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Chapter 14 : A Cold Reunion
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Harry flexed his hand slowly with a furiously furrowed brow, he wanted nothing more at that precise moment when Severus was speaking at the head of the table, than to drive his hand right into Severus’s smirking mouth and knock out a few teeth.
‘I have explained already the delicacy of the situation, I cannot intervene on the issue of Miss. Lovegood and blow the cover I have spent painstaking years to build!’ he said, slamming his fist on the table. Harry saw Hermione blush furiously next to him and turn her eyes to the floor.
Remus got up from his chair, and paced around the table, passing everyone as he went. Mad Eye was there, all of the Weasleys, Neville Longbottom and Kingsley, Nymphadora Tonks with Teddy bouncing merrily on her knee, smiling with a mass of bright blue hair on his head.
‘Perhaps’ Remus said quietly, turning his back to them all ‘Perhaps, the time has come for us to focus on events more at hand... more important’ Harry stared around at the table incredulously. There was silence, horrid, stony silence. He stood up from his chair quickly, knocking it off of its legs.
‘What are you talking about Remus!’ he shouted ‘you’re suggesting we give up on her... forget she was even taken, forget she’s disappeared?!’ he demanded.
‘It is more than likely that Miss. Lovegood has already been killed’ Severus said as gently as he could, though still managed to have an icy edge to his tone.
‘Keep out of this Snape!’ Harry spat ‘I can’t imagine a creature like you could understand human compassion for a friend’ Severus shot up at this and leaned over the table angrily.
‘Oh yes Potter, I forgot about your greatest strength, that fools trait. What was it again? Oh yes... love! And isn’t it strange that this ominous power that is supposed be your ticket in this war did not stop you from sending Miss. Lovegood on the mission in the first place, love did not stop you leaving Trelawney in the hands of a novice!’
‘Luna is as capable as any of us!’ Harry shouted back ‘And in case its slipped your mind Snape, you never warned us about the Death Eaters Mission, somehow their task of ‘Capture the Seer’ never reached us... until it was too late!’
‘Harry, Severus-’ Remus turned to intervene, but was cut off by Severus.
‘I have told you once, and I shall tell you again I did not know of the plan! Lucius acted upon an order given to him directly by the Dark Lord himself!’
‘Isn’t it odd how so many people manage to disappear or get killed by your lack of attention Snape!’ Harry spat.
‘Your vast intellect has once again come to a blunt full stop Potter. Another wrong assumption, in fact I would be more surprised if you were to come to a brilliant conclusion than I would be at Miss. Lovegood turning up at the front door!’
And at his last word a shrill siren sounded in the kitchen, they all drew their wands in perfect synchronicity with looks of shock and horror on their faces.
‘Someone’s breached the shield wall!’ Remus shouted and ran towards the window to have a look outside.
Harry ran into the hallway by the front door and positioned himself against the wall behind the door.
Everyone followed in suit, taking positions against walls and behind tables, up the stairs all with their wands raised ready to strike. Silence ensued as they all waited... waited for what was coming through the front door.
There was the sound of stumbling, shuffling feet from the outside of the door, a scuffle against the old wood, and a slight twitch of the blotted brass door handle. It stuttered in its joint, turned, once, twice and then clicked loudly as it opened.
Everyone seemed to hold their breath as the door creaked open, wider and wider, spilling sunshine onto the old faded carped of the hallway.
A heavy set of uneven footfalls sounded and a figure stumbled in uncertainly, before crashing too their knees.
Harry saw the bloody, ragged body of Luna and heaved himself forward towards her, snatching her out of the arms of the hidden figure carrying her. There were cries of shock, dry sobs and moans of hardship as a large group surrounded her.
Meanwhile Remus and Severus stepped forward and lifted the hidden figure that was a mere ball on the floor to their feet.
Draco Malfoy lifted his pale, strained face and stared at them. His eyes narrowed as he stared at Severus.
‘Luna?’ Harry said softly, her wide blue eyes flickered to him, her pupils hazing in and out of reality.
‘Let go of me’ she hushed, and struggled in Harry’s arms, quite aware of the crowd around her, staring down at the state she was in. She felt her face burn furiously ‘Let go of me’ she said again, a little louder.
Harry’s grip tightened, and he attempted to stand with her in his arms.
‘Let me go!’ she cried and flung herself free, she stumbled on her numb feet and crashed into a table leaning against ten wall, she braced herself on it. Harry moved forwards again, but stopped immediately as Luna raised her head and stung him with a cold, hard stare.
