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.
Framed in the doorway was Harry’s godfather, Sirius Black. His wand was pointed at Voldemort, having just sent a spell at the snake binding Harry. He already felt its hold easing up, though he doubted it would be dazed for long.
“Harry, get Hermione and get out of here, now!” Sirius instructed.
Moving as fast as he could with his head still pounding and his whole body aching, Harry shoved the snake off of him and crawled toward Hermione. He briefly heard Voldemort speak before sounds of a duel followed, but it was as if Harry’s world had narrowed down to the witch lying in front of him. Concern for his godfather weighed on his every movement, but he knew he had to get Hermione out of there fast if there was any chance of saving her.
“Hermione,” Harry called to her desperately, reaching for her with shaking hands.
Please don’t be dead. She can’t be dead. Please. I have to do something. I have to get her out of here.
Harry pushed his remaining energy into closing the distance to Hermione. As he reached for her wand on the ground, he saw movement in his peripheral vision; the snake was lunging at him. In a second, Sirius dove in front of him, catching the relentless serpent and tumbling to the ground with it.
Voldemort laughed at his actions, watching with amusement as Sirius grunted and struggled. His godfather noticed that Harry had reached Hermione.
“Go to,” Sirius instructed as quickly as he could, in a strained voice, “the place where we”
Voldemort’s eyes shifted to Harry and Hermione, and he knew his time was up.
“He isn’t” Voldemort began to yell, but Harry didn’t wait around to listen. Sirius managed to shoot a spell at Voldemort, which he deflected. It had served its purpose though, causing the splitsecond distraction Harry needed.
Clutching Hermione tightly, he disapparated to the first place that he thought might fit Sirius’s description.
The last thing he saw was a jet of green shooting out of Voldemort’s wand, and the light leaving his godfather’s eyes.
The last thing he heard was Voldemort’s scream of rage as they escaped.
He held tight to Hermione as pain flooded his scar.
Then everything was black.
Slowly, Harry became faintly aware of noise. Trying to focus his mind, which currently felt very foggy, on the source of the sound, he realized that it sounded like a voice.
What’s going on? What happened…? Where am I now?
With effort, Harry opened his eyes and found himself looking at an unfamiliar room. There was a fireplace with a small fire burning not far from where he was laying and several long windows with old, black curtains. Examining the room more closely, Harry noticed that the wallpaper seemed to be old, faded and in some places peeling.
How the hell did I get here… wherever “here” is?
Before Harry had much chance to consider this, he saw movement near the doorway and tensed as a reflex.
“Harry Potter, sir!” Dobby trotted haphazardly over to Harry, carrying a small basin of liquid probably water and a stack of towels, the top of which was currently so covered in red that it made Harry feel sick. “Dobby was so worried! He didn’t know what else to do! Is Harry Potter feeling better?”
“Dobby,” Harry said in a voice that didn’t quite sound like his own, completely ignoring what the elf said, “whose blood is that?” In the back of his mind he wondered what Dobby was doing wherever he was, but it was drowned out by the elf’s reaction to his question.
Dobby looked uncomfortable. He put down the things he had been carrying, glancing around awkwardly as if one of the pieces of furniture would suddenly spring to life and save him from having to answer Harry’s question.
“DDobby has been” Harry cut him off forcefully.
“Hermione,” he said suddenly, his eyes widening as his mind raced. Enough came back to know for certain that she had been with him… that she should still be with him.
“Where’s Hermione?” Harry quickly asked. Seeing the elf’s nervous hesitation, Harry sat up, insistent.
“Dobby, where is she?” Harry demanded in a low, dangerous voice.
His mind was flashing back to random scenes of what had happened: the snake, Sirius trying to distract Voldemort, Hermione being bitten badly. The more he remembered the more panicked he felt.
“Is that… her blood?” Harry asked.
Somehow he felt hollow and terrified at the same time. How long had he been out? She had to be alright, right?
