Cauldrons and Lilies

Chapter 68

I don't own Harry Potter

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Chapter 68

Harry woke up from a nightmare; he saw his father as Cedric had been, on the floor, with unseeing open eyes.

Harry stood up and was surprised to see Ron dressed in black slacks, a white shirt, black jacket and a tie. "You have to hurry. Your mother dropped your clothes earlier." His redhead friend looked somber.

It was two days after the Diggorys died. Ron and him were not going to that funeral. They were going to Frank and Jean Granger's funeral. Harry went through the motions and caught up to Ron who looked impatient.

Harry tried to wrap his mind around the recent events. His best friend's parents were dead. Cedric and his family were killed too. His father fought You Know Who. His father was alive and the wizarding world knew that Lord Voldemort was back. Harry shivered when he remembered his mother's face of sheer terror. His father had yelled something and suddenly he was behind a smokescreen as were his friends.

The headmaster addressed them the following morning. "Lord Voldemort is back. The ministry does not wish me to tell you. Yet you have to know. These are dark times and soon we all will have to choose between what is easy and what is right. The Diggorys were killed yesterday night as were muggleborn parents."

Ron fumed when the Headmaster did not say Hermione's parent's name.

"It's to protect her." Harry whispered quickly.

Ron calmed down a bit then.

"Mione is waiting." Ron said as they reached the Great Hall. Draco was there too. He looked paler than usual. He too wore a black suit.

Harry waited for his parents to arrive. His mother wore a simple black dress. His father wore a suit and looked tired. The press hounded him. They all wanted a go at the man who confronted You Know Who and seemed to come out unscathed once again.

His father explained that he had Dumbledore by his side and even then it was hard to keep You Know Who from getting to them. His father insisted that it was not real. "It was a distraction. And I'm not convinced it was to attack muggles only." His father said quietly.

"We'll apparate near the funeral home." His father said as he walked to Hogsmeade.

Harry held his mother's hand and felt the uncomfortable pull of apparation. His father and Ron walked purposely ahead while Draco stayed back until Harry and his mother got to him.

"Ron and uncle Severus went ahead. Ron insisted they go as soon as possible." His friend said as they walked to the funeral parlor.

Harry was not surprised to see aunt Petunia and his grandfather there. They were by Hermione's side. Ron was already talking to her. Their friend offered them a shaky smile.

Harry and Draco went to her. "Hermione, I am so sorry." Harry said and hugged her. Draco nodded. He hugged her and kissed her cheek.

The whole thing was a blur to him; it felt like hours and minutes at the same time. Hermione was quiet, her eyes were red and she looked smaller and thinner than he ever remembered her.

Ron tried to cheer her up a little and was by her side at all time. Harry heard his parents discuss something with the muggles. They rode a muggle car to a cemetery. Harry held Hermione's hand when they lowered the caskets. Hermione cried silently. Ron was pale and looked as if he were hurt.

They were walking to the cars to go to King's Cross when a woman in a grey suit called her. "Ms. Granger, if you would please come with me?" The woman said.

Aunt Petunia and his mother walked with Hermione. "Who is she?" Ron asked as they looked at the woman discussing something heatedly.

"I better go there." His father strode to them.

Ron looked as if he wanted to run to their friend. Draco watched the scene close to his father. It was about ten minutes before Hermione and aunt Tuney came back to meet with them. His parents stayed with the muggle lady.

"What happened?" Ron asked Hermione as soon as she came to their side.

Hermione wiped some tears. "I don't have anyone. The state has to take me in. I am to go to a foster home."

"You are not going anywhere. My parents could take you in." Ron said quickly.

Petunia shook her head, "your parents are pureblood. They are not registered in our world."

"My dad is." Draco pointed out and looked at Remus.

"I doubt, that they would trust me with the care of Hermione. I am single in the muggle world and unemployed." Harry looked at Hermione and wanted to hug her tight and never let go.

"We'll do something. My dad will fix it." He said when he saw his parents come back.

"Ms. Plank will not be a concern any longer." His father said carefully.

"What will happen to me?" Hermione asked a little fearfully.

Harry looked at his father too. "Ms. Plank will not remember our interaction. We have to get back to the castle now." His father strode away from them.

His father aimed his wand a shoe that mum gave him. "Hermione and you will portkey to Hogsmeade."

"Remus, please take Tunney and Ron to the Burrow." His mother said quickly.

Ron frowned, "Hermione should come with us." Their friend said with a strong voice.

"We have to speak to the headmaster." His father said and ended the matter.

Harry felt the tug of the portkey and then they were in Hogsmeade.

"Your mother will be joining us soon." His father said as they walked to the castle. Hermione looked tired.

They were in the castle soon. "Take Ms. Granger to Gryffindor Tower, your mother will fetch you in a while."

Harry nodded. "Come, Hermione." He said to his friend. Hermione just went with him. They walked along to the common room. She was sad. Harry did not know what to do.

The Fat Lady asked him for the password. Harry did not know it. Hermione half smiled and whispered it.

