Chapter Thirty Six
Remus narrowed his eyes as he examined the gathered people. Harry was standing beside Neville while Hermione was discussing the history of Stonehenge with Ron and Ginny and Luna was standing beside Draco. Severus and Sirius were glowering at each other but, then, that wasn't anything new.
"Will you two stop that?" Remus said with a sigh.
Sirius glanced at Remus. "I still say this is stupid and we should leave the kids here," he said.
"I hate to say this, Black, but I agree with you," Severus said and it sounded as though it pained him to say those words.
"I'm shocked, you're actually agreeing with me."
Severs glared at Sirius before snorting but stayed silent.
"We're going," Harry said firmly.
Severus glowered at Harry. "Fine but don't take unnecessary risks and if I tell you to run then run," he said firmly.
Harry sighed before nodding. "All right, Sev," he said.
"I doubt Voldemort will be there," Draco said. Remus noticed Severus's flinch but everyone else ignored it. "It's very unlikely he'll know it's there."
"Very unlikely, yes, but also possible," Severus said. "Do not underestimate him."
"That's a cheery thought," Ron grunted.
"Ronald, Professor Snape knows Voldemort better than we do," Hermione said slapping Ron upside the head.
"Ow, I know he does but still," Ron protested rubbing his head.
Severus either didn't hear or decided to ignore Ron's words as he led the way out of Grimmauld's Place. "Draco and Harry will come with me," he said without glancing over his shoulder as he walked.
Sirius glowered. "Fine, Hermione, Ron and Ginny will go with me."
"Neville and Luna will go with me," Remus said quietly.
Once they were outside and past the wards, Remus gently took Luna and Neville's arms before turning on the spot and apparating away with a sharp crack that distilled the air. He reappeared behind one of the upright stones of Stonehenge. He gazed around for his companions and noticed they had appeared behind the stones as well.
"Now where would it be hidden?" Harry murmured as he walked away from Severus and gazed at the upright stones.
Sirius narrowed his eyes. "If I know my brother then he would have hidden it in a place no one would find it," he said.
"No need to restate the obvious, Black," Severus sneered.
Sirius glowered at Severus.
"But where?" Harry asked gazing at the tall stones. "There are so many. Is it on top of them or in them or what?"
"I'd say it's in them," Sirius said. "My brother will not want to make it obvious so he probably figured out a way to place the locket inside the stone."
"And that makes it that much harder to find," Ron grumbled.
Neville frowned as he gazed at the tall stones. "Maybe we can look at all of them when there aren't as many tourists," he said pointing to the tourists who were beginning to arrive.
"Longbottom has a point," Draco said.
"Where do we stay until then?" asked Hermione with a frown as she gazed around.
"A disillusionment charm should keep the tourists from noticing us," said Remus softly before he raised his wand and murmured a spell under his breath. He then sat down with his back resting against one of the tall stones. "Now we may as well wait."
Harry sat down on the ground beside his friends while Sirius sat beside Remus as far from Severus as he could get, Remus noticed. While they were no longer longing to kill each other, Sirius and Severus were still at odds with each other and went out of their way to avoid the other in order to prevent themselves from hexing the other. Remus knew the only reason they were restraining themselves was because of Harry.
Night couldn't have come quicker. The sun sank below the horizon and the last of the tourists left the historical landmark. Remus stood up before stretching, sitting down for so long had left his legs asleep and his back stiff, and gazing around as the rest of his companions also stood up.
"All right," he said, "I think it's time we started searching but we shouldn't do anything that could ruin the landmark."
"Of course we won't do something as stupid as that," Severus said with a snort before he pursed his lips together in thought and added, "Well, Black might."
"Shut up, Snape," Sirius growled.
"Is there any kind of spell that could allow us to look inside the stones without breaking them?" Harry asked curiously.
"I believe I may know the appropriate spell to use," said Severus. "But it'll take us all night if we only check one stone at a time."
"Then why don't you show us the spell?" Sirius sneered.
