WARNING: Nothing sexy, but as the title says, there will be blood... quite a lot.

Author's note: -tosses bloody surgical gloves to the side- Whew, if any of you have sympathy for Cormac McLaggen or Romilda Vane, you might want to skip parts of this chapter. The rest of you have been calling for blood, and I have provided.

Thank you to everyone for reading my twisted tale, and I'm especially thankful for those who take the time to review. You're the ones who keep me coming back to write.

-o-o-

Chapter 24

There will be blood

-o-o-

"So, um, who's going to be at your wedding? It's not just Wednesday's family right?" Neville asked Harry as they descended Gryffindor tower, heading toward the thestral-drawn carriages. "Not that there's anything wrong with her family, just... I don't think I'd fit in too well with them."

Harry chuckled. "Fitting in is overrated, but I'm sure they'll love you. To answer your question though, of course it's not just her family, mine will be there too. Then there's a few of our friends from Hogwarts like you. Luna and Hermione will be there, and I'm pretty sure Millicent is coming. I think Wednesday wants Susan to come, but I don't know if she's said yes."

"It still feels weird that you're friends with Sytherins now. Come to think of it, I'm surprised you didn't invite Malfoy." Neville paused as his mind put things together. "Oh! Your family, you mean the Blacks... That's what, just Draco and his mum right?"

"There aren't many, but the Malfoys, the Tonkses, and the Lestranges will all be there." Harry smiled as he thought about Bellatrix's pregnancy. The Black family has shrunk, but it was already beginning to recover.

Realizing that he was walking alone, Harry paused and looked back to see Neville frozen mid-step. "Problem Neville?"

"Lestrange." Neville forced the name out through gritted teeth as his face contorted with hatred. "You consider those monsters family? They all need to die, every one of them!"

"We all need to die Neville." Harry pointed out jovially. "Voldemort's the only one who's trying to get out of that one."

"This isn't funny Harry, you know what those psychopaths did to my parents." Neville's hand twitched toward his wand, held back only by the slight hope that he was misunderstanding his friend.

Shrugging, Harry clapped Neville on the shoulder. "I think you need a lot of practice before you're ready, but feel free to try and kill them. I would prefer if you waited until after the ceremony though, or at least be discrete about it."

Neville stepped back away from the wizard he no longer felt he knew at all, confusion and disbelief evident on his face.

"I hope to see you there Neville." Harry smiled sincerely. "Oh, Bella is pregnant, so you might want to try and kill Rabastan or Rodolphus first. You know, work your way up."

-o-o-

After having said their goodbyes to Luna and Hermione, Harry and Wednesday began to search the crowd for Lurch.

"Being so tall, you'd think he'd be easier to find." Harry observed as a high pitched squeal rang through platform 9 ¾. "What is that ear-splitting noise?"

Instead of responding, Wednesday pulled Harry in front of her, and stepped to the side. A small hairy missile burst from the crowd, and crashed into his chest, causing him to stumble back. She deftly gathered the small bundle of sleek brown hair into her arms. "You only want to use a war cry when they already know you're coming What."

The armful of hair babbled excitedly in a painfully high-pitched voice. Wednesday listed patiently to the incomprehensible chatter, while Harry strained to understand the distinctly Addams toddler.

"Now What, I know you're excited to see your Cousin Wednesday, but you need to calm down so we can get these two back to Grimmauld Place." A cherubic blonde chided with a honeyed voice. "I mean now, don't make me use the curlers again."

Noticing What stiffen in her arms, Wednesday set the child atop their luggage cart. "You must be the new nanny that Cousin Margaret hired. What seems terrified of you. I'm impressed."

"Please, call me Persephone. Now then, everyone is just so busy preparing for your wedding, so they sent me to pick you three up." With a smile that seemed to be a permanent feature, she looked at both teens, their cart, and the surrounding area. "Where is Thing? I had thought he would be with you."

Wednesday pointed vaguely behind herself. "I think he's still saying goodbye to our friend Luna. He should catch up with us in a minute or so."

Harry shook his head. "No, there's no need to wait for him. Luna wanted him to meet her father, so she promised to mail him to us after she got home."

"Well then, let's get going." Persephone said cheerfully as she clapped her hands together.

"If we have time, there's a quick stop I'd like to make before heading home." Harry mentioned as they headed toward the muggle side of King's Cross.

