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The Hard Life by killthatrat
Chapter 44 : Chapter 44 Getting it Right
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 22

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A/N Hello everyone!

Okay to start off, some have been requesting to find out how Harry is doing, so I have included a scene with him...yay

Secondly, I get the feeling that you will all love the god i hope you do!

Thirdly, don't worry, this story is far from over, it will get a proper ending.....but not for a while!

Thanks for reading!

Ginny lay in her bed at Grimmauld Place, listening to Hermione’s rhythmic breathing from across the room. Sighing with frustration, she rolled over onto her side, looking out the window beside her bed. She had gone to bed hours ago, not keen on letting herself fall asleep after the nightmares she experienced the previous night. She remembered how terrified she had been when she had woken up, even though she knew it was only a dream. For a moment she wished her mother had allowed her another sleeping potion, but knew she would probably sleep through most of tomorrow morning.

She raised her arm in front of her, the moonlight streaming through the window lighting it up in the dark. She looked at the green and blue bruise, the only injury she had received, despite being subjected to the Cruciatus curse. Not caring that it hurt like hell, she pressed it, wincing as the pain seemed to shoot straight to her shoulder. She wiggled her fingers for a moment, before throwing back her bed sheets in frustration.

Ginny sat up and swung her legs around the side of the bed, standing up quietly so that she didn’t disturb Hermione. She tip toed over to the door and listened carefully, knowing that her mother had a habit of wandering the hallways lately. When she heard nothing she opened the door hesitantly and slipped out into the dark hall way. She paused for a few moments, allowing her eyes to adjust to the darkness. She quietly walked up the hallway and ascended the staircase to the third floor, stopping outside of Ron’s room.

She raised her hand to the door knob, hesitation as she wondered whether or not she should go in. she thought back to the times when she had snuck into his room during the night when they were both children. He had always glared at her for waking him up, but had never failed to pull back the covers, inviting her to squeeze in next to him for the night.

She bit her lip as she gently opened his bedroom door and poked her head in, hearing his loud snores with relief. She slipped inside the door, her heart jumping as it creaked loudly when she shut it. She paused for just a moment before approaching the large lump that lay underneath the covers. She sat on the edge and slipped her hand underneath, feeling around for the mop of hair that was somewhere under there. Finding his head she unceremoniously shook him awake, pulling back the covers as she did so.

“Ron,” she hissed. “Wake up you great lump.” She shook him again, smiling with satisfaction as he suddenly raised his head, his eyes blinking furiously as he struggled to comprehend what had woken him at such a late hour. He slowly focused on her face, staring at her in confusion for a few moments before glaring as she knew he would.

“What?” he said exasperated. “What?”

She smiled hesitantly before answering. “I can’t sleep.”

Ron stared at her in confusion, taking a moment for him to remember what they had done in their childhood, to understand what she was implying.

“Well,” he said, his voice still heavy with sleep as he pulled back the covers and scooted over a little. “You better get in.”

She slipped in beside him, smiling as she felt the warmth underneath the covers. They settled in and got comfortable, Ginny silently thanking Merlin that it was a double bed. They may have been able to fit in Ron’s single bed as children, but wouldn’t have managed it now.

“Happy birthday, by the way,” Ron said sleepily

Ginny glared at him before replying. “Are you being sarcastic?”

“Well,” Ron mumbled to himself. “Why can’t you sleep?” he added.

Ginny shrugged before answering, not wanting to reveal the real reason. “Dunno. A lot on my mind, I guess.”

They fell silent, neither of them having a lot to say. Ginny watched her brother for a moment, remembering how close they had been as children. She briefly wondered when exactly they had begun growing apart, then recalled the day Ron had received his Hogwarts letter. She could clearly remember the conflicting feelings of joy for her brother, and jealousy that he would be going without her.

“Hey,” Ginny whispered, gaining Ron’s attention. “Where did Tonks go tonight?”

“What do you mean?” Ron muttered, not even bothering to open his eyes.

“She left half way through dinner.”

“Mmm,” Ron murmured. “Remus said she got called into work.”

Ginny frowned, raising her head off the pillow slightly. “Do you think it was Harry?”

“No,” Ron replied after a moments consideration. “They would have said something.”

