I don't own Harry Potter and Co, but I do love to play around with them. Poor Harry.
This is quite dark and features Hermione using Unforgivables, and killing people so it's not light and cheery.
A huge thanks to my Beta Lauren otherwise this would have been a grotesque mess of grammar and punctuation you were great! As always any mistakes are mine since I did fiddle with it after she gave it back.
He's dead, they told her. No one survives being Voldemort's prisoner for six months. Especially not Harry Potter.
Hermione had listened to their words, seeing the pity in their eyes. She heard the whispers when they thought she couldn't hear.
"Poor girl's delusional, so sad. Going mad."
She wasn't mad, wasn't delusional. Harry was alive, she knew it, felt it. She saw him in dreams, chained to the wall, dirt covered and starved, but alive. He was out there, somewhere, expecting someone to rescue him.
"Hermione, even if he's alive, he could be anywhere. There's no hope we could ever find him, they told her, their eyes not meeting hers, not wanting to see the desperation that was there. "Our spies have looked; Harry isn't in any of the places You-Know-Who is known to be."
Cowards! Weaklings! Incompetent idiots who were willing to stand idly by as their hero was being held by a madman.
The cowards aren't going to do anything even if they knew where he was, Hermione thought as she feverishly scribbled down various passages from her book. She was so close, so close, she could feel it, taste it. The spell would work. The spell had to work.
"Hermione?" Ginny Weasley's voice questioned softly.
Hermione looked up sharply at her, hurrying to cover the open book with unused bits of parchment.
"What?" Hermione demanded.
Ginny flinched but came further into the room closing the door softly behind her. "Hermione, everyone is worried about you- your obsession with finding Harry is--"
"Is what, Ginny?" Hermione hissed. "Trying to find Harry is what? Foolish? Stupid? Hopeless?"
Tears welled in Ginny's eyes, spilling down her pale cheeks. "Hermione- Harry's dead." Ginny said softly.
Anger swelled in Hermione and her ears buzzed. With no hesitation and with cruel deliberation, Hermione stood and swung her arm out viciously to backhand Ginny across the face. Anger and adrenaline had given Hermione enough strength to make the younger girl sprawl to floor, her nose bleeding heavily.
"If you ever say that again, I will not hesitate to kill you," Hermione growled.
Ginny blinked up at her, holding her nose.
"Get out," Hermione snarled.
"You'll get it this time, Hermione; this time it's over. They all think you're insane anyway."
Hermione raised an eyebrow at Ginny. "They think I'm insane, do they?" Smiling faintly, she picked up her wand and flicked it opening the door for Ginny. "I'll show them insane when I bring back Harry."
With one final glare at Hermione, Ginny scrambled to her feet and out the door.
Knowing that her time was now limited, as Ginny was going to alert the other Order members of the little incident that a had just occurred, Hermione had to think for a moment. She couldn't stay here now. She had planned on leaving soon, but perhaps not leaving quite so soon. Moving back to her desk, she gathered her notes.
With a few flicks of her wand, her recently acquired books flew off the shelf into an open bag. Shrinking her books and bag, she casually threw it into a bag filled it with what she would need.
Glancing at the closet, wondering if she should empty it of its contents so no one would know what was in it. Finally deciding she had neither the time nor the inclination, she chose to leave the contents where they were.
Taking one final look around her room, she felt a small pang of regret leaving it. She, Ron, and Harry had spent many sleepless nights in this room, talking, planning, reading. She felt close to Harry when she was in this room. Shaking off her melancholy thoughts, she strode out of the room and down stairs.
Hermione didn't pause as Remus tried to stop her. "I'm leaving," she told him unnecessarily.
With a gentle but firm hand on her shoulder, Remus stopped her. "Hermione, going out there is suicide." Her old professor seemed so much older now; his hair had gone nearly completely white, and he had so many wrinkles on his face they camouflaged his scars. He had aged years since Harry had been taken. "Voldemort is on the look—out for anyone with connections to the Order or Harry. You have both, plus you're a muggle-born. You are a prime target."