-o-o-

"I can't believe your friend Harry is getting married. What do you think about it?" Emma Granger probed cautiously.

Hermione looked up from the book that Professor Frump had loaned her. "I wish I knew more about the ceremony. Harry just asked me to stand with him, and Wednesday told me to wear grey accented with red."

Dan Granger stifled a laugh, which earned a glare from his wife. "What your mother means to ask is, are you okay with it? We kind of thought that you two would start dating, and out of nowhere this Wednesday girl comes and snatches him up. You did sound pretty upset about it over the summer."

For a few moments, Hermione revisited her abandoned fantasy of dating Harry. There were so many things she could have done to make Harry see her as something more than a sister. It's a cruel irony that Wednesday is directly responsible for her now being able to do those things.

"Honey?" Emma prompted to break the uncomfortable silence.

"I wasn't upset because Harry started dating. I was upset because I thought that Wednesday was a bad influence on him." Hermione explained after shaking her head. "I was wrong. In fact, he's a much better student now."

"But are you okay?" Dan pushed, intent on hearing an actual answer.

"I'm fine daddy. My best friend is happier than he's ever been."

"What..." Dan wasn't so sure that his daughter actually was fine, but a subtle shake of his wife's head kept him from pressing the issue. "Er, what should we wear then? Do we need to buy robes, or will our normal clothes be fine?"

Hermione thought for a moment, and closed her borrowed recipe/potions book. "I don't think you need to be at the wedding at all. You never really met Harry, and you've never even seen Wednesday."

"If you're sure dear. I guess just let us know where and when we need to drop you off." Emma tried to hide the disappointment in her voice. Her baby was away for too much of the year as it was, and she was nearly an adult already.

"You don't have to do that either. I've been learning to apparate." Hermione dismissed the idea out of hand.

"Apparate?" Both parents questioned.

Hermione smiled. "Think teleportation." Technically she wasn't licensed yet, but she was sure a quick bus ride to the Ministry could change that.

"I thought you weren't allowed to use magic, outside of school, until you turned eighteen. You're still a minor Hermione" Dan pointed out, not enthusiastic about the whole idea.

Shaking her head, Hermione corrected her father. "The magical age of majority is seventeen daddy. I've been an adult for months now."

-o-o-

Three wizards carefully walked a dirt path that would bring them near the former home of the Gaunt family. Knowing that they were close to their destination, Alastor Moody paused to readjust his prosthetic leg. As he cast a super-sensory charm to compensate for his lost eye, he looked between Albus Dumbledore and Kingsley Shacklebolt, glaring at the former. The disgraced wizard seemed far too excited considering the potential danger of the situation.

"This is not going to be a repeat of the last time." Moody growled, focusing on Dumbledore. "No heroics, no amateurs, and no mistakes."

"Are we sure this is the right place?" Shacklebolt felt skeptical. "Up ahead I think I can see where the Gaunt hovel should be. If it is our destination, shouldn't it be hidden by more than an overgrown hedge?"

Moody nodded grimly, and all but whispered his signature phrase. "Constant vigilance. Just because Voldemort didn't hide the bloody place, doesn't mean this'll be easy. I'll bet Galleons to knuts that there's more than enough traps to make up for it."

The hedge appeared to be no barrier at all, as there was a ragged opening large enough to easily pass through. The lack of any discernible trap, magical or otherwise, unnerved Moody to no end. Even Dumbledore looked to be somewhat shaken. From where they stood, it was plain to see that the Gaunt hovel didn't even have a door, let alone a fortified one.

Paranoia increasing with every step, the three wizards slowed their approach to a crawl. Checking and double checking only served to raise doubts.

"It could be part of some bloody complicated misdirection, but I think I know why we haven't found any traps yet." Moody pointed to a mound of vegetation that had a few rotting planks of wood protruding. "It looks like more than a few have been sprung already."

Hobbling to the mound, Moody reached down and pulled up a mossy skull. "Looks like this one managed to disarm a few traps before running out of luck on the door. Could've been working alone, could've had help. There might be live traps inside, or more corpses."

All three understood and feared what Moody hadn't voiced. There was a chance that the horcrux was no longer inside at all, taken away by forces unknown just like the last one. A short, but nerve wracking, walk through the hovel gave them their answer.

Shacklebolt's somber voice broke the maddening silence. "I feel like a monster for saying this, but I am glad to see the final obstacle was too much for this poor wizard."

