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XXIV

Chapter Text

                              XXIV

                        "20:00 - 21:00"

FADE IN

INSERT - A SHEET OF PARCHMENT

On which the following words magically appear as they are
spoken.

                        HERMIONE (V.O.)
            The following takes place between 8pm
            and 9pm on the night before the tenth
            anniversary Harry Potter day.

There's a beat, then a last line which doesn't appear on the
parchment.

                        HERMIONE (CONT'D)
            Events occur in real time.

                                                         CUT TO:

EXT. FOREST - EVENING

The forest is so dense it looks like night in here. A dark
figure runs between the tightly packed trees, fighting his way
through the undergrowth. We follow him for a few moments until
he pauses to catch his breath. Looking around he spies a
dilapidated COTTAGE in a small clearing fifty or so yards away.
Pulling himself together, he heads for it at a fast trot.

INT. COTTAGE

It's deserted now, but has clearly housed various squatters in
the past - a heap of dirty blankets in one corner, assorted
rubbish scattered about the floor. A small pile of firewood lies
next to a stone hearth filled with cold ashes.

The door opens and AGENT JOHNSON (the man we were following
outside) cautiously enters. He's tall, dark-skinned, and might
be handsome if we were seeing him at his best. Right now he's
clearly exhausted, with cuts and scrapes from his flight through
the forest - and there's fear in his eyes. After a moment's
hesitation he quickly throws some wood into the fireplace and
pulls out his wand to light it.

                        JOHNSON
            Incendio!

Taking a small pouch from within his robes, he pours a little of
powder from it, which he throws on the fire.

                        JOHNSON
                  (into the fire)
            Auror headquarters.

After a moment, a face appears in the fire - clearly not that of
a person, it's merely a magical AVATAR.

                        AVATAR
            Please identify yourself.

                        JOHNSON
            Agent Johnson. Four One Seven Gamma Zeta
            Niner.

                        AVATAR
            Thank you, sir. How may I be of
            assistance?

                        JOHNSON
            I need to speak to Smith urgently. I
            don't have much time.

                        AVATAR
            Just a moment.

EXT. FOREST

More dark figures filter silently through the trees, heading
toward the cottage up ahead. They can see flickers of light from
the fire through cracks in the roughly boarded-up windows. The
figures form up opposite the door.

ANGLE - A BOOTED FOOT

As it crushes a dry twig and we hear an audible CRACK.

INT. COTTAGE

We catch the end of

                        JOHNSON
            ...think they're trying to raise...

As Johnson's head jerks away from the (now human) face in the
fire, towards the door.

                        JOHNSON
            Oh no...

He reaches for his wand as the door FLIES off it's hinges and
SMASHES into him.

                                                         CUT TO:

EXT. ST. MUNGO'S - EVENING

Establishing, we see the sign "St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical
Maladies and Injuries".

                        NURSE (V.O.)
            OK, Miss Granger, you can go straight
            through.

INT. ST. MUNGO'S - RECEPTION

A witch in her late twenties is replacing a quill in its
ink-pot. She's tall, with bushy brown hair and whilst not
exactly beautiful, she's certainly not unattractive. She wears
an Auror's uniform. This is HERMIONE GRANGER.

                        HERMIONE
            Thanks, I know the way.

She heads out of the reception area, but stops and turns when
she hears:

                        GINNY (O.S.)
            Hey, wait up Hermione!

Enter VIRGINIA WEASLEY. She's slightly shorter than Hermione,
with fiery red hair framing a pretty face. Her robes are as
flattering as they are fashionable.

                        HERMIONE
            Hi, Ginny - you here to see him too?

It's a rhetorical question. Ginny scrawls her name in the
visitor's book, then she and Hermione head into the hospital.

INT. ST. MUNGO'S - CORRIDOR

The two witches come through the doors at the far end and head
towards us.

                        HERMIONE
            So, how are things at the gallery?

                        GINNY
            Frantic. The new exhibition opened on
            Saturday - that talented young artist I
            was telling you about?

