Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Second Fiddle

Basilisk Rising

by Crucio_Crusade 3 reviews

Harry Potter is aware of the wizarding world. The only problem is he grew up apart from it. When he explored the magical world, he found danger, wonder, and friendship.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Drama - Characters: Harry,Hermione,Neville,Voldemort - Warnings: [!] [V] [?] - Published: 2007-02-01 - Updated: 2007-08-25 - 4662 words

Disclaimer: This fan fiction was based on the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. I do not claim ownership on any character created by J.K. Rowling, and no money is collected from this story. This is one way I show appreciation to J.K. Rowling's works. Other names or places on this story are fictional. Any similarity to actual name is purely coincidental.

Chapter 24: Basilisk Rising

Snape dizzily staggered backward from the blow to his face. He lost his balance and fell on his arse. He slowly closed and opened his eyes to stop the floor from spinning. He never expected Lily would physically hit him. What was more, he never expected the redheaded witch could deliver quite a punch. While still trying to recover, he felt himself lifted and deposited to a chair. He was tightly bound with no possible way to escape. Surprisingly enough, his foremost concern at that moment was his broken hand.

Lily had been persistently questioning the Potions Master for half an hour with no result. She was getting frustrated. She doubted any threat she made would overcome Snape's fear of Voldemort's punishment. It didn't help either that Snape knew she wouldn't resort to the use of Unforgivable Curses. "Tell me, Snape. Where did you send my son?" Snape just looked at her with contempt and defiance. Lily let her frustration out by soundly slapping the Potions Master in the face.

"Lily, I can understand your frustration, but there is no need to slap him," she heard Madam Pomfrey's stern disapproval. The redheaded witch felt slightly embarrass at her action. She should have better control over her frustration, but her rage demanded retribution. She heard Madam Pomfrey continued talking. This time, there was a hint of amusement in her voice. "You are a witch. Use your wand." She turned to face the school nurse, surprise written on her face. "Well, I don't want you to injure your hand, do I?" Lily just gave the school nurse a grateful smile. Madam Pomfrey smiled back, her eyes full of understanding.

"Madam Pomfrey, are you really sure you don't have /Veritaserum/?" Lily asked in a hopeful tone of voice.

"I'm sure," the school nurse answered huffily. "Lily, you know that potion is a Ministry controlled substance."

"I know," Lily admitted, disappointed. "It's just that..."

"I believe Professor Snape keeps a supply in his private potions cabinet." A young girl's voice firmly suggested.

Madam Pomfrey and Lily both turned around, surprised. They saw Hermione and one of the Weasley twins standing in the middle of the room. Hermione was slowly looking around, her eyes going from one empty bed to the next. The Weasley youth was curiously looking at his former Portions Master.

"Fred? Hermione? What are you two doing here?" Lily asked with concern.

"I wanted to visit Harry," Hermione replied anxiously. Her eyes earnestly roamed around the hospital wing once more. "I don't see him. Where is he? Is he alright?"

"I'm George, Mrs. Potter. Fred is at the Headquarters." George helpfully corrected Lily's misassumption. "Why is Snape all tied up? Not that I object, mind you." His mischievous grin grew wider when he saw the Potions Master furiously glared at him.

Lily sighed deeply. She didn't really want to tell them what happened. But, Hermione was Harry's friend. And George...well...he's an Order member, sort of. "Snape betrayed Dumbledore's trust. He finally decided which side to support. He sent Harry to some unknown location by using a portkey. We wanted to find out where. That is why I need /Veritaserum/." Lily threw the Potions Master a cold look. "He thinks his master will win the war. And I say nay, not with Dumbledore and Neville on our side."

"That's what you think," Snape scathingly muttered, loud enough for the others to hear.

"What do you mean by that?" Lily quickly inquired. This was the first time Snape had spoken since they tied him.

"You will find out soon enough," he answered cryptically. There was a sinister smile playing on his lips. His eyes gleamed with undisguised amusement.

