The Cupboard Series 6: Castle Voldemort

Chapter 12

“Well, they’ll definitely do the job,” Sirius stated, staring at the large floating picture that was projected into the air in front of his face.

“The question is simply whether or not the people will believe what they are seeing,” Remus said.

“What’s not to believe?” Harry asked. “There’s over a hundred students shown being here at Diricawl where they never have been before. Add in the date that it was taken and they have to believe it.”

“Are you forgetting that we live in world of magic?” Hermione asked. “Logic doesn’t seem to apply much with most people here.”

“It’s inevitable that at least some of your little things are going to get caught,” Remus pointed out to the twins. “You do realise that your design is going to be confiscated by the Ministry, don’t you?”

Fred and George grinned back at the senior Marauder.

“Let them try,” George said.

“We’ve built in enough security features to make them think twice about trying it ever again,” Fred added.

Sirius frowned at the two. “Even I can see the rune clusters etched into the opened diamond.”

“Ah, but that’s our secret,” Fred grinned back.

“Hide the security in plain sight …” George said.

“And anyone who tries to copy our Photo Bomber will never know what hits them,” Fred finished.

“Photo Bomber?” Harry asked.

Fred nodded. “Yep, that’s what we’ve named them. Took it from some muggle thing Colin was talking about once.”

“I don’t suppose you’d be willing to satisfy our curiosity?” Remus asked.

“Seeing as it’s just you four here, certainly,” George replied.

“As you pointed out, you can see the rune clusters that make the Photo Bomber work,” Fred began.

“What you don’t realise is that three of those clusters have absolutely nothing to do with how this little guy works,” George stated.

“In fact, they have absolutely no active magic applied to them,” said Fred.

“And that’s the beauty of it,” George beamed. “Anyone who copies out those rune clusters and then activates them …”

“Activates the security,” the finished together.

“Ingenious,” Remus nodded.

“You mean to tell me that the only way the security kicks in is if someone tries to copy your design and power it up?” Sirius laughed.

“Yep,” the twins beamed. “And depending on which one they activate, they’ll either cause a magical imbalance, overloading the other rune clusters and making them inert; vanish about eighty percent of all the runes carved here; or make the Photo Bomber into a true bomb when it blows up in their face.”

“Remind me never to try to copy one of your designs without your permission,” Harry said with a shiver.

“No worries, Harrikins, we know you’d never do anything like that anyway,” George replied clapping him on the shoulder.

They were interrupted by Amelia, Croaker, Kingsley and Minerva entering the room.

“Alright, boys, how many of your little toys do you have? I’d like to have them deployed mid-morning,” Amelia stated.

“Thirty-one,” Fred replied.

“That should be plenty,” Kingsley smiled. “Thank you.”

“We aim to please,” George replied.

“And we’ll always do our bit to help out,” added Fred.

“Here you go, they’re all in here,” said George, handing over a black bag with a tie cord.

“Thank you. We’ll get these distributed to our volunteers,” Amelia said.


Tonks took a seat vaguely in the middle of the Leaky Cauldron. Currently, she was nursing a butterbeer, but a butterbeer that had had a surreptitious colour change charm applied to it. After all, who would want to go near a hag drinking something blood red? And the best bit was that even if anyone was suspicious of her, her metamorph abilities meant that any magic cancelling charms would have absolutely no effect.

Try as she might, Tonks simply couldn’t help but keep a close eye on her partner. The fact that he was now known as Undesirable Number One and considered the most wanted person in all of magical Britain made her extremely nervous. Only the fact that he, too, was a metamorphmagus, knew how to take care of himself and was seated closest to the door leading to muggle London – as agreed – meant that he’d been allowed on this mission.

Glancing at the old grandfather clock in the corner, Tonks saw that she still had more than enough time to enjoy her drink before she had to drop the Photo Bombers.


