When They Find a Horcrux
None of these characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter belong to me; I’m just using them to hopefully write an entertaining story.Author’s Note:
Wow, I can’t believe it’s been over two weeks! Once again, things have been pretty hectic, but I’ve tried to fit in some writing where I can and I tried to cut down on the length for this chapter, the word counts were getting a bit unrealistic for me to maintain but still be able to post regularly. (Not that it ended up being much shorter in the end, haha!)
*****Chapter Fifteen – When They Find a Horcrux
“Whoa,” Dawn exclaimed, perhaps a little too loudly for the middle of the night, so she paused briefly and then lowered her voice. “So now we’re sharing dreams?”
Harry looked thoughtful for a moment. “Well, after Voldemort attacked me, he formed some sort of connection with me, and so sometimes I’ve had dreams or sort of felt what he’s feeling at times, especially as Voldemort has gotten stronger again... hmm, maybe the prophecy has something to do with you sharing the dream as well.”
Dawn had felt a strong unease from the moment she woke from the disturbing dream, and really needed to voice her fears. “Okay, but he knows we’re here now... what do we do now?!”
“I think we need go somewhere else, probably sooner rather than later, before he can organise any sort of attack or interception if we don’t get away soon enough,” Harry said honestly, but also knew that the Order was still working on a ‘safe house’ option.
She felt fear run through her, as she played out possible scenarios in her head. Although, the one thing that struck her again as the words left Harry’s mouth, was that feeling from earlier telling her that her business here at Hogwarts was unfinished, and so she quickly shook her head in response.
“I don’t know... I totally agree with you, Harry, but I still have that feeling - there’s something really important here,” she responded truthfully.
Harry looked unconvinced. “Is this the same one from the meeting earlier?”
“Yeah,” she replied with a nod. “Seriously, I...” she glanced over and saw a gold chain hanging out of the pocket in Harry’s dressing down and was immediately drawn to it.
Harry had frowned, watching her as she leaned over and reached for the necklace peeking out of his pocket, she was suddenly completely captivated by the object in front of her that she knew nothing about, as she held a golden locket in her hand.
“What’s this?” she asked, holding it by the chain and dangling it out in front of her face.
“Oh, that’s Salazar Slytherin’s locket, it’s one of the horcruxes I told you about,” Harry explained. “It’s the only one Ron, Hermione and I managed to find from the ones we still had to find. When I woke up from the dream before, I was just looking at it thinking about everything...”
She used her free hand to clasp the actual locket part in her hand to study it further, she was about to open her mouth to ask Harry something when that strange, needle-like pain returned to her abdomen. She hunched over in distress, she managed a loud, cry of pain.
“Dawn!” Harry cried out with concern, moving towards her and reaching out for the locket.
However, she immediately dropped the locket in a reflex action, sending it tumbling across the Common Room floor and then suddenly pain was gone as fast as it had arrived, like the feeling of when you accidentally touch something that is extremely hot, although luckily there was no lingering pain or stinging afterwards for Dawn. Meanwhile, Harry had her by each shoulder looking uncertain of what to do; once the pain had disappeared, she stood tall again and met Harry’s eyes.
“Seriously, Dawn - that’s the second time that’s happened!” he pointed out anxiously. “You should go see Madam Pomfrey.”
Dawn shook her head. “No,” she replied, she somehow knew that this wasn’t anything bad but just the baby trying to tell her something.
Harry looked confounded. “What? But if there’s something wrong...” he trailed off, only then just noticing that he still hadn’t released his grip of Dawn and instantly dropped his arms back to his side and awkwardly cleared his throat.
“Harry, I appreciate your concern,” she began, knowing that he probably thought she was crazy at this point in time. “If I thought there was something wrong, I would go to the Hospital Wing, but... but I don’t think there is, I was fine when I was holding it by then chain but then got the pain when I touched the locket part – I think it’s a sign or something. As you said, it was one of Voldemort’s horcruxes.”
“What about the same thing earlier?” Harry asked, still unconvinced.
Suddenly, all the pieces fell into place for Dawn – the baby was trying to tell her something! The last time she’d experience that same pain had been back in the Room of Requirement with Harry - there was also their conversation about the horcruxes they’d both had back in that room. ‘Hermione suggested there could be one here at Hogwarts’
, his words replayed back in her head.
