Pairing: Harry Potter/Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley/Neville Longbottom, Ron Weasley/Luna Lovegood
Rating: T (for now)
Warnings: swearing, minor character death, off-screen slash, mentions of abuse, bashing
Summary: Harry and his friends are cornered. Going through the veil seems like their only option. This leads the six of them on to new adventures where they will learn about each other and about themselves. H/HG R/L N/G. AU Following the Battle at the DoM. Title translation: “Know Thyself” Not Abandoned, Very Slow Updates
“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.” — Andre Gide
Fear. That was the one emotion that was fueling Hermione at this point. They’d been cornered and she just knew that they were all going to die painful deaths. She knew that it was unlikely that their deaths would happen quickly, as the Death Eaters were known for having their fun with their victims before providing them with any mercy.
She’d known it was going to be a trap right from the onset, but she hadn’t been able to convince Harry. He’d been blinded by his need to save his godfather. She didn’t blame him. She knew that Sirius Black was the only adult in Harry’s life that he cared about; just like she knew that if her parents had been taken and tortured, she’d have done the same thing Harry had. They’d made it to the Ministry, and had been on the run ever since Harry had picked up the Prophecy orb.
Now the six of them were mostly surrounded by Death Eaters in a very strange room. Along the outside of the circular space, there were amphitheater-like benches, which she suspected would hold around 1,000 people, maybe more. The benches were surrounding a flat circle stage that held a single doorway to nowhere. When they’d made their way through the room the first time, each of the six had heard voices coming through the veil that covered the seemingly empty doorway. It had entranced them for several moments before Luna, who had been the least affected, had been able to prod them out of the room and towards the Hall of Prophecy.
There were 10 Death Eaters surrounding the six of them, each more menacing than the last. Hermione shuddered at the look of sadistic glee on Bellatrix Lestrange’s face. The six Hogwarts students were standing back to back their wands pointed outwards, in front of the veil like thing in the middle of the platform. Hermione stood next to Harry and Ron, her two best friends since she was twelve years old. She loved her boys, and if she had time, to be honest with herself, she was happy that if they were going to die, they would die together.
“What do we do,” Ron asked, quietly as the two groups stared each other down. He was looking at Hermione.
“Don’t look at me, Ronald, I haven’t a clue.”
“Well, don’t you always have the answers?” Ron asked snidely.
“Guys. Don’t.” Ginny said, pleading with them. “We don’t have time for your petty arguments.”
The two fell silent then looked at Harry simultaneously. He looked back. Hermione could see the fear he was feeling, but she could also see the fierce determination he had to survive. For them all to survive.
“Where do you suppose that doorway behind us goes?”
None of them actually looked at the veil, as they were all keeping one eye on the Death Eaters, who were circling them, all grinning maniacally.
“I don’t know, what if we just passed through the other side?” Ginny asked softly.
“I don’t know that we have much of a choice, guys,” Harry replied. “If there were some cover here, I’d say we could fight it out, but we’re in the open. It’s only a matter of time before they get sick of taunting me and decide to use their wands. Luna and I are the only ones that are immune to the imperius curse. If one of them were to cast it on one of the others, we’d really be doomed.”
The five other teenagers paled at the thought of being made to kill their friends. Hermione couldn’t imagine having to hurt one of her friends.
“I think we should go through,” Neville said. He and Ginny were closest to the veil. He’d been having problems ever since they came into the veil room. He kept hearing voices, and it was bothering him, just as it had when they had passed through the room the first time.
Harry looked around quickly at his friends, receiving reluctant nods from each. The only person who didn’t look worried was Luna who was gazing curiously at the veil.
“We should go through in pairs,” Harry said softly. “Neville and Ginny, then Ron and Luna, then Hermione and I will bring up the rear. This will have to be fast, or they’ll start firing on us. Hermione, if they do that, don’t hold back, okay.”
Hermione nodded. She knew that this was going to be hard, and she suspected that all that they would accomplish with this gambit was pass onto the other side of the empty doorway and still be surrounded by Death Eaters. But she trusted Harry. If he said that going through was their only option, then it was their only option.
