Unofficial Portkey Archive

Anima Summa Book 3 - Into the Light by Anima Summa

Anima Summa Book 3 - Into the Light

Anima Summa

Chapter 6 Hot and Cold

DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Ron shivered as he poked his head out of the tent. "Hey Harry," he called back inside. "It's snowing! It looks like we'll have a white Christmas this year."

It was the morning of Christmas Eve, but this year it would be unlike any Christmas that had gone before. No one had had any time to buy presents and Dumbledore had made it clear that he didn't want anyone leaving the valley in case any lurking Death Eaters recognised one of their number. Harry crawled over to his friend and peered out at the white landscape - grinning as he saw how the snow, driven into the cliff face by the strong wind, clung to the many cracks and ledges from top to bottom.

"It's a lot more rugged that Hogwarts," he said. "But just as beautiful in a wild sort of way."

"Bugger that!" exclaimed Ron. "I just hope that we've got a nice hot breakfast this morning."

"What've we got later this morning?" asked Harry. "Learning with Professor Denarnaud or more reading?"

"More reading, I think," Ron replied, frowning as he pulled his sweater over his head. "But I don't know how we'll be able to decide where to go next - The Azores and the Caribbean seem to be equally likely for the site of Atlantis."

"We've just got to trust Hermione on this," said Harry, tying his shoelaces. "She seems to think that we'll find something to tip the balance, and she's usually right about things like that."

Try as they might, however, the five were unable to find anything decisive that day, although they all had their heads buried in books for most of the time. So they had no idea that Dumbledore and the others were conspiring to make Christmas day one to remember. They hadn't been able to buy the kids any presents, but they were planning a big surprise for them.

Hermione, Ginny and Margot sank wearily into their beds that night and barely managed to whisper 'goodnight' before falling to sleep. They were still sleeping, as were Harry and Ron, at nine o'clock on Christmas morning but by then, 'Santa' Dumbledore and his little helpers had everything in place.

At nine thirty, Ginny opened one eye and looked towards the tent flap that was blowing crazily in the wind. She wondered whether that was the noise that woke her, but then she heard something else, and she grinned when she recognised the discordant tones that only her brother George could generate - and they were getting closer. She quickly leaned across and shook Hermione and Margot awake, then sat back, a big smile on her face, to see what was going to happen.

'I saw three ships come sailing by, on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day," sang George, getting ever closer to the girls' tent.

"Ho, ho, ho - merry Christmas," he shouted, flinging back the tent flap and poking his head inside to see three grinning faces looking at him. He was dressed in a 'Santa' costume and carried a sack over his back.

"Merry Christmas George," they echoed, as George walked inside.

"What've you got in that sack?" asked Ginny.

"Uh, nothing," he replied. "But every self-respecting 'Santa' has to carry a sack, hasn't he?"

The girls giggled. "So why are you dressed like that?" asked Hermione.

"Well it is Christmas Day," he said. "So hurry up and get dressed - there's something in the big tent I want to show you."

George walked back outside and waited, grinning as he heard the frenzied sounds of the girls donning their clothes. He looked across at Fred, who was similarly attired, waiting outside the boys' tent, as Harry and Ron quickly got dressed.

The girls were the first to appear and George led them over to stand beside Fred while they waited for the boys. Then the twins led them all over to the main tent, trudging slowly through the one-foot deep snow.

"What do you think is going on?" Margot whispered.

"Beats me," answered Ron.

As they got closer, they began to hear the sounds of singing coming from inside. But the number of voices singing 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful' seemed to be far greater than the twenty-six inhabitants, including Winky and Dobby, of Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad. The five youngsters glanced at each other curiously, wondering who else could be there.

Fred and George held open the tent flap and gestured them inside. The five walked in and suddenly stopped, staring in awe at the scene before them. The inside of the tent was straight from a Christmas postcard - most of it magically created. Twelve large Christmas trees, adorned with lights and baubles, stood around the walls of the tent and balloons, streamers, and all manner of decorations hung down from the ceiling, or otherwise floated around the tent. At the back of the tent was a huge log fire, crackling away merrily, but the fire wasn't the only thing that induced the warm glow felt by the five friends. At one side of the fire stood Dumbledore, the other professors, the protectors, Hagrid, Winky and Dobby, and the thirteen staff of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes and on the other side stood Arthur and Molly, Bill and Percy, Millie and Arbuthnot Granger, Margot's parents and grandfather, Ifor, Bethan and the two kids, Demont and Anne-Marie, Colin Creevey and Clare Bryant and their parents.

The three girls had tears in their eyes as they flung themselves at their families, hugging them tightly. Ron followed his sister to greet his parents and brothers, while Harry walked over to stand beside Sirius, Ceri, Katie, Oliver and Dumbledore. Katie and Ceri planted big kisses on Harry's cheeks and wished him a merry Christmas, but Harry was a bit too overcome with emotion to respond in kind - he just held their hands and smiled.

He leaned over and whispered to Dumbledore, "How did you manage this? I thought you wanted to keep the place a secret? Not that I'm complaining, Professor, I think it's great that everybody's family is here."

"They don't know where they are, Harry," he replied. "No-one has told them where this place is, and they won't ask - it was a condition of them coming, but they were all only too glad to join you five for Christmas Day. We set up special Portkeys to bring them here, and that's how they'll all return home this evening."

Ron looked over to see Margot beckoning him over. His face fell slightly when he realised she wanted him to meet her parents, but he walked nervously over towards them, hoping that he wouldn't make a fool of himself. But he needn't have worried.

Margot's parents both grinned at him. "So this is the boy that has swept my little girl off her feet," said Margot's father, Jacques.

"I must say you are so very tall and handsome," said his wife, Candice.

Ron blushed and stuttered, "P… pleased to meet you both." He held out his hand, but his eyes flew wide open, staring at the grinning Margot and Jules, as Jacques and Candice ignored his hand and crushed him in a strong but affectionate hug. When he was set free, Ron grinned sheepishly as he was led over to sit at the very large dining table between Margot's parents.

"Be careful with him," said Margot. "He can be very shy at times."

"Don't worry Margot," said her mother. "We just want to get to know him a bit better."

Ginny, meanwhile, had strolled over to Nadine and Charlie. "Has Demont said anything yet?" she asked.

Nadine shook her head. "Nothing. I tried to bring up the subject earlier, but they just clammed up."

"We'll see about that," said Ginny, looking slyly over to the pair. "We've got all day to prise it out of them."

Charlie raised his eyes to the tent ceiling. "Count me out of this," he said. "I'll keep Bill company."

Rhian, Ifor's pretty little seven-year-old, couldn't take her eyes off Fred and George. She leaned close to her brother and stood on tiptoe to whisper in his ear, "How can there be two Santas Iolo?"

Iolo thought quickly, then answered, "Neither of them are really Santa, Rhian. Because this is a very secret place, not even Santa can find it, so Ron's two brothers have dressed up so that Harry and his friends won't be disappointed."

"Ohhh," she said, turning back to stare at Fred and George, who were walking across the floor towards their parents.

George spotted Rhian staring at them and nudged Fred. "Look over there - that's Ceri's cousin's little girl - let's go over and say hello."

