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“We’re going to Dumbledore.” Minerva said. Harry and Severus nodded but remained quiet, each of them wondering how they were going to get to the Headmaster’s office. Reading their expressions she then added. “By Floo.” She said and they agreed. Neither of them had even thought of taking the fireplace to Dumbledore’s office and they wondered why as it seemed like the obvious thing to do. In fact it seemed so obvious it was quite predictable.

“Don’t you think that they could have altered the location on the fireplaces so that as soon as we step into them we find ourselves in Azkaban?” Severus said quietly and Minerva nodded slowly.

“I suppose it is possible but these are Death Eaters we’re talking about here. Voldemort would not have risked his best on a mission which involved walking into the middle of Hogwarts and Dumbledore’s domain.” She argued but Severus wasn’t having it.

“I strongly disagree.” He said in a way which, had it been said to Harry, would have shut him up in an instant. “This is a cleverly planned scheme. These are no moronic dunderheads sent to hex and to maim whomsoever they find, they’ve been trained to do this. They have clearly been studying the character and habits of each of the people in the Order for a very long time and it will have taken longer still to plan how to remove all of them from us without our even noticing.”

Harry hated to admit it but he found himself agreeing with what Snape said. He made a mental note never to think like that again as Minerva took his side and finally agreed that they probably did have the intelligence necessary to alter the course of the fires, making them a risky route to take.

As they argued further about the different ways in which they could leave their temporary prison, Harry found himself wondering once more how he could have been so blind and mentally scolded himself. Ron’s Animagus form was a snake for goodness sake! A Gryffindor, and a Weasley at that, with their Animagus form as a snake? It was ridiculous and it was simply not true. Then there was Ginny who had been apparently dating Malfoy for quite some time which was yet another lie. Harry was shocked at how well they had acted; they had been almost exactly like his friends and had even bought each other the most predictable possible Christmas gifts: books for Hermione, Quidditch things for Ron. It was all just so shockingly real.

Hammering on a door in the distance brought him out of his reverie and Snape and McGonagall were silent also as they stared through the window which showed them Minerva’s office, although Harry could have sworn that it had been the teachers’ passageway when they had walked through it. Clearly there was more to the way out of her living quarters than met the eye.

“It’s the Weasleys and Lupin.” Severus said, having the clearest view as the three of them ran into the room.

“That means that Granger and Flitwick are somewhere else in the castle, which is definitely not good for us.” Minerva said quietly and Harry noticed the way in which she did not use their first names, not even that of Filius, although they knew that it was no longer him.

They watched in horrified silence as the Death Eaters began to search the room for possible entrances into Minerva’s rooms.

“We’ll have to risk the Floo.” Minerva decided instantly and the three of them turned from the glass door and into the house.

Harry’s mouth dropped open as he entered the house. It was elegantly decorated with a black marble flooring which reminded him of the one in the teachers’ passageways in the way that it seemed to light up the room, despite it’s dark colour. The walls were mostly lightly coloured and at the end of the large hallway which they had entered there was a winding marble staircase up onto the higher levels. It was clear from the size of the house that Minerva often had the other staff members over and as they walked quickly through the hall and into the lounge, Harry saw several wine glasses left on the table which were surely not all her own.

“I wonder why they didn’t send Flitwick with them; surely he’d know how to get in.” Harry said thoughtfully and Severus merely shrugged.

“He’ll have told them how but there’s a strong Disillusionment Charm on the entrance so unless they know almost exactly what they’re looking for then it will take them some time to find it.” Minerva said to him as she looked at the fireplace in puzzlement.

It was empty. Earlier on there had clearly been a fire in the grate and Harry wondered why there was no longer one there. Minerva quickly pulled out her wand but Severus didn’t wait for her to do so before he tried to light a fire. He failed. He tried again, looking distinctly more unsettled but once again he could not light it. Again and again he tried and Minerva tried also but neither of them could light the fire. Harry did not bother to attempt to put flames into it since he knew that if they could not find a way to do it then neither could he.

“They’ve removed the Floo system entirely.” Minerva said quietly.

“Then this has been planned.” Severus said, “They must have known that we would see through things today, or else they thought that by now they had a large enough percentage of us as themselves to take over.”

