A week after the conversation with Aunt Petunia Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Dudley were to be found in the room that used to belong to the Hippogriff, Buckbeak. It had been a long week. The last seven days couldn’t have been longer if Harry had had to spend them at Privet Drive, completely cut off from all of his friends and the wizarding world.
The day after Aunt Petunia made her request they journeyed to Diagon Alley to get Dudley a wand. As Mr. Ollivander had disappeared they couldn’t buy the wand there, so they bought Dudley a wand in a shop called Wilhelmina’s Wands.
Harry was revolted when they walked into the shop, which was near Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions. This place was almost completely pink and reminded Harry horribly of Madam Puddifoot’s tea shop in Hogsmeade. The witch that helped them select the wand seemed familiar to Harry too.
“D’you happen to be related to Madam Puddifoot, the woman that runs the tea shop in Hogsmeade?” Ginny asked.
“Oh yes, she’s m’sister,” the witch replied. She looked from Ginny to Harry. When she noticed his scar a small smile appeared on her face. “And she told me you’ve been in m’boy. Was it perhaps with this charming young lady?”
“Er . . . no,” Harry said, looking anywhere but at Ginny. He wished she hadn’t asked the witch about her sister. The one and only time he had ever been into Madam Puddifoot’s had been with Cho. She had made a huge scene and then stormed out. Harry didn’t really want to think about that unqualified disaster.
“Oh. No of course not. You’re the Weasley girl,” Ginny blanched at being addressed as such by a complete stranger. “I daresay you’ve been in the Puddifoot shop a time or two yourself, have you not?” She had a wide, knowing smile on her face.
“Mmmm,” Ginny said noncommittally. Both she and Harry were glad when the witch went back to helping Dudley select his wand.
“Exactly how many times have you been in there?” Harry asked, not really wanting to know the answer. He knew all too well what went on in that teashop. The thought of Ginny being there with someone other than himself was repugnant.
“A few,” Ginny confessed vaguely.
“A few too many I’d say,” Harry said under his breath. Unfortunately Ginny heard him.
“Excuse me? You’re starting to sound like Ron now. Do I need to remind you that you have also been there?”
They were irritable and barely spoke to each other for the rest of the day.
Dudley got an oak and dragon heartstring wand. While in the shop he had spotted a holster that you attach to a belt, like Muggles use for mobile phones. He demanded that his mother buy it for him, which she did. Dudley had then proceeded to strut about Grimmauld Place and would draw it out, like he was unsheathing a sword, and brandish his wand at anyone that came within his field of vision. This lasted two days. After the two hundred and thirtieth time he did this (Ginny was apparently keeping count) Hermione became so annoyed that she vanished the holster and took Dudley’s wand away. She would thereafter only allow him to have it when they were trying to teach him something.
These lessons were going as horribly as Harry had thought they would. Dudley, used to getting his own way, didn’t listen to anything they said at all, especially if it came from Harry. This was annoying Harry to no end. He already had a short fuse because whenever he was out of earshot (and sometimes even when he was not) Dudley had developed the disgusting habit of flirting with Ginny.
“FOR GOD’S SAKE DUDLEY!” Harry roared as his cousin. They were on day five of trying to teach him the most basic spell, Wingardium Leviosa. Not only was Dudley saying the incantation completely wrong (he was so lazy he was trying to shorten it, despite numerous explanations that magic doesn’t work that way) he was also either just swishing or just flicking his wand. He couldn’t seem to get it through his fat head that you had to do both. “IT’S NOT THAT HARD.”
“Oh yeah, you do it then,” Dudley whined. Harry had already showed him at least a dozen times. How did he get roped into these stupid situations? Harry ranted to himself.
“Fine,” he said. He pointed his wand at Dudley and said “Wingardium Leviosa.” Dudley rose into the air. His head was brushing the ceiling.
“OK, OK, I get it,” Dudley said.
“Do you really?” Harry asked irritably.
“Yeah, yeah I do,” Dudley whined again. “Can you put me down now?” Harry lowered him to a safe level and then dropped his wand. Dudley fell to the floor with a resounding CRASH.
“This lesson is over,” Harry said shortly and he stormed from the room.
He had been even more short-tempered over the last twenty-four hours because his cousin kept barging into whatever room he was in, cutting into the already sparse time Harry and Ginny had alone together.
