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Chapter 5 : A Diagon Alley Trip to Remember.
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"Yeah, way to go, dad," Fred and George said together, clinking their goblets of pumpkin juice together.
"Thank you, boys. We will go around in groups of three, two people to every one Auror. Don't protest, Fred. I'm not letting you walk around on your own in this condition." Mr Weasley said sternly. Harry had never heard him so stern before.
"You're right to do so, father. You can barely trust your own families these days." At this, Ginny lowered herself in her seat, Harry noticing, looked at her, puzzled.
"Now, now, Perc. We can trust everyone sitting around this table." Bill said, ashamed that one of his own brothers would say something like that. "I mean, Harry's here, if a Death Eater was around, they would find it very hard to get past him." He said proudly, looking at Harry.
"I was just saying, Bill. It's not safe out there anymore." Percy said, fighting back.
"Well, if your 'perfect' Minister for Magic realised Harry and Dumbledore weren't lying, the world would be a lot safer than it is." Bill struck back.
"Boys, we can't fight about this. What's happened has happened. To get through this, we need to stick together. Okay, on with the plan. I can be there, as I managed to get the day off work. (Mrs Weasley smiled proudly at her husband). Myself and your mother will be off shopping for presents - it is your birthday soon, Harry. Fred and George will go around together, with Tonks. Ginny and Ron together, with Mad-Eye. And Hermione will be with Harry and Kingsley. If groups want to meet up, both the parties Auror's will stay with their allotted pair." Mr Weasley said, making sure that everyone was paying attention. "Bill, Charlie and Percy will float around checking everything is how it's meant to be. If anyone see's anything out of the ordinary, alert your Auror and go to the meeting place - Fred and George's shop. The Auror's will let everyone else know. Once every party is back, you can use Floo Powder to return back here. Everyone got that?" Mr Weasley directed that question at the twins.
Everyone nodded to show that they understood. "Before we start eating, breakfast will be served at nine til nine-thirty. We will be leaving at ten. Make sure you're not late, boys." Mr Weasley said, again, directed that at the twins.
"Mr and Mrs Weasley, I don't want you spending your money on me. That's not fair. You have both been like parents to me, you have definitely done enough." Harry begged them not to.
"Arthur? Did you hear something? Harry, don't be so silly. Of course, we have to get your presents. That's what parents do." Mrs Weasley said, winking at Harry. "Tuck in everyone."
The dining room suddenly burst into life and laughter. Harry had forgotten how it felt to be loved and wanted. He had only really had that experience at Hogwarts. He now had a whole summer of it. He stuffed himself with all the delicious food Mrs Weasley had made. She always managed to make enough food to feed the whole of England, but no food was ever left over.
"After dinner I would like to talk to all the Weasley's," Mrs Weasley demanded.
Ten minutes later and Harry couldn't be having more fun, he was in the middle of a vigorous debate about Quidditch with all the Weasley brothers, except Percy as he was talking to his father about the Ministry, and Ginny.
"I think the Chudley Cannons made the right decision sacking the coach, he's a good coach but he didn't understand their play. Hopefully, the new one will. I've also heard that they have a new Seeker." Ron said.
"Yeah, I heard that too," Fred added. "I hope he's good enough to beat the Wigtown Wanderers. Since signing Jessica Bell, yes Harry - Katie Bell's eldest sister, no one will get the Quaffle past her."
"Yes, Jessica was very good. But I heard the new seeker is even better than her." Bill pointed out.
"I can't wait to see him in action, then." Ginny voiced what Harry was thinking.
"Oh, Charlie, just tell them." Mrs Weasley interrupted.
"Mum, I wanted to surprise them. Oh well, I was asked years ago, when I left Hogwarts, in fact, if I wanted to go into professional Quidditch, at that time I wanted to work with dragons, I have now done that, so I contacted the Chudley Cannons and they signed me last week. I start next month." Charlie announced.
A cluster of congratulations spread over the room. Harry was so happy for Charlie, he had lived his dream and now intended to fulfil another one.
"Yes, yes. We're all very happy for, Charlie. But I see that all the food has disappeared, so I would now like that chat with you all." Mrs Weasley stated.
"Oh, sorry Mrs Weasley, Harry and I will just go to our bedrooms," Hermione replied. "Come on, Harry" She urged.
