Translators: Parvati-Blossom, Xav, ChePotter and Nagini
Summary: TRANSLATION. Pre HBP. Harry Potter, The Boy-Who-Lived, the Boy expected to be the Savior of the Wizarding World, is now Filldeserp, Voldemort's heir and his right-hand man. Now all hopes of finishing this heartless war are on Neville Longbottom's shoulders. Will he be able to defeat Voldemort and his protÃ©gÃ©? Not Slash.
River Styx doesn't follow HPHBP as it was started before it, and I won't use any relevant information from that book. So you could consider it an AU fict. The original fict is in Spanish, begun in July 2004. So far it has eight chapters. But I keep writing... and update once two months.
We plan to update once a month. Not before, I'm sure. Maybe we'll delay a little as you can see it's not one translator but a group of, and a beta... so... it takes time. And we are all originally Spanish-speaking (except Layi); therefore this translation is a challenge. Any help you think you can give will be welcomed. We won't be offended if you correct grammar, vocabulary or cohesion. We want to improve, so... shoot! But please, do it with proper manners.
Rating: PG13 (it will raise, so... be warned.)
Genre: Drama/Dark/Angst... Touches of action...
Disclaimer: Every HP character belongs to J.K.Rowling and whoever she plans to sell the rights. We are only part of the HP fandom. However there will be characters not mentioned in cannon: they belong to me, Parvati. Examples? Alice Kolberg, Lucas de Santos... So... RS (aka LE) is not totally yours, isn't it, Jo? -laughs-
Note: If you're interested after reading the chapter, I have a Fanlisting as I'm quite... popular in the Spanish HP fandom (and not very modest -laughs-). It has been recently opened, accordingly it's still growing. I'll be honored with your visit! Checkmate: nyaza. dark-obsessions. Net jaquemate/ /without the spaces between)
Warning: Character death. And a bloody one.
We apologize. We really do. We thought we'd have the chapter earlier.. but some problems emerged and even when we had the chapter, it wasn't beta-read, and... well. Sorry. We don't know when we'll have chapter 3 ready, but we'll do our best to compensate this delay. Thank you very much for the reviews ^^!
None realized those slowly and silent steps that were going to the Reunion's Room. Though, when feeling the arrogant body of the most loyal of all the Death Eaters around, all of them tried not to look at him, they turned out of his way, or they simply ignored him. Very few dared to shoot him jealous or hateful looks - only those who had no brain to think of what they were doing.
The figure smiled with insolence at some bows in his direction by the useless apprentices. They admired him and adopted him as a kind of... model to be followed in their quest for the Lord's loyalty. He hated the idea of being loved by the simple gossips who ran the Dark Fortress' corridors. Filldeserp wanted respect from those who could be known as his equals and fear from the weaklings. To have power over them. Everything seemed much easier that way. He didn't wish to be admired by weaklings, only they were taken by surprise with elemental things. Idiots.
His smart silver tunic swung dramatically behind him. One of the advanced Death Eaters growled at this, angry for this hyperbole. Filldeserp smirked at him, always with arrogance. The Death Eater met his gaze for some seconds, before flicking it nervously to anything that could be interesting. At this, Voldemort's protÃ©gÃ© laughed softly and continued his walking to the Reunion Room.
Why couldn't that Death Eater sustain visual-contact? It was obvious. No-one resisted those dark-green eyes fixed in his authoritarian person. It made them feel invaded, maybe spied, as if Filldeserp always knew what they were doing and what they were thinking or if they were hiding something. Although you weren't hiding anything, he made you feel.../insecure. / No. Weak.
Only the Dark Lord met those passionate eyes. None had any reason to fear the other, they owed respect and confidence to each other, and that made Potter the unreachable Death Eater. It didn't matter what the rest of the Death Eaters did, they would never captivate Voldemort's attention as this nincompoop had done from the beginning. They would never achieve this connection. Because that was what those two old enemies had. Potter was the Lord's perfect heir...Similar pasts, simultaneous presents and parallel futures.
The mere idea of having to love Filldeserp as a "young lord", got on the older Death Eaters' nerves. But they could do nothing; it was an order from the Dark Lord. Plus, those who dared to contradict the ex-Dumbledore's Golden Boy suffered serious consequences. Many still remembered when the boy, who had only been nineteen years old, was baptised as Filldeserp five years ago, and there was a person who was against that title. He was punished in front of everyone so that they learned not to go against the Dark Lord...
Tortured humiliated and murdered in the bloodiest way that Potter could imagine in that moment.
That was the image of suffering that stopped the Death Eaters from even thinking of betraying Voldemort. They knew that there was no person who could escape from his punishment. That, however, was discovered over a long time; nothing was immediate.
Filldeserp entered the room slowly but, as the ones who were there had been waiting his arrival, he was noticed. He received four glares and a satisfactory smile. He made a little reverence to his Lord before sitting in the best place: the chair at the Dark Lord's right. He scrutinized the table, recognizing the four Death Eaters. Bellatrix Lestrange -despite himself, he hadn't been able to take his revenge on her, though the Lord gifted him some tortures -, Draco Malfoy -who had followed his father's insane steps-, Anthony Goldstein -a Ravenclaw, fan of the Dark Arts- and Megan Jones -a spy in the Order of the Phoenix-.
