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A/N: Here’s the latest chapter! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year! I hope the updates of this fic will be less sporadic in 2007!

Chapter Eight – Escape

Harry and Ron walked in silence behind the maid, occasionally shooting worried glances at each other. What would they do if Jones found that they had the locket? What were the penalties for stealing in the nineteenth century? Harry didn’t know, but he didn’t want to find out either.

The maid led them into a small room, which was quite understated compared to the rest of the castle. She seated them at a wooden bench, told them quite firmly not to move, and left the room in search of Jones.

As soon as she’d gone, Ron turned to Harry worriedly.

“Harry, what are we going to do? She’s going to be back any minute and he’ll find it, and then what will happen?”

“We could try and sneak out and find the girls,” Harry said, frowning, “but she led us down so many corridors I don’t think we’d be able to find our way back to the ballroom.”

“Yeah…” Ron trailed off, staring into the middle distance, when all of a sudden, he jumped up. “The necklaces! Harry, did Arnos say anything about us all having to be in the same room when we activated them?”

“I don’t think so,” Harry replied, a dawning comprehension in his eyes, “so you think we could activate one of our necklaces and it would take us all back?”

“I don’t see why not,” Ron said, “but I think it’s the only thing we can do. I know I’d rather be back with Arnos in the Halls of Time than waiting here for Jones to come.”

Harry pulled out the delicate necklace from within his shirt, and was about to clasp it between his thumb and forefinger, when Ron held up his hand.

“Harry, it’s only been a couple of days since you last did that. It might drain your strength and who knows where Arnos will send us next,” he sat back down onto the bench, “I’ll do it this time.”

Harry frowned, but didn’t argue, and dropped his necklace beneath his shirt once more, as Ron took his out.

“Ready?” He asked, and Harry nodded, only hoping that Ginny and Hermione wouldn’t be too shocked to be pulled through time back to Arnos. “Home.”

All too soon, Harry was once again experiencing the odd sensation of travelling through time. It wasn’t so bad this time around, because he knew what to expect, but it wasn’t his favourite method of travel by far.

And then, suddenly, the rushing stopped and Harry found himself standing in the Pools of Time room. Ron was standing next to him, looking a little worse for wear, and next to him – thank goodness – Ginny and Hermione were sitting on the floor, looking around confusedly.

“Harry?” Ginny said, looking up at him, “What happened?”

Harry explained to them how they’d been caught in Lady Carnarvon’s room, and how coming back here had been their only escape route.

“Where were you when the necklaces pulled you back?” Ron asked, his voice faint.

“We were in the corner of the ballroom, talking to some of the other guests,” Hermione said, “they must have had a bit of a shock when we disappeared.”

“They will not have noticed,” Arnos’ voice suddenly cut through their conversation, “the necklace’s work in such a way that already, their memories of you will have begun to fade. Now, I assume as you have returned here, you were able to locate the cursed locket?”

“Yes,” Harry said, fishing the Horcrux from his pocket and showing Arnos, “what are we going to do with it now?”

“At present, nothing,” Arnos replied, “I have been doing some research into these Horcruxes, and I have yet to find anything on how they can be destroyed. There are still three Horcruxes to find, and so I shall continue with my research whilst you travel to find them.”

“Where are we going next?” Hermione said, asking the question that they were all thinking.

“Not quite as far back as you have just been,” Arnos replied, “this time you’ll be going back to 1943, to a boarding school in Devon. But I think I shall allow you a couple of days grace, to rest and recuperate, before you make that journey.”

“Where are you going to keep the locket?” Harry asked, holding it out.

“It will be kept in that cupboard, the one in which the necklaces are usually stored. No one but me has access to it.”

He took the golden chain from Harry’s outstretched hand, and placed it in a box, which he then put in the glass fronted cupboard.

“It shall be safe there. Now, are you hungry?”

After eating, Arnos led them to a room that led from the sitting room they’d seen on their previous visit to the Halls of Time.

The room was light and airy, with four beds and a small sink. A full moon shone through the window, and as he lay on his bed, in that space between sleep and wakefulness, Harry wondered if the moon shining here was the same moon that shone on Hogwarts and on Grimmauld Place.

