Harry Potter and all characters, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling, not me.
The Hunt is On
This story is part of the 'While Hunting Horcruxes' series and takes place immediately after 'Ginny's D.A.' ended.
Chapter 1 – Getting Started – R.A.B.
"So what you're saying," said Ginny angrily, "is that Riddle's diary was one of those horcruxes."
Harry nodded. He, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Neville, and Luna were still sitting on the Hogwarts Express. "Yes. We believe that he made a total of six horcruxes. Riddle's diary, Slytherin's ring, and Gryffindor's shield have been destroyed. We don't know where Hufflepuff's cup is, and Nagini is with Voldemort. Neville, you'll have to get used to the wretched name if you're coming with us. We haven't found out who R.A.B. is yet, so we have no way to confirm that he or she was successful destroying Slytherin's locket, and I want to know that before I face Tom. I do not want him coming back again!" They all nodded in agreement.
"What does the locket look like?" asked Ginny.
"It was golden with an ornate, serpentine S on it. Why?" said Harry.
Ginny sighed, "It's probably nothing. Just stupidity."
"What is it, Ginny?" asked Hermione, "We won't laugh, er, at least I won't."
"Ginny," said Harry, "If you have a hunch or idea, then say it. Holding back information could literally cost lives. We have to follow any ideas we can think of until Riddle is destroyed."
"All right," said Ginny unsurely, "I just remember that locket at Headquarters that no one could open. It was filthy, so we didn't really get a good look at it."
"Headquarters?" asked Neville.
Ron looked at Neville and Luna. "Yeah, the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix."
"The organization Dumbledore set up to fight Voldemort," explained Harry when he saw that the name didn't help Neville to understand. "Ginny, do you know if they still use it? With the Secret-Keeper dead, they can't tell new members where to meet at."
"No one will tell me anything," said Ginny firmly.
Harry smiled at his fiancé. He couldn't get over how beautiful she was. He really did miss her. "What didn't they tell you?"
Ginny's cheeks flushed for a second and returned to normal. "Well, last summer they didn't tell me that they started using Mad-Eye's house with him as Secret-Keeper."
"That paranoid git?" asked Ron. "He probably hasn't told anybody yet where it is."
"Well," said Ginny, "He told Mum and Dad just before I left for school. They'd been using the house for two months before then, giving the other members reports of the meetings."
"I wonder if we can bring someone to Gri-gri the old headquarters, my house," said Harry, who realized that he was incapable of saying the street name of his own house.
"Yes," said Hermione, "One who knows the location of a house under the Fidelius charm can bring someone into a house under the charm by holding on to them as they enter. The reason people like Voldemort can't use this tactic is because they can't force someone who's not the Secret Keeper tell him where the house is located, so he'd have no way of knowing where the house is. They could easily lead him to a trap."
Harry shrugged, "I guess we'll have to go there once we get off the train."
Ginny sighed, "I'm not looking forward to facing mum at the station."
"I'm not looking forward to telling my Gran I'm leaving either," admitted Neville.
"My dad'll understand," said Luna. "I'll just promise to give him the story for the Quibbler when we're done."
"So Ginny," said Harry with a grin, "You're an animagus, a quidditch captain, and the leader of the D.A. What else have you been doing since we left?"
Ginny told them about her training with Tonks, and everything else she could think of, and they chatted amiably for the rest of the trip.
When they got to the platform, they found that Platform 9 ¾ was filled with at least fifty aurors, some of which examined and identified every person as they stepped off the platform. They magically scanned them for polyjuice and other methods of disguise. The auror who identified Harry Potter, an attractive blond woman in her mid-twenties, grinned at him and said, "We thought You-Know-Who had killed you, Mr. Potter. I'm glad to see we were mistaken!"
Harry looked at the excited auror. "I had to disappear, and I will again. I simply came out of hiding to try to help out at Hogwarts since you guys weren't helping the students."
The blond looked to the ground uneasily. "Er, Minister Scrimgeour said that it was a lost cause. We, er, didn't agree, but had to do what he said."
Harry paled at a new revelation. "I never thought of that. I've wanted to be an auror for a few years, but if I were, I'd have to obey whatever moron was minister at the time! I've got to rethink my career after I kill Voldemort."
The auror flinched at Riddle's made-up name and stared at Harry in admiration. "You-You do plan on killing him. Are you really the chosen one?"
