Next chapter coming up...
To confirm - I make no claim (obviously) to the characters below, but am really happy to have had the chance to play with them and make something that is, I hope, enjoyable to read.
I will also admit that this is my first story so please let me know what you think. I am very open to constructive feedback and comment on the story so please, if you have time and would like to please, either comment or drop me an email on phill2818 at hotmail .co . uk
Harry Potter and the Unforeseen Hero
Chapter Nine: The Heist
Harry groaned clasping rubbing the palms of his hands into his face "You're joking, right?"
"No Potter, I'm not. Perhaps now you will agree that the information I have is worth a lot more than some quiet cell in Azkaban?"
"Shit" Harry cursed and for the first time Draco cracked a faint smile "I hope you haven't over sold your ability to break rules Potter?"
"Shut up Malfoy" was the only repost Harry could come up with, lame as it was. He moved away from the blond's bed and dropped the privacy shield; re-erecting it once he was through with Kingsley, who looked up from his book.
"Got all that you need?" He asked slowly in his deep calming voice.
"Why do I get the feeling I am not going to like what I am about to hear"
"Have you ever heard of a charm called `Memoria Contego'?"
"Advanced Charms is not really my area of speciality however I am familiar with the principle of the charm. I think I know where you are going with this"
"Would you believe me if I said I think he knows something absolutely critical to the mission Dumbledore set me and it cannot forcibly be removed from him?"
Kingsley slammed his fist into the near by side table "Shit!"
"My thought exactly. Kingsley I have to know something about you..."
"I want to know if you trust me? Do you trust me enough not to look at me as a child? Do you trust me enough to know that I am and will continue to be fighting Voldemort with every ounce of strength that I have? I need to know the answer to those questions"
The calm exterior of Kingsley Shacklebolt's face and brilliant brown eyes pierced Harry and he drew in a deep breath. "I do son, I do. I wouldn't choose it to be this way, you carry a heavy burden and the weight of expectation is great. But I believe you to be worthy of that trust"
"Then I have to ask something more of you. We need to get him out of here" Harry flicked his head in the direction of the bed.
"If this is what is needed then it shall be done. But I recommend caution Harry he is a Malfoy and cannot be trusted. We need a way to validate his assertions that he holds information that you require. We should require him to enter into an unbreakable vow with you"
"Is that really necessary?"
"Definitely. You have just requested that I assist you in allowing a known felon to escape our custody. I cannot in all conscience do so without a guarantee that this will have some value. I am sorry Harry but the word of a Malfoy means little to me in respect to a guarantee"
"I understand. I suggest we tell him what is required and then before we move I have to speak with Ron and Hermione. I can only hope they understand the need for this" and with a flick of his wand he lowered the silencing charm.
"Mr Malfoy. You have created a most unwelcome problem for me" Kingsley intoned
"Well surely you can see it from my point of view? My choice is death or quiet room and then death? I am sure you would have to see that I am not going to give you what you want because you ask nicely?"
"We will require some security from you Mr Malfoy to make what you request possible"
"Like what?" Draco asked suspiciously
"An unbreakable vow" Kingsley replied
"Mr Malfoy you stand on charges of attempted murder, as a proxy for the act of murder and for being a Death Eater. We are talking about giving you your liberty here without answering these charges in a public court; do you think we are just going to let you go free? Come now I was always led to believe that Malfoy's were intelligent?"
"Well we can resolve one thing really easily" Draco pulled up the sleeves of his hospital robe "no mark, not a Death Eater"
"That would have been the lesser of the three charges it changes nothing. Will you agree to enter into an unbreakable vow or is this conversation a waste of time?"
"I don't see the point" Draco began again and Kingsley turned on his heal and towards the door "Ok! Ok! Wait" Kingsley consented to pause in the doorway.
"What are the terms of the Oath?"
Kingsley walked back towards the bed "That you will share all the information pertaining to the quest Harry must undertake and that you will help him freely. To clarify Mr Malfoy when I say freely that means no running away, supporting Mr Potter here undertake his task"
"Is it not enough that I share the information I have?" Draco asked and Harry frankly couldn't agree more. He has saved the blonds life, sure, as he would anyone but did he want to drag the blond around on his ambling mission? Hell no. Could he imagine Malfoy and Ron working collaboratively in resolving their issue, no to that too!
"Mr Malfoy I say again; you are being granted freedom without trial for the charges you are alleged to have committed. You cannot expect us to allow you such a gift without remuneration. Do you agree or has this nice conversation been a total waste of my time? Make no mistake here; I am doing this because Harry has asked for my support not because I want to. I would rather see you rot in Azkaban"
"Ok" he whispered, I will take your oath.
