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"Submit to the bond, and the pain will go away, Anastasia," he said, his voice haughty.
She could feel the pain running through her again. But how was this possible? She was free, wasn't she? Why was she in pain again? She glared up at James Potter, who was standing over her, smirking. She tried to hit out, but the chains limited her movements. "Go to hell!"
"You may as well give in now. No one's coming for you. You're alone, Anastasia."
"Anastasia! Calm down!" It was not her father leaning over her, it was Loki, worry covering his face and concern filling his eyes. "It is alright. You are safe." His hand came out to rest on her cheek gently.
It was not pain running through her either, just fear. She could hear her heart beating loudly, so loudly she was sure he could hear it too. He had to feel how quickly her blood was rushing through her, surely, with his hands gripping her upper arms, almost as if he had been about to try and shake her awake. Had the nightmare been that bad on the outside? She could not stop the tears as they came, hot and quick down her cheeks as she moved into him, arms wrapping round his neck. Loki's arms shifted, one wrapping round her waist, holding her against him, the other coming up and she felt his hand running through her hair soothingly as the sobs wrenched out of her.
"No one can hurt you, my little firebird. Not while I am here, I promise."
"I d-dreamt I w-was back in Potter m-manor," she said, calming down just enough to speak. Her voice was thick from crying and her body was still trembling. "I had t-those chains on, and it w-was like I could feel the p-pain again. It was all s-so real. He said no one was going to c-come. I was alone." Her voice broke as the fear swept through her again, causing more sobs to come.
"You are not alone, and you never will be, I promise. Should anything ever happen, I will come for you, and whoever took you from me would pay for it. Just as the Potters and their co-conspirators will pay for it. Fudge was the first, and we almost have the second."
"The man who took you. Heimdal is getting close to finding him, he thinks. The man hides well, but not well enough. He will not be a problem much longer, I assure you. And the Potter's will not touch you again. The last thing I will let them know is that you and I will be married soon, despite what they have done and tried." His voice was level and calm as he spoke, each word measured and thoughtful. It was something she was able to latch onto, concentrate on to calm down properly. Her trembling began to lessen. She had thought for weeks now that she could not remember feeling safer than when she was with him. His arms holding her tightly helped her remember that feeling too.
"What for?" He asked, eyes turning curious now. And there was something else there too, something she could not place.
"Helping me like this. I must be a mess."
"A beautiful one."
"Even I have to resort to lines like that sometimes, my little firebird."
A weak smile played across her lips as she looked up at him. "What time is it?"
He glanced over his shoulder to the bedside table where a thin digital clock and radio stood. "It is only five. We could go back to sleep for a little while."
"You can if you want. But I don't think I can at the moment."
He leant down and playfully nipped her neck. "Then we shall have to think of something else to do."
She kissed him. "I'm sorry, I'm not ready for that just yet."
He smiled. "We have eternity for that. Take your time, Anastasia. How about I tell you about the time when I was only eighteen, just so I could cause mayhem unhindered, that I convinced Thor to guard a gap in a wall?"
Anastasia smiled widely. "That sounds like an interesting one." He always told amusing stories.
The house was all but silent, yet Amelia could not help but think something was wrong. She could feel it. Her stomach was tight, magic bubbling beneath her skin restlessly. She looked over to her niece, Susan. The young woman was now studying to be a Potion's Mistress under Andromeda Tonks, and was becoming highly skilled. She was sat in an armchair, reading a book on herbs, completely fine, and oblivious to anything being wrong at all. Whatever it was, there was nothing wrong with Susan, that was certain, and Amelia was grateful. But what then?
Amelia closed her eyes and concentrated on the wards around the Bones mansion. All were intact without so much as a gap. Her ears twitched.
"Did you say something Susan?" She asked, eyes snapping open to assess her niece who looked up from her book, curious, and with a hint of shock.
"No auntie. Perhaps I read out loud?"
Amelia shook her head. "No, that wasn't it," she said, but she had heard something. A feint murmur. An unfamiliar voice. She reached for her wand and drew it. "Take out your wand Susan," she said quietly as she stood. "There is something wrong here. Seriously wrong."
Susan did as told and also came to stand, eyes heading for the door, which was open. "I could have sworn I had closed that when I came in," she said, frowning. "You didn't open it, did you, Auntie?"
"No, I did not," Amelia said. "Get behind me."
