Somehow I'm sensing that my chapters should be longer. It's just a hunch. (Sidesteps reviewers throwing projectiles at her head)
It's true though, I never look at stories as short as mine tend to be. Hehe... .; I tried to make this chapter longer but also less choppy, like I know my other two were. I realise that it's hard to get into the action when chapters are only about a thousand words, so I'll try to make each chapter at least three thousand from now on. I'm sure my Beta, Momo-chan, will keep me in line if I revert to former tendencies. I also tried to add more description, though it was almost physically painful for me, because I hate reading descriptions. I'll skip over them and go strait to the dialogue when I'm reading a fic. But thank you all for your advice; I'll follow it to the letter!
A/N: A rogue's gallery is a collection of photographs of known criminals. I'm greatly enjoying my Death Eaters... but that's only because they've replaced my scientists...
Chapter 3- Rogue's Gallery
Harry felt like he was waking up from a deep sleep. His eyelids weighed a ton and his head ached in protest when he sat up. He rubbed a temple in a slow circular motion, willing his head to stop pounding.
"So you have finally woken up." A masked Death Eater murmured. Stunning observation, Harry thought to himself. There was a crumpled form next to Harry that could only be identified as Sirius. There was no mistaking his godfather's midnight black hair and robes. Harry glanced up, taking in his surroundings. To his complete lack of surprise, he saw that they were both in a cell. Harry didn't think it was a dungeon since the boarded up window let wisps of light stream through, which would have been unlikely if they were underground. There was also the faint smell of seawater and the sound of crashing waves.
But what Harry paid the most attention to was his jailor, who was only separated from them by iron bars. Even though the Death Eater was sitting down, he looked too short to be a grown man.
"You didn't come alone." The Death Eater stated, but Harry thought he heard a hint of accusation. Harry debated between keeping his mouth shut and questioning his jailor. Harry's mouth opened and closed several times before curiosity prevailed.
"Where are we? How did you get us here?"
"You are being held in the tallest tower of the Dark Lord's headquarters. I wouldn't contemplate escaping, as there is no way to get out, other then this door. And as for how you got here... it is because we are the same, you and I." The Death Eater replied calmly, standing up from his chair and touching the wooden door with what Harry suspected was a smirk behind that mask.
"Voldemort is dead, and I can assure you, we're nothing alike because I would never sell my soul to that devil." Harry spat out.
The Death Eater simply remained silent, as though Harry wasn't worth arguing with. Harry couldn't imagine another reason for the silence. Most Death Eaters would jump at that opening to start raving about revenge.
Harry frowned and glanced quickly at Sirius, who had let out a soft groan.
"Sirius, wake up." Harry muttered, his eyes watching the robed figure's movements carefully. Nothing about this Death Eater seemed very threatening. Harry knew from experience that if he were planning on torturing them, he would have done so already. However, the strangely silent figure hadn't so much as whispered a Crucio, which in itself was disturbingly un-Death Eater-like. Harry's instincts were screaming that there was something terribly wrong with that.
"Sirius Black?" The figure asked with what seemed like genuine curiosity.
Harry was about to give a sharp retort when the wooden door swung open and another Death Eater entered the room. This one, however, wasn't wearing the standard white Death Eater mask, and Harry froze when he saw whom it was.
"Avery? But that's impossible, you were killed years ago!" Harry cried out in confusion.
Avery just chuckled. "That's a riot coming from you Potter, you're the one that's dead. But, as you can see, our Lord is a miracle worker."
"He was your Lord, not mine Avery! And the only miracle he performed was getting a bunch of idiots to join him!" Harry snarled out.
"You'll regret that very soon Potter. You'll be crying out for mercy, just like your parents did!" Avery sneered.
Sirius, by now, was semi-conscious because of the yelling. Rubbing his head, his thoughts slowly lost their haziness.
"Harry, are you alright?" Sirius asked worriedly.
Avery just rolled his eyes at the display of prisonerly affection and turned to the shorter Death Eater. "The Dark Lord wants you to come down for the ceremony."
