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The man that had been known as Schmidt wandered in the darkness. He did not clearly remember being sent down here, he did not clearly remember his hands trying to find purchase only to grasp the piece of wand that he now held. He did not know that Potter's stun spell and whatever Hermione had done had collided, stunning only parts of his brain until he no longer knew what exactly he was doing.

The only thing that he knew for certain was that he had been banished to this dark place, and that he was a creature of the dark that preyed upon those unfortunate enough to cross his path.

The man perked up suddenly, hearing voices. He backed up, waiting. It wasn't many breaths before an intruder came tumbling down, as he had, into this place. Well, he couldn't have that. This was his place, and the other would just have to go back to where he came from.

"Who's there? What's there?" the other said, blinding light coming from the tip of his wand.

Light! He was a creature of darkness, so he couldn't have that. The other had to die.

Several seconds later, the scene had changed. The man that did not know his name no longer breathed in his darkness, now he was a rather grisly, dismembered mess. The intruder was now buried under a pile of stone, unable to move or call out, but still alive. The once complete darkness of the cave no longer existed, as one of the walls had been blown out in an explosion. Now lightning occasionally interrupted the darkness, and rain fell into the cavern.

The sky knew the events of this night, and it wept.

They all heard the explosion.

"From now on, ladies first," Voldemort deadpanned. He did not sound happy.

Hermione gulped, nodded, and used her wand to illuminate the passageway. With Draco still holding on to her other arm, she cautiously stepped on the slide, which then turned back into steps again. When she saw what was at the bottom of the steps, she became suddenly glad that she had not eaten her dinner that night.

Practically in the middle of the passageway was the body of a black-robed man, or the bottom half of it rather. Whatever had caused the explosion had taken off the top half of it, and one side of the wall of the cave. Hermione gulped, not knowing if this was what was left of Lucius, or Schmidt.

"We keep going, nothing can be done here," Voldemort said from behind them.

Hermione nodded, and continued walking. The mirror and the stairs were not the only traps that had been set, and she obediently led Voldemort and the rest of the Death Eaters around them, or disabled the traps.

Most mutinously, and undetected, another 'Death Eater' left notes the color of the rocks that detailed how to get around the traps.

Goyle wandered in the back of the crowd of Death Eaters, feeling useless. This entire time, he had yet to manage a kill or do anything even mildly significant. He had done nothing to distinguish himself in Voldemort's service.

Sighing, he leaned back against the cave wall, his hand coming to rest against the rocks. 'Wait a minute, this doesn't feel like rocks,' he thought, picking up the object. It turned out to be a piece of paper, detailing how to get around the latest trap.

Most of the other Death Eaters would have brought this to the dark lord's attention right away, but not Goyle. He was ambitious. Instead, Goyle slipped away from the rest of the group, looking for more parchments. 'If there are directions,' he thought, 'there must be someone coming to follow them. If I can find the other parchments, the other people will fall into the traps!'

Following this brilliant deduction, most other Death Eaters would have warned everyone else that they were going to have company, but not Goyle. He was ambitious. 'I'll stop them single-handedly, and get all the credit for myself. I'll finally be useful,' he thought.

Following this decision, most other Death Eaters would have changed the wording on the parchments he did manage to find in case someone stopped him, but not Goyle.

He never thought of it.

It was some time before they got there. Voldemort found himself in a large cavern, and the only thing it contained was an archway covered with a shimmering veil. "What now?" he asked the girl, who was inspecting the archway as if reading something engraved in the sparkling stone.

"It says here that the only ones that can enter here are one of the blood of the maker of this--which would be me--and anyone bound to me seeking what lies inside may enter. It does not specify that the seeker and the one bound to me have to be the same person," the girl replied.

Well, that meant that he couldn't take many in with him. It was a calculated risk, taking anyone at all, but the girl had to come. She had agreed only to lead him, answer questions, and not to try to escape. If the process made him vulnerable for any amount of time, well, she could still try to kill him.

He had not come this far only to take that kind of a risk, and the only other person that could enter had to be bound to her in some way. Perhaps the archway would consider marriage binding enough. He needed at least one ally.

"Fine girl, you go in first, and I'll be next. And you," Voldemort said, pointing at Malfoy, "will follow me in."

The girl took a deep breath, and walked through. The veil did not part or go to one side, but rather absorbed her almost as the mirror had absorbed Wormtail earlier that evening. It occurred to Voldemort to wonder if that mirror had been a failed attempt at producing this, but it didn't matter right now. He walked through, closely followed by Malfoy, and was surprised at what he saw.

He now stood on a flat surface of nothing, seemingly suspended in the night sky. But these stars did not twinkle. There was nothing but the stars, the girl, Malfoy, and himself visible. The archway had gone, leaving no apparent way out of this place. Malfoy's mask crumbled away revealing his face, but the girl did not react, instead staring into the darkness.

"What is this place?" Voldemort asked, addressing no one in particular, but then he was answered.

"Mr. Riddle I presume, allow me to introduce myself," a disembodied voice said. The girl smiled, obviously recognizing the voice. Well, he had never heard it. "I am, or rather I was, Lord Alys. By the time you hear this, you will have probably already had me murdered…"

It had to be some kind of a recording; the man was dead!

"...but just because you had me killed does not necessarily mean that I am unwilling to leave you with an explanation, being the generous soul that I am. You are probably wondering where you are, and why I have arranged for you to be here."

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