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Harry Potter; The Hidden Secret. by MissScarlette1

Format: Novella
Chapters: 11
Word Count: 42,041
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Mild violence, Scenes of a sexual nature, Substance abuse, Sensitive topic/issue/theme, Spoilers

Genres: Drama, Horror/Dark, Romance, Action/Adventure, Angst
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lupin, Moody, Arthur, Bill, Charlie, Shacklebolt, Tonks, Sirius, Fred, George, Ginny, Luna, Neville, Scrimgeour, OC
Pairings: Arthur/Molly, Bill/Fleur, Harry/Ginny, Remus/Tonks, Ron/Hermione, Neville/Luna, Remus/OC, Sirius/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 11/20/2007
Last Chapter: 06/10/2020
Last Updated: 07/03/2020

Summary:

Harry's last year at Hogwarts, is of course not going to turn out the way it should.

The road ahead is long and Harry will have to face challenges that couldn't have been thought of in his wildest nightmares. But when he's blindsided by a hidden secret, will he fight through the darkness of betrayal to see the light? 

Everything I thought I knew... everything... it was a lie! Harry thought, struggling to make any sense of what he had just been told. Now it's tainted, spoiled by those I trust... no, trusted the most. Harry felt the weight of the truth crash down around him, crushing his lungs. He tried to catch his breath but the sheer force of betrayal was putting up a fight and making it harder and harder for him to breathe. 

 

A/N:

Before we start, there are three things I'd like to say: 

1. I have only been inspired by J.K Rowling,  all original plot lines belong to her. I am merely imagining a slightly different turn of events.  I do not own any of the original HP content. 

2. I live in utter denial and Sirius still lives on. 

3. I started this story back in 2007 and dropped it for a number of reasons. But I have now been inspired to pick up the pen/keyboard again.  Any feedback is most welcome! 



Chapter 11: Chapter 11. The Nightmare

Chapter 11. The Nightmare.

An hour or so had passed since Mrs Weasley had abruptly sent them all to bed. After Lottie and Remus had left, everyone’s once ravenous appetites had subsided. Seeing everyone struggling, Mrs Weasley had declared the night over, sending the order home and everyone else to bed. It was her way of taking back control and re-establishing some semblance of order and structure. They were all emotionally spent and the mother bear in her came to life. She did not receive any push back; however, everyone was quite glad to be guided by her.

Harry, Ron and Hermione had all gathered in Ron’s room before Mrs Weasley came charging in and demanded Hermione leave and they all go to sleep. Once satisfied that Mrs Weasley had gone to bed, Hermione snuck back in and they stayed up chatting.

Ron and Hermione were both relieved that Harry’s anger with them had dissipated. They watched him as he talked with a renewed sense of self, about his sister and everything they had witnessed earlier. The trio talked animatedly about the events and had come up with an extensive list of questions to bombard Lottie with when morning came.

Eventually, the conversation started to slow and Harry, who had been staring up at the ceiling deep in thought, turned his head to see that Ron and Hermione had fallen asleep. He smiled at his best friends and went back to staring at a scorch mark that was directly above him. He would wake them in a moment, so that Hermione could go back to her room or risk being skinned alive by Mrs Weasley.

Harry stared up at the scorch mark and amused himself with the many possible scenarios that caused it. Whatever had caused it, Harry was convinced that Fred and George were the main instigators.

Harry could feel the events of the day taking their toll and his eyes began to grow heavy. His mind was racing, images flashing in front of his mind’s eye, it was exhausting trying to keep up with them.

“Hermione…” he mumbled, fighting the sleepiness.

“Mm?” came a quiet voice.

“Hemione you need to go…” Harry trailed off, his eyes closing.

“Mm.” mumbled Hermione, who was very much asleep.

Images still puttered around in his mind, every so often coming into focus before quickly dissolving into a wisp and nothing more. Harry felt his body relax and he fell into a deep sleep.

***

“Harry! Harry!” shouted Hermione, shaking Harry’s shoulders, “HARRY! Wake up, it’s a nightmare! WAKE UP!”

Ron was standing behind her, his face white, staring down at the bed occupied by his best friend. Harry was thrashing around loudly in bed, his arms and legs completely tangled up in the covers.

