“Harry, are you in here?” Ginny called out as she and Ron entered the living room, Ron still clutching the note in his hands.
“Hey there, you okay?” He replied as he walked in through the door that led to the kitchen. Extracting the note from Ron's hand, which proved more difficult then she had first thought seeing as Ron was reluctant to let go. She eventually managed to free it from his grasp and she handed it over to Harry who took it and started to read .It didn't take him long. His face went through several emotions, horror, surprise and then finally determination which was what Ginny could read on his face as he turned to where her and Ron were now sat on the couch. “I'll take it to the office, see what they say,” he told them and Ginny nodded.
“What about the money?” Ron spoke up and his eyes met Harry who looked at the floor instead.
“We can't pay it, not unless the Aurors give permission,” he muttered but even as he did he knew Ron wasn't going to listen. He didn't blame him. If there positions had been reversed and it had been Ginny who had been took, well he didn't think anybody would stop him paying that money if it meant he might see her alive again.
“No, I want to pay it!” Ron demanded getting to his feet and Ginny quickly stood up next to him.
“Ron,” she whispered placing a hand on his arm but he angrily shook it off.
“Look, mate I know you want to pay ok, and if I'm honest I would rather pay as well. Just let me take the note to the Aurors and we'll see what they have to say. Ok?” Harry tried to reason with him and a sigh of relief escaped his lips as Ron nodded and sank back down onto the sofa. Clutching the note in one hand he checked he had his wand before spinning on the spot and disaparating out of there.
“Now we wait.”
A few hours later a crack broke the silence that had long since filled the small living room and Ginny awoke with a start.
“What, who's there?” She called out through the darkness and light appeared, illuminating Harry’s face.
“Just me, thought you would be in bed?” He told her, walking over and sitting on the couch next to her and Ron.
“What are the Aurors doing?” Ron spoke up running his hand through his hair.
“Looking into it, there coming up with a plan now actually. They emm, well they did some tests and the red stain was blood. H-hermione's blood- she could still be alive though, it wasn't enough to kill her.” He quickly continued trying to stop Ron from completely panicking. It didn't work though.
“I, I need to get her back, there hurting her,” he exclaimed and stood up and Harry, who thought he was going to disaparate and most likely do something stupid, pulled him back down.
“I know Ron, but you running off and getting killed isn't going to help anyone,” Harry tried to reason but it didn't appear to be doing any good.
“She's hurt. They are hurting her, what part of that don't you understand,” he shouted furiously while pushing Harry off him where he promptly landed on the floor, just narrowly missing the wooden table that was in the middle of the room.
“Petrificus totalus!” Ginny shouted, pointing her wand at Ron who immediately froze and toppled backwards onto the sofa. Letting out a sigh she helped Harry up from the floor who turned on Ron.
“Listen, I know exactly how you feel. You're not the only one who cares about her but you can't just go rushing about doing stupid idiotic things ok? Stay here and when I have news I'll come back, try and sleep.” Shaking his head he turned towards Ginny and gestured for her to follow him into the kitchen. Glancing at her brother, his eyes making him look like someone who had been defeated, she followed Harry into the kitchen and shut the door.
“I'm going to go back, will you be ok?” He asked but she could only nod, too tired to do much else. “Try to sleep and keep Ron in the body-bind.” She opened her mouth, maybe to argue but Harry cut her off. “He's better that way, trust me,” she could only nod again. “Go on, get some sleep.” She walked out of the Kitchen and Harry followed before disaparating out of there once again. This time Ginny lay on the sofa next to her brother and tried to sleep, it wasn't long before her head was filled with dreams of blood and fighting.
Harry walked through the halls of the Auror office looking for Shane, he hadn't been seen for a few days and he was supposed to be in charge of the case along with Danny. Popping his head round the door, he asked a few people if they had seen him but nobody had, it was looking worse as time went on.
“Danny, wait up,” he shouted down the hall way as he spotted his blonde hair just about to enter a door. Danny turned and smiled as he saw Harry come running up the hall towards him. “You heard from Shane recently?”
“No, now you come to mention it, he should have been here to help with the case but he hasn't been in, I thought he was ill or something,” Harry shook his head.
“Afraid not, he hasn't been to work in a few days and when I sent someone to his home it was empty, looked like it had been empty for a while actually.”
“You suspect foul play boss?” Danny asked.
“At this moment I'm not sure, nothing points that way yet. Don't go saying anything though, don't want people to worry.”
“No problem boss and I was actually coming to find you, it's about the note.” At the word 'note' Harry's eyes widened and he listened all that more carefully. “Well after we worked out it was Miss Granger's blood I did some extra spells and I found out something quite interesting, if you would follow me,” and he took off down the hall, Harry close to his heals. Opening a door Harry walked in and stood next to Danny, waiting. “Well upon closer inspection the parchment appeared aged, you note the yellow tinge?” He asked, handing the note over to Harry who nodded but didn't speak. “Well a few spells confirmed that the parchment wasn't old but it had in fact been stored in an old building, specifically a building that was older then a 500/600 years which narrows the search down, yes?”
“I suppose, but that’s still a lot of buildings if you include all the old pure blood houses and we can't rule them out,” Harry frowned wondering why Danny was smiling and nodding at him.
“Correct but you see that green spot at the bottom, well upon closer inspection and a few specific spells I found out that it was a certain type of fungi meaning that the building the parchment was from hasn't been lived in for at least 50 years, if not more until recently that is.”
“Ok, so were looking for a building with fungi that is about 500 years old?” Harry asked, “how many could there be 20-30 maybe?”
“About that boss, I've already got a team trying to locate them and if we look for ones in the vicinity then we should have a location within the hour,” he smiled up at his boss before frowning again. “That doesn't necessarily mean we'll find her but,”
“it's better then were we were, good job. I'll be around the ministry, get a message to me when you have a location and I'll start forming a battle plan. If we're lucky we may be able to hit a location as soon as tomorrow.”
“Yes boss.” Danny nodded before Harry walked out of the door and headed up the corridor. He hadn't taken more then 20 steps when a voice called out his name.
“Harry, boss I think we have somewhere!” It was Danny and Harry spun around and speed walked down the corridor to the room he had just vacated.
“What is it Danny?”
“A Dungeon sir, underground near to where Miss Granger lives. According to records it has been empty for a while sir, almost 100 years.”
“Great, I'll send a team out in a few hours once I have made a battle plan and I,”
“Sir If I could make a suggestion?” Danny started and Harry nodded, his curiosity getting the better off him. Danny normally just listened, nodded and did the job well.
“If we could send a team out in 2-3 hours sir because that person keeping Miss Granger might have left to collect the money,” Harry was quiet for a moment before answering, it wasn't a bad idea.
“Ok, that's not a bad idea but I'm putting you in charge off rounding up some men while I work out a plan, I'll meet you back here in an hour with the rest off the men, understood?”
“Yes boss,” Danny answered before leaving the room to go find some men, this was his chance to prove himself. Harry watched him leave before getting ready to disaparate home, he was going to inform Ron and then draw up the battle plan. If everything was right, maybe Hermione could be back home in a few hours. On that slightly cheerier note Harry checked no one was looking before disaparating home.
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