A/N: I do not own Harry Potter. But you knew that.
Harry Potter and The Acts of Betrayal
Chapter Five - The Runaways
When the door closed behind the bellman Harry and Hermione were startled by the pop of elfin apparition. They whirled about with their wands out and ready. There they saw Andrew and Anne Granger, Luna Lovegood and two very different looking elves. Hermione started to run to her parents, but Harry held her back.
'The three of you shut up until I say you can talk. Mr. Granger, tell me the name of the dog Hermione had when she was four."
"We've never had a dog. She had a cat named Mittens."
"Mrs. Granger, How does Hermione take her tea?"
"A dash of milk. She gets annoyed if you stir it for her."
"Luna, why were you putting up signs after the fight at the ministry?"
"To get my things back from my Housemates of course."
Harry never broke eye contact with his guests. "That's Luna alright, and that's how you take your tea. What about the cat?"
"Exactly right Harry, it's them."
Harry lowered his wand. "I'm sorry, I had to be sure."
Hermione rushed to her parents, Harry gestured for Luna to follow him to one of the bedrooms.
"How did you find us?"
"I'm a seer Harry. I can see connections and probabilities. I knew this was my opportunity to help you. You will need this book." She handed the thin tome to him. "I must be going. You might want to ask your friend Dobby to try and get the Granger's clothing for them. Good luck on your trip."
"Good luck? If you're a seer, shouldn't you know how the trip, if we take one turns out?"
"Of course I do, but I don't know which one it is until you chose it."
She took the hands of the two strange elves and disappeared with a pop.
After Luna left Harry sat in the bedroom waiting for the Grangers to do what they needed to do. One thing they did not need was him there. While he had no active roll in her abuse, he was the cause of it. If not for him, Dumbledore would never have given Ron the potion.
Dumbledore was going to die.
Guilt. On the plus side, this was a sign that the Love Slave potion in his system was thinning out. Before he wouldn't have had the emotional depth needed to feel guilt. He hadn't felt the need for Ginny yet today. That made the constant need to pee a small price to pay indeed.
Ginny was going to pay. He still had enough of the potion in his system to not allow himself to contemplate the pleasure he might get out of killing her. That would change.
Through the thin walls of the suite he heard the anger of Hermione's father, the supportive words of her mother, and Hermione's sobs.
Ron Weasley was going to die, but first he was going to wish he had never been born.
The anger built in him and the room almost vibrated with the magic roiling off his body. He stripped and got into the shower to let the hot water calm him. One question kept rolling through his mind. How was he ever going to make his failure up to Hermione?
He needed a plan. He already had his goal. The plan would allow the attaining the goal. The goal was simple, after getting Hermione and her family to a safe place, return to Hogwarts and not leaving a single stone standing. He needed a plan to achieve that. To get the plan he needed Hermione safe. They were NOT getting their hands on her again.
Andrew Granger listened to the tale his daughter told. He had already heard most of if from Luna Lovegood, but to actually hear it from his own baby girl made his blood boil. He wanted to get his hands on this 'Ron Weasley' and make him pay for what the punk had done to his little girl. That so called 'Headmaster' was on his list as well. He hated this feeling of helplessness that these 'wizards' inspired in him.
Anne Granger spent her time hugging her distraught daughter and telling her that everything was going to be all right, praying that she was not lying. Anne wished she had the courage to tell Hermione how almost the same thing happened to at the same age. For Anne it had been a older boy she worshiped, who took everything Anne had to give him, and attempted to use her to pay off a debt to another man. Anne marveled at the strength her daughter had shown in freeing herself from her situation, Anne herself had needed her father to free her from her own controller.
Then there was this other boy. The Lovegood girl had suggested that all of this, everything that had happened to Hermione was a side effect of attempts to control Harry Potter. After her own parents had failed her, she had risked everything to rescue this boy from his own thrall. Hermione's letters had been full of Harry since the incident with the Troll in her first year, until just after Halloween last year, then suddenly it was as if Harry Potter had vanished from the face of the earth and Ron Weasley was the embodiment of the second coming. It had struck her as odd at the time and now that she knew the reasons behind the change, she had an anger building inside of her that matched her husbands. How could a family she had entrusted her daughter to do such things. She and Molly Weasley were going to have words.
Hermione suddenly sat up from her mother's arms.
"He went into that room with Luna" her father pointed to the closed door. "I'm sure he's fine Hermione."
"No Daddy, you don't understand. If he is left alone he'll start thinking that this is all his fault and he might just leave to protect us. To protect me." She rushed to the door, pushed it open, and found Harry with a towel around his waist searching for something clean to wear. She flew to him and enveloped him into a hug.
"I'm sorry Harry, I shouldn't have been ignoring you!"
