The Sugar Quill
Author: Magicdust  Story: Essense of Chivalry  Chapter: Chapter One
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Essence of Chivalry

Summary

 

Find Horcrux, destroy Horcrux, defeat evil bad guy and get your friends out alive. Sound easy enough? Nope. Well, if things couldn't get anymore difficult, a trip to Godric’s Hollow reveal many secrets of the past making Harry wonder why he ever had to stay with the Dursleys. Purges through parts unknown show the invisible answers (and many more questions) about not only Horcruxes but Harry himself. And to add to the confusion, Voldemort left a series of challenges to overcome in order to get to Gryffindor and Ravenclaw's Horcruxes. These require a little help from Sirius. In the end, many things are worth fighting for and things are not always as they seem. Prepare for a world of adventure, action, and of course some things unexpected. Rated PG-13.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine they belong to JK Rowling; I am simply borrowing them. Special thanks to my beta Pirate Queen. Another great beta-reading job well done!

 

 

 

Essence of Chivalry

Chapter 1: The Dog Star

By MagicDust

 

 

Quote: “You gain strength, courage and confidence by each experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”- Eleanor Roosevelt 

 

 

The Dog Star constellation always shines brightly in the night even when it is not seen, whether hidden by clouds, turrets of great castles, buildings, or where one is distracted by the city lights. But nevertheless, it is always there.

 

Harry shivered and pulled the cloak tighter around him defying the chilly winds of the late June night.

 

Looking up into the sky, his eyes naturally traveled the stars; one in particular.

 

 

Sirius, the glowing wonder that is the Dog Star, twinkled and winked down at the sleeping earth from its post high in the firmament. The gossamer mist of clouds floated lazily over sky and swirled around the waning moon.

 

The wedding had been beautiful enough; Fleur had worn an elaborate dress and attracted more attention than necessary; Bill’s quickly-healing face lit up with the first genuine smile it had seen in a few months, most people laughed, drank and ate, making ridiculously long toasts to the happy couple that became more and more random and general as all the good ones were taken. Everyone had seemed at least relatively happy. Only when the Pastor wished Mr. and Mrs. Bill Weasley a very happy and long life together did Mrs. Arthur Weasley’s face twist into a slight grimace, but that was only for a second.

 

Fred and George had spiked the pumpkin juice at the last minute (which could have been the reason Gabrielle stood on the table singing I’m a happy elf you’re a happy elf), earning them about an hour’s worth of yelling from Mrs. Weasley and roars of laughter from everyone else; even Fleur’s mouth twitched dangerously.

 

Harry joined in with the others, but more than once he found his mind wandering off to familiar territory as he remembered.

 

For the first couple of weeks after Dumbledore’s death, when they had still been in school, it was particularly hard to avoid the subject. People were always crying, clinging to others out of fear and grief. Some students had been drawn out of classes to be taken home by their parents; they would never be coming back to Hogwarts. Some had even been inclined to ask Harry how it happened; he never answered directly, usually too lost in his own thoughts. Finally, they got the message and left, passing word to their friends that he didn’t want to talk about it.

 

When Harry had gotten back to the Dursleys’, he had locked himself in his room to think for the best part of a week, until he turned 17 years of age.

 

Although he thought frequently of Dumbledore, he also had other things to think about and ideas on which to search his heart.

 

One thing he had learned over the years, in particular to the months after Sirius’ death, was that it doesn’t do to sit around in misery for prolonged periods of time just waiting for nothing. Instead, he thought about the future, and how he was going manage the search for the Horcruxes without Dumbledore’s guidance.

 

His mind buzzed through sunlit days and doleful nights, making plans and then changing them back again. Who was he going to take? Where were they going first? How would they get there? Did they know enough? I can’t take them, what if they die? I should go alone. No, Hermione and Ron would never allow that, they are of age.

 

In the end, it was the time he spent thinking, owling and talking to his friends, that helped him form the plan that he now had.