"Now who's this pretty little girl?" said Fred, kneeling down in front of Rhian.

Rhian glanced at her brother and then grinned at Fred. "You're not really Santa - Iolo told me. You've dressed up to make Harry and his friends think that Santa hasn't forgotten them."

Fred and George suppressed a chuckle. "Well we can't fool her, George - we've been rumbled."

"Are you a wizard?" she asked.

"Yes, I am," Fred replied. "Would you like to see a little bit of magic?" Rhian nodded.

Fred put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a red-coloured wine gum. He placed it in the palm of his left hand, tapped it with his wand and muttered a few words. Rhian's eyes grew wide as she saw the wine gum start to grow larger and larger, until it filled Fred's palm. Then it floated slowly up towards the tent ceiling where it hovered for a few seconds, before exploding and showering Rhian and Iolo with loads of multi-coloured wine gums. The little girl jumped up and down, laughing and clapping her hands in delight while her brother picked up several of the sweets.

"Is it ok to eat these?" he asked, staring at Fred suspiciously.

Fred laughed. "Yes - you can eat those."

"Can you show me some more magic please?" asked Rhian.

"Your turn George," said Fred, getting up from his knees.

George stroked his false beard for a few moments, then pulled his wand from his red robes and pointed it at a little wooden stool sitting underneath one of the Christmas trees. The stool wobbled, and then started walking towards Rhian and Iolo with a most curious gait. It stopped in front of the girl, waiting.

"Go on, sit on it," said George.

Rhian stared at George and then tentatively sat on the stool. She screeched with delight as the stool once more started walking, carrying her towards Ceri and Sirius, who were talking to Rhian's parents. Ifor and Bethan stared in fascination as their daughter was transported towards them, but grinned when they saw how much Rhian was enjoying the experience. The stool stopped in front of Ceri, who reached down to lift the little girl into her arms and gave her a big hug.

Rhian put her mouth close to Ceri's ear and whispered, "Auntie Ceri, can I ask you something?"

Ceri placed Rhian back onto the floor and smiled. "Of course you can."

"Can… can I be a witch?"

Sirius grinned and whispered, "Get out of that one, Auntie Ceri."

Ceri looked pleadingly towards Ifor and Bethan, then knelt down and held Rhian by the shoulders. "You'd really like to be a witch?"

Rhian nodded her head vigorously.

Ceri smiled and smoothed the little girl's hair. "Being a witch is something… that you're born with. You see, no one can choose to be a witch - it all depends if you have magic inside you when you're born, and most girls haven't got that. But it doesn't really matter if you're a witch or not - you'll still be loved by all your family and friends and you'll still grow up to be a beautiful young lady."

"So does that mean I can't be a witch?" The corners of Rhian's lips took a downward turn.

"No - you may still be a witch, but you're still too young for anybody to know whether you are or not. All I'm saying is that if it turns out that you're not, you mustn't be sad or disappointed. Everybody has their own special magic inside them - but it may not be the sort of magic that you saw Uncle Fred and Uncle George do just a few minutes ago."

Rhian brightened once more. "Ok. I think I understand, Auntie Ceri." Then she turned and ran back over to Iolo, who was deep in conversation with Fred and George.

"Phew," said Ceri. "I hope I didn't make things worse Bethan."

"Of course not," she replied. "All she's talked about since you visited last year is whether she can be a witch, and I've told her much the same as you did."

Ceri smiled with relief and excused herself when she saw Bill beckoning to her. Bill had been the last of the surprise guests to arrive that morning and Ceri hadn't had much chance to talk to him up till now.

He wore a broad grin as she approached. "Well there's no mistaking that radiant look! I'm right in thinking that Sirius has done the right thing at last?"

Ceri grinned and hugged him. "Yes - and I think I've got you to thank for that. Oh, it was a bit dodgy for a while when neither of us could decide if it would upset Katie or not, but we needn't have worried."

"I'm glad - really glad for you both. You deserve each other."

"And how about you Bill? Are there any signs that you'll settle down any time soon?"

Bill grinned, but there was a slightly forlorn look in his eyes. "Oh, you know me Ceri. I suppose it must be difficult for girls to take me seriously, especially with my track record."

Ceri frowned and stared at him intently. "Now you listen to me, Bill Weasley. I do know you, and what I see is a very special and sensitive man. Don't put yourself down - I'm sure that there're lots of girls that would take you seriously if only you'd give them a chance - and I'm absolutely certain that there'll be that one special person who'll see you for who you really are."

"Well thanks for the vote of confidence," he replied. "You wouldn't like to be my PR secretary would you?"

"Bill!" she exclaimed, laughing. "Just don't give up on yourself."

"Since when did my brother ever give up on himself?" said Charlie, joining the pair.

"Where's Nadine?" asked Bill.

Charlie looked over and nodded towards a corner of the tent, where Nadine and Ginny were deep in conversation with Demont and Anne-Marie. "My inquisitive girlfriend and even more inquisitive sister are indulging in a bit of foreign intrigue."

"So who were those strange people who went to the cabin just after we left?" asked Nadine.

Anne-Marie glanced worriedly at Demont, who put on a confused look. "What strange people?"

"Come on Demont!" exclaimed Nadine. "You can't fool me. Charlie and I saw two witches and two wizards go into the cabin, and they were looking very shifty. And don't deny it - you couldn't wait to get rid of us. You must have been expecting them."

It was Demont's turn to look worriedly at Anne-Marie, but neither of them said anything.

"You're not in any sort of… trouble are you?" asked Nadine, anxiously.

"You can tell us - whatever it is," Ginny weighed in. "If you want to keep it secret, then it's safe with us."

Demont looked at Anne-Marie and lifted his eyebrows questioningly. The beautiful French woman's shoulders slumped in resignation and nodded.

"Look," said Demont. "What we're about to tell you must remain between us four. You can't tell anyone else about it. And the only reason we're telling you is to stop you prying - it might be… well, a bit dangerous if you're caught snooping around near the cabin."

Ginny gasped, "Dangerous?"

"I knew it!" exclaimed Nadine. "You're involved in something dodgy aren't you!"

Demont shook his head in exasperation. "No, of course not. Now, do you both agree to keep this strictly to yourselves?"

"Yes!" they both yelled and leaned closer, staring at the pair fixedly with impatient anticipation.

Harry and Hermione looked up and stared, but then went back to talking to Colin and Clare.

Demont took a deep breath and reached out to hold Anne-Marie's hand. "Anne-Marie and I… well… we're not supposed to be… together."

Ginny stared and her mouth gaped slightly open. Nadine pursed her lips and waited.

Anne-Marie took up the conversation. "You see, I'm… well I'm the head of the French Auror Defence Force. The mysterious people you saw the other day were four of my planning staff. They came to the cabin to discuss the new location for our headquarters - that's how I met Demont, you see. We - the Minister of Magic and myself - anticipate that after Britain and America, France will be 'You Know Who's next target, and we wanted to move our base of Auror operations to a secret place that the Dark Forces couldn't find."