Beth stepped from the back door of her home above Hermione’s Book Nook and began to head down the stairs. The target that she’d been given to drop her Photo Bomber was Madam Malkins Robes For All Occasions. The fact that Madam Malkin herself was a known gossip only worked in their favour.

If she hurried, Beth thought that she’d have just enough time to purchase a couple of sets of new robes for Mickey; he’d been growing like a weed of late and his ankles were showing again. And if she just happened to see something for herself while she was there, well, that’d just be a bonus.


Brendan Abbot and Horatio Moon wandered slowly down Diagon Alley. Just like everyone else out shopping, they stuck close to one side of the street, afraid to stray too far from cover in case of the unexpected.

Shortly, they’d need to separate, Brendan to head back up towards the Leaky Cauldron, Horatio to cross to the opposite side and work his way further down towards Gringotts.

At this moment, they knew that Alexander Davis and Godfrey Spinnet were at the other end of the Alley, mirroring their movements, working themselves into their positions.

Their aim was that, by the time that the agreed upon time was reached, the four would be spaced fairly equidistance through the Alley when they released their Photo Bombers, thus maximising the potential number of people that would see the picture.

With luck, one of the pictures would be seen by the goblins who Chert assured them would be keeping a very close eye on the Alley, even though they themselves were not to be seen and the great doors to Gringotts was firmly closed to all. Exactly what their reaction to it would be was anyone’s guess, but they held out hope that the goblins would participate in some way in the war.


Croaker glided effortlessly through the crowds of Ministry workers in the Atrium, a satisfied smile on his lips. The Ministry may be overrun by Death Eaters but the very sight of an Unspeakable cloak was still more than enough to inspire fear into the general populace and a wide berth given to the person wearing one.

He may have the largest job, the biggest area in which to disperse the ingenious little devices but he was confident that he could accomplish it alone. He knew the back stairwells in the Ministry of Magic building intimately; indeed, most didn’t even know that they existed.

The little titbit that he heard as he weaved his way through the crowd altered his plans slightly – apparently there was a Wizengamot meeting today. Mentally, he revised exactly where he’d release his allotment of devices.

A little Unspeakable magic on the lifts, he thought, should do the trick.

That would leave him ample devices for both the Wizengamot and the Atrium. He was looking forward to seeing the reactions from the various Ministry workers; Croaker expected that he was going to enjoy himself


Kingsley had been the last to leave Diricawl for his designated delivery position. The fact that it was within sight of Voldemort’s new base of power meant that he had no desire to be in Hogsmeade any long than absolutely necessary.

Walking into the Three Broomsticks, Kingsley quickly surveyed the room. It was about a third full, an expected amount and more than enough to ensure that, with what was about to happen, the word would be spread quickly and widely.

Walking up to the bar, he ordered himself a fire whiskey. After all, he needed to be seen to have a reason for coming in here.

It certainly had absolutely nothing to do with any sort of liquid courage the potent drink had to offer; he was a seasoned auror, after all.


Currently, he was standing against one wall in the visitor’s gallery looking down upon the Wizengamot. Or, at least, what remained of it.

Traditionally, there were three factions, voting blocks really, that stuck together and supported each other in regards to bills and agendas – the Lights, the Neutrals and the Darks. The numbers in each faction tended to vary slightly, with one having more sway over the others for a year or two before the number of votes changed again.

Now though, now that was gone. There was nothing of the Light faction left. What remained of the Neutrals was only those who leant heavily towards the Dark. Still, not all of the Dark faction, the Traditionalist faction if you will, were bad people, they simply wanted life, society to continue without interruption, without the threat that the way they always did things would change.

And a lot of those people had children, grandchildren or in some cases, great-grandchildren at Hogwarts. Croaker was positive that they wouldn’t like what had been happening at their old Alma Mater.

With that thought in mind, Croaker palmed two of the devices, leant back and tossed them from the gallery, over the seated heads and empty chairs of the Wizengamot and onto the floor in the middle of the chamber.

