Happy Friday, my friends! A anon on tumblr was so sad that yesterday wasn't Covert Love day that I just had to post a day early :). TheDistantDusk has been incredible and edited this chapter for me! Today's title is inspired by the song World Gone Mad by Bastille. Only one chapter left after this one. Get ready for it ;)
She could feel the moisture from the blood seeping down her arm. Ginny had literally cut herself on her binds. Through the stinging pain, she was able to keep a clear head. If she could get enough blood on the ropes maybe it would be slippery enough for her to just slide out of the rope.
Ginny kept repeating that mantra. Slip out of the rope. Slip out of the rope. Then it was easy, everything would become easier after she had her hands. She rolled her wrist again, trying not to cry out at the pain. Ginny didn't know how long she'd been working at her binds, but it had to be at least an hour… maybe two… She had no idea, but Ginny did know that Prue hadn't been back in the room since she started her process. Which was great, except it made Ginny paranoid that Prue would walk into her prison at any time. There was no doubt in Ginny's mind that if Prue saw her in this state (blindfold slightly removed and bloody wrists), Prue would not be happy.
That was an understatement if there ever had been one, Ginny thought sardonically as she continued to grind her skin into the rope. Prue would probably kill me and then try to bring my corpse back to life, knowing that loon. With any luck, I'll become a ghost and get to haunt —
Ginny's twisted thoughts were cut short as she felt her left wrist start to slide out of the tight knot. Her heart began to thud painfully against her ribs as she slowly pulled her hand and then fingers free of the rope.
"Holy shit." Ginny murmured as she easily removed her right hand from the loosened restraints. "Holy fucking shit." The pain in her wrist seemed to throb with every beat of her heart, but Ginny couldn't care less. She'd done it!
Quickly she reached around the back of her head to undo the knot of the blindfold. It took a few seconds to get her trembling fingers to cooperate, but finally, the snarl separated. As the cloth fell away from her eyes, Ginny was forced to blink rapidly at the change in light.
Her chair was positioned directly in the center of the small closet-sized room. It was bare from wall to wall, not a single picture or piece of furniture (except her chair). All the tiny space had within its four walls was her and a small window that let in minimal light.
Ginny's first hope was that she could climb out the window, but even her small frame would get stuck, not to mention it was too high up on the wall for her to reach the ledge to pull herself out. She took a deep breath. Okay so that option was out. The front door it is then. Bending over, Ginny undid the knots at her ankles, instantly reveling in the freedom once the rope fell away from her skin. She ripped the once blindfold in half and tied a piece of cloth around each bleeding wrist, hissing at the pain.
She rose gingerly, worried her legs wouldn't want to take her weight, but after a few seconds, her body adjusted to additional weight. Letting out a relieved sigh, Ginny stumbled forward reaching the door in only a few steps. She took a moment to let herself listen with her ear to the wood.
Nothing. Not a single noise reached her. Taking a deep breath through her nose, Ginny slowly lifted the old latch that acted as a handle. The door creaked ever so slightly as Ginny opened it. Every little groan from the old hinges made Ginny wince.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the door was opened wide enough for her to slip out into the corridor. Before sliding through the gap, Ginny stuck her head around the framework. To the left was a closed door and to the right led into what looked like a sitting room, from the little Ginny could see. What she couldn't see was another person. Hell, she couldn't even hear pattering paws of a cat on the hardwood floor. Just silence.
Taking another deep breath, Ginny steeled herself. The eerie silence was just as nerve-wracking as voices would have been. But at least if she'd heard signs of life, Ginny could have listened to figure out if she was walking into a trap. But with silence… She was going in blind.
Let's see what's hiding behind door number one, Ginny thought as she slowly crept to the left. Cautiously, Ginny lifted the handle, praying this door was quieter than the last. Fortunately for Ginny, the deities smiled down at her because this door seemed to be better maintained. Only a few minor creaks echoed around the corridor.
This room was a small bedroom with minimal furniture. One small bed was shoved in the corner next to a bureau. From her spot in the doorway, Ginny could see folded clothing in the open dresser drawers. Ginny did a secondary look around the room, double-checking the corners for any watchful eyes. But the room was blissfully empty.
Instantly Ginny went for a pair of trousers that looked close enough to her size that they wouldn't fall straight down her hips. She gratefully pulled the cotton up basking in the instant warm the threads provided. Next, she found a decent top and pair of socks. After so long of feeling chills in places that shouldn't be exposed Ginny had never appreciated clothing as much as she did at that moment.
