Same disclamers as before
Chapter 2: The Voice of London
"My friends," Voldemort stood at the head of the table. His face was expressionless and betrayed nothing of his feelings towards the destruction of the Old Bailey. "It has been four hours. What have we learned?" Around the table, various black cloaked Death Eaters shot nervous looks at each other. Only two looked unfazed by their master's questions.
"My Lord," said Bellatrix Lestrange with a bow of her head, "The destruction of the Old Bailey appears to have been the work of a terrorist. The muggles found the remains of explosives in what was left of the building." Voldemort showed no emotion, but his oldest supporters had learned to notice the small things; the slight drooping of his eye lids, the minuscule twitch at the corner of his mouth, and other such things.
"So it has nothing to do with us?"
"No, my Lord."
Voldemort stood and turned towards the door. "Then we have no further business to discuss. Find the one responsible before he accidentally kills a wizard and end him. Report back to me if you find any information on Potter." The dark lord stood in the doorway before disapparating to God-knows where. As soon as he left, his disciples began whispering amongst themselves.
Bellatrix turned to the man seated to her right. "What do you think of all this, Yaxley?"
Yaxley yawned. "Oh, who cares? It was just a bloody building. Nobody got hurt, none of our lot anyway. No harm done, just some stupid muggle making a statement."
"You have no idea how right you are."
Yaxley nearly fell out his chair. "Bloody hell, Severus! Don't scare me like that!"
Severus Snape stepped out of the shadows and Bellatrix turned up her nose. "Thought I smelled scum nearby." She muttered.
Snape raised an eyebrow. "Careful, Bella." Snape walked forward and took the seat to the right of Yaxley, its owner having left some time ago. "We must consider the possibility that the destruction of the Old Bailey was meant to be directed at us." He said.
Bellatrix snorted. "You heard me; it was muggle explosives that did it, not a spell."
Snape nodded. "Exactly. Keeps us off the trail of whoever did it. It wasn't a magical attack so we don't consider it our business. But the Old Bailey was a symbol of justice.
And, whether we like it or not, there are those who believe that what we've done to the ministry is an attack on the righteousness that Madam Justice stood for." Snape glanced up at Bellatrix. She had her arms folded over her chest and was looking out the window. "It's improbable," he said, "But we must entertain the notion that this is a warning to us."
Bellatrix sighed and unfolded her arms, putting her hands on her hips. "What do you suggest, Severus?"
Snape thought for a moment. "I know a man." He said, "He used to be an auror, but he sided with us. He's a detective and a damn good one. With the resources of the ministry, he might be able to find the terrorist before he strikes again."
"What's his name?" asked Yaxley.
. . .
Evey was pushing a cart through the halls of the Daily Prophet office. Every few seconds, she would hand out a cup of tea or coffee blindly; half-knowing the beverage would find its proper recipient, half-hoping. Finally, she pushed the now-empty cart into the small room she shared with another girl at the end of the hall. She closed the door behind her and sighed, leaning against it.
"Tough day, eh?" asked Sarah. Evey nodded and walked to her desk. The other girl turned back to the radio she was listening too.
"And in other news," said the radio announcer, "It was announced this morning that the destruction of the Old Bailey was an intentional trick by the New Order. Prime Minister Thickness wanted to 'Show the old girl out with a bang'. The demolition of the Old Bailey represents the exit of the old ways and traditions, and the Prime Minister promises that the New Bailey will be 'A symbol of our shining, glorious domination over the muggles'."
Sarah sneered and shut off the radio. "Do you believe that bullocks?" she asked. Evey just shook her head, keeping her eyes on her desk as she sorted through copious amounts of paperwork. "Weren't no bloody demolition." Muttered Sarah, "I saw it. You see it?" Evey shook her head again and tapped some papers evenly on the desk. There was a knock at the door and a tall, blond woman let herself in.
"Evey!" she snapped, "You do still work for me, don't you?"
Evey stood at attention and gulped. "Yes, Patricia."
Patricia handed Evey a large, heavy box. "I'd have an owl send this, but they're all being used. Downstairs to booth 3." Evey quickly left the room and ran for the lift, struggling to carry the heavy, cardboard box. She got to lift just before her arms gave out and she lay to box on the floor as gently as she could. She quickly hit the buttons for the recording studio level and the doors closed with a ding behind her.
As the lift descended, Evey stared at the box. This is what she had been reduced to, a bloody owl. How had it come to this?
The lift doors opened and Evey picked up the box with a groan. Recording booth 3 was the home of Lewis Prothero's Evening Rant show, a propaganda machine now supported and enforced by the New Order. Currently, however, it was filled with girls in frilly outfits. Evey grimaced as she pushed open the door with her foot. She had always heard that old Prothero was a bit of a pervert, but this seemed a bit too far for a radio show. She swore that some of the girls weren't even attempting to cover themselves.
Evey put the box down on a table next to a microphone. "What's that then?" asked one of the girls.
Evey shrugged. "They just told me to take it to booth 3."
The girl smirked. "Probably some dress-up costumes from Prothero." She drew out her wand. "Diffindo." The tape shredded itself and the flaps of the box flew open. Evey turned white and backed away. The girl leaned forward and withdrew a white Guy Fawkes mask. "Huh, these are weird. I guess us girls just don't do it for the old bugger."
Evey backed out of the room. She needed to leave, now.
. . .
The doors to the main lobby of the Daily Prophet building swung open. The security guard looked up and gasped. He stood and drew his wand. "Oi!" he shouted, "Hands in the air! Take off the mask!"
In the doorway stood V, his black cloak wrapped tightly around him. With a wave, the cloak blew open. The guard was a pureblood wizard, but even he knew what fifty pounds of C4 explosives looked like and what they could do. "Bloody hell." He whispered, dropping his wand.