“I suppose,” Ginny replied, laying her head back onto the pillow. She shifted position slightly, resting her hand next to her stomach. She was thoroughly surprised when Ron reached out towards her, grasping her hand inside his own, squeezing it firmly for a moment.

Ginny smiled as she began speaking. “Do you think they’re any closer to finding Harry?”

Ron shrugged his shoulders, not answering. A sudden burst of anger filled Ginny as she recalled her ordeal, the look on Harry’s face when he saw her seemed to be burned into her memory. She pulled her hand from Ron’s grasp and sat up suddenly, startling Ron as her anger got the best of her.

“What’s wrong?” Ron asked, sitting up also.

Ginny said nothing for a moment, her jaw set in a firm line as she forced the image of Harry’s battered body from her mind’s eye. “Damn it,” she muttered, burying her head in her hands so that Ron would not see her face.

“What?” Ron asked, putting his hand on her shoulder.

Ginny could feel the tears threatening to fall, but she held them back, refusing to allow herself to cry. “Why is it always him?” she asked through her hands. “Hasn’t he got enough to deal with?”

Ron didn’t know how to answer her, having never been the type of person who was good with words. He rubbed her shoulder awkwardly, hoping to Merlin that he didn’t say anything stupid.

“Is that why you couldn’t sleep?” he asked. “You were thinking about Harry.”

Ginny nodded as she drew in a shuddering breath, lifting her head from her hands and awkwardly staring at the bed. They sat in silence for a few moments, neither of them knowing what to say to each other. Still staring at the bed, Ginny felt a tear fall from her eye, rolling down her cheek. She reached up to wipe it from her face as more began flowing freely from her eyes.

“Have you been having nightmares?” she asked, her voice thick and heavy with sadness.

“One, or two,” Ron muttered.

“They’re horrible,” Ginny said, not completely believing that she was bearing her soul to her brother like this. “I’m so sick of them.”

Ron nodded, pondering whether or not he should ask the question that he had been burning to ask. “When they took you, you saw Harry, right?”

Ginny nodded silently, knowing where Ron was going with this. Wiping her face with her hand, she waited for him to continue.

“It’s just,” he began nervously, not entirely sure of how to say this sensitively. “I heard Remus saying that you think he’s dead.”

Unable to look her brother in the eye, Ginny looked down at the bed again before answering. “I don’t know,” she muttered, her voice threatening to give out on her. “I heard the curse.”

“Well, what one did you hear?” Ron said hopefully. “It might have been the wrong one.”
Ginny shrugged, not wanting to weigh Ron down with this.

“What did you hear?” Ron said, almost urgently. “Gin,”

“I’m going back to bed,” Ginny whispered as she stood up. Not wanting her to leave just yet Ron grabbed her hand, trying to pull her back.

“I’m sorry,” he said quickly. “I’ll shut up.”

“No, it’s okay,” she lied as she pulled her hand from his grasp and headed for the door. “I should get some sleep anyway.”

“Alright,” Ron said softly as Ginny left, closing the door behind her. He stayed sitting for a few minutes, his mind seemed to be blissfully blank before he lay back down for another night of restless sleep.

Harry could feel himself slowly waking up, but did nothing to speed up the process. His chest felt unusually heavy, the gag in his mouth significantly restricting his breathing as he tried to ignore the pain that wracked his body. He breathed slowly for a few minutes, feeling himself coming around. He tried to move, but stopped immediately, groaning softly as a wave of intense pain flashed through his muscles. He clenched his jaws together as the pain slowly ebbed away, leaving him feeling weaker than ever. He vaguely noted that he was still lying on his side, having not moved since he had fallen unconscious.

He heard the door open, footsteps echoing around the room as Harry’s heart sank. He simply did not have the energy or strength to resist Voldemort any longer.

“What’s the problem, Rookwood?” Snape quietly said to the Death Eater that Harry had not noticed. “Why did you call me?”

“He’s waking up,” Rookwood replied. There was silence for a few moments as Snape stared at the boy lying on the cold floor. He knew that Voldemort wanted Potter unconscious, but was wary of continually drugging him.

