Chapter 15 : Stalker
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I was staring hopelessly at the place where Ron had been, unable to take in any of Snape’s ramblings, behind me. He couldn’t remember seeing Lily...I made sure I erased his mind of the events that happened after the funeral, except for the Dark Mark and Ron’s apparition in the cemetery.
“Rider, if you do not come with me back to Hogwarts right this instant...”
“Professor!” I snapped looking at him angrily. “Ron has been missing for months...we can’t just leave him here. He must have been under the Imperius curse...I don’t see why he wouldn’t recognise me.”
“I can assure you Mr Weasly will be tracked by the Aurors at the
“Oh, please! We both know how useless they are these days, Professor. Now that You-Know –Who is in control of the Ministry.” I said not really believing I was having an argument with my Potions Teacher. “Ron is my friend and this is wasting my time. I have to find out where he is or we will not see him for another 6 months! His family is sick with worry. You can go back to the Castle Professor, but I don’t give a toss about “my safety” at the moment. I can take care of myself!” I snapped and started walking in the direction where Ron went.
“RIDER, GET BACK HERE!” roared Snape.
I stopped. There really wasn’t another way to get rid of Snape on my human legs. I needed to smell Ron in order to find him. And I didn’t care of Snape saw my Animagus. Ron’s safety was far more important at the moment. So without taking another look at Snape I shifted in my wolf form, under Snape’s surprised and severe glare and then made a run for it, after Ron’s scent.
“RIDER!” roared Snape somewhere in the background but I only kept running faster. Surely Ron was the one who casted the Dark Mark on the sky and surely he was after me...but when he saw me, he was alone....and I was with Snape. I was glad I never told Harry I was an Animagus and right then I was running like mad through a small forest behind the cemetery where Ron’s scent became stronger and
I could hear someone running in front of me and I slowed down, hiding in a bush. Soon enough, Ron appeared in front of me...looking lost. He was scratching his head with one hand and holding his wand in the other. I shifted back into my human form as quietly as possible and made my way, slowly out of the bush.
“Ron?” I asked in a soft voice.
He turned around abruptly, pointing his wand at me. My eyes ran for a moment on the freshly made Dark Mark on his hand, but then I looked back at his face. He didn’t seem as stupid as he had in the cemetery...I wasn’t even sure if he was under the Imperius curse anymore, so I took a step back.
“Anna Rider.” He said in a hard voice. He tried to make it sound tough.
“Oh Ron.” I said and tried not to start crying. “What happened to you?”
“What happened to me?!” he snapped and came one step closer to me. “What happened to me should happen to all of you!” he continued in a voice that didn’t belong to him. He sounded far too angry and way too mature to be the Ron I knew. “My eyes have been opened Anna. He was right all this time...the Dark Lord was right.” He said in a voice that resembled veneration.
“What did you say?” I asked horror struck.
“He has to kill Harry Potter. And I will help him. And then...all the pure blood families will have nothing to be ashamed of...all the mudbloods and half bloods...all the garbage will be cleared!”
“Ron! Harry is your friend! What the hell is wrong with you? You love Hermione!” I snapped.
“I am not friends with the enemy! And I am not in love with a filthy mudblood!” he said, spitting the name “mudblood” out like it left a
bitter taste in his mouth.
“RON! Your family is worried sick for you! Your mum cries every day...Ginny falls asleep crying every night...your dad is looking for you every day! Ron wake up!” I said and I couldn’t keep the tears in. I didn’t know what had happened to Ron, but he was not under the Imperius curse. He had somehow been brainwashed.
“They are not my family! They are filthy blood traitors and they should be ashamed! I am ashamed to bear the Weasly name! My new family is him.” he said in a disgusted voice when he mentioned his surname.
“Ron....” I said but words abandoned me.
“You will come with me, Anna. You will bring us Harry Potter!” said Ron directing his wand towards me. But I was faster. I took mine out and
cried: “Petrificus Totalus!”
Ron’s body turned a strange shade of grey and became rigid as he fell on the forest floor, eyes wide, eyebrows furrowed together in anger.
“I’m sorry Ron...” I said and then disapparated into the Dark Forest.
Molly Weasly was crying in a chair from Dumbledore’s office, while Mr Weasly had his arms around her shoulders for comfort. His expression showed betrayal, grief and unmistakable anger. I almost felt guilty for finding Ron. Hermione was crying ever since I had told her about him and Harry was just looking down, feeling an immense feeling of guilt. Dumbledore was just standing at his office desk, looking troubled as Snape was giving me murderous glares for running away from him.
Sometimes the murderous glares turned to surprise—surely he didn’t expect someone like me being an Animagus, but right then, I didn’t really care.
“Oh...Ron...why? He was always such a good boy...always helped me around the kitchen when he was little.” Cried Molly in a yellowing
“But...maybe he was under the Imperius curse.” Said Ginny hopeful.
“Maybe....” I said. “But he recognised me. He knew who Harry and Hermione were...he knew about his family.” I said, feeling like the one who bursts everyone’s bubble. I felt guilty enough for cursing him and leaving him there...but there was no way I could apparate with him in that condition at Hogwarts. Dumbledore said Moody went to “collect” him...but maybe the other Death Eaters had found him before.
