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Disclaimer JKR gets the credit – characters, settings, etc. is all hers. Anything you recognize is probably not mine. The Goulds are mine though. I checked the HP Lexicon for some of the stuff on the founders, and HBP for information on the Horcruxes, but the rest is purely from my imagination.

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Chapter 13: Founders and Poems


As Ginny trudged up the stairs, now in a thoroughly bad mood, she saw that Jenna and Joseph were still asleep in the master bedroom. She walked lightly up to the door, watching them both for a moment. It was her first look at her ‘father.’ He had light hair, like her own, and she recognized some of her own features on his face. She realized with a smile that Jenna must have used her husband’s features to create Ginny’s. Turning away, she walked slowly back to her room and saw Hermione propped up against her pillows, reading a book. A glance at the cover told her that it was Hogwarts, a History.

“Hi Hermione,” she said quietly, alerting her friend to her presence. She stepped into the room as Hermione turned to look at her.

“Good morning, Monica,” replied Hermione with a smile. “Where were you?”

“I think I fell asleep downstairs when I got something to drink,” Ginny answered.

Hermione nodded and slid a bookmark into the pages of the book. She closed it carefully and put it down on the bedside table. “Can I get the bathroom first?” she asked.

“Sure,” replied Ginny, sitting down on her own bed. Hermione grabbed her clothes and set off towards the bathroom. Ginny picked up Hogwarts, a History. Last night, Harry, Ron, and Hermione had told her about the story of the poem being in the book. She decided to find out more.

Turning to the first page, she saw the poem that Hermione had described. It was faded and extremely hard to read. The bottom lines weren’t even there anymore. She turned to the table of contents and scanned down it. One section was circled in red. It was a subheading entitled Salazar Slytherin underneath the section Hogwarts’ Founders. It was on page 723. Curious, Ginny flipped through the pages, occasionally stopping to look at pictures and read small passages. Finally she arrived at page 723. It was covered with the smallest text that Ginny had ever seen. She had to squint slightly to make it out. She realized that Hermione’s bookmark was marking a page a little farther back, which meant that she had been reading the same thing. Ginny started to read.

Twenty minutes later, she rubbed her eyes, incredulous. Was this really Salazar Slytherin’s story? She was somewhat surprised. The section talked about Slytherin falling in love with a girl who left him with a son and ran off, to be discovered for the first time in years by Rowena Ravenclaw. The girl was wild, somehow, and Ginny thought she sounded somewhat evil. The section also talked about how the founders had met and founded Hogwarts. Ginny wondered what Hermione thought of this. She resumed reading.

Hogwarts and After

Slytherin firmly believed that only Purebloods should be allowed into the school. It was for this reason that the Founders created separate Houses. In the beginning, each taught their own house. But it soon became clear that the students would get an incomplete education, due to the fact that the Founders were not skilled in everything. The year that construction was completed was the year in which the style of teaching changed. It was also the year that Slytherin’s son finished his schooling and decided to become gamekeeper. See Chapter 18 for more on Early Hogwarts.

All went well for many years, though Slytherin continued seeing the black haired woman in his dreams. He did see other things as well, and eventually earned himself the title of a Seer. After many years of successful teaching, arguments broke out among the founders. One involved Muggleborns. This argument reached a point where Slytherin began threatening Gryffindor if his ideas were not accepted. Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, knowing that the school was falling apart, placed restricting spells on Slytherin. Angered by this, he left the school. To make sure that he would not be forgotten and that his ways would be put into effect, he created a chamber in the castle called the Chamber of Secrets. See Chapter 37 for more information. Before he left, he also wrote a poem, which is printed in the front of this book. He based it on a vision, but no one knows if he actually had this vision or made it up. It was meant to fool the other founders into calling him back. It did not succeed, and the founders expelled him permanently. Faithful descendants and supporters of Slytherin believe that the poem is being passed down through the generations, though no one knows where exactly it is now.

The actual events foretold by the poem happened, in a way. Slytherin did lose those closest to him, namely, the Founders and his son. He did discover the Dark Lord that was rising, and found it to be the young woman that he had once loved. He attempted once more to tame her, but Ravenclaw’s words of so many years ago remained true and he failed. He received many injuries from the battle, and though the woman never truly gained power, neither did he. Soon after, he died in the woods that he had found her in, by the lake that dominated so many of his visions.


