Harry Potter and His New Beginning
Hello my loyal readers!
Haven't heard from me in a while, have you? Sorry about that. What with finishing university (with a 2:1, if you can believe it!) and trying to find an internship or job, I keep finding less and less time to write! If I could, I would spend all my time writing, but alas, that's not the way the world works!
Anyway, the important thing is, that I'm back...*massive rounds of applause*...yes, yes, I know...*applause continues*...oh, thank you, you're too kind...*applause still continues*...ok, that's enough...*applause stops*
But in all seriousness, the fact I haven't been writing isn't fair to all you readers. I'm sorry for that (said sorry twice). But I'll try to update my story more regularly now! I've found where my muse has run off to and dragged her back to serve as my inspiration! Now, I will begin my writing anew, and...
"GET ON WITH THE STORY!"
Alright, alright! Jeez. *Hem, hem* Now then, let me stop waffling and get on with it!
And without further ado, I give you Chapter Thirteen!
Chapter Thirteen: A Sirius Moment
As the meal progressed, however, another story was filtering through the student body: a front page article in the Daily Prophet. As Harry chatted with his three friends, he noticed an abandoned copy of the paper and the headline caught his eye. Pulling it over, he unfolded it fully and gasped.
There, in large black letters, was the headline and article he hadn't expected to see until his third year at Hogwarts:
SIRIUS BLACK ESCAPES FROM AZKABAN
"Oh merlin," Harry said, shocked, "Sirius…"
"What's wrong, Harry?" Susan asked, concerned.
Harry seemed not to hear, however. Instead, his eyes remained transfixed on the large, bold headline and the wizarding photograph beneath. Equally concerned, Hermione placed her hand on his shoulder, squeezing it softly.
"Harry, what's wrong?" She asked.
At this point, a good portion of the students on their table had turned to see Harry's reaction to the article. Most assumed it was because the man who had betrayed his parents had escaped from Azkaban prison.
Ignoring the reactions of those around him, Harry clutched the paper in one hand, scrunching it in the progress, tears falling from his eyes. Without a word to anyone, he stood up and left the Great Hall, drawing the attention of students and staff.
"Harry," Hermione said in alarm, jumping to her feet, "Harry wait!"
As they watched Harry and Hermione leave in close proximity, Susan, Neville and Draco, who was watching from the Slytherin table, got to their feet and chased after them. After a few minutes, however, they had lost sight of the pair, and began wandering the corridors trying to find them again.
Taking to a run to keep up with the young wizard, who had also started running after crossing the threshold of the Great Hall, Hermione kept Harry within her sights all the time, not willing to lose him.
She was all too aware of how dangerous it could be to let Harry brood for long.
When she eventually caught up to him, on the sixth floor corridor, he had collapsed against a wall, knees against his chest, crying into his legs. Instead of saying anything, Hermione knelt down beside Harry and hugged him gently, but firmly, and let him cry.
Sensing her presence and embrace, Harry latched onto her and hugged back tightly, crying into her shoulder. They remained sat side by side while he cried, Hermione remaining silent as she held her soul mate. It was rare that Harry ever really released his emotions in a moment like this, but it was becoming more frequent as he grew comfortable with dealing with his feelings instead of bottling them up.
After feeling Harry calm down, Hermione pulled back from the hug and studied his tear-stained face. His eyes were blood-shot and his skin red and puffy. But more important, his expression was a look of sheer sadness and self-hatred.
"Harry, what's wrong?" She asked softly, gently stroking his cheek.
"I…I left him, Hermione…" he said tearfully "…I left him in that nightmare." He turned away from her, unable to keep eye contact. "I left Sirius in that prison, when I could have helped him…" his speech trailed off as he began sobbing once more.
Hermione's eyes widened when Harry mentioned Sirius. It was becoming obvious what had made him upset. Pulling the newspaper from where Harry's hand had dropped it, she looked at the headline and gasped.
