DISCALIMER: I do not own Harry Potter not matter how desperately I wish that I did. I don't own the marvelous characters created by JK Rowling, nor do I own anything else that is familiar to you, the reader.
A/N: Just a note about this story, updates, etc. I don't normally write fanfiction because I tend to get off-track and start writing my own things. So writing Fanfiction is rather the challenge for me and as such, I may not update regularly (I have three chapters written already though, so fingers crossed)
I also really appreciate concrit and if you could help me improve in any way, shape or form please do feel free to do so as it will most definitely help me in the future :D
Thank you for choosing to read this Fic and I will do everything in my power as to not let you down :)
Anywhere but here
July 27 1997
The clear night sky stretched over the expanse of Privet Drive as the seven Harry Potter doppelgangers mounted brooms, Thestrals and in one particular case, a flying motorbike.
Everyone was ready; they were simply waiting for Mad-eye's word.
"Good luck, everyone," shouted Mad-eye. "See you all in about an hour at The Burrow. On the count of three. One…two…THREE."
The roar of a motorbike pummeled through the night air, the brooms hovered off the ground gently and immediately speed away at astounding speeds in different directions into the night sky. The Thestrals flapped their giant leathery wings and lifted into the cool night air before flying high toward the stars above.
It was safe to say that a certain witch, Hermione Granger, who was scared to death of heights, immediately felt like vomiting as soon as she looked down at the tiny streetlights as they slowly but surely become a soft glow amongst the fog.
"Don't look down Hermione," said Kingsley Shacklebolt in his deep voice. "It only makes the experience worse."
Hermione gulped and furrowed her brows while she forcibly turned to stare at the back of the man's head. She felt a tiny bit calmer, having heard his voice, but only a small bit. That was the beauty about riding with Kingsley: his voice could calm a paranoid schizophrenic in no time at all. Heck, its part of what him a fabulous leader. His voice was like a warm blanket in the way that when he spoke, you felt safe and secure.
She wondered about how everyone was fairing and if they were safe. Of course, the idea of being safe at this height on either a wonky piece of wood or shifty animal was absolutely ludicrous- a person would be safer walking into Mordor. She hoped that they were okay. Her heart clenched fearfully as she wondered that inevitable thought: What if they weren't okay? What if someone had fallen off a broom? Even worse: what if someone had a run-in with the Deatheaters? She tightened her grip on Kingsley, needing to know that she was safe as long as someone as experienced as Kingsley was with her. At least that's what she told herself.
She looked above and found herself looking at the stars- tiny pin points of light that danced above the Earth. She found herself occupying her mind by tracing invisible lines between them, linking the different stars together and making pictures; she found it rather calming. She was halfway through making the shape of a locket when she felt the Thestral lurch downwards and to the side.
She screamed and tightened her grip on Kingsley further, closing her eyes tight.
"Its okay, its okay!" he shouted, steering the Thestral upwards. "He just got spooked, that's all."
"Spooked by what?" Hermione murmured, daring to open her eyes the tiniest bit.
"I'm not sure." He replied calmly.
The witch breathed in a deep breath of the crisp air and wondered how her friends could even play Quidditch. The height was bad enough; it was far too high. Not only that, but there was the constant danger that you could fall off your broom and fall to the ground that was far, far below where you would surely splat and-
She needed to stop thinking.
Taking another calming breath of air and closing her eyes, she listened instead to the beat of the Thestrals wings as they cut through the light wind.
It was probably one of the oddest noises that she'd ever heard. It sounded almost like a flag flapping in the wind, but with a slight whistle that indicated that the flag had small holes in its fabric.
Okay, so it wasn't that odd, but Hermione liked it and she counted each individual flap so that by some miracle, she would eventually forget that one wrong move, and she would fall to the ground.
It wasn't even fifteen minutes later when she heard the sound of shouting.
She felt Kingsley tense up and then felt that horrible pull where the Thestral's weight shifted and started to fly in another direction.
"What's going on?" she asked, becoming fully aware of the fact that she shouldn't be hearing any shouting.
What if it's Deatheaters?
She placed her hand over the bulk in her pocket where her wand was kept and adjusted the glasses that were perched on her nose. Swallowing her nausea that made itself evident when she remembered the height, she looked around them and saw nothing out of the ordinary. The only thing that surrounded them was the dark of the night sky and the chilling air that came with being this high…which was odd because it wasn't this cold before.