"I wonder what they're talking about?" Harry pondered.
"Or who," Hermione added. They had just entered Hermione's room and Harry walked over to her bed to sit down.
"Oh, Hermione, you have another letter." Harry uttered, not really wanted Hermione to see it.
Hermione looked at her desk and saw that an owl was perched on a slightly opened draw. She walked towards it and thanked the owl for bringing it to her.
"If that's from Viktor, open it, I don't mind," Harry stated.
"Yeah, it is. But it can wait." Hermione responded. "He sends them so quickly, he must be close."
"Honestly, Herm, I don't mind." Harry's mind was screaming at him of course he minded but he couldn't voice this.
"Really? You won't make rude remarks or storm out?" Questioned Hermione. She ripped open the envelope, as Harry shook his head at her question, she deemed this as a good enough answer. She took out the letter and read it, this one didn't speak to her like the last.
"What did he say?" Harry quizzed.
"Here, just don't laugh." Hermione pleaded, handing the letter to Harry.
I decided not to make this one talk because my accent always made you laugh. I'm glad you're okay if you didn't reply I would have come for you.
I'm good thanks, I've been living in England for a while, learning new Quidditch moves and skills. My new coach has informed me that I could stay here and train. I haven't decided whether I want to leave Bulgaria, I love it there, but I also am enjoying England. What do you think?
Until next time, stay well.
"Looks like he wants you to get him to say." Harry said, forcing himself to smile.
"Yeah, I don't know. I don't think I should decided that for him. Hang on, I need to write back."
I never laughed at your accent. About your question, I can't decided that for you. I would obviously love it if you stayed, but, if you love Bulgaria, I would say stay there. Think about it.
All my love,
"So, Harry. What do you want do to? I'm not sure when Ron will be back."
Harry checked his watch, it was nine o'clock. "I don't mind, we could plan tomorrow. Is there anywhere you need to go?" Harry asked.
"Oh yeah, we're going around together, sorry you didn't get put with Ron." Her head lowered.
"Hermione, you're my best friend, too. I love spending time with you, if I was with Ron, I would miss you. Come on, cheer-up, I'll get you something nice tomorrow. For rescuing me." Harry grinned.
"No, you don't have to do that, but I do need some potion ingredients, some that aren't on the school list." She demanded.
"Hermione, my mind is set, I'm getting you a present." Harry insisted. "What ingredients? And why?" Harry asked.
"If you must. But nothing expensive. Oh, well, I've been reading up on this potion, Fortitude Penetralis? I think it will be useful to have this year." She declared.
"I'll get you whatever you want, and, I will know what you want! You get a sparkle in your eye when you REALLY want something. If it isn't dangerous, go ahead." Harry joked
"No, if I get it right, it's completely the opposite." She emphasised.
Ron didn't return from his family meeting, so Harry and Hermione stayed up half the night talking. Listing their biggest fears and ultimate wishes. "Harry, what are you hiding? I can tell you want to get something off your chest." Hermione whispered. They were now both sitting on her bed, side by side.
'Don't tell anyone, promise?" He pleaded.
"I promise I won't tell a soul." She agreed. She then sat in silence, waiting for Harry to talk.
"I'm terrified, I act like I'm in control of everything, that I let nothing get to me. Whenever I'm alone I always think the same thing - I can't do this on my own. I know you said that you and Ron were always going to be there, but what happens when it comes down to it, it's going to be me and him. No one to help or protect me. I'm not even sure I want you and Ron there, I don't want to be the reason you die. Hermione, I haven't got the ability to carry on. When I was one, my mum protected me, I didn't stop him. When I met him again, at eleven, I had my mum's protection on me, he couldn't touch me. Then, finally, when it was just me and him he came back to full power."
"Harry, how can you say you don't have the ability? The worst things in life have all happened to you before the age of sixteen. You might have gotten help, but that just shows how loved you are. If you had to do this on your own, it might be impossible, but that's what I'm here for and Ron and everyone who have risked their lives. Everyone who has died, Harry, it's not your fault. If you thought you were doing this on your own, you're wrong, I'm doing it to protect my mum and dad from something they don't know about, I'm not doing it just for you, and if I die, I die. But, I will have died doing the right thing and making a difference. However, you're the only one who can stop him and I'm going to try everything I can to help you. Because if you're doing this on your own, you're just like him. That's what makes you stronger, Harry, you can open up your heart to others, which takes strength above anything Voldemort has."