"Anne-Marie was given my name by the minister," Demont continued. "He thought that I'd be able to suggest a remote location for the headquarters close to the Forbidden Forest. When she poked her head into the Magical Creatures office - that was just about the time I was giving my report on the Magical Creature disturbances - and we saw each other…"

"We fell instantly in love," whispered Anne-Marie.

Demont stared longingly into his girlfriend's eyes. "Anne-Marie spent a lot of time up at the cabin - under the pretext of evaluating the site I'd suggested - well let's just say we combined a bit of business with pleasure. So within the next few days, there'll be a lot of activity up at the Forbidden Forest - there'll be lots of ministry people constructing the new headquarters, setting up wards and that sort of thing."

"So security is going to be tight," said Anne-Marie. "And we wouldn't want any of you to walk into something that could be… dangerous for you. The security Aurors will be taking a very dim view of any unauthorised person snooping around up there."

Ginny's brow creased in a frown. "I understand all that, but what I don't understand is why you're not supposed to be together."

"Ginny," said Anne-Marie gently. "If it got out that Demont and I were an item, I'd lose my job - and so would Demont."

"But why?" cried Nadine.

"Because," said Demont, "since 'You Know Who' came back on the scene, the French Ministry of Magic decreed that any witch or wizard holding a sensitive position - one that that relates to the security of the nation - must be completely free of any romantic attachments. They think - rightly or wrongly - that the person could become compromised and subject to coercion if the Dark Forces managed to kidnap or threaten his or her lover. Anne-Marie, obviously, holds one of the most security-sensitive positions in Magical France, and since I've become involved in finding the site for the new base of Auror operations, so have I."

"At the time I got the job," said Anne-Marie, "I had no attachments and no family - both my parents are dead. For a long time, I tried to resist the attraction I felt for Demont, but it was like trying to hold back the tide."

Demont grinned. "And I just washed all over her."

"Awww," breathed Ginny, her eyes clouding with mistiness.

"So what are you both going to do?" asked Nadine. "You won't be able to keep how you feel about each other a secret for very long, not with a load of your colleagues being around the cabin area."

Demont and Marie both frowned and glanced sheepishly at each other. "We don't know," said Demont. "We've discussed it, of course, and if the worse comes to the worse we'll both have to resign. But we still have one last hope."

"You and your friends," said Anne-Marie, staring intently at Ginny. "If the Anima Summas can defeat the Dark Side soon, this silly ban will be lifted and we can come out into the open."

"Don't worry," said Ginny solemnly. "Just hang in there - we think we've got one more place to find before the final quest is completed. It won't be long now - I hope."

"So do I Ginny," whispered Demont, as he reached out and squeezed her hand affectionately. "So do I…"

The four of them turned and looked toward Harry and Hermione, who were still chatting with Colin and Clare.

"So are you sorry you had to give up being our press secretaries?" asked Harry.

"Well… yes and no," said Colin.

"We loved being involved - we really did," added Clare. "But it got a bit scary towards the end."

"A lot of people were becoming very anxious, especially after all those raids started," said Colin, "and their anxiety came through in the letters they sent - some of them weren't very nice." He glanced at Clare. "So I think it was best that Professor Dumbledore took us off it."

Hermione looked at the pair, her eyes full of sympathy. "We're sorry about that - it must have been hard for you."

Clare grinned. "Don't worry - it wasn't your fault. And when this is all over, maybe we can get involved again - I'm absolutely sure that everybody will be writing to you when you get rid of 'You Know Who'."

Harry glanced at Hermione, his face tinged with a trace of worry. "I hope so Clare."

The rest of Christmas Day was a great success; it provided just the right sort of relief and distraction for the five friends and everyone else involved with the quest.


Lord Voldemort paced slowly backwards and forwards in front of his throne. He was not in a good mood - his original deadline to the American and British magical communities had long since expired, but he'd agreed to an extension so that the Muggles in the highest position of authority could be consulted and persuaded to submit to his rule.

He had the feeling that he was being stalled, but he decided to hold off for a little while longer before resuming his personal demonstrations of power.

"Lucius!" he roared, bringing the fair-haired man running into the cave from his meeting with the rest of the inner circle outside.

"Yes, my Lord," he panted.

"I don't like all this delay - it can only be to give Potter more time to finalise his quest. Have you had any reports about their whereabouts yet?"

"No, my Lord. They just seem to have disappeared from the face of the Earth."

Voldemort grunted. "I want you and the others to contact the Dark Forces in every country in the world. I want them to be on high alert in case the Anima Summas come poking about in their patch. I want them to cover every ancient site - every old ruin or place that may be linked to an ancient civilisation. And I want them to report to me immediately they are spotted. The sooner I can get them out of the way, the sooner we can take full control."

"Yes, my Lord," said Lucius, turning to walk back out of the cave.

"Oh and Lucius." Malfoy hesitated and turned to face his master.

"Arrange a few raids, just to let them know we're still here."

"Yes, my Lord." Lucius walked out and called the inner circle to him.

"We'll divide the continents up between us," he said. "Make sure you don't miss any place - if he finds out that Potter and his friends have visited somewhere and he's not been told about it, we'll be the first in the firing line!"

They all groaned, but departed with a strong sense of purpose - and self-preservation.


"There's loads and loads of islands in the Caribbean area," said an exasperated Ginny, "but there's only nine in the Azores."

"What's your point Ginny?" asked Harry.

"Just that… oh, I don't know!"

They only had a few more books to read now, and their patience was wearing a bit thin. Nothing, so far, had pointed them in the right direction.

Ron, who'd been very quietly reading his book, suddenly looked up. "Remember Edgar Cayce?"

"The American 'sleeping prophet' - the one who had a psychic reading that the Hall of Records was below the Giza Plateau?" asked Hermione.

"One and the same," said Ron. "Well it seems he's had a few things to say about Atlantis as well."

The other four sat up, waiting for Ron to continue.

"Come on Ron," said Harry. "He was right about the Hall of Records, so maybe he's right about this as well!"

Ron grinned, pausing for a few moments to let the tension build. "In fact, he's had quite a few things to say about Atlantis. But the bit that just struck me in this book was his prediction - in 1936 he predicted that the first signs of Atlantis rising would be in the Bahamas, near the island of Bimini, and he also predicted that they would be found in either 1967 or 1968."

Again Ron paused. Margot let out an exasperated sigh and slapped his arm. "And? Come on Ron, don't tease!"

"Well they did find something in 1968 - what's become known as the Bimini Roads. Less than fifteen feet under the sea, under a mile off the shore of North Bimini, they found a series of rectangular stones, laid out in two parallel rows. They turned out to be part of a much larger structure that can only be seen from the air - it was spotted by a pilot flying from the island back to America. They extend for about three quarters of a mile and then disappear under the sand."

"So they think that this is part of Atlantis?" asked Ginny.

"Well that's the problem," said Ron. "A lot of archaeologists have examined the stones, but they can't agree whether they were put there by an ancient civilisation or whether it's just a natural rock formation."

"What does the author of that book think?" asked Harry.

"He thinks it's part of Atlantis. He backs his claim by pointing out that the Bahamas were once a large single island that became inundated following a disaster that occurred to the north of the island. And there's plenty of evidence for a strike by a comet or asteroid around that area in about nine or ten thousand BC."

