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Chasing The Inevitable by killthatrat
Chapter 39 : Chapter 39 Vault Seven Hundred and Fifteen
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 10


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Harry and Malfoy waited impatiently in the hallway outside Meeting Room 14, waiting for Hermione to finish her meeting with Phillip Davies. The orientation had run over time, Davies arriving horribly late at twenty past two, quickly ushering Hermione inside. Harry was sure it was the longest twenty minutes of his life, knowing that if they weren’t inside the vault soon, Ron’s decoy in the main foyer might cause enough trouble that they might not get inside the vaults. Waiting for Hermione to emerge, Harry chewed his nails nervously, and despite the Imperius Curse that was still in effect, Malfoy had never looked so pleased in his life. It was clear that something wasn’t quite right, and he was perfectly okay with that.

It was another ten minutes before the door to the meeting room opened, Hermione walking through the door with a wink and a smile in his general direction as Phillip Davies followed her out. They stood on the spot for a moment, chatting idly.

“I’ll be working with you for your first shift tomorrow morning, and you’ll be rotated into the roster starting next week.”

Very suddenly beside him, Malfoy lashed out at Harry, punching him square in the chest and lunging for his wand. Harry fell back against the wall with a loud thud, pulling his wand behind his back but dropping it. Taking advantage of Malfoy’s lunge, Harry clasped his hand straight over his mouth and nose and pushed him to the ground, trying to keep the Invisibility Cloak in place as he held Malfoy down. Weakened from a weekend of fasting, Malfoy didn’t put up much of a struggle, allowing Harry to retrieve his dropped wand and restrain Malfoy’s hands, keeping his own hand firmly in place over his mouth and nose.

A few feet away from him Hermione was pitching a terrible cough, her briefcase open on the floor, its’ contents spilled everywhere. “I don’t know what’s come over me,” she managed to rasp, her coughing fit quite convincing. Even her eyes were watering. “Oh no, my nose is bleeding!”

“Are you alright?” Davies enquired, distracted from the loud thump he had heard. “Perhaps you should come back in and sit down.”

“Oh no!” Hermione replied hastily, pinching her nose. Clenched in her fist Harry could see the half eaten Nosebleed Nougat she held, the other half saved to stop the bleeding. “I’ll be quite alright, just some fresh air and I’ll be fine. You should get going Mr Davies, I know you’ve got other meetings.”

“Well,” he began uncertainly, leading her back down the hallway from which they had come. “As long as you’re alright.”

As they rounded the corner and went out of ear shot, Harry breathed an audible sigh of relief, looking back down at Malfoy. His face was quickly turning red with lack of air, and he squirmed uncomfortably beneath Harry. Moving his hand away from his nostrils Harry allowed him to breathe again, but did not allow him to get up, staying exactly where he was until Hermione rounded the corner only a minute later.

“Are you here?” she whispered, looking around frantically. Her nose bleed had stemmed, and she was hastily cleaning herself up.

“Yeah,” Harry said, hauling Malfoy to his feet and casting another Imperious Curse. To make himself clear, he used a Stinging Hex to burn the back of his knees for a moment. He quickly began to follow Hermione, who marched past him in a terrible rush. Slung around her neck was an identification card similar to the ones at the Ministry.

“Thank Merlin, I thought that man would never leave! What happened?” she demanded as discreetly as she could, marching past offices and a staffroom.

Harry didn’t reply, knowing they would have time to talk later. Already it was ten minutes to three o’clock. If Ron was operating on time, he would already be inside the foyer releasing fireworks and Pygmy Puffs. Concentrating, Harry followed their path on the map he had memorised, not needing Hermione to lead them through a discreet door that brought them out into the main hall, where they now stood in the Great Hall. Harry was pleased to see utter pandemonium, a single firework rocketing around the room before suddenly exploding into three, the freed Pygmy Puffs scattered about beneath the long row of desks.

Moving quickly, Hermione removed her visitors tag and slipped behind the long counters where the employees stood in shock, one witch screaming as a Pygmy Puff ran up her leg and under her skirt. Pushing Malfoy ahead of him, they followed Hermione through another door and entered a dark stone passageway where a lone Goblin stood waiting. It was still surprising for Harry to see the Goblin there in uniform, after Bill had insisted that they were gone.

“Your vault pass,” the Goblin requested suspiciously, seeing no customer by Hermione’s side.

“Here,” Hermione said breathlessly, thrusting the pass into the Goblins long gnarly fingers. “I think you’ll find it’s all in order.”

