Hour 15: 9 AM
Previously in Harry Potter 24:
Draco reads the letter he received from his mother which warned him of the Dark Lord's plans to have Draco killed regardless of what happens later during this day…
Scabior and Bellatrix arrive at Hogsmeade, then they go to Madam Pudifoot's, place her under the imperius curse…
Draco goes to the Room of Requirement and then he destroys the vanishing cabinet…
The group of Gryffindor friends head to Hogwarts, followed by Daphne and Tracey…
Snape confronts Umbridge where she is being held at the headmaster's office…
The Fifteenth Hour, 9 AM - 10 Am, Saturday, October, 19, 1996
The group of friends had arrived in Hogsmeade and were all excited about a day of relaxing and fun. Everyone had their own ideas about what they wanted to do and soon they were dividing up and heading in different directions. Harry and Ron decided that they wanted to check out Zonko's joke shop and see if there was any new items and if there was anything worth sharing with Ron's brothers, or at least that was their excuse for they were fairly certain that Fred and George had already spent plenty of time scoping out their competition. Hermione and Ginny were going to stock up on supplies from Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop. The others had chosen to check out the wares at Honeydukes and they figured it was a good idea to head there before Ron did to make sure they had the best selection to choose from.
Harry was not as interested in any of the jokes and pranks that Zonko's had in stock, partially because he had a lifetime supply of pranks he could get from Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, considering he was their original investor. Ron remembered that he had made a promise to Peeves and so he was buying a collection of dung bombs although he had not yet figured out how to get them past Filch on his return to the castle. After Ron had made his purchases the two friends had left the shop and were discussing where they should go next. Ron wanted to head to Honeydukes but Harry wanted to go to McBloom and McMuck's shop as he needed to obtain more potion ingredients as he had not originally planned to be taking that class this year.
They were still debating where to go to next when they stepped out into the street and nearly bumped into two of their classmates. Tracey Davis let out a slight squeak as she had to jump back so she wasn't knocked over. Daphne managed to maintain her mask of cold indifference which was part of how she had earned the reputation of being the Slytherin Ice Queen.
Ron looked at the two girls who had caused him to drop his bag of dung bombs with disdain. "Stupid slimy Slytherins," he said, "why don't you watch where you're going."
Daphne merely glared at the red-headed Gryffindor while Harry shook his head in frustration with his friend's behaviour and Tracey started to turn red from embarrassment.
Tracey mumbled an apologetic 'sorry, didn't mean to' but Daphne spoke up in defines of her friend. "You nearly knocked her over because you were not watching where you were going, Weasley."
"I'm sure Ron didn't mean to nearly knock you over," said Harry trying to apologise for them both. "We're sorry to have caused a problem."
"It's okay, Potter," replied Daphne, her tone clearly more friendly at this time.
Harry was initially surprised by the quick change in demeanour from the blonde woman. He looked up in her blue eyes and noted how they sparkled in the sun. He tried to smile in response as he felt a slight blush come over him which resulted in a smirk from Daphne.
"We're not slimy," said Tracey, trying to break the mutual admiration society of her best friend and the Boy-Who-Lived just staring into each other's eyes.
"What?' asked Harry, Ron and Daphne at the same time.
"I said we're not slimy," said Tracey, getting over her initial embarrassment and looking at Ron. "Weasley called us slimy snakes when he nearly bowled us over. We may be in the house of the cunning but we're not slimy." Feeling a little bolder she stick out her arm to Ron, "Go ahead and touch it, and you can see for yourself that we're not slimy."
Ron was about to respond with another nasty comment about students from the house of Slytherin when Harry kicked him in the shin. "Please excuse my friend here," Harry started to explain, "but his usual interaction with anyone from your house involves hexes and curses being cast back and forth."
"Or people just trying to kill us," added Ron as he rubbed his shin with the back of his other foot.
"Like last spring at the Department of Mysteries?" asked Daphne.
"Yeah, kind of like that," snapped Ron who was now eyeing the two girls carefully.
"You know, all we ever heard about that night was the rumours from people in our own house, and what little was written about in the Daily Prophet," said Daphne, starting to feel a little bolder in talking to the two Gryffindor students.
"Don't believe everything you read in the Daily Prophet," said Harry not hiding his disgust with the paper.
"We'd like to hear from the two of you what really happened," said Tracey who was also now feeling a little bolder in talking to the two boys.
Harry looked at Ron who shook his head. Then Ron spoke his mind again, "That sounds just great, but we're not going to fall for you two coming and trying to butter us up just to walk us into some trap so you can catch Harry for Umbridge like your friend Parkinson."
