"Amanda," I hissed, reaching towards my pistols once again.

Amanda Evert stepped out of the shadows, followed by a slightly taller woman. Both women were dressed in black gothic clothing. The taller woman had a wand in her shaking hand and her hair looked as though it desperately needed some conditioner.

"That's Bellatrix LeStrange," Harry said, keeping his voice low.

Amanda pulled something from her pocket. It was a large, glowing turquoise stone.

"Did you find another pet?" I asked her.

The woman Harry had called Bellatrix shrieked something and a jet of light flew at us. I jumped out of the way just in time while Harry shot a counter-curse at her. I drew my pistols and whipped around to fire at thin air. She had disappeared.

"Lara!" I heard Harry shout.

I turned back to face the centre of the room. Amanda had unleashed her beast. Towering above us, it seemed to be made of blue flames and black smoke, although no heat came from it. It threw a ball of… Could I even call it fire? Whatever it was, it came hurtling toward me.

I fired up at the creature, dodging its attack. Where was Harry? I scanned the room quickly while trying to stay clear of the beast. The woman with the wild hair was on top of Harry, her wand pointing right at his face.

I aimed my pistol at her and fired. She must have sensed it somehow, because she moved out of the way faster than I could keep track of, and another jet of light shot toward me. It hit me with incredible force, and everything went black.

When I came around, I was in a damp, dark room. A basement, perhaps? There was a gate to the right, and beyond that there seemed to be light pouring in from another doorway. I tried to move, but it seemed my hands were tied to something. I turned my head around. It seemed that I was tied to a thin column that rose up to the low ceiling. If it was rope that bound me, I could try to-

I was chained, I realised as I felt around. My weapons and backpack were gone, too. I sighed. It seemed as though I was in quite a predicament. As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I saw that the room I was in was low and wide… and, other than myself, completely empty. It looked old, though, I could tell.

What had happened to Harry? I wondered, panicking. Many people thought I was cold hearted and selfish, but I had truly come to care for the young trio that had saved my life. I desperately hoped that he hadn't been killed in our short battle with Amanda and Bellatrix.

I heard a soft swishing noise behind me and a hand suddenly covered my mouth. I didn't struggle. I knew it would be pointless, considering my situation.

"Quickly," a deep voice and monotonous voice said. "We don't have much time."

The chains fell from my wrists and I stood up swiftly. Before I could see much of him, the man grabbed me by my waist and the world spun around us. His huge black cloak enveloped us, swirling over my face and covering my eyes.

Within what seemed like just a few seconds, we were standing in a sunny meadow in a lush valley. I blinked several times, trying to focus on the man who stood before me. He was tall and had a rather grim expression on his face. His dark hair fell to his shoulders and looked like it needed a wash.

He took my backpack and guns from somewhere beneath his long, dark cloak and handed them to me. "Harry will be in the cottage… waiting for you," he said.

I was unsure of what to make of the long pause between his words. I wasn't sure if I could trust him or not. Perhaps he worked for Voldemort. Perhaps he had been the one to hold me captive after the fight with Amanda and Bellatrix, and this was all part of the plan.

I had little choice, however, so I thanked him. I turned around to look for the cottage. It was on a hill to the right. Behind it were mountains, rising up into the azure sky.

I heard a swishing noise behind me, and knew that if I turned back the man would be gone.

I breathed deeply, enjoying the sweet, summery air and the scenery. Harry had advised against bringing most of my gadgets, saying that the wizards might be able to detect them. I wasn't so sure about that, but had trusted him since I had no way of knowing for sure. For a moment, though, I wished that I had had my headset with me. Alistair probably would have loved to see this area. It was truly beautiful.

Oh well. I started jogging towards the cottage. I was slightly disappointed to see that there were no obstacles between myself and the small house. At least there was a fair distance to go, so the run would help to release some of the frustration I was feeling. I had failed in combat. I wasn't even sure if Harry or the others were alright, yet. Also, it seemed that we had no idea where Voldemort was.

I was feeling slightly better by the time I reached the cottage. I reached for the door handle, but before I could even touch it, the door flew open.

"Lara!" Hermione exclaimed, looking happy and shocked. She stepped out of the way so that I could go inside.

The inside of the cottage was sunny and quaint. I sat down on one of the antique couches in the tiny living room with Harry and Ron while Hermione made us all tea.

"So, what happened, exactly?" I asked Harry.

Hermione set the tea down on the table. As she sat down, I could see her biting her lip slightly as though trying to keep quiet.

"Bellatrix knocked you unconscious with a spell," Harry said. "I tried to do the same to Amanda, but Bellatrix had a portkey and took the three of you…" He trailed off.

There was a short silence.

"You could have been killed! Both of you!" Hemione burst out. She turned towards me, her eyebrows pulled together. "How could you let Harry go after Voldemort? You know we need to destroy the horcruxes first!"

"I told you that we–" Harry started, but Hermione cut him off.

"It's not worth it! We have to find and destroy the final horcruxes first," she said, exasperated.

Harry and I had simply been trying to get Voldemort out of the way for a while. Harry had certainly tried telling Hermione this, and she did not want to hear it again.

"There is no point in going and getting yourselves killed," Hermione continued. "That won't get us anywhere."

She was right, of course, but sometimes it was better to take risks. Harry started to say something more but it would be a waste of time to sit and argue, so I, too, interrupted his speech.

"I suppose it was slightly reckless to go after Voldemort at this point. We do need to find those horcruxes. I think that, for now, we all need some rest."


I apologise for not updating for so long! I really enjoy reading stories that are updated on a regular basis but I have been neglecting my own story due to a major plot flaw (that I have now figured out). I know that this chapter didn't get very far but I'll certainly try to update this as often as possible from now on. If there are any mistakes (particularly in the plot – I can be rather forgetful of certain details sometimes) please just let me know and I'll try to fix them as much as I can.