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Crimson Darkness by Fainpathe
Chapter 17 : Aftermath
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 21


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We arrived in front of Tom’s manor and he half carried me through the front door, up a staircase and into a dusty room that obviously been vacant for years. He held up a hand in the direction of the bed and the dust disappeared. He guided me to the bed and eased me down onto it, and I hunched over and cradled my head in my hands; apparating had caused the pain to double. I felt like my brain was repeatedly slamming itself into the sides of my cranium, or perhaps swelling so much that my skull would soon crack under the pressure. “Where does it hurt?” he asked quietly, and I felt him sit down beside me.

I swallowed hard and suppressed the urge to wretch. “My – head,” I choked out, pulling my hair helplessly.

“Here,” he said. “Lean against the headboard and take your hands away. Let me see.” 

“There’s nothing to see,” I gasped, complying with his request nonetheless. “It’s from Matthew, he forced me to use my gift too much I think,” I continued, leaning my head back against the wall and closing my eyes as the room started to spin.

I vaguely felt him straddle my legs and then gasped as his cool hands cupped my cheeks. “Open your eyes,” commanded softly and I did, only to find his face inches from mine. It was clear for an instant, but then my vision swam and a wave of nausea washed over me and I had to shut my eyes again with a grimace. His hands moved upwards and he threaded his fingers through my hair and pressed his palms to my pounding skull. Slowly, the pain dulled and the nausea ceased, and I was able to open my eyes. “Better?” he whispered, and his breath tickled the bridge of my nose.

I nodded slightly. “It’s not gone, but it’s not nearly as bad.”

He frowned. “I can’t do anything more without a wand.” He dropped his hands and studied my face pensively. “I’ll have to leave you here.”

“No!” I said quickly, seizing his hands unconsciously. A second later I realised what I had done and let go hastily, ducking my head to hide my blush. He let out a short sigh and stood up. “Tom,” I said, looking up again. “What if he – what if he finds me while you’re gone?”

“There are numerous wards and shields protecting this house, and it is virtually impossible to find. You are safer here than you would be if you came with me.” He said casually, striding over to a dresser and rummaging in a drawer.

“Where are you going to get a wand?”

He turned and looked at me with a flash of annoyance at my persistent questioning. “I am going to find Malfoy,” he replied vaguely.

“What then? And what about me?” I said, swinging my legs over the side of the bed, unwilling to be left behind. I stood up and then immediately had to sit down again as a wave of dizziness overtook me.

“Maura, can you just trust me, for once?” he exclaimed irritably, striding back to my side and scooping my legs back up onto the bed. “You will stay here and sleep, I will find Malfoy, get a wand, bring him back here, and then we will decide what to do. Just be patient. And drink this.” He added, holding a glass vial to my lips.

I turned my face quickly to the side and pushed his hand away. “What is it?” I demanded suspiciously.

“Sleeping potion,” he replied, pushing my hands away and grabbing the back of my neck. “Open up!” he commanded, pressing the vial to my lips once again. I pressed said appendages tightly together and glared. “Why must you always be so difficult?”

I didn’t want to stay there alone, asleep and completely unable to defend myself. At least if I wasn’t sleeping, I’d know what was going on. I shook my head and struggled against his grip. He glowered at me and tightened his fingers on the back of my neck. “Fine,” he growled. “Have it your way.” Still holding the vial against my lips he somehow plugged my nose between his pinky and his palm. I struggled, but I couldn’t get away and finally, I had to open my mouth to breathe – and the potion trickled into my mouth. I tried not to swallow, but Tom set the empty vial aside and covered my mouth and nose. “Swallow,” he said lazily as I struggled. “Maura, just do it!” I couldn’t help it, I needed air. I swallowed and he let go immediately. I gulped in air and glared at him.

“I hate you Tom Riddle,” I gasped weakly, as drowsiness immediately began to overcome me. He chuckled and lifted my lethargic body up onto the pillows. He pulled the blankets up over me and then sat down and watched me slip into oblivion.


