Chapter 5 : Five to Midnight
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Albus was leaning against another pillar. He had been following these two men all night, listening to all their conversations. He had to sit through a whole load of useless rubbish before they started talking about anything valuable again. It had taken the tall one twenty minutes to get off the subject of his new summer home. Al looked down at his watch.
Five to midnight
Time to go. He needed to be discreet. They had spotted him lingering around them a couple of times and he didn’t think he could afford being seen again before they started to get suspicious. His heart was pounding as his mind went over everything he had heard that night. He tried to clear his head. The only thing he needed to concentrate on now was getting out, quickly, quietly and without being seen. He held onto his glass of champagne tightly and stepped forwards to leave as naturally as he could. He had only taken one step before he tripped over his own feet, went flying forwards and landed on his face. His champagne flew out of his hand and smashed on the ground. Everyone around him fell silent and stared. Nice one Al. Real smooth. He got up and went to carry on walking, with his back two the two men. He heard footsteps hurrying behind him. They had worked it out. He picked up his pace, so did they. Then he gave up his cover and broke out into a full blown run. He could hear people shouting behind him but he didn’t stop to listen. He ran faster, only concentrating on one destination.
Dominique was shivering but she didn’t notice. Both she and the boy from the party had climbed inside the giant circular fountain in the grounds and were sat side by side, cut off from the world by a shimmering wall of water. The only light was from the moon, glistening though the watery veil and giving them just enough light to see. They had been talking for hours about anything and everything. Dominique realized that she had misjudged him. He wasn’t just another rich pureblood scrum bag. He was passionate, kind, funny and the most tragic thing was that he was unhappy. She felt sorry for him. She couldn’t imagine what it would be like to grow up in a family like his and he couldn’t get out. She felt as if she had an insight into his mind. It was obvious that the things he was telling her hadn’t been heard by anybody before. What she couldn’t understand was why he had chosen her to confide in.
‘You don’t have to be who they want you to be you know’ she said to him quietly, trying to read his pained expression
‘I don’t know any different. That’s how I have to be so that’s who I’ve become. I don’t even think I know who I am’
‘I don’t think that’s true...’ she leant closer to him. They were both soaked in water and shivering, but they didn’t care ‘You just need to stop being so scared. I know who you are, and I like him a lot’
‘Thank you’ they were whispering now, concentrating far harder on the fact that their noses were practically touching. She caught sight of his watch and cursed.
Five to midnight.
‘I have to go...’ She murmured pathetically but before they knew it, they were kissing. They kissed desperately; his hands ran through her sodden hair. They finally broke off, gasping for air. She went to leave back through the curtain of water but he stopped her.
‘Wait!’ She turned round. ‘Tell me your name’ He asked
‘I can’t’ she looked at him apologetically
‘You’re frustratingly unsolvable. You know that?’
She smiled at him and said ‘Is that such a bad thing?’ He grinned back, and before he could say another word she had gone. She ran as fast as she could in her soaking wet dress, across the grounds, back to meet the others.
Roxanne was still crouched down. Her legs were aching and she was trying as hard as possible not to make a sound. She was crouched between the desk and the large window, looking over the grounds. She saw Dominique running across the large grassy lawn and then looked down at her watch.
Five to midnight
She had to leave now. But she had absolutely no idea how she was going to do it. Finally she decided she would have to fight her way out. She made sure that she had a firm grip on her wand with one hand and the letters she had found were clenched tightly in the other. Then she drew a deep breath, mustering up all her courage and stood up to face the man behind the desk. The man looked startled and before Roxanne could do so much as lift her wand up in the air, he blasted her backwards with a hex.
She felt herself being thrown up into the air and she hit the window with a staggering force. It smashed and she fell backwards through the shards of broken glass. It was happening so quickly but she felt as if it was in slow motion. She could feel herself falling, falling, falling downwards. The ground was getting closer and closer. She gripped her wand tight and desperately racked her brain trying to remember the spell to slow her fall. Then it came to her. She lifted her wand in the air as her hair was whipped around and clenched her eyes shut, praying that she hadn’t remembered too late.
