Don't look back in Anger

Can some angry words change everything?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10669760/1/Don-t-look-back-in-Anger

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6. An Open Door

Luna was practically dragging Hermione onto the express. "We need to hurry, Hermione. He's vulnerable at the moment."

"So will you be..."

"...but I've got you to watch over me."

"Not until the train is underway, Luna. We need to wait until it has at least left the station, it's just too dangerous otherwise."

Luna relented and they found an empty carriage. Ron followed them in, determined to hear this explanation.

The train was barely moving when Luna stretched out on the bench seat, her head resting in Hermione's lap as the blonde then closed her eyes. Hermione ran her fingers through that blonde hair while speaking to Ron.

"It will just be you and me for a while, Luna isn't with us at the moment…"

"Hermione, saying Luna isn't all there is hardly shocking news…"

"That's not what I said, Ron…"

Their argument was ended before it could begin by Ginny entering the carriage, her wand already in her hand. "We have unfinished business, Granger. What have you done to Luna?"

Ron stood to intercept his sister before a fight started, Hermione used that distraction to fire a stunner past him. She caught Ginny's now stunned body with a levicorpous spell and was moving her over to the opposite seat when Ron exploded.

"What do you think you're doing? That's my sister…"

"I know she's your sister, she's also the only person I know with a temper worse than yours. I told you Luna's not here, that means I have to protect her. There's no way I was allowing Ginny to start firing spells off in this compartment while Luna can't defend herself. Make it look as if Ginny's sleeping and then I'll tell you what's happening here."

Placing Ginny in the window corner of the seat across from Hermione and arranging his sister as if she'd just fallen asleep, Ron then quickly turned his attention back onto Hermione. "Okay now talk, and I'd better like what I hear."

"When I said Luna wasn't with us at the moment, I meant she was elsewhere. Luna can leave her body and rove, she's heading for Azkaban to see what the ministry's reaction is to that article in the Quibbler - and of course to contact Harry."

"You do know how insane that sounds, don't you?"

"Ron, I didn't believe it at first either but Luna was able to tell me things only Harry would know. I would be prepared to swear on my magic that Luna's heading toward Azkaban to help Harry. I can't and won't allow anything or anyone to interfere with that, even if their last name is Weasley."

"You really believe Luna that strongly?"

"I've spent each of the last few nights watching over Luna's body while she heads for Azkaban. She's helping Harry immensely as he fights the effects of the dementors, it also helps me knowing how he's coping. How do you think we've managed all of this?"

Hermione was holding back from telling Ron that Harry could rove too. At the moment they weren't trusting anyone with that news.

Ron could see he wasn't getting told the full story but again reckoned he couldn't betray what he didn't know. He also didn't think Luna was anywhere near smart enough to fool Hermione, few were.

"I need your help, Ron. As you can see, Luna is incredibly vulnerable while she's visiting Harry. If Malfoy and his goons show up for their usual visit, we need to protect her." She knew Ron was always going to back her up with that task, he still had a question though.

"…and what about Ginny?"

"I just don't have time to deal with her jealousies. My entire family are having to leave Britain because it's not safe for us any more. Harry's being forced into doing the same. Voldemort's back, and neither Hogwarts nor the ministry have a good record of protecting him. All Ginny sees though is her chances of dating the boy-who-lived disappearing, and not the danger Harry's in if he stays here. That's her problem, Ron, not mine. She came to me this morning looking for an argument, she then stepped into this carriage looking for a fight - her wand was already in her hand. So not happening, Ron, I have far more important things to deal with than your little sister's jealousy. Harry and Luna are both depending on me, there's no way I'm going to let them down."

Having watched Hermione face down Dumbledore and McGonagall that night in the infirmary, Ron could understand why Ginny would be nothing more than a minor irritation. When it came to defending Harry, Ron himself knew Hermione would plough right through him too in her efforts to achieve that goal. She would probably regret doing it but Hermione wouldn't hesitate. Looking at Ginny resting there, Ron thought it was probably for the best not to revive his sister. Hermione and Ginny firing curses at each other was never going to end well.

