Part Fifty Seven
The Circle's Enchantment
"Where have you been?" Bellatrix asked when Lucius stepped into the kitchen of Malfoy Manor. The insane witch was sitting at the table with a cup in her hand and her crazy hair falling into her face. Her dark eyes were narrowed and Lucius could see a suspicious gleam in their depths. He decided right away to do something to quench Bellatrix's suspicions.
"I had to take care of some business within the Ministry," Lucius lied causally mentally thanking Severus for the Occlumency lessons that truly helped him to learn how to lie through his teeth.
Bellatrix snorted. "The sooner the dark lord takes over the Ministry the better," she said.
"Indeed," Lucius agreed.
The marks on their arms burned at that moment and they grimaced before walking into the conference room where Voldemort was located. The dark lord was seated on his throne with Nagini coiled around his shoulders. The glass case where the Necklace of Harmonia was placed lay just behind the throne.
In order to remove the enchantment placed upon the necklace, he would need to remove it from the glass case. He knew the spell placed upon the case and could counteract as well as a spell to remove the enchantment placed upon the necklace. That had taken a bit of research that he did soon after Severus first told him of his plan before the test but he managed to find one that wouldn't damage the necklace.
Now I just need to get the necklace, cast the spell and return it while the dark lord is away. The trick is going to be getting the dark lord to leave long enough for me to remove the enchantment, Lucius thought.
Luckily, he was presented with the perfect opportunity almost as soon as Voldemort began the meeting.
"I want this necklace," Voldemort said beginning the meeting as he gestured to the necklace, "to be turned into a horcrux immediately so I want all of you to attack Newcastle. There are magical families living there, mostly half-bloods. Find someone we can use to create horcrux and bring them back here."
"Do you have anyone specific in mind, my lord?" Bellatrix asked.
Voldemort pursed his lips together. "I do not care. Try to find a half-blood though."
"Yes my lord."
"Lucius, I want you to go to the Ministry and do what you can to make sure they don't learn about this attack until after we have the needed sacrifice. Understood?"
"Yes my lord," Lucius said. Voldemort may not know it but he had just given Lucius the opportunity he needed.
"We shall leave now," Voldemort hissed before he stood up and he and the Death Eaters, Lucius excluded, left the manor.
Once he was sure they were gone, he dashed toward the glass case. Murmuring the spell that would disable the spell that protected the case, he waited a few minutes for it to take effect. Then, hoping there weren't any other surprises, he removed the glass. Thankfully, there were no other surprises.
Putting the glass case on the ground, Lucius touched the amulet with his wand and began murmuring the removing spell he had learned that would remove the enchantment. The amulet glowed green, showing the ancient enchantment that protected the Pegasi, before the green glow began to fade to white until the white began to dissolve away. That was exactly what it was supposed to do.
Lucius gingerly removed his wand noticing, with some surprise, that a long string of green magic was being drawn out of the amulet as his wand was removed. Once his wand was clear of the amulet, the string of green light faded. Bewildered, Lucius decided not to worry about it as he bent down and replaced the glass case.
Stepping back, he murmured a spell that would undo the spell he had cast previously on the glass case. The greenish spell he remembered Voldemort using on the case before the Circle's test cascaded upon the case before disappearing.
With that done, Lucius made his way toward the floo but didn't travel to the Ministry as he was ordered to do. Instead, he floo-traveled to Spinner's End and, from there, went to Prince Manor.
Sirius was in his Animagus form curled up on the couch when the floo flared to life. Leaping up, Sirius barked before realizing it was Lucius Malfoy. That didn't stop him from growling though.
Malfoy glowered at him. "I thought mutts weren't supposed to be on coaches," he said coolly.
Sirius growled before jumping off the coach and shimmering back into his human form. "Snape, Malfoy's here!" he shouted.
"It is considered rude to shout in someone's house," Snape said folding his arms across his chest as he left the cellar and made his way into the living room.
Without waiting for Sirius to reply, Snape looked at Malfoy. "How did it go?" he asked.
"Well," Malfoy said. "I can't stay for long. I have orders to go to the Ministry. The Dark Lord finally decided to turn the necklace into a horcrux, which means I got to it just in time, but I'm under orders to prevent the Ministry, and the order, from discovering where he's attacking."
"So you can't tell us?" Sirius growled.
Malfoy's gray eyes flashed. "I can't tell you, at least not yet. After the enchantment is transferred to the locket, I'll tell you."
"A good idea," Snape said before Sirius could reply. "That way Voldemort won't be too suspicious if the Order shows up during the attack rather than as it is beginning."
Sirius snorted but said nothing.