“I know where another one of those horcrux-thingys is!” she suddenly exclaimed quite loudly, losing her vocal volume control in her excitement.
“Shh,” Harry hushed, earning an apology from Dawn; he glanced briefly up at the staircase and then turned back to her with a flabbergasted expression. “How do you know-“
“The Room of Requirement – we were in there when I felt that strange pain for the first time, remember? The baby knew it was in there and was trying to tell me!” she explained confidently; realising how insane she would sound if anyone else was listening to her, even she was still disbelieving that her baby could know such a thing from inside the womb.
Although he looked confused at first, staring blankly at a random spot of carpet, Dawn then watched as something registered on Harry’s face and he looked back at her animatedly.
“You know, you may be right! Last year, I had to hide a potions book that had some horrible spells written in it. I ended up in the corridor outside the Room of Requirement and the room ended up transforming into this enormous storage room, there were thousands of items people had hidden in there over the years... it’s extremely possible that Voldemort could have hidden a horcrux in there while he was at the school,” he explained, to which Dawn stood up, so he looked at her questioningly. “What are you doing?”
“What are we waiting for? Let’s go now!”
“Where are you going?” a sudden third, male voice appeared from over on the staircase.
Dawn and Harry snapped their heads around in alarm, but were relieved to see that it was only Ron standing over there, stifling a yawn. Harry had then looked back towards Dawn.
“Nowhere,” he replied, as she returned his stare. “It can wait until morning.”
Dawn was immediately irked by this. “Don’t be a hypocrite, Harry. You said yourself that the sooner we leave Hogwarts the better, and we can’t leave until we find this horcrux.”
Ron had approached the pair, his confusion growing. “Wait a minute, what’s this about the horcrux and leaving Hogwarts?”
Dawn had crossed her arms in annoyance, silently looking towards Harry to do the explaining to his friend.
Harry sighed loudly. “Well, what happened was,” he paused momentarily. “I had a dream, now Voldemort knows everything about the prophecy and Dawn, and we also think that a horcrux is in the Room of Requirement.”
Ron and Dawn both looked at Harry with surprise, albeit for different reasons – Dawn was wondering why he’d lied, not mentioning that they had both shared the dream and also her involvement in figuring out where the horcrux was. Why?
she wondered, she knew that Harry told his two best friends everything.
“Well, what are we waiting for?” Ron responded. “Harry, this is what we’ve spent months in that ruddy tent trying to track down - if there’s a horcrux here in the castle, we should find it and destroy it straight away! We don’t want to risk it getting into someone else’s hands, especially if Voldemort figures out we are destroying them.”
Dawn nodded in support of the redhead. “I can’t go back to bed knowing that there’s part of this evil creep’s soul here in this castle, especially when he wants to kill me and the baby.”
“Alright... let’s do it then,” Harry was easily persuaded, he then looked up in the direction of the dorms. “At least we’re all technically not students, so we’re free to roam in the middle of the night, but we should probably wake Hermione.”
Both boys turned to look at Dawn, who was wondering why their attention had suddenly turned towards her, so she stared at them blankly. “What?” she asked, looking between them.
“We can’t go up there,” Ron explained.
“Oh,” she replied in one drawn out syllable, she just remembered what someone had mentioned to her once about the staircase leading to the girl’s dorms. “Yep, got ya,” she said, making her way over to the staircase. “The staircase doesn’t let you guys up there - to stop... well, this from happening,” she finished, gesturing to herself with a small giggle.
Hermione had been surprised when Dawn gently shook her awake, carefully avoiding waking up Lavender and Parvati in the process, especially since it was the middle of the night and Dawn was supposed to be down in the guest rooms with Buffy. Dawn had whispered for her to follow her downstairs, telling her to rug up and put some sort of footwear on and then that she would explain everything else when they were down in the Common Room.
They quickly gave her a run-down on what was happening and now the four of them were walking the dark corridors of Hogwarts towards the Room of Requirement. Hermione had agreed that since they were all awake now it made sense to see if they had any luck finding the next horcrux, not knowing how long it could take them to find it, considering how large Harry had described the room when he disposed of the Half-Blood Prince’s book. Dawn noticed that Harry had still not made any mention of the fact that they possibly had a very helpful tool in finding the hidden horcrux – the baby. As they walked along, they all tried to hypothesise what the object could be.
