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Chapter 1: Prologue: The Almost Last Horcrux
“Ginny! Watch out!” Harry Potter yelled desperately. His red haired friend was completely oblivious to the fact the she was mere feet from toppling off a two hundred foot high cliff. Harry shot another spell at the strange, new creature Voldemort had guarding his Horcrux and called, “Ginny!” but his voice was carried astray by the howling wind.

Harry looked around desperately for Ron or Hermione but they didn’t seem to be around. Do I have to do everything? Harry thought. He sighed and hurtled through the swarm of bladed creatures towards Ginny whose foot slipped at that exact moment and she tumbled over the cliff.

“NO!” Harry screamed, diving for the edge of the cliff. He peered over it anxiously and found himself staring into Ginny’s frightened face. She was clutching to a rock that was jutting out the cliff face. Harry reached down and grasped her wrist.

“Harry,” Ginny breathed as Harry heaved her back up.

“Ginny,” Harry said, his voice full of relief. He pulled her closer to himself and squeezed her small frame tightly. “I almost had a heart attack, Ginny. Don’t you dare do that again.”

Ginny grinned. “You say that every time I’m seconds from death.”

“And you still don’t listen,” Harry said, smiling fondly. He hadn’t wanted Ginny to join him, Ron, and Hermione on the search for the remaining Horcruxes and he hadn’t talked to her ages after he found out that she had followed from a distance until she was sure that they couldn’t send her back home. Now he was actually thankful that she had tagged along. Ginny had found and destroyed two Horcruxes not to mention the countless times she saved her life. She was also great company especially during the times Ron and Hermione were mad at each other, meaning they were mad at the rest of the world too.

“Look out, Harry!” Ginny shrieked, pointing over Harry’s shoulder. Harry whirled around. One of the bizarre creatures was right behind him, raising some sort of laser t his head.

“Duck!” Harry hollered, grabbing Ginny’s arms and yanking her down beside him. Te beam of orange light flew past overhead. “Immobulus!” Harry said, pointing his wand at the creature. It froze in its place and, when Harry was sure there were no more around, he got to his feet. he held out his hand to Ginny and helped her stand back up.

“Where’re Ron and Hermione?” Ginny asked, dusting off her jeans. Harry shrugged, worried. Where could they be? “Maybe they went inside?” Ginny pointed to a large house sitting on top of the hill to their right. “Do you want to check?”

“Sure,” Harry said, heading for the hill. It took about five minutes to walk to the foot of the hill and another ten to climb it. By the time they reached the doorstep, Harry and Ginny were both out of breath. Ginny reached forward and grasp the cool metal of the door handle and pushed. The door swung open noiselessly.

“I’ll go first,” Ginny whispered.

“No,” Harry said, stopping her. “I will.” He brushed past her into the house. Ginny scowled and followed. The house was dark and gloomy. Cobwebs hung from the chandeliers and spiders scurried to hide when the light poured in through the door.

“I wonder how Ron actually entered this place with all the spiders,” Ginny said, stepping aside lightly to avoid trampling a couple of spiders.

“Hermione has her ways,” Harry said. “And plus, Ron’s changed a lot. He’s still deathly afraid of spiders but he’s learned to hide it.” Harry strode quickly across the gigantic foyer and Ginny hurried behind him. Harry stopped in front of the large, sweeping staircase and looked up. “We go this way then?” he asked.

“Um – Harry?” Ginny said, tapping his shoulder. “What about all those doorways?” Harry turned and looked at where she was pointing. A long row of doors that he hadn’t noticed before.

“I guess we should split up,” Harry said uncertainly.

“I don’t think so,” Ginny said. “That would be very stupid.”

“You’re right,” Harry agreed. “Come on.” He placed his hand on the dusty banister and they were plunged into total darkness. Now about a year ago, before Ginny had decided to aid Harry with his search, Ginny would have screamed, but now she knew better and stayed silent. But that didn’t mean that her heart wasn’t pounding and her hands weren’t sweaty.

“Harry?” she whispered into the darkness.

“Right here, Gin,” Harry said. “Stay where you are. Don’t move.” He felt something rub against his hand and jumped a foot in the air.

“It’s juts me, Harry,” Ginny said and slipped her hand into his. “Don’t want to get separated.” Harry nodded even thought Ginny couldn’t see him. Even though he felt awfully awkward with his hand holding tightly onto Ginny’s.

“Let’s just go upstairs slowly,” Harry said, walking forward. Ginny felt the tug on her arm and started climbing the stairs. Near the top, Ginny gave herself a mental slap on the forehead and pulled her hand out of Harry’s grip. “What are you doing?” Harry asked urgently. “You’ll get lost!”

“Lumos!” Ginny whispered, pulling out her wand. Light flooded the stairway. Harry and Ginny squinted in the relatively bright light.

“Why didn’t I think of that?” Harry wondered. “Anyway, c’mon.” He climbed up the rest of the stairs and turned into the long hallway.

“Oh great,” Ginny said. “More doors.”

“Okay, now we should split up,” Harry said. “You take that side and I’ll take this side.” Ginny nodded and grabbed the nearest doorknob on her side.

:: :: ::

“They’re not anywhere on this stupid floor!” Ginny wailed an hour later after she and Harry had checked every single door on the first floor.

“Calm down, Ginny,” Harry said. “We’ll just keep looking.”

“Keep looking?!” Ginny hollered. “No way! I am going back outside! They shouldn’t have run off like that in the first place! Now we have to go around looking for them like they’re – like they’re a couple of little kids!”

“Ginny!” Harry said. “Shh!”

“Don’t you “shh!” me, Harry Potter!” Ginny said, poking her finger into Harry’s chest. “We could be spending this time looking for the Horcrux but we have run around looking for Ron and Hermione!”

