A/N: I would like to apologize for leaving off the disclaimer for the last two chapters. Harry Potter belongs to the talented and wonderful J K Rowling. The Princess Bride belongs to William Goldman. All theirs, not mine. A special thanks to my beta, Trelawney2213, and my pre-beta, emmamoonpotter!
By the time Ginny came to, night had fallen. Not wanting to let her captives know she was awake she kept her eyes closed and didn't make a sound. Remembering her wand, she moved her hands slowly around trying to find it, but like she expected it, was nowhere around. Ginny then heard the hook nosed man speak-
"She must be found dead inside the Beauxbatons border or we will not be paid the remaining galleons."
"The people of Gryffindor and Slytherin will not take her death well. They love her, or most do," said the young man that was about her age.
"We have been hired to start a war. Gryffindor will blame Slytherin for lax security and Beauxbatons for the actual murder and attack both kingdoms, spreading themselves thin. They have always been brave but stupid," the man sneered.
"The prince will then persuade Gryffindor that Beauxbatons is completely to blame and have them help attack Beauxbatons."
"I still do not like killing the girl. Let us tell her she is being held for ransom, I do not think she could handle the truth," said Neville.
"She already knows the truth. She's awake and has heard everything," Snape replied.
'How does he know that?' Ginny thought.
"How do you know that? She still looks unconscious to me."
"I know all."
'You're a conceited greasy git is what you are.'
"What language for a princess. However, yes, I am very conceited."
'He must be a mind reader.'
"Only muggles talk of 'mind reading.' The mind is not an open book to be opened at will and examined at leisure. What I do is called legilimency." Then he turned back to the other two men in the boat and added, "We should reach the cliffs by dawn, then the frontier by mid morning. There we will leave her body for the prince to find."
'Why is he letting me know all of this?' Ginny wondered.
"You will not get away with it," Ginny said aloud. "The prince will find you and when he does you will regret kidnapping me. He'll see you thrown through the veil, if he doesn't kill you himself."
"Of all the necks on this boat your highness, the one you should be worried about is your own," Snape said.
Then with a stupefy from somewhere behind her, Ginny's world went dark again.
* * *
After Neville stunned Ginny, he walked around to the back of the boat. Earlier he could have sworn he had seen something but the moment he tried to get a closer look it was gone. So now he was trying to see if he could spot it again.
"Why do you keep doing that?" Snape asked after Neville had looked over his shoulder for what felt like the hundredth time.
"Just making sure nobody's following us."
"That would be inconceivable."
But Neville was not so sure it was 'inconceivable' and could not help but look back again. There it was! He was sure of it. Another boat with black sails.
"Stop doing that. We can all relax, it's almost ov"
"Y- you are sure nobody's following us?" Neville interrupted nervously.
"As I told you, it would be absolutely, totally, and in all other ways, inconceivable. No one in Slytherin knows what we've done. And no one in Beauxbatons could have gotten here so fast. Out of curiosity, why do you ask?"
"No reason. It's only, I just happened to look behind us, and something is there."
"What?" Snape said in disbelief, jumping up and looked over the bow. Sure enough, there was a boat and it was indeed following them.
"Probably some local fisherman out for a pleasure cruise at night through Angvencus-infested waters."
About that time Ginny awoke again. She made sure to keep her mind blank, and laid there for a moment. Then without warning she jumped into the water.
"GET HER!" Snape screamed.
"I can not swim," said Neville.
"I o'ny dog pa'dle." Hagrid added.
"Veer left. Left. Left!" Snape shouted.
Hagrid grabbed the steering wheel and veered left towards Ginny as hard and as quick as he could.
All of the sudden a spine chilling, high pitched sound filled the night air. It was worse than the 'musical saws' that ghost bands used.
"You know what that sound is princess?" asked Snape. "It's an Angvencus." (For you Muggles, an Angvencus is a magical creature that looks like an eel and feeds on humans.)
'Bugger!' Ginny thought franticly.
"I would come back to the boat if I were you. The water's full of them. As you know they feed on human blood and you're not exactly prepared to defend yourself from one without your wand."
'What's the difference? I am dead either way.' She thought.
"The difference is...if you come back you will feel no pain. A simple Avada Kedavra. I doubt you will get such an offer from the Angvencus."
All around Ginny the noise got louder and louder. She could see them all around her and one was swimming towards her. Ginny tried to remain calm and not panic but it was a battle she was losing. With all the commotion the Angvencus were causing, she had failed to notice the boat coming up behind her. Then several things happened at once. As the Angvencus lunged at her, the giant bashed it over the head and pulled her single handedly out of the water.
"Put her down," said Snape.
"Where?" asked Hagrid.
"Just put her down there by the rope."
"I think he's getting closer." Neville said.
Snape tied Ginny up and then glanced over the side of the boat at the mysterious man that was following them.
"He's no concern of ours. Keep going," he told Neville. Then looking at Ginny he added, "I suppose you think you're brave, don't you?"
"Only compared to some," Ginny said holding her head high.
By now it was dawn and the man in black was about half a league (a mile and a half) away from them.
"Look! He's right on top of us. I wonder if he is using the same wind we are using," Neville pondered.
"Whoever he is, he's too late. See up ahead? The Chalk Cliffs. He would have to be insane to follow us up there."
There before them were the tallest cliffs Ginny had ever seen. The two boats raced wildly towards them and the wizard in black was closing faster than ever. Unfortunately it was not fast enough. Neville was able to sail with great precision straight at the Cliffs.
"Hurry up. Move it! We're safe now. Only Hagrid is strong enough to go up our way, and it's suicidal to Apparate up there. He'll have to sail around for hours until he finds a harbour."
Hagrid got out of the boat and started to loosen the rope that was dangling from the side of the cliffs. Neville walked over to him with Ginny and putting a sticking charm on her attached her to Hagrid's side. After everyone was hanging on to Hagrid, he started to climb the rope.
The man in black sailed right beside their boat. He watched Hagrid climb for a moment before jumping onto the rope and climbing himself.
"He's climbing the rope. And he's gaining on us." said Neville looking down at the man in black in awe.
"Inconceivable! Hagrid, faster!"
"I thaw I was goin' faster."
"You were supposed to be this colossus. You were this great, legendary thing, and yet he gains."
"Well, I'm carryin' three people. An' he's o'ny got 'imself."
"I do not accept excuses. I'm just going to have to find myself a new giant, that's all."
"Please don' say tha'."
Hagrid began to pull harder but the more he pulled the slower he seemed to go. The man in black sped up and cut Hagrid's lead down to about hundred yards. This did not get past Snape's attention.
"Did I make it clear that your job is at stake?"
Pushing himself as hard as he could, Hagrid finally made it to the top of the cliff with all of them. Snape jumped off and took out his wand, casting a severing charm to cut the rope from the huge rock it was tied around. The man in black was now only about fifty feet from the top of the cliffs when Snape finished cutting the rope and walked over to the side of the cliff to watch it slither to the bottom and into the water.
"'e has very goo' arms," said Hagrid.
Sure enough there was the man in black hanging suspended hundreds of feet in the air, holding to the jagged rocks.
"He didn't fall? Inconceivable!!" Snape exclaimed in surprise.
"You keep using that word," said Neville, "I do not think it means what you think it means." He then looked over the side of the cliff again and exclaimed, "Sweet Merlin! He's climbing."
And so he was. Very slowly, the man in black was picking his way upwards, inch by inch.
"Whoever he is, he's obviously seen us with the Princess, and must therefore die. Hagrid, carry the princess. Longbottom, we'll head straight for the Beauxbatons frontier. Catch up when he's dead. If he falls, fine. If not, wands."