To Get Back Life
Summary: All the Muggle-borns are being killed or sold as slaves to the pure blooded families. Will Hermione be able to escape the country that believes that she should be dead just because of her blood? Will the one person she has never trusted be the only one that can save her? HG/DM
Disclaimer for whole story: I do not own and of the characters, places, events etc. that appear in the Harry Potter series. I am gaining no profit from this story nor will I ever.
The soles of her thin, tattered shoes slapped against the rough cobbled street, feeling every sharp pebble jab into her foot through them, sending echoes bouncing off the crumbling walls. She was in the old part of town, almost completely deserted nowadays; it was where the Muggle-borns had lived before all the 'bad stuff' had happened. Before Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, had been killed The Dark Lord in the final battle. Before the towns had been raided and people had been dragged kicking and screaming from their burning houses to be packed on to a wagon already overfilled with people to be taken like cattle to the slaughter.
It seemed like she had been running for hours and hours on end, of course, for all she knew, she could have been as paying attention to the clock hadn't really been a high priority. She had more pressing this on her mind to focus on, staying alive for instance.
They were still on her tail; she knew they were, she could still hear them, their shouts catching up with her from behind from time to time. Sometimes they were barely audible; a faint mumble, actual words that couldn't actually be picked out, but sometimes they were panicking-ly close by, just around the bend she had taken seconds ago.
The only small glimmer of hope that she picked out of what was going on was that at least the Dementors weren't chasing her. She had lost count of the amount of people to give up all hope and give in when it was the hooded monsters that were following them. Always look for the positive in all situations, that's what her father had always told her and that's what she was trying to, even if she had been being chased for the past two weeks straight. He was a smart one, her father, now he was also, unfortunately dead. He had been pulled into the magical world when Hermione had received her letter; he was muggle through and through. This made Hermione feel very guilty, as, if it wasn't for her being a witch both of her parents would still be alive and with her.
As she ran an arm shot out and grabbed her, the other covered her mouth to stifle the loud and fearful scream that emerged from her dry, cracked lips. They stayed pressed against the cold, damp wall, shrouded by the shadows until the Deatheaters had sprinted past and their footsteps and shouts could no longer be heard. Only then was she released. Once she was out of the arms that had been trapping her she spun around and whipped out her wand, pointing it at the stranger.
"My, my so very young, only just coming into adult-hood! You are Hermione Granger correct? You have changed since I last saw pictures of you." The figure said.
"Yes," she replied, "Yes I'm Hermione Granger, what's it to you?" eyeing the person who had grabbed her, from behind her wand.
A woman with short, messy, dark brown hair with wisps of grey running through it stood before her. Her robes were a colour that used to be black but had faded over the years and had many patches sewn on to cover the rips and tares.
"I'm here to help you. Don't you worry lovey, we'll look after you now." The woman said, ignoring the wand that was still being pointed at her throat. "I'm Margaret by the way, now follow me."
The Deatheaters were back again, Hermione could hear them drawing closer to the alley where they were hid. Her heart quickened its pace significantly, she looked around her; there was no way out of the alley except back on to the main street; right into the path of her pursuers. It was this fact alone that made her lower her wand and follow Margaret.
The two slipped down the dark alley, keeping to the shadows so they would not been seen if anyone happen to glance down the street. Once they got to the end Margaret pulled out her wand and tapped her wand three times against a brick about waist height. The wall magically opened up, though not as impressively as the wall from the Leaky Cauldron that led to Diagon Alley, and the pair rushed through before the bricks sealed behind them.
The passage that they ran into was too dark to be able to see much more than a few inches in front of your face, but Margaret grabbed Hermione's hand and pulled her along behind her without even bothering to light her wand. Finally a thin bead of light appeared a long way off that grew slowly bigger and bigger.
The light turned into a small, dimly lit, room. It had two battered sofas, covered in even more patches that Margaret's robes; a small bookcase, filled with many dusty, tattered books; six candles chunky candles were dotted around the room offering the only light to the room. A dinning room table sat in the corner and the four chairs that were pulled up to it were all mismatched, a door led into a small hallway, which connected a small bathroom and a room containing several beds.
"You can stay here tonight, with us, and we'll see how far we can get you tomorrow." Margaret informed her.
