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Harry jumped and emitted a quick yell of fright as either twin appeared beside him. [b "Don't do that!"]
His heart hammered in his chest as they spoke. His green eyes landed on the fake ear that Fred held in his hands, feeling somewhat impressed that it wasn't as grotesque as he had originally anticipated. Truth be told, he had pictured the 'extendable ear' as one of their own ears just turning in to putty-like form and pulling it away from their heads.
While the twins bickered playfully with Hermione, Harry looked back up as they addressed him once more. [b "I'm hurt that you'd even have to ask. Where can we hear best from?"] For the first time since arriving, the Boy-Who-Lived had a smile on his face.
Huddled on the landing together, Harry watched as one of the twins lowered the ear down a few floors, outside of the room where the meeting was being held. He bit his lip nervously, only slightly afraid of what they might hear. [b "You barely put up a fuss about this. Perhaps Ron and I have corrupted you more than we'd thought,"] he murmured to Hermione, who was standing next to him.
[b "Both Ron and I completely understand your anger, Harry...and we wouldn't much like to be in that situation either... It was wrong of us to keep you in the dark, just as if is for them. But they do really care about you and want to try and keep you safe. Honestly though, I don't think they much know what is going on themselves... All they can do is guess at the moment."] Hermione said, giving a weak smile.
A smirk and chuckle came from Ron as Hermione rolled her eyes when they had been asked about the extendable ears. [i "Actually, Harry they aren't as bad as you think. They are pieces of plastic shaped like ears with a long strong between them and enchanted to hear things at a safe distance. But knowing Fred and George, I can see where you would think it to be something much worse."] The Weasley boy said, smile still in place as it seemed Harry was more at ease now.
Hermione and Ron were both about to open their mouths, but instead of speaking yelps slipped from them as both the twins appeared on either side of Harry. [#f1be0e "Hiya Harry. We could hear you all the way from our room. Oh and these are what were being talked about. We've got Ginny downstairs checking to make sure we can use them."] Fred said, smirking as he looked to the three friends who they had decided to come and 'bother.'
[b "And you REALLY think your mum won't be finding out again?"] The girl asked as she shot the twins a disapproving look, though her eyes gave way that she was just as curious to know what was going on.
[i "Well since Harry does want to know...maybe this won't be such a bad idea."] Ron said with a shrug.
At that moment, Ginny came into the room, her eyes landing on Harry and she blushed. Quickly, the girl looked away from the boy and looked to Fred and George. [#2caaf6 "Seems safe to use the ears..."] She said, giving a smile as she wanted to know just as badly as the older teens just what was being kept from them.
[#f90120 "So what do you say, Harry? Explore Grimmauld Place or try and hear what's going on downstairs?"] George asked with a cheeky smirk, waiting for the boy to make the decision.
As his anger deflated, Harry grew tired. He knew his friends were right. He had no reason to not trust them. They had been there for him for the past few years, so why would this be any different? Feeling like a jerk, he sunk to his bed and reached up to take his glasses off. He rubbed his eyes to try and alleviate the headache that was beginning to form. [b "I just...I lived eleven years being lied to every single day. I don't want to be lied to anymore. I understand that they think they're protecting me, but what good is it going to do if I don't know Voldemort's plans, and I'm his primary target?"]
Sighing, he put his glasses back on, and Ron and Hermione came back in to clear focus. [b "I'm sorry. I'm just tired."]
Pausing, Harry looked to Ron. [b "I'm almost afraid to ask what 'extendable ears' are. If Fred and George are behind it, it can't be safe,"] he tried to lighten the mood, feeling guilty about lashing out at the two of them.
Perhaps he could persuade Lupin to allow him in on certain meetings, Harry thought internally. His former professor had always been a man of wisdom and understand. He, more than anyone, would sympathize with Harry about the situation he found himself in.
Nervously toying with a piece of stray thread at the hem of his shirt, he cleared his throat. [b "Since you guys have been here for a while, why not give me a tour? It would probably be better than being cooped up in here."]
