Their footsteps echoed off the empty stone walls of the seventh
floor corridor as Harry and Ginny walked slowly towards Gryffindor
Tower. Ginny let out a small contented sigh as their loosely entwined
hands swung back and forth.
Ginny could tell by the furrow in
his brow that Harry was deep in thought. "What do you think about
Dumbledore's idea?" she asked hesitantly.
Looking at her with
a slight start, as if he had just noticed she was there, Harry smiled.
"A few things, actually; first of all, I don't exactly trust Dumbledore
as much as I used to. He's kept too many things from me for too long
and I have to wonder if this isn't one of those things."
Ginny stopped walking and tugged on his hand a little, so that he turned and faced her.
thing is that I have to wonder how you fit into all of this," Harry
continued when they had stopped. He brought a tentative hand up to her
cheek and said, "Do you have a bond with Voldemort? If so, why hasn't
he used it before?"
"I don't know, Harry," Ginny said, leaning into his hand.
looked thoughtful and moved his hand to the back of her neck, meshing
his fingers into her hair. "Do you have visions? Nightmares, that sort
Ginny shook her head, shivering slightly and pushed
him backwards towards the wall. "I do have nightmares, but they're
always about the Chamber and – and what happened that year, nothing
Harry's back nudged the stone wall as Ginny pressed
into him. He responded by pulling her head into his chest and snaking
his other hand around her waist. "Well, whatever your connection with
him, I'm all for blocking it...especially if Voldemort is aware of it."
simply nodded, breathing in his scent and revelling in the fact that
she could. A crooked smile lit up her face as something popped into her
"I heard what Parvati said to you today outside of Charms, Harry."
tensed underneath her and he cleared his throat nervously. "I – Is that
so? And what were you doing in the Charms corridor when I know very
well that you had Herbology that period?"
Ginny's smile widened. He knew her schedule. Well, she had
shown it to him, but she reckoned that he would forget it just like all
her brothers had. "I was running a message to Professor Flitwick.
Professor Sprout wanted to remind him to charm the greenhouses with
heat- and moisture-retention charms."
There was a pause and Ginny concentrated on listening to Harry's heartbeat. It seemed much more rapid than normal.
"Oh," he said finally. "So, uh, I assume that you're not just making idle conversation."
Pushing off his chest reluctantly, Ginny looked up at him and captured his lips in a soft kiss.
"What was that for?" Harry asked as she drew back, his eyes still closed.
pulled on his hand again, and they resumed their walk to Gryffindor
Tower. "For being you," she said enigmatically. "What you said to
Parvati was very sweet." Then her smile turned into a frown and she
slowed her pace.
"What?" Harry asked. "What's the matter? I thought it was a good thing."
Staring at the floor, Ginny took even breaths. "It's not that, Harry. It's just...."
"What?" Harry repeated, taking her into his arms again. "Tell me what I've done."
laughed. "It's not you, silly boy. It's me." She looked up to him again
and offered a watery smile. "You could have any girl in the castle and
you picked me. Why?"
Harry's mouth hung open. "What do you
mean 'Why?' Don't you remember the letter I wrote you? The one that
spelled out exactly what I wanted in a girlfriend?"
Ginny said and then hesitated. "I mean.... I thought that you were just
being clever...that you were trying to flatter me."
"No!" Harry said and placed his hands on her shoulders. "That's not it at all. I meant everything I said in that letter. I really need someone who won't take crap from me, who loves me for who I am and not for being the Boy-Who-Lived."
Ginny's gaze lowered to his chest, but he forced it back up with a finger. "Ginny... I love you. Parvati might be fun to look at, but I need more than a pretty face to make me happy."
you don't think I'm pretty?" she pouted. Ginny could tell that it took
great effort for Harry to not roll his eyes as he bit the inside of his
mouth. Ginny found his frustration oddly comforting.
