DISCLAIMER: The Harry Potter series and all the characters associated with it are the property solely of J. K. Rowling, her agents and publishers. No infringement of any rights is intended from the creation of this story. Nor is any money being made from it.
Circles of Power
Part Nine - Tsunami
By Mad Martha
"The Page of Staves, I take it?" Mad-Eye Moody's harsh voice said, and Harry jumped slightly.
He had been staring through the clear wall of Cell 50 at Draco Malfoy, who was huddled under a pile of blankets and hadn't properly awoken since his dramatic arrival at the student house. In concession to his condition, Professor Dumbledore had given instructions that the cell was to be made more comfortable, and so he had a bed, pillows and blankets, although the stone room was still far from cosy.
"That's what Ron thinks," Harry admitted to the elderly Auror. "I don't know what it means, though."
"We'll find out when he's been patched up a bit." Moody studied the prone figure for a moment or two. "Bit of a mild night for hypothermia, don't you think?"
"Remus thinks it was a nasty version of the Nipfinger Curse. But I think that's the least of his problems."
Harry was troubled by the whole business. It was odd enough that his old bête noire should have turned up on their doorstep like that, but the condition he was in was, frankly, appalling.
Malfoy had set off all the alarm spells in the student house when he fell through the front door. But that was nothing compared to getting him into the Facility; he had set off about twenty different alarms before they ever took him through Traitors' Passage (the entrance used to take prisoners to the dungeons, so nicknamed by some of the junior Aurors), and they'd had to strip him of all his clothes and run a couple of cleansing rituals over his unconscious body before they'd been able to incarcerate him.
Even now it was unlikely that he was totally "clean" of dark magics, but at least he wasn't posing an overt threat. He was too sick for that. As Moody had noted, Malfoy had a mild case of hypothermia and frost-bite, and he was physically weak. The bloodstains Harry had seen on his shirt had come from runes that had been cut into his back and chest; unsurprisingly, there was evidence on his wrists and ankles that he'd been shackled during the process.
At least one of the runes looked similar to the Bring-Me-Power symbol Hermione had identified in the spell-cloth given to Ron, only it was far more powerful. Her brief study of the marks on Malfoy's tainted shirt had yielded the information that there were more like it, only stronger and worse.
It looked like someone had been draining Malfoy's magic and energy from him. And from the scars on his skin it clearly wasn't the first time it had happened.
It had been a while since the Facility had had any known Death Eaters in custody, which might have explained the excitement when Lucius Malfoy's son was brought up from the dungeons, bound in spellrope, for questioning.
Harry had to use his elbows to get through a crowd that included the other junior Aurors; Elijah Twizzle, Cho Chang, 'Silent' Meg Cottley and Simeon Clare. Ron and Hermione were at the front of the group, Ron looking tired and irritable, and Hermione a little worried under her frown.
"This is like a circus," she muttered to Harry when he slid in between the two of them. "It's not very fair to Malfoy."
"Since when do you care about him?" Ron whispered sharply from Harry's other side. "He's a Death Eater. He was a pathetic little asshole at school, and now he's grown up into an asshole of the worst kind."
"What happened to 'innocent until proven guilty'?" she hissed back.
"Hermione, he's got the Dark Mark on his arm. That's proof admissible in any wizard tribunal."
"Maybe he didn't have any choice about it - "
"There are always choices," Harry cut in curtly.
He was thinking of the conversation they once heard Sirius and Lupin have with Peter Pettigrew. When Pettigrew had miserably admitted to giving Harry's parents up to Voldemort out of fear, he had asked what else he could have done, to which Sirius furiously replied, "You should have died! Died rather than betray your friends, as we would have done for you …"
And yet, a niggling voice at the back of his mind said, the Dark Mark wasn't wholly conclusive. Severus Snape, the Hogwarts Potions Master, also bore the Dark Mark. Of course, the man was a spy … most of the Aurors' information on Death Eater activity came from Snape, although it was never openly spoken of.
Shuffling feet announced the arrival of the prisoner and his guards. The crowd now included a number of senior Aurors, men and women who stared in open hostility as Draco Malfoy was brought through the main offices. Harry wasn't sure who hissed first. There were no catcalls, but a low muttering began and the force of rage and hostility was like a thundercloud at Harry's back. As much as he disliked Draco Malfoy himself, Harry found himself deeply disturbed by the other Aurors' reactions. For Hermione was right; other than the Dark Mark on his arm and the fact that he was Lucius Malfoy's son, there was nothing else they could accuse Malfoy of - yet.
