My tail is firmly between my legs over how long it's been since the last time I uploaded a chapter for this story. Those of you who have joined my facebook group will know about the writer's block from hell. Hopefully it's gone. This is kind of a filler chapter but it is important to get us to the next chapter which is in my mind already (THANKFULLY)
I would love to see some reviews over this because I have never struggled with a chapter so much
Disclaimer: All recognized characters and situations belong to J. K. Rowling. I own nothing, I make no money from this, it is purely for fanfiction purposes
There was a flurry of movement in the small kitchen of Shell Cottage as everyone reacted to Harry's announcement.
Everyone began to mobilize. Everyone except for Mrs. Weasley.
She stared daggers at Hermione, accusing her without saying a word, until Ron went over and grabbed his mothers shoulders and gave her a good hard shake, "Mum, snap put of it, we have to go. All your questions will be answered if we actually live through this!"
Mrs. Weasley moved but continued to look at Hermione no matter where she was. Bill and Remus were arguing about the best way into Hogwarts as they knew Snape had every entrance covered either with Death Eaters or Dementors.
"Stop arguing, we are going to Apparate straight into Hogsmede and head into the Hogs Head, Aberforth with know what to do!" Arthur Weasley interupted as the two Wizards argued between flying and trying to break in via the floo.
"But what about the Caterwauling charm placed on Hogsmede?" Bill countered his father.
"If we go now we can get there before curfew, but only if everyone moves," Mr. Weasley urged.
Within five minutes everyone was outside, including Hermione, who after a very quick and heated conversation with Harry and Ron, had agreed to be careful and not allow herself into harms way.
Although with the protective way she was feeling over the father of her baby and her desperation to get the war over with and the world safe before her baby came, she would have liked to see them stop her!
Mr. Weasley took the lead, gripping his wife's hand and turning on the spot. Bill and Fleur followed, with Ruby taking Malfoy's hand and apparating him away.
Slowly the other members of the Order began to disappear with loud cracks and after a murmured "Hurry" Kinglsey apparated and left Harry, Hermione and Ron alone.
"Hermione-" Harry began but she cut him off, "Harry I'm coming and don't try to stop me or I'll hex you to Hogwarts!"
Harry sighed and held out his hand for Hermione to take. Ron took her other hand and she turned on the spot, taking them to just outside the back door of the Hog's Head.
Aberforth Dumbledore was waiting for them and ushered them inside, "you just made it. Curfew is in one minute"
They quickly headed inside and found the rest of the Order of the Phoenix gathered in the bar area. They received nods from a few members they recognized and a cheeky grin each from Fred and George.
"So how do we get in?" Harry asked as soon as he was in the room.
"Get in! Are you mad boy. That is the last place you should be!" Aberforth yelled, making Hermione jump.
"Mr. Dumbledore, we can defeat him, we know how. We just need to get into the building," Harry calmly explained.
"Boy, your just like my foolish brother, always on a crusade. If that man gets hold of you he will kill you and he won't think twice about it."
"Mr. Dumbledore, I need to get into Hogwarts, if you know a way in then tell me. That is all I ask," Harry pleaded.
"No. I won't help you kill yourself. My brother may not have cared who got hurt, but I do. Always the hero. He never cared about anyone but himself and how famous he was," Aberforth growled.
"Your wrong! He cared about everyone. He died for the wizarding world and... oh never mind," Harry sighed.
"No go on boy. Finish praising the man that has basically sent you to your death," Aberforth pushed.
Harry turned and faced the elder wizard and finally gave away the secrets of what happened in the cave the night Dumbledore died, "Your brother suffered the worst kind of torture the night he died. He had to take a potion that sent him into a delirious fit. He was screaming for the pain to stop. And begging for the pain to be directed at him and not the others, he wanted to save you! So you damn well better to tell me what you know!"
Aberforth Dumbeldore grunted and turned to a large portrait above the fireplace next to the bar of his pub. "Go"
The group watched as the young girl in the portrait walked away, leaving her painting empty.
"Sir, is that your sister Ariana?" Hermione enquired as they waited.
"Yes, I'm glad she didn't live to see this," he sighed.
Hermione placed her hand protectively over her bump, would anyone of them live to see the end of this?
A shadow reappeared in the painting, but much larger than just the girl. Harry resisted the temptation to pull out his wand as the rest of the group stood as calmly as could be expected.
Just as Ariana came back properly into view the painting swung open and revealed Neville, bruised and battered with a healing cut above his left eye.
"About time you showed up," Neville quipped before laughing and rushing Harry, grabbing him up in a large man-hug. He did the same to Ron and just about stopped himself from crushing Hermione when he realised her condition.
"Merlin Ron, you really do pick your moments when it comes to girls mate," Neville said in surprise as he gently hugged Hermione.
"Err, not mine mate, and not the best time to go into it," Ron murmured to Neville with a quick glance at his mum, who was still staring daggers at Hermione.
"What?" Neville asked looking back and forward between the uncomfortable faces in the room.
