Disclaimer- I do not own anything recognized from the Harry Potter series.
A/N- PLEASE REVIEW THIS STORY! My last story sadly received NO reviews, and if it doesn't get any by next month, I think I will delete it. But I REALLY like the plans I have for this story, and I would really like to continue it. But I will not be able to unless you REVIEW, on the account of then I become fairly discouraged.
Flying with the Enemy
Hermione casually walked down the aisles of Flourish and Blotts, skimming the spines of the books on the shelves with her fingertips and glancing at their titles with her honey brown eyes, waiting for one to catch her interest. She was in the very back of the store, the part that contained the old literature pieces that had greatly diminished in demand since their time. Cobwebs adorned many of the shelves, and Hermione had to pause every so often to brush them out of her way. It was slightly dimmer in this part of the store; the owner most probably didn't want to waste money properly lighting such an ignored area of the shop. The spines of most the books were browning with age, but still held their original color. As a result, the aisles were littered with faded blues, greens, blacks, reds, and even the occasional purple or orange. Hermione continued to skim over the titles until she reached a book with an almost invisible title, the words blending in to the spine with age. Bending over and squinting, Hermione could just make out the words.
"Becoming an Animagus" by Corpeaus Hunt. The name rang a bell in Hermione's head. She played with her sandy brown ponytail while trying to remember who he was.The author had been quite successful in his time, with a number of bestsellers. But of course, that had been almost two thousand years ago, and the man had a number of unpublicized books. This must have been one of them, for Hermione did not recognize the title at all. Slowly and carefully, she pulled the book off the shelf, and a cloud of dust was released into the air. As the dust reached her nostrils, Hermione coughed into her hand and proceeded to wave away the flying dust particles with her free hand. When the hazy cloud around her had finally settled, Hermione flipped open the cover. Inside the book, the pages were brown and crusty; some were even crumbling at the edges. Hermione bent over to squint at the tiny print on the inside cover. It was a warning that read:
Please do not read this book unless you are truly interested in becoming an Animagus. The information concealed between these covers could be otherwise dangerous.
Hermione's eyebrows curled downward in confusion. Otherwise dangerous? How could information about animagus' be dangerous? McGonagall had never mentioned anything about the transformation being violent in any way. Well, of course it would be if it was done wrongly, but that was the same with every aspect of the magical world.
Hermione had now moved on from confusion to curiosity. And it was well known that when Hermione Granger became curious about a particular subject, she was prone to devouring every book in sight that contained even the slightest bit of information on the subject she was looking for. Eager to begin reading the book, Hermione speed walked back down the aisles and to the front of the store. After she purchased the book, Hermione hurried back to meet Harry and the Weasleys.
When she reached the group she was met by a very nervous looking Harry and a very angry looking Ron. Ron was the first to speak, "Hermione! Where have you been! We've been worried sick! Don't you ever do that again!"
"Calm down, Ron. I was just picking up an extra book to read on the train,"
"Calm down? You could have been kidnapped! Or even killed!" Ron retaliated, his face growing red with anger. Ever since Dumbledore was killed, Ron and Harry had become extremely overprotective of her-even more than Mrs. Weasley, who had suddenly turned into everyone's bodyguard, including Harry and Hermione. But it was mostly Ron who did all the scolding.
"Oh please, Ronald! Kidnapped? Killed? I do know how to take care of myself, thank you very much!" Now Hermione was on the edge, about to lose it. Her hand tightly grasped her wand, and Harry must have noticed the sudden movement, for he stepped forward to calm the fight.
"Okay. Calm down both of you. As long as you're all right, Hermione. But we've been really worried." Harry rarely spoke now, ever since Dumbledore was killed. So when he did speak, Hermione felt that she was compelled to honor his wishes, since lately he didn't seem to have very many of them. After all, Hermione was the one who was so insistent that he return to Hogwarts to finish his schooling, and finally persuaded him to do just that.
Harry never looked well now. That was an understatement. He looked like a walking corpse, but not all in the physical sense. His eyes were always sad, and had lost their usual gleam. The bounce that usually lightened his step had disappeared, replaced with a drag of the feet. His hair was more unruly than ever, since he had long since stopped caring about its length or whether or not it looked acceptable. Now Harry was Harry, and if you didn't accept him, he certainly didn't give a damn. You could tell that he had been training hard, complements of the newly obtained muscular arms and tightened abs. Harry had lost all sense of happiness, and Hermione felt that the only thing that drove him now was sheer hate for Voldemort. When and if he was defeated, it would be hard to get Harry back on track.
