Simply stunning chapter image by the talented alchemyfreak123 @ TDA
Thank you so much for all the reviews!! Love you all to pieces!! :D
This chapter is the most important in the whole story – the chapter that I have been planning for over a month. I hope it meets your expectations :D
I hope you liked the previous chapter, and returned in spite of the fact that Draco betrayed them all. The title of my story is “Deception, Drama and Draco Malfoy”, so read on and find out why ….
Hermione heart was beating so loud she was sure everyone could hear it. This was the same room. The same room that had featured in her worst nightmares for over four years. It seemed like a vicious cycle. Once again, she was trapped, tied up and helpless – her fate in the hands of the same unstable woman. In the middle of the room stood a large cauldron emitting purple smoke, smoke that smelled vile and noxious. Next to that lay Harry, Ginny and James, tied up and gagged. Harry’s face was coated in blood and he was sporting fresh bruises all over, but his eyes shone with determination and hatred. Thankfully, as far as she could see, Ginny and James were unhurt.
Hermione felt herself pushed forward roughly. She stumbled, and fell on her knees. Some one hit the back of her head hard, and for a moment she saw stars. When she shakily got up, she saw Pansy looking at her gleefully, pointing her wand at her.
“Move.” She ordered, her pug-like face twisted into a sneer.
Hermione’s eyes found Bellatrix, staring at the cauldron with fevered eyes. She seemed to be in a state of great excitement, and her expression looked unhinged. Whatever she was planning would not bode well for the prisoners.
“What do you want, you foul loathsome woman?” Hermione spat out, her eyes staring daggers at Bellatrix.
Bellatrix seemed amused by Hermione. “From you mudblood? Nothing. Your capture is of no consequence to me, but it could provide great entertainment later. As will the bloodtraitor and her spawn. The only one I want in this room is Potter, the Boy Who Just Wouldn’t Die. His existence has been a great thorn in our flesh. However, now, in his last moments, he will render us a favor that is of more consequence than anything he has done in the whole of his pitiful life. You see, I need his blood. And of course, his life. The Dark Lord would be most pleased.”
To say this shocked Hermione would be an understatement. “The-the Dark Lord?” she stammered. Then her voice took a derisive tone. “Hate to break it to you, but he’s dead. Died just after you did.”
Bellatrix waited for her to stop speaking. When Hermione paused to catch a breath, she pointed her wand at her and said “Crucio!”
Hermione felt the curse hit her, and immediately crumpled to the ground. The pain of a thousand stabbing knives wracked her system, and her skin felt as if it was on fire. The all consuming pain was the only thing she could comprehend, and it threatened to rob her of her sanity. Determined however, not to scream for mercy, she bit down on her lip, so hard that she drew blood. Its metallic taste filled her mouth as she convulsed upon the ground. The pain seemed endless, and she lost track of time and everything else. The only thing in the world was the curse, and her every cell feeling like it would be razed to ash. She did not know how much longer she would be able to survive this, when as if from far away, she heard Draco’s voice.
“Bellatrix, stop. It’s almost time.”
The pain vanished, and Hermione felt someone lift her up, and opened her eyes. She looked into Draco’s grey eyes, and his eyes seemed insistent, as if he was trying to tell her something. She recoiled when she realized he was holding her, and she glared at him, her eyes filled with venom.
“Tell me, Drakie poo, how it feels to be a lying betraying snake.” She said, in fakely honeyed tones. “It must have been hard for you, pretending you weren’t an evil cockroach anymore. Well, congratulations, because you fooled me.” Her voice turned hard as flint. “If I die here, I will come back as a ghost and haunt you throughout your miserable existence. If I live, you had better run because I will find you, and I will kill you.”
Draco’s face hardened. He pushed her roughly towards the cauldron, and then waved his wand. Ropes bound her and she found herself in the same position as Harry, Ginny and James. A feeling of helplessness washed through her as she realized that they may never escape alive. Adrenaline pounded through her veins and she looked around, trying to find a chance to escape.
She belatedly realized Bellatrix was not in sight. She whipped her head around, trying to spot Pansy. If only she could get free, she could take Draco down and help the others escape. However, before she could do anything, Bellatrix entered the room, a large trunk floating behind her. With a malicious grin on her face, she addressed Hermione.
“Mudblood, lets play a little game. Guess what’s inside the trunk, and I won’t torture you.”
“Oh sod off.” Hermione did not feel up to playing Bellatrix’s twisted games. “If you are going to kill me, just bloody do it.”
Bellatrix opened her mouth, as if to curse her – but suddenly halted. Her sneering expression turned into one of malice.
