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“So where do we start?” Ron asked as followed Harry, Hermione and Ginny into the Hogwarts Library the next day.
“Well, we are looking for any history about the Founders and Voldemort,” Harry said. “Lead the way Hermione.” They followed Hermione to the history section and began pulling books off the shelves. After a few hours of searching and scanning books they took a break and visited the kitchens. Harry was surprised to see that the kitchen didn’t have house-elves running around. One house-elf trotted up to them and offered his service.
As the elf dashed to the back of the kitchen Ginny said, “I wonder what the elves do during the holidays.”
“Hopefully they get a holiday,” Hermione said.
“Well, since there are only, like, three here, they must be doing something…” Harry said.
The elf returned with a tray full of sandwiches and a jug of pumpkin juice. “Thanks,” Ron said and the
house elf bowed deeply.

Once full of sandwiches they returned to the library and continued to pour through books. By 5 o’clock they were all tired of reading and decided to give it a rest for the day. They returned to The Burrow and were immediately fed by Mrs Weasley. After dinner they sat at the table discussing a few things that they had found in the books. As nothing stood out they decided that they would be returning to Hogwarts in the morning.
Ron and Hermione sat in the lounge while Harry decided to take a walk outside. Harry sat down, leaning his back against Mr Weasley’s shed. Trying to keep his mind from racing, he stared at the darkening countryside.
“Hey.” Harry jumped at the voice.
“Oh hey Gin.”
“You are making a habit out of disappearing for a long time,” she said. “Can I join you?” Harry nodded and she settled next to him.
“How long have I been missing today?”
“Two hours,” Ginny said. Harry looked shocked. “Didn’t you notice the stars are shining now?”
“I was trying to keep my mind blank.”
“And?”
“Well, since I missed sunset I guess I succeeded.” Harry smiled slightly.

“Gin,” Harry said after a while, “about last night-”
“I thought you would bring it up.”
“Well, I have to. I mean, it…kissing you is amazing, but I don’t-”
“Want to hurt me?” Ginny finished for him. Harry nodded. “Tell you what Harry. With everyone in the Order, everything I’ve learnt from you and Hogwarts, I’m pretty sure I can avoid getting physically hurt and you are in the same position. However, when it comes to my heart, I’m the one who handles everything and you don’t need to protect me from yourself.”
“Ginny, but what happens in the future, I mean the war…No one knows what’s going to happen.”
“All the more reason to enjoy the time we have,” Ginny said getting to her knees. She pressed Harry’s legs flat to the ground and sat on his legs facing him.

“Gin-”
“Harry, I just want to ask you to do something for me,” Ginny said in a soft voice.
“Okay…?” Harry said with a nervous tone.
Ginny grinned. “Will you be my date for Bill’s wedding?” Harry’s mouth fell open.
“Yeah, sure.”
“I wouldn’t ask, but I know there are a few dodgy guys coming and I would rather spend my time with you than trying to avoid them.”
“So I’m just an escort?” Harry asked with a smirk.
“Well that all depends on you,” Ginny said leaning closer. “Do you want to be more than an escort?” she asked, her lips an inch from his.
“Of course Ginny but-”
“Don’t think past the wedding Harry,” she pleaded. “Live for now, you need to. I need you to.”
“Carpe Diem,” he said softly. Ginny pulled away slightly and raised her eyebrow. “Seize the day,” Harry translated and seized the moment and pulled Ginny into a passionate kiss.

***

“Where did you disappear to last night?” Ron asked as Harry entered the kitchen the next morning.
“I was just relaxing outside,” Harry said as he took his seat and picked up a couple pieces of toast.
“By yourself?” asked Ron, and a piece of scrambled egg fell out of his mouth. Hermione smacked him on the arm. “What?”
“Keep your mouth closed Ron. As much as I like scrambled eggs, I don’t want to see it regurgitated from you,” Hermione said irritably. The egg discussion distracted from Harry’s whereabouts last evening, so he happily tucked into his own toast and eggs.
“Morning,” Ginny said as she came in from the garden and sat down at the table.
“Where were you?” Ron asked.
“Checking for tomatoes,” Ginny said simply. “Why?”
“Well, you just look all bright and chirpy,” Ron said and took another forkful of egg.
“Am I not allowed to?” Ginny retorted.
“No, I was just commenting…” Ron returned to eating his egg. Hermione glanced from Harry to Ginny and smiled.

