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-          CHAPTER SIX –

-          To stand against the Darkness–


Harry and Hermione stood frozen in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place. Narcissa and Andromeda still embraced, the youngest Black sister was crying uncontrollably.  Molly was also frozen in place a few feet away. Harry and Hermione’s bond was empty with only thoughts and feelings of confusion, terror, worry and disbelief flooding it.

‘This is not possible, Bellatrix is dead.’ Hermione whispered mostly to herself than to anyone else in the kitchen. Harry knew this was the logical belief, Bellatrix was dead, he had seen Molly with his own eyes killing the Death Eater after she had tried to kill Ginny. How was she supposed to be alive and able to write a threatening message sent along Draco’s finger to them?

Bellatrix Lestrange had done terrible things to all of them. She had killed Sirius, taking from Harry the closest friend of his father and his own Godfather. She had tormented Hermione to the point of unconsciousness; she had killed Nymphadora and tried to kill Ginny, and all these were crimes of her in the second War. If she was indeed alive; she had Draco in her hands and had started chopping him into pieces already.

Harry felt like exploding, fury was surging in his veins and he could feel his blood boiling. Since the day in the Department of Mysteries and Sirius’ death, Harry had hoped to be the one to kill the crazy murderer and when he saw her dying by Molly’s wand he believed they had finally gotten rid of her. He was apparently wrong and that made him furious, he fought to keep his wandless under control for the sake of everyone in the kitchen and the entire house.

‘Andromeda, are you sure? I killed her with my own wand. Arthur informed me of her burial in your family’s mausoleum.’ Molly said and Andromeda looked at the redhead woman.

‘Both Narcissa and I know our sister’s handwriting, Molly; we learnt to write with magical ways by our grandmother Irma Crabbe and our uncle Orion. They taught us to write magically so it’s impossible for someone to copy our handwriting; we can’t even copy each other’s handwritings.’ Andromeda said flatly and Harry sighed in frustration.

‘Impossible… this handwriting means that this cursed bitch is still alive!’ Harry finally spoke way louder than he intended to do, causing the four women in the kitchen to jump.  

He turned and looked at Hermione, he felt his heart beating harder at the memory of her screams, he still needed a lot of time to try and forget her voice breaking at the pain of the Cruciatus.  Now the memories and the nightmares of both of them about that night were returning full force to him.

He immediately hugged Hermione on instinct with one arm; even if they were both physically stiff. How was it possible? Bellatrix being alive? He still remembered the days after the defeat of Voldemort. He never asked what happened with the bodies of the fallen enemies, he believed they were taken care of from their families and the Ministry of Magic. He never asked to see the place the Death Eaters and their Master were buried, he didn’t need to make sure they were gone, he just knew they had died, or hadn’t they?

‘We shouldn’t tell anyone yet, Ginny is still very fragile to listen to this news after seeing Draco’s finger in the envelope, and the rest are very upset at this. We should wait till the morning.’ Molly said and everyone nodded in agreement. The redhead was the first to leave the room, leaving the Black sisters and the Potters behind.

‘I’ll take her upstairs.’ Andromeda said and started moving with Narcissa still in her hug. Harry looked at the two younger Black sisters and wondered how was possible that three totally different women had been born from the same womb? How Andromeda could be so good and pure when her sisters had been murderers and criminals? How Narcissa could change so rapidly while Bellatrix died for her beliefs, whether they were right or not?

Hermione started for the exit of the room so Harry followed her, he felt numb and so much more tired than before he entered the kitchen of his house. Grimmauld was a different place now.  A house with a different decoration and a happy family inside but at that moment there were many people inside it trying to cope with all the troubles they had faced.  Grimmauld reminded him the dark days of the second War, the desperation Sirius was feeling when Dumbledore wasn’t allowing him to go out and how the dead elves’ heads were hanging by the stairs, signaling purebloods’ believes and “superiority”.

Harry suddenly felt his chest heavy and his eyes watering, he didn’t want to cry in front of his friends who were telling him and Hermione goodnight as they passed through them, oblivious of what was going on with Bellatrix, the couple moved to the hall and up the stairs to their bedroom. When Hermione finally closed the door behind them and hugged him tightly, he let out a shaky breath and felt his tears running down his face and disappearing on Hermione’s shoulder. 

The Bond of the couple was  full of their true emotions, thoughts and memories. Even if they didn’t want to, they were projecting the memories of their nightmares to each other, nightmares of Hermione being tortured in the Malfoy manor, nightmares of Harry’s with Bellatrix killing Hermione and their children, nightmares they had as traumas from the war were now possible scenarios for their lives. The wounds they had been fighting to heal for the last eleven years were now opening and bleeding one by one once again.

Harry had promised to Lilly he wouldn’t allow anyone to touch her, her siblings or her mummy. He wanted to keep his word but how could he do it now with everything crumbling around him? Some months before everything was fine with him and Hermione had made plans for another child and a nice trip in Alps for the Christmas.

They say when men make dreams the Gods are laughing at them. Maybe they’re right, maybe having plans and dreaming of what you want dares the Gods and your luck. But life with no dreams and hopes is a desperate life and Harry had enough of it as a child and teenager.

He didn’t remember when they made it to their bed, when he laid atop Hermione and when their clothes were gone in a fast dance of kisses, caresses and gestures of passion. They needed comfort and a way to suppress their pain in the only way they knew that could satisfy each other’s needs. Harry’s blurry mind snapped in reality as he remembered something really important when his eyes fell on Hermione’s front. He took his wand and looked at his wife whom her eyes were already full of tears, as his own were he was sure.

