Moon: Hey everyone. I'm finding more and more that I have a hard time writing endings. The pacing is hard to pin down...at least for me...anyway, three perspectives go on here and the final battle (since I have a hard time with fights scenes) will begin next chapter. I do not own Harry Potter.
Chapter 11: Endgame part 1
"It's getting stronger," Draco said tensely as they made their way through the Chamber of Secrets. Cho had been right about Mrytle, who had pointed them to the entrance of the Chamber easily enough. It wasn't a legend after all, but fact. The girls had balked at the idea of there being a horrible monster right inside the school and hurried in quickly enough.
The feeling Draco had gotten was more pronounced then ever before; his erstwhile younger brother really was down here, and in pain, he could tell that much. Luna had been keeping a hand on Draco's shoulder the entire time, to keep him calm.
"About how long do you think it will take for the teachers to join us?" Hannah asked in a hushed voice, looking around the chamber with no small amount of trepidation as they crept forward.
"If our luck holds, not long," Blaise murmured. "Peeves is pretty good at getting people's attention, so they should be up and moving around before long."
"Good," Susan muttered nervously. Cho put a hand on the other girl's shoulder to transmit some comfort and courage.
"I was beginning to wonder exactly what Dumbledore hasn't been telling us about the strange goings-on over the last few years," Padma muttered, delicately stepping over the tail of a huge, long snake skin. "...And that must be the monster of the Chamber."
"So it wasn't the spider the Hagrid was said to have had?" Ginny asked.
"Apparently not." Neville said, shuddering as he passed by the shed skin's head.
"Why doesn't that surprise me?" Susan muttered darkly. Cho and Padma nodded in agreement.
"What kind of snake, Hannah?" Claire asked the blonde Hufflepuff quietly. Hannah had a surprisingly versatile knowledge of magical monsters and would happily go into encyclopedia mode whenever she had an opening.
"Judging by the size, and the nature of the attacks on the victims as described in Hogwarts – a History, it's probably a Basilisk. Hard scales, its stare means instant death, and seeing its reflection will turn you to stone. Spiders run away from it, and its a rare breed. It's associated with Slytherin because it was said that Salazar Slytherin's first familiar was a Basilisk." Hannah said.
Hermione beamed that someone else had read the book only for her face to fall into horror when Hannah named the beast.
"Shit." Ginny summed up the feeling of the group quite neatly after this pronouncement. "That's bad. Basilisks are mean monsters; a fully-grown one can kill grown-up wizards easily."
"What do we do?" Hermione asked.
Claire stood up straight and gave a long, low-key whistle. Draco, Ginny and Luna all waited a moment before doing the same. The building shook a little, and then a little more.
"What was that?" Neville asked, startled.
"We called for our dragons." Claire explained.
Blaise grinned, "Talk about backup! Great!"
"It will be a bit expensive to repair their entrance strategy, but we'll need their help to fight the basilisk while we focus on You-Know-Who." Luna added on that, wand in her hand.
"Call him Voldemort," Hermione said. When all the other students stared at her, she said defiantly, "He's going to try to kill us either way, and I'm not going to give him a little bit of foothold by being scared of his stupid name. I mean really, Voldemort? Flight from Death? That sounds like a ten year old trying to act smart by talking in French."
Susan and Padma smiled at Hermione. The bookworm blushed a little but took out her wand, the others following suit.
There was an explosion of magic. "They've started to do something," Draco said, sounding like he was in pain. "Oh, Merlin...Alex..."
"Alex?" Cho echoed softly.
"That's his name – Alexander Malfoy." Draco murmured. "I-I can't explain it. I-I'm finding out more and more about him, the closer I get to him. He – He's not himself. He's supposed to be three but Lucius aged him up... they've put him under some sort of compulsion...Lucius is offering him up as a vessel for Voldemort."
Blaise swore in Italian. Padma gasped. "Oh, hell," Ginny muttered. "I knew Lucius Malfoy was a bastard ever since he left you on the road, but that is evil."
