Chapter 10 : Revelations
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I felt a burning pain in my head, and a blinding light melting my eye balls. I had no understanding of anything, and I could not get used to this consistent pain. Though I wasn't sure how long I felt it burning through my veins, I did know I had been feeling it for quite a while. Yet it still felt anew every second.†
Finally something changed when I noticed a distinctive sound that had been there for a while but I only now noticed. I couldn't make out what it was so I figured I'd have to get closer to hear it better. I finally moved my body. That was when I became aware of my other senses as well, however I seemed to be trapped in some kind of watery pudding as moving my body was very hard. I noticed that I was sinking. And I also noticed that if anything that was exactly what I didn't want. So I started swimming, swimming towards the blinding light with my eyes squinted, swimming towards the repetitive sound that both sounded familiar and seemed to say something familiar. As I swam my body felt like it was on fire, and that was made worse by the feeling of not making any progress.†
How long had I been swimming already? Every organ in my body screamed to just give up and let myself sink, every organ except my brain. For some reason, somewhere deep inside me knew I had to get out of here. My yelling thoughts all suddenly silenced when I finally noticed the repetitive sound had become much clearer. "Hugo, Hugo..." It said.††
And then all was gone and I opened my eyes.†
I was in a room that I did not recognize and my body hurt like hell. Plus I was sweating uncontrollably. And then the door of the room opened, and out came a belly first for quite a while, then a mustache and then the rest. The man was holding something it immediately dropped once it saw me looking at him. "Hugo! Merlins Beard! You're alive!" He exclaimed. I tried to respond but couldn't. Professor Slughorn... Was that his name? I wasn't entirely sure...†
"Here...take this..." he said, pulling a ridiculous unnaturally big piece of chocolate, roughly 1 by half a meter long, and gave it to me. I immediately clenched my teeth and shook my head. He just shrugged and took out his wand. I felt my mouth open against my will and he pretty much pushed the chocolate down my throat. As I had no choice but to swallow, he swung his wand again and the fallen plate with food on it was perfectly restored and flew to my bed. Then he swung his wand again and out came a paper bird that flew out of the room. After it was gone the door locked. With every bite I felt my strength return and I had eaten the whole thing in no time (though I was still a bit weak and tired). But the greatest thing was that I remembered everything again; now I was certain this fat man next to me was professor Slughorn, who was about the same age as Dumbledore was when he was the principal to my mom and dad (similar to McGonagalls age now).†
"So do you remember what happened to you Hugo?" Slughorn asked me, concerned.†
That struck me. How I had ended up in this bed was the only thing in this bed was the only thing I could not remember. I shook my head and Slughorn sighed. "I have alot of explaining to do Hugo. Are you up for it?"††
I nodded furiously. "You were attacked by 2 Dementors in a small alley," - I didn't remember a thing -† "From what I saw you fought bravely but of course you stood no chance; the only effective way to fight Dementors is through a Patronus, something you arent yet capable of, unfortunately. The thing that got us all so worried was that when I arrived, they had already sucked out a great deal of your soul -- a dangerous amount."†
I looked at him completely baffled. "Luckily the soul is a true piece of art, similar to the human body, as in that it can recover it self to near perfection, if not damaged too greatly. But you luckily recovered. If you didn't, the same would have happened that happens to all who receive the Dementors Kiss: your soul would be sucked out, causing you to forever be neither dead nor alive,and never find inner peace. But lets stop about this topic, its rather depressive. Plus, you look like you're about to throw up..."†
"Why did they attack me? Why were you there? Wait,why are you here? In Holland?" I said, my face trying-not-to-throw-up-ly green.†
"For the sake of us both, I'll answer the first question first. I suppose you do not know you're not the only of your family who was attacked?"††
"What?" I squeaked. "Are they-''
"They're fine. First was your cousin Molly Weasley. It happened yesterday."†
"WHAT? She got attacked yesterday and didn't tell us? Wh-"
"Don't be too hard on her Weasley. From what she has told, she told Victoire Weasley and Lily Potter immediately, however they didn't believe her and she saw no use in telling anybody else."†
"So she just did nothing? She got attacked by a Dementor out of nowhere in a foreign country and decided to just let it rest? How-"
"I'm not saying her reasons were legitimate. But she obviously feels very bad about it, Weasley. You weren't there but when I brought you back and Molly opened up. Dom went mad. She completely cussed Molly out, and even yelled that if you wouldn't wake up, it would be her fault. Molly yelled that maybe if her own family members, Victoire and Lily, would have believed her, she would have told everybody. "It's not like I would joke around about something so serious. Plus, the same exact thing happened to Uncle Harry himself, in his 5th year. The only difference was alls his friends and family immediately believed him" She said.† That one struck. But Molly wasn't done. She said that she was sick of being treated so awful by her own family, that nobody loved her and that she just wanted to kill herself.†
