Chapter Six
A Healer's Hell

Harry opened his eyes and wondered if he’d gone blind. The world around him was completely dark. Then he realized that there was light coming in somewhere far down – underneath a door, perhaps?

He winced and groaned as he felt his hands bound tightly above his head with thick ropes.

“Someone there?”

Harry’s head whipped up as he heard the frightened voice.

“Mr Hanawalt?” he asked, thinking that he recognized the voice.

“Yes,” said the same person again. “Mr Potter?”

“Yeah,” Harry replied. “Are you all right?”

It was slightly annoying, not to be able to see the person he was talking to, but at least he knew that Mr Hanawalt was well enough to be awake and speaking.

“A bit sore and I think I was unconscious for a while,” Mr Hanawalt replied, “but I’m okay.”

“Good,” Harry said. A moment later he asked, “Do you know where we are?”

“I was hoping you could tell me.”

“Great,” Harry muttered.

He tried to feel around as much as he could. They seemed to be bound to a stone wall, most likely somewhere underground, for the wall felt cold and damp. The floor wasn’t much better, and Harry could hear water dripping somewhere. He didn’t care so much about the water – except for the fact that they could get a severe cold and then something worse – but he did mind the creepy-crawlies that were probably swimming around in there.

“Have you seen anyone else?” Harry asked.

“No, not since I woke up,” said Mr Hanawalt. “But the guys that came into the shop were wearing black robes and masks… Like some alternate version of Klux Klux Clan or something. They had sticks in their hands.”

Harry was surprised at how much Mr Hanawalt remembered from the short attack; he himself had hardly had time to register the Death Eaters. Of course, Mr Hanawalt didn’t know that that was what the masked people were. And the ‘sticks’? Wands, that was what they were, not sticks.

He cursed himself for being so stupid as to let his guard down while he was in the shop. If he’d been aware of the things around him, then they would probably not be here now. He’d had one thing to do, and he’d failed.

He’d failed completely.

Harry continued to feel his way around the small area he could reach, before he began tugging at the ropes, hoping that they would give just a little so he could get out. The least he could try to do was to get Mr Hanawalt out of this mess now.

“No use,” said a new voice that definitely didn’t belong to Mr Hanawalt. It was cold, low, almost like a whisper of death. “They’re magical ropes and wouldn’t give even if you cut them with a knife.”

“Who are you?” Harry growled.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” said the voice, “but I can’t tell you. At least not right now. My Master wouldn’t like it if I didn’t obey his orders.”

Harry wished he had his wand in his hand so that he could at least light the room and see the new person. It would be better.

Mr Hanawalt stayed silent at the other end of the room, Harry was glad to discover. It would do the man absolutely no good if he spoke.

“So what are your orders?” Harry asked, hoping to keep him talking. He wanted information, he wanted to understand why Mr Hanawalt had been taken, and more than anything, he wanted to stay alive.

“Keep you alive. He didn’t mind if you were a bit… bruised… but my Lord wanted you alive,” said the cold voice.

Voldemort didn’t mind if they were bruised? Now there was something Harry had absolutely no problem believing. The thing was that the Death Eaters’ idea of ‘alive’ tended to be different than the everyday person’s idea.

“Now, to make this more fun,” the voice said, “Lumos.”

Mr Hanawalt let out a gasp when he saw the black robed figure and the hideous mask. The Death Eater turned to him.

“You’re not showing respect!” he said loudly. “I’ll teach you respect! Crucio!”

Mr Hanawalt screamed as the curse hit him, and he turned back and forth in pain. The chains wouldn’t let him move much, though, and Harry could only see the spasms shooting through the man’s body. Harry felt a sharp pain go through his own body, burning him like fire from within. He bit his lip hard to not let out a cry of pain himself.

The Death Eater turned to Harry.

“You feel that, don’t you, Healer,” he said. “Harry Potter, the famous Healer. How easy it is to control you.”

He turned back to Mr Hanawalt and lifted the curse. “Now… Are you willing to co-operate a bit?”