The Goblin regarded the pass, holding it up to the flickering light of a wall torch. He gave a long nod, and withdrew a whistle from under his uniform, summoning a small cart which rocketed into place.

“Wait,” Hermione said imperatively, stopping the Goblin who made to enter the cart. “Does Gringotts still maintain the utmost confidentiality for its’ clients?”

“Always, Ma’am.”

At this cue, Harry pulled the invisibility cloak off in a flourish, satisfied when the Goblin gave no remark or expression of surprise to see Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy.”

“We wish to go to vault seven hundred and fifteen,” Hermione stated solidly, glancing to Harry. “Will you take us there?”

Now the Goblin regarded Malfoy, assessing his blood status in relation to the vault in question.

“We’ll be needing a larger cart,” the Goblin declared.
 

 

 

It’s a beautiful day, Ron thought to himself, strolling down Diagon Alley towards the bank, the bag of purring Pygmy Puffs over his shoulder. The April sun was out in a rare day of sunshine, making him think of Quidditch and homemade ice cream at the Burrow. The thought was pleasing, stemming his nerves as he approached the bank without problem, ascending the stone steps and passing the security guards unbothered.

A little unnerved, he looked over his shoulder to the guards who had let him pass, reassuring himself. Passing through the small entrance hall he noted the two Goblins who stood by the doors, and ignored the inscription on the silver doors that warned thieves of the dangers they faced. Entering the main hall Ron approached the long line of witches and wizards who were waiting to be seen. Although the hall itself had not changed, the long line of counters on either side were mostly unoccupied, with only a half dozen witches and wizards spread across each side. Two of them were engrossed in conversation with their customers, while the others shuffled through paperwork or weighed gold in the brass scales.

Ron suppressed a smile as he watched a witch and an employee emerge from the door behind an empty work station, both of them looking rather green as they walked back to sign some paperwork. Counting the three unoccupied stations that appeared to be open, Ron took a guess that they must be down in the vaults with a customer, and checked his watch nervously. It was ten minutes to three o’clock. There was no time to wait for the three employees to return from the vaults, security would already be on their way to make their vault checks.

Looking around, Ron knew his arrival had gone relatively unnoticed, and so withdrew the single firework from his robes and lit it, putting it down and kicking it along the ground towards the centre of the hall. There was a moment when everyone close by stopped what they were doing and turned to watch the lone firework skidding across the ground, collectively holding their breath until it erupted in an explosion of red and blue sparks. Silently thanking his brothers, Ron hurried out of the way as the people in the line scurried, screaming and yelling as the firework soared around the Great Hall, scattering parchment and employees away from their desks. Taking advantage of their diverted attention Ron opened the bag of Pygmy Puffs and threw them from his bag in a wave of coloured, purring fluff, watching in glee as they too scattered around the room, heading towards the dark spaces underneath the employee desks. Moments later he freed the Decoy Detonators, which also scurried away before erupting with their siren.

Pandemonium ensued, half a dozen security guards appearing out of nowhere and attempting to restore order. Withholding his laughter, Ron removed one packet of Instant Darkness Powder from his pocket and threw it along the ground also, the powder erupting beneath the feet of one very confused wizard. Keeping well out of the way now, Ron hung back with the other customers who were scurrying towards the walls, watching with a smirk as a guard tried to vanish the rampant firework, only to have it explode into three more. Only five minutes later it was clear to the customers that control would not be regained today, and they began to leave, grumbling and whinging, passing by the two Goblins who watched on in vague amusement.

Ron hung back, checking his watch and seeing that it was close to three o’clock now. He couldn’t leave until he was sure that the security rounds had been cancelled. Hidden in a dark corner he watched as the guards recruited employees to begin rounding up the Pygmy Puffs, while meanwhile the fireworks exploded into three more when they tried again to vanish one.

“Leave it!” one guard shouted, indicating to one other who had raised his wand. “Just contain them, they’re Weasley Wizard Wheezes...they’ll fizz out in a little while.”

“Where did they come from?” someone yelled.

“The Entrance Hall,” a witch insisted. “I saw it come in.”

Breathing a small sigh of relief, Ron knew that he was not suspected of causing this ruckus. Scratching his chin he watched in amusement as the employees and guards tried to contain the five rampant fireworks, which showed no signs of slowing down, while the Pygmy Puffs scattered and played uninhibited. Restraining a laugh Ron watched as one run up the leg of a witch, who screamed and began to jump around, trying to beat it out from underneath her robes. Looking over to her Ron’s heart leapt into his throat, seeing Hermione in her disguise slipping behind the counter and opening the door that would lead her to the vaults. The door stayed open a little longer than necessary, and Ron knew that Harry and Malfoy had also been admitted.