The most awful thing was her face. From what I was told she says she wants to kill herself and that nobody loves her, on a daily basis and is a very sensitive and dramatic person overall. But at least this time she was serious. Hugo,she took out her own wand and pointed it at her throat before Teddy Lupin stopped her."†
His voice had grown near silent and I had gone as pale as ghost. I felt like I was in frozen water.††
"God..." I shivered. I never knew... "You never knew..." Slughorn said, understandingly. But that only made it worse, as if it was an excuse. "No... I should have listened to her... Nobody ever took her serious..." I started crying. How did I only just now realize how Molly must have been feeling for years? How did we never once think she might actually think that nobody loved her? Sure, she was annoying most of the time, and whiny and stupid, but she was a Weasley. I loved her. We all loved her. "I know this is alot to take in Weasley, but she is fine. And I'm sure you Weasleys will treat her differently now..." None of what he said made me feel better, it only made me feel worse.†
"Then you got attacked, by 2 Dementors this time. And then Rose and Scorpius got attacked, by 3 Fiendfyre ... Which, as I suspect you know, are way more dangerous than Dementors. As we see, the attacks increased both in quantity and in danger."†
"W-Who's behind all of this?"††
I finally asked the most important question, looking him straight in his wrinkly eyes. "Was it... V-Voldemort?"†
"Rudolphus Lestrange." He looked straight back.
"What..." I said, as my brain ran at top speed. Inevitably, I had heard the stories of the adventures of my parents a million times (Heck, there had recently even been a school play about them. McGonagall had been in charge of the casting and if one thing was for sure, it was that she hadn't discriminated in her choosing. Both Louis and me had been trees) and Bellatrix Lestrange had always been a huge part of it. Rudolphus was her husband, a regular Death Eater from what I had always heard. But... "All remaining Death Eaters were imprisoned... Right?"†
How could Rudolphus Lestrange even be alive?††
"We thought so Weasley..."
"So what? He returned from the death like Voldemort?"
"He never died."
"You would only understand, Weasley, If I'd tell you his whole life story."†
"Then tell me," I said, my eyes fixated on his face.†
"Fine. Rudolphus Lestrange. He came from a full blood rich family, similar to the Malfoys.†
I actually taught him,since he was in the same class as Voldemort. He was extremely similar to Voldemort. Hexed a Muggleborn on his very first school day at Hogwarts for no apparent reason. Extremely talented. Always second best in every single one of his classes... Only bested by Voldemort himself. The one thing that differentiated him from Voldemort was crucial; he had a huge crush on Bellatrix Lestrange, who back then was known as simply Bellatrix Black.†
I made a face. "But how? From what I heard her personality was just as crappy as her looks!"†
"She used to be quite the stunner back in the days, actually. Just like Voldemort. Its funny what being so involved with the Dark Arts does to you. Anyhow, he developed a huge and very obvious crush on her. However... Bellatrix loved Voldemort."†
"Are you kidding me?" I asked. What the hell was this? A teensy drama show?†
"Yes Weasley," Slughorn said in all seriousness, with an 'Do not take this shit lightly Weasley' face. "But as we all know, Voldemort was neither interested in love nor capable to love. To be fair, Bellatrix' love for Voldemort was far from healthy; It was kind off an obsession. You never knew her but she would have cut of her arm at his mere demand, without questioning, just to be able to show him her dedication to him. Truly terrifying. However, I'm convinced Rudolphus truly loved Bellatrix. So Voldemort did not love Bellatrix back, but wanted her to do the right thing, what was expected of her: To marry an adequate, wealthy, and especially full blood Death Eater. So she chose the next best candidate, Rudolphus.††
Rudolphus never really seemed interested in being a Death Eater at all; because of Voldemort always besting him in school he had developed a certain rivalry with him and didn't want to follow him, be a Death Eater, since that would mean obeying and serving him. But he did, so he could get close to Bellatrix. Now I do† think being a Death Eater grew on him: after all,its not a part time job by any means. You simply have to be completely invested and being constantly surrounded by completely invested people, he eventually became a true Death Eater.†
Fast forward to the time of the Battle of Hogwarts. By this time he would have been Voldemorts right hand man, and not Snape; however Voldemort was not stupid. He knew that Rudolphus' final loyalty would always lie with Bellatrix and not him. Ofcourse, Snape's final loyalty did not lie with Voldemort either, but Snape was truly exceptional at Occlumency, as we all know. He was truly one of a kind in that aspect, but fell behind in other aspects of Wizarding, compared to Rudolphus and Voldemort.