After another glance around the room showed nothing useful (she didn't see how a muggle computer could help her). Ginny made her way back into the corridor and towards the sitting room, which was again empty. This room showed remnants of activity. A few mugs of half-drunk tea littered across different surfaces, a paperback was flipped over so the page was saved, and throw pillows were strewn around the comfy sofa. If it wasn't the den of the woman who kidnapped her, Ginny would have called the space quaint.
A tiny kitchen was attached off this room, again showing signs of someone living there. Plates, cups, some ripe fruit, and her wand! Ginny blinked quickly as if to double-check her eyes. After seven rapid blinks, the wand remained beside the bowl of fruit. Ginny grabbed it, a familiar warmth spreading from her palm to her fingertips.
Ginny couldn't believe her luck. First, no one was watching her, and then her wand lay on the kitchen counter. And because of this luck, Ginny felt more on edge than ever before. This was when the villain popped up in all the novels she'd read.
She moved around cautiously, checking to see if someone was just biding their time to strike. But after another minute Ginny couldn't find anyone. With her gut somewhat settling, she looked around for a way out or information about where she was. The possibility of apparating was out until she knew where in the hell this place was. The risk of splinching would increase drastically if she tried to apparate to Harry's flat from somewhere like Denmark.
Peeking around the curtain that covered the sitting room window, Ginny couldn't see anything. At least nothing that helped her figure out where the fuck she was. As far as the eye could see were empty fields. When she'd first explored the place, Ginny had assumed she was in a small flat, but based on the meadows outside, she wasn't trapped in some city block. She was stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Ginny took a deep breath as she leaned away from the barren sight. She just needed to remain calm. Sure, Ginny had no idea where she was but there were some silver linings to her situation. First of all, she had her wand and there must be a spell that could help her. Maybe it would form a map with a blinking marker that said you are here. Ginny laughed out loud at her own comical image. Of course, there wasn't a spell….
There wasn't a spell, but Ginny did know of something! Harry had once shown her how he tracked what routes he would take on his motorbike. He'd used a little laptop he had at his flat and used some program that showed all the roads from his flat to wherever he wanted to go.
Ginny moved quickly back into the small bedroom. The screen was black on the desk. Ginny tentatively clicked a button on the keyboard, jumping at the loud sound that echoed from the little device. Instantly the screen glowed brightly, displaying a photo of some gorgeous beach. Ginny stared at all the different little pictures on the desktop. She desperately tried to remember what Harry had clicked. It had some sort of multi-colored circle. After a minute of searching, her heart thudding loudly in her chest every second, she found what she hoped was the correct picture. Opening the program took another minute because she'd forgotten to double click the picture, but finally Ginny was looking at the thing Harry had called "the search bar".
It was at moments like this where Ginny was grateful for a father who was obsessed with muggles, because it had made her focus on every move Harry had made to pull up the map. Within ten minutes (because she did make a few wrong turns with her searching) Ginny discovered she was in Fécamp, France (when she turned on the My Location feature). Ginny couldn't help but let out a vicious swear. Fécamp was over a thousand kilometers from Ballycastle!
Ginny had never tried to apparate further than from her place to her parents, and that jump always wore her out so she typically used the floo instead. But there was no fireplace in this small cabin as far as Ginny could tell, and there was no way she was going to try to walk somewhere. She didn't know this place at all! With her luck, she'd walk straight into a different psychopath's yard.
Taking a deep breath, Ginny tried to think. She could try to get to London. It would be a much shorter jump and then maybe she could floo to Harry's flat or to Bill's cottage. Hell even her parents house would be a good place to go and get help at this point!
Her parents… Like a bolt of lighting, an idea popped into Ginny's head. She searched for her parents' local village. It was much closer than Ballycastle! Ginny was certain she could make that jump. It wouldn't be as simple as popping down to the local market, but Ginny had to try something and her parents' place seemed the best option.
Closing the web browser (hoping if Prue came back she wouldn't be able to look up what Ginny had searched), Ginny rushed out the front door. The crisp air hit her lungs like a cement brick. After being cooped up, for who knew how long, the fresh air was a welcome, albeit hard for her body to accept for the first few inhales.
