|SIYE Time:17:30 on 21st June 2018|
Harry Potter And The Twists Of Fate
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Category: Alternate Universe
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Fluff, Humor
Warnings: Extreme Language, Sexual Situations, Violence
Story is Complete
Summary: What if the fates let Harry's parents live that night he got his scar, plus gave him a younger sister and become friends with the Weasleys, especially Ron earlier. What would be different?
Hitcount: Story Total: 209858; Chapter Total: 6386
Here's the next chapter. Sorry, it's not the second task yet but it sets up for it.
Chapter 51: The Locket's clue
That evening of Valentine’s Day, Neville came up to Harry after dinner while he and the others were studying together in the Gryffindor common room.
“Hey, Harry,” Neville said, “have you gotten that locket that was around Rose’s neck during the first task opened yet?”
Harry shook his head, “No, Neville, I haven’t figured out how to yet.”
“I see,” Neville said, “I was just wondering if you had since I think Krum has gotten his open already.”
“Why do you think that he has, Neville?” Ginny asked from where she was sitting beside Harry.
“Well,” Neville said, “I was down by the lake earlier, looking for water plants, when I saw Krum and Propanov walking up to the shore a little ways down from where I was. Krum stripped down to a bathing suit then Propanov handed him something small that glittered in the sun and Krum went under the water. When he got out of the water a little later, he seemed very excited as he held up the glittering object. Propanov quickly wrapped a towel around him and they walked off, jabbering excitedly in Bulgarian. “
Harry thought about it and asked, “So, you think they were excited because Krum got his locket opened?”
“I think so, Harry,” Neville said, “I don’t think there is anything else that could have excited them other than having the tournament cup in their hands.”
“Probably not,” Harry said, “Now, the question is how they got it open.”
“Neville,” Hermione said, “All Krum did was go into the water, right? How long was he underwater?”
“Well,” Neville said, “it seemed about ten minutes. Why?”
“Of course,” Harry cried out just then, “it’s so simple, one of us should have thought of it earlier, considering the shape of the locket.”
Neville and Ron looked at him in confusion. Ginny, Rose and Hermione, however, were smiling which meant they had also figured it out.
“Let me just get it,” Harry said.
He got up and went up to his dorm. He opened his trunk and rummaged through it for a while before finding the locket which he had placed in a small felt-lined box. He then went back down to the common room and resumed his previous seat.
“Look at its shape, Nev,” Harry said, “it’s shaped like a seashell, right? I think immersing it in water will get it open.”
Neville’s eyes widened in understanding, “So, how do we immerse it in water?”
“I don’t fancy going down to the lake since it’s still cold outside,” Harry said, “I think a loo with a deep sink or a bathtub will do. Where can we find one?”
“What about the Prefects’ bathroom?” Ginny said, turning to him, “Percy once told me that there’s a huge bathtub there. It’s on the fifth floor, a few doors to the left of this statue of a wizard named Boris the Bewildered, the one with his gloves on the wrong hands. There’s a password, though. It was ‘pine fresh’ last year. You can try it and see if it still works.”
“Just the thing,” Harry said, nodding his head, “I think tonight would be a good time to go there and check this locket out.”
He turned to Rose and asked quietly, “Can I borrow the Map, Rose?” They all knew he was referring to the Marauder’s Map.
“Of course, Harry,” Rose said, “You don’t have to ask me every time. Just let me know when you need it. Let me get it now.” She got up to get it from her trunk.
“Care for some company while you’re there, love?” She asked him mentally, a smirk on her face.
Harry felt himself blush as he answered her, “Er, I don’t know, Ginny. I don’t want anyone to think we’re doing anything wrong.”
“Oh, Harry, don’t worry. I’m not ready for anything more than what we’ve been doing lately. I just wanted some more time just with you.”
“Well, since you put it that way, meet me down here tonight at midnight. I don’t think anyone else will be around then. In the meantime, let’s get back to our homework so we don’t waste any time.”
“All right, Harry.” Ginny said, smiling.
Ron looked suspiciously at them for a while before turning his attention to his homework. Rose got back by then and handed the Marauder’s Map to him.
Just then, the portrait hole opened up and in stepped Fred and George, discussing something so intently that they were unaware of anything else. Before anyone could move, there were two flashes of light from beside Harry and the Weasley twins were suddenly sprouting huge green slimy bats from their noses.
