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The usual banging of the Worden’s wand on her bars didn’t awake Samara; the temperature rapidly decreasing in her cell did. Her eyes popped open like the cork from a champagne bottle. She could see her breath, and felt all the happiness being drained out of her.


She sat up in her bed, holding her sheets and blanket close to her shivering flesh. She saw the ice forming on the floor and bars of her cell, including Rachel’s across the hall. She heard women screaming and crying. Panic was thick in the air. Goose bumps covered her entire body as she saw the dark hooded figure come into view. It turned its demonic face in her direction and she stopped breathing. It opened her cell with a wave of its skeleton-like hand.

Oh no… please, not The Hole. Anything but The Hole…

As it advanced towards her, her worst memory started to flood her mind.

Six years ago, she was eleven. Christmas was only a few days away. She was eating dinner with her parents and her older brother, Joshua. They were all laughing and having a good time. Samara got up to clear her plate, and while she was in the kitchen, she felt a large explosion from the dining room. It knocked her down and she hit her head on the floor, passing out.

When she came to, smoke was filling her lungs and fire blinding her vision. She crawled to the dining room, and found her brother. He was lying close to his chair, blood covered his tanned face, his deep hazel eyes open but blank. He wasn’t breathing. Samara’s eyes were enveloped in tears as she tried to drag him to the door, but he was too heavy for her. She crawled to the door, promising herself she would come back for him with help.

When she entered her front yard, she was going to head straight for her neighbors house to call the police. She was stopped in her tracks. She saw her parents being levitated in the air a good six feet over her head. About fifteen people in black hooded cloaks were surrounding them. The one in the center was holding a wooden stick in the air, pointed at her parents. She was confused, because she knew nothing of magic or anything like that before this event occurred.

“Stop! Leave them alone! What do you want from us?! Why did you kill my brother?!” She knew they probably wouldn’t answer her questions, but her outburst did make the leader of the band of henchman divert his attention for one moment from her parents, dropping them to the ground. She went to run to them, but was knocked ten feet away into her parents Civic by an unseen force. Snow covered her as the anti-theft device went off, and the car was blinking and making a disturbing siren sound, but she didn’t care; all she cared about was her family.

“Naughty girl.” The leader came closer to her, and she could now she his face clearly. He was probably in his mid thirties. He had long blonde hair and bluish grey eyes that made her feel like he could see her every thought. She tried to scoot away from him, but he grabbed the collar of her sweater. He looked her up and down as she shivered, part from the cold, part from his probing eyes.

“Why would he want you, girl?” He had a thick British accent, and he talked to her as if she was a piece of merchandise for sale. “What could you possibly do… to arouse his interest so?” His hand left her sweater and he reached up to her face. His fingers were cold as ice on her skin. She flinched at his touch, and he took offense. He raised his hand to slap her…

Samara’s eyes opened again, realizing that she was in the holding cell. She was taken there the two times she was questioned before, but now she wasn’t alone. Rachel was in the chair next to her. She smiled weakly at the young girl, and she smiled back, not knowing what else to do.

She came to a quick conclusion. This must have something to do with the visit yesterday…

She looked at the mirror that covered the whole wall on the north side of the room, and knew that people were in there watching. She could feel their eyes on her every move. She sat up straight and waited for them to make the first move.

I’ve got all day boys, I’ve got all day…

Harry woke to the sound of Ron’s snoring. He rolled over, found a comfortable position, and tried to fall back asleep, but was unsuccessful. He sat up slowly, rubbing the sleep from his eyes and grasping his glasses. He looked to the clock; it read 9:57 am. He sighed, glad that for once he got a goodnight sleep that lasted more than four hours. He also understood that he didn’t have his usual nightmare about the Ministry, Sirius and the veil.

He got up and dressed in blue jeans and a long sleeved black shirt. He exited the dorm, walked down the stairs and saw Hermione sitting in her favorite chair. She was wearing a blue shirt and a jean skirt, which wasn’t her usual wardrobe style. She had her schoolbooks and parchment scattered across the coffee table. He sat on the couch and smiled at her when she turned to him.

“Morning Harry. Did you sleep well?” He nodded, and she smiled at him, her eyes sparkling with joy. “I’m glad, but not about this Advanced Potions assignment. He wants to murder us, doesn’t he?” Harry grinned, agreeing totally. He wasn’t surprised by her dedication to her schoolwork. She always had her nose in a book or was lecturing him and Ron to study more and not to wait to the last minute to do their assignments.

A few minutes later, Ron came down. He was wearing a red t-shirt with ‘Gryffindor Rules!’ written in gold on it and blue jeans. He collapsed on the couch next to Harry.

“Bloody Hell! How much schoolwork are you doing?” Ron gaped at the clutter on the coffee table in horror. Hermione gave him a glare, but it turned into a smirk, then to a smile.

“Just Advanced Potions. I haven’t even started on my other work yet.” Ron’s look intensified. Harry waved his hand in front of his face, and he snapped out of it.

“Yeah, don’t forget, you haven’t even started any of your work yet, Ron.” Ron looked at him, expression saying ‘your one to talk.’

“You haven’t started yours either, Harry!” Harry took this into consideration, and he was right. He didn’t even remember they had work, but that was what Hermione was for, to remind them again and again of their priorities as students.

“Your right Ron, which is why I’m going to go for a walk.” He got up and headed for the entrance. Ron looked confused and Hermione just stared.

“What do you mean go for a walk?” Harry turned to Hermione, and Ron also yelled at him.