He was holding his head up, as arrogant as ever, but Harry fancied he saw a touch of fear as Malfoy glanced over the cluster of angry Aurors. Then his eyes met Harry's.
He actually stopped in the middle of the room, nearly colliding with one of the two guards behind him. The woman gave him a sharp shove.
"Keep moving, Malfoy!"
"Potter, I need to talk to you - "
"Yeah, like we're going to give you a free try at Harry!" Ron snarled.
"Ron - "
"Settle down out here!" Moody roared, appearing in the doorway of one of the interview rooms. He stumped slowly forward, his good eye fixed on Malfoy and the magic eye roving over the gathered Aurors. He was followed by Dumbledore and Rufius Kisbie, and one quiet, level stare from the elderly professor was enough to silence the room.
Dumbledore looked at Malfoy in silence for a moment or two, then heaved a quiet sigh.
"Well, my boy, you had better step inside …" And he stood back, gesturing to the interview room.
Looking oddly subdued, Malfoy did as he was told. Kisbie and Dumbledore followed him back into the room, leaving Moody to glare at the occupants of the outer office for a moment.
"Potter, Granger, Weasley - in here. The rest of you," his eye flicked over them unnervingly, "had better find something to do elsewhere."
It was a bigger room than the one where Harry and Ron had been interviewed the previous day, but it still felt claustrophobically small with nine people crammed into it. Harry, Ron and Hermione slid into seats against the wall next to Sirius and Lupin, while Moody, Kisbie and Dumbledore sat down at the small table, facing Malfoy.
Kisbie rustled his papers and looked forbiddingly over the top of his spectacles at the young wizard before him.
"Young man, I assume you know why you are here?"
"Yes," Malfoy said at once. Some of his usual lazy arrogance was creeping back and he leaned back in his chair casually, trying to look at his ease. "I seem to have been arrested for collapsing on Harry Potter's doorstep. I wasn't aware that had become a criminal offence, but - "
"Flippancy will not help your cause, Draco," Dumbledore told him quietly.
The pose slipped slightly and Malfoy's eyes flashed. "Will anything?"
"That remains to be seen, laddie," Moody growled. "I'd advise you to be honest, although there's always Veritaserum if you decide to try your luck."
Malfoy shut his mouth with a snap. Being dosed with Veritaserum was a lot like being put under the Imperius Curse, only there was no way of fighting it. It was extremely unpleasant to feel your mouth opening and spilling your innermost secrets while you were helpless to prevent it.
"Very well," Kisbie said, with prim satisfaction, "Let us start with exactly why you were at Mr. Potter's house in the first place."
"Obviously I wanted to see him," Malfoy said irritably.
"Do you often visit people when you're covered in blood and suffering from hypothermia?" Remus Lupin asked mildly.
"Putting aside, of course, the fact that you and Harry Potter are well known to be such good friends," added Sirius acidly.
Malfoy looked amused at this. "Well, you know what they say about love and hate," he drawled. "It's always possible that I've grown fond of him over the years."
Ron made a sudden movement, and Harry nudged him in the ribs warningly. The comment had been deliberately provocative, and the best response was none at all.
"We're touched," Moody said sardonically. "Cut to the chase and tell us what you wanted to see him about."
Malfoy's smirk disappeared. "I'm afraid I'm only prepared to discuss that with him."
"That's fine," Moody nodded. He took a small bottle of clear liquid out of his pocket and fingered it casually. "We'll take you back to your cell and let you think about it for a while. How long would you like - forty-eight hours or so? I'm told a man can get quite thirsty in that time, and you're already a touch dehydrated. I think you'll be ready to drink anything, don't you?"
Rage clouded Malfoy's face at the threat.
"Anything you tell me will be repeated straight back to the people in this room anyway, Malfoy," Harry said, before he could stop himself. "You might just as well say it."
Malfoy looked across at him, and there was definitely something going on behind the smoke-coloured eyes, although Harry couldn't tell what.
"We need to discuss the Dark Lord's plans, Potter," he said curtly, "and when you've heard what I have to say, you might not be so keen to involve all your friends and protectors here."
"Who the hell do you think - " Ron began angrily.
"Twenty minutes alone, Harry," Malfoy interrupted, raising his voice above Ron's. "What do you say? There are things you need to know that only I can tell you."
