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"Are you sure that you want this, Sirius?" Remus asked. Sirius pretended not to hear the concern in his friends voice.
"It's fine," Sirius said. "The Order of the Phoenix needs a headquarters." He threw a small leather pouch with a faded green snake imposed in the center against the wall and it bounced off and landed on a large pile. "Besides, mother and father will be rolling in their graves with all their so-called enemies running about the house." He blew the dust off of a snake skin covered book. "Besides, it's going to be Christmas in a week, and it will be nice to have people here."
Sirius didn't want to tell Remus that the real reason he had offered Grimmauld Place to Dumbledore for the Order headquarters was because he wanted to be kept in the loop. It had been over a month since he had been released from St. Mungos, and he had been virtually kept in the dark. Dumbledore had been giving him vague answers and telling him that he would learn more once he was better, but Sirius was better and Dumbledore was still holding out on him. He knew that the only way to ensure that he was kept in the loop would be to have members of the Order constantly reporting their findings and plans around him. Sirius also knew that Dumbledore was hiding something from him, and he was going to find out what it was.
"If you're sure," Remus acquiesced. Remus picked up a tattered old book. "We would be able to remove all of the dark objects quicker if Kreacher were to help us."
"I don't want that filthy creatures help," Sirius said.
"Sirius, you really should be nicer to him," Remus said. "It isn't his fault that he's gone mad. The poor creature had been locked in this old decrepit house by himself for more than a decade."
Sirius barked out a laugh. "If he thought this was bad, he should've tried Azkaban. I would've traded places with him in a heartbeat." He added under his breath, "Not that the smelly little bastard has a heart."
Sirius pretended not to see the pitying look that Remus was shooting him. He still had a hard time talking about his time in Azkaban. He had told Remus how lonely and cold it had been, but he couldn't bring himself to tell his best friend more than that. Remus would only worry if he knew that Sirius woke up every morning covered in sweat and screaming. Sirius didn't know how he had yet to lose his voice.
It had been bad enough that he had to tell Dumbledore, Remus, and Amelia why he had escaped from Azkaban in the first place. He had dealt with their looks of pity and horror as he told them that he came to the point that he couldn't take it anymore. The cold he felt from the time he woke up in the morning until he passed out each night from exhaustion. That the goop he was fed everyday to keep him alive began to taste like blood, and he had realized that it wasn't the food, but that he was clenching his jaw so tight that his teeth were pushing themselves into his gums. He couldn't stand the silence, only broken by screams of pain and agony. The final straw had been when the man in the cell next to him had died, and Sirius heard him take his final shuddering breath. That sound had bore into Sirius' brain and he could hear it when he closed his eyes. He knew he was going to die, but he hadn't wanted it to be in that place. If he was going to die, he was going to feel the sun on his face one last time.
Honestly, Sirius hadn't expected to survive his escape. He had been too weak, both mentally and physically. He had planned on escaping from the tower, feeling the sun on his skin, and jumping into the cold water, where he would try to swim to shore, but no doubt drown from exhaustion. Yet surprisingly, he had made it to shore. When he walked out of the water and down the beach he had come across a young boy who had looked so much like Remus, and suddenly he had realized that he had one thing left to live for. So he had found an abandoned house, some muggles had been gone for vacation, and he cleaned himself up, before heading off to Hogsmeade. He didn't know why Hogsmeade, he just felt drawn there. Maybe because some of his happiest memories had come from sneaking into the picturesque village. Telling them those painful memories was enough, he couldn't bare to tell even Remus much more than that.
Sirius pulled himself from his thoughts, and tossed aside an old chipped goblet and picked up a locket made of heavy gold with a serpentine S in glittering green stone inlay on the front. He turned it around in his hand and attempted to open the golden clasp, but it wouldn't budge.
"This stupid locket," Sirius muttered.
"What?" Remus asked, looking up from a dusty book.
