A/N: I am terribly sorry that it took me this long to update but I simply didn't have the time. In my defense, I had only one free day and I spent all of it to write this chapter. Please go easy on me.
Some people commented that I make mistakes while writing this story. I know, as I said before, English is not my native language. I agree that need a beta but I really don't know much about those things. I apologize for those mistakes and I will try to avoid them in the future.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything besides the plot.
(This chapter was not checked for mistakes simply because I lack the time at the moment. I will do it as soon as possible)
14. Bölüm: Rat in the Box
Ron Weasley knew that he was a simple boy. He didn't like complicated things and he was rather proud of that part of him. There were some things that he liked and some that he didn't. That was one of the reasons why he felt this uncomfortable at the moment. He was carrying his unconscious sister to the hospital wing. This itself would be enough reason to feel bad but the situation was much worse.
His two best friends were walking at either side of him but he couldn't look at any of them for comfort. He was ashamed and more importantly, he was angry. He was angry at Ginny for doing something like this, angry at his friends for causing all this and angry at himself for not being able to stop this. And now here he was, with a little sister in his arms that tried to kill one of his best friends, with one of the nastiest dark curses in the world. Oh yeah, Ronald Weasley was in deep shit.
They all kept silent all the way to the hospital wing. Ron had no idea what to say and was too ashamed to look at his friends. He kept his head low all the time as he put Ginny on one of the empty beds.
Without saying a word, Harry left the room to call Madam Pomfrey. Ron decided that he couldn't take the silence any more and looked at Hermione. Her face was completely blank and she was simply staring at Ginny with an empty impression. No matter how bad he felt, Ron just had to ask her what she wanted to do. It was about his sister after all.
"Not now Ron" said Hermione emotionlessly. She didn't even turn to him. "Please, not yet."
Something in her voice stopped him from saying anything else. Her voice was shaking and she didn't have her usual energetic and slightly bossy tone. To his shock, he realized that she was nearly pleading to him.
Silence fell once again until Harry walked in with Madam Pomfrey right behind. While the nurse walked to Ginny and started casting a few diagnosis spells, Harry quickly walked to Hermione and took her hand. She flinched a little but didn't pull her hand back.
"I can't find anything wrong with her. What happened?" asked Madam Pomfrey.
"I think she had some kind of a nervous break down" answered Harry.
The nurse looked suspiciously at each of them but couldn't comment any further as McGonagall entered the room with Luna in tow. The strict transfiguration professor gave a look towards the unconscious girl and then turned her attention to the others.
"What happened?" she asked in a tone that made it obvious that she wasn't in the mood for any nonsense.
"They say that she had a nervous breakdown" answered Pomfrey for the kids since they remained silent. Harry was concernedly looking at Hermione while Ron was too busy glaring at the young Rewanclaw that watched the scene with only mild interest.
"And why did she have 'nervous breakdown' if I may ask" asked Minerva in a disbelieving tone.
Both Gryffindors looked at Hermione at the same time. Harry still had a concerned expression while Ron just looked unsure, which perfectly reflected their current feelings.
"I am waiting Mr Potter" said McGonagall impatiently.
"Professor-" started Harry unsurely. It was obvious to Ron that he didn't know what to say. But before he could form any kind of answer, Hermione saved him by cutting him of.
"Please Professor, it was actually about me and Ginny, the boys and Luna don't have much to do with it" said Hermione, trying to sound as normal as possible. Her voice was firm and she could have fooled others that didn't know her too well but Ron noticed the slight panic and shaking in her voice. Harry obviously noticed the same thing as he opened his mouth to protest but Hermione once again stopped him.
"No Harry, she needs to hear the truth" said Hermione as she avoided looking at any of them. Ron felt himself sinking and the implication of her words. "We had a little misunderstanding Professor and she got a bit carried away."
"Am I right to assume that it was about Mr. Potter?" asked McGonagall with a hint of amusement in her voice. Hermione tried to smile shyly but failed miserably.
"Yes Professor. She got a bit too angry and we both got carried away. I am sorry" said Hermione in a shaking voice.
It was a good thing that both the Professor and the nurse were solely concentrated on Hermione, because Ron was sure that they would have noticed that something was wrong if they gave just one glance at one of the others. Harry's eyes widened in surprise and Ron himself was too shocked to move. Hell, even Luna looked surprised.
"But how did she land here?" pressed McGonagall, looking confused.
