Chapter 17 : The Lost and Found
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The Lost and Found
Gorgeous chapter image by Bellatrixx at TDA!!
Draco Malfoy sat in the Slytherin common room, his arms folded tightly over his chest and his cool, pale hands locked around his upper waist. There was no sound around him and the only light in the room was dim and a soft green. Yet it was oddly very comforting.
He moved his arms so that he was gripping the sides of the black arm chair he was in, his fingers digging deeply into the leather as his head fell back and his eyes closed. He tried to clear his mind of everything—everything he’d done and everything he was doing.
It didn’t work.
Draco’s eyes opened when he heard someone clear his or her throat. He lifted his head and looked up into Astoria’s concerned eyes. She was wearing a thin white robe and a silver slip underneath it. Her arms were folded over her waist and her head tilted so that her golden curls spilled lusciously over her left shoulder. He had to admit: she was beautiful.
Draco cleared his own throat and glared awkwardly at her, “Yes?” he asked in a clipped tone and Astoria rolled her eyes.
“I just came down to see if you were alright—it’s one o’clock in the morning, Draco, and you’ve been sitting there all afternoon.”
“So?” he mumbled, suddenly feeling self-conscious as he sat up straighter in the chair.
Astoria glowered at him, “You know you don’t have to be rude. You were the one who invited me along in the first place.”
“I know,” Draco sighed, trying to keep any bit of resentment out of his voice.
He knew he was being rude to her but he felt that he couldn’t help it. That’s who he was, wasn’t it? Rude, self-centered, arrogant…didn’t those things define him? They always had in the past. The way he used to be had gained him power and respect; they had turned him into the person that he currently was—or used to be.
But now…Draco didn’t know who he was.
Astoria’s face softened as her stance became less rigid, “You should go to bed soon; you heard the others: we’ve got a lot to do tomorrow.” She shuddered slightly and Draco felt his own frame shake with sympathy—something he had no idea that he could even feel.
Astoria didn’t like vampires: their very existence had caused her father’s death, even though it was by the Dark Lord’s hand.
“It’ll be fine,” he said quietly, both a response to her comment and her own personal conflicts.
Astoria’s deep eyes meet his and they stared at one another before Astoria abruptly nodded and began to walk away. But before she could get very far, Draco’s hand shot out and grabbed her arm. The action surprised both Astoria and Draco; he truly didn’t have any idea why he did it—or why he felt compelled to do it.
Their eyes met again as Draco’s slim fingers wrapped comfortingly around Astoria’s wrist and warmth spread like liquid through him.
Draco didn’t know who he was anymore. After everything he had been through, he felt more lost than ever. Everything that he had thought he’d known about himself had dissipated; his morals and ideals had been turned upside down and right and wrong had abruptly switched meanings. He could hardly make sense of anything anymore. But staring into Astoria’s sparkling eyes and feeling the warmth that her touch produced made him feel a little less lost. And a little more found.
* * *
“Any word yet?” Harry asked Ron the next evening as they hurriedly prepared to go to the room of requirement.
They were planning on attempting the use of impediment jinx, a spell meant to slow down the movements of the enemy, and stupefy. Emmett had volunteered to be the practice “dummy” earlier.
Harry had to admit his own apprehensiveness—if a stunning spell hadn’t been able to work on the giant spider that had attacked him in the maze then how would it be able to stop Emmett?
“Just a letter saying that he would get here as soon as he could,” Ron responded, pulling on his robe, “George offered to keep a look out for him.”
“Good,” Harry said as he and Ron both made their way to the door. Harry paused halfway there, “Go ahead and meet the others—” he told Ron, “—I forgot my wand.”
Ron nodded before leaving the boys’ dormitory. Harry waited until Ron’s footsteps died away before moving to his trunk and digging through it to pull out the journal he’d looked at the day before. Once more, it felt heavy in his hands and even heavier once he stuffed it into his robe pocket. He was hoping that he could ask Carlisle to take a look at it for him to see if the spell at least seemed to have any credibility. He knew the basics on the destruction of vampires but he knew that Carlisle would know more.