"Nothing," Sirius said. He tossed the locket into the pile. "Kreacher!"
A pop sounded and a tiny creature appeared. Kreacher had a bulbous, snout-like nose, bloodshot eyes, many folds of skin, and white hair growing out of his bat-like ears. He wore a faded white smock that bore the Black family crest over the sole pocket.
"The filthy blood traitor called Kreacher," the house elf said. "Kreacher didn't want to come, oh no, but Kreacher must, oh yes, Kreacher must."
"Shut up!" Sirius snapped. "Make yourself useful and throw that junk out."
Kreacher's large eyes followed Sirius' line of sight and his eyes bugged out.
"Those items belong to my mistress!" Kreacher screeched. "They belong to my mistress, and they cannot be thrown out!"
"Your mistress is dead," Sirius said coldly. "Rotting in hell where she belongs."
"Sirius!" Remus yelled.
Kreacher made a hissing sound.
"Throw them away Kreacher," Sirius said. "Now."
Kreacher reluctantly gathered the dark items in his arms, muttering all the while about blood traitors and filth. The house elf paused as he reached to pick up the locket.
"Kreacher, I said now," Sirius said gruffly, his eyes narrowed.
"Filthy, blood traitor, embarrassment," Kreacher muttered as he shoved the locket into his pocket. "Blight on the proud Black family tree."
"Proud," Sirius scoffed. "More like the house of delusional sociopaths."
"How dare master speak ill of the Most Noble and Ancient House of Black," Kreacher said, several pointed teeth bared.
"I can say whatever I please," Sirius said, as he turned his back on the house elf.
Kreacher glared one last time at Sirius before exiting the room, muttering curses under his breath as he went.
"Can you at least try to be kind?" Remus asked in exasperation.
"Why should I bother?" Sirius asked. "Kreacher was rude to me my entire life." He looked pointedly at Remus. "And did you forget what he called you this morning?" Remus' eyes flashed.
"No, of course I didn't," Remus said. "But you need to be careful, Sirius. House elves have more power than you think."
"Yeah, yeah," Sirius muttered. "Let's just finish up with this room. The Weasley's are arriving in the morning after Molly picks the kids up from the train station."
Fred stepped out of the floo and his senses were immediately assaulted with the smell of something damp, dusty, and rotting. He looked around and if he hadn't known he had just entered the headquarters to the Order of the Phoenix he would've thought he had entered an old derelict building. Old-fashioned gas lamps shaped like snakes lined the walls, casting a faint glow over the peeling wall paper and threadbare carpet. A cobweb covered chandelier hung from the ceiling, and age-blackened portraits hung crooked on the walls. What appeared to be tiny snakes were etched into the frames, and Fred could've sworn they were moving slightly.
Fred absentmindedly took a step to the right when he heard the floo flare to life and he looked down when he felt his leg bump into something. He looked down and grimaced at an umbrella stand that appeared to have been made from a severed trolls leg. 'Draco would have a heart attack if he so much as saw pictures of this place.'
"Merlin's dirty underwear," George muttered.
"George!" Molly scolded. "Language."
"I don't blame you," a deep but raspy voice said. Fred looked up to see a tall and thin man walking down the main staircase. His face was gaunt, although Fred could tell that before Azkaban he had been a handsome man. His silk robes were three times too large, and his hair flowed down to his shoulders. "I never did like this place, even as a kid."
"Sirius," Molly said kindly. "It's good to see you."
"Hello, Molly," Sirius said.
"How are you feeling, dear?" Molly asked, as she pulled the man into a hug. Fred noticed Sirius flinch when his mother put her arms around him.
"As well as can be expected," Sirius said. His answer sounded rehearsed, as if he had been saying the same thing over and over.
"You look much too thin," Molly chided. "While I'm here we'll see about fattening you up." She tapped his cheek, and Sirius gave her a strained smile.