Harry smiled to himself. "Whether I am or not, Voldemort chose to kill or try to kill my family and everybody else I care about! I don't understand why everybody isn't after him. I don't care how powerful he is, he can't fight everybody at once. If every magical parent stormed Hogwarts when it was attacked instead of counting on that fool in office, the Death Eaters wouldn't have been able to win. As it was, students had to fight and kill them! The trouble is that he's got you people so scared you won't even say his name! It's not like that git appears when you say Voldemort!"
The auror looked down again. "We, we all aren't as brave as you, Mr. Potter. I guess you can go."
Harry waited for his friends to join him and walked toward the barrier until Minister Scrimgeour stepped in front of him and extended his hand to shake Harry's while saying, "Mr. Potter, congratulations on your part in the rescue of those children."
Harry stared down at Rufus' hand and shouted angrily, "Every parent here ought to be hexing you for trying to murder their kids! YOU HAD NO IDEA IF THEY WERE ALIVE OR NOT, YET YOU DECIDED THEY WEREN'T WORTH ATTEMPTING TO RESCUE! I HOPE THAT YOU GET KICKED OUT OF OFFICE JUST LIKE THAT IDIOT FUDGE BEFORE YOU! IF YOU THINK I'M GOING TO PRETEND THAT I APPROVE OF ANYTHING YOU'VE DONE AND BECOME YOUR POSTER-BOY WHILE YOU KEEP INNOCENT PEOPLE LIKE STAN SHUNPIKE IN AZKABAN WHEN ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ROLL UP HIS DAMN SLEEVE TO SEE HE'S NOT A DEATH EATER!"
The minister put down his hand and said nervously, "Er, people can hear us. Perhaps we should continue this discussion in private…"
Harry looked disgusted as he shouted at the minister, "SO YOU CAN PRETEND THAT I SUPPORT YOU!" He turned around to the crowd of people who were staring at him. "THIS MAN, YOUR MINISTER OF MAGIC, AS GOOD AS SENTENCED YOUR CHILDREN TO DEATH! HE HAS BEEN BEGGING ME TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR HIM SINCE HE GOT ELECTED, BUT WON'T DO ANYTHING I'VE ASKED HIM TO DO! HE ARRESTS PEOPLE FOR NO REASON JUST SO THAT HE LOOKS LIKE HE'S DOING SOMETHING! HE'S AS WORTHLESS AS FUDGE! I SUGGEST YOU KICK HIM OUT OF OFFICE AND PUT SOMEONE LIKE ARTHUR WEASLEY, WHO AT LEAST HAS SOME COMMON SENSE, IN HIS PLACE! THEN INVESTIGATE EVERYBODY HE'S HAD ARRESTED SINCE HE TOOK OFFICE, AND CHECK THEIR ARMS FOR THE BLOODY DARK MARK! IN FACT, MAKE EVERYBODY HAVE THEIR ARMS CHECKED FOR IT. VOLDEMORT MAKES ALL OF HIS FOLLOWERS GET THAT TATOO! I'M GONNA DISAPPEAR AGAIN TO FIGHT VOLDEMORT WITHOUT INTERFERENCE BY THE LIKES OF HIM, BUT IT WOULD BE NICE IF I WASN'T THE ONLY ONE FIGHTING HIM!" He looked at all the parents who seemed to be agreeing with him, and also at a few reporters who were writing down what he said. "Er, I meant everything I said, including that I'm going to disappear again. Don't worry about where I am, worry about where Voldemort is. Don't fight him directly, but you can fight what he's doing. The ministry hasn't helped you at all. If they change, then great, but if not, a solution is needed. Either way, you all should start training yourself in defense so that you don't have to wait for Scrimgeour to possibly send aurors to help you maybe." Harry turned and walked further toward the barrier, followed by his friends. Just before they got out, he heard Mr. Weasley say, "That was quite a speech, Harry, although I don't think I should be minister. I'm not…"
"A politician?" asked Harry grinning. "That makes you perfect for the job. You won't be worried about how popular you are. You'll be worried about stopping Riddle. But don't worry, I doubt anybody's gonna listen to me anyway. It's great to see you, sir!" Harry gave Arthur a hug, and then turned to see Molly coming at him. After he, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny had all hugged Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, they introduced Neville and Luna to them.
At that point, Neville's Gran, with her fowl hat, came up and said, "Neville, we've got to go home."