Ginny stopped squinting at the page, allowing her eyes to relax. She knew all of this about the poem already, and there was no more information on the topic. It hadn’t helped at all. She groaned, slamming the book shut. Her eyes burned slightly from reading the tiny text. She pulled herself up, wanting to find out what Hermione thought of this. She left the room and knocked on the bathroom door.

“Yes?” said Hermione’s voice from inside.

“It’s Monica. I just read the section on Salazar Slytherin in Hogwarts, a History,” replied Ginny.

The door opened and Hermione came out, fully dressed and applying a drying charm to her hair. “Really?” she asked, leading Ginny back to the bedroom. “I was just about to ask you to. I thought it was quite interesting, actually. We should tell Harry and Ron.”

“We should,” agreed Ginny. She flipped open the book to the pages she’d been reading. Her finger followed along the lines until she found what she was looking for. “What d’you reckon she was?” she asked, her eyes skimming over the section on the black haired girl.

“I dunno, to be honest. I think she was probably a human, but transfigured through spells Slytherin taught her. But about the poem. That was nothing new, was it? We need to see the actual thing to understand it better,” Hermione said, stowing her wand in her pocket. “We should get some breakfast.”

***


Later that day found the four of them walking up the path to Hogwarts, a copy of Hogwarts, a History tucked under Hermione’s arm. Monica was telling the boys what she and Hermione had found out about Slytherin while Hermione muttered several charms and counterjinxes. She was the only one of them who knew the many counterjinxes necessary to let them enter the school. Once they finally made it to the front doors, she had been working for almost ten minutes. Monica, Harry, and Ron waited for her as she redid the numerous enchantments. Then they hurried quickly up the stairs and down the many halls towards Dumbledore’s office. The gargoyle moved aside for them and they proceeded up the spiraling staircase. Harry led the way into the office somewhat nervously. Dumbledore’s portrait over the desk was asleep, so Ron called out to him to wake him up.

“Oh! Good, you’re here,” he said with a smile, looking tired. “And who, may I ask, is this young lady?” he added, nodding at Monica.

“Monica Gould, sir. Kingsley’s sister’s daughter,” Monica replied, smiling uncertainly at Dumbledore.

He nodded again, and before anyone could say anything else, he turned to Harry and said, “That poem. I did not tell you everything about it. There’s something on the back. It might explain a few things,” he said, a strange twinkle in his eyes.

Harry picked up the old paper and turned it over. He frowned, eyes traveling along it quickly. Then comprehension dawned on his face and he slipped around the desk, handing it to Ron. Hermione and Monica leaned over his shoulders to see. There was a line of hastily scribbled writing on the back.

Horcrux #7, Harry Potter

Comprehension seemed to strike Hermione violently. She looked around at the others and saw that they had all come to the same conclusion as her. This was supposed to be a Horcrux, the one Voldemort had been planning to use Harry for. But Harry had escaped, so this couldn’t be a Horcrux… could it? Had Voldemort perhaps, realising at the last moment that Harry wasn’t going to die, used Lily or James as the necessary death? No, it couldn’t be…

She looked up at Harry, confused again. “This makes no sense, though,” he said suddenly, meeting her eyes.

“It can’t be a Horcrux, you didn’t die,” she agreed, frowning. “And how did it get here, then? Harry, you said your father wanted to give it to you…”

“No… it can’t have been that,” Harry said, rereading the line as if it would help him understand. “I don’t know! Why would Voldemort have written that on this poem if my father had it and wanted to give it to… no… I understand it now! It was never my father’s at all!” he cried suddenly, a feverish gleam in his eyes. “It was Voldemort’s! I’m not related to Slytherin, it was his all along!”

“How did you figure that one out?” asked Ron, looking hopelessly confused.

“Don’t you see?” piped up Hermione, suddenly excited. It all made sense now! “This poem was never passed down in Harry’s family, it was in Voldemort’s! He must have gotten it, and, when he heard about the prophecy, thought the two were talking about the same person – Harry. He set out to kill Harry, intending to make the poem his final Horcrux, hence the writing on the back, but he never could. Harry defeated him. The paper must have… fallen out of his pocket or something. It must have somehow gotten wrapped up with Harry when Hagrid picked him up! It was a misunderstanding, then, and this had nothing to do with James or Lily or anyone else.”

