Author’s Note: Now before you start reading, be warned that I have yet to explain much yet. Actually I bet a good bit of people are more confused after reading this. Don’t worry almost everything should be explained in the next chapter. A downfall though is that the next chapter will take a considerably long time to be ready. It will be long and full of information, some of which I don’t even know the full details of. Please be patient and bear with me. Cheers, Mya.
“Be quiet. We’re leaving.”
“What?” Hermione said breathlessly, sitting up and blinking her eyes a few times to adjust them, “We are? Now?”
“Yeah,” Draco said rolling off the bed and grabbing a heavy black cloak nearby, “Here where this it’s cold outside and you’re still wearing those rags.”
Hermione shot out of bed, overly excited to leave the wretched castle. “Do you have Dylan and Sofia? I can’t leave them behind. We have to bring them with us.”
He didn’t answer her but helped her into the cloak. “I pulled in a couple favors and we’re supposed to meet them in a half hour. We have to make it through the castle into the dungeons without being seen.”
“Draco,” Hermione said as he led her out of the bedroom, “I can’t leave without my babies. You know I can’t.”
“Look, Hermione,” Draco whispered hurriedly pulling her close in front of him, their faces mere inches from each other, “The other night at the feast was a setup. Somebody knows that I’m not loyal to the Dark Lord and that I treat you much too well. For our sake, for both our sakes, we have to leave. We might not receive another chance.”
Hermione felt like crying. Over the few months that she had been the guardian of Dylan and Sofia, she had come to feel like a mother to them. They were just like her babies. Leaving now would make her feel like she was abandoning them.
But her and Draco’s lives depended on it.
The Slytherin watched the emotions in her eyes conflict and he quickly pulled her into a tight hug, enjoying the feel of her body against his but only for a moment, “We must go now.” He whispered.
The corridors were dark and quiet but the couple stayed to the shadows and had removed their shoes for quieter movement. Reaching the grand staircase, which led into the Entrance Hall they gazed down into the open area of darkness below them. It looked as if it was completely deserted.
“Wait,” Hermione hissed lowly, pulling Draco back into the shadows, “This is too easy. We’ve made it this whole way without seeing anyone. There’s another way into the dungeons. We can go that way.”
“We won’t make it in time.” Draco shook his head.
“We could be caught going this way.”
Draco stared at Hermione hard, thinking it over. Sighing lowly he grabbed Hermione’s hand and they ran the whole way to the stairs that would lead downstairs. He only hoped they would be on time.
A light at the end of the darkened hall beckoned to Hermione and Draco and they sped up taking long strides to their destination. Ahead Hermione could see two men dressed in black robes with their hoods up so their faces were hidden.
“Zabini, Goyle,” Draco nodded to both of them, “Where’s Crabbe?” He asked, his tone strung with worry.
Blaise Zabini let his hood fall back, revealing his black hair and dark complexion, “He’s keeping watch in case anyone decides to come down here.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Draco nodded awkwardly looking around nervously. “And you’re sure this is going to work?”
“Positive,” Blaise told him, knocking the stone wall three times and then twice in another area. Slowly the wall began to open, “It will open for the next thirty minutes and Rosier will return to his post in five. So get going. Send a postcard, etcetera, etcetera.”
“Thanks, Zabini. I owe you one.” Draco said as he led the three into the Slytherin common room, Goyle staying behind to listen in case Crabbe saw someone.
“Yeah you do.” He muttered darkly, “I could be Avada Kedavra-ed for this. You had better be thankful.”
Hermione took a step forward and threw her arms around him, “Thanks Blaise.” She muttered into the dark boy’s chest.
“Er, yeah, don’t mention it.” He muttered a small blush coming to his cheeks.
“Come on, we have to go.” Draco said irritated and showing small signs of jealousy toward Blaise. He didn’t stay long enough to say anything though. Grabbing Hermione’s waist he pulled her against him and in seconds they were swirling through fire.
Hermione’s knees buckled as they landed inside a dark room behind what appeared to be the counter of Honeydukes. “Draco, where are we?” She hissed looking around quietly, the eery feeling of being watched at her back.
“Sh!” Draco said putting a hand over her mouth and a finger to his lips in a motion to be silent.
Pulling Hermione over to the wall, he sat down behind several barrels and urged her to sit next to him. From this view they were completely hidden except for a small crack where Hermione could see the fireplace.
“What are we–?” Hermione stopped in the middle of her sentence as the fire roared with green flames and a handful of Death Eaters, fully dressed, stepped out of the flames. Traditional Death Eater masks were placed on their faces and their wands were flourished in front of them.
The two teens huddled close to the ground in a strong effort to be sure they weren’t seen from their hiding spot. Wordlessly the Death Eaters made their way out of the store, not bothering being quiet. Draco saw one or two Death Eaters snatch some candy off the shelves and put in their pockets for later. There was dead silence for the next five minutes or so which seemed to tick on forever.
Slowly, Draco stood and helped Hermione up along with him. “What were those Death Eaters doing?” Hermione asked breathlessly, afraid to speak too loudly.
“They were going off on some sort of mission or another but either way it opened the fires in Hogwarts to allow them to leave without walking to Hogsmeade. From here we can floo away, far away.” Draco took Hermione’s wrist and pulled her over to the fire. He had floo powder in his pocket.
