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Authors Note – thanx for ur encouragement guys. Keep reviewing so I can get inspired, I’ve reached a blank!!! Disclaimer- nothing is mine. Chapter Six – Alone in the Dark Snape had remained in his lab for some time now, but it seemed as if he’d only been in the chamber with the Longbottoms five minutes ago. He didn’t really know what to do; he couldn’t go back to Voldemort – he’d know by now that Snape had left the house when he wasn’t meant to. And he couldn’t go to any friends as they were all involved in the Dark Lords circle. He basically had no one that could help him. Except Dumbledore, but he really didn’t want to go to Dumbledore. He could just see the faces of the Marauders when he begged for help. But if he went and offered information, that would be different. He could tell Dumbledore about Frank and Alice Longbottom. He would probably know about their disappearance but they would never find them without his help. The Longbottom’s home, where they had been killed, was at the moment protected by many Dark Arts charms that Dumbledore wouldn’t know about. Only someone bearing the Dark Mark could penetrate them. The charms and hexes would last at least a year after the Dark Lord had left and Snape knew he planned to leave that night. The Longbottoms could be rescued tomorrow. ***** James was the first to react. He removed his foot from the fire and rushed across the room to embrace Remus like a brother. When he let go, Remus was immediately ambushed again by Sirius and then he watched tiredly as James and Sirius war danced around him, whooping like first years. Dumbledore rose from his seat and smiled at the Marauder’s antics. “Well Remus, where have you been?” At these words Sirius and James sobered and turned to face Remus again. Both looked at him curiously. Remus yawned and slumped into his seat. “Well, that’s the thing, I don’t really know.” “What do you mean, you don’t know?” James asked. “I don’t know what I’ve done since I got back from the Douglas rescue. I remember that the full moon was coming and returning to my home, ready to wait it out, but I can’t remember anything after I went to sleep that night. About an hour ago I found myself in the middle of the Leaky Cauldron at an empty table with nothing in front of me.” Remus looked quite confused as he said this, as if he hadn’t actually known this information until he said it aloud. James and Sirius were stunned, but Dumbledore only looked curious. “When you went home from the rescue, was there anything waiting for you? Mail, perhaps?” Remus shook his head. “My flat was empty and I went straight into my Transformation room. There was nothing strange at all.” “Then what about during your mission? Or maybe at the Leaky Cauldron when woke up, so to speak, was there anyone paying attention to you?’ “Headmaster, sir, I am a werewolf, people spend their lives trying to ignore me. There as no one paying attention.” Remus insisted. He slumped down in his chair and yawned again. “Well Moony, I think you’d better get some sleep. Sirius and I have to go search Frank and Alice Longbottom’s home. They’ve been attacked or gone missing,” James said, as Sirius and Dumbledore nodded in agreement. Remus also nodded and turned to leave the room, but Dumbledore said quickly, “No, Remus, do not return to your house, it will not be safe. I’ll arrange a private area in the castle for you to stay in for awhile.” Remus nodded again and returned to his seat. “Take care Padfoot. Don’t forget to be careful, you too; Prongs,” he mumbled as his friends stepped into the fire one by one and left in a roar of green fire. Dumbledore left the office for a moment to arrange rooms for Remus and when he returned he found the man sound asleep in his chair. ***** Voldemort left the house. The Death Eaters each had a Portkey for their own individual use; it would take them back to Malfoy castle, situated in Champagne, France. The castle belonged to Lucius Malfoy and was the perfect place for him to plan for his ultimate triumph over the wizarding world. Wormtail was not with him now, Albus Dumbledore had called him and he had to go. Wormtail was still a very much valued member of Dumbledore’s group and it would cause suspicion if he did come when he was needed. So the Dark Lord was alone in the castle, the first of the Death Eaters were not scheduled to arrive for another hour or more. This suited him fine, when ever there were people around him; they interrupted him with constant questions and demands. It was really quite annoying. Voldemort entered