"What do you mean?" Hermione asked.
"It's what we do, lovey, me and many others around the country, some of us Muggle-borns or Half-bloods and some are even Pure-bloods. You'll travel up the country to Scotland. There is a portal there that transports all that's on the platform over to France. It goes once every night. Once you're over there you're free!"
"Is it really that easy?" Hermione asked, with wonder.
"Well no, not easy at all really, the Dementors might detect you or, from time to time, Deatheaters get tip offs and raid the safe houses, you don't want to be there when that happens and even the portal isn't safe it's one of the most heavily guarded things in that part of the country." Margaret explained with a grave expression, it was obvious that she had experienced some of these things first hand.
"Anyway," She continued, her tome brightening hugely as the subject was changed. "I'll get hold of a few of my contacts in nearby towns and see who can take you into their house."
"Thank you." Hermione sighed and flopped down on one of the sofas, able to relax a little now she knew that this woman was to do her no harm and there was no immediate danger of a Deatheater finding her. She allowed her lips to smile a little as she thought of the escape plan that was opening up before her.
"You must be starving, lovey, I'll make you a nice bowl of soup." Margaret smiled warmly and walked over to a pot that hung over the crackling fire.
A few minutes later a bowl of steaming hot chicken soup was set down before her on the table. Hermione tucked in greedily, helping herself to the bread rolls that were piled high on a large plate set next to her.
An hour later Hermione was completely exhausted, she had been running for days and it was taking its toll on her now she was finally able to rest. She despised Voldemort for putting her through all this. She remembered him well, it being only two years since she was up against him in the final battle, taking place at Hogwarts once Dumbledore had been captured. She had been one of the lucky ones who had escaped using one of the many secret passages the led out of the school. For the last year she had been on constant look out for the many prowling Deatheaters and Dementors that were eager to spill her, in their eyes, dirty blood. In the battle Harry had died, leaving Voldemort free to take charge of the country with no real threats in his way. A few months later Ron went missing, he was wanted too, although he was a pureblood he was a non-conformist, this was an offence punishable by death.
The room fell silent as the door opened. A tall dark haired man walked into the room wearing a robe pulled over, plain, Muggle clothing, faded black jeans and a dark grey t-shirt.
"Oh Joe! It's you!" Margaret exclaimed, heaving a sigh of relief.
"Of course it's me Margie, who else would it be?" He chuckled and grabbed a roll of bread from the table where Hermione sat. He gave her a brief nod to acknowledge that he saw her and muttered "Hey".
"Joe you should be wearing those clothes!" Margaret nagged.
Joe simply laughed and batted away her concerns "Margie you know how very careful I am, I'll never get caught."
"Oh, Hermione this is Joe." Margaret said suddenly remembering that the pair had never met so didn't know each other. "Joe this is Hermione, she's staying here tonight. Joe's been here for a month now."
"Just can't bring myself to leave." He interrupted with a laugh, but Hermione thought she could see a hint of sadness in his eyes. "So you're the famous Hermione Granger? What was it like being there at the final battle?"
"Leave the poor love alone Joe!" Margaret instructed. "You must be so tired Mione, you go on to bed, we can talk in the morning."
Hermione smiled gratefully and made her way into the bedroom. Once there she collapsed onto the nearest bed. When she curled up on the lumpy mattress underneath the scratchy sheets it felt, to her, like the softest thing in the world, compared to the stone floors she had been sleeping on at least.
The night passed in the blink of an eyes and it didn't feel like two minutes had passed when Margaret gently shook her awake.
"Time for breakfast lovey." She told Hermione as her eyes open and she left her peaceful dreams to enter back into reality.
Ten minutes later, once she had washed and dressed, she stumbled into the living room and sat on one of the battered, overstuffed sofas. Joe strolled into a few minutes later to join them and sat down next to Hermione while they waited for Margaret to serve up breakfast.
When they were finally sat down on the rickety chairs tucking into bowls of porridge Joe started to grill her.
"So will you tell me now? What it was like?" He asked again, talking around the food that was crammed into his mouth.
"Leave the poor child alone Joe!" Margaret snapped.
