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 Harry Potter and the Hunt

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Location : Wahington State
Humor : "One pretty woman means fun at the dance. Two pretty women mean trouble in the house."
Registration date : 2008-06-09

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu 26 Feb 2009, 11:19 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 20

A Week Without Kids

Dobby apparated directly to the infirmary where he quickly told Winky that she had a proper job as a House Elf and her new position was that of Governess to a babe that was in danger. Winky was in her old form. “Winky is a bad House Elf.” She said “Winky is not fit to care for a babe; Winky is not being a good House Elf anymore. Winky let her Master Barty do bad things. Winky is not doing it.”

Dobby was trying to be patient with her as she ranted on until he had the opportunity to speak. “Winky, this is a babe, and a babe that is needing Winky to protect her.“ Dobby implored. “It is that bad man that made Master Barty do bad things that this babe is needing Winky to protect from.” Dobby pleaded.

Dobby wanted to leave but he also needed Winky to come with him and so he began pulling on her, “Dobby is needing Winky. Dobby is needing his Winky to care for his Missy Molly; Dobby is needing you most desperately.”

“Dobby is needing Winky?” She asked, still reluctant but not pulling away. “Dobby is trusting Winky with his most precious? And Dobby’s Master is not paying?” Winky sounded incredulous and she was now allowing herself to be pulled along.

So Dobby tried one final desperate plea. “Dobby is needing Winky to protect his Missy Molly from a bad wizard and Winky is knowing who that bad wizard is.”

Winky’s eye’s went round with realization but she asked anyway “Is Dobby asking Winky to protect his Missy Molly from that bad wizard what kills her Master Barty and makes her Master Barty be a bad boy. That bad wizard which we cannot name?”

Although Dobby was fierce when it came to protecting his extended family, there were still some things that he could not deal with and discussing Voldemort was one of them. Regardless of how he was mentioned, Dobby would cringe as he did this time. Dobby had hunched his shoulders while ringing his hands as Winky looked at him.

“Why is it, that Dobby is needing Winky when Dobby is to be doing his Masters bidding?” Winky demanded.

“Dobby may need to go to his Masters aid and is needing Winky to keep Missy Molly safe and Grandma Molly is needing company too." Dobby explained.

Winky looked as if she may not have been persuaded because She had crossed her arms and then to Dobby’s greatest fear she said, “Master has not released Winky to work for another family."

Fretfully worried for a moment Dobby suddenly brightened with an idea, “Master Bill Wheezy is working for the Ministry, and Master Bill will find out if it is acceptable for Winky to work for a family that is as fine as Dobby’s Wheezy’s. But Winky must come now. Dobby fears that his Master is in trouble, Dobby is fearing that his Master is needing Dobby but Dobby cannot leave until Missy Molly has protection.” Dobby was again pulling on Winky’s arms to get her moving and finally she relented and together they whisk themselves away to Grimwauld Place.

When Dobby arrived with Winky in tow, he was pleased to see that all of the Weasley’s were in attendance. Hermione was busy in discussion with Remus when they arrived, but she did turn and acknowledged their arrival at which both elves had bowed so low and formally that their noses had flattened against the ground. Dobby’s gaze swept the room and found whom he was looking for and quickly gained the attention of Fred who had come over to greet them. Fred, knowing what he was supposed to do began to discuss the working arrangements with Winky only raising his voice at the necessary parts so that Hermione, whom he was certain had an ear trained on them would hear.

“Good afternoon Winky,” He said and again Winky bowed formally and replied.

“Good afternoon sir.”

“Winky,” he started out. “The Weasley family is in need of an acceptable House Elf and I am of the understanding that you are currently available.” Fred had phrased the formal question so that Hermione could hear that he was offering Winky that chance to affirm or deny that she was acceptable.

"Winky has been discharged from her former Master Sir.” She knew the answer in her heart but it pained her to finally admit it.

“The Weasley family has an opportunity for employment should you desire.” Fred had elevated the word “employment” for Hermione’s benefit and continued to speak. "Should you find the terms…,” and again he elevated the word “terms” knowing that Hermione was now listening for key words.

“Winky is willing to hear the terms.”

Hermione had bent her head to hear more closely and nodded that she understood that Winky was being offered a contract and then reverted her attention back to her other conversation so Fred took the opportunity to speak quickly though he kept an eye trained on Hermione.

“Winky, my brother and sister-in-law is in need for a Governess for their daughter, and my Mother is in need of house help and companionship and you have come highly recommended. We have secrets that need keeping and again, I understand that you would rather die than divulge your employer’s secrets.”

“Winky is keeping the secrets of her Masters and Mistresses.” She said proudly and Dobby was shaking his head most readily in the affirmative fashion.

“Well then, here is my offer…,” Fred had spoken louder than necessary causing Hermione to tilt her head so that she could listen in. “I offer you room and board, you shall have your own room when you choose so, and you will be given a small stipend…,” Fred kept an eye on Hermione who now seemed satisfied that Winky was being offered pay for her work.

Winky stiffened at the sound of recieving mony for her work and Fred lowered his voice once again and quickly added “As an allowance to be spent on my niece as she is too young to have and carry her own money and for any needs for the house.”

Winky relaxed as she now understood that she was not being paid but given money to use on behalf of the house and her charge, shopping money.

“And time to spend for yourself…,” Fred’s voice again raised for Hermione’s ears to hear and again she nodded.

Fred smiled as he admitted to himself that he was handling this quite masterfully and he lowered his voice to finish the sentence, “once all of your chores and work has been accomplished.” Raising his voice for the final time, Fred finalized his offer to Winky by saying and he noted that Hermione was now listening intently with both ears, “The Weasley family finds that Room, Board, Financial remuneration, and personal time to be an acceptable arrangement for the care of Molly Weasley and the help and companionship to the family Matron does Winky find these conditions acceptable?”

Winky had only one question “Is Winky to be a proper House Elf under proper conditions?”

Hermione misunderstood this question and immediately came over to them not even excusing herself from her group and to Fred’s apprehension, said “Why yes Winky, I would not allow them to offer any thing other than that.” Fred relaxed as he understood that Hermione had no clue what Winky was talking about.

“Then Winky accepts these conditions.”

“Molly dear, Mommy has a surprise for you.” Hermione called out.

Molly came running from another room as she loved surprises, reaching her mother she took a running jump into Hermione’s arms planting kisses on her mother and then she saw the two elves standing there together.

“Dobby and Dobby? I get to pway with two Dobby’s?”

Molly smacked her hands together with glee and excitement mingled. Hermione set her down and introduced her to Winky.

“Mistress Molly.” Winky intoned as she bowed formally once again.

When Winky rose from her bow Dobby whispered into her ear. “Dobby is correcting Winky and he is saying that Winky is to call Missy Molly. Missy Molly is that your wish Mistress?”

Molly didn’t say anything but she grabbed Winky’s hand and started running and shouting over her should “C’mon Dobby let’s find Cookchanks.” Hermione’s doubts were put to an end as she saw Winky, who appeared startled at first, brighten as they went by.

“Well, that was rightly done I think.” Fred said rather pleased with himself and brushing his hands together. “Now back to business.”

As the two of them neared, Remus was bringing up Hermione’s concerns from the night before.

“Ahh Hermione, it seems that your conclusions about Harry were indeed correct and Dumbledore was rather pleased by your cleverness."

Hermione looked very smug at the compliment that had been bestowed upon her and Kingsley asked what conclusions about Harry had been correct, so Remus recounted Hermione’s theory for them all.

“It seems as though our young Harry Potter is descended from both Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin.”

Those standing around including Fred appeared awestruck as Remus continued to explain the theory that had just been proven as fact.

“It was Dumbledore’s wish and hope that Harry would bridge the gap between this ancient conflict, by setting the example.”

“Merlin’s beard!” exclaimed Kingsley, “But how? His mother was a muggle was she not?”

Remus looked about him and then said as Hermione leaned in to hear how this was going to be explained.

“Kingsley, I find this difficult to believe myself but Dumbledore did say it was true, James is of Slytherin and Lily was of Gryffindor. Though he was not certain of when that line had married a muggle or became completely muggle, but she was of the Gryffindor line. And I think that Dumbledore was preparing Harry to take over for himself. After all, Harry was of the perfect age to apprentice under Dumbledore.”

“That he was,” muttered several in agreement. “And he would have been a fine apprentice too.” Someone else had said that quietly, and in the background noise of the various murmurs of assent.

“Has anyone thought to ask Dumbledore why he allowed Snape to kill him?” another voice had filled the air.

Remus looked blankly at Ron who had shrugged his shoulders and Remus said “I had not. Bill have you?”

Bill only said “I have not even spoken with him yet. I had planned to do so today, but somehow I doubt that he will tell.”

“Remus, what did Dumbledore say about Grindelwald?” Ron had asked as Hermione gave him an anxious look that reminded him of her other theory.

“Dumbledore has asked us to be on the search for Argus Filch.”

“Filch? Why on earth must we be on the watch for him?” Ron asked in sheer amazement.

“It is something that Dumbledore has asked Ron. Filch has come up missing which is highly unusual and his disappearance cannot be discounted.”

“But why him?” insisted Ron.

“Think about it man, who besides your brothers and Harry know of the secrets that Hogwarts hides?”

Ron’s lips formed the silent “O” of realization of Filch’s value to an enemy such of a Dark Lord or a Death Eater.

“Bill call your brothers over here will you?”

“Mum what are you thinking?”

"If we are to search for Mr. Filch I think that the best place to start is at the school and your two brothers are the best to do that and Ron, when he gets back form testing, can go too. He knows some of the passageways too.”

“Uh, mum, George won’t be able to make it today but I can wait around till Ron shows and the two of us can go together.” Fred had just walked into the conversation with a wide grin on his face as well.

“I know that wicked grin of yours Fred, what have you done this time?”

Fred hung one arm around her shoulders and pulled his mother into a one arm hug “Mother, I’m distressed. I have not done anything this time other than to seal a very excellent deal I think.”

“Fred you’re being a bit cavalier and your winding me up. You have done something now what is it?”

“Oh us kids…,” He began just as Hermione, Fleur, and Bill approached, “thought that it was about time that you got what you’ve always wanted”

Mrs. Weasley clapped her hand to her cheeks and gasped “A week without you kids underfoot?”

“Nope, not this time.” Fred had said completely unfazed by what his mother had just said. “You get your own House Elf.”

“I…, I what?” Molly’s face began to take on a look of surprise as no one answered her question yet they continued to smile even broader than before.

“Wheee, Cookchanks, come out. Come out Cookchanks I know where your hidey spot is. C’mon Winky let’s get Cookchanks, hurry!”

The Adults in the rooms turned in surprise and some even lifted there glasses high into the air as little Molly with Winky still in tow, hurtled past them on a very clear mission to antagonize Hermione’s cat whom by the way had been sorted out from his last color transfiguration.

Grandma Molly had just barely had the chance to see who Winky was. Hermione actually spoke up to tell her Mother-in-law that Winky was actually to be Molly’s new Governess and she was also to be The Weasley’s family House Elf when Dobby was unavailable.

Molly was still very much in a state of shock at her good fortune. Though she secretly wished that she had had an elf when all of the children were still living at home, she was extremely happy to know that Molly not only had someone to watch over her and play with her but also someone that could protect her if ever the need arose. As the kids in the house looked to her this was the first time that any of her children had ever seen her without words to say, and was happy to see her so flustered.

Chapter 20 Completed

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu 26 Feb 2009, 11:22 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 21


Lucius had turned on his heel having left his wife Narcissa for dead on the trail and resumed his trek towards a cave that had been secreted many years earlier when Lord Voldemort had first returned. It was a plan that had been put into place for his Death Eaters to go to should something ever go wrong or if he himself would have need to flee and he should want to summon them they would know where to go. Though it was a small cave it was connected to several other caves as part of a cave system. Located in a Western country far away from the Wizarding world it was a perfect area to lay low, to regroup, to rethink plans that may have gone wrong in the attempt to take over the entire wizarding world. But now it was being used to hide and protect the two most sought after wizards, both wanted in connection for the willful murder of Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape and Draco Malfoy.

The trail became less negotiable as it narrowed and then abruptly ended at a narrow slit between to large boulders. Lucius had to turn sideways and inch his way nearly thirty feet between these two large boulders that formed what appeared like a tunnel as they leaned against each other at the top. He could feel the magics that had been placed in this area as if they were wards to fend off unwanted or undesirable creatures and or persons but being a Death Eater, Lucius knew how to turn these wards away from him. His breathing had flattened and became shallow and it infuriated him even more as he felt his pulse quicken with fear. He knew that this stretch of the trail had been designed to illicit that very feeling and that was the one thing that help him to keep panic from rising any further than it had.

He had been literally taken out of prison about five months earlier by his sister-in-law who was killed in the process of helping him to escape. He was to meet Narcissa but she was late in arriving, to show him to a safe house. Lucius had convinced himself that she was the one that had told the Aurors about the planned escape. He knew that someone had to have told them about it because everything that night had gone wrong. She said that she had been meeting Kreacher the Black Familiy's most ancient and decrepit house elf. Lucius had struck her for lying to him but she stuck to her story reminding him that Kreacher was still loyal to the proper Black family members and she had hoped that he would know the whereabouts of that pompous Harry Potter. She had told him that Potter had been missing for several years and had hoped that he had met his death which would mean that Kreacher now belonged to Bella and would be able to help them get their child back.

Her euphoria seemed as though it were played up. As if she were excited by something other than seeing him and she used the hopes of seeing their son again as a cheap excuse for her excitement. She was not in the least bit excited to see him. Bella had been right all along, he thought. It wasn’t him she was excited to see, not the thought of seeing their son once again. No, it was her fool lover Severus, that excited her and it sickened him. He almost killed her then and there but he wanted his son to see what a proud and honest Malfoy does to those that that try to cheat them. Draco would see his cheating mother die at the feet of her lover and then he would watch his jailor die with her.

Narcissa had loved her husband more than he could or would ever know. There was only one other man in her life and that man was her twenty-one year old son that she had not seen since he was nearly seventeen years old. She had no eyes for any other, and she had spent nearly all their family’s fortune in trying to gain her husbands release by paying bribes here and there. Her only crime was to confide her admiration of Severus Snape in his unfaltering dedication to their masters wishes and to the safety of hers and her husbands only son.

Bella knew of this cave but she would not tell Narcissa where it was nor would she attempt to get a message to the cave. She held this information over her sister’s head in retribution for causing her to lose the most favorite status with their Lord. Bella had changed from that day when she followed Narcissa to Spinners End to meet with Snape the summer before Draco’s sixth and final year at Hogwarts. Several times Bella had threatened to kill her for allowing Snape, whom Bella would call spineless or even traitor, to interfere with the instructions that the Dark Lord had given to Draco. It had never occurred to Narcissa that Bellatrix would meet with Lucius and whisper lies in his ears. It had never occurred to her that Bella might have wanted Lucius herself.

When Bella had finally told Narcissa of the upcoming prison break, Bellatrix had given Narcissa a different time in which she was to meet with her husband so Narcissa took the chance to meet with Kreacher once again hoping that he could now follow her orders or at least provide information about her son for which he was able to tell her that Draco was still alive, and very well taken care of, and that he was being prepared to succeed as the next Dark Lord which thrilled her immensely but when she met her husband that night, she was late and he would not hear anything that she had to tell him. He even refused to believe that Voldemort had been killed by Harry Potter which Kreacher had been able to confirm for her. Bellatrix had even refused to believe this information although she had not seen her Master for nearly a year and a half, but felt that she knew where their Master had gone, but Bella refused once again to tell Narcissa where that place was, only that she would find out when and only when the time for that would present itself.

Lucius exited the defile nearly spilling himself over a very high cliff that opened into a chasm steeped in shadows so that he could not see its bottom. The path now followed along a cliff wall and he could see that in the distance it turned around the cliff wall but it was getting late into the evening and in darkness trying to negotiate this next segment would indeed be a most perilous thing to attempt. Sweat was poring freely down his face now and his pulse was beating at a deadly pace. He knew that he needed to stop and rest but he was so very near his destination, but to continue would be foolish to say the very least so he eased himself back through the rock defile to a place he had seen just before entering. It was a depression in the rock wall with a ledge overhang that provided protection on three sides and would be satisfactory for the night. He retraced his steps the quarter mile back to where Narcissa still laid on the path and stripped her of her cloak and wand and then kicked her body off the trail and out of sight before retreating back to where he was going to spend the night.

Malfoy had not heard yet of his beloved Masters death nor the circumstances behind Voldemort’s death and as he nestled himself into the little niche of an alcove that formed his overnight shelter, he allowed himself the luxury of imagining the glory he would receive when he brought this lecherous traitor to his knees before his Master. His Master, the Dark Lord Voldemort ,had to be at this cavern if it were in use. This was something that he had not thought of before. “Why was the cavern in use,” he had wondered. This did not make any sense to him unless Snape went renegade, which would not surprise him. He had once liked Snape but now he could not figure out why he had ever done so. Draco had spoken at great lengths of this man’s intelligence and it was amusing to see and hear of how he treated that Potter brat. “I should have killed that meddling boy when I had the chance.” Lucius cursed Harry as he smacked a fist into his own hand.

"That Potter boy was as meddling and just as slippery as Snape was, but he will meet his end if he had not yet done so. After I finish with you my sly friend, the Potter boy will be next!” He swore aloud to the stars that had now filled the night.

In his silence, the sounds of the night interrupted the black stillness that surrounded him with the periodic noises and whispers of nature, and the occasional wisp of wind through the rocks, Lucius Malfoy battled with the various means at his disposal in which to dispose of the two men that stood in his way to greatness, and the right hand of the Dark Lord. So lost in his thoughts, he had not noticed that a darkness had crept over the soft light of a half moon, and that a chill had seeped into the nights air. Lucius allowed the total blackness of the night to envelope him and he thanked the Creator for matching the darkness of his mood and the chill of his heart as he now embellished on a rich scene of what he would have Snape do while being under the Imperious curse or the Cruciartis curse. His mood brightened as he imagined having Snape peel his own skin away from his flesh while under his control and relished at that thought of instructing his son on how one punishes the insignificant that tries to take over.

Chapter 21 Continued

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu 26 Feb 2009, 11:22 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 21 continued


The Malfoy family had been strong and proud for over six hundred years with each and every member a pure blood. They had gained their family fortune in the Merchant and Shipping businesses early on, and allied themselves with equally strong, equally wealthy, and the most pure blooded of wizarding families for as long as any could remember. They had held rank and power in the 1700’s in his Majesty’s Royal Navy, serving as Ships Masters and in Captaincy’s whose ships had always miraculously survived storms, warfare, and piracy. A hundred years later, the Malfoy family had nearly dominated merchant shipping with every company owned ship carrying at least one pure blooded wizard as either Ships Master or Ship's Captain. It was then that the Malfoy’s were a large and thriving family but suddenly they began to die out. No one knew exactly when it beganor why but many had accused an ancestor of the late 1700’s, of marrying the daughter of a wealthy muggle. Though the marriage was largely a financial arrangement which had nearly tripled the Malfoy’s vast fortune and wealth, only one child was born out of that marriage, Lucius’s great grandfather, and ever since there had been only one male child to hand the family’s fortune down to. The Malfoy’s had also lost their rights to business for an improper business dealing during that time and now lived off of a substantial residual income that still amassed very large profits through interest though no Malfoy had actually worked since his grandfather’s time.

When Lucius took over as the Family Patriarch, he swore to himself that he would make the Malfoy family name synonymous with greatness and business once again, and had already started a small merchant and shipping business within the wizarding world. Draco was being prepared to take over and in his time, bring back the family name and its honor that it had once been. His Master had seen this to be, and had promised it to be in return for his devotion of loyalty and his dedication of leading pure blood families back into their rightful places of greatness and power.

Sleep was taking over as Lucius relaxed in his revelry of his family’s greatness. “The Malfoy family will be great once again!” Though the words were barely uttered, the shout in his mind echoed, and then he smiled to himself. He understood clearly what was going on between Snape and his wife. “That filthy slut!” He was wide awake again as he hissed with intensity.

“Ah, but Severus you are the sly one aren’t you?” He continued talking to himself. “Beguile my wife while I’m in prison, befriend my son, and besmirch my name, my ability.”

Lucius saw the plan clearly now in his head now. “Take advantage of my absence, soothe her fears and woes, show her tenderness, and bed her!” He spat the last words out as though the thoughts rankled. He pictured the scenes of how it must have happened. “He must have Draco calling him father by now.” Sparks were shooting from his wand tip as he was tapping it quite harshly in his hand. “Had Bella not come to me to tell me the truth, to aide me…, I would be dead by now.” Lucius spit onto the ground as if trying to rid himself of a foul taste in his mouth.

Was Draco a part of this plan?” he wondered to himself. Draco had seemed overly fond of Snape. The thought of this new piece of the puzzle in his life seemed completely wrong to his own way of thinking but the piece did fit. Snape must have been long in his plan weaving the pieces ever so slowly so that each piece willfully took its position into the picture that was now forming in his own mind. “Yes, yes, that was very clever of you Severus. Get to my wife through my son and then get my son through my wife.”

And then, another piece of the puzzle slid into place for him. His team, his group, his Death Eaters had always been of the best until…, until Snape started whispering in the Dark Lords ear, then all that was given to him were imbeciles who couldn’t follow orders, who couldn’t even catch a cold if they had already had one. “But my Bella…,” and he smiled warmly now, “Always true, always there, she fought well, and would have protected my back had that Potter brat not distracted her and forced her away from me. It had to have been Snape that sent those blasted fools to thwart me.” And again, he swore with vehemence and yet another piece of the puzzle took shape and fitted neatly into the picture that had formed in his minds eye.

Draco had to be the fulcrum, the pivotal point to make this masterful plan happen. Though Lucius doubted that Draco was a willful part in this plan, it was plain to see that he was a participating pawn. His son was no fool and if he could have figured this out in just one nights sitting…, Draco had four years now to see what was happening and Lucius had to wonder how Draco could not see what was going on unless he was a participant in its making.

But that fool of a woman coddled him and thwarted his training saying that he was too young.” Lucius had said to himself, trying to find a way to excuse his son, to absolve him from being a part of this treachery. “But how does Draco fit into all of this?” This was the one piece of the puzzle that Lucius could not divine. He marveled at how all of the other pieces formed of their own accord and began placing themselves into the big picture, at how easily the next piece produced itself after the last took its place into the picture. The flow of images seemed to avoid his part in all of this and it left Lucius confused.

Weariness was again enveloping him as he rested his back against the wall inside the the makeshift alcove. He did feel the need to close his eyes as his body began its complaints against the pace that he had set for the days trek. The chill in the wind had cooled his body down and his muscles began to tighten though there was no dampness in the air which he did give small thanks for that. Lucius drew his knees up and crossed his arms about them so that he could rest his head and within minutes he was fast asleep hidden in the blackness of the night while the wind masked the rhythm of his breathing.

The night was remarkably calm for the Blue Mountains, but also remarkably true to its nature as well. Lucius Malfoy had finally drifted off to sleep only to be awaken less than an hour later by a deep rolling thunder that broke into a ground shaking boom followed by flashes of lightening so bright, as to turn the night brighter than day. Lucius was on his feet instantly with wand in hand prepared for battle. His eyes strained to pierce the blackness of the night only to be blinded with the brightness of lightening which infuriated him. Stepping from his concealment he was immediately pelted with rain that fell hard enough to sting the skin but he used this to cool his nerve so that he could assess what was happening. After a few moment he had satisfied himself that it was only a storm and turned to retreat to the safety of the small alcove. The wind picked up its intensity whistling thought the boulders and trees to a near deafening roar.

The intensity of this storm startled him as he had not seen one that would suddenly appear from such mild weather but this was the nature of the mountains and he was unfamiliar with the treacherous conditions in this area. Still alarmed and his senses for danger now heightened, he settled himself back down huddled in his cloak and closed his eyes just as a flash of lightening lit the nights sky one more time. Had he been looking he would have seen the man who was standing there looking at him, measuring him, gauging if he should allow him to live yet another day. Lucius opened his eye’s one more time and saw nothing but blackness and fell back asleep.

Chapter 21 Completed

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu 26 Feb 2009, 11:26 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 22

The Storm's Rage

Harry had been working his way fervently towards the cave all the while wondering what Malfoy was doing in this area. He should have still been in Azkaban and this added to his consternation. He had been inside of a Death Eaters circle once before but they were ordered to stay back that time, and their Dark Lord was now dead to them. He could possibly understand the unidentified man but Malfoy was a different story. How, why? Those were the questions that were flowing nonstop through his mind as he progressed to his target. He had been on the trail for about three hours now and had judged that he had only gone about one mile in distance as the terrain was not easy to negotiate and the temptation to apparate was fighting against his better judgment. He knew that Malfoy would most likely be able to sense his apparation especially if he appeared to near the man so that option had to be out of the question, and at this pace it would take all evening and perhaps all the next day to gain any lengths where he would be able to observe closely what was happening at the cave that Hedwig had told him about but he continued on.

