Chapter 9 : It Happened
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Cornelius Fudge walked from his office to the Atrium in the Ministry of Magic. He was extremely tired. The Triwizard Tournament was finally over, but instead of lessening, the working pressure seemed to keep getting higher. There was Dumbledore’s constant warnings about He Who Must Not Be Named gaining strength. Fudge knew better than to not take Dumbledore’s opinion seriously. He was after all an extremely powerful wizard and a highly respected member of the wizarding community. Fudge shuddered if he thought about the possibility of the Dark Lord returning. Not only would his people be in grave danger and would a second wizarding war be inevitable, there was also a chance that his greatest secret would come out into the open. A secret that would most certainly cost him his job, and his job was worth more to him than he cared to admit. Above all that, there was still no sign of Bartemius Crouch, the head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation, who had disappeared months ago.
Fudge sighed, looked at his watch and saw it was already 11 o’clock in the evening. He would get another lecture from his wife, who thought he was spending far too much time at the office. But as Minister for Magic he didn’t really had a choice in the matter. Ill-tempered, he made his way through the deserted building. Rufus Scrimgeour, the Head of the Auror Office had decided the Ministry wasn’t protected well enough and had made sure that it was impossible to Floo into the Ministry outside of the Atrium. Even the fireplace in his own office was unusable.
When he arrived in the Atrium he wasn’t surprised it was empty too, though it did strike him as odd that he didn’t see the night guard. He decided to take a look at his desk that was located right in front of the visitor’s entrance. When he looked behind the counter his heart stopped for a second. Eric Munch, who had been working as a receptionist and night guard for the Ministry for nearly 30 years lay on his back on the ground, his open eyes staring at nothing. Fudge looked at his lifeless body and realized he must’ve been the victim of the killing curse. That must mean there were intruders in the building.
Fudge quickly turned around and found himself staring at the tip of a wand.
“That’s impossible”, Fudge muttered, staring at the man in front of him. “You’re dead!”
Barty Crouch Jr looked at him with a deranged smile on his face. “Now now, Minister. You must have me confused with my father. Very important and respected man he was, but that didn’t stop me from killing him like a dog in the street.”
He spoke so calmly and matter of factly about killing his father that Fudge felt a shiver go down his spine. “What do you want from me?”, he asked him. “It was 16 years ago. I was a fool! Don’t do anything you’ll regret.”
Crouch grinned. “You’re coming with me Fudge”, he said. “But first you will very slowly take out your wand and put it on the ground.”
Fudge did as he said but tried to outsmart the man in front of him. “Stupe – “
“Expelliarmus! Dear dear, still not much of a dueller aren’t you. And that’s what they chose as Minister for Magic?” Crouch was laughing out loud. “Crucio!”
Crouch grabbed Fudge and took him to the telephone booth that functioned as visitor’s entrance. When they were outside, he grabbed Fudge’s arm firmly and turned around, disapparating. When Fudge opened his eyes he didn’t really register what he saw. After a minute he realized they seemed to be on a graveyard. What on earth was Crouch planning with him? And then he remembered what Dumbledore told him after the third task of the Triwizard Tournament. “No”, he muttered. “No. you’re mad! It won’t work!”
“Silence him”, a high pitched voice said.
Crouch threw Fudge onto a tombstone, bound him against it and put a scarf in his mouth. After using the bones of Tom Riddle Senior, chopping off his own hand and stealing Fudge’s blood, the ritual was complete. Fudge was looking with terror in his eyes as Lord Voldemort rose out of the cauldron.
“No”, he thought. “This can’t be happening.”
“Good evening, Cornelius”, Voldemort sneered. “It has been so long. Are you not happy to see me? We are old friends after all.”
Tears were leaking down Fudge’s cheeks when he looked at the monster he once called his master.
