SIYE Time:0:34 on 14th August 2022

By GryffindorHealer

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Category: Post-HBP
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Other, Ron Weasley
Genres: Angst
Warnings: Violence/Physical Abuse
Story is Complete
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 8
Summary: What is lighter than air, heavier than mountains, more valuable than gold, and brighter than stars?
Hitcount: Story Total: 817
Awards: View Trophy Room

Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights ? J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.

Author's Notes:
This fic is written for the Harry & Ginny Discord Minor Character March Challenge, and my minor character is Kreacher. As such, it presents a couple of Missing Moments from Deathly Hallows. Thank you Liza for organizing this fun challenge.


Monday 1 September 1997

Harry stood up and stretched, walking to the window overlooking Grimmauld Place, parting the curtains just enough to look down on the four cloaked figures in the park watching Number 12.

Ron glanced over. ‘They still there, mate?’

Harry nodded. ‘Changing of the guard, I think. There are four of them now.’ Hermione called it that, the first day they watched the watchers, figuring out their routine so they could plan their stake-out of the Ministry. Ron needed the reference explained. Harry recognized it from a school field trip his cousin went on, but his uncle would not give Harry permission. He stayed with Mrs. Figg that day.

He shook his shoulders. The Dursleys were no longer part of his life. He had other things to focus on now. ‘Yes, there go the two I saw this morning when I left.’

Hermione huffed from where she sat, looking down on the notes spread out across the coffee table before the chesterfield. ‘Never mind them,’ she said briskly. ‘We need to go over the plan again.’

Ron groaned, rubbing his face with his hands. ‘Hermione, we’ve been at this since during tea. I can recite the whole thing to you backwards and forwards if you’d like,’ he said quietly. ‘It’s nearly half ten, we should go to bed.’

Harry let the curtain close and turned back to his friends. ‘I agree, Hermione. We’ll want to be rested. And anyway, I’ve just thought of something I need to tell Kreacher. You two go on to bed, I’ll follow.’

The now spotless kitchen proved empty, however, and rather than call for him Harry walked over to the sink after picking up a goblet. As he started to fill the goblet with water, he heard a soft pop behind him.

‘Does Master need something?’ The bullfrog voice came from behind him, tinged with concern, Harry turned to face him.

‘No, just something to drink.’ He lifted the goblet to his lips.

‘Sit, Master, Kreacher will prepare you something.’ Harry grinned wryly to himself as the old elf proceeded to push him gently towards the table, then quickly set about heating water and measuring tea leaves. He closed his eyes, rubbing them gently as Hermione’s voice ran through his head.

Arrive in the alley across from the Ministry entrance before eight, open the door to the theatre

Chamomile and honey tickling his nose interrupted his thoughts. ‘Some tea to help Master sleep.’

‘Thank you, Kreacher. I really appreciate you helping us.’ Harry sipped the delicious just hot enough tea. ‘Even though I don’t totally understand what brought you around.’

‘Master is pursuing Master Regulus’ quest.’

‘I’ve got my own reasons for doing so, though. He’s not going to stop until he’s …’

‘Yes.’ Kreacher nodded. ‘This does not change things.’

Harry regarded Kreacher, confusion evident in his pursed lips and furrowed forehead. ‘I still don’t understand.’

Kreacher returned Harry’s confused look. ‘Master has taken up Master Regulus’ quest. Master is proving himself worthy of the Ancient and Noble House of Black.’

Harry shook his head. ‘I don’t hold with the whole Pure Blood shit, Kreacher. No “Toujours Pur” in me.’

Kreacher’s face fell, and Harry readied himself to stop the elf from self-punishment. However, Kreacher simply took a deep breath. ‘It is true that the Old Mistress believed in Blood Purity. Kreacher learned that there are many ways to uphold a motto, and what Old Mistress believed is only one way. The Ancient and Noble House of Black took on that motto centuries ago, when the divide between Magicals and Muggles was not so wide. There is also purity of purpose.’

Harry sat sipping his tea, thinking about this. Professor Binns never touched on this in any History of Magic class, at least not that Harry could recall before the droning monotone voice put him into a stupor. He nodded to himself.