Mr. And Mrs. Weasley had made an announcement at breakfast the previous morning. They were going to be returning to the Burrow two days later to prepare for Bill and Fleur’s wedding. Ginny was going to return with them. Neither she nor Harry was happy with this. Quite apart from the fact that Harry wouldn’t see her for three weeks there was the obvious danger of her being accessible to Voldemort again. At least at Grimmauld Place he couldn’t get in. The only way that Ginny was in any danger here was if Snape marched in and took her.
The option of letting Ginny stay at Grimmauld Place had been considered briefly, but when Mrs. Weasley found out that she and Harry were back together she absolutely forbid it.
“She just doesn’t trust us at all,” Ginny had complained to Harry after her mother’s refusal. They wouldn’t be alone in the house. Lupin was still staying there, as was Tonks, but as they were often gone doing mysterious work for the order and the ministry they could hardly supervise the comings and goings of five teenagers.
Aunt Petunia might have been able to watch after them, but she would have been useless as a disciplinarian because the only one that listened to her was Dudley, and even that was unusual. She didn’t dare try and yell at Ron or Hermione. She seemed like she was trying to be nice to Harry, probably so that he wouldn’t stop teaching her idiotic son to defend himself, and she seemed terrified of Ginny. This amused the youngest Weasley immensely.
Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon were on speaking terms again, but only just. They could actually sit and have breakfast together without a shouting match that set off Mrs. Black’s portrait. Uncle Vernon was very civil with Dudley too. He was walking on eggshells around the boy. It was quite obvious that he was now scared of his son. He treated Dudley as if he were a bomb that might go off at any moment.
Harry was surprised at how well Dudley was taking the news that he was a wizard. Before this bizarre turn of events had Harry been asked how Dudley would take the news he would have said with absolute confidence that Dudley would go mad. But, Dudley actually seemed happy. It was really queer this whole situation. Harry was certainly no stranger to unusual situations. They seemed to be attracted to him as though by some magnetic force, but this was absurd.
Harry woke up the next morning, and for a minute he couldn’t understand why he felt so terrible. Then his consciousness seemed to come alive and he remembered that the Weasleys were going back to the Burrow today. Ginny was leaving the relative safety of Grimmauld Place and going to a much more welcoming, but more wide open location. She was going to really be in danger now and they weren’t going to be together.
Harry’s stomach churned at this thought. That dream, or vision, or whatever it was that he had about Ginny and that locket had been weighing heavily on him. He couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that it had been a premonition of sorts. Leaving out details Harry mentioned this to Ron and Hermione. She scoffed and mentioned again how it seemed like Divination, which was “the most imprecise branch of magic.” Harry, despite being so worried had to smile. Apparently Hermione’s dislike for the subject had increased because it used to be “a wooly discipline.” Ron, seemed afraid and actually commented about how it might be like fifth year when Harry could feel what Voldemort was feeling. These reactions made Harry even more sure that not revealing specifics was a good thing.
Harry, Ron, Hermione and Lupin were standing in the entrance hall with the four Weasleys that were going to be returning to the Burrow momentarily. Mrs. Weasley was checking and rechecking that they had packed everything.
“Molly if you’ve left anything we’ll send it to you.” Lupin assured her. “Besides we will be seeing you in just a few weeks.” At this Mrs. Weasley let out a gasp.
“Oh dear me, I can’t believe this wedding is so soon. We’re never going to be able to get everything done.”
After several assurances, Charlie and Mr. Weasley were able to calm down Mrs. Weasley and the four red heads made to leave.
“Just hang on,” Ginny said. She ran over to give Harry another hug. “See you soon.”
“Yeah, just don’t forget what I told you,” Harry replied, speaking into her hair. He had been spending the last forty-eight hours drilling the need to be cautious into her head.
“I won’t,” she gave him a placating smile.
“I’m serious,” Harry told her, upset that she wasn’t taking him seriously. “I want you to be safe.” He had grabbed her wrist and was holding it tight, hoping that maybe she would realize how important it was for her to be cautious.
“I’ll be careful Harry, I promise.” Ginny tried to wrench her wrist out of Harry’s grasp. “But please let go of my hand, you’re hurting me.”
“Sorry,” Harry let go and stepped away from her.
“Little hard there Harry,” Ginny grimaced, rubbing her wrist.
“Time to go,” Mr. Weasley said.
