After breakfast Sirius went outside with Remus. Harry tried to watch from the door but the kids took him into the living room to play exploding snap. Outside Sirius called loudly, “Kreacher.”
The house elf popped up and started grumbling. Sirius asked, “Do you know what happened to Regulus?”
Kreacher told him the story of Regulus’ death by inferi in the cave by the sea. Sirius choked out, “Bring the locket to me.”
Kreacher popped away and was back a few minutes later, “Here it is Master, can you destroy it?”
“I’m going to try.” Sirius said, “Thanks Kreacher, you can go back to the house.”
Back inside the adults were looking at the locket in the kitchen. After a few minutes Ginny and Harry came in holding hands. She started to say, “Mum Hawy needs…” She stopped talking suddenly and everyone looked at them. Both of them were glowing. Harry had a black aura that looked like flames and Ginny’s was red.
At the same time they began to talk, “We must be destroy it. Horrible dark magic resides inside. We need the whole flame.”
Just then Ron walked into the room and stopped beside Harry. As soon as he was close to Harry and Ginny his aura also turned to Red flames and he repeated what they had said.
Sirius put the locket in his pocket and the auras around the kids disappeared and they all blinked.
Ron was the first to talk, “What was that?”
“Don’t know but it was weird.” Harry said.
“We need to find that other flame.” Ginny said, “I really think we need to search for her.”
The first thing Sirius noticed was that Ginny’s lisp was gone. She was saying her r’s and th’s like she never had a problem. Ginny and Harry also seemed taller so he asked Molly, “Are Ginny and Harry taller?”
“I’m calling Albus.” Remus said, “He might know what‘s going on.” A few minutes later Albus stepped through the floo carrying a box. They had sent the three kids back into the living room before calling him.
“What did you find at the Dursley’s?” Sirius asked.
“He was kept in the cupboard under the stairs.” Albus said, “All his possessions and clothes are in this box.”
Sirius opened the box to find mostly old ratty clothes and a few broken toys. Finally at the bottom was an old blanket. It looked like it had been blue but it had never been washed.
“I can smell Lily and James on that blanket.” Remus gasp, “It must be the one you left with him Albus.”
“That’s what I thought.” Albus said, “It was the only blanket on the little mattress. Why would they get him clothes that were obviously to large?”
“I don’t think they did.” Sirius said, “At St. Mungo’s Harry said Ron’s clothes were much nicer than Dudley’s.”
They sat in silence for a few moments then Albus asked, “What did you need from me?”
As Sirius put all Harry’s things back in the box and put it under the table he explained about Kreacher and the locket and then what the kids did.
“Let me see the Locket.” Sirius handed it to him and Albus did a series of spells, “This is Slytherin’s Locket. I can feel some magic about it but I’m not familiar with it. I can’t imagine any magic causing something like that. Bring the kids back in, I want to see their reaction.”
Sirius hadn’t even called them in whey they stepped just inside the door with flaming aura’s and all looked at Albus and said together, “We must destroy it. It is evil. We need the other flame. She is coming.”
“Where is she coming from?” Albus asked.
Harry answered, “London.”
“How will she get here?”
“Sirius,” Albus said, “take the locket and put it in your pocket.”
Sirius did and the flames around the kids disappeared, Ron said, “That didn’t feel as weird as the first time.” Ginny and Harry agreed.
“I would like to do some tests on you alright.” Albus said.
“Do them on me first.” Sirius was astonished; the last time they wanted to do something like this Harry had been as timid as a mouse. Now he was demanding to go first with no fear. What was happening?
After Albus was done with Harry he tested Ron and then Ginny. The kids went back to play and the adults stayed in the kitchen to talk, Albus said, “This is odd. They all appear to be almost six years old.”
“But Ginny won’t turn four until August.” Molly gasped.
Several hours had gone by when Harry, Ron and Ginny came back into the kitchen and Harry said, “They’re here.” And the three children walked out the door.
Molly looked out the window just as a car turned off the road. Albus said, “I’ll go out with the kids, you all stay here unless I call for you. If they’re muggles like I expect, to many of us could scare them.”
Albus transfigured his robes into a suit and stepped out behind the three children. A girl climbed out of the back of the car and ran to the other three, “I’ve found you.” And then she hugged all three.
A man and woman stepped out of the car. The woman said, “Hermione?”
“See I told you we’d find them.” Hermione said.
The four children stayed close together and Albus approached the girl’s parents, “Hello, my name is Professor Albus Dumbledore.“
“I’m Chris Granger and this is my wife Jane.” The man said, “And that is our daughter Hermione.”
“Lovely girl.” Albus said, “May I ask how you found us?”
“Hermione came to us hours ago saying they needed her and she had to find them.” Jane said, “She begged us to go for a drive and she pointed us the way here. She has evidentially found who she was looking for but we really don’t know what’s going on.”
“I think I may be able to help you but I have a few questions first.” Albus smiled kindly, “Do odd things happen when your daughter is emotional or stressed?”
“Well almost a year ago when she was about to start school she was stressing about knowing enough to get in.” Chris said, “She was studying books all evening and one time she wanted a different book and it floated over to the table she was working on.”
“Yes I expected as much.” Albus said, “She is magical, I believe a demonstration is in order. Mr. Granger will you allow me to test you. I promise no harm will come to you.”
