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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

I do own Troy Malfoy, though.

And now, on with the story.


The October Hollow
By Darkwing731

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((--Chapter Thirteen--))
Dreaming About You


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October 25
Day 8


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There were a large number of people in the room, sitting down at a long table, all waiting, anticipating the start of the meeting that would serve them with either relieving or disastrous news. The search was on, and with the dearth of evidence or ideas, the Order was straining. They needed a lead; they had a spy, plenty of Ministry workers, and inside help.

So why weren't they getting results? Why hadn't they found her yet?

"Ah, where is Severus? And Tonks?" Professor Dumbledore inquired, looking about the room. Many people had piles of research in front of them; others simply had their wands, fidgeting anxiously.

"Severus is on his way; Tonks is still at the Ministry. She said she'd be coming as fast as she could," Lupin answered, his tired voice like a sigh in the silent room.

Lupin had been one of those that grieved for Hermione's absence greater than most others; although they were not very close, he couldn’t help but reminisce fondly at her memory. They were alike; both in intellect and character, and Remus noticed that immediately after meeting her.

Dumbledore nodded. With a sad look in his eyes, he asked, "Has anyone has any other leads?" A murmur went through the room; everyone was uncertain as to who should speak first.

The meeting continued on for about fifteen minutes as everyone talked of the possibilities of where Voldemort had taken refuge. It was doubtless that Hermione had been kidnapped by Death Eaters. But why was the question. Halfway through the meeting, a particularly strange question came up.

"Albus, has Harry been having any dreams? Surely with all this excitement, Voldemort's emotions would've leaked through," Lupin mused. Dumbledore frowned.

"The thought occurred to me automatically, but I haven't had the chance to speak with him, unfortunately," Dumbledore said in a low voice, stroking his beard. "As soon as I return to Hogwarts, Harry will not go unquestioned."

Suddenly the door flew open. Tonks flew into the room, waving a piece of paper in front of her face. She looked flustered and grim, and her normally bubbly attitude and blindingly cheerful hair were dulled down to bland, grim shades.

"I just came from the Astronomy Ward," she said breathlessly. She moved towards a seat next to Lupin, talking fast, as if she had been waiting a long time to share this information. "Something important happened last night; it may have to do with Hermione." The room held its breath, and she continued.

"There was a great burst of energy in the chain of mountains nearly a hundred kilometers from Hogwarts. No one was sure what it meant because there isn't anything up there, though there have been some spurts of energy coming up now and then. But last night…"

Tonks trailed off, sitting down and looking uncertain.

"Last night, you should've seen the amount, Albus. It was incredible," she whispered. She put her hands into her face, cupping her forehead in worry. "What if she's there? We have to investigate!" she exclaimed, her voice transcending a sense of urgency amongst the other members.

"Don't worry, we will," Dumbledore assured gently. He began to talk of what the energy levels could mean when the door opened again. This time, Snape strode in, looking even grimmer thank Tonks.

"The Grangers have been murdered," he said darkly, standing at the head of the table. Without warning every participant started speaking, panicking even, shocked at the deaths and demanding from one another how this could’ve happened, why, what it could mean—

Dumbledore yelled for silence, and the room obeyed. He sighed; "There is quite a large significance to this," he deduced, giving a stern look to the room's occupants as if daring them to interrupt. "Kidnapping young Hermione apparently did not accomplish all that Voldemort wanted, and their death only means that they knew something that was imperative to this situation. Not only did the Dark Lord manage to find them in their safe house, but I can safely assume that will their bodies he set a large conflagration about the property. Evidence, then, is destroyed, and the hope of us finding something is narrow, but feasible."

He looked around, everyone was looking apprehensive. Suddenly, his grave voice was overridden by the strong, omnipotent voice of a Head General of war, a vanguard, a lieutenant. His fellow Order members snapped to attention at his words.

"I want three of you on the murder scene by tomorrow night; take anything that isn't in ruins. Seven of you, have Tonks show you on a map where the heightened energy levels were, and then prepare yourselves for a trip, because you'll be investigating that area. If we procure enough information, we might be onto something."

"Severus, were you at any recent meetings?" Dumbledore asked, switching abruptly onto another topic. Snape shook his head.

"No, I was unable to attend the most current one. However, I've heard from several of the Death Eaters in passing that Granger is being held captive. We knew the Dark Lord had her, but why or where I could not determine. However, there were a few pieces of information about the kidnapper; he was amongst the group missing from the dance, male, seventh year, but I couldn't get his name, sir," Snape listed.

