Chapter 21 : Escape
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Harry's heart began to throb in his chest and his hands began to shake. He was
still staring at Ron when he closed his eyes and calmed himself down.
He then reached down and picked up the letter from Sirius and walked over to
"Ron.. Ron, wakeup."
Harry said as he gently shook him.
"What? What is it?" Ron said in a grumpy voice.
"Ron, stay quiet and wake up hurry, something bad is happening."
Ron got up quickly and looked around the room Harry started throwing clothes at
"Ron you have to get dressed and then come quietly down to the common
room. Here read this. Hedwig just brought it; I'm going to get Hermione."
Harry said handing the tattered letter to Ron.
Ron began to read the letter when Harry hurried out of the common room. He
looked down at Hermione who was still sitting in the common room reading.
"Um, Hermione. I need to you come here for a
second. Please Hurry." Harry said trying to sound calm.
"What's wrong Harry?" she said and she put down her book.
"Just hurry please." Harry said.
Hermione knew right away that something was wrong. She took the steps two at a
time until she was face to face with him.
"What's wrong?" she said again.
"Hermione, the letter that Hedwig brought was from Sirius. He says for us
to leave the castle immediately. He says that Death Eaters are coming to attack
the castle today."
Harry could tell that Hermione was about to go into a serious panic.
"Hermione listen to me. Get Meagan up and dressed immediately. Ron is
changing clothes. We can ask questions later. Just hurry and get her up and
dressed and come back out here. And make sure you both have your wands."
Hermione stood in front of him for a second. There were questions that were
swirling in her head accompanied with panic.
"NOW!" Harry said sternly.
She looked at him with surprise and then took off running towards the dorm
Harry then went back to his dorm room. When he got back he saw Ron putting his
"Harry, where are we going?"
Harry really didn't know that yet. He walked over to Hedwig who had awoken when
Harry had burst back through the door.
"Hedwig, can you go down to Hagrid's and wait behind the cabin for me? We
have to leave the castle and I need you to come with us. But I can't bring your
She hooted softly and then took off out of the window.
"Ron, make sure you get your wand."
"Already got it Harry," he said patting his pocket.
Harry walked back out of the dorm room and was followed by Ron. They both
walked down to the common room when Hermione and Meagan soon came down after
"What are we going to do?" Hermione asked in a worried voice.
"We have to leave until we can find Sirius, Moody or Dumbledore. We need
to find them and let them know what's going on." Harry said.
"How are Death Eaters getting into the castle?" Ron asked.
"With Dumbledore gone, they can just walk right into the front door. Fudge
isn't going to stop them. He doesn't even believe that Voldemort is back."
"Okay, let's get going. Everyone have your wands ready. Hermione, quickly
show Meagan a few disarming spells on the way in case she needs to defend
Meagan had a look of sheer terror on her face now. She had no idea what was
really going on, but when Harry just said that she might need to defend
herself, the fear became realized.
"Oh no." Meagan said.
"Meagan, it'll be okay. We won't let anything happen to you." Ron
"Ron it's not that," Megan said, "it's
mom. She had an early meeting with Fudge. We can't leave her here Harry. She's
up there with him right now."
Harry put his hands up to his face.
"What is it Harry, we can let Meagan go get her right? No one will be
looking for her." Hermione said.
"Sirius said not to go to Fudge." Harry said shaking his head.
"I'm not sure why, but I'd bet if Death Eaters are coming here, you can
bet they'll take Fudge out immediately."
Harry looked around in thought for a second. "I'll be right back," he
said. He then ran back up to the dorm room. When he came back down he had his
invisibility cloak with him.
"I'm going for Meagan's mom. You three get down to Hagrid's cabin. If I'm
not there fairly quickly, send a message to Dumbledore with Hedwig. She'll be
waiting there." Harry said.
"Harry no." Hermione said.
"I'm not letting you go up there by yourself mate." Ron said.
