Harry Potter and the Price of Being Noble

Harry helps Fleur in the second task of GOF and pays the price. HP/Fleur/Gabrielle/Hermione. A Veela bonding fic based on love. T Rated and it will stay that way. Thirteen year old Almost fourteen Gabrielle to start the story. Good Dumbledore.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5403795/1/Harry-Potter-and-the-Price-of-Being-Noble

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18. Chapter 18

"How'd you get the Dursleys out of the house for the day?" Harry asked Remus. He, his bondmates, Remus and the twins were all in Dumbledore's office waiting before taking a portkey to Privet Drive. The twins had been stunned that Dumbledore himself was allowing this venture to happen.

"That was the first prank of the day Harry," Remus answered with a grin. "You know about the Channel Tunnel, the new tunnel to the continent?"

"Uncle Vernon was making a huge deal about how much it cost last summer when it opened. Said it was a waste of ten billion pounds or something like that."

"Well he had no problem about winning a contest for a free day trip through it," Remus said and then explained. "Limousine service to the station, with a promise of another Limousine on the other side for a quick tour before the return trip."

"Doesn't sound much like a prank to me," Hermione said, listening in, "Sounds like they got a great deal."

"Well you'd be right if," Remus left that word hanging for a couple of seconds as everyone moved a little closer to listen, "their tickets were real. When they get to the terminal and present their tickets, they are going to be in for a rude shock. The Limo driver is a fellow werewolf doing me a favor. He will disappear as soon as the Dursleys are out of the car, so not only will they not get their trip, but they will have to find their own way back home, which means paying for train fare back," He looked at his watch. "They should have left about ten minutes ago and we should have a bit of time before they return."

Dumbledore handed Remus two ropes, one for getting to the Dursleys and another to return. Each was spelled to a different keyword. A dizzying few moments later for the assortment of witches and wizards and they found themselves sprawled out in the back garden of number Four Privet Drive.

Fleur, Gabrielle and Hermione who had all seen Harry's memories of this place immediately felt anger toward the residence. A sense of loathsome resonated in their minds at the house and anyone who lived there besides Harry. A quick "Alohomora" from Remus and the back door was opened.

"Now remember, we are looking for ways to make the people who live here experience a series of unpleasant occurrences without evidence of magic being used," He turned to look at everyone with a smile, "At least to start with. Okay Harry, why don't you give us a walk through, explaining a typical day of your Aunt and Uncle, what rooms are what, and any special areas that might hold interest. Also if there is anything that your Aunt and Uncle really hate."

Harry explained that a morning without him around and with Dudley away at Smelting would probably have Aunt Petunia making breakfast and later joined by Uncle Vernon who would have showered and dressed before coming down. During breakfast Uncle Vernon would read the newspaper and afterwards he would head off to work in his car. Petunia would spend the morning cleaning, and the afternoon watching TV interrupted with periods of spying on some neighbors while gossiping with others. In the evening there would be dinner and then most evenings they camp in front of the TV for further entertainment.

He walked them through the house including the kitchen, dining room and living room; upstairs they toured all the bedrooms including Harry's, which was incredibly bare compared to the rest of the house. Hermione noticed the locks on his bedroom door faced outward, instead of inward and the cat flap that was cut into the door. A raised eyebrow asked the question and a shrug of Harry's shoulder answered it. "You saw most of it, but they didn't this past summer. They were too afraid of Sirius," He said to her.

"Arry may I look?" Fleur said and looking over he could see her near the cupboard under the stairs when they had returned back downstairs. "If you don't wish me to I won't."

"No secrets right? I guess you've already seen it anyway," Harry replied hesitantly, "Just don't say anything about it please."

"Ze only shame zis cupboard 'olds is for zose…zose gross cochons," Fleur exclaimed.

Hermione and Gabrielle both felt the emotions from Harry and looked over at him; they followed his gaze to Fleur and could see where she was standing. They both walked over to stand near Fleur and looked at Harry who just gave them both a mental nod and he turned to lead the twins and Remus back into the kitchen for a closer look.

Harry could feel the anger from all of his bond mates as they saw the room they had witnessed in the bondimage and he knew that if his Aunt and Uncle were to walk back in the door at this moment, three very irate witches would hex them to pieces regardless of the consequences.

Remus picked up the frying pan and pulling out his wand he mutter a quick spell. "Well that's something small to start with," He said.

"What did you do?" Harry asked.

