The next morning the group set out on course to the unexplored region of the map. Holly looked into the distance and saw a rock face in the distance in front of them. A few hours later, the group was about a few hundred meters from the rock face and Holly stared at it while they ate lunch. It intrigued her; she felt a draw from within her to go and see it up close, examine it.
“Looks like that big ol’ rock is where we’re headed” Fred said looking at his map.
Holly and George nodded and took another sip of their water. The group had been very careful with their limited resources but by this point, the water bottles were looking more on the empty side than full. Holly hoped they found at least the place around where the diadem was hidden before tonight. The group started their trek to the rockface again and after a few hours they found themselves by the base. The mass expanse of rock met the ground in a peculiar shape. The base of the rock formed a sort of semicircle structure. The rock here was smooth, unlike the rest of it. The semicircle contained tall trees and fresh earth that the group had not seen for quite some time. Holly, Fred, George and Gryphon all walked into the semicircle with their wands drawn. The space was a few hundred meters wide and showed some signs of magical remnants. When the group walked in the area, they suddenly heard birds chirping, winds blowing through the trees and animals running about on the ground. They knew it was just a magical cover-up because no animals could be seen and no wind could be felt; it was just an illusion.
George cast the spell to see if anyone was around them and it came back with nothing.
“Alright gang, looks like it’s just us.” George said, “Why don’t we all split up and search to save time”
Holly and Fred nodded in agreement and the group separated. Holly was just about to whistle for Gryphon but saw that he had already followed Fred to search his area with him. She rolled her eyes and started to explore her area.
The sounds of whispers of various spells could be heard throughout the area. Holly waved her wand around every branch of every tree, every blade of grass, every stone on the ground. After about fifteen minutes of this, Holly leaned against the rock wall to muse about where the hiding place might be. An idea was just starting to form in her head when she felt the rock behind her give way, causing her to fall backwards into a cavern! Holly landed on her back hard and found herself looking up into rock. She got up and realized she was in a small area in the rock that she hadn’t seen from outside. Holly could see the area that she had just left and started to moved towards it when suddenly a bright light flashed behind her. Holly turned around and her eyes opened wide.
Before her was an open cavern within the rock! She walked out of the little passageway, the crevasse, and into an open area that was home to several more trees and a small waterfall that fell into a pond. Holly’s thirst suddenly became unbearable and she longed to drink the water that fell. She got her water bottle from her backpack and went to take a sip. To her dismay, the water bottle was suddenly empty!
‘That can’t be right,’ Holly thought, ‘I had almost a quarter of it left!’ She tried to shake the thought of water out of her head as she explored the area. Many times she found herself being drawn to the water unconsciously. After this happened for the third time, Holly finally had enough. She withdrew her wand, materialized a cup for herself, and then cast the water spell, Augamenti. At once, her thirst disappeared, before she had taken one sip of the water. Holly suddenly felt a presence behind her and turned around.
Before her, floating by the trees was the ghost of a young woman. She was very pale and had a sad look on her face but she was still beautiful, with soft features.
“Are you Rowena Ravenclaw?” Holly asked the ghost.
“No, I am Helena Ravenclaw, her daughter.” The ghost replied.
Something stirred in Holly’s memory, “Wait, I remember seeing you before. Do you usually reside at Hogwarts?”
Helena smiled, “Yes, but there I am called The Grey Lady. I am the ghost of Ravenclaw.”
“Oh how lovely,” Holly said pausing, “So how come you’re here? In Albania?”
Helena drifted closer to Holly before saying, “I’m sorry I didn’t reveal myself to you when you first found this place, I had to make sure you were actually a witch. I cast a protective spell here long ago, causing anyone to have a sudden thirst and drink the water that fell.” She smiled at Holly, “The water is poisoned you see. That was how I could keep lesser beings away from here.”
Holly nodded in understanding but thought it was a barbaric thing to do as she wasn’t a lesser being but almost drank from the water.
Helena continued, “I leave Hogwarts once a day, every year and return to this spot.” She pointed a finger at a specific tree that had been hollowed out. “That is where I died.” Holly’s eyes widened as her words and Helena laughed softly to herself as she continued her story.
“I was jealous of my mother’s intellect. Where she had brain, I had beauty. In my time, brain was valued over everything else, especially if you were a Ravenclaw. Oh I had some intellect; I was sorted into Ravenclaw house after all. But my beauty was greater than my mind.” Helena paused then continued her story, “I stole my mother’s diadem and ran away. I thought it would allow me to be as wise as her. To her dying breath she never told anyone that I had stolen it. She sent a baron to come find me and bring me back to her before she died. I loved this place; I had found it as a child. I had stayed hidden here with the diadem until the baron came for me. I knew him, he had been a classmate of mine throughout school and he had been infatuated with me. I did not return the feelings and he grew angry. When I refused to come with him to see my mother his anger grew even fiercer. He stabbed me. After my death I chose to stay in this world and not go beyond. I went back to live at Hogwarts under the name ‘Grey Lady’ so no one would ask about the diadem.”
“And what happened to the baron?” Holly asked. Suddenly her eyes lit up, “He’s the Bloody Baron isn’t he? The ghost of Slytherin?”
Helena nodded, “Yes, after he saw what he had done, he killed himself and returned to Hogwarts as well.”
“And the diadem? Where did it end up?” Holly asked
Helena Ravenclaw’s face suddenly went stony, “It was hidden in the hollow tree where I had hid it. I came here every year on the anniversary of the death to make sure it was still there.”
“And is it still here?”
Helena’s face grew livid, “No.” She floated away from Holly, turning her back to her.
“Helena! Please, it’s very important that I find it. I think someone has taken it!”
Before Holly could react, Helena soared back to her, face twisted in angry rage, “I know who took it! He tricked me! Made it seem like he was a friend! HE DEFILED IT, WITH DARK MAGIC!”
“NO, I SWORE NO ONE WOULD TRICK ME AGAIN!”
“I WANT TO DESTROY IT!” Holly shouted back. Helena stopped, shocked. “Please Helena, tell me where he hid it”
Helena’s figure started floating softly away from Holly. “It is in the place where things are hidden. If you have to ask, you'll never know. If you know, you need only ask,” she whispered softly.
“Thank you” Holly said to the disappearing form. Within a few moments there was no indication the ghost of Helena Ravenclaw had ever been there. Holly turned back to the crevasse that connected the two areas by the rock; it was time to rejoin the twins and find Harry.