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Chapter 22 : Chapter 22 Return of the Half-Blood Prince
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Disclamier: none of this is mine, although this chapter is greatly inspired by the movie SCREAM...(great movie)
“So I was thinking,” said Sirius as he passed his godson a bottle of butterbeer. “That after you take your apparation test, we could visit your parent’s house.”
Harry looked up at him from his place on the couch, staring into his electric blue eyes.
“Uh yeah. That sounds alright,” he replied, relieved that Sirius seemed a little more inclined towards this particular subject.
“OK,” he said. “Don’t stay up too late.”
“I won’t,” Harry replied rolling his eyes as Sirius made his way to bed.
“Thanks for today,” he said quickly, turning around on the couch to look at Sirius.
He stopped in his tracks, smiling at him affectionately.
“No probs. Night mate,” he said, turning away again as he walked to his room.
“Night,” Harry said absentmindedly, leaning back into the comfortable couch as he expertly flicked the cap off the bottle.
He stifled a yawn as he took a small sip, his eyes wandering the room to the gifts that sat on the kitchen bench, to the evening mist he could see outside the French doors leading to the patio. He closed his tired eyes as he thought back over the conversation he had heard earlier.
When he was kicked out of the order meeting the other day, he knew they would be talking about him, but he didn’t think that they would be discussing whether or not to begin tailing him again. Thank Merlin Sirius seemed to be against it, how on earth was he supposed to look for Voldemort’s horcruxes if the Order was following him, nosing into his business.
He stifled another yawn, finally realizing how tired he was. He took another sip of butterbeer and placed it on the coffee table, forcing himself to stand up. Screwing his eyes up momentarily he rounded the lounge and went to the kitchen bench. He piled his gifts up in his arms and began making his way towards the staircase.
Harry swore as his pocketknife that he had placed on top of the piled fell off with a small thud. He left it there and climbed the staircase. He nudged his bedroom door open with his shoulder and entered as the new wallet Hermione had given him also fell to the floor. Sighing he dumped his gifts on his bed, flicking his wand at the wallet, sending it soaring to the bed also.
He tossed his wand onto his bed and quickly made his way back downstairs to retrieve the pocketknife he had dropped, his feet making soft footsteps on the wooden floor. He entered the living area and picked up the knife he had dropped, flicking it open. The metal felt cool against his hand, the blade sharp as he gently ran his thumb across the edge. He leaned casually against the kitchen bench as he looked properly at the knife Sirius had given him, observing for the first proper time the dark polished wood that made up the handle. He smiled again at the way his birthday had passed, he hadn’t wanted anything big, and what he got was perfect. However he got the feeling that the Weasley’s old camera would never recover from the many photographs that were taken.
Suddenly Harry was pulled from his thoughts as the new telephone on the kitchen bench rang shrilly. Harry jumped what seemed to be a mile in the air, swearing as he cut his thumb on the blade. His eyes jumped to the telephone that Mrs Weasley had installed only a few days ago, it’s green light blinking ominously as it rang again, the sound piercing through the quietness.
Harry leaned across the kitchen bench, reaching for the portable handset as quickly as he could, not wanting to disturb Sirius.
“Hello?” he said quickly.
Harry frowned as he heard heavy breathing down the line.
“Hello?” he said insistently.
He was about to hang up, when the caller answered. “Hello.”
Harry frowned again at the voice, he recognized it from somewhere but couldn’t place it.
“Who is this?” the voice said, strangely showing little emotion.
“Who are you trying to reach?” Harry replied, remembering Mr Weasley’s long lecture about the safe use of muggle telephones. ‘Never give out your name,’ he had said.
“What number is this?”
Groaning silently in frustration he replied impatiently, “What number are you trying to reach?”
“I don’t know,” they said slyly.
“Well I think you have the wrong number in that case,” he replied, looking at the small smear of blood that appeared on his thumb.
“Do I,” they said, not as a question but as a statement.
“Easy mistake,” Harry replied as he walked quietly into the kitchen. “Take it easy.”
Harry bought the phone down from his ear, placing it back into its holder as Sirius poked his head into the kitchen, already in his pajamas.
“Who was it at this hour?”
“No one,” Harry said calmly as he turned on the kitchen tap, washing off the blood. “Just a prank call.”