The thunder rolled for a very long time before exploding in a huge clap that startled him and then rumbled for a long time after causing Harry to stop in his tracks. “This isn’t good,” he said to himself.

Already familiar with the weather conditions of the mountains, he knew that it was only a matter of time before the wind and the rains would follow in and from the sound of the thunder in the distance, he did not want to get caught out in it on this particular night which seemed blacker than normal. He had reached a decision by the time the lightening crackled across the night’s sky lighting for a split second the trail that he had taken. He needed to return to his campsite and wait out the storm but he also knew that he would soon be trapped out in this storm. The trek back would have been a bit easier under normal conditions and he was not worried about being rained upon. What concerned him, and he knew how these storms had been, was how bad it would be. The long roll of the thunder promised a bad storm and the slight gusts of wind that had already begun served to confirm his suspicion.

Harry had barely turned around when the rain started to fall. It was a freezing rain that was building in its intensity. He knew that it would take about three hours to get back to his campsite and judging from how heavy the rain was beginning to fall, the going would be rough if not long. Although the wind was slightly gusting and the rain fell heavily, he was making much better time that he had anticipated. He had started to relax when he slipped and fell down the side of a ridge line that he had been hiking along. Harry scrambled to maintain some dignity as he slid down the side of the ridge when his feet suddenly went out from underneath him. Landing hard onto his back, Harry began rolling and sliding beyond his control.

The rain had risen to a voracity equaling that of a hurricane while the winds had gained sufficient force to measure against a gale force wind. Harry was in deep trouble and he knew it. Reaching frantically for any hand hold to stop his slide, he slid past trees and low hung branches that would break or slip from his grip cutting his hands to ribbons as they slipped out of his hands. Struggling, Harry had turned himself around and was now sliding headfirst down the slide when his head struck something hard with a resounding thud. He had reached the bottom of the ravine and lay where he had stopped as stars and specks of light filled his vision. He couldn’t feel his arms and legs other than a tingling which wound its way through his body.

Trying to move, pain wracked his body so he laid his head back down and tried to get an idea of where he was. While he lay there the tingling in his body was being slowly replaced by a dull pulsing of pain that would shoot its way through him. Forcing down the pain, he slowly tried to move his legs and winced as the effort caused the dullness of the pain to turn to a sharpness that threatened to send him into unconsciousness but he was able to move them. Next he tried his hands by flexing his fingers and working them, and then he tried his arms. He was able to move them but felt a numbness in his hands. Panting heavily he tried to sit up and retched with the pain that ran down his spine and into his legs.

Laying back he tried to regain some semblance of composure so that he could take stock of his situation. He knew that it was raining, that he was in a deep ravine, and that he was seriously hurt. Lightening flashed and he was able to see with some clarity where he was and he wished that he wasn’t. Harry was lying in the center of a rapidly flooding ravine with mud slides on either side of the steep embankments. He had fallen about fifteen feet down a steep but sloping hill side, and the other side was nearly as steep as a small cliff. The water had already risen several inches in just the short time that he had taken to survey his surroundings and he knew that he needed to reach higher ground very soon. Grunting against the pain that he felt, Harry rolled himself over onto his stomach and began to use his arms and hands to half crawl and half pull himself along as he tried to get from the center and out of the rising water. Digging into the soft mud with his hands he leveraged himself up to where only his legs remained in the water and nearly passed out from the pain.

The wind had turned icy cold and the rain was now a torrent as Harry lay panting on his stomach only feet from where he had first landed yet in his mind it seemed as if he had crawled miles. The water was now over his waist as he gritted his teeth again and began his half crawl and half pull method to drag himself out from the water. In the distance he heard a muffled roar that seemed to grow louder and nearer and he stopped for a small rest and to allow the pain to subside. As he lay there the roar seemed as if it were right on top of him when he suddenly realized to his horror that he was about to be trapped in a flash flood. Frantically, he began to claw at the ground in front of him dragging himself further up the bank, grasping at roots and tree limbs whenever he could. He chanced a spare second to look over his shoulder only to see a wall of water about six feet high roaring down on him. He screamed out in pain as he dug in and hoisted his body higher and higher until he had his arms around the solid base of a Mountain Cedar tree and hung on for dear life.

The gush of freezing cold water swept over him just as he locked his hands together. The coldness of the flooding waters took his breath away from him and he nearly let go had he not accidentally lodged his elbow against a rock that was jutting from the ground just at the base of the cedar tree. The onslaught of the flood lasted only a few seconds but those short seconds were enough to render him unconscious as the force of the current pushed and twisted his body in all directions causing his pain to reach to unbearable limits, but he had not. The once dry ravine was now a rapid river that buffeted his body with bracken and flotsam and the icy coldness of it was unrelenting. Harry lay half floating and shivering uncontrollably barely aware of where he was. He did know that he was hurting and that he was alive though he couldn’t feel his legs anymore and the arm that was trapped, felt like it had been broken.

As quickly as the water had risen, it had started to recede although the rain continued to pour down, it too had slackened to a steady rain and the winds had also abated to normal. For this, he was grateful. Harry had heard about flash floods but didn’t quite understand just how fast they could occur until now and he gave a silent prayer of thanks as he understood just how perilous his situation was and it was either his good fortune or by the grace of God he was still alive. His head was throbbing with the beat of his pulse and with each exertion he made he could see red in his eyes as a new form of pain would wash over him to remind him that he was mortal and not to move. The only time he didn’t hurt was when he would close his eye’s and remain perfectly still, but then that wasn’t totally true either as his headache kept pace with his own heart beat but it was tolerable as long as he didn’t move.

Harry, don’t go to sleep.” The woman’s voice in his head was saying.

Harry lad, do as your mother said. Don’t go to sleep son.”

Harry winced as he opened his eyes to see who was talking to him but no one was there. He hurt so badly and he wanted to rest, to sleep. He knew that he’d feel better if he could just get some sleep, if only for a moment, so he closed his eyes again.

Harry my love, don’t go to sleep darling.”

He heard the woman’s voice again but kept his eyes shut. The voice was so soothing and so warm that he wanted to hear it again.

Harry!” The voice was sharp and loud inside his head and it startled him.

There was and edge of concern in this man’s voice, but he was so far away, so far.

Harry! Wake up this instant.” The man’s voice was nearer now and it was very commanding.

Harry opened his eyes once again but saw no one. It was still dark out and he was freezing, but it was warm when he closed his eyes. So very warm and he didn’t feel anything, no pain, no nothing, just the warmth and he closed his eyes once again wishing for that warmth.

Harry, if you move just a little bit further up the bank you can rest my son.” The woman’s voice sounded encouraging.

Here lad let me help you.” His free arm moved upward as the man spoke in his head and he pulled himself up another few more inches.

That’s a good lad let’s do this again.” The man continued to speak inside of his head as his arm reached upward again pulling himself further up the side of the ravine.

Several times Harry had fallen off into what felt like sleep and the voices in his head would come ringing through. Sometimes softly and other times very harshly. He felt he knew who they were but he couldn’t see them. When he thought that he couldn’t go any further it was as if someone was moving his good arm for him and sometimes it felt as if someone was pushing him ever upwards until he finally reached the top. When he did reach the top, Harry let out a long sigh and closed his eyes and drifted off into a deep sleep but all too soon the woman’s soft voice would wake him up again and sometimes the man’s voice would voice his encouragements to him also. Sometimes it was the man’s voice that would wake him up. They never let him sleep for very long.

Chapter 22 Continued

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu 26 Feb 2009, 11:27 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 22 continued

The Storm's Rage

Sometime during the night, Harry had woken up on his own, with a pain so great, that he had rolled over and retched a second time and cried out into the night. Feeling had crept back into his legs with an excruciating announcement to his senses. He was still unable to move them but he could now feel them and he could feel where he touched them. When he tried once more to move them, a shot of pain raced through his body causing him to pass out to avoid the shear agony that he had felt.

Harry sweetheart,” it was the woman’s voice again, “You’ll be alright son. Do not be afraid. We are with you.” Harry thought that he had felt a warm pressure on one of his legs when he heard the man’s voice again.

Harry, I think you’ll be alright if you rest now. Your mother and I will stay with you. Do not be afraid lad, be strong. You have a promise to keep, a job to finish. It’ll all be over soon I promise you.” Harry though unconscious, could see his parents now and he knew who the voices belonged to. His fathers hand was on the leg that hurt the worse and his mother knelt beside him caressing his cheek. A shiver ran though his body and when that happened, she laid down beside him and held him softly.

A warmth ran through Harry’s body and whatever fear he had had left him and he opened his eyes just for the briefest of moments as he slipped back into consciousness assuring himself that he was indeed resting back on top of the ravine and then drifted off to sleep. Though the air was still wet and the wind chilled, he felt warm and comforted as if someone that he had loved all his life was holding him and protecting him as if he were still a small child, he felt very safe and free of concern.

Hedwig followed the new man through the forest trying to get close enough to identify him but the man was elusive. The man was always turning, just at the moment that she might be able to see whom it might be. The path that he took told her that he was sure of where he was going. She had followed him most of the afternoon and he had not stopped but kept at steady pace. It was evening when the weather took its turn for the worse. It grew darker than normal and then suddenly went pitch black. Even with her eyes, eye's that could see exceptionally well in the dark, Hedwig had difficulty keeping track of him and resorted to flitting from tree to tree just to keep him in sight but the man continued on as if he needed no light to see by. There were a few moments when she caught a good glimpse of his profile and thought to herself that he did look familiar or that she should know whom he might be but the one time that she did catch sight of his full features she wasn’t certain if she had ever saw this man before. But she still couldn’t shake the fact that she thought that she should know who he was and this bothered her greatly.

The rain had started to fall but she continued to follow him as he made his way up the side of the mountain. Hedwig now used the trees more for her protection than to stay near the man as the rain began to fall even harder. She had been gone from Harry’s side far too long now and she felt that she should return to him but Harry’s orders were distinct so she stayed with him. He had turned once again and went around a tree and that was when she lost sight of him. Hedwig flew close to the ground staying in the bottom most boughs of the trees looking everywhere for the man but she couldn’t find him so she decided to work backwards from where she last saw Lucius Malfoy. It seemed a good idea as that was the general direction the man was heading.

If you love Harry you must return to him. He is harmed and in danger.”

Hedwig hooted with a start as the voice of a woman sounded clearly in her head.

If you love my son, please make haste.”

Hedwig needed no other urging and took to wing as quickly as she could. The wind was buffeting and she had to fight to stay on course back to the campsite having to veer several times to correct her flight. The rain pattered against her body like stinging needles and when the torrent was unleashed it nearly forced her to land but Harry was in trouble and that was all that she cared about.. Racing as fast as her wings would take her, Hedwig flew through the storm to reach him.

Harry is badly hurt.” The woman’s voice rang in her head once again. “He need’s help. Fly my child, If you love him get help.

She did not bother to wonder about the voice that was in her head as she veered eastward and with great powerful strokes of her wings, she set off to return home.

Hedwig had been flying for hours at an unforgiving speed worried about Harry. Not once had she thought to question the voice that was in her head telling her to get help. It was a soft and warm voice, reassuring and yet firm. But what really caused her to obey the voice was that it spoke with the same love that she herself felt for Harry, and that was something that she would not challenge. The voice spoke to her just like…, Hedwig hooted with frustration and worry as she looked down and saw nothing but gloom and water in the nights light. She had been flying over water for several hours and it would be at least two more hours before she would see land again.

Harry lay on his stomach still wracked with waves of pain and his right arm lay limp in an oddly twisted angle. He was covered in mud and his clothes were soaking wet. He should have been freezing as the temperature had dropped severely because of the nights storm but he felt oddly warm and comforted. He had tried to turn over once since he managed to haul himself to the top of the ravine but something had held him and prevented him from moving. He had been awake for awhile now and he was wondering where Hedwig might be. He knew that he needed help and he needed her. He tried to reach for his head to feel where he had struck whatever it was that his head had hit. His fingers had found the spot as he tenderly inched his fingers about his head. He felt the stickiness of congealed blood that measured about two inches long. All about the area he felt hair that had been matted with a slickness that could have been either blood or mud but he was sure that there was a healthy measure of both.

Harry began to reach towards his back and groaned with the pain that was cause by the turning of his arm when he felt a gentle pressure pushing his hand back and then the woman’s voice in his head told him “No Harry, try not to move. Hedwig knows you’ve been hurt and she will bring help. Lay still son and rest.

He couldn’t understand why the woman kept calling him her son. There was no one there; no one had been around him since Hedwig left. The voices sounded familiar but he couldn’t remember where he had heard them before. He could feel their touches and the warmth of their assurances and he thought that he had felt their pressures on his body but he had been delirious then. As he lay still he began to wonder if he were still delirious and then he began a silent argument with himself. How could he be having an intelligent conversation with himself if he were delirious? He wondered if that is what people did when they were delirious or if they just babbled out loud, talking nonsense. He was sure that the voices would tell him if he were babbling but they only told him to either lay still, rest, or wake up. He was growing tired again as his thoughts began to slow down. Just as he closed his eyes he thought that he saw a stag standing near him as if on guard.

Chapter 22 Completed

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu 26 Feb 2009, 11:31 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 23

The Secret Chamber

Draco Malfoy had been roaming the cavern since their arrival several weeks earlier and had discovered a Chamber hidden deep within nearly a week after he and Severus Snape arrived to this new location. It appeared as if a rather large room had been built inside the cave. The room measured about forty feet on the long side and about thirty feet on the narrower side and the walls had been cut to a smoothness of glass. In a far corner there stood a finely crafted ornate wooden desk surrounded by shelves of books and parchments that were rather old. Woven carpets covered the otherwise bare rock floor and a fireplace was set into the rock wall. In the center of the chamber set a large oval table that seated two dozen and at the opposite end of the chamber sat a potions laboratory with walls lined with oddments, jars filled with different colored liquids that contained various items of natural and unnatural things. He had seen Professor Snape’s Potions storeroom on many occasions, but this one made Snape’s appear to be empty as it was easily ten times bigger. Several cauldrons lined workbenches that were placed in neat rows in this area.

Alongside one wall there was a table that was obviously made of stone that captivated his attention. There was a odd reddish color to it and as he drew nearer he noticed that this table had a lip of about two inches high all around it and in its center a hole about one inch wide that went down into its base. As he drew nearer he thought he could smell the acidic odor of dried blood. The wall behind the table was hidden in darkness and when Draco came up to the table he noticed that the wall was lined with surgical instruments. Looking back to the table he caught his breath as he realized what its purpose must have been. Peering closer at the table he noticed that leather straps were placed in strategic points along its sides and ends. The scene transfixed his gaze as he imagined some poor soul strapped down and being cut open for some maniacal experiment. The thought both horrified him and excited him at the same time as he tried to picture an experiment being performed.

Going back to the potions cabinets he began looking into several of the jars and found what he was looking for. Picking up one jar with a murky yellow liquid inside of it, he tilted it and several tongues appeared. Turning the jar he found the label, “Liars Tongues.” Setting the jar back down he found another jar with a dark colored liquid and read its label, “Hands of a Thief.” Draco began pulling jar after jar from this cabinet and found that each jar contained body parts or organs of people that were all thieves, murderers, cheats, and such. He found an empty jar that had a label on it and he read it aloud “Heart of the Chosen One,” and he sneered as he remembered what Potter was now named.

“So this is what our Master has in store for him, eh?”

Draco laughed as he envisioned himself being present while Potter’s heart was being cut from his chest, listening to him beg for mercy and then hearing his screams as his Master began to cut into him. And then he frowned and hastily put the jar back in its place on the shelf. Draco wanted his revenge for what had happened to his father and it had been almost five years since his father had been sent to the wizard's prison and he had not heard from his mother in several months or from his aunt Bellatrix in several weeks.

When Severus Snape had discovered where Draco had been disappearing to, he had been furious and set about teaching Draco in very certain and ver clear terms that the Masters Chamber is off limits. Draco had thought that he was going to die the first time Snape had used the Cruciartis curse on him but this time it was far beyond description. The first time Snape used the curse on Draco, Draco had thought to set Snape in his place by reminding Snape of their social order and where he stood in that order and where Snape stood. He had told Snape that he was a mere teacher at Hogwarts while he was heir to the Malfoy fortune and was considered as royalty among the pure blood houses and that Snape should consider such things before he thought to speak to him in such a manner.

Snape had replied to that very coolly by saying “Really?, do tell me Draco just how this pecking order of yours works. Crucio!" The punishment continued until Snape had finally demonstrated to Draco exactly where his place in the scheme of things stood.

Draco had opportunity to visit the chamber one more time before Snape sealed the chamber door shut. At first Draco was uncertain if he had mistaken where the doorway stood as it appeared only to be a part of the rock wall. He had only known that he stood at the correct spot because he caught sight the foot prints in the dirt floor when his torch had suddenly flared when it caught a cobweb. Undeterred, he tried to apparate into the chamber only to discover that it had also been protected by an anti-apparation jinx.

He had found other rooms further back in the cave system too, as he began to understand just how complex his current home was. He had found rooms filled with crates containing food stuffs, cereals, and grains, enough to last several people for at least two years and maybe more. He had found dried fruits and meats in a cooler room further back inside the caverns though he had been eating fresh meats nightly. Snape had not discouraged his roaming of the caves except for the one chamber.

There was something about this cave that made him feel powerful and it was also the first time that he had received some of Snape’s fury. The punishments usually followed when he tried to elevate himself above Snape or when he demonstrated anything other than marginal respect for the man. Though he did show his contempt Draco now kept a civil tongue when speaking with Severus, though the sarcasm did leak out on occasion when speaking plaintively, or of others. Draco had taken to closing his mind at all times since his last punishment which he was still trying to figure out what had provoked the onslaught and subconsciously hunched his back as he remembered being bent almost in half.

“When the Dark Lord is finished with Potter, I’ll have Snape skinning his own hide from under the Imperious Curse.” He muttered to himself and turned to walk back to the small chamber that he had taken for his own.

Severus was setting at the desk in the Secret Chamber that lay deep within the cave system with his head in his hands. He knew that Harry Potter was very near to them and hoped that he would not appear prematurely. He also knew that Lucius Malfoy too, was also very near and this worried him as his appearance was completely unexpected. His last communication with Narcissa had not mentioned anything about his release from prison. Leaning back in the leather bound high backed chair, he rubbed the tiredness from his face as he reflected on his carefully laid plans. Plans that had been years in the making with each detail carefully laid out and carefully scrutinized for error and flaw, plans that were perfect in every way. He regretted having to kill Dumbledore. Dumbledore had been his only friend, the only person who saw through him and yet said nothing. For twenty-nine years he had been planning for what was to come, revising his plan where and when needed ,until it screamed of perfection, anticipating each and every step along the way, eliminating those that got in his way but never with his own hands and always giving the innocent the chance to step away.

Snape had planned revenge on the man that ruined his father, his mother, his life. Severus Snape was born into a wealthy life, living in one of England’s finer homes in the country side of Suffolk. His mother, a once beautiful and energetic woman pampered him and kept him amused with the most amazing tricks, she called it magic. His father, a wealthy business man lived in London and came home on the weekends and during the summer when Severus was not in school they would all live in their townhouse in the city so they could all be together, going to the parks on the weekends or out to their country home. One day his father brought home the man his father had worked for, who seemed to have taken a liking to his mother and he could do tricks too but only when his father was not in the room.

Snape like the man but his mother seemed to avoid him, when after that first visit something had happened and his father lost his job. He could hear his mother and father arguing about it and he hated it. After a few days the moving vans pulled up to their country home and they had to move into the city and into a much smaller house rather than in the town house his father had kept before. His father couldn’t seem to find work anywhere and their money seemed to have ran out because they kept moving into smaller and smaller homes until they finally moved into what was nothing more that a tiny shack in a poorer distrct of London. By this time his father no longer wore suits and was constantly drunk. His mother and father fought all the time now and his mother had seemed to age before his very eyes.

Severus discovered that he had the magic when one day he came home in time to witness his father beating his mother and his anger, unleashed his fury sending his father flying across the room into a far wall, and then his father who had scrambled quickly to his feet launched himself onto Severus and the beatings began. He couldn’t remember when he discovered what his father meant each time he got drunk and starting beating on his mother when he would yell at her saying, “You should have just done it.” The man’s name was Tom Riddle and he wanted his mother to join “His Army.” Tom Riddle ruined his life because his mother refused to become a Death Eater and refused to be his personal Potions Master, Severus had just turned nine years old an vowed his revenge

Chapter 23 Continued

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu 26 Feb 2009, 11:32 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 23 continued

The Secret Chamber

During his second year at Hogwarts he had finally learned about another Dark Lord when a child in Slytherin offered him a Chocolate Frog which he tore into only to discover Dumbledore’s trading card and began to read the back of it and that was when his plans began to take on affect. Learning as much as he could about this Lord Voldemort and whom his teacher was. Snape added another to his list. He cared little of anything else and his sole purpose in life now was to excel and to set plan within plans, and to weave those plans so that no one would ever suspect him as being a part of any of it, and he would wait until every last detail was perfect. He would do exactly what he did when his father fell. He would stand and watch while another person destroyed the person he was “most devoted to.”

As he leaned forward back to the desk, he wondered how he would feel when everything was over. He had controlled his emotions for so long now he wondered if he would feel anything. When he killed Dumbledore it was hatred he felt. But the hatred was not for Dumbledore, but for the man that put him into that position whom once again, destroyed someone he had loved.

“Did I really love him/” he said to himself. “Do I even know how to love anymore? Has that been taken from me as well?” he said bitterly. He sat there at the desk for a long time not thinking of anything, clearing his mind, emptying his mind, trying to find solace in a void that he had created within his thoughts.

Unbidden, the thoughts of James Potter trickled slowly into the void. He pictured the day they were sorted. Potter, Black, and that Lupin fellow had all met on the train to Hogwarts, the three sharing a compartment together when he had tried to enter. No one would allow him to join them and then James acted as if he would invite him in but Sirius Black was against it so he had to move on further down the train. There was instant animosity between him and Black, but there was something about Potter. Snape could sense things about people; he could see who they really were. After the sorting ceremony he had positioned himself near enough to those three who had been sorted into Gryffindor while he, to Slytherin, he had overheard Potter telling the others that the hat had wanted to put him into Slytherin too but he said no. He wanted to be a Gryffindor.

“How odd, that his son would do the same?” He murmured to himself.

Snape began to watch Potter and then one day in his third year he overheard a conversation between Dumbledore and Slughorn about the Potter boy. Though he wasn’t quite certain what it was all about he did hear Slughorn ask incredulously, “Are you certain Albus…, Potter is indeed Slytherin’s heir?”

“No Horace, descended yes, but I am not certain if he is the true heir.”

And then abruptly, Dumbledore stopped speaking and stared directly at the spot he was hiding in. Severus was very curious now as a possibility unfolded which might aid him in his plans and all he had to do was to figure out a way to connect Potter and Tom Riddle together in such a way and then position Potter to do what he wanted. That was when he made his decision to join this Dark Army of Riddle’s. He thought his plan ruined when Voldemort was able to kill Potter, but the son…, the son was very special indeed he survived but disappeared completely and so had the Dark Lord and he was not there to witness his destruction as he had hoped and planned for. He needed to watch the destruction as he was forced to watch his father’s destruction. It had to be done the same way as it was when he was younger.

A dispassionate loathing of himself replaced his reverie as he recalled his treatment of Harry Potter. When Harry did not die when Voldemort had tried to kill him, he knew it was to be that boy who would fulfill his vengeance. He hated himself for the treatment that he knew he had to give.

Potter had to grow up hating, he had to hear the smears and hatred, he had to see the smirks, feel the jibes until he would become immune to them." He had to push the boy harder than anyone else.

“Potter had to meet his potential.” Snape spoke aloud as if to convince himself that his treatment of Potter was justified.

“I had to harden him.” He rasped. “His mother, his father, they were so strong. I had to do it that way.”

Snape was almost whining now.

You could have taken him to the side and tutored him.”

“I could not; I had to keep my distance from the boy. I had to make him hate me.”


"I had to be precise, I had to make him see the need to be precise, He had to have purpose, and I gave that to him.”

But cruelty, Severus? Come now, there must have been some other way?”

"I had to make the appearances believable. There were spies in the classes, people who would talk. Word would get back to the Master…., they would suspect…, my plans would have been ruined had I not.”

Snape sat at the desk alone, as the voices in his head argued. His energy was drained and he felt sullied by the path that he had chosen to take but it was too late to stop it now. He had known for some time now that Harry had taken care of Voldemort but he had not told Draco. Voldemort was nothing more than a spoiled brat who thought he deserved it all, wanted it all, but was afraid to challenge the true Dark Lord so he bade his time until Dumbledore removed Grindelwald. Had Dumbledore killed him then it would have all been over and he would now be able to rest. He would now be assisting Draco in taking over the Malfoy family business, but instead he had been forced into preparing Draco incase Potter failed. Draco was insolent but he was no Death Eater and could never be one. His haughtiness would die once he realized that there would be no Dark Ministry and that there would be nothing left other than normal life, but Voldemort had to take the boy to punish Lucius.

