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Chapter 4 : Heist
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A small ball of light grew from the tip of her wand and illuminated the dark hole that faced them.
“What’s in there?” Neville breathed from beside her. Hannah’s heart beat faster. She squinted through the black, attempting to make out the room properly but her wand only lit a small patch of floor. Then a second circle of light appeared, and then another and another until 7 white orbs flickered across the room like search lights. The group stepped cautiously into the dark. Cold air blew across Hannah’s face, sending a chill down her spine.
The walls and floor of the room were a rough grey stone with tiny flecks of green that glittered as light passed over them. Every footstep echoed like a thousand ticking clocks in Hannah’s ears.
“Hey, guys, look” Hannah spun around and followed Terry’s light as it floated upwards. In the glow, she could see the outline of a large bolted door that loomed over them, twice the height of even Neville.
“They must be in there” Lavender gasped, staring up in awe. Suddenly Padma bolted forward, the thought of getting to Pavrati driving her. She pulled at the lock desperately, jiggling it up and down. When it failed to open, much to the groups despair, she pounded the door with her fist, slid to the floor and put her face in her hands. Hannah placed a caring hand on her shoulder, trying to send a silent message of hope.
Michael pushed through confidently and pointed his wand at the lock with a smug expression. “Alohomora” but still the door did not open. Michael let out a “huff”, taken aback by his spells failure, as were Terry and Padma.
“We’re going to have to blast it down.” Said Neville, matter-of-factly, to the astonishment of the Ravenclaws; loud bangs were not the way they liked to work. But they stepped back graciously, if slightly shocked. Michael was still unsure. “But the whole castle will hear.”
Neville lowered his head, downcast, but Hannah came to his aid. “We’ll just have to be quick” she said, as if there was no other option.
It was Neville’s turn to be shocked. No one had ever had so much faith in his plans before; his brain took a moment to register what was going on. When it had, he nodded at Seamus as a signal of approval.
“Well if it’s the only way...” said Seamus with a sneaky grin.
“Stand back everybody. Three… two… one...”
The whole castle shook from the explosion. Dust and debris dispersed everywhere and a huge cloud of smoke choked Hannah, making her splutter. There was no time to lose. She groped clumsily through the thick air and tried to force open her eyes, regardless of their sting. Squinting through the grey she could see seven figures chained to the walls.
“Susan!” Hannah clambered over to her best friend and pulled at the shackles around her hands, but they were bound tight. All around them were people rushing to escape: Anthony, Ernie and Pavrati had already been set free. Then, from above, Hannah heard the sound of a door creaking open and a rush of footsteps coming down the stairs. She froze.
On the other side of the room, Neville had successfully broken open Colin Creevey’s chains and they headed for the door, desperate to avoid a clash with the Carrows. Amongst the mad scramble for the door, Colin was pushed harshly into Hannah, breaking her trance. She fumbled for her wand, a little dazed. “Relashio “she coughed, and Susan fell from the wall.
“Hannah, thank you...”
“There’s no time, the Carrows are coming.” Hannah grabbed Susan by the hand and pulled her through the door just after Neville.
They rushed along the corridor, dodging spells from all directions, the Carrows had arrived.
Suddenly, there was a huge eruption and Susan and Hannah were sent flying. “Sorry!” Yelled Seamus, who had meant for the blast to hit the advancing death eaters.
Amycus’s jinx passed inches away from Hannah, smashing a nearby window, causing shards of glass to scatter everywhere. Badly scarred, Hannah edged into an alcove, in an attempt to escape. Amycus’s next spell hit a target. Hannah watched in horror as Colin was thrown into a wall, his body landing limply on the ground.
Hannah rushed out from behind her hiding place, and shot a jinx at the death eater to disable him; her aim was untrue. She braced herself for the retaliation but Neville got there before the words left Amycus’s lips. His spell hit the Carrow squarely in the chest and he was blasted into a wall, unconscious.
Hannah and Neville reached Colin at the same time and found he was (thankfully) awake but his leg was so badly damaged that he was unable to move. Silently, Hannah caused Colin’s body to be lifted and hover above the ground, as if he was being carried by stretcher bearers. The spell took a great deal of strength: magic had to be constantly pulled from her to lift such a weight, but Hannah made no complaint.
Neville led the way, clearing a path for Hannah and Colin, and they followed Seamus and Susan on their way back to the room of requirement.
But Romilda and Lavender blocked their path as they ran from Alecto, closely followed by a bruised Leanne and Terry. “Crucio!” yelled Alecto, firing spells wildly in every direction, jets of light bounced across the corridor.
Hannah made a break for the stairs so she could get Colin back safely but Alecto got in the way and aimed a spell right for her. Hannah was ready this time. She brandished her wand fiercely and a huge shield erupted from her wand, moving like a wave towards its victim. It collided with Seamus’s and Neville’s cast of “expulso!” forming a huge ball of fire and, in a split second, Alecto was consumed by the flames. Amongst the smoke that billowed from the point of the explosion stood Seamus; slightly bewildered, making a mental note of what just happened in case he needed it later, and Neville; completely dumbstruck.
The three of them came to their senses and sped away, leaving the two stirring death eaters behind them. But getting Colin up the stairs proved difficult. Hannah was tired; her hovering spell was draining her energy fast. Neville saw she was turning pale and her spell faltered slightly, jolting Colin. Hating to see her so weak, Neville offered his assistance, “Seamus and I will take him from here.”
Hannah protested. “No, it’s ok. I’m fine, really...”
Then Colin jolted again, more harshly this time as the last of her magic spluttered out. Hannah had to admit defeat. She broke the charm and Colin floated to the floor. Neville and Seamus got him standing and began to heave him slowly up the steps.
There was a loud crash from below and the sound rang harshly through Hannah’s ears, turning nervously, she caught sight of three dark figures sprinting up the flight of stairs below them. The Carrows had recovered but were still slightly drowsy; however they were not what panicked Hannah. It was the third figure, her headmaster professor Snape that made her swallow with fear.
“RUN!” she bellowed and Neville and Seamus clamoured up the stairs in front of her. Hannah followed, madly trying to reach the top of the stairs, almost jumping two steps at a time. But three quarters of the way up the last flight, she tripped and fell through the vanishing step. She was flung forward and crashed down on her knees with a cry. Snape had now reached the landing before her and drew closer every second.
Neville and Seamus reached the top, but Neville tuned back, leaving Seamus to drag Colin through the door. He leapt down the stairs and shot a disarming spell at Snape, who flicked the spell effortlessly away with his wand. Neville held out a hand and Hannah grabbed it, allowing him to pull her up. A surge of electric ran through her as her hand touched his and she managed to dislodge her leg. They rushed frantically up the stairs, still hand in hand, spells from the Carrows flying all around them.
Hannah and Neville reached the entrance to the room of requirement. “We need a place to hide. We need a place to hide. We need a place to hide.” Hannah chanted and the door appeared. Neville turned, prepared to blast away any oncoming professors but Snape took charge. He aimed and fired a sharp jet of light towards them and it went for Hannah’s back. Neville threw himself in front of her and the spell slashed through him like a knife. His face contorted in agony but he made no sound.
Hannah looked back, unaware of what Neville had just done, and fired a spell that blew a hole in the stairs. Snape cried with anger the scream powering through the whole castle, but Neville heard no sound. He was too consumed by his pain. Then, unaware of how he did it without succumbing and falling to the ground, he followed Hannah through the door.
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