The lone Gryffindor knew the key topic of that private meeting: the revision of the organization for the attack on Diagon Alley that would take place that same night. For him it would be his first appearance into public since May. He was anxious to unload all his adrenaline on those hopeless and stupid people that believed in Dumbledore's words. It was also fun to watch the Aurors' pathetic faces. As if they would be able to defeat him...!
Summing up, the five Death Eaters in the meeting were going to be the leaders of the five programmed attacking groups that then would go over that zone. The most experienced group would be headed by Harry and would be in charge of the main zone of Diagon Alley, the most difficult of all the divisions. The other four would go to the rest of the cardinal points. They'd leave the people without an escape route -it was known that no-one could Apparate or Disapparate in that zone, even if with Dark Arts everything was possible-.
"Okay, now that we are all here we can begin," Voldemort proposed, fixing his crimson eyes on each one of his minions.
For more than half an hour they spoke about the different possibilities and the situations that would be exposed in the strike, the best ways to give warning calls and Disapparate, and obviously the panic strategy. Which would be the best curses and spells to be used -the favourites were the Unforgivables-, whom they should take from the Ministry's members. The list of adversaries to the Dark Lord was smaller each time, though those who stood intact where the most /dangerous/. The main ones were Dumbledore and Longbottom, along with some other Aurors...
It wouldn't last long. They had no way to win the war. Longbottom, a great Auror? Filldeserp laughed ironically. In his years at Hogwarts, he hadn't even anticipated that from poor Neville. The turns that the history made...However he doubted that Longbottom knew what he had gotten himself into. He would soon realise it and the Wizarding Community would witness him fall. Neville Longbottom, the /hero/? Ha! What kind of rubbish did people have in their minds?
"You know when and where you must go, and you also know what you have to do to not fail me," Voldemort expressed his warning in each of his words. He wouldn't tolerate any error in that attack. "You can leave now. Not you, Filldeserp."
He nodded obediently while the others took their reports and sheets from the table and went out of the door without making a noise. They'd learnt not to disturb the peace of the place and Harry smiled contentedly at that idea. That day he was in a good humour, which was easily noticed by Voldemort.
"I see you bring good news, Harry." Young Potter raised his eyebrow, but did not say anything. He didn't like hearing his real name, but coming from his Lord it had no importance.
"I don't think so, milord," he sighed, making his happiness disappear and making his face serious again, "three Death Eaters were captured by the Ministry in the last attack." Voldemort's eyes glittered with hate. "However the number is quite.../fine/ compared to the quantity it could have been."
"What do you mean, Filldeserp?"
"Ten Death Eaters were near captured, but they managed to flee, thanks to Gilbert Whimple's collaboration from the inside."
"Who are the captured ones?" Harry didn't answer at once.
"Jugson, Cornfoot and Branstone..."
"Cornfoot?" repeated Voldemort, very slowly.
"Judging from the information I've collected from the Ministry, Jugson and Branston refused to say anything." explained Filldeserp, deciding to say first the "good" news.
"They shall be prisoners... And Cornfoot...so the coward accepted the deal..."
"When is the declaration?"
"Tomorrow morning." Voldemort looked thoughtfully at his protÃ©gÃ© who maintained the eye-contact, showing their respect for each other.
"Do you think you could kill him by that time, Filldeserp?"
The dark green eyes sparkled strangely at that request. Maybe because of the pleasure or the task that that mission meant; going into the Ministry's halls to the provisory ceil of the Death Eater and killing him for his betrayal. He'd often done it, but in the most of the cases Voldemort wanted to see the torture, so he tasked one of the Death Eaters in the Ministry to kidnap them. Sending Filldeserp, it meant to murder the man under the Ministry's noses without them realising it until the next morning. Probably Voldemort wanted the event to be fast for the proximity of the declaration-time and its concordance with Diagon Alley's attack that same night.
"Do you doubt the fulfilment of my mission, milord?" answered Filldeserp with an arrogant smile that showed indirectly to Voldemort his consent to the order.
"Certainly not, my heir," said Voldemort, responding to the smile with one of his own. "Only be careful. We don't want any mistakes with the attack tonight, don't you agree?"
"I'll be on time, Tom. Don't know what you're worried about..."
There were some times in which "milord" sounded too formal for this private speaks with Voldemort, knowing the confidence they had. In their past night conversations in Hogwarts, in that stage where Harry started to fix his loyalties to the dark side, was where 'Voldemort' became 'Tom'. He only used it in situations in which were not serious and obviously, when no one was listening. He didn't want to humiliate his Lord, did he?
"Don't disappoint me, Filldeserp. If you failed, I wouldn't know who else to trust this vital mission to...
The young one nodded calmly and when he was going to stand up and leave making the so-common reverence, Voldemort put a hand on his shoulder, stopping him. The green eyes observed him, surprised and then patient.
