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Chapter 13 : Hermione Granger
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J.K owns it, I just play around.
“Ah, Severus. Have you heard? It’s Potter’s last evening tonight,” a sadistic smile followed this comment. “I wonder, should we give him a last meal like the muggles.” Severus lowered his eyes and nodded. “Tomorrow morning, we execute Potter. I want every last supporter to see it. I want them to see the light leave his eyes.”
The world was dark. Gradually, sounds and feelings began to register. The soft breathing of the person next to him. The feel of her soft fingers brushing his forehead. At that moment, he was between worlds. He could sense Hermione next to him, feel her touch and picture the beauty within that moment. He could do all this without facing up to the reality. He was going to die. Slowly he started fully regaining his senses. “Hermione?” The hand stopped its gentle caressing. Opening his eyes he found Hermione’s brown ones staring back. Except, as opposed to when he first met her, he saw the true eyes of Hermione Granger; the intensity behind her eyes, the intelligence and the passion.
“It’s a little different from the last time.” She said softly. Her hand remained on his cheek. He couldn’t help from leaning into her touch. Her forehead was creased with frustration. It was clear what she was thinking about.
“You’re going to let me die, aren’t you?” Her hand remained on his cheek as she stared into his emerald orbs. Stroking his cheek the wall he knew all too well came over her eyes. He touched the hand next to his arm. She flinched and almost moved her hand away from him. But as he laced his fingers through hers, her hand remained in place. “Stay with me.” Her eyes softened and slowly Hermione reappeared. Caressing her hand, he felt at peace. He forgot the war, Ginny, what he would leave behind. He forgot about the destruction that would follow his death. Looking into her eyes, he never realised just how dangerous that was.
“I don’t believe it,” Remus muttered, head in his hands. Tonks and Molly shared a look. They were alone in the kitchen. After hearing the explosion, Arthur had ran out of their room, half dressed, only to confront a confused group of people and a hole in Sirius’ old room. Once they discovered the leak he had gone to inform the other members. “I brought her into this house. I let her suck us all dry for information. I put us all in danger.”
“Remus,” Tonks said, moving towards him. “It’s not your fault. You were just trying to help.” Remus just shook his head.
“I’ll make us some tea,” Molly said, getting up a bit unsteadily. She moved over to the sink and started cleaning some cups. Suddenly, there was a crash of broken glass. Remus and Tonks jumped at the sound. “No, it’s not ok. None of this is.” She turned to Remus and he finally saw all that she had been holding back unfold. “I told you to be careful about who you trusted. You just refused to listen! You put my children’s lives in danger, my family, the order, everything we’ve fought for! And all this for some hero complex!”
“No Tonks. Don’t defend him. He never considers the consequences of his actions. The consequences of his selfish heroic attempts! All this to live up to James and Sirius!” She was breathing heavily and he could see the tears in her eyes. Remus got up and left the room, unable to hear any more. As the two women in the kitchen began arguing he made his way to Sirius’ old room. At the desk, in its usual spot, he found the picture of Sirius and Harry at Christmas. It didn’t matter what he did. He would never live up to James and Sirius. Both of them were charming, good-looking and courageous. Both of them had this fire within them that Remus could only try and imitate. Remus could only ever excel in academics and that was only because he actually had tried in his subject. In all other respects, he was always left behind. When Harry was born, Sirius was chosen as Godfather. When they went into hiding Sirius was chosen as the secret keeper. When James was killed, Sirius had the guts to go after Peter himself. And James, James was a hero all on his own. A talented, brave wizard who died protecting his family. But what was he? He was a poor werewolf, jumping from job to job, who didn’t even have the guts to tell the woman he loved how he truly felt about her. That he wanted to marry her.
“Sickle for your thoughts?” Remus turned and found Ron staring at him through the large, gaping hole that was once the door. “That’s what she said to me the first time. Sickle for your thoughts.” He came into the room and looked around. “You shouldn’t feel guilty. No matter what my mom says. You weren’t the only one fooled by her,” he said, putting his hands in his pockets. Remus put his arm around him.
“I’m sorry Ron, I know you began to care for her. I’m so sorry.” The guilt began to build up inside of him all over again, ready to bubble over. Once again he had failed. Just like he had failed to protect Harry. He had once again failed to live up to James and Sirius’ memories. Ron shrugged and moved away from him, as if burned by his words. Remus watched the young man. Just last year, despite all they had been through, there had always been that element that remained Ron; the joking, happy-go-lucky kid. The man in front of him had lost that element. Ron turned back to him.
