The Break-In

“You know…we had some good times together.”

Elle picked up her head and looked at Harry strangely. They were sitting side by side in the Safe Room, and had both been silent for quite some time. Elle thought Harry had been falling asleep, but apparently he had been thinking just as hard as she was.


Harry grinned, delirious with exhaustion and drunk with nostalgia. With nothing to do other than stare at a blank wall and reminisce, his mind was fraught with memories of his and Elle’s life together, both good and bad. Not a single moment of their marriage had been easy, but it had definitely been interesting, and it had always managed to keep Harry on his toes. Now, with Elle permanently about to be removed from his life, he couldn’t help but wonder if she remembered the same things he did.

“Do you remember the day we got married?”

Elle sighed, twirling a piece of hair around her finger. “Of course I do,” she replied softly. “I remember getting gum stuck in my hair that morning and then reeking of peanut butter all day.”

Harry snorted. “I remember us cracking up during the ceremony and almost ruining the wedding.”

“I remember the awesome cake.”

“I remember McGonagall warning us not to have any kids so soon.”

“Which we totally did!”

“Cause we were irresponsible morons.”

“Still true for one of us, at least.”

Harry sighed, glancing at Calla sleeping soundly across the room. “I think it turned out okay,” Harry replied quietly. “I like Calla.”

Elle laughed. “Yeah, she’s a keeper all right.” She grinned mischievously. “Speaking of memories…remember the day Dumbledore came over for dinner and Calla was sick with a fever, and then she ended up throwing up during dessert? I was mortified!”

Harry shook his head. “Nah, he understood,” he replied easily. “Remember when we used to work together?”

Elle giggled. “I vaguely recall the custodial guy who used to come into our office and repeatedly try to ask me out, even though I kept telling him me and you were married.”

“Hey, I told him he was free to take you. He never took advantage of the offer.”

“And all those raids we used to go on…remember how we would always go together and then get ice cream on the way home?”

Harry grinned fondly. “And we always made sure to bring some home for Calla. Do you remember the day she was born?”

“Vividly,” Elle said, smiling. “I think I officially grew up that day.”

“We both did.”

They both looked at each other and shared a smile, and for a brief moment, Elle’s heart lifted. Was it possible that her and Harry were actually having a conversation free of accusations and insults? Why hadn’t they done more of this? Why had they never taken the time to actually sit down and listened to one another, instead of making rash decisions (her fault) and choosing avoidance over confrontation (Harry’s fault)? Elle couldn’t help but wonder…if they had done this all along, could their marriage have been saved?

But then, as quickly as it had flared up, Elle’s smile faded and her heart sank. “Do you ever wish…that we would have done things differently?” she asked.

Harry frowned. “All the time,” he answered honestly. “Like, maybe if we hadn’t gotten married so young…or had Calla so young…”

“If we had just taken things slowly…”

“And took the time to grow up without growing apart…”

“We wouldn’t feel so…”

“We wouldn’t be this…”

“Trapped?” they both concluded together. They each shared a look and sighed.

“I guess we’ll never know,” Harry said wistfully, staring off into the distance. “I really did love you, you know.”

Elle crinkled her eyebrows, dully noting the past tense. “I know.”

Harry checked his watch. It was two in the morning. He wondered if Bellatrix had been caught, if Malfoy was still alive, if the others were okay…he hated being so dormant in the midst of all this activity…he should have taken care of Bellatrix long ago.

He rubbed his eyes and looked at Elle. “What are you going to do once Calla goes off to Hogwarts?” he asked, suddenly curious. “Not that I care, really,” he muttered as an afterthought.

Elle narrowed her eyes, and then shrugged. “I don’t know,” she whispered, and Harry detected a note of anxiety in her voice. “I haven’t really thought about it. It hasn’t hit me yet that Calla’s leaving. I can’t imagine a life without her. We’ve been a pair, her and I, for so long…she’s all I have in the world.”

Harry glanced away guiltily, not knowing how to respond to this. It was true…Elle had no relatives, her two childhood friends lived halfway across the world, and all her other friends were also friends of Harry’s. For all of her socializing and bubbliness, in reality Elle must actually be insanely lonely. Without Calla around, Harry feared that she’d go crazy.

“You could have your old job back, you know,” Harry offered weakly. “I know you’re qualified. We wouldn’t have to see each other all that much…”

Elle shuddered. “No thanks,” she replied. “If I had to take orders from you every day, I think I’d kill myself.”

