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The Darkness and The Light
Disclaimer: The plot is mine; the rest belongs to the brilliance that is JK Rowling. Spoilers: Yep. Parts 1-5 of this story. Summary: Draco and Hermione had been sneaking around for a month until Harry and Ron caught them in the Room of Requirement. The secret is out along with a few other secrets that Hermione was keeping. She and Ron have finally gotten together, only now Draco has found out and kidnapped her. It just keeps getting worse. A/N: THANK YOU ALL for the awesome reviews!! You’re great and it’s you that give me the inspiration to go on. Please read and review! A/N: Sorry I took so long to update!! Ron hated that he was such a light sleeper; he was the only one awakened by the loud banging on his dormitory door. He sat up in bed and looked around at Harry, Seamus, Neville and Dean who were all sleeping soundly. “It must be nice,” he sleepily grumbled to himself as he slid his feet into the slippers that sat at the side of his bed. Louder knocking came from the door, more urgent this time. “Ok, ok, keep your robes on! I’m coming!” he barked as he trudged to the door and opened it, surprised to see Ginny on the other side looking flushed. “Gin, it’s the middle of the night…” “I know, I’m sorry, but I didn’t know what else to do…” Ron rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “What’s wrong?” Ginny stood on tiptoe and looked over her brother’s shoulder, she was glad to see that she hadn’t woken the other boys. In order to keep it this way, she grabbed Ron’s nightgown and pulled him out into the corridor motioning for him to close the door behind him, which he did. “I woke up for a drink of water and I just happened to be looking around the room when I found this on Hermione’s bed,” she reached into the pocket of her nightgown and produced the piece of parchment, handing it to Ron who opened it and turned white when he read it. “I don’t know how I knew to bring it to you, it just felt…” Still looking at the letter, obviously stricken, he nodded to show Ginny that he had heard her. “It-it’s ok, Gin, you don’t have-have to say any more,” he managed. “Stay here, I’m going to go get Harry.” Ginny nodded and watched her brother as he turned and walked shakily back into his room, making straight for Harry, who appeared to be hard to wake. Finally, she saw him sit up and put on his glasses, his eyes never leaving Ron. Harry took the parchment, read it, and looked out into the hallway at Ginny and at Ron again. “Ok,” she heard Harry whisper. “Let’s go downstairs so we don’t wake the others.” Harry got out of bed, put on his slippers and went towards the door with Ron bringing up the rear. A few moments later, they were sitting in a small circle on a rug in front of the fire, the parchment in the middle. “Do you think it was Draco?” Ron asked Harry, gesturing to the letter. “Who else could it be?” Harry reasoned. Ron was silent for a moment as if he were pondering something that was weighing heavily upon him, never looking away from the letter. Then he spoke: “Harry,” his voice shook slightly, “you don’t think that was written with Hermione’s blood, do you?” Harry cast a sideways glance at Ron; that was exactly what he thought and he had hoped that the thought wouldn’t cross Ron’s mind. He didn’t want to say this to his friend, so he just shrugged and shook his head hoping that would pacify him. “What are you talking about?” Ginny asked, looking from boy to boy until one of them began with something that would pass by her for an answer. Ron looked at Harry, not entirely sure that he wanted to share the story of Hermione with her, and then looked at his sister. “You’re too young,” he muttered. “I’m a year younger than you are, Ron!” Ginny sputtered, indignant. “I don’t care,” he said flatly. “You’re still too young.” Ginny let out a heavy, annoyed sigh. “I swear to Merlin, I am so sick of this! I’m not as young as you all would like to think!” She got to her feet and headed towards the steps leading to her dorm. “And to think I was going to tell you about the bruises I saw all over Hermione’s body…” Ron and Harry looked at eachother. What did she mean by ‘all over her body’? “Ginny, wait,” Ron said and when Ginny stopped in her tracks, she smiled to herself. She knew that would grab their attention. “Yes?” she asked innocently. “You win,” he said defeatedly. “Come back here and sit down.” He patted the place on the rug where Ginny had sat. “I knew you would see it my way,” Ginny snickered, taking her brothers invitation. “What bruises, Ginny?” Harry asked. She told them about finding Hermione in the shower the day before and when she was done, Ron stood and angrily paced the floor, his ears almost the same shade as his hair. “I’ll kill him,” he was seething, “so help me Merlin, I will kill him…” “Kill who?” Ginny asked. “Gin, why didn’t you tell us?” Harry asked, looking worriedly at Ron. “I didn’t know there was anything to tell. Kill who?” she asked again, watching Ron pace. “Malfoy!” Ron