"Oh, just a heat dampening spell on all but the dead center of the pan." Remus explained. "Cooking eggs and bacon will never be the same for her. Most of it will cook slowly but anything right in the middle will burn."

Harry opened one of the cabinets and grabbed the cake pan, "Can you do this one also?" He asked. "She always makes a cake to take to the neighbor every couple of weeks. Mrs. Ellison can't bake very well and Aunt Petunia never misses a chance to show her up."

Remus took the pan and cast the same spell on it and Harry put it back away. Then Remus looked at the table. "How much does your Uncle weigh?"

"At least twenty stones," Harry replied. "Maybe a bit more."

"Excellent," Remus said, and he tapped his wand on each of the chair and muttered something that sounded like 'Adficio' to Harry. Remus looked up and said, "I weakened the chairs so if he sits in any of them they should collapse after a while."

Harry smiled as he imagined his Uncle plopping down heavily in a chair and having it crumble under him.

The twins were looking in the Refrigerator and the cabinets and both were grinning very broadly.

"You two look like you have some ideas," Harry said.

"Many, but we need to try a few things first. Does your Aunt by any chance hate it when cabinet doors are left open?" Fred asked.

"She can't stand it, and of course when I'm here I'm always responsible."

Fred looked at George, "We think we can make their lives a little interesting."

Harry knew the twins idea of interesting wasn't something his Aunt and Uncle were going to appreciate.

The girls had finished their inspection of the minute habitat Harry had spent a good portion of his early life living in and were looking over the living room. The noticed all the pictures of the Dursleys, especially of the overgrown whale Dudley, but not a single picture of Harry existed in the room, nor did they even remember one being in the house at all. Silently their frustrations and anger were being discussed. Hermione continued to look around the room and her eyes fell upon the television.

"Harry did you say you Aunt and Uncle have favorite TV shows?" Hermione called out.

"Definitely. Aunt Petunia has several in the afternoon she watches and they spend a lot of time watching the tele in the evenings," Harry said as he walked into the room. "Did you have anything in mind?"

By now everyone else had joined the girls in the living room, "Well at home one of the most frustrating things to ever happen to me was when power went out when there was only ten minutes left in a show I was watching and I ended up missing the ending. It didn't televise again until I was back at Hogwarts and my parents absolutely cannot program a VCR to save their lives. I still haven't seen the end of it."

The Delacours and Weasley twins did not understand most of what Hermione had just explained, and seeing that she explained further. "The tele shows stories in moving pictures, but the shows are chosen by another company that sends them to the TV. The shows usually are not shown again for some months later if ever. Now think of it as reading a book, and you get near the end and find out the last thirty pages are missing. That's what it's like not being able to see the last ten or so minutes of a TV show. Now presume the bookstore will not have a replacement book for months so you have to wait that long to find out what happens."

Fleur looked at Hermione and smiled, "So zis is ze thing your TV who comes on?"

"Yes. At my house we'll need one of these, a VCR, a very large bowl of popcorn and a bunch of rented Doctor Who tapes," Hermione replied smiling at her bond sister. She then remembered her parents. "I really hope my parents are polite to you."

"I'm sure eet will be fine," Fleur replied. "Your muzzer said she supported your decision."

"Okay, that sounds great, but can we get back to the reason we're here?" Remus asked.

"Dad says these things have problem with magic," Fred said.

"Everything that runs off electricity has problems with magic," Remus said.

George looked at Fred, "Think if we modify time tape it would work?"

"It might. Definitely something we can work on."

"Time tape?" Harry asked.

"We invented prank tape that stops working after so much time," George explained.

"Someone uses it to fix something, and after ever how long you spell the tape for, it completely stops sticking," Fred explained.

"The tape has magical properties that we might be able to activate according to a certain time schedule. It will also blend into a muggle environment so they would never notice it."

"So if the magic activates near a TV it should make it stop working for whatever duration you want," Fred finished.

Hermione was looking at the back of the TV. "Will it disrupt the TV signal, and not the TV? She held up a black cable. They have cable TV."

"What's that?" George asked.

"The TV signal or how the shows are sent to the TV doesn't come through the air here, it's sent down through this cable. The usually get more channels and it's not affected by weather," Hermione explained. "I think it would be more frustrating if the TV signal dies. Nothing like grey fuzz displaying on a TV screen."

"We can try it, if it doesn't work on the cable, we can put it on the TV itself."

