the Ministry decided that Voldemort hadn't actually returned and those who said he did were out of their mind. The Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher had been placed at Hogwarts to ensure that very belief was enforced although an attack on the Hogsmeade Express by Death Eaters had made that difficult. Delores Umbridge made it her mission to make Harry's life miserable and would have succeeded if Sirius and Remus hadn't stepped in. She had been removed from her post and replaced by Sirius but the problems hadn't ended there.

Through the lightening bolt shaped scar Harry had received when Voldemort's killing curse backfired, Harry started receiving visions and dreams from Voldemort. Some of them were even intentionally planted because Voldemort wanted Harry to retrieve a Prophecy made about them from the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry before Harry had been born. After learning this, Harry had diligently worked on master Occlumency to shield his mind from Voldemort but it hadn't been as successful as everyone had hoped.

Death Eaters had managed to enter Hogwarts one evening and kidnapped Harry as a final act of desperation. At the Ministry of Magic, Harry had fought against Death Eaters and Voldemort for his life with help from Dumbledore's Order of the Phoenix. Injuries had been a guarantee but no one had expected Remus to be infected with silver poisoning and Harry nearly killed. Voldemort had been defeated once again but that hadn't prevented him from one final act.

Harry had woken in the hospital wing alone and had immediately assumed the worst with a voice in his head sounding remarkably like his father helping him along. He had been so emotionally distraught that he had believed Remus was dead and Sirius would also die if he stayed. Harry had left the wizarding world with the help of Dumbledore's phoenix that night prepared to hideout as long as possible but Voldemort wasn't known for his patience. It had only been a month before Voldemort began targeting muggle neighborhoods, forcing Harry into action and into the trap Voldemort had set.

For three days, Harry had been Voldemort's prisoner although he had been unconscious for the majority of the time. Harry had managed to escape and return home to learn the truth of Remus' condition. He had even helped move Remus' recovery along due to a unique ability he had gained. For some strange reason, Harry's magical outbursts had transformed into empathy and natural healing by touch. Both abilities had taken time and patience to control but Harry couldn't imagine living without them now.

The previous school year at Hogwarts had certainly been a strange one for Harry. In addition to adapting to his new abilities, Harry also had to hide the connection he had to the castle. Hogwarts (for some reason) had chosen Harry to help her protect her students. It had been extremely difficult to keep that a secret but thankfully everyone had been too caught up with being in The Chosen One's good graces to raise too many questions…even the Ministry. The new Minister, Rufus Scrimgeour, had taken a different tactic concerning Harry but the damage had already been done by the previous Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge. Harry wanted absolutely nothing to do with the Ministry.

Harry had learned a lot about Voldemort last year. He had learned about Voldemort's past and the lengths Voldemort went to in order to avoid death. Voldemort had split his soul into pieces by murdering people and hid the pieces in items of value. Six Horcruxes had been created before the first war ended. Harry had destroyed one (a diary) in his second year and Dumbledore had destroyed another (a ring that had belonged to Voldemort's grandfather) in the early months of the school year. That left four Horcruxes to find and destroy.

The headaches had only continued as the year wore on. Ron had pushed their friendship to the limit on more than one occasion. Ron's nerves and insecurities had made it nearly impossible to survive Quidditch practices without feeling the desire to hex him. Ginny and Hermione had received the majority of Ron's temper which had left Ron and Harry on tense terms. Of course, Ron didn't really notice since he was so busy with his girlfriend, Lavender Brown. It had taken so much for Ron to see how his actions had affected other people and especially his friends that their friendship was still on the mend.

Draco Malfoy had been someone else who had completely changed. Before his father was put in Azkaban prison for being a Death Eater, Draco was nothing more than an arrogant bully. Afterwards, however, Draco was a reclusive walking sea of negative emotions…until he lost control of his emotions and tried to cast the Cruciatus Curse on Harry which resulted to his expulsion from Hogwarts and a two year stay in Azkaban. He supposedly was ordered to do something for Voldemort but Harry never discovered what it had been. All Harry knew was that Snape had tried to 'help' Draco but failed.