"Listen, Ron you need to look after the girls. I'll be fine. I can move
more quickly in the cloak by myself. Plus both me and Meagan's mom can fit
under there if we get into trouble, three of us can't. We are running out of
time. They could be here any minute. They could already be here." Harry
Hermione had tears in her eyes as she threw herself at Harry and gave him a
hug. "Be careful Harry," she said. She then kissed him on the cheek
and quickly let go of him to wipe the tears from her eyes.
"I will; come on let's get moving. Be very quiet when you're going down
there. If you hear anyone coming down the corridor, try to find a place to
hide. If you don't recognize them, stun them, and just get away." Harry
They all made their way through the portrait hole very quietly. Ron and the
others took off slowly in the opposite direction. Harry quietly went into a
gallop towards the Headmaster's office.
The entire castle seemed unnaturally quiet. Harry was right outside of the room
to the entrance of the Headmaster's office when he stopped again to listen for
voices. He still didn't hear anything; not even muffled voices. He threw the
cloak over his body and slowly walked into the room to find the staircase had
already risen up to the office. Fudge or someone else must be up there.
Harry slowly crept up the stairs and as he got closer to the top he heard
muffled voices coming from inside of the office. As he crept closer to the
door, he could make them out from inside.
"Well Mrs. Livingston, I have no doubts that you will be more than
qualified for our Potions Master opening. I do apologize for having to do this
interview, but as I explained before I do have to question Albus' judgment
after some of the bad decisions he's made over he past year or so. I do fear
that his age is beginning to catch up with him."
"Thank you Mr. Fudge, it's been a pleasure to finally meet you. I have
read of the many wonderful things you have accomplished since becoming
Minister. It's been an honor really."
"Well, thank you dear. If there is anything I can do, don't hesitate to
Harry knew right away that this was the meeting that Meagan had talked about
between her mother and Fudge. He waited patiently outside the door for her to
walk out. It wasn't long before he heard the door knob turn, the door open, and
then saw her begin to walk out. Harry waited for the door behind her to close
before he said anything.
"Professor Livingston!" Harry said in a loud whisper.
She had already begun to walk down the steps when she stopped, turned around
and looked behind her and stared around the empty room. She didn't see anyone,
but she was sure she had heard a voice.
Harry quickly realized that he was still under the cloak, so he quickly opened
it and held his finger up to his lips signaling her not to say anything.
Professor Livingston's eyes got wide when she saw Harry and she walked over to
"Harry, what's going on?" she asked.
"Shhhhh" Harry said holding his finger back
up to his mouth.
She walked right up to Harry who stood up when she got close.
"Professor Livingston. I had to come up here to get you. We're in danger.
I got a letter saying that the Death Eaters are planning an attack on the
castle today. We need to get out." Harry said whispering.
"Harry is this." she began to ask, but was interrupted by Harry
"Professor, please keep your voice down, Fudge will hear us." He
She frowned at him but decided to whisper anyway.
"Harry is this some sort of joke? If it is, it isn't funny at all. Fudge
already talked to me about you and he isn't sure you are going to even be
allowed to stay here this summer," she said.
"Professor, this is no joke. Listen to me. We have to get out of here and
meet the others down at Hagrid's cabin. We are in danger. This isn't a joke.
Now, let's get out of here, you have to follow me quickly." He said.
She could tell that Harry seemed really convinced that something was going on.
She wasn't too sure yet, but decided to follow him anyway.
Harry slowly got in front of her and started to walk down the stairs when he
could see the shadows of some wizards that were coming through the door below
them. He turned quickly to Professor Livingston.
"They are already here, quick, over here. Get under the cloak with
me." Harry said as he pulled her by the arm into a corner of the office.
He then pulled the cloak over the both of them. Professor Livingston still
wasn't sure what was going on, but quickly made sure the cloak was securely
over her when she heard footsteps and voices from below begin to walk up the
The voices got clearer as the footsteps got louder.
"Remember, we can't kill him. Just stun him so we can put the Imperial on
him later. If there is anyone in here with him, we'll have to get rid of them.