"I said that it takes more than a pretty face to make me happy, Gin. You're pretty, and funny, and clever, and as stubborn as a mule."
it was Ginny's turn to drop her jaw in shock. She made an incredulous
sound in her throat and made to pull away when Harry's hand clamped
"That's a good thing, Ginny. You have to be stubborn to
be involved with me. Otherwise, you'd go mad with all the foolish
life-risking, people-saving adventures I get caught up in. Not to
mention I might be dead next week."
Ginny's mouth snapped
shut. "Don't start down that road, Harry. You know darn well that I'm
going to do everything I can to help you kill Tom and keep you alive in
Harry's eyes twinkled and his grin contorted his
whole face. "That's exactly what I mean. Thanks for proving my case so
convincingly." Then he took her by the hand and they resumed their walk.
Just outside the portrait of the Fat Lady, Ginny stopped and said, "Harry?"
"Thanks for that," she said, nodding her head down the corridor. "And...I love you, too."
Surprising her with another kiss, they lost themselves until they heard someone clearing their throat.
you're going to stand there all day kissing, you might as well let me
know so I can go visiting. Otherwise, speak the password and be done
When Harry pulled back, Ginny wiped at the lipstick left on his mouth with her robe-sleeve. "Furnunculus," she said and the portrait swung open.
"Sorry," mumbled Harry to the Fat Lady as they walked into the common room, not sounding a bit like he was.
The next day after classes, Harry was just sitting down to eat dinner when a hand grabbed his shoulder.
meeting in the common room, eight o'clock." Katie Bell was looking down
at him with a wry grin, her long brown hair pulled into its perpetual
ponytail. "We've got to schedule tryouts and practices. You too,
Weasley," she said to Ron across the table.
"Yes, ma'am," Harry said with a mock salute.
Ron's mouth was so full of food, he couldn't say anything and settled for a vigorous head nod, instead.
Ginny giggled into her hand, but stopped when Katie said, "And I expect you'll be there for tryouts, Ginny?"
course," Ginny replied with a glance at Harry. "But I'm afraid the
Seeker position is taken." Hermione flipped open a book, clearly
uninterested in the Quidditch talk.
"I've got a half-way
decent Seeker," Katie said with an exaggerated smile. "What I need is a
half-way decent Chaser! As soon as we book the pitch, I expect you'll
have your boyfriend tell you when tryouts are."
Ginny nodded and Katie walked away, presumably to give the same speech to Jack Sloper and Andrew Kirke.
"Like I could keep you away," Harry remarked, earning him a playful shove from Ginny.
"Too right," she replied.
finally managed to swallow his food and said, "Say. You two never told
us what was up with your visit to Dumbledore's office last night."
"Yeah," agreed Hermione, closing her book and bringing her eyes up. "What gives?"
Harry looked at Ginny as if to say, You want to tell them?
nodded and they all leaned in closer. "It's like this. Dumbledore
thinks that both Harry and I pose a risk to the war effort. That
Voldemort – stop twitching, Ron – that Voldemort can still get into our
heads. He reckons he can perform a spell that will make it so that we
aren't as transparent to him, but if we do it, we'll be knocked out for
Hermione and Ron looked at each other, then back at
Harry and Ginny. "What do you mean, 'knocked out'," asked Ron. "What
kind of spell does he want to cast?"
"He didn't say," answered
Harry. "He said he'd explain on Saturday, but that he had to get
permission from our guardians. Dumbledore also said that if we didn't
have the spell performed, Voldemort would be stronger than he ever has."
was a stiff silence as each person thought about Dumbledore's words.
Unsurprisingly, it was Hermione who recovered first. "But, Harry. What
is Dumbledore guarding against? What is it that you and Ginny know that
V – Voldemort's so anxious to find out?"
Ginny's hand wrapped around Harry's and he said, "I think we'd better find the D.A. room before we take this any further."
while later, in the Room of Requirement, after Harry had recited the
prophecy, Hermione and Ron sat back on their sofa, jaws opened wide.
why Voldemort wanted it so badly last year," Hermione said, staring
blankly at the wall behind Harry. "It wasn't a weapon after all."
snorted Ron, "just information that tells him that Dumbledore can't
kill him. I mean, imagine what You-Know-Who would do if he wasn't
afraid of Dumbledore. He'd break down the gates of Hogwarts and come
after Harry in a second."
