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“Your father has a meeting tonight,” Pansy said during lunch, she briskly wiped her hands on a crisp white napkin and threw it unceremoniously on the floor, where an elf would be forced to pick it up later.

“On Christmas Eve?” Cora asked with slight disappointment in her voice.

“Yes, Cora. Tonight is Christmas Eve,” her mother snapped back, though she didn't make eye contact, but continued to stare at the dirty napkin as if she was about to scream at it.

Sydie smiled weakly. She had tried her hardest to concentrate on anything other than her dream, but nothing had worked yet. They’re meeting here, Sydie repeatedly told herself as though that would keep her from panicking.

“What a fun Christmas this is going to be,” Cora murmured as she slammed her finished glass of pumpkin juice on the table and stomped up the stairs. Sydie’s father entered the dining hall with a very preoccupied look on his face.

“Morning dad,” Sydie tried to say cheerfully. “I’m going to go owl my friends,” she quickly added after realizing they didn’t want her in there. After she was outside of the dining hall, Sydie ran up the stairs two at a time and threw her bedroom door open.

“Flit!” she called out.

“Yes, Miss Sydie?” Flit said as she appeared directly in front of her.

“I know I would be asking a lot of you, Flit, but will you do something for me?”

***

“You guys, I’m worried about Sydie,” Kaylee said as she entered the tiny room that the three were sharing. The room looked like an oversized closet but was quite comfortable for the three first years (meaning that they had the most space in the entire house).

“Why?” Irene asked, happy that Kaylee had broken the silence. Lana was sitting on her tiny, magically conjured cot reading a rather large text book and actually seeming to take interest in it.

“I don’t know. We just haven’t talked to her in a week. What if…oh, I don’t know…something might have happened to her?” Kaylee added as she flopped on top of Lana.

Lana grunted and put her book under the rusty bed. “I’m sure, Sydie’s fine. She would have written us if anything happened.”

“Unless_” Kaylee started but was interrupted by a very urgent-sounding tapping on the room’s tiny window. Irene jumped at the sudden interuption, sighed, and crawled over the top of Lana's bed to open the window. The jet black bird sped through the window and dropped a scroll of parchment on top of Lana’s head and then quickly bolted out the window again.

“It’s from Sydie,” Lana whispered.

“You don’t think_” Kaylee started.

“Oh, get over it,” Irene exclaimed as she snatched the parchment from Lana. “It’s Christmas Eve; she probably just wanted to wish us a happy Christmas.” Irene unrolled the Parchment and began to read, “Hey, I hope you are all having a nice holiday so far. I’m fine, so don’t worry about me... I had a very odd dream last night, but I don’t think I’m going to explain it to you through a letter. I heard my parents talking this morning; something about a meeting and ‘knee-o-fights’ (I don’t think that is how it is spelled – but it is how it is pronounced – I think?). There is going to be a meeting tonight at MY house. I don’t know how mum and dad could agree to such a thing – but they did. I sent my good friend, Flit, to learn as much as he could from listening to my parents and brother talk this afternoon at lunch. My dad and some disciple person are hosting the meeting in the small forest behind the house. Flit says that after the meeting starts no one will be able to enter the forest due to dark magic; I’m sneaking out several hours early. I can already hear now what you three are going to say ‘Sydie have you lost it?’ ‘I’m not sure if that’s a good idea,’ and ‘can I come!?’ Just trust me on this; I have a ‘feeling’ that everything will be fine. Anyways, I’ll owl tomorrow to tell you what I find out. Happy Christmas, Sydie.

“She’s lost it!” Lana shrieked snatching the paper from her cousin.

“Somehow she knew you were going to say that,” Irene laughed.

Lana glared at Irene and flipped the parchment over and got out a bottle of ink.

“What are you doing?” Kaylee asked.

“What do you think I’m doing!?! We have to stop her, you seen what those people can do!” Lana exclaimed as she dipped her quill in the ink and brought it over to the paper. As the ink hit the paper it instantly disappeared and an untidy purple scrawl covered the entire back of the letter in huge script.

Nice try, Lana, but I seen that coming. I’m going and there is nothing you can do to stop me; just trust me. Really, Lana, didn’t you see this coming? This ‘is’ your uncles’ trick! Happy Christmas – and I apologize if you had planned on writing any other letters today. You’ve officially prevented that from happening! – Sydie

“Ugh!” Lana exclaimed throwing the letter on the floor. “Irene, you have to write a letter telling her she can’t do this!”

“Lana, she’ll be fine,” Kaylee said. “Remember, as of right now there is something she hasn’t told us.”

“What do you mean?” Lana asked, confused as she stared at Kaylee stupidly.

“Her dream,” Irene smirked.

“Oh, wipe that smirk off your face, Irene,” Lana huffed. “Come on, it should be dinner time!”


***


“Where is you going, Miss Sydie?” Sydie jumped as she seen Flit standing in the shadows.

“Er…”

“Miss Sydie is going to the meeting,” Flit answered her big blue eyes shining from the moonlight coming through the window. Sydie smiled weakly and shrugged.

Flit grinned, “Miss Sydie is! Miss Sydie is! Flit knew! But you mustn’t be going ‘till you’ve got a bag packed.”

“I’ll only be out for a few hours, Flit, I’ll be fine,” Sydie said after a moment's confusion at why the eld hadn't demanded her to stay 'in safety'

“And that is what Sydie is ‘expecting’?” Flit said with an eyebrow raised and a mischievous smile.

“Yes, I … wait.”

“Here you go miss; I’ve already got you a bag…just in case.” Flit handed over an overstuffed bag. “And anything else you may need, Flit shall see to it that you get it…if ever the time comes,” Flit added.

