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Chapter 31 : Sacrifice
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THIS IS A NEW CHAPTER
(I've gotten multiple reviews on this chapter complaining about the wait time on the next chapter when this one literally just came out. I mean, I understand it took a while for this chapter, but apparently not. So, please understand this is a new chapter, and enjoy :D)
“GINNY.” Harry’s eyes grew wide as he turned the corner, to see that his wife was tied recklessly to a chair. She was alive, and had clearly fought her kidnappers. Her mouth was half open with dried blood caked on the corner of her mouth, and her eyes held a glazed look that showed the fear she had had for the past three weeks. The fire that she had in her eyes was slowly dying out, disappearing faster by the second. They hadn’t fed her much or given her water, as her cheekbones were prominent and her lips were bleeding because they were so chapped. But she still held a bright smile as she saw Harry, the fire rekindling in her eyes. As soon as he could, Harry ran as fast as he could to her, his leg screaming in pain for him to slow down, but he couldn’t. He wouldn’t.
When he reached her chair, he quickly worked at the knots that tied her tightly to the chair, his fingers shaky as he did so. The pain from his leg affected his whole body as he winced each time he moved an inch. Ginny sensed his pain, his eyes worried and her eyebrows furrowed.
Once he finished the last knot, he stood up only to have Ginny launch herself towards him a second later. Her hands wrapped around his neck as she pulled him into a tight hug, a small sob escaping her mouth. His arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her as close as he physically could, putting his face into the crook of her neck.
And in that moment, he forgot about his leg and about the battle happening on the other side of the mansion. He forgot about the last day of physical torture and emotional pain. Nothing else crossed his mind other than the fact that Ginny had made it through, day by day, and he finally got to see her. He got to hold her close to him, and there was thing that was certain. He was never letting go.
“Can you walk, Gin?” He let go of her, wiping the blood off the corner of her mouth with his thumb gently. She nodded with a smile, leaning on the top of the chair slightly. “It’s not that far to the ballroom, you’ll stay there as I fetch Ron from the library.”
“What’s he doing in the library?” She said, her voice cracking and weak. Harry grabbed her hand as they walked as quickly as they could out of the room, Harry being careful of her condition.
“He’s in there holding off your attackers. I have to hurry if I want to make it before something goes wrong.” Harry replied quickly, limping down the hallway with a small groan of pain. Ginny’s eyes grew worried.
“I’m going with you.” She replied. “I’ll be okay.”
“I found you nearly dead, slouched against a chair. I am not letting you go into this, it’s too dangerous.” He winced, a sharp corner turn shooting pain through his leg.
“Harry, I know what I’m doing. I’m doing what I want to, and you can’t stop me, no matter how hard you try.”
“Gin…” He muttered, shaking his head.
“No, I’m going. I’ve been through hell for the past three weeks, and now you feel like you can tell me what to do? I don’t think so, Mr. Potter.” She scoffed, turning to see Harry’s face holding a smirk. “What’s so funny?”
A silence followed her question as they weaved through a few more hallways, the sounds of crashing glass and screams getting louder and louder as they grew closer to the sounds of shattering windows and battle cries. Harry attempted to move faster, his leg not allowing him to. Ginny’s eyes grew wider as the sounds became more prominent, and her pace grew as well. They both turned the last corner to find an array of colored spells flying out of the open archway. A ginger head popped in and out of its archway, accompanied by shouts of spells and swearing.
Ron jumped back into the hallway, hearing the footsteps coming from the hallway. His eyes lit up and Ginny began to run to him, a smile on both of their faces. Hope had been found again, but was quickly being pulled away. Harry screamed as he limped towards them, but he was too late. A loud screech was heard as a blinding green light filled the room, the room automatically falling into a deafening silence. The only sound that could be heard was Ginny’s cry as she watched her brother’s body fall and land limply on the ground.