The man looked terrified, from Harry to the Death Eater and back again. Harry nodded, saying he should go with him.

“Y-yes,” Mr Hanawalt whispered.

“Good. Release,” he said to the ropes, and they let go of Mr Hanawalt’s wrists. The man fell to the floor, his legs unused to the weight of his body. The Death Eater turned back to Harry again. “Now, Mr Potter, we will be moving you as well. I believe you will get some company. Some other… securities… assuring us that Mr Hanawalt will give my Lord what he wants.”

A feeling of dread settled into the pit of Harry’s stomach. It wasn’t possible that they had taken the Hanawalt family hostage – they were supposed to be protected! George, Fred, and that girl, Rhonda, were supposed to be watching over them…

“Your friends put up some… resistance I believe, but they were not much of a match. So, Mr Hanawalt, if you want to see your family alive again, I suggest you co-operate real nicely with my Master.”

Mr Hanawalt was shaking, but nodded. The Death Eater lifted him off the floor with magic, and walked out the room with Mr Hanawalt hanging a foot up in the air.

Harry watched them with wide eyes. He felt completely cold inside. If the Death Eaters had been able to take the Hanawalt family, then what had happened to their protectors? Were George and Fred and Rhonda dead? They couldn’t be… Yet it was very possible. Harry felt sick. This particular assignment had been supposedly easy – still, they seemed to have failed totally. And a family may well die for their mistakes.

Two new Death Eaters entered the room. They didn’t loosen the ropes around his wrists; they merely freed them from the wall. The magical ropes still held Harry’s arms above his head in an uncomfortable position where he had no possibility to reach his wand.

They didn’t say anything to him; the journey from one dark room to another was made in complete silence. In the little ‘hallway’, there were torches lit. To the left and the right were wooden doors, all closed. Spiders crawled down the walls, and Harry thought about Ron and how he would have hated this place. He was now certain that they were indeed underground. There were no windows anywhere, only wooden doors to other prisons, and water was running down the walls. The air felt clammy and cold, and Harry shivered as he walked.

The new room that they reached was a lot bigger than the last one. Several Death Eaters were moving about, talking quietly among themselves. Behind them, three Muggles were bound. The small girl, Riley, was crying, tears and dirt staining her face. She screamed for her mother, who was bound another ten feet away. Mrs Hanawalt seemed unconscious.

The little boy, Brian, stood on his sister’s other side, and was crying as well, but quietly.

“Shut up,” one Death Eater roared at the little girl, and slapped her across her cheek. The young girl shrank back. The tears continued to flow, but she wasn’t screaming anymore.

“Mum…” Harry heard her whisper.

The two Death Eaters leading Harry put him on Brian’s other side. They tightened the ropes and added ones around his ankles as well.

“And just to be sure that an accident won’t happen, I think I will take this,” the taller Death Eater said and took Harry’s wand from his belt. Harry struggled against the ropes to try and stop him, but the Death Eaters just laughed at his attempts before moving away from him.

Meanwhile, Riley’s cries had become louder again. One of the Death Eaters groaned. “Would someone please shut the bloody kid up?”

One of his friends muttered a curse at the girl, and suddenly, no sound came out of her mouth. Her hands clamped over her face as she noticed that she could no longer talk or scream, and the tears multiplied. Harry’s heart went out to the little girl, and he felt a burn around his own mouth.

Suddenly he began putting the clues together.

The burn in his body as the first Death Eater put the Cruciatus Curse on Mr Hanawalt… The burn around his mouth as Riley received the silencing curse… and two days ago when Draco had had his vision; Harry had fallen to the floor, not because Voldemort had been doing anything particularly bad – but instead because he could feel other people’s pain. Draco’s pain had been so strong that he’d shared part of the vision.

He was a Healer, and he felt other people’s pain.

When Draco had been in pain, he’d healed him without knowing. As soon as Harry had touched him, Draco had begun to calm down. He had wanted to stay close to Harry because it continued to heal him the whole time.

