I'm back! RL has been interesting for the past year, I hope to update Fate's Revenge soon.
The following story is based on situations and characters owned by J.K. Rowling and/or her publishers/WB.
If I owned the characters and situation I'd be filthy rich and the ending would be completely different. :p
Spoilers for all seven books including the vile OBWF and crapilogue. :(
I know it's a cliché but the bunny wouldn't leave me alone.
Thanks to my proofreader: Tumshie
'Then GO!' Roared Harry. 'Go back to them, pretend you've got over your spattergroit and Mummy'll be able to feed you up and -'
Ron made a sudden movement: Harry reacted, but before either wand was clear of its owner's pocket, Hermione had raised her own.
'Protego!' she cried, and an invisible shield expanded between them her and Harry on the one side and Ron on the other; all of them were forced backwards a steps by the strength of the spell and Harry and Ron glared from either side of the transparent barrier as though they were seeing each other clearly for the first time. Harry felt a corrosive hatred towards Ron: something had clearly broken between them.
'Leave the Horcrux,' Harry said.
Ron wrenched the chain from over his head and cast the locket into a nearby chair. He turned to Hermione.
'What are you doing?'
'What do you mean?'
'Are you staying, or what?'
'I . . .' She looked anguished. 'Yes - yes I'm staying. Ron, we said we'd go with Harry, we said we'd help -'
'I get it you choose him.'
'Ron, no - please - come back, come back!'
She was impeded by her own Shield Charm; by the time she had removed it, he had already stormed into the night. Harry stood quite still and silent, listening to her sobbing and calling Ron's name amongst the trees.
Extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The Unforeseen Adjustment
And now my little story branches off:-
Harry stood motionless, in complete disbelief at what had just happened. Ron, his friend of six years had just up and abandoned him. He knew that it was tougher than any of them expected and that he had little information to go on. But after the Triwizard Tournament he figured that Ron had learnt to trust him and support him in this, his quest to stop Voldemort. He glanced at the locket lying in the chair and felt drained. Whether it was drained of energy or willpower, he didn't know. He sank to the floor of the tent as his legs felt like they were filled with lead. He glanced at the doorway of the tent wondering whether Hermione would desert him too. He could hear her voice calling for Ron over the sound of the rain failing on the canvas roof of the tent.
Time seemed to have no meaning as he slumped on the floor listening to Hermione call for Ron. Harry glanced around the tent and took stock. There was the library of books that Hermione had brought, but no answers lay there. The pantry with little to no food. The charms on the tent slowly failing, each night it seemed to get colder and colder. Each morning he woke up feeling as if he had slept in the shed at the Dursleys. Before Hogwarts one winter weekend he was given chores out in the backyard. He was supposed to have finished before tea time, but His Aunt Petunia had given him so many chores that he didn't finish in time so his Aunt locked him outside that Saturday night. Harry was forced to sleep in the shed on the cold hard ground beside the lawnmower and the smell of petrol. Because of his night outdoors that late October weekend Harry ended up with a cold the following morning. Harry remembered being miserable for a week afterwards as his immune system fought the illness.
If the charms on the tent failed more he feared that he would come down with a cold or worse a Flu. He suspected that he was not alone in feeling ill. Maybe it was one of the reasons that Ron snapped and ran out on him. Harry looked up as he heard wet footsteps, Hermione stood just inside the entrance to the tent, her sopping hair plastered to her face, rivulets of water running down her face and soaked into her damp woollen jumper. Her eyes were red from tears and her nose was runny. Harry felt something deep in his heart as he realised that she didn't desert him too.
'He's g - g - gone! Disapparated!'
Harry slumped as he realised that Ron had really gone and wasn't coming back. Harry slowly and stiffly stood up. Hermione had hurled herself into the chair beside the one that the locket lay on. She curled up into a ball and started to weep uncontrollably. Harry looked down at the locket and picked it up. He studied it and went to put it on when his hand froze with the chain looped above his head. This damned thing was around Ron's neck when he snapped. It may not be the cause of Ron to snap and run out on him, but it must have helped fester the doubt in Ron's mind about their quest.
Now that he actually stopped to think, he could sense the hatred and malice emanating from the locket. He flung the locket onto the ground in sudden anger, Hermione sat bolt upright in her chair at the sudden outburst of anger from Harry, the chair wobbled slightly.
Harry glanced at Hermione and his throat felt suddenly dry, he didn't know what to say, about the locket, about the quest the two of them were now on, the way he was feeling. He felt light headed, he needed to lie down. He bent down, picked up the locket, and glanced around the room, wondering where to put it. He saw nothing that would work. He felt tired so very tired; the fight with Ron left him feeling drained. He plodded towards the pair of bunk beds he shared with Ron. He hung the locket on the post of the footboard of Ron's bunk. He didn't want it anywhere near his head at the moment. He curled into a ball on top of the sheets of his bunk and drifted off to the sound of Hermione weeping. He felt like crying too. He knew that Hermione needed comforting but didn't know what to do, what do you do with crying girls?. His eyes felt heavy he shivered and the darkness claimed him.
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The forest was dark and foreboding, the bare branches offering no shelter from the heavy rain. Hermione never noticed that the rain soaked her hair and clothes; she was a woman on a mission. Must find Ron, make him see reason. She felt that it was mean of him to air her concerns about the mission that she confided in him. She thought that their relationship had developed to the point that he would keep her confidences. She had confided in Ron her concern at their rudderless mission, at how it seemed like looking for a specific needle in stack of needles, infinitely harder than the old adage like a needle in a haystack.
As she searched among the trees for Ron she slowly came to the realisation he was gone. He had deserted them, he had deserted her and worst of all he had deserted Harry, they had only been a couple for a short length of time. With Harry around there was little they could do but steal the occasional snog. Even then she felt guilty, felt like she was betraying the mission, -. Her cold wet clothes distracted her from her thoughts. Her back was slick with water, she felt uncomfortable. The evening was closing in, she should return to the tent and - Harry.
She came back to the tent and stopped at the entrance and saw that Harry was sitting on the floor. He slumped when she confirmed that Ron was gone. Hermione flung herself into a chair and couldn't control her crying. She was wet and her damp clothes exasperated her feeling of despair and loneliness. Ron left her, Ron left her, the mantra repeated constantly in her head. She thought that Ron loved her and that maybe one day that they would be Husband and Wife. But now after he deserted her she didn't know what to think. The sound of the locket striking the floor shocked her and she almost fell out of the chair. Only her steel like grip on the arms of the chair prevented her from falling out of the chair as it wobbled on its legs.
Hermione looked up from her position in the chair towards Harry. He stood rigidly glaring down at the locket on the floor. He then glanced at her, his face ashen, she could read the grief and despair in his eyes. He stooped to collect the locket and wandered towards the bunks. She watched as he hung the locket on the footboard of Ron's bunk before curling up upon his own bunk. She couldn't stop the tears from running down her cheeks.
She didn't how much time had passed; only her legs were now stiff and sore. The rain had stopped at some point during the night. Her stomach rumbled, her body's way of demanding sustenance, but she didn't feel hungry. Her eyelids felt heavy, she felt the pulse in her forehead throbbing in pain. Her shoulders ached, in a word, she felt miserable, and yet Harry had done nothing. He was her friend wasn't he? She wanted to feel comfort, that was what friends were for and yet Harry had went to bed with not a word. She hiccupped and cried harder at how cruel her life was at the moment. Her clothes felt itchy but were almost dry now.
The tent was brighter now; the sun must be up she thought. Sighing she changed position on the chair and straitened her legs. The limbs throbbed in pain caused by cramps from sitting in the one position all night. She stood up after the pain had lessened to a dull ache. She felt lightheaded and dizzy. Maybe she stood up to quick. Pushing the thought from her head, she moved into the kitchen the goal a nice cup of tea. She felt as though she was moving through treacle, her limbs felt so sluggish.
She stumbled as she kicked a boot lying on the floor. She glanced at it and she started as she realised that it was one of Ron's boots. When Hermione had prepared for the mission she had made sure that, they had each brought at least two pairs of boots or strong shoes. In his haste to desert the mission, Ron had only taken his wand with him. Oh how she missed Ron's presence. As Hermione's mind was occupied with Ron's errant footwear she was still moving forward, she didn't see the small stack of books lying beside the kitchen table. Pain lanced up Hermione's leg as she kicked the stack of hardback books. Her other leg went out from under her and she fell sideways. Time seemed to move in slow motion, the side of her head struck the edge of the table and Hermione knew no more.