Twenty-four hours previous
“Come quietly Potter,” The man whispered, staying close to the shadows and blending in with them, almost making it impossible for Harry to follow him. The only thing that kept him on the path was the faint sound of the toe of the man’s shoe making contact with the alley floor. “And don’t let anybody see you. We don’t want to make too much of a mess just yet.”
Harry stayed quiet for most of the journey, not chancing anything as the man weaved his way through London streets, avoiding any sign of life at all costs. Harry even saw the man jump when a rat scurried out of a rubbish bin, cowering away and not making a move towards his wand. Harry tried to hide a smirk. Then, after a while, Harry began to wonder about the man who was taking him to merlin knows where, and why they hadn’t apparated in the first place. So he decided to have a little fun.
“Your name.” Harry asked, after a long silence had gone between them.
“You’ll find out soon enough.” The man said faintly, staring straight forward and still leading Harry through the carefully picked barren streets. Harry followed him with a quicker pace, now directly next to him.
“I’d like to know now, if you don’t mind.” Harry said casually, sticking his hands into his pockets. The man looked over at Harry with disgust before his eyebrows furrowed together and a troubled look shot across his eyes for a small second. It was quickly replaced with the unyielding look that was there only a few seconds before.
“Well, Potter, that’s not your choice.” He cackled. “Also, might I remind you, that you are the one who is at risk here. Defenseless and weak with emotion. You could easily, and most likely, be killed at any second. And you’re pushing me for my name? Not your smartest move, boy.”
“I’ve already come to terms with the worst possibilities.” Harry lied easily, pushing the thoughts out of his head. He knew that this man could kill him without any problems, but he couldn’t think of that. Although it was ages ago, he could hear Ginny’s young voice telling him anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve. “Now your name.”
“Quiet Potter!” He seethed. “My name is no matter to you.”
“I say it is, if you’re the one who’s going to kill me. I’m sure the newspapers would love to know it, if only I could pen it down…” Harry mocked, a small swagger in his step.
“If only you could pen it down? Ha. Oh please boy, don’t be so full of yourself.” His voice was quiet as he slithered through the alleys, Harry following. “And, if you must know, my name is just my name, there’s no value to it. The Dark Lord’s name is the only name that will ever be of any importance to me.”
Harry stayed quiet after that, knowing he did enough to just push his buttons, and watched as Anonymous quietly talked with himself for the rest of the walk. Harry found it surprising as he led them through a few major streets, completely ignoring the walk sign at major intersections; which, in returned, they received quite a few colorful words and near death experiences.
Then, somehow, his thoughts found their way to Ginny.
His mind always did that, redirected its way to Ginny. A smell, a touch, anything related to her, and his thoughts vanished and were replaced with her. No matter the inconvenience, she was there. She was his beautiful distraction from reality, and he didn’t know how he survived the time without her. She was in his mind, every waking second in the two weeks she had been missing, and all he felt was overwhelming guilt.
It was Harry who had snapped and said those awful words, sending her away to who knows where. Every moment he cursed himself to not immediately running after her, but instead hesitating and standing there with a shocked look smacked on his face, before running after her. All of this trouble could have been resolved had he just had an ounce of courage to run after her. But he was scared, so he didn’t.
He reckoned that, because he didn’t run after her, that was the reason he had to go through all of this trouble. It was his fault, so he had to pay the price, no matter how expensive. He could pay with his life and it would settle well with him, as long as he knew Ginny would be okay. To him, that was all that mattered at the moment. Her.
And he wasn’t going to let anybody get in the way.
“Stand back, Potter.” Harry shook out of his trance, realizing they had stopped at the backdoor of a small bookshop. Apparently this was their final destination, although it seemed to Harry that it was a bit much, building up so much anticipation for just a small bookshop. But Harry didn’t ask any questions; he had already done his bidding with the devil for now.