"Hello, Molly," Fred looked up in surprise at the voice. Remus walked down the staircase, and the Weasley matriarch smiled warmly.
"Remus!" Molly said. "So good to see you."
Fred and George exchanged glances. They knew that Remus was a member of the Order, but they hadn't expected him to be at Grimmauld Place for the winter holidays.
"Did you meet everyone, Sirius?" Remus asked.
"Oh, my," Molly said flustered. "How silly of me. You haven't met any of the children." Molly reached out. "These are my twins, Fred and George."
"Hello, I'm Fred," George said.
"And, I'm George," Fred said.
"Hello, Fred," Sirius said, as he reached his hand out to the real Fred.
Fred and George exchanged surprised looks.
"What?" Sirius asked amusedly. "You don't think I can see recognize pranksters when I see them? I would bet a fortune that the two of you normally introduce yourselves as the opposite brother."
"Fred!" Molly said, sounding scandalized. "George!"
"Don't worry Molly," Sirius said. "I'd do the same thing if I had a twin."
Fred and George exchanged a look while the rest of the introductions were made. Harrison would find it very interesting to know that Sirius Black seemed very sharp for a man who had only recently left Azkaban. Fred had expected to find the man barely forming coherent sentences, and here he was making jokes with Ginny about having six older brothers.
"Shall we adjourn to the kitchen?" Remus asked. "I can make us some tea, and the children cocoa."
"Cocoa sounds wonderful," Ginny said, her cheeks tinging pink.
"I'll see to it, Remus," Molly said. "Just show me where the kettle is."
Fred followed his twin into the kitchen and he had to contain a shudder. He came to the conclusion that he was spending too much time with his Slytherin friends — his standards had become too high. The room was gloomy, with the only light coming from a large fire at the far end of the room. Iron pots and pans hung from the ceiling, and even from the other side of the room Fred could see years of rust caked on them all. A long wooden table sat in the middle of the room, and a snake shaped candelabra sat in the center.
"More snakes," Ron muttered under his breath.
Fred and George shot his brother matching glares simultaneously.
"My parents had a thing for them," Sirius said. He picked up the candelabra and tossed it in the trash where it landed with a loud thunk. "Remus has been coming over every night after dinner to help me clean the place out, but as you can tell we've yet to finish."
"Why don't you get a house elf?" George asked. "It would save you loads of time."
Sirius' lips puckered as if he tasted something sour. "I have yet to have a good experience with a house elf."
"So, Sirius," Molly began as she poured hot water in several chipped mugs. "Have you thought about what you're going to do? You used to be an auror. Have you thought about going back?"
"No," Sirius said quickly. Everyone stared at him, and he quickly cleared his throat. "I just mean, I've only been home for a little over a month. I haven't given it much thought."
"There's nothing wrong with that," Molly said with a smile. "You need your rest." Molly waved her wand and the kettle flew back onto the stove. "Since we're here Sirius, and you do need your rest, the children and I can finish cleaning."
"What?" Ron asked incredulously.
Molly shot her youngest son a withering look. "Sirius is being gracious enough to allow us to stay in his home. The very least we can do is help make it look and feel more like a home."
"That's kind, Molly," Sirius said, "but you don't have too."
"Pish posh," Molly said. "The children and I will get started on it right away. That way it will be nice and clean by Christmas morning."
Fred wanted to chop his hands off, then he wouldn't have to clean anymore. They had been cleaning for more than four hours, and they had yet to finish cleaning the kitchen. Fred didn't know it was possible for a room to accumulate so much dust.
"I can't believe they have us working like house elves," George muttered.
"We really do spend too much time with the Slytherins," Fred shook his head. "But I agree. If mum wasn't breathing down our necks every five minutes we could at least use magic."
A loud bang sounded followed by a scream and Fred had to bite back the laugh that wanted to escape his throat. Ron was sitting on his butt, a large iron pot on his head, while dust rose around him like fog.
