The second we popped into the middle of what appeared to be nowhere, I whipped out my wand. "Accio firebolt two thousand and ten."
Nothing was safe right now. I knew who that man was. I knew what he was a part of. I knew what he wanted.
Within second, my broomstick was flying down the abandoned road we'd apparated onto. I hopped on, dragging Sid by her wrist .
"Get on and take out your wand. Hold on tight," I commanded her. I knew she was in a fragile state right now but there was no time to dawdle.
She did as she was told, wrapping her arms around me, the butt of her wand poking me in the ribs. I wasn't about to complain about that, though . . . because of the dire situation obviously. I expected her to lash out at me, to yell and protest, to question what the bloody hell I was doing.
The reason I had to apparate here and not directly to the old Malfoy Manor was because of the spells around it. Luckily, my broom was hidden nearby always waiting for me. I swerved to dodge an owl flying in the opposite direction and couldn't help but smirk to myself. I still had it. My quidditch skills, that is.
There appeared to be nothing around us for miles upon miles except for this abandoned road and the forest of trees on either side. However, I knew we were getting close to the final destination. I could sense the magic in the air.
I slowed to a stop after another hundred yards or so and we landed on the ground. Sid looked around, confused, but she didn't ask questions. I hopped off my broom and walked forward, hands outstretched, wand at the ready.
When I felt my wand meet resistance, I muttered the spell in my head that would open my invisible door. It was actually a series of complex lamentations that I'd come up with myself. After that was done with, I reached for the magic door and held it open, ushering for Sid to go on inside.
"What are you doing, Professor Malfoy?" she asked me, and I suppressed a wince. She had been calling me Professor Malfoy since she got the news of her parents' death. I realized that she no longer considered us friends, but mere teacher and student as it should be.
I waved my hands toward the door, indicating that she should walk through it. "We're here," I said.
She gave me a funny look but walked through anyways, hands held out, trying to feel whatever it was around her.
I spell-locked the door behind me and reinforced the protections around the house, just in case. I knew what that man was capable of, and he would stop at nothing until he had conquered his goal.
I heard Sid gasp from behind me and I turned to see her staring in awe at the mighty structure that was only now visible to the both of us. This made me smile a bit. I held out my hand, unsure of where to put it before taking a safe bet and giving her shoulder a gentle squeeze, encouraging her forward.
"You live . . . here?" she said. I almost laughed, but now was not an appropriate time. Sid was just so impressed.
All I could do was nod my head. "It was the quickest place I could think of where you would be safe."
She was quiet as we walked inside. I knew she had a million questions to ask, but I wasn't sure I was whether to answer them or not. I was just relieved that she was finally speaking to me.
I took a deep breath before turning to face her.
". . . You have a lovely home," she said. I nodded and thanked her.
"It was my father's. After the war was over he and my mother moved into a smaller house on the countryside, but they couldn't bear to give this one away to strangers. It was the result of everything my father ever went through, and he passed it on to me, hoping I will put it to good use," I explained.
She said, "Wow. That's impressive."
My hand somehow found itself running through my hair. "Look, I know you don't want to sit here and talk about my big empty house. You want answers. I understand that you're probably very confused right now, but I need to contact Professor McGonnogal before we have that conversation. I don't know how long we'll have to stay here, but I do know that it's not safe to leave anytime soon, okay?"
Sid gave me that look of hers. The one that made me feel like I was an idiot. Her tone of voice said the exact opposite though. "Okay."
I don't know what it was about that one little word, but it lifted a weight off my shoulders. Whether she considered us friends anymore or not, I knew that she trusted me. She was counting on me right now. With that inkling of hope, I gave her the slightest of smiles before leaving her to explore my kitchen while I went to contact the headmaster.
Left alone in my DADA teacher's kitchen, I eyeballed the knife collection before shivering and making my way through the manor. It really was massive. I'd never seen a house this big, and he lived here all by himself!
I shook my head to rid myself of such trivial thoughts. Something bad was going on. My parents house had just been burned to the ground along with many friends and family. I know it was that man. There was no doubt about it. Something else I just knew was that he was after me. I was supposed to be dead right now - perished along with the rest of them.
Why, though? Why in the bloody hell was he trying to demolish my family? What did he want from the Grayce family? It was hard to concentrate on all of this as I was walking up a grand marble staircase, but I knew that something was being kept from me. A secret I didn't know about my family.
The image of that man from earlier kept flitting through my mind. It was going to drive me crazy not knowing who he was. Why couldn't Professor Malfoy just tell me? I pondered this question, flipping it over every which way in my head. Nothing was coming to me though. He said he didn't know how long we'd be stuck in his house. Did that just mean, for the day or . . . indefinitely? I couldn't be spending days on end with him. I would go mad. Being in such a close proximity with him - I knew I could not handle it. I'd been shutting him out of my life since . . . recently. It was for the better. He was my teacher. I couldn't be friends with him.
