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Chapter 8: The Secret is Out!
Molly Weasley was dreaming. She was at Kings Cross Train Station and was there to send her Son Ron off to Hogwarts for the first time. A tiny boy overheard them talking and asked for help getting through the barrier. They showed him how to get to Platform 9 3/4 and soon all were there. She noticed a girl with bushy brown hair leaning out of one of the cars, waving to what Molly guessed were her parents. 'Odd I don't remember her then. I guess my mind was on other matters.'
Neville and Luna passed by Molly on their way to another meeting. Minutes ago he had used the enchanted galleon again to summon the DA members. He asked them to meet in the Room of Requirement at 9. They stopped their whispering until they had safely passed out of the Hospital Wing. As they climbed the stairs to the seventh floor they began to talk again.
"Neville how much can we say to them? We need to tell them something" Luna asked.
"Luna we promised not to reveal too much. They trust us not to. In their position I'm not sure what I would say to who" he replied. He walked three times past the hidden entrance which magically appeared and opened for them. It was laid out like for their DA meetings with soft cushions spread around the room. Voices were heard coming and soon their friends arrived.
"Uh oh" Luna said. Mixed into the middle were Angelina Johnson and George Weasley.
"We both felt the summons. I thought this might help him" she whispered to Neville as they passed.
"Now what do we do?" Neville asked Luna.
"We go with the plan. He has to find out sometime" she replied. "Thank you everyone for coming. How are things downstairs?"
"Good. Our little friends were taken to the dungeon" Hannah replied. She was sitting next to Neville and wondered why he was so quiet. 'Did he regret kissing me? Does he like Luna better?'
Sensing she was thinking about him Neville reached out and put his arm around her. She snuggled closer grateful his feelings had not changed in so short a time.
"Something terrible has happened and we need your help. But before we say what it is we want to remind everyone about our rules. DA business stays DA business no matter what. Agreed?" Neville asked each. He looked from person to person. Even George was now listening intently wondering what else might have happened.
"As all of you know Harry, Ginny, Hermione, and Ron went for a walk earlier. Something needed to be finished. Does everyone remember the wand Harry caught when he killed Voldemort?" Luna asked. "That was the Headmaster's. Harry put it back and fixed the white marble tomb which was broken into to steal it."
"After it was done they were attacked. All four of them are badly hurt and are in the Hospital Wing as we speak" Neville added.
"How badly?" George asked. He hoped what he was thinking was wrong, that his brothers were responsible.
"Each are hurt differently. We were asked not to discuss any more. There are two things we are asking of you. First we will be responsible for their security. We will make up four teams to guard where they currently are. Second the rest will stay and help the Headmistress with the Castle. With all the Dark Magic being tossed about a little extra help may be needed" replied Luna.
"I want to see them" George quietly said.
"No one is being allowed in until they are better. The Minister and the Headmistress are aware of everything and are investigating personally. Once they are finished we will know more" Neville cryptically answered. He saw George want to say more but decided against it. He guessed his family was involved in which case there was no way they would let him in.
"Neville where will you be?" Hannah asked as she squeezed his hand tighter.
"If you want Neville you can take the guard details and I can handle the Castle cleanup?" asked Luna. She could see how Hannah and Neville should be together. And that he would need her to lean on.
"Good idea. Could maybe Justin, Tony, Susan, Ernie, Terry, and Padma help us? The rest get with the Headmistress. If Seamus or Dennis come back let them help too" Neville asked. "Can you take the first watch with me?"
"Absolutely" Hannah replied pulling him closer. 'This has to be tearing him up inside. They are best friends. How badly are they hurt that they aren't here to tell us?'
With a flash Kreacher apparated into the Room of Requirement, interrupting George's attempts for more information. With him were four other House Elves. "Good evening students. Thank you all for coming and for your help. I will be assisting those who will be the ones guarding. Winky will be assisting Mistress Lovegood, the Headmistress, and Mrs. Weasley with repairing the Castle. Before we set out for our assignments do any of you have any questions? Yes Miss Chang?"
Cho Chang had her hand raised. "Yes. I would like to help guarding them. Can I do that instead?"
"Perhaps later Miss Chang. To start with can we go with the groups as they are set up?" He did not want to hurt her feelings by telling her Ginny did not want any ex's after what happened with Dean. And she remembered last night how Cho wanted to be the one to guide Harry to the Ravenclaw Common Room. Fortunately Ginny was quicker suggesting Luna be the one. Kreacher saw Cho nod so he continued. "This is a very difficult situation we are all facing. We must keep this secret until they tell us otherwise."