‘Kreacher, there are a lot of things I don’t know about the Magical world and history, but that’s for later. You once left this house for a time when Sirius still lived here. No! You are not to punish yourself for that. That is an order.’ Kreacher stopped turning towards the andirons in the fireplace, turning back to Harry with his head bowed shamefully. ‘I simply want to understand something, Kreacher. You also left this house when I asked you to bring Mundungus here.’

‘The Dung person stole from the House of Black. Of course Kreacher left to follow Master's orders to bring him here.’ He took a few deep breaths, lifting his eyes to face Harry. ‘That is also how Kreacher left… before. Kreacher could take Master Sirius’ words to get out as an order to leave the house. And Kreacher took Master Regulus to the cave. House elves may leave their houses to conduct Household business, purchasing food, getting supplies.’

Harry nodded, eyes half closed as he mulled over what he’d heard. ‘Do you have to stay here otherwise?’

Kreacher’s eyes widened in:larm. ‘Kreacher must take care of the House. His magic is interwoven with the House of Black. Unless.. Is Master setting Kreacher free?’

Harry shook his head emphatically. ‘No. Calm down. You can leave to perform duties, but it sounds like you also need to be here some or most of the time.

Kreacher nodded:’ Yes. A House Elf’s magic is stronger when serving a family, and taking care of the House.’

Harry nodded in response, still thinking. He’d guessed this might be the case after getting to know Dobby better, after the younger elf started working at Hogwarts. That fact seemed to him something Hermione didn’t grasp yet. House Elves didn’t see themselves as slaves like she did; they gained something important by being in service. ‘Kreacher, if for some reason, at some point, we need to leave Grimmauld Place to continue our… quest, I want you to be safe. If Grimmauld Place is… compromised somehow, you need to go to Hogwarts as a place to hide.’

Kreacher’s eyes narrowed in puzzlement. ‘The Hogwarts house elves all must obey the Headmaster. If Kreacher goes to Hogwarts, the Headmaster could order Kreacher to answer questions.’ Harry nodded, thinking about the article in the Daily Prophet he brought home earlier, and Snape now being the Hogwarts Headmaster. A glint lit his eyes behind his glasses.

‘I understand that.’ He grinned wickedly, ’But you aren't a Hogwarts house elf. You are my House Elf. If I order you, could you stay there, even offer to help those House Elves if they need it, and not have to obey the Headmaster? Just… don’t be seen.’

Kreacher looked at Harry intently, then Harry swore he saw a small grin lift the corners of the old elf’s mouth. ‘Master is devious, truly worthy of the House of Black. Yes, Kreacher can do all this. House elves are very good at not being seen, Master.’

Harry laughed softly: ‘Not sure how devious I am, Kreacher. There is one house elf at Hogwarts that you should talk to when you go there. His name is Dobby.’

‘Kreacher knows of Dobby. He is a strange House Elf, he accepts money for work, but because he is in service to Hogwarts, his magic is intact.’.

Harry laughed louder. ‘Yes, Dobby can be a bit strange. But he is a good House Elf, and Dobby knows who my friends are there at Hogwarts. Help my friends as best you can, but wherever you go, whatever you do, don’t be seen. You may of course return to Grimmauld Place to make sure the house is safe and in good condition. Those are my orders, Kreacher.’

The old elf nodded slowly. Harry thought to himself, that should satisfy Hermione, and hopefully keep Kreacher as safe as possible. He closed his eyes as he finished his tea, thinking about Regulus and the Locket.

‘I know he wasn’t nice to you, but I wish Sirius could have known what Regulus did,’ he said.

Kreacher: nodded sadly, face down cast. ‘The brothers were very close when young. After they both went to Hogwarts is when they began growing apart.’

The quiet moment stretched out, then Harry set his empty cup onto the saucer. ‘Thank you for the tea, Kreacher. Go to bed. We will be getting an early start tomorrow.’

Kreacher waved the empty cup and saucer into the sink. ‘Kreacher will make an excellent breakfast tomorrow, Master.’ Harry nodded in reply, then left the kitchen, climbing to his bed in Sirius’ room. Getting into pyjamas, he climbed under the covers and lay back, Hermione’s voice again running through his head reviewing the plan for tomorrow. To break that train, he thought of Gregorovitch the wandmaker, and how long he could hope to remain hidden while Voldemort sought him so determinedly before falling into a fitful sleep.