"That puts it in the time frame of Plato's story," said Hermione.

"And there's a map in the book that shows the Grand Bahama Bank and the extent of the land boundary in ancient times," added Ron.

"This is all very well," said Margot, "but there's no point going there unless we have something to focus on. I mean, the structures are under the sea, albeit in shallow waters, but I can't see that we'll find an entrance into a buried city or something similar under the sea!"

"Margot's right," said Hermione, her brow creased deep in thought. "Is there anything else in that book Ron? Local legends or something that may indicate something worth looking at?"

"Well I didn't see anything about local legends," he replied, "but the author thinks that there's more to be found on the land itself. He says that the northern-most part of the island, above a place called Paradise Point, is a narrow strip of land covered by mangrove forest. It's right opposite the Bimini Roads, and he thinks there may be something there. There's a place called the Healing Hole in the mangrove creeks as well, and at low tide cold water that has a high mineral content rises up through a labyrinth of underwater tunnels and passages - the local people say it has healing powers."

"What do think?" asked Harry, looking at the others. "Is it worth a visit?"

"Well there's nothing else in these books, so why not?" said Ginny.

They all looked at each other and nodded. "Ok," said Harry. "Let's go to see Dumbledore. Maybe he knows somebody who can arrange for a Portkey."

"We'd better see Snape as well," said Ron, frowning. "You never know - we might have to go swimming, so we'd better take a supply of Gillyweed."

"Will you speak to him Margot?" asked Harry. "He likes you - or at least he likes you more than the rest of us." Margot groaned, but nodded.


"There were a number of Death Eater attacks last night," said Snape, "both here and in America." He gazed around Dumbledore's tent at the professors and protectors sitting around the headmaster's desk - they all wore grim expressions.

Dumbledore frowned. "He's getting impatient. Fudge managed to stall him with that message in the Daily Prophet, and so did Branson in America, but we've probably only got a day or two left before he uses the Disc of Gates again."

"Are they any closer to finding Atlantis?" asked McGonagall.

Professor Flitwick shook his head sadly. "I really feel for those kids. Ever since Plato wrote about it, the best minds in the world have tried to find it, but they haven't come up with anything definite in more than 2,500 years. Harry and the others have only had a few weeks, and we're expecting them to come up with the answers."

"The answer's there somewhere," said Sirius. "We know that, or the final quest would be impossible to complete, but it's just a matter of them looking in the right place to find the clue that unlocks the mystery of Atlantis."

"We can only hope that they find it soon," said Snape, looking towards the tent entrance as the five topics of conversation walked inside.

"Anything?" asked Charlie, hopefully.

"We think so," said Ginny.

"Come and sit down," said Dumbledore, gesturing to several empty seats. "Now - tell us what you've found."

Harry and Hermione, between them, told everyone what Ron had found and that they'd decided to check things out on North Bimini Island. "So in the absence of any other clues, we thought that this was our best chance," Hermione concluded.

"Right!" said Dumbledore. "Does anyone here know of somebody in the Bahamas that could help?"

They all shook their heads, but then Ceri brightened. "I don't know anybody in the Bahamas, but I know a witch who lives on the Atlantic coast of Florida - and Florida is only about fifty miles away from Bimini."

"Do you think she'd agree to set up a Portkey for us?" asked Remus.

"I'm sure she would, but how am I going to contact her? An owl would take several days to get there and several more to return with the answer."

"Is she on the American Floo Network?" asked the headmaster.

Ceri looked slightly puzzled - she knew that there weren't any transatlantic Floo connections. "Yes Professor, I think she is."

"Good. Just a few days ago, I had a private Floo connection set up direct to Cornelius Fudge. And I know that he's had a private link set up with Jack Branson at the American Magical Congress offices. So it should be possible for you to contact your friend very quickly."

Ceri rose from her seat. "Where's the chimney, Professor?"

"It's in the storage tent at the back of the main tent," he replied.

Ceri turned and walked quickly towards the tent entrance, but then turned back as she had a sudden thought. "Where do you want the Portkey to be placed?"

Four of the youngsters looked blank, but Ron smiled. "That's easy - Paradise Point, Ceri; ask her to make it a bit of driftwood right on the high tide line."

"Right," she replied and rushed out of the tent.

Ron grinned and whispered to his friends, "I should have asked her to put some sun-loungers and sun-umbrellas there as well."

Sirius turned to the five. "What do know about the island? What's the terrain like?"

"North of Paradise Point," said Ron, "there's a four-mile narrow strip of land - only yards wide in some places, with the Atlantic on the Western end and a lagoon to the East. That's where we think we'll find something. It's uninhabited and the book I read said it's covered in mangrove forest with creeks running through it."

Sirius groaned, "So there'll be plenty of cover for an ambush then. We'd better make sure we take the new Relocators with us - has Fred and George showed you all how to use them?"

"Yes," Harry replied, "but what makes you think that there'll be any Death Eaters waiting for us? I can't picture a cell of Dark Wizards at a place called Paradise Point!"

"You can't be too careful Harry," he said. "Voldemort has most likely got every Dark Wizard in the world on the look out for you. Now that he's lost the services of his spy, he'll try any other possible ways to get to you."

"Have you got any photographs or maps of the place?" asked Oliver.

"No photos," replied Ron, "except some of the Bimini Road structures, but I've got a map of the island."

Ron pulled the book from his pocket and turned quickly to the page showing the map of North Bimini, which he spread out on the headmaster's desk. Everyone got up and pored over it while Ron pointed out Paradise Point and the strip of land they wanted to investigate.

"And this narrow strip is covered with mangrove forest?" asked Katie. Ron nodded.

"Well," she said with a sigh, "as Dad said, plenty of places to hide, but there's not many places to run. If we have to scramble out of the way, we'll end up in the sea!"

"Don't worry," said Ginny, grinning. "The sea temperature is about 72 degrees at this time of year."

They all turned as they heard Ceri walk back into the tent. "It's all set up - she knows the Island - goes there on holiday every year, so she'll be able to Apparate to Paradise Point with no problem. The Portkey should be in place by nine o'clock tonight, our time - that's four in the afternoon in the Bahamas."

"We can go tonight then!" exclaimed Harry. "And we'll still have a few hours of daylight to search when we get there."


"This IS paradise," breathed Ron as he looked out at the blue-green waters off Paradise Point. He'd already taken off his shoes and socks and was making a beeline for the gentle surf to paddle in the warm water. He stopped just before the water's edge and rolled up his trousers, then lifted his robes and stepped into the deliciously tepid sea.

He turned to the others, a broad grin on his face. "Can't you get Professor Dumbledore to move our headquarters out here?"

Nadine leaned up against Charlie and caught his hand. "I just love your brother, Charlie. He certainly knows how to enjoy himself."

"Come on Ron," shouted Charlie. "We've got work to do - remember?"

Ron sighed and walked back up the beach to his grinning girlfriend, where he flopped onto the hot sand and dried his feet before donning his shoes and socks once more. Harry and Hermione looked along the stretch of beach, lifting their heads to feel the warm afternoon sun on their faces, while the protectors walked back to the Portkey site after checking around the area to make sure there were no Death Eaters in sight.