"Exactly, Ron," Harry said. "That's
why we've got to have this spell done, or Voldemort will figure out a
way to take the prophecy from me or...from Ginny."
Ron sat up
on the sofa and pinned Harry with his gaze. "But how come Ginny already
knows about it? How come you didn't tell us first?" he said, rocking
his extended thumb between him and Hermione.
Harry sighed. "I
didn't exactly plan to leave you two out of the loop. It's one of the
reasons I'm telling you now. Ginny and I have this bond that makes it
hard to keep secrets from one another and besides...telling her was
something I needed to do at the time - it was a rough summer in some
Hermione smirked from her reclined position and before
Ron could say anything else, clapped her hands and said, "Well. Now
that that's all settled, Ron and I will make sure to take extra good
notes for you to follow-up with when you get out of hospital."
"Bu – " Ron tried to say.
"Right, Ron?" Hermione persisted.
Ron's head dipped a little and he said, "Y – Yeah. Sure thing."
beamed and pushed her arm around Ron's shoulders. Harry wouldn't
normally think anything of it except that Ron stiffened so suddenly at
the contact that Hermione faltered and withdrew her hand.
Ginny said, breaking the tension. "I've got loads of homework, so the
sooner we can head back to the common room, the better.
"Sounds like a plan," Harry added quickly. Then, grabbing Ginny's hand, they stood and made a bee-line for the door.
As Harry stepped over the threshold, he looked over his shoulder and thought he caught a glimpse of a smile on Hermione's face.
in the common room, well after midnight, Harry was slouched in a large
armchair in his favourite corner, working on his Potions essay. It was
nearly complete, lacking only a few references to One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi to solidify his argument.
and Ron were on patrol outside the castle and weren't due back until
two in the morning. Ginny was asleep in her room and as he caught upon
that thought, a smile crooked onto his face. He leaned forward, laid
his essay on top of his books on the nearby table, and wiped the tip of
his quill dry.
Leaning back into the cushy chair, Harry
decided that a quick nap before Ron and Hermione returned would be all
right. After all, he was almost done with his homework.
wide staircase appeared before Harry and as he looked around him, he
had a strange twinge of déjà vu. A powerful feeling overcame him and he
grasped a long, smooth railing with his hand, compelling him to walk
upward. As he climbed, a mist overcame him, cold and stifling. He
resisted the urge to take his hand from the handrail to rub his frigid
arms. After a moment of walking, the mist cleared and he was presented
with a vision he had never before seen.
At the top of
the stairs, a large field opened before him. The rail continued on
towards a bright light, shining upwards into the sky. A river coursed
through the grass, meandering slowly until it fell off the side of the
stairs and into blackness.
Harry walked forward, and
thinking that he didn't need to keep holding onto the rail, the
destination being in plain sight, he let go.
without warning, the imaged blurred and twisted around him. Harry fell
as the grassy field disappeared and he landed on hard stone floor.
him, Harry saw Ron flying on his broomstick, happy and free. Ron darted
in and out of a stand of trees, wind whipping at his hair. Coming over
the top of a hill, three men came into view, also on broomsticks. They
started to chase Ron and Harry yelled silently for him to get away. The
men changed into dragons and gained on Ron's slowing broomstick. A
burst of flame caught the broom's tail and Ron dove for the ground.
Harry shouted, "Look out!" as another dragon swooped underneath him to intercept.
dragon opened its large maw and swallowed Ron, broom and all. Then it
turned towards Harry and repeated its motions, until Harry too was in
the belly of the beast.
The vision changed again and Harry saw
Hermione. She was walking alone along a beach, smiling in the sunlight.
She dipped her feet in the retreating surf and then ran back to dry
sand as a new wave approached. A scream echoed through Harry's mind and
Hermione turned to see a small boy huddled by a clump of rocks.
ran to the boy and kneeled down in the sand, stretching her hand out
slowly to see if he was okay. As soon as she touched the shaking boy,
he transformed into a werewolf. Hermione cried out and ran towards the
surf once again. The werewolf was too quick and pounced on her, biting
her on the neck. Her body slumped into the sand, now stained with her
bright red blood.
