Chapter 29 : Unordinary
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“Whose there?” Crusantheus called as the door clicked shut softly.
The foursome made their way down the stairs, trying not to laugh at the doorknocker, which was now craning to look down the spiral steps.
“I won’t be fooled!” The rowdy door piece called as the gargoyle sealed the stairs behind them.
“It looks like things are going well Aravatu.” Dumbledore said after the Gryffindor’s had left the room. The Professor flew down from the bookshelf he was perched on and transformed back into his human form.
“Yes. I’ve been worried that my having to leave every day to come teach would affect their progress. I’m glad to see they haven’t been straying from their responsibilities, even when they aren’t being watched.”
“And you’re brother?”
“He leaves them be. Isn’t much used to having people around. He’ll be happy when he can come out of hiding.”
“Well I think they’ll be able to make it back to the house safely tonight. Why don’t you get some rest?” Dumbledore suggested, knowing the man before him would still go after the students to ensure their safe return.
“Perhaps I’ll check on them quickly, there will be time for rest when Voldemort is killed.” Aravatu said with dark eyes. “Goodnight sir.” He added with a bow of the head.
“Goodnight Aravatu. Take care.” A few moments after the door clicked shut Dumbledore had disappeared from his portrait.
“So, what’s that?” Ron was the first to speak after they had finally made their way back to Renato’s secret home.
“Rowena Ravenclaw’s tiara?” Hermione deduced from what she heard Dumbledore say. “And a Horcrux?”
“I’m not sure…” Alexia replied.
“What do you mean?” Hermione asked.
“I don’t feel anything.” She pressed her hands harder against the tiara she had been holding since she picked it up in McGongall’s office.
Harry crossed the room and slowly reached his hand out towards the object.
Instantly he felt the same heat he had when he touched the goblet.
Quickly he drew back his hand, small red marks marked his fingers.
“I take it you do.” Alexia sighed.
“What does that mean?” Ron asked.
Suddenly Alexia jumped and ran down the hallway.
“Alexia!” Harry called.
She hurriedly knocked on Renato’s bedroom door.
“Come in.” Renato called.
“Mr. Baudelaire.” Alexia said as she opened the door, the trio now behind her.
“Could you do us a favor… could you touch this tiara?” Alexia asked, feeling foolish.
“Is this…” Renato began to ask.
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out.” Hermione chimed in having picked up on Alexia’s idea.
“What’s this going to help?” Ron whispered to Harry.
Renato reached out for the tiara and though a struggle could be seen in his eyes he clamped his hands around the object.
“I don’t…” He said softly, after his assumption was stumped by the lack of feeling in his hands.
“Then that settles it.” Hermione said.
Ron opened his mouth to ask Hermione what she meant, but she cut him off.
“Harry, you said you feel it just like the goblet, but Mr. Baudelaire, who has already destroyed a Horcrux doesn’t feel anything.”
Ron opened his mouth again so Hermione held her hand up and continued.
“Alexia can’t feel anything either, which must have to do with the goblet.”
“Which would also explain why Dumbledore had this tiara in his office all along.” Alexia added. “Assuming he learned about it after he destroyed the ring he wasn’t able to destroy it, meaning he had to leave it for someone else. But we all know Dumbledore would never want to burden someone with that task.”
“Wait a minute, how come I can feel the Horcrux when I destroyed the diary?”
“Perhaps because you used the basilik tooth, and maybe because that wasn’t an ordinary Horcrux.” Alexia suggested.
“Like Horcruxes are all that ordinary.” Ron said.
“Like falling into a fictional story is ordinary.” Alexia laughed.
“What?” Renato asked.
“Nothing.” The four Gryffindors replied simultaneously.
“Ron, Hermi - ” Harry had entered his and Ron’s room to find the couple in a full on snog session.
Harry tried his best to rid his brain of the image, but Hermione’s shirtless form underneath Ron’s was already burned into his eyes.
“Sorry!” He called as he swiftly left the room and shut the door.
He never would have suspected it, but as he thought about it (against his will) he realized it wasn't so shocking. Not knowing what was to come, this may be the only chance to two have at love.
“What’s wrong?” Alexia asked as Harry returned to the kitchen where they had been talking about moving on with the Horcrux.
“Nothing. Just caught them at a bad time.” Harry replied as the red in his cheeks died down.
“How bad of a time?” Alexia asked.
“Sorry about that, mate.” Ron said as he and Hermione entered the kitchen looking only slightly disheveled.
Hermione was pink in the cheeks and though Ron’s ears were bright red the smile on his face informed all he wasn’t ashamed of what he had been doing.
“We weren’t doing anything really…” Hermione tried to convince.
Harry’s blush had returned to his cheeks and Alexia noticed him trying his best not to look at Hermione.
“So what’s up?” Ron asked nonchalantly.
