Harry Potter and all characters, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling, not me.
Seek and Find – Chapter 1 – Seeking a Horcrux
(Part of the 'While Hunting Horcruxes' Universe)
Story picks up where 'Locked Away' ended.
Hermione said excitedly. "We found a lead on where we might find a Horcrux in a relic of Godric Gryffindor's!"
"Really?" asked Harry. He'd been released from jail the day before, and had just met up with his friends after visiting his parents' graves. They were currently looking at the wreckage of the Potters' house.
"Yes," said Ron. "When we were at the library while you were at the pub. She found something but wouldn't tell me."
"I simply wanted to tell both you and Harry together, but then he was locked away and we had to concentrate on helping him. I just…"
Harry smiled at Hermione's explanation. He hoped she'd never change. "Well, we're all here now. What did you find besides the locations of the house and graves?"
"Three interesting pieces of information. One is a small muggle newspaper article that mentioned that an old man named Francis Gibbins died of undetermined causes in this town on October 30th, 1981. The day before your parents died. The symptoms sound like the results of the killing curse. About a month before, there was an article about him that said he collected antiques. One particular item mentioned in that article is a shield that was rumored to have belonged to this town's founder. It was never found after he died, but I made a copy of the picture from the previous article."
She then opened up the folder she was carrying and showed Harry a shield that would have matched Gryffindor's sword. It was hard to determine its exact colors from the black and white picture, but it appeared to be silver with a dark lion-shape in the center. It was round, and according to the article, it had a two-foot diameter.
"It must have gotten heavy when Godric carried it around with him," said Ron.
"I suppose," said Harry, "it was heavier than a wand."
"But not nearly as heavy as Hermione's book bag," said Ron with a grin.
"Ha Ha. That's really witty."
"You said there was one more interesting thing."
"Yes," Mr. Gibbons' house was bought on 25 August 1994 by someone called Mat DeVoll Romidor that no one has seen since the purchase."
"So what?" asked Ron, while Harry looked deep in thought.
"Vol, and a 'd,' and…" muttered Harry.
"Exactly!" said Hermione excitedly. "It's made up of the same letters that form 'Tom Marvolo Riddle' or 'I am Lord Voldemort!'
"He really likes anagrams," said Harry with a smirk.
"I guess so," she said. "Anyway, I couldn't find a description of the buyer, but I doubt it would make any difference. It was probably Crouch Jr. He may have even been using Polyjuice already so he wouldn't be recognized while he signed the papers."
"Why would You-Know-Who buy a house?" asked Ron.
"To make sure no one went in there so he could safely hide a Horcrux," answered Harry. "He probably bought it with Crouch's money."
"I think he made a Horcrux when he was at your house," said Hermione. "If I were guessing based off of what Dumbledore has told you, he planned on making it with your murder, but your mum jumped in the way. I think the Horcrux he put in the shield came from her death. It, along with Tom's wand, must have been left in the wreckage or picked up and hidden by a Death Eater."
"And someone picked them up because Voldemort used his own wand in the graveyard."
"Exactly, Harry. I knew you'd come to the same conclusion."
"I figured it out, too."
"Of course you did, Ronald" said Hermione in an obviously disbelieving tone of voice.
"I did," said Ron defensively. "You said you thought I was smart."
"That was while we were…never mind."
Harry noticed that both his friends' faces turned red, and wasn't sure if he wanted to know precisely what they were talking about. However, if they were finally going out, he didn't want them sneaking around behind his back. "Is there something you want to tell me?"
"Er, well," said Ron eloquently.
"We, we're going out, now," said Hermione. "I hope you're alright with that."
Harry gave them a small smile. "I was wondering when you'd finally start."
"What?" asked both Ron and Hermione together.
"Yeah. Ginny said you'd get together before the summer was over. I said by Halloween at the latest."
"So, Hermione says you two are back together," said Ron uncomfortably.
"Er, yeah. I really love her and don't want to get home to find out she's marrying Seamus."
"I guess I understand. Just don't make it public."
Harry then noticed Hermione tilting her head toward Ron as though to say, 'Now would be a good time to tell him.' He took a deep breath.
"There's, er, something else you should know, Ron. I," he sighed. "I asked her to marry me when this is over," he said quickly. He watched as comprehension slowly dawned on Ron's face. Harry was reaching for his wand in case he needed to defend himself. "She said yes."
"That's what 'yes to all' means," said Ron. He sighed. "I suppose she's gonna marry some bloke. It might as well be you. But you'd better not hurt her!"
"I have no intention of hurting her, but it's not because I'm afraid of you or your brothers. I already said I love her. That means I would never want to hurt her." He then turned back toward Hermione. "So do you have the address of the house?"
At about 2 a.m., the trio was standing outside of a large mansion in a muggle neighborhood. There was no one outside. After they lit their wands, they took a closer look. It appeared to have not been kept up very well. The grass looked like it hadn't been mowed for three years. Weeds were everywhere. Hermione pointed her wand at the rusty gate, and it started glowing blood red.
"We can't touch the gate," she said emphatically.
"Can we fly our brooms over it?" asked Harry.
"I think so."
Harry, Ron, and Hermione all took a shrunken broom out of their pockets and resized them. Harry had his Firebolt; Ron and Hermione had Nimbus 2003's Harry had insisted on buying them before the trip. Ron had left Ginny his Cleansweep when they left. They mounted their brooms and flew above the gate and toward the front door.
After Hermione determined that they couldn't touch that or the back door either, they flew around testing windows until they found the one window on the top floor that could safely be opened. Harry used his wand to do that, and flew in first.
After all three were inside, Harry asked, "Is the floor alright to step on?"
She pointed her wand all over the room. The floor, as well as the door, all glowed red. "No. We can't touch anything in the room. Not even the door."
"Can we blast the wall away?" asked Ron.
She pointed her wand to the wall next to the door. It didn't react. "Yes. Just there. There are no spells on that portion of the wall."
Harry pointed his wand at the correct section of the wall and transfigured it into another doorway.
"I'm impressed, Harry," said Hermione happily. "I thought you were just going to blast the wall."
"I didn't want to cause the roof to collapse." Harry then looked around the room and shrugged his shoulders. "Knowing Tom, I'd guess that if the only entrance is on the top floor, the Horcrux will be in the basement."
Hermione nodded. "And this will probably be the safest room."
I don't think Nimbus went out of business when the Firebolt came out, so I figured they'd have a newer model available – hence the Nimbus 2003.
I'm using this story to fill in the gaps of my 'While Hunting Horcruxes' series. This starts at the end of 'Locked Away' and will end just before chapter 13 of 'Ginny's D.A.'
By the way, if anyone is interested in writing stories in this universe that are set after 'The Hunt is On' where Harry is a private investigator (or private auror if you prefer the term) who is hired to solve cases by individuals, let me know. I've even got one story idea for a murder mystery that I don't have the time to write that I could share. The main requirement is that it goes along with the epilogue of 'The Hunt is On.'