They had been watching him now for around five minutes and nothing they were doing, seemed to break through. Ron’s heart was racing, his arms and the back of his neck was tingling. They had been here before and it made him nervous. Very nervous.

Suddenly, Harry reacted and his whole body contorted and froze in an awkward looking arch. Harry’s mouth opened and the scream that came out was blood curdling. As quickly as it had contorted, his body relaxed with a thud into the bed before he began swinging his arms and thrashing his legs.

“Ron! Help me!” Hermione squealed, protecting herself from Harry’s wild swings, “I can’t control him!”

Ron swallowed and jumped into action. He knelt and moved Hermione out of the way to try and hold Harry down, but it was not working. “Get someone.” He struggled, looking at Hermione, who nodded and jumped up. She ran to the window and peered out of it hoping that Remus and Sirius were still there. She could see them, they were still sitting outside of Lottie’s tent, deep in conversation and she felt a glimmer of hope. They would know what to do.

She went screeching out of the room and hurtled herself down the stairs almost taking out the entire Weasley family in the process. They had all tentatively gathered at the bottom of the stairs to Ron’s room when they had stopped in fear when they heard Harry’s scream. They all had their wands out. 

“Hermione!” shrieked Mrs Weasley, “What on earth is going on?”

“Harry’s having a nightmare!” she yelled behind her, racing down the stairs to the kitchen.

***

“Did you hear that?” Sirius asked, stopping Remus mid conversation.

“Hear what?” Remus said, frowning.

“It sounded like a scream…” Sirius muttered, also frowning. He looked around, before holding his ear towards the tent door. Nothing.

Sirius shrugged. “That was weird…”

Remus pulled a concerned face.

They sat in silence for a moment to listen to the quiet, to see if the sound returned.
As they listened, Lottie appeared at the tent door, scaring them both half to death. Sirius chucked his glass somewhere into the lawn as he jumped up out of his seat. Remus felt his body vibrate from his feet up, as the fear washed over him.

“Merlin Lottie!” hissed Sirius, clutching his chest. “Announce yourself!”

“Something’s wrong with Harry.” She said, anxiously, ignoring their reactions. Had she not been so worried, she would have found it highly amusing.

Remus, finding his feet, looked at her and moved the chair out of the way to take a step forward. “What is it? What’s happened?” he asked her.

“I don’t know, I just know something’s wrong. I thought I heard…” she trailed off.

“A scream?” asked Sirius, his breathing now coming back down to a normal rate. “Yeah we thought that too, but I’m sure it’s just an animal or something.”

Lottie glanced at him. He was looking up at the house and his voice was not convincing. “Maybe, we could just check?” she asked them, nervously, her eyes flitting back and forth between them. She felt off kilter; possibly from catapulting herself out of bed after very little sleep. Though she could not place the feeling, she was convinced something was not right. 

Remus placed a hand on her shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “I’m sure he’s fi-”

Remus was cut off by a clattering behind them. The three of them whipped their heads around in the direction of the sound, only to see Hermione racing down the steps and lawn towards them.

“Sirius, Remus, Lottie!” She shouted. She was motioning to them all to come towards her. “You have to come! Quickly!”

Remus, Lottie and Sirius all leapt forward in a sprint to meet her halfway, almost colliding with her. Hermione quickly turned on her heel and led the way back to the house, with all three, hot on her heels.

“Hermione, what’s happened?” panted Sirius as they crossed the threshold of the kitchen.

“It’s Harry, isn’t it?” said Lottie, breathing heavily.

Hermione nodded. “He’s having a nightmare…” she gasped, going up the kitchen stairs two at a time. “But not like the usual ones he has… it’s much more intense. We can’t wake him”

They all followed her up the stairs, keeping up the pace. Dread slowly filled Lottie. She had known. How, she was not quite sure. But it was as though it had come into her dream, except it was more powerful than that. “I knew it…” she muttered to herself.

“But how?” asked Remus, as they came up the last staircase to Ron’s room. Lottie looked at him and shrugged.

