Mind Over Matter
A/n: You guys are awesome, I loved seeing your guesses! Some of you were very close to some things. (I think one of you hit the nail on the head about something.)
This chapter has been a long time coming, really over six chapters ago all of this should've happened, but the characters like to take over you know.
Ways to Confound
Ginny Weasley was having a horrid day. She'd burned the bacon when helping her mother prepare breakfast this morning, accidentally knocked a painting off the wall in the hallway and broken the frame when she was dusting, and had gotten told off by Snape when she'd tripped and poured a bucket of dirty mop water all over the man.
So it was that the girl was sitting in one of the sitting rooms on the second floor that was rarely used by anyone, not sulking. Not at all. She was simply removing herself from the company of others in order to clear her mind and gather her thoughts. Really.
After several long moments of sitting silently in the dusty room, the girl finally pulled herself together enough to brave the rest of the house's occupants. As she was opening the door to slip out into the hallway she glanced up when she heard foot steps heading her direction. Catching sight of Remus and Harry coming down the hall, Ginny slipped back behind the door and held her breath with a scowl. The last thing she needed right now was to have to talk to Harry, who'd been an absolute prat to her lately, and Remus Guy-Who-Steals-All-of-Harry's-Attention Lupin.
It absolutely grated at Ginny that ever since Remus had shown up Harry had not only ignored the girl's presence, but treated her like dirt as well. She had thought they were close to having something between them. Everyone knew Ginny cared a great deal about Harry and the girl had been under the impression for a long time that maybe, just maybe, he felt the same way about her. Now though it seemed like he was too busy focusing on his new friend. It pissed her off to no end to be ignored as such.
Her attention was snapped back to the present when the footsteps suddenly halted, and Ginny dared not move in case they heard her and came to see what she was doing. She frowned when there was no further movement after a moment, then blinking in confusion when she heard a faint thud from the hallway. Slowly, silently, she peeked around the doorway into the hall.
Her heart squeezed tightly in her chest at the sight that greeted her. Harry had Remus pushed against the wall, both hands fisted into the other boy's shirt. Remus' hands were on Harry's hips in a way that seemed possessive, and the raven-haired teen was currently devouring Remus' mouth in a passionate kiss.
Ginny didn't move, didn't breathe for a moment as she took in the scene. She wasn't sure when she'd started crying, just having noticed the tears streaming down her face distantly after several moments that felt like eternity. Her heart thudded in her chest as her pulse began to race and suddenly she had to get out of there, couldn't take it anymore.
Neither boy noticed when Ginny slipped out of the room and down the hallway away from them. No one took note of the red-head flying down the stair case. No one even heard the sound of the door shut with a click as the teenager left the residence behind, wiping away tears and gasping for breath through her panic. She wasn't sure where she was going, but at the moment anywhere was better than there.
It was just after the Order meeting that the alarm was raised. They had formulated a plan that seemed as if they might not die immediately in the process of retrieving the Sword of Gryffindor, which was really the best they could do at the current moment. A sleek black owl had arrived right when everyone was dispersing, heading straight for Dumbledore with a letter attached to its leg.
No one had really paid much attention to the mail or Dumbledore, it wasn't unusual to receive letters from various people involved in the anti-Voldemort movement these days. Harry had been too busy fidgeting due to being in a confined space with both Remus and the now awake Lupin to really care much about one letter.
Lupin had felt well enough after he'd woken up and finally downed the headache potion and had joined the Order meeting to be brought up to speed on what had been happening. He hadn't seemed entirely thrilled with the recap of Harry and the others' raid on Riddle Manor and had even went so far as glowering at the teenager briefly before ignoring him completely. Harry hadn't been sure what to expect when the man woke up, but the cold shoulder hadn't really entered into his expectations.
Remus had been keeping a close eye on the way his older self interacted with his mate, and when he'd caught the look the other had sent the teenager he'd glowered right back at him. The two werewolves had been silently sending glares at each other for the rest of the meeting, unbeknownst to the others. The tension between Harry, Remus and Lupin was thick enough to suffocate a person and it was only getting worse as time dragged on and the discussion of the Hogwarts mission came around.