"We should go find Aurora and tell her that the enchantment has been removed," Snape added.
Sirius's eyes gleamed. "I'm going with," he said.
"You just want to fly on the Pegasus again," Remus said making his way into the living room.
"I had so much fun last time."
Remus chuckled before looking at Snape. "Who are you planning on taking with you?" he asked.
"I was planning on going alone but then Black decided to tag along," Snape said.
"I think I will stay here," Remus said. "Sirius, do try to behave."
"I always behave," Sirius protested with a frown.
"Yes, badly. Want me to see if Harry wants to go, Severus?"
Sirius glanced up as Harry walked down the staircase and over to join them with Hermione just behind him. "Hi kiddo, we're heading back to the Circle," he said.
"So the plan worked, Uncle Lucius?" Harry asked looking at Malfoy.
"It did. Now if you will excuse me, I must get going. Goodbye Severus." Malfoy turned around before floo-traveling away.
"Can I go with, dad?" Harry asked looking at the Potions Master.
"Want to come with, Hermione?" Sirius asked looking at the bushy haired Ravenclaw.
Hermione nodded. "I would like to," she said.
"Okay. When do we leave, Snape?"
"Right now if that is convenient for you, Black," Snape said sarcasm dripping from his tone.
The Animagus glowered at him but decided against saying anything in response to that. He simply turned around and led the way out of the manor. Snape, Harry and Hermione walked after him.
They headed into the forest before walking toward where they had met Aurora before the test. Just as the leader had said, Aurora was waiting for them in the clearing where the portal to the circle was located. She was standing on the ground eyes fixed on the sky with her wings tucked into her sides.
Snape walked into the clearing and Aurora turned. "Severus Prince, welcome back. I trust the plan succeeded," she said.
Snape nodded. "Lucius removed the enchantment from the necklace."
"And where is he?"
"He had business he could not put off and so could not join us."
"Very well. Do you have the locket?"
Snape removed the locket from beneath his shirt before showing it to the Pegasus who nodded.
"Very well." Letting out a neigh, the air shimmered and Star stepped out of the portal.
"Let's move. We do not have much time," said Aurora before she lowered her head and Snape climbed onto her back before helping Harry up. Sirius and Hermione climbed on Star and the two Pegasi spread their wings before entering the portal.
"I still love this!" Sirius shouted not even five minutes into the flight as he felt the wind rush past him tousling his hair.
"It's still amazing!" Harry shouted back.
Snape said nothing while Hermione was clinging to Sirius as though her life depended on it.
The Pegasi continued their journey until they reached the plains where the other Pegasi were located. Spiraling downward, Aurora landed on the grass before lowering her head so Snape and Harry could get off and Star landed beside her.
"You are back, Severus Prince," said the leader stepping forward. "I take it your plan succeeded."
"Yes. The enchantment has been removed."
"Good. We shall transfer the enchantment to the locket now."
Snape removed the locket before holding it out to the lead Pegasus. The Pegasus stretched out his nose before touching the locket and the locket began glowing as the leader infused his magic with it. The other Pegasus moved to the leader's side but did not move any closer but Sirius could see that they were adding their own magic to the locket.
"Quae nos ab iniquitatis et ventis quamdiu tenebris Circulus vitae," the lead Pegasus murmured and the locket, which currently looked like a rainbow of colors, began to glow green as the other colors disappeared. It glowed brighter until it began to fade away and, once the glow was gone, the lead Pegasus withdrew his head.
"It is done," he said. "The Circle is in your debt, Severus Prince. We shall never be able to repay that debt but we shall honor Aurora's word and do what we can to help you in your fight against the Dark One."
The lead Pegasus continued to examine Snape. "Keep the amulet with you, Severus Prince. It shall be safer with you than where it was previously. Star and Aurora shall return you to your home. Again, we thank you."
"You are welcome," Snape replied putting the necklace back around his neck.
"Since I'm the forest's Guardian, I'll act as your link with the Circle. When the time comes to strike against the Dark One, I will be the one to inform them," Aurora said before she lowered her head. "If you are ready, Severus Prince, then let's leave."
Snape nodded and, before long, the two Pegasi were in the sky with their newfound allies on their backs.
"Please tell me we won't have to do that again," Hermione said climbing shakily off Star once the Pegasus landed in the forest. She has never liked flying, that was something she could never get into, and flying on a Pegasus unnerved her.
"Are you all right, Hermione?" Harry asked concerned.
"Yeah, I'm fine…or I will be."
"I don't think you'll have to worry about flying on Pegasi anymore."
"I hope we can," Sirius said grinning ear to ear.