The surprise was evident in their faces as they started clawing at the bat bogeys as they attacked their faces.
“You prats,” Ginny screamed at them, “that’ll teach you for trying to ruin this day for me and Harry.”
Fred and George looked at her for a moment, eyes wide in fear, before running up to their dormitory, still covered in bat bogeys. Everyone else looked in awe at Ginny, who remained glaring at the disappearing backs of the twins.
“Whoa,” Neville said, “remind me never to get you mad at me. That was some wicked curse.”
“You bet it was,” Harry said, looking proudly at her, “I doubt anyone can cast that hex better than her.” Ginny blushed at his words.
“Still, Harry,” she said to him through their Bond, “that’s only a small bit of what I want to do to those two to make sure they don’t do that again. Help me plan something.”
“All right, Gin. I guess I do owe them for that very bad piece of advice. I bet Ron does, too. I’m sure he’ll be willing help us.”
“True, Harry. Go and ask him later. However, I don’t think we should tell Hermione that Ron is helping us get back at them. She really loved it at Madame Puddifoot’s. Ron was really brave to stay with her until she was ready to leave.”
“You’re right on both counts, Ginny. Now, we better get back to our homework so we can do our little excursion to a certain bathroom tonight.”
Later that night, Harry made sure the rest of his dorm mates were asleep before going down to the common room, his cloak in his hand and the locket in his pocket. Ginny was down there already waiting for him, wearing a bathrobe.
Harry slipped the cloak over the two of them and they exited out of the portrait hole. They went down to the fifth floor and quickly found the prefect’s bathroom. Luckily, the password Ginny had learned from Percy still worked.
When they entered it, Ginny exclaimed to Harry in his mind, “Oh Merlin, Harry! If using this bathroom is a privilege of Prefects, it’ll be worth it to be one!”
Everything in the bathroom was made of white marble and it was softly lit by a splendid candle-filled chandelier. There was an empty rectangular swimming pool in the center of the floor with a diving board and a hundred golden taps with a different-colored jewel set in each handle around the pool’s edges. The windows had long white curtains made of linen hanging from them. In a corner was a large pile of white fluffy towels and on the wall was a large golden-framed picture which featured a mermaid with long blonde hair, sleeping at the moment on a large rock, its hair fluttering around its face when it snored.
Harry and Ginny wandered around for a few minutes, peering here and there. Eventually, they knelt down in front of some of the taps and turned on a few of them.
“Harry,” Ginny said softly, “these have different types of bubble bath, Wizarding bubble bath, mixed with water.”
Sure enough, one tap gushed pink and blue bubbles as large as footballs while another sent heavily perfumed purple clouds over the surface of the water. There was even one that poured out ice-white foam that looked thick enough to walk on.
When the pool was filled up, Ginny turned to Harry, “Well, love, what are you waiting for? Get in the water. We can’t wait all night.”
Harry gave her a smirk, “All right, all right. Sheesh, women. Just turn around, okay?”
“Sure, Harry, sure,” Ginny said, a smirk of her own on her face as she faced away from him.
Harry stripped down to some swimming trunks then slid into the water, clutching the locket. He found that his feet barely touched the bottom. He swam a couple of laps down its length, enjoying the warm water. Then he heard a soft splash behind him.
Turning around, he was surprised to see Ginny had entered the water. Not only that, but she was dressed in a one-piece swimsuit that showed her curves quite well, driving all rational thought from Harry’s mind.
He moved up to her and attacked her lips with his. He felt her smile against him but didn’t mind at all. After an indeterminate amount of time, they broke apart, breathing heavily.
“I think we should do what we came here for now, Harry,” Ginny said softly.
“I guess you’re right, Ginny,” Harry said, “Maybe we can continue this a little later.”
“Sure, Harry, sure,” Ginny said, smiling.
They moved to the side of the pool.
“All right, Ginny,” Harry said, “I’m going to go underwater and see if I can open the locket, okay?”
“We’ll both go, Harry,” Ginny said, “who knows how the clue is given.”
“Okay,” Harry said, “Take a deep breath now. On the count of three, we go in. One, two, three!”
They ducked under the surface of the water and opened their eyes. They looked at the locket and were surprised to see it glowing.
