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.
“They should be getting out of Hogwarts for summer in another few months,” Hermione thought aloud one evening.
“I wonder if Snape will even let them leave,” Harry shot back, feeling disheartened again at their lack of progress.
“Surely he can’t keep them holed up there all summer! Everyone is bound to notice over a hundred missing witches and wizards.”
“I’m not sure they can do anything about it anymore, Hermione,” Harry responded glumly. “Some of them must know what’s going on at Hogwarts.”
Hermione sighed and decided to drop the unhappy subject.
“I wish Tonks was here; she was always good at cheering us up when we were being negative,” she said.
“Yeah. Do you think she’s going to have the baby soon?” Harry asked, remembering that she had been pretty big when they left.
“Oh, she must be getting close!” Hermione answered, trying to recall how far along Tonks had been. “She is probably due in just a few weeks.”
“I wonder where Lupin is,” Harry commented, and he saw Hermione’s face fall somewhat.
“I don’t know… I hope he will be there for the delivery. If he couldn’t be there, that would be such a shame…”
“I’m sure he’ll be there,” Harry told her. He knew he couldn’t be sure, but he wanted to think that Lupin would be there.
They fell silent for several minutes until Harry sighed and spoke up, sounding restless.
“Hermione, it’s almost the summer! I can’t just sit around anymore. I know you’ve found some useful books here, and we have been practicing our spells, and we’ve been safe, but I feel like we aren’t really getting anywhere! Aside from accidentally finding the locket, we have no idea what to do about the Horcruxes. We don’t even know how to destroy them!”
“I know. Don’t you think the same things are bothering me, too?”
“Then what can we do? We don’t know where to look for the other Horcruxes, there are Death Eaters outside all the time, and we are barely able to get supplies without them catching us.” Harry dropped his voice somewhat, “You know this place isn’t going to be safe forever, and the longer we wait, the more lives are lost.”
“I know, Harry, I know,” Hermione said, her voice a mix of frustration and sadness. “I want to do more, I want to figure it out, but it seems like we are just stuck. The practice we have been doing will help if you have to fight YouKnowWho, but I’m running out of spells to teach you and we are running out of time.”
Having a sudden idea, Harry summoned Dobby.
“Harry Potter, sir, it is so good to see you!” the elf said happily upon seeing his friend. Harry glanced at a puzzled Hermione before looking back to Dobby.
“Hi, Dobby, do you have some time to talk with us?” Harry asked.
“So kind, Harry Potter… yes, Dobby has time. The dark wizards do not keep track of the house elves much they do not care as long as we do our jobs, sir. If we don’t…” he shuddered before changing the topic. “None of the other elves leave. They have nowhere to go.”
“Right,” Harry said, “then I want to ask you about a few things… First,” Harry hesitated for a second, hoping this was a good idea, “how is Hogwarts?”
Dobby shook his head gravely, “Hogwarts, sir, is not good. Dark Arts is being taught and Dobby has heard they are checking blood lines to see who the purebloods are. Dobby isn’t supposed to know this, but he hears things when people don’t know he is listening.”
There was a mischievous glint in his large eyes, and Harry was suddenly struck with inspiration.
“Dobby, did you ever hear anything when you were at the Malfoys anything about Mr. Malfoy or one of the other Death Eaters protecting something for YouKnowWho, or hiding something for him?”
“Harry, that’s brilliant,” Hermione said enthusiastically. “It would really help if you knew something, Dobby,” she said to the elf, hoping that he could tell them something useful.
Dobby stopped, thinking it over and trying to remember, while Harry and Hermione waited in anticipation.
“Hmm… yes, Dobby did hear something like that. There was a book HeWhoMustNotBeNamed had that he said was very important. Mr. Malfoy told Dobby never to touch it or look for it. The things he said he would do if it was found, sir…” a violent shiver shook Dobby as if there was a mini earthquake just where he was standing. “Dobby could tell it was a dark object. I stayed far away from it, sir. And I never went looking for it.”
“Where is it now? Is it still at the house?” Harry asked in a rush.
“Dobby does not know, but it was there for years. The Manor is a very safe place for very bad people, sir.” The elf looked scared just thinking about his former place of residence, which was more like a prison than a home.
“Dobby this is great!” Harry told him, feeling adrenaline rushing through him at the prospect of a new lead. “We need whatever it is Malfoy’s hiding.” He looked at Hermione to see if she agreed. “It’s got to be one, right?”
“We can’t be sure,” Hermione cautioned, “but it certainly sounds like it. We’ll just have to try to get it and find out. But breaking into Malfoy Manor would be… problematic.”
Harry turned to the house elf he had known for so many years and somewhere under his excitement, he felt guilt begin to creep in.
“Dobby, you’ve been there before since we broke out could you get in there again?” he asked, still sounding eager. “If you could get it for us…”
“Harry, no,” Hermione interjected. “It’s way too dangerous for Dobby to do this by himself. You have no idea what might be protecting it or what if he gets caught?”
“Hermione, we need that book I’m sure of it. There’s no way the two of us are going to be able to sneak into Malfoy Manor we can hardly leave the house without having a close call! If there’s a way to get Dobby in, we just might have a chance!”
“But Harry” to their surprise, the usually polite elf cut her off.
“Dobby will do it,” he said valiantly. “Dobby wishes to help Harry Potter and his miss. Dobby will find a way to get in again and he will get the book!”
Harry smiled at his friend’s bravery despite the fear he felt for him.
“Thanks, Dobby. Just make sure you are careful.”
Hermione still didn’t seem to approve of this idea, but she remained silent.
“Oh and when do the Hogwarts students get out for the summer?” Harry asked, remembering that Hermione had been wondering.