“Right!” one of the guards shouted loudly, waving his wand about and pointing to certain other guards. “You and Taylor can start rounding up these….these fluffy things! Get on it before they start breeding!”

“Uh uh,” one of them remarked with distaste. “We’ve got rounds of the vaults to make. We’re already late.”

“I don’t care about rounds, we’ve got tiny fluff balls running amok! Fix it!”

Grumbling, the affronted security guards set to work, and satisfied that they would not be going down to the vaults any time soon, Ron hastily departed. There guards who had been out the front had gone inside, and so he was able to slip out without interrogation. Hiding his smile, Ron slipped his hands into his pockets and strolled up the street again, slipping down the alleyway that would take him above Madam Malkin’s. Apparating to the roof, Ron slipped into position, laying down flat and concealing his head with a Headless Hat. He could see the service and employee entrance to Gringotts perfectly, and crossing both his fingers he waited for Harry and Hermione to reappear, preparing himself for a long wait.

 

The rickety wooden Gringotts cart hurtled down the steel tracks, every bump rattling its passengers uncomfortably. Released from the Imperius curse, Malfoy sat in the back with his head hung over the side, trying to stem off the growing motion sickness while Harry sat beside him, rather pleased by his discomfort. In the front of the trolley Hermione sat by the Goblin, who was taking the cart further and further underground. They rocked and swayed violently to the left, dodging stalactites and stalagmites that wizards alone would not be able to see, and in that moment Harry knew exactly why the Goblins had been brought back to Gringotts. The sound of the cart echoed as they passed over a deep ravine, water dripping onto them and making the cold wind feel even worse against their skin. Harry wished he had worn something warmer, having not accounted for the fast paced trip underground.

Hermione was clinging to the cart for dear life, and when it finally screeched to a sudden stop she slumped forward gratefully, putting her head in her hands. Beside him Malfoy retched, vomiting over the side of the cart as Harry rolled his eyes in impatience. The Goblin disembarked the cart first and waited for them, Hermione quickly clamouring out after him and swaying a little when she stood straight. Wrenching Malfoy’s arm impatiently, Harry hauled him out of the cart and to his feet, pleased to see his sweaty and clammy face. Like Hermione, he swayed a little, but Harry wasn’t paying attention, looking twenty feet to his left where he could see the vault labelled seven hundred and thirteen. For a moment he remembered his very first trip to Diagon Alley with Hagrid, when the entire course of his life had changed forever. They had come to that vault for the Philosophers Stone mere hours before Quirrell tried to rob it. Had he known that nearly seven years later he would be back to rob the adjoining vault he would have been more confused than he already felt.

“Harry?” Hermione said sharply, gaining his attention.

“Sorry,” he hastened to reply, turning his attention back to Malfoy and the awaiting Goblin. Still holding Malfoy’s arm he steered him towards the large door of vault seven hundred and fifteen, taking his hand and raising it to the steel as the Goblin did the same. Harry stepped back and pointed his wand to Malfoy. “You know what to do.”

“I don’t understand,” Malfoy feigned, though his task were quite clear. He took his hand away from the door.

“Open it,” Harry said sharply, his heart pounding with anticipation. Already his scar was burning fiercely, and he knew with absolute certainty that Hufflepuff’s Cup was inside the vault. “Put your hand on the door and open it.”

Malfoy stared at him impassively, as though considering the merits of refusal, before finally placing his hand firmly against the door. Beside him the Goblin did the same, and a moment later there was a loud click. Brushing Malfoy aside the Goblin took the handle and pulled the door open. Looking inside Harry was completely astounded, seeing the enormous vault filled from floor to ceiling with precious furniture and artefacts, mounds of Galleons, jewellery and precious stones spilling out of golden chests. For a moment Harry recalled story books he had listened to his Aunt reading to Dudley, fantasies of hidden pirate treasure and of the Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, but never had he anticipated that such a wealth could really exist.

“Go inside,” Harry said quietly, realising that the vast amount of possessions meant that it might take hours to find the cup.

“No!” Malfoy said indignantly. “If you want to steal from my family then you can do it yourself.”

“Get inside, now!” Harry shouted, shoving him forward. This was the part he most dreaded, having to force Malfoy to search when he himself could not go inside. Not being a direct descendant of Phineas Nigellus meant that his safety was uncertain.