The ring they sought was on a small table in plain view, with the blackened remains of a man splayed out on the dirt floor below.

Dumbledore chastised Shacklebolt as he waged a war with his own desire to simply grab the prize before him. "I expect better of you Kingsley. The withering curse is a most unpleasant way to die."

"Shack is right to be glad." Moody insisted. "That compulsion is so strong, even I want to grab the damn thing. Seeing the gruesome result makes it just easy enough to ignore."

"We can discuss this in a more appropriate setting. For now, let us finish the job before us." With an almost casual ease, Dumbledore countered the withering curse on the ring, and moved to take it.

If not for the super-sensory charm, Moody would have missed the almost imperceptible shimmer that washed over the ring's stone. "Albus no!"

Using the first spell that came to his mind, a long whip shot out of Moody's wand to wrap around Dumbledore's wrist. Yanking back a touch more forcefully than he should have, Dumbledore was sent stumbling.

"Alastor, what do you think you're doing?" Dumbledore demanded as he dispelled the whip, and rubbed his aching wrist.

"That's no ordinary stone Albus. Withering curse or not, that ring will kill you if you touch it." Moody warned as he moved to deal with the ring himself.

Too close to the prize he'd coveted for nearly a century, Dumbledore lunged for it as he berated his old friend. "The resurrection stone doesn't work that way."

Unsure of what was going on, Shacklebolt could only watch as the disturbing scenario played out in front of him.

Dumbledore's hand closed around the ring, as a red crescent leaped from Moody's wand. An instant before the cutting curse bit into his forearm, Dumbledore screamed in agony. Clutching at his bloody stump as he fell backward, Dumbledore was rendered speechless at the sight of his amputated hand.

The severed appendage shriveled as every drop of blood was siphoned into what he thought was a Deathly Hallow. A sickly green mist spewed from deadly ring, quickly forming a Dark Mark that writhed above the table.

"MOVE!" Moody shouted as he felt the stifling presence of an anti-apparation jinx beginning to form.

Shacklebolts training overrode his confusion, and he acted without thought. Grabbing the stunned ex-professor, he powered them both through the still-forming jinx.

-o-o-

Upon hearing the doorbell, Petunia Dursley adopted what she felt was a welcoming smile. After opening the door, her fake smile was instantly replaced with a far more natural look of disgust.

"What do you think you're doing here?" Petunia hissed angrily. "Go away, you're never stepping foot in this house again."

"Oh, you don't have to worry about that Aunt Petunia." Harry assured her. Looking past his aunt, the idyllic house was worse than he'd remembered. "I just stopped to invite you all to my wedding, and introduce you to the woman who will someday be the death of me."

Petunia tried to slam the door in her nephew's face, but the door was stopped dead by a slender girl's outstretched hand.

"I understand that you and your husband are responsible for making my fiancé's childhood a living hell." Wednesday's dead stare, and monotone voice sent chills through Petunia.

"I... we..." Petunia stuttered as her mind blanked. There was something about the pale girl that truly scared her. Cringing, she took a step back.

"You're an inspiration. I can only hope that I'll raise my own children half as well." Wednesday kept her thoughts about the woman's unacceptable housekeeping skills to herself. Everything was so... clean

"Anyway, we have to go." Harry handed his aunt a gilded invitation. "It's a bit short notice, so I understand if you can't come. If I don't see you there, I'll be sure to stop by after the wedding. I want a chance to talk to you all, and thank you for treating me as sub-human rubbish."

As soon as Harry and Wednesday had left, Petunia locked the door. She ran upstairs, barricaded herself in her bedroom, and pulled out her husband's shotgun. Vernon would be home soon, he would know what to do. Tears of anger, fear, and frustration welled up as she huddled in the corner. Why couldn't the freaks just leave her alone?

-o-o-

After several short jumps, Dumbledore, Moody, and Shacklebolt arrived at their relatively safe headquarters. Having regained his senses, Dumbledore began field dressing his arm, while ignoring the dressing down Moody was giving him. As if stung, the elderly wizard jumped, and reached into his robes. With a look of excitement, he wrapped up his semi-healed stump, and apparated away.

"I don't understand." Shacklebolt confessed to Moody. "Why is Dumbledore acting as if he's been confunded? This is not the same man we all admire."