As much as Lily, and the others, wanted to ignore what Snape said, they couldn't help but feel alarm. He spoke with utter certainty. Lily thought whatever was going to happen, it would happen at the exchange site. Her heart beat a little faster. She thought of James. She had to have that Veritaserum to find out what Snape knew. "Hermione, you seem to know a lot about Snape's potions store. Would you mind if you and George go to his office and get the potion for me?"

Without showing any qualm, Hermione hurriedly pulled George out of the hospital wing. Normally, she would object to anyone invading someone's private domain. But in this case, she made an exception, just like when she brewed a Polyjuice potion in her second year. It was for a greater good.

Back at number twelve Grimmauld Place, the dueling room was filled with laughter. Neville, Ron, and Cho were enjoying themselves watching Susan and Luna. The two witches had partially succeeded in transforming their head to their respective animagus form. Luna had black feathers for hair and a short beak-like nose which somewhat resembled Snape's. Susan had short sleek brown hair and a squashed face which somewhat resembled Crookshank's. In spite of their so-called friends' undisguised amusement, they still felt proud of their accomplishment. After so many days of disappointment, their training had finally progressed.

"Well, now. Would you look at that?" Fred admired the transformation of Susan and Luna. "You two finally did it." Neville and Ron burst anew in a fit of laughter. Cho had the sense to contain her mirth. Fred crossed his arms over his chest. "You laugh. Let's see you two do it then."

"No problem. Watch this." Ron grabbed both Neville's hands and raised them at eye-level. Neville exasperatedly rolled his eyes. Nevertheless, he obliged by changing his hands into fist-sized gold furred paws. He playfully made a swipe at Ron's nose.

"Very impressive. It was a fast transformation too." Fred complimented generously. "But, Luna and Susan can do the same thing. I want to see you transform your heads." The mischievous twin secretly winked at Luna and Susan.

Ron visibly gulped. "Sure. I'll have you know, Neville can transform his head just like that." The youngest Weasley boy soundly snapped his fingers. "Go ahead, Neville. Show him how you do it."

"What?" Neville disbelievingly looked at Ron.

"Well, go on. I know you can do it, mate." Ron confidently encouraged his friend.

Before Neville could utter a comeback, Fred intervened. "I don't mean just Neville, Ron. I want to see both of you do it."

Ron uncertainly gazed at his brother who was expectantly looking back at him. He visibly gulped again. Ron was nervous to say the least. He couldn't transform his hand. How would he transform his head? Nevertheless, he followed Neville's example and closed his eyes. He pictured his animagus form in his mind and tried to will his head to become that of a fox. He unconsciously made funny faces from the effort of transforming his head. Suddenly, he felt like an egg had been cracked over his head and the cold slime slowly encompassed his head. He grew excited. His head was changing. He could feel it. It took a while before he noticed the sound of laughter. He hesitantly opened his eyes and found everyone laughing at him. With a suspicious look on his face, he carefully examined himself thinking Fred had pranked him while his eyes were closed. He didn't see anything out of the ordinary.

"What the bloody hell are you all laughing about?" he asked, peeved. His mutinous gaze traveled from one person to the next.

"You!" Neville roared with laughter. "You should see your animagus face. You look..."

"...Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant." Fred beamed proudly at him.

Ron didn't have a clue. He just kept looking at his brother and his friends as if they've gone mad. Cho took pity on him and conjured a mirror. He was stunned. "I'm a bloody Cornish Pixie? Bu...But, I thought I'm a fox." His friends' laughter grew louder. Ron couldn't take his eyes of his reflection. He couldn't believe it. He's a Cornish Pixie, for Merlin's sake. Then, it dawned on him. His brother did play a prank on him. "Fred! You great git! Take this off me!"

"Wh...Why? Yo...You much better...dashing even." Neville managed to say through his mirth.

Ron simply glared at his mate. Then, he saw Neville doubled over, his two hands clutching his forehead. "Oh, come on, mate. I'm sure my face isn't that funny." Neville didn't answer him, but continued to slide down on his knees. That's when he realized something was really wrong, and so was everyone else.