Daphne closed her eyes tight for a moment and then looked at Harry apologetically. "You probably won't ever believe us, but we don't really have anything to do with Pansy. And for your information, we saw what she did and we helped by casting some tripping hexes at her and her friends in the middle of the night. And by the way, to let you know we were really there, getting Peeves to drop the green gelatine on Umbridge was priceless. I will cherish that memory for years to come."
Harry and Ron were both shocked to hear her comments and quickly realised that at least part of her statement had to be true as neither of them had spoken to anyone about the events from the middle of the night.
"Tracey, since its obvious that these Gryffindors are so judgemental and bigoted, we might as well be on our way," said Daphne whose icy tone had returned. She then took Tracey by the arm and they spun around and started to head the other way.
Room of Requirement
Draco had been sitting on the couch contemplating what to do next. He made up his mind that he was not about to stay hidden away from everyone like some scare little boy. "I might as well head down to Hogsmeade," he thought to himself, "at least it might help me figure out what to do."
Alley behind Madam Pudifoot's Tea Room
Pansy Parkinson was waiting in the alley after making sure that no one had seen her duck in between a couple of buildings. She had been waiting here for several minutes and she was about to start wondering if she had misinterpreted the message she had received.
She heard a noise to her right and she turned and was now face to face with a slim man in dark robes. His hair was blonde and unkempt, and she was sure she had never seen this person before. He did however have a pink scarf tied around his neck. The message had informed her that she would be meeting a person with such a specific identifying mark, but she had originally assumed that it would be a woman she would be meeting.
"'Ey precious," spoke the man, and she was quite certain she had heard his voice somewhere before, "I've got a little something 'ere for you. You might even want to give it to a certain bloke if you want."
Pansy had to quickly remind herself of her response that she was instructed to use to clearly identify herself before she was given the package. "Well, I'm not going to be giving this to Potter," she said as she recalled the phrase.
The man winked at her and pulled a strangely shaped package from out of a satchel. She took it from him and went to put it in the shopping bag she had with her. "Be careful with that," added the man with the scarf, "you wouldn't want to cause it to go off too early."
"I'll be sure to pass that information along," she said and then turned around to head back out to High Street and the other shops.
Draco had decided to head to the Hogshead Inn as opposed to the more popular Three Broom sticks as he was trying to avoid running into people he knew at this time. No point in getting into a row with any students who might be aware of what he as supposed to be doing.
He stepped inside and quickly scanned the establishment and noted only one person at the bar. He made his way up to the counter and ordered a butter beer, even though he thought the idea of a fire whiskey would be much better considering he may soon be running for his life, but he doubted the bartender here would even consider serving him such a drink. He looked over at the other person at the bar and he realised he recognised him.
"What are you up to, Finnegan?" demanded Draco.
"Wouldn't you like to know, Malfoy," replied Seamus without even looking at the other student.
Draco ignored the response and he spoke again, turning to face the Gryffindor student, "I've seen who you've been meeting up with." Draco waited to see if he would get a reaction from the young Irishman. Seamus Finnegan, surprisingly enough thought Draco, was doing a remarkable job of ignoring him.
"Stay away from her, if you know whats good for you," he added cryptically, although Draco was pretty sure that Finnegan would misinterpret his comments and assume that he was meaning to sound possessive of Pansy, as opposed to actually issuing a warning for the other student to not get mixed up with the Death Eaters.
"Stay away from me, if you know whats good for you, Draco," sneered Seamus in reply, who finally turned to face the blonde Slytherin.
"It's your life you'll be throwing away," said Draco, who then finished his butter beer in one gulp, tossed a galleon tot he bar tender and walked out of the tavern.
Hermione and Ginny had been walking down High Street after they had finished their shopping at the quill shop. They had decided to try and meet up with their friends either at Honeydukes or possibly at the Three Broomsticks. As they were passing Madam Pudifoot's Tea Room, Ginny stopped and began to look inside. She noted that the open flag was out. She looked at Hermione and said softly, "Haven't you always wanted to check out what it really looks like on the inside of the tea room?"
Hermione was startled by the remark from her friend.
"I've always wanted to see what it really looks like," stated Ginny, more confidently this time, "let's go check it out. No one is around right now, we can duck in real quick and just take a look around.
Hermione thought her good friend was starting to behave quite odd, but she decided that it couldn't do any harm to just take a look. Besides, she had heard plenty of girls talk about the place where they liked to go on dates even though most boys dreaded the idea of ever having to enter the shop. "All right Ginny, but we need to be quick, I'm quite sure that the others are all waiting for us."
