Chapter 10 : The Department of Mysteries
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Luckily, Sirius had been kind enough to hold a little get together over at his place during our lunch break today and Kingsley had allowed me to attend even though it infringed on my work hours by a couple of minutes or so. Then again, this was lunch cum Order meeting so that was probably why.
I couldn’t help but smile as I strolled through the fresh June air. The last few days had been marred by the constant rainfall which literally dampened my spirits. The air had that lovely freshness after rain, and this area of London got a well needed clean from it. I had even been tempted to start running through the streets singing All Things Bright and Beautiful given how good my mood was.
Hurrying up the stairs, I couldn’t help but notice that it had been nearly a year ago that I had joined the Order. So much had changed since then, and for the better. Ah, yet another reason to start breaking out into song. Well, I would but everyone likened my singing to an angry cat yowling so it was probably best not to try.
“Hurry up Tonks, you can’t dawdle all day!” I glanced up and saw Kingsley had actually managed to reach the door before me and had gotten the grand honour of wrapping his knuckles against it. I smirked at him before scampering up the stairs to join him. Dawdle my ass; admiring the fine scenery took time thank you very much.
We were greeted by Remus and Sirius laughing loudly with one another. I hadn’t seen either of them look so happy in a while. “What’s so funny?” I asked. If that was a good joke, I wanted to be in on it so I could add it to my measly database of them.
“Oh, Sirius just brought up an infamous time at Hogwarts which featured Lily promising that she would never date James. If only she had known how wrong she would be,” Remus chuckled quietly, his face dimming a little when talking in the past tense.
“They have no care of keeping those who weren’t present for that entertained,” Mad-Eye let out gruffly, and I could hear his leg thwack the floor as he approached us. Wait, Mad-Eye was actually here and socialising? Who drugged his pumpkin juice? “I was under the impression that you invited us along for a meal, Black. Or was I led here under false pretences?”
Sirius’ face immediately turned to a sombre one, but he didn’t miss the opportunity to wink at me and Remus. “Of course, I would never do that to you dear old fellow. Come through to the dining room, Kreacher should have all the food set up.”
Ok maybe I was wrong about Mad-Eye’s drink being spiked, because with all this ‘dear old fellow’ nonsense it clearly looked like someone had been messing with Sirius’ Butter Beer. After all, those two weren’t exactly known to be friends. I tried to shoot him an inquisitive look which he ignored. Apparently the process of ushering Mad-Eye into the dining room was one which required a lot of concentration.
Remus gave me a sly grin before the following into the room. Hmm, I guess he was in it too. I might as well follow them through. Maybe then I could be in on their joke.
Once we entered the room we sat down, and Mad-Eye grabbed an apple out of the fruit bowl and bit a large chunk out of it. This allowed the rest of us to have a panoramic view of his saliva coated yellow teeth, lovely. Something which vaguely resembled a smile then appeared on his face, and the mood lightened significantly after that. An angry Mad-Eye was not someone you wanted to cross.
Eyeing the bowl of boiled potatoes next to Kingsley, I was about to ask him to pass them to me when a silver doe erupted out of thin air.
“Oh shit.” And yes this was an oh shit moment. We only tended to use patronuses in emergency situations, the last time being when Arthur was attacked. I didn’t even draw weird looks from the others as they realised it too.
“Potter and his friends have gone missing on a trip into the Forbidden Forest with Dolores Umbridge,” Severus Snape’s voice snaked out. “It relates to what I told Black earlier. I believe he has gone to the Ministry in search of Black. It would be wise for any available people to go there and look for him; he talked about going to the Department of Mysteries. Black should stay in case he needs to inform others.”
The doe dissolved just as the s of others was drawn out. We all turned to face Sirius feeling confused. Well, I did and making assumptions for the others was a lot easier than asking all of them.
“Harry had a vision. He saw me being tortured by Voldemort in the Department of Mysteries but when Snivellus ascertained my whereabouts he assured me he would prevent Potter from escaping. Obviously he didn’t do his job well enough if he allowed him to escape like this.”
“There’s no need for the surliness, Black,” Mad-Eye snapped. “We have mission to do, and we will be getting on with it. You heard what he said. Black stay here in case someone comes and the rest of you assemble for battle.”
Sirius glared at Moody before replying. “I will not just sit here whilst my godson may be in trouble. I need to help Harry. Kreacher can give the orders to anyone. He is more than capable of doing that.”
Moody seemed unable to reply to that and gave Sirius a curt nod before beckoning us out of the dining room, down the corridor and into the entrance hall. I was just full of adrenalin. Though this was probably a minor thing, and all we would be doing was rescuing teenagers running amok around the Ministry it still would be fun.