Malfoy stumbled inside, and while he tried to gain his bearing Hermione stunned the Goblin, who was looking positively outraged by the argument that had unfolded. Keeping his attention on Malfoy, Harry pointed his wand to him.

“I want you to find a golden goblet. It’s got the Hufflepuff house crest on it, and it’s somewhere in there. The faster you find it the faster you’ll be freed. We stay here until it’s found.”

There was a long moment as they stared at each other, Malfoy’s shoulders slumped as he glanced over his shoulder as the many hiding places this unknown object could be.

“How big is this thing?” he asked.

“Goblet sized,” Harry said sarcastically, lowering his wand when Malfoy finally turned and paced around the generously sized vault, looking over the possessions more closely. Looking at Hermione, Harry did not allow himself to relax, both of them stepping closer to the entrance and carefully watching Malfoy.

An hour later Hufflepuff’s cup had not yet been found, and somewhat defeated by his pounding head ache and desire to manually strangle Malfoy, Harry had slumped down against the passage wall and closed his eyes. Hermione stood watching Malfoy, her eyes occasionally switching to check on Harry before switching back to Malfoy, who now meandered around the vault shrugging his shoulders.

“I’m telling you, Granger, it’s not in here,” Malfoy said cockily.

“Harry?” Hermione said quietly, wanting his opinion on what Malfoy said.

“It’s in there,” Harry repeated again, resting his cold hand across his scar. For a moment or two it was almost soothing. “I can feel it…hurts like hell.”

“Keep looking,” Hermione barked harshly, making even Harry flinch. Stepping back a little she peered at Harry again. “Are you sure you’re alright?”

“Yeah,” Harry said quietly, hauling himself to his feet. Instead of moving back to Hermione he wandered deeper down the passage, past the unconscious Goblin to an area where the flame torches cast a deep shadow.

Sitting back down he pulled his knees to his chest and rested his face against them. It was cooler in this spot, the sharp pain in his scar easing with each step he took away from the Horcrux. Even his head ache soothed in the cool dark spot, and when Hermione again called out in concern he waved her off. He tapped his foot rhythmically, trying to pass the time as he wondered if Ron was alright. He ought to be on the roof of Madam Malkin’s, keeping watch for Hermione’s return, twiddling his thumbs and wondering what they would cook up for that night’s feed.

Harry sighed, checking his watch and seeing that it was after four already. The bank would close at five, and although he had threatened to stay as long as it took to find the Goblet, the idea of camping out in Gringotts over night was less than desirable. That said, there would be another security check of the vaults after closing, more thorough this time after missing the afternoon check. At this thought Harry’s scar seared with pain, making him sit up and clench his teeth. He breathed deeply and clenched his teeth, distantly hearing Malfoy and Hermione arguing again. For a moment the pain overwhelmed him, and a brief vision of the vaults interior flashed before his mind’s eye, the pain in his scar vanishing a moment later.

Gasping, Harry took a deep breath and scrambled to his feet, trying to hold onto the mental image before it was gone forever. Racing back to vault seven hundred and fifteen Harry ignored the argument between Hermione and Malfoy, pushing her out of the way and jumping into the second step of the vault.

“Harry! What are you doing? Don’t go any further!” Hermione instructed him in terror, wrapping her arm around one of his legs to prevent him from actually entering the vault.

Harry ignored her, looking at Malfoy briefly before scanning the objects and possessions looking for something familiar. “There!” he said sharply, pointing behind Malfoy. “That cupboard, open it.”

“What are you on about, Potter?” Malfoy groaned in frustration, clenching his hands in his blond hair.

“Open the cupboard!” Harry shouted, withdrawing his wand and raising it.

“I’ve already looked in there, it’s empty.”

“Open it!”

“Harry?” Hermione asked in concern, releasing his leg and shoving him along to stand by his side. “What is it?”

Malfoy opened the heavy mahogany doors, revealing the interior of the large cupboard, which was empty as he claimed. He turned back to Harry with a mixture of smugness and frustration on his face. Harry sighed, certain that was what he had seen in the brief vision he had experienced. He didn’t question where it had come from. He didn’t want to know.

“Move it.”

“Move it?” Malfoy asked in dismay, starting towards him. “It’s solid mahogany!”

“I swear to Merlin,” Harry began softly, his voice escalating as he pinched the bridge of his nose. The pain in his scar was returning with full vigour. “Don’t make me lock you in there. Move the bloody cupboard!”