Pushing himself up, Snape rose to his feet and turned to the fireplace. Ducking inside, he palmed a certain brick hidden in a top corner and stepped inside a passageway that would lead him to another chamber high above the caverns that held a series of tunnels that would either lead him back into the main caverns or to a backdoor that had been secreted for escape., he needed fresh air to clear his weariness and his thoughts before having to deal with Draco once again.

Chapter 23 Completed

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun 01 Mar 2009, 10:50 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 24

Gifts of Love

Harry laid there on the top edge of a steep slope that led down into a deep ravine that had flooded only two days earlier in what was called a flash flood created by a rain storm. His right arm was twisted and broken and his left pillowed his head as he lay on his stomach stiff and unmoving. He hurt badly, and pain edged itself with every movement he made. He could feel a dull throb in his legs and yet he couldn’t move them. He tried to once but there was some unseen force that seemed to forbid it. His lips were now cracked dry from the lack of water and his throat seemed swollen shut, he was very thirsty, and in his pain he managed a half cracked laugh as just two days ago he had more water than he wanted. The voices that spoke to him kept him company and when the pain was to difficult to manage, the woman seemed to make the worst of it go away. They both called him son and it felt comforting. Several times he tried to talk to them but all they would say to him was, “Be quiet son, help is on the way.”

After the first night was over, the voices that were in his head finally let him sleep and when he he had woken up, he was just able to manage asking about Hedwig, but the woman’s voice only hushed him and assured him that Hedwig was on her way. A couple of times thorugh out the day he opened his eye’s and thought he saw a stag standing near him as if guarding him and once he thought that he seen a doe standing watch. Once he felt what seemed like hands on his back and heat was emanating from those hands into his back. What he wanted to do most of all at this moment was to turn over because there was a rock right underneath his chest but he couldn’t move and when he did try, there came that force that prevented his movement, or was it the pain that kept him from continuing? Harry wasn’t sure which it was. He tried to magic the rock out of the way once but the throb that developed in his head put that idea quickly away. The night before, Harry had experienced an onslaught of severe pain that caused him to panic and the retching returned. The reassuring assurances of the woman’s voice tried to soothe him, and the gentle pressures of her hands began to caress his forehead and once again it felt as if she had laid down next to him.

While she tried to brush his pain away, his mind drifted back into his dream. He and Ginny were together again. Her arms circled his neck and she kissed him and then said, “We did it.”

Harry had just hung a sign that read “The Potters,” over the door of their new log cabin that they had built together with their own hands. Harry grinned as he caught her up by the waist and spun her around and then set her back down as they looked out over the meadow that was now theirs. A home away from everything, and nothing but peaceful tranquility and it was all theirs. Flicker. The image flicked in his mind as he turned to a child calling for him.

“Dad, help, I caught one, I caught one!”

Harry looked to the lake and saw his son James Sirius jumping up and down and shouting. He had a fishing pole in his hands that was nearly bent in half and he heard himself calling out to him, “Let out some of the line or you’ll lose him!”

Flicker, Flicker. The image left him and he was arguing with Ginny while they were in bed together.

“I want the kids to go to Hogwarts period.”

“But Harry, Hogwarts is so far away I’ll miss them.”

“But, your mum, your family…, Hagrid.”

"What about Hagrid?” Ginny asked.

“Ginny, Hagrid can teach them things about life that’s important.”

“Like what?” She asked.

“Animals, people, just things Ginny things that…, well you know.” He tried to convince her.

“And just how do you propose to get them there?” she challenged.

“Well I don’t know, but they should have the chance to experience the Hogwarts Express, Platform 9 ¾’s, the whole experience.”

“But why can’t we find a school here, nearer to us?”

Flicker, flicker…, flicker.

The Weasley’s were all there and they were all playing Quidditch on the field that he had built in a corner of the meadow.

“It’s beautiful son, I’d love to see you that happy and your father says he’d like to play against you.”

The voice in his head…, it was his mothers voice.

“It’ll be the best home mum.” He murmured, and the pain was gone as he fell back to sleep smiling.

Hedwig had been flying for two days when she had finally crossed over land once again. Altering her course, she was now heading directly for London when suddenly she felt a warmth course through her veins. An image of Harry’s dream had flicked across her eyes and she renewed her efforts. Help was not too far away now. Another thirty more minutes and she would be able to get Dobby and he would know what to do. It was dark when she flew over England’s coastline and she sensed that Dobby was not in London but at the Burrow so once again she altered her course and began her descent.

A combination and anxiousness and anxiety began to build as she arrowed down towards the Burrow. How was she going to get Dobby to understand that she needed him, how was she going to communicate to him what was wrong? She didn’t even know what was wrong herself. All she knew was that a very concerned and compelling woman’s voice told her to get help, that Harry was hurt, and that it was a voice that needed to be trusted and obeyed immediately. The Burrow was now coming into view and her ingrained senses told her where Dobby was inside the house. He was in Ginny’s old room and so she angled for that window.

Dobby was performing his nightly routine of ensuring that Missy Molly’s day ended well. She was already asleep as he sat on the edge a chair with his legs dangling beneath him just watching her while she slept when a rat-ta-tat-tat at the window caused him to jump and squeak in startlement. Rushing to the window, he saw Hedwig setting on the ledge preparing to peck at the window once again. Hurriedly, he opened the window only to be pecked and clawed in her attempt to get him to come with her.

“Hedwig!” he squeaked, “You mustn’t make Missy Molly wakeup.”

He was moving his arms about as if to fend her off of him. Hedwig’s hoots sounded more like squawks in her vociferous attempts to get Dobby to understand her.

“Dobby, who’s that?”

Dobby spun around to see Molly standing on her bed trying to see who was making all the noise.

“Missy Molly, you should be sleeping now.”

Dobby tried to coax her back down to bed all the while struggling with Hedwig who was now grabbing at his lapels trying to drag him to the window.

“The birdie says you have to go with her Dobby.”

Molly was now ecstatic and jumping up and down while Dobby was trying to catch her up to lay her back down. Finally he just stopped, and very unceremoniously grabbed Hedwig by her legs, held her in front of him and then froze her.

Turning to Molly he asked squeakingly, “How does Missy Molly know what Miss Hedwig is saying to Dobby?”

Molly clapped her hands together and said “Because she says so. She says that Uncle Harry needs you badly,” and then spread her hands outward and hunched her shoulders to indicate that what Hedwig was saying should have been common knowledge.

Dobby looked thunderstruck by what he had just heard and mortified by what he had just done to Hedwig.

“Missy Molly, Dobby is wanting you to watch Miss Hedwig.”

Snapping his fingers he popped out of sight only for a moment and returned almost as quickly with Winky in tow. Dobby was extremely agitated as he explained that he needed to leave and he did not know when he would return and that Winky was not to tell anyone as it was his Masters secret.

“If’n Dobby’s Master is needing Dobby, then Dobby must go now.” Winky was pushing Dobby to the door when he realized the Hedwig still lay frozen on Molly’s bed.

Mortified, he pushed passed Winky and released Hedwig from her state and she immediately resumed her attack on him and had actually grabbed a hold of him and lifted him several feet from the ground.

Chapter 24 Continued

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun 01 Mar 2009, 10:50 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 24 continued

Gifts of Love

Dobby was squealing and kicking in the air as Hedwig struggled to fly out the window with him when Winky took matters in hand and snapped her fingers. Molly clapped her hands with delight as she watched Dobby shrink in size to less than half his normally already small size. Dobby’s eyes had widened so wide that they looked ludicrous in his head. Although Dobby’s smaller size made it easier for Hedwig to carry him, she was exhausted. She had just flown nearly two full days without stopping for food or rest that her own eyes were nearly as large as Dobby’s and the strain showed in them and then, she dropped Dobby. She was too weary to hold him any longer. Hedwig landed herself onto Molly’s bed and Molly immediately picked her up and held her closely to her. Stroking Hedwig’s feathers Molly felt a kinship to the owl and could feel the tiredness and hunger that had possessed Hedwig.

“Winky,” Molly said in her high voice, “she needs food.”

Winky looked at her and then nodded and popped out of sight. Dobby was climbing up onto the bed now, his voice as high and squeaky as a mouse’s, watched his Missy Molly as she handled Hedwig softer than he had ever seen her with any other animal. Molly had Hedwig nestled in the crook of an arm and it appeared as if she was actually massaging her wings. He knew that Missy Molly had a special talent, and that she was far more advanced with magic than he had ever seen from a child her age and when she thought that no one was looking, he had seen her actually talking to Crookshanks or so it appeared that way to him.

As he watched, Molly had actually scooted herself down into her bed and had fluffed her covers up as if to make Hedwig a cozy little nest in which to rest in, all the while assuring her that she would be alright and all that she needed was a little food and some rest. Hedwig seemed lulled by what Molly was doing to her and her excitement seemed to settle. It was well past midnight when Hedwig, carrying Dobby, flew from Molly’s window fully rested and fed.

Dobby knew in the back of his mind that he master must have been hurt very badly for Hedwig to have acted they way that she did and worried about what he may find when they arrived at where Hedwig was taking them. He added a little of his own magic to Hedwig’s flying allowing her to place extreme distances into each stroke of her wings and also because he soon discovered that flying over great bodies of water was not something that he wanted to watch, so if he could help her to fly faster then he would help indeed.

Hedwig was a bit startled herself to discover that she had flown across that large body of water in less than a quarter of the time that it had taken her the first time she had had to fly it. It had taken her two days to fly to the Burrow and yet only a day to reach the mountain where Harry lay injured and now, quite possibly dead. She shouldn’t have rested while she was at the Burrow and she knew that, but that child did something to her. She felt so comfortable in the child’s hands and that bed was so comfortable.

They were now over the forest where she had last left Harry and she began to look for him. She knew the general location of where he might have been but she still needed to search. Flying first to where Harry had set their camp she began a near straight line towards the cave where he was last headed, when her keen eyes saw a scene that nearly caused her to drop Dobby. Dobby closed his eyes out of fear when Hedwig suddenly went into a near straight dive downward and then leveled out just at the treetops. Opening his eyes, he cried out as he saw his Master sprawled out on his stomach unmoving.

“Oh, oh, Master Harry.” He stammered as Hedwig settled him down to the ground. Dobby ran to harry and carefully laid a hand onto Harry’s head and felt warmth and then leaned his head close to Harry’s mouth and felt a soft breath on his cheek.

Dobby rocked backward onto his heels as he felt a warm touch on his shoulders and he looked around startled not to see anyone there.

“Would you be Harry’s Elf?” a voice whispered into his ear.

Dobby looked all about him and saw no one. “W-who is there?” he squeaked out.

When no one answered, Dobby looked all around himself suspiciously and then began looking at his master trying to figure out what to do when a mist began to form itself in front of him. Dobby watched wide eyed as the mist began to take on the shapes of a man and a woman. It was the woman who began to speak while the man knelt laying a hand on Harry’s back.

“Elf, Harry’s back is broken. He has some tingling in his legs but he cannot move them. His arm is also broken.”

“M-my n name is D-Dobby.” Dobby was utterly stunned by what he was seeing and mortified by what had just heard.

The woman of the mist laid a warm hand onto his shoulder and smiled at him. The smile seemed to strengthen him, seemed to marshal his resolve and he calmed down immediately. “My name is Dobby and I am indeed Master Harry Potter's house elf.” Dobby introduced himself to the images that he was seeing.

The man began to speak to Dobby instructing him to bring water and to bring some food which Dobby conjured up rather than leave his Master and then the man finally told Dobby that he needed to bring help. Dobby looked anxious about leaving Harry now that he was here with him but the man kept on speaking.

“Dobby do you know who Remus Lupin is?” When dobby nodded that he did know who Lupin was, the man said, “You must go to him and bring him back here. Tell him that Prong’s insists that he make haste. Tell him what I and Lily have told you about Harry’s condition. He will know what to do.”

It was the woman who now spoke up, “I see the fear of not wanting to leave our son on your face Dobby. You must love him very much. Rest assured that we will not allow anything to happen to him while you are gone.” She smiled as she looked at Hedwig and then continued speaking. “Fear not Dobby, we will send this marvelous owl immediately should anything change, that is if we can get her to leave him.”

Dobby looked to Hedwig who was nuzzling Harry with her beak and cooing to him while he lay sleeping. Dobby smiled as the scene that he was seeing somehow looked right and with a knowing nod he said “Mistress Lily, Master James, Dobby will return very soon, sooner than you think," and then snapped his fingers and with a pop, he was gone.

Dobby arrived back at the Burrow where he immediately insisted that Winky put him back to rights which she did. Molly was now fast asleep, so Dobby pulled Winky into the hallway where he told her what the trouble was. Winky listened carefully to what Dobby had to say and gasped when Dobby told her that Master Harry’s back had been broken and his legs would not move. Then her eyes widened when he told her that he had met his parents and knew who they were all though they had not said so.

She whispered almost reverently “Master Harry is well protected Dobby.” But Dobby was not listening.

He was very concerned by the injuries. Even in the magical world an injured spine was very serious. There was a silence that fell between the two when Winky spoke in a whispered voice. “We could ask for the Elven Circle.”

Dobby was wide eyed by her recommendation. “The Illdatch magic? We could not.” He exclaimed. “That is for elves alone not for humans Winky!”

Winky was not to be put off by this “Dobby’s master is grievously hurt, it could be asked for.”

The two elves argument had woken Percy who was now stumbling sleepily from his room. “What's going on?” he asked while trying to wipe the sleep from his eyes.

Both elves stood terrified that they had been caught out and mortified that they had allowed an argument to disturb the slumbers of a Master.

Winky bowed so low that her nose was touching the floor of the hallway and said “Dobby is wanting to disturb Missy Molly sir. Winky is telling Dobby that Missy Molly is already sleeping. Winky is not wanting Dobby to wake Missy Molly. But Dobby is insisting sir.”

Winky was hoping that Percy was sleepy enough to believe her story while Dobby looked incredulously at her for such a bold lie, elves did not lie.

Percy combed his hair with his fingers and eyed the two of them as if considering what he had just heard. It was late, he mused to himself and then looked at the two elves once again before speaking. “Winky, I myself have just moved back home but I do know that Dobby visits Missy Molly when she sleeps here and I do know that he does so even after she is in bed. Do you not know of his habits?”

“Winky is knowing sir. Winky had been given the most honorable duty to protect and to be Governess to Missy Molly. Dobby is no longer needed and Dobby is needing to learn that he cannot visit when he is wanting to, sir.”

She is being oddly formal,” Percy thought to himself, “But she is correct.” Percy turned to Dobby and said “Dobby, Winky is quite correct. You may visit tonight since you are already here but you must realize that Missy Molly is now Winky’s responsibility.” Then turning to Winky he said, “Winky, you will allow Dobby this one visit tonight.” Percy turned on his heel to return to his bedroom but he was wary about what he had just witnessed.

Dobby and Winky both returned to Molly’s bedroom and resorted to whispering. Winky was firm in what she suggested but agreed to wait until Dobby could retrieve Lupin and allow him to assess what danger Harry was truly in.

In a pop, Dobby was gone and Winky was left setting in the dark watching her young charge. Closing her eyes Winky reviewed the history of the Illdatch. It was a magic of the most ancient of times, a time before middle earth and after. The Illdatch comes from the earth and is a power that runs through the veins of those that are descended from the High Elves of old, when elves were fair and free and one with the land. They had been given charge of the Crystree. The Crystree was a tree of faerie that held evil at bay, locked away from the lands of the earth. They had been entrusted to care for this tree which they did for thousands of years until they dishonored themselves and allowed it to die. For this, they were sentenced into slavery, and servitude was to be their only happiness. They, those that were descended from the high elves, still possessed the magic of the Illdatch but now it took a circle of seven, all of one mind and one purpose, and of one agreement to cause the magic of the Illdatch. Winky was one of those elves and these were dark times. She had resolved that Harry’s purpose had been the same as her ancients and so his need was great. Dobby was a headlong elf but he lived the longest with one of the evils and so he would know what his Master was doing and he would know of its importance to the people so she had to gather the other members of the circle and be prepared.

Chapter 24 Completed

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun 01 Mar 2009, 10:58 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 25

Where's Harry?

Remus had just finished with a small meeting of key figures in the Order of the Phoenix apprising them that their war may not be completely over. He did not want to tell them what Dumbledore had done nor who the possible new Dark Lord may be. It was possible that Grindelwald might leave things well alone after all, it had been fifty-five years since his last reign of terror and he had been kept docile for all that time. Tonks had come up to him slipping an arm about his waist.

“’ere now Remus, you do look good wot with taking over the Order as you have.”

Brushing a wisp of bright orange hair from her eyes, he said, “Oh how I wish I did not have to my love, how I wish.”

They had held the meeting in Tonks’s flat as Hermione had final exams to study for, and Ron had his last test to certify him to be an Auror first thing in the morning, so he held a smaller meeting with the two of them earlier and then let them have their evening to either study or relax. They both wanted to be at the meeting this evening but Remus knew all too well where to strike, and strike he did by telling Hermione, “Hermione your education is much more important than this, and Ron will be starting his new career after tomorrow should he pass his tests and besides, you both already know what I’m to say tonight, so stay home and support each other and relax.”

Remus himself intended to get one good nights sleep before racing off to search once again for Harry and to have a night alone with his bride to be. He had just sat down in front of the fireplace and was waiting for Tonks to finish clearing up the clutter from the evenings meeting when a soft knock at the door came. Tonks went to the door before he had the chance to rise.

“’ere now wot’s this?” Tonks said as a small green bundle hurtled itself past her and stopped at Lupin’s seat.

Dobby was breathing hard and fast and started tugging at Remus’s pant leg to get him to follow, but Remus reached down and dislodged Dobby’s hand and held him away.

“Dobby, what’s wrong?”

“Master Harry is hurt badly. Dobby is to tell Mr. Remus that Prongs says to make haste!”

At the mention of Prong’s, Remus leapt to his feet. “Tonks, my coat please, and a quick knapsack. Quickly now!” The roughness and sternness of his voice caused her not to question and she quickly gathered up the items that he requested.

“Dobby where is Harry?” Remus asked not all to politely either.

Dobby looked perplexed and then agitation took over as he tried to think of where Harry really was. He didn’t know. Shrugging his shoulders Dobby looked up at Remus and spread his hands outward and said “Dobby does not know where his Master is sir, but Dobby can take you to Master Harry sir.”

Remus had an idea of about where Harry might be but he simply asked “Dobby can elves perform what we wizards call side along apparation?”

“Dobby can take small children sir, but Dobby is not knowing if he can take a man.”

Remus frowned at this and for a moment he was lost in thought trying to figure out how to follow Dobby to exactly where Harry was. Just then Tonks hurried into the living room carrying his cloak and a small knapsack. As she handed the requested items to him she spoke telling Remus that she had also packed several potions and ointments to help Harry with if needed. As she helped Remus into his cloak he grabbed her hand and stared at the ring that he had given her so long ago and an idea came to him.

Taking it off of her finger he said “My love I need to borrow this only for a little while. Dobby cannot take me directly to where Harry is and I will have need of it to find him. Tears came to her eyes as he removed the ring but she did understand why he needed it. Kissing her, he whispered in her ear “Your ring my love, will guide me to Harry. Once I am with him, I will have the elf return it to you immediately…, I promise you.”

Tonks stepped away from him and nodded, but the tears still flowed freely down her cheeks.

Remus turned to Dobby and handed him the ring and told him loudly enough so that Tonks could hear him plainly. "Dobby this ring belongs to my heart so do not lose it. You will go to Harry and place it on his hand. Do no more than that, until I arrive. Do you understand?"

Dobby nodded and took the ring very carefully and placed it into the breast pocket of his butler’s uniform and then bowed to Tonks and spoke “Lady, I will guard you ring with my life and will forever be in your debt for your aid to my Master.” And before anyone could say anything else he popped out of sight. Remus turned to kiss Tonks once again and then stepped outside of the flat and apparated.

Percy went back to his bedroom but he was now wide awake. The elves were acting very unnaturally and they were up to something. In fact, that Dobby chap seemed very agitated by something and that something was not Winky’s refusal to let him see his niece.

“This has something to do with Harry,” he muttered to himself as he sat down at his desk to try to figure out what was going on.

Dressing himself, he eased himself out of his room and quietly stepped back to Molly’s room and listened through the door just in time to hear Dobby say that he was going to get Remus, and then all was quiet. He was about to go back to his room to puzzle through what he had heard when he heard someone enter the house down in the kitchen. Peering down the stairs he caught the shadow of a man moving about. Percy stepped down the stairs one at a time until he was able to see who had come in by the small candle light that was always alit in the kitchen. It was his brother Bill.

“Ah Bill, you’ve finished with your meeting then?”

Startled, Bill turned around and saw Percy who was just entering into the kitchen and smiled.

“Sorry Perc, I didn’t mean to wake anyone.” Bill had just taken his cloak off as Percy filled two mugs with some hot tea and offered one to his brother.

“No Bill, it wasn’t you that woke me.” He said. “The strangest thing just occurred. Do you have a moment?”

Bill took the offered mug and sat down at the table and indicated that Percy should do the same. “Something on your mind brother?”

Percy st down and took a long sip of the tea before he began and then told Bill of everything that he had seen and heard. Bill listened carefully as Percy told him of the two elves arguing and Dobby seemingly being agitated over something that concerned Harry, or so he thought that was the way of it, and when he finished speaking Bill remained silent for a long while. Finally Bill spoke up.

“Only one way to find out then.”

Bill stood up and went to the door, opened it and then took his wand out. Percy thought he saw Bill speak to the wand and then a silvery wisp jetted from its tip. Bill put his wand away, closed the door and went back to his seat.

“Well, we’ll know what its about in just a few moments I think.”

Percy looked quizzically at Bill with a raised eyebrow.

“I sent a message to Remus or Tonks to ask what it was that Dobby needed. I think if you open the window a bit we’ll have our answer soon enough.” Bill said as he took another sip of his tea.

Both men turned to look as the all too familiar creak of their Mothers bedroom door alerted them that Molly had just opened it. She stepped into the kitchen white with fear and both boys jumped to their feet.

“Mother what is it, what’s wrong?” it was Percy that asked the question.

Molly was carrying her clock with her and turned it so the boys could see it. Harry’s hand was now pointing to “Mortal Peril.”

Bill took her by the arm as Percy rushed to get her a mug of the tea they were drinking, and as Bill sat her down at the table Percy placed the mug in front of her.

“I, I just had this feeling that Harry was in trouble. No, it was more like a dream I think. A woman told me in my sleep. I, I’m not sure, but it woke me up and there was the clock just laying there. I don’t remember putting it there myself but the hands…,” Molly trailed off and took a long drink from the mug of tea.

“Mum, Perc was just telling me of a conversation he overheard that woke him up too. It was the elves. Dobby wanted to get Remus, so I just sent an inquiry, we should have word any moment.”

Molly looked to Percy who only nodded in agreement with what Bill had just said.

The three of them sat silent and sullen around the table in the soft light of the one lit candle, sipping their tea and waiting for an answer to Bill’s message when the kitchen door opened and in walked both Ron and Hermione still dressed in their night clothes. They all stared blankly at each other and then Hermione broke the silence.

“Ron had the strangest dream…, and we had to find out. Is it true?”

Percy got up and poured two more cups of tea for the newcomers and set the pot about to make some more tea while he returned to his chair. Molly patted to table next to her and they both sat down as Bill repeated what they all knew thus far which was not much. Ron just sat there looking into his tea as if trying to read the tea leaves and Hermione reached out to hold Molly’s hand as the five of them sat around the kitchen table in silence waiting for word of what was happening.

After a few moments Percy left the room only to return moments later and he said “Winky is gone.”

The looks on the faces of the others forced him to explain that he had gone to Molly’s bedroom to ask her to come down and answer a few questions but she was no where to be found.

The Weasley’s all sat around the kitchen table sipping hot tea while the one candle cast its small light on their sullen faces. Hermione left the room to go upstairs to look in on her daughter, she hadn’t really seen her in days and she somehow needed the warmth of Molly’s constantly shining face, if only to look upon to lighten her heart. Slipping inside the room, Hermione lit the tip of her wand. She didn’t want to find any of Molly’s toys under foot. A sudden curiosity took her over and she went to look in the nightstand where just a few days earlier George had returned Molly’s wand. It wasn’t there.

Molly stirred in her sleep and Hermione bent over to kiss her cheek. Molly was sleeping with her wand in hand. Hermione only smiled, she knew what she had seen the other night but she wasn’t going to take it away. Molly was extremely advanced for her age, very advanced and Hermione was proud of her daughter especially sense Molly’s only indiscretion thus far with the wand was to keep Crookshanks wary and on his toes. It did seem that he was rather fond of Molly and even fonder of his own natural color.

She was very happy that she had Crookshanks to look after her daughter and even happier to know that her daughter had two house elves that seemed to have made it their personal mission in life to ensure a proper upbringing as well as proper playmates and she was very certain that Dobby was instructing Molly in not only playful magics but defensive ones as well. Molly was most definitely a Weasley. A very spoiled one if Fred and George had their way, and quite possibly one with a most perverted sense of humor. Though the twins were truly the most, Hermione would not have them any other way around her daughter. Already three years old, Molly was certainly intelligent and she showed it but she also knew how to have fun in life as well. “

I missed out on that baby, but don’t you stop having fun,” she whispered to her daughter.