The anger that the boy was displaying was the thing that she had been afraid of. It wasn't that she blamed Harry for the way he felt or the words that he spoke but the girl had hoped he wouldn't take it out on them. Obviously that had been a lost hope, but a hope nonetheless. So she let him rant and say his piece because she was trying to figure out some sort of an answer for what was said.
But of course, before Hermione could open her mouth, Ron had beaten her to it. And she was rather nervous as the redheaded boy now spoke. [i "Harry, we understand your anger. But you need to know that we've been kept in the dark on this just as much as you have. We've only learned bits and pieces from Fred and George using extendable ears that they've developed... Mum found out and was furious and has destroyed most the lot...So we haven't heard anything since."] The boy tried to explain, obviously hoping that his words would help to calm the dark haired boy who was still pacing about.
As soon as she heard the words Ron spoke, a groan slipped from the girl's lips. She should have beaten him to speaking, but it was too late and she was sure they would be hearing more. [b "It's not that he doesn't want you knowing Harry, but I think with all that the Ministry has been saying he thought it better to keep all of this on the down low. You see...it seems that Fudge is going more and more 'mad', thinking that Dumbledore is making everything up just because he wants his job... And what Ron said...we've honestly not much a clue as to what is going on either. If we did, we would definitely fill you in now. Just with our letters it was thought that they would be intercepted...Also..you aren't alone in this Harry.. you know that we want to help too."] The girl tried again, biting on her lip as her eyes were once more on the boy.
Harry had thought that he would have felt better knowing the truth. However, once the words had poured from Hermione's mouth, the more bitter he felt. Scoffing, he rose to his feet and had begun pacing. [b "[i Dumbledore] thought it was best for me, huh? Tell me, how is being kept in the dark best for anyone? I could have died yesterday! I had Dementors nearly suck the life out of me, but it must be fine, since it's according to Dumbledore's plan, which is apparently for my well-being."]
His jaw tensed and fists curled at his sides. [b "I'm the one that has to fight this war. I am the only weapon they can throw at Voldemort,"] he saw Ron flinch. [b "That can actually stand a chance at defeating him. But how in the bloody hell do they expect me to be in this war, if I'm kept from knowing what's going on?"]
He wanted to believe that they were right, and that it would all workout as they were apparently planning. But at that moment, all Harry felt was betrayal. [b "Why have you lot been allowed to be here, around everything, while I've been stuck in a tiny bedroom, waiting for some kind of news that never came! I'm the one Voldemort wants, but I'm not permitted to join in whatever meetings this Order has been holding? What kind of rubbish is that?"] By now, his voice has raised.
Ron had been the one to speak and to lead the other two into the room that he and Hermione had come out of. The boy leaned on the wall and Hermione took a seat on one of the beds. Since they had entered the room, the pair stayed silent and watched their best friend, who by the looks and sounds of things was VERY annoyed and if they couldn't offer him any sort of an explanation would be yelling soon.
The girl finally dropped her gaze to the bed, her hand tracing small shapes as she was thinking on how best to explain everything. In truth, Hermione and Ron didn't know very much more than Harry himself did. Sure they had been around Grimmauld Place most the summer, but that didn't mean the 'Order' had told them much. Actually they had been kept pretty much in the dark only learning small things here and there and mostly kept busy by TRYING to make the old house seem livable again, which honestly was not an easy task.
A sigh slipped from Ron's lips as he looked between Harry and Hermione. [i "Might as well tell him what we DO know, Mione. He's right about deserving to know something."] The redhead said, but he didn't offer any answers, figuring that Harry would go easier on Hermione if she were the one to tell him.
Slowly, Hermione's head bobbed up and down and brown eyes found their way to the green ones that seemed to have never left her and Ron. [b "This is Grimmauld Place where they keep the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix...a group that Dumbledore has put together in order to fight Voldemort.. We've been here since the beginning of summer, but we were sworn not to tell you anything. According to Dumbledore, the less you knew the better. But Harry we wanted to tell you!"] The girl said, her eyes sparkling with tears that wanted to fall.