exclaimed, a little too harshly, causing both Ginny and Harry to jump. “He’s been…Hermione’s been…they were sneaking around for a month. He’s been hurting her, Ginny. That’s all you need to know.” Ginny thought for a moment about the events after she had gotten Hermione out of the shower. She hadn’t understood why Hermione was acting so paranoid and now she did. “She’s scared of him,” she whispered to herself. “What?” Harry asked, giving her a quizzical look. “Hermione,” Ginny told him. “She’s scared of Draco.” “All the more reason for us to get out of here and set out to find her!” Ron exclaimed, feeling as though they had sat there and talked long enough. He spun on his heels and looked out the window. The sun would be rising soon. “Ron, we don’t know where to start,” Harry reminded him. “I do.” Ron said. “Where?” Ginny and Harry asked in unison. “Crabbe and Goyle.” Hermione didn’t know exactly what was going on or where she was; she just knew that she felt so weak that when she tried to open her eyes, it was a struggle. She wasn’t aware of much at all, just a few things: her body felt heavier than normal, she was cold, and her left wrist was in a considerable amount of pain; pain that went beyond her bruises. She tried very hard to think of why she might be feeling this and the last thing she remembered was Draco kidnapping her from her dormitory while everyone in Gryffindor slept. “Draco?” she said, her voice barely above a whisper. Finding strength to talk was impossible. When there was no answer, she called his name again; managing to sound a little louder this time. Still no answer. She decided that she must be alone. Despite her groggy state, she knew that she had to figure out her situation-she had to figure out where she was and she had to find a way out because she was almost certain that this wasn’t good. With great effort, she tried to move her feet and soon found that she was shackled to the floor. “What have you done?” she whispered to the silence around her. She tried opening her eyes again and this time, she was successful. She focused on something-no-someone-in the corner. “Draco?” she asked again and still got no answer. Hermione realized that her surroundings looked somewhat dark, but she didn’t know if it was due to low lighting or if it was her eyesight failing her. She knew the figure in the corner was coming towards her because she could hear approaching footsteps. “Draco, is it you?” Finally, the figure stopped, knelt down, and got right in her face. “Who else would it be?” said a familiar voice that made her cringe. “Where are we?” He ignored this and got to his feet. “I warned you,” he sneered. Draco was making slow circles around her and looking down at her disdainfully. She had done it this time. “I know you were with Weasly.” “So what?” His footsteps stopped and Hermione yelped as he kicked her in the small of her back. “So what? You’ve forgotten how to play our little game, Granger! You’re mine and mine alone! You don’t go sneaking moments with Weasly whenever you see fit!” Hermione could hear his footsteps encircling her again and her wrist throbbed some more. She felt as though her very life was draining from her, and as she managed to bring her wrist up to look at it, she understood why. She was bleeding. Draco had cut her wrist open. “You’re really going to kill me,” she said; more to herself than to Draco. When Ron had an idea and was certain that he was right about it, it was hard to change his mind. Once he had decided to talk to Crabbe and Goyle, he had made a mad dash from the Gryffindor common room headed for Slytherin before Harry and Ginny could say anything, Ron had made it to the doorway of Slytherin’s common room before his sister and best friend were finally able to stop him; Harry blocking the doorway and Ginny holding tightly onto his wrist. “Let me go!” he demanded, looking from one to the other. “Not until you hear us out!” Harry said to him as he braced himself in the doorway; he was half expecting Ron to barge past him to get to Crabbe and Goyle. “I don’t have time for this, Harry! We have to find Hermione! If that’s her blood on the letter, then there is no telling what he’s done to her! She could be seriously hurt or…,” he stopped, not wanting to finish that thought; he couldn’t. “I know,” Harry sympathized, “but there’s too much we don’t know. What makes you think Crabbe and Goyle are behind this? More importantly, what makes you think they would tell you anything?” Before Ron could answer, Ginny interjected, “I think we should wait until morning and go to Dumbledore,” she was quiet when she said this and looked at Ron tentatively for a moment waiting for a reaction before her eyes quickly darted to her feet; almost as if she was sorry for suggesting such a thing. “Of course they’re behind it, Harry! They’re friends with Draco, why wouldn’t they be?” “But we don’t know that for sure, Ron!” “I do, I feel it.” Harry let out a heavy sigh. Deep down, he agreed with Ron about Draco’s cronies, but he was trying to stall for time. He