Chapter 1 : Missing
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PS: If you have an idea for the title(not for the chapter, just the overall fic)let me know in your review!
Ron stared accusingly down at his pancakes (which had holes from earlier, when he’d stabbed them repeatedly), mentally screaming and telling them in quite obscene ways that everything was their fault. Nothing, thankfully, was said aloud. Next to him sat Hermione, who was biting her lip and, Ron suspected, holding back tears. There was no plate in front of her, as by the time she’d come down, the letter had already come.
Ginny sat on Ron’s other side, making strangled sort of noises every once in a while. No plate was in front of her either. She’d pushed it away the moment the news came. The three were alone at the eerily silent breakfast table. Mr. Weasley and Percy were at the Ministry, and Mrs. Weasley had left the moment the news had come, probably to hide tears. Finally, the silence was too much for at least one occupant of the table.
“Where could he be?” Ron burst out, looking expectantly between the two girls. Neither of them answered him, but he got a devastating look from each. “Fine, but we’re not going to get anywhere by sitting here and staring at our pancakes,” He muttered, not seeming to realize that he was the only one doing so. The other two were, in fact, trying to figure out where their friend may be, though neither said anything.
Ron, Ginny, Percy, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley sat at the table, eating pancakes and talking animatedly. They were so into their conversations, that no one noticed a tawny owl drop a letter on the counter. Not until…
“OW!” Ron yelped, jumping to his feet and turning to glare at the owl. “What do you want?” He snapped.
Ginny bit her lip to keep from laughing. “Ron…Don’t be stupid, do you really expect it to answer you? That’s Dakota’s owl, and it dropped a letter, look,” She said logically, pointing to the envelope on the counter. It was a red and gold envelope, only signifying further whom it was from (Dakota Diggory took great pride in her house at Hogwarts). Standing up, Ginny grabbed the envelope to check who it was addressed to. “It says, Hermione and the Weasleys,” She told them, not waiting for an answer before ripping it open.
The three Weasley’s left sitting at the table, who had ignored the owl’s interruption, stopped talking as Ginny opened the envelope. “Read it out loud Ginny. We’d like to know what it’s about too, if it’s addressed to all of us,” Percy said irritably. He hadn’t been in a very good mood since he had lost the election for the head of the Department for International Cooperation.
Ginny unfolded the letter, and did as Percy said, reading it aloud. “Have any of you seen or heard from Harry? I was supposed to meet him last night, for dinner, but he didn’t show up. I tried owling him, but only got an answer from Sirius. He said he has no idea where Harry is, and that he thought he was with me. He hasn’t seen him since he left to meet me yesterday. Oh, PLEASE tell me you know where he is, I’ve looked everywhere for him! If you know where he is or where he might be, owl me back.” The note was very hastily written, and there was no greeting or closing. As Ginny finished reading, the room went silent, and the letter slipped from her hands. That was when Hermione came down.
Half an hour had passed since the letter from Dakota arrived, and still hardly anyone had spoken. Ron had tried to get Hermione and Ginny to give their ideas on where Harry may be, just to break the horrible silence, but neither seemed able or willing to speak.
“Look, if we start thinking now, we might at least be able to find his body!” Ron burst out angrily, surprising everyone, including himself. Before he’d been able to take back his words, Hermione had burst into tears, and run out of the room.
“Oh, you’re helping a lot Ron. Really positive thing you just said there. Great job,” Ginny said sarcastically, standing up and following Hermione. Muffled sobs and soothing words could be heard from the next room, but Ron didn’t listen to them.
He sat silently, staring at the wall. “Why in bloody hell did I say that?” Ron muttered, but he knew why. It bothered him so much, that Harry was gone, and they couldn’t do anything about it. What if Voldemort got him? The thought in itself made him cringe, and even more desperate to do something. Glancing absently at the clock, he noted that Percy and Mr. Weasley were at work (which he’d already known), his and Ginny’s hands were of course set to home, and Mrs. Weasley…Her hand was set to traveling. That’s funny. He thought. I didn’t hear her leave. Shrugging this off, he decided he should try to apologize to both his sister and Hermione for what he’d said. As much as he hated apologizing, this seemed like an appropriate time to make that sacrifice.
“Hermione, Ginny,” Ron began, as he stepped into the room, “I’m-“ But he was cut off by the looks on their faces. Both girls were staring, eyes wide and jaws hanging, at a spot on the other side of the room. Ron followed their gaze to the fireplace, and there, right next to it, stood Draco Malfoy.