"It has not changed since the third task." Hermione said.

Harry looked at her friend and then hugged her tight. "Hermione, I am so very sorry."

Hermione squeezed him. "I know you are." She said gently. "Harry, I am a bit tired. I'm just going up to lie down for a bit."

Harry nodded and saw her go up. "I'll be here if you need me." He stayed by their hearth and closed his eyes for some time.

His mother shook him awake. "Harry, wake up." She said gently. "Where is Hermione?"

Harry rubbed his eyes, "upstairs in her dorm."

His mother nodded, "I'll go get her. Go see your father, he refuses to come in. He's being silly."

Harry left the common room. His father was by the foot of the staircase. "Mum said you would not come in."

His father shook his head, "not my place to go there."

Harry nodded, "what will happen to Hermione?"

"The headmaster and the ministry came to an agreement. Ms. Granger will be your mother's and my ward from now on. The ministry has agreed to handle the paperwork. A sign of good faith from their part. They want Dumbledore to work with them." His father said as they waited.

"Is he? Are we?" Harry asked quickly.

"As best as Albus can work with anyone." His father replied truthfully. "We have to be careful now Harry. All of us."

Harry agreed and watched as his mother and Hermione came down the stairs. "We are apparating home." She said as they walked out the gates.

Harry smiled at Hermione and gave her his hand. Hermione smiled back. They walked until they left the gates. His father apparated with him while his mother took Hermione. Harry saw his home and smiled. He missed their old house.

"Hurry along." His father said as they entered the house.

"Show Hermione to her room." His mother said. Harry walked with Hermione and they went upstairs. Harry assumed that it was the second room where his mother hoped to put the sibling his parents never gave him.

There was a bed, much like his, otherwise the room was empty. "Did mum tell you?"

"She did." Hermione said.

"You will like it here." Harry half smiled.

"I am very grateful for what your parents are doing for me." She said in a shaky voice.

Harry hugged her. "You know, I always thought of you as my sister, a big nagging sister."

Hermione chuckled. "You are very wonderful Harry." She said and kissed his cheek.

Harry smiled at her and squeezed her hand. "I am here for you Hermione and so are Ron and Draco."

Hermione nodded quietly. "I'll go ask mum for your luggage." He said immediately.

"Thank you." Hermione looked less tired then. "I need to unpack after all."

Harry smiled at her. His friend needed to keep busy at all times. The boy went downstairs and found his parents by the kitchen.

"She needs more clothes love. I don't know if getting her old clothes is good for her." His mother told his father.

"Did you go to the house?" Severus asked.

"Yes, and she went right after it happened. Hermione picked up pictures and small keepsakes. Her mother's pearls and a muggle watch that belonged to her grandfather. The house was vandalized Sev. I would not want to go back there again. I'll ask her tonight." His mother finished.

"Mum, Hermione needs her luggage. She wants to unpack." Harry said loudly.

"Yes, of course sweetheart, her trunk is by the living room. Please take it up to her room." Harry did so quickly.

Hermione sat primly on her bed. "Here Hermione." Harry gave her the trunk.

"Thank you Harry." She said. "I…"

Harry noticed right away, "you want to be alone."

"Please." She replied honestly.

"No problem. I will be next door if you need anything. Let me show you to the bathroom. I guess we'll share from now on." Harry replied.

Hermione nodded and went with him to the end of the hallway. Harry then went to his room and lied down his bed. He was keyed up but did not want to be with his parents and Hermione wanted to be alone.

It was about ten minutes before the doorbell rang. Harry ran downstairs and saw his cousin and grandfather by the door.

"Hey Harry." Dudley said and walked up to him. Harry greeted his grandfather and then took Dudley up to his room.

"How is Hermione?" Dudley asked once they were in his room.

"Tired and sad." Harry replied honestly.

"I heard she's going to live here." Dudley said. Harry nodded, "my parents are going to be her guardians from now on."

Dudley looked at him and honestly said, "I can't imagine what she is going through. If mum or dad died. I would… I just don't know."

Harry nodded, "Dad said that we all have to be very careful now."

"Gus stopped by earlier today. Him and dad spoke. They hashed things up. Gus stayed with us this morning. He stocked our house with potions just in case and he's secret keeper now. Gus is afraid because none of us are wizards." Dudley replied.

"Dudley, you have to listen to grandpa and aunt Petunia. I saw it happening, Dad was hurt badly. Everyone was very scared." Harry said openly.

Dudley frowned, "You have to promise not to tell mum." Dudley looked very serious.

"I promise." Harry said quickly.

"Dad has a gun in the house and he's teaching me how to use it. He said it would be just in case." Harry was speechless.

"I don't like it but dad is right. If something happens, we have to be prepared." Harry realized how serious matters were once more.

"Duds, enough. Let's just play a game." Harry said after a big silence.

"Thank you mate." Dudley said and turned on the telly. It was an unspoken agreement that they would not speak of things related to You Know Who anymore.