The four Weasleys gathered at the door again. They were waiting for the all clear from Tonks before they stepped out. It came all too soon for Harry. In what seemed like a nanosecond they had stepped outside and disapparated.
Harry watched as Lupin relocked the door by magic.
“Well at least now we can get some real research done,” Hermione supplied brightly.
“Great,” Harry said dully. Ron looked about as excited as he felt.
Ever since Harry, Ron and Hermione had arrived at Grimmauld Place they had been spending their free time doing more research on the Horcruxes. It had been hard trying to do it when Ginny was there, because she couldn’t know about them.
Since having that nightmare Harry had felt more determined than ever to find the Horcruxes and destroy them. Even so, that burning need wasn’t as strong as his need to stay close to Ginny and make sure that she was safe. She was far from a damsel in distress, but he couldn’t get rid of the feeling that she needed to be protected.
The trio spent the rest of the day in the gloomy library at Grimmauld Place, buried behind large and ancient books, looking for anything that would aid them in destroying a bit of soul.
By late that evening they were bleary-eyed, and exhausted, but none the wiser.
“This is completely useless,” Harry yelled in frustration slamming a large book shut, and causing clouds of dust to take to the air. “If the answer was in a book we’d’ve come across it by now. We’ve spent half our lives searching through obscure books at the Hogwarts library.”
He had been particularly irritable today, especially because Ron and Hermione were being overly affectionate. Harry knew they weren’t doing it to annoy him, but they were having that effect nonetheless. Why did they have to choose today, of all days, to be so lovey-dovey?
“I don’t think so,” Hermione said, rubbing her eyes, which were bloodshot. “I mean there was nothing in any of the books at Hogwarts about Horcruxes was there? No, this is dark magic at it’s worst. We would never have found information on how to destroy a Horcrux at Hogwarts. We’d be more likely to find it here.” She reached for another book. “I don’t think that we should get discouraged yet, because its only been a few weeks. I’m sure it took Dumbledore a long time to find something useful too.”
“Hermione, can’t we give this up for tonight, we’re all exhausted,” Ron yawned, leaning back in his chair and rubbing his eyes. “I can’t even read anymore.”
“Oh, but —“ Hermione started.
“No, he’s right. We’re not going to find anything here tonight,” Harry agreed. Hermione looked for a moment as if she wanted to argue, but as she too stifled a yawn she shrugged and got up.
“OK, but we need to get started straight away tomorrow.” She and Ron started to walk to the door of the library. “Are you coming Harry?”
“Yeah, in a bit,” Harry said. The three friends said their goodnights and then Ron and Hermione left.
Harry leaned back in his chair, staring at the blue fire Hermione had conjured hours earlier. It really had been a long and tiring day. He was feeling that same sense of despair again that he had felt so often since Dumbledore’s death. He, Ron and Hermione had now been looking for weeks and they weren’t even half a step closer to discovering where any of the Horcruxes were, or how to destroy them. What if they never found out anything that would help them, and Voldemort went on torturing and murdering forever?
Harry extinguished the fire and left the room. He didn’t feel like going to sleep just yet. He thought that he might go down to the kitchen to get something to eat but he ended up, once again, in the room with the Black family tree. Since coming to Grimmauld Place he had been spending a lot of time here. Why that was Harry didn’t even know. It wasn’t as if this was the most inviting of rooms. Yet, somehow Harry felt drawn to it.
He sat down and stared at the Black family tree again. Sirius had hated that thing. Harry remembered all too well the look of disdain that Sirius had given the tapestry the first time that they had come in to clean this room. Attempts to remove the tapestry had been as successful as attempts to remove the portrait of Mrs. Black that hung in the hallway. Sirius had been right. Permanent-sticking charms had been used on both.
Harry wished that Sirius was here right now. True, he wouldn’t be able to tell his godfather anything about the Horcruxes, but it would be nice to at least have someone that he could talk to. Ron, Hermione and Lupin were great, and it wasn’t as if he couldn’t talk to them, but with Sirius it had been different. Sirius had known what it was like to have dark magic hanging over your head. For fourteen years the entire wizarding world had believed Sirius to be a murderer. After escaping from Azkaban he had the threat of the Dementor’s kiss to worry about. Yes, Sirius had definitely known about misery.
Harry didn’t know how long he sat there staring at that tapestry. He might have even drifted into a light sleep, but it was Lupin coming into the room that caused him to stir again.