Anonymous drew his wand, pointing it towards the backdoor, when Harry heard a noise come from behind him. Harry’s eyes widened as he quickly turned his head, and the only thing he saw was a stunning spell inches from his face and a small glimpse of his attacker before his vision became a fading blur and then nothing at all.
“Well, I told you to do it with magic, Walters.”
Harry’s eyes opened, a slight groan escaping his lips as his eyes slowly adjusted back to normal. A large crack was in the middle of the room, which Harry quickly realized his glasses were cracked on his right lens. Pushing his glasses up by scrunching up his nose, Harry surveyed his situation. Bound to a chair with more than a few ropes, he was sitting in the middle of the room. He was in a large drawing chamber with windows as tall as his flat building, dark curtains stretching to the floors. A large mirror was placed slightly above Harry’s height in the chair, opposite him, watching the two men argue. One of them, who had been declared as Walters, and another man whom Harry had not seen before.
“Why should I do it with magic when I can do it with my hands, Cameron? I am perfectly capable.”
“The boy isn’t stupid, he can untie the knots with his hands, it’s just rope. Now secure them with magic.”
“Why don’t you, if my knots are so inadequate.” Walters mocked arrogantly, rolling his eyes.
“I swear, you act like a child sometimes.” Cameron mumbled as he walked up to the back of Harry’s chair, magically tightening the ropes. “You see, it wasn’t too hard, now was it?”
“Easier with my hands…” Walters mumbled.
“You shut it.” Cameron said, pointing towards Cameron.
“You shut it- I think Potter’s awake.” Walters interrupted, nodding towards Harry. Cameron walked over to Harry’s chair, tipping it forward slightly. Harry leaned forward with his weight, his eyes shut tight. He felt the chair fall back to its original position, teeter for a second, and then sit back in its original spot.
“He’s out.” Cameron said. “Are you sure it was just a stunning spell you sent at him? Are you sure it was the right type of red?”
“The right type-“ Walters asked, not able to believe what he heard. “I know my spells, you blithering idiot. I don’t know what’s wrong with him.” An awkward silence was shared between them, and then Walters asked;
“What should we do?”
“Well, I have no clue. Do you have any idea what we should do?” Cameron asked Walters, and, again, Walters’ face contorted to the look of disbelief.
“No. I just asked you, did you not hear me?” Stuttering over his words, Walters gave him his reply. His brow furrowed and he glanced over at what appeared to be a stunned Harry. “Should we Crucio him?”
“No, the Master said not to, remember?”
“Oh…right.” Walters trailed off. “Well, we can’t lay a finger on the boy. We’d get strangled for what you did to him on the chair. We haven’t gotten any orders yet, we can’t do anything.”
“Well, in that case,” Harry spoke loudly. “I’m awake.” A choking noise came from the back of Walter’s throat, and Cameron’s mouth just hung wide open.
“Potter, you-,” Cameron said, repeating you as he walked towards Harry with his finger pointing. Once he regained his speech, he said, “You were just stunned two seconds ago.”
“There was enough time to adjust while you two bickered like a married couple.” Harry smiled. “Well, what’re you going to do with me, lads?”
“So much you can’t use your snarky mouth afterwards.” Cameron snarled, his face inches away from Harry’s.
“I thought you couldn’t hurt me, you don’t have any orders.” Harry reminded, and Cameron’s face fell.
“Well, we don’t.” He said pathetically. “But we will soon.” He then pulled Walters to the opening in front of the window, thinking it was far enough away for Harry not to hear.
“Okay, so what do we do then? The boy has us cornered!” Walters said loudly, and Cameron shushed him.
“Stall, I guess.” Cameron answered, and Harry chuckled quietly at their uncertainty. It was like watching dumb and dumber, he thought, only Death Eater edition.
“I think we should ask him.”
“Who?” Cameron asked in a high pitch voice.
“The master.” He said through his teeth, nudging towards the door. “Let’s just leave Potter for a few minutes—,”
“Are you crazy? We’d get burned alive! Or, if they let us off easy, we’d still get stuck with the night watch for that girl again, and you remember how miserable that was. I don’t want to go through that again.”
