Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Black Vengeance - 1

Of Discussions and Negotiations

by maidros 26 reviews

Harry learns some flabbergasting truths about the battle in the Department of Mysteries.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Harry, Hermione, Theodore Nott - Published: 2007-01-28 - Updated: 2007-01-28 - 2406 words

Black Vengeance

Of Discussions and Negotiations

(Author's note: I will be keeping the poll for the ship - Harry/Hermione or Harry/Cho - open until 11/2/07 (11th February, 2007). Please ensure you make your suggestions by that date.)

Harry had been wondering how he would deal with Nott in particular, given that he and the Senior Mr. Nott had just been exchanging curses in the Ministry a few days ago. He had wondered if Nott would come and try to antagonise Harry, given the animosity with his father. He had been dreading this meeting ever since the battle in the Ministry.

Nott began by casting a silencing charm around them, and augmenting it with a couple of powerful privacy charms, and added a Notice-me-not charm, for good measure. With those enchantments in place, he smiled at Harry, quietly murmuring, "I see you and your friends made it out of the Ministry in one piece. Permit me to offer you my congratulations."

Harry was in a foul mood by this time and the last thing he wanted to do was to speak to a Slytherin, even if it was one from the DA. "Is your daddy fine, Nott? Last I saw him, he was on the ground in the Ministry, clutching his fancy dress mask."

"He is in a holding cell in the Ministry", returned Nott frostily. "I will thank you to keep your tone civil. I came to see if you were okay."

"No thanks to your Death Eater pals!", snarled Harry.

"Oh! Are you certain of that?", came the rejoinder.

"What do you mean?", the coldly enunciated words came from Hermione, whose eyes had narrowed in suspicion at Nott.

"I merely asked you if you were certain that your fortuitous escape had nothing to do with `my Death Eater pals', as you call them."

"What had the Death Eaters to do with our escape?", snarled Harry. "They did their best to kill us, all of us were injured and Sirius...", Harry's voice trailed away.

Nott gave an amused chuckle. "Surely Potter, it was no coincidence that there was a door open from the Prophecy Chamber for you to run? Or do you think it was an accident that the Death Eaters bickered long enough for you to discover that open door and smash the shelves? Did you never wonder why you managed to get out of the Prophecy Chamber without being blasted into pieces by the spells cast by the Death Eaters as you fled?"

"They wanted to keep the prophecy from being smashed! Otherwise .."

"You were the one who had the prophecy. Why do you think they did not kill the others? Do you think they cannot hit a man sized target at five yards? Why don't you give Death Eaters a bit of credit for a certain modicum of intelligence?"

He continued, "Don't you think it is rather funny that Death Eaters would try to grab the Weasley girl, or try to stun her and Lovegood, when they could have killed them with as much effort? After all, everyone in the room knew you had the prophecy and the others were worthless? Potter, did you never ask yourself why some of the Death Eaters did not try to kill your friends during the chase?"

Harry had listened open-mouthed to Nott's observations, amazed at his own stupidity in overlooking some obvious points. Now that he thought about it - why had the Death Eaters been informing him about the plans Voldemort had used to lure him into the Ministry? Why had they behaved so erratically making Lucius Malfoy lose his concentration on Harry and his friends? However, it was Hermione who questioned Theodore, "They placed minor shielding spells keyed to us to protect us from the initial spells? That is why none of us were hurt when we ran from the Prophecy Room?"

"You realise now, don't you? Yes, they placed a few minor deflection wards in the path to the door; they also left the door from the Prophecy Chamber open and arranged for argument with Lucius."

"We did not hear them cast any shielding spells", broke in Harry.

Nott rolled his eyes, "For heaven's sake, Potter, you do not need to vocalise spells. Most of the higher echelons of the Death Eaters are capable of silent casting. Or were you not aware of wordless casting?"

"They killed Sirius ..."

Nott interrupted with a soft sigh, "I know. I am truly sorry for your loss." There was an unreadable look in the Slytherin's eyes.