"You must be mad if you think we would allow Harry to be alone with you for as much as twenty seconds," Hermione said, sounding almost as disgusted as Ron.
"Nice set of keepers you have," Malfoy sneered, slumping back into his chair. "But it's always been the same, hasn't it? So much for the Boy Who Lived - you're like an animal in a Muggle zoo, caged and confined."
Harry drew in a slow breath, telling himself not to respond to the taunt; but hidden inside the sleeves of his robe his hands curled into fists.
"Just talk, Malfoy."
"Fine! Don't bother." Harry met his eyes in a level stare. "But you're a fine one to talk about people being confined, when you've obviously been tied up and used as someone's private source of power."
"A valid point," Dumbledore said gently into the sudden silence. "Perhaps you should tell us about the runes cut into your back, Draco."
"Go to hell." Malfoy was suddenly white about the mouth, and his eyes glittered angrily.
Dumbledore was undeterred. "We examined you while you were unconscious and did extensive tests on your clothes. Those runes were placed by your father, were they not? His signature was all over them. How long has he been draining you?"
"It's not me they really want," Malfoy said abruptly. "They want Potter and Weasley. I don't know why, but my Lord wants Weasley in particular, and he doesn't care how he gets him so long as he's alive and conscious. Potter would be a bonus, but the Dark Lord doesn't really care one way or the other about him so long as he ultimately ends up dead."
Even though they had already guessed that Ron was Voldemort's target this time, Harry felt an icy rush of shock and alarm at hearing it confirmed. He had become accustomed and almost indifferent to threats to himself over the years. But threats to his friends – especially to this particular friend – were a different matter.
"Were you aware of the attempt Voldemort made upon Mr. Potter's life last week?" Kisbie demanded.
"Of course." There was a touch of amusement in the arrogant young voice at this.
"Explain what happened, please," said Dumbledore, his tone even graver than before.
Malfoy shrugged. "It was ridiculously simple. A fake letter was owled to Weasley asking him to fly up to Hogwarts – I think they made it look like it came from McGonagall. I was already there, at a Slytherin reunion party one of my father's friends managed to arrange. When Weasley entered the castle, I slipped out to the broom rack on the landing pad and fixed his broom. As soon as he got back on it, he was under the Dark Lord's control and flew straight to a secret location where he met with another operative. He was placed under the Enviolus Curse and sent back to London."
"The Enviolus Curse ...." Dumbledore sat back, deep in thought.
Malfoy shot a nasty smile at Ron. "To be honest, we were all surprised at how well it worked. We kind of expected you to fight more, Weasley."
Ron erupted from his seat with a snarl, and Harry and Hermione had to grab him drag him back.
"Who was the other operative?" Moody snapped.
"I don't know. I'm not in a position where they tell me things like that." The amusement slipped away and there was a distinct note of bitterness in Malfoy's voice, but it was mixed with something else that Harry couldn't identify.
Lupin stood up and leaned over the table, placing something in front of Malfoy; the spell-cloth, now fully neutralised.
"What can you tell us about this?"
The youth barely glanced at it. "It's a ju-ju – a magical spy. I planted it on Weasley at the Quidditch match on Saturday. After the first try on him went wrong, the Dark Lord decided he wanted Weasley watched."
"Just Mr. Weasley?" asked Kisbie.
Malfoy shrugged. "So I was told. I knew what a big Cannons supporter he always was. The idea was that he would take the programme home and presumably keep it with that idiotic collection he was always going on about at school. That way it could monitor him undetected. How did you find it?"
"But you weren't told why," Kisbie said, ignoring the question.
He twitched slightly. "Like I said, I'm not in a position to know. I assume there's something unusual about him, but what I can't imagine."
"Unusual enough for Voldemort to make some quite unsubtle efforts to control and monitor him? And you say you know nothing else?" Lupin's voice was unexpectedly hard.
Malfoy shot him an savage look. "That's right."
"I find that a little hard to believe."
"Believe what you like."
"Which brings us back to the original question – what were you doing on Potter's doorstep last night, laddie?" Moody growled.
"I told you, I wanted to see him – "
"Just passing through the neighbourhood, were you?" Sirius's voice dripped sarcasm. "Thought you'd drop in on a couple of old school friends and see how disturbed they were by your handiwork?"
"Believe me when I say I'm glad that I have never sunk so low as to call Weasley or Granger my friends!" Malfoy snapped back acidly.
