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“What do we do now?” asked Harry trying to find a handle on the situation. The one he had just hours before fell to pieces after William woke up… covered in his own blood.

The four Gryffindors had been asking themselves the same question for the past five hours. Sleep was out of the question now. The good night’s rest they had received from William’s potion had worked somewhat up until they discovered he too suffered from the same mysterious ailment.

“I don’t know what to think anymore!” interjected Ron. “This changes everything now. It completely rules out the possibility that he gave it to us as payback for what happened on the dock.” Ron could see that Harry needed a solid foothold as to where the dream came from and he had just kicked it out from under him. “I’m sorry mate.”

The fear and disappointment was clear in Harry’s demeanor. “So what do we have now? All we know is that William is having the same dream that we’ve been having. What else do we have besides that?”

“We know that he has a way to get rid of it Harry!” chimed in Ginny. She could tell where Harry was going with this. “Just because he has it too doesn’t mean that we still can’t get rid of it.”

“Ginny’s right Harry.” added Hermione. “The only thing we can do now is wait till William comes back so he can give us the cure. He said it would be ready by noon.”

Hermione knew this wouldn’t be enough for Harry. His need for answers was almost as great as hers. The feeling of the unknown ate away at him too of them like some parasite. The cure for the dream was a great prospect to hold onto, but now it was not enough for either of them.

“He hasn’t come back yet Hermione.” exclaimed Harry with anger evident in his voice. “I’m not waiting anymore. He kept it from us for some reason and I don’t like it. It's time he told us what we want to know! He has the answers and I want them!”

The entire group was taken back by his outburst. Never before had he demanded something of someone like he had just done. Like a wild fire, his anger needed to be extinguished.

“Why don’t the two of us just go and see him then?” suggested Hermione. It was the most logical solution seeing as how both of them needed the answers. “He went to see Ruby last night so he is probably still there.”

“You two don’t mind if Harry and I just go do you?” asked Hermione to the two Weasleys sitting on the common room couch.

Ron and Ginny could see the desperation in their eyes as they stood to leave. Neither could deny their partner the chance to find some salvation, even if it meant letting them go alone.

“You should go but be careful.” said Ron. This was more of an order than a request. He could not let anything happen to his girlfriend and his best mate.

“Alright but hurry back soon. I want to know everything that you know as soon as possible.” Ginny was just as scared for them as her brother.

Harry and Hermione gave both of their mates a warm embrace before departing through the portrait hole. “We’ll be back later.” assured Harry as he closed the portrait. 

The walk through the forest was too quiet for Harry’s taste as he and Hermione trudged along the trail that Saturday morning. The sun was barely over the mountains leaving an eerie half night half day lighting to the woods. Instead of walking in silence like a pair of ghosts, Harry decided to make the first move.

“So what happened in the dream really happened to William?” asked Harry. Hermione stopped dead in her tracks at hearing this. She had not even considered the possibility.

“He said awhile ago that he was attacked by a wolf in the summer of his second year. He said that’s how he got the scar near his eye.” said Hermione in a realization. “I guess that’s how it all started but it doesn’t explain how we got it. Why do you think he lied to us?”

“I don’t know Hermione. The one thing I am certain of is that he can’t lie to us now that we know his secret.” Harry was right to a certain extent. The mystery of William Black was getting clearer but it was still very foggy.

Harry and Hermione continued to walk until they had reached the clearing that encompassed Ruby’s nest. The great creature lay majestic in the center under a heavy sleep. Her breathing filled the forest with a steady gusted rhythm.

In the clutches of her tail sat a beautiful ebony colored egg that was easily the size of a beach ball. No creature by any standard would pass such an egg with comfort or ease. Hagrid was right to have gotten William in the middle of the night.

And there, leaning against her side fast asleep, rested the form of William Black. His chest lay bare as his shirt had been discarded next to him. The blood stained gauze and bandages still covered most of his torso.

Harry and Hermione very slowly crept forward as to not disturb the sleeping dragon. This method seemed to work when suddenly a steady beat of running feet came from around the clearing. When the pair turned to see what was making the noise they caught a faint glimpse of what appeared to be a horses.

