The next morning Harry, Ron and Hermione sat around the kitchen table with Horcruxes: The Ancient Art of Soul Separation open in front of them. Hermione produced a piece of parchment covered in her neat handwriting and placed it alongside the book. Harry could tell she must have spent most of the night translating it.
“Thank goodness I brought all my old schoolbooks with me,” Hermione said, “Or I might never have translated the whole thing. I thought some of the symbols looked like Dragon Runes and luckily Fortunella Graystone’s Guide to Translating Runes had a chapter on Dragon Runes.”
Hermione looked extremely proud of herself.
“So what does it mean then?” Ron asked, impatiently.
Hermione shot Ron an annoyed look. Harry had been worried that things might have changed between Ron and Hermione after he had seen them holding hands at Dumbledore’s funeral, however Harry was relieved that they seemed to be acting like the same old Ron and Hermione. Hermione read out the incantation:
“Crux Sancti sit mihi lux,
Ne horcrux sit mihi vita,
Horcrux, sunt mala quae praebes,
Ipse suades letum.”
“It’s fairly long,” Harry stated.
“It gets more complicated,” Hermione told him, “It talks of a golden amulet in the shape of a cross that must be held over the horcrux with your left hand, while you perform a twist and flick of your wand with your right hand.”
“Maybe I could just find another Basilisk fang,” Harry sighed.
“You knew it was never going to be easy,” Hermione stated.
“Where are we supposed to find this golden amulet?” Harry asked.
“According to the book, these particular amulets are fairly rare,” Hermione replied.
“Big surprise,” Ron said, rolling his eyes.
Hermione ignored him.
“They are crafted by goblins from gold and jewels taken from dragon lairs. Then a powerful spell is cast over them by a guardian witch or wizard, giving the amulet power against dark magic. The book describes these amulets as often being worn by guardian witches and wizards to ward off dark magic.” Hermione read.
“So where do we find one?” Harry asked. Hermione flipped through a couple of pages.
“It doesn’t say.”
“Great!” Harry said, exasperated, “It’s not enough that I have no idea where to begin searching for the remaining horcruxes, and I don’t even know what they are, but the only way to destroy them is using an amulet, which I also have no idea where to find!”
Harry, Ron and Hermione decided to take the afternoon off from researching horcruxes, curses and golden amulets to take a trip to Diagon Alley. Harry was not the least bit surprised to find himself being accompanied by several members from the Order. Harry did not really mind at this point in time, especially since one of the members accompanying him happened to be Nymphadora Tonks, or Tonks as she preferred to be called. It had been a while since Harry last saw Tonks, and he was glad to be able to have a chance to talk to her, especially since Ron and Hermione were awkwardly holding hands a little way ahead. On this particular day Tonks happened to have curly tomato-red hair. She explained that she was experimenting with hairstyles for Bill and Fleur's wedding.
“So how are things going with Remus?” Harry asked, perhaps a little cheekily.
Tonks grinned dreamily, not noticing Harry’s cheeky expression.
“It's going great,” Tonks replied, she then changed her hair to a long brown braid to take Harry's attention away from her flushed cheeks.
Diagon Alley had changed drastically from the last time Harry had visited. Many more shops had been boarded up and the streets were nearly completely deserted. Since Dumbledore's death, people had become much more fearful of Lord Voldemort, after all, Dumbledore had been the one wizard that Lord Voldemort had always feared, and now he was gone.
Harry, Ron and Hermione strolled into Madam Malkin's, while their escorts from the Order waited outside.
“It's a good thing Madam Malkin's is still open,” stated Hermione as she pulled down a royal blue robe from the racks.
“I don't see why we need to wear dress robes anyway,” sulked Ron, remembering the horrible dress robes he had to wear to the Christmas Eve ball two and a half years ago.
Hermione rolled her eyes.
“For goodness sakes, Ron, it's your brother's wedding,” she said, indignantly, “Here try this on.”
Hermione thrust the royal blue robe into Ron's hands. Ron reluctantly went behind the dressing room curtain to try on the robes. Hermione chose several robes from the racks for herself and went to the adjacent dressing room. Harry flicked through the various robes on display. He was trying to decide between a charcoal grey robe or a gold trimmed black robe when Ron emerged from behind the curtain wearing the royal blue robe.
“Not bad,” Ron said, admiring his image in the mirror.
Ron's tall figure did look quite striking in the blue robe. Hermione emerged from behind her curtain wearing a pretty rose coloured robe. Ron stared at her with a goofy love struck look on his face. Hermione's face flushed the same colour as her dress. Harry hurriedly walked into the nearest dressing room with the two robes he was holding. He took his time trying on the robes and was glad to see Hermione and Ron bickering when he emerged from the dressing room again.