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I awoke much later. The room was lit by a single, guttering candle on a table by the door. I sat up and pulled the blankets up to my chin, feeling slightly unnerved by the oppressive silence in the house. I glanced towards the curtained windows; judging by the silvery quality of the light filtering through, it was night. I swallowed and suddenly realised that the pain in my head was gone. Had Tom already returned with the wand then? No, I thought; I could still feel the cuts on my stomach stinging. Surely if he’d been back he would have healed them. I must have just slept off my headache. 

I let my eyes range over the room again, and then decided to get up and explore. I pushed the covers back and swung my feet over the edge of the bed. I stood up with minimal dizziness and looked down at myself. I was still dressed in nothing but Tom’s shirt over my underwear. I let out an angry huff and strode over to the dresser. I pulled out the drawers, hoping to find at least a pair of pants or a cloak; but there was nothing there but dust balls. I sighed, wishing I had a wand; then I could just transfigure the shirt into something else.

I let the drawer slide shut and then picked up the candle. Shielding the flame with my hand, I cautiously opened the door and ventured out into the hallway. I stood still for a second, listening. Silence pressed in from all sides, and I was almost certain that there was no-one else in the house. Feeling slightly less jittery, I made my way carefully to the staircase and began to descend. I paused once again when I reached the ground floor, trying to remember where the kitchen was. I set off again, holding the candle high and trying to ignore the monstrous shadows that it cast on the wall. A doorway loomed ahead of me and I approached it apprehensively, trying to keep my hand steady. To my relief, the candle’s golden light reflected off of several pots on the wall across from me; I’d found the kitchen.

I walked onto the cold tiles and used my candle to light a few sconces on the walls and the chandelier over the table. Then, I blew my candle out and set it on the dusty wooden table. The soft light illuminated a large, sooty fireplace beyond the table and a pile of wood beside it. Turning to look at the rest of the kitchen, I saw that there were dusty and cobweb-covered dishes in a dish tray beside the sink; I shivered as I realised that they had probably been left there by the Riddles before Tom – but I couldn’t think about that. I crossed to a cupboard and opened it up, extracting a marginally less dusty glass. I turned on the squeaky tap and was mildly surprised when water flowed freely from the rusty metal. I let it run for a few minutes, not knowing how long it had been since the tap had been used, and then rinsed and filled my glass. I shut off the tap and sipped the water, looking out through the kitchen window at the overgrown garden.

“Nice outfit.”

I nearly dropped the glass. I whirled around and beheld Abraxas Malfoy’s arrogant smirk. “Malfoy!” I gasped. “But – Tom,”

“He’s coming,” Malfoy said offhandedly. “He’s checking the wards around the house. To make sure you’re protected,” he added, with a wicked grin. He licked his lips. “Too bad the danger’s already inside,” he murmured, taking a step towards me and causing me to back into the countertop.

“Abraxas!” Tom snapped from the doorway, and Malfoy turned away from me, rolling his eyes.

“Don’t worry, I’m not messin’ with your woman,” Malfoy drawled, and I nearly choked.

Tom did not comment, but tossed me a pair of pants and a cloak. “Where did you hide the quartz wand?” he asked, pointing his own wand at the fireplace and causing a roaring fire to expand out of the cold coals. Apparently Malfoy had had Tom’s wand after all.

“Um,” I said uncertainly, glancing at Malfoy, who sneered at me unpleasantly.

Tom turned towards me when I didn’t continue. “Well?” he said impatiently.

“Er,” I stuttered, and then steadied my voice. “How do you know he’s on our side?” I asked, nodding towards the blonde.

Malfoy snorted, but Tom silenced him with a look. “He is. Now, where is it?”

I pulled on the jeans Tom had provided for me quickly as I commented, “For that matter, how do I know you’re not Grindelwald in disguise?”

I zipped up the fly and raised my eyes to his face a little nervously. Irritation flashed across his face, but then to my surprise, an amused smirk broke across his lips. “It’s good to see you’re finally learning some common sense.” He said lightly, and Malfoy snorted again. I pursed my lips and said nothing. “Alright. Grindelwald can’t read your thoughts, right?” he asked, walking towards me.

