Broken Glass and Shattered Hopes Harry felt his feet hit solid ground and immediately put out his hands to steady himself. He looked beside him to see Hermione had done the same. He could see the streaks of tears still gleaming on her face, she continued to cry silently over what they had just witnessed. Before either of them went anywhere they both toppled back onto the couch. Harry sat still, feeling lightheaded, images of horrible moments swimming through his dazed mind. He sat still and Hermione turned to face him after a moment of silence. "Harry" she said in a weak whisper, tears flowed down her cheeks. "Harry we can't let that happen to him. "We won't" Harry replied, holding his own words as more of a vow than a statement. Hermione finally broke down into sobs and collapsed into Harry's arms. It was at this moment that Sirius entered to find the two of them shaking and sobbing. "Harry, Hermione! You're back!" he shouted, instantly footsteps could be heard throughout the house all heading for the main room where they sat, the first to arrive, to Harry's surprise, was Dumbledore. Sirius bent down and put his hands firmly on Harry and Hermione's shoulders. "What happened?" he asked, seeing the state they returned in. "Are you ok?" Hermione was about to speak to him when Dumbledore neared them and cut her off. By now everyone had reached the room and were fighting to here what was being said. Harry noticed Ron trying to catch his attention and was waving for them to join him, but his attention was immediately shifted when the door opened again. Harry's gaze followed Lupin as he slowly made his way towards them, his face was pale and strained. Harry knew that it was because he was showing early signs of the sickness doomed to befall him. Dumbledore turned to the crowd of people gathered in the room and spoke. "I must ask for a few private moments with Harry and Hermione before anything is said." All of them knew better than to go against Dumbledore so they left and made for the kitchen, leaving them alone with Dumbledore at last. Harry wondered why they couldn't even speak before Dumbledore spoke privately to them. Dumbledore stood in front of them, looking as anxious as he had in Harry's second year when the Basilisk was loose in the castle. Finally, after looking them over in silence for a few agonizing moments, he spoke again. "First, I would like to thank you for what you have done, as I'm sure Remus will do many times before the night is through." Harry saw a flicker of a smile pass over Dumbledore's noble face. For a while Dumbledore explained how time had passed while they were gone but in this time they had only been gone for a few minutes. Harry thought this was fortunate because now they knew vaguely what was to happen when, he also thought that it was strange that Dumbledore hadn't yet asked for a recount of there journey through time. Dumbledore continued to speak, and Harry's thoughts were justified. "Now, this is one of the most important things I will ever tell you about time. You two have seen and experienced things that were never known to any of us here in present day. So it is unimaginably important that it stay that way. You two are not to tell anyone of what you have seen or heard or even smelled in the future, do you understand?" Harry and Hermione both nodded, trying to grasp the concept of having to keep everything to themselves. "What will happen if someone found out?" Hermione asked after a moment. Dumbledore sighed and looked her straight in the eyes. "If someone finds out miss Granger, I can guarantee you that Remus Lupin will not live to see next week." Dumbledore's words rang out and Harry couldn't help but shudder. Harry's thoughts were put on hold when Dumbledore turned to leave and spoke one last time, "I will leave you two now, to discuss all that has happened, and please, be careful no one hears." And with that, he was gone. Harry and Hermione were both silent for what felt like ages after he had left, so Harry decided to break the silence. "This complicates things a bit." Harry sighed. Hermione nodded in agreement. "If I had known this before I would have looked at things differently" she said. Harry looked at her and smiled, "Well I'm glad to have you here with me at least." he said. He saw a blush creep up Hermione's cheeks. "I just...I don't know what to do." she said, changing the subject. "I think maybe we should think backwards, and try and figure out what caused that dreadful..." she lowered her voice and leaned closer, "that horrible fire." Harry nodded, and tried to think, but thinking seemed impossible now, now that he had seen the result of it all, the thing that had put Lupin in the ground, it seemed impossible to stop. After a few minutes of trying to contemplate this seemingly unsolvable riddle, Harry sighed in frustration. "Well what do we no about the fire.... I can't seem to think straight trying to recall it" Hermione said. She laid her face in her hands and tried to picture it, the heat, the screams, the terror. That's when she remembered Harry running back and returning. "Harry?" she asked. "What happened when you ran back in the house?" This question seemed to switch Harry's brain on, he had completely forgotten that. "Hermione" he said, "I remember now, I went and looked at