Harry shrugged. “It’s just as well,” he supposed. “The Minister is retiring soon…the whole Ministry will be in a state of upheaval until a new one is elected…”

Elle looked up in alarm. “Parvati isn’t going to take his job, is she?” she asked in fear.

Harry laughed. “I don’t think that’s really her style,” he assured her. “She likes to delegate, but doesn’t like having a lot of responsibility. Rumor has it that Kingsley’s been suggested for the job…but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Elle nodded, suddenly deep in thought. They were silent for a few moments more, until Harry faced Elle once again.

“Hey, I have a question.”

“Good, I have an answer.”

Harry shook his head. “How did you find out that Bellatrix was alive? All I know is I came home from work one day, and you blew up at me, and started yelling that you hated me.”

Elle pursed her lips. “Oh…it was quite stupid actually…I bumped into one of your fellow Ministry drones while I was shopping with Calla in Diagon Alley one day, and she spilled the beans.”

Harry was confused. “Who?” he asked. “An Auror?”

Elle shook her head. “Nope, not an Auror, thank god,” she muttered. “It was Cho, Cho Chang.”

Harry’s jaw dropped. “What?” he asked in disbelief. “Why would you talk to Cho, you barely know her! And why would she talk to you?”

“Well, we were all in the Order together, remember? Anyway, she came up to me. I was minding my own business, heading towards the Leaky Cauldron with Calla when she spotted me and approached me before I could make up an excuse and walk away.”

Harry tried hard to picture his two exes conversing together in the middle of Diagon Alley. He couldn’t quite manage to conjure that particular mental image.

“What did she want?” he asked uneasily, trying to sound casual.

Elle closed her eyes and thought, trying to remember how the conversation had went. “Oh, nothing really…she just asked about you and how we were doing, since she hadn’t seen me around the ministry in a while and hadn’t heard you mention me all that much…I guess she was either trying to be friendly, or trying to satisfy her need for gossip…either way, she told me that Parvati had been going around telling everyone that me and you were having problems, and she wanted to find out for herself.”

Harry massaged his forehead. Sometimes, he really didn’t understand women.

“And what did you tell her?” he asked, not really wanting to know.

Elle grinned mischievously. “Well…I wanted to tell her the truth…about what a jerk you were and how our marriage was in trouble…but for some reason, I just didn’t want to give Parvati the satisfaction of being right. And of course, Calla was with me, and despite what you may think, I don’t believe in badmouthing you in front of her. Doesn’t quite send the right message.”

Harry was glad of this. Even though his marriage with her mother hadn’t worked out, Harry didn’t want Calla to think that all marriages ended up like theirs. He wanted her to be able to trust others and make wise decisions…and above all else, be able to eventually learn to love. No matter what sticky situations Elle managed to get herself into and no matter what problems she had caused, there was one thing she had always done an admirable job of, and that was raising Calla. Harry just didn’t know how to tell her that.

“So…” Elle continued. “I told her that we were fine, but it wasn’t like how it used to be. However, she seemed to understand. Turns out she has experience dealing with you… the two of us should actually join a club- women who have been let down by Harry Potter. Good thing she was smart and ditched you while she had the chance…”

Harry sighed, his former good mood over their memories evaporating. “What does this have to with Bellatrix?” he grumbled.

“Well…I started asking her what everyone at the Ministry had been up to, and she said everyone in the Auror department had been working really hard, and were complaining because you kept sending them on all these difficult, faraway assignments.” Elle frowned. “So I asked why, and she gave me an odd look and told me I should know why. Then I became really confused, and she said it was because…because they were searching the world for Bellatrix Lestrange.”

Harry buried his face in his hands and groaned. He had been so careful to warn all the Aurors not to tell Elle…why hadn’t he thought to warn those in the other departments as well? And why did Cho have to go and spill the beans?

Elle swallowed. She looked as if she were struggling to restrain tears.

“And then I said…what are you talking about, Bellatrix Lestrange is dead…and she gave me this awful, pitying look and that’s how…that’s how I found out the truth.” Elle shook her head and then laughed bitterly. “I felt so stupid,” she muttered. “But I guess I should have known. We had been having problems for so long and then finding out that you lied to me…well, I knew I couldn’t trust you after that.”