“Harry!” yelled Sirius, who was the first one to enter the room after Hermione. The whole Weasley family were crowded around the bed. Ron, Ginny, Fred and George were all huddled on Ron’s bed, trying to stay out of the way. Hermione went over to join them. Mr and Mrs Weasley were kneeling next to Harry, while Bill, Fleur and Charlie all hovered behind them. Sirius dropped to his knees, as Mr and Mrs Weasley stood up to give him space. He tried to hold Harry down, but it was no use, Harry was too strong. Lottie’s eyes grew wide when she saw her brother. His body was contorting, and his bed covers were twisted around him. His face was pale, but there was a sheen of sweat covering his face and body soaking through his pyjamas.

“Harry, Harry!” Sirius pleaded urgently, trying to shake him awake, “Wake up, please, it’s just a nightmare. You’re alright… come on, wake up!”

“No, he’s not…” said Lottie slowly, her eyes narrowing. “He’s in pain.”

“What do you mean?” asked Remus, worriedly, “from what?”

Lottie spun around and found Ron and Hermione. “Hermione…you said this wasn’t like a normal nightmare?”

Hermione jumped and nodded. “Usually we can wake him...”

“Has he ever had one like this before?” Lottie urged.

Ron nodded. “Once.”

“What happened?” Lottie pressed him, trying not to get frustrated. Why were they being so slow with their answers.

Ron shifted uncomfortably and glanced at his family. “Dad was attacked.”

Lottie looked at Mr Weasley and suddenly all was clear. Something bad had happened as a result of Harry’s nightmare, that was why they were all looking so uncomfortable.

“But that was because You-Know-Who entered Harry’s mi-” Sirius shot back before stopping himself, his eyes growing wide. He looked back at Harry and then up at Remus who shared the same look of abject fear.

Lottie did not need them to finish the sentence. She felt her stomach drop and her body went cold. If she was right in her deductions, Sirius and Remus were worried that Harry was not alone in his mind right now. That a certain dark wizard was in there with him, causing him to react the way he was.

Another scream pierced the air.

Horrified, Lottie watched as long, deep gashes started appearing all over Harry’s body, followed by deep, dark welts.

“HARRY!” yelled Sirius, trying to stem the flow of blood that was blossoming all over Harry’s body, soaking through his pyjamas and onto the bed covers.  

“Sirius move out of the way…” Lottie said sharply, getting down beside him and Harry.

“Lottie, what are you doing?” Remus asked abruptly.

“I think I can help him. I just need to enter his mind. I can at least break the connection if there is one or find out what’s causing this…” Lottie told him., shifting forward on her knees, getting closer to the bed.

She raised her hand and placed it on Harry’s forehead, which was damp with sweat and felt cold and clammy to the touch. She closed her eyes and felt the world around her fade out and her body went rigid.

What came next was a black swirling mist that twisted and coiled around her before clearing and showing her exactly what Harry was seeing and feeling.

Except she was on the side lines, watching it through what looked like a window. Only the window did not have glass, instead the air shimmered in front of her like an invisible wall. She peered through to see Harry on his hands and knees, panting for air and a tall thin man standing over him.

“Tell me!” screamed Voldemort, pointing his wand at Harry, “Tell me what it said!”

“No.” came Harry’s voice. He was quiet and sounded weak.

“CRUCIO!” Voldemort screamed, waving his wand. Lottie watched as Harry’s body twisted under the curse, her blood running cold. Anger washed over her as she watched Voldemort torturing him. She slapped a hand on to the invisible window blocking her from entering Harry’s mind. The window shook under her hand, breaking Lottie from her focus on Harry, to the glass that had now appeared under her hand. Lottie raised an eyebrow.

“Tell me Potter!” Voldemort warned. “I have seen your fears. I will come there and find you myself, murdering anyone who stands in my way. Do you want that?”

Harry shook his head.

“Tell me what it said.”

Lottie watched on, waiting for her moment.

“No.” Harry whispered.

Lottie saw a flash of red in his eyes as Voldemort slowly raised his wand again. Before he had time to utter a spell, Lottie raised her hand again and smashed through the glass, causing Voldemort to look at her in shock. He had not been expecting visitors.

“Oh?” he asked, tilting his head to one side, sounding almost amused. “And who might you be?”

Lottie clambered through the window and could hear the crunching of glass under her feet as she walked towards them. Her heart was hammering in her chest and she could hear the rapid beating in her ears.

