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Chapter 10 : Homebound for War
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“Get into the forest! Now! They’re putting the barricades back up!” Harry ran and was shouting spells at the men who were actively placing spells around the rainforest that Atkins had taken down. As long as none of them finished a spell, everyone would be free to get inside. The other Aurors had heard him, and if they hadn’t they were watching him run towards the trees and following him since it must’ve been for a good reason.
Those who the other Aurors were fighting had been confused as to why their opponents had suddenly stopped fighting with them, but that had only been for a split second. They soon began shooting spells at their backs, some hitting a few Aurors that Harry truly felt sorry for, but they couldn’t go back. He tried his best to simultaneously attack those attempting to put the barriers back in place as well as those who were behind him.
There was only one man standing as Harry and the others reached the forest’s edge, but instead of taking him down, he grabbed his collar and pulled him to the ground. This action, though unintended, had saved Harry from getting hit with a spell. But he was unconcerned with that at the moment.
He held his wand to the man’s throat and nearly choked him by pressing it too close. “Put the barricades back up.” Harry ordered. “New password, phoenix; Do it now!”
Before Harry pulled the man up to his feet, he commanded all of the Aurors to send one strong, offensive spell that could subdue those who were still fighting and summon their unconscious coworkers to them. They did so, and all Aurors were on the side of where the forest started and, just for the moment, every attacker was down.
“Put them up!” Harry shouted, and the man, having no other choice, did as he ordered and soon the energy of the barricades could be felt. When that was done Harry snatched away his wand before he could use it and bounded his hands behind his back.
“What more do you want?” He snarled, and Harry roughly grabbed his arm and pushed him forward, all of the remaining (and conscious) Aurors staring at him with disdain.
“The Watch Tower,” Harry replied snappily, recalling what Atkins had said about it. “Take us there.”
Hermione was pacing the room, making sure not to fall through any of the holes in the floor that were there. She had been thinking out loud, trying to figure out how she and Draco could get out of the “horrible hell-hole” that they had been thrust into. She doubted that there’d be a fireplace anywhere nearby, and she knew that apparation wouldn’t work in the slightest, especially because the barricades were more than likely still up.
“I suppose we could just drag him along and make him take the barriers down. But do we even know how to get to the bloody shore from here? Everything looks the same!”
“I think you’re a little too worked up about this.” Draco commented as he rolled his eyes at the man bemoaning his broken limbs. Hermione stared at him in shock and huffed.
“You’ve got to be kidding. What, now that everything’s over this little forest is looking like a paradise?”
“Well, not to diminish from your thinking, but compared to Azkaban, everything looks like a paradise.” It was Hermione’s turn to roll her eyes and Draco simply smiled as he stuffed his wand in his back pocket. “We’ll find a way out of this place. That’s for damn sure. But you need to relax for a moment. Might as well take the time to do so since there’s no threat to our lives anymore…”
Hermione had been peering through the giant hole in the wall that had been made by one of her spells. She had been waiting for Draco to finish his thought but nothing more had come from him. She turned back to look at him to find that he had his ear pressed up against the door, his forehead creased in alarm.
“What is it?” Hermione asked as she walked over him. He took out his wand form his pocket and held it tight.
“They’re people here. I can hear voices.”
“Thorn must be back.”
That was just what they needed; to be suddenly in the clear and then immediately taken out of it. Hermione took out her wand as he slowly opened the door. Draco led the way out of the room and headed down the hallway with Hermione at his heels. He was right. There were others beside them who were in the Watch Tower and it seemed like a lot judging by the increased amount of creaks the place was making.
“I say we attack hard and fast.” Draco whispered as the voices grew louder and shadows began to appear on the wall ahead of them. “Agreed?”
They were both leaning up against the corner of a wall where it led down an adjacent hallway. That’s where the voices were coming from and coming closer. Without wasting a single second, Hermione and Draco jumped from where they were with their wands drawn. A spell came at them quickly and Draco deflected it. But before the battle could truly be fought a voice erupted from the crowd of twelve or so saying, “Stop!” That voice caused Hermione to lower her wand instantly and a smile to come to her face as she ran into the mass of people.
“Harry, I knew you’d find me!” She shouted as she threw her arms around him. Harry happily received her in his arms and held her tight, more than ecstatic that she was alright and lived to tell the tale from this terrible mess. “Merlin, I thought you were Thorn. Where’s Ron?”
