Disclaimer: I do not nor will I ever own the Harry Potter story, characters, villains, heroes and creatures. I also sadly do not make any money off this story. Trust me; my bank account cannot lie about that.
Thanks to Nancy for her help as always!
FLAMES OF BETRAYAL
"Ron, what's going on?" Hermione asked, confused.
"I guess that's the question I should be asking you. What happened here? Wait, how did you know it was me?" Ron asked urgently.
"Your voice," she replied smugly. "Your glamour looks good, but you forgot to change your voice.
Ron cursed and stared at Hermione warily. "What happened here?" he asked.
"I heard fighting, so I came to investigate. I saw Lestrange pull her wand on Remus, so I stopped her. We have to get Remus back to Hogwarts. Who is that guy? Remus kept going on about Sirius," Hermione explained, her expression bewildered.
Ron's eyes widened and he glanced down at the man on the ground. Remus looked up at him with a pleading look. Ron shook his head and reached down to move Sirius.
"You take Remus to Hogwarts. I have my own problems to deal with," Ron said coldly.
"You can't leave yet, Dumbledore is looking for you. He's quite angry that you left Hogwarts with Harry. You shouldn't have done that, Ron," Hermione said, her tone filled with disapproval.
Ron snarled and turned to glare at his former friend. "Listen up Hermione, I don't give a damn what the Headmaster wants. Now, take Remus to Hogwarts and leave me the hell alone."
"Damn it Ron, don't you ignore me!" Hermione yelled.
Ron glared at her coldly. "Do you really want to worry about this now while Remus is on the ground in pain? I don't have time for your crap, Hermione. Take Remus and go," the redhead snarled.
He turned back to Sirius and began to look for the emergency portkey. He winced as Sirius moaned in pain, still dazed by whatever spell that had hit him. Merlin, at this rate, Harry was never going to let Sirius leave the castle. Hopefully, Harry wouldn't find them until Hermione left with Remus. Ron was thankful that Harry was a paranoid bugger and insisted that they search for Sirius when he was late, and before his glamour wore off.
"Ron, please, no..." Remus moaned weakly.
Ron looked over at the werewolf and shook his head. "You have no right to ask for anything from me. I don't help those who betrayed Harry," he growled. He sighed in relief as he found the portkey. He leaned over Sirius and scooped him closer.
"I'm afraid I can't let you go, Ron," Hermione said.
Ron turned to yell at her, and realized that her wand was pointed at him. He grimaced with anger and frustration. "What the hell do you think you're doing, Hermione?" he demanded.
"I'm sorry to have to do this Ron, but the Headmaster is looking for you. You need to come back to Hogwarts. It's for your own good. You should've never left in the first place. If you would just tell me where Harry is, I can go get him. He needs me," Hermione said.
Ron cursed furiously. Merlin, how the hell am I going to get help on this one? he thought a moment then closed his eyes and slowly opened the bond between him and Harry. He pushed a sense of urgency and fear through the bond. He concentrated hard and pushed the image of the alleyway through the bond. He didn't know if it would work or not, but he had to try. He almost shouted in glee when he felt a sense of confirmation. Harry was on his way.
Trying to buy time for Harry to get there, Ron snarled at her, "He doesn't need you, you backstabbing bitch. Remus, Dumbledore and you betrayed him. There is no way that Harry will ever want you around him. You can take me to Hogwarts, but you can't make me talk."
Hermione bit her lip nervously. She walked over to Remus and helped him up, her wand was still pointed at Ron. "You all right, Remus?" she asked the injured man.
"I'll be fine. I just need to find my wand," he said and Hermione nodded.
"Harry and I should've let the troll get you in our first year. You're nothing but a backstabbing, mindless sycophant. I thought you had a mind of your own, Hermione. Why don't you use it? Why is Dumbledore so bent on getting Harry and me back to Hogwarts? To save us from Voldemort? Please, that pathetic old man can't even find us," Ron said contemptuously. "Oh no, the esteemed Headmaster has a far more nefarious purpose in mind. He's not the kind benevolent man you seem to think he is. He does things to people that would make you shudder. You would be horrified by what I've found out about our dear Dumbledore. It's too bad you can't get your head out of his arse enough to think for yourself," Ron said with disdain.
Hermione shook her head. "You're wrong, Ron. Dumbledore has done nothing but help the Wizarding World. He only wants to protect Harry and you. He does what he can for the betterment of the Wizarding World. I don't know where you got your information, but you're wrong. Dumbledore is not like the man you're trying to portray him as," she said firmly.