Before they could say anything, it popped open and golden letters came out of it and hung in the water, forming words.
Into the nearby waters deep
Descend to the lowest sand
To find the green like man’s hand
Tarry not too long below for
A brew needs to be made or
Someone dear, like Beauty, will sleep
Harry and Ginny stared at the words for as long as they could hold their breaths. They surfaced and took another deep breath. They studied the words, memorizing them.
“We really should have brought some parchment,” Harry reflected.
“Never mind, Harry. Between the two of us, we should be able to repeat the whole thing.”
“You’re probably right, Ginny. But what does it mean?”
“I’m not sure Harry,” Ginny said, “We have to decipher it line by line. It may take a while to do that.”
“You’re right, Gin,” Harry said, “Let’s get out of here and back to the common room. We can write it all down there and show it to the others tomorrow. They can help us figure it out.”
“Can’t we stay a few more minutes, Harry,” Ginny asked, sweetly, “I did promise that we could do a little more of what we were doing earlier.”
Harry grinned and his lips descended on Ginny’s.
When they walked back to Gryffindor Tower much later, the cloak and Map allowed them to avoid Filch. They had one bad moment when they almost ran into Snape. Luckily, they were able to hug the wall while he passed them. They reached the Fat Lady with no further incident.
Once they were in the common room, Harry wrote the clue down on a piece of parchment, remembering it word for word, with help from Ginny.
The next evening, they showed the parchment to Hermione, Rose, Ron, Ti and Neville while they were huddled in an empty classroom after dinner.
“Hmm,” Hermione said, thinking deeply, “Ginny is right that we have to go over this line by line. Let’s go over the first one. ‘Into the nearby waters deep’, it probably refers to a deep body of water that’s near us, meaning Hogwarts.”
“Well,” Neville said, “the nearest deep body of water is Black Lake.”
“Yeah,” Harry said, “that makes sense. It’s right beside the castle. It’s a perfect area for one of the tasks.”
“All right, that seems straight forward enough,” Ron said.
“True,” Hermione said, “though there are many lakes in this area, I guess it would be logical and convenient to have it as a venue.”
“Then the next line probably means you have to go down to the bottom of the lake for the task,” Rose said.
“That’s probably right,” Ginny said, “The lowest sand would be at the bottom.”
“Then the third line speaks of the task itself,” Hermione said, “‘find the green like man’s hand’.”
“The green like man’s hand,” Ron asked, “What the bloody hell is that about?”
“Ron!” Hermione said, “Watch your language! Well, there are two ways to interpret that. It’s either something that’s shaped like a man’s hand or functions like a hand.”
“Something green may be some sort of plant,” Neville said, “so maybe the champions have to find some sort of plant down there.”
“That may be right,” Rose said, “but what plant will they need to find?”
“Let’s look at the next line,” Hermione said, “It may give us a clue.”
“‘Tarry not too long below for’,” Ginny read, “it just says not to stay too long in the water.”
“Read it together with the next two lines,” Harry suggested.
“Tarry not too long below for a brew needs to be made or someone dear, like beauty, will sleep,” Ginny read.
“Um,” Ron said, “now what does that mean?”
“Really, Ronald,” Hermione said, “you really need to pay attention. Obviously, the plant or whatever it is you find in the lake is needed for a potion.”
“What kind of potion?” Ti asked.
“I think it’s a potion that will keep someone from falling asleep,” Hermione said.
“Now that’s a bit barmy,” Ron said, “who wants to keep from falling asleep?”
“Well,” Hermione said, “the last line refers to someone dear like a beauty. It might refer to someone who looks beautiful to the champion.”
“Um,” Ginny said, “I don’t think that’s it, Hermione. In the message, the word ‘beauty’ started with a capital ‘B’, so it’s a name or title.”
“Wait a minute,” Rose said, “Do you think the ‘Beauty’ it refers to is Sleeping Beauty?”
“That does seem to fit, Rose” Hermione said, “It makes sense now.”
“Sleeping Beauty?” Ron asked, “Like the fairy tale?”
“Yes, Ron,” Hermione said, “You do know it, don’t you?”
Ron shrugged, “I don’t really remember the whole story, something about a girl who fell asleep for a hundred years before being awakened by a prince. “Found it kind of sappy.” This last comment earned him a glare from Ginny and a frown from the other two girls.