"Happy birthday, Harry."
He stared at Voldemort, thinking of an correct reply to that congratulation. He hadn't really expected the Dark Lord to remember. It was true that the previous ones had been remembered by the Lord, but that year he had thought it would be different, with all the complications that July 31st was bringing.
However, when he'd finally decided upon his answer, his Lord stopped him again.
"You deserve a gift, like in all the previous ones. The first time, I gifted you a link with Nagini, with all her virtues," the Dark Lord started to enumerate, "the second time, your official initiation...the third and fourth access to special libraries of the Fortress, where you perfected your training," a proud smile. "In the fifth I let you kill Wormtail and last year you obtained the Slytherin family's legendary sword ...
Harry remembered each of those gifts. Nagini had been his 18th birthday's, his inseparable friend in missions as the one he would have to do that same afternoon at the Ministry, where working in group and the secrecy were the most important facts. The official initiation -where he had completed his first punishment to the Death Eaters- it was a great ceremony and a great surprise. It gave him the so-wanted deference he waited from the Death Eaters and the Wizarding World, which didn't last long in the dark about the Boy Who Lived being now Voldemort's heir.
The Dark Arts he learnt in his 20th and 21st birthday were unequalled knowledge, and exclusive. It was only possible for him and the Dark Lord to be aware of the existence of those charms, potions and rituals. Pure Dark-Magic's jewellery. And about the torture and then murder of Wormtail by his hand, that was a delicious revenge. When the betraying rat stopped breathing, a great joy invaded Harry. He would soon have Bellatrix, but first he had to wait until the Lord didn't need her anymore for his plans.
None would doubt the good use Filldeserp had given to Slytherin's sword. During his years at the Fortress, he was trained for all kind of defence and offence. So he aimed it perfectly well...Though seeing those lethal movements was a privilege only his enemies (currently dead) had had. He carried it with him always, but nobody knew it. Well, almost nobody. Voldemort did.
What better gift could the Lord give him from what he had already been gifted?
"You've given them an obliging custom," Voldemort smiled, "I'm sure this year will too."
"What's it about?"
Voldemort stood up and walked slowly to the old shelve at the back, where many Death Eaters used to go when they needed information about strategies. The Dark Lord fixed his attention in the highest line and lifting his right hand, a red-covered book flew to him. It looked old and delicate, as if it needed to be treated softly because it could disappear quickly. Harry could deduce that no-one had read it in a very long time.
Finally Voldemort sat down again and gave the book to his heir, who looked at him hesitantly.
"The Sight has mysterious powers, Harry," rejoined the Lord, "you know how to use most of the charms without a wand, and that wouldn't have been possible without developing a small ability with those powers. The old ones called it 'the Power of the Eye'. With it, you can see through the glamours, invisibility, etcetera... and cancel them. Not only that, but also understand the enemy's techniques and copy them analogously.
"Everything with the eyes?" Voldemort nodded, seeing that Harry was understanding.
"In this book the most effective and archaic techniques are revealed. Some of them are truly complicated, but I don't doubt you will be able to deal with them with no problem at all. It also improves the power of hypnotism, confusion, amnesia, incapacitation and recuperation. You don't just need to know how to harm physically, but mentally as well.
"I will take advantage of this knowledge, Tom. You'll see," Filldeserp stood up with the book grasped in his right hand. Voldemort nodded in agreement.
After the reverence, Voldemort's heir went out of the room, starting to make a plan for the infiltration into the Ministry. It would be a very busy afternoon.
Filldeserp went into an old broken-down red telephone box. He picked the telephone up and dialled a strange sequence of numbers. The typical welcome witch's voice answered, not from the phone but from the air, asking for his identity and purposes of the visit. Mocking, he stated himself as Draco Malfoy, head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation.
It seemed the Ministry never learnt it lesson... the current security in the telephone box didn't have a good detector of lies nor Dark spells. Neither had it advanced on modernizing the Muggle technology by the aspect of the telephone.
"The ministry wishes you a pleasant day."
Ha! Another proof that showed they didn't know what was going to strike them. July 31st would never be a merciful day; he had sworn it at his seventeenth birthday.
He took the silver badge and placed it on his luxuriant cloak. He loved the idea of putting Malfoy into trouble by entering under his name at an inappropriate time for his Department, but he had to be cautious. After finding the Death Eater's corpse, they would examine all the names of the people who had come in the Ministry. Each of them would be investigated and yadda yadda yadda. The Lord didn't want Malfoy's loyalties to be discovered.
After exiting the telephone box and finding himself in the Atrium's hall, he cast on himself temporary charms to make his wand and weapons invisible, and to annul loud noises. He wouldn't need them, but it would be a catastrophe for him to enter in the Ministry with a dagger under his sleeve, wouldn't it? In addition he had a feeling that afternoon would be interesting enough for the spies' section... He could take a stroll in the Auror Headquarters...
