Just what is Voldemort doing with Harry's parents? Why doesn't anyone care that Neville's are missing too? What's Harry going to do about it? What in the world is Narcissa doing to save Charlie?...
Acknowledgements - As always, I must thank the members of Alpha Fight Club for their help on this chapter. Beyond them, I must also thank MonkeyAxman and Aaran St. Vines for their comments and contributions. The biggest applause goes to Kokopelli for the superb beta work and 'De hep wit da Island speak, Mon'.
Warnings - In some scenes there are numerous intentional grammatical errors to simulate a Jamaican accent. There is also a bit of a smutty scene though it is tastefully done. Of course since you've read this far and all the violence and death haven't offended you, I doubt a bit of smut will.
Chapter 33 - The Things We Do For Love
September 11, 1996
Since the beginning of the summer, there had been many instances where Harry had been close to completely losing it; he had even crossed that line once and Snape had paid the price. Standing in the middle of the crowded Headmaster's office, he felt that same rage tug at him.
"So, let me summarize what you have just told me," he said coolly to Dumbledore. "The portrait of my grandmother, /which you've never bothered to tell me about/, has reported that Riddle just stole my parents' bodies. To make it even more interesting, their bodies had been magically preserved, because you needed my Mum's body for the blood wards /that don't exist anymore/. Are there any more 'oversights' you might have coming down the line? I'm beginning to wonder whose side you're really on."
Harry's scathing comments immediately stirred up a small storm of arguments. The old man in front of him looked tired and worn.
"I see my apologies for this oversight are insufficient. To maximize the effectiveness of the wards, it required that Lily's body be preserved. As it would look suspicious to preserve Lily and cremate James, I preserved them both. Their resting place was warded to the best of my abilities. Against a lesser foe, my precautions would have been more than adequate. Your anger is understandable, but at the moment it serves no practical purpose."
Harry sucked in his breath and ground his teeth together. "You're right. This isn't the time or place to discuss your many failures. He has my parents' dead bodies as well as Neville's still-living parents. The question is, 'what does he plan to do with them?' In my first year he promised to bring them back to life, if I joined him..."
Dumbledore shrugged off the insult and pressed on. "I believe we can rule that out. If Tom were capable of true resurrection, it is unlikely that he would start with your parents. I would think that he would instead start with Bellatrix or any number of his lost minions. Minister Scrimgeour has indicated that there have been an increasing number of reports among the Muggles of grave robberies. It is more likely that he is crafting an army of Inferii. Using your parents as the centerpiece would only make sense if the target were Hogwarts."
Harry thought about it for a second. For it to have any effect, Voldemort would have to maneuver Harry into a position where he would confront his dead parents in the midst of an Inferii horde. No it didn't fit. It was too much of a reach and it didn't fit Riddle's sense of grandeur. "Probably not, he might use them in some kind of ritual." Harry searched the room with his eyes, seeing several nod, but no one offered suggestions. His eyes came to rest on the seething angry face of Neville Longbottom. Harry wasn't the only one who had a reason to be angry. Neville's parents had been kidnapped, with Luna as a casualty - not to mention the rankling fact that Pettigrew was still alive. Harry refused to think about that now. Next time, he'd make certain the rat dies.
Someone from the back offered, "Perhaps we could do some research in the Restricted Section."
A witch cleared her throat. Harry was surprised to see Madam Pince standing next to Madam Hooch. He never knew either of them had joined the Order. "It is called the 'Restricted Section' not the 'Forbidden Section' for a reason. We would better off, contacting the Unspeakables."
Harry could tell Dumbledore was trying to steer the conversation in a more productive direction, though he was tempted to continue lashing out at him. In the end, it wouldn't solve anything, so he dropped it
The rest of the meeting was of no real consequence. Harry came to realize that the Order was mostly talk, with precious little action. Not once in the meeting did anyone even suggest the possibility of striking back.
When the meeting ended, he practically dragged Susan and Tonks out of there.
If no one here was going to do anything about this, then Harry would get someone who could.
Neville left the meeting with a cold expression on his face. Harry wasn't the only person who was fed up and angry.
"Do you require an escort back to Gryffindor tower?"
He looked up to see his Head of House looking at him with concern in her eyes.
"No, Professor," he said blandly.
Her expression softened. "I've told you before; I was quite fond of both your parents. If you desire, you are excused from classes until you feel up to rejoining them. If you find yourself in need of someone to talk to, you know where my office is."
Neville thanked her and started on the long trip back to his dorms. His Uncle had been informed and expressed his sympathy. He had left early to tend his potions in the labs.
Neville was fuming; Professor McGonagall had been the only one to offer a modicum of sympathy. Everything said at the meeting concerned Harry's parents and nothing about his! Maybe instead of worrying about rituals and the dead, they should be concerned with what they can do with the living.
He wandered down the passageway, not really bothering to hurry. Curfew had passed twenty minutes ago. Most of the paintings drowsed in their frames. The few that still looked around, he ignored.
He was able to make it halfway down a flight of steps, but was stuck at the landing waiting for the descending steps to make their way back around to him. In the hallway below, he saw a broom cupboard open and a wizard slip out. Neville recognized him as the seventh year Ravenclaw prefect. A minute later, as he was finally descending the steps, the door to the cupboard opened again and Pansy Parkinson stepped out. The Slytherin witch was still adjusting her robes, when she saw him.
"Five points and I'll put you on report for being out after curfew," she regarded him like a dead animal someone had placed in her path. He wouldn't mind killing her right now, but he promised his Uncle that he would wait.
"Whatever, bitch. I was in the Headmaster's office. Amazing you could catch anyone who wasn't feeling you up in a broom closet!"
Pansy's face momentarily flushed with anger, "One thing's certain, Longbottom, I'd never let a squib; I'd have to be crazy, like that Lovegood girl, before that would happen. I'd let them lock me up instead!"
Neville froze. His hand already had his wand half-drawn, but he choked the urge back and slid it back into its holster.
"Luna died this evening, when your friends attacked the hospital. I'd be careful what you say."
Surprised, by both the speed of his draw and the news he imparted, Pansy was stunned. Briefly, she considered just turning and leaving, but her anger got the best of her. "It's a good thing you put that wand away, Longbottom. Like you could use it if you pulled it out; you're a limp wand in more ways than one, and another thing, like I care about that stupid crazy girl - she's dead - good riddance!"
That sealed it. He would definitely kill her - just not today. In his best sarcastic voice he said, "So tell me Parkinson, how's the engagement to Malfoy? Oh wait, he called it off the second he could, didn't he? Maybe he knew about that Pansy is a plucked flower. Did he do the plucking before he tossed you out with the rubbish?"
