Chapter 24 : The Attempt
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Hermione heard the front door of the cottage give a rattling slam that seemed to shake the whole house. She jumped off of the bed she was sitting on and stared out of the window. She watched as Draco walked briskly through the front garden and stopped around 50 ft away from the front door.
He waved his wand elaborately in a series of movements. Hermione recognized most of them to be concealment charms. Most likely Muggle Repellent charms, shields and barriers, and most likely a sound and sight spell that would hide the cottage very effectively.
She turned her head towards the door and listened, Draco had left, but the girl had not. She was still in the house somewhere.
After a few moments of silence, Hermione began to survey the one window in the room. If she could manage to get out of it she might have a small chance of escape, for without a wand it would be impossible to disapparate.
She pushed a dressing table underneath the window and climbed on top of it. It shook and made a small rattle as her trembling legs stood straight. She reached up for the window latch, but about an inch away from the metal handle her hands found a kind of invisible barrier, as if the window were covered with thick amounts of plastic that she could not break through. She thumped her fists against the barrier a few times, but she couldn’t break through.
She jumped off the desk and looked around the room for something stronger; she might be able to smash through the glass. Even if it did make a loud noise that would signal her plans she had to try something.
There was an old wooden chair at the other side of the room, she ran to it and picked it up, carrying it to the window. She could only hope that the feeble looking wooden legs might break the glass.
She held it high, ready to aim its legs accurately at the pane that had just started to spot with tiny droplets of rain.
She took a deep breath and braced herself, ready to throw it down.
A loud crash suddenly sounded, and a blast of red light exploded against the window and deflected right towards Hermione’s face.
She threw herself down onto the floor to avoid the bolt of power, which smashed into the ceiling and caused a lump of plaster to fall onto the bed. Thick streams of white dust spilled from the hole above her.
‘You can try and break the window if you like’ a voice by the door hushed. Hermione looked up from the floor and saw Ophelia standing there, leaning against the door frame, arms crossed and a smile on her pretty face.
‘I’m not sure exactly what spells he used to seal the place… but I expect he thought of everything’ her eyes sparkled once again with that strange admiration Hermione had seen so many times in Bellatrix Lestrange’s eyes.
‘Go on’ Ophelia urged ‘Try and break it… I’m letting you’ she waved a hand towards the window.
Hermione got to her feet once again and lifted the chair high above her head, with a strained groan she brought it down as hard and fast as she could, the legs collided with the invisible barrier and the chair buckled under the impact, falling to several shattered wooden pieces at her feet.
She gave a defeated sigh, and glared at the girl at the door, looking down at the hands that could cause so much damage.
Ophelia, seeing the object of Hermione’s interest lifted her right hand and curled her fingers in and out.
‘I bet you’re intrigued aren’t you? Draco was intrigued too’ she whispered, a smirk pulling at her lips ‘He says I’m special’
‘I dare say you are’ Hermione said as she sat herself back on the plaster covered bed ‘how… how do you… do it?’ she asked hesitantly, for she was very interested in how this girl could cause so much power without a wand.
Ophelia looked on her, her golden brown eyes lingering on Hermione’s face.
‘I’m not sure; I can’t even remember when it started… I always assumed that I could always do it’
‘But your parents would have known wouldn’t they? Didn’t they try to help you?’ Hermione asked, and immediately regretted it, for Ophelia’s eyes darkened along with her expression. Tiny little red sparks began to light up her face.
‘They knew, they knew what I could do and they tried to hide it. They hid me… kept me in the house out of sight. They were afraid I would be tested on, made some lucky scientists guinea pig. But they didn’t realize that they were making it worse, they kept me locked up, I wasn’t allowed to play outside and so I got angry, and when I got angry this power got out of my control’ she took a deep breath.
‘I think they realized their mistake when I accidently killed all the fish in our aquarium, I was feeding them and this spark just shot out… it blew the entire street’s electricity that night. And then, after that these bursts kept tearing out of me, I was always in so much pain. One day my mother and father were arguing, and I tried to block my ears from the sounds of their shouting and I could still hear them and I tried to stop it… I tried but it all went red, and my mother and father lay on the floor, not moving, not breathing. That’s when I was brought here to live with my Aunt and Uncle’
Hermione had pressed a hand against her mouth, tears sparkled dangerously in her eyes as she looked over the young girl… she could have been no older than sixteen.