Hermione hadn't turned around when he had halted her; her expression hadn't changed. "Let go of me, Remus," she said, having long ago abandoned calling him Professor Lupin.
After all, Hogwarts had long ago fallen under Voldemort's control.
"Hermione, he's right. The only chance we have of surviving is to stay here," Tonks said softly.
"Yes, let us stay here, cooped up, safe and sound. All the while, Voldemort and his Death Eaters are free to kill and torture innocent people." She sneered at the flinch at Voldemort's name. Even Remus, who had once said it, now flinched.
"Hermione, without Harry-" What Tonks had been about to say was cut off when, with a wave of Hermione's hand, both she and Remus were flung across the room.
Still emotionless, Hermione went on her way out of the house.
Remus and Tonks were unhurt but winded.
"Was that wandless magic?" Tonks gasped.
Remus stared after Hermione, his face worried. "Yes."
Without a word to the startled woman, Remus stood and raced upstairs to Hermione's room, knowing that there was only one way for someone to do wandless magic, without it being a talent they had always had. Hesitantly, Remus approached the only place he could think of that might hold the evidence he was hoping against hope wasn't there.
He opened the closet door slowly. He closed his eyes when his fear was confirmed.
Lavender and Ginny came rushing into the room and over to Remus's side to gasp when they saw what had frozen their former teacher.
Propped up in Hermione's closet was a dead Draco Malfoy, his throat slit and ruins carved onto his pale chest.
"Hermione's practising Dark Magic?" Lavender whispered.
Still staring at the corpse of the young man, Remus nodded. "Blood magic is the only way she could have suddenly been able to do wandless magic."
"Where is she going?" Lavender asked.
"Looking for Harry," he said simply.
"Now if this isn't fun?" Hermione said flatly. "I never did get the chance to introduce myself." Hermione looked at Petunia Dursely , hanging upside down, held by magic. Hermione cocked her head to the side to regard the woman who had raised Harry. She saw nothing of her sister or her nephew in Petunia Dursely.
Hermione had only seen pictures of Lily Potter, but she had been a lovely young woman, with eyes that had shone with intelligence and kindness. From what Harry had told both her and Ron about Lily, she was generally considered to be a kind woman that had been respected.
Harry, who had not had an ideal childhood, could have easily been a hard and jaded man, but he had always held onto his inner goodness. He wasn't bitter or a particularly angry. He had been labelled a hero by his mother's sacrifice , but to Hermione, he had become a hero though his actions.
But Petunia had the pinched look of bitterness on her face, even in her fear. She had taken in her sister's son, but had not truly raised him. She had allowed him to exist in her house. Whatever bitterness Petunia had towards her sister, she had allowed to carry on to Lily's son.
But now Hermione was going to help even the score.
"My name is Hermione Granger. I'm a friend of Harry's." After she had finished her perusal of the older woman and finding her lacking.
Muffled grunts and screams came from the two people bound and gagged next to the stairs.
Ignoring Dudley and Vernon Dursely, Hermione turned back to Petunia.
"I'm afraid I don't have a lot of time to talk. You see, Harry has gone missing. No one can find him; in fact everyone thinks he's dead. I know better but the only way to find him is though blood magic." Hermione explained before pulling out a wickedly sharp knife. "I need a blood relative for this to work. And since you and Dudley here are the only ones, well- I promise this won't hurt for very long."
Drawing the knife along Petunia's slim neck, she ignored the gurgling noises as the woman choked on her own blood, and the muffled screams from her husband and son.
She caught the blood in a large bowl, watching with some fascination as it drained." Slowly, the woman stopped her frantic gurgling noises and was still.
Hermione turned to Vernon, who was staring at his wife, his eyes slowly moving to Hermione. Crouching down beside him, Hermione observe him quietly.
"If it helps, you should know that her death is for a good cause. Without her death, I won't be able to find Harry," she said softly.
Vernon stared at her with a strange mixture of hared and fear.
It would be a cold comfort to the man, Hermione knew. What would he care if Harry lived or died.