Remus looked at his watch, "Do we need to see anything else?"

"What about outside?" Gabrielle asked quietly. "Ees zere anything we can do zere?"

"Well if you can make the grass die," Harry said jokily, "Having the greenest lawn on the street is one of Uncle Vernon's major goals in the summer. As long as he can make me do it that is."

"It's an idea," Remus said. "Does he put fertilizer or anything on it?"

"Yes, several times a year."

"Something else we can look into," Remus said, "Anything else?"

"What about the car?" Harry asked.

"Maybe we can ask Dad how to randomly disable a car," Fred said.

"Yeah, I bet he would know," George said.

Harry could just imagine Uncle Vernon's car not starting in the morning as he's trying to get to work and he started smiling imagining the purple face already.

"Let's take a quick peek in the garage," Remus said. When they entered the detached building a minute later, Fred saw a set of golf clubs in one corner and nudged George. They walked over and examined the set.

"Your uncle plays golf Harry?" He asked.

Harry knew that golf balls were commonly used in Quidditch practice so wasn't surprised that the Twins knew about the game.

"Yeah, he takes clients out to golf to close deals sometimes."

Fred turned to George, "Wish we had some of those golf balls Dad was talking about last year."

George looked at Harry, "Yeah they were bewitched to fly perfectly straight and go a lot further than normal."

"What's the catch?" Harry asked. "Sounds like something my Uncle would want."

"When the balls land they vanish," Fred explained. "Golfer thinks that hit the most perfect shot of their life, but when they get to where their ball should be it's not there. Dad said there was one golfer who refused to give up looking for his ball. He supposedly held up the whole golf course for hours ranting and raving." (A/N: I think I owned a set of these Golf Balls. Perfect drives right down the middle of the fairway, just to vanish.)

Remus walked over to them. "Anything we can do to the clubs?" He asked.

"He had these clubs custom-made for himself," Harry said. "I remember him coming home with them saying they were all a half inch longer than normal length. I remember that specifically because one of Dudley's friends joked to another that he needed the extra length to get over his stomach."

"Hmm," Remus thought as he looked at the club. Tapping it with his wand he said "Reducio," And the club shaft reduced in size slightly. "Well he won't have that extra length the next time he heads out. In fact they are now about a half an inch shorter than they were," He said and proceeded to adjust the rest of the clubs in the same way.

They all perused the rest of the garage, noticing the lawn mower and other garden tools. They also opened the car and examined it in detail.

"Well there is something I can do the car now," Remus said. "Harry can you open the bonnet?" When Harry did as requested, everyone was looking at the thing that makes a car go. Remus put his wand on the battery and held it there for a couple of minutes. "There that should have drained it." He said after time. He then turned back to Harry. "Where are his keys? Did he leave them?"

"I thought I saw them on the hook next to the door."

"Grab them real quick and we'll lock them in the car," Remus said. "I know we're not doing much yet, but this was only supposed to be an information gathering expedition," Once Harry grabbed the keys, Remus first used his wand to make the metal a bit more brittle before putting the key into the ignition, he then closed and locked the car doors.

When they had finished in the garage they all went back inside and gave it one more look over. Finally Remus looked at his watch and declared time was running short. "Everyone has seen what they want to see?" When everyone nodded, "Okay, then get close to me, I'm going to cast a cleanup spell. It'll remove all traces of us being here."

"Like fingerprints and stuff?" Harry asked.

"Should clean up everything."

But the word fingerprints had put Hermione's mind to work, and an idea and a plan came to mind. "Harry, what would your Aunt and Uncle do if after being conned away from their home, came back to find the front door ajar?" Hermione asked.

"They'd call the police, thinking they'd been robbed," Harry replied.

"And the police would probably examine the whole house thoroughly?"

"Yeah."

"Is there anything we can leave behind for the police to find?" Hermione asked everyone. "Something that might be embarrassing or slightly illegal?" to Harry she continued "And they would have to explain a reversed keyed locked and a cat flap on a bedroom door."

That made Harry think of something else. "Speaking of leaving things out," He said and rushed back up the stairs. He quickly made his way to Dudley's room. He knew of a particular loose floorboard and wanted to make sure anyone searching the room would find it as well. He pried it up and quickly made sure Dudley's stash of adult magazines were still hidden there, before he could put the board back a voice said. "What does 'e 'ide zere?"

