Men become accustomed to poison by degrees - Victor Hugo
It is October 1949: Lycus Malfoy is dying, quarantined in his house alone but for his wife, Adelaide, who still hopes there is a miracle cure; Eileen Prince has vanished into a Muggle life, washing the dead and arranging flowers, away from the sneers she endured at school; Cygnus and Orion Black are at war with each other even as they bury their secrets six feet deep.
There is a murderer on the loose, shrouded in paranoia, and the old structures, things of blood and age and time, are starting to crumble.
And a ship arrives from Lübeck bringing Tom Riddle home.
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“So,” said Harry, “the diary. . .the ring. . The cup, the locket, the snake. . . and something that was once Ravenclaw’s or Gryffindor’s.“
“An admirably succinct and accurate summary, yes,” said Dumbledore, bowing his head. (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, p. 507, American Edition.)
Six items-famed for being the vessels of Voldemort’s soul. Set in eight vignettes across ten centuries, this is their stories before their fates were sealed.
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"Don't listen to them, Hepzibah," she said, her voice tinkling off of her lips like notes off of piano strings.