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Chapter 2 : The Gates of Hell
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A/N: A huge thanks to my reviewers from the last chapter, magicmuggle01, Bella_Bug, jazzy4ver, and of course Gin-gin06 for being amazing and reviewing chapter 1. You guys rock. Another thanks to Bella_Bug for helping me edit this chapter and for being an awesome friend, it means a lot and I love you. S2
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or the wonderful world he lives in, that belongs to the amazing mind of JK Rowling. I also do not own Beauty and the Beast, though that would be pretty awesome as well. (Specific "original" author isn't known, though a strong case could be made for Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve or Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont. Whoever it was, was brilliant. :P)
Edited 10-24-12: A huge thanks to MadiMalfoy who is now reading through and editing all my chapters. :)
I recoiled and let go of his hand, falling back on the ground with a grunt. I quickly shuffled back several feet and eyed him cautiously.
“Malfoy?!” I nearly shrieked at him, instantly demanding answers. “What are you doing here? How did you find me?” I began to panic. I had no idea where I was or what was going to happen to me for the next few months and to top all it off, Malfoy finds me. It was infuriating. How the Order let this happen was beyond me.
“Stand up, now.” He demanded, walking over and reaching down to pick up my bag. What in Merlin’s name was he doing? “Well?” He said, smirking as he walked up to me, offering his hand once more.
I scoffed at him and pushed his hand away, standing up on my own. “I want answers.” I said, looking him directly in the eyes. Instead of giving me answers, he shook his head and began walking away.
I stood rooted to the spot as he walked to a tree across the clearing and turned to me expectantly, “Coming Granger?” His lip curled into that trademark smirk of his.
“Not until you tell me what’s going on.” I said firmly. There was no way I was willingly following Malfoy.
“Later. For now, follow me. You’ll have to blindly trust me Granger.” he said, turning away from me and calling over his shoulder. “It’s best if you hurry.” He began walking again and I stood there contemplating what I was going to do. Finally, I made the hardest decision in my life and fought every nerve screaming against it, I ran to catch up to Malfoy, falling in step behind him.
We walked in silence for what seemed like hours until we came to the edge of the woods. Malfoy turned to look at me, his finger to his mouth signaling for me to be quiet. I quirked my eyebrows questioningly but he merely raised a hand as if to say ‘not now’ and motioned for me to follow.
I grudgingly followed him as we made our way out of the woods. I gasped as I realized where we were… Malfoy manor. But why here? What was this, some kind of sick joke?
He led me through what I assumed was the backyard, although it looked more like an enormous garden to me. There were ponds scattered throughout and upon passing one I noticed several multicolored fish sparkling and swimming about lazily. Here and there were large white birds wandering about, which I realized were actually albino peacocks. I felt my eyes grow wide as I tried to take it all in.
He was walking rather quickly and I struggled to keep up. Off to the side, several feet away, was the largest oak tree I’d ever seen, the sun gleaming off its leaves. Below the tree was a white gazebo, roses entwining the roof and sides. It was, without a doubt, the most beautiful garden I’d ever seen.
We finally arrived at the back door and he opened it, holding it open for me. I cautiously made my way inside, though every nerve in my body was screaming against it.
I followed Malfoy through a maze of corridors and hallways. We’d walked up and down several intricate staircases and through an assortment of well-furnished, ornate rooms. I didn’t pay much attention to details in the décor, as I was too worried about what was going to happen next.
Finally, we came to a halt in the middle of the hallway and I looked around expectantly, seeing nothing. He lifted up a painting that rested in the middle of the wall and put his wand to the wall beneath it, muttering to himself. A door appeared next to the painting, a white wooden door carved with intricate vines and flowers. He opened the door and I glanced into the room, letting out an involuntary gasp.
The room was huge. A large bay window overlooked the backyard and the forest that stretched out beyond it, a bench lined with a deep purple silk running the length of the window. Off to the right stood a huge bed with comforters the same deep purple, and above the bed was a flowing white canopy that draped elegantly over the bed. To the left of the window stood a large bookshelf that reached the ceiling and must’ve stood 10 feet wide, filled with books. A large, rather comfy looking, purple chair sat next to the bookshelf, a light fixed overhead. A dresser stood to the other side of the window and a desk next to it, lined with papers and ink bottles and several other items I couldn’t make out. Pictures were scattered around the walls of all sorts of different landscapes, and there were vases of flowers everywhere. The walls were a pale blue, and the carpet was white. It was the most beautiful room I’d ever seen.
I turned to Malfoy to ask him about a thousand questions but he was holding an envelope out to me, apparently wanting me to read what was inside.
“It’ll explain everything you need to know,” he said in a near whisper, “for now at least,” he added quickly. His eyes met mine and he held my gaze, as if searching. “I have to go for now, but I’ll be back. Keep quiet… please.” his voice was pleading and I nodded slightly. I took the envelope from him as he set my bag down just inside the door. He gave me one last nod and shut the door quietly behind him… I was alone.
I made my way across the room to the large chair and sat down, sinking into the cushion immediately and sighing to myself before turning my attention to the envelope.
Inside the envelope were four letters. I took the first out and opened it up; it was from Kingsley.
I know this doesn’t make much sense to you now. But I can assure you, this is your best chance. The ministry is cracking down on Muggle-borns and what better way to keep you safe than keep you with a pureblood family? I’ll explain more when I can. Keep safe. Don’t give Draco a hard time, he volunteered for this.
Well of course it doesn’t make sense, I’m stuck at Malfoy Manor. I suppose he had a point, but why the Malfoys, of all pureblood families? Draco… volunteered? That didn’t make any sense. Having no more answers than I did before reading the letter, I opened the next one. It was from Molly.
Oh my goodness dear, everything is such a mess right now. Kingsley has just moved us and informed us where you will be kept. I hope that he treats you well. I can’t say much right now. Love from everyone.
How was it possible that Molly and the rest of the Weasleys knew were I was and yet I hadn’t known until I got here? I was growing more frustrated with each passing letter, but moved to the next, immediately recognizing the handwriting as Harry’s.
I hate this. I hate that we’re all separated and it seems you’ve got the short stick in the lot. I can’t tell you much, but I plan on leaving as soon as possible. News soon, hopefully.
Harry knew where I was as well?! Or at least appeared to? I was beyond angry at this point and pulled out the last letter hoping for something to cheer me up but was disappointed to see the scrawling lines of Draco Malfoy’s handwriting.
I’m sorry it has to be this way. I really am. I know how stressed and upset you must be right now, which is why I want to put this in a letter. I’m sorry the war has escalated to this point, and I can assure you I’ll do my best to keep you safe. Our house is now host to the Death Eaters but my mother and I are against them. We went to the Order to see what we could do to help and this was one thing. I immediately said we’d help. I’m sorry for all I’ve done in the past. I hope this can be a chance to start over. Don’t worry about anyone finding you. No one wanders this house and I’ve put up several enchantments. I’ll be back later to answer any questions. Read, write, do whatever you wish. It’s all there for you. I’ll be back soon to answer what questions I can.
Here I was, stuck in Malfoy manor, and with Malfoy himself. It was a true Beauty and the Beast moment… so much for mere stories.
Wooooo! Thoughts? Concerns? Questions?
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Until next time,
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