The masked Death Eater nodded. Avery turned to leave and gave a farewell sneer to Sirius and Harry.
"I look forward to the chance to hear you scream again, muggle-loving scum! Sweet dreams!" With a final deranged laugh he was gone.
Silence reigned for a few moments.
Sirius harrumphed. "I look forward to the chance too. The chance to cut off your air supply, Death Eater scum."
Harry muffled a chuckle, knowing well that the other Death Eater wouldn't appreciate it.
The Death Eater strode closer to the bars. "You said that the Dark Lord is dead where you come from?"
Harry frowned. "Look, I don't know what rock you've been hiding under, but I killed your Evil Overlord two years ago! Denial won't get you anywhere, so why don't you be a good minion and turn yourself over to the Ministry? There's a nice ward in St. Mungo's waiting for you."
The Death Eater laughed mirthlessly. "You will soon see that I am in complete control of my mental faculties. However, I won't be the one to shatter your delusions quite yet. This world will make you thoroughly unhappy Harry Potter, if you survive long enough to see it!"
With a sweeping movement of his robes, the Death Eater was gone, his footsteps echo echoing down the stairs.
"Well that was pleasant." Sirius stated dryly. "Lets make sure to invite him over to tea next time. Death Eaters make such interesting conversationalists, especially when the topic is world domination."
Harry snorted. "You do that Padfoot, and tell me how it went."
"We ought to get out of here before the next shift comes up." Sirius said, ruffling through his pockets.
With a raised eyebrow, Sirius held up his wand.
Harry shook his head. "Voldemort came up with a 'No Magic Zone' trick a few months before his death, so our wands are probably harmless. That would certainly explain why they didn't curse us."
Sirius frowned. "Are even your rings affected?"
Harry shrugged and looked at the white, red, brown and blue rings he had on alternating fingers of both hands.
During his seventh year Dumbledore had given him four rings that allowed him to perform some elemental magic. Although they were powerful and effective, they had a limited power supply. Once their energy had been depleted, Harry had to return them to their element. The water ring had to be submerged in water, the fire ring had to burn, the air ring had to be in contact with the wind, and the earth ring had to be buried. They were powerful, but Harry preferred to use them as a last resort. He kept up the pretence that he didn't really need them, but truthfully, it was because he was too lazy to be constantly recharging them.
"Try a low level spell before I try them. We have to make sure our wands really don't work." Harry said, making sure that his wand was still in its holster.
Sirius tried a lumos spell, but not so much as a spark came out of the wand. Harry nodded and tried to summon a small flame, but nothing happened. Sirius let out a sigh and started picking the lock with a pin from one of his many pockets. Harry raised an eyebrow.
"Death Eaters are normally all purebloods. They can't grasp the concept that a lock can be opened without magic." Sirius replied, as though he felt his godson's questioning gaze.
"Fred and George are purebloods and they know how to pick a lock." Harry protested. "And so do you."
"Yes, but we're blood-traitors, so that's different." Sirius replied. "Besides, it's so much easier to pull a prank if you know multiple breaking and entering techniques."
"I'm beginning to think you were put in Azkaban because you're a common criminal." Sirius reached back and tried to swat him, but Harry moved out of the way, chuckling.
"How far do you think that this 'No Magic Zone' extends?" Sirius asked when the bars swung open.
"The 'No Magic Zone' is probably only this room, but it could be the whole tower." Harry replied, strolling over to the boarded window. Sirius followed and started working on the lock sealing the window.
"How does the spell work?" Sirius continued. "Is it a spell that works like those muggle security systems where there's a motion detector in a corner and it takes care of all that it sees?"
"No, it's more like an invisible box, that contains a certain area. That means that there's a chance that it extends outside also." Harry stated.
"I guess we'll have to make sure we jump far enough." Sirius gave a lop-sided smile.
Harry smiled back.
The lock on the window clicked open after Sirius had fiddled around with it for a few moments and they took off the boards, coughing a bit because of the dust their actions caused.
