Disclaimer: I do not own any of the below characters. They all belong to the world of Harry Potter so cleverly created by JK Rowling. Actually, I do technically own Corvus Black and Hermione's Prophecy.
A/N: Hey, me again. I know this is another short chapter and I'm sorry about that. Things should start picking up again soon, I just needed a little time to collect my thoughts. I know where I'm going with the story, I just need to figure out how to get there.
Hermione and Ron stared at Harry trying to process what he had just said. "Wait, what did you just say?" Ron asked, making sure he had heard Harry correctly.
"I know who it is," Harry said sitting down heavily on the sofa, "or rather, who it was."
"I don't understand, how can you possibly know who it is, and what do you mean by who it was?" Hermione asked.
"What I mean is, we have a problem because that person is dead," Harry said finally looking up at his two friends. Once again, Ron and Hermione just stared at Harry.
"How do you know this?" Hermione finally asked.
"Because," Harry said taking a deep breath, "the next person the clue points to was my mother." Hermione and Ron just continued to stare at him speechless. "Think about it," Harry continued
seeing that he would have to spell things out for his friends. "What is typically referred to as the mark of the witch, especially during witch hunts?' he asked.
"Well, it was anything unusual," Hermione said quietly, "like a strange birthmark, or..."she trailed off suddenly understanding where Harry was going with his question.
"Or," Harry continued picking up where she had trailed off, "more commonly, someone with red hair and green eyes. Not only that, my mum was muggle born so she wouldn't have known anything
about Hogwarts or magic until the day her letter arrived."
"And since she was muggle-born," Ron began, finally joining in the conversation, "she would have been met with prejudice from the purebloods, especially during that time since its when You-Know-
Who first began his rise to power."
"And we have all heard stories about what a wonderful person you mother was. Her kindness and inner beauty was unmatched according to everyone." Hermione said softly referring to the last bit
of the clue." The three friends sat in silence contemplating what they had just discovered and what it meant for Hermione and the next piece of the prophecy. It was several minutes before any of
them spoke again.
"Well, what do we do now?" asked Ron finally, voicing what they had all been wondering.
"I don't know," Hermione responded. "I suppose now we focus on the horcrux search and take comfort in the fact that even though it means I can't find out the rest, since the prophecy died with
Harry's mum, no one else will be able to figure out the rest either. Honestly, I was curious, but you both know my thoughts on divination. I wouldn't have put much stock in what it said anyway."
Ron nodded his head in agreement but Harry protested.
"I don't think so," Harry said standing up once more and facing the other two. "Think about it," he added seeing the doubt on his friends faces. He didn't know a whole lot about her, but he just
couldn't believe his mum wouldn't have taken precautions. "My mum was the brightest witch of her year and she was an Order member. Not only that, but you were her goddaughter Hermione. My
mum knew there was a chance she was going to die with Voldemort after her. I just find it hard to believe that someone as smart as her wouldn't take precautions to make sure that didn't happen.
You're right though," Harry added turning to Hermione, "I think that for now, we should focus on the Horcrux search, but I don't think we should stop looking for your next clue."
Immediately after their conversation regarding Harry's mum they sat down and laid out the information they already had, which had had turned out to be dishearteningly sparse. They knew that
there were originally six horcruxes plus the piece that remained in Voldemorts body. They knew that two of those had been destroyed, one had been removed from Voldemort's original hiding place
but was still missing, another one was likely Hufflepuff's cup, and one was likely Nagini. That left one more which may or may not have been concealed in something of Gryffindor's or Ravenclaw's
depending on whether or not he was able to get his hand's on anything of theirs. All in all, it wasn't much. So, for the next several days the trio spent a great deal of time cleaning out the remaining
couple of rooms that hadn't been already cleaned, while the Order had been headquartered there. Well, to be a bit more accurate Harry and Ron cleaned mostly while Hermione spent a great deal of
time in the library attempting to research any clues that might point them in the right direction of their horocrux search. For once though, neither Ron nor Harry complained. They knew that what
Hermione was doing was important and she had more patience then them, plus, this time around they had magic to assist them in their cleaning. Two days into their stay at Grimmuald Place, they
had a pattern set. The three of them would get up and have breakfast together. Then Harry and Ron would clean while Hermione disappeared to the library. They would stop for lunch and then the
boys would join Hermione in the library where they would stay until dinner, looking through books, setting aside anything that looked hopeful. After dinner the three would gather in the sitting room
where they would share there findings with each other.
It wasn't until the fifth day there, when the boys had just about finished cleaning that Hermione found the first truly promising thing. Hidden in a corner of one of the shelves she came across a
small and tattered book titled Beyond the Unforgivables: The Darkest Kind of Magic. She spent the next several hours carefully reading the book page by page and line by line. Hermione shuddered at
the awful contents of the book, but she refused to skip over anything afraid that she might miss something important. It was four hours later she finally came upon a section on Horcruxes.
"Harry! Harry, Ron, come quick!" She exclaimed loudly as she rushed across the library. Harry, who had been balancing precariously on a ladder attempting to reach a book hidden away wobbled
dangerously, and Ron who had been dozing in his book fell out of his chair at Hermione's sudden outburst. Harry and Hermione both shot him a 'serves you right' look as Hermione came to the table
and Harry climbed down the ladder. "Look!" She said pointing excitedly to the page in front of her. "Horcruxes: One Step Closer to Achieving Immortality," she said reading the title of the chapter.
"Thats fantastic," Harry said grinning. "Does it say how to destroy them?"
"No, not exactly," Hermione replied her smile fading slightly. "But it does give us more information about them and it gives a brief paragraph on their destruction," she added pointing to a small
paragraph on the last page.
Although horcruxes bring a wizard one step closer to immortality, they are not invincible. Although it is extremely difficult, the destruction of a horcrux is possible. It takes extremely powerful magic
and the wizard attempting to destroy the horcrux is often mortally wounded in the process. The level of protection of course depends on the vessel used to protect the piece of the soul. The stronger magical level of the vessel, the higher the level of protection...
"That explains Dumbledore's hand," commented Ron before adding, "but we pretty much knew that already. This doesn't really tell us anything more."
"It confirms everything Dumbledore told me." Harry said quietly. "And if he was mortally injured destroying it, what hope do we have?" He added sitting down heavily.
"It gives us hope," Hermione said firmly looking at both the boys. "Look, I know its not much," she continued grabbing both Harry and Ron by their hands and dragging them to the center of the
room. "But look at all we have to work with. I'm willing to bet that 99% of this library is filled with books on dark magic, and judging by what I've read through already, some really, really powerful
spells and curses. There has got to be something in one of these books that is strong enough to destroy those awful things. Besides," she added stepping in front of the boys to face them, "I doubt
this is the only book in the entire library that has information about horcruxes. We just need to give it a little more time."
"Thats the problem Hermione," Harry said not entirely convinced. "Time is something that we just don't have. Everyday that passes somebody else dies."
"Maybe," she said quietly, "but its all we've got."
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