"Kreacher can you give us any more information about how they are?" asked Angelina Johnson for George.
"Mistress Johnson Kreacher has promised all four of them not to" he replied. He heard sighs of relief with them interpreting all four wished this, or in other words all four were alive. He saw Neville glance quickly at Luna, knowing Harry was in no position to talk.
The DA separated into two groups with Luna and Winky discussing how best to help the Headmistress. It was decided to head for the Great Hall and find either Minerva or Augusta Longbottom and offer their services.
Neville outlined what he wished also. They decided to work in six hour shifts with two DA members and one House Elf forming a team. He, Hannah, and Kreacher would start immediately. The next group consisting of Susan Bones, Ernie McMillan, and another House Elf would meet them at 5am.
Angelina took George aside as the two groups were formed. She saw how white his face turned and thought he was going to pass out. The Room provided a couch for them to sit on and she cast the 'Muffalato' charm so they could talk.
"Angie I think I brought this on" George shaking told her.
"But how George? You don't know what happened!"
"Then where are Bill and Charlie? Fleur asked me to watch for them and I am afraid it was them" he said as he began to sob.
"George Weasley we have known each other for how long? No one in their right mind would have attacked them. No it has to be Death Eaters" she tried to convince him. Or maybe herself because deep down inside she agreed with him. Except for Mr. Weasley all of them flew off the handle very easily. Did an argument start which escalated into a fight? That seemed more possible then an attack from behind. "I think we should help too. That is if you are up to it." George nodded and they went up to Luna to ask.
After the 'Castle Crew' left Neville explained where they needed to go. Silently they made their way down from the seventh floor, and eventually into the Hospital. Their group moved quietly between the beds and entered Poppy's Office. Ron and Ginny were waiting. Kreacher had brought them fresh clothes (he had gone to the Burrow and removed everything of theirs, Hermione's, and Harry's) and Poppy had spent a few minutes on each to begin the healing process. In Ginny's case she looked almost normal, but Ron clearly was not. His face and left hand was still badly swelled and he was dozing he was so tired. As they entered he leaped to his feet, wand drawn. Ginny did the same.
"You have nothing to fear Mistress Ginny or Master Weasley" Kreacher told them as he stepped in front.
"Thanks for coming. And helping" Ron said as he slumped back into his chair.
"Ron you get some sleep. We are here to help" Terry Boot told him.
"We're about to go lie down now. We wanted to be here to thank you" Ginny stated. Her eyes were closing as she spoke.
"Neville, Kreacher, and I have the first shift. At 5 Susan and Terry will be here. So please go rest. Harry and Hermione need you at your best" Hannah replied.
"Thanks Hannah" Ginny said as she tried to smile thinking about how cute they looked together. She made a mental note to tell Hermione that tomorrow.
"The entrance is charmed so only specific people can enter without permission. If you can make sure no others do or try to we can focus on making them better" Ron added as he and Ginny apparated into the special Room. While waiting they decided it was better for them not to know there is a direct entrance.
Hannah, Neville, and Kreacher said goodnight as the others headed to bed. "Neville don't worry I won't push you to tell me more" Hannah said as she settled into the couch next to him.
Neville looked at her and realized in the future it would be impossible to keep secrets from her. "Hannah I wish I could."
"Mistress Long ... err Abbott Kreacher wishes he was allowed to say more. He trusts you as Master Longbottom does. You are very worried about them and that is for good reason."
Both Neville and Hannah blushed at Kreacher's slip of the tongue. 'Does he see us together in the future?' they both thought as they looked at each other and blushed even more. The night flew by as they shared stories about the last seven years. Just before 5 they heard voices as Susan and Terry came in.
* * *
Molly awoke and saw it was still dark. Snoring in the adjacent bed was her husband. 'How long have I been out?' she wondered. Percy was in the bed on the opposite side and she carefully slipped out the pocket watch from his vest pocket. "Almost 5am? No wonder Arthur's sleeping so well" she whispered. At the opposite side of the room she heard people softly talking. She tried to ignore them and go back to sleep.
"Terry did you think of anything last night?"
"No Susan I didn't. Ernie and I sat up trying to figure this out. As the saying goes they were minding their own business when they were attacked."
"I'm glad Hagrid saw it happen. Imagine Terry if he hadn't" Susan said as she passed in between Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. In the almost total darkness she did not know it was them.
Molly was holding her breath pretending to be asleep. Her hands were clenched under the covers as she tried to contain herself.