the clock!" Hermione looked at him incredulously; "Harry," she sighed, "I think that's one of the smartest things you've ever done!" she beamed at him. "What time was it?" "Nine fifteen exactly." "Great, now we'll know if we've succeeded or not." Hermione said. "What do you say we go face the crowd, Ron's going to flip when we don't tell him what happened," The two of them got up and walked into the kitchen, and were immediately grabbed into one of Mrs. Weasley's enormous hugs. After a few minutes of near strangulation and tearful reunions Harry and Hermione were aloud to visit the rest. Ron ran up to them and embraced them both, all indignity forgotten. "How are you two?" he asked, beaming at them, "Are you two ok? What happened? You have to tell me everything!" Harry looked to Hermione and then turned back to Ron. "Ron, I'm afraid we can't tell you anything, I'm sorry." "WHAT!?!" Ron yelled in surprise and frustration, the noise caught the attention of everyone in the room and they all turned to Harry. Harry felt uneasy in the tense silence held around him. Harry turned around to see the crowd parting and Lupin walked silently through, he walked slowly, Harry could see he was still favoring his bad leg. His amber eyes shone with emotion Harry couldn't describe. Lupin walked slowly to a place a few feet in front of where Harry and Hermione stood. The room was silent as he approached. He stopped in front of them and smiled brightly, "Harry, Hermione, thank you for everything, I owe you my life." Harry could clearly hear the sincerity in his voice. Hermione suddenly sprung back to life and hugged Lupin tightly. "So what happened?" Fred piped up from behind the crowd of people gathered in the kitchen. "Come Harry, sit down, tell us everything." Sirius said, inviting them to sit at the table. Harry looked around to see all of the expecting looks he was receiving, but upon seeing Lupin he knew that he had to remain silent. "What happened after you left?" Ginny said, seeing that he didn't want to sit down and talk. Harry looked at them and tried to think of how to deny them when thankfully for him Hermione stepped in. "I'm sorry, but we can't say anything until this is all over, please don't be angry, but it's all for the best." there were many disappointed faces throughout the room, but they took it fairly well. After a little while of hugs and happy reunions Hermione and Harry were once again left in peace to try and contemplate how to overcome what they were now faced with. "So" Hermione whispered to Harry as they sat now the main floor guest room. "What should we do?" Harry thought about this for a few moments, the answer to all of this seemed hidden, trying to solve this problem felt like trying to move a mountain to have a view of the sun. He thought about what Hermione had said earlier about working backwards. "Well," he said, "I guess we have to try and figure out caused the- you know what..." Harry said, glancing at the door to see know one was there. "If we figure that out, then we can hopefully try and stop it." "Yes," Hermione said thoughtfully, "We're going to have to try and remember what took place when and how it affected the outcome, it's a not so simple case of cause and effect!" Harry smiled, if Hermione set her mind to something there was no stopping her mind. "So where could this have all started?" Harry wondered out loud. Hermione had the same thoughtful look spread on her face as before. Harry looked up as he heard loud bang coming from upstairs. He was trying to remember what had happened up there when Hermione stiffened suddenly beside him. "Harry" she said quickly, breathing hard. "What if we saw the thing that caused the fire, but just didn't realize it?" Harry thought furiously about this, what had happened about now that could have caused the fire. That's when it hit him. The oil lamp. “Exactly!” Hermione screeched, though she quickly lowered her voice and whispered to him quickly, “How long had we been in the future when that happened?” “Only a few minutes I think…” Harry said trying hard to remember. “Well come on! We have to stop that from happening!” Hermione shrieked as the ran up towards the stairs, Harry quickly followed suit. Within a few seconds Harry was tearing up the stairs, he had dashed past Hermione and was making his way to Sirius’ room as fast as he possibly could. The noise they were making in the midst of their haste had made Remus and Sirius stop their conversation, but after a moment it recommenced and just as Harry approached the room with Hermione right behind him. Just as he was about to turn and enter the room where it had all started, a loud bang and the sound of broken glass shattered Harry’s hopes even more than the oil lamp that would lead to the death of Lupin. At that moment they both stopped dead and leaned against the wall in defeat. “Harry...” Hermione whispered softly, “What have we done?” Ok...to start, I am soooooooooooo sorry it took so long, I'm just so afraid something won't fall into place properly. You guys are so good to me! Many of the events to come have been hinted at. I guarantee a couple more surprises to come, so please continue to review and tell me if something doesn't seem right. Next chapter will be up soon!
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