There was a shattering sound from outside, magically amplified and they all span round in horror.

“They’re in.” Severus said numbly and it was quite clear that he was not particularly pleased by the idea of meeting back up with those whom he had betrayed.

“Follow me, quickly!” Minerva said and ran out of the room. “We don’t have much time!”

“We don’t have much time anyway, Voldemort knows by now that we’ve seen through the impostors so what reason does he have to keep them alive?” Harry asked as he ran up the stairs with his two teachers and both their faces paled slightly at his words but neither replied.


***


“We have them, my Lord.” Came the voice of Remus Lupin. He walked into the large room and smiled slightly at the people who instantly surrounded him. Identical copies of Tonks, Kingsley, Arthur, Ron, Bill, Molly, Ginny, Fred, George, Filius, Hermione and Mad Eye all trailed along behind him as the mass of Death Eaters parted to reveal Voldemort stood at the very end of the room and he was smiling.

“So tell me, Harry, how does it feel to be handed over to me by your guardian?” He asked of a silent boy stood in the midst of the impostors with Severus and Minerva stood behind him.

“He will not speak, my Lord, none of them will.” Filius said quietly and this only increased Voldemort’s terrible smile.

“We’ll see about that.”


***


Everyone looked up as the door was opened, hoping that another wasn’t about to join them but it was just a guard, checking in quickly and quietly before leaving again. Remus glanced up from the floor to see him leave. He was in a large room made of stone and magically enhanced to prevent any magic from occurring within its walls. It was a sign of just how egotistical Voldemort was that he thought his opponents unable to escape with such confidence that he had not bothered with cells and had placed them all in one room together. The rest of the Order but for Minerva, Severus, Harry and Dumbledore were all assembled there, all looking quite indifferent to their surroundings by now and indeed, Ron had been the so long he no longer seemed to notice the fact that he was being held prisoner.

He wondered how long it would be until Harry joined them and he hated himself for not seeing what was going on sooner. None of them had known until they had entered the room and seen them all gathered there just what was going on but by then it was far too late. He could even remember thinking in Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes just before Christmas that George’s attire had changed ever so slightly when he reappeared with his brother and he had been informed by George that he had been an entirely new person and that Fred had in fact taken him straight to Voldemort.

He had seen the doubles himself on his way in and had seen his own who would be mimicking him with Harry and teaching him wandless magic, although the man was not particularly skilled in the art. His aura had actually flickered upon occasion and he hoped more than anything else that Harry would know enough to pick up on the fact that he was not himself.

“I spy with my little eye, something beginning with … S.” Said Fred and George looked eager to begin the guessing game.

“Stone!” George grinned and Fred nodded.

“Just shut up, you idiots!” Molly shouted at them but they did not heed her words of warning. None of the Weasley clan were particularly bothered by the threats Molly dealt out to them since they had Charlie back. He had never really been dead, just imprisoned and Molly was happier to be in gaol with her son than at her home thinking he was dead.

The worst part of everything for Remus was that he knew he had spent a happy Christmas surrounded by people who were not real. People who were not themselves and hadn’t been for some time and yet the holiday season, filled with so much cheer and happiness had blinded him to that. But what excuse did he have for the months following it? It was now June and Ron had been there for ten months, imprisoned and subjected to the occasional torture but Voldemort had long since grown bored of his victims and desired more; he had said himself that he would not rest until he had Harry and Dumbledore in his prison.

“I would put good money on Snape being next.” Mad Eye was saying to Arthur close by and Filius agreed.

“Probably; Minerva would be very hard to catch and stun and Harry would be extremely difficult to catch with his speed.” Filius said.

“But the boy is not all that sharp at noticing the things around him, as has been proven.” Mad Eye said.

“If you’re running on the basis that his best friend has been an impostor since the summer then no one in this room is particularly sharp, are they?” Arthur said, “You didn’t notice anyone was not themselves and neither Molly nor I noticed that our youngest son was not himself.” He sighed and Filius smiled comfortingly.

“Things will be all right in the end, you’ll see.” He told him, “At least you’re all together now.”