He would have to move naturally if he didn't want to look suspicious to the Aurors who were patrolling. They all would surely know Malfoy's calm and polite attitude, and watching him suddenly interested in a place he frequented, it would be odd/. It was odder for him to /work camouflaged as a Malfoy. The idea of looking at his reflection in a mirror and seeing there the Slytherin disgusted him. If it wasn't for the Cause, he would have refused to use the mirror's charm. Augh...
Draco's clone walked calmly towards the lift, knowing beforehand that the child who pretended to play in the center of the hall, stopping from time to time to contemplate the statues that adorned the place, was an Auror in disguise thanks to the Polyjuice Potion. It was too /obvious/, because his brown eyes played attention to each movement and he was tensed in silent anticipation. Since when did four-year old children worry about Death Eaters? It wasn't something he had seen the last time he had been there...
Once inside the lift, he waited until it stopped in the second floor. The time pressed. If he wanted to extract some information from the Aurors Headquarters he would have to do it now, because when he came back, they would have already left. Some people greeted him cheerfully, but Filldeserp dismissed them. He hoped he wasn't ruining any of Malfoy's fabulous contacts...
He turned in the corner, he passed through the oak doors and he met a large but messy zone, divided into cubicles. All the doors were closed because it was the only way for the Silencing Charms to work. Filldeserp smirked as a plan to overcome that little problem came instantly to his mind. He looked at both sides of the corridor in order to check if someone was near. The answer was negative.
He whispered a succession of words, terribly confusing words for someone who didn't know the language. He concentrated in the power he was invoking over himself and let the magic run freely after that. A potent energy traveled through his veins in those seconds. Then everything stopped, but he knew he had achieved it as it usually happened when he set himself for something.
He had become an invisible ghost, with the power to cross solids. He smiled mentally. The jewelry Dark Magic always brought him...
He walked through the wall that split him from the Auror Headquarters. What he felt was impossible to describe. Feeling dead and alive at the same time, being nothing and everything simultaneously, corporeal and ethereal... He could perceive how each solid particle dispersed itself in his path. It was abnormal, but incredible. He had power over that.
He turned his attention back to the reality. His surprise was enormous when he found himself in front of the Dumbledore's Golden Trio; Longbottom, Granger and Weasley, arguing about something that seemed to unsettle them. He felt nothing when he stared at his former two best friends. Absolutely nothing. As if he had never known them.
What he felt was delight when he saw that neither of them realized he was there. Any wizard or witch powerful enough to be an effective threat would have appreciated the change in the atmosphere of the cubicles. They should have realized that it was infected with Dark Arts. That showed they were only a group of incompetent Aurors, dominated by the old man.
He listened the conversation about the attack on the Muggle town, the Death Eaters that had been captured, the fear he incited on the Death Eaters and what was their opinion about... Bah. Mere stupid remarks. In the meantime he inspected the archives and last registries about suspected Dark activity. They didn't even reach a fifth of the truth. Disappointing, as always.
He exited the Headquarters through the wall again. He made the Ghost's Curse disappear and he quickly put on the Mirror's charm; his appearance revealing a bored Draco Malfoy. He had thought spying on the Aurors would be more fun... Bah. He was only a step away from the true pleasure: taking revenge on the traitor.
Once more he walked towards the lift, ignoring the cordial greeting from the majority. For a moment he thought that Malfoy had some friendships rather... /startling/, because the warmer greetings came from too-handsome men. He had to restrain a satirical smile when he leaned on the lift's wall. The idea of Malfoy being bisexual wasn't too surprising...
He stayed there for fifteen minutes until the Muggle device finally got to where he wanted to go: the forbidden dungeons. Once he departed from the lift, it immediately vanished, leaving him theoretically without a way to escape. Interesting... As if he hadn't been there before...
There weren't doors at the sides, only a long corridor, without windows or lights. Any ignorant would take out his wand and conjure a Lumos spell, if that didn't activate the alarms. The patrolling Aurors had a special tool that guided them in that distinctive darkness. An intruder didn't.
Filldeserp walked along the corridor for long minutes. His steps were monotonous and didn't generate any sound. He wasn't uneasy or in a hurry; he knew he had plenty time left for the operation. The Death Eaters could start the attack on Diagon Alley alone, he'd arrive to give the final hit; his Lord had authorized his tardiness.
He stopped in front of the oak door, reinforced with white magical shields. When these crashed with his own-which were naturally installed- there wasn't any kind of negative reaction. The door only opened, provoking a soft groan at the same time. Before him the "Death Eaters' prison", as the Ministry called it, the recent Azkaban replacement, showed itself. Ha.
He had to admit it'd be complicated to escape from the inside of those cells. Prisoners' magic was neutralized and Muggle ways to run away were blocked. However, it was quite easy to escape if someone from the outside, who knew where he was walking on, helped you out. Nobody had escaped yet... because nobody had deserved the Lord's forgiveness yet. No-one who was behind those bars was really a very significant Death Eater.
The first cells imprisoned novice Death Eaters, convicted for minor crimes. Starting from there, as you went deeper, more dangerous was the person behind the bars. He knew already where Cornfoot would be. Medium Danger.