The sting of her hand slapping him amused him. He could have stopped it, but one of his Uncle's lessons was that 'a little pain is good to help you focus'. "You're nothing, Longbottom! Nothing! Do you hear me?"
Neville smiled at her coldly, "I hear you, wilting flower. Plants are my specialty, but I only like useful plants. You're little more than a weed. You should have seen how fast that Claw scurried down the hall! It's like he couldn't get away from you fast enough!"
Pansy was about to go for her wand when a voice interrupted them. "Mr. Longbottom, Miss Parkinson, what is going on here?"
Professor Flitwick stepped out into the light from the shadows.
Pansy's entire demeanor changed with practiced ease. "I'm sorry Professor. Longbottom and I were having a disagreement regarding Prefects and non-Prefects."
"Where's your patrol partner?"
"Stebbins had to use the loo, Professor."
"Off to your dorm, Mr. Longbottom. You've had a difficult night. Miss Parkinson, Prefects are to patrol in pairs. This rule is in place for a reason. I will speak to Mr. Stebbins and remind him of this as well. Should you be unwilling to follow that simple instruction, I will speak to your Head of House and recommend that you be replaced."
Neville suppressed a smug grin as Pansy deflated and muttered an apologetic, "Yes, Professor." She quickly headed off in the direction Stebbins went stopping once to stare angrily back at him. He met her eyes with no expression on his face, already considering how he would kill her. She deserved something special. She deserved to suffer.
Two days had passed and Harry was flying without a broom as the sun rose on another day in Scotland. Other than the creepy ability his Animagus form offered, the only real purpose for it was flight itself and he needed to master it. Avian flying was so vastly different than being on his Firebolt. Finding that he still tended to beat his wings too much and not glide on the air currents. It tired him quickly, but it also provided the excuse he needed to be out here of Friday the thirteenth. Arithmetically, it was a significant day - not that Harry could really care.
Cawing, he landed on the outstretched Dragon hide gauntlet of his wife. Tonks chuckled and said, "You seem to have him trained rather well." Susan stroked his feathers with her other hand and nodded at him solemnly. She didn't like what he was going to do and he knew it.
Harry took off and make straight for the Auror's face. "Damn, you Harry! Okay another twenty more minutes and we need to get to breakfast and don't you dare try to crap on me again!"
He rushed through the crisp cool air and dipped down behind the stands and resumed his human form. The crate was just where Susan's elf said it would be. Inside was a raven close enough to his markings. Using his wand, he placed a compulsion on the bird and instructed it to fly around for a time and go to Susan. She'd continue the deception by saying that he wanted to stay in his form for a time and head back to their suite.
Releasing the bird, he pulled his Firebolt out of the satchel next to the crate and enlarged it. He already had his Dragon hide on underneath. Seconds later, he was skimming the treetops of the forbidden forest and staying low to stay out of site.
The Shrieking Shack was as miserable and run down as ever. Dumbledore had collapsed the secret tunnel earlier this summer. If Peter knew about it, then the Death Eaters knew. The secret passage into Honeydukes remained, but there was a hidden portrait in the basement of the candy store watching and waiting for someone to use it. The Aurors would be waiting for whoever tried to come out from the tight space.
Harry had no need to go inside. The young wizard standing next to the structure was his destination. He landed and shrunk his broom. Hopefully, he wouldn't need it again until he headed back to the school.
"Hey Harry. If it had been anyone but you, I'd have thought it was a joke. I was still pretty shocked to see a Goblin with an envelope at my warehouse yesterday. Here's everything you asked for. Ten weight reduction discs and one mid-sized single compartment magic trunk for moving large objects. Mind telling me what you're up to? I could help."
"Sorry. Not this time, but thanks for those weightless discs. They should be perfect for what I need."
"Well in that case, I'll be off. Angelina will be waking up soon and I promised her breakfast. She'll be worried if I'm not there."
Harry smiled at him knowing that Angelina had been a bit overprotective of Fred since his kidnapping. Fred returned the grin and Apparated away. Pulling the envelope out of the sack Fred had left for him, he held the Owl Feather Portkey. He slung the sack over his shoulder and grabbed the end of the trunk with his free hand and whispered the activation phrase, "Goblin-friend" and hurtled to his destination - Greater Hangleton.
Narcissa paced nervously in the lavishly decorated office. It had been three days since she rushed Charles into the ward in the predawn hours, demanding that the night staff contact her friend Annette, who happened to be the Hospital Administrator.
Narcissa had to admit that she could raise quite a ruckus when she wanted to, but that didn't matter right now. What was happening to Charles did. She dreaded the answer from the older blonde woman in front of her, who politely offered her coffee. Narcissa declined noting that none of the echoes were in their frames. Her friend handed her a mug anyway with a dazzling, 'Healer's orders' smile on her face. Cissy's French was passable, but thankfully, Annette's English was much better.
"I have taken measures to ensure our privacy. We can speak freely without fear of interruption or being overheard. Our head of diagnostics has examined both Mr. Weasley and the wand. The curse he was placed under appears to be a rather unique mental torture curse originating from South East Asia. There it is called 'Shackles of the Mind'. Suffice to say, it is a very rare spell."
Grateful for the privacy that she had been afforded, both this morning and for the past few days Narcissa nodded, "How serious is it?"
"Very, from what little we could learn it binds the person into their nightmares. They either wake or they do not. The one study we could locate recommends providing external stimuli may help, but only three of the ten confirmed cases managed to break the curse."
It felt like someone had punched her. He was dying, imprisoned in his nightmares and she was responsible. She swallowed hard, "Annette, what do you recommend? What kind of stimuli would you try?"
"The study recommends positive stimuli, familiar people talking to them, warm sponge baths, music playing in the background, cheering charms, and the like."
Narcissa set her mug of coffee down and thought, "What about the Phoenix song? The Weasley family is currently under the protection of Albus Dumbledore. Dare I say it would be the most positive external stimulation available?"
"Perhaps we could arrange it, but our diagnostician is uncertain; she has a theory that if we intervene with negative stimuli, pain may break the chain."
"You want to torture him?"
The witch quickly replied, "To heal him. It's an option, but let's talk about you first. I have managed to deflect any mention of you or Mr. Weasley to our Aurors, but Claude told me that you caused quite a stir with that battle at the warehouse. From my understanding, you are a hunted woman and Mr. Weasley was your bodyguard?"
