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Chapter 3 : An Innocent Death Eater
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Thank you for all your reviews, guys, I'm glad you understand i want to things slowly :) I promise the wait will be worthy :)
To the chapter now...
- CHAPTER THREE-
An Innocent Death Eater
A day after his talk with Hermione on the small hill, Harry couldn’t take his mind away from their plan for the trip in Sydney. He was excited, almost happy with the chance of going away; away from the Burrow, away from the reporters, away from England and his demons. The previous night, Harry had only one nightmare during his sleep so he guessed that was a good thing. He could at least stand the mood at the Burrow one more day without exploding. He was sure Hermione was more calm as well. After a fight with Ron that morning, she didn’t just leave the Burrow as she would do before, but left Ron in his room and tried to relax in the living room, next to Mrs. Weasley and Ginny.
Ginny... Harry didn’t know what he wanted from her, how to tell her (and the rest of the Weasleys) about his and Hermione’s plans or what kind of future he was dreaming with her. Actually he wasn’t sure if he was dreaming of a future with her. He didn’t know why he had changed so much. Maybe the near-death experience changed things inside him, but he just wasn’t sure. He just knew that the war was over and he couldn’t see in her brown eyes the person who would help him to forget, forgive and be cured with.
He never saw that person in her anyway, but this time he didn’t even want to snog her in an attempt to forget the rest of the world for a few minutes. He knew by her looks, her words, her reactions to things like death that Ginny was still a girl; a girl who could be easily hurt by his words and actions. A girl who couldn’t understand him, his fears and worries because she hadn’t experienced what he had. Not because she didn’t want to but because she couldn’t. Harry had suddenly grown up in the last year and Ginny had remained a girl.
Harry sighed and tried to think of other things as he was sat under “his” apple tree in the Burrow’s garden with the reporters out of the fence, waiting for news and pictures. He looked away toward the hill where he and Hermione had made their plan to escape. Things seemed simple but the trials the next day and his presence in the ministry and it's people made his stomach ache. He didn’t want to go there. He didn’t want to be the animal in the cage for the reporters. He wanted to owl Kingsley and then just take Hermione and leave for a long time. But he couldn’t. He had to be there. He had to be a witness for what he knew about the Malfoys. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to say about them either.
If he could, he would kill Lucious with his bare hands. He was the head of the Death Eaters’ mission in the Department of Mysteries, he was the one who had involved his own son to be a Death Eater. His son, Draco. Harry always hated him, but now, after the truth about Snape’s and Dumbledore’s plan for the death of the headmaster, Harry wasn’t sure if he blamed Draco so much. He was a Death Eater, yes, he had allowed the Death Eaters to enter Hogwarts back in his sixth year, but Dumbledore would die anyway that night. Harry remembered Dumbledore’s words about the young Malfoy.
‘This soul is not that damaged yet…”
Whether Harry wanted to or not, he had to admit that Dumbledore was often right about people after all. Snape wasn’t evil; he had tried to help him, because he was Lilly’s best friend. Wow, Harry thought. Some days before he could swear he had experienced almost everything but fate surprised him once more. He never thought about his mother and Snape as close friends, he had never thought of Snape being in love with Lilly. He had actually believed they were enemies when he had seen Snape at a young age calling Lilly “Mudblood” in Snape’s pensive.
Harry lay on the grass and closed his eyes still thinking. He took his glasses from his face and rubbed his closed eyes. Tomorrow he had to attend the trial. He needed to talk and convince Kingsley to help him and Hermione to leave England. Then he had to send Kreacher to Gringots and then came the hardest part: Announcing to everyone in the already devastated house his and Hermione’s plans about the trip.
Harry was satisfied with Hermione’s words about Ron not being able to afford the trip. He really wasn’t sure if it would be good for the Grangers to watch their daughter crying over stupid fights with Ron. Harry wanted Hermione to be fine. He wanted her to smile and be brave before her parents and their unknown reaction after the restoration of their memories.
