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 The Last Carefree Days, chapter 64

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Anzahl der Beiträge : 41
Anmeldedatum : 25.10.14
Ort : Bodensee

BeitragThema: The Last Carefree Days, chapter 64   Do Apr 26, 2018 2:41 am

In the WHF universe Ollivander uses more than three wandcore materials.

Chapter beta: Dani
Chapter translator: Aivy & Sophie




Hermione’s POV

The evening after Snape’s departure, which had been as impressive and sweeping as always, was indeed very enjoyable. Blaise was a likable person and with the way he was presenting himself now, I was convinced that I liked the boy, even if I feared that he was afraid of me. It was the way he eyed me from time to time after the realisation, that I wasn’t ‘innocent’ anymore. However, the boys succeeded in distracting him and thus he warmed up too, after a while.

Draco also loosened up and forgot the business with Lucius. He, the Twins and I took turns cooking, which nearly caused Blaise to have an heart attack. Admittedly, it seemed to do Draco a world of good to have a Slytherin friend here.

The boys had a boozy night while they tried to determine which of the drinks were their favourite while I was watching them, amused and thoroughly entertained. Nevertheless, I was planning, too. I was sure that it was the right decision to lay low for now and disappear, but I wasn’t so sure how long that would work. Sooner or later, I wouldn’t be able to hide any longer, and for that case I was making plans. Nobody could ever accuse me of not being prepared for the worst-case scenario.

The Professor’s attendance had been exceptional once more. He hadn’t said much, but brevity is the soul of wit, isn’t it?

When he returned, we would talk about all the options I had. Although I didn’t want to show him my mark, I would reserve that for later. I needed to talk to Draco about it first.

At two o’clock in the morning I went to bed. The boys continued to party boisterously and I didn’t begrudge them their fun.

The next morning they woke up late. I had thought about the reasons why the Twin’s new wands hadn’t made a difference. The little drama that had occured when they tried their new wands and tiny squirrels had erupted from the tips, only a bit more nasty than before, had been grand, so I tried to play wandmaker and actually delved into the matter.

When everybody was gathered around the table and able to stay upright more or less successfully after the draining night, I spoke up. Zabini had settled in well and seemed to sleep more on his arms that were resting on the table than to listen to me.

“Fred, George, I have thought about the reasons you still have squirrels for Patroni and…” They interrupted me excitedly as I had grabbed their attention instantly.

“Please tell us!” “Yeeeess, please!” they pleaded pathetically.

“Well, George’s first wand, from Ollivander, is elm wood with the feather of a hippogriff and now he has elm with a thestral’s tail hair!” I looked around, seeing that everyone was listening attentively.

“Fred has a walnut wand with a hippogriff’s feather and now walnut with thestral hair! Do you understand what I want to tell you? The magical cores are different, but the wood is important too. Apparently the differences are not enough, the cores are even similar with both coming from hoofed magical creatures. I as an ordinary person believe that you will have to live with the squirrels. I, for example, have two totally different wands that have nothing in common,” I explained my complex and confusing thoughts with difficulty.

The Twins were looking dumbstruck, Zabini didn’t seemed to understand anything at all, and Draco nodded thoughtfully.

"Mh-hm, I think you're right! Let's see, my wands: the hawthorn wand has, like Hermione's, dragonheart string and my school wand has the same core, but is made of chestnut wood. So far I have only summoned a Patronus with the white one! I don’t have different cores, only woods, while you have the same woods but vary in core materials." He aimed with the brown wand and after his Expecto Patronum a snake appeared. It was not as impressively big and beautiful as his viper, but still very similar. Under Fidelus he could cast with his school wand without fear of repercussions.

“Well, I’d say it shows it’s the interplay from different sources of magic, but obviously you will only have two Patroni when you own two completely different wands! If I may ask you, what are your Patroni, Hermione. You don’t mind me calling you Hermione, do you?” Zabini addressed me for the first time and I gave him an encouraging smile.

“Of course, Blaise. Is it okay if I call you Blaise? Thanks… Well, I think you are right, there is no other explanation! And regarding your question: I have a magpie with my actual wand, and an otter with my school wand!” I informed him and was happy that he had found the courage to finally talk to me.

“Do you have a second one, too?” The Twins asked synchronously.

“Um, yes, sure, most people have!” he played it down and got startled looks from the three of us. Draco, he had noticed our expressions, gave us the answer.