Harry left the dorm before making his way up to the room of requirement where everyone else except for George was gathered.
He entered quickly before moving towards Ron and Hermione who were on the far right side of the room.
“There you are, Harry,” Hermione said, “Ron said that you’d forgotten your wand.”
Harry looked up into Hermione’s scrutinizing eyes before quickly looking away, “Yeah, I did.”
“Well…” Hermione said before looking towards the Cullens and the pack, “We should probably begin, then.”
“Probably,” Ron grumbled before glowering down at his apparel, “What was the point of us going up to the dorms to get our robes, Harry? We’re taking them off at any rate,” Ron said, peeling his own robes off before tossing them in a bundle onto the ground.
“Guess there wasn’t one,” Harry said, before taking off his own robes and carefully laying them next to Ron’s.
Ron shook his head and walked away before Harry felt a presence on his right. Harry turned his head and saw Malfoy pulling off his own school robe before tossing it down next to Harry’s. The two boys exchanged short glances before Harry turned to make his way towards the rest of the group.
Draco Malfoy, however, stood still as the leather-bound edge of the journal that was hanging out of Harry’s robe pocket caught his eye.
Harry approached the rest of the group and glanced over towards Emmett who grinned broadly at him. Harry couldn’t help but let a small smile cross his own face at Emmett’s very apparent eagerness, “Ready Emmett?”
“Hell yeah,” Emmett said before zipping towards the center of the room. He smiled cockily before spreading his arms wide, “Hit me!”
Rosalie scoffed and rolled her eyes while Carlisle shook his head.
“Very smooth, Emmett,” Edward commented.
Harry glanced to his left and saw Alice sitting with her back against the wall. She was rubbing the sides of her temples, her tiny face scrunched up with concentration. Harry looked back to Emmett who was looking at him expectantly.
“Alright, let’s begin,” he said, stealing another glance at Alice before stepping forward, “We’ll try the stunning spell once with just a single cast—” he told the others, facing back towards them, “—and then we’ll try it again with two.”
Ginny grinned and winked at him, raising her own wand in a silent agreement. Ron cleared his throat from beside her before Hermione elbowed him in the ribs.
“What the bloody hell was that for?” Harry heard Ron yelp quietly at her as he turned back around to face Emmett, who still had his arms spread wide.
Harry gave Emmett a tight nod before raising his wand and pointing it towards Emmett.
“Stupefy!” Harry cried and the spell rocketed with a burst of red light from the tip of his wand, jetting towards Emmett before ricocheting off of the burly vampire’s stone-like chest and shattering one of the mirrored panels lining the wall.
Harry ignored the concerned murmurs of the wizards and the pack behind him and tensed with his wand raised for the second try. He felt Ginny come up behind him before positioning herself next to him, her own wand raised and her body in the same rigid pose as his. He glanced sideways and caught her determined gaze.
“One…two…three—stupefy!” they yelled in unison before the red spell exploded from their wands and jointly smashed into Emmett’s chest, sending him soaring backwards before he crashed into the wall, shards of glass and stone falling around him.
Carlisle and Rosalie rushed to Emmett’s side while Esme’s hand flew over her mouth; Carlisle pulled a shocked looking Emmett to a standing position.
“Incredible…” Harry heard Embry whisper behind him.
Emmett brushed the dust off of his shirt while the rest of the room remained silent. Harry once more felt all eyes on him as his thoughts began to race through his head. If two people could conjure a stunning spell that could blast a vampire off of his or her feet and both physically and mentally throw them off, then that could leave enough time for the Cullens and the pack to destroy them. And if impedimenta and the restraining spell worked also…
“That’s a good idea,” Edward said and Harry turned to face him before Edward turned to Jasper.
“What if we split up into groups?” he asked and Jasper frowned.
“What do you mean?”
“The wizards’ spells will have to be cast in unison—by more than one person—in order to affect any of the newborns. If each of us,” Edward gestured to himself, the rest of the Cullens and the pack, “were to stay with two of the wizards then we could take down individual newborns more effectively without scattering ourselves.”
