Draco sat on the sofa, skimming through a large book, wondering how the hell he was supposed to find the exact passage that he'd been assigned to find. He looked over at Granger and shook his head. She was completely happy to have spent days amongst the piles of books in a dungeon room. He'd always considered himself to be studious but Granger was on a whole other level.

"Can we order some food?" Draco asked. "It's getting depressing down here."

Hermione looked up from the tome she was studying, having been so immersed that she'd forgotten that Draco was even in the room.

"We should wait for Harry to wake up. He's probably going to be famished since he's skipped so many meals. Besides, Professor Snape made me promise to eat lunch with Harry to make sure that he actually eats."

"I can't fucking believe that I'm back to babysitting Potter again," Draco said in a dreary tone. He slammed the heavy book closed before dropping it on the coffee table. "Sodding book is written in three different languages. One of which I haven't seen before."

Hermione sighed, then walked over and picked the book up. "I'll look through this one. Why don't you check on Harry again. He's been sleeping for far too long. He'll get his days and nights turned around if he doesn't get up soon."

Draco went down the hallway, hesitating before pushing open the door. He quietly walked into the room, noticing how all the blankets were in a pile on the floor and Potter was curled up on his side, looking like those magical dampers were forcing him to sleep in an awkward position.

He stepped forward and studied the dampers. They were unwieldy looking and he could see them pressing into Potter's arm, leaving behind a red mark where the sharp edge pressed against his skin. Poor sod, he thought, wondering how the guy could endure so much.

Draco pulled his wand out of his robe pocket and levitated the blankets to cover Potter. He took the pitcher of water and poured out a glass full, setting it on the nightstand for when Potter awoke.

He walked back out to the living room. "Still asleep," He announced. "I think I'll go change into my Quiddich gear and then come back for lunch. Do you think Potter could come watch the game?"

Hermione shrugged, "I don't know. Professor Snape didn't say anything about letting Harry go to the game. I thought he'd be back by now." The professor had left for the ministry over three hours ago having told Hermione and Draco that he'd be back within the hour.

"Well, hopefully he'll be back soon."

Hermione placed her quill down. "If you see Ron or Ginny could you please let them know that I'll be back late tonight and have to miss the game?"

"I will, if I see them," Draco said, "but I don't think I'll see them lurking around in the dungeons."

"Well, I wouldn't be too sure of that," Hermione said. "I think Ginny's hoping to see Harry down here. I saw her earlier today and just couldn't bring myself to tell her that Harry didn't want to see her."

"Can you blame the guy," Draco said, "She's been harping on him like an old maid."

Hermione frowned, wondering if she'd purposely ignored noticing that? Ginny had been acting a bit more possessive lately and she had been making plans for Harry before even asking him. She shook her head, thinking that she'd have to have a heart to heart with the girl if Ginny stood any chance of getting back together with Harry again.

She heard Draco shut the door as he left, bringing her back to her research.

Hermione picked up the last book in the giant stack of tomes covering the dining table and searched for the one passage that would assure that using a rune to separate dark magic from light magic was in fact a possibility. Professor Snape had set a goal of finding at least 7 different instances where this had been done safely. Even though the research had been near impossible to find, with the help of professor Dumbledore and Snape, she was satisfied now that Harry would be safe and attain his own magic while separating Voldemort's magic. Of course this was just one part of the spell. Professor Dumbledore and Snape had kept the next part of the spell a secret. Secrets were terribly hard for Hermione to resist uncovering, they always had been. She'd uncovered enough to actually be worried for what Harry would have to endure.

She stopped turning the page when she heard a noise coming from Harry's bedroom. It sounded as if Harry was having another nightmare. He had been doing so well since he'd returned from the cabin and now this … he didn't deserve anymore terrible things to happen to him. He had already been through enough bad things to fill several lifetimes.

She walked down the hallway and knocked on the bedroom door before opening it. Sure enough poor Harry was tangled in the bedding and suffering through some unknown terror. She shook his shoulder and was startled when his eyes flew open and he took in a sudden breath.

"Harry!" She put a hand to her heart and stepped back as he sat up.

"What - what's going on, Hermione?" Harry pushed his damp hair back and then rubbed his face.

"You were having a nightmare," Hermione said, as she took the glass of water off the nightstand and handed it to Harry. "Are you alright?"

Harry leaned back against the headboard. "Just the usual bullshit, dementors, Voldemort, people dying and all that rubbish." He took hold of the glass with a shaky hand and drank, ignoring the water that had splashed onto his t-shirt.

Hermione sighed. She sat on the edge of his bed and then turned and placed a hand on Harry's leg. "It's not fair. I just don't know why everything has to happen to you."

"I guess I'm just lucky." He finished the glass of water and then put the glass back on the nightstand. "Just when I think I'm free from all the bad things, something else bad happens. I just want it all to end."

"Oh, Harry," Hermione moved up on the bed to gather him in an awkward hug with the dampers getting in the way. "Professor Snape has a plan. He thinks he's found the answer."