We can't afford for anyone to know what's going on here," said a deep
"Let's hurry this up," One of the other voices said. "I want to
be the one to find Potter. I want to be the one famous for killing him. The
Dark Lord will reward me with power I'd bet."
"Potter'd probably deal with you in his
sleep," said a third voice trying to hide a laugh.
They were now in the room. There were three men that Harry had never seen
before. All three, were large men wearing dirty black robes. They looked very
scary and very formidable and Harry heard Professor Livingston's breathing
start to get very quick and shallow. He knew that she was now terrified and
obviously now knew that Harry was telling the truth.
The three stopped outside of the Headmaster's office and listened for voices
from inside. When they didn't hear any, one of them signaled to the other two
that he was about to go through the door.
The other two stood back and pulled out their wands and watched as the door was
magically blasted opened. All three of them quickly ran inside.
A scream of panic was heard from Fudge, followed by a spell from one of the
men. The chaos seemed to be over quickly.
"Go check the upper quarters and make sure there isn't anyone else here.
Then head down and begin searching the castle with the others," a voice
Professor Livingston saw that Harry had pulled his wand out of his cloak. She
then grabbed him by the arm when she saw him start to crawl out from behind the
"Harry what are you doing?" she whispered.
"We can't just let them take Fudge," he whispered back. "If they
get him in the Imperial Curse, think of what they can do at the ministry."
Professor Livingston knew that what Harry had said had some truth to it. She
just didn't think that they had any chance against three dark wizards.
"Harry we can't. There is no way we can do anything about his right
now." She said trying to make him see reason.
"Stay here." He said.
Harry crept out from under the cloak and looked back at it to make sure that
she was well hidden behind him. He then stayed crouched down and slowly made
his way up to the damaged doorway. He peeked around the door and saw that the
two men were standing over Fudge and were searching his body probably for his
wand or other things that might be dangerous to them. Harry also noticed that
the door to the above quarters was opened and that was the obvious location of
the third wizard. Harry felt his hand shaking, but closed his eyes for a split
second and took a deep breath.
What happened next happened so fast that Professor
Livingston wasn't sure what it was.
Harry burst into the room and had hit the two men with spells in a matter of
seconds, and then was back outside of the doorway. He looked over to the
direction of Professor Livingston and crawled back to her and got underneath
She could hear Harry breathing strangely and could feel the heat coming from
"What happened?" she whispered to him with a shaky voice.
Harry didn't say anything. She was looking into his eyes and wasn't sure what
to read from them. She also noticed that his breathing was suddenly back down to a level that was almost constant with a person
that was sleeping. It was very slow and rhythmic. She saw Harry look at her and
bring his hand up to his mouth to signal her to be quiet again.
Harry then looked towards the doorway and watched as the third wizard crept out
with his wand in front of him. He had obviously heard the commotion from the
quarters above and had snuck down trying to find out who had attacked the
The man looked around the room for a second, looking through Harry and
Professor Livingston a few times, then walked to the staircase and slowly began
to look down to see if anyone was down below the stairs. He had slid one foot
on the step and was still looking intently down below when Harry slid his hand
and wand out from behind the cloak.
"Expelliarmus! Petrificus Totalus, Mobilicorpus,
Accio. Harry had shouted all four very quickly and what happened was nothing
less than spectacular.
The Expelliarmus spell caused the man's wand to fly up in the air, as the man
turned around the Petrificus Totalus spell caused him to seize up losing the
use of his body, the Mobilicorpus spell then hit him and caused the him to fly
across the room and slam into one of the stone pillars, and the accio spell
made his wand that had flown out of his hand come flying directly into Harry's
It was all over within a few seconds, but the wand in Harry's hand, the
bleeding man's head across the room, and the other two unconscious wizards,
made Professor Livingston look at Harry as though she had no idea what to make
Harry stood up and walked into the office where Fudge and the other two Dark
Wizards all laid unconscious. He turned around at Professor Livingston who had
pulled the cloak off of her, but was still crouched down in the corner of the
"We need to get Fudge out as well." Harry said. "We can't leave
"What's going on Harry?" Professor Livingston asked.
