|Reading Deathly Hallows: The Order of the Phoenix
Author: Fawkesgirl22 PM
Order from the past and present read the Deathly Hallows. Please R and R.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Friendship/Adventure - Albus D. - Chapters: 7 - Words: 29,277 - Reviews: 83 - Favs: 176 - Follows: 197 - Updated: 09-09-11 - Published: 02-28-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6785168
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hi. I'm going to write this fan fiction about the past and present Order of the Phoenix reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (all credit to JK Rowling btw.) Please read, rate and review. I'm going to update as quickly as possible, and I WILL see this through to the end!
Disclaimer: All Characters etc. belong to JK Rowling and her publishers. No copyright infringement is intended. All JK's work will be in bold.
Chapter 1-The Dark Lord Ascending
Who's here right now?
Mad-eye Moody, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Arthur Weasley, Molly Weasley, Bill Weasley, Fleur Weasley, Charlie Weasley, Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Fabian Prewett ,Gideon Prewett ,Albus Dumbledore ,Lily Potter ,James Potter ,Sirius Black ,Rubeus Hagrid ,Nymphadora Lupin ,Remus Lupin ,Minerva McGonagall ,Emmeline Vance ,Frank Longbottom ,Alice Longbottom ,Aberforth Dumbledore ,Dedalus Diggle ,Elphias Doge ,Arabella Figg ,Benjy Fenwick ,Caradoc Dearborn ,Dorcas Meadowes ,Edgar Bones ,Marlene McKinnon ,Sturgis Podmore , and lastly, Hestia Jones!
Other people may appear in the future… So read to find out!
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,"
33 People whipped out their wands at the exact same moment as they appeared in a long, thin room with a large rectangular antique oak table in the middle. There were 45 seats around the outside, all of them ornately carved with twisting, curving patterns around the edge, with velvet seats. At the head of the table sat a man with long, flowing silver hair, and a long beard tucked into his belt. He was wearing purple robes, which reached the ground.
"What the-"exclaimed George, as Remus jumped in front of Tonks protectively, brandishing his wand.
"Please, everyone, lower your wands" said the man sat at the long table that nobody had noticed until now. He seemed perfectly calm and at ease, yet there was an air of familiar authority in his voice that nobody could challenge.
"Albus?" said Professor McGonagall, shock colouring her tone as she frantically straightened her hat and robes, her hair looking a little windswept and her eyes flashing ominously. However, she seemed to sway a little, and her eyebrows were raised in a confused manner.
Mad- Eye stepped forward cautiously, with a shrewd look on his face, which was heavily scarred and part of his nose seemed to be missing. "Hold on." He growled, "He might be an imposter."
His large, electric blue eye rolled in the back of his head to stare at the shocked crowd behind him, most of who were placing all their attention on the man sat in front of them: Albus Dumbledore.
Another man stepped forward and stood by Mad- Eye. "Albus" said Lupin quietly, stepping away from the crowd behind him. "What were the last words you said to me and Kingsley before you died?"
"Harry is the best hope we have. Trust him." Recited Dumbledore calmly, looking at everyone as though this was the most normal circumstance ever. Lupin nodded slowly, and looking a little disconcerted, stepped backward to join the rest of the crowd, many of whom seemed too shocked to do anything
"That doesn't explain why we're here- why you're here!" said Professor McGonagall hotly, seeming to have regained her composure at last. "You're- well- you're dead."
"A good point, Minerva" said Dumbledore thoughtfully. "But I believe you can see that I am not the only person here who has died. Take a look around."
Everyone did so for a brief moment, and there were several cries of shock which echoed around the room.
"Fabian?" gasped Mrs Weasley, who was blinking in astonishment "Gideon?"
They both nodded, identical grins covering their faces, before they turned back to Dumbledore; they wanted an explanation.
"And as to why you are here" continued Dumbledore as though there had been no pause in the conversation "We are to read this book about the war so that those who won't see Voldemort's defeat through to the end will get the chance. I don't entirely know how it works myself- it was a rather complex form of magic from ancient times. I managed to decipher it verbally, and I ended up here around- oh- five minutes ago. But then, time is a relative thing. For all I know, no time at all has passed."
Everyone looked a little confused at the aforementioned statement, but let it go. Dumbledore could do anything, and everyone had seen some strange things in their time. They might as well accept what was happening.