“What was that?” asked Harry as he remembered just exactly where he was. The Forbidden Forest had been home to numerous creatures over the years. Some were friendly and others were ones that you prayed you would never see. 

“That was a group of centaurs.”

“Are you sure Hermione?” asked Harry as he turned to his companion.

She shot him a mixed look of confusion and sudden realization as she said, “I didn’t say anything Harry!” Both of them knew just who had spoken as Hermione finished her sentence. When they turned back toward Ruby, they were greeted by the newly woken William.

“They’ve been coming by every hour or so to see what the egg’s been doing.” said William as he rubbed his eyes as they adjusted to the morning light. “I guess they’ve been worried about their food supply now that there’s another dragon in the forest.” explained William gesturing towards the egg.

Harry was taken back by his openness as William stood up. He had not talked to him directly in weeks. He should have been mad at him but his feelings were suddenly displaced.

“Why did you lie to us?” asked Hermione deciding it would be best to get right to the point.

“I didn’t lie to you. I only omitted certain truths.” replied William who knew just exactly why they had come. “You never asked if I had the dream too.” As they took in his response, William quickly discarded the itchy gauze revealing an almost healed chest. Before Harry and Hermione could question him as to how the wounds healed so fast, William quickly put on a shirt.

“Stop dancing around the issue and give us a straight answer! Tell us the truth damnit!” yelled Harry who had begun to grow tired of his riddled remarks.

“WHAT DO YOU WANT TO KNOW?!” yelled William in a voice loud enough to wake the dead. Oddly enough it didn’t wake Ruby. Little did Harry and Hermione know was that she had been given a sleeping draught in the night to help her sleep after passing the egg.

Harry and Hermione suddenly became afraid after his burst of anger.

“Do you wanna know that I have to relive my worst memory on a weekly basis? Did you wanna know that every time I go to sleep I think about what might happen when I dream? Did you wanna know that the pain never gets any less?” William’s demeanor was no longer one of anger but one of sadness and exhaustion.

The two people standing before were stunned at hearing this. This outburst changed all that they assumed was true.

“So it really is a memory?” asked Hermione trying to confirm her newfound suspicions.

“Yes, a very powerful memory that I have tried for a long time to forget.” said William as he rubbed the tears out of his eyes.

“What happened to you?” asked Harry. He was now cutting to the center of his argument. Whatever had happened in his past was the key to what was happening now.

“I don’t want to talk about that!” exclaimed William as he went to leave the clearing. “I don’t even know what could happen if I told you. It’s better that you don’t know!”

“William! William!” yelled Harry trying to make him come back and answer his questions. He would not let him leave that easily. “DOC!”

William stopped and slowly turned answering to the nickname he had not been called in some time. “Only my friends and people I trust call me Doc. Lately, you’ve been neither.”

“Just please talk to us!” pleaded Hermione hoping that her kindness would work rather than Harry’s anger.

“Okay, what do you want to know? I’ll tell you if it’s the only way I can end this.” said William as crossed his arms and stood akimbo. The anger was still very clear in his voice.

Having seen this, Hermione knew that she would just have to ask the important questions in order for this to go smoothly. Harry simply stood off to the side never taking his eyes off William.

“Do you think you can still help us?” This was the most important question on Hermione’s mind at the moment.

“I should be able to in a few hours!” replied William looking down at his gold pocket watch. “That’s if you still want it.”

“We do.” said Hermione very quickly showing just how desperate she was. “Don’t we Harry?”

He wasn’t so sure at the moment. “If this medicine you gave us a sample of yesterday is so great, then why didn’t you take any last night to help yourself?” Hermione had wondered the same thing and was just as curious as Harry.

“Because I gave the last I had to you and your friends so you wouldn’t get the nightmare. I had enough for another three or tfour days before I had to make more. Then she told me about your problem yesterday.” exclaimed the tired boy as he gestured toward Hermione. “I only had enough for the four of you so I let you have the rest. I guess I was wrong when thinking it wouldn’t flare up.” The defeat was evident in William’s eyes.