That was just it. They didn’t know what would happen when they were completely all together, maybe they would all be killed or held at ransom once they knew that Dumbledore had no one with which to storm the island as they all knew that Voldemort would never be able to catch Dumbledore.

The room went silent as the door swung open again and they all knew that two checkups in the space of two minutes was unheard of. Someone else was joining them and they watched with baited breath to see who it was who entered the room next.

Remus didn’t know whether to feel happy or sad when it was Harry and Minerva who entered the room, meaning that Snape was either the only one left in the castle or he was being tortured else where. On that thought Remus realised it was probably the latter and the slightest of smiles touched his face as he looked through his mind at the two stood before him.


***


“Where the hell are they?!” Demanded Ron in McGonagall’s office, angrily turning over her desk.

“We’ll find them, be patient.” Lupin said to him as he kicked the wall as hard as he could and regretted it instantly afterwards.

“There’s no other way out of the rooms, is there?” Ron asked them and Remus shook his head.

“Not from what I’ve seen.” He said and Ron glared angrily at the desk.

“Bellatrix and Macnair could have failed with the fireplaces.” Ginny suggested but Ron shook his head.

“No, Bella could have done that with her eyes closed and Macnair might act dumb in the Ministry but you wouldn’t believe the intelligence he hides.” Ron told them and Lupin agreed.

“Where are they then?” Ginny asked and Remus only shrugged; none of them knew where Bellatrix and Macnair had gone.

“Screw this place!” Ron yelled and threw a chair straight at the window. It shattered and so did the view of the sky outside.

“It was an illusion.” Lupin said numbly, unable to believe that they had been searching for almost ten minutes for a way into the rooms and it had been through the window all along. “Come on!”

The three of them ran through the doorway which had housed a glass door only moments before.

“Merlin, these teachers don’t half have it good.” Ginny muttered as they crossed the outside and walked into the hall.

“There!” Lupin said as they saw a shadow move on the floor above. The three of them were off in a flash as they raced up the stairs to see three defiant figures stood on the landing, wands drawn.

Expelliarmus!” Ron yelled and the three of them fell backwards, three wands leaping into his hand.

“What did I tell you? No other way out.” Ginny said and Ron and Remus smiled.

***


“As amazing as Minerva’s rooms are, you will not be able to see them when you are dead, Potter.” Snape said and grabbed his arm, pulling him across the landing and almost into one of the suits of armour which had taken a liking to her rooms and had made it a permanent place of residence.

They ran inside a small room to the side and saw that it was a smaller sitting room in which there had probably not been someone for quite some time from the dust which had settled on the coffee table.

Harry and Severus both jumped slightly as a butler appeared in front of them from nowhere but Minerva saw it as nothing but a natural occurrence and smiled when he stopped.

“Excellent.” She said and pulled out her wand, pointing it at the butler she had made from a paperweight sometime ago.

A lot of wand waving and highly impressive transfiguration later, Harry found himself staring at three animated copies of himself, Snape and McGonagall. He had to hand it to McGonagall – she was bloody brilliant.


***


“What do you mean ‘it’s not them’?!” Demanded Mad Eye from Remus as they stood around Harry and Minerva, neither of whom had moved nor spoken since they had walked into the room.

“Trust me when I say that I can tell.” Remus told him.

“I’ll believe that when they speak.” Molly said and Filius sighed.

“Molly, it really isn’t them!” Filius said, sounding utterly exasperated.

“It is, they’re just in shock!” Molly said and Remus and Filius looked ready to cry with frustration.

“But they won’t speak!” Filius yelled at her and Molly drew herself up to her full height, ready for a fight.

Remus reached his mind out to Harry and saw the vague figure of the boy but it was not quite what it should be. He touched his fingers to his forehead and what he felt and saw shocked him immensely.

Paperweights?! He realised. “Filius…?”

“I don’t believe it!” Filius almost laughed aloud when he touched his fingers to Harry’s forehead as Remus told him to. “Merlin Minerva!”

“Explain…” Arthur said, stepping forwards before Molly could begin a tirade against them and Remus explained at speed, leaving all of them looking extremely shocked.

The door to their prison opened again and three Death Eaters stood there.


