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Chapter 8: Chapter 8
Remus Lupin paced around the floor, in the living room of Number 12, Grimmauld Place. His brain was working overtime and he was continually becoming tired of waiting for a signal.
He knew obviously that they would come here. There was no doubt. The problem was what he would say when they showed up at the doorstep. That was his biggest worry. Why on earth did they have to choose him to answer the door?
Suddenly, Remus jumped about a mile, as there was a loud banging noise coming from the front of the house. It was them, he knew it. He took a large breath and calmed himself before walking quickly towards the small, oak front door. He opened it cautiously.
Two figures stood there, illuminated in the moonlight, a woman and a man carrying her by the elbow.
'Don't just stand there idiot man! Let us in, quickly!'
Remus obliged and stood aside to let the couple through.
'Lucius, Narcissa, how nice of you to join us, at last.'
'What do you mean, at last? You can't have been expecting us. You're here by yourself, stupid werewolf,' Lucius snarled.
'I wouldn't be so sure of that.'
Lucius and Narcissa turned, shocked, to see the full Order of the Phoenix staring at them from the top of the staircase.
Mad-Eye broke the ice first, 'We're glad you came to us instead of going elsewhere. But I'm afraid you're not the only ones with questions.'
Molly Weasley stood weeping silently and her husband put his arm protectively around her. He stared, stony-faced at the Malfoy's.
'What the hell have you done with our boys?'
Harry woke to the sound of raucious laughter coming from the space above him. His head hurt badly and he also reckoned that his left ankle was broken.
He tried to stand up but failed miserably, so he ended up flat on the cold, stone floor again. He squinted around in the dark and he narrowly could make out one lanky figure a couple of feet away from him.
'Ron? Ron? Is that you, please wake up,' Harry whispered as the figure stirred slightly. He crawled over to him pitifully and prodded him awake. When Ron sat up, he looked even worse than Harry did. He had bruises and cuts everywhere and from what it looked like, a couple of broken ribs.
'Harry? Thank God, you're alright!' Ron pulled Harry into an embrace.
'I know mate, it's okay. I can't believe I got you dragged into this. I'm so sorry. You don't deserve this at all and -'
'Listen, Harry, we've not got time for this. Don't talk shit. We need to get out fast. If we don't, we'll be killed.'
'Oh, come on. The Death Eaters are going to have precautions all over the place, we can't exactly just run free the next time they come down here. And they've taken our wands.'
'Harry, there has to be a way out somehow, like a gap in the wall or something. Hermione says there's always a way, remember?'
Harry looked at Ron sadly and said, 'Ron, we're on our own this time. We have no Hermione or Dumbledore or Remus or anyone. It's just us against them. We haven't got a chance.'
'Shut up, we have so got a chance. You're a flipping hero, the Boy-Who-Lived and all that. We will get out of here, Harry, we have to.'
With that, Ron stood up warily and looked around the room, looking intently for something to get them out of there. He searched and searched for minutes on end but found nothing to please him.
Then, Ron suddenly collapsed into heaps of tears and landed on the floor with a crack. Harry grabbed him and roughly shook him to sense. Harry couldn't stand seeing his best friend like this. He'd have to do something.
'That's it mate. We're getting out of here. Come on.'
Ron just stayed and cried on the floor, sobbing about how he never got to say goodbye to his family and how they were too good to die.
Harry stood up with one foot and balanced himself against the wall of the dungeon. He had a plan forming inside his mind and he was positive, that with Dobby's help, he could get Ron out alive, at the least.
'Miss Granger, what is the meaning of this intrusion?'
Hermione stood at the doorway to Professor McGonagall's office on the 2nd floor, sobbing her heart out.
'Professor, please help us. It's Harry and Ron.'
'What, Potter and Weasley? Have they gone gallavanting off into the Forbidden Forest again? I will have their -'
'Professor, the Death Eaters have them, I know it!'
McGonagall stood with a look of mingled sadness and disbelief on her face. She patted Hermione's arm gingerly.
'My dear, I'm sure it was just a dream, it's alright.'
Hermione stopped crying and glared at her teacher menacingly.
'This is not a joke or a stupid dream, I am not lying, Harry and Ron have been taken to Voldemort, Professor, they're gone! The Death Eaters, they -'
The two women turned to see Draco Malfoy running towards them, closely followed by Dumbledore. Dumbledore had a fire burning in his eyes like nothing Hermione had ever seen before. He looked determined.
'Are you okay? Hermione?'
Hermione flung herself on top of Draco and cried even harder than she had before. Draco wrapped his arms comfortingly around her.