"So, is this the last time I'm going to see you?"

This change of tact had tears forming in the corners of Hermione's eyes. "I hope we'll see each other again, you know both Harry and I will write. We just don't know what's in front of us Ron."

This actually drew a chuckle from Ron. "We never have - the three of us just faced whatever came up together. Now you're heading to France and Harry's still stuck in Azkaban. I might be heading back to the Burrow as normal but we know this is anything but normal. Everything is changing and I don't know what to do about it."

There were students passing their compartment and looking in, seeing Hermione and Ron sitting chatting as normal dispelled any concerns about the two sleeping girls. Sleeping on a long train journey wasn't exactly an unusual occurrence. What might be regarded unusual though was Malfoy's non appearance.

Since there was already a groundswell of bad feeling against Slytherin from the other three houses, and Snape wasn't here to defend them if anything kicked off, the snakes were keeping a decidedly low profile on the train. There were a lot more students, other than Luna and Hermione, who wouldn't be returning to Hogwarts come September, disgusted as they received a glimpse over the last week of how things really were in Hogwarts. These students now had nothing to lose so taunting them any further could see an unwelcome backlash - unwelcome to anyone wearing Slytherin robes that is.

-oOoOo-

It was a thoroughly agitated Dolores who arrived in Azkaban, what she subsequently found there drove her temper to new heights.

"I told yeah, he just lays there all day in some kinda trance. He must wake up at night 'cause his food n' water are empty in the mornin'."

To say Dolores didn't take this news too well would have been a massive understatement. Potter was supposed to be a quivering wreck by now, not laying there sleeping as if he didn't have a care in the world. This was intended to be a severe punishment yet he seemed oblivious to his surroundings. How in the name of Merlin was this supposed to break him?

"Why didn't you inform me this was his reaction to being here? What's the point of doubling the number of dementors if he can just ignore them?"

"My job is to keep him here, nothin' else. He's here, ain't he? I wish more of the prisoners were like him, not one complaint 'bout anythin' has passed his lips."

"You moron, I want him to be complaining. I want him screaming for his dead mother twenty-four hours a day, not lying there sleeping. Wake him up."

This saw the governor of Azkaban shaking his head. "When he first did this, we tried. Nothing would wake him. After seein' he wasn't ill, we monitored the situation every couple o' hours and saw that he'd eaten and drank. After that, we just let him be."

"I didn't come all this way to watch the little shit lie there and sleep. Either you wake him or I will."

"You're making enough noise to waken the dead. Could you keep it down, some of us are trying to sleep here. I thought I wasn't allowed visitors? If I'd known you were coming I would have tidied my cell up a bit." Harry never opened his eyes, nor raised his voice above that of a conversational tone, the result though was electric.

Both his visitors reacted with a jolt, Dolores recovered first. "Now you're awake, I want to know how you got these lies out of Azkaban."

"I would like to know how someone like you ended up under the minister, it wasn't for your people skills. I would also like to be on a certain train with my friends, you denied me that. I learned early on we rarely get what we want in life, me being here just reinforces that lesson - so why should you be any different?"

Harry still had his eyes closed so missed the look of hatred and determination that Dolores now wore. He also missed seeing her take a small bottle out of her pocket. "Oh, you will tell me everything I want to know - I guarantee it…"

She was interrupted by the governor. "If you're plannin' on usin' truth serum, I'll need written orders. You'll also need to have a healer present. Veritaserum is a controlled substance for a reason, it's not somethin' that just anyone can mess 'bout with."

Dolores pinned the man with her beady stare. "The Minister of Magic placed me in charge of this investigation, not you. That makes Potter mine to do whatever I want with. Can I suggest you go and sit in that office of yours. I'm sure there must be something you could be doing right now, rather than standing here with me."

