“Why the hell would he tell you where they are Malfoy? I mean, oh Merlin, you know where they are. You know where they are!”
He had watched as anger became surprise became excitement. Only one problem, he didn’t know what they were.
“Oh, we have to tell McGonagall and Harry, and Ginny, and Ron. Malfoy, why didn’t you mention this earlier?”
“Granger, aren’t you fighting with atleast two of them at this moment? Weasly is still mad at you for saying nice things about me at the beginning of the year and Potter’s mad at you for well, being nice to me and probably yelling at him too.”
“This is more important than a stupid little fight. Besides, we’d get over it eventually. I mean, really, they’ll understand eventually.”
“Granger, fine you want to know why you can't tell them?”
“Why can't I tell them Malfoy?”
“Because I don’t know specifics!”
“You… don’t know… specifics?”
“Yes! Look, when I turned sixteen I received three letters. The other two don’t matter but apparently Voldemort saw me as his next in command when I was a baby. He wrote me a letter that tells me,” he waved his wand and the letter came flying from his room, “‘I have placed six Horcruxes around the world. One on each major continent, two here in Europe . I may tell you exactly where they lay someday but as of this moment I cannot risk that someone shall discover this.’ And he goes on with a boat load of unimportant crap. Well unimportant to this particular conversation. I don’t know how he can put four Horcruxes on five continents. That doesn’t seem possible.”
“Malfoy, there are six other continents, not five.”
“I'm not that dumb Granger, I’ve already ruled out Antarctica . It is in no way a major continent simply because nothing is there. And besides that, how would he remember where he put it since its all white down there?”
“Good thinking. Maybe he considers the America ’s one continent?”
Draco shook his head as he looked down at the table, “No, no. I know he had one in the States which covers North America and I know there was one in South America somewhere. Took a trip there when he was younger, at some rocky place.
“I know that three have been discovered, I don’t know if all of them have been destroyed. The one in the States was his diary. Kept it at the Library of Congress according to my father. Before He told my father to keep it safe. So I know that that one’s gone.
“The one in South America was a necklace that I know Potter and Dumbledore discovered. I heard about it from McGonagall. She seemed to think that they got the wrong one so that means someone else found it.
“Then the ring that Dumbledore found at the house Voldemort destroyed. The one that he put on and Snape had to help save him. Before he convinced Snape to kill him since the ring was still killing him, only doing it much more slowly.”
“So, Malfoy, that means that there are three left, one here in Europe . The other two are either in Asia ,”
“One has to be in Asia . That’s a given.”
“Ok, then the third one has to be in Australia or Africa . We have to figure which one. That’ll be difficult.”
“I know Granger, it will be.”
“Wait a minute, wait a minute! Malfoy, there are seven Horcruxes. That we definitely know. Two are in Europe . He’s in Europe !”
“Ok,” he drew the word out slowly, as if confused, “We all already knew He is here.”
“No, you idiot,” she exclaimed jumping out of her seat, “That means that He is the second one! And if He’s the second one that means really that Antarctica is the only one without a Horcrux.”
“Granger,” he said slowly as he stood next to her, “You are a genius!” and he threw his arms around her in a suffocating hug.
Gasping for breath, she hugged him back and slightly hit his shoulder so he would let her go.
“I'm fine, fine. Malfoy we have to go tell Harry now. Then all he has to do is,”
“Scour every continent in search of a possibly miniscule object? I don’t think so Granger.”
“Ok then Mr. Know-It-All, tell me what we are going to do!” She threw her hands into the air, exasperated.
“We research, you're good at that aren’t you?” She gave him a death glare as she threw herself down onto her chair again.
“We research what exactly? You have to have a goal to search for, something specific. ‘Researching’ is not specific.”
“We research the founders.”
“Why would we do that? What do they have to do with Voldemort?”
“He was obsessed with them. He’s the only known living descendent of Slytherin. I know that the other’s descendents are either dead or no longer in England . I know a man who is the only living descendent of Gryffindor and Slytherin since his brother’s died without kids. His wife was a descendent of Ravenclaw I believe. She’s not the only one since her brother had a son before he was killed along with all her other relations. Besides her nephew.”
“I thought you just said that Voldemort was the only living descendent of Slytherin?”
“I said only known Granger. My friend, few people know he isn’t who he's pretending to be. To everyone else, he's dead, been dead for years. He disappeared after his wife died and no one has seen him since, and known who he really is. My parents and I did but now it’s just me.”
“How do your parents no longer know?”
