Chapter 7 : Summons
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Chapter 7 (Summons)
An insistent pecking yanked her from the world of Pride and Prejudice which she had borrowed from the library after finishing her breakfast. A midnight black owl hovered at her window. She stood and unlatched the window, pushing one pane open to allow the bird to perch on her bedpost and drop an emerald green envelope on her bed. She lifted the envelope and cautiously opened it. Inside was a short note:
Your presence is requested in the drawing room in half an hour.
~ Lucius Malfoy
Senior Member of the Death Eater League
Lord of Malfoy Manor
Thirty minutes later, she was briskly walking through the dim corridors towards the drawing room. Butterflies – no, moths- fluttered in her stomach ominously. Her intuition was sending her dire warnings, but she pressed forward, knowing that her punishment for not coming would be worse than any possible torture that waited in the drawing room.
“It’s wonderful for you to join us this afternoon. I trust that you are finding your accommodations to your liking,” the cold voice of Lord Voldemort drawled. She nodded mutely. “Good, good.” A tense pause permeated the room.
Still standing, Hermione watched warily as the Dark Lord conferred with his closest followers for several minutes. Seeming to suddenly notice her again, Voldemort said, “Oh, how rude of me! Please, sit down, Miss Granger.” His snow-white, bony finger pointed toward a delicately patterned sofa. Reluctantly, Hermione obeyed. The group returned to their discussion as she examined the tiny design. Mint green swirls intermingled with darker, emerald ones on a background of antique white. Upon closer inspection, she shuddered – the swirls were replicas of the Dark Mark.
“Ahem. Miss Granger, I presume that I would be correct in assuming that you are wondering why I have summoned you. Am I right?” His voice rang eerily throughout the small room.
Taking a deep breath, she replied, “Indeed.”
“Well, I’ve taken your little hint to mind and have decided to check on the validity of it.”
“Yeah, right,” she spat as quietly as possible.
A flash of anger rose to his countenance, and he looked about to pounce on her, but he quickly schooled his features, pretending to be oblivious to her comment. “You, my dear, will be accompanying me on my journey in two days time.”
Hermione tried to prevent her surprise and terror from showing as his demand registered. Her attempts must have been futile for a sound, vaguely like a laugh, emitted from the imposing robed figure before her. Soon enough, all his cronies were laughing along to her distress. “Dear girl, there is no need to fear. What good would it do if you were to die? None. Nothing worth fretting over then.
“I will send for you again when I am fully prepared. You are dismissed.”
Her rigid body unfroze after a second, and she hastily removed herself from the room, careful relief flooding her mind.
She tensed again as she heard another set of footsteps echo hers. She stopped and turned abruptly, causing the unknown person behind her to knock her unto her back. Cries of pain escaped the mouths of the two victims of the fall. “Sorry,” she said automatically, before turning to look at the person who was encaging her in his arms. Tousled platinum blonde hair partially hid a pair of piercing, storm cloud eyes. His signature smirk twitched a little under her scrutiny. “Oh,” she exclaimed. Then, in a harsher, mocking tone, she said, “Never mind. I’m not at all sorry. Now would you kindly let me free?”
He stared down at her for a few seconds, as if debating how she would react to his answer. “What if I don’t? What could you do? In case you haven’t noticed, I’m the one with a wand here.”
She blanched slightly at this realization. He had taken her wand during their previous struggle, and no one had seen fit to return it to her. He could easily overpower her physically, as he had proved at their meeting in the dungeons of Hogwarts, and without her wand, her abilities were useless. She played the only card she knew. “Your master and your mother wouldn’t be very happy if they found out about this.
He sneered. “The Dark Lord would hardly care as long as you could still speak, and my mother…” He faltered here. “My mother can go to hell if she tries to stop me.”
Something in his voice made her realize that he was only bluffing on the last part. She smirked slightly and watched his face fall as he grasped that she had caught his lie. An awkward silence followed while the two internally debated over their predicament. Finally, Draco took the lead. He leaned closer toward her, crushing her slightly with his body, and then stood up and walked away, leaving her lying, flabbergasted on the floor. “See you around, Mudblood,” he jeered.
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