Chapter 55 - Waiting in the Wings

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Harry had, unsurprisingly, not been himself since the news of Hilde's kidnap had become clear. In class he was putting up a very good act for his students, but Draco was well aware that the fact he could not do anything was driving Harry crazy. The fact that none of the Order's resources had given them any useful information wasn't helping either.

That's why Draco got together with Professor Flitwick, Hermione and Seamus to come up with something that might help.

"We've got it," Draco said as he walked into their room on Thursday just before dinner.

"Got what?" Harry asked.

"The way to find Hilde and get the Order there before the D.E.s can move her again."

The way Harry's features brightened was quite stunning.

"How?"

"We've altered a tracing charm," he explained. "This one will now work long distance as long as it's on a willing host. It uses their magic to amplify the result. If we cast it on Snape before he is summoned it will show us exactly where he is on a map."

"Won't the Death Eaters have wards against things like that?"

"That's the really clever bit," Draco replied. "It pains me to admit this, but Seamus figured out how to make it look dark. If anyone spots anything it will look like Snape just has something nasty waiting for someone."

"That's clever," Harry said, "but then Seamus has spent most of his school life trying to make one thing appear to be another."

"He's an Irish idiot who I now owe a bottle of firewhiskey, but, in this case, he was inspired."

Harry stood up and Draco was not surprised when his soulmate embraced him.

"Thank you," Harry said.

"At least this we can do," Draco replied. "The rest will be up to Snape and the Order."

* * *

So far there was no word from the Order. Harry knew that they would be going into action soon and all he could do was pray that Hilde and her rescuers would be okay. Sirius and Remus were both part of the retrieval team, and he was finding it difficult to think of anything else. This was a problem, because he was supposed to be refereeing a friendly Quidditch match between Hufflepuff and Slytherin.

Since inter-house unity was an objective this year there were several matches arranged, usually on a Sunday afternoon as this one was, that did not count towards the cup in an attempt to promote friendly rivalry rather than the cutthroat attitudes of many previous years. Being assistant Professor, Harry had drawn the short straw to ref most of these friendlies while Madame Hooch was dealing with the main games.

He blew his whistle loudly as the roar from the crowd alerted him to the fact something had happened.

"Penalty to Hufflepuff," he called, so not a shock given how the game had gone so far.

The Slytherin contingent in the stands booed, but that wasn't much of a shock either. He was pretty sure the only reason they weren't taking pot shots at him was because he had the ability to take house points.

It had been a hell of a week waiting for any news. Harry felt ragged round the edges. Snape had been summoned late that morning. By all accounts the tracing spell Hermione, Draco and Professor Flitwick had come up with had worked perfectly. When Snape had cancelled the spell they knew he had finally reached the same location as Hilde. Before the match, Harry had been told the Order knew where Hilde was and were just waiting for confirmation of the lay of the land before moving in. He had not asked for more details; he didn't want to be able to do anything stupid.

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