SIRIUS BLACK ESCAPES FROM AZKABAN
"Oh no," she said, having a similar reaction to it as her boyfriend, "Sirius…"
"I forgot him, Hermione!" He cried. "I forgot him, and I left him in prison! I had an amazing Christmas while he was in that hell hole!"
As he began to cry once more, Hermione let him go, and slapped him across the face, giving him an almighty glare as she did. Almost immediately, his sadness and guilt vanished, replaced instead by shock.
"Y-you…you slapped me…" he said, incredulously.
"You're damn right I did!" She replied hotly. "I don't want you slipping into a guilt trip, alright?" He blinked, before nodding, rather tentatively.
"B-but Hermione, it was my fault." He argued, weakly. Her unnerving glare crushed any further argument.
"No Harry, it wasn't." She said firmly. "If anything, it was both out faults: we have equal memories of the future, and we didn't use them." He nodded.
"And we should of." He murmured sadly.
"Should we?" She asked. Harry looked ready to argue, so she continued. "I'm not saying we should have left Sirius in Azkaban, and we definitely shouldn't have forgotten him," he nodded in satisfaction, "but ultimately, short of travelling to Azkaban and blowing the door off his cell, what could we have done?" She asked, trying to make Harry understand.
"We…we could have gone to the Ministry," Harry began.
"They wouldn't have listened to us, Harry." She replied, gently.
"But…but with my titles…" he protested.
"No Harry, that wouldn't be enough," she said, "while your titles are useful and will be more so in the future, don't forget that we are eleven. They won't listen to a child." He sighed.
"Still, we could have tried…" he argued.
"It would have drawn attention to us, Harry," Hermione argued back, "we agreed that we should try to keep changing the timeline to a minimum this year." He nodded. "If we had gone to the Ministry with 'new evidence', exonerating Sirius, people would ask questions, especially Dumbledore." She sighed and rubbed the back of his hand with her thumb. "I want Sirius safe too, Harry, but it would have been extremely dangerous, and would most likely be fruitless." Harry nodded with a sigh.
"You're right…" he smiled softly "…like always, Mione."
"Prat," she said, punching him playfully, before turning serious. "We'll find a way to help Sirius, Harry, I promise." She said honestly. He nodded and hugged her tightly.
"I know, Hermione, I know." He replied, still looking sad.
"Harry, if you wanted, we could try and get in contact with Sirius, tell him that we know the truth about Petti…" she trailed off and her eyes widened in shock.
"Hermione?" Harry asked, concerned.
"Pettigrew," she cried, "we forgot about Pettigrew!" Harry's eyes widened.
"And now that Ron doesn't go to Hogwarts…" he began.
"…the Rat could be anywhere!" She said sadly. "Oh Harry, I'm sorry." He smiled and pulled her into a hug.
"It doesn't matter, Mione," he said softly, "we'll find him." He paused in thought. "Actually, it's quite possible that he's still in the castle…" Hermione gave him a queer look.
"What? Why do you think that?" She asked.
"Well, think about it," Harry began, "why was Pettigrew living with the Weasleys?" He asked. Hermione frowned in thought.
"So he could keep abreast of the news in the wizarding world." She replied.
"Yes, but once Ron went to Hogwarts and he heard about me…" he said, leadingly.
"…he stayed to keep an eye on you!" She finished, with a nod. "So you think he's still here somewhere?" She asked. Harry grinned mischievously.
"There's only one way to find out." He said. "Why don't we get back a piece of our property, Hermione?" Her eyes widened.
"The Marauder's Map!" She announced, before frowning in thought. "So where did you find the map, Harry?" She asked.
"I didn't," he replied, "it was given to me by Fred and George." He smiled. "I wonder if they'd be willing to return it."
As Harry stood up, he offered a hand to Hermione, pulling her up with him, before they set off to the Gryffindor Common Room. They resolved to speak to the twins when they got back to their house room.
Unknown to Harry, Hermione wasn't the only one to follow him from the Great Hall. Stood in one of the many fourth floor corridors, Neville, Susan and Draco hovered, attempting to decide which way Harry and Hermione had gone.
