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Phoenix Rising
A Harry Potter RPG
Full Circle 
22nd-Oct-2006 02:40 pm
Brown



Moody disappears from the Fireplace having just told me that the time has come- the Order is being grouped to travel to Germany to battle Lucius and his Death Eaters- including Fenrir Greyback. Moody has been in contact with the German Ministry and has asked Remus to call together anyone available to make the trip.

I rise from the hearth and slowly ascend the stairs, wondering how to break the news. Tact isn’t my forte. Remus went up to read to Ella and put her to sleep, although I know she isn’t sleeping yet, I still hear the occasional giggle. Worse yet, I haven’t figured out how to tell Remus that I’ll be going with the group. I know the risks, but I am not letting my husband go off to fight Fenrir Greyback alone. I don’t want to hear from Harry or Moody that Remus isn’t coming home.

I stop at Ella’s door and just watch the two of them. Remus sits on the edge of Ellie’s bed, reading to her. Ella looks over and I wave to her as she quickly closes her eyes, pretending to be asleep. I can’t help but laugh. “Remus, I’ve a message from Moody, I need to speak with you for a moment.”

He pales and sets the book on Ella’s bed before rising and approaching me in the hall. “Dora, what is it?”

I take his hands in mine as I begin to speak. “Moody has permission for the Order to go to Germany- he’s been given a tip on Uncle Lucius and the other Death Eaters. He asked if you’d round up anyone who is available and convene here so we can travel by Portkey together.”

He nods in understanding and squeezes my hands before quickly descending the stairs. I step into Ella’s room and prepare to tell her the same thing I would before any mission. “Mummy loves you, you know that right? And so does Daddy.”

“I love you, Mummy, and Daddy too, but I already told him.”

I smile. “OK. Time for bed, yeah? Want the wireless on?”

She yawns. “No, I’m knackered.”

I smooth the hair away from her face and press a kiss to her forehead. “OK, good night. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Wait!” she says, as I move away. “I want to tell Violet good night too.”

I smile and feel my eyes widen. She hoists up my shirt and kisses my tummy. “Night-night, Violet.”

I tousle Ella’s hair and tuck her in once again before turning off the lights and going across the hall to Harriet and Darcy’s room.

“Hey, Tonks, Darcy didn’t wake Ella, did she?”

I smile at the young woman and her daughter hungrily taking a bottle. “No, I just wanted to tell you that Remus and I will be going out for a while. Don’t open the door to anyone. Anyone who has any right to set foot in our house knows the Floo address or can Apparate in directly. We hope to be home by morning.”

She swallows and nods. “OK.”

I descend the stairs just as Penny Apparates into the house. “Wotcher, Penny.”

I didn’t expect to see her, but when I consider things- it makes sense. Lucius is the reason Percy isn’t here to see his kids grow up.

“Hi, Tonks. I know it’s a little crazy for me to be here, but I left the kids with Ginny at Phoenix House. I had to come.”

I nod in understanding. As I watch Remus kneeling in front of the fireplace, trying to make connections with any Order members who are available.

Ron and Harry Apparate in mere moments later, eagerness and dedication pasted on their faces. “Wotcher, blokes.”

“Hey, Tonks,” they said in unison, greeting Penny as well. “What do we know?” Harry questions as Remus rises from the fireplace.

“Moody has spoken with one of his contacts at the German ministry and has received permission to capture my Uncle. We’re just waiting for the others to arrive.”

Remus joins us on the other side of the room and rubs at the back of his neck. “Dora, this is it. We’re just waiting on Alastor; no one else is coming. Bill is with Fleur- and the twins, Ginny and Hermione are expecting, Minerva is needed at Hogwarts, and I couldn’t reach anyone else.”

There’s no way I’m not going now.

Suddenly there is a knock at the door and I watch as everyone pulls their wand. Remus cautiously looks around and proceeds to the door, looking out through the peephole. “It’s your cousin,” he says, less than enthusiastically and turns to look at me from over his shoulder.

“Draco?”

He opens the door and sure enough, my cousin stands at the door.

“Draco- wotcher.”

I quickly glance around the room at Harry and Ron who bristle at the mention of Draco’s name. I haven’t seen him since I heard word of my Aunt Narcissa’s death, and frankly I don’t know what to say now.

Remus steps back, inviting Draco in. “What are you doing here?” I ask, stepping forward, matching Draco’s hesitancy as his eyes sweep the room.

“Good evening, Nymphadora. I was notified of your mission this evening and was asked if I wanted to participate in the capture of my father.”

I nod. “My condolences about Aunt Cissy.”

His expression steels. “Thank you.”

“But I also hear Congratulations are in order. How are the children?”

He smirks. “We’re managing.”

I return with a smile. “So after Violet is born maybe we can go on an outing in the park.”

Draco raises an eyebrow sceptically, but I can see the smile playing at the corners of his mouth.

The crack of Apparition signals Mad Eye’s arrival. “Quit lollygagging, gather round. Mentally prepare for your mission while I prepare the Portkey.”
 
22nd-Oct-2006 06:51 pm (UTC)
I rush to the kitchen to find a large pot for us to Apparate to Germany. I return to the living room and hand the large silver pot to Moody and watch as he begins to make an International Portkey.

“Listen Dora,” I say , pulling her aside. “The Portkey will be ready in minutes, so I don’t have a lot of time, this is a dangerous mission and I may not come back-”

“Remus, don’t say things like that,” Dora says, glaring at me. “We will both be fine.”

“What do you mean - we will both be fine? Surely you don’t think you are coming with us,” I say, taking her by the shoulders and looking her squarely in the eyes. She stares back at me and I drop my hands. “You are pregnant, you could be killed - I want you to stay home.”

“No,” she says, shaking her head vigorously. “I’m coming.”

“You’re not,” I say, attempting to grab her wand from her hand, but she moves it out of my reach. “Dora, give me your wand,” I say, holding out my hand.

“Remus, you are being ridiculous,” she says, taking a step away from me. “I am a trained Auror, I can help, plus I know how to defend myself - I won’t be in any more danger than you and I don’t think you’re thinking of not going.”

“It’s different,” I say.

“How? If you say because you’re a man, I swear I’ll hex your bits off,” Dora says, defiantly. “I will place a shield charm around my stomach, nothing is going to happen to me, you have my word that if I’m in a dangerous situation, I’ll Apparate away.”

“What if they have a anti-Apparition charm in place, then what are you going to do?” I ask, staring at her in disbelief.