“We were just talking about the tiara.” Alexia answered when Harry didn’t speak.
“Oh right, so it has to be me, Hermione, or Harry I take it.”
“I suppose so, since I can’t be of any help…” Alexia replied, only Harry picking up on the bitterness of her tone.
“I’ll do it.” Hermione said.
“Hermione, I” Ron began to protest.
“Don’t you dare Ronald. I am just as strong as you or Harry magically. Besides I have to destroy one, we have just enough people don’t we?” She asked, looking to Alexia for confirmation.
But Alexia wasn’t paying attention to the conversation anymore. Her forehead was crinkled in deep thought.
“What is it?” Harry asked, knowing that when Alexia was in deep thought it usually didn’t mean good things for him.
“Hmm?” Alexia muttered barely, clearly not listening.
“What are you thinking about?” Harry asked a bit louder this time and he placed a hand on Alexia’s shoulder.
“Huh?” Alexia said as she snapped out of her thoughts. “Oh sorry… I was just thinking about something Dumbledore said. I think I was wrong about the Horcruxes.”
Alexia received confused looks from the trio, who assumed she was talking about the tiara.
“Dumbledore said the Sorting Hat isn’t a Horcrux, and as far as we know besides the sword, which isn’t a Horcrux either, there’s nothing else of Gryffindor’s still around.”
She quickly thought over her new theory again, to be sure she said it right.
“So I don’t think there ever was a Horcrux of Gryffindor’s. Dumbledore had told you, Harry, that there was probably a Horcrux of something of Ravenclaw’s or Gryffindor’s not both. I think he’s right and I was wrong. Dumbledore’s assessments are never far off from the truth.”
“Then what was the sixth Horcrux?” Hermione asked.
“Well I could be wrong, I have been before but… I think - ” Alexia assessed her theory mentally again.
“I think there never was one. We know Voldemort always wanted to have seven parts of his soul, from the conversation he had with Slughorn. But even for someone so evil I’m sure it would have taken a lot out of him to put part of his soul into an object. So maybe when he found out about the Prophecy he was still in the process of making them. Especially because he didn’t seem to want them to be any old object, they had to have meaning. Maybe he was planning on making something a Horcrux at Godric’s Hollow. You know, as a mark of triumph over the prophecy. But he never got the chance to.”
“So you’re saying the tiara is the only Horcrux left?” Hermione asked, wanting to get the facts straight.
“I think so, well except of course…” She looked to Harry who looked away. He didn’t want his friends seeing him peeved over all the voodoo surrounding him.
“So you don’t have to destroy the Horcrux.” Ron said to Hermione.
“Ronald.” Hermione gave a look that only women could give.
“Actually, he’s right.” Alexia said.
“What?” Both Ron and Hermione replied.
“You both can. We’ve already discovered that multiple people fighting against one Horcrux makes it easier.”
“True, but what about - ” Hermione began.
“I have a feeling Harry is quite a bit like the diary.” Alexia anticipated Hermione asking this question.
“We’ll have to jam a basilisks tooth into his forehead?!” Ron exclaimed.
“No.” Alexia said immediately. “I hope not… No I just mean I think it’s different. Harry destroyed the diary and didn’t lose the capacity to destroy another Horcrux. I just think it will be different. That’s all.”
“Let’s do it then.” Ron said as he approached the tiara.
Now?! Hermione thought, but didn’t dare voice it, knowing Ron would use it against her.
Suddenly Harry took off out of the room, making Alexia fear she had upset him.
“Harry?” Hermione called.
“Carry on, I’ll be back in a minute!” He called from down the hall.
“What?” Hermione looked at Ron and Alexia.
“C’mon Hermione. I’m doing this now.” Ron said, and it was obvious to both girls that he feared he might back out if he gave it too much thought. “You don’t have to - ” he continued, but Hermione seized the tiara from the table.
“Hermione!” Ron scolded as he grabbed hold of it.
Alexia felt helpless as she watched the couples faces distort in pain and concentration.
Hermione took a sharp intake of breath and Alexia could see both their hands looked as though they had just thrown them into a fire.
Though it was clear Ron was in pain his eyes were locked solidly on Hermione, nothing could compare to the pain he felt seeing her hurt.
A look of shock crossed Harry’s face when he re-entered the room, not having expected his friends to begin without him.
“I - ” Alexia had no words, though she knew Harry wanted an explanation. “Ron wanted…” She covered her mouth with her right hand. There was no feeling she hated more than helplessness.
It had been minutes, but to Hermione it felt like hours.
She had wanted to talk over a strategy. She hadn’t wanted to try to destroy the Horcrux all at once; she had hoped they could take it bit by bit.
Though she had been trying to hold them back tears slipped from her eyes.
Ignoring the searing pain his hands were feeling Ron leaned forward and kissed Hermione.
