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The Hard Life by killthatrat
Chapter 26 : Chapter 26 Making Contact
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 12

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Bang, Ginny slammed the bathroom cabinet door fiercely as she ferociously towel dried her wet hair after showering.

“Ouch missy!” the mirror said indignantly.

“Sod off,” she said nastily, dumping her worn towel on the bathroom floor, not bothering to hang it up. Her slightly damp hair swayed around her as she thumped up the stairs towards her bedroom, angry at everything. She entered her bedroom, shutting the door behind her loudly, not caring if anybody heard.

She hated feeling so helpless. Not doing anything. Surely there was something that the Aurors or the Order could be doing to find her boyfriend, but to her it seemed they were doing nothing. She sat down on her bed, rubbing one of her feet, which seemed to be aching a little. She sighed to herself softly, this wasn’t fair, none of them deserved to be here right now.

Especially not Ron, she thought angrily to herself.

She closed her eyes at the thought of her brother. Since his return home he had spent much of his time in his bedroom, flipping through year old Quidditch magazines, eating very little of the dinner their mother had bought up for him. She wished he would come down stairs in the morning, Hermione had been distraught when they told her Ron had been involved as well.

Before she realized what she was doing, she pulled on her summer dressing gown over her pajamas, and crept quietly upstairs, heading for her brother’s room. She crept past Percy’s old bedroom where Hermione would be lying awake and tip toed up the rickety staircase, sighing with relief when she saw light shining under her brother’s door.

Ginny pulled a fist and knocked quietly on Ron’s door, pushing it open a little.

“Can I come in?” she said quietly, putting her head through. Ron was sitting up in his bed, an old Quidditch magazine sitting on his lap just as she suspected. He looked at her slightly warily, frowning a little.

“Since when do you knock?” he asked. “You normally just barge in.”

Ginny took this as a ‘yes’ in disguise and let herself into his bright orange bedroom, closing the door softly behind her.

“Why won’t you come downstairs?” she asked as she sat comfortably on the end of his bed, trying to avoid sitting on his feet.

“Because,” he replied shortly, looking back at his magazine. “I don’t want everyone making a big deal, and acting differently.”

“Ron, you were held hostage by Snape and nearly killed. Of course everyone’s going to be acting a little differently.”

“I know. But they should be looking for Harry.”

Ron flicked through a few more pages, stopping at an old poster of the Puddlemere United Seeker, whom he had previously drawn a large moustache on. Ginny fell silent at this, trying to think of something to say which would convince her brother to come downstairs the next day.

“This isn’t like you Ron, normally you’d be basking in all the attention.”

“Can you blame me?”

“Not really,” she muttered, seeing his point clearly.

They both fell silent at his comment, the only sound was the idle turning of magazine pages.

“So how did he…get you?” Ginny said, voicing the question that had been on her mind ever since it happened.

“I don’t know,” Ron said truthfully, not looking up at her. “One minute I was getting into bed, the next I was at Harry’s house. I don’t how he did it.”

They fell silent before Ginny sniffed a little, the emotions from the last few days building up at his words.

“Hey,” Ron said softly, reaching his hand out to clasp hers.

“There’s no need to get upset,” he said offhandedly.

A tear escaped Ginny’s eye as she spoke angrily to the wall infront of her.

“I hate this, it’s not fair.”

“Life never is,” said Ron, hoping that she wouldn’t continue crying. He gripped her smaller hand tightly, relieved when she gripped his in return.

Ginny took a shuddering breath and stood up abruptly, heading for his door.

“I should probably go,” she said as she opened it.

“Night Ron.”

“Night sis,” he replied as she shut the door after herself. He listened as her small feet tip toed down the staircase, her lack of presence leaving Ron’s bedroom feeling empty. Ron sighed mentally as he threw his magazine to the floor next to his bed, sliding under the covers as he blew the candle out.

He relaxed in his comfortable bed, the moonlight shining across his face. Ron looked back over the small table beside his bed, his eyes falling on the small vial that St Mungos had given him. He reached over and grabbed what was left of the dreamless sleep potion, taking the cork out.