“On my mark,” Harry said. “Go!”
Neville grabbed Ginny’s hand and dashed through the veil, pulling the redhead behind him as quickly as possible. He noticed that Luna had grabbed Ron’s hand as well and was already following them.
Hermione watched as her friends ran through the veil. She could already see that they hadn’t passed directly through the veil, which was good. Hopefully, it was a portal to another part of the Ministry building so they could all escape to safety.
She felt Harry grab her non-wand hand and start leading her towards the veil where Ron and Luna had already disappeared. The Death Eaters had stopped circling them and had been frozen in shock, which only gave Hermione a moment of doubt. She followed Harry through the veil. The last thing she saw from her side of the doorway was Bellatrix Lestrange lifting her wand and firing a curse at the veil in anger.
Ginny stumbled as she and Neville passed through the veil. She really didn’t like that she was with Neville and not with Harry, but there was little she could do about it. She couldn’t very well have stuck around and pushed Hermione through the veil with Neville just so she could be with the boy she had fancied since she was 10 years old.
After she regained her feet, Ginny looked around. They hadn’t just passed through the other side of the veil like she had feared they would. Instead, they were in a forest, trees surrounding them on either side. She looked behind her where the veil/doorway thing should have been, but she found that it wasn’t there.
“I see,” Neville said, still standing next to her. “This is so not good.”
Unfortunately, Ginny could do nothing but agree.
Luna was frustrated. She had been for the last three weeks. Now at least, she knew why she’d been feeling so odd for so long. She had always been able to see certain things. Sometimes the visions/feelings came about herself, other times they came for other people she was interacting with. It wasn’t prophecy or anything like that, but it was her talent. She’d come to rely on it, even if it gave her a dreamy demeanor that caused others to misunderstand her.
However, for the last three weeks, her talent had failed her completely. There had been no visions or feelings of the future or past when she was around her friends, nor had she felt anything about herself. It was the first time since her mother had died that her gift had failed her. It had caused her to be antsy for the past weeks as she suspected that something truly bad was going to happen. Now she knew what that event was.
She’d been happy to follow Harry Potter on his adventure. He’d been her first friend since Ginny had ended their childhood friendship before she’d gone to Hogwarts. He’d been kind to her when everyone else was always so dismissive or mean. He’d even encouraged his friends to be her friends. That type of friendship was something she had longed for so long.
This adventure also explained the reason behind her gift’s failure these past weeks. Now that she’d led Ronald through the veil, the picture became even more clear. She knew immediately that they were no longer where they had started out.
“Luna? What is this place?”
Luna looked at her red-headed friend. “I don’t know,” she said finally.
The room they’d entered after going through the veil was empty save a dusty desk and an empty bookshelf. If she had to guess, she’d say they had found themselves in an old professor’s office at Hogwarts. But something was different. It seemed older. Much older.
“I don’t think that we’re where we are supposed to be,” she said after taking in their surroundings.
Ron looked back at her, apparently scared out his mind. Luna could relate. Her gift was telling her that their new location was not going to conducive to their good health.
Harry hated that he’d been the one to make the decision to go through the veil. Just once he wanted to be the one to follow others. For a brief moment, he could almost feel himself brooding and asking the question he so often asked himself: ‘why me?’
He pulled Hermione through the veil quickly, following his other friends. Their going through the veil had apparently been so shocking that the Death Eaters had been unwilling or unable to curse them in the back. That had surprised him, quite a bit; so much so that he hoped he hadn’t just sent his friends on to their death.
He did hear a curse from one of the DE’s as Hermione stepped through the veil after him. He turned quickly enough to see a yellow bolt of light of light pass entirely too close to his best friend’s shoulder. He also was in time to see the veil disappear completely after she’d taken her final step away from it. Wherever the doorway had lead to, they were stuck there, with no way back.
“Harry…” Hermione said, shock lacing her voice. He could see her staring past him, her eyes wide and her mouth hanging open.
He hadn’t watched where he was going, and the curse from the other side of the veil had caused him to not pay enough attention to their surroundings.
Harry spun around only to come face to face with the wand of Albus Dumbledore himself.