Dumbledore gave a small frown, and Snape returned the smallest of nods that only Dumbledore could understand. Snape had been lying, but the precious information could not be distributed right away. Some with grudges may perhaps act rashly instead of as Dumbledore ordered.

"Thank you, Severus. All right, I think we should get started then with everything we have," Dumbledore decided, giving a nod of approval to his colleagues.

The occupants of the table stood and started moving all at once, either to Tonks or to Remus. No one seemed to notice Snape, so he had snuck over to Dumbledore. Snape looked grave as he stopped in front of his elder, a frown still occupying his old features.

"You can assume the rumors are true, sir. What the castle is saying…"

"So they aren't lying then," Dumbledore confirmed, sounding tired. "Indeed, most students had reasons for being absent, but I would never think… however, he may be my student, but not everyone is perfect. Just for clarification…?"

"Draco Malfoy, sir," Snape said heavily, unable to hide the disappointed, almost rueful scowl on his face. Apparently, he didn't like announcing to the Headmaster that his favorite student was the accused, and wanted, kidnapper.

"What will become of him?" Snape asked Dumbledore, who had been thinking deeply for several tense moments. Dumbledore sighed, and looked slowly at the Potions Master.

"Unless we are ready to share with the Ministry the information we have here, I'm afraid I can do nothing but keep a careful watch when he comes back. Until we find any more information, he is to be under constant supervision. I doubt he will have anymore Death Eater activity inside the castle after her kidnap," Dumbledore deduced, stroking his long silvery beard.

"Sir, he isn't a Death Eater. There's been no initiation," Snape said sharply. "That certain event takes place next year around this time."

"Indeed?" Dumbledore said with a hint of curiosity; Snape nodded. "Well… there is still hope then," he said quietly.

-x-x-x-


October 26
Day 9



"Please stop!" she moaned, pulling herself into a ball as best she could, sobbing uncontrollably.

Draco was satisfied and stopped and backed away, looking indifferently down on her trembling body. With a quick change of mind, he savagely jumped forward and kicked her forcefully again, and she screamed out in agony.

With a malevolent, content look he turned and left the room silently, without another word, leaving a shaking, bruised and bleeding Hermione.... alone.


"NO!"

Harry woke with a start, yelling out. His scar was burning fiercely; he ran his fingers over his hairline, feeling the permanent mark on his forehead cool quickly. That dream had been so real, so vivid. He wasn't actually sure if it was just a dream, but it seemed like a connection to something, something oddly realistic. He could hear her screaming, he could feel the sharp kick, muscles convulsing at the pain and bruises flowering all over her skin. He knew it was about Hermione, it had to be.

It must've happened to her already, or soon would, by some prick that found abuse entertaining. But the other person… he hadn't seen their face long enough. They hadn't spoken. All he could remember was the smirk…

"Ugh… Harry you woke me up," Ron mumbled groggily as he rolled over in his sheets. Harry picked up his glasses off his nightstand and looked over at Ron; he was rubbing his eyes and looking back at Harry.

"Sorry. Bad dream," Harry apologized quickly. Yawning, Ron blinked sleepily and rolled over, going back to sleep. Harry stared at his back momentarily, thinking.

He hadn't told Ron anything, but why not? Ron was the one that was in love with the missing girl. Ron should know, shouldn't he? Ron had broken up immediately with Parvati after the kidnap; Parvati had taken it hard, and she was constantly glaring at the Weasley, but Ron hadn't noticed at all.

Harry suddenly couldn't take it, being in the room with three other peacefully, untroubled sleeping boys; he felt guilty. He pushed himself out of bed, grabbed his cloak, threw it on, snapped the clasps and headed silently downstairs into the common room. The glowing embers of the fire throbbed with heat, gently pulsing and burning into ash. He sat down with a sigh, and knew he needed to do something.

He was the one who knew what was going on… somehow.

He had been having those dreams about her. The quiet time of her life, the secluded Hermione Granger when she was seven. Not the eighteen year old young woman she was now.

Except… that last dream.

That had been her, and was utterly realistic. She wasn't seven there, she was eighteen. It had been her, and it actually happened. But when? And who had done that to her? Harry tried desperately to hold onto the dream, despite the lingering images slipping away like sand through his fingers. The screaming, the horrible pain; it seemed as bad as the Cruciatus Curse.

