Disclaimer: Harry Potter and other associated adaptations used in this story line are not mine, they belong to brilliant authors who lent me the idea. :)
Author's Notes: Hello everyone! This story is an adaptation from a story, Charades, that my friend let me read a while back. So it will contain themes/sentences related to the said story or the books in Harry Potter. I love how this turned out and tried to make it original, so I hope you'll get to appreciate it! Please R&R!
Special thanks to my awesome friend and BETAs, anitablakefan2007 for helping me mold this story and for so much more and to Rutoh-Chan who gave me interesting ideas and helped me with the errors! You guys are really awesome and I thank you for helping me bring this story to life! Thank you so much for all the hard work!
Summary: In a game of pretend, how real will the feelings get? Will Harry follow the rules or take a risk by bringing a hidden truth to the surface? Set six years after the war, Harry and Hermione are about to discover that things are more complicated than they appear. DH-compliant, no epilogue.
by Fia's Rapier
Calm, he was deathly calm. Considering what had happened during the past few hours, the calm he emitted was disturbing at best. The man's superior was plagued by the silence as the pair walked together, their footsteps ringing in the superior's head driving him to the brink of insanity. It started to bother his ears so much that it took all of his control just to keep moving forward. Awkward moments like these were still a bother to him, even in all the years they'd known each other.
How many times had he seen his subordinate like this? He actually couldn't remember a single other instance that the young man had been this calm. Yet there were no words that could escape the superior's lips, for he was not sure if his companion would answer his query, it would be just too awkward for them both. Glancing over, the older man observed how the other's lips were pursed. Even at the young age of 24, the lines in his face betrayed the experiences that made him more mature.
"Harry, are you sure about this?" the Minister of Magic finally blurted out, stopping the Auror in his tracks. "I don't think now is the right time to continue work."
The man sighed as he turned to face Kingsley Shacklebolt. The Minister truly had a kind heart and that was one of the reasons why Harry continued to be his guard, an assignment given to him by the Head Auror himself. His mind told him that they had to drop this conversation now – for in the passing second… in the passing moments… he was losing his courage.
"Don't worry too much, Minister. Ron and our friends… they will be there to protect her. I, er – it's better if I don't abandon my post now that everything is an utter mess. Also, I will still be able to investigate the case while I am here."
Kingsley quickly noticed the hesitation in Harry's voice. His emerald eyes betrayed what he truly wanted to do, for what he said was not what was truly in his heart. In all the years that he served in the Ministry, never before had Kingsley seen the Auror so withdrawn. Judging from the tension that radiated from him and his words, Kingsley could tell that Harry only wanted to go to her.
"Harry Potter!" Kingsley barked, making the other people in the hall look towards their direction. Harry was also surprised by the tone the Minister had used. That name was something everyone revered; it was Harry who had led the battle years ago, and it was he who restored the peace. It was the name of the man who killed the Dark Lord, the boy who won.
Kingsley could hear the people's murmurs now as they spoke in hushed tones. Satisfied that he caught the young man's attention, the Minister offered a small smile. "If you are worried about my safety, you needn't to be. I can take care of myself."
"But Kingsley, they might be planning to try to take over the Ministry! I made a vow…"
"Might. I release you from that vow, and I'm sure Gawain will understand." He shook his head as he tried to find the right words, and patted Harry's shoulder. "Your love for the people… the sacrifices you made for us… made you ignore what you really want…"
Harry felt the ache in his chest. He knew she was going to be fine, she was strong. But that didn't stop the guilt that flowed in his veins… if he had only been there, maybe she wouldn't have had to experience it and the Ministry wouldn't be in this dilemma. He desperately wanted to be by her side… but it only caused him pain to remember that look in her eyes, the one time he had gone there.
Kingsley Shacklebolt sighed heavily. He knew that this young man valued his loved ones more than his own life. Whatever was holding him back, causing him to flee and turn to work just to forget, puzzled the Minister to no end.
"Very well then, Auror Potter, you leave me no choice," he said with the stoic tone he only used at work. He knew that girl needed Harry, now more than ever. To resolve their issues, Kingsley had no choice but to give this order. He drew his wand from his back pocket and looked Harry in the eye. "You are to protect a member of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, namely, Ms. Hermione Granger, until the perpetrators in this case have been caught and the threat to our Ministry is removed."
"This is an order. I will not tolerate such insubordination, even from you," the Minister stated, binding his order with a spell. "You are to stay by her side. Surely, there is no one better to guard her life than you."
"I am the reason why they used her, can't you see that?" Harry growled, his voice laced with hurt and disappointment. "They threatened her to get to me."
But Kingsley ignored his comment as he finished his spell. Satisfied that the spell would work perfectly, he turned to his subordinate. "We don't know for sure. And you are the best one to take care of her. Do not disappoint me, Potter."
Soon, the Minister was off, leaving the lone Auror in the empty hallway. Harry did not even have the voice to defy the Minister's wishes. His feet refused to move, so he couldn't run after Kingsley to tell him this wouldn't work. He merely stood there quietly, lost in his thoughts. He suddenly took something out of a pocket inside his robes and stared at the picture he had been holding on to after the incident. With a sigh, he lifted his head to take a glance towards the sky.
The sun was setting now, its rays penetrating through the glass windows. Sooner or later, he knew he would have to face her, but having to do so because of a spell that bound him? He never would've expected it. Slowly, he closed his eyes as he put the picture near his heart. A small smile tugged his lips when he realized what Kingsley had just done.
Author's Notes: Thoughts? :)