Remus finally catches on.
“Harry I know we are both enjoying it but you need to release me so I can get off you and you can get up,” Hermione’s voice whispered softly from very close to his chest. When she heard him start to speak she added, “You’d better not be apologizing for holding me like that, I quite liked it and would not complain if we did it again tonight.”
He watched with a smile on his face as she rolled out from under the covers dressed only in one of his t-shirts and her panties. After everyone had dressed they assembled in the large farm style kitchen for a breakfast featuring fresh croissants with plenty of jams with coffee or tea while they discussed the day’s traveling agenda. “I was hoping to get close to Lyon today. Not pushing too hard and keeping to the secondary roads. I want this to be a relaxing trip,” Thor said to everyone.
Remus looked up as Nymphadora Tonks entered Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. “Did everything get settled?” he asked her as she walked over and gave him a hug.
“Finally, I think Monsieur Delacour was ready to take the entire Ministry and tell them where to go.”
“Come on Dora it couldn’t have been to bad if everything got settled.”
“Trust me,” Tonks said with a sigh before continuing, “I don’t think it would have happened without the goblins pushing. They obviously wanted Bill working for them soon.”
“Dora do I have to pull it out bit by bit?” Remus Lupin asked his girlfriend his exasperation obvious.
“All right here is the deal they worked out. Tonight Aurors will accompany Bill Weasley from the secure "Dangerous" Dai Llewellyn Ward for Serious Bites to a place outside the wards where an international Portkey will be waiting. After the French ministry signs for his custody he will have one minute to activate their Portkey to leave England.”
“What happens in France?”
“The ministry doesn’t know and doesn’t care. He’s France’s problem after that.”
“What?” Remus asked not wanting to believe what he suspected had just been said.
Dora saw the look on her boyfriend’s face as she said, “You’ve got it he is being permanently exiled. Molly Weasley cried enough tears to float the ministry I think. Her oldest son can never return home. I swear that bitch Umbridge was cackling like an old hen she was so happy.”
“How did Bill and Arthur take it?”
“Bill looked at Fleur and smiled. Arthur took it quite hard. I think if he can find a way to make a living outside of the ministry he’s going to quit.” Dora replied just as the front door opened and in staggered Mundungus “Dung” Fletcher his robes smelling of bad tobacco and foul body odor.
“Dung what the heck are you doing here.”
“Oh… Just stopping around for a spot of tea and news.” Dung replied looking around.
“Let’s go to the kitchen and you can tell us how Harry’s doing.” Remus said leading the way.
“Now why would I know that Governor?” Dung asked as he sat down and help himself to the tea placed before him.
“Dumbledore said you were one of the one’s going to watch over him this summer.” Dora said quickly while glancing at Remus.
“Yea but the old codger is gone.” Mundungus replied as if that explained everything.
“You mean there’s been no one watching Harry at Privet Drive?” Remus Lupin bellowed at the unkempt man.
“I recon somebody has. Just hasn’t been me.” Dung replied sipping his tea.
Remus’s emotions changed from wanting to hex the man before him into oblivion to well to involved more than hexes he thought and left it at that. Making up his mind Remus announced, “I’m going to Privet Drive to check on Harry.”
“But Dumbledore said not to bother him while he’s there.” Dora said looking at Remus concerned.
“And this bag of bones was scheduled to be guarding him too.” Remus rebutted as he ducked out the front door past the curtained and silenced portrait of Sirius Black’s mother. A quick dash across the quiet street to the park was followed by apparation to the back yard of Abigail Figg the watcher Dumbledore had put in place years ago to keep what eye she could on Harry Potter while he was staying with the Dursleys.
Remus marched up the street to number 4 Privet Drive knocking on the door. An obese man answered it looking him over as he asked, “What do you want?”
Not wanting to be confrontational at the start Remus did his best to smile replying, “I here to see Harry Potter.”
The man’s face turned a surprisingly dark red as he stated loudly, “He left.” Before starting to shut the door in Remus’s face. Only to have the man before him push it open with ease knocking him down in the process. “Now see here.” Vernon said from the floor.
