Chapter 2 : The Plans
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"Up, now!" Draco was startled out of his dreamless sleep to the screeching noises of his Aunt Bellatrix. He rolled over on his sad excuse for a mattress and stared up. Bellatrix stood, towering above him, her face wide with anger.
"What didn't I do now?" he sneered.
Bellatrix snorted, "Don't you talk to me like that. You should consider yourself lucky I'm even taking care of you." Draco rolled his eyes, but kept his mouth shut. The last thing he wanted right now was for his Aunt to take out some of her stress on him.
"What do you want again?" Draco asked. Bellatrix recoiled, surprised he didn't say anything smart like he usually did. She leaned down to his face level and pointed to the door of the cell, "I've decided to bring a friend for you to play with for a while. Just because I'm that nice."
"Come here boy!" She hissed.
Draco sat up in his bed and blinked rapidly, not believing what he was seeing. A tall, skinny redhead limped into the room, looking nervous and slightly relieved. "Weasley?" Draco whispered.
Bellatrix looked pleased with herself. "You both better start being good, or I won't be so nice next time." She walked out of the room and locked the door behind her.
Ron stood near the entrance, "They got you too?" He asked.
Draco nodded, quickly scrambling up. He wiped the dirt off of his shirt the best he could, "How long have you been here mate?"
Ron shrugged, "I have no idea, a month maybe."
Draco's misty blue eyes popped open. "What-how-what?"
Ron smiled, his bright blue eyes shone with amusement, "I don't remember. I fell asleep one night and woke up the next morning in this-this cell. I damn nearly died from fright."
Draco nodded, "Do you have any idea who took you?"
Ron shrugged, "I don't remember anything."
"Well then, someone has been walking around the school for the past month, pretending to be you. We didn't even know you were missing until the dance." Draco sighed and ran a hand through his knotted blond hair.
Ron took a cautious step forward, "What happened? Is everyone okay?"
Draco chuckled morosely, "I have no idea, the last time I saw anyone, they were riding their brooms away from the castle."
Ronald gulped, "What about Hermione?"
Draco didn't answer. He couldn't think of anything to say. He turned and looked outside his small window at the ocean. "She fine, I hope. I told Harry to keep watch on her."
"Do you have any idea where we are?" Ron asked, limping towards the window, "You got a window in here?"
He looked out the window and smiled, "I haven't looked outside in so long."
Draco pointed to Ron's legs, "What happened to you?" Ron turned around and looked down, as if he had just noticed the injury. "Oh, this?" He looked up, "Bellatrix decided to be nice one day and let her dogs play with me."
There was a distinct bang upstairs. Footsteps neared the two, stopping in front of the cell, "I see Bellatrix finally let you two see each other."
Ron glared Skye, "What are you doing here?"
Draco laughed, "Oh, haven't you seen the woman responsible for it all?"
Skye lifted her hands up, "I'm not down here to fight, I want to talk to you both, together."
"Why?" They asked at the same time.
Skye gave them a serious look, "Because," she lowered he voice, "I need your help."
"What makes you think we're going to help you?" Draco hissed, the revulsion he felt making him want to puke.
Skye smiled, "Because I know things you don't. And I also-," She pulled two red apples out of her cloak pocket, "-have food."
You could hear the gurgle of Ron's stomach begging for the apple echo in the cell.
"How do I know those aren't poisoned?" Draco asked, glaring at her. Skye shrugged, "You don't, but why would I try to kill my tickets out of here?"
She tossed one of the apples to Ron, who caught it eagerly and nearly ate the whole thing in one bite. "So, Dracy, are you going to accept?"
Draco sighed and held out a hand. Skye smiled with pleasure and tossed him the other apple.
"So," Ron asked with a full mouth, "What'reyoudoinher?"
Skye rolled her beautiful blue eyes, "I don't want to be here, I'm a prisoner just like the both of you."
Draco growled, "A prisoner that gets a bed to sleep on and three meals a day?"
Skye crossed her arms, "I just fed you Draco, shut it."
"What do you know?" Ron asked, oblivious to the tension.
Skye smiled deviously, "I've been to every Death Eater meeting for the past two months. I know everything. I know where Hermione and the others are right now. I know when The Dark Lord plans on attacking. I know where some of the other prisoners are being held. I know where your mother and father are buried Draco." She leaned against the wall facing them and tilted her head, "So, what's the plan?"
The boys looked at each other. Ron's cheeks were sticking out so far he looked like a Squirrel storing nuts for winter. "What do you mean?" Draco asked slowly.
