Folie à Deux
Chapter Two
You've Got the Gall

I'm trapped in this world
Lonely and fading
Heartbroke and waiting
For you to come
We are stuck in this world
That's not meant for me
For me

~ Not Meant For Me - © Wayne Static

11:45 a.m
17 August, 1997
Ministry of Magic

"Minister Fudge?" the young blonde secretary poked her head into the Minister's office.

Cornelius Fudge looked up from the paperwork he was going over. He frowned slightly at the woman, trying to remember her name. Didn't it begin with a B? Barabra? Bernice? Babette? With a slight shake of his head, he pulled himself off that train of thought and nodded.

"There's someone here to see you," she said, smiling.

"Who?" Fudge inquired, placing his quill down beside the parchment. He ran a hand through his greying hair and then glanced at the clock. "Do they have an appointment?"

"Yes, he says he does," the secretary said, consulting the magical planner she held in her hand, "and it says so right here in your appointment book."

"Send him in then," the Minister sighed. "Oh, and . . . Babette?"

"Belinda, Minister." the blonde secretary - Belinda, Fudge reminded himself - smiled, although this one was a bit strained.

"You can take your lunch break now, but be sure to remind me never to make appointments before lunch again," Fudge said.

"Of course, Minister." Belinda smiled again before ducking out.

Quickly, Fudge straightened up the paperwork on his desk so it looked noticeably more neat. He wasn't sure who it was waiting for him, but it was obviously someone important. Nobodies simply did not get granted private meetings with the Minister for Magic. After a quick tidying of his desk, he leaned back and just in time too.

The door to his office swung open silently and a man wearing Muggle clothing stepped in.

"I'm sorry," Fudge said in polite bewilderment, "do I know you?"

"Ahh, my good friend Lucius Malfoy made this appointment for me, Minister," the man said in a silky, sinister voice.

"All right then," Fudge said, frowning a bit. He didn't recall Lucius asking for a private meeting. Merlin only knew that he usually would have remembered, though. "Sit down," the Minister gestured to the chair in front of his desk.

"Actually, Minister, that won't be necessary." the man said, a cold smile highlighting his features.

"I beg your pardon?" Fudge asked, his confusion increasing.

"I won't need to sit, but you might as well stay sitting," the man pulled a wand out of the holster attacked to the belt of his black pants. He pointed it at the Minister with a decidedly malicious look in his red eyes.

Dear God, Fudge took a sharp intake of breath, "who are you?" he demanded.

"Why, dear Minister," the cordial mocking was seeming to be much fun for this man, "I am Lord Voldemort."

"Belinda!" Fudge yelled for his secretary as he quickly got up from his chair. This man was mad, raving, a lunatic! There was no possible way -

"Avada Kedavra."

The words were whispered, but the volume of the voice of the caster could not alter the deadly consequences for one on the receiving end on the spell.

Cornelius Fudge, former Minister for Magic was dead before he hit the ground.

And Lord Voldemort walked out of the office, closing the door behind him. He didn't attract any attention from anyone in the office. After all, they had all gone on their lunch breaks.

1:42 p.m
17 August, 1997
Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley was normally a busy place and today was no exception. The crowds were a small problem for four certain people who were Apparating into the alley to do school shopping. Immediately upon appearance, Harry Potter was knocked over by a random child rushing by, Hermione Granger flattened herself against the wall and the Weasley siblings, Ron and Ginny were shoved around the crowd. However, within moments of their sudden appearing, they had ducked into a small alcove near Scribbulus's Everchanging Inks to avoid the rush.

Brunette Hermione Granger sighed with dismay as she surveyed the crowd of mostly student-age wizards, "I told you that we should have gone school shopping earlier. Just look at all the people!"

Looking at each other, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley rolled their eyes. Of course Hermione would be the one to comment on the crowds and their habit of getting in the way of her school shopping. As predictable as ever, Hogwart's new Head Girl pulled a piece of parchment out of her pocket and studied it, then turned to the two boys.

"I suppose you haven't brought your lists?" she asked, pursing her lips with disapproval as the boys nodded. Rolling her eyes, she raked a hand through her unruly brown curls. "Let's go then."

"Can we just hold up a minute?" Ginny Weasley, silent until now, asked. When the trio turned to look at her, they saw she was leaning against the wall, breathing heavily and looking a bit ill.

"Sorry, Gin," Ron said apologetically, wincing, "I forgot you don't like when you have to be Apparated with me."

