Harry and Hermione leave England.
"I have a passport because...I'm leaving." Even though Hermione should have been expecting this answer -- after all, what can you do with a passport other than travel -- she was still surprised.
"You're leaving? Where? Why?" she asked, shocked.
"Umm..." Harry dug a plane ticket out of his pocket and looked at the destination printed on it. "France, actually. And as for why, you might want to sit down." Hermione obediently flopped down on the bed, with Harry sitting beside her. "Do you remember the prophecy from the Department of Mysteries?" he asked.
"Yes, the one the Death Eaters were after," Hermione said. "It broke, right?"
"It broke, but it was only a copy," Harry said. "Dumbledore told me the real prophecy." Then he leaned over and whispered the prophecy into her ear. Her eyes widened and her hand covered her mouth.
"Oh my God, Harry..." she gasped. Then she flung herself onto him, crushing him in a hug. "I'm so sorry...." Harry patted her on the back comfortingly.
"Don't be," he whispered into her ear. She released him and waited as he caught his breath before continuing. "But now you know why I have to leave."
"No, Harry, I don't," Hermione disagreed, shaking her head. Harry sighed.
"I've had a lot of time to think about this, Hermione. Dumbledore knew since before I was born that I would have to face Voldemort eventually. He had fifteen years to train me, to prepare me for that final battle, but instead he left me at the Dursleys', and condemned me to ten years of hell on Earth. If they had trained me, maybe Cedric and Sirius would still be alive."
"Harry, you can't keep blaming yourself for their deaths," Hermione said. "There was nothing you could have done." Harry scoffed.
"Maybe. Maybe not. The fact remains, Dumbledore failed to prepare me when he knew I would need it, and I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of people that I care about dying around me while I bury my head in the sand waiting for the Order to decide when I'm old enough to begin training. So I need to leave, I need to train on my own, away from Dumbledore's control. I need to learn things I could never learn in Hogwarts...maybe things I shouldn't." Hermione gently cupped his cheek with her hand.
"Harry, you know that I'm here for you. Ron is too." Harry shook his head.
"Not Ron. Not this time." Hermione frowned. "Think about it Hermione, other than the chess game in first year and his fighting in the Department of Mysteries, Ron hasn't really been there. He wasn't there when I fought the basilisk, he wasn't there when we rescued Sirius and Buckbeak, and...I don't think I can really rely on him. Not after his jealousy back in fourth year." Harry took a deep breath and sighed. "But you, you've always been there. You solved the riddle for the potions. You figured out the basilisk. You helped me rescue Sirius and Buckbeak. You stood by me when the whole school didn't during the Triwizard tournament. And, despite my mood swings, you were with me all last year. I realize now that, I need you, more than I could ever need Ron. And that brings me to the most painful part of my plan." Harry closed his eyes, taking a deep breath, but not saying anything.
"Harry?" Hermione asked, softly caressing his cheek. "You know that I would walk the ends of the Earth for you. Please, tell me."
"I know, Hermione, and part of me hates myself for asking you this, but another part of me says that it's necessary. The truth is I need you to come with me. I want you to come with me. But...it hurts me to ask you to abandon everybody you've ever known and loved for my selfish endeavor." Hermione pulled him into a soft, gentle hug.
"Like I said, Harry, I would walk the ends of the Earth for you. Wherever you go, I'll follow. I'll help you for as long as it takes. I don't think I could live with myself being safe at Hogwarts while you’re out gallivanting through some foreign country, doing God knows what." Harry chuckled softly at this.
"But what about Hogwarts?" Hermione chuckled to herself.
"Hogwarts is important, but it's nothing compared to your safety."
"Your parents?" Hermione paused at this.
"It'll hurt to leave them, but I know that if I don't help you, and you fail to kill Voldemort -- which you won't! -- then it wouldn't really matter now, would it? I'm with you, Harry. You can count on me." Harry then chuckled to himself.
"I guess it's a good thing I got that second ticket then, isn't it?" he asked slyly, producing a second plane ticket. Hermione grinned and gently plucked it from his hand.
"What do I have to do?"
"I ordered two special trunks for us; they'll be ready in four days. Our flight lives three days after that. I need you to pack everything. Books, clothes, mementos, everything. I have a feeling we won't be returning for a long time." Hermione nodded.
"You can count on me, Harry." Harry looked at his watch. They had been talking for close to an hour now.