“Yeah, how is that going to help you with Advanced Potions?” Harry just shrugged and walked out of the common room. His friends exchanged puzzled glances, but then Hermione gave up, going back to her studies. Ron just stared after his friend, knowing that something was up.

Samara had waited patiently: as patiently as anyone could due to the circumstances. She had waited for three hours before the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, entered the room, followed by a man who she had understood to be called an ‘Auror’. Fudge sat down across from Rachel and herself, the Auror standing behind him, daring them with his eyes to give him any excuse to pounce.

“Samara Walker and Rachel Harris, it’s nice to see you again.” Rachel wasn’t looking at Fudge, she was looking right through him, not really seeing him. She probably was still reviewing what she saw as the Dementor’s escorted her here. Samara was a different story. She was glaring at him, not afraid to show how intense her hatred was for him.

Fudge took no notice. He soon opened up a file, skimmed the pages and looked to the two prisoners in front of him like children about to be punished.

“Samara, it is understood that something happened between you and Mr. Potter yesterday during the visit. Care to tell us what?” She shifted her gaze to the Auror standing behind the Minister – who was reaching for his wand, just in case – and returned her eyes to Fudge. She didn’t want to be put back in The Hole again, but didn’t want to tell them that she provoked him. She sighed. They looked to her expectantly, and she spoke.

“Harry started ranting and raving about me being in cahoots with You-Know-Who, and when his friends tried to talk to him, it didn’t work. He came up to slap me and I caught his hand. I didn’t mean to, it just happened… He was scared of me then, so I sang to him to calm him down. That’s it. If I had better control of my powers, I wouldn’t use them period. I don’t like them, and don’t want them.”

Fudge looked at her disapprovingly, but seemed grateful she gave up this information willingly, unlike the last two times. She looked at him, pretending to be remorseful, hoping he would take the bait. He turned his attention to Rachel, and as soon as he spoke her name, she fell from her day dreaming state and looked at him fearfully.

“Rachel? How are you?” She just stared at him, expression never faltering. “Well, since your cell is across from Samara’s, I just wanted to make sure her story was straight. What she said, did it truly happened, Ms. Harris?”

Rachel turned to her, and Samara could feel her emotions radiating from her. It was almost unbearable. She knew that Rachel disliked her for being everything that she wasn’t. Young, beautiful, smart, and gifted in more ways than one. She would probably tell Cornelius the truth at the drop of a hat, just to save her own skin and to get her own twisted revenge on what Samara couldn’t possibly control, even if she wanted to.

Rachel spoke just above a whisper, but what she said surprised Samara more than anything in her life after that day ever would. “Yes, Cornelius Fudge. That’s what happened.” Samara tried to hide her disbelief, and accomplished, even though it felt like an impossible task at hand. Fudge nodded, believing his dishonest eyes and ears.

“Well then, your breakfast has long since past and lunch has come upon us, so I’ll leave you to walk yourselves there. Good day ladies.” He tipped his hat, and left, the Auror following behind him slowly. When the door closed, Samara knew there wasn’t anyone in the mirror room looking at them anymore. She stared at Rachel, at a loss for words.

“What?” Rachel peeked at her from the corner of her eyes. Samara shrugged.

“Why?” Rachel swerved around in her chair to face her, Samara doing the same. They observed each other this way for a few minutes before Rachel answer her question.

“Because you’re just as scared of The Hole as I am… you’re only seventeen, and deserve happy memories, not darkness and pain… you’ve been through enough without me adding to it… plus, your kind of growing on me, kid.” She paused for a moment, looking down at the floor. “If I told the truth, you probably wouldn’t survive for the length of time they would have put you over there… and then who would I hate?”

Rachel looked up, then stood and walked to the door. She looked back at the young girl sitting, still fazed by the events that passed within the last ten minutes.

“You coming? Or do you want to be escorted by those bitches again?” Samara couldn’t help but laugh at her name for the horrid creatures that loomed in the prison. She got up and followed Rachel out of the room, leaving the past relationship behind, and carrying the new one with them.

Harry had taken a walk. He drifted over the beautiful grounds, thinking of nothing in particular. When he reached the lake, he sat down under a tree, the shade being very enticing. He removed his shoes and socks, letting his bared feet rest on the cool, moist earth. A slight breeze tickled his face and played with his hair and robes. He could smell the water, grass, and the freshly turned soil.

God this feels good… I haven’t felt this relaxed since… I don’t even remember.

He closed his eyes, breathing in deeply the clear air, exhaling slowly. He felt his eyes becoming weak, even though his lids were closed. Sleep almost over took him, but something heavy landed on him. He pried his eyes open to see Fawkes, Dumbledore’s phoenix, perched on his shoulder. He had a rolled up piece of parchment in his beak, and dropped it on Harry’s lap. He petted the stunning fire bird, then unrolled the note.

Dear Harry,
Please come immediately to my office. I have something to tell you, as well as give to you. Do make haste my dear boy, I know you’re not as trusting with me as before, but you need to hear me out. The password is ‘Fudge Cakes’.

Albus Dumbledore

At first Harry thought of not going at all, but he knew that sooner or later he would have to face him. After all, he was Headmaster. He was bound to run into him at anytime. He put his shoes and socks back on and got up, Fawkes flying off of him as he did so. Both headed back up to the castle, not knowing what Dumbledore wanted.

He entered the ancient castle and climbed the enchanted stairs that never stayed in place for more than five minutes. He reached the statue that leads to the Headmasters office. He spoke the password and entered the spiraling staircase. When he reached the top, he knocked on the old oak door.

Dumbledore said, “Enter.” Harry opened the door to the office he knew so well, not ready for what was waiting for him within it.

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