"You heard that too?" replied Kingsley, looking straight ahead.
"Of course." She said, becoming increasingly aware of the chilling cold that was seeping through her jacket.
She felt Kingsley shiver; an involuntary reaction against the cold.
When she breathed out, she could see her breath as it misted out of her mouth. Her teeth began to chatter against her will, so she closed her mouth tightly and leaned in closer to Kingsley so that she could try and keep warm. The only problem was that Kingsley seemed to be just as cold as herself.
"It wasn't this cold before," she began, fighting the shivers that came with the cold. "Did we get higher?"
It was a small minute before Kingsley replied and when he answered, it was almost as if the cold of the air had seeped into his voice as well.
"Tell me Hermione, can you cast a patronus?"
Just like that, she whipped her wand out of her pocket just as a hollow rattling noise coming from behind them became apparent.
She turned around as much as she could on the Thestral and feeling determined she shouted ,"EXPECTO PATRONUM!" thinking of the time when she, Harry and Ron sat beside each other on the edge of the Black Lake, joking happily about the Giant Squid that was said to live in it. For a fleeting moment, she wished more than anything that things could be that simple again. She'd give anything to be back at that lake with her two best friends, not having to worry about Voldemort at every turn.
A silvery otter erupted from the tip of her vine-wood wand and swam harshly toward the black mass that was a Dementor. The Dementor's mouth opened wide in a silent scream, showing its rows of rotting yellow teeth, the smell of rotting flesh accompanying the action. The Dementor made a shrieking noise and fled backwards in a flurry of black out of her sight. She felt the tiniest bit warmer.
Suddenly feeling a bone gnawing chill to her right, she turned around halfway on the Thestral and cast another patronus using the same memory and watched in satisfaction as the Dementor swooped away.
However the satisfaction was short-lived as another Dementor barreled toward her.
Wow they just keep on coming, she grudgingly thought to herself.
She cast the patronus once more but was shocked when it didn't stop the Dementor's progress in the slightest.
"EXPECTO PATRONUM!" she yelled, filling herself with that golden happiness again.
But the Dementor was still hurtling her way. Despite it being hopeless against a Dementor (but really, she was running out of ideas), she cast a quick 'stupefy' and watched in horror as the Dementor flicked her spell away.
But it was impossible for Dementor to use magic, wasn't it? She hadn't read anywhere before that Dementors could use magic, especially any magic that could trump a wizards. What if it was possible but she'd overlooked it, or forgotten? What if that was the reason she hadn't scored a perfect score in the last DADA test back at Hogwarts?
But another question flittered to the forefront of her mind in that split second and as she thought it, she could feel her blood run cold.
What of this wasn't a Dementor at all?
Despite the chill in her bones-that had nothing to do with the cold air- seeping through her system, she steeled herself and used the first spell that she could think of.
"Impedimenta!" she cast, never once looking away from her target. But to her dismay, the jinx was deflected by the Deatheater's wand and she fired another spell, hoping to any God out there that she could at least make it stumble.
It all happened in a few moments, but the Deatheater kept on making its slimy way toward the two, only falling back twice to rid itself of the birds that Hermione had sent.
Suddenly a flash of green light came from the tip of the Deatheater's wand and she screamed, ducking just in time.
"Protego Horribilis" she cast, directing her magic to the area surrounding herself and Kingsley. She knew that it would probably be useless, but any protection whatsoever would make her feel slightly more protected.
Another flash of green and she screamed again, shifting closer to Kingsley as to avoid the killing curse.
"Deprino!" she fired, hoping that the strong wind would at least knock the Deatheater off course.
It worked a tiny bit, until another Deatheater swirled upwards until it was five meters away.
As a child, she always wondered what it would feel like to look into the eyes of death itself and in that one moment, she knew; it was terrifying.
She sent a silent prayer to her parents and to anyone else up there, hoping that they would look over those she failed to protect.
These Deatheaters were simply too skilled and she knew that it was a losing battle.
"Crucio," the black form hissed and suddenly she was in unbearable pain.
Somewhere in the back of her mind she registered the fact that she had let go of Kingsley and that her limbs were thrashing uncontrollably, so much so that she spooked the Thestral and it dived, causing her to fall off its back…
Down she fell, the pain seeping away from her bones whilst a whole new sensation took over. She would take the cruciatus curse a million times if she could avoid feeling this sensation again; that sensation that you were falling so fast that you left your stomach somewhere behind, and yet somehow you were still alive. Yes, she would rather feel unbearable pain compared to this emotional torture, it was the feeling of terror, the feeling of absolute horror: of knowing that despite everything, you had to accept that you were going one way and one way only.