Harry looked at her carefully. “Elle, I’m really sorry,” he told her cautiously. “I didn’t want you to find out like that. I just wanted to be able to take care of it myself, you know? I didn’t want you or Calla getting hurt…”

“By not telling us? By avoiding us?” Elle exclaimed. “We’d have been better off dead.”

Harry looked down. “Not to me, you wouldn’t have,” he said quietly.

Elle glared at him. All the anger she had subdued after entering the Safe Room had suddenly flared up again. “Now that you mention it, I have a question for you,” she said suddenly.

Harry raised his eyebrows. “Yes?”

Elle narrowed her eyes. “You said that the day Calla contacted you about Malfoy was the day you finally found Bellatrix. Where did you find her?”

Harry frowned. “I really shouldn’t be telling you this…”

Elle rolled her eyes and flipped her hair over her shoulder. “Please, it’s not like I’m going to go after her or anything, she’s already here.”

Harry sighed. “Fine. I found out that she had been hiding in the ruins of Voldemort’s old hideout. Remember the mansion on that island?”

“Of course,” Elle replied, her eyes narrowing even further. “But the mansion burned down…”

“Not all of it,” Harry replied, taking off his glasses and wiping them clean on his jeans, before replacing them on his nose. “Some of the walls are still standing. The rest of the island is pretty desolate though. Anyway, I’ve been checking that location periodically for years, wondering whether or not she would ever return. And she did, about two weeks ago…the same time Malfoy returned from America.”

Elle shook her head. “I can’t believe it…you’ve been returning to that spot for years…and you never told me…”

“Well, I wasn’t entirely certain she would go back,” Harry admitted. “I mean, who in their right mind would, right? I just had a hunch.”

“You and your hunches,” Elle grinned. “I hate to admit it, but you do make a really good Auror.”

Harry grinned as well. “I hate to admit it…but I actually did a better job when you worked with me.”

Elle laughed. “Are you serious? We goofed around way too much. Hermione was always telling us off, remember?”

“And Moody kept shooting us those dirty looks every time we mocked him for taking an assignment too seriously…”

“But it was so easy,” Elle said lightly. “You did the best impression of him.”

They laughed together quietly, looking over at Calla to make sure she was still sleeping. Then Elle looked at Harry and, without really knowing why, gently touched his arm. Harry’s skin tingled at the touch and he was filled with a strange, sudden warmth.

“Hey,” she whispered, looking him in the eyes. “Thanks for telling me about Bellatrix.”

Harry grinned, and put his hand over hers.

“You’re welcome,” he said.

“I can’t believe this,” Parvati said, shaking her head and staring at Malfoy from across her large desk. “So you got drunk, and made an Unbreakable Vow with Bellatrix Lestrange, the Death Eater that the Ministry has been trying to track down for years? What were you thinking?”

Malfoy shrugged. “It seemed like a good idea at the time…”

Parvati sighed, and massaged her temples. “You deserve to die for your stupidity,” she muttered, pulling out a quill from one of her desk drawers and scribbling a message on a spare piece of parchment.

Malfoy hesitated. “Speaking of that little…uh…snag in my plan…do you happen to know of any loopholes?”

Parvati stopped writing just long enough to stare at him and to raise her eyebrows. “Excuse me?”

Malfoy swept his hair off of his face and gave Parvati what he hoped was a dashing, debonair grin. “You know…any way I might be able to get out of helping Bellatrix without dying?”

Parvati shook her head. “Nope,” she answered curtly, continuing her scribbling. “That’s why they call it an, ahem, unbreakable vow.”

She set the quill down on the desk, sealed the letter, and whistled. A tawny brown owl fluttered through her office window, and she gave the letter to it. The owl ruffled up its feathers, hooted in dignified acquiescence, and flew back out the window into the star-filled night. Malfoy watched the owl’s flight with a dead, dejected look on his face. Parvati gazed at him and sighed.

“Look,” she said, standing up and beginning to pace the room. “The best advice I can give you is to stay out of sight. Don’t help Bellatrix, but don’t help the Potters either. Just…do nothing. For all Bellatrix knows, you’ve been arrested. Or Stunned. If she catches on that you’re deliberately disobeying her orders, then you’ll die for sure.”

Malfoy sighed. “You’re saying I should just hide?” he asked in frustration. “For how long, forever?”