“Night Harry,” he muttered to himself as he tipped the contents of the vial into his mouth before once again relaxing into the comfortable bed. A few moments later he felt himself drifting into what would be a night of dreamless sleep, hopefully leaving him feeling refreshed the following morning. 

Later that night, Sirius Black sat curled up on the Weasley couch, staring into the fireplace. The butterbeer he held in his hand was not to satisfy his thirst, but to distract himself from the bottle of fire whiskey he wanted to open. He stared into the dying embers, thinking only of his missing godson.

Sirius sighed as he shifted into a more comfortable position, staring blankly into the fireplace. He’d give anything to have him back, he’d do anything. But there was nothing they could do. Or so the Aurors kept telling them. He had never felt more useless, sitting on his arse at the burrow while Death Eaters were doing Merlin knows what to Harry. Sirius forced himself to breathe in as he stood up.

Stop thinking about that, he thought to himself as he entered the kitchen where Remus stood, quietly making himself a cup of tea. It was now past two o’clock on Wednesday morning, Remus had elected to stay awake with him, both insisting to the Weasleys that they get some shuteye.

“It’s been over two days Remus,” he said softly, announcing his presence. “We should have heard something by now.”

Remus looked up at his only remaining friend, his lined face etched with worry also.

“We will,” Remus said firmly, trying to comfort his friend.

Sirius silently watch the teaspoon that was magically stirring the tea Remus was making, the question that had been on his mind for the past few days now sitting on the tip of his tongue.

“Do you think he’s OK?”

Remus pondered this question, not knowing how to answer truthfully.

“I hope so Sirius.”

Sirius placed his butterbeer on the kitchen bench as he leaned against it.

“How did Snape get to them though?” Sirius wondered dully, referring to both Ron and Harry. “How did he get through the wards?”

“I don’t know,” Remus answered truthfully as he picked up he tea, blowing on if softly.

“He was part of the order, he would have had some idea as to what type of wards we use.”

“Yeah, I suppose,” Sirius agreed, seeing the point there immediately.

“We could have stopped this from happening,” Sirius said lowly. “The order was right, we should have been protecting him more.”

Remus looked up sharply from his tea.

“Stop,” he said firmly, placing the cup gently onto the bench. “You cannot blame yourself, it’s not going to help anybody.”

Sirius closed his eyes as he sighed. “I’m sorry, I just can’t stop thinking about it.”

Remus nodded, understanding what he was trying to say. Sirius looked down at the ground, biting the inside of his mouth as he tried to keep his emotions in check.

“I want him back Moony,”

“I know you do,” Remus said, stepping towards his friend. Remus rubbed his hand over his lined face, rubbing his tired eyes as he continued.

“We all do, we will get him back.”

“I hope your right Remus,” Sirius muttered, looking towards the floor of the Weasley kitchen. They stood together for a few more minutes, neither man speaking, both lost deep in their own thoughts. It was only when the Weasley fireplace momentarily roared back into life did they look up.

Hearing this, they cautiously entered the lounge room, wands drawn to the unsuspected sound. They could see nobody, the fireplace had once again been reduced back to embers.

“Who was it?” Sirius said, looking around warily. He turned his face back to Remus, whose outstretched arm was grabbing something from the air infront of the fireplace. Remus looked at it, his face falling as he did so.

“What is it?” Sirius said more desperately, moving towards him. Remus looked up as he held a piece of parchment out towards him.

“It’s them.”

Sirius looked at him incredulously before snatching it away, he cast his eyes down over the small piece of parchment, reading the message written there.

In return for Potter’s life, our demands will be fully met. Await next message, be careful we can hear you loud and clear.

Sirius stared at the note, anger pulsing through every vein in his body. He looked back up as he saw Remus casting an expert Patronus, sending a message to the Auror office.

“What does it mean, ‘we can hear you’?” Sirius said angrily to Remus, looking back to the letter.

“They’ve got to be listening to us somehow,” Remus replied nervously, keeping his voice quiet.

“Listening to us huh?” Sirius said under his breath, his anger bubbling up quickly.

“Listen to this assholes!” he yelled, looking around at no where in particular.

“Sirius shut up,” Remus said as quietly as he could.

