Over the previous week, Adam and Ginny had been extremely busy. Firstly, after their meeting with Mr Weasley, they had both decided to observe their family discretely, just to make sure that no one had spotted the meeting and decided to take action against the Weasleys.
Once they were satisfied that the Weasleys were safe, Adam and Ginny began the arduous task of trying to work out how exactly they were going to break into Azkaban. It seemed like an impossible task. The only consolation Adam had was that he was sure it would be easier to break into a prison than it would be to break out of one.
Their first plan, as they didn’t want to run the risk of going through the Floo entrance that Mr Weasley had used, was to attempt to locate Azkaban and try to sneak onto the island on their broom. However, that plan was soon abandoned as they were simply unable to locate the island on which Azkaban prison was built.
“So if we can’t fly in, what options do we have?” Adam growled as he and Ginny sat around the table in the tent.
“I just don’t know,” Ginny replied tiredly. “The only other way in I can see is to try the Floo entrance that Dad used.”
Adam sighed. “We decided that’s too risky!”
“So we’re going to just forget about rescuing Hermione, then?” Ginny snapped in response. “If we don’t use the Floo, we may as well forget about this and start thinking about how to break into Malfoy Manor.”
“Of course we can’t just leave Hermione! She’s our friend, and we’re the whole reason she’s in there!” Adam said in response, his voice getting louder.
“I don’t want to leave her, either!” Ginny retorted. “I’m just saying I can’t see any other way for us to get to Azkaban other than using the Floo.”
Adam sighed again. “I know. Sorry, I’m not being very helpful.”
Ginny smiled at him from the other side of the table. “It’s alright,” she said through a yawn. “It’s late. We’re both tired and irritable.”
Ginny’s yawn caused Adam to also yawn. So, deciding it was time to call it a day, he stood up and walked towards Ginny’s chair.
“Do you want to try and get some sleep?” he asked, leaning down and kissing her on the cheek. “We can try and figure out how to we’re going to do this tomorrow.”
“Okay,” Ginny said, looking up at him. “I’ll go to bed. Shall we swap over in a few hours?”
Adam nodded in response and gave Ginny a good-night kiss before returning to his chair so he could keep watch.
“Adam,” Ginny added suddenly as she walked towards her bedroom, “I love you.”
Adam turned and stared at Ginny for a split second, before quickly crossing the room and pulling her into a hug. “I love you too, Ginny,” Adam said in reply. “I know I don’t say it enough…”
“Oh, Adam, I know you love me,” Ginny said, suddenly blushing and adjusting the locket that was hanging around her neck. “I just realised I hadn’t said it to you today.”
“You don’t need to say it every day; we’ve been busy,” Adam replied, still not sure quite what was actually bothering Ginny. He knew that he didn’t understand girls, but he had hoped that by now he could at least understand this particular girl. Even so, she was still able to completely baffle him at times.
“That’s exactly it,” Ginny continued. “I miss the times at Hogwarts when we could… you know… just be us.”
Adam laughed softly, causing Ginny to glare at him. “When did we ever have quiet times at Hogwarts? There was always something going on.”
“I know,” Ginny replied. “I’m just being silly…”
“Oh, Ginny,” Adam said, still not quite sure what was bothering her, but keen to reassure her. “I know I’ve…” he faltered, “I know… Sometimes, I get tired of having to hide, and sometimes I do worry that tomorrow will be the day we get caught, but we’ll get through this. Once it’s all over, we’ll have lots of time — the rest of our lives — just to be us.”
As he said this, Ginny kissed him again, tightening her grip on him and, as they broke apart, Adam looked at Ginny to see her beaming widely at him. He wasn’t quite sure what he’d said, but he certainly seemed to have cheered her up.
“Mmm,” Ginny murmured, “Love you.”
“Love you,” Adam grinned back at her. “You going to bed now?”
“Yeah,” Ginny said, planting a soft kiss on his cheek. “Night-night.”
As Ginny turned to go, Adam did feel a surge of guilt. Was he neglecting Ginny? Ever since he’d heard that Hermione had been captured because of him, he’d focused all his energies on saving her, even putting off their attempt to retrieve the Horcrux from Malfoy Manor.
Adam shook his head. I know Ginny understands, so why am I feeling all this doubt? Rescuing Hermione was top priority right now, and if they had to take a risk to rescue her, then so be it.