“They think he’s dead as well. He and my father got into an argument when I was five and he left. I’ve only reconnected with him a few years ago. But the Hufflepuffs died out, I think my father said, nearly fifty years ago. One was killed by her elf and the rest, they were all really old, and they died of old age. And since she didn’t have any kids, there was no one left to carry on the bloodline.”
“How does all this knowledge about their bloodlines help us?”
“Because, Granger, he was obsessed with having something from each family. He had the locket from Slytherin. But then he wanted something from the other three. He probably thought that the families would have kept something. We can safely assume he has Hufflepuff’s cup.”
“A house elf killing her master? You’ve got to be kidding me Granger. Aren’t you all about house elves? They couldn’t kill their master. Dobby couldn’t kill any of us and he wanted out desperately.”
“Fine, fine. How do you know all of this anyways?”
“I’ve spent most of my down time researching this since I got the letters. First Hogmeade trip of Fifth Year, so I had a lot of time at my house library. Since it was way before I had to start repairing the cabinet.”
“I thought you said you got it on your 16th birthday.”
“Yes. I turn sixteen during that first trip of Fifth Year. But anyways. We still need to find out what Ravenclaw had and Gryffindor. That their families kept. I know Gryffindor had the sword but only a True Gryffindor could pull out of that hat, blah, blah, blah.”
“How did you know about that?”
“Granger, I know about a lot more of the things that go on here than pretty much anyone else. Even the gossip queens.”
“Oh. Do you realize how peculiar that sounds?”
“Do you realize how peculiar ‘peculiar’ sounds?” She laughed before saying, “Fine, do you realize how strange that sounds? Is that better?”
“Much better. And yes I do. But the difference is: they just want to know everything that goes on here. I need to know everything.”
“Because that makes any sense. But what ever. Do you have any idea what the families might have had?”
The next few days were spent searching for something, anything, that could have been left behind by any of the founders. But they couldn’t find anything. When they entered Ancient Runes, both were still looking for a clue.
“Would you help me demonstrate?”
“Oh, yeah sure.” He grabbed his wand and waltzed up to the front of the room. Hermione wanted to laugh as she thought the word. No man should waltz unless on the dance floor, in her opinion.
Draco stood in the front of the class room, having only prepared for this during his free period before this class and lunch. He thought he was ready.
“I need a volunteer, Miss Bergin?”
“Okay, so I will put Miss Bergin to sleep and Mr. Malfoy will awaken her.”
He waved his wand twice to the right as he pictured the rune in his mind. The girl slumped in her chair, a soft snore emitting from her.
“Alright Mr. Malfoy, wake her up.” Draco tried to wake her up, thinking of the awakening charm and waving his wand twice to the left. He tried it again, focusing even harder. And again. It just didn’t seem to be working.
“Why isn’t it working? I can do nonverbal spells and this,” he waved his wand again, “Isn't working.”
He paused for a moment, “What’s on your mind?”
“Awakening?” he answered instantly.
“Well there you are, you have to think of the same Rune I thought of to undo it.”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” he said as he finally woke his classmate.
“Does anyone have any idea as to why he had to think of the same Rune I did?”
Hermione’s hand hit the ceiling and Draco had to try not to laugh at her. She had an answer to everything. Well, everything school related, he corrected.
“Well, he's trying to reverse your spell, not cover it up. A person can only be affected by one Rune at a time. Because you were activating the Rune by waving your wand to right, he had to think of the same Rune while waving to the left.”
“Why right and left? Why not up and down, or down and up, or left and right?” someone asked. Professor Vance raised his eyebrows at Hermione who had her hand in the air, yet again.
“Well, most people are right handed and such so waving to the right signifies strengthening. Since fewer people are left handed, making them the so called weaker force of people, motions to the left indicate weakening. And by weakening the Rune, you are reversing it because a weak Rune cannot hold power over an individual the way a spell can.”
“Very good. Why would you use a Rune then, if it is weaker than a spell?”
“A Rune is by no means weaker than a spell. In fact Runes are usually stronger than a spell because they are ancient so they have had more time to develop the power.”
“Excellent, Miss Granger. Now class, split into the pairs I have assigned,” two columns of two appeared next to each other on the board, “And begin practicing the Runes.”
At the end of class, Draco hung back again, and Hermione hesitated at the door.
“Was there something you needed Miss Granger?” Professor Vance asked as he held up a textbook in his hands.
“She’s waiting for me. We’re working on a research project together since we both have a free period next. I forgot to tell her that I was going to talk to you today.”
“Oh, well then I’ll just meet you at the library.” As she turned to leave he called out, “No, Granger.” He turned back to his Professor, “Brett, we need your help.”