“That happens to be one of my favorite fairy tales, Ron,” Ginny said.
“Oh, Ron, really,” Hermione said, “In the story, a king and queen, some say they were French, angered a very powerful witch when they didn’t invite her to their daughter’s christening. The witch cursed the girl to die when she reached her twenty-first birthday. But three good witches, who were invited to the christening, changed the curse so she would only fall asleep. However, she slept for a hundred years but was awakened by a prince who defeated the evil witch.”
“So what does it have to do with the task then?” Harry asked.
“Well, I think the term “someone dear’ means that it’ll involve someone close to you being in danger of going to sleep like Sleeping Beauty, Hermione said, “so the task is for you and the other champions to find a plant of some sort to make a potion to prevent that.”
“You know, there’s something strange about that,” Harry said, “why do you need a potion to keep someone from falling into a sleep for a hundred years? Just how was Sleeping Beauty put to sleep?”
“Well, the Muggle version had her being pricked by a needle that put her to sleep,” Hermione said, “is there a Wizarding version that says different?” She directed this last to Ron, Ginny, Neville, Rose and Harry who had all grown up in the Wizarding world.
Ron shook his head, as did Neville.
“We can look up the details and find out,” Ginny said.
“So, in the meantime, we have to find out what plant I’ll be looking for,” Harry said.
“Well, it would have to be a plant that can be found in the lake, can awaken sleeping people and is shaped or looks like a person’s hand,” Hermione said.
“I could search through the Herbology books I have and in the library for that,” Neville said.
“That would be good, Neville,” Ginny said.
“Yeah, mate,” Harry said, “Rose can help you with that while the rest of us research on what can put you in a hundred-year sleep. She’s as good with research as Hermione.”
“Uh, yeah, sure,” Rose said, “I guess I could help Neville.” She sent a glare at her brother when Neville wouldn’t notice.
“Can I help, too?” Ti asked, “I’d like to help Rose, and Neville, of course.”
“Of course, Ti,” Ginny said, smiling at him, “the more people we have looking the better.”
“All right,” Harry said, “so far, this task seems about going into Black Lake to find a plant which will somehow prevent someone close to each of the champions from going into a hundred-year sleep. So, we have two groups looking into the two parts.”
“One more thing, Harry,” Hermione said, “if you’re going to go down into the lake to search for this plant, then you’ll need a way to breathe underwater for a long time. I know you can swim and all that but I don’t think you’ll be able to hold your breath for more than 4 minutes which isn’t anywhere long enough.”
Harry sighed, “Then I guess we also have to look for a way to let me breathe underwater. Our group can do that while we look for the sleep inducing things.”
“It’s too bad we haven’t learned cross-species transfiguration yet,” Hermione said, “It would simplify things if you could turn part-fish. Of course, we won’t learn that until sixth year. I guess Fleur and Krum would know how to do that, being seventh years and all.”
“Well, never mind that, Hermione,” Harry said, “we’ll just have to find a way that doesn’t involve spells we won’t learn for another two years. Now, I just wonder who they may try to put to sleep.”
“I hate to bring this up, bro,” Rose said, “the likeliest person for you would be Ginny.”
That brought an uncomfortable feeling to the group. Harry hoped that it wouldn’t be that way. He didn’t know what he would do if Ginny fell asleep for a hundred years. With their Bond, he wouldn’t be able to stand not talking to her mentally like they have been doing for over a year now. Even if she was alive, it would feel like she was dead and that would devastate him.
Ginny felt his feelings of anxiety and despair at that prospect. She reached out, both with her hand and her mind, seeking to calm him.
“Don’t worry, Harry. I’m sure Dumbledore won’t allow that to happen. Remember the Prophecy. You’ll need me with you to get rid of old Tom.”
“I hope you’re right, Ginny. I really hope so.”
The seven Gryffindors carried out their research in between classes, meals and homework.
By Tuesday, Neville managed to find reference to a plant called the Maiden’s hand, which grew to resemble a hand with long fingers and could be found in freshwater lakes in Northern Europe. However, he couldn’t find any reference to it being used in potions or if it could be found in Black Lake.
Hermione and the others found that in the Wizarding version of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty was given a potion, which made her sleep on the day before her twenty-first birthday. However, they couldn’t find any reference to the exact potion.
