Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Second Fiddle

Snake Pit pt. 3

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 dangers, wonders, and friendship.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Humor - Characters: Dumbledore,Harry,Hermione,Neville,Ron,Voldemort - Warnings: [!] [V] [?] - Published: 2007-08-20 - Updated: 2007-08-20 - 5846 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 28: Snake Pit pt. 3

Voldemort had a thoughtful look on his face. He was pondering his next plan. He was attended by some of his inner circle of Death Eaters. With Dumbledore and Longbottom out of his way, there was only the Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour. Unlike Cornelius Fudge, the new minister didn’t seem susceptible to bribes or threats. The minister was more of a nuisance than anything else. There was only one thing to do to solve this problem. Scrimgeour must die. And, he must not forget the rest of the Order of the Phoenix. Those do-gooders had been as much of a menace as Dumbledore. They, too, must die.

Malfoy arrogantly stepped forward, and stood proud in front of the seated Dark Lord. “My lord, command us, and we will wreak havoc and destruction to every corner of the wizarding world. We will kill all who dared oppose you.”

Voldemort felt amuse at the boldness of Malfoy’s ambition. Of all his inner circles, it was Malfoy who lusted the most for power. He sometimes wondered if Malfoy had a hidden agenda contrary to his own. “Contain yourself, Lucius, before you wet yourself,” said Voldemort with a sarcastic laugh.

Malfoy didn’t like it when his master laughed at his suggestion. What was worse, the other Death Eaters laughed at him too. “My lord, your most hated enemies have fallen against your awesome power. There is no one who can stop you from conquering the world. We must act now.”

Voldemort eyes narrowed with displeasure. “You will act when I tell you, and not before. Do you understand, Lucius?”

“But, my lord…” Malfoy couldn’t believe his master wanted to sit idly by, when his enemies wouldn’t have a chance to stand against him.

“No but. You are trying my patience, Lucius. Do not overstep your bound.” Voldemort leaned forward and stared hard at his impetuous servant. His dark aura flared so strongly, it affected his Death Eaters.

But, none felt it worse more than Malfoy. Voldemort’s dark aura was concentrated at him that he felt like suffocating. He felt as if a giant hand was crushing his lungs. He submissively lowered his head. “Forgive me, my lord. I didn’t realize I was being presumptuous. Your will is my will.” The crushing feeling eased. Malfoy could easily breathe again. Chastised, he stepped back, and joined his fellow Death Eaters.

The Dark Lord leaned lazily back on his throne. There was an odd glitter in his eyes, and a self-satisfied smile on his lips. It would take a while before his Death Eaters tested their leash again. Conquering the world could not be accomplished by force alone. It would take careful planning and coordinated execution of that plan. There were so many muggles in the world, not to mention witches and wizards. He didn’t think his small band of Death Eaters could take them all. As much as it pained him to think about it, he had to forge an alliance with creatures of the wizarding world. Voldemort stopped himself from thinking of an alliance with muggles. As long as there were other options open to him, muggles would not be part of his army. For now, muggles served him better as either slaves or entertainments.

“Make no mistake my Death Eaters, this world will be mine. And you, my servants, will have a share of this world.” Voldemort inwardly smirked at the avarice showing in their eyes. “In the meantime, I believe it is time to see to our guest.” He looked at his lieutenants with an evil grin on his face. “After all, I do not want Longbottom to feel unwelcome.” The Death Eaters dutifully followed Voldemort, when he walked out of the main hall.

Harry and Ferghus were completely surprised as they stood face to face with Lord Voldemort. They couldn’t believe their luck. The evil Dark Lord was smirking at them, except… And then, they burst out laughing. Lord Voldemort’s visage would have been scary if he didn’t have a pig snout for a nose.

“Get serious, Tonks,” said Harry, trying to control his laughter.

“I like to see the Dark Lord’s reaction once he sees your version of him,” Ferghus said with humor in his voice.

Tonks reverted to her pink-haired self. “I’m sorry,” she said without any hint of regret. “But, it’s so hard to change this beautiful face to that ugly look of You-Know-Who.”

“Beautiful? Where?” Harry exaggeratedly looked around the small dungeon cell. “I don’t see anyone fitting that description.” He turned mischievous eyes at his fellow wizard. “Do you, Ferghus?”

