|What Friends Are For
Author: Nocturna Mae PM
When the Aurors receive a tip about an illegal slave ring, Genessa Fletcher, Auror and former slave, volunteers to infiltrate the ring. In need of someone to "sell" her, she turns for help to her only childhood friend: Draco Malfoy.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Friendship - Draco M. & OC - Words: 1,254 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Published: 04-30-09 - id: 5029837
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. I'm not making any money from writing this.
Genessa Fletcher peered across the clearing. From her position behind a rather large tree, the sagging old barn looked innocuous—as long as one wasn't worried about the place collapsing. It also looked empty, but Sam had insisted that they go by the book and not take chances, despite the fact that they were both almost certain that this was a wild goose chase. Genessa leaned against the beech tree and waited for Sam to signal that he was in place.
She glanced down at her arm, checking that her Disillusionment Charm still held. It did, but she could only hope that it would stay that way. Because she'd never quite mastered that spell, it had the annoying habit of suddenly failing at the most inopportune moments.
The hoot of a barn owl floated out of the trees on the left side of the clearing. Genessa took a deep breath and straightened. Sam was in place.
Wand in hand, Genessa slipped around the tree and prowled toward the barn. On the alert for any sign of dark wizards, she crept closer and closer to the broken barn door.
When she was three-quarters of the way across the field, a raucous cawing split the air. The danger signal! Genessa froze. Genessa quickly scanned the field, woods and barn and saw no one. Why had Sam given her the danger signal, then? Tensing in anticipation of a sudden strike, Genessa raised her wand.
And then she noticed that she could clearly see her hand. Suppressing a snarl of frustration, she raised her wand to her head. Just as she was about to mutter the spell to restore her semi-invisibility, a pair of dogs burst into the clearing, startling her. As soon as they saw her, they skidded to a stop and began barking wildly.
Steeling herself to ignore the dogs, Genessa opened her mouth to begin the spell. A wiry, middle-aged man dressed in Muggle clothing burst into the clearing, behind the dogs.
The man spotted Genessa and his face twisted into a scowl. "Not another one!" he snarled. "I told the last two that this was private property and they and their mates had better stay clear or I'd put the dogs on them! I've had it!" Still glaring at Genessa, he ordered the dogs, "Go get her, boys!"
The dogs sprang forwards. Genessa turned and ran.
Stupid Statute of Secrecy! she thought angrily. I can't even defend myself! Stupid Muggle! Chasing Aurors off his land isn't going to do him any good if there really are dark wizards using his barn to hide dark objects!
Genessa raced for the tree fringe. As she reached it, she glanced behind her. The dogs were slowly gaining, their owner not far behind. Her jaw clenched in frustration, but she kept running. Ducking under low branches and jumping a fallen tree, she kept her eye out for any particularly large tree. She needed one big enough that she could get to the other side and Apparate without the Muggle seeing.
By the time she spotted a tree large enough, she thought she could feel the dogs' breath on the back of her legs. Desperate to get away, she rushed around the tree and turned in place. The familiar darkness squeezed her until she popped back into normal space. Breathing hard, Genessa leaned against the cinderblock wall and lit her wand. Sam would fuss at her, telling her that a light wand in a dark warehouse would serve as a beacon to anyone wanting to hurt her, but at this point, Genessa couldn't care less. She was tired and full of adrenalin, and she wanted to see anything that might try to attack her.
Sam should be arriving shortly, as this was their pre-arranged emergency meeting place. Genessa just hoped that he wouldn't be too mad at her for botching their assignment.
Several minutes passed. Genessa rolled her shoulders, hoping to ease her building worry. Why hadn't Sam arrived yet? Had he been found? Had he somehow stumbled across a dark wizard? She forced herself to breath evenly and deeply. If he didn't show up in a few more minutes, though, she would return to the woods despite regulations.
A pop echoed through the warehouse. Genessa quickly extinguished her wand. It was probably just Sam, but she was jumpy enough to not want to take any chances.
"Genessa?" Sam's voice called. Genessa heard footsteps on the other side of the warehouse.
"Over here," she called, relighting her wand.
Sam lit his wand as well and crossed over to her.
"What took you so long?" Genessa demanded.
"The dogs caught my scent. I had to wait until the Muggle was convinced they were barking at nothing and dragged them away."
Genessa inclined her head. "Did you catch that he instantly associated me with some other people who have been coming onto his property?"
Sam nodded. "He was muttering about 'crazy robed people waving sticks around' while he was searching for you. There's definitely been wizards on his property."
Slumping against the wall, Genessa muttered, "Looks like we weren't on a wild goose chase, after all." Tilting her head back, she said, "I guess this means we have to go back sometime soon, don't we?"
"I think you should do the searching next time, and I'll be lookout. That way, I'll be less conspicuous if my Disillusionment Spell breaks again."
Sam ran a hand through his hair. "I'm tempted to agree; however, we both know that you're much better at discovering hidden caches and doors and whatnot. I doubt these wizards, whoever they are, have left their dark objects lying out in plain sight. Especially if they're aware that a Muggle visits the area at least occasionally."
"I just wish Apparition didn't break Disillusionment," Genessa groaned. "And I still don't see why we can't just Apparate to the same spot and have you put the charm on both of us."
"Because more than one person Apparating to a single point is prohibited by the Auror Safety Codes."
"Why can't we just ignore that this once? It would be a lot easier." Genessa pushed off the wall and straightened.
"But it wouldn't be safe. Two people Apparating to the same spot are much more noticeable than two people Apparating to two separate spots."
"But my Disillusionment Charm breaking isn't safe either! In fact, it's probably—" The Auror-issued watch Genessa was wearing began vibrating.
Sam stared down at his watch. Genessa suspected that her face mirrored his surprise. The watches were used to call Aurors back to the office—and that almost never happened.
"What do you think is happening?"
Sam shrugged. "I think we should go find out."
"Let's go, then." As Genessa squeezed into Apparition, she wondered just what had come up that required the immediate attention of two of the newest Aurors.
My thanks to Kitty East, who has graciously agreed to beta-read this story for me.
My profound gratitude to Khammoun, who was the only person who reviewed my teaser chapter. Your comments have helped me to re-think some of my concepts, which will no doubt result in a better story!
I'd appreciate any and all reviews!