Hermione's Revelation leads to betrayal, and a new home for three friends!
Disclaimer: I own nothing of The Harry Potter stories series or events, other than this idea I had. Events directly following the final battle in DH. Thanks to Herman Tmbleweed, AKA Vern Trumbley for the Beta!
Chapter 2: The Revelation, The Betrayal, and a New Home!
Ottery-St.Catchpole: The Lovegood Summer Cottage
If anyone would have looked at it passing by, the home seemed stuck between the 19th and 20th centuries. The outside looked much like a small home in the country would. Wooden boards making up its walls with wood framed windows and a thatched roof. Smoke coming out of a stone Chimney yet what seemed like electric light coming from inside. Yet it was not that at all.
The bungalow was small only about 800 square feet with two bedrooms in back, and a single bathroom between the two. It had a living room encompassing the center of the house, with a small kitchen to the left, and a window on all of the remaining outside walls. Opposite the Kitchen was one window where you could see a large pond with a small pier which went out about 20 feet.
But if anyone who could see the magic that surrounded the home, they would see the layer upon layer of magic set down by all its previous tenants. Almost 300 years And it so happens it current owner just happened to pop in.
Luna quietly apparated to her cottage's front walks, and heard noise coming from the open window of the small kitchen. The odd girl entered quietly slipped off her flats newt to another pair of clearly male shoes, and walked barefoot through the living room to the kitchen where she found Harry making a small meal for them both. It seemed that things were well in hand but Luna was Luna
"Harry did you find everything you need, or did the nerfheadders take anything from you?" asked Luna with an appraising eye.
He smiled at her odd question. "No, nothing bothered me Luna, and I have our meal almost ready." She nodded but saw though his eyes how tired he was. Luna quietly assisted him as he finished up his tasks and informed him that another might be joining them sooner than expected.
"Hermione?" Asked Harry, Luna looked at him sighed and nodded. Harry took the apron he was using off and with Luna's help set the table for three, and then put a warming charm on the finished dishes. He then took her hand and both walked to the living room where he sat with her on one of two old handmade couches which faced each other with a fireplace between them on the far wall.
As they sat Harry ran his hand through his mop of hair trying to discern what he could ask his odd friend about the situation between Ron and Hermione. Luna for her part calmly sat and dreamily looked at Harry's face as he showed plainly the emotions he was cycling through. She smiled when he finally look at her. "Luna, can you at least give me a hint about what Ron has done so I can be a bit more prepared so when Hermione shows up, I can help her through this."
Luna nodded and said; "Ronald did something that so disturbed the bellywops that it has changed his relationship with Hermione, you and all of us." That alone was a clear revelation to Harry, Ron had done it again, but this time there was no saving him from himself. Harry sighed. She then took his hand and squeezed it.
"She will need you Harry to be her friend, her sounding board, her shoulder to cry on, and I will be here to help you both. Is that alright with you?" He closed his eyes and nodded. even with her rather unique behavior, Harry knew Luna cared about him and her friends. Well he got an answer... sort of. But it least he had something that distracted him from his own issues. And helping Hermione was a good way to avoid them.
Little did he know that Luna was already planning to enlist Hermione to help her with Harry's problems and vice-versa. For all her odd thinking she was still a Ravenclaw for Merlin's sake.
And with the food ready they sat and waited, Luna knowing Hermione would be signaling her with her Butter Beer cap soon, and Harry with worry building about his friends future as well as his own.
Hogwarts Great Hall:
Hermione was noticing it, the concerned looks and the quiet conversations which seemed to be about her. The Wesley's were keeping something from her and even with her questioning them they simply said that it was nothing and hinted that it would all become clear once Ron woke up. 'What is so bad that they have to keep mum about it' She said to herself as she sat waiting for the youngest male Weasley to awaken. Luckily for her a few minutes later he did just that.