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The book made no sense, the symbols were a foreign language to him. Harry leaned back as he rubbed his eyes. He was in a library, where the library was he didn't know, the features reminded him of Hogwarts but he knew instinctively that he was not in Hogwarts. A loud thud sounded, Harry stood up and left the table to go look, but got lost in the bookshelves.
Something felt wrong, very wrong. He was cold and shivering. Harry opened his eyes and looked at the canvas wall. He was in the tent, it all came back to him. Ron was gone, abandoned the mission just like that. The dream of the library was fading away but the sense of wrongness persisted. Harry glanced at the foot of Ron's bunk, the locket still hung by its chain.
The back of his throat was sore and he was shivering from the cold. Harry rubbed his arms trying to warm up. The tent was cold and he could see the condensation of his breath. Harry got up and decided moving about might warm him up. He hadn't bothered to get changed for bed after yesterday's events.
The main room was empty but the chair Hermione was sitting in yesterday was damp. Harry walked over to it and looked puzzled. Surely Hermione dried herself before going to bed. Harry looked towards the open door way that led to the room Hermione usually slept. Harry began to feel worried, Hermione's bunk was empty. The sheets undisturbed, where is Hermione? Harry thought. He went towards the kitchen to have a glass of water to try and ease his sore throat.
Harry stopped cold at the sight of Hermione shivering uncontrollably on the floor.
'H - Hermione!'
Harry felt ice in his veins as there was no response.
Harry knelt down beside Hermione and placed his hand onto her forehead, she felt hot and clammy.
'H - Hermione! Come on now its morning' urged Harry as he bent down and shook Hermione's shoulder. No response.
Harry didn't know what to do. He leaned down and sighed in relief when he saw he noticed that her jumper was moving. She's breathing. He leant closer to her face and felt her breath on his cheek. She was alive, but what had happened he wondered. He carefully rolled Hermione onto her back and straightened her legs. Hermione's head rolled slightly and Harry gasped as he saw a large bump on the left side of her head.
What could he do? what should he do? It was just the two of them alone. If Ron was still here, he could have sent him for help. He sat on his hunkers and looked at Hermione, total panic had set in. Hermione coughed once then gagged. He leaned forward puzzled. Hermione's mouth went slack a dribble of vomit trickled out. Hermione's lips started to turn blue. Harry leaned forward and touched the side of Hermione's head. Her slack head rolled sideways and the vomit poured out on to the floor. It suddenly dawned on Harry if he didn't do something quick Hermione would die.
She must be choking on her sick he thought. Steeling himself he reached forward, grabbed Hermione by the shoulder, and rolled her towards the pool of sick on her left hand side. He grimaced when her nose touched the foul pool. With a whisper of apology, Harry stuck two fingers into her slack mouth and scooped the rest of the vomit out. He leaned over her body and tried to look into her mouth. He ignored the sticky sensation as his hair pressed into the pool.
He couldn't see, her mouth was too dark. A quick Lumos fixed that and he was relieved to see that her mouth was clear. He pressed his cheek to her lips hoping to feel a breath. He felt his hearth constrict when he felt none. He rolled her back onto her back. Panic had set in, what could he do now? A stray thought of a film drifted into his mind, he remembered watching through the doorjamb of his cupboard door a film where a man breathed life into another. The scene from the film was set on a beach. He leaned down and pressed his lips to Hermione's, making sure he had a seal and blew. He was confused he felt air on his cheek beside Hermione's nose, her jumper never moved. Harry pinched her nose closed and tried again. Her damp jumper rose as her lungs were inflated. Harry pulled back slightly, looked at her falling chest, took another breath, and breathed into Hermione again all the while making sure that he had sealed Hermione's nose while her breathed into her.
After the seventh or eighth breath into Hermione, Harry was beginning to worry that Hermione was leaving him permanently when suddenly Hermione gasped. Harry rolled her over towards him away from the pool of vomit, Hermione coughed, and a small amount of vomit trickled out. Harry banished it. She was breathing now but still unconscious, he went to stand up and look for some books on medicine when Hermione rolled onto her back.
Harry hurriedly sat back down and rolled Hermione back onto her side. He rolled her onto her right hand side. Harry placed her left hand in front of her face her elbow touching the floor. She was lying on her right arm and any time Harry let her go she rolled back so Harry reached over her and pulled her right arm carefully behind her so that her right hand was near her bum. He reached down and pulled her left knee until it touched the floor and her left hand side of her hip was in line with her left shoulder. Harry didn't know as he never took first aid but he had put Hermione into the recovery position.
Harry placed his hand onto Hermione's side just below her armpit and sighed in relief, she was still breathing. The fact that it was the first time he had touched the side of one of Hermione's breasts never entered his head. Harry's thoughts were on trying to remember any medical spells he knew, which was very little. Harry knew he should go for help, but he was very reluctant to leave Hermione as she lay alone, she might take a turn for the worse. He had no way to send for a message, Hedwig was dead and he felt so worried that he knew the Petronus charm was out. Even if he could get a message out, who would he contact?
Harry leaned back against the leg of the table, placed his head in his hands, and wept at the hopelessness of the situation. He didn't know what to do, Hermione had always helped him, if he was lost and needed an answer Hermione was there. He looked at Hermione to make sure she was still breathing and spotted the pile of books. Of course, Hermione had brought a small library of books to help on the hunt, he just hoped that she had brought some medical books with her.
Harry reached over Hermione and grabbed the stack of books none of which were medical books. Sighing in annoyance Harry placed them on the kitchen table. Harry checked to see if Hermione was still breathing and was pleased to see that her chest still inhaled and exhaled. Harry went into the main room where most of the books resided. He grabbed a stack and went to sit with Hermione as he went through the stack. There were no medical books in the first three stacks. His stomach grumbled but Harry was too worried to eat.
On the seventh stack Harry went through, he found the Healer's Helpmate a thick leather bound book. Harry placed it on the floor beside Hermione and returned the stack to their original location in the other room. On his return, he checked Hermione she was still unconscious but still breathing. He picked up the medical text and discovered that it was the latest edition, which came out when Harry was competing in the Triwizard Tournament. Harry scanned down the contents page hoping to see something that would help Hermione.
The second chapter was devoted to the diagnostic charm. A spell that allowed a Healer to determine what was wrong with a witch and wizard when it was not readily apparent what the illness the patent was afflicted with. Harry decided to read the wand work diagrams first to see if he could cast the charm. It appeared to be a simple charm to cast the wand work was not unusual or difficult. The result would produce a ghostly image above the patient revealing the medical condition and any anomalies the charm found. Harry practiced the charm and tried it on Hermione.
He smiled in relief when the spell formed a ghostly image above Hermione's body. It was in the same pose as Hermione. A dark purple spot appeared in the location where Hermione had a bump. The completely ghostly image was tinged in a sickly yellow. A faint pink glow emanated from just above her hips. A thin dark orange line ran between her breasts. The same dark orange glow emanated from her neckline, a tendril of energy radiated from her neckline towards where Harry slept.
Harry looked over his shoulder towards the bunk beds. as the spell stopped working the Locket stopped glowing dark orange. Harry looked back at Hermione the ghostly image was gone. Harry went back to the book to decipher the meanings of the colours. The book explained that a healthy witch or wizard gave off a white image. The shade of yellow that made up Hermione's ghostly image indicated that she was poisoned slightly. Harry wondered what could have poisoned her. The shade of dark purple on Hermione's head indicated a severe bruise to Hermione's head. Harry wondered why the charm related the colour orange to dark magic but the charm revealed that the spell that hurt Hermione in the chest was a dark curse.
Harry's thoughts wandered to that night in the Ministry where he lost Sirius. Harry shook his head Hermione needed him now. He frowned in thought at the faint line around her neck. He sat up straight when it dawned on him that the locket was the cause of the orange. Harry blushed as he read that the pink glow indicated the condition of Hermione's reproductive organs. A faint pink glow indicated a healthy organ. If it was a bright pink it would indicate that she was ready for conception. And a vibrant pink glow indicated that she would be pregnant. The book went on to say that the gradient of pink indicated where she was in her cycle. Harry was too embarrassed to continue reading about female biology. However, he did read that if the charm were cast at a wizard the male reproductive organ would glow baby blue.
Okay I know that Hermione has a very bad bruise to the side of the head, is poisoned to an unknown degree, the locket is affecting her and she is not fully healed from the night at the Ministry, now what do I do? I guess take them in order, were Harry's thoughts.