Snape was the last to arrive back on the beach - he and Professor Flitwick had agreed to help with lookout duties in the potentially dangerous environment of the mangrove forest. He looked at Ron with a hint of disdain and blew away the droplet of perspiration that had rolled down from his forehead to his lip. He hated hot and humid climates - he much preferred the cool air of back home.

Ginny pointed past a stand of palm trees to the northwest. "The stone structures are underneath the sea just there."

Sirius, Ceri, Oliver and Katie stood close together and studied the low mangrove trees that stretched along the beach to the north. "According to the map," said Oliver, "it gets a lot narrower the further north we go."

"Well at least we won't have to worry too much about an attack coming from our left flank, especially if we keep close to the beach."

"Oliver, will you and Katie take point again?" asked Sirius. Oliver nodded.

"I'll take the right flank with Remus, Charlie and Nadine can take the left, while Ceri, Professor Flitwick and Snape can bring up the rear. Come on you lot," shouted Sirius. "It's time to find Atlantis."

They all moved slightly inland and started walking towards the first of the trees. Harry and the other four had spoken about the expedition back at the valley, and they weren't really sure what they were looking for, so they'd agreed to just keep an eye out for anything that looked the least bit unusual, although since none of them had been to this part of the world before, they weren't really sure what was or wasn't unusual.

They entered the trees and their progress slowed, the five looking closely at the ground and in between the trees, while the protectors kept a close watch on the dense foliage ahead and to the sides. None of them spotted the black-cloaked figure hiding behind the stand of palm trees back along the beach.

The Death Eater was amazed when the group had materialised on the beach a little while earlier - he hadn't expected Potter and his friends to come to this part of the world. He'd been lying on the warm sand doing his look-out stint opposite the Bimini Roads site, soaking up the sun behind the trees, luckily for him, so he hadn't been spotted, but there was no mistaking the lightening-bolt scar on Harry's forehead. His first instinct was to follow the group to see where they went, but changed his mind when he saw that they were heading along the narrow strip of land and into the mangrove forest - he knew that there was only one direction in which they could go - north. He closed his eyes and Apparated back to the cabin on the south side of the island, and rushed in to tell his group commander, and the other twenty-three Death Eaters that constituted the Bimini Dark Force, the good news - he felt sure that the Dark Lord would reward him for being so observant.

But he frowned when the commander didn't immediately go to the Floo fire to pass the word up the line to their headquarters in Cuba. Instead, the commander stared at the floor, deep in thought.

"We can do this!" he exclaimed. "Think about it - if we can capture or kill the Anima Summas and their friends, we'll be the toast of the Caribbean, and the rewards we'll all get will be immense. What do you say?"

Opinion was divided among the group, but the ayes just had it, and they Apparated back to the spot where the foreigners had last been seen. The watch Death Eater pointed towards the mangrove forest. "They went in there no more than ten minutes ago."

"Well split up," said the commander. "I'll take half of you and follow on the right-hand edge of the land and the rest of you take the left. Watch for my signal before you attack."

Three hundred yards further north, Ginny stooped to look at an odd-shaped rock on the ground. She lifted it to examine it more closely and screeched when a large beetle run from underneath it and scurried away into the brush to her right. The protectors converged on her, their wands at the ready. "Sorry," she whispered, her face turning red. "I hate beetles."

She quickly ran ahead to catch up with her friends, who were all stooped over looking into one of the many creeks that wound through the mangroves. The next instant, they were all standing together among the closely packed trees ten yards away to their right. They watched wide-eyed as the curse that had activated their Relocators struck a tree branch, sending it tumbling to the ground. Harry and Hermione joined hands and said the spell that covered the five in the now-familiar emerald green protective light, but from where they were standing, they couldn't get a clear sight of the enemy through the thick scrub.

The protectors had also been transported a small distance away from where they were standing when the curses started to fly. The Death Eaters just stood transfixed when their targets just vanished from sight, and stared around the forest in confusion, trying to see where they'd gone. One unfortunate fellow sensed a presence just behind and to the right, and quickly looked around to see the sardonic grin on the face of Severus Snape just before he was stunned by the spell from the Potion-master's wand.

It was all confusion in the melee that followed. The protectors quickly became used to being Apparated around the forest in fairly quick succession and managed to get off some spells before a curse activated their devices and whisked them away again. Katie found herself staring at the back of one Death Eater as she materialised on the right-hand edge of the forest, and felt confident enough to tap him on the shoulder before putting him in a full body bind.

"Don't get too cocky, Katie," yelled Oliver who stood five yards away, but he found himself talking to thin air as she disappeared from sight.

"Why not?" she asked from her position just behind him. "This is fun!"

Oliver growled, but found himself in amongst a dense thicket of brush before he could reply. He took quick aim and downed yet another black-cloaked figure.

The remaining Death Eaters were no match for the quicksilver protectors, and they soon decided that discretion was the better part of valour and started running back through the forest towards Paradise Point. Sirius, Ceri, Oliver, Katie, Charlie and Snape gave chase, while Remus, Nadine and Flitwick stayed close to the five youngsters, although they were perfectly safe cocooned within their protective shield.

Fifteen minutes later, Remus couldn't help grinning when he saw about a dozen unconscious Death Eaters being levitated back to where he was waiting. He quickly did a head count of those that had already been disabled. "That's twenty-two of them Sirius," he said. "Did you miss any?"

"We saw three more run out of the trees and Apparate away," he replied. "Let's revive one of them and find out how many more are out there."

Remus revived the Death Eater lying a few yards away and roughly jerked him to his feet. "How many of you are in your group?" he asked, holding his wand menacingly to the side of the frightened Death Eater's head.

"T… twenty-five," he stammered. "I told them not to attack you - don't blame me!"

"Did you call for reinforcements?"

"N… no. The commander thought he could capture you all."

"How many more of you are on the island?" asked Sirius.

"None. There are only twenty-five of us."

"Which one is the commander?" asked Ceri, pointing at the unconscious Death Eaters who had now been collected together.

The man looked at his colleagues and shook his head. "He's not here. He must have escaped."

"Will he be able to send a report and bring reinforcements?"

The Death Eater, now feeling a bit more comfortable, shook his head once more as his lips twisted into a sickly grin. "Not if he values his life. He should have sent a report as soon as you were spotted."

"How did you know we were coming here?" asked Oliver.

"We didn't. We had orders to guard all sites that are connected with ancient civilisations, and the Bimini Roads site is the only one on the island."

Sirius pointed his wand at the man and put him in a full body bind, then Remus supported his weight as he lowered him to the floor.

"What do you think?" asked Charlie. "Should we get the hell out of here or spend some more time searching."

"We should continue the search," said Harry, leading the other four to join the protectors.

"That commander might still bite the bullet and report that we're here," said Charlie.

Sirius thought for a few moments and turned to Snape, who out of them all, probably knew more about the inner workings of the Death Eater mind than any of them. "What do you think, Severus? Should we stay or go?"

Snape stared at Sirius, surprised that he'd asked his opinion. "I think we'll have a couple of hours before the commander plucks up the courage to report his failure. I suggest we use whatever daylight is left to continue the search as quickly as we can - we really don't want to come back here another day."