Reaching out, she brushed some of his hair out of his reddened face. For some reason she had the need to assure him that this was for the best. Perhaps it was her own need to justify what she was doing.
"Without Harry, you and your family would die anyway." She smiled slightly. "In a way I'm saving you and your son. If your wife was any thing like her sister, she would have seen that this was for the greater good."
Once the steadily trickle of blood waned to the occasional drop, Hermione picked the bowl up. Sprinkling the other ingredients she needed to complete the spell, she finally lit the blood on fire. A putrid smell of charred blood filled the room.
With three taps of her wand she said the incantation. "Per Cruor of Prosapia Locus Unus Ego Peto."
Pulling out a picture of Harry, a lock of his hair, a piece of cloth from one of his favourite shirts, all tied together with a lock of Hermione's hair. Biting her lip she dropped the little package into the dish to complete her spell.
Moving back toward Dudley, she brushed some of his sandy hair out of his sweaty face. "If this doesn't work, I'll need to do the same to you," Hermione confided to the obese boy.
Glancing over at the now burnt out bowl of blood that she had risked everything for, Hermione stood and moving so she could peer into the bowl. She sighed in relief that the spell had worked. Inside the bowl was a piece of paper, a small map that showed directions to Harry. Should Voldemort move Harry, the map would show that movement.
Looking over the map carefully Hermione saw several streets and names of buildings that she recognized it as Sussex. Having been there to visit family, Hermione had a place to which she could apparate.
Hermione briefly thought about going back to the Order and asking for their help, but instantly dismissed the idea. No doubt they had found Malfoy's body in her closet. They had also likely used spells made to detect if Dark Magic had been used in a room, and would have found her old room saturated in Dark Magic.
She felt no remorse for killing Draco. Through his foolish actions, he had not only been responsible for Dumbledore's death, but he had endangered the entire school.
Hermione found it wildly ironic that she had used a pureblood to increase the power of a Mudblood. She nearly smiled when she thought about Malfoy's face when she had told him what she was going to do with his blood.
Turning to the remaining Durselys, she winked. The blood drained from both Dudley's and Vernon's faces. "I have what I want. Hopefully, someone will think to check on you before you die of dehydration. If not," Hermione shrugged to convey her ambivalence to it their dying.
Closing her eyes, Hermione apparated away with the sound of Petunia Dursely's body hitting the ground as the spell ended.
Hermione blinked at her new surroundings. The small wizarding market in Sussex had changed since she had been there. Before, it had been a bright and cheerful place. Magical pets could be bought here. They had all been wandering around a small enchanted area so they couldn't run away; the animals had always looked happy. It had also been a wonderful place to buy flowers. Colour had been everywhere, children playing in the street, the happy buzz of shoppers.
Now it was dark and grey, filled with people who normally wouldn't have been seen during the day. The colourful flowers were replaced with plants that could kill either by themselves, like Devil's snare, or brewed into potions. The happy animals had been caged, looking starved; a few were even dead.
Hermione pretended to look closely at the small pot of Devil's Snare, as she recognized Lucius Malfoy stalking through the street. He had changed so much after his brief time in Azkaban. His hair was no longer a long shining mass of blonde, but grey and greasy, hanging lank around his face. He was a lot thinner than he had been, with deep wrinkles in his formerly handsome face.
Once he passed, Hermione was sure to pull the hood of her cloak up over her face. She had come too far to be seen. She had to save Harry.
Moving to a darkened alleyway, Hermione paused at the door of a club she had heard about. The Fantasy was a whore-house that masqueraded as a club for the rich and twisted. For a price, any of the whores would use Polyjuice to become anyone you wanted. All that was needed was a single strand of hair.
Polyjuice potion would come in handy. Get a Death Eater's hair, sneak into where Harry was being held without notice. The only problem would be the Dark Mark. Unlike most tattoos, scars, or other distinguishing marks, the Dark Mark wouldn't be part of the transformation. And only Voldemort know the spell to put the Dark Mark on human flesh.