January 25th 1998
Ginny strode into the Leaky Cauldron, leaving the door open a fraction of a second longer than she normally would to let Adam, who was wearing his Invisibility Cloak, slip into the room behind her. Then, trying to look as confident as she could, despite the feelings of nervousness and fear that coursed through her, she looked around, thankful that it seemed pretty quiet.
She and Adam had picked the time of their break-in attempt carefully in the hope that the pub would be reasonably quiet. She didn’t want to attract attention before they had even started.
As Ginny crossed the room towards the Floo, she tried to keep a careful ear out for Adam’s footsteps. She couldn’t hear him. She’d just have to assume he was okay and following right behind her.
The plan they had come up with, after deciding that they needed to at least try and rescue Hermione, called for one of them to take the Floo to the prison, with the other following under the Cloak. It had taken much debate, a good deal of argument, and several lost tempers to settle who would be under the Cloak and who would be disguised.
In the end, however, it was decided that Adam should be under the Cloak. Adam hadn’t liked it, but Ginny felt he would be much harder disguise due to his glasses. The second reason was that she felt far more comfortable knowing that he was there to be her surprise back-up. She hadn’t felt anywhere near as confident in her own ability to do the job the plan required of the person who was under the Cloak. The final reason, one that she hadn’t voiced to Adam, was that if the worst happened and she was captured, Adam would be able to escape and continue the fight against Voldemort. Based on the Prophecy, he was the important one, not her.
Ginny approached the Floo, lit the fire with her wand, stepped into the flames and waited, making an exaggerated gesture of straightening her clothes. A few seconds later, she felt someone hugging her and knew that Adam was now in the fire with her.
So, giving one last look around the Leaky Cauldron, she called out. “Azkaban Prison!”
As she swirled through the Floo, clinging onto Adam tightly, Ginny tried to push the anxiety out of her mind and concentrate on what she had to do. She could do this! They could do this!
Finally, as she whooshed towards the grate for Azkaban, all she could think about was whether Adam would be able to stay on his feet at the other end.
As she emerged from the fireplace, before she’d even had time to get her bearings, she felt a wand being pointed at her face.
“State your name!” a voice said loudly.
Ginny gulped, and tried desperately to collect herself and not fall to pieces.
“State your name!” the voice said again. “NOW!”
“I…” Ginny gasped, holding her hands up to show she wasn’t holding a wand. “I…” She took a deep breath. “My name is Veronica Robins,” Ginny eventually choked out. She had decided in advance to use the name of one of her roommate’s mother; Merlin knew she had heard Demelza mention her enough times. She had picked Demelza’s mother because she knew that she was a Pureblood witch who did not work for the Ministry. Ginny just hoped none of these people knew the real Veronica.
“Very well,” the man in front of her said, taking a step back and looking her over, but still keeping his wand pointed at her.
As the man’s eyes roamed over her, Ginny felt decidedly uncomfortable. She had gone to great and painful lengths to make herself look older, but it was still very creepy that a much older man was looking at her in that way. As the man continued to look her over, she hoped that her disguise was adequate. She had put on a lot of makeup, worn different clothes and changed the colour of her hair. She had even trimmed her hair, much to her sadness. She hadn’t like it, Adam hadn’t liked it, but both had agreed that having her hair in a different style would make it easier for her to pass as another person.
“Now,” the man said slowly, “state your purpose here.”
“I…” Ginny began, feeling nervous once again, “I have an appointment to visit.”
“An appointment?” the man said, still pointing his wand at her. “There are no appointments today.”
Ginny froze, they had a plan, if she couldn’t talk her way through, but that was dependant on Adam.
“But…” Ginny began, now beginning to fall back on the lines she’d rehearsed, “the man in the Minister’s office, Wesley, I think his name was, said it was all arranged!”
“Weasley?” the man sneered.
“Yes, was his name!” Ginny exclaimed, now beginning to get in the swing of things. “He said I should come first thing this morning! Please don’t tell me he screwed it up!”
“As I said,” the man responded, “we have no appointments scheduled for today. No visitors allowed, by order of the Minister. Weasley should not have told you to come here.” He stepped forward. “I am afraid you’ll have to leave.”
“But…” Ginny protested, taking a step backwards so the man wasn’t right in her face.
The man raised his wand, pointed it right at her face and began to speak. “Leave…” Then he froze, his eyes clouding slightly. “Actually…” he stuttered, “maybe I should just double-check. Follow me.”
