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Deep within the passages that lay under Hogwarts Castle the dark cloaked figure walked among several of its followers as they wisely kept their heads bowed. The anger of their new master had scarcely diminished since their defeat at the home of Artemis Trane and the loss of so many of their faithful. The girl had become extremely powerful and had little to fear from a direct assault from one of their number. In fact, information that they had received from the school above told them that she had given the headmaster a thrashing in a practice duel.

Many of them knew Tobias Leeds and also knew that he was a formidable wizard to face in a duel. He had once been among the Aurors, but had left that way of life to teach the young. The girl was also definitely a force to be reckoned with having shown a bravery, ability and resourcefulness that was worrisome. But not all was lost.

The girl had revealed a chink in her armor that they had not expected and had managed to make use of. She loved to read and the library in the Isolation Tower had provided a way to get to her. The book that Koeppler had written had shown them her vulnerability and she had easily been overcome by it. The suggestion to kill had been implanted by the enchantment on the book, an enchantment that had faded once their target had read the pages it was on, and the girl had attempted to do so. She had been sent home to rest and now was the perfect weapon to use against her grandfather. An attack from her would be unexpected and, if successful, lethal to the traitor. At the very least, they would watch their precious Elizabeth go to Azkaban for illegal use of underage magic. That alone would destroy the girl’s family and leave them vulnerable.

“Master, the girl will soon be with her grandfather and, when the time is right, she will be commanded to kill Artemis Trane.”

“Very good, but the death of her grandfather is not enough. I want her to destroy all of her family including her pathetic older sister.”

“But the older girl is faithful to you, Master.”

“She is little more than a squib and quite useless to me. While her offer to kill her sister was entertaining we all know that she would stand little chance of doing so. The younger girl is extremely powerful and I doubt that the older girl has enough knowledge to accomplish the job. No, this way is better, Artemis Trane and his family shall die and the girl shall go to Azkaban for the crime. The Dementors shall have their way with her and she shall become little more than a ruined shell.”

“But, Master, what if she could be persuaded to join us? The girl would be useful in our fight against the Aurors.”

The pacing of the cloaked figure stopped as the thought that had been suggested ran through his mind. The girl would be a useful ally if she could be turned to their side and that prospect amused him. The granddaughter of Artemis Trane becoming a Death Eater was something that he had never considered. She would be an equal to even the best Auror in combat and it would be a great gift if she could defeat the great Harry Potter. The fact that she was close to his children made her extremely valuable indeed.

“You are right, Johnathan, the girl might be useful in that respect. But can it be done; can the granddaughter of Artemis Trane be persuaded to come to our cause?”

“If it cannot, Master, Azkaban and the Dementors will be waiting for her.”

“Very good, make it so; I want Elizabeth Blackwell one way or the other.”

Anne sat in the common room of Nid d’Aigle as she considered the loss of points that Alexis Malfoy had cost their House. True, the loss had been a small one, only two points, but this could not be allowed to continue. She would overlook it this time, but any further loss of points would be rewarded with pain. Until then Alexis would be useful in Anne’s campaign to get to Elizabeth, she knew things that would be useful and the older girl intended to take advantage of everything she could learn. The door opening distracted Anne and she looked with annoyance at the two first years that had burst into the room with a cacophony of chatter.

“Surely you two don’t want a taste of my stinging jinx, do you?”

“No, Anne, we don’t, we’re sorry zat we disturbed you while you were studying,” the larger of the two replied.

“Good, see that it doesn’t happen again.”

The first years made haste to get to the library and the sanctuary that it afforded them. Of all of the upperclassmen Anne was the swiftest to mete out punishment and she enjoyed doing it. The older girl liked inflicting pain and no one confronted her about it. She had a vengeful nature and was sure to seek out someone who had wronged her for retribution. Anne refused to even look at the board that held the names of the students who had attained the post pf Prefe`t having lost that post over the incident with Elizabeth. Now, her father had been informed that Elizabeth was at the top of the list of students being considered for that very post at Hogwarts. The older girl fumed at the thought that her sister would best her once again and vowed to get even, regardless of the cost.

Anne drew her wand and examined it as she thought about using it on her sister. She would enjoy watching the girl writhe on the ground while the Cruciatis washed over her. She wanted Elizabeth to know who was going to kill her and she wanted to hear her plead for her life before the end came. The end would be as painful as Anne could make it and she intended for it to take a very long time for the life of her younger sister to end.

‘Oh, you think that you’re capable of defending yourself, Elizabeth, but I’m going to show you just how defenseless you are.’