"Death Eaters sure know how to purchase their Real Estate." Sirius stated blandly, glancing down at the waves crashing into some sharp rocks below the tower.
"At least we're pretty high up. But then with evil people, it's never half way. You never hear of partial world domination, or open-minded torture. Because of that, it always has to be the dankest dungeon, and the tallest tower."
"Yes Harry, I know, I've read the manual on how to be evil." Sirius shot back. He just glanced down at the waves and sighed. "This seems a little too anti-climatic though."
"You mean jumping out of a window and potentially falling to our death is anti-climatic?" Harry asked.
Harry raised an eyebrow. "Are you suggesting Plan B?"
"No, I'm suggesting Plan C. Get your plans strait you wannabe Marauder! Plan A is the stealthy escape, where no one knows we were ever there, used only in dire circumstances. Plan B is the devious one where some unsuspecting sap is pinned with the blame, and Plan C is the loud and proud approach." Sirius said, twirling his wand with his fingers.
"It's also reckless, childish, arrogant, and a blatant show of force." Harry stated.
Sirius gave a devious smile. "Plan C it is then."
Harry chuckled, following Sirius who was already rushing down the winding stairs in barely repressed glee.
There was no guard at the bottom of the tower either. Sirius whispered his hope that they were all dead. Harry replied that it was unlikely, unless they all choked at the same time during their maniacal laughing sessions.
Their approach was silent. Sirius didn't even need to think about being quiet anymore; it was subconscious due to years of successful pranking. Harry, on the other hand, had learned to be silent due to his training. They both hid in the shadows when they heard two sets of footfalls down the hall.
Harry strained to hear what they were saying.
"...the way things are going now. When Malfoy was in the Inner Circle things made sense, to me at least. You killed, you plundered, you failed, and the Lord tortured you. Things used to be simple. Since Lucius has been 'taken care of', things have gotten weirder with the Dark Lord... he's seeing traitors everywhere." Death Eater Number One whined.
"That's right. I would never question his Lordship, I'm sure that he had his reasons for killing a pureblood, but the 'Survivor' gives me the creeps. I think Malfoy was right about that kid." Death Eater Number Two answered.
"Too true. You didn't hear it from me, but I think that the 'Survivor' is actually a zombie!" Death Eater Number One whispered. "With blue hair and bad teeth!"
"You don't say!" Death Eater Number Two gasped. "That would explain why he's always wearing that stuffy mask."
Harry rolled his eyes while Sirius watched the Death Eaters, slack-jawed.
"Yes, and I've heard from a very reliable source that Harry Potter might not be dead!" DENO whispered conspiratorially.
"Our Lord really is a miracle worker." DENT replied dreamily. Harry decided that this was the perfect moment for his entrance.
"I can do a few tricks myself." Harry smirked, steeping out of the shadowy corner and watching patiently as the brains of Voldemort's minions attempted to process the information he was presenting them with.
"Black hair, green eyes, dressed like an auror, looks like a Potter, is confronting us with every intention of causing us bodily harm..." DENO muttered, trying to piece together the puzzle.
DENT's eyes widened. "He must be..."
DENO and DENT took out their wands. "A zombie!"
Harry stared at them incredulously, repressing the urge to scream, No! No, I'm Harry Potter you idiots!
Instead, he smiled maliciously and started forming a fireball. He threw it at the Death Eaters, who jumped out of the way but couldn't avoid getting singed. While they were frantically trying to extinguish their robes, Sirius stepped out of the shadows, casting spells that caused large chunks of the surrounding area to explode in rapid succession. Sirius shot him a look that Harry a was certain meant 'You wasted energy on those two?' Harry shrugged and pulled out his wand, aiding Sirius in his crater making.
Frenzied Death Eaters soon arrived on the premises to add to the confusion. Curses flew everywhere, but none of them were close to touching either Sirius or Harry. They cursed various Death Eaters, Sirius taunting them in a sing-song way while doing so.
After punching a particularly rowdy Death Eater, Harry looked up to see a figure that he still saw in his nightmares. Gliding down the hall with the masked Death Eater at his side was Voldemort.
