Author's Note: I own nothing that is worth millions of dollars. Some chapters are loosely inspired by Syfy's Warehouse 13. This story will be relatively short- about 5 chapters. It is nearly complete so I hope to update rapidly if the response is good!
Chapter 1: Of Teenagers and Broken Hearts
Hermione had decided beyond a shadow of a doubt that she would rather face an angry hippogriff than an enraged fifteen-year-old girl.
"You don't understand me!" shrieked the high-pitched voice of Rose Weasley as she stomped up the stairs and slammed her bedroom door with such force that the whole house shook.
Hermione rubbed her temples and tried to soothe the headache building up behind her eyes. Rose had Ron's fiery red hair, but she also had his rotten temper. She knew that the girl was going through a difficult time but it was hard to bear the brunt of Rose's teen angst 24/7. Hermione secretly wished she could put Rose right back on the train to Hogwarts, but they had a long summer ahead of them.
"She'll calm down" said a small voice and she turned to see Hugo standing uncertainly in the doorway. Although Hugo was a spitting image of his father, he was much more like Hermione in his disposition. He was a bookworm and while he could be very intense about certain things, he was also far calmer than his wild older sister. "Do you want me to fetch you some tea?"
"Yes Hugo, that would be great, thank-you!" she tried to give him a warm smile but she felt weary and she was quite sure that although her son was only fourteen, he could see right through her.
When Hugo returned she listened as he prattled on about an interesting charm he had read about and she tried to engage in the conversation. Normally she would love nothing more than to feed into her son's intellect, but she couldn't stop thinking about the fight she had just been in with Rose.
Once the last sip of tea was gone and Hugo had tired of the topic she decided enough time had passed that Rose ought to have cooled down. She headed upstairs to check on her, knocking tentatively but getting no response. "I just want to talk Rose, I'm not angry" she started, but the room was very silent on the other side of the door. Trying the doorknob she was not surprised to find it locked, but remedied that with a quick "alohomora".
The room was empty but the window was left open, the warm summer breeze faintly rustling the bright orange Chudley Cannons window curtain. "That girl will be the death of me" she frowned.
"You need to move your feet more Teddy" Harry instructed as he sent his godson reeling onto the floor mat after a well-landed blow.
"I'm never going to beat you" Teddy panted, sweating as he rose to his feet.
"You'll need to if you hope to be head auror one day" Harry smirked, giving Teddy a good natured pat on the back to indicate that they'd sparred enough for one day.
"Why would I want to become head auror? We all know you're going to live forever. Isn't it true that that the beloved Harry Potter is immortal?" Teddy joked with a twinkle in his eye.
"I wish" Harry snorted. "I'm turning 40 soon, I sure don't feel immortal."
"40 and still Witches Weekly's pick for Most Charming Smile every year."
Harry scoffed at this. "Gilderoy Lockheart was awarded that same privilege five times if I recall and he was a total moron. Speaking of morons, stop pumping your muscles up like that with your metamorphmagus abilities. It doesn't actually make you any stronger."
"No but the ladies love it" Teddy retorted, flexing in a nearby mirror.
Harry rolled his eyes and left the gym in favor of the bright summer sun. Although he was sweating from his sparring match with Teddy, the hot air felt good on his skin and he stripped off his shirt and as he walked home, Teddy tagging slightly behind. Godric's Hollow had been revived considerably since that miserable night he had visited his parents' graves and been attacked by Nagini. Now there were many more houses and cottages as well as a gym, a few decent pubs and several quaint shops.
His head was tilted up towards the bright blue sky when Rose Weasley suddenly popped out from behind a shrub, making him draw his wand with lightening fast reflexes.
"Gee Uncle Harry, I hope you don't intend to curse me with that" she said with all the sarcasm of a fifteen year old girl.
"Not unless you deserve it" he responded warily, putting his sweat soaked shirt back on.