"I talked it over with Claude and we will shelter you in our mountain cottage near the Alps. It is unoccupied this time of year, except when my husband uses it for his hunting expeditions. The Veela community nearby can be counted on to assist you and we can spare a pair of our own security staff to replace your bodyguard. When the winter holidays approach, we can shift you to our chateau and put you up in the guest wing."
Breathing a sigh of relief, she looked at her socialite friend, "You're very gracious Annette. The generosity of the Delacour family will never be far from my mind. Will I be able to take Charles with me, or will do we need to arrange his transportation to England? At the very least we should inform his family. Can you get a message to them through your daughter?"
Annette Delacour's face darkened detracting from the ever present attractive faÃ§ade she presented to the world and she looked to the side. Narcissa immediately knew something was wrong. She could see the half-Veela tremble ever so slightly. "No, my oldest became a casualty of the war you escaped. Against my advice, she chased after your bodyguard's brother for the mere reason that he could resist her allure and now she is gone."
There was a moment of silence. Narcissa felt awful. "I'm so sorry to hear that."
Annette looked like she wanted to say more. Her lips thinned and pursed in a pained expression, but instead, she chose to move on. "The hospital's chief of security and two of his best men are waiting outside the office. They'll get you to our estate. I'll make the necessary arrangements for /Weasley/..."
Narcissa caught the slight hint of anger in her voice and disdain at Charles' last name. Years of being a socialite had given her the ability to decipher the undertones and hidden meanings in people's speech. "You don't care what happens to Charles, do you?"
All traces of politeness vanished from the beautiful woman's face. "The English returned my child's body to me. I think it's only fair that I return the favor."
"Your oaths ..."
"Narcissa, you should know by now that there are oaths and there are ways around those oaths. You've actually helped in this matter, because of your unorthodox method of getting him here, ensuring secrecy around your presence: as far as our records are concerned, neither of you were ever admitted as patients to this facility. I can do whatever I want to him and not suffer the slightest discomfort. Oh Narcissa, surely you don't care about him? You do! I hadn't anticipated that!"
"Annette, don't do this..."
"Odds are he isn't going to survive anyway. This conversation is so pointless. He is of no consequence."
"You're letting your desire for revenge consume you," Narcissa hissed.
The half-Veela's face twisted as her aura flared slightly. Annette was used to getting her way and not above using her natural talents to get it. Fortunately, Narcissa was not a man. "He is bourgeois and beneath us. It is you who are letting your foolish emotions cloud your judgment. You should be more concerned with your own safety than this peasant who'll likely be dead in a week. I'm offering you safety and protection, out of respect for our past friendship. My more than generous offer does not include succor to the family of the man responsible for my daughter's death! You need to set your priorities straight Narcissa Malfoy. I could just as easily summon my security and turn you over to the hunters looking for you... "
The threat hung in the air. Narcissa's hand drifted to her wand. "In that case, I must refuse your offer Madame Delacour. I will be taking Charles with me and we will be leaving."
The conversation took on a decidedly hostile tone. "I think not, my dear. This room is sealed. The Floo is keyed only to my magical signature. You're only way out is through that door. I have three men out there. They are totally loyal to me. All I have to do is tap this touchstone and they will be in this room. I may have to rethink the terms of my offer, Narcissa. There is no guarantee your ministry or your little boy hero will defeat the ascending Dark Lord. If he prevails, it might be in my family's best interest to have something 'useful' to offer him when turns his attention towards my land. You will still be my guest, but perhaps under a different arrangement. Oh, put that wand away. You're a trophy wife, not a duelist! Even if you could match me, what do you intend to do about the men in the next room?"
Narcissa guarded her face - her mind raced through the options - which were dwindling and poor.
The dark of night suited Lord Voldemort. He had long since realized that no one, not even he, could be called 'all knowing.' There are so many rituals that one could not possibly know how to perform them all. The true secret is knowing that the ritual exists and who can possibly perform it.
It was this knowledge that found him walking the slums of some barely named Jamaican village outside of Montego Bay, enjoying the warm night air. The ramshackle hovel stood near the edge of the water with a small dock extending out into the water. To the untrained eye, it would appear to be fodder for the next tropical storm that wandered into the area. To the trained eye, it reeked of magic; the kind of magic that said, 'Come no closer, if you value your life.'
It also looked the same as when he had last visited some thirty years ago. He commanded the bewitched van driver to stay with the vehicle, resisting the temptation to see exactly what the wards would do to an uninvited guest. The man would live for now for the simple fact that Lord Voldemort hadn't driven a manual transmission in forty years and the bodies inside needed to be free of all external magic. Getting them here was enough of a pain!
Walking to the perimeter of the wards, he released a flare of magic to announce his presence and waited. It would be impolite to do any more.
He did not have to wait very long as a young woman appeared. The priestess moved with an unnatural grace as he watched her walk towards him, her robes flowing like something almost alive.
"Good evening." He greeted her; his red eyes staring into her cat-shaped eyes. She was too young to be a full priestess, of course. Most likely she was an acolyte - unless of course, Dahlia was now dabbling in possession.
"I am Monique. What bring you heah?" Her thick Caribbean accent had a rich melodic quality.
"I seek the assistance of the High Priestess. I need a ritual performed."
Monique laughed, "Of course you do. No one come by heah for de sociables. I be keyin you to de wards. Dey will ensure your conduct in huh presence. You not be attacked, lessin of course we command dem or you foolishly attempt to draw your wand. You not like what would happen den..."
"Nor would you, little witch. If I draw this wand, I will give Dahlia more than a limp this time and she was at her peak the last time we met. The wards are substantial, but I have survived much worse. You mistress is indeed quite powerful and her will pervades this land. I choose to respect that, so long as she remembers my power."
The young priestess was clearly not expecting that reply. Clinging to what little remained of her haughty arrogance, she passed her wand over him and he felt the tingle of magic dance like an electric shock on his skin. Moments later, he was following her into the hovel.
Voldemort laughed silently, his guide was used to people begging her favor and catering to her for access to the 'Queen of the Islands.' Everyone needs to be threatened now and then. Survival is a primal instinct.
The interior was not much different from his memories. The entryway was magically enlarged, but cluttered. The walls were not quite set at ninety degrees which enhanced the feelings of discomfort he was supposed to be experiencing. The eyes of three reanimated rooster heads followed him into the room. The smallish furniture was elegant, but fragile looking. Dahlia didn't like going out, but she always did love to entertain.
