Groaning Ginny Weasley rolled over on the cold, hard, stone floor she found herself on. Pushing her aching body into a sitting position, she looked around. Next to her lay the bushy haired girl, Hermione Granger. She was sleeping, her chest gently moving with every steady breath. Reaching over Ginny touched her shoulder, calling her name.
"Hermione. Hermione! Wake up!" The older girl immediately sat up.
"Ginny! You are alive! Oh, you had me so worried. When they brought you in, I thought..." Whatever she thought, she would not say, but embraced Ginny in a tight hug.
"Where are we? Last thing I can remember is someone grabbing me from behind."
"I’m not positive, but I do know that it was Death Eater's that grabbed us. They came to my house. I tried to fight but was stunned from behind." A clanging sound brought both girls to their feet. Men's voices argued loudly as they made their way toward them.
"He said not to hurt her!"
"She's draggin' her damn heels- I don't know how you dragged her this far!" These voices they did not recognize, but the third was unmistakable.
"Avery, Rexburg! Do you have a problem? The Dark Lord's orders are not that complicated! Grab the woman and lock her up with the brats!" Lucius Malfoy growled at Avery and Rexburg. The door to their cell opened and burly man with an unshaved face dragged in a struggling Minerva McGonagall. He threw her in and left. McGonagall gently pushed herself off the floor with grace. Glaring at the door that had just been slammed shut; she dusted off her black dress. Finally seeing Hermione and Ginny in the corner, she issued a sigh of relief.
"Thank Merlin you are alive. We have been so worried." She looked pale and drawn, but seeing the girls alive seemed to give her new hope. Ginny ran to her and wrapped her arms around her professor. McGonagall seemed surprised at first, but returned the hug.
"Professor, do you know where we are?" Hermione watched the way McGonagall stroked Ginny's red hair soothingly.
"The Riddle Mansion, I believe. I have only been her once before in my life, but it has not changed a bit. Of course, I was not down here..." She trailed off, and seemed to be lost in a memory for a moment. Pulling Ginny in tighter, McGonagall studied Hermione's face. Knowing her Gryffindors were safe made her feel relieved, but not knowing how to save them scared her. Ginny so young, trying to be brave and twice her age. Hermione, so smart and strong, looked beyond scared now.
"How are Mum and Dad?"
"Your mother is at Hogwarts right now, but your father is- was, Hermione, I am so sorry." Hermione sank to the floor in shock and rested her head in her hands. Ginny sat beside her now, letting her cry on her shoulder. McGonagall, completely out of character, sat on the other side of Hermione and gathered her in her arms, rocking her back and forth. They sat there until the girls fell asleep around her. The silence was hard to listen to, but she was not happy when the door opened.
It would have been a perfect picture from either point of view. McGonagall with the girls and Voldemort surrounded by the dust and lights from the hallway. He looked different from when she last saw him though; his face was beginning to fill out with pale human skin, and hair dawned his head, beginning to resemble his once handsome features. His red eyes never changed. The noise of the door awakened Hermione and Ginny. Neither girl had ever come face to face with the most feared wizard in the world- Ginny flinched and looked away, but Hermione only clung tighter to McGonagall's arm, her eyes never leaving his.
"Hello ladies. Hope everything is to your comfort." He walked in, alone, and shut the door behind him. "Well, I heard we got the wrong kid, but I guess you will do. After all, we have already been acquainted. I won't be asking you to open any chambers this time." McGonagall glared at this comment, pulling Ginny in beside her. "Ah, Minerva. She is not the only one who has met me before. Do they know who you are? Does anyone know who you are?"
"They know exactly who I am. You are the one who seems confused."
"Am I, Minerva? I still know you. Your choices prove it. I know you better than anyone does. Did you even tell the Headmaster everything?"
"I keep no secrets," McGonagall sneered. Hermione noticed Voldemort's emphasis on Dumbledore's title.
"Yes. If you are so certain you know me then who am I?"
"You seek power. You looked for it in me and now in Dumbledore. When in reality I do not know why. You can stand on your own two feet very firmly. Another reason why you would do so good with me."
"Is that it? I thought you said you knew me.”
