Chapter 9 : Firelight
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His breath misted in front of him, his hands were bloody, he walked with a limp and his eyes were full of a furious determination. James ran as fast as his injured legs could carry him through the trees towards the figure standing and waiting for him. For a second he hadn’t recognised it as Teddy, his hair wasn’t a vibrant colour as it usually was, but a dark, limp brown. He finally reached him and collapsing against a tree for support, he gasped, spitting blood onto the ground.
‘James! Thank God. You’re back. Are you alright?’ Teddy rushed over to him, his voice was hoarse and his eyes were red. He looked like he was sporting a broken arm. James waved aside his concerns with one hand.
‘Fine. I’m fine… Is everyone else back?’ There was a silence ‘Teddy… Is everyone else back?’ He asked again, louder and more directly. His urgent voice sounded odd in the silence of the woods.
‘Yes’ He whispered. ‘James…’ James looked over his shoulder at the huddle of kids behind him. None of them were speaking, they were all gathered round, some were crouching and their attention was focused on something on the floor. He saw Victoire break away from the group and she ran towards him.
‘James…’ She began to talk but words failed her. James stared right into her wide, frightened, bloodshot eyes.
Something was wrong.
He began to limp over to the huddle. Teddy tried to help him but James pushed him away and staggered on, Victoire took Teddy’s hand and held him back. James reached the group and pushed them aside. You could have heard the yell for miles. There on the floor lay a little girl, her face was a white as a sheet and the crimson of her hair was nothing compared to the blood that surrounded her.
7 HOURS EARLIER
‘…Couldn’t believe it when I got the news! Me… a Prefect?’ Imogen laughed ‘Are you a prefect Megan? … Megan?’
Megan was ignoring her. Being in different houses she hadn’t spent much time at all at Hogwarts in the company of Imogen Wood and for that she was extremely grateful. She had only been here for a few hours and already she had to fight the urge to grab one of the broomsticks at Ben’s feet and beat her stupid face in with it…
‘…Megan?’ She was interrupted from her fantasies.
‘No.’ She answered shortly. ‘I’m too much of a crazy rebel , I guess’ James snorted with laughter but Imogen, however took her completely seriously.
‘Perhaps…’ She continued. ‘That or your exam results weren’t good enough…’
There were several exasperated looks being shared around the campfire but these went completely unnoticed by both Imogen and Lysander who was hanging on her every word.
Teddy and Victoire returned back from their ‘walk’ and joined them. They were both looking suspiciously happy and Megan doubted that there had been much walking going on at all. The funny thing, she thought to herself, was that they thought their relationship was a secret. Somebody should tell them, she wondered, save them the effort.
Teddy joined them, his hair flushed red at the sarcastic look Megan gave him when Roxanne asked if they had ‘enjoyed their walk’ so he quickly went into plan-mode Teddy, saving the rest of the group from a lecture about prefect duties.
‘Terribly sorry to interrupt Imogen, but I have a plan.’
Rose and Al pretended to simultaneously kill themselves with their wands as James said ‘What a fucking surprise.’
Teddy looked a little offended by this as the other’s laughed. Victoire looked angry and James quickly added ‘Only joking Ted. Only joking… Just no more muggle banks or assassination stopping yeah?’
Teddy laughed ‘I wish. No, we’ve been lying low for a couple of days and I think it’s time to do something active’
‘…well’ Said Fred eagerly, he loved Teddy’s plans. ‘What is it?’
Teddy turned to Scorpius. ‘I’ve had the feeling for some time that our parents are in your parent’s Manor, do you think that’s possible?’
‘Very’ Scorpius said, giving a dry smile ‘It’s got plenty of creepy rooms, designed for that kind of thing.’ Scorpius looked sick but Teddy looked unperturbed by this as Scorpius continued. ‘There’s no way we’d be able to get in there though. The security is impossible to break though… even very dark magic…’ But Teddy cut him off.
‘And would I be right in thinking that a place like that probably has a vanishing cabinet?’ Recognition dawned on Scorpius’ face, he looked very excited ‘Yes! We do! That could work… that could totally work!’
