Now even less confident than the minute before, Liz approached the
fireplace tentatively and stared at the coat-of-arms. What should she do
now? Touch it? Well, she had to try. Slowly, slowly, she stretched out her
hand and touched the emblem with two fingers.
At once the fireplace transformed into a huge doorway. Two massive, black
doors opened in front of her, revealing what was behind them. Ugly, brown-
red flames broiled and flared, blocking a narrow stone passage.
Liz' breath caught in her throat and she hesitated. The moment stretched
till it wsa eternity and still she did nothing. "The keys to deliverance
are kindness and courage, that will bring the powerless through this
passage." She whispered. "Let's see if that's true!"
With that she flung herself forward and into the flames. She hoped that
they were only some sort of barrier and that she'd get to other side
quickly. Something quite different happened:
Something wrenched her away and up, swinging and twirling her through
lightless space till she passed out
When she came to, she was sitting on an armchair. It was the only
comfortable piece of furniture in the gloomy and chilled room. On the stone
walls around her hung weapons and torturing instruments. On the wall
opposite stood a chair with shackles that were positioned to hold the
ankles and wrists of the one sitting on it. Its seat and back were covered
with sharp spikes that were about two inches long.
Beside the chair was another instrument. A hook hung down from a solid
wooden frame. A prisoners' hands could be tied behind his back and to the
hook. Then the hook was pulled upwards slowly till the prisoner hung
completely on his hands, his arms twisted upwards behind his back.
A little to the right stood a massive table with shackles to hold down the
prisoner who was to be tortured. Beside it stood another, smaller table,
covered with little knives, scissors, tongs, pins, saws and files.
Horrified, Liz wanted to turn away. Just then, somebody pounded onto the
door to the room loudly.
Without deciding to do so, Liz said, "Come in!" In a voice that was not
hers. It sounded more like. like the BLODDY BARON himself! She wanted to
look down and examine what she looked like, but that was impossible.
Instead, she watched without blinking as two guards with cold eyes and
ruthless mouths dragged a spent looking man into the room.
"On the table!" Liz ordered in a cruel voice, or didn't, for the voice was
that of the Bloody Baron and the decision was his, too. all she could do
was watch, trapped inside his body, she couldn't even shut her eyes, she
had to watch.
She did not know how long she was in the room. Time passed so slowly, it
turned into eternity. Maybe it sometimes even stood still, while the
Baron's victims uttered blood-curdling screams and pleaded for mercy.
After the first victim had died, the guards pulled in the next. This one
they seated on the spiked chair. Liz watched, nausea washing over her, as
he was strapped more and more tightly onto the chair, till blood oozed out
of the holes in his body and dripped to the stone floor.
And yet she laughed the Bloody Baron's dry and gleeful laugh. Oh, how she
hated him, then! It had been bad enough to see his memories, but to be
here, in his body, and feel the blood on her hands and how it felt as he
cut at one of his victim's fingers.
There was no way she could escape and through the Bloody Baron she turned
into a murderer. She killed twelve people while they were in the stone room
and she smiled at each death. During that time, she nearly turned crazy.
Desperation gripped her in a vice-like grip. When would this end? Could she
ever wash al this blood off her hands?
In her heart, she screamed, while he tortured his prisoners, the Bloody
Baron tortured her too, twelve times over, and she couldn't die. Finally,
it was over. With a satisfied smirk, Liz/the Bloody Baron kicked the last
corpse that lay on the floor before him.
"Burn it!" Was all he ordered, then he left the room and again Liz was
wrenched away into nothingness.
She screamed. She cried, she rubbed at her clean hands, trying to wash off
the guilt. Why hadn't she stopped the killing? She buried her face in her
hands in despair and sobbed convulsively.
When she was dumped onto a stone floor, she crumpled over, flooding the
ground under her with tears. She didn't know how long she lay there,
sobbing on the cold stone floor, with the dark covering her.
There was a time when she had no tears anymore and she stood up. All around
her it was pitch black and she didn't know where she was. Reaching out with
her hand, she felt cold stone walls on either side of her. Slowly, sadly,
she began to walk, step after tired step. What further horror awaited her?
Walking down the dark and icy cold passage, she thought about the Bloody
Baron again. She remembered all too clearly how much fun he had had during
the torturing and killing. He didn't deserve to be helped! He was such a
brute! His cruelty deserved to be punished forever!
