Author's Note: Recently I was at Leakycon2011 and went to the Ball. There I encountered the Dark Lord and his Inner Circle surrounded by excited young partygoers who were having a great time. One of the spectators asked if I had ever seen a Dark Lord so beset before, or by such an enthusiastic group of conquerors... The story that follows is the plot bunny that that mini-scene spawned. The Dark Lord and his followers know who they are and I hope were as amused as I was.
The BeST have been at it again on my horrible grammar and punctuation so a big thanks to them for their invaluable aid.
As always, all comments and reviews gratefully accepted and if they are signed I will reply as usual.
"My faithful Death Eaters!"
The circle of shadowy figures straightened, their kneeling postures subservient but eager. Their master smiled; a mere grimace as he surveyed the cringing hounds.
"My minions, my faithful inner circle, I have news for you. We have an opportunity for bloodshed and mayhem, the wrecking of the Ministry's plans, and a depletion of their Auror forces."
A susurration of eager whispers echoed in the darkness as the outer circle pressed forward. Perhaps there was a chance to gain kudos and infiltrate the inner ring of their Master's confidence.
Lord Voldemort paced the dais with slow, measured tread as he contemplated the tempting morsel of information he was about to share with his running dogs. "The Ministry has declared a small area in the Forbidden Forest a no-go area, to be protected at all costs. No one, from the highest official to the lowest clerk, is to enter the area for the protection of the treasure that has been found. Anti-Apparation wards, Muffling charms, Protection and Blurring charms have been set over the area in so many layers that even Albus Dumbledore himself has failed to gain admittance to the secret the Ministry is focusing all its might on protecting…"
"Oh, Master, won't you tell us how you, the most powerful and brilliant of wizards, has penetrated this secret despite the best efforts of the incompetent Ministry?"
Ah, Bella, the perfect straight guy in most situations! Trust her to feed him the best of lines! Voldemort glided forward and rested his long, boney hand on her wildly tangled hair. "Ah, Bella, my glorious treasure. You will be at my side, first amongst the best! By the best of good fortune, the area is one that I as a student knew would be vital in the war I would wage in my future. To that end, I took from that place a sample of the rock upon which the clearing sits and transfigured it into gravel. I then engorged each piece of gravel and made them individually into Portkeys, tuned for that one small stretch of forest which is now protected. When we use these Portkeys to penetrate the area, all their wards and charms and planning will be for naught! We will prevail!"
Lucius Malfoy hefted the bag of rocks and carefully began distributing them at his Master's gesture, giving out orders for the battle plan they had thoroughly crafted. "Form concentric circles and hold onto your Portkey, wands at the ready, and all facing outward toward the enemy we will slay for the glory of the Dark Lord!"
Loud cheering and joyous clapping burst forth from the dark recesses of the Dark Lord's ballroom, making the unsteady walls shiver and bleed plaster on the heads of the assembly who began to look quite speckled under the rain of plaster dust.
"To the Battle!"
The Forbidden Forest was silent, deathly quiet. Not a squeak or rustle nor even a sigh could be heard above the slam of thirty pairs of boots landing on solid stone. Draco Malfoy landed gracefully and managed to catch his Portkey partner as the stupid oaf stumbled. His father was equally graceful but a number of people literally rolled down the slight slope they had landed on, not a silent insertion at all! The clatter of a dropped wand and the grunt of a body hitting the ground was enough to wake the dead.
Voldemort sighed but managed to refrain from rubbing his eyes although the sight of one idiot upside down and flashing his drawers made him cast Crucio with more than his normal vigour. Bella laughed, her usual inane cackle but the rest of the Death Eaters stared around themselves in puzzled eagerness. Where were their targets? What were they supposed to defend their Lord against? What were those lumps on the ground?
Something stirred in the leaves and twenty-eight wands focused on the moving mulch. A small squirrel died instantly, at least twenty times, before the twitchy group managed to steady themselves. A wave of nervous tittering flashed around the two tightly-packed circles.
"This is ridiculous," Lucius muttered. "My Lord, we are so tightly packed, we are not going to be able to conduct an effective search for your treasure. May I suggest the inner circle stays to protect your person and the outer circle be sent on to Hogsmeade to create a diversion in case our search is unnecessarily prolonged?"
Bella laughed as her Lord cast Crucio on her brother-in-law, but only as a little reminder before the Dark Lord gave the order and most of the Outer Circle idiots Portkeyed away. "What do we seek Master? Gold? Jewells? Artefacts?" Bella questioned eagerly.
"The treasure we seek could be disguised as anything, a rock, a tree, a…"
"Hello, who are you?"
"…a… fairy thingy?"