Harry opened his eyes slowly, sitting up with great difficulty. Every inch of his body ached, and as he lifted a hand to his face, he felt dried blood. His head felt as if it was going to explode, and what he saw after a quick look around him didn’t help at all.
He was in a cell, that much was obvious. The walls and floor were cold, gray stone, and surrounded him on all sides, except for a small stone door in the middle of the wall opposite him. There were no windows, but then, he could easily be underground. After scanning the room a second time, he noticed something else.
It stained the walls and the floor, and some of it looked fresh. Harry gave an involuntary shudder, and began straining his brain to try and remember how he’d gotten to this awful place. Just as he did that, however, the stone door creaked open, and he held his breath. His first guess was that on the other side of that door stood Voldemort, but when it opened fully, it wasn’t the Dark Lord who looked back at him.
It was Lucius Malfoy.
“MALFOY!” Ron roared, after a moment of disbelieving staring. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY HOUSE?”
“Trust me, Weasley. I have no pleasure at all in being inside your…Did you call this a house?” Draco sneered, smirking in a satisfied sort of way. He looked quite out of place in the Weasley’s living room, with his fancy black cloak and it’s silver clasp. Under that, his other clothes were hard to see, but it didn’t take a genius to figure that they’d most likely be just as fancy, and also just as black. His platinum blond hair, of course, was slicked back perfectly, as it always was.
Ron’s ears went pink, and he pulled out his wand, but managed to keep his anger at bay. “What do you want?” He demanded, not at all pleased with this uninvited guest. He hadn’t seen Malfoy ever since their graduation from Hogwarts, about a month ago, and, needless to say, he hadn’t missed him at all.
Ginny and Hermione sat silently on the couch, giving each other questioning looks.
Draco made to lean against the wall, but seemingly thought better of it. He glanced around the room, then back at Ron, and a look of undisguised disgust flashed across his face. “You’ve noticed, I’m guessing, that Boy Wonder is missing?” He asked casually, looking pointedly at Hermione, who’s face was tear-streaked. The expression on his face was hard to read.
Within seconds, Ron had stepped forwards and grabbed Draco by the front of his robes, slamming him up against the wall. His face was red with badly controlled anger, and he looked ready to kill Malfoy on the spot. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HIM? TELL ME!” He roared, his anger expressed quite openly in his voice.
At that point, Hermione jumped to her feet and hurried over, attempting to pry Ron’s fingers from Draco’s robes. “Ron, please. Just let him explain,” She said quietly, and he obeyed, dropping Draco and taking a step back.
“Talk.” Ron ordered.
Harry stared at Lucius, not sure what new knowledge he should have acquired at the sight of him. Well, he IS a Death Eater. We’re probably in Voldemort’s lair or something. This thought did nothing whatsoever to comfort him.
Lucius closed the stone door behind him, advancing upon Harry and looking very pleased with himself. “Well, hello Harry Potter…Quite strange isn’t it, how quickly the tables can turn? If I remember correctly, you supposedly threw over the Dark Lord when you were an infant. Evidently, that was sheer luck.” His voice was cold, and Harry felt the hairs on the back of his neck prickle.
“Where am I?” Harry asked, his tone of voice portraying the great dislike he felt towards Lucius Malfoy, but, thankfully, not his slight fear. He wanted to point out that the tables hadn’t ‘turned’ very quickly, since it had been almost 17 years since he’d survived Voldemort’s curse, and he was still alive. However, he didn’t think it would help his situation much, and so kept that to himself.
Lucius laughed quietly, and his laugh was just as cold as his previous words had been. “You are in Malfoy Manor,” He said simply.
A million different thoughts exploded inside Harry’s head, and he didn’t bother trying to sort through them. At the moment, he was just picking out the questions. “What? Where in? The basement?”
“If I told you, it would take all the fun out of it, wouldn’t it?” Lucius said coolly, smirking down at Harry. “You don’t want to do that, do you?”
Harry glared at him, reaching a hand inside the pocket of his robes. His stomach dropped when he realized that his wand was gone.
“You didn’t really think I’d leave you armed, did you? Despite what you may think, I’m not stupid.” Lucius said calmly, twirling his own wand absently as he watched Harry. He was definitely amused.
Harry didn’t respond to this, so Lucius continued.