"Death Eaters. They're trying to take over the
castle and we have to get out before they do. The others are waiting for
Harry looked around the room for an idea of a plan.
He saw the large black cloaks that the unconscious wizards wore and then turned
around to the Professor.
"Do you think if I throw the invisibility cloak over Fudge, you can still
guide him out with your wand?" he asked her.
"What Harry? What for?" she said.
"Listen, there will be more of them out there.
They'll see us trying to carry Fudge out. You and I can put these black cloaks
on and pull the hoods up. They'll be less likely to notice us. If we can throw
the cloak on Fudge, we can get him out and they won't see him."
"I understand Harry, Yes, I can do that." She said.
"Okay let's go then. Professor, if they see us, run towards Hagrid's cabin
down by the forest. The others are waiting there. Go to the back."
Harry pulled the dark robes off of the two men. The smaller one of the two he
threw to the Professor, the larger one was huge on Harry, but that didn't
matter for what they had planned. Professor Livingston made Fudge hover in the
air, then Harry threw the cloak over his body making him disappear before their
"Okay follow me. Remember, if anyone is onto us, run and I'll hold them
off. Hit anyone you see that you don't recognize with a stunning spell."
She nodded at him. Professor Livingston was terrified. She couldn't believe
what was happening and she couldn't believe what she had just seen Harry do to
the three Death Eaters.
They slowly made their way down the stairs and but didn't see anyone. When they
got close to the entrance they heard voices coming from the Great Hall, but
nothing in the direction they were going.
"Okay. Let's go outside, remember, just walk
normally. They're bound to see us at some point so let's not give ourselves
away if they do."
The two of them walked outside the door of the castle and made their way
outside. They had made it only twenty or so steps when someone yelled in their
"Hey, what are you two doing over there?" the voice asked.
"Keep walking" Harry said to her quietly.
"Hey you two! Where might you be going?"
Harry turned around and made sure the hood of the cloak was pulled up over his
"We saw something down by the Quidditch field. Think it might be the
Potter boy." Harry said trying to imitate a deep gruff voice.
"Well hurry back! We got our posts you know," the man said.
Harry just stuck his hand up in the air and waived at the man to show he
understood. They then kept walking, this time a bit faster, down to Hagrid's
"That was close" Harry said softly.
When they got close to the cabin, Harry pulled the hood of his cloak down and
signaled Professor Livingston to follow him to the back of the cabin.
When they got there, Harry knocked on the door.
"Ron, open up. It's me."
Harry heard the bolt of the door open, and saw Ron peek around it with his wand
"We're here Ron, we made it." Harry said.
"Thank God Harry. We've been worried sick. What in hell took you so long?
And why are you wearing those cloaks? We thought you were Death Eaters.
Hermione and Meagan are hiding in Hagrid's closet." Ron asked.
Harry and Professor Livingston walked into the cabin. Ron was about to shut the
door when Professor Livingston stopped him.
"We have company." She said as she pulled the cloak off of the
floating, unconscious Fudge.
"We ran into some Death Eaters Ron. They had already got to Fudge, but we
got him out of there. Just a stunning spell I think, we can wake him up in a
Hermione and Meagan heard Harry's voice and burst out of the closet.
Meagan ran into her mom's arms and started crying.
"Mom, I was so worried. I thought they had gotten you. I couldn't have
dealt with that mom, I couldn't have dealt with losing
you and dad both."
"It's okay honey. You aren't going to lose me. Harry made sure we were
okay," she said.
Hermione already had her arms around Harry too and when she heard Professor
Livingston say that. She looked up at Harry with tears in her eyes.
"Whatís happened Harry?" she asked.
"Nothing, just took the cloak and got her like I
said." Harry said looking at Professor Livingston who gave him a puzzled
Hermione squeezed him hard again, then pulled away from him and wiped the tears
out of her eyes. "What are we going to do now Harry?"