Sirius nodded. "Let's get started then. We can leave these goons here and collect them later. No doubt whatever Auror force is on these islands will have detected all the magical activity, and they'll put in an appearance eventually."

They continued on through the mangrove forest, looking for any sign of an opening into the ground or a rock formation that might be man-made. The humidity was now quite high and the perspiration started running down their faces, so Harry took off his robes and slung them over his shoulder, as did Ron and the girls. After another half hour they hadn't found anything, but came to a large creek with clear water running out towards the sea.

"It must be low tide," said Ginny. "This must be the mineral water welling up from below - it must be coming from the healing hole we talked about yesterday."

"Let's see if we can find it," said Harry.

They followed the creek inland for about twenty yards - the land had broadened slightly - and soon stood looking at a circular-shaped pool. They could clearly see the water bubbling up from somewhere below. Ron knelt on the bank and leaned over, peering into the clear water.

"There's a hole there," he said, "and it looks like there's a tunnel running down and to the right."

"Fancy another paddle Ron?" asked Harry.

Hermione and Margot both gasped. "You're surely not thinking of going down there are you?" asked Margot.

"It looks terribly dangerous to me!" exclaimed Hermione. She turned as the protectors gathered round. "Tell them Sirius - it's far too dangerous to go down there."

Sirius looked into the depths and frowned. "I don't know Harry - that passage looks pretty narrow to me - you could get stuck."

Ron stood back up. "There's no problem - we've come prepared for this haven't we? Who's got the Gillyweed?"

"Look - Ron and I'll go down and scout around. If it looks promising, we'll come back up and fetch you three girls. Ok?"

They reluctantly agreed and Snape stepped forward to hand each of the boys a wad of the stringy-looking weed. "There's enough there for about half an hour," he said. "So make sure you start back in plenty of time."

They looked at their watches, sat down on the ground and took off most of their clothes, shoes and socks, and then started chewing on the rubbery material. Soon, they started to find it very difficult to breath as gills started to sprout on the sides of their necks and their hands and feet started to take on a web-like shape. They both jumped in and ducked their heads under the water, feeling relief as they started to breath more easily. Ron noted that the water was a lot cooler than when he paddled in the sea earlier, but realised that this wasn't seawater - it was fresh water coming from somewhere below.

"Be careful!" shouted Margot as the boys dove down towards the bottom of the pool. Harry led the way, swimming swiftly into the narrow tunnel that led down and to the right. He examined the walls of the tunnel, but they looked to be naturally formed.

They'd gone about twenty yards before the tunnel branched, both legs leading further down. It had started to become very dark and they had to illuminate their wands to see where they were going. Harry turned and raised his eyebrows questioningly. Ron shrugged and pointed to the left-hand tunnel - the general direction of the Bimini Roads.

They swam through a series of natural rock arches, some of them so narrow that they had to turn on their sides to get through. Harry was struck by the lack of fish swimming around in the tunnels, and looked closely at the rock walls for any sign of crustaceans, but he could find none.

Suddenly he felt, rather than heard, a disturbance in the water behind him. He turned quickly to see Ron flailing his arms around madly, trying to swim towards Harry, but making no progress whatsoever. Harry's eyes grew wide when he looked behind Ron to see that something had caught hold of his foot, but he couldn't see what it was - his foot was twisted behind the last of the rocky arches they'd come through. He swum quickly towards the arch, his wand held before him, ready to stun whatever horror was grabbing hold of Ron's foot.

Harry held his wand close, and grinned - what had caught Ron's foot was not a terrible denizen of the deep. Ron's foot was stuck in a small rocky gap between two slightly protruding pieces of rock low down on the right-hand side of the arch. Harry tapped his friend on the leg and grabbed hold of his foot, dragging it back until it came free, but he noted that there was a deep cut on the instep, which was bleeding freely.

Harry thought and tried to remember the spell that Hermione had taught him to stem the flow of blood - he held his wand against the cut, mouthed the spell, and grinned when the bleeding slowed and then stopped. He swam up alongside Ron, who was looking a bit shamefaced, and pointed ahead to continue with the dive.

After another fifty yards, the tunnel entered a series of circular chambers, and Harry and Ron split up to examine each one, but they could see no indication that the caverns were anything other than natural structures, formed by the action of the sea on the lime-filled rock.

Further on down the tunnel, they were met by a solid wall, any further progress barred, but they could see that the clear fresh water was rising from several narrow vents in the rocky floor of the tunnel. They stared at them for a few moments and then Ron tapped Harry on the shoulder and pointed back down the tunnel. Harry nodded and followed his friend back the way they had come.

They rose to the surface of the pool and waited there for several minutes before the effects of the Gillyweed started to wear off, and then clambered back onto dry land to see the relieved faces of the girls and the protectors.

"Well?" asked Hermione. "Was there anything interesting down there?"

"At one point I thought that a Grindylow or something grabbed hold of my foot," said Ron, "but I just got it stuck in the rocks. Thanks for stopping the bleeding Harry. But no - there was nothing there. All we saw were natural tunnels and caverns."

Harry grinned at Ron and nodded in agreement. "If there's an entrance to Atlantis on Bimini, it's certainly not down there."

Margot looked down at Ron's foot and the deep gash on its instep. "You'll need to get that seen to when we get back to the valley." She caught hold of the bottom of her vest and ripped off a narrow strip, which she bound tightly around the cut, than helped Ron put on his sock to hold it in place. "You can't be too careful - you don't want to get it infected."

A few minutes later, the boys now dried off and clothed once more, they all continued on through the forest. It wasn't long before the five friends emerged from the mangrove forest and stood beside Oliver and Katie, who were sitting close together on the sandy beach staring out to sea.

"End of the line," said Oliver, looking up at the youngsters. "We've reached the northern end of the island."

Harry's face fell. "And we've found absolutely nothing!"

"It must have been wishful thinking by that author," said Ron, staring back at the forest to see the rest of the protectors emerging to join them on the beach.

"So what now?" asked Sirius.

"Let's head back down to Paradise Point along the beach," said Hermione, trying to instil some enthusiasm into her friends. "That author might still be right - maybe there's something closer to the shoreline."

Ginny sat down and pulled off her shoes and socks. "You might be right," she said, looking at the dejected faces of Harry and Ron. "Come on you two - we can't give up now."

They found the going a lot easier walking on the compacted sand close to the sea, although Sirius and Remus found it quite tough to walk on the looser sand close to the tree line - Sirius had insisted that they maintain their formation, just in case.

"Look there!" exclaimed Margot, pointing ahead where the forest reached down almost to the water's edge. "There might be something amongst those rocks."

They ran along the beach and started to scramble over a rocky outcrop that led into the sea, before disappearing below the surface.

"This line of rocks seems to be pointing directly at the Road structure out there," said Ginny, excitedly.

Harry and Ron clambered up to the largest rocks at the edge of the forest and started looking for an opening. They found quite a few, but when they moved the loose rocks out of the way, found that there was just bedrock below.

"Check to see if you can feel any magical auras Nadine," said Sirius.

She nodded and closed her eyes as she walked along the line of rocks down to the sea. "Nothing," she said, shaking her head in disappointment.