“It could have something to do with Hogwarts or its founders, definitely something of significance – Voldemort wouldn’t just pick any random object,” Hermione thought out loud, Dawn just nodded and went with it, really having no idea about these horcruxes or what Voldemort might have used. “We already know he used his grandfather’s ring, his own diary and Slytherin’s locket – could he have used something from the other houses?”
Ron scoffed. “I don’t know... well, he wouldn’t have used anything of Gryffindor’s, that’s for sure.”
The two of them continued to be the main contributors to the conversation, while Dawn and Harry quietly walked along until Dawn motioned for Harry to drop back from the other two so she could have a word with him.
“Why didn’t tell them that I had to dream too? Or that I... we
figured out where the horcrux was?” she said in a low voice, with a quick gesture to her abdomen.
Harry looked towards the other two to make sure they were still involved in their conversation, before turning back towards Dawn. “I thought that until we know more about what the baby is capable of, it’s probably better if we keep it to ourselves.”
Although she could see where he was coming from, Dawn didn’t really agree, and was finding herself getting annoyed again at his lack of consultation with her. “Don’t you think that I should have a say in that too? ‘Coz I’ve over-loaded on the lies and secrets lately - I don’t think I can keep doing that!”
“I-“ Harry was about to reply, when Hermione and Ron had stopped in the corridor outside, where the Room of Requirement was hidden, and had turned to look at Dawn and Harry.
Hermione had studied them both for a moment and then turned to Harry. “Harry, you’ve summoned that room before; I think you should be the one to try again.”
He simply nodded and Dawn watched as he began the same pacing on the spot he’d done less than twenty-four hours ago, and within moments the doors appeared on the wall in front of them. He walked over and opened the door and peered his head inside the door, just enough to see if he’d been able to summon the correct room.
“It worked!” Harry said with relief and excitement, as he looked back towards the other three.
Moments later they all stood inside the door, staring at what lay ahead of them in wonder. Dawn was particularly overwhelmed, not really imagining that the Room of Requirement could become something so large and church-like, and piled up with so many random objects that it almost reminded her of the skyline of Los Angeles. Knowing the other three would have a better idea of what to do; she turned to them to ask them where to start, although hoping that the baby would make this search a hell of a lot easier.
“So,” she began, drawing the word out for several seconds.
Hermione was about to speak up but Harry quickly cut her off at the pass. “I think we should split up, maybe not on our own in case something falls or we get lost – Ron you go with Hermione, and I’ll stay with Dawn, if that’s alright?”
Ron and Hermione both seemed satisfied with this and nodded in response, although Dawn didn’t miss observing Hermione give both her and Harry a momentary look that she couldn’t quite read, so she shrugged it off quickly. They then agreed to take different halves of the extremely vast room, also deciding that because of the late hour, they weren’t doing a thorough search, more of a walk-through around the massive piles of things, and then hopefully get a good idea if they were barking up the wrong tree or even better, find the horcrux.
Harry and Dawn took the right-hand side of the room and it didn’t take long before the other two had disappeared from sight, their voices becoming harder and harder to hear. Harry didn’t hesitate in turning towards Dawn.
“Are you feeling anything at the moment?” he inquired, as they walked past a large, wooden table that was stacked high with bits and pieces.
There was no sign of that pain she had felt the last time she was in this room, and so she shook her head as she looked at curiously at a very old, bloodied axe that was randomly leaning against the table, and it immediately reminded her both of Sunnydale and Buffy. She briefly wondered what creature or person’s blood it was, but then got easily distracted by the many other haphazardly stored items as they continued on in silence.
“So,” Dawn began, wanting to fill the silence. “You just assumed that I wanted to be paired up with you, maybe I wanted to go with Ron or Hermione instead...” she saw out of the corner of her eye that he was taken aback by this, so she gave a small laugh. “Only kidding, by the way.”
Harry still seemed a little bothered, although she could tell there was something else playing on his mind. “Listen, Dawn. I’m sorry if I upset you earlier when I didn’t consult you... twice.”