"You're supposed to clean the pot," Fred said slowly. "Not wear it."
"Honestly, Ron," George said seriously.
Ron pulled the pot off his head and glared at the twins. "It fell," he snapped.
"What is going on in here?" Molly asked, walking into the room, wand in hand. She looked at Ron sitting on the ground with a pot in his hand and put two and two together. "Oh, Ron. You'll be fine, dear. You all must be more careful."
Ron flushed as their mother left the room, tucking her wand into her apron.
"I can't believe this," Ron muttered.
"Always good for a laugh that one," Fred muttered.
"Yeah," George said absentmindedly.
"George?" Fred asked. "What did you find?" George's head was inside a cupboard.
"Remus said something about Sirius having a house elf, right?" George asked, and continued without waiting for a response. "Well, I think this is where he sleeps." He looked over Fred's shoulder to make sure their mother wasn't coming in. "Look at all this stuff."
Fred looked into the cupboard and was surprised that so much stuff could fit in such a tiny space. A silver goblet winked when the light hit it, a pretty woman in a black picture frame glared at him, and several old books were stacked in the corner. Something flashed in his eye and Fred caught sight of a long gold chain.
"This is nice," Fred said. He turned the heavy gold locket over in his hand and stared down at the serpentine S. He frowned. "Does that look familiar to you?"
"I think so," George said quietly. "I think I've seen it on something of Harrison's."
Fred tried to open the clasp but it wouldn't open. He handed it to George who failed to open it as well. Fred took the locket back, pulled his wand out discretely and tapped it twice. He had never seen a locket that wouldn't open.
Footsteps sounded. "Put it in your pocket," George said quickly.
Fred shoved the locket into his pocket as Molly walked through the door.
"Kingsley is here," Molly said. "He brought us all dinner."
Ron scrambled up and out of the room, followed by Ginny.
"We'll be there in a minute mum," Fred said.
Molly eyed the twins carefully before nodding and walking out the door.
Fred put his hand in his pocket and rested it on the locket. He didn't know why, but there was something about that locket that seemed off. He could feel something pulsing in it, almost as if it were alive. He shuddered.
George frowned. "Are you ok?"
"Yeah," Fred said. "Come on, if we aren't in there in a minute mum is going to send a search party."
Luna tossed and turned, her silvery blonde hair stuck to her sweat soaked face and neck.
"No," she whimpered. Her back arched off the bed.
*The darkness was broken up by flashes of light. Spells flew through the air like owls delivering the morning post. Screams of pain, so horrifying they made you want to claw your ears out echoed around the field. The scent of death hung in the air, and blood flowed like a river down a set of old rickety steps
A man, one who would've been handsome if not for the lines on his face and hollow eyes that jutted out, slashed his arm in a V shaped pattern. A sickly yellow spell flew through the air, and a woman, her face contorted in fury deflected it.
"I've waited twelve long years for this," the man yelled. Spell after spell flew from his wand, faster and more deadly than the ones before.
The woman sent spells just as fast, as her hair flew all around her like a halo.
"No!" A blood curling scream rang out and the man turned his head slightly to the side. The woman grinned and sent a curse of death his way. The man dodged just in time, the spell blasted a tree to bits. The man threw spells faster and faster, and finally he hit his mark. The woman stumbled back as a jet of purple crashed into her stomach.
The man smiled, as the woman grabbed her stomach with one hand and looked up in pure hatred and disbelief. The man's smile quickly vanished when spells came flying at him from two directions.
Suddenly, the scene changed. It was the same place, but now no one was there. Silence echoed louder than any scream. A petite blonde girl walked slowly, her eyes scanning her surroundings. It was peaceful and quiet. Too quite. Suddenly the ground at her feet exploded, she tried to move, but her limbs wouldn't listen to her brain. A pale arm, covered in dried blood burst through the ground, and latched onto her arm. The girl hissed in pain. The smell of burnt flesh filled her nose and wisps of white smoke rose from her skin.*
Luna's hands dug into her bedsheets, the cool silk felt hot on her skin, as if it was melting into her hands.