The exact timing of the dream was always tricky. It seemed to never take a direct pattern or schedule. It was only certain that it would show up when the moon went through a primary phase. “Now you obviously know that you’re not the only ones who need it.”

William had decided in that moment the day before that it would be best if they took the potion. He had felt the pain before and could brave it again. Because they were new to the experience he felt they should be spared.

“Okay, I can believe that.” Harry was not lying when he said this. Having spent time with William he knew just how selfless and generous he could be, even if it meant that he would take the backlash.

“Next question; how did we get the nightmare?” asked Hermione. Any clue or sign would’ve have greatly been appreciated at this point.

William’s demeanor instantly changed from frustration uncertainty. Hermione knew that he had just as much information as her. “That’s the strange thing. I have no idea. I’ve been racking my brain for the past few hours hoping to find something. I’ve got nothing yet.”

The three of them knew that even if William could some how get rid of their nightmares, it still didn’t explain how they got it.

“I have just one more question for you. How long have you had this nightmare or memory or whatever you call it?” This question had only recently entered her mind after William mentioned how the pain never got any less.

William knew that it would be hard for them to here how long he had endured the pain but they had a right to know. “6 years.” replied William.

This was like an anvil crushing all the reasons they had to not like William at the moment. They had nearly gone crazy from a month of this. By what divine miracle was William able to have lasted six years?

All of the anger that Harry had towards William was gone after what he had said. “I’m so sorry William.”

“You didn’t know.” said William as he turned to leave. He had had enough of the questions for the time being. He still had more work to do if he was to help his friends. It was not their curse to bear.

“Come and find me later and I’ll see what I can do about the nightmare.” He then walked off toward the castle. Toward the only salvation he could think of. He could only pray that it would work.

“Six years!” exclaimed Ron alerting everyone having breakfast in the Great Hall to his table.

“Keep it down Ronald!” whispered Hermione trying to divert the unneeded attention away from their table. When all eyes seemed to go back to breakfast plates and goblets she continued, “Yes, that’s what he told us.”

From the time Harry and Hermione had come back into the castle Ginny and Ron were insatiable when it came to telling them just exactly what they had gathered from their meeting with William. They had gathered the same feelings as well.

“He knows everything about the dream because he’s the original person who it started with.” added Harry who was trying to eat but found he did not have the hunger he would have liked. His mind became filled with questions from the recent discoveries about William and the nightmare. “The only thing he doesn’t know is how it spread to us.”

“So now all we can do is wait for him to have that potion ready for us again? What if it comes back?” asked Ginny who was beginning to doubt the faith she had placed in William.

“It’s certainly a possibility.” replied Ron who was beginning to lose his appetite as well. That as when he knew things were really bad.

“Maybe not!” exclaimed Harry having a sudden realization. The group sitting around him was deep in curiosity as to what Harry had figured out. “Hermione, you checked all the books in the library about nightmares and dreams right?”

“Yes, but it was a dead end Harry. None of the books said anything about dreams that leave scars or anything of that nature.” replied Hermione not knowing where Harry was going with this.

“Wait a second!” exclaimed Ginny who knew just what Harry was thinking. “You just said that William told you it wasn’t a dream. He said it was a memory.”

“Exactly!” smiled Harry. “We were looking in the wrong section this whole time. What we need to do is look up all of the books that have to do with memories.”

Ron began laughing to himself after hearing this. The group turned toward him in confusion as to what was so funny. “Sorry mate, but I thought Hermione here was the only one with enough brains to put that together. Good job!”

“Thanks Ron.” replied Harry. It was always nice to have a friend like Ron seeing the humor in even the worst situations.

Harry’s thoughts of not finding any books on memories were severely mistaken when he and his friends asked Ms. Pince the librarian if she had books on memories. ‘No entry no matter how small could be spared’ was the way Hermione put it.

Maybe it was the way she said it or the way she expressed how the desperately needed information about memories, but Ms. Pince took the words to heart and returned with every book she knew that had some mention of memories. Three full tables covered with books was certainly enough to find some information.