He glanced down at the book and started to thumb through it looking for a charm to diagnose what poisoning Hermione was suffering. He ended up back at the chapter on the diagnostic charm; he discovered that the charm was more powerful and helpful than he thought. According to the book if the Healer casting the charm wanted to know what the patient had for dinner just think about the contents of the stomach as the spell was cast and the results would focus on that part of the body and indicate what the organ contained. In addition, the resulting ghostly image could be manipulated to focus on specific organs or limbs. Harry put down the book and frowned, where did he start.
He felt weak from casting earlier so he decided to prepare a sandwich and have a mug of tea before trying to determine what was wrong with Hermione. After his quick meal, he checked on Hermione's condition, it was unchanged. Harry concentrated on the poisons or toxins that were in Hermione's body as he cast the diagnostic charm. The resulting image was tinged in the same sickly yellow, but it seemed to darken into a stronger yellow around Hermione belly, heart and head.
Harry wanted answers so concentrated on getting plain English answers. Pale yellow text hovered over the ghostly body. Trace elements of loyalty potion present four years, lust potion present one year, tracking charm present one year, dampening charm present twelve years, compulsion charm present five years and parasitic curse twenty two months. Harry sat back in shock at the text hovering over Hermione. Well I guess that a witch or wizard can be poisoned with more than potions, he thought in dismay.
Harry worked through the list to determine the effects the potions, charms and curses had on Hermione. The lust potion was still in effect but at a low level and according to the book was draining a small portion of Hermione's magic. Harry guessed that the potion might be keyed to Ron but he didn't think that Ron had dosed her as he was seeing Lavender at the time.
Harry wondered at why she was dosed with loyalty potion or who had done it. The tracking charm was a worry he didn't need; he just hoped that they were still safe in the camp. The dampening charm was a worry he didn't know why Hermione's core was dampened; maybe she suffered accidental magic as a child. It was the only reason he could think of due to the length of time it was active. The compulsion charm was also a very big worry. Harry was concerned that Hermione was charmed to be his friend, she was all he had left in the world.
Harry was worried about the curse, Madam Pomfrey should have spotted the parasitic magic when she treated Hermione after the Ministry, it was the only cause he could think of the age of the curse fit. After copying down the ghostly text, Harry focused on Hermione's head and the bruise. The text changed to say that right side of Hermione's head was bruised.
He searched through the book looking for ways to cure Hermione and make her feel better. The book had little to no information on bruises at all, which he found strange. He decided to worry about the poisons instead. He found a chapter devoted to potions and how to apply them. Normally a person ingested the potion but in this case, that wouldn't work. Hermione was knocked out and in no position to drink a potion that would cure her. The book said that there was another way, the potion could be administered intravenously. However, there was a problem; the potion would have to be diluted.
Under normal circumstances, a witch or wizard drinks a potion, which is then filtered through the stomach and is then absorbed by the bloodstream. The bloodstream then carries the potion to where it is needed. During this process, the lining of the stomach filters and morphs the potion so that the body can process the potion. Therefore Potions administered intravenously need to be adjusted.
Harry made a note and looked through the index of potions to see which one would help him fix Hermione. In his search, Harry found the recipe for a powerful general purpose flushing draught. He sighed in relief when he discovered there were two recipes one for consumption normally and the second to be feed intravenously. As he read he discovered that the potion would purge Hermione system of toxins and foreign magic, he also learnt that when the potion is fed intravenously it was about three times stronger that the ingested version. Harry placed his small notebook into the medical text as a bookmark and went to look through the potion supplies that Hermione had brought along.
Harry found twelve pepper-up potions and there three potions kits from Hogwarts. Harry went through the kits contents and sighed in relief he had enough ingredients to make six doses of the flushing draught. He hurriedly set up a cauldron on the kitchen table and set to work. He wanted to see if he could brew the potion before he attempted transfiguring the intravenous utensils indicated in the book.
The potion took four hours to brew, Harry carefully followed each step in the recipe and allowed the potion to rest while he ate some meagre rations he found in the cupboard. He needed to replenish some energy before trying to transfigure the needle and intravenous bag for the potion. Harry used a spoon and transfigured it into a needle. For the bag and tube, he used a tablecloth. He cast a sterilising charm upon both and swayed with exhaustion.
The book didn't say how much flushing draught to use so Harry decided to use half a pint. He figured he would scan Hermione after the potion had run its course and see if he had to administer more potions. Harry found a charm in the book that would help him correctly set up the intravenous drip. He read the instructions again as he ate a light lunch. Hermione didn't respond as he injected the needle into her left arm and set the bottle containing the potion to float above her.
Once he was finished Harry went about packing up the contents of the tent. He needed to move the camp, when they had started the mission they all agreed to never stay in the same place for more than two days. Already it was into the evening of the third day camped on the riverbank. Harry puzzled over how he was going to move the camp with an unconscious Hermione. Packing up alone was slow going as every five minutes he checked on Hermione but within an hour and a half he had packed up all the contents of the tent and was ready to take down the tent and move. Harry went outside and sighed in relief at the fact that the rain had stopped. The river was threatening to flood the bank that the tent was erected on. Harry transfigured a log into a timber bed and transfigured another branch into a large umbrella as the tree branches above his head were dripping fat rain drops from the rain storm last night.
Harry returned to the tent, levitated Hermione out to the transfigured bed, and carefully lowered her on to it. Harry returned to the tent, brought out Hermione's bead bag and the locket, and placed both items at Hermione's feet. A few gestures by his wand and the tent was packed up. Harry stuffed the tent into Hermione's bead bag and put the bag on his back. Harry didn't care that the bag was a girly design it contained all their possessions. Harry wrapped the chain of the locket around his left hand and made sure he had a firm grip. With his wand in his right hand and the locket in his left hand, Harry bent down and picked up Hermione in a bridal carry. He gestured with his wand and the floating potions bottle settled onto Hermione's belly. Another gesture and the transfigured umbrella and bed reverted to their original form. Harry's last gesture was to cancel the wards as he Disapparated, reappearing on a heather-covered hillside.
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The instant they arrived Harry staggered forward and nearly dropped Hermione. Harry carefully lowered her onto the heather and set the potions bottle to once again hover over Hermione. Harry walked away from Hermione about fifteen feet, and turned left and started to walk a circle around Hermione casting the spells of protection she normally performed to ensure their protection. The spells offered little protection from the wind. Harry cast multiple accio's, drawing all the firewood towards himself. He stacked a couple in a pile and set it alight, the fire was beside Hermione. Harry hastily erected the tent with difficulty; it was normally a two wizard operation. Harry transfigured the heather under Hermione into a simple mattress. Without Hermione's assistance the tent was unliveable. The tents innate magic was almost completely spent. Harry sighed in despair, what else could go wrong he thought.
Harry built a wall with magic around their new camp with an opening across the fire from Hermione. He used the material from the tent for a partial roof. He managed to rescue some utensils, pots, and pans. This work was slow going and it was already night, the only light came from the fire that Harry fed from his summoned firewood. Harry was carefully cooking a broth over the open fire when it happened. Hermione groaned in pain but didn't wake. Harry turned to her, could see that she was in pain, and wondered what was wrong. The grimace passed from her face and she relaxed, Harry sighed in relief and went back to his evening meal.
Harry smelled it when he checked Hermione after he had finished his broth. Harry was puzzled at the smell did Hermione fart? With a growing sense of unease Harry leant over and checked. Hermione's blue jeans were stained brown. Harry sat back in disgust at the smell and the thought of what had happened. The locket glistened in the firelight; Harry looked down and suddenly understood. With a blind rage he hurled the locket into the fire and felt better, the feeling of revulsion left him.
Harry turned and started to route through the beaded bag for the Healer's Helpmate and sighed in relief when he found it. He quickly checked through the book, and hit his head in frustration. He should of known that what had just happened to Hermione was a distinct possibility. The fact that she was unconscious and he had fed her a potent flushing potion had resulted in this latest problem. Harry hoped that Hermione would forgive him and set to work of undressing her. It was extremely difficult even using magic to manipulate her limbs so that he could undress her. He knew no magic spell to undress someone and didn't want to destroy her clothes by cutting it off her body. Harry tried to focus his mind on helping Hermione and not on the fact that he was undressing a member of the opposite sex. But she had a beautiful body even when she was sickly looking and near death.
