And All Those Left Behind

Harry Potter Fan Fiction by: joerandom on fanfiction dot net

Story Idea Started: 19 July, 2015, Story Completed: 10 April, 2022

SUMMARY: During the Tri-Wizard Tournament, Harry entered the third task and never came out. This is the story of Hermione and all those left behind. Four months later Hermione finds evidence of Harry and everything starts falling apart even faster. Then she finds him barely alive and their world explodes. AU. H/Hr.

AUTHOR: joerandom on fanfiction dot net

CATEGORIES: Adventure/Drama/Romance

CHARACTERS: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, Amelia Bones

RATING: T (PG-13?)

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing; I'm only visiting this universe.

SIZE: 333k words, 32 chapters


Story Idea Started: 19 July, 2015, Story Completed: 10 April, 2022


CHAPTER POSTING SCHEDULE: One chapter every day at 18:00UTC



AUTHOR NOTES: You can think of this story like a crossover between Harry Potter and Jason Bourne. Except – Hermione is in charge.

Keep in mind that everything that this story describes is listed roughly in chronological order (or as close as can be), regardless of timezone.

I have not read any of the newer stories from JKR about MACUSA, etc. So this story is still based on early FanFiction guesses toward the structure of the rest of the magical world outside of the UK.

In this story, Dumbledore is not evil, he's merely his normal manipulative self. But he gets called out for it. And Ron is also his normal immature jealous self. He doesn't get stuck there but it does disqualify him from participating in most of the story.

The last half of this story is some of the most difficult I've tried to write. Partly because they are constructed largely as a single very large chapter with artificial breaks to reduce chapter sizes. And about six plot-arcs all at the same time. The complexity is overwhelming, which only adds to my muse's struggles. But mainly, how to balance all that complexity while keeping the human touch.

Also, keep in mind that I can't write bad endings. There will be struggle in the story! It will be difficult. But, for me, it has to end well for the main characters or I can't write it. "They may go through hell, but it must end well."(tm)

TYPOGRAPHY: Punctuation within quotes is meant to be lyrical rather than grammatical; e.g. a "," is a pause at the end of a spoken phrase, a "–" is a longer pause in someone's thinking or an interruption of someone's phrase, and a "..." is the unintended end of someone's sentence, usually in confusion.

Chapter 1
The Task That May Never Be Final

Hermione Granger

Wednesday, 24 June, 1995

Hermione shared a desperate hug with Harry before he went to line up with the other champions. She spoke strongly into his ear over the noise of the crowd, "Harry. Please, be careful."

"I will, Hermione."

"I don't care if you win or lose, I just want you to come back to me." Her eyes were threatening to fill with tears. Her desperate fear threatening to overwhelm her.

"Yes, I promise you I will come back. I just need to survive this bloody last task." He smiled covering significant tension, "Just a few more hours, then maybe we can have some peace." He brushed some stray hair out of her eyes. "You be careful, too, ok? I wouldn't survive without you."

His eyes caught her – and almost tore her heart out. He looked so empty. "Harry, I need you. I will be here, waiting for you."

He smiled softly – and then nodded with an intensity in his eyes, "I'll be back. I promise you."

His eyes took on a glow, an intensity that almost swallowed her. She felt magic stir. A touch so light – or – was it? Then it was gone.

She regained her focus, nodded and gave him another hug and a kiss before he turned to join the other champions for this damnable task.

Hermione slowly walked up the crowded stairs into the stands as everyone tried to find a place to sit to watch this blood-sport that everyone called 'the Third Task'. Her nerves were deteriorating the longer she thought about what was happening. The stands were packed, the crowd was noisy and excited; she got there late as she was with Harry until the last minute. She looked for a place to sit, then she saw Luna waving to her from the very top row. She slowly moved up with the crowd to where Luna was sitting, her emotions falling apart the longer it took. She sat next to Luna and Neville, to wait. "I don't know if I can handle this."

Luna touched Hermione's arm in sympathy, "You'll have to be strong, Hermione. Sometimes these things just take time, much more time than we think. It will be a long journey."

Hermione's voice broke, "I just want this over and done with."

Luna nodded in a distracted way, "Yes, it's been so nice to be here at school with Harry. He's so wonderful at caring about other people."

