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Never Leave Me by Burgosdamasco
Combat Aurors by Burgosdamasco
Chapter 4

Falling, Ginny felt herself falling....

Getting a handle on her bearings Ginny found herself in the midst of black cloaked figures moving in darkness through the dense forest. Camouflaged by the enveloping night, the soldiers moved silently. Draco stood next to her, holding her hand as they walked side by side with his memories.

"Watch your interval," barked the dark haired wizard leading the platoon of Aurors. He reached inside his cloak pocket, pulling out a picture of his young wife Ginny. Quickly he kissed it for good luck. "I love you Ginny." Harry whispered.

Ginny wanted to reach out and touch him, tell him that she loved him too. He was the Harry that haunted her memories. The young wizard who had defeated Voldemort twice, a now confident leader. Harry was full of hope, strength and dreams.

Most importantly he was her first love. Although she knew he couldn't hear, "Harry, I lo.. ." , Ginny caught herself before I love you could escape her lips. Ginny immediately glanced towards Draco. The last thing she wanted to do was hurt him. His face was blank and unreadable. Looking down, Ginny realized that she had removed her hand from his.

"Wands at the ready!" Ron whispered to the others noticing a disturbance within his peripheral view. He raised his arm 45 degrees and brought it palm down, signaling the wizards behind him to take cover.

Instinctively, Ginny ducked behind the nearest shrubbery,

"No one can see you Virginia." Draco drawled.

Ginny stood up, "I-I know. This just seems too..."

Draco finished, "Real? At one time it was."

Ginny wanted to close her eyes and leave this memory. She knew in a few hours Harry would be known to her as dead. In a few hours, Ginny herself would arrive on the scene. That night her heart would shatter in a million pieces.

She turned away from him hiding the tears that started to fall from her eyes. "Please Draco, I want to leave."

Draco answered her tersely, "No. You will observe so that you don't get any funny notions in your head that I'm with you because I contributed to Harry's disappearance." He put his hands on her shoulder in a possessive gesture. Draco's voice grated harshly, "Now watch!" he ordered her. Ginny obeyed.

****

"What do you see?" Harry asked, peering into the underbrush, muttering underneath his breath at the state of his piss poor vision.

"20-30 deatheaters, tops. It looks like they might be initiating new members. It's about 300 paces from here and another 100 to the mansion. Our contact believes that Bellatrix Lestrange and the remaining deatheaters are using it as their base of operation ." Ron read his map by moonlight. Using magic would foolishly give their location away. Voldemort was dead but evil was still very much alive and well.

Harry waved his hand forward, "Stay low!"

Low crawling 50 more paces, the platoon hid in the tall grass as they came to a clearing. Signaling for his third in command, Harry ordered, "I want you to scout this meeting."

Without hesitation, the muscular soldier hidden in the darkness gave a firm answer, "Yes sir!

The Auror medic observing the situation asked, "May I offer a suggestion,"

Harry raised his eyebrows, "Yes?"

"In my opinion Longbottom would be a poor choice, My advice is to send another Auror. It's my understanding that Longbottom may become too emotional due to the presence of Lestrange."

"Remember who is in command here." Harry said shooting a burning gaze at someone so bold as too stand up against a superior officer.

The medic returned with an icy reply, " My, My Potter. A little power hungry now are you? Happy to finally lord your will over me? "

"Watch your tone medic," Harry paused, then added slowly while clenching his wand tightly, "when addressing a superior."

Ron glared at the medic, " Were you trying to imply that Neville is incompetent?"

"Not at all. My concern is of another matter. Don't you agree that the safety of the Auror platoon should be a priority?" questioned the medic.

Angry groans arose from the rest of the Grimmauld Combat Auror Company, 1st platoon. This was not the first time conflict within the group occurred, it certainly wouldn't be the last.

"If we want your advice Malfoy, we'll ask for it!" Ron ground the words out between his teeth.

Grey eyes bored into the red haired wizard. The medic nodded, "As you wish."

"Unlike you," Ron faced Draco with wand drawn, clearly not finished with the conversation, " We volunteered for this. We care about what happens to our comrades and place full trust in our fellow Aurors."

"Believe what you want Weasley." Draco dropped his potions bag and pointed his own wand directly at Ron.

Neville interrupted forcing Ron and Draco's hands down, "Let's not waste time bickering amongst ourselves!" pointing to the faint light through the trees ahead, " That's our enemy!"

With only a touch of sarcasm, Draco admitted, "Longbottom, that's the most sensible statement you've ever said."

Harry affirmed, "I stand by my decision." turning to Neville, "Remember no magic unless absolutely necessary." Harry reminded him, "The element of surprise is our weapon."

Neville disappeared blending in with the foliage. Nothing could be heard but the rustle of leaves and faint sounds of wildlife.

A voice broke the silence, " Your dark lord is dead Malfoy, we'll be catching the rest of your friends tonight!"

A few bouts of laughter could be heard amongst the troops. Ignoring the rest of the platoon, Draco started preparing his healing potions. Twisting the bottles open with more force than he needed to, he broke a bottle, cutting his finger on a shard of glass. "Dammit!"

More snickering ensued. More comments and ridicule were followed by the junior Aurors.

"Stay in the back where you belong medic."

"Is it true your penniless, Malfoy? The Ministry took control of the sacred Malfoy vault?"

"That's what he gets for being a git."

"Ever been on the receiving end of a blanket party, ferret?"

"Payback time Malfoy. Payback time."

***

Ginny shook her head in dismay. She knew that Draco was given a rough time when he was assigned to Harry's platoon by Dumbledore. The extent of the abuse, she hadn't a clue. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be. I deserved it for being such an ass at Hogwarts. What's that muggle saying? " Draco released his grip on Ginny. He took a deep breath while clenching his jaw slightly, " Ah yes, What goes around comes around."


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