Also available as: Epub
A/N: I do not own Harry Potter and would not particularly care to… but I suspect you knew that.
Tonks' mouth filled with bile as she watched Harry Potter convulse under Riddle's cruciatus. Despite her horror at the torture, she could not help but admire that no sound passed the young man's lips.
The plan was not working, that much was clear. Dumbledore lay bloody in a heap near the Dark Lord and the Boy who lived; so many others of the Order were in similar condition throughout the battlefield that was the grounds of Hogwarts.
Her mind raced as she reviewed everything Moody and Shacklebolt had ever taught her. Plan 'A' was in tatters, and in typical Dumbledore fashion, plan 'B' was nonexistent. That meant she had three options:
She could attack with everything she had, and die in short order. That did not seem to terribly attractive an option.
She could run as far and as fast as she could and hope to survive to fight another day. That was not an attractive option either. She loved her Da with all her heart, but she was her mother's daughter. She was a child of the family Black and that meant something. Blacks do not run. Her mother had made very sure she understood that, and her time in Hufflepuff had put her in positions where she had to demonstrate to her mother's family's tradition allies that being a 'Puff didn't mean someone was weak.
Tonks realized that the lessons her Auror training had given her were less than useless in this situation, leaving her with only her mother's training to fall back on. That meant her third option had to be a Black option. It was time to cheat.
The young Auror concentrated and reached into the left hand pocket of her robes. This particular pocket connected magically to a storage cupboard in her bedroom in her parents’ home. She felt around for what she needed, ignoring the various weapons and restraints that her hand passed over until she found her prize.
She withdrew the bottle from the pocket and glanced toward Harry, still being tortured by Riddle as the Death Eaters gathered to laugh.
She needed two minutes. Silently, she begged the young man to hold out long enough to give her the time she needed. Transfiguration had always been her best subject, but tying an everfilling charm from the source of the contents of the bottle was going to take some time. She was going to need a lot of volume.
"So, Harry," Voldemort's voice all but purred after he lifted the curse, "where is the entertainment you always bring to our engagements? No funny catch phrases this time?"
The laughter from the surrounding Death Eaters filled the air.
"Your mother," Harry gasped, fighting for every breath, "sorts socks in hell." He'd heard that from one of the comedy movies Dudley liked, and had thought it was funny. Riddle it seemed, did not share his sense of humor.
"Do not insult my mother, Potter."
"Or what?" Harry asked after spitting out a mass of bloody sputum. "You'll kill me and everyone I care about?"
"Or," Riddle said, anger glinting in his red eyes, "I will make you beg for death's sweet release."
"Yeah, yeah," Harry mocked with a sense of having nothing to lose. "You keep saying that, but I'm still here."
"HARRY!" a new voice broke in. "Catch!"
Something flashed through the air toward him, at a speed that could only be achieved by a banishing charm. Despite his injuries, Harry's seeker reflexes allowed him to snatch the object out of the air, only to discover he was holding a glass bottle labeled 'MD 20/20'. The clear glass showed the fluid contained within was a translucent bright red.
"This isn't the time for your morals, Harry," he heard Tonks shouting. "Drink it!"
"I'll be having that," Riddle said dismissively as he summoned the bottle from Harry's hand. "Capture the girl, I want to know what this is and why she wants Potter to drink it."
Tonks managed to last four minutes under her loving auntie's cruciatus. She kept telling herself that she had to hold out to make her story convincing. Riddle would never believe the story she intended to tell if she just offered it up.
She imagined she could hear her teeth cracking under the pressure she was using to keep her jaws shut. "I'll talk, I'll talk."
"Tonks, no," Harry said in a beseeching voice. When this was over, if they survived, she was going to have to kiss him. He was helping her sell it without knowing what she was up to.
The bottle was shoved in front of her face. "What is this girl?" Riddle asked.
"It's an amplifying potion," she ground out, hoping that no one would notice that her metamorphmagus powers undoing the damage the curse had inflicted. "It's a new development from the Unspeakables. It heals you, repairs damage, and even boosts your magic."
"Boosts your magic?" Riddle asked, intrigued. "This appears to be a bottle of an inferior Muggle wine. And what did you mean about Potter's morals?"
"The wine gets the potion into your system faster," Tonks explained, concentrating on keeping her body twitching in a highly accurate imitation of cruciatus tremors. There was no way Riddle would trust her word, he was going to want to see it work. "Harry has argued against using an amplifying potion because he says it wouldn't be fair."
"Wouldn't be fair? There is no fairness in life boy, I would have thought you had realized that by now. Let us see," he said opening the bottle and taking a cautious sniff of the contents. His eyes flicked to the shaking Harry before making his decision. "Drink it," he said as he placed the bottle into her hand.
Tonks grasped the bottle gratefully, and raised it to her lips. Yep, this particular plonk was as nasty as she remembered it. She allowed her outer wounds to heal, and Tonks rose to her feet, whole again, no signs of the cruciatus curse at all.
Riddle took the bottle from her, lifted it to his scaly lips and drank. "This is… good," he said as he lowered the bottle. "I feel it working."