Snape sighed with frustration, torn between Voldemort’s orders and his allegiance to Dumbledore. “Leave us,” he said sharply to Rookwood, who didn’t move.

“I’m guarding him,” he replied sternly.

“Does it look like I care?” Snape snapped. Rookwood hesitated, but swiftly left, closing the door behind him.

Harry’s heart pounded fiercely as he heard Snape approaching, unsuccessfully withholding a groan of pain as Snape rolled him over to his back. Snape clenched his fists in the neck of Harry’s shirt, roughly pulling him up to sit against the wall. Harry groaned again as dizziness washed through his head, clenching his eyes and jaws shut at the incredible pain.

Snape crouched down to his level, and suddenly reached towards his face. Too weak to hide his fear, Harry flinched openly, his whole body rigid, anticipating a blow at any moment. Seeing this, Snape hesitated, staring into Harry’s emerald eyes as though he had never seen them before. He quickly pulled himself together and reached behind Harry’s head, untying the knot that held the gag in place.

He threw the material aside as Harry breathed in gratefully. Snape carefully studied Harry, who had looked away, refusing to meet his eye again. Harry flinched again as Snape reached his hand forward again, wrapping it around his throat almost gently. Snape could feel the apprehension in the boy’s body as he pressed his thumb firmly into the side of his neck, feeling his rapid pulse before releasing him and pressing the back of his hand to Harry’s forehead. He could clearly feel the high temperature of his skin, despite the cold sweat that covered his body.

“What day is it?” Harry asked softly as Snape removed his hand.

“It’s Thursday afternoon,” Snape replied after a moment of hesitation. “Are you in any pain?”

“Merlin,” Harry cursed. “What the hell do you think?”

Snape did not reply, noticing for the first time Harry’s shallow breathing, and the blue colour of his lips. It was difficult to tell the colour of his skin through the bruises on his face, but he knew that he would have been quite pale. Ignoring his own concerns he reached into his robes and withdrew a small vial of purple potion and pulled the stopper.

He placed his hand behind Harry’s head, holding him steady as he brought the Sleeping Potion towards his lips. “Drink this.”

His hatred for Snape seemed to cloud his judgement, and Harry shook his head defiantly, his lips firmly closed.

“Drink it, or I will make you,” Snape said firmly, clenching his fists in Harry’s hair painfully. Harry shook his head again, almost sneering at Snape, even though he knew he wouldn’t win.

Snape glared at him before calling out for Rookwood. Snape looked at him as he entered the room and nodded, an unknown communication passing between the two of them.

Rookwood crossed the room quickly, swiftly kicking Harry in the ribs. Harry cried out in pain through his clenched jaws, unable to hold back. Snape grasped him firmly by his tattered shirt as Rookwood clenched his fingers through his hair, throwing his head hard against the wall behind him. Stars danced before Harry’s eyes as the Death Eater repeated this, finally relenting a few moments later as he took hold of his jaw, wrenching it open forcefully.

Snape seized the opportunity and poured a large mouthful of the potion into Harry’s mouth. Snape quickly blocked off his mouth and nose, making it impossible for him to breathe as Rookwood slammed his head against the wall again. His mind cloudy, Harry automatically swallowed the potion, which immediately began taking effect. Harry barely felt it as they let him go, Snape tying up the gag before pushing him back to the ground.

“What’s got you so worried?” Rookwood asked Snape, the two men watching as Harry quickly fell unconscious again.

Snape said nothing for a moment, but realised he would need to explain why he had taken so long. “I don’t think he’s well,” he said truthfully, turning on the spot to leave.

Rookwood scoffed as Snape left. “No shit.”

Snape ignored his words as he left the room, passing the second Death Eater that was guarding the entrance to the room. He swiftly ascended the spiral staircase, wanting to make a quick exit before he was stopped. He reached the ground floor and pushed the heavy oak doors open. Stepping outside he made his way through the over grown grounds of the Riddle Mansion, looking for a place that he could hide. Finding a spot amidst a large and untamed bush, he concealed himself and waited, hoping to Merlin that the Aurors would come that night.

