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Phoenix's Rise (IC); Even after Harry Potter's death, the Order will rise and fight.
Topic Started: July 28, 2011, 6:47 am (2,692 Views)
Wicked
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The Derp Queen
Chestnut colored waves seemed to turn faster and faster into furious curls as the young woman sat at the head of the small, wooden table in the cottage’s dining room. She ran a hand through the tendrils before pulling it back into a ponytail, which would serve as a temporary restraint. “We can’t stay here. As much as it’s safe, I- we need to find out what is going on and when we’re on the outskirts it serves as a disadvantage when we have to apparate to and fro. Living in the city would be dangerous, I know, but living by the beach just isn’t going to keep this organization running. If people who’re interested in joining can’t find the place or don’t feel motivated to make the trek, it’s not going to be enough,” Hermione’s voice filled the room that was loaded almost to the brim with fellow Order members. It was a frustrating position to be in, for all of them, since Sell Cottage wasn’t exactly the biggest place for a organization, which was growing, to reside in for the time being. Tensions could run high when people continuously bumped into one another. The only thread really holding them together was that they wanted Voldemort gone, for whatever reasons, and that was it. This place was bursting at the seams with activity, and the need to act. All that energy needed to be funneled into a plan of action.

So far, there had been a few successful trips back and forth from the exterior of Tinworth, Cornwall where Bill Weasley and Fleur’s cottage rested to the interior of Hogsmeade, London, and the like. Death Eaters, however, were swarming in masses within each of these targeted locations and apparating had become a high-risk way of transportation when alarms set off. Still, Hermione and the rest of the Order had managed to get and give information from and to hidden help within the walls of the city. Other wizards, witches, and mystical creatures were beginning to catch wind of a newly rejuvenated Order of the Phoenix and, with the help of those behind enemy lines, the Order was able to recruit and do the daily runs for food and updates on Voldemort and the Death Eater’s moves.

But, it wasn’t enough and it was a hassle. They needed to be closer to enemy lines, even though the entirety of the UK was slowly becoming enemy territory. That had to stop, soon, or the fight would be even more uphill than it was already. This was still the Second Wizarding War and, as of right now, the Order was on the losing side along with muggles. Already, Voldemort was beginning his second reign of terror. Towns were being destroyed, families and homes alike burned under the Dark Lord’s wand, along with those of his henchmen. Hogwarts had fallen to the evil wizard and it resembled Azkaban more than it did a school. Everything was a ghost of what it had been before the Battle of Hogwarts.

“Excuse me,” Hermione murmured, her lips pursing against a sigh that threatened to show just how fatigued she was from all the constant strategizing. She was proud of how well everything was starting to knit together, but everyone knew it wasn’t enough to simply have growing support.

Swiftly, she left the dining room behind and moved about the shell-covered whitewashed wooden cottage until she escaped the confines of its walls and was surrounded by the sea breeze that washed up with the tide of the sea itself, which wasn’t very far from the cottage that lay, a testament against everything Voldemort desired, on a cliff overlooking the brilliant mass of water. She took in a deep breath, basking in the scent of the salty wind; its cold hit waking up her senses as she listened to the ebb and flow of the sea. This place was a contrast to everything that was occurring in London and, though it was quaint and beautiful, the honeymoon was over barely a second after the Death Eaters won Hogwarts. There wasn’t time to relax. That time was gone, stolen by the menace that stood towering over them with an hourglass that was running out of sand. Constantly, her mind went to Grimmwald Place, a secure location within London that was hidden from everyone- including Hermione. Only Harry was able to get in, since he’d inherited it from Sirius Black, but he was now gone. Every time, that reality punched her in the face and raised bile in her throat that matched the taste of Polyjuice Potion. Her best friend was gone. It wasn’t a matter of “The Chosen One”. “The Boy Who Lived”, or the crushed prophesy. It was a matter of one of the closest people to her being gone, whipped from the planet by someone she couldn’t loathe more. And to think, more of her loved ones were in danger. She couldn’t even think about her parents, whose status was unknown to her. She wouldn’t dare go to their neighborhood, in fear of having Death Eaters tag along. Or, maybe, she feared what she would find?

The young witch shook her head, unable to focus on such negative thoughts. She had to figure out what exactly the Order was going to do next. Her only thought was of Grimmwald but how on earth would they get in? Then, it hit her like a ton of bricks: Harry had a godson, that of Tonks and Remus who had died during the battle. Would the estate have gone to him? Suddenly, hope’s sweetness was mixed into the salty bitterness of the breeze.

~~~

Imperio. Crucio. Avada Kedavra; the three unforgivable curses. They rolled off of Florence’s tongue like water down a cascading waterfall; smooth, majestic, and dangerous. Most would consider it ludicrous how easily the words came to form in the young woman’s mouth, her tongue forming the syllables with ease. During the Battle of Hogwarts, the third most powerful of the Unforgivables slipped out constantly, taking life after life before her. But, these lives were without purpose if they thought to defy the Dark Lord. They were all muggle-sympathizers and supporters of The Boy Who No Longer Lived. Florence believed it her civic duty to end their meaningless, disgusting existence. They should have thanked her, blessed to have so peaceful a death than what Voldemort would surely have in store for anyone caught on the other side of his clearly defined line. The most pleasurable, for Florence, was seeing the spark of attitude and sympathy get cleared straight off of Molly Weasley’s face the moment a green shot of light touched her form, Florence’s wand being the cause of the woman’s timely demise. Her daughter, yet another redheaded, freckled damn’d child stood aghast as the life fled from her mother. It was simply a wonderful spectacle to behold.

It almost made her purr in memory as she walked the halls of Malfoy Manor, her heels making a rhythmic “clack” against the smooth, polished floors of the estate. It was a grand one at that, but not to Florence’s taste. Why wouldn’t the Dark Lord take the meetings at her grandiose home? It would fit many, without complaint, and paid homage to her distinctly pure bloodline with the portraits of past relatives and ancestors that decorated some of the grand halls. Still, Voldemort preferred to meet at the Malfoy’s;. perhaps, because they were the weakest link thus far. Lucius was clearly going mad from his time in Azkaban and Narcissa, well, she wasn’t even a Death Eater. No matter, since they had clearly passed during the Battle of Hogwarts, and left their only son of eighteen to bear the proud status of the youngest Death Eater. Truly, Florence was smitten. He was a bloody coward, if his record were shone clear as day. Draco hadn’t done a thing right, except join the ranks out of the need to survive and kiss up to his lowly family. She could only amuse herself with the prospect that the Dark Lord was testing him even farther, to see just how easily he’d slip.

The blonde woman couldn’t wait.

Her presence was made within the grand hall, where many Death Eaters were gathered for today’s small meeting, even though the man himself was off with his dear snake for matters he would not yet disclose. The Dark Lord had always been mysterious, but sometimes Florence wondered. After Bellatrix Lestrange’s murder at the hands of the woman Florence later killed, Voldemort had found it just to promote the woman who’d brought justice upon the muggle-sympathizer to his female Lieutenant. It was a position she held with pride and care. So, once she was within the presence of all the other members, her eyes scanned over the crowd to assure that all who’d been demanded to come had made it a priority to do so. Not to do so meant removal from ranks and, subsequently, death.

“The Dark Lord will not be with us, but discussions will continue as he has instructed me to do,” her velvet voice ran over the proceedings. It was a simple enough meeting, discussing the security of Hogwarts, regulations that were to be instilled, and proper replacements of Professors and staff who’d been deemed unworthy of their position. The Ministry of Magic was now under construction, and the possibility of completely dismantling it came to mind as well. Why have it, when all knew who exactly was in command to begin with? It was after all the more frequently discussed topics that a pause came in which the young, prominent witch began a small walk around the table the more elite of the Death Eaters sat, including Draco Malfoy.

“There have been rumors of a resistance composed of those who’d escaped Hogwarts after we’d seized the grounds. These rumors have been fueled by suspected illegal apparating within our domain. However, though some are suspicious of this group raising a battle onto us once more, it is nothing but a bug we must squash. Keep diligent in your watches and capture any who feel the necessity to fight against our just rule,” Florence stated clearly, barely giving the topic much thought. Harry Potter was dead and, with it, most if not all of the resistance called the Order of the Phoenix. They had successfully exterminated the ridiculous hope instilled in the lower beings and, thus, this was simply a minor bump in the Dark Lord’s road to obvious success.
Edited by Wicked, July 29, 2011, 2:33 pm.
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A corner of the crowded dining room of Shell Cottage was occupied by Vicente Volerre, a deceptively-young, but attractive male. He was currently garbed in a cloak, the hood resting uselessly on his shoulders and upper back. It was unnecessary when he was indoors, particularly when he was being so cautious to keep out of the sunlight flooding in through the windows. This particularly corner was well-shielded from the sunlight, seeing as it was where two walls met the ceiling. He was situated comfortable there, one hand on either wall and his boot-clad feet doing the same. Every so often during this particular gathering he took his hands off the wall, but even then he was able to keep in place. His strong legs kept him steady, and he put his hands back on the wall whenever the toned lower limbs could use the break.

When Hermione left the cottage, he observed the others in the room with an air of disinterest. Their chatter meant nothing to him. He knew well enough that they were reluctant to accept someone like him among them. A werewolf was only dangerous to its friends and allies three nights each month. A vampire, on the other hand... Well, they dangerous side of their nature could surface at any time if one was not careful. Vicente had thus far resisted any urge to harm any of the Order of the Phoenix, but he still made an effort to avoid these kinds of gatherings when possible. He was only here today because he had hoped to hear some kind of news from the brilliant young witch who had just left to get some fresh air. Particularly if there was any news of Fenrir Greyback.

