Harmony glanced from person to person. Every expression she read was different. The Weasley kids—George, Ron, and Ginny—stared at her in wonderment as though she were a dragon sprouting two heads. The adults—Lupin, Mad-Eye Moody, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley watched her warily. Harry, on the other hand, was beyond furious.
Harmony remembered that the last time she saw everyone was at the Menkar Insane Asylum, where they had been awaiting Voldemort's execution. Until she had helped Voldemort (or at least who she thought was him) escape. It was a fateful day that seemed ages ago but, really, it had hardly been a week.
A part of her knew this day would come. The day when she would be faced with these people she had loved—still loved!—and would need to answer for her actions. The last time had been at the Battle of Hogwarts. In front of everyone, she had stopped the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort, and she had helped her master escape. Shortly afterward, she confronted everyone at Shell Cottage and had given the excuse that she hadn't wanted to see anyone else killed.
But what was her excuse now?
Not only had she saved Voldemort from execution, but she had also helped him infiltrate the Ministry of Magic! Arguably the worst offence a witch or wizard could make. It was shocking that her old friends hadn't killed her already. She'd understand if they'd want to.
While Harry was crouched before her, everyone else stood gathered around. They were in a large room with desks and overturned chairs pushed aside—probably an unused office. When she was done looking around, her attention returned to Harry.
He opened his mouth to speak to her. But before he uttered a word, he snapped his lips shut and turned to Lupin and Moody. "How will we know he's even noticed she's gone?"
"We'll know," Moody replied, dropping Barty on the ground like a sack of potatoes. Barty twitched but stayed unconscious. "She has his Serpentine charm. No one is more important to him than her. No doubt we've already captured his attention. It shouldn't be long before he demands her return. And when he does, we'll have our own demands."
Harry turned his gaze back to Harmony. "And what are we supposed to do with her until then?"
Harmony shuddered at the coldness in his voice.
"Interrogate her, of course," said Moody, which led Lupin to cast him a chastising look. "What? Can you imagine the things she knows about Voldemort? All his plans? Her mind is a little treasure trove waiting to be unlocked. I say we start with a few painless hexes, and then move on to some simple nail-pulling—a trick I learned from Muggles, in fact—and perhaps follow that up with a good Cruciatus curse—"
"Stop!" Harmony called out in fear, bringing everyone's attention back to her. The satisfied look on Moody's face told her that he had been anticipating this kind of reaction from her. "You don't need to torture me. Just ask. I'll tell you everything you want to know."
"Well, you're not a very loyal Death Eater, are you?" said Mrs. Weasley with her arms crossed.
"I'm not a Death Eater at all," Harmony explained. "Perhaps I was in the beginning, under Dumbledore's orders, but a Death Eater serves Voldemort with reverence and without question. I am still my own person."
There was a pause as everyone considered this.
"Could she have been under the Imperius curse?" Ginny asked hopefully.
Lupin shook his head and Moody clarified, "I've seen plenty of poor bastards under the Imperius curse. Miss Granger shows none of the signs."
"If you went to such lengths to save Voldemort," Harry asked, "then why are you prepared to tell us everything and betray him?"
"Not betray him!" Harmony said a little too quickly. "I won't tell you anything that will lead to his capture or death."
"I don't understand," Ron spoke up angrily, coming forward. "If you're not his Death Eater then why fight for him? Why do any of this? What is he to you if not your precious Dark Lord?"
Harmony tried to think of a way to explain how she felt about Voldemort without them believing that she was crazy. She began, "I think of Voldemort and myself as…" What? Friends? Lovers? "…partners. We take care of each other. Learn from each other. We give the other what they need whether it be an ear, a helping hand, or simply…companionship."
Mrs. Weasley snorted. "You sound like Bellatrix did before I ended her miserable life."
"Hermione," Lupin said gently, kneeling beside her so they were eye-to-eye, "what sometimes happens when a person is held captive is they slowly begin to relate to their captor. It's a way of coping with their unfortunate circumstance. They no longer see their captor as a threat and can even develop certain feelings for them."
"I am not Voldemort's captive," Harmony said quickly. "I choose to be with him."
"Do you see this!?" George said in shock. "She's completely bonkers! It's like she's been brainwashed or something!"
Mr. Weasley stepped toward her and finally spoke with the utmost seriousness on his face. "Hermione. I'm going to ask you a question and you need to answer with absolute honesty. Do you understand?"
She nodded slowly.
