Episode 21: The Fashion Show

For more information, check The Alliance of Destiny: A Virtual TV Series page.

Written and Directed by Humaira K and Gill P

Guest starring

David Anders as Julian Sark
Shiri Appleby as Anastasia Darcy
Cate Blanchett as Narcissa Malfoy
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Elizabeth Hurley as Natasha Darcy
Jason Issacs as Lucius Malfoy
Keira Knightley as Meliza Masterson
Iyari Limon as Kennedy
Mia Maestro as Nadia Santos
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers

The cheers were deafening as the crowd stood up and clapped hard with shrill whistling provided by the Weasley clan as the Fashion Show participants bowed and Anastasia Darcy gave her mother a bouquet of her favourite flowers.

After the cheers had died down a little, the participants went backstage to change for the after-show party. None of them, especially the girls, were going to stick around for long as the post-fashion show sleepover was to be attended, girls only.

“That was such a buzz,” said Hermione who couldn’t stop grinning. Years of shyness and body image problems dissolved in that perfect moment when everyone saw not Mudblood, Swot or sidekick to Harry and Ron, but Hermione Granger. The beautiful woman she had become.

Ron hadn’t been able to stop looking at her outfit, but as she changed back into more casual clothes, she left her hair in it’s ornate design and skipped out of the changing rooms.

“Mrs. Darcy, that was the most spectacular fund-raiser I’ve been to,” said the Minister of Magic enthusiastically shaking Natasha’s hand.

“Thank you Minister, please, call me Natasha. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The Fab Five did such a wonderful job organising the wardrobes of everyone. Really without them and the participants, this show would not have been a success,” said Natasha beaming at her team, still flushed with happiness and excitement that she had pulled it off.

“But it was your idea Mrs….I mean Natasha. I wonder what other plans you have for FM?” he asked inquiringly.

Natasha launched enthusiastically into a long-winded speech about other ways they could raise awareness and money for FM.

It was now or never.

“Anastasia?” asked Harry’s soft voice as he knocked on the girls changing rooms. Giggles erupted as Harry rolled his eyes. Girls.

“If I tell you, if I tell you now/Will you keep on, will you keep on lovin’ me/If I tell you, if I tell you how I feel/Will you keep bringin’out the best in me.”

“Just a minute!” said Anastasia before slipping into casual clothes she had picked out for the Post-Fashion show party. All she had to do was stand around for a bit, greet whoever Mum told her to greet and then she could go. Somehow, Harry had been roped in too.

Anastasia emerged looking resplendent in the purple dress as Harry’s eyes bugged out.

“You…uh…you look great,” he stuttered out.

She smiled shyly, “Thanks. Look we just have to stay around for a bit and then you and I can bugger off.”

“You give me, you give me the sweetest taboo/You give me, you’re givin’ me the sweetest taboo/Too good for me.”

Harry’s eyes bugged even more, “Separately. I’m going to the sleep-over and you can do what you like. I’m sorry Mum roped you into this. I’ll try and make it brief,” she said offering her arm, which Harry took hesitantly.

They appeared into the mingling crowd and smiled and greeted the guests. Natasha was looking around wildly for her daughter, but Anastasia saw her before she could be dragged off to meet the Minister of Magic.

“There’s a quiet storm and it never felt like this before/There’s a quiet storm that is you/There’s a quiet storm and it never felt this hot before/Givin’ me something that’s taboo (Sometimes I think you’re just too good for me).”

“Quick,” she whispered to Harry as she led him ducking and diving out of the Great Hall and into the courtyard.

“Phew!” said Anastasia wiping imaginary sweat off her forehead, “I can handle a few smiles and thank yous, but having to listen to my mother go on and on at the Minister of Magic is way too much.”

“Yeah….” said Harry transfixed by her babbling mouth. It was just longing to be…

“I’d do anything for you/I’d stand out in the rain/Anything you want me to do/Don’t let it slip away.”

