Hour 16: 10 AM
Previously in Harry Potter 24:
The group of friends arrive at Hogsmeade and split up to do their own shopping. Harry and Ron meet up with Daphne and Tracey…
Pansy Parkinson is handed a package in Hogsmeade…
Draco heads to Hogsmeade, confronts Seamus Finnegan, warns him about associating with certain people…
Hermione and Ginny walk past Madam Pudifoot's Tea Room on their way through Hogsmeade, they are hexed and are placed under the imperius curse, and are kidnapped by Bellatrix and Scabior…
At Malfoy Manor, Narcissa confirms that Lucius is dead, and then plans her own escape…
Bellatrix and Scabior return to Malfoy Manor with their captives…
The Sixteenth Hour, 10 AM - 11 AM, Saturday, October 19, 1996
High Street, Hogsmeade
Harry and Ron were still heading towards the Three Broomsticks to meet up with their friends when they came upon a certain pair of Slytherin girls from their own year. Harry had thought about the way that Ron had accused them of being in league with Pansy Parkinson, a person whom they had not seen at all this morning. Taking the bold Gryffindor reputation to heart, he stepped away from his friend and walked up to the two girls.
"Greengrass, Davis," he said hesitantly, "I'd like to apologise for prejudging you last night." He shifted his weight from one foot to the other and ran his left hand through his unruly dark hair. "I guess I'm just not that used to anyone from your house actually treating me anyway other than how Draco and his goons do. Even your head of house seems to have it in for me. Somedays I wonder if he would just as easily take me out with the killing curse as give me detention."
Ron stood off watching the encounter uneasily as he still felt distrust to anyone from the house of Salazar Slytherin while his best friend appeared to be making friends with two very attractive girls.
The two girls simply stared at him quietly while he spoke to them, not sure how they should respond. "So, I guess what I'm trying to say," continued Harry, "is maybe we should start over again." He extended his hand to shake as he introduced himself, "Hi, I'm Harry Potter, you've probably heard about me, but please don't judge me by anything you may have read about me in books or the Daily Prophet, or even heard from the likes of Malfoy,"
Daphne wasn't sure what to make of this gesture, but Tracey stepped forward and shook his hand. "Pleased to meet you," she said in response, "I'm Tracey Davis, friend to the Ice Queen who has a reputation to keep up so she probably won't want to acknowledge your presence if anyone might possibly see her talk to a boy in any sort of civil manner."
Daphne glared at her now "supposed" best friend while Harry started to laugh. Daphne then bit her lip to stop herself from smiling as she looked at Harry and reluctantly shook Harry's hand as well. "I'm Daphne," she said solemnly, "but you already know that." Immediately she drew her hand back away from him.
Sensing Daphne's new awkwardness around the boys, Tracey spoke up, "We would like to take the chance to hear your version of the adventures you've had here over the past several years," she said with a slight blush, "you know, if you want to. Maybe we can meet up sometime up at the castle if you're too busy today."
"Sure, sounds great," said Harry.
"Mate," interrupted Ron, "I get the whole lets make friends with the enemy stuff, the Sorting Hat rambles on and on about that a lot lately, but we really ought to head back and find Ginny and Hermione."
"Maybe letter them" said Harry as he turned to leave with his friend whom he was about ready to smack upside the head.
As the two Gryffindors walked away Daphne renewed her glare at her friend. "You know, if you want to, maybe we can meet up some time," she mocked. "Like that will ever happen once we get back to the castle. They're still Lions and we're still Snakes. What do you think this is, some sort of fairy tale story where the prince and the princess live happily ever after once they defeat the evil witch?"
"A girl can always dream," said Tracey as she batted her eyes in front of her friend.
The Lord Voldemort smiled wickedly at the two teenage girls who were bound in front of him. He walked back and forth before them in silence just looking them over, enjoying the fear in their eyes every time he drew nearer to them.
"Your saviour, little Harry Potter, is not going to be coming to save you this time," he said with a sadistic glee. "My plans are coming to fruition right now. The schemes I have devised will begin to be revealed, and neither the Boy-Who-Lived nor your precious Leader-of-the-Light, Albus Dumbledore will be able to stop the inevitable." He then passed in front of them and slowly drew the back of his hands along the cheeks of the two girls.
"But who should I choose?" he asked of no one in particular, and his followers all watched in silence. "The mud=blood or the blood=traitor? You both would do so nicely for what I have in mind."
The two girls shivered at the thought of just what this monster had in mind for either one of them. He seemed to enjoy watching them squirm. He let his eyes look them up and down for a minute before he turned to the woman who had brought the captives to him.
"Why don't you choose, Bella?" he asked as he stepped back and waved his arm in front of the teens.
Bellatrix Lestrange smiled wickedly as she stepped forward. She had assumed that her master would kill whichever one she chose, as he had not informed any of his followers just what exactly he had planned for these two. Bellatrix licked her lips lasciviously as she in turn appraised both of the girls with her eyes. She then turned abruptly to face the Dark Lord as she announced, "I choose the mudblood!"