"Or me," Harry reminded him coldly.
Malfoy gave him an odd look, but didn't dispute the statement.
"Tell me about the runes cut into your skin, Draco," Dumbledore said unexpectedly. His voice was gentle, almost kindly.
"No." The young Death Eater was beginning to look rattled. "I'm not discussing that with you, or any of these other goons. I'll talk to Potter – when, if, he has the guts to face me one on one – but I've said everything I'm going to say in here."
"That's what you think," Moody told him ominously, and set the little bottle of Veritaserum on the table with an audible click. "But believe me, laddie – one way or another, you're going to talk to us and you're going to tell us everything. Sooner or later; it's up to you."
But Malfoy sat back in his seat and refused to say another word.
And his eyes, clouded and disturbing, followed Harry when the junior Aurors finally left the room.
"How long do you think he'll hold out?" Ron wondered idly, as he and Harry walked through Diagon Alley at lunch time. They were heading for Ollivanders, Ron having suddenly been given permission by Moody to buy a new wand.
"I don't know."
Harry didn't really want to think about Malfoy, ensconced in his cell once more and fighting the inevitable. Moody was making good on his threat; the youth would be given nothing but water laced with Veritaserum until he capitulated.
He wondered what on earth could be so important that Malfoy would do this to himself. It was so pointless.
Needless to say, Harry had been given stern warnings by everyone from Dumbledore down to Hermione not to visit Malfoy in his cell or give in to any rogue impulses he might have to find out what his old nemesis wanted to tell him.
In fact, the only person who hadn't warned him off was Ron, but it was there between them nevertheless, an unspoken please don't that Harry would have heard if Ron had been at the other end of the country.
"Do you reckon he will hold out?" Ron continued. "He'd be stupid to try it, you know. Veritaserum's not nice." He grimaced; he'd had an encounter with it himself recently, of course.
"I think he'll drag it out just to spite us." Harry had to force the mental image of a thirsting and desperate Malfoy from his mind. "Let's get an ice-cream on the way back," he suggested, determined to change the subject. "I haven't had one in ages."
"If we have time." Ron was pessimistic. "Last time I bought a wand from Ollivander, it took nearly an hour to find the right one ...."
"If it takes more than half an hour, I'll go on ahead and order the ice-creams."
Which was how Harry came to be walking past Quality Quidditch Supplies thirty minutes later.
The crowd of small boys clustered outside, noses pressed to the glass, should have given him a hint. Suspended proudly in the window was a magnificent new racing broom.
A Quidditch player to his marrow, Harry followed all the latest innovations in broom design avidly, but despite a rash of new arrivals over the past few years – the Golden Arrow, the Nimbus 2001 Mark III, the Excelsior, and the Cleansweep XL – nothing had really emerged as a worthy successor to the ever-reliable Firebolt.
The broom in the shop window was different. Everything about it, from its streamlined handle to the individually selected twigs in its tail, spoke of class. Harry had to lean over several very small admirers and squint to see the name neatly limned on the handle in gold:
A small sign underneath added: Prices and orders upon request.
He knew he was probably going to regret it later, but he couldn't stop his feet taking him inside the shop.
Ron plopped down in the seat opposite Harry at Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour nearly a quarter of an hour later. He looked exasperated and unsettled, but in his hand was a long, narrow box bearing the delicate Ollivander logo.
Harry pushed a tall sundae glass towards him filled almost to overflowing with peanut butter and peach ripple ice-cream.
"So, what was the Ollivander verdict?" he asked, digging a long-handled spoon into his own glass.
"He was outraged that I got myself into a position where my wand could become tainted and have to be broken. And he had a lot to say about the carelessness of Aurors in general." Ron slurped the cherry off the top of his ice cream and sighed contentedly.
"And it was weird." He reluctantly pushed the ice cream to one side and opened the box, extracting the wand carefully. "Holly and dragon heartstring, ten inches."
"What's weird about that?" Harry drew his own wand out of his sleeve and compared it. "Holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches."
"Yeah, I know. Ollivander told me." Ron held his new wand up at eye level and regarded it pensively. "He said that mine was made from the same Holly branch as yours."
"Oh." Harry was nonplussed. "Well, it beats having a wand with a tail feather from the same phoenix as You-Know-Who's. Although even that has its uses."
"He seemed to think it was significant."