He looked appreciatively at her eerie masterpiece. From the other side of the smoky room hung what appeared to be a beaded curtain made of beads the size of a closed fist. As he approached they gained more definition until he realized that they were not beads, but a collection of shrunken heads. From the looks of things, she had recently added several more strands to the curtain. The heads began to moan warnings and plead to him as he neared. Lord Voldemort had an eye for the macabre and this was truly a collector's item.
"I will inform the Queen of your presence. Wait here until you are recognized."
Voldemort ignored her as she pushed through the strands of shrunken heads. Instead he counted eight rows from the left and seven heads down to stare at the three heads in succession. They were his last 'gift' to Dahlia. The rune work on the heads was intricate and magnificent. That's one of the things he felt was missing these days. The new generations had no sense of craftsmanship.
Deciding he had waited long enough, he pushed through the gruesome construct into the next room only to see his guide spin, startled, towards him. Again, he ignored her and stared at the ancient crone seated at the table. Only one eye had any color. The other eye was a pale, blank, white orb. Her face was shriveled, her once coffee colored skin had long started to pale.
"Dahlia, my dear it has been far too long. I warned you that if you didn't stop doing that, you'd start to go blind."
The Voodoo Queen looked at him and spit on the ground at his feet. "Snake Mon!" I see now why my granddaughter be so nervous. De Great Snake Mon be scaring de Girl!" She broke down into a course of harsh phlegm-filled laughter.
Voldemort had the good grace to wait while the hag recovered. Eventually, she continued. "What foul ting bring you to mi doorstep? What bring de Great Necromancer to seek de humble help of, what did you be calling me once - 'a tiny island bone picker'?"
He responded with a cruel smile and taunting words, "Everyone has their own greatness, Dahlia. It has taken me a long time to recognize yours."
"Ah, but you be quick in forgettin which of us be spending time as a disembodied spirit? What did old Dahlia tell you? Necromancy without de Blood Magic just be making de zombies. You be makin a great zombie, but in de end it just a zombie..." She finished by wagging a finger at him.
He smiled back, "TouchÃ©, oh Queen of the Islands, you always warned me to not overlook Blood Magic and it did indeed come back to haunt me. In dealing with this, oversight on my part, I have stumbled on to an opportunity, and that is where you come in."
"The Queen do not be doing charity work and do not need your shiny coins, but you be knowing dat alreddy. So what you bring me dat I be finding interesting enough to do what you ask?"
"This is the eye that once belonged to the British Auror, Alastor Moody." He removed the object from his pouch and set it on the table in front of her ashtray with a cigar burning in it. The eye whirled and looked around the room.
"A cute little toy, I be seein in front of my eyes, but I know you. You've got sumptin better dan dis bauble?"
He did. Reaching into a small bag he began pulling it out like a cheap stage magician performing his act. "Indeed I do. Allow me to present the arm of Albus Dumbledore."
Her remaining pupil widened in surprise and the other one seemed to glow slightly, making him wonder just exactly what had she done to that eye?
"Oh, now dat be a prize wort lookin at! Let me look ad it. Yey, de preservation charm be good. It be a mos excellent piece. Dat meas you must want sumptin bad. What do Great Snake Mon want from a simple Island witch?"
Voldemort wondered how often the 'simple Island witch' had heard this before. "I have two bodies with me outside and I need a ritual. Because I must participate in the ritual, I cannot be the master of the ceremony."
"And which ritual would you be needin?"
"Revenants for the blood betrayer."
Her eye narrowed, "I know you be only child -- dat ritual not be workin."
"By chance, the ritual that returned me to the living causes me to share the blood of my enemy. My research indicates the ritual /will /work, but that I cannot perform it."
She slapped her hands on the cluttered table triumphantly, "Ah, you finally look at de Blood! Monique, get my cane, girl! I want to see dese body wit boat my eyes. You know dat dey is always a price?"
"I have nine other fingers, and the temporary reduction in strength is acceptable."
He endured another coughing fit from the crone, making him concerned that she might not live to complete the ritual before she rose and was assisted out the door by her granddaughter.
"/Imperio//!/" Narcissa's spell stopped Annette before she could reach the touchstone. Her opponent stood motionless, but she could feel the witch struggling against her will. Narcissa cast her eyes around the room, looking for a solution to her dilemma.
She carefully evaluated her options. Her former friend had been quite correct; the room was completely sealed and the only exit was the door leading to her security personnel. Thus, simple flight was out of the question. She could use Annette as a hostage, but at best, that would only result in her safe escape. Charles would be left to the cruel fate the hospital administrator had in store for him. She'd be better off Obliviating her and trying to start the conversation over again.
The obvious solution presented itself to her as she stood in the center of the room staring hard at the attractive Veela and thinking about the three men on the other side of the silenced door. It could work, but her betrayer would have to be convincing. After all, the three men worked around her on a daily basis and they might have a resistance to her natural charm.
"Annette will have to be very excited to see them if this is to have any chance of working at all," she muttered under her breath.
A mental command from her caused to her unwilling thrall to begin removing her elegant robe and undergarments. Narcissa doubted that she would ever be welcome at any high society function in France ever again! Oh well, fuck the French. I never cared for them much anyway.
Narcissa urged the woman to begin pleasuring herself. Meanwhile, she closed the distance between the two of them and then kicked Annette Delacour's clothing and wand under the desk. Oddly, Narcissa felt a surge of resistance from the witch. Who would've thought that she's a prude!
Narcissa concentrated and focused her will and her magic against the witch. Contrary to popular belief, use of this curse was nowhere near as simple as just pronouncing the word. Against a strong-willed opponent, such as the woman in front of her, it was quite difficult to force her to do something that she clearly did not want to do.
The battle of magic and willpower continued. The woman's hands slowly moved across her body, but it clearly wasn't doing anything for her. Sighing loudly, Narcissa hoped, that wherever he was, Charles would appreciate what she was about to do. With a slightly trembling hand, she reached out and began to caress her captive.
Five hundred meters above the quiet town of Greater Hangleton was a speck in the predawn sky. If a person could see through the aura cloaking the magic carpet and its rider, they would be quite surprised. Naturally, Harry was counting on that surprise.
The goblins had really come through in response to his letter. The carpet from his vaults moved slowly through the sky, weighed down with its considerable payload. Sadly, even with the objects that Fred had given him, the anvils were still ridiculously heavy. Forged iron was one of the most magically resistive substances on the planet and borrowing from the occasional cartoon he'd been allowed to watch in his childhood, Harry was about to give the wards surrounding the Death Eater headquarters a special delivery from the Acme Corporation.