"That's the wine," Tonks supplied helpfully, somewhat amazed this stupid plan was working. "The average wizard gets a 30 percent boost in their magic over time, but the more powerful they are, the increase goes higher. Dumbledore's magic almost doubled after only a week's worth of' doses. You beat him so easily, Merlin only knows what it will do for you."
Riddle looked at the bottle in his hand; over a third of the fortified wine was gone. "I will need more of this."
"That's no problem," Tonks said, "I brought a dozen casks to heal everyone after the battle," she looked around the battlefield. "They're not going to need it any longer."
Three hours later, the Death Eater's 'victory party' was in full swing, and Voldemort was the life of the party.
"My Lord," one of the Death Eater, well into his cups slurred. "I love being in your dark legions, but really, this is such a sausage fest."
"We… we… we've got women," Riddle insisted. "Well, we've got Bella and Alecto anyway."
"Bella?" Lucius Malfoy asked with a laugh, before taking a long pull on his drink. "My Lord, I respect my dear Sister in law, and she is the very model of the proper pure blood woman, but she is hardly what the lads are looking for in a companion."
"What do you mean?" The Dark Lord asked.
"Bella’s one of the boys," Knott explained.
"She can belch and fart louder than any of the lads," Crabbe grumbled, still a bit sensitive about losing his supremacy in those events.
"And she just won the Pissing for Distance contest," Goyle pointed out.
"She did?" Riddle asked as he started to laugh for several seconds before getting hold of himself. "And the only one interested in Alecto is her brother. You're right, we need more birds. Well, there’s only one thing for it. We need a Weasley!" The Dark Lord looked around the party and spotted Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger huddled next to the wounded Harry Potter. "You there, Weasley! Come here!"
Ron rose from the ground hesitantly, before squaring his shoulders and making his way to the victorious Dark Lord. If he was going to die, he would do it like a Gryffindor.
"Yeah?" he asked as he stood before Voldemort.
"How ya doin'?" Riddle asked, wrapping an arm around Ron's shoulder. "Do you have a drink? Somebody get Weasley a drink!" he called out. Almost instantly, Ron found himself with a flagon of a sweet smelling wine in his hand.
"Weasley," Riddle said. "Have you ever considered a career in the exciting world of Dark Wizarding?"
"What?" Ron gaped.
"We need you, lad," Riddle continued as if Ron had not responded. "We need the fabled Weasley way with women."
"What?" Ron repeated wondering just what the hell was going on.
"Oh, don't be so modest, boy," Voldemort said, his gaze focusing on the horizon. "I went to school with your Grandfather you know, I watched as Charles Weasley worked his way through bagging every single Slytherin girl in our year."
"Slytherin girls?" Ron gasped. "But Grandad was a Gryffindor"
"Of course he was lad," Riddle laughed. "But even Gryffindors know that it's the naughty girls who are the most fun.
"Whoa," Ron breathed. "Go Grandad!"
"And then there was your Da'" Vinnie Crabbe's father laughed. "There was never a more successful hound than Arthur Weasley. He never limited himself to any one house. If there was a girl at Hogwarts that old Arthur didn't have in the '60s, I never met her."
"My Dad?" Ron asked faintly trying to imagine his father with anyone other than his mother while simultaneously trying not to imagine such a thing.
"Oh, yeah. Old Arthur could talk any bird out of her knickers before most lads could find out her name," Amycus Carrow pointed out. "I remember, back when I was just a little firsty, and I was trying to find the Astronomy tower, I took a wrong turn and ended up walking in on your Da, just a fourth year himself, and three seventh year birds, none of them wearing a stitch. He may be a blood traitor, but Merlin, Arthur Weasley could pull the birds."
"But…" Ron sputtered, his fears somewhat diminished by the odd things he was hearing about his father. "But… my mum…"
"Ah Molly," Goyle recalled, "now, she was a spit fire."
"Top of the class in Defense, a budding Potions Mistress, and sudden death in Transfiguration. She gave old McGonagall a run for her money, she did," Carrow laughed. "She was being heavily recruited by Amelia Bones for the Aurors, and she was the only duelist Bella ever feared."
"Mum was going to be an Auror?" Ron asked incredulously. "But… what happened?"
"Arthur Weasley happened," Crabbe said admiringly. "Dosed her good, he did."
"Oh, I see, you're got it wrong," Ron said, his worldview coming back into alignment. "Mum told us that she used a potion to get Dad's attention."
"Oh, there was a potion, lad," Goyle said slapping Ron's back and driving him to his knees in the process. "And it was pure Arthur Weasley… During my prefect rounds I found him delivering her dosage more than once."
"Arthur Weasley," Lucius growled before taking a long pull on his drink.
"Oh, don't mind Lucius," Voldemort said as he helped Ron regain his feet before sitting down on a conjured chaise. "He's never forgiven your father for the fling he had with Narcissa their seventh year."
Arthur stopped what he was doing.
"What's wrong?" she asked reaching up to cup his chin with her unrestrained hand.
"My ears are burning," the head of House Weasley said, "someone must be talking about me."
"Ooh," she purred as she ground against him. "My ears are the only parts of me not burning."
"Oh well," he shrugged and resumed the task at hand.