“Professor Lupin…you’re still the best teacher I’ve ever had.” Remus smiled at that and nodded. Ron looked around the room one last time before leaving it. Remus looked down at the picture again. Except this time, something caught his attention. The picture was far more frayed than he remembered. This picture had been handled a lot over a short period of time. It was creased, as if someone had been clutching it.
Hermione left Harry’s room. She sensed Harry watching her leave. She did not turn around. She refused to say goodbye again. She closed the door behind her and buttoned up her shirt.
“Getting sloppy Hermione,” a cold, silky voice murmured. Hermione closed her eyes as she recognized it. Opening her eyes, she looked up at Severus Snape’s unreadable face. “Bedding Potter is probably the stupidest thing you’ve ever done. You’re losing your touch.”
“What are you going to do Snape?” Severus watched Hermione’s eyes flicker with defiance, anger and fear. He never suspected it. The way she had faced every enemy, no matter how talented or dangerous, with such determination made it seem as if Hermione Granger felt nothing. That her heard was an empty vassal, one that could only be filled by the blood of the Dark Lord’s enemies. But the Hermione Granger in front oh him felt fear. But he knew the fear was not for herself. He could sense it. Her defenses were down. Hermione’s fortressed mind was never accessible before, but something was distracting her. Something had made her careless. He could sense her fear for Potter. Looking at her, he remembered his own carelessness with those emerald eyes. He remembered being in love, and being in the middle of two battling sides. For the first time in eighteen years, he saw something in Hermione Granger’s eyes that he understood. Hermione’s eyes widened.
“What’s going on here?” Yaxley barked behind him. Hermione looked back at Snape, and acceptance graced her eyes.
“Nothing Yaxley. Granger and I were just discussing my potion and her spell and their effects on Potter. Need to know basis. You understand, don’t you?” Snape turned away from Hermione’s now blank face to face Yaxley. Yaxley was fighting to control his temper. But nodded and left. Snape turned back to Hermione’s questioning eyes. “We need to talk.”
“As you all know, we have been breached.” There were some silent mutters around the room. People were looking around uncertainly. Fear was slowly suffocating the room. “We don’t know what Death Eater was sent in to infiltrate us. But we suspect it was one of a higher rank.” Arthur announced to the now silent kitchen.
“How much information did this Death Eater get?” Harold asked. “I mean, we didn’t let her in on the meetings, so how successful could this job have been?”
“The kids have long been listening in on meetings. And she became part of that group. We can assume that she heard enough.”
“Besides,” Bill interrupted, “listening in on meetings wouldn’t be the only benefit. She would have had access to one of the most extensive libraries in Britain. Not to mention she’d know who the members are and their relation to one another and their families. She’d know exactly who to target and how to break us.” With these words, Jonathan got up.
“That’s it. I’m out.”
“No! What crap is this?! Some Death Eater managed to waltz in here and now she has my name and might go after my family? No way. I’m done.” He said, raising his voice. Some of the members began nodding. “What the hell are we fighting for? We’re not winning! All we’re doing is putting ourselves and our families at risk! They are the law now. How are we meant to fight them?” Arthur and Remus shared a look. This is what they feared. This is what happened the last time. Fear had consumed them and slowly the resistance was falling apart. Without Harry, they were falling apart.
Ginny and Ron were listening to the meeting with the extendable ears. They shared a concerned look. If members were starting to walk out then what hope did they have? They had already missed the train to Hogwarts and now the resistance was falling apart. “We need Harry…” Ginny whispered, looking away. Ron stared at his sister. And then looked back at the door where a large argument was taking place.
“More than you know, Gin.” Jonathan was right. How were they meant to fight them? Especially without the only person who could defeat him?
‘I guess it’s up to us.” Ginny said, tucking an extendable ear into her pocket. Ron looked down at his young sister, who seemed to be growing up right before his eyes. She took out her wand and muttered a spell, causing the door to swing open.
“What do you think I’ve been doing all this time in my room? They’ve taken half my family. They’re not taking any more.” She said, walking in. Ron followed her inside. The members had stood at their entrance.