Sirius nodded and walked back into his bedroom, shutting the door with a click, one that seemed to echo through Harry’s ears. He turned off the tap, satisfied that he was no longer bleeding, and made his way into the lounge room, picking up the butterbeer he had left on the table. He nearly dropped it in shock as the phone rang again, its cry cutting through the air.
He placed the butter beer hurriedly on the bench, sending it skidding as he leaned over again and picked up the telephone, stopping it mid ring.
“Hello?” he said again, feeling slightly frustrated.
“I’m sorry I guess I did dial the wrong number.”
“Well why did you do it again?” Harry said dismayed.
“To apologize,” they said again, once again showing almost no emotion.
“Well I forgive you. Bye now,” said Harry, as he was about to hang up.
“I want to talk.”
Harry sighed outloud, just wanting to get rid of them.
“It’s past eleven. Call someone else.” He swiftly hung up, annoyed that they had called in the first place. He picked the butterbeer up, taking another sip as he noticed the smear of blood on the label, Harry looked back down at his thumb, which would not relent in its bleeding. He rinsed the bottle and his thumb again as the phone rang again. Clenching his thumb and forefinger together, he picked up the phone again.
“Why don’t you want to talk to me?”
“Who is this?” Harry asked, his curiosity getting the better of him.
“You tell me your name I’ll tell you mine.”
“I don’t think so,” he replied. “Look what do you want?”
“Well call someone else,” replied Harry as he pulled his thumb and forefinger apart, observing the small cut which refused to stop bleeding.
“So are you going to tell me your name?” they said.
Harry sighed, annoyed at this question. “Why do you want to know my name?”
“Because I want to know who I’m looking at.”
Harry stopped, looking up curiously. They can see me?
“What did you say?”
“I said I want to know who I’m…talking…to,” they replied, suddenly menacing.
“That’s not what you said,” replied Harry as he walked swiftly around the kitchen bench towards the patio doors. He flicked on the muggle light switch and the spacious back yard and patio was illuminated, he looked outside for some sign that somebody was there.
“Hello?” they inquired at his silence. Harry flicked off the light, walking to the window near the breakfast table, pulling across the curtains Mrs Weasley had made for them.
“Look I gotta go.”
“Do you know who this is?”
“I have no idea,” Harry replied honestly, though getting sick of this.
“I think you had a good night tonight. Lipstick off yet?”
Harry stopped, smiling stupidly at this as relief flowed through him, realizing who it was.
“Fred and George, you gave yourselves away.”
“Really?” they replied tonelessly.
“Are you calling from the Burrow because you know your dad will freak at the cost.”
“That lipstick looked strange on you. Anyone would think you’ve been up to something.”
Harry laughed, fully aware of what he and Ginny had been doing before all women at the party had planted him with kisses.
“Forge! That’s so unoriginal, I’m disappointed in you,” Harry replied lightly as he entered the kitchen and once again washed the blood off his fingers under the stream of water.
“Maybe that’s because, I’m not Fred or George.”
Harry faltered momentarily, becoming suddenly worried again.
“So-so who are you?”
“The question isn’t who am I, it’s where am I.”
“So, where are you?” Harry replied, laughing a little.
“Your front porch,” they replied slowly, as though tantalizing him.
“Why would you be calling from my front porch?” Harry asked quietly as he slowly walked through the archway that led from the kitchen into the dining room, looking outside the large windows onto the front porch.
“That’s the original part.”
He walked straight up to one of the windows in the small alcove, straining his eyes to see out of it into the darkness outside.
“Yeah?” Harry said, felling more confident he continued. “I think you bluff.”
He turned and made his way to the front door, sliding the silver chain across and opening the deadlock. Leaving it unlocked, he stepped outside, shivering at the blast of cold that was so unnaturally present this summer. He pulled the door shut behind him with a click as he pressed the phone closer to his ear.
“So where are you?” he said coolly as he looked around.
“Right here,” the person replied, almost drawling.
Harry looked around again, moving towards his right. He leant out over the old wooden railing of the front porch, looking down, looking left and right. The cool air pressed on him and he suppressed a shiver as he stepped back, walking swiftly along the length of the porch, poking his head around the corner.
“Can you see me right now?” he said as he walked back towards the front door, feeling strangely relieved.