Voldemort grinned at the suggestion. "An interesting idea, my dear Bella, a very interesting idea indeed. Yet, I think it will work perfectly for what I have planned."
The Dark Lord then stepped towards his most trusted lieutenant and stuck his hand into her chest. A magical aura appeared around his hand as it entered the flesh between her breasts. As he did this a necklace began to appear, initially under her skin but as he removed his hand the necklace appeared with it, over her flesh. Then he removed the necklace from around her neck. Bellatrix was shocked by his actions. She looked down and saw there was no mark on her chest indicating that anything unusual had just happened. Voldemort held the necklace aloft, and Bellatrix promptly collapsed onto the floor.
Tears were streaming down the eyes of both Hermione and Ginny.
The Dark Lord noticed that his Death Eaters were all staring wide eyed in shock at what he had just done.
"She will be fine, I assure you," he said dismissively. Those present noted a dark aura that continued to surround the necklace. He stepped closer to Hermione who was now struggling mightily against the body bind curse, but it was all in vain.
"Don't worry, child," hissed the Dark Lord, "this won't hurt. Much."
He then slipped the necklace over her head. As it slid into place it quickly appeared to melt into her skin. As soon as the necklace had disappeared the wavy haired brunette passed out as well. Voldemort released the body bind and she collapsed to the floor. The Dark Lord then waved his hand at the two women who were lying on the floor.
"Bring them up to Bella's room," he commanded, "they can recover there. They should both be ready to join us shortly."
Ginny just stared in horror at what she had witnessed as her body trembled in fear for what it could mean.
Alley behind Hogshead Inn
Pansy Parkinson once again was waiting behind one of the buildings in Hogsmeade, this time it was the Hogshead Inn. A rugged looking young man with faint freckles on his face arrived a minute later.
"It's about time you showed up," she hissed.
Seamus Finnegan glared at her slightly. "I told you I would be here," he snapped back.
She reached into the store bag that rested by her side and pulled out the wrapped package she had received earlier from Scabior. "Remember what I told you about this," she warned.
"Of course I do," he answered indignantly. He slid the package into the book bag he had with him and then he turned to leave.
Pansy hissed at him again, "Aren't you forgetting something, Finnegan?"
Seamus turned around slowly and faced the Slytherin girl who was glaring at him now. He stepped forward and kissed her hard on the lips. He stepped back as she breathed heavily, "That's better, now run along."
The Irish teen turned and started to walk back up to the castle.
Harry and Ron had made it back to the castle and were wondering where they should go to try and find the girls. "They're probably getting changed up in the dorm," commented Harry.
Ron agreed, "You're probably right, but I'm starving. We've been walking all over and we didn't get a chance to stop at the Three Broomsticks."
Harry rolled his eyes at his friend who was sometimes referred to as the human garbage pit. "Fine, you go get something to eat, I'll head up to the dorm."
Ron left to head to the kitchens as Harry started to make his way up to Gryffindor Tower. He was travelling down a corridor towards one of the stairs he would need to take to get there when someone jumped out from behind him. Harry turned and pulled his wand out in one fluid motion. In the corner of his eye he noted someone was pointing a wand at him so he immediately shouted 'Expeliaramus' as he snapped his wand slightly. A red jet of light shot out from his wand and knocked his would be attacker backwards and caused their wand to be thrown up in the air. Harry grabbed the errant magical stick and pocketed it quickly. Then he looked at who had tried to attack him and his draw dropped. Lying against the wall across the hall from where Harry stood was none other than the headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. Harry ran to his side to make sure that his mentor was all right.
Dumbledore blinked his eyes a few times before their typical twinkle returned and then he looked at Harry with a gentle smile. He could see the worry in the teen's eyes and he spoke to comfort him.
"It's all right my boy, I'll be fine, I should have known better than to try and play a prank on you," he explained.
Harry was clearly confused at this time. He went to return the wand he had taken but the headmaster reached out and stopped him with his hand. "No Harry," he said as his grin grew a little more, "you won the wand in the equivalent of a duel. I would expect that it may have already changed its allegiance to you. Keep it, as it may prove to be useful someday."
With that the headmaster pulled himself to a standing position and straightened out his robes. "Have a good day, Harry," he said and then turned and walked away, leaving a stunned and very confused sixth year student standing in the hallway.
Malfoy Manor, Throne Room
Ginny had been held captive in Voldemort's throne room with magical bindings pinning her to a wall behind the Dark Lord's throne. Her friend had been carried away after having a dark amulet placed around her neck. All she could do was stand there, held in place and think about what could be going on. No one in the hall where she was being held was taking or even moving. Her thoughts and fears made the time almost unbearable as well as making it seem to her that time itself had slowed down.
Finally her attention was drawn to the large door to the chamber she was in as it slowly opened. In stepped a woman whom Ginny initially thought was Bellatrix but after blinking her eyes a few times she realised was actually her friend, Hermione.