Ron gave her a contemptuous look. "Right, you go on believing that, Hermione. I pity you. I pity the young girl who used to be so idealistic. I pity the girl who use to think that Harry and I were her best friends; the same young girl who would do anything for us. I don't know who you are, Hermione, but I can tell one thing, you're definitely not that girl anymore," he said sadly.
"I'm sorry you feel that way, Ron. I hope we'll have an opportunity to talk and straighten things out. You'll see, Ron. Everything will be just fine once we get back to Hogwarts. The Headmaster will keep you safe, and I'll find Harry and we'll keep him safe as well," Hermione said. She raised her wand and began to utter a spell.
Ron flinched and was surprised as Hermione froze and fell over. Ron looked and saw Remus holding out his wand. Remus gazed at Hermione for a second and seemed to shudder all over. He glanced at Ron and smiled painfully. "I don't know what's going on, but I can't let Padfoot get captured again. You need to leave. I'll take care of Hermione and the Death Eaters," he said.
Ron gaped at him. He saw Remus swaying and the man suddenly crumpled to the ground, unconscious. Ron looked around the alleyway. He stood up and walked over to Lestrange. He pointed his wand at her and said, "Stupefy." He nodded in satisfaction and walked over to Avery and Goyle. He proceeded to stupefy them both again.
Ron went over to Remus and checked him over. He bit his lip worriedly. The werewolf was unconscious. He could see several abrasions and deep gouges on his arms. Ten to one, he had been under the Cruciatus curse, and he needed the countering potion for it. He wasn't too worried about him though. Remus was a werewolf and they were a hearty lot. While Remus might be in some pain, there was nothing life threatening to worry about. Even if he had been held under the Cruciatus curse, it took a lot to harm a werewolf. He walked over to the unconscious Sirius and bent down. There was blood coming from his head and a large cut on his arm. Dobby was going to freak out; poor Sirius was not going to get out of bed for days.
He whirled around as he heard footsteps coming up the alley. He sighed in relief as he realized it was Harry.
"Hey, mate," Ron greeted.
"What the hell happened?" Harry demanded as he gazed at the unconscious people laying on the ground.
Ron shrugged and replied. "From what I can tell, Sirius and Remus were attacked by Death Eaters, and then Hermione found them."
"So, why is Hermione laying on the ground?" Harry asked as he walked over to Sirius.
"That was Remus's fault. She had her wand trained on me. She was going to force me back to Hogwarts. I think Remus took an exception to that idea and stupefied her," Ron told him. "Whatever the case, we need to get Sirius to the castle, the Death Eaters to the Ministry, Remus, and Hermione back to Hogwarts. I need your help on this one," Ron said.
Harry shrugged. "I'll do what I can. Just remember, I don't have the control I need to do much magic."
Ron cursed. "I forgot about that. Where are the Aurors when you need them? That's another thing, why didn't anyone hear or see the fight? I figured someone would come running."
"There's a Notice-Me-Not spell and a silencing spell covering the entry way to the alley. I only found you because of the bond," Harry said. He frowned a moment. "So, how did you find it? Wait, how did Hermione find it?"
Ron shrugged and said, "Not sure, I just felt a pull to come here. I don't know why. As for Hermione, she was already here when I got here."
"Crap, that's not good. You don't think she had anything to do with this do you?" Harry asked.
Ron frowned slightly. "I'm not sure. I saw her standing over Remus when I came up the alleyway. She said that she heard fighting, but that should've been impossible with the spells up."
Harry looked down at his former friend and said, "I think you need to awaken her to find out what's going on. As much as I don't like her anymore, I can't really see her joining the Death Eaters. Her presence here does look suspicious though."
"Do you think maybe she's working for Dumbledore?" Ron asked.
Harry shrugged and replied, "I'm not sure. Let's take care of the Death Eaters, Sirius, and Remus first then you can interrogate Hermione." Harry looked at the stunned Death Eaters with a thoughtful look. "Do you still know how to make a portkey? We can send the Death Eaters to the Ministry. Tie them up with a pretty little bow and leave them in Fudge's office," Harry smirked.
Ron grinned and replied, "Oh yes, the Minister would love you for that."
Harry snorted with contempt. "It's not like I'm telling him I did it." Ron laughed at Harry.