"That's because he made it," Harry scoffed, trying to lighten things up a bit. "The important thing is that it suits you - "
"Typical!" a voice said. "Trust two men to sit around comparing the size of their wands."
It was Hermione. She shook her head and tutted exaggeratedly when they looked up, and bagged one of the spare seats. Viktor Krum was with her, and he took the other empty seat on the opposite side of the table. Harry and Ron hastily put their wands away.
"I wasn't expecting to see you, or I would have ordered ice-creams for you too," Harry began, but just then Florian Fortescue appeared bearing two extravagant confections made of puff pastry, cream and chocolate sauce, which he placed in front of Krum and Hermione, beaming.
Ron eyed them longingly even as he spooned his ice-cream. He had a very sweet tooth.
"Don't even think about it," Hermione warned him good-naturedly.
Meanwhile, Krum had dumped a rolled up copy of Broomflight Addict in front of Harry. "Page fifty-two," he said, and began to wolf down his pastry.
Harry unrolled the magazine and flicked through the pages. He couldn't help thinking that this was pornography for Quidditch players; picture after glossy, moving picture of good-looking but scantily clad witches posing suggestively with the latest racing brooms. Page fifty-two was a double-page spread advertisement for the new Nimbus Tsunami, though, including a rave report of all its features and a list of dealers.
Harry, who already had a full colour brochure for the broom hidden in his robe, hoped that he didn't look as guilty as he felt.
"Impressive," he murmured, and passed the magazine across to Ron. He tried to cool his nerves with an extra-large gulp of ice-cream and nearly froze his vocal chords.
"The England Team haf already placed an order for seven," Krum noted. "Also Bulgaria." This was said rather smugly.
"You'd be mad not to," Ron said, looking at the picture wistfully. "Super Diamond Hard Finish … individually tuned tail-twigs … windometre, global direction finder and invisibility spell as standard …. Oh well. Way out of my price range, but at least it'll drive the price of the others down a bit."
Krum was watching Harry. "Vill you buy one?" he wanted to know.
"I've already got a perfectly good Firebolt," Harry replied evasively, "and I don't play Quidditch much these days, so I don't really need a racing broom."
The Bulgarian Captain looked sceptical, but didn't push the matter.
"A broom is a broom," Hermione said briskly. "It's stupid to spend so much money on something that stays in the cupboard five days out of seven."
Which was probably true, Harry admitted to himself, but he rolled his eyes and shared a grin with Ron and Krum all the same.
Harry wasn't sure what he was expecting, but the afternoon was almost boring in comparison to the excitement of the morning. Half a dozen suspect packages were forwarded for investigation to the Facility by the Magical Law Enforcement Agency (which was the everyday "police force" of the wizarding community). Only one of them actually proved to be dangerous, being filled to the brim with poisoned loose-leaf tea, and four of the packages were utterly harmless, but the crate of Quick-Sliding Chameleon Slugs gave everyone a lively half hour.
After that, Harry and Ron were dispatched to Percy Weasley's office at the Ministry to deal with yet another anonymously sent curse. This took a while to sort out; partly because they had a hard time persuading Percy to crawl down from the ceiling and allow himself to be transfigured back, but also because Ron couldn't resist teasing his prim older brother mercilessly afterwards. The paperwork that followed, including a request for a warrant to bring Mundungus Fletcher in for questioning, took another hour once they returned.
It was almost - but not quite - enough to keep Harry's mind from wandering down to Cell 50 in the basement of the Auror Facility.
He brooded all the way home, not even raising his usual complaints about the soot in the Floo network, and was so distracted while he cooked the dinner (it was his turn on Tuesdays) that it was just as well Ron was helping him.
"What is the matter with you tonight?" the red-head demanded at one point. He quickly charmed two dozen pork bangers, that Harry had accidentally tipped onto the floor in a moment of distraction, into washing themselves under the tap, and popped them back into the grill pan with a wave of his wand.
"I dunno." Harry found a large jug and swirled his wand around inside it a couple of times. It began to fill itself with onion gravy.
Ron gave him a hard look. "Are you worrying about Malfoy?" he demanded.
"No!" Harry pushed his hair off his face, looking frustrated. "Not worrying ... not exactly. Wondering ...."
"Harry, he gave us that guff about needing to speak to you alone precisely because he knows what you're like – he knew you'd be driven nuts wondering what he wanted to say to you." Ron looked concerned. "Don't give in to it. The chances are, he's got something up his sleeve and the minute he gets you alone, something will happen."
