A New Place To Stay

Chapter 58

December Nearly Over Already

It was the twenty first of December and nearly everyone had gone home for the holidays. With the dark times approaching, all families wanted to spent Christmas together - unsure of how many others they'd get. Unfortunately Harry wasn't getting to go to Prince Manor; he would have preferred that to being at Hogwarts, especially with the looks Dumbledore constantly gave him. It seemed for the first time, he was beginning to realize there was something different about Harry. Although thankfully, for most part he was away on 'business' which meant he was probably Horcrux hunting. So far without meaning to him and Severus had successfully beaten him to them.

Shaking off his thoughts, Harry delved into yet another book, in secret he'd read Magick Moste Evile and the name lived up to expectations. His dad had probably guessed he was too meticulous to not realize one of his books had gone missing. It was back where it belonged now; he was onto other books, reading every defence book he could get his hands on. Which by the way wasn't as easy as it seemed since Harry had turned into the worst Ravenclaw and read most books already. Trying to track the wand wasn't as easy as it seemed, especially since the trail was so chaotic. Littered with murder, betrayal and blood no matter where the wand went, the wand wasn't named just coined 'the most powerful wand in existence' in the papers archives. Madam Pince was happy enough to show him.

"Hey, Harry, what are you up to?" asked Hermione sitting down.

"None of your business," said Harry, irritated by her presence. He scooped up everything not letting her see what he was doing.

"Look, Harry, I could help!" said Hermione raising her voice.

"I don't need or want your help." replied Harry calmly, moving to a different desk. He didn't have to worry about putting the newspaper back or accidentally ripping since he'd made copies of them. They were too delicate for anything else, he had them all dating back to the founders time. They were down in the spare room in Sev's quarters, somewhere he wished he was right now.

"Shh!" ordered Madam Pince looking over at them.

"Harry something is going on! Surely you can use my help? You know how good I am at research!" insisted Hermione; she'd seen him in the library for days on end. If she could get her friendship with Harry back on track she'd be happy. What better way than have her and Harry, figuring something out together? A bit like old times. He obviously didn't confide in Neville or Luna since they were never here with him.

"Listen to me. I. Do. Not. Need. Your. Help." snapped Harry enunciating the words clearly. Why did she insist on bothering him all the time? Last year it had been Ron, at least he'd given him although it could do with him being with Lavender Brown. They were disgusting together, she called him 'Won' 'Won' all the time, and honestly they acted as though they were six years old. Between her trying to steal his potions book, and this he didn't know how to deal with her.

"Quiet down or leave." warned Madam Pince glaring over at them, people should always be quiet in a library it was common courtesy. Although Mr. Potter had been respectful and quiet every time he was in here, which was more often than not. He had turned into a right big bookworm, he'd read quite a lot of the library books and she was rather fond of him. Not enough to put up with noise in her library though, since other students were trying to work, and do their essays.

"Go away, Hermione." said Harry sighing in exasperation.

"Please, Harry." said Hermione, her brown eyes filling with tears, Ron was always with that…that…blonde bimbo, she wasn't comfortable talking to the girls her own age, Harry was the only one left.

"NO! FOR THE FINAL TIME!" snapped Harry.

"That is out, out! Go on, shoo!" said Madam Pince rounding her workstation, ready to force them out of her library if need be.

"Don't worry, ma'am I'm leaving." said Harry respectfully standing up, slinging his bag on his back, he gathered all his stuff. Which was close to toppling out of his hands, and strode from the library cursing Hermione all the way.

"Harry, please!" said Hermione not giving up as she stalked after him.

"HERMIONE JUST LEAVE ME THE BLOODY HELL ALONE!" shouted Harry, his voice echoing down the corridors.

Hermione flushed red in humiliation as people sniggered as they walked past. "Why won't you forgive me?" she whispered heartbroken.

"Do you remember what you said to me during first year? When Ron got hurt?" asked Harry, staring at her impassively.

"Yes, there are more important things than books and cleverness." said Hermione a bittersweet look crossing her face. How simple life had been back then, she may not have showed it but she'd been so happy to have friends.

