Hour 10: 4 AM
Previously in Harry Potter 24:
Luna had a bad dream and she felt she needed to warn Harry Potter about the vision she had. On her way to find him, she encounters Umbridge and the Inquisitorial Squad:
Umbridge then turned to face Pansy, "You might as well stun her and then we'll put her somewhere 'safe' and out of the way."….
Pansy ordered her four companions to pick up the unconscious girl and carry her over to the broom closet. "You probably ought to lock the door just to make sure she stays there, I mean that she stays safe," commented the former Undersecretary.
Pansy then cast a quick locking charm on the door and the group made their way down the hall, still searching for Harry Potter or any other students who might be roaming the needing any further encouragement three of the five students immediately fired stunning spells at the silver eyed blonde Ravenclaw student who collapsed on the floor.
Harry had returned to 12 Grimmauld Place, and retrieved Slytherin's locket which had been turned into a horcrux. Upon returning to Hogwarts, he encounters Umbridge and her new Inquisitorial Squad.
Suddenly he realised that he was surrounded by Pansy Parkinson and the group of Slytherins who he had seen leave with her earlier that night. But to his dread he noted the woman in pink who was cackling with glee behind the students.
"It seems that you have finally been caught, Mr. Potter," scolded the toad of a woman who had tortured him for countless nights in detention the previous year.
Ron, Ginny and Hermione find Harry trapped by Umbridge and her followers. They end up getting Peeves to help them to help Harry escape.
Draco Malfoy witnessed Harry's escape from Umbridge and uses the distraction to sneak back to his own dorm.
The Tenth Hour, 4 AM - 5 AM, Saturday, October 19, 1996
Dawn was still more than two hours away, and Voldemort had called his inner circle to meet with him in his throne room. Bellatrix Lestrange, her husband Rodolphus and his brother Rabastan were present; as were Yaxley, Mulciber and Walden MacNair.
When they had gathered together at his call for his lieutenants, he noticed that Lucius Malfoy was not present. "Where is our gracious host, my friends?" asked the dark lord.
"Not sure my lord," answered Yaxley, "he said he had important work to do tonight."
"He was overseeing part of my plans being set in motion, but I would have thought he would have completed that and returned by now," said Voldemort, the irritation in his otherwise slick tone was evident to all who were present. "No matter, we will begin as the events of today will carry on. Bellatrix, my dear, you already have your orders for your mission with that young man, Scabior is his name? And your nephew, the young Draco, he does have his own mission he is working on. The vanishing cabinet must be completed by noon today so that Greyback and his pack will be able to enter the castle and bypass all of the wards. Now, the wards should not be problem by then, but even so, the addition of the attack from within would be most advantageous. Once Fenrir and his followers arrive any students in the castle who are not in the Slytherin dorm will be considered marked for them and free game. Including young Draco if he were to be so unfortunate as to not be safely in the confines of Salazar's nest."
He paused a moment to let his words sink in. "I will make myself clear about this, Draco's father has failed me too often in the past, particularly this past spring when he failed to retrieve the prophesy as I had commanded. The penalty for this failure will be the life of his son, Draco. That shall serve as a lesson to all of my followers. I do not accept failure from my lieutenants. Also, Draco's mission is merely a decoy for the rest of my plans. The werewolves are mainly just for a distraction, and an easy way to cull the heard of those muggle born beasts. However, if Draco should fail in is mission, then I will be sure to make an example of him."
Yaxley and MacNair felt that the Dark Lord was starting to ramble a bit, but they dared not comment, for they had seen others be subjected to his wrath and they were certain that they did not want to experience such treatment.
"At least Lucius has been useful in his own way," he continued, "as the wards at Hogwarts will fall in part because of the plan which he has helped to carry out. The device should be in place later this morning, and ready to activate early this afternoon. Then I shall make my triumphant entrance."
He looked them all in the eyes, "You all shall carry out your own orders exactly as I have discussed with you. It may be best to rest now, before our glorious day of triumph comes to fruition."