‘Yeah, well done, genius’ Muttered James, sarcastically, he still didn’t like Scorpius especially as he had taken a real shine to Rose. Rose stomped on his foot.
‘So where’s the other one?’ Asked Dominique, who seemed to be on the same page as Teddy. Scorpius shrugged.
‘…So we don’t know where the other one is?’ Lorcan confirmed.
‘Great’ Said Victoire, flicking her long blonde hair out of her face in annoyance
‘Are you ok?...’ Dominique, who was sat close next to Ben, was studying his face ‘What’s the Matter?’
‘The second vanishing cabinet’ He said slowly ‘It’s in my room.’
The sound of the small baby girl, bawling in Cho’s arms could barely be heard over the sound of tig that was happening in the Basement of Malfoy Manor. The men, who were nothing but overgrown boys were on their fourth game and were charging around the place with the exception of Arthur Weasley who was happy to sit and watch.
The women on the other hand (with the exception of Ginny and Angelina who chose tig) were brainstorming, thinking of names for the tiny child, wailing in Cho’s arms.
‘What about Julia?’ Suggested Herminie, Cho shook her head.
‘I had a weird Aunt called Julia’ she explained.
‘…Isabella?’ Molly proposed
‘Nah. Immy and Izzy? I’d never get their names right.’ Oliver said, He regretted this however as Cho’s expression changed to frightened, they had yet to hear news about their other daughter.
‘She’ll be fine’ said Astoria, in an unexpectedly gentle voice. ‘I promise’
Just then Draco was tackled by George, he fell to the ground nearly falling on top of Cho. ‘Watch out!’ Luna called angrily, throwing her hands out to stop him.
Draco grinned properly for the first time since he’d been down there. He was enjoying company. ‘Oops! Sorry, nearly fell on her there’ He smiled, it suited him. ‘What’s her name?’
‘Hasn’t got one’
‘I’ve always liked Florence’ He said vaguely ‘Beautiful City’ He looked at the baby ‘Beautiful Girl’ and with that he got up and charged towards Bill.
Everyone but Astoria looked astonished. ‘Eet is a nice Name’ Fleur said, shrugging.
Cho wasn’t listening, she had decided. She looked down at the bundle in her arms.
‘In your room?’ Teddy asked, frowning
‘Yes’ Ben answered, he was pinching the bridge of his nose
‘In your house?’
‘Yes’ Ben answered again , he looked horror stuck at the prospect of going back to his house.
‘Well, we have to get it!’ Said Louis at once ‘It’s the only way’
‘No.’ Said James, surprising everyone there. James was the last person to refuse something that sounded remotely dangerous. ‘No offence but last time I ran into your brother, I ended up with a broken nose. He took a shine to Megan, there’s no way I’m going to let her go willingly right into his house.’
‘Letting me?’ Megan looked flattered, yet affronted. Lysander was looking from James to Megan with Narrowed eyes. But James ignored them and continued.
‘And when Victoire met the charming eldest Zambini, that hardly went swimmingly did it?’ He saw Teddy clench his fists.
‘You’re right’ Said Teddy ‘But we have to go. We have to get the cabinet but I’m with James, we’re not all going. Not this time’ He shuddered as he remembered the Ministry and all the danger he’d put them in. He thought hard for a minute. ‘Ok, Me, James, Roxanne, Dominique, Ben and Scorpius will go. Everyone else stays here.’
This did not go down well. Victoire looked outraged that her little sister was going and she wasn’t. Megan wasn’t all too pleased either. Rose and Al were fuming, why couldn’t they go? Scorpius was in the same year as them!
‘Hey, Hey, HEY!’ Teddy called over the noise. ‘It’s my idea, so I’m going. Victoire, I need somebody older to look after these guys in case something happens. I’m taking James because he fights like his Mum and Dad combined, with or without a wand.’ James looked chuffed at this. ‘I’m taking Roxanne because I haven’t seen her loose a duel. I’m taking Dominique because Roxy will refuse to go without her. I’m taking Ben because it’s his house and I’m taking Scorpius because he’ll know if it’s the right cabinet or not.’ He paused and took a deep breath ‘Happy?’
