Chapter One: Free But For A Moment
The war had ended, and we were finally free, but it was a far cry from the freedom that we had hoped for. With his dying breath Voldemort had banished Harry to lands unknown, and had placed a curse on all of magical Britain. Purebloods were dropping right and left, victims of a plague that raged the countryside like an unquenchable fire. Muggleborns found themselves barren, and half-bloods were being forced into breeding camps in a desperate attempt to sustain the magical population. The lucky few who had foreseen the demised of their culture had fled in the week following the war, never to be seen or heard from again. It was a huge blow to the Ministry's hopes and dreams. Within hours of Harry being banished, Hermione and Ron had vanished. The next day Neville and Luna. Blaise and the twins disappeared the next day, and by the time anyone connected all the dots, the Wizarding Worlds 10 most powerful or influential witches and wizards were gone without any warning.
Hermione almost cried when Grimmauld Place opened its doors to her, and she quickly took refuge within it's familiar walls. After a long nap, a strong cup of tea, and quiet possibly the best bath she had had in some time, Hermione activated the Phoenix coin she had created to summon the DA, pushing the message of her location through the coin and praying that her friends would be able to find refuge. Six hours later Draco Malfoy appeared, and Hermione almost died of shock.
"How did you find me?" she had asked, with her wand jabbing into his throat.
"Harry! Harry gave me his coin. He told me what to do in case it activated! When it turned warm and I heard an address I just assumed he was calling me! I swear it!"
"I've no idea where Harry is. I was just hoping someone would hear my call. This is only the beginning. Things are about to get a lot worse. Voldemort did something...when he...died or whatever. He cursed us."
"What did he do to Harry?"
"I dunno," Hermione frowned.
"Hermione," Draco called up the stairs two days later. "We have visitors."
Hermione flew down two flights of stairs at record speed to see three red heads and a handsome dark skinned boy with remarkable blue eyes.
"Fred! George!" she shouted before flinging herself into Ron's arms. "Oh my God! Ronald! I didn't think you'd made it. Bellatrix-"
"Is dead. It took us a bit. We had to sneak out after everyone was asleep, but we're here."
"Have you heard from anyone else?"
"Just Blaise here. We met him coming out of the Leaky Cauldron. Said he's on our side," Ron said with a skeptical look.
"Blaise is with me," said Draco as if that sealed the matter.
"What's he doing here?" asked Ron with a scowl.
"Come in. I'll grab some tea. We have a lot to discuss."
"So you mean to tell me that Voldemort used some Arcain ritual that no one knows about, spoken in a language that no living person can speak, and he found it in a book in your fathers office?" Ron asked looking pointedly at Draco.
"Something like that. But you don't have to be so melodramatic. Just because no one speaks it doesn't mean we can't figure out how."
"Do you even have the book?"
"Well...no. But it should be easy enough to retrieve. And besides...there's 9 of us. We should be able to pull everything together pretty quickly. I hope."
"What about the Trace?" asked Neville.
"It's dead. Harry turned seventeen yesterday. And whereever he was banished to, the Trace didn't reach that far anyway. Word is the Ministry already tried," said Fred.
"Maybe trace his magical signature?" asked Pansy.
"Disappeared on the spot he did," said George.
"What about a bond trace?" asked Draco after several minutes of silence.
"What kind of bond trace?" asked Hermione with a raised eyebrow.
"A soul bond," said Draco removing his leather bracelet and showing his Beorc rune.
"Blimey!" breathed Ron.
"We didn't tell anyone. It wasn't safe. But I love him. And if I had known..."
"You two must mean a lot to one another. That rune..." Hermione trailed off.
"I know," said Draco.
"I think we should start in the library. Maybe we can make some kind of bridge. It may take a few days..."
"I think you'll need a spell," said Luna in her mysterious way.
"A spell?" asked Blaise.
"Yeah. A locator spell to walk over the bridge with..."
"I'll work on the spell," said Draco.
"I'll start on the runes," said Hermione.
And with that the search for Harry Potter began...
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