“Oh you…” Tonks glared at Harry. “Fine. Let’s see you impersonate You-Know-Who.”

Harry sobered immediately. “What! Tonks, don’t stop now. You’re doing great.” The pink-haired auror merely looked at the ceiling, and pretended to find it interesting. “Oh come on Tonks. Don’t be like that. I was only joking.” Tonks still ignored him. “Okay. I’m sorry. You are beautiful. And, it was mean of me to say otherwise.” Tonks dubiously looked at him, gauging his sincerity. “I really am sorry.” Harry gave his best puppy look.

Tonks smiled winningly. “I knew it! You find me attractive.”

“What! I didn’t say that.” Harry was flustered. He found Tonks so infuriating sometimes. That’s what it was.

“That’s alright Harry. You’re not the first wizard who falls for my charm. And, you won’t be the last.” Tonks nearly burst out laughing. The young Potter was doing a good imitation of a goldfish. Harry acted so worldly sometimes that Tonks couldn’t help teasing him.

Harry thought fast of a good comeback. “I admit, you are somewhat attractive…”

“Somewhat?” Tonks eyes grew round. She had a look of shock on her face. And then, her expression turned devious. “I see. You don’t want to reveal your true feelings outright. I understand.” Tonks pretended to be coy. “But, I already know, Harry. There’s no need to hide it.” She secretively smiled, when she saw Harry grew more flustered.

“Ahem… We’re getting sidetrack here.” Ferghus took pity on the young wizard. He noticed Harry looked out of his depth. He assumed the young Argwyldd Blaidd knew nothing of feminine wiles. “May I remind you, we’re wasting time?”

“That’s right,” Harry agreed immediately. He was grateful to Ferghus for throwing him a lifeline. “We’re here to rescue Neville.”

“Save by a Death Eater, Harry?” Tonks winked saucily. “We’ll continue our discussion, when we have more privacy.” She saw Harry blushed and nervously gulped. If she had known Harry was this easy to tease, she would have done it a long time ago. She affected a serious demeanor. “Okay. How’s this?” The pink-haired auror’s feature morphed to that of Voldemort. “Well?”

Harry and Ferghus looked at one another and nodded, as if they came to an agreement. With a satisfied smile on their faces, they gave her their seal of approval. “Brilliant”

“Now, say something evil,” Harry requested with a hint of excitement.

Tonks rolled her eyes in exasperation, which appeared weird, considering who she looked like at that moment. “Do I have to?”

“Looking like the Dark Lord is only half the task. You must act and sound like him also,” Ferghus explained casually.

Tonks appeared thoughtful for a moment. Then, she suddenly stood up straight and arrogantly raised her chin. And, in a cold menacing voice, she said, “We will not fail. We will save Neville, and leave this cursed place.” With that said, she determinedly walked out the door.


Tonks smiled to herself when she heard her two cohorts’ final approval.

Contrary to what his fellow Death Eaters thought, Goyle was not as stupid as he looked. He just considered it unnecessary to think a lot. Besides, it was safer and less painful if he let others take the credit for a mission’s success or failure. Nowadays, the Dark Lord was only too eager to punish anyone for a simple mistake. He was subjected less to a Cruciatus Curse, because he didn’t compete for the Dark Lord’s attention. He would bide his time, and later, show to his master and fellow Death Eaters his true worth.

Goyle was idiotically smiling to himself, lost in his own thought of glory, when he became aware of the frantic murmurings of his comrades. He curiously looked around him. He saw his fellow Death Eaters standing on either side of the dungeon corridor with their heads respectfully bowed. His eyes, then, travelled from one end of the corridor to the other. He audibly gasped. His master was calmly walking towards him. He was accompanied by two white-masked Death Eaters. It struck Goyle as odd that only two lowly servants escorted the Dark Lord.

His master stopped a meter in front of him. “You! Open the door.” Goyle hastily withdrew his wand, magically released the lock of the cell door, and nervously stood to one side with his head bowed.

“What is your name, Death Eater?” Goyle heard the Dark Lord coolly asked him. For a moment, he was confused. The Dark Lord knew his name even with the cover of the mask. But, who was he to question his master’s odd behavior?

“Have you gone deaf, Death Eater? Answer our master!” a voice not belonging to his master snapped an order.

