Chapter 4 : Running
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And now I knew why. The greedy old git thought we were muggle-borns on the run, so he thought he could earn some extra cash by turning us in to the Death Eaters.
“You set us up!” Lily shouted, pointing her wand threateningly at Mr. Borgin’s chest.
Mr. Borgin chuckled. “You filthy mud-bloods walked so willingly into my store; how could I pass up an opportunity like this?”
“Impedimenta!” Rose yelled angrily, immobilizing him. I knew it wouldn’t hold him off for long—but the truth was, Mr. Borgin was the least of our worries. There was a gang of Death Eaters right outside the shop door, wanting to capture us and lock us up in Azkaban.
And then we’d never make it home.
“Colloportus!” I shouted, remembering the promise I had made to myself about getting back home. I had sealed the door to the shop closed, but not for long. They’d figure out to use the counter-charm very soon.
“How are we going to get out?” Hugo asked, looking white as sheet.
“Uh—” I said, looking desperately around the shop for another exit. That’s when I spotted the back room. There must have been a window in the back room if Mr. Borgin had managed to send a message from there. “We have to try escaping from the back room!” I said.
The Death Eaters were now banging at the door, and I knew they’d come in at any moment.
I ran as fast as I could to the back of the shop, knocking over who knows how many expensive artifacts. The shop was in disarray; shelves of old books fell onto the floor, and glass cases were shattered. The other three were running behind me, and I pushed open the door to the back room. It was old and dusty in here, containing only a small wooden desk and a chair. The wooden floorboards creaked as we ran across the room towards the window.
It was still halfway open, so I pulled it up even further so that we could all fit through. Right out the window was a small, litter-infested alley with mud pooling at the bottom. It was quite disgusting, but what else could we do?
“You all go first!” I said, pulling out my wand. “I’ll stay here in here in case they make it through the door.”
Hugo was the first to climb through the window, then Rose, and finally Lily. Rose had screwed up an expression of disgust before landing in the alley, landing with a splash of mud.
Just as I was about to climb through the window after them, I heard a thud. The Death Eaters had slammed the door open. My heart seemed to have stopped—my eyes had widened, and I was sure I looked like a deer caught in headlights.
“It’s Potter! We caught Potter!” said the blonde Death Eater as soon as he saw my face, looking as if he had won the lottery. He seemed so shocked, that he simply stood there for a moment, probably contemplating his luck.
I really hate unobservant people. I don’t have a bloody scar!
“Don’t just stand there!” snapped the other. “Get him! No wait, I’ll do it—Stupefy!”
I leaped out of the way, my wand held out in front of me. How was I supposed to get through the window and run without becoming a clear target?
“Al! What’s going on up there?” Rose asked in a panicked voice from outside.
“Nothing, I’m just fighting off some Death Eaters, that’s all.” I shouted back, avoiding another curse. As I avoided the curse, I hit my forehead on the pointy edge of the window sill. I could feel the blood dripping from my forehead now, but I managed to regain control of myself.
“Wingardium Leviosa!” I shouted, pointing my wand at the desk. It levitated up into the air, and I was able to use magic in order to make it fling itself into the Death Eaters. The heavy desk had pushed the two men into the wall.
Defense Against the Dark Arts wasn’t my thing, but thank god Charms was…
I used this moment as an advantage to run towards the window and climb up, ducking under the top half that was pushed open. I leaped out and had expected to fall into mud, but instead I fell onto three people.
“What the hell Al, get off! I was trying to come up so that I could help you—” Rose started, but I cut her off.
“Not now, we have to run!” I yelled. “Go!”
So we ran down the alleyway, every inch of us dripping in mud. I felt wet and filthy; hungry too. I lead the other three to make sharp and unexpected turns in the attempt to lose the Death Eaters. We ran through the Leaky Cauldron, and didn’t stop until we were inside the hotel, hoping that the Death Eaters wouldn’t expect us to be in there.
We stayed in the lobby, ducking underneath the large window, our breaths heaving. As soon as I caught my breath, I peeked outside and saw only a few muggles on the otherwise not-too-busy street.
“It’s okay, we lost them.” I said, coughing since my throat felt dry. We stood up, leaning against the walls.
“Do you think Mr. Borgin made that story up?” Rose asked.
“I don’t think he did.” Lily said, shaking her head. “I’ve gotten into trouble plenty of times at school; it’s hard to make up a story like that when you’re under pressure.”
“So, I guess going to the shop wasn’t a complete waste, right? I mean, now we know the orb isn’t there, so we can check it off of our list…” said Hugo, wiping the sweat away from his forehead. His mud-soaked pants were pooling onto the freshly-cleaned floor.
I suddenly heard the clicking of heels behind me and mentally groaned.
“FILTH IN MY LOBBY!” shrieked the hotel manager. “How dare you children—I’ve had enough of you four! Showing such rudeness, disrespect—and I am convinced that you’re up to something! I saw you run in here, escaping the police, I bet! I refuse to provide shelter for drug dealers!”
“We’re not drug dealers!” Lily shouted in protest. “We didn’t do anything wrong! There were some criminals after us—”
“A likely story.” laughed the woman. “I’m giving you one night to pack up your things or whatever the hell you’re hiding—I don’t wish to be associated with any of your wrong-doings.”
“You can’t do that!” Rose protested. “We paid for our nights and everything already!”
“I’ll be kind enough to give you a refund tomorrow morning, minus the night you’ve already spent here.” The woman said curtly.
“And what if we don’t leave?” Hugo asked aggressively.
“Then I will call the police without hesitation.” she said triumphantly.
This was so bizarre I simply stood there in shock. None of us knew how to erase memories—that was seventh-year level. We didn’t know enough defensive magic to escape without the police seeing it. The Ministry, which was being run by Death Eaters, would surely kill the police instead of simply erasing their memories. That’s what Dad had told me they did to muggles who had seen magic during the war.
We trudged off towards our hotel rooms, and saw Rose give the woman the meanest glare I had ever seen on her face. What was her problem anyway, kicking us out of the hotel?
But the truth was, everything we did must have seemed suspicious to a muggle. There was no denying that.
Either way, there was nothing we could do. Hope was quickly leaving me, and never in my life had I longed to see my home again.
A/N: I feel like this chapter really sucked. I don't know why, but I do. So sorry if this was extremely confusing/boring. However, I promise that something big is going to happen in the next chapter!
Anyway, sorry for the extremely late update! (Again.) School just won’t leave me alone these days, and for weeks my desktop wouldn’t work so I had to get a new laptop instead, which is what I’m typing on right now.
Anyway, please please please please leave a review! They mean the world to me.
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