Chapter 16 : Bargining
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“Where’s Julietta, Draco where is she?” demanded the disheveled Blaise.
“She touched a grey box and disappeared. Then you appeared like a swap. Blaise, what happened?” asked Draco.
“Shit! She swapped places with me? No no no no! She’ll kill her, she’ll kill my sister” Blaise was panicking, he couldn’t see properly.
“Blaise who will kill her? Where is Julietta? Blaise talk to us!” demanded Ginny.
“She got her, just like she had her all those years ago. She got my sister back in her clutches, the one who kidnapped her is going to kill her. She’s with Henrietta Granger” Blaise whispered the last bit like his hope was vanishing, dead flowers piled up around him like a counterpart to match his deteriorating mood.
Draco’s heart convulsed as he thought of the new perilous situation his Julietta was in. Wherever Blaise had just been had scared him so completely and Julietta, she’d sacrificed her life for his.
“We have to see Dumbledore and the family, you as well Miss Weasley, this effects you also” Draco flinched as Severus’s voice floated through the darkness followed swiftly by Severus himself. He helped Blaise to his feet and started off down the hall.
Meanwhile, Julietta had landed somewhere pitch black and so dusty it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years. She couldn’t see Blaise anywhere, she wanted to call out but refrained, she was in an unknown place, who knows who’d be lurking in the shadows. A chilling though entered her mind, what if Blaise was no longer here, what if he had already escaped or, what if by touching that box she had taken Blaise’s place. That was a terrifying thought, ever more so if it was true. At least she thought if Blaise wasn’t here that meant he was safe.
She stood up, brushing the dust from her body, all was quiet, too quiet. Julietta stepped forward cautiously, want out waiting for something. Nothing, nothing came. The hallway stayed dark, the dust untouched, the smell of darkness lingering in the air. A cackle, a small far off noise, it could even have been an imaginary noise if it hadn’t been repeated again and louder.
The cackle, the only noise in this desolate place sent a shiver down Julietta’s spine. It was the cackle of someone who’d come undone. The cackle grew louder and louder and louder.
“I knew you’d come” the voice even more spine tingling than the cackle came tumbling through the darkness.
Julietta said nothing, she doubted she’d even get an answer should she ask who the voice belonged to.
“I knew your brother would lead me to you. Nasty little vermin he is” the voice came closer through the darkness.
If Julietta could have screamed she would have. If you’d ever been confronted by an unhinged person, you’d have a thought to what Julietta was confronted with now. With sullen eyes that glinted in the dark light, hair matted, disheveled and falling out. The skin on their arms cracked and peeling like they’d suffered a terrible disease. So thin in appearance, they could have been mistaken for a gnarly twig. The crazed face malnourished persona: Henrietta Granger. It could be no other person.
“Does my appearance bother you?” she cackled, “Insolent whelp, I shall be rewarded you’ll see” she jerked her head around like she was hearing some unheard noise, “Yes, I know, I know, we have her” she hissed, “You” she lunged at Julietta, tackling her to the ground.
She giggled evilly, “Oh how I’d love to be the one to kill you. No matter, no matter, I shall be the one to break you” she smiled, a crazy unnerving smile. “How I wish I’d bound your powers when I had the chance, if not for my idiotic sister, well I dealt with her. I will have my revenge” she hauled Julietta to her feet, binding her hands with rope and dragging her from the hall.
Back in Dumbledore’s Office
“What is the meaning of this” thundered Andrew Zabini.
“Where is my daughter?” asked Natasha Zabini.
“Where’s Julietta?” cried Toby.
“This is outrageous” hissed Lucius, he’d been appalled to hear about the prophesy and the twins unconscious spell, but this, losing Julietta so soon after finding her was too much.
“Blaise is there anything more you can tell us?” questioned Dumbledore.
Blaise shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Draco spoke, his impatientness getting the best of him, “You must tell them Blaise, all of it, even the stuff you haven’t told me or Ginny” he growled.
Blaise sighed in resignation, “When Julietta and I were unconscious we had a vision” began Blaise as he launched into the discovery of Hermione and Henrietta Granger, the diary, the predictions, the element of fire and the role Julietta played. His audience sat hushed throughout the story, the only noticeable difference being the whitening of people’s faces.
“My God” whispered Narcissa, “Our little girl”.
Natasha Zabini was made of stronger stuff. She understood the dire situation but she believed in her little girl, she’d heard stories of her past. Her daughter would survive this, she had no doubt. Draco seemed to share her train of thought.