Parvati raised her eyebrows. “Or until Bellatrix is killed,” she answered slowly.

Malfoy stared at her hopefully. “Really? Once she dies, the Unbreakable Vow will disappear?”

Parvati sighed again. “I assume so,” she said, looking out the window and checking her watch, clicking her heel against the floor impatiently. “I suppose we’ll find out either way.”

Malfoy slumped against his chair. He had made a huge mistake, all right. At least one thing was certain- he never planned on drinking again.

“Whom were you writing to?” he asked. “Your date?”

Parvati glared at him. “Not my date,” she said darkly. “Yours.”

Before Malfoy could ask any more questions, the fire in Parvati’s fireplace turned green. Sparks flew out, and the flames rose higher and higher, practically licking the ceiling. Before Malfoy knew it, Ginny Weasley was standing in the middle of the office.

“You do remember Miss Weasley, don’t you?” Parvati asked with a smirk, nodding her head towards Ginny. “Or should I say…Mrs. Rolph Meza?”

Ginny stared at Malfoy in shock. Her bright red hair hung in long waves around her waist, and stood out starkly against her black Ministry robes. Malfoy couldn’t tear his eyes away from her creamy white skin, or her warm, searching eyes…or the wedding ring glinting from her left hand…

“I don’t believe it,” she whispered, staring at Malfoy as though awestruck. “It’s you. You’re back.”

Malfoy smiled weakly. “Hey,” he murmured, suddenly self-conscious over how disheveled he looked.

Ginny pursed her lips. “And you’re on the run from a murderous Death Eater,” she said, putting her hands on her hips. “Honestly Draco, couldn’t you have just written a letter? You had to go this far to get my attention?”

Malfoy opened his mouth in protest, but Ginny interrupted him by rounding on Parvati.

“And you!” she exclaimed in outrage. “Just because you’re secretary to the Minister, it doesn’t give you to right to order me about at all hours of the night! I said contact me in an emergency Parvati, not to babysit a deluded ex-friend of mine. Me and Rolph were sleeping…”

“And I had a date that I had to cancel,” Parvati sniffed, running a hand over her bun. “We’ve all had our night ruined by the Potters and Mr. Malfoy here. Besides, I thought you would take particular interest in this assignment.”

Ginny sighed, and crossed her arms over chest. “So Bellatrix wants him to help her kill Harry and Elle, and to kidnap Calla. What am I supposed to do with him? Where are we supposed to go?”

“Anywhere,” Parvati said. “Just make sure he stays out of sight. Don’t worry- I’ll tell the Minister, and I’ll make sure you’re rewarded generously.”

“You better,” Ginny muttered, sweeping her hair over her shoulder and shooting daggers at Malfoy. “Come on, then,” she said briskly, gesturing toward him and striding towards the door.

Malfoy slowly got to his feet. He had no idea what to say to her after all these years.

“Ex-friend?” he muttered, as he approached her side.

Ginny gazed at him. “Eleven years, and not so much as an owl? You could’ve been dead and I would have had no idea. I wouldn’t call that friendship, would you?”

Malfoy was saved from answering by the door slamming open. Ron, Hermione, Kinglsey, and Moody all dashed into the room, looks of alarm on their faces. Parvati straightened up immediately.

“What news?” she demanded. “Did you catch her?”

“She’s gone!” Hermione said breathlessly. “We went straight to the courtroom. The room is destroyed, but Bellatrix was nowhere to be found.”

“And she’s not in the atrium,” Ron added hastily. “We’ve stationed a few Aurors around the fireplaces to see if she tries to leave, and the others are searching the upper floors for her.”

“Is she armed?” Kingsley asked in a deep, urgent voice.

“No,” Malfoy answered for them. “Potter took both of our wands. But she’s still dangerous, wand or no wand.”

“Okay,” Parvati said, nodding. “Search everywhere! No one rests until she’s found!”

They all nodded and dashed out of the room. Ginny took a deep breath, and her and Malfoy left the office as well. The door swung shut with an echoing click. Parvati grumbled in frustration and grabbed her wand off of her desk.

“Thanks Elle,” she muttered to herself sarcastically. “For a lovely, delightful evening.”

“Do you hear that?” Elle whispered suddenly. She had been leaning against the wall, lazily stroking Calla’s hair, but was now up and alert.