A warm mouth engulfed her before she could say anything. She stood in shock for a while, this wasn’t happening. It was all a dream. Right?!

“I’m sorry,” said Harry quickly pulling away.

“Am I dreaming?” asked Anastasia quietly not meeting his eyes.

“No,” said Harry miserably ready to turn away and lick his wounds. The second girl he’d kissed was about to reject him.

“Good, because I’ve wanted to do this for ages,” she said as she grabbed his wrist and expertly pulled him in for a kiss. Warm mouths met but before they could do any more Anastasia pulled away.

“There’s a quiet storm and it never felt like this before/There’s a quiet storm, I think it’s you/There’s a quiet storm and I never felt this hot before/Giving me something that’s taboo.”

“Wonderful as this is, I need to know something,” she said gently, “Do you forgive me?”

“Yes,” said Harry without thinking.

“You give me the sweetest taboo/That’s why I’m in love with you/You give me, keep givin’ me the sweetest taboo/Too good for me.”

“Thank you,” said Anastasia and resumed the kiss.

* * *

“Well… I’ll be a Muggle’s uncle,” Lucius blurted out. He was going through Lucius P. Malfoy’s diary for what seemed like the billionth time.

“Welcome to your life/There’s no turning back/Even while we sleep/We will find you/Acting on your best behaviour/Turn your back on mother nature/Everybody wants to rule the world.”

“What was that Father?” Julian asked. He was cleaning several Muggle guns, something Lucius had no use for anyway.

“Seems as though the man I was named after was just as obsessed with Angelus as I was,” Lucius said, handing over a sheaf of papers.

Julian had seen the stupid diary a million times before, and what Lucius showed him was nothing new. “What’s the problem?”

“Lucius P. stumbled on to the beginnings of the Channeler prophecy, but he hardly mentions a Book of the Dead,” Lucius began. They discovered that night that someone had penetrated the ancient wizarding security system that had been put up to ward off thieves and Muggles alike to steal the Book of the Dead. The Dark Lord was angry beyond all words and demanded they get it back. They had been hiding at Julian’s Villa to regroup. “I do remember reading about this years ago, I can’t believe I found it again today.”

“And that means what for us?”

“Everything in life is balanced, Julian. Good and evil, light and dark, yin and yang, man and woman. For every negative there is a positive that completes it.”

“Father, please. I’m not a child. I don’t need an explanation. Get on with it, will you?”

Lucius gave his son a dark look. “The Book of the Dead incantation is useless without the Book of Life incantation.”

Julian perked up at the news. He wanted to be rid of Voldemort’s binds forever, and this was just a step in the right direction. “And where’s the Book of Life?”

“It’s my own design/It’s my own remorse/Help me to decide/Help me make the most/Of freedom and of pleasure/Nothing ever lasts forever/Everybody wants to rule the world.”

Lucius smiled. “If my memory serves me correctly, it is housed in the Department of Mysteries. It goes without saying that the Dark Lord will be pleased with this news. Let’s go.”

* * *

“Where were you Anastasia?” queried Meliza as they got ready for the sleepover which was being organised in the Room of Requirement.

“Baby girl, where you at?/Got no strings, got men attached/Can’t stop that feelin’ for long no/You makin’ dogs wanna beg/Breaking them off your fancy legs/But they make you feel right at home now.”

“I was out… kissing Harry,” said Anastasia dreamily.

Meliza squealed and hugged her friend who couldn’t stop smiling, “You sly witch! I want details woman!”

“And I will give details soon, just need to get this into my system. I kissed Harry. I mean he kissed me first but being the dope I am, I didn’t kiss him back because I thought he was just doing it for a dare or I was dreaming, and then I just planted one on him, and when I asked he said he forgave me. Sad to say I was very reluctant to come here tonight, but a promise is a promise,” said Anastasia beaming.