                        HERMIONE
                  (teasing)
            Ah, yes, the one you described as a
            "total studmuffin".

Ginny looks suitably embarrassed at this.

                        HERMIONE (CONT'D)
            Don't worry, I won't tell Richard you
            said that.

                        GINNY
                  (briskly)
            Anyway, we've already sold most of the
            pieces already so I've been worked off
            my feet dealing with all the scrollwork
            and arranging deliveries. I'll be happy
            that we've all got the day off tomorrow.
                  (off Hermione's hurt look)
            Not happy. I mean...
                  (quickly changing subject)
            What about your work, how's the
            never-ending fight against evil?

                        HERMIONE
            Quiet.
                  (beat)
            Too quiet. I'd expect the Death Eaters
            to try something tomorrow - it is the
            tenth anniversary after all, the ideal
            time for some big revenge stunt.

                        GINNY
            Maybe they're just not up to it any
            more. There can't be many of them left.

                        HERMIONE
            No, I don't think so. There have been
            enough little incidents over the last
            year that we know they're still out
            there, but in the last month or two,
            nothing.
                  (worried)
            I'm sure they're planning something, I
            just wish we knew what.

They stop at a door, hesitating for a moment. Ginny opens the
door and they enter.

INT. ST. MUNGO'S - PADDED CELL

It's pretty bare, containing only a bed. Walls, floor and
ceiling have physical padding in addition to cushioning charms.
The tell-tale sparkle of a magical barrier separates the body of
the cell from the visiting area where the witches now stand. The
tortured soul within is curled up in the corner, in obvious
pain. He's about the same age - at least physically - as
Hermione and red haired. When he turns towards we can see
without doubt that he's related to Ginny. It's RONALD WEASLEY.

                        GINNY
                  (uncertainly)
            He looks a little better.

But Ron is now clutching his head. Thankfully, the barrier
blocks the sound of his screams.

                        GINNY (CONT'D)
                  (sadly)
            Or not.

Hermione puts an arm around her.

                        HERMIONE
            Ginny, it's been more than ten years,
            and the Longbottoms...

                        GINNY
                  (interrupting)
            I know. I just hate seeing him like
            this. If only there was something I
            could do for him.

                        HERMIONE
            We tried; you know I spent years...
                  (beat)
            He's too far gone. There's no way to
            reach what's left of his mind.

A silent moment.

                        GINNY
                  (small voice)
            I sometimes find myself wishing that we
            could just let him die.

Hermione's look speaks volumes - clearly she's thought the same
thing.

                        GINNY (CONT'D)
            At least then he'd be spared this.

Another silent scream.

                        HERMIONE
            I know.
                  (then)
            I'm not sure which visits are harder.
            Ron - I can still see him, but in such
            pain. Whereas Harry...
                  (beat)
            it's just a gravestone. I can't see him,
            be with him; but at least I know he's at
            peace.

Ginny really has no reply to that, so they stand in silence
until interrupted by a small knock at the door. It opens,
revealing a young HOUSE ELF, proudly wearing a S.P.E.W. badge.
She's clearly nervous to be talking to the great Hermione
Granger.

                        HOUSE ELF
            Excuse me, Miss Granger, but there's an
            urgent message for you in reception.
            From someone called Smith.

                        HERMIONE
            Thanks.

She's already gone. The elf follows, gently closing the door
behind her, leaving Ginny alone with the empty shell that was
once her brother.

INT. ST MUNGO'S - RECEPTION

As Hermione bursts in.

                        HERMIONE
            A message?

                        NURSE
                  (inclining her head)
            The fireplace.

                        HERMIONE
            Thanks.

She hurries in the direction indicated. A head is clearly
visible in the fire - the head of JOHN SMITH (the same face seen
briefly in the fire at the end of the scene in the cottage). He
looks middle aged and conspicuously normal, nothing stands out
about his appearance - it's instantly (and deliberately)
forgettable. He starts speaking the moment Hermione arrives at
the hearth.

                        SMITH
            Granger. We need you back here at once.
            Assemble your team, we have a serious
            situation.