"Damn," Draco hissed angrily, "which way did they go?"
"I'm fairly certain they went right," Neville said, beginning to head in that direction, before pausing, "or was it left?" They stood there for a moment, trying to deduce the path of their friends, before Draco let out a deep sigh.
"Well," he muttered, "I think it's safe to say we lost them."
"Oh bother," Susan grumbled, "how're we supposed to help them when they keep running off all the time?" Her minor annoyance faded from her face and she became worried. "Did you see Harry?" Susan said anxiously. "I've never seen him like that before! He just looked so…so…"
"Depressed," Draco provided and Susan nodded.
"Right," she agreed. "Oh, we have to find them!"
"Yes, but we don't know which way they went!" Draco argued. Neville looked thoughtful for a moment, before his eyes widened.
"Wait a moment," Neville said, a flash of inspiration hitting him, "I remember, we came this way when we were exploring the castle," he pointed at the right corridor, "that way leads to a dead end, but that one," he pointed to the left, "takes us to the sixth floor!" Draco nodded in understanding.
"Harry wouldn't have run into a dead end," he said, building on Neville's idea, "and he knows the castle like the back of his hand…"
"…which means he went left!" Susan finished happily. The three shared an excited glance, before tearing off down the left corridor.
As Harry and Hermione walked slowly back to the common room, holding each other as they did, they were greeted to the sound of a clattering suit of armour and the raucous laughter of a very familiar voice(s).
Well, you know what they say: speak of the devil and he shall appear…or should that be devils?
"My dear twin," George (possibly Fred) began between bouts of laughter, "I think you're about as clumsy as a three legged donkey."
"Ha! I'm clumsy?" Fred (or was it George?) grumbled, climbing out from beneath the metal armour. "You're the one always tripping over that old carpet back home, my stumbling ogre, of a brother."
"Hey, that's not fair," George (could be Fred) exclaimed, affronted, "that damn rug has it out for me!"
Listening to the back and forth between the infamous twins as they approached brought a fond smile to Harry's face. Happy memories of the twin's antics from their first life flitted before his eyes.
"Hey Fred, hey George," Harry greeted; chasing his reminisces from his head.
"Do mine eyes deceive me," Fred began, "or doth the Great Lord Gryffindor…"
"…and the lovely Lady Granger, stand before us?" George ended, the pair finishing with deep, waist length bows.
"No, your eyes aren't deceiving you," Hermione said, smiling at the duo's antics, "we have deigned to offer you our presence…" she finished with a haughty sniff.
"Oh, we thank you…" George started.
"…for this opportunity, my lady…" Fred continued.
"…but what did we do…
"…to deserve your presence?" They finished together, each grinning like a Cheshire Cat.
"Actually," Harry began, smiling, "we were hoping to speak to you about something." The twins nodded.
"Sure, what is it…"
"…you want to ask us?" George asked.
"Well, we were wondering whether you have in your possession…" he paused, looking around "…a certain map?" The twin's eyes widened.
"How do you know about the Marauder's Map?" Fred asked in shock.
"Well, one of the makers of the map, Prongs," he began, to which the twins nodded, "was my father, James Potter, and Padfoot," the twins nodded again, their eyes even wider, "is my Godfather." Fred and George's eyes bugged out of their heads.
"Your Dad and Godfather were Marauders?" They asked together, before Fred's eyes narrowed. "How do we know you aren't lying?" He asked. Harry grinned.
"The password to activate the map is 'I solemnly swear that I am up to no good', and the password to deactivate it is 'Mischief Managed'." If possible, their eyes got wider.
"Wow…" George said in shock "…you are the son of a Marauder…" The two shared a quick glance, before falling to their knees before Harry, clutching the hem of his robe "…we're not worthy, we're not worthy!"
While Harry stood there uncomfortably as the twins professed their unworthiness, Hermione was in tears, laughing at the scene, and Harry's discomfort. Seeing her laugh, he tried to glare, but it failed and he laughed too. After a minute or two of hero worship, the twins stood up and they grinned.