“Anastasia Darcy why didn’t you just stay with Harry all night kissing?” asked Meliza shocked.

“Because I refuse to ditch my friends and this promise even for him. I am not going to turn into my mum OK? As much as I love my parents they seem to be in their own little bubble all the time, which is hard to penetrate when you want to talk,” said Anastasia quietly.

“See all these illusions just take us too long/And I want it bad/Because you walk pretty/Because you talk pretty/’Cause you make me sick/And I’m not leavin’, till you’re leavin’.”

“Well good for you, taking it slowly,” said Meliza giving her friend a squeeze.

“Hey guys? What’s the commotion about?” asked Dawn peeking into the changing rooms that had been conjured as part of the sleepover.

“Just some girl talk,” said Meliza before joining Dawn in the front room.

“Oh I swear there’s something when she’s pumpin’/Asking for a raise/Well does she want me to carry her home now/So does she want me to buy her things/On my house, on my job/On my loot, shoes, my shirt/My crew, my mind, my father’s last name?”

As she entered, most of the participants including the Hogwarts Scooby girls were assembled.

“Sydney!” said Buffy coming in a little while later, “I’m shocked you could pry yourself away from Severus!”

Sydney chuckled, “We’re not joined at the hip you know, besides I wouldn’t miss this for the world!”

Dobby materialised and the girls squealed, some of the Muggle ones looking at him curiously.

“Dobby has come to arrange food and anything the misses needs Dobby has,” said Dobby his bat like ears flapping madly at all the attention.

“Thanks Dobby!” said Anastasia kindly.

Blushing Dobby conjured up some sleepover food, marshmallows, ice-cream tubs, crisps, drinks everything for a feast.

“When I get you alone/When I get you you’ll know baby/When I get you alone/When I get you alone now.”

After Dobby had disappeared the girls set to work on grabbing some food and going back to their original places within the sleeping bags.

“I am confused what happens at a sleepover,” said Otrere breaking the munching silence.

“Well mainly we talk about guys, tell secrets and do dares,” explained Willow, a veteran of sleepovers.

“Oh,” said Otrere, “Then I would like to talk about Xander.”

The whole room stopped as Buffy and Willow looked at Otrere interestedly.

“Did I say something wrong? Xander is a guy so I am permitted to talk about him right?” asked Otrere unsurely.

“Yes of course, we were just surprised. What did you want to talk about?” said Sydney gently.

“Baby girl you da shit/That makes you my equivalent/Well you can keep your toys in the drawer tonight, all right/All my dawgs talkin’ fast/Aint you got some photographs?/’Cause you shook that room like a star now/Yes you did.”

“I like him, I have feelings which I vaguely recall before I slept. He makes my heart beat faster and he doesn’t look at me often. I don’t know what to do about these feelings but I am guessing that these lead to mating?” she hazarded.

“Uh….not always but sometimes. Like with me and Ken, we can’t mate but you know, feelings good,” said Willow blushing, which was met by giggles.

“What do you want to do about these feelings Otrere? You have to remember Xander lost his fiancée in Sunnydale, and he’s still not gotten over it. Maybe he feels that you being attracted to him is wrong because if he allows himself to be attracted to you, he’s betraying Anya’s memory,” explained Dawn.

Buffy turned her head to her sister, “When did you become Miss Freud?”

“There’s a lot you don’t know about me Buffy, and besides, I do watch daytime TV, despite it being in Spanish,” said Dawn smiling.

“All these intrusions just take us too long/And I want you so bad/Because you walk city/Because you talk city/’Cause you make me sick/And I’m not leavin’, till you’re leavin’.”

“So I should not say anything at all?” asked Otrere, even more confused.

“Maybe, maybe not. What does your heart tell you to do?” asked Anastasia joining in the conversation.

“It tells me to tell him I like him, but I feel fear because he may reject me, and I will lose the friendship I have with him.”

“Take it from me, sometimes it’s better to be more then friends.”