"Susan I'm glad they trust us" Ernie replied as the voices grew fainter as they walked away. Molly's eyes were now open and she observed them enter Poppy's Office. Cautiously she crept up and pressed her ear to the door, silently wishing for one of the twin's extendable ears.
"Terry you look tired" she heard a muffled voice say.
"Not as tired as you two. How did things go after we left?" wondered Terry.
"Great. It was really quiet. Ginny and Ron didn't come out. So I hope they are still asleep. They need it" Hannah answered.
Upon hearing her children's names Molly burst in. For a fraction of a second she considered waking up Arthur and Percy but she chose not to. "WHERE ARE THEY?? WHERE ARE MY CHILDREN???" she bellowed as the door crashed open.
"Not here" Neville responded making her stop in her tracks. He, Hannah, Susan, and Terry stood shoulder to shoulder preventing her from going any further.
"DON'T YOU DARE LIE TO ME NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM!!! MY CHILDREN ARE IN HERE SOMEWHERE!!" she continued to yell.
"Do you see anyone else here?" Hannah asked refusing to budge.
"NO BUT I KNOW THEY ARE HERE!!!" she kept screaming.
"Molly what is it? Are the kids in here?" a bleary eyed Arthur wondered. He was startled from a dead sleep by his wife.
"Mother I can't see them" Percy added. He was taller so he could look around the small space very easily.
"I HEARD THEM!! THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT GINNY AND RON BEING HURT!!!" Molly yelled again.
Kreacher had gone into the secret room to check on his charges. As the voices got louder he apparated into the Office hoping the yelling did not wake them. He snapped his fingers and the wands the three Weasley's held appeared in his hand. "This is a Hospital not a schoolyard" he calmly said trying to defuse the situation.
"Why are they here?" Arthur questioned of the DA. Molly had shouted herself hoarse. He knew the Office was small too but maybe this was an apparition point?
With a flash another House Elf appeared. She talked to Kreacher in their language who promptly disappeared. Moments later he reappeared, this time behind the four Witches and Wizards. Holding his hands were Ginny and Ron.
"My babies" Molly croaked as she tried to go to them.
"NO" Neville firmly stated. He kept his wand trained on the parents of some of his best friends.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO??" Arthur demanded.
"Because that's what we asked them to do. Anyone uninvited or unwelcome is to be turned away" Ginny replied stone faced. She was extremely upset with her parents feeling like they were either behind this directly or did nothing to prevent it.
"Ginevra what do you mean?" Percy asked seeing both his parents unable to speak.
"She means your sons damn near killed all of us!!!" Ron yelled. He towered over the four in front of him so his parents and brother could see the bruises and scars on him.
"Son we don't understand." Arthur wondered.
Ginny mumbled something to Ron. "Are you sure????????" he asked his sister. She nodded and bent over to whisper to Kreacher. He too looked at her questioning what she wanted. "They need to know." She and Ron stepped forward and Kreacher snapped his fingers. Their appearances slowly changed. Susan, Terry, and Hannah who did not see them when they first arrived gasped.
"This is what your children did to us" Ron flatly stated. He gave them another minute to take it all in before squeezing Kreacher's hand. That was the signal to leave. Kreacher apparated them back into the room away from their parents. He returned them to 'normal' and they went back to Hermione's and Harry's bedsides.
Molly was demanding to know where they went when Kreacher returned. "Kreacher suggests you find the Headmistress or the Minister immediately. They have many questions to ask."
"Not until you tell us where you have taken them and where Bill and Charlie are" Molly responded.
"That is not Kreacher's decision to make" he answered in a monotone.
"We are not leaving until you give us some answers" Arthur replied. He was just as upset as his wife but better at keeping his composure.
Kreacher considered the situation. He did not want to hurt the Weasley's but they needed to go. Neville passed him a note and left with Hannah. They quickly ran to the Headmistress' Office and saw Minerva approaching. She was updated quickly and sent her patronus to Kingsley. He responded that he agreed so she sent hers to Kreacher. With a flash Molly, Arthur, and Percy appeared in her Office.
"Minerva they have my babies!!" she said pointing at Hannah and Neville.
"No they don't. You three please sit down. The others will join us shortly. Tea?" she calmly asked. She had known Molly since her school days and did not want to think the worst of her or her family, but she knew how impulsive they were.
The fireplace roared green flames and Kingsley stepped in. He looked down avoiding eye contact and poured himself a cup of tea. This spoke volumes to Arthur. It was going to get very messy.