“He’s where Thorn is.” Harry replied grimly, and Hermione stared at him confusedly as he surveyed all of the bodily damage that had been done to her. “Hermione, this whole game wasn’t just for sick fun. It was a diversion. Thorn wanted to get into the Ministry and take it over. That’s why Ron stayed behind to try and ward him off as best as possible. I hate to think what’s going on there at the moment.”
“It can’t be all bad, can it? With the amount of Aurors we have in the Department-”
“They’re not there.”
“What? What do you mean they’re not there?”
“I mean that Atkins was in on it. Thorn had taken his family, and it was Atkins’ job to get every last Auror away from the Ministry and he did.”
“How the hell did he manage to do that? The Minister would have to agree!” Hermione was in disbelief and even more so when Harry said that the Minister was a man very easily persuaded. She then sighed and ran a hand through her disheveled hair. “Then we need to go. Ron’s in awful danger.”
Harry nodded to her and then brought his attention to a few Aurors who had walked a small distance away from them. “Take him away.”
Hermione turned around to see exactly what he was talking about. She had been so excited to see him that she had completely forgotten that Draco was there. And then she realized with horror that while she had been talking with Harry Aurors had taken Draco and bound him by the hands. They were preparing to disapparate but she immediately stopped them.
“You can’t. They can’t.” She addressed Harry, whose face showed multi-levels of confusion.
“Because,” That was a good question. What did Hermione think was going to happen? This whole ordeal would be over and she and Draco would be able to go back out into the world? In one sense that was true, but his world was in Azkaban. He still had a sentence to finish consisting of nine more years, but even then, she still found herself protesting his current arrest back into custody.
“The Ministry’s in chaos, Harry. There’s only us to take it back and we need all the help we can get.” Hermione sighed and settled her eyes on Draco. “Even his… Malfoy going back to Azkaban right now will lessen our power down by three people.”
Harry took a second to grind his teeth and he ran his hands through his hair because he knew she was right, even if her reasoning wasn’t primarily for the good of the Ministry.
“He’ll run. We’re all going to be fighting for our lives and he’s going to take off. None of us are going to be watching him-”
“I will.” Hermione said firmly. “I’ll watch him. Now can we go? We’re wasting time arguing about this.”
Harry, still obviously on edge about this, nodded and Draco was let out of his restraints. They all began to head down some stairs that would eventually lead out of the Watch Tower. Harry had resumed his position at the front of the miniature army, side-by-side the man whom he had forced to take him and the other Aurors to the Watch Tower in the first place. Hermione and Draco had stayed more towards the back, mostly walking in silence until Draco had decided to speak.
“You’re going to be on my arse until I’m back in custody, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” Hermione nodded, and then sighed as she looked up at the night sky. “But some part of me is hoping that I can trust you not to run. Can I trust you?”
“I won’t run.” Draco told her and then gave her a crooked smile. “But I’ll walk. Plenty of time for you to catch me,”
Ron had been completely paralyzed when he came barging into the Minister’s office. Though talking proved pointless, he could still hear and unfortunately could still feel –something he wished had gone with his speech because he had rather not felt that kick to the stomach by Thorn.
But that had been an hour ago, maybe a little more. Ron had been taken several feet underground to the holding cells and locked away. He had been confused as to why they didn’t just kill him like the Minister, but it wasn’t like he was regretting it in the slightest. His only wish was that he knew what was going on out there. Without a doubt his fellow Aurors were also captured, unconscious, or dead. Those bloody Inferi were wandering about, Thorn was more than likely smiling triumphantly while sitting in the Minister’s chair, and his henchmen were probably scattered about, two of them standing outside of Ron’s cell.
“What are you doing down here?” One of the guards said. “Thorn’ll be pissed as hell to know that you left your post.”
“He’s pissed enough as it is.”
Ron’s ears perked up at that, and he carefully made his way to the cell door, pressing his ear up against it.
“There’s news about Granger and Malfoy.”
“Oh yeah, it’s long pass eight in the night there isn’t it? Who won?”
“I’m bettin’ it’s Granger. She’s the bit of the vicious one when she’s ready.”
“Well, come on, who wonit?”