“When I get you alone/When I get you you’ll know baby/When I get you alone/When I get you alone now.”

“Maybe…”

* * *

“This is bloody ridiculous!” Ron said suddenly. The post-fashion ball had ended without a hitch. Now all the men who had participated were gathered in the Gryffindor common room, save for Professor Snape.

“Buddy you’re a boy/Make a big noise playin’ in the street/Gonna be a big man some day/You got blood on your face, big disgrace/Kicking your can all over the place.”

“What is?” Angel asked, slurping on his Butterbeer lazily.

“That the girls get to have a sleepover. Why can’t we?”

“We are,” Harry reminded him, almost catatonic. “Sort of.”

He was pleased with his forthrightness regarding Anastasia. He couldn’t deny any more that he liked the way he felt when he was around her. Their impromptu make out session was just the way it should be, not with tears, sniffling, feelings of pity, or any of that. He grimaced at the thought of his first kiss.

Ron stood up. “Hey, you know, some of the Extendable Ears from Fred and George survived another purging from Mum. Whaddya think? Go and spy on the girls?”

“We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you.”

“Ron!” Wesley scolded. “You’re old enough to know better.”

“So? C’mon, you know they’re talking about us. What else would a bunch of girls do when they get together but talk? Isn’t anybody curious?” Ron asked hopefully.

Xander nodded, standing up. “I’ll go. If it means using Wizarding means to spy on chicks, I’m down with that.”

“Keep the beat up, why, I’m gonna turn your heat up/Gotta get you on the floor, we’re gonna burn your feet up/Rockin’ you, like I never rocked you before/Like the way I do, got you screamin’ for more.”

“Excellent. Harry?”

Harry blushed. He knew where they’d be too, Anastasia had told him. But he wondered if he should mess with the delicate situation between them. Would she hate him if he crashed her sleepover?

“We’re causin’ all the devastation/When we step into the place/You better believe that you can see/We’re gonna rock and never stop/And here we go again/Hit you with the flow again/Kick it up the second time around/we’ll bring it on again – shout it out.”

“Let’s go. They’re in the Room of Requirement.”

“Harry,” Angel warned him, “I don’t think you should go.”

“We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you.”

Harry stared at him quietly. It was weird, but it was like Angel was the father he never had. Not a replacement for James or even Sirius, but someone who watched over him. It was a nice feeling.

“But you’re not gonna stop me, are you?”

“No,” Angel said sighing. “I just would’ve thought you were better than that.”

“You can’t sit there and tell me you didn’t do stuff like this,” Harry asked him.

Angel nodded, conceding. “I was a bit of a hellraiser in my much younger days.” He put his empty Butterbeer on the table. “But if you get into trouble, we’re not covering for you.”

“Harry, let’s use your dad’s Invisibility Cloak!” Ron replied quickly, pleased they had gotten permission, more or less.

* * *

“Lucius dear, what’s the matter?” asked Narcissa patting herself down from the impromptu Apparating session. Her husband was smiling like the cat that got the cream, which was worrying enough anyway.

“There’s a room where the light won’t find you/Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down/When they do I’ll be right behind you.”

“Oh nothing dear, can’t I want to see my wife just because I miss her?” said Lucius smiling at her innocently. Instantly Narcissa knew something was wrong or he was plotting something and he wanted her help.

“Well of course dear, I’m just a bit surprised. You haven’t shown any interest in me lately, so I was resigned to the fact that I wasn’t loved anymore,” said Narcissa sniffily turning away.

“So glad we’ve almost made it/So sad they had to fade it/Everybody wants to rule the world.”

This always had an affect on Lucius because he couldn’t bear having his wife be displeased with him. Image was everything to the Malfoys, and if they couldn’t present a united and happy image to the rest of the Wizarding world, then it must be remedied.

