Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. This story was written for fun, not profit.
Author's Note: Yes, I know this bites. Blame it on a dare and a three-a.m. coffee binge.
In the end it's not a hard choice at all.
You think maybe that should worry you. In the past couple weeks you've heard something Dumbledore said echoing over and over again, like the words are just tumbling through your head – and that's the thing, isn't it, because there's supposed to be a difference between right and easy and there isn't.
Or maybe you're wrong, but you examine this thought and dismiss it with a ruthlessness that might have made Hermione proud once.
Maybe you're wrong, but you know you're not.
The three of you are staying in this rundown little place in who-knows-where. You stand right by the door with your jumper on crooked and your wand loose in one hand and you just kind of lean on the wall like you've been running for your life. If you were to compose yourself and wander into the next room like nothing happened and plant yourself down at that rickety table – if you were to sit across from them and take one of those books of theirs off the stack to help them research new spells – you know that you would be welcomed with relieved smiles and open arms.
Except you can't. There's a shared understanding between them now that you don't have any access to. Somewhere along the way Harry and Hermione and you became HarryandHermione with you along for the ride.
If you close your eyes you can hear that one last conversation with Hermione, the one where you realized how terribly wrong everything had gone. It's like she's right beside you instead of huddled up with Harry over some tome or another, and maybe that's why you don't even consider leaving them a note.
You figure they'll find out what you've gone and done soon enough. Whose side you've chosen.
This should be a difficult choice, you think right before you Apparate out – but really it's not so hard at all. Maybe that's because you know you're not wrong, that your reasoning is clear and sharp, and that you never had a choice in the first place.
And you think that maybe the next time you'll see Harry, you'll be at the end of each other's wands.
"It's dark magic, Hermione! You can't fight You-Know-Who with dark magic!"
"If we use it properly, I don't see why not. Did you even look at the books I found?"
"What you did to that Ministry worker was 'properly'? What Harry – it's wrong, all right?"
" Harry agrees with me, you know."
"Then you might as well get Dark Marks next!"
"This is the only way we can win! We can make things better this way – really make things better for good, not just leave things up to the Ministry. I know this isn't easy choice to make, but – "
"It is now."
"I think...I think it just got a whole lot easier."