“Yes,” I said slowly, steadying myself against the counter behind me.

“So think of something, anything, and I’ll tell you what you’re thinking.” He stopped in front of me and raised his hands to cup my cheeks. For some reason, all I could think of with him that close to me was how good he smelled, and how amazing it felt to have his cool hands on my face. Clearly, I was still delirious from the sleeping draught Tom had given me. Then I remembered that he was listening to my thoughts. I glanced up and felt the heat rise in my cheeks as his eyebrows rose and his satisfied smirk widened. “Would you like me to say that out loud – ,”

“No!” I said immediately, dropping my eyes to the floor. “I believe you.”

“So where is it?”

I took a deep breath and replied, “Gringotts. In my family’s vault. The key is in my bedroom at my aunt’s.”

“Hmm,” Tom grunted, caressing my cheekbones absently with his thumbs. I suddenly caught sight of Malfoy’s expression out of the corner of my eye; he glared at us from his position by the table, his silver eyes narrowed in suspicion. He caught my look and a strained expression crossed his features for a moment; then, he turned his back on us, pulled out a chair with unnecessary force, and sat down so hard on it that it let out an ominous crack.

Tom seemed to come back to himself abruptly. He dropped his hands and turned away quickly. “Ok,” he said brusquely. “Abraxas, stay here with Maura while I go get her key. Then, you two will go to Gringotts in the morning while I find out what Grindelwald is doing. We’ll meet in the Leaky Cauldron once you have the wand.”

“Why can’t I just come with you to my Aunt’s? I’ll be able to find the key more quickly,” I protested. I really didn’t fancy staying alone with Malfoy.

“No, it’s too dangerous. Grindelwald is probably watching your Aunt’s.”

“Well how are you going to get in then?” I challenged.

He looked at me appraisingly. “I have my ways.”

I snorted and turned my back on him irritably. I walked over to the table and sat down across from Malfoy. “I’m hungry,” I grumbled. “And you still haven’t healed me,” I added, cringing as the shirt brushed against my stomach.

“Malfoy can do it.” Feeling shocked, I glanced over at Malfoy, who shrugged, and then back at Tom. Since when did he voluntarily let Malfoy touch me? I slumped in my seat and crossed my arms, feeling an odd sense of betrayal.

“And what about food?” Malfoy said from across the table.

Tom glanced between the two of us, and then waved his wand. A loaf of bread, some cheese and grapes and a jug of pumpkin juice appeared on the table between Malfoy and I. Then, without another word, Tom shrugged on a cloak and swept out of the room.

I heard the front door slam and suddenly felt extremely uncomfortable, realising that I was alone with Malfoy in a place where no-one could hear me scream. I looked over at him slowly to find his silver eyes locked on my face. We stared at each other for a full minute before I dropped my eyes, cleared my throat, and reached for a slice of bread.

We ate in silence for a little while, letting the heat from the crackling fire wash over us. The jug re-filled itself every time we took a glass, and the food never seemed to run out. Finally, after I had eaten my fill, I leaned back in my chair and studied Malfoy across the table. He popped a grape into his mouth and sipped his pumpkin juice, and then raised his eyes and stared back at me. I tried to keep my breathing steady, but I felt my heart begin to pound. Where the hell was Tom? Why was he taking so long?

Suddenly Malfoy stood up and I couldn’t suppress a small gasp. He chuckled and walked around the table to stand beside me. I scrambled out of my chair and backed away from him. “What are you doing?” he drawled, pursuing me around the table.

“What are you doing?” I countered, still keeping the table between us.

He smirked and shook his head. “I don’t know how he puts up with you,” he chuckled.

I froze. “What do you mean?” I said slowly.

He spread his hands on the table and leaned towards me. “I mean Tom. I don’t know how he puts up with your constant whining and questioning. Does he put a silencing spell on you or something?”

“I – I,” I spluttered incoherently. Then, “I do not whine!” I snarled, and he laughed. “And you – ,”

“Ok,” he said, straightening and raising his hands in a gesture of surrender. “Can we agree on a truce for the time being? At least while he’s gone?” he asked.