"We get to hear about the end of the war?" asked Fred Weasley, looking delighted, and completely at ease with what was happening.
"Yes, indeed" said Dumbledore "In this book."
He held it up.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Dumbledore announced, to general shouts of shock from many in the room who knew or had heard of 'the famous Harry Potter'.
"This book's about Harry?" asked Fred and George at the exact same time.
Dumbledore opened his mouth to respond, but had to stop short when a young woman rushed up to him and clutched his wrist.
"Harry Potter?" she asked. "Did you hear that James?"
A man stepped forward casually and put an arm around the woman's waist. "It's ok Lils" he whispered in her ear, and then turned to Dumbledore, who smiled at him.
"Yes, Lily" said Dumbledore simply "This is a book about your son."
Lily smiled. "He'll be all grown up now" she said tearfully, and James pulled her closer to him.
Sirius and Lupin seemed to step forward at the same time, and said, somewhat hesitantly, "James? Lily?" They both nodded, and Lilly ran up and hugged them both.
"Hang on!" exclaimed Lupin "Sirius!"
"Um, yeah." He said, spreading out his arms widely. "I guess I'm alive."
"Now I suppose you may as well greet your loved ones" said Dumbledore, seemingly as an afterthought.
Everyone converged upon each other, laughing and smiling. Lily, James, Sirius and Lupin all met in the middle, as did many other families. A good half hour later everyone seemed to be ready to read the book, but they didn't, in their joy, notice 2 people who had crawled into the shadows, hidden by walls of people rejoicing, laughing and crying as they met the people they had missed for years. They sat alone, separated from the others, seemingly unaware of what was happening. They weren't hiding- not really. They were escaping. Escaping from fear, escaping from pain, for wasn't that essentially what we, humans, fear most?
After a good half hour, the families and friends began to come to the end of their discussions, and stood expectantly staring at Dumbledore. He noticed this after a short while, and smiled at them. "I suppose we may as well read the book. I believe that members of the Order and DA may come to us when they are needed."
Everyone sat down at the table that Dumbledore gestured towards, sat in couples, families, and groups of friends, with the marauders, Tonks and Lily all sitting together, and the Weasleys and the Prewetts. Everyone else spread out around the table after a moment. They didn't seem entirely comfortable; this was, after all, a rather odd occurrence for every one of them.
As soon as they were seated around the table, Dumbledore opened his mouth to read. However, there was a flash of blue and white light, and a very dishevelled Neville Longbottom appeared. His face was screwed up in pain, and a long gash was sliced down his cheek. As soon as he appeared he shouted "…bledores Army!" Then he looked round and seemed to give a double take. "What did the Carrows do?" he muttered under his breath, before looking around at everyone with slightly wide eyes.
"Neville?" said Professor McGonagall. "What the… Well, I suppose we'd better explain."
They spend around five minutes explaining what had happened to him, and he looked around at them with a calculating expression on his face. "This isn't a trick by the Carrows?" He asked tentatively.
"No" said Lupin firmly, looking at Neville properly now. "What happened to you?"
"What? Oh, this." He waved a hand airily over his injuries, looking a little nervous all the same. "Hogwarts discipline. It's OK though- Seamus is worse."
"What did you do?" asked a horrified voice- Hestia Jones.
Neville looked a little embarrassed at this, and mumbled "Nothing much."
"Neville?" asked Professor McGonagall.
"Well…" he answered hesitantly, blushing even more furiously. "You have to do Muggle Studies, and Alecto Carrow was telling us how Muggles are dirty and stupid, and drove wizards into hiding by being vicious towards them." He pointed at a gouge in his face, and laughed bleakly. "I got this one for asking how much Muggle blood she and Amycus had."
There were a few appreciative laughs at this, but everyone was horrified in equal measure. Neville seemed to sense it, and continued. "It's not so bad. They'll torture us a bit if we're mouthy, but they don't want to spill too much pure blood."
Everyone seemed at a loss of what to say to this. They didn't know what was worse: What Neville was actually saying, or the matter-of-fact way in which he was saying it.
In the silence, Neville suddenly stiffened, and his head turned to face the shadows in the corner faster than you could blink. Everyone else whipped their heads around and followed Nevilles' line of vision and saw the silhouettes of two people. Neville made his way over to them, while several people drew their wands and pointed them at the corner. Yet, still Neville kept going, and then came to a stop before them. There was a loud, drawn out scream, and terrified mutterings.