Claire tightened her grip on her wand, "Then let's hurry. Stormcaller and the others will be here in a minute." With a single bound Claire transformed into her wolf form and tore down the hallway to the open door.
Draco, Luna and Ginny followed suit, leaving their non-animagus friends to chase after them. "Oi! Slow down, that's cheating!" Neville yelled after them.
With Sirius and the other Adults
"Hallow?" Sirius echoed blankly, staring at his best friend. "What's that, exactly?"
"It's an old fairy tale," Andromeda supplied the answer. "I'm not sure if I remember all the details correctly, though. Supposedly, three brothers encountered Death at some point. Death offered them three gifts. The oldest asked for an unbeatable wand and was murdered for it. The second one asked for a stone that could bring back the loved ones he had lost and was eventually driven to suicide when they came back as empty shells. The third one, on the other hand, just asked for a cloak that could hide him from Death, put it on and ran off until he approached Death some time later on his own terms."
"You think this is the Resurrection Stone?" Samantha asked, indicating the small stone in Remus's hands.
"That's the only explanation I can think of as to why it didn't burn up like everything else." Remus said. "It would have been indestructible. "
"Is that possible?" Samantha asked, eyeing the stone warily.
"I think with magic, anything is possible." Remus responded. "But if this one exists that suggests the other ones exist too."
"James's cloak," Sirius said with an air of dawning realization.
"What?" Andromeda asked, confused. "What does this have to do with James?"
"I remember once Charles Potter said that his family might lead all the way back to the Peverells, the brothers from that story." Sirius said. "And James's invisibility cloak was a gift from his father. I think it could be the cloak from the legend – that's why the charm on it never wore off and it was never ripped or damaged or anything."
"So that's how you kept getting away with those pranks," Samantha said with some amusement. After a moment she was serious again, "That leaves the Elder Wand. If this is the Resurrection Stone, and Voldemort turned it into a Horcrux, does that mean he's looking for the Wand as well? The legend described it as unbeatable, after all."
Sirius squeezed the stone into his palm. "Maybe. I just wish there was someone else who knew where the last Horcrux was." He said.
The stone suddenly rose off his palm, causing him to yelp. The four adults took a step backwards as the image of a familiar boy with messy dark hair and the same eyes as Sirius appeared in the air.
"Regulus?" Sirius asked faintly. The shade of Regulus Black tipped his head.
"Yeah, it's me Sirius." He said. "I was wondering if anyone would know about what happened to me in my final days."
"I asked about the Horcruxes...and you appeared..." Sirius mumbled.
"You know about the Horcruxes?" Andromeda cut in. "But I thought you joined the Death Eaters, Reggie."
Regulus groaned. "Andromeda, I told you never to call me that!" His eyes narrowed. "I know all about the Horcruxes. It's thanks to that stinking thing that I'm dead now."
"What?" Sirius croaked. "What happened?"
Regulus sighed. "Voldemort was starting to scare me, honestly. I mean, I grew up with all the stuff mum fed us, and I thought I was doing a good thing when I joined in. But the stuff his followers did..." The younger Black screwed up his face in disgust. "Merlin, it was horrible. I wanted to back out, but I was so close to the bastard, being a Black has its perks after all. He just seemed invincible and I had to know why. I found out, too...he came one day and 'borrowed' Kreacher, and when my elf came back he was half – dead and half – mad. I made him take me to where he had been and I found this locket in a fount hidden under cursed water."
"The last Horcrux," Remus said with dawning understanding. "You stole it."
Regulus nodded. "I did. I drank all the cursed water, and replaced it with a fake one...but that's the point where I got myself killed. The lake water there was full of Inferni."
Samantha's eyes widened. "He was using the bodies of his victims?" She demanded.
Regulus scowled. "Yes," He said. "They dragged me under water and poof!, I was deader than a doornail. But before they killed me, I sent Kreacher back to the mansion to destroy it. Since I take it he hasn't suceeded, he'll have it there."
Sirius was a little choked up, to be honest. To know that his younger brother had died a hero instead of a death eater was a powerful experience. "I'm so sorry Reg."
