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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, JK Rowling does.

 

 

 






Grimmauld Place

The Knight Bus pulled up the corner of Northforth and Bakersfield. Of course, Harry and Hermione could not tell Stan Shunpike the real address they wanted to go to. That would blow its cover, as the house was hidden and they were in so much danger. Harry paid Stan and watched the Knight Bus shoot off into the night.

"Come on, we need to hurry. We can't let anyone see us," Harry said taking her hand and leading her in between Numbers Eleven and Thirteen of Grimmauld Place. 'Number Twelve Grimmauld Place is in between Numbers Eleven and Thirteen,' Harry thought. Suddenly, another house began to grow in between Number Eleven and Thirteen.

Number Twelve.

Harry opened the door and pulled Hermione in. They shut and locked the door, putting a few charms on the door. Hermione waved her wand a few times, checking to see if anyone else was there.

"We're alone," she concluded silently.

Those two words meant a lot more than just in a dark house.

"I think we should eat something, Harry," Hermione suggested to him.

"Hermione, this house has been abandoned for quite some time now. How are we supposed to get food?" he asked her.

"Okay, please don't say anything about what I'm about to do. I don't care what I believe in. What I care about right now is surviving," she said confusing him. But what she said next, he then got what she meant, "Kreacher!"

A house elf popped in front of her. "Kreacher doesn't normally answer to Mudbloods-"

"Shut up, you! She has as much right to be here as you do, wretch!" Harry cried going after the house elf with a pan, angry that the wretched house elf had called his best friend that. But Hermione grabbed his arm and stopped him, shaking her head.

"Kreacher, please, could you get us some food for us to eat?" she asked sweetly.

"Alright, Kreacher will get food for Master Potter and his Miss," the house elf said and disapparated.

Hermione blushed at his comment about her being "Harry's Miss". Harry turned and looked at her. "You have to be sweet to them. So, now what do we do?" she asked him.

"I'm not sure, Hermione. I'm practically doing this blind. I need to get rid of those Horcruxes. It's the only way to defeat him."

"We, Harry. Not 'I'. We need to get rid of those Horcruxes," she corrected him smiling at him. Harry blushed and looked away at her smile. He wasn't worthy of her friendship. No one really was. She just gave it out like it was candy on Halloween. She never asked for anything in return. Just as long as he was straight with her. Came clean. No lies. It was the only thing she wanted from him. Nevertheless, she would always support him.

"Hermione, you have no idea how thankful I am to have you as a friend. What you just did. That takes someone really strong to do. To make your parents forget about you so you can go gallavanting off with a mindless boy. There are no words..." he stopped as he realized that there really were no words.

"It's okay, Harry. You're welcome. And you are not mindless. Just...difficult to get things into your head sometimes." She kissed his forehead and they both chuckled.

 

 

 






An hour later, they had finished a nice meal of sandwiches that they had thrown together from the lunch meats and bread Kreacher had gotten from the magical market in Diagon Alley. The two friends picked a room-Sirius' old room-and fell asleep together on the bed. It was very awkward. Sleeping together. Even though they were best friends. Hermione knew what she felt for him. Harry was not sure. He wasn't sure how to feel anymore.

But the next morning, they woke up feeling like they had the best sleep ever, despite their compromising position. Harry was lying on his back, while Hermione was sprawled out across his chest. Her face buried in his neck. Harry's arms were wrapped securely around her lithe body. He could feel her warm breath on his neck, giving him the goosebumps and the chills. He didn't know why, but it felt so perfect. So right. So right to hold her. Close to him. Protect her. He would. He would protect her from anything and everything that wanted to harm her.

Hermione stirred and rubbed her face against his shoulder, nuzzling it. She turned her head to look at him. She smiled as she saw he was awake. "'Morning," she said blushing as she realized what position they were in. "Sorry," she apologized scooting away and out of his arms.

"It's okay," he said disappointed, missing the warmth.

Hermione sat up in the bed and looked back down at him. He stared at her, admiring her beauty. No matter how horrible she thought she looked in the morning, she was still gorgeous to him. "I think we should get up and start the day. Let's visit the Burrow and see if Ron wants to join us in our hunt," she suggested.

Harry nodded, agreeing with her.

