Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Dark Lord Rising

Chapter 12: The Longest Day.

by AndrewsQuill 0 reviews

Harry and Hermione deal with the aftermath of the Second Task.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Romance - Characters: Harry,Hermione - Published: 2009-05-18 - Updated: 2009-05-19 - 6243 words

Harry and Hermione were sitting in the middle of the Quidditch pitch clinging to each other tightly. Both were seeking comfort from the ordeal that was the second task of the Tri Wizard Tournament. They were so distraught that they had left the Champions Area before the announcing of the scores.

Hermione’s trauma came from the fact that she had no recollection of the event at all until she awoke in the arms of Remus Lupin. She remembered going to bed the night before but she did not know how she had ended up in the lake. Someone had done something to her while she slept and then transported her to the lake. The only thing that she could figure was that it was either Professor McGonagall or Headmaster Dumbledore, or the two of them. The result was that she no longer felt safe in Gryffindor Tower; or Hogwarts for that matter, and she was deeply troubled by this fact.

Harry was trying to come to grips with the fact that he had killed someone to protect Hermione. His belief that the whole situation was avoidable drove his guilt. If the clue in the egg had said that she would have been returned after the one-hour time limit, rather than being lost to him forever, he would not have taken the merman’s life.

He felt that the tournament organizers were to blame for this and that if they didn’t mean for him to take the clue literally they could have at least told him beforehand.

What Harry did not feel bad about was protecting Hermione. He would do it again in a heartbeat if that were what it would take to keep her safe.

‘What kind of people would put someone in that type of situation?’ he thought sadly. The only conclusion that he could come up with was that those people were sick, twisted, individuals that got off on tormenting others.

They were still holding on to each other when Remus finally found them. Sighing deeply, he walked over and sat down next to them for a few minutes before finally speaking in a voice laced with concern. “Are you two okay?”

The two teens looked up at Remus, the stress of the morning’s events plainly visible on their tear stained faces. Hermione spoke first, her voice quavering. “Thank you for staying with me while Harry was still in the lake. I don’t know what I would have done had you not been there.”

“I’m glad that I could help. Are you two going to be okay?” he asked in a quiet voice.

Hermione nodded yes but she had a far off look in her eyes as she re-lived her part in the day’s events.

Harry’s response was much quicker. He gave a curt nod in the affirmative and held Remus’ gaze for a few moments before looking away.

The three of them continued to sit in silence together, each drawing some measure of comfort from the other’s presence.

Remus was keeping a silent vigil for the two teens, hoping that his being there would help them feel more secure. He did not know what horrors that Harry had faced down in the lake but he knew that it was bad.

The look of panic on Harry’s face had been terrible to see. It lessened somewhat when he had found Hermione safe, but upset. It now resided in his eyes and posture, especially when surrounded by large crowds.

Remus had seen how Harry had been scanning the crowd constantly looking for threats to Hermione as they left the stands. Feeling that if he didn’t say something to Harry about his fears they would consume him in his desire to protect Hermione.

With a small sigh, Remus broke the silence. “You did a great job today Harry. It is impossible to protect someone all of the time.” Seeing Harry’s look of guilt he quickly continued.

“It was not your fault that Hermione ended up in the Great Lake. If you try to protect her all of the time you will suffocate her and damage your relationship.”

His last words seemed to get through to them. Hermione was sitting up a bit straighter and Harry’s posture had relaxed a little.

Hermione shifted herself so that her back was against Harry’s chest, allowing him to wrap his arms around her stomach. She took a few calming breaths and said “Harry, what happened down in the lake?”

With a quick flick of his wand, Remus put up a few wards for privacy. What ever happened down in that lake was big and he did not want anyone hearing any of this conversation.

Harry tensed briefly at the question but he relaxed as he felt the reassuring emotions from Hermione as she softly stroked his hands.

His voice was as quiet as a gentle breeze when he finally spoke. “I fell asleep on the couch in the common room while I was waiting for you to come down for breakfast. The next thing I know is Dobby is shaking me awake, telling me that the task is about to start.”