Thirty seconds later, a great boom silenced the crowd and had everyone staring down only to see two identical, large photos hovering in mid-air.

“What is the meaning of this?” a high-pitched simpering voice asked into the cacophony of voices that had erupted throughout the Chamber.

Croaker, though, had no intention of waiting around to find out if anyone bothered to answer the pink toad.

Still under the notice-me-not charm that he’d applied before entering the Wizengamot meeting, Croaker slipped out, up the nearby stairs and around to the very bottom floor of the elevators that everyone in the building used to get around.

Utilizing his Unspeakable override, Croaker called the four elevators to him. Thankfully, all were empty when they arrived. It was then a simple matter to apply a magic-repelling and people-repelling charm across the open doorway of each one, having already sealed a device in each elevator and having pressed the button for each floor. He stepped back and watched as they slowly clanged their way upwards.

His last stop was the Atrium itself. There, he weaved his way through the crowd, including doing a complete circle of the Fountain of Brethren, dropping devices here and there, before making his way to the visitor’s entrance.

Cries were erupting all behind him as he boarded the red telephone box. He easily identified confusion, surprise, some little anger and, underneath it all, the vestiges of hope starting to rekindle.


“Commander!” two startled voices called.

Instantly, the Commander of Guards strode forth. His axe was ready in one hand, a shield on the opposite arm and countless knives around his belt, in his boots and strapped to his arm. He was the very epitome of a Goblin Battle Warrior. He’d earnt his place the hard way, rising up from the very ranks, defeating opponent after opponent in the pits and foe after foe in the deep tunnels.

“What is it?” he barked at his underlings, his eyes narrowed.

These two were not acting as good guards should and he contemplated replacing them, sending them back Below and promoting two others who were more worthy. Sounding startled indicated that they’d been surprised. Being surprised meant that they were not paying attention. Being inattentive meant certain death for themselves, their squad and ultimately for their Clan and Nation.

“An image is being projected, I know not how,” one reported.

“An image? You dare summon me for an image that can do us no harm?” the Commander snarled.

“I cannot explain it, Commander. One moment the Alley was clear of all but a few wizards going about their business, the next there was a blast of sound and this image,” the other guard elaborated, gesturing towards the viewing wall.

After glaring at the two for a full dozen breaths, the Commander stomped up to the viewing wall that allowed the Goblins to see out without the wand-wielders being able to see in.

A small crowd had formed in the Alley, all surrounding an image, just as the guards had reported, hanging in mid-air. The Commander frowned at it, wondering why such an image had the human adults seeming so excited. A shift in the crowd allowed him to see better.

He identified human young, teenagers by the size of them, over a hundred in all, all smiling with too many dull teeth and not a real weapon in sight, wearing a combination of two different uniforms. A large sign with a date, only two days removed, was prominently displayed. That sign led his eyes to the ones holding it and the Commander’s eyes widened.

Spinning about, he eyeballed a pair of his subordinates.

“Summon Account Keeper Slipshard and Manager Ragnok,” he ordered. “There’s something that they need to see.”


Whipping her head around, her eyes big in surprise and alarm allowed Tonks to see the door of the tavern swing closed, blocking off access to the muggle world. The fact that Harry was gone made her nod. Exactly as planned.

Cries of surprise and alarm sounded all around her as the glowing picture of the combined Hogwarts and Diricawl students appeared at various places around the room.

Tonks took a sip of what was left of her red-tinged butterbeer as she listened to the reactions around her.

“Where’d it come from?”

“That can’t be real, can it?”

“The Ministry said that Bones and Black were spreading rumours, but this …”

“There’s … there’s David! That’s my boy. He’s supposed to be in Hogwarts, I thought he was at Hogwarts!”

“Gotta be a trick, don’t it?”

“There’s no way that could be right; musta been taken ages ago.”

“When, though? Surely that sort of meet up between the schools would have made the Prophet when it did.”