Ginny’s heart gave a leap. Maybe they had a chance after all!
The guard walked back down the room away from the Floo and Ginny followed. As they walked, Ginny had her first chance to actually take in her surroundings. They were in a long and fairly narrow room. At the far end of the room, three guards stood behind a desk and, at the sight of them, Ginny’s heart sank.
As the man who had spoken to Ginny walked towards the desk, two of the other guards approached him.
“What’s going on?” one of them demanded accusingly. “Why hasn’t she gone?”
“I need to check — this woman thinks she has an appointment,” the main said faintly.
“There are no visitors allowed!” the second man snapped, and Ginny suddenly saw him reaching for his wand.
As his hand moved, Ginny heard Adam’s voice ring out, crying, “Now, Ginny!”
Chaos broke out. Ginny scrambled for her wand, ripping it out of her pocket as if her life depended upon it. As she was doing this, spells began to fill the room.
By the time she had her wand in her hand, two of the guards had already fallen, and the man that had spoken to her and an invisible person were firing on the remaining guard, who had taken cover behind the desk.
“Stupefy!” Ginny cried, but her spell hit his shield, so she continued to cast. “Stupefy! Stupefy! Stupefy!”
Under the onslaught of three attackers, the final guard’s shield crumbled and he, too, was soon Stunned.
Only then did Adam tear off the Cloak. Once he was visible again, Ginny grinned at him. However, instead of returning her smile, Adam looked pale, almost as if he might be sick.
Seeing the state he was in, Ginny quickly crossed the room. As she did, she was vaguely aware that the guard, who apparently was now on their side, had knelt down behind the desk.
“Are you okay, Adam?” Ginny asked anxiously. “You look terrible.”
“I feel… dirty,” Adam said faintly. “Casting this spell… it makes me feel like one of them. I feel…”
“I know…” Ginny said, and pulled him into a hug. “But there was no other way. We knew we couldn’t just fight our way in, we had no idea how to actually get to the prison from here.”
“I know…” Adam said, “but still…”
“We did what we had to do, Adam, and I think the important thing is that we did it for the right reasons,” Ginny responded. “But we don’t have time to discuss it now!”
Adam shook himself. “You’re right,” he said, still not sounding convinced. “Let’s get going. I think he should be getting us the Portkey. I think they keep it locked away somewhere.”
A few minutes the later the guard, still with a dazed look on his face, returned with a tiny metal disc in his hand.
“Hold on to the Portkey and say today’s password: ‘Purity’,” the man said flatly.
“Is he coming with us?” Ginny questioned.
Adam shook his head. “If we Portkey under the Cloak, we should be okay.”
“Stupefy!” Ginny cried, Stunning the man.
“Ginny!” Adam exclaimed.
“We couldn’t just leave him,” Ginny explained. “And I don’t think you want to hold the curse all this time, do you?”
“No… no,” Adam mumbled. “Sorry, I should have thought of that.”
“Hey, it’s okay,” Ginny replied softly, noticing that Adam seemed strangely shaken by having to use the Imperius Curse on the man. “We’re a team, yeah? I look out for you, you look out for me.”
Adam grinned back at her. “Thanks. Well, I think this was the easy bit. You ready?”
Nodding at him, Ginny joined Adam under the Cloak. Then, with both of them holding on to each other and onto the Portkey, Adam said, “Purity.”
The moment Adam had finished speaking, Ginny felt the familiar tug behind her belly button, and she was pulled away.
A few seconds later, Ginny felt her feet impact against a hard stone floor. Adam landed next to her a split second later and, much to her horror, Ginny realised that he’d lost his balance and she had to grab on to him to keep him from falling over and blowing their cover.
“Incoming Portkey!” a voice suddenly rang out and Ginny realised that, even though she’d managed to prevent Adam from toppling over, it had all been for nothing; the guards seemed to have been alerted to their presence. “Where…?”
Under the Cloak, Adam and Ginny stood, one behind the other, in silence as they watched as a man dressed in Auror robes approached them.
They were standing in a stone room. The only furniture in the room was a desk and several chairs, all positioned near a small wooden door at the far end of the room.
As the man walked towards them, Ginny looked at the far end of the room and spotted five more guards standing near the doors. Five! How would they ever get past that many?
“There’s no sign of anyone,” the man called out, stopping less than ten paces from Adam and Ginny. “False alarm?”