His brown eyes took on a bit of red and glazed over as he thought about that damned werewolf. He could remember their first meeting as though it had been yesterday rather than over a decade ago. He remembered how Greyback had tried to convince him and his mate Madeline to join the Dark Lord's cause. He remembered how he and Madeline had refused. He remembered how Greyback had viciously murdered Madeline right before his eyes...

He blinked, his thoughts returning slowly to the here and now. There was a bit of unwanted moisture in his eyes after thinking about his departed lover, and he blinked a few more times in an attempt to regain control of his watering eyes. They returned to their usual shade of brown, no longer their momentary shade of russet. He was suddenly quite aware of just how many people with pulses were in the room, and he put his hood in place over his head before fleeing the cottage, moving along the ceiling like a shadow to avoid being hindered by the crowd.

Once outside, he took up a position on the roof of the cottage, simply sitting there and staring out at the sea. The cloak protected him well enough from the sunlight, but it was still uncomfortable for him to be under its blazing rays. They warmed the dark grey cloak considerably, and he shifted back to find any kind of shade he could. Anything to provide some relief.

Once he was settled, his eyes fixed on Hermione as she did her own bit of thinking. They were not really watching her, though. They were simply gazing in her direction while his mind's eye traveled back to Madeline. He missed her. He missed her more than anything else in his life. She had been his entire world before she was stolen from him. They had been mates for over twenty years. Twenty glorious, blissful years which he knew would never be repeated in his life. His soul mate was dead, and the pain of her loss never faded. Especially since he considered her death to be his fault. If he had been faster. If he had been stronger, braver...

No. He wouldn't let himself dwell on the long list of "what if"s that had plagued him ever since that terrible night. Madeline was gone, and nothing he did was going to bring her back. But he was going to avenge her. He would kill Greyback, and he would stop the Dark Lord. It wouldn't erase his guilt, but he hoped revenge would bring him some form of comfort.

Anything was better than going on in his current state.
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Tyler hadn't attended the meeting. She had no interest in sitting around and discussing things. She was a person of action, not of planning. She was a fighter and was unable to sit around and do nothing. So, she spent her time practicing. She practiced with the anticipation of finally getting revenge for her lost limb. No replacement hung from her shoulder. There was no time for a replacement in her opinion. Too many things to do. So, she practiced.

Tyler tucked her wand into her knee length boot, looking to the charred remains of the tree she had used for practice. A short black dress hugged her body, going down in long sleeves, though the left sleeve was empty. A silver locket rested on her chest, a birthday gift from her father, which she kept for good luck. She blew her blonde hair away from her face in aggravation. She had always wanted to cut it as it was in her way, but she restrained herself for her father's sake. He always said she reminded him of her mother. So, in order to apease him, she kept her hair long.

The half-Veela moved toward the house, her hips swaying unconsciously. She lifted her gaze and a light gasp escaped her lips as she found one of her new colleagues on the roof of the cottage. A light smiled appeared on her lips. Many rumors surrounded this particular Order of the Phoenix member. She knew him to be a vampire, but it didn't scare her like it scared everyone else. She looked around and found a broom. She grabed it and flew up to the roof. She set the stolen broom aside and moved to sit down next to Vicente.

"I love this view," She said, hugging her knees to her chest. She swayed slightly, humming softly. "Don't you?"
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Vicente had been so lost in his painful thoughts that he hadn't even noticed the half-Veela's presence until she spoke to him, yanking him back to the present and causing him to give a small jerk in surprise. His eyes narrowed at her, lingering pain clearly visible within them, then he shifted a little further away from her. Honestly, he didn't trust himself to be in too close of proximity to any of these people. Certainly not Tyler, though. The scent of her Veela blood was enticingly sweet, and he did not want to risk a lapse in control.

He gave her no answer, preferring to sit in silence and return to his thoughts. They kept fixing on Madeline no matter how hard he fought to put them on other topics. It was hard to lose one's soul mate, and he found himself nearing tears as he kept thinking about her. She would have loved this view. She had always wanted to sit by the shore and watch the sun slowly sink below the watery horizon. Sadly, they had never gotten to enjoy this sight together. They never would.

Vicente had not told anyone other than Hermione about Madeline, and he wasn't sure if she had spoken to anyone else about it. Whether or not she had, somehow the word had gotten around the Order that Vicente was with them to seek revenge for his dead friend. Apparently the nature of his relationship with Madeline remained a secret, and he would prefer for it to stay that way. He didn't want anyone's pity or sympathy. He just wanted his revenge. Then he'd never have to see these people again. He doubted they would miss him at all.
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Draco sat at the long dark wood table along side the other Death Eaters waiting for the Dark Lord to show and chair their usual meetings. He was nervous....well...he was always nervous but now that hogwarts had been taken over and the Death Eaters were the winners of the war things had gotten just that little bit scarier. The blond had always held hope in his mind that perhaps Harry Potter would have defeated Voldemort and things would have gotten back to normal...well as normal as they could, but that wasn't the case, and here he found himself in a meeting to discuss the next moves they'd make now that the Death Eaters were boss.

Suddenly the door swung open and Draco lifted his stone grey eyes to see who would appear from it, obviously expecting The Dark Lord. But instead it was Florence. He hated her. She thought she was so much better than every one else and it got on his nerves, but she was much stronger and older than he was, he'd never dare say it to her face.

“The Dark Lord will not be with us, but discussions will continue as he has instructed me to do,” The woman announce.

Draco's eyes lit up just that tiny bit, things were always better when the Dark Lord didn't show. A lot less intimidating at least. But he did wonder in the back of his mind why he hadn't shown.

“There have been rumors of a resistance composed of those who’d escaped Hogwarts after we’d seized the grounds. These rumors have been fueled by suspected illegal apparating within our domain. However, though some are suspicious of this group raising a battle onto us once more, it is nothing but a bug we must squash. Keep diligent in your watches and capture any who feel the necessity to fight against our just rule.” She continued.

So the survivors decided to create there own army... Draco smirked as he thought back to fifth year when Potter formed the new Dumbledore's Army...They didn't stand a chance back then and they wouldn't now. The pale blond remained quiet though, pushing his thoughts back as he waited for Florence to continue. He never spoke up in these meetings for fear of looking stupid or being cursed for no reason or something and today was no different.
Edited by o0PinkSquid0o, August 4, 2011, 11:00 am.
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How could she have forgotten Teddy? The infant had been placed in the care of Bill and Fleur after the Battle of Hogwarts and was, actually, inside the cottage. The boy was an orphan, like Harry had been, but this time around his foster family, and the entire Order of the Phoenix would love Teddy Lupin. He was a collage of his parents, a daily reminder of those who had been lost but also a hope for the incoming generation. She wanted nothing more than for the boy to grow up without Voldemort at the reigns of his life. And, to think, the witch had forgotten of his connection to Harry and. Consequently, Grimmwald Place. Sometimes, Hermione wondered about how thick her skull was at times. Truly, she was brilliant but sometimes her own brain’s capacity for information worked against her, unable to resurface needed knowledge at the correct time.

She gave a huff, a revitalized energy buzzing through her as she ran a hand through her tousled hair before turning back to Shell Cottage, a smile beginning to play on the edges of her lips. The wind was beginning to pick up and blew at her from behind, making her tendrils flail and sway through the air in a cascade of light brown waves. “Bloody hair,” she murmured to herself as she pushed the nuisance out of her face. Her eyes caught two figures on the roof above as her vision was finally restored and instantly, she recognized the two: the female half-Veela Tyler and Vicente, the local vampire so to speak. He was, really, the only one who’d aligned with the Order thus far and she admired him for that, among other things. She knew his true reason for being here didn’t match up to exactly why the Order was created, but Hermione couldn’t pick and choose who came to her, and the group’s aid this time around. He wanted Voldemort out, and that was good enough for her. Plus, his reason was valiant and, in a way, she too wanted to crush the Dark Lord for a few personal reasons. The serpent had killed too many loved ones for Hermione to even count and still threatened to kill more.

Tyler, on the other hand, was someone who had another person to relate to: Fleur, who’d been a companion of the girl ever since she’d joined the Order. Of course, Hermione knew the girl as well, though from afar, since she’d been in the same house as she when at Hogwarts and was glad to have such a determined woman on their side. She was ruthless, to say the least, and it was always good to have strong fighters with a passion to get rid of the evil that was hovering over them like a plague.

Hermione gave a small wave to the two in acknowledgement, though they seemed to be in their own personal bubbles, before moving into the cottage with purpose. Her eyes scanned the bottom floor, which was cluttered with members up ‘til the ceiling, and did not spot who she was aiming for. Onto the next floor.

Soon, she came to the end of the stairs and heard the faint whispers of Bill and Fleur, speaking about the previous meetings and concerns that matched Hermione’s. The flash of red hair from the room across the way sent a pang through Hermione’s heart. It just wasn’t the same, even though the shade matched, it did not replace the redhead that had always annoyed her in previous years and set her on edge emotionally, for reasons she’d come to terms with only two years ago. Ron was gone. She knew he wouldn’t last the Battle of Hogwarts but, still, the image of his possible death after they’d been separated in the Great Hall, sent shudders down her back and a lump began to form in her throat. Swallowing it down forcefully, she moved towards the room, spotting a small baby boy in Fleur’s lap.