"Uh…nothing just…" Harry cheeks turned red as Fleur walked over and pulled one of the magazines out of the hiding spot.

"Why are you embarrassed 'Arry?"

"It's...well," Harry stammered.

Fleur looked at her bond mate and smiled. "Eets nothing to be embarrassed about 'Arry," Looking to make sure no one else had followed them she leaned over and gave Harry a small kiss on his lips. "Are your bond mates as pretty as she is?" Fleur nodded at the cover of the magazine.

"More beautiful by far," He replied honestly as his eyes were looking into Fleur's.

"What about our bodies?" Fleur asked silently.

"I…I guess so," Harry replied nervously, "I mean you're very attractive and…"

"We've been bonded zis long and you've never peeked?" Fleur asked smiling.

"Peeked?"

"I stand in front of a mirror undressed every morning after my shower 'Arry and you can see what I see," Fleur said.

"But I wouldn't…"

"I wouldn't mind 'Arry; none of us would," Fleur said, putting the magazine back in the floorboard. "I don't mean to embarrass you. You're a special man 'Arry Potter and I love you," Fleur caressed Harry's cheek as the love she felt for him radiated in her eyes. After a few seconds of staring into those emerald eyes she said "Let's go back downstairs and see what zey've figured out."

Harry replaced the floorboard but left a corner sticking up. As they were headed to the door Harry had a thought, "Does that mean you've peeked?"

Fleur turned a mischievous grin toward her bond mate. "Once or twice…..a day. And you are very very 'andsome my love," Fleur winked at Harry and started for the steps and then came up short as she thought of the scantily clad woman on the magazine cover. "I 'ave an idea," She turned around and went into Harry's Aunt and Uncle's room. She pulled open a couple of drawers until she found his Aunt's lingerie, "mmm.." She hummed as she pulled out a pair of knickers and a bra. She arranged them on the bed and pulled out her wand and said "Engorgio," The undergarments started growing until they had swelled several sizes. Fleur then changed them into a bright red color. When she had finished Fleur looked at Harry, "Which side of the bed is your Uncle's?" and when he pointed, she opened the drawer of the bed table and stuck the lingerie in it. Turning to Harry she smiled, "Now what will your Aunt think when she finds ladies underwear in your uncle's drawer zat doesn't fit 'er?" She grinned at Harry and sent him an image of herself in her underwear to him. Before he could react, she raced down the steps.

Remus and the twins were trying figure out why Harry was blushing when he followed shortly afterwards. "Just making sure my cousin's adult magazine collection is easily found," He said. "My Aunt will love finding it the next time she cleans."

Fred turned to George, "He never tells us about the good stuff."

"And we thought he was a good friend. Maybe she should take one more look in that room," George replied and they had started for the steps when Remus stopped them.

"As much as I'm sure you would appreciate perusing an in-depth female anatomy class workbook, I think you can forgo it this time," He said and then turning to Harry "While you were upstairs, we decided that though Hermione's idea has a lot of merit for the future, we shouldn't do it this trip."

"Why?"

"If they think they've been robbed, they might increase their security and make it more difficult for me to get back in to implement whatever we come up with."

"Makes sense," Harry agreed.

"Of course, that's not to say it won't happen in the future," Remus grinned. "But for now, let's just leave the few surprises we have, regroup with further ideas and come back," Remus cast the cleanup spell and when everyone was touching the rope, he activated the portkey.

"Did everything go satisfactory?" The Headmaster asked as the group disentangled themselves and stood up.

"We think we have enough to work on, plus we left a few surprises for them today, nothing serious…yet," Remus replied.

"Excellent," Dumbledore replied. "Now it's lunchtime, and afterwards I do believe you wished me to assist you in another task?"

Harry remembered the rune in the Chamber. "Yes sir."

"Very well. I've been thinking about what that might mean and I have an idea. Remus if you will come get me when you're ready, I shall make myself available."

As they were all leaving the Headmaster's office, Harry was curious about something. "Why did you two stop pestering me about Padfoot and Wormtail?" Harry asked the twins. After he originally had told them about his father being Prongs, they had asked Harry several times about the last two Marauders, but each time Harry had put them off. Finally the queries just stopped.

Fred looked at George, "We sort of figured it out Harry," Fred explained. "And we realized why you didn't want to talk about it."

"We didn't know it was a Marauder who betrayed your parents Harry," George continued, "or ended up killing the other Marauder."