They carried on down the beach but found nothing of interest until they arrived back at Paradise point, where they found four puzzled-looking Aurors staring down at the twenty-two Death Eaters they'd moved from inside the forest.

"Are you lot responsible for this?" asked one of them.

"Guilty as charged," answered Sirius. "They attacked us back in the forest, so we immobilised them - we knew you'd come here to check on all the magical activity."

"It… it's Harry Potter, isn't it?" said one of the other Aurors, staring at Harry's scar.

Harry grinned a bit shyly and nodded.

"So this must be part of your quest?" asked one of the others. "How's it shaping up? Are you close to getting your full powers?"

"We're close," said Hermione, "but the final piece of the puzzle is proving to be a bit troublesome."

The man looked out to sea to the northwest. "You've come here because of the structures below the sea, haven't you! You're looking for Atlantis!"

The five looked hesitatingly among each other, but didn't answer.

The Auror grinned suddenly. "Don't worry - your secret's safe with us. We won't tell anyone that we saw you here - what you're doing is far too important to be put in jeopardy by any loose talk."

"Thanks," said Harry gratefully. "But how're you going to explain this lot away?"

"Don't you worry about that Harry," he replied. "We'll think of something."

The Aurors went about the business of transporting the Death Eaters back to their headquarters, while the group gathered around a little further down the beach.

Sirius looked at the sun, which was just touching the horizon. "It's going to be dark soon - what do you want to do?"

Harry and Hermione glanced at each other. "There's no point hanging about here," said Hermione, shaking her head. "I think this was just a wild goose chase. I don't think we're going to find anything." Her four friends nodded solemnly.

"Come on then," said Ceri, feeling the disappointment that the five youngsters felt. "Let's get back to freezing Wales."


The five friends sat at their dining table eating a late breakfast the following day. By the time they'd arrived back at Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad it was the early hours of the morning, and they were all feeling a bit Portkey-lagged. Even Ron hadn't made any significant protests about missing his supper, and they went wearily to their beds in their respective tents.

"Professor Dumbledore didn't seem very surprised that we didn't find anything," commented Margot.

"No," replied Hermione. "When I think back on it, I'm sure he thought it was all a bit hairy-fairy even before we left."

"So why didn't he tell us?" said Ron.

"He's too much of a gentleman Ron," said Harry, grinning. "Even though he thought it was a wild goose chase, he knew that he shouldn't become involved in whatever we decide to do - he knows that we've got to solve this problem ourselves - and make our own mistakes."

"He's a very wise man," said Margot. "I like him - he reminds me so much of my grandfather."

"Speaking about your grandfather, Margot," said Harry, "when's our next learning session with him?"

"This afternoon," she replied, "so we've got the rest of the morning to do a bit more investigation."

"But what're we going to use for research?" asked Ginny, looking aghast at the others. "We've read all the books on Atlantis, and we haven't found anything useful in them."

Ron looked despondently down at the table as he twiddled his fork around in his third helping of scrambled eggs. "I wonder what Merlin used for research? I don't suppose there were many books around in his time."

Hermione's eyes grew wide as she stared fixedly at Ron, and her mouth dropped open.

"What!" said Harry, as he saw the expression on her face.

"He's done it again!" exclaimed Hermione. "Ron - you are the most brilliant wizard!"

"What do you mean?" asked Ron, looking rather puzzled.

"Merlin!" she said. "We've gone about this the wrong way! We've been looking in the wrong place!"

"Hermione," said Harry quietly, stroking her shoulder gently, "would you mind explaining what you're on about?"

"Don't you see?" she said. "Merlin and Morgana must have found Atlantis, and so must Osiris and Isis."

"We know that," said Ron. "And that's what we're trying to do as well!"

"Hush Ron," said Margot, gazing through narrowed eyes at Hermione. "I think I can see what she's getting at."

"Well don't keep it all to yourselves!" exclaimed an exasperated Ginny, looking from Hermione to Margot and back again.

"We've been reading all those Muggle books about Atlantis," said Hermione, her excitement plain to see, "but Muggles don't really know anything about it! We should be reading everything we can lay our hands on about Merlin! There might just be something in the wizarding books in the library about his visit to Atlantis. Oh, I don't for one minute think that there'll be a chapter on 'Merlin's trip to Atlantis' or anything, but there might just be something that's been a bit of an enigma to those who've read it, but might make sense to us - knowing what we know."

"How many books are there in the library about Merlin?" asked Ron, fearing another few days of intensive reading.

"There aren't many, I don't think," answered Hermione. "Come on - let's go and look for them."

She jumped up from her chair and walked quickly towards the tent flap. "Hang on a minute," shouted Ron. "I haven't finished my breakfast yet!"

By the time Ron caught up with his friends in the library tent, there were already several books on the table, and Hermione was in the process of pulling one more from one of the shelves.

"That's all I can find about Merlin," she said. "That's five books - one for each of us."

"Is that all?" asked Harry. "Merlin's so famous and revered, I thought there'd be a lot more books about him."

Hermione shrugged. "He lived a long time ago, Harry."

"So did Atlantis," said Ginny. "And look how many books there are about that!"

"But they're Muggle books, Ginny," said Hermione. "There're plenty of Muggle books about Merlin as well, no doubt, but we're after the wizarding legends and history about him. Wizards don't seem to go in for a lot of speculative writing like Muggles do - they'd rather stick to the solid facts."

"Right then," said Ron, taking his seat beside Margot. "You'd better take that one Hermione." He pointed to the thickest book on the table. "And I'll take this one." He picked up the thinnest book by far.

His friends laughed and then each of them picked one of the books and started reading. All was quite in the library tent - the five friends were captivated by the legends and history of the great wizard, Merlin. One by one, they finished reading their book and sat watching as Hermione finished the largest of the five books.

"Well?" asked Ginny.

"He was a great wizard," muttered Margot.

"He certainly was," said Hermione. "But I didn't find anything about a quest, or any reference to him being the Anima Summa."

Everyone nodded, although Harry mentioned something that he thought might be relevant. "It says here that he was involved in King Arthur and his knights' quest to find the Holy Grail."

"Well we know who the Holy Grail is, Harry," said Ginny. "We met him beneath the church in Rennes-le-Chateau."

"Yes, but I can't help wondering if, in this context, the Holy Grail might be the knowledge held by the ancient civilisation of Atlantis."

"It's possible, I suppose," said Margot. "Does it say where he went to find it?"

Harry shook his head. "No - it doesn't go into any details, I'm afraid."

"So we're back to square one again!" exclaimed Ron.

Hermione shook her head. "No - I'm sure we're on the right track now. There must be another book we haven't come across yet."

"Hey!" said Harry. "It might be in the Restricted Section of the library!"

"Yes!" shouted Ginny. "Of course - what was the name of that book we sneaked down to the library to read, Hermione? You know - the one that gave us the clue about the Anima Summa."

"The Aureus," she muttered. "You know, Ginny, I think you might just be right about this. It knew what it was talking about when it mentioned the Anima Summa and the Priory of Sion, so it just might hold something accurate about Merlin's quest as well."

"We'd better ask Dumbledore if we can look at it," said Ginny.