“Oh, I am going to have so much fun with you when the Dark Lord is reborn. And who knows, I might even make my second Horcrux from your death.” Bellatrix was smiling by the end of the sentence – a smile that reflected the very essence of evil.
Hermione and Harry exchanged identical looks of shock. The bombshell that Bellatrix had dropped on them felt like a blow to the chest – only thousand times more shocking. Even in her wildest dreams Hermione had not imagined that she would ever hear these words from the mouth of a woman who was supposed to be dead. There was also no disputing the veracity of Bellatrix’s claim. That lady may be demented and cruel, but she was smart and ruthless. The rebirth of Voldemort would mean catastrophe for a world that was just beginning to heal from the war. There was no way they could allow this to happen.
“No words from you? Dementor got your tongue?” Bellatrix’s voice sliced through the haze of confusion.
“That’s impossible.” Hermione flatly stated, even though her gut told her Bellatrix had found a way. Her rational thinking mind told her that a person, after dying, could not be brought back to life.
Bellatrix let out a derisive laugh. “That’s impossible!” she echoed, her voice a high pitched imitation of Hermione. A slavishly devoted expression adorned her face, one that left Hermione feeling sick at the pit of her stomach.
“I have been waiting for this moment for four years. The moment where I, and no one else, brings my master back to life. He will punish those; punish those who did not serve him as I did. And then, with me at his side, he will conquer this world, restoring purebloods where they belong, and Muggles will exist only for our entertainment. The rewards I will reap will be huge.”
“Now the moment is here. The moment that is the culmination of three years of hard work and patience – three years of trying to find a way to restore the world as it should be. A newly cleansed world – a world that has been cleansed of half bloods and mudbloods, of bloodtraitors and filth. Hogwarts will no longer have four houses, but will be united under the colors of the great Salazar Slytherin. Too bad you won’t survive to see what will happen. And just so you know, I will kill the Weasleys first. That red headed pestilence has sullied the name of purebloods for far too long.”
Bellatrix looked outside the window. The full moon bathed the world in its ethereal rays – lighting up the night sky like a beacon. Hermione realized that she had been imprisoned for almost a day.
“Tonight is a special night. You, my loves, will be witness to the Lethum sacrifice. It has to be conducted on the 7th of July, at 7:07 pm, when the moon is full. It is at that moment when magic is at its most powerful, and the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest.”
The minute Hermione heard the name of the ritual, she recognized it. Mentally hitting herself for not recognizing the vile purple smoke that the cauldron spewed, she remembered the finer details of the ritual – one that she found out about on one of her excursions to the restricted sections of the Ministry’s libraries.
A man, when he kills a person, creates a strong bond with the immortal soul of his victim. This bond is similar to that of an elastic band. If you pull when the veil separating the living and the dead is at its thinnest, it is possible to yank the soul back into the land of the living. However, this involves extraordinary amounts of dark magic, and fear of losing control is great. Also, the soul that has been pulled out will be irreparably damaged – corrupting its innocence with evil. Since the soul in question was Voldemort’s, Hermione could not believe further damage was possible. However, the soul would be wraithlike, and can not survive long without a body to house it. Comprehension dawned upon Hermione. She now knew what was in the trunk. Or rather who.
Bellatrix had been watching the mudbloods face closely. The sudden change in expression tipped her off that the penny had dropped.
She cackled derisively.
“Yes, that’s true mudblood.” She waved her wand at the trunk, and the lid opened, revealing the person inside. A person powerful enough to mask the presence of Voldemort, but influential enough to not be suspected.
Harry blanched as he saw the Minister of Magic – William Fudge – inside the trunk, looking as if in a deep sleep. Every able man in the wizarding world was looking for the man in front of him, but Bellatrix had managed to capture him and conceal him without anyone finding out. If Bellatrix managed to bring back Voldemort’s soul, then the body he would be housed in would be that of the most influential man in the world. The worst part is, no one would even suspect initially. Voldemort could gather support quietly, and strike when the world would be least prepared.
All of a sudden, he spotted a glaring flaw in Bellatrix’s plan. “You will never get away with this, you witch. Every wizard alive knows that the Minister is missing right now. If he suddenly strolls into office tomorrow, I think people might be suspicious. Give it up, and you’ll escape the Kiss.”
“You think I haven’t thought of that? Three years I spent planning my lord’s rebirth. Three years full of careful planning. There is nothing I haven’t thought of. I will send a ransom note to the Ministry, and during the attack the Ministr will launch to retrieve the Minister, he will manage to ‘escape’ my clutches. But you don’t worry your head about all that, you’ll be dead by then.”
Hermione realized that this was a brilliant plan. No one would suspect that the person they actually rescued was not the minister but thee most dangerous person in the world. Her quick mind began to think of plans – each more improbable than the last, when a sound interrupted her thought process.