"But just to finally put it to rest, is Sirius Black Wormtail?" Fred asked. "Seems like a fitting moniker of the person who betrayed your parents."

Harry looked at the twins in surprise. "How'd you do it? Find out who they were, I mean?"

George grinned at his twin brother. "You gave us enough Harry. Knowing your father was Prongs and Lupin was Moony, we distracted Filch enough to sneak in and take a look at his files."

"And it always seemed like two other names appeared anytime James Potter or Remus Lupin received detentions or other punishments, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew."

Harry chuckled, "I don't think people give you enough credit guys."

"And we like it that way Harry," George said. "We have the advantage when we are underestimated."

"To answer your question, Peter i..was Wormtail, and Sirius is Padfoot," Harry replied.

By then Harry and the twins had fallen behind everyone else. "Now can we ask you a question Harry?"

"What do you want to know?"

"What's going on with you and your girlfriend's sister?"

Harry looked at the two of them sharply, "What do you mean?"

"Last night at the party and all this morning she has been looking at you just like her sister does and you've been looking at both of them the same way," Fred replied.

"We don't believe the rubbish Mum and Ron go on about, but there is something going on between you and those two," George chimed in. "And it's more than just having Gabrielle as a girlfriend."

Harry pulled up short and turned toward the twins. "Look guys, it's...it's nothing. Just forget it."

"Sure," Fred said sounding a little hurt. "Look Harry, we might have spread a few rumors in our time here, all in good fun of course."

"But we have never betrayed a friend," George continued.

Harry studied the two redheads in front of him, "And no matter what I say, you'll not let it go until you are satisfied?"

"If you really want us to we will," Fred said. "But if we noticed, other people will also."

"And if there really is something you're trying to hide, having two people who happen to be very good at misinformation might help you," George continued.

"OK, I'm not saying whether you're right or wrong, but for now let it go. Please."

The twins both nodded, "Sure."

"One other thing guys," Harry said. "Moody asked me to loan him the Marauder's map a couple of months ago. Since without his help I would have been caught by Snape out after curfew, I really couldn't refuse. Now I really would like it back. Can you two, in all of your deviousness, think of a way to get it?"

"Breaking into Moody's office isn't a good idea," George replied.

"No telling what traps he might have in there," Fred agreed.

"We'll put our heads together, but it sounds like a difficult task," George said.

"Have you thought about asking for it back?" Fred asked.

"Not really, but what would I say? You monitoring security of the castle isn't as important as me having my map back? Especially since my name got put in the cup by Merlin knows who and you think they might be trying to get me killed?"

"Yeah, does sound a little weak when you put it that way," George agreed. "Is there any reason you need the map? Anything we can help you with?"

"Thanks guys," Harry said, "But not yet."

At lunch the twins agreed to meet back up with everyone the following weekend. Remus would be out of the picture for most of the week due to the full moon due in three days. When lunch was over Professor Dumbledore joined the rest of the party (minus the twins) and descended into the Chamber.

"It definitely appears to be the same as on the wall upstairs," Dumbledore said as he examined the rune. He tapped it with his wand and when nothing happened he began a series of detection spells. He frowned a couple of times at something that no one else could determine. Finally he turned to Harry.

"Harry, I would like for you to request it to open, but immediately move backward," Dumbledore said. "I do not detect any traps but I also could not detect the door upstairs. Everyone else, please have your wands out and be prepared for anything that might happen."

Harry moved closer to the Rune, with one last sideways glance at the Headmaster, he focused on the symbol and envisioned the lines to be snakes. Finally he said "§Open§" and immediate jumped back as a rectangular square of the rock swung inward as if on a hinge. The opening it left was six feet high and three feet wide. It was obviously a door and there was only darkness behind it.

Professor Dumbledore cast the same kind of light spell he had for the chamber and waited. When nothing happened he moved forward to examine the opening. Unable to keep his own curiosity at bay, Harry moved forward to look as well. Through the doorway all he could make out was a carved out room with nothing in it.

Dumbledore, Sirius and Remus had all stepped through the door and Harry followed shortly behind them. The room they stepped into was barren. It had a ramp like tunnel that led off to one side, a quick glance at it seemed to suggest it curved and it went upward. Directly on the other side of the room was a regular ordinary wooden door attached to a stone archway. The stones of the archway seemed to consist of intertwined snakes. By now Hermione, Fleur and Gabrielle had entered the room and all were taking in what they saw.