At first Lupin had tried to be adamant about Harry not being involved in this, with a few other members agreeing with him. Harry had put his foot down and downright refused to be excluded, which had almost turned the entire thing into a shouting match before Dumbledore had spoken up and ended the argument by agreeing that Harry should come. He hadn't given reason as to why he agreed to the teen's presence, but his word was still law with the Order and Lupin had been forced to concede the fight.
So it was a tad confusing when the meeting had already been called to an end, everyone already making their way out of the kitchen in order to leave, when Dumbledore suddenly called them back. The members of the Order were confused but came back and were seated once more, looking at their leader expectantly. The former Headmaster looked pale as he set the letter he'd received carefully on the table, fingers trembling slightly.
"I have just received unfortunate news." The aged wizard began softly, looking at each person in turn. "One of our own has been captured."
There was a collective intake of breath, each person wondering who it was and if it were someone they were close to. No one spoke, the group waiting for the man to continue, but Molly Weasley looked far more panic stricken than the rest. With the vast amount of children she had it stood to reason, there was a far greater chance that it was one of her own. Remus looked at Harry and found the teen already looking at him, brows furrowed in concern.
"Who is it?" Remus questioned Dumbledore, knowing no one else wanted to ask the question though they all wondered. He felt Harry's hand grasp his own under the table, fingers interlacing.
"I'm sorry, Molly, Arthur." Dumbledore said solemnly. The two older Weasleys grew tense, Molly started crying soundlessly. "It's Ginny."
"No!" Mrs. Weasley cried, her husband wrapping his arms around her though he didn't look much better off at the news. "No, not our baby! Our baby, Arthur!"
"Molly... We'll get her back. We will." Mr. Weasley said firmly, turning to look at Dumbledore with determined eyes. "What does that letter say?"
"This letter is from our mysterious friend. I'm not sure how they have come about the knowledge of Miss Weasley's capture, but the letter reports that the Death Eaters have her currently held at Malfoy Manor." The aged wizard told them before turning his attention on Snape, who had been silent thus far. "It would perhaps be a good idea to contact Mrs. Malfoy and see what she may know of the situation."
"Of course." Snape said, standing and exiting the room to do just that.
Dumbledore handed the letter off to be read by each person as they waited for the potions master to return. A few people made comment about this sketchy 'friend' and their possible motives, but most just read wordlessly before handing it off to the next person in line. Sirius, Remus noted with a frown, didn't bother reading it at all which was puzzling.
When the letter made its way to Remus and Harry they both read it silently together.
I'm sorry to have to inform you and the others that the news I bear is not good.
Ginny Weasley has, as of early this morning, been captured by a group of Death Eaters calling themselves Snatchers. They have assigned themselves the task of rounding up all of the people who are on the Ministry of Magic's Undesirable list, (Which as you know includes yourself, Harry Potter, and most other known members of the Order of the Phoenix.)
They have taken Ginny to Malfoy Manor where Voldemort has kept a strong Death Eater presence even though he's managed to secure Hogwarts. The manor is mostly serving as a prison now and is where most people who are captured are taken. There are quite a few others already being held there aside from Ginny. It will not be easy to break in and rescue the captives here, but as I'm sure you have many friends in surprising places I know you will find the resources needed to accomplish it.
I wish you all luck,
Almost as soon as the two teens had read the letter and passed it on to the next person in line, Snape returned to the room with Narcissa Malfoy trailing behind. The reaction to the woman's presence was mixed between the Order members- some were tense and eyed the woman with distrust, others had a grudging respect for someone who could play both sides so well.
"Ah, Mrs. Malfoy. It's good to see you well, though circumstances are not pleasant." Dumbledore said by way of greeting, extending a small head nod to the woman. Narcissa looked at him without saying a word, then turned to glare at Mad-Eye Moody who was staring at the woman particularly hard.
"Moody, keep your eye to yourself." The woman demanded with a sneer, to which Moody only grinned in amusement. Snape rolled his eyes at the both of them.
"Oh don't worry," Moody replied, reaching in his robe to pull his flask out and take a long swig. "I've learned by now that some secrets are best left hidden."
"You think you're clever." Narcissa responded, rolling her eyes in an unlady-like display of irritation and Moody guffawed, laughing heartily.
"Apparently not as clever as you!" The man choked out as he replaced his flask.