*Curses were sailing through the air, screams echoed from every direction and the snow was stained red with blood. Harrison was running, his breath coming out ragged and his eyes darting left and right. Blaise was next to him, his black hair more messy than usual. A look of confidence radiated on Blaise's face as he ducked a red stunner.
"Three Broomsticks?" Blaise asked as a loud explosion filled the air. Smoke could be seen rising up behind several buildings and the screams intensified.
"Yeah, we'll-" Harrison was cut off by a loud 'bang'. Harrison and Blaise were thrown backwards, and they slammed into a gray stone wall. A loud crack could be heard as the two boys slid to the ground. Blaise's head was resting on his shoulder and his wand was no longer in his hand. Harrison's head snapped up as he began coughing violently. Harrison scrambled onto his hands and knees as his coughing turned almost violent, blood poured from his mouth as he rolled onto his side. Harrison winced like he hadn't realized how much pain he was in, he wiped his mouth on his sleeve. Harrison's emerald eyes appeared to be out of focus, he closed them for a second before they opened. His eyes glowed Avada Kedavra green as he took in his surroundings. Shards of wood were surrounding him and the snow was tinged red, brown and yellow. Harrison froze when he saw Blaise before moving towards him, a hiss escaped his lips when he stood up. "Blaise, come on we need to go." Harrison knelt down towards Blaise, when he touched his shoulder Blaise's body slumped back. The color drained from Harrison's face. "No," Harrison's voice sounded desperate.
"Harrison! Harrison!" Harrison spun around and saw a terrified Hermione staring at him. Her red sweater was ripped in several places and tears were rolling down her cheeks. "He won't move, Theo won't move!" Hermione fell to her knees and buried her head in her hands. A choked sob escaped from her as her body trembled. "He told me to leave, his wand was broken and I couldn't find mine. I couldn't levitate him." Hermione's body shook harder. "Everyone was running and screaming, I couldn't see straight. I- I." Hermione started to hyperventilate. Harrison went even paler, he glanced at Blaise, pain flashing over his face before his expression hardened. Harrison looked murderous, his eyes glowed almost inhumanly as he briskly walked towards Hermione.
"Where is he?" Harrison asked urgently.
"He-he's by-" A loud gong like noise reverberated through the air, Harrison cast a protection shield as the sky was illuminated. A thick white smoke flew towards them, it shattered Harrison's shield sending them both flying backwards. Hermione landed on the ground in a heap, her neck twisted to the side. Harrison landed five feet away, blood trickling down the side of his face.*
"No!" Luna yelled, as her eyes flew open.
Luna sat up quickly, her breath coming out fast and ragged. Her entire body felt as if it was on fire. She was shaking from head to toe, and white dots swam in her vision. The bright light of her chandelier didn't help, and she cursed herself for once again falling asleep while reading with the light on. She raised her hands out in front of her, and could make out red swollen blotches. She tried to close her hands into fists, but she could barely close them, and pain shot from her hands up her arms.
"T-Twinky," Luna said faintly.
"What is mistress doing up at four in—" Twinky's eyes widened, in a look that at any other time Luna would've found comical.
"Get H-Harrison and T-Tom," Luna said.
Twinky left, and less than a minute later appeared with Harrison and Tom. Luna wasn't surprised to see that at such an early hour both Harrison and Tom were already awake and dressed.
"Luna," Harrison said in shock. Luna knew she must look horrible for Harrison to show worry and shock so blatantly.
"Twinky, fetch a pain relief potion and a burn salve," Tom ordered. Tom quickly sat on the edge of Luna's bed. "Give me your hands, Luna."
Harrison walked over to the other side of Luna while Tom gently looked over her hands.
"You had another vision," Tom stated.
