Chapter 37 : |Chapter 30| From One Prison to the Next
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Roxi was beginning to panic. She was pacing back and forth in her assigned bedroom at the Riddle House, frantically wondering what she should do next. She had made up her mind that she was going to leave hours ago. The only problem was that the Dark Lord had somehow predicted that she would change her mind, and had therefore seen fit to thwart her every attempt at leaving the place. The house was officially on lockdown mode; no one got in, and no one got out. Guards had been placed at every exit the Mansion had, and there were people constantly coming to check in on her. It was hard for Roxi to find a moment to herself anymore, for the Death Eaters hardly ever left her alone for more then five to ten minutes at a time. So it came as no surprise when another knock sounded on her door, not even five minutes after Wormtail had left.
“Yes, yes, I’m still in here,” she sighed irritably, “so you can go away now.” The knock sounded again, and this time Roxi strolled over to the door, flung it open, and exclaimed exasperatedly; “What do you want?”
“Well I wasn’t just going to enter without first getting your permission,” Fenrir Greyback exclaimed, taking a step back. “But now that you have so kindly opened your door to me, I must request you allow me to come in at once.”
“And why would I do that?” she snapped.
Greyback lowered his voice so that only she could hear him. “Because I just might be the only one who can help you get out of here right now.”
Roxi quickly glanced back and forth down the hall to see that no one was looking. She rolled her eyes and sighed, not really in the mood for any of Fenrir’s games, but then she moved aside and let him come in anyways. Once the door had been shut and locked behind her, she walked over and plopped down on the bed, waiting for Greyback to continue.
Greyback was looking over the room carefully. He walked over to the window and glanced out of it before drawing the curtains. When he made no move to be the first to comment, Roxi added impatiently; “Well? You said you could get me out. I’m listening.”
Fenrir took a moment to pause before he started talking. “It would appear that you and I have a bit of the same problem, Miss,” he said. “That being that neither one of us can get out of here right now, and just when we need to the most.”
“Who says I’m trying to get out?” Roxi bit her lip, slightly concerned as to just how many people were on to her escape plans already. If she was going to get out, then she needed as few people to know about it as possible.
“My sources tell me that you have changed your mind about the events the Dark Lord’s got planned for you tonight,” he said, carrying on as though he hadn’t heard her. “Which would be the reason for this lovely lock-in and enhanced security he’s got going on right now.”
“What sources are you even talking about?” she snapped, irritated that he kept ignoring her. “The only two people who are supposed to know anything about my decision makings are…” she trailed off, not wanting to give Lucius or Severus away. “Percy and the Dark Lord,” she added instead.
“Now you and I both know that that isn’t true,” Fenrir snapped back, “and there’s no need to get defensive. After all, it was Severus who sent me here.”
“Yes, he reckons I could help get you out of here tonight.”
“And how does he reckon that?” she asked more calmly. She couldn’t help but take an interest in what he was saying now.
“Well you see, I need to get out because, well, obviously tonight’s the night of the full moon and all. Being a man in my position, I have other places I need to be come midnight tonight,” he explained. “And you need to get out because you obviously don’t want to be here come midnight tonight either, due to the fact that you have changed your mind about joining the Death Eaters. So we’ve both got that fact in common.” Greyback stopped to pause again.
Roxi was really starting to hate it when he did that. “Yeah, and?” she asked impatiently.
“The problem is that all the doors are all being watched, so we definitely won’t be able to get out that way,” he went on. “So I was thinking we could use a window. But the only problem with that is -”
“- That all the main windows, which are within a safe distance of being jumped out of, are also being watched,” she finished for him, “Yeah, I know, I’ve already looked into it.”
“Which is precisely why I was thinking we could use that window,” he said, pointing to the only window in her room.
Roxi couldn’t help but laugh out loud at this. “In case you haven’t noticed,” she said, “we’re on the fourth floor! Now I don’t really know about you werewolf types, but us normal human beings could not survive a jump like that. At least not without breaking something first, we couldn't.”
“Well if I tried to jump out of it right now, I’m sure I’d see the very same results,” he casually agreed with her.
“Then how do you expect to -”
“- On the night of the full moon, just before sunset,” he said, cutting her off. “That is when us werewolf types are at our strongest; aside from when we are transformed, that is. So come nine o’clock tonight, I could easily make a jump like that, and I could just as easily take you along with me if you’d like.”
Roxi frowned. She couldn’t help but feel like this was happening all too easily. “Yeah, but what’s the catch?” she asked.