“Harry’s Miss is in the other room on his floor, sir. She is…” Dobby searched for a word to describe the situation delicately, “…not well, but Dobby tried his best and has been able to stabilize her condition until you is waking up, sir.” Dobby tried to look hopeful. “Now, Harry Potter might be able to save her!”
Harry got to his feet, nearly falling back down as his muscles protested. He vaguely remembered being crushed and constricted by Voldemort’s snake, fighting it off repeatedly. As he staggered down the hall to the bedroom, Dobby flitted around Harry’s legs, speaking in a high voice and trying to make sure Harry didn’t fall.
Harry walked into the room, seeing the unconscious form of Hermione on the bed. When he got to her bedside, he felt as though all of the feeling in his body was being drained out through his feet. Her upper body was wrapped in a towel, with several other towels placed on top of that one. The towels left the top of her chest and shoulders exposed, and Harry could see where the elf had been trying to stop the bleeding. It looked like he had succeeded, but Harry’s eyes were quickly drawn to her right shoulder, which was a mess, though it didn’t seem to be bleeding anymore.
Harry could see that there were two distinct slashes of darker red. Usually, blood didn’t bother Harry that much, but seeing Hermione’s blood and her face, which was a bit too pale, affected Harry more than he was ready for. Rooted to the spot, Harry stared down at her like he couldn’t comprehend what he was seeing, and time seemed to slow. In his mind, he couldn’t make sense of anything other than that fact that she really might die; he had gotten them out alive, but she might die anyway.
Breathing immediately became difficult.
They had been through so much together, in only a short time. Scenes from the past few months replayed in his head: their escape from Malfoy Manor, saving her parents, Christmas, her introducing him to others who seemed like good people, learning and practicing a difficult spell, breaking into Gringott’s and flying out on a dragon, going to Godric’s Hollow together. They had stayed up late talking, laughed and smiled, held hands, hugged… She had saved his life several times, in more ways than one, and he had actually saved her, too…
“used his magic to, um, freeze it, sir, to stop the spread of poison or infection, and to stop the bleeding,” Harry began to register the elf’s ranting, hearing that there was poison involved, “but she is still needing more treatment, sir. What can we do, oh, what can we do?”
What can I do? His hands were shaking.
It was up to him to save her. He couldn’t let her down now. Harry wracked his tired brain, trying to ignore the light throbbing still present in his head.
“How much time does she have?” Harry asked.
“Dobby is not sure, sir… if she is not treated further, an hour at best. Dobby could only slow the spread of the venom. The longer we is waiting…” Harry cut him off in what he hoped was an urgent, but patient, voice; the elf had helped to save her life so far, after all.
“Do you have her bag, and her wand?”
“The magic bag is here, sir,” Dobby grabbed it and hastily offered it to Harry, “and her wand is in the room you woke in, sir. Dobby left it there in case you was needing it.”
“Alright, I’ll get the wand. Set the bag down there. I’ll be right back.”
With that, Harry left the room, heading back toward the one where he had woken up. The scene of Sirius dying pushed its way into his mind, and Harry felt the pain of loss, for another person he hadn’t had much time to get to know. He had really liked his godfather, and he was the only family he had left, as far as he was concerned. Sirius had died shielding him, protecting him. His eyes fell on Hermione’s wand and Harry forced whatever sadness and guilt he felt out of his mind; he had to focus on Hermione right now.
When Harry returned to the bedroom, he was still trying to think of something to help her. Frustrated that he didn’t know what to do, Harry went over to try to look through her magic bag. It was filled with tons of books, and Harry scanned the titles hurriedly, hoping one might be useful. Every second he spent without an idea, poison spread slowly through her. Dobby might’ve slowed it somehow, but Harry knew that wouldn’t stop it completely. Searching desperately, Harry felt as though a dementor was behind him, draining his hope and happiness.
Finally, when he passed a book about potions, it hit him: dittany.
Harry leapt up, snatched Hermione’s wand from the bedside table and thrust it over the open bag. Dobby, who had been watching over Hermione, shrieked at Harry’s sudden burst of movement.
