Disclaimer: Everything except the characters belong to me. The rest is the brilliance that is JK Rowling. Spoilers: Parts 1-6 of this story. A/N: Sorry that I have been so lousy at updating! I've had a horrible case of writers block. I know this chapter is kinda short as well...I'll try to make up for it in chapter 8.
The Darkness and The Light
Ron’s heart was thudding so loudly against his ribcage that he couldn’t hear his own footsteps as he neared the Slytherin common room. The closer he got, the more he realized that his plan was not as well thought out as he had assumed.
For one thing, he didn’t know exactly how he was going to administer the serum to Crabbe and Goyle. Secondly, he realized that he didn’t know exactly where in Slytherin they slept.
I have to try, he thought to himself as he crept up the steps to the dormitory.
If Ron needed anything more than anything else at this moment, it was luck. He had made it to the end of the first hallway and was about to turn a corner when he heard it: a loud, resonating snore that came from his left. At first, the sound didn’t register with him as being human; it sounded like it was anything but and that was what piqued Ron’s curiosity enough to make him turn back and walk towards the sound.
He noticed something that he had not noticed upon his first trip down the hallway. An open door. This was where the sound was coming from. Still curious about what that sound was, he pushed on and tiptoed as quietly as he could into the room where two Slytherin boys slept.
The moon outside was shining brightly and practically flooding the room, this allowed Ron to get a good look at who was occupying the beds. To the left was Crabbe who was sleeping soundly. The inhuman sounding snores were coming from Goyle, who was directly in front of him.
Too bloody easy, Ron thought to himself as he silently thanked whoever or whatever it could have been that bestowed such a stroke of luck upon him. He withdrew the vile of Veritaserum from the pocket of his gown and looked from it to the two sleeping boys. Now, the trick was to figure out how he was going to administer it.
Hermione had regained enough consciousness to know that Draco had now sat her up and leaned her against the stone cold wall. Her wrist was aching dully as opposed to the throbbing sensation that it had when she realized he had cut her. She looked down and was surprised to see the cut had disappeared and slowly she began to notice that she was feeling some better than she originally did. She was confused.
“I thought you meant to kill me,” she stated to Draco who was now sitting in front of her.
“Don’t kid yourself, Granger.”
“Then why am I here? Why did you kidnap me? Why did you cut me?” Hermione asked. He made no reaction to her questions whatsoever, he just let her speak. The more she spoke and the less he reacted, the madder Hermione got. She demanded to know what was going on. She looked around the room to see if she could recognize where they were and quickly realized two things: one being that if she could, it wouldn’t matter because Draco had enchanted the room to look like the night sky was encasing them on all sides and, two, if they were in The Room of Requirement, which Hermione somehow doubted, he wouldn’t be dumb enough to do something like this on Hogwarts grounds.
“Where are we?”
“Don’t ask so many questions!” Draco barked at her as he bowed his head and ran his fingers through his hair. Hermione thought for a second that he was going to use that action as a springboard to just start yelling at her, his knuckles were white he had his hands clenched so tightly. She cowered against the wall.
“What are you doing?” he asked, finally looking at her.
“No-nothing…” she stammered.
Draco got to his feet, walked to her and got on his knees so he would be at eye level at her. He brought a hand up and rested it on her cheek, she instinctively jerked back and he recoiled; looking genuinely hurt.
“I just wanted to kiss you,” he told her.
She glared at him. “Do you really think I would let you after this?” Hermione roared. “You’re crossing the line, Malfoy!”
The hurt in his face faded to pure and unadulterated anger as he stood and dealt her a swift blow to her face with his hand, causing her to fall sideways and hit her head on the opposite wall. She found herself losing consciousness.
“Damned Mudblood! Don’t talk to me about crossing lines!” Before completely falling into darkness, Hermione could hear the faint sound of his footsteps leaving the room.
Ron knew he had to think fast; Crabbe and Goyle were likely to wake up at any second. He couldn’t believe that he had failed to think this part through; but when he considered just how hastily he had come up with his plan, yes he could.
He should have panicked, but he didn’t. He walked as softly as he could over to Crabbe, pinched his nose and poured the serum down his throat. He had no idea how he had managed to keep him from waking up as he crept across the room to Goyle and did the same thing. Now all he had to do was wait until they came down to breakfast. He would talk to them then.
