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A/N: Sorry this took such a long time, but since school is back in session I’ve been swamped with work. Not to mention some not very nice guys named Charley, Francis, Ivan and Jeanne. Yup, just in case you didn’t get it my computer is located in the sunshine state, which hasn’t been very sunny lately. But generally hurricanes = no power = no computer = no story. Lol. Also this chapter is kind of short, but once I finish the story I have full intentions of adding a bit more too it, but I just didn’t want to keep you all waiting any longer. Only 2 more chapters to go after this one though! So it should be finished soon! I hope you enjoy! CHAPTER 7 “I know their every look His eyes Are like an open book His eyes But most of all the look That hypnotized me” As it turns out, the extravagant and even strange home that Luna Lovegood and her family occupied, was located not very far from the entrance to a particularly important cave. Draco had no clue who the large purple house belonged to as he used the last of his energy to pound the large golden knocker repeatedly against a tall wooden door, all he knew was that he needed help. But before he had a chance to see the blonde girl, he had passed out at her feet. “Oh dear,” said Luna, clicking her tongue several times, “This is not good at all.” *** “And so you must help me Luna,” begged Draco hours after he had managed his escape. The Lovegoods had provided him with a mermaid themed room in the attic of the house, and after many cups of a warm liquid of which Draco did not dare enquire the ingredients, he regained his strength enough to tell Luna his tale and the danger that their friend Hermione was in. “I mustn’t do anything,” she answered dreamily, as if everything that he had told her was nothing at all. “But Hermione is my best friend, and I suppose best friends must help each other out every once in a while.” What Draco asked of Luna was fairly simple. All she had to do was find a way to get Ron and Harry out of the Burrow and back to the Lovegood house, along the way explaining that Draco was, in fact, on their side. Then the three of them would venture into the cave to save Hermione. It would not be easy, but they were Hermione’s only hope. *** The sun had been set for several hours when Luna arrived at the burrow. She wasted no time when the front door was opened by a very surprised Ginny, and marched straight to the top room without so much as muttering a single word. “Who was it dear?” asked Mrs. Weasley as Ginny came into the kitchen. “I think it was Luna Lovegood,” she answered as she sat down at the table and helped herself to the pile of gingersnaps that had been steadily growing since Hermione had disappeared. “Poor dear,” Mrs. Weasley continued, “she is such a strange child.” *** “Come on boys, time to go.” said Luna merrily as she entered Ron’s bright room, “Oh dear it is very orange in here isn’t it?” “Go where?” Ron grumbled from his spot on the bed. “To save Hermione of course,” Luna said, as if it were perfectly obvious, “Yes, Malfoy is waiting for you at my house--” “Malfoy!” said Ron, bounding from the bed, “I’ll kill that son of a--” “Oh you had better not,” Luna interrupted before Ron could finish his particularly rude phrase, “He’s the only one who knows where Hermione is being held. It would be quite the shame if you were to kill him. No, that wouldn’t do at all now would it? He was under the Imperious you see.” “A likely story,” Ron fumed, “does he actually expect us to believe that rubbish?” “Actually, I don’t think so,” said Luna, then smiled at herself proudly, “that’s why he sent me.” “Oh he’s a clever one isn’t he,” Ron said under his breath. “I don’t know Ron, it makes sense,” Harry said from his spot in the corner, where he had been quietly listening the entire time. Ron’s jaw dropped. “Being under the Imperious I mean. Think about it Ron, he wasn’t exactly himself that day.” Ron stopped to think for a moment. One part of him, his pride mostly, told him to stay as far away from Malfoy as he possibly could. The other part, wanted Hermione back more than anything in the world, and was willing to risk it. “Fine,” Ron said at last, “but how exactly are we supposed to get out of here? Mum’s set a detainment charm by the door.” “You boys are so silly,” Luna giggled, “Is that not a window right there?” Ron took a moment to inspect the open window that stood beside his bed. “Luna,” he said, “we’re seven levels above the ground.” “Well was I wrong to assume then, that both of you have brooms?” she continued. A broad smile crossed Harry’s face. “Brilliant,” He said. But Ron was lost. “Yeah, but — Ooooh!” He said with a sudden understanding. And within minutes, both boys were flying through the air towards the Lovegood House. *** Draco had said nothing to them since they arrived at the Lovegood Mansion. He had simply looked at them nervously as the rather obnoxious Lovegood family maid had filled them up with cup after cup of a very strange colored warm tea. “This is a very odd project you must be working on,” she had said as she handed each of them a bright purple cup, “to require you to go into the forest at this time of night, and the weather. Oh, it’s simply dreadful out there.” And at first it had been dreadful. The cold and frigid air seemed to be slicing into their lungs with each breath, and pushing pins into their feet with each step. But it wasn’t long before the cold had completely numbed the three boys out, and now they were trudging determinately through the thick powder - into the forest, over fallen trees, under a frozen bridge – until finally they reached a rather unnatural mound of snow, in which Malfoy