Molly stirred again and opened her eyes and smiled. “Mummy.” She whispered.

“Yes dear mummy’s here baby.” Hermione sat on the edge of the bed and drew Molly up into her arms and held her.

“Mummy, are you here because Uncle Harry is hurt?”

Hermione just looked at her daughter for a short moment and then asked if Winky or Dobby had told her that or if she had heard them arguing. Molly nestled her head into Hermione’s shoulder and shook her head and said, still whispering, “The white birdie came to take Dobby and she told me.”

Hermione frowned for a moment and the said softly “Hedwig?”

"I dunno her name but she looked very pretty mummy and she was funny too.”

“How was she funny sweetheart?”

“She twied to pick Dobby up and take him and then she dwopped him. It was funny. She kept biting him until I had to say what she wanted. Dobby is silly he wasn’t listening to her.”

“Molly dear, were you able to hear what the white birdie was saying?’ Do you hear other animals talking baby?” Hermione was now very curious now.

“Only sometimes.”

“Do you hear Crookshanks?” Hermione was prodding now.

“Uh-huh, but only when we’re pwaying all alone, Cookchanks will talk to me, and sometimes I can hear what the doggie down the stweet says too.”

Chapter 25 Continued

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun 01 Mar 2009, 10:59 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 25 continued

Gifts of Love

Hermione wasn’t sure how to take this information. She was both awed by it and shocked by it as well. She had always thought that Dumbledore had this very rare, was it a talent or a gift? She wasn’t sure about that, but decided that it could be both.

“Molly, what else did the white birdie say to Dobby when he wasn’t listening to her?”

“She said that Uncle Harry’s mummy and daddy were there with him and they were watching over him and…,” she stuck a finger into the corner of her mouth and furrowed her brows as if she was thinking very hard and then continued. “She said that Uncle Harry had boken his back and that Dobby was to bring Uncle Remus right away…, and that Pwong’s asked for Uncle Remus. Mummy who is Pwong’s?”

Hermione gasped when Molly mentioned Prong’s name and let out a stifled cry when Harry’s back was mentioned. Hermione hugged her daughter just as Molly yawned.

“Do you want to see daddy before you go back to sleep?’ Molly only nodded and nestled even deeper into Hermione’s arms as she rose to her feet carrying Molly back down to the kitchen.

Hermione entered the kitchen quietly and Molly had already fallen back to sleep iwhile n her arms but she still handed her over to Ron who took her into his arms and kissed her and then settled Molly so that she could sleep nestled in the crook of his arm and shoulder. After a moment he stood and went into the family room and pointed his wand at the fireplace and muttered “Incendio.” At once a small fire burst into the hearth and it cast a glow that equaled the gloom that everyone was feeling.

Ron sat down on the couch and holding Molly, stared into the flames in silence. After a few moments Hermione followed him in and set down next to him moving Molly just enough so she could rest herself against him too. One by one, the rest of the Weasley’s followed the two into the living taking seats in the silence and the gloom and together they began their vigilance.

Minutes went by or maybe it was hours when a soft knock at the door caused Percy to stir. He rose to see whom it was and returned to take his seat leading Tonks in behind him. Bill got up and offered his seat to her but she just shook her head and in a hoarse whisper said, “Nothing yet.” and took the empty space on the couch near Hermione and Ron.

After a few moments Tonks looked to Bill and said simply “Fleur?”

Bill shook his head and said “She’s still asleep. She doesn’t know either.”

A soft tap on Ron’s shoulder woke him up, it was his mother who had woken him and it was early morning. The smell of eggs and bacon wafted from the kitchen as Ron stretched out his arms and untangled himself from Molly and Hermione as he eased himself up into a sitting position.

“Any word mum?’ Ron asked quietly.

Molly placed a finger to her lips and motioned for him to come to the kitchen before talking, so as not to disturb the others who had fallen asleep where they sat. The gloom that had filled the night still hung heavily over the Burrow as Ron stood and stretched his sore back and cramped legs before following the elder Molly in for his breakfast. Fleur and Tonks were already setting at the table when he entered and he took his own seat. Fleur reached over to pat his shoulders and murmured something to the effect that Harry would be alright. Tonks lifted her head and Ron saw that her eyes were swollen and red. She had either stayed awake all night long or she had been crying but Ron suspected that it might have been a little bit of both or a lot of both but definitely both.

He looked at the plate that his mother sat before him but he only stared at it. He had no appetite this morning and his mother had to tell him to tuck in saying that he had to have something in his stomach to help with his final test that he had to take. Half-heartily, Ron began to pick at his food and then finally he began to eat. Tonks then told him that she had received word from Remus during the night and by his first report, things were not very good for Harry. Taking another sip of her tea Tonks took a deep breath before continuing on.

“Remus has set and repaired Harry’s arm which was broken and said that he had been cut up pretty badly and he has dressed those wounds too but his spine has been severed in two places and he cannot move him for fear of causing any more damage.”

Ron continued eating, mechanically and mostly to have something to do as he listened to the news that caused him more grief than he could ever remember except for the deaths of his father and his sister. Tonks seeing his silence as him waiting for more information, continued her report.

“He’s been placed in the full body bind curse so he cannot move and then Remus said that he transported him to back wo where Harry's campsite was to get him out of the elements.”

Ron finally looked up showing no emotion and asked, “Why doesn’t he bring him here?”

Molly came to her son and hugged him and then looked him in the eyes and said very firmly, “Ron we trust Remus’s decision, if he feels that Harry cannot be brought here for some reason then I respect that and you must do the same. I’m sure that it’s because he feels that Harry cannot be brought this far without further injury. Now I want you to finish your breakfast, pass your test, get your position and make your father proud of you today. Harry will be fine, I know it and so do you…, deep down you know he’ll be alright.”

Ron pushed his plate away and rose to hug his mum. “I need to go mum…, I need to shower and change before I go for testing.” Without saying goodbye, Ron walked outside of the Burrow and disappeared.

The mood at the Burrow was subdued as the Weasley’s began their day. Bill had wanted to take the day off but Molly would not allow it. She did tell Hermione to run home for some clothes for her and Ron and insisted that she bring her study books back with her, arguing that there was no point in her daughter-in-law wasting study time even if she could only pay half the attention her books deserved plus, it would help to keep her busy and from underfoot. Molly had a rough smile on her face when she mentioned the last part about being underfoot.

“Normal routine, that’s what we need around here, normal routine. There’s no sense in just setting around waiting when we know as much as there is to know right now.”

She had said this more for herself than for anyone else and the others knew it too but they did as was suggested if only half hearted. Little Molly seemed unaffected by the mood of the others but, she seemed to sense the mood and that she should perhaps stay out of the way, so she occupied herself during the morning by playing at degnoming the garden. She couldn’t throw very far, only a few feet but she laughed as she watched the gnomes walk around as if in a drunken stupor after she had twirled them before tossing them into the air.

It was mid-morning when little Molly’s shrieks of “Mummy, the white birdie!” brought the ladies of the house all outside as Hedwig zoomed straight for little Molly.

Molly held her arms out as if to catch Hedwig when the older Molly retrieved her first. “The poor thing, she’s exhausted.” Molly muttered as she took the note from Hedwig’s leg.

She handed Hedwig down to little Molly who immediately held her as if she were a baby and Hedwig was willing to just lay there on her back and being cradled. Hermione touched Molly’s arm and said, “Sweetheart, why don't you take Hedwig into the house and give her something to eat and drink please.”

“Okay mummy,” and she turned to do as she was told. When little Molly left to go inside the elder Molly had un-rolled the note and read aloud.

“I need to consult with Madame Pomfrey but cannot afford to arrive at Hogwarts without arising suspicion and causing questions. Harry is taking food and water and has seemed to stabilize but I cannot risk moving him any further than I already have. I will arrive late this evening if someone will alert her to meet me at the Burrow with her bag. Tell her that it is for the Order and she will not question. I have placed a spell on Harry’s owl to cause her to fly twice as fast so if someone would have Hagrid look her over before allowing her to return. You may have to restrain her as I do not think she has rested and I worry for her as well.


Molly tucked the note into her apron saying that she would take care of this personally. Taking a few steps away from the others she let out a small exclamation as she was still wearing her night clothes underneath her apron. Red faced she allowed herself the time to go back inside to change into regular clothes. As she stepped back outside she whispered into Hermione’s ear before disappearing.

Hermione turned to go back inside to see what Molly was talking about. Little Molly was setting near the fireplace with Hedwig nestled into the crook of her arm and she was stroking her feathers and whispering to her. “Its okay Heddig, Uncle Harry is going to be okay. Winky said so. Now go to sleep.”

As Hermione stood watching she saw that Molly was actually rocking Hedwig while talking to her. As Hedwig’s eyes closed tightly Hermione slipped up beside her daughter and reached down to stroke Hedwig’s feathers herself and felt the anxiety and weariness slip away from Hedwig.

“Did you feed her honey?” Hermione asked quietly.

Molly nodded her head and then placed a finger to her lips and whispered “Shh, mummy she’s sweeping.”

Hermione make one last stroke of Hedwig’s feathers and then smiled down at her daughter and placed her own finger to her lips and said very softly, “You take good care of her honey, you’re her nurse.”

]Little Molly held her finger to her lips to shush her mum and continued to rock Hedwig in her arms.

Chapter 25 Completed

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun 01 Mar 2009, 11:03 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 26

Molly's Fears

Molly Weasley stopped outside the massive iron gates that marked the grand entrance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to adjust her cloak against the chilling breeze of Northern Scotland. Tapping the locked gates with her wand, she heard the click of the locks and pushed open the gates just enough to allow herself to squeeze through before closing the gates behind her and tapping the locks once again. Her plans for the day included meetings with both Hagrid who was both the Head of Gryffindor House and Professor of Magical Creatures, to ask him to pop in later to have a look at Harry’s owl, Hedwig. And also, to see Madame Pomfrey, who served as the Hogwarts School Nurse although her skills were more than those of a Healer. Madame Pomfrey was one of those that asked no questions and often served as Healer to many members of the Order of the Phoenix for years. She was Molly’s primary reason for being at Hogwarts today.

She walked up the lane that led to the main doors in a less than somber mood now that she had heard some news about Harry. Though her heart ached for him, Remus’s words were a little more reassuring though Harry’s injury was very grave. Molly was thankful nonetheless, that his other injuries were really nothing more than common everyday Quidditch injuries which she herself has had to mend and put up with, with the likes of her boys. Silently she hoped that was what people would think when they saw her, but inside, she was trembling with fear and worry. Harry was more to her than a friend of the family, he was one of her children, and she was thoroughly frightened for him, but no one needed to know the seriousness of the situation especially Hagrid. The poor soul has felt as responsible for Harry, as a doting father and it would not do to have his students see him blubbering as one either, so she had to put on airs for all to see.

Seeing smoke curling in a plume near the edge of the forest Molly angled her walk to first go to Hagrid’s cabin. It would be better to speak to him now rather than interrupt a class later or let on that there was something else other than Hedwig’s long flight on her mind. A sudden flutter filled her chest as she had just realized that Hagrid would want to ask questions about Harry and where he is or what he was up to. What could she tell him that would not be a lie? Though Molly did have plenty of practice in tricking her kids in getting things done, it was different when one spoke to the likes of Hagrid. His pure and honest spirit deserved the truth but he could not be counted on to keep a secret such as what Harry deserved.

Resolved to speak with Hagrid first, Molly had decided to just tell him the truth after all, Hagrid did care for him as much if not more than any one else she knew, and he knew that Harry had to do whatever it was he was doing, alone. She was dithering and she knew it but it didn’t matter to her because it was all she could do to not follow Remus back to where Harry was herself, just to be with Harry. So she felt she knew just how Hagrid would react. Now if she could only maintain some composure while talking to Hagrid then perhaps she might not have to tell him the extent of how badly Harry was injured.

Molly knocked on the door of Hagrid’s hut but no one answered so she began to walk around the building just as Hagrid stepped out from the edges of the forbidden forest.

“Ello there Molly, wot brings you back ter Hogwarts t’day?”

“Hagrid, I was just looking for you. We’ve heard from Harry.” she said excitedly.

“Wot’s this? Harry’s written a letter?” Hagrid asked with incredulity while masking the excitement in his own voice.

He was now walking with her towards his door. “I’ve some tea if yer up to it Molly, or summat.”

Molly stopped and took his huge arm in one of her hands and looked up to his face, Her hands barely went one third of the way around his arm but the pressure of her grasp was enough to belay the message that all was not well.

“C’mon inside Molly ‘n have summat that tea I tol’ ya about. You kin tell me ‘bout wot’s happened ter Harry.”

Molly’s eyes were glistening as he looked down and gently ushered her into the door and closed it.

Molly had spent the better half of the day with Hagrid as she alternately quivered in sobs of the deepest grief or beat him in the chest with a rage that only a mother and a wife could have, a mother and a wife who had lost half of her family to the Dark Lord.

“There, there Molly you jes let it all out.” Hagrid had said many times over, all the while patting her shoulders more softly than he had ever patted anyone before. “Ye’v bin strong fer ya family Molly, and fer Harry. Ya need yer chance ter cry out and ya jes do it, ya hear me, ya jes do it.”

When Molly stifled her last sob and wiped her eyes dry, Hagrid had a fresh cup of hot tea that he had sent for from the schools kitchens and then set her down and held her hand for awhile in silence as she drank her tea. The tea had a calming effect on her and Hagrid asked if she was ready to tell him about Harry and she nodded. Molly told Hagrid of the note sent by Remus and all about, or at least as much as she knew about Harry’s condition. She had almost forgotten to ask if he would stop by the Burrow to have a look at Hedwig as she felt most bedraggled when she arrived and it was as if she had not had any rest in at least a week.

She stood and wrapped her arms about his great waist and gave him a huge squeeze and thanked him for being her crutch.

“Not at all Molly, not at all. An’ yer welcome to come by if’n ye’v a need ter be alone for a mo' Molly, an’ not ter worry I won’t be tellin’ anybody ‘bout terday nor ‘bout Harry. Do yer want me ter walk ya up ter the school or summat?”

Patting his arm as he opened the door of his hut, Molly thanked him for the offer but said that she would rather walk alone so as to freshen herself up a bit before entering the castle to see Madame Pomfrey.

Percy was kept busy keeping an eye on little Molly while Hermione attempted to study for her third year finals at the Muggle Law University. Surprisingly, Percy knew quite a bit of English Law and he was helpful at times but mostly his attempts were that of the typical Percy of older times during the trio’s first and second years, but what had truly warmed her heart was that that Percy was completely besotted with his little niece.

Hedwig was now up and awake and she too seemed smitten with Molly, almost to a kinship of spirit. Hermione found herself watching the pair whenever they were in sight of her. Hermione had not forgotten what Molly had said the night before about her being able to talk to animals. It was a very rare ability, an exceptionally rare ability even within the wizarding world to be sure, but her daughter seemed to be able to, but then Molly also had a very vivid imagination as well. She caught herself drifting away from her studies for the umpteenth time today but she couldn’t help it. Harry was finally found after three long years of not hearing anything from him and only because Hedwig sought out help because he was seriously injured. Hermione felt shamed that she was studying instead of racing off to be with him and she knew that Ron felt the same way. An idea came to her; she would ask Molly to ask Hedwig where Harry was. Looking at her wrist watch, she noted that Ron should be returning home fairly soon as one of the Ministry’s newest certified Aurors, so she would wait and talk to him about her suspicions of Molly and her idea. She was sure Ron would be as eager as she was to put Molly to the test, and perhaps coax out some idea of where Harry was or…, another idea sprung to mind. Smiling to her self, Ron would be able to follow Remus and Madame Pomfrey back to where Harry was. Hermione closed her book with a huge smack.

“Oh, I just can’t keep my mind on my studies!” she exclaimed to a startled Crookshanks who gave her an evil look for disturbing his hourly nap.

Abruptly, she stood from the kitchen table and peered one more time around the corner into the living room. Molly still sat in the chair near the fireplace and she was still holding Hedwig and this time she had her arranged in her arms much like a baby. Molly had not left that chair all morning except for once and that was to get some food and water for Hedwig whom she carried with her while Molly gathered some bread crumbs and morsels of meat as well as a small bowl of water and then she promptly returned back to that chair and hand fed the owl.

“She’s mothering that owl.” Hermione had gasped under her breath.

Her daughter was only three years old and she was mothering an owl as if she were a practiced Magical Creature Healer. Hermione had turned to lean her back against the kitchen wall with her arms folded deep in thought.

"What are you doing?”

Hermione nearly jumped out of her skin as Ron looked at her very puzzled.

“H-how long have you been standing there?” Hermione had to fight to keep the squeak of fright from her voice as she half turned to face him.

“Nearly five minutes.” he answered. “Where’d you go?” he asked, still looking very puzzled at her.


“Well your obviously here,” his hands were gesturing to where they stood “but up here,” he was pointing to his head now, “you've gone somewhere. So where’d you go?”

Ron was used to her pensive looks and her blank stares from time to time when she was deep in thought; but she was always here. This time she was truly gone, and what with all that was happening, he was concerned.

“Ohh.” Hermione had finally come back to reality to understand just what Ron was talking about. “He’s been here for five minutes?” she asked herself.

“Ron I want to talk to you about our daughter.”

Ron groaned and then asked what she had done this time, but Hermione waved that away with a flick of her hand and drew him nearer.

“Ron watch what your daughter is doing.” She whispered to him. “Just stand here for awhile and watch.” She moved out of the way so Ron could watch more easily to what Molly was actually doing. “I’ll be outside when your ready dear.”

Ron peered around the corner and saw nothing out of the ordinary. Hedwig was perched on the arm of the high backed chair next to the fireplace and little Molly was setting in the same chair turned so that she faced Hedwig and she was talking to her. There was nothing strange about that, he thought, all kids talk to their pets or any animal that would set still long enough.

“Me, mummy, and daddy live in Uncle Harry’s house while he’s gone.”

“Now there’s nothing strange in that either.” Ron mused, but he still stood and watched as Hermione asked.

Hedwig hooted a few times and Molly giggled.

“I know you lived there too.”

Chapter 26 Completed

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The Hunt

Chapter 26 continued

Molly's Fears

Molly had answered the hoots but Ron still felt that there was nothing strange in that either besides that goes along with a normal make believe conversation.
“Hermione must be over worked.” He muttered to no one but the wall.
Hedwig began hooting some more as Ron was just turning to walk towards the kitchen door when he froze in his tracks.

“Who’s Keacher?”

Molly had just asked something, a name that he had not mentioned to her and he didn’t think that Hermione would have ever mentioned Harry’s other house elf either. Ron turned back to where he was standing and listened more intently this time.

“Dobby is Uncle Harry’s elf but I got one too.” Molly certainly sounded gleeful now. “Her name’s Winky and I like her. She’s so fun to pway with.”

Molly grew silent for a moment then she added, “She says I’m too young to have my very own wand. When I make Cookchanks turn colors, she says I’m a bad girl but I catch her laughing, so I know she don’t mean it.”

Hedwig took it all in, and then hooted several times as if in reply. Ron’s features were turning from that stubborn do as Hermione says, to a slight look of astonishment as he listened to Molly asking, “Who’s Barty Couch?”

Ron’s eyebrows managed to climb clear to the top of his head.

Hermione was setting at one of the picnic benches that sat outside near the broom shed when Ron came sputtering up to her.

“Have you ever mentioned Kreacher or who Winky used to belong too?”

Hermione only smirked in a disconcerting way. “Now do you believe me?”

Ron sat across from her and plopped his elbows up onto the table to hold his head in his hands and groaned.

“Ronald Weasley, this is nothing to sit and groan about! Our child had abilities and a unique gift! She should be in a school!”

Hermione was just getting her steam up and Ron searched frantically for a way to head her off but all he could think of was a grumbling agreement. Hermione was going strong now but he barely heard her.

“And another thing…,”

Hermione had a finger pointing at him and was shaking it under his nose when he uttered “I know, I know but where are we going to get the money for her training?”

Hermione was stopped in mid stride her mouth agape. “Did you just agree with me?”

Winky paced up and down the corridor deep beneath Hogwarts that led to the kitchens. Stopping every once in a while to stare forlornly at a painting that hung on the wall. Winky served two masters now, the Weasley family and the Elven Circle, and these two masters were at odds with what she knew to be right. Her family was as old as the ages of time, descending from the Silvani of the First Age. The Silvani were elves who stood tall at six feet in height, and were of the fairest of peoples to look upon, and whose magics were a part of the earth itself.

It was in the fourth Age of time, when an age of Darkness began to take the world, when the long lost Druids waged a great war engaging the world of man and Faerie in a battle against the dreadlords and demons of the dark that sought power among the populations of the World. It was in this time that a forbidding was formed. A land wrought with a blight, and blasted by time, a realm where Dark Lords and Dark Creatures could rule their own lives away from all that was considered good. The lands were searched until a seal was found that would seal the Forbidding forever, allowing only for entry into the Forbidding but never an exit.

A lone tree of its kind was found living in the Illdatch Forest, it was a fabled Avendesoro, that had survived the blights of the beginnings of the world before the First Age. The Elves called it the Crystree because of the sound that was made when the wind would blow through its branches. Some said that it cries for the loss of goodness and others said that it cried for the loss of life. The elves who were the strongest and wisest of Earth magic were granted the honor to care for it to the end of time and they did so for many thousands of years until a time when the stories of legend became myths of time, and traditions faltered. The daily care of the Avendesoro, the Crystree, became weekly and then monthly until the people had forgotten its purpose, and rent in the wall of the forbidding opened.

Winky was only one of seven, who knew the true history of the elves, and of the last remaining Druid who had sealed the rent and admonished the elves into a servitude fitting for their crime against man. Cursing them by entailing their happiness into the life of slavery and turning their misery into a life of freedom.

“We is bringing it onto ourselves.” Winky had said aloud to herself. “We is still having the magics and we is to be using the magics for good.”

Winky was forming her argument before tickling the pear that would open the secret door to the kitchens.

“There is being no law against Illdatch being used on humans.”

There was a law that prevented the Illdatch Magic from abuse, from daily use, from any use that would prevent the natural course of events from happening. Healing was one of those things, but Winky had resolved that healing Harry, whose mission was the same as her ancestors, was not abuse or normal use…, it was needed and Rogent, the Head of the Circle only needed to be convinced.

“Well, did you pass your test then?”

“Huh wha…,?”

"Ron are you listening to me? I asked if you passed your test then?”

Hermione was looking earnestly at Ron as he himself wandered off mentally adding up the costs of Proctors, Professors, Counselors, special training, and in Ron’s mind, the list was endless and the galleons extremely limited.

Shaking the image out of his head he said “Hermione what are we doing?”

“Ron don’t be a git, we’re discussing Molly.”

"I know, but we should be discussing Harry right now. Hermione, Molly can wait and Harry’s out there somewhere hurt and Remus can’t even get him back!” Ron was turning red and shouting. “What are we doing about it Hermione? Nothing! He’s been there every time we needed him, with dad…, and Ginny, When we needed a place near your parents, your school, and what have we done!?”

Hermione’s eyes were reddening and her lip began to quiver as Ron raged on. They had had their rows before but Ron seldom ever raised his voice and now he looked as if he might hit something and he did. His fist smashed down on the table which made her jump. As she just stared at him, she realized that Molly’s talent had enabled her not to think about Harry herself and she really felt that she and Ron should both be out there looking for, and taking care of him now that he had been found.

Ron had stopped shouting and when she looked up at him he was nearly apoplectic in his rage, and he had not said yet, if he had passed his test.

Could he have failed it?’ she asked herself, but another voice inside of her said, "No, Ron for once had studied and practiced what he was learning," and he really was good at the things he brought home to practice, and he knew the answers when she helped to quiz him, “but,” said that little voice again “He doesn’t test very well even when he does know that answers.”

“Ron, You’ve not answered my question. Did you pass your test?”

Chapter 26 Completed

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun 01 Mar 2009, 11:07 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 27

Never Walk Again

“Remus, can you tell me why my legs won’t move? They tingle and itch but I can’t move them.”

Harry still lay on his stomach with the full body bind still placed about him while Remus sat with him. Dobby sat crouched in the corner of the tent eyeing Harry making woeful noises almost as if he were crying.

“Harry, lay still son and try not to talk.”

“I can’t move anything.” Harry said plaintively. “I sense the body bind curse on me. Why have you done this?”

Remus sighed loudly and then took a deep breath before answering him. “Harry you’ve been badly hurt and if you move even the slightest…, you may never walk again. So I placed you in the body bind just in case you roll in your sleep.” Then he smiled as if making a joke and said “Or if you might want to scratch your itch.”

Harry smiled sensing the humor and then said himself. ”Well then I suggest that you may want to go back to school then.”

Remus frowned at him and asked, “Why would you say that?”

Harry made what sounded like a chuckle “I can still move my mouth.”