"Do you remember the conversation we had in the hospital wing afterwards?" asked Harry.

"About what?" asked Hermione frowning, not understanding what Harry was getting at. He had a point; Harry always made points these days, whether be at answering questions or irritating the hell out of teachers by being a smart mouth. Like he had been with Umbridge, he was calm, too calm, and it unnerved her completely. She was used to Harry's temper getting the better of him all the time.

"How we suspected Dumbledore had done it on purpose, so I could face my parent's killer." stated Harry coolly.

"Yes," said Hermione, a sinking feeling her stomach, she knew where he was going with this. It was why he refused to be her friend again, because he respected her teachers like her parents had taught her.

"Yet you still put him over our friendship, I'll never forgive you Hermione. I did it time and time again, and when I needed you most you didn't just let me down…you may as well have torn out my heart and stomped on it. I could have used your wisdom that summer. Hermione…I had just seen Voldemort brought back, watched Cedric Diggory die, because I told him to take the cup. I would never have done what you did, no matter what anyone said. Which made me realize I valued our friendship more than you did, I'm over that, I've moved on and you should too. Just don't make the same mistakes you have again." said Harry softly, looking tired.

"Can't we try again?" pleaded Hermione, "There was no way we could send letters, everyone was watching."

"DON'T INSULT ME INTELLIGENCE HERMIONE." snapped Harry irritated by her constant defence. "You could have written it and waited until everyone was asleep before opening a window and sending it off."

"What if it had led the Death Eaters to you?" she said defensively.

"They thought I was in Privet Drive, I wasn't - don't try defending yourself, it wont change anything." said Harry, "Now just leave me alone, I mean it or I'll hex you!" with his part said he stalked away, going to Gryffindor common room to get the rest of his books and cloak before going down to the dungeons.

Harry relaxed once he was a few corridors away from Hermione, he had come close to giving in and that was a bad thing. He had to remember what she done; she'd ignored him the entire summer, when he'd been going through a very emotional time. It would have been worse if Severus hadn't realized he was abused, he owed his dad a lot. He'd helped him overcome a lot of turmoil he'd felt since first year, made him really see he wasn't to blame for a lot of the things he'd been blaming himself for. He was always there when he needed someone to talk to. Gave him a reason to end the war as fast as possible, and given him the means to end it by training him.

Muttering the password to get into the common room, he stepped in surprised to see Neville sitting there.

"Hey, I thought you were going home for Christmas?" said Harry surprised.

"I changed my mind, I've already spoken to Professor McGonagall," said Neville. "She said it was fine, so I'm staying for the holidays."

"Cool," said Harry at least he would have some decent company.

"Is it?" asked Neville staring at Harry curiously.

"Of course it is," said Harry staring at Neville confused.

"You've been ignoring me for the past month, Harry." said Neville.

"No I've not," said Harry baffled, "We played Chess just last night."

"I know your busy trying to find things," said Neville pointedly, knowing Harry would get what he was talking about without mentioning the word 'Horcrux'. "It's why I've not brought it up…is there anything I can do to help? I know I'm no good at much but hopefully I might be able to help a little."

"I'm sorry, Nev." said Harry guiltily. "Come on; let's go somewhere more…private."

"Alright," said Neville standing up.

"Just give me a minute to grab some stuff," said Harry, once he was done explaining everything to Neville he had plans to go and visit Severus. Running up to his dorm, he unlocked his trunk and began shoving everything he needed into his school bag. Which was expanded inside, so he was able to fit everything in, it also came with a feather light charm so it wouldn't be too heavy. Nodding to himself, he closed his bag grabbed his cloak and ran back down the stairs. Neville was at the door, just opening it when he emerged of the spiralling staircase.

"So what's going on?" asked Neville, sitting down on one of the seats the Room of Requirement had created for them.

"Do you remember me asking Luna about the Hallow sign?" asked Harry sitting down on the large squishy chair. Spinning it around until he could face Neville directly, he knew Neville was smarter than everyone gave him credit for, more powerful too.

"Yeah," said Neville mystified.

"It's true," said Harry.