"Fine. Now I am going to leave and when I return I will have a potion. The potion will cast you into a deep sleep. You will sleep for a few hours until I return. This will give me good reason to return and will also allow me enough time to make a plan in order to extradite your escape. Do you understand?"
"Yes" Draco replied stiffly
"Excellent. I see we have developed an understanding already"
"Harry, you should put on your invisibility cloak now in case someone should enter the room in my absence"
Doing as instructed Harry pulled on the cloak but as it happened it was a pointless precaution as nobody entered the room. Passing the potion to Draco he drank and fell instantly into a deep sleep.
"Follow me Harry"
Kingsley opened the door and paused once again to speak with the Auror on the door "I had to give the prisoner a potion. He was struggling towards the end of my questioning. I will be back in a few hours to finish my interrogation. Listen to me carefully both of you; nobody is to enter this room except me. Not you, not Scrimgeour, nobody. Clear?"
"Yes Sir" they both nodded grim faced
"I will see you in a few hours" Kingsley confirmed with a nod in the Auroras direction and strode off. Finally stepping across the magic barrier onto the street Harry took Kingsley by the arm and after checking that the coast was clear he apparated them back to The Burrow.
"I am going to need to speak with Ron and Hermione about all of this. As you heard they are going to be lumbered with our friend as much as me and I need to explain to them how we got to this position"
"No problem Harry, I will work with the others to come up with a plan. Good Luck!"
"Gunna need it I recon. Hey Kingsley, thanks for everything"
"No problem Harry"
Following their brief exchange Harry glanced at his watch, 23.14, late nights were becoming a habit and he knocked smartly on the door.
"Who is it?"
"Harry and Kingsley"
"Where did Harry Potter first encounter the Weasley family?"
"That's an easy one, you helped me get onto platform nine and three quarters for the first time" the door clicked open and the two men were admitted.
"What news?" Mrs Weasley asked as they crossed the threshold.
"I am going to let Kingsley bring you up to speed if that's ok Mrs W? I need to speak with Ron and Hermione; do you know where they are?"
"Upstairs dear. Knock before you go in dear" and she blushed a faint crimson red
He saw Kingsley pull Mrs Weasley aside along with Tonks and the few remaining Order members as Harry walked quickly to the stairs and mounted them till he reached Ron's room. Thumping his knuckles on the door he made his presence known.
"Come in" Ron called a moment later
"Oh! Harry hello mate! You don't have to knock you know?"
"No offence mate but I would rather knock, just in case!"
"Fair enough! But we were only reading" Ron replied indicating with his elbow a discarded book
"Better safe than sorry!"
"So what happened?" Hermione cut in changing the subject
"Would you like the good news or the bad news?"
"Hummm, should we get the bad news out of the way first or maybe the good news will make the bad news more palatable hummm"
"Just pick Hermione" Harry prompted
"Ok let's have the good news first"
"You were right, we did need to speak with him"
"I see that doesn't sound like a lot of good news? Come on hit us with it, what's the bad news?"
"To find out the details there are certain conditions" he decided on the spot not to hit them with all the news in one go
"So what does he know and what are the conditions?" she asked quickly
"He knows a lot more than we anticipated"
"Such as?" she prompted again "You're being very illusive Harry, I have a funny feeling I am really not going to like the next bit of this conversation"
"He knows about the Horcrux's"
Both Ron and Hermione's faces dropped "That's impossible! How can he possibly know about the Horcrux's?"
"I don't know how he knows but he does. Have you ever heard of the `Memoria Contego' charm?"
"Only as much as what I read in a book once"
"The ability to protect a specific memory from unwanted extraction"
"So what do you think Malfoy has done?"
"Hidden a memory?" Ron asked questioning the obvious
"Precisely!" Harry confirmed grandly
"And this affects us how? Who cares if the Ferret wants to hide a memory?"
"Ron keep up!" Hermione snapped "Presumably we need this memory?"
"He claims to know where one of the Horcrux's is"
"Well he is clearly lying isn't he?" Ron looked at Hermione for support
"What do you think Harry?"
"I think he is telling the truth"
"What! Why? Have you ever known him to speak a word of truth?!"
"He is `selling' his memory" Harry pressed on ignoring Ron's objections
"At what price?" Hermione asked darkly
"Freedom. Before you say anything Ron, you can see why. If he just tells us he gets a cell in Azkaban, if he bargains he gets more. He is a Slytherin after all"
"I say we leave him locked up to rot"
"Not helpful Ron" Hermione chimed in shrilly "If he knows were one of the Horcrux's are then we have to use that knowledge"
"Because" Hermione had adopted her scathing tone "what is the primary objective here? To kill Voldemort and Malfoy has information that can help us achieve it. So should we ignore this information that may save lives out of self-interest or do the most practical thing and make a deal? That is what you were going to suggest wasn't it Harry?"