Professor Severus Snape was another sore spot for Harry. After years of ridicule from the man, Harry had learned that Snape had been the one who had overheard the Prophecy told years ago concerning Voldemort and a baby born at the end of July. Snape had then told Voldemort what he had heard, which was the beginning of Voldemort's obsession to rid the world of the child who had the power to destroy him. Because of Snape, Harry's parents had been murdered. Because of Snape, Harry never had a normal childhood. Because of Snape, Harry would never have a normal life until Voldemort was defeated.

The night Harry had learned the truth about Snape had been the longest night of Harry's life. It had been the night that Harry had left Hogwarts with Professor Dumbledore to find one of the Horcruxes. They had faced cursed walls, deadly poison and Inferi only to return to Hogsmeade and face off against Death Eaters. Dumbledore had been the first to fall. Weakened by poison, there had only been so much the Headmaster could do. Once Fawkes had taken Dumbledore to the hospital wing, Harry resumed fighting with Hogwarts helping him until backup arrived if the form of members from Dumbledore's Order as well as Harry's defense group, the Defense Association.

The Death Eaters had eventually been defeated and Aurors had arrived to take the surviving attackers into custody but enough damage had already been done. Bill and Remus had been injured by a vicious werewolf called Fenrir Greyback before Sirius and Harry had interfered. It had been then that Harry had made a difficult decision. He had killed someone to keep him from killing anyone else. No one would mourn Fenrir Greyback, attacker and killer of children. That didn't make it easier for Harry to face what he had done.

In addition to everything else, there had been no cure for the poison Professor Dumbledore had ingested. All Harry could do was stand aside and let someone he had grown to love as a grandfather die. The loss of the Headmaster of Hogwarts had affected the entire wizarding world, especially Harry when he discovered that the Horcrux Dumbledore had given his life for had been a decoy placed by Sirius' dead brother, Regulus. There were still four Horcruxes to be destroyed and now Harry had to do it without Dumbledore's guidance. To avoid failure, Harry did something he never thought he would do.

He formed an alliance with the Minister of Magic.

Harry would concentrate on Voldemort while the Ministry worried about the Death Eaters. For the second time, Harry was spending his summer at Hogwarts with his guardians and his 'personal guards' assigned by the Minister. At least, that was what they were officially called. Nymphadora Tonks was a member of the Black family and Harry's honorary Aunt. She and Kingsley Shacklebolt were members of the Order of the Phoenix and most likely the only two Aurors Harry trusted. Other members of the Order had visited but not many knew what exactly was going on at Hogwarts. They knew Harry, Sirius and Remus were working on ways to defeat Voldemort but the details had been conveniently left out for their safety. The last thing Harry needed was for Voldemort to find out what they were up to.

Currently, Harry, Sirius and Remus were searching through Black Manor at Number 12, Grimmauld Place in hope that it was the place Regulus had hidden Slytherin's locket. It had been a temperamental three days which was why Harry was so frustrated. Sirius and Remus had created an earpiece that was charmed to keep everyone who wore one in contact. This allowed them to speak to each other while searching in opposite ends of the house.

Unfortunately, this also meant everyone who wore an earpiece could hear everything said by everyone else. For the sixth time in three days, Sirius and Remus were arguing about something ludicrous. It had started out as a simple question taken the wrong way and escalated into an argument. Harry would have taken his earpiece out but it was also charmed to alert everyone else the moment the connection was severed. It was Sirius' way of making sure Harry was within reach.