Harry opened his eyes to see an expression of pity for him on the governor's face, the man still left him with Umbridge. She though had a parting comment, or should that be threat. "Oh, and Governor, should I discover anyone in Azkaban helped Potter get this information out, they and you will be having a close and long look at the inside of one of these cells."

"Today's the first time any o' us have heard a peep out o' the lad since you threw him in there. It wasn't any o' my people helpin' this lad tell the whole country the truth. There was you and the minister goin' to all that bother o' lockin' him away too, and all for nowt - such a pity that."

A livid Dolores then focused her attention on the teen lying on the bed. "Right, Potter, now you're mine."

Placing Harry in a body bind allowed Dolores to force the required amount of truth serum passed his lips. "Soon you'll be telling me everything I want to know, and exactly what you and Dumbledore are up to with these you-know-who is back lies."

-oOoOo-

Dumbledore had no idea what to do next, after walking into his office and discovering a treasure trove sitting atop his desk. He was now sitting at that same desk, surrounded by the 'presents' that had somehow appeared there - of course this was long after the express had left Hogsmeade.

He called the Grey Lady to his office, she tearfully confirmed that was indeed her mother's diadem - and that it was now missing the disgusting taint Tom Riddle had placed on it. Albus was left with no option but to believe the rest of the notes, and the presence of basilisk fangs confirmed beyond the handwriting that Harry simply had to be involved. No one else could enter the chamber and gain access to them.

He would search the old Gaunt place tomorrow, that was certainly the easiest horcrux to get to and should prove beyond any doubt that the information was correct. Since this tied in perfectly with Albus' own theories on Voldemort, he was already sure this was all true.

What was leaving him flummoxed was how Harry came to be in possession of all this information, and how it ended up on his desk with Harry in Azkaban. The cold hand of fear then ran their fingers down Albus' spine. If Harry knew all this, what else did he know? Miss Granger, Sirius and Remus had already lost their trust in him. If Harry knew more of Albus' secrets, he would surely lose the boy's trust too.

Albus would need to think about that later, he had a meeting to attend in his brother's establishment - with still no idea what he was going to say to those members of the order who would be turning up. Molly was sure to harangue him over Harry still being in Azkaban, it wasn't as if he wasn't trying to get the boy out. He couldn't even get near the boy, which just made Harry being able to contact him - from Azkaban directly to the Headmaster's office, and via a visit to the chamber of secrets - all the more unbelievable.

-oOoOo-

With a deep breath, Luna shot off Hermione's lap and sat upright - practically scaring the life out of Ron. That Luna was in floods of tears was having a similar affect on Hermione, that was until she felt Harry enter her. Hermione's arms then shot out to hold the sobbing and shaking girl.

"It was horrible, Hermione. It was that Umbridge witch, she has to be a death eater. She cast the cruciatus curse on Harry!"

As Hermione was getting the story from Harry, it was left to Ron to interrupt.

"What? Are you sure?"

It was now Hermione's turn to jump in, letting Luna know just how much information she had passed on to Ron.

"Ron knows you can leave your body, Luna, and that you've been visiting Harry in Azkaban."

Luna was clinging to Hermione, trying to reboot her brain yet her concern for Harry was swamping everything. His spirit may be currently inside Hermione but should anything kill his body in Azkaban, Harry would simply fade away.

"I got there just in time, Umbridge cleared the wing of all other guards and then gave Harry the truth serum. She kept asking him all these ridiculous questions about Dumbledore and conspiracies, she was also determined to discover how Harry got news out of Azkaban. I was able to help him fight off the potion's effects though, Harry just kept repeating Voldemort was back. Asking why she didn't believe him, since she herself had given him the truth serum saw Umbridge really lose her temper."

Hermione was watching the scene from Harry's perspective as Umbridge decided the ends justified the means. She needed that information and Harry was going to give it to her. It was the gleam of satisfaction in her eyes that was really scary as Umbridge withdrew her wand, almost as if she was delighted to have this excuse and opportunity to torture Harry.