Remus grinned and ruffled Harry’s hair “Ah, now that’s the trick of it you see. It doesn’t always have to be a full body bind. You can let some things run about.”

“Master Harry?”

“Dobby are you here too?’ Dobby was at his side in a flash smiling. “Can Dobby get Master Harry Potter anything? A drink perhaps?“

"Dobby…,” Harry breathed the name out as if in relief, “I should have known you would be here.”

“Master, Dobby did not try to save your life. Dobby swears it sir.”

Harry had to think about that for a minute and then he remembered that he had made Dobby swear that he wouldn’t try to save his life anymore when it turned out that Dobby was the cause of all of his injuries during his second year at Hogwarts, while trying to save his life. Harry looked at Dobby’s face only to see the faithful elf smiling.

“You remembered that eh?”

Dobby laid a hand on Harry’s head and caressed his forehead “Dobby does remember it Master Harry sir. Dobby does remember it.”

Harry noticed that Dobby had taken to calling him master but for some reason it did not bother him. Dobby had always been most faithful to him and now it seemed right, well right enough to allow Dobby to call him that.

“Remus I can’t come back…, I still have something to do…, for Ginny…, for the Weasleys. I…,”

“I know Harry," Remus had cut in, "and so do they, but right now you can’t go anywhere.”

“You know?” Harry looked at Remus. “How long have you known?”

“We only just found out…, by accident and just a few days ago.” Remus spoke softly and with a hint of regret in his voice too.

“You know about Snape then?”

Remus looked incredulous, “Snape?”

Harry gritted his teeth but it wasn’t from pain and said, “Voldemort was never the Dark Lord he was only a pawn.”

Remus just looked on so Harry continued. “It’s Snape that I’ve been following all these years Remus. He was in Hogwarts all those years, the whole time. I should have known when he killed Professor Dumbledore. The Dark Lord has wanted nothing more than to end Dumbledore’s life with his own hands. It fits like a glove. Voldemort was his battle general to keep Dumbledore off guard, to keep him from looking where and at whom he should have been looking the whole time.”

Remus only stared at Harry. A silence fell between the two of them while Harry waited for him to respond, to try to protect Snape as he did once before, but Remus did not, he only kept silent. Harry mentioned what he thought was the most condemning evidence of all.

“Remus, do you not think it odd that Snape was never around when the fighting occurred? Not with the Order, not with the Death Eaters, never in sight? He stood on the side lines and watched; and when the time came, the true Dark Lord steps out and makes good on his promise and disappears.”

“Harry I don’t know what to say, but I will get you well enough again and I promise you and I’ll help you in any way that I can. I…,” Harry interrupted him.

”Remus, I have to do this alone, but I will take whatever help you can give me now.”

Remus felt the weight of burden pressing down on his shoulders as he looked down upon Harry. The burdens of his promise to James and Lily and to Sirius, to see Harry safely through life, his promise to himself to take care of Harry as a father would his own son weighted him down at this very moment.

“Harry, if I could change places with you…,”

Harry’s smile was a bit disarming when he completed what Remus was about to say and added “But you can’t take my place Remus and this is one time I would gladly let you have my seat. But I can’t, and even when I can get back on my feet…, I need to finish this alone.”

Remus didn’t want to look at Harry when he told him that there stood a chance that he would never be able to walk again. The silence in the tent was deafening.

Dobby flew at Remus flailing his fists and pummeling him about the chest and shoulders after what Remus had said finally sunk in. His voice was shrill with fright as he launched himself shrieking, “Master Harry Potter will walk again. He will rise! You are a bad wizard Mister Remus for saying these things to him!”

Remus just set there with his head hung as Dobby’s small fists pummeled him.


Harry’s sharp voice froze Dobby as he continued to assault Remus.

“Dobby stop it immediately!”

Dobby turned and his large tennis ball sized green eyes were glistening with wetness as he looked at Harry.

“Remus?” Harry questioned.

“Its alright Harry. I feel the same as Dobby does but you need to know the truth of it.”

“Dobby will make sure Master Harry gets up Dobby swears it!.”

If Dobby’s eye's could have turned red, Harry was sure that they would have but before Harry could say anything Dobby snapped his fingers and the all too familiar sound of the pop was heard, and Dobby was gone..

It was reaching near noon time when Remus peeked outside of the tent and frowning, he turned back to Harry. “Harry I have to go for a moment. Dobby has not returned so I’ll have to seal the tent and I’ll place a disillusionment charm over it.

“Where are you going Remus?” Harry had to ask.

“I’m going to bring Madame Pomfrey back with me. She may be able to help, but in the least, she will be able to help get you home.” Remus brushed Harry’s hair back from his face and smiled warmly and reassuringly causing Harry to smile back.

“Go on and go. I’ll just lay around here for awhile till you get back.”

Remus shook a finger at him and then exited the tent and set his precautions and then stood back as the tent slowly took on the appearance of the scenery that surrounded the area. Remus waited for a little while longer in hopes that Dobby had only left the tent and was perhaps milling about the secluded campsite. While he waited, he noted with approval, how Harry set up his site. It worked well with it natural surroundings and the small pit that he had dug for his campfire might have easily been mistaken for an old rabbit’s burrow that may have been routed. He waited for another ten more minutes and then he left for the Burrow to escort Madame Pomfrey back.

Draco had taken to investigating the depths of the cavern once again when he found another opening that had been hidden in the recesses of a darkened corner deep within the bowels of the system. He had been down this far before and was certain that he had been in this one chamber at least twice before. Snape was in one of his darker moods today and he wanted to be as far from him as possible. He had discovered that some chambers held passage ways that appeared to not be there, the walls all looked alike and if you were not actually looking you could miss an opening or a recess that held another passageway directly behind the wall. That was how he found this one. He had been walking along the back wall, running a hand along when his hand suddenly found emptiness. He summoned a small flame into his hand, it was just one of the many things that Snape had taught him how to do, and though there was an emptiness there still appeared to be a wall. Stepping closer in his inspection, he realized that what he thought to be the wall was actually about two feet deeper than the rest of the wall so he stepped in closer and found a passage that led directly behind the wall he has just walked down.

He stepped into this new passageway and followed back down the way he had just come but on the reverse side of the chamber for several yards when it turned left and began to descend. He began thinking about the last three years that he and Snape had been together. That night that he had killed that old fool, he and Snape went to the Manor to tell his mother that the job had been done. Snape said nothing about whom finished it, just that it had been done. His Mother had been waiting for them and already had a travel bag made up for him. She had fussed over him he remembered. She didn’t want to let him go but at the same time she kept saying that he needed to go, he needed to go into hiding until she could arrange for his fathers release. He knew what that meant when she said it. It meant until she could arrange for his escape. Potter had caught his father up in a situation which would never allow for Lucius Malfoy's release. There were small chambers off to either side of this passage way and as Draco held the hand that contained the flame in it, into the openings he discovered that they turned out to be no more than deep recesses or small alcoves so he continued on deeper into the mountain as the passageway that he was now in kept going deeper and deeper.

He and Severus Snape had first fled to Albania, where they stayed in an old hunting lodge. They were there for nearly a year and each day Snape held his classes, teaching him all the subjects that he would have had to learn if he had stayed at Hogwarts for his Seventh and final year. Snape was more demanding of him in his spell work and in his potions. He had only had to learn astronomy as it applied to potions making which to Draco was somewhat of a relief but in reality Snape was much harder and exacting even then. Draco’s potions had to be perfect each time or he had to do them over and over again until he could mix the most mundane potions in his sleep. Rounding a bend in the passageway, Draco noticed that the tight corridor had opened up to where perhaps two abreast could walk through. Snape was like a mentor then. Though he was exacting in his requirements, he held the patience to help Draco understand the areas and ways of his mistakes. Snape was patient. Near the end of that year, Snape had actually taken him to Durmstrang to have him tested and that was when he discovered that Snape had been teaching him at N.E.W.T., levels for all of his classes. He had received a letter from his mother congratulating him on his successes just before they left for Egypt.

Draco’s father owned a shipping company in Cairo where Snape had him apprentice in the office to “learn the ways of his family's business,” as Snape had told him when he questioned why he had to learn manual labors. Though he did not like it at first, Draco soon discovered that running a business was not all that he thought it to be, especially some of the business that his father transacted. From there they went to New York City in the United States. Draco never knew his father had offices located anywhere other than those in London and the one in Egypt. He was stunned to find out that this was where all the money was transacted. This was the accounting offices of his fathers firm and it was here that he was to learn how and where the monies were distributed. It was also here that he learned how some of his fathers more nefarious dealings went unnoticed by the Ministry. New York was where the money was laundered before being returned to London where some went into the English banking system directly from the American banks and some went into Gringotts through the American Wizards Bank. That, as it was explained to him by one of the accountants that was an American Wizard was “The honest money.” He had always wondered how some of his father’s dealings went without notice and now he knew.

Draco had now entered into a chamber that was nearly as large as the one that he had found earlier on that caused him some great pain and discomfort when Snape had found him in it. The walls were cut smooth and along the whole side of one wall there seemed to be nothing but really large fire places. It was in New York that Snape had received a letter from Cairo telling him that a young man bearing Potter’s description had been asking about him and Draco and it was about then, that Snape had suddenly changed. No longer was he patient in explaining what needed to be done or why things were done the way they were. His lessons became lectures that were not to be questioned but Draco was still amiable in his learning and understood much that needed no questions, besides, the American wizards were more than willing to answer what questions he had, after all ,they did not know that his father was in Azkaban and feared reprisal if they treated him in any manner other than as an owner of the company. For all they knew he was being readied to take over soon.

About three months ago, Snape warned Draco against the use of any magic. His only explanation was that persons were near that could sense its use and it would be to their advantage if no one knew about it. Draco could sense the urgency in his tone and though he did not truly understand why, he reasoned that Snape was truly worried and that was when they boarded a train and left New York. He did not know where they were or where they were going and when they finally got off of the train, but in front of him there stood in some distance a tall mountain range and Snape pointed to one of the peaks. There were three peaks of equal height with valleys of equal depth. They had obtained tickets for a muggle bus and Draco had seen a sign while they were on the road that read “Sawtooth, 53 miles.” The bus wound its way up into the mountains and stopped in a small village that was set in a valley about half way up into the mountains and underneath the Sawtooth. The town was called Ricketsville

Ricketsville was an old mining town that looked as if it had seen better days and quite rightly, better years. Draco remembered asking “Why would anyone want to live here? Does father…,” And he remembered Snape’s tart voice that startled him “Be quiet Draco and say nothing, do nothing, unless I say. Do not make me remind you!” As Draco neared the farthest end of the chamber he realized that it was then, when Snape had turned on him. He was no longer a friend, nor a counselor, nor a teacher. But he thought that he could deal with this. Maybe, he had reasoned that it was because there were no friends in this town and perhaps there might be people who lived here who might know who and what they were, meaning, Dumbledore’s killers. When he had the chance he would set Snape straight.

They stayed in Ricketsville for nearly a week when one morning Snape woke him up. It was still dark outside but Snape told him to get dressed, that they were leaving. He had two back packs that were neatly packed and they were heavy. Snape handed him one that nearly sent him to the floor.

“Do you ex…,”

Chapter 27 Continued

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun 01 Mar 2009, 11:07 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 27 continued

Never Walk Again

Snape had cast a lip locker curse on him and had a finger raised, his face had turned purple with a livid rage that suggested worse would follow if he did not comply. Draco remembered that he was furious when Snape did that to him and would have cast his own curse had he not been afraid to, instead he allowed Snape to help him into the pack casting him some sturdy looks of anger. Together they trudged out into the dawn’s still darkened skies with Snape leading the way. They had found a path that had overgrowth ranging over it. The path had not been used for many years and Draco suspected that it had not been used for at least a hundred or so years and he was probably quite right.

They trudged on through the morning and were still steadily climbing upwards on the same path when the sun finally rose. Snape had found a spot on the path that was hidden from view by a large outcropping of boulder sized rocks when he allowed them to stop for a brief rest. It was then that he finally released the lip locker curse from Draco’s mouth. By this time, Draco was tired and all to thirsty to say anything besides, he still remembered the look that Snape had given him earlier that morning and thought better of saying anything more until they reached their destination, then he would set Snape straight and put him in his place as a hired person.

As he sat drinking water from a canteen that was attached to his backpack, Snape stood peering down the trail as if they were being followed.

When he was satisfied that they were not, he turned to Draco and said simply “We’ve been found out, yet there still is time to reach a safe place which no one but the Great Lord knows about. Until then be silent and do exactly as I say. Have I spoken clearly Draco?” The oiliness of his voice and the look of his eyes birched no reason for reply, it was more of a command than a question.

Draco had nearly completed a full circuit of this hall. It had obviously been cut out of the mountains stone as its walls were straight and its corners were near perfect. Draco began to wander into the middle of the chamber now as he continued his investigation. Meanwhile, his thoughts were still drifting far off. Their trip up the mountain side had taken them nearly a full month to accomplish. Sometimes the trail was so over grown they had to retrace their steps and find a new path to take. Each day, Snape’s comportment took on nastier ways and means. Sometimes he was completely unapproachable with his civility, and better left alone. It was now when Draco’s punishments began. If Draco was unable to keep up, he was placed under the Imperius Curse and his body was forced to continue on. Snape had even threatened to kill him several times and leave him for the wolves if he could not keep his mouth shut. Draco shuddered when he remembered the first time just weeks ago when Snape had used the Cruciartis Curse on him. He had about enough of the punishments and the commanding tones from Snape that he was willing to accept, and he began to let Snape know in no uncertain terms whom he was speaking to, and whom he was treating with. Snape was in a foul mood that day.

For nearly a week, the Cruciartis Curse had been used on him at least once a day. Draco did not know nor could he remember when the haughtiness finally left his voice, though he still stood his ground at times he found it safer to approach Snape with a tinge more of respect towards a superior person in his tone, rather than try to be the superior. His last punishment was just a few days ago but he couldn’t remember what he had done, oh yes, he had threatened Snape with his father or was it Snape threatened his father. No, Snape was belittling his father and Draco was not going to have any of that. No man of his father’s stature, of his fathers placement at the Dark Lord’s hand should be called a fool.

Something was oddly familiar about how this chamber was set up Draco mused. It reminded him somewhat of the Great Hall back at Hogwarts. Looking upwards just out of curiosity. He half expected to see a bewitched ceiling, instead he saw what looked like several wagon wheels that hung from the ceiling as if they were meant to be candle holders.

Chapter 27 Completed

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun 01 Mar 2009, 11:10 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 28

Hopes and Dreams

As Harry lay motionless, the dream of his hopes crept into his minds eye this time working backwards. He could see the man that he needed to take care of. He knew in his heart that he would have to kill this man but he did not want to.

There are worse things than death Tom.” Dumbledore’s remarks to Tom Riddle, so many years past flooded into his mind.

He had wanted to kill Voldemort and when he had him in his hands, he could not do it, instead he turned him over to the few remaining Dementors that were still loyal ,and still used by the Ministry. Thinking back to that day he admitted that Dumbledore was right. After seeing what remained of Voldemort, there are things that are worse than death. The only thing that remained of Voldemort was the shell of his body. The fire of life had been removed, not even a spark remained just dullness in the eyes, dead yet not dead, functional yet not functional, still very much alive yet something of life was missing from him. Harry remembered how he felt after the kiss had been performed. It was something nauseating, something like…, Harry pitied him. He actually felt pity for a man that had killed so many people. He pitied the man that killed his father, his mother, and…, Ginny.

That man was here, very near him and Harry could feel it. Harry kept pushing the unbidden dream back trying to concentrate on what he had to do, but who was this man? Why was he here, and why could he feel him? Snape was the one that he was after. This man was going to interfere somehow. Harry tried to reach out with his feelings but felt only the evil that he had been tracking for all of these years; there was nothing different to it. A sliver of pain had flashed its way through his body and almost as quickly it was replaced by a warm and soothing hand and a wash of gentleness flowed through him.

“You will know the truth of it when the time comes my son.”

It was not his mother this time but his father who had appeared. Harry’s dream of Ginny, the lake, the house, and the children laughing and playing in that magical meadow filled his vision and he slept.

“You shall have all that and more my boy, and more.”

Harry awoke to the sounds of shifting feet and muffled voices outside of his tent. A man and a woman stood outside talking. He wondered how long he had been asleep, it was still daylight outside but he could not tell what the time was, but he was sure that it was sometime after the noon hour. The shadows raised by the two told him as much. He tried to turn an eye towards the opening of the tent as it was pulled open.

“Ah, Remus is that you and Madame Pomfrey?”

Remus moved to where Harry could see him and before he knew it the body binder had been lifted. Harry started to move his arms when a gentle but very restraining hand stopped his movements.

“Now lad, don’t be moving around just because you can. Let me see what the damage is first.”

Harry nearly frowned when he heard her voice. Harry had become accustomed to hearing the curt admonishments of Madame Pomfrey’s from his many experiences while in her care but this, well this voice was…, it was a voice trying to hide fear. He had heard the subtle tremble in her voice and she had never sounded warm before nor had she ever sounded as worried.

Poppy Pomfrey knelt down beside Harry and began to examine him carefully murmuring to herself all the while. Opening her bag she took out a large needle and began pricking Harry on various areas of his arms and each time asking him what he felt and how badly he felt the prick, if any at all, which Harry readily yelped each time. She was working from his blind side so he would not know when or if she did prick him and at times she did not. Once satisfied that he held feeling in his hands and arms she began pricking his back again she seemed satisfied though she did frown twice when she pricked the two areas of his spine that Remus suspected he had broken. Poppy finished her inspection of using her large needle and placed it back into the bag and then removed something that resembled a small divining rod that measured barely twelve inches in length and less than four inched between its forks, and began to pass it several times up and down his spine.

The look on her face told Remus his worst fear had been confirmed as she snapped her bag closed. Harry could see the look on Remus’s face and closed his eyes. He didn’t want to see what was obviously written across his friends face. Madame Pomfrey broke the gloom by saying that she could do nothing to help. She explained that Harry was actually in a precarious situation, he could be healed, but he would have to be moved to either St. Mungo’s or to Hogwarts but the bad side of it was, that if he was not moved he could never be healed and if he was moved he might not ever heal. She let out a stiff snort when she admitted that Muggle Healers would have to take Harry down off of the mountains and his chances of walking were slim to none if they did it that way and absolutely not at all if they did it magically.

“But before we make any decisions, I want to try a few things though I can hardly dare for any success.”

Harry tried for a brave face as he envisioned the potions that he would be forced to drink and he hoped that Remus couldn’t see the grimace he made when the thought of drinking the Skelegrow flashed through his mind. He remembered how it tasted when he had to drink a bottle of it when Gilderoy Lockheart had made the bones in his arm completely disappear while trying to mend his broken arm in his second year at Hogwarts.

“Madame Pomfrey?” Harry managed to make the statement into a question. He could not see her as she knelt behind him.

“Yes, Mr. Potter?” Her usual tart and strict features smoothed themselves over in to a soft and yet concerned look as she oriented herself so that he could see her.

“There won’t be any skelegrow in this treatment will there?” his wry smile took her back for only a moment before she smoothed his hair down.

“Perhaps two, maybe three bottles worth Mr. Potter. It shan’t be more than that, I should think.”

Harry grimaced at the thought but her own smile told him that she had caught his joke. Harry was truly willing to try anything at the moment although some of the potions that she had given him in the past left tastes in his mouth that would not be easily forgotten and with a gulp, he thought of some that would never be forgotten.

Poppy continued on with her assessment of Harry praising the work of Remus’s smaller attentions to Harry’s cuts and bruises as well as his mending of the broken arm. Poppy normally spoke to her patients as she did this but this time she feared that what she had to say would not benefit Harry’s healing, and she assured herself that Remus had perhaps spoken to Harry of the worst of it.

The largest portion of Poppy’s comments and concerns were of how to get Harry off of the mountain side without causing more damage if not permanent paralysis. Harry had firmly denied wanting the use of muggle rescuers to remove him ,and Remus only nodded in assent to his vehemence against the idea. Harry had taken on this task alone and because of the loss that he had left in his wake, he wanted no others involved though Remus had tried to convince him that he could not be held personally responsible and certainly no one else did, but Harry himself held Harry Potter accountable. It was his mistake to involve so many in a war that was his, and his alone.

Suddenly Poppy rocked back onto her heels with a finality that suggested there was nothing more that she could do. “Unless we remove him Remus, there is nothing more that I can do here and I have yet to see how we can safely remove him now that our Mr. Potter refuses the help of those that are trained in this matter.”

Madame Pomfrey was of course, referring to the muggle’s “Mountain Rescue Teams,” which were thoroughly trained for such events and perhaps were better equipped, though she inwardly cringed to admit that to others. Remus frowned for a moment and then asked the very question that Harry had wanted to ask himself.

“Is it necessary to continue to keep our patient…,” and he smiled warmly towards Harry, “still wrapped in the body bind?”

Poppy pursed her lips in thought and then said, “If we could find a stiff board and cushion his neck I see no reason why we cannot fix him up so that we could at least turn him over and perhaps fit the bind to his neck and below the shoulders.”

Harry looked hopefully as the small pebble that had buried itself into his chest was becoming increasing annoying, though he could barely feel its pressure through the bind that Lupin had cast on him.

“Mr. Potter, Remus, I must return back to the school but I shall return here tomorrow night, and I will bring what items that will be needed so that our young charge here can be more comfortable at least until I can think of something that we can do for him.”

Harry could only smile at the thought that she had not given up hope so quickly even though she had said that there was nothing more that she could do that would help.

Chapter 28 Continued

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun 01 Mar 2009, 11:10 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 28 continued

Hopes and Dreams

Madame Pomfrey was already crawling back out from inside the small tent when Remus patted Harry’s hand and whispered that he would be right back. Outside, Lupin asked Madame Pomfrey if she could wait for a few more moments and then he would be delighted to escort her back to Hogwarts explaining that he needed to keep the Weasley’s apprised of how Harry was fairing. Nodding, Poppy agreed to wait for him as he slipped back inside of the tent.

“Harry, Molly and the rest all know of your…, situation and they will want to come I’m afraid.” He took a moment to take a deep breath before continuing to speak, “I know that you do not want them here to see you like this…,”

Harry stopped him from saying anything further by saying, “Tell them that I am fine and not to worry for me. Tell them that I appreciate their concern, I really do…, but…, Remus I don’t want them to see me like this, not now, not while there is still hope.”

There was a pleading look in his eyes now and Remus only nodded that he understood.

“I will try, but that is all that I can do son. I’ll not lead them here if that is what you are asking of me.”

The look of concern was set deep in his eyes and Harry noticed that Remus had taken to calling him his son and something felt right about that. He was saying it to show the difference in their ages, it was, it sounded, possessive and it warmed his spirit. Remus would not give up and he would try to do as he asked. Remus slid from the tent and was gone before Harry noticed.

Dobby was in a pitched fervor when he arrived at the Burrow in search of Winky. Ron tried to catch a hold of him to question Dobby as to where Harry was but Dobby merely snapped his fingers as he squealed and popped out of sight only to re-appear at number twelve Grimmauld Place. In a near panic, he searched throughout the house only to find Winky was not there either. Standing in the kitchen, Dobby was swaying in time with his mournful moans wringing his hands as if to dry them, he was in a panic. The thought that his master would never being able to walk again had him in a state of near hysteria. His large bulbous eyes glistened with a wetness as he had been crying nearly the whole time that he had left Harry’s side.

He realized that he needed to stop and to think where Winky might be. When he last left her she was watching over Missy Molly as she slept. But now it was daytime and she should have been at the Burrow, but when he arrived no one seemed to know where she was and Master Ron was trying to hold on to him to tell him where Harry was. If she was there, she would have come out to see what all the noise and commotion was about. He did not know where else she could be other than shopping or with Grandma Molly, or one of the other Wheezy’s. His head was spinning and he felt dizzy just trying to figure out what he should do. Dobby sat on the floor of the kitchen and began to rock himself as his panic began to fill him to the point of bursting.

Night had fallen and the kitchen was cold and dark when Hermione stopped in to change her clothes and to get Ron a fresh pair for the next day when she found Dobby still setting in the middle of the floor rocking himself and muttering hysterically over and over.

“Dobby is needing the Circle, Dobby is needing the Circle.”

Gingerly, she reached out to touch his arm and he jumped with a start and shrieked. “Dobby is needing the Circle.”

She had seen him upset before but she had never seen him like this and it scared her. She tried to touch him again but he only continued to hold himself and rock more vigorously bemoaning the words “Dobby is needing the Circle.” She sat down cross legged beside him and wrapped an arm about his tiny shoulders and each time he rocked she drew him closer to her until she was able to hold him tightly and rocked with him until he stopped moaning.

She sat with him, holding him almost the entire night until he had calmed down enough so that she could talk with him. She asked what he was saying but he refused to answer saying that only elves were supposed to know about the Circle and he could not say what it was to her which, she accepted. Dobby pulled a rather large handkerchief from one of his pockets and blew his nose loudly into it, and then replaced it just as Hermione asked him what she could do to help him.