"If they were intent on helping us, why not warn us before we left for the Ministry."

"They were not aware of the plan to lure you there, Potter. It was only when Lucius Malfoy assembled them after you left the school and ordered them to the Ministry that they realised what was happening. The Dark Lord does not trust people with anything more than he absolutely needs to trust them with."

"Who was on our side there?"

"Ah! That we cannot speak of; not yet, anyway. Suffice to say, you had allies among the Death Eaters."

"How do you know about the particulars of the battle, when your father was injured at the outset?", queried Hermione, her eyes flashing with suspicion.

"You may assume that I have been well-briefed by those who wish to negotiate with you."

"Why would Death Eaters want to negotiate with me?"

"You are the only one who has fought the Dark Lord so many times and survived - people are beginning to see you as the only hope. We told you several months ago, that some Death Eaters wish to leave the Dark Lord. Besides, what are the alternatives?", sighed Daphne. "Fudge and the Ministry? That is laughable. They can't even protect their own most secret and precious department from an invasion of Death Eaters. Dumbledore and his Order? Well - most Death Eaters trust Dumbledore even less than the Dark Lord. Which leaves only you. Besides, Potter, they need something that only you can provide."

"Oh! What is it?"

"We have no idea, Potter. That is their secret."

"And what makes you think I want to have anything to do with them?"

"You need allies, Potter, in fact, every last ally you can get. Secondly, they can provide you a wealth of information about the Dark Lord and his minions - information that could make the difference between victory and defeat in the war. Finally, they are all extremely skilled and powerful people, which makes them worth having at one's side.", returned Nott mildly. "Powerful as you are, you cannot take on the Dark Lord without support."

He continued, "Be that as it may, I am here to offer you a token of their earnestness in negotiating with you. Firstly, I assume that you know that, of the twelve Death Eaters who attacked you, only six were apprehended?"

"What?!?! They let out Lucius Malfoy again?"

"No, no. Lucius is still a guest of our Ministry, and as far as I know, no one caught has been released. But Rodolphus Lestrange, who never made it into the pitched battle in the Death Chamber, was able to apparate away before the Ministry started combing the Department. I assume you know that the Dark Lord took Bellatrix Lestrange with him while escaping. Rookwood, Dolohov, Mulciber and Avery escaped by some means I am not aware of - but considering that Rookwood worked in the place, it is not surprising that he knows some exits unknown to others."

"How is You-Know-Who taking all this?" asked Hermione curiously.

"He is furious, and all the survivors who were not caught, felt the brunt of his displeasure", shuddered Nott. "But most of all, he is extremely angry with Lucius Malfoy. It is lucky for Lucius that he got himself captured. I am not sure he would have outlived the Dark Lord's wrath at his failure."

"What do you think Voldemort is going to do next?", queried Harry.

Nott winced at the Dark Lord's name, but returned, "We have a few ideas, Potter, but no precise information. By the way, he was extremely weak after he duelled with Dumbledore and you. He is also scared of you, for some reason."

Harry felt his jaw drop, "He is scared of me?!"

"What did you do to him?"

"I am not sure. He tried to possess me, and I ended up expelling him somehow."

"You expelled the Dark Lord from your mind?!!", Nott and Greengrass gaped at him, an admixture of horror and amazement stamped on their faces. Nott composed himself, "It is hardly surprising that he is scared of you. Well, anyway, Daph and I have a bit of news, advice and a warning for you.

Daphne broke in, "Let us begin with the news - the Dark Lord is furious with Lucius' failure, as we mentioned. The talk is that the Malfoys not in Ministry custody will be the object of his displeasure. Whether His wrath will be sated by mere gold from the Malfoy coffers or whether it will require more remains to be seen. In any case, Narcissa and Draco are going to be in considerable trouble, and Draco Malfoy's influence in the Slytherin Common Room has all but vanished. Apart from his two bodyguards, no one seems to be particularly chummy with him these days."

