A/N: Disclaimer is on the first chapter.
Time: still 7th year
Inspiration: My own cat and dog. Crookshanks seems to have a mix of my cat, Luciano's, sense of superiority and the intelligence and protectiveness of my beloved, chocolate-coloured Dobermann, Bucky.
I'm obviously on a roll, but still rusty ;)
Grammarly is my Beta
He had to make sure that The Deranged Harpy wouldn't notice him. Well, he actually had to make sure that no one would notice him. It was not a problem for him to escape from the Tall Lady's boudoir the moment he felt through the wards of the manor that His Little Miss was here. He crept in the shadows, right by the walls, to make sure no house-elf and no human would notice a huge ginger cat running to save his mistress. At least he looked better now, Kneazle God knew, Malfoy house-elves knew how to pamper a half-Kneazle for him to look most presentable now.
But let's get down to business. His Little Miss was in danger!
He saw through the window that some stupid oafs were bringing his mistress, along with her idiotic friends, straight to the main entrance of the manor. Great. He could bet it was their fault. Over a year of creating in the shadows some meticulous plans to thwart the power of the Dark Lord, and it would end in his mistress being captured like a common thief?! Unconceivable!
Thank the Kneazle God, the cup - Horcrux from the Gringott's vault - as well as the tiara in Hogwarts, were already found and destroyed. He heard The Tall Pale One whining about the disgusting surroundings in the Chamber of Secrets and how he destroyed his favourite dragon-hide boots. This earned him a strong knock on the head from both The Deep Voice, as well as a sharp dig in the ribs from His Little Miss. The young man surely deserved it.
His Little Miss also confirmed that they have already dealt with the locket, even though it was really unnecessary since it was hidden in a special vault in the Black Coast Mansion from the moment the Stupid Ginger Giant left his friends on the run. His mistress decided it would be best to hide the real locket and wear a copy so that it wouldn't really affect already paranoid and distressed the One with Glasses and Scar even more. Later she brought the real Horcrux for her friends to destroy, even though they could all easily deal with it on their own, and much earlier to add. So silly. As much as he adored his mistress, her consideration for her friends' ego was dangerous for all the others, including her, and her cat! Let's not forget about that!
Okay, so he could now clearly see the Deranged Harpy screeching at his mistress and her friends. On the other side of the room, there was the Tall Lady, and for the first time, he could clearly see panic in her eyes. He was not surprised. One mistake and all of their elaborate plans would go straight to the litter tray.
As he came closer to the group, Crookshanks could clearly sense the same hint of the ominous and dark energy radiating from the One with the Glasses and the Scar as from all of the three Horcruxes he had the very pleasure of seeing destroyed in the past month. Could it be that they found another one? Or maybe the Dark Lord "gifted" the boy with one long time ago? It was fairly recently that Crookshanks started to recognize the aura of those things. Right about when they brought the Moon-like Girl to the dungeons and he started to spend a lot of time with her and then they managed to safely transport her to the Black Coast Mansion, as they previously did with the Wand Maker.
But he digressed, again. Let's focus on the present situation.
They brought the Tall Pale One to identify the captured friends. As if he would betray His Little Miss, yeah right.
Well, he definitely got very close to her face to check. They were practically brushing against each other now.
Crookshanks was very closely observing their interaction, the look they shared. At this point, they could often understand each other only with their eyes.
Oh, they've had a plan! Yippee!
"It's not them", calmly stated the Tall Pale One. "They look nothing like Scarhead, Weasel and their Mudblood." For those actually watching, it was obvious that uttering that word was painful for the young man.
The Deranged Harpy was not watching but she surely was screeching, again. Oh, his poor, sensitive ears!
"Nothing alike?! How come, nephew?!"
Uh oh, she looked hopping mad. It was time to prepare to attack, or else she would blow up everyone around her from the sheer will to do so.
"Who cares! she looks like a Mudblood, so, she'll make me a fine plaything tonight!"
Before anyone could react, the Deranged Harpy started to manhandle His Little Miss. As if!
Hesitant no more, Crookshanks used all of his magical power, strength and fury, to, out of the blue, jump with a feral yowl on the Deranged Harpy. One moment he was hiding, observing everything in the shadows, the next he was clinging to her head, digging his claws deep into the skin on her face and body. He actually managed, with his weight and momentum, to knock her down.
Then, everything happened within one moment. He could see the Tall Lady right beside her sister, her murderous look, the green flash going from the tip of her wand, straight to the chest of the Deranged Harpy, where there should be a heart. Then it was over, and the Tall Lady lifted him to her arms and disapparated straight to the parlor of the Black Coast Mansion.
It was a total mayhem. Crookshanks, safely ensconced in the arms of the Tall Lady, satisfied with his work, observed the whole situation from her favourite armchair in the corner.
