Out of Shadows
Writter: fall shadow
Summary: Harry has been raised to follow a path of darkness, but when he meets Hermione things start to change and he finds out everything he has been led to believe is a lie. Now, with a strengthened resolve, he must do whatever it takes to stop the one he once considered his master.
Harry froze in mid-air, still suspended by Hermione’s Wingardium Leviosa spell, his hand now clutching the first Horcrux they had managed to locate - a golden cup hidden in Bellatrix’s vault at Gringott’s. He tried not to think about the small mountain of treasure beneath him, which was cursed to burn white-hot and multiply whenever it was touched. There was another crash behind him and more clinking metal. Harry tried to look, but he had difficulty maneuvering floating in the air.
“The sword!” Griphook said in triumph. “Argh!”
More metal hitting the vault floor and bouncing along, duplicating.
“Ahh!” Hermione yelled. Harry suddenly felt the weightless feeling leave his body. He realized what was going to happen a second before he dropped into the pile of golden treasure beneath him.
Searing pain surrounded him on all sides and the pressure of the objects was starting to make it hard to breathe. He sank deeper into the pile; everything he touched was burning his skin and adding to the mass he was drowning in. He tried to move his arms and legs, but he was completely buried in metal.
“Harry!” he heard Hermione yell.
Her voice sounded muffled and distant.
His skin was being scorched in some places. He couldn’t breathe.
He blinked his eyes furiously, but found he couldn’t see anything but glints of treasure.
Suddenly, noise surrounded him and he felt his body shifting. Air began to fill his aching lungs as the pressure lessened, and he felt himself sliding backward on his stomach.
In a rush, the piles of treasure poured out of the vault like an avalanche.
“Harry!” he heard Hermione shout more clearly this time. Her hand grabbed ahold of his arm and she pulled him out of the heaps of cursed metal.
She laid him down on the floor again, a safe distance away from the objects that had been in the vault. Harry looked dazed.
“Oh, Harry…” she said in a voice that told him he must not look good.
“It’s a fake!” he heard Griphook say in the background, followed by what he guessed was some colorful goblin language.
He tossed the sword he was holding aside and looked at them, obviously angry.
“What’s going on?” Bogrod, who had evidently just come to, asked.
He was ignored, though, as Griphook ran over to Harry.
“If I can’t have the sword, I’m taking this!” He snatched the cup, which was lying near where Hermione had pulled Harry out of the mess. With that, he made a run for it, turning the corner and disappearing from sight.
“No!” Harry shouted. “The cup!”
“That was the sword of Gryffindor! He said it was a fake?! What is that doing in Bellatrix’s vault?” Hermione asked, getting to her feet and helping Harry up. He staggered and she said, “Harry, I don’t know if you are in any condition to”
“Hermione, later! Forget the sword if it’s a fake we need to get the cup!”
Bogrod, who had apparently run off after Griphook, was nowhere to be seen.
Together they went after the goblins, Harry struggling to keep up with Hermione. His arms were burnt pretty badly, and one of his legs was in a lot of pain. His lower back also felt like it was on fire, and Harry vaguely remembered his clothes sliding up some in the back as he was sinking into the growing pile of gold.
As they rounded another corner of the path, they saw Bogrod and Griphook struggling with the cup and what looked like a Clanker. Occasionally it made noise, but the fighting goblins were louder. They were near the edge of a large room.
There was a noise for the other side of the chamber and Harry looked over. His eyes widened as he saw the large, partially blind dragon. The red scars on its face, new and old, stood out against the pale white of its body and eyes unnervingly. Harry and Hermione stopped off to the side, frozen with shock, as the dragon approached the wrestling goblins.
Hermione instinctively tried to warn the goblins, but Harry stopped her.
“It’s too late, and we don’t want it coming after us instead,” Harry told her.
He didn’t like it, but there was nothing they could do now. He wouldn’t let her put herself in danger for them.
One of the dragon’s chains clanged loudly, but by the time Griphook and Bogrod realized what was happening, they didn’t have a chance. The dragon took a quick, deep breath and exhaled a jet of fire. Harry felt numb for a few seconds as flames encased both of the goblins. Nothing was left of them except ashes. The Clanker was now melted. The golden cup the Horcrux however, remained.