He went towards that sector. He exchanged glances with many well-known faces, some of them bringing out memories. He restored the control over his emotions behind his blank mask, preparing himself to the sweet agony he'd carry out minutes later. He was right. His grey eyes ended over the traitor's black ones, which were looking at him with interest.
Cornfoot's appearance was depressing, even though Harry didn't feel pity for him. He was simply another pathetic rat, knocked down on the floor, having lost all kind of dignity and loyalty to his own ideals, who thought he could break away from the Punishment. How naÃ¯ve, he underestimated the Dark Lord; that mistake would cost him his life.
"What are you doing here, Malfoy? Have you come to mock me? As though you 're better than me." the Death Eater whispered, so that just Harry could hear him. The Dark Lord's protÃ©gÃ© couldn't prevent his evil smile to turn up.
"I'd have wasted time for nothing if I had only come to mock at you, don't you think?" he answered, immobile in his place.
"Then... are you the one who was sent by him to torture me?"
"You?" Cornfoot's voice could have got mixed up with irony, but he was just too thick to accomplish it.
Cornfoot frowned. That wasn't Draco Malfoy's way of responding to offences. He always replied, demanding respect he didn't deserve and presuming to have power over everyone. He certainly wouldn't be quiet in view of a direct insult. What was happening?
"Are you all right, Malfoy? You've not turned pale today."
"It may be because of the enclosure effect in you, or maybe you've suddenly realized you're colour-blind?" replied Harry, still under the blonde appearance.
"You're an idiot, Malfoy. Do you believe He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named will give you a reward for the mission you're doing now? We're merely slaves, people who do the dirty work for him. Nothing more."
"Just like Aurors do the dirty work for Dumbledore. Tell me something I don't know already, Cornfoot," Harry decided not to argue with that thankless man about the two distinguished personalities of the Wizard World. He wasn't worthy of it.
"Well, I'll tell you something you seem not to know. You're not armed. You can't harm me."
"You underestimate me, traitor. Too much."
"Oh, yes? What can you do now, Malfoy? The last time I saw you, you hardly knew how to conjure an Expelliarmus."
Harry placed all his attention on the easy Death Eater expression; he didn't want to miss it. Smiling cynically, he undid all the mirror charms for the second time in the day. He stopped being the blonde Draco Malfoy to become dark-skinned Harry Potter. His grey eyes gathered colour and his facial features got darker furthermore. During the process of transformation, that didn't last more than fifteen seconds, Cornfoot's face showed horror and panic. He could read his future in Filldeserp's eyes; he didn't need someone to inform him. He was going to die.
"What were you saying, Cornfoot?" Silence was his answer.
His pale lips bended into a smile full of wickedness, which was Lord Voldemort's twin's. The Death Eater stepped back until his back was relied on the wall of the rear. He was separated from the assassin by scarce meters, meters that wouldn't save him. He'd have to be at kilometres from Filldeserp to have a remote chance to start again everything...
With horror, he saw how Filldeserp took his wand out of his pocket. The door's detector hadn't been perturbed by the magical nucleus; it was prepared for that. The young man pointed his wand directly at the traitor at the same time as the bars, which separated them, disappeared as if they hadn't actually been there. A sequence of simple wards in Parseltongue and the Death Eater's world began to break down.
Each part of his body started to burn, his muscles tensed, foreseeing the pain. He began to feel his main bones breaking piece by piece. He dropped on the ground , moaning weakly. But the pain he was experiencing now would be nothing compared with what would come next.
His brain stopped thinking (if he had ever done that). Nothing made sense. His eyesight clouded and the spiteful darkness hugged him close. However something kept him awake. Someone, rather. He couldn't listen or smell anymore. He was only allowed to feel.
Once his bones were correctly broken, he realized his pulse had increased its speed. His heart was shelling more blood to his entire organism because something was telling it he needed it. In fact, he was just wasting energy because Cornfoot was soon covered up by his own blood, with different injuries all over his body. Breathing was starting to get complicated because his lungs were truly tired and bruised. If his ribs were broken too...
But the worst came then, the unbelievable. Cornfoot couldn't stop himself from screaming and screaming from such pain as he had never experienced before. There was no way his body could resist such a torture. His bones broken, the wounds, the significant blood lost, his difficult breathing... Who could live survive like this? Who? Cornfoot was conscious only because Filldeserp had taken charge of that; he wanted the traitor to suffer until his last breath.
His arteries and veins started to blow up due to the 'overload' of blood. Bit by bit. It hurt, yes, it hurt... He felt as if his own blood left and entered curiously again in his system. It was suffocating. He ran out of blood and he got too much liquid. However the Pain reached his highest point when the first vein couldn't stand it any longer and tore. It was followed by the second... the third... fifth... Eighth... Almost immediately he lost track of them.
The pain wasn't similar to anything he had ever experienced. It was as if teeth grasped his skin and pulled, ripping merciless each centimetre of it. All his body was burning, it was unbearable. There was no position which didn't turn into hell. He couldn't feel it but he could at the same time. He would have never imagined his death to be that agonizing. Now he believed what all the Death Eater said about Filldeserp being sometimes worse than Voldemort. He didn't even have any consideration for the Death Eaters' usefulness.