“No,” another voice shouted. “That alarm only goes off when someone activated the Portkey. You and you,” he pointed at two of the guards, “stay here and guard the doors. The rest of you with me, use Homenum Revelio. If anyone’s here, they’ll be Disillusioned.”
Ginny froze in horror, and she felt Adam tense behind her. She’d never heard of that spell. Could it actually detect them underneath the Cloak?
“Ginny,” Adam whispered, “when they get here, stay under the Cloak and wait for me to start casting spells.”
Ginny nodded in response and waited for what seemed like ages while the three men approached with wands in their hands, apparently searching for them.
Then, without warning, Adam dived out of the Cloak and Ginny had to stifle a scream. What was he doing?
Immediately deciding to rescue Adam from his madness, Ginny grasped her wand and was about to fire at the closest of the guards. Then, she remembered what Adam had said to her: ‘wait for me to start casting spells’, and she stopped herself.
Adam had sprinted across the room, dodging spells as he ran. Immediately, the three men who were approaching her position turned around and started firing spells across the room towards him.
“It’s Harry Potter!” one of them shouted. “Stun him!”
Then, Ginny saw Adam glance quickly over his shoulder and start firing spells at the guards, who now had their backs to her.
Now I can help him! Ginny thought with glee and she began firing Stunners at the guards.
She managed to Stun one before they could even react to her presence, she hit a second while they were scrambling to locate their hidden assailant, and Adam felled the third in the ensuing chaos.
With the three guards down, Ginny paused and gave a relieved sigh.
“Ginny!” Adam shouted.
Ginny felt a brief spike of panic at Adam’s cry of alarm. Then, everything went black.
The next thing she knew, her eyes flew open and Adam was kneeling next to her. Her body tingled all over and a dull ache permeated her limbs.
“Oooh,” she moaned. “Wha…” she continued dazedly, “What happened?”
“One of the Aurors standing guard at the door Stunned you,” Adam commented. “But…” he said, clasping her hand, “I Stunned them.”
“Thanks,” Ginny said, as Adam helped her to her feet.
“Yeah,” Adam said, looking relieved. “I…” he mumbled, “I thought he had you, but…” he paused, “these guys aren’t Death Eaters, they didn’t use Unforgivables, plus, especially the two at the door, they just weren’t very good shots.”
Ginny turned to look at him as she tried to work the kinks out of her limbs. “I guess guard duty isn’t a reward for good work.”
“Yeah,” Adam said faintly, still looking rather unsettled.
“So what now?” Ginny asked, looking around at the five men who were lying slumped around the room. She couldn’t believe they had managed to take down five guards.
“I suppose the door they were guarding leads into the prison… we have to search for Hermione, I guess.”
“Okay, but should we Stun the guards one last time?” Ginny questioned. “And tie them up maybe?”
“Yes!” Adam exclaimed. “As soon as they wake up and raise the alarm, we’re done for.”
The two of them re-Stunned the guards and tied them up with conjured ropes. Once they were done, they ducked back under their Cloak and ventured out through the door into Azkaban prison.
The prison itself was like a winding maze of dark, narrow, damp, stone corridors. It was depressing. It was horrible and, even though she had only been here a few minutes, Ginny couldn’t wait until she could get out of here.
How had Sirius survived in here alone, with the Dementors around!?
As they walked, Ginny clutched her wand tightly. She would be prepared for whatever they found and ready to fight if necessary.
Before long, they approached the first cell and Ginny, half dreading what she might see, looked in through the tiny observation window. As she looked, Ginny choked back a sob. The cell was just a bare stone room; it had a single small window with bars across it. The cell looked damp, dark, cold and absolutely horrible.
Backing away from the cell, they quickly continued. As they walked, Ginny felt Adam link his arm in hers and grip her firmly.
“You okay?” she whispered.
“Yeah…” he replied. “Just reminds me of…” he trailed off.
Ginny understood. Azkaban was reminding him of the time he spent locked up in the Riddle House.
“Let’s find Hermione and get out of here,” Ginny said bracingly, trying to put as much strength into her voice as she could.
Adam nodded in response and the two of them began to search. Luckily, the cells seemed to have the names of their occupants scrawled on the door which made their search considerably easier.
“Just check the name and move on,” Adam said to her. “We can’t waste the time looking into each one.”