She’s got everything else in there; please let her have brought some…
Almost instantly, a little vial flew up out of the bag, which Harry caught, thankful that he had good reflexes.
She must have found Essence of Dittany at Andromeda’s. Brilliant! Harry walked over to her and opened the small bottle. “Dobby, do you need to, er, unfreeze her, before I use this?”
“Yes, sir,” Dobby nodded, causing his ears to flop around somewhat, “if the potion is to spread and heal, I must remove my magic.”
“Okay,” Harry readied the bottle, “remove it.”
The change was instant: blood began flowing slowly but steadily from Hermione’s wounds again, her face contorted with pain though she was still unconscious, and her body started to writhe around a bit in agony, as if she was in a horrible nightmare and couldn’t wake up. It wrenched Harry’s heart to see her like that.
Trying to hold her still with one hand, Harry dripped the Essence of Dittany onto the gashes in her skin. Quickly, it seeped into the deepest parts of the wounds and began to regrow new skin. Hermione didn’t stop struggling until Harry was almost done. There wasn’t much dittany left in the bottle now, but if it saved Hermione’s life it was well worth it. Personally, Harry hoped they wouldn’t need it again.
His green eyes traveled slowly over the witch before him and he absentmindedly ran a hand through his unruly black hair. Her face was more relaxed than it had been, but wasn’t quite at ease. Angry red marks were visible on her right shoulder, extending down a bit past her collarbone. The partially healed gashes stood out in stark contrast to her white skin where nearly all traces of a summer tan had faded. But the wounds seemed to be healing, and the bleeding had stopped. Harry was also relieved to notice that at least a little of the color had returned to her face.
More hopeful that Hermione might actually survive, Harry felt some of the tension leave him. He knew she wasn’t completely out of danger yet, though. Harry looked over to Dobby, who had been watching intently.
“Is there anything I can get Harry Potter and his miss?” Dobby asked. “I could get something to eat or drink?”
The exhausted young wizard considered this for a moment.
“Sure, whatever you like,” Harry responded, “but, make something for yourself, and Hermione, too, just in case.”
“Dobby will be happy to!” and with that, the elf disappeared down the hall, muttering about Harry’s kindness and goodness and greatness.
Only after Dobby was out the door did Harry realize that he still had no idea where exactly he was, but he let it go; figuring that he would find out eventually and that it must be safe enough if Dobby didn’t seem concerned. He turned back to Hermione.
Without the distraction of the immediate need to heal her, Harry was much more aware of how she looked, aside from the injuries. The towel wrapped around her chest and upper abdomen was thankfully still in place, but the additional towels Dobby had placed overtop for further ensuring her modesty or in case he needed another to stop additional bleeding, Harry wasn’t sure must’ve slid off as she squirmed around when he was applying the dittany.
Harry tried not to look, but the towel, while still covering her, left less to his imagination than anything he had seen her in before. Swallowing thickly, he forced his eyes back up to her face. The somewhat sickly color and unrest there sobered him up quickly enough; she was still in pain.
Gently, he reached out and rested his hand against her cheek. It was unexpectedly cold under his warm touch. He closed his eyes. As fear began to ensnare him again, he felt something feather light touch his fingertip. Refocusing, he saw her eyes slowly opening again, her eyelashes just brushing his finger. His breath caught in surprise and his chest tightened as he froze; he hadn’t expected her to wake up so soon.
“…Harry,” she said weakly.
His hand slipped from her cheek to her neck, and he leaned in slightly.
“Hermione, I’m here. You’re going to be alright,” Harry’s words rushed out in a quiet, nervous determination. “We’re safe now. You had dittany in your bag and I used it, and…” he trailed off when he noticed her eyes closing.
“Hermione?” Harry asked, his voice rising in volume and pitch and worry. “Hermione, stay with me.” Her eyes opened again, looking directly into his. Then they began to close. “Hermione, please… don’t leave me.” The pleading tone in Harry’s voice sounded foreign to him.
He hung his head, trying in vain to convince himself that she was going to be alright.