Ron was the most confused out of the Golden Trio. You wouldn't be able to tell if you just looked at him. His red hair had gotten darker and longer. Ron had developed quitea nice set of abs,as well as muscular arms.He had gotten over the death of Dumbledore quickly, and now didn't know what to do with himself. Harry couldn't be consoled, and Hermione was doing a fine job of consoling herself, with the help of her trusted books. So as a result, he had taken to following Harry everywhere, like a guard dog, and trained just as vigorously as Harry did. Ron wanted to be there for Harry, even though Harry didn't want him there at the moment. Hermione and Ginny understood this, and gave Harry his space. They knew that Harry would come to them if he needed anything. But this idea had completely surpassed Ron, and Harry seemed to be getting visibly annoyed that Ron wouldn't leave him alone. Ron claimed to not see this, even when Ginny talked to him about it. So Ginny and Hermione left him alone as well-Harry would tell Ron when the following became too much for him. As a result, Hermione had nothing to occupy herself with other than her books. She had become much closer with Ginny, but Ginny had her own friends and her own life, so Hermione tended to only go to her only as a last resort.
Upon hearing Harry's request, Ron and Hermione both shut their mouths and continued on walking, catching up with the rest of the Weasleys, who were oblivious to the fight that had just taken place. The Weasleys weren't fairing so well either. Fred and George's jokes had become more and more eager, and they cranked them out in quick succession. Hermione felt that they just wanted everyone to laugh a little during the hard times, and she thought they were doing an honorable job at their task. The rest of the Weasleys looked grim and stressed, especially Mrs. Weasley. With the majority of her family risking their lives every day at the Ministry, she spent hours worrying about their fates, and was always greatly relieved when they came back home at night.
The group turned a corner into an unoccupied alley. Mr. Weasley started to speak, "Alright. Everyone got everything?" There was a series of nods from all the others. "Okay then." He then pulled a tiny model of what looked like an old tire from his pocket, enlarged it with a wave of his wand, and motioned for the group to gather around it. "Everyone touch the tire now. With your hand, please George. You remember what happened last time you tried that." Hermione glanced over and saw that George had tried to sit himself in the middle of the tire. To his disdain, he hadn't gotten a laugh out of it. She rolled her eyes and turned back to Mr. Weasley. He was staring at his watch, counting down the seconds until the portkey was activated. "Not long now. Five, four, three, two…" The word "one" was lost in the storm that sucked the Weasleys, Harry and Hermione up as the portkey activated. Seconds later, they were thrown down on the Burrow's front lawn, in various positions, none of which looked particularly comfortable.
One by one they began to dust themselves off and proceed into the house. Once inside, the crowd dispersed, most going into their rooms, with the exception of Mrs. Weasley, who headed off into the kitchens to start preparing dinner. Ginny was called downstairs to help, along with Harry and Ron. Hermione feigned sickness with a well-acted show of coughing and holding her head in her hands. Mrs. Weasley immediately sent her upstairs with instructions to "get some rest". Hermione happily complied and was soon sprawled out on her bed that had been conjured in Ginny's room, reading the book she had only hours ago picked up from Flourish and Blotts while fiddling with the battered plaid comforter.
According to the book, Hermione would have to endure a lot of pain initially, as well as observe and imitate the animal she would like to become, until she believed that she actually was that animal inside, and then only, when she closed her eyes and concentrated, would she be able to fully transform into the animal of her choice. Hermione was very interested in the book at this point, but she was only about a quarter through it, taking well into consideration that the book was about 900 pages long. Hermione was just reaching the part in the novel where Corpeaus was describing the concentration methods that should be used while transforming into another creature, when she heard a loud crash downstairs, and a shrill scream.
Throwing the book on the floor, Hermione grabbed her wand and muttered a few protective spells directed at her own body before cautiously venturing outside the room. The sight that met her eyes was one that she would never forget. Black-hooded figures that Hermione knew as Death Eaters were rushing through the house, battling the Weasleys and Harry. They hadn't noticed her yet, so Hermione knew she could still help without madly rushing in and flinging spells around, if she kept the element of surprise in her hand.