“I’ll worry about that when we get there,” she says and I punch my leg in anger. “Remus, Fenrir Greyback will be there, I want to be there to help you-”

“If he wants me dead, there isn’t anything you will be able to do about it. I can protect you here, I can’t there.”

“I’m coming Remus and you can’t stop me. I know the location, I will just make my own Portkey and follow you,” she says, as Moody calls us to gather round the Portkey.

“You are the most stubborn witch I have ever known,” I say, as we approach Moody.

“Remus, I don’t want our last conversation before the battle to be an argument,” she says, tugging on my arm.

I stop and turn to face her and take her face in my hands. “Promise me you will be safe and don’t do anything stupid, okay.”

“Okay,” Dora says, nodding her head. “I love you, Remus,” she adds, touching my face.

“I love you too,” I say, pressing my lips to hers.

“Will you two hurry up,” Moody barks, glaring at us.

We glance at each other and I take Dora’s hand in mine as I lead her to Moody. We place our fingers on the pot and I look into the faces of the others. I wonder how many of us will live to tell our tale.
22nd-Oct-2006 06:57 pm (UTC)
That whole business with the Ministerin’s anonymous friend and his mysterious request does not sit well with me. Gravelius is up to something, and I don’t like it very much when people try to pull a Snape on me. It feels like an infringement on my copyright. She has summoned me to a rather shady-looking pub called Die heulende Hexe and never mentioned on what business, though its location in the wizarding village of Grindeldorf holds more than just a small hint.

I stride to the door and resolutely push it open. Inside the ale-house the light is dim, but I quickly spot the Ministerin, who has taken possession of a large round table in the middle of the bar. My expression settles into a scowl. It is obvious that I am not the only one who received an invitation; I grow more disgruntled by the minute. She should not have been keeping me in the dark. If she did, it is because she reckoned that whatever plan she is hatching will displease me to the point of my refusing to cooperate.

I advance towards Gravelius’s table and give her a short nod of acknowledgement. “Frau Ministerin.” My tone is glacial.

“Ah, Von Bork…” She ignores my attitude. “Excellent; please take a seat. Fräulein Rothweiler won’t arrive for another five minutes or so, and the others will be even later; that gives us time for a little chat.”

“Who are ‘the others’?”

“I will come to that. Please sit down.”

I do so grudgingly, taking care to occupy a seat that allows me to keep the door in sight.
Gravelius smiles tentatively. “No doubt you have guessed that you won’t like what you will hear tonight. I apologise for the shabby treatment, but I cannot afford to indulge in your wiles at this moment. You must bear with me for a little longer.”

I snort. It is rather annoying that she knows how to handle me.

“I have brought something for you, to gild the pill somewhat.” She produces a large brown envelope from a pocket of her fur-bordered cloak. “These are the official documents confirming your German citizenship and guaranteeing government protection. I wanted to hand them over before the others arrive; it is no business of theirs how recently your position here has become secure. It has taken a long time, but then this is not Zaubereiministerium business; I have had to pull strings in several Muggle ministries as well, and convince people that despite your criminal record in Britain, you deserve our protection. But here it is: your security.”

Finally I hold them in my hands – the bits of paper that draw up an invisible shield between myself and my dunderheaded countrymen. Struck dumb for a moment, I take them out of the envelope, smooth them out carefully, and feed my eyes on them. My freedom. From here on, anything is possible.

“Technically, you can walk out now,” Gravelius remarks quietly. She has been observing me, leaning against the table with her chin resting on her folded hands.

I put the documents away again, pocket them and look up at the Ministerin. “But you would like me to do one last chore for you first.”

She smiles. “We understand each other. I want Lucius Malfoy taken out, and you are going to play an important part in his downfall – that is good for both our public relations, should there be a leak about this unofficial operation.”

“Unofficial?” I frown. “You are not sending the MaPos in?”

“No, they will be taking care of Szabo for us tonight…” Her gaze wanders towards the door, which has just opened. “– Come in, Fräulein Rothweiler.”

22nd-Oct-2006 06:57 pm (UTC)
Elke Rothweiler joins us reluctantly. The way in which she keeps adjusting her black cloak over her green robe betrays her nervousness.

“Oh. You’re here too.” She eyes me with suspicion. “It’s not a trap, is it?”

“Of course not,” Gravelius soothes. She offers the Potions mistress a chair next to her own. “Have a seat.”

Rothweiler sits down; pale and ill at ease, she looks very young indeed. “Will Desmond and I be cleared?” is her first, anxious question.

The Ministerin pats her hand in a grandmotherly sort of way. “Yes, you will. But before that, I need you to continue what you started. A number of Englishmen will be arriving shortly. You and Herr Von Bork will smuggle them inside Castle Grindelwald; then you will lead them to Malfoy while Von Bork destroys Malfoy’s Inferi. You don’t need to do any fighting – that is what the English are here for.”

Englishmen?” I snarl. I finally understand. How long has she been in touch with them? How long has she been sitting on those papers, waiting to use them as leverage for this moment? “You have brought the Order of the Phoenix in, haven’t you?” I grind my teeth. “This is – you know I don’t want to see that lot ever again, let alone that I would be willing to work with them. I really should walk away and leave you to sort your own problems out.”
“I see you didn’t take my advice, Elfriede,” someone growls. I freeze as I recognise the voice. In my anger I have not noticed anyone coming in, and now to my utter horror Alastor Moody limps his way towards the table, his swivelling magical eye scouring the pub for unwanted elements better concealed than myself.

Clenching my fists, I give Gravelius a dirty look, but she merely stands up to greet Moody like an old friend.

“I have listened to you, Alastor,” the Ministerin says pleasantly, “but I have decided to give Herr Snape my full trust. You should know that he only joined Malfoy because I asked him to do so.”

Moody leers at me through narrowed eyes. “I bet he was willing enough.”

I draw myself up, preparing a scathing retort, but Gravelius places her hand on my arm and tut-tuts at her friend. “It is very simple,” she tells him. “You won’t beat Malfoy without Snape’s help. He has prepared the way for you, and he will see you through to the finish as my representative. Take it or leave it.”

“My boys won’t like it,” Moody growls. “And neither do I.” He turns around and limps off again, presumably to fetch his ‘boys’. Gravelius wears an expression of deep satisfaction. At least someone is enjoying herself.

22nd-Oct-2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
Arriving in a narrow alley, in a town I am not at all familiar with, I feel slightly apprehensive of our mission this evening.

"This way," Moody growls, reappearing to the alley where he left us before going meet his 'contact.'

The town seems still and quiet, but up ahead light spills out of a local biergarten and into the stree. I am surprised to see Moody verring toward the tavern and push his way through the doors. The sight that greets me next is certainly one I never anticipated.

