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Harry leaned back against the bar and took another sip of his drink as he watched Deus hunt for his next prey…hunt…that was the perfect word to describe what he did. He winked at the two death eaters who were watching him…Voldemort had insisted that he wasn't allowed to go anywhere alone. He swirled the colourless liquid in his glass and thought about the last week. Everything had returned to normal…He'd started going back to the ministry and Voldemort and him had settled back into peaceful co-existence. No one noticed that Rabastan was gone…no one thought about him…no one mentioned him and here he was…he saw Rabastan in every face he saw…his voice echoed inside his head all the time and his memories just wouldn't stop playing in his mind…. there was an insistent ache in his chest that never left…He took another sip of his drink and grimaced. He remembered how special it had tasted that day with Rabastan. Now, it was tasteless, flavourless…utterly bland…just like everything else…
It seemed Deus had found his victim. The guy currently groping him and leering at him looked like he was going to devour him. Harry pitied the guy because in the end, he was going to be the one getting devoured. Deus was blushing coyly as the man slid a hand underneath his shirt. He looked away and took another sip of his drink. He still hadn't paid a visit to Bella and Nicholai…Maybe tonight…He downed his drink in one and turned around to snap his fingers at the bartender. His glass was refilled almost immediately and he took another sip. He coughed again and again…It had been getting worse over the past week.
He put his glass down and rose to his feet. He made it to the bathroom and was relieved that the two death eaters didn't follow him and that the bathroom was vacant. He locked it up, dropped the sword and coughed again with sudden and unexpected force. He leaned down over the sink and coughed over and over again until the white marble of the sink was stained with his blood. There was no end in sight and it only got worse, and he gulped down a few cupped handfuls of water to settle it enough to let him breathe.
Harry gripped the edge of the sink, but it did nothing to save him from collapsing, or hitting his head on the way down. His ears were ringing too loudly. He tried to stop coughing but it was next to impossible and each cough brought his head closer to splitting open and his body one step closer to breaking down. Dark spots danced at the edges of his vision and he would have cursed if he could have. He wasn't going to die…No…Not now…Not ever. Another coughing fit seized him and this one sent a searing pain into his diaphragm and stomach. It felt like his insides were burning up with pain and bleeding out. Savage fiery bursts of pain pulsated through his chest and stomach, intensifying with each cough, jarring and brutal. Every time he coughed the pain amplified, his body quivered, his consciousness ebbed. Black mists swirled at the edges of his mind drawing him into sweet oblivion. He curled up as tight as he could on the tiled floor and tried to fight the darkness that was slowly engulfing him. He couldn't pass out…not here...But he knew he was fighting a losing battle and soon enough he was completely consumed by it.
Screams…They reverberated around the hall as he looked down at the source of them… the two bodies writhing on the floor at his feet…
"WHERE THE HELL IS HE?"
He cancelled the curse with a flick of his wand and leaned down over them,
"Where is he? Where is Harry?"
One of them…Travis… raised his head and rasped out,
"He went to the restrooms and…"
He rested his foot on the small of his back and spoke,
The man cried out as he pushed his foot down,
"He wasn't there when we went to check up on him."
He kicked him hard and put them both under the cruciatus as he paced the hall. He could see his death eaters cowering in fear as he walked past them. Where had he disappeared to? Had he been kidnapped again? No…No…His heart lurched at that possibility. He turned around and cancelled the curse once again,
"Was Deus Miller present with him?"
That bloody musical voice he hated so much spoke up in a soft, timid manner,
"I…I was there, Sir, but I didn't accompany him to the restrooms."
He looked around at that damned cherubic face and those blue eyes brimming with tears. He had asked Harry about him three days ago and Harry had told him that Deus had worked as a bartender at that gay club in Knockturn Alley. Harry's story had turned out to be true because he had carried out a very thorough background check on him. He shook away those thoughts and stepped closer to him. Deus practically cowered and stuttered,
"I…I…d…don't know where he went…"
He gripped his chin and looked into the depths of those blue irises. What he saw confirmed his claims and he released him. Lucius spoke in a low voice,
"My Lord, he may have apparated."
He spun on the spot and was holding Lucius's face in a tight grip,
"Do you consider me a fool, Lucius. He did not have a wand."
