Content Harry Potter Miscellaneous
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Chapter 19: Light and Darkness

Danger awoke in darkness.

Her head ached. She was lying on a cold stone floor, and somewhere nearby she could hear dripping water. Remus’ touch in her mind had the leaden feel of unconsciousness, rather than the relaxation of true sleep.

Something is very wrong here.

She backtracked in her mind. Where was I last?

In the front room. Vacuuming. I had just turned the machine off when Harry screamed, and I turned around —

And then nothing.

I don’t like this.

There were footsteps somewhere nearby. Then the sound of a bolt being drawn, and a door being opened. Danger made herself go limp, as if she were still unconscious.

Light struck her closed eyelids. She had to force herself not to wince. Very, very carefully, she opened one eye just a sliver.

I don’t like this at all.

The man in the doorway smiled smugly. Danger closed her eyes again rather than look at that expression, and slid back into her mind, to the stored memories of her beloved, which lay dormant within her own. Carefully, she touched the surface of those memories, seeking the face she had just seen, or a younger version of it. Cold, aristocratic, handsome if one didn’t see the cruelty...

The name she was looking for floated into her consciousness as she heard the door close, and she sighed.

That’s what I was afraid of.

She heard a gasp from somewhere nearby. "Who’s there?" she asked, turning her head toward the sound automatically, though she couldn’t see a thing.

"Sirius," his voice answered, a little slurred as if he was just waking up. "Danger?"

"Yes. Remus is here too, but he’s still out. Is Aletha with you?"

"I don’t know... hold on." There was a moment of odd scuffling noises, then, "Yes, she’s here. Where’s here?"

"I don’t know where, but I know who."


No, What’s on second, Who’s on first, Danger’s memory supplied. She ignored it. "I know who did this. It’s Lucius Malfoy. He was in here a minute ago."

Sirius commented at length on Lucius Malfoy’s appearance, parentage, and personal habits. "This must be his manor," he said finally, imbuing the word with disgust. "He must have Harry here somewhere. Probably in with his own boy. And Hermione — oh, Merlin, Danger, he doesn’t even think Muggleborns are people! He could have killed her by now! And Meghan — "

"Is probably fine," Danger interrupted firmly, trying to hold her own fear under control. Hermione, sweet little sister, Harry, my darling, Meghan, little cublet, oh please let them be all right... "Sirius, please calm down. We can’t do anything if we panic."

"We can’t do anything anyway," Sirius said, his voice rising in pitch. "We’re trapped, we can’t get out — "

Aletha moaned.

"Take care of her," Danger said, surprised at the authority in her voice. "She needs you."

She turned away from them as Sirius began to call Aletha’s name, his voice returning to its usual baritone pitch. There’s nothing like taking care of someone else to keep your mind off fear.

She felt her way along the floor until she found Remus. He was lying crumpled on his side, as if he had been Stunned and left where he fell. Carefully, Danger rolled him onto his back, then insinuated her mind into his and called to him.

Remus? Time to wake up, love. Come on, we need all of us together on this one. Please wake up.

She considered for a moment, then decided to admit, if only to her love, what she was trying so hard to conceal from Sirius.

I’m afraid. I need you. Please, help me.

There was a moment of mental silence. She could hear Sirius telling Aletha what little they knew. Then...

You... know me... too well... sweetest...

The thoughts swam up from the depths of his mind, growing clearer by the moment.

I can’t not come... if someone needs me.

Danger breathed a little easier, and pressed Remus’ hand. And I do, oh, I do. We’re really in it deep this time.

Do tell. Where are we, and why is this floor so cold?

The explanation took only a few moments, mind-to-mind.

We have to take care of Sirius first, Remus said when he was up to speed. This is going to be hardest on him. Memories of Azkaban.


"Remus, Danger?" Aletha’s voice said.

"Here we are," Danger answered.

"Stay there, we’ll come to you," Sirius said, and the scuffling Danger had heard earlier resumed. A moment later, she yelped as something cold and wet made contact with her hand.