He pressed his palms to his eyes and leaned back against the couch. He needed to do something, anything. Suddenly his eyes clicked open; he had been having dreams, the old, memorable ones. The wild, carefree childish dreams. Those… he knew something about those.

The moon, the scars, the two gits that had hurt her.

He looked over at his lumpy schoolbag that he had left on the couch earlier. He still had two library books left: Lunar Phenomenons and The Lumerous Witch. He reckoned he could read them within a few days if he skimmed it all, since he had skimmed the other books quickly, taking down the rarely hopefully useful information they possessed. He couldn't really think of anything else to do.

Dumbledore was doing Order business, and he couldn't talk to anyone else… Harry suddenly wished Sirius was there. Harry wanted him back, and it still wasn't fair that Sirius was ripped away so abruptly. He felt like his whole life had been washed away… and then Hermione was kidnapped.

Now he felt the loss, even though she wasn't dead. She was his knowledge, his left hand, a third of his life. She couldn't be gone, she just couldn't; his life wouldn't be complete without her. But he had a certain feeling that she was alive… beaten, sick, and starving maybe, but alive.

The first few chapters of Lunar Phenomenons were about the moon, what it represented and on what it had major effects. In all, there were thirteen chapters, seemed about 250 pages long, which was not a horribly long read; he had seen a lot more pages in a book before. He opened it, the binding pulling slightly due to the lack of ever being read.

He skimmed over the first few chapters, his mind wandering, his eyes heavy with sleep. He had to keep reading, he had to find something. But he was too tired… his mind was drifting… he was falling through fog…

"Milord, it has been finished," spoke a cold voice.

"Good. And you've destroyed the house to ruins?" inquired another voice that was high-pitched and hissing.

"Yes, milord. Nothing remains," the first answered obediently.

"And the documents?" asked the silky voice of Lord Voldemort.

"Forgive me, Master, but we weren't exactly sure of where the Muggles had hidden the documents. We burned the house and the forest around them," the first voice replied, a faint hint of apprehension in his answer.

"You didn't know where to look?" Voldemort repeated sharply. "Lucius, for a man of intellect, you are incredibly foolish. They wouldn't have the documents in the house or in the woods. They aren't even in the Muggle world, she being what she is."

"Then… the Ministry of Magic?" Lucius realized suddenly. Voldemort laughed softly.

"Indeed. You will have one last chance; I want those records destroyed by Halloween, before the ceremony. Nothing can be risked," Voldemort instructed.

"Yes, milord."

"Now, has your son started his menial duty?" asked Voldemort, his tone caught between amusement and clear indifference.

"Yes; he started yesterday. I've been informed that, because of the lack of mental stimulation, she is becoming a bit delirious. He finds it amusing," Lucius said, and the Dark Lord chuckled darkly. "He frightens her."

"And with reason too! But she will learn she has nothing to be afraid of as soon as Halloween…" Voldemort murmured.

"I agree, Master."

"Good. Now leave me, Lucius, and complete your plans."

"Yes, Master."


"HARRY!"

"NO! …What?" Harry dragged himself reluctantly out of the dream, remains of sleep still in his mind, sand still in his eyes.

It was morning. Harry was passed out on the couch, his face smudged into the open book, leaving little ink words on his cheek and face. Harry blinked and sat up, rubbing his eyes. Ron was standing over him, looking confused.

"You all right there, mate?" Ron asked suspiciously. Harry yawned and nodded.

He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, shut the book without trying to look too guilty and put it in his schoolbag, Ron watching his every move.

"Yeah, fine. I just couldn't sleep last night so I came down here," Harry lied without looking at his friend. Ron gave him a distrustful look.

"It looked like you were having a seizure; you were twitching and laughing and that sort of thing…" Ron broke off and looked strangely at Harry.

"I-I was laughing?" Harry repeated, stunned. Ron nodded, eyes still narrowed warily.

Harry looked down at his knees, running a hand through his hair. He had that weird dream, but if he was laughing, then surely…

"Ron, what time is it?" Harry asked quickly. Ron checked his watch.

"Dunno… like half past seven. Why? Hey wait! Where're you going?" Ron demanded as Harry scrambled up, grabbing his schoolbag and running out of the common room.