As if in answer to her thoughts, the tip of her wand began to glow a brilliant red as the power within it grew. An instant later she cast a charm that burst with a bright flash against the ceiling of the room. The blast that it created was audible throughout the hallways of the castle and many wondered where the noise had originated. Anne laughed as she imagined her sister as the target of the charm and the damage that it would do when it struck her.

While Anne was reveling in her thoughts of revenge Alexis was doing the same in her charms class. She had learned a lesson about focusing her charms and was now very mindful of where she directed her power. The girl had somewhat redeemed herself with Professor Munroe although the professor was slightly disappointed in the abilities of the girl in comparison to her younger sister. Ariel was very competent in her spell casting and often did things that were far beyond what the older child could do. Professor Munroe enjoyed seeing the young girl enter the room and often presented her with more work to test her capabilities.

Alexis was far from happy about what she was seeing on the board where the professor kept the names of the students who earned points in her classroom. Ariel’s name was very prevalent for all to see and she had earned Nid d’Aigle nearly twenty points in this room alone.

‘You’re starting to remind me of Elizabeth, you little brat. I’m tired of hearing all about your accomplishments and being compared to you. You had better stop it or I will catch you away from school and teach you a valuable lesson that you won’t enjoy.’

The class ended and the students hurried out in an effort to get to their next class without being tardy. Anne was among them and tardy was the last thing that she wanted to be, because the loss of points in that room for tardiness was extreme. Professor Dubois was still embarrassed about the accident in her classroom and still had a lot of saving face to do. She had been humiliated by the accident that had destroyed a great deal of things in her room and had not let the student responsible forget about it.

“Annette, you need to take more care with zis potion zen you ‘ave been. I do not wish another accident like ze one zat you ‘ad a few weeks ago. It will take many years to replace everything zat was lost in zis room.”

“Yes, Professor Dubois,” came the response from the red-faced student. She glanced at Anne and was met with a smug grin that angered her but there was nothing that she could do about it.

Anne looked at the mixture that was roiling in her own cauldron. The mixture had been brewing for nearly a week now and was extremely potent. The professor stopped to glance into the mixture and nodded her approval.

“Zis potion is nearly ready to be put into flasks.”

“Professor, is it really as dangerous as you say it is?”

“Oui! Zis potion is lethal if used. If you get even a drop on your skin it will begin to eat into your flesh and eventually would eat your entire body.”

Several students stopped what they were doing to stare at the professor with wide eyes. They had known that they were working with dangerous materials, but they hadn’t considered the possibility that it was that dangerous.

“Would it be painful, Professor Dubois?”

“Oui, ze sensation would be like dipping your flesh into a roaring fire.”

“How long would it take to consume you?”

“No more zan a week. Zis is why you all need to be extremely careful with it and be sure to wear the dragonskin gloves you were told to bring.”

Anne slipped the gloves over her hands and donned the apron that the professor offered her. Minutes later she was decanting the potion into flasks that she carefully placed into the waiting rack on her table. The process went very quickly and before she knew it the rack was full and her cauldron was empty while many of her classmates were still trying to get a proper mixture to call complete.

“Zis potion must be complete by ze end of class tomorrow or you shall fail ze assignment! Each student shall produce ten flasks full of zis potion as directed. No potion shall be allowed to leave zis room due to its nature. I shall not be responsible for an injury or death resulting from improper use of it.”

“Just exactly what is this used for, Professor Dubois,” Anne asked.

“It ees a main ingredient in flesh-eating slug repellant. We produce it 'ere at Beauxbatons to reduce ze costs to ze school.”

Anne looked at the remnants of the potion in her cauldron and then cast a spell to clean the debris from the bottom.

Tergeo!”

Instantly the cauldron was clean and floating back to the area where it was kept unless in use. She pulled the apron over her head and tucked it neatly into her bag along with the cleaned gloves that she had been wearing. As she looked at the flasks of potion sitting in neat rows on her table a thought came to her mind.

‘It would be so much fun to watch Elizabeth being eaten by this potion.’

She left her work area and returned to her seat as the flasks disappeared from her table. She knew that they were reappearing in the room where Professor Munroe kept dangerous potions and were counted by the spell that was transporting them. There was little chance of anyone getting out of the room with some of it and no one tried for fear of the consequences.

Potions were Anne’s one strong point, the only point at which she was an equal or superior to her sister. This angered the older girl because she felt that she was superior in all respects to Elizabeth.

‘The damned Ministry and that fool Professor Bellins don’t know what they’re talking about. They were idiots for letting Elizabeth into P.E.T.S. and can’t see it. She doesn’t know much more than parlor tricks and I would love to prove it by beating her in a duel.’

She read intently out of the book that lay on her desk as she copied notes onto a parchment. As she wrote she became angrier with the developments that had placed Elizabeth on a pedestal while she herself had been placed with the other insignificants.

