A Dance Through Thyme [Harry Potter]

There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't met. An unknown man sends Hermione back to the Marauder's Era as revenge, however, the consequences are far more disastrous than what even he imagines when Hermione loses her memory of the past. Why did that man do this to her, and what secrets will be spilled? Who is the guilty party?

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45. Chapter 36: Ausgetrickst part 5

Part 5: Lily and Marlene

The door opened to reveal a shabbily dressed house-elf. His body was crouched over almost as though he was bowing, but his head was projected upwards gazing at the unexpected visitors with curiosity and fear.

"Yes, misses," he said in a high-pitched voice. "How can I be of service?"

Marlene was the one to speak, whilst Lily stood by her with a look of defiance on her face.

"We are here on behalf of the Minister of Magic, Theodora Frances Warnock with a verified warrant to search this dwelling, as belonging to Mr Abraxas Malfoy."

The complexion of the house-elf paled to the colour of lumpy porridge.

"One moment, Miss," the house elf began to stammer. "I-I will just get the m-master for you."

Lily could not help but feel pity for the house-elf, as he shut the door in their face. She waited at the front of the mansion, with Marlene by her side, and their back-up dutifully waiting behind them.

The door opened again, and this time the face of an elderly gentleman appeared. His white-grey hair almost seemed to blend into the equally pale skin of his forehead. The expression on his face belied the arrogant look of his features.

"Abraxas Malfoy," he said, stretching out his hand for the girls to shake. Lily and Marlene reciprocated, somewhat reluctantly. They did not want to get too friendly with the person they were here to incriminate.

Yes, they were here to search for the horcrux, but if they managed to find a few other items of contraband, what was the harm in killing two birds with one stone?

"Pleasure," Marlene squeezed out from her forced smile. "If you don't mind, we have some business to attend to here. Minister of Magic, Theodora Frances Warnock has verified a warrant to search this dwelling and the surrounding property on the grounds of potential contraband items."

The senior Mr Malfoy laughed, and stepped to one side.

"Oh, that will be my son, Lucius. He is always bringing home some new toy, or another. You are free to search the house, and take away whatever you feel is necessary. Perhaps it will teach that boy a lesson."

Lily could hardly suppress her smirk at how Mr Malfoy spoke about his son. The man was twenty-four years old – hardly a 'boy'. However, she did not complain. The Malfoy's were being somewhat obliging to a search warrant of their house.

Not giving any person the chance to protest, Lily stepped over the threshold and into the house. Feeling Marlene and the others follow her, they immediately set to work. Quickly flitting their eyes about the entrance hall, they searched for anything that might be of immediate danger to them. Almost instantly, Lucius Malfoy appeared from behind a pillar.

"What is this mudblood and her friend doing in this house?" his tone venomous as he edged closer to them. Lily could see his hand itching to reach into his jacket, no doubt ready to pull his wand from it; however, she kept her resolve.

"We are here under the order of the Ministry, so I would thank you to stay out of our way."

But Lucius was not ready to give in that easily.

"The order of the Ministry? I would like to think that they ought to know better than to pry into other people's affairs, especially when we work to benefit them so much."

"Lucius!" Abraxas hissed at his son. "Just sit down and let them do their job. The quicker they start, the quicker they will finish."

"Thank you, Mr Malfoy," replied Lily coolly. "I suggest you listen to your father more often, Master Malfoy. Mister Weasley and Misters Prewett will stay here as your guard while we search the rest of the house. Is Mrs Malfoy present in the house?"

"No," replied Abraxas. "She is absent visiting relatives, and will not return until the end of the week."

Lily nodded in acknowledgement, and motioned for Marlene to follow her. The instructions that Hermione had given them were at the fore of Lily's mind.

"There is a door that leads off from the drawing room...go through this door and you'll find yourself in a dark passageway. Follow this, and about halfway down there will be two doors. Take the door on the left. Don't step too quickly because it will open up to a steep flight of stairs."

Hermione stopped only now to draw a breath, so focused was she on imparting the correct details. Even she was relying on what she had been told by Harry. When she had last been in Malfoy Manor, she had remained in the drawing room being tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange whilst Harry and Ron were dragged below.