“No body does anything until you prove he is still alive!” he yelled again, ignoring Remus’ words, not caring if he woke everybody in the house.

“Prove he is alive!” 

Every inch of his body ached painfully as Harry Potter leant against the wall, his hands still tied tightly behind his back. He closed his eyes gently, trying not to move, the dull ache worsening every time he did.

He mentally scolded himself for his reluctance to give Voldemort any information, knowing it did him no good. He had awoken alone in the same room again after the cruciatus curse had become too much for him. Yet no matter what they had done to him for the past day, he had steadfastly refused to speak, refused to answer the questions they had asked him.

Harry forced himself to pull his feet closer to him, trying to keep warm. Harry winced when pain shot through his bones as he moved his feet, leaving him with another dull ache. He didn’t know why, but it was terribly cold here all the time, yet it was the middle of the summer.

He let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding as despair began to well up inside of him, the injustice of everything beginning to become too much. He clenched his eyes shut tightly as he tried to think of something else. But he couldn’t. All he could think about was how much he just wanted to ‘high tail his arse’ out of here, and he couldn’t stop thinking about Ron. He didn’t know what had happened to him and it was driving him insane.

Harry’s heart skipped a beat as he heard the familiar sounds of footsteps ascending the great spiral staircase. He opened his eyes and stared expectantly at the door, mentally begging who ever it was to turn around and head back down.

They didn’t. The door opened with a click and the lumpy man that had been there when Dumbledore died entered, quickly approaching him. Amycus roughly seized the hands that were tied behind his back, dragging him upwards. Harry suppressed a groan of pain as it shot through his arms and legs as he stood, his legs feeling like sticks of lead as he was roughly forced downstairs.

Amycus lead him straight into the large room where Voldemort sat once again in the large armchair, practically throwing him painfully down to his knees.

“There’s something we need you to do Harry,” Voldemort said, as though they were discussing this over cups of tea and biscuits.

“No,” he replied bluntly, not looking at him.

Voldemort nodded in the direction of Amycus and he stepped forward, slamming his powerful foot into Harry’s belly. A loud gasp escaped his unsuspecting lips as he doubled over in pain, clenching his teeth and eyes together.

“Let me re-phrase that Harry. You are going to do something, for the benefit of your pitiful Godfather.”

Harry’s eyes darted upwards at the mention of Sirius, his painful breathing coming in ragged breaths. Voldemort looked back into his eyes, before nodding again to Amycus. Immediately the lumpy man quickly approached Harry, who tensed his muscles in anticipation, however he simply seized the arms held behind his back, pulling them painfully upwards as he quickly cut through the rope with a swish of his wand, releasing his arms.

Harry drew a quick breath as he gingerly brought his aching arms back round to the front of him, both of them feeling heavy and fragile, the skin on his wrists feeling instant relief.

“Your dear Godfather didn’t quite believe us when we said you were still alive. Apparently he seemed quite angry.”

Harry refused to meet his eyes, looking only at the grimy ground beneath him.

Voldemort flicked his wand, a small piece of parchment and a quill appeared on the ground infront of him. He then pointed his long wand at Harry, as he spoke.

“You’re going to write something on there that only you could know, to give your worthless godfather peace of mind.”

Harry looked at the parchment, it was a simple enough task, but there was no way he was going to make anything easy on them.

“No,” he replied softly.

“I didn’t quite catch that Harry,” Voldemort said coldly.

“I said no!” he replied, louder this time as his scar began to ache fiercely from Voldemort’s mere presence.

Voldemort rose up from his chair angrily, walking swiftly towards him as he drew his wand. Harry looked up into his cold red eyes as he pointed the wand straight at his face. The pain in his scar increased sharply as Harry eyed the wand, feeling a sense of deja vu.

“I don’t think you understand Potter. I could kill you right here.”

“You could,” Harry agreed. “But you won’t.”

Voldemort drew back his wand as he stepped away. He raised his wand above his head as Harry immediately tensed his body, knowing what was coming.