After visiting Madam Malkin’s they decided to drop in and see Fred and George at their joke shop.
“Hiya Harry…Hermione…Little brother,” they chimed together.
“How’s business?” Harry asked.
“Not bad,” said George.
“But not good,” said Fred.
“Not many people come to Diagon Alley these days,” said George.
“Too afraid of You-Know-Who,” said Fred.
“Speaking of which,” said George secretively, pulling Harry to the back of the shop.
Fred, Ron and Hermione followed.
“We know you’re planning to go after You-Know-Who,” Fred whispered, as they all entered the back room.
“How?” Ron asked, shocked.
“You don’t need extendable ears to know you three are on a mission,” said George knowingly.
“These are for you,” Fred said, handing Harry a package.
“For your mission,” George said with a wink.
“But don’t open it here,” said Fred.
Harry, Ron and Hermione walked back out of the shop, Harry concealed the package amongst his other purchases of the day so that none of the Order would see it.
“Ready to head back?” Tonks asked.
“Just one more stop,” said Harry. Hermione and Ron looked at Harry quizzically.
“Gringotts,” Harry stated.
“Why would you want to go to Gringotts after you’ve finished shopping?” asked Hermione.
Harry looked at her with a raised eyebrow.
“Oh,” said Hermione, understanding.
Ron still looked perplexed.
“The Golden Amulet!” Hermione hissed in his ear.
The trio walked into Gringott’s casually. Most of their guard stayed outside, however Tonks and one other member, an older witch, came into Gringott’s with them.
“We need to do this without them knowing what we are doing,” whispered Hermione, indicating Tonks and the older witch.
“I don’t know why I really need a guard, I don’t think Voldemort will come after me yet,” Harry said, “I think he’ll wait until after my birthday.”
“Well obviously the new leader of the Order thinks you need a guard,” Hermione stated, matter-of-factly.
“Who is the new leader, anyway,” Harry asked.
He hadn’t thought about there being a new leader of the Order, but obviously there had to be a new leader now that Dumbledore was gone.
“Dunno,” Ron shrugged, “Everyone’s been keeping it a secret.”
“Obviously it would have to be someone with great magical skill and good leadership qualities,” Hermione said, “Personally I think it’s McGonagall.”
“She’s already running Hogwarts, do you really think she’s going to head the Order as well?” interjected Ron.
“Well Dumbledore did!” Hermione argued.
“Yeah, well that’s Dumbledore, isn’t it?” Ron argued back.
Harry left Ron and Hermione to argue and approached one of the goblins. He looked over his shoulder, Tonks and the other witch were talking casually, giving Harry the perfect opportunity to talk to the goblin without them overhearing.
“Er, excuse me,” Harry said to the goblin.
The goblin turned to face Harry, it was Griphook, the goblin whom had taken Harry down to the vaults on his first visit to Gringott’s.
“Yes, what is it?” Griphook asked, looking Harry up and down.
“I have a question I need to ask you,” said Harry, “Where can I find a golden amulet?” Harry talked in hushed tones.
Griphook looked at Harry suspiciously, trying to decide whether to tell him what he knew.
“Why do you ask?”
“It’s important that I find one… They are crafted by goblins, I thought you might know where to find one,” Harry replied.
“It is true that the golden amulets are crafted by goblins, in fact, I have had a hand in crafting one myself.”
“So you know where I can find one?” Harry asked excitedly.
“No,” Griphook replied, “Once the amulets have been crafted they are passed on to a powerful guardian to be given their magical properties.”
Harry swore under his breath.
“Do you know who the amulet was given to when you had finished crafting it?” Harry asked.
“I do not know the wizard’s name,” Griphook replied, “Only that he was some kind of holy man.”
Hermione and Ron looked at Harry expectantly when he returned. He whispered to them what Griphook had told him.
“A holy man?” Hermione said, frowning, “In the muggle world that could mean a priest or something, but I haven’t heard of any holy men in the wizarding world.”
Hermione and Harry looked towards Ron.
“Don’t look at me,” said Ron, “I don’t know much about it either.”
Harry was becoming frustrated, he had barely begun his quest, and already he was being confronted with roadblocks.
“Don’t worry,” said Hermione, sensing his frustration, “If you can find the Chamber of Secrets, you can find a golden amulet.”
A/N: I would just like to thank Bella_Portia for her help with the Latin spell.
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