"Why don't I hex your mouth shut," retorted Severus.
Harry sighed. "Those two are never going to stop glaring at each other, are they?" he asked.
"Not in this lifetime," Ron admitted.
Luna smiled dreamily. "Why don't we just cast the spell on the entire landmark?" she asked curiously.
Severus glanced at the blonde woman before nodding. "I think that might be best," he said before he pointed his wand at the landmark and murmured a complex spell under his breath. The spell flew over the entire landmark and Remus watched as the stones glowed before shimmering. All of the stones, but one, were solid on the inside; the one stone that wasn't completely solid on the inside was one at the far side of the landmark. The stone had a small hole in it in which Remus could see something.
"I think I see it," he said.
"That's a long way up," said Harry jogging across the land toward the stone before glancing up at it. "How're we going to get it out without destroying the landmark?"
"That's the hard part," said Remus.
Draco frowned. "But how did Regulus get the locket into the stone in the first place?" he asked.
Sirius frowned before pointing his wand at the stone. "Finite," he said. His wand sparked and the stone shimmered before disappearing revealing the hole hiding behind it. "Huh? I didn't think it'd work."
"Here, I'll get it," Draco said walking over to the stone.
"Be careful, Draco," Severus warned his godson. "It is a horcrux. There is no telling what the dark lord did to it."
"You called him the dark lord again, Sev," said Harry.
"I'll be careful," said Draco before he glanced at Ron and Harry. "Hey, will you two give me a boost up?"
The two nodded and Remus watched as they boosted Draco up until he was eyelevel with the hole. He stretched out a hand before gently grabbing the locket by the chain and pulling it out of the hole. Harry and Ron lowered him down and Draco held up the locket, which swayed in the warm breeze.
Severus took the locket in his hands before narrowing his eyes. "It would be best if we got out of here now," he said after he confirmed that it was a horcrux.
"Only one more to go," Harry said eyes glittering with excitement.
"Yeah but it's probably going to be the hardest one to get," Draco said softly.
"Why must you be such a pessimist?" Ron scowled.
"Hey, I'm just saying."
"We'd better get going," said Severus tucking the locket away before taking Draco and Harry's arms, turning on the spot and disapparating. Remus gently took Hermione, Luna and Ginny's arms before apparating away to reappear just beyond the wards of Prince Manor. Sirius arrived a moment later with Neville and Ron and Severus send his ghostly doe Patronus off probably to find Dumbledore.
"It shouldn't be long before Albus arrives," said Severus and, sure enough, the sound of disapparating came to the gathered group and Albus arrived a moment later. The headmaster went to stand in front of Severus who pulled the locket from a pocket in his robes, Remus had a feeling the pocket was spelled, and handed it to him.
"Only one more," said Albus. "And I believe that I already know what the last horcrux is."
"As do I," replied Severus. "Nagini."
Lucius could tell Voldemort was getting more frustrated with each landmark in which they failed to find Voldemort's horcrux they visited. They were now on their way to the last landmark on the mental list Voldemort and the other Death Eaters had created; Stonehenge. Apparating to the county of Wiltshire, Lucius gazed around with his wand in his hand but he could see nothing but the large upright stones.
Voldemort strode round the upright stones, growling in anger as his crimson eyes examined the landmark before he cast a spell Lucius couldn't hear but knew was the same spell he had cast on the other landmarks and a greenish blue light cascaded down upon the landmark. The stones glowed but one stone seemed to glow brighter than the others; its brilliant green light nearly blinded Lucius and the other Death Eaters before it faded away.
Voldemort walked to the upright stone before snarling in fury eyes flashing. "It's not here," he hissed. "It was here but someone got to it before us and I have a feeling it was the bloody Order of the Phoenix." Snarling in rage, Voldemort cast a bombarda curse at Stonehenge but, to the immense surprise of everyone present, it backfired and slammed into the Death Eaters, sending all of them flying to the ground.