The all consuming pain wracked his body, his body buckling he screamed from the pain, his lungs feeling fit to burst. He was writhing on the floor, every inch of him screaming for release as Voldemort smiled at the young boy’s torment. Harry writhed in agony on the cold floor, subconsciously begging it to stop.

Suddenly as soon as it began it stopped, leaving Harry in a heap on the cold floor, drawing in ragged breaths as he tried to push himself up, his shaking body betraying him.

“Are you going to do it Harry or do I need to ask again?” Voldemort said, almost cheerfully.

Harry clenched his jaw shut as he forced his arms to work, pushing himself back into a half kneeling position. He refused to look at Voldemort, not wanting to look into his cold heartless eyes. His breath came in ragged gasps as he leaned heavily on his shaking left arm, feeling as though he were going to be sick right then and there.

Harry closed his eyes in an attempt to stem his nausea. He couldn’t let himself give in, not to Voldemort. But he knew Voldemort would only keep torturing him mercilessly until he gave in, and he couldn’t do it. Harry swallowed thickly, hating himself immensely as he nodded his head.

Smiling, Voldemort flicked his wand, the parchment and quill moving along the ground to where Harry knelt, placing itself within his reach. Harry slowly reached out his trembling hand, picking up the quill with his fingers, dimly taking note of the pinkish bruises that had begun forming on his wrists from the rope. He held it for a moment, the quill feeling strangely distant, as though he had never held one before. He racked his brain as he tried to think of something only he would know.

He placed the tip of the feather quill to the parchment, his shaking hands messily scrawling the words Roonil Wazlib. Harry dropped the quill back onto the parchment as though it had burned him, he pushed the parchment away from him as he looked back down at the ground. He had never hated himself more.

“Roonil Wazlib?” Voldemort said adopting the same tone, as if they were discussing it over cups of tea and biscuits.

“It’s a long story,” Harry replied tonelessly, still looking at the ground.

Amycus, who had remained silent, approached Harry again, picking up the parchment and quill before quickly leaving. Harry heard his footsteps fading away as he left, leaving only he and Voldemort.

“The wards that protect the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix,” Voldemort began.

“How are they broken?”

“Why don’t you ask Snape?” Harry spat. “I’m sure he’s told you where it is.”

“He has,” Voldemort agreed. “But only Dumbledore knew how to break the wards.”

“Then maybe you should have asked him before you had him killed,” Harry retaliated, still looking at the ground.

Harry heard Voldemort stepping slowly towards him, still looking at the ground infront of him he could see the tips of his black shoes at the top of his eyes.

“But he would never have told. He’s stronger than you, you’ll be telling me everything in a few minutes.”

“Well that’s a shame, because I don’t know,” Harry said sarcastically.

Voldemort paused, deciding whether to believe him or not. Harry noticed his breathing had begun to return to normal as he continued looking at the ground wordlessly.

“I hear Dumbledore often left the castle last year. Where did he go?”

Harry laughed grimly to himself, knowing the answer to this question, as he did this his heart gave a small jump.

He doesn’t know that Dumbledore destroyed a few horcruxes.

“Tell me where he went!” Voldemort demanded angrily, his loud voice echoing throughout the empty house.

Harry looked up at him with the hint of a smile, eyeing the wand that was now pointed at him again. There was no way he could let himself tell, if he did then all the work Dumbledore had done would be wasted. Harry raised his eyes above the wand, looking into the red eyes of the man who had ruined his life.

“No,” he said defiantly.

Voldemort showed no reaction at his words, only drawing his wand back as he prepared himself for the curse he was about to inflict.

“Then you know what’s going to happen next.”

Harry continued staring into his cold eyes as his heart began pounding with anticipation, yet still holding to his internal promise.


A/N Well i hope you liked it, this is a last min job uhhh well you may be asking "how can they hear them at the burrow?" the death eaters are using "cordless long range extendable ears!" lol a new invention, i tried to tell you in the story but it didn't fit so probably next chapter....

oh also, if Ron is a little out of character there is a reason, (no he's not a deatheater in disguise) he's just been through hell so he'll be out of character for a little while. normally you could expect ron to be basking in the attention! ;)

look out for next chapter: the death eaters make their demands!

please review!

killtherat 6/7/07

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