Harry sighed still thinking about his best friend. After their return to the house the day before, Hermione and Ron had another small fight until Ginny commanded Ron to leave her room, which the two girls shared. Ron had entered his own bedroom, blurted a “Goodnight” at Harry and threw himself on his bed, turning his back to the raven haired wizard. Harry couldn’t understand why Ron never gave Hermione a break. He couldn’t understand either why Hermione was so affected, especially the last days, after the battle. Ron was more aggressive towards her even when the two were just talking. Harry hoped that was only temporary and Ron was behaving like that because of Fred’s loss. He wasn’t ready for another period with Ron and Hermione not talking.
There was one period, back in his sixth year when he and Hermione were bickering; About Snape’s old book of potions. Harry now knew they were both right about it. The only thing about their fights was something they were both right about. He smiled with still closed eyes. Hermione may have been a pain but she always wanted the best for him. With guilt, he remembered his behavior after the attack in Godric’s Hollow. Hermione had saved his life, once more, because he was stupid and had followed an old, strange woman. He had been angry because Hermione had broken his wand by accident. And then, with surprise, he realized how well Hermione’s wand had worked for him, as if it was his own. Now the same wand was taken away from his friend when he had his own back.
Harry was feeling very guilty about the way Hermione had lost her wand and had been tormented. He had called out Voldemort’s name, leading his Death Eaters to the tent. He had destroyed their cover just because his stupid temper rose again. He would never forget the fear surging in his veins as he heard the cracks of the Death Eaters’ apparitions outside of the tent and how Hermione tried to change his face so she could save him.
He would never forget Draco nodding his verification about Hermione’s identity. That was the only thing the Death Eaters needed to split the trio and for Bellatrix to torment Hermione with the Cruciatus to unconsciousness. Harry opened his eyes as he realized he had never, never, thanked Hermione for all the things she had done. Or apologized for the times he had been a prat towards her. He would do it eventually, he decided. Hermione deserved it. Being with her in Australia was the very least he could do to show her how grateful he was.
After a few hours, Harry realized someone was exiting the Burrow. The sun was almost set. Hermione was in the backyard. Harry release the disillusionment charm he had on himself and waved at Hermione. She gasped but smiled when she realized it was him. She moved closer and sat next to him.
‘I was looking for you,’ Hermione said and Harry nodded and focused on her. Her features were still tired but she didn’t seem as sad as she was looking a day before.
‘Tell me,’ Harry said after a few seconds.
‘I just wanted to know what you’ll say at the trials tomorrow,’ Hermione said.
Harry thought about it for awhile. ‘Just the truth, about Lucious, Draco being at the tower the night Dumbledore died and about Narcissa,’ Harry said and hoped Hermione wouldn’t ask him farther about the night of the battle and what happened in the forest.
‘I see,’ Hermione said simply, to his relief.
‘If you want, I'll go and talk to Kingsley after the trials,’ Harry offered trying to change the subject as he was sure Hermione was thinking about the night of her torment in Malfoys’ manor.
‘That would be a good idea. Ron already knows I’m leaving soon for Australia but he doesn’t know about you coming with me,’ Hermione said and Harry nodded.
‘That’s why you fought last night?’ Harry asked, not caring so much for his curiosity as he wanted to help Hermione.
‘And this morning as well, yes. He doesn’t want me to go alone and I don’t want to push him farther. He was almost ready to ask his parents for money for the trip. I stopped him; he knows he can’t do something like that. They need money to move on. Mrs. Weasley is not letting any of her kids leave the house. She already fought with Charlie because he left and has only allowed Bill to be away with Fluer,’ Hermione said and Harry nodded again, understanding Mrs. Weasley and her sorrow.
Like days before, Harry and Hermione saw Luna Lovegood approaching from the hill separating her house from the Burrow. Harry turned to Hermione.
‘Ron invited her for dinner,’ Hermione said simply and Harry nodded.
‘Hermione, can I... Can I ask you something?’ Harry asked as a sudden question rose in his mind.
‘What is it?’ she asked.
‘Are you and Ron, you know, together? I mean... I saw you and him... kissing, and I was just wondering,’ Harry said feeling uneasy. Hermione stared into his eyes for some seconds. She then looked away.