"Oh for heaven sake, are you going into Hogwarts to fight and die or not?" grumbled Aberforth Dumbledore.
"Yes let's not waste time with this... situation," Mrs. Weasley took command, completely annoying Hermione and Harry. There baby was not a situation!
Neville nodded and climbed back into the whole, with Harry behind him. He in turn helped Hermione up with Ron giving her and boost and following behind her. The rest of the order filed in after them.
As they walked down the tunnel Neville explained that the tunnel had been built after all the known routes into Hogwarts had been cut off, and that he and many others were hiding in the Room of Requirement, "can't wait to get out there and fight, I own the bloody Carrow's a few hexes I can tell you."
"The Carrows? Who are the Carrows?" Hermione enquired.
"Brother and Sister, nastier than even your standard death eater. In charge of teaching the Dark Arts along with punishment. And they really enjoy doling out the punishment," Neville explained quickly.
Neville held his finger up to his lips to indicate the need for quiet then stepped ahead pushing open a door, "listen up everyone, got a surprise for you..."
He stepped aside and allowed Harry, Ron and Hermione to come into view.
Gasps, followed cheers and a loud round of applause filled the room when the occupants saw Harry standing in the doorway.
"Ok ok, pipe down everyone, Harry hasn't popped in for a visit you know, something needs to be done!" Neville yelled over the din.
"Come on then Harry, tell us what you want us to do," Seamus piped up from his position in front of the crowd, sporting a fat lip and purple bruises under his eyes and on his left cheek.
"No, you don't understand, I don't want any of you in danger. The order is here, we can take care of this," Harry replied shaking his head as the Order of the Phoenix began to pile through the tunnel and out of the door to stand behind the trio.
"Harry, take a look around you. Take a look at my face, and Neville's. Do you think we haven't been in danger all year long? Tell us what you want us to do," Seamus insisted.
"Hermione put her hand on Harry's shoulder and nodded when he turned to look at her, she knew just as well as he did that they would need every bit of help they could get if they were going to find the next Horcrux.
"Ok, fine. We're looking for something but we don't know exactly what it is. The best I can do is give you a vague idea. It will most probably be small, and we're almost certain it is something to do with Rowena Ravenclaw. It's not much to go on but it's all we've got. We know for sure it's here," Harry finished.
Remus stepped forward at that point as the crowd in front of them looked at Harry in confusion, clearly the description was just not enough for them.
"Does anyone in the room from Ravenclaw house have any thoughts? Anything that is associated with your house or its founder?" he asked.
The few Ravenclaws in the room shook their heads as the whole group turned to them. All except for Luna, "there's always Rowena Ravenclaw's Lost Diadem."
"Oh bloody hell," Ron muttered.
A Ravenclaw Hermione didn't recognize spoke up, "don't be ridiculous loony, the problem is in the title, the lost Diadem..."
"No wait, when was it lost?" Harry asked quickly, this was exactly the sort of thing Voldermort would have found and made a Horcrux from.
"Years ago Harry, before Molly and I were at Hogwarts," Arthur Weasley answered.
Harry turned to Ron and Hermione, "you know it and I know it. He found he Diadem and made the Horcrux. We need to find it and stab it, now!"
"Luna, do you have any idea how we could find it?" He asked as everyone else in the room gave him a look that clearly suggested they thought he had gone as crazy as Luna.
"I don't but I know someone who does," she replied with her usual dreamy although slightly bruised smile.
"Ron, Hermione, stay here. Explain the Horcruxes to everyone. We're going to need their help to find it, I'm going with Luna," Harry said quickly before following Luna and sneaking from the room with his invisibility cloak in his hand that Hermione had thrust at him from her bag.
Harry threw the cloak over himself as they left the room and dragged Luna under it with him, "I can' be seen Luna and considering we busted you out the Malfoy dungeons I doubt you should be either. Where are we going?"
Luna linked his arm in order to stay completely covered under the cloak and began to walk the corridors of Hogwarts.
It wasn't the same Hogwart's that Harry knew and loved so much. It was dark and cold. Most of the candles were burned out and not replaced. The walls had burn marks from hexes that had obviously missed their marks. Harry presumed this was due to the Carrow's way of disciplining students in the halls.
He and Luna continued to make their way through corridors and up staircases until they were close to Ravenclaw tower.
"She is always around here, I used to come and spend time with her very often, most of our peers think I'm crazy so I spend a lot of time alone. Especially with Ginny in hiding with her family and you away all year."
They stopped close to the last staircase that lead to the Ravenclaw common room and then turned around a corner and down an abandoned corridor.
"There she is, you should probably go alone though, she doesn't like too many people around her."
Harry nodded and made to move from under the cloak, "stay under the cloak, you need to be safe."
Harry stepped out and walked down the corridor. He stopped a few feet away from where she was floating and cleared his throat.
"Excuse me," he asked, interrupting her silence, "it's Helena isn't it? Helena Ravenclaw? I need your help."
So there we go, I'll do my best not to take too long with the next one, time for the reviews if you wish to leave me some... :)