An hour later they stepped out of the fire place in Professor McGonagall’s office.
“Good morning,” McGonagall said briskly. “More research today?”
“Hopefully we find something useful today,” Ron said grumpily.
“Professor,” Hermione said, approaching her desk, “if you don’t mind me asking, where are all the house-elves?” Ron groaned and rolled his eyes behind her. “We went to the kitchen yesterday and there were very few there. So I was just wondering if they go on holiday or something when the school is closed.”
McGonagall allowed one of her rare, thin-lipped smiles grace her lips before she replied. “Some of the elves we send on holiday. We literally have to command them to leave Hogwarts and go visit their family members. If they actually have a holiday while visiting is a different matter. A few, well actually about twenty of the house-elves don’t have family so they stay here at the school doing a few jobs around the school, but they probably have about a tenth of the work they would usually have. I must be honest I don’t know what they do when there really is nothing to do.”
“But they do get kind of a break?”
“Yes, Miss Granger, as much of a break as they need,” McGonagall smiled slightly.
“How many house-elves are there here?” Ginny asked.
Professor McGonagall considered this for a moment. “I would guess about a hundred and fifty.”
Harry’s eyebrows jumped up. “It’s a good thing Dumbledore has always treated them well then,” he said, “that’s quite a handy number of elves to have right now.”
“That it is Harry, but as I’m sure Miss Granger would point out, it should be their choice to join the fight.”
“Well, hopefully they all take Dobby’s initiative and defend humans that they like.”
“We can only hope.” Professor McGonagall returned to her paper work and the four friends headed for the library.

Harry sat back, stretched and rubbed his eyes three hours later. They had poured over many books already and were still lacking anything helpful.
“Lunch?” he asked the other three.
“Absolutely!” Ron said slamming yet another book closed.
“Hang on,” Ginny said, holding up her hand but keeping her eyes on the open page. “I think I might have something.” Harry and Ron hurried around the table and grouped around Ginny’s book.
“Here, it says that Rowena Ravenclaw, known for her cleverness and creativity, always carried a writing kit with her. Her intelligence, search for knowledge and love for sketching would show when she would stop suddenly, open her writing kit, pull out parchment, a quill and a beautiful claw shaped ink pot and draw, write or plan.”

“A claw shaped ink pot…” Hermione read again. “Turn over, maybe there’s a picture.” Indeed, there was. The brown ink sketch of the pot showed the closed claw of an eagle, the talons forming the base of the pot. There were exquisitely carved lines on the claw, and a small cork stopper plugged the top.
“Here’s more,” Ginny said and continued to read. “The claw ink pot, said to be Ravenclaw’s favourite possession. During the Goblin Rebellion in 1612, when much chaos ensued in Hogsmeade as this was where the headquarters were, a disruption in Hogwarts caused by the Rebellion led to the Ravenclaw antique disappearing. Its whereabouts are still unknown.”
“Great!” Ron said throwing up his arms.
“Well, at least we have a possibility,” Harry said. “Good find Ginny,” he said as he placed his hand on her shoulder.
“Thanks.”
“Right on that note, its lunch time,” Ron said grabbing Hermione’s hand and pulling her out the library.
“Shall we?” Harry offered his hand to Ginny. She smiled, took his hand and they didn’t let go until they started eating their sandwiches.

By the end of the day, they had discovered another two items that could possibly be used for a Horcrux. They were both items that had belonged to Rowena Ravenclaw. One was a silver goblet that had handles carved like eagle wings, and the other was the wooden box, that Ravenclaw used to store her wand. As they were leaving the Library, Hermione had an idea.
“Madame Pince,” Hermione said as she approached the serious looking librarian, “does the Library have records and archives of the Daily Prophet?”
“Yes, Miss Granger. There is an extensive archive of newspapers and we have a brilliant contraption that allows you to search through them and all articles are referenced, cross-referenced and arranged by date,” said Madame Pince with a glimmer in her eyes.
“Wow,” Hermione said honestly while Ron rolled his eyes. “Can we use it tomorrow? We have a few things we need to find.”
“Absolutely, I’ll have everything set up for you.”
“Thank you,” Hermione said and led the other three out of the Library.
“Explain,” said Ron simply.
“Well, the Prophet has been going for centuries. If there were ever any stories about any of the Founder’s belongings I’m sure it would be in there,” Hermione explained.
“You’re too clever, you know that?” Ron said with a smile and gave Hermione a quick squeeze.

“Any progress?” McGonagall asked as they entered her office.
“A bit,” Harry said. “We’ll be back tomorrow, but I think after that we’ll have a few ideas. Maybe we can talk to you and Remus tomorrow evening?”
“I will speak to him,” McGonagall said. “Have a good evening,” she said as they climbed into the fireplace and disappeared.

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