But Rudolphus' qualities were still only exceeded by Voldemort himself."†
"So what happened?"†
"He got a terrible illnes that wasn't curable back then at the night of the battle of Hogwarts. So while Bellatrix and Voldemort went out to fight, he stayed home."†
I looked at Slughorn perplexed. How lame.†
"So he probably followed the Battle via radio or a Seers ball. And he must've gotten confident we would lose because the whole time, nothing seemed to be going quite our way. Especially when for those awful few minutes, everybody thought Harry Potter was dead. But then he turned out to be alive, the tides turned and boom, the† Death Eaters had fallen, and boom, Voldemort was dead, and boom, Bellatrix was dead.†
You can imagine how his whole world suddenly fell apart. All remaining Death Eaters were quickly arrested, all except for Rudolphus. He was the only one who was pretty much equal to Voldemort in abilities; so he managed to get away. Immediately after hearing the news he fled the country and probably immigrated to the other side of the world... An island like Hawaii for example. The Ministry chased him for years, but the search† eventually died down. After 15 years of chasing dust and not a single trace of him, people stopped taking the search seriously. Sure, 16 years after him dissapearing there was a report of him being signalated in London, however there was not enough evidence. He was completely missing and we had already contacted other countries to help search for him as well. I believe that after 23 years, so 2 years ago, the search was dropped. Everyone assumed he was dead.††
Turns out all this time, he was apparently alive. He had hidden himself for 25 years, waiting for us to forget him, to now come back."†
"But why do we fear him now? He is just one person,we are with many adequate wizards..."†
"Because now, he has a weapon. It happened about 2 months ago Weasley. Somebody broke into the Ministry and stole our greatest weapon. Our equivalent to the Muggle Nuclear Weapons, if you will. The Doom Curses."
"W-what are those?"
"3 spells. The mother spells to the 3 Unforgivable Curses. They are so secret†† not even Voldemort knew of them, I think, otherwise he surely would have gone after them. Before they were stolen, I did not know of them, either. But somehow, Rudolphus discovered them and stole them."†
"How does one steal a spell?"†
"They are very hard to cast. The instructions on how to cast them are written in the book, which he stole.†
These are the 3 curses: The Imperius Animalus Curse, The Furari Curse and the Doomspell Curse.††
As you might guess, the Imperius Animalus works similar to the Imperius Curse, the only difference is that the Imperius Animalus takes control of animals. And this is also how he attacked you, Scorpius, Rose and Molly."†
"What? But do Dementors and Fiendfyre even classify as animals? Fiendfyre is conjured via magic, they're not actual animals who breed and stuff... And Dementors are the same,they don't... They don't lay eggs..."†
"Perhaps that's the most brilliant about the Imperius Animalus curse. It's able to control any living being that's not a human or a plant. Fiendfyre and Dementors apparently shows enough traits of a living being to be controlled by it. Also, its range and power is huge. It can control several animals at a time."†
"How did he even get Dementors? From where?"†
"I have absolutely no idea, Weasley. My best guess is that he found another Wizard prison somewhere in the world that uses them; if I recall Azkaban was not the only one, although Azkaban doesn't use Dementors anymore.†
The second curse is the Furari Curse. This curse steals someone's magical ability's."†
He paused for a few seconds as I took that in. "Wha-Y-you mean... Like... Forever?" "Yes, forever. You do need to be attacked by the curse for quite a while for it to have sucked out all your magical abilities but yes. If you're only attacked by it for a short time it'll steal just a bit of your Magical Energy, but it's always permenant. The Magical Energy it steals, is gone forever. Its the big brother to the Cruciatus Curse because for any wizard, permanently losing your magical abilities is the biggest torture possible."†
I nodded quietly. I couldn't imagine losing my magic and becoming a Squib... Having to quit Hogwarts, have a normal Muggle life...†
"And then we have the Doomspell, the sister spell to the Avada Kedavra. This spell conjures up a magical ball of energy, of any size, and anything in it can be destroyed. Pull it around a house and the house will burn to ashes, pull it around a Quidditch field and the Quidditch field can be burned to ashes, pull it around a whole city and the whole city can burn to ashes. With these 3 Curses, Rudolphus is definitely a big threat to us all. And on top of that, his magical abilities and intelligence were formidable to begin with...†
"Furthermore, he stole another top secret Magical Artifact..." I sighed pathetically.
"The Last TimeTurner on earth-" You have to be joking!
