Chapter 5: The Rogue
And the group disapparated.
Hey upper east-siders. Gossip Girl here with the thrilling continuation of this soiree into society of the secretive kind. Just who is this rogue wizard and can Nate and Chuck handle the truth about their new friends?
"Where are we?" Harry asked Chuck and Nate.
It was an abandoned warehouse by the looks of the place. Rundown and old and the sounds nearby indicated possibly on a railroad line somewhere.
Nate looked around as though he might be sick and Chuck was focused on a point behind everyone.
"Duck." He said.
All five of them ducked as a spell was sent over their heads.
"Hermione, protect Nate and Chuck! Ron let's go!"
Harry and Ron cast furious spells toward the attackers while Hermione put up a shield charm around Nate and Chuck. "You cannot leave this barrier. Don't even try." She said to them before following Harry and Ron.
"What the heck did they bring us for if they were just going to have us stay put?" Chuck asked indignantly.
"I think they're… wizards." Nate said, tasting the word on his tongue in confusion.
Chuck gave his friend a worried glance. "I'm glad you've reached the irrational conclusion."
"Well tell me Chuck, what is the rational conclusion?" Nate asked haughtily.
"There isn't one." Chuck admitted.
Chuck looked at the battle raging in front of them. There were flashes of light everywhere. The… spells (he hated to think of the word. It sounded so very juvenile) were mostly silent but now and again he heard screams in what sounded like Latin.
"We have to do something." Nate said.
"The lady said we couldn't move even if we wanted to." Chuck reminded him.
"Do you think Lily's in here somewhere?" Nate asked.
"Who knows? This seems like an awful lot of trouble for a girl you've only just met." Chuck said with an exasperated breath.
"It's my fault she got kidnapped in the first place." Nate said.
"We could have just paid him off." Chuck said.
Nate ignored this fact. "It's a good thing Blair wasn't around."
Chuck bristled at the mention of Blair but didn't comment. Nate smirked to himself a bit, knowing that Blair was Chuck's weakness – even if Chuck never admitted it.
"Hermione!" The redhead screamed, bringing Chuck and Nate's attention back to the battle in front of them.
"Ron!" Harry threw a curse over his friend's shoulder.
Ron attacked the last of the men and the warehouse went silent.
"Hermione!" Ron ran to Hermione and knelt beside her, taking her hand. Harry was muttering something, moving his wand in a complicated fashion above her; Nate and Chuck forgotten.
Hermione opened her eyes and sat up quickly.
"It's okay, relax. We got them all." Harry said comfortingly. "I'm going to take Chuck and Nate and look for Lily according to the locator spell she's around here somewhere. Ron, make sure Hermione's okay; that was quite a curse."
Ron nodded, not needing to be told to fret over his wife.
"Ron I'm fine." She insisted.
"Oh hush." He retaliated.
The bickering continued and Harry almost smiled to himself. He reached Nate and Chuck who were still looking confused. "Okay boys. We're looking for Lily. She's in this warehouse somewhere. We're going to spread out – if you see her put up red sparks." Harry caught himself a beat too late. "Er… shout to me."
The three divided, but since the warehouse was open and spacious looking for Lily didn't take very long. As the three circled the giant room and met again in the middle Nate stated the obvious. "She's not here."
Harry did his locator spell again. It said Lily was in this room.
Chuck noticed an imperfection in the floor. "I think this could be helpful." He said.
Harry rushed to the ground and began inspecting the slight rise in the floor. "A basement." He said, mentally hitting himself.
Harry spelled the trapdoor and it opened silently. He looked down but it was vast and dark. He could see the first three stairs but nothing more.
"Ron, can you and Hermione handle those guys?" Harry asked, indicating the unconscious men on the floor.
"We got it Harry." Ron assured him.
Harry nodded and looked to Chuck and Nate. "If you go in there with me you may be in danger." He warned.
"We're already in danger." Nate said plainly.
"In case you didn't notice." Chuck added.
Harry let out a sharp, bitter laugh. "Fair enough. If something happens run."
Harry lit his wand and began down the stairs.
Blair looked at her watch. He was late. She huffed. Boys didn't stand her up. It just didn't happen. She got out her phone and wrote out a text but before she sent it she deleted it. She would not text him as though she were waiting and had nothing better to do. If he was late then she would be even later. She left the designated spot and went to the coffee shop nearby. She sat by the window where she could watch the fountain but not be seen.