Rain fell gently, the clouds above the Aurors threatening a heavier downpour. Tonks sighed, ignoring the pain in her knees from crouching in the dense foliage. She kept her eyes fixated in the house on the hill above her, unable to see very clearly throughout the heavy fog that the rain had brought with it. The sun was quickly setting, basking the hidden Aurors in orange light. Had she not been so focused on the task at hand Tonks would have enjoyed watching the sun set, perhaps leaning into Remus’ strong embrace with a glass of chardonnay.

Tonks quickly checked her watch, noting that it was almost seven o’clock, the time when Robbins said that the wards would come down. Tonks looked back at the house, which seemed quite deserted, yet could not deny the strong reaction that the secrecy sensor had given. It had started vibrating the moment they had arrived, detecting the presence of concealment that not even Death Eaters could hide. Earlier that day they had questioned some of the people from Great Hangleton who knew the Riddle house. All had insisted that the house had been deserted for quite a number of years, adding to the unease that the Aurors felt about their mission.

She scanned the area surrounding the house and its vast grounds, trying to spot the other Aurors as she wondered how she had been allowed on this rescue mission, considering that she knew the victim personally. Kingsley had explained to her that if Harry was conscious, they would need someone he knew to keep him calm, yet this did nothing to answer her questions.

“Can you see anything, Alastor?” Kingsley said over the ear pieces that they were all wearing.

“No,” Mad-Eye replied, carefully watching the house using his magical eye. “Still deserted.”

Tonks frowned as she checked her watch again, seeing that it had just passed seven o’clock. She looked down at her hands, her heart falling as her hope faded. She knew that Robbins’ confession could possibly be fake, but there was no denying the messages that Harry had sent, so she had not allowed herself to consider that it was a dead lead. She shook her head gently, trying to come to terms with this possibility as Mad-Eye spoke again.

“I see something.”

Tonks looked up sharply, her heart soaring with anticipation as she looked through the bushes at the house. It seemed unchanged and she was about to question Mad-Eye’s words when Quentin spoke through the ear pieces.

“He’s right,” he began. “The secrecy sensor stopped vibrating, the wards must be down.”

“What can you see, Mad-Eye?” Tonks asked as she readjusted herself onto her knees, peering at the house inquisitively. “Can you see him?”

There was no answer for a moment. “Looks like three people on the second floor,” he replied gruffly. “I can’t tell who they are. I need to get closer.”

There was silence for a few minutes, and Tonks knew that Mad-Eye was moving into a closer spot. She waited apprehensively, her heart pounding with anticipation and nerves. She looked at the top floor of the house, trying to see what Mad-Eye could, but was unable to see inside the boarded up windows.

“I can see Potter,” Mad-Eye said quietly. The Aurors waited nervously, knowing that he would continue when he was ready. “He’s on the top floor, being guarded by two Death Eaters.”

“Where are the Death Eaters, in relation to Potter?” Quentin asked.

“One is outside, the other inside the room with him.”

“How does he look?” Hadden asked.

“I can’t tell,” Mad-Eye replied, working to keep the frustration from his voice. “He’s on the ground. I don’t think he is conscious.”

There was silence as each of the Aurors processed this news. Tonks breathed a slow sigh of relief, knowing that the rescue would be much easier if he was unconscious, and as a bonus Harry wouldn’t remember a thing.

“It’s all clear,” Mad-Eye said. “You can start.”

Immediately, Tonks could feel her heart quicken, could feel the adrenaline that began pulsing through her veins at these words. Under the careful eyes of Mad-Eye she stood up slightly, moving out from behind the bush. She looked around for a few moments, planning her route as she saw another Auror in the corner of her eye, doing the same.

Her wand held ready by her side, Tonks began moving through the overgrown grounds as she approached the house. She could see the back door, and paused behind a large tree, watching as Kingsley arrived at the door before continuing. She reached the door just as Kingsley muttered “Alohamora.”

The lock clicked open and Tonks looked at Kingsley, raising her eyebrow as the other Aurors arrived. They knew that the door had opened too easily, but did not have the time to question it. Kingsley pushed the door open and the five of them entered.

Her wand by her side Tonks approached the back door, stopping momentarily to take cover behind a large tree as she saw Andrea Hadden just ahead of her.