                        HERMIONE
            What's going on, sir?

                        SMITH
            We got a call in from Johnson a few
            minutes ago.

                        HERMIONE
            Undercover?

                        SMITH
            Correct. He seems to have discovered
            something about a Death Eater plot for
            tomorrow.

                        HERMIONE
            I was afraid of that.

                        SMITH
            Unfortunately, he was interrupted before
            he could give us all the details.

                        HERMIONE
                  (concerned)
            Interrupted?

                        SMITH
                  (gently)
            We have to assume that he's dead.

                        HERMIONE
                  (emotionless)
            I see.
                  (then)
            I'll be there as soon as possible.

Smith's head disappears from the fire as Hermione turns to
leave, Disapparating the moment she's through the hospital
doors.

                                                         CUT TO:

EXT. HOGWARTS - CLOSE TO SUNSET

Establishing shot of the castle.

INT. HOGWARTS - DUMBLEDORE'S OFFICE

ALBUS DUMBLEDORE sits behind his desk, looking much as he did
when the trio first came to Hogwarts seventeen years earlier:
hair and beard both long and silvery-white, face wrinkled but
kindly, and wearing fine, colourful robes. A knock at the door
causes him to look up.

                        DUMBLEDORE
            Come in.

The door opens and MINERVA MCGONAGALL enters the headmaster's
office. Unlike Dumbledore, she does look a little older - grey
streaks in her black hair for example. Whilst she still carries
her perpetual stern expression, it does appear to have mellowed
a little with age.

                        MCGONAGALL
            Good evening, Albus.

                        DUMBLEDORE
            Ah, Minerva. How go the preparations for
            tomorrow?

                        MCGONAGALL
            As well as can be expected. I presume
            you've finished writing your speech?

Dumbledore gestures at the parchment he was writing on before
McGonagall came in.

                        DUMBLEDORE
            I'm just putting the finishing touches
            on it now. A fine piece of work, even if
            I do say so myself.

                        MCGONAGALL
            And what about the rumours we've heard -
            that there may be Death Eaters here at
            Hogwarts? I for one find it hard to
            believe that any of our students could
            do that. Not after...

                        DUMBLEDORE
            Indeed. And as you well know,
            Voldemort's erstwhile successor is
            hardly the outstanding student that the
            young Tom Riddle was. I really can't see
            him as the sort of "Dark Lord" that
            could pull together such a plan.

                        MCGONAGALL
                  (wry smile)
            Of course. Until tomorrow, then.

                        DUMBLEDORE
            Goodnight.

His head is already back down to the parchment as she departs.

                                                         CUT TO:

INT. AUROR HQ - MAIN OFFICE

A large high-ceilinged space which appears to have been hewn out
of the living rock, its floor unnaturally smooth. Much of the
space is taken up by a jumble of desks separated by
shoulder-height partitions. One side of the room is not a rough
rock-face, but a stone wall with a number of doors in it. The
entrance area where Hermione now Apparates does appear (judging
by the stalagmites and stalactites) to be a natural cave.

Only a handful of desks are occupied at the moment, at one of
these sits BENJAMIN KIRBY. He looks slightly younger than
Hermione and is tall and lanky with pale skin and untidy brown
hair. He sports glasses and is wearing jeans and a Star Wars
T-shirt. Your stereotypical geek/nerd. His desks support a large
collection of gadgets in various states of repair, some of them
Muggle (including a computer complete with obvious Apple logo),
others clearly magical. He spots Hermione and calls out to her.

                        BEN
            Hey, boss! Any idea what's going on?

Hermione heads over toward his desk, dressed as before, but
she's picked up a lunchbox somewhere along the line.

                        HERMIONE
            Not really, Smith just said the Death
            Eaters are plotting something for
            tomorrow. He should be briefing us in a
            few minutes.

                        BEN
            Well, it better be important. I had to
            skip out of watching Iron Man to come
            back here.

                        HERMIONE
            I thought you went to see that last
            week.