"You know I'm a perfect angel!" she scoffed, winking at Teddy who rolled his eyes. Rose often reminded Harry of Ginny, which was both a good thing and a bad thing. "What were you two up to, beating on each other as usual?"
"Training" Teddy said. "And I never beat up on Harry, he just beats on me."
"He has had far more experience" she reminded him. "After all, you've been an auror for what, three years? Uncle Harry is the Boy Who Lived and He Who Defeated Voldemort."
"Don't forget he's also Witches Weekly's Most Charming Smile" Teddy quipped, enjoying ganging up on Harry.
"Enough of all that" Harry frowned. "Rose, does your mother know you're out pestering me or did you run off again?"
Her words came out in a quick whiny jumble. "I only left because I really can't stand her anymore, I mean she is such a nag, you know it's true and also, it's not like you and my Dad didn't used to run off all the time on your adventures..."
Harry whirled on her quickly in the middle of walking path, blocking her from going any further. She was suddenly reminded that her kind Uncle Harry was also one of the most powerful wizards alive and she got a bit scared in spite of herself. "First off, do not speak about your mother that way. If you think she's nagging you it's because she loves you and you should be glad for that. Not all of us had that." He and Teddy exchanged a look and Rose appeared properly chastised.
"It's just difficult because I miss my Dad..."
"I know, and that's something to talk to your Mom about" Harry sighed. "I'm taking you home right now. I'll catch up with you later Teddy."
"I'm going to dinner with Victoire" Teddy informed him.
"You don't have to tell me everything you do, you're an adult. In fact, when are you going to move out already?"
"What and leave you alone and lonely?"
Harry waved him off but there was laughter in his eyes as they parted ways. "It's not like you really live alone" Rose commented after a moment of thoughtfulness. "You have James and Albus and Lilly on the weekends right?"
"Yes, as long as work doesn't get in the way" Harry said, and there was such sadness in his eyes that she hooked her arm around his.
"You can always adopt me Uncle Harry" she joked and Harry mussed her hair in response.
"One adopted trouble-maker is enough thank you kindly!"
Hermione was sitting on the porch when they arrived, looking agitated but not angry. "I should have known that she'd go running off to you" Hermione sighed, shaking her head.
"Look, now you've got me into trouble too" Harry joked, giving Rose a little shove.
"I'm sorry mom" Rose said in a small voice, but she didn't sound particularly sorry. Mostly, she seemed worried about how long she would be grounded.
"Please go up to your room so we can talk. I'll be in shortly." For once Rose didn't argue and slunk off into the house. "She has too much Weasley in her" Hermione sighed as she sat heavily on the front steps, Harry easily falling in beside her.
"How are you holding up?" He asked, concern evident in his voice.
"I'm fine" she responded quickly, but she knew from the look in his eye that he spotted her lie as soon as it left his mouth. He knew her too well. "Well, it's been rather tough with Rose lately. Hugo seems to be taking things well but he's usually one for bottling things up anyways so I'm not even sure..."
"I appreciate how much you love your kids, but I asked how YOU are doing."
"I'm tired" she confessed. "I'm tired to fighting with Rose ever since she got home, I'm tired of avoiding the public for fear of being judged. I've been cooped up in my house for two months now doing work, I rarely leave..."
"What right does anyone have to judge you?" Harry burst out, suddenly upset. "Ron is the stupid git who didn't appreciate what he had, and..."
"Shh!" she warned, slapping his arm. "Rose and Hugo don't know about what happened. I don't want them to judge their father. And I don't want them to pity me either."
He took her hands in his in a surprisingly gentle act, looking into her eyes in a way so intense that for a moment she felt dizzy. "Your children love you Hermione. You're a great mother. You have no reason to feel bad about yourself."
"Easier said than done" she said, pulling her hands away and standing up abruptly. "I feel... well, it doesn't matter how I feel. What's done is done, but the wizarding world doesn't take kindly to divorce and it's a nightmare..."