Tears broke out in Harry's eyes and realized
that he must be dreaming. He attempted to wake out of his trance but a
giant fist of iron clamped over his mind when he tried to change the
visions in his head. His whole skull throbbed with pain and the more he
tried to resist, the more intense the pounding in his mind became.
new vision played in his head, this time of Arthur and Molly Weasley.
He could hardly stand to watch as they too met a grisly death. Then the
twins, Dumbledore, Seamus, Neville, Luna, and finally, Ginny.
sob erupted from his mouth as she sat in a swing outside the Burrow.
Unable to break free from the vision, he was forced to observe as she
ran towards Harry and called his name, a Giant pounding after her. The
Giant swung its club and knocked her down, then smashed her with his
Harry's heart broke as he continued to stare at the spot
where her broken body lay and as it faded into a mist. He wiped at the
tears in his eyes and found himself on the floor of a large stone room.
trickled down damp walls and pooled by a heavy wooden door. A rat
scurried across his vision and he found he could move. This vision was
different than the rest, it felt more real and he could even detect the
dankness of the air he was breathing.
Footfalls echoed in the
hall outside the door. Harry scrambled to his feet and the door opened.
A dark hooded form hesitated in the frame, starting intently at the
boy. "Hello, Mr. Potter," hissed the man. His eyes flashed red in the
darkness and he continued, "I had wondered if my little spell was
actually working, but then I felt you as you tried to pull away from me
and I doubted no longer. Wormtail will be rewarded well for his
"Where am I?" asked Harry bravely, unwilling to give in to his fear. "How did I get here?"
Harry, all in good time." Voldemort walked purposefully into the cell,
stepping noisily through the puddle and right next to where Harry was
Harry moved away unconsciously until his back met the cold stone wall. "This isn't real is it? It's just another vision."
it's real enough, Harry. You see," he said taking out a long thin wand.
"When I kill you here, it will kill your body wherever it lies - even
"But my scar..." he said absently rubbing his forehead. "It doesn't hurt."
"Of course not - your scar was the key to the spell, Harry. Without it, we wouldn't be here."
at the prospect of so easily falling into Voldemort's hands, Harry
looked around quickly to see if there was any weapon he could use. He
patted at his clothes, searching for his wand, but found nothing. The
only other thing in the cell was the puddle of water.
no one here to protect you now, boy and you will finally cease to be a
thorn in my side." Voldemort's tongue flicked into the air and a smile
cracked his scaly face. "I'm a patient wizard Harry, but even immortal
beings need to see the fruits of their labour."
his resolve, Harry straightened his back and thrust his chest out.
"You're a coward, Tom Riddle; a coward who hides behind deceit and
"Silence!" yelled the Dark Lord. "I am Lord Voldemort!
And you will pay for your insolence." He pointed his wand at Harry and
Waves of agony rolled over him; he screamed and fell to the floor, writhing on the slimy rocks.
The spell lifted and Harry looked up at his tormentor, breathing rapidly. "You see, Harry, you are subject to my power; this is where you will die."
A thought came to Harry and he said, "Where are we anyway? How – how did I get here?"
curious are you? Well, I supposed it won't hurt to tell you before you
die." Voldemort scratched his chin with a long bony finger. "Wormtail
found a spell that would exploit our link." He bent down and stretched
his hand towards Harry's head, tracing the lightning-bolt scar with his
"Pity I didn't think of it sooner, but
nevertheless, here we are." Voldemort stood once more and swept his
hand around the room. "This room exists only in our minds, Harry.
Linked together as they are, it only took a small spell to force you
into it. I, of course, came voluntarily."