Filldeserp gazed at all of it with pleasure and evilness. Enjoying each expression of the traitor. Each gasp, each plea that emerged from his purple lips... In normal conditions, Cornfoot would have been already dead but the Dark Arts favoured the Cause: a few minutes more to live what nobody had experienced before. Cornfoot should have been flattered.
Filldeserp walked the few steps that separated him from the former Death Eater, looking at him with true hatred and disgust while he was writhing on the ground. He dragged a long and sharp dagger from one of his secret pockets.
"Say goodbye to the world, Cornfoot. This is how one pays treason: with blood and death," he made a face after those words.
With a steady hand, he nailed the weapon right into the wizard's heart. The point of the dagger got out of his back. He stayed like that for some minutes, admiring the blood that was coming from his victim's body and then he pulled out his favourite weapon. The dagger was coated with pure red liquid. He saw Cornfoot taking his last breath before dropping dead onto the floor.
With a simple spell, his dagger was clean of every sin, as well as under a spell and clothes, along with his wand. He put his mirror charms on his body for the last time. As for his cloak, blood-dirty... Uhm... He snapped his fingers and it was replaced by another identical cloak. The original one had been sent to the Fortress, it was a sacred cloth... Memories of killings.
He went back to the lift. He decided to stop in the second floor. That entire trip was starting to become repetitive. He hated that the missions were that boring. Couldn't the Aurors have talked about something more vital that would have caught his attention? /No/. They had to talk about the past, mixing it with snobberies. Guack.
The corridors were much more deserted now than an hour ago. The attack to Diagon Alley hadn't started yet and if the majority of the Aurors had left to their homes, they would last until they could defend it. Everything was perfectly as planned.
Maybe only one event escaped his perfect equation. When he turned in the next corner, he saw Hermione Granger walking straight to him. Their eyes interlaced; hers scrutinized him with disdain while his with a certain level of interest. He had to admit his friend had a better look than before. Such a pity she wasted it being around Longbottom and Weasley. Two genuine fools. She was the only one worthy of the trio; only she excelled the dignity, sensibleness and braveness needed in the present.
Filldeserp decided to make his move in that game: he smiled to Granger with a unique touch of malice. She looked at him strangely, detecting something odd in the manner he had smiled at her. It was not Malfoy's style. It wasn't one of his usual smirks. Nevertheless...
When Hermione followed him seconds later, Malfoy had already turned in the next corner. Instead of watching Draco walking towards the Compartment, she was welcomed by nothing.
Malfoy had disappeared in the second floor of the Ministry, one of the most protected ones, and the alarms hadn't rung out.
The sky was dark-cloudy which anticipated a wild rain. The wind wasn't very strong, but it had enough strength. It was much too cold to be a summer day. Or maybe not, if they bore in mind the events that would happen that sunset. The people walked around Diagon Alley without realizing the danger they were in; without feeling that the air they were inhaling was impregnated of mucky expectation, predicting the slaughter of innocents.
It wasn't until the order of attack was given by the five Death Eater groups' leaders that people started to run wildly in diverse directions and shouting with dread. Only some brave people drew their wands and began to defend the citizens, but nobody recovered from the shock quickly enough. So, when the fireback started, they were already surrounded by a strategy.
The alarm went off in the Ministry and the Order of the Phoenix immediately. The reinforcements were late to arrive because of the barriers placed over the Alley though.
Death Eaters versus Aurors. Black and white cloaks stood out from the mass, which protected the children, who were the more vulnerable of all, with their own bodies. There was no escape, every exit was blocked and it was impossible to Apparate away. Not even the Portkeys that the Aurors had tried at the first signs of trouble worked out. Innocent people were going to die, they knew it.
Hermione, Ron and Neville were fighting, side by side, in the central zone; the zone where the Wizarding Bank and important buildings were, where the Dark Forces were concentrated. Flashes of lights came and went. You had to be quick to elude the charms, and powerful so that your shields didn't fail under the strength of the attacks.
Soon the moment arrived when the trio was surrounded by fifteen Death Eaters, who had closed a circle, leaving them inside. They were together, each of them guarding their back and their wands raised without fear. Their white cloaks were tainted with blood, their own and others'. Corpses lay on the ground, adorning the new view of Diagon Alley. The Death Eaters had gained what they wanted: a massacre.
"Look what we have here... the golden trio," mocked one of the Death Eaters. The voice was female and it didn't take long for them to identify her as Bellatrix Lestrange.
Some Death Eaters had lost their masks, revealing their faces to the world. None of them was a big shock, because the ones who didn't want to be found out took care of their mask's position.
"Save your words, Lestrange," challenged Neville. The Death Eater laughed.
"Do you believe you can defeat us, Longbottom? Certainly you are very powerful or stupid to believe you'll be able to go up against fifteen simultaneously."