“Don’t worry about,” she waved it off with her right hand, although she was extremely annoyed at the time, she was already starting to forget about it as they walked around the labyrinth of things. “But I do get a little crabby sometimes when it comes to being not included in things. Now that you’ve got to meet Buffy properly, I’m sure you can see where I’m coming from... although she has been a lot worse since mom died.”
“I promise I won’t do it again,” he vowed genuinely. “I guess it is the fact that... that I have no idea what I’m doing, but feel like I have to be strong in this and I obviously want to do what is best for you as well.”
Dawn smiled at him, feeling a warmth spreading from her chest to throughout her body. “You’re not the only one, Harry... and you’re doing really well so far.”
He smiled back at her and they continued to silently wander amongst the sea of both magical and non-magical objects. In the sudden silence, she could almost make out the voices of Ron and Hermione across the room, obviously both converging on the same spot and they would eventually run into each other again.
“Listen, I don’t think this is gonna work as well as well thought it would,” she began to doubt herself, with no feelings or signs from the baby so far and they had already walked around a decent portion of the room. “I guess this baby isn’t as well trained as we hoped, but we should cut it some slack-“
“Dawn – what...” Harry was quick to jump in by her the sudden cut off of her sentence, although he trailed off as he followed Dawn’s intense eye-line to a particular cupboard in front them. “Wait a minute; I think I’ve seen that cupboard before when I hid something in it last year.”
Dawn stare wasn’t drawn to what was in the old, blistered cupboard, but rather what was resting on top of the cupboard, and before she knew it, her legs were moving and she was briskly walking towards it. Harry had quickly caught her up and made sure he beat her to it, so that he was the one of reach up above his head to pull down the statue head he had placed there almost a year ago. Dawn sighed, realising now that her pregnancy was out in the open, everyone would probably be treating her like even more of an invalid than usual, although she was quite capable herself.
She noticed that Harry had a peculiar expression as he looked down at the statue in his hands. “What’s up?” she asked with a frown.
He gave a small chuckle. “You know what’s funny?” Dawn shook her head, clueless, and shrugged in response. “I put this up there when I was here last. If this is what we’ve been looking for...,” he looked down to read an inscription on the tiara that was perched on the statue’s head. ”‘Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure’ - this must be Ravenclaw’s! This would certainly fit in with Hermione’s theory, it could be a horcrux.”
“Only one way to find out,” Dawn interjected, quickly grabbing the tiara before Harry could protest and she could think twice about it.
She vaguely heard Harry move quickly to put down the statue of the witch’s head and could feel his presence right there beside her, but she was too preoccupied, when she felt an intense pain cripple her, triggered by holding this tiara in her hand. She cried out and so he rushed to her aid by snatching it out of her grasp and placing it down on a nearby table. She felt immediate relief, although not completely; it took much longer this time to recover as the pain was much stronger than what she had felt previously.
“Bloody hell! Are you okay?” Harry asked in a panic, and she could see an infuriated expression creeping on his features, as she took in some deep breaths with her hand resting on her stomach. “You can’t keep doing this, Dawn! This was a bloody stupid idea!”
Right away, she knew he was right and nodded, as tears prickled in her eyes from the momentary pain. “Yeah, but - hey, at least we’ve found another horcrux,” she replied with a fake cheeriness, as she finally recovered and felt almost like she was back to normal.
Harry was still slightly red in the face and looked uneasy. “It shouldn’t have to be at yours or the baby’s risk though...” he sighed. “But thanks, who knows how long it would’ve taken to find it without you.”
Dawn did feel a little guilty; she probably didn’t think it all over as well as she should have. She looked over sheepishly at Harry and then, as if it seemed like the most natural thing to do in the world, both teens moved into a lingering hug. As they stood there, she noticed that she could still feel her heart trying to return to normal from after the unsettling events. They just stood there for several moments, not uttering a single word, and in the silence Dawn soon realised how at home she felt as she rested her cheek comfortably on his shoulder, although this feeling also unnerved her. They eventually pulled away from each other, however only halfway out of the embrace, so now Dawn soon found herself standing face-to-face with him, only inches apart. Never breaking contact with his intense, green eyes, which she thought were the most beautiful colour she’d ever seen, Dawn felt herself being drawn in like a magnetic pull, Harry was also closing what little distance there was between them. Their noses lightly brushed each other as their lips just about to come together as one and Dawn closed her eyes-
“Harry? Dawn?” Ron’s nearby voice reached their ears, breaking the moment and the two immediately jumped away from each other, looking around with embarrassment. “We thought we heard a-“ his voice cut off when he appeared around the corner and saw the two of them standing there, looking at anything but each other.