3 hours later….

“Anybody find anything yet?” inquired Hermione as she cleared another pile off of her table. Each book came back with the same result, no conclusive information.

“Nothing over here!” yelled Harry as he and Ginny scanned several more books. Their search had been just as fruitless as Hermione’s. The only good aspect Harry found in the situation was that at least he was spending time with Ginny.

“How about you Ron?” asked Ginny as she started into another pile of books.

“This is pointless!” exclaimed Ron as he threw down the book he was reading in frustration. The library went dead silent from the sudden noise. Ms. Pince was quick to shush them again for about the tenth time.

“We have every book but the one we need! We have Memory Charms, Memory Alteration, Memorizing Magical Maladies! There is nothing on memory scars.” The combined frustration of not finding anything and Ron’s way with books was beginning to manifest itself verbally.

“He’s right Hermione.” admitted Harry as he put down his book and rubbed his eyes. “We’ve been at this for hours. We’re not gonna find anything here.”

Although Hermione didn’t want to admit it, she knew he was right. The information they had didn’t fit the problem. How could they solve it? It would be impossible to diagnose a future condition like this with information from the past. It was in that moment that Hermione realized where some reliable sources might be.

“You’re absolutely right Harry. We’re looking in the wrong place again!” exclaimed Hermione as a smile cut across her face. “William has books that might help us!”

“She’s right!” chimed in Ginny as she remembered the trunks filled with books that he had brought with them; books that were filled with information that had not been recorded or discovered yet. “Let’s go see what we can find!”

“We need to ask William first if we can look through his trunks.” added Harry. “Pull out the Marauder’s Map Hermione and then we can find him.” He had given her the map last night and forgot to collect it from her later. He was just so excited after hearing about William’s cure.

Hermione searched her robes as fast as possible trying to find the seasoned piece of parchment. It was after searching the last pocket that she realized it was not with her. “I don’t have it Harry!” replied Hermione who was growing very nervous.

“What do you mean? You lost it?” asked Harry who was wearing an expression of mixed worry and sadness. The very thought of losing the map was a blow to his heart. It was one of the last pieces that he had of three people that were very special to him. He couldn’t lose that part of his dad, Sirius, and Lupin; the last of the true Marauders.

“I didn’t lose it Harry! I had it in my cloak yesterday when Ginny and I went to see William in the forest. After that I didn’t even look at it. You don’t think-”

“He must have taken it. It’s the only explanation!” growled Harry. William’s furtive ways were beginning to get on his nerves. “We need to find him fast.”

The four Gryffindors left the library in the fastest way possible. After thanking Ms. Pince for her help they immediately rushed out into the hallway not looking to see if anyone was coming.

This was very unfortunate for Neville Longbottom as he made his way down the hall. One minute his head was in a book about rare magical plants and then suddenly it was in the middle of a swinging door.

“Sorry Neville!” apologized Harry as he reached down to help Neville up. “We didn’t see you coming.”

“Its all right Harry.” exclaimed Neville as he rubbed his forehead. “You may just have given me the jolt I needed for a potion I’m going to start on.” The project in question was one that he had been contemplating for several months. It was only after talking with William that morning in the greenhouses that he decided to get started.

“Have you by any chance seen William?” asked Hermione as she reached down and picked up Neville’s books. All of them were about very advanced potions and herbology.

“Yeah, I saw him about an hour ago in the greenhouses. He asked me if I had any spare Wolfsbane. I gave him what I had and then he left. He said he had things to take care of in Gryffindor Tower. He kept calling me Professor for some reason. Anyway that’s all I know.”

“Thanks Neville!” cheered the group made their way back to the dormitories.

The Gryffindor common room was surprisingly empty for a Saturday afternoon. To the group’s best guess everyone else must have been at lunch or out in Hogsmeade. The only difference was that they weren’t concerned with other students, just William Black.

As Harry led the way up to the boys’ dormitory, he took every step with extreme care. If he wanted to confront William then he wanted to do it by catching him off guard. They would have used the cloak but it was still in Harry’s trunk.