Snape!

The greasy haired, hook-nosed bastard. I want to hex him from limb to limb. He betrayed my best friends causing their death at the hands of Voldemort. He tormented Sirius, causing my friend to doubt his courage. It was Snape who caused Sirius to go to the Department of Mysteries that night – he wanted to prove he wasn’t scared of anyone.

I lost my brother that night, my heart was torn from my body. I want him to feel some of that pain. I want to cause him pain.

I feel my hand stray towards my wand. I feel Dora’s breath on my neck and step in front of her. I won’t let Snape anywhere near her. I glance at Harry and see hatred etched over his face – he has even more reason to hate Snape than I do. I once told him I neither liked nor disliked Snape but that has now changed – I hate him.

I want to say words of comfort to him but I can’t think of anything that would take away his anger or disgust at seeing the man who betrayed his parents, hated his godfather and killed his mentor.

I am surprised Snape isn’t dead on the ground – he certainly deserves it. I notice Harry and Ron glace at each other and take a tentative step forward. Moody grabs them by the shoulders and halts their movements. He whispers something to them and they visibly relax.
22nd-Oct-2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
That slimy, hook-nosed, greasy git!!!!!

All this time Albus Dumbledore has been rotting in a tomb and that bastard is living it up in Germany! There have only been a few people that I hate enough to use an Unforgivable on, but he’s one of them.
He’s taken so much from me! Mum… Dad… Sirius… Dumbledore.

If it weren’t for Tina, Ginny, and the coming baby I’d say to hell with it and to hell with the Ministerium and kill him now! Thoughts, hopes, and dreams of them… my family… is the only thing that has kept me going these past few months. They are the only thing that keeps me going. They are what are important.

It’s taken nearly losing Ginny twice and her nearly losing me several times in recent months to realize what is important and that I don’t owe anyone but my family anything.

I glance over at Ron to see my own dark mood reflected. He doesn’t have the personal grudge against Snape that I have, but he’s always taken my burdens onto himself. I have no doubt that if I hinted it he’d kill Snape in a heart beat.

I feel the heat of a stare and glance back over my shoulder to see Moody eyeing me carefully. Has he known all along? Very little gets past Moody, surely he’s known Snape was hiding under the skirts of the Ministerium all this time.

Even if he didn’t, something has changed for me. After Lucius is gone, I’m through with all of it. The Ministry… the Order… all of it. It’s time I started living for my family and myself for a change.
22nd-Oct-2006 07:21 pm (UTC)
I think back to the last time I saw my former Potions master. The memory surfaces instantly. The final time I saw him was the night Dumbledore died. I remember wondering if there was something more to his story. I wondered why Dumbledore trusted him. I still wonder.

Though it is dark, I can see Snape’s profile from the light of my wand- the last few years had not changed him. His sallow skin is stretched across his face- a face void of any emotion, and his eyes are still black holes where no light seems to escape.

I almost feel like a child in his presence: waiting to be punished for failing to complete a school assignment, or being out after curfew. Marching down to the dungeons on my way to detention instead of marching toward a castle looming on the skyline- the place where I may very well lose my life, or my husband. I quickly look away.

I wonder what my friends are thinking. Harry’s anger seems to be written on his face, and Ron’s brows are furrowed. Draco seems as cool and collected as ever. I wonder what Remus is thinking. He assures me he wasn’t innocent in his treatment of Snape, or more appropriately his obligation to sway Sirius’ and James Potters’ behavior. I look up at the castle again and I wonder if Remus is scared. I feel comforted as he gently rests his hand against the small of my back. I sigh and place my hand over my tummy. Be safe little one.
22nd-Oct-2006 07:23 pm (UTC)
Tonight it will end, one way or another. I can't begin to describe how I felt when Remus floo'ed me tonight, telling me that we had permission to go to Germany and deal with Lucius Malfoy. There were tears in my eyes when I kissed Rachael goodbye and held Andrew for what I knew could be the very last time. I knew that no one would blame me if I didn't join this mission. But I also knew that I wanted the chance to fight Lucius and see him fall.

This is for you, Percy. I am doing this to avenge your death. I can feel Percy's presence with me, comforting me and giving me strength. I am glad that I had my will drawn up just a week ago. My children will be taken care of if something happens to me. I haven't decided on guardians yet, but I know that if something happens to me that my children will be loved and will be welcomed into the Weasley family.

The air is electrically charged, as my parents would say. Everyone is on edge, it seems, but everyone who is here wants to be here and to be a part of this. If I make it through the night I will know that I had a part in the defeat of Percy's murderer.

I will not rest until he has been brought to justice.
22nd-Oct-2006 07:26 pm (UTC)
A situation is as good as you make it. I have decided to have all the sly laughs I can get.
“How are we going to let them in?” Rothweiler asks as we lead the way towards the Castle. “Malfoy has stationed Inferi on the battlements; there is no way that seven strangers approaching the Castle will pass unnoticed.”

“Yes there is. They just have to approach it from the right side.”

“You mean…”


“Indeed. At the back of the Castle there are no battlements; the people who built it thought that the ravine would be enough in terms of defence.”

The Potions mistress frowns. “But there is no entrance there – not even a window! There is only –” She stops abruptly as comprehension dawns. “…That old toilet?”

I smirk. “It is perfect. Nobody expects an attack from that quarter, wouldn’t you say?”

“That, and you really don’t like those people.” She points over her shoulder with her thumb, the beginning of a grin on her face.

“I definitely don’t.”

We have reached the last cluster of trees that hides us from the Castle’s guards. I halt, raise my hand and turn around to face the small band of Order members.

“Our ways part here, for the time being. Miss Rothweiler and I will walk through the gate as usual; you will have to make your way in through the back entrance. This trail,” I wave my hand in the direction of an overgrown path, “will take you to the ledge of the ravine by which the Castle is built. When you get there, you will see that the wall facing the ravine is blank, but that there is one bulge in it, a small room that looks as if it got stuck on at the last minute. It is to this room that you will climb; it has a hole at the bottom through which you can enter the Castle.”

“Wait a minute!” Tonks has her hands placed on her hips in a way that reminds me of Molly Weasley about to scold one of her brood. “Why don’t you call things by their proper names and tell us it’s a toilet you’re asking us to crawl through.”

“Dear Nymphadora, always astute,” I mock her. “You are quite right, but it happens to be the best solution.”