Keeping low they hurried through the large living room, not noticing the dust that lay thick, even on the walls. The dying sunlight streamed through the boarded up windows, adding to the eerie tone that the house already gave. The Aurors slowly approached the spiral staircase and began climbing it, still slinking low to the ground.

“Keep going,” Mad-Eye’s voice whispered in their ears. “Everything is fine.”

Tonks was surprised that the other Aurors could not hear her heart beat, certain that it was considerably louder than normal. The breathed in deeply to calm her nerves as they slowed to a stop as Mad-Eye instructed them to do.

“You’re just out of sight,” Mad-Eye said. Tonks remained still as she watched Kingsley silently conversing the Jeremiah Quentin on the steps above her. Tonks could just understand what they were saying to each other, their hands skilfully speaking for them as Tonks and the other Aurors waited patiently.

Quentin turned to them and drew his thumb across his throat, indicating that they should do nothing. Nodding her head, Tonks watched them with admiration as Kingsley and Quentin jumped up, revealing themselves to the Death Eater guarding the door to where Harry was. Kingsley flicked his wand at the Death Eater, stunning him wordlessly as Quentin leapt forward and caught him under his arms. The two Aurors on the steps below Tonks stood up and rushed forward, taking the limp body between them.

They nodded at Kingsley as they carried the Death Eater down the stairs as quickly as they could. Tonks turned her head and watched them, suppressing a gasp of horror as the Death Eater’s hood fell away, revealing the face of Draco Malfoy. Tonks forced herself to concentrate, standing up cautiously as the others did the same.

“They’re out,” Mad-Eye said, referring to Quentin and the other Auror. “Kingsley, you going to have to ambush the Death Eater inside, when he’s not looking.”

“Okay,” Kingsley said, raising his wand to the door as he ushered Tonks to stand against the wall, keeping her out of the way danger. “Tell me when, Mad-Eye.”

There was all quiet for a few moments, the seconds dragging on forever as Tonks stood against the wall, knowing that Harry was inside that room, mere feet away from her. Her heart seemed to leap into her throat as Kingsley suddenly swore underneath his breath.

“What is it?” Mad-Eye asked, his voice sounding almost impatient.

“The door is cursed,” Kingsley whispered, half amazed that his voice could be heard so clearly by the others. “I’ll give us all away by removing the curse.”

Tonks’ heart plummeted, but kept her focus. She knew Kingsley was right. He would have to take the curse off the door first, which would alert the Death Eater inside to their presence, and Merlin knows what he could do to Harry in that split second.

“What should I do, Mad-Eye?” Kingsley said, his voice sounding surprisingly calm.

“You have to get him, to come out,” Mad-Eye said after a moment hesitation. “Get him to open it.”

“How,” Kingsley muttered, looking to the ground as he crouched down. Tonks could practically see the wheels turning inside Kingsley’s head, but could not help but remember the words her mother would always say to her when she had a problem. “Dora, the worst problems usually have the simplest answers.”

“Knock,” Tonks whispered, hardly believing that she had said it. “Just knock on the door.”

Kingsley’s head snapped up, the whites of his wide eyes standing out brightly against his dark skin. He stared at her incredulously for a moment, doubt and ridicule racing through his mind. He almost reprimanded her for not taking this seriously, before realisation rushed through him.

“That could actually work.”

“Are you kidding?” Quentin asked.

“No,” Kingsley replied decisively. “Mad-Eye, can you see who it is?”

Mad-Eye said nothing for a few moments as he looked through the mask that the Death Eater wore. “It’s Augustus Rookwood.”

“Okay,” Kingsley replied. “Tell me when he comes to the door.”

“Well do it then,” Mad-Eye replied gruffly.

Kingsley stood up as Quentin backed away to the wall, standing next to Tonks. Kingsley raised his fist to the door, ready to knock as he pointed his wand to his throat. He knocked on the door loudly, his voice sounding considerably different when he spoke.

“Rookwood,” he began. “Open the door.”

Kingsley crouched back down on the ground, his wand pointed at the door.

“He’s hesitating,” Mad-Eye said, and then after a moment continued. “He’s coming now.”

Tonks clenched her teeth together, a terrible habit she had gotten into when nervous or anticipated. The door opened slowly, and Kingsley acted in the split second that Rookwood wasn’t watching properly, jumping up and stunning him, not bothering to keep their presence hidden.