"No, Harry. Never say you're on your own. Maybe, when it comes down to it, it might be you and him, fighting til the end. But, right now it's not just you. We're all fighting for the same reason but for different people. If you don't have the strength to carry on, I'll give you strength." Hermione whispered. "It's gotten really cold."
"Thanks Hermione, if you're with me, I know I can do this. Here, come here." Harry offered. Hermione was right, it had gotten very cold, so Harry suggested that Hermione snuggle up to him. They put the duvet over them and, suddenly, became very toasty. Harry's eyelids became very heavy, he was going to suggest to Hermione that he goes into his own room, but upon looking at her, he realised she was fast asleep. Her head was gently laying on Harry's chest. As he looked at her, he smiled. He carefully moved the hair out of her eyes. He didn't know how long he was staring at her before he feel asleep, but he had an another amazing dream.
"Fred, George, did it work?" Mrs Weasley nagged.
"Yes, mum. We told you our Polar bombs would work. The room is freezing." Hissed Fred.
"Good. George, did you lock the door?" Questioned Mr Weasley.
"Yes. Why are you going to this much effort?" George asked.
"Just keep them together." Spat Mrs Weasley.
"She's planning something, Freddie. We better watch out" George announced.
"Harry! Wake up." Someone was violently shaking Harry awake. When Harry opened his eyes he saw who was waking him up.
"Hermione, what's going on?" Harry yawned.
"Its twenty-five past nine, breakfast ends in five minutes." Hermione cried.
"Oh, we can just get something at Diagon Alley, if you want. I'll pay." Harry croaked.
"Are you sure? I won't order much."
"Hermione, get what you want.' Harry managed to get in before he fell back to sleep. Hermione rolled her eyes and started looking for something to wear.
She was never very dressy, but for her birthday her parents got her a summer dress. She loved it, and looking out of the window she decided the weather was 'dress weather.'
She opened her wardrobe door and took out the dress. It was grey with a floral print along the top and bottom. It had thin straps and fell above the knee. She decided she would tie her fringe back with a pink flower. She wouldn't normally change with Harry in the room but he was completely out. She took off her clothes, once again she had fallen asleep in her clothes, and quickly put the dress on. She looked into her mirror, appearing at the top the words 'Miss H Granger', she sorted out her hair and then turned to look at Harry, she smiled and decided she would wake him up soon.
She went over to her window and opened it, suddenly an owl swooped in. "How long have you been waiting to come in?" She asked the owl. She notice that it had a letter and a package tied to it's left leg. She ran over to untie it. She first opened the letter.
Hope you like it.
She smiled at this and then tore open the package. Out fell a light pink gem, in the shape of a heart. She quickly put it on, walked over to the mirror, and admired it. She looked at her watch, five to ten, she decided to wake Harry up now, he would only have ten minutes to get ready but that was his fault. "Harry, it's time to get up." She called.
"What time is it?" Harry moaned.
"You have eight minutes to get ready." She explained.
"WHAT? Why didn't you wake me up before?" Harry had suddenly woken up properly.
"Sorry, but you looked so peaceful." She whimpered.
"It's fine, I'll meet you in the kitchen when I'm ready."
"The only people missing are Hermione and Harry. Has anyone seen them?" Mrs Weasley asked. Everyone shock their heads and Mrs Weasley frustratedly looked at her watch. "You know what? Ron and Ginny can go, Alastor is here."
"If you say so, Molly. Weasley, Weasley, follow me. I'm going to go first, Ginny follows and then Ron." Mad-Eye grunted.
"Bye, have fun." Mrs Weasley grinned. "Fred, George, you'll go next. When Tonks shows up."
"Mum, why are you so agitated? Kingsley isn't even here yet, don't be mad at Harry and Hermione, we only unlocked the door at quarter to ten." Laughed Fred.
"Yeah, we kept them together for as long as possible." Chortled George.
"Boys, don't push me. Tonks, finally pulled away from Lupin? Good, you three can get going." Pushed Mrs Weasley. "Tonks first. Bye boys."
