To Get Back Life

Thanks –
Siriusly Sirius Lily Black

Chapter 13
The Portal

"So is this it now, is it all over?" Ginny asked as they made their way down the, now quiet, streets of Hogsmeade. All the deatheaters had gone to the school to back up the people already there and everyone else had shut the curtains and bolted the doors.

"No way, they're not as thick as they were last time. Voldemort prepared for this and they know just what to do even if he's not there." Draco said sadly.

"Some will drop out now Voldemort's not a threat though." Ron said, "I mean there are quite a few who were just too scared to cross him, I can't imagine they'll want to fight."

"But then there's all the ones who are completely loyal to him." Draco replied.

"Yeah and you'd know all about them wouldn't you Malfoy" Ron muttered under his breath, but loud enough so the others could hear.

Draco was about to open his mouth to reply but Hermione held up her hands an in a stern voice snapped. "Enough! I am sick to the back teeth of you two bickering like we're still in school. Grow up, I don't expect you to like each other, but as adults I expect you to be civil to each other ok? OK?"

They nodded quickly the second time she asked, thinking that she was extremely scary when she got angry.

"So we're still going to the portal then?" Ginny checked, they had run the plan past her earlier and she agreed that it sounded like the best thing to do.

"We're still going to the portal." Hermione confirmed.

"Not tonight though." Ron said, "We'll need our wits if we're going to sneak into it, we'll stay at the pub I work at tonight and go in the morning."

They followed his lead down the path until they got to the place where they would spend the night. An extremely worried Rose was behind the bar and rushed over to Ron when she saw him, pulling him into a tight, motherly hug.

"Oh Russ I was so worried!" She exclaimed.

The other three frowned.

"Russ?" Hermione questioned, "No you mean Ron."

Rose stopped hugging him and turned to face Hermione, "What in the name of Merlin's beard are you talking about girl?"

"That's Ron, Ron Weasley, you called him Russ."

"You are Ron Weasley?" She turned back to him, "Why did you tell me you weren't?"

"Why do you think? I wanted to get away from my old life, I hated all the pain and loss I wanted to see what it would be like to be normal for a while." He told her sadly, "I'm sorry Rose I didn't mean to trick you but I never expected to stay more than a couple of weeks at the most."

"So this is Hermione Granger then? And Ginny, your sister?" She asked pointed to the two girls, then turning to Draco she said, "I'm sorry dear I don't know who you are."

"Yes that's them. Look Rose I'm tired can we talk about this in the morning? After we've all had some sleep." Ron begged and Rose gave in handing him three room keys.

The four trudged up the stairs and collapsed down on to their single beds, each in their own rooms. They woke the next morning to find that clean clothes had been left out for them, they were very grateful as the ones they were wearing were caked in grime and blood.

After showering they met downstairs in the bar, which was of course empty as it was not open, and recounted the tale of the previous night to a shocked and awe filled Rose.

"We have to go." Hermione said quietly as Ron reached the end of the story, "There'll be no shadows to hide in if we wait much longer."

The four of them stood up from the table and said their goodbyes to Rose, who by then was getting quite tearful she hugged them all and walked to the door to see them on their way.

It was a short walk to the portal and there were fewer than usual Deatheaters around, any that could be spared were down at the castle where the battle was still going on. This was a great convenience for them to start with, but it landed them in more trouble in the end. They became too cocky, sure of the fact that they were invincible and began to walk out in the open. So it was inevitable that they were going to get caught.

It happened just feet from the portal, there were five Deatheaters loading boxes of wands onto a cart, they were the wands of victims of their savage attacks that were to be sold over in France, the profits all going to them of course.

They saw Hermione, Draco, Ron and Ginny and had grabbed wands and sent the first curse shooting towards them before the four even noticed that they were there.

Draco was the first to react, living with his father for so long had taught him to have quick reactions as you never knew when Lucius was going to lash out in a fury. In an instant he was in front of the other three, wand drawn ready for the oncoming attack. Just seconds later the other three were ready and the fight began.

"You four!" one growled, "You're the ones who killed our master! We'll take great pleasure in killing you slowly and painfully."

"Bring it on guys, you can go and be with your master again." Ginny hissed clenching her wand so tight her knuckles were white and her nails were digging into her palm.

As usual they were outnumbered, but only by one more this time, this meant that apart from one of them, they were all fighting one on one. It was of course Hermione who had to fight two people at once. To start with she was doing well, attacking one while dodging the spells sent form the other but when she was caught off guard and a spell clipped the side of her right cheek. She tired to dodge the next but it hit her too causing her to fall to the floor. The Deatheaters stopped with the spells for a while and began kicking her instead, she couldn't breathe and with a loud crack she heard her ribs braking.

"Hey!" Draco yelled furiously pushing the Deatheater he had been fighting to the ground and racing over to where Hermione was being attacked. He knocked out the first using a spell and grabbing the second by the back of his robes and dragging him away from Hermione. Once he had floored this one too he rushed to Hermione's side to see how badly injured she was.

"Are you ok?" He asked her tenderly, helping her to sit up.

She took in a sharp gasp of pain as he touched her side where he bones had been broken.

"Here I can help you with that." He said, for once thankful that he had been doing a course in medicine and healing, he muttered a spell word he had been taught and her bones were fixed. She was then able to get to her feet.

"How many times have you saved my life now?" She asked with a chuckle, "I'm going to be in debt to you for the rest of my life at this rate."

