Harry Potter blinked as his eyes adjusted to the warm blue lights in Dumbledore’s office, the fire warm and the chairs inviting after the cold green light of the memory he’d just been in.
“So,” he said, mind already running a mile a minute. “It’s horcruxes.”
Dumbledore looked at him, thoughts twinkling behind his half-moon spectacles.
”Yes,” he then quietly confirmed. “And to destroy Voldemort, you must destroy them first.”
The corner of Harry’s mouth twitched slightly in anger. He couldn’t believe this guy.
“Sir, I’m sure I misheard you. You aren’t expecting me to destroy them all, are you?”
Dumbledore’s expression stayed remarkably blank.
“Why would you think that, my dear boy?” Harry tried not to let his distaste show at the nickname, but he suspected he failed, probably badly, if the small smile playing on Dumbledore’s lips was anything to go by.
“Because I know how you operate and what kind of missions you send me on, and I’m not about to do anything just because it’s somehow connected to Voldemort. Sir.”
Something calculating flashed in Dumbledore’s eyes before he heaved a sigh. “This man killed your parents, Harry. Looked them straight into the eyes as he fired the killing curse. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?” Harry grinned despite the anger flowing hotly through his veins, and he swallowed down the urge to just punch the old man in the nose. Maybe break it again, while he was at it.
“With all due respect, Sir, but he probably didn’t look into their eyes. He was in a rush to kill me and my sister, remember?”
His old trainers screeched on the polished floor as he stepped backwards. Passive aggressive politeness was probably his best options. He could always fume about this particular manipulative asshole later.
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have homework to get back to. Goodnight, Sir.” He turned on his heel and almost missed Dumbledore muttering “Goodnight, Chosen One,” at his back.
The griffin that marked the door to Dumbledore’s office had exactly two-hundred and seventy-three cracks.
Hermione knew this because she had been stuck in front of this very griffin for an hour now, waiting for her twin brother to end his meeting with the headmaster.
Finally, the distinctive scrape of stone against stone was heard and the stairs turned to reveal a furious Harry Potter.
“Oh boy. What happened?” She asked, following his angry stomps down the hallway but staying an arm’s length away from her brother. She had learned to keep her distance when he was angry after being burned by electric sparks fizzling out of him once.
“Stupid fucking fuck,” Harry hissed through clenched teeth, “expects me to do all the fucking work for him -” She rolled her eyes. Of course it was their headmaster being dumb about Harry being the chosen one. She should have guessed it, really, nothing else ever made him this angry, especially when he ignored the fact that Hermione was quite literally chosen, too. They both had the lightning-shaped scar and were parselmouths. It was a rather interesting topic, and one that they discussed regularly in their favourite chairs in front of the fireplace in the Ravenclaw common room. (Sometimes the portraits would chime in with a useful suggestion.)
They had their fair share of theories, but none really made sense just yet.
She was just opening her mouth to at least try to calm him down, when suddenly another voice was heard in the hallway, obnoxiously loud and boyish.
“Well, if it isn’t the Chosen One.” A red mop of hair and a whole army of freckles came into view.
Great, a Weasley. Specifically, Ron Weasley, the most annoying one out of the bunch. She didn’t know why, but for some reason he liked to pick on them whenever he saw them.
Maybe it was jealousy? She’d heard something about the Weasleys being quite poor, and their social status wasn’t the best either. She shrugged it off. Didn’t mean the git had to bother them every time he came across them.
Remembering Harry’s furious state, Hermione threw a worried glance at her brother who had just been steaming a second ago, but was relieved to see a calm and collected exterior he had put on at the sudden arrival of their long-term … bully? Enemy? Annoyance, she decided. Long-term annoyance.
Weasley looked her over and sneered. “So, Oh Chosen One, what are you doing here with her? Up to some fun, if you catch my drift?”
Ice-cold fury spiked through Hermione’s veins. She was about to step forward and show the boy who he was talking down to, and let her be honest, she was not to be messed with if you didn’t want an abundance of pimples on your face spelling out a bad word, or something similarly humiliating, when yet another voice rang through the corridor, this time a high and thoughtful one.
“Do you not know how sisters work, Ronald? I think I might be worried for Ginny.” Luna Lovegood, who apparently had materialized out of thin air, lowered her voice conspiratorially. “I know, I know, it’s the gumbalumps. they can be quite mind-twisting, can they not?” She smiled brightly and twirled one of her long strands of hair around her finger.