Silence engulfed Harry. He knew he was still casting curses, and that he was still being attacked, but all he saw was Voldemort. Snake faced, enraged, and alive. He had to concentrate on breathing. After having sleepless nights, reliving the fight that ended that monster's existence, Harry had started dreaming that Voldemort was behind every corner. Every dark shadow was a Death Eater, every flash of green an unforgivable curse. It had taken Harry so long to accept that Voldemort was gone, that he had fulfilled the prophecy and he could live.
And yet here was Voldemort, barking orders at his servants.
Harry almost didn't hear Sirius yelling that it was their cue to escape. It was only while running up the tower stairs that Harry's stomach settled.
Why was he worrying? He could kill Voldemort. He had done it before. He wasn't a child anymore, and after Voldemort's demise he had brought powerful Death Eaters to justice. He had spent years training as an auror and had excelled in his program. He might as well sit back and enjoy the show that he and Sirius were planning for their captors. With a grin slowly forming on his face, Harry ran up the steps with renewed vigour.
Sirius, who has glanced back at his godson with a worried expression, was relieved when he saw Harry wink at him, all traces of fear gone. Sirius winked back as they entered the tallest tower's prisoner room.
Behind Harry, all spells disappeared as though they were never cast, indicating that they were once again in the 'No Magic Zone'. There were several disgruntled cries from the Death Eaters when their spells disappeared when they hit the invisible barrier.
Harry and Sirius kept running, using their momentum to propel them as they jumped from the open window, one after the other. Harry smirked when he heard even more dismayed cries over the sound of the rushing wind.
Sirius, who was never one to pass up an opportunity to look cool, took out his wand and shot a spell towards the tallest tower, all while in a state of freefall.
The Death Eaters tittered to themselves and laughingly mocked Sirius when the spell missed them and sailed over the tower... only to start panicking when the spell caused a laughing skull hologram to appear high in the sky.
There were several cries of 'We're doomed!' and 'The ministry will find us!' and 'Oh Merlin, I left my socks downstairs! I'll never be able to escape now!'
Sirius snickered, and turned to watch Harry slow down their fall using the ring that controlled air. Harry's arms were spread apart, his cloak whipping in the wind, and his eyes were closed in a look of intense concentration. Sirius could almost see the change in the air pressure that Harry's ring caused.
'But it won't last', a little voice in the back of his mind whispered, 'Harry can only do this for a certain amount of time before the ring's power runs out.'
So Sirius started searching through the many hidden pockets of his robes, knowing exactly where to look. Triumphantly, he took out a miniaturized broom and mounted it when it expanded. He shot out towards Harry, grabbing his hand and pulling him onto the broom. The broom gave a creak of protest at the extra load but otherwise functioned normally, if somewhat slowly. They grazed the surface of the water, and Sirius had to swerve to avoid one of the pointy rocks. The castle on the cliff, undoubtedly unplottable, was still invisible, but the laughing skull, which was now taunting some of the Death Eaters, let the hideout's precise location be known. Sirius wished he could be there when the Death Eaters heard the popping sound that apparating caused, indicating that ministry officials were preparing to swarm the place.
Harry had a firm grip around Sirius' waist but leaned his head wearily against his godfather's back.
"It's starting all over again." Harry whispered, the comment never reaching his godfather's ears due to the rushing wind. "I can't believe he's back."
Neither of them could possibly have seen, in highest room, in the tallest tower of the castle on the cliff, Voldemort turning to the masked Death Eater that stood a respectful distance behind him.
"You will find them." Voldemort hissed, clearly audible over the hysterics of Death Eaters pleading for mercy. "Harry Potter and Sirius Black. You will find them and kill Black, if necessary." He glanced at his masked slave with a shrewd look. "But be sure to bring Potter back to me. I have great plans for him."
The masked Death Eater bowed and silently exited the room, walking calmly down the tower stairs, undeterred by the popping sound of ministry officials, apparating around the castle...