Hey! Been a while, hasn't it? So now Harry and Tess are off looking for the last Horcrux while Hogwarts prepares for an attack, but they are looking in the wrong places. Will they figure out the location in time? Will Hogwarts still be standing! Read on to find out! Also, sign the SOPA petition. I don't know the link, but it's all over this website. Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. I am just an eternally addicted fangirl.
MuggleCreator: Amen to that, my friend! Don't worry though. Hopefully Tess and Harry will arrive back at Hogwarts just in the nick of time.
magitech: Now that would make an interesting omake.. Voldemort dying of rotting ears from listening to the crap in Molly Weasley's howler. I usually like her in canon (most of the time), but it is so much fun to rag on her in fanfiction. It's really like flipping the bird to everyone's overprotective mother.
jabarber69: Interesting theory (that as a girl I will try not to be offended by)… Of course, you're operating under the assumption that said girl is modest. If she's not, she'll use the fact you're probably checking her out and drooling to hex you.
Tess rubbed her hands together, vainly trying to somehow warm them. It was mid-April, and while the days were warm in most places by now, some nights were still bitterly cold. They were in Russia right now, a lead in Moscow leading them to a museum and yet another dead end. It felt like they were just hopping from one pointless lead to another. He never said a word, but Tess could tell Harry was growing frustrated too. They had been a little bit spoiled by staying at Hogwarts: warm beds, good food, safety… It had taken some adjusting to get used to the test again.
Harry was starting a fire, worry lines printed on his face. Tess desperately wished she could wipe them away, stop them from deepening, but she couldn't. No one could at this point. He noticed her watching and smiled sadly. "Cold?" he teased tiredly.
Tess stuck her tongue out at him. "Make my fire, Scarhead!" she shot back.
Harry smirked. "Scarhead? Really? That's the best you can do?"
"Under these circumstances," she replied. Harry didn't say anything else. He got the fire started, and she moved closer to it. "Remember when we used to camp out?"
Harry nodded. "Yeah, I do," he said. One of their favorite things to do as kids was drag their sleeping bags out into the backyard and set up camp. Phin would make them a fire, and Fiona would set them up with snacks and drinks. Bea's favorite thing to do was wish on shooting stars. Tess always went along with it, but Harry never made a wish.
"I already got my wish," he would always say when Bea insisted he wished too. Right now, he felt like wishing on a shooting star. There were so many things he would wish for: impossible things, sad things…
It was quiet yet again, and Tess wished yet again that Delia and Sean were with them. Sean would crack a joke and make everyone laugh, and Delia was an expert of getting Harry out of his moods. Maybe with one of them, Harry would've made more progress by now. Maybe it was her holding the mission back. Maybe…
"Tess," Harry said flatly.
She rubbed the back of her head. "That obvious?"
"You might as well screamed them out loud." Tess looked down at her boots, not wanting to meet her oldest friend's eyes. Harry sighed. "Tess," he said softly. "None of this is your fault. We haven't found anything yet because we haven't had any good leads. That's not your fault."
"But would you have chosen differently?" she prodded, her voice shaky.
Harry shook his head. "I chose you to come with me for a reason. Delia has to think of Daisy. That needs to be her priority. Sean is too reckless. He'd want to do something incredibly stupid, and I'd go along with it because I wouldn't have you to pull me back. You're the only one in this group with any kind of common sense," he admitted.
Tess smiled. "Good to hear," she replied, hoping to change the topic now that she had gotten her answer.
Harry wasn't done yet. "Tess," he said gently, making her meet his eyes. She didn't see the hardened emerald of recent times. Instead, she saw the glowing compassionate ones of the past. "I never regretted bringing you back to Fiona's with me," he said. "Not even for a second."
Tess had to swallow back tears. Things had been rocky for them lately, had been since they arrived at Hogwarts, but she had never wanted to hurt him. She had just wanted him to be happy again and have a break from the worrying and the war. To hear such a strong confirmation of their friendship was very touching. "You're not going to go die on me, are you?" she teased. Harry didn't reply. "Harry?" she asked, now worried.
"I'll do what I need to do," he answered vaguely.
"Would you fight for your life?" Tess probed, needing to know his answer. "I mean, if you were already dying?"