With luck, the six anvils weighing the carpet down would drop the wards enough for his real surprise. Harry wasn't sure he wanted to know exactly where the goblins of Gringotts had gotten their hands on World War II era bombs, but he wasn't about to question such good fortune. A half dozen of these relics currently resided in the trunk he'd gotten from Fred earlier. Like some RAF pilot on those military documentaries, Harry was going to open that trunk and dump a whole load of pain onto those below.
Harry got into position over where he recalled the quarters were. He wanted to avoid the areas near the prison cells, in the event that anyone was being held there - like Neville's parents! Quickly, he maneuvered the first heavy handle into position and said the words to nullify the enchanted discs that Fred had provided.
Free of the sorcery, the object began to plummet. Harry wasted no time watching it, pushing the next one in the position and sent it on its way too. Only when the last one was headed downwards did Harry look to see what he had wrought.
The first two must have already hit and disintegrated in a flare of magic. He watched the third vaporize, but this time the wards' flare was a mere flicker. The fifth and sixth passed through the wards, completely unharmed. Knowing he didn't have much time he upended the trunk and released his lethal payload. He then pushed the old carpet as fast as it could go. If push came to shove, Harry would abandon the carpet in favor of his Firebolt.
In the last few seconds before the massive detonation, Harry wondered what the Muggles would think of the deafening explosion, the effect of which they wouldn't be able to see.
The explosions and the shock wave were thunderous, as Harry dived on the magic carpet and sought cover in the trees below.
Susan sat at the small table in their private quarters. She was trying to focus on finishing her Ancient Runes homework, but she was failing spectacularly. The frightening prospect that not one, but three children were alive inside of her at this very moment didn't help one bit! The late-night meeting where they learned that the bodies of Harry's parents had been stolen didn't help either. The two days of watching her husband obsess about and plan a way to get revenge, combined with the fact that right now he was out there doing Merlin only knows what reduced Susan's efforts to a fine exercise in futility.
She wondered if all those jealous girls she passed in the hallways, the ones who would always stare at her and say that she was so lucky, really understood what life was all about! Hell, Susan was having a hard time wrapping her mind around it and everyone was always telling her what a levelheaded witch she was. Of course, when she pictured married life, it didn't involve sitting around the table waiting to hear whether or not her fairytale prince had survived yet another battle.
Muttering to herself and knowing that this assignment was destined for substandard marks, she absently shuffled the sheets with parchment into some semblance of order and rested her for head against the palm of her hand.
"Is Mistress upset?" Susan heard Trixie's voice cautiously ask. The elf knew Susan's body language all too well. "Would she like some tea?"
"Thank you," she replied.
The tiny elf poured a fresh cup of tea for Susan and seemed to linger for a moment, as if waiting to say something. "Is there something you'd like to ask?"
"The other elves of the castle wants to welcome Trixie by having a formal ritual, but Trixie needs Miss Susan's permission to participate."
"What exactly does this ritual involved?" Susan asked curiously. She doubted that there was much knowledge among humans when it came to house elf rituals.
Her servant regarded her with widening eyes, "The ritual is being a symbol that lets Trixie be a castle elf. Trixie will be ablest to be freely through the castle once other elves be welcoming her."
Susan allowed a faint smile to come to her face. It was refreshing to hear of a ritual that didn't involve some sinister purpose. Much to the delight of the house elf, Susan gladly granted her permission.
"Did everything go according to plan?"
"Bessie did as best she was told. Other elf will be away."
"Bessie is a good elf. Bessie did this act exactly as she was told. Will the others notice that you aren't at the ritual?"
"No. Messes happen all the time and elves must go clean the messes, even during the rituals." The little creature answered with her eyes cast down at ground knowing that this was wrong, but unwilling to disobey her master.
"Very good, while their elf is away, I need you get something from their quarters."
"No! Bessie will not steal! Stealing is not allowed!" Bessie answered with a hint of defiance in her voice.
"Fine, you will locate an object for me and tell me where it is."
The young master's command was permissible and there was no way the elf could disobey it.
From his vantage point hovering amongst the trees, Harry could hear shouting and cries of help and disbelief coming from the rubble. There were several pops of Apparition.
Taking a gamble, Harry lowered his Occlumency barriers. He wanted to get a taste of Riddle's panic; instead, he felt nothing. Was Riddle dead? He couldn't feel /anything/. He remembered his promise to Susan to do the deed and leave, but he needed more information. Quickly, he landed the carpet and hid it and the other items in the bushes surrounding a large oak tree. He committed the tree's location to memory, so he could Apparate back to it and transformed into his raven form.
Flapping his wings, he flew along the grounds and watched the chaos unfold. Smoke billowed from several areas as he searched for signs of movement in the wreckage.
"What do we know, Pettigrew?" One of the men demanded.
"I don't bloody know! The wards activated and twenty seconds later there was an explosion?"
"Did one of the Muggle flying machines crash into the building? Or was someone conducting a forbidden experiment?"
Pettigrew flailed his arms in the air. "Maybe, I don't know. If it did, there would be more wreckage! The outer wards wouldn't have tripped first if someone was doing something inside? I've already told a few to spread out and search for survivors. I'll go to the warehouse and let Mulciber and Rookwood know what's going on. We'll need them!"
Lestrange clearly didn't like being ordered about by Peter, but he did as he was instructed. Harry quickly flew back and grabbed his wand. He had a window of opportunity to eliminate someone. Quickly, he changed his hair color and cast one of Flitwick's glamour charms over his face.
He Apparated near Lestrange, who spun around with his wand in his hand.
"Pettigrew sent me from the warehouse." Harry lied, shocked at how easily it came to him. The last member of the Lestrange family lowered his wand.
"Good. Spread out and search for survivors. Keep an eye on the perimeter. We don't know if this was an attack or some kind of accident!"
Harry waited until Lestrange had turned back to the rubble he was examining. This wasn't dueling. This was killing. He didn't intend to give Rabastan a chance.
/"Tonare!" /The blasting curse caught the Death Eater squarely in the back and he screamed in pain. Harry followed up with another one that caught him in the face and just like that the family Lestrange was no more.
A masked Death Eater appeared. "I heard screams over here."
"He was too far gone. It was better to finish him."
"Oh ...," the Death Eater groped for something to say. Harry felt a momentary pang of anxiety and squashed it.
The Death Eater looked around. "So what do we do now?"
"I'm not sure. Was the Dark Lord here? Should we be looking for him?"
"I heard he went overseas. Man isn't this all buggered up!"
Harry didn't like conversing with the man. It made what he was doing more personal. Instead, he looked towards the trees and said, "Over there!"
