Welcome back! I've realized I need cover pictures for my stories but I'm not particularly sure how to go about getting them. Until then hopefully you don't mind using your imagination! Enjoy!
The words had hardly left his mouth before his hand wrapped around hers and they were pulled into a blackened void. Moments later, their feet touched solid ground. Harry quickly let go of her hand. His back was tense, his arms poised for a fight. His green eyes darted around the darkened walls of the house.
Hermione leaned against the wall, trying to catch her breath. "Where are we, Harry?"
She didn't recognize the place, it was too dark to see out the windows, but she couldn't hear the rain any longer. What she could see of the house didn't make it seem like much. The room was small with only two windows on opposing sides. The walls were dark but they looked cracked in the pale moonlight. A doorway led to another room but she couldn't tell what it was.
"Do you have your wand on you?" he said; his voice sharp and impatient.
Her hand instinctively reached for the pocket but she stopped, she'd put it down when she realized it was Harry at the door. She shook her head.
The world wasn't making sense right now. Ron was—gone and Harry had just taken her from her flat with the reasoning someone was after them. Now they were Merlin knew where and Harry seem disturbingly antsy.
Her already queasy stomach gave a lurch and she looked for the nearest chair.
Harry darted around the room checking windows and doors, locking any that weren't locked before stopping in the middle of the room and tapping several floor boards until he found one to his liking. He pulled a dagger from his back pocket, pried up the board and pulled out a long, dented metal box. "Where's your bag?"
"I don't have a bag," she said. Her voice sounded hollow, empty. Just like her chest felt.
Harry finally noticed the tone and crossed the room and knelt in front of her. He gently took both her tiny hands in one of his and tilted her head up to look at him. "I'm sorry to be so abrupt. I couldn't take any chances. Not after—" His words caught in his throat and he sighed. "I have to keep you safe. Your flat isn't. Right before—we saw…They are after all of us. Like doing something to us will change things. Like we are prizes or something. Kingsley knows. He's the only other one. He's going to go to your place tonight and save what he can, then he's going to make it look like someone else got to you."
"Got to me?" Hermione closed her eyes, wrapping her arms around her stomach, trying desperately to hold herself together. She rocked back and forth, focusing on the motion and not the violent twisting in her stomach. This was too much. She couldn't deal with everything right now.
"Hermione," Harry said, softly.
She focused on his voice. The voice she had trusted for years. The voice that had been there and comforted her when she'd needed it. His voice now seemed to be responsible for tearing her world apart.
"I need your beaded bag. I know you still carry it." A poor attempt at a smile tugged at his lips. "Your place didn't have any books and I know where you hide them."
She swallowed thickly and reached for the bag she'd become accustomed to wearing around her ankle ever since their seventh year. Even when he'd fallen and things seemed to get getting back to normal, she'd had that naked feeling if she didn't have the beaded bag on her person. She didn't need nearly as much in it as she had then, but Harry was right, she kept most of her spell books in the back, along with major potion ingredients and several vials of things she'd brewed just-in-case.
He followed her eyes to her foot and slowly reached down, feeling the bag through her pant leg. Wordlessly, his warm fingers fumbled with the strap but he succeeded in getting if over her shoe. He put it inside the box, he tapped the metal box with his wand, added it to the box, then slid it beneath the floorboard.
"I probably shouldn't have cast that last spell, but it was a minor protection spell. Hopefully it won't be enough to flag us."
"Flag us?" she echoed.
Harry nodded. "For a while, we have to live as mug—a members of the local town. This house used to be a small farm." A dark chuckle rumbled from his chest. "I'll take a look around tomorrow and see if there is anything we can do with it. We have to avoid—" his eyes darted to the floor board, "because our lives really do depend on it."
"Why don't we go on the run like we did before? If we avoided—"
Harry closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Because I don't think it would work this time."
"There were still rules and restrictions then. They wanted me alive. He wanted me. You were right when you said this is not a group of his normal followers."
Hermione was acutely aware of his careful wording and couldn't help but wonder if there was another Taboo spell.
"This isn't about power or control. This is a flat out bloodlust. They want us dead." He dropped his head into his hand and knotted his fingers in his hair. "I think the Burrow is safe. But I really can't be sure. There was no mention of it, or Shell Cottage, or any of the other holdings. Just your flat, Grimmuald Place, and the joke shop because that's where he was living…"
It was like he'd thrown a heavy wool blanket over the conversation. He pressed his fingers to his head and stood up. "I'm going to get a drink, do you need anything?"
Hermione shook her head, she could feel a new wave of tears coming on and she was afraid to open her mouth.
They were to live here. Without magic. They were to live as Muggles on a farm for an undetermined amount of time. A wave of nausea rushed over her again and she pressed her hand to her stomach.
Harry didn't know. No one knew. Should she tell him? How much help could she be on a farm if they were here for any length of time? She wasn't showing yet. She could feel the changes because she knew what she was looking for.
She closed her eyes and breathed deeply through her nose then out her mouth, trying to calm herself down.
This wasn't the time to tell Harry. Soon, if things began to make more sense she could screw it all up again and make her announcement. But until then, it would be her little secret.
Thanks to everyone for reading and I hope you'll leave me a comment with your thoughts so far.