"Oh, I'll be fine when I go for my test," Ginny replied, shaking her head a bit. Her face colour was rapidly returning to normal, as was her expression. "And it's Virginia." she added, a bit snootily.

"Right, of course. Now that you're sixteen, you don't want to be called by your baby name," Ron said mockingly.

"Virginia? That's the name of a state in America," Hermione raised an eyebrow.

"Yes, that's my real name," Ginny said, raising her chin defiantly, "Ginny is a nickname. Mostly Ron's fault because he couldn't pronounce my real name when he was little."

"Hence, Ginny is what we call her." Ron finished.

"But I want everyone to call me by my full name," Ginny - Virginia - protested, a frown darkening her face, "after all, Terry does."

"Terry?" Harry asked Ron blankly as the quartet walked out of their alcove and into the surging crowd.

"Ravenclaw bloke, our year. Fancies her," Ron jerked his head at his younger sister who was chatting with Hermione now. At this last phrase, Ron's expression darkened and Harry took it that his best friend didn't exactly like anyone fancying his sister. "And besides, no one's going to call her Virginia. We're all too used to calling her Ginny."

"Ah, here we are," Hermione said gleefully as they ducked out of the crowd and into Flourish and Blotts. She dug out her list once more and made a beeline for the stacks of books.

"We better head after her," Ron sighed, "or we'll never get our books." he turned to Ginny, "you'll be all right, right?"

Ginny rolled her eyes. "Of course, Ron! But first I'm ducking over to the ice cream place."

"And why is that?" Ron demanded, folding his arms. For a moment, he reminded Harry scarily of Percy.

"Because I'm meeting Terry there," Ginny replied, raising her chin defiantly, "I'll be back in a half-hour, don't worry." She grinned, kissed her brother on the cheek, then ducked out of the shop.

Ron scowled at his sister's retreating back, "I don't trust that Boot fellow," he grumbled as he and Harry made their way over to where Hermione was, "and if he does anything to her, I'll . . " Ron trailed off and made a violent motion with his hands. Harry privately hoped that no one would hurt Ginny if that was what Ron would do to them.

"Oh, drat it all!" Hermione grumbled, jumping up and down, trying to reach a book. Unfortunately, the shelf that the book was on seemed a good foot out of her reach, even when jumping. After a few more moments of trying, she folded her arms and glared up at the offensive bookshelf. "It figures the year we need Curses and Counter Curses, they would have moved it up to a shelf out of my reach."

Grinning, Ron and Harry turned to each other, then both reached a hand up to the shelf and got down a book.

"Oh, stop it," Hermione scowled at them, "just because you're taller than me doesn't give you license to flaunt it."

"Ah, keep speaking like that Hermione and you won't get the book you need," Ron grinned.

Growling something incoherent under her breath, Hermione turned to Harry, smiling, although it was a bit strained, "Harry, would you be a dear and hand me a copy of Curses and Counter Curses?"

"Well, now," Harry said, leaning against the shelf and rubbing his chin, pretending to ponder the question. He smirked at Hermione, "what are you going to do for me, Granger? What are you going to do for me?"

"Oh, bloody hell!" Hermione snapped, storming off, "I'll get one of the shop keepers to get it down for me."

Ron watched the female third of their trio storm off while muttering something about friends who are male do not have license to sexually harass you. "You know, we really should stop bugging her about her height. And the fact that she's only five foot two and we're both around the six foot mark."

"True," Harry said as they wandered around the store, looking for someone else from their year to possibly get a book list from.

It was their last year at Hogwarts, now. After this June, they wouldn't be going back there. Hermione was planning on attending Caer Wydyr University, to continue her magical education. Ron had already decided he was going to work with his brothers Fred and George in there fledging joke shop which was doing surprisingly well. As for Harry? Well, he hadn't really decided what he wanted to do when he got out of Hogwarts, Quite frankly, he had half-expected he would be dead by the time graduation rolled around. Of course, that was when Voldemort had just come back. But now, it seemed like there wasn't even a whisper of the Dark Lord. In fact, there hadn't been any evidence to support he was back at all. Not for almost three years now. And that wasn't helping Harry's nerves at all.

"'Scuse me, you're in seventh year, right?" a hand grasped onto Harry's shoulder and whirled him around.

"Yes, I am." Harry said, cautiously, looking at the girl who still had a rather firm grip on his shoulder.

"So 'm I," Ron said, looking at the girl with something akin to appreciation in his eyes. She took her hand off of Harry's shoulder and eyed him.

