Thank you once again for those of you who have taken the time to read this story and review it. I\'m very happy you are all enjoying it.
All canon characters belong to JKR. My only profit for using these characters is your kind words of encouragement.
Thanks to June for all of her help.
Chapter 15 â€“ One final meeting
Severus, Hermione and Lucius were sitting in the living area of Severusâ€™ quarters when members of the Order started coming through the Floo. Severus made sure to unward his fireplace so that it would be accessible for those who werenâ€™t arriving from the Weasleysâ€™ home.
The last two to arrive were Harry and Ron. Ron eyed Lucius suspiciously. He still wasnâ€™t sure about the man, and now his sister was missing. It was all too convenient in Ronâ€™s mind.
As soon as everyone was there Lucius began to recount what he had seen earlier. For the most part the grounds around the Riddle estate were not guarded by any Death Eaters; this would make it easy for Arthur to position some Aurors around the area. Severus then suggested that Aurors be posted around Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley; these were two of the most prominent wizarding places of commerce. Muggle London would also be guarded.
â€śWe also need to get some people into the Riddle estate,â€ť said Arthur.
Severus looked at Harry, then to Lucius.
â€śWhy not offer the Dark Lord a gift,â€ť he said with a smirk, and looked back at Harry.
â€śWhat exactly do you have in mind?â€ť asked Harry warily.
â€śMust I spell it out?â€ť said Severus irritably. â€śYou simply walk in with Lucius. He can put a false Body Bind on you. One less person to sneak in.â€ť
â€śIt will be dangerous, but it sounds like the easiest way to get you inside, Harry,â€ť agreed Albus as he looked at Harry. â€śIf you are there, then Voldemort will be distracted by you. He will be focusing his attention on you, and we can better position ourselves.â€ť
â€śIâ€™ll do it. But what about that potion? How will I get it on Voldemort?â€ť asked Harry.
â€śSeverus and I will take care of that,â€ť said Hermione.
Severus immediately looked at her.
â€śYou will not be doing anything but staying here.â€ť
Hermione scowled at him.
â€śSeverus, Iâ€™m not going to sit here and do nothing while you are all risking your lives.â€ť
â€śNo.â€ť Severus took her by the arm and pulled her up. He walked out of the room with Hermione in tow. â€śPlease, Hermione.â€ť
Hermione looked into Severusâ€™ pleading eyes. He still looked like the little boy that he was just a few days ago â€“ the way he looked at her when she woke up after her ordeal with the Cruciatus Curse. He was so afraid for her. She caressed his cheek with her soft hand.
â€śOh, Severus. How can I stay here, knowing you are going to what could possibly be your death? Please, let me go with you.â€ť
He leaned his head down and rested his forehead against hers. How he wanted to put her into hiding and keep all the dangers of the universe from her. But then he stared into her eyes, and knew he wanted her by his side, in peace and in danger â€“ and in death, if they were to die.
â€śAll right, we shall go together.â€ť He smiled and kissed her lightly on the lips.
Hermione then gasped in surprise.
â€śSeverus! I know just how you and I can get inside with the potion!â€ť
Hermione took him by the hand and they entered the living room again.
â€śI have a plan. Lucius,â€ť Hermione said as she looked to Lucius. â€śDo you know if there are any secret passageways inside Voldemortâ€™s estate?â€ť
â€śI know of none. I do know that within the walls there are narrow tunnels, which are used by Nagini to make its way through the estate.â€ť
â€śThere goes that idea,â€ť said Severus.
â€śNot necessarily,â€ť said Hermione with a smile. â€śDo you know how narrow those tunnels are, Lucius?â€ť
â€śToo small for anyone here to get through,â€ť answered Lucius.
â€śBut big enough for say a six-year-old?â€ť asked Hermione.
Severusâ€™ eyes immediately went wide.
â€śHermione, you arenâ€™t suggesting weâ€¦â€ť
â€śYes, Severus, I am.â€ť
â€śNo, I will not turn myself back into a six-year-old. Weâ€™ll think of something else.â€ť
Just as Severus was beginning to get his rant on, Albus interrupted.
â€śI think thatâ€™s actually a brilliant idea. Once Lucius neutralizes the guards at the door you can easily slip into the tunnels.â€ť
Severus rolled his eyes. He had a feeling he would soon be crawling within Voldemortâ€™s walls, trying to get away from a snake big enough to make him its dinner.
â€śAll right, Iâ€™ll go start the potion as soon as the meeting is finished. I suppose I can make it strong enough to last us a few hours. All I need is to get lost and stuck in between the Dark Lordâ€™s walls.â€ť Severus wasnâ€™t going to allow himself to worry this time about the potion making Hermione and himself children forever. With the proper measurements of the ingredients, as they had already proved with the new potion, it was possible to adjust the time limit you would remain a child.