I narrowed my eyes and folded my arms across my chest. “What?”

He walked around to the end of the table and I skittered away from him. He sighed. “Look, I’m not going to hurt you,” he said more quietly than usual. “And let’s face it, if I did, Tom would kill me. Literally. So, will you just calm down for a second?”

I regarded him carefully, but didn’t say anything. He sighed again. “Will you at least let me heal you? You don’t have to talk to me,” he added, eyeing my pursed lips.

“I’m fine,” I retorted untruthfully.

He raised his eyebrows. “I don’t have to be able to read your mind to know that you’re lying. You’re bleeding again,” he pointed out. I looked down. Sure enough, lines of crimson were once again visible on Tom’s shirt. I unbuttoned the bottom few buttons and looked down at the cuts. The skin around them was rapidly turning blue. That can’t be good, I thought.

“Give me your wand then.” I commanded. “I’ll heal myself.”

Malfoy laughed. “Those wounds are cursed. No normal healing spell is going to work.”

“I can try,” I retorted, holding out my hand for his wand.

“Oh no. I’m not giving you my wand. How stupid do you think I am?”

“Well – ,”

“Don’t answer that.” He said hastily. We stared at each other for a few moments and then Malfoy sighed again. “Look, I can do it, you can’t. So why don’t you just let me help you?”

I swallowed nervously, wishing more than ever that Tom would get back. I looked up into Malfoy’s silver eyes. “I – I think I’ll just wait for Tom.”

Malfoy sagged slightly. “Maura, don’t be stubborn, do you think that your skin turning blue is a good sign?” I dropped my eyes and shook my head. “The curse is starting to spread. The longer you go without being healed the faster it’ll kill you,” I swallowed and hugged myself, feeling a sudden chill, as though death’s cold hands were reaching out for me. “Please Maura,” Malfoy said softly, walking over to stand in front of me. “Let me help you.”

The pain in my stomach was intensifying, as though the curse fed off of my fear. I knew I couldn’t wait for Tom. Malfoy couldn’t hurt me…he was right, Tom would kill him if he did. I searched his silver gaze for any sign of treachery, but found none. I heaved a deep sigh and then reluctantly quashed my fear. “O – ok.” I whispered. A smile broke across his face. “But if you so much as look at me the wrong way – ,”

“Don’t worry,” he said, grabbing my hand and pulling me out of the room. “You don’t look overly attractive right now. I think I can control myself.” He flashed me a smirk and I glared at him.

“Don’t push it Malfoy,” I warned.

He guided me back to the bedroom I’d slept in and then let go of my hand. “You’ll have to lie down and take off your shirt – ”

“No,” I said automatically.

He gave me a long-suffering look that was very reminiscent of Tom. “Maura, how do you expect me to heal you if you don’t take off your shirt?”

“I can just stand here and pull it up.” I retorted.

“Maura,” he began irritably, “This isn’t just going to be a quick heal. Tom left me this potion” – he pulled out a blood-red bottle from inside his robes – “and he said it’ll hurt. Then I have to use an ancient dark spell to do the actual healing, and I dunno if you’ve ever heard any of those, but they’re really long. So you might as well try to make yourself comfortable; this could take awhile.”

I was having trouble breathing. Why, why couldn’t Tom have just done it himself? Did he enjoy torturing me? Was he sitting in a pub or something right now chuckling at my discomfort? I thought it was likely. It seemed like something he would do. “Fine!” I snarled violently, and Malfoy turned to me looking mildly surprised at my outburst. I ignored him and flounced over to the bed, threw myself onto it, and then ripped open my buttons with unnecessary force. I lay on the bed with my chest heaving angrily, fists clenched at my sides. “Just do it.” I growled.