Once she was undressed, Harry conjured a tin bathtub like the one he was forced to use by the Dursleys only bigger. He filled the bath with hot water and checked it with his hand. It was too hot so he cooled it and slowly floated Hermione into it, the potions bottle slowly floated over her body. Harry routed through the beaded bag and found the soap that Hermione used and slowly washed her. It required the changing of the water twice, and Harry tired to not linger on her most intimate parts as he washed her thoroughly. Her head was kept out of the water by a uttered charm. Harry washed her hair last. Once Hermione was clean, Harry wrapped her up in the bed linen from her bunk after he dried her hair and body. After the chore of undressing her Harry didn't attempt to clothe her.
Harry gently transferred her back to her transfigured bed and looked through the book to see if there was any patient welfare spells. He sighed in relief when he came across a charm for managing patient waste and he cast it upon Hermione. By now, it was after midnight and the potions bottle was empty. Harry cast the diagnostic charm again and was heartened by the result.
The flushing potion had a positive effect on Hermione's body. The lust potion was completely gone as was the loyalty potion. It seemed that the potion had an effect on the charms cast upon Hermione as well. There was no sign of any of them. The diagnostic charm had revealed that Hermione's head was still bruised and that she still was slightly affected by the locket and there was a lingering trace of dark magic from the scar she received from the Ministry. Harry smiled; he had made some progress in helping Hermione. Harry needed to give Hermione a nutrient potion but his potion making stock was to low so he gave Hermione a pepper-up potion instead. He knew it was not ideal but the potion was meant to give your immune system a boost. He washed out the potions bottle he had used for the flushing draught, transferred the pepper-up potion, and connected it to Hermione's intravenous line after he sterilised it in situ.
Harry sat in his transfigured chair beside the fire and at the head of Hermione's bed, the book grasped in his lap. He drifted off to sleep as read the chapter on patient care, his and Hermione's wands upon a transfigured table between them. As Harry slept, the locket lay in the fire unaffected by the natural flames safe in the knowledge that the fire couldn't hurt it.
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The first thing she felt as she slowly woke was a splitting headache; the second was the fact that she felt warm and snug. She felt warmth on her face that was a first since they had started this damned mission. She wondered what had happened and where she was. Then it hit her, what had happened, Ron had left Harry, and left her. Strange she didn't feel a thing, she remembered feeling despair at Ron's hurried departure and it felt like the walls were closing in. But now she didn't know what way she felt about the situation or about Ron.
As she lay their pondering what had happened she began to notice her surroundings. The source of the heat was explained by the large roaring fire about five feet away. She was in what looked like a circular courtyard made of rough stone. The Weasley tent was half erected at the foot of the bed about eight feet away. Behind the fire was a gap in the wall, about six feet wide. There was a charm of some sort across the gap as she could see a grey haze obscure the view of outside the courtyard. She felt a pain in her left elbow; her headache had obscured the pain. She looked down and noticed that she had an intravenous drip attached to her arm and a potions bottle hovering over her. As she checked her arm it dawned on her that her arm was bare, but that was not all, she was bare all over. She was naked, when did that happen?
Frantically she glanced around her and grasped her wand like a lifeline, up from the table beside her head.
'H - Harry?'
She called, but there was no answer. She sat up and swayed as she felt light headed. Her muscles felt stiff and sore. She remembered the feeling from summer days lying in bed reading novels. Afterwards she always felt like death warmed over. The feeling now just indicated that she was in the bed for over eighteen hours. Her feet recoiled as they touched the damp ground underfoot. Where was Harry? Had Ron returned? She had no answer. She saw the locket hanging from a iron frame mounted over the fire. The frame looked to be used to cook with saucepans over the open flame. The length of the lockets chain meant that the actual locket was in the flame, Hermione shuddered as she realised that the locket seemed unaffected.
Her mouth was dry and brittle she needed to drink something. She gathered the blankets around her shoulders and griped them closed with her left hand. In her right hand, she gripped her wand. The mud squelched between her toes as she stood up. Hermione frowned as she looked at the muddy ground between her bed and the fire. The mud was not cold underfoot. Hermione moved closer to the fire and spotted a copper bath tipped upside down and resting on four polished smooth stones. Beside her bedside table was one of the worn armchairs from the tent. A pair of blankets lay folded on the seat of the chair. Hermione looked around for her beaded bag but didn't find it. The tent was only half erected and contained none of her belongings.
A black kettle rested on a large stone beside the fire. Hermione checked it and discovered that it was full of fresh water. She levitated it up to hang on the frame over the fire so that it could boil. She sat down in the chair in exhaustion after casting that simple charm. She looked up as a form appeared at the gap in the wall. She brandished her wand and hopped that the intruder was friendly as she felt that she couldn't banish a feather at the moment.
'Hermione!' gasped Harry in happy surprise.
He rushed around the fire and stopped in front of her. She looked tired but awake, that was very good.
'Harry, what's going on? Why was I in bed naked? Explain now.' Hermione demanded in rising anguish.
Harry blushed as Hermione started to question him, but at the end of her tirade, his shoulders had slumped. Harry sat down on Hermione's bed and placed the beaded bag beside him on the bed.
'What do you remember?' asked Harry softly.
Hermione frowned at that but answered anyway.
'I remember you and Ron getting into an argument, Ron got upset and left. I ran after him to try and reason with him but he had already Disapparated. I came back to the tent and sat in the armchair all night.' recounted Hermione her brow furrowed in concentration.
'It was morning I think, I went to make tea and kicked Ron's boot. I was giving out about the boot, tripped over something else, and fell. That's it I think.'
Harry nodded and sighed.
'I woke up felling dread as if something bad had happened. I found you on the kitchen floor and thought you were asleep. But you weren't, I called your name, but you didn't respond. I moved you so that you were more comfortable. You made a noise and then started to turn blue, It took a moment before I realised you had been sick and were choking. I don't know why I didn't freeze up in a panic, because it happened to me in the Ministry on the night Sirius died.' Harry monotoned.
Hermione couldn't help herself, 'What happened at the Ministry?'
Harry looked up from the muddy ground underfoot and looked Hermione in the eye.
'You were struck down by a spell cast by Dolohov. You crumpled to the floor and I locked up, couldn't think or react. I was scared out of my mind. It was only after Neville had found your pulse and told me could I begin to function again. I thought that you had died.' replied Harry, his cheeks suspiciously damp, his voice rough with emotion.
'Oh' was Hermione's whispered response.
'There you were dying again in the tent, I was alone and couldn't afford to shut down so I cleared your mouth and gave you the kiss of life. I managed to put you on your side so that if you got sick again you wouldn't choke again.'
Hermione nodded in understanding, her brow furrowed in thought.
'I didn't know what to do or who to talk to. If I took you to St. Mungo's we would have been captured, but maybe I should have because now you must hate me for what I did to you.' Exclaimed Harry.
'I don't hate you, Harry, I understand, you looked after me the best way you could.' said Hermione as she sat beside Harry on the bed and wrapped her arms around him and hugged him sideways. The blankets slid to lie around her hips.
'Please finish your story.' whispered Hermione into Harry's ear.
'I went through your library of books looking for something that could help you. I found a book titled the Healer's Helpmate, it helped me to care for you.' Replied Harry as he tried to ignore the naked girl hugging him.
'Oh I found it in a bookshop on the edge of Knockturn Alley, the sales clerk was reluctant to sell it to me.' offered Hermione by way of explanation.
'I read up the chapter on the diagnostic charm, because the way I was thinking I needed to know what was wrong with you before I could help heal you.' continued Harry. He noticed that Hermione was shivering from the cold. With his arm, that was hugging Hermione; he reached down, lifted the blanket, and wrapped her shoulders with it. Hermione snuggled closer and sighed in pleasure.
'Thank you' uttered Hermione in a breathy whisper.
'I was shocked to discover that there was a lot wrong with you.'
'Oh, is it bad?' asked Hermione as she worried her lower lip with her teeth.
'Yeah, I think so. I cast the charm and discovered you had a bruise from hitting your head during your fall.' began Harry.
'I think I hit my head on the table,' offered Hermione.
'Yeah I guessed the same thing.' agreed Harry.
'The bruising was a worry for sure and I was expecting it to be the only thing to worry about, but I was wrong' Hermione leaned closer clearly worried at what Harry would reveal.
'You showed signs of fighting off poisons and charms.'
'What!' interjected Hermione, clearly puzzled.
'Yeah it would appear that someone had given you loyalty potions for the last four years, a lust potion for about a year. I also discovered someone had hit you with a tracking charm about the same time you were dosed with the lust potion. For some reason you had a compulsion charm active for the last five years and it would appear that Madam Pomfrey had never fully healed you from that night in the Ministry. Because the diagnostic charm showed the dark magic still lingering in your body. It looks like the locket also was poisoning your magic.' explained Harry morosely.