"I am not here to argue with you, but I believe you know what I want from you.” Voldemort sneered at the cowering Hermione and Ginny. To the girls, McGonagall showed none of the fear she was feeling, but Voldemort could see it in her eyes. “I am asking the same question as before, but this time I will make it a bit more complicated. You take me up on my offer or they die.”
“No. Do not bring them into this.”
“Too late.” Wordlessly he flicked his wand and Hermione doubled over with the same reaction to the curse he used on Harry- pain. Of course, it was not the Cruciatus Curse, but her abdomen had seized up so bad, she could not move. McGonagall pleaded fro him to stop.
“I will do it. Take me! Let them go!” The worry in her voice showed and it wavered with her feelings.
“I thought you would come around. However, I cannot let them go. You see, if I did, I would no longer have any advantage on Mr. Potter. He does foolish things for his friends. In addition, if he feels the same about the red head as she does him, it will be even that much more fun.” Ginny blushed, wishing she could perform oclumency. “Of course you were a double hit, Minerva; your powerful magic and your position with Albus Dumbledore.”
“At least move them somewhere more comfortable and get them something to eat other than bread and water. You do not want them dieing on you, do you?” McGonagall looked to her students. Three days with very little to eat was taking its toll. She herself was feeling hungry.
“I might be able to help with that. Wormtail will look after them.” Snapping his fingers a rat like man entered the room. “Take these two downstairs into one of the bedrooms. If they get away, it will be on your life.” Wormtail tied Hermione and Ginny together by each one’s wrist and led them out. Before they left though, Voldemort turned to McGonagall and said, “Catch.”
McGonagall caught her wand, her eyes never leaving his. Something inside her told her this was not the time to fight. She needed to go with the flow. She had to concentrate on keeping the girls safe. Pocketing the wand, she walked towards Voldemort.
"And where am I going?" Before answering, he watched the other three leave.
It had been close to a day since Hermione and Ginny had been moved upstairs to their new quarters. The room had two single beds on opposite walls and a fireplace in the middle. While the beds looked in good shape, the rest of the room needed dusting and a fix-me-up. A single lamp was the only lighting in the room, and the desk it stood on seemed to be barely holding it up. Three chairs decorated the room: two wooden, one armchair. These resembled the desk. Wormtail left as soon as he released the girls into their new prison.
Now, at close to seven, they lay in the beds; Ginny staring at the ceiling, Hermione buried in a book she had found in one of the drawers of the dresser. This is how they spent most of their first day. Conversations would stir about little things, like the food or what the Order was doing to bring them home, but other than that, it had been an uneventful day.
The lock on the door clicked, as it had the last three times they had been brought food. Hermione highly doubted they would be served desert, and was afraid of who would come through the door. When it opened to reveal her Transfiguration teacher, she breathed a sigh of relief.
"It took me forever to find you two." Ginny rolled to a sitting position on the bed and motioned for McGonagall to sit beside her. The older woman sat down with a wince. She held two pairs of clothes for the girls. “Thought you might need these.”
"It's just my back. It has never been the same since that wom- I mean Umbridge led that attack on Hagrid." Hermione giggled at McGonagall's face when she mentioned Umbridge. "What do you find funny?"
"You did not like her any better than we did. I just think it’s funny."
"Well, this is the first time I have seen you laugh since we have been here. I just did not expect you to be laughing." Hermione rolled her eyes.
"What else do we have to do? We don't even know where we are in this stupid place." A frustrated Ginny jumped off the bed and kicked at the rug. "How do we even know if we're going to live or not? No one knows where we are!" Tears started to spill down on her cheeks. "I mean we could be looking at a death sentence- There is so much I should have done."
"No one is going to die." McGonagall cupped Ginny's face in her hands and wiped away a tear. "As for what you should have done, everything happens for a reason. Every choice you take leads you down a road, a road that you make. My dear, there is no choice you make that is not for the best." Ginny embraced her crying.
"F-for once I-I miss my family," she sniffled. "Th-they're always givin' me a hard time and I'm always yellin' at th-them and H-Harry and school and..." Tears stopped her words. McGonagall sighed.