***


Harry pressed back against Minerva and Severus underneath the Invisibility Cloak which just covered all three of them. He felt as if everyone around him should be able to hear his pounding heart as the three Death Eaters looked around the room but did not see them hiding along the side of the wardrobe in the room, just keeping out of the vision of Lupin who could easily see them with his wandless magic if he moved. Would they never leave?! Harry begged them to go in his mind and forced himself to breathe slowly.

“I told you that there was no other way out.” Ginny said and the other two glared at her as if to tell her to shut up. Severus watched them nervously through his mind and saw as Lupin glanced around the room quickly inside his own mind but did not show any signs of having seen the three of them in their hiding place. He wondered how Potter hadn’t yet reacted to his wandless abilities but he supposed that the boy was in quite a lot of shock. It was only eight in the morning and already he had been forced to face up to the fact that no one he knew apart from three of his teachers in the Order were who they had said to be and that had been so for quite some time.

The three people who had previously been one butler and before that, a paperweight were grabbed by the others and restrained unnecessarily in tight bonds. Remus held out his wand towards the others and in a moment they were all completely invisible to Minerva but not to Harry and Severus. In seconds the Death Eaters had left the room with three prisoners in tow and the noise as they clattered down the stairs was enough to alert them to their absence.

Harry, Severus and Minerva breathed again and left the cloak, which had previously lain in disuse in one of the wardrobes, on the small sofa in the corner of the room.

“Now they have what they think to be us they have no reason to leave everyone alive for much longer.” Severus said to them and that quickened their pace as they ran out onto a balcony higher up, Harry almost walking into one of the marble pillars with ivy curling round it as they looked into the garden, checking to see if the Death Eaters were down there waiting for them but they could see no sign of them and presumed that they had already left.

“How are they getting out of the school if they’ve disabled the Floo network?” Minerva asked them and Harry realised suddenly the importance of the clearing and what it’s strange magical field must mean.

“There’s a clearing in the Forbidden Forest which had a strange feel to it, I think that’s their way out.” He said to them and Severus and Minerva glanced at each other.

“If that’s true then we have about five minutes to beat them to Dumbledore and then to the clearing. We need to get to Azkaban before they do and rescue everyone else.” Minerva said and Severus looked less than pleased at the idea.

“Why must we be the ones to save them?” He asked her coolly.

“Because no one else knows about it and by the time they do it will be too late!” She almost shouted at him but the reminder that the others might not be gone yet still lingered and the silence which filled the living area after she had fallen quiet was eerie to them all.

“Four minutes to beat them to Dumbledore.” Harry said softly once the house was still and silent again.

“Come on then, Potter!” Snape said and raced quickly down the stairs and out into the garden, Harry and Minerva close behind.

Their journey through the school was a swift and frightening one. More than once they were certain that they had seen Filius and Hermione but it was not so and was always another student. They prayed that Dumbledore would be in his office when they reached him and that he had not yet gone down to breakfast.

“And just where do you think you’re—” Filius started as he and Hermione leapt out on them but Minerva never gave them the chance, stunning them instantly before they even realised what was happening.

“Fainting Fancies.” Severus gasped when they finally reached the gargoyles which marked the entrance to Dumbledore’s office. Wasting no time when they moved aside, the three of them sprinted up the spiral escalator and burst into the headmaster’s office.

“Good morning.” Dumbledore said, raising an eyebrow as Severus and Minerva collapsed into chairs in front of his desk and gasped for breath whilst Harry just threw himself down onto the floor behind them, and being the least out of breath, quickly explained what had happened to him.

“Well in that case we have no time to lose.” Dumbledore said sombrely.


***


Crucio!” Voldemort screamed, his wand pointed at Severus’ chest and the man fell to the floor but did not utter a sound and his facial expression did not change. Voldemort’s eyes widened slightly and he got up out of his chair at the head of the room. All the Death Eaters around him held their breath, feeling distinctly nervous at their master’s unusual mood.

Voldemort felt the fury growing within him as he stared down at the lifeless figure before him and let out a howl so terrible and so inhuman that all those around him cringed at the very sound of it.