The group only encountered disappointment as they slowly opened the door to Harry, Ron and William’s room. The only thing that occupied the room was a number of beds, some trunks and an open window.

“Before we do anything, let’s agree that we put it all back when we’re done.” said Hermione as she made her way over to William’s bed.

“Alright.” agreed Harry following Hermione to the bed. “We have to look for the map before anything else though.”

“Sounds like a plan mate!” replied Ron as he joined the group. “Why don’t we start with that trunk at the foot of his bed?”

The search through the trunk led to another fruitless search. The only items in it were several quidditch jerseys and the rest of William’s quidditch supplies. After searching more thoroughly this time around Ginny came upon a small box the size of a pencil case. Inside were strange looking items that looked like paint brushes, or something of that nature Ginny thought.

After closing it, Ginny stepped back and sat on Harry’s bed as the other three stuck with the search. As they dug through the next trunk, its contents mostly books, Ginny felt something about all of this to be wrong. It seemed like a violation of William’s personal space to go through his things like this. As she pondered this Ginny put her hands on the bed and felt several pieces of paper, one was very familiar. Upon looking at them, Ginny knew she had to stop them.

“Harry I don’t think the map is in that case!” laughed Ginny as she held the pieces of paper.

“How would you know that Ginny?” asked Harry in confusion as he glanced at the handful of books he was holding.

“Because I’m holding it!”

Harry, Ron and Hermione looked up in disbelief but were stunned as they found Ginny was not lying. By what miracle did she possess it?

Harry promptly gave her a passionate kiss on the lips and took the map from her hands wanting to see for himself. “I knew I loved you!” exclaimed Harry in utter joy. He then tested it to see if it was the real thing. “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” With those words the Marauder’s Map appeared as it had always done.

As Harry opened the map to scan the school for William, another piece of paper fell out of its folds. It caught his eye instantly as he found it to be a letter addressed to himself and the rest of the group.

Being one to hate tension, Harry quickly opened it and began to read aloud its message to the group.

Dear Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny,

By the time your read this it is obvious that it was I who took the map from you yesterday. I was sorry to do this but I knew that I needed to act quickly once became aware you shared my condition. It was not out of hate or spite that I did this but out of care and friendship. It was imperative that I pull mine and your resources in order to help cure you. I hope you don’t hold it against me for taking the map without permission.
Harry and Hermione, in regards to our conversation this morning, I’m sorry for yelling. You needed answers and I wasn’t the most responsive person I should have been. In my time since this morning I have solved the question that I couldn’t answer. It’s better that you hear it in person.

-William Black

P.S.: Come and find me when you are done looking for your answers.

“What do you make of that?” asked Hermione as she scanned the letter again looking for any other sign as to what he meant. “Do you think this is all one big trick?”

“I don’t think so.” replied Harry. “It isn’t like William to trick us. He usually tells us what we want to know.”

He was having a hard time hating William at this point after the apology he had just read. It was obvious William took good care of the map as he looked it over for tears or creases. Surprisingly he found none, it was in perfect condition.

“At least we have one problem solved!” cheered Ron as he patted Harry on the back. “All we need to do now is look through the rest of these books.”

Hermione, who was closest to the trunk filled with books, glanced over several more titles and could not find anything related to what they were looking for. “This trunk has nothing we can use unless you boys want a book on Quidditch Offensive and Legally Ambiguous Plays?” laughed Hermione knowing they had soft spots for quidditch.

“I might want to take a look at that later!” replied Ron laughing as well. “You never know what we might need to do this year when we play Slytherin.”

The group shared a laugh at that as well. Seeing as how the majority of the Slytherins had suffered a major blow from the war, it was obvious that they would want retribution in some way. What better way could there be for school children than quidditch?

“Well putting all jokes aside we still need an answer to how we got the memory from William.” said Ginny. She hated to burst their bubble but it had to be done.

“We haven’t looked in their yet.” pointed Harry to the black trunk under William’s bed. “You girls said he opened it in front of you yesterday. Can you remember what he did to open it?”