"What?" The man said spinning to look. The poor fool never saw the cutting curse coming.
Harry moved quickly to the body and pulled off the mask. The dead eyes of Curtis Warrington stared back at him. He had just graduated last year. It shook Harry slightly. He had just killed someone he went to school with. Fitting the mask to his face, he Apparated towards the portion of the building that was still standing.
"Did anyone get the prisoners out?" He asked the two Death Eater's near him.
One replied in heavily accented English that he didn't know. "Find out then. Bring any down there to this location, now!" Harry bellowed impatiently. He pulled the empty sack off of his belt. "Wait! When you get them up here, we need to transport them to a new safe location. Use this Portkey. Portus! I'll leave it right here, now move it!"
Apparently, being a Death Eater was all about attitude. The one way Portkey would deposit them in front of Auror Headquarters.
Harry was able to catch one more isolated Death Eater and dispatch him. 'Dispatch' sounded much better than 'kill' or 'murder'. He tapped the mask on the dead man's face and turned it into a Portkey with the same destination. That should catch one more off guard. Harry saw that multiple people were Apparating and Portkeying in. It was time to go. Reappearing at his stuff, he rolled up the magic carpet and put it and the mask into the trunk. One last Portkey a tired Harry Potter appeared outside of Auror Headquarters.
Quickly he walked in the door and saw the old witch manning the front desk. Beyond her, he saw Lavender briefing the morning shift leader. The witch looked up at him. "Can I help you?"
"I'd like to report a Death Eater sighting."
"If I'm right, they'll be right outside the building in a few minutes. They might have some prisoners with them."
"What game are you playing at boy?"
"Listen I'm serious! Any minute now some Death Eaters will be showing up outside."
"Get out of here!"
Harry shook his head, realizing that he was fighting a losing battle. Fine, he'd handle it. Susan wouldn't like it, but he could honestly say that he tried to delegate this.
Still muttering, he walked outside leaned on the wall and waited for the festivities to commence.
"Waiting for your Death Eater's to appear?" a familiar voice asked.
Harry looked back at Lavender and she shrugged. "The front desk reported some idiot said a bunch of Death Eaters were just going to appear in front of Headquarters any minute now. Was that you?"
Harry sighed realizing that she didn't recognize him under the glamour. He shook his head. "Want to help?"
Lavender seemed rather amused and clearly did not believe him. Drawing her wand and putting on a look of mock seriousness she stood next to him. "I've got a bit before I need to get to class. Sure, why not! And where will they be appearing?"
"Right in front of the building. I figure I'll use the wall her by the steps as cover and pick them off with stunners. It'll probably be two of them with some prisoners. So don't use anything lethal."
She nodded and didn't say anything for a minute. "So, did you have a good time last night?"
Harry looked at her, "What?"
"Tossed back a few pints, dabbled with the potions? I'm just wondering how much you have to consume to come up with this bullsh..."
Lavender never finished as a group of five people appeared - two of them wearing Death Eater masks. Harry's stunners picked them off with practiced ease. He stepped past the shocked Lavender and summoned the duo's wands.
He was tired and more than a bit angry, but he still appreciated the humor in the situation. Turning back to look at the flabbergasted girl, he said, "You were saying?"
"Uh, uh ..." Apparently, he'd broken her.
"Why don't you go back inside and get some Aurors?" he offered encouragingly. She nodded dumbly and positively ran back inside.
The male prisoner he didn't recognize. He felt a bit of relief seeing the dull expression of Alice Longbottom. It was the last prisoner that made him wary. How long had someone been impersonating Madame Rosmerta?
"Please have a seat on the steps and someone will be with you shortly." A third Death Eater appeared seconds later holding the mask in their hand. Harry stunned that one without a second thought. He handed Rosmerta one of the wands and asked her to keep an eye on them until the Ministry's finest responded from twenty meters away.
Grabbing his trunk and Apparating away, Harry was determined that he wasn't going to stick around to answer a whole bunch of questions. He had thought of leaving some kind of calling card, but in the end the confusion among the Death Eaters would serve Harry better. He knew he should hurry back before anyone missed him.
Gasping from the spasms that had just racked her body, Narcissa's brain whirled and she began to piece together what had happened and what she was ... doing.
The Imperius curse creates a mental connection between the caster and subject. With Veela, however, the pleasurable end of this connection mixes with the aura of allure, which apparently affected her because of the connection. The power of that aura had caught Narcissa unaware.
The net result was Narcissa had lost the last twenty minutes of her life in reckless abandon. The two were lying on the carpet, next to the couch that they had fallen off of just moments earlier. Narcissa's skirt was hiked up halfway up her stomach; her blouse was on the floor and her undergarments were missing entirely! She vaguely remembered vanishing them. She regretted that; they weren't the cheap stuff!
Annette began to press her face back into Narcissa's crotch when Narcissa stopped her. Checking the link, she found her control was barely intact. Annette was glowing slightly and Narcissa retched a little, after realizing exactly what she had been doing to the French Veela to make her glow.
She struggled to disengage and pushed herself back up onto the couch. Annette was right after her, her hands seeking to massage and pleasure Narcissa. It was almost too easy to give in. No, she had to focus, but it felt so very good...
"No!" She said, reestablishing her control. She felt Annette begin to fight her and the sexual energy buffeted Narcissa, who found her own hands moving outside of her control over the other woman's body.
"Annette," she whispered horrified at the lustful sound of her own voice, "As much fun as this has been, there are three men outside and they're equipped to do a far better job. Why don't we invite them in?"
The look in the Veela's eyes convinced Narcissa that she could probably release her control and the woman was so lust-addled that she would still go along with it. Still, it was better to be safe than sorry.
Annette didn't fight her control; the curse was always much more effective when someone was eager to perform the command. Narcissa recast the spell and then conjured a pair of feathers, which she animated to run across Annette's form. It would give her the necessary excuse to keep her wand in her hand when the men entered. Maybe she would stay and play with them. No! She couldn't entertain those thoughts!
She maneuvered behind Annette, focusing rather hard on keeping her own sense of control, as the woman activated the touchstone. The men stepped into the room with their wands out.
"We were worried..." A tall man said stepping into the room and stopping at the erotic scene in front of him.
/'Convince them.' /Narcissa thought as she nuzzled on the woman's neck, allowing her hand to do unthinkable things that made her glad she had her eyes closed. She listened to the exchange of French from the woman who was purring in pleasure and running her hands through Narcissa's hair.