"You know what Fred?" George asked, turning to his twin.
"What's that George?" Fred responded.
"I think…" he began, pulling a piece of parchment from his robe pocket "…that we should give this back to the Son of Prongs." George finished, offering Harry the map.
"I agree, oh brother of mine." Fred said, nodding in agreement.
"Guys, are you sure?" Harry asked, unsure whether to take it.
"Yeah, don't worry about it," Fred said, waving dismissively, "we've memorised most of the secret passages anyway." Harry nodded and took the map with a smile.
"Thanks guys…" he paused for a moment, before grinning "…you know, in a few years, I could probably introduce you guys to Moony and Padfoot…" he said, nonchalantly. Fred and George gasped at the same moment, and dropped back to their knees.
"Oh man, if you did that…" George began.
"…we'd be in your debt forever…"
"Ok guys," Harry interrupted, holding up a hand, "don't worry about it. You just gave me back something really important to me that belonged to my Dad…" he grinned "…we'll call it even."
With that, the twins bade their farewells, heading back to the Common Room, while Harry and Hermione went into an empty classroom to inspect the map. Closing the door behind them, Harry grinned at Hermione.
"Well, that was a stroke of good luck, wasn't it?" Harry asked.
"Yes, it was," Hermione agreed, "and it was good of the twins to give you the map back like that." He nodded.
"Yeah," he said with a smile, "they're good friends, those two; a lot better than their younger brother, at any rate." Hermione agreed fervently.
Picking what had been, presumably, the professor's desk in this old classroom, they cleared it of junk and lay down the map.
"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good." Harry announced quietly.
Harry and Hermione watched with a smile as the ink spread across the yellowed parchment into the familiar lettering of the Marauder's Map. Running his hand across the paper, Harry glanced at Hermione and grinned.
"This brings back memories." She nodded.
"Likewise," she unfolded the map and looked over the names, "why don't we make some new ones?" He nodded and joined her in the search.
After a few minutes of searching, they did not see the name of the hated Rat anywhere on the map, disheartening them some. They did, however, see the names of their friends, Neville, Susan and Draco, heading down the corridors toward the sixth floor.
"Oh bugger," Harry muttered, "I bet you that they're looking for us." Hermione nodded in agreement.
"You're probably right," she said, "let's go and find them." Folding up the map, she said the deactivation phrase. "Mischief Managed."
Leaving the abandoned classroom, they set off to chase down their friends before they wandered for too long. Harry occasionally consulted the map to check the progress of Draco, Neville and Susan. As they walked, however, Hermione decided to brooch something she had been pondering for some time to her boyfriend.
"Harry," she said softly.
"Yes Hermione?" He replied, glancing at her with a smile.
"We need to talk…" Harry froze.
One of the dreaded sentences no man wants to hear from their partner's mouth. Hermione continued walking on for a moment, before halting as she noticed that Harry had stopped.
"Talk?" He repeated, his heart sinking. "What about?"
"Well, I've been thinking…" another pang hit Harry's heart.
Another of the terrible sentences which terrify humans of the male persuasion. Harry turned pale and his breathing became erratic.
"Thinking?" He said, once again parroting what she had said.
"Hmm," she gave a confirming noise, "well, we've been in this time period for quite some time now," Harry's heart sunk a little lower, "and I don't think we can carry on the way we have been," he swallowed the lump in his throat.
"O-oh?" He questioned.
"Yes," she replied, "I think unless we have more help, get some others involved, we aren't likely to succeed in the long run, are we?" As she spoke, Harry's face scrunched up in confusion.
"Wait," he said, trying to figure out what she was saying, "what are talking about?" She frowned in reply.
"Our mission Harry," Hermione said, as if it was obvious. "You know; destroy you-know-who's you-know-what's…" Harry's eyes widened with understanding.
"Oh!" He exclaimed, relief visible across his features. "Oh right," he chuckled weakly, "ok, we're on the same page now." Her eyes narrowed.