“Narcissa how could you say that?!” he said coming up behind her, he turned her around and she glared at him. “It’s true Julian and I have been a little distracted lately, but you know how much the Book means to the Dark Lord. But, I promise to make it up to you my love. Dinner tonight, we’ll Apparate to Florence and then we’ll see where the night takes us.”

“Florence…?” asked Narcissa confused and then said, “You remembered!”

“Well of course I remember dear, honestly and you think I’m the forgetful one. Your present will be awaiting you on our date,” said Lucius slyly.

“I can’t stand this indecision/Married with a lack of vision/Everybody wants to rule the world/Say that you’ll never never never never need it/One headline why believe it/Everybody wants to rule the world.”

Narcissa hugged him in delight, whatever she had told Sydney, some part of her heart still kept hoping for the glimpses of the Lucius Malfoy she had fallen in love with, rather then the power hungry dictator he was on his way to becoming.

“Happy birthday il mio amore,” said Lucius in her ear.

“Ringraziarlo,” said Narcissa.

* * *

“Ow! That was my foot Xander!” Ron cried softly, not wanting to cause a scene. It was a tight fit, three grown men crammed into one Invisibility Cloak, but they managed.

“Buddy you’re an old man, poor man/Pleading with your eyes/Gonna make you something some day/You got mud on your face, big disgrace/Somebody better put you back in your place.”

“Where are we going?” asked Xander, as they tiptoed up the moving staircases. Most of the pictures on the wall were sleeping, since it was so late now.

“Seventh floor,” Ron whispered back.

“Across from the tapestry of Barnabas the Balmy trying to teach trolls to do ballet,” Harry added.

“We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you.”

“Oh no,” Xander moaned softly. He nodded his head directly in front of them. Up ahead was Peeves, rigging chalkboard erasers to fall on people who dared to walk past. He had an unfortunate encounter with him a few weeks before, when he was talking to Otrere.

“Be… very… quiet,” Ron reminded them.

They inched by Peeves, who paused in his bedevilment. “Who’sss there?” he demanded. He whirled around, spinning in circles, trying to find the disturbance. As he was whirling though, Ron, Harry, and Xander managed to get past him. Or so they thought.

“I SEE YOU!” Peeves screamed suddenly, zooming towards them.

“Run!” Harry cried. The Invisibility Cloak fluttered behind them as they ran as far and as fast as their legs could take them. Peeves began making such a racket… and they only had one more staircase to go.

“We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you.”

“Students out of bed! Students out of bed! Muggle too!” Peeves screamed at the top of his lungs, zooming around and around, even pelting them with a handful of erasers choked with chalk dust.

“Filch’ll be here any second!” Ron said maddeningly. “I’ll stop Peeves. You guys just get the door open!” Ron lunged out from under the Cloak and took off after Peeves, presumably to lead him astray.

“Concentrate!” Harry barked as they came upon the Barnabas tapestry.

“What?” Xander asked confused.

“To make the Room appear, we have to walk past the wall three times concentrating hard on what we need,” Harry said. “So concentrate!”

“We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you.”

Xander shrugged, but did as he was told. As soon as they made their third stroll, the door appeared, very girly with pink banners and streamers hanging from it.

“Ron!” Harry hollered down the hall.

“Cloak!” Ron called back, running towards them. Ron had used the waddiwasi spell on Peeves using chalk from a nearby empty classroom. The poltergeist was fuming beyond all words, but it bought them some time to get in there.

“We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you/We will, we will rock you.”

“Alohamora!” Ron yelled at the door, and it creaked open slowly. Diving under the cloak with Harry and Xander, they quietly shut the door behind them.

Meliza perked up suddenly. “Who’s there?” she called towards the door. “Dobby? Is that you?”

“No misses, Dobby has been here the whole time,” Dobby replied, turning from his place where he had been stoking the fire in the fireplace.

“This is gonna be good,” Ron said devilishly.

* * *

“Huh, I could have sworn I heard something,” shrugged Meliza settling down again with her tub of ice-cream.