"I only need it temporarily," Hermione muttered to herself. "I could–"
The door to The Fantasy slammed open, nearly hitting Hermione as a woman staggered out. Hermione whipped out her wand, ready to defend herself if necessary. The woman turned, her hair sticking wildly out to the side, her face covered in a bruise. She looked familiar, but under the bruise and swollen cheek, Hermione couldn't place her.
When woman spotted Hermione, she stared at her for several long moments.
Startled, Hermione looked closer at the woman to finally to be finally hit by recognition.
The two women stared, dumbfounded, before realisation hit Hermione.
Her face lit up into a smile.
"Pansy, you don't know how delighted I am to see you. Stupefy!"
Kneeling down next to Pansy, Hermione looked into her former classmate's scared eyes. After she had stunned the girl, Hermione had pulled Pansy further into the alley so they wouldn't be interrupted. She had then rennervated the girl and silenced her.
There would be a lot of screaming.
Pulling out the knife she had used to kill Harry's aunt out of her pack, then moved back to Pansy and pulled her sleeve up to show her Dark Mark. Letting out a shallow breath of relief, Hermione actually smiled. "Thank Merlin. I was afraid Voldemort realized just how stupid you were and didn't give you the mark."
Pressing the blade to the edge of the Dark Mark, she once again looked into Pansy's eyes. "This is going to hurt you a lot more than it's going to hurt me."
With that, Hermione painstakingly started to cut the Dark Mark from Pansy's arm. Although silenced Hermione could see as Pansy's face contorted in agony. She was screaming silently, her eyes wide with horror. There were times that Hermione would swear that she could hear Pansy in her head, begging for mercy. For a moment Hermione paused in her cutting to look into the dark eyes of a woman begging for live.
Closing her eyes Hermione summoned a picture of Harry, as she had seen him in her dreams. Filthy, brusied, and bleeding. She could see his eyes devoid of hope, even as she knew he was screaming for someone to save him, long after he thought no one would come for him.
Rage swollowed any pity she had for the woman before her. Who knew how many people had suffered under her wand. Pansy had always showed a tendency to pick on those weaker than herself.
Her resolve set Hermione started to cut once again. Sweat dotted Hermione's forehead she continued to cut. It was taking longer than she thought. Skin had more resistance, there was more blood.
Hermione paused for a moment to work a kink out of her shoulder and looked at her victim for a moment.
Hermione frowned, Pansy should be in shock by now. But she was still awake and screaming in silent pain.
"Drugs Pansy?" Hermione asked, coming to the only conclusion she could think of.
Hermione checked to make sure she wasn't cutting the mark too shallowly. Seeing that she hadn't she pressed blade to skin once more.
"I thought a good Pureblood girl like you wouldn't go near drugs. I guess this goes to show that Purebloods aren't really any better than muggles." Hermione commented after a few minutes as she finally finished the skull. Now she had to do around the snake, which would be much trickier.
"Voldemort and his followers seem to think they are so much better than muggles. But really, when you look at it with an open mind, you see that we are very much the same. We all want the same things. Comfort, love, safety. To be Happy. You and I are a lot alike, Pansy. I think I know why you joined the Death Eaters. You wanted Draco. In some twisted way you love him. One of the reasons I joined the Order is because of Harry." Hermione looked over at Pansy. "The only difference between us—I'm doing what I'm doing to save someone," Hermione said softly.
Hermione worked silently for the next few minutes before she finished cutting away the Mark completely. Standing, she watched dispassionately as the last of the blood dripped away from the severed skin.
Looking back at Pansy, she could see there was a gaping wound on Pansy's forearm where her Mark had been. Her head was lolling to the side, her eyes wide and glassy. Hermione thought for a moment that she had finally succumbed to blood loss, but Pansy was still breathing shallowly.
Carefully placing the tattoo on her own arm, she muttered a few spells until the skin baring the tattoo looked like it had always been hers. Grimacing at the gruesome thing, she hastily pulled her sleeve down.
Considering using the Avada Kedavra but decided against it. She didn't need to waste the energy killing someone who was going to die soon.
