The Cost of Friendship

Chapter One

The New Leader

Disclaimer: As with any FanFic, I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters, JKR (the Queen) owns everything!


This is Part two of "The Love of Friendship" please see my profile to read part one of this series.



It's been six months since we last left our four heroes'. Hermione and Ginny have been working harder than ever on S.P.E.W. in their new office. In fact, they had pulled in so much support they now had a full staff and were quickly out growing the office.


It was an icy coldWinter morning, the entire world smelled of freshly fallen snow and everything seemed to glisten and twinkle. The early morning sun was beaming through the frost covered windows causing interesting patterns to dance across the floor. It had never felt so siren and peaceful as it was at this very moment. It was the kind of morning where everything seemed fresh, rejuvenated and new. Not a sound could be heard except for a slight mysterious tapping sound.

Tap, tap, tap…

Sitting ever so peacefully, perched high above the streets of Hogsmead was a sign attached to a building. This sign was made of wood and newly carved with neat little spirals. Clearly the work of a fine craftsman, the letters S.P.E.W. were painted in a bright red while the rest of the sign remained in its natural wood. A thick layer of snow rested on top of the sign, this only enhanced its beauty.

Tap, tap, tap…

This early hour of Hogsmead was just like every other morning. Not a soul could be seen stirring expect for a few owls heading for the post office to start the days mail. Because of this it was odd when a lone person could be seen in the distance heading for the deserted street. It was a tall figure, draped heavily in a thick robe and walking against the bitter wind that was blowing over the hills.

Tap, tap, tap…

As the stranger drew closer, the shops of Hogsmead blocked the wind allowing them to ease the struggle of walking. The hooded figure quickly turned down a side street and stopped to look up at the wooden, snow covered S.P.E.W. sign that was perched so nicely above another sign, Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop. The stranger then turned and headed up a staircase on the side of the building.

Tap, tap, tap…

"Ginny Weasley if you don't stop tapping that quill on the desk I'll turn you into a toad!" Hermione said angrily.

Here, resting above Madam Puddifoot's was the S.P.E.W. office that the wooden sign outside so proudly displayed. This was the only office in Hogsmead that was stirring at this early hour. Thirteen rectangle desks lined the walls of this circular office. Each of the desks, except for one was currently occupied. Each person was working fervently as a young, bushy haired witch walked around the circular conference table in the middle of the room. She had paced the floor so much she was making herself dizzy.

Suddenly the office door creaked open and the hooded stranger walked inside and shut the door. Hermione walked up to the stranger, lowed their hood and wrapped her arms around them. She planted a long hard kiss on his lips then stepped back to look at him.

"Ronald Weasley, you're late!" Hermione said sternly.

"I know, I know…but if you didn't make this meeting so early I wouldn't have overslept. Why did we have to do this so early?" Ron asked as he took off his cloak and hung it on a rack.

Hermione followed him as he walked over to the empty desk and sat down. "We have to do this so early because he is the new leader and this was the time he wanted."

"Right, oh by the way your new sign looks nice." Ron said.

"Thanks, it was put up yesterday; I wanted everything to be perfect today!" Hermione said proudly.

Ron got up and put a hand on Hermione's face, "It will be, you have been planning this for weeks now, it will be great." Ron then leaned in and kissed her softly.

"Will you two please stop doing that at work?" Ginny called from across the room, causing all the other workers to stop and watch.

Hermione just stuck her tongue at Ginny then walked over the to center table and started to straighten papers at each seat. She stopped then mentally counted the chairs at the table. "Sixteen, I think we need one more. Ron, bring your chair over here I think we need one more."

Ron stood up once more, picked up his chair and placed it neatly between the others. Hermione walked over to her desk and grabbed another stack of papers and sat them at the newly placed chair.

"There, I think seventeen should be enough, let's see there is thirteen of us and at least three of them but now were safe if they bring four." Hermione said, thinking out loud.

Ron smiled, "It's going to be perfect babe."

