The Sugar Quill
Author: Miss Gypsy (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: For Love Alone  Chapter: Chapter Two: First Attempt
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For Love Alone

For Love Alone

 

Chapter Two:  First Attempt

 

Disclaimer:  Do I really need to disclaim every chapter of this story?  I think not.  So here you are – the last disclaimer of this chaptered fic.  I don’t own any of it.  At all.  In any of the chapters.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.

 

A/N:  Hmmm, this is my first go at a chaptered fic, so here goes nothing.  And as always, I owe a billion thanks to my beta reader.

 

~~~***~~~

 

Ginny Weasley had always been told that she could sleep through an earthquake, tornado, and hurricane combined.  But the racket that arose in the Common Room at the discovery of Hermione’s disappearance sent her stumbling down the stairs to see what ever was the matter. 

 

It took a moment for her to piece together exactly what had happened, and by the time she’d gotten the full story, she was in a bit of a blind panic.  And then she saw him.

 

Harry was sitting on the sofa in front of the fire, staring into the flames with a glazed expression.  When Ginny stumbled to him, he looked up at her. 

 

“Hey, Gin.”  His voice caught and Ginny felt like throwing her arms around him.  The terror she was feeling melted away into sorrow at the sight of Harry slumped over, staring into the fire, most likely blaming himself for all of it.

 

“Oh, Harry, it will be alright.”  She didn’t really know what to say to these two boys – one of whom had just lost the person he loved most (whether or not he admitted it to anyone) and one of whom had lost his best friend.  “They’ll find her, I’m sure of it.”

 

“No they won’t,” said Ron angrily, collapsing onto the sofa beside Harry.  Ginny sat beside her brother and watched Professor McGonagall send everyone off to bed.  She left the three of them sitting there, most likely understanding that they needed a bit of time to think, and once the Common Room was cleared, McGonagall left.

 

Ginny frowned at her brother, his comment finally dawning on her.

 

“They won’t,” he insisted, gesturing at a piece of parchment lying on the table beside him.  “None of them have done anything yet.”

 

Comprehension dawned in Ginny’s mind and she seized the Marauder’s Map out from under her brother’s nose.  She searched every inch of the map, with Ron insisting in her ear that he’d looked for her already.

 

But Ron had never been very good at finding things, so Ginny decided to take her chances.

 

She saw Snape stalking down the corridor, on his way to Dumbledore’s office.  Looking around the map, it seemed that all the teachers who were not on their way to the office had already arrived there. 

 

Ginny saw how everyone was standing about in the office.  Nobody seemed like they were about to rush out into the world to find the missing girl – which was what Harry, Ron, and Ginny were depending on.  Ginny let out a snort of exasperation and turned to the two boys.

 

“Well, who is coming with me?”

 

~~~***~~~

 

Harry’s first instinct when Ginny Weasley stood in the middle of the Gryffindor Common Room and declared herself fit to start hunting for her missing friend was to do everything he could to stop her.  This was not her business – Harry and Ron would find Hermione on their own, thank you very much, Ginny – and the last thing they needed was to lose her as well.

 

But Ginny had put her hands on her hips and glared at him, her messy red hair crackling with an intensity that she must’ve learned from Hermione, and it was final.

 

They were going to find her.

 

Harry went up to his dormitory and gathered everything he thought they would need.  It was cold – mid December, to be exact – and he gave Ron and Ginny unnecessary instructions to dress warmly. 

 

Once they were all bundled up, and Harry had collected his Invisibility Cloak, wand, and Marauder’s Map, the group headed off. 

 

As they hurried down the corridors, hissing at each other to be quiet, Harry did his best not to think about why this had happened.  He tried not to blame himself, and he tried to stay focused on the task at hand – finding his friend, not feeling guilty about her kidnapping.  

 

Then Ginny hissed, “Harry!” in a panicked voice, and he looked at her under the cloak. 

 

“What?”

 

Snape was stalking down the corridor in front of them.  Harry had been so lost in thought that he had forgotten to check the Marauder’s Map, and now it was far too late.  Their hurried breathing rang through the corridor, and Snape turned sharply upon hearing it.

 

“Who’s there?” he asked, slowly and deliberately.

 

Then he sprang like a panther, grabbed a handful of the cloak, and yanked.  Harry, Ron, and Ginny were suddenly revealed in the darkness of the corridor, their hands shielding their faces in helpless attempts to stay unidentified, and the moonlight poured over them.

 

Ginny dropped her hands and started to plead.  “Please, Professor,  she begged.  “We have to save Hermione – we can’t just leave her.”

 

A muscle twitched in Snape’s jaw.  “Miss Weasley, I can assure you that the Order is doing what they can to find poor, hapless Miss Granger.”  There was a note of irritation in his voice, as if he thought they were wasting their time.  “I can also assure you that the three of you have just landed yourselves the longest detention you might possibly ever face.  I’ll see you in the dungeons immediately after afternoon classes tomorrow.  And if I get word of you trying to escape again, well, let’s just say you do not want me to get word.  Understand?”

 

Ginny nodded, sniffling.  Harry watched her in horror – how could she just back down like this?

 

“No!” he shouted.  “Professor, Hermione could be dying!  We’re not just going to let her be killed!”

 

Ron was also shaking with fury, but he seemed at a loss for words.  Harry looked at him expectantly, but his best mate said nothing. 

 

Snape shook his head.  “Potter, you are mistaken, as usual.  Now, back to your dormitories.”  He snatched the Maurader’s Map, very much adding insult to injury.  “And if you do not go straight back, I shall know.”

 

He turned on his heel and stalked down the dark corridor.

 

“Damn!” Ron finally shouted.

 

Ginny glared at her brother.  “Don’t go landing us in deeper detention,” she warned, her eyes flashing with a fury Harry had never seen before.  “Turn around – we’re going back.”

 

“What?!” shouted Ron.  “We’re going back?!”

 

“Ronald Weasley, what can we do?  We’ll go tomorrow morning – Snape will be teaching classes and he won’t be paying any attention to the map.  If we go now, we’ll never get to Hermione.”  Ginny stopped suddenly, and choked on a sob.

 

“Ginny-“ Harry said, not knowing what to do.  He wanted to say something, anything, to make her feel better, but what was there to say?  They were at a complete loss.  Their current situation could hardly have been worse, in his opinion.  Snape had the map, a great key to getting out of the castle unnoticed, Hermione was gone, Ron was losing it, Ginny was crying – Harry’s mind was reeling.

 

“Yeah, turn around,” he echoed Ginny.  “We have to go back.”

 

~~~***~~~

 

How they made it back to the Common Room was a mystery to Ginny.  Harry seemed to be completely in a daze, and Ron was furious and terrified, as much as he tried to cover it.  Every step they took, images of Hermione being tortured and imprisoned floated in Ginny’s mind’s eye.  She could not get rid of them, and they were driving her to a point of desperation.

 

When they entered the Common Room, the boys headed wordlessly up to their dormitory, and Ginny entered her own alone.  It hurt to see the other girls sleeping so soundly, when Ginny’s best friend was alone somewhere – under the reign of a Death Eater. 

 

She crawled into bed, knowing that this would be the most sleepless night of her entire life.

//
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