Cho quickly went down on her knees and clasped Neville's cheeks to try to raise his head. "Nev, look at me. Please, Nev, look at me." Neville resisted his girlfriend's effort. He continued to moan in pain. Cho changed tack. "Nev, please, tell me what's wrong?" Neville mumbled a word. "What's that? I didn't quite hear you."

"Voldemort." Everyone flinched except Luna. "He was furious. Someone has escaped. I briefly saw him punishing Wormtail." Neville was trying to breathe evenly to ease the pain. He drew one deep breath and released it slowly. The piercing pain had subsided, but his scar was still slightly throbbing. He unsteadily stood up. His friends were ready to lend their hands in case he fell. Cho immediately wiped the telltale signs of tears from his eyes. "Come on. We have to go to Hogwarts." Everyone hesitated for a moment, confused, before they hurriedly followed Neville who was already out of the door.

"We can't find Hermione," Susan said frantically from half-way down the stairs. "Luna and I looked everywhere upstairs."

"I can't find George, either," Fred said, baffled. He just finished searching the kitchen.

Neville noticed everyone was looking at him. "Well, we can't wait for them. They probably went out. Fred, would you leave your mum a message so she and Charlie wouldn't be worried too much?"

"But, why do we need to go to Hogwarts? Mrs. Weasley will probably be back soon from her shopping trip to Diagon Alley. She can ask Hagrid or Madam Pomfrey if there is something wrong. Better yet, I can do it myself. It won't take me long." Cho was about to walk away when Neville stopped her.

"No! We have to be there. I have a very strong feeling this is important." Everyone looked at him with apprehension. They knew whenever he had a strong feeling about something it usually spelled trouble. "Look. I don't want to get anyone hurt or in trouble. I don't even know if what I saw in my vision is true or not. So, if you don't want to come with me, it's alright. I won't hold it against you."

"That's not it, mate. We were just worried how we are going to get to Hogwarts." Ron encouragingly smiled at him. Neville gratefully acknowledged it by slightly nodding his head. He looked at his other friends. And, one by one, they nodded, letting him know they would support him.

"Are we going to Hogwarts? Or, are we just going to stand here and make goo goo eyes at each other?" Fred asked impatiently. A relieve laughter filled the main hall. Then, as one, they stepped into the world outside.

Before the front door even fully closed, Ron could be heard asking, "Seriously, mate, how are we going to Hogwarts?"


"Yes, Neville?"

"Shut up."

As soon as Hagrid opened the door to his hut, his dog, Fang, dashed inside. He followed slowly and carefully propped his crossbow by the side of the door. He threw more logs into the dying fire, before he tiredly sat on his dining chair. His faithful boar hound was sniffing and circling the same spot several times before settling down near the warmth of the fireplace. There was a thoughtful expression on his bearded face. Professor Snape had sent him on a fool's errand. There was no injured Basilisk. It was just a common variety snake.

"Well Fang, either Professor Snape doesn't know what a Basilisk looks like, or he played a poor joke on us," he said with a touch of annoyance in his voice. He glanced at the clock on his fireplace mantle and saw it was almost seven. "Great Merlin! I didn't realize it was that late. I better start cooking dinner."

For a while, the half-giant was busy cutting and dumping vegetables and meat on his cauldron. "Dinner is almost ready, Fang. Just let me clean the table of all this garbage, then we can eat." He heard his dog barked twice. He smiled, highly amused. Fang loved his food. Then, he heard his dog barked again and didn't stop. "Alright! Alright! I heard you the first time." But, Fang just kept on barking loudly. Hagrid curiously turned around and looked at his dog. "What is it, boy?" Fang ignored him and kept on barking toward the front door. He walked uncertainly to the door and opened it slightly to peek out. Fang swiftly slid between his legs and slipped through the gap. "Fang! Get back here!" Hagrid hastily grabbed his crossbow and ran after his boar hound.

