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 Common ground {closed to those who know who they are}

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PostSubject: Common ground {closed to those who know who they are}   Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:18 pm

It had been a grueling battle, the army of acromantulas seemed never ending. They kept coming, pushing in through the great hall's doors. Fighting them was not made easy when panicky students were alerted to death eater presence, making staying alive more difficult for those students as they tried to fight both. Tom had given the order to do away with the masks and put on glamours instead to his death eaters to alleviate some of the confusion, not wanting to order them to incapacitate those individuals, as being unable to defend themselves from the attacking spiders would mean more casualties than necessary, and he could tell there were enough as it was.

The Dark Lord cleared a wide path with a large, streaming fire, and then split it down the middle, making a pathway that was in between walls of lava hot flames that extended from floor to ceiling. Barking out orders, a few of his death eaters covered him from attacks while the others began to funnel students down the tunnel he had created, which led straight to the grand staircase in the entrance hall. Acromantulas leapt at the walls and disintegrated from the mere temperature of the heat, dwindling down their army as they tried to reach the students making their way cautiously through it.

As he watched, there was no sign of those who were to be protected at all costs. Either they had gotten out, or they were left in the mass of dead and too injured who couldn't make it out. Was this the end result Dumbledore had been out to reach with this plan? Was the future gone because those who would lead the way were? Tom's shrewd eyes narrowed as the last few students reached the staircase and headed upwards, and he ended the walls of fire by exploding them outward. Humans would only feel tickled by the flames, but the spiders would perish upon contact.

With the battle won, and his death eaters killing off whatever creatures were still left, he noted professors, who had arrived in the midst of the battle, that watched them with confusion. No doubt they knew who was in their presence that night, and were trying to figure out what to make of it. He turned his attention to his followers. "Any sign of her?" They all shook their heads, stirring uneasily. Tom gripped his wand that much tighter, demonstrating a control he had not had before as he gave a curt nod. "Get the injured to the infirmary first. Should anyone ask, you're a group of hit wizards passing through on a mission. I am the lead and we stopped to check on my niece. Should anyone question you further, you tell them to take it up with me. Understood?"

With their nods of understanding of their cover story, he left them, heading towards the one place he knew he would find answers, but got only halfway there when he was stopped by a girl with eyes uncannily like those of Potter's and his mother's before him. She had a thick Russian accent, but her message was clear as if she had been speaking perfect English. The dark wizard switched directions immediately, heading for the hospital wing and arriving just as Potter and a redheaded witch laid someone on a bed, Pomfrey already buzzing around like the busy body she was.

"Is she dead?" His tone demanded an answer while he moved towards the bed with a commanding stride and a dark presence.

"She might as well be. And just who are you?" The old nurse replied back with that shortness she was well known for.

Tom awarded her with a dark look, noting how she paused in her work in order to address him and the very idea of it had him most displeased. "I am her relative. I came to check on her the moment I heard of her parents deaths." He lied smoothly. "Now would you like to hold a full inquiry while she dies, or would you prefer to do your job instead?" The man bit back with nasty sarcasm, delighting in the scandalized look the woman gave him in return, though he was relieved when she took the hint and began her work again. For a moment all he could do was look over the broken girl, not sure what it was he was feeling aside from the anger.

It was then he noted the metal about her neck and his eyes grew darker, as did his already deadly mood. "Did he get away Potter?" His voice was low but it was clear he expected an answer and that he was less than happy with what he found as he pushed forward to examine the what could only be described as a collar around her neck. That moment marked the first time the Dark Lord and the famous Boy-Who-Lived had come face to face without wands drawn on each other and since the debacle that was the Ministry battle. Tom had every intention of keeping his word regarding the truce he had promised. It was time to see if the Chosen One kept his, and to learn just how far Dumbledore had gone this time.
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PostSubject: Re: Common ground {closed to those who know who they are}   Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:08 am

He'd left Granger in a right state in that little alcove outside the Great Hall. He didn't care. She was the reason his fail snake was in danger and that meant that she deserved whatever pain she was in, whatever scars she ended up with. Draco was angry. He was downright feral as the wolf told him where to go. He ran through the halls without pausing to even think. It wasn't even clear to the blonde when he'd shifted entirely into the wolf, but it let him fly through those stone corridors toward the one he couldn't live without, and that suited him just fine.