Down, she was still falling and when she could clearly see the outline of a double-decker bus and make out the color of a single pedestrian's hair who walking slowly down a sidewalk in London, she closed her eyes and promptly blanked out.
27th July, 1997
"Still not here," sighed Ginny with a hint of worry evident in her tone. She was sitting on the Multi-patched couch in the living room, staring intently into the darkness out the window. "She should be here by now."
George was laying on an equally tattered couch on the opposite side of the room, holding a towel to the gaping hole that was where his ear had previously existed whilst he joked half-heartedly with his twin. However upon hearing Ginny he sighed and said in a wavering moment of seriousness, "She'll be fine, Gin. Hermione's smart; probably smarter than half of the Deatheaters out there. They wouldn't stand a chance."
Ginny could hardly hear her brother though, because the thoughts in her head were far too loud.
What if Hermione had been desperately injured and was lying somewhere on the ground? What if she was firing away hexes at someone who was more skilled than she was? What if- what if what Fred and George said was true and there were Deatheaters firing killing curses out there as well? What if she had a run-in with a Deatheater and froze up because she was so scared? What if she was dead, what if-
Ginny pinched herself so that she would stop over-thinking. It was a bad habit that she had picked up over the years hanging around Hermione, who had a tendency to over think herself in every possible situation.
Yes, Hermione was always thinking, so there'd be no way that she wasn't prepared for the Deatheaters. Surely Hermione would know what to do; she always did.
Sighing, the red-head stopped ogling the darkness outside and turned her gaze to the boy sitting beside her.
Harry had been the last one to arrive and currently had an expression of worry upon his face. Oh how Ginny wished that she could somehow make his stress go away.
He sat with his jaw stiff and she noticed that he was toying with the edge of his blue jacket in a nervous gesture. She could tell that he was anxious about Hermione too and she yearned to reach out and make him know that it was all okay… but she couldn't. No, he'd broken up with her. Sure it had been for her safety, but that didn't make it hurt any less. She had told him she wasn't made of glass and that she was strong enough, but he had insisted that it was for the best.
Yes, Harry Potter had the bad habit of assuming that his way of thinking was always right and that everyone who thought otherwise clearly wasn't thinking straight.
But she was thinking straight and she just knew that she could help him with whatever it was that he was planning to do.
"She's not here yet, is she?" came a voice from the direction of the stairs. After a short moment, Ron walked into the room, his shoulders stiffened.
"No, she isn't." the red headed witch said, crossing her legs on the couch.
Harry didn't look up as Ron went to sit beside him and instead kept on looking straight ahead, still fiddling with his sleeve.
Ginny honestly felt like reaching out in that moment, but thought the best of it and instead took to thinking about what she would do when she saw Hermione.
Ginny had never really been one for excessive hugging and the like, but when it came to Hermione, the witch would make an exception.
Having grown up in a household full of boys, Ginny had always wanted an older sister, just someone who she could go to, to talk about absolutely anything in the world. A person she could giggle with about boys and the like; just a female who she could relate to, just another girl that she could always have to watch her back.
Hermione had always been that sister for Ginny.
She had been the one Ginny had gone to about Harry in the beginning, the person who had showed her the beauty of reading books and paying attention in class. Hermione was the person who had taught Ginny that emotions were important and that sometimes all you really needed was a hug and some support.
Yes, Hermione was Ginny's sister through and through, and she hoped beyond hope itself that the bushy-haired witch would be back soon.
They needed her.
July 28th, 1997
"I want to kill her!"
A manic, sing-song voice echoed through the Dungeon, becoming intensely louder than what it would have originally been had the stone walls not been there.
"But Bella you can't kill her-"
Another voice sounded, more masculine than the first. It was in reply to someone, so Bella must be the name belonging to the first voice.
"And why not?"
It was Bella again, she was quieter than the first time and she almost sounded…sulky?
"Because she could be of use to us."
The masculine voice was coming closer and this time, she could hear footsteps echoing around the chamber as well, accompanying the voice. It was impossible to tell which direction he was coming from, which made the experience somewhat eerie.
"What use could a Mudblood have to us, Lucy?"