He paused a moment to let his heart rate calm down before he continued. “I flew down to the lake on my broom as fast as I could. When I arrived; Dumbledore took one look at me and announced the start of the task.”

Harry took another deep, calming, breath before continuing. “I ate some gillyweed and dove into the lake right after snapping at Dumbledore. In my haste, I forgot to charm my watch so it broke. I didn’t see any of the other champions and in my panic to get to you I got a bit disoriented.” Harry’s heart was pounding now as he relieved the event in his mind as he re-told it.

In a whisper, he said, “By the time that I found the village you were gone.”

Harry had to take deep, gulping, breaths of air to calm down. The thought of what he found and what he had done weighed heavily upon him.

Hermione could feel the distress coming off Harry in waves. Hoping to calm him down she said soothingly. “Hey, everything worked out; you were able to reach me and bring me back.” She pulled his arms tighter around her, leaned back, and gave him a soft kiss on his jaw.

Feeling a bit nervous about telling the next part Harry paused for a few seconds to enjoy the feeling of having Hermione safe in his arms. After a few seconds where no one moved or said anything, Harry continued speaking. “I saw a cloak floating next to the entrance to one of their huts just off to the side of where you must have been tied up.”

Harry’s grip had tightened and he drew her closer to his chest before he continued speaking again. “I blasted the door open and…” he could not bring himself to say what he saw but as the images sprang into his mind, the tears began to pour from his eyes. They ran down his cheeks unchecked and splashed into Hermione’s hair.

He stopped trying to fight the tears, the floodgates opened, and he began to sob harder while rocking back and forth with Hermione in his arms.

Hermione was worried now. ‘What had happened in that hut under the lake?’ she thought. Slowly, so as not to disturb Harry, she turned around and pulled him to her chest while gently rubbing his back.

Remus was positively alarmed at this point. What ever had happened down there had really shaken Harry up badly. With a quick flick of his wand, he put up a few extra wards, including a notice me not so they would not be disturbed.

“Harry, it’s okay. You don’t have to continue if you don’t feel up to it.” Hermione said softly as she stroked his hair.

After a few more minutes, Harry had finally composed himself enough to finish the tale. He did not move from his position on Hermione’s lap so his voice was slightly muffled by her robes.

He whispered so softly that they had to strain to hear his voice. “When I entered the hut I thought that you were dead.”

Hermione and Remus both gasped at this revelation. Before either of them could speak, Harry continued with the retelling of the events in the lake.

“You were half floating just off of the floor of the hut with your eyes closed and your mouth open slightly.” Harry’s voice had taken on a haunted tone as he spoke. “When your body came to rest on the floor I began to swim towards you only to be stopped at spear point by two mermen. They told me that the time limit had passed and that I had to leave you behind for the elder or something.” Tears were flowing down his cheeks but he was making no effort to wipe them away.

Hermione was crying silently in horror for what Harry must have gone through seeing her like that. She knew that it would have torn her up inside if she had been in his place.

“One of the guards was trying to tell the other one to let me take you but he refused to listen.” Harry sat up and looked into Hermione’s eyes pleadingly. “I couldn’t leave you down there.”

“I know, and thank you.” Hermione said solemnly and with complete understanding, as she looked right back into his eyes while pushing feelings of love and gratitude to him through their bond.

Feeling Hermione’s emotions helped steel Harry’s resolve to continue with the re-telling of events. “In my grief and anger I cursed the guard closest to you and turned my wand to the remaining guard. He dropped his spear and began backing away from you.” Harry paused when he finished speaking to take a few deep breaths to regain some semblance of control over his emotions.

Remus was shocked as Harry informed them of what happened in the hut. He was positive that Harry had killed the first guard without hesitation when he sensed that the guard was not going to let him take Hermione with him.

“I grabbed your arm and backed out of the hut once the guard was far enough away. When we were clear of the village, I took a little more gillyweed and swam as hard as I could back to the platform. You know everything that happened after that.” Harry finished speaking, completely drained physically and mentally from re-counting the horror that was the second task.