‘Well, I think we are. We haven’t talked about it, to be honest. I guess after the kiss we started something but since then, nothing has changed. I’m actually afraid that things are worse. We are fighting like we did back in our third year,’ Hermione said and Harry nodded again, in some way relieved and, in some other way, irritated.
‘What about you and Ginny?’ Hermione asked, still looking away. Harry knew that question would come. She had answered honestly, so now it was his turn.
‘I honestly don’t know,’ Harry answered. ‘I mean...‘ Harry trailed off.
‘You don’t know why things are so different now, right?’ Hermione said and Harry nodded. ‘She is looking for you,’ She added and Harry felt nervous.
‘She is?’ he asked stupidly. He was somehow relieved with the distance between them. Now he didn’t know what Ginny may want.
‘Yep,’ Hermione answered. “This is the second reason I was looking for you.’ Harry nodded and stood up. She did the same and smiled at him. ‘I think you have to go to her and clear things up. She has been frustrated these last several days,’ Hermione added and Harry sighed. They both moved back into the Burrow. In the kitchen, Mrs. Weasley was making dinner. She smiled sadly at the two and kept making the meal. Luna and Ron were talking at the kitchen table.
‘She is in her bedroom,’ Hermione murmured to Harry and he nodded. She moved and sat close to Luna, the blonde greeted her and Hermione joined their talk. Harry knew it was time to talk with Ginny. He moved up the stairs and stood outside of her bedroom and after a deep breath he knocked on the door.
‘Come in,’ he heard her voice replying and he entered the room. Ginny was standing in front of the window. She turned around and looked at him, her face tired and pale from crying.
‘Hey,’ she said first, breaking the uneasy silence. Harry moved farther inside and closed the door behind him. He sat on her old bed and looked at her, not sure what to say.
‘Hey,’ he simply answered, giving her the opportunity to start, hoping she had something to say.
‘I just wanted to know what you... think of... us, Harry.’ Ginny finally said after a few seconds. Harry lowered his head and sighed. He then looked back at her.
‘Look, Gin, I... I'm not sure. I’m sorry, but I need time, I think.’ Harry finally answered. Ginny just nodded.
‘I knew you would say something like that,’ she said.
‘Look, Gin, the last months were very rough for me. Hermione and Ron and I–‘
‘No excuses, Harry. I understand, really I do,’ Ginny told him. “I can only imagine what you three have been through, especially you and Hermione since my brilliant brother left you for a period of time.’ Harry didn’t know what to say or do. Hermione had already talked to her about many things from the last year and Harry was happy Ginny could understand. Harry stood up and looked at her.
‘Hermione and I are leaving in a few days, for Australia. She needs help with her parents and I offered,’ Harry said, wanting to be clear with her. He avoided telling her he wanted leave so he could be away from the Burrow.
Ginny seemed taken aback but then she just lowered her head and looked at the floor between them. ‘I should have guessed it,’ she murmured and then looked back at Harry. ‘Hermione needs someone there and Ron is not an option,’ Ginny said but Harry could recognize the falseness in her tone. He knew she was angry about the news but couldn’t do anything. He had made his decision. Ginny suddenly moved closer and wrapped her arms around Harry's neck. He knew what she wanted and he decided to give it to her. They had talked about time some moments before but this would help him realize even more things about his emotional state towards his ex-girlfriend.
Their lips met. He was kissing her once again, after an entire year. Ginny’s lips were soft against his. But, it wasn’t like before. It didn’t make his stomach flutter or make his heart race. It didn’t make him want more. And most of all, all this lack of emotion didn’t surprise him…
He was the one who broke the kiss first. He looked at Ginny, her eyes were dimly lit with a small spark of happiness. He moved away from her hug and ran a hand through his hair.
‘I’m going downstairs.’ Harry said and didn’t wait for her answer or protest as he exited the room. He finally knew, things weren’t like before with the girl he had imagined when he faced Voldemort in the forest. He didn’t know why, and he didn’t want to explain it now. He just wanted to attend the trials and leave.