“See the people walking down the street/Fall in line just watching all their feet/They don’t know where they wanna go/But they’re walking in time.”

“Probably just the wind, you know these creaky old castles,” said Sydney comfortingly. They had been talking about the Xander and Otrere dilemma deciding whether the best course of action was to say anything or not. Regardless, Otrere was very interested in this means of female bonding and and listened intently to their advice.

“I say you should tell him and just see what he says. If he’s attracted to you too, then it’ll work itself out,” counselled Meliza.

“Well, he isn’t married or dating anyone so I’d say go for it, I can tell you firsthand. Unavailable men, always works out for the bad,” advised Sydney.

“Well, in a way he is unavailable,” said Willow, “I mean he was so great after what happened with me that I think you shouldn’t just tell him, even though you barged into my life when I most needed you,” she looked lovingly at Kennedy.

“They got the beat/They got the beat/Yeah, they got the beat.”

“Well, then you should definitely tell him,” counselled Kennedy kissing Willow affectionately.

“Hey!” shouted Anastasia, “No kissing unless it’s a dare. Just because there are no guys in the room doesn’t mean you get to make out while we examine Otrere’s love life.”

“Which brings me nicely to yours Buff,” said Willow slyly, “No hanky panky with Angel?”

“See the kids just getting out of school/They can’t wait to hang out and be cool/Hang around ’til quarter after twelve/That’s when they fall in line.”

Buffy didn’t answer for a long while and they waited it out, “After Angel’s soul was taken I blamed myself, but seeing the monster that Angelus was I knew that I had to kill him. After he came back from hell things were…off. We’ve managed to stay good friends and I know he’ll have my back whenever I need him, but it wouldn’t work. And you know what? I’m happy being single gal for a while. It’s time to find out who Buffy is or was before I became Slaygal.”

“What about you Dawn?” asked Buffy turning the attention to her sister, “Any guys catch your fancy?”

Dawn laughed, “Willow and Kennedy have been keeping me so busy with schoolwork I haven’t had time to notice guys at all. But there are some hot guys here!”

“They got the beat/They got the beat/Kids got the beat/Yeah, you’ve got the beat.”

“Hey, weren’t we supposed to be discussing the Xander and Otrere situation?” asked Hermione bringing back their attention to the topic at hand.

Behind the Invisibility Cloak, Xander stood stunned. Otrere liked him?!

“All in favour that Otrere tell him her feelings?” asked Hermione methodically. 5 people held up their hands.

“All against?”

Again five held up their hand.

“Well, looks like it’s up to you Otrere, whatever you decide we’ll be here if you want to talk,” concluded Hermione.

“Go-go music really makes us dance/Do the pony puts us in a trance/Do watusi just give us a chance/That’s when we fall in line.”

“So, what’s with you and Ron, huh Hermione?” asked Anastasia turning the attention to Hermione.

“Nothing… I mean it’s not like he notices me anyway. Harry’s always been like a brother to me, but Ron and me. I don’t know, after the Yule Ball thing in fourth year I’m not too sure, and last summer….”

“What about last summer?” asked Buffy eagerly.

“Last summer Ron stopped being one of my friends and I started seeing him with new eyes. I just… I dunno. Viktor’s a great guy and all, but the language barriers alone wouldn’t have made it work. We’re still good friends and write to each other, but I don’t see a relationship with him.”

“We got the beat/We got the beat/We got the beat/Yeah, we got it!”

“So, if Otrere gets to tell Xander how she feels… why don’t you tell Ron?”

“I don’t think I want to ruin our friendship for what could be just a crush on my part.”

“Anastasia…..” said Hermione in a sing-song voice turning to the brunette.

“I’m not going to kiss and tell. Whatever happens or may happen between Harry and me, I don’t want to risk talking about it right now. I’m on shaky ground even though he said he forgives me, and I’ve started to forgive myself, it’s a long and hard road. So, let’s just say that I had a magical evening that I won’t ever forget,” said Anastasia diplomatically.

