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The grounds echoed with a resonating crack as the six adults apparated next to Hagrid's hut – right into some of his huge pumpkins.
"Zis is disgusting."
"I hate pumpkins." Hermione jumped up and shook her arms in vain attempts to get the goop off. Ron rolled his eyes but let her struggle, turning to Harry.
"Brilliantly done! Right in the middle of the pumpkin patch!"
"I was distracted." A bit of Harry's old self seemed to come back, overcoming the worry.
"Well don't stay distracted for too much longer, mate, 'cause you're going to have a lot of angry witches on you in a couple of seconds."
"Not to mention Hagrid." Harry groaned and then turned to face his very red faced wife who had just stumbled out of a pumpkin.
"HARRY JAMES POTTER!"
"Y-yes?" Harry gave a sheepish smile but Ginny was having none of that. There was a loud whack as she slapped his arm with all her might.
"THAT WAS THE WORST APPARATION EVER!" She took out her wand.
"Harry?" Ron said a bit nervously.
"You may want to hide."
Harry nodded and jumped behind a pumpkin. Spells rocketed off its surprisingly hard shell as Mrs. Weasley, Fleur, and Hermione – who had all been very angry originally – were trying to hold back laughter.
After about five minutes, the smaller pumpkins and a good portion of the large one Harry was hiding behind were in pieces. Ron was leaning against the wooden fence and yawning when Hagrid appeared at the edge of the forest.
"What is it?" Hermione asked (after the first minute of spells she'd been trying to console Ginny who was having a very bad day).
Ginny froze and, for the first time, looked around her. "Oops."
Ron stared at Harry with a look that clearly asked 'should we run for it?'. Harry silently groaned inside but shook his head. Ginny apparently thought there was no chance in running but pushed Harry aside so she could hide.
"Oh, honestly –"
Fleur had stayed remarkably quiet through this whole thing with Mrs. Weasley but now said, "Iz 'e someone to be frightened of? Madame Maxime haz said he iz very kind –"
"No when you smash his pumpkins." Ron had crouched down with Harry and Ginny.
"Ron!" Hermione pulled him up and gave Harry and Ginny a very McGonagall look that got them up in seconds. "You are all cowards. It's just Hagrid."
Hagrid had evidently seen the state of his pumpkin patch and had let out an angry shout. As he was running towards them, Hermione nervously began to try to pick off the pumpkin pulp that was all over everyone.
Ron rolled his eyes, "You are a witch, right?"
Hermione blushed, "Right, of course - Scourgify! (A/N: I must really thank Wikipedia's List of Harry Potter Spells)"
By the time they were no longer sticky with pumpkin pulp, Hagrid was upon them.
"What 'ave ya done with my pumpkins?" He turned his ferocious face on them but when he saw who it was he sighed, "Oh, it's you lot."
Then with a great laugh, he dragged them into a hug, "Where've you been? I haven't seen ya in ages! Too much trouble to come an' visit?"
"No, Hagrid, of course not." Hermione said as he set them down. She promptly shot the her best friends a triumphant look.
"'An what happened to my pumpkins?" He looked at them with amusement. The whole group turned to Harry with raised eyebrows.
"I apparated us all wrong." Harry said sheepishly before throwing Ginny into the heat, "And then my wife here got really mad and, in trying to blast me to pieces, destroyed all the pumpkins."
Ginny opened her mouth to retort angrily but Hermione cut her off, "Hagrid, we're really sorry but we need to get down to the greenhouses, it's about the kids."
Hagrid nodded sagely, "Yeah, I 'eard somethin about that yesterday. Never figure you lot'd know about it so soon."
"Yeah well we're masters at that." Harry muttered, rubbing his scar. Mrs. Weasley looked like she wanted to say something but kept quiet.
Hagrid ignored Harry's last comment, "You'll be wanting to talk to Neville then?"
Everyone nodded, all lost in their own thoughts. Before Hermione said, "Well, we'd better go. Thanks Hagrid, we promise we'll come by for tea before we leave."
