Chapter 11 : For What a War is Worth
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I felt terrible for having lied to Nott last night. Especially when I wasn’t sure what I was doing here…well not exactly. I still wasn’t convinced by Draco’s letter, well at least about his feelings, it’s one thing to say this stuff, it’s another to mean it truly. I’m still convinced that he only feels that way because of hormones or something.
So here I stand staring out my window at the grounds of Hogwarts. Sadly watching the students mill about the property happily chatting to each other as it was the weekend. Nothing to worry about, just homework and papers, or at least that’s what everyone believed. I knew what was coming or rather whom was coming and I was extremely uncomfortable.
The more I thought about it the more I hadn’t been paying attention to the signs all about the school grounds. The Carrows had been absent a lot lately, even going so far as not taunting me in lectures, instead insisting on torturing students with the cruciatus curse any chance they got. It was as if they were practicing. If I had bothered paying attention I would’ve noticed but I’d been enjoying having a normal life for once. I had friends, which was something I hadn’t had the luxury of until now. And it appeared someone had a crush on me. At the thought of how close Nott had gotten to me last night I feel myself blush slightly.
Theodore Nott should not be affecting me in anyway, as he said himself Draco is mine. Or at least I think he is, I’m unsure anymore, especially since I haven’t seen him in months. I’m lost in my own thoughts as I get dressed and presentable. I continue busying myself when I notice the barrier outside of Hogwarts appears to be vanishing and breaking apart, I hadn’t even noticed that there was anything going on, last I knew everyone was outside but as I look out now, I can only see Snatchers waiting outside the barrier to get inside the school. I’m gaping at the sight outside my window when I hear a loud BANG in the hallway.
My heart skips a beat, and I strain my ears for more noises, and that’s when I hear it. Screams, loud, terrifying, and heartbreaking. I can hear people running through the halls and can hear curses being spoken. I can only sit with my back against the door seated on the floor with my knees to my chest. I don’t think I can sit here and let these people, students like me, perish. But, I wait for the noise to die down, perhaps this hallway would empty out and I’d be free to search for other students like me and avoid the death eaters, who knows what they’d do to me if they caught me.
I break the barrier on my door when I no longer hear anyone around, and crack the door open sticking only my head out. The coast appears to be clear so I step quietly out into the hall with my wand at the ready and quietly shut the door. I walk down the old abandoned hallway I’d been living on checking every corner for a person to jump out at me. I make it to the main hallway and see the damage already incurred, rubble lay about all over on the floor, it appears the Death Eaters have breached the defenses.
I decide to head back to the dungeons figuring, Death Eaters won’t be going to the Slytherins and I may be able to find my friends, at least know they’re okay. As I make my way down a secret stairway down towards Snape’s office I swear I hear someone following me, but everytime I look back there’s nothing. I make it down right outside Snape’s office without incident, this area also appears abandoned.
I head towards the Slytherin common room when someone grabs me from behind and pushes me into one of the holes in the wall, covering my mouth with their hand.
“IZZY! I thought I told you to stay where you were!?” I relax a bit when I see familiar blue grey eyes staring angrily down into my own green ones, “Go back there now! This isn’t up for debate, I don’t want to have to worry about you, I have things I have to do.”
I pull his hand from off of my mouth, “I don’t take orders from anyone, especially you! I heard people screaming, I don’t want any of my friends getting hurt, I just wanted to find them. I haven’t spoken to you in months you have some nerve ordering me around like a toddler.” I say venom in my voice as I poke him hard in the chest.
He groans and runs his hand through his hair, “I don’t have time to argue with you, I have someplace to be but seeing as I’m going to the common room to find Blaise, Crabbe and Goyle, I suppose you can go. The Head’s dorm has already been destroyed..” He trails off, my heart sinking.
“Is Theo alright?!” I screech grabbing onto the front of his shirt forcefully.
Draco gives me a strange look, “Theo?!, You mean Nott!? Yea he wasn’t there, I don’t know where he is so I can’t promise he hasn’t been hurt elsewhere, wouldn’t surprise me if he’d joined in on the fighting. I’m just hear to find Potter and stop him. Just please go to the common room and stay there, no excuses. I’ll find you afterwards, I promise.”
“That’s the second time you’ve promised me that, you’d better keep it or I’ll never forgive you.” I say as I stand on my tiptoes and kiss him forcefully. “I love you too Draco Malfoy, don’t make me regret that.”
I leave him stunned in the alcove and sneak down to the common room, the door is nonexistent, having been broken already. I step over the rubble to find several Slytherin first years huddled together a look of utter terror on their faces. “Run! Get out of here, go seek shelter in a broom closet or something, this place is clearly not safe!” I say to them motioning out of the door they don’t need to be told twice and run from the room. I look around assessing the damage. This room was destroyed, seemingly attacked for no reason as most of the students here would’ve happily joined the Death Eaters if asked.
I hear rocks shift behind me and whip around pointing my wand directly at Theodore Nott’s chest. “Easy there Iz, I’m not here to hurt you, I was looking for you, you didn’t come back yesterday, I was in the library when they broke through. Pansy and I were hiding in a broom closet, I was hoping I’d find you here, come with me.” He puts his hand out for me to take and I gratefully take it, not failing to notice the warmth found in his hand.