She would test out her theory, tonight, and hopefully not die or get Teddy killed due to her determination.

_ _ _


Her eyes pierced into each member’s souls, or lack there of, as she continued to make her way around the long table. There were Death Eaters, and those who craved to join the ranks, lining about the walls of the room, and they too watched as the Dark Lord’s lieutenant ran the course of the meeting. No one seemed to speak, out of fear or sheer idiocy Florence did not know or care to find out. It was better that they didn’t make a sound. There weren’t to be any questions. They wouldn’t speak out when Voldemort was in their presence, and now was barely any different. While Bellatrix had tightened the leash on the fellow members with lunacy, Florence did it with a graceful, passive aggressive nature that shattered others’ will to protest. It almost made the pureblood smile in amusement. It was no wonder she had gained the Dark Lord’s trust. None of these others would suffice to fill in her shoes. They didn’t have the spines to do it.

At that thought, Florence’s eyes went to the host of this gathering, Draco Malfoy, the “chosen one” of their side. He hadn’t done much thus far that the woman could congratulate. Sure, he’d smuggled the Death Eaters into the school upon the night of Dumbledore’s death, but she knew when her cold eyes fell on him, that he wasn’t worthy of the black mark that lay lovingly on his arm. It was one mistake the Dark Lord had made, but Florence wouldn’t dare to let it be known to her Master. She would simply keep an eye on the blonde fool that dared to brag about his place in society.

“Tonight, there will be a heightened surveillance of every street within the Wizarding World. I want,” she stopped for a moment, “the Dark Lord wants all to know, who haven’t learned just yet, who exactly is in control and will be in power forever. There won’t be a single being whose breath isn’t granted by Voldemort. Tonight, we sniff out those who dare to oppose the Dark Lord’s reign. Every single one of you should be out in the streets, glad to sacrifice your sleep and the comfort of your home for his wishes. If you so much as hear a whisper of the hope to rebel, exterminate the whisper’s owner.” Her voice was passionate, liquid gold in consistency, and filled with venom that was lethal upon injection. Her hatred for those who stood against Voldemort was evident in her every move, her eyes flashing with a spark of blue fire. Still, her face stayed composed.

“Now, don’t sit there and stare into the wood. Go, everyone,” she commanded, ending the meeting. Immediately, Death Eaters began to disapparate in order to tend to their posts, wands ready to utter the darkest of curses in order to please the Dark Lord. She, too, would soon make her way to the streets in order to show just how foolish a “rebellion” was. But first, to deal with a certain pureblood.

“Draco, dear, I have a special task for you as commanded by the Dark Lord,” Florence cooed, her proper, elegant manners coming to play the moment she was no longer on the disgusting topic of muggles and the likes. Her contempt was hidden, for the most part, though all the while as she approached the male she couldn’t help the desire to put him out of his misery.

Once all the other Death Eaters had disbanded, she was left with the Malfoy boy. Her eyes ran over him, unable to swallow down the disdain that rose like bile. “The Dark Lord has heard whispers that the Order of the Phoenix, that failure of a thing, is starting to brew up a problem. He’s requested that the two of us look into it, find their location of operations and extinguish it completely.”
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Tyler frowned when the vampire did not respond and dropped her gaze to her lap. Her hands brushed across the hem of her dress, a sigh passing her lips. Was someone she could talk to too much to ask for? Maybe she was just as bad as a vampire. An American that was also half Veela. Sure, Fleur was half-Veela too, but she had proved herself as a witch. Tyler had lost her arm in the important battle.
“I’ll leave you alone,” Tyler told Vicente, her voice edged with her obvious American accent. “I’m sorry for bothering you.” She stood and picked up the broom she had stolen. As she did, she caught sight of Hermione’s wave. She smiled and tried to return it, but the brunette was already inside the cottage. She glanced back to the vampire and her frown returned.

“But, you know, you didn’t have to be rude. I was just trying to be nice…” Tyler replied. “Maybe if you work on your people skills, people wouldn’t be so afraid of you. And, just for the record, I’m not the rest of them. I’m nothing like them. I don’t cower in your gaze.” Her bright eyes narrowed as she shook her head, her hair falling in front of her face. She got onto the broom, sitting on it as though she were riding side-saddle on a horse. She flew back to the ground and replaced the broom where she had found it.

The half-Veela moved to the water, staring out toward the horizon. An itch consumed her left arm, but when she reached to scratch it, she remembered again that it was gone. The itch had been the result of something called Phantom Limb Syndrome and it annoyed her greatly.
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Vicente didn't wave when Hermione spotted him and Tyler. He hadn't even noticed it, honestly. His thoughts were too caught up in the past, and when the half-Veela spoke to him again, he frowned again as he was once again pulled back to the present. Had he really been rude? Was it rude to want to spend some time alone? If anything, she had been the one who was acting rude. She hadn't asked if she could join him up there when he was clearly taking some time for just himself.

He was glaring at Tyler as she went back down to the ground, and after a few moments of deliberation in which he tried to calm his rising temper, he found himself practically flying off the roof after her. Honestly, though, it was more like he jumped off the roof, landing in a crouch before angrily striding out to the edge of the water after the half-Veela.

"I do not care if you cower under by gaze or not," he hissed at her, obvious pain in his voice. This was turning into a rough evening for him, and her attitude wasn't making this any easier for him. "I do not care how similar or different you are from the others. All I care about is killing the Dark Lord and his followers."

This was probably the most he'd spoken to her. Ever. And he wasn't making the best of impressions. He didn't care, though. Usually he tried to be more civil just to avoid being treated poorly for being what he was--not that it was his fault--but he was making no such efforts right now. When he was dwelling too much on the past, he had more than a little difficulty playing nice in the present. He was too angry and too hurt to treat people kindly.
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Listening to Florence dribble on about their next mission was a bore and Draco found he had to suppress a yawn. He didn't take orders from her. She was no one, he was The Chosen One, The Dark Lord picked him, himself but deep down he knew that was to get back at him for what his father had done...the boy sighed, his father and mother... they were no longer with him and every time he thought of them a twinge of pain shot through his chest. He'd done everything for them and they got him in this mess and now he was alone, alone in this mansion with these filthy Death Eaters. They were hardly company.

Draco was so lost in his thoughts that he almost didn't hear Florence dismiss them and it wasn't until all the other Death Eaters started to stand around the table and leave that Draco realised he should probably do the same. So he did, he stood up and went to turn to leave when the sharp voice of Florence caught his attention.

“Draco, dear, I have a special task for you as commanded by the Dark Lord." She started.

Draco shuddered, and he turned his head slightly to look at the woman with his grey eyes. He studied her face looking for a clue as to what this special task could mean. He was never fond of being picked out from the group, it always meant something bad. He then turned his whole attention to her, not saying a word, just letting her speak.

“The Dark Lord has heard whispers that the Order of the Phoenix, that failure of a thing, is starting to brew up a problem. He’s requested that the two of us look into it, find their location of operations and extinguish it completely.” She looked so pleased with herself, it made him sick.

Great, he'd be stuck on a mission with her of all people investigating something Draco secretly hoped would defeat The Dark Lord some day, he had hope, but it was now dwindling away into nothing. His eyes looked sad for a moment, but he swallowed and hardened his face as he regained eye contact with the woman.

"They hardly stand a chance. Is The Dark Lord really scared of a piddly little group like that?" He asked her raising an eyebrow but still looking submissive. "Oh well... I guess if that's what he's commanded we do, then there is no choice. Where do we start?" He didn't want Florence to think he didn't want to take on the mission. That would be bad.
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Tyler shrugged her shoulders, her eyes remaining on the horizon. She lifted her hand to brush her hair from her eyes with a light sigh. She felt his gaze on her back, but she did not turn around to face the vampire.

"I never said you cared... But you just did..." Tyler replied, noticing not for the first time how different her accent was from everyone elses. She gave another sigh and shook her head, tucking her long hair behind her ear. Finally, she turned to return Vicente's gaze. "I told you that because I wanted you to know that I wasn't afraid of you. I wouldn't choose to run if you and I were to fight. I'm no coward and I wanted to warn you of such..."

Tyler offered him a small smile and she reached out to him, though before she could touch him, she withdrew her hand. She shook her head and turned back to face the ocean with a solemn frown.

"You know, I really like the way you think. Revenge is a wonderful fuel for fighting..." The half-Veela added in a light murmur. She gave yet another sigh and rose her remaining arm to place her chin in her hand. A wince flickered on her face at the memory of her arm's removal, though it disappeared as soon as it had appeared. She tried not to dwell on that moment, but she was itching to avenge her lost arm. For a moment, the halfling forgot the vampire's presence, but she quickly returned to the present at the memory of him talking to her.

"I think I understand you... A little bit of you... I can see and feel your sadness as though it were my very own... So sad... So broken..." Tyler mumured, her eyes falling to the ground. She lifted her gaze again to look back at him with a wavering smile. "I think, if we both tried, you and I could be great friends... Allies are quite useful in a war..."

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It didn't really matter that Tyler had dropped her arm down before her hand could connect with him. The vampire had taken a cautious step back, keeping her from touching him anyway. He didn't like being touched. Not anymore. He had been a far nicer and approachable person back before he had lost Madeline. Now, though... Well, one would have to be quite lucky in order to touch him. Or they would have to corner him. He certainly wouldn't invite it. Never again.