“Right. What am I doing?” he said, raising his middle finger in the air. “What am I doing?”
He turned on the spot, laughing at the way he had managed to scare himself.
“Nice try guys, but thanks for the present though” he said as he lowered his finger as he put his hand on the cold brass doorknob.
Suddenly the caller’s demeanor changed completely, and suddenly became once again menacing.
“You take one move, and you’ll be dead just like Diggory.”
Harry stopped dead in his tracks, there was no way Fred or George would say that.
“Do you want to die…Harry?” they snarled. “Cedric sure didn’t.”
His heart began pounding somewhere in his throat as anger and apprehension began pulsing through him.
“Alright you’ve had your fun so rack off already,” he said coldly as he quickly pushed the door open and went back inside, locking it and sliding the chain across the holder.
“Don’t hang up on me.”
Fuming Harry pressed the button before forcefully pulling the curtains across the windows in the dining room, trying not to let his temper take hold. He stalked back into the kitchen, slamming the phone back into the holder. He twisted the tap on the kitchen sink and once again rinsed his hand, which was completely covered in smears of blood. He closed his eyes and breathed in deeply, trying to keep control as blood and water quickly ran down the shining sink.
It could be any creep with a phone, he thought to himself through his anger. Anyone from the wizarding world who had half a brain.
Harry’s eyes snapped open as the telephone rang again, it’s shrill cry sending a brief shiver down his spine. He bit his lip slightly, seriously considering letting it ring into silence. He looked towards the hallway that led to Sirius’ bedroom. Not wanting to wake him for something so trivial he walked over and picked up the phone, forgetting all about keeping his temper.
“What?” he asked rudely, not caring at all about politeness.
“Why don’t you want to talk to me Harry?” the anonymous caller spoke down the line, with patience that reminded him vividly of Luna.
“How do you know my name?” he said abruptly.
“I know a lot about you. I’ve known you since before you were born.”
“Well since you know my name it’s only fair I know yours,” he relied, quickly growing frustrated again.
“But you do know it.”
“Well refresh my memory,” Harry said sarcastically.
“It doesn’t need refreshing though.”
Harry rolled his eyes, thoroughly sick of this situation.
“Stop calling this number,” he said as he lowered the phone, reaching with his uninjured thumb to press the red button.
Harry sighed, just wanting to finally go to bed. He bought the phone back to his ear as they continued.
“How is your friend Ron?”
“What?” Harry said incredulously.
“He told you he was going to die, but you didn’t believe him.”
Harry’s mind suddenly began reeling, his heart began pounding somewhere in his throat.
How could they know that? He thought to himself, as he tried to keep his head.
“So how is Ron?” they said again.
Harry clenched his eyes together as he said solidly,
“He fine, thanks for asking.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes,” he replied forcefully through his sudden nervousness.
“Really? He didn’t look so good the last time I saw him.”
“Yeah?” Harry replied, his mind still reeling. “How would you know that?”
“Turn on the back patio light, again.”
Immediately his eyes darted up towards the two doors that led onto the patio. He looked at them apprehensively before quickly making his way over to them. Holding the phone close to his ear he again flicked on the switch next to the door, and looked out of them, squinting his eyes emerald against the bright light. He immediately felt the bottom drop out of his stomach, nausea and fear rising as he looked outside onto the grass.
“Shit! Ron,” he said loudly to himself as he fumbled with the lock on the French doors, not taking his eyes off Ron. Ron looked up at him, his eyes wide open as he managed a strangled cry through the layers of masking tape that covered his mouth. He struggled furiously against the invisible bonds that held his arms and feet to the wooden deck chair as his orange hair stood out vividly.
Harry threw open the door and rushed outside as the voice drawled down the line, highly menacing,
“I wouldn’t do that.” Harry stopped mid step as they said this, pressing the phone close to his ear as he looked only at Ron.
“What?” he said desperately.
“Get back inside. Or he dies right now.”
Ron looked at him, terror obvious on his face as a trickle of blood ran down his bruised face from his hair line. Harry took another hesitant step towards Ron, the wooden deck harsh against his bare feet.
“Get back inside now, or I kill him,” they said forcefully.