Harry narrowed his eyes. “Yeah…” he said slowly, standing up and walking to the sealed door. “It sounds like…like footsteps…and heavy breathing…”

Elle stood up too and walked next to him. “Do you think it’s the Aurors?” she asked worriedly. “Maybe it’s Ron and Hermione, or Kingsley, or Parvati…and they’ve come to tell us that the coast is clear?”

Harry frowned. “Maybe…” he said slowly. “Shh…listen…”

They both were silent as the sound of thudding footsteps came closer and closer. Harry put a finger to his lips and took out his wand, and Elle did the same. They stood still for a few moments more, until a voice sounded out from beyond the walls that made their hearts sink.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are,” came a low, mocking cackle.

Elle gasped, and Harry immediately clapped a hand over her mouth.

“I know,” he muttered, frantically thinking and shooting a desperate glance over at Calla. “But we have to be quiet.”

Elle nodded, and Harry lowered his hand.

“But how did she find us?” Elle hissed.

“I don’t know,” Harry hissed back, wondering what could have went wrong and where Ron, Hermione, and the others were now.

“She can’t get in, can she?”

Harry tried to remember what Parvati had said about the room. “Not unless she can break through the force field…and if she did somehow manage to get in, the alarm system would go off, right?”

Suddenly, there was a loud bang on the door. Elle screamed, and Calla woke up with a start.

“What’s going on?” she asked, jumping to her feet and running over to her parents.

The bang sounded again. It appeared as if Bellatrix was right outside, kicking at the door with her heavy heeled boots, trying to force her way in. Elle grabbed Calla and both of them backed up into the far corner of the room, while Harry threw his whole body against the door, trying to keep it from caving in.

“What do we do?” Elle cried, bumping into the shelf with all the defensive objects. The Pensieve once again fell to the floor, this time smashing into a million pieces. The sneakoscope went off at once, whizzing and whirring noisily. Calla clamped her hands over her ears.

“The cell phone must have deactivated the force field!” Harry shouted, as the banging continued. Harry continued to throw his weight against the door, forcing it stay closed.

Calla winced. “Oops,” she said guiltily. “I guess Hermione was right- electronics and magic really don’t mix.”

Elle rolled her eyes. At least Parvati had been right to warn them not to contact anybody. Too bad they hadn’t listened to her.

“It’s not your fault,” Elle told Calla. “Those iPhones really should come with a disclaimer. Like ‘Warning- Phone may attract creepy, psycho witches’.”

Harry sighed. “I told you we should have gotten the BlackBerry.”

Out of nowhere, the banging stopped. Once again, all was silent. Harry backed away from the door, breathing heavily, and joined Elle and Calla against the far wall.

“Is she gone?” Calla asked hesitantly.

“No, she’ll be back,” Harry muttered, scanning the items on the shelf to see which ones they could use. His first order of business once they got out of this mess was to improve the conditions of the Safe Room.

“Put on the invisibility cloak!” he said to Calla.

Calla ran her fingers through the satin cloak she had been holding onto. “Do I put it on now?” she asked, tucking a black strand of hair behind her ear.

Harry nodded at her and grinned reassuringly. “Yes,” he ordered. “And try to slip out of the room as soon as you can. Find Ron and Hermione, or any of the other Aurors, and don’t remove the cloak till you’re safe.”

Calla swallowed and nodded confidently. “Okay,” she agreed. “What are you guys going to do?”

Harry and Elle exchanged looks. “We’re going to try and hold her off,” he replied, trying to sound as calm as possible. “But don’t worry about us, we’ll be alright- just run, and don’t stop running till you’ve found some help.”

Elle winked at Calla and gave her a quick hug, before taking the invisibility cloak from her hands and tossing it across Calla’s shoulders. The young girl vanished from sight.

“Good,” Harry said, and then he beckoned to Elle. Elle’s eyes flickered towards his face and she stepped closer to him. “Take this,” he said, pressing a handful of Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder into her hands. “Once she forces her way in, I want you to throw it towards her. Hopefully that’ll distract her and give Calla enough time to slip away.”

“But then how will we see?” Elle asked in a low voice. She didn’t want Calla to sense her panic.

Harry continued rummaging through the items on the shelf until he came across what looked like a severed hand. “Aha!” he exclaimed. He picked up the hand and showed it to Elle. “With this.”

