Chapter 70 - Into the Chamber

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It was almost time, they all knew it, and the key players were gathered in the headmaster's office for the final details. Draco knew Snape did not appreciate sentiment, but when his former house master grimaced very slightly and went to leave their council of war, he followed him. He gave Harry one glance as he walked out of the room and his soulmate simply nodded at him.

"Professor," Draco called, hurrying to catch up with the man who had helped him through a great deal during his school life.

Snape did not look surprised to see him. Of course the man had known Draco was following.

"I am in something of a hurry, Mr Malfoy," Snape said.

"You forgot something, Sir," Draco said and held out the small package he had been carrying since the previous afternoon.

Maybe one day, when this was all over, they would get past the respectful distance and actually be friends.

Being a Slytherin, Snape did not ask any questions, the man simply opened the cloth in his hand, tipping what was inside into his palm. The small knut looked completely innocuous.

"Harry perfected a camouflage for the Transferer," Draco said. "Now we can be sure the secret hasn't leaked, once the battle begins the anti-Apparition wards on the grounds will go up, but the anti-Transfer wards will come down."

He didn't bother with any of the platitudes, like 'if you need to make a quick exit you can' because he knew Snape would find stating the obvious foolish. They both knew what the Transferer was for and why it might come in very handy in a fight, saying it out loud would not change any of it.

"I will use it if necessary," was all Snape said, which was as close to a thank you as was likely at the moment. "Now I must be leaving."

"Of course, Professor," Draco said with a nod.

Snape folded his hand around the Transferer and slipped it into his pocket, before turning and continuing down the corridor. Just as the Potions Master was about to turn the corner Draco couldn't take it anymore.

"Good luck, Professor," he said.

Stopping, Snape looked at him once again.

"And you, Mr Malfoy," the man said, which rather underlined quite how dangerous this day was going to be.

* * *

Nothing was being left to chance. Members of the Order began arriving via the tunnel from the Hogshead as soon as the message alert went out. It was all planned down to the finest detail and Harry went with Draco, Ron, Hermione, Fred, George and Professor McGonagall to Gryffindor tower.

Harry, Draco and George were stationed at the entrance, Harry and Draco inside and George outside, while Ron and Fred disappeared up the boy's staircase and Hermione and Professor McGonagall did the same with the girls'.

The idea was to wake one dorm at a time, starting with the eldest and working down to the youngest. No one in any house would have the remotest chance of getting a message off without being seen and intercepted. All the children were being told it was a drill, but there were bound to be those who did not believe it.

Harry had his senses peeled for any offhand magic, no matter how small and Dumbledore, Mad-eye Moody and Professor Flitwick were using charms for the same thing on the Hufflepuffs, the Slytherins and the Ravenclaws respectively. No one doubted that Professor Sprout was a capable witch, but she was head of Hufflepuff for a reason, hence Dumbledore taking that role with their house, while Moody stood in for Snape. The official story with Snape was he had been called away on urgent business, not that it really mattered now anyway.

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