Hearing Tyler say that he was sad did not gain any sort of response from Vicente, but to hear her call him broken... That gave him some mixed feelings, to say the least. She was right, of course. He was broken, far more than he would ever admit. He'd lost his will to live. Only his desire to avenge Madeline kept him going. Whether in battle with the Dark Lord or by his own hands after the war was over, he intended to die. He would fight his very hardest for Madeline's sake, and then everything would be over for him. He didn't even consider himself to be alive anymore. In his eyes, he had died along with her. She had been his soul, his life. Without her, he was nothing. He had accepted that very quickly after she died.

Tyler's next remark about them perhaps becoming friends caught him by surprise. Friends? Why would she have any desire to be friends with a vampire? They were already allies since they fought for the same cause, but he didn't think they could be friends. He would have to care about her in order for them to be friends, and he wasn't about to open himself up to more pain. It was better to be alone and ambivalent toward the deaths of others than make friends in the Order and grieve when they die. He was not naïve. He knew there would be losses. Heavy losses, most likely. He couldn't take anymore pain.

"Why bother trying?" he asked, turning away from her. If she understood him, then she'd see through to his reasoning behind being alone. It was a terrible way to live, but it was his choice. No one could force him to get close to people and make some attempt at being happy again.
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“What?” Fleur blurted out, her voice like liquid gold. Being half-veela, the woman was quite a stunner and it was hard for Hermione to stand as the other female’s equal when Fleur’s beauty made the other witch look bland. It simply wasn’t fair that even as she gawked at Hermione, a gesture that would have made someone laugh if Hermione were to do it, the blonde witch appeared to be a swan. Of course, Fleur had heard perfectly well what Hermione had said only seconds before, about taking Teddy to see about Grimmwald Place’s availability to the Order. He was the only way for them to get a secure building behind enemy lines that would be utterly off the others’ radar. It was risky to get in at first, but once they were in they would be able to get around with ease. Well, that’s what Hermione’s hope was.

“Please. You two know that we cannot stay here. The only way to gain access to Grimmwald is to have someone who is of Black relation. Since Harry was the last to inherit the house, it would go to whoever was deemed his dependent. Teddy is his godchild, and technically has ownership of the house. We need that place,” Hermione restated, her stance firm. She would plead if need be, since this cottage was starting to lose its charm with more and more recruits piling in like sardines. Grimmwald was vast, in its own quirky way, and was the ideal placing- not isolated on a cliff near a beach miles away from the action.

Bill and Fleur exchanged a look. The woman looked concerned, clinging somewhat tighter to the baby in her arms while Bill was muted, but only for a moment before he gave a sigh. “Teddy is just a infant. What if Voldemort’s scouts are out and about, as they usually are?” He questioned, Fleur silently agreeing.

“I have the invisibility cloak that I can use while on the street. I’ll take every precaution. You two know how diligent I am. I would never let Remus and Tonk’s child come into danger. It just so happens that I have to have him with me. I don’t want to do it but we need to do it,” Hermione rebutted. Her eyes pierced through the haze that clouded Bill and Fleur’s eyes. They weren’t convinced, at first, but after a moment’s silence, they finally gave a begrudged agreement to the arrangement. They all knew how crucial every move of the Order’s was, this one only being one of many major stepping stones to finding out and crushing Voldemort’s plans.

With a quiet thank you, Hermione took the baby from Fleur’s hold, cradling the child like a sacred package in her arms. He was asleep at the moment, the epitome of peace and innocence in a time when such descriptions were far and in between. She would do all that was within her power to create a world that didn’t endanger that precious gift she held. Peace and innocence would be restored, and match the glow that lit Teddy’s face beautifully.

After a quick trip to her own room, which she shared with other Order members, Hermione had her handy infinite purse in hand that held the invisibility cloak, a sling for the infant, and the broom she would need for her night’s travel. It was crucial that everyone else in the Order stayed put for the evening. There would be no runs for food or further recruitments tonight, in order to keep everything silent and clear on the Death Eater’s radar. If the alarms weren’t being set off, Hermione could hope that they wouldn’t expect much activity from the Order tonight. If there was a peep out of the resistance, every block would be swarming with Death Eaters with an urge to toss a hex or two.

After making these requests or, rather, orders known to the rest of the members, Hermione made her way out of the cottage with Teddy in tow, who was still sleeping. The sun was crawling down the sky by now, nestling in for its day’s rest while the moon took its shift in the sky. It would take most of the night to reach her destination, which was perfect.

She spotted two familiar figures, once again, outside but this time no longer on the roof. Vincente, however, was one she would need at the moment. She wasn’t stupid. She needed someone else with her with a far keener sense than hers, and he fit the job description. She also needed someone who could take the child if anything went wrong. Hermione could handle herself extremely well, but Teddy shouldn’t be there if wands were drawn. And so, her eyes flashed towards him, and waited until he happened to glance up from his conversation with the other female. They were obviously in some sort of discussion and Hermione didn’t want to interrupt. Once he happened upon her gaze, she gave a small wave with one hand, the other arm continuing to hold the resting baby, as if to ask him over once he was done. She needed to ask a favor.

* * *
Every change in a person’s expression was registered into Florence’s sharp mind. It was a required skill for a female of her stature, to be able to sniff out those who were liars and those who weren’t worthy of her time. Draco Malfoy was one of those said creatures. She couldn’t stand that her Master had given her and him the same task to deal with, together. Of course, she would find a way to separate the two Death Eaters and easily excuse it as “separating works faster than working as a pair”. This was true, but she also wanted to stay away from the male who didn’t have a spine. It was a wonder he could even stand up or walk straight. He wasn’t right for his heightened position in their rankings or that title he huffed and puffed about for hours on end. Men with true caliber and power did not need to brag.

He didn’t look all too enthused about the task, which wasn’t a surprise. It was, though, an improvement from his response to the command to kill Dumbledore. He’d looked like a quivering chicken ready for the slaughter that day. It had been thoroughly amusing for Florence to watch. He was quite a spectacle. It was ridiculous.

“No, he isn’t scared,” Florence hissed, not liking how Draco had decided to word his opinions. He was much better when silent. “He just wants to make it blatantly clear that such attempts are futile. As well, it gives us something to do other than our daily missions into muggle territory,” the woman continued, her voice holding the consistency of a viper’s hiss, seductive and dangerous. She eyed Malfoy with a glint that hinted to her pure hatred of his family, and him.

“We start by monitoring any places that had been headquarters beforehand, or homes of previous Order members. The filthy Weasley residence was burned down, finally, so that is not an issue. However, Sirius Black’s, and that filthy boy Potter’s residence’s status is unknown due to its… hidden nature.” She pursed her plump lips for a moment, slowly the tips curving into a haunting smile.

“That is where we shall start our investigation,” Florence practically cooed. “Tonight.” If there is any activity, we should see someone or something exiting that forsaken hole. I believe we should divide and conquer so once we get there, you will survey one main area while I take over the other direction.” With that, the small meeting was over. With a crackle, the woman disapparated from the filthy residence with relief.
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Draco sneered as Florence left the room. He felt the venom in her voice, he knew she hated him just as much...maybe even more than he hated her. But he didn't care. Right now his mind was on their latest mission, something different to usual. He wasn't sure if he should be thrilled at the change in scenery or upset at all the things that could come of this... plus working with her was a massive downside. Either way he had no choice in the matter and Draco accepted this, sadly turning to the door and heading out the large meeting room which used to be his family dining room.

He sighed, slowly striding up the stairs, two steps at a time until he reached his room. Then he made his way to his big kingsized bed. It was comfy but lonely and cold. He had a few hours until the mission. Beauty sleep would do him some good. He'd noticed he'd been losing weight and his face was gaunt. He was no longer that handsome Pure-Blood he once was and now all he saw was a pathetic ghost of a Malfoy. He sickened himself. This whole ordeal sickened him. In the end, he fell asleep feeling bitter and angry.

As he napped he had a dream, it was of The Dark Lord, punishing him for failing a mission. The Dark Lord raised his wand and screamed "AVADA KEDAV--" But before the spell was completed Draco shot up in his bed, covered in a cold sweat. It felt so real...nightmares always did.

"Shit..." He panted, rubbing his forehead with his right had as he turned to look at the clock by the bed. "SHIT!" He exclaimed once more realising he was late for the mission at Grimmauld Place. The pale blond shot out of bed and changed his black sweater and jeans and got into his dark suit. He looked smart in it, even if he was a sick and frail mess. It made him feel confident. Then he Apparated to 12 Grimmauld Place finding himself in a bush. He rolled his eyes at his disaster landing and stepped from the plant, brushing the leaves from his clothes.

Draco then scanned the area with his cold grey eyes, wondering if Florence had arrived yet. He so hopped he'd gotten there first, then he would have something to rub in her face...he never got a chance to rub anything into that woman's face...she was a bitch but she was smart he could admit that.
Edited by o0PinkSquid0o, August 7, 2011, 9:46 am.
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Vicente gave a glance in Hermione's direction when he saw her out of the corner of his eye. It looked to him like she wanted to talk to him about something, and he frowned inwardly at the sight of the infant in her arms. What was she doing with a baby?

His eyes met hers for a brief moment, and he could see that she had a plan. Since she had obviously come to speak with him, she clearly was including him on this plan. But if it also involved the baby... He hoped she knew what she was doing. Vicente would rather not be involved in something that may result in the death of an innocent baby.