"What’s wrong, never felt a dog’s nose before?" Aletha asked from nearby, laughing a little as she sat down, next to Remus, Danger thought.

"Ew!" Danger wiped her hand on her pants. But it made sense. Sirius in dog-form would be — had been — able to smell them out and guide Aletha to them.

"I don’t like this place," Sirius said quietly from beside her. They were gathered in a rough circle now, as far as Danger could tell. "It smells like pain. Pain, and fear, and someone enjoying it."

"Sounds like a proper Malfoy attitude to me," said Remus. "But we’re not going to play along. He gets nothing out of us that we don’t give him. Agreed?"

"Agreed," the Pack answered together, and Danger felt a little better.

I’m not alone. None of us are alone. We have each other still.

Thank God he didn’t figure that out. If he’d locked us up separately, we’d be broken by the end of the first day.

Day. When is this? How long were we out?

She voiced the question aloud.

"No way to tell," Aletha said. "It was Wednesday the 25th, the last I remember. It was about, oh, 5:30. I was in the music room, with Meghan and Neenie, and then I was here."

"I was upstairs," Sirius said. "I heard Harry scream, and something hit me just before I got to the stairs."

"Harry was with me, in our front room," Danger said. "Remus?"

"I was in Aletha’s front room, picking up, but I didn't hear any scream. So whatever got us — Malfoy, most likely — probably started in Aletha’s place, moved forward through it, then came over to our half. Wait, Sirius, what half of the upstairs were you in?"

"I was on Letha’s side, but I used your stairs. Or I would have. I was on the balcony when he got me. He must have been Disillusioned. That sneaking, stinking, misbegotten..."

"Ssh!" Danger wasn’t sure who had made the sound, but as Sirius fell silent they all heard what had prompted it. Footsteps.

Probably here to gloat.

"Shield your eyes," Sirius warned. "The light’ll blind you, otherwise."

Light. Fear no light. Fear no...


Lucius means light! Her voice and Remus’ combined in her mind as they both came to the conclusion at the same moment.

"Don’t be afraid of him," Danger hissed quickly as the bolt was drawn. "The dream, it was him. Fear no light. Don’t act afraid."

"No, do act afraid, make him think he has the edge," Aletha answered urgently, and the door opened. Danger buried her face in Remus’ shoulder and whimpered.

Not very convincing, Remus remarked.

He doesn’t know me. It might be, to him.


"How touching," drawled Malfoy’s voice. Danger looked through Remus’ eyes as they adjusted to the light and saw the man framed in the doorway, leaning genteelly on some kind of walking stick. "All the little Mudbloods and Muggle-lovers together. Black, how nice to see you again."

"What have you done with Harry?" Sirius demanded. "And the girls, where are they?"

"Oh, don’t worry, your children are safe," Malfoy said negligently, examining the collar of his cloak. "My house-elf is good with babies, and the other two are quite happy with my Draco, I can assure you. I’m certain he’ll have plenty of good advice for them about living in this household."

"Living here?" Aletha said, shading her eyes with her hand. "You must be joking."

"No, I’m quite serious." Pale eyes gleamed with dark humor. "No pun intended, Black. After all, they’ll need a new home once your happy little household is broken up."

"We have no intention of breaking up our home," Remus said levelly.

"I’m sure you don’t. I, however..." Malfoy smirked. "Let’s say, I have other plans for you. For instance, Ms. Freeman — or is it Mrs. Black now? You and your beautiful daughter. Were you aware of the number of fascinating magics that require the participation of a mother and child? Of course, I’ll have to choose which one to investigate, since they can only be performed once..."

Remus, and Danger through him, saw Aletha’s face contort, but she disdained to reply.

"And you, Lupin. I once had the pleasure of hosting your former friend Pettigrew here for a night or two, on business of the Dark Lord’s, you understand. Naturally I offered him wine after dinner, and he accepted. I learned all sorts of fascinating things that night. Such as how he and his friends had become Animagi. And why."

Peter always was a babbling drunk. So the bastard knows about me, does he?