It’s for the best, Mione. He sent through the bond as he didn’t trust his voice and she only nodded as more tears fell from her eyes. He took a deep breath and concentrated as he tapped the tip of his wand on Hermione’s lower belly; restoring the contraceptive charm they had broken a few weeks back. Hermione took a deep breath and looked away with a desperate expression. Harry knew that face, he had seen that expression many times on her features, he had seen it the days he was in the Tri Wizard, he had seen the same face the night of Dumbledore’s death, he had seen the same face when he was laying in front of Voldemort’s feet as she was screaming in fury and pain before the start of the battle in Hogwarts, eleven years ago.

Harry leaned and kissed Hermione on the lips and she returned the kiss with eager and love. They needed each other more than ever now, physically and mentally. They were the ones who had been through the most, not Dumbledore, not even Ron had been through the problems the two of them had, Harry and Hermione had spent most of the time in that cold tent. Only the two of them had been through fire and made it. Both of them believed their second worst enemy after Voldemort himself was gone but they were wrong, somehow, she had made it, somehow she was back in their lives. Harry started some scenarios in his mind, some scenarios he should have thought about, years ago. He should have thought things wouldn’t be that easy. He should have thought people like her would have find ways of surviving, she and Crouch Jnr. were His best Death Eater, after all.

‘Don’t blame yourself my love, please,’ Hermione whispered as she broke a kiss between them and he could only nod and concentrate on her and their lovemaking again.

After a long time later, Harry and Hermione laid on their backs beside each other, not talking, looking at the ceiling and thinking of everything that had happened the last weeks. Harry wasn’t sure what they should do to face the new threat but he found only one solution, if they were alone, they’d break, if they banded together, they had more of a chance.

All those thoughts were blocked from Hermione’s mind, she had enough filling her mind anyway. He looked at her from where he laid on the bed and couldn’t stop the tiny smile that formed on his lips. Maybe his idea could work after all.

‘Mione,’ Harry said softly and she looked at him, her face calmed and contained for the moment.

‘Hmmm’ she sounded and Harry turned on his side, his head resting on his hand, he traced his fingertip up and down the valley between her breasts moving further down on her stomach. He tried to pick his words carefully.

‘I was thinking that we should all get together to stand against… Bellatrix.’ Harry said and felt his heart aching at the sound of his voice admitting that the threat of Bellatrix Lestrange was once again in their lives.

‘Hmhmm,’ Hermione only sounded again and Harry knew she’d have problem accepting his proposal.

‘We know how it works, and what kind of spells of trust we have to use to secure ourselves.’ Harry started with things that could make her sure of the security provided on his idea. ‘I was thinking of… telling everyone to reunite the Order of the Phoenix once again.’ Harry said and held his breath at her reaction. If she was against it, he wouldn’t accept to keep up with the idea, Hermione was part of him and if she couldn’t accept the Order, he’d try to think of something else. Hermione looked at him with her calm eyes, their bond opened from her side first and Harry could feel tons of thoughts running through her mind. After awhile Hermione spoke calmly.

‘You think things are so bad, huh?’ It was a simple question that could take only a word as an answer but he felt each word of it beating through his heart. He knew the way her voice sounded, she desperately needed to hear that things weren’t as bad as they seemed, she needed to hear that the ministry would help and that the aurors and the forces of the British ministries would stand together to help each other, but Harry didn’t lie to Hermione in the years of their friendship and then marriage, he wouldn’t start doing such a thing now.

‘I’m afraid, yes, honey, we need to stand united, like before.’ Harry said and Hermione only nodded and closed her mouth, as she tried not to cry by the way her face frowned. Harry leaned and kissed her lips lightly.

‘We’ll make it through, we defeated Voldemort, and we can defeat his pet as well.’ Harry said slowly and Hermione turned her head and returned the peck on the lips, she nodded her head and took a deep breath, putting herself together once again.

‘You’re right,’ Hermione answered with her voice more clean and firm. ‘We’ll make it; I’ll support you proposing the reuniting of the Order. We should have you as the head of it, Harry. You were a great leader of Dumbledore’s Army, you’ll be great again.’ Hermione said and Harry smiled at her, she was back to her on-program self and he liked it, it made him feel more sure.

‘There are older people in this house who know more things than me.’ Harry said and Hermione snorted and smiled at him.

‘But YOU defeated him, only you saved us all.’ Hermione said firmly.

‘I had help…’ Harry replied with a smile knowing his denial of power was getting on her nerves.

‘Don’t start!.’ Hermione said laughing and kissed his lips. They had talked about how Harry really killed Voldemort and Hermione was always the one telling Harry how special he was during the war and how special her husband always is. ‘The house will be the Headquarters again, I’ll be the Keeper, you; as the head of the Order will be able to have all the knowledge and news about the activity of the enemy out there. I’m sure everyone will want you as the head of the Order anyway, love.’ Hermione said reassuringly and laughed when Harry gripped her and brought her closer to him, kissing her lips and biting lightly on her bottom lip.

‘Thank you for the support, love.’ Harry said and Hermione smiled and kissed his lips again.

‘Everyone is going to be feeling weak and frightened tomorrow with the news of Bellatrix’s return. We need to keep everyone on their feet, we’ll make it. The idea of her return is awful for everyone… but we can do it.’ Hermione said and Harry nodded and smiled at her, they were ready for war, once again, but they’d made it before and they could do it again.

‘I made a promise to Lilly.’ Harry said simply and Hermione even if she seemed surprised at the rapid change of the talk smiled and waited for him to continue. ‘I promised her I would take care of her, Jamie and Janie and that I wouldn’t let anything harm you. I told her that you’re going to do the same for them and me too.’ Harry said lightly and Hermione’s smile was the sweetest, it was the one she gave when someone mentioned her children or her love for Harry.

‘Then, we shouldn’t break this promise to our daughter for nothing in this world, right?’ Hermione said and Harry smiled and kissed his wife, the love of his life, again.


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