Skye slapped her forehead, "I mean, how are we going to bust out of here!?"
Hermione wanted to do nothing more then jump on a broomstick right now, despite her horrible fear of heights and fly away. So far away that no one would ever find her again and she would have the freedom to cry her heart out.
As she sat at the dinner table, between Harry and Ginny, she knew that everyone felt the same; in some way anyway. Dobby sat at the head of the table, looking at everybody with wide eyes, waiting for someone to comment on the meal he'd spent four hours cooking.
Harry stirred his hot soup and stared into it as if it held the answers to his problems. Ginny sat, whispering something angrily to Pansy. Luna and Blaise sat on the other side, staring off into space. Dobby cleared his scratchy voice,
"So, does everyone like Dobby's soup? It's an old Malfoy recipe.
Hermione pinched Harry's elbow and he looked up in surprise, "Oh...yes....Dobby, its lovely, thank you."
"So how long are we to be staying here Dobby?" Ginny asked. Dobby looked at Ginny, thankful she broke the silence, "You all is welcome to stay with Dobby as long as you'd like." Ginny nodded, then took a sip of her soup. Her warm brown eyes grew, "Oh Dobby, this is lovely!" Dobby looked so pleased with himself it made even Pansy grin.
"Master Harry, are you enjoying Dobby's house so far?"
Again, Hermione pinched his arm.
Harry looked at Dobby and nodded, "Its wonderful, Dobby."
"What about you Miss. Hermione, does you love Dobby's house?"
Hermione nodded politely, "You really keep it clean."
"Yes, Dobby tries. And does you like the room? Dobby picked it out just for you."
Everyone stared at Hermione, waiting for the tears.
Hermione blushed, "Its perfect, Dobby."
After dinner, Hermione and Ginny helped Dobby clean up. The two girls stood in front of the huge kitchen sink, scrubbing plates. "So, how are you holding up?" Ginny asked nervously.
Hermione nodded, "I'm okay," she lied.
Ginny nodded, knowing how she felt. "You just have to tell yourself they're okay, because its the truth. Don't you trust Ron and Draco well enough to know that they can take care of themselves?"
Hermione didn't answer.
Once they were finished, Hermione passed up a game of Wizard's Chess with Harry in the living room, saying she was too tired. She trudged up the two floors of stairs to her room, not even thinking of where she was going. All she wanted to do was to curl herself up in bed and leave this nightmare that was her life.
She stopped in front of her door, resting her fingers on the handle. Did she really want to sleep in this room?
She didn't have any time to think, because the door swung open on its own. Luna stood on the other side, her eyes blazing. "Hermione," She said with a violent edge to her voice, "What are you doing up here?" Hermione smiled nervously, "I wanted to go to sleep."
"Really?" She sounded like she didn't believe her, "Are you sure?" Hermione knitted her eyebrows together, "This is my room isn't it?" Luna tilted her head and nodded. She pushed open the door for Hermione to go through.
"So you decided to switch with Blaise?" Hermione asked lightly, hoping that Luna didn't know her secret. Luna nodded leaning on the closed door as Hermione walked to her suitcases Dobby had brought up and took out a pair of pajamas.
She could feel Luna's eyes on her back, and turned around to find the sweet blonde glaring at her. "What!?" She asked, throwing her arms up.
Luna shook her head, "Nothing." She wrenched open the door and slammed it shut, leaving Hermione alone in the bedroom. The dull candle light coming from Draco's writing desk provided all the light she had.
Hermione quietly changed and pulled out a blanket from her bag, wrapping it around her body. She walked over to the sofa near the open bay window and lay down. Silent tears leaked out of her eyes as she gazed up at the Heavens. It was another moonless night.
The moon hadn't shone itself in so long. It was like armor had covered it up, hiding the light Hermione needed to find her way. The twinkling stars winked and shone at her. They were her only friends now.
Hermione sobbed as quietly as she could, hating herself. Luna knew the truth, Blaise must of told her. Now she was with one less friend. And Ronald and Draco were still God knows where, trapped, alone, and half-dead.
And Hermione was lying here on a sofa, waiting for someone to find them for her. She pulled the blankets over her head and wiped the tears off of her cheeks. She had only one chance; one chance to fix everything. She was tired of waiting for Draco and Ron. The only way she would be able to fall asleep without tears streaming down her face was to take matters into her own hands.
It was up to her.
