Chapter 11 : Chapter Eleven: Lost and Found
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It took everything Harry had not to recoil and drop the locket. The moment it touched the base of his palm he felt a small shock run up his whole arm until it stopped at his shoulder, and made him flinch noticeably. The metal of the locket was freezing cold against his warm hand, and Harry felt goosebumps rise on his skin.
"What's wrong?" Sirius asked worriedly.
Harry looked up and saw everyone was either looking curiously at him or the locket he held in his hand, and didn't understand what was going on. Harry looked back down at the locket and turned it in his hand. He felt a shudder run down his spine as he thought he felt it pulsing, like it had a heartbeat of its own.
"The locket, it's like it's alive." Harry muttered with surprise in his voice, and pressed his fingers harder against the back of the necklace.
Sirius felt his eyes widen at his godson's words, he and the rest of the adults hurried over to Harry and looked down at the locket, and their eyes searched for any visible sign of dark magic.
"Give it to me." Sirius said as he held his hand out.
Harry obliged and gave it to him, the feeling of unease that had raced through him faded as soon as the locket wasn't touching his skin anymore. Sirius held it tightly in his hand, bringing the face of the locket close to his own as his eyes roamed over it.
"Why do you think it's alive?" Sirius finally asked, looking at Harry with confusion.
"Can't you feel that... that ticking? It's like it has it's own heart." Harry explained, glancing up at Sirius.
"No, I can't feel anything. Are you sure you weren't just imagining it?" Sirius looked at the other adults with concern written on his face.
Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Fred, and George made their way over, curious about what was going on, and sat on the couch Harry was perched on. Harry's face showed his confusion, but inside he couldn't help but feel angry. Why didn't Sirius believe him? Did he think that he was faking it? Remus held out his hand to Sirius, and he dropped the locket into his friends hand, looking up at him briefly with creased eyebrows.
"Harry, I don't feel anything." Remus spoke, looking from the locket to Harry.
Harry studied Remus as he held the locket, and felt his own eyebrows crease together. What was happening? When Remus touched the locket he didn't recoil, no goosebumps raised on his skin, he didn't even shudder from the unusually cold metal. Harry looked around himself and saw everyone looked as confused as he felt.
"I swear I felt something. It shocked me when I held it, didn't you feel it? Can't you feel how cold it is, or how it's ticking?" Harry felt incredibly stupid, asking these questions, but it didn't stop him.
"No." Remus and Sirius said at the same time, looking at Harry as if he had grown a second head.
Harry held his hand out in front of Remus, motioning with his fingers for Remus to give him the locket. With a worried look that spread throughout the room, Remus slowly put the locket onto Harry's palm. Everyone watched in amazement as Harry's whole arm shuddered when the locket touched his skin. They noticed Harry flinch and goosebumps rise on his skin, and shared looks of worry and surprise. Harry hooked a finger around the chain and let the locket dangle from his fingers, not wanting to touch it anymore.
"What's going on? Why am I the only one affected by it?" Harry asked, his voice sounding worried.
"Put the locket down on the table, Harry." Mrs. Weasley said, her eyes looking at the piece of jewellery fearfully.
Harry did as he was told and set the locket down on the table in front of him. He watched as the adults surrounded the table and started to examine it carefully. Interested, the kids behind them peeked over their shoulders to look down at it. Harry sat still on the arm of the couch, with his mouth parted as he thought over it. He had never in his life seen that locket, yet he was the only one it would react too. None of it made any sense to him.
"Someone contact Albus, I want him to take a look at this." Remus said.
Harry watched Mr. Weasley walk away from the table and go over to the fireplace behind Harry's couch, and grabbed Floo Powder off the mantle. Lighting the fire, he threw the powder onto the flames, and walked in as he shouted his destination. With a whirl of green Mr. Weasley vanished. Harry turned his head again and looked at the group in front of him, who all stared thoughtfully down at the locket.
"I think I've read about this before, Padfoot." Remus said, using his wand to bring the locket closer to himself.
"Why would this old thing be in a book, Moony?" Sirius asked, his tone light but Harry could hear his curiosity.
"I don't know but I think it has something to do with Slytherin, it would make sense seeing as there's a large, green S on it." Remus replied, his hand on his chin.
"Maybe that's why it reacted to Harry? Maybe it recognizes him as a Parsalmouth?" Hermione added, in a small voice.