"You won't live more than an hour," Hermione said to Pansy, knowing she couldn't hear her. "Thanks for all your help. But before I leave," Hermione bent down and ripped out a large hunk of hair.
Making her way out of the alley, she went to the door that she had nearly been hit with. Taking a deep breath, she opened it and went in.
The first thing Hermione noticed was the cloying scent of heavy perfume that did little to cover the smell of stale sweat, sex, alcohol, and smoke. Apparently, pureblood bigots they may be, they saw nothing of appropriating some of the more disgusting habits of muggles.
Hermione winced slightly at the volume of music that she could feel deep into her chest. People were dancing so closely that air didn't exist between them. Several people were making out on the side of the glowing dance floor. Scantily clad woman hung all over both men and other women. In the loud din of voices, crude expletives, insults, vague sexual allusions or outright harassment could be heard Neon lights lit the room up, but not enough to sacrifice the illusion of danger.
Aware that time was of the essence comma Hermione pushed and shoved her way though the crowd until she arrived at the bar.
"What can I do for you, luv?" The bartender asked.
"Pansy Parkinson told me I could have the experience of a lifetime here."
The bartender smiled, his straight white teeth looking predatory in the light. "She was right. For a price, you can have anyone you want, anyway you want."
Hermione pulled out a large sack of Galleons. "What will this buy me?"
The man's eyes gleamed with greed as he picked up the small sack and weighed it in his hand. "I think this will buy you the whole night with whomever you want." He jerked his head toward one of the other men behind the bar. "I'm showing this lovely thing into the back watch the bar."
He motioned to follow him Hermione, who passively followed him until they reached a door that read "VIP ONLY." Pushing the door open, he moved out of the way to allow Hermione to enter first.
The room was fairly large, lined with green wall paper. There were several comfortable sofas and chairs that men and women lounged in.
Hermione looked at them all. Their faces were hard and bitter, with a few looking like they would rather slit her throat than bed her. The women varied in age; most had been pretty once upon a time, but the hard look in their eyes made them seem older and ugly. A few fresh faces looked more scared than angry.
Hermione didn't even look at the men. They didn't interest her.
"Her," Hermione said, pointing at a particularly hard and bitter looking woman that seemed to have a permanent sneer on her face.
The bartender chuckled softly. "Sofia. Not many want her anymore."
Hermione gave him a dismissive look. "It's not like she's going to look like that for long," Hermione said, as she nodded towards the vials of Polyjuice potion lining the wall.
The bartender smirked , yet Sofia did nothing but stare stonily at her.
The bartender went to the wall and picked up four vials of the potion and handed them to Hermione. "You be good to this little thing, Sofia. She paid for you for the whole night."
Sofia shot Hermione a look of loathing. "Doubt she could last a whole hour."
Hermione smirked back. "Oh I can last. The question is, can you?"
Sofia was going to say something more, but stopped. Something on Hermione's face must have told her she was not one to trifled with. "This way then," Sofia said, leading to a small door behind a curtain.
Hermione followed her out of the room, carrying the precious potion. The hall was narrow and scarcely lit. Sounds from the closed rooms ranged from moans to pleasure to screams of pain.
Sofia stopped at the first open door and went in. Hermione followed her, closing the door.
Hermione picked a hair from her own head and put it into the potion.
"You want to fuck yourself?" Sofia asked.
Hermione thrust the potion at her. "I find myself irresistible," She drawled.
Sofia just shrugged and took the potion, slinging it back like a seasoned drinker would knock back a shot of whiskey. She had even been able to drink the vile concoction without shuttering or gasping.
Hermione took the second vile and put a few strands of Pansy's hair into it before drinking it. Although she had experienced it before, it felt worse this time. Doubling over Hermione, felt her skin bubble and shift.
"What the fuck are you doing?" Sofia demanded.
Hermione looked up at herself, staring back at her with a scornful and disbelieving stare. "Rescuing a friend," Hermione said, slowly pulling out her wand, trying to hide what she was doing. "Stupefy."