"I think I might enjoy having a pet werewolf," Malfoy finished. "Under Imperius, of course. It’s not illegal on non-humans, after all."

Remus’ mind flashed red-hot with anger in an instant.

DON’T! Danger shouted mentally. He’s not worth it.

"And you actually got a woman into your bed despite it? I am impressed," Malfoy said, leaning forward to get a closer look at Danger. "She favors the girl. From the back, that is. But the girl can’t be yours, that much I know..."

"The child is my wife’s sister," Remus said stiffly. "And my ward. What do you plan to do with her?"

Malfoy shrugged carelessly. "Raise her, perhaps, as a servant girl. Or throw her out and see if she survives. One Mudblood more or less, what does it matter?"

Remus ground his teeth.

I wasn’t sure anyone actually did that, Danger’s mind noted incongruously.

"No, I have a better idea." Malfoy smiled. "Your ward, you say. So she trusts you, loves you even. How amusing, then, to place you in the same room during the full moon..."

Danger whipped around with a snarl, which changed into a cry of pain as her unadjusted eyes met the light.

"Ah, spirited," Malfoy said, curling his lip. "A Muggle, this one, isn’t she? Properly Obliviated, she might do for a pot-scrubber. Dobby will have enough to do, with an extra child to tend."

"Harry," Aletha said with quite a bit of snarl in her own voice. "So him you plan to keep."

"Would I be so heartless as to kill The Boy Who Lived?" Malfoy asked with feigned astonishment. "I want only the best for Harry Potter. Therefore, I will care for him myself. He has great power. I want to be sure he is taught to use it correctly."

"The only problem being," said Sirius in deadly quiet tones, "that our ideas and yours about the correct use of power don’t match up at all."

"And you see where your ideas have got you," Malfoy said, waving his hand at their surroundings. "I suggest you enjoy it while you can, Black. Azkaban won’t be nearly so comfortable. They’ll watch you all the more closely when they know your little trick. Four legs and fur won’t save you again."

Out of the corner of her eye, Danger could see Aletha’s hand firmly pressed against Sirius’ hip, holding him where he was. Otherwise, she was sure, he would have launched himself at Malfoy long ago. And probably got hurt. Malfoy’s got a wand on him, I’d bet my life on it.

"Harry Malfoy..." Lucius said with a smile. "I rather like the sound of that, don’t you? Harry Malfoy, faithful servant of the Dark Lord..."

Sirius informed Malfoy where he could take his ideas, and what he could do with them when he got there. It was probably anatomically impossible, but certainly interesting to imagine, Danger thought.

"Temper, temper, Black," Malfoy said, stepping into the hall. "Sleep well, all. Tomorrow, your new lives begin."

Before the door quite closed, Danger got a look at her watch.

10:30. And it’s still the 25th. We haven’t been here more than a few hours. Good.

Now that Malfoy was gone, she could hear Sirius shuddering, his breath catching in his throat. Danger pressed herself against his side, offering him what comfort she could, hearing Remus moving to his back and Aletha embracing him from the other side. "It’s all right," Aletha was whispering to him. "It’s all right. It won’t happen. You know it won’t. Dumbledore knows the truth now. He won’t let it happen again."

"Fear no light; his haughty show/ Will by a flower be brought low," Danger recited quietly. "That was a haughty show if I ever saw one. He’s going down, Sirius. My dreams don’t lie."

"No, but they usually need major interpretation," Remus said dryly, sitting with his back against Sirius’. "We’re here, Sirius. You’re going to be all right."

"There’s something I need to tell you," Sirius said through his shivers. "Something about Harry. Remus, Letha, you never knew why James and Lily went into hiding in the first place, did you?"

"They went into hiding because Voldemort was after them," Aletha said. "Did they need another reason?"

"Frank and Alice Longbottom went into hiding at the same time," Remus recalled. "Does that have something to do with it?"