Just then a knock came from the door and everyone in the room jumped and stood up, looking at the door. Hermione walked over and stood in front of the door then turned around to face her staff. "Alright guys, you know what were doing everyone line up."

And as commanded the workers of S.P.E.W. walked up to the table and stood behind a chair each of them looking equally nervous. As Hermione waited for them all to get positioned she was running her fingers over her hair in an attempt to flatten it. She took a deep breath, put her handle on the door knob and turned it, when Hermione opened the door, in walked two House Elves. Each of them was sporting matching gray suites and hats. The two elves in front stepped in the door, took off their hats and bowed so low that their noses almost touched the ground.

They then walked forward and revealed a third house elf. This one was clearly attempting to dress in a shorten version of a wizards robe but it looked more like a dress on him. He was also lacking shoes but instead had on two mismatched socks. This elf was smiling and looked thoroughly excited to be in his present company.

One of the suited elves stepped forward and pointed a hand and said, "Miss Granger we are most pleased to meet you. I am Lory miss, and this Taweny."

The elf called Taweny stepped forward and bowed again, "This is being the new leader of the House elves miss, this is Dobby." Taweny pointed to the elf in the black robes.

"Dobby, I had no idea you were the chosen leader." Hermione said excitedly. "How are you?"

"I am doing good miss and Dobby is most pleased to be here." Dobby said just as excited.

"Let's get started shall we, we have a seat for you over here." Hermione said, leading her guests over to the table.

Dobby, Taweny, and Lory sat down and Ginny poured them a glass of water. Hermione, Ron and Ginny then sat down across the table, facing the elves. Hermione spoke first:

"Well, of course you know why you are here. S.P.E.W. would like to become the official representatives for the Elf liberation. We know that you have been doing fine thanks to Dobby here but the more force we can put behind this movement the more we can make a change at the ministry. And we have an inside representative of the ministry on our team." Hermione said as she pointed proudly at Ron.

Hermione continued, "Now, if you look at the papers in front of you, you will see the list of house elves that we have already helped to free and…"

Hermione was interrupted as Dobby put up a finger to stop her. Hermione had to try very hard not to laugh, seeing Dobby in this position of power was very funny to her. After seeing him in his tea cozy for so many years it was hard to take him seriously.

"Dobby does not need to hear anymore, Dobby's mind was made up before we came. Dobby would loves to have you working for us!" Dobby said excitedly and his fellow elves shook their heads in agreement. "We only have one request."

Hermione looked beside herself, "Anything you wish sir!"

"Good, we would like for one of our elves to come and work here and be a reporter to me and my staff." Dobby said seriously.

Hermione looked around the room as if waiting for an empty desk to jump out at her. "We will work it out, but I would like the chance to interview this elf myself."

Lory spoke up, "Certainly we will send over several candidates. That is my field, staffing."

"Well, sounds like it's all settled then, if you would just sign here sir." Ginny said handing Dobby a contract. "We can have all of this finalized by the end of the day."

Soon the house elves left and Hermione allowed the rest of her staff to take the rest of the day off. Hermione, Ron and Ginny were left standing and talking happily in the S.P.E.W. office. Hermione's first business meeting went off without a hitch and she couldn't be happier. Everything was right in the world and for the first time she felt like she was really making a difference in the world.

Hermione was now the owner of the most powerful anti-government organization in the world. And to top it off she was currently holding hands with her soon to be husband and her soon to be sister-in-law was sitting crossed legged on a desk smiling. The only other person she wanted to be here was Harry but he was currently off working, or so she thought.

The office door burst open and in walked a very disheveled Harry. He was carrying a very large box that he slammed down on Hermione's desk then walked huffily over to Ginny. He picked up her hand and looked her in the eyes.

"Ginny, we have a problem." Harry said.

Ron and Hermione exchanged glances with Ginny and then she shot her head back in his direction. "What's wrong?"

"I have been fired." Harry replied sadly.