The adults disappeared in to the room, closing the door behind them. Harry stood alone in the hall, looking around for some kind of idea of where the hell they'd taken him. A surge of annoyance rose in his chest at being rustled to a strange place without any explanation. He hadn't heard from them, and now they wanted him to be patient?
Mumbling under his breath, he had begun climbing the stairs, winding his way up to the second floor landing when a body collided with his. A mouthful of hair and the voice gave the person away. [b "Hello, Hermione,"] he answered back, returning the hug. [b "I'm fine. Really."]
Backing up slightly, Harry noticed Ron standing behind her. [b "Is everyone here?"] he asked.
The redhead nodded. [i "They figured it would be the safest place. Come on in here. Your bed is all ready."]
A muscle in Harry's jaw twitched. How long had they all been shut up in here together, while he had endured a summer of Dursleys? Inside the room, Harry sat on his bed, looking around at the clearly lived-in room. Apparently the Weasleys had at least been here for a while. [b "Is someone going to explain what's going on? Lupin and the others show up at Privet Drive, haul me out of there, and can't even offer a simple explanation."]
His eyes flickered between his two best friends, taking in the differences since he had last seen them. Ron, impossibly even more gangly. Hermione, her soft featured creased with worry. [b "If the two of you know something I don't, it'd be nice to be informed for once."] Harry's tone was more clipped and short than usual. [b "I deserve that, at least."]
[i "You had us all worried, Harry dear.] Mrs.Weasley continued as she kept her hold on him. After a moment, the woman pulled back and looked down at him. [i "You're looking a bit thin, dear but I am afraid that you will have to wait about an hour or so for supper.. the meeting is still going."] She said and gave a small smile.
Remus gave Harry a small smile and shook his head as if telling the boy not to ask. [i "Ron and Hermione should be upstairs.. If I remember the room that you and Ron will be sharing is up the stairs on the right.] And with that he followed Mrs. Weasley into the kitchen.
Hermione was sitting in the room with Ron and rolled her eyes. [b "How could they be saying this about him? They can't just put him on trail and expel him, it's not right!"] The girl was ranting about what they had heard and had decided to look through a book or two just to prove Harry had done nothing wrong.
[i "I know Mione, but you also know EVERYTHING that has been printed. They will make something else up about him and about Dumbledore."] Ron said.
It was his words that had made her sigh. And before she could say something she could hear creaking on the steps and stood from the bed and walked out of the room and noticed Harry below. Without much thinking, the girl ran down to greet him, hugging him when she got downstairs. [b "It is so good to see you! Are you okay?"]
The sound of Uncle Vernon's bellowing voice still rung in Harry's ears, though he had already been whisked away in a whirlwind of loud voices and panic. [b "What is going on?"] he called over the wind, looking to Lupin riding alongside him.
[i "I promise Harry, we will tell you when it is appropriate. Just trust me until we get you safe!"] his former teacher responded.
Despite it being summer, there was a chill in his bones, though it could just have been from his anxiety. Gripping tighter to the broomstick, Harry remained silent for the remainder of the journey, until they touched down on a dimly lit street.
[b "This is the safe house?"] he questioned, raising an eyebrow. The rows of houses didn't seem any more safe than Privet Drive.
Moody grumbled something incoherently. [i "Just take this and don't be a smart ass."]
Looking at the scrap of paper, Harry read the scrawl in his head. [i What is Grimmauld Place?] Before the thought was finished, the sound of bricks scraping together reached his ears. Looking up, Harry's jaw fell as an addition unit appeared before them.
Without a word, Lupin led the way to the door, gesturing for Harry to enter first. The interior wasn't any better lit. [i "Come along, no point in straggling in the doorway,"] Remus pressed against his back, urging him forward.
In the darkness, Harry squinted to try and navigate his way. He barely made it in to the first room on his right before a pair of arms squeezed the air out of him. [i "Harry, dear!"] Molly Weasley's voice met his ears.
[b "Mrs. Weasley?"] he sputtered, eyes adjusting to the faint glow of the fire behind her.
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