"That would make sense, it could be a Slytherin heirloom." Ginny agreed.
"But what the bloody hell is it doing in my mothers house?" Sirius questioned.
"None of us know, Sirius. This house is full of all sorts of dark objects, someone in your family probably bought it off a dark wizard or from a shop in Knockturn Alley." Mrs. Weasley said, keeping a short distance from the locket.
Sirius sighed and rubbed his temple, frustrated and confused. Everyone sat in silence, not knowing what to say, and just as confused as the next person. Remus walked over to Harry and sat down on the arm of the couch with him. He put an arm around Harry's shoulders and Harry let his body lean against Remus gratefully. The back of the couch had been poking into his own painfully and he didn't want to waste the energy he had gained trying to keep himself sitting up. George got up and offered his spot on the couch to his mother, who thanked him with a smile on her face and sat down next to the rest of her children, while George sat on the other arm of the couch. The flames in the fireplace turned green as it rose suddenly, and Mr. Weasley came tumbling out, and barely caught his balance at the last second.
"Albus is right behind me." He told everyone, wiping soot off his clothes.
Mr. Weasley moved out of the way, taking off his glasses and cleaning them the Muggle way, as Dumbledore stepped out of the fireplace. Dumbledore didn't say anything at first, but used his wand to vanish any soot that clung to his robes, and then pocketed it.
"Arthur has informed me that Harry has found a strange locket." Dumbledore said, looking at everyone gathered around the table.
"Yes, and did he tell you why it's strange?" Mrs. Weasley asked, glancing over at her husband.
"He did mention, as he rushed me out of my office that it acted rather oddly when Harry touched it." Dumbledore replied, and Mr. Weasley look down at the ground sheepishly.
Dumbledore went over to where Arthur and Sirius stood by the table, and looked down at the object in question. Remus noticed that Dumbledore looked surprised as his eyes studied the locket, and slowly reached his hand out to grab it.
"Do you know what it is?" Sirius asked as Dumbledore grabbed the locket tightly in his withered hand.
"I believe I do but, of course, I am only guessing. I thought he may have made another besides the diary, but I couldn't be sure..." Dumbledore muttered the last part under his breath.
"Do you think if Harry spoke Parsaltongue to make it open, we could figure out what it might be?" Hermione asked shyly from the couch.
"If what I believe is correct then it would be unwise to open it at the moment." Dumbledore responded quietly.
"Sir?" Harry asked hesitantly after a moment of silence, "What do you believe it to be?"
"A very dark piece of magic." Dumbledore told him.
Mrs. Weasley gasped loudly from her seat on the couch, her eyes looking fretfully over at Harry, as if looking for any visible sign of dark magic on him. Remus and Sirius shared a look, both of them heard the slight quiver in Dumbledore's voice.
"Albus?" Remus asked, wanting more of a explanation.
"I would like for the adults to follow me into the kitchen, while the children wait here, we'll only be a moment." Dumbledore ordered in a voice no one could argue with.
Remus, Sirius, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley hurried out of the room with Dumbledore while the teenagers were left to look at each other in annoyance and confusion. Harry picked up the fear in Dumbledore's tone as quickly as Remus and Sirius did, and knew the locket had to be very dark magic, something that would actually scare Dumbledore. Harry felt a shiver run down his spine.
"What do they think they're playing at? We have as much right to know as they do!" George cried in an annoyed voice, looking angrily at the door in front of him.
"Maybe if you all stopped whining, they would actually trust us enough to know!" Ginny hissed, "I'm sick and tired of hearing you complain about it all the time, it isn't going to change anything!"
Harry turned his head away and smirked, glad he wasn't the one Ginny was mad at, she had quite the temper. Maybe that's why I like her, Harry thought, she doesn't take shit from anyone. Harry gave his head a slight shake, trying to rid himself of the thought. Stop it, you can't think of her like that, she's Ron's sister. Looking back over at the Weasleys and Hermione, he ignored the argument between Ginny and her twin brothers. His eyes looked over Hermione and Ron, who both were unusually quiet.
"What's wrong?" Harry asked them both.
"It worries me, that locket. Why would it only respond to your touch? I know it scares Dumbledore, and that's enough to scare me." Hermione told him, her eyebrows creased together.
Ron put a reassuring arm around her, but looked at Harry as he spoke.
