Characters are property of J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter Universe. Thankfully, she allows me to borrow them for a bit of fun.


The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.- Winston Churchill

The thunderous sound of multiple Apparitions and the rebounding of various hexes and curses assaulted her ears, causing her to momentarily bring her shaking hands to cover them for relief. How had they been found? Quickly regaining her senses, Hermione cast a Shield Charm and ducked behind a phone booth for cover. Looking behind her, she saw Harry and Ron take cover behind a car parked on the curb. The covert trip to a Muggle supermarket for food and supplies was quickly turning disastrous. Hermione quickly retraced their steps to determine when and how they had been discovered.

The three of them had decided to Apparate to the heart of Bostall Wood in the early hours of the morning and then continue with a twenty-two kilometer trek into London under the Disillusionment Charm. Hermione had frequently visited Bostall Hill with her parents when she was younger and knew the area quite well. So well, in fact, that she was able to successfully Apparate the three of them under a small bridge that many people wouldn't have noticed unless they were looking for it. She cast three flawless Disillusionment Charms; first on Harry, then Ron, and finally herself. It had taken them roughly an hour and a half to reach their destination and when they were quietly inside she removed the spell so they could purchase the items they needed. They spent no more than five minutes inside the supermarket and saw only three patrons and the lone clerk who waited on them when they were ready to pay. Nothing looked amiss. Where was the mistake made? Suddenly, Harry's voice jerked her back to reality.

"Hermione, we have to move," he screamed in her direction. "Stay where you are; Ron and I are coming to you."

Trying to provide cover, Hermione quickly sent several hexes and jinxes around the corner of the phone booth, unsure if they had hit the desired targets. Looking overhead between the flashes of different colored light and falling debris, she saw the Dark Mark floating precariously overhead.

"Harry, Death Eaters!" she shouted while firing spells in rapid succession in the opposite direction.

"I can't see them! They must be Disillusioned!" Harry breathed heavily when he and Ron made it to Hermione's side.

"You alright?" Ron asked carefully, looking her over as she nodded at his question.

"Hold on to me; I am going to Disapparate out of here," she told them both. They complied without question, each of them placing their hands on either of her forearms. Quickly clearing her mind and thinking of her desired destination, she felt the urgent pull behind her navel end nearly as quickly as it began. An Anti-Disapparition jinx.

"Damn it," Hermione began, shaking her arms free from Harry and Ron, "I can't Disapparate. A jinx has been set."

A stray curse hit a street lamp directly overhead, sending shards of glass and metal raining down on them.

"We can't just stay here! Come on, we have to run!" Hermione tapped her head with her wand, immediately feeling the sensation of a raw egg being smashed on her head; the signature sign that the Disillusionment Charm had successfully been cast. She turned and did the same to Harry and Ron, who nodded when they too felt the charm in place. Hermione turned her attention to Ron, instructing him, "Cast a Shield Charm and keep casting it until I grab your arm." She turned quickly to look at Harry, who was waiting. "You need to deflect everything you can. Keeping doing that until I grab hold of you. We need to get out of the proximity of the jinx so I can Disapparate."

The phone booth they were behind had taken a serious beating, even with the Shield Charm in place. The screeching sound of metal being ripped into shreds signaled that it was now or never. The three of them quickly turned to look behind them. "Between the cars and down the street," Harry said, pointing in the direction. "We'll stop when we get to the café down the way. We need to get on the other side of the building." Hermione and Ron averted their gazes in unison to spot the café in question. It seemed like an eternity away. "The Death Eaters won't be able to tell where we are going if we are Disillusioned. Don't do anything that would give our location away." Hermione and Ron nodded in agreement.

Hermione stood and the boys followed seconds later. "On the count of three," she breathed shakily. "Stay close to me. I won't be able to Disapparate if I can't get my hands on you."

Harry and Ron held their wands out in determination. Hermione closed her eyes and willed herself to speak.

"One. Two. Three!"