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Cheating the Bet by Ryebread
Chapter 18: Impossible
Thanks, nednedned, for the amazing chapter image.
We burst into the room and were immediately grabbed by death eaters on either side of the door that we couldn’t see from the brass doorknob’s keyhole. A wand was jabbed at my throat, poking into my skin.
“Drop your wands,” said the lanky captor, his wands still pointed at Harry. Harry nodded his head from where he sat in his chair, silently communicating to us to drop them.
I opened my sweaty palm and shook my wand from my sticky hand. Seconds later I heard Al’s fall to the floor.
The two of us were pushed against the wall next to the door where we came in. The two silver-masked death eaters still shoved their wands into our throats.
“Are there more of you?” interrogated the kidnapper. I shook my head vigorously at the same time as Al snarled “No”.
“So why are you here? Did you possibly think that you two children could save ‘the chosen one’?” he mocked, looking amused. His two cronies chuckled. He was patronizing us. I felt ridiculous, stupid. How could I possibly think that we could do this?
“You won’t get away with this,” said Al with complete confidence. “Everyone knows we’re here and when they don’t see us in the lobby, they’ll search for us. You’ll go to Azkaban and get the dementor’s kiss.”
“Al!” scolded Harry. “Don’t provoke them.” He turned to his abductor. “Please, they’re just kids. Let them go. They shouldn’t be here. If you let them go, I’ll do whatever you want.”
He just laughed. It was then that I realized we had given this man leverage. We gave him the upper hand. He could use Harry's hero complex to his advantage.
“Do you really think me that dense, Potter? I can see the obvious resemblance. He’s your son and she’s the daughter of that bumbling professor. They are valuable hostages, second only to you. So you’ll do what I want anyway, because I have them.”
“Fine. What in the bloody hell do you want, Nott?”
“What do I want? I just want you dead; simple as that. You destroyed my family. My dad’s in Azkaban, waiting in line for the kiss. Mum is on her death bed from the stress and agony. I’ve imagined this moment for years. First, you’re going to free my dad, and then I’m going to kill you. If you want them to stay alive, then cooperate with me.” Harry just nodded without a second thought. Always the hero, he was.
“Why did you do this?” I yelled. “You know your father deserved Azkaban. He killed hundreds of innocent people. I’m sorry about your mum, but don’t take this out on people who didn’t do anything. You’re going to be exactly like your father, rotting in Azkaban with him. Don’t do this.”
“Don’t you dare say anything about him! I did this for him. I created the Order of the Ouroboros with the sole purpose of killing Harry Potter. First, we just killed mudblood, muggles, and blood traitors to stir up a panic. Then, I moved on to step two; attacking Hogsmeade. By doing that, I forced the aurors to guard the school, leaving the Ministry unprotected. Finally, I could make my move and, now, I’m going to finish what I started.”
“The fight won’t last forever, Mr. Nott. You can’t keep stalling. Do you want to know what I think?” I asked him rhetorically. I kept going before he could answer. “You don’t want to do this. You keep hesitating, hoping that your plan will be foiled because you’re not a killer. You may have ordered the other killings, but you, yourself, can’t get your hands dirty and now that you’re here, you can’t do it. Mr. Nott, you don’t know what to do.”
Nott’s face grew a frightening shade of red and he looked like a child about to throw a temper tantrum. He lifted one of the wands in his hands (his own) and pointed it at me.
I fell to the floor in agony. My whole body was burning. The only thought that was in my head was of dying. I wanted to die. I wanted anything that would take away the pain that made me seize on the floor. I screamed out loud and I could vaguely detect Al struggling against the two death eaters to get to me.
The torture seemed to last for hours on end, although it was probably closer to minutes, the torture never ending, never pausing even a minute. My mind wouldn’t rest. It begged me to stop the pain, but I was helpless. All I could do was cry out in distress, hoping that I wouldn’t lose my mind as my grandparents did.
Finally, it stopped. I gasped, air filling my lungs. I hadn’t realized that I had been holding my breath. I lay there on the floor with the memory of my torture engraved into my brain.
“Allie! Alice!” Al yelled. He elbowed one death eater in the stomach and pushed the other off of him before dropping to his knees at my side.
“Are you okay?” I nodded weakly, still in a daze. When I regained my ability to speak I said, “I’m fine.”
The death eaters closed in on us, wands pointed at our chests. They nudged us roughly with their feet and attempted to get us back on our feet.
Al stood and grabbed my arm, trying to pull me up, but I still felt too weak and clumsy. My legs felt like jello and wouldn’t cooperate with me, as if my body thought I would feel pain again if I were to stand. Despite Al’s help, I kept falling down like a baby learning to walk.
The death eaters were not sympathetic to my plight. The masked villains were only getting angrier by the minute and Nott’s face looked about ready to explode.
“Just kill them and get it over with. If those kids won’t cooperate, then they won’t live,” ordered Nott without any remorse in his voice. My palms began to sweat with the nervousness and fear. I went into overdrive, trying to stand on my two shaky feet, but even with Al’s support, they wouldn’t support me.
The two cronies moved towards us and readied their spells.
“No! No! I’ll sign the pardon! Don’t kill them! Your dad will be free!” Harry yelled desperately. Nott thought for a minute, stroking his scruffy, prickly chin.