Sirius' overprotective nature had been one of the few constants over the past few years. Harry had accepted it at thirteen but at nearly seventeen Harry was torn between accepting that Sirius would always be this way and screaming. He wasn't a little boy anymore but he seriously doubted Sirius would understand that. Sirius didn't see how much Harry had changed over the past few weeks. Sirius didn't realize how Dumbledore's death had forced Harry to grow up and accept what needed to be done. The Horcruxes needed to be destroyed and Voldemort needed to be defeated for once and for all…no matter how dangerous it may be.

"I swear Moony if you don't stop—"

"—that's enough!" Harry exclaimed impatiently as he readjusted the lightweight jacket he was wearing. "If you two can't act your age then maybe you should go back to Hogwarts and I'll search for the locket on my own!" Pinching the bridge of his nose, Harry forced himself to calm down slightly before continuing. "Look, I know this starting to look hopeless but unless either of you have a better idea, we need to concentrate on the search, all right?"

"You're right, Harry," Remus said with a sigh. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to pry, Sirius. I just thought if we knew a little more about Regulus then we could have a better idea of where he may have hid the locket."

"I'm sorry too," Sirius said softly. "I just don't know any more. My parents kept Regulus away from me after I was sorted in Gryffindor. They probably feared that I would poison his mind against Slytherin."

"We also have to take his state of mind into account," Harry offered. "People under duress won't act the same as when they are calm. All we can do is keep looking."

Three hours later Harry wanted to slam his head into something hard. It shouldn't be this difficult to locate one locket. Sirius and Remus were once again searching upstairs while Harry was once again searching through the main floor. They had discovered multiple hiding places but none of them held the locket. Every nook and cranny had been searched. It was almost like there was something in the house was preventing them from finding it.

Harry's eyes narrowed suspiciously as he glanced around the room. There was only one being living at Grimmauld Place that could possibly do such a thing. "Kreacher?" he called out cautiously.

The Black family house elf was certainly a unique creature. He was probably the oldest house elf Harry had ever seen, completely devoted to the Black family and the pureblood ideals that the majority of the Black family supported. Voldemort's ideals. Kreacher hated Sirius and tolerated Harry only because Harry had expressed interest in knowing about Sirius' mother. To Kreacher, Mrs. Black was the perfect Master. Her beliefs were his beliefs. Since Regulus was her perfect son, perhaps Kreacher would do anything to do what Regulus told him to do.

There was a loud crack as Kreacher appeared in front of Harry. "Young Master calls Kreacher," Kreacher said in a low growl-like voice that Harry knew all too well. "Kreacher help Young Master with Young Master's search."

Harry smiled. "That's precisely why I called you, Kreacher," he said evenly. "Did Regulus ever ask you to hide a gold locket before he died?"

Kreacher took a slow, wary step backwards. "Kreacher protect Master's treasures," he said suspiciously. "Kreacher follow Master's orders."

Harry pinched the bridge of his nose. He really didn't want to have an argument with a house elf about morals concerning a dead man's 'treasures'. "Kreacher, Regulus is dead," he said as patiently as he could. "We need that locket. I don't want to order you to do something but I will if you refuse to hand it over."

Kreacher suddenly looked nervous as he took another step backwards. "Young Master here to destroy Master's treasure," he said. "Kreacher protect—"

"Do you want me to have Sirius come down here?" Harry interrupted. "I can guarantee that he won't be as patient as I am. Bring me the locket, Kreacher." Kreacher hesitated for a moment before he vanished with a crack. Harry let out a frustrated groan as he collapsed in a nearby chair. It really shouldn't be this difficult to find one little locket.

"Where are you, kiddo?" Sirius asked through the earpiece.

Harry glanced around and let out a sigh. He was in a small, dimly lit room with dark furniture like the majority of the house. "I'm in a room near the library," Harry said tiredly. "It resembles the study…actually it resembles most of the rooms in this wing."

"Most of the rooms do in this house," Remus said dryly. "We're on our way, Harry. Remember to put your gloves on before touching it. We have no idea what sort of spells may be on it."