"What's true? The sign?" replied Neville even more perplexed.

"The story, about the three brothers, meeting death and getting the three items." said Harry.

"It's a children's story, Harry, my Gran used to read it to me." said Neville.

"Haven't you realized by now everything written down happened at one point? Steeped I legend and myth honestly everyone acts like Muggles disbelieving everything all of a sudden." said Harry. "The three brothers happened to be my ancestors, the story based on the tale of the Peverell brothers. Which is at the very top of my family tree and where my cloak of invisibly came from."

Neville still looked a tad sceptical.

"There were once three brothers who were travelling along a lonely, winding road at twilight. In time, the brothers reached a river too deep to wade through and too dangerous to swim across. However, these brothers were learned in the magical arts, and so they simply waved their wands and made a bridge appear across the treacherous water. They were half way across when they found their path blocked by a hooded figure." said Harry, his voice commanding all attention.

"And Death spoke to them. He was angry that he had been cheated out of three new victims, for travellers usually drowned in the river. But death was cunning. He pretended to congratulate the three brothers upon their magic, and said that each had earned a prize for having been clever enough to evade him." said Neville wryly; he knew it from back to front.

"So the oldest brother, who was a combative man, asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence: a wand that must always win duels for its owner, a wand worthy of a wizard who had conquered Death! So Death crossed to an elder tree and on the banks of the river, fashioned a wand from a branch that hung there, and gave it to the oldest brother." added Harry, having to read it, impressed with Neville's ability to recall each word.

"Then the second brother, who was an arrogant man, decided that he wanted to humiliate Death still further, and asked for the power to recall others from Death. So Death picked up a stone from the riverbank and gave it to the second brother, and told him that the stone would have the power to bring back the dead." said Neville effortlessly.

"And then Death asked the third and youngest brother what he would like. The youngest brother was the humblest and also the wisest of the brothers, and he did not trust Death. So he asked for something that would enable him to go forth from that place without being followed by Death. And Death, most unwillingly, handed over his own Cloak of Invisibility. Then Death stood aside and allowed the three brothers to continue on their way and they did so, talking with wonder of the adventure they had had, and admiring Death's gifts." finished Harry.

"Yes, then the elder brother killed someone with the wand, and then boasted about how he was invincible only to be killed in his sleep - the wand taken by his murderer." said Neville.

"The only item that didn't stay in the family." said Harry quietly; closing the beadle and the bard tales, he didn't know why but he loved the tales. Perhaps he was just fascinated with them because he hadn't had the opportunity to hear them as a child.

"Alright…convince me," said Neville his convictions wavering.

"Ignotus Peverell is my direct descendant, he was the one who was given the cloak." said Harry handing over his precious heirloom. "Look at it, it still looks brand new and it's been in my family for generations. I saw Moody's cloak and it's faded."

"Okay," said Neville. "But what if the three brothers actually created the items themselves and added Death just to make it more adventerious?"

"The resurrection stone, belonged to the Gaunt family, which at some point joined with the Slytherin line, they all had the ability to talk to snakes." said Harry. He was about to aknoweldge Neville's point when he spoke distracting him.

"No! You mean You-Know-Who has it?" said Neville astonished.

"He used it to create a Horcrux," whispered Harry as if he was worried someone would overhear him. "It's gone now, I destroyed it."

"Luna would love this!" said Neville astonished. She had been right all along! He could barely believe it.

"You know how Ollivander is gone?" questioned Harry.

"It's been months now, he's probably gone." said Neville sadly. He had been terrified of the wizard when he first met him, well he'd been terrified of everyone even his own shadow back then.

"No, Voldie has been looking for the Elder wand, the most powerful wand in existence." said Harry sighing tiredly.

"Why?" asked Neville. The wizard was scary, powerful and terrifying why would he want a wand? Even if it was supposed to be the most powerful wand in existence.