On Friday, Harry got permission from Professor McGonagall for access to the Restricted Section of the Library. The whole group volunteered to join him there.
They worked there the whole day of Saturday, looking through dusty tomes. It was almost curfew when Hermione suddenly said, “I think I found something.”
“What is it, Hermione,” Harry said as he and the others turned towards her.
“I found this book on obscure potions and poisons. There’s a poison mentioned here called the Cure to insomnia,” Hermione.
“What does that have to do with what we’re looking for?” Ron asked.
“Ron,” Rose said, “insomnia refers to being unable to sleep. Go on, Hermione.”
“Well, this poison is supposed to put someone to sleep for a hundred years,” Hermione said, “It can be ingested or coated on something to penetrate the skin enough to draw blood. Its effect is instantaneous if it makes contact with one’s blood. However, it takes a while to take effect if it’s ingested, about eight hours or so, depending on the concentration of the poison.”
“All right,” Harry said, “that makes it possible to counter or cure the person poisoned. Does it mention how to counter the poison, then?”
“It only says that the antidote to the poison takes four hours to brew,” Hermione said, “but makes no mention of the antidote’s name or components.”
“Well, it’s better than nothing, I guess,” Ginny said.
“I guess so,” Harry said. His vision was blurring from all the reading they had been doing. Looking around, he noticed that everyone was yawning already. “At least we didn’t stay here for nothing today. We’d better get to bed. We can continue this tomorrow.”
They all agreed and shuffled back to Gryffindor Tower for a good night’s sleep. They spent the whole Sunday doing the same thing but had no further success.
Monday found them back at class. Harry was sitting down in the Dungeons for Potions when a balled up piece of parchment hit his desk. He looked around but could not see anyone who looked like they had thrown it at him. Keeping an eye out for Snape, he opened the ball. Inside was a note:
I need to speak with you. It’s important. Lag behind after Potions and I’ll meet you outside the classroom. Do not tell anyone, especially Granger and Weasley. Don’t worry, if I intended to ambush you, I wouldn’t have provided this warning.
“Now what could that git want?” Ginny said suddenly in his mind, causing Harry to jump.
“Gin, don’t do that,” Harry said, “next time, let me feel your presence before you speak. People will think I’m barmy, jumping up suddenly with no visible reason.”
“Sorry, love,” Ginny said, though Harry could feel her amusement.
“Never mind. I guess we’ll see what this is about later. Now, let me pay attention. Snape just came in.”
“All right, Harry. I’ll see you later.”
At the end of the class period, Harry pretended to take time cleaning his cauldron. He told Ron and Hermione to go ahead. His friends looked suspiciously at him for a moment before leaving.
When Harry exited the Potions classroom, he heard someone whisper his name from his left. Malfoy beckoned to him from behind one of the suits of armor. Harry walked over to him and found that the suit hid an alcove where two people could talk and not be heard or noticed.
“All right, Malfoy,” Harry said, quietly, “what’s so important you needed to meet with me secretly?”
Malfoy scowled at him, “Look, Potter, I really didn’t have to do this, but call it repayment for saving my brother’s life.”
Harry raised an eyebrow, “Okay, Malfoy, I’m listening.”
Malfoy took a deep breath before he started, “I have to warn you. I know the second task for the Triwizard Tournament is in two days.”
“Everyone knows that, Malfoy,” Harry said. That had been announced at the beginning of the term when the students had gotten back from the Christmas holidays.
“Yes, yes,” Malfoy said, “I know that, Potter. However, I have heard that it will take place in the lake. I’m not sure what the task will be but the thing is there will be another attempt to kill you during the event. I’ve been led to believe that it’ll involve the giant squid.”
Harry felt a wave of dread and shock from Ginny but ignored it for now.
“How do you know this, Draco?” Harry asked Malfoy. If the blonde was surprised by Harry’s use of his given name, he didn’t show it.
“I have my sources, Potter,” Malfoy said, “I know from them that the Dark Lord wasn’t happy the dragon failed to get you. Because of that, he’s ordered another try during the second task. So, you’d better be ready to handle a giant squid, Potter, and fast.”
Malfoy then turned around and left without another word. Harry waited a few seconds before following.