“Or at least we were, until you decided to take your chance”, Voldemort laughed, a high, cruel, humourless laugh. “How did you ever think you could take my place, Cornelius? How could you ever think that a pathetic, little excuse for a wizard like you could beat Lord Voldemort, the greatest wizard that ever walked this earth? Crucio!”
Fudge couldn’t scream, but he was groaning and moaning in pain. This pain was so much worse than the pain that was inflicted by the Cruciatus Curse Crouch threw at him. This was pain he had never felt before. He had been tortured by the Dark Lord during his time as a Death Eater, but either he had forgotten how much it hurt or Voldemort was even more powerful and more vicious than he was before. Fudge lost track of how long he lie there, drifting in and out of consciousness as Voldemort kept torturing him. When he opened his eyes once more he realized he had to have been unconscious for a longer time now. He saw there were more people on the graveyard. People wearing black robes and hoods and masks. They were all bowing deeply for their master. The Death Eaters had returned.
“Ah Cornelius, I see you are back with us”, Voldemort said. “I truly appreciate all of your help on this festive night, but I think you are no longer of any need for us now. Barty, if you please?”
Crouch grinned broadly as he put his wand up to the skies. “Morsmordre!”
Fudge watched in terror as for the second time in a year he saw the dreaded mark appear in the skies. The mark he hadn’t seen for so many years and he had hoped to never see again.
“Goodbye Cornelius.” The red eyes were staring cruelly into his victim’s eyes. “Avada Kedavra!”
In a bed in an ordinary Muggle house in the Privet Drive in Little Whinging , Surrey, an almost 15-year old boy sat straight up in bed, panting heavily.
I have to warn Dumbledore. He took his quill and parchment but then he remembered that Dumbledore warned him to be careful when he sent letters with owl post. They couldn’t be sure his mail wouldn’t be intercepted. He knew he had to let his headmaster know about what happened, but how could he if he couldn’t write to him? After a few minutes he scribbled a quick note.
It happened. Contact me asap.
He called over Hedwig, tied the note to her paw and walked her to the window.
“Be quick, Hedwig.”
She hooted soothingly and flew off. Harry looked at the alarm clock next to his bed. Only 6.30h in the morning. He didn’t go back to bed. He knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep until he received some kind of answer from Dumbledore. He tried to work on the homework he was assigned for the summer, but he kept thinking about his dream. He still hoped it was just a dream, but his common sense said that it really happened. Dumbledore himself had told him last year that the dreams he had about Voldemort were really happening.
About an hour later Harry heard his aunt and uncle get up and make their way downstairs for breakfast. Harry stayed in his room. He had avoided his relatives as much as he could this summer. They seemed to be gladly accepting his behaviour. The presence of their nephew in their house had brought some troubles for them over the last few years. An important business meeting had gone terribly wrong, uncle Vernon’s sister Marge had been blown up by Harry after she insulted his parents and the year before, Mr Weasley had blown up the Dursleys’ fire place.
Suddenly there was a flash and Fawkes the phoenix appeared in Harry’s room. He dropped a letter on Harry’s lap and disappeared with another flash. Harry opened the letter and was extremely relieved when he recognized the handwriting of his headmaster.
I will stop by at Privet Drive later this day. Do not leave the house until I get there. I’ll talk to you in a couple of hours.
The panic Harry had felt since he woke up from his dream seemed to lessen a bit. The knowledge that he would be able to talk to his headmaster in a couple of hours was a huge comfort for him. He raised from his chair, got dressed and made his way downstairs. He realized he would have to tell the Dursleys that Dumbledore would be standing on their doorstep that day. Bracing himself, he made his way downstairs.
“Whatever is going to happen will happen, whether we worry or not” – Ana Monnar
A/N: Thank you to those who have reviewed my story. I’m very happy you seem to enjoy it. It’s my first fan fiction story and I’m still rather self-conscious about my writing and my English. It really means a lot to me to read what you’re thinking. If you have any criticism or remarks, don’t hesitate to tell me. It can only help me to become a better writer.
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