Hagrid was glad the sun was still up even at this late hour. It made it easier to find Fang. He saw his dog sniffing at something on the entrance steps of Hogwarts. He stopped at a safe distance. "Fang, you silly dog, get away from there!" Fang immediately ran to his side, and then, excitedly ran back again to the figure lying face down on the steps, barking and sniffing. "You there! Whoever you are, get up!" There was no answer. The figure didn't even move. With his trusty crossbow at a ready in one hand, he cautiously approached. For a moment, he thought it might be some vagrant. It would explain the smell of unclean toilet and the unkempt appearance of the figure. When he was close enough, he slowly bent down and carefully turned over the unmoving figure. It was a woman. Her face was dirty and gaunt, but Hagrid still recognized her.

"Great Merlin's beard! It's Madam Bones!"

Meanwhile, somewhere in the Forbidden Forest, Dumbledore was busy deliberating scenarios. He was brought out of his musing when he felt an unfamiliar ward encompassed him as he reached the vicinity of the clearing. Dumbledore's uneasiness grew. He should have expected this. Unlikely as it seemed, Voldemort suspected something. Or, someone made him suspect something. He strived to calm his growing anger and disappointment. He would deal with this act of treachery later. He came here to save Amelia. He would capture Voldemort if he could. But, the well-being of Amelia, and the other witches and wizards with him on this mission came first.

Dumbledore stopped roughly fifteen meters away from Voldemort. He briefly observed the Dark Lord. There was no difference to his appearance since their last encounter at the Department of Mysteries. However, for some odd reason, the most evil dark wizard seemed to be suppressing his magical aura. It was almost squib-like in strength. The aged headmaster's eyes finally dropped to the witch lying on the grass. From what he could see, the witch didn't look well.

"We have to modify our plan. Voldemort knows," he said gravely. He could hear Snape's name mentioned harshly. "He created a ward within my own. It is concentrated around this clearing. Disapparition or our portkeys may not work." This situation made everything complicated, but Dumbledore was determined to prevail. He took out his wand and pointed it at his own throat. "Hello Tom. I gather you are well?" The headmaster's loud friendly voice was followed by shrill twittering and fluttering wings as startled birds fled from the area.

Voldemort smirked. How like Dumbledore to engage in pleasantries when there was an important matter to be discussed. He would like to converse with his former Transfiguration professor, but his deception must be maintained. Wormtail better not gave away their ruse, or there would be hell to pay. He, then, heard his amplified voice answered the headmaster.

"Indeed, I am. And, how is life treating you, Dumbledore? I hope you do not feel threaten by my rise to power?" Wormtail was doing a passable imitation of him, Voldemort thought. The tone of the voice was a bit too pleasant for his liking, but then again, what would he expect from a rat.

Dumbledore merely smiled at Voldemort's childish attempt to annoy him. "Alas, as my age advance, I seem to get more burdened with problems and disappointments. I am greatly disappointed with you, Tom. You could have been one of the wizarding world's greatest leaders. Instead, you have chosen a dark path. But, all is not lost. You can still change your ways." He saw the Dark Lord's face twisted in fury.

"I did not come here to listen to your prattle, you old fool. Save your worthless speech to your idiot followers. Now, do you want to trade or not?" Voldemort was minutely impressed. Perhaps, he should make Wormtail his jester. He wasn't much good for anything else, anyway.

Dumbledore dejectedly sighed as he lowered his wand. He tried. He didn't really think he could persuade Tom to turn from his evil ways. Tom was far too immersed in the Dark Arts to turn back now. His thought went to Neville Longbottom. Perhaps, there was no way around the prophecy.

"Nymphadora." Tonks, disguised as Harry, stood beside him. "Watch the sky for my signal. Do not hesitate to escape as soon as you see it. Good luck."

Tonks nodded gravely. She had been trying to calm her racing heart with very little success. She carefully observed You-Know-Who and the two Death Eaters, standing slightly behind his sides. She wondered if You-Know-who had more of his servants hiding among the bushes just like them. If this exchange turned sour, would it be an even battle or would they be overmatched? She cast aside her doubts and concentrated at the task at hand. When she first suggested her plan, she was fully aware of the great risk involved. She knew it would be a miracle if she survived. She practically set one of her feet at death's door. As she studied the sinister face of You-Know-Who, she thought she would definitely need all the luck she could get.