Making a split decision, Remus stood up from his spot on the grass. “Stay here please. I’ll be back in a bit. I need to go up to the castle.”

The two teens nodded in response to Remus’ request and then watched him head up towards the castle.

When Remus reached the castle, he headed off towards the teachers lounge, hoping to find Minerva McGonagall. He knocked upon the door to the staff room and poked his head inside.

‘That’s odd.’ he thought to himself when he didn’t find a single staff member present. Someone was usually in here most times of the day, even on weekends.

He checked his watch and noticed that it was lunchtime. Figuring that he would be able to find a teacher in the Great Hall, Remus began the trek back down.

The entrance hall was full of people milling about and the familiar clatter of utensils rang from the Great Hall. Families were in attendance for the remainder of the day because the task took place on a Saturday morning.

The Great Hall was full of students and their families. Since the noise level was so high, no one paid any attention to the former Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor walking up the side of the hall towards the staff table.

Remus kept his eyes firmly fixed upon the headmaster as he approached him. “Albus, can we talk privately for a moment?” It was phrased as a question but Dumbledore knew that it was not a request.

“Of course; why don’t we use the anteroom?” Dumbledore said while excusing himself from the staff table.

Once they were inside Dumbledore asked, “What can I do for you Remus?”

“I’m actually here for Harry and Hermione’s benefit.” Remus replied coolly.

Dumbledore was taken aback for a moment. He did not think that anyone would confront him on that situation, especially not the same day that it happened. “I see.” he said slowly, allowing himself some time to collect his thoughts. “Why have they not come to me themselves?” he asked in a kind tone, trying to calm Remus down a touch.

The look that he received almost made him flinch. He had not counted on Remus being unsympathetic towards his position. After all, he had talked Remus into staying away from Harry when he was just a little child.

Remus’ eyes flashed amber for a moment, the wolf plainly visible in that split second before he regained control. His voice held a clipped tone to it when he finally spoke. “I want to take Harry and Hermione to see Sirius and her parents.”

“You know that students can’t leave the grounds except for Hogsmeade visits.” Dumbledore replied immediately.

Remus’ response was just as fast and had an edge to it. “And how do you propose that I bring Sirius and Hermione’s parents here then?” he finished and sat waiting for Dumbledore to respond.

After a few seconds, Dumbledore answered the question. “You can’t bring them here. Muggles can’t see this place and Sirius is still on the run.”

The sound of Remus’ hand smacking the table in between them was like a thunderclap. The fury in his voice was barely restrained when he replied “An innocent man that never had a trial Dumbledore! One that I know you could arrange. The question is why not?” Left unsaid was the insinuation that Remus did know why based upon the sarcasm that was dripping from his voice.

For a second time in this short conversation, Albus was surprised. It was something that he did not like at all. He decided that it was best if he did not answer the question about Sirius. He replied, “Please have Mr. Potter and Ms. Granger back in the castle by eight tonight. Be sure to let them know that this is a special treat that I am granting them and to not be taken lightly.”

Without a backwards glance, nor a reply, Remus left the antechamber and strode out of the Great Hall heading back towards the Quidditch pitch.

Neville and Ginny were waiting for Professor Lupin to finish his talk with the headmaster so they could ask him how Harry and Hermione were doing. When they saw him walking out of the Great Hall they sprinted to catch up to him.

“Professor Lupin!” Neville called out when they were within shouting distance.

Remus stopped and waited for the two teens to catch up to him. “Hello Mr. Longbottom and Ms. Weasley. What can I help you with?” he said kindly.

“We wanted to make sure that Harry and Hermione are both alright.” Ginny said worriedly.

Remus smiled at his two former students. “They are both a bit shaken up but they should be fine in a few days. Now if you would excuse me please I promised them that I wouldn’t be gone too long.”

“Okay. Would you please tell them hello from us?” asked Neville.

Smiling down at the shy boy Remus said, “I will. Have a nice afternoon you two.”