“Girl?” Harry poked innocently.
“Some ginger girl, what’s it to you?” Cameron said, earning a hard slap from Walters, right across the face. Harry’s heart swelled, knowing two facts about Ginny. One- That she was alive and two- she was close, most likely in the same building.
“That’s his wife, you idiot!” Walters yelled with a groan. “Everybody knows that, Cameron.”
“You don’t have a wife, boy.” Cameron laughed, looking at Harry. Harry raised an eyebrow to challenge him, and Cameron’s eyes grew wide in disbelief. “You don’t have a wife, what’re you? Seventeen?”
“Twenty four, actually.” Harry informed him. “Seventeen was a while ago, I was just a kid then. I’d like to think I’ve matured a little, grown into my features a bit…”
Walters and Cameron exchanged a look, both of them shaking their heads. “You haven’t really, still look boyish.” Walters explained.
“I think it’s your eyes.” Cameron added, and Walters quickly agreed. “What do you think Walters, do you think it’s the color?”
Walters walked up to Harry, picking up a lock of the black hair with his wand. “I think it’s his hair and his eyes. Still has the teenage boy haircut.”
“So now you’re criticizing my hair too?” Harry laughed. “It’s not like I do anything about my eyes, I can take that. But now my hair? I thought it looked good.” Harry feigned offense.
“You have rebel teenage hair, trust me.” Cameron said. “I used to be a hair stylist.”
“A hair stylist? A hair stylist?” Walters asked, laughing through his words. His eyes seemed to water as he laughed, and a smile was stuck on Harry’s face. Cameron just looked confused. All of a sudden, a booming sound filled the room as the door swung open and all expressions dropped. Harry even thought he heard Walters give a little whimper. The same man who had lead Harry through the alleyways strode into the room, his black cloak billowing out behind me. He walked straight to Cameron and Walters, who stood next to each other, their posture straight.
“How long has he been awake?” Anonymous asked, glaring at Harry, who watched the scene with a small fear climbing in his chest. He could take care of Dumb and Dumber, but certainly not the man who could clearly put him in pain.
“Only a few seconds sir, we were just about to alert you.” Cameron replied politely, avoiding looking in Anonymous’ eyes, which were observing the two men’s posture.
“Thank you, gentleman.” Anonymous said, turning his body towards the chair. Harry’s heart rate increased, and he tried not to show the fear that he held in his throat. “I’d like to have Potter to myself now, if you don’t mind.”
“Certainly not, Master.” Cameron said, bowing slightly. “We’ll be guarding just outside the door until you come out.”
“No need, it’ll just be a quick talk.” Anonymous dismissed with a mischievous smile. He glanced at Harry, who held the stare with Anonymous until the two idiots left the room. That’s when Anonymous held up a thick chain in front of Harry’s face, letting it dangle for a few seconds. Harry cleared his throat.
“A chain.” Anonymous laughed.
“Yes, very good, Potter.” Anonymous laughed as he secured the chain tightly around Harry’s thigh, over the fabric of his jeans. Harry watched with a confused look. Anonymous looked up with a strange smile. “It’s reassuring to know you have a nice vocabulary.”
“I’m glad.” Harry said, choking through his words. He watched as Anonymous drew out his wand, muttering a spell pointed towards the chain. Harry’s eyes grew wide as he saw orange spread throughout the top of the chain. Anonymous walked away with a mocking whistle, closing the doors behind him as the orange spread through the chain. A small shout of fear escaped Harry’s lips as he fought against the restraints, staining the ropes red. He shouted after the man as the orange on the metal spread, and he quickly realized what the chain was doing.
It was heating up.