“Are you sure that’s such a good idea?” asked Ginny with a deep tone of concern. “He said that he put his most prized possessions in there. Do you think it would be okay to just go rooting around in his personal items?”

“If his most prized possessions are in here then maybe there is something important enough that can help us.” suggested Harry. Ginny had not thought of it this way and began to see his logic for thinking this, but she still had her doubts. Harry could see this assured her by saying, “I swear that whatever we find in the trunk we will take excellent care of and put it back when we’re done.”

Ginny was still not sure if it was right to do this but they were out of options and time was beginning to run out. “Okay but be careful with whatever you take out. We don’t want him to know we went through it.”

“Great then!” exclaimed Harry. After bringing his attention back to the trunk his cheery disposition was slowly fading as he realized he had no idea how to open the trunk. “Would one of you ladies mind opening that thing for us?”

“I think I remember how it goes!” cheered Hermione as she pulled out the trunk and kneeled before it. She then slowly put her hands on its top trying to recollect the right sequence to unlock it. “Left hand taps the left strap four times.” said Hermione thinking out loud. The action then preceded each command. “Right hand taps the right strap five times and both hands tap the center lock twice.”

All eyes stayed focused on the trunk as the group waited for it to unlock itself but only added more disappointment as it stayed shut. Something was clearly not right.

“What did I do wrong?” asked Hermione rhetorically. “Wasn’t that the right sequence from yesterday Ginny?”

“You were right Hermione. That was the correct sequence!” replied Ginny who then kneeled beside Hermione. She then laid her hands on the trunk in the same manner that Hermione had done. “Left hand taps the left strap four times!” Again each command was followed by the action. “Right strap five times and the center lock two times.”

As quickly as Ginny had performed each procedure, that was how quickly the trunk unlatched itself.

“That was strange.” admitted Ginny in wonder as to how she had done that. Why had the trunk opened for her and not for Hermione? None of it made sense.

The thoughts of confusion were pushed aside as Harry kissed her on the cheek. “Brilliant Ginny!” cheered Harry as he then refocused his attention back to the now opened trunk. “Let’s see what we can find!”

No one knew what to expect as Harry slowly lifted the lid. Mysteries seemed to follow William Black wherever he went. To finally solve one was a great prospect to hold onto, but still no one knew what they would find.

When the lid was finally lifted all of the way, the four Gryffindors held themselves back and looked into the trunk with completely open eyes for they did not want to miss anything. One thing was for sure, William certainly had many prized possessions. Numerous objects filled the container to almost full capacity. These ranged from things like books, clothes, and numerous other trinkets none of them had ever seen before.

Harry, deciding he should get things underway, stretched his arm into the trunk and pulled out a medium sized canvas covered book. It had no label or significant markings but it was intriguing nevertheless. The others then reached in and pulled out other objects as well.

Ginny pulled from the trunk’s contents a satin cloth rolled up and tied fastening whatever it held. When she unrolled it she found herself looking upon 5 very different looking wands. Each seemed to be made from a different wood or from a different maker. ‘They couldn’t be for William’ Ginny thought. ‘He already has a wand.’ As she kept digging through the contents she found another textbook sized stone tablet wrapped in a velvet cloth. When she took that off the tablet was covered in symbols that she had never seen before, yet something about them seemed oddly familiar. And in the center, bolder and larger than the other symbols, stood the same logo from the top of the trunk.

Hermione then pulled from the trunk a thick leather armband marked with numerous symbols. Although she could not place them, Hermione knew she had seen them before. In her other hand she was holding a golden necklace bearing the same sword and wand symbol that sat on the lid of the trunk. By the looks of it, the necklace was very old but was in magnificent shape except for a small nick on its top edge.

Ron, who followed suite shortly thereafter, removed a thin, dark polished oak case. On the lid sat on inscription that read, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” He understood just what the quote meant when he opened the lid to find a dozen glowing daggers. The blades were forged in pairs and matched in color, which varied from tantalizing rouge to a brilliant cerulean. All held a dazzling glow except for the dark ebony one lying in the center. Just what they were used for was a mystery.