Hagrid nodded and the six (I think) walked – nearly running – towards the reflective surfaces of the greenhouses.
Neville was hard at work when they arrived, wrestling with a giant green plant. Harry, Ron, and Hermione exchanged a look before rushing into help, the other three not far behind.
"Thanks," Neville sputtered as he wiped his eyes, "I owe you one – Harry! Ginny, Ron, Hermione – wow – you're all here." He took another look at the group, "Oh, Fleur and Mrs. Weasley, you're here too . . . have you already heard?"
Harry and Ginny exchanged a worried look with Hermione and Ron. Fleur, tired of being kept in the dark, "Heard what?"
Neville groaned, particularly at the inquisitive looks coming from the other five, "Rose was attacked on the train."
"WHAT?" Ron's ears turned bright red before he withdrew his wand, "Who was it? I'll kill that (here he said a word that made Hermione say, 'Ron!')
"Who – who was it?" Harry choked out, praying he was wrong, praying that it wasn't the boy from his visions.
Neville looked a bit reluctant to tell such an angry looking group but said, "I dunno, some new Slytherin called . . . . Alexander Cionsant."
Hermione (who was done giving Ron the death stare) turned to Neville, "Sorry for that, what did he look like and how is Rose?"
"And, more importantly, why did he attack her?" Ginny added.
"Erm . . . Rose is fine," Neville thought for a minute, "I haven't really seen the kid but the kids said he was . . . er . . . saying bad stuff about Harry."
Harry lowered his head, this was his fault. People stood up for him and then almost always ended up hurt. Ginny glanced at her husband, "Harry. This isn't your fault."
Hermione quickly turned to him, "No, Harry, you shouldn't blame yourself, we don't. Right, Ron?"
"Geez you don't have to give me that look," Ron glared back at his wife, "Don't you dare blame yourself, Harry." In a whisper, he added, "Or Hermione will kill us both."
A smile played around the edges of Harry's mouth and Hermione, seeing this, slapped Ron playfully, "Don't think I didn't hear that, Ronald Weasley."
A sudden bang echoed through the room. Within five seconds, seven wands were pointing at a first year girl with an absolutely terrified look on her face.
"Mill – Ms. Thomas!" Neville lowered his wand in relief.
"Neville," Harry had difficulty keeping his voice calm as he looked into the girl's frightened dark blue eyes, "Who is this?"
"Oh, Harry Potter, Melinda – Milly – Thomas."
"Dean's kid?" Ginny asked.
"You're Harry Potter?" The dark skinned girl glanced at his forehead, "How did you know?"
Very much wrong-footed, Harry gave her a nervous look, "Know what?"
"L-Lily!" Milly burst into tears.
Harry turned very white and nearly dropped his wand. Ginny's hand was shaking and Mrs. Weasley looked as if she might faint. Hermione, who clearly saw all reason falling apart, rushed to Milly's side.
"What about Lily?"
"She – w-we were l-looking for D-Def-fense and we took a wrong tu-turn." Huge sobs wracked her body but she took a huge breath and, staring at the floor, continued. "The classroom w-was destroyed. And then this . . . wolfman came an-and said he was going to e-eat us. But then he recognized Lily, asked for her name and when I told him, he told me to get out and not tell anyone. Or he would hunt me down." Milly became incomprehensible with sobs and Mrs. Weasley joined Hermione in consoling the girl.
Finally, Harry knelt down to where the girl was sitting, "Milly. I promise he will not touch you. But, did he tell you his name?"
She nodded, "Grey –Greyback. His name was Greyback."
And now they know! Don't worry, I'm not letting them have too good of luck and they won't be finding Lily anytime soon. Though I may have just made you worry. Ooops. Sorry. But guess what? I now have 20 reviews! 20! YAY!
I'm still going to beg for reviews though. Pretty pretty please? With a cherry on top? I'd love to get 5ish before the next chapter. They can now be critical, I'm being brave. But don't say you hate the story, I can't handle that. SO . . . Please Review (yes, you can review anonymously)