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Chapter Forty-Two

The Lost Diadem

Draco had left his bed in the middle of the night and journeyed to the scarcely known Room of Requirement. As he reached the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy attempting to teach trolls ballet, he turned to walk past it three times, all while thinking of what he desperately needed to find: the Lost Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw.

Suddenly a door appeared on the wall opposite of the tapestry, and the old-in-spirit Slytherin let out a sigh of relief as he opened it and walked inside. He didn't recall exactly where Harry had located the Diadem, he only remembered him having it and desperately wanting to take it from him and hand it over to the Dark Lord. He shook his head at the awful memory. He had been terrified of his master. He had known what he was capable of; he had been punished for his mistakes several times, though he knew if it hadn't been for Severus, it would have been a lot worse. He probably would have been killed, slowly and painfully.

"Okay, Draco, keep a keen eyes out," he told himself as he slowly began to walk through the piles of items, attempting to push away his past and focus on the task at hand.

As he rounded an assortment of old rusting cauldrons, out of the corner of his eye, a sudden shot of blue light reflecting off of a cracked mirror caught his attention. Hoping it was the jewels of the diadem, he turned fully to it. However, it wasn't the Lost Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw that glittered, but a small blue diamond. Getting a better look he could see that the diamond was centered in a silver band. Carefully he picked up the ring to examine it closer.

"What's this?" he asked himself, squinting at some small blue etching in the band. At first he thought it was ruins, but the longer he looked at it, he realized he didn't recognize any of the characters. "I wonder if Severus would know, or at least know how to find out."

Pulling out his wand he decided to run an identification spell. Often, witches and wizards would place an identification spell on objects of importance, so that if they were lost anyone who found them would know who to return them to. It would seem however, whoever owed this diamond had failed to do so, or it had been so long since they had done it that it had worn off. Either way, finders keepers. Draco smirked as he placed the ring in his robe pocket then heading back through the maze of junk searching for a piece of the Dark Lord's soul.

XXX

An hour later Draco sat on the edge of his bed, two pieces of the Dark Lord's soul lay on a cloth on his lap. He had located the diadem shortly after finding the blue diamond; it truly was a beautiful piece, beautiful but deadly, in more ways than one. With a sigh, he folded the diary and the diadem up in the cloth, and then placed it in his school trunk. He had the means to destroy them but was holding off, hoping to wait until he had the others and just get it done all at once.

However, there were issues concerning gaining the other pieces. He knew the ring was in the run down shack of a home that the Dark Lord's mother had once lived in, but it wasn't as simple as Apparating there and grabbing it. More than likely there were spells, enchantments and maybe even curses protecting it. As powerful of a wizard as he was, he had no delusions that he could compete with the Dark Lord's powerful, dark magic. Hermione had once mentioned that Dumbledore had managed to acquire it, but at the eventual cost of his life, though she never went into specifics as to what exactly happened. Then there was the locket and the cup. He knew with Sirius' help he could easily gain access to both. As reinstated Head of the Black family he would legally have access to all titles and properties, including Grimmuald place and all family vaults. In that Bellatrix was currently incarcerated as was her husband and brother-in-law, Sirius would be entitled to maintain said vaults.

The issue was, if he asked his cousin for help he would have to explain why he wanted access to both places, and that was where it got tricky. He supposed he could use the "I know the future" bit that he was using with Hermione and Harry, but at the same time he thought it would be nice to confide the truth with someone.

Draco had considered telling either Sirius or Severus the truth on several occasions, Severus more so, but it didn't feel like the right time, at least not yet.

XXX

Severus sat quietly on his couch, running his fingers through Narcissa's hair. Despite Pettigrew's capture, arrest and ultimate death, an odd sort of dread had suddenly come over him. The beautiful woman who lay on his lap helped calm his worries, but only just. After the Dark Lord's sudden return two years ago, however brief, Severus had been hyper aware that he was far from forever vanquished, as most of the wizarding world believes. In fact, he felt that his former Master's return would be sooner rather than later.

Severus moved his hand from her hair as Narcissa shifted her body so that her crystal blue eyes were focused into his deep, dark, orbs.

"I had a dream last night," she confessed.

"Oh?"

"Lucius was dead," she deadpanned.

Severus' brow rose at her blunt statement, but said nothing and allowed her to continue.

"While I would never wish him dead," she went on, "I didn't seem to care that he was."

"Hmm," Severus let out a breath of air through his nose as he ran his thumb softly across her bottom lip. "You're not asking me to do it your husband, are you Narcissa?" He asked a small smirk played to his lips, mirth played in his eyes.

She laughed and shook her head, "Of course not. I just thought it odd. I do not normally dream of such things. It frightened me."

"Dreams are often difficult to understand, and rarely have the actual meaning they express. Perhaps it was simply your mind manifesting your worries over recent events."

"You mean the whole thing with Pettigrew?"

"In part, yes, but…"

Narcissa moved to a sitting position, while Severus paused in his explanation. "The Dark Lord," he continued, "He returned once, he can return again and most likely he will… soon."

Narcissa visually flinched at the thought. She had met the feared wizard only twice, and in her mind that was two times too many.

"I pray it does not come to that," she all but whispered.

"As do I," Severus replied though he knew in the end it was only wishful thinking. Instead of voicing his fears, he cupped the face of the woman he loved with his hand, gently bringing her lips to meet his own.

XXX

There once was a man so arrogant that he believed himself above death and in so meddled in the blackest of magic's, desperate to find a way to cheat his mortality. Now, decades later, his body was long gone, destroyed by his own spell, but a piece of his soul somehow still remained, wandering the earth searching for a way to once again come to power. He came close once, two years ago, but was spoiled by the very child who took his body from him ten years before. At one time, he had many followers, followers that would kill for him, that would die for him, but that was years ago; many had publically rebuked him when he disappeared and the ones who stayed loyal were in Azkaban so they were of no use to him at the present time.

But first he needed to find help, he needed a new body, and in his present state it would be impossible for him to perform any type of ritual that would allow him to gain one by himself. He knew several of his followers had escaped Azkaban by claiming that they had been under the influence of the Imperious Curse, including one Lucius Malfoy. He would have to punish him for his disloyalty but first he would call upon his hospitality and his assistance.

He knew that his son was at Hogwarts, so that would be helpful in gaining access to the school when the time came. If all went according to his plan, Harry Potter would be dead by the end of the year and Voldemort would once again be on his way to ruling over the wizarding world.

A/N: Okay so I know it's a bit short and I'm sorry for that but I promise next chapter will be twice as long. Next up, summer, the Quidditch World Cup and a little kissy, kissy but I won't tell you from who just yet.