Hermione almost burst out laughing. She was relieved to see her friend there, she’d discovered Weasley always left earlier when she was present. Maybe he was weirded out by her or something; she didn’t care. As long as he left them the fuck alone.
Weasley looked at Luna with wide eyes and seemed to be at a loss for words. Hermione found immense satisfaction in the way his ears turned red as he realised what Luna had implied, and he opened and closed his mouth a few times as he tried to come up with a (particularly clever, she was sure) reply. He just ended up looking like a goldfish, though, which again almost sent her laughing.
In the end he decided on sniffing haughtily. His eyes widened when he noticed Hermione’s wand was glowing with a warning in her hand. (Morgana, how she loved scaring the shit out of people sometimes.)
(Not that the wand pointed in his direction or anything, though, not even loose. Hermione would never threaten another student like that. Of course.)
He sniffed once more, just for good measure, and took off down the hall like a dog with his tail between his legs.
“So,” Luna then said, turning to face them fully. “That was a pleasant conversation, don’t you think?” She then smiled at Harry, who had dropped his mask the second Weasley was out of sight. “What’s with you, Harry? You seem irritated.”
After explaining the situation to Hermione and Luna, and then again for Hermione in case he “left out any details in the first run-through,” Harry was a lot less angry.
He still wanted to punch someone (preferably a someone with a long white beard and pumpkin socks whose name rhymed suspiciously with “Mumble bore”), but at least he no longer felt like he needed to set something on fire and then blow it up, and afterwards bake the ashes into a pie and feed it to Hedwig. That was progress, right?
He actually managed to get some of his potions homework done in between answering Hermione’s questions, until he threw down his quill and announced he needed something to eat, or he might quite literally starve. His stomach was doing a revolution already.
Luckily, though, Luna and surprisingly Hermione, too (he didn’t know she felt physical needs at all,) agreed, and that was how the trio found themselves at the Ravenclaw table early for dinner.
He spent the few minutes until the food appeared with answering more of Hermione’s seemingly never ending questions, until too many people had arrived and they deemed the topic too risky to discuss openly.
Luna sighed. “I wonder what’s for dessert tonight … I hope there’s chocolate cake.” Hermione smiled and leaned forward conspiratorially.
“Well, from what I’ve heard there will be chocolate pudding,” she winked, and laughed when Luna’s eyes brightened. Harry grinned at the ceiling. Luna’s love of pudding would never cease to be endearing.
His grin softened into a thoughtful smile as he watched the clouds hang over their heads heavily. They were dark and full of energy, a storm threatening to break out at any moment.
He couldn’t see the moon, but he knew it would be about half full now.
It was a habit of his to check the moon phase frequently, something that probably came with having a werewolf for a father. He smiled fondly at the thought of Remus and Sirius, his and Hermione’s parents, or, more accurately, guardians.
They had taken them in after their real parents were killed when they were still babies.
They were the best fathers anyone could ask for, and he loved them with all his heart.
Suddenly he saw a white bird in the corner of his eye. Turning his head, he caught his snowy owl Hedwig swooping down with a letter in her mouth.
Hermione turned to watch her graceful landing as well, and Luna gave her an owl treat she had found in her pocket. Harry moved to take the letter out of her mouth.
His smile dropped when he saw the names on it.
“Herms,” he said, hating how strained his voice was already. Don’t show emotion, he chided himself. Don’t let them see any weakness.
She looked over his shoulder at the envelope. “Oh, dammit,” he heard her curse under her breath. “That’s not good.” “No shit, Sherlock,” Harry murmured, grabbing his wand to open the letter.
“They usually only send stuff on Sundays. It’s a Tuesday. Something must have happened.”
Hermione impatiently took the envelope out of his hand and sliced it open with a quick movement of her wand. She unrolled the parchment with shaky hands and scanned the black ink on it. Cold dread coiled tightly in Harry’s stomach as she began to grow pale, her eyes flicking faster and faster over the lines of steady handwriting.
“Oh my gods.” She let her hands fall onto the table. Harry snatched the parchment out of her hand. His eyes widened in horror as he read the news.
“They’ve been attacked?!”
Hermione let out a heavy breath. “Death Eaters. Sirius was injured.” Her eyes flashed with something dangerous.
“St. Mungo’s. We need to get there now.” She stood up, robe flowing around her tense posture.
Luna, who had followed the exchange with wide eyes, jumped up, too.
“I have your purse here, Hermione,” she said with a rare genuinely serious expression. “Let’s go.”