But then Madam Pomfrey shooed them all away and took Ron to be examined. As they waited Hermione evaluated the family, Ginny was sleeping on Neville's shoulder that relationship was new to her well at least since they returned. Harry seemed to accept it at least from what she saw. But who was she to judge, Her own Relationship with the patient being examined was not quite right so with that thought filed for later she moved on.
Molly and Arthur were subdued, quite obviously with the death of their son Fred in the final battle but something else also seemed to preoccupy them. When she met their eyes then seemed concerned even a little sad then smiled nodding their heads to say to her that it was alright. Hermione did the same and continued her visual survey.
Bill and Fleur were keeping an eye on a depressed George, and Hermione understood that clearly. Though once she caught Fleur look sadly at her as though she knew what was going on. But otherwise Fleur focused solely on a distraught George.
She also knew Charlie was with the Malfoys, sans Lucius who was in a Ministry cell. The Order had them in a safe house until Lucius's trial. He had given himself up so Draco and Narcissa could stay free.
As she sat waiting she noticed Molly looking at the school clock every few minutes and then back to where Ron was being examined at the back of the Great hall behind conjured curtains." Molly, why are you looking at the clock?" Hermione asked her patience wearing thin.
"Oh, dear don't you worry about it I just am thinking ahead so when Ron comes out and with hopefully Madam Pomfery allowing it I can take him, and you home of course." She smiled at Hermione though it didn't reach her eyes. They told her a completely different story. They showed her that the Weasley' Matriarch was apprehensive... and sad.
'What the Hell is going on?' Hermione asked herself.
Later after Ron was cleared and released, The red-headed family and Hermione made their way down to the schools gate. She felt a strained atmosphere around her. It was a though the Weasley's didn't want her to go with them, then with a nod from Molly, Ron stopped and took Hermione aside.
"Hermione dear Ronald has something to tell you and we will see you when you arrive." She then paused a moment and took Hermione's hands. And Dear, Please whatever happens, know we will always love you and our door is always open to you." With a quick squeeze she let her hands go, smiled as Mrs. Weasley and the rest of the family apparated away leaving an angry and confused Hermione Granger, and a sullen and sad Ronald Weasley.
Hermione knew this was it, whatever was going on had to do with Ron and Molly, by leaving them there at the front of the gate of Hogwarts forced him to tell her.
There in her classic Arms akimbo pose, Hermione simply asked, "Well?"
Seemingly shaking in place, rubbing his hands to gather then through his hair Ron answered, "Humm, Herms..."
"YOU KNOW NOT TO CALL ME THAT! NOW WHAT IN MERLIN'S NAME IS GOING ON RONALD BILLUS!" Hermione face was redder than even the faulted color of the Weasley clan.
"ALL RIGHT, I'LL TELL YOU! But not with you, or me yelling at each other, right?" Hermione sighed, nodded and he took her hand, guiding her to a set of stone benches off to the side of the entrance. Ron blew out a breath trying to gather his thoughts while Hermione silently fumed already thinking various scenarios as to what Ron had done. He looked up and started quickly talking not even giving her a chance to interrupt.
"Back during the Houcrux hunt, when I left I went to the one place I knew I would be safe and I could get a lead on where you two might have gone, my brother Bill's place." Hermione Nodded and tried to ask something, but Ronald plowed on. "Wait Hermione I have to get this out just save all that till I'm done right?" With a huff she nodded and crossed her arms as he went on.
"Well as you know Bill and Fleur housed those that were being hunted by the Snatchers, the DE's and our dutiful Ministry," Ron said snidely," but they were sending them to the continent Where they could then be sent to the Americas or Australia." Hermione nodded as he continued.
"Well a few Purebloods and half-blood's helped. Two were Susan and Hannah." Hermione moved her hand to tell Ron to continue. " I stayed there about 5 weeks and as I worked with them," Ron paused and looked at Her eyes with guilt, "I ... became close to one of them."
Hermione swiftly raised her hand stopping Ron. A Shocked look on her face, then she took a shuddering breath. after a few moments as Ron was waiting for her to calm down she slowly nodded and a now sadly continued.