Sofia dropped to the floor like a rock. Hermione wasted no time in grabbing the woman. Touching her wand to her temple. "Imperio."
"You are Hermione Granger. No matter who asks you, you will never tell anyone where the Order is. No matter what they do to you, you will never let them know you are anyone but Hermione Granger."
For a moment Hermione just sat back, staring at her victim. What had she done? She had used an unforgivable, she had forced someone to bend to her will. Less than a year ago Hermione would have thought what she had done to be beneath her. But she had done it, without hesitation, without remorse.
"To save Harry," she whispered to herself. She had done it- everything- to save Harry.
Gathering the prostitute closer Hermione apparated them both away. There were Anti-apparating wards around the small house where Harry was being kept.
Levitating Sofia behind her, she moved quickly, making sure that she was out in the open. As she approached the house slowly. A Death Eater made his presence known, first by an extended wand, then throwing off his Invisibility cloak.
"Let's see the Mark," He said, wand pointed at her.
Hermione pulled up her sleeve, showing Pansy's mark.
The wand lowered. "Parkinson, what are you doing here?"
Trying to arrange her face into the same smirk she had seen Pansy wear a thousand times before, Hermione jerked her head at the floating woman behind her. "I captured Granger. I thought she might like to see Potter before she dies."
Instantly the Death Eater's raised his wand again. "How do you know Potter's here?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "I knew Voldemort wouldn't trust the stupid bint with any important information."
The Death Eater frowned at her, his face turning wary. Not taking any chances Hermione used her wandless magic to throw the Death Eater across small yard. His body hit the tree with an audible thump and the sound of breaking bones.
All notions of using stealth to get in were over. Pulling out her wand, she aimed her wand and cast a powerful Reductor curse to blast the door apart. Hermione was met with four Death Eaters. With little thought, Hermione brought Sofia in front of her.
It worked perfectly, as four Avada Kedavra's hit Sofia squarely in the chest.
Before Sofia's body even hit the floor, Hermione pulled out a small orb and threw it at the feet of the nearest Death Eater. Devil's Snare shrunk to fit in the small globe burst out, grabbing the four Death Eaters. The men screamed as the twisted to try to get themselves from the grasp of the plant.
It didn't take long before the plant had squeezed the life out of the four struggling men.
"You should have paid more attention in Herbology class," Hermione remarked, kicking the dead of one of the dead Death Eaters out of her way.
Pulling out the map that had morphed to a blue print of the house, consulting the map she followed the path to where Harry was being held. Surprisingly enough, there were no more Death Eaters on the main floor. As she made her way down to the basement kept her wand ready in case there were other Death Eaters in the house. No doubt they had heard that the Order had given up all hope that Harry was even alive.
"What's the problem, Pat?"
Hermione continued her way down the steps. As soon as she saw the spot-marked Death Eater staring at her, she raised her wand.
"Avada Kedavra." The spell hit the man, encasing him in green before he simply fell to the ground.
Hermione looked around the basement, searching for any sign of Harry. She quickly found him, in the far corner. What she saw broke her heart.
Harry was naked, huddled in the corner, his skin hanging off his emaciated frame. He was so bruised that his skin was a patchwork of blues, purples, and yellow. With his back to her, Hermione could see his back was crisscrossed pattern of what could only be whip marks, and scars- some were fresh, still oozing blood, while others were infected.
He looked nothing like the boy she remembered. With tears in her eyes, Hermione approached Harry, nearly crying out when he didn't look up but obviously heard her, flinched like a timid dog expecting abuse.
If Voldemort had been there, Hermione would have killed him herself, Prophecy be damned. She would have done it with her bare hands if necessary.
Reaching Harry's side, she noticed that he was trembling so hard she could hear his teeth chattering. Kneeling down beside him, she tried to touch his dirty, matted hair, only to have him recoil as if she had actually struck him.
"Harry?" She questioned softly, withdrawing her hand.
Harry did nothing but flinch again.
"Harry, it's me. Hermione."