“Gatekeeper.” She told him, steadying her voice. She was staring at the man that had taken everything from her. Emotions were threatening to burst out from every part of her body. She clenched her fists and could feel her nails digging into the palms of her hands. It was painful and she was sure she had pierced the skin, but it kept her grounded.   

“Gatekeeper?” Voldemort repeated.

Lottie nodded slowly, not breaking eye contact with him. If she had any hope of successfully breaking this connection, her eyes could not leave his. “It’s time for you to go.” She growled.

Voldemort let out a laugh that made the hairs stand up on the back of her neck. “Go? I don’t think so. I have a few more questions for our young friend here…” he said, waving his hand towards Harry.

Out of her peripheral, she could see Harry was unmoving and curled up. Something that looked suspiciously like blood was starting to pool around him. A feeling of dread rose from the pit of her stomach. She blocked it out, trying to reassure herself that Harry was fine. She needed to concentrate. Anger quickly replaced her fear, coursing through her veins and she felt herself shaking with rage.

“I wasn’t asking.” Lottie told him and with a surge of energy, she summoned everything she had, clearing her mind and Harry’s. She threw out her hands out, palms facing Voldemort and locked her elbows in defence.

There was a flash of light and the connection broke. Lottie watched as Voldemort’, screeching with rage, whipped out of sight, but not before she caught a glimpse of his mind. She recognised the image immediately; specifically, the horses quietly grazing nearby.

Horror and panic filled her, and she broke her connection to Harry’s mind. She had to warn them. 

***

“My L-Lord?” asked Bellatrix, edging towards her master. He had been silent whilst in the mind of the Potter boy, but he had just let out a scream of rage that made the ring of Death Eaters standing behind him, inch back in fear. 

Voldemort hissed venomously as Nagini twisted dangerously next to him. He remained silent, his mind recounting everything he had just seen.

“My Lord?” Lucius hesitated.

“Break the barrier.” Voldemort commanded menacingly, “Find Potter and his blonde-haired friend and bring them to me. Kill the rest.”

“The blonde-haired friend?” repeated Bellatrix, staring at Voldemort with wild eyes.   

“Are my instructions difficult for you to understand Bellatrix?”

“No, my Lord… of course not.” Bellatrix bowed her head.

Voldemort stared at her before slowly and menacingly turning on the spot to examine the rest of the group.

“Do I need to tell you twice?” Voldemort demanded, waving his arm towards the targeted area.

The Death Eaters flinched, and quickly raised their wands.

Disgusted at the sight of their cowardice, Voldemort turned and watched as a variety of spells shot up and curved down, smashing into the invisible protective barrier around the Burrow. 

***

“Lottie!” Remus gasped, catching her as she fell backwards. Her hand had shot backwards like she had received an electric shock from Harry, knocking her off balance and causing her to fall sideways. “What happened?”

Harry had finally settled and was still, but the wounds on his body were still very real.

Struggling to catch her breath, “You-Know-Who!” she panted. “You have to go, all of you…” Lottie glanced around the room. “NOW!”

Lottie scrambled up, using Remus as a leaning post and ran to Ron’s window. “Oh god…”

Everyone joined Lottie at the window, and she could hear the sharp intakes of breath. They all watched as the spells rained down on the barrier and as soon as they made contact, the sound was deafening. The barrier was crackling. It looked like an electrical storm outside.

“We don’t have much time…” Lottie murmured, causing the window to fog up.

“Lottie, what do you mean You-Know-Who?” Sirius grabbed her arm and turned her around. “What happened to Harry!”

“Sirius, I will explain everything, but we do not have time right now!” Lottie urged. “We have to leave. Right now. We have minutes!” 

“No…” Remus shot, “No, we’ll stay. We can fight him.”

“Remus, I don’t think you’re grasping this.” Lottie closed her eyes in exasperation, “He is out there, breaking through that barrier and we are outnumbered by at least…” she looked around the room. “By at least five. Is there somewhere else we can go?”

“Lottie’s right, Remus.” Mr Weasley agreed, looking at his wife and children. “We are outnumbered.”

“We are. And we do not know the extent of the damage to Harry. We have to leave and get him away to safety!” Lottie implored.