James walked towards Megan who had just finished talking to somebody on the other side of the hall. They had split up earlier to collect as much information as possible individually. When they met up in the middle, he caught sight of the large clock on the wall, over her shoulder.
Five to midnight
‘Come on’ He took her arm ‘It’s time to go’ He led her through the crowds of people towards the exit. Their path however, was blocked by a boy that Megan had been speaking to earlier that evening. He was a little older than both Megan and James and looked a lot stronger.
‘Are you leaving already?’ He smiled at Megan. Megan opened her mouth to speak but James answered for her
‘Yes’ He glared right at him. Not caring that the boy was a good few inches taller than he was.
‘Do I not get a dance first?’ Once again James answered for her
‘You can let the girl make her own decisions mate’ He squared up to James
‘I thought I made it clear. We’re leaving.’ James squared up back
‘James...’ Megan pulled on his sleeve ‘James, don’t do anything stupid’
The boy retreated. ‘Fine, if you and your slut have somewhere else to be...’
James punched the boy right in the face. The boy straightened up and returned the punch with an even harder blow to James. Soon they were both fighting on the floor. People had stopped talking to stare at them in horror. James, although fighting admirably was losing spectacularly. Megan gasped and pulled him out of harm’s way. ‘James, come on.’ She pulled him away from the fight ‘James we need to get out of here’ James didn’t protest. Both he and Megan ran out of the hall whilst he desperately tried to stem the flow of blood from his nose.
Victoire wasn’t sure about this. She had been asking this boy questions all night. She would have avoided him but he didn’t seem to want to leave her alone. But he had grown suspicious as the night progressed. Victoire had asked one question too many and now her whole cover was in jeopardy. The boy looked at her in a distrustful way. She needed to get out as soon as possible. He seemed quite dangerous and the last thing she needed was for him to discover the fact that she was spying on him. She looked around for an excuse to leave then she caught sight of her watch.
Five to midnight
Perfect. ‘Tonight was great’ She lied though her teeth ‘But I have to leave now’ She looked at him sympathetically then mustered up all of her willpower so she could kiss him on the cheek without vomiting down his back. ‘I’ll see you around’ She turned round to leave but he stopped her.
‘Wait. Can I show you something upstairs quickly? It will only be a second’
Every fibre of her body screamed no. ‘Urrrmm... I’d love to but I really have to get going now’
He stopped her once more and smiled at her in the same menacing way he did before. ‘I insist’
She knew this was a bad idea. She needed to leave but she knew that if she refused, he would suspect her for sure. ‘Ok, but only a second’ He smiled at her and she felt her stomach churn. She had a very bad feeling about this.
Rose stared at Scorpius as if she was seeing him for the first time.
‘So you’re on our side?’
‘Of course I am. Don’t be an idiot. Why would I be on the side of the people that kidnapped my parents?’
‘So what do you do now?’
‘I convince them that I know nothing of my parent’s mysterious disappearance and that I live with my grandparents. Then pretend I am on their side.’
‘Because if I work from the inside, it will be easier to take them down’
‘But that’s really dangerous! What if you get caught?’
‘Then I’m screwed.’
‘Why don’t you come with us?’
‘Don’t be stupid Rose. No Weasley, Potter or Lupin will want anything to do with a Malfoy’
‘But what if you get hurt’ She could feel tears welling up in her eyes and she was not sure how they got there.
‘Why do you care if I get hurt?’ He penetrated her eyes with his
‘I don’t know.’ She said pathetically
Scorpius smiled weakly, then took a rose from a bouquet of flowers by the wall and handed it to her ‘Take care Rose’ Then within seconds he had disappeared out of sight.