“Go…Goyle, my lord.” Goyle savagely clamped down on his rising fury. He didn’t recognize the voice of the Death Eater with the Dark Lord. But, he was sure going to find out. He didn’t become one of the Dark Lord’s favored Death Eater by letting others walked all over him.

“Goyle, I want you and the others to return to your regular assigned duties. I don’t need you to guard this chamber anymore. Do you understand?” Goyle heard the familiar threat, when the Dark Lord wanted something obeyed.

“Perfectly, my lord,” Goyle answered deferentially. He didn’t need to be told twice. He knew full well the consequences for ignoring the Dark Lord’s command. However, he couldn’t understand why his master let the other Death Eater go unpunished. He was clearly usurping the Dark Lord’s authority by talking out of hand. His master was acting strangely.

Goyle heard the cell door opened and closed. He stood up straight, and immediately searched for the two Death Eaters who accompanied his master. They were nowhere in sight. He felt cheated. He missed his chance to introduce himself to the impertinent Death Eater. He didn’t think his master would take those two inside with him. No matter. The voice sounded young. The Death Eater must be a new recruit. It shouldn’t be hard to search for him.

“You, lot, follow me. We’re done here. The Dark Lord has given a new order.” For a moment, Goyle looked dubiously at the closed door. The Dark Lord was really acting strange. But, he just assumed it was the result of capturing The-Boy-Who-Lived. Then, without checking if the other Death Eaters were following him, he began to retrace their earlier steps.

Tonks shivered despite her firm resolve to expect the worse. The room, where Voldemort locked Neville, looked like a muggle’s medieval version of a torture chamber. The few flickering torch lights cast dark and ominous shadows. The smell of bile, excrements, and dried blood filled the room. It seemed this room was not exclusive for Neville and Dumbledore’s use alone.

It was a known fact that You-Know-Who hated everything muggle. And yet, every hideous torture devices in the room were imitated from muggle. Obviously, Voldemort approved the muggle’s way of torturing prisoner.

Neville was chained spread-eagle to one side of the wall. He had been stripped of his clothes. Tonks immediately went to his side. Harry and Ferghus stood guard near the door. Pushing aside her sense of modesty, Tonks quickly inspected his body. There was no sign of spell wounds or bruises. Death Eaters hadn’t tortured him yet. She was thankful for that small mercy. You-Know-Who must have ordered them not to harm him. But, she wouldn’t be surprised if You-Know-Who personally wanted to torture Neville himself, using his muggle torture devices no doubt.

Neville’s body was sagging from his chains. He appeared to have lost consciousness. “Neville, wake up,” Tonks urgently whispered. It took a few repeated soft pats to his face, before Neville blearily opened his eyes. “Neville, it’s me, Tonks. Are you in pain? Don’t worry. Everything will be alright now. I’ll have these shackles off you in no time.”

“Tonks?” Neville groggily squinted. When his vision sufficiently cleared up, his face contorted in fury. He angrily spat on the face of his most hated enemy, Lord Voldemort. “Get away from me, you vile creature!”

Tonks instinctively stepped back, surprised. She disgustedly cleaned the spit off her face, before she talked to the angry wizard again. “Neville, calm down. It’s me, Tonks.”

Neville humorlessly laughed. “Who are you trying to fool, Voldemort? When Professor Dumbledore told me you’re mad, I didn’t know you’re this mad. Besides, Tonks is far more beautiful than you can ever hope to be.”

“Why thank you Neville. That’s very sweet of you,” Tonks said, very flattered. She momentarily glanced at one of the wizards guarding the door. “Unlike someone I won’t bother to mention.”

“I wouldn’t believe him if I were you, Tonks. Can’t you see he’s delirious?” Harry took off his mask, and pulled down the cowl covering his head. “Now will you hurry up and unchain him. We have to get out of here.”

Tonks nearly stamped her foot in frustration. Instead, she promised herself to make Harry eat his own words. “Neville, you know I am a Metamorphmagus. I can change my face at will. Watch.” She slowly changed her snake-like nostrils to a pig snout. “There… Do you believe me now? I am Tonks. We come to rescue you.” A soft chuckle came from Harry’s direction.

Neville wasn’t fully convinced. It could be a trick by Voldemort. He suspiciously looked at the young wizard near the door. On the other hand, why would Voldemort go to great lengths to fool him with a polyjuiced Death Eater of Harry Evans? It didn’t make sense. “If you’re really Tonks, prove it.”