“Technically they both did.” The third man grumbled. “Potter came to the rescue as always. The bloody pair went along with him.”
“That doesn’t make any sense. How the hell did they get those bracelets off?”
“Morgan was unconscious but came to, to see it happen. Apparently Malfoy broke a couple of Rowan’s bones to get the incantation out of him. Once he and Granger were gone, Rowan got up and sent Thorn a Speed Owl.”
“Effing coward,” A guard spat on the ground and then sucked his teeth. “He was awake. He coulda stopped ‘em.”
“And get his arse blown to bits? Not bloody likely… I would’ve done the same. But either way, Thorn’s a raving bloody lunatic, and Potter, Malfoy, and Granger, and the Aurors with them are on the way. It’s only a matter of time before they get here.”
Ron backed away from the door with the widest smile the muscles in his cheeks could produce. He was more than happy to know that Harry had made it to Hermione, that she was okay, and that they were returning to the Ministry. Only a matter of time was right, and then the real show would begin.
Hermione had only learned how to tell the time from the sun, not from the moon. She was at a complete loss as to what time it was now, though Draco happily informed her that it was almost nine. She asked Harry where they had been, and he replied that they were in Hawaii, a ten hour time difference.
“Seven a.m.” Hermione mumbled to herself in reference to what it was in England. She then began wondering what Thorn would do with all of the Ministry Employees. They would begin to arrive at eight on the dot, and then what? Kill them all as they entered? She supposed that he could hold some of them in the holding cells, but that would only hold so many. Yes, it would be murder, or even the Imperious Curse so as to have more people on his side. Either way it would be an unhappy turn of events.
The boat came ashore and everyone got off, heading in the direction of the Ministry that was in walking distance. Hermione stared all around her; specifically at the countless amounts of stretchers that were levitating towards the Ministry. Four of them carrying Atkins and Hermione’s fallen coworkers, to which she cast her eyes at the ground not wishing for it to be true. Draco, who was walking beside her kept his gaze averted, a look of guilt flickering across his face since he was the cause of their deaths.
The injured Aurors were sent to the local hospital. Those who were dead were arranged to be sent to England in three days, by then, the hope being, the threat would be taken care of and future threats thwarted. As of now, all who were able-bodied and willing, were standing in the Hawaiian Minister’s office awaiting their orders.
“What’s going to happen next?” one of the Aurors asked, looking towards Hermione rather than Harry. She was slightly surprised and had preferred that after everything that had just happened she would be the one taking orders, not giving them. She sighed, and placed her hands at the rim of her pants.
“Thorn’s not stupid.” Hermione started to say. “Everything’s that happened so far proves that he thinks ahead.”
“I’d bet a thousand galleons the Minister’s already dead.” Draco imputed, causing a snort to come from someone and then a disdainful laugh.
“Nobody was asking you, Malfoy.” The owner of the laugh said angrily. “I don’t even know why you’re bloody here.”
“Enough, Asher,” Harry said sternly. “He’s here because Hermione says so. Go on,” He urged her, and Hermione took a deep breath as she continued.
“...He’s going to know we’re coming, and he’s not going to hide either. Once Thorn spots us he’ll be dead on and fight until no one’s left. Our best bet is to fight like hell. Find a way to get some of the other Ministry employees there. The fighting should be a big enough distraction so that…so that we find Ron and Thorn both.”
“Then it’s settled.” Harry nodded. “Attack with force, and don’t stop.”
A few Aurors were sent to other Ministry employees to inform them of the situation and to form a little army. Of those who were left, things looked bleak. There were only twelve Aurors aside from Hermione and Harry, and of course there was Draco whom Hermione was sincerely hoping wouldn’t cut back on his word and run the moment they all Flooed to England.
If he does, can I blame anyone but myself? Hermione thought and sighed, saying no. The small band of people that they were, they still split up into groups: three groups of four Aurors, and then Harry, Hermione, and Draco as their own special unit. There were three main entrances to the Ministry, though plenty of others, but of course there was no possible way to cover those as well. Two groups would take the front, it being thought of that it might be the most guarded, another the back, and Harry, Hermione, and Draco using the visitor’s entrance. Though, when they Flooed to a Floo Spot not too far from the Ministry a problem could already be seen.
“Damn, what the hell are they doing so far from the Ministry?” Harry exclaimed, and Hermione and Draco both gave each other knowing looks.