As he approached the Russian with those vivid green eyes, he heard her growl out 'hospital' and he nodded his snout curtly in her direction. Lucky for him, the girl would understand the thanks behind the gesture. He couldn't be bothered to stop, or even slow down as he ran hell-mell toward the hospital wing and the reason he lived.

The animal could smell her blood, her fear and pain even while he knew she wasn't conscious. Merlin, she'd been through hell and he hadn't been there with her. He smelled Potter and the Weaselette too, wondering how much he owed the raven-haired boy. At this point, it might as well be his life, since that's what Skyler symbolized.

Ears perked and moved on the top of his head as he listened for her heart, her breath, finding both sounds and letting out a mournful howl before shifting and running the rest of the way to the sanctuary of sanitary scents and white sheets and walls. He skidded into the room, ignoring the man who even with the glamour he recognized, the boy who he owed his life, and the girl who helped and earned a thousand apologies. All his crystal grey eyes saw was his love, lying on the bed in obvious pain even as she slept, a hideous collar about her neck.

"Oh, baby... baby, I'm so sorry. I should have been there. Oh..." He fell to his knees beside her, holding a cold hand even while the nurse scolded him for being in her way. He didn't care. He wasn't ever going to let her go. Draco turned his head to look first at Potter, fear clear in those pale eyes, then at the man he knew was his supposed Lord. "How do we get it off? You know the darkest magic. Fix it! You're her flesh and blood! Save her! Save your niece!"

The boy hadn't even noticed the tears that poured down his cheeks, or the wildness about his being as he flashed a bit between wolf and boy on the edges. His control was gone, fear and rage and feelings of failure taking over and making him quick to react and slow to think. All he wanted was his fail snake, his fiancee, to be safe. He wanted to know he hadn't completely failed her. He wanted to know there was still a reason for him to live.
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Caellum Chancellor

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PostSubject: Re: Common ground {closed to those who know who they are}   Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:57 pm

Harry didn’t need the sharp twinge of pain as he entered the hospital wing to know that his old nemesis and now tentative ally was here. The feeling in the room was the same as it always was when he was present, and Harry fleetingly wondered why the man bothered with a glamor at all. No one who had actually been in his presence before would actually be fooled.

He helped ease Skyler on to a bed and stepped back, waiting to see what would happen as Madame Pomfrey began to work and Tom entered the room properly, only to accost her. He was likely to get much more done than Harry anyway, so long as no one blew it and got him thrown out of the castle before things got solved. It was best if Harry kept his mouth shut except to answer questions and give information that only he had.

Of course, the time for him to say his piece came soon enough. “Unless he can somehow escape without his head attached to his body, I took care of the old bat,” he snarled out the side of his mouth. “I tried to fix her hands and the bloody collar just long enough to realize that someone with more knowledge and experience was needed, and then I brought her here.”

He wanted to say more, but it was at that point that Draco skidded into the room and started bearing his soul as if no one was there but him and Skyler. Part of Harry’s insides felt like they dropped all the way to the bottom of him, while the other part seemed to get lighter somehow. He had no idea what that meant, but it could be dealt with later, whenever there was time to deal with the fact that Draco was obviously still completely and totally in love with her and no longer cared if Harry knew.

Harry had to stop himself from gaping as Draco began shouting at Voldemort and crying. Harry really didn’t know what was going on here, but he was exceptionally glad there were witnesses present, as he didn’t wish to watch the blonde die, especially right after they were beginning to come to a good understanding. Still, peace treaty or not Draco would likely suffer at some point for this display. Yet another problem to be solved later.

