Chapter 8 : Dark Rising
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It had been two long months alone on the run. There were so many times I was tempted to go and see Scorpius or Hermione, to hold them, hear the sounds of their voices, just to know that they were real and not some figments of my imagination. But I couldn't, so I didn't.
As the days past, I found myself talking to the picture of Hermione, pretending she could hear me and that she was really there. Looking at the picture made my heart ache, especially as I thought of the other part of my plan, the part in case I didn't come back.
And Hermione will fall in love with Ron and live a normal life. He won't endanger her the way I have.
I was meditating on that thought when I heard a crack outside. Grabbing my wand I glanced at the foe glass and saw the shapes looking clearer than I had ever seen them. I grabbed three secret weapons and stashed them in my pockets before grabbing my satchel and collapsing the tent into it.
If I need to run for it, I need all my equipment.
I stopped and listened again and this time I could hear voices.
"..Blood-traitor should be around here somewhere."
"I can't see anything." Said a second voice.
"Then toss those little balls around. If they bounce off something, then you know he's under there." Came a third voice.
"Why are we after him again? I thought the mud-blood wasn't with him." Said the second voice as a ball landed 3 feet from the barriers perimeter.
"We don't know that for sure. And if she isn't then he'll know where she is." Came the third voice again, definitely the leader of the small group. With a jolt I realized it was Mr Black.
"And we get to teach that stuck-up traitor a lesson." Said a voice I knew all to well.
I felt a chill go right to my bones as they started to close in. Reaching into my pocket, I took the lid off a small bottle and had a small sip.
Luck don't fail me now.
A small ball fell within a foot of the perimeter and I steeled myself for my next move. I slipped out of the back part of the barrier and started to slip quietly away from my camp and soon I was almost out if earshot when I heard Mr black shout out.
"There! The barrier is there! Surround it! Make sure there is no escape."
I kept walking until his shouts died away. Turning on the spot, I apparated away with a crack and came to a stop in a distant forest. I hurriedly set up camp barriers before making a Geminio clone of my tent and leaving it behind as I apparated away again. I spent most of the night apparating from one location to another, leaving behind copies of my tent and burnt out fires.
This should keep them busy for a while. But now I need to find somewhere they won't be looking for me.
Thinking hard, I decided to hide in Muggle London. It was only known by Harry, Hermione and her parents that I was fond of visiting the Muggle world for all the amusements it had over the Wizarding world.
I checked into a small hotel and slept soundly for a few hours, confident that my pursuers would be too far behind me and not able to trace me here. I awoke in the small hotel and ordered room service. As I ate my breakfast, I started to plan my next step.
There is no reason I shouldn’t hide in the muggle world. I can disguise myself well enough and I know enough about them to blend in.
My mind made up, stuck the “Do not disturb” sign on my door and headed out to muggle London. I quickly found a shopping centre and bought myself some muggle clothes, paying cash. Ducking into a nearby bathroom, I changed into some of my new clothes and stowed the rest into my satchel.
Thank Merlin Hermione’s mother decided to teach me about muggle clothes. And that I have a drivers licence.
Hermione and I often, in the early days of our marriage, would slip away into the muggle world for either a date or romantic weekend. Hermione and her parents had taught me how to drive a car and gotten me registered for a licence. As a joke, Mr Granger had me registered as “Drake Granger” on all my official muggle world papers.
“Now you are officially a Granger!” He had joked.
Unbeknownst to them, I had used the name and gotten myself a bank account and a credit card, which I had kept hidden behind my licence. Since I had always paid cash when we went out in the muggle world, Hermione was none the wiser.
I had planned on using some of this money to take Hermione away for a romantic weekend just after Valentines Day. Oh well.
There was just over five thousand pounds in there as I had been putting aside money each fortnight into the account. This would be sufficient to have me live in the muggle world for quite a while if I was careful.
But I can't stay here forever. I will need to face them eventually.
Checking out of my hotel, I changed to a cheaper one across the city. Even though I believed it would take my pursuers awhile to track me, I still needed to be on the move. I could always pretend to be a travelling business man, but the hotel staff might get suspicious that I never attended meetings.
Now that I was in the muggle world, boredom would be a big problem as well. there were only so many shows and movies I could see, especially on my budget and I would not be able to stay in my hotel room everyday without arousing suspicion. So I would wander the city, taking in the sights, watching the people and reading in cafes and bookshops.
It seemed so strange. I was surrounded by a million people yet I somehow felt more alone than ever. Seeing couples or families made me miss Hermione and Scorpius more than ever.
I had been hiding out in Muggle London for about a week when I saw on the street outside my hotel a figure in dark robes. I blinked and looked again. There was no mistaking it, the person outside was a wizard and they had tracked me.
How? How had they found me? I have been so careful in moving about. I have to leave here, now. They are closing in.
Grabbing my satchel, I exited the room and headed for the nearest stairwell. I was almost at the lobby and I stayed hidden behind the door, listening carefully.
"..A pale blonde man named Malfoy? Well there's no-one by that name." I heard the old man on the concierge desk say to the dark figure of Mr Black. "The only blonde person we have staying here is Mr Granger up on the third floor." He continued.