Remus nodded, glancing at Sirius.

“We can go to mine. It’s still protected by the Fidelius Charm.” Sirius said quickly.

“Right, everyone…you have exactly one minute to grab what you need.” ordered Lottie, scanning the room. Her eyes fell on Fred and George who had made towards the door. “BY SUMMONING THEM!” she yelled.

The twins froze and turned bright red, before taking out their wands. “Good grief, boys.” Lottie shook her head and turned to Ron and Hermione. “Will you take Harry’s things?” The two friends nodded and began summoning Harry’s possessions.

While everyone summoned their things, shoving as much as they could into Hermione’s beaded bag. She walked over to Harry and her stomach twisted. He was in bad shape.

“Remus, Sirius…” she mumbled. They joined her side. “Take him.”

The men nodded and lifted Harry up, very carefully. Harry let out a groan which sliced through Lottie like a knife. She shook her head and turned away from them. She needed to focus.

Suddenly, panic filled her. “Oscar!” she gasped. Lottie ran to the window, held out her hand, closed her eyes and made a fist. Within seconds, her bag and tent appeared followed by a terrified orange ball, outside the window. She grabbed them all and pulled them into the room.

“Charlie!” Lottie handed Oscar over to him. “Take him with you, would you?”

“And this…” she asked, putting her tent in the small rucksack and pulling the drawstrings tight. “My entire life is in that bag, so please be careful... And Hermione isn’t the only one who knows how to perform an extendable charm.” She added, noticing his raised eyebrow. Charlie nodded and took the bag from her.

“Right times up!” Lottie declared. “Sirius, where am I going?”

“Oh right –” Sirius began.

“Sirius, just think it.”

 Lottie closed her eyes and picked up on Sirius’ thoughts. Number 12, Grimmauld Place.

“Got it.” Lottie confirmed. “Right, come on, we have to get going.”

Another clattering bang went off and everyone jumped. They were out of time.  

“Shit!” Lottie ran to the window and threw her hands up, conjuring a giant shield that shimmered around the house, to deflect the spells that were now coming in thick and fast. “You have to go! I’ll be right behind you!” 

“Here take this!” Hermione, recognising the look on Lottie’s face, left the invisibility cloak on the floor by Lottie’s feet.

“We’re not going without you!”

“Go!” She yelled back Remus.

“But!” Remus protested.

“Moony, she’s right! We have to go!” Sirius was struggling with Harry. “Come on!”

Lottie battled against the spells bouncing off her shielding charm. Her arms were beginning to vibrate with the force.

“Go, I’ll hold them off! GO!”

Lottie heard the distinctive sound that told her that she was now alone in the room. She glanced down at the floor and could see the invisibility cloak shimmering in the light. She would have seconds between breaking the spell and grabbing the cloak. She looked out of the window and could see people appearing in the garden, fighting against her shielding charm. They were looking up at her; they knew her location. Lottie gulped.

It was now or never.

She brought her hands together with a loud clap that sent out a shockwave, to buy her a little more time. She did not wait to see if it had worked by knocking down the attackers. Instead, she darted to the cloak and whipped it around her and turned to disapparate on the spot. As she did, she froze mid turn as she saw a wild looking woman appear at the window with long, black wavy hair. If she apparated now, this woman would hear it and if her timing and precision were right, would be able to follow Lottie.

Lottie’s muscles tensed and her mouth ran dry. Her heart was pounding in her ears and eyes. Think.

Evade.


Lottie disapparated on the spot and appeared in a forest. It was dark, dense and considerably colder than the Burrow. She knew she was near Hogwarts, because she had camped here once when there had been a sighting of Sirius Black near Dufftown four years ago. She had come here then, and it was one of her many failed attempts to get to Harry.

Not stopping to see if she was being followed, she apparated to a spot fifty feet in front of her and then again before disapparating somewhere new. This time, she appeared in Barcelona on La Rambla. It was late at night, but the street was still alive with tourists and locals and provided the perfect cover. She apparated three times down the street until she got to the other end. A few people had turned at the sound of the noise but after seeing nothing, they all carried on with their evening. Lottie took a moment to peer down the street. Convinced she had lost her trail, she walked quickly but carefully under the cloak and down a side street and disapparated once more. This time, appearing in central London. She blended into the crowd cautiously and walked for a few moments before disappearing down another side street.