Hermione quickly appeared beside him with a concerned face. “Is everything alright? We heard someone yell out from almost all the way across the room!”
“Yep, it’s all good,” Dawn answered swiftly, wanting a quick distraction so she pointed over at the old tiara. “We found the horcrux.”
Meanwhile, she could feel Harry’s eyes shift in her direction and because she was still reeling from the previous few moments, she had to keep telling herself not to look back his way; otherwise she’d just get more and more confused. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see his shoulders drop and he finally looked away again, she felt a slight pang of guilt.
“But there are millions of things in here! I didn’t expect that we would find anything... how did you two manage to find it?” Hermione said with a shocked tone as she swiftly walked over to the tiara. “Oh my stars – this is Rowena Ravenclaw’s lost diadem! I’ve read about this.”
Ron had followed behind and looked towards Dawn and Harry. “How do you know this is one of the horcruxes?”
Harry finally spoke up for the first time since Ron and Hermione had interrupted them, Dawn noticed there was a slight distance in his voice. “I recognised it was Ravenclaw’s and was working on your theory, Hermione.”
“You just said it - that was a theory,
Harry,” Hermione frowned. “I don’t understand why you both sound so sure on this, how do we know?”
Dawn could see from next to her that Harry was about to open his mouth to respond, but she stopped him with a brief hand on his arm. “As I was saying earlier, I’m done with any more lies,” she then turned towards the other two. “We knew that the horcrux was here and we know that’s the horcrux because... well, the baby told us.”
“What?!” both Ron and Hermione simultaneously exclaimed, flabbergasted.
Hermione was temporarily rendered speechless, so Ron was first to jump into the questioning. “How can the baby tell you? It’s not as if it can talk,” he inquired, although he had a valid point the way he said it with such absurdity, made Dawn roll her eyes and smile audaciously.Boy, were they in for a shock then,
she thought to herself.
Ron and Hermione were quite disbelieving at first, as Harry and Dawn explaining the unusual happenings surrounding the baby, but when reminded of the prophecy, they began to believe that Harry and Dawn weren’t just messing around with them. After the explanations had come to an end, they all decided that they should all go back to bed straight away.
Once they were out in the corridor, and had headed towards the staircase that would take Dawn down towards the guest rooms, Harry, who had been carrying the tiara, handed the horcrux to Ron and had volunteered to accompany Dawn downstairs, extremely keen to talk about what had happened back in the Room of Requirement. He could tell that Dawn trying to avoid him, especially when she vehemently refused his offer, stating that “The portrait hole is already on this floor, it doesn’t make sense to go all the way down to the guest rooms”. Harry would have normally argued about this and refused to accept ‘no’ for an answer, but at this point he was just too exhausted to press the issue, and so he said a defeated ‘goodnight’ to Dawn and watched her leave.
As the three of them continued on to the Gryffindor Tower, Harry was lost in his thoughts as the other two tiredly rattled on, disagreeing about something, as usual. Why is she avoiding me? She wouldn’t even look me in the eye,
he pondered despondently. Maybe she was embarrassed about what almost happened before Ron and Hermione interrupted.
True, they were already both in an extremely complicated situation, and were perhaps about to make it even more complicated, but somehow it was all he could think about, and to him, it seemed worth the risk – he’d never met anyone like Dawn before. He came to the conclusion that she probably wasn’t feeling the same way, and now he probably just went and scared her away.
“It seems such as shame to have to destroy something of Rowena Ravenclaw’s... it’s kind of pretty too,” Hermione’s voice suddenly cut into Harry’s thoughts, and he looked up from the ground ahead to see that she was talking to him. “Do you want to do the honours, Harry?”
Harry sighed. “I really don’t care,” he said in a somewhat short voice.
“Everything alright there, Harry?” Ron asked as they finally reached the Fat Lady and entered through to the Common Room. “You’ve been pretty quiet since the Room of Requirement... thought it looked like we interrupted something back there.”