“Catch?” Greyback repeated. “There is no catch. I just need to be able to use your window, so as not to be seen.”
“So I’ll let you jump out of my window here, and you’ll just take me along with you?” It was almost too good to be true.
“Tentatively, yes, that would be the plan,” Fenrir said with a nod. “Then you can come back to my part of the woods with me and hide out for a few days if you need to. The Dark Lord, I am sure, will be more than furious at your escape, so he will stop at nothing to retrieve you once you’re gone. Therefore, I shall offer you the safest place to hide, for he does not come there. We have a truce, the Dark Lord and I, and he is not to set foot in our territory without my permission first.”
“But don’t you think he’ll know right where to come looking for me, once he notices that you and I have both gone missing at exactly the same time?” she asked, pointing out the most obvious flaw in Greyback’s plan. “And won’t it be a dead give-away when he comes to your, er, territory, or whatever, and requests permission to enter and you deny his entry?”
“Yes, well, I doubt he’ll be able to put two-and-two together so quickly,” he chuckled. “But even if he does, has it not occurred to you that perhaps I may have someone here who can cover for me?”
In that moment, Roxi couldn’t help but wonder if Fenrir had heard about what happened to Lucas yet. If he hadn’t, then she hated to have to be the one to bring up such devastating news to her only possible means of escape. But then again, if Fenrir was counting on Lucas to be his cover, then she really should tell him Lucas’ fate. After all, it was always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it came to matters of life or death. “Um, Fenrir,” she said timidly. “You, uh, you don’t mean… I mean, that is to say, well, you’re not counting on Lucas to cover for you, are you? Because, um, I don’t know how to say this, but -”
A shadow crossed Greyback’s face that suggested to Roxi that he had, in fact, heard of Lucas’ fate, and before she knew it, he was yelling at her. “Don’t you dare bring that name up in my presence EVER again! Do you hear me?”
“I’m sorry, I just had to make sure that you knew, in case -”
“- In case of what?” he snapped. “Do you suppose that I have foolishly bought into the lie that he is just off on some mission for Voldemort? I know fully well that Lucas is dead, you silly girl. It was I who told him to go on the mission that most likely resulted in his death. After all, Lucas was only placed here on my orders, so as to spy on Voldemort from the inside. So Miss. Roxi, as you can see, I clearly know more about that than you so obviously expect I do.”
Nothing but absolute silence followed after that.
Finally, Roxi plucked up enough nerve to speak to him again. “So, you said that you had someone to cover for you?”
“Yes,” Fenrir growled. “Should Voldemort discover that I have gone missing as well, then Lucius Malfoy has agreed to tell him that he let me out earlier in the day, not knowing that I was supposed to be held prisoner here also. And before you say anything, don’t worry - I have told Lucius to make it seem like I conned him into letting me out, so as not to get himself into too much trouble over it.”
Roxi bit her lip to hold back the disapproving comment she was thinking. She hated the idea of Lucius risking further punishment because of her; he had been so nice to her during her stay here. “But Fenrir, I don’t understand,” is what she said in place of what she was actually thinking. “Why exactly are you so eager to help me out? I mean, what’s in it for you?”
“Well you won’t be going to Him for starters,” he answered. “I may appear to be on Lord Voldemort’s side, but that is only because I refuse to be on the Ministry’s side, and I cannot stand the views of the Order of the Phoenix. 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend' they always say. Although my werewolves may help his Death Eaters out from time to time, it is only because I have given them the permission to do so, and not because Voldemort controls them; as some people seem to believe. He and I have a little agreement, you see. I help him to overthrow the Ministry; and in turn, he will grant me and my pack free reign once he takes over everything. No more will we have to hide out in the shadows for fear of being locked up, or denied our rights because people are afraid of us. Voldemort has promised us that we will all be treated as equals because we fought on his side during the war.”
“But if all that is true,” Roxi interjected, “then why don’t you two seem to get along very well? Why are you helping me get out so that you can stop him from having me; as you so put it? I don’t understand…”
“I may fight along side him from time to time, and pretend that I enjoy helping him out,” Greyback answered. “But in truth, I despise that man. Because, just like everyone else in the Ministry, he treats us like dogs and expects us to follow his every barking command when we work with him. He may treat his Death Eaters like slaves if he wants to, but I refuse to allow him to command my men like animals. He’s just as prejudiced as the rest of them, and I actually told him that to his face once. Come to think of it, that was actually what we were arguing about the day you came in to bring him his tea and he first introduced you and me. You remember?”