Everything was just a blur of confusion right now. I didn't want to have to deal with any of it. I wanted my parents back. I wanted them to hold me and tell me everything was alright. That was never going to happen again though. Thanks to that bloke. I'd bet anything he was the one who killed them. I just had a feeling.
I was in a long corridor of doors now. There would be one on either side of me every fifteen ft. or so, and it looked like there were 8 doors, which tells you how long the hallway was.
Respecting his privacy wasn't at the top of my priorities list right now, so I tried the first door on the left. It was a bedroom. The walls were a discomforting green that reminded me of this booger of a situation I'd somehow landed in. Nonetheless, the bed looked warm and comfortable. I was exhausted after the day's events.
I looked around me, making sure nobody was watching me before closing the door. Professor Malfoy would probably be on the phone for a long time to come, so I could take a little nap, then go back to the kitchen when I woke up.
Under the covers, I was as warm as the chocolate chip cookies my mom used to bake. I wrinkled my nose at the horrible similes my mind had began to think in. [i]Booger of a situation[i]? That's disgusting. I must be sinking into depression for my mind to think of such tragic comparisons.
Without another thought, I shut my eyes and fell into a horrible sleep filled with the sounds of my parents' screaming
I was watching my parents sitting down to eat dinner, normal as any other day. They both looked tired, but happy in love, which was nothing out of the ordinary. I knew what I was about to watch. Their drinks were laced with poison. I don't know how I knew, nor why I wasn't warning them. It was like I was just watching their life happen from above but I wasn't really there.
I remember them always doing some sort of pre-meal ritual spell. We did it before every meal, and I thought it was just my parents being goofy. Now, I realized it was to check that everything was safe to consume. They must have known my whole life that somebody was after them. I had never put two and two together.
As tired as they both looked, I guess they forgot to do the spell, and they both took a drink of their water first. I tried to scream. I wanted to stop them. But it was too late. The water glass dropped from their hands and broke on the floor. They each tried to reach for their wands, but they were too weak from the poison. They toppled out of their chairs and at a last chance to die happy, they grabbed for each other's hands, and died holding on to their true love.
Then, I was being shaken. My house was going up in flames before my eyes again. I think an earthquake was occurring too, and -
"Sid, it's okay. You're having a bad dream," somebody said.
I opened my eyes to meet the concerned ones belonging to my professor. He was sitting on the bed, shaking my shoulders. I was drenched in a cold sweat and realized that I'd been whimpering.
"Sorry," I said, sitting up and pushing the covers off me.
He shook his head and gently pushed me back down by my shoulder. "You can go back to sleep, I just didn't know where you were, and I thought I'd wake you up from the nightmare. Are you alright?"
I looked at him. "What do you think?"
"Right - stupid question. I just got off the phone with Professor McGonnogal?"
"And?" I asked.
Professor Malfoy had that awkward look on his face, like he was about to tell me something that I probably wouldn't like.
"She thinks it would be best for your safety if you stayed here through Christmas break," he said.
I was quiet for a few moments. "I was supposed to go with Rafe and Mitchie for the holiday."
He frowned. "You can owl them."
" . . . I guess I'll have to. I don't have any of my stuff though. Where will I sleep?"
"Your trunk will be flooed here under top security. You sleep just down the hall; this is my room."
I couldn't help but blush. I'd had no idea that I was sleeping in his bed. It looked so impersonal and not lived in, I had assumed that it was a guest room.
"Right, sorry. You have a, erm, comfortable bed," I said. And the award for most awkward response goes to . . .
He nodded with a slight smile and I began to get out of his bed again. Professor Malfoy stood up. "Really, a couple more hours won't hurt my bed. The house elves need to get your room ready for you anyways. I haven't had company in a long time . . ."
I just snuggled back into the bed and pulled the covers up to my chin, and he began to walk out.
"Wait," I said.
He turned around, one hand on the door.
"I just wanted to thank you, Professor Malfoy. I know you probably don't want one of your students boarding at your house, and I'm sorry you have to babysit me. I would also like to apologize for being so hard to deal with lately . . . I just -"
"Sid, please," he said, his voice sounding strained. I sat up once more to look at him. I didn't understand.
He walked over to me and pulled me into his arms for a hug. "You have absolutely nothing to be sorry for. You have done nothing wrong. I know you're going through a lot. It should be me apologizing. I realize it may be uncomfortable living here with me for a couple of days . . . but I'm glad to have you if it means you're protected, alright?"
"Okay," I said, hugging him back, enjoying the warmth. I suddenly felt awful for being mean to him earlier.
He let me go and began to walk out of the room again. "Get some sleep," he said before closing the door.
As I was drifting off into a much more restful sleep than before, I suddenly remembered where I wouldn't be going over Christmas break. Rafe would be so upset.