Regulus waved a hand, trying to hide his own emotions. "Well, now you know Sirius. Anyway, if you plan on finishing him off, you better head to our old family house. Kreacher will still be there. You better say my name when talking to him."
Samantha and Remus nodded. "We got that. Thank you, Regulus. You will be remembered with honour."
Regulus's spectral form disappeared.
The four adults shared a single determined look before bolting towards the nearest Apparation point as fast as they could. No words were needed.
At the Ministry
Amelia Bones was going through the papers for the upcoming trial of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy over the murder of the Nott family when Tonks, a promising young Auror, appeared in the doorway. "Madam Bones? Do you have a moment?" She glanced over her shoulder and then said, "It's kind of important. Someone wants to talk to you."
Amelia sighed and put her sheets down. "Send them in, Tonks." She said, grabbing her mug.
She nearly choked on her drink when Narcissa Malfoy walked into the room, wearing magic-repressing shackles. The aristocratic woman looked like she hadn't slept in a few days, and there was an element of panic to her.
"Narcissa." Amelia said, keeping her voice as even as possible. "May I ask what the trouble is? You're trial is tomorrow."
"I am an accessory to my husband's crimes by inaction." Narcissa said simply. Amelia looked at her in shock. After all the trouble the Malfoy's had gone through to stay out of Azkaban, she never would have dreamed that they would confess. Something serious had happened.
"I never took the Mark but I did nothing to stop it. But my husband has done something that even the Dark Lord cannot silence me of." Narcissa continued, desperation now leaking into her voice. Her usual upright posture was broken.
Amelia leaned forward. "Is this true?"
Narcissa looked at Amelia in pain and torment, the face only a mother could make. "I regret what I did to Draco," She whispered. "I have for every year that he was gone. He's no longer the only one in danger."
Amelia gestured for Tonks to enter the room and called for her secretary, all business. "Alright, tell me everything and I can give you a reduced sentence." Amelia said. "What exactly has Lucius done now?"
"I had another son." Naricssa said. "Alexander Malfoy. Lucius..." She swallowed. "Lucius gave him an aging potion. I couldn't stop him."
Amelia was grateful she hadn't been drinking anything, because she would have choked to death. Tonks had gone rigid, her hand immediately going to her wand. "How powerful was it?" Amelia demanded.
"He's been elevated to eleven years old." Naricssa poured out. "Lucius is still involved with the dark lord-"
"Wait, the dark lord?" Amelia interrupted. "The Dark Lord was destroyed years ago. Killed by Claire Potter. What do you mean, still working for him?"
"The dark lord survived." Narcissa replied painfully. "I don't know how or why, but he did. He's a spectral form now...he's at Hogwarts."
Amelia shot out of her chair, heart pounding for the first time in years. The most dangerous dark lord in the last century was inside a school full of children. Her niece was at Hogwarts.
"Lucius meant to find the Dark Lord a body." Narcissa said. "He's offered Alex up for that task. He's sent him to Hogwarts to take the spirit from his last host. They are going to do some sort of dark ritual – inside the Chamber of Secrets."
"KINGSLEY!" Amelia roared, grabbing her wand off her desk. She spun on Tonks. "Tonks, take this woman to a cell and then go straight to Hogwarts. We can't wait for you, so hurry!" Tonks nodded and grabbed Narcissa's wrist. Kingsley appeared in the doorway a second later.
"What's wrong Amelia?" He asked, becoming dead serious when he saw Amelia's expression.
"Voldemort is my problem. He's at Hogwarts. I swear to Merlin, if that bastard has put one finger on my niece I will tear that building down if it means killing him!" Amelia shouted. "Get Alastar, I don't care what he says I need him on this! Assemble our best-trained aurors NOW!"
Kingsley's eyes darkened and he started barking orders without missing a beat. If Narcissa's words were true then they were on a clock.
I figured Narcissa would do something like that. There are things I really don't like about Deathly Hallows upon repeated readings (Harry's walk into the forest feels like glorified suicide, and that really leaves a bad taste in my mouth.) but that's one of the parts I actually kind of liked.
Read and Review please!