"The admiration was part of the problem." Moody growled, staring daggers at the space Dumbledore occupied only moments before. "Now though, I think he's gone completely 'round the twist... That's it, I'm dissolving the order. You should concentrate on your real job, and I'll round up those who'll be any use at all to the ministry's efforts. Everyone else should just go home and stay out of the way."

-o-o-

Taking a swig of firewhiskey, Cormac McLaggen tried to drown out the lingering effects of the damned love potion someone had used on him. As he prepared himself for sleep, lingering thoughts of Romilda Vane kept surfacing. Shaking his head violently to disperse such thoughts about a kid, he downed the last of the bottle, and threw himself into bed.

-o-o-

Romilda Vane sat in the shower crying softy, she didn't want her parents to learn about what had happened. She still had no idea how her plans had gotten turned around, or why the love potion had gone so bad, but at least it had almost worn off. Despite the heat of the water, she shivered as she thought about what could have happened if the potion worked as intended. Demelza was right, the whole thing was a stupid idea...

-o-o-

"Gomez look, I think he's waking up." An excited voice cut through McLaggen's skull like a red-hot poker.

"That he is Fester." An equally painful voice struck a hammer blow to his throbbing head. "I'm not surprised it's taken him this long, he smells like a distillery."

Cormac tried to tell whoever it was to be quiet, but couldn't because his mouth was filled with a gag of some kind. The sour taste in his mouth made him retch, and he struggled to rip it out. It was then that his hangover addled mind finally registered what the rest of his body had been screaming at him. He was not only gagged, but hooded as well. His arms and legs were bound, and he was being carried somewhere. Fear overwhelmed his headache, and he began to scream into the gag while fighting to free his limbs.

Deranged laughter filled the night as McLaggen struggled for naught.

-o-o-

There was a lovely scent in the air as Romilda opened her eyes. She sat up, and let the strange woman help her to her feet. Why was there a woman in her room? She tried to scream, but instead found herself calmly walking to her closet, where the stranger helped her change into her robes. Try as she might, she could only watch silently as her body moved on its own.

Against her will, Romilda left her bedroom in the company of the pale, strangely beautiful woman. As she walked past her parents room, she tried again to scream, but her voice would not cooperate.

Romilda realized there was a wispy smoke that was barely noticeable permeating the house. The source of the sweet smelling smoke was a small iron braizer held by the new divination teacher. The hag-like witch cackled softly as Romilda passed.

"Dementia dear, what's that you have?" The strange woman asked just as a corpse-like woman walked into view.

The corpse-woman held up a scrap of parchment. "Just thought I'd give her parents some closure. It's a nice little suicide note. Margaret taught me how to forge back when I was What's nanny."

Romilda tried again to scream in terror, but as before, it was in vain. She wanted to cry, but even that was beyond her ability. In the depths of her own mind, she screamed again and again for her parents to save her.

"Alright ladies, if we don't get going, then the incense will burn down before we get back." The creepy professor urged the other two women.

-o-o-

McLaggen began to sweat as he felt himself dropped roughly into a chair. The room was uncomfortably warm, and he started to feel suffocated by his hood before it was ripped off of him. Through the blinding bright light he saw three figures looming over him.

"Now I know you never managed to touch Wednesday, but you did try. Do you remember what I told you I'd do to you?" The middle figure asked, his burning emerald eyes seemed to outshine the room lighting.

Shaking his head no, McLaggen screamed through his gag.

"No? Tsk... You should have payed better attention." Harry's expression melted into a grim frown. "I said I'd rip your arms off. Fortunate for you, I've had time to think, and I've decided to go a different direction."

One of the other two figures brought a rapier to bear, and despite McLaggen's fearful flinching, the sword was used to deftly cut away the cloth holding his gag in place. Immediately, he spat out the sour gag, and promptly threw up.

"Come now old man, control yourself." The swordsman admonished, shaking his head in disappointment.

After taking a few moments to remember the spell, Harry vanished the vomit. "As I was saying, a different direction. One more fitting of your crime."

"What crime?" McLaggen groaned. "I didn't do anything!"

"We already turned your love potion against you, so don't try and pretend you weren't trying to rape my Wednesday with amortentia." Harry's voice was cold and unforgiving.

Looking genuinely confused, McLaggen denied the accusation. "No! I wasn't, I swear. I don't need some stupid potion to get a witch to sleep with me. It was that Vane girl, she must have done it. I knew she was going to try to use a love potion on you, but I had no idea she'd use one on your girlfriend."