"She used the cruciatus on him, Hermione, and the cracks were getting wider."

Ron just took that last remark to be more of Luna's weirdness but both Harry and Hermione were alarmed by that news. The express was about an hour out from London so they would need to wait until tonight before being able to return and check on Harry's body.

Luna was now becoming more aware of her surroundings and just had to ask. "Hermione, why is Ginny sleeping in the corner?"

-oOoOo-

Voldemort was not a happy dark lord, something someone was soon going to pay for. He was sure the matter of his return had been contained, only for it then to be broadcast, in great and embarrassingly accurate detail, the length and breadth of Britain by that rag, The Quibbler.

Lucius had been dispatched post haste to discover just what was going on at the ministry. Since the article made them look like fools too, Voldemort was waiting to learn what action they intended to take - before taking any of his own. Seeing his servant return and kneel before him, he impatiently waved his hand for Lucius to speak.

"Master, Potter somehow got a letter out of Azkaban. He sent it to the Quibbler, knowing the Prophet wouldn't be allowed to print such a thing. He also managed to send a letter to Bones. In this one he named every follower who answered your summons that night in the graveyard."

"And just how did Potter manage this?"

"No one knows, yet. Fudge is panicking, and sent Umbridge off to Azkaban to interrogate the brat. We will hopefully know more later, after she returns."

Voldemort sat in silence for a few moments, figuring out his next move. That this silence played on the nerves of his followers was also a bonus, it kept his death eaters on their toes.

"Go, collect your son, Lucius. Gauge how this news has been perceived on the platform and I will speak to your son later. I'm anxious to hear how Hogwarts reacted to this news, and whether Draco's version matches Severus'."

Lucius was up and out of there as quickly as manners allowed. Delivering bad news to the dark lord rarely saw anyone escape his master's wrath. To leave without being cursed was a welcome bonus the Malfoy patriarch was certainly not expecting.

-oOoOo-

A tearful Hermione had Ron wrapped in a hug as the express pulled into Kings Cross. The friends were saying their goodbyes here - rather than on the platform. He was going to wait until Hermione and Luna had left before reviving Ginny. If his firebrand of a sister wanted to pick a fight on the platform, in front of all the parents, Ron was certain Ginny would quickly be stopped.

Ron was also fighting back the tears. This felt like he was saying goodbye to someone who, over the last four years, had become as important to Ron as the rest of his family. If Harry had been here too, Ron was certain the entire trio would be blubbering by now.

"This is not goodbye, Ron, like we'll never see each other again. We'll keep in touch and who knows, a visit to France might soon be in your future too. You'll be able to spend some of the holidays with us at least, instead of Harry and I heading for the Burrow. I will not lose one of the best friends I've ever had, and you know what I'm like when I put my mind to something."

This had Ron chuckling, until Hermione kissed him on the cheek. His face became as red as his hair and Ron could then barely mumble 'bye'.

As Hermione left the carriage with Luna, Harry confirmed his girlfriend was right.

"Ron almost passed out because you kissed him on the cheek. You kissing him on the lips to transfer me would have blown his mind, he'd never be able to accept you were just friends after doing that."

"I know Harry and I feel terrible… Not about the kissing part, I'm saving those for you. It's more Ron knows I'm not telling him everything but I simply can't. Molly just has to look at Ron and she could get everything he knows out of him - without even having to enter his mind."

"I just hope she's here, and gets a hold of Ginny fast. The ministry would fall all over themselves trying to charge you with using magic underage, even just defending yourself on the platform wouldn't stop them bringing charges."

"It will be okay…" Hermione only realised she'd spoken that last part out loud when Luna's hand slipped into hers.

"Who are you trying to reassure Hermione, me, you or Harry?"

"All three of us Luna - aw shit! Look who's standing beside my mum and dad."

"I've never met your mum and dad, but I'm assuming you mean the couple talking to Dumbledore?"