The Metamorphmagus saw the two Death Eaters moved forward and roughly pulled Madam Bones to her feet. Every time they let go of her arms, she would wobble and slowly collapse to the ground. This occurred a few more times, before she finally managed to stand unaided. She saw Madam Bones docilely stood there. With her head down and her shoulders hunched forward, she looked...broken.

"How do I know she is the real Madam Bones?" The headmaster's loud voice boomed across the clearing.

"How do I know he is the real Harry Evans?" Voldemort asked in return. It was an impasse. There was nothing more said after that.

Tonks saw one Death Eater poked Madam Bones with a wand. Slowly and with obvious difficulty, the former Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement took a step forward. She also moved forward, exactly matching the number of steps the other witch took. As they drew closer, she carefully observed Madam Bones. Ever since she took that first step, Tonks noticed Madam Bones didn't even raise her head. She continued to look at the ground, and yet, she walked unerringly towards Professor Dumbledore. Tonks didn't know what to make of it.

They both reached the center point of the clearing. That's when it happened. Madam Bones tripped and fell down. Tonks immediately went down on her knees and helped the poor witch. She got a closer look at Madam Bones. Her assumption was correct. Madam Bones was in a worst condition. She smelled bad and definitely malnourished. Tonks hoped her mind remained intact.

"What are you waiting for half-blood? Get over here!"

Tonks ignored the harsh command of one of the Death Eaters. She gently grabbed Madam Bones' right arm and tried Side-Along Apparition. It didn't work. She activated her ring portkey. It didn't work either. "Damn," she muttered under her breath. She couldn't run back dragging Madam Bones. It would get them both killed. There was nothing left to do but continue with the planned exchange.

She caringly helped Madam Bones to stand on her feet. For a brief moment, Madam Bones had raised her head and looked at her. Tonks was struck by the absence of any emotion on her face or in her eyes. She thought Madam Bones would be bursting with joy. Instead, her face and eyes were blank. For a moment, Tonks thought Madam Bones might be under the influence of the Imperius Curse. But then, she couldn't imagine what torture the older witch had been through. Madam Bones had been a prisoner for a long time. She could be suffering from shock. Now, she truly hoped You-Know-Who didn't break her spirit.

Madam Bones lifelessly dropped her head. She continued to walk unsteadily towards Dumbledore. Tonks briefly followed her progress with her eyes. Anger flashed through her being. These monsters would pay dearly for what they had done.

"We are waiting, half-blood!"

With cold fury in her heart and in her eyes, she continued her slow walk towards the dark wizards. At that moment, she would gladly accept death if she could kill or maim You-Know-Who.

Voldemort smiled with glee as he slowly crossed the other half of the clearing. He intentionally stumbled, and then, looked at the Metamorphmagus to test his appearance. The auror witch didn't suspect a thing. If he could fool her, he could fool Dumbledore. He kept a tight grip on his excitement. He was almost there. Even without watching where he was going, he could unerringly walk towards Dumbledore. The headmaster's aura was like a beacon. Right now, it was very strong, an obvious sign that Dumbledore was ready for battle. But this time, the old fool wouldn't know where the enemy would come from.

Voldemort saw the hem of Dumbledore's ridiculously designed cloak. He was close. He pretended to faint from exhaustion. His head hit the headmaster's chest. He was surprised the aged headmaster could move so fast. And then, he felt two hands firmly clasped his arms and gently supported him. The Dark Lord felt revulsion at Dumbledore's touch. He flinched involuntarily.

"It is alright, Amelia. You are safe now." Voldemort heard Dumbledore soothingly whispered to him. With his face buried in the folds of the headmaster's cloak, his lips twitched into a malevolent half-smile. It wouldn't be long now, he thought with growing excitement.

Tonks was getting worried. Three more meters and she would be at the enemy's grasp. She secretively glanced at the sky once more. Professor Dumbledore still hadn't fired the signal. Surely, Madam Bones would have reached him by now. As much as she wanted to look back, she kept her eyes focused on the dark wizards. She continued to take smaller and smaller steps, a flobberworm would probably pass by her.