"Honestly?" Harry said. "Probably not. If I was dying and given the choice, I'd probably go. There are too many people up there I want to see, who need me."
"There are people here who need you," Tess insisted, her voice shaky.
"All those people would be fine without me," Harry replied with finality, indicating that the topic was closed. Tess didn't say another word on the subject, but she disagreed with him. So many people wouldn't be okay if she died: herself, Delia, Sean, the Street Rats, Remus, Sirius… The list went on.
They ate their dinner quietly and were preparing to go to bed for the night when Harry heard a noise outside their tent. He clenched his wand tightly and slinked out of the tent, Tess flowing close behind.
What they found wasn't what they expected. A ghost floated outside of their tent. It was a woman that Tess found beautiful but also downcast. She was dressed in grab from around the Middle Ages, but then again that was how most wizards dressed now anyway.
"Who are you?" Harry questioned, suspicion sinking through his voice. "How did you find us?" It was unlikely that the Death Eaters had ghosts as allies now, but he couldn't rule anything out these days.
"I have come to deliver a message," the ghost said. "What you seek is not where you look."
Tess took a closer look at the ghost. "You're from Hogwarts, aren't you?" she realized, seeing something familiar in the spectrum.
The ghosts smiled. "Very good," she praised. "Luna said you were clever."
"Luna? Luna Lovegood?" Harry repeated with his mouth wide open. Tess was tempted to make a quip but was too shocked to enjoy it. "Luna sent you? And you came?"
The ghost nodded. "Luna is kind when others are not," she stated. "She told me you were looking for my mother's diadem, but she didn't think you were having much luck. She asked me to help."
"Your mother's diadem," Tess repeated, mulling things over in her head. Her eyes widened. "You're Helena Ravenclaw."
The sad ghost nodded. "Yes," she replied. "I have not left the castles in many years, but it is time that I righted one of my wrongs."
"What wrong?" Harry asked, narrowing his eyes.
"Many years ago, a boy came to visit me. I hadn't had a visitor in many years, and he was very charming. Eventually, he asked me where my mother's diadem was. I told him where to find it."
Harry caught onto the end of the story. "His name was Tom, wasn't it Helena?" he asked softly.
"Yes," she replied. "He defiled my mother's diadem with Dark magic. I want you to destroy it."
"We want that too," Tess interrupted frustrated. "But first we need to find it."
The ghost smile wryly. "You are looking in the wrong places," she announced.
Tess raised an eyebrow. "And where should we be looking?" she snapped, nerves and tension running through her.
"In the place where need rules over want," Helena stated. She turned to Harry. "Good luck, Harry Potter." Soon, the Ravenclaw Ghost disappeared, leaving Tess fuming.
"Damn riddle giving Ravenclaws!" she ranted. "Next time Luna sends us help, it better be someone living."
A light bulb had gone off in Harry's head. "Tess," he said confidently. "It's time to go back to Hogwarts."
It was a relatively peaceful night at Hogwarts. Aurors and Order members stood guard around the perimeter of the school, but so far no threat had appeared. Dinner had just finished , and most students were settling into their common rooms or getting better for bed. An Order meeting was occurring in Dumbledore's office, but the rest of the staff were up to their own devices. Even Peeves was quiet that night. It should have been an omen.
On the very edge of the property, a figure appeared, clothed in darkness. He smiled grimly and gestured to his masked servants. "Attack," he said. Spells were sent in rapid fire towards the castle, breaking down the wards. The alarms went off immediately in the castle, and Hogwarts went into defense mode. Younger students were taken to the Room of Requirement and evacuated to Order safe houses while older students prepared to fight. Order members and Aurors were making plans and implementing tactics, just waiting for the wards to break. Delia and Sean were stationed by the entrance.
Delia's eyes kept darting around, looking for something that wasn't there. Sean grabbed her hand and squeezed it. "They'll be here," he reassured her.
Delia sighed. "I hope so."
"They will be," Sean insisted. "Luna sent them a message. It will be fine."
Delia was about to say something when a familiar voice interrupted. "Sorry, are we late?" Delia turned around to see Harry standing in front of her, tired but smiling. Tess had already made her way to Sean.
"Just in time," Delia said with a smile, leaning in for a kiss.
After a few moments, Harry pulled away. "Let's do this," he said grimly, gripping his wand. It was time to end this.