They both showered and ate egg sandwiches for breakfast. Then, they left Grimmauld Place and went to a dark alleyway so that Hermione could apparate the both of them to the Burrow, where the Weasleys had rebuilt their home. It wasn't the same, but still looked a little cozy. They walked up to the door and knocked. A moment later, the door opened and Mrs. Molly Weasley stood there. "Harry! Hermione! What a surprise! Come in! Come in!" she ushered them in.

"Hello, Mrs. Weasley, good morning," Hermione greeted and Harry nodded politely.

"Good morning, would you like some breakfast?" she asked gesturing to the table full of food.

"Oh, no thank you, we already ate," Harry replied. "We were wondering where Ron was."

"He should be right down," she said going to the stairs and shouting, "RON! Harry and Hermione are here!"

There were footsteps bounding down the stairs as a teenaged boy with flaming-red hair came running down them. "Careful, Ron! We just rebuilt this! Don't need you toppling it over again!" his mother scolded.

"Sorry, Mum," he responded annoyed. He turned to his two friends. "Hey, mate." He hugged Harry and then Hermione.

"Hey, Ron, we need to talk. Privately," Harry said and the three of them went outside. They walked further away from the house, in fear of being heard. Once, they were a good half-mile away, Harry said, "We're going after the Horcruxes. Hermione and I. We just wanted to know if you were with us."

Ron stood there for a moment and then asked, "Where are we to go?"

"I dunno, around. We can't stay in London or any city. Two many people. Death Eaters would recognize us. Truth is, Ron, we have no idea what we are doing."

"Are you with us, Ron?" Hermione asked.

Ron looked back at his home with a sad look and then at his friends. His choice. "I can't leave my family. I'm sorry. Please, forgive me. But I just can't. Look, don't take this the wrong way, Harry, but you don't have a family to look after. I do. And they need me. I really want to, but I can't leave them."

Harry nodded, his expression blank. "That's fine. I wish I could understand, but I'll just let you do what you want. Please, stay safe. It was nice being your friend." He held out his hand for him to shake. Ron shook it and hugged Hermione tightly. "Take care of Harry, Hermione," he said making her blush.

"I will. 'Bye, Ron," she kissed the side of his head briefly. He smiled at her and she smiled back. Then, she grabbed Harry's hand, preparing to apparate.

"End this, Harry," Ron told him. "Free us. And take care of each other. I know you can."

Harry nodded. "Tell your family 'thank you' for us." Ron nodded this time and watched them apparate.

 

 

 






They arrived back to Grimmauld Place. They would stay there for one more night and then decide where to go from there. Harry sat in the Black Library, poring over the dark family's old books, trying to find more about dark magic and Horcruxes and how to destroy them. Hermione was in her Obsessive Control Disorder-mood and wanted to clean up all of the rooms. Harry actually laughed out loud when he had asked her if she wanted to look at the old books with him and she denied him, telling him she wanted to clean up the house. Hermione would never pass up on books.

"HARRY!" he heard her yell from upstairs. "HARRY!"

Harry went into protective mode. He grabbed his wand and practically flew up the stairs, taking them two at a time. "Hermione!" he called back, looking for her.

"I'm over here!" she cried calling from a room down the hallway. He rushed over to her and sighed with relief when he found her just staring at a door.

"Hermione, don't scare me like that. I thought you were hurt," he told her.

"Sorry," she apologized. "Look what I found." She pointed to the door. He looked at it and dropped his jaw. It was right here. Right in front of his face. "'Regulus Arcturus Black'," he read aloud.

"R.A.B., from the note in the locket," she smiled.

"Sirius' brother must have been a Death Eater and found a Horcrux and planned to destroy it. He replaced it with the fake one. Question is: did he destroy it?" Harry concluded their musings.

Hermione bit her lip, a habit which Harry liked. "Do you think Kreacher would know something?" she asked.

"Let's go ask him." He led the way down the stairs. "Kreacher!" he called.

A pop! was heard and Kreacher appeared right in front of them. "Master called?" he said bitterly. It was clear that Kreacher was pissed off with the fact that Sirius-his previous master-made a half-blood his new master. And his new master was friends with Mudbloods.