They walked out of the Great Hall rather quickly. Harry saw Hermione molding her expression into something emotionless, but he couldn’t be bothered with keeping face anymore. Who even cared if some students would gossip about his feelings. Someone had hurt his family and would have to pay for it. If he seemed ready to kill, at least other students would make way for him faster.
Finally they reached the entrance hall, their shoes clacking loudly on the stone floor. His mind was reaching full on fight mode now. He was so incredibly angry. Someone had attacked his family. His family. He would make someone bleed for this, and if it was the last thing he did.
“Mr. Potter. Miss Potter, Miss Lovegood. Where exactly are you going?”
Harry groaned internally at the familiar voice. How convenient could the timing of one single person be?
Luckily, Hermione didn’t hesitate for a second. “We need to leave, Mr. Dumbledore, Sir,” she said sharply. “Personal emergency.”
The tip of Dumbledore’s wine red hat twitched. “My dear students, it is not only the middle of the night, but also of the school year.”
Hermione’s polite expression didn’t even waver. “Sir, I know that we are legally allowed to leave if there is an emergency,” she pointed out, the shift of her weight onto the other foot the only indication she wasn’t perfectly calm right now.
Dumbledore’s left eye narrowed just a fraction and he turned to face Harry.
“Mr. Potter, my dear boy. You cannot leave right now. You have responsibilities.”
Harry felt irritation tickle the back of his neck as the old man who had become such an annoyance in his life once again disrespected his sister and ignored that Hermione was just as chosen as he was.
He fought back the urge to cast some spells that probably were too dark for Hogwarts and schooled his expression into something resembling calmness. (Or so he hoped.)
“The only responsibility I have right now is to go and look after my family, sir,” he fired back and let his wand slip out of his sleeve into his hand, not quite fully, just enough to show. Maybe that would at least make him nervous.
“With all due respect, sir, as my sister pointed out, you’re not allowed to stop us. And to be quite honest, I’m not all that sure you could, either.” He smirked slightly.
The three of them together made for some pretty powerful magic. He was pretty sure in a duel against Dumbledore, they would actually be able to overpower him.
But he would rather not test that theory right now, he had more important matters to tend to.
Dumbledore gave him a calculating look and nodded with a faux-kind expression. “Of course. I expect you to be back soon.” Harry swallowed down another snarky reply that would only get him in trouble. Now was really not the time.
He turned and resumed his way down the stairs into the cool autumn evening air, trusting the other two to follow.
Remus was already waiting for them in the entrance hall of St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.
He rushed over to give Harry and Hermione a hug, and then Luna, too, for good measure.
Hermione sank into the familiar pair of arms. Sure, she might be worried, but she couldn’t even imagine how her Dad must feel right now, his husband lying somewhere in this building, injured and hurting.
She finally let him go after a while that probably was a tad bit too long for anyone trying to look like they had no emotions. (But honestly, she didn’t even care anymore. Her father was in danger, she could worry about keeping face later.)
Harry let go of their Dad a few seconds later, only to grab his shoulders.
“Where is he?” He asked, a desperate tone hidden in his voice, only really visible for the people who knew him very well.
Remus averted his eyes and shrugged. “I don’t know. They won’t let me in to see him.” A worried frown overtook Harry’s face, and Hermione felt a knot of nausea in her stomach. Was it really that bad?
They all flinched when someone cleared their throat behind them suddenly.
“Excuse me,” a small man in a healer robe said, “are you the family of a, uh, Sirius Black?”
“Yes. Husband and children,” Remus answered with a hopeful expression, taking a step forward. “Can we see him?”
The healer sniffed and shrugged one shoulder. “I’m afraid not, sir,” he said. “It’s -”
Hermione saw a storm building on Harry’s face and reacted quickly. “Excuse, me,” she smiled politely, “but how bad is it, exactly? Will his state be worsened by his immediate family visiting him?”
The healer adjusted his weirdly shaped glasses. “Well, no, but -” “Listen, mate.” There was a fire burning in Harry’s eyes that Hermione didn’t get to see often, a dangerous glint hiding behind his dark green eyes and making them glow slightly.
She wasn’t sure if Harry knew, but he looked damn intimidating like this. He took a step forward until he was face to face (err, chest to face?) with the wizard, forcing him to look up to him, which he did with a fearful expression.