‘And, where are your Aunt and Uncle?’ Hermione whispered her voice threatening to crack.
A small cold smile spread over Ophelia’s lips as she answered the question.
‘Dead. Draco killed them… my little cousin too’
‘No’ Hermione breathed, she closed her eyes tightly to control herself.
‘They were horrid, they hit me, kept me locked in my room day and night, starved me when I did something worng. Tghey didn’t understand’ she shook her head.
‘I… I’m so sorry’ Hermioen said, not knowing what else she could say.
‘I’m not’ Ophelia replied ‘Draco said, Draco promised. He said I wouldn’t have to hide after this was over, after he has finished the task he wants to do… he said I’ll be free… I’ll be powerful’
‘He lies Ophelia; he’s a lying, manipulative snake-’
‘He’s using you, can’t you see that he-’
‘He has to be destroyed; he has to be killed so he can’t hurt anyone else-’
‘STOP IT!’ A red bolt suddenly shot out of Ophelia’s chest, Hermione ducked once again to avoid the impact but she was too slow, the energy hit her shoulder and she was knocked off of the bed, hitting her head on the corner of the dresser she had placed beneath the window.
Red and white spotted her vision, she saw that Ophelia was panting on the floor, her face crumpled with pain, she shakily got to her feet and grasped the door frame for support.
‘He’s not a liar… he’s come to save me’ she said in a gasping voice.
Hermione lifted a hand to the side of her head, she felt a rapidly growing patch of warm stickiness beneath her hair on the space that had struck the dresser. She winced as she attempted to get up; there was blood all over her finger tips.
She turned herself around and pulled herself up against the dresser, her head starting to throb painfully. She heard a loud crack outside, her eyes turned to the window and she saw a tall figure in a black cloak, the hood was pulled up, hiding the figures face.
He walked closer, stepping delicately on the grass; they were but a mere 20 ft away when they pulled their hood down. Hermione gasped excitedly as she saw Severus standing there. He was looking around fiercely, his black eyes narrowed and hawk like.
‘Severus!’ she shouted as loud as she could, she thumped her hands against the barrier keeping her from the window.
Ophelia looked out of the window too, watching with one arm wrapped around her aching chest.
Hermione saw him pull a bright vial from his pocket; he uncorked it and closed his eyes as he pointed his want to the solution. He mouthed an incantation that Hermione couldn’t hear and the bright solution started to bubble.
It spiraled gently out of the tube and lingered in the air a moment, Severus opened his eyes and licked his lips in apprehension as the bright fluid floated serenely in front of his face.
Hermione guessed it was some kind of locator spell; she waited for it to recognize her, zoom into the window and surround her so she could at last be found.
The fluid started to lose its vivacity, the bright purple suddenly turned a dark shade of scarlet and instead of zooming off into the direction of where Hermione was, it hardened and crystallized in the air, and fell to the ground with an ear splitting crash. Huge shards of scarlet granite flew through the air, rolling away out of sight, out of reach.
‘No!’ Hermione screamed and continued her pounding; blood was beginning to smear from her fingers onto the barrier invisible barrier between her and the window.
‘Severus. SEVERUS! I’m in here! IN HERE, CAN’T YOU SEE ME, SEVERUS! PLEASE!’ She continued to pound the walls, tears streaming down her cheeks and her balled fists beginning to ache painfully.
She watched as his head dropped and he pulled his hood up once again, he started to walk away.
‘SEVERUS, SEVERUS!! COME BACK!’ She screamed, louder than she had ever screamed in her whole life.
Severus stopped, he turned just a fraction as if he had heard something, but after a moment he continued his walk and apparated as he got to the cliff’s edge. Hermione saw him turned and disappear, as if he had never been there at all.
‘NO!’ She screamed once more, and this time her voice broke. She fell to a crumpled heap onto the floor, blood now running down her neck, mixing with the tears that were absorbing into her white shirt.
‘I did tell you’ Ophelia said softly, turning to leave the room ‘Draco would have thought of everything’ she left then, leaving Hermione to control her chest shaking sobs. He had been so close, so close to taking her home, rescuing her from this horrid place.
He had not even sensed her presence. She pressed her palms to her eyes tightly, and attempted to control her staggering sobs.
Another chapter, dear readers, for your endulgence! Please let me know what you think? Many thanks!
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