He could feel the energy from the metal transferring through his jeans into his skin, a tear of frustration rolling down his cheek. He knew he couldn’t do anything to save himself, but he didn’t stop trying for as long as he could. His wrists and ankles received more damage, screaming out with the pain caused by the rope digging into his skin. He angrily slammed the chair into the floor, screaming as he watched the metal gain heat.
Soon, the sizzle of the jean material could be heard, and Harry stopped struggling. He let out a miserable sigh as he looked down at the chain, a desperate sob escaping his lips. He accepted the inevitable, and that, no matter how hard he tried, there was no escape to what was about to happen.
Leaning his head back, he took a shaky breath, closing his eyes as he felt the scorching metal come in contact with his cold skin. Harry bit his lip as he felt the chain dig through his skin, drawing blood from his bottom lip. After a few seconds, Harry let out a excruciating cry as all of the material was singed away, the blistering metal in full contact with his bare skin. His screams filled the room to the edge, his throat becoming increasingly dry as his cries came one after another.
His skin crying for any sort of relief, he sat there with tears rolling slowly down his face, the room echoing with his desperate screams.
“Harry, mate. Wake up.”
“Let him be, Weasley, his leg is nearly singed off.” Harry heard the voices as his leg stung, causing him to scrunch his eyes tightly.
“What’s goin’ on?” Harry slurred, opening his eyes slightly. He reached for his leg, wanting to rip the chain off his leg. He reached for it desperately, but Dawlish held his hands down to the cushions of the sofa.
“You’re safe, mate. Just relax for a second.” Ron said, pushing Harry onto his back.
“I need to get the chain-,” Harry fought, reaching for his leg to pull the chain off.
“There is no chain, Harry. We took it off you as soon as we could, and applied an ass load of Dittany. That’s what you’re feeling.” Ron explained, and Harry, for the first time in what felt like days, felt a smile on his lips.
“Weasley, stop it.” Dawlish warned. “We’re on a mission, this is serious.”
“Fuck off, my best mate just got his leg seared off like a damn turkey leg. Have a little sympathy.” Ron snapped, Harry giving a small laugh.
“Ron? Being sympathetic? Never thought I’d see the day.” Harry joked, wincing as Ron added another drop of Dittany. “When’ll this be good enough to walk on?”
Dawlish and Ron exchanged a glance, questioning each other as to how long. Dawlish shook his head, while Ron shrugged his shoulders.
“Don’t know, sorry mate.”
“You want to try walking on it?” Dawlish questioned, looking at Harry’s leg. “Most of the muscle tissue has rebuilt itself, and all that’s left is the skin where the buckle was.”
“Yeah…I’ll try.” Harry groaned as he sat up fully, swinging his legs over the side. Ron held out his hand as leverage for Harry to use, but he refused it.
“Harry, take my hand.” Ron warned, reaching out again.
“I’m fine, mate. I can do this.” Harry snapped, pushing himself off the sofa all at once. All of his weight switched to his right side, his left side shooting pain up and down his leg. He winced, but didn’t show much discomfort.
“Can you walk?” Dawlish questioned, and Harry nodded. “Are you sure?”
“I can walk, now where are we going?” Harry questioned as he limped towards the door, Ron and Dawlish catching up with ease.
“Find Rodolphus, first off.”
“That’s who he is?” Harry exclaimed, what might have been a bit too loudly. “Bellatrix’s husband. That’s who that man was?”
“You didn’t recognize him?” Dawlish asked as they walked down the hallway, Harry struggling to keep pace.
“I knew I had seen him somewhere, I just couldn’t place him.” Harry said, turning a corner just a little too sharp and causing a wave of pain to shoot up his leg. He let out a small cry as he leaned on the wall, all his weight on his left leg.
“Mate, you can’t go on.”
“I can, and I will. Now let’s go.” Harry snapped. “He’s in the study right?” Ron nodded as they made their way through the halls, Dawlish leaving to help the other Aurors find the accomplices. They turned the corner to find the study doors wide open, and Rodolphus Lestrange standing on the other side of the room, a smile on his face.