Ron looked over at Sirius. "We need to send Sirius back to the castle though. He looks pretty beat up," he said, concerned.
Harry nodded and replied, "Did you find his portkey?"
"Yeah, it was in his pocket. You know one of us will have to go with him and let Severus know what happened."
"Mmm...that won't work. Oh, I know, Dobby!" Harry called out.
The house-elf appeared before him and his widened when he saw the bodies lying on the ground.
"What happened?" Dobby asked, upset.
"I need you to take Sirius back to the castle. Let Severus know what happened. Sirius and Remus were attacked by Death Eaters. We need to stay here and clean up," Harry explained.
Dobby nodded in understanding and walked over to Sirius. "That's it. I'm not letting Mutt leave the castle ever again," he said firmly.
Harry and Ron laughed as Dobby bent down and grabbed Sirius's arm. With a wave to Harry and Ron, he disappeared.
"Sirius is in trouble," Ron sing-songed. Harry snickered at the comment.
Ron picked up a small box that was lying in the alley. He pulled out his wand and imagined the Minister's office. "/Portus/," he said. He handed the portkey to Harry who walked over to Lestrange, Avery, and Goyle. With a wave of his wand, he bound their bodies together. Harry laid the portkey on their bodies and activated it. The Death Eaters disappeared.
"Sirius should be happy that his cousin has been detained," Ron said.
"Yeah, for as long as they stay captured."
Ron hummed in agreement and walked over to Hermione. He gazed at her and felt a great sadness overwhelm him as he realized that the woman he had once loved no longer existed. He sighed softly and felt Harry's hand on his shoulder, giving him a squeeze in comfort.
"You might want to get out of sight. You know how smart she is. She might realize that it's you standing there," Ron told him. Harry nodded and walked behind the stunned woman.
Ron pointed his wand and cast a spell. He wanted to make sure that Hermione was bound. With another wave of his wand, he muttered, "/Ennervate/."
Hermione groaned and her eyes fluttered open. She looked around blearily and saw Ron standing over her. Remus was still on the ground, and the strange man that Ron had looked over was gone.
She tried to move, but realized that she was bound. She looked up at Ron with a frown. "Release me, Ron," she demanded.
"Shut up, Hermione. I'm the one in charge here, not you. I have a question for you. You had better think carefully before you answer. How you get treated from now on depends on your answer," Ron informed her coldly.
"What? Ron, what the hell is going on? Why am I bound?" she asked.
Ron rolled his eyes. "It might have something to do with the fact that you held your wand on me. It didn't make me happy. Now, my question is, how did you find Remus?" he asked coldly.
"What do you mean? I heard fighting and followed the sounds," she said arrogantly.
Ron squatted down and glared at her. "I'm not stupid, Hermione. I'm not the same naÃ¯ve Gryffindor you grew up with. I know very well that there is a Silencing spell on the entrance of the alleyway, not to mention the Notice-Me-Not spell. I want to know how you found Remus," he said.
Hermione sneered at him. "Well, if you know about the spells, then how did you get here?"
Ron laughed coldly and glared at her. Hermione would've flinched if she could've moved. "We're not talking about me. Answer the question," Ron said.
"And if I don't?" she asked snottily.
"I know a couple of Death Eaters who would like a mudblood to play with," he said coldly.
She gasped with shock. "You wouldn't!" she exclaimed.
Ron bent down further and got in her face. "Try me," he snarled, his eyes hard.
Hermione looked at him warily. She had no clue if Ron would do what he was threatening or not. She suddenly realized that this cold young man in front of her wasn't the same boy she went to school with. That Ron was bumbling, naÃ¯ve and a bit stupid. This Ron was powerful and confident. She internally winced at the cold glare he gave her. She would never admit it, but this Ron scared her.
Hermione licked her dry lips and replied. "I was following Remus. I thought he might lead me to you. I wanted to find you and take you to Dumbledore."
"So, you're working for the Headmaster then?" he asked.
"No, Dumbledore doesn't know anything about this. I wanted to help him. He's been so angry lately. I just wanted to help him relieve some of the pressure he has been under," she said softly.
Ron sneered at her. "Don't you find it odd that the Headmaster, the kind and benevolent man that we all grew up with, is angry? I think he's acting a little odd, don't you?"
Hermione frowned slightly. "I'm sure he has his reasons," she said warily.
"Of course he does. Continue," Ron demanded.