"Dammit," she groused, "I'm in sixth and I need a list."

"Nope, can't help you there," Harry said apologetically.

"Don't believe we've seen you around school before," Ron added, hoping to keep the conversation going, "I'm Ron Weasley."

"And I'm - " Harry began, but was cut off by the girl holding up her hand.

"You're Harry Potter." she smirked, "easily enough identifiable by the neon glowing scar on your head." Harry coughed at this and tried to flatten his fringe over the aforementioned scar. "Anyway," the girl continued, "I'm Faith Lestrange."

"Pleased to meet you, Faith," Ron said, "now, what are you doing here? I assume you're a witch, of course, but how come we've never seen you around Hogwarts before?"

"Ah, that's the question, Mr Weasley," Faith said, folding her arms. "You've probably never seen me because I don't like to be seen by people most of the time. And it amuses myself and my fiancé."

"Fiancé?" Harry asked, "um . . . aren't you a little young to have a fiancé?"

"Someone doesn't know old-world wizarding traditions that well," Faith said, a bit of a superior tone in her voice. "It's customary for the eldest child in a wizarding family to be betrothed to someone by their sixteenth birthday. And, as mine was two months ago, I have a fiancé."

"Really?" Ron asked, a look of disappointment on his face, "who?"

"Oh, you've probably heard of him," Faith waved a hand carelessly, a hint of sarcasm in her voice, "his name's Draco Malfoy."

Harry and Ron just stared at her in undisguised shock. Harry recovered first however.

"You must be joking," he said, raising an eyebrow, "who would want to marry him?"

At the mention of Faith's engagement to Draco Malfoy, Ron had evidentially lost interest in her. He was now scanning the crowd, looking for someone that they knew. Preferably someone who didn't hold Malfoy in a good light. He finally spotted someone.

"Ah, there. Oi! Seamus!" Ron called out, over the din of customers. A distance away, the sandy-haired boy looked up and waved. He hurried through the crowd to where they were standing.

"Doing school shopping, I presume?" Seamus said, trying to keep his stack of books steady. His eyes fell on Faith. "And who might you be?"

"This is Faith," Ron said, a somewhat of a sneer on his face, "she's a sixth year and - engaged to Draco Malfoy."

"Well, we were school shopping," Harry broke in before Seamus could make a remark, "until Hermione took off with the one list we have. So we're kind of stuck."

"Take mine then," Seamus offered, his eyebrows half-way up his forehead as he glanced at Faith once more. "It's in the front pages of The Standard Book of Spells: Grade Seven." he added, nodding his head at the top book on his stack. Ron quickly flipped through the book and pulled out the piece of parchment.

"Thanks, Seamus," he nodded.

"No problem," grinned the Irish boy, "See you on September 1st. You too, Faith." With that, he ducked back into the crowd, heading toward the counter to pay for his books.

"Now, then, what do we have to get?" Ron asked rhetorically, holding the list so that he and Harry could look at it.

The Standard Book of Spells (Grade Seven) by Miranda Goshawk
Curses and Counter Curses by Vindictus Viridian
Nastily Exhausting Wizard Tests: A Guide to Acing Your N.E.W.Ts by Anyanka Aurenien
Advanced Potions by Arsenius Jigger
An Encyclopedia of Curses, Hexes and Other Nasty Things by Niapolo Windstrom

"Don't you have a sixth year one?," Faith said, not waiting for an answer. She grabbed the list out of their hands, prompting a cry of outrage from both boys.

"What the hell d'you think you're doing?" Ron demanded, snatching the parchment back. He glared at the offending brunette girl.

"Looking at the list," Faith snapped, "do you have a problem with that, Ronald Weasley?"

"As a matter of fact, I do." Ron said, anger rising in his cheeks. "You do not just grab something out of someone's hands without asking first. Especially when you don't need it."

"Actually, you know what, Weasley?" Faith demanded, an icy look coming over her face, "I live by three basic principles. Want. Take. Have."

"Well, Lestrange, obviously you've been a little distorted by your precious fiancé," Ron retorted, "most people don't do things that way."

"Well, maybe you should, Weasley." Faith replied, "and maybe things wouldn't be as hellish here."

With that last comment, Faith Lestrange whirled on her heel and stalked off through the crowd.

"What was that?" Hermione asked, her voice muffled.

"That was Malfoy's fiancée." Harry said flatly, turning to Hermione.

"Malfoy has a fiancée?" Hermione's tone of voice and facial expression was nothing short of incredulous. Of course, Harry didn't know this as Hermione's face was hidden by a stack of books, "Harry, take the top five books."