Dobby looked gratefully at her and said “If missus Wheezy could help Dobby find Winky, Winky could help Dobby.”

Hermione frowned and her brows creased into thought and replied, “Dobby come to think of it, I haven’t seen Winky since yesterday. Do you need Winky to help with Harry?”

Dobby only nodded as he took out his handkerchief once again to blow his nose in it. They sat together with Hermione still holding him and talked for several more hours but in the end Dobby refused to tell her what the Circle meant and where Harry was. Each time she asked, it was in a different way but Dobby’s answers were always the same.

"The Circle is elves business and Master Harry did not want anyone to know where he was."

But, she was able to get Dobby to agree to rest if only for a short time by convincing him that Remus would be there to watch over him and after a good rest, Dobby would be able to think more clearly where Winky might be, if she had not already returned to the Burrow, and if she did, Hermione would send a message to him in the secret way. Once she said that, Dobby seemed willing to try to sleep if only to help clear his mind so that he could think much more clearly. Dobby made her promise that if Remus sent any message that concerned Harry she would send a message straight away.

Hermione released her hold on Dobby, who bowed and scraped as he backed away from her and then left for his apartments that were in the attic of the house. Hermione remained setting on the floor trying to figure out what Dobby had been saying.

“Dobby is needing the Circle. What did he mean by that?”

He had kept saying that over and over “What did that mean?” she wondered. It had to have something to do with Harry, that much she was able to puzzle out. She wondered if it were something that Harry wanted, or something that Harry needed, something that he could use? The possibilities flooded her mind, but what ever it was; it obviously distressed Dobby so much so that he had gone into a fit of hysteria. She knew of Dobby’s propensity for self abasements and punishments and it was probably a good thing that she arrived.

Gathering herself together, she rose from the floor imagining the various things that Dobby might have done to himself had she not arrived. Taking herself upstairs to her and Ron’s bedroom, she tried to think of anything that might be called a circle that might have had some value for Harry or to Harry ,but after living here in the house for the last three years she couldn’t think of anything that would fit the description of a circle other than a ring. A thought came to her that perhaps Harry had bought a ring for Ginny and in his pain; he wanted it for some comfort. Nodding to herself she accepted that as a possible idea that had come to her mind. Stopping just at her bedroom door she listened to the silence of the house to satisfy herself that Dobby was in the attic. She was about to go higher up after a moment of not hearing a sound when she heard Dobby's mumblings two floors higher. Satisfied she opened the door to her room and packed a few sets of clothes for herself and Ron and then left.

Dobby did as he was told to do and he settled himself down onto his bed. He had changed into his night clothes, which it seemed to Hermione, to take a lifetime to convince him of their purpose and they were not to be worn as everyday clothes on his one day off each weekend. He had calmed down enough to where he could puzzle out for himself where Winky might have gone. Dobby was counting on his fingers the places that he knew she could be though he had to take back the idea that she might have gone back to Hogwarts for any reason. Rogent had expelled her from there and admonished her never to return. Winky being a truly obedient House Elf would never disobey, so she couldn’t possibly be there. He was truly trying to work this out as he had seen Harry and the Wheezy’s do so often in the past, and they always came up with the answers so this method had to work for him also.

It was late in the night when Dobby jumped up in his bed shouting with glee and hugging himself. Jumping and jumping in circles, he had figured it out. Winky had gone to Master Harry’s side to help. It could be the only place she could be, she was at Master Harry’s side and she was helping him. It was all he could do not to leave the house to be with his Master while Winky performed the magic, but he promised that he would sleep and he couldn’t break his promise. Master Harry made him promise to take care of his Wheezy’s and to follow their instructions and he was not about to disobey Master Harry Potter. Calming himself, Dobby forced himself to nestle down into his bed. To excited to sleep, he looked about his room at all the things that he had. His furniture, an excellent rug on the floor, a bed of his very own that was large enough for several elves to sleep on and still not touch each other, cabinets for his clothes, a Wardrobe to hang his uniforms in so they would not crease, and tables, and chairs, and lamps.

“Master Harry Potter is truly to good to Dobby, he is too good.”

His voice was mixed with squeaks and squeals of awe and delight and as his eyes closed, he swore that he would be the best House Elf that ever existed as long as he belonged to the greatest wizard in the world, Master Harry Potter.

Chapter 28 Completed

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed 04 Mar 2009, 6:22 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 29

Draco's Surprise

Draco had taken the brunt of Snape’s ire once again when he failed to appear for another training session held the night before. Today he was to learn how to sense the use of magic and how to sense those that have magic in them. Sensing magic is a viable tool for use when following some one or sensing where magic is, or has been used. It was an art that Snape intended for Draco to learn lest he walk into a trap or if he needed to trip a ward that might have been set that could perhaps secret away a hidden door or passage. At the end of the lecture Snape cast a most hideous of insults that left Draco sickened with anger but he had learned well not to challenge Snape in recent weeks and his muscles were still sore from one of those lessons from the night before.

Snape in his silkiest and most dangerous of voices had said, “As bad has Potter ever was Draco, he is years ahead of you. Think on it, a boy spawned from a mud blood and he at least can do better than you with out trying. You Draco would die tomorrow if I were not here to baby sit.”

Draco had turned up into a passage that would take him to a ledge that looked out over the expanse of the Blue Mountains. Stepping out onto the ledge he knotted his fists so tightly that his knuckles had whitened and his nails dug into the palms of his hands. Anger surged through his body and his breaths turned hard and short as if his own lungs convulsed with each exhale. It took every effort to close his mind off, to build a wall that would surround his thoughts. He had learned not to challenge Snape in his thoughts four days earlier when Snape had discussed how Lucius Malfoy, Draco’s father, had placed them in this predicament by not following the Dark Lords orders as he was told. Draco had walked away from that meeting in a sour mood thinking of what he would like to do to Snape in defense of his father when he felt the intrusion all too late to put up the walls to close his mind. Snape was there in an instant to give Draco a first hand taste of what Draco could only have hoped to do to him.

He could feel the cooling breeze on his face as he near his destination. It some how had a calming effect on him though it did nothing to assuage his anger, it did help restore his breath so that he no longer felt as if he had to force his breathing. The ledge that he sought out was more like a terrace high up on one of the teeth of the Saw Tooth and well above the terrace that served as his usual haunt. Smaller than the one below it only measured three spans in depth and another five spans side to side. It was early evening and from this height the sun still shown as an orange red glow set halfway into the earth while further down the mountain side it was already dark. Draco meant to spend the evening up here as far away from Snape as possible.

While there was till light Draco noticed a very thin passage off to the right that seemed to lead along the outside wall of a cliff side. He had not noticed this before and as his eyes followed its ribbon along the wall, his anger slowly ebbed away from his thoughts. Intrigued, he stepped nearer to the edge and noticed what looked like a steep set of stairs that led down from his private little ledge.

“Hmm, why did I not see this before?” he wondered aloud to no one but himself.

Temptation wanted him to step down onto the stairs and follow where they might lead, but that was not why he was out here and besides, twilight had already fallen onto his retreat in the short time that he had stepped out onto the terrace.

Directly above the opening to the ledge, stood a copse of trees from which Draco charmed some dry wood down into a small bundle which he lit on fire, and then took a seat on the ground near his small burning fire. His anger had dimmed to a low boil as twilight glimmered out and his small fire provided the only source of light in the darkness that surrounded him. Draco allowed his mind to wander as images of his mother floated though his minds eye. His mother and hopefully his father would be joining them here soon he hoped, and his last owl had told him that all preparations for his father's imminent release were well underway and that the two of them would be meeting him soon. He envisioned the rage his father would be in once he learned of the treatment Snape had put him through these past few weeks and a malicious laugh erupted from his mouth. He felt for Snape’s presence and could not feel him so he reached for the secret chamber and felt the wards that surrounded it. Snape had locked himself in that chamber again. He had been retreating into the chamber more and more often lately.

Draco’s musings turned from his parents to Snape, as he wondered why Snape had changed as he had since they arrived. His teachings were harsher than ever before and he actually began to punish when Draco failed to answer correctly. The punishing were severe and usually done with the Cruciartis Curse. He had never done that before, had never used it on him though he had seen Snape use it on others that displeased him in the past three years, or failed to follow a most crucial order. Draco was not trying to rationalize Snape’s behavior, but he had noticed that Snape seemed to worry greatly about something and he kept saying that the Great lord was soon to arrive. This was something else that Draco had just noticed. Snape stopped talking about the Dark Lord; it was now the Great Lord. Had Voldemort succeeded,? he wondered. He had not heard anything from his mother for several months now.

The fire was small but its crackling had lulled Draco into somewhat of a trance as he looked out into the darkness. Its light flickered and glowed against the dark night though its light barely cast its glow beyond where Draco was seated. The wall of the cave behind him was hidden in the cloaking shadows of the night and the only sounds to be heard was the crackling of the burning wood. The night was warm this evening and he felt it might be a good night to stay way from his chamber, a night for some solitude as he thought out when he would be allowed to leave and why Snape had taken him through the paces of his families business only to lead him here of all places. Was Snape preparing him for something and if so why?

How did Snape know so much of his family's business? The thought had come unbidden and from nowhere. This was something to ponder about also. How did Snape know so much of what his father’s business was about? He was setting cross legged with his elbows propped on his knees and his chin held in his cupped hands as he thought about this.

“How does he know so much about the family business? I didn’t even no we had so many offices.”

He was talking to himself as he tried to think this through. Snape had been a regular visitor to the Manor every since he had been born, and had been a family friend for so long, but Snape had always been a Professor at Hogwarts so how and where did he learn about the business? The question truly befuddled Draco.

Did the man’s father work for the family? he wondered. “That has to be it.” he said.

Snape was just a little bit younger than his father and his father took over the family business almost as soon as he had left Hogwarts, and Snape had either just entered Hogwarts during his fathers seventh year or just after his father graduated, there was no other way.

“Draco, I’ve found you.”

The voice rasped as Lucius Malfoy stepped into the glow of the fires light. Draco swirled around to face a lean man whose face looked pale and haggard and his body seemed somewhat bent with fatigue. Lucius Malfoy who normally stood tall and proud and whose hair was a long white blond, now had a stooped look about him and his hair looked dirty and disheveled yet he wore a smile on his pale but dirty face as he looked into his son's eyes. Draco was on his feet the moment he heard the voice and had turned on a heel as he rose with his wand at the ready, before Lucius had finished speaking. Snape had certainly sharpened his reactions as the word “Stupefy” stood ready just behind his teeth. Another breath and the curse would fly straight and true at whomever he directed it to but this time, he stood facing a father he had not seen in many years. The two men closed the distance between them in two strides and embraced each other tightly.

Standing back but still holding his sons arms, Lucius said breathily, “Let me look at you, you’ve grown I think.”

They stood surveying each other for a long moment and then hugged each other again before Draco led his father to where he had been setting. “Father please sit down by the fire. The night is warm but you look cold. Please, have a seat and let me get you something.”

Lucius looked grateful as he eased himself down to the ground. “Thank you Draco, A Brandy if you have it and something to eat would be nice I think.”

Draco pulled his wand back out and conjured a tray piled high with meats and breads and cheeses along with a fine bottle of a very old Brandy and two tumblers which he took from the tray and poured his father a long drink first, and himself one some what shorter and then handed his father the drink. The tray hovered for a moment until Draco finished pouring the drinks and then he guided it down to the ground in front of his father before sitting back down himself.

“Is mother with you, has she come to help?”

Draco waited to ask the question until his father had eaten which Draco took notice that it seemed as if his father had not eaten in a very long while. Though it appalled him to see his father like this, he found it a little distasteful to see his father lacking both civility and manners. He thought to himself that it must have been from the treatment that Lucius had received all those years while in prison and from the looks of his fathers person, Draco did not doubt that he had come straight away without stopping to fix himself to a better image.

To be reduced to the actions of a common beggar was indeed appalling as well as disgusting even to see. Licking his fingers, Lucius had finished the entire contents of the tray and poured himself another long drink which he raised towards Draco in toast and said, “Now that I see you have taken to the drink, To the Dark Lord!”

Draco raised his glass as well and repeated “The Dark Lord.” And then looked levelly at his father, “Where is mother, has she come with you?”

Lucius remained silent as he swirled his brandy within its glass. “Is Severus here?” he asked.

Draco answered that he was and told his father where Snape had taken to withdrawing to during the evenings. Eyeing his father, Darco sensed that something was wrong but he knew how his father worked. He would answer when the time was appropriate, but Draco wanted to see his mother now, and if she were further down the trail, he would go and see her, if only his father would say something so he waited. He wanted to tell of how Snape had been treating him of late but there was something in his father’s eye when he asked of Snape. Draco had seen this look before and it was a dangerous look. His father looked as if he were on the edge of doing violence, and he had learned from Snape how to size up a persons strength and ability, his father was not ready to face any confrontation with the other man.

Thinking to change the subject at hand, Draco began to tell his father of how well the family’s business had been progressing. Lucius listened with interest as Draco told of his last three years touring the various ports and offices where the Malfoy family conducted their enterprise. Lucius seemed to listen with appreciation as he refilled his glass and freshened Draco’s. He even nodded with satisfaction when Draco told him of the employee’s willingness to apprentice him and allowed him to manage one of the offices for a short time while offering bits of advice against an inadvertent decision that he had made once.

“So our managers are still loyal to the family then?”

Draco looked into his drink and then after taking a sip he replied. “I believe they are father. We have not taken any losses though and our gains have achieved about eight percent over each year prior.”

Lucius looked thoughtful for a moment and then said “Eight percent is not bad. It is not very good you understand, but still, it shows progress.”

Chapter 29 Continued

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The Hunt

Chapter 29 continued

Draco's Surprise

The tone of the conversation died down and the two sank into a deep silence as they looked out into the warm and clear night atop of the mountains. Draco could not understand why his father kept avoiding answering the question that was burning inside of his head. He wanted to see his mother. He had last seen her the night Dumbledore was killed. She had already packed some clothes for him and had a large purse filled with Galleons so that he would have some spending money as he left home to avoid capture. He did not want to leave without her and had even insisted that she come with him and Snape, but she refused saying that if she did, then the family’s business would die and she needed to be there. He worried for her and how she would deal with the Ministry after those fools figured things out if ever they could after all no one had seen him and Snape and those idiots of the Order had thought that Snape was actually rushing him away from harm. He almost laughed aloud at the thought of those fools

“Draco, are there any other of the Death Eaters here?” Lucius asked after nearly an hour of silence between them.

His voice was icy steel and he did not even look to his son when he asked his question.

“No fathe,r they are not however, the Dark Lord is supposed to appear any day now and I expect he’ll be calling the others to meet when he arrives.”

“The Dark Lord is coming?”

“According to Snape, he should be here any day and the final plans will be laid out for us to follow.”

Draco answered his fathers question but had one of his own to ask once again. “Father, I’ll ask you just one more time, where is mother and has she come with you?”

Lucius did not even look at him when he answered, “She wanted to come, but I convinced her not to. Now do not ask me again.”

His voice was cold and emotionless when he answered yet Draco could feel a hatred hidden within the words. He had heard his father speak this way many times in the past when someone had failed him and he wondered what his mother had done.

The fire had burned down to smoldering embers before either spoke again. Draco had been looking at his father during their long pauses of silence through the corner of his eyes, not daring to look at him straight on. He watched as a muscle in Lucius’s jaw worked with a constant ripple, there was an inner battle going on deep within his fathers head and he wanted no part of it. The silence between them after awhile turned deafening. Draco had many more questions to ask of Lucius, but as his own mind worked to turn those questions over he kept wondering what had happened that kept his mother away.

Snape knelt rigidly on one knee with his head bowed and a fist planted firmly on the ground in front of him as the Great lord paced in front of the desk in the hidden chamber. They had been meeting like this for the past two nights. Grindelwald stood tall and fit now as his former body had now come back to full strength. He was tall and broad in the shoulders and his face was clear and sharpened. With eyes of a cold ice blue he looked more of a person that was either noble born or that of a King. He no longer stooped and his hair, no longer grizzled, it was black as jet and hung below his shoulders. Only a great sword belted at his waist would have completed him. He had been livid these past few days learning what his young protégé had done since his untimely death. Tom Riddle had made a mockery of his designs, and he would have to start all anew. It was only after learning of Dumbledore’s death by his most faithful of servants, did his mood alter somewhat to the better.

“He is here now, the boys father is.” He harrumphed. His tone was somewhat soured. “Another fool, but I believe that he seeks your life my friend, in payment of some debt?”

Snape’s eyes never left the floor “I do not know of any debt my Lord.” Snape’s voice was cool and calm and his mind was clear of any thought other than to serve his Master.

“You have not asked me yet how I survived my death Severus.” It was not a question but an invitation that Grindelwald had placed in front of him, as if the knowledge of how he had survived would be a treat.

“It is not in my place to question you my Lord.” Snape answered almost obediently, but he was curious.

Dumbledore had said that he had defeated the man nearly fifty-six years ago yet somehow Snape knew of his existence. He had seen him before, when he was only a child and he knew then of this mans power, he could feel the power emanating from him when he had met him once so many long years before. It felt stronger then, stronger than now. Could it be that he is still weakened? Snape repressed the thought and cleared his mind once more almost in reflex. He could not afford to let his mind wonder unprotected while around this man or even while he was near.

“Should I invite our visitor in my Lord?” Snape had not looked from the floor yet; he did not dare until he was bidden to do so.

“I think not. Let him visit his young son, let the boy get to know his father a bit more I think. His father hides a great deed from him and it shall be interesting to watch how the lad learns of what his father hides, don’t you think?”

“As my Lord wishes it.” Snape replied.

Grindelwald walked behind the great desk and sat casually into the high backed chair and gazed at one of the book shelves as if lost in thought for only a moment before he asked Snape “Have you recovered my wand?”

“I have my Lord; it was rendered useless by the wand maker so he has been dealt with.”

Grindelwald’s wand had been made by his own hands until it was taken from him by Albus Dumbledore and given to Mr. Ollivander, the Wand Maker, who used to reside in Diagon Alley, to be permanently disabled. It was make of Elder Ash and was thirteen inches long and it’s core was of Dragon’s Heart string wrapped in unicorn hair. Ollivander nearly lost his own life when he removed the core to destroy the combination. The shell of the wand stood on display in the old mans shop for all to see without anyone knowing what or who the wand truly was, or belonged to.

The Great Lord leapt to his feet and the rage that overtook his face made him look feral but Snape did not move nor did he flinch, he remained as he was; with his eyes still cast down to the floor.

“It had been broken?” Spittle ran from Grindelwald's mouth as he spat out the words in his rage.

Had Snape looked up he would have seen his master nearly apoplectic within his fury as his face was suffused with blood turning it to the darkest shades of red and purple and his hands shook.

Time to calm him down. Severus thought to himself. “If my Lord pleases, the wand has not been broken. Only the core has been removed.”


Snape stood and bowed stepping back ten paces before he released his bow and turned on his heel. Listening to the man’s bellow reverberate off of the chambers walls as he neared to door. Snape hesitated at the door only long enough to remove the wards that guarded its entrance and stepped outside and closed the door behind him. He placed the wards back in place and then slowly strode back down the passageway his features still as calm as ever.

Draco stood from where he was setting, turned and faced his father. “If you will follow me, I will show you where you can wash up and rest until you have decided what we are to do."

He watched as his father rose and then he led Lucius back down into the caves. Draco was going to take him down into the very depths of the system where he had found what he thought might have been a series of rooms sat aside as sleeping chambers. He had found these several weeks earlier when they had first arrived.

Lucius followed his son without saying a word as they wound their way down into the depths of the caves. He had not spoken a word to his son until they reached the chamber Draco intended for him to stay in. “Draco, it is good to see you again, and I am delighted to see that you are in good health…, I have something to tell you but I cannot do so until it is time, you do understand?”

He clapped a hand on Draco’s shoulders to emphasize the need for his son to be patient with him. Draco only looked for a moment and then he turned to leave but stopped.

He did not turn around as he said, “Father you must understand, do not leave this level of the caves unless I am with you.”

Lucius stared at his son’s back as Draco began walking again. His son had just commanded him as if he were…, no longer the father.

Draco had leaned into his fathers mind as they sat on the ledge and found a jumble of thoughts and memories but something flitted across that disturbed Draco, and it had something to do with his mother. He was unable to describe what it was that he had seen, no, it was more like he had felt that his father had done something to his mother and it disturbed him. He could no longer stand to be near Lucius at the moment. Perhaps, he reasoned, perhaps it was the five years his father has spent in Azkaban that caused this jumble and what he felt might have been a mixture of that jumble like several memories and emotions rolled into one but one thing he did know, something was wrong and he felt it strong enough to not want to be near his father right now.

Chapter 29 Completed

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The Hunt

Chapter 30

The Circle Must Meet

Remus returned back to the Burrow with Madame Pomfrey to find the Weasley family waiting for their return, all setting about the kitchen table quietly absorbed in various conversations of Harry’s exploits over the years while he was still at Hogwarts. Both Fred and George were looking more and more impressed by the minute as Ron told them of a time where he and Harry had stole about the castle in the middle of the night during one of their last years as students. Percy was recounting the day he had first met Harry while he was but a Prefect and how he was made to lead the students of Gryffindor back to their dormitory when a Troll was let into the castle. He was talking to Fleur. Hermione was busy telling both Molly and Tonks how Ginny had pined for Harry and then gave him up when he only had eyes for a trollop by the name of Cho Chang. She had been the Seeker for the Raven Claw Quidditch team and Harry almost lost the match against them because he couldn’t bring himself to play hard against her, and he was too busy watching her rather than looking for the Golden Snitch.

Bill had little Molly on his knee telling her about Harry’s tournament during his fourth year and getting a few gasps from her while he embellished some of the things that Harry had to do, but the room fell silent when Remus knocked on the door and let himself in, followed by Poppy Pomfrey. Fred hastily leapt from his chair and offered it to Madame Pomfrey who accepted his offer while Tonks moved to hug her future husband. Squeezing him tightly, she realized that he had been home much more often this time, and she had seen him less of him than most times but now was for a different reason and though she hoped that she could stay by his side she realized that there was nothing that she could do other than to hold Harry’s hand.

“Well he’s alright to say the very least of it.” Madame Pomfrey sighed as she removed her cloak and handed it to Fred who stood by to take it from her. “The boy might walk again, if and only if, we can get him moved. But the boy refuses to let us get those muggles that are trained for such things.” She said with a sigh. “Though that type of injury is beyond my expertise there are some very capable Healers that I know who work with such things.”

George had left his chair to pour her a cup of tea which she accepted graciously.

“And I understand those muggle healers work the most amazing things on these types of bone breakings, but the boy just refuses to let us call anyone in. Molly, I’m just at a loss. I cannot force healing upon the boy when he possesses his faculties.” Poppy’s shoulders slumped in resignation as she took a sip of her tea.

Hedwig hooted from her perch in the other room and little Molly turned to face the table and said quite knowingly, “She says we could fly him off if he is in the full body bind.”

Everyone turned to look at her in startled amazement except for Ron and Hermione, and Remus. Both Ron and Hermione looked to each other while Remus only stared at her with a very determined scrutiny, but he said nothing. Voices rose about the table with everyone talking with excitement about the possibility but Fred and George were quiet with their heads locked together.

Percy said that since he worked for the Minister, he could get Rufus Scrimgouer to order a team in secret, while several of the others were in favor of taking a team of Healers. With each suggestion offered, they would look to Remus for his approval of their idea but he remained fixed in his gaze at little Molly. Fred and George both snapped their fingers in unison which caused everyone to turn and look to them. Fred began with his and George’s suggestion.

“Harry obviously doesn’t want anyone to know where he is.”

George picked up on the telling as they continued on, “So that is why he doesn’t want any outside help.”

“But he never said that we couldn’t help.” Fred finished.

“So why don’t we…,” George pointed to himself and Fred along with Bill, Ron and Remus as Fred again finished off the suggestion.

“Take our brooms and lift him off…,”

George cut in “That mountain side on a board and wrapped in the…,"

“Body bind.” They both said the last in unison.

Fred finished off by saying “And fly him here under the cover of the dark."

“It’s that simple.” George added in.

They were all now looking to Remus for his approval but he still kept his gaze directed to little Molly. Hermione had been watching him from the corner of her eye as everyone was talking but she said nothing. Finally Remus said “Molly dear would you be so kind as to ask Hedwig if she knows who Harry is following?”

The chatter around the table was beginning to die down as attention was being drawn towards the youngest of the Weasley family. Molly turned to Hedwig to ask the question but Hedwig just hooted away.

When Molly turned back to the table she said, “She says Uncle Harry is following Snape.”

“And did she say why?”

Molly turned back to Hedwig and listened for a moment then turned back to say, “’Because he killed Pro, Prof, Professor Dumbledore.”

The tone of her voice sounded as if everyone should have heard what Hedwig was saying just as well as she could. By this time, the gasps around the room were very audible as everyone except for Ron and Hermione were beginning to understand what Remus was about.

Fred and George stood staring at their niece with their mouths agape when Fred finally closed his mouth and said with a grin “Wicked.”