Jasper nodded slowly, “That could work. The newborns won’t be looking for strategy—they won’t catch on to it and it will be easier for us to remain protected if we’re all watching out for one another.”
“What about the more experienced vampires? The older ones?” Emmett questioned.
“This strategy could work on them as well—but it may be best if some of us take them on individually.”
“We should get rid of the leaders first,” Harry added and Jasper turned to look at him with a slightly raised brow, “From everything you’ve told us, if the leaders are gone then the newborns will have lost all instruction and won’t have any idea what else to do.”
Jasper smiled, “I agree. The leaders are the priority.”
“Should we try the other spell now?” Ginny asked, “To see if it works?”
“Yes,” Harry said before turning to Ron and Hermione, “Will you two…?”
Ron’s eyes widened and he pointed a finger at his own chest, “You want us to try it?”
Ginny giggled while Harry nodded, a small smile turning up the corners of his mouth.
Hermione rolled her eyes, “Of course we will,” she said before tugging on Ron’s arm and pulling him towards where Harry and Ginny currently stood.
“Emmett—you’ll have to go slowly,” Edward said, “Their eyes won’t detect you at full speed.”
Jasper and Harry both frowned as a serious flaw made itself apparent; the newborns would be going full-speed.
“No,” Leah said sharply before stepping forward and positioning herself next to Ron and Hermione, “Go full speed…Emmett…”
Emmett looked between Edward and Leah before shrugging and beginning to dart back and forth, his body transforming into a mere blur of color.
“Wonderful idea, Leah!” Harry heard Edward breathe out from behind him.
“NOW!” Leah called out and Ron and Hermione shouted ‘impedimenta’ in unison before the spell made the distinct sound of colliding with Emmett’s body. Instantaneously, he was visible once more and was running at a significantly lower speed—still faster than any human but not as impossibly fast as before.
Harry’s smile grew as Emmett stopped himself and glowered at his own slow movements. Everything might be possible—if they all worked together as a collective group, with the wizards causing distractions and putting the other side at a disadvantage by throwing them off and lessening their speed and the Cullens and the pack assisting them as well as destroying the other army, then they could win…and without the use of Voldemort’s spell.
Harry glanced around at the optimistic faces of everyone in the room—even Bella who was so worried about the well-being of all of them looked a little more hopeful and was now talking with a radiant Ginny.
Edward and Jacob both broke from the group and made their way towards Harry.
“We’ll make it through this,” Harry said and Edward nodded in reassured agreement.
“Was there ever any doubt?” Jacob asked, winking at Harry.
Harry smiled back. He was glad to see that Jacob was still in an improved mood especially considering the monumental blow out on the quidditch pitch a few days earlier. .
Suddenly, the door to the room of requirement ripped open and George Weasley bounded in, a delighted looking expression covering his face.
He looked around exultantly at all of the eager faces before speaking, “Guess who decided to finally show up?”
“Charlie!” Ginny cried out as a familiar red-haired, muscular boy stepped into the room of requirement, his own expression one of amusement.
“Hey, everyone,” Charlie Weasley greeted with a slight wave before stopping next to George who threw an arm around his brother’s shoulders.
“This is Charlie,” George informed everyone with a proud smirk, “He’s here to save the day.”
“Actually, George, we’ve found out that the stunning spell and impedimenta both have an effect,” Ginny said, rushing over to give Charlie a hug.
“Although not the same effects as they would have on a human,” Hermione added.
“Yeah,” Seth said, “Guess it’s easier to slow a vampire down than it is to completely stun them.”
“It’s close to the same with the dragons I handle,” Charlie said, releasing Ginny from a hug, “It’s much harder to stun them—my best guess is that the stunning spell is much more easily deflected than something like impedimenta. Something to do with the way their skin reacts to the spell.”
“So you really work with dragons?” Embry asked and Charlie nodded with a grin.
“Yep,” he said before lifting his arm and revealing a nasty looking burn on the underside, “It’s my job.”
“Whoa…” Seth murmured.
“The most unfortunate difference between dealing with dragons and vampires though is that dragons have weak areas whereas vampires don’t,” Charlie continued.
