A Dragon and a Phoenix

Chapter35

Rushing to the small wardrobe in the corner, he threw on trousers, boots, a cloak and gloves. I grabbed his hand and we hurried from the room. Draco and I, both equipped with our wands, led the way back down the stairs. Sounds from the ground floor stopped us short on the second floor landing.

"…where else they could have gone," a woman's voice hissed.

"There's no sign of them outside. They're probably hunting for the brat. You start with the second floor and I'll alert the others," a harsh male voice directed.

We moved back into the shadows, and I quickly used the Disillusionment charm on Dakoda. Before I could turn my wand to Draco, though, the shadowed figure of a Death Eater topped the stairs. She turned the other way and for a moment I thought we'd be spared the fight, but I should have known better. She spun around, flinging a curse in our direction.

Draco deflected it with a shield charm, and I took the opportunity to aim a stunning spell at her. She dodged, and we continued to fight, the two of us backing her down the hallway.

"You think the two of you can find him?" she cackled. "You'll never get out of here, even if you do!"

I attempted to stun her again, and while she deflected it, Draco managed to hit her with the Imperius Curse. Instantly, her face went blank and her arms fell to her sides.

"Why the bloody hell didn't you just stun her?"I demanded.

"Well, excuse me for thinking we could use her to get out of here," he snapped.

"And just how do you plan on doing that?"

She walked stiffly back down the stairs. We followed at a distance, checking around the corners for any other Death Eaters. Apparently they didn't put much stock in our dueling abilities. It seemed that most of them were outside, continuing their patrols.

"There you are. I heard a few crashes upstairs. Where are they?" the male voice had returned.

"I stunned them. They're down the second floor corridor. You can go up and get them. I'll tell the others they can resume their regular patrols," our puppet replied.

"It looks like the little bitch killed Windham. I'm sure his mother will make her pay for that one. On the other hand, I suppose the Dark Lord won't let her take it too far. He has plans for that girl," he heaved a tired sigh. "I'll go and lock them up, and check to make sure the little shit is still in his room too."

When he was past the alcove we were hiding in, we waited a few moments before going for the door. I held tightly to Dakoda's hand, checking over my shoulder to make sure that no one was following us. We stunned the woman before leaving the dining hall.

Thankfully the patrols meant that paths had been cleared in the snow. We ran from the manor into the darkness. Not willing to risk the wand light, we made our way with nothing but pale starlight to guide us.

I could see the gates in the distance. We were almost off the grounds. Then in the distance I heard a terrible sound. It was like the screaming tortured sound of a lost soul, only more animalistic. Apparently it was the siren indicating our escape. I could see several Death Eaters rushing for the exits, determined to stop us.

We ran for the gates, but one of the patrols had been close when the alarm had been set off. They were close behind us and gaining; both rapidly attacking with curses. Draco and I barely managed to ward them off and keep running.

Finally we made it through the gates, and I turned to grab Dakoda so I could disapparate with him. We had planned to apparate just outside the grounds of Malfoy Manor, but Draco suddenly doubled over in obvious pain, clutching his left forearm. I could hear the echoing howls of pain coming from the other Death Eaters. Grabbing the front of his cloak, I forced him to look at me.

"What the bloody hell is wrong?!" I pleaded. "Draco! Answer me! We don't have time. We have to go! They're coming!"

"No. They're not," he ground out through clenched teeth.

"What?" I asked, bewildered. "What do you mean they're not? What happened?"

"Judging by the pain from the Mark, something big is going on. You-Know-Who has called everyone to him, and it wasn't a typical summoning. We should get back to the manor," he answered.

I looked down at my wide eyed little brother. "You ready? You're going to have to hold onto me very tightly. The first time is a bit miserable, but it'll be over with before you know it." He nodded and held onto my arm firmly.

We appeared outside Malfoy Manor safely. Draco offered to summon the carriage, but I was too anxious to wait around for it. It wasn't that far to walk, and the remaining adrenaline from our frantic flight from Windham Estates had me on edge. Sitting still would have been near impossible. I was keen to know what Narcissa knew about the pain Draco had felt in his Mark. Surely she would have some news.

The wind was cutting, and by the time we reached the manor, I was cold despite the cloak and boots. Dakoda and I followed Draco silently into the entryway. "Poppy," Draco called.

A CRACK announced her arrival. "Y-yes M-m-master Malfoy? What c-can Poppy do for you?"

She was nervously worrying the edge of her tea towel as usual.

"Take Kim's brother upstairs and put him in the guest room nearest hers. Make sure he gets a bath and fetch him some clean clothes and something to eat," he ordered.

"Y-yes Master. Poppy w-will make s-sure everything is a-as you w-wish," she stammered.

"Also, one more thing, where is my mother?" he inquired.

"P-poppy is not seeing h-her since d-d-dinner, M-master."

His brow knit in mild concern, he turned to hang his wet cloak on a hook. Seeing that he was through with her, I sent Dakoda with Poppy to get cleaned up and fed. He hurried off with her, enticed by the prospect of a good bath and hot food.

"Shall we go and look for her?" I offered.

Snapping out of his reverie he looked at me, "No. We would have to walk into whatever battle the Death Eaters are engaged in right now. She'll return. Until then, we wait here."

"Alright then," I replied.

The hot water was magnificent. I could feel the last of the numbness leaving my toes as I sank into the bath. Taking my time, I washed my hair and reheated the water a third time before finally getting out. With a wave of my wand, I dried my hair and swept it up with a clip. Wandering out of the bathroom into my room, I put on my favorite pair of jeans. Digging through the rest of my clothes I found my Puddlemore United tank top and threw on an oversized sweatshirt for warmth. For a few minutes I wandered around the sitting room wondering if I should try to go and talk to Draco or not. Surely if he wanted to talk to me, he knew where I was. Besides, he was probably too worried about his dear old mum to be overly concerned with me at the moment.

Finally, I decided that I'd just go and make sure that Dakoda was settling into his room alright. I slipped down the corridor to the next door, hoping that I'd find him without any difficulty.

A couple of doors later, I found the room Poppy had taken him too. A warm fire crackled in the fireplace, and he sat at a small table near the window eating a thick stew. Dakoda heard me open the door, and looked up with a smile. "I'm glad to see you're looking better already," I smiled back.

"I do feel better," he frowned, "but I just have some questions about everything."

I closed the door behind me and sat down across from him. "I thought you might. I don't know how much I can really explain, Dakoda. Dad will be back soon, and you'll have to talk to him. I'll answer what I can, though."

He nodded. "So, that was Draco Malfoy, right? What are we doing at his manor? You always said that you hated him, but he was holding your hand before. Where are Mum and Dad?"

I sighed, "Yes, we are at Malfoy Manor, and yes that was Draco. Yes he was holding my hand, but that really is a long story. Mother and Dad are at St. Mungo's. She was injured last night, and Dad took her there. I don't know how she is because I was at Windham Estates after that."

After a moment, he looked up at me. "Can we go and see them? Mum and Dad?"

"I don't know. I'll talk to Draco about that. At any rate, we shouldn't be leaving tonight. Something else was going on with the Death Eaters tonight. I want to see what happens before we go running off to London," I answered.

"Alright, but can I send Dad an owl? I just want him to know that we're okay," he petitioned.

"Sure you can. I'll have Poppy bring you a quill and some parchment. She'll make sure that it gets delivered to him. In the meantime, you should finish your dinner. It's late, and you need to get some sleep. You can call for Poppy if you need anything, but if you need me, I'm two doors down on the left." He nodded, and I left, closing the door quietly behind me.

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