Voldemort didn't even bother to look at his loyal supporters and Lucius, who wasn't sure where his loyalty lied at the moment, as he snarled, "We're turning to Malfoy Manor," and disapparated. Bellatrix was the first to follow them and the rest of the Death Eaters, Lucius being the last one to leave, followed them.
Voldemort immediately walked to Nagini who was coiled in her cage before stretching out a hand to touch the snake's head and hissing something that Lucius could not understand. However, his anger was not satisfied and he turned around before pointing his wand at his Death Eaters and cast the Cruciatus Curse.
Lucius and the rest of his Death Eaters slammed into the ground before writhing in pain until the dark lord decided to lift the curse. Scrambling to their feet, the Death Eaters watched as Voldemort, snarling in anger, paced in front of the cage where Nagini was sleeping. His eyes narrowed in thought before he curled his lips into a sneer.
"Attack Surrey," he ordered his Death Eaters. "I don't care what you do but try to get as many Aurors and Order members to attack and kill as many as you can. Go now and leave me with some time to think of our next move."
Lucius and the other Death Eaters left the manor even as Voldemort returned his gaze to the large queen cobra and began hissing to her again.
Ron sipped at the cup of hot chocolate in his hand as he sat beside his friends on the couch. Luna and Draco were sitting nearby while Neville and Ginny sat beside each other and Hermione and Harry were talking quietly about the last horcrux. Ron listened to their conversation but otherwise stayed silent.
"How do you suppose we're going to take out Nagini?" asked Harry with a frown. "I mean, Sev said that Nagini's a queen cobra."
Ron thought about Harry's words. "Well, she's a snake. Why don't you just cut off her head?" he said.
"That would work if she was a normal snake, Ron," said Hermione. "But she's a horcrux so there must be some way to kill her as well as destroy the horcrux."
"Well, what can destroy a horcrux?"
"Basilisk venom," said Harry and Ron knew he was thinking about the journal that was destroyed in their second year.
Ron thought about it for a moment before an idea came into his mind. "What about the Sword of Gryffindor?" he asked.
Draco's brow furrowed. "What about it, Ron?" he asked.
"Ron's right," said Hermione. "I've read about basilisk venom, it never goes away and Harry used the Sword of Gryffindor to kill the basilisk so, naturally, it's still covered in the venom. That might be the only way we can kill Nagini and destroy the horcrux; slice off her head with the Sword of Gryffindor."
Ron nodded. "But where do we get the sword?"
"The Sorting Hat is where I got it in second year," said Harry. "Maybe I can talk to Professor Dumbledore and see if I can borrow the sword."
Neville frowned. "But your guardian doesn't even want you to go after the last horcrux," he said quietly. He, like the rest of Harry's friends, had heard Snape talking with Dumbledore earlier about how he did not want Harry to go after the last, and probably most dangerous, horcrux.
"He said Nagini is the most dangerous," said Ginny softly eyes filled with worry.
"Ginny's right," Hermione said. "Cobras are highly venomous and anyone bit by a cobra will die within minutes if not sooner unless they're given an antidote almost as soon as they're bit."
"I'm still going after the last horcrux," Harry said stubbornly.
Draco curled his lip into a sneer. "You're as stubborn as a mule, Harry," he said. "But if you're going after the last horcrux than I'm going with you."
"As am I, mate," Ron said firmly.
"You can count me in," Hermione said.
"Me too," Luna said softly.
"I'm in too," Ginny agreed.
"As am I," Neville said quietly. "Remember what we said just before fifth year ended. We're all in this together."
And Ron knew that those words still held true.
A/n what do you think?
Blaze: and that was chapter 36
Darth: well it's about time
Anakin: so what's gonna happen in the next chapter?
Blaze: (purses lips together in thought) an attack, which will result in a kidnapping, and some other things but I haven't worked them out yet
Anakin: oh okay
Blaze: please review and I will post chapter 37 as soon as I possibly can but I doubt it'll be anytime soon