"So," I began, in a long, drawn-out manner. I stared at my best friend with astonishment. "I'm honestly a little shocked that you signed up for these meetings."
"Well, you know with everything that happened last term, my family has been keeping a... low profile." She said in a shaky, distressed voice. We slowly ascended the monstrous set of stairs that led to about, a billion enchanted staircases.
"Daph," I softly called, as we boarded a moving set of stairs that led to our secret location. "What will you do, if you know..." I looked to her with sorrow plastered on my pale face. "If he does find your parents?"
"Mum thinks that he won't bother with us, but dad-" She stopped in panic. Her healthy sun-kissed glow fading from her complexion. "Chances are, he will find us. And he is not a forgiving man, Ella."
We made our departure from the stairs and walked the rest of the way in silence. At the end of the hallway on the fifth floor, we paused in front of a lengthy wall. If you were to blink, you would miss the beauty of the intricate little designs, carving their way into a large door. Daphne and I gasped in awe as it opened slowly to us, revealing my brother and his friends setting up for today's lesson. The beautiful door however, faded from the wall as quickly as it had came.
Within a few minutes of our arrival, students were pouring in to the room of requirement. Harry had told me the night before that we would be giving a demonstration on stunning today, and I couldn't be more pleased. I mean, how often is it that your brother willingly lets you hit him with a defensive spell?
There was quite a bit of chattering amongst everyone, and when Harry stood at the front of the room, they fell silent.
"Um, welcome to our first meeting." Said Harry in a quiet tone. "Today we will be learning how to stun." He motioned for me to join him at the front. I stood next him, awkwardly.
"Stunning is one of the most useful spells in your arsenal. It's sort of a wizard's bread and butter, really. So um, come on then sister, give me your best shot."
"Ten galleons on Harry." Said Ron, to Fred and George, who were snickering at their younger brothers bet.
"You're on, Ronald." Said the twins in unison.
I pulled my wand from my robes and pointed it at Harry. I could hear snickering from Weaslebee, and hushed voices coming from Fred and George. "Stupefy!" Red sparks shot from my wand and collided with Harry's body. He flew across the room, hitting the far left wall.
My mouth hung open slightly at the sight before me. I wasn't by any means, bad at stunners, but I had never disarmed Harry before. Trying to remain cool, I smirked and returned to Daphne's side, who also had her mouth hanging open.
Harry, who looked like he had been hit by the Hogwarts Express, slowly got to his feet. "Nice work, Ella." He straightend his glasses and looked to everyone. "Alright, pair up and good luck!"
Soon students were sent flying in every direction, colliding hard with the concrete wall. Everyone was doing fantastic! Well, everyone except Longbottom. I had been attempting to show him the correct wand movements
for the last half hour, and still nothing.
Neville sighed deeply and looked as if he might cry. "I'm hopeless." He whispered.
"Don't worry too much, Longbottom." I had faith in him. He just needed faith in himself. "Just keep practicing the wand movements I showed you, and remember to speak very strong and clear."
He nodded and flashed a goofy smile at me. "Thanks, Ella. You know, you aren't too bad for a Slytherin."
"Thank you, Neville." I smiled widely at him. "You aren't so bad yourself, being a Gryffindor and all."
Umbridge was officially the devil.
"You will please copy the approved text four times to ensure maximum retention. There will be no need for wands."
Her high pitched voice was making me cringe in my seat. What the hell did she think this was? A muggle high school? We are magical folk, copying the 'approved text four times' won't do us any good. Daft woman...
Looking around the room I saw Longbottom, completely ignoring the toad and not copying any text at all. Instead, he had his wand out underneath his desk, practicing the wand movements for Expelliarmus.
Oh Merlin, kill me now. Put the wand away Neville!
"Mr. Longbottom!" She snapped, and scared him so bad that his wand dropped out of his grasp and onto the ground with a light clank.
"Y-y-es?" Neville stuttered and quickly picked up his wand, securing it into his pocket.
"Detention!" The toad spat as she yelled across the room. Neville only nodded and once again, looked like he was about to cry.
I noticed Longbottom at our next meeting, vigorously scratching his right arm like he'd fallen into some poison ivy or something.
"You alright there, Neville?" I asked, curiously staring at his arm. It looked as if he had a very bad carpet burn. I cringed slightly when he winced in pain from his 'punishment'.
This was barbaric. Torture. All because he had his wand out at a school for MAGIC. Horrified at the toads idea of detention, I pulled Harry aside.
"Harry, have you seen what she's done to Neville?" I asked, absolutely horrified.
My brother nodded and pulled his sleeve up, showing me his arm. I gasped, covering my mouth with my hand. There, on my brothers arm was 'I must not tell lies' carved into his skin. Someone needed to tell Dumbledore! Hell, even Snape wouldn't allow such a punishment.
"I thought about telling Dumbledore," Harry began, pulling his sleeve back down. "But he's got enough on his plate."
"Oh please, all hes done is hide out in his office the entire year." I said bitterly.
"I'm sure he has a plan."
"Yeah, one that you aren't involved in." I said, scowling at the floor. "Doesn't that bother you? I mean, hes practically ignored you all year, Harry." I looked to my brother sympathetically.
Harry was about to say something when he was interrupted by someones wand landing right in front of us. Whipping my head around, I saw Neville, looking happier than a kid on Christmas. He'd done it. Neville Longbottom had actually done it. Everyone surrounded him, congratulating him, patting him on the back. I couldn't have been more proud.
"Fantastic, Neville!" Harry yelled with delight. "Working hard is important, but there's something that matters even more: believing in yourself."