"I could live with that." He whispered, brushing a stray strand of hair from her face.

By the time she had Ron and Ginny had finished off the last of the Deatheaters and joined them.

"So what do we do on the other side?" Ginny inquired, "I don't feel like doing that one again unless I have to."

Hermione suddenly had a flash of inspiration she pointed her wand at each of them, concentrating very hard and muttered a spell word that none of them knew.

"What did you do?" Ron asked looking across at her, completely unimpressed.

"We're invisible." She told him.

"Hate to break it to you Hermione but I can still see you."

"That's because we're all under the same spell." She explained.

"What spell? I was never taught a spell to turn us invisible, that's not fair!" Ginny chimed in.

"We weren't taught it, I made it up."

"Well why didn't you share it before, it could have got us out of quite a lot of bother." Ron asked exasperatedly.

"Because I didn't think it would work, I've never done it on a human before; I've only ever practised on things like brick before."

"Great so now we're guinea pigs to your spells, I had enough of that with Fred and George." Ron began to moan, "The amount of times they tried to slip me nosebleed nougats."

"Like seeing as none of us are dead yet and we don't know how long this will last can we go now and you can whinge later Weasley." Draco snapped and strode before the portal.

"Is that it?" Ginny asked, turning her nose up in disappointment.

They were stood looking at a tunnel in a brick wall.

"I expected something with a little more…" Hermione trailed off unable to find the right word to describe what she had been expecting to see.

"Oh well, a portal's a portal. They all work the same, now let's get out of this hell hole and get out lives back." Ron urged.

"OK we'll all go together, hand in hand." Hermione said grabbing hold of Ron and Draco, Ron grabbed hold of his little sister and they all stepped into the tunnel.

If it hadn't looked impressive the inside certainly made up for it. There were lights of all different colours zooming past them, swirling round and zigzagging past each other. They stopped and stared in awe at the lights before stepping forward and feeling the head rush as they were transported across the sea to where the other side of the tunnel was.

When they stepped out the found they were in a large warehouse filled with boxes of wands, spell books, robes and other items that had been stolen off of people.

"Are we still invisible?" Ron whispered to Hermione.

"I sure hope so." She hissed back as the door clanged open and two Deatheaters walked in.

They quickly ran to the closest pile of boxes, just in case the spell hadn't worked and they were all still visible. Once safely hidden they were able the find a gap to peer through.

"They're coming this way!" Ginny hissed in a panic and sure enough the footsteps on the cold concrete floor were getting louder as they came closer.

"Looks like we get to find out if you're spell works the hard way." Draco muttered to Hermione as they all slowly shuffled backwards looking for a way to escape.

The conversation going on between the Deatheaters could be heard, an argument, muttered so if someone were passing by outside the two of them wouldn't be heard.

They stood, with their backs against the wall waiting for pair to turn the corner and come face-to-face with them. Ginny screwed up her eyes in terror and Hermione sucked in her breath, not wanting to let it out again. After what seemed like a lifetime the Deatheaters turned the corner and stopped.

For several horrifying seconds the four believed that Hermione's spell hadn't worked and that they could be seen, but the realised that the Deatheaters were not actually looking at the but the boxes stacked next to them.

"How the hell did they get there?" one snapped as he walked over and ripped off the lid of the one on top. "We shifted them a week ago, we'll have to do it all over again."

As they got to work levitating all of the heavy boxes over to where the door was Ron grabbed hold of Ginny's arm, who grabbed Hermione, who grabbed Draco and together they inched their way towards the door as quietly as possible. There was one tense moment where Ron hit his foot against a stone and let out a little whimper of pain. The Deatheaters looked around and the four froze, completely motionless until finally the Deatheaters decided that they must be hearing things and resumed with their work.

Finally they were outside in the cool morning French sunlight.

"We did it!" Ginny exclaimed in delight once they were a safe distance away form the warehouse. "We're free of it all!"

"Don't you think we should have stayed?" Hermione asked, chewing on her bottom lip, feeling the guilt of leaving the other people to fight.

"We've done enough, we deserve this." Ron told her firmly. "Now we just need to find somewhere to stay. I know a couple of places that will help us for a couple of nights, it's where we used to send people once they go through the portal."

He began to walk proclaiming that he knew the directions as well as the back of his hand, they all began following him, unable to keep the smiles off their faces at their new found freedom.

Hermione felt a hand grab her and turn around to see that Draco had not moved from where he had been standing.

"So we made it." He said, squinting past her to where the sun was rising.

"Yes we did." Hermione grinned up at him. She then turned to look back at Ron and Ginny; they were waiting for them a little further down the road in a happy animated conversation. "We should go, get a room in this place Ron knows we don't want to have to spend our first night on the streets."

"I know we'll go in a minute." He told her, he looked a little distracted.

"What's wrong?" Hermione asked cupping his cheeks in her hands and turning his face to look at her.

"It's just we're here now, you can get on with your life, you don't need me any more." He told her sadly.

"What do you mean?"

"You needed me as a way to escape and get to where we were going, and now we're there." He pulled away from her grasp and walked back down the road a short distance.

"Draco," Hermione called and caught up with him grabbing his arm and turning him to face her, "I will always need you." She told his firmly as she pulled his head down to hers to kiss him.

"After all," She added with a grin as they broke away, "Who else is going to save my life all the time?"

The End