Neville spun around. "WHAT DID YOU DO TO THEM?" he shouted over the din. Everyone looked shocked.
"Neville, what…?" began Fred, but Neville had already turned around, and seemed to be trying to lift one of the people up. They were putting up a good fight.
Dumbledore stood up then, feeling it was time to intervene. "Neville…" he began, putting a hand on his shoulder, his eyes sympathetic and calm. However Neville shrugged it off, and with intense struggle, or so it seemed, lifted the screaming woman to her feet. She stared around with wide eyes, before swaying, and Neville put his hand on her shoulder steadying her. Everyone seemed incredibly shocked. Neville then spent around 10 minutes enticing the man to his feet, ignoring all offers of help, and then turned around defiantly.
"Alice?" asked a timidly shocked voice- Lily. Neville looked at her, and she seemed to pull herself together, though she looked very upset. "You must be Neville." She said smiling at him, and Neville nodded mutely. "You sit here if you want" she added, looking a little unsure "There are spare seats just here."
Neville looked a little mollified. "I don't… I mean, you don't h-h have to". He stuttered into a purple faced silence.
"Don't be silly." Said Lilly, her expression softening at the sight of a little boy she had known and liked. "Alice can sit here" she said, pointing to the seat next to her. Neville hesitated for a second more, before nodding and seating himself between Alice and Frank. Lily waved at Alice, who stared at her before looking at Neville, who wasn't looking at her, but at the table.
"So…?" said Fred and George at the exact same time. "Are we going to…?"
" Yes, I suppose we shall" confirmed Dumbledore. Molly's eyes were swimming with tears as she looked at Neville, but she nodded at Dumbledore, and he began.
"The Dark Lord Ascending." Read Dumbledore.
The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane. For a second they stood quite still, wands directed at each other's chests; then, recognizing each other, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction.
"News?" asked the taller of the two.
"The best," replied Severus Snape.
"Him!" cried several voices, and many people were muttering angrily. Lily had a faraway, yet sad, look on her face, and James pulled her towards him. Members of the present Order quickly filled in the people from the past about the Severus Snape situation.
The lane was bordered on the left by wild, low-growing brambles, on the right by a high, neatly manicured hedge. The men's long cloaks flapped round their ankles as they marched. "Thought I might be late," said Yaxley, his blunt features sliding in and out of sight as the branches of overhanging trees broke the moonlight.
"It was a little trickier than I expected. But I hope he will be satisfied. You sound confident that your reception will be good?" Snape nodded, but did not elaborate. They turned right, into a wide driveway that led off the lane. The high hedge curved into them, running off into the distance beyond the pair of imposing wrought-iron gates barring the men's way. Neither of them broke step: In silence both raised their left arms in a kind of salute and passed straight through, as though the dark metal was smoke.
"I wonder how that worked?" asked Mr Weasley. Everyone shrugged, wanting to get on with the story more than anything.
The yew hedges muffled the sound of the men's footsteps. There was a rustle somewhere to their right: Yaxley drew wand again pointing it over his companion's head, but the source of the noise proved to be nothing more than a pure-white peacock, strutting majestically along the top of the hedge.
"Sounds like someone well off." Scoffed Sirius. "Maybe it's one of my darling cousins."
"He always did himself well, Lucius.
"Malfoy" hissed several people menacingly.
Peacocks …" Yaxley thrust his wand back under his cloak with a snort.
A handsome manor house grew out of the darkness at the end of the straight drive, lights glinting in the diamond paned downstairs windows. Somewhere in the dark garden beyond the hedge a fountain was playing. Gravel crackled beneath their feet as Snape and Yaxley sped toward the front door, which swung inward at their approach, though nobody had visibly opened it.
The hallway was large, dimly lit, and sumptuously decorated, with a magnificent carpet covering most of the stone floor. The eyes of the pale-faced portraits on the wall followed Snape and Yaxley as they strode past.
"Scary" commented Sirius, but Fred, George and James's eyes lit up.
The two men halted at a heavy wooden door leading into the next room, hesitated for the space of a heartbeat, and then Snape turned the bronze handle.