“Your father was much like you, you know. That same arrogance, and the same stupidity. The only part of his big head he used, was the part that told him how to get fame. And of course, that led him to his end, didn’t it? He couldn’t even trust his own friends. What a shame,” Lucius added, not sounding as if he meant it at all. “It almost seems as if history is repeating itself, doesn’t it? Only difference is, you’re going to die a bit younger, and without a son.”
Harry felt the anger building up inside of him, and was reminded of the many times that Snape had said similar things. The hate and anger he felt now, however, was much greater than that of which he’d felt at those times. “My dad was NOT arrogant, nor was he stupid,” He said quietly, his voice shaking with suppressed anger.
“Think what you want, boy. But remember this; you didn’t know your father, did you?” Lucius hissed, his lips curling up in a cruel smirk.
Harry didn’t have an answer to that. “If you’re going to kill me, why don’t you just get it over with?” He said quietly. It wasn’t that he WANTED to die, of course not, but being held prisoner in Malfoy Manor was more than he could stand, and if he was going to be killed anyways…His thoughts weren’t very happy ones, and he found himself wondering if Draco had had anything to do with this…
Lucius laughed his cold laugh again, shaking his head. “Because, fool, I am not the one who is going to kill you. That pleasure will be left to the Dark Lord. But don’t worry, you will be begging for death long before it is given to you.” And, with a swish of his cloak, he was gone, leaving Harry to his now-dark thoughts.
“All I know is, that right now, Potter is in a cell my house, most likely with my father. He’s going to be tortured, and eventually killed. At least, that’s what is planned. I don’t know how my father got him, but he did. I only found out about an hour ago,” Draco finished, wearing that unreadable expression the whole time he spoke.
Ginny, Hermione, and Ron listened to him, each with a different expression on their face. Ginny wore a cautious expression, and Hermione wore an incredibly worried one, which wasn’t surprising. The look on Ron’s face, however, was that of distrust.
“And why, exactly, would you be telling us this?” He asked suspiciously, narrowing his eyes.
Draco gave Ron a look of great annoyance, and it seemed for a moment as if he didn't know what to say, but when he spoke, his voice was cool and confident as ever. “Why does that matter? You know where he is, isn’t that enough? Do you have to question everything I do, Weasley?” He snapped, pushing off the wall and crossing his arms.
Ron opened his mouth to retort, but Hermione cut in, throwing an arm out to keep him from stepping forward. “How are we supposed to get him out of there? Can’t you help us at all?” She asked gently, not wanting to anger Draco and in turn lose their only source of information.
“Do you know what my father would do to me if he knew I’d told you just that little bit? He’d torture me until I was a shred away from death, and then leave me alone…For a while. Imagine what he would do if I helped Harry Potter escape, when he finally had him all wrapped up and ready to hand over to Voldemort on Christmas morning,” Draco hissed.
Hermione bit her lip, looking away. Draco had changed a lot in the past six months, and even formed somewhat of a bond with Harry after having his life saved by him. It wasn’t friendship; at least that was what they claimed. But it was something, and Hermione knew that if he could, Draco would simply release him. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option.
Even though Harry had ‘accepted’ Draco, and no longer loathed him, Ron refused to change his opinion. “He saved your life! He could have died too, doing it. Dunno why he felt the need to save YOUR skin, but he did. And here, you won’t even help him?” Ron said angrily.
Draco narrowed his eyes. “Then excuse me for not being a hero like Potter.” His voice was quiet, but there was a definite cold and controlled anger in it. “I should be getting back now, before father notices that I’m gone,” He said abruptly, and, before Ron had a chance to retort, had Disapparated.
Harry sat on the floor, staring miserably at the ceiling. It was awful, to be trapped like this, and completely unable to do anything about it. And of course, since there was absolutely nothing at all to amuse himself with in the cell, he was left to his thoughts, and the constant grumbling of his stomach.
He felt as if he hadn’t eaten for days, which, as far as he knew, could very well be true. The last thing he remembered outside of the cell was flying, on his broom, and heading towards Hogsmeade, where he was to meet up with Dakota, and then a shadow speeding towards him. Then he woke up here.
Harry’s brain felt as if it was going to explode from all the questions piled up inside it, itching to be answered, as well as all the possibilities. Had the shadow been Draco? Did he have any part in this at all, perhaps in some other way? Had Draco been told by his father to try and get close to Harry Potter, and in turn help to capture him? And lastly, how long did he have to live?
These thoughts chased themselves around his head, creating a headache through all the numbness. Harry was glad for the headache; it at least let him know that he was still alive.