"Yes," Luna said. She was regaining her voice. "But they weren't new ones. I've had them both before."
Tom waved his wand to cast what Luna assumed was a diagnostic spell, but she was in too much pain to focus on everything that he was doing. She could feel Harrison's hand resting on her knee. She wanted to thank him for the support, but Tom was putting something cold on her hand and she hissed. Her vision went out of focus before settling, and she noticed that Twinky was back and holding out a small gold jar.
"Luna, stay focused," Tom said. "You cannot allow the pain to overtake you. Tell me, what were these visions of?"
Luna tried not to cringe too much as Tom applied a salve to her burns. Unfortunately for her, she couldn't take the pain potion until her burns were healed, as the two would counter react one another. Luna told them of her visions, she told them of her first vision, the one she had told them before, the morning she had woken up with a handprint on her arm. Then she told them the second vision, the one she had had for the first time the morning of September first, while they had been on their way to Hogwarts. Both Tom and Harrison stayed silent while she talked. Although, Harrison's hand subconsciously tightened on her knee for a moment when she told them that her instincts had told her to keep the vision of Hogsmeade to herself. While she talked she noticed that Tom's eyes flashed several times, and she could've sworn she saw understanding for a brief second.
"Drink this in an hour," Tom said. His voice was void of all emotion. It was never a good sign when Tom's voice held no emotion.
Luna looked at the silver vial Tom placed on her nightstand. She then looked at Tom who was staring impassively back at her. She looked into red eyes, that stared back at her as if they were looking into her soul. She wanted to look away, but she knew that she shouldn't.
"As I do not possess the abilities of a seer, I am unaware of the feelings that come along with it," Tom said. His every word obviously chosen carefully. "I will forgive you holding back this time, but do not do so ever again, or there will be consequences." He emphasized the last word.
"I won't," Luna said quietly.
"Very well," Tom said. "Ensure that you do not." He stood up. "I will speak to Severus. Seers are rare, and I have never heard of one coming to from a vision and having injuries. I will, however, do research. This is the second time this has happened, and it would not do for it to happen to this severity at Hogwarts."
"Thank you," Luna said.
Tom nodded. "Harrison, I will be gone until lunch."
Harrison nodded. "Ok, father."
Tom apparated away, and Harrison stared at the spot where his father had just been.
"Harrison, are you alright?" Luna asked, as she tried to move without using her hands.
Luna saw Nani poke her head out from under Harrison's sleeve, her shimmering green scales glinting. Harrison rubbed her head absentmindedly.
"Your vision, the first one, the one you told us before," Harrison said. "I didn't realize it last time, and I don't think my father did either, because you left out the most important part."
Luna frowned. "I told you everything."
Harrison shook his head. "Last time you failed to tell us what the man had said, about him waiting twelve long years."
"So—" Luna's voice drifted off, and her eyes widened. "Sirius Black."
Harrison looked at Luna who was absentmindedly stirring a cinnamon stick in her tea. She had been quiet since she had awoken with her hand covered in burns the previous morning. Harrison wanted to help her, but there was nothing he could say. He couldn't tell her that everything would be ok, because he didn't know if everything would be.
He looked at his father. Tom hadn't spoken about what had happened to Luna yesterday, and he was acting as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Harrison knew that his father had come to the same realization he had, that Luna's vision had been about Sirius Black, but he didn't know if his father was planning on doing anything about it. He hated being a child, he wanted to do something to help with the war, but his father wouldn't let him do anything that didn't involve recruiting at Hogwarts or making his friends stay out of the line of fire. It was frustrating. Sometimes he wanted to just go out and do something, but he knew that would only bring about his father's ire.
Harrison was surprised when a package landed in front of him. He frowned, it wasn't Christmas yet, he shouldn't be receiving any presents. He cast a spell to check for any hexes or curses, which brought about his fathers attention.
"Who sent you a package?" Tom asked, as he opened that mornings edition of the Daily Prophet.