The drawing room was full of silent people, sitting at a long and ornate table. The room's usual furniture had been pushed carelessly up against the walls. Illumination came from a roaring fire beneath a handsome marble mantelpiece surmounted by a gilded mirror. Snape and Yaxley lingered for a moment on the threshold. As their eyes grew accustomed to the lack of light, they were drawn upward to the strangest feature of the scene: an apparently unconscious human figure hanging upside down over the table,
"Oh dear" said Lily, biting her lip.
revolving slowly as if suspended by an invisible rope, and reflected in the mirror and in the bare, polished surface of the table below.
None of the people seated underneath this singular sight were looking at it except for a pale young man sitting almost directly below it. He seemed unable to prevent himself from glancing upward every minute or so.
"Draco?" asked Professor McGonagall.
"I'm afraid so" replied Dumbledore sombrely, before continuing.
"Yaxley. Snape," said a high, clear voice from the head of the table. "You are very nearly late."
"That's ridiculous!" said Fred.
"You're either" continued George.
"Not." The corner of several people's mouths twitched, but McGonagall's thinned.
The speaker was seated directly in front of the fireplace, so that it was difficult, at first, for the new arrivals to make out more than his silhouette. As they drew nearer, however, his face shone through the gloom, hairless, snakelike, with slits for nostrils and gleaming red eyes whose pupils were vertical. He was so pale that he seemed to emit a pearly glow.
"Severus, here," said Voldemort, indicating the seat on his immediate right.
"Someone's popular" commented James, still with an arm round Lily.
"Yaxley – beside Dolohov."
The two men took their allotted places. Most of the eyes around the table followed Snape, and it was to him that Voldemort spoke first.
"My Lord, the Order of the Phoenix intends to move Harry Potter from his current place of safety on Saturday next, at nightfall."
"How did he find that out?" asked Charlie angrily.
"Oh no" whimpered Lily, before bursting into tears. James looked distressed and Lily's outburst seemed to have upset Alice, who clumsily patted her hand. "I can't believe S-S-S-Severus would d-do th- that!" Lily sobbed through her tears
"'C'mon Lils" whispered James "You already know what he's done" Lily nodded shakily and gestured towards Dumbledore to continue reading.
The interest around the table sharpened palpably: Some stiffened, others fidgeted, all gazing at Snape and Voldemort.
"Saturday … at nightfall," repeated Voldemort. His red eyes fastened upon Snape's black ones with such intensity that some of the watchers looked away, apparently fearful that they themselves would be scorched by the ferocity of the gaze. Snape, however, looked calmly back into Voldemort's face and, after a moment or two, Voldemort's lipless mouth curved into something like a smile.
"Legilemcy?" questioned Lupin.
"Probably" replied Dumbledore, and everyone nodded impatiently.
"Good. Very good. And this information comes –"
"– from the source we discussed," said Snape.
"What souce?" asked Benjy, but of course nobody could or would answer. Fluer shrugged, throwing her hair behind her shoulder.
"Who knowz?" she said, and Bill smiled.
Yaxley had leaned forward to look down the long table at Voldemort and Snape. All faces turned to him.
"My Lord, I have heard differently."
Yaxley waited, but Voldemort did not speak, so he went on, "Dawlish, the Auror, let slip that Potter will not be moved until the thirtieth, the night before the boy turns seventeen."
Kingsley smiled. "The false trail worked then."
Snape was smiling.
"My source told me that there are plans to lay a false trail; this must be it. No doubt a Confundus Charm
"It was worth a shot" said Moody, smiling menacingly, if that was even possible.
has been placed upon Dawlish. It would not be the first time; he is known to be susceptible."
"I assure you, my Lord, Dawlish seemed quite certain," said Yaxley.
"If he has been Confunded, naturally he is certain," said Snape. "I assure you, Yaxley, the Auror Office will play no further part in the protection of Harry Potter. The Order believes that we have infiltrated the Ministry."
"The Order's got one thing right, then, eh?"
"Oh no" said Hestia Jones, paling rather dramatically. Other members of the Order echoed similar signs of discontent, or in some cases, acceptance. Everyone thought it had happened, but hearing about it was far worse, because it confirmed the need to be careful.
said a squat man sitting a short distance from Yaxley; he gave a wheezy giggle that was echoed here and there along the table.
Voldemort did not laugh. His gaze had wandered upward to the body revolving slowly overhead, and he seemed to be lost in thought.
"My Lord," Yaxley went on, "Dawlish believes an entire party of Aurors will be used to transfer the boy –"
"You can't use them- can you" asked Fabian.
"No." replied Kingsley. The Ministry has been infiltrated. Entire protection is taken up by the Order now."