The next day came really quickly. Harry, Hermione and the rest of the Weasleys would attend the trials. They would all go into the ministry early so most of the people wouldn’t be there. No one touched the Prophet as they knew it would be announcing Harry Potter’s first appearance in public after his "Victorious fulfillment of his destiny" as the press was calling the worst day of Harry’s life.
He was the first to be ready as a nightmare had awoken him hours before the time he needed wake up. He wore black jeans and a black jumper beneath his black cloak. He was sitting at the kitchen table when Ginny and Hermione moved downstairs, followed by Mrs. Weasley. The two young women didn’t speak to each other and Harry could guess the reason…
The rest of the family moved downstairs as well and in minutes they were all taking their breakfast in silence, everyone focused on his meal and nothing else. After this uneasy silence everyone stood up and moved close to the fireplace. One by one they left the Burrow and flooed to the ministry.
Harry was the last flooing after Hermione. When he appeared in the ministry’s fireplace, tons of flashes were already hitting Hermione and the rest of the Weasleys. Harry groaned and tried to push some of the reporters and photographers but that was impossible because of the number of them. Flashes were blinding him, people were showering him with questions and many hands were patting his back because of his victory... The same hands which months ago were writing that he had abandoned everyone and had left the community.
People from the ministry moved close and pulled the reporters away, warning them that they were blocking witnesses for the trials. When the Weasleys, Harry and Hermione were finally able to walk, other people started approaching them but the ministry’s people allowed them to move to the floor where the trials would take place. Harry looked at the simple, black door to his right; the place where had Sirius died. Someone nudged his arm and Harry turned to see Hermione smiling sadly at him and taking him inside the courtroom: The same place Harry had been in for his own trial a few years before.
Everyone was silent in there. Harry sat last in the row the Weasleys were making, next to Hermione. Luna was some seats in front that row and beamed and waved at Harry to which he responded with a small smile. After some minutes, The Wizengamot moved into the room and then the Malfoy family followed, guarded by auror instead of Dementors, to Harry’s surprise.
‘Kinsley decided it, partly because they had took Voldemort’s side,’ Hermione whispered in his ear. Harry nodded his understanding but remained silent as Kingsley stood up and looked at the crowd. He started asking if all the witnesses were there and then took out a list and read all the crimes Lucious, Narcissa and Draco had done Draco’s list of crimes was considerably shorter.
One by one, the witnesses stood up and said what they knew about the Death Eaters’ actions. Harry was one of the last ones, right after Hermione. As she stood up, Harry squeezed her arm encouragingly. She nodded and sat in front of Kingsley, away from the Death Eaters. Hermione started with Lucious Malfoy’s leadership in the department of Mysteries. She avoided saying much about the prophesy and did not mention the Hallows or the Horcruxes at all. Harry mentally thanked her for that. He would talk about those things when he was ready. After her mention about the night in the Malfoys’ manor, Harry knew Hermione was upset and nervous at the memory; her own emotional wounds still beeding from that night. After several minutes, Hermione was free to return to her seat and now it was Harry’s turn. Harry and Hermione smiled at each other as he was moving to take his place as the next speaker. This time, Hermione squeezed his arm and he nodded.
It didn’t take long. Kingsley knew what he had to ask and what not to ask in an attempt to avoid bringing Harry to say things that he didn’t wish to reveal. After the explanation about how Draco eventually didn’t kill Dumbledore, Harry mentioned Narcissa’s help in the forest. Kingsley was shocked but didn’t ask for any more information, despite the fact that the people from the press were crying out for more. Kingsley asked Harry, as the one that experienced the most, what he thought it should happen to the death eaters. Harry looked at the three blondes tied up on the chairs people and then at the Weasleys and Hermione.
‘Lucious and Narcissa should be punished. But their son was just a pawn in his father’s hands. He thought he could help his father by killing Dumbledore but he didn’t do it. Maybe because he isn’t that kind of person. Dumbledore believed his soul wasn’t destroyed yet, and I always believed in Dumbledore so I trust his judgement as well,’ Harry answered and everyone started murmuring. He looked at the Malfoys. Lucious was looking at him in the same vicious way he used to, but Narcissa had a small –thank you- smile for him and Draco looked grateful. Kingsley thanked Harry. As the young man stood up he approached Kingsley.