"Go down that flight of stairs to the very bottom. There is a very heavy door there that is the entrance to the cellar. I don't know what else will be down there, but all I need is the diary. It may or may not be inscribed with Tom Marvolo Riddle. It may put up a fight – I don't know - so be prepared. Always be on your guard."

The girls followed the instructions, feeling spooked by the sudden change in atmosphere. Whilst the rest of the Manor felt cold and uninviting, this part that was on the other side of the drawing room had a different kind of chill attached to it. The dim light that was present, was only provided by the weak flames of a few widely-spaced lamps that were hanging off the walls from rusting nails. It was clear that this was not a part of the manor that was shown to guests.

Arriving at the bottom of the stairs, Marlene and Lily found that the door was firmly bolted shut, and that there were several protective enchantments. Hermione had been right. They had not been expecting anyone from the Ministry, and the enchantments were weak. Not to mention, the lock was muggle.

"Finite Incantatem," Lily whispered before feeling a rush of air pass her as the magic lifted. The only security left was the padlock. Even if the Malfoy's had a guest who decided to come exploring down in this part of the manor, they probably wouldn't trouble themselves with something as trivial as a padlock.

'Alohomora," she was whispering again, hoping to not to be heard by the occupants of the house. Lucius Malfoy would not care for the legitimacy of a search warrant. He had things locked down here that would even incriminate a wizard with a squeaky-clean record.

But the lock did not open.

"That's funny," said Marlene in a low voice. "Usually that works."

Lily shrugged, not knowing why the spell had not worked. Not wanting to waste any more time, she silently reached into her hair to pull out a single hair pin. Inserting this into the lock, she jiggled it for a bit before hearing the necessary click.

The door instantly swung open into a room so dark, that neither Lily nor Marlene could see their hands in front of their faces.

"Lumos," muttered Marlene, and a thin beam of light pierced through the thick darkness. Motioning for Lily to do the same, the girls began their search.

Marlene almost instantly had a near miss, and had to jerk her hand away rather quickly when she brushed up against various vials of potions. She could not recognise them, but she had no doubt that should she come into contact with any of the liquid, the result would not be a good one. They didn't look as much potion as they did poison.

A number of wooden cases were tightly closed shut; bolted closed with a similar lock to that of the door to the cellar. A string of pearls was sitting on a velvet cushion towards the centre of the room, a note was written on what looked like a scrap piece of parchment warning any witch or wizard not to wear the necklace. Apparently it would asphyxiate any person who put it around their neck.

It was next to this necklace that Lily first spotted the diary. Turning it over in her hand, she shone the light of the wand close enough to be able to make out the words 'Tom Marvolo Riddle' on the back cover.

"Marley!" she called in a loud whisper. "Look, Marlene. I've found it. Hermione was right."

Marlene looked on with wide eyes.

"Is there anything that girl has not been right about?"

Despite their current situation, Lily could not help but chuckle.

"I don't think so! A regular Cassandra Trelawney, that one is."

The girls went silent, ears desperately trying to pick up any noises from the main area of the house. Only the gentle thud of footsteps prevailed from the upper floors.

Determining that the coast was clear, they hurried up and out of the cellar as fast as their feet would carry them. Just before entering the drawing room once more, they stopped to catch their breath. Lily tucked the diary into the waistband of her pants, smoothing her shirt over the top. Those who did not know that the diary was there would not be able to recognise where she had hidden it.

Stepping into the drawing room, Lily and Marlene surveyed the scene before them.

Lucius and his father were sitting on two straight-backed chairs whilst the members of the Order were still searching around the remainder of the house. Only Fabian, Gideon and Arthur remained in the room, faces set like stone.

The girls gave the men a knowing look. Fabian raised his wand and a stream of brilliant white light issued forth, transforming into a patronus. He murmured a few words to it so that the others in the room could not here, but Lily already knew that it was a message to round up all the other members of the Order. Irrespective of what else was in the house, they had what they needed.

All that they could do now was head back to Headquarters, and hand in their prize.

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