"When I was Portkey'd with Cedric out of the maze, I ended up having to duel Him." confessed Harry, ignoring the wide terrified eyes of the boy in front of him. You'd think he'd feel a bit better having actually faced the monster last year. "Not that it was much of a duel, I didn't know much…I cast the disarming spell, he fired Avada Kedavra, but the spells met in the middle, and something strange happened. A magnificent golden dome surrounded us, phoenixes began thrilling and we were raised off our feet. And the people he had killed began to emerge from his wand…including my parents."

"Oh Merlin!" cried Neville, Harry must have been terrified. He belated realized he was actually one of the few who knew what happened that night.

"You see, our wands were the same, brothers, and both had phoenix feathers from Fawkes." said Harry. "Every time we fight…that's what would happen, we can't fight each other."

"So that's why he's after this Elder wand?" asked Neville. "How the hell do you know this?"

"Didn't you read the newspaper? Gregorovitch is dead, he was tortured to death. They were trying to get information on who had the wand." said Harry.

"The German wand maker? Why would he know about it?" asked Neville curiously.

"Why else? They bragged about having the stupid wand." said Harry shaking his head in irritation. "He was also trying to duplicate its powers...but we don't know any more than that."

"We?" asked Neville.

"Yeah. I've been trying to find out who has it now...before Voldie catches up with them...he's already got a head start with Gregorovitch since we have no idea what he revealled before they killed him." said Harry.

"Want me to ask my Gran?" asked Neville.

"No, you said she believed Dumbledore…what if she tells him?" said Harry quickly.

"She doesn't talk to him on a daily basis, she never even joined the Order when my parents did." said Neville.

"Whoa, you know about the Order?" asked Harry shocked.

"Of course I do," said Neville, "It may not seem like it, but my Gran does care most of the time."

"I didn't say she didn't, Nev." said Harry seriously.

"So will I ask? She might know some rumours?" suggested Neville.

Harry bit his lip thoughtfully, was it a risk he was prepared to take? She had to be around maybe Dumbledore's age…at least maybe eighty ninety years old. She might know something and he wasn't getting anywhere with his searches on the wand at least nothing conclusive anyway. He didn't have many more pages to flip through before he was done. He had the path of nine wizards who had owned the wand at some point, with large gaps where it seemed to fade out of existence. "Go on then, but don't let her know anything else." said Harry.

"I won't." swore Neville solemnly.

"Alright," said Harry in agreement.

"Elder wand…I assume it was an Elderberry tree it was created from?" said Neville thoughtfully.

"Um, must have been." said Harry he hadn't really thought about that.

"Certainly will be one of a kind then, recognizable." said Neville.

"It would have to be, otherwise nobody would know if they had it or not." Harry pointed out.

"Has there ever been a picture of it?" asked Neville.

"Not that I can find," admitted Harry.

"Gregorovitch...so a wizard or witch that has been to Germany and come back here?" said Neville.

"Not nessessarily, the wand could be anywhere, I've not been able to place it since Gregorovitch." said Harry slumping on his seat. He hadn't been able to leave it alone, not after seeing how Severus had reacted. He had been terrified, and not even hearing the prophecy had bothered him. "For all I know its still in Germany."

"Yeah, thats a dilema." admitted Neville thoughtfully.

"Yup," agreed Harry sighing exasperatedly. "Granger got me and herself thrown out the bloody libarary."

"She did?" asked Neville gaping, Hermione Granger a bookworm got kicked out the libarary? there was a first for everything.

"Yeah, hopefully I got through to her though," said Harry, frowning, he didnt want to keep yelling at her all the time. Part of his felt sorry for her, she liked Ron that much was obvious, and he was too enamoured with Lavander Brown to notice. Then again Ron wouldn't notice anything in front of him unless it was food.

"So is that why you got an extra wand? Because of the twin wand core thing?" asked Neville.

Harry twitched, he kept underestimating Neville, how the hell had he realized? If he did then maybe Dumbledore did and that thought wasn't tolerable at all. "How and when did you find out?" asked Harry.

"The shower, you had a white pattern where a calf wand holder would be," said Neville simply. It was just after the summer holidays and Harry had been tanned everywhere else other than his wrist and calf. "You also had one of your wrist which means you have two wands…nobody goes around with a spare holster attached somewhere."