“Bring me the other two.” He barked at Filius, Remus and Hermione who were stood closest to him and the three of them almost ran out of the room.

“What’s going on?” Filius asked as they neared the room in which the Order were being kept.

“I don’t think it’s them.” Hermione replied and Remus looked extremely nervous.

“If you’ve brought the wrong people I shudder to think what will happen to you.” Filius said lightly to Remus who looked slightly more scared than he had before.

“You think we’ll get off lightly either?” Hermione demanded of him. “We’re all in this together and if we’ve buggered it up then we’re for the Kiss and you know it.”

They flung the door to the cell open, to see the Order crowded around the two latest additions to their group. Using quick spells of binding and retrieving from the doorway, Harry and Minerva were quickly removed from the room, leaving many shocked Order members in their cell as the door slammed shut behind them.


***


Harry, Minerva and Severus stared across at the island ahead with a strong foreboding feeling between them where the silence hung.

“Let’s go then.” Minerva said quietly to them and they nodded. There was a small boat at the side but they did not trust it. Instead Minerva drew one skilfully out of the air and cast the strongest spells of hiding and disguise that she could manage upon it as Harry and Severus got inside it, quickly followed by herself. Tapping the boat gently with her wand they shot off at a frightening speed and Harry found himself clinging to the sides in a way similar to that of the other two of the boats occupants.

“Stop!” Harry said suddenly when they neared the island and they did so. Severus stared ahead through his mind and could just see the boundary of Azkaban which, if they crossed it, would almost certainly alert Voldemort to their presence. “We’re going for a swim.” He said to them and they stared at him as if they were mad. “I’m not kidding, I know where we’re going.” He said and without another word he cast a quick spell for warmth over him and then the Bubble-Head Charm.

Severus stared at the boy as he slipped into the water and allowed himself to sink under the surface. He knew that he had no choice but to follow him since he seemed so certain and his memory wandered back to the instructions that Dumbledore had given them.

“Get into Azkaban and into their cell. You can Portkey out from there.” Dumbledore said to them, his eyes twinkling.

“But how will we know how to get in there?” Minerva had asked him desperately, only increasing Dumbledore’s smile.

“Don’t worry.” He said softly, “You’ll know how.” His eyes flickered surreptitiously to Harry and although the boy himself didn’t notice, the other two did.


It was for that reason that Severus found himself muttering the same spells over himself as he slipped into the water with Minerva and followed Harry down deeper into the water and towards the island.

Harry was as shocked as the other two when he ordered the boat to stop but he did so and the moment he was in the water he knew where he was going. Straight ahead towards the island there was a small cave about twenty metres down. He had seen it in his dream which had repeated itself twice in the year and whilst he pushed images of bags of Jelly Babies and temporary tattoo style Dark Marks out of his mind he focussed on the location of the cave and where to go from there.


***


Voldemort allowed his fury to consume him as the three ‘people’ in front of him received the brunt of his anger.

AVADA KEDAVRA!” He screamed and with a flash of green light they were no more. A small paperweight with a beautiful phoenix set into it sat unbroken in their place and Voldemort’s expression darkened.

Murmuring instantly broke out at the back of the crowd and Voldemort got to his feet, ready to hex those who dared to speak into oblivion. What came next what not quite what he expected.


***


“I need to know where they’ve gone!” Molly said as she stared at the door, trying to think of some way to get past it but all of them knew by then that none who walked inside it could turn the handle unless the Dark Mark burned upon their skin. Ideally Snape would appear from nowhere to let them out but they couldn’t see that happening any time soon.

“I’ve told you it wasn’t them!” Remus cried but she took no notice although many of them had begun to believe Remus and Filius when they said that they were not themselves.

“There’s no way out, you may as well face it.” Ron said glumly as he sank down against the wall and next to him Tonks did the same, although she appeared to be quite happy. She usually appeared happy since more people had been arriving and it was clear to all that she had missed their company immensely, although the occasional torture probably wasn’t worth it.

“Of course there’s a way out.” Tonks said cheerily, “We just haven’t found it yet.”