"Thanks, Hermione," Harry said, surprised that she had got him the books he needed. He handed them to Ron then took the next five books in Hermione's stack for himself.

"Where's Ginny?" Ron demanded, looking around the store, "and how long has it been?"

"It's only been fifteen minutes, Ron," Hermione said, "and give Ginny a little credit. She knows how to look after herself."

"As long as she doesn't run into the future Mrs. Malfoy, I'm sure she'll be fine." Harry added as the three of them made their way to the counter to pay for their books.

2:19 p.m
17 August, 1997
Malfoy Manor
South France

Lord Voldemort surveyed himself in the mirror, tilting his head to the side. This had been a brilliant move on his part. After all, no one would be suspecting an eighteen-year-old boy of being the most famed Dark Lord. And it was so much nicer being in this body. One of the perks being that it added years to his life. It was perfect for blending into crowds - no one would think of sending him a second glance. Well, except for a few people. Dumbledore being one of them. Voldemort's handsome face darkened as he thought of his old Transfiguration teacher. Stupid Muggle-loving fool, he thought angrily. His fault for ruining everything, he could see the expression of anger on his reflected face growing darker.

"Dear, you really should calm down," the mirror said in a sickeningly cheerful voice, "someone with your looks shouldn't spend their days getting hacked off at the world."

"Getting mad at the world is what I do best," Voldemort said softly, laughing slightly at it. And getting the world mad at me, he added mentally, tracing the fingers of his right hand on the cold surface of the mirror.

"Now, stop that, dearie," the mirror giggled, "it tickles."

"Tickles, does it?" Voldemort tilted his head to the side, an expression of almost child-like innocence conquering his face. He paused, the fingertips of his hand still resting on the mirror. Gently, he drew back and turned away.

"Leaving so soon?" the mirror sounded slightly disappointed, "but now I'll be bored to pieces."

Voldemort whirled around swiftly, his fist flying towards his reflection. The mirror emitted a strangled shriek as flesh hit glass and shattered it. A few shards fell to the floor and Voldemort's own hand held a few fragments. "How right you are," he smirked to himself as he walked down the hallway. It was a twisted irony in a sort of way, he thought as he pulled the splinters of glass out of his skin. Many hadn't penetrated all that deeply, but one rather large shard had managed to do quite bit of damage. He paused for a moment, looking down at his hand. The shard was a good two inches big and had penetrated near one of the major veins of his wrist.

"Ah, ah, ah," he whispered, pulling the shard out. He held it up and looked at it as if it were an errant child. "It wouldn't do for a simple cut to kill me now, would it?"

He dropped the shard to the ground and stepped on it, his heel grinding the glass into smaller fragments until it was dust. He muttered, "Medicor," and the cuts on his hand slowly began to close. Only when he was sure they had healed, Lord Voldemort continued down the hallway.

He was late, he knew that for a fact. He was the one who had summoned them there. But he simply had to take care of that idiot Minister. Of course, by now, people would have found the body. Perhaps they would put out a special edition of the Daily Prophet. There would be political upheaval, loads of that of course. And they would need to select a new Minister of course.

When Voldemort entered the room, silence fell. No matter what people had been saying before, they stopped in mid-sentence and drew back. They formed a circle silently, effortlessly. All were there now, even those who had not been in on his plans. Only his Inner Circle had been there and one of them was most likely to be elected as the temporary Minister for Magic. The Junior Minister wasn't fit to run magical Britain and people would oppose him, causing even more chaos. What was his name again? It seemed to just slip out of his reach. Ah, yes, I remember. Percival Weasley. One of precious Virginia's older brothers, one of whom she wrote to me about. Lord Voldemort smiled at this as he walked to the front of the room where a chair was.

Chair was a feeble description; it was more like a throne. Standing beside it on either side were Lucius Malfoy and Peter Pettigrew. The current Malfoy patriarch was a valuable person to have on his side, but he could care less about Pettigrew. The turncoat had outlived his usefulness now and was of no more use to him.

2:27 p.m
17 August, 1997
Malfoy Manor
South France

Severus Snape was quite unsettled at being in Malfoy Manor. He had heard the news of the Minister's demise seconds before he felt the Mark burn. Instantly, he had connected the two and had rushed from Hogwarts to Apparate to where the Dark Lord was. Surprised, he had found himself in one of the many rooms at Malfoy Manor. He was still slightly distracted, but managed to pull himself together enough to take his place in the circle.