And on the very first day in this strange future, Harry had healed the bruise on Draco’s forehead and woken him from a coma.

He didn’t have to be nervous about how to heal another person; it was within him all the time. He guessed that Draco was the exact same way, although the blonde hadn’t realized it yet.

But what happened if he didn’t get to heal the hurt people around him? Harry soon realized that the other people’s pain made him weaker; he could feel the energy drain out of him. If he didn’t either heal these Muggles, or get out of the room, then he would grow continually weaker and weaker. He didn’t want to think about what would happen if the Death Eaters decided to put the Cruciatus Curse on the children. He doubted they would be able to take it for very long.

The mother was stirring, he saw. The Death Eaters caught the movements immediately and moved towards her.

Harry prayed they weren’t going to do what he thought they had in mind.

She screamed when she saw the Death Eaters, and then screamed again as she saw her crying children. She begged for mercy for her children, and Harry had to admire the way she didn’t beg for herself. A mother’s love, Harry thought, and his mind wandered briefly to his own mother, who’d given her life for him.

The Death Eaters gathered around the woman. “Imperio,” one of them said, and suddenly she fell silent.

“Come with me,” the same Death Eater continued.

“Yes,” she said and walked behind him through the door and out of sight. Three other Death Eaters followed, and Harry closed his eyes and wished he were deaf. Moments later, he could hear the woman scream as the Death Eater had lifted the curse, and they began doing what they wanted with her. Harry felt the pain in his lower regions, and he knew exactly what they were doing to her. Since she was further away the pain wasn’t as strong, but the knowledge of what they were doing was more than enough. It made him want to throw up.

The children had fallen silent when their mother had followed the black-cloaked figures out the door. They listened with tears glistering on their cheeks and wide, fearful eyes to their mother’s screams.

“Mummy…” Brian whispered. “Mummy come back…”

Harry thought it was closer to an hour before the Death Eaters returned Mrs Hanawalt to the prison cell. She looked pale and sick, her cheek was swollen and coloured black. Her clothes were torn. Harry felt the pain radiating off her so strongly he could almost touch it, and he fought not to be sick.

“Mum!” Brian cried as he saw her, but both he and his sister had now been bound and could no longer move. He fought against the ropes, but only earned the Death Eaters’ laughter.

“Sit down,” Mrs Hanawalt said softly, brokenly, and her son obeyed her.

“Where’s Dad?” Brian asked a few minutes later. His voice was small and scared.

Mrs Hanawalt looked at him, but didn’t say anything. Harry understood her; what could she say, really? ‘Your dad is talking to these madmen and hopefully they’ll let us go if he gives them what they want.’ Harry doubted she even knew that much about this whole operation. He didn’t think she knew that there actually was a reason behind the kidnapping.

“Your dad is talking with our Master,” said one of the Death Eaters.

“About what?” Brian asked.

“That, boy, is none of your business,” the same Death Eater said coldly. “Now sit down and shut up or I’ll do with you as I did your sister.”

Brian shot a frightened look at Riley, whom was still unable to talk. He shrank back and didn’t say another word.

They waited. Harry felt the hours go by, and he was getting exhausted. The pain and the fear radiating off the Hanawalt family was making him weaker by the minute. Especially the mother; she seemed to be having some other pain than just the visible ones. Harry wondered what the Death Eaters had done to her besides ‘just’ raping her. He knew he didn’t really want to know.

Harry wondered if it was night or day outside. Then he wondered where his friends were. Were the twins still alive? Or had the two redheads given their lives trying to protect the Hanawalt family?

Had Dumbledore set out another operation to try and find the Hanawalts and Harry? Or did they believe him to be dead already, and that the Hanawalts were lost? He felt sick at the thought. Still, he couldn’t help but hope.