"Hmm, I think our friend here is telling the truth." The swordsman pointed out to Harry.

"Really?"

"I'd swear in front of the Wizengamot, in front of Merlin himself." McLaggen eagerly nodded up and down.

Harry looked back and forth between the two other men, occasionally glancing at McLaggen. Then he chuckled softly.

"C'est la vie!" The swordsman laughed as he threw the tip of his rapier into the air. Harry and the other man joined in, erupting into raucous laughter, but McLaggen couldn't see what was funny.

The largest man picked up McLaggen, and swung him over to something that resembled a sawhorse that came to a point. "Let's get you strapped down nice and tight, and we'll leave you and Harry to have some fun."

Despite further protests proclaiming his innocence, Cormac found himself laying face down on the top edge of the wooden horse, and his limbs were fastened to each of the horse's legs. Small comfort that it was, McLaggen was thankful that the horse was rather short, so his crotch wasn't pressed into the sharp edge that was already causing great discomfort. Finally, his head was pulled back, and secured with a leather strap. The strap forced to look at the reason why the room was so warm, a small brick furnace was in the corner. The furnace blazed merrily, with a glowing crucible cradled in the flames

"That's just perfect Uncle Fester." Harry commented as he picked up an iron rod, and set it into the crucible. "If either of you knows where Wednesday is, could you ask her to join me? No rush, I'm going to take my time."

The door shut, and McLaggen watched in trepidation as Harry pulled the metal rod out of the crucible. Glowing brightly, a glob of molten glass began to droop from the rod as Harry slowly turned it. "Have you ever heard of a Prince Rupert's Drop?"

Too scared to use his voice, the bound man merely shook his head.

"No? It's pretty amazing actually. A muggle found out how to make nearly unbreakable glass." Carefully, Harry allowed the liquid glass to drop into a nearby barrel of water. An eruption of steam clouded McLaggen's vision, but he could hear Harry's voice clearly. "I'll admit that I don't understand how it works myself, but then I don't really need to."

As the steam cleared away, Harry held up a piece of glass shaped like a teardrop with a long squiggly tail. After showing the creation to his captive, he walked around and out of sight. "You're going to die tonight Cormac, and oh I've been looking forward to this. You might not be quite as guilty as I thought, but if what Katie has told me is even half true, then you more than deserve what I'm about to do."

The snap of rubber gloves made McLaggen shiver, and he found his voice when he felt his pajama bottoms pulled down to his ankles. "No! Wait! I'll do anything you want, just let me go!"

"Is that how some of your conquests begged you?" Harry's voice was flat, cold, and utterly humorless. "Love is a wonderful thing, but it cannot be forced. What you did to those witches was unforgivable, and trying to do the same to my fiancée... Well, I've decided to get creative."

McLaggen felt a painful intrusion, and continued to repeatedly cry out, "No!"

"Calm down you big baby. That shouldn't have even registered as painful. You might feel uncomfortable, violated, terrified, but you shouldn't be in any pain yet. Don't worry, the pain will come soon enough." Harry assured Mclaggen with a rough pat on the back.

"Look, I admit I've maybe lied a bit to convince a few witches to sleep with me, but plenty of wizards do that." The terrified man pleaded. "Why are you doing this to me?"

Walking back into view, Harry tossed his gloves aside, and proceeded to make a few more glass drops. "Let me show you what blissful agony awaits you, but first let's protect your eyes. I wouldn't want you to miss anything because you lost an eye or two."

After putting goggles on McLaggen, Harry held up one of the drops in one hand, and wire cutters in the other. "The big round part of a Prince Rupert's Drop is just about indestructible, it's amazing that it's not magic at all. The little tail on the other hand, now that is incredibly fragile. Watch." Harry grinned sadistically as he closed the cutters on the tip of the drop's tail.

In an instant the glass drop exploded violently, sending tiny shards everywhere. Harry chuckled maniacally, and McLaggen's eyes widened in understanding and renewed fear. Small drops of blood welled up all over Harry's face, and the hand that held the glass began to look like it had been dipped in blood.

"No! Merlin, NO!" McLaggen shrieked. "You can't do this to me! I'm a pure-blood, my family is wealthy, you can't do this!"