"We will continue this talk later," he mumbled to Tyler, though he really didn't intend to. He'd rather pretend that he'd never had this conversation with the woman. Broken... He didn't want anyone to call him that again. True as it was, he needed no reminders from others to reinforce what he already knew.

He strode past the woman and went over to Hermione, stopped a handful of feet from her. Though she didn't seem to fear him, he didn't want to push things. She had that baby in her arms, after all, and he'd rather give her a sense of security if not for her, then for the baby by keeping his distance.

"Is there something you wished to speak with me about, Miss Granger?" he asked politely enough, though he didn't look happy. He never looked happy, honestly. If anyone here had managed to catch a glimpse of him smiling, it was either painfully forced or cruel. Like when he was thinking about how he'd tear Greyback apart.
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It was utterly strange to be called “Miss Granger” by anyone outside of professors from Hogwarts, who were never going to address her that way now, and Hermione couldn’t help but smile in amusement. “Hermione, please,” she corrected kindly. The young witch knew that Vicente was simply trying to be polite but her vision of the Order was of members being comfortable around one another. Of course, having a vampire with them made this concept a little hard to install in some other people within the Order, though not Hermione herself. She had been an advocate for all kinds of mythical creatures, as one that was constantly talked down to in the eyes of pureblood elitists. He hadn’t done anything thus far to cause her to quiver in fear or disgust, and probably wouldn’t while he was on this mission. Hermione, however, still kept in mind the small child she held inside the sling. His warm body reminded her that she was responsible for two lives tonight, and if Vicente posed a threat in any way, she’d have to take action against the member.

“Vicente, I’m sorry to interrupt your evening but I need your assistance with a small mission I’m going on.” For a split moment, the woman went silent as she mustered up the strength to push down the lump that was slowly forming in her throat. What memories would be stirred on this errand? “Grimmauld Place was in Harry’s name previous to his death and since Teddy,” her arm instinctively tightened about the sling about her, securing the baby further, “is his godchild, I need to find out if it recognizes him as the inherited owner. Its location is both brilliant for the Order and dangerous to get into. That’s why I need someone with good senses to come with me to the residence, since having an extra pair of heightened eyes and ears will help finish this faster.” There was the silent second reason of having someone else to take the child if anything were to happen hovering between the two conversing beings.

“I’m going on broom to avoid any alarms. It’ll take quite a while longer but it’s the safest approach,” Hermione continued as she pulled out her broomstick. “If you’re up for it, simply follow me. Make sure to stay above the overhang of clouds once we approach London.” With that, she settled onto her broom, making sure to secure the baby even further. He wasn’t going to be falling for anything.

She wasn’t a fan of the technicalities behind broom flying, thanks to that early fiasco in the broom class at Hogwarts as a child. Still, the essence of being in the air, above the rest of the world, filled her with a magical feeling of freedom; that was hard to come by in these times. So, once she was in the air and done with the more technical aspect of the broom, Hermione felt a smile tingle on the edges of her lips and a grin illuminated her face as she maneuvered about the stars as if she were one of them for the time being. For a split moment, the thought of simply staying up there came into play. But, alas, Hermione had a heavy feeling of responsibility that always weighed her body down back to the solid ground and reality. She had a purpose in life, to defeat Voldemort, in order to bring peace of mind to herself and everyone else. She couldn’t simply disappear as many had already, out of cowardice.

Most of the time flying was spent in silence, hers sourced through awe for her surroundings that kept her from disturbing the tranquil nature of this night, which shrouded the much more impenetrable darkness of the Death Eaters for a small moment in time and allowed her to believe that all was right with the world. But, it wasn’t. This was made adamantly clear once they approached London, whose clouds were darker than the cloak of the Grim Reaper and filled her being with foreboding despair. This was Voldemort’s doing.

She glanced over to spot Vicente and gave a small nod of acknowledgement before rising above the approaching mass of clouds in order to keep discreet. The baby still lay, warm and quiet in the sling- oblivious to the cruelty that hung just beneath him. She knew this landscape like the back of her hand, after flying about a few times for Harry and with Ron, the memory stabbing her like an icicle through the heart. But, as always, she shoved it aside as her senses told her that she was nearing the targeted location. Again, she signaled Vicente to prepare to touch down on ground, pointing to the park cluttered with large trees and bushes that sat across from Grimmuald place- a sight that peeped through a small hole in the clouds below them.

She murmured the disillusionment charm, her wand pressed against the base of her broom as she gripped it tightly with one hand. Instantly, the object vanished from plain view, for now. With that done, she put the wand to herself and the cold, oozing sensation that came with the charm covered her like a blanket, along with Teddy who stirred at the strange feeling. She was made invisible and could only hope that a spell hadn’t been cast about this area to break any enchantment cast. She’d had her fill of those tricks when she went to Gringotts. Thankfully, once she descended upon the neighborhood, the cool feeling of invisibility clung to her as she touched ground and got off the equally invisible broom within the welcomed trees and bushes that hid her once she waved off the disillusionment charm.

Scanning the area from the dark spot in the woods, Hermione noted that no one was out on the streets. That was, until she heard a crack sound someone apparating into the facility. Her breath caught, realizing that there was no alarm sounding- it was a Death Eater. Quickly, she ducked even further into the hidden spot, behind a bush as she cursed within her mind. Her mind went to the invisibility cloak within her purse, and with that she pulled it out, smoothing its surface out. Once she knew Vicente had touched down, she would figure out where to go from here. She knew Death Eaters would be about, but had hoped against it.

* * *

Dark eyes fell on her face, calculating her every expression as his stayed mute. He was a royal serpent, draped in a dark black ensemble that moved about him like smoke and reflected his overall being: a dark lord- a god manifested. He moved languidly about the divine hall, the sleek marble flooring picking up nothing from his steps while, if Florence were to make a step, her shoes would echo. He was a ghost, floating to and fro. If she were to reach out and try and touch the Dark Lord, would her hands go through? She didn’t dare risk the move.

“You’ve served me well, Florence. Sweet, strong Florence. Do you know why I picked you to be my lieutenant?” His voice wrapped around her, coiling like a snake- like Nagini who was nestled only feet away from his Masters’ body. Florence’s eyes were glued to Voldemort, admiration, pride, and power emanating from her being but dulling in comparison to the man, the being before her. “I chose you because of your diligence, loyalty, and strength. I give you my trust to do all that is necessary in my leave, as I will be on my own personal mission for the time being.”

She did not question what this was. That, too, was why she was chosen- though he would not speak this. It did not need voicing.

“Squash this bug and show the world what happens to traitors,” he hissed. One moment, he was composed but the next he was maddened by something inside of him. It had been this way since Potter’s death. Though she was leuitenant, taking Bellatrix’s place, she knew not of the Horcruxes’ existence. Only Bellatrix had been given that insight, but as far as Florence was concerned: she knew all.

“Of course, my lord.” She couldn’t help but smile in pleasure.


Nights in London could be chilly and tonight was no different as Florence walked about the street, her eyes scanning the surrounding homes. She had been out there for some time now and Malfoy had yet to make an appearance. How astonishing! Really, she expected nothing more of the juvenile boy. Why on earth had the Dark Lord assigned him to her? A mentor, he’d said. He needed a mentor now that his failure of a family had fallen, taking Bellatrix with them. The Dark Lord had ordered it, and so Florence would obey but it truly took quite a few bites to the tongue to keep back the complaints that bubbled to the surface.

The darkness had fallen completely over the city, clouds hovering over and threatening to send rain pelting down but never did. The street was empty, a strange hue coming off of the streetlights lining the neighborhood that annoyed Florence. With a whip of her wand, the lights were extinguished, sucked into the tip of her wand and tucked away. The dark was always better and it made it much more fun to seek out any prey that would be coming about.

She had summoned another to take Draco’s place for the time being, since he’d decided to take a siesta from the task the Dark Lord had bestowed upon him. Greyback walked the opposite perimeter about 12 Grimmauld Place, surveying the park and surrounding houses with senses that made Florence cringe. He wasn’t one she liked. He was a beast, but he would do for the nighttime. He had been assigned to a few streets only a mile or so away from here, so it had been the most convenient, and he was the vilest of all Death Eaters. If she felt the need to do some damage to anyone who wasn’t with Voldemort, he was the one to go to. As long as he was away from her, it wasn’t a problem.

Said creature was leaning against a now useless lamppost, awaiting anything new to look at or young to eat. 12 Grimmwauld Place continued to be hidden from view, a pesky trick of the magical residence that made watching it even more boring for the werewolf. His eyes racked 11 Grimmwauld Place, whose residents were keeping away from the window out of an instilled fear that came with the ominous feeling of doom. Humans were beginning to understand that something was going terribly wrong in the world. People were dying and, even as human police tried to keep incidences secret from the public out of fear from what would happen when magic was exposed, residents of London and the surrounding land knew darkness was suffocating their land.

When a crackle announced someone’s appearance, the dull werewolf’s nose sniffed in the general direction of the intrusion. Obviously, it was a Death Eater since alarms weren’t sounding, but that didn’t make Greyback any less aroused. He loved messing with anyone with a pulse- whether it be Death Eater or other. The only reason he hadn’t messed with Florence was because of her bite.

“Look who rolled out of bed,” his rough voice spat, his breath stinking of decay and flesh. He eyed Draco Malfoy with amusement and disgust. It was because of him that Greyback wasn’t eating right now, a young little child limp in his arms. Instead, he was here babysitting an invisible house.