“I know…” Ginny sighed. “I know we came to get Hermione, but I wish we could rescue everyone.”
“We can’t,” Adam replied, obviously distressed that they couldn’t save everyone. “But if we only rescue Hermione, we at least stand a chance of sneaking out. I don’t know how long we’ve got before they realise we’re here.”
They continued searching, starting with the lower security cells near the entrance, and working their way farther inside the prison. From time to time, Adam and Ginny encountered a patrolling guard but, being as the guards weren’t expecting them and the fact they were under the Cloak, they were easily able to escape them.
After nearly thirty minutes of searching, they found Hermione’s cell; fortunately, she was in one of the low-security cells on the first level.
“Alohomora!” Adam cried out, immediately trying to unlock the door.
It didn’t work.
“Any ideas?” Adam asked urgently.
Ginny shook her head and shrugged. “Blow it up?”
Adam pressed himself up against the large wooden door and shouted. “Hermione! If you can hear me, stand away from the door!”
He then stepped back, waited nearly a minute before pointing his wand at the door and shouting, “Expulso!”
A bolt of light left the end of his wand and collided with the door. The door shattered with a loud bang, leaving a gaping hole and scattering dust and fragments of wood around the corridor.
Once the dust had settled, Ginny darted forward and leapt into the cell.
The first thing that struck her was just how cold the cell was; it was freezing. Then she saw Hermione. Her friend was curled up in a ball in the corner of the room. She looked pale, and was shivering in the cold.
“G-G-Ginny?” Hermione said. Her voice was heartbreakingly weak.
“Hermione!” Ginny exclaimed, quickly crossing the room and pulling the older girl into a hug. “Are you okay? Are you hurt?”
“I… Oh, Ginny!” Hermione, who seemed very near to tears, cried. “You came for me!” she sobbed. “I’m so cold…”
“Hermione,” Adam said, moving closer to her, “are you able to walk? We need to get moving.”
“I…Harry…” Hermione began, “please… get me out of here.”
Ginny looked up at Adam, who was now pacing near the door to the cell. She knew they didn’t have any time to waste, so she quickly helped Hermione to her feet. As Hermione stood, Ginny immediately saw that she was far thinner than last time they had seen her and that her clothes were ragged, ripped and filthy dirty. She’s probably still in the clothes she was wearing when she was captured, Ginny thought.
“Okay?” Ginny questioned, linking arms with Hermione, who seemed to be unsteady of her feet.
“Y-Y-Yes,” Hermione stammered. “Thanks.”
Once Hermione was on her feet, the three of them grouped up, all touched the Portkey and Adam said, “Purity.”
The Portkey seemed to glow for a second, but nothing else happened.
“Damn,” Adam said. “I thought this might happen.”
“What?” Ginny questioned.
“I think it only works from the first room we came into.”
“Oh, okay,” Ginny replied, then, turning to Hermione, she continued, “We’re going to need to walk back to the entrance. Lean on me and I’ll help you.”
Hermione nodded firmly. “All right,” she said. “Let’s go.”
Now that there were three of them, they were unable to use the Invisibility Cloak to hide, so they moved slowly back through the prison with Adam in the lead and Ginny coming behind him, supporting Hermione. On their trip back through the prison, they only encountered one more guard, whom they were able to surprise and leave Stunned against the corridor wall.
“Okay,” Adam said to Hermione, as they eventually emerged at the top of the staircase that would lead them back down onto the ground floor. “Just down these stairs and then we’re out of here.”
Sticking close together, the three of them descended the stairs, with Ginny holding Hermione carefully, making sure that she didn’t fall.
“Nearly there,” Adam murmured, turning back to look at her. “We’re nearly there,” he said with smile. Then, suddenly, his expression changed and Ginny saw a flicker of fear in his eyes. Suddenly, without any further warning, Adam dived forward and shouted, “Ginny!”
Hearing Adam’s shout, Ginny immediately spun around but, as she turned, she felt something impact the floor near where she was standing, sending her and Hermione crashing to the ground.
Trying to get her bearings, Ginny struggled against a weight that seemed to have landed on top of her.
“Ginny!” Hermione exclaimed, and Ginny realised that it was Hermione who was on top of her. “What’s going on?”
“Get off!” Ginny snapped. “I need to help Adam!”
By the time Ginny had climbed back to her feet and pushed Hermione out of the way, Adam was crouched several stairs up from her, holding whoever was attacking them pinned down behind the banister of the floor above.