“You may not know it yet, but almost everyone in Slytherin actually has a second wand. Many of our families attach great importance to the fact that their children learn how to control magic from a very young age without the Ministry’s knowledge. Usually the wands come from the family fund. Wizards and witches that belong to a pureblood family have access to a huge amount of wands, thanks to their ancestors. We guard them like the apple of our eye. When you’re seen as mature enough you are allowed to pick one! I’ve got my white one from the founding father of the Malfoy family, the great ‘Armand Malfoy’, which left my father shocked and me very satisfied when I looked at his outraged face. So it’s not sooo special in our social circle!” He explained generously to us unknowing Gryffindors.

I always found things like that incredibly exciting. You would never read in a book that the Pureblood families kept and hoarded their wands, though it was only logical. A wand was an asset of utmost importance for a wizard or witch. Without it we felt naked and when it was time to leave nobody would give it away and destroy the valued tool or do any such nonsense with it. It was clever to collect them, to have a variety to choose from in case of an emergency. This way the wizard could still be chosen by a suitable wand, not like Neville who had been handed the wand of his father without any thought, regardless whether they were compatible or not.

“Draco is right, this is how we do it. Actually, I have never tried to cast a Patronus! But I also have some questions: I thought you were Potter's best friend?” Blaise asked me skeptically while his brown eyes looked at me questiongly.


“Well, that’s true, Harry is my best friend!” I replied promptly.

“But how can you be with Draco then?” His eyes expressed disbelief and doubts.

“Draco knows about it and accepts it! And if Harry knew, he would have to accept it as well. It’s that easy!” I answered willingly, smiling benignly at Draco

“It’s that easy? Draco, I am astonished. You don’t like Potter, do you?” he enquired, visibly troubled, looking at his blonde friend in an imploring manner.

“Who cares for Potter? As long as I don’t have to put up with him or the annoying weasel!” he sighed, sorry for himself. At Draco’s declaration, Blaise eyed the Twins anxiously, as Draco had one more insulted their brother in passing.

“Don’t fear, Blaise, he is the favourite target of the three of them…” I explained, laughing maliciously.

“You four are weird. I never would have thought that all of you, especially you, Hermione, could be like this. The well-behaved, rule-loving and all-knowing swot with her “Professor here and Professor there”. A Gryffindor par excellence! Why are you so different?” He showed himself overwhelmed and looked around with eyes wide open, finding it downright incomprehensible, and he also talked with his hands, a view that amused all of us.

“What should I answer to this, Blaise? Not everything is as it seems. I am how I am. However, only a handful of people know how I truly am, and those who do are almost all here at the moment! I could add: it’s all a disguise, and that would describe it most accurately, I think!”

“Okay, why a disguise? Though I have another question, that I’m finding difficult to articulate. You have… Well, you have…” He stuttered pathetically and I wanted to help him out of this uncomfortable situation.

“Yes, I did! I murdered someone. And yes, it was Bole and it was an unlucky situation. They spotted me in a Muggle area, recognised me, and were out for my blood. What should I say, I fought back and… I’m still alive!” I tried to outline what had happened, reclining with my arms crossed in front of my chest. I noticed how the Twins were bursting with curiosity and rolled my eyes. “It was very bloody, not nice at all!” I tried to take the wind out of their sails.

“Right and this is why we will think through what we're going to do today. Remember, you’re not allowed to leave the house anymore, darling!” Draco said really nastily to me, giving me a soft kiss on the forehead. Did he really need to rub my captivity under my nose?

“Wait, Draco, how could you convince Snape to agree with teaching Hermione and us so fast? I mean the old mole usually isn’t amiable like this?” the twins interjected totally reasonably.

“Well, even as a kid I was able to talk him around, and believe me, now that I am grown up and able to stand up to him, he is having a lot of fun. I think he is itching to do it with Hermione and get going. I don’t believe it took him that long to bring himself to do it,” he stated, grinning mischievously, whereas his words were unsurpassable in their double entendre.

“You do know how suggestively that sounded?” I asked him softly, leaning against him with my upper body.

“Yes, sure. But you also know, that I am right, suggestively speaking!” He breathed a kiss on my cheek.

“Now we have some questions. What is there to know about you, Blaise?” the Twins showed their cheek.

“Well, my mother marries one man after the other and carries them to their grave. I think it’s her hobby!” The dark-skinned boy shrugged his shoulders.