Tonks’ heart soared as she heard the Death Eater hit the ground with a large thud. She entered the dark room just as Quentin and Kingsley were dragging the lifeless body off to the side. She lit her wand and it quickly illuminated the room. She gasped softly as she saw Harry.

She stood motionless for a moment, appalled at his condition. She could see his hands tied tightly behind his back, which was caked heavily with dried blood. His shirt lay in tatters around his torso, revealing the many wounds on his back and arms. Pushing this all aside, Tonks approached him gently and knelt down, placing her hand on his shoulder.

“Harry?” she said quietly, not wanting to frighten him if he suddenly woke up. “Harry, it’s Tonks. Can you hear me?”

She felt the presence of Quentin by her side as she gently rolled Harry over to his back. Quentin swore under his breath as she did so, crouching down to remove the gag from Harry’s mouth.

“Can he be moved?” Quentin asked as he flicked his wand at the rope around Harry’s wrists, watching as they untied themselves and fell slack against his hands.

“We don’t have a choice,” Kingsley muttered as he peered at the boarded up window, his wand still pointed at Rookwood who lay on the ground, unconscious and tightly bound. Tonks nodded as she pressed her hand against his neck, feeling his thready pulse. “How is he?” Kingsley asked.

“He’s unconscious,” Tonks began as she leant her head down to his wounded chest, listening to the depth of his breathing. “Slow pulse, his breathing is pretty shallow.”

“He’s got some pretty bad wounds, but they’re not bleeding,” Quentin added. Tonks looked down at Harry’s face, feeling the dried blood at the back of his head.

“Got a nasty head wound,” she said as she looked closer. She suddenly noticed how cold he felt, the blue colour of his lips, the goose bumps that had erupted on his skin. She looked down at him concerned, still not completely believing the state that he was in.

“Get out of there!” Mad Eye’s voice abruptly pulled her from her thoughts. “There’s Death Eaters in the grounds.”

Kingsley swore, not bothering to hide it under his breath. “Rookwood must have pressed the Dark Mark somehow.”

“Who cares?” Quentin said as he immediately pulled Harry into his arms, standing up slowly. “We have to get out of here.”

Immediately Kingsley removed his wand from Rookwood and pointed it at one of the boarded up windows, blasting the wooden boards clean away.

“Mad-Eye, you gotta help us out,” he said.

“Jump,” Mad-Eye said simply. “Jump from the window, I’ve got you covered.”

Kingsley nodded and turned to Tonks. “You go first, create a diversion and then cover Quentin.”

Tonks nodded and approached the window, and stuck her head out the large window, looking out into the grounds. Seeing no Death Eaters, she hoisted herself up onto the window sill and didn’t hesitate before jumping.

Weightlessness engulfed her, and the ground seemed to loom up before her far too quickly before Mad-Eye stopped her in midair, about three feet from the ground. He released her from the charm and she fell to the ground in a heap, and pulled herself up, crouching on the ground against the house as she felt around in her pockets. She pulled out a small flat disc just as she noticed a masked Death Eater heading their way. Concealing herself somewhat behind a bush she threw the disc as hard as she could, and watched through the bush as it propelled itself around to the other side of the house. There was a large explosion that seemed to rattle the boarded windows as she activated it, and the Death Eater immediately turned and ran towards it.

She looked up at the window as Quentin also jumped out, holding Harry awkwardly in his arms. He landed on the ground much more gracefully, and they both quickly moved out of the way as Kingsley jumped, landing in between them.

“Is he okay?” Kingsley asked quickly, knowing they had little time.

“No,” Quentin replied, adjusting Harry in his arms. “Let’s go.”

“Cover for us Tonks,” Kingsley said turning to her. “Then follow.”

She nodded as they two of them took off running, Kingsley guarding them as Quentin could not. She remained where she was for a few moments before she too, took off running under Mad-Eyes careful instructions. Suddenly lightning pierced through the sky which had quickly turned black. A bolt of bright green hit the ground ahead of her, and knowing exactly what is was Tonks threw herself behind the nearest tree. Collecting herself she began running again, trying her best to stay under the cover of the overgrown garden.