“You know Harry, we do have beds to sleep in,” he joked.
“Yeah, sorry,” Harry replied, straightening his glasses as he sat up. “What time is it?”
“Nearly three. Why are you down here anyway?”
“Couldn’t sleep,” Harry supplied, shrugging.
“Ah, rough day?”
He had a sudden urge to tell Lupin everything that he was feeling. The fact that Voldemort had made Horcruxes, that he and Dumbledore had already destroyed two of them, that there were still four out there. These Horcruxes were the reason for Dumbledore’s withered hand. That the greatest wizard alive had spent years and years tracking them down and had only managed to find two, and one of those hadn’t even been the real one. That Dumbledore had set him the task of finding the remaining four, and they didn’t even have a clue what one of them was. Then it was set down to him, a sixteen-year old wizard, to destroy the last bit of soul that was within Lord Voldemort. Harry wanted to tell Lupin that he was scared, and frustrated and angry. He really wanted to say, knowing how childish it sounded even in his head, that it was unfair.
“Just stuff with Dudley,” Harry mumbled when Lupin looked like he wanted more of an answer than a shrug.
“And perhaps a certain red-head?’ Lupin asked smiling, a playful twinkle in his eye.
“Yeah,” Harry agreed. He didn’t smile. Lupin’s mention of Ginny had made him feel even worse. In addition to all the things that he had just wanted to tell Lupin about, he was now reminded that he was worried for Ginny’s safety. It wasn’t as if he had forgot to worry, he had been doing that for weeks, but it brought back those worries in full measure. He not only had to worry that he might not survive the destruction of Voldemort, but that she wouldn’t.
But, thought Harry, sinking even lower into despair, it wasn’t just Ginny or himself that he had to worry about. It was Ron, Hermione, the other Weasleys, Lupin, Tonks, Moody, and countless others. They were in as much danger as he or Ginny. They didn’t know about the Horcruxes, that was true, but Voldemort certainly didn’t discriminate and only torture and murder those who knew about what he would do to achieve immortality.
“Are you sure you’re all right Harry?” Lupin asked now looking at him with concern in his eyes.
“No,” Harry admitted. “I —“ He didn’t know what he was going to tell Lupin. He couldn’t tell him about what he had to do to defeat Voldemort. In fact, Harry was sure that Lupin didn’t know about the prophecy at all. He didn’t want to admit to his former professor that he was scared that he was going to lose everyone that he cared about, as seemed to be the pattern in his life. “I’m just worried about Ginny,” he said. At least it was mostly the truth. “I mean, we all know what Voldemort’s capable of. I just don’t want her to get hurt because of me.”
The former marauder looked at Harry appraisingly for a minute. Harry knew that Lupin could tell that this was not the only reason. He expected Lupin to ask him what else was bothering him. Lupin didn’t ask this though. Instead he said, “I wouldn’t expect any less from you Harry. But you can’t dwell on what ifs or possibilities of what could happen. The wards that we put in place around the Burrow when you came to stay there last summer are still in place. Arthur, being an important ministry official now, has garnered a bit more protection himself. I assure you Harry, the Burrow is about as safe as possible in these times, and more safe than most places.”
“But this is Voldemort we’re talking about,” Harry said angrily. “He can probably get through those wards with one wave of his wand. I mean he got through the ones at Privet Drive when they were supposed to be impenetrable.”
“What would you like to do then, Harry? Have the Weasleys hole up here in Grimmauld Place and not live their lives? Wouldn’t that give Voldemort more power than he ever deserved to have? Wouldn’t that be allowing him to control our lives?”
“At least they’d be safe,” Harry stated, as he paced around the room. He didn’t even recall getting off the couch.
“Perhaps. But how much of a life would they have if they had to spend it here? That’s not a way to live, Harry. Surely you can remember how Sirius handled it.”
Harry stopped pacing and stared at Lupin. He had a sad expression on his face. It was one that Harry had only seen there twice before, after the death of Dumbledore, and after Sirius had gone through the veil. Sometimes he forgot that Lupin had been one of Sirius’s closest friends. For the first time, Harry wondered how being here affected Lupin. Had they spent a lot of time here when they were still in school? Or when Sirius had first come here after Voldemort’s return? Was Lupin reminded of Sirius every time he stepped into this house?