Hermione shuddered in despair as Harry related his findings. The kettle started to whistle, and Hermione stood up and gathered up the blanket around her shoulders. She needed to do something, so she made two mugs of tea. What Harry had told her had shocked her to her very soul. Who could do such a thing. Harry sat quietly and watched her warily, he only spoke to indicate where the tea bags and milk were. Once the tea was brewed, Hermione pressed a mug into his hand, resumed her position of hugging Harry, and directed him to finish his story.
Harry sipped at his tea as he continued his narration:
'I poured through the book and discovered that there was a potion, called simply the Flushing Draught. I couldn't make you drink it as you were knocked out. So I had to return to the book and see if there was a solution to the problem. I learnt about giving you the portion through an intravenous injection. By then it was almost night the day after Ron left us. I packed up our camp and came here to the new camp.'
Harry grew silent and stared at the steam rising from his mug of tea.
'Is that it?' asked Hermione. Harry shook his head in the negative.
'Please continue, what happened next?'
Harry sighed in defeat, a blush deepening on his cheeks, 'Okay, I didn't read all of the chapter on unconscious patients or the section on Flushing Draughts. As I set up the new camp. you grimaced and then relaxed -.' Harry fell silent.
Hermione looked imploringly at Harry to finish his statement. Harry wouldn't look at her, he just stared at his mug.
'Please, Harry how bad was it?' she pleaded with him.
'The potion c - cleared you out, I had to s - strip you and give you a b - bath.' Harry forced out.
'Oh!' said Hermione as she read into the statement. She thought about what a Flushing Draught could do to a person's body. Expel all wastes and poisons she guessed. She felt highly embarrassed and mortified as she realised that Harry had seen her soil herself and had to then bathe her. What must he of thought, she had an idea based on his reaction now.
'Please don't be mad at me, I couldn't let you lie like that, I had great difficulty undressing you so didn't try and dress you. I am sorry. Please forgive me.' babbled Harry.
Hermione looked at Harry and realised that the poor boy was afraid that she was highly offended. She paused to think how she would have reacted if she was in Harry's shoes. Harry knocked out and nonresponsive and she had no one to rely on. Discovering that he was poisoned and dose him with a potion that would get rid of the potion. Yes she could see in her mind's eye how that first day had been for Harry. She remembered waking up earlier and how she felt warm and snug. Now that she thought about it Harry had cared for her and made sure she was warm even though she had slept nude. As she thought about what Harry had told her she noticed that Harry's face had lost its colour and he looked ashen with worry about how she was going to react.
Hermione spoke; her goal was to reassure Harry, 'You have nothing to apologise for.'
'But I stripped you naked' protested Harry.
'You were looking after me when I wasn't in control of my own body. I admit finding out you saw me naked makes me feel uneasy, but that is because it will change things between us. Under the circumstances I don't mind, I got better and you cured my poisoning right?' replied Hermione.
'Can I show you?' asked Harry as he stood up.
Hermione looked confused, 'show you?'
'I'll cast the diagnostic charm, the results will result in a ghostly image of you hovering either beside or above you, Okay?' explained Harry.
Hermione nodded in understanding and consent.
'Are you sure?, the resulting image will be naked.' stated Harry in concern.
Hermione looked surprised at that but nodded her consent.
Harry steeled himself and cast the charm. Hermione felt goosebumps travel all over her body as she felt the magic from the spell travel all over her body. A pale white ghostly image of Hermione appeared between them in the same position that Hermione was in. She noticed that as she shuffled under the blankets her ghostly doppelganger mirrored her motions. Hermione studied the doppelganger; she noticed a light purple glow on the side of her head where her bruise was. She noticed a pink glow coming from just above her hips, her womb she guessed. Overlaid on her hips was a faint black aura that appeared to cover her bum as well. A tendril of multicoloured magic drifted from the black aura towards Harry. Around her neck was a barely discernable ribbon of orange energy, a tendril of this energy drifted towards the fire. Hermione glanced at the fire and spotted the locket glowing the same shade of orange. As Harry slowly rotated Hermione's doppelganger Hermione spotted a pale orange spot of orange coloured dark magic in the scar between her breasts. She glanced at Harry and looked puzzled at his pleased expression.
'Explain' demanded Hermione.
'When you were poisoned, the image was tinted yellow, it is now pale white indicating a healthy body if slightly malnourished. Looks like the flushing draught and pepper-up potions worked.'
'Pepper-up?' quizzed Hermione.
'After you finished a course of Flushing Draft, I scanned you and I noticed that there was a change for the better, but you had very low reserves of energy both magical and non-magical energy. So I started to dose you on pepper-up. I know it wasn't ideal but brewing the flushing draught cleared out the three potions kits. Luckily you had a supply of pepper-up potions.' Explained Harry.
'Why is there a spell around my waist connected to you?' Asked Hermione with a note of warning in her tone.
Harry sighed and mumbled his answer.
'Harry! again please, I didn't hear that.' said Hermione in exasperation.
'They are two charms for bed bound patients, normally found in the long term care ward at St. Mungo's.' repeated Harry, a hint of colour returning to his cheeks.
'Oh!' gasped Hermione mortified, as she understood what Harry was trying to say.
After a few minutes to compose herself Hermione asked what was the significance of the orange indicated around her neck and between her breasts. Both blushed as she mentioned her breasts.
'I think it indicates Dark Magic, the ribbon around your neck is linked to the Locket, and has diminished significantly. The - other is from the night at the Ministry where Sirius was killed. I am delighted to see that it looks to be almost gone. But I don't know what caused it to heal.' explained Harry.
'Okay, Harry, finish your story please.' asked Hermione.
Harry cancelled the charm and went and sat in the armchair across from Hermione. He absentmindedly levitated some firewood into the fire, it had died down and the campsite had gotten cooler. Harry resumed the story:
'Well I tried to read the book as I looked after you but I couldn't concentrate to well. After I started you on the pepper-up potions, you started to improve. I did some housework like stock up on firewood and wash your clothes. I didn't know how to do it with magic but it was one of my chores at the Dursleys before I started at Hogwarts, and I remembered how. By the second day here our rations of food had ran out. So I looked through the book for any spell that could allow me monitor you from afar. As I needed to go and get supplies. I found a charm that I could cast on the bed that would alert me if your condition got worse. By then it was too late to go shopping, so this morning I made sure the camp was safe and headed into town to get supplies. The nearest town is called Haltwhistle. By the time I returned you had woken up, I forgot to add a charm that would let me know that you had woken up. And that is it.'
'Thank you.' said Hermione as she leaned across the space and hugged Harry in thanks. Harry shifted uncomfortably in the chair, but reached around Hermione and tapped her blanket covered back. Harry directed Hermione back to bed and she reluctantly followed his directions as her mild headache had worsened. Harry gave her a pair of headache tablets he had bought in the pharmacy. Hermione sat up in the bed and watched Harry prepare a meal for the two of them. Harry transfigured a stone into a table and placed to servings of the stew he had made. Just before they ate Harry carefully removed Hermione's intravenous needle and healed her arm.
Hermione sighed in delight as she ate the stew it tasted heavenly. Harry was very good; she wondered why he hadn't offered to cook on the mission before now. Something he said earlier as he had relayed his story struck her. Turning to Harry she placed her soup spoon into the bowl and asked:
'Harry, earlier you said I was poisoned, but who would do such a thing?'
'I don't know, but I don't think Ron did it. He can be a git at times. He was all over Lavender last year before he started to see you as a girlfriend. I don't think he could have dosed you with lust potion. According to the book it is a more sophisticated version of the love potion, needs more time to work than a love potion. The readings from the charm indicated you were dosed while at Hogwarts.'
'Was I dosed anywhere else?'
'I don't think so, the potions were working in harmony. According to the book the lust and loyalty potions should have cause a vile reaction in you.' answered Harry.
'What kind of reaction?' asked a worried Hermione.
'The book suggested an example from history. A woman was dosed by her arranged husband both potions and her hair turned a pale green. According to accounts, the poor witch had to use glamour charms to hide her green tinted skin. I think she might have been the source of the image of a witch in Muggle culture.' replied Harry as he concentrated on recalling the account from the book.'
'So how did you know the potions were in harmony?'
'Last year when we were fighting about the damned potions book I read it cover to cover and wondered about a note in the margin about combining two or more potions. According to the little digging I did, it is possible but difficult.'
'How difficult?' demanded Hermione.