There was some grumbling but nobody argued. Teddy looked relieved. ‘We go tomorrow morning’ He added. James raised his eyebrows in surprise. ‘I can’t be arsed with another plan’ Teddy mumbled.
The birth of baby Florence had a strange effect on Hermione, Ron thought. He looked at his wife who was watching Cho and her baby with a faraway expression on her face.
‘Hermione are you alright?’ Ron asked her. They were sat, alone in one of the corners of the Malfoy Manor basement. She looked at him, distracted. ‘What… oh…. Yes. Sorry, I was miles away’ Ron didn’t look convinced and went to say something but was interrupted by a flash of silver as a Panther slunk into the room. Another patronus. They waited with baited breath.
‘Dad’ It was Albus’ voice ‘…and Mum’ He added hastily, Ginny rolled her eyes. ‘First of all Lorcan and Imogen are with us, they’re fine.’ Cho gave a great sob of relief and Luna sighed as a smile spread across her face. The patronus continued ‘We think we know where you might be. And don’t worry we’re coming to get you’ This news did nothing but worry them. Bill put his face in his hands, George stood up and Harry yelled hopelessly ‘No Al! Don’t come here! Whatever you do DON’T COME HERE!’ But it was hopeless. You can’t talk to a patronus. Albus finished his message by sending his love and assuring them he would see them soon. ‘Shit’ Oliver whispered ‘Shit!’ The panther bounded into thin air and disappeared.
The atmosphere was tense and they began to talk, very loudly, very quickly.
‘They won’t… will they?’ Said Rolf running his hands through his hair
‘They can’t have figured it out. They can’t know, really’ Angelina Said
‘Of course they can’ Said Neville quickly ‘We’re talking about Teddy Lupin here’
‘They don’t stand a chance’ Ginny piped up, she seemed to be panicking ‘They’re Kids…just Kids!’
‘But they’re very good’ Said Charlie
‘Not that good’ Replied George darkly
Hermione let the talk wash over her for a minute or two. The panic seemed to have given her the courage she needed. ‘Ron’ she whispered, looking at him. He looked back, his eyes full of concern.
‘What is it?’ He too spoke quietly, it seemed appropriate.
She spoke in a whisper, Ron could barely make out the words over the sound of talking that filled the room but it hit him as if she had screamed it.
‘Ouch! That was my foot, genius.’
‘Roxanne! Will you be quiet?’ Hissed Teddy into the silent night, His back was pressed hard against the ivy covered wall as he strained to listen for sounds.
‘Tell James to watch where he’s bloody going then.’ She murmured back
‘If your feet weren’t so huge, I wouldn’t trip over th… ouch!’
‘Serves you ri.. ouch!’
‘Will you two take this more seriously?’ Dominique breathed, you could hear the amusement in her voice.
‘Ben!’ Teddy called up as loudly as he dared ‘Can you see it?’ Teddy could see in the moonlight, a shadow of a nod. Not wanting to risk talking anymore he threw brooms to each Dominique, Roxanne and James and jerked his thumb upwards. He then pulled Scorpius back into the shadows, their wands held aloft.
Roxanne and James rose slowly, swiftly and silently up into the air, stopping abruptly, exactly level with Ben. Dominique flew a few feet behind not quite as talented on a broom as her two cousins. They were staring through a window into a messy teenage boy’s room. In the corner, looking slightly out of place amongst the many quiddich posters; stood an antique cabinet, covered in a thin layer of untouched dust.
Somebody whispered ‘Alohomora!’ The window clicked open. They waited, listening for any sounds coming from within the house. When the heard none, they flew quietly, one by one, into the room landing on the bed so they wouldn’t make any noise. Ben approached the cabinet, he removed a cauldron that was stilling on top of it and placed it carefully on the floor. They paused again to listen and still heard nothing.