Lucius bowed his head and murmured,
"Forgive me, My Lord."
He released his face and addressed all his death eaters,
"I want him found and I want him here before dawn. Is that understood?"
He watched as everyone bowed and disappeared. He disapparated and appeared in Rabastan's home. The sheets were ruffled and Harry's clothes were strewn all across the room. He picked up the discarded shirt and breathed in Harry's familiar scent. He sat down on the bed and fisted the shirt. Harry wasn't fine. Wherever he was, he wasn't fine. A thousand images of Harry bound, chained, tortured crossed his mind and his heart cried tears of blood. He shouldn't have let him go…But Harry was so damn convincing when he wanted to be…Well, he should have gone with him. He should have stayed with him. He shouldn't have trusted his incompetent death eaters with something as important as Harry's safety. He should have known that something like this would happen. Maybe it was time he paid Dumbledore a visit. But what if Dumbledore didn't have Harry?
He looked around the room and closed his eyes. Harry usually spent his days at the ministry and his nights here. He ran his hands over the sheets. He only came here when Harry was asleep. There was something magical about Harry when he slept. All his defences were down and there was none of that cold demeanour that Harry wore when he was awake. His expressions were unguarded and he saw a glimpse of that old, innocent Harry. He had to find him. He had to find Harry.
"Tom, my boy. I cannot say that I was pleased to see your message."
His name grated on his nerves and he crossed his arms over his chest and watched as Dumbledore took a step closer to him,
"Do you have him?"
Dumbledore arched a silver eyebrow but his blue eyes twinkled with understanding,
"Him? You must be more precise than that."
He breathed in the cool night air and spoke,
"Harry. Do you have him?"
Dumbledore laughed softly and spoke,
"Has he finally managed to escape from you as well?"
He didn't want to go there…but what if Dumbledore was right. Harry had always talked about leaving. What if he'd really left? According to Travis, there hadn't been any signs of a struggle. If someone had attempted to kidnap Harry, then he would have most probably raised hell with his sword…He wouldn't have given in quietly. And if Harry had truly been subdued and kidnapped then his sword would have been left behind because no one could touch it except him. Dumbledore spoke again,
"Judging from your face, he has, hasn't he?"
He just couldn't bear being around Dumbledore anymore. He disapparated without a word and appeared outside the gay club. It had been closed off by the death eaters after Harry's disappearance and in the blink of an eye, he was standing in the restroom, trying to figure out how Harry could have just vanished. There were no windows and the only entrance and exit was that one door he had just walked in through. Almost everyone had seen Harry go in. No one had seen him come out. There had to be something…some clue… Magic always left traces. He waved his wand and waited for them to show but aside from some insignificant smudges, there was nothing. It was apparent that Harry or his supposed kidnapper hadn't apparated. That would have left a huge trace. The possibility that Harry might have left on his own was growing stronger by a minute but even though all evidence pointed to it, it didn't settle well with him. Harry hadn't left willingly and he wasn't fine.
Who else could have taken Harry? According to Harry, Bella and Nicholai were locked away somewhere. And apart from them and Dumbledore, he had no visible adversaries. He walked out of the restrooms and paced the club as his mind once again forced him to consider the possibility that Harry had left. That couldn't really be possible…Maybe he was just thinking that because he was blindfolded by everything he felt for Harry. But Harry had genuinely started warming up to him over the course of the past week. He had felt Harry's affection, seen a softer and warmer side of him. It had been beautiful and it had felt real…seemed real…Harry couldn't have been faking it. A death eater made his way towards him and bowed his head,
"Any sign of him?"
The death eater shook his head timidly and murmured reverently,
"Not yet, My Lord."
He dismissed him with an impatient wave of his hand as he felt his heart sink. He had no idea where Harry was and no possible way to track him. He had no idea how he was and whether or not he was still alive…He buried his face in his hands as his stomach twisted into knots and it felt like the world tilted on its axis. Where the hell had that thought come from? No…Harry couldn't be dead…He just couldn't be dead…He had been driven to suicide after his Godfather's death. What if? No…No…Harry just couldn't commit suicide. Fear devoured him and devastated him and it became all the more imperative to find Harry as soon as possible.
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