When Ron was going to answer Lestrange, a person approached the Death Eaters' circle with arrogance. His cloak was totally different from the ones of both sides of the battle. It was aristocratic, silver colour with some green, on Slytherin's honour. His pale face wasn't hidden behind any mask, he didn't need it. His green eyes had a glacial and threatening brightness.
"How disappointing, Bella," he muttered, teasing.
The Auror trio stared at Voldemort's heir. They noticed that he had self-confidence and a strange authority over the Death Eaters from how he was talking and dealing with Bellatrix. Some of them had stepped back with respect when they recognised him while others looked at him with loathing. Neville and Ron held their wands harder, concentrated on them all their hatred towards the person they had in front of them whereas Hermione couldn't believe her eyes. She couldn't believe what Harry had become.
Bella looked askance at Filldeserp, "May I ask what you want? You're interfering with the entertainment, always ruining it..."
"You're a coward, Bella," he commented eventually. "Fifteen against three, don't you have any dignity left?"
"What do you call dignity, traitor?" snapped Ron.
"We defend blood's honour and power, and you go and surround three Aurors, profiting from numbers... How discouraging," continued Filldeserp, ignoring Ron.
"It's not our problem they don't have someone to help them, /Potter/," countered Bellatrix, 'on the other hand, I think the Lord is going to be very displeased with you for protecting your old friends. Because they were, weren't they?"
"/I/ am not protecting anyone, Bellatrix," spoke Filldeserp softly, 'I only protect the Dark Lord's honour. I don't want rats like you to besmirch it."
Filldeserp wasn't lying. He didn't even consider saving the trio. To be a hero again? Ha! Not even in their dreams... He merely believed that, if the Death Eaters were to kill them, it'd have to be with merit and not because of skill and speed's abuse.
Harry didn't feel anything when he stared at his former friends, just like in the Ministry. Neither regret nor guilt. Not even memories. They weren't a part from his present; they were silly elements against his Lord. They could have been something noteworthy for him in the past; he'd have died for them. But not anymore. Even more, killing them wasn't a bad idea at all...
"Do you think it matters to the Dark Lord if we have number profit or not, /Potter/?" Lestrange objected again, remarking his true surname, which irritated Harry overly.
"You're a /coward/, Lestrange. Nothing more than that," Harry turned to leave the place when Neville interfered into the conversation.
"And you're a hypocrite, Potter! Do you believe you're better than Lestrange?" Harry turned to look at Neville right in the eye.
"Yes, I believe so, Longbottom. I may be hypocrite, but I don't hide myself behind masses nor am I manipulated by an old fool's orders."
"You're a damn bastard, that's what you are! You're under the command of a killer monster who murdered your own parents! Couldn't you have a remorse for that?! You betrayed your own blood!" Ron yelled, furious.
"The reasons of why I betrayed my own blood don't concern you, Weasley. Besides, your small brain wouldn't understand it. You're deluded. Dumbledore will never win and your truth is held by lies. The day you realize I'm right, it'll be too late... You'll see."
"You don't know what you're saying!" Granger cried out, getting out of her trance.
"Where is Dumbledore now, Hermione/? Where is he? Do you see him fighting side by side with you, defending /his people? Or is he in that pathetic headquarter, eating some sherbet lemons, waiting for you to finish off all the hard work, maybe until you die for it?" The Death Eaters laughed loudly after his speech.
"Neither have I seen your Lord here, Potter" retorted Neville.
"He doesn't need to be at this plain and simple attack," Filldeserp answered calmly, 'besides he's always with us, despite the fact that you don't believe us," his green eyes sparked with some madness, 'the only ones who die don't deserve his kindness. But I think Dumbledore believes there is no one who deserves his kindness, that's why every time there is less Aurors here, isn't it?" with a mocking smile on his face, he turned around and started to walk on the opposing direction.
Neville couldn't tolerate it any longer and sent a curse toward Filldeserp, who didn't even lose his composure in view of the attack behind his back. A perfect dark shield took change of the curse, making it ricochet. The dark wizard turned again to look at the Auror face-to-face, smiling evilly.
"An idealist Gryffindor... So predictable." Neville attacked once more and the charms were eluded yet again. "Don't you think is traitorous to attack someone who has his back turned?" commented Harry.
He didn't receive any answer. The Death Eaters were eager, wishing the duel to start, while Ron and Hermione observed, concerned, the situation. Neville hadn't paid attention to it, but Harry had been conjuring magic without a wand.
"I'll never be able to be as traitorous as you. Voldemort's heir? Is that where your highest ambitions reach, Potter?" Neville's irony was evident, but Harry didn't make any gesture of anger. He just laughed; he laughed at Neville shamelessly.
"Empty words, that's it the only thing you can make out, Longbottom? I expected something more from the Star Auror... from the hero that replaced me. You need something more than just words, Neville. You've got a lot to learn. Uhm," Filldeserp looked around pensively, "I think we could start now with the first lesson, don't you think?"