Thursday 13 November 1997

Kreacher followed the two witches through the darkened halls of Hogwarts, Master Regulus’ locket pressing against his chest. He recognized the red-headed witch from the summer and Christmas she spent at Grimmauld Place. She and Master Sirius spent many late nights talking together in the kitchen. He couldn’t remember much about her aura from then, he’d been too focused on saving Master Regulus’ locket. Now it struck him how he’d missed the black-tinged purple threads. Much like Master, she’d been touched by the Evil One.

Tonight, very little conversation passed between her and her blonde companion. The red-head’s legs trembled as she struggled lifting each foot to the next stair, supported by her friend. He grumbled to himself that this would be so much easier if they were unconscious from their experiences. Then he could simply apparate them to their respective rooms, make them safe and comfortable in their beds.

The blonde witch’s aura danced around her spectacularly, sparkling akin to the Northern Lights. Wrapping now around the red-head’s arms, twitching with spasms, then helping her leg lift to settle her foot on the next stair. But the tendrils of pale quicksilver dancing and twisting into the shadows around them kept Kreacher at the distance he followed. Those around her mostly thought her to be odd and detached from reality. Kreacher knew better.

'This would be easier if you'd let me levitate you, Ginny,' the blonde witch said so quietly Kreacher barely heard her. He stifled a snort; at least he wasn't the only one thinking that the red-head, Ginny, proved too stubborn. They paused at the top of the stairs after the five-minute climb. Ginny leaned on her friend, deep breaths whistling through her nose.

'No levitation, Luna,' growled Ginny. 'I can do this. I can prove that wanker Crabb isn't capable of proper magic.'

Luna simply hummed quietly in response, then nudged Ginny left along the hallway. Kreacher followed silently, flitting from shadow to shadow, himself attuned to the presence of anyone other than these two witches. Twice during their journey he bypassed them silently, then magically urging the patrolling prefects he sensed to change their direction. Keep them safe, Master’s voice in his head directed him. Do not be seen.

Thinking of the dimwit Crabb, Kreacher nodded in silent agreement with Ginny. That wizard could not ordinarily use magic much better than a squib. When it came to the Unforgivable curses, however, his not insignificant efforts with the Cruciatus proved impressive. Kreacher lightly fingered the two small glass vials tucked into the pouch he created in his pristine white towel toga, debating with himself if he should leave both with the red-head. The blonde did not need one. The wizard assigned to practice the Cruciatus on her made an impressive face mimicking concentration when casting. And the blonde cried out most convincingly; Kreacher chuckled softly at the extreme lack of intent in that curse.

Then he held his breath, frozen still in his disillusion charm, when the blonde turned to look in his direction. Far too aware of her environment, that one. He waited patiently, feeling her probing around with that uncanny ability she possessed to sense magic and magical creatures. Turning back to face the next floor, continuing her probe. He already knew that no one else walked or hid on the floor they were about to gain. Letting her quickly sense the same served his purpose to not be seen.

Waiting, Kreacher thought idly about what he would like to do to Crabb, then pushed out of his mind the wish that Master's orders included something explicit about Death Eaters. Unfortunately he could not find anything within what Master said allowing him to arbitrarily deal with such as Crabb. Certainly not while such were under the direct observation of one of the teaching staff. However, deep inside himself he nurtured the small hope one of the students he knew for certain to bear the Dark Mark would attempt to interfere with these two witches tonight. As it stood, all he could currently do was make sure they got back to their dormitories safely.

Fifteen minutes later, they stepped off the last stairs into the hallway to Gryffindor Tower. Kreacher padded silently behind them, waiting a couple breaths to make sure he was clear to dash across the hall into shadow again. The Fat Lady in the portrait watched the two witches approach.

'Ginny, the Lady needs your password to get us in,' Luna spoke, dreamlike.

Ginny shook her head gently, as if waking. 'What?'

The Fat Lady's brow creased. 'What happened to her?' she asked, leaning forward.

'We’re coming from detention with Alecto Carrow,' Luna replied, 'because in class Ginny proved Alecto’s premise false by showing her no one can steal magic. Alecto didn't like Ginny saying if a pureblood witch couldn't steal another witch's magic, then neither could a Muggle.'

The Fat Lady raised her hand. 'Say no more.' Her portrait swung open showing the entryway, and Luna guided Ginny into it.