Glancing around, she turned once more on the spot and appeared on the top step of Number 12, Grimmauld Place. Lottie stared at the door for a moment. It had no handle, just a large, silver twisted snake knocker on the front. She tilted her head to one side and looked at it curiously. She held a small hand up to the door and gently pressed her palm against it. She heard a series of clicks and the door opened. Raising both her eyebrows, she slipped inside and let out the breath that she had not realised she had been holding.

Lottie took a moment to lean against the cool, solid wall. She leant her head against it and closed her eyes, letting her heartrate come back down to a normal rhythm. She was not in Brooklyn anymore, that much was true.

Coming to her senses, she turned her head to look down the long hallway. There were a series of paintings on the walls along side a few large, dark, floor-to-ceiling oak doors. She could hear voices coming from the other end of the hall where there was a grand staircase and another oak door. The place gave her the chills.

Lottie approached the door at the end of the hallway slowly and quietly. She still felt on edge from the earlier attack and so was mentally preparing herself for round two.

She paused at the end of the hallway, listening for a familiar voice. She found her eyes following the grand staircase up to the upper floors. How far up it went, she was not sure. She strained her ears and when she heard Sirius’ frantic voice, she calmed and opened the door immediately at the end of the corridor.

Lottie glanced down at the stone steps and began her decent.

“We need a healer, Remus! I can’t control this bleeding!” Sirius’ voice broke.

Remus, Sirius, Mr and Mrs Weasley, Charlie, Bill and Fleur were all crowded around Harry, who was lying at the far end of the long wooden table. Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Fred and George were all huddled together in a corner watching on helplessly. They had tried to help, but had been forced away by the others, particularly a fierce Mrs Weasley who was frantically trying to help Harry.

Lottie rushed in. “I can help with that.”

“Lottie!” came the cries of everyone in the room.

Remus rushed over to her and pulled her into a bone crushing hug. “What took you so long!” he chastised.

“That Voldemort’s a treat, isn’t he?” Lottie muttered, ignoring Remus’ question and breaking from the hug. She walked over to Harry and stared down at him. The bleeding was not as bad as it had been, but he was still unconscious, and he was shaking.

“We need a healer.” Sirius told her.

“Well I know a bit…” she murmured, “But I’m going to need Tinks.”

“Tinks?” Sirius frowned.

Lottie glanced up at Sirius and nodded. “Tinks?” she called out.

There was a crack and a house elf appeared out of nowhere at the other end of the kitchen. Lottie smiled.

Everyone else just stared. Lottie had closed her mind off ever since Harry’s nightmare so could not quite tell what they were thinking but the looks of confusion were telling enough.

Hermione frowned. Lottie having a house elf deeply troubled her. She was starting to really like Harry’s sister until this moment.

“Everyone, meet Tinks.” Lottie announced. “Tinks, I need your help.”

The house elf nodded and hurried over. She was quite small, but well dressed in a pale pink dress, with long sleeves and matching shoes. “Miss Lottie, whatever has happened!” exclaimed Tinks, clambering up on to the chair and then table.

“Harry was attacked in his sleep. Several rounds of the cruiciatus curse and whatever spell caused these wounds. I can’t tell what’s caused it though… can you?”

Tinks peered at the deep wounds and welts all over Harry’s body and shook her head. “Oh Miss Lottie… your poor brother. I am not sure; I would need to investigate. Do you have your kit with you?”

Lottie nodded and her eyes found Charlie who was no longer holding her cat or bag. She frowned until Charlie nodded his head towards kitchen door where her bag was sitting on the floor. She summoned her bag and began rummaging around in it before pulling out a large black canvas bag. She handed it to Tinks who opened it immediately, pulling out a long thin metal pipe. She held it a foot above Harry’s head and then let go. It glowed a faint green and remained in the air before slowly moving across his body, scanning it as it went.

“This will tell us everything we need to know.” Lottie reassured Sirius.

Sirius nodded, his face pale.

“Sirius, are you sure we’re safe here?” Lottie questioned.

“Absolutely.” He croaked.