It was the Malfoys clock, chiming out the hour.
One, two, three….
Hermione counted the strokes in her mind.
Four, five, six….
She struggled to come up with a plan to save them all…
She had seven minutes left to save the world.
Bellatrix smiled. In a matter of minutes, her master would be reborn. And she would be able to show him what true loyalty was. Once her master was back, together they would be unstoppable. They would unleash a rain of terror on the unsuspecting planet like never seen before. The world would tremble at the mere mention of her master’s name, like they did once before. And this time, there would be no one who could stop him. The Potter boy’s death would be the trigger that would yank her lord’s soul back. She would have to kill him exactly at 7:07pm.
First, there was something she had to do. She needed to boys blood in the cauldron, it was the final ingredient of the potion. She walked towards the boy. She could see hatred in his eyes, and felt amused. He still believed he could stop her, even though he was tied up and on the floor, while she had managed to capture the three most powerful people in the wizarding world.
She conjured a vial, and brought her dagger out. Holding the vial next to Potters shoulder, she slashed deeply, enjoying the agony that he was suffering. Blood welled from the gash instantly, and she collected it in the vial. She poured it into the cauldron, and noted with pleasure as it hissed when it received its share of blood. The contents turned bright red, and started emitting sparks.
Hermione looked around in panic. She had only four minutes left. When Bellatrix had added Harry’s blood to the potion, she had felt the atmosphere change. The air seemed heavy with Dark magic, and she could feel it pressing against her skin, leaving a burning sensation. Her mind began to give way to fear, and all her negative emotions seemed pronounced. She shook her head, trying to clear it. This was how she felt when she had worn Voldemort’s locket. If they all had to survive, she could not give way to panic. She concentrated on trying to make a plan, ignoring the voice in her head that screamed that it was too late.
Bellatrix began to feel jittery. The moment was so close. She could let nothing stop her from completing the ritual. If she missed her opportunity now, she would never be able to bring back her master. This time frame would not come for the next 10,000 years. She took a deep breath, and said the incantation slowly in her head. Lethum immutamus
. Her heart was beating faster now in anticipation, she began to monitor the prisoners more closely. She could not let them stop her.
Hermione had managed to think of a plan. It was not well thought out, and would most certainly kill her, and probably Harry, Ginny and James too. But she had no choice. If their death was the price she had to pay to save the wizarding world, so be it. She could feel Bellatrix’s eyes on her, and knew that the instant she tried anything, Bellatrix would stop her. She had to move fast. It was either now or never. She took a deep breath to steady herself. Thank god she was just next to the cauldron…
Ginny could feel adrenaline pounding through her system, but could not do anything while she was tied. She wished she had fought better, and had prevented them from kidnapping James. Now, facing her death, her only regret was that she could not save her son. She turned her head painfully towards Harry, and in a single glance poured out all her love. This was her last chanceto show him what lay in her heart. Next to her, she felt Hermione suddenly roll towards the cauldron, and she knew Hermione was attempting to push it down and spill the potion. Her hopes were raised as she watched Hermione, but it instantly crashed down when she heard a horribly familiar voice scream out an incantation that sent Hermione soaring to the other side of the room. It was too late.
Hermione crashed against the wall hard, but the pain barely registered. She knew she had failed, and now the whole world would pay the price. Any second now, Bellatrix would utter the spell that would kill Harry, and bring back Voldemort. She watched Bellatrix as she raised her wand and pointed it at Harry. The world suddenle seemed to slow down. Every agonizing second seemed to stretch to an eternity. Hermione's breath froze in her lungs as Bellatrix, in a terrifying loud voice, began to chant the incantation.
Suddenly, her voice was cut off. Hermione heard someone else scream a curse and a green jet of light shot across the room, and hit Bellatrix in the chest. The mad woman froze, and her wand fell out of her stiff hand. As if in slow motion, Bellatrix crumpled to the floor, never to rise again.
Harry, Hermione and Ginny turned their heads in unison and looked at the man who had cast the curse. His chest was heaving, and his grey eyes were blazing.
Draco Malfoy had saved the world.
Oooohhh!!! I loved typing the last line!!
Draco is my favorite character of all time, and it pained me deeply to portray him as the bad guy, even if it was only for one and a half chapters.
So how did you like it?
This has been the longest chapter yet… more than 3,000 words… whew!
You know the drill by now…
Please let me know what you think :D
Ill give you a cyber muffin :D
Btw, the spell lethum immutamus means ‘death changer’ in latin. Or at least it does according to the online translator I found :D
Oh, also, when I was going through my previous chapters, I found a LOT of errors… so as soon as the story is done, ill go and correct them asap
Bear with me till then :D