Moving fast, Hermione rushed behind a large potted plant and calmed herself down a bit. Her heart was thumping so fast and hard that she was sure it would break out of her chest and spill onto the carpet, which was already stained with blood. Whose it was, Hermione was too scared to guess. After a few deep breaths, her heart had regained its normal speed, and Hermione could feel the adrenaline rushing through her body. She felt a regained strength, and calculated her surroundings in order to figure out a way she could help. Harry was currently battling off three death eaters at the same time, and though he was holding up extremely well, Hermione knew that more would just swarm over to him. He was the Boy who Lived, and if they killed him, they would receive the ultimate reward from Voldemort.
Spotting the door to Ron's room across the hall, Hermione quickly muttered a spell that cast a glamour around her, making her appear to be a Death Eater in critical condition, not expected to live another five minutes. She limped through the battle, trying to make the glamour more plausible, and trying to attract as little attention to herself as possible. Hermione knew that the Order would leave her alone, since she was so badly hurt, and the Death Eaters wouldn't bother to help her. She was just another competitor out of the way of them and Harry. Finally, Hermione had reached the door, and she pushed it open, while removing the glamour at the same time. Two Death Eaters were inside, and they turned to her, their wands ready. Though Hermione's heart was thumping against her chest even harder than before, she had been trained in this skill, all the Order was.
Hermione, Ron, and Harry had been accepted into the Order the summer after Dumbledore died, McGonagall saw it as unfit to keep them in the dark any longer. They had been granted use of magic outside of school as long as it was used in the form of protection, and had undergone a vigorous training all year. Hermione pulled forth all the skills she had learned, and quickly dodged the two curses that were thrown at her.
In return, Hermione quickly fired two spells at her attackers in quick succession. The Death Eaters now lay on the floor in full-body binds, slouched on the edge of Ron's bed. Another two spells from Hermione's wand and they were knocked unconscious. Hermione stood there for a second after knocking her attackers out. She had never actually attacked Death Eaters; she had just been trained for it. Just the thought that the two people she had just minutes ago rendered unconscious would have dragged her to her death if given half the chance made her insides squirm. Hermione shook her head. There was no time for thoughts like that. She had things to do, friends to save.
Scanning the room, Hermione spotted Harry's trunk in the corner. With practiced ease, she bent over the lock and within a few seconds, it snapped open. Lying at the top of the trunk was Harry's invisibility cloak. Hermione lifted up the cloak. The silvery fabric melted into her hands. As Hermione reached over to swing the cloak around her thin frame, an envelope fluttered down from what seemed like the sky.
Hermione slowly bent down to pick up the envelope. She was about to open it when the noises of the battle once again flooded into her ears. Flustered, Hermione stuffed the envelope into the pocket of her well-worn jeans. Swinging the invisibility cloak around her, Hermione disappeared from sight. Rushing through the door, Hermione leaned against the door. Death Eaters were everywhere. Dozens of members from the Order had shown up to help, but it seemed like the Death Eaters were outnumbering them. Hermione moved fast. She ran through the Death Eater ranks, casting "Stupefy" spells on every Death Eater she could find. Soon she realized that this wasn't working as well as she'd hoped. Her spells were growing weaker and weaker as she lost strength, and even though she had taken down a great number of Death Eaters, mostly due to the fact that nobody could see her, Hermione realized she needed to do something more.
Hermione was leaning against a corner in exhaustion and glancing around when she noticed that an extremely large ceiling fan was located in the master bedroom, which was unfortunately on the other side of the hall. The battle was now raging through the entire house, and bodies were everywhere. Hermione started running towards the room. She was almost to the door when she felt a searing pain in her lower abdomen. Glancing down, Hermione realized she had been hit with a stray spell. Pressing her hand to her stomach, Hermione felt warm liquid. Her hand was stained with blood. Hermione wasted no time. She sprinted the last few meters to the room and rushed inside. She found that somebody had been keeping injured Order members here, all tied up and gagged. There was no doubt in her mind that it was the Death Eaters.
Ripping a foot of fabric off her jeans, Hermione tied it securely around her stomach to stop the bleeding. Then with various healing spells, she cured her fellow Order members, untied them, and apparated with them, one by one, to Grimauld Place, where she knew McGonagall was currently residing and taking care of Order business. McGonagall greeted her with a worried expression and received each of the injured individuals. Hermione left, but not without various compliments from McGonagall on her great contribution to the battle. Before Hermione left, McGonagall promised to round up more Order members and send them over to help. Hermione apparated back to the Burrow, and cast an extremely strong spell she had learned during her training. Its main purpose was to break through whatever you cast it at.