"Hermione! I'm not dressed." He looked up to see both her parents watching them. "Hermione! You're dads gonna kill me." He locked eyes with Andrew Granger and saw testament to the truth of that statement.
"Oh you hush. Daddy wouldn't do anything like that."
/Oh yes I would, they would never find your body/. Andrew Granger sent to the man his daughter was hugging telepathically. Harry's eyes widened to indicate that the message had been received and acknowledged.
"Why don't you let me get dressed? Ok?"
"You listen to me Harry Potter. This. Is. Not. Your. Fault. If you even think anything like that I will personally kick your butt. You did not do this; you were done to, just as I was."
"You were done to a lot worse than I 'mione." He said quietly as the door closed.
Hermione didn't hear him. Andrew did.
Harry came finished dressing and entered the sitting room of the suite a few minutes later. To find Hermione and her mother were in the other bedroom. He approached Andrew and extended his hand. "We've never really met Sir. I'm Harry Potter, and I cannot tell you how sorry I am for all this."
"So all this is because of you?"
"Yes sir. Hermione tells me that it was decided upon high that my having a Muggle born girlfriend would upset the old pure blood families. When I chose to ignore their warnings and date Hermione, a form of mind control was used on us." He looked ashamed. "I cannot change what has happened Sir, but I promise I will use every resource available to me to protect Hermione from here on."
"And what resources might that be?"
"Harry's rich Daddy. Insanely rich. He's the heir of two different very rich families."
"And he dresses like this because he's eccentric?"
"I dress like this because until the night before last every minute of my life was controlled and micromanaged to forge me into an unquestioning weapon." I owe my freedom to Hermione." He looked lost for amoment. "Hermione has been squirreling away portions of my money into Non-magical banks for more than a year. There's enough to get us to pretty much anywhere in the world to keep the bastards from getting their hands on her again."
"Why should we go with you?"
"I hope you don't. I hope you take the money I'm going to make available to you and head for parts unknown. Take Hermione and get her as far away from me as you possibly can."
"I am not leaving Harry."
"Yes you are. I am going to kill Ron, I'm going to kill Dumbledore. I'm going to cripple Tonks. The Wizarding world can go to hell with my compliments. Voldemort can have them. I want you out of here." He turned to Andrew Granger. "Mr. Granger as soon as I can get to a Gringotts branch I can put three million pounds in your hands. I want you to take that money and Hermione and run until you find a place that has never heard of magic.
"You aren't sending me away Harry"
"You aren't coming back with me Hermione."
"You're serious? You can go to the bank and put your hands on three million pounds?"
"Yes Daddy." Hermione never broke the death glare she was sending Harry. "He could do that without putting a major dent in his account." She stepped up to Harry. "What makes you think you can tell me what to do?"
"Being close to me is what got you hurt Hermione. Because of me you were raped for more than a year. Because of me your parents were put under the imperius. Because of me you are on the run."
"Because we'd all be so safe with riddle?"
"We aren't talking about Riddle. Riddle didn't do this. Riddle only tried to kill us. Dumbledore controlled us. The Weasleys raped you. They are supposed to be the good guys. There are no good guys in this mess. There are only evil bastards, less evil bastards and innocents."
Hermione was silent as she digested what he had said. Harry's anger burned through the last of the potion clouding and subverting his emotions.
"I'm sorry Hermione. You have to stay away from me. God knows what they will do to you next. I love you Hermione. I have since I saw you petrified in the hospital wing second year. I meant every single word Isaid to you before they took you away from me. If anything else was to happen to you because of me, I don't know what I would do. I'm going out for awhile." He turned and left the suite.
The Elevator arrived and he entered. He was alone. Excellent. "Dobby"
There was a pop and Harry's oddest friend appeared before him. "Yes Harry Potter sir?
"Dobby, could you do me a favor and take me to Gringotts?"
"Oh Yes, Harry Potter sir." The elf reached to take his hand.
"Oh and Dobby, pleas don't tell anyone where I am, or where I'm going ok?"
"Dobby never tell any of Harry Potters business to anyone."
"Not even Dumbledore?"
"Not to anyone Harry Potter sir."
"Thank you Dobby."
They were gone.
"He loves me." She said in a quiet voice.
"Hermione," her mother said. "You need to go after him."
"Like hell she does. He admitted it himself. HE'S the reason they did this to her."
"Shut up Andy. The boy's in love, and sees her in a pain he can't do anything about. Hermione you need to decide what you feel for this boy. Your history together makes me think I know the answer, but you need to decide for yourself. Staying with him because you won't be told what to do is stupid. My daughter isn't stupid. Staying with him because you love him is all the reason you need. Your best revenge on the people who did this would be to spit in their eye and expose them for what they are." She pulled Hermione into a hug. "You need to decide what you feel about this young man."