The plot against Elizabeth when she had been a first year had been providing rewards as the girl moved closer and closer to expulsion. Then the incident in the courtyard with the Prefe`t had gotten her expelled. The planning that it had taken had been exhausting and she had been fortunate to find someone that hadn’t minded taking a punch to the face. It had been unexpected, but rewarding just the same. Attacking an authority figure had been the last straw and Elizabeth had been sent packing.

What she hadn’t counted on was the fact that there had been a witness who had seen the events that led up to the confrontation and had informed on the group. Anne still didn’t know who the witness was, but it had cost her dearly when she had lost the chance to be an authority figure herself. Then Elizabeth had been accepted to Hogwarts and had begun to collect awards as though they had no one else to give them to. She had been selected for the Placement for Exceptionally Talented Students program which paid for all of her books and gave the Ministry a hand in her education. Then she had received three academic awards at the close of the last term which had made her the equivalent of a Prefect, a post that everyone expected her to receive.

The final straw had been when their father had turned against his own daughter in favor of the product of some unknown peddler of magic tricks. Before Elizabeth’s last birthday Anne had had her way on every occasion, now Elizabeth had wormed her way into the favor of the man she called father. She didn’t even call him father, she used a Muggle term for him, Daddy. Anne was aghast at this development that she considered an insult to the man that had raised them. But John Blackwell didn’t seem to mind and actually laughed about it when Anne had brought forth her objections.

‘I hate her! I wish that she had never been born or had died when she got sick! I would have been just fine if she had drowned in the lake last term, it would have solved all of my problems.’

She was startled out of her thoughts by Professor Munroe shaking her gently.

“Anne, ze class ees over and you need to go on to ze Main Hall for lunch.”

“I’m sorry, Professor, I was just deep in thought about something.”

“Ees zat something named Elizabeth? You were mumbling out loud about your sister and I nearly ‘ad to take points from you for eet.”

Anne’s eyes opened wide at the thought of losing points for her House. The other members of Nid d`Aigle might forgive the new second year for losing points, but to lose them now. They would hate her forever and she wouldn’t hear the end of it for a very long time. She rose and, after gathering her things, rushed out of the room to hurry to the main hall and the mid-day meal.

She arrived at the hall in time to see a student sit down in the spot that she normally occupied. It might have been innocent except for the fact that she had seen the girl look directly at her before she sat down. The other girls at the table had also looked in her direction and were now whispering to each other furiously as they watched her. Anne was furious, nothing like this had ever occurred before and she wasn’t about to let it happen this time. She walked towards the girl with a firmly set expression on her face and then stopped next to the seated student as the other girls at the table watched with anticipation. None of them knew what would happen and were eager to watch as the confrontation unfolded.

“Excuse me, dear, but you need to move your butt before I kick it into next month. This is my seat and you had better vacate before I remove you.”

The other girl rose from where she had been seated to look into the eyes of the girl who had threatened her. It was only when she had risen to her full height that Anne realized that she was facing a seventh year that she had had issues with before. She remembered the pain that had been inflicted on her when the older girl had defeated her with an extremely nasty stinging jinx that, besides being very painful, had also left her with brilliant purple blisters all over her body. Despite the best efforts of the staff at the infirmary she had been stuck with the bright blisters for nearly three weeks.

“’Ello, Anne, you said zat you were going to kick my butt into next month? You also said zat you were going to vacate me from ze seat. Begin doing so at your leisure, but be aware zat once you are finished I shall enjoy making last term seem like a vacation. Ze purple blisters zat I gave you last term shall be nothing compared to what I shall give you now.”

“I’m sorry, Cecile, I didn’t realize that it was you. Of course you can have this seat, I will find somewhere else to sit.”

“Your apology is accepted, but your threats shall be remembered,” the taller girl responded as she craned her neck to look for something. “I believe zat I see an empty chair at ze table for ze first years. All of ze others seem to be taken. Goodbye Anne, have a nice lunch with the children.”

Anne thought for a moment about drawing her wand and then decided against it when she saw that the other girl already had her wand prepared. She turned and walked angrily to the table where she sat down with several first year students who looked at her as though they had never seen an older student before.

‘I’ll get even with all of you, sitting there laughing at me like a bunch of giggling geese. Elizabeth can wait, you all have a target on you now and I know just how to deal with the lot of you.’

She ate quietly once Madame Maxime and the other staff had been seated and the food had appeared. It was a quiet table as the first years were silenced by her baleful glare and as she ate she was planning revenge against her sister and the girls who had humiliated her.

As intent as she was on her own plans Anne was unaware that revenge was also being planned against Elizabeth by Alexis and the hooded figure who even now was busy plotting to make the pretty girl one of his own.
 

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