"Ha! In dubito pro reo!" She exclaimed. "There is no doubt anymore! He is a
Then again, she remembered the sadness in his eyes while he looked the
projections of his memories. It had been the only real emotion she had seen
in his face during her time with him and she was sure it was genuine.
"Maybe he deserves a chance, in spite of all." She murmured. "And anyway,
I'm just as cruel as him if I don't save his soul and give him a chance of
redemption. It's not lie I just give him a free and easy ticket to
salvation, he still has to do enough good deeds to make up for his bad, and
I bet THAT'll take ages!"
Suddenly, a bright light appeared in the passage before her. She stumbled
forwards, eager to reach the end of this dark tunnel, where the cold dug
into her. By and by, it got warmer and she stopped shivering. She reached
the opening and all at once, letters appeared in the air before her.
"You are willing, that is why you are here,
But consider once more, what awaits you and fear:
In the body of a victim you'll experience pain,
You will be cruelly hurt again and again.
So think it over, don't rush your step,
For once you are there, pain you must accept."
Liz took a deep breath. The warning was clear. Now she would be tortured,
trapped in the body of one of the Baron's victims. She shuddered and
gulped. Shall I, shan't I? She chanted in her head. "Well, I've come so
far, I won't give up now!" She finally decided. "Didn't I just say that the
Baron deserved a chance?"
Later, Liz had nightmares reminding her of those few hours she was tortured
expertedly by both the Baron and his men. The wounds they inflicted on her
were painful beyond description, but never deadly. Sometimes she didn't
even bleed when they stuck a pin into her, but she never forgot the pain.
She passed out, the last thing she saw the glinting eyes of the Baron, who
watched her draw her last breath with a contented smile. Again, anger and
hate flared up in her, but she shook them off. He had not done it to her,
he had done it in his past life. He would do better now, and try to make up
for his sins.
She repeated this mantra in her head while she was swept away from the
place in a mind warbling motion. This time, she was faced by the ghost of
the Bloody Baron. He hovered before her uncertainly. Curious, she looked
"What happens now?"
He just smirked and waved his hand. Peeves appeared.
"Hey! What are you doing!" Liz shouted, as she saw him fade.
"You have done what I wanted you to do, now Peeves may have you."
"I don't think so!" Liz shouted angrily. "I helped you, now you help me!
You promised to help me out of here, you won't leave me here with PEEVES!"
She spoke in anger, but also with confidence. She was in the right. All at
once, a white light flared before her and she heard a booming laugh.
"The muggle girl thinks you will keep your promise, Baron! I wonder why she
trusts you so much, but it doesn't matter. My curse is broken and I don't
It was then that Liz realised how lucky she was. Had she worded her protest
only slightly differently, she would have failed, but she hadn't. This
person who had cursed the Baron had interpreted her angry words as trust
and so the curse was broken. Well, she really HAD trusted the Baron to keep
his promise, why, she didn't know.
With a thump, she landed on the floor of the chamber where her adventure
had started. In front of her wavered the silvery form of the Bloody Baron,
a small, thin smile on his face.
"You succeeded." Was all he said.
"I thank you." Pompously, the Baron bowed before her.
Liz grinned cheekily. "It was my pleasure." She answered, bowing with great
flourish. "If you get me out of here, will I be able to come back once in a
while and see how you're getting along?"
The Baron nodded. "I will cast a spell on you that nullifies the Hogwarts
"Is that so easy?"
The Baron looked definitely smug. "Not if you helped raise them."
"Then go on!" Liz urged. "I bet my family's very anxious, I've been away
much too long."
He nodded. "Good Bye!" He whispered, and waved his hand twice in front of
At the second wave, the world around Liz began to swirl. She had just
enough time to call out "Good Bye!" to him, then she was away, standing on
the meadow facing Hogwarts.
A grunt behind her made her start. Fearfully, realisation dawning slowly in
her mind, she turned. The bull faced her, scraping the ground with one of
his front hooves.
"Darn!" Liz cried and ran. This time to one of the fences facing away from
Hogwarts and she vaulted it just in time, for only seconds after she'd
jumped over it, the bull crashed head first into one of the planks.
Liz stuck out her tongue at him. "You have to be faster than that to catch
me!" She told the bull triumphantly, and strolled off, back to the where
she was sure her family waited for her.