"The reason you've done all this—committed all these crimes, turned your back on your friends—is it because you believe you're in love with Voldemort?"
Harmony glanced from person to person. Every single one hated Voldemort more than the last. They didn't know him like she did. They thought Voldemort was nothing but an unfeeling murderer, indifferent to anyone except himself. So what did it matter?
"You wouldn't understand," she said, casting her gaze to the floor. She cringed when everyone around her voiced their shock. Everyone except Mr. Weasley, who simply stared at her with pity.
"I don't know who you think you are," said Harry, his voice hard as ice, "but the Hermione I knew wouldn't have thought once about choosing Voldemort over her friends. Much less…fall for him."
"That was Bellatrix's mistake and you know how that ended," said Lupin. "The same will happen to you if you're not careful, Hermione."
Hermione glanced at Mrs. Weasley, then back at Lupin. She knew a threat when she heard one.
"Hermione's gone," Harry whispered, getting to his feet. "I don't know who this girl is anymore."
Harmony felt a sharp pain in her chest at his words as though her heart literally broke, and she couldn't stop the tears from welling up in her eyes.
Harry turned away from her to go over to Ron who placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"I know what you must think of me," said Harmony. She fought hard to keep her voice from cracking. "After everything that I've done, all the pain I've caused, you have every right to hate me. And I am so very sorry. Truly."
Harry turned his head to meet her gaze and it gave her the encouragement she needed to continue: "When I agreed to spy on Voldemort for Dumbledore, I had no idea that I would end up seeing a side of the Dark Lord no one has seen before. That I would end up seeing myself in him. That when I showed him the littlest bit of warmth, he would show me warmth in return. I feared him, but I was also in awe of him. He was not what I expected—in the best way possible—and that caught me off guard. I became vulnerable with him, which allowed him to become vulnerable with me. An experience which he'd never had before, and I think his feelings toward me scared him a little. He still has trouble expressing himself properly, but with my help he gets better every day. I take pride in that. I hope one day you see…"
Her words trailed off and the room fell heavy with silence. No one moved.
Harmony couldn't help but smile to herself. If felt nice getting her emotions out in the open. She had been dreading the moment when she would finally have to face her friends on the matter, but now that she had there came a sense of freedom.
"Poor girl," Mr. Weasley said to himself.
Ron walked away, muttering, "I can't hear any more of this." He escaped to the corner of the room, sitting himself down on one of the desks with his arms crossed and brow furrowed.
With a glance around at everyone's faces, Harmony saw that they looked at her like Mr. Weasley did: with pity. Like she was a child that had been taken advantage of.
She knew they wouldn't understand. But why bother kidnapping her? What had they hoped to gain?
When she asked, Moody explained, "Well, as you probably know, Dark Lady," he added bitterly, "Voldemort has taken control of the Minister's head office. Positioned there, he can slowly take control of the rest of the Ministry. He sits in the Minister's chair, nice and cozy, while your minions run about, killing anyone who oppose them and the Dark Lord. So you might be thinking 'This is it,' right? Voldemort has won." Moody wagged a calloused finger at her. "No, ma'am. Voldemort still has the Minister for Magic—alive!—in there with him. And while our Minister is still kicking, our fight to take back the Ministry goes on!"
Harmony immediately saw where this was going.
"You're going to trade me," she said, anger bringing an edge to her voice.
"Your life for the Minister's," Moody concurred. "A simple switch."
Harmony sprang to her feet. Everyone took a step back, unsure of what she might do, but she only started pacing with her fists clenched at her sides.
"She's just one follower," said George. "How do we know he'll agree to the trade?"
"He'll agree," Harmony and Moody said at the same time. When everyone looked at them, Harmony blushed. Moody went on, "Like I said, she has his Serpentine charm. She's his heir, the most important person in his world beside himself. With her in our grasp, all we have to do is say 'jump' and he'll say 'how high?'"
"What if he's already killed the Minister while we've been having this conversation?" Harmony asked, stopping in front of Moody.
"Well then," he growled in a low, menacing tone, "you better pray he hasn't or you won't like what's coming for you, girl."
Harmony narrowed her eyes at him. "Is that a threat?"
A loud groan made everyone jump. On the ground by Moody's feet, Barty rolled up onto his elbow, holding his head.
"Bloody hell…" he muttered, looking around with glassy eyes. Then his gaze settled on Mad-Eye Moody. "Oh, bugger me."
"Finally," said Moody with a nasty smile, "I was getting bored."