"I don't know," Harrison said, "but there's nothing wrong with it."
A small white envelope was glued to the top of the brown package, but there was no writing on it. Harrison ripped open the envelope with a cutting spell, and pulled out a bit of folded parchment. Harrison frowned as he read the letter.
"Harrison?" Tom asked.
Harrison looked up at his father. "It's from the twins." He began to read the letter out loud, "Harrison, news from the Order headquarters." Tom and Luna were now both giving Harrison their full attention. "Sirius Black is nothing like we thought he would be. For someone who spent so much time in Azkaban he's lively. We saw him using magic, and it's like he never stopped practicing. He's quick with the wit, and even pulled a prank on Professor Lupin. Yes, Professor Lupin is staying here for the holidays. That's not why we're writing though. Mum made us help clean and we stumbled across something that feels off. This will sound crazy, we know, but I swear this thing is alive. Anyways, there's a symbol on it we've seen before, on one of your notebooks George thinks. We've enclosed it in the package, we couldn't open it anyways. Can't wait to see you again, we're dying with Ron and Ginny around us all day. Fred and George."
Harrison put the letter aside and opened the box. He peered inside and froze when his eyes landed on the locket. He felt his pulse quicken and his throat go dry.
"Slytherin's balls," Harrison said quickly.
"Harrison," Tom said sharply. "You are aware of how I feel in regard to that sort of language."
"Father," Harrison shook his head. "How—" Harrison didn't like being at a loss for words, and it was something that rarely happened. But if he was looking at what he thought he was looking at, then his father was going to go ballistic. Harrison handed his father the box.
Tom looked inside the box, and the room went cold. The diamond goblet sitting in front of Harrison that had been sparkling one second earlier was now opaque. Harrison could see Luna out of the corner of his eye, staring at the box, her head tilted to the side.
"That is not possible," Tom said to himself. Harrison could see the moment realization hit his father. Tom's red eyes were glowing like two hot coals, and his face appeared to have been carved from marble. Tom quickly stood up, the package in his hand, his knuckles white.
"Speak of this to no one," Tom said sharply, "and ensure those Weasley twins do not mention it to anyone." Harrison knew that Fred and George would never see the light of day again if they ever told anyone.
"Of course not," Harrison said quickly.
Harrison was close to his father, and he knew that his father loved him, but even he knew when to stay away from the man. Harrison had the feeling that if anyone so much as breathed too loudly they would be killed on the spot. Tom apparated from the room, and the temperature instantly went back to normal.
"Luna—" Harrison began, but he noticed that she had a dazed look on her face. "Luna? What is it? Are you having another vision?"
"What?" Luna asked as she pulled herself together.
"Did you have another vision?" Harrison asked.
"No," Luna said. "I just…it's nothing."
Harrison stared intently at Luna. He could tell that she wanted to ask what was inside the box, but he knew that Luna knew better than to ask. Harrison turned away when Luna went back to stirring her cinnamon stick, and looked at the spot where his father was normally sat. He didn't know how anyone could've gotten to his father's horcrux locket. He knew where it had been hidden, and that journey would've been impossible for most. Dumbledore was the first person that came to his mind, but he knew that if Dumbledore had taken it, he would have destroyed it, he wouldn't have left it laying around Grimmauld Place. Although he tried not to give it too much thought. Even if someone knew about his horcrux', no one would be able to get to them all. Besides, there was nothing Harrison could do, and he was too young for his father to involve him, much to Harrison's annoyance. He also had the feeling his father knew exactly who had taken it, and why.
Tom stared down at the golden locket. He had been a fool when he had hidden that locket. He had been young, and thought that house elves were filthy creatures with no real power. If he had known then what he knew now, that house elves were more powerful than people thought, that they could get to places that others couldn't, he wouldn't have used Regulus' house elf. His locket would still be safely in a cave, not sitting on his desk.