"Regulus. Did he ever mention anything about a locket?" Harry asked. But before the house elf could answer, Harry took the fake one out of his pocket. "About this locket?"

"Yes, Master Regulus ordered Kreacher to dispose of it, but Kreacher did whatever he could and could not destroy it. Nasty little bugger it is."

"So, what happened to the real one?"

"He came and took it. Mundungus. Mundungus Fletcher," Kreacher replied.

"Find him for me. Bring him back here," he ordered.

"Yes, Master," Kreacher said and he was gone. Harry turned to Hermione, who was beginning to prepare lunch for the both of them. "Come on, Harry, let's eat."

He nodded and agreed with her and the pair sat down for a nice lunch. Harry had finished almost half of his sandwich when the Daily Prophet owl flew in through the window. "Post is late today," Hermione pointed out.

"Yeah," he agreed and paid the owl a sickle as Hermione took the magical newspaper from its talons. She unfolded it as the owl took off. "Oh, my God!" she exclaimed widening her eyes reading the front page.

"What?" he asked.

"The Ministry has been taken over!"

"By who?"

"Death Eaters. Minister Scrimgeour has been killed and replaced with Pius Thicknesse! Ministry is now going to be up everyone's arses now, looking for us. Damn it!" she said. Harry widened his eyes at her curse. She never cursed. Ever!

"Look! 'Harry Potter: Undesirable No. 1'. And 'Hermione Granger: Undesirable No. 2. Muggle-born'," she read showing him a portrait of each of them with those same words written above and underneath them.

"We're Britain's Most Wanted. Hermione..." he didn't continue until she looked at him. "...just say the word and back out. I won't mind. These are Death Eaters. They are going to come after Muggles and Muggle-borns. You won't be safe anymore. Go with your parents. Go find them wherever you sent them. You'll be safe there. You can protect them even more."

"Yeah, but...who's going to protect you?" she asked with a smirk. It was clear where she stood. She loved her parents. More than anything. But they had each other. Harry...Harry had no one. No one to watch his back. No one to protect him. No one to heal him. Without her, he was completely alone. She was not doing this just for him. She was doing this for all Muggles and Muggle-borns. "Harry, you're going to need to get it through your head: I'm not going anywhere. I'm staying here with you. I'll follow wherever you lead me. We're going to end this. Both of us. Me and you."

Harry nodded and they were interrupted by a loud bang and crashes. They looked up and saw Kreacher and Mundungus Fletcher standing there. Kreacher was on Mundungus' back, obviously he had kidnapped the man. "Kreacher fetched Mundungus Fletcher for you, Master!"

"Let go of me, elf!" Mundungus cried.

"Expelliarmus!" Hermione shouted and caught his wand in the air.

"Taken something, haven't you, Mundungus?" Harry taunted the scared man, who widened his eyes as his wand flew into Hermione's hand. "Care to give it back to us?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," he said truthfully.

Harry took the fake Horcrux out of his pocket. "This. You took a replica of this locket from this place, didn't you? Where is it?"

"Errr..." Mundungus closed his eyes to think straight. "...I sold it, I think."

"To who?"

He stared off into space for a moment, trying to remember who exactly he sold it to. "I don't remember her name. She wore lots of pink. Smiled a lot. Perfume was so intoxicating I was about to vomit. Wait..." He stopped himself as he saw the Daily Prophet. "...well, that's her right there." He pointed to the woman on the first page. Harry and Hermione had missed that picture. Sure enough, it was someone they both knew and despised. "Yeah, could never forgive that face or smile."

"Umbridge," they both said in unison.

"Thank you, Mundungus. Now, never take something from this house ever again! Do you hear me?" Hermione threatened pointing her wand to his temple. He nodded vigorously, terrified of this teenage girl.

"Erase his mind, Hermione. Then, Kreacher, take him back. I have no more use for him." Hermione nodded and waved her wand, "Obliviate!" she said for the second time in two days. "Go, Kreacher! Take him back now!"

Once Mundungus and Kreacher were gone, it was silent once more. Hermione looked at her best friend, who looked back at her. "So, to the Ministry?"

He nodded agreeing. "To the Ministry."

TBC...

 

 

 






Pleez review!

DREWHHR
 
 
 

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