He grabbed the young man by the front of his coat and dragged him off to one side of the room.
"Are you really going to torture him now?" Harmony asked.
"You got a problem with that, Dark Lady?"
"It's only unnecessary."
Moody looked at her over his shoulder with his Mad-Eye. "Oh?"
Harmony came over to them. "He under my Unbreakable Vow. Can't touch a woman without dropping dead. All I'd need to do is reach out…"
She did just that, extending a slender finger toward Barty's pale face.
"No, wait!" Barty shouted, trying to pull away from her, only to be held fast by Moody's strong grasp. "What do you want from me, Mad-Eye? I'll do anything. Anything."
"I'm sure you would, you little cretin," Moody hissed.
"Alastor, please," Lupin begged. "We have more important matters at hand."
"He's right," said Mr. Weasley. "We need to initiate the trade as soon as possible, before the Dark Lord decides to end the Minister's life."
"We have to be sure Voldemort knows we have her," said Harry.
"I told you, he knows," said Moody with his hands still curled into the front of Barty's jacket.
"But we have to be sure."
"Send Barty to go speak to him," Harmony suggested.
"Like bloody hell!" shouted Moody. "There's no way I'm letting this cockroach out of my sight!"
"He'll come back if I tell him to," she clarified. "It's a part of our Unbreakable Vow. Isn't it, Barty?"
Barty gazed up at her pleadingly and said in a pathetic whine, "Please don't make me go to him. You know how he hates me. He'll curse me the second he lays eyes on me, I know it."
Harmony pretended to consider his plea. "Hm. I'm willing to make that sacrifice."
George whistled. "That's heartless, Hermione. Not that I'm complaining, he's absolute rubbish, but still. Heartless."
"Fine," Moody said, dragging Barty up to his feet. "Go and tell your master we have his Lady, and we'll happily exchange her for the Minister. But you better not do something stupid like get yourself killed. That would only rob me of the joy of doing it myself. Got it?"
"Do as he says, Barty. Hurry," Harmony added. He nodded and ran out of the room.
"In a hurry to get back to your master, are you?" Mrs. Weasley said to Harmony.
Harmony faced the Weasley matriarch with a sad smile. "I think we can all agree that my place is no longer with all of you. The sooner this trade takes place the sooner you lot can get out of harm's way, and move on—"
"Move on?" Ron asked angrily from his secluded corner of the room. "Move on like you were never our best friend?"
Harmony cast her eyes down to the floor in shame. "That might be for the best."
Ron scoffed. "No, I won't forget. You may have gone soft in the head and…fallen for our greatest enemy but my best years were with you and Harry. That's got to count for something."
"Yeah," said Ginny, "you were always the sister I never had. I mean, there's Fleur but…you know how I feel about her."
Harmony couldn't help but crack a smile. George spoke up next:
"And there was that time when Fred…" he paused to swallow back a swell of emotion, tears springing to his green eyes, "when Fred and I sneaked Hiccough sweets in Ron's birthday cake that one year at Hogwarts."
Everyone stared at him, waiting for him to finish his story.
"What does that have to do with Hermione?" Ginny asked.
George blinked. "Oh! It doesn't."
"I remember," said Harmony, grinning. "We couldn't stop hiccoughing for days."
George smiled to himself. "I know. Hilarious. Fred's idea, of course. He always had the best ideas."
"The point, Hermione," Ginny continued, "is that there's no moving on after this. We'll always be a part of each other's lives whether we like it or not. You understand?"
Harmony couldn't help it. She met her friends' eyes and gave her a sad smile.
Barty raced down the abandoned corridors. He glanced back to where he had come but thankfully no one had followed. He was alone. Barty took the chance to stop and take a breather but it wasn't long before something within spurred him to continue on. It was the Unbreakable Vow. Because she had told him to hurry, he had no choice except to do just that.
He ran on, eventually reaching the sound of fighting. In the Atrium, duels between Auror and Death Eater raged on, though there were far fewer witches and wizards than before. More dead bodies littered the floor, and it was only going to pile up until one side stood victorious. With Voldemort in the Minister's office, Barty suspected it was most likely going to be the Death Eaters.
Thankfully, he was able to slip by without enticing the attention of any Aurors.
Outside the Minister of Magic's office stood a gang of Death Eaters with wands drawn looking ready for a fight. They all tensed when Barty approached but quickly eased after noticing it was only him.