â€śI have an idea of how to get the potion to Voldemort as well.â€ť Hermione stood and began writing a note to her mother. She was going to ask for something she hadnâ€™t seen since she was a child, and only hoped her mother still kept it for her in her old toy chest.
â€śLucius, when you saw Ginny, did she look like sheâ€™d been harmed?â€ť asked Molly.
â€śI donâ€™t believe he harmed her, Molly. And odd as this may sound, she is quite safe as we speak. He needs her to be healthy and untouched.â€ť Lucius hesitated then looked away from Molly. â€śAt least until tomorrow evening.â€ť
â€śWhatâ€™s that supposed to mean?â€ť asked Ron suspiciously.
â€śIt means, that the Dark Lord has a plan for your sister. Heâ€¦he plans to siphon her magic from her body.â€ť
â€śBut, thatâ€™s not possible,â€ť said Harry.
â€śYes, it is, Harry,â€ť said Arthur. â€śThere is one way.â€ť Arthur then looked at Lucius. He noticed Lucius hadnâ€™t looked at any of them in the eye since theyâ€™d arrived. The blond was nervous, and his face pale. There was something Lucius didnâ€™t want to say, and Arthur realized why.
When the other Order members realized what Arthur was talking about, there was an unpalatable silence in the room.
Ron and Harry looked at each other, then to Lucius.
â€śWhat is it? Whatâ€™s he going to do to her?â€ť asked Ron.
Harry placed his hand on Ronâ€™s shoulder.
â€śRon, leave it alone.â€ť While he wasnâ€™t exactly sure how Voldemort was going to take Ginnyâ€™s magic, Harry knew that it wasnâ€™t something pleasant. He tried not to think about it, hoping that they would get to the Dark Lord before he had a chance to do anything to Ginny.
â€śNo, I want to know. Sheâ€™s my sister and I want to know what that snake is going to do to her!â€ť yelled Ron.
Luciusâ€™ mind was reeling. All evening heâ€™d been thinking about what Voldemort wanted him to do to Ginny. The sick feeling in his stomach was growing stronger and stronger with each word coming out of Ronâ€™s mouth.
â€śDo you really want to know, Mr. Weasley?â€ť asked Lucius quietly. â€śIâ€™ll tell you, if you want to know so badly.â€ť Lucius never took his eyes from the fire. In the flames he could see Ginnyâ€™s face, smiling at him, calling to him.
â€śTomorrow evening, as the waning moon is above the sky, it will be my duty to rape your sister until her body reaches its orgasmic state and her powers are at their strongest and most vulnerable. Her power will then be drained from her body. If she survives she will be less than a Squib â€“ she will be a Muggle for the rest of her life, unable to even see Hogwarts or the Burrow.â€ť
No one in the room said a word. Molly was sobbing into Arthurâ€™s chest as he held her tightly. Remus and Tonks were staring at the floor. Albus and Minerva were staring at one another. Severus and Hermione stared at Lucius as Harry wiped a tear that threatened to fall down his cheek.
Ron was outraged. Heâ€™d never truly trusted Lucius; even when he found out the senior Malfoy had been helping the Order. Without thinking, as Ron tended to do quite often, his anger took over.
â€śIâ€™ll bet youâ€™ll like that, wonâ€™t you. I saw the way you were looking at my sister when you were at Headquarters.â€ť
â€śRonald,â€ť admonished Arthur.
But Ron refused to listen; his words kept coming.
â€śIt wouldnâ€™t be the first time youâ€™ve done something to almost get her killed. I remember that diary, we all do. You got to her though, didnâ€™t you? Back at Headquarters, did you fuck her then?â€ť
â€śShut up, Ron!â€ť yelled Harry.
â€śWhy, Harry? You saw him!â€ť Ron looked at Lucius and walked towards him. â€ś Or did you already get to her? Was she already your whore?â€ť
Lucius shot up out of his chair, grabbed Ron by the collar and threw him violently against the wall.
â€śHow dare you presume to know what I am thinking? Have I not lost enough to satisfy you, Mr. Weasley? Was the life of my wife and only son not a good enough price to pay for my mistakes? Do you think so little of your sister that you would so freely think her my whore? She is lying on a slab, in the Dark Lordâ€™s home. She has no knowledge of what is happening around her, or what will happen to her tomorrow night.â€ť Lucius let Ron go roughly and looked at him with obvious distaste. â€śI have no brothers, but if brothers are anything like you, I thank the gods I was an only child.â€ť As Lucius walked away Ron mumbled something. Lucius turned and looked at him.