With a wave goodbye, Remus headed back up to the pitch to collect Harry and Hermione.

Hermione was absent-mindedly stroking Harry’s hair. She had pulled him back down and had his head resting in her lap. Her mind was going over what he had recounted about his encounter with the mermen.

He had mentioned cursing the one merman that wanted to keep her down there and she knew what he meant. Oddly enough, the thought that he had killed to defend her did not trouble her at all. What did bother her was that he was forced to kill in this tournament; again.

Hermione knew that Harry would talk about it with her in more detail when he was ready. She just had to keep reminding herself to not slip into her old habits and badger him until he cracked and shouted at her before giving in and telling her all of the details. Ironically, she noticed that when she did not push him to talk that he talked more frequently and openly.

The strain of the tournament had been getting to Harry over the past few weeks and she could see the toll that it had been taking on him. His smiles were becoming further and further apart and he often lapsed into periods where he was just staring off into space when they were alone. Some mornings he would come down to the common room and have large, dark circles, under his eyes. She was worried about what additional stresses that this latest task would add to his already large burden.

The one side effect of their bond that she did not like was that Harry’s emotions had a much stronger effect upon her than she originally realized. He was so volatile sometimes that his emotions would occasionally cause her to snap at someone when she didn’t mean to. She was trying her hardest to keep an even keel for the two of them so she could balance out some of Harry’s overcharged emotions.

What the bond had taught Hermione was that she needed to compromise more. She could not expect everything to fit into her preconceived notions without taking into account how things would affect Harry too.

Lost in her musings, Hermione did not hear Remus coming towards them. Harry, however, did. “Hello Remus.” Harry said in a low voice causing Hermione to start in surprise.

Hermione noticed that Harry was sliding his wand discretely back into the folds of his robes. Remus never knew how close he had just come to being cursed by Harry.

Remus was trying to be quiet as he approached the couple so he was mildly shocked when Harry said ‘Hello.’ He wasn’t sure, but he thought that Harry’s hands had shifted positions minutely when he greeted him. Pushing that thought to the side, he said to them; “If you two would read this we can get going. Destroy the note when you are done memorizing what it said please.”

Hermione accepted the note from Remus and held it so they could both read it. She didn’t recognize the tiny, neat, handwriting at all. The note read ‘The Granger’s live at Number 2, Kensington Gardens, London.’

Etched onto both teen’s faces was confusion as they read the note. After a few seconds, their countenances changed to one of comprehension and Hermione spoke “You have my parents under the Fidelius Charm?” her voice laden with concern.

Harry was giving Lupin a very piercing look but he held his tongue for the moment, willing to hear the man out before passing judgment. With a casual flick of his wand, he silently disintegrated the little piece of paper and vanished the ashes.

“We do. Now please come with me, I have gotten permission to take you to visit your parents and Sirius.” Remus replied in a whisper even though he was back within the privacy wards.

Harry stood up and helped Hermione to her feet. Looking around the pitch slowly he let his senses expand outward. Not feeling any other magical presences he grasped Hermione’s hand and set off after Remus.

When they had reached the gates to the castle grounds Hermione asked, “How are we getting there?”

Remus came to a stop just outside of the wards and said “Side along apparition.

Hermione nodded in acceptance of his explanation and since she didn’t seem too concerned by Remus’ reply, Harry figured that it would be safe enough.

“Please grab hold of my arms and don’t let go. This will feel a bit strange at first but I promise that you will get used to it eventually.” Remus said confidently.

When the teens had each taken a hold of an arm, Remus turned on the spot, concentrating hard on the front porch of the Granger’s house. There was a faint popping noise and they had reappeared in London.

Harry wasn’t sure if he liked that mode of transportation but it sure beat traveling on the knight bus. The squeezing sensation bothered him for a second but then it was gone and they were in a completely different location.

Remus said, “Now concentrate on what you memorized.”, while scanning the area in case they were followed.

The teens stood there thinking about the secret and watched in awe as the house just appeared in front of them.

