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Harry and I, still feeling the effects of Voldemort's Shield shattering, stumble forward as spells fly and bodies fall. Like a man and woman possessed, we veer on, fighting our way toward the archway opposite us when we see a Death Eater drawing a bead on us.

With nary a thought, I drop him with a Stunning Spell just as Ginny and Neville appear.

"Ginny! Neville! You alright?" Harry asks.

"Never better! Feel like I could spit fire! Haven't seen Luna, have you?" Neville asks, obviously hyped up on adrenaline.

"Luna?" I raise my eyebrow.

"I'm mad for her! Think it's about time I told her, seeing as there's a pretty good chance we'll both be dead by dawn!" Harry, Ginny, and I watch him dash off.

The two then turn quickly to each other. Their eyes catch. An instant, a moment of meaning in the midst of madness. Then Ginny is off, running, gone.

As Harry watches her go with eyes of longing, I place my hand on his shoulder.

"I understand, Harry." I tell him. "But we have an important matter to attend to."

"Right." He shakes his head. "Come on."

As we pelt down the corridor, an explosion detonates and the windows running the length of the corridor shatter, one after another, showering Harry and I in glass. Then the wall itself falls away, rubble falling into the night and below. We never break our strides.

Reaching the end of the corridor, we stop. Both of us close our eyes, imagining what we need. A room where lost things reside. A room where we can find a Horcrux. A room where we'll be one step closer in defeating Voldemort.

Harry and I open our eyes and the doors finish appearing. We open them and step inside.

As we continue on, almost running now, we start to wince. Faltering as we're struck by a spike of pain, my fingers trace my scar as we resume our pace, knowing we're getting closer. Feeling it, our heads humming with the Horcrux's sinister siren song, the sound growing louder and louder as we turn down yet another aisle and then we stop.

A vein throbs at mine and Harry's temples. Hand trembling, he reaches out, pushes aside a stack of decaying spellbooks and finds a pair of eyes looking at us over the rim of a dusty canister. He pushes the canister aside and reveals a pockmarked bust of a warlock with glass eyes. Perched atop its head, dulled by time, is Rowena Ravenclaws diadem. I reach out for it.

"Well, well, what brings you here, Potters?"

Harry and I look slowly over our shoulders. Draco, Blaise and Goyle at his side, steps into view, his face bisected by light. He holds a wand on us.

"I could ask you the same." I tell him.

"I virtually lived here last year." He glares at me. "Remember?"

"I remember." I don't harden my gaze, but I don't soften it either.

"You have something of mine. I'd like it back." Draco gestures to the wand sticking out of Harry's pocket.

"What's wrong with the one you have?" My brother asks.

"It's my mother's. It's very powerful, but it's not the same. It doesn't... understand me." He looks up. "Know what I mean?"

Just then, over Draco's shoulder and several yards beyond, a shadow flickers. I look down, noticing a drop of water fall from the pant cuff, so I cut my eyes away.

Harry reaches for the wand in his pocket and I slowly raise mine up.

"Easy." I look up and see Draco watching us closely.

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