He looked between the two men, his mind moving faster than he ever remembered it doing so. He liked being the one in charge when spells were flying and there was still active danger. Being the one asking questions and weighing in on decisions after the fact during relative peace, much like being the one still conscious after a battle, was far worse than he had realized. “So what’s the plan, then?” he asked. Hopefully this would remind Draco that other people existed, keep anyone from killing anyone else, and get things going in the right direction. If not he could always go back to the old standby of smashing things and hoping that something good came of it.
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PostSubject: Re: Common ground {closed to those who know who they are}   Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:45 pm

If he were surprised or impressed by the Boy-Who-Lived, it did not show. Instead, he nodded once to let the imp know he had heard, but that discussion would need to be in private. If Dumbledore were truly dead, and Potter had been the one to deliver the killing blow, the situation needed to be handled with care. His mind was already calculating various approaches of doing so while still examining the metal around his niece's neck and at the same time trying to stay out of the working nurse's way. There were only two approaches that would work to their favor, but both had serious drawbacks.

He would have preferred the old wizard had been captured rather than killed. The man had dealt a lot of pain and suffering throughout his lifetime, and had caused more destruction than Tom ever had, and that was saying something. Dumbledore had deserved far worse than losing his head. He had deserved to lose every bit of power and prestige he had ever had. To have the world know every one of his dirty secrets and his intricate world made of lies and manipulations. He deserved nothing less than to see his entirely fabricated world made of his own ill designs fall apart piece by piece before he died. The dark wizard of a man had the nagging feeling that when Potter found out just how far his once mentor had gone, he would wish he could bring him back to torture him in the most unfathomable ways.

"Everyone who was involved or knows you were involved needs to be in this room Potter. Now." There could be no room left for hesitation or unsureness when the time came. A decision had to be made, and it was not Tom's decision to make. He itched to do it, but this was a tentative alliance as it was. The decision would have first gone to his niece, as he trusted her mind and judgement more so than Potter's, but she was indisposed for the time being. Which meant he had the unfortunate pleasure of dealing with Potter and all his Gryffindor glory. His niece thought particularly highly of the boy, that he had seen in her mind. Tom did not share her views as of yet.

Another one she thought annoyingly highly of that he most definitely did not share her view on? The Malfoy heir who came skidding into the room like a fire was on his tail only to make his way to the girl and break down into a blubbering mass of tears and start yelling out demands. The dark wizard sneered at the boy and his pathetic state and behavior, his wand twitching in his hand, begging to be used. Again, Tom demonstrated a control he had not had previously, but if looks could kill, the murderous and dark glower he pinned the blonde boy with would have killed him and everyone else in the room with him.

So much potential was wasted on the two males before him who clambered for his niece's affections and attention. Potter at least could keep his head on straight during times when the pressure was on. Not that that mattered very much when the boy could hardly string one intelligent sentence or thought together. The Malfoy boy had the intelligence but lacked a backbone and any willpower. Tom had seen the flashes of the men the two could be in his niece's mind, but that did not change the fact that they were still boys pretending to be men. Potter still expected everyone else to have a plan rather than coming up with anything useful or helpful, and Malfoy still expected someone to wipe his nose for him and fix everything while he blubbered like the coward he was.

"Do not make the mistake of thinking you are the only one here who cares for her, baby Malfoy, or I promise it will be the last one you ever make." Tom hissed out coldly, roughly shoving the pathetic sod of a boy out of his way and ignoring Potter's question entirely, answering it instead with one of his own. "Did he give any hint as to what he was planning to do with her, Potter? Any indication as to why he put the collar on her in the first place?" As he spoke, long, thin fingers brushed over the metal, and it pulsed beneath them with a blend of magic he had never felt before but had read about. Just as he made to stop the medi witch in her tracks, the understanding of what the collar was flashing in his eyes, the body beneath his fingers began to seize. Tom wasted no time in using a paralysis spell on his own flesh and blood. It would do nothing for the pain or to stop what was happening on the inside of the young witch, but it would keep the others from having to see it, and that was a start.

"She's hemorrhaging! I don't understand. She should-" Tom curtly cut her off.

"The collar. It binds the magic of the wearer. Uses it against them if they try to use it." Comprehension seemed to dawn on the woman's face in both understanding and horror as he addressed her directly.

"Then you must get it off! She won't last-" Tom cut her off abruptly with a threatening look.