Professor Dumbledore had moved across the room and was examining the door while Sirius and Remus moved toward the ramp.

"Harry, I am most curious about this door," Professor Dumbledore said.

"What do you think it is?" Harry asked.

"Possibly Salazar's private study or similar, but more importantly, I am positive Tom Riddle has been in here."

Hearing the name of the student who became Lord Voldemort brought Harry's attention to full on Dumbledore. "What makes you certain?"

"Because he set a new command to open the entrance for the Basilisk. Or at least that is my belief," Dumbledore explained, and then continued. "Earlier when I was looking at the statue, I remembered what you said his command was to open the mouth and release the Basilisk. Do you remember what you told me he said?"

"Yeah, uh something like, speak to me Slytherin. Greatest of the Hogwarts four."

"Exactly Harry. Now does that sound like something Salazar himself would say to his own statue? Or something Tom Riddle would say?"

"Well Tom I suppose, but doesn't that mean he just was in the Chamber? It doesn't mean he actually came in here did it?"

"Excellent question Harry," Dumbledore said looking at Harry over his half-moon glasses. "But in this case I think it does. I don't think even the cleverness of Tom Riddle at sixteen could have overcome the magic of Salazar Slytherin without some guidance. Unless I am mistaken, there must be some well, for lack of a better word, guide for the chamber here somewhere. Now may I ask you and the ladies to stand back away from the door? I don't think this door will have any traps, in fact I doubt it very seriously, but it's always better to be safe than sorry."

Harry and his bondmates moved away from the door. Harry made sure he positioned himself in front of Gabrielle just in case. They watched Professor Dumbledore tap the door with his wand and the door opened immediately. Again he waited a few moments before casting a light spell and once the room was lit, they saw him enter. Harry immediately started forward. When he looked in the room, the first thing he saw was books, and so was the second. The room was fairly large and two complete walls were nothing but bookshelves. Harry heard a gasp beside him and knew Hermione was there.

"As much as I know you're eager to examine this room like I am," Professor Dumbledore said. "I would request you allow me this evening to examine this and the other rooms," He nodded at two other doors that Harry had yet to notice. Professor Dumbledore noticed the look of disappointment on their faces, "I am more than certain that all of you can take care of yourselves, but these volumes are over a thousand years old. The slightest misstep might cause irreversible harm. Can you go see what Remus and Sirius might have discovered?"

Harry was annoyed that he was being sent away like a disobedient child, but he did realize why. "Yes sir," While the Headmaster had been speaking Hermione had walked over to a small desk and was looking at what appeared to be a handwritten journal of some sort.

"Sir," She said. "What is a Horcrux?"

Dumbledore's eyes snapped toward her quicker than either had ever seen the Headmaster react. "Why? Where did you hear that word?"

"It's written here sir," She said pointing down at the journal. Before she had even finished the sentence Albus Dumbledore had the journal in his hand flipping page after page. Looking up finally he saw four sets of eyes all looking at him, "Yes…yes. I think you need to go look after Sirius and Remus now," His tone left no room for questions or arguments. Harry and the girls all left Salazar's library with only a few glances back.

They met Sirius and Remus as they were coming back down the ramp.

"Nothing much up there, a lot of bones, and two more snake skins," Sirius said. "Damn near jumped out of my own skin when we walked into a room and the skin was lying there."

"Your reflexes are sure getting better," Remus replied smirking and then turning to Harry. "He stunned the skin before I even had my wand ready. What about you? Anything interesting behind the door?"

"A library of some sort," Hermione said with a wistful look on her face. "Professor Dumbledore said we couldn't go back in there until tomorrow."

"Ave any idea what a 'orcrux is?" Fleur asked Remus.

Remus thought about it for a while. "No, can't say I've ever come across that term. Why do you ask?"

"Ermione saw the word in a journal in zat library and your 'eadmaster literally snatched ze journal from under 'er nose," She explained.

"I'm sure it meant something to him," Remus said. "I'll go see if I can assist him and maybe we can get you back in there quicker. For now though, why don't you start telling Sirius about our morning."

Sirius, Harry and the girls were situated around the table when Remus rejoined them a very short time later. "He's not letting anyone in that room. He is definitely studying some kind of journal."

The six of them started discussing the Dursleys' home and the little things they did and started planning on some more elaborate possibilities. Several hours later, Dumbledore came out of the room behind the statue carrying several books. He assured them that the rooms were safe, but once again requested that they did not touch any of the books until they have had a chance at being protected. He made himself a portkey to transport himself directly to his office and disappeared.