Harry looked back down at Ron, breathing heavily, torn between what his instincts told him to do. Suddenly his legs began working, and he stepped backwards. Seeing this Ron began shaking his head, yelling through the tape over his mouth. Harry looked at him, trying to tell him he was sorry. He stepped back again and went back inside, as his heart pounded in his throat, his hands shaking horribly.
“Good. Shut the door and lock it.”
“Please don’t hurt him,” Harry said desperately as he locked the door.
“Get out of sight and turn off the light,” they replied, not answering his desperate request.
He took one last look at Ron, whose eyes were wide open as he struggled against his invisible bonds, still yelling through them. Harry flicked off the light as he stepped sideways, crouching down on his toes as he moved out if sight. He clenched his eyes shut as he tried to think, tried to make sense of everything. This was no longer just a prank call.
“Good,” the voice crooned, almost lovingly. “Here’s what’s going to happen.”
“What?” he said quietly as he looked towards the hallway that led to Sirius’ room. He had to wake him.
“You get to decide if your friend lives or dies. But don’t even think about running to Black, he won’t be able to hear you.”
“What have you done to him?” Harry demanded as new fear stabbed through him.
“It’s not him you need to worry about.”
Harry drew in a shuddering breath as he tried to comprehend what was happening, tried to make sense of it all. “Please don’t hurt them,” he said, even though he knew it was no use.
“Are you ready?”
“What do you want?” he replied, desperately trying to stall for time.
“To play a game,” they said, still remaining menacingly calm.
“Just don’t hurt them,” Harry said again, still trying to buy some time, to think of something. But there was nothing he could do, he had left his wand in his bedroom upstairs.
“Here’s how we play,” they said, his pleas falling on deaf ears. “I ask you a question, if you get it right, Ron lives.”
“Leave Ron out of this!” Harry said furiously.
“Warm up question. How many players to a side in Quidditch?”
Harry closed his eyes in frustration, not wanting to play into their games, yet he knew he would have to.
“Seven,” he whispered quietly.
“Good. Now for the real question.”
Harry groaned loudly in frustration.
“Come on! Just leave us alone!” he said desperately again.
“But you’re doing so well,” they said, as though consoling a five year old who had scraped their knee.
Harry let out a shuddering breath he didn’t know he was holding as they began the next question.
“Who taught ‘Defence Against the Dark Arts’ in your fourth year?”
“Moody,” Harry replied at once, relief spreading throughout him.
“Sorry. That’s a wrong answer,” they replied lightly, as though it didn’t matter.
“What?” Harry said in dismay, fear shooting through him again. “No it was Moody.”
“Yes it is! It was Mad Eye Moody! I sat in his classes for a year!” Harry said loudly as he stood up.
“Then you should know that it wasn’t really him that was teaching,” they said forcefully, becoming angry. “It was Barty Crouch teaching.”
Harry’s heart plummeted as he realized his mistake, he clenched his eyes shut and leaned backwards against the wall.
“You tricked me,” Harry said lowly, trying to distract them from his mistake.
“Well lucky for you there’s a bonus round,” they said calmly. “But poor Ron, he’s out.”
“No, leave him out of this!” Harry said fearfully as he dropped the phone, flicking on the light switch.
He looked outside as he fumbled with the lock on the door, trying to get outside. He stopped dead in his tracks as he looked outside, trying to find Ron. But he wasn’t there. Harry could hear his heart pounding in his ears as his shaking hands tried desperately to twist the knob on the door handle, to unlock the doors. He shook the doors loudly, trying to get out as he realized they would not open for him.
Desperate, he spun on the spot and pounced down on the phone he had dropped, speaking into it.
“Where is he?” Harry demanded. The person on the other end laughed softly.
“It’s too late for him. But we’re not finished yet.”
“What have you done with him!” he demanded again, almost yelling.
He can’t be dead. Harry thought to himself as he let out a shuddering breath. He can’t be.
“Tell me where he is!” he said, trying to hide the obvious fear and shock.
“Just answer the question Harry.”
“Tell me wh-”
“Which door am I at?” they said again, becoming impatient.
“What?” he said quietly as he held the telephone tightly to his ear.
“There are two main doors to your house, the front door and the patio door. Which one am I at?”