“I’m sure it hasn’t been used for a century or two,” Rothweiler hastens to add as the others start to object vociferously. “And it’s true; before the Inferi have been destroyed, you mustn’t be seen – you don’t stand a chance against their number. You wouldn’t reach the gate if you tried.”

There is grumbling and the Order confers in muted tones for a while; then, apparently, they decide to go through with the proposed plan and leave via the path I have indicated.

Rothweiler and I enter the Castle at our ease through the regular entrance and make our way up the stairs towards the abandoned toilet.

“I think it is about time you told me where I can find the Inferi’s souls,” I say as we ascend yet another flight of stairs.

“It’s a room in the dungeons,” she tells me, “an Unknowable room and protected by a password. It’s in the East corridor, attached to the last room on the left.”

“And the password?”

Piglet,” Rothweiler confesses in a whisper.

I suppress a snigger. “That wouldn’t be your pet name for Avery, would it?”
She blushes.
22nd-Oct-2006 07:26 pm (UTC)
When we have reached the toilet, we sit and wait. After a while, the Order members begin to emerge one by one through the door with the little heart in it. I have a wide grin plastered on my face; I realise it is childish, but the reality of Potter, Moody, Lupin and even Draco Malfoy climbing through that hole on my command has something very satisfying to it.

“Here I must leave you in Miss Rothweiler’s capable hands,” I inform them when they have all gathered in the corridor. “She will show you to Malfoy’s apartments. I have a job to do elsewhere. In your own interest, do not interfere until the Inferi have been destroyed; I imagine the signs will be obvious.”

After these words, I sweep around and march off in the direction of the dungeons.

Following Rothweiler’s directions, I sweep unhindered through the dungeon rooms until I reach the last one on the left of the Eastern corridor. Concentrating hard on the soul-storeroom, I speak the password, and soon a massive door appears in the wall. When I open it, I see before me rows and rows of shelves holding countless glass jars – small ones, large ones, round and square ones, all glimmering in the quivering light that comes from torches in brackets against the wall, one by one bursting into flame as I pass, as if being lit by invisible wands. Inside the jars, the little, milk-white souls shimmer softly, and despite the cruelty of their entrapment they seem somehow friendly and serene.

My quick footsteps echo in the stone room. I come to a halt in the middle of one passage between shelves and look around me, slightly bewildered.

So many. I had no idea.

“I am sorry,” I mutter while taking out my wand; because I cannot afford to spend days and days gently opening jars, I will have to handle them roughly to speed things up a little. “What I am going to do may seem brutal, but it will at least be efficient. And since you are incorporeal, you won’t feel a thing anyway.”

I start firing Reductor Curses at the shelves, exploding the jars in a methodical manner so as not to leave a single one whole. With dry, snapping sounds they burst to pieces, glass particles cleaving the air in all directions, some grazing my unprotected face and hands, and crunching under the soles of my boots as I proceed along my destructive path through the storeroom. The souls, released after an imprisonment that lasted God knows how long, cluster together near the ceiling as if unsure what to do next – as if they have forgotten how to dissolve and travel invisibly to wherever it is that souls go. Freed, they shine much brighter and spread a wonderful white glow; the whole room is bathed in it. I have to screw up my eyes against the blinding light.

When the last jars have been destroyed, I retrace my footsteps. As I open the door of the Unknowable room to leave, the herd of souls swoops past me like a cloud of glistening white bees and zooms through the dungeon corridor. I hurry behind them, up the stairs and into the hall, where I open the gate to the courtyard for them. I am aware that my actions are being noticed now, but I don’t care. The souls race through the open door into the starry night and towards the waning moon; there they disperse in a spectacle of glittering splendour. Even Malfoy’s heartless cronies must gape now, oblivious of their surroundings. By the time they come to, and realise that I just reduced an army of Inferi to a pile of lifeless bodies, I have already disappeared into the medieval labyrinth that is Castle Grindelwald.
22nd-Oct-2006 07:32 pm (UTC) - PART II
This place is a maze. The corridors are dark and cold. Yellow light flickers against the wall from sconces on the wall. It reminds me of Aunt Bellatrix. Good riddance.

It’s a good thing Ron suggested putting a Silencing Charm on Moody’s leg- otherwise we wouldn’t be surprising anyone. Unfortunately I don’t think Moody took that suggestion too well.

We come to corner at the end of a long corridor when Moody suddenly flings out his arm, causing us all to halt and his magical eye swivels around. “Round the corner; wands at the ready. Four of them.”

We all nod, knowing where there are four there will be more. Mad-Eye raised his wand to hex them when a door behind us opens and Nott, Dolohov, and a number of Death Eaters I don’t know suddenly fill the corridor. Their shouts instantly alert the other four Death Eaters that Moody had originally spied. A jet of light sails past us as Ron, Harry, Draco and Remus turn and begin duelling the men behind us as Mad-Eye, Penny, and I charge forward, hexing and blocking the curses from the four Death Eaters at the opposite end of the intersecting corridor.

McNair, Juggson, Nott, and one man who looks to be in Greyback’s pack begin firing spells on us from the recesses of doorways, sending hexes in all directions. Behind me I hear Harry, Ron, and Remus running down the corridor, and my heart drops- I don’t know when I’ll see him again.

Moody fires a couple of stunners down the corridor, sending light bouncing everywhere as the spells ricochet.

“Expelliarmus!” I shout, just as McNair sends a stunning spell down the hall. I hear shouts in the opposite direction and will myself to focus on my own battle.

I send a Blasting curse down toward the quartet and feel the floor shake as it concusses all around. The jolt knocks Jugson off his feet and Moody quickly grunts out a Body Bind curse, and binds him up with thin, coiling cords from the end of his wand.

McNair fires back with a Cruciatus, which I narrowly avoid by ducking into the nearest doorway. That was too close. I protect myself with a couple of shield charms before hitting McNair with a Stinging hex, causing him to drop his wand and I successfully Stupefy him.

“I’m going to look for others,” Moody says, stumping off.
22nd-Oct-2006 07:35 pm (UTC) - Re: PART II
The inside of the castle resembles a rabbit warren, and I wonder if it's purposefully constructed that way so that if you find your way in you may be long dead before you find your way out.

The air is thick with curses and hexes. Lights flash before my eyes from all directions, but I barely notice them. I am focused. If I allow myself to die this night then Lucius will have won. He will have deprived our children of both of their parents.

"Diffindo!"

I hear the curse flying at me and dive to the side. Looking for the source, I turn to find Nott standing abreast of me.

"Expelliarmus!" I shout with all my might, pointing my wand in his direction but he moves out of the way.