The moment their lips met Hermione gasped rather loudly and her fists instantly released their grip on the tiara. Ron too had let go, causing the object to fall to the ground, clattering a few times before finding a resting position.
It was at this moment that Renato entered, carrying a liquid filled bowl.
“Here, Harry.” He said before he caught sight of Hermione and Ron.
“Oh goodness.” He said upon seeing their hands. “Here, quickly.”
Ron directed Hermione to sit down and Renato placed the bowl on her lap, she immersed her hands in the potion and instantly felt some relief.
“Ron.” She spoke quietly, and motioned with a nod of her head for him to put his hands in the bowl too.
He sat on the coffee table and placed his hands in the bowl.
“Are you alright?” Ron asked tenderly.
Hermione nodded and, despite the pain that had yet to recede, she smiled widely. Never in her life had she imagined anyone would love her so much.
Ron returned the smile.
Alexia looked away from the couple, trying to give them the privacy they deserved. The tiara caught her eye; it glinted from its spot on the ground.
Harry too was looking at the tiara. He took a step forward and leaned down.
He reached his hand out, and before touching it he looked up, his eyes meeting Alexia’s.
A smile crept across his face as his hand clasped down around the cold metal.
Alexia let out a breath she hadn’t known she was holding.
“Is it?” Renato asked.
“Yes.” Harry replied, his grin now practically meeting his eyes.
“Really?” Ron asked in disbelief, his attention having been pulled from the brunette sitting across from him.
“Yes.” Harry replied with a laugh. “I don’t feel a thing. You did it, the two of you. And so quickly, I’m – absolutely amazed. I mean - ” Harry was so proud he could barely speak.
“I know what you mean.” Ron replied, laughing as well.
“It all goes back to what Dumbledore said.” Alexia concluded.
“What do you mean?” Harry asked.
“Love.” Alexia said simply, which brought Ron’s attention back to Hermione.
“You saw what happened.” Alexia continued. “Dumbledore always stressed that the greatest power over Voldemort is love, because he is incapable of it. Clearly the reason why they destroyed it so quickly was their love.”
Harry looked down at the tiara in his hand, he tried to tell himself that inanimate objects have no thoughts or feelings but he could have sworn the tiara looked tired.
It looked worn out from the fight it just had, and yet it looked relieved that it had been purged of the evil soul that inhabited it for so long.
Harry shook his head and set the tiara on the table, but it only remained there for a moment before crumbling into ash.
He couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for it.
But later that night there was too much on his mind to be feeling sorry for inanimate objects.
They had done it; they had destroyed all the Horcruxes, well except of course Harry.
Voldemort wouldn’t remain oblivious to the parts of his soul being destroyed forever.
Harry’s friends had already put so much on the line for him. How could he live with himself if any of them lost their lives? After all he already had trouble living with himself considering his parent’s, his godfather, and his greatest mentor had already had their lives taken for protecting him.
And though Harry didn’t want to feel this way, he couldn’t help but think that what was more frightening than living without his friends would be to not walk away from the final battle at all.
He had spent the first eleven years of his life shoved into the background, not paid attention to, and not allowed to live properly. And when he finally found that miracle, when he discovered he was a wizard he was forced to spend his years fearing the fateful day when he would face Voldemort for the final time.
Had he really been given a chance to live yet?
“You okay?” Alexia asked as she entered the room Harry was sitting in.
“Huh? Oh, yes I’m fine.” Harry replied as he shook himself out of his thoughts.
“Can you believe how quickly Ron and Hermione destroyed that Horcrux?”
“No, well… yes I suppose.” Harry said, but Alexia could tell there was more he had wanted to say.
“I sensed there was a ‘but’ at the end of that sentence.”
Harry laughed lightly. “But…” he sighed and ran a hand through is jet-black hair. “I just don’t get it.”
“Getting more and more cryptic.”
“Sorry.” Harry replied as he stood up, his legs not content with sitting. “Dumbledore always went on and on about love and how I have it and Voldemort doesn’t. It’s supposed to be my power over him and I don’t even understand it. I know the Horcrux and everything, but really… Alexia you seem to understand all of this more than I do.” Harry gave another sigh.
“One of the perks of being outsider I suppose.” Alexia replied.
“As far as I’m concerned you fit in perfectly.”
“Somehow I feel the readers wouldn’t enjoy me too much.” Alexia let out a sound that sounded like a combination of a laugh and a sigh to Harry.
“Why’s that?” He asked, feeling odd talking about his life as if it were a story.
“Umm…” Alexia thought for a moment. “Mary-Sue.” She replied, laughing this time.
Harry shook his head and sat down.
“Where you came from, did they think I could do it?” He asked.
“Yes.” Alexia said immediately, the tone of her voice carrying so many emotions Harry couldn’t even pinpoint one.
Her eyes were watery, but she wore a proud smile as she spoke again.
“They know you can.”
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