He only hoped that it was as easy as he thought it would be as he made his way back to Gryffindor Tower so he could get cleaned up and ready for the day.
Ron had gotten as far as the corridor outside The Great Hall when he was greeted by Ginny and Harry who appeared to be upset.
“Hi, guys,” Ron greeted them.
“Ronald Weasley! Where have you been?” Ginny yelled at him angrily.
Ron looked to Harry and gestured to Ginny, quietly asking him what her problem was. Harry ignored him and spoke evenly, trying to keep his temper in check.
“We’ve been looking all over for you for the last half hour, Ron. I noticed that you never made it to the dorm lastnight. Where have you been?”
“I know where he’s been,” Ginny seethed, glaring angrily at her brother.
“Gin, we don’t know that. Give him a chance to explain.” Harry defended, the anger rising in his voice just the same.
“I know my brother, Harry. I know he went back to Slytherin. ‘Lost my wand’ indeed. I thought we agreed to take this to Dumbledore, Ron!”
Ron let out an exasperated sigh and rolled his eyes. “Ok, you caught me. Fine. I couldn’t wait that long. I had to take matters into my own hands…”
Harry and Ginny stared back at him as though that wasn’t a good enough explanation.
“Hermione could be dying for all we know!” he stormed at them. “And you expect me to just sit by and,” he glared at Ginny and let her know with his eyes that he thought her idea was stupid, “’wait for Dumbledore’! Well, it wasn’t going to happen! I love her and I’m going to do everything in my power to get her back-I don’t care what it takes!” he paused for a moment, his own words and anger had left him breathless. “Ya know, what really gets me is you two, how can you just act like Hermione doesn’t even matter to you? How can you-“
Harry put up a hand and stopped him right there. He somehow knew that this would be coming.
“Ron, that isn’t true and you know it,” Harry protested.
“Do I? First, you’d rather sit around like a bunch of prats discussing the parchment that Ginny found on Hermione’s bed…”
Harry glared back at Ron, incredulous. He opened his mouth to shout back at him, but Ron stopped him before he could say anything.
“…you try and stop me from going into Crabbe and Goyle’s dormitory knowing full well that they are behind this, Harry!” his gaze went back to Ginny, who looked shocked at her brother for yelling at Harry. When Ron’s eyes met her own, she cowered and took a couple of steps back. Being a Weasley herself, she knew the temper that came with the name all to well. Especially when Ron was fired up about Hermione. “And you! ‘Let’s wait and talk to Dumbledore’! If you weren’t a girl and my sister, I would slap you! I’m just as loyal to him as the next Gryffindor, but he isn’t the answer to everything!”
Ron’s anger had left him breathless as he stopped and took a couple of gulps of air. He looked from Harry to Ginny as he did this to see them staring back at him looking dumbfounded. Ron shook his head in disgust and broke between the two, headed for Gryffindor tower.
Harry and Ginny turned and watched him storm off; about midway to the hall that lead to the common room, he stopped and tuned on his heels.
“I’ll do this myself!” Ron shouted. “I don’t need your help! Hermione will see who really cares about her!”
And, with that, he was gone.
Hermione awoke to find herself alone and very briefly wondering where Malfoy was. She looked at her shackles and tried to think of a way she could escape; her thoughts were interrupted by faint voices that sounded like they were arguing.
“I sent them away, Luscious! I sent them away so we could spend some time alone! You’re always so busy at the Ministry and…” cried a very feminine voice.
Hermione strained to get a better listen. She could not have heard that correctly. Could she?
“Luscious?” she whispered to herself.
“Inferior woman! Stop your inane crying! How many times to I have to tell you that if you don’t stop sending the elves away, they’re going to come to expect it all the time?!?! I don’t even know if I can get this lot back this time!! Do you realize we have lost over sixty house elves in the last three months because of you??” yelled a male voice.
“It’s…” cried the feminine sounding voice.
“Narcissa! Enough!” yelled Luscious and Hermione could have sworn that the woman scream as she heard a sickening thud crash against the wall. She tried to put this out of her mind and put together where she was.
“Think of what you know,” she told herself.
It isn’t much. a voice reminded her.
“Draco refuses to tell you where you are and when he knocks you out, you come to and hear his parents arguing.” She pondered this a moment more and it dawned on her. She couldn’t believe it, she didn’t want to. She was somewhere in Malfoy Manor.
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