‘I need to talk to you after the trial,’ Harry said and Kingsley nodded.
‘Tell Hermione to come with you. I have something for her,’ Kingsley said and Harry nodded, feeling surprised. He returned to his seat and passed the message to Hermione who nodded, surprised as well.
After a few more moments, the Wizengamot seemed to come to a decision. Kingsley stood up again and gestured for everyone to be silent. ‘The Wizengamot has decided,’ he stated. Everyone froze and listened closely.
‘Lucious and Narcissa Malfoy are found guilty and will spend the rest of their lives in Azkaban. Their son, Draco Lucious Malfoy is found innocent and will keep half of his family’s fortune to move on with his life. He will be able to attend at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry to repeat his sixth and attend his seventh year,’ Kingsley said and everyone started murmuring and commenting on the decisions. Harry wasn’t that surprised. He knew after his statements, that the Wizengamot would spare Draco, willing to give him a chance to move on. So if he decides it, Draco would be back as a sixth year student. He would probably be in the same classes with Ginny as she would repeat her sixth year as well.
As everyone started leaving the room, Kingsley stood behind and waited for Harry and Hermione. Reporters wanted to stay and take more pictures of the hero but ministry people commanded them to exit the place. The Weasleys left as well and Luna joined them, so Ron left with an angry glare at Harry and Hermione.
Kingsley approached them and gestured for them to move into a room through a door in the wall. The two followed and to their surprise, the door led them to the Minister’s office. Kingsley sat down and gestured for them to do so as well. They did and looked at him expectantly. He smiled and opened one of his desk’s drawers. He put a wand and a piece of parchment on the desk. Hermione gasped and took the wand and Kingsley smiled.
‘We found it today as we searched everything in the manor, I knew it was yours so I took it and it’s yours again,’ Kingsley said and Hermione nodded her head and thanked him, almost in tears. ‘And this,’ Kingsley went on taking the parchment in his hand, “is all the information you need so you can find your parents, if you’re planning to. Their home address and their café’s address are here,’ He said and Hermione looked at him, dumbfounded.
‘Where did you find them?’ she asked in awe.
‘Well, it was easy. Arthur told me the fake names you had gave to them so I searched through the ministry there and here it is,’ Kingsley said smiling.
‘Thank you so much.’ Hermione whispered as she looked at the two addresses on the parchment. Harry smiled at her happiness. He then turned at Kingsley and spoke.
‘We need your help for something more, Kingsley. We want to leave for Australia in a few days, and we just want you to keep the press away as much as possible,’ Harry said and Kingsley nodded his understanding.
‘I promise you I’ll do my best. You need money but you both are temporarily banned,’ Kingsley commented but Harry smiled.
‘Our house-elf will help.’ Harry said and Kingsley nodded smiling.
‘Then, if you need something more, please contract me,’ Kingsley said and stood up. ‘I’m sorry but my work is not over yet.’ Both of the young people stood up and shook his hand. They said their goodbyes and left from the same door they had entered the office from. As soon as they were alone in the courtroom, Harry called out for Kreacher.
The elf showed up and made a bow to his masters. Hermione seemed uneasy as she reached in her pocket for her vault’s key at the same time Harry did the same. Harry took the keys and handed them to the elf.
‘Kreacher, go and take eighty galleons from each one of our vaults.’ Harry said and Kreacher nodded. He had some more galleons in his belongings back in the Burrow and he wanted to spend them on the trip. He turned to Hermione.
‘Is that too much?’ he asked, not knowing how much money she had. She shook her head no.
‘It’s ok, I have more inside because I had sold my parents’ dental clinic and a small property we had in Essex,’ Hermione said and Harry nodded.
Harry turned to Kreacher again and went on.
‘Change fifty galleons for each of us into muggle money, pounds. I’ll call you in the afternoon to bring us the money and the keys. Understood?’ Harry said and Kreacher nodded, made another bow and left. Harry turned and looked at Hermione.