Harry chuckled. "You just have so much fun, huh, Sirius?"
Sirius said nothing but the grin on his face spoke volumes.
"Come, let's get back to the manor. I believe it is almost time for dinner," Snape said.
"Wow, we were in the Circle for a lot longer than I thought we were," Harry said.
"I could use some food," Sirius added.
"Yup, definitely another Ron," Harry murmured to Hermione who chuckled in response.
If Sirius had heard Harry's words, he didn't acknowledge them. "Well come on," he said before he began jogging toward the manor.
Snape snorted but headed after the Animagus with Hermione and Harry just behind him.
When they reached the manor and entered it, Snape called for Cai and asked her if she would make dinner. She nodded and popped away to the kitchen to start preparing for dinner. Remus stood up from where he was sitting on the couch before walking over to join them.
"Everything went well, Moony," Sirius said.
"I should contact Lucius and tell him of what happened so that we can get the location of Voldemort's attack," Snape said before he walked over to the floo.
"I think I'm going to go get something to eat," Sirius said and walked off to the kitchen. Remus, shaking his head, followed him.
"What are you going to do, 'Mione?" Harry asked turning to look at the Ravenclaw.
"Don't know yet," Hermione admitted. "Probably just read one of my books."
"Why don't we play a game instead?" Harry offered. "Like Gobstones or Wizard's Chess."
Hermione wrinkled her nose. She never really liked Wizard's Chess but she wouldn't mind playing Gobstones; that was one of the first games she had been introduced to at the beginning of her first year. "Let's play Gobstones," she said.
Harry nodded and the two of them headed upstairs.
"Voldemort is attacking Newcastle," Lucius said once Severus told him that everything with the Circle was taken care of. "He's intent on finding a half-blood to 'sacrifice' to create his horcrux."
"And you were only told to keep the Ministry from discovering the attack until after he has someone to kill for his horcrux?"
"Very well. Thank you, Lucius."
Lucius nodded before his head disappeared from the floo. When he was gone, Severus placed a floo-call to Albus before informing him of the attack. Albus looked grave as Severus finished speaking. "I will let the Order know," he said.
Severus nodded before Albus's head disappeared. Once all the floo-calls he needed to make were done, the Potions Master made his way to the second floor and down the hallway to the secret room where he had kept the locket before he brought it to the Circle the first time. Entering the room, he put the locket back on the bookshelf at the back of the long room. Briefly, he spotted the ring but brushed off the temptation he was feeling. He still didn't know why the stone in the ring was so tempting; there was something about it, something that had to do with the Deathly Hallows, but Severus didn't know what it was.
He decided to take the time before the next term started to reread "The Tale of the Three Brothers". Perhaps that might give him an idea of why there was a temptation to pick up and, somehow, use the stone in the ring.
Leaving the room and locking it behind him, Severus walked toward his library only to stop as Cai appeared before him. "Master Severus, dinner is ready," she said.
"Thank you, Cai. Will you tell the others?"
"Yes, Master Severus." Cai popped way and Severus made his way into the kitchen.
Harry and Hermione joined him a few moments later with Remus and Sirius just behind them.
After dinner, Harry and Hermione disappeared into the library while Sirius had gone flying, Remus went to watch and make sure nothing happened to the mutt and Severus disappeared into his cellar.
A/n what do you think?
Blaze: I'm so, so, so sorry that it took so long for me to post this chapter. I had writer's block, was focused on my Star Wars stories and was swamped with college work. And I'm sorry it was so short. The next chapter will be longer
Darth: and how long will we have to wait for the next chapter? Two years?
Blaze: oh shut up. By the way, the Pegasus's spell is Latin but from Google Translate so don't flame me if I got it wrong.
Harry: what is going to happen in the next chapter?
Blaze: (thinks while chewing on M&M chocolate bar) an Order meeting, beginning of second term of second year including an introduction of one of my favorite DADA professors but I don't know what else
Darth: ah okay
Anakin: yup so…(blasts Palpypie and Voldymuffin with bazooka)
Palpypie's Ghost: HEY!
Voldymuffin's Ghost: Severus, that idiot just blasted me with a bazooka. DO SOMETHING!
Severus: GOOD JOB! (Hands Anakin cappuccino)
Anakin: (takes cappuccino) why thank you
Voldymuffin's Ghost: you idiot (points wand at Severus)
Severus: (points dagger made out of a saber tooth tiger's tooth and tosses it at Voldymuffin who was suddenly made alive)
Blaze: (chuckles) please review and I will post part 58 as soon as I possibly can but I doubt it will be anytime soon. It will be less than a year though. I can assure you of that much.