Harry was beginning
to catch his breath and was using Voldemort's distraction to look for a
way to escape. "There are only two ways out, Harry. Either I release
you, or you die," Voldemort said with a chuckle, as if he was reading
Harry thought quickly about what Voldemort
had said. If he could somehow use their situation to his advantage, he
could at least buy some time. Their eyes locked and Harry straightened
up as his resolve returned. "Fine. Then kill me if you have to, but
know that I won't be the only thorn in your side, Tom."
flashed on Voldemort's face at the mention of his Muggle name. "You are
the last of the obstacles keeping me from dominating the Wizarding
world, Potter," he said, spitting Harry's surname. "Even that old fool
you cling to for hope and power will be destroyed."
"What are you talking about?" Harry whispered desperately.
you think I would remain idle while Dumbledore's irrelevant Order moved
against me?" mocked Voldemort, pacing back and forth through the puddle
by the door. "Don't you know what your dreams mean?"
Harry blanched. "Which dreams?" he asked, feeling less brave then he had a moment ago.
you that daft?" Voldemort said with a chuckle. "I know about the Path
of Light, Harry. I know that you have been chosen by the guardian and that is why I will destroy you first. There will be no Dumbledore to rescue you; no brother wand to block me. I will be rid of you forever." His eyes were glowing deep red and he brandished his wand yet again.
Voldemort walked to the centre of the cell and stood to his full height, glaring menacingly at Harry. "Now you will die."
desperately to his last ounce of wit, he raised his hand at the Dark
Lord in sudden inspiration and yelled the banishing charm. With an
indignant scream, Voldemort was thrown back into the wooden door,
cracking it from top to bottom. Harry quickly pointed to the puddle on
the floor and said, "Accio!" As the water flew towards his hand,
he imagined it floating in front of him, shaping into a thin disc.
Then, stretching his mind back to one of last year's Transfiguration
lessons he changed the water into steel.
Now back on his feet,
Voldemort was fuming in anger and immediately shot a purple spell at
Harry. Harry grabbed the disc by its edges and moved it to intercept
the spell. With a loud gong the light rebounded, carving out a hole in the ceiling. Harry was sent sprawling to the floor.
quickly, Harry sprang back to his feet and faced down the Dark Lord
once more. Another spell, this one blue, hit the shield and reflected
back to its caster. This time Harry stood his ground, but his hands
vibrated painfully from the impact.
flicking his wand ever so slightly, and the polished disc was wrenched
from Harry's hands, flying to the back of the cell with a clatter. Now
defenceless, Harry tried to keep his opponent off-guard by shooting as
many spells he could think of, amazed that he was able to do wandless
magic at all. But every spell was swatted away easily and soon Harry's
breath came in short gasps as he struggled to stay on his feet.
good, Mr. Potter. I never would have imagined that you could become
such a worthy opponent." Another flick of the wand and Harry was
paralyzed, only able to continue his laboured breathing and stare his
tormentor in the face.
"To think that I once actually pictured
you as a threat to me," said the dark wizard, seemingly to himself.
"It's only a pity that no one will be here to witness this final moment
Harry continued to breathe rapidly, but he couldn't
move, couldn't speak and there was no one to help him out of this trap.
Then, as he was about to give into his despair, the room blurred and
Voldemort was knocked off his feet.
"No!" he screamed. "This can't be possible!"
Again the room blurred, this time shaking with some unseen power and Voldemort disappeared with a loud crack. Then the room faded and Harry was pulled from the cell completely, landing on a hard marble floor. Then his world went dark.
awoke a few moments later to the sound of quiet crying. He felt a
gentle pressure on his forehead and when he blinked open his eyes, was
relieved to see Ginny's face hovering near his.
"Ginny, wha – ?" asked Harry, but was cut-off by Ginny's excited cries.
"Oh, Harry!" Ginny began. "I was so worried. I thought – I thought that you'd been possessed or something."
sat up and with Ginny's help, was able to rest against a nearby sofa.
"Ow," he said, pressing his hand to his temple. If it wasn't for the
seriousness of the situation, or the fact that Ginny looked positively
petrified with fear, Harry would have made a joke. As it was, he could
only pull her onto his lap and hold her close.