“Blimey, man! You poor sod. How many did she outlive until now?”

“Half a year ago she buried the seventh husband,” he rattled out with bad grace.

“Whaaaat? The seventh? Proud number. Wicked. Do you remember all of their names?” Fred asked, tactful as ever and less than nice.

“Well, I’m very glad that I was at Hogwarts the last years and so hadn’t had to get to know my stepfathers. But it’s my mother’s life, I won’t interfere!” he explained bluntly, Draco standing behind him and clasping his shoulder encouragingly.

“Furthermore our ladies’ man here is no mope, he definitely possesses his mother’s genes!” Draco grinned truly deviously.

“So the rumours circulating around Hogwarts are true?” The twins bursted out laughing and I frowned. I really didn’t like to admit it, but I had no idea which rumours they were talking about!

“Oh, has our most beautiful know-it-all no idea which rumours we’re speaking about?” George showed me what he thought about my lack of knowledge by teasing me mercilessly. While Draco smirked in amusement at these words, Blaise looked peeved.

“That he is picking up one girl after the other notwithstanding, but - ta-da! - he is rumoured to have hooked up with a Gryffindor girl! And… And talk, snake, is it true, did you do?” both of them sang enthusiastically, caring more about rhyme than grammar.

“Yes, Blaise, I want to find out already, am I not the only snake taking a liking to lions?” Draco jumped on the bandwagon. I felt sorry for poor Blaise in the hot seat.

He rubbed his neck insecurely. “Yes, yes, I did crack a Gryffindor once. And before you demand a name: a gentleman never tells!” he declared with determination and I agreed, these fiends didn’t have to know everything.

Even if now the guessing game was on: which Year, blonde, redhead, brunette, raven… The poor sod!

So we waited for Snape to return, but only got visited by a silver boa constrictor during dinner that informed us with his deep, dark voice that he would not come to the cottage before next night, but would arrive right after his meeting with Lucius, and reminded me to follow his exact instructions. In a way the boa matched the head of the house, it was truly impressive by its sheer size alone.

Thanks to the less than heartening instructions and constraints I still hadn’t found a way to solve the open questions regarding the documents about Dumbledore, but I wasn’t yet in a hurry, as I was just compiling all information from the files available to me at the moment.

And thus the evening of the next day came around and we were all awaiting the arrival of our esteemed, forever ill-tempered potions master.

The man in question had once again an unparalleled entrance. We were all gathered around the fireplace and talking about interesting and enlightening subjects relating to our society and the Muggle one.

Yes, all four boys had gone shopping without me! They had changed their appearance slightly, like charming their hair different colours and lengths, but had decided that it was too dangerous for me even with human transfiguration, and with an unanimous vote I had been condemned to stay back. Draco took over, as he had been shopping once before. I cite verbatim: “Listen to my command.” Hey, they were going to a grocery store, not leading a charge… I don’t know… against enemy lines.

But well, they were preparing for battle and even the Twins appeared very tense and hyper on the prospect of observing for themselves the unusual way Muggles got their groceries.

As soon as the group of four had left through the door, I started to worry. The chaotic, uncontrollable twins, a bossy and arrogant Malfoy and Blaise, who might be the calmest and most level-headed of the four of them, but so disconnected from the the non-magical-livestyle that these characteristics wouldn’t help him a lot either. They all relied on Draco’s knowledge, which he had earned from one shopping trip.

I hoped this went smoothly. After hours of waiting, I was close to a panic attack and had activated the Galleon!

What do you want to hear? They had come home eventually! Always look at the bright side, all of them came back fine and in one piece! On the negative side, they had bought everything, literally everything. Unfortunately Draco had the same card I had, the ones which were almost identical to a Muggle credit card. He had explained proudly while giving me his biggest smile that he had gotten everything available from Gringotts to be prepared for every sort of financial emergency.

I hadn’t known where to store all this stuff, they had bought everything and while they were thrilled about their spoils like little kids, I felt really old! They had brought everything from toilet cleaner to chocolate and sheep’s cheese. In absolute disbelief I had even been able to spot some condoms. I didn’t think they really knew what they were for, but please, please don’t let them get the stupid idea to inflate them.

The only thing I heard for a long while had been:

“What is this for?”

“And that?”

“Does it taste good?”