Edited by Wicked, August 8, 2011, 4:38 am.
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Draco swore he heard a rustle of bushes behind him like someone was there, but when he turned to look there was nothing. He shook his head and rubbed his temple. Perhaps he was going crazy...he wouldn't be surprised with everything that was going on in his life right now. The Blond began to walk forwards towards the road when a deep snarling voice came out of no where and scared him out of his skin.

“Look who rolled out of bed." It was Greyback, that stupid mutt.

"You scared me half way to death" he snarled back, clutching his chest with his pale hand. That dog knew just how to get to him.

Once his heart stopped pounding so hard the boy finally let his hand drop to his side and he glanced around the area. "So Florence sent you to do her dirty work rather than doing it herself? Figures." he rolled his unimpressed eyes. But in the back of his mind he was worried. He now decided he'd much rather be stuck with that woman than this feral creature. He probably had rabies or something, anything could make him snap and Draco could well be on his way to becoming dog food.

"W-well then," He stuttered realising his thoughts of being mauled to death had gotten to him. "got any bright ideas on how to get inside?" Draco had never been to Grimmauld place before, he had no idea if the death eaters had found a way to get inside or not.

~*~

(OOC) Sorry for the short post :(
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Vicente understood that Hermione wished him there not only to keep his senses about him in the event of there being Death Eater's about, but so he could take the baby and flee if things got out of hand. She wanted him to leave her behind. But he wouldn't do that. She was their leader. If they lost her, what would happen to the Order? They couldn't lose her, and so if things got rough at Grimmauld Place... Well, he'd cross that bridge when it came. It wasn't like he would leave Hermione with the Death Eaters without putting up a good fight himself. And if Greyback was there, there was no way in hell that Vicente was leaving without that beast's head.

He flew after Hermione, his body shrouded in shadow as he rode on the wind, invisible for all intents and purposes from below. Against the black of the night sky, who could see the movement of a mass of shadow across the sky?

As he flew, the shadow occasionally shifted its form into black bat wings, but that was more flavor on his part. The shadows he was using to fly didn't need to have any defined form. He just found it more entertaining to play around a bit on the few occasions that he did fly.

From the moment they landed in Grimmauld Place, Vicente knew something was wrong. There was a scent in the air that sent him immediately on edge, and he immediately took refuge behind the bush with Hermione, so close to her that they were touching. Out of reflex, he wrapped his arm around her middle protectively. He would keep her safe. No matter what. He couldn't avenge Madeline on his own and he knew it. He needed the Order. He needed Hermione.

It would be dangerous to speak to her right now, even in a whisper, so he kept quiet as he slowly released her and stooped down low, practically crawling around the side of the bush so he could see what was going on. He pulled a few shadows close to him to further hide him, and when he looked around, he immediately saw Draco Malfoy. Not just Draco Malfoy, though. Oh no. The scent that had first alerted him to danger immediately registered in his head as one that he knew. Knew and loathed more than anything else. It was Greyback. The sight of that monster was unmistakable, right along with his disgusting scent, which seemed far stronger now that he knew what it was. It was almost stifling.

Vivid memories assaulted the vampire's mind as he glared at Greyback. The werewolf didn't seem to have aged much in the past decade and a half, and it wasn't difficult to picture how he had been when he and Vicente first met. It wasn't difficult to picture Greyback threatening Vicente and Madeline, and try as he might, Vicente couldn't stop his mind from replaying the sight of Greyback tearing Madeline apart. He couldn't stop the phantom sound of Madeline's screams from ringing in his ears...

Vicente's fingers dug into the dirt as he tried to keep himself from attacking Greyback right then and there. It took all of his self restraint to stay where he was. No matter how badly he wanted to attack, he couldn't reveal their presence. He couldn't risk Hermione's life. Even though it appeared to just be Draco and Greyback, and Vicente probably wouldn't get a better opportunity than this.

He tensed even further when the scent suddenly weakened. It took a moment for him to realize the reason for it, and when he did, his blood went cold. The wind had changed. It had been carrying the scent of the werewolf toward Vicente, but now it was carrying Vicente's scent toward Greyback. And he'd be shocked if Greyback didn't pick up on not only Vicente's, but also Hermione's and the baby's scents.
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Voices spilled through the leaves of the bush Hermione and, now, Vicente were crouched behind. Two voices, two that she knew fairly well and brought about foul memories of previous fights she’d been in. Her eyes didn’t need to peer through the pockets of air within the bush to know who it was down the street. Greyback’s voice scratched against her ears like nails on a chalkboard, enough to send her skin crawling in remembrance of his attacks at the Battle of Hogwarts while the smooth voice of Draco Malfoy added insult to injury. She’d always hated the boy’s guts and now she couldn’t stand to look at him after he joined the Death Eaters, something she hadn’t thought possible no matter his distasteful qualities. He took cowardice to a new level.

The witch stayed low, barely reacting to Vicente’s touch as he wrapped an arm around her protectively. It reminded her briefly of how Harry and Ron naturally protected her, and vice versa when they were on missions for horcruxes, the memory sending a pang through her before she quickly brushed the menace memory had become away. Now was not the time to grieve. There was never time to mourn, not yet, not until the threat was dealt with. When that day came, Hermione would be able to let her emotions take control. For now, though, she had to stay professional and that included keeping the three of them safe.

One arm clung to Teddy protectively as she peered through the bush in order to assess the damage. They were talking about another Death Eater, Florence, who Hermione had heard about through messages. She was the new leuitenant and, certainly, she wouldn’t be leaving these two to scout out Grimmauld Place alone. So, they had three threats to assess and avert. They were across the street, Greyback leaning against a lamppost with Malfoy only a few paces away. Both were in front of number 11. This would become difficult unless Hermione thought up some kind of a diversion and fast. She didn’t want any conflict just yet, because heightened security on any other night meant it would be far more difficult to get inside the safe house. But what could she do to divert the two Death Eaters without raising suspicions?

It seemed the universe was taking this into its hands.

“Are you daft? No one gets inside Grimmauld unless they’ve inherited the place. Unless you kissed up to Potter before he died and got him to sign you off on the house, there ain’t no way of getting in,” Greyback spat roughly, giving a disturbing smile that revealed yellow, decaying teeth. He scratched his face, small specks of dirt falling as he did so. “Plus Florence is here, just makin’ runs about the other side of the residence, the damn witch. I’m here because of you, prissy boy.”

He laughed, grating the night with his disgusting chortle before cutting short when the wind shifted and waved a strange new mixture of smells his way. He grew silent for a moment as he sniffed, forgetting his next insult for Draco as he picked up on three distinct aromas; two of which had a ball of thirst-driven saliva formulating on the inside of his mouth. They were so young, and smelled delicious. The other, however, he could do without- a vampire, that much was sure… but who?

Hermione picked up on the change instantly, her breath catching as she watched Greyback’s eyes scour the park across from him with nose flared. She gripped her wand and aimed it through the bush towards the werewolf. Nidor Obscuro, her mind commanded and instantly, Greyback’s lead was killed. His scent was obscured and he didn’t like it one bit. He growled, eyeing the bush the two Order members were hiding behind. She knew they had to move and instantly made a grab for Vicente’s arm, which was tight.

Glancing over at her partner, she realized something was wrong. He wasn’t acting like himself and he wasn’t composed. They had to move but he looked hell-bent on something, and his eyes were keyed in on Greyback, who was quickly approaching. She rubbed his arm to ease his tension before urging him to leave his current spot, moving from the bush while draping the invisibility cloak over herself and Teddy who, thankfully, stayed quiet and was probably asleep through this mess.

She ducked under a tree and glanced around it, noting the werewolf that was sniffing around the bush she’d previously been behind but had abandoned. He was starting to grow annoyed. He knew there were people here, Hermione realized with a silent curse. This was making things even more difficult but hadn’t she wished for a distraction? For a moment, she thought of displacing a jacket of hers in a bush further away from Grimmauld to make Greyback leave. That would reduce the threat to one known, Draco Malfoy, and one unknown: Florence. Where was that lunatic anyways?

* * *
Florence turned on her heels and made the next round, heading back to Grimmauld to check up on the flea she had, unfortunately, placed on the other side of the neighborhood. Hopefully, the werewolf wasn’t dosing off or eating a rat out of the sewer. Her upper lip curled at the thought, disgusted by the things she had to surround herself with in order to get the job done. Wasn’t it enough that she had to babysit a Malfoy? Now, she had a dog to deal with as well. At least she had a leash for that one.

As she approached the targeted area, she spotted a patch of light hair on pasty skin. And, so the prodigal son had returned. A sneer developed on her face as she made her way over, her feet barely making a whisper against the road’s pavement. She walked up behind the coward and let out a sigh that wafted through his delicate hair. “Better late than never does not apply to this mission, Malfoy,” her voice hissed into his ear before her eyes moved to find the werewolf that had taken the dull boy’s spot for the time being.

Cold, calculating eyes caught the dog sniffing through the bushes and she couldn’t help but let out a graceful but icy laugh. “Looking for your next meal? I don’t think you’ll find it there,” she shot at the werewolf, who turned to eye the woman. He frowned, giving the bush another sniff before finally backing down and moving towards the lieutenant. She watched him carefully, barely breathing in order to keep her nostrils from burning with his stench.