“I’ll distract it,” Harry told Hermione suddenly, “you get the cup. Then we have to get out of here.”
“No!” Hermione immediately protested. “Are you mad? You can’t even walk normally, how to do you plan to avoid the fire?”
Harry didn’t know what to say for a moment he knew she was right, but it was the only idea he had.
“I’ll distract it with noise. You get the cup. Then we can meet up and get out of here,” Hermione said.
Harry hesitated. He didn’t like the idea of her being the distraction.
“Go,” Hermione urged as the dragon shot fire out again restlessly.
Harry turned and started toward the cup, eyeing the dragon warily.
Hermione’s face became determined as she cast a whispered spell that hit the wall away from where Harry was headed. The dragon turned toward the noise like she had anticipated. She continued this way, keeping the dragon’s attention away from them.
Harry grabbed the cup, and they were jogging to meet up when the dragon let out a loud roar and swept its tail across the room in a powerful swish. Harry’s eyes widened as it missed him… and clipped Hermione as she tried to dive out of the way.
Adrenaline overrode Harry’s pain as he ran to Hermione’s side. He grabbed her wand where it had landed and absentmindedly shot off a spell to cause noise on the opposite wall like Hermione had.
“Hermione!” he called, keeping his head enough to be quiet in his panic.
“Hermione, wake up!”
He rolled her from her side onto her back gently. His heartbeat was frantic and the cup lay next to her, forgotten.
Harry reached out with shaking hands to check her pulse. Relief washed over his as he felt her heartbeat under his fingers. The memory of when she had been sick and he touched her throat to see how hot she felt entered his mind; her pulse had been a lot faster and stronger then.
He pointed her wand at her chest.
“Innervate,” he said, hoping it would wake her.
“Hermione?” he called again, this time taking a second to make sure the dragon hadn’t noticed them.
Unfortunately, it had.
“HaHarry…?” he heard Hermione mumble quietly. Her voice helped to push away some of his anxiety.
Seeing that Hermione still wasn’t fully awake, he made sure she still had her magic bag, put the cup in it, and swiftly slid his arms under her knees and back. Lifting her was surprisingly easier than he had expected, but his burns ached where her body touched them, and his leg didn’t appreciate the added weight.
Looking at the dragon, he saw it coming in their direction. Her wand was still awkwardly in his right hand, which her knees were resting on. He pointed it at the far wall as Hermione had and cast a spell. This confused the dragon long enough to stop it from breathing fire at them, at least.
Harry put more distance between them and the dragon, but he heard voices getting closer.
The goblins must know something is wrong by now. They’re going to stop us for escaping! We need a way out.
“Harry?” Hermione said from her spot against his chest.
He looked down at her. She looked more awake now.
“Are you alright?” Harry asked her hurriedly, ducking behind a broken bit of stone wall.
“Yes, I think so,” she said. “My head hurts, but I think I’ll be alright.” A few seconds later, she added, “You can put me down now; I can walk.”
“Oh, err, right,” Harry said. The voices drawing nearer snapped him back into focus.
“We have to get out of here. The goblins are coming,” Harry told her in an urgent tone. “Are you sure you are alright? I have an idea, but it’s mental.”
“I’m fine,” she assured him. “And I’m listening.”
Her trust gave him more confidence in his idea. He handed her wand back to her, which she took, thanking him.
“Follow me,” he told her, and jogged off toward the dragon with difficulty.
He climbed up on a pile of rubble from the spells they had cast earlier and leapt onto the dragon’s back. Grabbing onto a spike on its back, he held on tight and reached his other hand toward Hermione.
She looked at him like he was crazy, and paused, before copying him and jumping forward, catching his outstretched hand. He pulled her up so that she could hold on, too. The dragon didn’t really seem to notice their presence through its thick scales. Once she had a good hold, Harry let go of her to reach around and get a good angle for his spell.
“Relashio!” he said, pointing his borrowed wand at the cuffs chaining the dragon in place.