"Weren't all of them destroyed YEARS ago?!" I exclaimed desperately.††
"Most of them, yes. But one was held in a different place in case something like what happened, happened. So ever since it became way more valuable. And Lestrange stole it."†
How... Just how...†
"One of the reasons he probably managed to steal them was since he stole the Book and the TimeTurner at May the 2nd. "The Anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts..." I murmured. "Jep. As you know that's the probably the biggest National Wizarding Holiday in Great Britain. So there are only a handful of people working... I'm pretty sure the Ministry is close to empty around that time. Still, its mind boggling how he managed to break in and get the Book and the TimeTurner... but the point is, he did."†
I wondered what he was going to use it for... My guess was that it was his backup, he was going to kill us all and if we somehow defied his plans he would just travel back in time to before we defied his plans and stop us. That meant that there pretty much was zero procent chance of us beating him...†
"So what are we going to do? No, wait, you still haven't answered why you are here!"†
"Yes, that's right... So we knew someone stole the TimeTurner and the Book, and managed to track the thief down somewhere in Holland. That's why I am here in Amsterdam, I was patrolling in search for any sign of him, when I found you-" "Why you? You're not an Auror..." I interrupted him. Don't tell me that Professor Slughorn actually used to be an Auror, I thought.†
"I'm not, but I'm a very skilled wizard. Infact, all of the Hogwarts teachers are present here... Ofcourse we weren't the only ones patrolling Amsterdam, the rest were Aurors... Still, we Hogwarts teachers were chosen for good reason. Have you ever realized that there's only one teacher for every subject at Hogwarts? That's why you don't become a Hogwarts teacher easily, you need an extreme amount of skill. We are in charge of educating the whole of Wizarding Great Britain after all... Its not the first time the government asked Hogwarts for help with a big case."†
I nodded and just let all of this sink in for a moment. My mind was in chaos because of all of this information. "S-so... What's the plan?" I finally asked. "How are we going to stop him?"†
Professor Slughorn looked uneasy. "Well, that's what were discussing right now. Before today we didn't know Lestrange was behind this, nor that he was after the Weasley's... We have to form a plan based on all our information."†
This was Slughorns way of saying: We have no plan, I figured.††
"Can I see the others now?" I asked Slughorn. The outside world seemed strange to me, I did not know what to expect outside these walls anymore. "If you feel you are strong enough," Slughorn nodded.†
I got up and walked to the door which Slughorn opened with his wand. "Why'd you lock it anyway, professor?"†
"So no one would disturb my explanation. I did send a message via a paper plane that you were completely fine beforehand though, so they wouldn't worry."†
I still though it was a bit harsh to not let a kid's own family inmediately see him while he had only just escaped near death, but oh well.
As I stepped through the door I was completely amazed at what I saw. My whole family was there, plus McGonagall,Hagrid and a few Aurors.†
I was immediately lifted of the ground into a nearly rib braking hug from Hagrid, who was standing the closest to me, and as soon as he let me go (after a "YOU LET ME SEE MY SON RIGHT NOW HAGRID!") I was embraced by several people at once, my mum at the front. "Honey... Oh honey..." my mum cried. I awkwardly patted her head as she shook horribly. "Merlin bless his awkardness," Fred whispered towards James, who was looking quite pale. Everybody looked pale actually. It was like there was a dead body in the room.††
"Weasley, glad that you're back," I heard as a hand rested on my back. I turned around to McGonnagall who gave me a rare smile, but then became serious. "I suppose Professor Slughorn filled you in appropriately?" I nodded nervously. "Good," she sighed, her hand going through her thin grey hair. She looked even older than normally, today. Mum led me to where she had been sitting before I came in and demanded I'd sit next to her. I actually wanted to sit next to my cousins but of course I didn't complain. What worried me was that even though mum had stopped crying, she was still silently shaking. "Mum... Are you alright?" I asked her nervously.†
She gave me a broken smile that must have been reassuring but had the opposite effect.†
"Where's dad?" I asked, as I looked around the room. For some reason however, there was no response. I looked at Uncle Harry, who was sitting in front of us and was staring at his glass of water in front of him with an empty look in his face. "Mum?" I asked. She avoided my gaze. I felt my heart skip a beat, and then start pounding 10 times faster.†
"Mum? Mum! MUM?!"†
For some reason, nobody turned their head at my yelling.††
To be continued...
Author's Note: So, I pretty much revealed the whole plot in this one chapter! Up to this point, there were lots of cliffhangers that never really made any sense, I hope I have answered most of your questions now. Let me know what you think of it, your predictions, your fave character at this point, your least favorite character, and maybe even predictions for how the story is gonna continue? That would be extremely entertaining to read ^^
Anyway, thanks for reading! Please leave a review , DFTBA!