The Ballad of Love
By fashionista malfoy
Chapter 3 : Fallen
"We're going to be fine Mom," Ron repeated for the umpteenth time, unable to refrain himself from rolling his eyes. "We can take care of ourselves."
Mrs Weasley gave him a stern look, "Do that again one more time and I'll make sure you'll be blind for the rest of your life. I really don't see the point of you three going. It's dangerous out there. Oh, this won't do. We need more people. How about calling Alastor or Kingsley for help?"
"They're busy with their Auror duties Mrs Weasley," Hermione reminded her kindly.
"Yes... well... a little extra hand wouldn't hurt now, will it?"
The brunette diverted her attention from the worried mother to investigate the person who had created such a huge commotion.
Draco Malfoy. Her least favorite person in the world.
He was standing close to Mr Weasley, hands now tied by magical ropes. His face conveyed no emotion while his steely eyes strayed warily from one person to another. Harry and Ron had been staring at him long and hard, as if hoping he would burst into flames.
Hermione had no idea why she was helping someone who had tortured her over the past six years of her life. He definitely didn't deserve it. Unfortunately, Lupin had given him the benefit of the doubt. Now, they were going over to the Malfoy Manor and rescue his sister. Mrs Weasley had been shocked and oddly terrified the moment Draco mentioned that he had a sister. The adults firmly refused to give an explanation to her behavior.
"Don't worry dear, Remus and I will take care of the kids," said Mr Weasley reassuringly and planted a quick kiss on his wife's cheek.
"Ready?" Lupin asked swiftly as he drew forth his wand. "I'm going with Harry and Malfoy. Ron, you go with your father. Hermione, you're with Tonks. Our destination is the Malfoy Manor. However, we can only apparate near the woods. Let's get going shall we?"
Hermione gripped Tonk's arms tightly and immediately felt the sickening painful feeling she hated so much. Thankfully, everything ended as soon as it started.
She quickly gulped for air to fight off nausea. Hermione looked around. They were surrounded by trees. At dawn, the air was still heavy with dew. Pink rays of light streaked the steel gray horizon and the fragrance of pinecones perfumed the air.
Silently, she followed the group to a clearing.
Hermione found herself staring at an ornate iron gates over ten feet tall. Over the other side, at the end of a winding dirt road, stood a huge mansion enshrouded by ghastly fog. She shuddered involuntarily. The Malfoy Manor looked like a haunted house she had seen in movies.
The gates had no lock on them but they were clamped shut, and Hermione was sure a simple spell would not work. The Malfoys would never invite just anyone into their home. And she was right. As soon as Lupin came near the gates, he was thrown backwards and his body landed painfully on the ground.
As Mr Weasley and Tonks helped Lupin up, Harry and Ron pointed their wands at Draco in case he tried to escape.
"Thank you," Lupin brushed the dirt off his robes, but it didn't make that much of a difference.
"What kind of curse did your family put on this place?" asked Tonks bitterly.
"Nothing too complicated," claimed Draco with a malicious glint in his eyes. "Only a pureblood can go through these gates. A real pureblood of course. No Half-bloods, Half-breeds, blood traitors, muggles, squibs, and certainly not a mudblood (his gaze landed on Hermione and she glared at him in return) can ever pass through this gates... unless of course I were to allow it."
Lupin nodded, giving him permission to do the necessary things to open the gates. Draco neared the gates, without being thrown into the air, and placed both his tied hands on the bars. He muttered something barely audible and took a step back.
The gates gave out a mysteriously green glow and slowly swung open, just enough for the group to enter.
"Let's go," Lupin ordered without hesitation.
Hermione stayed close to Harry and Ron. She had always felt safe with them. The closeness they shared is incredible, and it kept growing every single day. Harry is like a brother to her. They would share and solve any problems that came in their way. However, with Voldermort out to kill him, Hermione felt as though he could slip away anytime. The thought alone scared her. She wouldn't know what to do without her best friend.