Everyone nodded solemely.
Voldemort held up a large white hand, and Yaxley subsided at once, watching resentfully as Voldemort turned back to Snape.
"Where are they going to hide the boy next?
"With us of course" said Molly, looking at Kingsley as if for reassurance. He nodded at her, and she smiled. Fred and George rolled their eyes.
"Honestly, mum," said Fred.
"You prefer him to us," added George, feigning insult, and all the Weasleys smiled, except Mrs Weasley who frowed and smacked them lightly on the back of their heads, while Fleur rolled her eyes.
"At the home of one of the Order," said Snape. "The place, according to the source, has been given every protection that the Order and Ministry together could provide. I think that there is little chance of taking him once he is there, my Lord, unless, of course, the Ministry has fallen before next Saturday, which might give us the opportunity to discover and undo enough of the enchantments to break through the rest."
Molly looked worried at this.
"Well, Yaxley?" Voldemort called down the table, the firelight glinting strangely in his red eyes. "Will the Ministry have fallen by next Saturday?"
Once again, all heads turned. Yaxley squared his shoulders.
"My Lord, I have good news on that score. I have – with difficulty, and after great effort – succeeded in placing an Imperius Curse upon Pius Thicknesse."
"Crap" said Bill, and many others around the table echoed similar sounds of distress.
Many of those sitting around Yaxley looked impressed; his neighbor, Dolohov, a man with a long, twisted face, clapped him on the back.
"It is a start," said Voldemort. "But Thicknesse is only one man. Scrimgeour must be surrounded by our people before I act. One failed attempt on the Minister's life will set me back a long way."
"Yes – my Lord, that is true – but you know, as Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Thicknesse has regular contact not only with the Minister himself, but also with the Heads of all the other Ministry departments. It will, I think, be easy now that we have such a high-ranking official under our control, to subjugate the others, and then they can all work together to bring Scrimgeour down."
"As long as our friend Thicknesse is not discovered before he has converted the rest," said Voldemort. "At any rate, it remains unlikely that the Ministry will be mine before next Saturday. If we cannot touch the boy at his destination, then it must be done while he travels."
"We are at an advantage there, my Lord," said Yaxley, who seemed determined to receive some portion of approval. "We now have several people planted within the Department of Magical Transport. If Potter Apparates or uses the Floo Network, we shall know immediately."
"He will not do either," said Snape. "The Order is eschewing any form of transport that is controlled or regulated by the Ministry; they mistrust everything to do with the place."
"All the better," said Voldemort. "He will have to move in the open. Easier to take, by far."
Again, Voldemort looked up at the slowly revolving body as he went on, "I shall attend to the boy in person. There have been too many mistakes where Harry Potter is concerned. Some of them have been my own. That Potter lives is due more to my errors than to his triumphs."
"Sure." Said George sarcastically.
The company around the table watched Voldemort apprehensively, each of them, by his or her expression, afraid that they might be blamed for Harry Potter's continued existence. Voldemort, however, seemed to be speaking more to himself than to any of them, still addressing the unconscious body above him.
"That's sick." complained Carodoc.
"I have been careless, and so have been thwarted by luck and chance, those wreckers of all but the best-laid plans. But I know better now. I understand those things that I did not understand before. I must be the one to kill Harry Potter, and I shall be."
At these words, seemingly in response to them, a sudden wail sounded, a terrible, drawn-out cry of misery and pain. Many of those at the table looked downward, startled, for the sound had seemed to issue from below their feet.
"Oh dear" said Lily again.
James glared at the mention of Wormtail, as did the other marauders (Apart from Wormtail himself, obviously.) Lily looked murderous, and reminded of the famous (or rather, infamous) Evens temper, McGonagall gestured towards Dumbledore to read.
with no change in his quiet, thoughtful tone, and without removing his eyes from the revolving body above, "have I not spoken to you about keeping our prisoner quiet?"
"Yes, m-my Lord," gasped a small man halfway down the table, who had been sitting so low in his chair that it appeared, at first glance, to be unoccupied. Now he scrambled from his seat and scurried from the room, leaving nothing behind him but a curious gleam of silver.
"As I was saying," continued Voldemort, looking again at the tense faces of his followers, "I understand better now. I shall need, for instance, to borrow a wand from one of you before I go to kill Potter."