Harry raised a brow at him. "In the middle of one of our special cells? Like what?"
"I don't know, but I don't trust him further than I could spit him! He lies faster than Pigwidgeon eats owl treats."
Harry turned away, fiddling with a cauldron of potatoes boiling merrily on the hob. The fact was, he couldn't shake the feeling that Malfoy hadn't been lying. But there was no way he would ever convince Ron of that.
To his surprise, he suddenly felt a pair of arms snaking around his waist from behind, a rare public embrace. Ron rested his chin on his shoulder.
"Don't what?" he asked, in unconscious mimicry of Ron himself less than a week before.
"Don't worry yourself bald over Draco Malfoy. He's not worth it."
"I don't know, Ron. Dumbledore tried to convince me once that everyone's worth a second chance."
Ron snorted. "Even Dumbledore wouldn't give You-Know-Who a second chance."
Harry smiled faintly. "I think he had his a long time ago. Malfoy ... well, think about it. He's the same age as us, Ron, and what chance has he ever had, with a family like his? With that father?"
"You said it yourself today: There are always choices."
"Yeah, and maybe he's just made his choice."
"Hm." Ron shifted slightly, clearly not at ease with this line of thought. "So what do you think really happened to make him collapse on our doorstep?"
"I don't know." Harry shuddered involuntarily at the memory of the sickening spells carved into Malfoy's back. "But whatever it was, I'll bet he wasn't a willing party to it."
The reflective moment was broken by Neville wandering into the kitchen, barefoot, scratching his head, and wearing a t-shirt that said "Herbologists do it in season".
"Hey, remember house rule number seven!" he said, catching sight of them. "No public groping!" The pair of them jumped apart guiltily, making him laugh. "When's dinner, Harry?"
End Part 9/30
LadyRose – Regarding Harry and Ron being strong together, I'm actually wondering if I've portrayed their relationship realistically. Then again, sometimes I feel that we all need to believe in the possibility of something a little unrealistic. (Sorry, I appear to have my cryptic head on today.) Anyway, for all those interested in the relationship 'stuff', the next few chapters may prove interesting.
Harmoni – The idea of Ron as a Seer was one of those things that popped up spontaneously, only for me to read half a dozen stories with the same idea a week later. (Keelywolfe's "A Lacking In Foresight" is an excellent example.) But I like the idea of Ron having something of his own, a skill or talent, which makes him stand out.
PoisonSnakey – I never post unfinished stories because it's a sure way of giving me terminal writer's block! And I have enough hard deadlines at work already, without worrying that I might not be writing the latest chapter fast enough ....
Smurky – Draco, a semi-good-guy? Heh! You'll see!
Beth Ann – Don't forget, only the good guys drink tea; the bad guys drink coffee. Although I see Voldemort as an Absinthe drinker myself. As for Moody, I think he ticks off everyone. I'm sure he has very high standards!
Nayako – I worry that I don't use the minor characters enough! I'm glad it works for you, though.
Marduk42 – I don't want to update too often – that can be as bad as hardly ever updating at all. But I fully intend to have the whole story posted before Order of the Phoenix is released. Also, the later chapters are quite long, so you might want a bit of a breather in between!
Sally – I don't have a problem with you being addicted *grin*
:) – I didn't think you were being "all creepy and stalker-like", but possibly I've been toughened by exposure to my weird workmates *grin* Regarding Hermione, she appears here and there in the story but she isn't really a central character. I get the impression that because she's more academic than Harry and Ron, her work for the Aurors has led her in different directions, but they're still very close.
SparkySparkles – Hang in there – I'm fond of cliffhangers *evil laugh*
Jadea – The Falling Tower is also sometimes called just "The Tower"; in some Tarot packs I believe it's also called "Destruction". It's the sixteenth card and appears immediately after The Devil. It symbolises literally total destruction – violent endings, severed relationships, calamity and misery. Not something you'd want to see sitting next to The Lovers in a spread *grin*
A. Linnea Elindor – Regarding Harry's compulsive cleaning binges, I just liked the idea of Ron coming home one day to find a stressed-out Harry cleaning everything in sight. Besides, with Harry's background of being forced into domestic slavery it makes a warped sort of sense.
Dragonette – I hope it continues to seem realistic. Oh well – only one way to find out!
Bless you all for continuing to follow the story! I'll update again the day after tomorrow.
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