Harry felt another twang of guilt as he recalled that he didn’t feel this way. Every now and then he was reminded of his godfather. Like when he looked at the tapestry and recalled the conversation they had had when first looking at it. Or, that time in the kitchen when he had remembered laughing with Sirius. But it almost seemed like Sirius had never been there. Nothing had really been his, it had all belonged to his family. Many of the items that had lined the shelves were gone, whisked away with the rubbish, when Sirius had still been alive, or nicked by Mundungus Fletcher.
Forgetting for the moment about the Burrow and the Weasleys, Harry decided that he needed to ask Lupin about this. He didn’t think that it was normal not to have memories of his godfather when in Sirius’s house.
“Does this place remind you of him?”
“Of Sirius?” Lupin sat back in his chair as if thinking about how to answer the question. “Yes, I guess it does,” he said finally. “I mean there are things that I see here that clearly have his influence. The lack of décor for instance.” Lupin waved his hand around the almost empty drawing room. “Sirius never was much for decorating.”
“That’s not what I mean. I was talking about memories. Shouldn’t we think of Sirius more often being here? I mean it is his house after all,” Harry said. “Like when I look at that —“ he gestured to the Black family tree “ — I remember the first time that he showed me that, but that’s one of the few things that comes back to me clearly.”
“Its your house now Harry,” Lupin reminded him before continuing. “You remember what went on here though?”
“Yeah, but only if I consciously do it,” Harry said flopping back down on the couch. “Its almost like Sirius was never here.”
“He was. Not being reminded of him around every turn is a good thing. At least you’re not dwelling on his death.”
Harry snorted in disbelief.
“Are you trying to say you would much rather wallow away your life?” Lupin asked, his eyebrow raised. Harry didn’t say anything but his face must have betrayed some of what he was feeling because Lupin continued. “Exactly, I thought not. Sirius wouldn’t have wanted it either. He would want to be out there doing something.”
“Yeah, I guess,” Harry said slowly. He wasn’t quite sure Lupin had made him feel any better. In fact his comment about doing something made Harry feel guilty for being holed up here while almost everyone else was fighting a war.
“Remembering is good,” Lupin continued, causing Harry to return his attention to the conversation. “Dwelling isn’t. Your feelings are perfectly normal Harry. I remember feeling the same things after Lily and James —“ he stopped for a minute. “Sorry, it’s just – even now its sometimes hard when I realized they’re gone. Anyway, you just have to keep the memories and move on with your life.”
Lupin rose from the chair he had been sitting in.
“I think you could use some sleep, I know I sure can. Goodnight Harry.”
“Night Moony,” Harry responded using Lupin’s old marauder name.
“Oh yes. You can sleep soundly tonight Harry, Ginny’s fine.” Lupin had turned back when he reached the door. “Arthur and Molly sent word just a few hours ago, and Moody’s there on guard tonight.”
Harry did relax after that. At least tonight she was fine.
* * * * * * * * *
Harry was grateful to the Order of the Phoenix, as they kept him informed that Ginny remained safe. He and Ginny hadn’t dared send any owls in case they were intercepted. He did hear that she was busy preparing for Bill and Fleur’s wedding.
Lupin and Tonks would drop by the Burrow regularly, and would bring back news about the progress of preparations. From the thoroughly intricate details that Tonks gave Hermione, much to Harry and Ron’s chagrin, things were coming along extremely well.
Harry wished that things at number twelve, Grimmauld Place were going as well as they were at the Burrow. He, Ron and Hermione were still searching pointlessly for information on the Horcruxes, and three days later had had no more luck. Hermione, also finally starting to show some frustration, had suggested they take a break and do something else.
“Great. I’m just about ready for some chess,” Ron said throwing down his quill.
“No Ron, I was thinking more like trying some of those spells from Practical Defensive Magic. I think that set would give us useful jinxes,” Hermione replied pointing to the books that were lying on a table nearby. The books had been a present from Lupin and Sirius two Christmases ago. Harry hadn’t looked at them much since the Dumbledore’s Army days.
“Oh,” Ron’s face fell. He clearly wanted a break from work. “Maybe we can do that after dinner.”
“No, we’ve got Dudley later,” Hermione grimaced at the thought.
They had made little progress with Dudley over the last three days. He was still thoroughly excited about using a wand, but had thus far not managed to levitate anything. He had, thankfully, been saying the incantation properly ever since Harry had levitated him and sent him crashing to the ground.
