The Cupboard Series 6: Castle Voldemort

Chapter 10

The three men in black robes stood silently, staring at the creature. Their wands were lowered, just like their jaws. Currently, they shared one common thought: they were immensely glad that there was a massive pile of old tables, desks, chairs, trunks and other loose items hiding them from view of their Lord.

Eventually, the one on the left nudged the one in the middle.

“You go tell him,” he said.

Instantly, the man’s face paled to a white eerily similar to the bone mask that he ordinarily wore as a Death Eater.

“No way,” the man hissed back. “You do it.”

“I’m not doing it,” the first Death Eater protested. “What about Matthews? He’s still new, send him.”

“Forget it! I’m not telling him … this,” the third Death Eater refused. “Besides, he doesn’t like it when the lower ranks address him. It has to be the highest ranked Death Eater.”

The man on the left began visibly trembling even as he was swallowing again and again, desperately trying not to throw up at what he knew was to come.

“I don’t want to tell him,” he whispered.

“What don’t you wish to tell me?” the silky voice of the Dark Lord asked from directly behind them.

The three men froze, not daring to turn to face the wrath that was to come.

The creature in front of them shifted slightly, saving them from the horrid task. Obviously, the movement had caught the Dark Lord’s attention and the three Death Eaters found themselves being pushed aside as their Lord stepped past.

“What is this?” the Dark Lord bellowed.

“A … a … a chim … a chimpanzee, my … my L-lord,” the one in the middle stuttered through his trembling.

“I can see that, imbicile!” the Dark Lord snapped. “Why does this creature hold your attention when you are supposed to be looking for Potter?”

The three attempted to look at each other, each silently trying to suggest that one of the others answer the question, before a decision was made, their worlds exploded in pain.


The men fell to the ground, their screams piercing the air and echoing in the great room even while their very bodies twisted and writhed about in agony.

“I believe that I asked you a question,” the Dark Lord hissed, having lifted his curse.

“The monkey,” the newest Death Eater of the three managed through his pain. “Potter’s voice … Potter’s voice was … coming … from it.”

“What?” Lord Voldemort asked, his red eyes narrowed.

“We heard it, Master,” the middle Death Eater agreed. “It said that … thing … before the other animals … ran away.”

The Dark Lord’s eyes flicked between the three and all felt a tickle in their minds. Suddenly, the Dark Lord’s wand whipped up and the three flinched. The jet of vivid orange light that spat from the wand though wasn’t aimed at them.

The very briefest of screams was ripped from the chimpanzee before the animal exploded.

The three men on the ground tensed, expecting to be splattered by blood, guts and bone. Instead, tiny pieces of fabric floated down on top of them.

“AHHHH!” the Dark Lord screamed before whipping around and sending every kind of lethal spell in his arsenal into the piles of junk.

Explosions rocked the room as bits of wood and glass and marble and paper and all kinds of material exploded or were set alight. And at the Dark Lord’s feet, three Death Eaters cowered, covered their heads with their hands and did their level best to neither move nor make a sound. After all, they had no intention of having their Lord’s wrath turned on them at all.


After a Dobby served breakfast in bed where the little guy intently hovered around Harry after retrieving Harry’s staff from his bedroom for him, obviously wanting to assure himself that Harry was actually okay after his latest encounter with Riddle, Hermione came to escort him to the expected meeting and debrief about their mission to Hogwarts.

“This way, Harry,” Hermione said, tugging on his arm to get him to change direction when he started heading towards the Dining Room.

Harry turned at her insistence, sending a questioning look at her.

“That room is packed with students that we rescued. As are most of the classrooms,” Hermione explained. “We’re meeting in the Astronomy Attic instead.”

“Makes sense,” he said as he took a good look at her. “You didn’t get hurt or anything last night?”

Hermione smiled at him. “Unlike some, I never even saw a Death Eater, well, unless you count the ones we stuck on the ceiling of the Gryffindor common room.”

“So … that’s a ‘no’, then?” he grinned.

“Yes, Harry, that’s a ‘no’. I’m perfectly fine,” she said.

Entering the room, it was obvious that they were the last to arrive.

A large rectangular table had been set up. Six chairs sat to either side, with Sirius, Minerva, Neville and Daphne taking up one side, and Amelia, Mad-Eye, Croaker, Kingsley, Remus and Augusta sitting on the other.

“Sorry we’re late,” Harry apologised as he and Hermione slipped into the chairs left for them. “Healer Jeffries wouldn’t let me out before I’d eaten something.”