Harry needed to see Dumbledore as soon as he could. It couldn't wait, he had to tell someone everything he knew. So far, there were two dreams that he knew were both real. He skidded down the corridor to a halt and then sprinted down a hallway, down a flight of stairs—

"POTTER!"

Harry nearly fell over. He tripped, and jumping on one leg for a moment, regained his balance and looked around in alarm. Snape slammed a door shut and strode toward Harry, his black robes billowing behind him.

"What are you doing, Potter?" he asked coldly.

"Need—to see—Dumbledore!" Harry wheezed urgently.

He leaned on knees for a moment, catching his breath, before he looked back up at Snape, who was sporting a cruel smirk. Harry knew Snape was about to take points from Gryffindor and then tell him to get his arse back to the Gryffindor house.

"It's about Hermione!" Harry blurted before Snape could say anything.

The smirk slid of Snape's face quickly; he scrutinized Harry with a bizarre look on his face, giving the raven-haired boy a penetrating gaze that seemed to sink into his mind and probe his conscience. Suddenly, Harry understood Snape was using his Legilimency on his mind to determine whether he was lying or not.

"Fine. Come with me, Potter," Snape spat reluctantly, mouth twisted up as if he had eaten something sour.

He turned and started up a corridor, and Harry felt as if he'd been awarded the House Cup. He followed Snape down corridors, and then they appeared in front of the moving Gargoyle.

"Sugar Quill," Snape barked.

The gargoyle started moving, and as soon as the stairs appeared, Snape started up them. Harry moved to follow, but Snape held up a hand.

"The Headmaster may be sleeping. I shall inform you of his answer when I come back down, Potter." With only a cold sneer, Snape turned and ascended the staircase, leaving Harry behind.

He sat down on the stairs and put his head in his hands, rubbing his forehead. What happened to telling Ron? When, and if, Ron found out that Harry had been having dreams about Hermione, would he be mad? What would he do? And most importantly, would he still be on the same side with Harry?

Harry felt incredibly guilty; there was no doubt about that. But if he had to loose another friend, he wouldn't be able to go on.

He pressed his palms harder against his eyes, seeing swirling, spiraling colors. He thought hard about the dreams: Voldemort was present, and Lucius Malfoy. Voldemort had said something about Lucius' son's duty. Had Draco been assigned to do harm to Hermione while she stayed wherever she was? Was he the one who had kidnapped her? Harry was almost certain of it. His mind drifted deeper into the details of the dream.

Something about Halloween… a ceremony… but for what? And then, his mind snapped onto three words. Ministry of Magic. There was something in the ministry! Documents! They weren't in the Granger home because… because…

Harry realized in horror what had happened to Hermione's parents. They had been killed. The Death Eaters were after something… something stored in the Ministry of Magic. Those records! But what exactly were they for?

Hermione was different, Harry knew that. She was powerful, smart, determined and fiercely loyal. But there had to be something more that Voldemort wanted from her if he was to kidnap her. Hermione was an excellent witch, and she would make a superior warrior on either side of the war. So was that her purpose? No, Harry thought, he could feel there was something more… something big… something strange, important… maybe…

"Potter!"

Snape's cold voice cut through his thoughts, breaking his concentration; Harry looked up and glared at him. "The Headmaster wishes to see you during your class after lunch. He will inform Professor McGonagall of your absence. Go back to your dormitory until classes start," Snape drawled, turning and leaving Harry alone with another ugly look.

So that was it? Dumbledore wanted to see him after lunch, but he wished he could've missed the class after that, Potions. He could bet that Snape had requested that Harry missed Transfiguration instead, deliberately taking points off for his distraction because he was thinking about whatever Dumbledore had told him. Maybe it would be of everything that the Order had discovered during the nine day absence of Hermione Granger.

Perhaps Dumbledore would tell Harry everything that he knew about Hermione. Was it why she was so important? What was so incredibly special about her? Harry felt like the answer was right under his nose, but he was completely oblivious. He got up and started walking towards the Gryffindor House, thinking. Hermione had something special about her, no doubt. She was one special witch with something more than keen intellect.

But what was it?

-
-x-x-x-
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Author's Notes:
Yeah! I'm finally done with this damn chapter! Hope you liked it! I know there are a lot of confusing aspects to consider, and from past experiences, I say, you'll have to WAIT TILL THE END. And there are approximately 23 chapters in this.

Thank you to A Roses Innocence for betaing this for me! Awesome!

Please keep reading without further ado, and please don't ever forget to review!

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