"I know all about that" Harry reminded her, looking down at his feet.
"But you don't really. They always judge the woman more harshly for some reason, like it's her fault for not keeping her husband interested or whatever. I'm sure Molly is back to thinking I'm some scarlet woman."
"No, Ron is a scarlet man... if such a thing exists. You haven't talked to Molly since he moved out?"
"I'm afraid to" she admitted.
Harry laughed and Hermione scowled at him. "You've faced vicious creatures, evil horocruxes, armies of dementors and scores of Death Eaters and Molly Weasley is what frightens you most?"
"First off, she is a ferocious dueler as I recall. Second, she is very traditional so yes, I am concerned about what she'll have to say."
"She'll probably say that Ron is a rotten git and you deserve better. She loves you Hermione, as though you were one of her own."
"Was she that kind to you when things with Ginny ended?" She immediately wished she could take her words back as she saw the pained look on his face.
"She understood the circumstances well enough" he replied shortly. "I think she was more miffed at Ginny, but Ginny's never been one to care much about what others think of her."
"I wish I could be so carefree."
"Don't" he responded sternly. "The fact that you care so much is what makes you wonderful. Anyways, I see you have a grumpy teenager to attend to and I need to take a shower, so I'll talk to you later."
"Harry... come over for dinner?" she asked, her voice small and uncertain.
"I was already planning on it" he said, offering her a broad grin and hugging her impulsively.
"Wonderful, but ugh, you sure do need a shower Potter!"
When Harry arrived at the house later that evening things were still in a state of disarray. Hugo had books scattered about all over the place and Rose was stomping around angrily, making as much of a fuss as possible.
"I haven't even gotten a chance to start cooking!" Hermione lamented upon seeing her best friend looking freshly showered and out of his sweaty gym clothes. In fact, he looked quite nice with a dark v-neck t-shirt that revealed his toned arms and a pair of khakis. I probably look like a wreck she thought self consciously.
"That's fine, I'm a better cook anyhow" he said in a joking tone, but they both knew it was true. He helped himself to her kitchen and started taking out the ingredients he wanted. "Chop these up" he said, throwing her a few veggies.
"Ah, give me all the hard work then" she sighed, sitting down to the island table at the center of her kitchen. Between her work in Magical Law and Ron's ownership percentage in Weasley Wizard Wheezes they had managed to have a rather nice home built in Godric's Hollow. "What will you be doing as I slave away?"
"I will be uncorking this bottle of wine" he said with a wink. "Besides, you could just use your wand if it's such a hassle."
"Muggle cooking tastes better" she joked.
"I think it just seems that way because of all the hard work put into it." He popped the cork and retrieved each of them a glass. He knew the layout of the house quite well after spending many an evening there on double dates with Ginny while the children ran amok. The realization that this dinner would be hosted without Ginny and Ron gave him a tinge of sadness. How did everything go so wrong? "Let's have some music" he announced, not wanting to make Hermione any sadder than she was already undoubtedly feeling.
He turned on the Wizard Wireless and found a station playing some sort of spicy jazz music. Hermione laughed as he waggled his eyebrows at her and turned it up louder. Soon they had dinner sizzling on a skillet and the smell of food brought Hugo and Rose running in.
"Ohh wine, do I get to have some?" Rose asked slyly.
"In your dreams" Harry replied, smirking at her as he served them each a plate.
Hugo said nothing but waited patiently for his turn to be served. He watched his mother and noticed that for the first time since his father had moved out, her smile was actually reflected in her eyes.
After dinner was done and Harry had strong armed Rose into doing the dishes, he and Hermione retired to the front porch where a couple rocking chairs made for the perfect relaxation furniture. Harry had always secretly preferred Ron and Hermione's home to his and Ginny's. Ginny was very stubborn about certain fashions and trends and the house always felt more like something from a catalogue than a home. Hermione had simpler tastes and while the house was brand new, it had an old, homey feeling to it. A wrap around porch provided a great place to sit when the weather was warm and enjoy a glass of wine or a butterbeer.