Hermione looked sternly at them while Ron had his head down on the table groaning. He pictured his brothers taking his daughter to the muggle horse races and talking to the various animals to see which ones felt to be at their best and by the look he saw on Hermione’s face, she was thinking the very same thing.

Fleur jumped up and ran to her niece and swept her up saying “Vee have a talent in the family. Isn’t it wonderful.”

Both Bill and Remus were looking at each other with thoughtful looks on their faces and wondered how this talent might work out. Though they had not thought to exploit talent but considered how to encourage it. Molly spoke up first.

“Now everyone listen to me. If our little darling has the talent to speak to animals and creatures alike then it is up to her parents to decide what to do and you two…,” she was looking hard at the twins now, “Will not be taking her to the track, she will not help you on betting, and you will not exploit the child, or I will exploit you bottoms with your fathers belt, which I still have.”

Fred’s hand went instinctively to his left buttock as his mother glared at them.

“Now we were talking about helping Harry so, shall we continue?” The look on her face suggested that no other topic was to be discussed.

* * * * * * * * * *

Winky stood outside of the Hogwarts kitchens and faced the painting and rapped loudly before standing back as the painting swept outward and a Elf poked his head out to see who had knocked. The Elf’s name was Rogent and he was in charge of the House Elves that were employed by Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

When he saw that it was Winky who had rapped on the painting he scowled at her but before he could say anything she opened her mouth and said, “Te nai al Silvani. Al Silvan ta’aomo sic! A maiar t’wande!” ”I am of the people. The Circle must meet! The magic must be used!”

She did not give Rogent to chance to speak as she had been banished from Hogwarts by him. Rogent stepped outside of the kitchens and closed the secret door behind him as she began to speak in the high language of the old tongue. It had not been uttered in nearly a thousand years but its sound was like music. Winky’s voice, when she spoke, no longer held the squeakiness of normal elf speech. When she spoke the old tongue; it was steady, high, and noble of sound. To the normal person it could have sounded lyrical but to Rogent it was a command given as graceful as it was received.

Rogent reply was as graceful and he spoke in the old tongue as he replied using the formal forms as Winky had done.

“I too am of the people. The Circle will meet. We will discuss the need for the magic. We will meet in the Room of Requirement if Winky still knows where it is."

Rogent’s voice took on the clearness that Winky’s had when he spoke but used the common tongue when he had told her where to wait for him. He bade her to leave and allow for one hour so that he may gather the other members of the circle. Winky turned and left as Rogent reopened the door to go back inside the kitchens. Winky had disgraced the house elves by her actions when she came to Hogwarts but she was still of the high elves, and if any member asked for the Circle they could not be denied its hearing, it was the law though it had not been used in their lifetime. She had the right and she would wait for the Circle to meet to question it.

The door closed much more softly on her this time as she stared at it for only a few moments longer before she herself, began walking down the corridor that would lead her back to the main hall and to the stairs that would lead to the third floor where she would find the Room of Requirement. As she walked, her shoulders seem to come up on their own and her back stood straighter making her seem taller than she ever had. She walked with her hands folded at her waist, staring straight ahead, and her chin held high. Sereneness filled her with each step as an age long air of nobility took over and guided her steps up through the castle until she faced the wall that would turn into a door as she paced back and forth repeating to herself her need for a place where the Circle may meet.

A door appeared in the wall and she opened it and stepped inside into a pristine forest and a clear path. Winky followed the path along, and as she walked, her body and features changed. No longer hunched and small when she had reached a clearing that held one lone tree circled by a low fence made of silver and a gate with hinges of gold and a latch of gelded silver, Winky stopped. A small stream flowed lazily along the path that led her to this clearing and she saw her reflection. She was no longer green and she now stood above six feet in height her bulbous nose had changed to fit a face that was narrow and light of color and her eyes were that of a penetrating green surrounded by locks of golden hair. Her uniform had been replaced by a white gown of silk with gold embroidery and a gold belt surrounded her waste with a belt knife and a silver scabbard attached. The handle of the knife was simple and made of pearl with a gold hand guard and a gold ball tip at the end of the handle, and a crown of laurel leaf wrought out of silver decorated her head.

By Elven standards, she was fair to look upon, but by any other, she would have been considered beautiful. Her name was no longer Winky, she was Ellendore D’Avienda, and she was third in the Circle of Elves. Ellendore turned away from the bank of the river and made her way to the gate which opened silently on well kept hinges and took a deep breath as she gazed upon the Crystree, the Avendesoro. The lock and the key against the Forbidding that kept great evil out of the lands of the Earth. As she looked upon a thing of the past, she noticed that a leaf fell from the tree. She bent over to pick the leaf up in her hands and peered at it. It was green with the graying tint of a sickening that was causing its death. As she crushed the leaf into her hand a tear fell to her cheek.

“Our punishment is too forgiving.” She whispered to the Crystree.

Chapter 30 Continued

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed 04 Mar 2009, 6:25 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 30 continued

The Circle Must Meet

A half moon bench large enough to seat seven stood on the opposite side of the tree and Ellendore made her way around the tree careful not to step on anymore of the leaves that fell from the tree as if it too were weeping in its failure to maintain the Forbidding, and she sat on the bench and waited for the others to arrive.

The Room of Requirement had chosen sunset for the setting that it provided, and had just turned to dusk as the last of the Circle arrived to take their place along the bench where the seven sat in a quiet semi-circle before Rogent, who was now Demandred D’Avrigny, First of the Elven Council and First of the Elvin Circle of Magic, stepped forward to speak.

Te nai al Silvani. Al Silvan tai shar.” ”I am of the people. The Circle is well met.”

As he spoke, he looked to his right and stopped speaking for only a moment and then addressed them again.

“The Circle has been called for one of us is in need.”

Dobby could not understand what he was hearing and his mouth stood open in disbelief at what he saw. What he heard sounded like music in his ears as Rogent spoke, or was it Rogent? He had followed the old elf into the Room of Requirement and watched as he changed into a most tall and most fair, and most…, Dobby had no words to describe the fairness of those that he had seen. It was as if the High Elves of Legends had just stepped out of the pages of a story book before his very eyes.

Dobby had hidden behind some bushes when Rogent stood from where he was seated and began to address these magnificently looking elves when he stopped speaking and, and looked right at him and then continued to speak for some time longer. He found himself drifting away listening to the sing song sound of Rogent’s voice as he spoke in an all together different language that Dobby did not know and yet, something deep with in him tugged at him, telling him that he should know what was being said.

“Tai shar Dobby.”

Dobby froze rooted to the ground where he stood. Rogent had turned and faced him with a hand gesturing to the Circle. He was being invited to attend. Winky rose to face Demandred as Dobby, wringing his hands in fright of being caught outl, approached the gate. Demandred, Rogent, turned and spoke to Ellendore, Winky, who seemed satisfied at what was said and returned to her seat.

“Dobby” Regent spoke this time in a language he could understand. “Ellendore,” he said calling Winky by her high name, “Has requested that the Circle meet and she has said that the magic must be used. I know of why it must be used, but it is you alone who must remind us of our duty, and you alone who must bring forth argument that would sway us into doing what has not been done in the Age of Man, you alone that must make your plea for us to decide.”

Dobby stood before the Circle shaking and wringing his hands and his body began to sway. All elves knew of the ancient stories and of the crime committed by the people of old, but those were stories told to children to frighten them into becoming good house elves, and he did not know what to say, or where to begin. He had only followed Rogent into this room because he wanted to speak with him about Winky but he was too far ahead of him.

Dobby’s shaking finally swept him away as he sagged to his knees still quaking and squeaking whimpers, when a soft but firm hand took his shoulder and stilled him. Ellendore was the most beautiful person he had ever seen, was kneeling in front of him whispering to him, whispering to a lowly house elf who was shaking in his skin so badly that his bones rattled.

“Dobby,” The musical sound of her voice soothed him as well as the light touch of her hand on his shoulder, “It is I, Winky. These are the High Elves of the Elven Council and of the Circle of magic, and the stories you have heard as a young elf are true. Do not be afraid. Demandred,” and she pointed to the man that was Rogent, “Has favored you to tell the story of Master Harry Potter instead of myself. You need only tell of his fight as we all know who Harry Potter is, and of his injury. And then ask for our help to heal him.”

Dobby had stopped shaking as she rose gracefully to her feet and walked stately back to her seat leaving him to face all the others and he drew himself up to speak.

He did not know how long he spoke, but it seemed as if hours had gone by and he was no longer afraid.

“As my Master must still fight an evil Wizard, and he lays down with his back broken, and his legs cannot move, I ask for the Circle to heal him so that he can rid the world of this evil man that he hunts.”

When he finally stopped speaking twilight had settled over the area and torches had been lit. There was a murmur between the elves as Dobby stood there waiting to be told what to do next. When no one said anything to him, he sat down cross legged and watched as an argument seemed to rise amongst these wise ones and he felt that the decision might have been met and they would answer no as several of the elves were shaking their heads no. he wished that he could understand was being said but he also wished they would never stopped talking because their voices were so fair to listen too.

They talked and debated long into the night and he was growing weary. He could not remember when he last slept and the voices were causing Dobby to enter into a most relaxing lull as he listened on into the night. He must have finally fallen to sleep because he was startled out of nowhere, when several smiling faces stood before him and one of them held a hand to his shoulder and was gently shaking him.

“We have made a decision Dobby. We can help your Master, but he must be brought here. We cannot go to him because our power lies within the Crystree and not within us.”

It was Demandred or was it Rogent who was speaking to him. “You must devise a way to bring him here to Hogwarts. We will await you for three days and no more.”

Dobby looked crestfallen, Madame Pomfrey said that he cannot be moved and he had told the Circle what she had said.

Dobby watched as each of the members of the Circle from the Room of Requirement exited the room, each of the elves in turn, reverted back to their smallish and awkward forms as they entered the threshold of the doorway. Ellendore was the last to leave and as she approached the exit Dobby stopped her. Fidgeting, Dobby wanted to ask her a question but he did not know how to address her. He knew that she was Winky and yet is seemed all to wrong for him to call her that. There was something about the way she appeared that was beyond regal and commanded the utmost of respect yet, she was no longer of the High Elves, no House Elf was as they were; only the descendants of what once was. Yet in his heart she deserved all that respect and much more.

“Mistress Ellendore,” he started. His eyes were down cast and he made for a light bow. ”How, why?” his voice though stronger than he had expected, was still squeaking.

Ellendore knew what his questions meant and she knelt so that she could peer into his eyes. Taking a finger under his chin she lifted his head so that she could look at him. Her eyes were a piercing green and her skin was unblemished and milky white. Her face wore a look of softness and understanding as she looked upon Dobby and smiled. Dobby for the first time in his life felt embarrassed by how he looked in her presence.

“You want to know why we appeared as we did in the ages past?”

Dobby only nodded.

“It was you who caused this Dobby.” She said.

Dobby’s face took on a frightened look yet he did not feel scared. Though, he did have thoughts of how much punishing would be needed to atone for this.

“Dobby, you asked the Room of requirement for a place where the Circle may meet did you not?” His eyes opened wide and he wondered how she knew what he had needed. Or how it was that the Room of Requirement knew when it was Winky who had truly asked.

“This is how the Elves of the Silvani meet Dobby, and we have not met for over a millennia. When last we met, we still looked fair but according to our curse we have shriveled and shrunk to what we are today and the color of our skin carries the blight that we allowed the Crystree to gain. The images and the tree were of a time when the blight was first discovered. You saw the leaves that had fallen?”

Dobby again nodded.

“The tree still stands and it is still alive but barely. We are no longer trusted to attend it, yet we may still call on the magic of healing that it provides. Because we may not attend the tree as it is today, Master Harry Potter must be brought here where the tree and its ground can provide the strength needed. I know that it is difficult to understand these things, and to see how we were once, shadows my heart most grieviously, but we must be content in our punishment Dobby, as it is only fitting for what we have done. In time I will explain the truth to you but for now, you must divine a way to bring Master Harry Potter here to Hogwarts and I must attend my duties to Missy Molly and allow Mistress Molly to decide on my punishment for abandoning my duties.”

Ellendore rose to her feet and walked towards the door of the Room of Requirement and turned before exiting and said, “Had we met in any other location, this is how we would have appeared.” She stepped through the door and was no longer Ellendore the beautiful, but Winky the House elf and in her own squeaky voice she said, “Make haste Dobby I fear there is another Dark Lord about to be born.”

Dobby walked back to the Avendesoro, the Crystree and knelt before its trunk and in his mind he begged forgiveness for the way his ancestors had forsaken their duty to its care and asked it for all its strength to heal his Master and offering his own life in return should it require something of him.

Something will be required of you and you will know what is needed when it is time.”

Dobby blinked in amazement and hastily got to his feet. Closing his eyes tightly in disbelief of hearing the tree respond to him, no not hearing, he felt the words as they passed through him, and he understood their meaning. He nodded once to the tree and then turned and ran from the room closing the door tightly behind him before dashing down the hall way. He had to return to the Burrow to talk to Master Ron and Mistress Hermione to let them know what he had done in order to help Master Harry. He hoped along the way that they would not be angry with him taking matters into his own hands.

Chapter 30 Completed

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed 04 Mar 2009, 6:28 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 31

Dobby's Dilemma

Dobby appeared outside of the Burrow moments later only to find Percy setting outside on one of the benches. He did not care for Percy but he felt in his bones that Percy was the one person he should speak to first. “If it pleases Master Percy Dobby is wanting to speak with him.”

Dobby’s bow was so low his huge nose almost touched the ground and his eyes were looking directly at his own toes so he did not see Percy jump in fright as his sudden voice startled Percy out of his thoughts.

“Elf, you frightened me!” Percy exclaimed, panting to catch his breath.

“Dobby is very sorry sirs but Dobby is having a problem that he hopes Mr. Wheezy will help him with.”

Dobby still remained bent over in his formal bow. Percy puffed himself up with all his pomposity and airs that he once held and then realized what he was doing and let his shoulders sag.

“Dobby, I’d like to help you but no one is listening to me either when it comes to offering help. I don’t believe that I’m to be trusted anymore.” Percy looked both resigned and indignant as he looked at Dobby who still remained in his bow. “Dobby, do stand up and…, please take a seat. Perhaps I can at least listen to what it is you need help with and possibly advise you on how to go about getting the proper aid.”

Dobby nearly swooned at the invitation to sit with a Wizard and talk. He had never been given so much respect and courtesy in his life until he had met Harry Potter and his friends.

“Mr. Percy is most kind and most generous.” Dobby squeaked out as he straightened from his bow and then hoisted himself up onto the bench.

Dobby took a seat opposite the table from Percy and began to tell what he knew. Percy stopped him at various times only to have him retell that particular part of the story. When Dobby began to tell him about the Circle and how appearances changed such as that of being tall and fair, Percy’s eye’s widened with incredulity forcing Dobby to stop but Percy motioned with his hand to continue telling the story. Dobby finished his tale not forgetting any detail from when he first saw Harry laying face down with Lupin stooping over him to Winky’s suggestion of using the Elven Circle, to finally asking them himself. Percy sat watching Dobby as he told his tale, watching him dry wash his hands and then twisting them about themselves as if to wring them out and then stopping with a wry smile and a half shrug and a complacent look of he had done all that he could, and he now needed help. Which by the way was quite obvious to Percy.

Percy sat with his chin in hand and drumming the table between them with the fingers of his other hand in thought. Dobby sat watching him as if he could see the wheels and cogs deep within Percy’s head whirling and turning to produce the obvious idea and the perfect plan which would aid his Master both in getting to Hogwarts and getting there without being seen by anyone. After al,l he had heard that Percy was really the brightest of all the Wheezy’s ‘cept for Miss Hermione but she wasn’t a Wheezy all her life, but Missy Molly was pretty smart he thought. If a House Elf could be proud of a young charge he certainly was of his Missy Molly and he’d bet his position with Master Harry against all the gold Galleons in Gringotts that she was the smartest youngest witch of the age ‘cept for Miss Hermione of course. Percy’s snap of his fingers caused Dobby to fall off the bench seat as Dobby’s mind had gone wandering.

“Dobby, I over heard the twins talking about something that just might work but I fear what we have to make the idea work, may not get the job done.”

Dobby looked hopeful only for a moment and then looked positively dejected when Percy told him that there might be a small problem. As the two of them sat there staring idly at each other , the twins were flying their new brooms around the makeshift Quidditch pitch that they had practiced on with Bill and Charlie years before while their older brothers played on the Gryffindor Quidditch Team and when they too, later became Beaters on the same team up until their life long ban had been placed on them by Madame Umbridge who was then the Hogwarts High Inquisitor and Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor during their seventh year.

While Percy watched the twins flying around, what he had over heard started to make sense to him. The twins were now flying Firebolt Three Thousands which were the latest model built. The Firebolt Three Thousand had a top speed of four hundred fifty miles per hour and could turn or stop nearly on a needle point. With enhanced dive braking and accelerated lift power, the Wronski Feint maneuver, used by Professional Quidditch seekers and twice used by Harry while he was still at school, could now be done by amateurs and first years if they could ever afford the broom. The broom had several other upgrades to the standard features including a path finder that was built right in to the broom. The rider needed only to give the broom a destination and it knew exactly where to go within six inches of where ever it was you wanted to go. The Broom had not been accepted yet by the International Quidditch League because of its speed but it was used by serious broom racing enthusiasts. While Percy was watching them he began to add up the weight that would be required of a broom or brooms to not only lift, but to carry for a long distance without stopping. Before he realized it, Percy’s head was nodding with self agreement. They would need six riders and brooms to do this. Six Firebolt Three Thousands to be exact, at a cost of ten thousand Galleons each.

Lifting his fingers to his lips, Percy blew a piercing whistle which caught the twins’ attention and they waved to him that they had heard. As Percy strode out to the field leaving Dobby where he sat adding up what Percy had thought of out loud on his fingers, to see if what he thought he had heard added up, the twins began circling down and at a blinding speed, reached the ground a few minutes before Percy arrived. When Dobby finally looked up from his tallying, the three men were huddled with their heads together and Dobby thought he had heard a long low whistle and an expletive escape from the mouth of Master Fred Wheezy.

Dobby eased himself off the bench that he had been setting on with his legs dangling, as he saw the three men shake each others hands and walk together back towards the house. When Dobby reached the ground, he turned again to see where they were and only Percy remained walking back to the house carrying the two brooms with him that the twins had been riding. Dobby had seen the slight nod that Percy had given him and began walking towards Percy, when he suddenly stopped with a look of horror across his face. Before Percy could inquire as to what was wrong, Dobby bulleted himself to the picnic table and began to hammer his face against the table squeaking between the batterings.

“Dobby is dumb…, dumb, dumb, dumb. Dobby’s mouth had given secrets!”

Shrieks and wails and wild oaths against himself followed the constant hammerings before Percy was able to react to what Dobby was doing. Dropping the brooms to the ground, Percy rushed to pull Dobby away from the table and struggled against Dobby’s attempts to beat himself with his fists. Sweat was now pouring down Percy’s face in his attempt to restrain Dobby as it suddenly appeared that the small elf had grown twelve more arms and fists in his wild onslaught of beating his face with his hands since Percy had pulled him away from using the table top.

Percy finally had no other choice other than to simply fall onto the elf and pin him to the ground before Dobby acquiesced and began to calm down still wailing that he was dumb and had given up a most dear and sweet secret that no human was ever to know. Finally, Dobby gave over to Percy’s soothing tones to calm down, to settle down, and Percy relaxed his grip on the elf and began to ease himself up into a sitting position panting from his struggle. The Ground wasn’t all that soft as it was bare of grass and the dirt was of a packed hard dirt. Percy looked the worse of the two and he felt as if he was able to keep Dobby from hitting himself because he was pretty sure that he was able to put his body between the blows and Dobby’s tiny fists. The little elf had strength in his punches and Percy felt most of them up and down his own body. Eyeing Dobby for further abasements, Percy ruefully thought about authoring a Ministry decree banning wizard folk from interceding with Elven self punishments if only for their own protection.

Dobby laid whimpering and curled into a tight ball, panic stricken because he had told a human in detail one of the tightest kept secrets of Elven kind, and as soon as someone found out about it he would be birched, stoned, and exiled from human kind and forbidden to ever be in service again. Death would have been a much kinder punishment for Elves who didn’t know how to keep their mouths shut and the secrets of their kind safe. Exile to an elf was very much the same as a daily, never ending, lifelong mental torture and every elf ever known to have had to go through that punishment was known to have gone insane. It was called “being shunned by all that live,” you lived but you were non-existent. The terror of what he had just done was nearly too much for him to even try to figure a way out of it or, to find a way to justify what he had done and he was just too mortified to even try to answer Percy’s persistent question of “Dobby what's wrong there mate?”

Percy had tried all sorts of ways to calm Dobby down enough to tell what it was he had done that was so terribly wrong and was relieved to see Hermione arrive into the yard. She was obviously coming home from her Muggle University, as she was laden down with a mass amount of books both in her arms and in a little backpack that she had taken to wearing over her shoulders.

“Hermione!,” Percy called out to get her attention to come over and help him.

Hermione rushed over to them taking only enough time to set her books onto the table and then knelt down beside Percy and asked “What happened here? Percy your hurt! Were you and Dobby attacked?”

She was looking around now with her wand out and at the ready to defend the three of them until Percy explained that Dobby had become anxious about something and began to beat upon himself. Hermione rocked back onto her heels as the scene before her began to take on shape. She wanted to laugh as she pictured seeing Percy trying to prevent Dobby from doing what he was about. Harry had had problems in the past with Dobby and had been kicked a few times while holding Dobby at bay when he wanted to punish himself.

Reaching out tenderly to touch Dobby’s shoulder to perhaps soothe his convulsing crying and whimperings of telling secrets she smiled at the simplicity of rectifying Dobby’s predicament.

“Dobby.” She started out softly, “Whatever it was that you accidentally said or did…,” and she emphasized the word accidentally. "Whatever it was that you revealed that you shouldn’t have, I can fix this for you.”

The calmness and the conviction in the tone of her voice that she used, caused Dobby to stop his whimpering and to look at her with hope lighting his large green eyes that had been filled with tears.

“If Percy is willing, I will remove that portion of his memory with a memory charm.”

She looked expectantly at Percy who still had not put together what it was that Dobby had revealed that was so secret but he nodded.

“B-but M-miss H-Hermione must know what it is that I, I have spoken before you can re-remove the s-secret.”

Dobby’s voice had cracked several times as he spoke but Hermione did not seem vexed by this. She merely turned so that she could grasp both of Dobby’s shoulders so that he could see plainly for himself what she was saying,

“That is true Dobby, but Percy here,” and she looked towards him, “Can then erase my memory of the whole matter making me think that I’ve only just arrived.”

Percy immediately caught on to Hermione’s plan and he reached out for Dobby and made a most serious attempt to placate the elf by saying, “Dobby you have become a member of this family and this family does…, things for its members. I would gladly forget whatever it is that I’m not supposed to know mate.”

Again, his used the familiarity of calling Dobby his mate though this time it rolled off his tongue a bit more reticent than when he had said it before, but Dobby did not notice it.

Chapter 31 Continued

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed 04 Mar 2009, 6:29 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 31 continued

Dobby's Dilemma

Hermione was bowled over when Dobby leapt to hug her and name the Wheezy family as the best family in the world next to Harry Potter of course. Pulling Him off of her so that she could stand she grabbed the elf’s hand and pulled him to the side so that Percy could not listen in on her interview with Dobby and when she finished with the elf she walked back to face Percy and announced that she was ready to perform the memory charm. When she had finished Percy had two important things on his mind that needed done and the foremost was that he for some reason needed Hermione to think that she had only just arrived home and without her knowing. So as he offered to help Hermione back into her backpack he secreted his wand in his hand as her back was to him. Dropping the weight of the pack onto her shoulders he muttered a few words and stepped back as he watched her shudder.

“Back from school already?” he asked her causing her to stop in her tracks as she took a step forward.

“Oh, hello Percy has there been anything new about Harry?”

Percy smiled at the question and answered her brightly, “I’ve been giving it some serious thought all day and I’ve come up with an idea to get him to Hogwarts but I’ve still no idea of what to do after that, but at least we can get him home.”

“That’s great!” she exclaimed and shrugged off her backpack. “How are we going to do it?”

Hermione was excited that finally something was going to be done when she noticed Dobby standing very near Percy and had a most satisfied look on his face and he was…, beaming at her. Why was Dobby looking at her so? It could have been because Percy had found a way to retrieve Harry and bring him back couldn’t it? She thought to herself

“The twins have gone to make the appropriate purchases that are necessary to our plan. And they should be back any time now.” Percy paused for only a moment as if to consider how long the twins had been gone. His mind seemed to be a bit fuzzy with some of the details. “Or at least sometime within the next hour.” Percy commented as if to finish his last sentence.

Hermione was excited to hear the news and was tempted to ask then and there, what the details of the plan involved, and how was it that she herself could be involved in them if she had not already been, but the look on Percy’s face could have meant that they should wait until the twins arrived back home before revealing just what the plan was.

