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Ginny awoke with a start, her mind trying desperately to catch up with her body. For a moment, she began to panic, thinking that she was still at Harry’s house fighting whoever had intruded. After a few seconds’ disorientation, however, she realized that she was locked in a tiny room that reeked heavily of stomach-turning smell. The only furnishings were a cot on which she laid; a table with a chair pushed underneath it and a rusting, dripping sink located on the opposite wall.

But she didn’t care about those things.

What concerned her was the steel door that blocked her path to the outside. Ignoring the pain in her body, she sat up and slid out of the bed. She felt inside her pocket, hoping against hope that her wand was still there. If it was, she’d be able to use it to blow the door off, create an exit and Apparate safely back to Harry, Ron and Hermione. Unfortunately, her wand was neither in her pocket nor anywhere inside the room from what little of it she could see.

‘Ok, so now it’s Plan B,’ she thought. ‘But what the hell is plan B?’

She stared at the door for a few seconds, trying to figure out something. Then, she backed into the far wall. She counted to three and then ran hoping, once again, against hope that the force would cause the door to swing open. It was useless. The door did not budge. She sighed heavily and angrily, rubbing her shoulder to ease the wave of pain that shot through it from the collision with the steel door.

Her anger did not subside. In fact, it got worse after every attempt. She tried to Apparate without her wand to no avail. She murmured spells and incantations at the door, hoping that there was some password that triggered it. It was fruitless. Getting agitated, she picked up the chair and flung it at the door but it just shattered into pieces that crashed to the ground.

“BLOODY HELL!” she yelled. Her anger had risen to a substantial level.


A familiar voice startled her and she stopped to look around the room. For a moment, she thought the person had been in the room with her. But it wasn’t until she heard a banging that she turned to look through the small, barred opening in her door that she saw another one directly across the hall. She could see nothing but the person’s head but it excited her nonetheless and her anger disappeared instantaneously.


He nodded and smiled. “It’s me. What are you doing here?” he asked

“I could ask you the same thing,” Ginny replied, grabbing the bars. “We’ve been worried sick about you!”

“I know. I’ve been stuck here all this time,” Neville informed her. “There’s no way out. I’ve tried just about everything.”

“Yeah, I just discovered that. How did you get in here in the first place?” Ginny asked, holding onto the bars.

“I got caught trying to get the files from the Ministry,” he explained. “I thought it was an official but turns out it was some psycho.” He shrugged and then said, “I don’t know who, though.”

“I bet it’s the same guy who’s been behind all these bloody attacks on us,” Ginny said cynically.

“There were more attacks?”

Ginny nodded. “Yes. That’s how I ended up here. Some guy burst into Harry’s living room and started flinging spells everywhere. He tried to take Hermione at first but ended up getting me instead.”

“Why, though?”

“No idea,” Ginny said, shrugging. “I think it’s either for some sort of leverage or he’s just trying to pick us off one by one. Either way he’s out to get us and probably won’t stop until he kills us.”

“If that’s his aim then it probably is the same guy who sent Greyback after you and Harry,” Neville added.

“Yeah.” Ginny went quiet for a few moments and then said, “You haven’t been able to find out anything have you?”

Neville shook his head. “No. No one’s been down here to see me except for the girl who brings food. Luna.”

“Who’s she?”

“I don’t know exactly,” Neville said with the hint of a smile, which Ginny did not miss. “I think she might be a servant or something because all she does is deliver food down here.”

“Oh.” Ginny couldn’t suppress a smile. “Sure that’s all she comes down here for?”

Neville’s smile got bigger and he was just about to answer when something drew both of their attention. The sound of footsteps echoed through the hall and Ginny and Neville managed to see a lit wand emerge. It got closer and closer to them until they were able to identify who was holding it.

“Hello, Luna,” Neville said with a wide smile.

“Hey, Neville,” she replied with the same wide grin. Then she turned to Ginny and said, “Hello, Ginevra.”

“Please, call me Ginny,” she replied. Then she shook her head quickly and said, “Wait a minute. How do you even know my name?”

“I like your artwork,” Luna replied, placing a tray she had in her hand on a nearby chair. “It’s very inspiring. I’m not much of an artist but I’ve always liked the idea of painting and photography. It’s honourable work.”

“Er, th-thank you,” Ginny said, slightly taken aback. “Luna, is it? Do you happen to know why we’re here?”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t,” Luna said. “And if I did I wouldn’t be able to tell you,” she added softly, looking down.

Ginny made to ask ‘why’ but a gesture from Neville told her it was best to just leave it be. Luna passed each of them two wrapped corned-beef sandwiches through the opening and then a glass of pumpkin juice. Ginny hadn’t realized how hungry she was until she took the sandwiches from Luna and began to eat them. They ate quietly as Luna sat in the chair in the hallway. It was strange because she usually sat inside the room with Neville. But with Ginny there, she had to keep an eye on both of them and the only way to do that was to not go inside either of the rooms.