“RON.” Harry yelled after Ron. Still charging forward, Ron kicked the door open with his foot, the door swinging open with a violent bang. His blazing eyes found Rodolphus, who happened to have a smug expression on his face. Striding over to him, Ron seized him by the collar of his shirt, raising and pushing him aggressively against the wall. Harry’s eyes opened wide as he watched the situation unfold.
“Where is my sister?” The words spat out like venom on Ron’s tongue, directed towards the husband of Bellatrix, who still appeared arrogant. He merely laughed. Ron’s eyes darkened, leaning towards him so he could feel the hot breathe on his cheek. “Oh, you think this is funny?” Ron hissed, spitting in the man’s face. Rodolphus smirked and then prolonged the word he said;
Ron’s reaction was immediate, pushing him further up the wall. Rodolphus seemed to struggle, but kept his cocky face, as if he had something against them. Like he knew something they didn’t.
“Tell me where my sister is or your insides will paint the interior of this room. Is that understood?” Ron seethed, and Rodolphus merely cackled, choking as Ron shoved him harder against the wall. Ron’s eyes held a wild gaze into them, as if he had turned completely mad. He turned to back to Harry, and his eyes grew wide as let Rodolphus fall to the ground. Harry turned around, only to be missed by a red stream of light, inches from his face.
A mob of men in black cloaks stormed into the room, screaming and shooting an array of spells towards Harry and Ron. A spell missed Ron by the tips of his fingers, sending it flying into Rodolphus’ face, knocking him straight into the wall, and leaving him unconscious.
Harry and Ron spun around, sending spells flying towards the men, any spell that came to mind was sent in the intruders’ direction. A man in the corner was giggling as a set of purple hands tickled him on his side, while the man next to him was hit with Harry’s Sectumsempra.
“LEAVE ME.” Ron screamed as different colours of spells swirled around him like a lion circling its prey. But Ron was too clever for this, as he turned the spells back on their casters and sent them back against the walls, knocking a few of them unconscious. More spells came, so many in so little time. “GO GET GINNY.”
“But Ron-” Harry said, staring at the scene as he stood there blankly. He watched as the whirlwind of colors flew by him, and he didn’t even move an inch. He didn’t know what to do. The reality of the mission hit him like a stampede of hippogriffs tromping over him, and his mouth became dry. His leg was throbbing, the pain in his leg like a thousand cruciatus curses hitting a single spot at once. He zoned out as Ron talked to him, but the words that Ron were saying never went through Harry’s mind.
“HARRY DIDN’T YOU HEAR WHAT I BLOODY SAID? GO GET HER. NOW.” Ron roared over the commotion. Harry took a few seconds to register what he had said, and he turned on his heel and ran out as Ron screamed, “GO” while he threw spells back at whomever he could.
Ignoring the pain in his leg, Harry ran down the hall with as much power as he could muster, hearing the sounds of battle disappear behind him as he gained distance away from the library. He went down countless hallways, searching in and out of open doors, shouting Ginny’s name as he sprinted. The darkness of the hallways seemed to swallow him whole, until he saw a bright light.
Author’s note: I had fun playing with this one; I’ve never really done anything like it. I wanted it to be dark but have a bit of a wit to it, and I feel like I accomplished that (in a way). And I liked the idea of putting the ending at the front. Sort of like a loop.
First off, I’m really sorry it took this long in the first place. I had so much to deal with. Now that’s school is out, I’ll hopefully be able to write more. And a special thanks to all the people who reviewed my last chapter, this would’ve never happened had you not done that. I would’ve given up and put out another sickly sweet chapter, but you didn’t let me do that, so thank you. Shout out to Ryan who actually got me to write a good portion of this chapter after one of his two reviews really inspired me.
Thank you guys so much, and don’t forget to feed my review box down there. He’s hungry. (Try not to kill me, yeah?)
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