The dark arts were not the only area of magic he was well versed in, and he knew enough medically to know that if the girl was hemorrhaging, she didn't have much time left before all was lost. He also knew that one reason why magical healing worked so wondrously was because a person's innate magic automatically responded to the magic trying to heal them, one reason why it was always such a quick process and why you still felt drained even after being healed. It was also what was making the collar react, and the more they tried to heal her, the more her magic would automatically try to assist, which would have the collar use it's bind on it to kill her from the inside out.

"It can only be removed by the one who put it on her. It's bound to their magic and hers. And he is dead."

"But if it can't be removed and I can't heal her, she will-" Tom cut her off once again with finality in his dark tone that matched his equally dark look.

"I do not need you to tell me what will happen."
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Draco Malfoy

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PostSubject: Re: Common ground {closed to those who know who they are}   Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:12 pm

After escaping from the Acromantulas via the staff entrance behind the Head Table, Silas made his way to the Hospital wing. He'd been helping the mediwitch out ever since he'd shown an interest and asked her if she could teach him basic things last year. She allowed it since more than one house and various years were coming to her with things concerning the toady woman. With what was going on tonight there would be many injured and more than likely Madam Pomfrey whould need assistance. Even if he was only directing people where to go from a twisted ankle to having lacerations, Silas was pervesely thrilled. He would be able to take a look at what damage an Acromantula could cause, and maybe if he was sneaky enough, be able to get a sample of the venom.

Of course he hadn't expected the small group that came in nor the conversation that was taking place. Hedging closer, still very much aware that he was likely not in a good place with any of them, he wondered for a moment who Potter had killed. And that the Gryffindor had finally had the backbone, enough anger to overcome that 'hero complex' of his, and the drive to do such a task. Very briefly he wondered if Potter had shown any signs of weakness or regret after the deed. His thoughts were interrupted by the disgusting display that his cousin put on. Giving the blond a look as if he was mentally dificient, he not for the first time wondered if this unseemly behavior was due to his mother's 'lesson'. It was nice knowing his cousin but he didn't think that he would be amongst the living anymore or would end up in a world of pain for talking that way to the Dark Lord. Silas had been crucioed for less!

Ravenclaw curiosity piqued and unable to be quenched, Silas actually came close enough to see the collar on the girl's neck. Raking his eyes over her, he canted his head with a frown listening to what was going on. Mouth twitching barely able to suppress the smile at his cousin being address as he was. Of course it was wiped out the moment that the nurse and the Dark Lord started to realized that the collar was harming her and the cause of what was happening. Mind racing he narrowed his eyes. Magic suppressor? That had to be illegal!

Calculating gaze darting back and forth between the two Riddles, Silas weighed the pros and cons of speaking. He had an idea, but if he was wrong he would likely end up on the receiving end of the man's wand. At least he was in the right place for treatment. This could be a way if he was correct about his idea, might be a way for him to have his slate wiped clean of the mistake of witholding information. And really, it wasn't as if he hated the Slytherin girl enough to want her to die. Not to mention he didn't think he'd want to be around if it came out he had a theory and didn't voice it.

As the old addage said, in for a penny, in for a pound. Bracing himself just in case, he spoke up. "It may not be my place to speak, but magic can be manipulated. Is there a chance you could find a way to mimic this person's magic?"
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PostSubject: Re: Common ground {closed to those who know who they are}   Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:48 am

Composing himself wasn't easy, but somehow Draco managed to do so. He still had silent tears on his face, and his eyes were the shade of molten steel as he glared around the room, but he was less loud and less wild at least. That angry gaze fell easily on the one who called himself a lord, judgement clear along with the warring emotions of love, fear, anger, and pride. Yes, Draco was proud of his fail snake. She was fighting and surviving. She was his goddess.

"I'm far from a baby, sir," he growled, the wolf scratching at the surface, eager to get out and show just how strong he was. Draco pushed it back down as he took a step toward his fiancee's uncle, never looking away from those disconcerting eyes. "I've fought for her. I've stood by her. I've nearly killed two girls for daring to harm her in any way. I know I am not the only person who cares for her, but you listen to me. I love Skyler Riddle. I'm going to marry her. Right now, you are the only one with magic and knowledge enough to save her. So I will say it again. Please. Help her. Save your niece."