"Don't stop," she moaned. "Don't you dare stop!"
The crack of the whip caught both of their attentions.
"Narcissa, dear," Molly purred dangerously, the black leather corset she wore shining in the subdued light of Lucius's bedroom. "Who said you could talk?"
"That's my girl," Arthur chuckled as he drove the woman beneath him to even greater heights of pleasure.
"They continued it even after our Banns were read," Lucius growled again. "And she STILL makes the most insulting comparisons whenever I…"
"That's the problem with having a beautiful wife," Greyback said authoritatively. "Other men, more skilled men, will always want them." A smirk crossed the feral man’s lips, a smirk he hid behind a long pull from his drink. "It’s not like you’re making proper use of her anyway, Lucius, married more than 20 years with a single pup? I’d have kept a bitch like Narcissa churning out a litter a year."
That comment sparked the fistfight that rippled through the Death Eater horde, while their master sat, drank and laughed.
Sometime around 3 am, someone introduced the Death Eaters to Karaoke, which lead to a massive contest. A contest that the Dark Lord Voldemort was winning, mostly due to the fact that none of his Death Eaters were willing to vote against him, but also due to his surprisingly soulful rendition of 'Begin the Beguine '.
Not that the other Death Eaters were slouches in the singing department. Tonks was moderately surprised by the amount of emotion her Uncle Lucius put into his version of ' Hair ', and she was utterly amazed when her Auntie started belting out her version of Bowie's ' Let's Dance '.
Shaking her head, she joined Harry and Hermione as they cautiously approached a dazed Ron Weasley.
"Ron," Harry whispered. "Are you all right?"
"What did he want?" Hermione demanded.
"Oh, hey guys," Ron said. "Yeah, I'm ok, I guess. It appears that I've been drafted into the Death Eaters because I'm a Weasley, and Voldemort thinks I can pull birds."
"Pull birds? You?" Harry asked, struggling not to start laughing in such a dire situation. "He doesn't know you too well, does he?"
"Laugh it up Harry," Ron sniffed. "This is serious. You should hear what they said about my Grandad, my Dad, and my Mum. I may never be able to look them in the eye again."
"Does this mean we have to call you Ron the Death Eater now?" Tonks asked innocently.
"When this is over," Ron said darkly, "if we survive, I'm turning the twins loose on both of you."
"What makes you think the twins would help you?" Hermione asked.
"To keep me from telling them the stories I just heard about Mum and Dad," Ron explained with conviction. "Tonks, what's going on? Why did you give them the strengthening potion?"
"It's not a strengthening potion, it's just a really potent fortified wine," she explained.
"But why?" Hermione asked.
"Because now they're drunk," Tonks explained. "And drunks make stupid mistakes."
"How can you be sure?" the bushy haired witch asked.
"Bitter, bitter, experience. When you're a bit older," Tonks explained, "and you wake up after a party next to the very last person you would ever choose to sleep with, you'll understand."
"Did you really?" Ron asked.
"Oh, Ron," Tonks said, pulling the younger boy into a hug. "Don't worry, I'm sure someday you'll be some poor girl's horrible mistake."
"That was great!" Pettigrew enthused.
"It was," Bella agreed drunkenly. "We should… we should do this alla time."
"No!" Greyback disagreed, a bright pink lampshade perched atop his head. "We should do it for real. We should form a band!"
The sun rose over the horizon, bringing protests from the assembled Death Eaters.
"That light," Voldemort hissed, shading his eyes. "It offends me. Make it stop."
"That's the sun," Tonks said helpfully. "It does that, and we can't stop it."
"It defies me?" Voldemort asked, amazed that such a thing could happen. "My Death Eaters! Attend me."
It took several minutes for the drunken remnants of his legions to cluster around him.
"My Death Eaters, we will teach this 'sun' the price of defying me, the greatest wizard who has ever lived," he paused while his troops cheered before continuing. "And then, we shall form the greatest band the world has ever known. Those Rolling Stones defy me as well."
Voldemort gathered his magic and apparated away with all of his Death Eaters.
Silence filled the Hogwarts Grounds as the survivors of the battle came to grips with suddenly being alone.
"What just happened?" Hermione Granger asked.
"Well," Tonks observed, "it appears that Voldemort and all of his Death Eaters just left to attack the sun."
"But he can't…" Hermione started to point out.
"You know that," Tonks agreed, "and I know that, but a bunch of drunks don't know that."
"They couldn't possibly make it," Harry noted.
"An average wizard can apparated a hundred miles or so when motivated," Tonks agreed. "But Riddle isn't an average wizard is he?"
"Young Tom should easily manage to apparate himself and his Death Eaters, so say one thousand miles before exhausting himself," Dumbledore said from the ground where he was struggling to sit up. "Well done Nympha…"
"Don't say that name!" Tonks thundered. "Or you're next old man."
"So," Harry interjected, trying to change the subject, "it's over?"
"Indeed it is, Harry," Dumbledore said from his place on the ground. "It appears the power you had that the Dark Lord knew not, was the wiles of an older woman."
"A hot older woman," Harry corrected.
"Damn straight," Tonks agreed.
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