"I followed Remus and then I lost him. I finally found him again, and he was walking into the alley with another man. I went to follow him and saw Bellatrix, Avery and Goyle appear in the alley. They cast an Invisibility spell on themselves and threw up the Silencing spell and the Notice-Me-Not spell. I knew that Remus was in the alley, and I knew that he was in trouble. It took me a while to overcome the spells and find the alley. Once I did, I ran into the alley and saw Bellatrix standing over Remus and I stupefied her. The unknown man was lying on the ground with the rest of the Death Eaters," she explained.
"You had nothing to do with this then? You're not a Death Eater?" Ron asked coldly.
"NO! I would never...I can't believe you would ask that of me," Hermione said, her expression outraged.
"Why is that?" Ron wondered. "From the looks of it, you could've very well have been. You were standing over Remus you know. You were the only one standing."
"I'm your friend, Ron. You know me better than that," Hermione said.
"Isn't it interesting that you use that argument. Didn't Harry tell you the same thing when you turned on him?" Ron asked slyly.
Hermione gaped at him. Ron pointed his wand towards her and said, "/Stupefy/."
"Have I ever told you that you make a great friend?" Harry asked.
Ron grinned at him. "I do what I can." He bent down to pick up a dirty old bottle from the ground.
Ron looked over at Harry. "So where should we put her? In the Forbidden Forest or right outside the gates of Hogwarts?" he smirked.
Harry grinned at him. "Now Ron, you know you would be upset if something happened to her. Too bad the wards around Hogwarts don't allow portkeys. I would love to strip her naked and port her right in the middle of the Great Hall during lunch," Harry said wistfully.
Ron laughed at Harry's expression. "Should we obliviate her?" Ron pondered.
"I can't do it, can you? Do you know the spell well enough to do it?" Harry asked.
Ron bit his lip and shook his head. "No, my control is still a little off. I'm afraid if I try, I might fry her brains. Of course, that might be an improvement."
Harry nodded absently as he turned towards Remus. "I guess we should take care of him. Hope he isn't in to much pain. We've taken a little time talking. You think he might be angry?" Harry asked with a grin.
Ron snorted and said, "Who cares?"
Harry grinned at him. "You know, Remus knows that Sirius is alive. What are the chances that Dumbledore will keep him alive with that knowledge?"
Ron glanced at him, surprised. "You think he would kill Remus?"
Harry gave him a look. "Dumbledore kept Sirius locked up for almost three years. You know as well as I do that Dumbledore will take every precaution he can to keep that little fact hidden for as long as possible. In fact, what does Remus actually do for the Order? The rest of the werewolves are siding with Voldemort. What use is he to Dumbledore?" Harry asked.
"You're right of course, but he betrayed you. Should we really save him?" Ron asked.
"Harry..." Remus groaned.
Harry stiffened and looked down at Remus. "Crap," he muttered. "Now we can't send him back to Hogwarts. He knows that I'm awake and fully functional. Dumbledore also won't like it that Remus stunned Hermione to stop her from forcing you back to Hogwarts. I think his days are seriously numbered now."
"So, what do you want to do? Take him with us?" Ron asked.
Remus looked up at Harry with sorrowful eyes. He struggled to sit up. "Harry, you're ok. I'm sorry Harry, so very sorry," he said with tears in his eyes.
"Shut up Remus, I don't want to hear your pathetic excuses," Harry snarled at the werewolf. Harry sighed and looked over at Ron. "Yeah, we'll take him with us. I'll have Dobby find a place to lock him up. I refuse to give him the freedom of my home. Send Hermione on her merry way, and let's go. I need to see how Padfoot is doing."
Ron nodded and made the portkey. He looked at it thoughtfully for a moment. "I really should wake her up before sending her on her way. She could be outside the castle gates for a while."
Harry shrugged and said, "You do what you want."
Ron pursued his lips then shook his head. "Nope, she'll just have to come out of the spell on her own. Next time, maybe she'll think twice about pointing her wand at me." Ron laid the portkey on her body, activated it, and Hermione disappeared.
Harry looked over at Remus and sighed. He glanced at Ron and asked, "You still have Sirius's portkey?"
"Yes, right here."
"All right, let's go," Harry said. They walked over to Remus and helped him off the ground. Harry bent down and picked up the two wands that were lying on the ground.
