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Remus walked down the corridor and into his office. Leaving his briefcase on his desk he walked over to the fireplace to go to the Order meeting.

“Number 12 Grimmauld Place.” He said quietly as he threw the Floo powder into the flames and stepped into them a moment later.

“Careful, Remus!” Tonks said, catching him before he managed to fall and smash his knee on the cold kitchen floor. He looked up to her and smiled slightly in thanks, although a part of his mind wondered how she had failed to fall over herself in trying to get to him.

“So where is everyone?” He asked, noticing that Snape, Minerva and Dumbledore had yet to arrive. Their lack of punctuality was startling, since none of the three were ever late. Filius was also missing but that wasn’t particularly surprising as he had seen him earlier and the Charms professor had told him that he was quite ill and had then gone to bed on Remus’ advice.

“It’s just us tonight.” Kingsley said quietly and Remus nodded, feeling suddenly uncomfortable. He moved to sit down but Mad Eye stopped him.

“Don’t bother, we’re going straight out to see this clearing you mentioned.” He said and Remus nodded. “Portus.” He said quietly, his wand touching a small candlestick on the table and everyone took hold. Remus glanced around at the others who seemed particularly serious on the occasion, most of them completely silent and it made him wonder just what was going on and if they knew something that he did not. He realised too late as he looked through his mind just what they knew.


***


Finally forcing himself to get up and out of bed, Harry walked groggily down into the common room where Hermione and Ginny were talking quietly between themselves. He walked past them, smiling slightly as he made for the portrait hole.

“Where are you going so early?” Hermione asked him, causing him to turn back to speak briefly with her.

“Just to Remus’; he promised me he’d teach me some wandless magic this morning before I have to go to Legilimency lessons.” He said, sounding positively venomous upon his own mention of Legilimency.

“All right then, see you later.” Hermione said, turning back to Ginny and resuming their hushed conversation.

Harry disliked the quiet of the castle in the mornings; it just didn’t seem right without the noise and life that hundreds of students could bring to the castle. It was for this reason that he walked quickly and quite loudly down the corridors as he made his way from the seventh floor down to the first.

“…I don’t know, I’d ask but…” Harry heard a voice speaking and then trailing off as he walked down another flight of stairs onto the second floor. He recognised the voice instantly as that of Draco Malfoy and the realisation that he was outnumbered (unless Malfoy was talking to himself) and alone in a deserted castle hit him rather hard.

“I wouldn’t if I were you.” Said another voice and Harry’s mouth fell open in shock. That was Ron speaking with Malfoy. Not just shouting or insulting but speaking, civilly!

Harry walked around the corner and the two boys noticed him instantly, their eyes widening as they wondered how much he had heard of them. A moment later Malfoy was sprawled on the floor and Ron was nursing his hand which had just punched him.

“Why the hell were you talking to him?” Harry demanded.

“I wasn’t talking to him, I was arguing with him.” Ron told him and Harry raised a disbelieving eyebrow.

“It was very civil sounding for an argument.” Harry noted, a tone of coolness in his voice.

“Well it was more of a debate.” Ron said lightly.

“A debate?! You don’t debate! You just shout at him!” Harry said, his lack of sleep and food beginning to get the better of him, “And you can’t just punch him at the end and think that I’ll let it go because I won’t!” Harry said and without giving Ron the chance to respond he marched past him and down the stairs onto the first floor not noticing that Ron had vanished, along with Malfoy.

He knocked on Remus’ office door and then walked in, not waiting to hear the voice on the other side. Remus was sat behind his desk, hidden by a small mountain of essays which he was marking.

“You ought to set less homework, then you wouldn’t always be marking it.” Harry told him as he sat down on a chair opposite him.

“That would be rather a good idea, I have to admit.” Remus said with a slight smile as he set down his quill and looked up to Harry. “So what are you here for this early in the morning?”

“You said yesterday before you went to the Order meeting that you’d teach me more wandless magic this morning before I have to go to Legilimency.” Harry reminded him and Remus nodded. “What happened at the meeting, anyway?”

Harry glanced round the room and then to his guardian who had opened his mouth to answer and Harry’s mouth fell open when he saw his godfather flicker.

“I have to go!” Harry said suddenly and leapt to his feet, intending to sprint out of the room but Remus reached the door first.

“I’m afraid that I cannot let you leave, Harry.” He said calmly as vines shot out of his hand and at Harry.

Incendio!” Harry cried and raced towards the fireplace, having just enough time to grab some Floo powder and throw himself into the flames before Remus reached him. “Gryffindor Tower!” He choked as he fell through the fire and into Ginny, Hermione and Ron who sat there as if expecting him.

