DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN HARRY POTTER, AND I AM NOT MAKING ANY MONEY.
Summary: Harry and Hermione are hunting Horcruxes after Ron leaves them. This is a story about how they come together, start and maintain their relationship, all while battling Voldemort, and other evils (Eventually) There will be several 'stories' within this story, one ends and then merges into another. But it's the same story, think of it like a season of a television program, like 24,(This is not about 24, and there are NO references to it) there's an on going narrative.
Love Runs Deep
Harry didn't know what to do with himself. He had allowed Hermione to be snatched. The dirty, yellow-nailed, foul smelling werewolf, Fenrir Greyback, had taken her. Hermione had been looking for food, whilst Harry was asleep. If he hadn't have been so damn tired he would have been able to save her. He was sure that Greyback would be no match for him in a duel. The werewolf would have preferred to get in close to try and rip him apart with his hands. Harry wouldn't have given him that chance; he would have blasted him away. Wiped him from this earth.
Harry knew that she had been taken to Malfoy Manor. It was where the Death Eaters had been hiding out. Harry didn't want to imagine what was happening to Hermione and tried not to think about Bellatrix Lestrange. She was deranged. Harry knew that she would torture Hermione to the brink of insanity. Then she might, if Hermione was lucky, kill her. At least that way Hermione would be spared the pain.
But Harry didn't want to just sit there, all alone in the tent. He had to get his best friend back. Hermione was the only one that had stuck by him, no matter what. She had believed him when the Tri-Wizard Tournament had taken place, she had stuck with him, even after her love, Ron, had left them alone.
Harry knew that Ron thought there was something going on between Harry and Hermione. The truth was that there wasn't. Harry knew Hermione was a beautiful young woman, but he had only ever seen her as a sister. And now he had to save her. It was time for Harry to plan his assault on the Malfoy Manor.
He didn't want to spend too much time planning. He knew that the longer he waited, the more likely it was that Hermione was dead, or being hurt. Harry couldn't let that happen. He had to get into the Manor and get Hermione out.
The problem Harry had was that he didn't know where Malfoy Manor actually was. He began to think hard, trying to remember a time when he might have seen something that would indicate the whereabouts of the grand home. Harry spent a long time thinking about this. He just couldn't think of anything, and was about to storm out of the tent when he had a brainwave.
Some years ago, he remembered reading the Daily Prophet. There had been a picture of Malfoy Manor on it. Harry didn't know if what he was about to try would work, but he had to try. He left the tent, and waved his wand. The tent packed itself away and Harry shrunk it down to miniature size. He put the small ball of canvas into the moleskin pouch Hagrid had given him.
Then Harry focused on the image of the Malfoy Manor. A few seconds later he twisted and apparated. He landed on a hill where there was a wooded area a few metres behind him. He retreated to the tree line, and surveyed the area the hill overlooked. He had undoubtedly apparated to the region that surrounded the Malfoy Manor.
Harry looked at the grand mansion, his glasses sliding down his nose. Harry pushed them back up and wiped the sweat from his forehead. There was a large white wall marking the perimeter of the Manor, which had at least four floors, and probably a cellar. Harry noted around seven tall, spire like roofs. There was a large gate that prevented someone from walking up to the front door. This would be the hardest part of the break in.
As Harry watched, a person apparated. Bellatrix Lestrange had just materialized and was striding towards the gate. As she got closer, she didn't slow down. Harry gasped as she walked right through the gate, as if it was made out of smoke.
Harry couldn't think of anything else to do. He was going to have to turn himself in. He would walk up to the gate and shout. They would come running out when they heard his voice and then they would take him inside, and Harry would be able to grab Hermione and get out.
And then Harry stopped. Getting out would be equally as hard, if not harder than gaining entry. He slumped against a tree trunk and slid down it, landing roughly on his backside. How could he, Harry Potter, gain entry to Malfoy Manor?
Very suddenly Harry sat up straight. 'Dobby!' Harry called out into the night, and barely a second later, the house elf appeared in front of him. His large tennis ball eyes were just as Harry remembered them.
'Harry Potter is calling Dobby.'
'Yes Dobby, I was. I need you to take me inside the Malfoy Manor. My best friend, Hermione Granger, has been captured and I need to save her.'
Dobby nodded and held out his large hand to Harry. The black haired boy took hold of the elf's hand and then was taken away.
They landed in what seemed to be a cupboard. It wasn't cluttered, in fact it was practically empty. As Harry started to turn the handle to the door, he heard an ear splitting scream. Hermione.
Harry turned to Dobby and said, in a rushed whisper, 'Dobby, you need to follow me around, invisible, and take Hermione away when I get her free. Okay?' The elf nodded. 'Good, once you've taken her somewhere safe, come back here for me.' Harry swallowed. 'And if, when you get back, I'm dead, get out. Okay, Dobby? You will leave instantly. Take Hermione somewhere safe, not Hogwarts though, try and find my other,' Harry paused again, 'Friend, Ron Weasley. Take her to him. He'll look after her. But Dobby, that's only if I die.'
Harry then proceeded to slowly open the door. The walls of the Manor were white stone. Hermione's screams reverberated down the dark hallway. Harry slowly crept along the hallway, staying close to the wall. He was nearing the end of the hall, and the wall turned sharply, at a right angle. From Hermione's screams, Harry could tell that this was where she was being tortured. He heard her whimper, and it was then that Harry realized that his best friend wasn't being tortured.
It was much, much worse.
'Get off me! No! Please, don't!' Hermione's voice was full of fear. Harry could almost see her terrified expression in his mind. Then he heard a gruff voice, and he knew it belonged to the werewolf, Greyback.
