Cold air blew through the barred window; a thin man huddled in the corner, his almost white hair falling down over his eyes. Draco Malfoy clutched the rags he wore closer around his body as he saw a streak of lightning flash across the sky outside; rain would soon follow.
“Damn them, they should be here by now.” He muttered, standing up and pacing across his tiny cell. He should never have trusted Crabbe and Goyle with this task. A loud growl echoed throughout the small room and Draco whirled, prepared to confront whatever it was. It was a moment before he realised it was his stomach, he clutched it, he’d had no food for at least a week now.
“I can’t be weak.” He muttered. No, he could not afford to fall apart now, not when things were falling into place. Once he got out, he’d be able to get food, regain his strength, and most importantly, get his revenge on Harry Potter and his no good family. Draco’s lip curled involuntarily as he thought of his arch nemesis, how Harry Potter had the perfect life, the perfect family, he was free while Draco rotted away in Azkaban.
A slight shuffling outside his cell caught his attention; he peeked through the door to see the hulking forms of Crabbe and Goyle, with a slighter, smaller form draped between them.
“About time.” Draco snarled after they’d entered. A Dementor stayed outside, guarding the door.
“Sorry.” Crabbe grunted. He and Goyle heaved the man they had lugged between them onto the bed.
“What’s his name?” Draco asked, peeling the rags from his body.
“Uh…” Goyle looked up at Crabbe.
“Um…” Crabbe looked back at Goyle.
“You two are pathetic!” Draco sneered, yanking the clothing from the man. “Help me!”
The two immediately sprang to action, dressing the man with Draco’s rags. Draco pulled the too large trousers on, with the long shirt over. It was scary how thin he’d become, but eleven years in a place such as this one could do that to anyone.
“First thing we’re going to do is get to the Manor.” Draco said shortly as he finished dressing in the man’s clothes. “Then we’re going to get some fucking food, and then we’ll start planning.”
“Okay!” Crabbe and Goyle said in unison, the thought of having an extra meal that day was extremely appealing to them. Goyle went running for the door in excitement.
“Stop!” Draco hissed loudly, as to not alert the guard outside. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“You said we were going to eat.” Goyle answered, scratching his head.
“Idiot!” Draco snapped, pinching his upper arm as hard as he could, Goyle didn’t even flinch; he supposed he was only pinching fat. “We need to leave the same way we came in!”
“Oh.” Goyle said, and Draco, rolling his eyes, moved between the two hulking men. Throwing a glance at the innocent man on the bed, the three of them walked out past the Dementor, who glided soundlessly behind them. Crabbe and Goyle began to drag their feet a little, the soulless being sucking the happiness of food from their mind, but a squeeze from Draco would get them back on track.
“Get me the hell out of here.” Draco spat as they finally got outside. The wind had picked up even more, and rain was lashing down in torrents. He could feel himself staggering, and for the first time ever in his life, he was glad to have Crabbe and Goyle there to hold on to, the big buffoons were solid as rocks against the wind. The three of them managed to get down to the boat, which was held by one last Dementor.
“Goodbye Hell.” Draco muttered as he huddled down in the bottom of the rickety boat. He could see the lights from deep within the prison and shivered, that had been his home for eleven years but not anymore. The tiny boat rocked over the tossing waves, Crabbe and Goyle struggled to keep it from smashing into the treacherous rocks that surrounded the island. He covered himself with the overly large shirt and cloak, shielding his thin body from the chilling rain.
After what seemed to be an hour, Draco felt the bottom of the boat hit ground. He tossed the cloak back with renewed energy; the storm didn’t seem to be as bad over here.
“Took you two losers long enough.” He cracked Goyle on the back of his head as the large man clambered out of the boat. “Tell me now, what state is the Manor in?”
Crabbe and Goyle looked at one another. “Well uh…” Crabbe shifted from one foot to the other. “It’s….”
“It’s what?” Draco snapped impatiently.
“Gone.” Crabbe said.
“What do you mean, gone?” Draco’s eyes blazed.
Crabbe looked over at Goyle, uncertain. “The Manor, it’s gone…but the house elves quarters are still there…. and the dungeons.”
Draco stared at the two of them. His family’s home, completely gone? He was about to erupt in anger when a thought occurred to him.
“That’s fine.” He said abruptly, starting forward. “Once my plan is complete, I’ll rebuild it, better than ever.”
Crabbe and Goyle both looked at each other, relieved. Draco pushed past them, walking towards the road.
“How are we getting back to the Manor?” he asked crisply, as there was no mode of transportation awaiting them.
“Uh…” Goyle dug into his pockets and produced what looked like three matchsticks.