For a moment there was silence, then Dumbledore’s portrait spoke up. “As far-fetched as that may seem, I must agree with you, Miss Granger. It makes perfect sense. I fear, however, that this means that we are no closer to anything than when your scar hurt a few days ago, Harry.”

Harry groaned, sitting down at Dumbledore’s desk. “You’re right,” he sighed, leaning his head back. “We haven’t gotten anywhere…”

“Well…” said Monica slowly. She seemed to be understanding exactly what was going on. “So now we know that this isn’t a Horcrux. We do know that it’s supposed to be Voldemort’s but he lost it. He most likely used something different for his last Horcrux, like the snake. But we do know that it’s you that the poem is talking about, and we know a bit about Slytherin’s history.”

“But how is that going to help us?” Ron asked, rubbing his eyes exhaustedly.

“I dunno, Ron, but it will somehow,” said Hermione. “He was Voldemort’s favorite founder and they’re related. That’s got to count for something.”

“Yes,” agreed Harry. “But then… If the poem isn’t a Horcrux, and I’m pretty sure it’s not, why did it get so hot when I tried to take it with me?” he added, frowning.

“I’m afraid that’s my fault,” said Dumbledore with a smile. “Over a year ago, before we left for the necklace, Harry, I feared that I was going to die. I placed several charms on my office. One of them was that anything of importance would get extremely hot when someone tried to remove it. This was to ensure that some records and notes would be left for you to see. It has taken me a while to think through everything that is going on, seeing as I am only a shadow of my former self. I believe that now I have a better understanding of what is going on. That is why I sent for you, Harry.”

Harry stared at him for a moment, then nodded. “That makes sense,” he said. “But in case you don’t know yet, the necklace… it wasn’t a Horcrux at all.”

“I know, Harry,” replied Dumbledore. “Minerva told me. I have another idea about it now, but we will discuss it another time. Right now you should go back to the Order and tell them what you have found.”

Harry nodded, setting the poem back onto the desk, and led the others out of the office. Ron closed the door behind him and hastened to catch up with Harry, who was hurrying down the stairs.

“So the poem’s not a Horcrux,” he stated dully. The idea that there were still at least four of them out there was not exactly comforting.

“Yes,” Harry replied as they passed the gargoyle that guarded the office.

“And we don’t know what he meant when you heard him.”

“No, I think we do,” said Monica uncertainly. Ron looked around at her. “He said… he said that she was dead. Harry, you said that you believed this to be his work. Then he would have just been repeating what his servant told him. But if he wasn’t responsible…”

“He was gloating about it, so I thought that he was responsible,” said Harry. “How would her death benefit him if he hadn’t had some sort of plan for it?”

“Harry, it would benefit him either way. The girl you love died. He can use it against you in so many ways,” said Hermione. Ron saw Monica glance briefly at Harry. She looked somewhat uncomfortable and nervous.

“What do you want me to do, though?” asked Harry. “Hide from him?” he added sarcastically.

“Of course not,” Hermione snapped in reply. “We have a week of school left. A week. That’s not very long, and I don’t think you’ve got anywhere to go afterward, have you?”

“Hermione, do you really think that I wouldn’t let Harry stay with me until he bought his own place?” Ron asked indignantly.

“I’m not staying with you, Ron,” said Harry suddenly, so strongly that Ron was taken aback.

“Why not?!” he cried out, slightly hurt.

“I’ve put you in too much danger already. I can’t stay with you! Voldemort will come barging in and he’ll kill you all!” Harry responded.

“Well, where will you stay then?” Ron replied. “Hermione’s staying with us, so…” he trailed off, uncertain.

“You – you could live with us,” said Monica quietly. “I’m sure Kingsley and Mum and Dad won’t mind, and neither will Ellie. As far as I know, Voldemort doesn’t even know we exist. You’d be much safer.”

Harry looked at her for a moment before nodding. “All right,” he said.

Their conversation had taken them outside, and Hermione began muttering endless counterjinxes once more. Harry turned to glance at Monica and saw her staring ahead determinedly. She seemed to sense his look, because she suddenly turned and caught his eye, giving him a small smile. He smiled back, saying quietly, “Thanks.”

Hermione stopped, glancing at them and frowning slightly. "No, Harry, what I want you to do is forget Ginny. I want you to forget that she ever existed because that's the only way that Voldemort won't still use her to his advantage, even though she's dead. You have to forget her."

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