“Like the eyes,” Hermione insisted while Ron rolled his eyes and Harry stifled a snort. Krum had shot a dragon in the eye with a spell during the First Task in the Triwizard Tournament.
Hermione blushed and shot Harry a reprimanding look.
“Yeah, like the eyes. Usually the undersides of their stomachs are a little more vulnerable, as well.”
“And we have no vulnerable parts,” Emmett said smugly.
“No,” Charlie chuckled.
“So do you think any of the binding spells would work, Charlie?” Harry asked and Charlie nodded slowly.
“They should—vampires and dragons have relatively the same strength range. I would argue that dragons are stronger. However, it’ll probably still take more than just one of you to hold a vampire down…”
“We’re going to work together,” Neville said and Luna smiled encouragingly at him. Charlie gave another nod before Astoria spoke abruptly.
“Will you teach the spells to us, then?” She asked from her position next to Malfoy; her eyes flickered quickly to the Cullens before refocusing on Charlie.
“Of course he will!” George said, pushing his brother forward and towards the center of the room where Emmett stood beside Carlisle and Rosalie, “Ready, Em?”
“Sure thing, George,” Emmett said, his face lighting up as Carlisle and Rosalie moved back towards the others, Rosalie with her arms folded tightly across her chest. Harry got the idea that even though she knew Emmett’s strength, she didn’t like the idea of him willingly putting himself at risk.
“No,” Edward responded to him quietly, while Bella looked up confusedly from her spot beside him.
“Harry?” Charlie asked turning his torso to face Harry before gesturing towards Emmett.
“Right,” Harry said striding quickly to Charlie’s side.
“I’m assuming you know incarcerous?”
Harry’s mouth formed a tight line; he’d tried to use this very spell on Snape after he’d killed Dumbledore and was fleeing with the other deatheaters. He cringed as the memory flashed vividly through his mind and his eyes flickered to the picture of a beaming Dumbledore taped to the standing bulletin board. Harry refocused his eye line on Emmett, “I do.”
“On three then…one…two…THREE!”
“Incarcerous!” Harry roared along with Charlie and instantly strong, thick ropes produced from their wands and sped quickly towards Emmett, wrapping tightly around his body, binding his legs together and pinning his arms to his torso.
Emmett struggled with the binds, his muscles flexing and his body twisting, before managing to finally break through them after at least a successful 45 seconds of being trapped. He ripped the ropes from his body and threw them to the ground while Charlie grimaced next to Harry.
“So it’ll take more than two to fully bind one of them. But judging by this, I would definitely say less than six…”
“That’s less than it takes to contain a dragon,” Harry remarked and Charlie nodded.
“Yeah, but I’m guessing size might be a part of it as well. It’s a lot easier to successfully wrap a rope around a human sized vampire than it is a dragon. There are more free areas on a dragon to exert enough force to break the binds where as a vampire with a similar strength will be much more limited.”
“But we won’t need to completely bind them,” Jasper said, making his way towards Emmett and stooping to pick up the discarded ropes, “It’ll be enough just to keep them bound for this long—they’ll be more accessible and easier to destroy if they’re still even for a short period of time.”
“Definitely,” Embry agreed, “Not that we’ll need them to be slower…”
“We might.” Jasper said, letting the ropes fall back to the ground, “Especially if they outnumber us.”
“We need every advantage we can take,” Carlisle agreed.
Harry nodded in accord with Carlisle before glancing over at Alice who was still sitting on the floor grasping her head.
“Charlie? Would you mind showing the others how to perform the spell?” Harry asked, his thoughts distracted.
“Sure,” Charlie said before turning the rest of the wizards and beckoning them over to him.
Harry slowly approached Alice before she looked up at him and gave him a grim smile, “I’m fine—” she said, “—thank you for wondering.”
“No problem,” Harry said.
Alice rubbed her temples, “Everything’s blurred…”
“That’s how it always looked when I tried to see the future,” Harry said, remembering his failed attempts in divination.