“Harry?” he heard Ginny in his mind, “now I’m really scared. How will you fight a giant squid in the water?”
“I don’t know yet, Ginny. We just had another thing added to our research list. Maybe Hermione has a few suggestions. Don’t worry, love, I’m not going to let a giant piece of calamari snuff me, not while I can help it.”
“You have to tell Dumbledore, Harry, and your father. They can help you,” Ginny said.
“All right, Gin,” Harry said, “I’ll send Hedwig to Potter Manor tonight.”
After writing a letter to his dad and sending Hedwig off with it, Harry talked to Professor Dumbledore. Dumbledore thanked Harry for the information and assured him that the giant squid, whose name Dumbledore said was Edgar, would be watched to prevent anyone from casting any spells on him.
“That’s really weird,” Ginny said to Harry later as they continued their search in the library, “I never thought the Giant Squid had a name. It’s such a common name, too.”
Harry shrugged, “Well, Dumbledore said it was the Squid himself who told him his name. I’m a bit surprised it was able to talk with the Professor.”
“Well, stranger things have happened in the Magical World, Harry. Like this Bond we have, I bet Muggles would scratch their heads over what we’re doing.”
“Too true, Ginny,” Harry said, “Anyway, we’d better get back to our search.”
Harry only told Hermione and Ron about Malfoy’s warning. He didn’t want to worry the others, especially his sister. Hermione found some useful spells Harry could use underwater for defense. Hopefully, it would affect the giant squid.
They were still reading when Madame Pince made them leave the Restricted Section on Tuesday night. Harry and Ginny managed to sneak some books past the librarian, much to Hermione’s disgust.
Harry continued reading in bed late into the night, still looking for a way to breathe underwater. He dozed lightly but when he awakened, he saw that it was still dark. He felt for Ginny’s presence and sensed that she was still asleep. Unable to sleep further, he decided to read down in the common room.
When he got there, he was surprised to see someone with dark red hair sleeping in front of the fire. He got closer and saw who it was.
“Rose,” he said as he started shaking his sister awake, “come on, sprite, wake up.”
“Harry?” she asked, still groggy.
“Yes, sis, it’s me. What are you doing down here?” Harry asked her.
He was surprised when Rose suddenly hugged him tightly and started to cry.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked as he struggled to pull away, “what’s got you in a tizzy over?”
Rose looked up at him, tears flowing unheeded down her cheeks, “Harry, I-I-I had a vision last night, actually it was more like a dream.”
“What was it about?” Harry asked, concerned.
“I saw you in deep water, with gills on the side of your neck and webbed feet and hands. You were looking for something. You found a plant shaped like a hand and pulled out of the ground. You started rising to the surface when several Grindylows attacked you. You managed to drive some of them back but they were swarming you. Then a giant tentacle wrapped itself around you and started squeezing the life out of you. That’s when I woke up. I was so scared that I came down here to calm down. I must have fallen asleep while deciding whether to tell you or not. I even thought of sending an owl to Dad.”
Harry let Rose talk without interruption. When she seemed finished, Harry asked, “Do you think it was a regular dream or some sort of vision of the future?”
“I-I-I’m not sure, Harry,” she said, “In my readings on Seers, it seems some Seers see visions like that in their sleep, others don’t. This is the first time I had such a dream.”
“All right, Rose,” Harry said, “Don’t worry about it. I’ve already received a warning about the giant squid being used to attack me during the task.” He held up his hand to prevent her from interrupting him.
“I’ve told Dumbledore and sent an owl to Dad. Dumbledore’s told me he’d take care of it. So there’s nothing we can do but wait. So, don’t think about it, okay?”
Rose looked uncertainly at him, “Okay, Harry. At least, you’re warned about it.”
“Now,” Harry said to her, “you go back to bed. It’s still a couple of hours to dawn. I can’t sleep anymore. I’ll just be down here, reading some more.”
Rose nodded her head and headed back to her dorm. As he watched her disappear up the steps, Harry hoped her vision wouldn’t come true. However, he knew that was a forlorn hope if he had to base it on his experience with her visions over the past year.
Harry squared his shoulders and turned his attention to the book in front of him. It seemed to have more information on the ‘Cure to Insomnia’ poison Hermione had mentioned. Harry hoped it would help him with the task he would have to do in only four and a half hours.
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