his room. Darkness filled him and his mind cleared. He began to concentrate on his task. How could he do so it would affect the most people? He could…..No that wouldn’t work. What about if he and …. No that wasn’t right either. The plans had to be perfect so he could be through with the prophecy once and for all. “Master?” Voldemort turned. Lucius Malfoy and Thereon Nott had entered the room and stood just inside the doorway. “What is it?” Voldemort had no patience for his Death Eaters right then. Lucius should have known better than to disturb him. “We just wanted to tell you that we have all arrived and are awaiting your instructions on the master plan,” Nott said nervously, shifting from one foot to the other. Voldemort growled. “I am well aware you have all arrived Nott, now leave before I decide to use you both as my guinea pig.” Malfoy and Nott quickly left the room and the door closed again. The bang of the door gave Voldemort an idea. But only on that one day, no other day would work… he’d have to wait quite a few months…yes it should work. Voldemort laughed. The sound was cruel and evil and it rebounded off the walls and echoed in his mind. Finally he had the perfect revenge on Albus Dumbledore. ***** Sirius and James exited the fireplace to find themselves in the wrong place. They had planned to exit the Floo network in the Longbottom’s living room, but instead they appeared to be in a wizard pub. Quickly, unwanting to attract anymore attention to themselves, they left the pub. Outside James turned back to face the building. It was charcoal black and looked as one wall had been built up again, only the builder had used the burnt wood. A metal sign that swung on rusty hinges in the breeze read ‘Won’t Not, Wish Not Pub’ Sirius grinned at James. “Isn’t this the pub that was in the Daily prophet last year, you know, the one that won the award for most ‘accidental’ deaths and amputed limbs?” James nodded, “I thought they closed it down when the patrons started to complain about the stench from the blood and dismembered bodies lying around.” “Only for a month, then they opened it up again. Only now when you buy a beer you don’t get a wish.” Sirius turned away from the pub. “We’d better get going. Something’s blocked the fire places in the Longbottom’s house, that must be why we ended up here.” James nodded and the two men headed up the slight slope that lead the way to the Longbottom home. They braced themselves against the December wind as it tried desperately to knock them off their feet. James looked up as he heard Sirius gasp. They had reached the gates of the Longbottom house. They could see the house from here, standing majestically at the foot of the driveway. But it was what hung over the roof of the house that had made Sirius gasp. Standing out against the still dark sky, was a vivid green mark. It was of course, the Dark Mark. “No, he can’t of, he wouldn’t of killed them,” James whispered. “Dumbledore would know if they were alive.” “The Dark Mark hasn’t always been used as a sign of death. Maybe he put it up because of the triumph of torturing the Longbottoms. Maybe leaving them alive was as good as killing them for Voldemort.” James looked away from Sirius and looked up at the Mark, suppressing his shudder. “Well, we’d better go find out, let’s go.” ***** Remus Lupin was currently in a deep sleep in the guest chambers. But though it was deep, his sleep was interrupted by hundreds of nightmares, overlapping each other and haunting him. He moved restlessly in his bed as he watched the dreams. A werewolf was attacking a group of humans…. A man, whose face was hidden by a cloak killed a young couple out for a walk….Another cloaked figure, this time burning a house down…. Then a different figure, standing with his back to Remus, laughing; not laughing normally but cackling as if he knew something Remus didn’t. Remus Lupin woke up and bolted upright. Sweat poured down his temples and his hands trembled. Where did these dreams, these nightmares, come from? They haunted him, ever time he closed his eyes. Every time he blinked a movie would start playing in his mind; the nightmares showed up. Remus leant against his pillows, keeping his eyes wide open. What happened to me he thought as he lay there. Why can’t I remember? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well that’s another chapter. I finish school in a couple of days so I should get another one out pretty soon. I no its moving at snails pace at the moment, but some action is coming – I promise. BI

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