As they stepped inside it was immediately clear that there were no customers present at this time. Madam Pudifoot herself was standing behind the counter, and then she smiled broadly as she suggested they have a seat. Ginny immediately nodded in response and moved to take a seat. Hermione turned to follow her. As soon as their backs were turned to Madam Pudifoot, a woman jumped up from behind the counter and quickly cast two body bind spells. She looked at the two girls who were now lying on the floor after having been ambushed.
Hermione recognised the cackle of the woman who with a wave of her hand removed the glamour she had previously cast on herself. Now, standing before Hermione and Ginny was a woman in a black leather bustier with a black and grey flowing skirt, unruly back hair and wild violet eyes. Bellatrix LeStrange continued to laugh as she lazily twisted her wand in her right hand.
Bellatrix could see and smell the fear on the two girls who were now her captives. "You don't need to be afraid of me, love," she said as she reached out and caressed Hermione's cheek. "You do need to be afraid of my master who is just looking forward to meeting you again after your little escapades that night at the Ministry building."
She started to laugh crazily as a man with dark hair and a pink scarf walked up next to her. "So we have our catch for the day," he smiled.
Bellatrix continued to grin evilly. "We just need to finish tying up a few loose ends here and then we'll all be on our way to visit your new master, the Dark Lord himself. And there will be no little baby Potter or Albus 'too many titles' Dumble-bore to come and save you!"
Narcissa knew she would not have much time to finish her plan. She also hoped that no one would venture up to her bedroom to find out what exactly she had done. After disposing of any sign of the potion she had prepared and sent to her husband she headed up to her bedroom herself. Lucius was lying sprawled over the bed, still reeking of his activities from the night before. However, lying on the floor next to the bed was the goblet which had been sent up that supposedly contained a hangover potion.
She leaned over and placed her hand along his neck. She did not find a pulse. Narcissa was worried that she would feel some level of remorse, but she was actually surprised that what she actually felt was relief. She mentally chided herself for stooping to the level of something her husband would have done, but then she realised that she didn't truly have much of a choice, for continuing to follow her husband blindly in pursuit of the Dark Lord and his ideals would only lead to their own death or humiliation or both.
Now she was sure that he was dead she stood up and banished the goblet. Then she went to her wardrobe and then to her husband's secret safe. She quickly emptied the safe of several thousand galleons which were stored in a magical pouch. Then she quickly placed some of her clothes into a magical suitcase which she shrunk and slid into a pocket in her robes. Narcissa looked around her room and decided that there really was nothing else that she wanted. "All I have to do is sneak out through the hidden tunnel, pass through the wards in the back and then I can apparate away from here," she thought to herself as she also hoped and prayed that Draco would have both received the letter from her but also have read it and believed her warning to be true and heed it as well.
Harry and Ron were walking up and down High Street, looking for Hermione and Ginny. They had found their friends on the way from Honeydukes to check out the Three Broomsticks, but none of them has said they had seen either of the two girls.
As they passed the road that lead to the Hogshead Inn they ran into Seamus who had obviously become separated from the rest of the group.
"Hey, Seamus," asked Ron, "have you seen Hermione or Ginny?"
Seamus shook his head 'no' but then he told them that he had heard they were heading back to school, something about one of them spilling something on their blouse.
Harry and Ron looked at each other for a moment. "That's odd" said Harry as he and Ron turned to head back to the Three Broomsticks, that they didn't make sure any of us knew what they were doing."
"Knowing Hermione," added Ron, "she was probably too embarrassed to face us if she had made a mess out of her blouse."
Harry nodded as the two walked along the High Street looking forward to a meal and a butter beer from Madam Rosmerta.
Bellatrix and Scabior arrived outside of Malfoy Manor with a pop and their captives in tow. They forced Hermione and Ginny to walk through the woods with them and into the once proud home of the Malfoy family.
"Where are you taking us?" demanded Hermione once she realised that they were no longer being affected by a silencing curse.
"You'll see soon enough, dearie," said Bella with a sing song voice.
As they were forced into the manor house, Ginny recognised the faded coat of arms that was over the door. "Malfoy's place," she intoned as she tried to take in as much detail as possible.
Suddenly the two captives were thrust through a large double door and into what appeared to have been a ball room at one time but had a large dais in the centre, upon which was a snake like appearing man who was sitting on an ornate black throne.
"Welcome Granger and Weasley," said Voldemort with a broad grin. "It is so nice of you to join us. And rest assured, one of you will join us!" With that he let out a roar of laughter.