"Filthy mudblood!" he shouts. "Time for you to join your husband!" He raises his wand again but before he can fire another curse I put everything I have into trapping him.

"Never!" I yell, focusing my anger at Lucius on him. "Expelliarmus!" My disarming spell flies with such force and speed that he hasn't the time to get out of the way. His wand flies into my hand.

"Petrificus totalis!" He falls to the ground, frozen. "Incarcerous!" Ropes come out of the end of my wand and Nott is captured.
22nd-Oct-2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
Things are moving along to plan. We’ve caught Lucius and his followers completely by surprise. The new followers that flocked to Lucius’s banner in recent months are breaking and fleeing as one by one the actual Death Eaters fall or are captured.

A pair of quick Stunning Spells and two of the dimwits crumble to the ground unconscious. Just one thing is missing… where is Lucius?

Moments ago Ron and I were separated. Rookwood the old wretch snuck up behind us and tried to curse us in the back. Ron moving faster than anyone I’ve ever witnessed save Dumbledore or Voldemort whirled about and summoned a slab of stone which exploded when the Killing Curse struck it.

“Harry, I’ll take this clown, you keep going, find Malfoy and finish this.” Suddenly the corridor erupted in a dazzling display of light as spells were traded back and forth. I took the opportunity to continue making my way to the Audience Hall as Snape described it. He is certain Lucius will be there or in is chambers.

The hair on the back of my neck stands up and I drop into a roll. A purple spell sails overhead and a suit of armour slices in half when struck. I’ve seen that curse before!

Another spell, this time green in colour sails towards me.

Insilio!!!

The Jumping Charm lifts me up into the air. At the apex I fire a volley of Bludgeoning Curses hoping to flush my attacker out.

The spells slam into walls, suits of armour, and the floor. The walls and floor crack while the suits explode.

A yelp gives my opponents position away, but I still can’t see him.
Fucus!!!

A gigantic blob of red paint erupts from the end of my wand. The paint splatters everything in a ten foot cube including my Disillusioned foe.
I pounce like a hunting cat.

Everbero! Expelliarmus! Stupefy!

The Bludgeoning Curse shatters the shoulder of his wand arm. The Disarming Spell flings him towards the wall and sends his wand sailing toward to be snatched out of the air. The Stunning Spell catches him in the face as he struggle to regain his feet and he collapses into a boneless heap.

A few slashes with my wand and he is bound with the Disillusion Charm removed. Antonin Dolohov! I’m sure Ron and Hermione will be delighted to know he’s been brought to justice. I snap his wand and leave the broken pieces lying on his chest and continue my search for Malfoy.
22nd-Oct-2006 07:42 pm (UTC)
“Ron, watch out!” I shout, ducking a spell. It hits the wall behind me and blasts a hole into the stone wall. I watch as Ron falls over a body on the ground. Rookwood laughs and I cast a spell at him, giving Ron time to regain his composure.

“Didn’t see the body,” Ron says, glancing at me.

“No harm,” I say, rushing past him, noticing Moody waving frantically at me. “Rookwood was never good at blocking charms,” I say.

Ron nods his head as he casts another spell, I hear a ‘thud’ and notice Rookwood is now on the ground.

“Lupin, what kept you?” Moody asks.

“I was helping Ron,” I reply, pointing to Ron who was now standing over Rookwood’s body.

“I have plan, I want to surprise them from the other entrance,” he says, pointing with a gnarled finger. “See that door over there, they won’t expect us to come from behind.”

“What’s behind the door?”

“No idea.”

“You could be leading us into a trap.”

“I can’t see anything,” Moody says, his magically eyes swivelling quickly. “But it may be charmed. I need your help. Are you with me?”

“Yes,” I say.

“Let’s go.”

I follow Moody as we race towards the other door. It seems we have been fighting for hours and I can only hope no reinforcements arrive for them soon. I can hear shouting and feel magic crackling in the air as the battle rages on around me. I come to an abrupt stop as Moody holds up his hand - we are not far from the centre of the action and the door of our surprise attack. I tighten my hold on my wand as Moody disappears from sight.

I begin to follow him but stop as I hear a noise behind me and turn and notice someone emerge from hole in the stone wall. I immediately recognise the silhouette and feel my blood run cold – I can only hope that Dora is still safe. We were separated as soon as we arrived and I hope she keeps her promise to stay away from as much as the action as she can.

He glances towards me and I raise my wand, ready.

I take a tentative step forward and expect him to run, or hex me but he doesn’t move – something which bothers me greatly.

I take a few deep breaths and take a few more steps forward, my wand training on Fenrir Greyback’s heart. “Remus, so good to see you again,” he says, bowing slightly. I can smell blood on him and feel bile rise in my throat as I try to push images of Dora out of my mind. She’s fine, she’s fine, she’s fine – I repeat over and over again. “Please don’t come too close, I can smell human on you.”

“And I can smell death on you.”

“Yes, unfortunately one of my own, she put up such a good fight too, just as I like it.”

“Killing your own now? You must be desperate,” I say, keeping my wand arm steady.

“She was weak, she begged me to let her go, she wanted to rejoin her family, live like a human but I couldn’t let that happen. I remember after I bit you that I had hoped you’d join me, you were young and I could have taught you our ways – you disappointed me.”

“I am nothing like you, I do not kill for fun or attack innocent children-“
“You were never an innocent child,” Greyback says, taking a step towards me. “Your father saw to that.”

“Keep my father out of this.”

“Maybe you want to talk about your human and cubs instead,” Greyback says, picking flesh from him teeth. “So young, so pretty, so tasty-“

Greyback stumbles backwards as I hit him with a Stinging Hex, he glares at me but doesn’t fight back. “Mention them again and I will kill you now,” I say, my voice sounding very unlike my own.

“You won’t always be around to protect them, your parents couldn’t stop me getting you and you can’t stop me getting them.”
22nd-Oct-2006 07:43 pm (UTC)
I forget I have a wand in my hand as I launch myself at Greyback. My fist slams into the side of his face as we both fall backwards, hitting the ground hard. I continue to punch him as hard as I can. I feel my knuckles split as my fist comes into contact with his teeth.

He kicks his leg upward, knocking the wind out of me as I roll off him. He stands and kicks me in the hip and I feel excruciating pain, but I do not make a sound. I forget about the pain and punch him again, catching him by surprise.

He punches me hard in the face and I feel my jaw break. He straddles my chest and pins my arms beneath his legs as he places his hand around my throat. “You took the wolf girl from me, so I am going to take your mate from you,” he says, squeezing slightly. “And I will force her to give me offspring.”