The dragon roared loudly, seeming to realize some of its bindings were gone. It jerked one of its other legs and broke a second chain, nearly throwing Harry off. Hermione managed to break the third cuff, and the dragon made quick work of the fourth. Harry repositioned himself so that he could hold on to the spike and Hermione again.
Spreading its large wings, which had been long unused, it began to fly. Hermione aimed her wand at the ceiling and said, “Defodio” blasting a hole open for the dragon. Its weak, unsteady flying caused it to skim the large opening on Harry’s side, tearing his jacket and scratching up his arm painfully.
Harry goaned in pain but managed to hold on.
Goblins were scurrying around, yelling and looking terrified when they saw the dragon.
It must’ve heard them because it shot fire in the direction of the voices. The goblins seemed to avoid it this time, since flying didn’t help the dragon’s aim. Harry couldn’t blame it for trying, though; these goblins had been torturing it for what seemed like a long time.
Minutes later, they were soaring above, and occasionally into, the clouds. The ride was a bit rough, which Harry figured was due to the fact that the dragon hadn’t been able to fly for so long. But rough or not, Harry thought it was amazing.
“I can’t believe we actually made it out of there,” Harry mused.
He looked over at Hermione, who was gripping the dragon tightly and had her face partly buried in her arm.
“Hey, you okay?” Harry asked her.
Her eyes found his.
“I I just really don’t like flying,” she admitted. “This is even worse than a broom,” she said, laughing at herself a little when she saw the look on his face, “much less smooth.”
“Are you kidding?” he asked her. “You don’t like flying?”
“Well… not really,” she confessed. “Brooms aren’t for me. I’m much better handling a wand.”
Harry laughed and she gave him a look.
“Well maybe if we get the chance I can teach you how to fly properly,” Harry offered. “It’s one of the few things I might actually be better at than you.”
He grinned when Hermione didn’t seem to know how to respond to that.
They remained quiet for a while afterward, just holding on and enjoying (in Harry’s case) or strongly disliking (in Hermione’s) the ride.
As the adrenaline faded and Harry’s mind no longer had anything major and life-threatening to focus on, he began to notice once again the searing pain in parts of his body from the burns. His arm wasn’t feeling that great either, but he noticed that it wasn’t bleeding too badly; it mostly just looked scraped up and raw in spots. He clenched his teeth and tried to concentrate on holding on, wondering where the dragon would take them.
After hanging on to the injured dragon quietly for a while, Harry heard Hermione speak again.
“It looks like we’re slowing down,” she said against the wind, “and getting lower.”
Harry turned to look down as well as he could while keeping a firm grip and noticed that she was right. They were now flying over a large body of water, but the dragon seemed to be running out of steam.
“I think it’s getting tired,” Hermione guessed. “It probably hasn’t flown in ages I’m surprised it managed to get this far.”
Harry agreed. They must be quite a ways from the Wizarding Bank now.
“What are we going to do then?” Harry asked, turning back to Hermione.
She looked a little sick.
“We might have to jump while we’re over the water.” Harry nodded.
Better than crashing into the ground with an exhausted dragon who might decide he’s worked up an appetite after his daring prison break.
“Then let’s go on three,” Harry said.
“Alright,” Hermione agreed, though she didn’t look happy about it. “Ready?”
“Not really,” Hermione muttered unnecessarily, making a face. Harry doubted that answer was going to change any time soon. “One.”
He took a quick look down to make sure they were definitely over the water and would still be in a few more seconds.
Damn, we’re still pretty high… but soon we’ll be over land we can’t wait. This is going to hurt; especially where I’m already beat up. Just have to make sure I tuck my arms in and don’t land on my back.
His eyes locked on Hermione’s.
Surprised that he could discern some of the emotions in them, he held her gaze. He saw fear, uncertainty, bravery, trust. Finally, not looking away from her warm, brown eyes, he prepared to let himself fall.
Her eyes remained on his bright green ones for a second longer before they both let go of their fears, slipping back until they were falling. Harry caught a glimpse of her before he closed his eyes.
She was falling with him.
The thought comforted him as tried to prepare for the impact.