"I guess we better join the crowd, or else they'll think we've been doing something other than talking," he said, waggling his eyebrows. Hermione swatted him on the shoulder.
"Prat." Hermione removed the privacy charm and opened the door. She was about to walk out when Harry grabbed the scruff of her shirt. Putting a finger to his lips, he pointed to two flesh-colored strings on the floor. Bending down and gently picking them up, he inhaled deeply and yelled, "HEY GUYS!" into them, resulting in a boy and girl screaming in pain downstairs. Harry chuckled to himself while Hermione glared, although she was fighting to keep a smile off her face as well.
When they walked downstairs, they saw Ron and Ginny nursing their ringing ears.
"Bloody hell, mate, what'd you do that for?" Ron groaned.
"For trying to eavesdrop on us, Ron," Harry said flatly.
"We were just trying to figure out what was so important that it had to be private," Ginny groaned. Harry frowned.
"If it was private, then you really had no business trying to find out, did you?"
"Geez, Harry, we're sorry. What's gotten into you?" Ron said. Harry gave Ron a dark look.
"Enlightening you to the fact that I'm allowed to have secrets, just like everybody else." No one said anything more after that.
Four days passed by quickly, and at two thirty in the morning on the fifth day, Harry put on his clothes and snuck out of his room, Ron snoring loudly. Creeping across to where the girls were sleeping, he gently rapped his fingernails on the door. The door opened just enough for Hermione to slink out.
"Thanks," Hermione whispered. "Ginny snores like her brother." Repressing a snort, they quietly snuck down the stairs and out the door. They crept down the neighborhood until they were a good half mile away from 12 Grimmauld Place. Harry raised his wand, and with a loud bang, the violently purple Knight Bus rolled into view.
"Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard," the gangly, pimple-faced conductor read dully off a cue card. "My name is Stan Shunpike and I'll be -- Neville! How've you been mate?" Harry shrugged.
"I've been okay. Diagon Alley, and could you be quiet please?" Harry dropped a single gold Galleon into Stan's open hand. "Keep the change."
"Diagon Alley, Ernie. And uh, shhhh..." Stan hissed. Nodding, the old scraggly bus driver pulled a lever and the vehicle lurched with a not quite as loud bang. Less than thirty seconds later, they had reached their destination. Thanking Stan, the two teenagers climbed out of the bus and walked into the Leaky Cauldron. As soon as they entered the pub, the hunchback Tom lumbered in wearing a blue robe and nightcap.
"How can I help you two?" Tom asked, yawning loudly.
"We're just poking into Diagon Alley real quick, Tom, go back to bed." Nodding, Tom yawned again and limped back to his flat behind the bar. After opening the brick wall to Diagon Alley, the made a beeline for Trenton's Trunks for All Occasions.
When they entered the shop, Trenton walked in wearing a white night robe.
"Well, Mister Potter, I wasn't expecting you quite so early," the old man said, yawning widely. "I assume you're here for your trunks?" When Harry nodded, Trenton flicked his wand and levitated two trunks onto the desk. They were both black with a gold trim, and above the turning combination lock were five tabs.
"Both are equipped with anti-summoning, anti-unlocking, and anti-theft charms. You can set the combination by tapping the dial with your wand once when it's on the desired number. If you forget your combination, you can reset it by turning it to zero and tapping the dial three times. Each tab represents a different compartment, and if more than one tab is open at once, it'll open the one closest to the right. Each compartment contains a seven-by-seven meter square room. To shrink it, tap the top twice with your wand. To re-enlarge it, tap it once. Now, I believe it was six hundred Galleons, Mister Potter." Hermione gasped incredulously at the man.
"Six hundred Galleons?! Harry, that's outrageous! You shouldn't pay any more than five!" she hissed, outraged. Harry cringed slightly.
"It was five hundred. I added an extra hundred to get it done quicker, or else it would have taken weeks to get them done." Then he turned to Trenton. "Umm, I didn't bring my money with me. Is there an easier way to pay without going to Gringotts and hauling a sack full of gold?" Trenton nodded.
"Give me a moment, and I'll get it right for you." The old man dove into the back of the store and came back a minute later with a small black booklet and a quill. "A checkbook. Just write the amount here," Trenton indicated, and Harry wrote down 600g, "the date here," Harry wrote down the date, "and sign here," Harry signed on the dotted line, "and it is officially paid for. Now all I have to do is go to Gringotts tomorrow and cash this. And here are two gold chains to wear your shrunken trunks like a necklace, free of charge," Trenton added, pulling two long gold chains out of his pocket and clipping them around one handle of the trunk.