Susan went to do as she was told, but felt an invisible hand grab her arm, and her wand was pulled from it, before her other arm was grabbed too. People began to reveal themselves, and she wondered at the strange armour they wore.
Amelia was pointing her wand around the room at the strangers, but her hand was unsteady, shaking. One of them had Susan. She could not leave anything happen to her, she was her last remaining family.
"Let her go!" She commanded. "Whatever quarrel you have with me, my niece is innocent of it. Please, leave her be."
"I am afraid, Madam Bones, we cannot do that," The man who stepped forward had long blonde hair and a hammer in one hand. His blue eyes were piercing, and also reminded her of a storm. "Hand over your wand and come without a fight and no one needs to get harmed. You have my word, we will not harm you or your niece should you come quietly."
"Auntie," Susan said, trying to shake off the iron like grip on her arms. Amelia looked at the man who held her, grim faced and hair pulled back severely, keeping it out of his way. Susan's struggles did not seem to bother him.
She met Susan's brown eyes, so like her father's, Amelia's brother. Susan was the only family she had left now, and she had to keep her safe. She knew these people were dangerous. How else had they gotten into her home, leaving the wards intact? There was something else she also knew. Her years working for, and as the head of the DMLE left her with a very vital skill- the ability to tell when she was being lied to. And the man in front of her was not lying to her. She looked away from Susan and flipped her wand around, so the point was facing her, and handed it, handle first, to the blonde who had addressed her. "Should anything happen to her, I'll rip your throat out myself. It'll be you I hold responsible."
"I understand Madam Bones," he said, taking her wand, and then taking hold of her arm. "She will come to no harm."
She noticed the other dark haired man leaving a heavy letter on one of the coffee tables but could not see the gold seal and then allowed them to escort her out of her home, constantly turning to check on Susan, but when they were halfway down the drive, they stopped. "When you're ready, Heimdal," The man said calmly, looking to the sky. It was then she realised who had invaded her home and dread filled her. The last Ministry Official they had taken, Fudge, had come back dead. She did not have time to ponder over whether this would be her fate when two things happened. She felt the wards come under attack, and then she was swept up by a vortex of power.
"You almost had to fight the Wizards who call themselves Death Eaters," Heimdal said, addressing his fellow Æsir.
"A shame we missed it," the largest of the group, the one with wild red hair, said. Was he pouting?
Amelia felt shock, and relief, was through her. The Death Eater's had attacked, but her niece and herself were out of their reach. And her captors did not seem to be treating them harshly.
"Why are we here? What do you want from us?" Susan asked. She masked her fear well, and Amelia felt pride was through her. Susan knew what had happened to Fudge, and was still trying to remain brave.
"Nothing from either of you personally. You will remain here, in Asgard, for the duration of this war," the dark haired man who had placed the letter told them. "And you will not be the only ones, though you are the first."
"In other words, we are hostages?" Amelia asked.
"Yes, but you will be treated well. You will have to have an escort when you leave the rooms that have been prepared for you, but other than that, your movements will not be restricted," he answered.
Relief was her strongest emotion. They were not going to be killed and sent back as an example like Fudge. Susan was safe. They were both released, and Amelia wrapped her arm around her niece's shoulder and they walked out of the golden dome, being ushered into a different world.
Sean Williams shouldered the bag as he left the building and headed down the street at a quick pace. He had heard the news that the two girls had been rescued from Potter manor, and knew that he was now in danger. Both girls knew his name, and he would easily be described, so if he wanted a chance at staying alive now, he had to keep moving. He headed into the park, head down, with his collar up, shielding his face from being easily seen. The darkness would do the rest he hoped. He had run out of his supply of polyjuice.
Suddenly a sharp pain ran through his right knee and he went down heavily. Looking down he saw a small knife sticking out of the joint, blood pooling around it. Biting back the scream of pain, he looked up, and almost let out that scream. He knew the two heading towards him, looking ready to kill someone.
"Good shot brother. We have plenty of time to make him suffer, rather than having to worry about him already dying," Thor said.
"The wound will provide a good starting point for peeling his skin off. Besides I know we have both wanted to kill him slowly from the moment he placed a hand on Anastasia and Jane."
Williams passed out, pissing himself in fear as he did so.
"Pathetic," Thor growled.
"He is. But we should get him somewhere where we can take our time. It may be a while until we get a hold of any others."
"And the last thing we need is Jane or Anastasia coming across him. But they will be wondering where we are if we are not back soon."
"Then we should hurry."
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