"Tom's not here. Only Harry, your Harry," he said, extending his arms in invitation.
hesitated for a second, then sat on his legs and buried her head onto
his shoulder. Then without warning, she started pummelling his chest
with her fists. "Don't. Ever. Do. That. Again," she said, and when her
fury was spent, Harry gathered her into his arms once more.
he soothed. He ran a hand around her back in oblong circles, but his
comforting actions only seemed to make her cry harder.
she finally pulled away from Harry, Ginny wiped at her eyes and said,
"I want you to tell me everything. Tell me what Tom did to you and what
Harry was surprised by her sudden change, so he
asked, "Why are you so worried about this? Did something happen while I
"Asleep?" she asked wonderingly. "If that was
what you look like when you sleep, I'd hate to see a full-fledged
possession. Harry..." Ginny placed her hand on his cheek. "You were
thrashing around so badly, I thought you might hurt yourself. I had to
pin you to the floor. You smacked me soundly before I could get you
under control." She pushed her shoulder out of her dressing gown to
show off a dull-grey circle forming in contrast to her smooth white
With a tentative finger, he rubbed at the mark. "I had no idea," he said. "I'm really sorry I hurt you."
about it," she said softly and shrugged her shoulder back under the
white cotton of her gown. "Now tell me what happened."
did. He took her hand and told her about nodding off after finishing
his Potions essay, the dream with the stairway and how it changed to
show everyone he loved dying terrible deaths. When he got to the end of
the vision with Voldemort, Harry paused.
"It was really
strange, Ginny. One moment, my life was flashing before my eyes; I knew
I was going to die. Then...this huge feeling of peace washed over me
and Voldemort yelled out. It was like we both knew I was going to
escape. The whole room shook and I was yanked out. The next thing I
knew, I felt you kissing my scar."
Ginny smiled and gave his
hand a squeeze. "I was kissing your whole face, actually. But when I
got to your scar, you stopped thrashing. That was when you woke up."
matched her smile. "We need to tell Dumbledore. He needs to know what
Voldemort said and quite frankly, I need someone to explain it to me."
"You stay here," Ginny said. "I'll get your map and cloak."
got up and was about to leave when Harry finally spoke, having been too
shocked to say anything. "Wait a minute. How do you know about those?"
"Oh," Ginny said and ducked her head. "I, uh...heard Ron and Hermione saying something about them."
"No, you didn't," Harry countered, shakily coming to his feet. "You were tapping into my thoughts, weren't you?"
Ginny didn't say anything, but pressed her lips together as she nodded her head.
all right for now. We'd better get going. The map and cloak will come
in handy. But we'll have to work on some ground rules for how we're
going to use the link."
"Okay," she said meekly and shot up the stairs to the boys dormitories.
trip under the cloak was slow as Harry had to stoop to keep their feet
from peeking out from the bottom. It was just as well, though, for he
wasn't up for anything faster than a steady plod after his experience
with Voldemort. Ginny helped to stabilize him, while he read from the
"Filch is in the dungeons, by the Slytherin common room."
Harry's eyes travelled over to the right where the ground floor was.
"Snape's in the Charms corridor, heading towards the Hospital Wing."
They turned the last corner and walked slowly towards the statue of the gargoyle.
"Hang on," Harry said. "Our favourite pair of Prefects are headed this way, but...."
Harry stopped, staring at the place they had just left, wonder why in the world they would be coming out of there.
"But what, Harry?" Ginny asked in a whisper.
"Well, it's just that I could have sworn they were coming out of a broom closet. Why would they be in one of those?"
When Ginny didn't answer right away, Harry looked up to Ginny, whose eyes were dancing. "You really don't know?" she asked.
"Know what?" Harry said, straightening up under the cloak.
"What a boy and a girl do in broom closets," she explained. "Haven't you ever been in one with a girl before?"
"Ginny," Harry said patiently. "Assume for a moment that I'm completely stupid when it comes to girls."
Ginny said with a small giggle. "I forgot." She cleared her throat and
said, "I'll have to show you when we're not on our way to tell
Dumbledore about you being captured by Voldemort."