"Yes. To both of you." Sirius was more in control of himself now, his voice firmer and clearer. "It was a prophecy. A boy born at the end of July, to parents who had defied Voldemort three times, who would have the power to defeat him. And Lord-Ugly-Face found out about it."

"End of July... that’s right, Neville was born July 30," Aletha remembered. "Was there anything else? Anything that might make it clear which one of them it is?"

"I don’t remember. Something about a mark, and power the Dark Lord knows not... but the worst was at the end." Sirius paused, as if he hated what he was about to say. "‘Either must die at the hand of the other, for neither can live while the other survives.’"

Either must die at the hand of...

No. Oh, no.

"That... would make Harry the only person who can kill Voldemort," Remus said slowly. "And if he grows up under the impression that he should be serving him..."

"We’re all doomed," Aletha finished grimly. "Danger, I sure hope you’re right. Because if you’re not..."

"Everyone is going to die," Danger whispered, staring into the darkness, seeing green eyes filled with hatred and a lust for killing and pain...


Harry Potter bolted awake, gasping.

Scary thing!

He looked wildly around. The scary thing wasn’t there, but neither was he anywhere he recognized. He was sitting on a big bed in a big, dark room, with Neenie next to him, still asleep.

There was another little boy in front of the fireplace, lying on his stomach and watching the fire.

"Hi," Harry said.

The other boy scrambled to his feet. "My name is Draco Malfoy," he announced, hands on his hips, "and this is my house. Who’re you?"

Out-of-den, Harry remembered. My out-of-den name. "Jamie," he said. "Jamie White. This’s my sister Jane. Why’re we here?"

"My father bringed you here. He said you live with us now."

"No!" Harry slid off the bed and faced Draco. "We do not! We live at the Den!"

"Animals live in dens," Draco said with a curl to his lip, "and you better not say no to my father. He hit you if you do."

Harry blinked. "Your father hits?"

"Yeah. Don’t yours?"

"I don’t got a father," Harry said. "He died."

"You have a mother?"

Harry shook his head.

Draco frowned. "Who takes care’a you? The house-elf?"

"What’s a house-elf?"

"I show you," Draco said, and shouted, "Dobby!"

There was a crack, and a creature about their size, with big ears, huge green eyes, and long fingers, materialized in the corner of the room, like Moony or Letha Apparating. "Yes, little master?" the thing said.

"Dobby, this is Jamie," Draco said grandly. "He lives here now. Jamie, this’s Dobby. He the house-elf, so we can boss him. He has to do what we say."

"Hello, little master Jamie," Dobby said, bowing to Harry.

"Hello," Harry said, giving a little bow back.

"Go ‘way, Dobby," Draco ordered. "I gonna talk to Jamie more."

"Yes, sir." Dobby disappeared with another loud crack.

"We don’t got a house-elf at the Den," Harry said, remembering what they had been talking about. "We got Padfoot and Moony and Danger and Letha. They takes care of us."

"They don’t hit?"

"No. Sometimes they yell when we be bad, and sometimes we gotta go to naughty seat. But they don’t hit."

Draco looked confused.

"Why your father hit you?" Harry asked.

"When I be bad," Draco said. "When I cry at night."

"Why you cry?"

Draco looked at the floor. "Scary dreams," he admitted.

"I get scary dreams," Harry said. "So I cuddle up with Neenie, and they go away."

"Who’s Neenie?"

"Her," Harry said, pointing at Hermione.

"You said her name was Jane."

"Neenie her nickname. Like Greeneyes for me. You got a nickname?"

Draco shook his head. "Dobby calls me little master," he said.

"What your father call you?"

"Brat," Draco said. "Boy."

"Your mother?"

"I don’t see her any."

"You got any brothers or sisters?"

Draco shook his head. "My father said you be my brother now," he said, looking at Harry sideways.

Harry shrugged. "OK. I be your brother, if you like. Neenie c’n be your sister too."

Neenie made the little sound she always made in the morning, a cross between a sigh and a moan. "She wakes up!" Harry said, and climbed on the bed. "Neenie, lookit, we got a new brother!"