Roxi merely nodded to signal that she did, in fact, remember that day quite well actually.
“Voldemort and I have come to an agreement over the past year,” Greyback continued, getting slightly off topic now. “As you are already aware, half the forest that borders this house is mine, and his lot are not permitted there. In return, I have told the pack to keep off of this property, and do all their hunting elsewhere. And even though there are a few of them who would love for nothing more than to bite a Death Eater just for sport, they have all grudgingly agreed to honor our treaty with the Dark Lord. You see, that is precicely the reason why I believe you will be safe hiding out with me for a few weeks, or until this whole thing blows over at least. So what do you say, Roxi, are you in or are you out?”
It took her all of about three seconds to make up her mind. She wanted out, and Greyback seemed to be her only possible means of escaping. “I’m in,” she said with a nod. Little did she know, however, that she would come to regret those two simple words soon enough.
“Excellent,” Greyback exclaimed. He seemed a bit too pleased with her decision, but Roxi was too lost in her own thoughts to take notice of this at the time. “I will meet you back here at nine o’clock, on the dot, so do be ready to go on time.”
“Don’t worry, I will be” she assured him. “After all, it’s not like I have a whole lot of packing to do.”
He flashed her a quick smile before turning to leave. “See you then.”
Once Fenrir was gone, Roxi plopped herself down on the bed and began to wonder what she was getting herself into next. She wondered if they would get away in time without being caught, and pondered on how Voldemort might respond to her disappearance if they did manage to pull the escape off in time...
The next thing she knew, she was being shaken awake by Greyback himself. Apparently she had fallen asleep and it was now nine o’clock. The time had come for them to leave. She sat up and shook her head in order to clear it and wake herself up more. “Sorry, I must have fallen asleep,” she mumbled half consciously.
Roxi hurried out of bed and began stuffing the few belongings she had into a bag. Thankfully all that this included was a change of clothes, the toothbrush she had been given, and the blanket that Draco had used during his stay there. She knew that it was silly to hold onto such things, but she could not bring herself to let it go. It still smelled like him and, for the time being, that was all that helped her sleep at night.
“We need to go. Now.” Greyback said harshly. He walked over to her bedroom door and double-checked to make sure it was locked, and then he went over to look out the window. “Snape’s volunteered himself for front guard duty tonight, so we shouldn’t have any problems slipping out the gate once we’re down on the ground. My main concern, however, is going to be making this jump without being seen by anyone else who may also be down below.”
“Well do you still think we can make it though?” Roxi worried.
For one short moment, Fenrir looked slightly offended by this, but the moment soon passed as he stepped away from the window and cleared his throat. “No need to worry yourself, Miss, Zarooni, I can assure you that you are safe with me. I promised to get you out of here, and that is exactly what I intend to do. I am a man of my word after all, so there is no going back now.”
“Wow, Fenrir, I really don’t know what to say.” Relieved as she was that she had a found a way out, Roxi still couldn’t help but feel that there should be a catch somewhere.
“Well there’s no need to say anything at the moment,” he said with a wave of his hand. “You can thank me later.”
Perhaps it was just her overactive imagination, but it almost seemed to her as if he were implying something more just there. She didn’t have time to think about it for very long though, for Fenrir suddenly grabbed her up, swept her off her feet and headed towards the window again. “It’s time to jump,” he said.
“Wait., what? Now, as in right now?" Roxi said, slightly panicking.
“Yes now. When else? We’ve wasted enough time here already,” he growled. “Now hold on to me.” Roxi didn’t need telling twice. She secured her hands around his neck as he gently opened up the window, taking extra care to make as little noise as possible. “Whatever you do though, you must not scream. Got it?”
Roxi bit down on her lower lip, nodding with her eyes squeezed shut. She felt him climbing onto the windowsill and she took a deep breath, preparing herself for the fall. Her biggest fear was of heights after all, so it was all she could do not to scream as Fenrir jumped out of the window... Before she knew it, however, he had soon hit the ground running. Greyback wasted no time in trying to be sneaky, for he knew that they could easily be spotted by one of the outside guards in a mere matter of seconds.
Roxi would never have imagined Fenrir as a runner, not by the looks of him, which is why it took her by complete surprise when they reached the wooded area in no time at all. The trees were dashing by so quickly that she soon lost track of which direction they had come from. She was about to ask Greyback where they were going when suddenly he stopped and set her down abruptly. She looked around and realized they had come to a dead end. They were standing at the base of a cliff that, looking up, appeared to be at least fifty feet high; if not more. She was about to ask Greyback if she should start climbing when he spoke before her.