"Bye mum" Fred and George said together.
"Where have you two been?" Mrs Weasley questioned as Harry and Hermione walked into the kitchen.
"Sorry Mrs Weasley. We woke up late. Hope we didn't ruin the plans." Hermione explained.
"No, of course not. Kingsley's only just arrived." Smiled Mrs Weasley.
Harry couldn't help but smile when he stepped out onto the cobbled streets of Diagon Alley. He looked around and there wasn't nearly as many people as normal.
"Thats because no one has gotten their school lists yet. We only have ours because Dumbledore has been visiting us." Hermione answered Harry's unvoiced query. "Come on, I'm starving"
"Do you want to go to the Leaky Cauldron or Florean Fortescue's?" Harry chose to ignore how Hermione knew what he was thinking.
"Leaky Cauldron. I'm too hungry for ice-cream." Hermione commanded.
"Too hungry for ice-cream, that's something to think about." Kingsley laughed from behind them. Forgetting he was there, both Harry and Hermione jumped. "Don't worry, I'm going to 'loose'' you soon."
"You're the best Mr Kingsley, sir. But won't you get in trouble?" Hermione asked.
"No, I'll follow you, at a distance. Just don't get in trouble." Kingsley demanded.
After a couple of hours of shopping, the streets started becoming more packed. Harry couldn't help noticing that loads of the new crowd were fully clocked. Hermione must of noticed too as she kept close to Harry. Harry looked around, Kingsley was no where to be seen. The clocked figures kept getting closer and closer to Harry. He knew who they were, they were Death Eaters. He started to silently panic. What kept him calm was Hermione, her being by his side.
However, Harry noticed that Hermione was no longer as close. He looked at her but saw she wasn't there. He heard screaming and knew it was Hermione's scream, someone had taken her. Harry really started to panic now. He tried to move from the crowd of Death Eaters but couldn't. They had made a wall blocking him from Hermione's snatcher.
"Get out of my way." Harry demanded. He knew this wouldn't work but he didn't know what else to do. He got out his wand and shouted one more time 'GET OUT OF THE WAY!" He had a chance, there was a gap between two Death Eaters legs. He had to do it quickly, quick enough so no one realised. He ran at them and just in time ducked to fit through the legs. He was free, but Hermione wasn't. He franticly looked around the street. His heart dropped as he saw a huge man carrying someone. The person being taken was kicking and screaming, fighting to be put down. The man was heading for Knockturn Alley, a place where dodgy people went.
"HARRY! HARRY PLEASE HELP."
The person the man was carrying was Hermione. With nothing else to do, Harry ran towards the man. "Oi, turn around." Harry demanded. The man carrying Hermione was evidently half giant. He obviously didn't respond to Harry and kept walking. Harry followed. People down Knockturn Alley started staring at Harry. He pulled his hood over his face, attempting to cover his scar which made him so recognisable. He heard frantic whispers, he wasn't safe down here, but he would never leave Hermione.
It suddenly went very dark. Harry pulled his jacked over him more. Everything went cold. He knew what was coming. This didn't stop him, he needed to protect Hermione. He began to run. He started seeing his breath. He began to panic more and more, it was pitch black, he couldn't see anything. He reached into his pocket for his wand, but it was gone. He was now alone.
"Why is it so dark? We haven't been out that long" Harry spoke to the darkness.
"Oh, but you don't know how long you've been. You were having too much fun." A deep voice sounded. "Hello Harry Potter." Harry recognised this voice. It was Lucius Malfoy. "So Potter, I'm afraid this is going to be very unfair. The Dark Lord isn't strong enough to kill you by himself any more, you've caused him too much trouble. He wants you dead, by which ever man achieves this. He will highly respect me if I was the one to finally kill you. But should I do it slowly and enjoy it? Or make it quick and painless?"
"You don't have the guts to do it, Malfoy. You never have, you just follow him so he won't kill you." Harry had no idea what he was doing, he just wanted to delay this for as long as possible. Harry heard a pop, telling him someone had apparated onto the street, he prayed it was someone to save him. How wrong he was.
"Lucius, I commend you. You have brought my enemy into my arms. Hello Harry Potter." Said the cold, high pitch shriek of Lord Voldemort.
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