The Stand @theactualrealone
Horace Slughorn

Check out my new story Dumbledore's Heir! The first chapter is up right now! Updates for it aren't going to come super fast until this story is concluded. However, you should still check it out!

"My Lord" a masked Death Eater kneeled before Voldemort, worried hidden behind his mask.

"Nott" Voldemort sneered "Rise."

The elder Nott rose as Voldemort continued speaking "How is your son doing with his task?"

"He says it is going as planned" Alexander Nott told his master "He believes that by the end of the school year, it shall be finished."

Voldemort raised his eyebrow before remembering that no one could tell "By the end of the year? Why is that?"

"Theodore has been neglecting his schoolwork to focus on the progress of the mission" Lord Nott explained "The teachers are sending him to detention regularly and he is at risk of being confined to only the common room and library."

Voldemort snarled at the man "Crucio!"

The spell sent pain coursing throughout Nott's body and the man cried out. Voldemort kept him under the spell for 30 seconds before dispelling it.

"Theodore is drawing attention to himself" Voldemort shook his head "He must act as if everything is normal or else someone will investigate what he is doing. Do you understand?"

Nott nodded so the Dark Lord continued "Since Dumbledore is now in Azkaban, he can abandon the other mission. Tell him to focus on the cabinet but to NOT draw attention to himself."

"Of course my lord" Nott kneeled once again "We will not fail you."

Alexander Nott then left the room while Peter Pettigrew, who had watched the exchange, then asked "My lord, what do you wish to do once the cabinet is finished?"

Voldemort showed Pettigrew that sadistic grin which all feared "Dumbledore is gone from the castle. All that remains in our way is Potter and his gang. Potter may be strong but he is still no match for me. When the cabinet is finished, we take Hogwarts."

After the debacle with Kreacher trying to destroy the "soul jar," the gang of four took the time to hear out Kreacher. It was then revealed why Kreacher wanted the jar to die.

According to the Black house-elf, he and Regulus went to recover an object with a hue similar to the jar. Regulus had died getting it and told Kreacher to destroy it however he can.

Based on Kreacher's information, the object with they recovered was a horcrux and more importantly, one of Voldemort's. And if Regulus wanted it gone, he must've turned from the Death Eaters.

That news caused tears to leave Sirius' eyes as he realized what his brother did. Even more tears came when Kreacher gave Sirius a letter from Regulus to him, where Regulus apologize for joining the Death Eaters and his parents' attitude towards him. He told Sirius that he'd always love him, no matter what, which caused Sirius to sob more. Remus managed to calm him down but Sirius ended up having lots of firewhiskey that day.

Sirius decided that he would destroy the locket himself as did Kreacher. They eventually came upon an agreement. Harry got the sword for them and both stabbed the locket together. Kreacher was quite happy afterwards and even hugged Sirius, who seemed content.

Harry then returned to Hogwarts and with Rishi, and together, they taught the spell to their friends.

Afterwards, Padma pointed out that so far, Voldemort had made two objects of the founders into hocruxes, so it was logical to assume that his other hocruxes were also from the founders.

The idea was sound, but Harry was still uncertain. They didn't know how many hocruxes Voldemort made, and currently, 5 were destroyed. The snake was left along with an unknown amount of others.

The group was thinking on this when Draco exclaimed "I got it!"

Every head turned to Draco, who began explaining his logic "Voldemort had to learn about this from someone. If the diary is a horcrux, then he started in school. The restricted section wouldn't have books on this, and even if there were, Pince would never let him check them out. So someone had to teach him. Most likely, his head of house. Snape started around 1981, so it couldn't have been him. Before him, was Horace Slughorn."

"So Slughorn told Voldemort about horcruxes" Parvati smiled "We could ask him."

"Yeah, but he's not exactly going to be willing" Rishi grimaced "If I told Voldemort how to be immortal, I would be insanely guilty. So, he's probably hiding out somewhere."

"We need to go in small and light. If too many of us go, he'll get suspicious" Daphne added.

"If we bring Sirius and Remus, we lose our innocence. We can't play the kids in awe card" Harry realized.

"So, a group of about 3-4 people" Hermione summed up.

"We need a plausible reason for going" Daphne said "I can go, saying that I wanted to meet him to learn about careers involving potions after Hogwarts."

"I'll go with you, as your boyfriend" Harry told her, kissing her on the cheek.

Daphne blushed while Draco nodded "My father told me that Slughorn used to have a group of students he met with, all from influential families. Harry is the Boy-Who-Lived so naturally, he'd be interested in him. Plus, your mother was apparently in the club."