Harry bit back a sarcastic retort and forced himself to remember that Remus was just concerned. It had been Harry who suggested many of the restrictions in the first place. Dumbledore had sacrificed a hand when retrieving the Gaunt Ring and sacrificed his life obtaining the decoy locket. Harry wasn't about to take any more risks with any more members of his family. They were taking precautions now. Nothing could be touched without protective gloves. No spells could be cast unless extensive protective charms were performed. No substance could be ingested without an antidote on hand. It would take them longer to complete their task but it was better than the alternative.

A loud crack pulled Harry out of his thoughts as Kreacher reappeared with his hands clasped together as if he were holding something precious. Harry slowly rose to his feet and approached the elderly house elf as he put his protective gloves on. Kreacher stared at Harry with a sulky look on his face as Harry knelt down and extended a hand for Kreacher to hand over the locket. Waves of reluctance and fear poured off of Kreacher as his gaze shifted down to his hands.

For a moment, Harry thought Kreacher wouldn't hand over the locket. Why would he? Even though he called Harry 'Young Master', Harry wasn't a Black by blood. Kreacher really didn't have to listen to anything Harry said. Sirius was the only person who could actually order Kreacher to do anything and Kreacher knew that. Perhaps that was why Kreacher obeyed Harry. He knew that it bothered Sirius.

Reluctantly, Kreacher slowly handed the locket over and watched as Harry's fingers curled around it. Their eyes met for a brief second before Kreacher vanished with a crack, leaving Harry alone in the room. Harry didn't have to examine the locket to know that this was indeed the actual Horcrux. From the pulsing sensations he was feeling, Harry knew that there were at least a few dark spells on the locket. The dark magic was fighting the intense magic present in the gloves he wore.

The sound of hurried footsteps filled Harry's ears but he remained still, is grip tightening on the locket. It was mind boggling to think that it had been so close for so many years. This house had been the Headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix for three years and no one had known, no one had ever thought to look. The search had focused on where Voldemort could have hidden the Horcruxes but now it was clear that there was more to consider. Voldemort had given his Horcruxes to Death Eaters to hide. Lucius Malfoy was given the diary and Regulus had been given the locket. That meant there were two more Horcruxes that had most likely been given to two other Death Eaters to hide.

Two faithful Death Eaters. That should narrow down the possibilities slightly.

The footsteps came to an abrupt halt in the doorway. Slowly, Harry glanced over his shoulder and saw the concerned looks on Sirius and Remus' faces. Both of them had shadows under their eyes and looked like they could use a vacation. Sirius' short black hair was disheveled and there was a faint hint of dark facial hair which were normal signs that he was too stressed to pay attention to his appearance. Remus's slightly longer tawny hair seemed to be fighting a losing battle with the premature grey that came from being a werewolf. There were also clear signs of the affects from the recent full moon even though Remus insisted that he was fine. The 'werewolf situation' was something that everyone knew about but no one discussed.

"Harry?" Remus asked cautiously as he approached and knelt down beside Harry. "Is something wrong?"

Harry closed his eyes and shook his head. "It's just rather overwhelming," he said quietly as he bowed his head.

Sirius and Remus shared a concerned glance as they helped Harry to his feet. There had been so much that hadn't been discussed over the past few weeks because Harry had been so determined to find and destroy the Horcruxes. It had been necessary for Harry to bury himself into something so he didn't have to think about everything that he should be. He hadn't thought about the death of Fenrir Greyback. He hadn't bothered to think about what the consequences of that night were. He hadn't listened to the implications that were spreading around the wizarding world concerning him. He hadn't considered anything beyond the Horcruxes and Voldemort, including his education. It was just easier this way.

"Come on, kiddo," Sirius said gently as he ushered Harry out of the room. "Let's destroy that thing then we can get some well deserved rest. You know how Moony is when he stays up too late. Old people like him need as much sleep as they can get."

Remus let out an annoyed sigh as he followed them out of the room. "We're the same age, Sirius," he said dryly. "You do realize that you just called yourself old, right?"

