Ron finally got into class and slipped into his seat right next to me moments before our joint Ravenclaw-Gryfindor History of Magic class started. "Hey Hermione," he squeezed out between breaths, exhausted from his run to class.
"Where have you been?" I whispered as loud as I could with out disturbing the class that had just begun. Professor Cuthbert Binns, a ghost of an older gentleman with a receeding hair line and salt and pepper hair, was dressed in his usual opened dress robes with a button up shirt underneath that was covered by a vest and matching bowtie as he stood up infront of the class trying to get everyones attention.
"Harry was writing a note for you, and wanted me to be the messenger." He whispered, finally catching his breath, with some announce in his voice. Ron gave me the letter, jokingly holding on to it so I had to struggle to get it from him. "You know I'm sick of being a bloody owl between the you two love birds."
"We are not like that and you know it Ronald!" I said a little too loudly.
"Mrs. Grant if you would please give the class a brief summery of what I just said." Professor Binns said having been interrupted.
Why can he never remember my name? Is Granger really that hard?"Yes of course, Professor," I said before going through my memory of the discovery of magic, which was the subject that we were on currently. "Although we do not know who the original witch or wizard was, we do know that he or she predates the ancient Egyptians. He or she would have had to be one of the strongest wizards of history in order to simply discover the spells that we see as basic today.
"Wizardry would have had to be passed on from a single teacher to however many students the teacher was willing to teach at the time. Meaning that not all witches or wizards would have been discovered. This lead to what is now known as the dark ages.
"This is because with so many untrained magic users running around the havoc that was caused was unthinkable. One such wizard was the cause of a plague that whipped out most of the population of the earth." Professor Binns stopped my rambling before I could continue.
"That's good Mrs. Grant, all I had said was good morning, but thank you for sharing that brief summery of the next few chapters with us." At this comment I noticed the giggling that had started during my rant. Red with humiliation I sat down, and hit Ron who was also snickering at me.
The rest of class was rather uneventful to me, sense I knew all of it already, so I read the letter Harry had written me in his scratchy handwriting that was messier than normal, do to the rush. It said simply:
Hermione I need your help! Meet me after this class in the bell tower courtyard! Bring Ron
That wasn't what I was expecting!Ron didn't know it but he was pretty close to hitting the nail on the head. I had had a crush on Harry ever since we met on the train, six years ago, our first year of Hogwarts. It had never been able to become more than that because of how great of friends we had become, even though he was in Slytherin and I was in Ravenclaw. He was also too busy with trying to figure out how to save the world in order to take a hint from his best friend. But my interest in Harry had always been simply because he was the closest to what I wanted in a guy. Funny, outgoing, down to earth, strong, protective, and my best friend you know the typical things that a girl wants in a guy. He is the perfect guy for me on an academic level.
I was snapped out of my thought process by the end of class. I packed up my books, which I hadn't even opened, and hurried down to the meeting place with Ron at my heels. Harry had beaten us there because his potions class was closer to the courtyard. The look on his face was distant was per the usual lately. He always seemed to be lost in thought about his dealings with Voldemort, being head boy, quidditch captian, or a thousand other reasons.
"Hey Harry!" Ron and I said almost simultaneously, causing Ron to give me a look that I just ignored.
This shook Harry out of his trance. "Hey guys, sorry I've got a lot on my mind right now," he responded.
"Anything we can help with Harry?" I asked
"Actually yeah. It was why I asked you guys here. I just found out that the reason why Voldemort was able to come back. It is because he had made horcuxes before he died." He said basically staring at me as he told us the last part. He knew that I was going want to explain what a horcrux was, but before I could I hear.
"What in bloody hell are whore ducks?" Ron so rudely interjected.
"A horcrux, Ronald," I said with some poison in my voice, "is an object that a person puts a splinter of their soul into…"
"Bloody hell I wanna do that! How do I do it?"
"Jesus, Ron just let me finish!" I snapped, "The way you splinter your soul," I said more calmly, turning my attention back to Harry, "is by killing some one. Then by using dark magic you are able to put each splinter into a different object." This caught Ron dead in his tracks. I could see that his stupidity had even caused him to start blushing.
"Exactly, and Dumbledore wants me to help him destroy them, and I have no idea how to do that."
"Wait a second! Dumbledore knew this!" I shouted, drawing attention from passers by. "Why on earth didn't he do anything about it," I said lowering my voice.
"It wasn't that he didn't try. He just found the first one and almost killed himself trying to destroy it." Harry answered calmly.
"Oh…" I said awkwardly, "What do you need our help with?" I asked trying to change the subject as fast as possible.
"Well I don't really know how to destroy a horcrux, and I was hoping that you guys could help me figure it out."
"Well do you have it with you? The horcrux that is?" Ron asked
"Yeah its right here" Harry said pulling a gold ring with a black stone set in it out of his pocket. I could see that it pained Harry just to touch the ring.
"Why don't we just step on it, or cast a spell to destroy it" Ron responded to seeing the ring.
"Stepping on it will only hurt you, and leave the ring unscathed. But you may have something with the spell idea. Although, no spell that I have ever heard of is capable of such, but maybe we can discover one," I answered to his stupidity.
"What? we can do that?"
"Of course we can Ronald, didn't you pay any attention to me this morning in class?"
"Do I ever?" he responded sarcastically.
" Well to answer your question yes we can discover a spell. Just like the first wizards did. Only problem is it takes an extremely powerful wizard to do it."
"Well Harry is the strongest wizard we know!" Shocked crossed Harry's face as Ron complemented him.
"No, I could never…" Harry said shying away.
"Actually he is right Harry, although its dangerous work so maybe you should let us try and do it." I spoke up trying to get Harry out of the danger zone.
"She's right Harry. Let me give it a try." Ron stated trying to be brave, and taking a ready stance. "Okay Hermione what do I have to do."
"Okay Ron focus your magic, think of what you want to happen, and the words will flow from there."
After a long minute the words, "Porta Mundus," flowed like water off of his tongue.
Horns. Sirens. Colors. Flashes of light. Then darkness. Darkness and pain. My eyes were starting to come into focus and I saw that we were laying on our backs in a dead end of an alley way. I tried to piece together what happened but the only thing I could think of was where was everyone.
"Harry? Are you there?"
"Yeah I'm here but I don't know where Ron is," Harry responded
"I'm here too. Thanks for asking." Ron hissed at me.
"What did you do to us Ron? I thought that you were going to be destroying the horcrux," I asked.
"I did exactly what you said! I focused my magic, thought about 'getting rid of the horcrux' and the words just slid off my tongue. Then we were here," Ron answered inquisitively.
"Getting rid of it?" I screamed, "You idiot! We want to destroy it not get rid of it!" As I finished what I was saying he started to get his I see a spider face. He started shaking and pointing at the wall behind me. "What is it Ronald!" I exclaimed while turning around and following his finger to a creature on the wall of the alley. It crawled down the wall on its four legs. Jumped to the ground landing on its hind legs. Stood up straight, and… talked?
"Is everything alright?" It said in an American accent.