She waved at Percy as she turned back towards the house and noted that Dobby had not stopped beaming at her but she shrugged it off and lost herself in the thoughts of Harry’s rescue becoming more of a reality than just a plan. She had to make sure that she was to go with thim. She had to see Harry for herself and she could not wait for his return. Having Harry gone from her life was like missing a part of her and it was all so near for the clutching, to make herself feel whole again. She knew that Ron felt the same way as she. He had talked about feeling an empty spot within himself before after Harry had just disappeared like he did. The birth of Molly closed that hole somewhat but not completetly, and Harry was within a day of returning or so she convinced herself of that time frame.

Stepping into the kitchen, Hermione threw her books onto the table and called out for Molly who came running just at the sound of Hermione’s voice.

“Mummy,!” came the shrill sounds of delight as well as the sounds of small running feet which proceeded the white blur with a reddish tint as it sped along the kitchen only to leap into Hermione’s arms.

Hedwig flew in close behind her and settled onto Molly’s shoulders but added no additional weight as Hermione held the two of them, well Molly really, close to her and gave an equal number of kisses in return for their greeting.

“Hedwig, can you take us to where Harry is?”

Hermione asked the owl and then turned to look at her daughter as Hedwig began hooting at a furious pace.

“Heddig says she’s been waiting for someone to ask. She did not want to go back without bringing you and Daddy to help Uncle Harry. She said that if she had to wait another day she was going to snatch me up and make you follow.” Molly giggled when she said that “Silly Heddig, I’m to big for you to carry me.”

Hermione gave a most stern look at the owl for even thinking that she could just up and take her daughter even before realizing that there could have been no possible way for Hedwig to even pick Molly up.

When Hermione let Molly down, she realized that no one was in the house. “Molly where is everyone?”

“Winky finally came home so Gandma Molly, Auntie Fleur, and Auntie Tonks went shopping. Gandma Molly says that Uncle Harry might be coming home so he needs pajamas and, and, Mommy, what’s what-not’s? That’s what Gandma Molly said Uncle Harry needed.”

“You tell Hedwig that when your father and your two Uncles arrive we will be leaving to get Uncle Harry and since Dobby knows where Uncle Harry is, he is to bring you along with him, okay?”

Molly beamed up at her and said "Oo-tay!”

Hermione chuckled to herself, Molly was entirely too much at times, and so thorough in her cuteness. Nodding to herself in agreement, she thought aloud, “Yes, positively too much.”

Hermione took herself upstairs to pack a small pack with extra clothes for herself and her other two children, Ron being the eldest of the two kids she had to take excellent care of, lest her heart shatter, and to change into suitable riding attire for herself. She did not like riding brooms, but for Harry, she would ride through hoops if she thought it would help him.

“Are we going somewhere?” Ron’s voice startled her.

Why she was so easily startled lately was truly annoying to her as she turned quickly to punch him for the scare she received. Ron only looked amused and didn’t even let out a sound when she hit him. Turning back to her packing she spoke over her shoulder as he stood watching with his arms folded across his chest.

“Percy and the twins worked out a plan to bring Harry back today, tomorrow at the latest. But anyway we’re leaving as soon as the twins get back.” Before Ron could open his mouth she continued on, "Dobby is to bring Molly along with him, and, I almost forgot, Molly said that Hedwig will show us the way, and she has been waiting since she arrived to do so but no one thought to ask her.”

When she finally straightened up from her packing, she had noticed that Ron had not spoken a word and peering beneath her arm so that she could see behind her, Ron was already stripping down and changing into what he called “riding gear.” He had a thick sweater laying in the chair next to him and a thick pair of woolen socks nearby as he was hopping around trying to get a foot into the leg of a pair of thick woolen pants. He had started changing almost as soon as Hermione had said they would be leaving as soon as the twins got back.

Chapter 31 Completed

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed 04 Mar 2009, 6:35 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 32


Lucius quickly found his new surroundings confining and began making small and quick excursions about the lower caverns familiarizing himself with the layout of the passages. Most of the caverns resembled small halls and some served quite obviously as storerooms while others seem to serve as barracks of some sort. There was running water available and a small pool that was heated in some fashion he did not yet know. Draco appeared several times over the past two days, usually to bring his father a tray laden with food and each time he had asked what had happened to his mother, or why had she not come with him and each time Lucius ignored the questions. He did not notice the anger that was slowing broiling just underneath his sons calm exterior. Severus Snape had done well in teaching Draco just how to mask his emotions and how to control his outward features. Draco always appeared calm, cool, and collected until he was just out of sight from his father. He had tried leaning on his father by using Legillemency but felt nothing, saw nothing, it was as if his father had turned stone cold and all his thoughts were bent on doing some type of violence against Snape. Yes, Draco would get something from this reunion.

Draco had just left his father once again without knowing where his mother was or why she had not followed, but he knew his father was here to kill Snape. He had leaned on his father once again and the thoughts and feelings were there more so now than ever. Lucius had been pacing and asking questions about Snape all during the visit this time. He wanted to know where Snape was, what time of the day Snape and Draco met for instruction and where was it normally held, did Draco have choices of where the training would happen, could his son bring Snape down here. Some times, the questions seemed just out of curiosity and others seemed totally pointless and yet relevant to Snape’s habits, or if the day was structured in some routine.

Draco had caught on to the style and its purpose of how his fathers questions where being asked. Casual, conversation starters because the two of them had fallen silent with nothing in common to say, simple as if his father were merely getting ready to meet a business contact he had yet to meet and yet know their every move and nuance, as if they had know each other for years. His father had been gone for five years and perhaps wanted to know the layout and daily routines as if his father had known of this place and its purpose before hand. Draco had nearly convinced himself that his father was not thinking of anything else other than the performance of a task at hand and secretly hoped that Snape was about to learn where his place in The Dark Lords service truly was. His father was preparing to face Snape and call him down and then Draco will whisper into his fathers’ ear of the tortures he was forced to endure all these years while he was Snape’s prisoner. Another voice in his head reminded him that his father was acting as if his mother no longer existed and something within him spoke that something was indeed wrong about that.

Lucius followed silently behind as Draco stepped lightly through the darkened corridors and passage ways lighting a small ball of flame to light his way only a few times. Lucius had to speed up when light had to be used so he could see if Draco turned off into another passage. It was dangerous when he had to do that as a loose pebble being kicked might cause a noise that would give him away. He wasn’t sure that Draco was willing to lead him to the top, lead him straight to Snape, He would have to deal with Draco later for being so reticent. Right now, he only hoped that Draco would lead him directly to the man he sought. If things were to be routine, then Draco was to meet with Snape this time of day at the main entrance for “practice” today. Draco had said that practice could be anything from lessons to dueling, to potions making. As he continued to follow Draco upward in a passageway that seemed to spiral, Lucius formed his plan. He intended to walk right out in surprise, with his wand ready and trained on Snape from the beginning,. It would be not only the quickest way to be ready, but to be in charge of the situation too. He hoped he would catch him completely unaware too.

Draco began to quicken his steps and the passage that he was walking in began to widen and light had poured its way downward to illuminate the ground that they were walking on. Lucius noted that the ground and the walls looked or seemed as if they had been carved straight out of the rock. The tunnel had widened into what Lucius thought to be a grand hallway or an avenue that would easily allow a dozen men to walk abreast of each other, if not a few more if they were squeezed in on each other. Though he had held back far enough to still be unseen and to still keep Draco in sight, he began to look for a corner or an out crop, something that he could hide behind and still be able to observe when he spied Snape up ahead standing in the center of the chamber with his back facing him. The Dark Lords luck was favoring Lucius at the moment. Lucius needed only to get just a bit nearer, just near enough, and he inched himself along the wall staying in the shadows as best he could. Just a bit closer, and he began to draw out his wand, two more steps, another step more and he raised his wand and took still another step closer.

Snape had been waiting for Draco when he heard the footsteps behind him and he turned to face Draco. Holding out his hand he said “Your wand.”

Draco did not argue but took his wand from inside the cloak he had been wearing and handed it to him as he walked a few paces past him and then turned to face Snape. Severus was forced to turn his back against the tunnel. Peering into Draco’s face he noted that Draco stood in front of the light making his appearance darker than he truly was. Draco’s face was shadowed and the light shining on Draco’s near white blond hair glowed like a halo about his head. It was a distracting thing to look upon, It called for your eye’s, it pulled at them, attracted them. It guided your attention away from Draco’s waist where his hand should have had his wand at the near ready. He nodded with satisfaction as Draco stood with hands on hips forcing him to look into the light. Draco had learned well.

“Always take the upper hand, stand with the light at your back, command the situation, force your opponent to look to you, and be ready to fire from the hip if need be. Be in control at every moment Draco or you will lose!” Draco had to learn this lesson harshly several times and Severus made sure Draco learned it and learned it well.

“Politics and tact, what do they have in common?” Snape asked.

“So it’s to be a lecture then?” Draco answered back. “One is what you practice when dealing with your enemies and the other is what you use to maneuver within your enemies”

Draco eyed him carefully uncertain how this lecture might turn when he saw a quiver in Snape’s lip just…,


A shield shimmered to fullness just a fraction of a second before a red jet of light hit it and glanced off. He held his shield until Snape gave him a slight salute with his wand.

“So this is to be a testing then.”

Snape gave the merest of nods and he began to circle Draco just a step this way, a small turning step while talking, lecturing. He was talking about an arcane magic right now.

“An earthen magic Draco, a magic drawn from the earth itself, from its own power, they called it Calling on the Dragon.’

He had taken a step to the side and stopped to look directly at Draco but he had not moved yet He was not keeping the distance equal between them yet he continued to face him. Good, he thought to himself, Do not give up your ground, do not yield. Severus took a moment to admire the work he had put into Draco. Draco had not moved and only turned at his waist as he followed Snape around. Snape had only taken three steps and made it seem as if he might have been pacing while he lectured. Taking two steps to the right and standing for a moment and then taking just one step, not a full step, just moving the one foot as if he had taken a step back to the left and then a full step back to the right.

He’s trying to turn me. Draco smiled to himself as he recognized what Snape was doing. But only three steps in ten minutes? Draco had the answer as quickly as the question rolled through his mind. He’s maneuvering slowly…, watch the hands and…, lean. Draco would need to be very wary.

Lucius watched from his vantage point and his eyebrows climbed halfway up his forehead at the use of wandless magic and the speed in which his son had reacted. He had not even heard Snape make any incantation, he had used a non-verbal and his son reacted. He wanted Snape here and now, but he wanted to see what was next, what Draco could do but if Snape moved any further he would have to leave where he was and move further back down into the shadows.

“Why was it called Calling on the Dragon?” Draco asked, keeping his hands down to his waist and his eyes on Snape’s wand tip.

Snape answered in a lecturing tone while he took the opportunity to move yet again. “It was called Calling on the Dragon because when the incantation was being given, a mist would arise out of the ground and form into the needs of the caster. The dragon comes from the fight to control the magic until it is set. It was a very powerful magic and it took great strength and struggle to command that much magic by its user and it was equaled to that of fighting a dragon. Merlin is the last known wizard to practice this type of magic openly and it is said that he attempted to teach only one other. Can you tell me who that may have been?” Snape had closed the gap between them by one pace and managed to move around to the right another two paces yet Draco had not yielded the spot he stood in.

Snape had taken one more step when Draco summoned a chair from a corner of the chamber. “I noticed that you were heading towards the chair, so I thought you might like to have a sit down while you instruct.” Draco’s face remained empty of concern and Snape had to admit that Draco was maintaining the upper hand.

Politics was being played right now and Draco exhibited tact while drawing the line and not relenting in his having the sun to his back. Snape nodded and took the proffered chair and asked a simple question as he sat down.

“Explain to me, the ingredients of the wolfsbane potion, in their proper sequence, and instruct me as to how it is prepared?”

Draco hesitated only for a moment but the hesitation had cost him.

Tarantalegra,” Snape waited for Draco’s face to go blank as he called up the list of ingredients before casting the spell on him. “And you will continue to dance as such until you have satisfied my question to its fullest.”

Snape leaned back into his chair casually and flicked his wand in tempo to some tune he was humming as he watched Draco’s legs dance wildly about and the look of consternation that had suddenly appeared on his students face while trying to concentrate on the question and trying to remain on his feet. A thin smile slipped across Snape’s face as he watched. Meanwhile Lucius gritted his teeth and debated on interfering just now or wait a little longer to see if his son would counter whatever it was that Snape was obviously trying to do to him.

Draco was able to step through the jinx after a fashion within minutes of Snape casting it upon him but it took several longer moments before the occasional twitching in his legs came to a complete stop. Snape, being the ominous Professor that he was, when he had taught at Hogwarts, continued to grill Draco for several more hours while Lucius Malfoy lay hidden in the shadows watching his son ward off spells and curses, answer questions, and listen to small lectures of various subjects including that of Politics.

As Lucius watched, he had not forgotten his purpose but he stood amazed by how much Draco had matured over the years. Draco had become colder and impersonal in his manner and he seemed broken of bad habits, the whining that used to infuriate him so, and the haughtiness of a spoiled child. Narcissa had coddled the boy and spoiled him when she should have been building him up and readying him to take over in his fathers footsteps.

Shouting out in the cavern pulled his attention back to that of his son and Snape when he heard Draco shout “Accio wan…,” but Snape’s voice rang clear “Crucio!”

Lucius was half to his feet with his wand gripped so tightly that his knuckles had turned white and as he began to move forward, Draco had fallen backwards onto his back twisting and writhing in pain as Snape held his wand on him.


Snape’s wand flew from his hand as he whirled to face whomever it was that had attacked him when he saw who it was. He straightened smoothing his robes as he gathered himself tall and erect to face Lucius.

“Well, well, well, Lucius Malfoy. On holiday from Prison are we?” Snape sneered as the oily words of derision slipped off of his tongue.

Lucius was striding up from the tunnel opening that led into the large cavern keeping one eye on Severus Snape while he watched his son lay panting and twitching on the gorund with his other eye.

“Some of us do not run for protection and hide away when we are found out Severus, now what have you done with my son?”

Lucius kept his voice even yet the distain for Snape leapt out like a leopard steeling itself for attack.

“Ah Lucius, the some of us feel we can better serve our Lord…, hmm, shall we say, outside of prison?” Snape drawled out his last remark as if he found some humor in what he had just said and wanted to taste the words as he spoke them.

Lucius kept his distance as he past Severus up and knelt beside Draco who was no longer twitching but was still lying on the ground panting as if he had just run ten miles. Never taking his eyes from Snape's position, Lucius reached for his son's arm and asked if he were alright. Draco did not reply but used his fathers arm to pull himself up to his knees which seemed to take some effort as his face was suffused in red with a boiling rage that threatened to surface but he knew better than to act. His father was here now, and he remembered how he had hoped for his father to come to his aid just a week earlier when his most brutal of punishments occurred, his back still ached from being folded backwards as he was.

“Father, he has my wand so be careful.”

Lucius only nodded and then held out his hand and said, “Draco’s wand?” The question sounded more of a command as he twitched his fingers to indicate that Snape should hand it over.

Draco watched Snape closely but saw no fear so he leaned into him and there was nothing there. Nothing! Draco saw or rather felt blackness, a void. Not even a wall. Snape’s mind was empty of everything. A study of his face showed nothing as well, not even a glint or flicker of eye movement. It was as if Severus Snape had been made of stone or had left his body completely. Draco had always been able to feel something from him even when they practiced together at dueling, but nothing was there this time. Nothing!

Chapter 32 Continued

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PostSubject: Re: Harry Potter and the Hunt   Harry Potter and the Hunt - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed 04 Mar 2009, 6:36 pm

The Hunt

Chapter 32 continued


Scowling at the thought of not finding any hint of what Snape was about to do if anything, Draco walked over to where Snape’s wand had landed just as Snape produced his wand from within his cloak. Draco simply held out his own hand and said forcefully “Wand!” His wand flew out of Snape’s hand into Draco’s just as he stooped to pick up the wand that had been blown from his teachers hand moments ago. Odd, Draco thought, as he bent to pick up the wand. He had been waiting for this day to arrive and yet, he felt that something was wrong here. Something was missing in this moment.

“So tell me Lucius, where is that charmingly beautiful wife of yours? Minding the home?”

Snape leered as he asked the question that had been burning Draco’s thoughts for weeks now, for months really. His last owl from her said that she would meet them here and that she would have a surprise for Draco when she arrived. Draco turned to face his father in anticipation of finally hearing where she might be but what he saw stiffened him.

Lucius was shaking in a quiet rage and spit flew from his lips and he hissed, “You dare ask of my wife, you dare mention her as if you know nothing, you dare stand there and pretend…,!

Lucius’ voiced raised with each sentence until his rage took over fully and he raised his wand. Snape only lifted an eyebrow as Lucius growled “Avada…,”

He stopped before casting the killing curse. Draco stood rooted to the ground, he had never seen his father lose composure so quickly before and his own eyebrows were trying to climb up his forehead at what he had just seen. His mind screamed to ask what was going on but he remained silent as he watched the two men standing and facing each other, one looked cool as stone while the other was still shaking in obvious rage.

“Perhaps I should let you live long enough so that my son can hear what you have been doing behind my back while I waited in prison” Lucius’s voice was still filled with venom while Snape’s face formed a wry smile.

“Of course Lucius, but I should tell you that Draco is fully aware of what I have been doing for the last five years and…,” a silky flair crept into his voice as he continued to speak, “And I believe myself to be correct when I say, that Draco is approving of…, what…, I have been doing.” Snape seemed to be playing with Lucius and Draco recognized the danger that was rolling around in Snape’s tone. “And my dear friend, Draco has even been allowed to watch…, His mother…,” Snape smiled most contentiously “His mother said that Draco needed to learn what his father has failed to teach.” Snape seemed as if he was enjoying this exchange as he watched Lucius stiffen then glare at Draco.

Avada Ked…,”


Harry opened his eyes at the sound of a tiny voice that had taken him from his dream. It had been the same dream he had been visiting nearly every day since he had seen the meadow. He had even named it already, it was Ginny’s Hollow or maybe Ginny's Meadow. He liked those names, it gave him comfort especially during the last four days. He had thought about calling it Godric’s Hollow but it just didn’t seem to fit into the dreams.

“Are you hurt?” The tiny voice had asked him.

He couldn’t see who was talking to him but the voice sounded familiar to him. Maybe he was dreaming again but he recognized the inside of the tent, but he would know this tent in his dreams if he were dreaming of it.

“My friend said that you were hurt. Are you sweeping?”

Though the voice sounded tiny, musical actually, it sounded as if it was coming from a child but he couldn’t see who it was.

“My friend said that you were here to get a bad man, is that true?”
“Ugh,” Harry grunted to himself.

Remus had left him in the body bind that left only his face able to move so that he could talk. Remus had also been with him almost every part of the day since he had found him laying flat on his stomach, waterlogged and almost drowned, but today he had been gone for quite a long while.

“I know who you are; do you know who I am?” The voice came to him again.

Harry didn’t know if he should answer.

“I can fix things; do you want me to fix you? I brought my wand with me but mummy says I’m not supposed to pway with it and Daddy just groans when se sees it. Daddy groans a lot when I do things and mummy gets mad at him ‘cause he lets me.” The voice giggled.

Harry knew this voice. It was a lot higher than when he last heard it, he knew who it belonged to, but if this was a dream there couldn’t be any harm in asking a question for himself, could there?

“Can I see you?” Harry asked.

“Course you can silly.”

The tiny voice was behind him and it was giggling now.

“Well I can’t move my head so could you come around?”

Harry heard movement and then he saw a little girl crawl past his head. She was wearing a pink jumper suit with a red cloak wrapped about her and he thought he saw a tiny wand sticking in her ear hidden by red hair, red curly hair.

When the little girl had worked her way around she lay down on her stomach and propped herself up on her elbows with her chin cupped into her hands. Harry knew he was dreaming when he saw her face. He was looking right into Ginny’s eyes. But why would he see her this young? It made no sense to him.

Harry's voice choked as he asked “Are you Ginny?”

The little girl laughed at his question and then replied “Nope, that’s my Auntie's name, but she doesn’t live anymore.” And then she frowned and her face wrinkled up into the frown. She looked so cute to Harry when she did that. “Everyone says that I look like Auntie Ginny though.”

Harry was smiling now and he almost wanted to laugh but he held himself from that and asked “Can you tell me your name? You seem to know who I am at least.”

“’Course you can, my name is Molly. Are you really hurt?”

The smile turned into a frown again and Harry did chuckle. She put so much into her frown and it almost looked pouty.

“Yes, I really am hurt, and I cannot move.”

Harry was grinning still when he replied but the little girl’s face brightened and she pulled her wand from her ear. It was a little wand, just the perfect size for her too and she was pointing it at him.

“Want me to fix you? Pis…, pisk…, pisky.”

Harry clenched his eyes shut and waited for the worse but nothing happened and when he opened them again Molly was staring at the tip of her wand with a look on her face that said she did not understand why it didn’t work or why nothing came out of it.

“Molly, can I ask you another question?” Harry was dying to know who she was.

She said that Ginny was her Aunt and she knew that Ginny no longer lived but he needed to know.

“Uh-huh.” Replied Molly, and she was nodding her head too.

“Who is your mummy and daddy?”

Molly looked at him as if he might have been crazy. Everyone, well everyone she knew, knew who her mummy and daddy were.

“I mean what are their names?”

Molly looked as incredulous, well Harry thought that was the look it was supposed to be when she screwed her face up but she answered him. “They’re called mummy and daddy, silly.”

Harry did laugh and Molly laughed with him.

“Do I weally look like Auntie Ginny? Everyone says that I do.”

It sounded almost plaintive when he heard her ask but he replied “Yes, yes you do look a lot like her.”

She puffed her face up in an almost prideful look when Harry answered her.

“Molly, what do grownups call your mummy and daddy?”

“Uncle Fred and Uncle George call daddy lil’ bro, but I don’t know what that means and they call mummy…,”

Harry grinned broadly as he interrupted her and said “Hermione?”

“Uh-huh, and they call you Uncle Harry. Are you my Uncle?”

Harry was beaming at her when she said that and pride for his two best friends in the world was bursting in his chest when he answered her. “Well if your mummy and daddy say I am, then I guess I am your Uncle.”

Molly raised herself up and she clapped her hands with excitement. Suddenly Harry frowned,

“Is your mummy and daddy here? I mean how did you get here?”

Molly answered him immediately. "Uncle Dobby brought me to see you but …,” She held a finger to her lips and finished by saying “Shh, I’m not s’posed to call him Uncle Dobby but he likes it when I do.”

Harry made his face look serious when he answered her “I promise. I won’t tell anyone.”

“Wizards honor?” Molly asked very seriously.

“Yep Wizard’s honor I promise you.” Harry answered her and she clapped her hands again and giggled.

A squeaky voice that was trying to be as quiet as possible sounded at the same time the tent flap was pulled open.

“Missy Molly, is Master Harry awake now?”

Dobby had his hands full with a water jug that he had brought for Harry in case he might be thirsty, when he poked his head inside the tent followed by the rest of his short body.

“Master Harry sir, it is Dobby sir.”

Dobby hurried himself into the tent and sat the water jug off to the side and he rushed over to Harry to mop his brow which didn’t need mopping. “Dobby has been worried sick for you Master Harry sir, but Dobby is going to get you well sir. Master’s, Wheezy’s are coming to get you to take you home to be healed.”

Harry grimaced when Dobby said that. He had asked that no one be told, but he wasn’t going to get mad at Dobby today. Not today, Dobby had given Harry the best help already. Harry was able to greet Molly and she certainly lifted his spirits.

“Dobby didn’t I make you promise never to help me again?”

Harry couldn’t keep a slight chuckle from his voice when he asked that. Dobby only grinned. He knew their private joke about not helping but he replied anyway.

“Dobby is not helping sir. Dobby is not having anything to do with this. Everyone is doing the helping and Dobby did not ask. Dobby is a good House Elf and Dobby keeps his Master’s secrets and wishes.” Mopping Harry’s Forehead again, he continued on to say “It is Winky sir, and Master Remus, and Master Harry Potter’s, Wheezy’s that is doing the helping sir. No, Dobby is not helping except to bring Missy Molly to see you. Master’s Wheezy’s are coming any minute now sir and take you to be healed”

Harry wanted to laugh and shout and the same time. He would accept the help, he had no choice, he had to be healed but his worst fear was that it would take too much time and he was so close to finishing everything now. Besides, Madame Pomfrey had said she was not skilled enough which meant St. Mungo’s and they would ask questions and that was what he was afraid of, aside from the fact that he would lose all this time when he was so close and so near. And then he would have to let Mrs. Weasley mother him back to fitness. Well he wouldn’t mind that of her but she would watch him like a hawk and there was no getting around her even if he felt well enough to leave earlier than a healer said he could and everyone knows that they add weeks longer onto what it takes to be actually healed. Harry let a small groan escape from his lips but Molly was right there with that charming smile on her face that made him smile and he closed his eyes to picture Ginny and Ginny’s Hollow.

Chapter 32 Completed

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