"I don't know. We can't go through the forest it's too dangerous. Unless
maybe we could find Firenze or Bane, but they would probably just confuse us
anyway and we'd get lost and Bane wouldn't help me. If we could find the car we
could fly that out, but we might never find it." Harry said obviously
thinking out loud.
"What about the passage way to the Shrieking Shack?" Ron said.
"Harry said we couldn't go into Hogsmeade though." Hermione said.
"Yeah, but if we could make our way to the cave we'd be home free."
"That's it Ron. It maybe risky, but I think if we can get to the cave
we'll be fine." Harry said.
"Professor, can you wake up Fudge? I'm going to find some parchment and
get a letter to Sirius." Harry said.
Harry searched through Hagrid's things until he found some parchment and a
quill and ink and sat down in one of Hagrid's large chairs.
We made it out of the castle. It's me, Ron, Hermione, Meagan and her mother,
Professor Livingston. When I went to get Meagan's mom, the Death Eaters already
had attacked. Fudge was there and we got him out as well. We are heading to the
place where you stayed last year where we brought you food. Please let
Dumbledore and the others know we are safe.
We'll wait there until I hear from you.
Harry then went outside and found Hedwig perched on the fence. She fluttered
her wings to show she was happy to see him. He walked up to her and stroked her
under her wing.
"Thanks girl. Please get this to Sirius. Please find him." Harry said
as he attached the message to her leg.
Harry watched as she flew off out of site, and then went back in through the back
door to Hagrid's cabin to find that Fudge had been revived and was asking
"What on Earth do you mean those were Death Eaters? How can you possibly
know that?" Fudge was asking while rubbing his head.
"They were, Mr. Fudge," Harry said as he walked into the room.
"Harry!" Fudge said.
"Mr. Fudge, the castle is under attack by Death Eaters. Voldemort sent
them to kill me and put you under the Imperius Curse," Harry said plainly.
Fudge looked outraged. "You're all mad. Dumbledore has brainwashed the lot
"Mr. Fudge! I assure you Harry is telling you the truth. After I left your
office I heard the men talking. They were Death Eaters, and they were under
orders." Professor Livingston said.
Harry walked up to Fudge and looked him in the eye. Hermione and Ron could
sense the power radiating from him, the same sort of power they had felt from
Dumbledore only once before. Professor Livingston had felt this from Harry
earlier when he had taken out the three Death Eaters.
"Mr. Fudge, listen to me very carefully because I am only going to say
Hermione and Ron couldn't believe that Harry was talking to the Minister of
Magic this way.
"Those men that attacked you were Death Eaters. They had come to kill me,
and once they were done with you, they would have killed you as well. I don't
think it would be a good idea, but if you want you can go back to the castle
and tell them that they are mad and that Voldemort isn't back and then you can
continue to be blind the entire time up until they torture you and kill you. My
friends and I are leaving and are going to try to find Moody and Dumbledore so
we can try and stop them. I would suggest that you come with us, and as soon as
it's safe, we'll figure a way for you to get word to the Ministry so that they
can begin to prepare for Voldemort's return. I can assure you he will find word
that we have escaped and he will start looking for us. I'll tell you now sir,
that if you make trouble for me and my friends, I will protect them." Harry
Fudge looked dumbfounded. He couldn't believe that a fourteen year old wizard
was talking to him that way. He couldn't believe that Voldemort was back, he
didn't want to believe it. He also didn't want to take the chance that he could
be wrong. He did know that someone had in fact attacked him, and that Harry had
somehow rescued him.
"Look Harry, I don't doubt that those are dark wizards, but I just can't
believe they were Death Eaters. I am indebted to you for saving me, so right
now I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. How many are up there?"
"We don't know. There were three that attacked you. There were more in the
Great Hall, and one that stopped us when we were leaving but he didn't know who
we were, we were wearing the other's cloaks and got you out with the
invisibility cloak. We are going to use a secret passage below the Whomping
Willow to get to Hogsmeade, and then hide in a cave above the village until
Sirius can reach us."