“Alright,” Tonks confidently agreed. “How?”

“Tell me… What spell did I use when I defeated Evans in our dueling class?” Neville asked guardedly. He was ready for any sign of deceit or Legilimency.

“Hah… In your dreams, Longbottom,” Harry sarcastically exclaimed.

Tonks couldn’t help smiling at hearing Harry’s objection. “You didn’t. Defeat him, that is. He kicked your arse. Well, not actually on that spot. But, you know what I mean.”

Neville scowled for moment, before his face cleared up. Only Tonks would be so articulate with her answer. “I believe you. But, you don’t have to sound so cheerful about it. Whose side are you on anyway?”

“Don’t be such a sore loser, Longbottom,” Harry mockingly retorted.

“I am on nobody’s side. And Harry…” Tonks turned a quelling look at her co-rescuer. “…shut up.” She, then, pointed her wand at the shackles holding Neville one at a time, and cast an unlocking charm. Neville fell tiredly on his knees, alternately rubbing his sore wrists. “Harry, Ferghus, help him.”

“Can you cover him up first?” Harry protested irately. “I’m sure he suffered enough, without enduring more embarrassment from exposure of his small asset.”

“Now, who’s dreaming?” Neville unsteadily stood up, angry. “I’ll compare mine to yours anytime, anywhere.”

“Oh yeah?” Harry asked challengingly.

“Yeah!” Neville answered heatedly.

“I hate to brag, but mine is bigger than yours. Let me show you.” Harry began to shed his clothes.

Tonk sighed with exasperation. Harry and Neville chose a fine time to engage in one of their who-is-better matches. Tonks decided to intervene, before it turned ugly. “Harry, stop taking your clothes off. We have more important things to do than compare willies. In fact, I’ll be more than happy to act as a judge later.” She conjured a black cloak, and handed it to Neville. “But, for now, we have to escape from this place.” She pointedly looked from Neville to Harry to make sure they’re both listening to her. “Now, I want both of you to set aside your animosity for each other, and concentrate on working together. Do I make myself clear?”

Harry and Neville glared at each other for a moment, before reluctantly agreeing. “Yeah”… “Yeah”

“Good.” Tonks wasn’t sure if the temporary truce would hold. But, it was enough for now. She waited for a moment until Neville put on his cloak. “Harry, Ferghus, go ahead. Help him.”

“Don’t bother. I can walk.” Neville, although still weak from the effect of the Cruciatus Curse, stubbornly hobbled towards the door. He noticed Harry’s dubious look. “I won’t slow us down. I’ll keep up.”

“You better,” Harry ominously responded.

When Tonks saw everyone was ready, she imperiously walked out of the torture chamber. She was relieved all the Death Eaters were gone. For a minute there, she was afraid the Death Eaters had seen through her act. It appeared luck was on their side. As they rushed through the dungeon corridors, back to where they left Madam Bones, she hoped it would stay with them until they escaped.

Voldemort met Goyle’s team at the Apparition Chamber. The Dark Lord questioningly looked at them, wondering what could be the matter. He had given them an order to guard Longbottom. His annoyance slowly began to change into anger.

“Master? How did you get here ahead of me? I just…” Goyle, the leader of the group, was obviously taken aback, judging by the tone of his voice.

But, Voldemort wasn’t interested to listen to his servant’s prattle. He was more interested to hear their reason for defying his order. “Goyle, why are you not at your post? Did I not order you to guard Longbottom?”

“Yes, you did, my lord,” Goyle answered with a hint of confusion in his voice. “But, you told us to leave.”

Voldemort’s face hardened from such obvious lie. “I gave you no such order.”

“Bu…But, you did, my lord.” Panic was evident in Goyle voice as he insisted on his claim.

“I gave no such order,” Voldemort repeated threateningly. If there’s a third thing Voldemort hated the most, it’s repeating himself.

Goyle fearfully dropped down to his hands and knees. “Pl…Please, forgive me, my lord. I was confused.”

“I am surprised Goyle,” Voldemort said sarcastically. “I did not know you understand enough to be confused.” The Dark Lord slowly pulled out Neville’s wand. “Let me clear your mind. /Crucio!/” Goyle writhed spasmodically on the floor, screaming in pain. After a few seconds, Voldemort lifted the curse, his anger spent. “If you are going to lie to cover your incompetence, make sure to pick a good one.”