"Yes, the last bloody person I wanted to see anywhere near them. Potter, you're having an affect on my language too. I used to shout at you and Ron for using words like that."

With Harry inside her head and Luna holding her hand, both could tell that last part was Hermione's poor attempt at humour, trying not to lose her temper at Dumbledore's interference with her family. Hermione was leaving Britain and Hogwarts in her attempts to keep her parents safe, Albus Dumbledore standing next to them was not a welcoming sight.

Hermione's view was soon blocked by her mother rushing toward her, a grade one Granger hug followed as they collided.

"Oh my, Hermione. You've grown so much. Professor Dumbledore was kind enough to bring us onto the platform, since this will be your last time leaving the train."

"Professor Dumbledore isn't kind, mum. He only does things like that when it suits him. He's probably spent the time pumping you for information while getting his side of the story across. Did you look inside my parents' minds too, Professor, or is that something you reserve for students supposedly in your care?"

Putting on his best caring grandfather expression, Albus easily managed to appear hurt by those words. "Do you mistrust me so much, Miss Granger, that you could think that of me? I just wanted to ensure your parents received the information that Harry had been locked in Azkaban unjustly. I didn't want them thinking your boyfriend was a murderer."

That appeared to be the opening her father had been waiting on. "…and why are we hearing from your headmaster that our daughter has a boyfriend? This isn't even the same boy you went to that ball with at Christmas. Just what is going on, Hermione?"

"Dad, Harry has been my best friend since first year. We were going to get together after Harry completed the final task. We didn't get the chance since he was arrested by the minister of Magic right out of his hospital bed that night - and Dumbledore stood there with his hands in his pockets. Trust me, had that not happened, you and mum would have heard all about my wonderful boyfriend before now. We didn't even manage to have our first kiss before Harry was dragged away."

That last sentence calmed Dan Granger immensely, he was now hugging his daughter as Dumbledore switched targets.

"Miss Lovegood, I didn't know you were such good friends with Miss Granger?"

The blonde ex-Hogwarts student wasn't phased in the slightest by this. "Since I attended your school for three years and this is the first time you've ever spoken to me, I don't think it's surprising that you didn't know Hermione and Harry are my two best friends."

"You know Harry too?"

"Well enough to know he's very angry at you. Harry asked you a question at the end of his first year and you refused to answer, was protecting Professor Snape really worth losing the prophesied child?"

Albus had come here hoping for some answers, Miss Lovegood had just confirmed his worst fears. Although he still had no idea where Harry was finding this information, far less how he was getting it out of Azkaban, there was no longer any doubt the lad knew about the prophecy - and apparently how Voldemort discovered the details too.

As Miss Granger was introducing her friend to her parents, Albus was at a loss to understand how he moved on from here. Harry had every right to be angry at him for withholding that information, saying he was too young at the time wouldn't win Albus any points with the boy. His only consolation was that Harry still trusted him to deal with Voldemort's horcruxes. It wasn't much, especially when compared against Harry leaving Britain, but at the moment it was all Albus had.

The sneering voice coming from next to him pulled Albus from his thoughts.

"Seriously, Dumbledore, muggles on our side of the platform? That's a step too far, even for you. We're not prepared to accept this filth in our world anymore..."

Watching Hermione's shocked expression at Lucius Malfoy's vile words against her parents saw Luna fire a verbal retort at the blond wizard. "You already tried to cleanse the filth from Hogwarts with your basilisk ploy, and Harry stopped you in your tracks. Have you told your master what happened to his diary yet? Discovering Harry Potter punched a hole right through it, with a fang from the basilisk he just killed will really piss Voldemort off. I would hate to be in your shoes then."

Albus Dumbledore standing on platform nine and three quarters was always going to attract attention, Lucius had played on this when he had rather loudly lambasted the old coot. That attention from the parents and students was now multiplied and decidedly unwelcome. Lucius was so shocked by these revelations being made public, he had no answer for the young girl. He was far too busy glancing around to see if there was anyone on the platform who would take that news back to their master. Stabbing a fellow death eater in the back to advance your own position was all part of the game, Lucius had certainly done it often enough.

