Chapter 5 : Captured
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I stepped out of bed, walking towards the bathroom. I was not the kind of person who stressed out over everything, but right now, the tension was overwhelming me. I felt so much older. Maybe stress did that to people—perhaps that was why Rose acted so mature. She was always stressing over exams and homework.
I splashed some water onto my face, and I felt much more awake—the water was cool and refreshing. I blinked, and then stared into the mirror in front of me. The reflection showed my bright green eyes, untidy black hair, and—
I froze. Blinking a few times, I stared into the mirror again. This couldn’t be. Not right now, of all times! I wiped the mirror hastily, hoping that it was just a little cracked…
Clearly visible on my forehead, was a small cut—quite similar to Dad’s. it didn’t look much like a lightning bolt—maybe if I tilted my head a little, but otherwise, any idiot could mistake my for my father. Now all I needed were glasses! (Though I kind of knew that I would need a pair soon...my eyesight was worsening over the years but I refused to be a copy of my Dad.)
“Al, are you done yet?” Lily knocked impatiently on the bathroom door.
“Yeah,” I said, still feeling panicked. I ducked my head so Lily couldn’t see my forehead as I walked out. When had I gotten this cut? Then I remembered the time I had hit my forehead against the window sill’s edge when I avoided a curse from the Death Eater.
Rose and Hugo came in. As usual, Rose didn’t bother to knock. Ever since she realized that we could do magic without being caught (seeing as we didn’t exist at this time) she was doing everything by magic, such as opening doors that were locked.
“’Morning.” she said, sitting down onto the bed. I kept avoiding her glance. Maybe they wouldn’t notice—after all, we had enough problems on her hands, and me looking like my Dad, who right now happened to be on the run from Voldemort and the Ministry of Magic, was just another stress-inducing issue.
“Al, what’s that on your head?” Hugo asked. Shit.
“Nothing,” I told him, looking the other way.
“Don’t lie.” he said, walking towards me. He saw the cut. “Uh…Rose, I think we’ve got another problem…as if Al didn’t look like his Dad enough…!”
Rose examined the cut on my forehead. “It doesn’t look like Uncle Harry’s scar that much…but if someone from the Wizarding world saw you they could think you’re him…we’ll just lie low until it heals.” she said. I was slightly shocked at how calm she had just sounded—not very much like the Rose Weasley I know. I guess she was getting used to dealing with tough situations.
“I’m sorry Rose, but lying low won’t help us get home. Can you even imagine what our parents must be going through right now? We’ve been gone for two days now.” said Lily, who had been standing behind me the whole time.
Rose shook her head. “We can’t risk someone confusing Al for his Dad. The Death Eaters are out trying to capture him, and if they get Al instead, he’ll be killed along with all of us!”
“All I’m saying is that waiting won’t accomplish anything! I’m sure that if we’re careful we’ll be perfectly safe.” Lily said stubbornly.
Knock knock. Someone was rapping at our door. “I hope you’re getting packed now, I only promised another night, you know!” said an all too familiar voice, which I knew belonged to the hotel manager. Words couldn’t express how much I hated her…
“What are we going to do about shelter?” Rose asked quickly.
We all exchanged glances. I guess it was about time we found a nice, comfortable cardboard box…
“How about one of those muggle homeless shelters?” Hugo suggested.
What a good idea. At least, it would be if we knew where one was...
We didn’t even bother stopping for breakfast before we left. Why would we stick around longer if we knew we weren’t welcome? And besides, I’d rather go hungry than eat eggs that tasted like plastic. The Hotel Manager was chewing gum and had a triumphant look on her face as we exited—what I wouldn’t give to hex her…
It was drizzling outside. There were just a few drops of rain here and there, but hopefully nothing that would cause a problem. Anyway, right now, what mattered most was finding a safe, dry place to stay. Another hotel was out of the question; we didn’t have enough money. The stupid Railview Hotel was the cheapest one around. (No surprise there. It definitely wasn’t the kind of place I’d recommend to a friend.)
“I’m hungry.” Hugo moaned after a while. Poor guy—this was probably the first time he’d skipped breakfast.
“I see a café a few buildings away,” Rose pointed out. I was not a fan of tea and biscuits, but to my dismay it was the only thing we could afford at the moment.
The bell jingled as we walked in, and my eyes had to adjust to the dim lighting. The place had a warm, comfortable feel to it. I could smell herbal tea and cocoa beans, and it made me feel relaxed and lazy.
I slumped into a cushioned seat, and Lily sat down next to me. Rose was doing the ordering, while Hugo gazed longingly at the display of cinnamon buns, cookies, and pastries.
Lily was observing her surroundings half-heartedly—I could sense the worry in her expression. And all it did was fill me even more with guilt.
Looking away from my sister, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on some middle-aged women nearby. They weren’t bothering to keep their conversation hushed, which made it all the more easier.
