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Chapter 1 : Taken
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"Ron, calm down--"
"They bloody took her!"
Harry stared long and hard at Ron. The dirt and grime clinging to every crevice of their bodies became more prominent as the dust began to dissipate in the Great Hall from the destruction the Death Eaters had left behind. His clothes felt like they were made of lead, dragging him down; or maybe it was his muscles. Either way, it was a struggle to remain standing, hunching over as he tried to catch his breath.
"Took who, Ron? Took wh--"
Harry looked up at his friend, meeting his fierce gaze with his depleted one and a sinking feeling settled in the pit of his stomach. Eyes took on a note of concern and Harry frantically searched the faces of the crowd gathering before him. All of them looked frightened, exhausted, but above all else, disraught.
His eyes burned from the dust and he rubbed at the corners of his eyes, trying to make sense of everthing that had just happened. How'd they get into the castle? Why did they just leave? Where was...
"Get your filthy hands off me!"
Hermione snarled at whoever was dragging her along, yanking herself this way and that and eventually letting him deal with her body weight by simply letting gravity do its job. The man gave a huff before effortlessly throwing her over his shoulder, her hands bound together with rope. She wanted to scream at the top of her lungs, but she knew that would do her no good; not in the Dark Forest at least.
"Mudblood's got 'erself an attitude! Why d'ya think 'e wants 'er o' all people, huh?"
"We don't ask questions. We do what the Dark Lord wants. That's it."
Hermione swallowed hard, panic setting in. She knew what Voldemort did to mudbloods and she was not about to become just another corpse. She had to think logically, despite the deep set fear that was slowly spreading through her body like liquid fire. Hermione Granger was not a quitter. She was one of the most powerful witches of her generation! She could get out of this. Hell, she had used a Confundus charm on Cormac two years ago without a wand. That in adn of itself was a feat not even mastered by accomplished wizards.
Hermione looked around her, as much as someone could look when draped over another's shoulder. She could see the top of a wand coming out of the man's back pocket and took a deep breath.
"Relashio," she whispered, eyes closing in concentration.
When she opened them, the rope around her hands loosened enough for her to be able to free her hands. Hermione stole a glance toward the other man, the lanky looking one with a top hat covered in multi-colored patches. He was too busy arguing with the brusque man carrying her to pay too much attention to what she was doing.
The next few minutes werre excruciatingly slow as Hermione moved as slowly as humanly possible. trying not to give away her actions of reaching the wand he was carrying so carelessly.
As soon as her fingers wrapped around the handle of the wand, she let out a breath before whipping it out and flicking it at his feet, causing him to trip and fall. He did exactly what she thought he would. He dropped her, reaching out to stop himself from landing flat on his face. Hermione hit the ground and rolled to lessen the impact of the fall, not having time to react to the pain that sprang from her elbow.
Swinging out the wand, she shot a jet of red toward the patched hat man, watching him fly back, stupefied.
Hermione scrambled to her feet, point the wand at the man she had tripped.
The girl took off running, a satisfied smirk spreading across her face as she dodged tree roots, jumping over rocks and ducking under low hanging branches as she tried to make her way out of the Dark Forest. They'd only assigned two men to handle her. They would be their first mistake.
The young witch was frozen, her muscles locked and unable to move. Her balance was off kilter and she fell to the side, her head hitting the root of a tree hard. Darkness crept into the corners of her vision, but she remained awake long enough to see a form make its way toward her.
"Never send a man to do a woman's job..."
The woman's high pitched voice penetrated the air as Hermiones vision ebbed away, shrouded by darkness.
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