Harry looked between the two in confusion, not understanding the joke. Remus could see that there was obviously a sub-textual conversation going on but said nothing as he waited for the topic to shift back to the matter at hand. After a few moments of silence, where everyone seemed to be trying to make heads or tails of the suddenly friendly relationship between the Lady Malfoy and Mad-Eye Moody, Snape spoke.
"As amusing as this has been, we need information Narcissa, as I have already told you." Snape said, giving the woman a dark look which she returned in spades before turning to the table and withdrawing several shrunken scrolls.
Waving her wand faster than anyone could really blink the woman had enlarged the parchments and re-pocketed the instrument. Narcissa set about unfurling several of the documents and Remus realized once they were sitting fully displayed that they were blue prints of Malfoy Manor. The group seated around the table leaned in to get a better look at the documents.
"You realize, of course," Narcissa began as one of her fingers slid across a map in contemplation, "That this entire thing will most likely lead to my cover being blown with Voldemort."
Harry stiffened beside Remus, shocked that the woman had so carelessly thrown out the Dark Lord's name when most people would sooner faint at the mere mention. Remus was perplexed as well by the casual tone in which Narcissa had spoken of the evil man.
"Well, you know there's a place for you here if that's the case." It was Sirius who spoke, looking at the woman with fondness. It was odd but then one remembered that the two were in fact cousins, and perhaps this interaction was due to familial bonds.
Narcissa gave Sirius a calculating look at that, frowning deeply. "Yes, of course, where I can be of no assistance at all."
"Maybe you've done enough." Sirius countered with a scowl.
"And maybe you forget your place, Sirius Black." The woman countered in a tight tone. The two glared at each other for a long moment before their conversation ended abruptly when Dumbledore spoke.
"Please, Narcissa. The plans?" The old wizard reminded gently, pulling a scroll toward him to study. The woman seemed to come back to herself at that and cleared her throat, turning toward the maps on the table.
"These are the blue prints of every level of Malfoy Manor." Narcissa said, tapping her finger absently on the table in left over irritation. "I've been there since the Hogwarts ambush because Voldemort doesn't trust me enough to keep me close. The captives are being held in the bottom most level of the manor, the dungeons."
"There are actual dungeons in your house?" Ron asked in a choked voice, eyes wide.
"Well of course there are, where else would we put those that annoy us?" Narcissa said, tone serious but with an amused gleam in her eye. She pulled a map from underneath the stack and pointed to it. "This is the dungeon. There are twenty-one cells, each with very strong wards. It won't be easy to dismantle them without Malfoy blood magic."
"Well then, it's a good thing we have you on our side isn't it?" Ron huffed out. Narcissa shook her head in exasperation.
"No, actually, it isn't. I can't get past these wards easier than any of you can." The woman said testily, as if Ron's ignorance was a personal insult. "I'm married into that family, this magic calls for literal blood."
"What about Malf- er, Draco?" Harry asked, frowning at the blueprints on the table as he took in every detail of the large multi-chambered room.
"That's what I was thinking, actually." Hermione added in, moving to stand so she could reach the maps. "The blood magic will respond to Draco and it will help us get the people imprisoned there out."
"Indeed," Narcissa said, "He's at another of the Order's safe houses. I'm sure he'll be more than willing to join in on this."
Ron snorted, "Malfoy? Helping us with something that could potentially make him break a nail?"
"You shouldn't speak so callously, you don't know anything about what that boy's been through." Narcissa muttered darkly, causing Ron to snort again.
"Like having his massage appointment canceled on short notice?"
"Weasley, hold your tongue. We have bigger things to concern ourselves with than your pissing match with Draco." Snape snapped, glaring at the teenager.
"Alright, everyone, let's please refrain from arguing amongst ourselves. Narcissa, we will require Draco's assistance for this. Are you sure he will aid us?" Dumbledore cut in.
"Of course he will. He's not the immature boy he used to be." Narcissa said with a nod.
After that the planning got more serious, each stage being carefully mapped out as they discerned the best course of action for getting into the Manor and getting out alive. Ron held his tongue from further comments about Malfoy and Harry threw himself into the planning with gusto, feeling as if he owed it to Ginny considering how badly he'd treated her in the last week.
Remus offered insight now and then but mostly remained silent as the others figured things out. He wasn't needed as much during this because Lupin was already making himself an integral part of the discussion. Anything Remus could've added in to help his older counter part had already done so.