" Sue was having a hard time of it, leading her life as a pureblood under the watchful eye of the ministry at school, and of course living at Bill's while sneaking off to help us and the refugees. I helped her as much as I could, do what I could and slowly we became... close."
Hermione Granger was finding breathing difficult, already guessing where this was leading. But being Gryffindor, she soldiered on and asked simply, "How close Ron?"
Ron stood up holding Hermione's hand. He squeezed it then let go. After a few more tense moments of silence he finally spoke, "She's at the Borrow Hermione, Been there since we came back from the hunt. When my brother had to move as she had no family and... "
"Ronald... how close? Answer me please!" quietly crying, Hermione Was slowly crumbling from within her soul shattering as each second passed.
Ronald seeing what his words were doing to his best friend stumbled with his words not making any real sense till a "BANG" from Hermione's wand held above her startled him.
"Sue's having my baby!" he then looked in horror as he realized what he finally blurted out.
Silence reigned as Ron looked at his former love. Hermione had a perplexed look on her face and stood still in front of Ron for a full 10 seconds. Then, like a marionette cut by its strings, she collapsed with a great wail, sobbing and crying hysterically. saying 'no' over and over again.
Ronald stood like a statue, not really knowing what to do until a soft pop was heard above Hermione's now quieter sobbing, and standing a few feet from him was one Luna Lovegood.
As she walked towards the mess that was Hermione Granger, Luna commented out loud." Well Ronald I see you told Hermione the truth about you and Susan. though I think you should have taken a little more understanding and care on how to talk to a girl."
Luna took in the disturbing scene before her. Ron standing there like a dufus, while Hermione was on the ground clearly having a breakdown. She silently walked over and without any warning slugged Ron in the nose breaking it and leaving him now a heap on the ground holding his hand to his face trying to stem the blood now flowing down his shirt & robes further dirtying them. A swift kick in the gut left Ronald Bilius Weasley in a fetal position, gasping for air, in heavy pain with blood still dripping from his nose.
Satisfied with what she had done and knowing it would have been a very muggle response that Ron wouldn't have thought of, Luna turned towards her fallen friend.
Luna gave Ron a piercing gaze as she helped Hermione up. "Ronald, if you had done your best 5 month ago, you would not be in the situation you're now in." The Ravenclaw student then frowned at his shocked look. "I do hope that with Susan you will think before doing, and saying anything Ronald."
Luna seemed to think a bit then said; "I do hope you realize how you've not only hurt Hermione, but Harry, and me as well." She looked intently at Ron as a few tears started to bubble at the side of her eyes. "I cared for you for quite a long time Ronald, even back to when we were very young. But I set that aside as first my mother died, and my father threw himself into the Quibbler, and left me to my own designs." She took a quick breath as a now silently crying Hermione was also listening.
"I also stepped back, as Harry did when we realized you had feelings for Hermione. Yet you seemed not to really want her as a girlfriend, she was more to you like what do the muggles call it, oh yes 'friends with benefits'."
Now Ron was stuttering as Hermione became more sullen as Luna continued. "Luckily you two didn't get too far for you to hopefully stay friends, but that is for a later time." She turned to a now sadly depressed Hermione." Let's go to Harry and talk, I'm sure the nargles will stay away now that I spread garlic around the house." She smiled and with one hand on Hermione, one on her trunk she apparated leaving a confused, angry, and sad Ronald Weasley. About 5 minutes later he apparated to the Burrow to face his future will always wonder 'what if I had not been such a git'!
Back at the Lovegood Bungalow,
It had been a tense time for Harry to wait as Luna got the signal she was waiting for. Indeed it was still the night that he and she had made it to this cottage, and with a smile and a wave Luna was gone to collect His best Friend.