“Listen. You know who I am, right?” The healer nodded and opened his mouth as if to say something, but Harry spoke over him. “Yes. And do you know that I’m supposed to be planning how I’m going to take down the world’s most powerful evil wizard? Because that’s what I’m destined to do. And now some of this fascist’s followers attacked my family. So the least you could to support my cause is to let me go up and fucking see my father before I accidentally go blow up something else than the Death Eater scum who deserves it.”
The healer was cowering in fear by now.
Hermione was pretty sure Harry didn’t even notice the dark cloudy aura he had built up unconsciously that seemed to swarm around him like dark matter. It made even her shudder at the thought of what he, of what they were capable of.
The healer whimpered and nodded. “Yes, sir, of course, sir, please,” he babbled and Hermione cleared her throat.
“Harry,” she said warningly, wand ready in case his magic decided to lash out at her. (It had happened before. She did not like that memory.)
Harry turned his glare to her, until she snapped her fingers in front of her face to bring him back to reality. Surprisingly, it worked, and he blinked confusedly.
The dark strands of reality disappeared and the glint faded from his eyes. Internally, she let out a deep breath, and then turned to the wizard who was still staring at Harry, back to normal now.
“Well?” She said expectantly, and the healer flinched violently, as if he had forgotten the rest of them were here, too.
“Of course, of course, if you’d follow me, my dear sirs and madams,” he squeaked and began to make his way to a door on the other side of the room with small but quick steps.
Luna decided to give them some privacy and sat down on the sofa to strike up a conversation with one of the other people waiting in the entrance hall, who had followed their conversation with bated breaths and fearful faces. From what Hermione could make out, she talked about knitting patterns.
She turned to look at her brother who looked somewhat lost after his outburst. She sighed and took his hand. Remus had already followed the healer through the door and up the stairs, but Harry made no move, so she pulled him with her up the stairs.
“He’ll be alright,” she murmured, more to reassure herself, but Harry squeezed her hand gratefully anyway. “He will.”
The hospital room looked … cold.
Harry shuddered at the white walls and bedclothes. The only pop of color was a vase with some charmed flowers on the windowsill.
It was a single room, so Sirius was the only patient in the room. (Probably because of his connection to him, the Chosen One, if Harry was being honest.)
He let out a breath at the sight of his Pops’ burnt face and kept back a bit while Hermione and Remus rushed forward to his bedside.
”Are you okay? How are you feeling?” Remus asked frantically, always the mother hen. Sirius let out a tired laugh.
“I’m okay, Moons,” he said with a hoarse voice. “Still hurts like a bitch, though. Fuckin’ assholes.” Hermione frowned.
“Yeah, by the way, what exactly happened there? No one told us anything besides the fact that you were attacked.”
Remus sighed. It’s a rather complicated story,” he said. “No, it isn’t,” Sirius said, sounding confused. “I like the hair, by the way,” he winked at Harry, pointing to the few blue strands in his (unruly as ever) raven hair.
“Thanks,” Harry said. “But really though, what happened?”
“If you’re not gonna tell t, Moons, I will,” Sirius said, glancing at his husband, who stood up and went to look out of the window. Hearing no reply, he shrugged and wiggled a bit to get into a more comfortable position.
“Well, you see, your dad and I were in the kitchen making dinner, as we do sometimes,” he began, “when suddenly we hear some weird sounds from outside. We go out there to check up on everything and what do we see? My dear cousin Bellatrix had the lovely idea to pay old family a visit and brought a few of her friends.”
Something cold trickled down Harry’s back and Hermione’s face went uncharacteristically pale. “Bellatrix Lestrange was there?” Remus nodded grimly. Sirius shrugged. “The sounds we had heard, that was them slaughtering our sheep, one by one, by slicing them open, you know, as you do.”
The feeling of nausea was slowly growing stronger. Hermione was slightly green, too, and her eyes were wide in a rare display of horror.
“So … what did you do?” He asked. Sirius coughed embarrassedly and Remus sighed.
“As we all know, when family is involved, Sirius loses his shit,” he said, ignoring the affronted “Hey!” coming from the bed. “So he went and almost got himself killed.” Harry froze. Sirius … had almost died? A sudden urge of emotions strong enough to make his knees wobble overcame him. His throat closed up and his body was so tense, he might as well break in half right about now.
“Now hang on a fucking second,” Hermione suddenly said sharply. “You almost died?”
Sirius winced and shrugged non-commitically. Remus pinched the bridge of his nose.
“He stormed forward to duel her and I barely managed to add my protection shield to his in time just before an Avada Kedavra would’ve hit him.” He gritted out between clenched teeth.