“And how did you manage to follow him, Miss Rider, when he was so far ahead of you? Surely he must have gotten far when you decided
to run away from me.” Said Snape in a sour voice. I hated him...God...why did he want to uncover me?!
“I...err...I’m a good runner.” I lied and looked at Harry who kept looking at his feet.
“I see. One might say you run as fast as...a dog.” He said and looked at Dumbledore who gave him a weary look.
Just before anyone could say anything else, the door of Dumbledore’s office flew open and Moody came in with a few new scratches on his forehead. Everyone gasped.
“Death Eaters went there before me. The boy’s gone.” He said in a hoarse voice.
Molly started crying harder, and was soon followed by Hermione and Ginny. I felt even guiltier for not getting Ron out of there myself. I looked down at my muddy boots. I wondered what I looked like. Was it clear that I had shifted forms...or did it just look like I followed Ron through a muddy forest?
Edwin was sitting next to me, one arm around my shoulders, the same way Mr Weasly comforted his wife. I felt somewhat warmer than before. I couldn’t believe so many things had happened in one day....my father’s funeral...having to erase Snape’s mind from seeing Lily...chasing Ron...dealing with so many people crying in one room. And then re-living it all by having to tell Edwin about it. He didn’t need to say anything to me...just his arm around my shoulder was enough to make me feel better.
“I wish I could have been with you.” He said and looked away from me.
“You couldn’t have...” I said and looked away too. I wished he could have been with me...I wished we could have a normal relationship...I wished he weren’t stuck in that painting. “Your dad was with me though.” I said this in a jokey way, hoping to lighten the atmosphere.
“I can’t think of a more...un-emotional person to go with you.” He said, almost with disgust.
“He wasn’t that bad....he was just...cold.” I said, thinking of Snape in his headquarters having a bath with lots of bubbles and a yellow rubber duck. I started laughing.
“What?” asked Edwin perplexed.
“Nothing...just imagining your dad in the bath tub with bubbles and rubber ducks.” A moment of silence followed. I felt awkward.
“Do you usually imagine your boyfriends’ dad’s in the bathtub?” he asked mockingly.
“No, just yours. My previous boyfriends’ dad is dead.” I said adopting a more sombre tone.
Being with Edwin in the Room of Requirement for a few more hours lightened up my mood considerably, for reasons I would rather not say into detail. His touch was so soft against my skin...his kisses so sweet and his manners so gentle that I felt I was with an angel, not a teenage boy. He was special...he was different from anyone I ever met before and I started depending on him more and more each day.
When we left the Room of Requirement, hand in hand, I had a small smile on my lips. We turned a corner carefully...but we were not that worried. It was too late for students to be on the corridors, but too early for teachers to start their night patrolling. Of course...Draco Malfoy always seemed to be an exception as his footsteps grew louder and louder behind us.
“Well, well, well...what do we have here, Rider?” he asked, his voice having a tone of satisfaction as if he just managed to solve a complicated puzzle. Edwin’s hand grabbed mine harder as if he wanted to protect me.
“Shouldn’t you be in bed, Malfoy?” I asked, trying to hide the nervousness in my voice.
“So should you. But alone.” He said and curved his lips in a cold smile. “Who are you?” he asked looking Edwin up and down. I was just glad Edwin was taller than him.
“That’s none of your business Malfoy!” I snapped defensively.
“I’m sure Snape would love to hear about this!” he said and the cold smile appeared on his lips again. He seemed so satisfied that I wanted to punch him. Well...I just took my wand out.
“Go away, Malfoy!” I said and turned away to go, but Draco continued.
“Snape would love to hear that a stranger in walking about the castle hand in hand with a student. You would be expelled Rider.” He said, threatening me.
“And what makes you think Snape doesn’t know him?” I asked, but Edwin squeezed my hand to keep my mouth closed.
“Don’t play games with me, Rider.” Said Draco coming closer, but Edwin took a step forward. Draco stopped. “Are you mute or something?” he asked, looking up at Edwin, with his cold, grey eyes.
“You have five seconds to turn around from where you came, or you’ll be one very sorry little boy!” said Edwin and by the tone of his voice he was very angry. I tried to point my wand at Draco, but my wand was already pointed at him...with Edwin’s hand. He was too quick for me.
“How dare you threaten me!?” snapped Draco and pointed his wand at Edwin as well. Now they were standing on a dark corridor, wands
pointed at each other.
“Stupe...” started Draco but Edwin was faster.
“Expelliarmus!” roared Edwin and Draco flew along the corridor until he hit a wall. But he wasn’t as weak as he looked, because the next moment he stood up and tried to cast a non verbal spell on Edwin. But he was once again too fast, so he dragged me and himself behind a wall.
“Edwin stop it! If your dad finds out...!”
“I don’t care!” he snapped at me and then sent another curse towards Draco.
A moan followed and presumed Draco got hit, but then a green light flashed and Edwin flew against a wall, blood blossoming from his nose and mouth. I tried to run towards him, but Edwin shock his head no and stood up again, my wand pointed towards Draco.