"No, it's ok, I don't mind." Hermione reassured her before answering the question Joe had asked, "I remember that we were in Hogwarts, on the Astronomy Tower, good position, you could see anyone coming in any direction and too small to fit all the death eaters on. Voldemort appeared and started the attack. It was Harry, Ron and I, plus a few others that Harry said were strong enough to fight. The order members were down stairs dealing with the other death eaters. Soon it was just Harry, me, Ron and Voldemort left the others were all dead. Harry told us to go but we didn't want to, he insisted until we did. We left to help in the grounds. All I remember is a great flash of light and Harry's body falling from the tower. I don't know if he was dead before the fall or because of it. The spell might of hit him or he might have been trying to avoid it and didn't know he was so close to the edge. Ron and I escaped through a secret passage in the grounds and Ron disappeared shortly after, I've been in hiding since."
"Well at least you're with us now then." He said brightly, he sounded very impressed by the tale.
"Not for long though. You're moving on tonight Mione." Margaret informed her.
"What already?" Hermione asked, very shocked.
"Sometimes you can move very fast, depends on where has a space free. Some places only house females and some only males." Joe explained, "Sometimes you get lucky and a place will open up for you really quickly."
She now understood why he had looked so sad before; she guessed that after a month of waiting for a place he would be disheartened that he would ever get the opportunity to move on.
It must feel horrible, She thought, not knowing if you were ever going to escape this awful, terrible place.
"You'll catch a train tonight at eleven. You'll be able to hide, but you have t get off at the next stop as the check the train at every platform. They cannot find you ok?" Margaret told her.
That evening Joe accompanied Hermione to the station to check that she got onto the train with no hassle.
"When you get onto the train hide somewhere, wait for about ten minutes then you can go out into one of the carriages, they should have checked passports by then." He explained.
"Thanks Joe." She said genuinely.
"No problem, oh yeah Margie told me to give you this." He said and handed her a small rucksack filled with seem-bursting amounts full of delicious looking food. "Just some things for the journey."
"Do you think there's enough?" Hermione joked as she took the bag from him.
The boarding whistle rung around the platform and Joe sighed, "Good luck kid."
"I'm not a kid I'm nineteen!" She protested.
"Exactly and I'm twenty-nine, to me you're still a kid." He told her with a grin. "Now you better be going, Margie will kill me if you miss your train. I'll see you in France when we both get over there."
Hermione quickly ran onto the train and found that she was very thankful that she was still quite small for her age as she could curl up in the luggage compartment. The only glitch to the plan was that she didn't own a watch and therefore had no way of telling when ten minutes had passed.
I can tell when ten minutes are up, she thought as the train whirred into motion, how hard could it be?
After what she guessed was ten minutes she slipped back into a compartment and quickly took a spare window seat by a large woman dressed in red robes that made Hermione decide that she looked like a bus.
What she heard next made her heart jump up into her throat in sheer terror.
"Passports at the ready! Passports at the ready!" A deatheaters was calling as he made his way up the aisle.
She looked around frantically searching for a way out of the trap that she was now in. but there was another Deatheater coming down the aisle in the opposite direction, blocking off her only escape route. She sat like a mouse waiting for the cat that was stalking towards her to pounce.
Then she saw it, the small, brown, leather book, sticking out of the pillar box red handbag belonging to the bus-like woman beside her, just inches away from Hermione's twitching fingers. Quietly she unscrewed that flask that contained pumpkin juice that Margaret had put into the rucksack. With a fake gasp of surprise she jerked her arm and the liquid splattered all over the woman's red shoes, that were obviously too tight as her ankle fat was rolling over the straps. The woman shrieked and as she was trying to clean it off her stockings Hermione quickly pulled the passport out of the bag and slipped it inside the pocket sewn into her robes.
"Can I see you passport please Madam?" The Deatheater asked, as he got to their seats. Hermione said nothing but pretended to be looking through her bag for hers.
"Certainly sir." The red lady said and pulled open her bag. "Oh dear, I can't seem to find it." She declared after searching for a few moments.
At those words the whole carriage fell silent and attention was turned to them. The other deatheater came over and joined them.
"If you could come with us please madam." He said quietly and took the lady by the arms and escorted her down the carriage having to use a lot of force to get her to keep walking. The other Deatheater quickly followed. Hermione sunk back into her chair heaving a silent sigh of relief.
She was safe, for now at least.