She could feel her tears spill over onto her cheeks. Why was she crying? She was a Weasley! Weasleys don’t cry for the safety of scumbag Malfoys. What was wrong with her? She shook her head, but somehow she could rid the image of Scorpius Malfoy from her mind. She looked up at the large clock on the wall.
Five to midnight
She had to leave. She made her way out her hand still clutched to the rose, her face still streaming with tears.
Teddy was still rifling through the papers in the bed side tables. When he concluded that there was nothing else important to be found, he moved onto the sock draw. Teddy glanced at the unconscious, bound man in the corner. Perhaps it hadn’t been the best thing to stun and bind him in his own house but Teddy had been forced to think in his feet and that was the first solution that came to mind. He glanced up at the grandfather clock on the far wall.
Five to midnight
He slid the draw shut again and turned to leave. He left the room quickly, locking the door behind him. Hopefully the man would stay in there for a while before he was found and started the alarm. He made his way down the steps quickly and quietly until he was outside the front door. He looked around. Where was everybody?
In the split second that thought had come to him, several things happened at once.
Albus came busting through the front door, champagne spilled down his front with a man behind yelling Stop him! Next he saw Dominique sprinting across the grounds completely soaked from head to toe. James ran though the door hand in hand with... was that Megan Longbottom? And he was sporting what looked like a broken nose. Following James was Rose. She looked like she had been crying and she was clutching a flower in her hand.
He looked around at them and sighed. ‘Where Roxa...’
The window above them smashed and they covered their heads to protect themselves from the glass. Teddy swore loudly as Roxanne fell downwards, pulling out her wand just in time to slow her fall. She landed with a soft thud and then jumped to her feet again.
Teddy couldn’t help but laugh. His cousins had never been subtle. He looked around and then asked.
Nobody answered. They huddled together quickly. People were getting more and more flustered at the party and they didn’t have a lot of time.
‘I’ll explain later’ James said to Teddy as he put his arm around Megan
‘We’ve been found out’ Teddy told them ‘and if we haven’t we’re about to be. Go back to the leaky cauldron. Pack and wait with the others. I’m going back in to find Victoire. As soon as we come back, we’re leaving’
They agreed and disappeared one by one as Teddy fought his way back inside. With a quick look around the hall he saw Victoire wasn’t there. He pelted up the stairs. Upstairs was very quiet compared to the chaos they had created down below. He ran around listening hard. He stopped outside a door with voices coming from the inside. He burst through, his wand in his hand and he immediately saw her. She was standing helplessly against the wall. Her cheek smeared with blood and her wand at her feet.
‘Teddy!’ She cried when she was him. She was shaking with fear ‘He’s figured it out! He knows! Get the others out, he’s a nut job’
The guy had his wand pointed at Victoire and he was snarling ‘You think you can come into my house and snoop around? You might want to think again Blondie’
‘Teddy! Get the others out!’ The boy turned around to face him and raised his wand to point it at Teddy.
Teddy didn’t stop to think at all. He didn’t even process what Victoire was saying. His whole body had been taken over by a blinding, white hot rage. It overtook all his instincts. He raised his wand and blasted her attacker across the room so hard, when he hit the wall several paintings feel to the floor. Then he ran over to help her. She too had now fallen to the ground. He knelt beside her and helped her sit up.
‘Teddy...I...’ Teddy hushed her and helped her up. He put his arm around her shoulders to support her on her feet. She had begun to sob and she hid her face into his shoulder. He put his hand of her back.
‘It’s ok; we’re getting out of here. It’s ok...’ He spun round and they both disapperated on the spot.
When they arrived outside the leaky cauldron, they ran inside. There was no time to waste. The others had already packed and were waiting for them; they stared in wide eyed fear at Victoire, but didn’t ask questions.
‘Alright everyone get the brooms and meet us outside. Make sure you’ve got everything. We’re leaving now’ Teddy gave them instructions and they hurried off without another word. Once everyone had left them alone in the empty bar downstairs to get the brooms, Teddy turned to Victoire.
‘Are you ok?’ He took her urgently by the shoulder and inspected her for any lasting damage.