 

He, Ron, and Hermione would leave exactly at 5:00 a.m. on August 10th for the search for the last Horcruxes, and to go to Godric’s Hollow to visit Harry’s parents’ graves. If there was time, they would go back to school for their last year, after Voldemort was gone.

 

Right now, he was waiting for his friends in the garden; he hoped neither of them had fallen asleep. For the sake of safety, as much theirs as everyone else’s at the Burrow, they had to leave at a very late hour (or early, depending on how you look at it).

 

Harry sighed, feeling the return of ‘frequent visitor’ guilt, deep in his gut. It had taken a lot to convince Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, to let the three young teens go out to find and destroy the Horcruxes without the help of the adults.  The trio had argued that they had come of age and were allowed to use magic outside of school, and that they had fought Voldemort several times and lived without serious injury; but that didn’t seem to be enough.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley knew Harry had already faced Voldemort and he knew what was in store for himself. This was his fight, his own personal war he had to win. They knew Hermione was brilliant; it had been said on more than one occasion that she was “the brightest witch of her age”. Possibly, she had more intelligence than some of the professors at Hogwarts, and they knew that Ron would do anything to see the end of this War; he would defend them until the end and go down fighting if he must.

 

Most importantly, they knew that all three friends would protect each other at all costs, or die trying.

 

In the end, it was one major argument that won them Mr. and Mrs. Weasleys backing.

 

Dumbledore.

 

It had been a sensitive topic since the funeral, but in the end it had just kind of come out.

 

He would have wanted this, knowing him; his dying wish was for the War to end, and, every child, mother, father, sibling, aunt, uncle to be together again.

 

That would never happen if Voldemort didn’t die, and he couldn’t die if Harry couldn’t kill him.

 

Sure, sometimes they had seemed a bit more hesitant, especially Mrs. Weasley, but in the end, it had been decided that it was for the best.

 

-Snap-

 

The sound of a twig being broken.

 

Harry’s ears pricked up at the sound, his hand going instinctively into his pocket to grasp his wand. From inside the bushes, he could hear ragged breathing.

 

“Who is there?” Harry demanded aiming his wand at the thicket. “Come out now before I hex you into oblivion.”

 

A figure stepped out a mere ten feet away from him.

 

“Well, if you did that, knowing my family, I’d say you’d be lucky to get out of the hospital within the next month or two.” Ginny Weasley said, stepping out into the waning moonlight.

 

Harry’s heart skipped a beat.

 

“What are you doing here?” was all he could think of to say.

 

Ginny raised a flame colored eyebrow. “Well, in case you haven’t noticed,” she said waving a hand behind her. “I live here.”

 

“In the bushes?” Harry said, a smile rising in his voice. Ginny rolled her eyes.

 

“How did you know I was out here?”

 

“It’s called listening through the grate in the wall,” Ginny smirked. “You do talk rather loudly, Harry, if you don’t mind me saying so.”

 

Harry feigned hurt as his eyes traveled to the knapsack on her shoulder. Realization struck him.

 

“You aren’t coming,” He stated simply looking her squarely in the eye. Ginny stared at him.

 

“You can’t stop me,” She replied, her ginger eyes flaming up. “I am of age.”

 

“No you aren’t, and besides, your parents wouldn’t allow it.”

 

“They don’t have to know.”

”Ginny, I know you have a big family, but I don’t think your parents will mistake Gred or Forge for you, but nice try,” Harry said trying to make a joke, but it just seemed to make Ginny madder.

 

“They can’t stop me either.”

 

“They are your parents; they can make you do anything!”

 

“I am coming with you and no one can stop me!” she responded angrily, her eyes sparkling.

 

“Ginny, this is a very dangerous mission----”

 

“So I am safer at Hogwarts? Dumbledore is dead, Harry, no one is safe anymore!”

 

“It is safer there than with me.”

 

“Oh I see,” Ginny said angrily, tossing her long, red hair over her shoulder. “This is one of your noble acts, right? In case you haven’t noticed, Harry Potter, I am not a little; I can take care of myself!”