"A wand!" squeaked Dedalus, shocked. A wand was your pathway to the magical world, having it taken away was like having your identity stripped away.
The faces around him displayed nothing but shock; he might have announced that he wanted to borrow one of their arms.
"No volunteers?" said Voldemort. "Let's see … Lucius, I see no reason for you to have a wand anymore."
Arthur Weasley hated Lucius Malfoy, but even he was shocked at his evident fall since Voldemort had returned to power.
Lucius Malfoy looked up. His skin appeared yellowish and waxy in the firelight, and his eyes were sunken and shadowed. When he spoke, his voice was hoarse.
"Your wand, Lucius. I require your wand."
Malfoy glanced sideways at his wife. She was staring straight ahead, quite as pale as he was, her long blonde hair hanging down her back, but beneath the table her slim fingers closed briefly on his wrist. At her touch, Malfoy put his hand into his robes, withdrew a wand, and passed it along to Voldemort, who held it up in front of his red eyes, examining it closely.
"What is it?"
"Elm, my Lord," whispered Malfoy.
"And the core?"
"Dragon – dragon heartstring."
"Good," said Voldemort. He drew out his wand and compared the lengths. Lucius Malfoy made an involuntary movement; for a fraction of a second, it seemed he expected to receive Voldemort's wand in exchange for his own. The gesture was not missed by Voldemort, whose eyes widened maliciously.
"Oh dear" said Fleur.
"Give you my wand, Lucius? My wand?"
Some of the throng sniggered.
"I have given you your liberty, Lucius, is that not enough for you? But I have noticed that you and your family seem less than happy of late … What is it about my presence in your home that displaces you, Lucius?"
"Nothing – nothing, my Lord!"
"Maybe the whole: You stole my house and power and just took my wand would be more truthful" suggested Sirius, to a mixture or mirth and eye rolling.
"Such lies Lucius … "
The soft voice seemed to hiss on even after the cruel mouth had stopped moving. One or two of the wizards barely repressed a shudder as the hissing grew louder; something heavy could be heard sliding across the floor beneath the table.
The huge snake emerged to climb slowly up Voldemort's chair. It rose, seemingly endlessly, and came to rest across Voldemort's shoulders: its neck the thickness of a man's thigh; its eyes, with their vertical slits for pupils, unblinking. Voldemort stroked the creature absently with long thin fingers, still looking at Lucius Malfoy.
"Why do the Malfoys look so unhappy with their lot? Is my return, my rise to power, not the very thing they professed to desire for so many years?"
"Of course, my Lord," said Lucius Malfoy. His hand shook as he wiped sweat from his upper lip. "We did desire it – we do."
To Malfoy's left, his wife made an odd, stiff nod, her eyes averted from Voldemort and the snake. To his right, his son, Draco, who had been gazing up at the inert body overhead, glanced quickly at Voldemort and away again, terrified to make eye contact.
"My Lord," said a dark woman halfway down the table, her voice constricted with emotion,
"Bellatrix," said several people spitefully, trying not to look at Frank and Alice.
"it is an honor to have you here, in our family's house. There can be no higher pleasure."
She sat beside her sister, as unlike her in looks, with her dark hair and heavily lidded eyes, as she was in bearing and demeanor; where Narcissa sat rigid and impassive, Bellatrix leaned toward Voldemort, for mere words could not demonstrate her longing for closeness.
"Oh, that's disgusting" said Sirius in such obvious distaste many people had to stifle laughter.
"No higher pleasure," repeated Voldemort, his head tilted a little to one side as he considered Bellatrix. "That means a great deal, Bellatrix, from you."
Her face flooded with color; her eyes welled with tears of delight.
"My Lord knows I speak nothing but the truth!"
"No higher pleasure … even compared with the happy event that, I hear, has taken place in your family this week?"
Remus and Tonks smiled at each other rather soppily.
She stared at him, her lips parted, evidently confused.
"I don't know what you mean, my Lord."
"I'm talking about your niece, Bellatrix. And yours, Lucius and Narcissa. She has just married the werewolf, Remus Lupin. You must be so proud."
There were great whoops from around the table. Most people knew anyway, but it was nice to be reminded. Sirius and James were very surprise, but they clapped Lupin on the back.