He bit his lip in anticipation as he looked up. He stood up quickly and turned on the spot, looking at the patio doors to his left. He backed away from it, his eyes darting from the front door back to this one.
“Let me give you a clue.”
Harry’s heart pounded fiercely in his chest as he tried to think, tried to do something. Suddenly he was thrown onto his back as the patio doors forcefully swung open, their glass shattering throughout the room. Harry gasped at his head hit the floor, as the telephone he had held so tightly went flying.
He quickly raised himself up, his feet slipping on the shards of glass as they cut into his hands and feet. He stood up in shock, his mind trying to process what had happened as he saw a cloaked figure in the distance, not far from where Ron had been. Feeling as though this were happening to someone else, Harry backed away into the kitchen, grabbing his pocketknife off the bench where he had placed it. He crouched down lowly as he backed away into the dining room, holding the knife tightly in his hand.
He heard the unmistakable sound of glass crunching underneath some ones shoes as he continued backing away, his head pounding, his hands shaking. His breath caught in his throat as the cloaked figure suddenly appeared in his line of sight, walking calmly towards the hallway in search of him. Harry let out another shuddering breath as they disappeared out of sight. He stood straight and almost ran towards the front door. He looked over his shoulder as he undid the locks on the door, trying to be as quiet as possible.
The chain fell loose, tinkling softly against the door as he turned the handle and slowly opened it. Not taking his eyes from the living area he slipped through the door, clenching his teeth together in terror as it gave a small creak, before shutting with a quiet click.
He backed away from the door quickly, hiding next to the window as held the knife tightly to his chest. He slid down the wooden exterior, letting himself breath, trying to think. He breathed in, shuddering, as his breath became a light fog infront of his face.
A shadow passed over him, and for a moment he was sure he had been caught. He looked up towards the window, his heart giving a jolt as the figure calmly ascended upstairs. Harry watched as he went out of sight, before steeling himself for his next move. Still crouching he moved left, quickly coming around the corner. He stepped quietly down the steps that led from the patio at the side of the house, onto the grass that was moist with dew. He ignored the sharp pains in the soles of his feet from the glass as he ran towards the end of the house, towards the backyard where he had last seen Ron.
He crouched down again as he reached the corner of the house, looking through the railing of the back patio he searched desperately for some sign of his friend.
“Ron!” he whispered as loudly as he dared. “Ron!”
He waited desperately for Ron to reply, swearing when he didn’t. He twisted around, looking at what he could see of the house inside. He couldn’t see anybody. Praying to Merlin, he stood up and almost ran up the patio steps, still holding the knife infront of him. He needed his wand, but it was upstairs. Holding his breath, Harry stepped inside, once again ignoring the pain in his feet as more glass cut into the soles. Still shaking horribly, he bolted into the hallway, turning right he wrapped his free hand around the doorknob to his godfather’s bedroom.
He frantically turned the knob, pushing against the door with all his might. It wouldn’t open. Panicking badly, he turned the doorknob, whispering again as loud as he dared,
“Sirius! Sirius let me in!”
He threw a glance over his shoulder before pushing again at the door, begging it to unlock, begging Sirius to hear him. He rattled the door, no longer caring if he was heard, it was his only resort.
He was suddenly cut short as a strong hand wrapped itself over his mouth, the other around the wrist holding the knife. Harry screamed in frustration as he fought against the hold on him, trying to get away. They quickly wrangled the knife out of his hand, letting his hand fall free. Instinctively he bought his now free hand upwards, scratching at his captor’s face, but only reaching a solid black mask.
He did the only thing he could think of, quickly driving his elbow into their stomach as hard as he could, repeating this action again. They let go of him with a gasp, falling sideways he flung out his hand to break his fall, then used it to push himself back up again. He scrambled to his feet and ran straight for the kitchen, stumbling slightly.
His bleeding feet slipped on the old muggle tiles as he was again caught from behind, this time bringing them both to the ground. Harry struggled furiously, desperate not to be pinned as the cloaked figure painfully pressed their knee onto his chest, hindering his breathing. They caught his free arm, the other trapped underneath him and raised the knife high in the air.
Seeing this, he panicked, and used all the strength he could muster, pulling his trapped arm out from underneath him, bringing it forward to deflect the knife. Harry yelled in pain as it sliced through the skin on his upper arm, his arm feeling as though it were on fire as blood quickly soaked the shirt around it. They calmly leaned over him, grabbing his hair and pulling his head forward, then slamming it back down onto the tiles.