“I can’t move the bloody cupboard,” Malfoy shouted back at him, “because some bloody idiot took my wand from me!”

Harry swore to himself, casting the Imperius curse. In his frustration he caused Malfoy to stumble and fall over, and Harry took a deep breath before bringing him back to his feet and setting him onto moving the cupboard. Beside him, Hermione stood stock still, torn between the instinct to interrogate him and to watch quietly. To Harry’s relief she chose the latter.

The mahogany cupboard groaned as Malfoy slowly pushed it aside inch by inch, and in his impatience Harry made Malfoy push it right over. There was a loud smash as the cupboard fell over, the wood splintering and coming apart as it crashed over other furniture and knocked aside jewellery and artwork. The imperius curse lifted, Malfoy swore heavily, echoing the curses of Harry and Hermione, who were now looking directly at Hufflepuff’s cup. A section of the stone wall behind the cabinet had been removed, roughly hollowing out an alcove that was only large enough to accommodate the golden goblet, which stood proudly under the gaze of Harry and Hermione.

“Oh my God, Harry,” Hermione said in awe, clutching at his arm in excitement. “How did you know?”

“Don’t ask,” he whispered quietly, tearing his gaze away and focusing on Malfoy, who also stood in awe of what he had been sent to find. “Bring it here.”

“What do you want with it?” he asked, his one last opportunity.

“Just bring it here.”

Harry watched carefully as Malfoy reached for the goblet, unconsciously tensing when he took it out of the alcove. Nothing happened, though Malfoy regarded the goblet with upmost curiosity before approaching Harry with it. Beside him, Hermione hastily repaired the broken cupboard and settled it back into its rightful place, covering up the hole that shouldn’t be there before opening the briefcase she carried.

Coming to the door, Malfoy reached outside the vault and handed the goblet to Harry, who carefully took it and turned it round. The crest of Hufflepuff was carefully engraved on the side, the gold otherwise perfect and flawless, much to his surprise. It was warm to hold, hot even. Harry wasted no time in passing it to Hermione to stow in the deep briefcase, not wanting to hold it any longer. When it left his hands he briefly felt dizzy, the pain in his head increasing with its close proximity. Hermione too observed the goblet, but quickly put it away and snapped the briefcase shut, as though she too felt the power and darkness the object held inside.

“Can I get out of here now?” Malfoy said impatiently.

“Straighten up in there,” Harry instructed quietly, looking at the briefcase. “I want it to be the way you found it.”

Hermione waited until Malfoy finally went back inside the vault and began to straighten up, only then did she put the briefcase down on the stone floor of the passage and step back. “Can you feel that?” she asked Harry quietly.

He nodded, understanding exactly what she meant.

“It feels…malevolent,” she continued. “I’d prefer to leave it down here, actually.”

“I don’t want to think about what will happen when we kill this thing,” Harry echoed, equally quiet. Shaking a little he turned back to the vault, peering inside and watching as Malfoy slowly set about straightening up. Looking back to the briefcase, Harry couldn’t help but feel nervous, finally actually having it in his possession. If this went well, if they managed to destroy it successfully, this would be the second Horcrux destroyed since Dumbledore’s death.

That left two. One still unknown, and Nagini.

“Done,” Malfoy declared, looking out at Harry and Hermione in frustration. “Hello? I’m done here,” he continued, descending the stone steps.

Immediately Harry converged on him, needing to protect the briefcase. He raised his wand in threat. “Get in the cart,” he instructed, peering into the vault to check that it had been tidied.

Malfoy nodded cooperatively, and Harry watched him carefully as Hermione roused the stunned Goblin. A quick confoundus charm had the Goblin locking the vault again and leading them back into the cart, and only a minute later the four of them were rushing across the tracks in an upward direction. Hermione sat up front again with the briefcase at her feet, while Harry sat in the back with Malfoy, whose hands were fastened behind his back again. The cart ride back to the surface was faster than their ride below it, and it felt like little more than a minute before the cart skidded to a stop.

The Goblin departed first, and Harry allowed Hermione to follow before he roughly hauled Malfoy out, who again looked pale and sickly. They stood awkwardly in the stone passage before Harry threw the cloak back over himself and Malfoy, casting the Imperius Curse before following Hermione out the door and emerging behind the long counters in the hall. By now order had been restored, but there were no customers, and upon Hermione’s arrival behind the counter the employees turned and looked to her.

