25: 1st Blood
Chapter 25: First Blood
“Didn’t know this were here,” Crabbe senior muttered as Bellatrix pulled open a hatch inserted into the floor of the Honeydukes storeroom, “You sure this leads to the castle?”
“The master said it leads into Hogwarts,” Bellatrix dismissively shrugged, “you want to go back ask Voldemort if he is sure, you go ahead.”
Crabbe grunted, sharing a fearful look with Goyle.
Bellatrix snorted, “didn’t think so,” and dropped into the darkness below, an inaudible lumos lighting the way almost the same instant she landed.
Almost silently, she started to walk down the passage, crouching slightly to avoid hitting her head, then abruptly, she turned, wand raised and equally as abruptly lowered.
“Idiots!” she snarled, quietly but still managing to carry, “this is supposed to be a stealthy invasion, would you like me to get a dictionary so you can look up the meaning of the word ‘stealthy’?”
The two wizards exchanged looks again, “it means quietly… no noise… putting your feet down softly and not stamping would be a good start.”
She started walking forwards again and all of four seconds later stopped, turned, and cast a quick pair of ‘silencios’.
Growling she strode off, her poise screaming ‘displeased’ with a possible side order of PMT.
Shrugging, Crabbe and Goyle followed, their expressions conveying the one thought running through their minds… ‘Women’.
The ‘muggles’ say a picture paints a thousand words, however where the Wizarding world was concerned, a picture could quite literally say a thousand words. In a few cases it was indeed rather difficult to get them to shut up.
Timion as a wizard had been loud, exuberant, the sort of person who could fill a whole room with the force of his laugh… a laugh that you heard and imagined coming from the mouth of a jolly fat man in a red outfit with fluffy white trim.
Unfortunately, his very manner annoyed Malfoy Senior and early into the first war, Deatheaters had paid a visit and removed his tongue. Timion still enjoyed life, but he learned the value of silence… then he was honoured with a portrait on the walls of Hogwarts.
A portrait found and recognised by a set of twins. A portrait that like its original enjoyed a good prank or two… and also had a very protective fatherly streak. A portrait that had no problems getting involved when the twins began their own version of ‘upgraded’ wards for Hogwarts.
Unbeknownst to the stealthily invading Deatheaters, the twins had remembered one of the basic rules of concealment… hardly anyone ever bothers to look up.
An enemy humiliated was an enemy angered, rash, more likely to favour the direct approach to make mistakes. The direct approach was something that could be protected against and proven in a court far more easily.
These are truths but not ones that had crossed the twins mind in their work, they had only really been interested in three things, one; protecting those they called friends and family, two; testing some of their riskier ‘toys’ so they knew what to change and improve before production, three; a little stress relief at the enemies expense.
Okay, so four things, impressing the girls almost always figures on a teenage boys mind after all…
Unfortunately, most spells that would have allowed them to view the secret passages would have been detected and disarmed by anyone sneaking in, one of the reasons that Timion had been used to control the traps and not remote through the magical equivalent of a CCTV system.
This meant instead of watching what happened, the Aurors and Order Members checking the corridor for the invading Deatheaters had to manually reconstruct what happened. They too forgot to look up and as such, missed out on a very helpful hint.
Fred grinned, smirking at George as they listened in carefully on the modified extendable ears, sitting in a room that showed all the signs of previous use as a broom closet, and in front of them, a desk that an telephone operator might have mistaken for an old manual exchange.
“Mad-eye?” “Spray pattern indicates it was most likely sprayed from beneath and that somebody was standing right above it at the time,”
Fred shook his head, “too serious... too supersil… supersuli… supsil….”
“Big-headed?” George replied dryly.
“Close enough,” “What kind of force would it have been sprayed with?”
“Sounds young, a little uncertain.”
“Thinking a probie?”
Fred nodded, “yeah, I’m thinking probie.”
“Hey, is number three still live?”
They glanced up the board in time to see the number three switch light up, grinning they turned towards the frame where Timion was nonchalantly whistling and inspecting his fingernails.
“Is now,” George grinned. “Simply put… I would not have wanted to be the person who got that between the legs.”
“No indications the stream was magically controlled or shaped either.”
The twins nodded, exchanging a slightly pensive look, before both saying what they now knew “Madeye,” “The only reason that would happen would be… so as not to interfere with other magics on the paint perhaps?”
“No, no such magics that I can find.”
“Perhaps the trap was not finished then,”
“I doubt that… magical trigger but I see a pressure canister and piping. Very clever… Bellatrix missed it simply because she was checking for magical traps and apart from the trigger this one was muggle.”
“Is he impressed?” Fred commented, glancing at George.
“Nah…” George shrugged, “merely approving.”
They shared grins, and gave each other high-fives, “Moody’s approval on a trap… man, we have got to celebrate this.”
“What else?” “Smart,” Big head commented.
“Very, and not something most magic users would have come up with,”
“Didn’t sound certain about that,”
Fred shrugged, “Hermione did help… besides Dumbledore might have let him know who was trapping the passageways.” “Lots of magical energy here… silencios and lots of them,”
“Recent… most likely our invaders. Shall I remove the spells?”
“I doubt they did so many silencios without reason.”
Reaching swiftly forward, Fred hurriedly rewired, moving the feed from the extendable ear they were listening to a hole marked filter and patching the old, gramophone style horn that was making the sound in after that.. He exchanged a glance with George who simply handed him a set of fluffy pink ear protectors. “Good point… cover your ears first.”
“There… those should cancel right about… now.”
“I think my ears are ringing.”
“Pardon? I can’t hear you over the ringing in my ears!”
“Iron Maiden? Cool, did they install a volume control somewhere?”
“I’m beginning to like our probie friend.” “…”
“I don’t see any Iron Maidens and where in this tunnel would they keep them anyway? You’re not making any sense.”
“It’s a muggle band…”
“Its fiendish torture is what it is!”
“Lets see… broken pastry bases, whipped cream scattered all over the place… nah, no one would be that juvenile, not whilst protecting a school surely!”
“Somebody apparently was…”
“Ehh… I don’t think that was just cream in those pies.”
“Because you put your finger in a bit to test in and now you have ‘sneak’ in glowing letters appearing across your forehead?”
“Son of a…”
“Bright too… no way you’re going to miss that even in a lighted corridor.”
“Damn, that’s a scary mix of juvenile, guts and smarts.”
“Who did these wards, the kids?”
“Well, it looks as if this is where the three turned back, can’t see whyaaarrrrggghhhh!”
“Evil minded little kids,”
The twins exchanged grins which dropped off hurriedly as they realised if Moody knew it was them, they might really have reason to be paranoid soon enough. “His missus is going to be furious.”
“His wife on the other hand…”
“Best get him out of there; you get on with it, chop chop!”
“Me? You’re the one who wants him out, you do it! Besides, I’m not the one wearing a codpiece.”
“Hey Madeye, I just realised something. We’re only five metres into the tunnel.”
“Well then probationary Auror, why don’t you go ahead and check for further traps whilst I extricate the researcher here.”