We waited there in silence. The only major thing which occurred was me changing my hair to a jet black because it had a ninja like element to it. It might even aid me in my fighting. I was about to try out some ninja like wand movements but Sirius hurried in, finished with telling Kreacher what to do. “Everyone ready and present,” Moody said to himself. “We will apparate directly into the Ministry Atrium, no time for heeding to caution. Then we will perform a quick descent to the Department of Mysteries and locate them and deal with any suspicious behaviour. Is this clear?”
I almost wanted to yell out ‘yes sir, understood and ready to go sir,’ but I thought he wouldn’t be too pleased with that so I stuck to the plain and safe nod. Moody gave us all one back before turning on the spot and disappearing. Without looking at the others to see if they were doing the same, I just thought of the place I knew so well and within seconds I had appeared there myself.
Moody had already begun hurrying over to the set of lifts at the end of the corridor, and so I began a light run over to him. I didn’t want to get left behind, after all. Once he reached a lift with an open door he glared at the other occupants causing them to swiftly step out of it and soon the five of us were reunited again.
“Stage one of this mission has been completed successfully. Next we enter the Department of Mysteries and locate them. It is important that we stick together throughout our time there because you can lose people very easily once inside of it. Is that clear?” he asked again.
We all gave meek nods in return and continued the rest of journey in silence. As soon as the operator’s voice announced us being here, we broke into a run down the black tiled corridor I had gotten to know so well over the past year. We approached the door I had been forced to sit outside of for countless hours, and it was only then that I began to feel fear. Not the mild excitement I had felt when here with Remus.
Kingsley took the lead this time round and twisted the handle of it before entering a large, circular room. “Wait a second!” Remus cried out once we had all come in. “There’s a spell, called a tracker one. It can locate people within a mile’s range, and I think we should use it. Otherwise we’ll spend countless hours searching for them.”
“Fine, but I hope it doesn’t give off our location,” Moody replied grimly.
Remus muttered some words in Latin with Harry’s name intermingled among them, and with a burst of gold, the spell was over. We waited there expectedly, seeing if this was going to bring about any reaction and within a minute it did. The door to the left of us flew open, and Remus smiled.
“It reveals the most direct path to the person we want to find so if we just follow the open doors we should find our way easily.”
Given that the spell was credit to Remus, Moody let him take the lead while we all ran behind him. We did make a motley crew, us five, I thought, while various different rooms streamed in and out of my eyes. A werewolf, an escaped convict, a mad old man, an Auror and then me, hopefully we could use that to our advantage.
We carried on running and running, following the path Remus was being shown, hoping that each corner would show us the answer. I couldn’t help but notice that the further and further we penetrated into the Department of Mysteries the greater amount of damage could be found there. Perhaps this wasn’t just an innocent search and rescue mission but something more.
Kingsley appeared to pick up on that fact too and called us to a halt. “I think something other than teenagers running riot around the place has been going on here. There’s too much damage for it to be nothing.”
“Agreed,” Moody said sternly. “Just remember to be on guard and you’ll all be fine.”
Sirius smirked at me at that point. “That means no falling over Tonksy.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know now!” I gave him a quick grin in return and caught Remus giving us a swift glance, staring at me marginally longer than Sirius before continuing on. How odd.
Remus approached the door in front of us and shot it down with his wand, and as soon as we ran through it chaos roamed everywhere. Jets of light sprung out of every corner, and people were running for shelter, anywhere out of the colourful beam light’s paths. Cries and shouts could be heard from down below. It was as if they were on stage, I thought, as we were stood in tiered seats. As this was the Department of Mysteries we could be for all I knew.
Deciding that giving up on my internal ramblings would be a good idea, I jumped straight into the action. My Auror training could finally be put on show.
I saw my delightful uncle, Lucius Malfoy, attempt to raise his wand at me but I shot him down with a simple Stupefy before he could even realise what had happened. I surveyed the ground below me and saw Death Eaters running around, attempting to corner Harry and his friend. Right, that was where I was heading.
I ran through the rows of seats, blasting chairs out of the way if necessary. I needed to make sure that they got out and got out quickly. I glanced down again and looked at the mayhem beneath me. Even slipping off guard for a second would be a mistake. White light narrowly streamed passed me as I did so, and I saw the perpetrator straight away. Bellatrix Lestrange. My aunt.