“Bastard,” I say, through clenched teeth.

“I am going to enjoy killing you, I think I’ll send your mate your head,” he says, lowering his face. I can smell his putrid breath and feel his nails digging into my skin.

I gasp for breath as he tightens his grip around my throat, his long, sharp teeth graze along my jaw line and I know I will never see Dora or Ella again and I won’t see my new baby, get to cradle her in my arms and tell her how much I love her. I feel my flesh tear as Greyback bites me. He releases my throat and I try to breath, his weight on my chest is too great and I can only draw in shallow breaths. I am having trouble focussing and I close my eyes –wanting this moment to end – I am not scared to die but I feel my heart break that I will have to leave my girls.

I feel something near my left hand and realise it is one of our wands, I reach for it and feel my fingers close around the tip. Greyback bites my shoulder and I cry out in pain as his teeth hit bone. I pull my arm free and place the tip of the wand near his throat. Before he has time to react I whisper “Diffindo” as I swipe the wand across his throat. He gasps in surprise, his eyes wide and his skin white. He falls forward knocking the wand from my hand as he struggles to breath. I hear his last breath leave him as he collapses – it’s over.

I try to push Greyback off me, his body is covering my face and I am having trouble breathing. I don’t have the strength to push him away and I begin to frantically search for the wand.

I can’t breathe.

I try to roll my body but he is too heavy for me.

I am going to die beneath this vile, evil man.

“I love you, Dora,” I mumble against Greyback’s body as my world turns black.
22nd-Oct-2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
They’ve all failed me! They’ve all left me!

Narcissa, Draco, Mulciber, Bellatrix, Rodolphus! All of them! They don’t deserve me! I’m a God! They should serve their master! They shouldn’t fail! I am their Lord! I am their master!

Now this! Severus you’ve betrayed me! You’ve led them here! No matter! I will destroy you all! Then I will begin again! All who stand before me will die by my hand.

“Master! What do we do?” The pathetic fool is trembling in fear of Potter and his ilk? I’ll show him fear.

“You die.” I snap my wand up. “Avada Kedavra!”

A flash of green light and he slumps to the floor. His eyes stare lifelessly at the ceiling. I look around at the others. “Follow me or die like the dogs you are!”

I stride purposefully to the Audience Chamber. Certainly a God should greet his guests formally. The sounds of spell fire continue to draw closer and closer. I approach the dais and sit comfortably in my throne.

My servants look to me expectantly to give them direction. “Kill anyone that enters this room.
22nd-Oct-2006 07:50 pm (UTC)
All that stands between Lucius and I are six of his Death Eater pretenders. He is sprawled comfortably upon a throne trying to imitate some benevolent deity looking down upon his devotees.

He drawls out, “My Potter, all this effort to locate and kill you… and you deliver yourself to me.” He lazily flicks his wand and the double doors behind me slam shut cutting off the sounds of battle.

I concentrate on slowing my breathing and regaining my calm. It feels as if I’ve been fighting for hours. My arms ache and I know when the adrenalin stops I’m going to feel the pain from at least a dozen minor spell burns and lacerations. I’m soaked in perspiration.

I cast my gaze at the obstacles between us. All of them are a bit older than me, but much younger than the old school Death Eaters. None of them should be difficult to overcome individually. It is just the 6-to-1 odds to overcome that will stop me.

Additionally, if the past is any teacher, Lucius will strike from behind while I’m occupied. Blast it! Ron was here so we could watch one another’s backs! Ginny and Hermione are going to hex us right good for getting separated!

“What are you fools waiting for? Kill him!!!!!”

Oh… bugger!

I drop and roll to the side. Six Killing Curses intersect at the spot I stood. The energy beams collide and explode in a dazzling display of light as the magic interacts. I blink my eyes hard to clear the spots.
“Do I have to do everything myself? Avada Kedavra!!!!!

Accio Rock!

The flagstone I summon intercepts with the Curse and explodes violently.
I’m totally on the defensive now. And I’m slowing down as my limbs grow heavy with exhaustion. I finally break clear for a moment aim my wand towards the doors.

Reducto!

My spell rattles the entire room as it slams into the doors separating me from help. I am nearly beheaded by a Severing Curse as I stare dumbly at the doors which don’t have a scratch on them.

“Quit standing around you fools!” Lucius is standing at the edge of the dais upon which his throne rests. He’s growing frustrated and impatient with his followers’ inability to corner me and allow him the killing blow.

I take advantage of the lull. Deflagratio!!!

Everyone scrambles and dives for cover as my fireball erupts right where Lucius stood moments ago. I take advantage of the confusion to Disillusion myself and hide. I need a rest and hopefully The Order can break through the lock on the door.

Lucius screams and curses bitterly at his lackeys. They begin coating the room with spells designed to locate an invisible intruder while I carefully try to stay one step ahead.

Diffindo!!!!!

Lucius turns and takes the Curse full in the chest and is flung across the room. I look in the direction the spell arrived from in time to see Draco slammed into the chest by a burst of light and sent sailing back down the stairs.

His followers are completely unnerved now. It is time to strike. I grip my wand tightly.

Everbero!!!!!
22nd-Oct-2006 07:53 pm (UTC)
Two red, blazing, stunner spells zoom over my head and disintegrate the wall behind me showering me with debris. Before the eruption behind me and the cloud of dust that filled the room I was able to extrapolate Crabbe's position behind an overturned divan.

Serpensortia, I command and the serpent issues forth from my wand. I have sent the incanted snake toward the divan. Being so low to the ground I am certain it will have no trouble in finding Crabbe hiding and incapacitate him.

Goyle, though a seasoned wizard, is as incompetent as his son and I hear him coughing and choking from the heavily soiled air. He is close to Crabbe, I'm guessing ten feet to the right at a stair case that enters the room.

Three more spells light up the dust cloud like a storm filled sky as the two idiots fire off blindly. This last volley proves my calculation correct on Goyle’s position. I fix my thoughts on my memory of Goyle's place and issue, Petrificus Totalus to that mark.

Sweat mingled with soot cause my eyes to burn and wiping my eyes with the hem of my robe only proves to worsen the situation. I can feel my throat burn from the heavy air and fight back my own coughs.

I hear my spell collide with something solid and force a grin on my face when I hear the grunt and thud of Goyle when he hits the ground. My victory is short lived when more rocks and dust pepper my face after a scream from Crabbe. The serpent had arrived and his spell missed the target. There was another thud and the sound of violent thrashing.

My heart continues to beat wildly in my chest and the mixture of sweat and dirt burns my eyes.