"Secondly, now that the Dark Lord has been forced into the open, he has decided to do a few quick hits before the Ministry can organise a coherent response. Specifically, he wants to send out a message that anyone who stands by you will be prime targets for his ire. He considered the Weasleys, but has decided against it because there are six adult wizards, and they are living in a reasonably warded home. He is not willing to risk his limited resources in a gamble just to send a message to people about you. However, this generosity does not extend to the Longbottoms and the Lovegoods. He is specially considering the Longbottoms, since they are a prominent pureblood family and have a lot of influence in both the Wizengamot and the Ministry. You need to warn them."

"What about my family?", broke in Hermione.

"You know, Granger, our contact never mentioned you", remarked Daphne, gazing at her interlocutor contemplatively. "That either means that you are not being considered for reprisals, or else, the Dark Lord means to sic a bunch of low grade Death Eaters against your parents as a practice raid. Your parents are not wizards, so the effect of such an action on our world will be minimal - the Dark Lord will, at the very least, not put your parents on a priority list. I take it that they are living in a house not warded against wizards, and do not have an emergency portkey?"

Hermione nodded horror-stricken, while Daphne continued, "I will check with my contact to see if your parents are on the list of targets. You might want to talk with Dumbledore and his Order and see if something cannot be arranged for your parents."

Nott took up Greengrass' story, "Further, there is a rumour that Fudge is having to fight off a lot of murmurs about his leadership. If it is questioned - and note that it is an `if', the next likely candidate will be someone who has experience in law enforcement. Very likely, it will be Amelia Bones. Even otherwise, Mme. Bones is a very powerful witch, with a lot of backing both inside and outside the Ministry. The Dark Lord has singled her out as a particularly serious threat, but he has not assigned anyone to the job of leading an assault against her. This either means that he is not considering moving against her in the near future, or he has chosen to lead the attack himself. My contact inclines to the latter, since Amelia would be a very effective and dangerous opponent as a Minister. You might want to find a way to warn her."

"Now Potter, I have a question. Do you plan to continue the DA over summer?"

"How can we?", returned Hermione. "You know we cannot perform magic over summer"

Daphne Greengrass rolled her eyes, "Granger, what you are giving us is our beloved Headmaster's interpretation of the Underage Magic law. The actual restriction merely states that kids under the age of seventeen cannot perform magic if there is no qualified person in attendance. Most pureblood and many half blood families have certified personnel, so we can continue. The Dark Lord has not declared a truce over summer and it were folly to waste time."

Harry nodded, "Yes, Daphne, that is a very good idea. We can find a place and time to practise. I suppose we should have one last meeting of the DA before we leave."

Nott cut in, "That reminds me - are you planning to expand the DA?"


Thanks for reading and reviewing.

Thanks for reading and reviewing. The Slytherins are going to play a major part in the story.

Harry is going to be more in tune with his Slytherin side in this story - I hated what he was portrayed as in HBP.

Thanks for reading and reviewing.

I am inclined to agree with you about Mr. and Mrs. Weasley - they are overprotective, and too loyal to Dumbledore. Thanks for your opinions regarding the ship.

Thanks for reading and reviewing.

Thanks for the vote of confidence and thanks for reading and reviewing.

Thanks for your interest, and thanks for reading and reviewing. As for your question - no, this is not a re-edited version of an older story, nor has it been posted anywhere else.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Thanks for your opinion regarding the ship, and thanks for reading and reviewing.

Well - for Sirius' will, you will have to wait until Chapter 6, where Harry steps into a whole horde of problems.

Thanks for reading and reviewing.

Black s Phoenix:
Thanks for reading and reviewing. As for Cho, you will start a lot more of interaction with Cho starting Chapter 6, when Harry meets with her mum.
Slight spoiler: You saw what Cho's mum is - well, Cho is a Ravenclaw; so I am sure you can figure out the direction the initial conversations will be taking.

Thanks for your opinions.
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