"I'm glad you could make it for dinner, I haven't seen you in weeks" Hermione said after a long pause.
"I've been away on a mission" he said simply. "Otherwise I'm sure I'd be here a lot more often. I've missed you."
"I'm sure" she scoffed, not believing it.
"Why is it so hard to believe that I'd miss my best friend?"
"I don't know" she said softly. "I'm in disbelief about a lot of things these days." She looked off into the dark sky, avoiding his gaze. For about the millionth time Harry felt the strong urge to knock Ron's teeth in for upsetting her so. But Hermione had made him promise to do no such thing, and had in fact made him pledge that he would try his best to stay friends with Ron. Won't happen any time soon he thought glumly. "Does it get any easier?" she asked suddenly.
"Not so far" he shrugged. "It's only been a year and a half since Ginny left me but it still hurts like hell. Especially since she..." is already engaged to another man he thought, but Hermione already knew and it hurt too much to say it out loud. "I wanted to create the family I never got to experience... I wanted to give Ginny everything she deserved and I wanted to be around for my kids but I mucked it all up."
"Your job is important Harry. Ginny never seemed to understand..."
"Who can blame her? I was less of a husband and more like some shadow that came and went. I was too busy with this whole `saving people thing'."
"Somebody needs to do it. I'm just so sorry it had to be you."
"I could have quit. I could have taken a job writing about Quidditch or something. Instead I chose the occupation that took me away from my family two-thirds of the year and left my wife wondering if I'd even come back alive. It wasn't fair to her. It still isn't fair to my kids. I'm supposed to spend time with them this weekend but no doubt I won't be back from my mission by then."
"You're a good father Harry!" she exclaimed, alarmed by his sudden depression. She reached out from her chair to grab his arm, forcing him to look at her. "Your kids know you love them and they are so proud of you. Every time James and Albus and Lilly come over they talk nonstop about you. Maybe it wasn't enough for Ginny, but she has always been headstrong about getting her way."
"Well, she got it. Found herself a rich, handsome bloke who has all the time in the world to dote on her. And I want to be happy for her but I just can't..."
"Nobody could expect you to be happy for her Harry. She..." is a cruel little bitch Hermione thought. But what she said instead was, "She has always had a certain image in her mind of how things should be. She saw you as the ideal hero, but she forgot that heroes aren't perfect, that they fall down sometimes, that they struggle, that they need help."
"I've always had you to help me" he said, moving her hand from his arm and slipping it into his own grasp. She was surprised by the gesture and felt a jolt run through her that shook her a bit. She didn't know what to say in response so they both just sat there in silence for a long time, caught up in thought, their fingers still gently entwined as the calming sounds of night surrounded them.
Weeks had passed since their talk on the porch, and Hermione had neither seen nor heard from Harry. Since she worked at the ministry (and also since she had a bit of clout as a war hero) she was able to ascertain from the auror department that he still had not returned from his mission. She was growing very concerned and was about to suck up her pride and ask Ron about it when Harry finally showed up at her house one evening just after she had returned from work.
As soon as she opened the door and found him on the other side she threw her arms around her, wrapping him in her most encompassing bear hug. "Dear God Harry, I thought you were dead!"
"I'm sorry" he murmured against her neck, enjoying the familiar smell of her skin and not wanting to let her go. "I got wrapped up in this case and I couldn't risk sending out any messages."
"We should really work out some sort of system in the future so I don't have to spend all my time fretting over you."
"Thanks" he replied, reluctantly releasing her.
"For caring" he shrugged. "Aside from the fact that I hadn't come by to pick up the kids in a few weeks I'm not sure that even Ginny would notice if I'd been killed."