“No you fat excuse for a human you listen. Where is my pup?” Remus replied glaring down at Vernon.
Not wanting to be in a position of weakness Vernon Dursley did his best to scramble to his feet nearly tearing the banister off the stairs to the second floor in the process. Regaining his feet he looked at the man before him realizing although they were about the same height he had plenty of mass on the other man. He was confident he could take him if it came to a fight. Vernon was rolling his shoulders insuring everything was all right when the word “pup” finally registered in his brain. Convinced he still had the upper hand and it was only his being off balance that caused him to fall in the first place he asked chuckling, “Your Pup? What the hell are you a dog?”
“No werewolf. Now where is Harry?” Remus asked actually growling as the wolf in him anticipated a fight.
Vernon’s face which over the course of this confrontation went from normal to deep red to light red with laugh lines now went stark white. He had few fears in the world but a vicious dog attack when he was a child left deep scars. He was only able to tolerate his sister’s dogs because they were rather small and avoided him for some reason. “W…W…” Vernon stuttered in reply.
“Werewolf.” Remus confirmed for him wanting to end the man’s stuttering. “Now where is Harry?” Remus asked with a deeper growl in his voice only to watch the man slide down the wall to the floor his eyes fixed on Remus.
“He left.” A female voice said from the kitchen doorway where she’d obviously been observing the event.
“Petunia,” Remus said in greeting adding, “I would like to see Harry’s room.”
Petunia hesitated for a moment she’d met this thing before her several times when he’d come around when her sister was home from school. Realizing the quickest way to get rid of him was to humor his request she said, “Top of the stairs but there is nothing of his there. He and that stranger went outside to talk and then we heard a motorbike start up and he was gone. The trunk he left under the stairs disappeared when we decided to check on it.” Petunia finished looking down at her husband who was clutching his chest his mouth silently mouthing “W” repeatedly.
Remus bounded up the stairs while Petunia bent down to check on her husband.
Remembering Harry’s vague descriptions of his home life it wasn’t hard for Remus to determine which of the rooms was Harry’s. Pulling out his wand Remus put his years as a marauder to use checking the room for cloaked individuals, magical objects or hidden areas. Finding nothing of note beyond a broken quill in the trash Remus returned to the entrance pulling the small door below the stairs open. This time he found residual magic that fit Petunia’s description of a disappearing trunk along with traces of something that puzzled him. Putting that aside he shut the door. As Petunia started to complain he bend down over Vernon waiving his wand over the prone figure before saying, “If I were you I’d call a healer.” Then he turned and exited number 4 Privet Drive apparating back to the park across from 12 Grimmauld Place once he was out of everyone’s sight.
Nymphadora Tonks watched the love of her life walk in the kitchen looking like a man on the way to the gallows. “He’s gone Dora. They heard a motorbike drive off just after he’d walked out the door with a stranger. We’ve lost him.” Remus said before sitting down and resting his head in his hands.
Nymphadora thought about what was going on. It was a know fact that Harry hated staying with the Dursleys one which Sirius was well aware of. Sirius’ motorbike featured in a lot of the stories he told about his life just after Hogwarts. If Sirius wanted to give Harry freedom why not give him the bike that represented freedom to Sirius? “Have you checked with the Weasley’s?” she asked.
“No, if Harry had shown up there Molly would have been on the floo the instant he arrive letting us know especially after he broke up with Ginny. Besides if she didn’t call I believe I would have heard about it while I was in St Mungo’s Hospital helping Bill Weasley try and deal with those idiots after he’d gotten a clean bill of health from Madam Pomfrey.” Remus said shaking his head.
Tonks nodded her head in agreement asking, “What about Hermione?”
“What about Hermione?”
“She’s been staying with her folks this summer do you think Harry would stop in?”
Remus tilted his head in thought before replying, “I doubt he’d stop in if he was on run. Hermione was always one for following rules. But they were close, seeing as we don’t have another option I guess it’s worth a visit. Any idea how we can get in touch?”