She looked at You-Know-Who once more and calculated her chance of escape. It would be slim. But, if she got any closer, escape would be a moot point. Then, she saw something odd happened to You-Know-Who. He started to grimace as if in pain. His body began to twitch violently. He started growing sparse brown hair. His face lost its snake-like appearance and became round. He began to shrink in height. Realization struck Tonks. As she was about to turn around and shout a warning, a red spark exploded in the sky.

Dumbledore quickly closed the gap between himself and Madam Bones when he saw the witch falter and slowly fall down. There was a mix feeling of compassion and anger in his heart as he caught the falling witch. He felt her flinched as soon as his hands wrapped around her arms. He didn't need Madam Pomfrey to tell him Madam Bones suffered greatly. He could see and smell the evidence. He gently hugged Madam Bones while supporting her sagging body. "It is alright, Amelia. You are safe now." As much as he would like to whisk Madam Bones to the hospital wing at Hogwarts, he still had to finish his dealing with Voldemort.

When Dumbledore turned his head towards James and Mad Eye, he found them watching him. He saw the same compassion and anger in their eyes. He gave a slight meaningful nod. As one, they swiftly moved away from him, increasing the gap between them. In case a battle ensued, they would have some space to move around. And, it would be harder to hit them. With one hand supporting Madam Bones, the headmaster raised his wand and fired a red spark to the sky. Suddenly, the clearing was surrounded with light witches and wizards. Dumbledore was pleased. They had Voldemort outflanked and outnumbered.

Unfortunately, Tonks was captured. When Dumbledore fired the signal, he saw the Metamorphmagus swiftly turned on her heels. However, her innate clumsiness worked against her. She tripped and fell down. One of the Death Eaters immediately summoned her. Now, he was faced with a dilemma. Voldemort had another captive.

Dumbledore's eyes grew wide with shock when he refocused his gaze to Voldemort. He wondered if his eyes were deceiving him. Instead of Voldemort, a rather familiar wizard was standing in his place. It only took him a few moments to realize what happened. He immediately looked down at the witch in his arm. She was disconcertingly staring at him. Her eyes had an unusual gleam in their depth. There was a malicious smile playing on her lips. At that moment, he knew the witch was not Amelia.

"Tom?" the headmaster asked in disbelief and horror.

With a vicious swiped of his left hand, the disguised Dark Lord knocked away the wand from the surprised headmaster. His action, however, seemed to prod Dumbledore to defend himself. The headmaster forcefully shoved the dark wizard away from him. Voldemort stumbled backward, but kept his balance. He swiftly reached for his wand and pointed it at Dumbledore's chest.

"Goodnight, Dumbledore. May your dreams be always sweet," Voldemort mockingly said to his former Transfiguration professor. "Somnus Aeternum!"

James and Mad Eye were closely observing Tonks' progress when they noticed Voldemort's appearance was changing. After a few moments, a completely different wizard was exposed. They saw the disguised auror attempted to escape, but misfortune struck. They watched helplessly as their comrade was captured. Their auror training and professional discipline held them back from rushing to the rescue. They quickly turned to Dumbledore's direction for his command. What they saw was Madam Bones with her wand pointed at the headmaster. After a shouted curse, a dark violet light struck Dumbledore. He fell heavily to the ground and didn't move. Madam Bones cackled madly. Her insane laugh echoed in the unusually quiet forest and chilled the bones of every witch and wizard present. Mad Eye was the first to curse the witch, but a shield stopped his spell. James, as if waking up from a dream, also blasted the witch with a curse. But, it was to no avail. An impenetrable shield stopped all their curses. And, in a blink of an eye, Madam Bones vanished. When they turned to face the Death Eaters, they too had disappeared, including Tonks. The shock and disbelieving light witches and wizards were the only ones left in the clearing, watching the body of their fallen leader.


Somnus Aeternum - Eternal sleep
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