I fired any spell which appeared in my head at her while running down through the stone seats. Gazing ahead of me, I caught sight of this almost archway in the middle of the room. It had this strange appeal to it. I needed to see it, listen to it. It was pulling me to it.
Green light soared passed my earlobe, and I let out a small scream in shock. I needed to pay attention on the battle, not the strange archway. Blue streaked towards me, growing closer and closer. I tried to bend out of the way, but I was too slow. I could feel the coolness of the spell as it touched my shoulder and seeped into the rest of my body. Fuck.
Suddenly, my body became immobile. I felt myself falling forwards and falling forwards quickly. Nothing could stop me. The only thing I could see was the dark black ground coming closer and closer. The fear of what was going to happen to me seemed to numb the pain of the impact, and I didn’t even feel myself begin to tumble down and down.
Only when I stopped did the pain take over. It was far worse than anything else I had felt before. I couldn’t scream or cry out; I just had to remain in my silent form. A hot liquid seeped out my head and joined the other little rivers of it I could feel go down my arms and legs. I didn’t need to look to know it was blood. I finally came to a halt; I didn’t know where - I couldn’t see a thing. I tried to thrash against the binds Bellatrix had put me under but it only seemed to worsen the pain. I was helpless to the wrath of Bellatrix.
I could feel myself fading; blackness had begun to take over my eyes. I didn’t want to die, I couldn’t die. I had to go and fight. I had to protect them. And then, after that, I had to go and joke around with Sirius and chat with Remus and have more of Molly’s cooking. I couldn’t die yet. I had to live.
Noise swirled around me. I couldn’t really pick anything out. It was too quiet. Too confusing. I gave up and let myself go. It would be as if I was going to sleep. Nothing worse.
Everything was white. I wasn’t even joking, the sheet was white, the walls were white and even my dad, who sat in a chair beside me, was dressed in white. First of all, this brightness killed me eyes and secondly, where on earth was I?
“You’re awake!” Dad cried out happily. “I was beginning to wonder whether you would ever come out of the sleep!”
I scowled at him. I had told him repeatedly when I wake up I didn’t want to be accosted with his bad jokes but handed a cup of tea instead. I could see that he still hadn’t grasped that. “What happened to me, Dad?”
His face turned from a beaming one to a grave one. Woah I didn’t realise it had been that bad. I mean, I wasn’t in pain or anything now. I glanced down at my fingers and saw they were still all there. What could have happened then?
“Bellatrix Lestrange used an experimental curse on you. It’s similar to the body-binding one, but this time it freezes all of your muscles. The longer you’re under it the more permanent the damage is. Fortunately, the Potions department at St. Mungo’s is first class, and they managed to prevent the damage. You’ll have to stay here for a while longer and continue to receive the potions and have what we muggles have which is called physiotherapy to strengthen them. It’s another experimental thing so they aren’t completely sure if it will work.”
“What happened to others, did Harry and his friends manage to get out alright?” I asked anxiously. Seeing as I was ok I could place my worrying skills onto someone else.
If I thought Dad’s face was grave beforehand, it was nothing compared to it now. “Something happened, Tonks. That’s partly why Mum’s not here now. Sirius was duelling with Bellatrix. That’s when… when it happened. You know there was an archway in the room you were fighting in?” I nodded tentatively at him. I couldn’t help but notice stabs of guilt attack my heart. If I had managed to defeat Bellatrix whatever happened to Sirius wouldn’t have happened. I could only hope it was something minor like a broken leg.
“Well, on the other side of it is death, so if you fall through it you die…” Dad paused, taking in a deep breath. “That was what happened to him. He didn’t realise, no one did until we were told later.”
“No!” I cried out. “He can’t be dead; he’s just playing a prank on us like he did at Hogwarts. He’ll appear tomorrow and yell surprise and everything will be fine. He can’t be dead. He’s Sirius. He escaped from Azkaban. He can’t be dead.”
Tears welled up in my eyes, and I didn’t care at all. “This is just a get well soon prank, isn’t it Dad?”
I looked over at him and saw that tears had begun to roll down his face too. He shook his head feebly and looked down at the ground. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. We were meant to be joking around together, that was what kept me going. Not this. This wasn’t supposed to have happened.
The only thing which was in my mind was what he last said to me, “That means no falling over Tonksy!” But that was what I did. I fell over. I fell over so he had to duel Bellatrix, and he had to die. It was all my fault. All my fault.
Author's Note: I want to say a big thank you to toomanycurls who left me some amazing reviews on this story! ♥ So this is sort of the end of happy times with Sirius' death. I hoped you liked that scene and I would love to know your thoughts on it! Thanks again for reading :D
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