“-Mum, just listen. Please. For all our lives, you have taught us right from wrong; to be good and respectful to all magical creatures as well as muggles. But just sitting here, as capable wizards, and letting the world fall apart around us is wrong. Right now, our world is not only affecting our own kind but muggles too, who have no way to defend themselves. Our family and friends are being hunted down one by one and either captured, exiled or killed. We can’t just sit here anymore when we could be doing something. That would be the biggest wrong we could ever commit, and one that we can never reverse. We want to fight.” Ginny said, looking her parents in the eyes. Ron smiled at his sister. Never before had he seen this side of her. She looked back at him and nodded.
“But you are-”
“Don’t tell me that we’re just children, because we’re not.” Ron said, interrupting his mother. Ginny had given him the courage to fight for the cause that Harry died for; to honour Harry’s memory. “I stopped being a child the day that…the day that he attacked Harry in our first year. Ginny lost her innocence the day she was possessed. And when we were almost killed in our fifth year, where we ran for our lives from men far more experienced than ourselves, we were no longer just children. To all of you, Harry defeated him four times. Ginny saw right through a Death Eater from day one when the rest of us didn’t. We aren’t just children anymore, and just because you don’t think we’re adults yet doesn’t mean we aren’t capable of doing something. Harry proved that to all of us. And if you won’t fight, then we will.”
Hermione looked around the room. It had the bare minimum. A bed that she rarely used, a dressing table where she patched up her injuries, a dresser, a few books and a desk with papers and potions scattered. The rest was an open area to train. This was her life. This was all her life was going to be. Running her hands through her hair, she weighed her options. She had slept with Harry Potter. She didn’t understand it. It was something that had happened. But that did not in any way change her allegiances to the Dark Lord. He remained her Master, and she remained Hermione Granger. She looked at the name of her next target. It didn’t matter who she slept with, her target would remain just that. She would continue doing her job. However, that same part of her that abhorred the idea of unnecessary suffering knew what she had to do, knew what she couldn’t do.
Harry sat on the bed that had become his refuge. He rubbed his hands together and thought about what he was about to face. There was a part of him that was scared. Scared of dying, scared for the people he would leave behind, scared of the world that would be molded by his death. But another part of him welcomed it. No more fear, no more pain, and dying not as a murderer, but having had a woman he had come to feel for. The sound of the door unlocking caught his attention. Looking up, he saw Hermione entering his room. “Hermione?”
“Hermione? Already on a first name basis are we?” Harry got up when he heard Snape’s voice. Snape appeared behind Hermione.
“Harry no!” Hermione grabbed him around the chest as he tried to attack Snape. “Harry, listen to me,” she whispered. “Harry, stay with me!” Harry stopped struggling immediately.
“Hermione, what’s going on?” He looked down at the rigid figure in front of him and then at the man standing behind her.
“We’re getting you out. But we have to leave now.”
“Hermione, he’ll kill you.” Harry said, grabbing her hand.
“He will if we don’t leave now!” Snape said, looking back at the dark hallway nervously. He was paler than usual and he looked scared.
“How do we know we can trust him? He killed Dumbledore! He’s the reason my parents are dead!”
“Then don’t trust him. Trust me.” Harry looked down at her as she squeezed his hand. “Harry, we need to go now. If we don’t go now, you’ll die. Trust me.” Harry looked back up at Snape then back down at Hermione. After searching her eyes he finally nodded. Snape nodded and ducked out of the door ahead of them. Hermione pulled Harry out with her and followed Snape down the hallway. They moved through the dark, quiet house like ghosts. Hermione knew exactly where to go and how to move. Harry watched her as she moved and felt that familiar fear at being able to trust a woman who had moved through countless houses like this and killed the inhabitants as silently as she had entered. By this time they had reached the door. “Ok Harry, we’re going to open the door without doing the security spell. The alarm will go off as soon as we do. We will only have a few minutes after that. But it’s the only way we can do this without incriminating ourselves.”
“You’re staying?” Harry felt as if someone had enclosed his heart with a metal fist as realization dawned on him.
“Yes. I am who I am Harry. None of this changes anything. You have to go, now.” She handed him a scarf. “It’s a portkey. It will take you to the outside of your headquarters. Go.” Harry opened the door and immediately Snape and Hermione’s wands lit up. Harry looked back at her. She touched his hand. “Go.” Slowly, his fingers left hers and he immediately felt a pull around his naval. He looked at Hermione one more time before he disappeared completely.
Let me know what you think xx
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