Hermione was not sure what to think of what Luna had just said. It always seemed like there was background information that Luna knew that no one else did. A context that only she saw. Hermione never knew whether to ask about it or just go along with it.

Dumbledore's echoing voice was saying something about the rules for the Third Task. Hermione couldn't bring herself to listen. All she could do was watch Harry as he stood there, waiting. Harry was looking at her. She waved at him. He smiled dimly. He was looking at her so intently.

"Harry Potter!" Dumbledore called out to start the Third Task and to admit Harry into this little bit of hell on Hogwarts grounds. The crowd roared it's approval and stood up waving their hands as the blood-sport began. Hermione had to stand, too, to continue to see Harry.

Hermione's breath caught as she saw Harry turn to her as he moved toward the entrance. His grim tense smile was trying not to look afraid. He gave a small wave, turned and jogged into the mouth of the maze. She could barely hold back a sob as he disappeared. She sat down and closed her eyes as she brought her hands to cover her mouth. She started to shake lightly and took a deep shuddering breath to try to remain calm. She barely noticed as Luna put her arm around her shoulders.

Why? Why does Harry always get caught up in these things? Why can't he have a normal year at school. Why can't we have a normal year at school?

She thought back on the last year, on Harry and what he was up against now. Luna made her think about what she would do if Harry was seriously injured or – worse. What would happen to her? What would she do? How would she go on? It scared her, a lot. Why is the task taking so long? She did not know what to think. She always did think a lot; probably too much.

It was the day after the Second Task in February, when Hermione was coming down the stairs,she saw Harry waiting for her. He looked anxious and tense. He asked to talk to her. They hadstopped into an unused classroom on the way to the Great Hall for breakfast.

"What's the matter, Harry?"

Harry looked about to burst. He started to say something, a few times, until finally he slowlysmiled. "I've realised a few things in the last few days and I wanted to tell you."

Hermione smiled at being included in Harry's thoughts.

"When I had made it to the mer-village I saw you there. My heart jumped in fear for you – and more. I realised that – you were my hostage. Because when I saw Ron down there, I knew there was no comparison. He just made me angry for almost all of this year, because he thought I was just grand-standing and attention-seeking. I realised that it was you I would miss most inthe world. I couldn't leave you down there and take Ron. I had to take you." Harry was on theverge of crying. "I realised that I need you. That you are my best friend. And more."

"Oh, Harry." She reached for him.

He caught her hand and held it. "I also want to apologise to you. When I saw Ron down there I realised how I had let Ron influence me and about how badly he treats you. And given how Ron has been treating me I am disgusted at myself that I would go along with Ron and treat you so badly too. Do you think you could find it in your heart to forgive me?"

"Yes, Harry." She wrapped him in a tight hug and held him.

"You were so beautiful in the mer-village. So peaceful, I almost didn't want to disturb you. "He leaned back and his smile faded a bit as he thought, "For the last few years I had been too afraid to look too closely at you because I was afraid it might endanger our friendship, so I had developed a kind of blindness for you. I was so afraid of losing you. But now, I know you are the most important person in my life. I can't live without you."

Hermione had laughed at the time, it was so joyous. It was one of the happiest days of her life. Now she just wanted to cry. That what they have finally found could be stolen from them.

When Harry had brought her up instead of Ron it had thrown the Second Task completely off. Viktor was left with a choice of rescuing Ron or rescuing Gabriel Delacour. Neither one was the proper choice for him but he had chosen Gabriel. And since Fluer didn't make it to the mer-village Ron was down there for quite a while. Dumbledore had to signal the mer-people to cut Ron's rope and let him rise to the surface and swim ashore by himself.

Of course, Harry received minimal points at first. Until he complained that the fault was a judging mistake, not his. That Dumbledore had not noticed that he and Ron had a falling-out.

She remembered how out-of-character Harry had seemed in yelling at Dumbledore. But Harry had stayed with her after the task and all the rest of that day.

Dumbledore's voice cut through her thoughts and echoed across the stands, "Cedric Diggory!" Cedric walked into the mouth of this little bit of hell. Hermione settled back into her thoughts.