“Oh, on the contrary. I think I found a feast. There are people in the park over there, hidden. I could smell them, briefly, but I smelt them,” his voice cooed in a menacing way. He was grinning now, amused with how he could plan on eating whoever was trying to outwit them. This definitely caught Florence’s attention. And so, the prospect of Grimmauld being the hideout was a possibility. She, too, began to smile.

“Well, well. Go eat, then,” she stated, waving him off like a stray dog. It would be entertaining to see him in the act- from afar- before moving in to finish the job.

“With pleasure,” the werewolf hissed before turning back to the park, his crazy eyes cutting through the scenery with intent to kill. “Come out, come out wherever you are. You smell delicious. Can I eat you? I promise to enjoy every minute of it,” Greyback growled, his voice causing goosebumps to rise on Hermione’s arms as she lay against the tree.

“Do you want to know how you’ll die? I can tell you. Maybe you’ll approve,” he began to approach the bushes, crouched like a predator ready to pounce. His nostrils flared and frustration began to take play as he could not pinpoint where his targets were. “I’ll tear you, bit by bit. First, your hands and feet so you can’t run or crawl away. Then, your arms and legs, one by one they’ll come off. Can you hear the crunch of your bones? Its music to my ears.”
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Vicente had been moments away from throwing away everything and attacking Greyback when he felt Hermione's hand on his arm, rubbing him soothingly and bringing his mind back to what they were there fore. He was shaking when she touched him, every bone in his body yearning to attack. But he couldn't do that. He had to keep Hermione and the baby safe. If there was any chance that child could be their key into an on-site hideout location, he had to be protected. For the sake of the Order.

He felt Hermione moving away, but he couldn't see her. She had that invisibility cloak on, and not even his eyes could see through that. He could only hope that she was moving to a safer location. Greyback was nearing this one, but Vicente wasn't going to move. Oh no. He'd stay right here, shrouded in his shadows and watching the werewolf with unmasked loathing in his eyes. If he moved now, he wasn't sure if it would be away from Greyback or toward him. Any move he made might turn into an attack. He didn't trust himself to slink away, so he'd stay perfectly still for now.

When Greyback started to describe how he'd go about killing them, the vampire's eyes widened in pained shock. The werewolf had given a similar little speech in his attempts at intimidating Vicente and Madeline before. And when they hadn't been swayed, he had made good on those threats. He had literally torn Madeline limb from limb, and hearing the werewolf threaten to do the same to both him and Hermione sent cold rage flowing through the vampire's body in place of blood. Not this time. Greyback would do no such thing this time.

Vicente had made his decision. If it looked like Greyback was going to discover Hermione, then Vicente would attack. There was no doubt in his mind about that. If it meant preventing Hermione from being discovered and harmed, he'd blow his own cover. Him being hidden and safe didn't matter if she was in danger. He didn't want to watch another person be dismembered by that werewolf. And knowing Greyback, he'd probably eat the baby, too.

He watched Greyback like a hawk as he strode around the park, making his threats. Perhaps movement wasn't entirely out of the question, since Vicente found himself shifting slightly to keep himself facing the werewolf, crouched in a ready-to-pounce position all the while. He'd have to make his first strike count. He knew this. He'd aim for the throat and hope he could catch Greyback off-guard. The thought of getting the werewolf's blood in his mouth honestly disgusted him because his scent was so putrid, but he wanted to make no mistakes in the deadliness of his strike. He wanted it to be fast, and he wanted it to be lethal. Biting out the werewolf's throat sounded like a wonderful idea in that regard. He could wash his mouth out later.
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Tyler watched the pair leave in silence, her hand moving towards the wand in her boot. The half-Veela paused and turned back to stare at the horizon, though she wasn't paying much attention to the view. She was completely focused on listening to the vampire and witch leave. When they did, she turned, her bright eyes on the broom she had borrowed earlier. Now she would have to steal it. Those two were up to something and she wanted in. There was no way she going to stay behind if there was a way for her to be involved in action. She couldn't stay here and socialize. She was itching for a fight and maybe even a little revenge.

With that, the halfling took off with a run towards the broom that leaned against the cottage. She sat upon it with the side saddle style she preferred and closed her eyes. Her long hair fluttered around her as she rose into the air, her heart accelerating with the anticipation of action, of fun. Her eyes snapped open and she shook her head, allowing the wind to play with her hair. A grin stretched across her fast as she leaned forward on the broom, vooming off in the direction the pair had gone. She kept her distance, but made sure to stay downwind of the vampire to avoid him discovering her. That was the last thing she needed, to be caught and forced to return to the boring stiffs that made the rest of the Order.

Clouds voomed past her as her grin grew. Flying was almost as fun as fighting. Almost. Her eyes fell to what was below her and a light giggle of pleasure escaped her lips. Buildings zoomed beneath her feet with unaware muggles occupying them. Her thoughts drifted to wonder where her father was and whether he was still alive or not. She had no way to know. Tyler shook her head to clear the thoughts away. Thinking about her father was as useless as thinking about her mother. She had left her father far behind to protect him. She had disappeared so that he could remain well and living.

She watched the two descend, but remained in the air for a little while, observing from above. Spotting three other figures, she lowered onto a roof of a nearby building. She set aside the boom and leaned against the side of the roof in a crouch, straining to listen.

When Greyback's threats reached her ears, a gasp passed her lips involuntarily. Hermione and Vicente needed her help. Her hand quivered with the thrill and danger of what she was planning. She was going to be a distraction. She was going to make herself the target so that the other two could do whatever they had come to this muggle neighborhood to do. Tyler stretched out her hand and grasped her broom, rising to a stand. She backed away to the other side of roof top, the stolen broom tight in her hand. She took off a sprint and jumped off the room, moving the broom beneath her.

The halfling flew into a wide circle around the neighborhood, her feet touching down on the opposite side of the street. She kept her broom beneath her, straying from her usual riding style. She waved her remaining hand in greeting, a wide grin on her lips.

"I'm sorry to say that I have one less arm and hand for you to tear off... That honor was taken by another... You know what? Why don't you just slice my throat? I think that'd be great fun... Or set me aflame... Wouldn't that be beautiful?" Tyler called out to the werewolf, accenting her words with waves of her hand. She shook her head. "I'll even run if you want me to. I know how fun the chase is..."
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Draco took in the werewolf's insults and didn't say a word, he merely watched him with an unimpressed expression on his pale face. Insults from a feral dog meant nothing to him, nothing at all and he wasn't about to get all offended over something that a filthy fleabag spat out at him. Malfoy swore the dog was about to speak again when something caught his attention. He sniffed about the air for ages obviously catching the scent of something... or someone? The blondes mind then went back to back when he landed in the bushes, he swore he heard or saw someone but he'd brushed it off as nerves.

“Better late than never does not apply to this mission, Malfoy.”

Once again Florence had scared him to death and Draco even let out a small squeak to prove it which in turn made his usually transparent face glow a slight red from embarrassment. Death Eaters did not squeak! Thankfully though, Florence's attention had now passed onto Greyback who was still acting strange and when he told them why Draco's heart (which had just calmed down from his fright) began to beat fast again.

Idiots... He thought to himself. Obviously those morons from the order had arrived to use this safe house. How daft could they get? Wouldn't they assume there'd be death eaters about, searching them out in every nook and cranny? Draco had decided long ago that he would no longer be a Death Eater and now that his parents were gone he knew for sure that this wasn't the life he wanted. He was not a good person in any way but he knew that with The Dark Lord in charge everyone's life, including his own was going to be a lot more miserable than needed. But leaving the Death Eaters was not easy. Especially if you were a coward.

"Perhaps your nose is off today, Dog?" Draco called to the mutt, hoping to distract him for at least a little. "Let us get back to the mission The Dark--" But his sentence was cut off by a girl...a one armed girl in fact.

"I'm sorry to say that I have one less arm and hand for you to tear off... That honor was taken by another... You know what? Why don't you just slice my throat? I think that'd be great fun... Or set me aflame... Wouldn't that be beautiful? I'll even run if you want me to. I know how fun the chase is..."

Idiot...idiot... IDIOT! He cursed in his head once more. Did she want to die?? His attention quickly shifted to Greyback and Florence, watching for their next move, if they chose to fight Draco would have a real tough decision on his hands and would have to think smart on how to get what he wanted without looking like he was betraying The Dark Lord.
Edited by o0PinkSquid0o, August 9, 2011, 10:36 am.
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Hermione’s head thunked silently against the trunk of the tree she sat behind, one arm securing the baby and the other wrapped with knuckles white against her wand. This was not going as planned. She could have expected two Death Eaters, but there were now three- one of them being the main lieutenant for Voldemort. Security around Grimmauld was going to get even worse after this, that much was sure, and tonight was going to end up being a hard battle. It was two against three, which wasn’t bad since the werewolf was simple enough to get rid of with a jinx and Malfoy… well, she didn’t think he had the heart to really put up a fight. If he did, Hermione was sure she could take him out. But, Florence was another thing altogether. There was a reason she’d been given the spot beside Voldemort, and Hermione wasn’t about to underestimate the witch’s ability to do some damage. Bloody hell.

Things were just getting worse.