Hermione was the first back in the library and the first thing she noticed was the journal she had seen previously was missing along with the books that had been on the desk with it. She had a nagging feeling that whatever a Horcrux was, it was something Professor Dumbledore considered to be extremely important.

One of other doors led to a bedchamber, while the other led to some kind of potions workshop. The potions area garnered most of Fleur's attention. She looked longingly at the books that were in there, but per the Headmaster's request, did not touch them.

After an hour of exploring they finally lost some of their interest and realized they had studying to do. As they left the room, Harry remembered there was no bathroom. He suggested maybe they all should head up for dinner, but as they were headed out of the Chamber, an idea came to mind.

"What about a tent?" He said.

"What about a tent?" Sirius asked.

"When we were at the World Cup we stayed in tents that were magically larger and had bathrooms and kitchens." Harry explained. "Why don't we get one for you to have down here? It's got to be better than how you're living now."

Remus looked at Sirius. "That's not a bad idea. I think I'll follow them up and put an order in for one of those as well."

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Late that night, Dumbledore sat behind his large desk rereading the journal that he had found in Salazar's library. After a while he sat back and rubbed his eyes before he turned to Fawkes with a look of profound sadness. "As much as it saddens me to say it, I was right about that diary confirming my suspicions old friend. Tom was researching Horcruxes," Dumbledore picked up one of the books that had been near the journal, a book from Salazar's personal library. It detailed the workings of creating a horcrux. "What's more horrifying though is that he was pondering the question that if other wizards have created Horcruxes and still died, would it be better to create more than one Horcrux to further protect himself." The Headmaster leaned back thinking just how old he felt at that moment. He looked down again and reread the last passage written by Tom Riddle all those years ago.

"…but how many Horcruxes? To ensure my continued survival the more I can make would be the better, but what of the magical properties of numbers? Would it be better to have my soul divided into a particular strong magical number of parts? Wouldn't that insure a stronger soul than a single one?"

Dumbledore looked again at the date on the journal entry. June 10th, 1943. He had checked the dates of what happened that year when Harry had explained about the diary. Riddle had accused Hagrid on the 13th of that month.

"And Tom was afraid to go back to the Chamber after that because I was keeping an eye on him," Dumbledore thought remembering again what Harry had said two years ago. "I never gave him a chance to finish his thoughts in his journal. But if he had returned, this journal would probably not still have been there," His thoughts turned to Arithmancy, "If he did divide his soul into parts equal to a strong magical number, what would it be? Three, seven, and thirteen all have strong magical properties. Three would be the easiest for him to accomplish, but thirteen would ensure the most safety, while seven is considered the strongest magical number to exist. Can the soul be divided thirteen times and still be considered living?"

Dumbledore's thoughts turned to Harry and a sense of hopelessness descended upon him. Two years ago when Harry had shown he could speak parseltongue it confirmed to him that the young man had somehow acquired some of Riddle's powers. With the diary confirming the existence of Horcruxes he had started developing a theory on how that had happened. Now with the knowledge that Tom made more than one Horcrux and most likely made many of them, it all but confirmed that Tom's soul had been so unstable the night he tried to kill Harry, an innocent baby, that a part of it snapped off and embedded in Harry. Dumbledore had for so long hoped the prophecy could have been interpreted in some other way, but it was not to be. With Harry being a Horcrux, he would have to die before Voldemort could die.

Tears watered the Headmaster's eyes as he thought of the young man he had just seen a few hours ago. Even after the childhood he had experienced, he had turned into a fine young man, a young man who had finally found some happiness in his life. He had found love.

"Do I tell him my suspicions? Tell him of the prophecy? To what end?" The Headmaster thought to himself. "It might be years, decades or even a lifetime before it might come true. Do I tell him and have him looking over his shoulder the rest of his life waiting for Riddle to kill him never getting to enjoy the life he has, or let him live a life free of that burden?" One final thought occurred to him, "How will Harry's death affect his bondmates? Will they themselves be condemned?" Dumbledore thought of Professor Berceau, but quickly dismissed the idea of asking her. "I can't ask, not without questions being asked of me that I can't answer at this time."

It was sometime later before the Headmaster made his way to his bedchamber only to restlessly lay awake the whole night as three numbers kept rolling into his mind, "Three, seven, thirteen."

 
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