"Thanks, Trenton," Harry said as he and Hermione shrunk their trunks and stuffed them into their pockets.
"Always a pleasure doing business with you, Mister Potter."
"I need to make a stop at Gringotts," Harry said as they exited the shop. When they went to the wizarding bank, only a few Goblins were around. Hermione whispered advice into Harry's ear as they patiently waited until the head Goblin noticed them.
"Well, what do you want? I don't have all night!" Harry stepped forward.
"Hello, sir, I was wondering if it was possible for bank transactions to occur without the knowledge of...unnecessary persons knowing about it." The Goblin frowned.
"I'm planning to go abroad for a while, and I would rather people not know where I am. I was wondering if there was a way you could keep any withdrawals I happen to make a secret." The Goblin considered this for a moment.
"I can place you on the confidentiality list, but it will cost you."
"How much?" Harry asked.
"Three Galleons a month," the Goblin said.
"Deal." Nodding, the Goblin produced a scroll, wrote something down on it, and presented it to Harry.
"Sign on the dotted line, and the deal will be complete." After signing the document, the Goblin rolled it up and snapped his fingers, making it disappear.
"Thank you sir, and may your gold flow freely," Harry said, bowing. The Goblin grinned toothily.
"And may yours flow as well, Mister Potter." Harry and Hermione quickly retreated out of the bank.
"Thanks for the tips," Harry said as soon as they were out.
"No problem, Harry." They summoned the Knight Bus, rode back to Grimmauld Place, snuck back upstairs, changed back into their night clothes, and went back to sleep...eventually.
The next three days were stretched Harry and Hermione's sneaking skills to the limit. During the day they pretended everything was normal, but in the wee hours of the morning, they would sneak out and place books and other necessaries in their trunks. Finally, the day came where they would leave England indefinitely. The rode the Knight Bus half a mile from Heathrow airport, and Harry whispered, "Dobby!" causing the small house elf to appear.
"Harry Potter called Dobby!" the house elf squeaked, only to be hastily shushed by Harry and Hermione.
"Dobby, we won't be in England for a while, so when everybody wakes up, can you deliver these letters to the people addressed to them please?" Harry whispered, producing a small bundle of letters out of his jacket pocket. "And you cannot tell anyone where we were. Anyone." Dobby nodded, his large ears flapping.
"You can count on Dobby, Harry Potter sir!" Harry handed Dobby the letters, but before he could disappear, Hermione stopped him.
"Dobby, could you respond if a Muggle calls you?" she asked. Dobby furrowed his brow in concentration, and then nodded his head.
"If Dobby knows who is calling him, then yes," the house elf confirmed.
"Could you watch over my parents, and take them to either the Order headquarters or Hogwarts if they're in danger?" Hermione asked, biting her lip in nervousness. "Discreetly of course; Muggles aren't exactly used to seeing house elves." Dobby nodded his head vigorously, his ears flapping to and fro before standing as straight as he could.
"You can count on Dobby, Miss!" he said confidently before popping away. As the house elf disappeared, Harry sighed to himself.
"Goodbye, England," he said grimly as they walked into the airport to check in for their flight to France.
Later that morning, Remus Lupin shuffled into the kitchen and poured himself a cup of morning coffee. While he was enjoying his caffeine-induced stupor, Dobby popped into the kitchen.
"Harry Potter wishes for Dobby to give you this letter, sir," Dobby said, holding out an envelope. As soon as Remus took it, Dobby disappeared again. Strange, Remus thought. Harry's right here, why would he be sending me a letter? Remus tore open the letter and started reading it, nearly dropping his coffee mug in the process.
Dumbledore had just woken up and was ready to begin a new day when Dobby popped into his office.
"Oh, hello, Dobby. How can I help you today?"
"Harry Potter wishes for Dobby to deliver this letter, Professor Dumbledore, sir," the house elf said. As soon as Dumbledore took the letter, Dobby disappeared again. Curious, Dumbledore thought. Very curious. Dumbledore had broken the seal and was just about to read it when his fireplace flared up. Dumbledore rushed to the fireplace to see Remus sticking his head through the floo.