Quickly taking in what was happening around her, Ginny crouched over and sprinted towards Adam.
“What’s going on?” Ginny said.
“A patrolling guard — I think he’s on his own,” Adam replied.
“I should have kept an eye out behind us!” Ginny said bitterly. “Sorry.”
“Don’t worry,” Adam replied. “With both of us, he won’t stand a chance. Keep him pinned down for me?”
Ginny nodded and, clasping her wand, she began to send a stream of spells towards where the man was hiding.
Seeing that she now had the man pinned down, Adam started running forward, taking the steps two at a time and still firing spells. As Adam came steadily closer to him, Ginny saw that the man was casting his spells faster and faster in desperation. Then, realising that he only had a few seconds, he shot to his feet and fired a spell at Adam.
Ginny grinned and continued her onslaught of spells as Adam nimbly leapt over the guard’s spell. Her grin slipped almost immediately, though, because the man’s spell hit the opposite wall causing a huge explosion that knocked Adam backwards. He hit the stairs head first with a sickening thwack.
Adam! Ginny cried silently. Get up! Get up! Please get up!
Adam didn’t move. As he lay on the floor, Ginny suddenly was overcome by a tremendous sense of fury. How dare he hurt Adam!
Not quite thinking about what she doing, Ginny leapt to her feet and charged forward, placing herself between Adam’s defenceless form and the guard.
As she moved, the man fired at her, but Ginny, with little concern for her own safety, being focused solely on protecting Adam, raised a shield and sent a Blasting Curse back his way.
“Protego!” she cried, as the man continued to target her. “Expulso! Confringo! EXPULSO!”
Her final spell came out of her mouth as a furious cry and it was so powerful that it shattered the banister and the floor of the landing where the man crouched.
As the air filled with dust, Ginny gripped her wand so tightly that her knuckles went white. Seconds passed, and no more spells came towards her. It seemed that the attack had finally ceased.
Ginny lowered her wand, suddenly finding that her hands were trembling. Shaking herself, she knelt down at Adam’s side and flipped him over so he was lying on his back.
He’s breathing! Ginny nearly sobbed, a tremendous sense of relief washing over her.
Taking a second to collect herself, Ginny examined him for any other visible signs of injury, but the only thing she could find was a growing red lump on his forehead from where he had struck the floor.
Satisfied that he was going to be okay, Ginny took out her wand to revive him.
“G-Ginny,” Hermione called faintly from behind her.
“What?” Ginny snapped, then suddenly realising that it was Hermione, she continued, “Sorry… what’s wrong?”
“I…” Hermione began hesitantly, “I don’t think you should revive him with a spell if he hit his head.”
“You’re right,” Ginny said weakly.
“I…” Hermione hesitated, “I mean, I think… I think you should let him wake up on his own, it’s probably safer that way.”
Ginny stared at the other girl for a second. Even though Hermione didn’t sound much like her old self right now, Ginny trusted her enough to know that if she told her something, she was probably right.
“Okay…” Ginny said. “Are you going to be okay? I’m going to need to levitate Adam.”
Hermione nodded, and Ginny immediately set to work levitating Adam high enough off the ground so she wouldn’t bump his body as they descended the stairs.
As she turned to continue down the stairs, Ginny stared at the destruction she had caused. Had she really done that? Then, with a terrible sense of guilt, she realised that she may have killed the man. Had she accidentally killed yet another person?
“Ginny..?” Hermione asked. “Are you okay?”
Shuddering slightly, Ginny tried to put what had happened out of her mind. They didn’t have any time to check on the man, and, if he was hurt, what could they do? After all, he had been the one to attack them.
“Nothing,” Ginny said sharply. “Let’s go.”
The two of them moved down the stairs, with Ginny levitating Adam and supporting Hermione at the same time.
When at last they reached the entrance hall, Ginny pushed open the doors and, entering the room, she visibly sagged in relief; the guards they had battled earlier were still unconscious.
“Here we are,” Ginny said, lowering Adam to the floor and holding out the Portkey to Hermione. “Take hold of this.”
With both herself and Hermione touching Portkey, Ginny placed Adam’s limp hand onto the small metal disc. “Okay, once I say the password, we should end up back the visitors’ office. With a bit of luck, everyone should still be unconscious and we can escape back through the Floo.”