It was interesting to watch how smoothly Harry and Lupin worked together to plan this out- they complimented each other's style of thought. When Lupin threw in an idea on something, Harry added to it seamlessly with things the others hadn't considered, and vise-versa. It made something in Remus' stomach clench to watch and he suddenly felt as if maybe his time here was at its end, maybe his usefulness to both Harry and his life were at a close. Now Harry had Lupin, the person that belonged in his world, right?
He felt a hand rest on his thigh and he turned his head to see Harry giving him that look, the one that always made Remus feel as if he were the only person in Harry's universe, the one that said I love you. without the words needing to be spoken. Suddenly he felt silly for the way his thoughts had been going and he placed his hand atop Harry's, giving the other a small smile.
When the two turned back to the discussion, Remus didn't miss the way Narcissa and Lupin were both staring at the teenagers as if they knew what had just taken place. Lupin looked faintly exasperated and Narcissa had an expression that was unreadable.
It was later in the evening, after the Order meeting had been officially ended and everyone had went their separate ways to convene again in the morning for more planning on the raid of Malfoy Manor. Remus was in the kitchen with Hermione, Sirius and Lupin and they were waiting for Ron and Harry to show up. There was an elaborate birthday cake sitting in the center of the oak table, candles yet unlit.
It had been Sirius' idea to make tiny conjured snitches fly around the candles, Remus found it fairly childish but didn't comment since his friend seemed supremely proud of himself. Lupin looked stiff and uncomfortable, leaning against the counter across the room from the others. The teenager knew his older self didn't really want to be there at the moment, what with everything that had happened with Harry.
Sirius was bouncing on his feet with barely contained excitement, Hermione was setting out plates and silverware for the group. When the door opened and Ron and Harry entered the room, the girl whispered the spell that would light the candles and turned to smile at her two best friends. Harry looked momentarily taken aback by the scene that greeted him in the kitchen.
"Happy Birthday, Harry!" Sirius shouted, pouncing on the teenager and enveloping him in a bear hug. "Do you like it? Hermione made the cake but I had the idea for the snitches and we knew you'd be happy because really it's your birthday and you should have a cake on your birthday and I bet you thought we'd forgotten but we wouldn't forget a thing like-"
"Sirius," Remus said in exasperation, "Give Harry some room to breathe for the love of Merlin."
Sirius looked bewildered for a moment before Harry's faint request for oxygen finally registered and he stepped back, sheepish. "Sorry, mate."
Harry coughed a few times, dragging air into his lungs before after a moment he regained his composure and smiled at the older man. "It's alright."
"Happy birthday, Harry." Hermione said as she walked up to the teenager and gave him a much gentler hug. Ron patted his friend on the shoulder and gave him the same greeting.
"Do you like the cake though?" Sirius asked in anticipation, moving to the table to point out the confection as if Harry hadn't already caught sight of it. Harry grinned at his godfather's obvious exuberance and nodded.
"It's a nice cake." He said soothingly, looking at Remus in amusement. The werewolf shrugged, he hadn't had anything to do with all of this.
"Well come on then!" Sirius demanded, "Blow out the candles so we can have cake and then do presents!"
"Presents?" Harry asked in bewilderment, "How the hell did any of you manage to get presents when we've been on lock down?"
"Marauders always have ways, Harry." Sirius told him, tone conspiratorial. "Where there is a rule against it, there is always a Marauder way around it."
"Oh Merlin's balls, you didn't do anything stupid and/or illegal did you?" Harry asked, exasperated.
"No questions you don't want to know the answer to." Sirius replied, waving his hand dismissively, "Now blow out your bloody candles, boy!"
Harry rolled his eyes but did blow out the candles. As the cake was being cut and portioned off Snape walked in from the door that connected the kitchen to the cellar. He took one look at the scene before him before snorting and promptly turning back the way he came.
"Bloody hell, it's a celebration of Potter." The group heard the man mutter in exasperation as the door closed behind him. Sirius glared at the now-closed door.
"That man is a ray of goddamn sunshine." Padfoot said, glowering. Lupin chuckled and ate his slice of cake without comment.
As soon as everyone was finished with their pieces, Sirius set about placing parcels wrapped in brown paper on the table. Harry looked at the five packages with wonder.
"You really did manage to get presents." He said as if he hadn't quite believed it.