Neenie sat up and rubbed her eyes. "Hi," she said to Draco. "What’s your name?"

"Draco. What yours?"

"I told you, her name Jane," Harry said in annoyance. "Come on, Neenie, let’s play!"

"What we gonna play?" Neenie asked, sliding off the bed after Harry.

"You wanna play catch?" Harry asked Draco.

"What’s catch?"

Harry and Neenie exchanged looks. "You don’t know catch?" Neenie said incredulously. "We’ll show you. You got a ball?"


"That OK," Neenie said, and pulled off her socks. "We make a sockball!"

"Yeah, sockball!" Harry pulled off his own socks, and Neenie knotted them all around each other. They often played sockball on laundry days with Moony and Padfoot, until Letha and Danger caught them and took the socks away.

"You watch," Neenie said authoritatively to Draco. "We play catch."

She hurled the ball to Harry, who caught it and threw it back. "See?" Neenie said. "Now you play." She tossed the ball at Draco, who caught it reflexively.

"You good!" Harry said, clapping his hands. "Throw it here!"

Draco’s aim wasn’t very good, since he’d never played before, but he got better pretty quickly. Soon the sockball was flying in all directions. It almost fell into the fire once, but bounced off a shield-looking thing that popped up in front of it. "Safety Charm," Draco said nonchalantly, and retrieved the ball. "Catch, Neenie!"

"I’m hungry," Harry said after a few more minutes of the game.

"Me, too," Neenie said. "We gonna get dinner?"

"Dobby!" Draco called again, and the house-elf appeared. "Jamie and Neenie hungry," he said. "They didn’t get dinner. Get them dinner."

"Yes, sir." Dobby bowed and disappeared.

"You rude," Neenie said disapprovingly.

"Am not. He’s just a house-elf."

"Letha says be polite to everyone," Neenie recited.

"My father says boss the house-elf hard," Draco retorted.

"Your father stupid!" Neenie shouted.

"He is not!"

"He mean!" Harry yelled. "He stole us from our Pack, an’ he hits you!" Then he looked again at Draco. Pale-blond hair, long thin face... "You look like your father?" he asked.

Draco nodded.

"Your father the scary man! He tried t’hurt Padfoot and me!"

Neenie whimpered. "I want Danger!"

Draco looked from one of them to the other, totally bewildered.

Dobby chose this moment to reappear with a tray. "Dinner for little master and mistress," he said, snapping his fingers and turning on a light in a corner of the room where a table and chairs sat.

He was hungrier than he was mad, Harry decided, and went to see what was for dinner.

A peanut butter sandwich lay on each plate, with crisps and apple slices beside it. There were also three glasses of milk and a plate of biscuits. "A snack for you, Master Draco," Dobby said, twisting a corner of the pillowcase he was wearing in his hands. "It is very late, you should be in bed. Eat your snack and Dobby will read you a story."

"No," Draco said, getting into one of the chairs. "I’m staying up with Jamie and Neenie. They don’t have to go to bed."

"Yes, they do," Dobby said, looking frightened. "Master Lucius is coming, and little masters and mistress should be in bed when he comes. He will not hit you if you are in bed."

Draco looked a little scared. "OK," he said quickly. "I go to bed, then. But I want my biscuits first."

"Of course, sir. Dobby will be back in a little while." He disappeared.

"Where does he go?" Harry asked, taking a bite of his sandwich.

Draco shrugged. "Dunno. Somewheres else, I guess." He bit a biscuit in half.

They devoted themselves to eating for a while. When Neenie reached for a biscuit, Draco pulled the plate out of her reach. "Mine!" he said.

"You had lots," Neenie said, making a mad face. "Gimme some."

"No!" Draco held the plate away from Neenie.

It was well within reach of Harry, though, and he grabbed two handfuls of biscuits off it.

"Hey, gimme those back!" Draco yelled.

"You don’t share too good," Harry said, going the other way around the table to put one handful on Neenie’s plate. "They for everyone, not just you."

Draco pouted. "Are not," he said without any real conviction.