"Hello gentlemen, Lady Malfoy and I were celebrating when we realized that we should spread the joy. Close the door!" As the Veela's aura flared, an intoxicating feeling washed over her and despite her concentration, Narcissa found her hand detaching from Annette's breast and moving dangerously lower.
She valiantly tried to focus on the conversation.
"Madame Delacour, we don't want a repeat of last time." One of them cautioned.
"Nonsense, Henri," Annette purred. "We weren't caught then and we won't be caught /now/. Claude left this morning for state business in Amsterdam."
Narcissa filed this datum away for future use. She never knew when it might be useful.
"That was just us." Henri gestured to the other two men, who were already staring enthralled.
"Then we can Obliviate them later if need be. Right now, I am in no mood to argue!"
The Veela practically dragged Narcissa across the room to get to Henri. His protests weakened until he too was beginning to strip, along with the other two security guards.
Focusing on not getting 'caught up in the excitement', Narcissa barely managed to resist the energy rolling off the Veela. Regaining her composure, she helped the man underneath Annette, who was on all fours and fully engaged with the other two men.
Knowing that their friendship, if one could truly call it that, was over, Narcissa stepped across the room to a rack of medicinal potions. Selecting several vials containing 'Pepper Up' potions, she returned to the foursome. Annette reached out and grasped a vial, uncorking it skillfully with one thumb and, with the assistance of Henri, found a most unusual way of getting the potion into her mouth. She'd need her strength.
Damning herself for this depravity, Narcissa backed away and collected all their wands. Muttering an incantation, she cast a quick glamour to hide the fact that she was braless and apparently had been wandering about in a snowstorm. Stepping out into the next room, she saw the receptionist was away from her desk.
Using her most powerful locking charm, she sealed the door and deposited the extra wands behind a shelf. The secretary came back in carrying a beverage. The woman was a rather plain-looking young woman with a pug face and greasy blonde hair. Trust Annette to hire such an average person to accentuate her beauty! She suddenly felt less guilty about what was happening back in the room.
Narcissa gestured to the sealed door. "Madame Delacour said that she will be in an important meeting for the rest of the day. You are to clear her schedule and make certain that the meeting is not interrupted. "
"Does she need me to go in and take dictation?"
Cissy resisted the urge to make a horrible joke about Annette being the one taking dictation - and lots of it. "No. I think this meeting is strictly off the record."
The secretary nodded knowingly, placing the 'In Conference - Do Not Disturb' placard in the holder outside her office and sat back down eyeing her magazine. Narcissa started down the hallway. France was clearly off her social calendar for the foreseeable future.
After all this, retrieving Charles would be child's play. She had bought them several hours to get out of France and get back to Hogwarts. Dumbledore's bird would sing for Charles, or she'd spend the rest of her days figuring out a way to destroy it!
Harry smiled at Tonks as he walked down the hallway, enjoying her double take. Tonks quickly checked her copy of the Marauder's Map.
"/Where/ have you been Harry?"
"Don't ask and you can feign ignorance later. Let the Aurors know that whoever's at the Three Broomsticks isn't Rosmerta. She's an imposter. I need to grab a shower before we head to class."
The Aurors face hardened almost changing into a young McGonagall. "There will be no next time; you need to get someone else. If you can't trust me enough to let me know what you're up to, then you don't trust me, period."
Cursing, Harry hadn't thought of that. Pointing at the door he said, "Inside. I'll fill you in when I tell Susan."
Opening the door, he felt a pang of guilt when Susan threw herself on him. He didn't realize how stress she was under. She doesn't deserve to be put in these situations. She deserves better.
"You okay?" he asked.
Instinctively, he held her protectively. In his thirst for revenge and need to do something, he ignored her concerns and run roughshod over her. He had been a single minded teenager, who didn't understand the impact of his actions on his /wife /- yet another reminder that he was too young to be married; too young to be a father. Had James Potter had ever felt the same way?
"Tonks, give us a few minutes. I'll come get you and we'll talk then." As his bodyguard left, Harry knew the war could wait. The prophecy could wait. She had told him over and over again that she knew she couldn't be the top priority in his life. It was only now, that he realized that knowing it doesn't make her immune from the heartache.
He could give her priority right now. She deserved much more than that, but that's all he had to offer.
Hours later, Susan sat alone in their room and finished decompressing.
Harry and Tonks were up in the Headmaster's office, informing Dumbledore of what had happened.
There was a knock on the door. Susan checked the copy of the map posted on the wall. Neville was on the other side of the door.
She opened the door. "Hello, Neville."
"Hi Susan, I wanted to stop by and see if you're okay. The two of you were late to Defense and you looked like you'd been crying."
"I'm better now. Harry's up with the Headmaster right now. I'm sure the Headmaster will want to speak with you later."
Neville hadn't been in their room before. Normally, Harry would be training with Flitwick in the Room of Requirement, but something must be up.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
He decided to go with the kind approach. Susan was a nice girl. The two of them made a good couple. Neville admired the Potters.
"Not really, but I really appreciate you stopping by. Would you care for a spot of tea? Oh sorry, my elf is with the other castle elves right now. I've got a few biscuits and some Honeydukes?"
They made polite conversation for a few minutes before Susan started to sniffle. He had spent an adequate amount of time in the greenhouse among some of the plants he knew Susan was allergic to.
"Excuse me for a minute. I need to powder my nose." Susan stood up after her third consecutive sneeze.
He watched her go into the bathroom and leapt into action. He walked out of the view of the paintings and opened the upper right hand drawer. The black jewelry box was buried under several books. He quickly opened it and slid the necklace that once graced Penelope Clearwater's neck into his pocket. He had use for a dark artifact that could control another. He decided to stay over there and look at the books on the shelves. There were several rather questionable tomes on the shelves that would impress his Uncle.
"I'm sorry. Were you just in the greenhouses?"
"Most of the afternoon, why?"
"I have a problem with some of plants. Their pollen really gets to me. I had to take a potion."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I'd completely forgotten. No wonder you stopped taking Herbology."
She smiled, "Pretty much as soon as I could! I don't mind the subject, but it seems to have an issue with me."
Neville laughed heartily and promised to come back only on days when he wasn't out in the plants.
Pansy was coming back from her bath in the Prefect's bathroom. That luxury was one of the best things about this castle. Someone was sitting on the steps. 'Great! What a mood killer, bloody Longbottom!'
"What are you doing here?" she asked coldly. He was holding a very pretty necklace in his grubby hands.
"Just leave me alone." He snapped at her.
She started to walk by him, but found her eyes drawn to the necklace. It must have some kind of attraction on it.
He suddenly said something totally unexpected. "I was in love with Luna. I was going to give her this. It's been in our family for years."