Teddy stirred and suddenly, a muffled cry came from within the bundle. It wasn’t much but, in the dead of night, it was enough to waken the senses of Greyback, whose eyes zoomed in on the tree Hermione’s invisible body lay on. She was just as sharp, noting the sudden change in atmosphere and beginning to inch away from the tree, making sure not to trip on the invisibility cloak as she walked backwards, trying to silence the baby who’d decided now, of all times, to wake up. This all, however, was simply damage control. It was already put into action and Greyback made to advance, a Cheshire grin on his face that made Hermione’s skin crawl in disgust. She aimed her wand at him from behind the cloak; ready to send a hex his way when suddenly, the sound of a female’s voice invaded the surrounding area. Tyler? What in Merlin’s name was she doing here, and speaking so blatantly?

It served to distract Greyback, but only for a moment before a black mass jumped out from where Vicente had been and pounced onto the werewolf, who growled and began to strike without a second thought. No! Hermione wanted to scream. Instead, she looked to the other two Death Eaters, noting that Florence was already tossing a stream of green light towards Tyler, who was on a broom taunting the others. Sometimes, she wondered about the half-Veela’s will to live.

This being said, it was obvious that Hermione’s plan wasn’t going as she’d wanted it to. She tossed off the cloak, knowing it was really pointless, and wrapped it around the baby and the sash instead. Teddy wasn’t going to get involved in this fight, for obvious reasons.

From where she was stationed, Hermione crouched and aimed her wand in Florence’s direction. The other female was distracted at the moment by Tyler’s appearance, which made this the most ideal time to attack her. Malfoy was the least of Hermione’s problems at the moment as Florence continued to wave her wand around like a baton and lights flashed towards the half-Veela. Stupify, her mind commanded and instantly, a blast of radiant light shot forth towards the Death Eater. She could only hope that the witch assumed that Tyler and Vicente were the only ones around.

That just wasn’t the case, though.

* * *
Florence grimaced at Malfoy’s reaction to her appearance. How on earth was he supposed to be a Death Eater when he was scared of everything? He was horribly pathetic, and Florence’s judgment of the poor soul only got worse with every second that passed by. He squeaked, for goodness sake, from being surprised. And he was supposed to be the next generation of Death Eaters? He needed some extreme training and the fact that the Dark Lord had given instructions to her to administer the mentoring made bile rise in the female witch’s throat. This was going to be absolute, sheer torture for her.

Instead of thinking too hard about the most unpleasant situations, Florence watched the much more entertaining one that was unraveling before her as Greyback hunted like a hound for food. So, there were people in the park? That meant not only one foolish Order member was here, but also two or more; to think that they came so willingly into the open for battle. It was completely ridiculous and now, Florence was going to be scouting about this perimeter for every night hereafter. She wasn’t exactly sure how she felt about that. Sure, killing a few bugs was always good fun but having to give up her nights was going to be quite a trade off.

And, then, the action began.

Florence’s head turned in reaction to the sudden sound of a baby. A baby? Her eyebrows rose as she watched Greyback tense, ready to pounce on the revealed position, though where he looked Florence’s eyes saw nothing. And so, they were using an invisibility charm. That would only work for so long before Greyback tore through them. But, before she could even make a comment on how much fun that sight would be, there was another intrusion in the form of a one-armed pathetic woman on a broom. Oh, how valiant of her to suddenly come out of nowhere and offer herself. It made Florence sick.

A smirk formed on her face as she turned her attention to the woman who cried for the killing curse as Greyback went to work on the vampire that had come out of its hiding spot. “Deal with whoever has the child,” her cold voice commanded Draco before turning her wand on the other female, flinging the Cruciatus curse her way. She always loved torturing the prey before finally giving them their death sentence. This one would be no different. She continued to fling curse after curse at the female, wanting to see her squirm, when something flashed in her peripheral view.

In a flash, Florence twirled to deflect the hex, bouncing it back to wherever it had come from. “Show your face, coward,” she called out into the darkness where Hermione crouched behind the tree, dodging the rebounded curse. The young witch’s hair was barely holding back in its tie, tendrils beginning to fall in her face as she tried to stay silent in her position, holding the now invisible child with one arm while the other aimed the wand once more at the most dominant threat.

“Come fight me,” Florence cooed as she kept an eye on the other suicidal Order member while slowly approaching the mass of bushes and trees. “I’d like to know who my opponent is. I’d love to see your eyes as I vanquish that pathetic excuse of a light in them.”
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It was dark. Not much light could be seen peeking through the small cracks in the walls. There were no windows in the room, but that was how the owner preferred it. Slowly, yet purposefully, a figure rose to a sitting position. The figure stretched before running its fingers through black hair. After a moment, a single pale hand reached out, grabbing onto something thin, and with a soft whisper, a small light shown through the darkness.

The light revealed the figure to be one Alex Marshall, former student at Hogwarts, and not-so-loyal servant to Lord Voldemort. The young man got out of bed, not wasting any more time then necessary. It wasn't that he was really a morning person, but he was used to getting up before a normal hour. In fact, he had slept in quite a bit that day, compared to usual.

The dark-haired young man dressed quickly, wearing his normal muggle clothing of black jeans and a black shirt. He was going for a walk in the muggle world, and wanted to at least half blend in. He did, however, grab a long black cloak to wrap around himself. With his wand in his pocket, he was then ready for the day.

Alex walked silently out of the building, nodding to the familiar faces as he went. Nobody really cared where he was going, figuring he was either on a mission, or simply had some free time. It wasn't as if they had to worry. If he was needed, he wouldn't be hard to find. Fortunately for him, they had long since stopped their mistrust of him, making it easier to get away when he needed to.

He made his way down a collection of streets, not really finding anything of interest. That was when he heard some commotion from around the corner. He turned the corner to find a battle unfold before his eyes. He recognized right away the blonde hair of his fellow reluctant Death Eater, Malfoy. Not really eager to get involved, yet realizing that there was already a good chance of having been seen, he made his way over to the others.

"What's going on here?" he asked, sliding over beside Malfoy. He could tell that there was a battle, but he had no idea what was the cause besides the fact that there were both Death Eaters and members of the Order there.
Edited by Dream, August 10, 2011, 4:30 pm.
I'll whisper in your ear,
You are mine, and you will never have to be alone.
And when I pull you near,
You'll know I love you like I never loved anyone.
So let me be the one to lift you up,
I'll carry you home.
'Cause now I'm here to keep you safe,
And to catch you when you fall.
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It was immediately apparent that things would not be going as Vicente had intended. As soon as he flung himself at Greyback, the werewolf noticed the incoming blur of movement and reacted accordingly. Thankfully, Vicente's own reflexes were up to the challenge. He managed to avoid the brunt of the werewolf's first attack, merely being struck in the ribs with enough force to drive the air from his lungs.

That strike knocked him to the ground, but he was back up in an instant. Just in time to get pounced on himself and driven right back down to the ground with an insane werewolf on top of him. Vicente was just a fraction of a second quicker, though, and he managed to get his feet up in time to flip Greyback up over his head.

Unfortunately, Greyback recovered more quickly than Vicente had expected. He was right back on the vampire, tearing at him like an animal and making the vampire shout in anger and pain. He was not going to lose to this monster. He was not going to die. Not here. Not now. He couldn't let the werewolf win. Not again.

Vicente started biting and clawing at Greyback in return, giving as good as he was getting. His eyes were glowing in the darkness from his rage, letting that anger drive him to fight with a ferocity that was frightening to witness. Greyback didn't seem intimidated in the least, though. If anything he seemed to be enjoying this. Damn him.

Their fight only lasted for a few more moments before Vicente was caught in a grip that he couldn't break. Greyback had seized him from behind, restraining him despite his best efforts to squirm away. At this point, all Vicente's efforts seemed to be accomplishing was amusing the werewolf. And that just made the vampire even angrier.

"Damn you!" he snapped, continuing to struggle like his life depended on it. Oh wait. It did. "You son of a bitch!" There were some other obscenities that he shouted, and none of them were pretty. The surrounding neighborhood was likely learning some new profane phrases tonight...
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"A baby?" Draco questioned to himself as small cries could be heard from the bushes across the road.

And then all of a sudden things just started happening left right and centre. Draco could hardly keep up, he watched Greyback fighting with a man... a vampire by the looks of things who'd pounced from the bushes the dog was sniffing only moments before, they were tearing into one another rolling around in a tangled mess, insults flying here and there, they were both strong, Draco wouldn't be able to place a bet on who'd win if he had to.

Meanwhile Florence was fighting the stupid one armed girl in the air, both flinging forbidden curses at one another but both successfully managing to dodge each one.

“Deal with whoever has the child." Florence called to Draco angrily, but the boy swore he could see a glint of excitement in the crazy witch's eyes. He didn't know what to do he stood there with a shocked expression on his face. Listening as Florence taunted whoever was in the bushes.

"What's going on here?" A familiar voice came from nowhere and the blond turned to face the man now standing next to him. Alex. Another Death Eater but he was different, he wanted nothing to do with The Dark Lord, just like Draco. But Alex was kinder than he was, Draco wanted out for his own selfish reasons.

"We came to suss out the Order working against The Dark Lord and it seems we've found them." Draco said cooly, trying to regain his composure. Now was not the time to panic. "Now excuse me, I've got orders to follow." he sighed and stepped away form Alex, moving towards the bushes quietly from around the other side. He rolled his back against a large tree and peeked out at the spot of bushes everyone had been keeping their eye on.

He took out his Hawthorn wood and Unicorn haired wand pointing it quietly at the spot. He then let out a whisper, as quietly as he could. "Get. Out. Now!" He glanced around to see if Florence or Greyback heard, hopefully not, then he cried out a jinx. "Flippendo!" hoping not to hit whoever was hiding before him.
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