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Chapter 5 : Is it Really Time
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Two Weeks later: Exactly Seventy-Seven Days after Fred’s Return
The Burrow was louder than usual. The Weasleys had outdone themselves with the celebration and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. In large part because the life of the party was back. With Fred and George together fun was to be expected and because this was the first major party that both the twins had been presents, everyone was in high spirits. Everyone except for her.
Harry looked across the room to the huddled form of his best friend. She sat cross-legged in her favorite arm chair, a oversized tomb in her lap, her curly hair in such a loose ponytail half of it was falling into her face. She was busy reading and taking notes, her right hand clasping a quill tightly over a notepad on the arm. He didn’t know what she was doing, but her attention never wavered from what was before her and if anyone got close, she would shift slightly, bringing her knees up so that the tome was pressed into her chest and her notepad would be covered be her sprawled hand. It was enough sign to not disturb her or ask questions.
But when had anyone known him to not ask questions?
He stood, giving a soft smile to Ginny who looked quizzically at him, then walked across the room to slip into the chair beside Hermione. His green eyes coming to rest on her downturned face. She was so engrossed she didn’t even notice his presence until he reached over and pushed one side of the book down, leaning over to read from the top of the first page. “What are you reading?”
Instantly she shoved his hand away and slammed her book shut, her notepad tucked in between the pages to save her place. Her brown eyes looked annoyed at him, “Nothing that concerns you, can I help you with something?”
“No, just wondering why you’re doing –“ He looked to her book and motioned to it, “Whatever it is you’re doing and not having fun with the rest of us.”
“I am having fun.” She frowned and looked around, blinking as if she had to give her eyes time to adjust. He wouldn’t put it past her. She had been staring at the book for hours. “I just have a lot of work to do.”
“Now?” Harry asked with a small frown before shaking his head, “Its not like you don’t have time to do this later, Hermione, come on. It’s the first time all the Weasleys have been together since …well you know, we should be celebrating like crazy, not being hunched in corners reading books.”
“Harry,” She sighed and shook her head, “I will, but I need to finish this chapter.”
“No..no you don’t.”
“Yes. I. Do.” She told him seriously, leveling him with her famous ‘how dare you question me’ gaze.
“Hermione,” He smiled mischievously, “If you don’t forgo this – Ill steal that book and hide it away where you’ll never find it.”
“You wouldn’t dare.”
They stared at each other for a solid minute before he got what he was hoping to receive. With a hefty sigh, a withered glare and pursing of her lips she shifted in her seat, pulled herself to the edge and clutched the book tightly to her. “Let me go put this away and Ill be back.”
“Okay,” He told her and stood with her, “You have ten minutes before I come after you and escort you back myself. So don’t think about opening that book at all once youre out of my sights.”
He watched as she walked to the floo in aggravation and once she disappeared he chuckled to himself and turned back to join the party, not before glancing at the clock to check the time. Ten mintues. That’s all she had.
“Heya Harry.” A loud voice called from the kitchen, “Get in here.”
He walked into the kitchen and blinked at the sight before him, George (he assumed) was standing there holding a rubber chicken and Ron was standing beside him smirking widely. “What?”
“I got him back!” Ron’s smirk widened as he turned his blue eyed gaze from Harry to the quiet George.
“With our product.” George said with a bored tone as he tossed the chicken over his shoulder and turned his attention to Harry. “Did you know anything about this?”
Now, if he were anyone else, he would have said no in a heartbeat, but the fact that Ron was his best mate, he paused for a second too long before replying: “Not at all.”
The second twin appeared beside George with his arms crossed. George followed his actions and both he and Ron stood there staring at a wall of Weasley twins. He darted his gaze towards Ron who had lost his smug grin and now was staring at them in apprehension. “It was only a bit of fun, George.”
“Sure—“ George said.
“Bit of fun – “
“No harm done, right Gred?”