'Well no offence but I don't think you or I could do it, one source I read said that it would be like creating a super potion based on all the ingredients' of each potion that was to be given to the victim. That was why the woman in the story ended up with green skin.'
'I think I know who could have done it but I thought he was above the love lives of his pupils'' offered Hermione.
Horror dawned on Harry's face at that statement and all that it implied.
'Snape!' stated Harry with extreme loathing.
Hermione nodded and shuddered at the implications. She looked up startled.
'Can you teach me the diagnostic charm?' asked a pale Hermione.
'Yeah, but why?'
'I have had a very worrying thought that you might be in the same boat that I was.' explained Hermione.
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Harry was relieved to see Hermione awake when he returned from shopping. He had debated with himself about leaving her alone, but they needed the supplies. He was glad that he had managed to tell Hermione about what had happened. And he was relieved when it appeared that she didn't hate him. She took the news well, he thought. His spirits were lifting, Hermione was awake, they had managed to hold a conversation and even mention Ron, and she was calm when he was mentioned. His developing good mood promptly vanished when Hermione aired her concern that he might have been dosed with potions or charmed like she was. He was so focused on helping Hermione he never thought that he might have been interfered with. It took no time for Hermione to learn the charm. At the back of Harry's mind was the thought that they need to break camp and move to a new location as they had stayed her for three days. Hermione on the other hand was focused on this new development.
'I think I have mastered it.' stated Hermione meaning the Diagnostic charm.
'Yeah' Harry agreed.
'I think I should scan you, just in case.' offered Hermione.
'Go ahead' Harry said as he sat back in the armchair.
Hermione cast the charm and Harry felt his skin tingling. Goosebumps developed all over his skin. He observed his ghostly doppelganger materialise between them facing Hermione. Harry's shoulders dropped in dismay as he observed that his doppelganger was tinged a putrid yellow. The image slowly rotated to the left, and Harry saw his mirror image. His scar was angry looking with a very dark orange glow, two tendrils of energy radiated outwards. One connected to the locket hanging over the fire, a returning tendril connected to a ribbon of orange energy around his neck. Harry guessed that the ribbon around his neck was from when he wore the damned locket. A second tendril of energy radiating from his scar seemed to head off into the distance over Hermione's left shoulder, Harry was puzzled at that.
He pinked slightly as he observed his crotch bathed in blue energy. He guessed he read the book right, male reproductive organs were indicated blue and female was indicated with pink. Harry now felt an inkling of the embarrassment Hermione must have felt when he told her what had happened to her. The damned ghostly doppelganger displayed his body scars and all. Harry reluctantly look up at Hermione's face. Hermione's brow was furrowed in thought.
'Well what's wrong with me? I take it you have adjusted ghostly Harry to show what is wrong with me.' asked Harry.
Hermione nodded her attention focused on his ghostly twin. Her question startled him as she suddenly looked up.
'I thought you could read this?'
'The colours yeah, but you haven't displayed the text yet, that might tell me what I'm dosed with that is poisoning me.' snapped Harry.
Hermione looked upset at that. Harry sighed and apologised; 'Sorry, I guessed after you were dosed I was still surprised when the charm confirmed your fears.' Hermione ended the spell and reached across the space between them and engulfed him in a hug. Harry was surprised but he returned the hug, wondering why he felt like he was betraying Ginny. He normally hated physical contact as it always reminded him of his care with his aunt and uncle, but with Hermione he was never upset or wary.
'Oh Harry, it's bad. You had your magic dampened like I was but you were about a year and a half old at the time. You have a Lust potion in your system which began a little over a year ago. You have a loyalty potion in your system over six years, my guess since just before you started Hogwarts. You also have the compulsion charm and a tracking charm cast upon you. The tracking charm is about five and a half years old. The compulsion charm is about the same age.' explained Hermione morosely.
'Thanks for telling me.' replied Harry just before he stood up, and moved to the entrance of the semi erected tent.
Harry looked back over his shoulder as he picked up a potions bottle. 'I need to take the flushing draft.' He uncorked the bottle and drank the contents.
'Harry, I wasn't finished telling you what was affecting you yet.' exclaimed Hermione as she got up and hurried towards Harry. Harry grimaced and swiftly hurried out of the camp.
'Stay there, I'll be back in a few minutes,' exclaimed Harry.
Hermione reached the gap in the circular wall as Harry vanished into the night.
'Harry!' called Hermione urgently from just inside the wall.
'I'm okay' Harry called back a note of relief in his tone.
'Oh!' exclaimed Hermione in surprise as the situation dawned on her, she turned on her heel and returned to the fire. She cancelled the spell Harry cast upon her waist and sat back down on the bed.
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Hermione sighed in annoyance this was just like Harry to jump into a situation without all the information. At least he was near the camp, within shouting distance. Hermione took the opportunity to go through her beaded bag and find some clothes. She found some clean underwear easy enough. Her comfortable pair of jeans hung on the washing line Harry had erected still damp. Hermione decided to wear last year's uniform skirt and a dark blue long t-shirt. Over the shirt she wore a maroon fleece jumper. Her throat hitched as she thought of her mother, the fleece was a Christmas gift, to keep her warm in the Scottish highlands. Hermione didn't have the heart to correct her misguided thoughts that she could keep herself warm with a charm on her clothing. Hermione wondered why she left it so long to get dressed, maybe she felt secure with just Harry around.
She was pleased that she had added a new spell to her repertoire. It was a simple spell to cast and control she had found. She was surprised that Harry didn't see the floating text over his mirror image. She guessed it came from the fact that the spell came from a medical textbook and it was normal for Healers or Doctors to keep some information from the patient. She was not surprised to see that Harry was poisoned like she was. However the length that Harry had to endure with the dampening charm stunned her. Over fifteen years his magical core was dampened, but she could see from the scan that it was weakening there was the odd gap in the magic of the charm. She guessed it was from the times that he needed all of his magic like when he drove back all the Dementors in third year.
Hermione was puzzled by the fact that Harry was dosed with lust potion for almost the same duration as she had been. Now that she could think clearly she would have to review her time spent at Hogwarts. She wondered who was her real friends and who were manipulated to be friends or enemies. The only thing she was sure of potions or not Harry cared deeply for her. His actions spoke loudly of this fact. She would be interested to see how he acted after he was free from outside influence. She would worry about the problem later, for now she had the difficult task of helping Harry purge his body of all the potions, charms and dark magic that he seemed to be affected with.
A pale Harry returned and interrupted Hermione's thoughts.
'Sorry Hermione nature called' offered Harry.
'Why did you do it?' demanded Hermione.
Harry looked puzzled as he tried to figure out what she had meant.
'The flushing draft, why did you drink it? I hadn't finished telling you what the charm had discovered' demanded Hermione her anger rising as she realised how Harry had risked his health.
'It worked for you, I guessed it would do the same for me.' replied Harry.
'Oh Harry, I know, but you told me that you were desperate. I was very sick and you did the best you could and I am so very grateful.' replied Hermione.
'But the situation with you is different, so very different. The charm indicated that you have dark magic in the scar on your forehead. It seems to be the same as the locket. I t - think that you have a piece of V - Voldemort's soul in the scar.' continued Hermione, her voice wavered as she voiced her fear that Harry had a piece of Voldemort's soul attached to him.
Harry paled until he almost looked like a ghost. His mouth went slack in shock, he slumped into the arm chair. Harry tried to speak, his mouth moved a few times but he never made a sound. Hermione didn't know what to say to him. A loud series of cracks sounded outside the circular wall. Hermione looked towards the gap in the wall. She could hear peoples voices getting nearer and nearer, excited voices. Oh no she thought their campsite was found.
'Come out of there with your hands up!' came a rasping voice out of the darkness. 'We know you're in there! You've half a dozen wands pointing at you and we don't care who we curse!'
Hermione paled at that statement. How did they find them? She cast a detection charm and noted that Harry's wards were good. But they had been active to long they were beginning to fail. The wards Hermione had decided to use were effective for about fifty seven hours without a ward stone. They had stayed at this campsite too long. But the failing wards should not have drawn any attention. Someone would of had to walk into the wards to discover the wards. But they were in the middle of the hillside away from all common walking routes she thought.
Slowly it dawned on her, she could think clearer than ever. They were discussing Voldemort the first time they were found in Charing Cross Road, and she had just now asked Harry about Voldemort's Horcrux that was in his scar. Oh no this was bad, very bad. She surveyed the camp site, wondering where the foe glass was. Harry was still non responsive in the armchair, Hermione felt bad at the way that Harry had learnt of her most recent deduction, that Harry had carried a piece of Voldemort's soul for most of his life. She suspected the Horcrux was one of the factors that had prevented Harry from mastering Occlumency.