'I can get in myself, Luna,' Ginny grumbled. 'I didn't need Dean's help, and I don't need yours.' Her left foot caught on the edge of the Portrait Hole, Luna catching her from stumbling and trying to keep her from falling. Kreacher slipped silently into the Hole as the portrait closed, reaching forward to gently levitate Ginny enough that Luna could straighten her up.

The noise brought Demelza and Parvati from the Common Room. Demelza gently slid her hand underneath Ginny's opposite arm and she and Luna stepped further in.

Parvati caught Luna's attention. 'How bad was it?'

'Cruciatus,' growled Ginny. Parvati and Demelza exchange glances. Parvati turned around and began pushing the younger students back, clearing a path to the stairs to the Girls Dormitory.

Demelza nodded gently as the three of them started forward, Ginny stumbling on the edge of a carpet. ‘You’re not usually this shaky after a detention, Ginny, but you don't seem too off Luna.'

'Crabb volunteered to practice his curses on Ginny. He does seem to enjoy this one a great deal.' Luna guided them around one of the study tables. 'I had Burke, he was also in detention for not performing the curse well enough in class. So I needed to pretend it hurt.'

Ginny snorted. 'Lucky you, then, Luna,' she whispered. Demelza chuckled. They started up the spiral stairs, climbing slowly, Ginny again taking each step one at a time on shaky legs. Parvati followed close behind, not noticing Kreacher step off on the first landing, then resume climbing after Parvati passed him.

They stopped on the landing for the Sixth Year dormitory. Parvati opened the door and entered, pulling the drapes to Ginny's bed open as Demelza and Luna walked Ginny slowly over. Kreacher ran through the door and stepped into a corner shadow.

With Ginny sitting on the edge of her bed, Luna turned to Demelza. ‘I believe we’ve got this if you need to do something else,’ she said.

'Are you sure? I am so far behind revising that essay for Transfiguration. McGonagall will roast me if it's late.' Ginny looked into Luna's silvery grey eyes, a silent request passing between them, then nodded to Demelza.

'We've got this,' Luna said, and Ginny closed her eyes to ride the dreamy lilt of her best friend's voice. 'Parvati, you can go too. I expect the younger students will need a prefect’s guidance to stop gossiping about this already.' Parvati and Demelza whispered thanks as they left. The door latch clicked softly on closing, Kreacher dashed forward and set down the potion vial he brought on Ginny's bedside stand, returning to the shadows. Turning, he froze with his eyes locked to silvery grey-blue eyes looking straight at him.

Luna turned back to Ginny. Kreacher knew she'd seen him, despite his disillusion charm. He glanced at Ginny, her head hanging, eyes closed, arms twitching.

'Let's get you into your pyjamas, Ginny,' Luna said, starting to lift Ginny's jumper. The next ten minutes were filled with Luna slowly helping her friend out of her clothing.

Ginny cried out when her arms spasmed while sliding off sleeves, biting back the sound with a hiss. Kreacher watched Luna pause, gently massaging Ginny’s upper arms. When Ginny nodded, her arms extending, they both worked Ginny’s jumper over her head. She cried out again when she stood to take her skirt off. Kreacher squinted at the streaks of red coursing through her aura, slowly fading as Luna again massaged leg muscles standing in tight chords

When Ginny sat back on the edge of her bed, Luna unfastened her bra, then squatted to slide Ginny’s socks off. Ginny shrugged her bra down her arms, ‘Where are your pyjamas?’ Luna asked. Ginny waved generally at her pillow.

Luna pulled a Quidditch jersey out from under them, chuckling as she ran fingertips lightly across the name “Weasley” on it. ‘You charmed Harry’s old jersey.’

Ginny raised her arms to let the loose jersey slide over her, face emerging with a wry grin. ‘It’s not like he can use it right now, though, so someone should get some wear from it,’

Luna nodded, turning to the bedside stand. 'Oh, look, there's a note by this vial,' she said. Ginny nodded, her eyes still closed. 'It says “Take this, it helps with the after. From a true friend.” Harry sent a potion for you. Isn't that wonderful?'

Ginny started upright, opening her eyes, looking about alarmed. 'Did you say Harry’s here? Harry?' Kreacher squinted, focusing on the deep purple tinge her aura took on when she said that. It washed around her in a wave, tinges of cinnamon pink and orange flowing through them.