Moody’s grunt told Harry that next time, the old auror expected him to eat faster.

“Obviously, your mission to Hogwarts to rescue the staff and students there was a success,” Amelia stated, beginning the meeting. “Congratulations. I think it’s safe to say that magical Britain and specifically all of those students and their parents owe you a debt too big to repay.”

“I’m just glad that we were able to pull it off,” Sirius stated.

“I’m just sorry that those three students didn’t make it,” Minerva said softly.

“You can’t blame yourself for the unexpected happening,” Moody said. “No one could predict that snake. From what I understand you dealt with it; mind you, I’m looking forward to hearing that story told properly.”

“We’ll get to that later,” Croaker stated. “Let’s start with getting in. Any problems?”

“None whatsoever,” Sirius replied. “Our Animagus forms passed through the wards as we knew they would and then it was simply taking our time to cross the grounds, sneak into the castle and reach the entrance to the secret passages in the walls.”

“Any evidence that Riddle is aware of them?” Moody asked.

“No,” Harry replied, shaking his head. Before thinking better of that answer. “Actually, probably yes. If Nagini knew about them, it’s a safe bet to assume that Riddle knows of them. But I don’t think he uses them; at least, there was no evidence anywhere that he’s been there, either in the tunnels or in the Chamber itself.”

“Tell us more about these passages. Do they really go everywhere throughout the school?” Amelia asked.

Daphne rose from her seat and placed a large roll of parchment on the table, using minor sticking charms on the corners to hold it flat.

“This is what we mapped of them, but really, unless you’re a parseltongue like Harry, they’re useless,” she said.

The others crowded close to look them over, often pointing out features or asking for clarification on something drawn there before they nodded and allowed Daphne to roll it back up.

“It took us two days to map that much,” Sirius summarised.

“You went into the dorms in teams of two?” Kingsley asked.

“We did,” Minerva nodded. “Sirius and Daphne looked after Hufflepuff and Slytherin, being close together and didn’t involve as much distance to travel before they could begin getting the students out.

“Neville and I were assigned Ravenclaw. By the time we had the students out and had escorted them down the passageway, we were able to link up with Hufflepuff. Not long after that, we unexpectedly encountered Nagini.”

“And the snake’s really dead?” an eager Moody asked, leaning forward on the table, his mouth twisted into a grizzly grin.

“Yeah,” Neville gulped, going slightly green. “I managed to blow its head off.”

“How did it manage to bite five students and crush three others to the point where they needed to have their bones vanished and regrown?” Augusta asked, looking sick at the thought that that could have been Neville. “Couldn’t it have been dealt with from a safe distance?”

“Pure dumb luck,” Minerva stated. “Nagini entered the passages as we were passing, pretty much right in the middle of the group. Some of the students attempted to kill it, but its skin was magically resistant.”

“Then how did Neville manage to decapitate it?” Kingsley asked.

“I shot a bombarda down its throat,” Neville replied.

Harry clapped his mate on the shoulder.

“Sounds like what I did with the basilisk,” he beamed.

“Nagini wasn’t as big as that,” a green-looking Neville replied. “Still ruddy huge though, especially with its mouth wide open coming at you like that.”

“Not many could have kept their head like that Longbottom,” Moody praised. “I’d take you as an apprentice in a heartbeat.”

“Thank you, Master Auror, but Neville must respectfully pass,” a proud-sounding Augusta replied for him. “As well as I know Neville could do as your apprentice, he has his heart set on the field of herbology.”

Neville beamed at his Gran, after all, he wasn’t relishing the idea of saying ‘thank you, but no thank you’ to the old, grizzled auror.

“Once we got past Nagini,” Minerva said, continuing to relate the story, “we joined up with the Slytherins and Sirius and Daphne. Neville and Daphne then continued with the three Houses to the Chamber to begin porting out the students, while Sirius and I rescued firstly the staff and then those in the dungeons.”

“Any problems there? I would have expected there to be guards in the dungeons at least,” Amelia stated.

Sirius let out a barking laugh. “There were guards. Minnie here simply distracted them by walking straight between them and allowing me to stun them in the back.”

“You walked right between them? And they didn’t attack you” an incredulous Amelia asked.

“Yes,” Minerva stated indignantly.

“Tell them why they didn’t attack?” Sirius coaxed, his eyes sparkling with mischief.

Minerva glared at him for a moment, before saying haughtily, “because they thought that I was simply a cat.”

Moody was the first to laugh and not just laugh but to howl, slap his knee and to have tears streaming form his eyes.