Remus quickly ushered them inside, closed, and locked the door before leading them into the family room where everyone was awaiting their arrival.

When they entered the family room Hermione ran up to her parents and hugged her mum first then her dad before breaking down in a fresh set of tears.

Harry was moving towards Hermione when Sirius stopped him with a gentle touch on his shoulder. He was too worried about Hermione to flinch at the unexpected touch but he did stop and looked up into his godfather’s eyes.

It had been quite a while since he had last seen his godfather and he noticed that he looked much better now. The gauntness was fading and Sirius looked much healthier overall. His eyes still held a haunted look, and they probably would for the rest of his life. You could never put some things fully behind you no matter how hard you tried. Harry knew the last bit from first hand experience as he still had nightmares from time to time too.

“Hello Harry.” Sirius said softly while holding his arms open for a hug.

Harry looked over at Hermione for a moment and she was still in her father’s arms but she gave him a small nod and that was all it took. He stepped into the hug and felt Sirius wrap his arms around him in a protective manner.

It was a completely different feeling from one of Hermione’s hugs. This felt protective in an entirely different way and Harry found that he liked it too. The tears wouldn't come even though he was choked full of emotion. He had cried himself out on the pitch with Hermione and Remus so this hug was more about healing some of the pain for him.

Remus looked over at everyone in the kitchen and said “Dumbledore wants them back in the castle by eight pm.”

“Thank you for convincing the headmaster to let you bring them home for the rest of the day. It means a lot to us.” John said to Remus.

“You’re welcome. I'll go and help the elves get started on lunch. These two haven’t eaten since last night so they must be starving by now.” Remus said as he headed off towards the kitchen to lend a helping hand.

When he arrived in the kitchen he found Dobby and Winky already working hard so he asked, “Can I help?”

Winky looked up at Remus and said, in a tone that brooked no argument, “You may set the table Master Remus.”

Chuckling to himself at Winky’s order, he went about setting the table for everyone.

After fifteen minutes, the lunch was ready and Dobby went out to retrieve everyone. When he entered the room, he saw everyone seated on the sofas talking quietly about what had happened this morning.

Before Dobby could speak Harry spotted him, gave him a smile, and said; “Thank you Dobby. If it wasn’t for your help with the gillyweed and waking me up in time, I wouldn’t have made it to save Hermione.”

He finished speaking and held his arms out to the elf.

Dobby practically leapt into his master’s arms and gave him the biggest hug he could manage. Dobby said, “It was an honor to help sir.”, as he stepped back from the embrace.

Hermione had gotten up from her spot next to Harry, knelt down to Dobby’s height, and pulled him into a hug that brought tears of joy to his tiny face. “Thank you very much Dobby. You did a great job today.”

He was a little choked up from all of the praise that he was receiving. With a smile, Dobby said, “Lunch is ready in the kitchen if you will all follow me please.” In his excitement, he was still holding his Mistresses hand and was leading her to the kitchen.

When they all entered the kitchen, Winky saw Dobby leading Mistress Hermione into the room as she was putting the last of the food onto the table. With a giggle she said, “Dobby, I think that Miss Hermione is going to need both of her hands to eat.”, as she watched Dobby flush red with embarrassment.

Dobby quickly led Hermione to her chair and sat her down before going over to sit near Winky. The Granger’s had insisted that the elves join them at mealtimes and after some serious persuasion, they got their wish. Now, the elves both found that they liked the arrangement because it made them feel closer to everyone.

Hermione was smiling at her parents when she noticed that they had gotten the elves to take meals with them. It was a Granger family tradition to have the entire family together for meals and the fact that her parents considered the elves family really helped to cheer her up.

After a nice meal where everyone kept the conversation away from the morning’s events, they all retreated up to the library. John had led everyone up to there thinking that it would provide a familiar background for the teens and allow them to be comfortable for the talk that was coming.

He was not disappointed when Hermione gasped when she entered the room right behind her mother. Her expression was almost identical to Annabelle’s the first time that she saw this room. Before John could reach over and close her mouth with a finger, Harry had beaten him to it.