"I guess I went too angry and just went over board. She didn't react well and collapsed" answered Hermione looking at her feet.
"Did she try to hex you?" asked McGonagall. Ron realized that she already heard about their fight in Grimmauld Place. She obviously didn't believe that Hermione would attack someone even verbally without a good reason.
"No Professor" said Hermione, shocking her friends once more. "She drew her wand but I disarmed her before she could use it."
"So you are saying that you taunted Miss Weasley so much that she couldn't handle and fell unconscious" asked the Professor still sounding unbelieving and disappointed.
"Yes Professor" said Hermione as tears started forming in her eyes.
"20 points from Gryffindor for lying to your Head of House Miss Granger" said McGonagall. "I don't know why you feel that you can't trust me but I expected better from you. Needless to say, this issue will be properly researched as soon as Miss Weasley wakes up."
With that and after a quick nod from Madam Pomfrey she left the infirmary.
"Well, she seems fine so you don't have to worry. You should just let her rest and she will be fine in the morning."
With that she also went leaving the children behind. As soon as she vanished Hermione broke down in tears. Harry hugged her tightly as she sobbed to his chest.
Ron couldn't look at Harry or Hermione so he decided to do something to relieve himself and turned angrily to the blond Ravenclaw.
"Why did you go to McGonagall?" he practically screamed.
"Why wouldn't I?" asked Luna calmly raising her eyebrow.
"This- this had nothing to do with you" said Ron angrily. He couldn't believe that she could stay this calm which angered him even more. He felt that he just had to wipe the calm of her face. "You are an outsider, an invader."
"Enough" came Hermione's angry voice. Run spun around to see both her and Harry glaring daggers at him. "I asked her to bring Professor McGonagall."
"WHAT? Why did you-?" sputtered Ron.
"Just shut up Ron" said Harry dangerously. "Use your brain for once. Do you really think that this wouldn't be reported if we just kept it silent?"
Ron was taken aback by his words but Hermione just ignored him.
"Thank you Harry. I'll go and wash my face" she said with a half hearted smile. "Are you coming Luna?"
Luna just nodded smiling. She didn't looked least bit of upset at Ron's words and followed Hermione out of the room.
Harry looked after them for a few seconds than set down on one of the empty beds, his back turned to Ron.
"Harry?" said Ron unsurely. He couldn't stop himself from thinking that he was tickling a sleeping dragon. A very dangerous dragon.
"What?" came Harry's voice from the others side.
"Why did she do this mate? I mean Hermione. What will we do now?" asked Ron.
"Why did she do it? I seriously don't know mate" said Harry. "I just respect her decision but that doesn't mean that I like it."
"You can't mean that" said Ron in a pleading tone. He couldn't believe his ears. "It is Ginny we are talking about. She could have landed in Azkaban just because she made a little mistake."
"Little mistake?" said Harry loudly. He stood up and walked towards Ron. "She tried to kill Hermione Ron. I don't know about Hermione but I can't forgive Ginny. If she had actually hurt Hermione, then I would have killed her myself."
They now stood nose to nose. Ron could see the fire in those green eyes and knew that he meant every word.
"She is my sister Harry" said Ron pleadingly.
"And Hermione was your friend" said Harry. They both knew that they were not talking about Ginny about anymore. "What would you have done if she actually hurt her before you failed as a friend? Tell me!"
"I-" started Ron but he didn't have an answer. Deep down, he now that Harry was right and because of this, it hurt even worse. "You guys are my best friends."
"I barely knew anything about friendship but even I know that this is not how you handle your best friends Ron" said Harry.
"I am sorry, I just didn't know what to do?" said the redheaded boy. He was pleading Harry to understand but knew that Harry was still too angry to care.
The door opened again as Hermione entered again. Her eyes were still red and puffy and she barely registered their fight. Harry's eyes instantly softened as he saw her and hugged her again.
"Where is Luna?" asked Harry softly.
"I asked her to go back to her dorm since some people here weren't worthy of her company" said Hermione. "The twins will probably come soon to visit their sister and I am not in the mood to explain anything. Can we please take a walk outside Harry?"
Harry instantly nodded. He took her hand and squeezed it reassuringly. She gave him the smallest of smiles and left the hospital wing, without even looking at their friend.
Sirius Black was nervous. Scratch that, he was frustrated, worried and angry. He was not used to these kind of grown up feelings as he put it. He was the type that usually worried other people. But know Harry, Hermione and Remus all decided to teach him to this annoying habit.