"I know," Harry said, leaning back on the headboard again. "I want to know what's involved but a part of me doesn't even care anymore."

"We're so close, Harry," Hermione said, "I know of at least seven times that the spell to separate dark magic from light has worked. It's all very complicated but I have no doubts that your dad will make sure the spell will succeed."

"What happens after that first spell? I mean, how do I actually get rid of Voldemort's magic?"

Hermione looked away and then down at her hands. She'd didn't want to keep anything from Harry. He had a right to know but she'd promised not to say anything.

"Hermione?" Harry asked, sitting up and leaning towards her now.

"Harry," She said, hesitating before saying, "It's complicated and your dad didn't even tell me. I just sort of tried to figure it out and I may be wrong so I don't really want to say anything and,…"

"Hermione, enough! Look, you've already kept something from me that was pretty significant so don't make that mistake again."

Hermione would never forget how angry Harry had been when she'd kept the secret of Sirius giving his life up so that Harry could live. She owed it to Harry to tell him the truth. Things had been different between then since that incident and she didn't want the wedge between them to grow any further. She turned and took hold of his hands.

He looked her in the eyes and she could see fear in them.

"If I tell you, you have to wait for your dad to explain it properly before making any conclusions. Like I said, I may be wrong."

Harry nodded and then put a hand to his heart. "I solemnly swear," He said in a sarcastic tone, knowing that it would annoy Hermione. "Come on Mione, I'm not going to put up with anymore secrets, most especially when they're involving me."

Hermione looked chagrined at those words. She shook her head as if to bolster herself before looking into his eyes and saying, "Professor Dumbledore will mark you with a rune that keeps your magic separated from Voldemort's magic," then she suddenly hesitated, "it's just that, well…"

"Just say it Hermione, being marked isn't so bad. I mean I've been marked before so … I'd rather know what to expect."

Hermione looked as if she regretted bringing this up as she looked towards the door then back at Harry. She seemed to come to a conclusion and sat up straighter.

"The issue is that the rune has to be applied before Voldemort was able to use your blood to rise again. Your blood was mixed in with his, giving him the ability to store his magic within you. Your body didn't reject his magic because it recognizes it as part of you, which is why the magical bracelets only had a temporary effect."

Harry mulled that through his head several times as Hermione sat silently staring at him. That would be impossible.

"It's too late for that," Harry insisted, "it's not possible, unless…,"

Hermione could see in his eyes when the penny dropped and Harry had figured out what had to happen.

"I have to go back in time," Harry whispered.

"You have to go back to fourth year, right before the third task," Hermione confirmed. "They're going to use a very powerful time turner."

Harry's mind immediately went to the idea of being able to see Sirius again. Was there a way that he could save him? Just the idea that he'd be able to see him again, talk with him, hug him, made Harry smile. And then he thought of Cedric and thought about the possibility of being able to save him as well! He wondered why they hadn't thought about doing this previously.

As if Hermione could read his mind, she put a hand up to stop his thoughts. "No, Harry, you can't see him, you can't see Sirius. That is why all the time turners were confiscated and destroyed by the ministry. If someone were to manipulate the past it could do irrevocable damage to what happens in the future. It is the most dangerous thing you could possibly do," Hermione insisted, thinking now that she should never have told Harry anything.

"But, Hermione, why? Why can't I just warn Sirius? Think about it, if I just let him know that he shouldn't go to the ministry, that I'd been tricked and that he shouldn't have ever tried to save me…"

Hermione cut him off, "And then maybe he doesn't show up and you end up getting badly hexed or worse? No, Harry, no, it's just too risky. You might have died that day if everything didn't happen just as it did. He wouldn't have been able to come back through the veil to save you again. What if he had lived and Professor Snape had never become your father? Professor Snape is literally the only person who could have brought you back from death!No, Harry! Don't you see what damage you could cause by interfering with the past?" Hermione didn't realize she'd been crying until Harry reached a hand out and wiped a tear from her cheek.

"Okay, okay," Harry quietly said, thinking to himself that he'd have to tread carefully. If this was how Hermione was acting he could only imagine how cautious his dad would be. Maybe he'd have to keep his ideas to himself. "It's okay, I get it.'

Hermione looked somewhat skeptical of his sudden acquiesce. "I shouldn't have said anything." She said as she rubbed at her face. She stood up and straightened her skirt. "We're so close to finally getting rid of Voldemort for good, Harry. Think about that before you go against the plans that the professors are working so hard to implement. I swear to Merlin, Harry James Potter, you better not mess up your own future."

Harry got out of bed, tuning his back so Hermione couldn't see his face. "Don't worry, I'll follow whatever plan my dad comes up with."

Hermione stood at the door, "I'm going to order lunch and your dad wants you to eat all of it."

Harry nodded with his back still to Hermione. "I'll be out in a few minutes."

He waited until he heard his door close before turning around and leaning back against the bed. There just had to be a way that he could save Sirius without ruining everything. He just needed to come up with a plan.


Should I continue with just a few more chapters and finish up the story or do you think I should separate the last few chapters and start a new story?