"I really couldn't care less about all that." Harry shrugged and patted McLaggen's face with his bloody hand. "All you are to me, is a cretin that needs to be put down."

The sound of glass being cut, and an eruption of pain registered at the same time. Crying out in horrified agony, McLaggen began whimpering unintelligibly.

"You know what's nice? Symmetry sounds like fun." McLaggen heard Harry's cheerful voice, which was accompanied by his mouth being wrenched open with a rusty metal spreader of some sort, and another drop of glass shoved down his throat.

A knock on the door prompted Harry to stand and open it. Wednesday was on the other side, with a look of curiosity. "You look like you've been having quite a bit of fun." She ran her fingers across his face, painting her fingertips red with blood. "You wanted me?"

"Always, but yes to the fun too. I've been playing with those glass drops Hermione talked about. The blood on me is my own, the blood on the floor..." Harry stepped aside to let Wednesday enter, and clipped the glass tail protruding from McLaggen's mouth. "belongs to him."

Wednesday was presented with the sight of McLaggen bent over, strapped down, and bleeding profusely from both ends. "I'm almost sorry I ever doubted her, Hermione is a good friend with such interesting ideas. Did you invite me to watch him bleed out?"

"If you'd like." Harry agreed, then pulled out an old pair of gardening sheers. "I was planning on making him a eunuch as well. Did you want the honors?"

"No, I think I just want to watch the light leave his eyes." She absently licked her fingers clean while she moved to be in front of the dying man.

"Suit yourself." Harry shrugged as he moved behind McLaggen.

McLaggen only vaguely understood what was happening. He knew he was dying, and had even managed to accept that. He had no idea what a eunuch was, but figured nothing could be as bad as the exploding glass suppository. Suddenly he had a horrific understanding as he felt jagged metal surround his favorite body part.

Seeing renewed terror in McLaggen's eyes, Wednesday's lips curled into a wicked smile, and she whispered darkly. "My fiancé is the jealous type. Of course, you really should consider yourself lucky. Had you succeeded at all, I would be the one to punish you. Harry means well, and is a fast learner, but he is only a beginner."

The excruciating pain of Harry slowly closing the sheers caused him to lose consciousness. The last thing McLaggen saw, was Wednesday's sadistic smile.

"Not bad Harry. He fainted before he bled out though." Wednesday commented with minor criticism. "The castration was too much for him, but at least he knew he was dying."

"Well, I feel better at any rate." Harry shrugged, and tossed the bloody sheers over his shoulder.

"Thank you for letting me be a part of this." Wednesday looked thoughtful for a moment. "I think you should be there when the Vane girl draws her last breath. I think my presence helped to crush the last of his spirit. Your demented grin will likely do the same for her.

-o-o-

As Romilda was led over the decrepit building's threshold, waves of pain crashed through her unresponsive body. Waiting in the building's foyer, the Addams girl stared at her with emotionless detachment.

"Thank you Mother, Grandmama, Aunt Dementia." Wednesday addressed Romilda's kidnappers, before reaching her hand out to lead the scared girl further into the darkness. "Come Romilda, you and I have much to discuss."

Discovering that the Addams girl was behind her abduction, was somewhat of a relief for Romilda. The entire thing must be an elaborate prank to drive home how stupid she was for playing with love potions. It wasn't to say that she was no longer afraid, but at least she didn't have to worry about being murdered or anything. The divination teacher really should have been her first clue, there was no way a Hogwarts professor would put her in any real danger.

Eventually, Wednesday brought Romilda to a small room where she helped the younger girl lay down on a narrow table. As she secured the younger girl to the table with leather straps, Wednesday spoke in her usual monotone. "Grandmama's incense will wear off soon, and you'll be able to speak again. Feel free to scream and cry, but no one who will care can hear you."

Romilda squeaked as the magic subduing here began to dissipate. Coughing to clear her voice, she tried again, but couldn't yet manage to form words. Wednesday finished strapping her down, and gave a smile that could turn water to ice.

"There was once a wonderfully depraved cult dedicated to the goddess Kali. They would give her still-beating hearts in sacrifice." Wednesday held up a wicked looking kris, admiring the way the torchlight reflected off the wavy blade. "Not a particularly unique or imaginative ritual, but they developed an interesting twist. They figured out how to keep the sacrifice alive, still tied to their removed heart."