“No drooling Hermione, you might damage the books.” Harry said lightly.

“I don’t drool!” Hermione replied indignantly only to huff in annoyance when Harry responded with a quirked eyebrow.

This was too much for John and he completely lost it and starting laughing.

Annabelle was red in the face but chuckling softly while Remus and Sirius were looking between the two couples confused.

Not able to stand it any longer Sirius asked; “What’s so funny?” which sent John into a fresh round of laughter and put a half smile on Harry’s face at the same time.

When he was finally able to reign in his laughter, John replied, “Hermione’s reaction and Harry’s response were almost identical in every way to when we first saw this room.”

Mother and daughter were both blushing lightly and rounded on their men at the same time with the same expressions on their faces. Unfortunately, for them all four men in the house could see their identical expressions and began laughing at the site.

After a few minutes of light laughter, erupting from various parties everyone settled down into the furniture in the room. Harry and Hermione had plunked themselves down on the love seat over by the fire while everyone else settled into the remaining furniture so that they were all facing each other.

To save Harry and Hermione from having to retell their experiences from the morning Remus spoke up “If you two don’t mind,” Remus indicated the two teens, “I can fill everyone in on what happened and you can fill in any spots that I miss; okay?”

The two teens nodded in relief at Remus’ offer and Hermione nestled into Harry’s shoulder for comfort, wrapping her arm across his chest protectively.

This reaction did not go unnoticed by the other adults in the room. They had not been around Harry and Hermione as much as Remus so the level of comfort that the two teens displayed together was a bit of a surprise for them.

Harry had closed his eyes, making himself comfortable, when Hermione leaned into him. He was finally starting to unwind from the events earlier that morning. Thankful that Remus had volunteered to retell the story Harry let his mind wander, feeling safe for the first time since the tournament started.

John, Annabelle, and Sirius all sat there riveted to the story as Remus spoke just above a whisper. They could not believe what Harry had been forced to endure. The trauma that he must have been subject too because of the task was immense. They were also very thankful that he had succeeded in rescuing Hermione from the bottom of the lake.

When Remus had finished telling them what Harry had seen and felt when he entered the hut there was not a dry eye left in the room. He did not spare any detail because everyone here needed to know what was going on.

Sirius was having a hard time not heading up to Hogwarts and paying a visit to everyone involved in setting up the tournament. ‘How could they allow the students to be placed into life threatening events for a stupid tournament?’ he thought helplessly. It was this thought that caused Sirius to reevaluate his thinking towards the Wizarding world and its attitudes.

Annabelle and John were holding onto each other’s hands by the end of the tale. Both of them left speechless by the heartlessness of the magical community.

One thing had really been bothering Annabelle about this whole tournament business since she found out about it. Harry entered against his wishes and forced to compete did not sit well with her. Frustrated with her inability to come up with an answer on her own she blurted out her question. “Why didn’t the judges alter the tournament tasks to something trivial and when they were complete just enter the names of the three legitimate champions? That way Harry wouldn’t have been forced into these dangerous situations.”

Remus was about to answer when he noticed that Harry and Hermione had dozed off in each other’s arms. He motioned for quiet and pulled the afghan over the two teens. Gesturing to the others he moved to the other side of the room and put up a privacy ward so the two teens wouldn’t hear them talking and wake up.

Remus finally spoke when they all took seats on the other side of the room. “They have been running on adrenaline all afternoon. I’m surprised that they lasted this long before falling asleep. Harry was wound so tight since he came out of the water that I was beginning to worry, and Hermione hasn’t been much better. He said, with relief in his voice, "Both of them were taking things pretty hard.”

A look of understanding passed between the adults and they silently agreed to try and not disturb the two teens sleeping on the love seat on the other side of the room.

“Well, to answer your earlier question Annabelle; I don’t think that anyone even considered that idea. I know it didn’t cross my mind.” Remus said earnestly.

