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To Melt a Heart by brunettelily
Chapter 9 : The Lake
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 10

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Chapter 9 (The Lake)

The stars twinkled high above the rugged outcropping the small exploration group was perched on.  She briefly wondered if Harry’s mission had been successful and privately wished it had.  A terrified scream broke through the cold stillness of the night.  She jerked her gaze toward the source, and she nearly laughed aloud at the sight of one of the Death Eaters dangling upside down above the churning water.  Her amusement was short lived as she found herself yanked upward by her feet.  Now, she, too, was suspended unnervingly in the biting air.  A pull from her gut sent her zipping over the lake.  The jagged crags of the sheer cliff before her zoomed into view, too close for comfort.  “I’m going to die.  I’m going to die by being smacked into a cliff.  I’m going to die and never be found.  I’m going to die!” ran through her head as the cliff face grew closer and closer.  “Any moment now,” she thought.  “Any moment.  Goodbye world.  Take care Harry, Ron, Ginny, Mrs. Weasley, Fred, George, Mr. Weasley, Luna, Neville, Mum, Dad, Grandmum, Aunt Eliza…”  She finished her list and looked around her, surprised that death had been so painless, and, come to think of it, Heaven looked pretty dark and depressing with the cold, slimy stone walls that surround her and the flickering torches that seemed to barely burn in the damp atmosphere, giving off utilitarian amounts of light that cast creeping shadows in all the recesses. 

An eerie voice sent a tremor through her body.  “Follow me, and don’t get yourselves killed unnecessarily; I may need you later.”  She spun around, searching for the source of the familiar voice.  A bone white face lacking a proper nose and red slits for eyes appeared to be the one talking.  Confused, she blindly matched her steps to his, spreading her arms wide to keep her balance on the small ledge. 

“Bring me the girl,” the ghost-like being ordered.  Roughly, she was pushed to the front of the group.  He grabbed her wrist, exposing her beating veins and pale flesh.  A glinting dagger was brought forth, and she loosed a startled cry of pain as he slashed her inner forearm with the instrument.  The pain awoke her from her trance-like state, and realization hit her.  The man who grasped her arm tightly was Lord Voldemort, and she was not dead after all.  She struggled vainly, stopping only when a voice behind her spat, “Quit it, girl.  You’ll only hurt yourself more.”  Her cut forearm grazed against rough rock, she was jerked through a doorway that she was sure wasn’t there a few moments before, and then abruptly released.  Being pushed along by the large men accompanying them, she stumbled often and was brutally righted.  She nearly fell onto the Dark Lord when he stopped, but was caught by the collar of her shirt and pulled back, choking.

“I leave you here.  Miss Granger, if you would join me.”  He gestured to a small dinghy waiting at the shore of the fluorescent green inlet.  She was lifted high by a pair of large hands and placed in the craft.

The boat moved soundlessly across the water and came to rest on a small island of sorts.  Warily, she stepped out onto the rugged terrain.  “Hurry up,” the Dark Lord ordered coldly.  “Drink.”  He handed her a glass goblet filled with a foreign liquid.  In the dim and eerie light, she would have sworn that the snake handles slithered under her sweaty grip.  “I said ‘drink!’”  The rage in his eyes scared her into submission.  The liquid burned her throat as she gulped it down.  He tore the cup from her hands, refilled it, and forced her to swallow its contents.  This repeated over and over.  For how long, she didn’t know.  She was only aware of her burning thirst.  When the cup did not come, she collapsed onto the sharp, rocky ground, convulsing in her frantic search for water.  Her disabled mind barely registered his screech of outrage.  Her world went black as excruciating pain washed over her. 

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