“My lord! My lord!” A Death Eater pushed through his comrades, and kneeled before the Dark Lord. Still winded from his run, he, nevertheless, made his report. “My lord, Potter’s son has escaped.”

Voldemort’s blood began to boil again. “Imbeciles! I am surrounded by imbeciles!” The infuriated Dark Lord kicked the kneeling Death Eater. “Find him! I want him found, or I will have your head!” The messenger fearfully scrambled to his feet, bowed low, and left. Voldemort turned to the rest of the Death Eaters nervously watching him. “What are you all standing around here for? Help him find the boy!” Several Death Eaters ran to do his bidding.

The Dark Lord furiously looked down at the moaning heap on the floor. “Goyle, you better hope Longbottom has not escaped too.” With that warning, he continued his way to the torture chamber.

Voldemort hadn’t walked far, when he met another group of Death Eaters. The group suddenly came out of the corner, they themselves were heading. And, this one was led by none other than himself. The Dark Lord had seen many things in his lifetime, both wondrous and bizarre. But, this one took the cake. If it wasn’t for the pig snout, the impostor could easily be mistaken as him. The impostor’s snout wiggled. He heard several soft snorts behind him. His mood turned even darker. How dare this impostor made fun of his pureblood face? Whoever he was, he would pay dearly.



The impostor Voldemort along with his cohorts ran back the way they came from. A floating figure, following in their wake, nearly hit a corner wall. The impostors were trapped. There was no way out but through them.

“Follow them!” Voldemort shouted. “Bring them to me, alive.”

Harry leaned heavily against a cell door, trying to catch his breath. There was nowhere to run. So, they hid at one of the dungeon cells. Not that it would do them any good. They’re as good as caught. There was only one way out of the dungeon, and Voldemort was blocking it. They could fight their way out. But, that would be suicide.

He anxiously looked at the others. He and Ferghus had already removed their masks and cowls. Tonks had reverted to her pink-haired self. His co-escapees showed the same emotions he was feeling. Fear and hopelessness.

“Well, I guess you got your wish, Ferghus. I didn’t think You-Know-Who’s face could get any uglier. But, it did,” Tonks said with a mischievous smile. “It was also one of my stupid mistakes. Why didn’t I check my disguise? Why didn’t any of you warn me?”

“Quit beating yourself. It’s too late now,” Ferghus said impatiently. “Besides, it won’t make any difference, because it’s the Dark Lord himself who discovered us.”

“What are we going to do now?” Harry asked evenly. He tried to keep the sound of fear from his voice. “Obviously, the Apparition Point is out of the question.”

“What can we do? If you haven’t noticed, you bleeding idiot, we’re trapped in Voldemort’s dungeon! And, any minute now, Death Eaters will break down that door, and cursed us until we scream for mercy! IS THAT CLEAR ENOUGH FOR YOU?” Neville’s voice raised to a level enough to be heard from either end of the corridor.

“Good going, you prat!” Harry retorted angrily. “Why don’t you just go outside, and tell them where we’re hiding? For someone who claims to be smart, you sure are stupid.”

“Who are you calling stupid?” Both Neville and Harry stood in the middle of the dungeon cell, angrily facing each other. “This is entirely your fault! If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place!”

“My fault? My fault? Don’t blame me for your stupidity, Longbottom!” Harry was only too willing to unload his fear on someone. “If you weren’t stupid enough to be captured, we wouldn’t have been forced to rescue your sorry arse!” Neville lost his head and fiercely charged Harry. They ended up rolling on the floor, trying to hit each other’s faces.

Tonks, who had been quietly standing in one corner of the room, suddenly shouted. “Stop that!” She made a mistake to let their argument get out of hand. She should have put a stop to it earlier, instead of uselessly thinking of a way out. She angrily strode to the two combatants, and forcibly tried to separate them. She was hit by one of the flailing fists. She quickly stepped back, massaging her aching chin. She angrily turned her attention to Ferghus. “Why are you just standing there? Help me stop them!”

“Just stand back and watch. It’ll soon be over,” the Death Eater calmly answered.

“What do you mean?” Tonks quizzically asked. Ferghus merely nodded his head towards the two brawling wizards. She turned just in time to see Harry sit on top of Neville. Harry had pulled back his right fist. Tonks saw what happened to Flint when Harry hit him in the face. He dislocated Flints’ jaw. Acting on instinct, she swiftly pointed her wand at Harry.