“None at all, Forge, too bad – “
“He didn’t think about the consequences—“
“Of using our own products against us—“
They stared evilly at Ron and Harry watched in wonder as Ron’s hair slowly started turning bright pink, his freckles turned green and his eyes changed to a disgusting yellow. When Harry looked back at the twins he shuddered at their pleased and smirking faces.
“If you ask us.”—They both finished and Harry had to stifle his chuckle when Ron realized that something really had happened. The youngest Weasley male took off running towards the first floor bathroom and the three left in the kitchen waited in quiet until…
“AARRRGH!” Came the reply and both twins started laughing quite hard. “BLOODY HELL! GEORGE!” Ron bellowed and came back into the kitchen, “FIX IT!”
“It’ll fix itself in a few weeks.” George grinned and winked to Harry.
“A FEW WEEKS?!” He screamed.
“What’s going on in here?” Mrs. Weasley asked with her trademark hand on hips. “Dear Merlin! What happened to him?”
“Tried to play a prank on me.” George shrugged and turned to look at his mom just as Hermione walked into the back door. Both twins sobered up pretty quickly when they saw her state. Even Ron stopped fuming.
She had tears streaming down her cheeks, her eyes were so wet they looked foggy and her hands were shaking violently.
“Hermione?” Fred said and stepped to her.
“Hermione dear, what’s wrong?” Molly turned and gasped when she saw her state. “What happened.”
“Fred…”She hiccupped. “Fred…”
“I’m right here, what’s wrong?” The tall red head asked as he gripped her gently by the shoulders. Harry had never seen the twins look so serious, not even during the final battle; their features were completely voice of any happiness.
“I found it.”
“I found it!” She said more loudly. Her brown eyes catching his. Fred looked at her and like a flip of a switch, his entire face turned from worried to completely thrilled. Both he and she smiled and George as well.
“Found what?” Ron asked. Harry nodded, wanting to ask the same thing.
But the three acted like the rest of the room wasn’t there. Instead, Fred and Hermione left just as quickly as she had appeared and George started off after them. Molly was fast and stepped in his way. “What’s going on?” She asked her son.
George shook his head, “I can’t tell you. But if their smiling faces are anything to go by, mum, its good.”
“But..” Harry said and winced when he realized how articulate that sounded. Right. “Why was she crying?”
“Harry, stop being so nosey.” And with that, George took off after his brother and Hermione.
Hermione rushed back into the flat, Fred and George on her heels as she went to the opened book on the table. She had been so annoyed with Harry for interrupting her at the party, she had been so close. So when she had come to the twins’ flat, she had warded it and decided to keep working. Harry would understand one day. He would fall over thanking her for giving up celebrations in regards to this.
“Are you sure?” Fred asked as he came to a stop and took the notepad she handed him.
“Almost positive.” Hermione grinned and looked to George who walked in after Fred.
“It looks off a bit, though.” Fred frowned as he leaned over and pulled the book around to where he could read from it. “Look here..” He pointed at one of the paragraphs. “It says the inner site must be equal to or lesser than the outer site, but cannot be greater.” He looked to her notes, “You have it greater.”
“That cant be right, let me see.” She pulled her notes back, “No, it’s not greater, Fred, seriously – fifteen times eight is one twenty, which is less than one thirty four.”
“You couldn’t code it any closer than having a fourteen clicks difference?” He sighed and sat down on the chair. “Hermione this has got to be perfect, why are you freaking out about fourteen?”
She huffed, “Because it’s better than the eighty clicks we figured two weeks ago!” Her brown eyes glared, “Two weeks, Fred, that’s how long it took me to get this from eighty clicks to fourteen. Two weeks. Forgive me if I finally figured out how to narrow it down after so long.”
“But fourteen isn’t close enough to the eight clicks we decided would be efficient.”
Hermione looked from him down to the book and sighed. They had been working every single night trying to find the loop that connects all the elements. Fred had been a blessing, he had found the core processer and knew the formula – however impossible that seemed—and they had been able to narrow it down steadily each night. Fourteen was a good number, is was low which meant high in probability of successful outcome, but it wasn’t low enough. She knew that, but damn it she was so tired of worrying over this. They had gotten so far in such a little amount of time. She had begun to hope.