Holding tight to the teenage boy as they spun around Hermione expected to come out at the Burrow or Grimmauld Place but instead they appeared in a small, run down cabin. Most of the windows were boarded up and looking through a crack in the closest window Hermione saw dark forest foliage all around. The cabin had one large room on that looked to be a living room and kitchen. Narrow steps led to the second floor.
“I suggest making yourself situated. We’ll be here for a few more hours. I don’t want to walk around these forests at night.” Draco said, opening the front door and then closing it. He locked several locks along the door and jiggled it a bit to be sure.
“Why are we in the woods?” Hermione asked backing away from the window. “I don’t see the point of us coming here.”
“Once someone notices we are missing, which should happen sometime later today, they’ll check the fires and know that we left only moments before that Death Eater mission left.” Draco told her as he sat down on a dilapidated armchair. “They’ll track us to Honeydukes and then here. By that time though we will be long gone with no way to be found. It’s only about four a.m., so go to sleep for a bit and in a couple of hours, when the sun if fully rose we can leave.”
Staring over at Draco, Hermione asked, “Why are you so scared of the forest while it’s dark? We’re not in the Forbidden Forest are we?”
“No, we’re in a small forest about two and a half miles away from Malfoy Manor. I used to come here as a kid and about half a mile away if a broomshed where I have an old broom. We can fly away to my grandfather’s old mansion and floo somewhere there.” Draco shrugged, making a few attempts to be comfortable in the chair. “I’ll watch for anything that might come along while you take a nap on the couch.”
Laying down on the couch Hermione was on her side, looking at the back of the couch, mulling over what could possibly be in the forest. It was difficult to sleep with knowledge that there may be something lurking not far away from where she was laying down; something dangerous.
"Hurry!" Draco urged, pulling Hermione to her feet after she had tripped over a tree root, "We have to move quickly."
Both teens were breathless and had dirt on their knees and legs. The sky was still a light blue and the sun was barely over the horizon. The cold air bit at them and Hermione wished she had a cloak to wrap around her body. After being shaken awake roughly by Draco, Hermione had been surprised at how quickly they had been forced to leave the cabin. He gave her no explanation except that something had come up.
Approximately fifty yards away Hermione could see a clearing, and in the center was the broomshed she assumed they were going to. Inside there was a space of about five feet all around. A set of quidditch balls, which looked quite old, and a Cleansweep broom was all the shed contained.
Nervously Hermione stared at the broomstick; her fear of heights and flying evident on her face, “Do we have to use that?” She asked bluntly.
“If you want to get away quickly, yes.” Draco said untying the chain that held the broom down before he saw her face, “Don’t worry so much, I’m a great flier and I’ll keep you safe.”
In the grass Draco and Hermione situated themselves on the broomstick with a good bit of difficulty but soon, too soon for Hermione, Draco kicked off and they were in the air. Rising over the tree tops, Draco read a small compass on the front of the broomstick and zoomed off to the southeast.
Behind him Hermione was digging her face into his back and gripping him around the waist. The cold air was something Draco was used to from many quidditch games played in the rain. Hermione on the other hand had never been on a broom since first year yet alone played in a quidditch game where it was raining and windy.
“How long is this going to take?”
Looking at the nifty speed dial Draco had, had hooked to his Nimbus he said, “We’re going forty miles an hour so only about fifteen minutes.”
Hermione wasn’t sure how to work a broom but she thought hard about how she wanted to make it move faster and in her mind she thought they were going faster. For the next ten minutes she concentrated on breathing deeply and forgetting that she was flying, which was hard considering the wind was biting at her while they flew.
Draco, on the other hand, had more important things to worry about. Death Eaters could be on their tail for all he knew and he wasn’t positive that his grandfather’s house was completely empty. Beneath them a few Death Eaters were sure to be looming; the Malfoy Manor was well protected. Ten minutes had never gone by any slower.
Landing neatly in front of a side door of the manor, Hermione scrambled off the broom and backed away a few feet while Draco dismounted from the broom. Knocking on the door, Hermione stared at Draco incredousley. They were supposed to avoid people
Draco smirked, “Only a few house-elves are here to keep the place straightened up.” He told her as the door swung open.
“Mister Malfoy!” The small boy elf squeaked, “Come in, come in ”
The house-elf moved to the side for the two to enter. Hermione was about start going on about how it was terrible to enslave house-elves but Draco cut her off, “I know all about your campaign to save house-elves and don’t even try it here. The elves have been warned many times to never let someone talk to them about freedom. It’s unallowed.”
Scowling the eighteen year old followed Draco into a small sitting room off from the hallway they had come in at. A fireplace was roaring gently in the corner and the small house-elf had fetched a pot of floo powder. Hermione sighed. She was becoming very tired of using such a means of transportation.
A jolt of happiness spread through her body as Hermione appeared in a very familiar and homey kitchen. She was back at the Burrow, finally. Smiling she rushed into the arms of Harry and Ginny who were waiting for her. For the first time in several days I felt safe again with the people I cared about most. It seemed as if the entire Weasley family, with the exception of Charlie who was still abroad, had piled into the kitchen waiting for my arrival.
“I have so much to tell everyone!” Hermione exclaimed, hugging everyone in turn, “Voldemort has taken over Hogwarts. It was horrible being what you might call a slave there. There's so much everyone needs to know. The Order needs to attack--”
“We know, Hermione,” Mrs. Weasley said softly interupting the girl while holding her at arms’ length, “I think we are the ones who have to fill you in on many things.”
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