“Great.” Ron slumped back in his chair. “Doing work while we’re on holiday.” Hermione shot him a reproving look. “I know, I know,” Ron said looking nervous for a second. Harry thought he saw Ron look at him quickly, but realized he had been imagining it.
Ron and Hermione, after that first day, had been a little less overtly affectionate. Harry suspected that Hermione might have known part of the reason why he had been so grumpy. Sometimes she was just too smart for her own good that girl. Harry had contradictory feelings about their new behaviour. On the one hand he was glad that he didn’t have to sit and watch them together, so happy, when he was miserable without Ginny. But that small voice inside him that was probably his conscience told him that he was being selfish. Ron and Hermione had taken a long time to get here. And it wasn’t like they were snogging each other senseless every time that they were within reach.
Harry didn’t want to be the one that interfered with their intimate moments. Therefore, when the three friends weren’t researching, teaching Dudley, or debating about learning new spells, he tended to leave them alone. He wanted to give them as much time as they needed to break-in this new facet of their relationship. Harry smiled at the thought. He really didn’t want to know exactly what they did when they were alone (one intrusion was enough thank you),. He just assumed they were “studying.”
As the days wore on, and a week passed since the Weasleys had left, Harry found that he was spending more and more time by himself. He would traipse about the house, looking at everything that had changed since he had last stayed there. The more time that he spent doing this, the more depressed and hostile he seemed to become. He wouldn’t have noticed this, except for the fact that Ron, Hermione, and the others started to complain about his temperament. This caused him to avoid their company even more frequently..
The more time that he spent in this house, the more Harry started to understand why Sirius was the way he was. It wasn’t as if Harry was trapped here. But he didn’t really have anywhere else to go. That is, at least until his birthday which was still several days away. And the only other reason that he was going to leave Grimmauld Place, was if they somehow found a clue as to where the next Horcrux was, or how to destroy one.
It was during one of these solitary trips through the house that Harry stumbled across a room that he had never been in before. He knew what this room was. It was vacant
This was Sirius’s bedroom
Harry stood rooted to the spot. He didn’t dare enter, but yet he couldn’t seem to work his feet to carry him away from the door. Who knew what state this room would be in. It could be completely empty for all Harry knew. Members of the Order could have come in and packed up the little possessions that Sirius may have kept in there. Kreacher, the contemptuous house-elf, could have come in and cleared the room of all the Black family heirlooms. That is, if any of them had survived Sirius’s purge.
His hand seemed to curl itself around the doorknob without Harry’s will. He stood in that position for another minute before making up his mind. He turned the knob and the door swung open. Of all the possible scenes that Harry had imagined seeing behind that door, the one that met his eyes was not among them.
It looked like Sirius’s room hadn’t been touched. It was as if he had just gone to work, or possibly on a holiday.
This room was as drab as the rest of the house, and perhaps even more so, because it looked like no one had been in to clean since Sirius had died. The dust was thick on all the surfaces, and Harry could see several cobwebs hanging in the corners.
It was a large room; in fact it was larger than the room that Harry and Ron shared two floors below. In the centre was a large bed, the largest Harry had ever seen. It was a four-poster like the one he had at Hogwarts, but instead of the deep red, velvet curtains and coverings, this bed was covered in a blue bedspread, which had once probably been a deep blue, but had faded over time. The curtains around the bed, now tied back, matched the spread, but seemed to have fallen victim to Doxys like the drawing room curtains. A plain wood nightstand stood to the left of the bed; there was nothing on it. To Harry’s right was a large fireplace, now empty of flames, and looked very cold.
This room was almost an embodiment of Sirius’s mood during the last few months of his life. It was bleak and empty. Sirius had probably purged this room of everything else that it once held, much as he had been doing with the rest of the house. Just being here for a few seconds Harry started to feel a little more depressed and despondent. He didn’t know how Sirius could have stood to come into this room at all.
Harry walked farther into the room and sat down on the bed. He looked around once more, and found nothing but drabness. He didn’t even know why he was still here, except that this had once been Sirius’s room. In spite of the conversation that Harry and Lupin had a few days before, he couldn’t help but feel that he should feel more of a connection to Sirius at Grimmauld Place.
Had this been where they had found Sirius’s will, the one that had bestowed this house upon Harry? It seemed likely. Maybe it was in the nightstand. Harry pulled open the only drawer, half-expecting to see a piece of parchment with Sirius’s writing on it; but there was no paper in there.. For a few short seconds he had thought that maybe he would have seen something written by his godfather. Harry’s heart sank, making him realize how hopeful he had actually been.