The ground began to tremble beneath their feet but Ginny took no notice. She glared at Harry for daring to interrupt her rambling.

“Shut up, Harry!” she screamed. “I’m really sick of this! I get like no sleep at night and I have these ugly bags under my eyes and my hairs a wreck and my lips are cracked and my skins as dry as a crocodile’s and—”

Harry clamped his hand on top of Ginny’s mouth. “Be quiet!” he whispered a little harshly. Ginny scowled but didn’t struggle. “Someone’s coming,” Harry explained. Ginny’s eyes widened slightly and an apologetic expression came over her face.

“Sorry,” she said, her voice muffled by Harry’s hand. Harry smiled warmly and removed his hand. Ginny smiled too but a little less happily. For some strange reason, when Harry’s hand touched her, butterflies fluttered around in her stomach. That hasn’t happened to her for a while. By the look on Harry’s face, he felt the same butterflies. Ginny smiled to herself and pointed her wand down the hallway to see who was approaching.

“Are you trying to blind us?” Ron’s voice came from down the hall. “Turn that off!” Ginny lifted her wand higher to spread the light evenly over the hallway. Ron and Hermione were walking towards them hand-in-hand. Harry grinned. Ron and Hermione noticed they were holding hands and let go immediately.

“Where have you two been?!” Ginny said.

“These weird things chased us inside then, when we finally lost them, Hermione got all excited and said that the Horcrux was in this building so we were looking for it,” Ron said. “But then we heard Ginny yelling at Harry as usual. Only problem was that those things heard her too. So we had to kill them all before finding you two. It wasn’t very hard you know.”

“Killing them?” Ginny asked.

“No, finding you,” Ron answered. Ginny blushed. Harry laughed.

“Anyway,” Hermione said. “Come on, Harry. We know where the fifth Horcrux is.” Hermione turned around and ran down the hallway towards a set of rickety, old stairs. Hermione ran down them followed by Ron and Harry. Ginny placed her foot on the first step and it fell away. she pulled her foot back quickly and stared at the place where the stairs were a moment ago.

A loud growling noise made Ginny whip around.

“AAAAGH!” she screamed in terror. One of those strange creatures was right behind Ginny, clawing the air as he made his was slowly towards her.

“Jump, Ginny!” Ron yelled. Ginny looked down at the twenty-foot drop one more time and jumped.

“Catch meeeeeeee!” she screeched. Ron stupidly held out his arms to catch his younger sister. Harry quickly stuck out his arms too. Hermione rolled her eyes and flicked her wand, making a large pillow appear on the ground beneath Ginny. Ginny fell lightly on top of it. She pushed a strand of hair off her face and smiled up at her friends. “Thanks, Hermione,” she said, letting Hermione pull her to her feet.

“You’re welcome,” Hermione said. “Now let’s RUN!” The four friends sprinted away from the staircase as fast as they could. The creatures jumped down easily and pursued them.

“Hermione,” Harry panted. “Where’s the Horcrux?”

“Fourth floor,” Hermione answered, running even faster as the creatures were accelerating. “Let’s go this way. I saw a staircase there.” Hermione led the was to the stairs and everyone ran up them. Ron turned around and shot four spells at the creatures and ran. He did this every little while and by the time they reached the fourth floor, they were alone.

“Come on,” Ron whispered. “It’s this way.” They crept towards a doorway glowing green around the cracks. “In there.” Ron pointed at the door. Harry reached forward gripped the doorknob. It was radiating heat. Harry pulled the door open and stepped inside closely followed by the others.

“Split up and look around for it,” Harry directed. “Remember. It’ll be Slytherin’s locket.” Everyone nodded and immediately went into directions. Not even a minute had past when Hermione let out a muffled shriek.

“I think I’ve found it, Harry!” she squealed excitedly. Harry, Ron, and Ginny crowded around her and stared at where she was pointing. A locket was laying, almost innocently, in a drawer of a dressing table. Innocent expect for the evil spell that resided coiled up inside it. Harry reached in. “Don’t touch it, Harry!” Hermione said warningly. Harry ignored her and grabbed the locket. Nothing happened.

“Okay,” Harry said. “Now to destroy it. How should we do it?”

“Stomp on it?” Ron suggested.

“Yeah, okay,” Harry said. “You do it, Ron.”

“Okay.” Ron raised his foot and Harry bent to place the locket on the floor.

“Maybe we should remove the spell first,” Hermione said.

“Oh yeah,” Harry said, straightening again. He pointed his wand at the locket and muttered something under his breath. Then he placed it positioned it under Ron’s still lifted foot. “On the count of three. One…”

Hermione chewed on a fingernail nervously.


Ginny tapped her foot impatiently.

“Three!” Ron’s foot came hurtling down onto the silver locket. It broke easily into countless pieces. Ginny swept them all into a bag and stuck it inside her pocket.

“Let’s get out of here now,” she said, her eyes darting around the room. “I really don’t like this place.”

“Nobody does, Ginny,” Harry said but left the room anyway. The four friends made their way victoriously out of the house. They had destroyed five of the six Horcruxes. The only one left was Nagini, Voldemort’s snake and they could only destroy her when they met Voldemort.

“Where are we going now, Harry?” Hermione asked, slipping her hand into Ron’s without Harry and Ginny noticing.

“Home, Hermione,” Harry said, smiling at the horizon. “Home.”

[a/n]: Well, how do you like it?!? I think this is probably the longest chapter I've ever written. =D I hope you don't hate it too much. I did try to make it good. Leave me a review and tell me what you think. Flames would be good too. I could toast my marshmallows! =P

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