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Chapter 52 : The Death Eaters Outside
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Rose and Harry left McGonagall’s office and waited for Ron and Hermione to join them at the bottom of the stairs to the Headmistress’ Office. While they waited, Minerva left to go help with the process of smuggling muggle borns out of the school—a task that was proving to be much more difficult than anyone could have anticipated. No one could apparate directly out of Hogwarts and flooing to a safe house just wasn’t an option unfortunately. The staff were having to bring the students to Hogsmeade in groups and apparate them to the Ministry of the Country they were to hide in. Students ran about the halls, muttering about whether their families would be able to meet them in their destinations quickly enough to be placed together.
“’Mione!” Rose yelled, spotting Hermione’s familiar mop of curly hair moving through the crowd.
“Where’s Ron?” she called back.
“He isn’t with you?” Harry asked.
“I haven’t seen him since he went to talk to Gin!”
“Get the map out of the bag! We don’t have time for this. We have to get out of here, now,” Harry said urgently as Hermione finally pushed her way through the last of the mob of students and stood by her friend’s side. Harry and Rose’s hands were entwined tightly, and Hermione couldn’t help the spur of jealousy that overcame her. She so purely wished that Ron were there to comfort her. Pushing her thoughts aside, she reached into her bag and pulled out the Marauder’s Map like Harry had suggested. She handed it over to him, and he pulled his hand back from Rose’s hesitantly to open it. “I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good,” he muttered quickly. His eyes scanned the map that appeared, quickly finding his friend’s footsteps coming back from the owlery. “He’s on his way,” Harry sighed.
They hadn’t waited for more than a few minutes before came around the corner. He panted as he skidded to a stop. “Blimey, I don’t think I’ve ever run that fast before in my life,” he sighed.
“Let’s go,” Hermione said, ushering the group back up the stairs to floo out of McGonagall’s office. Hemione went into the fireplace first, shouting “12 Grimmauld Place!”
“I thought we were going to see Hermione’s parents?” Ron asked.
“Ron, the floo network isn’t connected to muggle homes,” Rose explained. She was surprised by how much she was tempted to sound exactly like Hermione would say ‘Honestly, Ronald.’ It brought a smile to her face. Ron shrugged, before stepping into the fireplace himself. After he was gone, Harry and Rose hesitated a moment.
“I’m going to miss this place,” Rose said.
“I know. Hogwarts is my home,” Harry replied.
“You’re my home,” Rose sighed.
Harry smiled, hugging Rose tightly and kissing her lightly. “We’re each other’s now,” he echoed.
Harry and Rose stepped out of the fireplace, taking in the familiar surroundings of the cursed home Sirius had left Harry and the Order. The entire house was in disarray since the Order had abandoned it at the end of the summer, because of Severus’ knowledge of the home. The group knew they wouldn’t be able to stay there for long, but it would do as a temporary refuge. Hermione stepped over to the window to peer out at the street. “They’re out there,” she sighed.
“Who is?” Ron asked.
“Death Eaters,” she confirmed. “Snape may not have been able to tell them the address of the house, but he certainly pointed them in the right direction.”
“Looks like we’ll be flooing fairly often,” Harry said in disappointment.
“That isn’t going to work,” Rose said.
“Why not?” Harry asked.
“The ministry tracks the floo system. When Voldemort takes over the Ministry-”
“He’ll be able to see exactly where we are,” Hermione finished.
“Apparating is our only option then mate,” Ron said.
“But Rose can’t apparate,” Harry protested.
“Harry, side-along apparition is the least of our problems right now. People do it all the time. For now, we need to get ourselves to Hermione’s parents before it’s too late.”
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