Alice let out a tinkling life as a genuine smile crossed her tiny face. She glanced past Harry to watch as Neville and Luna attempted to bind Emmett. Her gaze then went to Edward who was holding Bella against his side. Alice sighed and pressed her hands back to her forehead. Harry felt bad for Alice—she had to look out for all of them: for the Cullens, Bella, the pack—whom she couldn’t see—and now the wizards. Harry guessed that it was no easy task to watch the futures of eighteen people.
He slowly turned back to the group, casting a final glance back at Alice before beginning to assist Charlie and the rest of the wizards while the Cullens and the pack looked on curiously.
After an hour or so of constant practice, Harry felt his body begin to wear with tiredness. As if their minds were linked, Ron yawned loudly and Ginny laughed, “Looks like someone’s tired.”
“Shut up,” Ron mumbled stifling another yawn.
“I think that’s probably enough for today,” Charlie said with a chortle, “We can continue practicing again tomorrow.”
“Right,” Harry said, “We should all head to bed now.”
There were several murmurs of agreement coming from the rest of the wizards and the pack before everyone began to disperse and head towards the doors. Harry noticed that Draco and Astoria—without a word to any of them—were out the doors first. Edward appeared on Harry’s left side as the others filed out after Malfoy and Astoria.
“His thoughts were guarded the entire lesson,” Edward said sharply, while Harry frowned, “I’ll keep an eye on him.”
“Thanks,” Harry said.
Edward nodded before turning to smile softly at Bella who had shuffled over from the bulletin board.
“Goodnight, Harry,” she said as Edward wrapped an arm around her and began to steer her towards the doors.
Ron and Hermione approached on either side of Harry, Ron shaking his head.
“I still can’t get over how much he looks like Diggory,” Ron said, “Hey, you don’t think—?”
Hermione rolled her eyes, “No, Ronald. Edward Cullen is not an alias for Cedric Diggory as a vampire.”
Harry tried—and failed—to suppress a grin as he went to gather his robes. As he picked them up, he remembered his plans to ask Carlisle about the legitimacy of the spell after the meeting before realizing with horror that his robe was much lighter than he remembered it being. He quickly reached into the pocket, searching frantically for the leather journal.
“What’re you doing, Harry?” Ron asked from behind him.
Harry froze before sliding his robe on and trying to mentally calm himself—Ron and Hermione couldn’t suspect anything.
“Nothing,” he answered, turning to head out of the room behind Ron and Hermione, “Let’s go.”
Ron shrugged while Hermione cast Harry yet another suspicious look. Harry peered back into the room of requirement a final time before his stomach plummeted even deeper: the journal wasn’t there. It was gone.
* * *
Rolf stood against one of the concrete walls at the new warehouse himself and the others had taken refuge in. This warehouse was much closer to the school where their “enemies” were located—in fact, it just within fifty miles. Jareth had argued with Briony that they were too close but Briony was confident that they—as well as their plans—were secure.
Thanks to Briony’s unconventional power—invisibility—the psychic vampire couldn’t foresee any of her decisions and, unwilling to give anything away, Briony didn’t disclose her plans with the any of the rest of them, not even Jareth, who had taken a personal offense to this. Rolf wasn’t sure how Briony’s power worked but it seemed like she was shielding the entire operation so that the psychic couldn’t see any part of it.
The newborns they’d created—mostly Jareth, Gavin and Elizabeth—were all impatiently waiting for dinner time. A few of them were brawling with one another but most of them were complaining of their burning throats and unquenchable thirsts.
Gavin and Jareth were pacing around the room, breaking up small spats and ordering the newborns about. Briony was lounging on a chair that had been left in the warehouse while Elizabeth flickered around the room, kicking and slapping the whining newborns while squealing gleefully.
Rolf frowned—it was disgusting how Elizabeth got her delight. She’d actually broken many of the newborns’ bones while they were transforming into vampires, causing them even more excruciating pain than was necessary. Though, Rolf didn’t think any of it was necessary.
“Gavin, Elizabeth, Jareth, why don’t you take our newcomers out to hunt,” Briony said suddenly—perhaps annoyed with the rising hum of the newborns’ hunger complaints— before reaching down to pet the hair of a male newborn sitting directly beside her.