"Sirius? You don't mean.."
Fudge was interrupted by Hermione.
"Sir, we'll explain on the way. We don't have time now," she said.
"Okay, let's go. Hermione and me will go first.
I'll use the cloak to get to the tree and open the passage. When I signal,
Meagan, you and your mom come next. Ron, when you see them get clear, you and
Mr. Fudge follow. Everyone, if you're seen, just try to make it to the passage.
Once we're in, the tree will protect the passage. I doubt they know how to stop
it from thrashing." Harry said.
Harry looked at all of them staring back at him listening intently. It had just
dawned on him that he was barking out orders and making plans to try to save
their lives. But it was the fact that he was doing this with a Professor and
the Minister of Magic listening to him for guidance, and as a leader of sorts.
He tried to put these thoughts away, but then the events that happened in the
Headmaster's office came to mind. He honestly didn't really know what all had
happened, but he did know that everything he had done, the spells, the
movements, the thinking, it all came to him so naturally. It was almost as
though some sort of defense mechanism had been taught to him that day in the
"Okay Hermione, let's go. Get the cloak." He said.
They both then began to run across the field towards the tree. The others went
to the front of the cabin and watched them both through the window.
"How did Harry stop all three of those wizards?" Fudge asked
"I'm not sure Mr. Fudge. I mean, I watched it, but I'm still not sure. The
first two, I don't really know, he used spells I had never heard before. The
third one, he used four small spells, but used them quicker than I have ever
seen anyone throw spells. They were one right after the other. They all hit the
man, and within seconds, he was disabled and Harry had the man's wand in his
Fudge had a look of disbelief in his eyes as he watched Harry reach the base of
the tree and disappear under the cloak. The next thing he saw was Hermione look
back at them and wave for them to come, and then disappear down the passage.
"Let's go sweetheart." Professor Livingston said to Meagan.
Meagan gave Ron a hug when she passed him. "Be careful Ron."
Ron then let go of her, and went back to watch them out of the window. When
they were close to the passage he turned to Fudge and signaled that they go.
Fudge was the first one out of the back door, but was intercepted by a man in a
black cloak; it was one of the death eaters.
He had Fudge around the neck with one hand, and with the other, he had a wand
pointing at Ron. Ron had his wand pointing back at him almost instinctively.
"Put the wand down laddie. You don't want me to kill your Dad here now do
ya?" the man said as he tightened the grip on Fudge's neck causing him to
choke very audibly.
Ron didn't know what to do. But he did know that if he put his wand down, he
would be helpless.
"Let him go!" Ron said trying to look for a good aim to throw a curse
at the man. But he couldn't find one. All that was visible was the man's head,
which was just a few inches away from Fudge's.
Ron suddenly got an idea and felt the courage build up in him. "You put
your wand down," Ron said, "Or my friend Harry Potter, who is right
behind you, will make you."
The man's eyes got wide, and his grip loosened a bit on Fudge. The Minister
felt this and just when the man made a quick turn to look behind him to see if
Harry was really there, Fudge pushed off of him causing a brief period of
separation between them. Ron was ready for it, and hit the man in the chest
with a spell.
Fudge rubbed his neck and coughed. His face was horribly red from the man's
tight grip, but he gave Ron a smile and picked up his and the man's wand from
"Let's go Mr. Weasley. Thanks for that by the way. You're dad will be
proud of you no doubt." Fudge said.
As they were walking out Ron leaned down and rolled up the sleeve on the
unconscious man showing the Dark Mark tattoo on his arm. Fudge turned around to
see what Ron was doing, and gasped when he saw the tattoo..
"Still think Dumbledore and Harry are mad?" Ron said as he stood up
and brushed past Fudge.
It wasn't long before they were all safe in the passage. Harry hit the knothole
and slid into the passage as the door closed behind him. Now all they needed to
do was make it to the cave.
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