She was wearing clothes which she apparently had obtained from Bella's wardrobe based on the appearance. She had a loose dark skirt and a tight purple bustier that enhanced her breasts which had apparently developed quite nicely over the past few years but had been well hidden under the typical Hogwarts school robes. She had applied some violet eye shadow and her hair was pulled back into a pony tail behind her head. Ginevra realised that her friend was strikingly beautiful as she strutted into the room, although there were several more adjectives that crossed her mind that she guiltily thought might have been more appropriate. Hermione walked right up to Voldemort himself and stood there, twirling her wand while striking a pose that clearly evoked images of Bellatrix Lestrange.
"How are you feeling, my dear?" asked the Dark Lord who was still sitting on is throne.
"Just wonderful," purred Hermione with a slight moan as she walked up to the Dark Lord and kissed his hand. "Thank you, my lord, for allowing me to be changed, for improving me," she added with her eyes half closed.
If Ginny had not been held up against the wall with magical bonds she would have collapsed to the floor right then.
Malfoy Manor, Bella's Room
Upstairs in Bellatrix Lestrange's bedroom, she slowly awoke and the first feeling she had was that of abandonment. The woman who had been considered Voldemort's most faithful follower wondered what had just happened to her. She puled herself up from where she was lying on the floor and leaned against the edge of her bed. She rubbed her eyes and realised that old memories, long ago hidden away, were flooding her mind.
She reached up and felt around her neck as she remembered the sensation of Lord Voldemort reaching inside of her and removing the dark amulet that had been hidden there for years. She now recalled that she had recently graduated from Hogwarts and been attracted to the idea of the blood purity movement but she had been hesitant to commit herself to it the way several of her friends from Slytherin House had been so eager to do. She gingerly felt around her neck for any sign of a scar or injury from what had happened but felt only flawless skin. She closed her eyes and recalled something that Voldemort had said as she was being carried out of the throne room, seemingly unconscious. Her master and assured everyone that Bell would remain faithful to the cause as she had been such a passionate and devoted follower for so long, even through years of being locked up in Azkaban. She had been his special servant, and he declared that the removal of the amulet should not remove her affection for the cause ager having been under its influence for so many years.
For the first time in decades she truly felt that her thoughts were her own. She started to look around her room, she noted that someone had been into her wardrobe, that someone had left their clothes behind lying on her bed and on the floor. From where she was sitting she caught sight of some torn parchment under the bed, and she picked it up. Immediately she recognised the old picture she had shredded during the night, the picture of her and her sisters playing together as children.
Bellatrix Lestrange, nee Black, felt an overwhelming rush of emotions: abandonment, anger, and perhaps most surpassingly to her, fear. But her thoughts, they were her own, and she could consider all of what had happened to her and wondered what she could or would do about everything.
She considered her options, and she realised that she was not about to return to the room downstairs where the people were who had manipulated her and taken advantage of her were busy planning their next move in this war. Bellatrix knew she had to leave, find some way to escape from this place. She looked down at the picture once more, and noticed her cousins in the background. Sirius, sweet little Sirius who used to be her favourite cousin. She recalled that night only four short months ago when she had cast the stunner that had sent him through the veil. She took the pieces of the photo in her hand, grabbed them tightly, closed her eyes and she wept.
Hogwarts, 3rd Floor Hallway
Seamus had managed to get his book bag passed Filch as he had a notice-me-not charm placed on the inside of the bag when he had visited Knockturn Alley over the summer. Now he was back in the hallway on the third floor where he had found that crazy Lovegood girl earlier this morning. The broom closet she had been locked up in was just about the perfect location as it was very much near the centre of the school.
He stepped into the closet and pulled the package out of his bag and carefully unwrapped it. He eyed the magical device which looked like a poor excuse for a muggle bomb from a bad movie. He really had no idea what it was made of, or what it would really do, but he knew what he had been told. Carefully place it somewhere hidden in the middle of the castle. Touching the one red spot in the middle of the magical device and reading the incantation that he had been given previously after practicing the words to make sure he pronounced each of them exactly as directed, and then leave. While the device was meant to being down any magical wards within a certain radius it was not designed to actually cause physical damage. But the effects of the magical surge in the immediate area of the device when it went off could be devastating, and he was sure he did not want to experience that. He also recalled that he was told that once he activated the device, it would be approximately 200 or so minutes before the magical pulse would be emitted and allow the Death Eaters and their leader to easily enter the school.
Malfoy Manor, Throne Room
"Now, my little lioness," called Voldemort to the young witch who had just recently been converted to his cause by the dark amulet, "I have your first job for me, to prove your loyalty to our cause and demonstrate your obedience."
His words gained the attention of everyone in the room who wondered just what he would tell the young woman who had previously worked with Potter to oppose him.
"Your first job is to kill the blood traitor," he said to her with a red glow in his eyes. "You may take your time to consider just how you will do it in a way that will most please your master."