Bella used a patronizing tone this time, her voice almost as close as 'Lucy's'. What an odd name for a male…
There was a huff of air, an exasperated one at that and Lucy replied, his voice now devastatingly close. So close in fact that he could easily touch the girl that lay sprawled on the concrete before him, if he wished to.
"She could be used as a hostage. If we keep her here, that Potter boy will come."
He reached out to prod the girl on the floor with his wand, who was still trying to get her distorted thoughts together.
Lucy and Bella; she hadn't ever known anyone with those names before. She had already assumed that they weren't very welcoming people (how else could she explain the concrete floor and disgusting smell that surrounded her?) and that they obviously didn't get along. Lucy seemed to get quite annoyed at Bella, and yet he couldn't really tell her to just be quiet. The witch wondered why Lucy didn't simply tell the woman to shut it. What could Bella possibly have over him?
But then a word started to bounce around the cavern that was her brain in that second, and she felt a small tug of fear grip at her stomach. Hostage. She was going to be used as a hostage so that Potter would come and get her.
Suddenly her breathing ceased and she gasped almost inaudibly as the fear gripped her tighter still. Surely, surely they couldn't mean Harry… and just like that, her memories came pouring back into her brain like a thin but roaring stream. She was supposed to be at The Burrow and she was supposed to have had arrived with Kingsley Shacklebolt. She was supposed to have been protecting Harry…the Dementors, the killing curse, the deatheaters and terror that pulled at her as she fell down…down into blackness.
Blonde. That was the color of the muggles' hair.
Lucy and Bella.
Horror washed over her as she realized who was in the room with her, who would be taking her as a hostage.
Surely, surely not… but it was. It was so apparent and she berated herself for not realizing it before.
Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange; one pig of a pureblood and one clinically insane, were right there in the room with her, and Lucius Malfoy was crouched down beside her, still prodding her with a wand that had surely cursed so many people.
She flinched upon thinking that thought, but immediately regretted the action as she heard Bellatrix screech in delight.
"So the Mudblood has chosen to wake!" she heard the sound of hurried footfalls and felt a stab of pain as her head was pulled by her hair backward off the ground. "Tell us, Mudblood, do you know where you are?"
Hermione was determined not to speak, for what reason, she didn't exactly know. All she knew was that she was going to speak as little as possible and then maybe, maybe they might get bored.
Then again, said a small voice in the back of her head, they are rather sadistic, maybe they wouldn't care either way and would enjoy you not making a sound…maybe it would give them an incentive to 'break' you…
Bellatrix tugged harder on her hair and Hermione gritted her teeth in pain. She felt her eyes water, even though she was determined to not cry. She simply refused to give them that small bit of satisfaction.
"I asked you a question, Mudblood," Bellatrix growled in her ear. Sadism dripped from every word she spoke and Hermione- whose thoughts were going every which way- imagined blood dripping fiendishly from a metal stake. "You'd do good not to snub your superiors." With another painful tug, Hermione could feel the tell-tale signs of blood as a warm liquid started to dribble down her neck.
Yet Bellatrix didn't lie off, not that Hermione had expected her to in the slightest.
Instead, the pain increased a tenfold until Hermione eventually cried out in agony and a cruel laughter echoed around the stone walls of the Dungeon.
And then, it was all over. Hermione's sticky head flopped downwards and by the feeling of a small breeze washing over her head, she knew that some of her hair had been pulled out.
Bellatrix's light footsteps echoed for a second until a shadow poured over Hermione's head. She felt the tip of Bellatrix's wand stick into the top of her throat and her chin was forced upwards until she was looking into the black eyes of the deranged woman.
"The question, Mudblood," she said softly, her foul breath washing over Hermione's face. "I asked you a simple question: Do you know where you are?"
Hermione was forced to stare into the deadly eyes of the psychotic woman, and as she stared, the answer came to her. Of course she knew where she was.
"M-Malfoy Manor." She stuttered out, hating the fact that her voice showed how truly terrified she was.
Bellatrix retracted her wand and Hermione's head flopped downwards again, her forehead hitting the cement floor with a dull thud.
"Well done Mudblood, very well done indeed." And as the maniacal laughter of Bellatrix Lestrange rang throughout the room, Hermione yearned like she had never yearned before; she desperately wished that she were at The Burrow with Harry, Ron and Ginny. She wished that she were anywhere but here.
Anywhere but here.