Rolf watched as Jareth’s expression turned to a full scowl as his eyes grazed over the newborn beside Briony. She’d taken a very special liking to the boy who appeared only to be about twenty in his physical age. Jareth insisted to Gavin that the only reason she appreciated the new vampire so much was because it was the only vampire that she herself had changed while they had done the honor of transforming the others—without Rolf’s help, of course. Rolf was barely allowed to be around the newborns for fear of “contaminating them with stupidity and inability” as Gavin had said he would do.
But Rolf didn’t think that Briony was so attracted to this newborn because she’d transformed him….there was something very…strange about him. His eyes were an unusually vivid crimson and he rarely spoke of thirst. He was also exceptionally strategic and intelligent for a newborn. While the others relied on their brute force, he relied on his mind and had actually succeeded at beating Gavin in a fight several times during training. Rolf wasn’t sure whether the newborn had a power or not but something about him repelled Rolf—he was never able to be within a five foot radius of the newborn.
“Of course, Briony,” Jareth said with a nod before shooting the newborn an insulting and envious look while motioning for Elizabeth and Gavin to follow him, “Follow me,” he instructed the newborns firmly, and each of them got up to trail after him while Gavin and Elizabeth took up the rear of the unorganized line, Elizabeth kicking the heels of the newborns in front of her.
Rolf glanced sideways again at Briony and watched as she continued to stroke the dark brown hair of the boy beside her.
“You still have yet to tell me your name, darling,” she cooed to him while Rolf cringed. It was the same demeaning and buttery voice she used to utilize to get simple answers out of him.
The newborn looked up at her with a relaxed smile, “You have never inquired. I will only ever give you what you ask me to.”
Briony chuckled as Rolf’s disgust grew, “State your name, then.”
“It’s Tom,” he informed her sweetly.
Briony’s expression stiffened slightly and Rolf’s frown deepened. Something about the name ‘Tom’ didn’t appeal to her…
Tom continued to stare calmly at her, seemingly unaware that his name had jarred something within her.
Rolf turned his gaze back to the floor and began to think back to when he’d first worked under Briony. He remembered that she had always gotten her orders from the Dark Lord, which were usually assassination assignments that she and Jareth would personally carry out. She always looked extremely fierce and at the same time weak after she got back from seeing the Dark Lord and the tension she brought with her was exceptionally tangible to the rest of them.
Rolf had never personally met the Dark Lord but he’d overheard Elizabeth and Gavin speaking of him plenty of times; how is eyes were snake-like and his appearance inhuman. He’d also heard of the terrible things he’d done and of the terrible things he was capable of doing. Briony had always alleged that they, the Forus, were powerful enough to claim absolute power over the wizarding world for themselves but she’d never actually taken any action until after the Dark Lord was gone. So did that mean she was scared of him? Of the Dark Lord?
He continued to ponder, sifting through his many vibrant memories. He couldn’t imagine Briony afraid of anything but the more he thought about it, the more likely it seemed that she had actually been afraid of the Dark Lord.
So what did the name ‘Tom’ have to do with that?
Rolf looked up again and this time met Tom’s gaze. He gave Rolf a shrewd and sinister half-smile before turning his gaze back to Briony, who was still stroking his hair.
Rolf felt a jolt of fear flicker through him and suddenly he was moving towards the entrance of the warehouse, “I’m going to grab a newspaper,” he mumbled back at Briony, who sat up straighter in her seat when she noticed Rolf’s abrupt movement.
He quickly exited the warehouse and instantly broke into a sprint, eager to get as far away from the Forus—and Tom—as possible.
Author's Note: So that was chapter 17! I hope all of you enjoyed it! The last couple of months have been rough so I apologize for the long time it took for this story to be updated! I do have the entire story already planned out and, actually, the next chapter is close to being finished so I promise the next update will come soon! I'm sorry for any grammar or spelling errors! I would really appreciate it if you guys left a review because I love hearing back from you and I would love any feedback that you have! I'm still concerned with my characterizations of Draco and Edward so I would really appreciate your input on those and the rest of the story! Thanks so much for reading! :)
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