“It’s like Granger said, Potter.” Draco said with his wand gently rolling between his fingers. “Thorn knew we’d be coming.”
“The moment they get taken down hiding all inconspicuousness will all be shot to hell.” Hermione pointed out, and Draco, who had been crouching behind the corner of a brick wall like his counterparts, stood.
“Then there’s no point in waiting, now is there?” He asked them, and without warning fled from their hiding spot.
“Malfoy!” Harry called after him, but Draco wasn’t listening. There were four of Thorn’s men casually up the block that was one away from the Ministry. And among them were people; some out for an early morning jog and others looking as though they were heading off to work. With so many muggles parading about, no fighting would take place. But they would be taken to the Ministry as prisoners without a doubt and what sort of surprise attack was that?
Hermione watched in confusion and annoyance as Draco slipped his wand out of sight and walked over to one of Thorn’s men who was sincerely surprised to see him walking directly into his midst. Draco placed his hands behind his head and was talking. He nodded in the direction of where Harry and Hermione were and they nervously glanced at each other.
“We need to get out of here.” Harry said quickly, but before they could move there was a loud crack! Two of the guards had apparated in front of them and were smiling wickedly. “…You really shouldn’t apparate in front of muggles. Every wizard knows that.”
“’Course they do.” One of them chuckled and grabbed Hermione by the upper arm and held her close to him as the other pointed his wand at Harry. “But luckily for us, nobody was lookin’.”
Harry and Hermione were calmly escorted pass muggles, across the street, and down the block towards the Ministry. They were both walking in line with Draco now, to whom they were trying to figure out what the hell was going on through his head. He however, wasn’t paying much attention to them. In fact, he seemed to be in his own little world.
As they grew near to the visitor’s entrance, Hermione could see a faint smile forming on Draco’s lips. She scrunched up her brow in confusion but knew, that somewhere deep in that mind of his, there was a plan brewing. When they all piled into the visitor’s entrance and they were lowered further and further beneath London’s streets Draco was smiling even broader now. Hermione tried as subtly as possible to bring this to Harry’s attention, but he had already had his eye on him from the moment he had moved from their hiding spot.
“You’ll be in a nice lil’ cell with your redheaded friend in a moment,” The guard with the strong hold on Hermione said. She gave a look around her and saw that they were on the floor with all of the holding cells. They were heading down it now, Hermione’s, Harry’s, and Draco’s wands having been taken away and Hermione and Harry being dragged along behind Draco. That was when Hermione saw the motion of Draco’s hand, surprisingly unnoticed by the guards. By the way he was moving it, it almost seemed as though he was trying to tell her to get out of the way. She caught Harry’s eye and he had seen it too, now on the lookout for something to happen.
“You should watch your step.” Draco said, not to her or Harry, but to the man walking beside him. He simply stared at him and huff.
“Oh yeah..? What for..?”
“Because this might hurt a little bit,”
Draco hit him in the throat in one swift motion. The man was a loss for breath as Draco bent over slightly and roughly knocked himself into him so that he was over onto his back in a second. And as Draco hovered over him to deliver several punches to the face, Hermione had elbowed her captor in the stomach and retrieved her wand from him which was protruding out of his pocket. A spell quickly went from her wand into his chest, him falling quickly and his head hitting hard on the cement floor. She turned to see Harry giving his own captor a knee kick to the stomach and a rough push that resulted in an awful face blow to the stone walls. Harry fished his wand from him and then looked pass Hermione, who was now staring at Draco who was holding his wand in his left hand and waving around his right as if exercising it.
“What?” He asked casually, and Harry audibly growled.
“What the hell were you thinking, Malfoy? Do you realize how risky this was?”
“I was trying to get us in here. And we did.”
“Harry, don’t.” Hermione urged as she placed her hands on his chest to stop him from possibly lunging at him. “We don’t have time for this. We need to get Ron. Only Merlin knows what’s going on upstairs.”
author's note: well, can't say that this isn't a lengthy chapter in the slightest! since i had predicted this to end on chapter 11 *sniff, sniff* i had rather two long chaps rather than three short ones. but then again, for those of you who know me well, im horrible at guessing when a story will end ^_^
either, how did you liked the chap?? hope that you enjoyed it, and i'll be sure to post again as soon as i can!
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