'Stop struggling pretty. I want to play. Why don't you just stop moving and this would be much easier,' Greyback hissed at Hermione. But Harry could hear she was still struggling, trying to get away. Her shoes squeaked on the wooden floor. Harry had reached the corner and he dared a quick glance around it.
What he saw horrified him. Hermione was surrounded by a group of men. Harry recognized Lucius Malfoy, and his son, Draco. They were among the others Harry didn't know, standing, watching Greyback and the writhing Hermione. Then a door slammed and a female voice spoke. The blood that ran within Harry's veins turned to ice. His heartbeat raced, threatening to give him away, it was so loud. Bellatrix Lestrange had entered the room.
'Greyback! Leave the mudblood. I said leave her!' Harry heard her walk into the middle of the room, close to the panting Hermione.
'Where is Potter?' The question was quiet. Bellatrix had pushed Hermione onto her back. She had pulled a knife out and she held it to Hermione's throat. Harry didn't hear Hermione answer. For a few seconds there was silence. Then Hermione screamed. It was louder, and more piercing than before. Harry couldn't take it anymore. He pulled the broken mirror from his moleskin pouch and positioned it so he could see around the corner.
Bellatrix had pulled Hermione's arm away from her body and was holding it firmly against the floor. She had moved herself above her, pinning Hermione's small form beneath her. The crazed Death Eater had then bent forward. Harry was almost sick as she pressed the knife to Hermione's arm and started scratching letters into the pale flesh.
Hermione's body convulsed under Bellatrix, but she couldn't throw her off. The knife was streaked with Hermione's blood and it was pooling on the wood, staining it a dark crimson. Hermione's legs kicked, and she wriggled her body left and right, but to no avail. Bellatrix refused to be thrown from her.
'Where is Potter?' Bellatrix asked again, and Hermione didn't answer. Harry knew that Hermione was loyal to him, but seeing her under torture and threat of death, not giving in to the demands of Bellatrix, forced Harry into action. He couldn't stand by anymore, not whilst Hermione needed him.
Taking a deep breath, Harry stepped out from his cover, his wand gripped tightly in his hand.
'I'm right here.' Everyone in the room looked at Harry. In his peripheral vision, he saw Hermione turn her head towards him. Her face was bloody, and was glazed with sweat and grime.
Bellatrix raised herself up. Hermione didn't move. Perhaps because she thought if she did, she might be cursed or killed by one of the men surrounding her.
'Ah! Potter! Here to die?' Bellatrix spat at Harry.
'I'm here, for Hermione.' Harry's voice was hard, and he had braced himself for what he knew was about to come.
'Ah yes! Your precious little mudblood! Perhaps I should kill her now, and then kill you, just because I want to see your reaction.' Bellatrix smiled evilly at Harry. He knew she wanted him to attack her. To open up his defences. Harry didn't oblige. He started circling around to Hermione. No one stopped him from moving. In fact the men retreated, leaving the room. They knew that this was a fight between Harry and Bellatrix.
Harry didn't take his eyes off of Bellatrix. He knew the instant he did, she would send her first curse. The circle they were making was taking Harry closer to Hermione, who was desperately trying to stand.
Eventually Harry reached her and she used him as an aid. She pulled herself up and stood next to him. Harry was surprised that Bellatrix didn't take this opportunity to strike. Perhaps she was more honourable than he thought; maybe Voldemort had told her to duel respectfully, just the way he had told Harry back in the graveyard in Little Hangleton.
'Dobby,' Harry spoke under his breath, trying not to move his lips. The elf materialized, grabbed Hermione, and disappeared.
This was the cue Bellatrix had been waiting for.
'Crucio!' She yelled out, and Harry had to dodge the jet of red light that had zoomed towards him. As he ran, he threw his own curses at Bellatrix. The two were circling the room once again, both dodging the curses and hexes that were being cast.
'Crucio!' Bellatrix tried to hit Harry again, but missed. She had lost her balance, and stumbled over her long, tattered robes. Harry knew this might be the only chance he would get at hitting Bellatrix. 'Crucio!' Harry had performed the curse before, but had never managed to really make it work. Now all he wanted to do was cause Bellatrix pain, and the hatred coursed through him. She fell to the floor writhing and screaming. Her eyes shot open, and her hands started to quiver, her fingers jerking, like a recently dead bug.
As the screams Bellatrix was now producing echoed through the Manor, Harry heard footsteps from beyond the door that the men had left through. They were coming closer, and Harry didn't have much time. He called out for Dobby, who appeared before him, and whisked him away.
He landed in a wood. It was dark, and Hermione was sat on a tree stump. Seeing Harry and Dobby appear, she jumped up. She ran towards Harry and threw her arms around his neck. She felt his hand on her waist, pulling her closer to him.
'Harry, you saved me,' Hermione spoke into his chest, muffling her voice slightly. Harry saw, over Hermione's shoulder, Dobby walking in a large circle, waving his arms. As Harry pulled Hermione closer to him, Dobby walked back over to them.
'You is protected now, Harry Potter. No one can see or hear you. Or finds you.' Before Harry could thank Dobby, he had disapparated. He turned his attention back to Hermione. She was still clinging to him.
'Come on Hermione. I'll put the tent up and then we can sit in the warmth.' She nodded against him, but only moved away from Harry enough for him to pull the shrunken tent out of his moleskin pouch. He used his wand to make the tent normal-sized and then raised it.
Hermione lead Harry into the tent, and he sat her down on her bed. He went into the kitchen and began making some tea for them. When he returned, she had removed her shoes, and was looking at the word carved into her arm. Harry put down the drinks, and gently took her hand. He looked at her, smiling, and said,
'Let's get you cleaned up.'