'I said come out of there with your hands up! I won't ask again' demanded the voice.
Hermione stood up and ran to retrieve her beaded bag. She opened the mouth of the bag and checked the contents, it all appeared to be there. Her shoulders slumped in defeat, there was no time to pack up the camp. She ran across to the tent to see what the tent contained, The roof was lopsided most of the furniture and kitchen appliances were inside. A quick glance towards the gap in the wall, Hermione's eyes widened, she could see a dark form. She swiftly conjured about six eagles and directed them to attack the shape. It was a modified version of the canary charm she attacked Ron with in school before the summer holidays.
A startled curse drifted in from outside, before it changed to a pain filled scream. A dark red pulse of energy whizzed past her shoulder to splash harmlessly against the wall. Hermione turned and called Harry, she couldn't defended the camp alone. Her back was to the gap in the wall as she tried to get through to Harry. Her senses screamed at her, a dark purple charm was flying towards them. Hermione flung herself at Harry. The chair tipped backwards from Hermione's impact, the spell slammed into the base of the chair. Harry grunted and looked at Hermione.
'What's going on.' asked a dazed Harry.
'Death Eaters have found us.' replied Hermione as she twisted and sent a stinging charm towards their attackers.
Hermione got up and summoned the few books Harry had unpacked, and stuffed them into her beaded bag, she slung the bag over her shoulder. One of the summoned books exploded as one of the incoming spells struck it. Hermione hopped that it was not an important book. A stray spell struck the fire in the centre of the campsite. The heat the fire emanated seemed to triple in intensity. Hermione paled as she observed magical creatures within the flames. Their seemed to be the fiery forms of dragons, wolves and tigers contained within the inferno. Oh no, fiendfyre she thought.
Another spell struck the inferno and it exploded. An unearthly howl came from the depths of the flames. The flames flared blue-black as the howl changed to a pain filled shriek. Hermione was dazzled by the explosion. Her sight became distorted and her ears were ringing. The washing line was ablaze, the damp clothes offering no resistance to the all consuming flames. The bed she had slept on was also ablaze. Molten metal flowed from the base of the fire pit where the inferno had begun. The kettle exploded from the intense heat, shrapnel flew in all directions. Another inferno was roaring above the pile of summoned firewood. Hermione remembered the damned locket hanging above the campfire, she hoped that it was the reason for the ungodly howl of pain and hoped that it was destroyed now. The needed a little bit of good luck now.
Hermione frantically summoned their belongs that were not ablaze. Hermione spotted Harry slumped on the hard mud. The mud was cracking from the intense heat. He was out cold. Hermione looked around them wildly. They were trapped, the fire had spread and had them surrounded. The tent that was half erected was ablaze. Hermione lay down beside Harry and wrapped her arms around him. She sighed in relief when she felt his shallow breathing. She looked over his shoulder and reached out and grasped his wand that was lying just in front of him.
The flames were getting closer, Hermione focused her mind at the task in hand. She put her considerable will power into it. Her deep core of magic responded. She felt like she was been squeezed down a narrow tube. The sensation began to feel very painful. The tube seemed to be corked. She didn't want to burn to death on a hillside she willed the tube free of obstructions. With a sudden jerk the sensation of being crushed by Apparition passed and Hermione felt cold damp grass under her and the roar of a motorway to her left.
She relaxed her cramping muscles, she felt so very tired. That Apparition had taken a lot out of her. She sat up in shock, she had forgotten the damned locket. Her head spun she felt lightheaded. She needed to find shelter for the pair of them. She lay back down beside Harry, to calm the spinning sensation in her head. With a little effort she cast a few spells and charms around herself and Harry. Once that was done she let sleep claim her.
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Harry awoke to the sensation of his temples throbbing in time with his pulse coursing through his veins. He could hear the sound of a busy road nearby, it almost sounded nice to hear something after camping out in the silent woods for a few lonely weeks. He went to try and sit up to take stock but stopped. A feminine arm was wrapped around his upper belly, and he noticed that a pair of legs were entangled in his own. He found that he liked it, the feeling of the other person wrapped around his back left him feeling safe and secure. He turned to look over his shoulder, his head swam with dizziness. He found Hermione's face obscured by her long brunette fringe. He awkwardly reached back and carefully pushed the hair out of her face.
Harry felt a deep surge of affection as he saw Hermione's face in sleep. She looked peaceful and content, dare he think it beautiful. He remembered that night seemingly so long ago, where she descended the staircase dressed in that magical periwinkle blue dress robe. She looked magnificently beautiful that night before Ron fucked it up by upsetting her. This morning though he thought that she looked even better as he had never seen her face so relaxed. Any time she was awake there would always be lines of deep thought or worry etched in her face, marring her wonderful face.
Harry carefully rolled so that he laid on his back and hoped that Hermione wouldn't wake just yet. She had laid her head on her left hand, her right arm was now laid across his chest. Their legs were still entangled, and Harry found that he didn't mind one bit. He could see a motorway off to his left side. They lay in a field, on a hill overlooking the motorway. Harry hadn't a clue where they were, the stretch of road had no distance signs. Slowly last night's events played out in his memory.
He remembered shock and despair course through him when Hermione had voiced her concern. That his damned scar contained a vile piece of Tom Fucking Riddle's soul. No wonder he couldn't manage to keep the BASTARD out of his head. Volde-fucking-mort had a direct link to his head. Last night his mind went into complete meltdown. Hermione was talking but he couldn't process it, it felt like watching a film with the sound turned off. He felt like he was on the outside watching Harry and Hermione sitting beside the fire in the campsite.
He didn't know what happened next, there was a flash of colours, Hermione tackled the armchair, pain in his back. A thud was felt through the chair, then intense heat. After that it was difficult to recall. He remembered intense mind numbing pain exploding out of his scar. Voldemort screaming from the direction of the camp fire. The screaming ceased then the pain in his scar lessened to a dull ache. Then he remembered walking up to Hermione snuggled into his back.
He felt Hermione stir beside him, he gingerly turned his head to watch her wake. Awareness slowly crossed her features as she stretched out her stiff limbs.
'Morning' greeted Harry as he tried to hide his wince caused by his aching head.
Hermione yawned a greeting as she covered her mouth.
'Sorry, Harry, morning, How are you feeling?' asked Hermione, worry entering her eyes almost immediately.
'Sore head' grunted Harry.
Hermione nodded in understanding as she sat up and reached for the beaded bag. She rummaged through the bag for a few minutes. She smiled as she retrieved the potions satchel. She placed the bag between her legs and retrieved a pain reliever and passed the bottle to Harry.
'Thanks,' accepted Harry as he gulped the potion down. He sighed in relief at the swift relief the potion granted him.
'What happened? you were talking about Volde-' began Harry before Hermione silenced him.
Harry's mind abruptly stopped working. Hermione had her arms wrapped around his shoulders. She had stopped him speaking by the simplest method shown in films, she had kissed him. Harry was startled at first. He thought that she was trying to get Ron notice that she was a girl. But as Hermione continued the wonderful kiss, Harry found that he didn't care. Kissing Ginny was nice, but he usually had to contend with his chest monster. But he found that the chest monster was completely absent.
Instead he felt his pants were becoming really constricting. His heart was hammering in his chest. Those female lips felt wonderful against his own. His brain stopped working when his tongue brushed against Hermione's lips, and her mouth parted and her tongue began a duel with his own. Of their own accord Harry's arms reached up and wrapped around Hermione and he hugged her for all he was worth.
Harry gasped great lung full's of air as they broke the wonderful kiss. Hermione's lips were puckered and she looked so adorable kissable. Harry felt really uncomfortable. His dick was bent as it was constrained painfully by his pants. He blushed as Hermione watched him adjust his pants. He almost sighed in relief as his member was no longer constrained by his clothing. Hermione licked her lips, Harry groaned at the sight. Harry hated himself but had to ask, he just hoped he didn't ruin their friendship forever.
'H - Hermione, why did you k - kiss me?' asked Harry, his heart hammering in his chest. It felt like it was going to punch through his ribcage. At Hermione's crestfallen expression Harry hurried own:
'Don't get me wrong, that was the best kiss I've ever had. But it was all so sudden. Her -'
Hermione pressed her finger against his lips silencing him, a deep blush coloured her cheeks. A small smile graced her lips which was matched by the twinkle in her eyes. Harry felt like he must kiss her again.