Neville, gathering all the courage he had, looked into his grandmother's eyes and said, "I'm sorry Gran. I'm not going home. I'm going with Harry Potter."
The elderly woman stared into Neville's eyes for about thirty seconds, and saw the determination in them. She hugged him while starting to cry. "Your parents would be so proud of you…as I am."
At that moment, Luna said, "There's my Dad. I'm gonna talk to him now. Don't leave without me."
Ginny then looked at her parents. "I'm going with Harry, too."
"But you can't darling," said Mrs. Weasley, "You're not of age even!"
"That doesn't mean Tom can't kill me! He attacked Hogwarts because he knew I was there! He promised to attack the Burrow while we were escaping! I am not going to sit around and wait for that monster to kill me!"
"We can go to a safer place," said Molly.
"Then I'll run away the first chance I get!" declared Ginny firmly.
"But you can't use magic…" said Molly.
"That law is a load of crap!" interrupted Harry. "Dumbledore told me they can only detect where magic has been performed, not who did it! Apparently the only underage magic they can detect is performed by muggle-raised kids at home! They don't know who in a magical house performed the magic!"
Hermione added, "It's actually a prejudiced law made to prevent muggleborns from practicing magic during the summer so that purebloods can have an advantage over people like me."
"What?" asked Arthur. "I'm going to find out if that's true, and if it is, I'll try to have that law changed to allow magic in the actual homes of magical children, as long as it's only performed in front of people who already know about magic. As far as Ginny going with you, I really don't know if I should allow it."
"Sir," said Harry, "She hexed me on the train when I tried to tell her not to come. I honestly do believe that she'll run away if you don't let her come, and then she'll have no one to look out for her. I can't promise that any of us will survive the mission. I wish I could, but I'd be lying if I promised that. All I can say is that all of us will be looking out for each other the best we can, and that we will be trying hard to avoid being found."
At this point Molly was crying as she looked into her only daughter's eyes. "Be careful, Ginny." Then she turned to Harry. "Promise me that you'll do your best to protect her."
He took Molly's hand and said, "I promise, mum," causing Molly to nearly suffocate him in another hug.
After they separated, Harry saw that Luna was back. Harry said, "We've got to be going now. Mum, Dad, take care of yourselves. I want you both at my wedding."
"We love you," said Ron and Ginny together.
Harry apparated with Ginny, Ron apparated with Neville (he had a license but didn't know where the place was), and Hermione apparated with Luna. They found themselves inside Grimmauld Place. Apparently the popping noise was enough to wake up Mrs. Black's portrait because she immediately started her screaming. Harry shouted louder than her, "I'm sick of you! I'm the owner of this house now! Not you! Shut up!"
He then magically removed the curtains from around the portrait, and then removed a door from a nearby bedroom. He then severed the handles off the door and applied a sticking charm to one side of it. He then stuck the door over Mrs. Black's portrait. Hermione and the Weasleys started chuckling as Mrs. Black's voice got more and more muffled. Harry then performed a silencing charm on the door, effectively silencing the old bat. Harry smiled and said, "I guess we'll have to walk sideways through the hall now."
Hermione grinned. "An equitable trade."
Everyone laughed as they followed Harry to the drawing room, to see that the glass-fronted cabinets were empty except for an old book called, 'Natures's Nobility: A Wizarding Genealogy.' Harry handed the book to Hermione. "Check the full names of the Black family members in here while I look at the tapestry. Harry walked up and started looking at the names. He shouted, "Does that say what Regulus Black's middle name was?"
Hermione said, "Er, yes, it's Orion. Sorry."
"It's not your fault. What about Andromeda Tonks?" said Harry as he looked at the small burn mark between Narcissa and Bellatrix, "She was a Black. Maybe Andromeda was her middle name."
"Er, Let me see," said Hermione as she flipped through pages, "Here it is. Ruth Andromeda Black…Yes! Wow. I can't believe it! R.A.B. could be Tonks' mother!"
"Wow!" said Ginny, Ron, Neville, Luna, and Harry at once.
"You mean, Professor Tonks?" asked Neville.
"Yes," said Hermione.
"Ok," said Ginny, "We have an idea who R.A.B. is. The question is, where'd all the stuff go?"
"Dung!" said Harry, Ron, and Hermione together.
Please review!By the way, has an interesting editorial about Andromeda Tonks called, 'R.A.B.: The Overlooked Black' by Adolfo V. Castillo.