Holding her wand tightly in her right hand, Ginny imagined her parents' land. She could see the back porch perfectly from the apparition point, the numerous old wellington boots spread across along the foundation, and the tilted step that her father had been meaning to fix for ages. Taking one final breath, Ginny spun on the spot, praying that she would at least keep all her important limbs.
Ginny didn't open her eyes right away, instead choosing to let her other senses confirm where she was. Between the smell of freshly cut grass and the soft padding she could feel through her socks, Ginny was certain she'd at least landed in a field. Next Ginny slowly felt across her body, checking for any missing chunks of skin or lost eyebrows, but nothing felt amiss.
Taking one final inhale, Ginny opened her eyes and saw her parents' old farmhouse, as crooked as the last time she'd visited. She'd made it. She'd fucking made it! Ginny wanted to fall to her knees right there on the lawn, but she knew better. She needed to tell people she was okay.
Halfway to the back door, Ginny was hit with an overwhelming wave of fatigue. It literally took everything in her to keep moving to the door. Her mind kept picturing the modest kitchen her mother loved so much, and how she could take a seat in one of the worn chairs that surrounded the large table. That's all she needed, just a moment's rest after apparating so far.
The door swung open easily, as Ginny expected. Her parents never locked their house. With so many children, Molly and Arthur wanted their family to visit whenever they wanted, so they left all the doors unlocked. What Ginny hadn't expected was to find her parents tied to two of those worn chairs she'd been dreaming about just moments before.
Ginny let out a surprised sound as she locked eyes with her father. All tiredness was forgotten as she moved into the house, grabbing one of the kitchen knives as she moved to her parents. She made quick work of the rope binding them to their chairs, then she removed the cloths shoved in their mouths.
"What happened?" Ginny asked as she pulled her mother to her feet. Molly instantly swallowed Ginny into a bone-breaking hug.
"Oh, Ginny!" Molly's shoulders shook as she held her only daughter tightly. "We were so worried about you. Bill came and told us last night Prue kidnapped you and —" She choked up.
Ginny patted her mother's back as she watched her father hustle into the living room. "I'm alright, Mum. I'm fine. What happened to you two? Was it Prue?"
"Yeah, it was Prue," Bill's voice was gruff as he limped in from the sitting room, Arthur right behind him. "She snuck up on us. I don't know how she found out where Mum and Dad lived, but she showed up right after I came to ask for Mum and Dad's permission to trace you."
Molly slowly released Ginny, her face ashen. "I think she got me first. I remember being in the kitchen, getting some tea ready, and then the next thing I knew I was waking up tied to that chair."
Arthur came to stand by his wife's side, his arm coming around her shoulders. "Then she came into the sitting room where Bill and I were finalizing the paperwork. She stunned Bill and then turned her wand on me." Arthur's lip curled in an uncharacteristically violent look. "She left Bill on the floor as she tied me and your mother up."
"Merlin," Ginny let the name out on a long breath. "So where did she go?"
Bill seemed to be thinking about that already. "I don't know. I have no idea why she came here."
"She muttered something about how she couldn't believe the salope enceinte wasn't here as she went around checking the house." Arthur scratched the back of his head. "I don't know what those words — Bill?" Bill's face had gone stark white as his breathing became labored. Arthur grabbed his son's elbow to lower him to a chair. "What is it, son?"
"Salope enceinte means…" Bill choked up. He swallowed so hard his Adam's Apple bobbed before finishing his sentence. "Means pregnant slag." Bill's entire body trembled with a shudder. "She's going after Fleur."
Ginny's gut fell into a deep chasm as goose pimples rose across her body. "We've got to go get her!"
Bill had already risen back to his feet, his chest rising and falling rapidly. "There is no we. I'm going to go —"
Ginny slapped a hand down onto the worn kitchen table making everyone in the room jump. "You're not going in there alone, Bill!"
No one in the kitchen spoke for several seconds until Molly turned to her eldest son. "She's right, Bill. You shouldn't go alone. Ginny should go with you." Bill opened his mouth to protest, but Molly's tone sharpened as she spoke over him. "Your father and I will go and get help, but you need to get to Fleur as soon as possible. Vic will need you to come get her too."
Bill's jaw tightened but rather than arguing anymore he turned to Ginny. "Let's go."