Lottie felt herself relax slightly and opened her mind, before closing it off quickly. If she thought they had had questions earlier, it was nothing compared to now.

Hermione was now even more confused than ever. The way Lottie was treating Tinks was unlike anything she had ever seen. Tinks, in Lottie’s eyes, was her equal. Who is she, Hermione thought to herself.

“I should notify the order.” Mr Weasley stated. “We’ll need to brief them, and they’ll want to ask questions…”

“Dad!” Ginny exclaimed, “You need to help Harry!”

Lottie glanced over at Ginny, who was slowly inching her way towards Harry, away from the others. Her face was pale. “Mr Weasley, I don’t disagree with you. But Ginny is right, please, let me sort Harry before I undergo a second round of questioning…please.” Lottie pleaded.

“Lottie, it’s not going to be a questioning...”

“Yes, it will be. I know you all have questions. Not only about me, but about what’s just happened.” She replied, “and that’s absolutely understandable. But please, understand that I cannot focus on anything until Harry is okay…”

Mr Weasley nodded. “Of course.”

“I think we are safe for tonight. Perhaps first thing in the morning?” Lottie suggested.

“That sounds reasonable.” Remus placed an arm around Lottie and gave her a reassuring squeeze.

A gentle beeping sound brought them all back to Harry. The metal bar had finished scanning his body and projected a report of his symptoms.

“How bad is?” asked Ron, joining his sister with Hermione, Fred and George close behind him. Now that Lottie was in the room, they felt more confident in getting closer to Harry because Mrs Weasley was no longer running the show.


Exposure to the cruiciatus curse – suggested treatment; plenty of rest alongside the use of sleeping potion.
Significant bruising to 70% of the body – suggested
treatment; bruisewort balm
Two broken ribs – suggested treatment; bone mending spell
Significant cuts to 50% of the body – suggested treatment; vulnera sanentur, murtlap essence, and blood replenishing potion


Lottie read the list and sighed, looking at Ron. “Not good… Let’s get to work, Tinks.”

Tinks nodded vigorously, her ears flapping, and began pulling out various items from the black canvas bag.

***

“They all escaped?” whispered Voldemort, walking among the wreckage of the Burrow.

The Death Eaters were all standing in a semi-circle, with their heads bowed. No one dared speak.

“And you… you couldn’t keep up with the blonde-haired girl?” Voldemort hissed at Bellatrix, who kept her head low.

“M-My L-Lord…”

“SILENCE!”

The Death Eaters trembled in their formation. Voldemort turned his back on them.

“Once again, you have allowed yourselves to be outwitted by a bunch of blood traitors and children. You have disappointed me.” He said quietly. The Death Eaters flinched at the sound of his voice.  

Voldemort turned his wand slowly, running it through his long, cold fingers. In a flash, he whipped around and raised his wand.

“CRUCIO!”

The air was filled with screams as Voldemort punished his followers, repeatedly. Minutes passed until he relented. Voldemort watched as they all crumbled to the floor in weeping heaps.

“Come Nagini, we must think of a new plan…” Voldemort held out his arm for the snake, but as he did something caught his eye. It glinted from the floor, partially covered by rubble. Kicking pieces of wreckage aside, a thin wooden box came into view, covered
with intricate carvings of flowers and leaves.

“What’s this…” Voldemort murmured, leaning over to pick it up. He waved his hand over it and the dust vanished. Noticing the key in the lock, he turned it and opened it to reveal its contents.

“My friends you are in luck.” Voldemort announced, staring into the box before closing it carefully.

“My-My Lord?” came Bellatrix’s whimpering voice, desperate for an opportunity to prove her loyalty and redeem herself.

“You will stay here and wait.” Voldemort stated.  

Confusion rippled through the group. “My Lord?” asked Lucius.

“Someone will be missing this.” Voldemort held up the thin wooden box, “and no doubt will try to retrieve it.”

“And when they do…”

“Precisely, Lucius. Bring them to me.”

“Of course, My Lord…” Lucius bowed his head.

“Do not fail me again, unless you all wish to feel the full wrath of Lord Voldemort.” With a crack like a whip, he and the snake disapparated into the night.

 

One by one, the Death Eaters silently disappeared into the shadows, waiting.

***

 



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