"I know it worries you, hell, it worries all of us. But Dumbledore will take care of it. He always does, he's the one with all the answers. He'll find a way."
Hermione gave a nod, and Harry ran his fingers through his hair, a habit he had recently acquired, and gave a small smile to his friends who looked towards him. He trusted Dumbledore, he knew he would find a way to take care of the problem, but he couldn't shake off the way he felt when that damn locket touched his skin. Harry didn't know how, but he knew he had something to do with that locket. It only affected him, right?
"I know he will."
Molly and Arthur sat down at the dining room table, while Remus leaned against the sink, because he knew he couldn't sit still for long. He smiled as he watched Sirius stand next to him, tapping his fingers against the counter impatiently as Dumbledore sat down next to the Weasleys. The locket was still gripped tightly in his hand and, after what they had told him about the locket, they were surprised Dumbledore still held onto it.
"What's going on, Albus?" Molly finally asked, not in the mood to wait for answers.
"Do you all remember the incident in Ms. Weasleys first year? The diary she had kept that whole year?" Dumbledore started, setting the locket in front of him.
"Yes, somehow V-V-, You-Know-Who preserved a sixteen year old memory of himself in that damn diary, and Ginny wrote to him all year. You explained everything to us in your office that day when Harry saved her in the Chamber of Secrets. I don't understand how the diary has anything to do with this." Arthur said, a hint of annoyance in his voice.
"If my guess is correct, Arthur, it has everything to do with this." Dumbledore told him.
"No," Remus gasped, "Are you saying Voldemort can possess that locket?"
"Not exactly," Dumbledore reassured him, "But close. I always thought that Tom Riddle- Voldemort, would make one or try to, but never did I imagine he would try to make more. If I know him like I think I do then I think he would use the strongest magical number... seven..." Dumbledore started to ramble.
"Albus, can you please tell us what you're muttering about!" Sirius hissed, his impatience getting the best of him.
"I believe that Voldemort is trying to make himself immortal, or the closest he can get to it with magic, no matter how dark it may be. The magic he has used is very complex, and I think I know how he found out how to use it. The magic I am speaking of involves ripping the soul apart, and putting the ripped pieces into objects to keep them save, and can only be destroyed with something that will make these objects beyond magical repair." Dumbledore told them, resting his elbows on the table and leaning his chin into his left hand.
"So, this locket is one of Voldemort's soul-keeper's?" Remus asked in disgust.
"Yes, this is a Horcrux." Dumbledore replied gravely.
The adults came back after a half hour of talking, and Mrs. Weasley informed her children, along with Hermione and Harry, that they were done cleaning for the day. Harry raised his eyebrows but said no more, and glanced over at the clock on the mantle of the fireplace, which told him it was only eleven in the morning. Remus went over to the fireplace to call Moody, Tonks, and Kingsley to come over, and the kids walked out of the room, who knew they were going to be shooed out at some point. Quietly ascending the stairs, Harry and Ron walked side by side up the stairs, just in case Harry felt weaker than he did and needed any help going up. They all walked into a sitting room on the second floor, which Fred and George usually used to test some of their joke products, and sat down in the chairs that were scattered around the room.
"What do you think they were talking about?" Fred asked, his body draped across the chair he was sitting in.
"The locket." Ron replied bluntly.
"We know that, you idiot. What I meant was what exactly is that locket? We all know it's some type of dark magic, maybe they were trying to figure out what kind of dark magic it was?" George told him, his tone serious.
"Maybe, that would explain why they didn't want us listening in. But I know that this is something big, or it wouldn't worry Dumbledore so much. They could of throw it away or destroyed it with their wands if it wasn't anything big, but I don't think it's that simple." Hermione agreed, adding her own thoughts.
"Hermione's right," Ginny said from her chair, "I don't think it's gonna be that simple. But like Ron was saying before, Dumbledore will find a way, he always does. I'm sure this thing will blow over in a few days, and the Order will have found a way to get rid of it."
Harry looked around at everyone, and saw they were nodding at Ginny's words. He didn't think it would be as easy as Ginny made it sound, but found himself nodding along regardless, he didn't want to draw attention to himself as he thought over it. Something about that locket gave him the chills, it made him feel uneasy and somehow fearful. There was something about that locket that felt familiar with Harry though, he just couldn't place it...
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