As he waited he remembered all that he had shared with Ron and then with Hermione. There was no question that deep down Ron was a good bloke and would be a great friend to many. But with the war and the missions they had to take to win the war Ron showed his flaws had in fact hampered more than helped Harry in his quest to rid the World of Voldemort and his followers.
Hermione... what could he say a loyal friend, yet a pain in the arse when she saw him slacking. A deeply caring person who's single-minded focus can help and hurt as well. But deep down he knew she was his best friend even with the horrendous sixth year and the houcrux hunt, she stood by him.
Then came Luna, a girl who he had heard about since she entered Hogwarts in his second year, but really not gotten to know till he had that fifth year and dealing with Umbridge, the Inquisitorial squad, and still he discovered the unique beauty of Thestrals and a dirty Blonde-haired Ravenclaw that seemed just as close to him as his other Best friend was.
He also remembered how both have suffered at Malfoy Manor. He realized he had two friends to take care of, and although he was a victim as well, he decided to put all his efforts to help them from now on whether they liked it or not.
His musings were interrupted by a pop and a blur of Brown hair landing on him as a sobbing Hermione Granger was encircled by her best friend while his other friend took her trunk up to her room and gets the second bed ready.
By the time she came back Harry had calmed Hermione down and was leading her to the dining room table. They spend the evening talking of the upcoming week, the funerals to attend and agreeing to talk the next day about Ron and Susan. After a few hours of talking about recovering Hermione's parents, and having Hermione agree to have Harry & Luna go with her, an Owl came in through an open window in the living room.
It landed in front of Luna. All looked apprehensive. After retrieving the letter, feeding it a treat, the owl left. Luna read the letter. Harry and Hermione saw the changes in Luna's face. Gone was the always flighty look, now a grim and sad face was seen clearly.
After a few moments the letter fell out of Luna's now shaking hands, as she shook, looking out into space crying without a sound. Hermione got up and wrapped Luna in her arms as Harry read the letter out loud to her.
To: Luna Lovegood,
From: St. Mungo's Magical Hospital, Critical Care Ward
Miss Lovegood, you are needed urgently at St. Mungo's as your father Xenophillus is in critical care, and is asking for you. Come at your earliest opportunity.
Healer Tabitha Stephens, Senior Vascular Healer, St. Mungo's Magical Hospital, London.
Harry exchanged a knowing look with Hermione and both nodded to each other. Then like a well oiled machine, Harry got up, helped Hermione locate and put Luna's flats on, then move the girls to the fireplace. He threw some floo power and yelled out, "St.Mungo's" and sent Hermione and Luna with him quickly following.
They arrived to a crowded and busy entrance as the war's casualties were either being brought in or leaving with family while more family waited for those still being seen. Harry took charge and took the girls to the reception area and asked for the location of the critical care ward. Once they got the directions he quickly ferried them through the crowded hallways towards the Critical care section of the hospital.
It took a few more minutes and 2 flights of stairs for them to arrive at the entrance to the ward. Once again Harry took charge and reluctantly using his fame to get them into see Luna's father.
When they arrived at the room's entrance they came upon the editor and publisher of the Quibbler, Xenophillus Lovegood.
Harry recognized the sandy hired older man. The very same one who put them in Death Eater hands all those months ago in a vain attempt to rescue Luna. Harry quenched an angry though as he was here for Luna and not her father. Hermione also seemed to be having some conflicting emotions but one look at Luna put a stop to those.
Luna launched herself to her father's side as she physically moved the healer examining him. With great effort Xeno wrapped his weak arms around his only child. "Poppet I am glad you are in one piece." All Luna could do was cry and repeat 'Daddy' many times as she cuddled herself to her father's side. Harry & Hermione moved to the wall facing the foot of the bed as the family reunion continued, the healers long gone.
In a few minutes Xeno noticed who was in the room and tensed up, but before anything was said the Healer returned and with her father asking continued his examination. Luna joining Harry & Hermione outside as the examination continued. A short time later the healer called them back in and explained Xeno's situation to him and them.