“And you will not resist in any way, shape, or form?” Theodore Nott eyed Harry suspiciously.
“I will not,” vowed Harry solemnly.
“No! Dad, he’ll kill you! Don’t do it, please,” Al pleaded with his dad, but Harry avoided his eyes with a pained look on his bespectacled face. I could see tears springing to Al’s eyes as he tried to fight them back.
The death eaters and their leader ignored us and surrounded Harry at his desk. The two goons broke the chains from his hands, but only his hands. With a silvery masked thug at each side of him and Nott across the desk from him, Harry picked up his white-feathered quill and wrote the pardon.
I sat there for a minute, afraid to make a sound. It was almost as if we didn’t exist. The longer they forgot about us, the better. I could feel the strength coming back to my legs. I moved my legs slowly and moved into a crouch position without the kidnappers noticing.
Al watched me as I tested my strength before sitting back down to keep up the guise of weakness. Quietly, I surveyed the room, looking for anything that would help us.
Finally I saw our escape and I formulated the biggest cliché of a plan.
I stood beside Allie while she tested out her leg strength. Seeing her in complete agony almost killed me and watching my dad, right at this moment, prepared to die, put me over the edge.
Tears were starting to spill over onto my cheeks, but I held them in, trying not to let them show. My anger was breaking down into something even more dangerous; desperation. I would do anything to save the people that I loved; the people in this room who were in danger, but I couldn’t. I felt completely helpless.
Interrupting my reveries was Allie. She had tried to pull herself to her feet with a small side table and she’d fallen. The round, wooden table had fallen over sideways, as did Alice, and the lamp atop it had broken and shattered into several shards of glass.
All of the people at Dad’s desk either stared or glared at her before resuming writing the pardon.
I noticed that Allie was up to something. She had a look of pure determination on her face; a mischievous gleam in her eye, and as she stood up, she wasn’t clumsy in the least. Allie had feigned weakness, which was hard for someone as strong as her to do. She had a plan. As she glanced at the death eaters nervously, I saw a glimmer of glass grasped loosely in her hand, as to not cut herself.
One of the death eaters was eyeing her suspiciously, so I walked over to her and grabbed the glass out of her hand stealthily.
“You’re going to get us killed,” I hissed, checking to see if the death eater was still looking, which he wasn’t. “I know we need to get out of here, but you can’t just go up and stab them.”
She rolled her eyes at me.
“I wasn’t going to,” she said, sounding exasperated and annoyed, like her plan was completely obvious. When I still had a puzzled look on my face, she nodded her head in the direction of the ceiling.
Hanging directly over the desk where my dad and the captors were, was a glimmering crystal chandelier. Each crystal attached to it sparkled in the light of the room and swayed whenever someone moved too much. It was hung the old-fashioned way; by a rope that was tied to a wooden fixture on the wall a few feet away from where Allie and I were standing.
My eyes widened in recognition and surprise.
“Oh,” I responded lamely, wondering how I hadn’t thought of that. It seemed so obvious and cliché.
“Yeah, that would be the plan,” she said impatiently. “Now can I have the glass back?”
“No,” I said shaking my head and looking nervously at the table before whispering again. “We need to figure out how to get dad out of the way.”
Allie nodded seriously and fiddled with her blond hair, twirling it in her fingers with her tongue sticking out of the corner of her mouth. I knew that look; she was thinking intensely. She had the same face when she did potions homework.
Then, I could almost see the light bulb above her head when she thrust the glass (very scarily, I might add) into my hand, almost cutting me.
“Be careful wi—,” I said, but she ignored me.
“You cut the rope and I’ll lunge for him,” she whispered, watching the conspirators out of the corner of her eye. I did the same.
“No. You’ll get killed. I’ll do it,” I told her worriedly. She shook her head.
“If the death eaters and Nott escape, they’re going to go for the one who cut the rope. We both know that you have a better chance of survival while I cut Harry free. Then, we can take them down.”
It was crazy. The plan was not just improbable, but impossible, and yet…
And yet, it was the only plan we had. It was a way to save the day and it was the only hope I had left to grasp onto.
I nodded, confirming the plan. She started to move towards the desk, but I grabbed her hand.
“Be careful, yeah?” I said to her. Her eyes softened and she wore a sad smile.
“You, too,” she replied and then turned away from me.
Slowly, but swiftly, I snuck over to the rope on the wall, taking cursory glances at both the death eaters and Allie, to make sure she was in position. She gave an almost imperceptible nod and I dug the shard into the already fraying rope.
Allie flew into action, literally, as she tackled my father to the ground. He fell backwards in his chair, out of the way of the falling death trap.
The kidnappers were not so lucky. Caught under a heap of metal and shattered crystal, they looked to be unconscious, if not dead. Cuts and gashes covered their bodies and blood seeped onto the floor. I was horrified.
Even though they were certified killers, I felt extreme guilt because of my actions. Pushing those thoughts out of my mind for now, I knelt at the rubble to find my wand and release my dad.
I pulled away bits of twisted metal and sorted through pokey crystals and found my wand stuck under a metal piece by a person’s hand. There was just one problem with that; it was Allie’s hand.