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“Bastards! You disgusting bastards!”

They all jumped and stared at Hermione, who had just come down from the second story.

“Hermio-” Ron began, but she cut him off.

“He’s one of the greatest friends to your family! Not even Dumbledore loved you all more than he does.” She pointed at Ron, “Your best friend, and you owe him your life!”

“You! His love, his one great love, the source of happiness he gave up, just to keep it safe! You owe him your life as well.” Ginny backed up against the wall, tears forming in her eyes.

“Charlie! Why did you have to provoke him? Don’t you understand his pain? You don’t… none of you do…”

She glared at them all, tears of sorrow and frustration running down her cheeks.

“And you, Mr Weasley. After all Harry’s done…he saved your life, he taught you about Muggles!”

“No-one treats my childr – ” Mr Weasley cried out, but Hermione, eyes red and wet, did not seem to hear him.

“I banish myself from the Burrow! I’m – I’m going after him.”

Mrs Weasley wailed. Charlie closed his eyes, an expression of enormous regret on his face.

Hermione raised her wand. “Accio belongings!”

“No, Hermione, please-” said Ron grabbing her shoulder.

“Ron,” she whispered in a shaky voice, “I love you so much, but you are such a stupid, stupid prick!”

Ron’s arm dropped as Hermione’s trunk, clothes and books reached the kitchen.

“Goodbye!” she said furiously, grabbing her things.

“Bye, Mrs Weasley. Thanks for having me,” she added in a softer tone.

“Oh, it was a pleasure,” Mrs Weasley whispered through her sobs. The young woman and the older embraced, tears running down their faces.

Then Hermione, casting one last, sad look at her favourite family, followed Harry’s steps through the door out into the cool evening air.

Ron watched her go from the doorway. He knew he would not let her go alone; nor Harry for that matter. He would, as well, soon have to leave the Burrow.

It doesn’t matter that they both hate me now, he thought, we need each other. I’ll follow them soon…we will be reunited.

He sighed and turned back to the uncomfortable, awkward atmosphere in his family home.

He emptied a mug of Firewhiskey so fast he almost choked. He could feel his brain beginning to fog; he knew he was getting drunk.

Good, he thought angrily, Maybe I’ll forget everything. Ginny’s face. My stupidity. Everything.

Harry glanced around the dingy Hog’s Head pub. There were only a few people in it, most having gone home. Harry, however, no longer had a home.

He had seen a notice that announced the closing of Hogwarts School. He had been banished from both the Burrow and, in a sense, from Privet Drive. Where could he go?

The answer came suddenly. Godric’s Hollow.

He had to get there. Now.

“Bartender,” he slurred loudly, “Bill.”

The old man walked up to him with a greying piece of parchment in one hand and a bag of coins in the other, presumably for change.

Harry pushed some coins into the man’s palm. “That ‘nuff?”

“Yeah, that’s fine. Would you like a room, or do you plan on leaving now?” the bartender asked politely.

“No, I’m leaving now,” Harry assured him, pulling on his denime jacket.

“Quite sure?”

Harry looked out the window. Rain was falling from an inky sky. It seemed like lightning and thunder was just waiting to be set loose.

“OK, I’d like a room,” he said. He probably wouldn’t find Godric’s Hollow in this weather anyway.

“This way, sir.”

Harry followed the man up a set of unsure stairs. At the second landing, they turned right, reaching a door with the gold number 21 nailed to it.

Harry stumbled into the room, and walked across the floor to sit on the bed. On the wall opposite him were carved the words that would change his life.

She knocked on the door with her knuckles, hair wet from running through the rain. “Harry!” she shouted, “Harry, I know you’re in there! Talk to me!”

But only silence came from beyond the door. Hermione, beginning to lose her patience, banged harder on the door, but there was no response.

Suddenly, a horrible suspicion began to grow in her mind, and she whipped out her wand, screaming “Alohomora!”

Harry was on his knees in the middle of the room. A knife was in his left hand. From the wrists of both his hands, red blood was running in rivers, dripping down onto the floor.

“No!” she cried, “No, no, no!”

In a flash she was by his side, muttering charms under her breath, wand pointing at the deep cuts, tears falling from her big, brown eyes.

The skin closed again. Blood no longer pumped out into the open, but back into his hands.

She cradled his pale, sweaty head in her arms, rocking him back and forth like a child. “My Harry, my Harry…” she breathed, her whole body shaking.

“Look at the wall,” she heard him whisper. She obeyed, and read, engraved in the stone, the words:

Padfoot and Prongs were here, 12th of October 1972

“Oh, Harry!” She held him closer, her heart almost bursting with compassion and understanding.

“I don’t want this, Hermione…” he muttered, “I want to sleep until it’s over.”

She kissed his forehead, tears falling into his black hair. “But you can’t, Harry. Because it will never be over unless you act.”

For a while they were silent, lost in thoughts and grief. Then, suddenly, Harry spoke again.

“She hates me, doesn’t she?”

Hermione knew exactly whom he meant. She just didn’t know the answer.

And it brought a question to her mind as well: What did Ron think of her now? Did he hate her? Did his whole family hate her? And did they truly hate Harry?

A/N: Sorry about the delay. And I know it's very short:/

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