Sirius rolled his eyes as he wrapped an arm around Harry's shoulders. "We'll just humor him for now," he said quietly to Harry. "However, sooner or later we need to help him see reality."

Harry stared at Sirius with a raised eyebrow but remained silent. The age topic had been bought up repeatedly over the years and was an easy way to begin a prank war for a few laughs. Under normal circumstances, Harry would probably welcome the chance to laugh and think about anything other than the war. That was before everything had happened; before it became Harry's responsibility to find the Horcruxes.

The three wizards ventured down to the basement in silence. It was dangerous to attempt to destroy the Horcrux in Black Manor but there really weren't a lot of options to choose from. Harry refused to do it at Hogwarts and anywhere else was too risky. There were enough wards and protections placed on Number 12, Grimmauld Place to prevent anyone from picking up on any magic that may be released. It was imperative to keep Voldemort unaware that his Horcuxes were in danger until all but one were destroyed. Nagini would never leave Voldemort's side so she would have to be dealt with when the strike against Voldemort was made.

The basement was extremely dark and damp. Remus was the first to pull out his wand and conjured candles around the room with wicks already burning. The flickering light was enough for everyone to start preparations. Sirius immediately started casting shielding and protection charms around the room. Remus conjured a large crystal bowl resting on stone pillar in the center of the basement. Harry set the locket in the bowl then stepped back as he reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out three vials filled with different colored potions.

They had devised three different ways to destroy the Horcrux hoping that one of them would be successful. The combination of potions they had would hopefully eat away at the locket before destroying the piece of Voldemort's soul hidden inside. If that failed, Sirius and Remus had found a few complex spells that could shatter the locket and capture the soul, allowing the three of them enough time to cast the proper spell to exterminate it. If that failed, there was always the forceful approach.

"Are you sure you're ready for this, Harry?" Remus asked gently. "We could take a break for a few hours and try this after we've rested and had something to eat."

Harry slowly shifted his gaze to Remus and noticed that Sirius had stopped casting spells and was paying close attention to the conversation. He knew they were simply concerned and bit back the annoyance that was rising in him. Yes, he was tired but there was no way he would be able to 'take a break' now. "I'm fine, Remus," Harry said evenly. "If you two need a break, then you're welcomed to take one. I can finish up here."

Sirius and Remus shared a concerned glance. "We're not leaving you, Harry," Sirius said firmly. "I think Moony just wants to make sure we'll be able to react in time if something goes wrong. If you want to do this now then that's what we'll do. Afterwards, however, you will listen to us and Poppy, understand?"

Harry reluctantly nodded. He didn't like it but he knew better than to argue. Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw Sirius cast a few more spells around before moving to Harry's side. The protections were set. Nothing would be able to leave the basement now. Harry's gaze shifted to the crystal bowl as he let out a long breath. "Let's get this over with," he said mostly to himself as he uncorked the vial holding the blue colored potion.

Sirius and Remus had their wands at the ready as Harry stepped forward and carefully poured the potion into the bowl. For a minute, nothing happened. The locket simply remained sitting at the bottom of the bowl underneath the bluish liquid. Sirius and Remus stepped forward, their wands pointing steady at the locket. Harry knew they were ready to attempt option two and was about to pull his own wand out when to locket started to corrode.

"Now, Harry," Remus said quickly.

Harry quickly uncorked the vial with the green colored potion and poured it into the bowl. Green swirled in the bluish liquid until the color changed to white. That was the sign for Harry to uncork the final bottle holding the clear potion and carefully poured it in. The color immediately started to chance to a smoky gray as Sirius and Remus started waving their wands over the bowl, muttering words in a language Harry didn't understand. A semi-transparent shield started to form over the bowl and flowed down until it reached the floor, blocking the bowl and pillar off completely.

