Chapter 22 - To-Wards

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It had been just over a week since his birthday and Harry had completely set his mind to figuring out a solution to the Hogwarts problem. That is, the fact it was defenceless against his new means of travel. He liked to think of it as being focused, Draco called it obsessed. Not that Draco was much less focused than he was.

Their friends were incredibly curious as to why they kept disappearing to the library and what they were doing, but were so far accepting the 'sorry, can't tell you' line. Harry wasn't sure how much longer that was going to last, hence his sense of urgency.

They'd been on yet another fruitless search in the library until Madam Pince had kicked them out. When they'd returned to the tower, Harry had gone straight up to their room, but Draco had remained downstairs. Mostly to allay any worries their friends might have. They were both tired after a hard day of summer classes and then an evening of research, but Draco had insisted to keep Harry's fellow Gryffindors happy.

Harry was lying on the bed staring at the canopy and going over everything for the hundredth time in his head. He was kind of hoping for another revelation like the one that had got them into this trouble in the first place.

They had searched just about every obscure reference they could find to see if anyone in the Wizarding world had ever had the remotest notion of Harry's discovery. It didn't look as if there was anything at all, which meant no one had investigated magic that might affect it. The few words he had passed with Hermione before heading up to his room kept going around in his head.

"No luck?" she had asked.

"There's nothing," he had replied.

"Well you're unique, Harry. If it's to do with you, maybe only you can figure it out."

Unfortunately, that was what he was afraid of, only he wasn't a magical expert at anything. He was just bumbling his way through trying to survive in a world that was so much bigger now. Maybe Fitzsimons had been right to test him.

He couldn't help the irritation that ran through him when the Unspeakable popped into his head. Endangering other people had been unforgivable and he was glad the man was locked up. The whole thing had been completely underhand and the way the man had tried to blame it on Duggan was disgusting. The amulet that confused Harry's magical senses had been a stroke of genius on Fitzsimons' part, he hoped they wouldn't catch on.

Harry mentally scolded himself as he realised his thoughts were completely off track. He was supposed to be thinking about wards, not amulets. Magical things held much more fascination for him now than they had before he knew he was a Hecatemus. The amulet was very interesting magic, but that wasn't the point.

He stopped his musing as something sparked in his brain.

For a moment he wasn't sure what had occurred to him, but he chased it down.

"Oh," he said, sitting up, "oh ... yes ... maybe that's it."

[Harry, what is it?] came from Draco.

[Fitzsimons amulet,] Harry replied, becoming more excited by the second, [it confused my sense of magic and emotion and energy, I couldn't get a read on him.]

[And?]

[What if that's it? What if that's the solution?]

Draco was silent for a moment.

[Oh,] Draco said as if having his own revelation, [you mean a ward that doesn't block Apparation, but that confuses the connections so that the magic can't figure out where to go.]

[Yes.]

[My god, we've been chasing the wrong quaffle,] was Draco's conclusion. [Tomorrow we start looking up how in Merlin's name that amulet works.]

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