Malfoy came to stand beside me and I saw his eyes flicker over my bra and underwear-clad body. My anger at Tom dissipated and apprehension filled me in its place. I didn’t trust Malfoy, and yet here I was lying half naked on a bed before him, letting him touch me and point a wand at me. Goosebumbs raced over my skin as Malfoy gently traced the cuts with the tips of his fingers, and I realised that I’d stopped breathing. I began to take shallow breaths, trying to control my panic. “Ok,” Malfoy said softly, sitting on the bed beside me. He pulled the night-table closer to him and set the bottle of potion upon it. “Tom told me to wipe away as much blood as I could and then put a few drops of that stuff on the cuts,” He conjured a cloth and a bowl of warm water out of thin air and set them on the nightstand beside the bottle. “Ok,” he said again, “Here we go.” He wrung out the cloth and began to wipe the blood off of my stomach with a surprising gentleness, leaning in close enough that his breath tickled my skin.

He worked in silence for a few moments, and then he said in a low voice, “You haven’t asked me how I escaped when Tom was captured.”

I didn’t say anything for a few moments, wondering why he was saying this. “Okay,” I said slowly. “How did you get away?”

He rinsed the cloth and glanced at my face before returning his attention to my injuries. He looked as though he was seriously reconsidering speaking. Then, he sighed slightly and said, “He held Grindelwald and Matthew off so that I could get away. He figured that as long as one of us was free, we could still get you out.”

“But – but that doesn’t make sense,” I said, finally unclenching my fists. “Why didn’t he just escape with you? How did you get his wand? Surely if you had time to find it, you both could have escaped? Ouch,” I added, flinching as his fingers clenched against my stomach.

“Sorry,” he said quickly, removing his hands. “Ok, that’s as much blood as I can get off. We’re on to the potion now.”

He reached for the bottle and uncorked it, then sniffed it and grimaced. “Malfoy, you’re the one that brought it up and now you’re lying. Tell me what really happened.” I said with a trace of irritation.

He let out his breath in a whoosh and finally met my gaze. “Fine,” he said harshly, “You want to know what happened? I ran. I ran because I was afraid, because I didn’t want to be involved, because I wanted to save myself. Because I’m a coward.”

“But – but Tom’s wand,” I stuttered.

“He dropped it when Grindelwald attacked him. It rolled near me, so I grabbed it before Matthew could and then disapparated.”

I looked at him confusedly. “Why are you telling me this? Why would you bring it up when I didn’t ask?”

He suddenly leaned in close to my stomach and poured a few drops of the potion onto one of the cuts. I let out a scream; it felt like boiling water, or liquid fire, and it spread through my whole body. The pain lasted for a few intense seconds – and then it faded and I opened my eyes, panting, covered in cold sweat. “Woah,” Malfoy exclaimed. “You okay?”

“Yeah – I’m – GREAT,” I panted angrily, wiping my sweaty forehead. He raised the bottle again but I pushed him away. “Just – just give me a second,” I gasped.

“We should just get it over quickly – ,”

“Why did you tell me that you ran? Am I supposed to feel sorry for you or something?” I snarled angrily, trying to catch my breath.

Anger flooded Malfoy’s features. “I told you because I want you to realise that I’m not – that I don’t – that I don’t want – any of this!” he said, slamming his fist on the night-table. “I never wanted to get involved with Grindelwald, I never wanted to hurt you, I just wanted to – to finish school and – get away from my father – but I can’t! I’m trying but I can’t! I never wanted to be this person!” he raged, plucking at his silk shirt. “But I had to, I have to because I’m a Malfoy and a Slytherin and a pureblood!”

“You could have chosen not to be,” I said loudly. “No-body was making you do things. No-body made you torture me that night down by the lake at Hogwarts!”

He stared at me. Then, without warning, he pushed my hands aside and poured the potion on another gash. I screamed again as pain spread like wildfire through my body, and Malfoy had to hold me down until it subsided. “I’m sorry,” he said, so softly that I could barely hear him. He let go of me and put his hands in his lap, watching me helplessly try to stop gasping. “For – everything.”

I tried vainly to catch my breath, wiping tears of pain from my eyes. “Sorry – doesn’t change things, Malfoy,” I gasped. “You have to change yourself. When I see that – maybe I’ll believe you.”