"Less talking, more opening presents." Sirius said as he threw one of the parcels towards his godson. It was small and heavy and it was only thanks to the many years of being a seeker that Harry managed to catch it before it hit him in the face.
Harry unwrapped the present to find a thick book on the topic of werewolves, courtesy of Hermione. A thick silence settled in the air after the book had been revealed as Lupin, Remus and Harry all sat determinedly not looking at each other. The gift really was rather thoughtful, but it brought to mind things that the three didn't care to dwell on at the moment. Sirius, sensing the tension and having none of it, threw another package across the table.
"Er, thanks 'Mione." Harry managed as he grabbed the next present. Hermione smiled gently at her friend.
"Thought you might need it." She said, patting his shoulder. Harry nodded as he tore into the next present.
This one was a gift certificate to Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes, from Ron. It was a nice gift and Harry made no comment on the fact that he had an invitation to anything he might want in the shop for free since he'd helped the twins fund its opening. Harry gave his friend a grin and thanked him.
The next was from Lupin, a practical wand holster that fitted to the wrist. Harry thanked the man, finding it hard to meet his eyes as he did so. Padfoot once again moved things along and tossed another gift at the teenager, not letting any ounce of tension settle on the group. This was a celebration and he was determined that they were going to by God celebrate.
This one was Remus' own gift to Harry. The teenager opened it and then laughed heartily when he saw the gift certificate to Honeyduke's. The werewolf grinned, proud he'd managed to make his mate happy after everything that had occurred today.
The last present was Sirius', and Harry was nearly falling out of his chair in laughter when he saw the title of the book. Practical Pranking: 106 Ways to Confound.
"What?" Sirius said when Hermione shot him a disapproving look. "I still think this should have been on Hogwarts' syllabus."
Narcissa was a constant fixture in the house over the next two days as the Order pounded out the details for the plan to rescue the people captured at Malfoy Manor. She only spoke when she needed to and remained aloft otherwise, often times disappearing with Snape or Sirius for long lengths of time when there wasn't a meeting to tend to.
More letters came in from their ever watchful friend, detailing the health of those under the Death Eater's control and assuring everyone that nothing life threatening was happening as of yet. Draco Malfoy had agreed to his part of the plan without a fight, shocking Ron and Harry, and had arrived to Grimauld on the evening of the second day. He'd mostly stayed in his room out of everyone's way unless needed to go over a detail and even stayed distant with his own mother.
When the day came for the Order to finally make their move, Dumbledore set about giving each person their individual orders so that everyone was certain of their part of the plan. It was with shock and extreme aggravation that Remus found out on that day that he wouldn't be joining in any part of this. Apparently Sirius and Lupin had adamantly refused to allow the younger werewolf to take part, citing that anything that may happen to the teenager could affect the past. Dumbledore had been forced to reluctantly agree, though not without Remus throwing a spectacular bitch fit over it.
In the end there hadn't really been anything Remus could do about his exclusion and he had relented, pissed, when Harry took the other three's side over his. Sirius seemed much too amused by the entire argument for Remus' liking, but the man didn't comment on what he found so amusing.
Harry and Remus managed to steal a moment to themselves before the Order headed off on the mission, using the empty sitting room. The werewolf, though in a foul mood, hugged his mate tightly to his body.
"It'll all be alright, Remus." Harry said softly, running his hand up the other teen's back in a soothing manner. "It's not going to take long, we'll be back by early morning at least."
"That's barring unforeseen circumstances, like you getting captured or killed." Remus said testily, arms tightening on the shorter male. Harry huffed.
"Yeah, but the others will be there to back me up. Hell, you'll be there. Just not, you know, the you-you." Harry replied, laughing at the end of his sentence over the confusing use of words.
Remus rolled his eyes, "That doesn't really make me feel much better. I'd rather be there watching your back than waiting at home for you to return in one piece."
"I'll be fine." The raven-haired boy said firmly, leaning in to kiss Remus heatedly and all the werewolf could think was that those seemed like they'd fit on a list of famous last words.
Sirius poked his head in the room after a moment and coughed, drawing the two teenagers apart. Remus glared at his friend, who looked sheepish. "Sorry to interrupt, but Harry it's time to shove off."
Harry nodded, giving Remus one more chaste kiss before leaving the room. Sirius wished him luck on his way out, then turned to the werewolf with a solemn smile. "Come on, then, let's play a round of chess and see if we can't make time fly faster."