After Harry went to that detention with the good old Snape, neither Harry nor Hermione contacted him. Even worse, none of them answered their mirror no matter how many times he tried. Scenarios were running through his mind since yesterday, each worse than the others. He just hoped that they were still alive so he could kill them himself for worrying him this much. The only reason why he didn't run to the ancient castle was that he knew that he would have heard something if anything actually happened to them. But no matter what Remus said, if he had to wait a few hours longer, he would definitely run to castle. Screw the ministry, he would run towards Voldemort wandless and naked if he believed that it would help his godson.
His best friend was not much better than his godson. After Tonks –Hell, he was scared to use her regular name even in his thoughts- left for a suspicious mission that morning, they contacted Sturgis. After not being able to reach him, they decided that something was definitely wrong. Since they didn't trust Dumbledore and Sirius couldn't leave the headquarters, Remus decided to follow her and make sure that nothing went wrong.
But that was in the morning. Sirius was sure that this mission wouldn't take this long and he was worrying both for his friend and his cousin. Yes, Sirius Black now definitely understood how other people felt and he didn't like it one bit.
After pacing the living room for hours while trying to reach Harry, Hermione or Remus with his mirror and starting to feel tired, he finally heard the wards trigger, which indicated that someone entered the house. He waited impatiently in order to spare himself from hearing his mothers beautiful mothers voice. His eye widened as he saw his best friend as he entered the room, seemingly pulling something unconscious with himself while carrying an unconscious Tonks in his arms.
"What the bloody hell?" brülled Sirius angrily. "What happened to her?"
"Calm down paddy" said Remus grinning. "She is only stunned."
Sirius decided that his best friend finally went mad. He definitely couldn't see anything do grin.
"Why are you grinning Moony?" said Sirius suspiciously. "Why exactly I she stunned?"
Remus went red as he realized what he meant and smacked his head after laying Tonks gently on the sofa.
"Shut up you old dog, this is nothing like this" said Remus still blushing a little.
"Were you attacked?" asked Sirius. He knew that Remus wouldn't do something of that kind but he thought that he at least had to ask.
"Kind of, but it is nothing bad" said Remus. "In fact, it is a great thing."
Sirius knew that he would have found his own current fish impression really funny but he still couldn't see anything that could be considered great.
"Stop trying to sound dramatic and spit it out or I'll start making jokes about your time of the month again" said Sirius. The werewolf glared at him for just a few seconds before smiling again.
"If you insist" he said overdramatically. He walked towards the door again and put his hand on something that was obviously invisible. "Let me introduce you an old friend. The legendary Death Eater and the fourth and last member of the marauder:" He suddenly pulled the invisibility cloak, revealing a balding, small, unconscious man. "Peter Pettigrew, also knows as Wormtail."
They were walking around the lake of Hogwarts while Harry was still trying to figure out how to approach Hermione.
Harry knew that she was upset but couldn't find any words to make her feel better. He himself was still too angry and didn't want to make her feel worse. Seeing his usual calm and strong girlfriend this lost made him feel angry and useless and he hated that feeling.
"Why?" Hermione asked suddenly. It was so sudden that Harry first thought that he just imagined it. "I just don't understand why she would do something like this. why is she acting like this? İt can't be my fault, can it?"
"No" said Harry firmly. "I don't know why she did this but it wasn't your fault. You can't start blaming yourself."
"I know" said Hermione sighing and snuggled closer to him.
"Can I ask you a question Hermione?" asked Harry. She nodded. "Why did you lie to McGonagall?"
"I am not sure myself" she answered. "I guess I still don't want to believe that she would actually try to kill me. Am I angry at her. No, I am bloody furious. I didn't forgive her and I probably never forget this but Azkaban is just too much. Did you ever make a research about the killing curse?"
Harry was surprised at her sudden question and shook his head negatively.
"Well, I did" said Hermione, which made Harry smile fondly. "I thought that it would be good to know and researched about the three unforgivables in Black library. The killing curse, while the worst of the three, is also the most interesting one."
"What do you mean?" asked Harry. He actually didn't found anything interesting about this topic but knew that it must be something important.
"Well, I already told you that all wizards and witches have a magical core. Every spell we use drains a part of the magic in our core. You could make your spells stronger depending how large your core is. It also keeps yourself alive, which also made me think that even muggles must have a magical core, although definitely smaller than wizards and witches but this is a different topic."