Ron is another different story. They got off to a rocky start but their friendship grew strong over the years although there were a few arguments here and there. She knew that she liked him more than a friend since their third year. However, she would not let herself admit her feelings to him as it might jeopardize their friendship. Ron had confessed his feelings for her recently but she had yet to respond. She was unsure why she didn't jump into his arms and declare her love for him. That's what fools in love would do. They won't even think it over.
Maybe, deep inside, her feelings had changed.
They stopped in front of a well-craved, heavy double oak doors.
"It's lock," Mr Weasley exclaimed as he tried to push the door open.
Once again, Lupin nodded towards Draco. He placed the palm of his hand on a spot on the door and it creaked open with ease. The group found themselves standing in the main hall of the Malfoy Manor, on marble floors no less. Hermione looked around in awe. The inside was nothing compared to a creepy haunted house.
The interior of the mansion has a rich, sophisticated look of elegance. A little way ahead of them was a grand staircase that connected the upper and lower halls. It has bronze balustrades curving to the left and to the right from the landing, where a stunning detailed glass window covered the wall. There was a closed door located on the right side of the hall. Hermione assumed it was a kitchen. On the left side, she caught a glimpse of the insides of a room. It must be the dining room since there was a long mahagony dining table it in. Pass the grand staircase was a long hallway with closed doors on either side. It was too dark to see the rest of the mansion. Overlooking the hall, was an expensive-looking crystal chandelier.
"Enough gaping," Draco sneered. "None of you can afford a place like this. Deal with it. And Weasley, you might want to wipe off your drool."
"Ron!" Mr Weasley called out sharply without his son could advance on Draco. "We don't need a place like this. We have a wonderful home and a lovely family. That's more than I can ever ask for."
Suddenly, a house-elf came running in from the door on the right, wearing a filthy and tattered pillowcase. "Master Draco! Snizzy know Younger Master will return!" She immediately threw herself at his feet, oblivious to the others around him. "Please forgive Snizzy! Young Mistress is not feeling well-"
Tonks gasped and Snizzy's head snapped up. Her frightened eyes brim with tears and she began shaking uncontrollably. "Snizzy said the forbidden!" She prostrated herself at Draco's feet. "Snizzy must be punished!"
Draco took a step back, "Take care of that later! Where is she now?"
"In her room Young Master," Snizzy sobbed.
"Take us there," Lupin whispered to the blond.
"Follow me elf!"
"Yes Young Master!"
Draco, leading the way, strode passed the grand staircase and down the hallway. Snizzy snapped her bony fingers and the hallway lit-up brightly, revealing more closed doors and portraits of the Malfoy ancestors. Many gagged in disgust and others swore rudely.
Hermione ignored the portraits and gave Snizzy a pitying look but the house-elf didn't look too happy.
"Young Master, Snizzy must say... Master and Mistress will be angry if they know about half-breed and mudblood in the Manor," noted Snizzy.
Harry and Ron wanted to hurt the house-elf but Hermione pulled them back. "No!" she whispered urgently. "She's Malfoy's elf. She's been brain-washed... and if you two hurt her, she won't hesitate to hurt you back. Never underestimate the power of a house-elf!"
As they neared the end of a hallway, Draco muttered something and a door appeared on the wall. Without stopping, he jerked open the door to reveal a flight of stone spiral staircase that led to a small landing above. Everyone began climbing, trying to keep up with Draco's fast pace. He didn't care about the others. The only thing that mattered was getting to his sister.
A wooden door came into view upon stepping on the landing. Draco placed one of his hand on the door handle. As soon as he did that, a small serpent on the handle snaked around his wrist and plunged his fangs into his skin.
Hermione and Tonks winced slightly. Lupin, Mr Weasley, Harry and Ron exchanged confused looks.
The snake reared back, with blood dripping on its fangs, and uncoiled itself from Draco's wrist.
The door swung opened. Inside was a small circular room furnished with only a desk and a four poster bed. On the bed, sat a little girl wearing a long-sleeve light blue and white night gown. She has long straight blonde hair that came down to her waist and was blessed with a deep set of clear blue eyes. Her complexion was fair, making her look really ill. Draco walked towards the bed and stared down at the girl.