She wanted to mock him, but the words stuck in her throat. Then he really surprised her. "I'm sorry. You're still in love with Draco, aren't you? I shouldn't have used that against you the other night. I had no right..."
"It would be easier if he was gone and I didn't have to see him sniffing the Head Girl's crotch every day."
"Do you want to talk about it? I won't say anything to anyone, besides who'd believe me, anyway?"
Pansy found that she did want to talk about it and Longbottom was a good listener. They talked for a few minutes and she did feel a little better about herself. She allowed herself a brief smile when he said that Draco didn't deserve her. The time had slipped away before she knew it.
"I have to go and get ready for patrol."
She stood to leave.
"Pansy, can I ask you a favor."
"The one thing I really wanted to do was put this around Luna's neck and see the expression on her face. I know this is stupid, but would you mind if I put it on you for a second and pretended? I swear I'll never mention this to anyone."
The dolt looked sincere. Maybe if she closed her eyes, she could pretend for a second that he was Draco and the jewelry would really compliment her neckline. Looking down the stairs to make sure no one was coming. She looked back at him.
"Go ahead, just be quick."
Pansy felt him fumble behind her for a moment. She dreaded that he would push her down the steps by accident, but instead the elegant, warm necklace slid around her neck as he fumbled with the clasp.
There was a wet sticky feeling on her neck. "What's that?"
"Sorry, I cut my finger on the clasp."
"That's disgusting! Get it off me!"
Pansy instantly shut up. She wanted to say something, but found that she was physically unable to open her mouth.
"You're mine now, bitch! I own you. I always figured I might need a patsy, but a Pansy will do in a pinch."
Pansy turned and looked at him. She wanted to vehemently deny it, but he looked so powerful, so commanding. She couldn't refuse him; she didn't want to.
"Say, 'I belong to Neville Longbottom'. Say it and be happy about it."
Part of her wanted to scream for help, part of her wanted to draw her wand and curse him until he was nothing but a quivering mass of flesh, but instead, she felt her mouth widen into a big smile and she giggled as she said proudly, "I belong to Neville Longbottom."
Clutching his bloodied hand and sagging to the ground after twelve grueling hours in a confined space with two women and two dead bodies, Lord Voldemort was exhausted. Another lie that the 'light' always perpetuated was that 'dark' magic was an easy path for those who weren't willing to give the effort.
He had to congratulate the person that concocted that utter drivel. Even today, people still look to 'dark' magic for easy solutions. They are the idiots and thank the powers that be for them. If it weren't for them, his forces would be barely half their current number.
There are no 'easy' rituals. Well, that's not entirely true. More specifically, there are no 'easy' rituals that are worth a damn. If a wizard or a witch wants to perform a useful ritual, they had better be ready to withstand pain, suffering, and exhaustion - and then be faced with uncertain results. Dark magic requires persistence, dedication that borders on obsession, and the willingness to overlook past failures.
It is true that in many rituals, one can greatly ease their burden by using the sacrifice of others - sometimes figurative, but most often a literal sacrifice is necessary.
Of the two women in the room, one understood it all too well. Dahlia was a shell of a woman, like an old wand with a nearly extinguished core. Somewhere along the line most practitioners of the Dark Arts realize that magic is not something to be squandered without care or cost.
Picking himself off the ground, he looked at the old crone, who had one eye closed, but the one pale orb stared at him.
"What do you think?"
"Sumptin be wrong wit dat woman's body - mebbe tainted wit old blood magic. Dat, wat be takin so much from us. Could be eidder way, maybe da Revenant be weak and patetic or it go da otha way and your enemy be sufferin the consequence, Snake Mon."
Monique left the room to fetch a second round of potent restoratives. The feline enhanced witch carried herself with a slight air of superiority out of the room, but then again, she had only assisted in the ritual, rather than being drained as a principal.
"She be goin wit you Snake Mon! Dis I know. She still like dem shiny coin. Dey still mean sumptin ta her. I not stand in her way, but you tich her to make da great zombies. Da same story wit all the young ones. Dey want da power and dey wants it now. Dey got no appreciation for wot it takes!"
Voldemort nodded to her. He had considered contracting out some Necromancy positions to speed up production. Over half of Peter's helpers had never made an Inferii before. The state of reanimation practice in Europe was truly deplorable.
The other eye opened. "I be trusting you wit her. She not nearly as good as she tinks, but she need to be learnin more dan she be learnin 'ere. Take 'er idiot friends wit you too! Dey seem to tink dat when Old Dahlia be dying dat dey run dese islands like some kind of council. It don't work like dat and you and I know it! Almost make Dahlia want to stay around as de ghost an watch dem all kill each other. De rest I don't care noddin 'bout, but you not be marking my girl, even if she be beggin you!"
Fifteen minutes later, Monique returned with two steaming flagons of a restoring draught. He felt the strength slowly seep back into his body.
"Girl! Go send word to your cousin. Tell him I be spectin im 'ere in two days when you be leavin."
The witch looked momentarily surprise, "But grandmamma, I hadn't even decided..."
"You be deciden de moment de Snake Mon show up at de door. You always talkin about da Power." The woman gestured with her gnarled fingers directly at him, "Well, dere's da Power right dere."
Voldemort turned away, ignoring the bickering between the two women. He wondered what the going rate for a group of Voodoo priests and priestess was these days. Instead, he looked at the bodies. The body of James Potter was shrouded in mist and slowly fading from view. When the mist lifted, only those that shared the Potter bloodline would be able to see it. Lily's body remained unchanged. He could try again, but he really didn't want to part with another finger.
Suddenly, the lights dimmed and the air swirled around the room. It felt like someone punched him in the stomach and he sank back into the circle of runes the crone had drawn on the floor with his severed finger and the fresh blood of seven chickens.
The mist rolled in like a fog and filled the room with haze. A rushing sound filled his ears like like the passing of a train. All the mist was suddenly sucked into Lily Potter's body.
He spared a glance to see that the Island Queen was in far worse shape than he, as he staggered to his feet. Amazingly, the Lily's eyes were already open and they regarded him, not with the dazzling green hue that Lily Potter had been known for in life, but instead with obsidian darkness.
The crone on the floor cackled weakly. "Oh de enemy dat be sharing de blood be in for it now!"
Author's Notes - I've finally returned to this story now that Bungle is done. I hope the wait was worth it? Happy 2nd birthday to the Fanficauthors website, I count myself lucky to be among you. Full discussion of my stories on Fanficauthors and Darklordpotter. I hope to see you there.