The drawer wasn’t empty though. Inside was mirror, about the size of a book. Harry stared at it, astonishment flooding all his thoughts. His first inclination was to laugh. Sirius had purged this room of everything but a bed and a nightstand but saw fit to keep a mirror? Harry had never taken his godfather to be vain. After a second though he realized that the mirror looked familiar. Harry used to own a mirror that looked just like this one; he still did, but it was sitting broken at the bottom of his trunk.
His astonishment turned to anger in the blink of an eye. He was angry with himself. It was Harry’s own stupidity that had caused him to rush off to the ministry of magic the night that Sirius had died. He had forgotten all about the grubby little package that Sirius had handed him as he returned to school.. If he had remembered it he could have used that to check Sirius was OK, and had not been kidnapped by Voldemort, rather than listening to the lies that Kreacher had spat at him when he had tried to check from Umbridge’s fire.
He remembered clearly when he had discovered the mirror at the bottom of his trunk and how he had tried in vain to contact Sirius. Well, he had been right. Sirius didn’t have the mirror on him. It had been sitting here in this room for over a year.
Harry very slowly reached in and picked up the mirror. Would it still work if he repaired the other one? And how did the charm work exactly? You had to speak the other person’s name, but did it work only because the spell was put on for those two people, or did it just matter who had the mirrors? Harry didn’t know, but there was someone that probably would.
Harry quickly left the room to find Hermione. He didn’t know what good the mirrors would be, but he was sure that he and his friends would find a use for them. He made a stop in the room he and Ron were still sharing, and rummaged around in his trunk (which Lupin had retrieved from Privet Drive) for the broken mirror.
“Reparo,” he muttered hastily when he finally found it in it’s shattered remnants at the very bottom. The mirror flew back together, and looked good as new.
The two mirrors now in his hand, Harry resumed his search for Ron and Hermione. It wasn’t much of a search. The last place that Harry had left them was in the library where they were once again researching spells that could help them in their dark and dangerous quest. However, when Harry opened the door, he found that they had dispensed with books and seemed to be researching each other.
Not wanting to interrupt them, he closed the door and walked slowly down to his favorite haunt, the tapestry room, as he had started calling it. He collapsed on the couch, his bad mood back in full force. Why now, of all times, did they have to be doing that?
Harry put the two mirrors down on the table beside the couch and stood up, walking towards the tapestry of the Black Family Tree. As he approached it his eyes fell on the cigarette like burn where Sirius’s name had once been. As he thought about the story his godfather had told him about Mr. And Mrs. Black, Harry couldn’t help but think they sounded a lot like his aunt and uncle. If there wasn’t the slight inconvenience of the Blacks hating Muggles, and the Dursleys hating wizards, the two couples would have got on very well.
Standing here, looking at this tapestry, it was as if Harry had used a time turner and traveled back two years. The words that Sirius had said when standing directly on this spot echoed in Harry’s mind.
“He was younger than me, and a much better son, as I was constantly reminded.”
“Stupid idiot . . . he joined the Death Eaters.”
“ . . . he was murdered by Voldemort. Or on Voldemort’s orders, more likely; I doubt Regulus was ever important enough to be killed by Voldemort in person. From what I found out after he died, he go in so far, the panicked about what he was being asked to do and tried to back out.”
As these words played through his mind, Harry stared at the name Regulus Black. Something clicked in his mind. But as soon as he thought it, it seemed the most ridiculous impossibility ever. But . . . did he know that for certain? It would be just the sort of thing that happened to Harry. He was looking for answers that were in some obscure place, and they were right in front of him.
As though his brain was knitting his thoughts together, something else came to mind. Two years ago, when they were cleaning one of the other rooms they had found a heavy locket that none of them could open. Unless Harry was much mistaken, that was the very locket that he and Dumbledore had seen around Merope Gaunt’s neck, and again in Hepzibah Smith’s house.
Possibilities were swimming around Harry’s head so fast they were making him dizzy. He didn’t have the note with him anymore, but was positive it said the writer thought they would be dead before Voldemort ever discovered that the locket was gone.
Was the locket Horcrux here in Grimmauld Place? Could the mysterious R.A.B. in fact be Regulus Black?