The 'girl' looked up brightly, her skin glowing a healthy golden colour. She seemed to have an internal luminescence that indicated strong magic of an unknown quantity. Her clothing was indecently short and glittering with sequins and satin. Bows and feathers decorated her hair and she seemed to be barefooted as she bounced eagerly on the spot.
"Hi! I'm Candy! I'm a tweenie! Are you here to dance with us? Girls! Girls! We have company!" she squee-ed.
More scantily-clad fairy girls seemed to materialize, clapping and exclaiming in high, giggly voices. One scampered up to Bella and plucked at her lacy dress, grabbing her waist to spin her around and exclaiming squeakily over the gorgeous fabric and 'who did your design?' Another grabbed the white mask off the nearest Death Eater and somehow managed to attach feathers and sequins without using discernable magic. In seconds the formidable cream of the Death Eaters were sporting lace and braiding, sequins and feathers, being dragged into the dancing, and forced to jig and jog along with the excited circling of fairy girls.
McNair, feared torturer and terror of Muggles everywhere, screamed like a baritone girl when one of the fairy children caused his robes to turn canary yellow and his mask to bloom daisies around the edges. He stumbled and bumbled, unable to stop himself as he was engulfed by the chattering giddy mob.
Voldemort raised his wand to destroy the nearest adversary but found his magic was unable to bend to his will.
"Oh, look, look! He has a boo-boo on his nose," the fluorescent pink-clad tweenie squeaked in horror, little hands covering her mouth as her eyes widened dramatically. "Oh, he's hurt, he's hurt, call Mama Glam!"
"Mama Glam, Mama Glam!" called a chorus of fairy voices.
The shrieking turned to horror and flappy hands as the rest of the fairy girls took up the cry, spinning and twirling, causing the ring dance to scatter. Those Death Eaters caught in the otherworldly magic began to stumble and fall. Others who were able scrabbled quickly to their Master's feet, Nott keening in fear as the blue sparkly girl who had kidnapped him advanced determinedly on their Lord.
"Now don't you worry, Mama Glam will have you-all fixed up in a jiffy!" she assured the Dark Lord, with a little giggle in her voice.
"Mama Glam will fix his boo-boo," the cry was taken up and bounced around the circle that was reforming slowly but surely.
Lucius managed to shake off the child clinging to his arm and, ignoring the wreath of flowers securely balanced on his now ringlet-styled hair, he managed to force his way up to his Lord as Bella used a right hook to flatten the child who had hold of her hands. The Death Eaters drew closer together on the slight rise, huddling for protection against the colourful, dancing encirlers.
"Don't worry, she'll fix you, she'll fix you, she will! Make-over! Make-over!"
The chant was interspersed with laughter and a bouncy, hoppy little dance that seemed to blur the figures and make them seem even more unreal that they had been. Bits of glitter and sequins seemed to fly out of the circle and adhere to the black robes of the Death Eaters. Ribbons and streamers landed on their heads and entwined around their arms and legs, slithering everywhere until the ones closest to the circle could not move.
"My Lord… My Lord… Hey! Voldemort!" Lucius shrieked as the frozen Dark Lord stared in horrified fascination as the encroaching tide seemed to engulf his minions. "We have to get out of here. If we stay we will be overrun and will never escape again! We have to go!"
Dragging his eyes away from the colourful spinning circle, Voldemort took in the flower wreath, the ringlets, and the pretty red and purple striped Death Eater robes. As his eyes followed the path down, he noticed fluorescent pink cloth entangled with Lucius' hemline, then followed the horrendous dayglo path up before shrieking like a girl. The mighty Dark Lord was dressed in party pink tulle and satin skirts!
"Death Eaters! Retreat!" The Dark Lord squeaked, activating his Portkey and fleeing unashamedly.
Lucius glanced around for his son but could not see Draco as he too fled the scene of their ignominious defeat. The rest of the inner circle managed to materialize in the Dark Lord's ballroom, staring at each other in utter horror. Their robes were still a multitude of glorious colours and fabrics, feathers, ribbons and bows mixed with flowers, sequins and faux pearls adhering to random places.
"My loyal Death Eaters, restore your robes and straighten yourselves up, we go to the battle for Hogsmeade in a few moments," Voldemort managed to command as he dispelled his pretty dress. Turning to Lucius he muttered. "Obliviate the lot of them and of this we will never speak again. Understood?"
"Yes, my Lord."
Albus Dumbledore looked across his desk at the young man who stared back with a shell shocked expression, his makeup and hairstyle drooping in the cool light of day. His orange silk and purple satin robes were liberally decorated with sequins and lace while his white-blond hair was carefully curled and pinned with jeweled butterflies and ribbon bows.
"So you had a close encounter with the Tweenies, did you not?" the old Sage said gently and kindly as the young man began to shake in reaction.
"It was horrible…" Draco wailed in remembered terror.