It was strange being in the Minister's office. He had only been in there once, years ago, before he had joined the Dark Lord and Barty's father was head of Magical Law Enforcement. Back then, the office had appeared orderly with hardly any decoration. A photograph of Cornelius Fudge with wife had sat on the desk. That photograph was gone now, of course.
Now the office was in shambles. Books and papers strewn about the place, spilled ink bottles, and one Rufus Scrimgeour sat curled up on the floor beside the grand mahogany desk. The sorry sod looked like he had been put through the wringer. Blood dripped from his nose, mouth, and ears. Black and purple bruises rimmed each eye. When Scrimgeour saw Barty, the man could only muster a pathetic moan of pain, and Barty could see several of his front teeth were missing.
Lord Voldemort—no doubt the perpetrator behind Scrimgeour's sorry state—stood behind the desk looking out the window that oversaw the violent battle. Like a regal king overlooking his domain.
"I am going to ask you one last time," Voldemort said, his voice as cool and as sharp as an icicle. "Where have your people taken her?"
Scrimgeour murmured an unintelligible cry in reply.
"That's not good enough, Rufus," purred Voldemort. "Do I need to take another one of your fingers?"
"Er, my Lord?" Barty piped up. Voldemort spun around so fast Barty flinched.
Voldemort's expression darkened even more. "Bartimus, you're the last person I want to see right now. Get out of my sight before I make you wear your insides."
"My Lord," Barty said again, bowing deeply. "I know where our Lady is."
Voldemort was at his side in a flash. Barty was so afraid, he couldn't look him in his cold blue eyes.
"Why didn't you say so, Bartimus!?" Voldemort exclaimed. "Tell me now!"
"We were taken, my Lord, by a group led by your enemy…Harry Potter."
Voldemort inhaled sharply, curling his hands into tight fists. When he spoke, his voice was hardly above a whisper. "Has the boy hurt her? If he has…"
"I don't believe so, my Lord. Though there was one Auror—Alastor Moody—who threatened to kill me—"
"I don't care about your miserable life," snapped Voldemort.
"Yes, my Lord. What I mean is, if you don't give him what he wants then I'm sure he wouldn't hesitate to hurt our Lady."
Barty nearly soiled himself when Voldemort screamed and cast a spell at the window overlooking the battle, making the glass shatter into a thousand pieces.
"How dare they!? Take me to them now!" Voldemort demanded. "I'll kill them for touching her!"
"My g-g-gracious Lord, p-please," Barty pled. "They merely want the Minister for Magic in exchange for her. They released me in order to inform you of their wishes."
"What I wish is for Harry-damned-Potter and his people to be evaporated into a bloody mist!"
"As do I, my Lord, as do I," Barty said softly, desperately trying to ease the palpable tension in the room. "However, is the Minister's life really worth it? If we don't give him to them, you never know what they might do to her."
Voldemort spun away, returning to the window overlooking the battle where the cries of pain and victory were clearly heard.
"I'll kill them," the Dark Lord muttered under his breath. "I'll kill them. I'll kill them…"
Voldemort said over his shoulder, "How do we know they haven't killed her already? I need to see her for myself, to know she's still alive and well—oh, if they hurt one hair on her head—"
"Of course, my Lord," said Barty as he stumbled for the door. "I'll let them know of your wishes immediately."
He was out of the Minister's office before Voldemort could say another word.
While everyone waited for Barty's return, Harmony sat in a corner with Ginny and George. Harry and Ron kept their distance, speaking in hushed whispers and glancing over at her from time to time.
"Tell me everything that's been going on," Harmony said. "All I know about this war is Voldemort's side of things."
"Well, after you stole Lord Voldemort away from Menkar Asylum," Ginny said, "everybody kinda ran around like chickens with their heads cut off. Harry was furious, of course."
"Everyone was furious," added George. "No one could figure how one witch could escape with a deranged killer—albeit an Obliterated one—without anyone noticing. The Minister had all the workers at Menkar fired."
"It wasn't hard, really," Harmony said, sitting up straighter. "All it took was a little Polyjuice Potion and a bit of good timing."
Harry snorted derisively. Clearly, he was listening in on the conversation.
"You almost sound proud," muttered George, eyeing her strangely.
"But why do it, Hermione," Ginny asked, inching closer to her. "I mean, really?"
Harmony thought for a moment. Then said:
"It was impulsive. The thought of him dying…it scared me. He and I are so connected that I felt that if he was gone, then a part of me would be gone with him. I feel his presence every moment of every day."