Since Harry had realised his feelings and they had become a couple, she had watched Ron go further around the twist. Because Harry had deepened his relationship with her, he didn't need Ron as much. And Ron had become an almost complete negative for Harry. It was only Harry's loyalty that might hold any hope for Ron. So it was no great surprise that when Ron had switched to attacking her, and sounding like Malfoy or Dudley, that Harry blew up. All his rage at the Dursley's came rushing out all over Ron. Harry beat Ron bloody and unconscious. McGonagall had to stun Harry.

McGonagall had yelled at the upper years for not stopping the fight. But the twins, and even Ginny, stood up for Harry quite forcefully and said that Ron had earned every bit of that. That Ronhad betrayed Harry in the worst way and had then started in on Hermione. And that McGonagall evidently hadn't noticed any of it.

Hermione's thoughts were interrupted. She looked to Luna. "What?"

Luna asked again, "How did Harry get rid of all the wrackspurts that were plaguing him?"

Hermione smiled, "I kissed him."

Luna smiled, "Oh, yes. That will fix it. Did you hear that, Neville?"

Hermione settled back into her thoughts.

Ron was in the infirmary for several days. At first, Ron was even worse, until Mr Weasley talked to him about honour and the importance of friends and allies. It still took Ron over a week to come back to some semblance of sanity. It took Harry longer. Much longer. Ron then sunk intoa depression when he came to understand what his childish jealousy and betrayal had cost him. He had lost both of his best friends. He had taken them for granted. Ginny told her that Ron now realised he had been a fool. That he just hoped that some day Harry will be able to at least talk to him again. Some measure of maturity had eventually landed on Ron, but a rather hard landing.

Dumbledore's voice cut into her thoughts again and echoed over the crowd noise, "Viktor Krum!" Viktor disappeared into the mouth of the maze. Hermione again let her thoughts drift back to Harry.

During the spring vacation Hermione brought Harry home to stay with her parents. Harry was so overjoyed, so endearing, he tried so hard to be appreciative to her parents. It had taken them a while to realise that Harry had idealised her family. Harry had tried to cook, clean, and do work in the yard just like he did for the Dursley's. Her parents had guessed quite some time ago that Harry's living situation was not good, so they approached Harry very delicately. It wasn't until her father had sat Harry down and explained to Harry about the reality of living in a family.That what he did for them was not what made him valuable but that he was valuable for who he was, because he was already part of the family. Harry had broken down and told her father that he felt like he was completely out to sea, that he did not know what being part of a family meant because he had never really seen that before. Just a few glimpses from the Weasley's.

Hermione was jolted out of her thoughts as someone in the row below flung their arm wide in excitement and hit the next person's bag of popcorn sending it flying in every direction. The roar of laughter was followed by a light brush of magic in cleaning it up. Hermione took a breath to calm back down into her thoughts.

Thank God her parents, as medical professionals who often dealt with children, were trained to recognise and deal with abusive family situations. Her father had told Harry that there were afew things that he needed to un-learn from the Dursley's. First and foremost, real family means protection. It is a safe place, with safe people. It also means that the adults are supposed to be responsible, not Harry.

Dumbledore's voice echoed, "Fleur Delacour!" Fleur was next to be swallowed by the mouth of the maze. Hermione's thoughts settled back into focus.

It had taken quite a bit of talking with Harry to work it out. Intellectually he knew what they were saying, but emotionally his reactions and habits did not match up. By the time they were done Harry had a much better understanding of what real family was like. And he was over-joyed. He now had some excellent examples of what a proper "parental figure" should look like.

Hermione was jolted out of her thoughts by a commotion. Red sparks had gone up from the middle of the maze. The crowd gasped and went silent. The Aurors around the edges of the maze started running quickly into the maze. A Patronus message reached Dumbledore and he started running into the maze. A shiver of fear ran down Hermione's spine. She got up and started down toward the judges table. It took her a few minutes to make her way through all the milling people in the stands. Once out of the stands she would be able to start running.

Madam Bones' amplified voice carried over the entire area, "Ladies and Gentlemen, this entire area is now a crime scene! If you are in the viewing stands, stay there. Shack! Lock it down with stasis wards. The whole maze! Scrimgeour, collect the injured."

Hermione was in shock as she stumbled. She recovered and started running again, barely holding on. She saw Dumbledore back at the judges table and ran up to him, "Where is Harry?"