She had to get out of here. From the marks on Harry, she could tell that someone tortured him almost daily. Hermione very much doubted that it was anyone but Voldemort. And as much as Hermione wanted to, she wasn't fool enough to take him on.
"Harry, I'm going to get you out of here, but you have to touch the Portkey."
Hermione reached out again, ignoring his flinch. Cupping his chin, she forced him to look at her. His face was also covered in bruises and open wounds. His oh-so-famous scar was gone- gouged out, leaving a large crater of scarred flesh. But worst of all were his eyes. They had been untouched by scars or bruise, but it was the terrified desperate look in them. He looked so much like an abused animal.
His lovely green eyes blinked up at her for several minutes.
Smiling at him she brushed some of his hair out of his face. "Do you remember me?"
Harry nodded jerkily, reaching up to grab her arm in a nearly painful grip. "Are you real?" He rasped, his voice harsh from screaming.
Prying his hand off her arm, she made him touch her cheek. Wincing slightly when she felt badly healed fingers against her skin.
"I'm real, Harry. Feel how warm I am?" Moving his hand to her throat, she gently touched his fingers to her pulse. "Feel that, Harry? It's my heart beating." She made him touch her hair. "Feel that? All my bushy hair."
Harry's face crumpled moments before he launched himself into her arms. His bony arms went around her waist. He wasn't strong enough to hurt her, but his grip was unyielding.
"He told me that you thought I was dead. That no one was coming for me," He told her.
"Voldemort," Harry flinched at his name," was wrong Harry. I knew you were alive. I would have come for you no matter what."
"He said if you came he would kill you."
"I'm here. Vol- he can't touch you or me. I'm going to take you home. Just hold on."
Harry nodded against her waist his grip tightening.
Hermione pulled out the Portkey and felt herself taken away.
Hermione landed with Harry half on top of her in a tangle of limbs, flat on her back.
Hermione looked over Harry's quaking shoulders at Neville.
Hermione had found Neville at St. Mungo's several weeks ago, after a Death Eater attack. He had been nearly comatose, with his mother's dead body laying in arms, his father not too far away, decapitated. He hadn't acknowledged that she was there. He seemed completely unaware of everything around him. Knowing that in his current condition that he would be an easy target for anyone who wanted to, Hermione had taken him with her.
It had taken more than a week before he said anything- did anything but stare at the wall. But when he had, there was such rage in expression that Hermione had been afraid of him.
"I want to kill them," Was what he had said to her.
Hermione had already been studying the Dark Arts by then. Neville had been more than willing to learn whatever she would teach him. He had mastered most of what she taught him. He was good with dark magic. His anger gave him power and he was very angry.
Now Neville stood in the doorway, his mouth hanging open in shock. "You found him?"
Had the circumstances been different, Hermione would have rolled her eyes at the blatantly obvious fact. Instead, all she did was smile.
"I found him."
It took a moment for Neville to see Harry's condition, his usually warm brown eyes filled with horror at the site his friend was.
"Neville, get the potions."
Neville nodded once before he spun around and ran out of the room.
Hermione turned her attention back to Harry, who still had tightly wrapped himself around her. He was shaking violently.
Running her hands up and down his nearly skeletal arms, she tried to sooth him. "Harry you're safe, I won't let anyone hurt you. I'm here."
She trailed off to murmuring soothing nonsense. She managed to coax him into crawling up her body so he could lay his head on her chest. He was so light that it wasn't very uncomfortable to lie beneath him on the hard floor.
"Do you know where we are?" She whispered softly. "We're at Godric's Hollow. Your home. This is where you spent the first year of your life. You were loved here."
She heard Neville come back into the room. He dropped to his knees beside her head, looking down over at Harry's naked back.
"Harry, you have to let go of me now." He shook his head against her chest.
Sharing a look with Neville, she nodded once. Looking extremely hesitant, Neville grabbed one of Harry's arms and forced his it away from her. Harry struggled, but in his weakened condition, he was no match for Neville.
Wrestling him as gently as he could, Neville forced Harry to sit up, gasping softly when he saw where Harry's famous scar used to be.