"Granger?" Mr Black hissed.
"That's what I said, Sonny." Behind him the phone started to ring. "Now if you don't mind, I've got to get back to work. Good luck finding your friend, but he isn't here." The old man finished.
From my hiding place, I hardly dared to breathe. Not only were they here, but now they knew my alias. I could no longer stay in the muggle world, I had to return to the wild. Casting a quick Disillusionment Charm on myself, I slipped out of the stairwell and stood by the hotel entrance, waiting for someone to come in so I could sneak out.
As soon as I was on the street, I lifted the charm. It would raise too many questions for people to bump into an invisable person on the busy streets. I knew that there was a good chance I would not escape my pursuers for much longer, the time I had dreaded was coming.
Ducking into a nearby cafe, I took two pieces of parchment out of my bag and I started to write as though my life depended on it.
You are just a baby now, and how I wish I could see you grow into the man I never was. There are so many things I hope for your future; A loving family, a safe and happy home, good friends, and many special memories.
No matter what path your future takes, know that your father loves you and would do anything for you, and will always be proud of you.
The sesond was a letter to Hermione.
I'm sorry I couldn't be the man you deserved to have, a man worthy of your love. I don't remember when we stopped being happy togther to just together, but I want you to know I'm sorry.
I'm sorry about everything.
I should have stood by you and proved to the world that you could love me for me. I should have been a better man to prove it to the world for you.
I should have told you about Astoria, but more importantly I should have made you feel like there was no other woman in the world but you.
I should have understood how important the new job was for you, and how much you needed my support, not my arguments or logic and not my nagging about the time away from us.
I understand now what you needed to hear from me was "I understand. Let me help you". I'm sorry I wasn't more supportive of you in the hard times we've faced. I'm sorry I haven't been able to help shoulder some of the burden you have had to carry.
You have the whole fate and future of the Wizarding world in your hands and you need someone who can make you feel safe and understood.
If I never see you again, then know this; I have always loved you, and I always will. Nothing in this world will ever be as important to me as you and Scorpius. You are my first thought in the morning, my last thought at night and the last thing I will be thinking of when I die.
Love, now and forever
Carefully folding the two labled letters into an envelope I dashed of a third one and folded it around them.
Give this to them when the time is right.
I addressed the outer envelope to Ginny and walking quickly, I entered the bathroom of the cafe. Taking a vial of Polyjuice Potion a took a quick sip and turned into a young muggle man. Such was the benefit of a cheap hotel, the cleaning was not always thorough.
Leaving the bathroom, I quickly headed off to the Leaky Cauldren, passing through the bar and entering the rear courtyard, I tapped the secret brick to gain acess to Diagon Alley. I needed to post this letter then get the heck out of here, back to safety.
The post office was quiet and I managed to get an owl delivery to the Potters without any dificaulty or people even pausing to look at me. No-one suspected who I was and I intended to leave before they did.
I had just finished my errand and was starting to make my way back to the muggle world. I headed south from the Leaky Cauldren, looking for a quiet place to apparate from when I felt the first stirings of the potion wearing off. I headed into a nearby takeaway shop and reached the bathroom just in time to complete my transformation.
Relieved that it was over and that I had given my pursuers the slip, I stepped out of the bathroom only to see Pansy Parkinson leaning against the door frame and Mr Black blocking us from everyones elses view. I would have reached for my wand, but Pansy had hers out and aimed at my stomach.
"Pansy, Mr Black." I addressed them
"Draco. Uh-Uh." She tutted as my hand made its way to my pocket for my wand. "Do you really want to do that here? We might kill some of these filthy muggles and then how would you live with yourself?"
"I say we kill them all anyway." Mr Black drawled.
"All in good time, all in good time." Pansy agreed. "Now, Draco. You can come along quietly, like a good boy or you can try and fight, try to escape. But there will be consequences." Pansy smirked, as her eyes directed mine to Mr Blacks hands. He was holding his wand and pointing it subtly at a muggle mother with two young children.
I held my hands out in front of me. "I'll go with you." I said through gritted teeth.
"Oh Draco, I'm disapointed in you. I expected a little more fight from you. The mud-blood Granger certainly has made you soft." She spat the last word at me.
"Leave my wife out of this." I hissed
"Oh, thats more like it." Pansy laughed, softly. "Don't like being told the truth, do you Draco? That your little mud-blood whore wears the pants in your realtionship, that she has you wrapped around her filthy little fingers." Pansy whispered with gleeful malice.
"Shut your damn mouth, Pansy before I shut it for you." I growled
"Empty threat and we both know it." She teased. "Unless your going to man up and be a real Wizard."
I clenched my fist and thought of a thousand different things I wanted to do to her and bit back my reply and impulses. If I act, then that family dies. I reminded myself.
"If play time is over, we should take our captive to the council." Mr Black interupted.
Pansy simply nodded as she and Mr black pushed me back into the bathroom. Pansy hit me with a Petrificus Totalus spell. Smiling, she stood next to Mr Black and held his hand as Mr Black grabbed onto me. The next instant we were pulling away to my fate, to my doom.
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