“What I wouldn’t give for a squad of Animagus aurors,” Moody laughed. “Am, please tell me that you can make it happen once this war is over.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” a smiling Amelia promised.

Once everyone had calmed down, Minerva finished her story very quickly and all turned to Harry and Hermione.

“Now, let’s hear about the Gryffindors,” Amelia said.

“Things started off okay,” Harry began. “It was only as we were checking everyone in the common room for the Mark when the potion bubbled over.”

“Wait? What? You didn’t check them until they were all together?” an incredulous Moody asked. “Bound to be trouble that way. They could have easily outnumbered you, overpowered you and killed you.”

“Admittedly, Neville and I did the same in Hufflepuff House,” Minerva said.

“Hmph. You’re all lucky to be alive,” Moody groused. “Should have simply stunned them while they were still asleep and checked them then.”

“We did do that in Slytherin,” Sirius admitted, “but we thought the other Houses wouldn’t be much of a problem.”

Moody simply shook his head at them, grumbling to himself under his breath.

“What happened?” Amelia prompted Harry.

“One of the sixth years, Mclaggen, managed to convince a couple of the seventh years that I’d posted as guards on the Fat Lady, that he was to take their place. As soon as he did, he ran to alert the Death Eaters that we were there,” Harry said. “I went out the Gryffindor Head Boy’s room to lead them away and to give the others time to escape.

“Led them about a bit until they nearly cornered me. Luckily, I found that old junk room across from the tapestry of the wizard teaching trolls to dance and hid in there.”

“What junk room?” Sirius asked. “I don’t remember any junk room.”

“Nor do I,” Remus added, “and we pretty much mapped the entire castle.”

“It was up on the seventh floor,” Harry said, staring between the two men. “It’s huge! Twice the size of Hogwarts’ Great Hall and filled with all kinds of old junk stacked up in mountains – desks, chairs, cupboards, books, potion stuff, skeletons, you name it and I bet it was there.”

“I was a student, teacher, Head of House and Deputy Headmistress for over forty years, Harry, and I’ve never heard of such a room either,” Minerva stated with a shake of her head.

Harry stared at them. “But it was there! I was in it!”

“We believe you, Potter,” Croaker said placatingly. “My guess is that there’s some magic from the old castle involved somehow. What happened? How’d you get out?”

“They cornered me in there, Voldemort and a bunch of his Death Eaters. I hid for a while until they found me,” Harry said. “I thought that I was about to die. Riddle had me dead at the end of his wand. Even cast the killing curse at me.”

“You were struck by it again!” a distraught Hermione shrieked.

Harry rapidly shook his head while throwing his arm around his girlfriend.

“No. No. It missed,” he said quickly. “I bumped a table and this tiara thing fell and got in the way of the curse. Must have caused a massive explosion ’cause the next thing I knew was that I was waking up in the fallen cupboard and Riddle was down as well, not that I know how that happened, since he was so far away.”

To illustrate his point, Harry fished the mangled tiara out of his pocket and placed it on the table.

That’s what saved you?” Croaker exclaimed, shooting to his feet and snatching up the tiara before rapidly casting spell after spell at it.

“Well, I’ll be,” Croaker finally said, falling back into his chair with a thump. “Do you know what this is?”

When all shook their heads at the tiara that he was waving around, Croaker told them.

This is the fabled lost Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw. An object that was lost a millennium ago. And from the residue magic that I’m seeing here, it seems that Riddle found this at some point and perverted it.”

“You don’t mean …” Sirius asked wide-eyed.

“I do,” Croaker nodded. “This was one of Riddle’s horcruxes. Seems he destroyed it when his killing curse hit it. Your little mission not only freed those kids, but also destroyed two more of Riddle’s anchors. Right where Dumbledore insisted that none could possibly be.”

“What does that make? Six destroyed?” an excited Amelia asked.

“That’s right,” Croaker smiled. “Only one to go. And then Riddle himself.”

“We’ll come back to that later,” Moody interrupted. “I want to hear how Potter escaped Riddle this time.”

“Simple really,” Harry shrugged. “I transfigured a whole bunch of animals and added a compulsion spell to run around the room until they heard the correct phrase. Then I did one more transfiguration – a chimp, added Fred and George’s ventriloquist spell so that whatever I said came from it instead of me and snuck off, taunting Voldemort and distracting him and his Death Eaters the whole time. As soon as I was in position, I gave the activation phrase and all the animals rushed the door, including one mongoose. Voldemort even ordered his men to ignore them thinking I was just trying to distract them.”