Just as he was coming to the conclusion that maybe they were planning to starve him to death, the noise of stone scratching stone came from the door. His head snapped in the direction of the sound, but nothing seemed to be happening, and for a second he thought he had imagined it.
But then, Harry noticed a tiny black hole in the lower part of the door, and it was growing. It grew to approximately the size of a man’s head before it stopped. He stared at the hole, feeling a great sense of foreboding, wondering if Voldemort had come…But why would he enter through a hole? Maybe he’d become an Animagi, a snake…
Before his thoughts could run away with him, two scaly hands slipped into the hole, each dropping something before retracting. In the time it took Harry to realize what the two things that had been dropped were, the hole closed up, and he was once again surrounded by stone.
Pushing his sore self to his feet, suppressing a groan of pain, Harry stepped towards the platter of half a dozen sandwiches. He reached out a hand to take one, inspecting it cautiously. It seemed to be a plain cheese sandwich, but who knew what poisons had been imbedded within it? Voldemort isn’t going to kill me through a sandwich, he wants to do it himself. He reasoned. So, without another thought, he took a bite and was almost immediately rewarded, as a tiny shred of hunger left him.
The other object, he now saw, was a flask. After taking a cautious sip, he identified the liquid it held as water. With a feeling of new hope burning inside of him, Harry sat down next to the platter, and ate.
Ginny and Hermione sat on the couch in the Weasley’s living room, watching wearily as Ron paced by the fireplace. “I wish he’d just sit down. That pacing is driving me crazy,” Ginny muttered to Hermione, and indeed it was. He’d been pacing like that ever since Draco had Disapparated, but they’d both been cautious in talking to him. Ron was in an angry state.
Hermione nodded. “I know,” She whispered. “Ron…” She began cautiously, bracing herself in case he yelled.
“What?” Came the snappy reply, as Ron stopped pacing abruptly and turned to face them. Ginny knew the anger wasn’t directed at either of them, but at Draco, though it still made her feel uneasy.
“Why don’t you just sit down, and we can try and figure out what to do,” Hermione suggested, indicating the space beside her.
For a moment, Ron looked as if he was going to explode, but strode over and sat down next to Hermione. His eyes were narrowed slightly, and he sat rather stiffly.
“So, Malfoy said that Harry is in his house,” Hermione began, but was cut off.
“AND YOU BELIEVE THAT TWIT?” Ron demanded angrily, fixing her with the same piercing gaze he had used in their fourth year, when Hermione had been ‘involved’ with Victor Krum.
“RON! STOP YELLING!” Ginny screamed into his ear, fed up with his stubbornness. “Just shuttup and listen okay?” She said, a bit more calmly.
Ron stared at his sister, momentarily stunned, giving Hermione a chance to continue.
“We have a bit of information, and now we have to figure out how to get Harry out. There’s always a solution, we’ve just got to find it,” Hermione said, her voice holding pure logic as usual.
“And what if there isn’t a solution? What if there isn’t one because…because Malfoy was lying? How do you know he’s not just leading us into a trap, so he can kill us three AND Harry? You KNOW he doesn’t like us,” Ron challenged, crossing his arms.
Hermione sighed. “Ron, right now, Draco is all we have in the way of information. We have to trust him. Can’t you be civil with him, at least until we get Harry?” She asked, sounding exasperated.
“No,” Ron said stubbornly, crossing his arms. “He’s spent the past seven years insulting me and my family, and now he has my best friend locked up in his absurdly large house.”
“Ron, Draco isn’t the one who kid-napped Harry, didn’t you listen to anything he told us?” Hermione reasoned, willing her friend to cooperate.
“Look, Ron, maybe you don’t want to give up a tiny bit of pride to save Harry, but we do. Malfoy did too, didn’t he? Apparating into our house to tell us where Harry is. Don’t you think that must have been hard for him? So, if you don’t mind, we’re going to think up a plan, with your help or without it,” Ginny bud in before Ron had a chance to reply, feeling proud at the horrified look on her brother’s face.
“I…Sorry,” Ron muttered, feeling awful. If he didn’t help, it would only show that Malfoy was a better ‘friend’ to Harry than he was. The thought alone made him shudder.
Ginny seemed satisfied. “Good. Now…Any ideas?”
Ron lay sprawled out on the floor, half asleep, while Hermione and Ginny (who were both still sitting on the couch) tried desperately to think. For three hours they had been trying to formulate a plan, but to no avail. No matter how much Hermione went on about how there just had to be a solution, the fact remained that three regular teenagers could do nothing about the current situation. At least, not with what little information they had.