"Interesting" said Harry, not sure what she wanted to say but he was already used to it and liked this side of Hermione. "But what does it have to do with the killing curse?"
"Well, the killing curse works by stopping every activity in someone's body and destroying the magical core. There is also the fact that there is no defense against the curse, you already know that. This means that it is a really powerful curse and must require a lot of power."
"And?" asked Harry, encouraging her to continue.
"Well, using such a strong curse must normally mean that you must have a really strong core right? It is logical, but actually wrong" said Hermione.
"Why? I mean, that would explain Ginny and we know that Voldemort is really strong so it is probably not a problem for him" said Harry.
"Voldemort is not the only one that used that curse Harry" said Hermione patiently. Her eyes were shining now just like they always did when she found someone to share something she read. "All Death Eaters use that curse. You saw Pettigrew using it last year and he is a really weak wizard."
"Maybe he is stronger than we gave him credit for" said Harry. "I mean, he managed to become an animagus after all."
"Harry we both saw the curse he casted on Ron after we left Shrieking Shack, right?" said Hermione. "Madam Pomfrey said that it could have done much more damage if it was cast properly and there was no reason for Pettigrew to not do it properly, besides being a weakling."
"Okay, fair enough. Then how did he manage to use the killing curse?" asked Harry. Hermione smiled.
"I found a book that explained how the killing curse works. No matter how strong the curse is, its biggest strength is the way it is used. Or maybe biggest weakness, depends on how you look at it."
"Hermione, please, there are stupid people here, a little simpler would be nice" said Harry. She blushed.
"You are not stupid, you are not giving yourself enough credit. " protested Hermione. Harry just smiled so Hermione continued.
"While all spells use the Magical core of the caster, the killing curse uses his or her emotions. If you are using the curse on a human, a sentient being, you have to feel actual dislike, no, hate for your target for the spell to actually work. It doesn't work the same way with animals, where you still use your core. Just a little bit of hesitation and the curse wouldn't work."
"So, it is actually perfect for Voldemort" said Harry, finally starting to understand.
"Yes. You are a really strong wizard but I doubt that you could ever cast that spell, even at Voldemort himself."
"So you think this is what happened with Ginny?" asked Harry concernedly.
"Yes, I am positive" said Hermione. "We should be realistic, even the fact that she tried to use that curse is unforgivable, but the fact that she couldn't cast the curse means that she simply didn't hate me enough and there was still a part of my friend there."
"But that doesn't change the fact that she tried it" protested Harry. He didn't want to upset her but couldn't let her lie to herself anymore.
"I know, it is complicated. I don't know what to think but I know that I am really pissed of at the moment. Still, I don't think she is really well in mind. She went through a lot, didn't she?" asked Hermione.
"Well she did. I mean there is her long time obsession with me alongside the issue with the Chamber- Hermione, that's it. Why didn't we think about it before" screamed Harry suddenly. Hermione jumped at his sudden outburst.
"What?" she asked.
"She was possessed by the strongest dark wizard of the world when she was only eleven. Did she ever go to St. Mungo's for it?" said Harry. Hermione's eyes widened in understanding.
"No, she didn't" said Hermione slowly. "You are right. It was probably more traumatic than we thought and she just continued with her life afterwards. She even told me stories about it. How you saved her life like a knight in shining armor."
"But why didn't her parents bring her to St. Mungo's?" asked Harry. "For all her faults, I doubt Molly would leave that issue be so easily. Mr. Weasley definitely wouldn't."
"Did you tell any of them what actually happened to Ginny?" asked Hermione.
"Not directly, but I told Dumbledore." said Harry. "Wait, do you think that he didn't even TELL them everything?"
"He most likely didn't" said Hermione angrily. "He probably didn't want anyone to investigate the matter with the chamber or maybe he was scared that someone would find out about the horcrux. So he decided to sacrifice a little girls sanity to protect his secrets."
"That bastard" growled Harry. "I should have talked with Ginny about it, damn it."
"Don't blame yourself Harry, it is not our fault" said Hermione firmly. Harry was amazed how quick she managed to recover herself. "We did make a mistake by not telling it to the Weasley's but we will correct this soon."
"We should also tell McGonagall so Dumbledore won't be able to intervene" said Harry.
"We should also tell to Sirius and Remus" said Hermione and they both suddenly stopped and looked at each other.
"Oh shit" said Harry and Hermione just nodded in agreement.
"Sirius Black" said Harry unsurely.