Hermione awoke quietly out of a dreamless sleep. The sky was still as black as black could be, providing little light in Draco's room. She heard someone in the bed across the room wiggle around and smiled, at least Luna could stay in the room with her. Judging from the stillness outside she guessed it was around two o'clock in the morning. It was time.
She sat up and rolled her small blanket up into a ball, shoving it into her backpack she'd once used to carry around her school books in. She stood up from the couch and tip-toed across the room as quietly as possible. She arrived at her thrown open suitcase next to the closet and kneeled down, clutching her backpack close to her chest. Her fingers shook as she grabbed as much as she could, stuffing it into the already stuffed bag.
The house moaned underneath her and she gasped, fear rushing through her. She shook her head, "Don't freak out, its nothing." She whispered to herself. Luna rolled over on the bed above her. She stood back up and slung her backpack over her shoulder, still cautious with herself.
She walked over to the writing desk and pulled out a peice of parchment one of the drawers. She couldn't just leave without explaining where and what she was doing.
I'm so sorry if I've frightened any of you with my disapearance. I had no intention of hurting you, but I cannot wait any longer for them. Every moment we've wasted might have been the last moment we had to save them both. Please don't look for me, for you will not find me. I promise you I can do this myself, and I will do this myself.
I love you all so dearly,
She paused for a split second and looked around,
P.S. Dobby, I really loved my room. Thank you again for it.
She rolled up the scroll quickly and walked over to Luna's bed. A part of her wanted to wake her up and beg her to come along, but she knew that was too unsafe. She needn't another life ending being hung on her shoulders. Instead she leanded over the bed and hugged her blond friend tightly, not looking her straight on. She didn't want to start crying again.
She slipped out of the room silently and crept down the dark spiral stairway. Each step brought her one step forward to her destiny and one step away from her safe house. But she knew this was the only way. She couldn't rest another minute until she made everything right again.
As she reached the bottom stair, a sound floated over towards her that both shocked and intrugued her at the same time. It was a piano playing. The melody was sweet and soft and as soothing as could be. Dispite her fear, her body melted with the sound. It made everything seem so silly and far away.
She found herself walking towards it, into one of the long, dark hallways, and ending up in the front Living Room. The doors were cracked open, with a small beam of candle light flickering through. She dropped her backpack, it hit silently onto the hardwood floors. She put her palms onto the door and leaned forward, looking through the crack to see who was making such beautiful music.
The room was lit dully by a small wax candle onto of the black piano in the far corner of the room. She struggled to see who it was behind the piano, but the candle's light was blocking her veiw. She sighed, looking away and to the front door on her right. She could leave right now and nobody would ever suspect her gone until it was too late. Or she could see who was in the room. She had guess who it was...
The song suddenly ended with a bang. She jumped as whomever was in there banged their fists onto the keys, making harsh noises with the notes. "Bloody hell," a man moaned. Hermione frowned, it was who she thought it was. She reached forward halfheartedly and opened the doors. Blaise hadn't noticed her as she slipped through the doors, forgetting her backpack at the foot of the room.
She walked quietly over to the sofa near the extinguished fireplace and sat down. Blaise had his back to her, his head rested on his hands. He sighed repeatedly and muttered to himself. Hermion bit her lip, maybe she should just sneak back out? She didn't want to interupt whatever he was going through. She stood up and tip-toed back to the doors.
"Why are you in here Hermione?" he asked with a small voice. Goosebumps jumped up all over her skin, "I was wondering tha same thing Blaise." She heard him stand up and close the mouth of the piano, "Why is your bag packed?" Hermione sighed, "I'm going after them Blaise, and theres nothing you can do to stop me."
"I don't want to stop you, I want to come with you."
"No, I'm doing this alone." She bent down at and picked up her backpack. "Please...stop hating me Hermione, I'm sorry for what happened, but you have to get over it! The only way you're going to be able to become even close to helping them is if you stop blaming yourself! Its not your fault," he paused and took a few steps forward, "You know as well as I it isn't your fault. You have to stop, for Draco. You're going to kill yourself with all this guilt you've been feeling."
Tears leaked from his eyes, surprising her, "You are one of the smartest, sweetest, and kindest girls I've ever met. Someone like that does not deserve to have negative thoughts about themself in their head."
"Thank you," Hermione whispered, her voice cracked. Blaise smiled and then bent over behind the sofa she'd been sitting at and picked up a backpack of his own. "I'd known it was only a matter of time before you tried to book it out of here. Mind if I join you?"