Draco stepped closer; upon inspection he saw that they were three shrunken broomsticks. Crabbe pulled his wand out, and to Draco’s amazement, enlarged them to their normal size. He was slightly impressed, but of course wouldn’t say something.
They flew for hours, once above the rain; they headed due south, which would lead them to the Manor on the northern outskirts of England.
Draco’s eyes narrowed in anger as he saw the ruins, he knew it would be bad but he had no idea just how much was destroyed. His lip curled. ‘I’ll kill him.’ Draco thought. ‘Harry Potter will have no idea what hit him, hit his family.’
They set their brooms down near a lone rock wall, a staircase protruded deep into the ground. The three men followed it down; Draco recognized it as the place where House Elves had lived, although they were all gone now. Crabbe and Goyle had obviously set up some sort of place to stay down there; three of the rooms had been attempted to make more comfortable.
“Have you two been through the dungeons yet?” Draco spun on his two cohorts. “Are they suitable?”
“Chains are still on the wall.” Crabbe replied. “It’s the same as it was when…”
“I want to go check it.” Draco didn’t trust either of them. He was tired, he was starving, but the foremost thought on his mind was making Potter and his whole family miserable.
*** *** *** *** ***
Hermione rummaged around in the pantry for sandwich fixings. She had left the twins to play outside while she made their lunch, if they were inside it was a task that would never get done.
It was definitely quieter around the house these days. Colin had left for Hogwarts just a few days after the party, Harry the day after that. Hermione missed her husband and son terribly, but she couldn’t deny that the quiet was something she craved.
“Hey Corinne!” Carl’s eyes widened as he looked down at the grass.
“What?” his sister looked up from where she was placing her dolls in a circle on the ground.
“It’s a snake!”
“Well I don’t want to look at it!” Corinne hated snakes, and bugs, and anything that was creepy whereas her brother couldn’t get enough of them.
“It’s cool!” Carl leaned forward, and with his father’s Seeker reflexes, snatched it up in his hand. It was a small, green and silver striped garter snake; it wiggled madly around in his fist.
“Let it go!” Corinne screamed as Carl moved it closer to her. She got up and was prepared to run back to the house when it managed to escape Carl’s grasp. He jumped up and ran after it, but not before grabbing one of Corinne’s dolls.
“Come and get it!” he teased, running after the snake.
“Give it back!” she yelled, streaking after him. Carl led her alongside the lake, and into the small grove of trees that bordered the other side of the property.
“Come on!” Carl laughed as he ran faster, following the snake with his keen eyes. They headed into the woods; Corinne began to feel like there was something wrong, that tickling sensation in her stomach that made her only want her parents to comfort her.
“Carl let’s go back! Mummy doesn’t like us going into the woods alone!” Corinne panted as she tried to catch up with her twin.
“I just want to catch the snake! It had the coolest colours!” Carl fell short and keeled over, trying to catch his breath.
“I want to go back home.” Corinne insisted. She turned to leave when all of a sudden a large dark shape leapt out from behind a tree and snatched her.
“CARL!” Corinne screamed at the top of her lungs. Her brother looked up and began to run towards her, but another figure jumped out and grabbed him as well.
“Get off me!” Carl kicked his little legs out and caught Goyle in the knee; he nearly dropped the child as he howled in pain. Both of them twisted the kids around until their backs were against Crabbe and Goyle’s chests. Their eyes grew wide in terror and astonishment as the harmless little snake transformed into a tall, thin pale blond man.
Draco sneered as he stepped over the tall grasses, fixing his cold grey eyes on the two youngest Potter children. The girl’s large green eyes were filled with tears ready to spill over, and the boy’s were full of defiance and anger.
“For someone as disgraceful as Potter, he does make beautiful children.” Draco brought his face down close to the girl and reached a hand out. She flinched away as if he was going to hit her, but instead took a handful of her long black curls. “He and the Mudblood.” He tugged on her locks and then tossed her hair down. Turning to look at the boy, he saw that he had Granger’s brown eyes but the black hair definitely belonged to Potter. “Knock them out. I don’t want to stay around here.”
“Uh…” Crabbe turned and looked at Goyle. Draco let out an exasperated sigh.
“Your wand, Crabbe.” His tone held no room for arguments. Crabbe held the girl with one large arm and dug into his robes with the other. Handing the long stick to Draco, he quickly pointed it at the children. “Stupefy!” he cried out, and then did the same for the boy. They hung limply, like dirty robes over the arms.
“Come on, let’s get out of here before Granger comes looking for them.” Draco grabbed onto their arms, pinching hard. The three men and two children then disappeared from the woods.