                        BEN
                  (rumbled)
            Yeah, well. It's one of those movies you
            have to see twice.
                  (off her look)
            OK, one of those movies I have to see
            twice.

                        HERMIONE
            Are you sure you wouldn't have rather
            stayed in the Muggle world?

                        BEN
            Nah. Having magic allows me to really
            develop my Jedi powers. Banishing and
            summoning charms for example. And who
            wouldn't want to be able to do the Jedi
            Mind Trick?

                        HERMIONE
            Do you want the full list, because that
            might take a while.

                        BEN
                  (Jedi mind trick)
            You want to take me out to dinner.

                        HERMIONE
            I don't think so, but I'd love to know
            who gave you a clean bill of mental
            health.

                        BEN
            OK, it's just a wandless Confundus
            Charm, not strong enough to affect a
            Witch or Wizard, but it works fine on
            Muggles, provided they're not too smart.

                        HERMIONE
                  (sternly)
            Hypothetically, of course?

                        BEN
                  (er... no)
            Er... yes.

                        HERMIONE
            Hmmm. I'll talk to you later.

She heads across toward her office (one of the aforementioned
doors). At the desk nearest to it sits NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM, round
of face and perhaps a little podgy. He's wearing plain robes -
NOT an Auror's uniform.

                        HERMIONE
            Evening, Neville. Have you managed to
            get hold of everyone?

                        NEVILLE
                  (nods)
            They're all on there way in now - except
            for the ones who were already here. Oh,
            and Smith called; he should be down in a
            few minutes.

                        HERMIONE
            Thanks, Neville.
                  (pauses)
            I was visiting Ron when I got the call.
            You know what that's like better than
            anyone - does it ever get any easier?

                        NEVILLE
            No.
                  (shrewdly)
            Would you really want it to?

                        HERMIONE
            I suppose not.
                  (a beat)
            Let me know when the chief gets here.

                        NEVILLE
            Will do.

                        HERMIONE
                  (re: lunchbox)
            I need to have a bite to eat.

She heads into her office.

                                                         CUT TO:

INT. MINISTRY OF MAGIC - OUTER OFFICE

An elegant, oak-panelled room with a selection of fine paintings
and objets d'art - clearly no expense has been spared on the
Minister's offices. The door leading to the inner office has a
brass plaque that reads "JULIUS GOLDSTEIN - MINISTER OF MAGIC".
Next to the door is the desk of his executive secretary, MEGAN
HOPKINS. In her late twenties, she's a stunner - long blonde
hair, a pretty face with big blue eyes and an hourglass figure
that some people would kill for.

The door opens to reveal JULIUS GOLDSTEIN. He appears to be in
late middle age - perhaps a little older, but he's still a fine
figure of a man, carrying himself with a proud bearing. Meg
looks up as he enters.

                        GOLDSTEIN
            Any sign of Weasley yet?

                        MEG
            Not yet. Would you like me to call him,
            Sir?

But that proves to be unnecessary, as PERCY WEASLEY hurries into
the office. Like the rest of his family, he has bright red hair.
To this, he adds a rather snooty and superior expression. He
wears smart, pinstriped robes.

                        GOLDSTEIN
                  (jovially)
            You're almost late, Mr. Weasley.

                        PERCY
            Sorry about that, Minister. I had a lot
            of things to finish off.

                        GOLDSTEIN
            That's alright, Weasley. At least you're
            not wasting your time by turning up half
            an hour early as some people have been
            known to do.

                        PERCY
            Thankyou, Sir.

                        GOLDSTEIN
            Come on into my office, there are a
            number of things I'd like to discuss
            with you.
                  (to Meg)
            We're not to be disturbed.

                        MEG
            Yes, Minister.

The two men go into the inner office, and as the door shuts, we

                                                         CUT TO:

INT. AUROR HQ - MAIN OFFICE

As Smith Apparates. Like his face, the rest of him is
conspicuously inconspicuous - he's average height and medium
build, his hair a mid-brown. He's wearing plain black robes
rather than an Auror uniform.