'They're going to be fine, they can handle this situation. We're going to alert the Order now and they'll find him, don't you worry yourself, you'll have a fit.'
McGonagall looked disapprovingly upon the two but Dumbledore hardly noticed them at all.
'Minerva, wake Severus, Pomona, Filius and the others. Tell them our serious circumstances, there may well be more visitors in our castle. I need them all to secure the castle, every single nook and cranny. Bring all of the pupils to the Great Hall as quickly as possible.'
McGonagall obviously took the hint that the kidnap was true and she ran off down the hall to arouse the other teachers. Hermione stopped blubbering and asked Dumbledore what they had to do.
'I want you two to stay out of the way, if you please. You may be needed when the time comes ... but then again, you may not. I'm sorry, Miss Granger.'
Then, Dumbledore hurried majestically from them, going somewhere where they did not know, taking care of business.
'Hermione,' Draco said lovingly, 'I want you to go to the Great Hall.'
Hermione stared, shocked until he spoke once more.
'I need you to be safe, that's the best way. I'll alert the Order and I'll make sure that we get Ron and Harry back.'
'No! I am not a child, Draco Malfoy! You have no right to order me to do anything, these are my best friends we're talking about, I won't leave them! I am going to fight the Death Eaters and bring them back!'
Draco stopped her from running off by pinning her against the wall.
'Hermione, listen to me. You are going nowhere. I will not stand by and watch you continue to be hurt by my family and that vicious old bugger anymore. How do you think I'd feel if you were killed or permanantly injured, hmm? Because let me tell you something, I would rather give up everyone in the whole, wide world just to have you beside me.'
Hermione started to cry lightly again and kissed him. Draco hugged her tightly, not wanting to let her go.
'Draco, you have to understand. All those things that you just said, I would do exactly the same for you. Believe me. But these are the two people who have been with me from the beginning, my best friends. And I would do anything for them. If this means sacrificing my own life to save theirs, then so be it.'
Draco released her, his eyes filled with hurt and love and despair.
'Don't you ever say that to me again, okay. You will not give up your life for them. Yes, they're you're best friends and yes, they love you as much as you do them. But, right now, they would be saying exactly the same things as me. They don't want you to get killed either. Hermione, please, I'm begging you, don't do this.'
However, Hermione's answer was broken off by the sound of many footsteps clattering down the hallway. Draco instinctively threw Hermione behind him and whipped out his wand, to face the oncomers.
Around the corner, thankfully, came Remus, Mad-Eye, Tonks, Kingsley, Mr and Mrs Weasley, Mundungus, Bill, Fleur and Fred and George. They were followed, somewhat out of place, by the Malfoys.
Draco stared at his parents as they came closer towards him.
'Draco,' Narcissa whimpered. She ran over to him and sobbed onto his shoulder, wailing 'Sorry's' under all her tears. Lucius glanced at Hermione, looking xtremely uncomfortable but then turned to his son, who was still buried underneath his mother.
Draco glared at him through narrowed eyes, and acknowledged him angrily, 'Father.'
Lucius looked back at him, unsure and then stuck out his hand. Draco stared at him widely, not believing what he was seeing. He slipped out of his Mum's clutches and shook, rather gratefully, his Dad's hand.
Lucius smiled slightly and pulled his son towards him, into a one-armed hug.
'Draco, I'm so sorry. I don't know what I was thinking when I made you join them. I feel terrible, you know.'
'Good,' Draco said, smirking, 'I'm glad we've cleared that up.'
He grabbed Hermione's left arm and softly drew her towards them all.
'Mother, Father. This is Hermione Granger, my girlfriend.'
He looked at them both menacingly, as if daring them to remark about his muggle-born companion. Narcissa immediately smiled, and shook Hermione's hand, expressing how lucky she was in finding such a wonderful partner for Draco.
Lucius, however, was slightly more reserved and simply said, 'How do you do.'
'Right, that's enough, you lot,' Mad-Eye snarled, 'We've no more time for family reunions. It's time to assemble the ranks and charge to victory. We have to get our boys back. Now.'
'Are you ready,' Ron said to Harry quietly, as Harry looked at his watch.
'Oh, I was born ready, Ron. Let's give these bastards what they deserve.'
And with that, Harry shouted, 'DOBBY! KREACHER!' and Ron drop-kicked the dungeon door open with a crash.
However, theirs were not the only loud noises heard by the Death Eaters in Malfoy Manor.
So? What d'you think? Getting pretty exciting right? Only a few more chapters to go and this story is finito, YIPPEE!