There was an eruption of jeering laughter from around the table. Many leaned forward to exchange gleeful looks; a few thumped the table with their fists. The giant snake, disliking the disturbance, opened its mouth wide and hissed angrily, but the Death Eaters did not hear it, so jubilant were they at Bellatrix and the Malfoys' humiliation. Bellatrix's face, so recently flushed with happiness, had turned an ugly, blotchy red.
"She is no niece of ours, my Lord," she cried over the outpouring of mirth. "We – Narcissa and I – have never set eyes on our sister since she married the Mudblood. This brat has nothing to do with either of us, nor any beast she marries."
"What say you, Draco?" asked Voldemort, and though his voice was quiet, it carried clearly through the catcalls and jeers. "Will you babysit the cubs?"
Remus nearly choked upon hearing this, and Tonks giggled a little, which was very un-Tonks-like.
The hilarity mounted; Draco Malfoy looked in terror at his father, who was staring down into his own lap, then caught his mother's eye. She shook her head almost imperceptibly, then resumed her own deadpan stare at the opposite wall.
"Enough," said Voldemort, stroking the angry snake. "Enough."
And the laughter died at once.
"Many of our oldest family trees become a little diseased over time," he said as Bellatrix gazed at him, breathless and imploring, "You must prune yours, must you not, to keep it healthy? Cut away those parts that threaten the health of the rest."
"Yes, my Lord," whispered Bellatrix, and her eyes swam with tears of gratitude again. "At the first chance!"
Remus had his turn to glare at the offending book.
"You shall have it," said Voldemort. "And in your family, so in the world … we shall cut away the canker that infects us until only those of the true blood remain …"
Voldemort raised Lucius Malfoy's wand, pointed it directly at the slowly revolving figure suspended over the table, and gave it a tiny flick. The figure came to life with a groan and began to struggle against invisible bonds.
"Do you recognize our guest, Severus?" asked Voldemort.
Snape raised his eyes to the upside down face. All of the Death Eaters were looking up at the captive now, as though they had been given permission to show curiosity. As she revolved to face the firelight, the woman said in a cracked and terrified voice, "Severus! Help me!"
"Ah, yes," said Snape as the prisoner turned slowly away again.
"And you, Draco?" asked Voldemort, stroking the snake's snout with his wand-free hand. Draco shook his head jerkily. Now that the woman had woken, he seemed unable to look at her anymore.
"But you would not have taken her classes," said Voldemort. "For those of you who do not know, we are joined here tonight by Charity Burbage
All the teachers and past Hogwarts pupils gasped in shock.
who, until recently, taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
There were small noises of comprehension around the table. A broad, hunched woman with pointed teeth cackled.
"Yes … Professor Burbage taught the children of witches and wizards all about Muggles … how they are not so different from us … "
"They're not" said Lily furiously.
One of the Death Eaters spat on the floor. Charity Burbage revolved to face Snape again.
"Severus … please … please … "
"Silence," said Voldemort, with another twitch of Malfoy's wand, and Charity fell silent as if gagged. "Not content with corrupting and polluting the minds of Wizarding children, last week Professor Burbage wrote an impassioned defence of Mudbloods in the Daily Prophet. Wizards, she says, must accept these thieves of their knowledge and magic. The dwindling of the purebloods is, says Professor Burbage, a most desirable circumstance … She would have us all mate with Muggles … or, no doubt, werewolves … "
Nobody laughed this time. There was no mistaking the anger and contempt in Voldemort's voice. For the third time, Charity Burbage revolved to face Snape. Tears were pouring from her eyes into her hair. Snape looked back at her, quite impassive, as she turned slowly away from him again.
The flash of green light illuminated every corner of the room. Charity fell, with a resounding crash, onto the table below, which trembled and creaked. Several of the Death Eaters leapt back in their chairs. Draco fell out of his onto the floor.
"Dinner, Nagini," said Voldemort softly, and the great snake swayed and slithered from his shoulders onto the polished wood.
A/N- Did I do OK? It's my first fanfiction like this, and I know that the first chapter has taken me the longest ever on any fanfiction I've written before.
I had Frank and Alice Longbottom as still being in the same state as when they were in St Mungos, because I get that dead people, are, well, not just bodies, but Frank and Alice are still alive, so… I'm not sure if I got the scene with Neville right, so please prod me in the right direction! Please review- they make me happy! Also, any suggestions on how to make this chapter or any others I may make could be improved. I hope to get this fanfiction finished in 3 months, but preferably earlier- this is, however, subject to change. So, please, please review, and tell me how to make this better!