She could hear yelling from behind her as more killing curses were sent her way, but she ignored it all and kept running as she saw Quentin and Kingsley entering the cover of the thick forest that surrounded the grounds. She soon reached the forest and heard two loud cracks as the others apparated away. Suddenly she was hit with a painful curse and she fell to the ground with a loud cry. She rolled over onto her back, her wand held in front of her as she pulled herself to her feet and began running again. A rustling in the bushes made her stop running, and she pointed her wand at it. The figure moved again, confirming her suspicions that it was human.

“Come out where I can see you,” Tonks demanded, knowing that she could not simply stun them and run.

The figure moved towards her, and tightened the grip on her wand as she saw that it was a Death Eater. They slowly waved their hand in front of their mask, making it melt away and pulled back their hood. Tonk’s jaw dropped open as she saw the face of Severus Snape. Getting over her shock in an instant, she didn’t hesitate to draw her wand back. She opened her mouth ready to stun him, but he was faster.

“Expelliarmus!” Snape cried as Tonks felt her wand being pulled from her tight grip before she could defend herself. He dropped it to the ground and it lay there taunting her; her only chance of escape lying at the foot of Dumbledore's murderer.

“Don’t be an idiot,” he continued nastily. “You wouldn’t last a minute against me.”

Tonks replied with a slew of things that she would never say in front of her mother, despite knowing that she should have begun running moments ago. Snape seemed to shake his head as he flicked his wand at her, an invisible force throwing her against the nearest tree, pinning her there.

“Would you like me to take you to the Dark Lord?” Snape asked as he approached her, peering into her face. “If you do, by all means, continue.”

“Fine!” Tonks snapped. “Take me to him, I’ve done my job.”

“What job is that?”

Tonks scoffed at him. “Surely even you heard the commotion. Harry’s free.”

Snape stared at her, his face twisted into a strange expression. He continued staring at her for a few more moments before speaking; his words confused Tonks beyond belief.

“Tell St Mungos’, that he has been given heavy doses of Drognize Draught. He should be able to sleep it off, but if there are problems give him Noigerts to counter any side effects.”

“What?” Tonks replied incredulously as Snape stepped back from her, releasing her from the curse.

“Go,” he ordered her as he began walking away.

She remained where she was, stunned at what he had said.

“Are you dim?” he roared when he turned around and found her still there. “Go!”

Tonks raced forward and picked up her wand from the ground. She took off running as soon as Snape was out of sight. Her head was full with confusion as she reached the apparition point and she was almost too confused to think straight when apparating. Forcing herself to concentrate, she apparated to the secure place in St Mungos where they had been told to meet up. Immediately she was pounced upon by Kingsley.

“What took you so long?” he said, concern written across his face. “What happened?”

“I couldn’t find the apparition point,” she said, not knowing why she had lied. She looked past him to where Harry was being lay down on a bed in the Emergency Department, Healers already swarming around his unconscious form.

Kingsley nodded slowly, not seeing past her lie. “Good work today, Tonks,” he said, patting her on the back slightly. “Now go home and get some sleep.”

Tonks said nothing at this, instead continued watching as Healers buzzed around Harry on the bed until one of them closed the curtain, blocking the view for everyone. She barely noticed as Kingsley left, and didn’t even wonder what had happened to Quentin. The full impact of what had happen suddenly hit her, and she was overwhelmed with a mixture of emotion. Elation that Harry was finally safe, and horror at what he had been through.

She shook her head to herself, knowing that she should probably go to Grimmauld Place. She wondered briefly whether or not Sirius knew yet, but cleared this all from her head as she saw a Healer exit the cubicle that Harry was in. There was one more thing she had to do before she could relax. As they headed her way she grabbed the man’s arm as he walked past.

“There is something you should know,” she said. 

A/N Big thank you to Rachel, who is my official 'Plot Bunny Advisor.' Rachel is a great help to me, and much of this chapter has been written under her careful guidance.

Big thanks also, to my beta reader, Azhure Leigh, who picks up all my SPaG mistakes, and helps out with sentence structure. She hasn't seen this chapter yet, but I will re-update if she has any corrections. 

Thanks so much for reading!

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