As Harry pulled his wand out, the Death Eaters rushed over Hermione and Ron, separating them from Neville. The Auror was in a self-protective position, centred onto foreseeing his enemy's first movement. However, that night he'd learn that Filldeserp was everything but predictable. The Dark Lord had taught him to be original with his motions and to change directions at the last second; to always play with the surprise element over the rival.
The Duel's first minutes between the leaders of the two opponent factions were based on trivial charms. Both of them moved with true agility and pointed with precision. Bit by bit, the Death Eaters and Aurors were focused on more in that duel which promised to be deathly than on their own ones. It was impressing to watch the magical skill of the two, even though Filldeserp highlighted. He used his wand to attack as he took care of his shields with his left free hand. It was alarming how his eyes were awfully bright with concentration, as well as he seemed to read every action Neville made, blocking each of them easily.
The curses increased their gravity by each minute. Neville, who only employed his wand, couldn't defend himself in some occasions and he was the most hurt. Harry had some surface wounds, caused by the light touches of some spells. Soon Filldeserp began to make use of the advanced Dark Arts and put away his wand from time to time to do hard procedure of invocation.
It wasn't long before Neville was left without his wand, which lay on the ground, a few meters from him. But Harry, instead of taking advantage from his circumstance, stopped exercising magic to take out his dagger, the same one he had used to kill Cornfoot.
The dagger had a long thin blade. It had a trim intended for covering the hilt and sparrow-hawks for the defensive movements. It could be used for not only stabbing and wounding, but for repel swords' blows and dull the blade of a weapon. It was the perfect combination with a sword, yet Filldeserp didn't deem it necessary to wield one against Longbottom. The dagger would be sufficient.
The Death Eaters and Aurors that surrounded them kept on fighting nevertheless they were attentive at the happenings of the duel. It was clear the Dark Side was winning. Not even the reinforcements that had arrived slowly could take down many Dark Wizards. They took care for themselves, conjuring Portkeys and Side-Along Appearing the fallen members before any could be caught by Aurors.
Many watched astounded how Voldemort's protÃ©gÃ© attacked Neville with such cleverness that the Auror could only make huge efforts to keep himself from being stabbed, without taking into account not having a weapon to defend himself. Finally he couldn't evade anymore and the dagger hurt him in the right arm. He lost the rhythm and soon he was immobilized, with the weapon right on his neck. He held his breath as he stared at those green murderous eyes. Impassive.
The Death Eaters smiled expectantly while the Aurors and Light Side's members gaped at the scene in dismay. Ron as much as Hermione were trying to get close, but they feared not arriving in time; losing Neville. Losing their Friend.
"Do you still think I'm a coward and unskilful, Longbottom?" whispered Filldeserp leisurely. Neville didn't respond; he was more centred on recovering his breath.
"Leave him alone!" demanded Hermione from a few metres away. The despair and pain were indubitable in her voice.
Harry looked askance at her and then, at Neville. The dagger was still on his neck, "The Mudblood begs me to leave you, do you think I should heed her? All mercy has a price though. You challenged me, not the other way around. Why should I let you live?"
"You're just like Him," mumbled Neville; his lips were slightly violet, "you're his equal, his heir. Don't you feel ashamed of yourself, Harry?"
"I feel ashamed of your foolishness, Longbottom. Only that."
Everything happened dreadfully fast. Hermione and Ron, each in different extremes, lifted their wands at once and sent two powerful spells against Filldeserp. He raised his left hand to make Ron's spell turn and go back to his dispatcher at the same time as he took away the dagger from Neville's neck with his right hand and aimed it against Hermione's spell, which divided into two and changed its destination, hitting some Aurors. Neville, finding himself free from the dagger, recovered his want and pointed it at Harry, with his hand trembling without control.
Ron was on his knees while a shocked Hermione was gazing at them. Potter was staring at Longbottom as if he wanted to kill him by means of his sight; his dagger indicating towards the ground at the same time as Bellatrix barked 'kill him off, Potter!' or something along those lines. However nobody played her any attention. Not even Harry, who was always keen to make fun of her. The silence seemed to be immutable as the minutes passed. Nobody moved and every pair of eyes was centred on Filldeserp and Longbottom.
It was then when a lightning flashed in the dark sky and it started to rain energetically. Neville couldn't hold back a groan from the pain produced by the drops of water against his wounds. He panted for effort of keeping himself up and he looked with loathing at his enemy, who didn't feel like finishing his work. But that wasn't what was happening. Harry was only waiting for him to fall down. He wanted to witness him surrendering, disgraced.
It worked. The Light Side's members watched the image with misery while the Death Eaters were smiling with pleasure. Before them was the inevitable proof that no one could oppose the Dark Lords or Filldeserp without failing. No one. Nevertheless they had expected their leader to take the Auror's life in the next instant. To the surprise of them all, Filldeserp raised his right hand in the air: the retreat signal.
A few allowed themselves to express their disapproval and fury, which turned out to be a bad idea because Filldeserp recorded each one of the names of those who resisted his command. After a dangerous look from him, the rest of the four leaders lifted their hands.
Five seconds later and none of Death Eaters were left in Diagon Alley.