She turned to her husband. "You. The bedroom. Now."
Hermione smiled, just a bit. Daddy was in trouble. He was going to be yelled at, but would be allowed to make it up to Mum if he played his cards right.
Upon his arrival at Gringotts Harry was immediately spotted.
"Piss off Tonks. I don't have time for some one who is too ashamed to wear her own face."
"Ha Ha Potter. Yer coming with me."
"Don't think so Auror. I'm 17, an adult. You can go piss off now."
"Dumbledore wants you now."
"I bet the old pimp does. You would know, being one of his whores. I don't work for him, so I don't really care what the old whoremaster wants."
She started to draw her wand. "We can do this the unfriendly way if you want..."
"We certainly can." He raised his voice so that it echoed throughout the reception area. "Auror Tonks, you can't talk about the Bank Manager that way, His mother most certainly IS NOT a troll, and HE ISN'T EMBEZZLING from my vault!"
Goblin security responded almost immediately. It reminded Harry of a joke he heard second year "what do you call an Auror who gets in afight with a Security Goblin? Dead". Not a great joke, just amazingly accurate. Tonks wasn't killed, just roughed up and wrapped up for delivery to the ministry. During her tussle with the Security Goblin, the hood of her cloak came down and Harry saw the word inscribed in her face in purple acne. Hermione hadn't mentioned doing that, but no one else he knew could have done it.
A senior Goblin teller appeared at his elbow. "Thank you for defending the Bank Manager Mr. Potter, just the sort of even handedness we have come to expect from the Potter clan over the centuries. Bank Manager Ragnak asked that I extend an invitation to his office to discuss your financial needs."
"Please extend my gratitude to the Bank Manager for his offer, but my business with the Bank is far too trivial for his attention."
"The Bank Manager suggested that you might feel that way, and instructed me to tell you that if Lord Potter wants to exchange a jar of knuts for Galleons, it is of utmost importance to the Bank Manager. Ragnak is very used to getting his way Mr. Potter, you might as well get the attention your position rates."
"You win Senior Teller. Might I ask your name?"
"Why would a Wizard Lord care about my name?"
"You know my name and use it with my honorific, it seems only polite to return the courtesy. Besides, I'm only wealthy or a 'Wizard Lord' because I had ancestors who achieved something. From what I've been told of Goblin society, you earned your position Senior Teller, all I did was inherit."
"My public name is Baldeur Mr. Potter. You are a most unusual Wizard."
"I'm just a school kid, Senior Teller Baldeur. All I know about anything is what people have taught me. Lately I have found that much of what I have been taught to be lies."
"When you are ready to leave Mr. Potter, the Bank Manager will send for me. Have a profitable meeting."
"Thank you Senior Teller Baldeur, may your vault fill to overflowing."
"Welcome Mr. Potter. How may Gringotts serve the house of Potter today?"
"Sir, I'm sure my business is far too trivial for your attention."
The old Goblin laughed, a most frightening sound. "Your father said the same thing word for word the first time he came in after achieving his majority. I will tell you, as I told him, the senior Accounts always have the individual attention of the Bank Manager."
"So, Mr. Potter, where are you going?"
That startled Harry. "How did you know about that?"
"I make it my business to know what my major accounts are doing Mr. Potter. Ms. Granger is placed on the access list for your vault. She starts dating you; our Line Maintenance team pegs her as the lead contender for the next Lady Potter. Albus Dumbledore makes some quiet inquiries about how elder houses feel about linking you with a muggle born. Then suddenly, two months later with absolutely no warning, she completely uncharacteristically leaves you for the youngest son of the Weasley Clan. A fine young man, but he doesn't fit her profile in any way. Within a week, you are in the arms of the Daughter of the Weasley Clan. She IS within your profile, but the rapid switch between them is completely out of character. Our Line Maintenance team projected you having at least two months of down time after Miss Granger. Then two nights ago, Miss Granger suddenly leaves the Weasley Clan residence in the middle of the night, Albus Dumbledore rallies his militia to find her. There is a confrontation at the Granger home, and then you disappear from your home. Miss Granger's parents suddenly cancel their appointments for today, and are in the process of referring their patient base to other dental professionals. Finally, a credit card linked to one of the Muggle Bank accounts she setup for you was used for the first time this morning at the Dorchester Hotel. So, Mr. Potter, where are you going?"
"Indeed Mr. Potter"
"I don't know if I'm really all that comfortable with your level of knowledge of my life."
"I just pay attention to what wizards say Mr. Potter. We are not monitoring you, nor are we following you around. We gather information, nothing more."