Draco was about to mouth off in his father's defence when Hermione hit him with a pre-emptive strike. "Hey ferret, you seemed to enjoy your time down the front of Crabbe's trousers. Is there anything you want to tell us?"

The sniggering and chuckling this caused had both Malfoys now red faced. Luna though had more to say on the matter. "It must really hurt that it was a death eater who stopped you cursing Harry in the back. Then again, it's the ministry who chucked Harry in Azkaban - and they call me loony!"

Dumbledore looked on in admiration as these two young witches verbally destroyed both the Malfoy patriarch and heir in public. That this was also the last time Albus would see both these witches was distressing, that Harry Potter would surely follow these two witches out of Britain was a disaster - a disaster he currently had no idea how to avert.

As the Malfoys sulked away with their tails between their legs, the Granger party found themselves being approached by Amelia Bones. "Very well done there, you two. Too many people are influenced by Malfoy's wealth so let him do whatever he wants. Even although I know you are determined to leave us, Miss Granger, my offer of help is still there."

"Hermione?" The plea in her voice was nothing compared to the one Luna was broadcasting with her eyes. Knowing they were really out of their depth with this, Hermione nodded to her blonde friend.

"Mum, dad, this is Madam Bones. She is Head of the Magical Law Enforcement Department at the ministry. Would you mind if I took a couple of minutes to speak with her - privately." Hermione left no one in any doubt her last comment was aimed at Dumbledore.

Her parents were clever people and recognised that they too were way out of their depth in this situation. They hardly recognised their daughter, she'd grown in more ways than physically. Hermione had just slapped down her headmaster and a man they last saw fighting with Arthur Weasley. They gave their permission, on the understanding Hermione didn't leave their sight.

Moving to the back of the platform, Amelia had no sooner erected a privacy charm when the information from this young witch blew her mind.

"Madam Bones, Umbridge is currently in Azkaban torturing Harry. When she couldn't get the information she wanted using veritaserum, she started using the cruciatus curse on him. Please, Harry never asked to be a child of prophecy. He needs help and we have no one else to turn to."

Getting her brain back into gear, Amelia asked a question she really needed to know the answer to. After the earlier letter revelations, Amelia believed this witch. She felt though that there was a more pressing question than how they were getting that information from someone locked in the high security wing of Azkaban.

"Can you tell me why you don't trust Dumbledore to help you with this?"

"Oh, we would be here all day, and that's time Harry might not have -that woman Umbridge is psychotic. Dumbledore knew Harry was involved in this prophecy concerning Voldemort, it's why he was attacked as a baby. He moves Harry about like a chess piece, even used him as bait in that tournament, and also withholds vital information. Did you know Voldemort had created horcruxes? That's why he didn't die, and Dumbledore has at least suspected that fact since the Halloween the Potters were murdered. Will you help Harry, help us?"

Taking a deep breath to counter the shocks that just kept coming, Amelia made a decision. "Miss Granger, if I help Mister Potter I want to know exactly what's going on here." The relief was clearly there for Amelia to see, as were the tears this brave young witch was fighting to hold back.

"Madam Bones, you help Harry out of that place and we'll tell you anything you want to know. You'll have to hurry though, that Umbridge would kill Harry and not lose any sleep over it."

Amelia didn't exactly have a high opinion of Dolores, and was aware she possessed a vicious streak against those who crossed her. She would see Susan home and then take action.

Dumbledore had made his excuses and left by the time Hermione rejoined her parents, the four headed off the platform to the muggle side.

"Mum, dad, I know you must have hundreds of questions - thanks for not demanding answers right now. I promise we will sit down and you'll soon know everything."

Emma could see both Hermione and her friend were clearly worried about something, the mother would go as far as to say they were frightened. "Can I at least ask where Crookshanks and your trunks are?"