“This is it,” he said, pointing at something that appeared to be hidden behind all the brush in front of them. “Home sweet home.”
It took her a moment to spot what exactly it was he was pointing at, but the more she studied it, the more distinguished the entrance to the cave in front of them became. The opening in the rock wall blended in so well with its surroundings that Roxi was certain she would never have found it without having been told of its existence first.
Once the full reality of where they were standing at settled on her, she couldn’t help but laugh at him. “You’re kidding me, right?” she asked with as much sarcasm as she could muster. “You mean to tell me that you and your werewolves actually live in a cave? I mean, I’ve heard many strange stories about werewolves before, but I always just figured that you’d all still be a bit more civilized than that!”
To her surprise, he actually cracked a smile back, shaking his head as he motioned for her to go in front of him. “Just get inside,” he chuckled.
She did as she was told to and pushed the brush aside, allowing herself room to step inside the cave. Rather than walking into the typical closed in, dark and dingy cave-like surroundings she had been expecting, however, she instead stepped out into a small clearing. They were still in the woods, surrounded by trees changing into all the colors of fall. Before her was a worn out path, overrun with weeds, that lead up to the saddest looking shack she had ever seen.
It was the type of place you would expect to see in all of the old scary movies. The creepy house that all the neighbors avoided, the kind of run-down looking place that silly kids would take turns daring one another to go into. It look uninhabited and haunted, and even that was putting it mildly. Her first instinct was to get as far away from the place as possible, but Fenrir was already half way up the sidewalk. He turned around and looked at her expectantly, clearly wanting her to follow.
“Y-you live here?” she somehow managed to spit out.
For some reason Greyback appeared to be amused by her hesitation. “Well it’s good to know that at least my choice of camouflage for the werewolves secret base is effective,” he chuckled. “I’ve always wondered how an outsider might react if they ever managed to find the cave and then get close enough to actually get a good look at the place.”
“Camouflage?” Roxi was still confused, but she took a few steps towards him nonetheless.
“Well I can’t have the place looking all warm and inviting, now can I?” he asked rhetorically. “We value our privacy entirely too much to allow random strangers to just come knocking on our door.”
Roxi nodded. “Right. Well I suppose that that does make sense,” she said.
“Come on,” he said, gesturing for her to follow him. “I promise you it’s a lot more fit to live in on the inside.” His reassurances didn’t do much to boost her confidence, but Roxi swallowed past the lump that had formed in her throat and reluctantly followed Fenrir Greyback into his home.
Despite what he had said, however, the inside really was not that much better. True; it was a bit more fit to live in than it had originally looked, but it wasn’t exactly the most comfortable of living conditions. Not in comparison to what she was more accustomed to at least. The front door lead immediately in to what was unmistakably the living room. There was an assortment of miss-matched furniture scattered all around. On the back wall was a fireplace that looked as though it hadn’t been tended to in a while. The fire was on the verge of burning out, which caused several dim shadows to flicker on the walls around them, giving the room an eerie feel to it. The place was grungy and messy, but it certainly did not come close to what she had been expecting from the outside looking in.
Behind her Fenrir cleared his throat, causing her to flinch with pent up tension. “I know it isn’t much, but I do think you’ll at least find all the amenities you need here. If you’ll follow me, I’ll show you where you’ll be staying at.” He then lead her down a small hallway to their right and stopped by the door at the very end of it. “This,” he announced, throwing the door wide open, “is my room. Feel free to make yourself comfortable in here. What’s mine is yours, Miss.”
Roxi peered into the room and the first thing she noticed was that there was only one bed, pushed up against a wall in the far corner. And while it looked big enough for two people to sleep comfortably in, she simply refused to share a bed with the most dangerous werewolf of all time. She valued her life far too much for that. At first she thought that Fenrir was only trying to be hospitable, and for that, she did not want to offend or anger him in any sort of way. She knew, therefore, that this matter would have to be handled delicately. “So, shall I just make myself a bed on the floor then?” she asked hopefully.
“Oh no, of course not,” Greyback exclaimed. “You are more than welcome to bunk with me. I promise you, I won’t bite.” The wink he added on to the end of that statement did absolutely nothing to console her one bit.
“With all due respect, sir,” she half squeaked, “I would much rather have my own space. I actually do not mind the floor, not one little bit, so I would prefer to just sleep down there, if you don’t mind.”