"Please, sir." Said V, "If you would be so kind to put me on the air? Oh, and I had a few things delivered to recording booth 3. If you would kindly grab them for me, I would be oh so grateful."
. . .
Evey grabbed her bag and towards the lift. Just as she got to it, a loud voice rang out, amplified by a Sonorus charm. "Emergency evacuation! Everybody out!" Immediately, the hallways were overrun with people fighting for her position near the lift. Evey was actually picked up and thrown backwards behind the crowd of people. Panicking, Evey ran back to her office and dove under her desk. Sarah had left the radio on.
"It appears we are having some technical difficulties." Said the announcer smoothly, "Please stand by." Evey stared at the radio as it began spitting static. For a few seconds, she heard nothing but fuzz. Then, the airwaves cleared and she heard a familiar voice.
"Good evening, Wizarding London." Said V, "Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine; the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, whereby those important events of the past, usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? People dying left and right, the demise of the late Albus Dumbledore and so many other wonderful and renowned wizards and witches. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now Prime Minister, Pius Thickness, and his dark master, the one you call Voldemort."
Evey felt like she could hear the gasps across the city as every wizard and witch in London heard the dark lord's name. "He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me in seven months time, outside the gates of the ministry. For on the second of May, King Henry VIII accused his wife of hainus crimes she did not commit, much in the same way the ministry does now to those born of muggles. Join me, and together we shall give them a second of May that shall never, ever be forgot." The radio went dead and Evey stared at it, confused, but encouraged by the words she had heard.
. . .
Dozens of Death Eaters apparated outside the recording booth at the exact same time. "Alright, lads." Said one of them, "Let's do this. Flipendo!" the door was blasted off its hinges. Inside, the booth was dark and spewed forth thick smoke. "Damn!" muttered the Death Eater, making his way inside.
"Don't!" cried a voice in the darkness. A figure in a Guy Fawkes mask leapt forward. "Please!"
The Death Eater turned. "Avada Kedavra!" the spell hit the man in the mask square in the chest, killing him instantly. "Got 'im!" said the Death Eater proudly.
"Did you, though?" asked a voice. The Death Eaters turned to see a thirty-something man in a black trench coat step into the room.
"Who're you?" asked a Death Eater.
"Name's Finch, and I just got put in charge." There was some murmuring amongst the Death Eaters, but Finch ignored them. He knelt down next to the corpse and gently removed the mask. It was a man with a headset, clearly someone who worked in the building. His hands were tied behind his back and two pieces of a broken wand stuck out of his back pocket. Finch stood. "Don't do anything until I say so." He said. As he spoke, more figures emerged from the smoke, all with identical hats, wigs, cloaks, and masks.
"He's got a bomb!" cried one, "Wired it to the controls!"
Finch grimaced. "Everyone wearing a mask on their knees!" he shouted. His orders were taken immediately. "Get their masks off." He told the Death Eaters. "I'll go see about this bomb.
The control booth was next to the recording booth and had a small table with a dashboard on it. On the board was a large stack of red explosives attached by wire to a counter. Sitting at the board was a tall, blonde woman.
Finch put his hand on her shoulder and the woman jumped in surprise. "Let's go." Said Finch, motioning to the door.
The blonde glared at him. "Do you have any idea how long it would take to get the Prophet up and running again? This building contains every vestige of information the Wizarding World gets every day."
Finch tightened his grip on her shoulder. "Do you have any idea what you're doing?"
. . .
At that moment, two figures burst through the door of the recording booth and into the hallway. One of them stood up. "It's him!" cried the one on the floor, "He's the one!" A Death Eater dashed out after them and raised his wand to the standing figure. With shaking hands the man removed the mask to reveal a pudgy radio announcer with a gag in his mouth. To the Death Eater's credit, he managed to turn fully around before V's knife found its way into his chest. V walked passed the new corpse and tipped his hat politely to the terrified announcer. "There truly is no business like show business, my friend." Said V.
He walked through the halls back to the lobby. He was about to leave when a Death Eater popped up behind the guard's desk. "Freeze!"
V sighed and put his hands in the air. "I must say," he said turning around to face his opponent's wand, "Your response time was impressive, even for apparating."
"Yeah," said the Death Eater, "We got damn lucky."
"Oh, I wouldn't say that."
Evey spun out from behind a pillar, her wand raised. "Expelliarmus!" The Death Eater's wand flew out of his hand and he turned, fists raised. Before Evey could move, the Death Eater delivered a vicious uppercut to her chin, knocking her senseless immediately. V lazily tossed a knife in the Death Eater's back while he was distracted.
Without a word, V turned back to the door and put his hand on it. For a moment, he hesitated. After a while, he looked back at an unconscious Evey with a sigh. "There are no coincidences." He told himself, walking back to her.
. . .
The blonde woman held her wand to the wires, swinging back and forth between the green and red wires. "Oh, bloody hell." She muttered, "Diffindo!" the red wire tore in two and the count down stopped. Finch wiped a bead of sweat from his brow as the woman stared up at him triumphantly.
Hours later, Finch paced through the lobby. The corpses had been removed, the public assured, and most of the staff of the Prophet accounted for. So what was bothering him? Was it the woman? Evey Hammond? She had been missing at the last headcount and nobody knew where she was. Did the terrorist take her hostage?
Finch sighed and looked up at the door to the Prophet. There was one thing he had requested not be cleaned until later. On the glass door, a large letter V was written with the blood of the Death Eater killed in the lobby. Finch ran his fingers over the blood and watched it smear over his skin. For better or worse, Evey Hammond was stuck with this V character.
. . .
I just re-uploaded this chapter. Sorry I made so many spelling mistakes. And cannon mistakes.