Chapter 9 : A Startling Revelation
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Hermione had decided to head back towards the old, abandoned house that Draco and Narcissa had been living in, just in case Draco had decided to venture back to his home. As the house came into view, her eyes widened as she saw many dark moving shadows whisking across the ground, and entering the house. The windows were lit with a silver glow, clearly indicating that a magical fire had been lit in the old wood-burning stove. Once the last Death Eater entered the home, Hermione squatted down onto the ground, ready to pounce on Draco if he happened to come wandering into the yard of the home.
A long time had passed, and though Hermione was extremely apprehensive, she found herself becoming nonetheless bored in the darkness. She looked down at her feet from her squatting position, and began to toy with her shoelaces. That is, until she heard the thumping of footsteps on the stone path that lead up to the porch of the house.
Hermione glanced up, and recognized the platinum hair shining in the moonlight as Draco’s, and tore after him, trying not to shout out for fear of being overheard by the ravenous crowd of evildoers.
Just before he managed to place one foot on the front step of the porch, Hermione slapped a hand over his mouth so he would not yell out, and leapt onto his back to push him down to the ground. Unfortunately, she wasn’t as strong as he was, and took a blow on the side of the head as he swung his fist around to protect himself. Hermione fell to the ground, clenching her teeth to prevent herself from moaning in pain.
“Oh my god!” said Draco with a fearful gasp as he reached out towards her as though asking her for forgiveness. Hermione, despite the immense amount of throbbing aches that pounded at her skull, leapt up from the ground, and slapped a hand over his face.
“Shush,” she whispered, “We’ve got to get out of here. Don’t make a sound.”
Clutching the side of her head, she grabbed Draco by the wrist, and pulled him back towards the thickness of the trees. But then, she felt her heart skip a beat as the sound of a creaking door opened not far behind them. She fell to the ground, and made Draco do the same. The gathering was over, and the Death Eaters were beginning to file out of the house. Hermione held her breath as she lifted her head to see how much farther they had to go to reach the forest. Realizing that they were three-fourths of the way there, she began to slither along the grass on her belly, while Draco followed close at her side. She heard voices so close behind them that she thought that they were walking straight towards the direction they were going in. This prediction was right.
Once they both had slid into the forest she stood up, and attempted to run. Draco grabbed the back of her shirt and shook his head. He put his lips by her ear and whispered, “Too loud.”
Frantic with terror, Hermione searched around them, urgently probing for a route of escape. A large tree with many low branches caught her attention, and she pulled Draco towards it, and began to climb immediately.
Just as they both had made it to the top, a group of four Death Eaters stood below the tree in a deep conversation. Hermione strained her ears to hear it:
“So, it’s settled then, is it? We’re going to begin our attack in a few days?”
“Yes Crabbe. That’s what the Dark Lord has presented to us this evening, isn’t it?”
“But Lucius, so soon? We don’t nearly have enough followers to fight against the Ministry—”
Hermione looked towards Draco with an open mouth. Lucius was out of Azkaban, and at this revelation, Draco’s face wore an expression of lividness.
“Noxx! I am ashamed at you for doubting the Dark Lord’s intuition!”
“It’s not as though his intuition has been so great in the past…”
“CRUCIO!” said the booming voice of Lucius, as the painful shrieks of Noxx echoed into the night. Hermione clenched her eyes shut, almost feeling the pain of the tortured man.
“How can you speak of our Master in such a manner!” came the outraged voice of Draco’s father, “After all he has done for us, and his forgiveness for us leaving him in his time of need! If I ever hear you utter one more word against him, I swear upon my grave that I will kill you before any more of such filth dares to leak out of your mouth! Now get a move on! I don’t want to hang around here all night!”
Both Draco and Hermione stood frozen amongst the thick branches of the tree, until they were positive that the men had left.
A/N: Hey guys! I thought that I’d get another chapter up tonight because I have to work tomorrow night. Thursday I will hopefully get another up, but definitely Saturday another will be posted. A thousand thanks for the wonderful reviews! Love you all!
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