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The Fifth Marauder & The House of Black

By Sarah Michelle

Adventure / Fantasy

Prologue

The graveyard stood silent in the night. Fog lifted from the damp grass, ghostly, wet and white, clinging to the headstones and muffling the sound of footsteps approaching. Several tall figures dressed in black swept silently over the yard of the dead, their faces shrouded by ghastly white masks. They were like hornets drawn back into the hive, each one honed in on their master.

A huge mansion stood alone on the crest of a hill, overlooking over a distant village that glowed with hundreds of tiny lights like fireflies. The figures filed into the decrepit house, the tired floorboards creaking with each step. A rat skittered across the feet of one figure. A flash of green light stopped the rat from moving ever again. It was kicked aside and hit the baseboards with a dull thud.

The black figures entered a spacious dining room. A long, scarred wooden table that hadn’t been eaten at in decades still held a bowl of plastic decorative fruit, but it was covered in thick cobwebs and layers of dust. The figures sat down at the table, each chair filled by a silent body. The head chair was still empty.

Minutes passed by in total silence. No one cleared their throat or coughed. No one sneezed, in spite of the heavy, dust-filled air.

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.”

A few of the figures flinched as a tall, pale man lowered himself into the high-backed, throne-like chair at the head of the table. A huge brown snake hissed and curled around his shoulders like a scarf. He stroked her diamond-shaped head, his fingers cold as the dead that lay outside of the house under the dirt.

“I have to admit… I am impressed.” The man said in a high voice. “I never expected so many of you to turn up. I never expected how deep your loyalty would run.”

A few heads nodded. Their faces were still masked by those white faces.

“It has come to my attention that the Ministry may be onto us.” The man went on. “A Mr. Vincent Backe is making quiet the ruckus about me in the Daily Prophet. Lucius, I believe you, being co workers with this fine, well-educated writer, wouldn’t mind arranging a little chat with him?”

“No, my Lord.” One of the closer figures answered. “I will speak with him tomorrow morning.”
“And you will do well to make sure he doesn’t speak again.” The Dark Lord insisted. “It is bad enough to have Eugenia Jenkins sniffing around where her nose doesn’t belong. The last thing we need is to attract attention.”

“I will be discreet, my Lord.” Lucius promised.

“Very good.” The Dark Lord commended. He leaned back in his back, his gaze sweeping the length of the table. “Now, I wonder how evangelical you have all been. Bellatrix, you and Lestrange have done well in my bid for the aid of the Giants.”

One of the figures, the closest to him, shivered in delight. “Anything for you, my Lord.” She gushed.


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