Elle narrowed her eyes. “A Hand of Glory,” she whispered. “Giving light only to the beholder…I haven’t seen one of these in ages.” Then, she sighed. “Harry, Calla should hold onto to one of our wands.”

“I’ve got a better idea,” Harry said. “I’ve still got Malfoy’s wand. With all the trouble he’s put us in tonight, I doubt he’ll mind if Calla borrows it.” He held it out, and an invisible arm reached out and grabbed it from him.

“I don’t really know any spells,” came Calla’s hesitant, disembodied voice. "I only know how to conjure fire."

“That’s alright,” Harry assured her. “When the time comes, you’ll know what to do. Even though you’re not at Hogwarts yet, you’re still a witch, and a pretty darn clever one if I have anything to say about it.”

“Gee Dad, don’t make me blush.”

Harry and Elle smiled. The sneakoscope behind them spun even faster. There was one final bang, the door burst open, and Bellatrix Lestrange stepped into the room. She smiled a delirious smile, showing off a row of cracked yellow teeth. Her wild hair spilled out in all directions, and she wobbled slightly on her feet, as if the wall that had crashed on top of her had left her just a tad off-balance.

“Hello Harry,” she cooed. “Elle. Aren’t we a little too old to be playing hide and seek?”

Elle gripped her wand and moved slightly towards her. “Hello Bellatrix,” she whispered.

Bellatrix grinned at her, and Harry could detect a slight hint of red gleaming in her eyes. Suddenly, he had the very strong urge to grab onto Elle and force her out of harm’s way. His eyes flickered toward the spot where Calla had vanished…he hoped his daughter would be able to escape…

“Didn’t I almost kill you the last time we met?” Bellatrix asked, tilting her head and twirling a piece of hair around her finger.

Elle swallowed and placed a hand over her chest. Harry knew she was remembering the battle at Voldemort’s mansion where Bellatrix had stabbed her with a poisonous sword, and was picturing the scar that still remained.

“I do,” Elle replied calmly. “Almost being the key word there.”

Bellatrix bent down, and pulled a sharp, shiny dagger out of her black-heeled boot. She stood upright again, fingering the blade in a loving fashion.

“You remember the old ways, don’t you Elle?” she hissed. “Maybe your daughter would like to try…”

Elle glared at her. “I remember,” she said defiantly. “But here’s a little something new…”

She threw the powder, and in the next instant the whole room went dark. Black smoke billowed everywhere- Elle’s vision was totally obscured-

“Here,” Harry whispered, taking her hand.

The Hand of Glory blazed to life, and Harry and Elle gazed around the room, taking advantage of their exclusive sight. They could see Bellatrix flailing wildly about, gazing blindly into every corner of the room. Elle saw the door creak slightly open and then slam shut, and she breathed a sigh of relief- at least Calla had found her way out…

All of a sudden, she saw Bellatrix raise her dagger, and the blade shot directly toward Harry. Elle yanked on Harry’s shirtsleeve and he tumbled sideways, just in time for the dagger to hit the wall behind him, exactly where his head had been milliseconds before. Harry stared at Elle with his mouth slightly open, and Elle grinned.

“Yeah, I totally just saved your life,” she whispered smugly. “No need to thank me or anything…”

Harry grinned back and grabbed her hand. “Come on,” he hissed. “This way. Let’s get you out of here so you can catch up with Calla…”

The black smoke was slowly beginning to dissolve. Harry and Elle ducked and tiptoed as quickly as they could along the wall as Bellatrix continued to shout. At last, they reached the door, but before Harry could yank it open the smoke dissipated completely, and him and Bellatrix stood in perfect sight of each other. Both of them stopped and stared each other down.

“You think you can actually kill me?” Bellatrix whispered, glaring at him. “You think I haven’t prepared for this? From the moment you killed my master, I’ve been plotting against you…predicting your every move…concocting a plan for every defense you muster…I’ve waited too long for this. You and your ex-wife will die tonight, and your daughter will either join me or pay the consequences.”

Elle narrowed her eyes. “Impressive speech,” she said sarcastically. “But I’d feel even more threatened if you weren’t wandless and alone right now.”

Bellatrix threw back her head and laughed a maniacal laugh. Harry, with a furious stare, raised his wand and opened his mouth to speak the curse he had been itching to throw at Bellatrix from the very moment she had killed his godfather. He could feel Elle’s eyes boring holes into the back of his skull. It was now or never…

Closing his eyes, he mustered every ounce of hatred in his body. He took a deep breath. However, he hesitated just a second too long.