"You can feel him now?" Ginny asked, a little apprehensive, as though Voldemort were in the room with them.
Harmony nodded, closing her eyes. "He's furious. And scared. He doesn't get scared very often."
"I thought Voldemort didn't get scared at all," George said.
"He does," Harry added, everyone looked at him. He came over to their little group in the corner. "The only thing that scares him is death, not living to see his legend come to fruition."
"But that's not why he's scared now," Harmony said. "He's up in the Minister's office, safe and in control. But still scared. I think it's about me."
"How would you know that?" Ron asked. "Can you read his mind or something?"
"No, I just know him," she said with a little smile. She nodded to George. "Like the way you probably knew whatever Fred was thinking. When you're close to someone, it's like you share a mind."
"Sharing a mind with Voldemort," George said, shivering. "Sounds like a nightmare."
"Why would he be scared about you?" Ginny asked.
"I think he's scared you'll hurt me. Or he's scared to lose me."
"The only reason he'd be scared to lose you is because you have his Serpentine charm," said Harry in defense. "Losing you would certainly put a dampener on his plans. You're nothing but a tool to him."
"I used to think that," Harmony said. "But not anymore. I've felt the way he feels about me. I'd call it 'love' although I'm sure you'd disagree."
"Perhaps you mistake love for admiration," suggested Ginny. "He sees himself in you, yeah? And he's obsessed with himself, so of course he'd project those feelings onto you."
"It's more than that," Harmony said, thinking about all of the tender moments she had shared with Voldemort. From the second she had met him, there had been an undeniable attraction that couldn't be ignored. An attraction that conquered her fear of him, that led to passion-filled kisses and sleepless nights in bed. But most importantly, it led to the beautiful child currently growing inside her.
Some instinct made Harmony lift a hand to caress her belly. Beneath her fingertips her baby waited—too small, of course, to show but still there all the same. Getting a little bigger every day. I can't wait to meet you, little one, Harmony thought. Your father and I will love you more than life itself.
But then Harmony was overwhelmed with grief and shame. Why hadn't she told Voldemort sooner? Out of fear!? No! He deserved to know about this precious child they were going to have together!
Harmony vowed that when this was all over, when she was traded for the Minister and back in Voldemort's arms, she would tell him about the baby. It will be the first thing she says to him.
Harmony smiled to herself, imagining the encounter, when Ginny gave a gasp.
"Hermione…," she said in quiet astonishment, "you're not…you're not pregnant, are you?"
Harmony's face fell and she dropped her hand from her belly.
Ginny cried out, covering her mouth with her hands.
"No," gasped Ron, shaking his head and stepping away from them. "No, no, no…"
"How can you tell, Gin?" asked George.
"Why else would she hold her stomach like that?"
"She couldn't be," Harry said bitterly. "Helping Voldemort with his plans is one thing, but…that? You wouldn't dream of doing that with him, right, Hermione?"
"What's going on over there?" Mr. Weasley asked from the opposite side of the room where the adults had been conversing.
"Hermione's preggers!" George shouted in reply, jumping to his feet.
"What!?" Mrs. Weasley exclaimed. The motherly witch came barreling over to them. Ginny and George quickly made a path for her, and she lifted Harmony to her feet with a strength surprising for a woman of her stature. She looked her over, inspected her hair, grabbed Harmony by the chin, and stared at every inch of her face. Finally, she nodded and took a step back with hands on her wide hips.
"It's true," Mrs. Weasley confirmed. "I can't believe I didn't notice it earlier."
"You're sure, Molly?" Mr. Weasley asked. He, Lupin, and Moody rejoined the group.
"Well, of course, Arthur!" Mrs. Weasley said. "I've only gone through it seven times before!"
"No offence, Molly, but I would prefer to hear the truth from Hermione herself," said Lupin.
"Spit it out, girl!" Moody growled, pointing at Harmony with an accusatory finger. "Are you or are you not with the Dark Lord's child?"
Harmony stared at each of them before raising her chin in pride and giving her simple answer:
The room exploded in confusion and alarm. Everyone spoke all at once.
"How could you!?" said Mrs. Weasley.
"You poor girl."
"I'm so sorry, Hermione."
"The bastard forced himself on you, didn't he!?"
Only one voice drowned out all the others and brought the commotion to a stop.
"Bloody hell! The Dark Lady pregnant! No wonder my master is so possessive of you."
