Chapter 5 : How cruel his Mother was
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They stood at the garden gate, Hermione was trembling next to Severus and he held her hand tightly, ebbing some strength into her, she needed it far more than him.
‘Ready?’ he asked, she took a long lungful of air, held it there for a few seconds and then breathed out, her shoulders sank back and she raised her head.
Severus let go of her hand and placed his on the small of her back instead, silently urging her forward.
She opened the door and walked in, Severus at her heals, he removed his hand as someone ran at her, Severus panicked as he reached for his wand, the unknown figure leapt on her and by the light seeping through the open front door he realized it was Harry.
He replaced his wand in the front of his robes while Harry pulled Hermione into a tight hug and then stood with his hands on her shoulders shaking her.
‘Where have you been!’ he said, his eyes were screwed tightly as if holding back tears, he might have been an insolent and arrogant child but he was not idiot enough to cry in front of her, he had slightly more tact the that.
Hermione stood silent.
‘I’m sorry’ he said as he pulled her into a more comforting hug ‘I didn’t mean to shout, I was just worried, you had disappeared before I got back and Ron…Ron’ he couldn’t say anymore so he pulled away.
His eyes found Severus’s, so Severus looked routinely at the wall behind him.
It was always so hard for Severus to look at him, it was easy to loath Harry, hate him and despise him as he looked so much like his father, but those eyes!
How cruel his mother was to give him her eyes, almond shaped and emerald green.
He sneered and began to pull Hermione towards the kitchen where the others were sat around the table with cups of tea and sandwiches.
‘Hermione’ they sang woefully in a chorus, Severus watched as they swarmed around her, like bees to honey they prodded and poked and concealed their tears and wrapped her in numerous embraces, none of which she returned.
Molly and Arthur, Bill and Fleur, Harry and Ginny, George, Percy and Charlie, Mad Eye, Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Hagrid and McGonagall all sat around the enlarged table. The room was so cluttered it looked less like a kitchen and more like a broom cupboard into which they all had miraculously squeezed.
Molly sat Hermione down next to her and tried to force food upon her, the rosy complexion she had this morning was gone, drained away, just like she had predicted, she was on her way to becoming a stone, but Severus vowed he would not let that happen.
He sat at the opposite end of the table, Harry glared at him with Lily’s eyes.
Severus ignored him and looked towards Hermione, her eyes turned to glass once again as she stared in horror at the table, listening to Molly, whose eyes were swollen and blood shot.
It was then that it dawned on Severus that this was where Ron’s body had lain, this was the spot where he died, and this was the very table that had pooled his blood while she was at his side.
‘Now we’re all here’ Mad Eye growled ‘we can get to business, last night… was a complete failure, as we all know’
His magical eye swiveled in Severus’s direction.
‘The plan caved, and a life was taken’ the room was still and silent ‘that life will not be forgotten, and it certainly will not go un-avenged!’
Molly muffled a sob as Arthur placed a hand on her shoulder.
‘Any news?’ he growled after a moment of silence.
‘He killed Crabbe’ Severus answered ‘he knew he gave away the location, other than that his plans are still the same now that they have infiltrated the ministry this bill will be easy to pass, the immediate and public execution of all registered muggle borns and imprisonment of their partners and family’
‘We won’t be able to stop the bill, that will be impossible with all of the corrupt members of the ministry’ came Kingsley’s deep voice.
‘Then we are going have to go for the kill, plan out another strategy to defeat Voldemort before the bill can be passed’ Harry said, waves of hatred seeping out of him towards Severus.
The table sat silently again, lost in thought, lost in doubt.
‘They will be expecting an attack at The Manor now’ Severus said ‘they’ve strengthened defenses, the only way we can get them is if we lure them out, get them out of the safety of the Solidatis Charm’
‘We only match their numbers, if we raid them we will need more people’ McGonagall piped up.
‘Recruitment!’ Moody growled ‘if we go for this then it will be the final battle, no more plans, no more strategies, we go all the way and don’t stop until he’s finished!’
‘A revolution will take weeks to compose, we need to do this now’ Harry said.
‘What about members of the ministry that haven’t been corrupted yet, we could tell them what we are going to do, surely they will fight with us?’ Ginny said, the only one out of the Weasley’s that looked remotely human in the wake of her brothers death.
‘Too risky, if anyone is caught talking about an uprising it would be execution with the muggle borns’ Kingsley said.
‘What if we went back to Hogwarts?’ Harry asked looking at McGonagall.
She gave him a watery smile but shook her head.
‘We couldn’t, remember what happened last time, it was a failure, all those bodies… I’ll never forget it’ McGonagall gulped and closed her eyes.
Severus looked over to Hermione, she was still staring at the table, she looked very pale and quite suddenly she stood up and left the room heading for the bathroom down the hall. Harry’s gaze followed her too.
Would it be stupid to follow her, make sure she was ok, it would fuel the backstabbing whispers, not to mention strengthening Harry’s evident jealousy and loathing for Severus stealing her away.
No, he would stay, the Order needed a plan, and so far, Harry’s idea had been the better of them all.
‘I think Hogwarts would lure them away’ Severus said and Harry stared at him in disbelief.
‘We can take out the Carrow’s first, they will be easy to get rid of, then we just need to deal with Dolohov, he will be in the headmasters quarters, we can send the students home, and any that wish to stay and fight will be welcome’ McGonagall’s eyes began to water ‘I know that plan didn’t work the first time, but we had no time to plan and I couldn’t help you because you all suspected me a death eater, this has a chance’ Severus urged.
All the eyes around the table were on his now, Harry was nodding.
‘We need some bait’ Mad Eye piped up, and the eyes that had fallen upon Severus quickly turned to Mad Eye instead. None wishing to volunteer and none wishing to give their suggestions.
‘I’ll do it’ Harry said, a defined tone of demand in his voice. All eyes fell on him, and Ginny placed a hand on the top of his arm, the look in her face so stern Severus thought she could burn holes into his very soul.
After three hours the plan was decided and they left the kitchen at last, Severus went to find Hermione, she was sitting on the steps just outside the door, she was shivering in the cold breeze that now blew from the hills in the distance.
He peeled off his cloak and wrapped it round her shoulders, she smiled at him and turned her gaze back to the hills.
‘We’re all finished here now, so I think I’m going to go’ he said still looking at her, her eyes fell to the floor and her brow furrowed.
He got to his feet and began to walk down the path.
‘Wait!’ Hermione shouted as she got to her feet, his cloak fell to the floor.
Severus turned with hidden delight, he did not wish to go back to his empty house, not after spending the night with her.
‘Severus, can I… could I maybe come and stay, for a little while… with you’ she pleaded her eyes wide.
He nodded, hiding his smile. It was a terrible thing to take a happiness out of her mourning, but he found he just couldn’t help it.
‘Just wait a minute, I will get my things’ she said and hurried back into the house.
Severus looked up at the burrow, it was a proper house, a families house, he had never know anything quite like it.
A curtain twitched on the second floor and Severus saw Harry glaring at him from the window, glaring with Lily’s eyes. Severus dropped his gaze to the floor.
Hermione came running out, a little more colour on her cheeks she gave him a smile and they walked up the path to the apparition point were they spun on the spot together, and were lost in the hillside breeze.
Hey, Hey, Hey... another chapter, another series of thoughts, suggestions, critical comments. I would love to hear them . Thank you!
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