 

“I know you aren’t a little girl!” Harry responded hotly, “But since when is it wrong to care whether something happens to you?”

 

“I am coming!”

 

“No you aren’t!”

 

“Yes I am!”

 

“NO YOU BLOODY WELL AREN’T AND THAT IS FINAL!” Harry yelled but immediately regretted it. Her eyes bored into him, sparkling with un-fallen tears. There was a long sickening silence, that Harry had wanted to fill but he was afraid would just make it worse.

 

Suddenly, Ginny’s face shifted from hurt to rage.

 

“Fine,” she said, turning on her heel. “You don’t want me there, I won’t come.”

“Ginny,” Harry began. “It isn’t like that, it‘s just that--.”

 

“Have a nice life Harry; just stay away from anything shiny or an enemy wand for my family’s and Hermione’s sake,” Ginny said her voice shaky. She turned on her heel and strode to the Burrow, her flaming hair twirling in the wind.

 

He was about to call out to her, but a second disturbance in the bushes made him freeze in mid-move, his wand raised slightly in his hand.

 

“Harry?” Remus said stepping out into the clearing, shining his wand light on Harry.

 

“Remus?” he said, lowering his wand slightly. “Wait—er, what is your rabbit’s name?”

 

“Moony; and what is Dudley’s real name?”

 

“The Lard of Geese,” Harry said, glancing back in the direction Ginny had disappeared.

 

“Something wrong, Harry?” Remus asked. Harry shook his head.

 

“Nah, just thinking.”

 

“Ah, a dangerous task sometimes.”

 

 “So what are you doing out so late?” Harry said, returning his wand to the holster on his belt loop. Remus looked up at the sky, looking carefully at the stars.

 

“I am seeing you three off,” he said, scuffing his boot toe on the ground, kicking a pebble a few feet. Harry was pretty sure that that wasn’t all he had to say.

 

“Oh.” was all Harry could think of in reply.

 

There was an uncomfortable silence before Remus broke it, his voice a little strained. “Are you sure you know what you are doing?”

 

Harry, caught off guard for only a second, pondered this.

 

“No,” he answered truthfully, “Not really, but I reckon I already know all I can. Besides …” Harry picked a leaf off a bush and began tearing it apart. Really, there was no ‘besides’; this was just something he needed to do.

 

Remus nodded, he seemed to understand. “Er…” he stuttered. He fumbled in his pocket. Withdrawing a small box, he impatiently pushed his silvery hair out of his eyes.

 

“It was his.” Was all he said, handing the box to Harry. He didn’t need to say more; one glance at the box and he knew who ‘he’ was.

 

The box was small, and rectangular, a deep midnight blue, dotted occasionally with white pin points of light. He held it up so its surface caught the rays of the moon; it was as if someone had cut a piece of the sky out and pasted it onto the box.

 

“What is it?” Harry said quietly, Ginny momentarily pushed out of his mind.

 

“A Coded Box. It only opens when you give the password,” Remus said.

 

“What is the password?” Harry asked, tearing his eyes away from the trinket that had once belonged to his godfather.

 

Remus hesitated. “I am unsure about that part,” he admitted, a bit embarrassed. “I found in his room at Grimmauld Place, along with this.” He reached once more into his robe pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. Harry took it, his hands trembling.

 

“Don’t open it here” Remus said looking around. “I didn’t read it, but if there is something in it that could be confidential, maybe that he knew about the prophecy, or how your parents died …” he trailed off quietly. “It just wouldn’t be good,” he said finally.

 

Harry nodded, slipping the box into his inside robe pocket.

 

A few yards away, Harry heard the sound of footsteps.

 

“Nox,” Remus whispered quietly, and once again, the pair stood in the darkness of near midnight (save the ever-glowing light of the moon).

 

A girl with bushy brown hair and a boy with a shock of red hair tripped out onto the path. 

 

“Bloody hell, we need to pick better meeting places,” Ron said, picking a twig out of his hair. “Harry, if that is your real name, what did I give you for your birthday in fourth year?”