A flash of anger crossed his features and I braced myself – but then his face settled into a look of defeat. “You’re right,” he said quietly. I watched him carefully as his eyes swept over my body, and then came to rest on the last cut. “Are you ready?” he asked, holding the bottle over me.

I took a few deep breaths, clenched my fists and closed my eyes tightly. “Do it.” For a third time pain raged through my body and I let out a cry of agony – and then it was over. I opened my streaming my eyes and couldn’t suppress a small sob.

“Ok,” Malfoy said, his usually smooth voice sounding rather shaky. “That’s the hard part. Now I just have to heal them. We’re almost done.” I flinched slightly as he drew out his wand and pointed it at me, trying to overcome my impulse to get away from him. “Hold still.” He began chanting a strange spell that I had never heard before, dragging the tip of his wand slowly along the first cut. Immediately a cooling sensation spread from his wand and I felt myself begin to relax. He continued the strangely musical chant for at least five minutes, tracing his wand over the other two wounds as well. Then, just as I was feeling so relaxed that I almost fell asleep, he fell silent.

I cracked open one eye. “Are you finished?” I asked softly.

“How do you feel?” he asked, sliding his wand back into his robes.

I opened both eyes and looked down at myself. No trace of the wounds remained except for three very thin white lines. I sat up a little straighter and drew my fingers along the lines; there was no pain. I looked up at Malfoy, who was watching me carefully. “I feel fine,” I said softly. Then, even more faintly, I added, “Thank you.”

To my surprise his face hardened and his jaw clenched. “Do you know why Tom had me do this instead of doing it himself?” he muttered tensely. I shook my head, bewildered. “He said that he couldn’t stand to cause you such pain, but he knew that I would have no trouble with it.” Without another word he stood abruptly and swept out of the room.

I slumped back onto my pillows with my head spinning in confusion. What had THAT been about? I couldn’t ignore the slight leap in my gut at the thought that Tom did not want to cause me pain – and then I realised how messed up that was. I shook my head and looked down at the now smooth skin on my stomach, running my fingers over the thin scars. Malfoy had healed me well. Even though it had been painful, the fact remained that I was healed, and that he hadn’t tried anything even though I’d been lying partially clothed on a bed in front of him in an empty house. Was it possible that he actually meant what he said? No, I answered myself, remembering what he’d done to me – and tried to do to me – at Hogwarts. He enjoyed being insufferable too much for me to believe that it was all an act. Not like Tom…I realised with a shiver that Tom had done much worse than Malfoy…but he really didn’t seem to enjoy it the way Malfoy did. I had seen the look on his face after he’d killed his father and his grandparents; I knew he regretted it, even if he presented a cold, unfeeling face to the rest of the world. In a strange way, at least in my mind, Malfoy was more evil than Tom. But then, I had never seen inside Malfoy’s mind, I didn’t know him like I knew Tom. I knew Tom better than I knew anyone…

Suddenly, I heard the front door slam. I jumped slightly and pulled the covers up to my chin, suddenly apprehensive for some reason. I heard low male voices conversing for a few moments, and then footsteps on the stairs. I sank back against the pillows, hugging myself beneath the blankets as Tom entered my room, followed by Malfoy. Tom strode towards me without a word and pulled down the covers, then pulled up my shirt despite my protests. I shivered again as he ran his cold fingers over the thin white scars, and glanced over at Malfoy, who was lounging against the doorframe with his familiar sneer firmly back in place. “How do you feel?” Tom asked quietly, and my eyes snapped back to his. I gazed into his cerulean orbs for a few moments, feeling a little dazed by his proximity. “Maura,” he said, snapping his fingers in front of my nose.

I blinked. “What?”

He gave me a strange look. “How do you feel?”

“Oh….fine I guess,” I muttered, shifting uncomfortably, very aware of his hand, which was now spread flat on my stomach over the scars.

“Does anything hurt?”

“Um…not really, just my head. But it’s not bad,” I said breathlessly. He raised his eyebrows and glanced at Malfoy questioningly.