"DESTRUSIO!" Hermione shouted, and a bright blue wave of magic emitted from her wand. The ceiling fan broke off from the ceiling and landed with a loud "Thud!" on the floor. Hermione then whipped off Harry's invisibility cloak, shrunk it, and stuffed it into her pocket. Then she turned once again to the fallen fan.
"WINGARDIAM LEVIOSA!" she shouted, and the fan rose ten feet into the air. Hermione sprinted through the door, the fan trailing behind her. Hermione could feel her strength quickly dwindling away. She spotted Harry with the usual swarm of death eaters around him and shouted down to him.
"HARRY! MOVE!" Harry saw the fan trailing behind her, and ran out of the way. The Death Eaters followed him, but Harry was quick and nimble, with plenty more muscle then them. Hermione raised the fan as high as she could without breaking the roof and then let it crash upon the running Death Eaters. There was a series of sickening cracks, and Hermione knew that at least five of them had been killed on the spot. Harry swung around in a circle and was now running back towards her.
"Hermione," he panted. "Thanks,"
"Don't mention it, Harry," she choked out, while diving out of the way from a particularly nasty "Rictumsempra" curse. She noticed that the usual gleam was back in Harry's eyes. Then suddenly, an idea popped into her head. "Harry!" she shouted. "Get all the order members out of here! Meet me outside when you've done it!"
"What!" Harry was beyond confused.
"Just trust me! Get them out!" Hermione threw him the invisibility cloak. "Put this on. It'll keep them off your tail." Harry nodded and swept himself under the invisibility cloak. Hermione kept fighting, and she soon noticed that the Order members were dispersing. She cast another glamour spell on herself and rushed out of the house. From the outside, you would never be able to tell that a fierce battle was taking on inside the Burrow. But Hermione was about to change that. Within two minutes, Harry popped up next to her.
"Is that all of them?" Hermione asked.
"Yea," Harry croaked. Hermione nodded. With a hoarse shout, she cast a destructive spell at the middle of the Burrow. Then the house came crashing down. Harry stared at the fallen house with his mouth wide open. Only after the initial shock did he realize that Hermione was on the ground beside him, her eyes closed, the last of her energy spent.
The next day, Hermione woke up in Grimauld Place. Her stomach no longer hurt, but upon closer examination, there was a long thin scar along the place of her injury. Blinking her eyes, she realized that the entire Order was scattered throughout the room and around her bed.
"Finally. You're up," Ginny stated in a sarcastic tone.
"How long have I been out?" Hermione croaked. Her voice was still sore from the battle.
"About two days," Ginny replied. Hermione groaned. The door creaked open and McGonagall entered the room. Heads turned to face her and she started to speak.
"My fellow Order members, the battle yesterday was most unfortunate. We weren't prepared in any way for the attacks, and it didn't take long for the Death Eaters to break down the defensive spells upon the Burrow. Due to the quick thinking of many of us…" At this point, McGonagall paused and turned to look at Hermione, Harry, and the Weasleys. "We were able to defeat many Death Eaters, and haven't lost many on our side. But many of our number are injured, and the Death Eaters are multiplying by the day. If we don't acquire more recruits soon, I fear that we are bound to lose this war." McGonagall's face looked weary, and she seemed to have gained a number of years in just a few days. "I will see you all in groups to give you your new assignments." With that, McGonagall exited the room.
Over the next five minutes, the Order members bid Hermione their good graces and left the room. Soon Hermione was surrounded by a sea of red and a tiny speck of black. Harry turned to her. "Get some sleep, Hermione. We have a long day ahead of us." Hermione nodded and closed her eyes. Within seconds, she was asleep.
Hermione awoke to the sound of the door creaking open. Professor McGonagall strode into the room. Heads shot up with attention and turned to face their leader. McGonagall started to speak. "You are all the most valued and skilled members of the Order. We need more recruits as I stated previously. I am sending you all to other countries in hope of achieving that task. You will be traveling in pairs, and will be responsible for one another. I bid you the best of luck and give you this advice- Be wary of your surroundings. Trouble lurks in every corner. The pairs are as following- Mr. and Mrs. Weasley will be traveling to Russia. Bill and Ginny will go to Germany. Harry and Ron will be off to America. Charlie and Hermione will be going to Brazil."
Hermione cut in. "But Professor, there are other countries with a much larger wizarding population. Wouldn't we benefit more if we were sent there?"
"Trust me, Hermione. Others are going to those countries. It will be safer for them. All the large wizarding countries have heard all about you. People would be searching for you."
Hermione nodded her head. She was going to Brazil. And she knew that she would become an Animagus while she was there.