“Good one, Potter,” Moody laughed. “You’re going to have to teach me that spell, though.”

“Sure, as long as Fred and George don’t mind,” Harry replied happily. “They invented it, after all.”

“What was the activation phrase?” Sirius asked.

Harry looked at his godfather blandly.

“Does Mister Padfoot doubt the pranking abilities of Mister Tavi?” he asked.

“Mister Padfoot recognises Mister Tavi’s young age and questions his skill at ensuring such a situation is taken with the gravity that it deserves,” Padfoot replied.

“Mister Tavi would like to remind Mister Padfoot that not only is he the godson of a Marauder, but also the son of one,” Harry stated. “The activation phrase was ‘I’ve got your nose’.”

“You said that to Voldemort?” Remus blanched before breaking out into a smile and a laugh.

“Well, someone’s got to have it, don’t they? He certainly doesn’t have it,” Harry said, making the entire room burst into peals of laughter.


“Three hundred and eighteen of them? Not long. We’ve got enough food for about a week, but sleeping?” Remus shrugged. “Every classroom is already full, as are the spare dorms and the Dining Room. We’re packed to the rafters.”

“Perhaps I can help with that.”

“Daddy!” Daphne exclaimed, jumping up and running to the man standing in the doorway.

“Hello, Princess,” Cyrus said, wrapping his daughter in a hug. “It’s good to see you and even better seeing that you didn’t suffer any injuries on your little adventure.”

“Cyrus, we expected you back yesterday,” Amelia smiled.

“I would have been here then, too, if it wasn’t for a nasty wind and current,” Cyrus replied.

Confused looks were exchanged between the group.

“Wind? Current? Sounds like you were at sea,” Remus said.

“Well, I was,” Cyrus replied, “if you come over here, I’ll show you.”

The group quickly stood and walked around the table, before following Cyrus onto the small balcony that surrounded the Astronomy Attic.

“Take a look out there,” Cyrus said, gesturing grandly out to sea.

There were a number of gasps as, looking out to where he was pointing, the group found a large ship sitting serenely in the waters just off shore of the island. It was painted white with a striking red trim and was big enough to have three levels plus a wheelhouse situated at the very top. The foredeck was easily big enough to hold dozens of people, but even that was dwarfed by the large, flat deck on the back that held an actual helicopter!

“You’ve brought a muggle ship here!” an irate Augusta exploded. “What were you thinking? The Statute of Secrecy …”

“Doesn’t apply,” Cyrus interrupted. “That ship belongs to Greengrass Enterprises, meaning that it is an object owned by a magical family. In addition to that, it’s staffed solely by either muggleborns or squibs.”

“It’s big, I’ve give you that,” Sirius stated, “but is it big enough to hold over three hundred kids plus their professors?”

“Easily,” Cyrus replied. “Pretty much every room has space expansion charms applied to them. And there’s a slew of rune schemes all over the Bella to enhance her even more. I’ve also provisioned her with enough food for twice that number to easily last a couple of months.”

“You want all the kids to live on that for the duration of the war?” a surprised Croaker asked.

“Don’t be absurd, Algeron, the kids would go stir crazy and end up throwing each other over the side of the ship before the first week was done,” Cyrus snorted. “No, I’ve set up a place for them in Iceland. It’s not as cosy as here or Hogwarts but it’ll keep them safe and out of the way of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and his Death Eaters.”

“How do we get everyone out there? Portkey?” Minerva asked.

Cyrus shook his head. “No, that’s not a safe option. With the Bella being subject to the sea, she moves and the wrong movement at the wrong time could be disastrous for a portkey.”

There were quite a number of winces at the image that that statement brought.

“I was hoping that Diricawl’s hovercraft was available?” Cyrus said.

“Of course! I’ll have her ready in an hour or two,” Sirius beamed. “We’ll need quite a number of trips to get everyone across, but I can’t see that being a problem.”

“You’ve done well, Cyrus,” Amelia said.

“We all have,” Cyrus corrected. “To have all of those children out of Hogwarts and away from You-Know-Who will be a weight off everyone’s mind and make this war much easier to fight.”

“If we want people to help fight back, then we’re going to need to tell them that they can without fear that he’d retaliate against the children,” Croaker stated. “Right now, everyone believes that Riddle’s won, simply because they think he’s holding all of the children hostage.”

“Then that’s our next priority, getting the word out to the people,” Amelia stated firmly.

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