"Yeah, Kingsley is proposing to help us get him out of St Mungo's if he makes an unbreakable vow"
"I can't believe we are even having this conversation. This is a non-decision. Let the Ferret rot" Ron stormed and left the room slamming the door behind him.
"Marvellous!" Hermione cried "Such a selfish shit sometimes!"
"Hermione Jean Granger, I can't believe you swore! Harry giggled despite the situation
"Well he is! Look Harry, if you think we need him and that he has information then I support you and I know Ron will too give him time. After all you don't take an unbreakable vow if you're going to die as soon as you make it!"
"I know that's what I thought"
"So what are you going to do with him?"
"That's sort of up to Mr and Mrs Weasley to be honest"
"Well I don't want to force him upon them too. He either comes back here or we move on from here independently"
"I hope they let us stay we need to get organised before we leave"
"Agreed. Right lets go downstairs and see what is going on"
"I really think if we are bringing Malfoy back we set ourselves a time limit. It isn't safe to be here and it only delays the inevitable. We need to get moving. I suggest we speak to Mrs Weasley and say he will only be here for a few days and we arrange to leave in three or at the very maximum four"
"Ok. Listen Hermione, get some sleep. It's almost midnight and I won't be back here for another few hours at the very earliest. One of us needs to be alert to stop Ron and Malfoy killing each other, assuming of course Mrs W lets us stay"
"I will sleep as soon as we have sorted out what is going on or you never know I maybe packing!"
The two friends walked downstairs, noting that Ron was nowhere to be seen. A plan to extract Draco from St Mungo's had been agreed and Mrs Weasley had readily agreed to allowing Draco to return to The Burrow though Harry felt sure it was simply to delay there leaving. As it was, a short time later Harry found himself creeping back into the hospital hot on Kingsley's heals.
"Here Harry get him to drink this" Kingsley had requested withdrawing a vial full of a pale blue liquid. Moments later the blond was coming around. Groggily he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and attempted to focus "Oh its you again"
"I can go and call Voldemort if you prefer him to wake you up?" Harry shot back in the blond's direction
"The healers tell me that you are suffering from extended use of the Cruciatus curse"
"That sounds about right"
"They have treated you for severe pneumonia and treated some cracked ribs. In short, nothing that prevents us moving you tonight"
"The plan is a simple one. You will take the Unbreakable Vow. We will replace you with a limited life illusion charm that will maintain the illusion of your presence for a time, I will ensure the guard acknowledges your location in the room and you will then escape with Harry under his invisibility cloak. Then hey presto the charm breaks in around an hour or so and we are all long clear. The Ministry will assume I dare say Dark Magic, but I will post additional guards to provide cover for those up front so they don't get blamed"
"Lets get this over with"
"Perhaps you could join hands and we could do this?"
Harry reached out a hand that Draco grasped an itch had formed where the two palms met. Kingsley drew his wand and tapped it over the joined hands.
"Do you Draco Malfoy, in return for my support freeing you from this captivity, promise to support the quest I am about to undertake?"
"Do you Draco Malfoy further promise to offer this help willingly and see this quest through to its conclusion?"
Kingsley wrapped the wand against the two wrists and two thin silver slivers bound tightly between the two hands.
"That is the formalities completed" Kingsley announced and the two dropped hands immediately, though both went to scratch the itch they had felt just a moment earlier.
"Can you walk Malfoy?"
"Of course I can walk Potter, I'm not an invalid"
"Hold still I am just going to do the charm before you move, close your eyes"
"Effingo" Kingsley muttered and a translucent form appeared a fraction above Draco's body
"Ok then Mr Malfoy you may move now"
Draco slid from the bed to be replaced by the translucent form that had now solidified. He was a little precariously balanced but his feet held as they touched the floor and he applied his weight. Harry passed over a bag containing clothes.
"Can you two turn around? I have no desire to change in front of you!"
Obeying the request the two men turned their backs to Draco as he pulled off the hospital gown and pulled over an old t-shirt and on some jeans.
The plan occurred like clock work. Harry ended up having to support Draco the last part of the journey as his feet were beginning to give way and he was buckling.
Mrs Weasley was still up waiting for the party to return despite the fact that it was now just past 4 in the morning.
"Harry dear" she cried and gave him a hug and she nodded in Draco's direction in a brisk welcome.
"I have put you both in Fred and George's room. You should get some sleep"
"I thought they were staying here?"
"I had to send them back to their flat, there is simply not enough room here" and she smiled "we both know that is where they wanted to be anyway"
"There is plenty of hot water, so feel free to shower"
"Thanks Mrs Weasley" Harry replied and Draco offered a `thanks' also
Sleep claimed Harry the moment his head had touched the pillow. It had not been the best birthday he had ever had. But his expectations were never high.