â€śLouder. You have shown little courage thus far, show me some now,â€ť said Lucius.
â€śI said if anything happens to Ginny, may the gods have mercy on your soul.â€ť
â€śI have no soul, Mr. Weasley, I lost it when I buried my family,â€ť Lucius said calmly, then walked out the door. He would go away from Hogwarts to his home and sleep. He needed his strength for tomorrow evening. If the potion that Severus and Hermione developed didnâ€™t work, Lucius knew that he would have to do everything in his power to get Ginny and himself out of harmâ€™s way.
Back in Severusâ€™ rooms, Molly stood before her son.
â€śI have never in my life been so disappointed in any of my children as I am with you at this moment, Ronald Weasley.â€ť She turned her back on him and gathered her shawl. She then turned back to her son.
â€śYour sister will survive. And I hope by all the gods in the heavens that she accepts Lucius Malfoy as her husband someday. So you had better start to accept him because if you donâ€™t, I donâ€™t want you setting another foot in my home.â€ť Molly then threw Floo powder into the fireplace and disappeared into the flames.
Arthur looked at Ron sadly.
â€śWhy is it so difficult for you to trust, Ron? I thought we raised you better than that.â€ť Arthur then followed his wife home.
The rest of the Order silently one-by-one went their separate ways, all knowing their assignments for the following evening.
Harry stood and took Ron by the arm.
â€śCome on, Ron. We should go.â€ť Harry led a shocked Ron out of Severusâ€™ rooms, thinking the night air would help his friend come to his senses.
As they walked towards the gates, Ron looked at Harry.
â€śWhy am I always sticking my foot in my mouth, Harry? Why canâ€™t I just leave things be?â€ť
â€śDonâ€™t be so hard on yourself. You canâ€™t help it that youâ€™re an idiot.â€ť They both stopped. â€śSorry. Letâ€™s just go home and get some rest.â€ť
Back at Voldemortâ€™s estate, Ginny lay on the altar. Her eyes remained closed, but she became aware that she was under some sort of a spell that might be wearing off. Try as she might, her eyes couldnâ€™t open and her body remained paralyzed atop a hard cold stone slab. Something was going to happen to her, and she knew she had to be ready for whatever it might be.
The following evening, the members of the Order met at Headquarters.
Arthur had convinced Molly to stay home. He promised he would send her news of Ginnyâ€™s rescue as soon as it happened and she was safe. Arthur had also called over seventy-five Aurors, all ones that he knew personally and trusted. They would go directly to Voldemortâ€™s estate.
Albus prepared Order members from all over the world. Those members would be stationed throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley and a few around Muggle London..
Severus and Hermione were getting ready to drink the potion that would once again turn them into small children. Only this time, the Adulescens Denuo spell would work correctly. They had changed the amounts of the ingredients and were able to make it so that instead of the standard hour as children, they would be child-sized for close to four hours. This insured that both would have enough time to get through the tunnels within Voldemortâ€™s estate and get to where Ginny lay, knowing that was where the siphoning of Ginnyâ€™s magic would take place.
â€śHermione, we need to get going. Itâ€™s getting late, Lucius and Harry will be here any minute,â€ť Severus called to Hermione from his potions lab.
â€śIâ€™m ready,â€ť Hermione held an odd-looking contraption in her hand.
â€śWhat is that?â€ť asked Severus.
â€śItâ€™s a water pistol,â€ť she said.
â€śWhat on earth are you going to do with that?â€ť Severus took the small plastic gun from Hermioneâ€™s hand and examined it.
â€śWe can put Voldemortâ€™s potion in that. All we have to do is get him within shooting range and poof.â€ť Hermione was relieved when she saw Severus smiling. She was afraid he would think her idea ridiculous.
â€śHermione, my dear, you are absolutely brilliant.â€ť
He filled the water pistol with Voldemortâ€™s potion and charmed it against leakage. The two shared a kiss, then picked up their goblets and drank down the potion. Once again their bodies shrank to the size of six-year-olds. Severus looked down at himself and sighed.
â€śIâ€™m so tired of being six.â€ť
â€śBut youâ€™re such a cute six-year-old.â€ť Hermione laughed and kissed him on the lips.
Severus took hold of her shoulders and immediately pushed her away from him.
â€śHermione, what are you doing? That was wrong on so many different levels. Do you want to give me some kind of a sexual complex?â€ť He scowled and took hold of his wand. After they were once again in child-sized clothing, he began to walk out of the room. He really hated being a six-year-old.
I\'m sorry for another cliffhanger, but this chapter was getting unbelievably long and I had to stop it at some point. I\'ll be updating again this week so you won\'t have to wait too long to see what happens.
Sometimes the best things come in small packages by ancientgir