"Oh a friend will be bringing them by later..."

"Hermione, Dumbledore left far too easily. He didn't come all this way for nothing, all he learned was that I know about the prophecy. There has to be something else, something we're missing..."

"I agree, but what?"

"Well, he already knows your address..."

"...but not where we're moving to - since we don't know ourselves yet."

"Dad, this is gonna seem strange but could you drive about randomly and then stop somewhere we can get a bit of privacy?"

"We should just let your mum drive, she does that naturally - it's called getting lost."

Hermione almost smiled at that as they climbed into her father's beloved Range Rover, a car all three of the Grangers knew he wouldn't let anyone else drive.

Rather than becoming upset at being the butt of the family joke, Emma watched Hermione explain seat belts to Luna before asking another question. "Do you think we might be followed dear?"

"Not like some wizard jumping in a taxi and shouting 'follow that Range Rover', there are other ways we could be tracked though."

Not liking what he was hearing, Dan had to speak up. "Hermione, if we're in danger then our little talk has to happen right this minute."

"I'll know better when we stop, dad. I'll do whatever is necessary to keep you and mum safe."

A worried look passed between the parents before Dan attempted a poor joke. "Emma, I thought we were supposed to be the ones keeping the girls safe?"

Hermione was deadly serious as she answered both her parents. "Not with this, you don't even know what we need protecting from."

They had barely escaped the station when Dan pulled into a small deserted car park of a now closed shop. "Okay, Hermione, time for some answers."

She got out the car while speaking to her parents. "I need to call a friend first. Dobby."

The little elf appeared with a pop. "Harry Potter's Grangy is calling Dobby, but Dobby does not think she wants her things brought here."

Hoping her parents didn't pick up on the 'Harry Potter's Grangy' bit, and knowing they missed nothing, Hermione told the little guy why she needed him. "Can you check if we are being tracked?"

Waving his hands saw all four of them light up, Dan and Emma were practically glowing. "Yous all have tracking charms on yous, will Dobby remove them?"

On hearing that, Dan got out the car. "These tracking charms, is that like being bugged?"

Dobby had no idea what that meant but Hermione confirmed her father was correct, as well as introducing Dobby to her parents.

The little elf bowed. "You is Dobby's family, Dobby and Winky are proud to serve such a wonderful family."

Hermione shaking her head at her father stopped all those extra questions - for now. Pointing to the cars and occasional bus passing on the road behind them, Dan then voiced his idea. "Instead of just removing those charms, could they be placed elsewhere?"

The cackle of laughter that came from the little elf was pure evil henchman in origin. Had Dobby been rubbing his hands together or twirling a waxed moustache, generations of cinema goers would have recognised his character at once. Since Dobby was certainly one of the good guys, it further highlighted just how mixed up wizarding society was.

"Dobby likes that idea, Dobby loves his sneaky new family."

One by one, the charms left those who'd been tagged and hit a different passing vehicle, both witches could see the tiny balls of light shoot from behind the Range Rover and attach themselves to vehicles that could be traveling anywhere in the country.

"If they were prepared to put multiple tracking charms on all four of you, whether it's death eaters or Dumbledore, they could still find your address. Going there isn't safe..."

Hermione agreed with Harry and had an idea. "Dad, do you still have gran's cottage?"

"We still own it but haven't been there in years. We were going to sell it before moving to France, the land it sits on is probably worth more than the cottage now. Are you saying we can't go home?"

"Dad, I'm saying we shouldn't go home. Malfoy would think nothing of turning up at our house with his death eater buddies and killing all of us. Luna, mum and I wouldn't get quick deaths, and they would probably make you watch. By their pureblood philosophy, we don't have the breeding to be allowed to live. Luna does but they'll class her as a blood traitor and kill her anyway. Malfoy is using his money to control the minister so don't expect any help from there either. This is why we need to leave Britain, we are literally fleeing for our lives."