ANGLE - NEVILLE

Who has seen Smith arrive and goes to knock on Hermione's door.
She opens it just as Smith comes over to them.

                        SMITH
            Evening Neville, everyone here?

                        NEVILLE
            Yes, Sir.

He goes back to his desk.

                        SMITH
                  (quietly, to Hermione)
            There's something I'll need to discuss
            with you in private. Could you wait for
            me in your office after the briefing?

                        HERMIONE
            Certainly, Sir.

                        SMITH
            Thankyou.

He heads to the front of the room as the rest of the Aurors
gather round.

                        SMITH
            Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I'm
            sorry to drag you in from your hectic
            social lives - those of you that have
            one - but it seems we have a situation.
            About half an hour ago, I received a
            call through the fireplace from one of
            our undercover agents with information
            about what the Death Eaters are planning
            for tomorrow. Unfortunately, he wasn't
            able to tell me much more. After
            explaining that it's planned to start
            with the assassination of the Minister
            of Magic, he was apparently interrupted
            and the spell was ended abruptly.

He pauses to survey his troops.

                        SMITH (CONT'D)
            I know there's not much to go on, but
            it's a start. We need to trace back to
            the fireplace Agent Johnson called from,
            search the area for any clues and find
            out why he didn't Apparate or call in in
            the usual way. We need to liaise with
            the Wizarding Protection Service to
            ensure that the Minister has adequate
            protection for tomorrow. And most of
            all, we need to be alert for signs of
            what the Death Eaters are up to -
            they've been quiet for the last couple
            of months, but if they have big plans
            for tomorrow they won't be able to keep
            them under wraps for much longer.
                  (beat)
            Alright people, let's get to it. I'll be
            round with specific assignments
            momentarily.

The meeting breaks up as the Aurors head back to their desks,
eager to get to work.

                                                         CUT TO:

INT. APARTMENT BLOCK - LOBBY

It's clearly a wizarding building - the pictures on the
oak-panelled walls are moving (waves rolling onto the beach,
cows munching away in the fields etc). More tellingly, the
concierge - call him TIBBS - snoozing behind a counter in the
corner is a GHOST. Obviously an old man when he died, he has a
kindly face, and his outfit and demeanour cry "Butler". He wakes
up as Ginny Apparates.

                        TIBBS
            Good evening, Miss Weasley.

                        GINNY
            Evening, Tibbs. Any messages for me?

                        TIBBS
            Just the one, Miss, from your young
            gentleman.

She walks over to the rack of pigeon (OK, owl) holes next to the
counter, smiles at him.

                        GINNY
                  (teasing)
            Have you been reading my post again?

                        TIBBS
            Now how would I be doing that, Miss? No,
            I recognised his owl.

Ginny retrieves a small scroll of parchment from her pigeon hole
and scans it briefly. It's good news.

                        GINNY
                  (somewhat distracted)
            G'night Tibbs.

She heads up the narrow wooden staircase.

                        TIBBS
            Goodnight, Miss.

He's already dozing off again.

INT. APARTMENT BLOCK - CORRIDOR

Ginny comes up the stairs, fumbling with her keys, and stops at
her door, which has a small keyhole, but no handle. Finding the
right key, she sticks it into the lock and turns it left, right,
and left again. The wood just above the lock bulges outwards and
forms itself into a doorknob. Ginny turns the knob, pushing the
door open to enter

INT. GINNY'S APARTMENT - LOUNGE

Which has a modern yet comfortable feel to it. A stylish leather
sofa sits by the fireplace, designer shelves hold a selection of
magical volumes, and a draftsman's desk in the corner has a few
half-finished drawings lying on it. Ginny hands her coat to an
elegant wooden hatstand and dumps her keys on a small table next
to it. Remembering something, she taps a bracelet on her right
hand twice. It begins to glow and she speaks into it:

                        GINNY
            Hermione Granger

As she relaxes on the sofa, she extends the thumb and little
finger of her right hand and holds them to her face like a
telephone (come on, you've all done it!)