Harry was thrown against the wall, hard. As a testament to his strength, Harry didn’t even cry out in pain. He just crouched low on the floor ready to attack. “Harry, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…” Tonks abruptly stopped. She sensed something different with Harry. She closely searched his face. His eyes… They were no longer the color of emeralds. They had turned yellowish. She had seen those eyes on Remus a couple of times, after he had transformed into a werewolf. Tonks involuntarily stepped back, a growling sound following her retreat.

Ferghus suddenly stood in front of Tonks, shielding her from Harry’s blazing gaze. “My lord, please calm down. We are not your enemies.” Harry slowly stood, softly growling with fury. There was a feral look about him. Ferghus had a fairly good idea that Harry was transforming as a protective instinct. No one of Harry’s kind had appeared in over a thousand years. So, it was safe to assume Harry had no control on his transformation. “My lord, please listen to me. We are your friends. We fight together against the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters, remember?”

“What is going on?” Neville achingly stood up. He turned a confuse look on Harry. “What’s the matter with him?” He didn’t imagine it the first time. That unknown wizard called Harry…his lord. “And, why do you call Evans, your lord? Is he another Dark Lord?”

“Be quiet Neville,” Tonk admonished him none too kindly. She had a feeling something wrong was happening to Harry. And, she didn’t want Neville to aggravate the situation any further.

“My lord, please control yourself. We are not your enemies. We are your friends.” Ferghus hoped he could get through Harry. Stop his transformation. He didn’t want anyone to know Harry’s ability. The Ministry for Magic would surely limit his freedom, treating him like a common werewolf, when he was so much more.

There was a wild look in Harry’s eyes. But, as Ferghus calmly talked to him, his raging emotions were slowly being soothed. Soon, his eyes returned to their emerald color. “Ugh… What a headache.” Harry gently massaged his temples. When he looked up, he saw Tonks, Ferghus, and Neville warily watching him. Then, he remembered his fight with Neville. “Okay. Who shot a curse at me while my back was turned?”

“Umm… That would be me,” Tonks answered, embarrassed.

“You, Tonks?” Harry couldn’t believe it. “Bu…But, why?”

“Please forgive me Harry. I did it, because I don’t want you to seriously injure Neville. I know, deep down, you don’t want that to happen too.” There was no denying Tonks’ sincerity, when she gave her answer. Unfortunately, Harry didn’t like her answer.

“So, it boils down to Longbottom’s welfare again.” Harry turned his attention to Neville who was regarding him thoughtfully. “You know, Longbottom. You’re more trouble than you’re worth. I hope you appreciate what people do for you.”

Neville was about to retort an answer, when they heard a shout. “WE KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE! THROW OUT YOUR WANDS, AND SURRENDER!”

Harry and Ferghus immediately took positions on both sides of the door. “Damn! Now, what do we do?” Tonks asked worriedly.

“What can we do, but surrender?” Ferghus reasonably replied.

“Uh, uh… I rather fight and die, than surrender,” Neville ardently responded.

“For once, I agree with Longbottom,” Harry said somberly, giving the corridor a quick look through the small barred window to spot the Death Eaters.


“Does anyone have any idea? Even a little one?” Tonks asked panicking a little. “We’re running out of time.” She looked at the faces of each wizard, hoping for an answer. But, the only answer she got was the dejected shaking of their heads. “That’s it, then. We’re finished. If…”


Harry and Ferghus instinctively jumped away from the door. Tonks and Neville covered their ears at the sudden deafening noise. The door shook and creaked as something hit it. “If any of you has anything to say, now is the time to say it. We have a few more minutes. The Unbreakable Charm Ferghus and I put on the door won’t hold them for long.”

“Don’t be so morbid, Tonks. We’re not dead yet,” Harry admonished her lightly. He, then, turned to Neville and interestedly asked, “Just out of curiosity, how they captured you, anyway? You’re either closely guarded by most of the Order members or staying at the Headquarters. So, how did they get you?”

Neville thought of giving Harry a wise-arse answer. But, he decided against it. After all, it was a perfectly reasonable question. “They didn’t. Madam Bones brought me here.”


The sudden deafening noise made them jump in surprise. But, Tonks didn’t let that upset her. “Madam Bones?” she asked, perplexed.