There was a loud crack! An unsettling silence sunk over the room.

He didn’t need Elle’s cry of “No!” to realize what had happened. He opened his eyes, dejectedly gazing on the spot where Bellatrix had just disapparated.


“Not now!” Harry muttered, not wanting to listen to Elle berate him for not killing Bellatrix while he had the chance. Raising his wand, he closed his eyes once more and muttered the first spell that came to his mind- a spell he had learned from his very first day of Auror training. A spell he should have performed in the first place, had he not been so distracted dealing with his ex-wife.

“Okay,” he said, as calmly as he could, opening his eyes. “I cast an anti-Apparition charm around the Ministry building. Bellatrix is trapped in here just as much as we are. If she wants to kill us, she won't have left the building. I am going to go and find her and kill her once and for all…this ends tonight…”


“WHAT?” Harry burst out in frustration, glaring at Elle. “I know, I know, I should have ended her right then and there, alright? I messed up. I was just so concerned with making sure Calla got of here safe, and then getting you out of here-

He was cut off as Elle came over to him, and shockingly, stroked his face softly with her hand.

“You were great,” she whispered. “You’re a great Auror.”

Harry sighed, and awkwardly lowered his head. “Thanks,” he said, trying his hardest not to shiver at her touch. “You were pretty brave too.”

Elle lowered her hand and pushed her hair off of her face. She swallowed. “So here’s the deal,” she said straightforwardly. “We don’t know where Bellatrix and Calla are. Calla may be safe, but we can’t be certain of that until we find her.”

Harry nodded. He understood perfectly what she was getting at.

“What do you say Elle?” he asked, attempting a grin. “Let’s put our differences aside for one night and work as a team. One last adventure, you and me. We’ll defeat Bellatrix, get our girl…save the wizarding world?”

Elle smiled wearily. “And then we never have to see each other again?” she asked, holding out her hand.

Harry bit his lip and nodded. “Deal,” he concurred, shaking her hand.

Elle dropped her hands to her side and sighed, smoothing down the corners of her dress and adjusting her spaghetti strap sleeves.

“Okay Mr. Head Auror,” she said slightly, gripping her wand tightly. “Where to first?”


Calla ran blindly throughout the Ministry, not having a clue as to where she was or where she should be going. She dashed through the Auror offices, hoping to run into Ron or Hermione, but the entire floor seemed to be deserted. Desperate and confused, she dashed to the lifts and pressed frantically on the buttons.

The lift clattered into place and Calla dashed inside, slamming the golden grilles shut. She turned around (half wanting to just huddle in a little ball and hide in the elevator for the rest of the night), and promptly bumped into Draco Malfoy, who was standing in the corner of the lift with Kevin and Michael’s Aunt Ginny.

“Ouch!” she cried, falling to the floor.

Malfoy whipped around in suspicion. “Who’s there?” he snapped.

Calla sighed and whipped off the cloak. “Me,” she muttered.

Ginny gasped. “Calla!” she cried, bending down to help the girl up. “What happened to you, are you alright? Do your parents know you’re here? Where are they?”

“I’m fine,” Calla replied, suddenly embarrassed for being so out of breath and wearing a nightgown. “I was in the Safe Room with my mum and dad, but we accidentally used a cell phone which deactivated the protection spells. And then Bellatrix found us, and my mum and dad went to hold her off while I escaped. I’m supposed to find Ron and Hermione but I don’t know where I’m going and…and…”

“Calm down,” Ginny said, smoothing Calla’s hair and giving her a reassuring grin. “I’m sure your parents are fine. And Ron and Hermione are probably with the other Aurors.”

Calla narrowed her eyes at Malfoy. “What are you doing here?”

Malfoy raised his eyebrows. “Hiding,” he answered simply. “I officially have no dignity left. What are you doing here?”

Calla sighed. “Hiding,” she replied.

Ginny straightened up and pressed a button on the side of the lift. “You better come with us then,” she answered softly.

Calla looked at her, confused. “Why, were are we going?”

Malfoy rolled his eyes. “Only the best hiding place in the world,” he muttered.

Calla was still confused. “Okay. Which is….”

“The Department of Mysteries.”

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