"So that's 2 of us" Harry said "Who else?"

Neville shrugged "If we're looking for names, I could go. My mom and dad are still famous for their work during the war."

"I'll join as well" Padma added "Add some diversity to this group. Plus, I don't want Neville to be stuck with those two playing lovey-dovey."

Daphne glared at the Indian girl why everyone else (bar Harry) laughed.

Neville looked at the group "Well then, let's go!"

The group of 4 headed to Slughorn's house. They had to look up the address and then had to floo nearby before walking there. Harry found it quite annoying but Daphne insisted that it was important that they be polite.

Neville and Padma spent the trip goofing around, and whenever Harry and Daphne whispered to each other or exchanged a kiss, the two made gagging noises. This kept on until Harry snapped at Neville whether he'd like it if Harry revealed what he caught him and Luna doing. Neville quickly shut up. But since Parvati provided most of the blackmail material, and refuses to tell anything about her twin, he had nothing to make Padma shut up.

Finally, they arrived at the house. Harry knocked on the door. After a few minutes, the door swung open to reveal Horace Slughorn. He wasn't bald, but he looked like he would be going that way soon. He was big, not in the sense that he was big-boned, but that he may've packed on the pounds when he was younger.

"Who may you be" Slughorn asked. He wasn't a big fan of answering the door, but kids couldn't be too bad.

"Um, hi" Daphne appeared flustered, which Harry hoped was just an act "I'm Daphne Greengrass. I wanted to speak with you regarding potions after Hogwarts."

"And who are your other friends?" he asked, still a bit hostile.

"This is my boyfriend Harry Potter" caused Slughorn's eyes to widen slightly "And our friends Neville Longbottom and Padma Patil."

"And you want to speak about potions after Hogwarts" Slughorn scanned them, trying to check for any signs of lying "Come on in."

Upon entering Slughorn and Daphne then exchanged in polite conversation before diving into the talk of potions. Harry sat on an armrest, holding Daphne's hand and occasionally asking a questions.

Then, Daphne asked the question which was supposed to act as a segue into what they needed "Which students have you taught? Like, the famous ones?"

"Oh many" Slughorn's eyes glazed over, remembering a simpler time "Any specific people?"

"Did you teach the Lestranges?" Neville asked, as planned.

"Sadly" Slughorn "They had such bright minds. It's a pity how they used them."

Resigned, Slughorn took another swig of his firewhiskey, which Harry had enchanted to be unlimited for the next few minutes. They needed him to be as drunk as possible for this to work.

Over the next few minutes, the gang casually brought up sad topics like the death of Harry's parents, the torture of Neville's parents, the death of Daphne's grandmother (who had been a friend of Slughorn in their youth). Slughorn, after wistfully speaking on the topic, would take a big gulp of firewhiskey.

When it seemed that he was drunk enough, in a low voice, Harry asked "Did you teach Voldemort?"

Slughorn nodded gravely "I did. I was his Head of House."

Harry pretended to be surprised "Really? Did you two ever speak?"

"We did" Slughorn admitted "It almost always about school. How to improve this potion, advice regarding his career, opinion on certain classes."

"Almost always?" Neville asked "Did you ever talk about weird things?"

Slughorn sighed "We did. Once, the boy asked me about horcruxes."

"Why would Voldemort want those" Daphne inquired.

"He wanted immortality. You-Know-Who, he had an idea. 7 was a magically powerful number, and that inspired him. He thought that 7 horcruxes would make him even stronger" was the explanation that came from the man, who took his longest drink of the firewhiskey yet.

Harry cast a tempus and then said "We must go back to Hogwarts now. Goodbye sir."

They all bade him farewell, as he stayed on the couch, too drunk to reply.

As they began the trip back, there was a lack of jokes. That was replaced by a serious conversation.

"So he has 7" Neville summed up "Which ones have we gotten rid of?"

"There's me, the diary, the cup, the locket, and a ring that Dumbledore destroyed" Harry answered.

"That leaves Nagini and an object, most likely from a founder" Padma added "Either Ravenclaw or Gryffindor."

"I'd say Ravenclaw. I don't think the Slytherin in him would let a piece of his soul go into something of Gryffindor's" Daphne reasoned "Besides, if it was Gryffindor. It would most likely be the sword. In that case, it would've set off the spell while they were in the bank."

Harry grinned "So, we got a snake to kill and an object to find. Let's do this."

Thanks for reading. Please leave a review! We are nearing the story's finale! Happy Halloween!

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