She checked her watch again. "Hmph."
James looked at his watch. "Shit." He exclaimed.
"Language." Ginny said halfheartedly.
"Sorry. I'm late to meet Blair." He said, taking out his cell phone.
He typed up a quick message. He was quite good with the Muggle contraption and considered getting one permanently; but once he was home he would have no reason to have one – none of his friends owned them.
The American Consulate was probably the most boring place on the planet, James decided. After all of the thieves were sorted into ne'er-do-wells and wizard ne'er-do-wells there was a lot of paperwork to sort out. Ginny didn't know what she was meant to be doing; this was Harry and Ron's department. Al and James were just as clueless and Ginny leaving all of the work to Smith and Sampson and causing Ginny to get more and more frustrated by the second that she couldn't have gone with Harry and actually been useful.
"What are you doing?" Al, who was anxious about Lily's whereabouts but frankly just as bored as James, asked.
"Texting." James said. "I had to tell Blair I wasn't going to be able to make it."
Al took out his own phone and stared at it in confusion.
"Yea here…" James began explaining texting to Al.
Ginny nearly growled in frustration. Surely they should have been back by now.
"I'm going to go find them." Ginny said.
"Mom, dad can handle it." James said.
"We'll only cause more problems if we get separated." Al added.
"Well I can't just sit here twiddling my thumbs can I?"
"James telling someone to be reasonable?" Al said in mock horror. "I think the world is ending."
"Shut up, git."
Ginny knew her son had a point. So she waited, and stewed.
The stairs that Harry, Chuck and Nate were descending finally came to a halt, the room below was pitch dark so Harry cast a brighter light charm. The room filled with a bright light the color of the sun. The basement seemed to be empty too.
Harry heard pounding coming from some hidden location. "Spread out. There must be another trick door." Harry said.
"Or an obvious one." Nate said, already running to the door.
"Nate!" Harry hissed. "It could be a trap!"
Nate was trying to pry the door open but it was locked and wouldn't budge. Harry came over and cast Alohomora silently. The door clicked open.
Lily was inside what appeared to be a closet. "Oh thank God!" she said hugging Harry. "I heard the fighting upstairs but I knew you couldn't hear me! I was so worried you would leave and I'd never be found! My wand and cell phone are up on that shelf." She said, pointing to an impossibly high shelf along the otherwise desolate wall. Harry summoned them and took Lily's hand.
"I am not letting you out of my grasp ever again." He said both sternly and with relief.
"Where's everyone else?" Lily asked.
"They're at the consulate." Harry said, "Come on, let's go. The Americans can sort out their own rogue."
The foursome went back up the dark long stairs and into the now empty warehouse. "Good, they've made it out. Hold hands."
Harry disapparated them to the consulate – a place he knew only because it was customary to know such things when traveling internationally.
The chaos that ensued was welcome and tiring. There were hugs, exclamations, explanations, and a few expletives from James. Finally things were settled; Joseph Lowry, the American Minister for Magic, sorted out all of the mess.
"I'm going to have to send the Muggles in for memory modification. That was risky Mr. Potter, taking them with you."
"They could identify people sir. And they wouldn't have stayed behind regardless." Harry said firmly.
"Well I'll have to contact your minister at any rate." Lowry said and Harry nodded.
"As for you two boys," He said, addressing Nate and Chuck. "Please follow me."
Lily realized that in a few moments Nate would have no idea who she was. The thought made her squeamish and she did something daring. She put her arms around his neck and kissed him.
"Thank you for saving me. And I'm sorry you can't remember me. But I'll never forget you." She said this for his ears only.
"What do you mean?" he asked as Chuck tapped him on the arm.
"Come on Nate."
"This way boys."
Nate followed Chuck and the Minister, looking back at Lily with confusion and a small bit of knowing sadness.
Looks like all is well on the Upper East Side. Except poor Blair getting stood up and Nate and Chuck not remembering a thing! Will all work out for the odd groups of people or is this really the end? Xoxo
AN: Thank you for reading! I think another chapter or two ought to do it on this fic; so look for another installment heading your way soon!