‘Don’t’ she said in an icy voice that he never assumed her mouth could ever make. Harry saw her weak, thin arms trembling as they pressed against the table top, her shoulders hunched as she dipped her head and took deep steadying breaths.
The room grew still, and silent, watching Luna with a deep intensity.
‘Where... where is my father?’ she said quietly. Harry gulped.
‘He’s safe, he’s fine he’s upstairs’ Harry answered before anyone else could. His hands were held out, scared that she would fall, she looked so weak.
‘I have to see him’ she said, she wasn’t looking at anyone; she seemed to be avoiding ever y pair of eyes.
‘Luna dear’ Molly began ‘He’s very ill, and you need looking after. He can wait sweetheart... he can wait’
‘Please’ Luna whispered, and looked straight at Molly, her good eye was wide and watering while the other was just as swollen as ever, and Molly could do nothing then but slowly give her head a nod. Luna looked at the stairs and began limping towards them, clinging onto the wall for support.
‘Wait’ Harry said ‘You have to get washed and dressed first, you can’t go like... like that Luna’ he turned his eyes to the floor, suddenly noticing her naked, bruised skin beneath the slash marks of her dress.
‘Here’ Hermione said quietly, she waved her wand, and a thick stream of white flew from the tip of her wand and coiled around Luna quickly, covering her in a white, liquid spiral. After a few seconds the white stream faded, and Luna’s dress had been magically sealed together, and the cuts and bruises on her face had disappeared, in fact, she looked as if she had never been captured at all, they all gazed in wonder at her.
‘It’s just a Glamour Charm’ Hermione said ‘It will wear off in around 15 minutes’ she smiled at Luna, who stared at her oddly, and then turned to carry on her stumble up the stairs. She wouldn’t let anyone help her; she was scared to her wits end of anybody touching her.
She finally reached the spare room, and she opened the door warily, she had not noticed Harry follow her up the stairs quietly, and wait outside the door and she closed it shut.
The room was dark, a few throbs of orange candlelight pulsed from a bed side table, casting flickering light over the emancipated face of her father, whose eyes were closed. For a moment she thought she was too late, he was so still and silent that she assumed the worst, but then his chest rose in painful wheeze and she breathed out a sigh.
She hobbled towards the bed and immediately grasped her father’s hand and pressed it to her lips.
‘Daddy’ she hushed and she pressed his palm to her cheek, ignoring the sting as he touched a hidden wound on her face.
‘Daddy, Daddy wake up... please Daddy’ his eyes opened slowly, scanning the room blindly for the source of the familiar voice. They fell un Luna, unfocused and hazy.
‘Is that... my Luna’ he gasped, his voice was choked and ragged.
‘Yes, oh yes Daddy its me’ she tried to hold back her tears as best she could, but she couldn’t stop them, the dam she had built was tumbling away at the sight of him.
‘I’ve... been waiting... for you’ he wheezed, and Luna lent in a little closer to him. she was so transfixed on her father that she didn’t hear Harry come in, he stayed in the corner, in the shadows, hidden from the weak candle light.
‘I’m here Daddy, I’m here’ Xenophillius grazed his thumb with a huge effort over Luna’s lips, her tears dripped down his hand in a thin stream.
‘You were... captured... they took you’ he coughed, and Luna shook her head.
‘N-no Daddy, I’ve been here all this time, with you’ the lie was easily passed through lips.
‘You’re... a good girl... a good girl’ he muttered, his eyelids flickering.
‘Daddy? Daddy?’ Luna squeaked as she squeezed his hand tighter.
‘Don’t... be scared’ he wheezed, the light fast leaving his eyes ‘just see, you’ll know what to do... just... see’ he gave a groan of discomfort as his chest fell quickly, his eyes were half open and he hand Luna was holding became heavy.
‘Dad... dad?’ she whispered, her lips started to tremble and a flood of tears filled her eyes ‘Daddy!’ she croaked, his arm fell from her hands, it hung limp off of the side of the bed as Luna lost the feeling in her legs.
She felt herself fall, but was utterly strengthless to hold her arms out to protect herself, as the room began to swirl black and grey in her eyes, she was vaguely aware of a pair of arms catching her and pulling her upwards... she prayed they were the clutching arms of death, because if Death was as numb as this, she dreaded what amount of pain life would bring.
Hello there, sorry for the late upload. How are you all? Well I hope! How did you like this one? I would love to know all of your thoughts and suggestions!
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