Hermione nodded. "We did promise to consult him if we wanted to look in the Restricted Section." She got up from her chair and walked out of the tent.

A few minutes later she was back. "No problem - he told us to go right ahead and look at it."

She walked over to the back of the library and stepped over the cordon into the Restricted Section. She went straight to the place where she'd last found the book and smiled when she saw it resting in its rightful place. She walked back to the table and placed the ancient-looking tome reverently onto the table, then looked in the index pages for any reference to Merlin.

"Merlin… Merlin…" she muttered as she run her finger down the list of references.

"Here it is," she said. "Page 633." She quickly turned to the correct page and scanned down it looking for the name 'Merlin'.

"Merlin!" she said, placing her finger half way down the page.

"Read it out," said Harry, sitting back in his chair, looking forward to watching the changing animated expressions on his girlfriend's face whenever she read something that she hadn't known before.

She glanced a bit self-consciously at Harry, knowing what he was doing, but the pull of the unknown dragged her back to the pages of the Aureus and she began to read.

'And it came to pass that in the four hundred and eightieth year of our Lord, a great evil descended on the land, threatening to eradicate the good works of King Arthur for all time.

The good king appealed to his great friend and advisor, the mighty wizard Merlin, to aid him in the struggle with the Dark Forces that threatened the realm, and he gladly agreed to put his considerable powers at the king's disposal.

But fate took a hand, and Merlin found that he and the fair witch, Morgana, were thrust to the forefront of the conflict by a power that no man can appreciate. It became their divine task to build their powers to an ever-greater level for only then could they hope to defeat the horror that was in the land. For a year and twelve days, they roamed both within and without the country until they were at the very portal of achieving their aim.

But their final journey must remain hidden, for it was decreed by the Anima Summas that no man should speak of it lest it bespoil the very ground on which it has lain for eons since. Suffice to say that they journeyed by boat for 7 full days and nights before they came upon that place, and seven days and nights more to return. But then their countenance was dread to see - their power shining with awesome goodness.

The forces of Dark shrunk with fear from their power, and were banished in the final conflict. But a heavy price was paid. Morgana succumbed to the Dark Forces in that final struggle. Heavy of heart, brave Merlin gave up the will to live and followed his beloved into the Light soon after.'

"That's it," whispered Hermione. "There's no more about them."

"There it is again," said Ginny, looking fearfully at Harry and Hermione, but she didn't finish saying the dreaded words - that the job of being an Anima Summa was a very dangerous one. She quickly changed the subject. "Wow. I can't wait to see your dread countenance when we get to the end of this road!"

Harry pulled a face. "I wonder what the author meant by that?"

"But it doesn't tell us a lot does it," said Ron. "I mean, I know it says about the final journey to gain their full powers, but it doesn't say where they went - and that's what we want to find out!"

"But it does give us two very important clues," said Margot.

"That's right," said Hermione. "It says they went by boat and it took them seven days to get there."

Harry brightened. "So we have to go on a sea voyage for seven days."

"Come on Harry," said Ron sardonically. "We don't know in which direction to go or how fast Merlin's boat would have gone. So I don't see how it helps us that much."

"Well it couldn't have gone very fast," Harry retorted. "They didn't have outboard motors in those days!"

"What's an outboard motor?" asked Ron, looking puzzled.

"Let's look at this with a bit of logic," said Hermione. "They must have used sails to propel the boat, and we know they went out into the Atlantic Ocean somewhere."

"So how are we going to find out the wind speeds and sea currents of fifteen hundred years ago?" asked Ginny.

"We won't need to Ginny," said Hermione. "Merlin would probably have used a spell to propel the boat - perhaps he conjured up a strong wind to blow the boat in the right direction or something."

"But that's even worse!" exclaimed Ginny. "How fast could he have propelled the boat?"

"Well I doubt that the boat would have been very big," said Margot. "So they couldn't have gone too fast for fear of capsizing, and you know how bad the seas can get out in the Atlantic."

"That's a good point, Margot," said Hermione. "Now just as an example, let's say that even Merlin must have stopped to rest - say for eight hours a day. So that leaves sixteen hours a day when he would have propelled the boat."

"And let's suppose that he would have kept the speed down to no more than fifteen or twenty miles an hour," said Ginny, getting caught up in the exercise.

"So let's estimate an average speed of ten miles an hour over a twenty-four hour period," added Ron.

"That's…" Hermione thought for a few moments, "about 240 miles a day, and 1,680 miles in seven days, give or take."

"Let's say sixteen hundred miles as a round figure," said Harry.

"So what's within sixteen hundred miles of Britain?" asked Harry.

"He probably set off from either Wales or the West of England," said Hermione. "Those are the most likely sites for Camelot. So it's quite likely that he went from somewhere in the Bristol Channel area."

Ginny got up from her chair and walked over to the bookcases, where she looked along the row of books in the Geography section. She heaved a large atlas from the shelf and set it down on the table, turning the pages until she came to a double-page spread showing Britain, Europe and a fair bit of the Atlantic. Ginny checked the scale of the map and measured off just over six inches on her ruler. Then she took a piece of string from her pocket and cut it to the right length. She placed the end of the string at the mouth of the Bristol Channel and swung the other end down towards the Straights of Gibraltar, where it rested just below the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea.

Then she slowly swung the piece of string out into the Atlantic, where it passed over just one chain of islands - The Azores.

She looked up at her friends. "What do you think? Is it The Azores?"

"It's too much of a coincidence that our original thinking was between those islands and the Caribbean," said Harry. "I think it has to be The Azores."

"But it was only a rough estimate how fast Merlin would have propelled the boat," said Ron. "What if he went twice as fast?"

The five friends looked at each other doubtfully. "We can't know that, Ron," said Margot. "I think that Hermione's estimate is as good as any - I agree with Harry, I think it must be The Azores."

She looked around at the other four and they all nodded. "Let's go to see Professor Dumbledore," said Harry.

"Just a minute," said Ginny, looking at the map intently. "There are nine main islands making up the Azores - we still have to find out which one we have to go to."

"Well there's nothing in the books we've read so far," Harry replied, "and if there'd have been any legends about Atlantis coming from The Azores, we would have read about them."

"I wonder if Remus or Professor Flitwick know anything?" asked Ron. "They seem to have travelled a fair way around Europe, so maybe they've heard something about The Azores. They belong to Portugal don't they?"

"That's right," said Margot. "They were discovered by the Portuguese in 1427, but I remember reading that they were supposed to have been uninhabited until then."

"But there may still be some legends," said Harry. "Perhaps about Merlin, if not Atlantis."

"Let's go and speak to the others," said Ginny. "Maybe they can think of something."

Author's Notes : Please review this chapter - the more the reviews, the faster the updates will come! In answer to some of the questions on the review board :

- When will the Death Eater revolt occur? - What makes you think there'll be a revolt? Lucius might have something up his sleeve though - but he's a patient man!

There's a few images on my picture board relating to this chapter.

- Winter at Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad

- Bimini Roads structures

- Paradise Point

- Healing Hole and Mangrove forest

- The Azores Islands

Chapter 7 - Island of the Crow - coming soon.