I remain motionless for about a minute more. The silence of the room causes the ringing in my ears to double and when the room around me becomes more visible I slowly look and listen for signs of Crabbe and Goyle.

I locate Goyle first, my spell has indeed found its target and there he lies. Crabbe's body is not to be seen from my hiding spot so I ease around to chance a better look. The serpent's tail disappears behind the over turned table that I know to be Crabbe's location.

With my wand held in front of me I inch from my place and crawl toward the downed minions. After just a few quick strides I see Crabbe's feet, they twitch irratically, then tense in one final convulsion and slacken. My serpent has struck efficiently and Crabbe is now dead. Even from my low position I can soon see Goyle's face frozen and his eyes wide with fear.

Incarcerous, I send at Goyle and watch with satisfaction as the cords fly from my wand and wind themselves around his body. Just to be sure I issue the spell twice more and place a sticking charm on him to secure it.

One sweep of the room from my low level ensures me that all the action remains upstairs with the Order. I raise myself from the ground, dust myself off, and approach Goyle’s debilitated body. Even his mouth is bound and he looks pathetic.

I smile cruelly down upon him and notice his wand is still held tightly in his hand. I place my right foot upon his wrist and force it over until I hear the bones in his wand hand break. Then I reach down, pry his wand from his broken hand and snap it.

Another quick spell and Goyle is transfigured into a broken chair. A sick chuckle escapes me.

I walk to Crabbe and see that my serpent effectively terminated him. His left leg is bloodied where I assume the snake sunk its poisonous fangs into him. He is dead.
22nd-Oct-2006 07:54 pm (UTC)
A loud crash overhead returns me to my thoughts and motive. I must get to my father before the Order. If he is to be finished it must be me that does it. It is my right, my duty, my place. I will never give him the opportunity to hurt my new family, if I have to murder him to do so...so be it.

I approach the stair well and vault them two by two. My heart, already racing, doubles as I hear my father's voice over the commotion. Orders, he's screaming orders to his minions to secure his stronghold. My knuckles strain as my grip tightens on my wand. So many have died tonight at my hand and through this instrument to get me to this point. If I had the time to properly assess the situation I might guess this is one of my father's alternate escape routes.

Clearing the final step and skidding into the room his face whips about and our eyes meet. He has changed, deformed from my memory, he is taller and thinner than I remembered. The only thing about him that I recognize is the hate burning in his eyes, it mirrors my own.

Diffindo”, I scream. It is the first verbal spell to escape my lips for a very long time. He spins around quicker than humanly possible just in time to take the full force and intensity of the spell across the neck and chest. Blood bursts forth from him as he falls. As he does a blue light proceeds from his wandless hand and strikes me across the chest.

It feels like a ton of bricks slamming into me and the air in my lungs rushes out. Pain ravages my upper torso from the spell before I tumble back down the stairs. Each jolt and collision with stone wall or step causes the pain to double before white spots fill my eyes. The pain is unbearable, every bone and muscle in my body screams at me as my body comes to a halt about eight steps down. I can feel my feet above me and my chin pressed into my chest.

It feels very much like the Cruciatus Curse except that I can still hear through the pain.

I an either dying or passing out, part of me wills death to consume me yet the vision of my brother and sister urges me to fight it. In my last seconds of conscious thought or life I see them as I had before I left home. They were sleeping. Oddly, Ella entered and stood between their bassinets. She smiled at them then turned to me and said quite clearly, "Don't worry Mister Draco, it will be over soon. You've saved them, from him."

My heart continues to race as darkness envelopes me.

~*~


Slowly my eyes flit open and I struggle drunkenly to make them focus. After several long moments I am able to force my body to right itself. Every fiber of my being is throbbing with pain and my skull feels as if it has been split with an axe. I push to climb the steps I fell down. My hearing returns and I hear familiar voices but am unable to make out their words.

Finally I make the topmost step and look in double vision to the place where my father had fallen. He is not there but across the room, on the ground, and on his side. His eyes are open and staring at me. Four sets of empty, unblinking eyes that I cannot properly focus on. A movement above him causes me to look up at a man with jet black hair and a great scar across his forehead.

I see my father's soulless grey eyes, staring vaguely at me as I drift in and out of consciousness. I hear my name uttered by St. Potter, wondering what his care is with me. My eyelids close and yet I still see my father's haunted eyes staring at me.
22nd-Oct-2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
I never thought the day would come when my Auror Field Healing Training would be used to save the Ferret. I’m sure Ron would ask if I’m totally gone round the bend, but while Draco is still an arrogant ponce… he actually might have one or two redeeming qualities in there somewhere.

I mean the berk did love his mum and seems intent on doing right by his siblings.

Sometime after Draco struck down his father the spell locking the door dispelled. Not to bring the much needed reinforcements I kept hoping for in the form of Moody, Ron, Tonks, or Moony, but to bring in more opponents.
Fortunately, my standing over the prone form of their fallen leader takes most of the fight out of them and instead of having to fight another desparate pitched battle, I find myself stunning a few in the back as they fled. Cowardly lot!

I thoroughly check Lucius’s body over to ensure he hasn’t pulled a page from Tom’s old book when he convulses, grabs my arm with a claw grip, and spits out along with his life blood one last empty threat. “I’ll… see you in hell… Potter!” He then tries to lift his wand to cast one last curse.

My reaction is instantaneous.

Expelliarmus!

His wand is flung from his hand and clatters several feet away. With one last hate-filled breath he spits in my face and dies.

The sound of someone stumbling and I’m on my feet with my wand. I quickly lower it when I realize it is Draco looking like he’s taken a fall off his broom staggering about unsteadily on his feet.

“All right Malfoy?”

Malfoy curls his lips in his trademark sneer, but the effect is ruined by the blood streaming from his nose. His eyes roll back into his head and he collapses.

Bugger!!!!

I race forward flicking my wand through a series of basic diagnostic charms. I race though the information I’m getting from the spells and quickly cast a few spells to stem the loss of blood and stabilize his neck.

Ruddy Vermillion Hells! I do not want to be the person holding Malfoy’s hand when he dies.

I hear steps behind me and immediately train my wand on the source of the noise to find Moody, Ron, and Penny bursting into the room.

I step away and nod towards Malfoy, “Penny?”

She immediately bursts into action casting charms and spells at a rapid pace. Her brow furrows in concentration and she is worrying her bottom lip as she works. A few times she curses under her breath before finally she sighs loudly.

“Will the git be all right?” Ron blurts.

Penny looks sharply at him for a moment before nodding. “I thought for a moment something was seriously wrong, but he’s stable. We need to get him to St. Mungos though.”