"Where have you been Draco... who are those people?" she asked, her voice gentle and soft.
"Merlin's beard!" Mr Weasley exclaimed. "Could it be? She definitely looks like a Malfoy..."
Lupin and Tonk exchanged looks and stared at the siblings, visibly lost for words. Hermione, Harry and Ron were as confused as ever. Why were they making a huge fuss over Malfoy's sister?
"No time to explain. We need to get out of here," Draco told his sister. "Elf! Pack her things!"
Snizzy eyes widened in shock but she obeyed orders, "Certainly Young Master."
"No!" The girl raised her voice, her face clearly showed fear. "Father will punish me. Draco, it's too painful. I've promised Mother I'll be good and stay here." Her gaze landed on Draco's tied hands and tears started to stream down her face. "Draco, what happened? Are they bad people? Are we going to die?"
"Hey! We're not the bad ones here!" Ron retorted, face flushed. "And-and no one is going to die!"
Tonks suddenly spoke up, "Malfoy, I have no idea what's going on but we need to leave. I suggest you pack your things too. You'll be staying with us for a while. You've promised that you'll do anything... no questions asked."
"Right," Draco murmured and looked at his house-elf. Snizzy nodded and disappeared into thin air with a loud crack. "Let's get going then." He turned to his sister. "Come on... we'll be fine... These people won't hurt you... but if they do, I'll protect you."
The others were surprised to see him act so civilized and even caring. Was this the real Draco Malfoy? Or is it just another act he put up?
They quickly made they way down the stone steps, along the hallway (where the portraits screamed and swore at the female Malfoy. "Despicable!", "How dare they!", "Such a disgrace!"), across the main hall and out of the Malfoy Manor.
Two trunks were already placed at the huge gates. Tonks waved her wand and they magically disappeared.
"Alright, there's a slight change since we have another person with us. Harry... why don't you go with Arthur," Lupin decided as Draco shut the gates with his sister clinging on his robes. "I'll go with Malfoy... and... and Malfoy... What's her name Draco?"
"A-Annabelle... Annabelle Malfoy." Draco replied, giving her a mere glance.
"Well hello there Annabelle," Tonks greeted the youngest Malfoy while Hermione and Lupin gave her a small smile. On the other hand, Harry and Ron stared down at her without the slightest interest. Mr Weasely ignored her completely.
Annabelle withered under their scrutinizing look. She lowered her gaze and tried to hide herself behind her brother.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" drawled a raspy voice. A huge hooded figure stepped out of the shadows, his wand pointing dangerously at the group. He used his other hand to pull his hood down.
Draco's stomach dropped. The man was no other than-
"Fenrir Greyback," acknowledged Lupin, his voice cold. The others moved closer instinctively. "What a pleasant surprise."
"Stay where you are!" Greyback barked. "One move and I'll kill all of you!" His hungry eyes grew with intense eagerness now that he had a good look at the people in his sight. "This must be my lucky day. I came for that Malfoy brat and I got Potter, other useless piece of crap and a free meal."
Draco slowly moved his hand and pushed his sister further behind him, hoping that Greyback wouldn't spot her.
"It's a shame you allied with these fools Remus Lupin," Greyback continued as he started to move near. "We could have been great." He stared closely at Lupin and took a deep sniff. "The undeniable stench of a traitor. You look fallen Lupin. Such irony ey? You're going to die for the people who hate you. People who couldn't stand the sight of you. People who wanted you to die!"
"Really? I had the assumption that's what you're doing," Lupin pointed out calmly.
"What are you blabbering about?" Greyback snarled.
"I know what you're planning. You want to build an army of werewolf, strong enough to take over the wizarding world. Why? For revenge. A rather acceptable answer. You chose to side with the Dark Lord in return of a better life. However, there's a flaw in your plans Greyback. I have a question for you. Let's say your side won. Do you really think the Dark Lord will still want you? He's just using you, just like he's using every single one of his followers."