“Where are you going, Harry?” Hermione asked him, blocking his way as Harry tried to push past her. There was a strange note in her voice that Harry didn’t like and couldn’t remember having heard before.

“Gotta go … Dumbledore … Remus...” Harry gasped and Hermione nodded.

“It did take you rather a long time to realise, didn’t it?” Ron said and grinned, “I mean, I’ve not been me since before the start of the year!” Harry stared at them in horror, this could not be happening to him. He took a step back automatically and felt the heat of the flames on his legs and suddenly an arm grabbed him through the fire before Remus stepped out. Realising that he was now outnumbered by four people to one, Harry knocked Hermione and Ginny out of the way by throwing himself through the middle of them and flew towards the portrait hole, almost falling through it as he staggered out onto the seventh floor corridor.

“I don’t appreciate being thrown open in such a manner.” The Fat Lady told him as he almost fell down the stairs, trying to get away from those who he knew were pursuing him.

He could barely believe it. If it weren’t for the fact that he had hurt himself several times already trying to escape he probably would have thought it was all a dream. He reached Filius’ office on the third floor and was almost pleading mentally that he would be himself.

“Harry?” Filius said, sounding startled as he fell through the door and onto the floor into a gasping heap. Harry stared at him through his mind and seeing that he was himself he allowed his breathing to slow as he lay on the floor. “What on earth happened?”

“Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Remus! They’re all…” Harry said, sitting up.

“Death Eaters?” Filius asked coolly and Harry’s mouth fell open. “I know.” Harry stared through his mind again and saw that Filius’ aura was still his own, causing the man in front of him to laugh.

“Remus taught you well, but he didn’t teach you to notice the little differences in a fake aura, like this for example…” Filius said and Harry scrambled to his feet when Filius pulled up his sleeve on his aura to show the Dark Mark branded onto him. Harry tugged at the door but it wouldn’t open and he wondered if his time was up as Filius advanced upon him.

“I can’t believe you’re a wandless magician… how did I never notice?” Harry asked him, trying desperately to get more time which he so badly needed.

“You ought to have done; I used it all the time! I levitated myself up to the Christmas tree on more than one occasion in your presence during the holidays. I even set my wand down on the coffee table and conjured a mirror with only my hands to show you the lipstick from the fairy on your cheek and you didn’t notice.” Filius said to him and Harry realised how blind he had been, how much he had failed to notice and all the little things he had seen in his friends had really been big things which he should have taken note of.

Reducto!” Someone said from the other side of the door and it blew open in a moment. Harry felt himself being dragged out of the room and pulled down the corridor and it was only when he was almost in the dungeons that he realised Snape was pulling him away and Filius was chasing after them.

Stupefy!” Filius cried.

Protegium!” Snape yelled without pulling his wand from his pocket and Harry stared at him. “Come on, Potter! This is not the time for questions!”

He felt Snape’s grip on his wrist tighten as they ran down into the dungeons but he was suddenly jerked to the side and down a stone passageway as footsteps approached.

“They can’t have got far.” Ginny was saying to Ron, “I mean they were right here!”

“Come on, we’ll go down towards Snape’s office and see if they’re in there.” Ron said calmly.

“They wouldn’t go there, they’ve led us in here to confuse us and now they’re going to Dumbledore.” Ginny said and Ron shook his head but followed her back the other way. Harry felt Snape touch his shoulder lightly and turned to see that the man was stood behind him with a strange expression on his face which looked as if he was hiding some kind of emotion. Probably fear or anger, Harry reasoned as he followed Snape at a slower pace down the passageway, although he didn’t know where to.

Severus thanked Merlin that the cleverly disguised Death Eaters hadn’t decided to conduct a more thorough search of the dungeons, clearly believing that if they cut off their passage to Dumbledore then they would have no choice but to try and fight their way past him which was not the case. He turned into the passageway and walked slowly down it. It was part of the teacher’s passageways but by the look on Potter’s face, he clearly did not realise that they looked so different underground.

Naturally he had known that Potter used the teacher’s passageways and had walked past him more than once when invisible, but he had not bothered to chastise him or his moronic godfather for it, after all, you never knew, they might be useful at times like these.

He walked quickly, Potter trotting along silently behind him, not asking questions for once and Severus strongly suspected that it was because the boy’s mind was whirling with the things he had never noticed. Indeed his own mind raced along at such a pace it was hard to keep track. What stood out more than anything was Malfoy. He had been his father in disguise for quite some time, but he hadn’t said anything of it. He had kept his mouth shut and now look where it had got him! At the beginning of the year Malfoy had recognised Lupin for the wandless magician he was and stormed out of Defence Against the Dark Arts. He had been ridiculed for his suggestion that Malfoy wasn’t really himself at all by the other staff and Minerva had gone as far to suggest that he had been spending too much time with Alastor.