“She’ll come back, she’ll come home to the Mansion” he said confidently, as people looked at him in confusion, he elaborated, “I feel it in here” he pointed to his heart, “She’ll come home” Natasha patted his arm in comfort, happy in the knowledge that Draco felt the same way.
Lucius and Severus however were still seething with barely concealed anger. Neither one committed to believing Dumbledore had no ulterior motive in this matter. Julietta was someone they’d all fight for willingly and unfortunately this episode was far from over.
The group sighed in mismatched opinions. Neither sure of what to do, all lost in thought.
Far away, Julietta awoke in a damp, dark basement. The rope tying her hands together cutting into her circulation and leaving angry red burns on her skin. It was a dire situation she was in but certainly not her worst. A flashback to Bellatrix and Malfoy Manor flashed through her mind sending shudders through her body before she banished the memory.
What she needed to work out was why she was here, what Henrietta could possibly want from her. She wasn’t going to kill her nor banish her powers, so what was her purpose here. Thinking logically Julietta surmised that she was captive till the ‘higher power’ arrived. Henrietta was well by her sell-by date, her crazed state of mind wasn’t going to last much more, would she even be any use in the future.
The cackling started again, “Soon he’ll be here. I’ll be rewarded, you’ll be dead and the world will be plunged into eternal darkness” she clapped her hands together in joy.
“Yes” she nodded knowingly at Julietta, “He is coming your precious prophesy will not be fulfilled. Now you come” she dragged Julietta up, “Come see my work” she exclaimed.
Who could call this dusty, charcoaled greased place a work bench thought Julietta. It was disgusting, worst than a morning in the cold damp dungeons for potions.
“This is my hovel” Henrietta smiled gleefully. “This is where I work, where they call to me, where I prepare for his arrival. As I cannot kill you, this is where you will work too, with me. Your powers are wonderful, think how much better they would be drenched in darkness”.
No Julietta though to herself, however crazed Henrietta was Julietta would never side with the darkness. Suddenly Julietta remembered the jumbled message from Hermione Granger’s diary, perhaps that would be her ticket out of here if only she could find where it was.
“You work here” said Henrietta, releasing Julietta from her bonds and forcing her to sit in a dirty chair. She sat there not knowing what to do, but it didn’t seem to matter, Henrietta was already immersed in a twitching manner, probably talking to the voices again.
“Ahh” Julietta hissed in pain, looking down she saw a long line of blood dripping down her arm. A sharp knife glinted in Henrietta’s hand, her menacing smile looking down at Julietta.
“Your blood smells pure, not pure enough” she cackled.
Julietta tried to ignore the pain in her arm, the cut was not deep but that didn’t stop the blood from flowing. Then Julietta clocked a fireplace in the far corner, didn’t Hermione’s message sat something about a fireplace chute. If she could just get over there, she’d have a chance.
“Such a pretty face” whispered Henrietta coming up behind Julietta. She gently stroked Julietta’s cheek with the flat edge of the knife, “So pretty, too pretty. You should be ugly like me. Then you would know the true trials of the world. Yes, lets mare that beautiful face of yours” Henrietta hissed slicing through the skin on Julietta’s cheek with her knife, watching in happiness as the blood fell from her face. Julietta barely contained her scream, these cuts were deeper, cutting through layers of skin.
It was a different kind of pain from that she’d experienced with Bellatrix but at least Bellatrix wasn’t completely unhinged like Henrietta was. Her attitude suggested a lifetime of being second best had finally taken its toll, resulting in the finished project of Henrietta Granger.
“Yes, yes soon” mumbled Henrietta, “I have just the thing. I’ll be back soon my precious” she roughly patted Julietta’s head before walking from the room.
Quick thought Julietta, she hurried from her seat towards the grimy fireplace. The message stated the third brick from the left under the fireplace chute. Julietta fumbled, blindly searching from the brick. She felt something lose under her hand and pulled the brick out a long with its content.
A pearl green necklace – for protection, the note said – and Julietta put it on with haste. Any sort of protection was good she thought. The second item was an old dirty boot wrapped in a cloth. Yes thought Julietta, a portkey, it must be!
“No” screamed Henrietta, returning with a whip in hand.
It’s now or never thought Julietta, she touched the portkey and was transported but not before Henrietta swung the whip rapping it sharply against Julietta’s back. She moaned in pain as she was transported away from the crazy-eyed Henrietta,
“Master Master!”exclaimed the house elf.
“What is it Loxy?” asked an impatient Andrew Zabini,
“The Mansion wards were just breached, you must come fix her” cried Loxy.
“Fix who?” asked innocent little Toby.
“Miss Julietta Master”.
There are only five chapters left to post :O Time goes fast.
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