“Sectumsempra!” he roared and I gasped. That was the spell Harry used on Draco back when we were 16...I heard a groan and then got out from behind the wall. I breathed again when I saw it wasn’t as bad as when Harry did it...his arm was bleeding, but Draco was still standing and cursing loudly at me and Edwin. His was on the floor, but when he tried to pick it up, a snappy voice shouted: “DO NOT pick it up!”
I froze and so did Edwin, as Snape turned a corner and stood, almost as frozen as us, staring at Edwin. Then at me. Than at Edwin as well. But then he realized Draco was there, because he grabbed his good arm and started heading towards the Medical Wing.
“My office!” he ordered in his silky voice, but neither me nor Edwin
were fooled by its calmness...he was very, VERY, angry.
When Snape disappeared out of sight, I breathed again and looked at Edwin’s bleeding nose. “Shit!” I said.
Edwin didn’t say anything. His eyes were so angry as if he wanted to kill my stalker and his father as well. “Let’s go.” He said and started walking down the corridor. I followed.
“Edwin...his office is the other way.” I said trying to keep up with his long legs.
Edwin didn’t say anything. He just continued walking faster and faster, until I had to run to keep up with him. “Would you please tell me where you’re going!?” I snapped a bit irritated that he was not answering me.
“Anywhere but here.” He said. “If he catches me, he’ll hide the painting...you’ll never find me again. I’ve had enough of his crap...I’m going away!” he snapped and turned a corner towards the west wing corridors.
“This is crazy Edwin!” I said and tried to grab his arm, but he snatched it away from me.
“Don’t!” he said and made me stop where I was.
“Where will you go?!” I asked exasperated. “Edwin, he will find you! You have no idea how smart he is!” I said and started running after him again. “Our best change is to talk to him!”
Edwin stopped and when I caught up with him, the anger in his eyes changed into grief.
I placed my hand into his and he squashed my fingers, lovingly. “We don’t know if the curse will allow you to stay outside...and...If you go for good I want to come with you.” I said in a quiet voice.
He looked at me in a soft way. “It will be too dangerous for you...to be with me, especially if Snape will be after me all the time.” He said.
“Your dad won’t kill you Edwin...let’s just go talk to him...I’ll come with you.” I said trying to pull him towards Snape’s office in the dungeons.
He didn’t resist...he just followed me down to stairs to the dungeons,
as if he was doing it for me. I just wished Snape wouldn’t shout that much...this would make Edwin shout as well and then BOOOM.
We were sitting at his desk, hand in hand when Snape opened the door and slammed it shut walking towards us.
“You stupid, stupid, stupid, boy!” he roared at Edwin and my hand tightened around his. Edwin didn’t say anything, nor looked up at his dad. I did the same. I felt like I didn’t really belong in this conversation and I tried to make myself as invisible as possible. “Do you know what could have happened if more people saw you?!” he roared again and a small vile of potion on his desk started vibrating. He wasn’t even sitting down...he was just leaning with his arms on his desk, bending towards his son.
“And you!” he turned towards me. “You are always up to something! I knew something was going on, but this? THIS IS UNNACEPTABLE!” he roared in my face and Edwin tried to stand up but I squeezed his hand to stay calm.
“What’s wrong with being alive?!” said Edwin in a calm voice, but I knew he would explode soon.
“You are not supposed to be out!” roared Snape at both of us, as if I was meant to be in the painting!
“I don’t want to pay for your mistakes!” roared Edwin standing up and facing his father from the same height.
“Would you rather be dead then?” asked Snape looking into his son’s eyes.
“I would rather be dead than a prisoner!” said Edwin, trying to be strong but I could hear his voice cracking.
“Well that’s not going to happen!” roared Snape and took out his wand. Before Edwin could say or do anything else, Snape said: “Terra per Artificis!”
The room was engulfed in a blue light and Edwin started disappearing in front of my eyes, like a mist that went under the door of the Potions Cupboard. I started crying.
“RIDER!” roared Snape. “Out of all people in this castle, you had to disturb my son’s life?”
“How could you do this to him!?” I asked, tears pouring out of my eyes. “He’s your son!”
I expected Snape to shout at me more, but he just stood down and said: “Because Voldemort would have killed him instead.”For once, Snape seemed drained from all his powers...he seemed older and so tired of life that I almost felt sorry for him. But the name made my arms have goose bumps as I though back of his red eyes looking at me in the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry of Magic.
“Why?” I asked, but he put his strong mask back on when he looked at me.
“That is none of your business, is it Rider?” He said in a cold voice.
“But...” I started, but Snape interrupted me.
“I’m afraid that I will have to do the same thing I did to Mr. Malfoy. You leave me no choice, Rider.” He said and before I could put what he was saying together, Snape pointed his wand at me and said:
A/N Here you go...hope you liked this chapter. So what do you think about the ending...I quite like it :p...whata about the little duel scene and Anna and Ron's talk in the forest. As always I love, love, love reviews, so please let me know what you think.
Thanks for reading guys,
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