Hermione nodded to her and, gripping her wand just in case, Ginny said, “Purity.”
Adam January 25th 1998
His head hurt.
It was pounding like he could never remember it pounding before.
The next thing he realised was that he was lying in a bed.
What had happened?
He thought back: the last thing he could remember was fighting on the stairs in Azkaban. So how come he was now lying on a bed?
“Is he still asleep?” a voice asked.
“Yes,” a familiar voice replied, and Adam felt his heart leap at the sound of Ginny’s voice. If she was her,e then they were both okay!
“And he’s not pale any more, thank goodness,” she continued. “But how are you, Hermione?”
That’s it! The other person was Hermione! Then, they had rescued her!
“I feel so much better now that I’ve had a shower. Thank you so much for letting me borrow some of your clothes. They’re a little tight, but much better than what I had.”
“No problem, Hermione,” Ginny said in a happy sounding voice.
“I feel so stuffed,” Hermione continued. “I’ve eaten so much.”
“Hermione, they didn’t exactly feed you much, did they?” Ginny continued. “So you have every right to be hungry.”
Adam heard Hermione chuckle in reply to this and then both of the girls were quiet.
“Why did you come for me, Ginny?” Hermione asked suddenly.
“Why would you ask me that?” Ginny replied. “You’re our friend, Hermione. It was our fault that you were caught.”
“How is that?” Hermione replied, sounding more like her old self now. “You didn’t give me up to the Death Eaters. This job Dumbledore left you to do — surely it’s more important than rescuing me!”
“We wanted to rescue you, Hermione!” Ginny said, and Adam recognised the signs that she was starting to get angry.
“It was a stupid idea!” Hermione snapped back. “You should have done the job Dumbledore set you and then I’d have been free anyway!”
That was about as much as Adam could tolerate.
“D-Don’t talk to Ginny like that!” Adam tried to say, but it came out as croak.
Once he’d spoken, it was almost as if the argument between them had been forgotten, because both girls were instantly at his side.
“Adam!” Ginny said, planting tender kisses on his face. “You’re awake!”
“Y-Yeah,” Adam croaked. He tried to sit up, only to be pushed back down into the bed by Ginny.
“Rest,” she ordered.
Adam chuckled in reply. “Yes, boss. So… Hermione, don’t we get a ‘thank you’ for rescuing you?” he continued, trying to put an accusing tone in his voice, but unsure if he actually succeeded.
“Oh, Harry,” Hermione exclaimed, “I am grateful! I’m so grateful! I was just saying, in the grand scheme of things, it might not have been the smartest thing to do.”
“It was the right thing to do!” Adam responded. “I’m not sorry.”
They all fell into an uncomfortable silence.
“So,” Ginny, who was now perched on the bed next to his shoulders, began talking again, breaking the silence, “Hermione, what actually happened? How did you get captured?”
Adam looked at Hermione, who was perched at the foot of his bed, and was beginning to look uncomfortable. “Well,” she replied, “I saw some of the new Aurors nosing around the hotel my parents and I were staying at. I tried to get away so they wouldn’t hurt Mum and Dad, but…” she faltered, “they caught me. I… I didn’t fight in the end, there were too many of them.”
Adam nodded in understanding.
“Do-do you want to try and get in contact with your parents?”
“I…” Hermione began, “I do, but I won’t. I want to help you, and going back to my parents is a massive risk, for them and me.”
“Are you sure?” Ginny responded.
“Yes,” Hermione said decisively. “I’m sorry I was so rude to you earlier, Ginny. You are both amazing friends and, now that I’m here, I’m going to help you.”
At Hermione’s announcement, Adam made eye contact with Ginny, and seeing her nodding, he nodded back. They probably shouldn’t tell her everything, but the extra help would be very welcome.
“Okay,” Ginny replied. “Thank you.”
“No,” Hermione began. “Thank you.”
“But you don’t have a wand,” Adam suddenly realised. With Ollivander gone, he had no idea how they could get her another wand.
“Well…” Hermione began, suddenly pulling a wand out of her pocket, “it’s not brilliant, but I grabbed it off the guy we Stunned on the way back to the staircase. It didn’t choose me, but it seemed to be okay for Drying Charms, so I think it should work reasonably well.”
“Brilliant,” Adam commented. Trust Hermione to be on her toes only moments after being rescued from her cell. “I guess… welcome aboard, Hermione.”