We run through several hallways wands drawn. When we’re suddenly stopped by the sight of Fenrir Greyback at the end of the hallway, blocking our path. “Run, I prefer my dinner limber.” He says a terrifying glint in his eyes. We turn around and sprint down the nearest hallways, at some point in the rush of people suddenly running towards us we get separated and I turn down the first hallway I come to. At the end stands Alecto Carrow a smirk upon her lips.
“Well…if it isn’t my beautiful daughter, come to join the right side I see!” An evil glint in her eye as she walks towards me, my uncle appearing behind her. I turn and run straight into a strange man’s chest who’s eyes are exactly like my own.
“Now it’s a family affair!” I hear Alecto cackle from behind me, “Meet your father, girl, Antonin Dolohov, and now we’re going to take you to the Dark Lord! Oh he’ll be so pleased.” I can hear Alecto dancing happily behind me but can’t take my eyes off my…father.
“Izzy!” I hear from behind Dolohov, the voice sounds familiar but I can’t quite place it, as Dolohov turns to see who it is I see Draco standing there a look of bewilderment on his handsome face. “Let her go! She’s of no use to you Carrows and Dolohov. I heard there’s some Gryffindors who know where Potter and pals are on third floor. They appear to be getting ready to fight, they refuse to come out, why don’t you go check it out.”
I hold my breath and wait for them to agree to leave. Dolohov appears to mull it over quickly and walks swiftly back down the hall, glancing back at me once. Amycus and Alecto both leave shortly afterwards mumbling how Malfoy better bring me himself then.
“What are you doing out here?!” Draco scolds me as he runs up to me and wraps me in his arms pulling me to his chest and kissing the top of my head. “I left you at the common room, why are you here in the middle of the second floor hallway!?”
“Nott came to find me to take me to some safe room he and Pansy are in but then I got separated from him in the crowd of people running.” I say looking past him to see Nott running down the hall towards us.
“CARROW!” I hear Nott yell as he approaches, “Sorry I got separated from you thought you’d gone on ahead, this is the right hallway, Malfoy don’t you have somewhere you’re supposed to be?” He says eyeing up Draco to which Draco nods and walks away without a second glance.
Nott then leads me to a broom closet down the way and knocks three times to which I can hear Pansy say an incantation and the door is unlocked. Inside the room I see they’ve transfigured buckets into chairs and that it is not only Pansy, Nott and I but also some first years which they’d obviously taken in. I take a seat in one of the vacant chairs and Pansy says another incantation to seal the door and keep the outside world just where it is…outside. Looking around the room I can see the fear written across everyone’s faces. So much for all the game Slytherins talk, it seemed we were all just a bunch of cowards when faced with dangerous situations.
Suddenly we hear Voldemort’s terrifying voice come booming throughout the castle walls, shaking the very foundation of the castle demanding Harry Potter relinquish himself in order to save all those inside the castle. Looks as though Saint Potter will once again get to save the world or die trying to. So we just sit and wait none of us daring to speak or move, hoping beyond hope that we can somehow survive this entire mess unscathed. Finally, I can’t take the silence anymore and look over at Nott who was pacing the length of the room…which was only maybe 5 feet. “Where’s Blaise?” I ask Nott, stopping him in his tracks as he turns around to face me.
“He’s…with Malfoy, helping him, Crabbe and Goyle.” Theodore says without emotion and staring directly into my eyes. I shiver from the intensity in his gaze and break the connection instead looking at the floor.
“Oh.” Is all I manage to whisper out.
The longer we sat in that room in silence the more my mind was playing tricks on me and the more I thought about the tumultuous I was in with Draco Malfoy. He infuriated me to no end, it was a constant battle to even get his attention. He was always busy with something that the Dark Lord had assigned him, something always too dangerous for me to be around. It made me question how badly I wanted to be in a relationship with him. I wasn’t keen on being exposed to this level of danger at all times. Surely even if Potter defeats Voldemort Draco’s loyalty will come in question. He could be imprisoned in Azkaban or worse, killed today. I made up my mind, no matter what the outcome of today I was not going to associate myself with Draco Malfoy no matter how hard that would be. It was going to be hard enough trying to reconcile my own name, having a Malfoy tagged on would only make matters worse. Surely his father was equally involved and I was sure he’d be thrown in Azkaban for his crimes.
We were in the broom closet for what seemed an eternity when suddenly we could faintly hear cheering. Intrigued I signaled for Pansy to disarm the door and I went out into the hall, all of the students from the closet following close behind me towards the noise. It seems as though Voldemort has been defeated once and for all, Saint Potter had come through and inside I couldn’t have been happier. If my “mother”, “uncle” or “father” survived the battle they’d be thrown in Azkaban anyways so I’d never have to see them again. We all look around at each other and can’t control ourselves we all huddle up into one giant group hug.
Soon after we all head down towards the Great Hall as that is where we’re told to go. For that is where the dead have been placed for identification. I’m astonished at the number of people who’ve been killed in this battle, I recognized one of the Weasley twins and Bellatrix Lestrange (I wasn’t upset about that one). It was both a joyous and disheartening day. I looked around the room and my eyes came upon Draco Malfoy in the arms of Astoria Greengrass, his parents behind them in a tight embrace. My heart sank but I knew it was for the better, I told Nott and Pansy I was just going to get something from my trunk and that I’d be back.
I left the castle grounds that day, I never looked back and I never said goodbye.