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Chapter 16 : Toujours Pur
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CI by heartfelt@TDA :)
Later that evening a group of aurors including Harry, Ron, Neville, Seamus, Dean and Draco were gathered outside the line of apparation near the prison belonging to the notorious dark wizard, Radalphous Lestrange. The air was quite chilly and they were all attired in warm jerseys, jeans and boots, each had their wands already drawn. “Okay everyone, Dean has already gone forward and found out that there are in fact witches or wizards in the building, whether they are the people we are looking for or not, we have no idea, but we're going in!” Harry addressed the group surrounding him. “I want Ron and Neville to go over the South wall and in that way, Seamus and Dean you have the North and Draco and I will be going through the 'secret' way into the dungeon part of the prison”, everyone ready? Let's go”. Harry ordered, moving away from the rest of the group.
Harry lead Draco towards the hedgerow surrounding the property, he whispered to him “Luna found the blueprint for this secret entrance in the ministry records from a very, very long time so hopefully it's still here..”
The duo slowly and silently crept along the hedge, Harry looking for any signs of a secret passage. Draco was also scanning for any abnormalities. Suddenly Draco tugged on the back of Harry's black jacket. As Harry spun around Draco put a finger to his lips and pointed through a gap in the hedge. Through it they could see a man leaning against a stone fence, wand at the ready, but he looked extremely lethargic.
“Petrificus Totalus” Draco whispered, pointing his wand at the unknown guardsman. The man had a look of surprise on his face as his limps froze and he fell with a thump onto the grass. Draco then slowly climbed through the gap in the hedge, Harry following closely behind.
Harry then stepped in front of Draco, after looking around extensively he finally murmered “lumos” and suddenly they could see much more clearly. They were in a heavily wooded area, it was a cloudy evening and all light came from the tip of Harry's wand. They began to search for an entry way, levitating large rocks and stumps to see if any such doorways could be found. After what seemed like forever but was probably more like fifteen minutes Harry thought that he had found something. After noticing that an average looking tree stump's roots did not seem too attached to the ground it sat on, Harry whispered “levicorpus” while pointing his wand at the stump and sure enough, a set of stairs could be seen going downwards from underneath where the stump had been.
“Let's go” Draco said quietly, his wand was now also glowing light from the tip and he led the way down the stairs and into the cold ground. The stairs were very narrow, the steps were thin and the dark stone was extremely slippery in some spots. As Draco looked to his right he could see liquid running down the sides of the stairwell as if they were racing to get away. They quickly made their way down the rest of the eerie staircase and down into an equally dark and decrepit hallway. They slowly walked down the hallway, their steps echoing loudly, stopping suddenly Harry almost smashed into Draco's back. Draco turned around and said quietly “I'm going to shoot a silencing spell on our feet, our footsteps are much, much too loud.”
Harry nodded in consent and after the spell was done they began to walk again. After a few minutes they came to a large oak door, cut in the shape of a half moon. “This is it” Draco breathed, his hand outstretched towards the small handle. It was, as was expected, locked. “Alohamora” Draco whispered, and the door slowly opened towards them. Stepping through cautiously Draco found himself face to face with a very large stone statue of a serpent. Draco jerked back slightly, almost hitting Harry.
“Alright mate?” Harry whispered urgently.
“Yeah, there's a statue here, I think it works like the entrance to the headmasters office at Hogwarts.” Draco replied, also in a whisper. Draco stepped forward cautiously and sure enough there were steps leading their way up the serpent. “Any idea what the password might be Potter?”
“Death eater?” Harry suggested.
Draco smirked slightly, “Nope, that didn't work.” Draco frowned slightly “Toujours pur”, he whispered as loud as possible. The snake began to coil upwards, bringing Harry and Draco along with it.
“That's the black family motto” Harry said softly, looking at Draco questioningly.
Draco shrugged and looked away from Harry, “Bellatrix used to always say that to me before she would leave the house after a meeting”.
As the snake made its ascent, the men could see that the walls of the room were beginning to become more dry, they were reaching the surface. Finally they made it to the top, they stepped onto a short landing facing a large wooden door. Draco crept towards it, trying the handle he noticed it was not locked. Opening it an inch, he gingerly peered through it, after checking that the coast was clear he made his way into the next room. Harry followed closely behind him into the room, it was large and circular; covered floor to ceiling in dark marble. Harry began to walk around the room, looking for another door or opening. As he was just opening his mouth to call Draco over, the crack in the wall that he had been staring at smashed open, bowling Harry over.
Five death eaters stormed into the room, hexes streamed across the room as Draco struggled to keep them at bay so Harry could stand up. Once Harry was on his feet the door two positioned themselves back to back and battled furiously with the death eaters until all five had been taken care of.
“Phew, wasn't expecting that one, eh mate?” Harry grinned at Draco
Draco tried to smile in return but the muscles in his mouth just would not allow it. His worry for Hermione was beginning to cloud his brain, he had to find her soon. The two men made their way through the doorway and into the hall that the death eaters had come through moments earlier. This hallway was lighter than the last, but still dingy, with wall sconces that held large flickering candles. The candles flanked each wall and cast an eerie glow over the stone of the hall. Slowly and silently Draco and Harry walked down the hallway until they reached a large metal door, Harry opened it slowly and peeked around.
“I can see stairs and some sort of light... There's nowhere to go except down.” Harry whispered back to Draco.
“Let's go then” Draco replied, letting Harry lead the way through the doorway and onto the stairwell. The stairs were made of marble and were quite slippery. Harry let Draco step in front of him and they both gingerly made their way down the stairs. Draco could see something.. The edge of a foot maybe? He walked more quickly, his chest beginning to feel tight. He could see legs.. and blood, lots and lots of blood... He was now at the bottom of the stairs and could see that the figure was definitely a very petite woman. “HERMIONE” Draco yelled, rushing towards her and enveloping her in his arms. As his arms wrapped around his tiny wife, said tiny wife began screaming bloody murder....
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