"Don't say that. A lot of people care about you." She realized just then how closely she was still standing to him and it took her breath away a bit. Stupid woman. Are you really going to get all swoony over your best friend after all these years? Before she was even able to collect herself, a distinct name was calling for her from the other room.
"Hermione?? Are you home?" Ron called, his voice echoing through the otherwise very silent house.
"I'm in here" she responded, her voice squeaking. She had not seen him since he had moved out and they had only communicated via owl about allowing the kids to visit him. Harry must have sensed her anxiety because he placed his hand on the small of her back. Somehow it did relax her slightly.
Ron looked pale as he walked into the room. "What are you doing here?" Ron asked upon seeing Harry.
"Nice to see you too mate" Harry growled and Hermione unconsciously moved closer to him to get him to calm down.
"Whatever, I'm not here about that" Ron continued. "It's about Rose, she's run off."
"Oh God Ronald, she's never been to your flat before... she could get lost or hurt or attacked..."
"That's why I came to get your help!" he hollered over her.
"Okay, let's go now. I'm sorry Harry, but I need to go find..."
"I'm coming" Harry said as though it were the most obvious thing in the world.
"This is really a family matter" Ron said in a dark tone.
"Well, I am still her uncle right?" Harry responded, and he took Hermione's hand and half dragged her to the fireplace, not allowing for any further discussion.
Once they had gone through the floo to Ron's apartment they found Hugo sitting on the couch with a rather young looking blonde. "Ron you didn't!" Hermione blurted out, reeling on her still-husband. The blonde girl looked at them both through big, frightened blue eyes.
"I didn't what? Invite my girlfriend over? I'm an adult man Hermione, and we're separated, there's no reason I can't have company..."
"Not while our children are here!" she half screamed, tears flooding her brown eyes.
"Both of you, in the other room, NOW" Harry said in a tone so cold and serious that neither of them even tried to protest.
"Don't do this in front of Hugo" Harry said as soon as they were in Ron's bedroom, the door firmly closed behind them and a silencing spell cast over the room.
"You moved out two months ago and already you think it's okay to be parading your floozy in front of our kids? You had no right Ronald..."
"You both clearly have a lot to work out" Harry interrupted, placing himself firmly between them. Isn't this how it's always been? Hermione thought from somewhere in her infuriated mind. "Right now, the objective is to find Rose, let's not lose focus of that."
Out of nowhere Ron shoved Harry hard but Harry had a considerable amount of physical training over his former best friend and he did not budge. "I can find my daughter just fine without your Potter" Ron hissed. "In case you've forgotten, you aren't the only auror in the room."
"I didn't suggest otherwise Weasley. What is the plan?"
"The w-w-what?" Ron stammered.
"The plan to find Rose. How should divide up?"
"Uh, well, I reckon..."
"Ronald is hopeless at coming up with a solid plan, we've known that since our first year at Hogwarts!" Hermione exclaimed. "I say we all fan out in separate directions of the apartment, Hugo will go home first of course..."
"This is the first time I've seen my son in weeks!" Ron bellowed. "You can't just send him home!"
"Well, I'm certainly not leaving him to sit on the couch with your little sl-"
"ENOUGH!" Harry hollered, stepping between them once more. "I will take Hugo with me to search for Rose. Once one of us finds her, cast your patronus so we know she's safe and we'll meet back here."
"Good for you, taking charge" Ron said sarcastically. "You sound almost as bossy as this one" he nodded towards Hermione and the hurt in her eyes was enough to make Harry nearly lose his temper.
"In case you forgot Weasley, I AM your boss. Let's go."
When Ron had moved out of his and Hermione's home, he had found what he referred to as a "swanky bachelor pad" on an offshoot from Diagon Alley. While Rose knew Diagon Alley perfectly well, she'd had no experience in this section and it was frighteningly close to Knockturn Alley. As they split up Harry gave Hermione's hand a reassuring squeeze and then he headed off with Hugo at his side.
"Are you mad at my Dad?" Hugo asked after a few blocks.