Tonks looked at Remus saying, “Your our muggle expert. I know enough to dress right but finding someone I don’t already know in the muggle world is beyond me.”
“Right, first thing I need is a phone book then we can start looking.” Remus replied before stopping to think about just how to proceed.
The next morning found Remus in the waiting room of “Bright Smile Dentistry”. It had taken him several hours and phone calls to find their practice now he was waiting for one of them to get a few moments free to talk with him.
Jane Granger looked out from her office at the man waiting for her. She’d agreed to meet him here rather than at home. It was habit breed into her over years of living with first her father then her husband. Public face and private face, keep the two separate and distinct. If you made it hard for your… enemy was too strong a word… opponent too weak a word… adversary… that would do. If you made it hard for your adversaries to find you then you had some warning time. She’d started to panic when Hermione had mentioned Harry coming over then they’d talked. It was okay for a potential son in law to know where they lived she’d decided. This man was an unknown. Hermione had written and spoken of him as one on her side of this conflict but habit prevailed. She knew far more about the conflict in her daughter’s world than Hermione suspected. Conversations with other mothers whose children attended Hogwarts. It’s is amazing what one can pick up meeting with an individual over tea once a month or so. Mrs. Creevey had been a fountain of information not to mention Mrs. Finnigan. Now it was time to see what this individual had to add to the mosaic of knowledge.
Remus stood as he saw a woman appear, “Mrs. Granger?” he asked knowing from the resemblance to her daughter who this had to be.
“Actually it’s Doctor Granger. Mister?”
“Lupin, Remus Lupin, perhaps your daughter has spoken of me?” Remus said as he followed the woman in to a small office she obviously shared with her husband given the décor.
Jane appeared to contemplate this for a moment a she sat down indicating a chair for her guest before she replied, “Of course, now I remember but wasn’t it Professor Lupin?”
“For only one year unfortunately.”
“Ah, What can I or my husband do for you Mister Lupin?”
“I was hoping to be able to speak with your daughter. I asked the service for your home number but I was told I had to talk with you or your husband first.” Remus explained.
“That is true. My husband and I instituted that after a number of calls at home about work. Emergency’s we don’t mind but it was getting out of hand.” She said giving their standard reply to this question.
“Perhaps you might explain just why you need to talk to our daughter?” Jane asked the hint obvious this was the only way he might get to talk with Hermione.
“I’m looking for my godson, Harry Potter. I was hoping she might know where he is.” Remus said doing his best not to appear stressed.
“I was under the impression that Harry’s godfather had been killed a year ago.”
Remus was taken back he had not expected to be answering twenty questions just to talk with his former student. After a moment’s pause he replied, “That is true when Harry was born Sirius Black was named godfather. However his parents asked if I would be willing to step up should anything happen to Sirius. With Sirius gone I believe it would be his parents wish that I assume the mantle of Harry’s godfather.”
“And this concerns my daughter how?”
“Harry has run away from his aunt’s home where he stays every summer. It is the one place other than Hogwarts where he was protected.” Remus said causing Jane to arch an eyebrow. “I was hoping he had either told her something on the train ride or met your daughter after he’d left that would allow us to locate him and get him back to his aunts.”
“This is all very interesting Mr. Lupin but I believe I will discuss this with my daughter before I say or do anything.” Jane Granger said standing up signaling the end of the meeting.
“Mrs. Granger please we need to find Harry and get him to a safe place. This world is far too dangerous for Harry to be out in it by himself.” Remus said the pleading obvious in his tone.
“As I said earlier it is Doctor Granger. Now how will I be able to get in touch with you after Hermione and I discuss this?”
Remus thought for a moment then realized he should have prepared a way for them to contact him. After a moments pause he replied, “Would it be possible for me to contact you here tomorrow morning?”
“That will work. Until tomorrow Mr. Lupin.” Jane replied opening the door to her office and ushering Remus to the waiting room.