And then his thoughts turned to Remus, who could be transforming into a werewolf at that very moment. Although it had only been a matter of days since they had left number twelve, to Harry it felt like a lot longer.

As he drifted to sleep, he wondered how much more time would pass until he saw Remus - and everyone else - again.

The following day was spent resting and relaxing. Arnos let them use his sitting room, and they stayed there for most of the day. Towards the end of the day, Hermione asked if she could visit the library, and with Arnos’ permission, she left the others playing a game of chess.

All in all, Harry thought that it was a very peaceful day, marred only by thoughts that it seemed like the calm before the storm.

Arnos had mentioned that their next destination was a boarding school in Devon, and Harry couldn’t help but wonder what lay in store for them. What Horcrux would Voldemort have hidden at a school?

The next morning, Arnos awoke them early, and led them into the sitting room.

“I think perhaps I had better tell you something that happened whilst you were away,” he began, sighing and pacing the room, “I overheard a conversation between two of my companions, Arian and Bonarn, and what I heard does not bode well. They are…opposed to me helping you locate the Horcruxes, and they want to stop you. Arian does not yet have Bonarn fully convinced, though I fear it is only a matter of time.” He paused, and looked intently at Harry.

“I do not know what Arian is planning, but he is a powerful man, and the results could be catastrophical for you and your world. This is why we need to move quickly. I allowed you a day of rest yesterday, but we need to continue your journey this afternoon. In the wardrobe you will find all the clothes you will need. I will meet you in the Pools of Time room after lunch.”

As Arnos left the room, Harry glanced at the others, a worried frown on his face. Now it seemed that they not only had to contend with Voldemort, but also with a guardian of time who did not approve of their actions.

Ginny stood up, and walked over to the wardrobe with some trepidation. She opened the door, and peered inside.

“It’s not too bad,” she said eventually, pulling out several hangers of clothes, “just basic school uniform’s really.”

She passed Ron and Harry several pairs of grey trousers, as well as white shirts and grey jumpers. For herself and Hermione, there were grey pleated skirts and cardigans.

“I suppose these are better than the corsets and those heavy dresses,” Ginny said, looking through the clothes, “but this cardigan doesn’t look very flattering.”

“It doesn’t matter what we look like, we just have to look like we fit in,” Ron replied, frowning as Hermione passed him a cap. “We don’t have to wear these, do we? I’ll look like a right prat.”

“Didn’t you just say it didn’t matter what we look like?” Hermione remarked, a smile on her face.

Ron didn’t reply, but snatched his clothes up and marched into the bedroom to change, leaving Hermione and Ginny’s laughter in his wake.

After lunch, they made their way to the Pools of Time, dressed in their new school uniforms.

Arnos was already there, staring contemplatively into the swirling pools of time, but he looked up and smiled when they entered the room.

“Already you look like you belong in the 1940’s,” he said, taking in their appearance, “are you ready for your next journey?”

“As we’ll ever be,” Harry said, “you are going to tell us about where we’re going before we leave, aren’t you?”

“Yes, yes,” Arnos said, ushering them over to a bench on the other side of the room, “now, you’ll be going to Ivywood Boarding School, which is a mixed-sex school in North Devon. You’ll be arriving at the start of term, on the fourth of September, and will take the role of new students entering Lower Sixth. The headmaster of the school, Mr Darlington, will be expecting you. You will keep your first names, though I have had to alter your surnames slightly, so Harry, you are now Harry Patterson, Ron and Ginny, you are the Williams’, and Hermione you are Miss Green.”

“Do you know which Horcrux we’ll be looking for?” Harry asked, before Arnos could continue.

“I do,” Arnos replied, smiling again, “you will be on the lookout for a small cup, which once belonged to Helga Hufflepuff. I believe that you have seen this cup before, Harry?”

“Yes,” Harry said, “I know what to look for.”

“Good. Now, as before, you will have only five days to find the cup before you must return. Do you have any more questions before you go?”

Harry shook his head, and the others did too.

“Very well then. Who will be the, ah, activator this time?”

“I will,” Ginny spoke out, before anyone else could, “Harry and Ron have already done it, and Hermione can bring us back.”

Arnos nodded. “All right then. Goodbye, and good luck!”

A/N: Thanks for reading, and please review!

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