The moment they landed at the cottage's apparition point, Ginny could sense something was off. Normally Bill's little seaside cottage felt homely and cheery, but at that moment it was like a dark storm cloud hovered over the land.
"Okay," Bill whispered into her ear. "I'm going to go in through the front. I want you to head in through the kitchen."
Ginny nodded, keeping her eyes locked onto the house. "Meet in the sitting room?"
"Then we'll head upstairs." Bill cleared his throat. "Be careful in there, Ginny. We don't know how she'll respond to seeing you."
That's what I'm counting on, Ginny thought viciously. She was hoping Prue would be so stunned seeing her out of her binds, that Ginny could simply blow her to high heaven. That was exactly what Ginny wanted.
Bill's large hand came to land on her shoulder, tearing her focus from the house. "Gin, seriously be careful."
Ginny could see the concern in his gaze as if he knew she was thinking. She reached up and patted his cheek. "You know me, always so cautious."
Her brother snorted. "Yeah that's you. I just don't look forward to telling that fiancé of yours that you were hurt doing something reckless."
"My fian-" Ginny's jaw dropped. "He told you?"
"He told us you two went looking for rings." Bill shrugged a small smile turning his lips. "That's what we think set Prue off."
Ginny bit her bottom lip. "Make sense. She couldn't stand the idea of me and Harry together"
Bill nodded. "And an engagement just sent the boil to overflowing. But we'll talk about that after we get my wife and daughter away from that crazy bitch."
Ginny reached the back door within a minute, not running into anything or anyone. When she reached the kitchen window she peered in; nothing seemed out of place. Fleur's organized kitchen looked the same as always. She reached for the door handle, turning the knob slowly. The hinges mercifully didn't creak as she opened the door.
The house was as silent as a crypt. Not a single noise reached Ginny's ears over the pounding blood echoing in her head. Her heart raced wildly as she peeked around the kitchen doorway. In the middle of the room stood Prue, her back to Ginny. Prue's focus was on Bill who stood in the front door, his hands raised in a gesture of surrender. Besides Prue were two people tied to chairs. To the right was obviously Fleur, her blond hair tangled and messy but Fleur nonetheless. To the left was...
Ginny's heart seemed to skip a beat. She'd know that untamable, perfect mop of black hair anywhere. Harry's back was to her so she could see his fingers trying to undo his binds. A sob rose in Ginny's chest that she swallowed back. She fell back against the kitchen wall, taking her eyes off the horrible scene. Prue had Harry and Fleur, and Bill had walked right into the trap. Then it dawned on Ginny, where was Vic?
Prue was the first one to speak, her tone excited and cold. "Now, Mr Weasley, I suggest you move over to the sofa there and take a seat or your daughter might find herself with a little breathing problem."
A little whimper echoed from the sitting room, the same whimper Victoire made when she was frightened.
Ginny's blood turned to ice. Prue had Victoire and from the sounds of it, Vic was the leverage Prue was using to control the situation. Ginny took a deep breath. She couldn't just blast Prue, in case Vic was within Prue's grasp.
She risked another look around the corner. Bill was now sitting on the sofa, his blue eyes sharp as ice as he stared daggers at Prue. Prue had turned so Ginny could see the right side of her face. It was clear Prue was delighted with her current situation, her smile so wide it looked like her cheeks might crack. In her arms was little Victoire, a knife posed lightly at the little girl's throat.
Ginny could see Fleur trembling, the anger radiating off the woman nearly tangible. She needed to think of something before someone in that room did something rash, including Prue. Charging the woman was out, as was sending a curse. Ginny couldn't do anything that risked Prue's hand jerking and nicking Vic.
What she needed was a distraction. Something that would make Prue's focus shift from Ginny's family to… to what? Ginny tried to think what distracted Prue during their games, what use made her lose focus of a bludger. The thought came to her along with a shiver that started at the base of her spine and spread across her whole body.
Her. Prue was always distracted by her, Ginny. During practices or games, if something happened to Ginny, Prue would be focused on her. When she, Prue, and Ariel would do a pub crawl Prue's eyes always seemed to meet Ginny's. Ginny was Prue's distraction.
Bill would be angry, and Harry… Harry's head would practically explode. But Ginny was certain this was the only way to save her family and the man she loved.
Taking a deep breath, Ginny slid her wand back into her pocket. She lifted her hands in a gesture of surrender before walking casually into the sitting room. "Hey, Prue. Long time no see."