There was a knock at the door and George, Angelina, and Fleur appeared. Each came in and sat refusing tea. Their stomachs were not up to it. Especially before 7am.
"Thank you all for coming. While I'm sure you wish me to get right to the point we need to cover some ground first. But to answer your questions yes all four are alive, and wish to be left alone until this sordid mess is straightened out. As the facts unfold I'm sure you will see why they feel this way."
Step by step Kingsley walked them through the Battle starting with seeing Hagrid holding Harry's body. Each took their turn saying who fought who, and things they saw. Their reminiscences ended with Voldemort's death.
"So George you say you and Miss Johnson were seated and did not see much of that?" Minerva wondered.
"Yes Headmistress. And what little we heard we didn't understand. Most of it was parselmouth" Angelina replied.
"Yes. I thought it was interesting Tom Riddle switched to that. I wonder if Harry realized it?' speculated Minerva.
"Probably not. Sometimes he used to speak in that when he was having nightmares" Neville added.
"George what happened after Voldemort died? How did you feel?" Kingsley asked.
"Mad. Very mad. Especially at Harry. I used every four letter word I could think of" he responded.
"He was yelling things like 'what took you so long!' Angelina stated. She chose not to repeat the worst, among them 'It should have been you not Fred !!'
"So Voldemort was dead. I saw Hermione, Ron, and Harry leave. I believe they went to visit with the Headmaster?" wondered Kingsley.
"Yes they did. We had a nice chat" Albus replied from his portrait. "I congratulated them and said how proud I was."
"I think we all share in that" Arthur added, wondering why his wife wasn't saying much.
"Harry showed me my wand and asked to return it. I told him it would be wise to do so" Albus continued. "To put it on display in the Trophy Room with some of the others would invite trouble. No putting it back and fixing the mess Tom made was best. And I was getting wet whenever it rained anyway."
Neville laughed at the Headmaster's joke in spite of himself. He felt Hannah squeeze his hand tighter that she agreed.
"Albus this is not getting me any closer to getting my children back" Molly growled.
"Molly I don't think you understand the gravity of the situation" he responded. "I can assure you they are safe. Far safer and in better shape than they were just a few hours ago."
"Now while they were up here I believe all of you were speculating on where they were all this time" Minerva prompted.
"Speculating? More like worrying" Molly heatedly responded. "Were they safe? Were they even alive?" she began, her voice rising.
"I can help you some. Two weeks ago they showed up at Shell Cottage. Hermione was badly hurt having been tortured for information. Luna Lovegood, Dean Johnson, Mr. Olivander, and a goblin named Griphook were with him. The Elf Dobby brought them but was killed as he did so. Harry buried him there. We helped them to plan to enter Gringotts. Something had to be retrieved from Bellatrix Lestrange's vault."
"Please wait a moment. Kreacher?" asked Minerva.
"Yes Headmistress?" he asked as he appeared.
"Fleur can you repeat yourself?" Kingsley asked.
After Fleur did she went on. "Bill and I both cautioned them on dealing with goblins. To be very careful. Griphook and the three of them left after two weeks staying with us."
"Kreacher the Goblins are quite upset. I do not know all the details but they are demanding a Meeting" The Minister told him. "Can you pass this on?"
"Kreacher will do so, and will help when the time comes. Over the centuries we have our own relationship with them" he replied.
"Thank you Fleur. Now I know the whole Family was sitting together around Fred's body. How was Bill doing?" questioned Kingsley.
"He was very mad. He had lost his brother. Everybody was at fault, including Harry. He blamed himself for not stopping them from going to Gringotts, thinking this brought Voldemort here" Fleur stated trying not to look at Molly.
"Snape told us at an Order Meeting he was coming it was just a matter of time. What else was everyone saying? Percy?" asked Minerva.
"We were all mad. Everyone was clustered around Harry congratulating him but my brother was dead! Why were they so happy?" he demanded.
"Happy that it was over! That they were alive, and their children had a future" Albus quietly answered. "No one was mocking the dead, or forgetting about them. No they were glad they themselves were alive."
"Minerva and I are attempting to learn not only what happened but why. Yes to answer your question Bill and Charlie are involved but how? To do this we are going to collect your memories from that night, starting with you Fleur. Could you, Neville, and Hannah remain please? Everyone else thank you for coming. Arthur you will let us know when?" Kingsley asked.
"Absolutely" he replied as he pulled Molly to her feet. She wanted to remain and was none too happy as Arthur pulled her to the door.