“Yeah,” Neville sadly answered, thinking of his friend, Susan. “Voldemort must have bewitched her. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have done what she did.”

“How?” Tonks saw Neville’s blank look. “I mean, how did she get you here?”

Neville shrugged indifferently. “Portkey, I guess. Although, I highly doubt it.” At Tonks quizzical look, he continued. “Madam Pomfrey and Mrs. Potter cleaned and put fresh clothes on her. If there was any portkey item on her, it would have been removed.”

“It must be a portkey,” Harry said thoughtfully. “Because, Hogwarts: A History states that you can’t apparate at Hogwarts.” Tonks and Neville couldn’t help smiling. Harry might not be aware of it. But, it seemed Hermione had a big influence on him. He’s beginning to sound like her.


Everyone apprehensively looked at the door. It still appeared to be holding. Harry and Ferghus went back to scoping the corridor. “You also can’t use portkey at Hogwarts, unless it’s made by Professor Dumbledore or the Ministry,” Neville informed Harry.

“Hey, it’s Voldemort. Do you really think he’ll let the wards of Hogwarts stopped him, if he wanted to get you?” Harry’s observation got Neville thinking.

That also gave Tonks an idea. She only hoped it’s still with her. She kneeled down beside the sleeping Madam Bones, and searched her. After a few moments, she found nothing. “Neville, did you see Voldemort retrieve anything from Madam Bones?”

Neville thought for a moment. “No. But, the Death Eaters took her away. They could have taken whatever you’re looking for, afterwards.” He curiously stood near Tonks and Madam Bones.

Harry intriguingly watched Tonks frustratedly searched Madam Bones again. “What is it you’re looking for anyway, Tonks?”

Neville also watched Tonks searched for something from Madam Bones. Then, it dawned on him what she was looking for… the portkey that brought him there. “Portkey. But, I didn’t see any portkey.”


Tonks was thinking hard. She could think a lot better, if that horrible noise would only stop. She had a strong feeling she’s missing something. But, what? She looked hard at Madam Bones. The former Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement was still the same the last time she saw her. Only, she’s a lot cleaner now. As she continued to gaze at Madam Bones, her eyes returned to the hideous swelling on her forearm. The nagging feeling intensified.

“Does she have to hold the portkey to make it work?” Harry asked interestedly.

“No,” Neville answered simply. “Tonks, I don’t know if it’ll help. She said something to me, before we ended up here.”

That’s when it hit her. She looked again at the swelling in Madam Bones forearm. She couldn’t find a portkey, because it wasn’t on her. It was in her, under her skin. She would bet her life savings that the swelling on her forearm was caused by the insertion of the portkey. She would also bet that what Madam Bones said to Neville was the activation key. Tonks laughed with abandon, primarily from relief rather than happiness.

“Tonks, are you alright?” She heard Neville asked with concern.

“I’m fine. I just found us a way out of here.” She admired the beauty of You-Know-Who’s plan. Unfortunately, he made a mistake. He didn’t discard the portkey. He probably thought it wouldn’t matter, because they would all die anyway. Tonks smiled smugly. She would love to see You-Know-Who’s face, when he realized the flaw in his plan. “Harry, Ferghus, come here. All of you sit down and hold on to Madam Bones. We’re getting out of here.” She waited until the three wizards had a good hold on the sleeping witch. “Neville, say again the words Madam Bones told you.”


An explosion of mortars and debris sent Tonks and the others instinctively flattening themselves over the body of Madam Bones. The door flew on the opposite wall, missing them by several centimeters. The door didn’t break, but it took large chunks of mortars with it. The airborne dust hadn’t settled yet, when the dark form of Lord Voldemort imperiously entered the gaping hole, and sinisterly loomed over them. A chilling laugh echoed around the dungeon cell.

“Do you honestly believe you can escape me?” Voldemort mockingly asked. A self-satisfied smile graced his lips.

Neville, as well as the others, guardedly sat up. He angrily looked at the hated face of his enemy. And, with a contemptuous smile on his face, he asked, “Do you honestly believe, ‘The Order of the Phoenix is burning’?”

Voldemort’s eyes narrowed with suspicion. “What…” He was puzzled by Neville’s question, until the young hero and the others vanished. “N O O O O O ! ! ! …”
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