Harry then opened the book he had been studying and found it to be a personal spell book. Each page was covered with William’s thoughts of various different charms and incantations. From what he could gather they were spells that a young wizard would concoct to win duels or pull pranks in class. Each seemed to hold a personal sense of accomplishment with each entry noting whether it was a success or failure. At one point halfway through the pages it seemed that the spells became more serious and applicable showing wand movements and proper spell pronunciation. These entries were now marked as ‘has potential’ or ‘possibly useful.’

When Harry finished the page he was on the next entry changed a great deal of what he thought about William. The two spells that filled the page were marked “Anchor Charm” and “Rising Buoy.”

The feelings of weight and lightness he and his friends had experienced that day on the docks were finally explained. William had charmed them in order to save Ginny. Coincidence had nothing to do with it.

These thoughts were confirmed when Harry read the label next to each one, “Application to mortal situation successful. One life saved!” Harry now knew even more just how wrong he had been that day.

As Harry contemplated this, Hermione pulled out a small statue of a red bird. It looked oddly similar to the bird that they had seen over the past few weeks. There was something very strange about the way it looked back at her. It was as if it was waiting for Hermione to do something.

Ron, Ginny and Harry each replaced the items they had removed and looked toward Hermione who was still holding the statue. “We should probably keep looking through the trunk Hermione.” suggested Harry. “There is still a lot more to cover.”

As he said this, Harry reached in and removed a leather bound book that revealed itself to be a photo album. Harry made a quick nonchalant flip through its contents which revealed numerous pictures and numerous blank spots on several pages. The only explanation was that pictures had been removed.

Seeing as how it did not contain any information Harry closed the cover and went to put it back into the trunk when suddenly the lid closed by itself. The group stood back in sudden surprise as it then reattached its lock and then promptly flew out of the room. It did not move along the floor but literally hovered and flew out of the very portrait hole it had knocked open. Where it was going nobody knew.

“Now this is strictly just a guess-” started Hermione removing the silence from the room. “But I’d say that William just summoned the trunk to himself.”

“I second that guess!” said Ron trying to find a handle on the moment.

“I’m with Hermione!” exclaimed Ginny.

“Now what do we do?” asked Harry who just witnessed his last option fly out the door. “The only thing left to do is to try and find William and see what he can tell us.”

Hermione had been having the same thoughts exactly. She kept thinking to herself ‘Where is William when you need him?’ As she finished this thought she found herself to still be clutching the bird statue except this time it was a real bird, bright red feathers and all.

“Where did that bird come from Hermione?” exclaimed Ron as he looked at the creature in wonder. Harry and Ginny turned to see and were just as shocked as he was.

“I don’t know!” replied Hermione. “I was just holding this statue from the trunk in my hand when I thought about where William was. When I looked down this bird was sitting in my hand.”

At mention of William’s name the bird began to flap its wings and hover in front of the stunned girl. The bird then made a move for the door and looked back toward her. “This might sound strange but I think it wants us to follow it.”

“Huh?” Ron asked in utter amazement.

“I was thinking about William when it flapped its wings and when I found it in my hand.” She knew the idea was crazy but it was all they had. “Just trust me please!”

“What have we got to lose?” asked Harry. He had the Marauder’s Map back but he was willing to follow the bird. What Hermione was saying seemed to make sense in an odd way. And with Harry’s words the group made off to follow the bird through the castle.

A/N: Sorry for the long wait and for the cliff hanger ending. I didn't want my first chapter back to a ten thousand word one. You'll just have to wait for the next one. The quote on top of the dagger case is by Edmund Burke in case you were wondering.

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  • How to Land an Ending 🍻
  • How To Make Writer's Block Your Best Friend ❤️
  • ...And more!
“The lessons that were offered helped me enormously. Suddenly it was easier to write scenes, imagine them and bring suspension and romance in it. I loved it! ​It helped me in a way other bloggers couldn’t and still can’t.” - Student