“Eww, disgusting,” and then it flew into the trash. I mean I was happy about their expedition but it was still exhausting.

Thus we were sitting around the fireplace after a long day and I tried to give them a good general view of the Muggle world. It seemed to captivate my pureblood audience as even the Twins for all of Arthur’s love for everything Muggle didn’t know much about my world. It was astounding time and again how isolated the lives of wizards and witches were.

They had plundered the spices as well for they had reminded Draco of potions ingredients and he had bought all, and I mean all spices the grocery store had had available. Back at the cottage Draco had fervently brewed mulled wine after an old recipe. He had stood busily in front of the cooking pot like he would have in front of a highly explosive cauldron in the Potions classroom, wooden spoon up and ready and this time someone had thought to bring a camera, Twins be thanked!

We were warming our hands on cups of homemade mulled wine, when Snape’s Patronus reappeared, snarling at us with the Professor’s melodious, venomous voice to move our behinds and admit him into the house.

Draco jumped up faster than I could blink, rushing outside to let the impatient professor into the cottage.

The man arrived clad into a impressively cut, shimmering black cloak that I had never seen before, still shooting his mouth off.

“Why can’t I enter on my own? I hate waiting!” he hissed, incensed. Draco just rolled his eyes.

“Professor, that’s quite simple: even though you already know the Fidelius which is lying on the house, you are still not incorporated into the blood protection!” I apologized, beaming at him, but found myself extremely genius right now. Snape’s glare lessened during my explanation; if I didn’t knew any better I’d say he almost looked pleased.

“You have also a blood protection for the house. Well done, very well done! Am I right on the assumption that it was Gringotts who did this?” he asked casually, sinking down into the chair close to the fireplace very smoothly despite his robes. Draco also came back and sat down next to us on the cushions, summoning a mulled wine for Snape with a flick of his wand.

“That’s correct, Professor. I hired Gringotts to perform it. I’m sorry, do you want to be included, too?” I offered indirectly, watching the cup with the hot beverage floating through our midst until he grabbed it expertly out of the air.

“No, Miss Granger, it is better to include as few people as possible. It’s enough that I can see the property!” he informed me with familiar curtness, taking a sip from the mulled wine. When he closed his eyes, it looked for a moment as if slight signs of exhaustion or tiredness showed on his features, that were normally hidden by his blank mask. I shot Draco a questioning glance and he confirmed my assumption with the concern present in his eyes when he looked at his godfather.

“You came here from your meeting with Father?” Draco dared to break the silence that had spread around our group.

“Yes,” Snape now opened his piercing eyes which were downright glowing in his pale face. “I… We had some tasks to take care of, very time consuming; and the need to endure Bellatrix strained my nerves…” I giggled lightly, which brought me confused looks. “What has you so amused, Miss Granger?” he hissed not so amused.

“I think it is a pity you can’t give Draco’s aunt detention! Judging from what Draco tells us she’s also driving his father to the edge of insanity!” I explained shortly, shrugging, and drank the delicious spiced wine after toasting him.

“Nonsense, Lucius is used to it thanks to Narcissa. As a matter of fact he and Bellatrix talked about you, Miss Granger. If I could, I would ship her directly back to Azkaban, she is totally out of her mind. He forbid her to harm you, if she crosses your way. He doesn’t want you dead and believe me, when Lucius reinforces his demands even Bellatrix will obey him… just like everyone else, too.” he declared matter-of-factly and less than enthusiastically.

“But the Lestranges are his most loyal followers, aren’t they? Why should they obey Mr. Malfoy?” asked Blaise eagerly interested while leaning with his back against the foot of the couch.

“Mr. Zabini, that’s not quite correct. Bellatrix and the Lestranges might be loyal and part of the inner circle, but they are not nearly in the position Lucius or I am in. Nobody would follow Bellatrix’ command if Lucius had given a contrary order!” he offered us insight into the power structure of the Death Eaters, snorting snidely. “Precisely, and as Lucius knows how crazy she can act, he ordered Bellatrix, for the unlikely case that you, Miss Granger, run into her, not to harm you! Which, as much as it hurts me to admit it, is worth something considering your luck!” he taunted me with his usual spite.

However, my only thought was that it was nice that I was no longer alone; he saw it like I did, that I was out of luck! Maybe I should have a discussion with him about my luck and lack thereof. I sneaked a peek at him sitting in the armchair as if it was a throne and bit my lip. I had half a mind to actually ask him. But would I find the courage? That was a whole other topic.