Harry let out a soft ‘oomph’ as his head came crashing down, stars dancing infront of his eyes. He immediately felt faint, the stars in his eyes turning to a white haze. He stopped struggling as the deatheater raised their hand and tore of their mask, revealing his identity.
Harry blinked his eyes furiously as he raised his knee and slammed it as hard as he could into Snape’s groin, he pulled back his other arm clenching his fingers into a fist as he swung at his face as best he could. He swung again as Snape dropped his pocketknife, giving him another chance. Harry swung his knee upwards again, and Snape quickly released him. Leaving no time for shock Harry quickly seized his chance, and scrambled backwards, standing up and running.
He ran as fast as his painful feet would allow him, flinging himself up the stairs as adrenaline began to fully quick in. He reached the second floor and headed straight for his bedroom as he began to feel dizzy. Harry clamped his hand over his upper arm, feeling the warm crimson blood as he burst into his room, the door locking itself behind him. Not caring how it had locked itself he flung himself towards his bed, knowing he didn’t have much time.
“No no no,” he muttered to himself as he searched desperately on his bed for his wand.
“Not now, please not now.” He shot down to the floor and looked quickly under his bed, trying to think where it may have rolled. Desperation set in again as he frantically searched for his wand. Harry froze as he heard to unmistakable sounds of footsteps running up the stairs. He stood quickly and immediately felt light headed, ignoring this he went straight to his window and pushed the large window up. Bracing himself against the frame, Harry forced himself out of it, placing his feet on the tiles of the sloping roof of the front patio. He let go of the window frame as he slowly moved his feet down the tiled roof, thanking Merlin that none of them were loose.
His bedroom door opened with a bang, Snape entering the bedroom just as Harry reached the edge of the roof. He looked up fearfully as Snape rushed over to the window, still trying to keep his balance. Snape’s expression contorted into a mixture of rage and hate as he launched himself at the window, drawing his wand. Harry tore his eyes away from him as he put his foot on the loose gutter, deeply cutting it as he jumped off the patio roof. The feeling of weightlessness he often associated with falling off a broomstick rushed over him as he fell for what seemed to be forever.
Suddenly his feet slammed into the ground, painfully rattling every bone in his body. White-hot pain shot through his left ankle as his knees buckled and he collapsed sideways onto the ground. He wasted no time as he pushed himself up with his good arm, the other still bleeding profusely. He scrambled to his feet, but yelled in pain as his ankle gave way. He pushed himself up again, this time taking all his weight onto his good foot, he raised his eyes upward to the muggle road, only twenty feet away.
He only needed to reach the road, to get past the wards so that he could apparate and get some help. He twisted his head around just as a Snape strolled down the front steps, flicking his wand at him.
Harry gasped as he felt his shirt rip open as large gashes appeared on his stomach and chest, stumbling backwards he collapsed backwards onto the ground, completely defenceless. His stomach and chest bleed profusely, as blood began trickling down his face, from the gash on his cheek he had not noticed.
He watched in horror as Snape stood over him as he desperately tried to move away from him. He knelt over him, once again placing his knee down on his chest to restrict his breathing, his hand reaching for his neck, squeezing tightly as he blocked off all air.
Harry struggled furiously, thrashing at him as Snape pinned down one of his arms. He bought his free one up to his captors face, clawing and scratching at him desperately for release. He tried to breathe in, but only choked as Snape tightened his grip as he leaned down to his face.
“Not so big are you now Potter,” he said coldly.
He could feel himself loosing consciousness, he could feel his mind clouding over as he desperately tried to free himself. Snape increased the pressure on his chest, as his lungs felt fit to burst with the pain. His struggles became less, his arm falling to his side as he slowly fell completely limp.
A/N 2: *dodges tomatoes* sorry about the cliffy! ;) uhh well don't worry Harry doesn't die (cos then who am i gonna write about!?) but Ron?....ooooo....lol well some pointers on how to improve are always greatly appreciated, along with all other types of reviews... let me know what you liked, disliked, what you want to happen next...blah blah blah...hope you enjoyed it. ;)
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