“When Dad gets home, we’d better tell him what Malfoy told us. He could probably send Aurors into Malfoy’s house, and get them to search it. Then, if they found Harry, Lucius wouldn’t possibly be able to stop them from taking him,” Ron spoke so suddenly that Hermione jumped, though Ginny merely glanced over at him.
“I don’t know Ron…You know Lucius Malfoy, he’ll probably be able to get someone to take Harry while the house is being searched. Or he could send him straight to Voldemort, using a Portkey maybe, before the Aurors got past his front door. Besides, he has a lot of power, I’ll bet he could do something to keep any Aurors from coming into his house. And Fudge trusts him, doesn’t he? I don’t think Dad will be able to get a bunch of Aurors and just send them over to search someone’s house, not on the word of three teenagers,” Ginny pointed out. As desperate as she was for a plan, she knew that Ron’s idea couldn’t possibly work.
”I think we have to talk to Draco,” Hermione said quietly, and two heads snapped in her direction.
Ron opened his mouth to protest, but then closed it again. “Fine. But I’m not doing the talking,” He said, sitting up to try and look more dignified.
Ginny rolled her eyes at her brother, turning to Hermione. “I think you’re right. Do you know a quick way of contacting someone, since an owl may be too slow?” She asked hopefully.
Hermione bit her lip. “I do. Only thing is, it’s a really complex spell, only supposed to be used in emergencies-“
“And this isn’t an emergency?” Ron demanded, but was silenced by a look from Ginny.
“-and with someone you’re really close to,” She finished, as if she had never been interrupted.
There was a moment of silence as this new information was thought over, and then…
“HARRY!” Three voices gasped, as three pairs of eyes widened to the size of dinner plates.
“What’s the spell Hermione?”
”Can you do it?”
Ron and Ginny spoke at the same time, their faces and voices full of hope as they looked at her.
Hermione hesitated. I have to…For Harry. Even if it is risky, he would do the same thing for any of us. “I’ll need a little bit of time, an hour at most, but I think I can do it. I’ve been studying this spell for a while now, so it shouldn’t be too hard,” She said finally, though she wasn’t so sure. “The book is in our room,” She told Ginny.
“We’ll stay down here, if you want,” Ginny told her, and Ron nodded.
“So we don’t bother you,” Ron added.
Hermione managed a weak smile as she stood, walking over to the stairs and climbing them slowly. She didn’t know what Harry could tell them, but even the smallest thing could help. Stepping inside the room she and Ginny shared, Hermione headed over to her bed, grabbing a large black book from underneath the pillow and opening it to a marked page. Then she began to read.
Barely an hour later, Hermione positively flew down the stairs, not stopping until she was inside the living room. The sight that met her made her smile.
Ron lay curled up into a ball on the ground, and by the depth of his breathing, was fast asleep. Ginny was in a similar position, except for the fact that she was on the couch. Neither looked as if they had been sleeping for long.
Approaching Ron first, Hermione knelt down beside him and gently shook his shoulder. “Ron, I’ve got the spell down…Wake up,” She said softly.
“You stupid git! You used invisible ink!” Ron muttered angrily. Hermione giggled, and his eyes shot open. “How do you read invisible ink?” He demanded, as if it were the most important thing in the world.
“I’ll show you later. Right now, we have to contact Harry. I’m pretty sure I can do the spell now,” Hermione told him, standing up to go and wake Ginny. Evidently, she didn’t have to.
“Let’s do it then!” Ginny was now sitting up on the couch, looking anxious.
Ron blinked a few times and thought for a moment before his mouth opened to form a big ‘o’. “Right, the spell!”
“We’ll need to link hands if we all want to talk to him,” Hermione told them, and both complied almost immediately. “Now, concentrate on Harry. Don’t think about anything or anyone else, just Harry,” She ordered, closing her eyes tight and focusing on doing just that.
After a few minutes of silence, Hermione began to speak. “Curna iln cuntart kayis, curna iln cuntart kayis, curna iln cuntart kayis…” The other two took up the chant, the whole time concentrating fully on Harry.
Just as Ron began to feel stupid, Ginny determined, and Hermione anxious, a wave of cold passed through them. Hermione opened her eyes, and gasped.
The three of them were in some sort of cell, and Harry lay asleep only a few feet away.
The next chapter should be done by the 5th or 6th of February, so stay tuned!
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