“Ok.” Chris said reluctantly.
Albus pulled out his wand and waved it over Chris. He could see the blue light that shined around him. Albus said, “Blue means muggle, or non-magical. Now I would like to perform the same test on your daughter.”
“Hermione please come here.“ The group of children moved as one and Albus said, “No you three need to stay back we’re testing to see if Hermione is magical.”
“She is.” Harry said.
“Please humor me Harry.” Albus swished his wand and a red light shined around Hermione, “Yes she is magical. Please come inside I want you to meet the other children’s parents.”
They all entered the kitchen and Hermione went into the living room with the kids. Albus made the introductions and when they got to Sirius they gasp, “Aren’t you the man that broke out of prison? The news said you died.”
“Yes, I broke out to save my godson’s life.” Sirius smiled, “And then I was found innocent of the crimes that I was convicted for. The man who framed me is now in prison. It could bring us too much attention if they explain it correctly. Muggles aren’t supposed to know about us. You’re ok to know because your daughter is a witch.”
The Grangers looked offended so Remus quickly said, “We call ourselves Witches and Wizards.” They nodded their understanding.
“Now tracking us down is not normal behavior for a witch or wizard.” Albus said, “But the three children she was looking for aren’t displaying normal behavior either. How old is Hermione?”
“She’s five.” Jane said, “She’ll be six on September 19th. “
“They all caught up with the oldest.” Albus mutter.
“What are you talking about?” Jane asked.
“Sorry thinking aloud.” Albus said, “How old would you say the other three children are?”
“About the same age I guess.” Jane said.
“Ron, the red haired boy is five and will be six in March.” Albus smiled, “Harry the black haired boy will be five at the end of July and Ginny the red haired girl will turn four in August. But something happened this morning. When it did it aged the other three children to Hermione’s age.”
“Does that happen often to witches and wizards?” Chris asked.
“No, I’ve never seen it before.” Albus said, “They also knew one more girl was coming today to join them, she was in a car and coming from London.”
Just as he was about to say more the four children came into the room, Harry said, “It’s time to take care of that thing now.”
“Maybe we should wait…” Sirius started.
“No, now.” Harry said.
Sirius looked at Albus, “We need to check…”
“It might be dangerous.” Albus said.
“It is dangerous, that’s why we have to do it now.” Harry stuck out his hand and the locket leaped from Sirius’ pocket and the four children went outside. The adults jumped up to follow. They got out the door and Ginny turned and held up her hands and the adults ran into a shield that held them back.
Harry gave the locket to Ron who consulted with Hermione and then placed it on the ground. The four stood in a circle around it Harry across from Hermione and Ron across from Ginny. They touched hands and closed their eyes. They lit up with an aura of flame around each one. Harry and Hermione’s auras were black; Ron and Ginny’s were red. The locket lifted off the ground and floated above their heads.
The flame aura’s grew higher and together. There was a sound like metal ripping and a scream. Then the auras vanished and the four children sat on the ground exhausted. The locket fell to the ground in the middle of the circle.
Molly was the first to realize the shield was down and she raced forward followed by the rest of the adults.
“Stop, don’t touch them or the locket it might be dangerous.” Albus yelled.
“We’re fine, just tired.” Harry said, “It’s been destroyed.”
Albus did some spells over them and the locket and finally said, “Please take the children inside.” Albus followed levitating the locket.
Once inside Harry said, “It was the locket that screamed. I’m tired can I go to bed now?”
Ginny, Ron and Hermione said, “Me too.”
“Yes that’s fine,” Albus said, “Sirius would you mind putting them all in your bed so you can keep an eye on them. If anything happens call me immediately.”
Sirius picked up Ginny and the other three followed. He laid Ginny near the middle and Harry got up beside her. Ron helped Hermione in on the other side and then joined her. All four fell asleep instantly. They slept for an hour then Hermione woke up, a short while later Ron and then Harry. It was two hours before Ginny woke up.
By this time dinner was ready so they all went to eat. Albus had left but there were still too many for the kitchen so dinner was set up in the garden. Before dinner was over Albus came back, he turned down the offer of dinner and waited for the children to leave.
“Healer O’Neal is going to come by tomorrow to check Harry’s injuries. I am worried that today’s events may have wiped out any signs of abuse, which would be good for Harry. But if it has we have no case against the Dursleys.” Everyone nodded so Albus continued, “I have other news. I have tracked down an old prophecy. I heard of it a long time ago but I think it fits these four. The prophecy says: Four flames will come, black and red. One leads, one dares, one thinks, one moves. One’s fate is all; a broken circle will be destroyed. Against evil the fight will be. Four flames come two black, two red.“
“There are four of them, black and red flames fit.” Sirius said, “So they each have a role to play.”
“Sounds like they are joined in their fates.” Chris said, “We have a dental practice in the city.”
“Ottery St. Catchpole is just down the hill.” Sirius said, “There is a train station there. I don’t think we should separate them very far apart. That part about a broken circle I really don’t like.”
“I can keep Hermione during the day, same with Harry.” Molly said, “I home school my own, won’t be hard to add two more. Not sure what to do with Ginny start her with Ron or hold off.”
“Let her set her own pace.” Arthur said.
“I’m going to take my leave now.” Albus said, “I will continue investigating this locket.”