Harry eyed the boy, thinking how he looked so very much like Ron at that age and his anger abated. "Not exactly. I am upset with him, but I know he's a good person. And even good people make mistakes."
Hugo nodded to show he understood. "I think I know where Rose is."
"Why didn't you say so sooner?"
"I didn't want a bunch of people to show up yelling at her. She's been upset lately and while she can be... difficult, I don't want her to be more upset."
Harry couldn't help but grin at Hugo's compassion and logic, a trait that he obviously got from his mother. "Alright then Mr. Weasley, where is your sister?"
"Well, when we were little our Dad was still working at WWW with Uncle George. We used to spend a lot of time playing in the shop, and one day Uncle George gave us a `magic key' as he called it. I now know it was just a regular key to the attic space of the shop, but back then it was really cool. We would climb up there and play with all the dud jokes that he had chucked up there, and I would read books and Rose would pretend she was a famous catcher for the Chudley Cannons. Rose always wears the key on a chain like a necklace. I think she's superstitious that it will give her luck to become an actual Chudley Cannon one day."
Harry smiled at the thought of them playing imaginary games in the attic like he once had in his closet. He wondered if his own kids had played with their cousins up there when they visited. He liked to think they had all gone on imaginary adventures together. Hugo led him to the joke shop and George was so busy with customers he didn't even notice as they slipped behind the counter and up the spiral staircase to the attic.
Hugo knocked carefully, looking as pensive as Hermione before she was about to try a particularly difficult spell. After a long while, a muffled voice came from the other side saying "go away".
"It's me Rose" Hugo responded. "And Uncle Harry."
"He's not even really our Uncle, not now that him and Aunt Ginny are divorced." If the words had come from any source other than an emotional teenaged girl, Harry may have been hurt. Instead he just nodded at Hugo to keep trying.
"Rose, let us in! You know Uncle Harry could open this door very easily if he wanted to."
The door flew open with furious speed and a red eyed Rose stood on the other side, looking as furious as any Weasley had ever been. Once more she reminded Harry of his ex-wife, but he didn't hold it against her. "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" she screeched, and Harry deftly stepped through the door before she could try to stop him.
He could see why it was such a magical place for the kids to play. Dim light filtered in through a duty window, giving the room an orange glow. There was spare furniture stacked up in every direction, and in-between were yellowing cardboard boxes of old Weasley Wizard Wheezes. It was a lot larger than he expected and he suspected there was plenty of nooks and crannies for a child to explore.
"Rose, we just want you to come home" Hugo said tentatively.
"We have no home now that Dad's gone and fucked it all up" Rose said matter-of-factly. Harry thought about scolding her for the language, but he doubted that would help matters any.
"I didn't know either" Hugo said in a soft and painfully sad voice. "But as Uncle Harry said, even good people make mistakes. Dad was a war hero, and he's an auror, and he's our Dad! Nothing changes the fact that he's our Dad."
"He cheated on Mom Hugo. It's so obvious. I knew the moment he introduced us to that stupid bint." Rose said with harsh laugh. "He's scum, and I hate him."
Hugo gaped at her, unable to speak, so Harry stepped in. "You don't hate him Rose, and while his actions aren't admirable, he will always love you with all his heart."
"Just like he promised to love my mother? No, I'm washing my hands of him. Is that why Aunt Ginny broke up with you too Uncle Harry? Are all men just dogs?"
Harry took a long breath to steady himself and remember that Rose was just a kid still, and a wild one at that. "Ginny left me because I was always away at work" he explained. "Life gets complicated sometimes as you get older... I thought I'd faced the worst of it when I was around your age, but there's a thousand ways the heart can be broken."
She was silent for a while, holding her knees to her chest, burying her face in her lap. "I'm sorry Uncle Harry" she finally mumbled. "I shouldn't have said that to you."