“Have you tried to cut out the negative reaction?” George piped in. Bringing her out of her train of thought.
“What?” Fred asked before she could.
Geroge chuckled and pointed at the book, “Two negatives become a positive, nimwits, if you add a positive in the reactor, then you’ll cancel out the negative and bring the total up to one twenty nine.”
“That’s a difference of five.”
Both Fred and Hermione stared at George. Long enough for him to look at them and frown, “What?”
“You just figured it out.” Hermione whispered.
“Well Im good at math.” He shrugged and turned to walk out of the room, “Better than you both apparently.”
“But, George..” Fred said softly looking from his brother to Hermione and back. “You just figured it out.”
“What’s done?” He finally asked, confused.
“The common link. The grid. The spell. You finished it.”
“Honestly, George, do you not pay any attention at all?” Hermione shook her head, “What do you think Fred and I have been working on for so long? Ever since he returned to work?”
“I don’t know, I figured it had something to do with Sirius.”
“It didn’t just have something to do with him, mate, it was the last piece.” Fred said and sunk down into one of the chairs, “You just figured out how to bring Sirius back from the Veil.”
George looked from Fred to Hermione, “I’m sorry, what?”
“This…” She pointed at the formula on the page, “Was what I needed Fred’s help with. This is what will tie in the two foundations I’ve already established, the sacrifice and the DNA.”
“So what exactly are you saying, Hermione?” George turned fully back to her and stepped further into the room, all thoughts about leaving them gone.
“What I’m saying is that its time.” She said breathlessly. “It’s time to bring Sirius Black back.”
One hour later…
Hermione stood patiently by the floo as she waited on Kingsley. It was late, but the sooner she got word to the man what she was planning on doing, the sooner he would be able to process it all. If she knew Kingsley, and she had a vague idea of the man, he would think she was barking mad and wouldn’t even think about looking at her notes until she pressed him on the idea relentlessly. It was all too familiar a thing with the man and, in her excitement; she wasn’t looking forward to the delay this would most likely take.
“Hermione?” The deep voice of the Minister of Magic finally filled the small room. His dark eyes focused on her, “How can I help you, Miss. Granger?”
“Kingsley, Id like to come through, may I?” She wasn’t about to tell him this through a floo call. Face to face would make it easier for her to hand him the paperwork and stand there long enough so he would actually have to read it a bit before telling her to leave.
“Sure, step on through.” He told her and disappeared from the green flames. Hermione looked over her shoulder to Fred who stood there smiling at her. He nodded at her and she smiled, took a steadying breath and disappeared through the floo.
“You really should work on your landing, Miss Granger.” An amused voice came to her as she picked herself off the ground.
“Or perhaps you should try and keep such a gaudy rug away from the fireplace?” She said snippy looking at the bear skinned rug, and glaring at the head of it that had tripped her.
“What fun would that be, Hermione?” He grinned and she couldn’t help but grin back.
“Right, well, Kingsley,” She straightened herself up and walked over towards him, he was sitting on his dark emerald green couch, sporting lounge pants and a rather tight white t-shirt that made his dark skin stand out rather intensely. She had always thought him handsome, but seeing him like this made her gulp. Seeing a man in robes was one thing – but in thin attire that showed off every sculpted muscle…she laughed at her thoughts and sat on the opposite side of the couch. “Forgive me, I have never seen you look so comfortable before.”
“Most haven’t, I do not normally let people into my private home, but you work close at hand with me and I have always trusted you. So – tell me, what exactly can I help you with at,” He glanced over at the clock, “Nine-forty at night?”
“This.” She said and handed him the folder than housed all the documents, theories, proofs, conclusions, disputes and verifying she knew he would ask for. It also had copies from the books she had found all the information in, detailed authors, titles and paragraph lists. She wasn’t an idiot and since she worked so closely with this man she knew what he expected. Especially when it came to off the wall cases like this. Fred’s case was just as anally detailed.