loved Hermione like a sister and knew that they were wasting precious time standing around like a bunch of prats, but he didn’t want Ron going off half cocked and doing something he might regret later. “What makes you think they would tell us anything?” Harry asked again and this time Ron looked as though he was actually pondering this question; he yanked his wrist from Ginny’s grasp. “I don’t know,” he sighed, hanging his head and giving up. “We have to save her. We can’t just…” “We know,” Ginny said patting Ron’s arm. “If anyone can help us, Dumbledore can. We should wait and talk to him.” “But, what if…” Ron began and stopped in mid-sentence as whirlwind of “what if” blew around in his mind. “Try not to think of it, mate.” Harry relaxed and stepped out into the corridor, lightly pushing Ron ahead of him and guiding him down the hall. He looked at his watch. “It’ll be sunrise soon. Why don’t we all try and get some sleep?” Ron reluctantly agreed to this and secretly hoped that Harry and Ginny couldn’t see his ears in the dim light. They were red, he knew they were. He was furious at them for being so passive. Waiting and talking to Dumbledore was not on his list of things to do. Hermione was in danger, he needed to find her. They had made just outside The Great Hall when Ron stopped suddenly and began to pat himself around his chest and torso as thought looking for something. “What’s wrong?” Harry asked, giving Ron a quizzical look. “I think I lost my wand,” he fumbled through both pockets in his pajamas; even turned them out and they were empty. “You probably dropped it in Slytherin somewhere,” Ginny offered and turned in the direction they had come from. “C’mon. We’ll go look for it.” Harry had turned to follow her lead and Ron but a hand on each of their shoulders, holding them back; they looked at eachother and then at Ron. “It’s ok, why don’t you go on and I’ll go? Ginny, can I borrow your wand?” “What for?” Ginny asked, looking him over suspiciously. “Light,” he explained uneasily. Ginny’s expression never changed as she withdrew her wand from a pocket in her gown and handed it to Ron. “See you in a few hours, Ron,” she said. “Back at you.” “We’re going to go talk to Dumbledore, right?” she asked. It sounded more like she was looking for confirmation rather than asking a question. Ron nodded. “Ok,” Ginny said, disbelief creeping into her voice as she and Harry walked away. Ron didn’t want to lie to Harry and Ginny, but he didn’t see where he had any other choice. He had come up with a plan-a plan that he felt so brilliant that he couldn’t help but mentally pat himself on the back for thinking of it. He stopped outside of the door and looked around to make sure the coast was clear and was delighted to see that it was. His delight soon turned to disappointment when he tried to open the door and found it locked. “No matter,” he told himself as he held Ginny’s wand to the lock. “Alohamora.” The large wooden door gave a loud creak as it opened up, spooking Ron just a bit. He crept on inside the room, being careful not to bump into any desks or chairs as he made his way towards his target in the back. He muttered an incantation that made the tip of the wand light up ever so slightly, not so bright that he would get caught if someone saw a strange light through the window, but not so low that it was pointless to use it to begin with, either. Looking upward, he ran the light over the cabinet that he was now looking into. He knew what he was looking for would be here-just finding it was the trick. Each little bottle that sat on the shelves was labeled and Ron read them as he browsed: “Valentine…no…Vanish…no…Vermin…no…” then he saw it. “Veritaserum,” he said with a smile on his face. This was exactly what he would need to save Hermione. Harry and Ginny were silent on the way back to the Gryffindor common room; each lost in their own thoughts: Harry was thinking about Hermione and how he knew that something needed to be done, but Ginny had been right; nothing could be done until morning. He also worried that maybe he had given Ron the impression that he didn’t care about Hermione and hoped that Ron knew that it was quite the contrary. Ginny, on the other hand, thought of nothing other than Ron. She didn’t think for a second that he had lost his wand. Upon reaching the doorway to the common room, she grabbed Harry’s sleeve and said this to him. “Oh?” he asked, genuinely interested in why she thought this. “What do you think he’s up to?” Ginny opened her mouth to answer him but the ever constant fire that warmed the common room grew a little brighter than usual and it caught her eye. She was suddenly distracted by a tiny shadow that was cast on the rug in front of the fireplace and went to investigate it, Harry watched her curiously. “What is it?” Ginny had found exactly what she thought. She picked the object casting the shadow off the floor and turned to Harry, holding it up for him to see. “I told you,” she said. “It’s Ron’s wand.”

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