Ginny watched her as she slowly ate the sandwiches. She could tell that Luna was unhappy. After asking her about what she knew, she seemed to withdraw, as though she was sorry that she could not help. She even sounded scared, as though her life depended on it. Considering the circumstances, Ginny thought it probably did. Once she was done, she pushed the wrapper and glass out of the opening. Luna got up to retrieve it.

“How did you end up here?” Ginny asked.

“I-I’ve been here all my life,” Luna replied quickly.

“So then you live here?” Ginny prodded, hoping that if she asked enough questions she could get some answers.

Luna shook her head. “Please don’t ask any more questions,” she pleaded. “I can’t tell you anything.”

“But, surely you can tell us something?”

Luna did not reply. She stood fidgeting with the cup as Ginny looked at her. Neville watched. He had tried desperately to avoid asking questions for fear that Luna would turn on him but he realized that the time had come to ask. Not only was he trapped, but Ginny was as well and pretty soon, the rest would suffer the same fate. He couldn’t let that happen. They had to get out, or at least figure out how.

“Luna,” Neville said softly. “I know you can and that you want to help us. And I know that you know we don’t deserve to be trapped here like this.” Luna shook her head again and Neville continued, “Please, Luna. We can protect you. You can come with us. We can save you. Help us and we’ll help you.”

Luna looked at Neville. She was near tears and slightly shaking. He knew that he had hit a weak spot with her and he couldn’t stand to see her cry, but he couldn’t let it go easily. They had to get out.

“Luna, please,” he begged in such a soft voice that it melted Luna’s heart.

Luna finally said, “I know that he’s after the rest of your friends.” She paused and looked at Ginny before adding, “He says he’s going to kill you once he has all of you.”

“Who’s he?” Ginny asked.

Luna shook her head vigorously. “I can’t tell you!” she cried.

“Ok, fair enough,” Ginny said. “Luna, do you – do you think you could send a letter to our friends for us?”

It was a slim chance but she had to take it. Every moment counted and every idea mattered.

Surprisingly, Luna nodded. “I think I can without him knowing.” She conjured a piece of parchment and a quill and handed it to Ginny through the small opening.

“Thanks,” Ginny said, taking the instruments. She ran to the table and began to scribble a letter. She folded the parchment, walked back to the door, handed Luna the letter and said, “Send it Harry Potter. Do you think you could tell them where we are?”

Luna looked at her and nodded. “I’ll add it to the back.” Then, she asked timidly, “You’ll carry me with you won’t you? And protect me?”

Ginny nodded. “Of course we will. I promise.”

Luna turned to Neville and, to Ginny’s amazement, kissed him on the cheek before leaving, disappearing down the long passageway. Ginny looked back at Neville with a questionable look and Neville just smiled.

“What was that about?”

“What do you mean?” Neville asked, trying to wipe the smile off his face.

“We’re out there worrying about you,” Ginny started, “and you’re in here hooking up?”

Neville shrugged. “It wasn’t planned. It just happened.”

“You two together?” she asked.

“Not really,” Neville answered. “We just got kind of close because our situations and I kissed her once. I’m hoping we get closer once all of this is over.”

“Good for you, Neville!” Ginny exclaimed.

Neville shrugged and Ginny laughed. Whatever was going on between Neville and Luna was probably the reason Luna had been so willing to help. Thank God Neville was so attractive.

After Neville didn’t say anything else on the subject, Ginny looked back down the passageway. “I hope we don’t get her into trouble for this.”

Neville shook his head. “It doesn’t seem like this man checks on her much, so with any luck we can get out of here and carry her with us before he does figure out she’s helping us.”

Ginny watched as Neville disappeared into the room. She heard what sounded like a bed and guessed he went to go lay down. She moved over to her own cot and sat down. Seeing Neville and Luna’s interaction brought to mind her own situation with Harry. He had kissed her right before she was caught. She knew that it was going to happen eventually but she hadn’t expected it to be right then. A part of her was scared but another part was elated at the prospect.

Pushing aside her ambiguous thoughts, Ginny laid back and threw her hand over her face. As uncomfortable and worried as she was, she wanted to get some sleep simply because there was nothing much she could do. The only thing was to wait. Wait and hope.

Harry shifted in his bed and turned his head towards the clock. The blazing green numbers stared back at him, reading 7:49 A.M. He sighed and turned onto his back, transferring his gaze to the ceiling. His thoughts were clouded and his body was extremely tired but he couldn’t sleep. He was too troubled. He had spent the entire night worrying about Ginny, praying that she was all right, and hoping that they would be able to find her before anything happened to her.