“Are you serious?” He lifted his gaze from the papers to level it on her. “Sirius Black? Hermione…he…he’s dead.”
“As you can see, Kingsley, I would have to disagree. I know its not heard of, I know that people have tried over the years to save someone, but not a single one of them was me or my partners. So you will have to excuse me when I say that thinking it impossible is quite idiotic.”
“Fred and George Weasley, sir.”
Kingsley’s eyes narrowed in on her and she knew that the man had connected the dots without even needing to ask the questions or hear the answers. That was something she liked about him. He was smart. Impeccably so, and he didn’t need anything dumbed down for him. “It says here that you need a descendant, Hermione, Sirius had no children.”
“Yes, that book does state it, but out of the six hundred and eight books that held this topic, only two of them said descendant, all the rest said blood. Which means, if I’m correct, that the descendant is not the true part but someone with the same blood. And luckily, all pureblood families are interrelated.” She chuckled and shook her head, “Never thought I’d say anything like that.” She grinned and pressed on, “I have that easily. Fred will stand in for that.”
“Yes, Molly and Sirius were first cousins, which means that Fred would be his second. Close enough don’t you agree?” Hermione shrugged, “If not, Arthur and Sirius were first cousins once removed, which makes Fred his second on both lines. We have also decided that both twins will be present, as the DNA portion so it’s doubly effective.”
“And what of the sacrifice?”
Hermione looked to Kingsley and frowned. It was hard enough to know that she had done what she had, but knowing that he would have to know in order for him to give the clearance just made her angry. “That would be me.”
“I’m sure you understand I’m not fully comfortable in asking,” Kingsley sighed, “But I need to know just what you mean by that.”
“Of course.” He told her and watched as she swallowed.
“I have given up my obliteration skills.”
Silence stretched between them as Kingsley thought about what she said. It was clear on the older man’s face he knew. He knew. He knew what it was that she had truly given up and when he looked back down to the paperwork, she though she caught sympathy in the normally indifferent man. “Well, it all seems to be present. When would you and the Weasley boys care to try this?”
“When?” She blinked.
“Hermione, you have built a strong case, you have worked on this for years and the last thing I want to do is keep an innocent man trapped, if he is,” He smiled softly to her then, “It all boils down to trust, Hermione, and I trust you. I trust you and most of all I trust your mind. You are the brightest witch I have even known and the very thought that you and the duo of Weasleys but your minds together to figure this out is enough for me to actually believe it will work.” He chuckled. “They are mad geniuses where you are brilliant, so I have no doubt that if it is possible, you three will succeed.”
She wanted to burst out crying. And was absolutely shocked to realize tears had fallen from her eyes, she sniffed and ducked her head, “Thank you for your faith in us.”
“Just remember that if there is a will, there is a way, Miss Granger.”
“I would like to do it one week from today.” Hermione got back on topic.
“One week?” Kingsley asked puzzled.
“We need time to practice, to double check, to ensure that we know what we are doing before we get to it, Kings, this is important. If we get this right, Harry will have Sirius, the veils great mystery will be answered and countless people’s lives could be restored.”
“True,” He nodded, “But I would like for it to be held under wraps for as long as possible. If anything, Sirius’ return will be classified as a one-off, a happenstance, a mystery to even us. I do not want people to know that there is a way to bring anyone back from the ‘dead’.”
Hermione nodded. “I know I’m asking a lot, I wouldn’t even press on this if I thought it would cause any problems, I swear to you the whole lot of us will take an unbreakable vow if need be to ensure that the wizarding world doesn’t know about this….” She sat closer to the edge of the couch, bright brown eyes wide, “But I have to do it, for Harry, for all of us really, but most of all for him, he has to…”
“Hermione,” Kingsley cut her off, “Just get Sirius back, will you?”
She smiled brightly and nodded, “Yes, sir.”
A/N -- I hope you liked it, I know it doesnt seem very in depth, but you have to be patient. It gets far more complex here in the next few chapters. Please lemme know what yall think. :)
Take it easy -- MM
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