"Ginny, I have no experience with children besides teaching them, and never being a mother, well, I am afraid I am not much help. But you can stand there and cry as long as you want to." Slowly rubbing her back, she held the girl close again. "If there is one thing I know, you have nothing to worry about. When you disappeared, your family was worried sick. As for Harry, I can only assume what you mean, but you will have a chance to talk to him. We are getting out of here alive."
Hermione picked up her book again, but had not read more than two words when she put it back down. "This book, well it is more of a journal, has facts about this old mansion. Like that, it has been in the Riddle family since it was built. Of course, the Riddles' were not originally a wizarding family, so any magic that was placed on it had to be from Voldemort himself. I was skipping around and the first one hundred pages or so is hand written and slightly boring, even for me. However, it gets interesting near the end. The last entry that was written in some type handwriting drops off as if someone quit writing with so much more to say. Then starts a typewriter print- like a magical quill. This had to have been when Voldemort killed the family. He kept up the book until the night Harry's parents were killed. "
McGonagall motioned for the book and Hermione placed it in her hands. "He must have forgotten about it. Here," Hermione motioned to the first magical quill entrance, "These are spells. Spells he must of placed on the house to protect it. The only one I recognize is the one that protects the house from people apperating in or out. It is just like the one surrounding Hogwarts, but it only applies to the house, not the land. Also some of the entries are almost like diary entries, but others are just about the house."
"This is-" Just as she started in, a snake slithered by the door, its eyes meeting McGonagalls’. Cursing under her breathe she handed the book back to Hermione and walked to the door. "I have to go- keep reading." She locked the door on her way out.
"She would make a great mother," sighed Ginny. "I wonder why she never married."
"There are a lot of things I wonder about her- I know she is a great witch, but what position does she have on Dumbledore? And why did Voldemort give her back her wand?" Shaking her head, she turned back to the book, then grinning she caught Ginny's eye. "Harry? Still on him? Don't take this the wrong way, I think it’s sort of sweet!"
Ginny giggled. "I know you said to try to find someone my own age or someone else, but Harry just kept doing things, like saving the world. I mean how much better can you get? And what if I told you not to give up on my brother." The Riddle book seemed very interesting now. "Oh, come on- you cannot act like you were not jealous when he and Lavender were dating. He was just as jealous when you went to that dinner with what’s-his-name." A pillow came her way. Throwing it back she pulled the covers over head, grinning at a moment that had made her forget about their position, her position.
"You rang? More like you hissed." Nagini slithered between her feet to her master. Voldemort turned away from the window and McGonagall could not help but notice he looked different. His skin had returned somewhat to its normal color and his face had completely filled our so much he could pass for a normal man except for his eyes, they were still a blood red.
"I gave you a taste of what is to come Minerva; you will work by my side or suffer the consequences." He walked to her and gently touched her cheek. McGonagall immediately pulled away. "Do you remember this room?" Memories she wished she could forget came flooding back- the last day of school, firewhiskey on the porch, and then in this very room was the first time they-
"Don't you think about it." McGonagall backed towards the door. She had feared this would happen and she was not going to give in.
"You are only going to make it worse."
"I will not do that to him, or myself." Voldemort grabbed her arm and pushed her into a wall. The Cruciatus Curse yesterday had brought her back pains back from the stunners she had suffered from not long ago. Gasping in pain, she tried to push him away, but was unsucessful. His hand held her back by the collar bone- she could feel it bruising already. "Get off of me." She pulled her wand and blasted him away.
"You want to play with magic, now do you?" McGonagall blocked his first spell, but he disarmed her with his second. Voldemort listened to her scream in pain for minutes, until her strength was almost spent. He released the spell and knelt by her shaking side. "Now will you cooperate?" She shook her head in protest but could no longer fight back. He picked her up and laid her on the bed. Again she tried to push him away, but without let up.
"Minerva, I told you I would get you someday."
A/N: Yes, finally a long chapter. Hoped you liked it! More is on its way. Nevxt chapter is back at Hogwarts. Sorry I had to up the rating, but I just want to be careful. Also, I know my characters kinda well, OCC at parts, but I really don't think they would act normal wtih what they're going through. Let me know what you think!