‘Things are fine so far, aren’t they?’ he asked and Hermione nodded but didn’t smile.
‘Now, we have to announce it at the Burrow,’ she pointed out and Harry sighed.
The family, Harry and Hermione returned to the Burrow and everyone was back in the same mood like the days before. The hours to lunch slipped by quickly for Harry who was nervous. Silently, he and Hermione had decided to break the news to the family together. Luna once again visited the family for lunch.
Everyone sat around the kitchen’s table and started eating. Everyone was silent and Harry felt even more nervous as Ginny was looking at him and Hermione, knowing their plans. After everyone had eaten, Harry nodded at Hermione and they both stood up, making everyone look at them. Harry cleared his thought, trying to think of where to start, but Hermione took the lead and spoke.
‘I have to leave and find my parents in Australia,’ she began. Everyone remained silent. ‘I have already planned everything, and I want to thank you from my heart for your hospitality and love, but now I really have to go and figure things out with my family. Harry will be coming with me.’ Everyone except for Ginny and Ron seemed dumbfounded. Mr. Weasley tried to say something but Harry cut him off.
‘We know it may be dangerous but Hermione needs her parents and I have to help her. She did all that because of me, and now it’s time for me to help her,’ Harry said and Hermione looked at him with a strange yet beautiful look as he admitted her precious help and sacrifices for him. No one said a word until Ron pushed his chair back with force, stood up, making the chair fall back and everyone gasp, and ran out of the kitchen and upstairs. Hermione sighed and followed him. This time Harry did the same and decided not to let her face Ron on her own.
Together they moved upstairs to the last floor and tried to open the door. It was locked, Harry took a deep breath as he felt his temper rising and took out his wand, casting a strong unlocking charm and the door opened. Ron was sitting on the bed and looked at them angrily, his ears red already.
‘Locked doors are protect people’s privacy,’ He said dryly.
‘Locked doors cast aside best friends,’ Hermione replied his comment, and Ron stood up and approached her.
‘Leaving for another continent casts aside best friends,’ Ron spat back and looked at both Harry and Hermione. Harry spoke up.
‘Ron, we’ll be gone just for a few days. We’re not going on holidays you know…’ Harry said and Ron turned to him.
‘I learnt what happened with my sister and you, Harry. Don’t tell me what you two are going to do,’ he said furiously and moved away from them.
‘Ron, we talked about it,’ Hermione warned Ron for something Harry didn’t get. Ron looked back at her and then at Harry.
‘Bloody Hell. This is... Harry get out. I want to talk to Hermione, alone,’ Ron commanded, and Harry was taken aback. Hermione nodded her agreement before Harry could answer the command.
‘Very well,’ he said angrily to his best mate and then turned to Hermione. ‘I’ll be waiting downstairs,’ he said and Hermione nodded.
He left the bedroom, furious. His own best friend was casting him aside once more. Ron was angry because Harry wanted to help Hermione with her parents. As soon as Harry was back in the living room, the entire Burrow could listen to Ron’s screams and Hermione’s answers. Harry felt sorry for her. She would be going on this trip in a very bad mood, he knew it. Luna moved closer to Harry and looked up into his eyes.
‘Things are not good between them,’ Luna said and Harry nodded. ‘Maybe, they’re not meant to be. Maybe they need other people in their lives to find peace.’ Harry nodded again and agreed with her. But Harry wasn’t sure. Many times the two fought and then just moved on like nothing had happened. Maybe this was one of those times.
After several minutes of shouting the two stopped and silence followed. After a few more minutes, Hermione moved downstairs and everyone tried to pretend they hadn’t heard a thing. Harry approached her but before he could find the right words, Hermione spoke.
‘We can leave for Sydney,’ she said and Harry nodded. Now the only thing they needed was the money Kreacher had taken from the bank and they were ready to leave, to find Hermione’s parents.
please reviewwww guys what u think of harry and hermione going to sydney on their own?
i know the kisss between harry and ginny was stomach aching lol but i needed to explose some things there as well
what u think of the trio's argument??
review review review and tell me :)
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