proceeded in punching a hole through, to reveal an opening barely big enough to fit one good sized person through. The blonde boy stood there, staring inside, expressionless, motionless, for what seemed like forever. “Well, aren’t you going to go in then?” Harry asked. “I… I don’t think I can,” Draco said, eyes unshifting from the entrance to the cave. “What do you mean you don’t think you can?!?!” Ron fumed, “You have to! How are we supposed to find Hermione in there without you?!?!” “Look,” Draco said, turning for the first time to face Ron, “It’s too risky. Besides, once you’re in there there’s not much more I can do. Just follow the tunnel through to the end, you’ll find her I promise. And be careful, they’ll be waiting for you.” No sooner had he said these last words did the wind kick up and the thinner trees of the forest began to violently blow from side to side. Draco looked around him frantically. “I must go,” he said. And with that, he turned on his heel and disappeared into the trees and snow. “That bloody git,” growled Ron, “it’s a trap.” “Well, we’ll never know until we see for ourselves will we?” said Harry, a determined expression making its way across his face. “Harry-” Ron started. But it was too late. Harry had already slid himself into the hole, and had disappeared into the blackness without a sound. Ron sighed, but weighing his choices, realized he really had no other choices at all, but to follow his friend. And then he was falling. Fast and hard. But he could not make himself scream. That was the strange thing. Everything was black, pitch black. All his senses had gone haywire. He suddenly did not know which way was up, he could not make out his hand in front of his face, and though he was thrashing his arms around violently, he could not feel anything but the cool wind pushing against him. Pushing him in whatever direction he was falling. He could do nothing but hope that he wouldn’t land on his head. And then it was over. He was lying on his back, on what felt like a large cloud. He stood up and lit his wand, pointing it up. He could barely make out a blur of brightness above him. Bringing the light along the wall, he saw a ladder, a very tall ladder, leading to blur. If only he had had the sense to feel around him before he had thrust himself through the hole, he would have saved himself a whole lot of confusion, though probably not time. He looked around him. Then he realized. No Harry. A sudden pang of fear ran through him. He squinted his eyes to see beyond the light of his wand better. A tunnel, a passage with a faint blue glow to it seemed to have appeared to his left. With one last glance around he ran unthinkingly into it. And so it continued. He ran quickly, breathing loudly, not caring if anyone could hear him. All he knew was that now, not just one, but two of his best friends were missing. Hopefully waiting to be found somewhere near the end of this seemingly endless tunnel. And then he saw him, crouching only a few feet away. “Harry!” Ron yelled. Harry’s head snapped around and he shushed Ron before motioning for him to come further. “Ron?” A voice said, “Ron is that you?” There was no doubt about it. Hermione. She was here. Ron reached Harry and squatted beside him, just about to respond. But Harry quickly motioned him not to. “Remember,” he whispered, “they’re waiting for us.” Ron nodded his head in acknowledgement, and with that suddenly felt very stupid. He looked ahead. They were at the entrance to a very large, round room. It seemed completely empty, except for a door directly opposite them, a door that Ron was sure Hermione was behind. He started, but in one swift move Harry stopped him. “No,” he said quietly, almost to himself, “It’s too easy. There must be something else.” By now Ron was restless. Hermione was so close, and yet so far. He could think rationally no more. “Like you said Harry,” Ron said, “We’ll never know until we see for ourselves.” And with that he sprinted, wand in hand, to the other side of the room. The door was getting closer and closer. If only he could reach just a little bit farther – “Ron! Look out!” came Harry’s voice behind him. Ron did not have time to turn around to see what Harry was warning him of, he simply dived. Just in time to narrowly escape a green shot of light. He landed with a thud, hitting his head violently against the door. Everything was spinning, the world was blurring away. He could just make out Harry locked in duel with an evil creature. Then he suddenly remembered. The door… Hermione. With all the strength left in him, he stood unsteadily to his feet, and pointed his wand at the handle. Seeing Hermione’s chocolate brown eyes in his head once more, he shouted the only spell he could remember – “Evanesco.” And then he saw her. Tears were welling up in her eyes as she flung her arms around him. “Oh Ron I knew you would come!” She said, then pulling back, as if a sudden realization had just fallen upon her. “He has my wand Ron. I can’t do anything with out my wand!” “Who has your wand?” Ron asked. “He has it.” Hermione said, and in one moment Ron remembered that Harry was standing just feet behind him battling the dark lord by himself. But before he could turn, something had hit him in the head, and he was knocked to the ground. “Ron!” Hermione screamed, and ran to the ground with him. “Avada Kedavra!” A voice said from behind them. And she was gone. A/N: Please, please, hold on to the rotten vegetables for now. For those of you who either don’t know or haven’t looked it up yet, Evanesco is a vanishing spell. Simple, I know, but it does the trick. Oh, and remember, it’s not over yet! Please review!

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