The sound of footsteps echoed outside his room door and he sat up, watching through the crack under it as shadows moved back and forth. Hermione and Ron must’ve been up for hours, too. He knew they were both fretting about Ginny, too, and hated the fact that there was nothing much they could do until they got a lead.

Thoughts of Ginny and where she could possibly be almost suffocated Harry. He conceded the fact that he was falling for her, hard, and knew that his worry would cause him tremendous emotional pain. He had been in silent tears most of the night and he felt slight pangs in his heart when his imagination ran too wild. He couldn’t think of her as being nothing more than alive and well, even if he didn’t know where she was.

Harry got out of bed and walked towards his closet. Maybe a warm shower and a change of clothes would calm him a bit, even though he wasn’t sure how. As he shifted through his shirts, he realized that he was close enough to hear the conversation between Hermione and Ron going on outside his door.

“Do you think we should wake him?” Hermione asked a little louder than a whisper.

“No,” Ron replied. “I’m pretty sure sleep evaded him last night so he’s probably already awake like us.”

“What are we going to do, Ron?” Hermione asked. Her voice was hoarse and shaky, like she had been crying all night.

“I don’t know.”

Hermione sighed. “Thanks for keeping my company last night,” she said softly. “I don’t think I would’ve made it through the night without it.”

“It was no problem. Besides, I enjoy your company,” Ron said a little nervously. Harry could tell that tone anywhere; it was the same one he had when he first started to realize his feelings for Ginny. Could Ron be falling for Hermione? He knew that they had become fast friends. Could the turmoil they were going through have drawn them even closer? It was quite possible.

Harry noticed that one shadow moved closer to the other and guessed that Ron must’ve pulled Hermione into a hug or something. He felt suddenly jealous that they had each other to take comfort in and the person he wanted more than anything to hold was currently somewhere unknown to any of them.

“I’m going to go see if I can talk to my dad,” Ron said, after pulling away. “Maybe he knows something that can help.”

Harry watched as one shadow disappeared and, after a few moments, the other one moved as well. Harry sighed and rested his head against his closet door. He felt like he wasn’t going to make it another minute.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Harry sighed. He thought they had both left. “I don’t feel like talking, Hermione.”

Tap. Tap. Tap.

“Not now, please!”

Tap. Tap. Tap.

“Hermione, I said -”

Harry stopped mid-sentence when he looked up and saw that the tapping was coming from the window and not the door and was being made by an owl. He walked over to it quickly, all the while trying to figure out whom the animal could belong to. It was a rather small, tawny owl with a few feathers that looked permanently ruffled and black eyes that stared back at him impatiently. Harry gazed quizzically at it as he opened his window and it flew inside, fluttering around a bit before landing on the edge of his nightstand.

“And just might who you be from?” Harry asked, removing the letter from the owl’s leg.

He opened it and his eyes widened with every word. His heart skipped a beat as he read the very last statement on the page and a small smile crept across his face as he re-read the whole letter:
Harry, Ron, and Hermione

I’m still alive and I’m with Neville. He’s alive and doing fine. I’m not entirely sure where we are exactly but this is definitely the handiwork of the same person who sent Greyback after us. He’s out to kill all of us, possibly because we’re searching for the truth. Please be careful and I hope you can find us.


Ginny was alive. And she was with Neville. And they’re both alive. He noticed that the owl was screeching and looked at it questioningly. It was staring at something intently on the back of the letter and was shrieking as though to draw his attention to it. Harry flipped the letter over and noticed something else scribbled on the back in a less neat and cramped handwriting.

Come to the manor located on the outskirts of the city. It’s the building made to look like a church ruin. When you reach, there’ll be a statue portkey waiting to carry you to where Ginny is. Don’t worry, you can trust me. Just hurry.

Harry thought for a moment - the church ruin on the outskirts of town? He had always wondered if it belonged to some wizarding family because he could feel the magic around it but was never able to see past it, almost as if an extra spell was on it to prevent prying eyes. Either way, he knew where Ginny was.

“HERMIONE!!” he shouted as he ran out of the room and down the stairs. “I know where Ginny is.”

Hermione emerged from the kitchen holding a cup of tea. Her eyes were slightly red from crying and she looked extremely tired but her face lit up when Harry spoke those last words.

“Are you sure?” she asked, looking at Harry.

Harry handed her the letter. “I’m positive. Listen, go get ready and I’ll send a letter to Ron. We have to hurry before whoever has her finds out about this because I’m pretty sure this was sent secretly.”

Hermione nodded and jetted up the stairs as Harry bolted into the kitchen and quickly scribbled a letter to Ron before sending Hedwig.