"Why didn't you say anything?" asked Harry surprised.

"Actually I was more interested in your 'tattoo'" said Neville smirking devilishly. He knew it wasn't a tattoo, he'd found the book, or rather it was a tattoo when it was on him…but a familiar when it was off. He'd though he was going crazy when he noticed it missing one time when they were getting ready for bed.

Harry grinned sheepishly, already deducing that Neville had already figured out what it really was. Although he probably thought it was a snake, and he wasn't about to tell him what Zar really was. He would freak out, it was a Basilisk after all, and it could kill with a single look. Although he was proud to say that Zar hadn't harmed anyone, he was a good Basilisk. Any creature would love you if you treated him or her right, and if you hurt them…then sooner or later they would snap and it would be most likely fatal.

"I have to go, I'll talk to you later." said Harry realizing the time.

"Okay, I'll go write to Gran." said Neville.

"Bye," said Harry as they seperated ways, Neville echoed his goodbye before they could no longer see each other.

"Everything alright?" asked Severus, he could see Harry wasn't getting enough sleep, he didn't say anything through because the same was happening to him.

"Not really," admitted Harry quietly, removing his shoes and sitting down, his cloak already on a peg. "I can't find any more information…it's as if it disappeared of the face of the earth when Gregorovitch got his hands on it."

"Perhaps it did," said Severus.

"Viktor Krum got his wand from Gregorovitch, I wonder if he knows more about him than we do?" mused Harry getting desperate now.

"Do you know anything about Ollivander?" Severus pointed out seriously.

"Good point," said Harry nodding reluctantly conceding Severus' point. "Do you know any other Wandmakers?"

"I do not," said Severus, "I've already tried that path." If one Wandmaker could know the legend perhaps others did, but he couldn't find one that could shed some light on it.

"Do the Germans have their own version of a magical newspaper?" asked Harry curiously.

"I have no idea," replied Severus thoughtfully, it was a good question.

Sighing Harry got up and moved towards the fireplace, sitting on the large fluffy rug and emptied the contents of his bag out on the floor. Spreading the copied newspaper out, he began to meticulously place them by date, which took more time than he thought. Eventually half an hour later, he had them in order and placed neatly between his legs.

"Here," said Severus handing him a coffee before going back to his seat.

"Thanks," said Harry smiling briefly before digging into his work.

Then the door unexpectedly opened, too stunned to move he froze. He narrowed his eyes on Draco Malfoy, his lip curling in disgust. He refrained from saying anything though, he had promised Severus to keep it zipped. Turning back to his newspaper he ignored the stunned boy, as if he wasn't there.

"Come in, Draco." said Severus exasperated.

"I can come back…" said Draco awkwardly, staring between both of them confused. He hadn't realized his godfather was that close with Potter and it made his stomach churn with jealousy. Severus was his godfather! Not Potter's why was he getting to cosy up to him? It wasn't fair.

"Sit down," said Severus narrowing his eyes, indicating he was loosing his patience.

Draco moved almost shoving his feet, and in the process one of Harry's journals was kicked. The page about the locket and cup came fluttering out. Landing at Draco Malfoy's feet, the boy looked down the sneer that had been painted on his face disappeared leaving his paler than even Severus.

"Why do you have this picture in your diary, Potter?" sneered Draco, or rather he tried it didn't come out how he would have preferred.

"It's not a diary, it's a journal," snapped Harry scooping both items up.

"Enough, there's a war going on outside, without starting one in here." said Severus warning both of them.

"I'd respond to that but it would just make you mad." said Harry pointedly.

"You've never held back, why start now?" replied Severus sardonically.

Harry narrowed his eyes, should he? Shouldn't he? "Sirius Black. It's not as easy as you think to put aside animosity." said Harry softly.

"Touché," conceded Severus, he had no compared it like that before. Perhaps Harry was right, and his godson and the boy he thought of as a son would never get on. Black had nearly killed him and Draco had cast an equivalent of an unforgivable. "Why did you ask about the picture?" wondering which one he had been referring to, the locket or cup.

Draco shook his head obviously not in a sharing mood.