Although he appreciated that his sudden drop in mood hadn’t gone unnoticed, he’d missed out on so much sleep recently that he really didn’t want to go into everything at this point in time, especially since it was almost four o’clock in the morning. “Nothing
happened, I’m just exhausted,” he replied grumpily, making a bee-line for the dormitories, he briefly stopped and looked back at them. “Hermione, you still have the sword in that bag of yours – feel free to destroy that thing as soon as you can,” he then continued up the stairs.
He could vaguely hear the fretful voices of his two friends as he wound up the staircase, and knew that he would regret snapping at them in the morning. For now, all he could do is dive into bed and hope that sleep would find him much easier than it recently had, although basically as soon as his head hit the pillow, he was suddenly overwhelmed by a strong feeling of dread... something was wrong. Dawn,
he immediately registered and hurriedly pushed back the covers again.
He threw back on his dressing gown and quickly grabbed his wand, which was resting on his bedside table, before he rushed out of the dormitory. Going down the stairs back towards the Common Room, he almost collided with Ron, who was only just heading back up to bed.
“Blimey! Where’s the fire?” the redhead asked in rather loud whisper, trying not to let his voice carry back up to the dorms but failing miserably.
Harry barely slowed his decent of the staircase. “I’ll explain later – I’ll be back soon, I hope,” he said hurriedly without turning around and faintly heard Ron call out if he needed help at all, but he had already left his friend behind, rushing across the Common Room and out into the corridor.
He promptly made his way down the staircase to a couple of floors below, where he knew the guest rooms were located and where his instinct was telling him to go. He was quickly weaving through the corridors, when he rounded a corner to see two dark figures in the corridor ahead, one was backed up against the corridor wall and straight away he somehow knew it was Dawn, meanwhile the other taller figure stood over her in an extremely threatening manner.
“Too bad Potter isn’t here to save you now,” Harry recognised the echoing voice of Theodore Nott that carried down the corridor
Without hesitation, he drew his wand and approached the pair with his wand at the ready, preparing to hex the Slytherin. However, Nott being in such close proximity to Dawn made Harry hesitate; he certainly didn’t want to run the risk of accidentally hitting Dawn with a spell, especially in her stomach region. Unexpectedly, as he approached, he watched as Dawn brought her knee up into Nott’s groin – and with a lot of force!
Nott jumped back and doubled over in pain, falling to the ground. “You... b-bloody... bitch!” he cried out in between groans of pain.
Dawn had moved away from Nott, her hands on her hips. “I grew up in Sunnydale, California! I can save myself, thank you very much... you fucking bastard!”
Even with the seriousness of the situation, Harry couldn’t help but let a small smirk appear on his face at Dawn’s antics, seeing that she could definitely hold her own. He accredited a lot of that to having Buffy as a sister, although he was starting to realise that was also part of who she was, and he really admired her for her strength and conviction.
“Dawn!” he called out with worry, finally reaching the scene in front of him, and stopping right behind her.
She jumped around in surprise at the sound of his voice, obviously on edge, as if she was expecting another attack from someone. Harry saw her visibly relax when she caught a glimpse of him standing there behind her.
“Are you alright? Nott didn’t do anything, did he?” Harry questioned frantically, looking her up and down to make sure she wasn’t harmed in any way. “What happened?”
Dawn shook her head. “He came out of nowhere and was sprouting on about how I shouldn’t be walking the corridors alone at night...” Harry saw her shiver and thought he caught a glimpse of fear, although she quickly hid it. “Then this asshole here started saying how pleased ‘The Dark Lord’ would be if he showed up with me, saying that I probably wouldn’t last ‘til daylight.”
Harry had kept one eye on Nott while he listened to Dawn; the Slytherin was starting to recover and was completely livid, although Harry’s anger easily matched his. Harry moved so that he stood half in front of Dawn, as Nott stumbled back to his feet and raised his wand.
“Ah, so Potter has come to save the day... save the whore he knocked up.”
Harry gripped his wand so tightly that his knuckles were beginning to turn white, his eyes narrowed to slits with fury, and he felt like he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from giving Nott a one-way ticket to the Hospital Wing, and that scared him. Dawn had stepped in close to his side and he opened his mouth to throw a jinx in Nott’s direction, but before he could he was cut off by the feeling of a wand poking into the back of his neck.
Nott smiled smugly. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”