 

“A Sneakoscope. What was going to be your name if you were a girl?”

 

“Roberta,” Ron said, wincing slightly.

 

“Hermione, what color ink did Lockhart use to sign the release form to get into the Restricted Section back in second year?”

 

“Now, what kind of question is that? Anyone would know that,” Hermione said seriously.

 

“No, only you would remember that.” Ron said eyeing her with disgust.

 

“Fine. Lilac.”

 

“You see?” Ron said triumphantly.

 

“Remus?” Hermione said turning to their old professor, “What is your rabbit’s name?”

 

“Can’t use that one, ’Mione.” Harry said, “I’ve already used that one.”

 

“Oh fine - what is the most embarrassing record you ever owned?”

 

The Little Wizard’s Songs for Eight-year-olds, when I was thirteen.” He shuddered. Bad memories; a gift from his Great Uncle who had forgotten he had aged in the five years between eight and thirteen.

 

Satisfied, Ron and Hermione stepped up to the other two.

 

 “So…” Hermione began, re-adjusting her pack on her shoulder.

 

“So,” Harry echoed. There really was nothing to say; they were all about to embark on one of the longest journeys of their lives, and even though none of them voiced it, somewhere inside of them said that it may be their last adventure together as Harry, Ron and Hermione. They might return as just Ron and Hermione, Hermione and Ron, Harry and Ron or Harry and Hermione, but then again, it is possible they would all make it together. Only time would tell.

 

“Well, you lot better get going,” Remus said, checking his watch. “It is two minutes until five, and the Anti-Apparition wards won’t stay down a second longer.” The teenagers nodded in consent and understanding.

 

“At the same time then?” Harry said. They nodded.

 

“I’ll count you down from ten.” Remus said, steadying his wrist so he could read the tiny numerals.

 

“Ten…”

 

Harry glanced around; Hermione was fidgeting nervously with the end of her robe sleeve.

 

“Nine…”

 

Distantly, he heard Remus counting down the seconds; how long would it be before he saw him again?

 

“Eight…”

 

Ron had his hand in Hermione’s; a simple sign of friendship or love, depending on how you look at it.

 

“Seven…”

 

The fragrant smell of blossoming lilies and roses dazzled with tiny dew drops floated through the air.

 

“Six…”

 

The sun was starting to peek out from behind the hills, shining through the vast limbs of nearby oak trees. The stars had already ebbed away, lost in the myriad of faint colors that danced in the sky.

 

“Five…”

 

Harry glanced quickly up at the Burrow. Life had not yet begun to stir, but he could imagine things returning to semi-normal; the hands of the clock always sitting firmly on mortal peril, the scent of Mrs. Weasley’s legendary cooking wafting through cracks under doors, waking some of the inhabitants - but Charlie’s horrible singing in the shower waking most of them.

 

“Four…”

 

The happiness of finally being taken seriously as not a teenager but an adult, and being able to finally able to have a chance at getting rid of  Voldemort,  for the sake of the Wizarding world as much  as his own personal reasons.

 

“Three…”

 

Fearful; something inside told him that he was making a mistake, possibly destroying the only thing close to a family he ever had. But, then again, something else whispered he was doing the right thing, and he wouldn’t fail; this was the voice that had encouraged him to get up in the mornings, since Dumbledore’s death.

 

“Two…”

 

Harry raised his wand to his chest, closing his eyes in concentration.

 

“One…”

 

The wards clicked off for only a second but it was enough.

 

*pop* *pop* *crack*  

 

This was it, they were really leaving, all of his dreams and nightmares coming true as they went off to face fears and capture shadows.

 

Somewhere, tucked far away in the sky, the Canis Major constellation sat. Hidden from the view of Earth’s eyes by a curtain of colors, Sirius, the Dog Star shone brightest of them all.

 

 

A/N: I hope you enjoyed the first chapter! I will have the next one will be up as soon as I can! Reviews are very much appreciated!

 

 

 

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