LOCATION: The castle and grounds
TIME: Friday evening through midnight
RATING: C for Creepy
It is five minutes before midnight, and the night is hushed, unnaturally so; the fall of silence as sudden as if a spell has covered all of Hogwarts and its grounds. The rain makes no sound as it crashes against the castle's spires, the bright white lights that streak across the sky do not announce their presence with claps of thunder. The air is suffocating, metallic and heavy, the clouds swollen still, in spite of the rain that has fallen in sheets relentlessly since Thursday evening. The wind does not howl as it whips the lake into waves, does not whistle through the trees as it bends branch and bough violently enough to snap.
Everything is quiet, and then, everything goes utterly still. The waves on the lake swell and do not break. A branch halts midway in its fall to the ground, hangs in the air. The rain stops in its descent; caught by the gleam of forking lightning paused mid-flash, the droplets shimmer like crystals. It is as though time has frozen.
The Inferi appear in a blink, surrounding the castle; trapped in the warded Hogsmeade one moment, merely feet from the school's walls the next. There are too many of them to count, an army of undead frozen in place across the grounds, mouths gaping wide. They glow with an eerie silver light, the runes etched into their rotting flesh burning brightly in the dark. Behind them, stand a wall of red-robed wizards in painted white porcelain masks. They do not move, and they are silent.
It begins slowly.
The sky pulses once, twice, as if it breathes, and splits open with a groan along the frozen path of lightning, a spiderweb of cracks moving ever outward. All the sounds come trickling back, first the low, anguished moans of the Inferi, then the whistling wind, the rustle of leaves, the crash of waves, the dull pitter patter of the rain. Even still, everything is motionless.
A sickly red light filters through the cracks in the sky, bathes the castle in the rust color of old blood. The wizards raise their wands and together, speak one word: Rumpere. The sound cuts through the din of the night, though it is not more than a whisper, and jets of bright blue shoot out to slam against the castle's defenses. The wards placed around the school shatter like glass, protective relics and charms falling broken to the floor, carefully-woven spells unraveling in muted bursts of color.
The red light grows brighter, hotter, and the sky yawns, clouds rolling back to reveal a deep, black void. In an instant, Hogwarts and much of its grounds are pulled up and through. The storm below ends, the night calms, and with a final flash of lightning, the sky is sealed shut. An exact replica of the school is left behind, the true Hogwarts suspended in blackness.
No one will know to look, because they will not know the school is gone.
Hanging in the void, surrounded by Inferi and Dark wizards, Hogwarts is defenseless. In this realm, where time and space merge, compressed, Ultimecia is a god. There are none who can oppose her, none who might interfere with her revenge. It is Cid Kramer's fault that she spent so long wasting away in the cells of Azkaban, growing older, uglier with the passage of time. He has taken so many years from her, and in turn, she will take everything from him.
Ultimecia descends upon the castle. With a wave of her wand, the windows fracture and explode, the shards of glass freezing midair. Another wave, and they fall gently, slowly downward, as sand in an hourglass, marking the passage of time. Time. Time is everything, and nothing. Here, it is under Ultimecia's control, to be bent and shaped to her whim, to her will. She has all the time in the world, she is ageless.
But for the poor souls trapped in the castle, time is not enough. There is not enough time.
Ultimecia weaves spells of binding, places traps and walls of power along the castle's corridors. Before she takes her final revenge, Cid and Edea Kramer will watch their precious school, their beloved children fall, their lives cut short by a cruel lack of time.
The Inferi and their masters pour in through the windows, through the doors.
The Dark witch laughs.