“Yes, actually, I do mind, Roxi,” he continued to insist. “It would be an insult to my hospitality, that would. Besides, it really is no big deal. As I have already told you; I don’t mind sharing at all.”
Roxi looked back and forth between Fenrir and the bed in the room. She could tell that there would be no other way to go about this without making Greyback angry. She took a deep breath then, and prepared for the worst as she said, “My apologies, sir, but I’m afraid that I must refuse your request. It’s nothing against you, or your hospitality, it’s just that I simply need to have my private space. I am a woman after all. And really, given what I’ve already been through with the Dark Lord, sleeping on the floor is not that big of a deal. After all, it’s not like it would kill me.”
There was about a five second pause before Greyback snapped. “If you want to sleep on the floor so badly,” he growled. “Then you can sleep on the floor in the den with the dogs. I’ll be damned if I am going to allow a woman to dictate what she can and cannot do in my own house! I give the orders here, and you will do as I say or suffer the consequences.”
Roxi’s heart was racing with pent up panic as she tried her best to remain calm. This was the Greyback she had been waiting for. The mean, controlling, angry, hateful, spiteful, monster she had received weeks of training on back in her studies at the Ministry. She had known all along that he was dangerous, but she had taken that Fenrir Greyback was the lesser of two evils when it came down to either Him or Voldemort. Now, however, she was not so sure.
“So what’ll it be Zarooni?” Greyback said, dropping all pretences of niceness at once. “Sleep safely in here on the bed with me, or sleep on the floor out in the main room with everyone else? Now I know that I can control myself, at least. But as for the rest of my boys, well, let’s just say that it’s been a long while since we’ve had a lady visitor in the house. True; they do follow my every waking order without question, and their loyalty to me is unwavering. But once I go to sleep… Well it’s hard telling what they might do in the middle of the night, if they suddenly woke up and found a woman all alone in their midst.”
She knew then that there really was no other choice but to go into the room and accept her place on the bed, as Greyback had ordered her to do. It would be hard enough to just for her that have to keep an eye on him, let alone have an entire pack of werewolves to worry about.. “Alright, fine. As you wish, sir,” she gulped as she stepped into Greyback’s room.
Fenrir smiled a most wickedly pleased smile as he followed her in and closed the bedroom door behind them. Roxi dared not say another word as she dropped her bag on the floor and climbed into bed. Wanting to put as much distance between herself and the werewolf as she could, she pushed herself up as far against the wall as possible. Then she turned her back to him and prepared to allow her weariness to take over her. She couldn’t help but mull over all of the days events in her head as she tried to make herself comfortable.
True; if she hadn’t come with Fenrir, she’d probably be a Death Eater right now, forced into a lifetime of service with no possible hope of escaping her fate. She had only accepted Greyback’s offer because she thought that it was the best chance she had at gaining back her freedom. But now, as he crawled into the bed next to her, Roxi could not help but to think that she had only just gone from one prison to the next.
Author’s Note: I figured I should put the AN at the end rather than the beginning, that way you all could just jump right into reading the story without having to listen to all of my excuses forst, lol... But ok, so if you have just finished reading this then you probably know that this story has not been updated for, like, almost an entire year now. As a writer, I am SO very sorry, as there really is NO excuse for this. But even still, suffice it to say that 2011 was a very difficult and trying year for me, to say the least. And I honestly did not intentionally mean to leave all of you, my wonderful readers, hanging on for a year like this. Honestly, I didn't. It's noe excuse, but I cannot believe how fast the time flies.... I can assure you now, however, that my year-long-hiatus is at it’s end, and I should be updating my stories a lot more often in 2012. Or at least, that is my New Year's Resolution, lol!! I am hoping to have AT LEAST 1 new chapter up every 4 - 6 weeks - providing that the world does not come to an end that is, haha!!! ^_^'
If you have read this chapter, then could you PLEASE leave me a review? (Pretty please with a cherry on top?) I really would like to know who all is still reading this and what those of you who are thought about it. About me. Abouth whatever you feel like talking about in general, lol! Your reviews have always help encourage me to write more often, you know. They are what fuels me and sometimes can even be a scource of inspiration!! I simply LOVE it when people get excited about this story, because that in turn makes me all the more excited about it as well, haha!! So please find it in your hearts to forgive me, and thank you SO MUCH for all the continued support you guys, and thanks for bearing with me thru this past year. I absolutely love my HPFF family!!! So here's to 2012 all!!! (((HUGS))) <3
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