Wands and students were flying across the room.
"Think of it this way. Every great wizard in history started out as nothing more than what we are now, students. If they could do it, why not us?"
"Voldemort might be after something... something he didn't have last time."
I recognized the room from my previous dreams. Elegant, cold, poorly lit. This time however, I was not sitting at a grand dining table. I was at the foot of a grand staircase. Suddenly, I felt the urge to climb it, almost like it was a magnet drawing me in.
Grasping the cold, stone handrail, I started my journey up to the second floor. There was a long corridor at the top of the stairs, and once again I felt myself being pulled in that direction. The hallway was getting darker and darker with each step. Pulling my wand out from my robes, I pointed it straight in front of me.
"Lumos." I whispered. And a bright, blue light shone from my wand. Suddenly, the air felt colder than it had, and I felt a slight wisp of wind across the back of my neck. Turning around slowly, my eyes met a pair of glowing crimson ones.
"Ahhh, Ella, nice of you to finally show up." The man hissed in a raspy voice, and the hallway one bit at a time was illuminated with light. The light flickered at the spot where I stood and I caught a glimpse of the crimson eyed man.
"V-Voldemort." Stuttering, I tried to move backwards when I felt a pair of strong hands on my shoulders.
"Tsk...tsk... You aren't going anywhere, girl!" He whispered in my ear, sending chills down my spine. He then turned me around to face the end of the hallway, wand pointed at the base of my neck. Ready to kill me at any moment. My heartbeat was picking up speed, color draining from my face.
"W-What...do... y-you... want with me?" I asked, frozen by fear.
Voldemort let out a horrible cackle and I saw my brother being held hostage
by Lucius Malfoy at the end of the hallway.
"Ella! Ella, what ever he says don't listen!" Harry cried out to me. "It's all a lie, Ella!" Lucius Malfoy smacked my brother hard in the face, almost knocking his glasses off.
"You monster!" I yelled in despair, Voldemorts grip was becoming painful, and my scar was starting to burn in excruciating pain.
"My deeeaarr Ella," Voldemort whispered, lips almost grazing my ear. "I...want... you... to.. kill ..him." His words sent chills down my body, I was completely frozen out of then pointed his wand to Harry, and my heart sank from my chest.
"N-No..." I felt warm tears sliding down my cheeks and Voldemort pulled me closer to him, pulling my hair roughly, so that I was looking him in the face. I let out a yelp from the sudden pain that was coursing through my head.
"Oh, but you want to, Ella." His warm breath snaking across my face. "Do you not remember?"
"Do it." He whispered to me, and I instantly shook my head no. He was now pulling on my hair so hard, one more tug and it might be ripped out.
"I can see into your mind, Ella Potter." His hand were now lightly tracing down the length of my arms, sending chills throughout my entire body. "I know your every thought..." He lightly pushed a lock of hair from my face, his long, bony fingers tracing my cheek. "Your struggles..." He dropped his feather light touch from my cheek, and placed his hands to my waist. "Desires..." His lips grazed the shell of my ear as his warm breath was trailing down my neck."
"You're-" My lips were trembling as I spoke, terrified he would kill me any moment now. "You're wrong."
"You'll want what I have to offer you before the end, that i'm sure of."
"HARRY!" I shot out of bed, my face drenched in tears. I was sobbing loudly and I heard the rustling of Daphne's bed sheets.
"Oh my god, Ella! Are you alright?" She was panicking, which was making me panic more. I needed to get to Snape, and fast.
Snape took me to Dumbledores office, just like the last time this had happened. Walking in, I saw my brother and quickly embraced him in a hug.
"Severus, what has happened?" Dumbledore asked, once again in a clam manner.
"He forced his way into Miss Potter's mind and tried to control her through her dreams, sir." Snape replied, paler than usual.
"Curious...very curious." Said Dumbledore, who was now pacing the room.
"Professor, will you please just tell me what is happening?" Harry pleaded.
"Severus, is he aware of the connection?" Asked Dumbledore, completely ignoring Harry.
"It would appear so."
Dumbledore rushed over to a large picture on the wall. " Phineas, you must go
to your portrait at Grimmauld Place and tell them that Arthur Weasley is gravely injured, and his children would be arriving there soon by Portkey."
"S-sir," Harry pleaded.
"We got him, Albus. It was close, but I think he'll make it. What's more, the Dark Lord failed to acquire it." The picture on the wall replied to Dumbledore.
"LOOK AT ME!" Harry roared in a voice that wasn't his own, and Dumbledore was extremely frightened, glancing at Snape.
"What's wrong with me?" Harry said in a cry.
"Severus, it cannot wait until morning. You need to begin lessons with Harry."
"Of course, Sir." Snape looked to me one last time, horror struck, and left with Harry.
"Now, Miss Potter, tell me what happened." Asked Dumbledore, walking to his pensive.
"He... wanted me to kill Harry." I said, trembling as I spoke.
The old man began pacing back and forth, stroking his beard, and whispering to himself as if I didn't exist. After pacing for about five minutes he turned to his picture man on the wall again and whispered something to him that I couldn't hear.
"It's just as I feared." He said with a drawn out sigh. "You will be put under the highest protection over the holidays, Miss Potter." He sighed again and turned to his pensive. Bringing out his wand and tapping it lightly to his temple. He extracted a memory and dropped it into the magical object.
"It appears Tom has found something he didn't have before." He whispered, forgetting I was still in the room.
Leaving the oh-so-helpful Dumbledore to his thoughts, I walked back to my dorm. Sitting on the couch of the common room, I gazed out into the depths of the black lake.