"What did you think I was talking about?" She asked suspiciously. He swallowed another lump in his throat.
"Well," he began nervously, "when you said about needing to talk, and then you said 'I've been thinking'…" he laughed pathetically, "well, you made me worry Hermione." A burst of realisation dawned across her face.
"You thought I was…" Hermione's eyes widened in horror, "oh Harry!" She latched onto him and hugged the wizard tightly. "You stupid, stupid boy!"
"Hey!" He protested weakly. She pulled back and swatted his arm gently.
"Harry, you know you don't have to worry about that…about us," he looked abashed, "why would you even think that?" He sighed.
"I don't know," he replied honestly, "it's just sometimes this," he gestured around him, "just seems a little too good to be true, you know?" She nodded in understanding.
"Yeah, I know," she replied softly, "but you don't need to worry about us, ok?" She smiled lovingly. "I've never been happier than I am right now, with you." Harry's chest swelled and a smile bloomed across his face.
"I feel the same way," he said, smiling back just as affectionately. Hermione blushed slightly and kissed him softly on the lips.
"Well then," she said, pulling back, "I hope that means there will be no more doubt about how I feel about you?" He nodded.
"There won't be," he reassured. "However, I would prefer you not use those…terms to start an ordinary conversation. Deal?" She nodded happily.
"Deal," she agreed. The two continued walking for a moment, before Hermione regained her train of thought. "Harry, did you think about what I said?" He nodded.
"I have," he replied, "and I agree." Harry turned to her. "We do need more trustworthy allies if we want to win. Who should we start with?" She smiled.
"How about the three who have been searching for you for half an hour because they saw you were upset?" Harry smiled in return.
"Well, you know what they say," he began, "great minds think alike." Hermione laughed.
"Yes, well, they say the same thing about dim minds too," she replied, "but I prefer to think of myself as the former." The two shared a laugh, before turning back to the task at hand.
Following their minor delay due to the misunderstanding, the trio had moved from where they had been originally headed. However, it didn't take long for Harry and Hermione to change direction and catch up with their friends, who were, in fact, very near where Harry had ended up after running off from the feast before. As soon as they saw Harry and Hermione, they rushed over and began bombarding the wizard with questions.
"Harry, are you ok…"
"You rushed off in the middle of the feast…"
"We wanted to help…"
"We tried to follow you but we lost Hermione…"
"Guys, guys," Harry interrupted, holding his hands up in a placating gesture, "I'm fine, but thanks for trying to check on me." Draco didn't look convinced.
"Are you sure, Harry," he pressed, "you looked really upset when you left the hall." Harry and Hermione shared a look, before agreeing nonverbally.
The three had proven themselves. It was time to tell them.
"Guys, Hermione and I need to talk to you about something." Harry said, holding Hermione's hand as he spoke.
"It's really important." She added, squeezing Harry's hand. Their friends looked curious, worried, and a bit nervous.
"Well, ok," Susan began, "what is it?" Hermione shook her head.
"Not here," she said, "let's go to the Room of Requirement."
"The what?" Neville asked, confused.
And there we are, Chapter Thirteen!
I know it was a little short, and I apologise for that! I planned on it being longer, but it finishes quite nicely there! I should have perhaps tacked this chapter onto the last to beef them up a bit, but I don't suppose it matters! I hope you enjoyed it!
This chapter serves not only as a bridge into greater things, but also answers a few complaints some of my reviewers had, such as why Harry had forgotten about Sirius, where is Pettigrew, and so on. Hopefully, this will have answered some of those questions. But also, more importantly, this means that in the next chapter, Neville, Draco and Susan will truly come into the fold and Harry and Hermione will have new allies...
...for the dangers that lay ahead...
Just letting you know that I love and accept all reviews, except mindless flames! I have no place for those! However, as they say, there is no such thing as bad criticism!
Toodlepip! Until next time! Adieu! Auf Wiedersehen! Despedida! до свидания (or do svidaniya)...
This is the Quill, signing off!