"I've had much worse" he laughed. "Being famous isn't all it's cracked up to be. Which reminds me, if you're going to be a famous Quidditch player you can't spend the rest of your life sulking in this attic. Are you ready to go home?"
She nodded from beneath her tears and he sent out his patronus to seek her parents. As they waited he spoke to her. "I know why this upsets you so much Rose. You are just like your father; you have his hot headedness but you also have his sense of passion. You love Quidditch just like him, and you're good at it just like him. You can be funny like him, but you can also show surprising cleverness at times. And it bothers you that someone you are so close to can do something so foolish. But Rose... you will forgive him one day, and what you share with him won't be gone forever."
She suddenly threw her arms around his shoulders and cried against his shoulder. Slowly Hugo approached and softly rubbed her back until she wrapped her other arm around her brother and they joined in a three-way hug that continued until they heard footsteps coming up the stairs.
"Thank Merlin you're alright!" Ron sobbed, hugging his daughter furiously. Harry was happy to see that she was hugging him back. Hermione joined them both and soon the whole family was together and Harry felt he needed to leave. As he slipped away nobody seemed to notice.
"You left rather abruptly the other night" she said instead of hello. She had walked into his office rather briskly, closing the door firmly behind her.
"I could tell you all had a lot to talk about" he responded, barely looking up from his work, a mug of steaming coffee still dangling from his hand, half forgotten as he jotted something down on a piece of parchment.
"Yes well... I wanted to say thank-you."
"It was Hugo who found her, not me."
She sighed, walking around his desk, taking the mug from his hand, setting it down and then forcing his eyes up from his work to her face. "It's not just that you found her. It's that you were there. Things could have gotten really ugly between Ron and I, and you prevented that. Also, whatever you said to Rose must have sunk in because she has been much less of terror since I brought her home."
"You're welcome" he said finally, giving her a tired but warm smile. "They're good kids you've raised. Speaking of which, I finally got to spend some time with my own."
"Aw, hence the coffee and the bags under your eyes" she joked.
"They ARE a handful" he laughed.
"But you loved every minute of it, didn't you?" her voice was soft and as he looked into her eyes something seemed to pass between them but he didn't know what it was. Before he could explore it any further, there was a sharp knock on the door which made both of them jump. Shortly after a short, bald, round man entered.
"Can I help you?" Harry asked, wary by the intruder.
"I hope so Mr. Potter. I am glad to see Ms. Granger is here as well."
"It's Weasley" Hermione corrected and the odd man tilted his head to the side, his beady black eyes giving nothing away in his expression.
"You prefer Granger though, I can tell" he responded. He was right, but Hermione wasn't sure how he could possibly know that. She had never told anyone that she lamented giving up her maiden name, even more so since her and Ron's separation. "I need you to both come with me now."
"Woah pal, first up, who are you?" Harry demanded, standing up and unconsciously shifting himself protectively between the intruder and his best friend. "Second, what makes you think we'll just come along with some stranger?"
"I understand your hesitation Mr. Potter, especially given the history you both have with traps, tricks and evil. But I know you will come with me because you can both sense that I will not harm you."
Hermione stepped away from Harry slowly, drawing closer towards the black-eyed man. "I know it sounds crazy Harry, but somehow I know that he's right. We need to trust him."
"What?!?" Harry sputtered. "Hermione, we don't know who he is or what he wants. Get out of my office sir, or I will..."
"You will what Mr. Potter? Look, you haven't even drawn your wand yet. Unusual for someone are cautious as you no? You would have already come if it weren't for your primal instinct to protect Ms. Granger. A most admirable instinct I must add, but entirely irrelevant to this cause. You must come now Mr. Potter, we haven't much time to waste."
Harry held onto his resolve for a minute, fixated on drawing his wand and stunning the man. Somehow the thought dissolved like sugar in water and a moment later he was mindlessly following the stout fellow and Hermione out of his office and down the hall.Document created with wvWare/wvWare version 1.2.7