Everyone turned toward the door to see Barty standing there slightly out of breath, his face sweaty. He was grinning at Harmony.
"I mean, I know you two often slept together," he continued, "but you'd think he'd be a little more careful. Either way, if I'd known you were preggers, I would've probably kept my distance from you."
Harmony glared at him. "Probably?"
He shrugged, but before he could say more, Moody came limping over to him with his wand drawn.
"About time you returned, you filthy snake," he growled, grabbing Barty by the back of the neck and throwing him to the ground. Barty cried out but didn't fight back.
"Have you spoken to Voldemort?" Harmony asked. At her eagerness, Harry gave her a disgusted look. "What did he say?"
Moody extended his wand into Barty's face. "Speak, snake!"
Barty held his hands up in defense. His dark eyes didn't move from Moody's. "He agrees to the exchange."
A wave of relief washed through the room.
"As I thought he might," Moody said snidely.
"But only after the Dark Lord sees that she's alive," Barty added, glancing at Harmony.
Voldemort knows I'm alive, she thought. He would have sensed it otherwise. He must simply desire to see me, to have me close to him again.
Her heart swelled at the thought.
"Pompous bastard!" Moody shouted in his gravely voice. "We have his Serpentine charm and his unborn child in our grasp and he still thinks he can make demands!"
"On the contrary, I believe it's only fair," said Lupin.
"As do I," Mr. Weasley agreed. "But we must see that the Minister is alive as well."
"How do you suppose we go about this?" Mrs. Weasley asked. "We can't send her to him. The second he has what he wants he'll kill the Minister."
"And we can't allow him to come here," said Harry. "If we told him where we're hiding, he'd bring all his Death Eaters and slaughter us."
"This needs to happen on middle ground," said Lupin. "The Atrium, perhaps. Where he can see her from his vantage point."
"I know the Dark Lord," interrupted Harmony. "To see me wouldn't be enough. He'd need to touch me—to feel that I'm real and not some image you've conjured."
"Hell no," Ron said. "The second he touches you, he'll take you away from us again!"
Harmony gazed at him and his whole face turned red.
"Don't worry," she said gently. "My life for the Minister's. I'll make sure he follows through with the deal."
"Well…" said Ron, "what if we don't want to give you back?"
"Ron," Mr. Weasley said warningly.
"No!" Ron strode over to Harmony and stared her down. "You don't belong with him, Hermione. You never have! You belong with us!"
"She's betrayed us, Ron," Harry said, crossing his arms. "She's made her choice."
"She's brainwashed is what she is!" Ron replied. "Think about it! Whenever she's with us, she's like the old Hermione. But whenever she's away, with You-Know-Who, she acts like this mad Death Eater! The last thing she needs is to be with him."
"I understand she's your friend, Ron," said Lupin. "But think about the Minister's life."
"The Minister can sod off!" Ron shouted, earning him a "Ronald!" from Mrs. Weasley. "We've had plenty of Ministers. We can get another one."
"He's more than just a Minister," said Mr. Weasley. "He represents this rebellion against the Dark Lord's regime. It he dies…a little bit of that rebellion dies with it."
"Bullocks," Ron spat. "Harry is the heart of this rebellion. Who cares about some old, crotchety Minister—?"
He stopped when Harmony reached out and placed a hand on the side of his face. His skin felt hot beneath her touch. He grew so red his freckles nearly disappeared.
"Harry's right, Ron," Harmony said softly, gazing up at her friend with all the love she could muster. "I've made my choice."
"No," he said, denying her words.
"I choose Voldemort."
He stepped away and her hand fell. Everyone was watching her carefully as she turned to Barty who was still laying on the ground with Moody's wand in his face.
"Go to the Dark Lord. Tell him we will meet in the Atrium. But he must command his Death Eaters to cease fighting and retreat. There's been enough bloodshed for one day."
"But Hermione…," began Ginny.
"No arguing," Harmony said, and then nodded to Barty. "Go. Hurry."
Barty sprang to his feet, looking relieved at the excuse to leave.
Moody shouted at the young man as he ran for the door. "You can also tell your precious master that if he tries anything, we'll kill his Lady and his child!"
Harmony gasped and was about to shout at Barty to ignore that command…but he was already out the door.
Lupin clicked his tongue. "Alastor, you didn't mean that."
"Maybe not. But he doesn't know that," the gruff wizard said with a chuckle.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this little chapter. Only one more until the end of book two! Please feel free to leave a little review. It always makes me happy to hear from you.