Remus didn't respond but followed his friend to the study where the chessboard was already sitting set up. The two took their places at the board and Sirius pushed a chocolate bar into his friend's hands. Remus stared at the candy in confusion.
"For your nerves, chocolate's always helpful according to you." Sirius told him with a grin. The teen rolled his eyes and set the candy down, moving a pawn forward two spaces.
"Let's just get this started."
The older male was a bit concerned, seeing his long time friend disinterested in chocolate. He didn't comment and the chess game commenced mostly without discussion.
The plan was fairly simple. Narcissa, still a respected member of the Death Eaters, would bring Harry and Draco in as captives. When they were taken to their cells, Narcissa would slip them their wands. Later, when the chaos of their capture died down, the female Malfoy would assist two groups of Order members in entering the manor. These two groups were to aid the teenagers in getting the prisoners out unharmed.
There was a lot of room for error, which made everyone a little uncomfortable, but it was the best plan they had short of burst in wands blazing. That, according to Narcissa, would be idiotic considering there were thirty some odd Death Eaters currently residing at the manor (including Lucius Malfoy himself.)
Narcissa had also told them this would have to all be executed quickly, because as soon as Voldemort learned that his servants had managed to capture Harry the man would summon the boy to Hogwarts and kill him. And yeah, she said it exactly that bluntly, much to a few weak-stomached Order members' dismay. It had kind of been funny for Harry to see Lupin glare at the woman, though.
So it was that the two designated captives appeared bloody and unconscious, bound by magic ropes levitating behind Narcissa as she stalked through the doors of the manor's entry way. The couple of Death Eaters standing guard froze when they caught sight of the two floating in behind the woman.
"Bloody hell, woman!" One of them cried in shock, "You caught Harry fucking Potter!"
After that greeting and a round up of a few other Death Eaters who wanted to poke and jeer at the Boy Who Lived, it wasn't long before the two teens were taken to their cells in the dungeons. Narcissa had snapped at anyone who offered to assist, stating that she'd been the one who had put in all the work and she'd throw them in their prison all by herself as well.
It was swift when their wands were pushed into their hands, so quick the few that had followed the woman didn't catch the movement as the teenagers were shoved into a tiny stone box of a room that was in a long line of similar ones. A few of the other cell doors were shut, and Harry knew that's where they'd find their friends.
"Why're you puttin' them in the same cell?" A man with too much hair on his face questioned, beady eyes looking bewildered.
"Because, Andrew," Narcissa snapped, saying the man's name like it were disgusting on her tongue, "They hate each other. I don't particularly care if they rip each other apart while we wait for the Master to order the boy's presence."
"But that's your son..." Andrew responded, looking shocked at the woman's callousness.
"He's a traitor, he is no son of mine." Narcissa replied, slamming the cell door closed.
The noise of the voices outside their cell drifted away as the Death Eaters exited the dungeon. Harry and Draco sat up after a moment, both looking over their surroundings. The room was very small, barely big enough for the teen to spread his arms out without brushing fingers on each side of the wall.
"With all that money, you guys couldn't have made bigger prison cells?" Harry muttered darkly, turning to take in the door. It was stone just like the walls, no door handle. It was obvious that magic is what held it shut.
"Sorry we don't bother ourselves with the comfort of prisoners." Draco replied, without venom.
Harry had seen a drastic change in his old school nemesis. When Draco had arrived at Grimauld Place Harry had fully expected there to be lots of fighting and cursing between them, but instead he'd only been met with stony silence and a sense that his old enemy had seen more than his share of evil and hadn't come out the other side completely untouched.
The two didn't say anything else to each other as they waited the previously agreed upon time. Draco moved forward and performed an intricate pattern with his wand, muttering in what Harry figured might be Latin. It was after ten minutes of this that Draco stilled and the door opened with a soft click.
The chamber outside of the cell was empty and the two teens quickly went about opening the other cells. They found Neville Longbottom looking worse for wear, Dean Thomas, Olivander (Who Harry hadn't even been informed was missing), Filch (Who Harry briefly considered throwing back in the cell), and finally Ginny.
The girl was red-eyed and tear stained when they found her, curled into a ball in the corner of her cell. Harry had attempted to move toward her but when she flinched he paused. She glared at him and stood on shaky legs.