Nothing was said as the grayish liquid started to churn and bubble, almost like a badly brewed potion. A distinct odor filled the air, smelling remarkably like rotten eggs. Harry quickly covered his mouth to prevent himself from gagging. That had been something he hadn't been expecting. Blackish smoke started to form and rise, pushing the shield upwards slightly. Harry, Sirius and Remus took a cautious step backwards as the blackish smoke increased, pushing the shield up more and more.

Sirius immediately reached out and pushed Harry back. "Remus?" he asked cautiously. "Is this supposed to be happening?"

Remus shrugged helplessly while the shield started to shake as the smoke fought against it. A high pitched sound that remarkably resembled a shriek filled the air. Everyone instinctively covered their ears and stared as the shaking of the shield intensified. The floor started to quake. The walls began to rumble. Sirius quickly pushed Harry to the floor and covered him with his own body. Repositioning his head, Harry was able to watch as the shield gave one final shudder before deflating until it was resting only a few inches over the bowl.

"Is it over?" Harry asked as he freed himself from Sirius' hold and sat up.

Remus took a cautious step forward and glanced into the bowl. The liquid had changed from a smoky gray to a murky green but it was easy to see that the locket was no more. The mixture of potions had obviously done its job but Harry hadn't expected it to work so well. He had thought there would have been something left to prove that the locket had been found and the Horcrux was destroyed.

"I believe so," Remus said with a relieved smile on his face as he waved his wand over the bowl, banishing the shield. "There is a faint hint of dark magic but nothing a few purification spells can't fix." He immediately started waving his wand over the bowl while muttering strange words that neither Harry nor Sirius could make out.

Sirius nodded as he rose to his feet and started purging the numerous protection charms he had cast. Harry slowly stood, his eyes never leaving the bowl and the liquid held in it. He really didn't know what to feel or say. He had just watched a piece of Voldemort's soul 'die', the piece of the soul that Dumbledore had sacrificed his life for. Harry thought he would feel relieved or even proud that he had accomplished what they had set out to do that horrible night.

Instead, Harry felt nothing. He felt empty. The task had been completed leaving Harry to either ponder on everything around him or throw himself into the next task to avoid it. Avoidance was the easy choice. He knew Sirius and Remus would force him to talk eventually but at the moment he just needed more time to allow the overwhelming range of emotions coursing through him to settle. Talking about that night just left too many wounds for Harry, wounds that Sirius and Remus weren't even aware of yet.

Remus waved his wand over the bowl and pillar causing them to vanish. "All right then," he said as he turned to Harry. "Let's go back to Hogwarts and tell Minerva the good news."

Sirius pocketed his own wand and motioned for Harry and Remus to lead the way. Harry cast one final look at the space where the bowl and pillar had been before shrugging his shoulders and turning towards the door leading to the stairs. "Have you ever wondered what happened to things after they are banished?" Harry asked curiously as he followed Remus up the stairs.

Remus glanced at Harry over his shoulder with a raised eyebrow. "I can honestly say I haven't," he said carefully as they reached the top of the stairs and walked towards the fireplace. "The items were conjured and therefore came out of nothing. I suppose they returned to being nothing."

"But what about the potion mixture?" Harry countered. "It came from something. Would that become nothing or is there some sort of wizarding sewer that everything goes?"

"It's just one of those mysteries that's a part of magic, Harry," Sirius said with a smirk, "and don't you dare think that we don't know what you're trying to do. You can't distract us that easily. We will be having a long talk after we've all had a well deserved rest."

Harry scowled as he grabbed some floo powder, threw it into the flames and watched as they turned from orange to green. He cast a final glance at his guardians before stepping into the flames which immediately rose around him. As he spun away, all Harry could think about was the inevitable discussion that was bound to cause more confusion and tears than what Harry could spare at the current time.

A/N: I'm really sorry for the long wait. I have the main events of this story planned but it's writting the paths to get there that's the problem. I will try to post as soon as I can, I promise.