Dobby shook his head, “Not this year, sir. Everyone must stay at Hogwarts over the summer. They are not letting anyone go home for now.”
“What?!” Hermione shouted, outraged. “How can they keep everyone from going home to their families? I bet most of them wouldn’t come back!”
“That’s probably the point, Hermione,” Harry reasoned. “If YouKnowWho is trying to teach them his way, I doubt he’s going to let them all go home to their parents so they can snap them back to normal. I don’t think anyone would let their kids go back if they had the chance and knew what was actually going on there now.”
Hermione, who still looked furious, stated, “Then we are going back to Hogwarts. We have to find out how bad it is now and see if there is anything we can do to help.”
“Hermione…” Harry began, but the look on her face stopped him from continuing.
“Harry, Hogwarts has been my home for most of the last six and a half years. I am not going to sit around in some musty old house while everyone there is suffering. I need to see if I can help.” Her tone left no room for arguments or concerns she was serious about this. “Besides, what if they found something by now, but they couldn’t reach us? We told them to keep a lookout, remember?”
Her words from before came back to him.
‘I’m not going anywhere unless you are coming with me.’
Did that still apply now? His face must have portrayed his thoughts, because Hermione’s anger deflated.
“Harry, I meant what I said before.” With no reaction to his surprised expression, she continued, “I’m not going without you. But please… this is important to me.”
Their eyes locked and he immediately knew his answer, even as he sat in silence, considering. Eventually, he nodded, and she looked relieved.
“Thank you,” she said quietly, knowing that what she was asking was dangerous and that he wouldn’t have done it on his own.
Harry was aware that Hermione was too smart not to realize the risks involved, but she was determined to go anyway. He couldn’t stop the grin that spread partway across his face.
“There’s that Gryffindor courage,” Harry commented jokingly. “Are Gryffindors known for being stubborn, too…?”
“Yes, we are,” Hermione said a little proudly, causing Harry to laugh.
“So, it’s decided then; we are going back to Hogwarts, and Dobby is going to check on the Malfoy Manor.” Harry stated.
“Yes, but we shouldn’t rush it either of us. Dobby, you need to make sure you can get in safely before trying. And we need a plan before we end up running into dementors again,” Hermione explained. “If Dobby can scout out the area, maybe he can find us a way into the Manor without getting caught. Then he won’t have to try to get the book alone.”
And so the next few days were spent planning their trip to Hogwarts. Dobby had returned there and was using his spare time to try to find a way into the Malfoys and listening extra carefully to see if any of the Death Eaters at the school mentioned anything that could be useful to him when trying to sneak in.
Finally, Hermione had agreed that there was nothing else they could plan for (they even had a plan for if the Giant Squid was somehow being controlled and used as a guardian to keep out intruders near the lake), and soon they would be leaving Number 12 Grimmauld Place for Hogwarts. They planned on returning to the Noble House of Black after they were done, if possible.
Before they left, however, they were waiting for an update from Dobby on Malfoy Manor. And when he did show up, they found their plans altered.
“Dobby is certain that it is there, sir, but it is protected by magic Dobby does not know. Someone is always at the house, and from what Dobby heard, YouKnowWho is there a lot.”
Harry and Hermione exchanged nervous looks if Voldemort was often at the Manor, it would be nearly impossible to get the Horcrux.
“But Dobby heard that HeWhoMustNotBeNamed will be away for several days soon! It may be the best chance for Harry Potter to get in, but it will be dangerous. But Dobby does not think it wise to try to get into the house, sir. It will be very dangerous.”
“We know it will be dangerous, but we don’t have a choice, Dobby,” Harry explained feeling a mix of nervous and excited despite his weariness from the day. “Can you get us in?”
“Dobby thinks so, sir, but Dobby will not be able to protect Harry Potter and Miss Hermione once they get onto the property. They know of Dobby’s magic, and Dobby is not more powerful than witches and wizards, sir. Dobby’s magic is better when it is a surprise.”
Something about the elf’s explanation made Harry’s lips curve into a small smile.
“It’s alright, Dobby,” Hermione assured him kindly, “we will be careful. We just need your help to get there.”
“I guess the trip to Hogwarts is going to have to wait,” Harry said, watching Hermione’s reaction. “If YouKnowWho is going to be gone soon, then we have to try to get in then.”
She nodded, and Harry was glad to see that she didn’t seem to have reservations about going to the Malfoys’ first.
Harry and Hermione sat across from each other in the living room, both full of nervous energy. Everything seemed to be tapping and fidgetingfeet, wands, fingers. Neither of them was looking forward to returning to the Malfoys’ and walking right into a Death Eater hideout. They were both dressed in dark clothes, and Hermione’s charmed little bag was packed in case they couldn’t return.
With a soft pop, Dobby suddenly appeared, and Hermione nearly jumped out of her seat. Harry had flinched, too, but tried to pretend he hadn’t.
“It is time, Harry Potter,” Dobby said. “We must be going now if we is going.”
When Harry noticed the elf’s hands trembling, he felt a wave of guilt hit him again at asking his friend to do this. He knew it was difficult for Dobby to return to the house which had long been his prison, and he had already asked him to do it more than once.
“Maybe we shouldn’t do this… it is really dangerous,” Harry said. “I could just go myself…”
“And how would you do that, Harry?” Hermione asked without hesitation. “You can’t even get onto the grounds without Dobby.”
“Yeah, I guess…” Harry admitted.
“We’ll be alright,” Hermione told him. Then, in a more confident voice, she added, “We can do this.”
Their eyes met, and Harry drew strength from the determination he saw there. He knew she must be scared, too.
He took a deep breath before taking one of Dobby’s hands, watching Hermione grasp the other. They nodded and told the house elf they were ready. And with a pop, the House of Black was gone.