It was strange to speak to someone who called himself a dark lord in such a way, but then again, it wasn't. He was the only family Sky had left, and Draco could see that same need to keep her safe in the dangerous older male. She was his flesh and blood, just like she was Draco's heart and soul. They were fighting the same fight, and it wouldn't do to fight each other at a time like this. "It's clear neither of us is the man the other thought us to be, and there will be time to discuss that. Right now, we need to get that collar off before it takes away the one thing that matters most." He spared a glance for Potter, feeling bad that this was how the boy was learning of Draco and Sky's ongoing relationship. There was no way around it though. He couldn't help the way he had to defend and protect her. It was his duty. He was her alpha.

"Granger's still downstairs in the alcove. Alive, but unconscious. I don't think anyone else who isn't here knew anything." He nodded to Potter, trying to help hunt down the people who were involved. It was then that his attention was turned to his cousin, who had offered his two knuts of advice. "Did you disarm him, Potter? You might be able to use his wand to mimic his magic then." It was the only idea the blonde really had, but he was sure there were other possibilities. There had to be. His fiancee's life depended on it. He looked at the dark lord, desperation clear in those crystal eyes. Without words, it was as if he'd spoken. 'What do we do?'

Last edited by Draco Malfoy on Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Common ground {closed to those who know who they are}   Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:44 pm

Harry’s mind continued to race, though it was at least given a direction to go in when Tom demanded that all people who knew what had happened be present before they really got down to business. Thankfully it had been spur of the moment, so there wasn’t the kind of planning that would have led to more people being involved, and he had slipped out in such chaos that he was fairly certain no one had seen him go except those who he gave specific instructions to.

Sibes had slipped back in with Tom, Ginny was currently in a nearby bed receiving medical attention for an injury that she had managed to hide from Harry just long enough to do what needed to be done, and Draco was quite obviously here. There was a small chance that Leyton had seen enough to know what was going on, but Harry didn’t think it was worth it to track down someone whose opinion he didn’t trust for a meeting like this, even if the youngest Lestrange felt he needed to stick his nose into places they didn’t belong without him actually knowing anything about it. He was lucky his idea seemed to make sense; otherwise Harry probably would have done something to shut him up.

That left only one person that needed to be here, and he turned to Sibes. “Go to the little chamber off the Great Hall. It doesn’t have a door anymore, so it should be easy to find. Fetch whatever Draco left of Hermione and bring her here. We might need to hear what she has to say before this is done, since she was working with him.” Harry was fairly certain he didn’t want to say the Headmaster’s name ever again, and that even if he didn’t feel that way, saying it here and now would arouse more suspicion than they needed. Since there was no more chaos than there had been when he brought Sky in, he assumed that no one had found the old prick yet, and it was best if it stayed that way for as long as possible.

The revelation that Draco’s feelings for Sky were to the point where he assumed marriage should have been a blow. Either something was wrong with Harry or now was not the time for such blows, though, because he simply nodded to the sympathetic glance that the blonde shot his way after his little speech to Voldemort. That was one more thing that needed to be dealt with later, once it was assured that there would be a later with the witch he called his girlfriend.

While he waited for the dangerous Russian to return with the girl who used to be his second best friend, he turned his attention to the issue at hand. “He gave no indication of his plan after I was there, so we won’t know anything until either Sky or Hermione or both can talk again,” he said to his former enemy. He wasn’t sure when either would talk again, so they were likely on their own. “The old bastard dropped his wand when it was clear what was happening,” Harry said bitterly. At the time he had a feeling that was a bad sign. Now he knew it was the worst sign they could have gotten. If his little trap had only managed to trade the Headmaster for the important and currently dying girl, Harry would be devastated.

He had no idea what else to say, and Draco had done a better job of pleading than either of them needed to do already. The Gryffindor shifted from one foot to the other, his eyes going in circles around everyone gathered and trying to figure out what to do and what would happen next.
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