The smugness he might have felt at having been right when Minerva ridiculed him was kept at bay by the knowledge that he had let this happen. By not looking through his mind, except for the one fleeting moment he had seen Malfoy, he had not seen those who were not themselves. Of course he knew that Lupin and Potter hadn’t done so either but it was still the most awful of things, to know that just one look could have changed things months and months ago.

Harry looked at the wall ahead with some amount of confusion in his thoughts, wondering just where they were and why Snape had brought him there. Snape reached out to the wall and, in the same fashion as of outside the Leaky Cauldron, he pushed three bricks in a certain order and a door appeared before him.

“Where are we?” Harry asked, the first thing he had said since Snape had grabbed him and it struck him hard that if Snape was not who he proclaimed to be then he was probably about to be killed or worse, transported to Voldemort.

“I can safely assure you, Potter, that I am myself.” Snape said in his snide voice, choosing to answer the unasked first, “And we are in my personal quarters.” He said the latter as if he was extremely unimpressed that his living space was occupied by a Gryffindor, and Potter at that.

“How did you know that Filius–” Harry started but before he had finished, Snape started to answer.

“Partly because I saw you almost fall into his room and partly because I ran into Miss Granger and Mr Malfoy, both of whom were particularly intent on kidnapping me.” He answered curtly.

“What did you do?” Harry asked, his eyes wandering over the writing on the ceiling, a slight smile touching his face as he did so.

“I stunned them, naturally. They’re lying in an unused passageway on the third floor.” He answered, “And as to why I didn’t help you earlier I wanted to hear what Filius had to say.”

“And if he had killed me before you’d the chance to help?” Harry asked, causing Snape to merely shrug.

“Well then you’d be dead but I don’t think they want us dead. They want us out of here and the Dark Lord in control of Hogwarts and the Order. He’s known exactly what we’re doing for months now, everything we’ve tried he’s stopped and taken more people from us.” Severus replied, his mind whirring with possibilities.

“Do you think they’re dead?” Harry questioned, suddenly and Snape gave him an exasperated stare.

“Have you learnt nothing in Potions this year?” He demanded, “For the Polyjuice potion to work, the hair or whatever else must be taken whilst the person is alive so they are most likely still living.”

“Couldn’t they have just been shaved and their hair been kept to use and then been killed?” Harry asked him and Snape gave him a withering look.

“Why would the Dark Lord bother when he can just imprison them and possibly use them as hostages?” He said, pacing the room as possibilities of escape and reaching Dumbledore chased each other around his mind.

“I can’t believe Ron’s not been himself for almost a year…” Harry said, staring into space, speaking more to himself than to Snape.

“We need to work out who is still here and who has been taken.” Severus said thoughtfully. “We know that Weasley went in Diagon Alley, Granger…?”

“She must have gone during Hogsmeade.” Harry said, realising suddenly just what had happened that day when Ginny had apparently punched Malfoy. Had he been helping Ron? “Ginny as well.”

“Lupin went recently. Very recently.” Severus pointed out.

“Yesterday… an Order meeting.” Harry said and he nodded.

“I was told that was cancelled, as was Minerva.” He said. “So we know at least she is still with us and Dumbledore also.”

“Wasn’t Dumbledore at this meeting then?” Harry asked.

“Dumbledore was the one who cancelled it and I remember–” He stopped suddenly and a look of realisation touched his face before he hid it again, “Filius told us that he would tell Remus it was no longer happening but clearly they took that as their chance to take him.”

“The clearing in the woods, did Remus tell you about that?” Harry asked him and Severus looked instantly intrigued.

“No, what clearing?” He asked but before Harry could answer there was hammering at the door and the sound of several potions bottles being smashed on the other side. “Time to move.”

“Where are we going?” Harry asked quickly as Severus grabbed his wrist and pulled him back into the corridor that he had been on a moment ago.

“Minerva.” He said, “We’re not leaving them to get to her first.”

They were silent as they ran the rest of the way through the teachers’ passageways and Harry was surprised when the passageways went upwards and he found himself on the familiar white marble flooring which illuminated their way. The passages were silent and Harry wondered if the impostors knew about them as they made their way, unhindered to McGonagall’s office on the first floor.

“Watch it, Potter.” Severus said as Harry fell out of the passageway behind him and onto a small patio which had the most amazing view of hills and what looked as if it could have been the sea. He had no idea of what the view was but it was beautiful nonetheless. “There is a time to be taken with Minerva’s transfiguration and charms skills and this is not that time!” He almost shouted the last words which brought Minerva almost running out onto her patio.

