Anna landed with a great thud and a snap. She groaned and lifted her head from the leaf strewn ground.
She had landed in a small coppice in the middle of a hill. It was just outside Avebury; she had walked there with her parents when she was younger and she distinctly remembered this coppice because it had a tumulus under it, and she thought that ‘tumulus’ was a funny word.
Gingerly she got to her feet. Somehow she had managed to land on her broom handle, and it was now in two pieces. Sighing she picked up the two pieces and looked over them.
Anna had lost one mode of transport and a part of her mother. Now she felt truly alone.
Taking off her rucksack Anna slumped down against a tree.
“Why am I even running?” she asked herself.
Anna had done nothing wrong: she had just been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Now that she was running she left an obvious marker that she had a guilty conscience. But Anna also hid a secret that no one knew and she didn’t want to lose that. It was better for her to be on the run than to have to tell her secret.
After only a few more second of reflection on her circumstance did Anna get up and start to cast charms round her. It wasn’t long before she had the tent up either.
Anna sat still and blank as she watched the pan boil over. It felt odd for Anna to be back on the run, but she would have to grow accustomed to new nomadic life, it was her choice after all.
Finally Anna snapped out of her daze and took the pan off the heat. She then poured the boiled water in a chipped mug over a tea bag and some sugar. Carefully she held the mug between her hands and let the heat defuse through them.
Suddenly there was a loud whistling sound coming from the small bed side table.
The sneakescope was going off. Anna flicked her wand and the lights went out, she placed her mug on the kitchen table and gingerly moved towards the door of the tent.
There were muffled voices from outside.
“Someone’s been this way. Do you think they know?” one said, Anna assumed that it was a male voice as it was scratchy and weak but had a deep undertone.
“No, how could they. The Ministry have no clue and I doubt that if anyone was here that they would have stayed; it’s too exposed.” Another said, this voice was deeper and gruffer than the other.
Anna frowned; they were talking about the Ministry, and had randomly appeared in the middle of nowhere. She deduced that they must be magical people.
“Okay, well if you are sure.” Another voice said, this voice was at a higher pitch than the others, and clearly of the female variety.
“Have you got it?” the second voice asked.
“Yes.” The scratchy voice replied, with a hint of annoyance.
“Well do hurry up, we need to be getting back my husband will be wandering where we are.” The woman said impatiently.
“Keep your hat on mama,” the weak voice snapped.
There was a tense moment in which Anna was sure that several wands had been drawn.
“Do not talk to my mother like that, you will regret it if you ever speak out of turn again.” the deep voice said, this time it had a threatening edge.
There was a grunt and the rustle of paper as something was handed over.
“Good night.” Said the deep voice, though it was meant as a dismissal to whomever else was there.
There was a pop
and then only two voices were left.
“Why do you even bother with him mother?” the deep voiced person asked.
“I have to.” the woman said blankly.
There was a moment of silence, where only someone’s heavy foot falls could be heard.
Anna’s heart was racing; the person was coming closer and closer. Only her charms and the canvas of the tent were there to protect her. Depending of the skill of the Wizard, the charms should withstand most assaults. But if they were dark wizards, well no one knew.
“Mother, I think that there is someone here.” The deep voice said.
Anna froze, they had found her. Why did everything happen to her?
She couldn’t apperate; her charms had put a stop to that. All she had to do was to see if her protection held up.
Nervously Anna hid herself under the table and waited.
Her charms lasted little more than fifteen minutes. The front flaps of the tent were wrenched open and a tall man put his head through. Instantly his eyes fell on the figure of Anna, huddled under the table.
He pulled out his wand and that was all she could remember.
“Who are you?” a man asked. Anna was only able to make out that he was tall because the light was shining from behind him.
“Anna Waterson.” She cried, tears falling down her face.
Anna had been continually answered his same question with the same answer. This had led to her being hit over the face and the taste of blood in her mouth. She wasn’t sure where she was, she didn’t know who the man was, and she didn’t know why she was being questioned.
The man sighed and changed his tactics.
“Why were you on top of the hill?” he asked.
“I was on a camping trip.” Anna lied; lying seemed to becoming natural to her.
“Really, why there?” he asked.
“I had been there with my parents when I was little.” She said truthfully.
“What school did you go to?”
“Hogwarts.” Anna replied.
“What year did you start?”
“Well... it seems that I am at a loss. We will just have to keep you here then wont we. Our family doesn’t like having our secrets spread around.” The man said malevolently.
Anna kept quiet.
There was a heavy thud as the door was bolted and Anna was left alone in the dark.
She sighed. Anna ached all over, her wrists were bound and the cord was rubbing at her skin and one of her ankles felt bruised.
Hostage situations were not a new thing to Anna, but they were something that she chose to avoid as most people would.
Anna wasn’t sure how long she was in the dark room for, but she knew that she fell asleep twice.
When it seemed that she was just going to moulder away for eternity the door opened again.
“Anna Waterson...you see its interesting because you aren’t on the roll of honour and it seems that you weren’t even at the school...ever.” the tall man said, his words scared Anna.
“Either you can tell me the truth, or I can get the truth out of you in a very painful way.” The man said a malicious tone in his voice.
Anna kept quiet.
“Well it seems that you would prefer the painful way.” The man pulled out what Anna assumed was his wand and pointed it at her.
“I’ll give you one more chance...no? Shame really.”
“Crucio.” The man said calmly.
Anna writhed in pain, it was as if hot searing pins were being driven in every nerve ending and she was about to combust. She tried to fight it, but soon she failed and the pain intensified.
He stopped and then the room vanished from view and Anna passed out.
Time passed, and all the Anna ever saw was a tray of food being slid under her door; no one talked to her and she never saw anyone. The isolation, to start with, was okay but as more time passed by the less she liked it.
“She’s a mud...muggle born, unremarkable, educated and born in the same time frame as me, skilled at magic, reasonably good on a broom but above all she was frightened of something.” Draco thought out loud. He was at home again and three days into his ‘holiday’, yet he was pacing in front of the grand fireplace and frowning.
Really, to Draco, she sounded like any typical Witch.
There was a tap at the window and Draco looked up to see a large eagle owl perched on the windowsill.
Draco rolled his eyes and got up from his seat to open the window.
The owl instantly flew in through the small opening in the large window and deposited an envelope. Then in one sweeping motion the bird was gone.
He opened the letter without much concern.
We have a problem.
Were the only words written on the piece of paper inside the envelope.
“So now it’s my problem by association!” Draco complained aloud.
With an annoyed sigh Draco left the lounge and went about changing his outfit, mumbling in an annoyed tone as he did so.