Harry woke up shortly after falling asleep. He was having nightmares again, visions of Voldemort commanding his followers to come and attack the castle today, as well as arranging for an army of werewolves to prepare for the invasion. On top of that, he felt the weight of the locket attacking his spirit. Already it had caused him to nearly be caught by the toad-woman, Umbridge. He needed to destroy it before too long.
Harry tossed and turned as he tried to fall asleep, but every time he closed his eyes he had a vision of Riddle sitting on some throne, and he seems, happy, no ecstatic about the plans he was putting in place.
Malfoy Manor, Kitchen
Narcissa Malfoy had come down stairs early to the kitchen in her home. Usually the house elves prepared everything quite well, but their skills were being taxed by the number of wizards and witches who kept showing up at their home. There was no offer from any of these guests who were invited by the mere presence of a certain reptilian tattoo on the inside of their left arm to help out with any of the necessary arrangements to feed the growing throng of Death Eaters.
So, when she walked into the kitchen to see of there was anything she needed to do herself to help prepare breakfast (even though she was sure she lacked any real skill to provide anything remotely nutritious or tasty) she happened to pass by the entrance to the ballroom which the Dark Lord had commandeered and turned into his own palace and headquarters.
She caught only a few words, but what she heard sent a shiver down her spine. "…the penalty for this failure will be life of his son, Draco." She continued on to the kitchen where she stumbled and grabbed onto the edge of a counter, catching herself before she collapsed onto the floor. Her son, her only son, was to be made an example of by this dark lord. Her deepest fears were true, Voldemort cared little about blood purity, all he cared about was power. It reminded her of a certain muggle leader from what was called the Second World War, a man who used hate against others to rally his people to fight for him. This man, no this creature, who had taken up residence in her home - her husband's home she corrected herself - was just simply trying to do anything to gain power for himself. No matter how many died. No matter who died. He would stop at nothing to have his way.
Narcissa steeled herself and stood up. She was a Black. She was proud. Her family meant everything to her. Now she needed to figure out a way in which she could get a message to her son. She needed to warn Draco that the Dark Lord plans to kill him, no matter what else happened this day.
Ron held open the portrait hole door for Hermione and Ginny after they finally arrived back at Gryffindor tower.
"I'm exhausted," stated Ginny, "and if Harry's not back yet, I'm not going back out to look for him. I'm heading to bed."
"I'm right behind you," added Hermione.
Ron muttered, "I hope he's back, I can't keep this up any longer. I'm exhausted."
With that final comment the three friends finally retired for the night.
Lucius Malfoy returned to his home, and his eyes were bloodshot from a lack of sleep. He immediately made his way to his master's throne room, where he knew he had been expected when he was summoned to meet with the rest of the inner circle. As he walked in to the chamber, Voldemort looked at him and narrowed his eyes.
"You're late," were the only words spoken by the Dark Lord.
"I had to make sure that the transaction took place properly, my lord," explained Lucius. "Scabior has the device now. It made it through customs without a problem, or it made it around the customs station. At any rate, our 'special' agent within the castle will be assisting with placing the device later this morning. The wards should be brought down by early this afternoon."
"Well done, my friend, well done," replied Voldemort.
Lucius simply bowed his head as he received the praise from his master.
"Oh, Lucius," said the Dark Lord, surprising the blonde haired man as he had hoped to be excused, "Scabior arrived here over two hours ago. With the device. It makes me wonder, just what else you needed to accomplish to make sure the transaction took place properly."
The look he received made it clear that he was being dismissed at this time. Lucius backed out of the room and turned around once he went through the door. He counted himself lucky not to be suffering under the cruciatus curse at this point, but he doubted he would avoid it for the whole day. Lucius knew all too well that forgiveness was not a trait that the Lord Voldemort was known for, and any attempt at explaining his tardiness would have been simply met with the wrath of the man who had commandeered his home. Slowly he made his way up to his room.