Romilda Vane's bindings cut into her as she struggled against them. "Alright! You've made your point, I'm sorry! I won't ever try to steal Harry from you again. But isn't this going too far? You can stop trying to scare me now. I'm plenty scared."

Wednesday ignored her captive's pleas as she set out the various tools she would soon use. She stopped, and held up a rib-spreader for Romilda to see. "Would you believe that surgeons actually use these things to save lives? Tsk, what a waste."

A large pair of angled scissors was the last tool brought out, and Wednesday immediately set to using it. She cut away the front of Romilda's robes with clinical detachment. "I've never opened up a living person like this before, but I've still had plenty of practice. It gives my brothers an excuse to play in new graveyards."

The door creaked open, and Romilda briefly hoped that she would be saved when a well dressed man poked his head into the room.

"Wednesday! If you're not too preoccupied, your charming husband-to-be would enjoy your company." The man didn't react at all to Romilda's cries for help; instead he lit a fresh cigar, and took several quick puffs. "He did mention that there was no rush, so take your time. I'll be right out here to show you where he is when you're ready."

"That's alright father, I can go now. I can't do too much until the incense fully wears off anyway." Wednesday set her scissors aside and walked out, not sparing a glance back to her terrified prisoner.

Time slowed to an agonizing crawl. While struggling against her bonds, she made a point not to look at the implements of torture. Gryffindor that she was, Romilda refused to let panic settle in, and closing her eyes helped. To keep herself from despair, she reminded herself that she hadn't actually been hurt. This whole thing could still be a revenge prank taken way, way too far.

When the rusty door hinges cried out once more, Romilda opened her eyes to see the object of her affection walk in. She held no more illusions that Harry might want her, but if he was here it had to be a prank. "Harry, thank Merlin! I promise I've learned my lesson, I'll leave you alone. Please let me go, your girlfriend is dementer-scary."

"Is this a bone saw?" Harry asked in interest, holding up the tool in question as Wednesday reentered the room. "Your family has so many fun toys."

"Uncle Fester gave it to me when I started showing an interest in boys." Wednesday's smile and Harry's indifference made Romilda's blood run cold.

Harry laughed as he sat down opposite Romilda. Staring into her fear filled eyes, he shook his head. "I just cleaned up from dealing with your friend Mclaggen. I'm not sure he was capable of understanding what it was he did wrong. Your friend Demelza seems to think you are just impulsive instead of stupid, so I want to see if you get it."

"I get it! I get it!" She cried out, nodding frantically. "You're engaged. You love each other. I should never have tried to steal you from her."

"If that was all you did, I might have just ripped out your eyeballs." Wednesday commented lightly.

"The love potion." Harry said with an icy tone as he narrowed his eyes. "You and the other idiot tried to use magic to strip us of our wills. You didn't have the basic decency to try to brainwash us with sensory deprivation, starvation, red hot pokers... the kind of romantic gestures that have worked through the ages."

Wednesday closed her eyes and moaned as her imagination ran wild. "If I didn't have our honeymoon already planned out, I would expect you to show me that kind of romance."

Harry stood so that he could embrace his soon-to-be wife. "We have our whole marriage ahead of us, I'm sure we can fit in a nice long weekend of depravity here and there."

Staring into each other's eyes, the two lovers deepened their embrace, and began kissing passionately, verging on the obscene.

Romilda shuddered as she realized what kind of romantic acts Harry might have done had her plan succeeded. "You two were clearly made for each other. Why don't you just let me go so you can have some quality time together?"

"She's right you know." Harry broke away reluctantly. "Quality time sounds like a great idea. Why don't you take care of Vane here so we don't have her murder hanging over our heads."

-o-o-

Margaret and Morticia were chatting over a cup of tea while What and Pubert quietly played hangman in the corner.

A bloodcurdling shriek floated up through the floorboards, followed by sustained cries of pain and terror. The muffled sound of a power tool preceded the distinct sound of bones snapping.

Morticia looked upset as she set down her teacup and shook her head. "I can't believe my daughter. When she begged me to buy her that rib spreader, she promised that she'd use it properly. I'm not buying another one if her impatience breaks this one."

"She probably just got excited, I'm sure she'll be more careful with it." Margaret reassured her friend, then glanced over at her own child. "What! Don't you dare push your cousin off that chair while a rope is wrapped around his neck like that. Tie a proper noose, just like Uncle fester showed you.