Hermione brushed away Neville's hand and pulled out a very strong sleeping draft. Holding it to Harry's lips she tried to coax him to drink it but Harry refused. Hips lips tightly closed he shook his head.
"Harry, you have to trust me. Take the potion; it will help you sleep, and when you wake up the pain will be gone," Hermione told him soothingly. Brushing more hair out of his eyes, she smiled. "I would never hurt you, Harry. If you believe anything, believe that I would never hurt you."
Harry stared at her for a long time before obediently opening his mouth. Smiling at him, she tipped the potion bottle so the liquid poured into his mouth. He swallowed the potion.
When the bottle was empty, he looked straight into her eyes and smiled very slightly. "I do trust you Hermione." Then he simply slumped over, falling into Neville's arms.
"Turn him over; I want to treat his back first make sure the infection is gone. Then I'll see about the rest of his wounds."
"What did they do to him?" Neville asked, his once kind eyes filled with a mixture of rage and sorrow.
Hermione didn't look up from cutting the wounds open, allowing the puss to drain, then pouring a healing potion over the wound. "They tortured him," She said simply. "It's what the Death Eaters do. They didn't have a reason, they simply enjoy making others suffer."
Taking out another bottle of potion, he moved so he could pour the potion over some of the open wounds. "We have to stop them."
Hermione looked up at Neville. "We will, Neville."
Both of them worked for hours, opening infected wounds then healing them. Bones that had been broken and healed badly here were broken again and made to set properly. They used cleaning charms to remove the grime that covered nearly every inch of him. Hermione had fixed a muggle IV to his arm to help with his dehydration and malnourished system. Potions for bruises, abrasions, and other injuries were liberally used. Thankfully, Hermione had raided St. Mungo's weeks before and taken everything she could find.
When they were finished, him he looked better still far too thin, but he no longer appeared to so close from death. Hermione levitated him to his parents' old room. Maybe being near them, even in a remote way, would help his healing.
Once he was settled in bed, Hermione smiled when Crookshanks jumped onto the bed to lay on top of Harry, looking for all the world like a bodyguard.
"Take care of him Crooks, I'm going down to talk to our guest." Crookshanks blinked slowly at her, settling down.
Hermione left the room, following the well- worn path to the small root cellar. When she climbed down the ladder, she looked over at Neville, who was already there. He was standing above a cringing Pettigrew, his wand drawn.
Neville had been the one to help Hermione find Pettigrew, find him- and make him give the location of Godric's Hollow. Since than Neville had taken an interest in what other secrets the man might have. He was hoping they could learn something useful. Despite all appearances, Peter Pettigrew was surprisingly resistant to telling them anything. Neville, hadn't stopped trying though.
"Sorry, but I wanted to be the one to tell our guest the good news."
Hermione smirked down at Peter Pettigrew.
"Harry's home, Peter. You know, the home you ripped him out of when you betrayed his parents?" Her smirk turned dark. "When Harry's feeling better, I think he'd like to have a little chat with you."
Glancing back over at Neville, who had his wand out, and a gleam in his eye that bespoke a deep rage that was almost always present since the murder of his parents.
"You'll take care of Peter, won't you, Neville? I don't want to leave Harry too long."
Neville smiled grimly. "Be happy to."
Hermione left, touching the silver hand that she had severed off after he had tried to kill Neville with it.
Making her way back to Harry's room, Hermione crawled into bed with Harry, holding his newly healed hand in hers, rubbing the knuckle with her thumb.
"We will make them pay for what they did to you, Harry."
She smiled, brining his hand to her lips.
"Each and every one of them will pay."
So, did you like it? Hate it? I had a lot of fun writing this.
(Per Cruor of Prosapia Locus Unus Ego Peto roughly means "With this offer of blood of the family locate the one I seek." I did use a on-line translator for that because I speak absolutely no Latin so if it's wrong I apologize for the mistranslation.
Oh so no one has to ask poor Ron is dead; killed by whoever you want- then Hermione killed them.