The Stand @theactualrealone
The Gray Lady

Some weird stuff is going on with chapters. I couldn't find chapter 45 of this story until today and haven't been able to read new chapters of other stories.

"Okay guys" Harry clapped his hands "We have two objectives. Identify Voldemort's horcrux. Then find and destroy it."

Rishi raised his hand "Isn't that three objectives?"

"Find and destroy go hand in hand" Draco explained.

"Yeah, but they are separate actions" Padma told the Slytherin boy "So that's 3 objectives."

"So you're saying that when you find it, you don't think to immediately destroy it" Daphne argued back.

Parvati shrugged "Well, I'd probably want to admire it first. All these objects are quite impressive."

Hermione face-palmed "Why don't we focus on the first objective: identifying the object."

Harry nodded "Thanks Hermione. We know that the object is most likely from either Ravenclaw or Gryffindor. And since Voldemort was a proud Slytherin, we doubt that he used an object of Gryffindor's, which leaves Ravenclaw as the prime suspect."

"What objects could Ravenclaw that would be meaningful enough for Voldemort" Draco thought out loud "Based on his other items, it's probably a family heirloom. But what would qualify?"

All eyes turned to the Ravenclaws present, who began thinking until Padma exclaimed "I got it!"

"You-Know-Who probably isn't a huge Ravenclaw buff" the Indian girl explained "He'd probably go with a well-known object. And what is Ravenclaw wearing in basically every statue or picture of her? Her diadem."

All the Ravenclaws' eyes widened as did the Slytherins while the two Gryffindors were confused. That was until Rishi began explaining "Ravenclaw wears this little tiara-like thing called a diadem. It's supposed to make the one who wears it even smarter."

Neville whistled "Damn."

Hermione smiled "Agreed. But where could it be? The Diadem's never been seen in living memory."

"Living memory" Harry grinned "Then we'll talk to the dead! The Gray Lady's been around for a while! Maybe she's seen it!"

"We Ravenclaws will go" Padma concluded "The Gray Lady isn't super comfortable speaking with anyone. She usually says hi to the first years during their first feast but afterwards stays silent."

After receiving confirmation, the four Ravenclaws went to find the Gray Lady while the others began thinking of ways to get Nagini. They eventually found her near the library, watching some second years.

Padma called out to her and the ghost drifted over to them "Lord Potter. Heir Gopal. Ms Patil. Ms Granger. What do you need?"

The four exchanged looks before Padma said "We were wondering if you knew where the Diadem of Ravenclaw is?"

The ghost froze and panic entered her pale face before her features settled "I do not. Good day."

Before she could drift away, Hermione yelled "You were alive when the founders were around! You must know!"

The Gray Lady glared the the younger girl "All the diadem brings is trouble for everyone. Do not search for it."

"Do you know who Voldemort is" Harry asked. When the Gray Lady nodded, he pressed on "He turned the diadem into a horcrux. Unless the diadem is destroyed, Voldemort will live forever. We need to know where it is in order to kill him."

The Gray Lady shook her head "As evil as Voldemort may be, I can not help."

"If he lives, Hogwarts will fall. He'll ruin everything which our ancestors have worked for! Do you want that? For all our work to go up in flames?" Rishi told her, anger beginning to creep into his voice.

The ghost paused and stared at the four 'Claws, judging them. Finally, she spoke "I do know where the diadem is. I saw it a very long time ago."

"Back then, I did not go by the Gray Lady" she began "I was Helena Ravenclaw, daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw."

The group of 4 was shocked as Hermion stuttered out "Y-you were the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw?"

"I was" Helena sighed "But, I became jealous of my mother. With her around, I was always just her daughter. My achievements and masteries were forgotten. Everyone just thought of me as her daughter. I wanted to become better than her. So that one day, I wouldn't be known as Rowena Ravenclaw's daughter. Instead, she would be thought of as Helena Ravenclaw's mother. And that led me to steal the diadem."

Padma gasped "You STOLE the diadem."

The ghost nodded regretfully "I did. I took it and ran to a forest in Albania where I hid. My mother, she didn't want to admit that her own daughter stole the diadem from her. So she didn't tell anyone about the theft. She simply stated that she didn't feel like wearing the diadem. For a while, everyone remained blissfully unaware."

"Then, my mother became ill" the Gray Lady continued "She was on her deathbed and wished to see me. She asked my old lover to fetch me, so that she could see me one last time before Death took her."

Her voice broke "H-he found in Albania and asked me to come with him to see my mother. I-i refused to go with him. I was still ashamed over what I had done. He got angry at me for not coming. We began arguing and... h-he killed me. And then proceeded to kill himself."

"The diadem laid in that forest and neither I or the Bloody Baron spoke about what happened that night" she gave them a sad look.

"Wait" Rishi said "You and the Bloody Baron used to go at it?"

Harry glared at him before saying "That's interesting, but not relevant. Did Tom Riddle ever ask you about the diadem? We need to know."

"I did tell him my story" Helena nodded "He was quite curious. Good day students."

The ghost then faded away to go elsewhere as the four kids stared in shock.

Finally, Padma said "So he hid the diadem. But where? We've performed the spell all over the school!"

Harry snapped his fingers "We need to go somewhere which can't be tracked normally like the Room. If it's not in the mode where Riddle hid it, it won't be found by the spell. So we have to go to the room, get it in the mode, then find it."

The four kids were about to go to the room when Draco came running to them "Guys!"

The Ravenclaws waited for their friend to arrive. Once he arrived, out of breath, he said "Death Eaters are storming the school. And some are in the common room."

"Fuck."

The Final Battle is beginning! Thanks for reading and please leave a review!

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