The two oafs, his mistress' friends, had to be forcefully sat on two chairs in the middle of the room, roped with invisible bonds and silenced. Oh, they were cursing all right, but at least no one had to listen to them. At first, they tried to disapparate, but they had no idea that only the Tall Pale One, The Tall Lady, The Deep Voice and His Little Miss could freely apparate and disapparate in this safehouse.
They were most probably brought there by the Deep Voice who, as Crookshanks did, had to be hiding in the shadows, to later show out of the blue and bring the two oafs to safety.
No one cared about the Tall Pale Lord, the husband of the Tall Lady. He obviously knew about everything and joined them in their previous planning sessions, but it was clear that he could not get on with His Little Miss, so he decided to just do what he had to do and stay silent. Well, maybe not voluntarily. But his wife was very effective in pacifying him.
The Deep Voice was, as usual, brooding in the corner, assessing everyone, maybe also, in his dark soul, deep within, laughing at the expense of two oafs roped in the centre.
The Moon Girl was happily preparing tea for everyone, from the tray that was brought by the house-elves a moment ago.
What about the Tall Pale One and His Little Miss?
Well, they were currently snogging senseless, right where they both apparated, in front of the Dunderhead Duo.
Actually, the Tall Pale One started. It just so happened that His Little Miss did not stop him or slap him, but rather decided that she enjoyed his ministrations.
Crookshanks could avert his eyes, but alas, he did not. It was glorious to see the fruits of his hard work.
At first, she froze, with panic clear in her opened eyes. But a moment later she closed them and reciprocated the kiss, drawing her fingers through the hair on his nape. The Tall Pale One clearly sensed his victory, as he pulled her closer and his hands started to roam from her hair to the hollow of her back. It looked as if he desperately needed to make sure that she was safe and sound. It was sweet, really.
Something must have gotten wrong with the silencing spell (or rather, the Deep Voice got a bit green with disgust at his godson's antics), and suddenly the two oafs were shrieking and hurting Crookshanks ears again. Thanks a lot.
It took a moment for them to be understandable. Most of their words at the beginning were utterly offensive to his mistress, so the feline happily decided to make sure to poo on all of their clean clothes in the nearest future. His revenge would be great, his revenge would be ultimate, mua-ha-ha-ha!
The rest was all basically the same.
"How could you!"
"You betrayed us!"
"You Death-Eater wh-"
The moment those words left the Stupid Ginger Giant's mouth, the fist of the Tall Pale One met his nose.
The silence that followed, was so great, you could actually hear his breathing in the opposite corner of the room.
"Weasel", The Tall Pale One practically hissed, with enough malice to melt the idiot on the spot, "if you value your life, I'd shut the bloody up. Next time, it will be my wand that will readjust your face, not my fist."
The moron refused to learn his lesson.
"What, I just said the truth! You and your Death-Eater who-"
This time, it was His Little Miss' fist to hit his ugly face. When The Tall Pale One started to protest, she just silenced him with one look (she'd learnt from the Tall Lady, and it always worked). Then, she silenced again the Stupid Ginger Giant and looked straight into the eyes of the One with Glasses and Scar.
"Harry, you'll be next, if you won't let me tell you the whole story."
At first, he assessed her, but when he realised she was deadly serious, he just closed his mouth and nodded to let her explain.
And explain everything she did. His eyes got progressively bigger and bigger, as his companion's silent rage also grew with every minute.
"So, this leaves us with only one, maybe two Horcruxes left, but with our covers blown for good now, we have a challenge in front of us", finished her tale His Little Miss "What we also need is the snake and-"
"Me", finally realised the One with Glasses and Scar.
His Little Miss nodded, sorrowfully.
After a long, pregnant pause, the boy turned to glare at the Tall Pale One.
"I still hate you, Malfoy. I don't think it will ever change. But", he hesitated, and sneaked a quick look at the Tall Lady. Crookshanks could swear he looked straight at him for a moment, "I believe I owe you and your family my life. For that, I am grateful."
The Tall Pale One silently nodded in acceptance of his gratitude, discreetly sneaking his hand on His Little Miss waist in a gesture that was protective, but still a bit arrogant at the same time.
Then, the One with Glasses and Scar looked around at everyone gathered in the windy, cold parlour of the Black Coast Mansion. He appeared positively ill looking at the Deep Voice and the Tall Pale Lord, but he didn't hesitate and continued accessing the atmosphere in the room. Eventually, ignoring his friend, he settled to look straight into the eyes of the one witch that was as dear to him as a sister. He finally realised, that, if not for her resourcefulness and new allies, he would not be able to see the light of that day.
"Okay, so tell me, how are we planning to kill me?"
A/N: Obviously, it's not the end.
I hope to be able to finish this story soon.
If you wonder how they were able to deal much earlier with the Horcruxes, well that would be a tale to tell from a different POV.