Thoughts were running through his head a mile a minute. Many of how entirely screwed the wizarding world was now, considering that the man most likely to be elected Minister for Magic now was Lucius Malfoy. Then things would be all too easy for Voldemort to have the wizarding world at his feet.

"Of course, you should know by now where you are to be during the attack," Voldemort was saying as Severus jerked himself back to the present. "If you haven't been told a specific location, you will simply be there to cause general panic." A smirk crossed the Dark Lord's face.

"And what about you, my Lord?" Lucius asked.

Pathetic, Severus sneered. He's like a dog waiting for table scraps from its master. Which in reality, somewhat fit.

"I?" Voldemort's smirk widened, "I will be paying a little visit to a dear old friend of mine."

A murmur went up from the circle of Death Eaters. The name Harry Potter was heard several times and Severus winced. If this was true, then he would have to find a way to warn Dumbledore.

"No," Voldemort said, tilting his head to the side, "not Harry Potter. An old friend of mine."

This worried Severus more than before. If not Potter, than who? The question was still in his mind as he joined the rest in Disapparating to Diagon Alley.

2:30 p.m
17 August, 1997
Diagon Alley

Ginny Weasley did not run into the future Mrs. Malfoy, although it probably would've been a better run-in than the one she was about to make.

She had ducked into the Diagon Alley location of her brothers' joke shop, to say hi. Unfortunately, neither of them were there that day. They were supervising a new shipment at the Hogsmeade location, from what Alicia Spinnet had told her. Ginny had thanked the older girl and then hurried off to Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour to meet Terry.

"Oh, Great Merlin, where is he?" she muttered to herself in exasperation. Ten minutes had passed since the time Terry had told her to meet him there. And she was getting rather ticked off and a bit self-conscious. The age old question of what if he had stood her up? was the first thought that flashed through her mind. She started to walk forward, but was interrupted by someone Apparating right in front of her.

"Watch where you're going!" she snapped, her temper getting the better of her as she fell to the ground.

"Miss Weasley?" a voice asked. Ginny cringed. She knew this voice. She looked up to see that the Potions Master of Hogwarts was the one who had Apparated right into her.

"Umm . . . hello, Professor Snape," she said hesitantly. The man did not like her much in class and probably loathed her more now that it was summer. She blushed deeply, both from the embarrassment of yelling at him and being seen sprawled on the ground. Quickly she scrambled to her feet, muttering an apology. She looked downwards as she did so, then snuck a look back at the Slytherin House Head and was instantly worried.

Snape's expression had faded from one of shock to one of almost fear and anxiety. He stared at her for a moment, making her extremely uncomfortable.

"Get out of here," he snapped suddenly, glancing around quickly. His expression had faded into one of intense paranoia now.

His sharp tone had bewildered Ginny as much as his command had, "Why?"

"Have you not heard the news?" Snape demanded. Before Ginny could reply, he continued, "The Dark Lord has just killed Minister Fudge and Diagon Alley is going to be his next target." He kept his voice low and his eyes kept darting around.

"How do you know that?" Ginny asked as she looked around the bright shopping place in the same manner that Snape had moments ago. However, a new fear gripped her and she continued, "But what about Ron? And Hermione? And Harry?"

"They're here?" Snape asked, his eyes narrowing. The expression of drawn fear came flooding back into his face.

"In Flourish and Blotts," Ginny said, a pit of worry beginning to grow in her stomach, "at least, when I left them."

"I'll get them," Snape said, "now you get out of here."

Ginny nodded and turned to go. She stopped and whirled around to face her Potions teacher. "Thank you, Professor Snape."

"Go!" was the reply as the greasy-haired Hogwarts professor strode off into the crowd. Ginny was perfectly ready to obey his orders and whirled around.

And ran smack into her late date.

"Virginia, I'm so sorry!" Terry said, anxiety clearly evident on his face as he hugged her close.

"Terry, there's no time," Ginny quickly disentangled herself from him and looked around at Diagon Alley frantically, "we've got to get out of here!"

"Why?" Terry was bewildered to say the least.

However, his question was answered shortly in the appearance of many, many masked and hooded figures who appeared at regular intervals down the street.

"What the hell is going on?" Terry demanded, his eyes narrowing.

"Death Eater attack," Ginny whispered, all the blood draining from her face. She hadn't wanted to believe Snape's words, she had wanted to think they were all a result of her over-active imagination. But that would not be the case. She saw one of the hooded figures begin to head for where she and Terry stood. She pushed him, "RUN!"