'Y- you like me?' quizzed the smiling girl in front of him.
Harry nodded frantically, his headache returned with a vengeance forcing a wince across his face.
At Hermione's puzzled expression, Harry explained:
'Sorry still a little tender, the headache is still there. I'm not sure but I think it is more than like.'
'I didn't know you saw me that way.' related Hermione quietly.
'When I first met you I knew deep down you were special. You obviously knew who I was but were happy to see me as just Harry. Later on we became friends after the troll showed me that I could have lost you. I know I have deep feelings for you. I thought that Ron fancied you, so to someone like me that meant you couldn't be that for me.'
Hermione made to interrupt but Harry forged on:
'But still you meant the world to me so I began to see you as the most important girl I knew. If you couldn't be girlfriend I saw you as a sister. I never imagined you as a mother figure. But I felt mistaken as you came down the stairs to go to the ball in fourth year. Speaking of fourth year, I don't know why Ron was my hostage and you were Krum's. I thought about it after. Cho was Cedric's girlfriend, Gabbie was Fleur's sister and you were Victor Krum's hostage. Cedric's and Fleur's was obvious looking back. But mine and Krum's hostage has always bugged me.
Why would Cedric's hostage be his girlfriend and mine was my best male mate. We had fallen out over the damned tournament. And it was with your help that we made up. The organisers didn't know me at all I thought. If they did, Krum would have needed a different hostage. Then fifth year happened and you were struck down in the Ministry, I couldn't go on, I thought you were d - dead. It was only after Neville confirmed you were alive could I function again.'
Harry took a breath. Hermione was silently weeping. Harry noticed and felt his throat constrict. He cleared it and continued speaking:
'I don't know what happened last year. You began to question my conviction on Draco and I felt that you didn't like the fact that I was using the potions book to do well in Slughorn's class. I felt attraction to Ginny and wanted to feel normal. Find a girl and fall in love. It worked I think, but then Draco let the Death Eaters into the school and Dumbledore was murdered by that Bastard Snape. I couldn't focus on the Horcrux hunt and Ginny so I broke up with her.' Harry paled as he realised how shallow he had behaved last year.
He decided he need to finish this whatever it was and he just hoped that there was something for him with Hermione at the other end. Hermione was silently watching him through wet lashes, waiting for him to finish speaking.
'Then, - Then Ron deserts me, deserts you, us. The Horcrux may have egged him on, but surely he knew that it was going to be difficult. I am sorry, so very sorry how I treated you the night Ron left. I didn't know what to do. What do you do? What does a normal person with a loving mother and father do in that situation? I guess that my parents loved me but I was orphaned a long time ago. My Aunt never showed me what to do and for that I am sorry that I didn't know what to do.' Confessed Harry as he leant forward and initiated a hug for the first time in his memory.
Harry continued his narration into Hermione's left ear:
'I thought I wouldn't be able to function the following morning when I found you. I don't know why I didn't fall apart, I suppose I was alone and all you had. I knew that if I did nothing you would never wake, never smile, never read a book.' Hermione snorted with laughter at the last statement.
Harry leaned back and looked Hermione in the eyes. She smiled with watery eyes.
'Thank you, Harry for saving me.' said Hermione as she leaned forward and kissed his lips lightly.
'You have nothing to apologise for. I don't know why I acted like a bitch.' Harry glared at Hermione's derogatory term for herself.
'Yes Harry, I acted like a bitch, but I guess we all acted a little crazy. And the night Ron left I wasn't thinking clearly. I didn't sleep, I kept running that moment through my mind wondering how I could have changed the outcome. I am sorry to say I never noticed that you didn't offer comfort.' Hermione reluctantly admitted.
Harry's face paled, he looked ashen at that statement.
'But when I woke up, in the camp site, I felt safe and warm, which was a nice change from the cold tent. Then you told me what had happened. At first I was embarrassed but you cared for me, looked after me.' Said Hermione as she leant in and kissed Harry's cheek.
'But, I saw you n - naked!' exclaimed Harry.
'I, don't mind.' replied Hermione.
Harry looked shocked at that.
'Really, I don't mind. Under the circumstances it had to be done. I'm embarrassed that you had to see me like that. But I am alive and well, in the end that's all that matters.' explained Hermione.
'But, But what if I had done things.' exclaimed Harry as he tried to figure out what Hermione meant.
'Did you? do things?' asked Hermione.
'NO! I would never stoop so low and do that.' replied Harry indignantly.
'I know, Harry, but I had to make you see that. It's not in you to take advantage of me like that.'
'I know you.'
'Well then how do I know if I'm in love?' demanded Harry.
'What's the most important thing? making you happy or the person you love?' asked Hermione.
'I'm not sure I understand.'
'I'll give you an example. Say you love Lavender, but she loved someone else, Dean for instance. Well if you truly loved her you would be happiest if she was with the person she loved and was most happiest with. That's love.' explained Hermione.
'But, that's hard and depressing for example me.' responded Harry.
'Who said love's easy. Look at me, the person I thought I loved last month ran out on me and I discovered I was dosed with lust potions.'
'I think I love y-you.' Hermione smiled at Harry's confession.
'I think it was always there, but something was holding me back from realising it. I can still fill it trying to tell me that I am wrong. But I now know your happiness is the most important thing for me. I was scared shitless that I would find out that you would hate me for undressing you.'
'Never happen.' replied Hermione as her brow furrowed in thought.
She released Harry from their hug and picked up her wand. Harry manfully tried to hide his disappointment, at the fact that Hermione's attention was elsewhere. Hermione leant forward and kissed his forehead when she noticed his expression.
'May I' she asked. Harry nodded his head in agreement, and he felt his skin tingle as the diagnostic charm passed through him.
'What am I going to do with you?' asked Hermione affectionately.
'What?' asked Harry.
'You rush into things, consequences be damned. The first dose only partially worked. The potions and charms poisoning your body are less effective but still present.' answered Hermione.
'But I know you're the only girl, no woman, for me. I love you. I feel freer since I took the flushing draught. I still have this damned headache though.' admitted Harry.
Hermione sat and thought about what Harry had said. She smiled and leant forward and pressed her lips against his. He kissed her back enthusiastically. The brilliant, wonderful, stupendous kiss was interrupted by Harry's stomach growling. The young couple reluctantly separated. Harry reached for the beaded bag and sighed in relief when he removed the shopping bag with the preservation charm placed upon it.
They ate their breakfast in silence on the hill beside the motorway. Hermione was thinking about Harry's declaration of love and the fact that he was still poisoned. Harry on the other hand being of the male side of the spectrum had only one thought, Hermione loved him and she was bloody brilliant at kissing. Okay that was two thoughts running through his mind.
+HP+HG+HP+HG+HP+HG +HP+HG +HP+HG +HP+HG +HP+HG +HP+HG +HP+HG
Hermione was delighted, Harry returned her feelings of love. She had woken up after their lucky escape. To find the awe filled expression across Harry's face. After she had fully woken up and given Harry something for his headache they had talked. Talking had led to kissing and Hermione was delighted that her first kiss was spectacular.
She had thought that Ron would be the first boy she would kiss. Looking back on it she thought that this was the potions talking. She had been free from the potions for a few hours and found that she had wanted to kiss someone who was not Ron. That someone wore glasses that hid his expressive eyes. That someone had the weight of the world pressing down on him. She gave into her urges and initiated the kiss. At first she was worried that he didn't feel the same way as he didn't respond.
Suddenly he got over the shock and he kissed her back. She felt electricity surge through her at the exquisite kiss. She felt moisture gather between her thighs, her knickers felt uncomfortable as her body got ready for something primal. Her nipples hardened and she wondered if Harry could feel them through their combined clothes. She was innately thrilled to discover that Harry had responded the same way to the wonderful sensation. She wanted to do something wicked with him after she noticed that he had to adjust his pants. The bulge in his pants sent her over active imagination into overdrive.
Unfortunately the need for food intruded into the moment and like that other matters had to become the priority. Their new location was not ideal but they decided that since they had food for a few days they would stay put. Hermione decided that the first thing was that Harry would take the flushing draught again but this time with the same method that he had dosed her with. That meant that Harry had the joy of a needle buried into his arm and his body demanding that it needed to be purged of all wastes.
While Harry went to find a bush, Hermione transfigured some twigs and stones into two camp beds. She also gathered up some stones, to line the edge of a fire pit. Within no time at all they had a functional camp. Hermione put Harry to bed once he returned and took up first watch that night.