Web of Darkness

A/N: Hope you enjoy! I know its short, but I got stuck with a writers block on the last bit…sorry. Hopefully, my writers block will go away if you review! *smiles slyly*

Disclaimer: Yadda yadda yadda…J.K….owns….most….everything….

Part Five:

"So what are you planning to do?" Ron asked in a light tone, splashing some icy water onto his face. He hastily dried his face, and waited, arms crossed, for Harry to finish brushing his teeth.

"I don't know," Harry admitted truthfully, turning around to face Ron fully, determined not to let Ron stop him. "My Firebolt will take me wherever I need to go to find Dumbledore. I'll help him find that Black-whatever-it-thing-that-contains-Dementor-souls. And no one, not even you, Ron—" Here Harry prodded a finger stiffly at Ron's chest—"is going to stop me or make me change my mind. Clear?"

Not looking in the least bit abashed, Ron brushed away Harry's finger, while avoiding his accusing gaze. "Of course I'm not going to stop you, Harry. Just think over it, will you? I only wanted to tell you—whatever you're going to do, me and Herm will follow. Don't try to stop us or try to make us change our minds. We're sticking right by you to the end."

Harry's jaw dropped open, and a strangled sort of choking noise came forth. "B-but—" he stuttered, completely at a loss for words. "I don't want to put you two in danger," he finished boldly.

"WE're coming," Ron said, placing a hand on Harry's shoulder. "Don't even think about stopping us."

"No, that's where you're wrong, Ron. I know you and Hermione want to make sure I'm safe—and I don't blame you. I'm thankful that I have people who care so much about me. But this is something I've got to do myself, can't you see? You'd just get hurt if you came along—after all, Voldemort doesn't want you, he wants me." Harry carefully scrutinized his best friends face, waiting for a reaction.

Ron simply stared at Harry's face, a disbelieving look in his eyes as he willed himself not to beat some sense into the famous Harry Potter. Mouth set in a thin line that rivaled Professor McGonagalls, Ron turned sharply on his bare heel and stormed out of the room, leaving Harry standing quite foolishly alone in the bathroom, toothpaste still foaming around the corners of his mouth.

"You have no idea what you're getting into," Harry murmured to himself as he hurriedly rinsed his mouth and dashed out the bathroom. He tossed on a pair of warm-ups, a T-shirt, and hastily buttoned his robes over the Muggle attire before stumbling helter-skelter down the staircase to the common room. And crashed right into Ron, who was talking to Hermione in hushed tones before Harry's sudden and ungraceful arrival.

He turned his hazel eyes to the skinny figure crumpled on the floor, before lifting his gaze back to Hermione, eyebrows raised. Reading his thoughts, Hermione nodded resolutely and supported Harry to his feet.

"Glad to see you haven't run off, Harry," Hermione said brusquely, brushing imaginary soot off Harry's robe in a maternal sort of way.

"What'd you expect?" he said dryly, locking eyes with Ron. Both young men stared at each other for a moment before Harry broke the silence. "Ron, I didn't mean it. If I leave, I'll make sure you and Herm will be there with me."

Hermione nodded thoughtfully. "I told you he'd come around, Ron."

Ron merely grunted in response, ears turning noticeably redder.

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"Untie the cords that bind him, and lock him in the dungeons," a reedy voice rang out, cold, clear, and demanding. A large, stooping man and another well-built men, both with similar expressions of fear on their faces, scurried to a spindly chair in the middle of the large room, eager to do their master's bidding.

They hacked away roughly at the rubber cords that bound the old man, who looked relieved as his binds fell away from his already purple wrists. Though he was exhausted, and his face and bodily posture revealed his inner fatigue, his fiery blue eyes were young, alive, and challenging as he met the cruel red ones of Lord Voldemort.

"Defeated at last, aren't we?" Voldemort taunted in a gleeful sort of tone as he paced deliberately in front of Albus Dumbledore. "Seeking to destroy the Orb, not only failing, but ending up in the lair of your foe—dear, dear, Albus, I see old age not only destroys the body, but also the mind and wit. Don't worry, I shall have my fair share of fun with you, once I also have Harry Potter in my grasp…"

Dumbledore took in a breath and stiffened, arching his back proudly under his foe's stare. "Old age also contributes to one's wisdom, Tom, and that you will need time to learn."

Voldemort hissed loudly at the comment, pushing his face up against the old man's. "You will regret that, Muggle-lover. Take him away!"

The two solemn-face guards carefully magicked the Headmaster into the air and guided him away from the small area lit by the torches, melting away into the darkness of the room.

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 "Broomsticks."

"Check."

"Invisibility Cloak."

"Check."

"Our wands."

"Check."

"Honestly, Hermione, I don't see why we need to go through the whole list again," Harry said, his voice tinged with amusement as he watched Ron rummage frantically around the drawer for the items.

Hermione glared sharply at him before continuing. "Sneakoscope." She paused for a second before looking at Harry again. "If we're going to do this, we'd better do it right."

"When do we leave again?" Ron managed to pant out as he dropped the armful of supplies onto the floor of the common room.

"Patience, Ron. Just a few more minutes after we get prepared—and change into suitable clothing, of course." Hermione gestured vaguely at her flowered bathrobe and Ron's thin pajamas.

Harry said nothing, simply staring wordlessly out of a large, frosty window positioned next to the couch. The stars twinkled innocently in the night sky, smiling benevolently down at him.

The next fifteen minutes passed by in a blur. Harry, Ron, and Hermione all slipped under Harry's Invisibility Cloak, wands in the folds of their cloaks and broomsticks bewitched to fit into their pockets until needed. They stole quietly out of the Gryffindor common room, and down the darkened halls of Hogwarts, stopping only when they reached a statue of a one eyed witch. 

Harry hastily pulled out his wand and tapped the one eyed witches crooked hump, while muttering, "Dissendium." A barely audible grating noise rang out, signaling that the space between the secret tunnel and the wall had opened.

Adrenaline tingling through every pore and vein in his body, Harry slipped into the tunnel, followed closely by Ron and Hermione. With a final boom, the witches hump closed, leaving the trio in utter darkness.

Amid a flurry of banging and bumping into walls, a disgruntled Hermione managed to find her wand. "Lumos!"

Pointing the wand in front of her like a flashlight, the group started off once more.

The search had begun.

And, unaware to the trekking teenagers, a dark shadow fell into step right behind them, hidden by the columns of stone and blackness of the passageway.

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