-o-o-

Romilda woke feeling worse than she ever had. Her entire chest felt like it was on fire. Opening her eyes, she saw Harry leaning over her with a kind smile. Was she dreaming?

"Welcome back, here let me help you." Harry's voice was kind, and she felt his strong hands lift her head up.

Everything came rushing back to her, as Romilda looked down to see her wide open chest. Her heart visibly beating faster as panic began to set in again.

Harry's hand clamped over her mouth as he whispered into her ear. "Shh, this is the good part. Just watch."

Wednesday chanted softly as she reached into Romilda, and wrapped her fingers around the younger girl's heart. Smiling vindictively she lifted the beating organ up high, then offered it to Harry.

"No, I don't want it." Harry let Romilda's head drop. "Yours is the only heart I want."

"I expected you to enjoy crushing her heart beneath your heel, but have it your way." Wednesday stared into Romilda's eyes to insure that she was watching, and deliberately bit into her heart.

Both the girl, and her heart spasmed as blood quickly poured from the magically sustained organ. Paling rapidly, Romilda's last sight was Wednesday's bloody grin.

-o-o-

Bill tore through Saint Mungo's as soon as he stepped out of the hospital's floo, and slid to a halt outside of his father's room, where Molly and the twins were waiting.

"What's going on?" Bill asked, nearly out of breath. "Is dad going to be okay?"

"They're not sure how or why, but dad woke up a few hours ago." Fred explained with a weak smile. "We talked to him for a little,"

"But mum got so excited they had to force-feed her a calming draught, so we're keeping her company out here." George finished his brother's sentence.

Both twins looked to the door as Fred added, "Percy's in there now... They've been talking for a while."

Finishing up, George tried to look optimistic. "The doctors haven't kicked us out, so that's a good sign right?"

-o-o-

Author's note:

To Willow The Wisp reviewing chapter 23: Your questions may or may not be answered as the story progresses. Asking again via PM may or may not produce a more satisfying answer.

To RandoNPC reviewing chapter 23: I'll grant that Wednesday is rather powerful as a character, but I think calling her a Mary Sue is going a bit far. The old magic makes her immune or resistant to very specific things. There are plenty of ways to beat her, Harry has been discovering some during their 'playtime.'

To Guest reviewing chapter 22: You're absolutely right, neither kill was satisfying for our favorite couple. Both kills were very much spur of the moment, Harry's was anger fueled, and Wednesday's was reflexive.

To DBNY94 reviewing chapter 23: How's that for a coup de grace? Too far? Either way, Vane and McLaggen are certainly dead now.

To Guest reviewing chapter 23: I've seen at least one story resurrect after years of inactivity, so unless an author specifically calls a story dead, there's always hope.

To Guest reviewing chapter 23: I'm glad you liked the opening salvo of revenge on McLaggen/Vance, hopefully you enjoyed the rest of it. As for the Black babies, those things take a while to make, give it time.

To Guest reviewing chapter 21: I don't know yet if there will be another séance. I can safely say that there will be more necromancy in some form.

To LunaAnt reviewing chapter 23: Thank you. I'm happy that I'm still writing too. :)

To Narial reviewing chapter 23: Thank you, I'm glad that my character development is appreciated.

To Slothking reviewing chapter 23: Thank you, I'm glad that the lighthearted portions are enough to offset the darker portions.

To Guest reviewing chapter 23: Dumbledore can't die just yet, he's the main antagonist. At least give the man his chance to be a boss fight. :)

To Wellll reviewing chapter 6: I may get my geek card revoked for this, but I haven't played Undertale, so I had to look up who Mettaton was.

To Pun fuker reviewing chapter 20: I studied the art of the pun in Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, don't make me sic Doc Webster on you. :D

To okay so sans reviewing chapter 22: I'm not sure how to respond to the condiment consumption, but I'm glad you like the story. Eschewing sleep to read it is only fair, as I often trade in sleep time for writing time.

To Guest reviewing chapter 23: I honestly have no idea how I would interpret your review as a flame. I see no hate whatsoever... -shrug-

As for your question, creating more deranged lunatics like Asclepius probably isn't going to happen, at least not in the same way. I'm not ruling out more people joining the Addams side of the force, but we'll just see what happens.

To Jack reviewing chapter 23: Use your imagination to fill in the 'good parts' that I leave out of the sex scenes. You know what you like better than I do. ;)