Tom could hardly believe his luck. Had anyone at the Order headquarters but the Weasley twins found that locket, it would have been either turned into Dumbledore or thrown away like left over meatloaf. Fury rose in Tom at the thought. He needed to keep the locket close, until he could find it a permanent home. Until then, he needed to ensure that his other horcrux' were safe, and he needed to upgrade their protection.
A knock sounded. Tom slipped the locket into his pocket.
"Enter," Tom said.
Lucius walked in, his silver robes swooshing against the floor.
"My Lord," Lucius said. "The preparations for the World Cup have begun. Everything will be ready."
Tom smiled. It was the first good news he had heard in days. "Krum knows his role, yes?"
"He is awaiting the moment," Lucius said. His smile blindingly white.
"Excellent," Tom said. "Excellent."
"Are you alright, Harrison?" Susan asked, as she peered up at him through her red bangs. The tips of her long hair were wet from the swimming pool.
"I'm fine," Harrison said. His hands were settled on her waist, as they stood in the shallow end of the Bones' indoor swimming pool. Three of the walls in the swimming room were glass, and Harrison could see snow falling outside. It was odd standing in a pool of warm water when it was below freezing outside.
The last thing Harrison wanted to do was talk. He had promised Susan he would come over the day before New Years Eve, so they could spend time together, but now that he was at her house, he didn't want to be. Luna had finally began acting normal, but Harrison couldn't help but think about her visions. He knew that visions didn't always come to pass, as every action a person took changed the future, but Luna's normally came to pass. Harrison also couldn't stop thinking about his father's horcrux. Tom hadn't said anything about it since that morning, but he had been leaving the manor early every morning and not arriving until after dinner. The only day he had stayed home had been on Christmas. Tom didn't even stay at the Malfoy Christmas party for more than a few hours, and Harrison knew the only reason he had bothered to go was because he needed to make an appearance.
"Are you sure?" Susan asked.
"Positive," Harrison said.
Harrison leaned forward to kiss Susan, and his right hand moved up her stomach until his hand had slid under her black bikini top. Harrison gently massaged her small breast, until Susan pulled back. She looked sharply at Harrison. Susan's cheeks were red in embarrassment. Harrison didn't want to admit it to himself, but her looks of innocence weren't as cute as they used to be.
"Harrison," Susan said. "Not here, my aunt—"
"Is at work," Harrison finished her sentence. "And we both know that the Ministry of Magic never sleeps."
Harrison kissed Susan's neck, and he felt her shudder. Harrison kissed her collarbone, and Susan pulled back.
"Harrison," Susan said. "Not now."
Harrison looked at Susan and set his elbow on the edge of the swimming pool. He ran a hand through his hair, and Susan bit her lip nervously. Harrison didn't want to be one of those guys who broke up with a girl because she wasn't willing to put out. Harrison knew that at thirteen, most girls didn't want to have sex, or at least weren't willing too. But Susan's innocent girl act had been grating on his nerves for awhile. One minute he would kiss her and she would turn red and shy, and the next minute she would sit on his lap and kiss him first. The entire relationship was giving him whiplash. He was thirteen, he didn't want to spend his days worrying if his girlfriend would be too shy to kiss him. He had always known their relationship wouldn't make it into the history books, but he had thought it would end on a higher note than this. He knew what he had to do, and he thanked Slytherin that he had older friends who had given him advice when he had begun dating Susan.
"Susan," Harrison took her hand. "This isn't because of today, I've been thinking about this for awhile. You and I aren't going to work out." Tears sprung into Susan's eyes, and her lips parted in shock. "We are two different people."
Susan tugged her hand away, and wrapped her arms around herself.
"I didn't want to hurt you, Susan," Harrison said.
Susan looked imploringly into Harrison's face. When Harrison showed no sign of relenting she pushed herself out of the pool, grabbed a yellow towel, and ran into Bones manor.
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