SPLIT SCREEN: INT. AUROR HQ - HERMIONE'S OFFICE

Hermione is sitting at her desk, looking through some scrolls.
She hears a ringing sound, like a really old telephone, and
looks down at her bracelet, identical to the one Ginny was
wearing. It too is now glowing. She glances at the palm of her
hand, which has now has some glowing letters on it, then holds
the hand to her face in the same way that Ginny did.

                        HERMIONE
            Hi, Ginny.

                        GINNY
            Hi. Just wanted to check up on you. You
            left in rather a hurry.

                        HERMIONE
            Sorry, it was the boss. Seems I was
            right about the Death Eaters - they're
            definitely up to something. Steve
            Johnson called in, but it looks like
            they got him before he could give us the
            details.

                        GINNY
            Steve? Angelina's cousin? Didn't you two
            used to...

                        HERMIONE
            Yeah.

                        GINNY
            I'm sorry.

                        HERMIONE
            That's OK. It was a few years ago and we
            didn't exactly part on the best of
            terms.

                        GINNY
            Even so...

                        HERMIONE
                  (briskly)
            Anyway, it looks like I'm going to be
            here all night trying to track down a
            plot to assassinate the Minister, or
            whatever else they're up to. Look, I
            really need to get to work on this.

                        GINNY
            Sure. I'll talk to you in a day or two.
            Goodnight.

                        HERMIONE
            'night Ginny.

The two women lower their hands, bracelets no longer glowing.

FULL SCREEN: INT. AUROR HQ - MAIN OFFICE

Hermione pops her head out of her office doorway and calls
across to

                        HERMIONE
            Ben!

                        BEN (O.S.)
            Yes, boss?

                        HERMIONE
                  (re: bracelet)
            Could you get me a Muggle telephone
            line? I need to make a call.

                        BEN
            Sure, it'll just take a moment.
                  (a couple of moments)
            OK, it's all yours.

                        HERMIONE
            Thanks.

INT. AUROR HQ - HERMIONE'S OFFICE

She closes the door. Her bracelet is glowing, she speaks into
it.

                        HERMIONE
            Muggle telephone. Mum and Dad.

She puts her had to her face as before.

SPLIT SCREEN: INT. GRANGER HOUSE - HALLWAY

A typical Muggle home. An unmoving picture of Hermione sits in a
silver frame next to the telephone, which begins to ring. A
woman, late fifties, comes to answer it. She too has bushy brown
hair and is obviously Hermione's mother, EMILY GRANGER.

                        EMILY
            Hello?

                        HERMIONE
            Hi, Mum, it's me.

                        EMILY
            Oh, hello dear. How are you?

                        HERMIONE
            I'm okay, but I don't think I'm going to
            be able to make it tomorrow. Something
            very bad has come up at work and I'm
            going to be tied up with that for at
            least the next day or so. I'm really
            sorry.

                        EMILY
            That's all right, dear. We know that
            you're doing important work. You can
            come and visit some other time.

                        HERMIONE
            Thanks mum. I'll try and call you
            tomorrow.

We hear a smashing sound. Emily looks round.

                        EMILY
            Ted?
                  (into telephone)
            It sounds like your father has had
            another little accident. I ought to go
            check on him.

                        HERMIONE
            OK. Love to you both.

                        EMILY
            'Bye.

FULL SCREEN: INT. GRANGER HOUSE - HALLWAY

Emily puts the 'phone down and calls for her husband again.

                        EMILY
            Ted? Are you alright?

She heads down the hallway, a little worried now. She opens the
door at the end of the passage and steps through, looking to the
left.

                        EMILY
            Ted?

Someone GRABS her from behind, clamping a gloved hand over her
mouth, and DRAGS her out of shot!

                                                         CUT TO:

INSERT - THE FACE OF A GRANDFATHER CLOCK

The times are shown in roman numerals, and we can hear quite
clearly - loudly - the sound of its mechanism. The second hand
is counting the final seconds of the hour - 8:59:57 (tick) 58
(tock) 59 (tick) 9:00:00 (tock).

                                                        FADE OUT

                          END OF SHOW