Dumbledore just looked profoundly shaken, his eyes closed, standing too still.

She exploded all over Dumbledore in front of everyone, "Where is Harry!? You did this! You made him compete! You control every millimetre of his life! You find him! I hold you responsible!" Her magic was flaring and Dumbledore looked quite shaken but made no response. The Aurors tried to pull her back.

McGonagall yelled at Hermione, "Miss Granger! Stop!"

Hermione was still too wound up and started to cry and scream, "If he dies his blood will be on your hands! You fool! You arrogant old fool! You lost him! You failed him! Find him!"

McGonagall started pulling Hermione away toward the castle as Hermione continued to yell at Dumbledore in front of everyone. All the news reporters automatic quills were running full out. The flash of photographs was near constant.

McGonagall was furious and was dragging Hermione along by the arm, "Your behaviour is unacceptable. Such disrespect for the Headmaster I have never seen before. And from such a top student no less. I am shocked. Appalled!"

Hermione was crying and barely walking up the slope to the doors, lost in her pain.

Until McGonagall's brain caught up to her, "What do you mean Professor Dumbledore controls every millimetre of Harry's life?"

Hermione jerked her arm and stoped McGonagall's forward momentum to face her. Her anger leaped, "Which other student does Dumbledore control where they live? Manipulate who their friends are? Sets guards around their house and won't let them leave!?"

McGonagall pulled Hermione forward into a walk again, "Mister Potter is special to the wizarding world."

Hermione jerked back again stopping McGonagall's motion to face her, "WHY! Yes, he played a part in ending the last war, yes he is a symbol, but why is he still so central to everything in the wizarding world?" Hermione took a step closer, "Just a symbol? Or something much more? Why make Harry compete in this damn tournament? Dumbledore talks like Harry is just a symbol, a pawn, but he acts like Harry is still the centre. WHY?! It doesn't make sense!"

McGonagall still looked angry but with less surety.

Hermione started to cry again, "So it's true, and you know what it is."

McGonagall turned and pulled Hermione up the slope angrily.

Hermione's anger started to burn toward McGonagall. As they approached the doors Hermione jerked back again, her voice low and quiet, "And now something's gone wrong. Dreadfully wrong. Dumbledore thinks Harry is dead, doesn't he?"

McGonagall's face filled with emotion.

Hermione moved closer and her voice filled with quiet scorn, "The great Albus Dumbledore has failed. All his plans have gone awry."

McGonagall's face moved to anger.

Hermione didn't give an inch, her voice still rough, "You saw his face. He looked dead. That was not an act! There were no twinkles there."

McGonagall closed her eyes in pain, then turned and continued pulling Hermione into the castle.

Hermione thought back to those spy novels her father liked to read and when she got sucked into a few of them. The spy master who knew everything, who set his pieces on the board and pushed them where and when he wanted them. It was so cliche, but this wasn't a book, a story, it was her life, it was Harry's life. When they entered the hospital wing Hermione pulled back again and stopped their movement, her voice tired and bitter, "So I am just a pawn in Dumbledore's game. And at some level so are you."

McGonagall started to speak.

Hermione jerked her arm again, her voice stronger, "At what point do the pawns get sick of not being trusted with the truth? Especially if the truth can get them killed? Do you think Harry ever had the full story? Any story? No! For me, until Dumbledore changes his attitude he is no longer on my side."

McGonagall looked immensely tired, sad, at the edge of her stamina. Then she focussed on Hermione, "Your side? Isn't that a little presumptuous, Miss Granger?"

"A pawn in a game has no relationship with the player, it's just an object." Hermione's voice was rising fast, "I will not be an object and I will not let Harry be an object! Any relationship is based on trust. Where is that trust?!"

"Albus knows what Harry needs –"

Hermione's voice was scornful, "I know more about Harry than you or Albus!"

McGonagall looked affronted, "I knew his parents and grand parents, his family history, I –"

Hermione yelled, "And you shared none of this with HARRY?!"

McGonagall was getting angry again, "Albus said not to –"


McGonagall's red stunner hit Hermione and she crumpled to the floor as Madam Pomfrey was standing a few meters away with profound shock on her face.