I'm realy sorry it took so long guys! Right now I'm on a friends computer because mine broke down! The next chapter will be up soon! Hope you enjoy! The Paths We Take Harry took a few cautious steps towards the door, hoping beyond anything that his ears had just deceived him. He leaned his ear to the doorway to try and listen to what was being said. "Good job pads" Harry heard Lupin say critically, and Harry felt his stomach drop. He remembered those words, they were the same words he had heard the first time Sirius broke the oil lamp. Harry lifted his gaze to see Hermione standing beside him trying to control her uneasiness. "That might not have been the lamp. It might have been something else that broke..." Hermione pleaded, trying to convince herself that this had not just happened. As much as Harry sympathized with her, he knew that what was done was done. He walked back downstairs in defeat. Harry reached the bottom of the stairs and sat down gloomily. Hermione sat a few steps up from him and Harry noticed she was crying. He felt something catch in his throat and decided he had to help her. He got up and turned around to see shining streaks of tears along her face. "What's wrong?" Harry said softly, sitting beside her and looking into her shining eyes. "Harry..." she paused to wipe her eyes, "What if we've failed him? What if it's done? I'll never be able to live with myself." Harry was at a loss for words; his thoughts were identical to Hermione's words, only he didn't have the courage to speak them. As she continued to cry all Harry could do was try and calm her. After a few moments Harry held his breath and slowly laid his hand on hers. It was a strange feeling, Harry felt as if he was communicating with her in this moment than he had in these three days, even when no words were being said. When Hermione's tears stopped Harry stood up with her and they sat at the couch. They sat in a strangely comfortable silence for a few moments when a creaking at the stairs made them both look up. Sirius came barreling down the stairs with Remus coming down a bit more slowly behind him. They went through into the kitchen chatting idly. It cheered Harry up in a way to see that Lupin was trying to stay as detached as possible. When the two men had entered the kitchen Hermione stood up and started towards the stairs. "Where are you going?" Harry asked as he quickly got up to follow her. "To keep the oil from soaking into that wood," she said fiercely. Harry smiled at her level of determination. He followed quietly and watched in the hall to make sure no one was coming while she cleaned. When she was satisfied with her job she stepped into the hall and followed Harry down the stairs once again to join the others in the kitchen. They stood in the doorway for a few moments when Harry felt Crookshanks sneak past him once again. The same poor creature furry pray caught in his jaws, Harry felt sorry for the rodent. Ron spotted them and waved them to come sit down with him. They went and took their seats at the now crowded table, where Sirius launched into his all too familiar tale of the underworld, with the occasional comment added by the all knowing Lupin.Once again Moody excused himself from the table, and Harry couldn't remember the next time he would be seeing him. Harry ate Mrs. Weasley's delicious food until all thoughts of the task at hand were almost impossible to worry about. It was a small seemingly meaningless comment from Ron that brought it all back into focus. "Harry..." he said curiously, "what happened to your hand?" Harry, still smiling from Sirius' story, looked down at his hand noticed for the first time a wide patch of skin on his hand that looked agitated, he touched it gently and felt a burning sensation run through his hand. It took him a few seconds to realize that this was the mark left by the heated stone that had been blocking him from a dying Lupin. Hermione looked down and noticed it as well, instantly remembering the situation in which had been obtained. Before Harry had a chance to answer Ron he was grabbed by Hermione, she dragged him unceremoniously out of the kitchen, attracting many stairs from the occupants in the kitchen. Harry turned around to face her and was surprised to see an angry look on her face. "Why didn't you tell me!?!" she whispered fiercely. "I didn't realize-" "Don't tell me you never knew that the hot cement left a scar! You would have felt it before now!" "But I didn't" Harry said honestly, he didn't see why this was such a big deal to her. "Harry!" she looked desperately at him, "If Ron suspects that you were hurt on our trip to the future, it could jeopardize everything!" Harry knew Hermione was right, but didn't want to believe it. He sat down on the couch and put his head in his hands, all of the anxiety from this whole thing was starting to have an effect on him. "Harry, how could you be so ignorant! You should have told me! What if he figures it out! Lupin's doomed!" she hissed. "Has it maybe occurred to you that for once in your life you might be wrong?" Harry asked her sourly. She took a step back, her a shocked look on her face, but that suddenly changed to sadness. She sat down beside him and heaved a huge sigh. "I'm sorry Harry" she said. "I just don't know what to do." "I know," Harry said, "But I think going to bed might be a good start." Hermione nodded and they both walked upstairs and went into there separate rooms. Harry changed and laid in the darkness for a while for what seemed like ages when the door creaked open and a tall lanky figure that Harry recognized as Ron walked in. "So what was that?" Ron asked, Harry didn't need to ask what he was talking about. Harry quickly thought up something Ron would buy. "Oh, that, well, she realized something I had done wrong and wanted to yell at me a bit." Harry said with a surprising amount of bitterness in his voice, and Ron bought it, knowing full well how plaintiff Hermione could be. "So what's the scar from?" Ron asked. "Oh, this? This happened in the department of Mysteries, it looks bad because I fell the other day and put this hand out to stop myself." Ron nodded and turned over on his bed and within a few minutes his snoring could be heard echoing throughout the room. Harry smiled at how gullible Ron was before falling asleep. Harry woke to a loud bang that seemed to have come from downstairs. He slowly sat up and had dressed. He noticed that Ron had already left and was about to leave the room to enter the hall when the door opened before he could get to it. A frantic Hermione stepped inside. "Harry!" she said, clearly panicking, "Lupin's gone!"
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