Terry needed no persuasion. He started to run. After a moment, so did Ginny. Blindly though, without any clear idea of where to go. All that she could think about was getting out of the line of attack. She crashed into a wall and fell to the ground, wincing in pain. Looking up, she saw that there was a corner to this wall. An alleyway.

The thought filled her with some twisted form of joy and she raced into the darkness, hoping against hope that no Death Eaters would think of going into an alleyway.

Of course, hope of any kind in this situation was futile.

Ginny realized the truth in that as her back was suddenly slammed against the wall of the alleyway. She felt one hand on her shoulder and the blunt tip of a wand digging into her throat.

2:33 p.m
17 August, 1997
Flourish and Blotts
Diagon Alley

"What is going on out there?" Hermione inquired. She was the first to notice some sort of commotion outside Flourish and Blotts. And the fact that somehow, when they had been paying for their books, the crowds in the store had dispersed.

"Someone won the Wizarding Lottery?" Ron suggested, joining her at the window to peer out.

"I don't think so," Hermione said, drawing in a breath as she saw green light illuminating parts of the street. Her expression changed from one of bemusement to a serious one, "Harry, get over here!"

"What is i . . ." the question died on Harry's lips as he looked out the window. The blood seemed to drain from his face, "Dear God."

"A Death Eater attack," Ron said in an oddly hollow voice.

"Get down." Hermione commanded, her voice low and expression anxious.

"What?" Harry asked, his eyes fixated on the street in front of the store.

"Get down!" Hermione's voice was shriller now, as she somehow managed to yank the two boys to the ground. A green light flashed over head, in the place where they were once standing.

"Thanks, Hermione," Ron said, gulping audiably.

"Get out of here," Harry said suddenly.

"Harry, no." Hermione folded her arms, "we're not leaving you."

"Get out of here," was the stubborn reply as Harry took out his wand.

Ron froze in horror. He looked at his two friends and whispered sharply, "what about Ginny?"

A black shape passed over them swiftly and feet landed on ground, making a thudding noise, "Your sister is fine, Mr. Weasley." the newly arrived figure said, crouching down out of sight. The broken window above was making them even more vulnerable and it would be only a matter of time before Death Eaters - ones that weren't spies - would storm the store and more than likely kill them all.

"Professor Snape?" Harry asked, slowly getting to his feet.

"Get out of here, the three of you," Snape commanded, his voice harsh.

"But what about - " Hermione began to ask.

"Disapparate now, or I will Stun you and Disapparate you myself," Snape snarled.

"My sister!" Ron protested.

"I saw your sister when I Apparated, Weasley," Snape replied, his expression an unreadable mask, "I told her to get out of here and I can only assume she did so."

"But she can't Apparate yet!" Ron exclaimed.

"Come on, Ron," Hermione said, casting anxious looks out at the street. "Remember, every store has Floo Power."

"But - Ginny - " Ron said, his face a mask of horror and anxiety.

"I'll try and find her, but she more than likely already left," Snape said.

Harry uttered the words he never would have thought he would say, "Thanks, Professor."

"Don't thank me yet, Potter," Snape said, not meeting Harry's eyes, "now, you three, get out of here."

Without another word, the trio Disapparated to Merlin only knows where. Snape stood stock still for a moment, surveying the scene before him.

Then he plunged into the crowd.

2:36 p.m
17 August, 1997
Between Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley

"Please, let me go." Ginny pleaded. It was her natural instinct to do so. To bargain for her life.

"Ahh, but what if I don't want to?" her attacker murmured, a slight chuckle emphasising the end of his sentence. "What if I don't want to let you go, Virginia Weasley?"

"How do you know my name?" Ginny whispered. It was a stalling tactic, she knew. But stalling tactics were good in times such as this.

There was another chuckle from her attacker and the wand point was removed from Ginny's throat, "Lumos," was intoned and a bright light suddenly blinded her eyes, causing her to shut them instantly.

After a moment, the only Weasley daughter slowly opened her eyes. A strangled gasp escaped her throat as she took in the face of the person before her. Pale skin, dark hair, flaming scarlet eyes, beautiful cheekbones. It was the face that had haunted her nightmares.

"Hello, Virginia," Lord Voldemort said with a cordial smile, "Lovely to see you again."

Ginny's mouth opened and closed, no sound coming out of it. She looked like a fish out of water. No, was the single syllable in her mind as the shock overtook her brain, causing her to fall down into darkness.