“She’s fine,” Malfoy said carelessly, examining his nails. “I did everything you told me to.” Tom glanced back at me and I felt a blush creeping up my neck. What was wrong with me? Why was I suddenly being reduced to a blithering idiot when Tom entered a room? Pull yourself together! I thought angrily. He chuckled and I suddenly realised that he was probably listening to my thoughts.

“I’m fine Tom,” I said more strongly. “And stop reading my mind,” I added irritably. Tom’s smirk widened.

“But your thoughts are so interesting lately,” he crooned, moving his hand in a slight caress across my skin. Malfoy cleared his throat loudly from the door.

“Shouldn’t Maura and I be going? Gringotts opens in half an hour…” Malfoy pointed out.

Tom’s eyes flickered between mine for a second, and for a moment an accusing expression crossed his face. Then he stood abruptly and turned his back on me. “Get up Maura, and put on your cloak. Here’s your key,” he extracted the small golden key from his pocket and placed it on the dresser. “Malfoy, make sure you’re in the Leaky Cauldron by eleven.”

“Where are you going?” I asked quickly, pulling myself to my feet and drawing the cloak over my shoulders.

Tom finally turned back to me. “I have some business that needs attending to. It is none of your concern.” I glowered at him and a slight smirk crossed his face. “I shall see you at the Leaky Cauldron.” Without another word he swept from the room again and I heard the front door slam.

I secured the cloak around my shoulders and looked at Malfoy uncertainly. “Erm…I don’t have any shoes,” I pointed out softly.

He looked down at my bare feet and shrugged.

“I’m not going to Gringotts without shoes,” I growled, crossing my arms.

He let out a noise of irritation and then withdrew his wand. “Accio shoes!” he commanded and a pair of black shoes came soaring into the room. “Dear Tom thinks of everything,” he sneered, tossing the shoes at my feet. “Let’s go.”

“What crawled up your ass?” I muttered, pulling the shoes on and following him. He either didn’t hear me or chose not to respond. He reached the front door, wrenched it open, and then strode through it. I followed him – and walked straight into his back. “What the hell are you doing?” I demanded, rubbing my nose.

“Shhh,” he said softly, putting a hand over my mouth. “I think we’re being watched.”

I stared around fearfully, but saw nobody. I pulled his hand away from my mouth. “There’s no-one there,” I whispered. “Let’s just go.” I started to walk away from him but he grabbed me around the waist and slammed me against the door. “What –?”

“There’s a concealing charm but it stops on the doorstep. There is someone hiding in those bushes,” he pointed to the clump of greenery on the far side of the front lawn, “and as soon as we step off of the porch, he’ll be able to see us and attack us. But we can’t apparate from here…we have to get to that tree.” He pointed to a tree at least fifty feet away; the chances that we would make it were slim.

“Why don’t we just floo from the house?”

“It’s a muggle house, it’s not connected to the floo.”

“Well, why the fuck not?” I muttered.

He didn’t answer, but ran his hand through his hair tensely. “There’s nothing for it. We’ll have to run. Take my hand,” he held out his hand, but I didn’t take it. “Maura, come on,” he snarled, and I placed my hand in his reluctantly. “Ok, when I say, run as fast as you can. And don’t let go of me; I’ll apparate as soon as we’re past the barrier.” I nodded and braced myself, glancing towards the bushes nervously. I still couldn’t see anyone. “Alright….go!” we took off and sprinted across the lawn. Immediately beams of red and white light flew through the air around us, missing us by inches. I felt one, white-hot spell graze my cheek before Malfoy yelled, “Protego!” and a silvery shield materialised around us. We were almost there. Twenty paces. Ten. Then, finally the tree passed us and Malfoy pulled me to him and apparated.







A/N: Hey everyone, thanks for reading! I've had a request from a reviewer to write a chapter from Tom's point of view, and I would like to know what you guys think. I was originally going to write the whole thing from Maura's POV, but if you guys want it, I will give you one chapter from Tom's. Please review and let me know what you would like. Thanks!


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