Chapter 2 : The Adventures of Reckless Git and Danger Ponce - Part 1
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Harry’s head felt three sizes too big. Desperately, he tried to turn to his best mate. “Ron? Can you hear me?”
He was met with a groan. “Yeah, mate, I hear you. Head’s pounding…And I can hear them. They’ll be here soon.” Ron’s voice sounded resigned, almost welcoming their coming doom.
From the corridor, at first they heard distant shouting. But it was getting louder by the minute.
“Can you move?” Harry’s voice was still uneven.
Harry heard his best mate grunt. “No good. Petrified from the neck down.”
“Bollocks! Me too…we gotta get outta here.”
“And go where? There’s no place to hide where they can’t find us, brother.”
One last time, Harry tried to move his legs. The pain that shot through him when he tried it made him give it up as bad business. The shouting had grown even closer. He sighed. “Ideas?”
“Bugger all. But I think I’ll just blame you.”
“Ponce! It wasn’t my…”
The doors to Hogwarts’ hospital wing nearly exploded off their hinges, revealing two stunningly beautiful and righteously outraged witches. A deathly silence filled the room as Hermione and Ginny cast cold glares at their boyfriends.
“It was Harry’s fault!” Ron shouted and instantly regretted it as his head reverberated with the noise.
Ginny and Hermione shared a look. Hermione gritted her teeth and Ginny just shook her head. Then they crossed the room to their respective boyfriends.
Hermione gave Ron a menacing growl, but she couldn’t keep her hand from smoothing his hair out of his eyes.
Ginny pulled a chair up to Harry’s bed, casting a disappointed scowl at the raven-haired wizard and then glancing at the bed holding her brother. “Did you two just miss the hospital wing so much you couldn’t stay away, or is there an actual excuse for you ending up here again?”
Hermione interjected before either of the wizards could answer. “I’m sure Madam Pomfrey is glad to see you. You two used to be her best customers.”
Harry sighed as he turned his eyes to Ginny. “Love, this time…things just got away from us.”
“Obviously,” Ginny spat.
Through their bond, Harry could feel the anger emanating off his girlfriend. She hadn’t been this livid with him in years.
Hermione furrowed her brow at Ron. He shot her a timid, cockeyed smile in response.
“Don’t!” She hissed. “The usual charm isn’t going to get it done today!”
“Oh, for the love of Merlin, Hermione! It’s not like we wanted this to happen.” Ron retorted.
Hermione bit her tongue and took a calming breath. Then she closed her eyes. “Pomfrey immobilized you both to make sure the healing potions work without any interference. The paralysis should start to wear off in stages. She said you’d both broken more bones than she could count.” Then she shook her head. “Amazingly enough, you don’t have any other serious internal injuries. But, for the next,” Hermione glanced at her watch, “two hours, neither of you are going anywhere.”
Harry perked up at that. “Excellent! I was hoping they’d let us go home tonight. I knew it couldn’t be that bad…”
“Couldn’t be that bad?!” Ginny seethed. “Harry, there’s an entire building that’s demolished back in Hogsmeade!”
Harry blanched. Then he tried to soothe her through their bond. Love, if you’ll just let us explain? He was met with silence, and another wave of anger.
After a short eternity, she responded. Don’t even try that! Talk! Out loud. Our link is off limits to you until we get this straightened out.
Hermione spoke up, an arctic chill in her voice. “Kingsley’s sorting everything out now, which is why he isn’t here in person, giving you the dressing down you both deserve.”
That got Harry’s ire up; his voice rose as he glared at Hermione. “King knows the value of the target. So do you, Madame Undersecretary.” Harry’d let a tone of derision slip into his voice. “We had to go in…”
“Auror Potter,” Hermione spat, condescendingly, “this was supposed to be a simple reconnaissance, not a full scale war.”
Harry seethed as he tossed out his trump card. “Auror jurisdiction.”
Ron was gob smacked. “You two do know that it’s me and ‘Mione that are supposed to be arguing like this? Did you lose the script or something?”
“This is no time for jokes, Ron.” Ginny replied, with an icy frown. Then she turned on her boyfriend and her best friend. “You two need to drop the Ministry silliness. And you two,” she motioned to Harry and Ron, “need to explain what the hell happened.”
Ron shot a look at Harry. “I’ll start…”
The curse slammed into Ron’s shield, throwing him violently up against Harry. They’d gone back-to-back instantly when they realized they’d walked into a trap.
Ron countered, conjuring a whirlwind that bought them some time as Harry braced his legs to steady them both. Then they heard crashes overhead.
“Bugger! There’s more on the first floor!” Ron shouted.
“Expulso!” Harry countered, blasting two Death Eaters out of their way as they made for the stairs. “We gotta get out of this basement! Up!”
Ron went first, as Harry turned and loosed a Bombarda at one of the support beams.
“Blasting out the beams?!” Ron shouted. “Are you mental!?”
“Wait! Wait!” Ginny shouted, raising her hand to Ron, cutting him off mid-sentence. “I hate when you do that!”
“Do what?” He asked with a befuddled look on his face.
“Start in the middle,” she huffed.
Ron had regained the use of his right arm and was sitting up in his bed, sipping pumpkin juice through a straw. “Well, you wanted to know what happened.”
Ginny glared at him. “Back up.”
“How far?” Ron asked over his glass. Then he sniffed the air; the smell of fresh baked bread wafted in through the doorway. “It’s getting near dinner, isn’t it? I wonder if Winky could bring us up a spot of…”
“Ronald!” Hermione hissed.
“Fine,” he said, exasperated. “So, where am I supposed to start?”
“The beginning,” Hermione said through clenched teeth. “That’s usually where people, normal people, start a story.”
“Oh, for Merlin’s sake Hermione,” Harry interjected. “You’ve been getting our briefing memos. Yaxley! This whole mess was about Yaxley.”
Hermione’s head snapped around to Harry. “Yaxley?!”
Ginny piped in. “I thought this mission was focused on Dolohov. Yaxley’s out of the country.”
“That’s what we thought,” Ron added. “New development, just this morning.”
Ginny frowned at Harry, whose eyes dropped to the bed sheets. “Love, I would’ve told you about it, but we only just found out.”
Hermione’s patience slipped several more notches. “The morning briefing memo from the stakeout didn’t say a single word about Yaxley.”
“Not the morning briefing, the supplement. Hermione, I wrote it myself,” Harry answered with an exasperated shake of his head. “This whole damn thing shifted focus to Yaxley six hours ago. I gave the supplement to Seamus…” he trailed off as the realization hit him full force. “Oh, bugger!” Harry buried his head in his hands.
“Oh, bugger, is right.” Ron interjected. “So, that’s why our backup never appeared.” He shot a look at his partner.
“What?” Ginny turned from Hermione and Ron back to Harry. “What happened?”
Hermione shook her head, letting the cliché slip from her lips before she could stop it. “I didn’t get the memo.”
Harry sighed. “From the beginning then…”
AN: Well, this update came a lot sooner than I thought it would! This story arc will most likely run about three chapters. For the first time in quite a while, I’m posting before the whole tale is completed, but never fear. It’ll be finished soon and I don’t anticipate any monumental edits. I do not own Harry Potter; the toys belong to JKR, she just lets us play with them.
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