Harry took a defiant bite out of one. "Are too," he said.

"Fine, you can have some," Draco said sulkily.

Dobby popped out of thin air and started gathering up the dishes. "Thank you," Neenie said to him.

"Thank you," Harry echoed.

Dobby looked startled.

"You wanna play with us?" Neenie asked.

"Hey, yeah!" Harry said. "You can be the monkey in the middle!"

"Monkey in the middle?" Draco and Dobby asked together.

"We show you!" Neenie said, grabbing the sockball.

After a few moments of explanation, they took their places. The children flung the ball with a will, but Dobby’s heart didn’t seem to be in the game. "You gotta try!" Harry called after the third easy throw passed over the elf’s head. "Really try!"

"You gotta try, Dobby, that’s a order!" Draco said, giggling, as he caught the ball.

"Yes, sir," Dobby said, looking a little worried.


Lucius Malfoy walked into his son’s room just in time to see his house-elf catch a ball thrown by his son.

A ball made of knotted-up socks.

"I’ll take that," he said quickly, snatching it out of the elf’s hand, hoping the wretched creature hadn’t noticed what it was. "The baby is crying, Dobby. Go tend her."

"Yes, sir," the elf said, and disappeared.

Good, he didn’t see.

"And as for you," Lucius said, turning to his son. "Do you know what you just did?"

The boy shook his head dumbly.

"You’ve lost us our servant," Lucius said softly. "Do you know what happens to little boys who do that?"

Draco took a step backwards.

"Don’t you run away from me," Lucius hissed, grabbing the boy by the arm. "You have done wrong. And you must be punished."

Draco whimpered a little, looking terrified.

Excellent. The Potter boy should have no trouble learning proper fear, with this example in front of him.

"Don’t move," Lucius instructed his son, pulling his wand from the top of his walking stick. The spell that made a thin, flexible rod this time, he thought, rather than the thicker, firmer one he often favored.

He was about to speak the spell when something crashed into his legs from the side, throwing him off balance. He reeled sideways — a second force struck him — his head hit the mantelpiece —

Everything went dark.


Harry picked himself up off the floor and looked at Lucius’ unconscious form. He and Neenie had been told they should never run into people’s legs as hard as they could. Now he saw why.

"Is he — dead?" Neenie asked, standing up.

"No. He just asleep. See, he breathing." Harry picked up Lucius’ wand. "Come on, we go find the Pack. Draco, you come too?"

"You hurt my father," Draco said, staring at the man. "How come?"

"He was gonna hurt you," Harry said, stating the obvious. "Come on."

Still staring, Draco followed them out the door, which Harry closed behind them.

"Lock it," Neenie said. "Then he can’t follow us."


"You got a wand, silly. Do magic!"

"I don’t know how!" Harry objected.

"I think you just say, ‘Lock up,’" Neenie said, holding out her hand to demonstrate.

"Lock up," Harry said, pointing the wand at the door. Nothing happened.

He gazed at the door as if it had the answer. There was a snake painted on it. No, two snakes. They were all twisted around each other... they almost looked like they were alive...

"Lock up," Harry said.

He jumped as the door locked with an audible click. "It worked!"

Neenie and Draco were staring at him. "You — hissed," Neenie said, awe in her voice. "You hissed like a snake and did magic!"

"You spoke Parseltongue," said a voice from behind them. "It is a rare gift."


Danger awoke from a fitful sleep with a certainty in her mind.

"Get up," she said. "Everyone up."

"Huh?" said Aletha intelligently.

"Everyone get up. We have to get ready."

"Ready for what?" Sirius asked, sounding confused.

"Ready to go. Come on."

Where are we going?

Home. I think. If everything works out right.

"Up you come, Padfoot," Remus said. She heard him pulling Sirius to his feet.

Aletha shushed them. "Someone’s coming—"

The bolt was drawn back and the door opened. They shielded their eyes, blinking, in the sudden light.

Sirius was first to recover, and stared at the figure revealed in the doorway.

"What are you doing here?" he said.

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