“—Honestly, do they think we’re idiots? There’s something going on in this country and the government doesn’t want us to know! Never liked that Prime Minister—he’s rubbish. Makes sense that he’d want to hide something from us law-abiding citizens…of course, everyone’s noticed the strange going-ons. We’re all determined to pretend as if nothing’s happening, but I know there is. Three explosions in one week—it’s madness, I tell you!” said the first woman.
“And don’t forget the bridge—it was the sturdiest one around, they said, so why did it simply fail for no reason? It’s obvious someone’s responsible—I’m suspecting these are all attacks by some foreign country...then again, I’m quite confused…” said the other.
Things must have been really bad if the muggles were getting suspicious. The Death Eaters must have thought they were all complete idiots and wouldn’t notice so many tragic events over the past year.
Rose and Hugo arrived with tea and a few biscuits, so we all started eating and drinking. For the first time in my life I wasn’t complaining about having tea and biscuits—the other three must have noticed, since they sometimes glanced at me, wondering if I was going to say something about it.
By the time I was done with my ‘breakfast,’ if you could call it that, I figured it was good enough to hold me over until late afternoon. What we would eat then was something to worry about later.
“Guys, I think we should focus on finding the orb.” said Rose after a while. “We’ve already looked in Borgin and Burkes—we found a good lead from there. Our next most likely locations are Hogwarts and the Department of Mysteries.”
“Which, might I add, are some very high-security places.” I reminded her.
“We could sneak into the Ministry by using Polyjuice Potion like our parents did.” suggested Hugo.
“We don’t have any Polyjuice Potion, Hugo.” Lily said, rolling her eyes.
“Hey, I’m just saying! If you don’t want any suggestions then fine, I’m not going to bother helping—”
“We only want helpful suggestions, Hugh— ” Lily argued.
“I’m trying to be helpful, you know—”
“Oh shut up both of you!” Rose said irritably.
Back to the streets, aimlessly wandering around. We were simply looking for a place to sleep. Now was when I genuinely felt sorry for homeless people; they lived like this every day, while I spent my time in an upper-average class home for sixteen years.
It was midday with pleasant weather. The little bit of rain we had this morning had stopped, leaving the air smelling like rain, fresh grass, and wood. This was my favorite kind of weather, but of course in our current situation I wasn’t able to fully enjoy it.
“Isn’t it strange,” I started, trying to distract everyone from our worries. “That Voldemort is actually alive right now? I mean, in our time he’s just a person from the past…right now he’s at the peak of his power.”
“Yes, it is.” Rose replied, pulling out a map from the pocket of her jeans. She had picked it up at a tourist center that was near the café. Hopefully, there would be a homeless shelter around here that we could stay in for a while.
But just then, a strange sense of uneasiness had suddenly engulfed me. I couldn’t explain it. I couldn’t understand it.
I looked around—we were right next to an abandoned building and an empty park. There were no muggles around. I felt as if we were being tracked down. I told myself to shake it off, to just forget about it, but it was useless. My gut was telling me that we were in danger.
“Guys, get into the building.” I said to them, stopping dead in the middle of the sidewalk and next to the abandoned building. We had to hide—now.
“Uh, why?” Lily asked, looking at me as if I was insane.
“I don’t know why,” I said desperately. “We just have to hide—I think we’re in danger.” Why wouldn't they listen to me? Why couldn’t they feel it too?
“Are you feeling okay? You look kind of unwell to me.” said Rose, a look of concern on her face.
“I said GET IN!” I repeated, trying to open the door, which I soon realized was locked. I kept pulling and hitting the door, until I finally pulled out my wand. “Screw that—Alohamora!”
I froze; that was the sound of apparation. I turned around, panic-stricken. There were two disheveled men standing before the four of us, grinning widely, with wands at hand.
“Now would you look at that—Eckbert, we’re gonna be rich I tell ya!” said the first, awestruck. And he was looking straight at me—more specifically, at the cut on my forehead. Right now, I wished that I had paid attention during History of Magic class. I should have realized. I should have known.
And I shouldn’t have said the name.
A/N Slow updates once again; I am so pathetic. But at least summer is coming, so I’ll be able to update much more. :) Anyways, I hope you liked the chapter! I’ll answer some frequently asked questions in the reviews:
How old are the main characters?
Al and Rose are both sixteen, Hugo and Lily are fourteen. This takes place during the summer after Al’s fifth year. I mentioned OWL exam results in the first chapter. ;)
When will James get involved?
While I love James II just as much as the next person, he will not be a main character in this story. Four main characters is already hard to write—five would be too much. But don’t worry, he’ll make an appearance. I promise.
A huge thanks to everyone who had reviewed and favorited this story, it means a lot to me. So if you've got a moment, please leave a review! Each one means the world to me!