I take in the others, “Where are Moony and Tonks?”

Ron speaks, “Moony took down Greyback, but I think he was hurt so Tonks took him home.”

The proper authorities will be here soon, it is best we are gone when they arrive. “Well if no one objects then I have no problem in leaving now.”
Penny conjures a stretcher and levitates Draco onto it, then levitates the stretcher. We begin navigating the corridors hoping not to get lost in the maze this place is. We finally arrive in the entrance hall when a silky voice greets us.

“Leaving already, Potter?”
22nd-Oct-2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
The battle seems to be over. Though I have not done any actually fighting, I feel tired somehow, and more than a little irritated. There is a limit to how often one can betray the same people and still remain convinced that one is doing the right thing – especially if the party for which you are working consists of people you can’t stand either, like Potter and Moody and Lupin. I am much relieved when Kunze arrives with a handful of Magiepolizei officers, to remind me that not all of those I am helping are pains in the arse or troglodytes who can drink my blood.

Having greeted my friend, I guide him towards the castle’s entrance hall.

“Whence this sudden appearance of the MaPos?” I ask him as we cross the courtyard. “I thought the Ministerin wanted this operation hushed up.”

“Someone in the village reported unusual activity at the castle. It seems you made a bit of a show with those souls.” He grins. “Gravelius said it would look better if officials were seen to size up the situation; besides, someone will have to take charge of the prisoners. Is there anyone here who has some authority of the kind to determine whether any captives stay here or go back to England?”

“I’m not sure. Nymphadora Tonks has already left, but Potter may still have Ministry connections – I don’t know.”

“Oh, by the way,” Kunze says as we ascend the stairs to the hall, “you might want to know that our intervention at Durmstrang was a success. Szabo has been arrested; he is being questioned at this very moment.”

I smirk. “Good. Very good, even.”

We enter the hall at the same moment that Potter, Moody, Weasley, and Penelope Clearwater, who is floating Draco Malfoy on a stretcher, are intending to make their way out. I could of course address Moody to finish our business here, but the temptation to, after all these years, give Potter a good old tongue lashing is just too great for me to miss the opportunity.

"Leaving already, Potter?" I sneer. "It seems a persistent habit of yours to barge in somewhere, make a mess and then leave it to others to clean up behind you. Herr Kunze here wants to know who will take the prisoners, Britain or Germany – that is, if there are any Death Eaters left alive that you and your friends have not cut up with stolen spells."

Potter glares and seems on the brink of replying, but Moody speaks in his stead.

“Elfriede can have the captives, and send them to us gift-wrapped later; she will like that. – Come, laddie,” he growls to Potter, “it is time we left.”

Moody’s reaction is uncharacteristically quiet. Could it be that, with Gravelius, too, trusting me, the old Auror is finally beginning to have doubts about his earlier judgement? Or maybe it is the weariness etched on his face that robs him of the energy to oppose me. But Potter – I haven’t finished with him yet. I stop him on his way out.

"Dumbledore used to tell me you were special,” I say softly, “but after all those years I still fail to see why. You don't seem to have learned much, despite his and my efforts. I watched you during the fight. You were just like any average Auror – eager for a tussle and so touchingly convinced of your moral superiority. You are still a foolish, irresponsible young wizard whose mind never questions a single thing. If you are brave, it is simply a consequence of your utter lack of subtlety and total disregard of the consequences your actions may have. It is astonishing how a talented woman like your mother should have produced a son such as yourself. Clearly, your eyes are indeed the only thing you have in common with her. How – disappointing. But no matter. I shall be relieved to see you repair back to your island. Do us both a favour and stay there."
22nd-Oct-2006 08:04 pm (UTC)
I’ve tried to remain impassive as Snape’s laid charge after charge. It sounds as if he’s planned this little speech for years. Inwardly I’m boiling and I’m surprised my magic isn’t starting to vibrate the building.

Ron isn’t weathering the insults to Dumbledore’s memory or me nearly as well. I grip his wand arm to prevent him from drawing.

I nod towards this Kunze I believe Snape called him. “Does your Ministerium know exactly who they’ve offered shelter to?”

Snape starts to speak again, but I press on, “You see, I’m not sure your boss does.”

I step out and begin pacing. “You see, Mr. Snape has an interesting quality to him.”

I round about and fix my gaze solidly upon Snape, daring him to try to read my mind. “People who trust him have a tendency to end up dead. Just ask Dumbledore.”

Snape’s eyes flash. “If you think I betrayed him, think again. I honoured his trust, and I half-won the war for you and him, just like I did today. I killed Dumbledore to make your way – it is what he would have wanted. He always elevated you above us simple mortals; even while I worked to heal him from the curse of the Dark Lord’s ring he kept repeating to me that your survival was more important than his own. I hated you for it and still do, because he was worth a hundred of you!"

I ignore him, turn and pace some more, openly turning my back on him. “Know this, I doubt the British Ministry will consider him important enough to risk relations with your government trying to expedite him… but consider what your people will say when they realize you are harbouring the man who was directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of Albus Dumbledore and James and Lily Potter.” I shake my head, “He says he did it all for the greater good… but I have to wonder if it was just to save his cowardly skin.”

Snape goes deathly pale. A vein throbs at his temple and that by now familiar look of insanity comes over him again. He is livid.

“I. Am. Not –”

Kunze puts a restraining hand on his arm. “Lex, don’t let him get at you. You know he won’t influence us.”

But Snape is once more beyond reason. “You have blamed me for everything that you and others did wrong,” he snarls, flexing his fingers. “But then you have to tell yourself something to be able to live with the fact that your trademark idiocies got so many of those around you killed – not least your dear godfather.”

My heart is pumping and I have to constantly focus on Ginny and Tina to keep from hexing him. I slowly turn to face him and lie through my teeth, “You know, it seems to me you’ve put a lot of thought over the years about what I’ve been doing since the war ended and all the attention and praise lauded upon me whether deservedly or undeservedly.”

“Know this, since the end of the war I’ve barely spared you a thought, I figured you either died in your Master’s service or you would end up finally knifed in the back by someone as slimy as you are.” I give him a mock salute, “It appears you finally have what you think you deserve. Enjoy it, I’m sure Dumbledore even now would wish you a long and happy life.”

I turn about and head for the gate, but pause momentarily and call over my shoulder, “Know that once I walk out that door as long as you stay away from Britain I’ll never spare you another thought… somehow I don’t think you can say that.”

I’m going to need some extra special attention from Ginny and Tina when I get home.
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