Harry sighed. "I'm no match for you sir. Next time I come I'm bringing Hermione Granger with me, and sitting back to watch. A battle between two intellects such as hers and yours should be educational." He smiled at the thought. "I'd like to go to Boston, in the USA. Specifically Iwould like to be near Salem Academy, as soon as possible."
Ragnak did something on his desk. A sheet of parchment appeared over the desk. "There is a flight from Heathrow to Logan tomorrow night, leaving at 8pm."
Ragnak passed a package to him. "Your Passport and Muggle identification. I've discovered a mistake on them that somehow got your date of birth incorrect by one year, so they accidentally show you to be 18, the Muggle age of majority. Make sure you have that corrected when you return. The Granger's passports are also there, including Muggle identification for Miss. Granger. There are also directions to the Salem branch office of Gringotts." When you arrive in Salem, they will have appropriate housing available for you. Your airline tickets and rental car information will be delivered to your suite by noon tomorrow."
"Here are Gringotts cards for yourself and Miss Granger. They function exactly like Muggle Credit cards, except of course they only debit your account. Is there anything else I can do for you?"
"I have access to the Potter Family vault now that I'm of age, correct?"
"You have access to the Potter Family vaults. There are nine in total, not including your trust vault that you have been added to the access list for."
The old Goblin seemed to be waiting for him to ask something he thought for a second and realized what he was being told. "Who else has access to the Potter Family vaults?"
"Current access list for the Potter Family Vaults consists of yourself, Miss Granger has access to your trust vault, and Albus Dumbledore has access to all of your vaults."
"Has Dumbledore had many transactions with those vaults?"
"Yes, several substantial transactions."
"Can I stop that?"
"Yes, now that you have your majority."
"Remove Albus Dumbledore from access of all Potter vaults, accounts and anything else Potter family related." He thought for a moment. "What about the Black vaults? Who has access to them?"
"Yourself, Albus Dumbledore and Bellatrix Lestrange."
/Sweet Merlin/. "Do I control access to the Black vaults as well?"
"You do." The Goblin smiled inwardly. The boy was uneducated, but learned quickly.
"Remove everyone but myself from the Black access accounts. Please attempt to recover what ever in the way of material things that have been removed from either the Potter or Black vaults, and please get me astatement of all transactions performed by either Dumbledore or Lestrange."
"The Salem office will have that accounting for you. Recovery of personal items will come at a cost. A 'finders fee' if you will."
"Make it 15 percent with the additional going directly to the recovery team. I prefer motivated employees."
"Done. Anything else?"
"Yes. Withdraw the equivalent of 3 million pounds from the Black Vaults and startup a vault in the name of Andrew and Anne Granger. Iwould also like one of those Gringotts cards for that vault."
Ragnak make some notes. "It will be ready in 5 minutes."
"Thank you sir. Now all I have to do it get back to the Hotel."
"A portkey will also be ready when the Granger Vault is ready."
"Thank you again sir. I cannot tell you how much Iappreciate your help and honesty."
"It is the very least we could do for a major account holder."
The portkey dropped him on his ass in the sitting room of the suite. A very angry Andrew Granger was staring at him.
"Go ahead. Kick my ass. I probably deserve it."
"I want you to stay away from her."
"And I want to stay away from her. I won't risk her. Look Mr. Granger, I've made arrangements to go to Salem in the US where we can get Hermione into the Academy if you like. Here." He handed Andrew the Gringotts cards and account key. "The three million we spoke about. Do what you want with it. The Flight is at 8 pm tomorrow, the bank managed to get your passports." He handed them over as well. "Come with me, go somewhere else, Idon't care as long as Hermione is safe."
"My god, you do love her."
"I think I do. Everyone tells me I do. I don't really know what love is. I never got it from my family. What I've seen at school that is called love seemed to be a lot of lust and not a whole lot of dedication. Afriend I told myself I loved like a brother took Hermione away from me and raped her. A friend I told myself I loved like a sister took me away from Hermione. A man I loved like a grandfather orchestrated the whole thing."
"I need to discuss where we go from her with Anne. I'll let you know tomorrow."
"Which room are you taking? We'll get out of your way."
"I was planning on the sofa. You and Mrs. Granger deserve aprivate room, Hermione deserves one as well. Me, well I've got a lot to answer for."
Andrew Granger stood and went to the room his wife had retired to. He lay back on the bed and stared at the ceiling.
"What is is?" Anne asked.
"You aren't taking his money."
"He loves her. He loves her enough to try and send her away."
"I knew that. I told you that. Where are we going?"
"America. Salem. He wants to get Hermione to go to the Academy there."
"America with three million pounds. That has possibilities. It will be a good place to wait while He and Hermione return to try and fix this."
"She isn't coming back here."
"Of course she is. He just doesn't know it yet.
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