Chapter 1 : So it begins
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I get to the Ministry and almost as soon as I step foot in the Atrium, I am hailed by one of my very best friends, one whom I have known since our first year at Hogwarts, Harry Potter. Yes, THE Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, the Chosen One, the Hero of the Wizarding World, blah, blah, blah. Yes, we are best friends and nothing, I repeat nothing, will ever change that.
As I walked over to meet him, I heard people calling my name, trying to get my attention. I simply ignored them and kept walking. I knew I needed to give Harry some excuse as to my extreme lateness, but when I reached him, I had nothing.
“Yes, Harry? You needed me for something?” I asked as I reached him, hoping to forestall him berating me for my tardiness.
“’Mione, I need you to go on assignment for me. Let’s go to my office so that I can give you all the information you’ll need.”
Oh, thank Merlin. I’m not in trouble…yet.
As we walked to his office, I began to notice that he was either extremely nervous, extremely excited, extremely preoccupied, or a combination of all three. Before I could ask him about it, he opened the door and who should be on the other side but Ron, my ex-boyfriend.
“Now, I know things are a little awkward between you two right now,” Harry began, “but I need you two to work together to bring this last rogue Death Eater in.”
That immediately caught my interest. Trying to bring in this Death Eater would be the distraction I desperately needed to keep my mind off of all the reasons that Ron and I were no longer together.
“I’ll go,” I immediately agreed. “However, I have one stipulation. I go alone.”
“’Mione, are you sure? You don’t even know who it is or what they’re capable of. You could get hurt, or worse!” Ron fussed, sounding so much like his mother.
“Ronald, you lost all right to worry about me when you ended our relationship to go with that slut, Lavender,” I snapped. Ron tried to defend her, but Harry interrupted before a word was said.
“’Mione, are you absolutely sure that you can handle this mission on your own?” Harry asked, looking at me like I was absolutely crazy.
“Harry, I understand that this mission could be very dangerous. I also get that you are concerned for me as Head Auror and my best friend, but do you honestly doubt my spell-casting abilities and talents as one of your best Aurors?” I asked, astounded that he would even think of such things.
“Of course not, ‘Mione!” Harry replied, sounding just a little defensive. “I just wanted to make sure that you understood all of the risks and what you are attempting to do on your own, something even my senior Aurors haven’t successfully accomplished.” He looks over to Ron, who still looks like he wants to start throwing jinxes and curses at me for insulting his girlfriend. “Ron, if you would be so kind as to wait for me out in the corridor for me while I give ‘Mione all the information I have.”
“Of course, mate,” Ron replied.
As soon as the door closed behind him, Harry motioned for me to sit at the other chair in front of his desk.
“’Mione, I’m afraid that this is all the information we have for you,” Harry said as he handed me the file.
I took it and opened it, looking for any information that could prove to be useful to me in my search for this rogue Death Eater.
Education: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Slytherin House
Physical description: Male, longish hair of undetermined color, pale as a ghost, eyes undetermined color, possibly grey. Tall, approx. 6’1”. Thin, but muscular.
Last known location: Tottenham Court Road
“Harry, what in the name of Merlin do you expect me to accomplish with so little information?”
“Hermione, I know you can do this. That’s why I asked you to go on this mission. Even with a deficit of information, that brain of yours can do anything. Just do whatever comes naturally. I will expect reports owled to me every other week, even if there is no progress.”
“Yes, sir. You know I won’t let you down,” I said, snapping him a military salute.
Harry chuckled at that and said, “I’m counting on you, ‘Mione. Good luck.”
With that, I walked out of Harry’s office, feeling strangely buoyant. I passed Ron, not even sparing him a backward glance. I could feel his gaze on me as I turned the corner, but did not turn around. I just kept on heading to my office to prepare everything for my impending absence.
~*~(Switching to Ron’s POV)~*~
As soon as Hermione was out of sight, I stormed back into Harry’s office.
“Did you give her all the information?” I demanded.
“No. I gave her the fake copy of the file, the one without the name,” was the answer I got.
“WHY THE BLOODY HELL DID YOU DO THAT, HARRY?” I exploded.
“Because I was afraid that she wouldn’t take the distraction she so desperately needs, thanks to you,” Harry calmly explained, with at bit of anger breaking through the calm at the end.
“Why? Who is she tracking down?” I asked, the worry clearly visible on my face.
A/N: This is the rewritten expansion of the original “Runaway Romance”. It may take a while for it to be completed, but please be patient, I’m still new to the whole HPFF thing.