A wry grin
split Harry's face and he said, "You're right of course. Besides, Ron
and Hermione are almost here. Do we want to go up without them, or
"Um, Harry?" Ginny asked sweetly. "I don't think surprising them is an option any more."
Harry was about to respond when Ron's voice carried clearly down the hall. "I told you I heard voices, Hermione."
"Well, it's not like they're snogging in a broom closet, Ron," Hermione shot back as they approached Harry and Ginny's position.
I want to know is why my best friend is under an Invisibility Cloak
with my sister outside the Headmaster's office in the middle of the
night? Trying to corrupt Ginny, are you?"
pretence, Harry pulled the cloak off and rolled it into a ball. "We're
going to see Dumbledore," Harry explained. "Voldemort attacked me a few
"Now?" Ron said with unnecessary force. "At Hogwarts?"
"Yeah. But I don't have time to explain it here. You'll just have to listen when I tell Dumbledore."
"Tell me what?" A voice came from the now open doorway.
"Professor Dumbledore!" Hermione exclaimed.
"Hello, Professor," said Harry as Ginny took his hand. "There's something I need to tell you."
Harry and Ginny had finished their explanations, Dumbledore sat back in
his chair and stared thoughtfully at one of the smoking silver
instruments on the table between them.
"And you're sure he said 'Path of Light'?" the Headmaster asked, still staring at his desk.
"Yes, Professor," Harry confirmed. "I've never heard of it before." Then feeling bold, Harry added, "Have you?"
eyes flicked to Harry, before he rose and walked over to an ancient
bookshelf, stuffed with books, large and small. Harry had a feeling
that the elderly wizard had read every single one of them and that the
bushy-haired girl to his left would give just about everything she had
to read them as well.
"There is an ancient legend that talks
about a Path of Light," Dumbledore said, walking back to his chair with
a thin and well-worn book in his hand. "The Path was said to lead to
the last font of power in the world."
"A font of power?" Hermione asked, her curiosity clearly piqued. "Wasn't that what Merlin used to defeat Morgana?"
you are, Miss Granger. Ten points to Gryffindor." With what seemed to
be slight reluctance, he handed the book to Hermione and said, "You'll
have to translate it, but this book has the entirety of the legend
recorded in Merlin's own hand." Dumbledore bowed his head to look at
Hermione over his glasses. "I trust you will be very careful with this
book – its historical significance alone is staggering."
"Yes, Headmaster," Hermione said with awed reverence, stroking the book with a shaky hand.
turned to look at Harry. "I am, of course, very concerned with the idea
that Voldemort can breach your mind and transport your inner being away
from the castle, Harry. Whatever spell he is using is one that must
cost him greatly. I do not foresee him attempting it again in the next
"So what do I do when he does try it again?" Harry asked, earning a nod of assent from Ginny.
I'm afraid that Voldemort won't get the chance to attack you that way
again. You see, the spell that I will perform on Saturday will prevent all access
to your mind, including whatever methods he may attempt to invoke in
the future." The Headmaster chuckled for a moment and then with warm
eyes, said, "Now off to bed with you. Your classes won't be any easier
with only a few hours of sleep."
They rose in unison and
walked towards the door. Harry turned back to look at Dumbledore and
was rewarded with what Harry could only describe as the most melancholy
expression he had ever seen. It was as if Dumbledore knew this would be
one of the last times they would see each other.
Before anyone asks in a review... Yes, Hermione and Ron are 'together'.
But it's a recent development and one that has its own back story. Bits
of that will filter into CotM in future chapters, but you'll just have
to wait for it. Also, there will be yet another meeting with Dumbledore
in the next chapter, because we won't be seeing much of him until the
end of the story. Also, some of you may recognize Harry's interaction
with Voldemort from Path of Light. This will be the last time I
'borrow' from that story line, or at least, from the already published
version. Thanks to all who have reviewed; your reviews mean so much to
me. Thanks also to my valiant pre-Betas who catch improper uses of
they're, their, you're, your, it's and its.