"Mr. Lovegood the Curses you took when you were held captive by the Death Eaters and in your stay in Azkaban have left their mark on your magic." He paused as he gathered his thoughts. "You have Chronic Magical Depletion, sir for all intents and purposes you will be only a few degrees above a squib in power. And that also means your magical core was damaged and what magic is left is all you have. The least it can do is making you a muggle, the most... you could die sir.
Mr. Lovegood seemed to understand and with that the healer left. Luna seemed to tighten her hold as though that might keep him here. But Xeno was a realist. And maneuvered her to sit up and motioned for Harry & Hermione to join them.
After they settled into seats next to the bed Xeno spoke. "First I am truly sorry I gave you up to the death Eaters back when you came to me for refuge. They had Luna and I simply had no choice when it came to my child's safety." Harry & Hermione nodded, but Xeno continued. "That still doesn't excuse me at almost losing the war by allowing you to be captured. I see that now and would have done differently as my Poppett hasn't talked to me since."
A shuddering breath was heard as Luna still shaking nodded and added. "I'm still furious with you Daddy, I would have sacrificed my life to make sure Harry got his chance at Voldemort and you see that I would do it again if I had to." All Xeno did was nod and sigh.
"I know and I understand now. But I don't want you to be angry with me now, so I have contacted your Cousin Brian to take over the restart of the Quibbler and my brother Vern will also help." Before Luna could say anything Xeno added. "Harry As I owe you a life debt I want to offer Luna as a personal advisor and assistant when she graduates from Hogwarts, or if she chooses as she has I'm sure passed her OWLS, right away."
Before Harry could answer Hermione said; "Listen Harry, I think this is Xeno's way of not only paying back a life debt, but protecting Luna. As the Mister's Trumbly will be running The Quibbler, Luna can help us and we can help her."
Even with the rough day Hermione had just had she could still look at a situation and offer logical views to him. After a few moments he just smiled and nodded. In the next few minutes all the logistics were worked out and the Trumblys left to do their work, leaving Harry, Hermione, Luna and Xeno alone in the hospital room.
The Editor of The Quibbler looked at the three faces and sighed. He then focused on his only child. "I know this is hard for you Poppet but I have to stay here and it might take months until I'm back on my feet, so..." he turned to Harry "please can you allow her to stay with you Harry until..."
Harry, Hermione and Luna smiled. "No worries Mr. Lovegood, We are staying at your summer cottage at least until we retrieve Hermione's parents from Australia."
Xeno's eye lit up at not just from where they were all staying, but for where they were going. The land down under had so many odd creatures, muggle and magical, Xeno, even in his current state, let them know to take pictures and search out any odd magical creatures they come across. With a verbal promise Harry and Hermione left the two to talk privately.
Luna came to find them about 20 minutes later with a quiet request to return to the cottage. They did and after a bedtime snack all three went to bed knowing the following week would be trying. But they had each other and that alone made its coming tolerable.
Chapter 3: 3 Funerals, 2 wills, and a Snape!
AN: At first I tried to keep it to about 3000 words for each chapter, but this one took off and hasn't wanted to stop. Several reviewers are speculating about time-travel, rape, torture, and such. I do not write sex scenes, nor rape scenes period. Will the characters hint at them, and have to deal with their emotional baggage? Yes they will.
Well now we know Ron was with Susan, and now we have three characters, which are splintered emotionally will gather towards each other. Luna, with her father and what ever she experienced in the war, Hermione with her heart wrenched from her and her retrieval of her parents and of course her experiences in the war, while Harry will try to bury his issues in favor of helping the two girls. That will come back to bite him in the ass.
The rest of the story will focus on all three growing and dealing with their varying issues. Course fate will deal them another blow soon that will speed things up and lay another brick on their emotional wall.
I hope that helps you all to see where this story will go. I will try to balance Drama, Romance and some light moments.
P.S.- It's a pain to upload here! so be ready for some fixes soon!