Hermione nodded politely, leaving the door open long enough to admit Harry and Malfoy before setting off down behind the other employees towards the next required door. A moment later they were back in the empty corridors of the offices, and they rushed down the hall in a hurry, the adrenaline and excitement of what they had achieved finally kicking in. They composed themselves as they reached the service entrance, knowing they still had to get past the security guards outside in the alleyway.

“You ready?” Hermione asked aloud, not entirely sure of where Harry was. She took a deep breath, composing herself and checking the briefcase over.

“Yeah, we’re ready,” Harry confirmed, knowing they were almost finished. “Remember, don’t turn back, no matter what. You’ve gotta get that thing out of here, alright?

“Yes, alright.”

“Ron will be right behind you.”

“Yes, I know,” she whispered, putting her hand on the door handle. “Good luck.”

She opened the door and stepped outside into the bright sunlight, purposefully stumbling a little and hanging onto the handle. Harry and Malfoy slipped out after her and moved far out of the way, watching as Hermione spoke to the guards.

“Whoops, sorry about that,” she smiled, the two guards looking her over with great interest.

“Martine Mills?” the one holding a clip board said.

“Yes, that’s right,” Hermione confirmed.

“Shouldn’t you have finished your meeting a while ago?” he questioned her suspiciously.

“Well yes, I should have, but I got caught up in the debacle at the front, and I was asked to wait until it was under control. Phillip had me wait in his office.”

“Alright then,” the guard accepted her explanation. “Just sign here please, and return your visitors badge.”

“Of course.” She fished the badge from her pocket and returned it, hastily scrawling a signature that was not hers on the parchment, all the while maintaining a vice grip on the handle of the briefcase.

She left quickly, thanking the guards before briskly walking past Harry and Malfoy and leaving the alleyway. Harry quickly followed, carefully watching Malfoy who was still under the curse, and breathed with relief when he saw Hermione leave the small alleyway and enter Diagon Alley again. Entering the alley too, Harry and Malfoy hung by the stone wall of a shop and watched Hermione walking back towards the Leaky Cauldron. She stuck close to the side of the street, keeping out of the way of other witches and wizards who barely noticed her passing them by. Seconds later, Harry caught sight of Ron in his disguise, who as planned, was following Hermione.

It was then that Harry caught sight of his worst fear for that day. Marching down the alley and parting the crowd with their intimidation alone, Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy approached Hermione, who had also seen them. Hermione hesitated for a moment, wanting to turn back and warn Harry, but she remembered their agreement, and so swapped the briefcase into her other hand and kept walking. Behind her, Ron also saw the Malfoys, and he too remembered their agreement, speeding up his pace to fall directly beside Hermione, prepared to protect her and the briefcase.

Harry’s heart was pounding harder than it had in months, a nervous sweat breaking out. He held his breath until his friends passed the Malfoy’s undetected, his entire body relaxing with utter relief. They would be fine now, and he had his Invisibility Cloak. They couldn’t harm him if they couldn’t see him, but what did this mean for their entire plan? Somehow they had gotten wind that their missing son had visited an old family vault at Gringotts. Had it been the Goblins who had told them? Only one Goblin knew they had been down there, and he had spent most of their break in unconscious.

As the two Malfoys came closer to them Harry checked on Ron and Hermione again, who appeared to have left the alley. There was a beautiful moment when it seemed that the two Malfoys would just pass him unknowingly, heading for the bank, and then Harry felt a blinding pain in his chest, and he stumbled against the wall as the Invisibility Cloak was torn away. He watched in disbelief as Malfoy broke away from him and tore off the Invisibility Cloak, having fought the Imperious Curse off at the sight of his parents. He burst forward towards them.

“Father!” he yelled, not looking back. “I’m here, Father!”

There was a cry of relief as Narcissa Malfoy saw her son, and she too burst towards him, her wand raised and ready to defend. Lucius Malfoy on the other hand looked straight past his son to where Harry stood slumped against the wall of a shop, his hand on his chest as he tried to catch his breath after the sharp blow he had sustained. The world went still as the two of them looked at each other, Harry quickly assessing that he did not have the breath to utter a strong enough curse, let alone raise his wand. By the time Lucius Malfoy raised his wand to stun Harry, he had already moved out of the way, forcing his shocked body to work. Catching his breath, Harry cast the strongest Shield Charm he could muster, watching as another Stunning Curse was thwarted by it.

Getting to his feet, Harry began to run.

 

 


A/N More chapters coming! Please review, I’ve worked very hard to churn these out. Thanks again to Emily and Tricia for the plot advice and SPaG help.
 
 


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