After watching her for a few seconds, Harry disappeared back up the stairs and into his room to get dressed. He was elated. He knew where Ginny was and he would be rescuing her. He couldn’t stop from smiling slightly as he buttoned his jeans and grabbed a t-shirt. Pretty soon, he would be able to hold her and finish that kiss he started last night. Or maybe even more.

His father’s office was hot, stuffy and dark. There were no lights on and the room was completely empty. Percy smiled as he closed the door behind him and proceeded further into the room. He scanned it fully twice before walking over to his father’s desk. It was bare save for one picture in the corner and a large calendar as the desk mat. That didn’t concern him, though. He didn’t come in there to look at pictures or a calendar. He came looking for something more valuable.

He flung open the desk drawers and began to rummage through them. He wasn’t sure what it would be in - maybe a box or a large, durable envelope. Either way, he had to find it. It was a necessary entity for his plan. Without it, he had no case and he’d have to start from scratch.

Pushing away the thoughts of having to come up with a Plan B, Percy slammed the desk drawers shut after realizing that it was not in any of them. Where could it possibly be?

He took out his wand. He wasn’t exactly sure what he was summoning so he had to resort to concentrating hard enough on the idea. He closed his eyes, focused and then said, “Accio!”

Nothing zoomed towards him, nothing moved at all in the room. But he heard a sound below him. Something was knocking against the floorboard, as though it was beneath it. He realized that his father must have put a charm on the floorboard to prevent whatever was underneath it from shooting straight up. He’d have to think of some spell to break the enchantment or resort to the old-fashion way of doing things.

As he aimed his wand, he heard movement outside the door. Someone was nearby. He couldn’t let them find him; it would raise too many questions and he might just have to order the death of someone else in his family. Taking a few steps back into the shadows, Percy wrapped his head twice and felt something cold and wet trickle down his spine as the disillusionment charm took affect.

Almost as soon as he had blended with the background, the door to his father’s office opened and someone walked inside. Percy could not make out who it was but knew it was one of his brothers; who else could have red hair like his? He watched in utter silence as one of his brothers looked around the room but for what he did not know. When the person stepped closer, Percy was able to identify him as Ron.

“Dad,” he said, “you in here?”

But there was no answer. It was obvious that no one was inside the room so Percy could not figure out why Ron felt he had to ask that question. Ron stepped closer to him so he backed up even further, careful not to hit anything or make any sounds. Ron was a very observant person and found things out in ways no one would think of so it was quite possible that he could detect Percy from the slightest hint.

Percy froze as Ron spun around and looked directly at the spot where he was standing. He readied his wand; he was willing to fight or kill anyone who stood in his way. If Ron did anything to stop him, he had no problem getting rid of him.

But Ron wasn’t looking directly at him. He was staring at the ground. The box was still banging against the underside of the floorboard and was beginning to make a lot of racket. Ron bent over and yanked at the floorboard but it did not budge.

After a few seconds of staring at it, he aimed his wand and said, “Reducto!”

The floorboard exploded, sending pieces of wood flying. Ron knelt down once the dust had cleared and discovered a small box lying in a groove. He pulled it out and brushed dirt from it. It was obvious that the box was quite old – it was discoloured, filthy and the writing on the top was chipped away such that it was near impossible to decipher the words.

Curiosity got the better of him and he stashed the small box into his jacket pocket. He had no idea what it was or what was inside it but felt that it could very well be detrimental in the wrong hands, especially if his father had gone through the lengths of hiding it.

Just then, a tiny house elf emerged.

“Mr. Weasley,” Windy said timidly. “This letter arrived quite urgently for you.”

Ron took it. “Are you sure it’s for me?”

“It says Ronald Weasley, sir.”

“Thank you, Windy.” Ron watched as the house-elf disappeared before ripping the letter open. His eyes sped across the page as he read it. “They found Ginny,” he whispered. “They found her. Yes!”

Ron crumpled up the letter and dashed towards the door, closing it behind him. Almost immediately, Percy removed the disillusionment charm and walked into the middle of the office. He hit his fist against the table.

“DAMMIT!” he said out loud.

Ron had carried away what he was looking for. He had come in and took exactly what Percy had been searching for, probably without even knowing what it was. Percy paced the room. What was he going to do now? The box was gone. Well, he’d have to get it back. But how was he going to do that?

‘They found Ginny’.
Percy replayed Ron’s words in his head and suddenly realized something. His rivals were looking for Ginny and Ron had just received a letter about her whereabouts, which means he was working with them. Maybe they knew about the box too. Or maybe he just took it out of curiosity. Either way, Ron had betrayed him.

Percy gripped his wand tighter and walked towards the door. Too many people were getting involved now. He’d have to deal with them personally. He was not about to let anyone stand in his way, not even his own flesh and blood.

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