“Look there! That’s Mabel’s granddaughter. Caroline, I think her name is. I know for a fact that she’s a Hogwarts student, but look at her, she’s wearing one of those weird hat things that the Diricawl kids wear.”

“What if it is real? What if somehow those kids were rescued?”

This last was whispered, accompanied by a host of nervous looks, both by the speaker and by those around him.

“But the Ministry says …”

“What if they’re covering it up? Wouldn’t be the first time, would it?”

“This is dangerous talk. Not for places like this where the wrong ears could hear.”

The shuffling of feet was a dead giveaway for the nervousness of those in the group.

“Where do you reckon it came from, though?”

“There’s a little black thing down there. The picture’s coming out of its head.”

“Yeah, I can see that. But where’d it come from?”

Tonks continued listening, sipping occasionally. When the time seemed right, that her exit wouldn’t draw any suspicions and she’d heard enough, she dropped a couple of coins on the table and left.


Kingsley expected to be the first back. In that, he was wrong, finding Croaker in the Security Office awaiting the return of the others.

“How’d it go?” the Unspeakable asked.

“No problems,” Kingsley reported. “The Photo Bombers worked perfectly and everyone saw the picture.”

“Reactions?” Croaker asked.

Kingsley shrugged. “Surprise, suspicion, disbelief, wonder, exactly as we hoped. More than that, I’ve got no idea; didn’t stick around all that long. We’re just going to have to wait for the others to report back what they saw and heard.”

“And more importantly, keep our ear to the ground to find out what the reaction of the general population is,” Croaker stated.


Alastor sat back in his chair, staring at the table before him with both eyes, his real one as well as his magical one. On the small table beside him sat an opened bottle of fire whiskey – thoroughly tested for potions and poisons, of course – as well as a tumbler half full of the liquid. It was still the first drink that he’d poured, left there as a reward for when he’d reached a decision.

The objects of his focus were an old stone basin, its circumference covered in a plethora of runes to make it work. Beside it was an opened box containing dozens of small vials, all with a silvery substance swirling inside them. Lastly, just in front of the other two, was a thin book full of handwritten notes.

Alastor had spent the better part of the past two days immersed in these items. The silvery substance in the vials were memories, a label stating the basics of what each one contained. Using those labels, combined with the notes that Dumbledore had left, Alastor had been intently searching for the one most important object that they needed to find.

Riddle’s last remaining horcrux.

With the inadvertent destruction of the two Horcruxes at Hogwarts by Longbottom and Riddle himself, albeit accidentally, they were closer than ever to making the Dark Lord mortal once again. And mortal meant killable. There was just this one last obstacle.

It was some of the earliest memories that he’d been focussing on; ones where Riddle was still a teen at Hogwarts and the ones that focussed on Riddle immediately after he graduated.

The boy’s interest in Founders objects was clear as the light of day. That corresponded to the horcruxes that they’d already destroyed – Slytherin’s locket, Hufflepuff’s cup and now Ravenclaw’s diadem. Even the diary linked in to the theme – it led the person it was possessing to Slytherin’s Chamber and Slytherin’s monster.

The object that Alastor – and Dumbledore, judging by the notes in the book – was focussing on was the ring that Riddle wore for a couple of years. He knew from Harry that it was the Peverell Head of House ring. And the Peverells were connected to a number of interesting families. Apart from Potter, there was a direct line to Slytherin – there it was again – and the House of Gaunt. And Gaunt just so happened to be the family that Riddle’s mother’s family came from.

While Dumbledore’s notes seemed to say that Albus didn’t think that the ring would be in such an obvious place as the Gaunt ancestral home, Alastor wasn’t so quick to rule it out. At the very least, he thought it was worth a look.

“Looks like I’m going for a little field trip,” he said to himself.

Then, decision make, he reached out, grabbed the tumbler and threw the fire whiskey down his throat, not even fazed by the belch of flame that erupted from his mouth immediately afterwards.

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