Sirius sighed. “Look, I’m sorry, Remus, but should I just have let her ruin everything we’ve built up or what do-” “You almost died, Sirius!” Remus burst out. “You don’t understand -” His voice broke. “I could’ve lost you.” A tear fell down his face.
Hermione and Harry were watching their parents with matching shocked expressions. Remus rarely lost his laid-back demeanour. This was serious, no pun intended.
Harry narrowed his eyes thoughtfully as he watched his parents have a mental breakdown about almost losing each other. He had never wanted to be a part of this war. It was ridiculous that everyone relied on him and his sister to save the wizarding world instead of sending qualified people to fight the oncoming dark troops.
It was just plain stupid to hide out and lay all responsibility into the hands of two teenagers.
But now that Voldemort had almost succeeded in ripping his family apart for the second time … He would have to do something about this.
The second Hermione caught a movement in her peripheral vision and heard quiet footsteps sneaking out of the room, she knew what Harry was going to do. She looked over to her fathers who were having a conversation quiet enough that she couldn’t hear them, and emotional enough that she was sure she shouldn’t try to listen, and decided she would just send them a letter to explain everything later.
Following Harry, she made her way down the hallway and started running to catch up to her brother.
“Harry,” she panted out, grabbing his hand to slow him down. “Harry, stop.” He reluctantly let her stop him.
“What, Hermione,” He asked flatly. She looked at him with stern eyes. “I know what you’re going to do, Harry-” She started, but her brother interrupted her. “No, Hermione. You can’t stop me, I’m going.” She rolled her eyes. “Merlin, Harry, don’t be daft. I’m not here to stop you. I’m coming with you, obviously.” She lifted her purse. “Did you plan on bringing anything you’ll need to survive, by the way? Because I did. I’ve got everything we need right here.” She dangled the small pink bag back and forth between them and winced when she heard something heavy fell down with a muffled sound. “Shit, that was the books. Oh no.”
Harry gaped at her with wide eyes. “How -” His eyes lightened up with understanding. “Oh. That’s clever.” “That’s Ravenclaw to you,” Hermione quipped and Harry almost smiled.
But then his expression went serious again. “But, ‘Mione … you are not coming with me.” She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. “Now please explain to me why I should not do exactly that.” He huffed and looked away. “It’s too dangerous. I can’t have you being hurt because of me.”
“Okay, no. Now you listen, dumbass. Firstly, I am better at magic than you are so the probability that I get hurt and you won’t is actually pretty low. Secondly, you will not survive out there without my knowledge, and that’s a fact. Don’t even try to argue. And thirdly, I don’t like my twin getting hurt, too, so you can either let me come along or stay here.”
She flicked her wand impatiently, casting a non-verbal Muffliato when a healer went past them.
“Besides, you might be the official Chosen One, but you know damn well you’re not any more chosen than I am. We’ve both got a scar and weird talents.” Harry frowned. “But -”
Hermione closed her eyes, willing Morgana to give her some patience to deal with this stupid boy in front of her.
“No buts, Harry. You are not going without me.” Harry sighed dejectedly and the corner of Hermione’s mouth twitched into a satisfied smile. She knew that he knew that she was right.
“Fine,” he admitted, “you might have a point.” “There we go.” She uncrossed her arms and Harry took her hand in his again. “Then let’s go complete our trio.”
The way down to the entrance and waiting room went by much faster than the way up had, which might be due to their much faster pace now. They were almost running down, entering the foyer with quick steps.
“Luna,” Hermione began, slightly out of breath, but Luna was already waiting for them in her funny raincoat, purple and littered with yellow and blue clouds.
“We’re going,” Harry said, pointing to the door, “we’re -” “I know,” she smiled. “Finally.” She pulled the hood of her coat over her dirty blond hair.
Hermione slung her purse over her shoulder and cast a raincoat spell on both Harry and her. He shot her a grateful look and opened the heavy hospital entrance doors for them.
The storm that had threatened to spill earlier was now raging. The wind twirled red and golden leaves in the air, and the rain felt like ice-cold needles on their faces. Lightning bolts were flickering over the sky looking eerily like curse someone had fired, thunder rumbling not long after.
Harry threw one last look back to where he knew the rest of his family was safe and sound, and vowed to keep it that way, and if he had to kill that fascist bastard himself. He would make Voldemort pay for what he did, and if he died in the process then well, then so be it.
He took a deep breath and turned around again, leading his small group out into the night.