"Draco, you swore to be completely truthful, if you go back on it then I will withdraw my help." said Severus, cruel to be kind.

"I'll tell you," said Draco childishly.

"Draco," growled Severus reaching the end of his tether with them already.

"I've seen it before," admitted Draco.

"The locket?" asked Severus, it had been in the Black family so it wouldn't surprise him.

"No, the cup." replied Draco.

"Where?" insisted Severus and Harry in unison.

"Well, not seen exactly, more like glimpsed." said Draco looking trapped.

"Who taught you Occlumency?" asked Severus understanding immediately.

"My aunt," said Draco quietly.

Harry snorted; Malfoy had the nerve to get on at him about knowing about Sirius when he was with his insane auntie Bellatrix? That family was so screwed up. He arched an eyebrow, not at all bothered by the glare Draco sent his way.

"Draco this is important, where did you see it? Did you recognize the area?" asked Severus urgently. Unbelievably another Horcrux was just landing in their lap, although thankfully Draco didn't understand the significance of what he was revealing. With a bit of luck he never would, Draco didn't have the stomach to learn the lengths that The Dark Lord had gone to become immortal. He didn't even have the nerve to conceal the spell he'd used on Harry, he was not Death Eater material.

"Gringotts, why?" asked Draco confused by his godfathers odd behaviour.

"Great," groaned Harry, just how the hell were they supposed to get into Gringotts of all places? It was impenetrable…wait, no it wasn't, Quirrellmort had gotten in somehow. They'd successfully gotten into the vault and disappeared without a trace. Sure they hadn't been successful but that's only because Dumbledore had removed it. At least they had another Horcrux, even if they were failing in the ability to find the wand.

"Great," groaned Harry, just how the hell were they supposed to get into Gringotts of all places? It was impenetrable…wait, no it wasn't, Quirrellmort had gotten in somehow. They'd successfully gotten into the vault and disappeared without a trace. Sure they hadn't been successful but that's only because Dumbledore had removed it. At least they had another Horcrux, even if they were failing in the ability to find the wand.

"Why?" asked Draco confused by their reactions, what was he missing?

"It's of no consequence." replied Severus flippantly.

"Right," replied Draco with enough doubt to be heard around the entire Ministry of magic building.

Harry rolls his eyes, and begins flipping through the newspapers; there was nothing they could do about the Horcrux tonight anyway. He was more interested in finding out about the Elder wand. Although he didn't think he would get more information. For three weeks he'd been unsuccessful, and these were the last batch of newspapers he would be reading.

He tried not to listen in on Malfoy's conversation with Severus, but he couldn't help but hear some of it. He was asking Severus if he had come up with a plan to help his mother yet. Harry felt his heart twist; he would have done anything for his mum too. They had that in common, but that was as far as their likeness ended as far as he was concerned.

"I have two ideas, both will need swift actions and even greater acting." said Severus, not just on Draco and his part, but Harry's as well.

"What?" asked Draco hopeful.

"I need to iron out the details, but do not worry I will let you know when the time is right." said Severus seriously.

"Alright," agreed Draco reluctantly.

I've read up about Grindelwald, now what i read contradicts itself...Voldemort gets into Nurmengard and tortures Grindelwald for information about the wand now it states he gets the information...but further down it contradicts it stating that he tried to tell Voldemort he didnt know about the wand and never had it to begin with...and that he didnt tell Voldemort and died because of it...I'm going to have to read that last bloody book again GAH! I still have no way for Harry to find out about Grindelwald...picked the WORST time to remove the horcrux :( lol

now many suggested i use the horcrux to find out...summon Gregorovitch from the dead but it wouldnt work he did not recongize who took the wand. He honestly didnt know...hence why it took the Dark Lord so long to find out about him...which ironically only happened because Skeeters posionous pen!

i suppose it could go a few ways Voldemort gets the wand and Harry still beats him... (but it means he will want to kill Sev to get its full powers)

or Harry recongizes it for what it is when he sees it in Dumbledore's grasp and putting a fake in Dumbledore's tomb. R&R PLEASE!