Smiling, Sydie threw the bag over her shoulder and turned to leave.

“Miss Sydie!” Flit cried. Sydie turned just in time to see the tiny creature throw her arms around her middle. “Be careful, Miss Sydie.”

“I will, Flit,” Sydie said patting the elf on the head. The elf snuffled and quickly blew her nose on her rag-clothes before disappearing to go finish Christmas chores.

Sydie sighed and opened the back door. It was nine o’clock. The meeting would start at eleven and she planned on arriving as early as possible. She walked by the small frozen pond - her favourite spot as a child - and towards the large patch of trees ahead. She walked in silence watching her breath puff out in little clouds in front of her.

Sydie smiled as it started to snow. A white Christmas, she sighed, trying her hardest to be happy. This isn’t what Christmas should be like, she heard a voice in her head. Pulling her cloak tighter around her, Sydie entered the forest.

She knew exactly where she was going. It was a place that she ventured to quite often before Hogwarts. It was an escape from the world her parents raised her in, the world she so desperately tried to not be apart of.

She walked along a thin, worn, barely visible path for about ten minutes until she came to the clearing. It was large. It could probably hold two hundred people comfortably. Not wanting to waste any time, Sydie climbed up her favourite tree. The tree was tall and had many branches, enough so that she wouldn’t be seen – as long as nobody looked up! She sighed, she needed to find a better tree; it didn’t matter if she couldn’t see them, as long as they didn’t see her. She started to climb down to relocate when she heard a rather loud pop. Gasping silently, she noticed that her father had arrived followed by a few other people that she had recognized as her fathers friends – Crabbe and Goyle.

“Are you sure this meeting is going to be ‘here’?” one of them asked.

“Yes, Goyle! I’ve planned this out with one of the Lord’s disciples. The neophyte meeting will be ‘here’.”

I should have left sooner, Sydie scolded herself trying to get comfortable on the branch she was sitting on.

Her father didn’t say anymore, he simply sat on the ground waiting for the meeting to start. Sydie had sat in the same position, not daring to move. It felt like hours later - in fact, it probably was hours later - when someone else finally showed up. Sydie watched as her father and his two friends jumped to their feet only to bow low to the man.

Completely ignoring their gesture the man spoke, “The Dark Lord called me to a meeting. I am Avedis Zeroun Atraxiad,” he said firmly. “You will do as I say, I lead this meeting.” He waved his arm and Sydie gasped silently as a cold yet very familiar sensation ran through her entire body. The train, she told herself remembering the same feeling from the wand she had picked up. Sydie shuddered thinking about the wand and she quickly reverted her attention towards her father. Her father, shaking slightly out of fear, was about to respond when at least a hundred people appeared in the clearing at the same time making a sound very much like an explosion. Sydie jumped, nearly falling out of the tree.

Every person, exempt her father and his two petrified friends began whispering quickly to one another.

“Silence is demanded of you,” the man whispered into the loud murmuring crowd. Sydie cringed at his words that no one else had heard.

“SILENCE!” he said much louder as he flicked his hand at the crowd. Everyone fell back into large heaps on the ground.

He doesn’t even have a wand, Sydie told herself frantically.

“I thank you,” he whispered, though everyone could here is voice as if he were screaming in their ears. “You all know why you are here… The Dark Lord called me to be his Disciple Avedis and now I bring the Undesirables to him. This conclave will be prodigiously aphoristic. You all are acquainted with The Prophecy…” The crowd murmured out a yes.

“Neophyte is the lowest hierarchy of which the Dark Lord will consider your allegiance. We have yet to accept a group of Neophytes and if this is the optimum of the Undesirables He may never have an army. Your first and only task…he wants the four of reunited power out of his way,” Avedis went on but was rudely interrupted by the crowds’ harsh whispering towards one another.

“This shan’t be hard,” he continued. “They are eleven year old girls. You will be working with two other groups, each with a different allotment of the assignment. Yours will be by far the hardest…but this is the transcendent group…” he laughed to himself.

It was silent for a moment as everyone waited for him to continue. Finally Sydie’s father broke the silence, “What are we to do?”

Avedis grinned at him causing everyone to look away with fright except for Draco. “Now I comprehend as to why you were sought to lead this group.” Draco stood shocked but didn’t say anything.

“Abolish them. We have a pretty good idea as to who the first two are; they must be disencumbered at all costs,” he went on looking directly at Draco as if he knew something that he was keeping from them.

“All possible costs,” Draco said bowing low.

Sydie sat on the uncomfortable tree branch staring at her father with her mouth agape. All possible costs?! she screamed at herself. He knows…that Avedis guy knows, she thought, and my own father just agreed to kill me! Trying desperately not to make any sound, Sydie choked back several tears and strained her ears to hear the rest but they were finished talking.


“Draco,” Avedis called out in his low cold voice after everyone had left but the two. Draco turned and looked at him. “The first group will depart as soon as possible. Be prepared…” and with that he disappeared. Draco stared curiously into the night and then turned on his heel to apparate back home.

Sydie waited for several minutes before she climbed out of the tree. Sobbing she sat on the ice cold ground replaying everything that had just happened in her head.

“I can’t go back,” she whispered, “not after this.”

Standing up, Sydie grabbed the heavy bag Flit had given to her and stumbled back into the thick trees in a direction opposite from the Malfoy Manor.

Author's Note: Hello everyone, I'm terribly sorry it's been so long! But, please leave a review and tell me what you think. Did you like Avedis? He was a very fun and difficult character to write (as were the other disciples, but more on them later). Please leave a review and until next time, this is goodbye.

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