Dominique enchanted the cabinet to make it feather light, then tried to shrink it, as they suspected it wouldn’t shrink so they moved swiftly onto plan B. James walked towards the door and silently pushed it open, standing guard in the shadows. Ben levitated the cabinet from behind and Roxanne levitated it from the front.
‘You go in front’ Dominique breathed. They nodded in answer. Treading quietly, convinced their pounding hearts were going to give them away they began to walk across the landing and slowly down the stairs.
Their brooms lay happily forgotten, at the foot of Ben’s unmade bed.
Victoire couldn’t sleep. Her eyes, wide and staring, followed the orange patterns of the fire in front of her. What if something had gone wrong? What if Dom was hurt? … What if Teddy was hurt? Everyone else sat around the fire too, almost all of them were asleep. She glanced down at her watch again and again as the minutes passed by, tantalizingly slowly. She watched Lily as she slept, her hair was more vivid than the flames and seemed to shine more brightly. Her cheeks were pink from the warmth of the fire and she slept with her head on Albus’ shoulder. She watched her chest rising and falling slowly as she slept, remembering fondly of when she was smaller, how she used to toddle around in front of the fire at Christmas, playing ‘Kiddich’ with the cat.
It was then Victoire heard the unmistakeable sound of somebody apperating nearby. Her heart leapt. They were back. Leaving her wand by the fire, she ran towards the noise to greet them. It was only when she was halfway there that she remembered. They weren’t apperating back…. They were flying back. She heard a voice. An unmistakeably low, male, adult voice. Her insides turned to ice. She took a couple of shaky footsteps backwards towards her wand… her heart pounding painfully in her chest.
She felt a wand press into the back of her neck…a masked face appeared from within the trees.
Well that had all gone quite well, Teddy thought as he flew through the air, his wand holding up the cabinet between him and James… apart from the whole forgetting the fucking brooms fiasco. He shot James a dirty look that went unnoticed. But I mean, how hard is it really He thought angrily, To remember the brooms you both arrived on and needed to leave on… He shook his head. It didn’t matter now. They got them back… luckily and they were going to see Victoire and the others. He didn’t see but he was sure he felt his hair flush red.
After what seemed like an age they finally landed in the right place. They dismounted their brooms, rested the cabinet between some trees and walked towards the dying fire. It took him a few seconds to take in everything from the scene in front of him.
The grassy ground beside the fire was empty. The fire itself was dying, all that was left were a few glowing embers but it was enough to illuminate the lone wand lying beside it. There were a couple of jackets strewn on the floor and scuff marks in the earth and mud. Teddy found his breath becoming shallow. He became extremely faint.
No… no… he had left them here to protect them…
He fell to his knees beside the fire, It was Victoire’s wand. Something was rising in his throat.
James, Dominique, Roxanne, Ben and Scorpius walked slowly into the clearing. They seemed unable to speak.
‘Megan!’ James had yelled when he saw a dark figure, slumped against a tree. Her brown, bouncy hair covered her face; she appeared not to be moving. ‘MEGAN’ He sprinted towards her, threw himself to the ground and pushed the hair out of her face. ‘Megan… Meg…’
She was alive and wide awake. Tears streaming silently down her blood splattered face. ‘James’ She gasped ‘I’m so sorry, I couldn’t stop them… they took them all’ She gasped again ‘I tried but…’ She was cut off James had grabbed her by the sides of her face and kissed her desperately he pulled her into a tight hug.
‘I thought…’ He began. He swallowed and tried again ‘I thought you were dead’
She continued to try and murmur tearful apologies into his shoulder. Behind him, Dominique and Roxanne were helping up Teddy who appeared to have been sick. He stoked her hair as her grip around him tightened.
‘We’re going to find them, Megan. I don’t care if I die trying, we’ll find them.’
To be continued.
Please let me know what you thought, like it? Hate it? I dont mind I just love hearning from you guys. Keep up the patronus ideas they've been super helpful and please leave a review, it's what gives me the steam to keep going :) I'll see you later, take care and bye for now xxx
Disclaimer: If you google image 'J.k Rowling' You will see who I'm not.
ps; Who else is excited for Pottermore! Eh? Eh? Eh?
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