‘I’m fine. I’m fine’ She insisted but she pulled him into a fierce hug. Teddy hugged her back. ‘Thank you’ she murmured into his neck. Before he could answer the others hurtled back into the bar with the brooms and bags. They rushed outside and mounted their brooms. As they took off into the night sky, this time they weren’t happy, excited or thrilled. Each one of them was terrified. They now knew what they had to do. If the ministry was corrupt they would have to do it on their own because they’re going to save their parents. No matter what.
Back in the basement of Malfoy Manor, everyone was waiting for Ginny’s return, if any. Since she had left they were joined by four more people. Neville, Hannah, Luna and Rolf. Once everything had been explained to them nobody talked. It was silence. The only movement was made by somebody checking the time or looking up to shoot a nervous look at Harry. Harry was more angry then he could ever remember being. He was stuck down here unable to do anything while his wife and kids were in danger. He checked his watch for the fourth time in five minutes. At the very second it turned one in the morning, the door opened and light spilled into the dark room. Ginny stood at the top of the stairs in the grip of a large death eater. Harry yelled her name and jumped to his feet. Before he managed to see the man holding her, he had left, slamming the door behind him.
Harry ran over to her and helped her sit down. She was shaking.
‘Are you ok?’
‘I’m Fine, any news from the kids?’
Ginny looked up at the new arrivals as Harry nursed a gash on her arm and swore. ‘Not you too!’
‘Afraid so’ Said Neville. He had his arm round Hannah who was gazing in wide eyed shock at Ginny.
‘Are you sure you’re ok?’ Harry asked
‘I’m fine love it’s just...’
‘...your arm...’ He picked up her left arm and she winced. Ginny looked down and swore again. Her elbow was dislocated from its socket.
‘It’s ok’ everyone looked up to see Malfoy had also come to kneel beside her. ‘You just need to pop it back in place. May I?’
‘Go for it’ Said Ginny offering him her arm. Harry merely shrugged and Ron glared at him. He took her arm gently in both hands then pushed hard. Ginny yelled and so did Harry.
‘HEY WHAT ARE YOU...’
‘All done’ He retreated and Ginny bent and stretched her arm once or twice before looking up at him. ‘Thank you’
They sat in silence for a little while longer until a silver stag burst through the wall. James’ voice rang out loudly around them.
‘It’s James, we’re still on the move and we’ve found a new place to hide. Don’t worry we’ve found out some things and we might be closer to finding you now. Teddy taught me how to do a patronus Dad! It’s the same as yours.’ The voice trailed off a little before coming back strongly. ‘If Neville and Hannah are with you tell them Megan is with us and she’s fine. Well I have to go now. I miss you guys, we’ll see you soon. Bye’
Once the stag had disappeared everyone looked at each other for a while. Neville and Hannah looked relieved but Luna and Rolf looked more scared than before. They had yet to hear from their sons.
‘It’ll be ok Luna’ Ginny said ‘They know how to look after themselves, kids.’
Harry put his arm round Ginny. His spirits had been lifted despite their situation. James’ patronus was a stag! He knew it would be. The same as his father and his grandfather. Harry’s chest swelled with pride. They really were the next generation of them.
‘Well...’ Said George ‘As long as we’re gonna be stuck here for a while...’ He pulled out some muggle cards from his pocket ‘Has anybody here heard of poker?’
Well what did you think? Theres lots more to come and I want to thank everyone who have reveiwed on my story. Reveiws are what keep me going. Thanks especially to authoreray and blimmchen who have reveiwed ALL my chapters, Its so nice to read your kind words. :) Siriously reveiws are what make people better authors and constructive critisism is very helpful so please take the time to leave a message. Well, I'm gonna go get some pizza now so thanks again to everyone who has kept up with operation grown up and untill next time take care xxx
JK: Wait... you're not Jk Rowling!?
JK: And I am!?
JK: Wow.... I think I need to sit down.
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