He wondered where Draco was. Was he safe? Was he out looking for Harry? The Boy Who Lived was slightly surprised at the concern he felt for the young Slytherin. Then he shrugged and realized that it was only natural after being with Draco for days on end. He counted in his head and realized that the ‘days on end’ were only ten. It was only ten days since Harry woke up in this strange future. What a bunch of trouble he managed to get into in that short amount of time…

Harry’s thoughts ended abruptly as a door on the side of the room was slammed open. Two Death Eaters were leading a third, hunched figure between them. Harry gasped as he realized that the figure was Mr Hanawalt. He looked broken, like a child’s toy played with for all too long. He was bleeding from cuts and bruises all over his face and his body, and he could hardly walk, yet the Death Eaters forced him to.

The pain radiating from the man broke down the last of Harry’s walls.

He lurched forward as much as the ropes would allow and threw up.

Several of the Death Eaters laughed cruelly as Harry tried to stand up again, his legs failing him. He hung limply in the ropes, and watched bleary-eyed as the Death Eaters pulled Mr Hanawalt to a stop about ten feet away from Harry.

"Now," said one of the Death Eaters, “I would like you to show us how to use this beauty.”

He held up a gun in front of Mr Hanawalt and the deadly pale man nodded. “All right.”

The Death Eaters laughed amongst themselves, and Harry got a bad feeling in his stomach.

“I want you to show us… on Mr Potter here,” drawled the Death Eater.

Mr Hanawalt dropped the gun in shock. “N-no, I – I can’t…”

“Oh but you can,” said another Death Eater. “After what you told us, all you need to do is pull the trigger. And you’re supposed to be a good shooter – to hit Mr Potter from this distance shouldn’t be too hard.”

“N-no,” Mr Hanawalt stammered.

“Y-yes,” the Death Eaters mocked him.

Mr Hanawalt looked up at Harry, his eyes asking what to do. Harry just motioned for him to do it. Hopefully, it wouldn’t kill him, though Harry knew better than to really believe that. Any wound would kill him, given enough time down here.

“And don’t even think about trying to shoot us,” one of the Death Eaters told him. “We’ve got protective spells around us, and the bullets will only bounce off – perhaps on your children…”

Mr Hanawalt looked as though he was about to cry, as he looked at his children. Both were crying, though no sound came from the little girl. Brian knew better than to actually call for his father. Their mother looked at her husband, eyes filled with fear and horror.

One of the Death Eaters hit Mr Hanawalt in the back with a curse, and the man fell to the floor.

“Get up!” the Death Eater screamed. “Don’t lie there all day; we’ve got better things to do.”

Mr Hanawalt picked himself up painfully from the floor. He groaned, and held one hand to his side. Harry felt pain in his ribs, and knew that one or two of Mr Hanawalt’s were broken.

“Now show us,” continued the same Death Eater once the Muggle was standing. “Shoot his heart,” he said. “Or you’ll die within the next five seconds.”

Mr Hanawalt looked apologetically at Harry, his eyes wide with fear. ‘I’m sorry,’ he mouthed and Harry gave him what he hoped was a reassuring look. The Death Eaters were all watching with great interest, as Mr Hanawalt picked the gun up. His hands were badly shaking as he took aim at Harry, but Mr Hanawalt willed them to still.


A shot rang off, and Harry’s world exploded in pain.

The bullet sat right above his heart, and blood was gushing out of the wound. The pain spread like fire through his already weakened body, and the world began to swim before his eyes. He heard metal falling to the floor, and low voices cackling evilly. Mr Hanawalt was thrown to the side, and a Death Eater pointed the gun at Harry again. He was mildly aware of another gunshot, and more pain, this time from his right side, below his ribcage.

Then there was shouting, he thought. Loud voices… or perhaps it was just the Death Eaters’ continued talk, but magnified in Harry’s throbbing head…? He didn’t know anymore. He could feel his own blood trickle down his shirt, and the world became more and more unfocused. It was one big blur; mostly dark…

And there were the voices… They sounded familiar…

Someone told him to hold on, he thought, though he didn’t really know. He might as well be dead; he couldn’t tell anymore. The pain lessened slightly, and warmth surrounded him as he finally surrendered to unconsciousness.

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