“It’s a brilliant deduction but I don’t think that wizards and witches think outside of the box like that.” John pointed out before continuing to make his point. “From what I have read in the books that you lent us I have found that witches and wizards place too much faith into tradition and common practices to even think that there may be a better solution.”

Annabelle was looking at her husband with pride and Remus and Sirius were in agreement with John’s point, both of them thinking similar thoughts along the line of; ‘Are we that set in our ways that we just accept what ever is dealt to us without question?

“The question now is what can we do to help them?” Annabelle said while gesturing towards the sleeping teens. In frustration she said, “I want to pull them both out of that school right now but I understand that I can’t really.”

“You are correct, the magic compelling Harry to compete could have nasty repercussions if he were to quit.” Remus replied.

“Are you sure? Has anyone ever defied the Goblet before?” John asked the two wizards.

Both of them were stumped again by his question. “I don’t know.” Remus replied and then asked Sirius; “Do you?”

“Nope. I don’t think anyone ever has that I’m aware. This is one of those lack-of-proof things, correct? Well, I won’t risk Harry’s life by telling him to not compete in the third task without solid evidence that it wouldn’t hurt him.” Sirius responded.

“We could safely pull Hermione out but I think that she would fight us on that based upon how close they seem to be now.” John said in resignation. He did not want his little girl to grow up yet but it appeared to be happening despite his best efforts to deny it.

“I agree. We should not separate them. It sounds like Hermione is one of only a very few people that openly supports Harry at school. Removing her would be very bad.” Annabelle said while grasping her husband’s hand.

“I know. I just don’t like that the headmaster put her in danger against our wishes! Is there anything that we could do to help protect her from that in the future? What about a Wizarding guardian other than the headmaster?” John suggested.

“Perhaps there is someone that would help us; we just need to get into contact with her first.” Sirius said while trying to work out what he would say to his cousin.

“Who do you think would help us?” Remus asked, curious about which family member Sirius must be contemplating approaching.

“I was thinking about Andromeda and her husband Ted. If they won’t help perhaps their daughter Nymphadora will.” Sirius revealed his thoughts on the matter.

“Do you think that they will believe that you were innocent?” Annabelle spoke hesitantly. She knew that this was a sore subject for Sirius from their long talks about his life experiences.

“I think so. I guess we will have to have Remus here approach them on my behalf first. I think that we can supply them with some memories to view and maybe something from Harry and Hermione about that night last year when we all saw Pettigrew.” Sirius replied wistfully.

Everyone could hear his desire to have some family members believe his innocence.

“Is there anything else that we could do that would help to convince them of your innocence? What about one of those invincible vows?” John asked Sirius.

“An Unbreakable Vow? That is a great idea! I can have Remus contact them and then I could swear an Unbreakable Vow that I was not the Potter’s secret keeper. Thanks John.” Sirius said enthusiastically.

“Glad to be of service. Do you think that we should wake them soon?” John asked as he glanced at the clock on the wall. They had been asleep for a few hours already and it was nearing dinnertime.

“Let them sleep until dinner is ready. They look so peaceful and I think that is a good thing after the day that they have had.” Annabelle said while gazing over at the two sleeping teenagers.

Dinner was a quiet affair since no one wanted to bring up the day’s earlier events. However, by the end of dinner Harry and Hermione would have given almost anything to be talking about the second task.

The adults had concluded that Harry and Hermione needed ‘The Talk’ based upon how close they seemed to be to each other.

This led to a very red-faced Harry and Hermione rejoining each other after they were led to separate rooms for privacy.

Seeing the two teens reactions to each other now that they had each received the infamous ‘Talk’ Sirius pulled out his Wizarding camera and snapped a picture, forever capturing the moment on film. The look that he received from Hermione sent the other adults into fits of laughter and made him fear that she was going to pay him back somehow.

After a round of hugs and kisses goodbye, Remus took a much more calm and collected Harry and Hermione back to Hogwarts. Spending the day away from the Wizarding world at the Grangers house had been just what they needed to recover.
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