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Harry studied the stack of potions books and pulled one from the top. He had a feeling that he would be here for a while. He might as well learn something while he waited. Not that he would be needing that knowledge anymore but doing something was better than sitting idly. Harry made his way back to the supplies room and sat down in his well concealed corner.
Harry applied the healing salve to his hand and wrapped it with the piece of cloth again. He leaned back against the wall and opened the book. Harry wondered about his OWLs result. Well, he would have dropped potions even if he had planned to return to Hogwarts. He couldn't have put up with Snape for two more years. Harry looked down at the open potions book in his lap and closed it.
He hated his situation. Trapped here with no way out, he was worse than a rat. No, he wasn't. This was just momentary. He would get out of here. At least he wasn't in those wretched restraints anymore. Harry decided that he was thinking too much and opened the book again to distract himself.
He had just read through the first few pages when he realized how oddly quiet it had become. There were no more thundering footsteps overhead and no more noise. Had Voldemort called off the search? Was this the silence before the storm? Harry just hoped that Voldemort himself wouldn't search for him because Voldemort would leave no corner unchecked. Harry was just lost in those thoughts when he heard approaching footsteps.
He felt his heart beating out of control as they grew nearer. Harry prayed that they were not directed towards the potions lab. His hopes came crashing down when he realized that they were directed his way.
Harry pushed the book over the shelf and laid down on his belly to hide. The footsteps drew nearer and Harry saw a pair of black shoes from under the shelves. They were coming towards the supply room. He was going to get caught. His heart was lodged in his throat. Afraid that a single sound might sell him out. Harry's first instinct was to knock out whoever it was so that they wouldn't run to Voldemort upon finding him but he struck down that idea. Whoever it was, they hadn't spotted him yet. Maybe they wouldn't spot him at all.
Harry heard the person curse and recognized the voice. It was Draco. Harry had never hated anyone more than he hated Draco…well maybe he hated Snape more but the point was that he hated Draco a lot. He had no doubt that the opportunistic bastard would have no qualms about selling him to the Dark Lord. Harry was too absorbed in his thoughts to notice that the footsteps were retreating. He breathed out a sigh of relief when they disappeared completely
Voldemort sat back in this throne and leisurely sipped from the wine glass, held between his slender fingers. He observed the figure kneeling before him with distaste. The Malfoy scion was as useless as his parents. He finally inquired,
"Are you absolutely certain that you do not have any pain-relieving potions in stock?"
The Malfoy trembled pathetically and spoke,
"Yes, my lord. I have checked."
Voldemort dismissed him with a wave of his hand,
"I am hugely disappointed in you, Draco. Get out of my sight before I curse you."
Draco scurried out of the room. Voldemort leaned back in his seat and petted Nagini's head,
"I am afraid that you must endure the pain. I am certain that you shall think twice before devouring a human whole."
He looked down at the contents of his wine glass and wondered where Harry was hiding. No matter, they boy was still confined in these walls and he would not be able to get out. He chuckled darkly and took another sip of his wine. There was nowhere that Harry could run to now. There was a knock on the door and he spoke,
Rodolphus and Rabastan entered the hall and bowed. Rodolphus spoke,
"Master, we have searched every corner of the Manor. Regrettably, there is no sign of the boy."
Voldemort signalled them to rise and gestured Rabastan to speak,
"Rodolphus is correct, my lord. Maybe the boy has managed to leave the Manor."
Voldemort tossed the glass towards them and it crashed in front of them, shattering into a thousand tiny pieces. The brothers winced and stepped back,
"Are you implying that I have made a mistake, Rabastan? That, maybe, I have underestimated the boy's potential. Do you believe that the boy has managed to hoodwink me again?"
Rabastan crashed on his knees and spoke,
"No, my lord. Never. Surely you are the greatest of all."
Voldemort hummed in approval and spoke,
"The boy is within these walls. There is no doubt about that. Let him play his games. Let him enjoy his illusion of freedom. He is destined to lose and he shall return in my captivity. Be gone now."
The brothers left the hall at an impossible pace. Voldemort looked at Nagini and spoke in parseltongue,
"You shall find him when I order you to. For now, I wish to lure him into a false sense of security."
Voldemort chuckled again. He had not felt this much exhilaration in a long time.
Harry was tired of reading. How many hours had it been? He was certain that Voldemort had abandoned his search for him? Maybe they were searching outside the manor now. He wished that it was true. He really just wanted to get out of this place now. But he couldn't let his restlessness destroy everything. He was walking on very thin ice here and one wrong move would cost him everything. Well everything was mainly his freedom. He really didn't have much to lose. Harry felt the pain-relieving potion in his pocket and felt reassured. At least he was prepared if Voldemort decided to assault him through his scar again.
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