At this point, Hermione, Harry, Ron, Tonks and Mr Weasley had their hands gripped firmly on their wands hidden inside their pockets. Draco felt someone held on to his arm. He stiffened and his eyes slowly moved to the person. It was Hermione. She didn't look at him but she moved her hands up slowly to reveal that she had grabbed hold of her wand. He didn't know whether she was trying to indicate that they were going to be safe or whether she was threatening him.
Draco gritted his teeth and returned his gaze to their foe.
Greyback was laughing. A cold, maniac laugh. He licked his fangs, "I'm aware the Dark Lord hates half-breeds like us. Now I have a question for you." He leaned over Lupin's shoulder and whispered harshly. "Do you think I'm going to let the Dark Lord live forever?"
"Expelliarmus!" Harry yelled.
As soon as Greyback's wand flew out of his hand, he growled and pounced on Lupin. Both of them fall back on the dirt and started to roll around, hitting each other on every surface of their body. The older werewolf used his weight to pin his victim to the ground. He then started to press his hands on Lupin's throat.
"Petrificus Totalus!" Tonks shrieked and ran over to push the rigid Greyback off her lover. "Are you alright?"
"Yes," Lupin chocked out while rubbing his neck. "We have to head back!"
Hermione glared at him from across the room and he retaliated the same way. For some reason, she ended up baby-sitting Draco and his sister. The adults were busy and Harry and Ron had absolutely refused to do it. It wasn't a hard job. She just had to stay in the room and make sure he doesn't escape. However, the thought of them being in the same room was appalling. And it wasn't just an empty room. It was a bedroom.
Draco and Annabelle were seated on the four-poster bed so that left her the hard chair near the door. A much more comfortable armchair beside the bed was calling out to her but she rather eat live bees and get papercut on her eyeball before that ever happened.
Annabelle crawled across the bed and whispered something to Draco. He smirked and whispered something back. The younger Malfoy nodded and got out of bed. She cautiously made her way towards Hermione and tugged on her robes.
"Oh! Ummm... what's the matter?"
Annabelle muttered something.
"Sorry... what is it?"
Harry and Ron fell off their seats in shock and the exploding snap cards in their hand were thrown anywhere.
"What was that?" Harry pulled himself up and straightened his glasses as Ron shut the curtains of Mrs Black painting. "Hermione!" He dashed up the stairs and into the room. "Herm-- Hermione! What--?"
He expected to see Draco holding his best friend hostage or something but he was simply laying in bed and Hermione was staring at Annabelle in horror. Ron came in seconds later and he was puzzled. "What's going on?"
"Oh! Harry! Ron! Thank goodness you're here! Umm... can you err... Annabelle, go with them."
Annabelle went up to Harry and Ron with bits of tears in her eyes, "Poo."
"I'm not taking her to the bathroom!"
"Neither am I! I'm a guy! Malfoy! You do it!"
"No Ron! He's not allowed to leave the room and that's so beside the point!"
"Fine Mione! Why don't you do it then!"
"I-I've never just done this before!"
Hermione took deep breaths and smiled. "Alright, I'm fine. Annabelle... can you do it by yourself?"
She shook her head as more tears filled her eyes, "I can't hold it."
"Oh good. You're back," said Draco as he carried his sister up to bed. "I was getting bored with Pothead and Weasel."
Harry and Ron glared daggers at him.
"Are those their real name?" Annabelle questioned curiously, without blinking, and her brother guffawed.
Hermione, looking extremely relieved, came in and flopped on the chair she had been sitting on earlier, "I guess it wasn't really that bad... besides the fact that I've just taken my mortal enemy's sister to the loo... That's something you don't get to do everyday..." She stared angrily at Draco while he just gave his infamous smirk.
Just then, Tonks came in the room, "I'm back! All of you please come down to the kitchen. We have something important to discuss... "
End of chapter three. I decided to end here cause I'm getting tired and sleepy and you guys are probably getting tired from reading too. Well, tell me what you think... Next chapter, you'll get to know more about Annabelle... Hermione is going to get closer to her... and eventually her big brother!
- fashionista malfoy signing off!