They were once again in one of the empty classrooms with privacy charms firmly in place and Harry had his mirror in his hand.
For once, they didn't have to wait for Sirius to answer. In fact barely a second after Harry said his name, his godfathers red face appeared in the mirror.
"Hi Sirius" said both Harry and Hermione nervously at the same time. That was as far as they got as Sirius started to scream at them.
"WHAT THE BLOODY HELL DID YOU THINK SCARING ME LIKE THAT-" started Sirius his rant and the kids just listened to it, knowing that they were guilty.
After a few minutes, Remus joined Sirius only to join his him at his rant and add a few words of his own. Twenty minutes passed until Harry finally decided to stop them.
"Guys, you do know that we have to go soon right?" said Harry unsurely. They both stopped their rant and looked at him surprised.
"Where is Hermione?" asked Sirius.
"She just went to make sure that the privacy charms are still in place after your endless rant" said Harry frowning. "Don't worry, she still heard every word, right Hermione?"
"Unfortunately yes." said Hermione as she sat down next to him.
"Now tell us everything" said Sirius.
"What everything?" asked Harry innocently.
"Don't play with me pup" grumbled Sirius.
"Let's make a deal. You tell us what happened there and we will tell you what happened here and believe me, it will be worth it." said Remus.
"What happened?" asked Hermione.
"No, first you two" said Sirius. "Start with your detention with Professor Snivellus."
"Fine" said Harry and they started telling them everything. It took longer than he thought since they constantly broke him off, to express their shock at Snape's behavior, to tease them about their sleeping habit, to express their disappointment about Ron and finally to express their anger at Ginny's attempt to kill Hermione. Hermione felt touched that they were this upset on her behalf.
"Why didn't you tell Minnie what she did?" asked Sirius angrily.
"Because it would ruin her life" said Hermione.
"She deserved that" grumbled Sirius. He looked really upset and Remus was not much better.
"She definitely didn't deserve your pity" said the werewolf.
"Thank you guys, but we don't think that it was entirely her fault." said Hermione. After they received the usual confused looks form both adults, Hermione explained her theory about the killing curse and the Chamber of Secrets.
"Besides I only said that we don't want her to go to Azkaban, that doesn't mean that I will leave her unpunished" said Hermione with a dark grin.
"Okay, I understand but I still say-" started Sirius.
"Anyway" said Harry loudly cutting him of. He didn't want them to upset Hermione again. "Didn't you say that you also have some news for us?"
"Oh, we have a little guest tonight" said Remus with a dark grin. He finally decided to take a break from licking Voldemort's feet and visit his old friends. Say hello to our dear friend Wormtail."
Harry and Hermione stared at the unconscious and bound form of the Death Eater for ten seconds before starting to grin.
"How did you get to him?" asked Harry excitedly.
"This is a story for another time pup" said Sirius grinning.
"It is not fair, we told you everything" said Hermione.
"It would take too much time" said Remus. "We will tell you everything tomorrow."
"Fine" pouted Harry. "At least tell me what you will do with him."
"I voted for beating him to death but Moony was against it" said Sirius with mock glare.
"Because I have actually common sense, as opposed to this street dog" said Remus. "Morning, I will deliver this package to Madam Bones in the ministry to free an ungrateful best friend of mine."
Hermione shrieked happily and hugged Harry while Harry grinned like mad and hugged her back.
"This is great" said Harry.
"It definitely is" said Sirius grinning happily.
"What will be the first thing you will do as a free man?" asked Hermione.
"Well, first think I will do is visit a certain boarding school and kill my godson and his overly brilliant girlfriend for worrying me that much."
None of them took his threat seriously, no matter how much he insisted that he actually meant it.
I know that not much happened in this chapter but I just had to explain a few things. This chapter was actually much longer but I had to split it because it was simply too long. The next chapter is nearly finished so I hope to update this in a week.
Next Chapter, thing will get a little faster. This was chapter 14 and I am still at first week of Hogwarts, so things will get quicker after chapter 15.
You might think that I am not focusing at Harry enough. Don't worry, he will get his spot light, this story has two main characters but I don't want to forget any of my characters.
They didn't stop being friends with Ron, in case anyone gets confused. He is not a bad friend in this story, you will see it soon so don't worry. I will also explain why Hermione feels this strongly about the situation, but let me tell you this, she definitely didn't forgive Ginny. Feel free to guess.
I want to hear your opinions, especially about my portrayal of the characters.
Thank you for reading. Please review, it really helps.