“You’re all dying to know anyway,” said Sydney with a mischievous smile. “Sev is one those magnetic people you meet once in a lifetime. Sure he’s a snarky bastard at times, but that keeps me on my toes. I love exchanging banter with him, talking to him, listening to his voice. He’s smart, handsome and just right for me. When I’m with him, I don’t doubt our relationship. It just is. After Danny died, I blamed Sloane, a lot. With Vaughn it was complicated and even more now he’s married, but Sev, it’s not complicated. What you see is what you get, which I find so refreshing. I love him.”

“Everybody get on your feet/We know you can dance to the beat/Jumpin’, get down/Round and round and round.”

Stunned silence greeted her.

“Have you told him?” asked Nadia when she had found her voice and joining the conversation for the first time, “I mean, I’ve seen him around, but if he’s going to be my future brother-in-law I think a good start might be to tell him you love him.”

“I have,” said Sydney dreamily.

“And, are you going to get married?” asked Hermione fearfully.

“Maybe one day, I’m happy with the way things are for now. You should have seen his face after we escaped Malfoy Manor. Narcissa Malfoy nearly killed me that night, she’s a psychotic little witch, and I thought Lucius was bad,” said Sydney, shuddering.

“Narcissa nearly…killed you?” asked Nadia coming to sit beside Sydney and hugging her.

“We got the beat/We got the beat/We got the beat/We got the beat/We got the beat…”

“I talked my way out of it. Severus was right, she’s a viper behind closed doors. But now we’ve got what we need I don’t think we’ll need to have more run-ins with the Malfoys.”

* * *

“This news pleases me greatly, Lucius. Julian, I am astounded that you have more than proved yourself to me in the short time I have known you. And please note that I do not lavish my praise on just anybody,” Voldemort said, his sneer belying his polite words.

“Thank you, My Lord,” Lucius and Julian said in unison.

“As you both know, I myself made an appearance at the Department of Mysteries just last year. They have since stepped up security there. It would be foolish of me to make another appearance so soon, even though I could curse my way through those fools if I wanted to,” he continued, laughing coldly.

“What do you plan My Lord?” Lucius simpered.

“The boy. We will use the boy again to get into the Department and extract the book for us. We need the book now more than ever,” Voldemort replied. “I will work on him again tonight.”

“And the others?”

“You two will arrange that. I need the three of them to complete this prophecy of mine,” Voldemort said, easing his way into a high-backed chair. Lucius and Sark shared a look.

“Of course, My Lord. We will plan that immediately.”

“Excellent. Now leave me be, I have work to do,” Voldemort said, waving his hand in one swift motion to dismiss them.

“Thank you, My Lord.”

Voldemort sighed and breathed deeply, his mind focusing on the Legilimency that had served him so well.

“All for freedom and for pleasure/Nothing ever lasts forever/Everybody wants to rule the world.”

“Ow!” Harry cried painfully, his knees buckling and his scar flaming in anger. He clutched his forehead and fell forward, falling on Willow and Kennedy’s legs. They jumped up in surprise, upsetting their bowl of crisps. “Ahhh!” he screamed, his voice echoing off the walls of the Room of Requirement.

“Harry, no!” Ron muttered from beneath the cloak, reaching for his best friend. But it was too late. The girls in the room screamed at the sight of boys crashing the party.

“Harry?” Anastasia cried, crawling across the large bed quickly to hold Harry’s writhing body in her arms. She knew immediately that something was wrong. She didn’t care how he got there, why he was there, or any of that.

Images were swirling in his head like water going down a Muggle drain. Scenes that looked strangely familiar. He held tightly onto Anastasia’s warm hand and looked at her straight in the eyes, willing himself to stay awake long enough to explain himself.

“Department of Mysteries,” he croaked.

Harry fainted in her arms.

Fade out

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