Remus turned to her, about to say something but changed his mind before it left his mouth. He knew that something was happening and that today it would end once and for all: either they would die or they would be freed by Harry, Minerva, Severus and Dumbledore. What else could the appearance of two people, so clearly charmed by Minerva mean? They had all heard Voldemort’s outraged scream earlier on and they knew of nothing else but the appearance of Dumbledore which could bring out such fury. Still, after so many hopeful occasions previously, they did not dare to dream.

The door was flung open.


***



Minerva, Severus and Harry swam into the cave and pulled themselves out of the water and back onto dry land to find themselves in a disused area with a pinpoint of light ahead.

Harry felt as if he were dreaming once more as he lead the way quickly on towards the light, wondering at every step whether he was doing the right thing or whether he had just fallen for yet another trap set by Voldemort. His heart raced as he reached the doorway which lead into one of the most deserted parts of Azkaban, the walls were lined with empty cells. They ran down the corridors as silently as they could (which was quite loudly and each of them wondered how they had failed to be discovered yet), their wands drawn and each of them wondered which cell had held Sirius for twelve years but their thoughts were wiped clean as Harry stopped dead in front of them.

“If your elephantine grace has just got us discovered, Potter, I will curse you before I’m taken.” Severus said to him at the junction of corridors and they realised that although they could probably get into the prison and to the prisoners, they could never get back out of it again, not without being caught.

“You’re one to talk, Snape, you were running just as loudly as I was.” Harry hissed at him as he slowly turned the corner and the three of them stopped dead as voices reached them.

“… of course there’s a way out, we just haven’t found it yet.” The voice sounded like Tonks as it drifted towards them and they stared at each other, uncertain as to whether to go towards it and walk into a potential trap or run in the opposite direction.

“We’ve come this far.” Minerva said quietly and walked ahead of them.

“Wait.” Severus said as she reached out to the door. “No one without the Dark Mark on them can open any of the doors in this building, Voldemort spelled them shut.” He explained and stepped forwards, opening the door.


***


“All alone, Dumbledore?” Voldemort asked, quickly recovering from his shock that the man should appear before him. “Where is your army?”

“Shockingly enough, you appear to have them.” Dumbledore smiled and although slightly unsettled by the headmaster’s apparent lack of fear at being completely surrounded by the enemy, Voldemort smirked in reply.

“So you have come here to duel for your precious Order.” Voldemort stated and Dumbledore nodded slightly.

Voldemort instantly shot the Killing Curse at him but Dumbledore moved out of it’s path with skill and grace, the curse passing him by yards, not inches.

The more they duelled, the more infuriated Voldemort became as curse after curse failed to hit the old man and he found his energy draining him but yet he would not lose. He refused to give in to he who had once been a teacher to him, he would not be defeated by him, he knew that much. The prophecy repeated itself through his mind and he grew slightly stronger; there was only one person to whom he could lose and Dumbledore was not he.

Their duel was fast and dangerous, their curses strong and powerful but neither Wizard won as they found themselves where they had started: ten paces apart in front of the Death Eaters, still holding their wands and only slightly out of breath.

“You cannot win, Dumbledore.” Voldemort spoke confidently and Dumbledore smiled knowingly at the man whom he considered young.

“I already have, Tom.” He said with a smile. Voldemort raised a thin eyebrow, his guard never dropping.

“You speak in riddles and contradictions, old man, but you know at heart that you lose.” Voldemort said strongly and Dumbledore only shook his head.

“You are quite the one to lose to distractions, are you not?” Dumbledore said and Tom’s eyes widened. “Until we meet again, Tom.” He said as his hand slipped into the pocket of his robes and brushed over the Portkey which lay dormant there.

“NO!”


***



“Harry!” Tonks cried and hugged Harry so tightly that he thought he was going to suffocate. He had never seen Tonks this emotional before and it was quite a frightening experience.

“Shut up you foolish woman!” Snape hissed at her and pulled out the Portkey from his pocket.

NO!” The scream echoed around the entire prison, sending shivers down the spines of all who heard it and the Order crowded round Severus eagerly, realising suddenly that they were going home. They were finally escaping.

The door opened again and the impostors Filius, Hermione, Ron, Ginny and Remus ran inside but it was too late and the Order disappeared.

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