"I don't want to be near you right now, Harry. I am so angry at you, this is all your fault." The girl said in an icy tone. Draco looked between the two with bewilderment clearly painted on his face.
"Look, Gin, I don't know what this is about but we've got to get out of here." Harry said, pointing out toward the hall. "The Order is going to be bursting into this place any minute to help us out, we need to be where we've agreed to be at that time."
"Just don't you speak to me." Ginny shot back, tears filling her eyes as she pushed between the boys and joined the other recently released captives.
Draco lifted a questioning brow at the scene and Harry shrugged helplessly, because he was wondering what the actual fuck that was about himself. After the two teens got everyone rounded up and informed them of the plan to get out of the manor, the group made their way cautiously out of the dungeons. Their goal was to reach the study on the ground floor of the manor, where a large picture window overlooked the tree line at the end of the property. It was at that spot that a hole had been made in the wards by Draco himself that would allow them to apparate out when they reached the forest.
It took a while, sneaking as they were, to make it to the room they needed. Malfoy Manor was huge an Harry had no doubts that without Draco's help they all would have been utterly lost in this tomb of marble and gilt.
Narcissa was waiting for them in the room, as previously arranged. She looked at them silently, handing over a few of the coins that Hermione had made. After slipping them into their pockets they could hear the woman's voice inside their minds.
'The first team is already inside getting ready to make the required distraction. The second will be here any moment. Remember, no matter what happens your only goal is to reach that tree line.'
Everyone nodded their understanding. When shouts rose in the air from somewhere else in the large manor house, followed by curses and a large amount of bangs, the team escourting them to the trees arrived through the doors. Harry was not pleased to see Lupin wasn't part of this one.
"Ready everyone?" Tonks asked cheerily despite the situation. She didn't wait for a response before she sent a blasting curse at the picture window, shattering it.
The handful of Order members along with the ex-captives wasted no time in climbing through the window and gunning it for the trees. It was a good quidditch field's length away from the house and left them all exposed to the stray hex from a handful of Death Eaters who'd noticed them escaping.
Tonks, Wood and Kingsley Shaklebolt shot back curses of their own and shielded the teenagers, Filch and Olivander from the odd curse that got too close to them. Harry deflected a nasty limb severing curse and shot back the exact same thing at the Death Eater who'd targeted him, not wasting a second to marvel over how much friggin' blood there was when someone had their leg cut off.
It was right as the group hit the tree line, a bunch of them disappearing with a pop to the location they'd agreed on beforehand, curses flying everywhere and chaos heightening when the trees starting exploding from the impact of so many dark spells thrown towards them, that Harry's bond with Remus exploded in pain and the world went dark around him.
Remus was just moving his bishop to put Sirius into check when he realized something was wrong. He didn't feel very well and Sirius was looking at him in an odd way.
"Remus, you did take that potion Snape brewed for you right?" Padfoot asked flippantly, as if there was nothing weird about the out of no where question. Remus frowned.
"Yes, days ago. Why?" Then a horrifying thought struck the teenager, his head whipped up and pinned his friend with a panicked look. "It's not happening, is it? Pads, tell me it's not happening now!"
"I'm sorry, my dear friend." Sirius replied sadly, not meeting the other male's eyes. He was staring at Remus' hand, and when the werewolf looked he was stunned to find his fingers turning transparent.
"Why didn't you tell me?!" Remus shouted, standing up from the table so abruptly that he knocked into it and sent the chess pieces scattering across the floor. His entire arm was disappearing, his legs had already faded out unbeknownst to him at some point This was happening to fast, too fast!
"It wouldn't have made a difference, Remus. There's nothing that can be done to stop it."
"If I had known- If I'd had more time-" Remus knew he was babbling, panicked as his torso began disappearing.
"You'd have done what? There's nothing anyone could have done." Sirius said firmly, raising from his seat slowly. "I'm sorry."
"I would have known, Sirius! I would have bloody well known!" Remus shouted, growing more desperate as he viewed himself looking like a floating set of shoulders. It was almost over, he was almost gone, why now?!
"Known?" Sirius asked, confused by what he meant.
"To say good-bye."
Remus disappeared completely.
A/n: So... yeah, long time coming that. What'd you guys think?
As always, review. (With whipped cream and cherries?)