Author's note – I'm so happy that words are flowing freely, it's nice.
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Twilight Veela – I'm good at cliff hangers *evil grin*
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Dahlia looked at Albus with even more questions in her eyes. There were so many things that Albus had kept from her in the past and was still keeping from her, this could be any number of them. However the annoyance of what he was keeping secret was met with satisfaction rather frustration than that he was actually going to keep her at least somewhat informed.
His hands fell into his lap trying to figure out where to begin, this was going to be a hard conversation. "You know there is a connection between Harry and the Dark Lord?" Dahlia nodded and Albus continued, "It goes deeper than we've let on. They can, on occasion, see into the minds of each other."
"Like a Legilimens?"
"Exactly," Dumbledore nodded, "what I'm unsure of is if they are aware of it. Harry has on more than one occasion seen things that I'm sure the Dark Lord hasn't wanted him to see." He paused for a moment, "This leads me to the other piece of the puzzle I've been keeping from you. However Dahlia I want you to swear that you will not tell Harry or even Sirius. What I'm about to tell you doesn't leave this room."
Dahlia looked at her uncle, this was a lot to comply with. She was around Harry often and how could she keep something like this, whatever it was, from Sirius or even Remus? She knew that eventually everything would come to light but…she stopped her thinking for a moment looking at Albus once more, "I promise Uncle."
He gave Dahlia's knee a light squeeze before moving to his desk. He opened the top left drawer pulling out a book that had seen better days. It was black leather with brass corners, it was warped and the pages were shriveled and bent. There was a huge hole in the middle of it with what looked to be ink stains running down the front and sides almost like blood. He held the book by the spine bringing it back to the sofa. He handed it to his niece.
The lilac haired witch took the damaged book in her hand inspecting it. Other than the damage there was nothing remarkable about it. The withered pages were blank but there was something that caught her eye when she turned the book over. There was a label and what was on it made her drop the book the floor in horror.
It read: Tom Marvolo Riddle.
That name stared up at her, mocking her. Albus bent down and picked up the book once more. He nodded grimly, "Yes Dahlia," he sat next to her again, "this was his."
"What happened to it?"
"Do you remember the incident in the Chamber of Secrets during your first year as teaching assistant?"
"Only that Ginny was taken, Gilderoy lost his memory and Harry managed to free the House Elf of the Malfoys. Other than that Uncle I was a bit pre-occupied with what happened between me and Severus."
Dumbledore nodded once more, "Ah," he smiled, "I'm glad that's been sorted."
Dahlia smiled, "Me too, now if I could get Snape and Sirius to be civil life would be peachy."
"Don't wish for miracles Dahlia," Albus told her softly laughing before turning his attention back to the diary. "What do you know about Horcruxes?"
"Horcruxes," she questioned before looking at the destroyed diary once more, "No," she said shakily, "He wouldn't have, couldn't have, not even Voldemort would have done something that…" the description failed her, a Horcrux, it was farcical. Her head kept shaking unable to believe it.
"I believe he did," Albus said frankly, this was something she was going to have to accept. "I'm unsure how many he made."
"HE MADE MORE THAN ONE," she said louder than intended. Dahlia caught herself, "More than one, how is that even possible?"
"That's how he survived the Killing Curse failing because of these Horcruxes. I believe he unintentionally made Harry one."
Dahlia looked at her uncle thoroughly shocked, "Harry…" she squeaked out. It was like she was afraid to voice her next thought but it made sense, "his scar."
"Yes," Albus said solemnly.
"That's the reason for the connection," she said putting the puzzle together. "You're right Albus, Harry can't know and certainly not Sirius." She loved them both but for the time being they needed to be kept in the dark. Sirius would no doubt try and go up against the Dark Lord himself and get killed. She loved him more than anything but he was rather hot headed. Dahlia looked at her Uncle again, "Do you know of any other Horcruxes other than that," she pointed to the book afraid to touch it, "and Harry?"
"I believe that I have found at least one more and there are those in the Order looking for the rest of them."
"Do you have any idea how many he made?"
"With Harry included, I speculate he made 7, it could be more could be less."
"How do you know that?"
"Come," he pulled her off the sofa to the cabinet that held all his curious magical items. He opened the doors with a flourish revealing the Pensieve. He opened a glass cabinet holding little vials of silvery liquid. "I want you to see something, this is a memory I collected while Tom was still attending school here."
Dahlia nodded slowly watching her uncle pour the memory into the shallow basin. The lilac haired witch took a breath and plunged her face into the water. The silvery threads turned into smoke like tendrils revealing a green and sepia toned memory. She saw several teenage boys sitting around a table with Professor Slughorn, her potions master before Snape took over.
One of the boys spoke, he looked familiar in an odd sort of way to Dahlia, "Sir, is it true that Professor Merrythought is retiring?"
Horace chuckled holding a confection in his fingers, that was Professor Slughorn, he did enjoy his sweets, "Now, Tom," Dahlia's blood froze at the name. That was her father before he became that hideous snake like monster she knew.
Before she knew it she was thrown out of the Pensieve, "He looked so normal!"
"Dahlia," Albus said calmly, "I need you to finish the memory. We can talk about your father in depth at a later date."
The teaching assistant plunged back into the memory reliving the first part of the conversation.
"Now, Tom, I couldn't tell you if I knew could I? I must say, m'boy, I'd like to know where you get your information. More knowledgeable that half the staff you are." The boys around Riddle chuckled slightly, "By the way, thank you for the pineapple, you're quite right it is my favorite, how is it that you knew?"
"Intuition," the young Voldemort said. His voice was so smooth and even, just how she remembered it from last summer but much less threatening. Yet there was still something sinister about his smile.
Slughorn chuckled, "Good gracious look at the time. Off you go, boys, or Professor Dippett will have us all in detention. Lestrange, Avery, don't forget your essays." The other boys file out leaving the Professor unknowingly with Tom. Horace turned to see Riddle still standing there, "Look sharp, Tom. You don't want to be caught out of bed after hours."
Tom smirked, "I know a secret shortcut or two."
"Yes, I imagine you do. Something on your mind Tom?"
"Yes, sir. I couldn't think of anyone else to go to. The other professors, well, they're not like you." A classic manipulation, Dahlia noted. "They might…" he paused, "misunderstand."
"Go on," Slughorn encouraged him.
Tom looked at his ring on his middle finger, a diamond shaped black stone set in a simple gold setting, he played with the item as he continued to speak, "I was in the library the other night, in the Restricted section, and I read something rather odd about a bit of rare magic, and I thought perhaps you could illuminate me."
The memory fogged and the sound was muffled but Dahlia could barely hear the word "Horcrux" be uttered by her father.
The fog intensified and Slughorn was almost screaming at Tom, "I don't know anything about such things and I wouldn't tell you if I did! Now get out of here at once and don't ever let me catch you mentioning it again!"
The memory faded and Dahlia took her face out of the basin confused and bewildered. She turned to her uncle, "He changed the memory, by why?"
"That is for another time Dahlia, but you heard it?"
"He asked about Horcruxes," she tossed her eyes to the diary before meeting her uncle's, "Harry is in a lot more danger than we first suspected."
Albus nodded, "This is why I need you to keep this between us."
"Yes Albus," she complied still trying to add up everything she had just seen and heard.
Author's note - We talked Horcruxes, or the suspicion of Horcruxes. I'm going off the assumption that Dumbledore is partly omnipotent, I consulted with several friends that agree with that. So that's what we're talking about, I do go into the Half-Blood Prince on this because you simply won't see this scene in my next story so it's here. I would love to hear from all of you! Please drop me a line!