Luna uncorked the vial. 'Harry isn’t here, Ginny. But you should drink this potion he sent.'

Ginny sighed in relief. The pink and orange tones in her aura morfed into magenta. Kreacher nodded to himself. Kreacher’d seen his Master’s aura with those same colors when he dreamed, back at Grimmauld Place before they left, going to the Ministry after the Locket.

‘Do you want him to be here, Ginny?’ Luna asked, voice uncharacteristically heavy with concern.

‘He can’t be here, they’ll kill him,' Ginny muttered.

‘That doesn’t answer my question.’

Ginny shook her head. ‘He said we can’t be together.’

‘That’s not the same as- ‘

Ginny pressed two fingers to Luna’s lips. ‘Don’t say it, Luna. You know how it has to be said.’ Kreacher felt the uncharacteristic pleading in the red-head’s voice, gold highlights blazing in her brown eyes, locked to Luna’s pale grey-blue. ‘He broke up with me.’

Luna nodded slowly, pressing the vial into Ginny's hand, then holding both between her own as spasms shook Ginny's arms. 'You need to drink this, Ginny. It eases the pain and muscle spasms.'

Ginny nodded, lifting the vial and pouring the potion down her throat. Her eyes squinted, lips pursed at the bitter flavor, then she sighed. She nodded, and Luna helped her lay back, pulling the covers up to her shoulders. 'Tell my “true friend”, thank you,' she whispered to Luna, who pushed some red hair back and behind her ears. Sitting next to her friend, lightly stroking the brilliant hair, Luna waited until Ginny's breathing slowed and she slept.

Kreacher remained still as a bowtruckle while Luna went to the door and turned slowly on the landing outside to look up the stairs, a small grin brightening her face. Then with a gentle click, she closed the door.

Quicker than a lighting flash, he stood next to the bedside table, right hand on the parchment, left reaching towards Ginny. Softer than a whisper his fingers knit into her drowsing aura. Closing his eyes, the parchment lit a faint blue glow. The message faded, replaced with another. Then he set the second potion vial onto it. Nodding, he withdrew his hand from the sleeping witch’s aura. The vial and parchment faded to invisibility.

Concentrating on where, with the softest pop he stood in inky shadow, watching the Fat Lady in the Portrait pouring wine into her goblet. She paused, looking down the hallway. Kreacher grinned to himself. Even if she could see him inside his disillusionment (being a part of Hogwarts) he would appear only one of many House Elves.

He felt quite successful so far. Only Ginny would see the second potion vial and note, instructing her to use it if she needed. Otherwise, to save it for the future. Now he need only make sure the blonde witch made it safely to Ravenclaw.

The Fat Lady shook her head and raised her goblet to drink. The Portrait door opened, spilling wine on her bosom eliciting a startled shriek, quickly stifled as Luna stepped out, turning to face back into Gryffindor Tower ‘'I'll be alright, Parvati. There's no reason for you to walk the hallways alone coming back.' Then she started along the corridor to the next stairs.

Kreacher followed, thinking perhaps he didn't need to since Luna seemed just as aware of her surroundings while appearing oblivious to them as she had when coming up from the dungeons. The trip to Ravenclaw Tower passed uneventfully until just before Luna reached the door. Then she turned abruptly left, to a deep shadow under a window, and bent down. Kreacher heard the soft tink of glass on the stone floor.

Luna straightened up, looking out the window over the Hogwarts grounds, her face lit by the waxing gibbous moon. 'I know you are there, and I am not asking you to show yourself.’ He stood entranced, her voice floating like an aria. ‘Nor do I want you to tell me who your Master is, though I am sure I know his name. I just want to say Thank You. She needed that very much.'

Then she turned to the door to Ravenclaw, lifting the ring of the bronze eagle-head knocker once. The beak opened, and a musical voice asked, 'What is lighter than air, heavier than mountains, more valuable than gold, and brighter than stars?'

Service, Kreacher thought, but Luna responed quietly. 'Two things intertwined, Friendship and Love.'

'Well reasoned,' the eagle replied, and the door swung open. Luna turned to where he stood in shadow, and winked before the door closed behind her.

Kreacher waited before stepping from the shadow that covered him to the shadow under the window. There he picked up the empty potion vial. Turning again to the now quiet eagle knocker, he wondered again at Master’s good fortune that such friends filled his life.

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