Chapter 5 : Chapter Five
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She runs through the hallway, chasing her on chubby legs. She has to catch her.
“How could you so irresponsible? This is not just your home, Lucius! This is our home, and if you think you can bring that Mudblood here, you are gravely mistaken! You’ll have the whole Ministry of Magic swooping down on us…”
She tries to call out, but she doesn’t know how to form the words. Her infant fists wave, imitating adults she has seen. The woman she is chasing giggles, waving a polished finger. “Come on, sweetheart! Only a few more steps!”
”You wish to go against the Dark Lord’s orders? He was very pleased when Nott informed him the girl had been captured. She will be the perfect bait.”
“Bait? Oh, now she’s bait? She’s a student from Hogwarts, and Dumbledore isn’t going to stand having one of his students kidnapped! He’s going to have everyone out looking for her. The Order, the Ministry, everyone we fear!”
“Fear, Narcissa? We do not fear anyone. The old fool’s life will soon come to an end. Think, Cissy! This is our chance to redeem ourselves in the Dark Lord’s eyes. All we have to do keep her here. Potter will realize we have the girl and come looking. It will be the perfect trap!”
She tightens the space between the woman and herself with a few wobbly steps. She is almost there. Giggling in delight, she proudly takes the final leap. Looking up happily, she lifts her short arms, anticipating a hug.
“Lucius…if this plan is successful…do you think the Dark Lord will release Draco of his task? Let Severus have the, the honor of…“
“I do not know. But he may, Narcissa, he may! Please, just accept our duty. All we have to do is keep her here. It would not be prudent to anger him again.”
“Fine. The girl stays here.”
She waits for the embrace, but it does not come. Confused, she stares around the sun kissed hall.
The woman is gone.
She is alone, with only the shadow of a sweet perfume lingering. She takes another step, searching. She stumbles. Her child’s face puckers up into a cry, sobs filling the air.
No one comes.
Hermione awoke sore.
Her back ached, her head pounded. She felt as though she had been sleeping on a bed of nails. Or stone. Wait, stone? Hermione peered down at her sleeping surface, expecting to see familiar Hogwart’s sheets. Or at the very least, a hospital wing cot. But her eyes were confronted with dusty stone.
As her eyes adjusted to the dim light, Hermione realized she was nowhere near Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She was… where?
Growing panicked, Hermione tumbled off her stone perch. Where was she? Her mind spun back to her most recent memories. They returned jumbled, out of sequence. Diagon Alley, missed train, Draco Malfoy, the Leaky Cauldron, cloaked man. Oh God, the cloaked man.
Hermione fell against the bench with a moan as the answers clicked in place. The masked man must have been of been a Death Eater, of course. How could she have been so stupid? Traipsing around Death Eater infested Diagon Alley alone, a known Muggle-born. She gripped her hair with her hands, horrified. He must have Stunned her, and brought her here. Where was here? What Death Eater would own a house with…
Hermione examined around her surroundings again. Her stone bench was complete with a filthy floor and bars. Actual bars!
What Death Eater would own a house with a dungeon?
The answer came to her with a stunning blow: the Malfoys.
Hermione backed against the cold stonewall, sinking to the ground. She felt sick.
What about her wand? Where was it? She searched her clothes furiously.
They had taken it.
Shit, shit, shit, they had taken it. What were they going to do, leave her down here until she rotted? Oh no, they wouldn’t do that. Why deprive themselves of a Mudblood to torture?
Hermione felt herself sliding into hysteria as she expelled a tiny, high pitched giggle.
She muffled her laughter as she heard a voice call into the dungeon.
A quick pitter-patter of footsteps descended, ending at the bars of Hermione’s cell.
“You’re awake,” the voice stated flatly. It was low but feminine, with a polished quality that contrasted sharply with the dank surroundings.
Cold dread seeped through Hermione’s veins, halting her blooming hysteria.
The possessor of voice carried a lit candle, her wand by her side. The woman’s slim form was draped in midnight black robes, a flowing blonde halo of hair down her back.
“Mrs. Malfoy?” Hermione asked tentatively. If Narcissa Malfoy was here, that meant they weren’t going to kill her. Yet.
“This is where you are to stay,” said Narcissa. “There will be no escape attempts, and you will be behave, or suffer the consequences.”
Her voice carried no authority; this was all stated as though read from a poorly written script.
Done with her duty, Narcissa turned to ascend the steps.
“Wait!” Hermione called urgently, “What do mean? Why am I here? What—“
The woman hesitated. “This,” she repeated, “Is where you are to—“
A man’s voice reverberated off the cold walls, echoing down the dungeon. “Do not tell the girl anything! Get up here, now!”
Silently Narcissa blew out the candle and left, leaving Hermione alone in the darkness.
Author's Note: Wow, I just noticed these chapters are slowly getting longer… I wasn’t sure how well this chapter flowed, or if everyone would understand the beginning section. I hope this chapter provided some answers. Reviews are always lovely, even if you disliked it!
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