"You're coming with us. I personally would let you go back to Dumbledore and face the consequences, but Sirius would be upset if you died. So you get the joy of being locked up in Harry's home. Let's go, werewolf," Ron said coldly. He held out the sock and Remus and Harry placed their hands on it. Ron activated the portkey and they disappeared.
They reappeared in the castle's den. Harry sat Remus down on the couch and called out for Dobby.
Dobby glared at Remus and crossed his arms, his face angry. "What is that doing here?"
Harry and Ron grinned as Remus stared at Dobby with shock. Harry glanced at Remus, his expression unexplainable, and looked back at Dobby. "He came to as Ron and I were talking. He knows that I'm aware. I wasn't about to send him back to Dumbledore with that information," Harry explained.
Dobby continued to glare at Remus. "Why didn't you kill it?"
"Dobby, I know you're angry, but I don't kill in cold blood," Harry said warily.
Dobby snorted with contempt. "Fine, then let me do it. Your betrayers shouldn't be allowed to live."
"Uh..." Harry trailed off nervously. He knew that Dobby had changed, becoming more aggressive, but he never knew he could be so cold, so callous.
"Now Dobby, where would be the fun in killing the werewolf right away? You need a good torture first," Severus said as he walked into the room.
He moved to stand next to Harry and looked down at the dazed and frightened Remus lying on the couch. He walked over, took out his wand, and scanned Remus, checking out his injuries. "Dobby, could you get the anti-Cruciatus potion. He's been under the curse."
Dobby glared even harder. "Let him suffer," he stated coldly.
"Dobby, take my advice. You'll want him in perfect condition if you're going to torture him. He'll last longer that way," Severus said calmly. Dobby's face brightened and he disappeared.
"Severus, what's with Dobby?" Harry asked warily.
"He's not happy that Sirius was injured. He's a little upset right now. Since Lupin is here, he has someone to take it out on," Severus explained with a smirk.
Harry had a feeling there was more to it than that, but he shrugged. "Ok, whatever floats his boat. How is Padfoot?" he asked.
"He'll be fine. I healed the injuries. They were minor. He should be more concerned at what Dobby will do to him when he wakes up. Dobby is not a happy house-elf," Severus said with a grin.
Harry laughed at the statement. Dobby appeared and handed Severus several potion bottles. Severus opened one and gave it to Remus to drink. "Drink it," Severus commanded coldly.
Remus grabbed the bottle and looked at it warily. He glanced around the grim looking faces and gulped. He quickly downed the potion and handed the bottle back to Severus. The Potions Master opened another bottle and handed it to Remus. The werewolf took it meekly and drank it. Severus grabbed the bottle out of his hands, and scanned him once again.
He nodded with satisfaction. "He'll be fine. Luckily, it's not a full moon tonight. I don't have any Wolfsbane."
Harry shrugged. "We have a dungeon. He could've transformed there."
"So, what do you want to do with him?" Ron asked.
"Dobby, find a bedroom and lock him in. Make sure to feed him though. I wouldn't want to be accused of abusing or neglecting my prisoner," Harry sneered. "Make sure the bedroom is halfway decent, please."
Dobby frowned but nodded his head. "Of course, Harry. I have just the place. Sage cleaned it out this morning in fact." He walked over to Remus and grabbed his arm. "Let's go," he said and disappeared with Remus.
"Ok, now that Dobby's gone, can you tell me what's really going on?" Harry whined. "Dobby is aggressive yes, but nothing like that."
Severus smirked at Harry. "It's something he's trying to learn. He wants to be scarier, more frightening. I guess when he saw Lupin, he took the opportunity."
Ron laughed. "I don't know about Lupin, but I was scared of him."
Harry cracked up and Severus smirked. Dobby popped back into the room and grinned at them. "So how was I?"
Harry grinned at him. "You were perfect, Dobby. I think Remus thinks you're going to torture him later."
Dobby smirked at him and said, "Who says I'm not?" He disappeared and Severus laughed at the expression on Harry's face.
"He was kidding right? Right? Severus, please tell me he was kidding. Severus, don't walk out of here," Harry yelled after the laughing Potions Master who was walking out of the room.
"Blimey, Harry, I think Dobby's gone around the bend," Ron said.
Harry sighed heavily. "I'm surrounded by crazy people," he moaned.
"Oi! I'm not crazy," Ron cried with outrage. Harry just shook his head and walked out of the den.
"Harry, I mean it, I'm not crazy," Ron yelled. "Harry? Harry! Damn it!"
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