"Can I help you, Remus?" he asked softly.
"Harry's gone!" Remus yelled, panicked. Dumbledore gasped in surprise.
"Dobby gave me a letter from Harry a few minutes ago. It said that he's gone and he'll be back someday. Albus, what's going on?" Dumbledore glanced back at his desk, where Harry's unread letter laid.
"One moment, Remus," Dumbledore said, before going back to his desk and reading the letter. In the middle of the page, was one word.
Denise Granger stirred from her sleep and slid from under her husband's arm before slipping on a robe and shuffling to the kitchen to prepare the morning tea when a strange little creature dressed in mismatched clothes popped into her kitchen, startling her.
"Is you Miss Grangy's mother?" Dobby asked politely. Denise clutched her heart and gulped nervously at the odd house elf.
"Y-yes, I'm Hermione's mother," she stammered quietly. Nodding, Dobby pulled a letter out of his shirt and handed it to Denise, who took it hesitantly. Bowing respectfully, Dobby popped out again, leaving Denise alone in the kitchen. She looked at the front of the envelope, her name and her husband's written in the familiar neat handwriting of her daughter. Frowning in confusion, she opened the envelope and read the letter. When she finished, she was close to collapsing from shock. Instead, she turned off the stovetop and ran back to the master bedroom, shaking her husband awake.
"Where's the fire?" Jonathan Granger mumbled groggily, displeased with being woken up so early.
"Read this," Denise demanded, holding out the letter and looking close to tears. Frowning at what would make his wife so affected, he took the parchment and read its contents, his jaw going slack as he read the words.
Dear Mom and Dad,
By the time you get this, I'll be out of the United Kingdom. Unfortunately I cannot give you a full detailed explanation as I normally do for security reasons, but I will try to tell you all that I can.
I recently learned of a prophecy saying that Harry will have to defeat Voldemort, the terrorist that I told you about, but our Headmaster has refused to do anything about it, so Harry decided to leave Professor Dumbledore's control and study on his own, and I decided to follow him.
I understand if you're upset with me, but this is for the best. Harry is my first and best friend, and I would do anything to keep him safe. Don't think that this was an easy decision -- it wasn't -- but if Harry doesn't succeed, then we're all doomed anyway.
I have asked Dobby (the being that gave you this letter) to watch over you discreetly and to take you to either Hogwarts or the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix should you be in danger.
I may not see you for a long time from now, and I can only hope that one day you will be able to forgive me for this. No matter what, always know that I love you, and will always be thinking about you.
Love, your daughter,
Jonathan gaped blankly at the parchment, letting it numbly slip from his fingers before he took his wife into his arms and they sobbed into each others' shoulders, weeping over the disappearance of their only child.
Meanwhile, in a magical jewelry shop in Paris, Harry hummed to himself as he admired the various gems and jewels, while Hermione talked to the shopkeeper in fluent French. Harry sighed to himself. France was an interesting place, but the language barrier made things rather difficult. Eventually, Hermione tapped Harry on the shoulder.
"So what?" Harry asked. Hermione grimaced.
"Well, there's a way to get around your little language problem," Hermione said. "But there's a catch." Harry sighed.
"What is it?"
"You'll have to get your ear pierced." Harry rolled his eyes.
"Oh, joy." Ten minutes later, Harry and Hermione walked out of the shop, Harry rubbing his ear in pain, a small gold hoop with a half-carat ruby dangling from his left earlobe. His ear hurt, but now at least he could hear in perfect English.
Meanwhile, in one of the towers of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Divination professor Sybil Trylawney was enjoying a cup of tea when she took a shuddering gasp, dropping her tea cup.
"As the dog star fades, the Chosen One shall fall from the Light.
From the ashes of his demise, shall rise two fallen angels.
From the forgotten realms of time, the Lost Line shall be renewed.
Arbiters of justice, avatars of Death, they shall smite the Darkness.
They shall cut off the head of the serpent, and combat against Evil forever and ever.
From the ashes of the Chosen One, shall rise Death's hunters." With a hacking cough, Trelawney rubbed her throat and looked around curiously.
"Curious," she gasped hoarsely. "This is the third time I've had a strange sore throat. Perhaps it is time I use a different brand of tea."
Well, there you go. The third chapter. Enjoy.
The idea for the translator earring was from Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series.
I hope you liked my prophecy.