This was Emma's cue to become involved. "If things are that bad, I vote we miss Newhaven altogether and head straight for Dover..."

"...with no luggage and, more importantly, no passports? We need to go home to at least pack."

"No dad, Dobby and Winky can take care of all that. More importantly, they can easily get out if the house is attacked while they're there." Hermione knelt to speak with the little elf.

"Dobby, can you find my grandmother's old cottage?"

"Dobby can find all his family's houses."

Hermione felt Harry take over to have a quiet word with the elf. "Move whatever the Grangers need out of their Crawley house for them. Take anything you need out the vault, the cottage has to be liveable and safe by the time we get there."

"Dobby and Winky will have house clean and dinner waiting on their family."

"You two are the best, see you soon."

With that, Dobby popped away to begin work while her parents stared at Hermione. "It's way past time we had some answers. You can start now, since we seem to have a longer drive in front of us."

Again Emma butted in, wanting her question answered first. "What was that little man, and when did he join our family?"

Hermione now sat beside Luna and thought this was going to be a long trip.

-oOoOo-

Dolores hated the long boat trip. For security though, it was the only way on and off Azkaban. The powerful wards redirected every other vessel, other than this little craft, away from the craggy island. She may not have gotten the information she had originally travelled to Azkaban for but Dolores was consoled by the fact that Harry Potter was no longer a problem.

After the brat somehow managed to negate the truth serum, she'd used a different method. His screams had been music to her ears but it became an incredibly short symphony. In moments, he'd entered that trance-like state again. This greatly reduced the effect of the cruciatus but Dolores was nothing if not persistent. She'd cursed Potter until his eyes glowed red, then left him lying helpless on the bed. Dolores had also left the cell door open, something she was sure the dementors would soon discover as she released them back into the high security wing.

The boat trip might be tedious but at least she had some pleasant memories to revisit on the homeward leg. The little craft had just touched the dock when four aurors, a healer and Amelia Bones jumped onboard. Dolores was instantly alarmed, five wands pointing at her meant she certainly had cause to be.

"What is the meaning of this?"

"I'll have your wand, Umbridge..."

"...and I'll have your badge, Bones. The minister himself sent me to Azkaban on a mission, you have no right to interfere..."

Amelia cast the disarming spell and snatched Umbridge's wand from the air.

"Casting that curse will see you finished at the ministry..." Dolores was so sure of herself.

Amelia meanwhile cast prior incantato on Umbridge's wand, discovering the last curse cast was the unforgiveable, cruciatus.

"...and casting that curse means you stay on this boat. We're heading back to Azkaban and you might be staying there - permanently."

"I'm Under-Secretary to the Minister of Magic, by what authority do you threaten me?"

"By my authority as Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. I'm enforcing the law you clearly broke. That you used such a curse on a fourteen year old boy will ensure your ticket to Azkaban is one way."

"Cornelius will never allow that to happen, he gave me total control of this case."

"That just means Fudge is smarter than you. He has someone to take the blame, you don't. Tag this wand as evidence and cuff her. Sorry Salty but we need you to take us straight back to Azkaban."

Just seeing this bitch get hers meant Salty had a smile on his face as they cast off. He was well aware who the only fourteen year old boy in Azkaban was. For this piece of shit to use the torture curse on Harry Potter meant the only way she would be leaving Azkaban was by swimming. They could sack him if they liked, Umbridge wouldn't be setting foot in his boat again after he delivered her to Azkaban.

Listening to Umbridge rabbit on all the way to Azkaban about what a career ending mistake they were making was not something they were prepared to endure, she was silenced after five minutes of her drivel. As they were approaching the tiny island harbour, Amelia's alarm bells were ringing after spotting the governor practically running down the path to greet the boat.

"Madam Bones, really pleased to see you. There's been a calamity at the prison, and it's a' her fault." None of them missed his finger was pointing straight at Umbridge. Everyone was left hoping they had all misheard his next sentence though.

"Harry Potter's been kissed by a dementor."

 
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