“What on earth–” She began but Severus cut her off.

“Death Eaters!” He told her and she looked instantly horrified.

“What? Where?!” She demanded and walked towards the entrance to the passageways but Severus blocked her way.

“The Order, they’ve all been kidnapped!” He told her and she just stared before beginning to laugh with a slight hysteric tone to it.

“This is some awful joke you’re playing…” She said, staring at him, almost begging for it to be true, “Explain.” She said once her laughter had stopped.

“Wandless magicians can see into people, so if they’re under the Polyjuice potion they’ll see who they really are, they can see through invisibility cloaks when in the right frame of mind and have much hidden power.” He said quickly whilst Harry stood to the side, impatiently, “We rarely look into people as it isn’t necessary to but months ago I saw into Malfoy and he was not himself.”

“WHAT?!” She demanded. “Why am I only hearing about this now?!”

“I told you when Malfoy walked out of Defence Against The Dark Arts that he was an impostor and you merely told me that I had been spending too much time with Alastor.” He said coolly and she was silent then. “Potter saw into Lupin today and he saw his true visage flicker. He is not himself. He is an impostor.” He said the last part slowly and clearly so that she might understand it and allow it to permeate her stunned mind.

“I … he … it can’t be!” She said finally.

“It can be and it is.” Severus said as calmly as he could, “Potter ran from Lupin when he saw he was not himself.”

“Oh God… who else aren’t themselves?” She asked them, realising that there was more to it than they were giving away.

“Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Professor Flitwick.” Harry told her and she stared at him.

“Since when…?”

“Ron since summer, Hermione and Ginny since Hogsmeade and Flitwick…?” Harry replied.

“Since he went to Malfoy Manor.” She said suddenly.

“That means that Arthur and Alastor have gone as well.” Severus said.

“The clock.” Harry said suddenly and the other two looked at him for a moment before returning to their conversation.

“I wonder if Dumbledore has any idea what’s going on.” Minerva said thoughtfully.

“The clock Molly got at Christmas. It tells where everyone is and everyone but us, Remus and Dumbledore were set to Prison, Unknown or Mortal Peril.” Harry said and they realised instantly what he was talking about.

“So the clock was right, it wasn’t broken…” Minerva said, “I just brushed it off as faulty charms.”

“So everyone but us and Dumbledore has been kidnapped and is probably in Azkaban as we speak.” Severus said, “The question remains: when was everyone taken?”

“Does it matter?” Minerva asked.

“Not particularly.” Severus said, “But I would like to know when people stopped being themselves and were someone else.”

“Tonks and Kingsley must have gone during the summer on that first mission.” Harry said and Severus nodded.

“I saw them, well I saw Tonks but I just thought I was seeing things from the…” Snape broke off.

“Torture?” Harry suggested and he nodded slightly.

“Bill and Charlie probably went on the next mission then.” Minerva said.

“Which means that Charlie could still be alive.” Severus said, “And his death merely faked to take the idea of a spy out of the limelight.”

“What about Molly and the twins?” Minerva asked.

“Molly went in Hogsmeade.” Harry said, “They were sat in the Three Broomsticks and Kingsley said to her that he had something to show her back at the house which would cheer her up, I bet she went then.”

“Could be…” Severus said thoughtfully, “But we’ve been here all year and she has not. She could have gone at any time.”

“And the twins?” Minerva asked and there was silence amongst the three of them.

“I don’t know but I don’t think that is the issue. They are gone and we need to find out some way to get them all back before they’re killed.” Severus said and the other two nodded.

“What are we waiting for then?” Minerva asked.

“For hell to freeze over?” Harry suggested.

“For Potter to gain some common sense?” Severus asked and she glared at them both.

"We're going to Dumbledore." She told them, ignoring their comments as she turned towards the door.

Hurrah! Revelations! How many of you already knew that was coming? I know one reviewer (sorry can't remember who off the top of my head!) had it exactly right after reading about the clock and numerous other people were very suspicious. Then there was someone else (I think it was meg) who asked when Harry would find out that Snape was a wandless magician so feel proud of spotting my poorly concealed clues, lol. Still, I thought I hid the main plot reasonably well behind the humour. (Sorry, I mean "humour" - I'm not funny enough to have it without the speech mark things).

Anyway, the next chapter will be about them trying to rescue them and will be posted in a few days, probably Tuesday or maybe Wednesday. Oh, and I've got a new one-shot written called 'Just Like Old Times' from Remus' point of view... you might like it :o)
Oh, and didn't I say that there was a reason for Ginny being with Malfoy and Ron and Hermione being together? It's because it's the only lie 'Ron' could think of on the spot and they're impostors anyway... :o)

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