“Oh Merlin, what is Father planing if he is already issuing orders?”

“Not much yet, the Lord is keeping him occupied, so he has little time for his private amusements. But he is plotting… to ambush you - at the latest on Easter - in your family home if you leave the school.” Snape leaned forward threateningly, his long hair framing his face, the tips nearly grazing me. As I was sitting to his left on the floor at his feet, he was now staring directly into my eyes, our noses almost touching.

I don’t want to know what the others were thinking when they saw us like this, intimately close to each other, but I didn’t feel the urge to change it. Actually I didn’t feel threatened at all. I stored information away in my mind and quickly started to figure out a solution, whilst I still looked into Snapes opaque, black eyes. I could watch how his focus shifted from my eyes to my lips when I licked them with the tip of my tongue. Then, I could hear a stifled gasp and knew with absolute certainty that it wasn't Draco. Meaning it had to be Blaise or the Twins, or maybe even all of them together?

“Professor, is Lucius really raising the stakes that fast? What should we do? Let me think…” I whispered into the quiet room, sinking my teeth into my lower lip and pulling it back. “Mh-hm… That doesn’t fit into my plans… He can’t get hold of me before the summer holidays…!” I noticed how his dark eyebrows shot upwards when he heard my logical calculus and he caught my eyes again. Suddenly, he swiftly grabbed my upper arms with both hands and squeezed.

“You silly girl, aren’t you seeing the danger for yourself, but for your parents too?” he snarled in a low voice, tightly holding onto me, which made me giggle softly. “You are driving me mad,” he stated, frustrated, and pushed me firmly away from himself, making me topple backwards into the pillows from where I was able to see the boys’ unbelieving and skeptical faces.

“But Professor, where would be the fun? However, returning back to earnest!” I resolutely straightened up with Draco's help. “I am actually serious: will you be able to hold him back until the summer break? I’m not going to be free and prepared until after the first week of summer. If Malfoy won’t be able to restrain himself it would ruin all my plans, my carefully worked out plans.” I declared with irritation when I considered the potential circumvention of all my careful preparations. “Gringotts, or rather Mr. Rangok would get a heart attack when I’d have to change all my plans!”

“What brilliant schemes are you concocting that you’re going to be so free to decide after the holidays and would even be ready to face Lucius?” he asked caustically and indignantly. I could feel Draco’s hand on my neck, how he started to caress me gently, as he knew what I was planning. Snape saw the intimate gesture as well although he didn’t comment on it.

“I prefer not to talk about my plans until they are successfully executed!” I said mysteriously.

“Miss Granger, stop the silly games. You are not in the position to be able to behave like that. What are you planning that you will have less to worry about later?” he asked relentlessly and I felt Draco getting closer and whispering into my ear from behind me:

“Tell him, he won’t stop to bother you otherwise,” he advised me, kissing my ear softly.

I took a deep breath. “I have planned to be alone and stay alone after the first week of summer break. That means no attack potential anymore,” I explained quite economically, not in the mood to be informative.

“Pardon?”

“As I said it, I will eliminate the sole element of uncertainty that exists in my life: my parents!” I smiled coldly and ruthlessly. A collective gasp could be heard from those sitting around me.

Snape surprised us all when he grasped his chin and sank back into the armchair. “That is good, very good. I had truly underestimated what you would be ready to do! You decided this summer to take this course of action?” he enquired, intrigued, and astonished even me. He didn’t play the moralist, simply sounded out the facts with ice-cold determination. “I see you all taken aback. Why? Miss Granger is right to want to do what she does. She has address the problem rationally, coldly and analytically and has drawn the right and entirely correct conclusions. She’ll make her only obvious vulnerability disappear!” he concluded not without appreciation.

“Hermione and I are marvelling about your lack of preaching and that you aren’t telling her that she can’t do it!” Draco spelled out my thoughts.

“Why should I? By now I am distinctly aware that the good Miss Granger does only what she thinks is right and doesn’t let anybody dictate her what to do! Although I am curious what exactly you are planning to do, Miss Granger?” His voice sounded almost sugary, in stark contrast to his dark scowl.

“I don’t want to detail the specifics, you’ll see it when it happens, but it is well thought out… You’ll be satisfied. However, I don’t think I can prepone everything to Easter!”

“Well, I can promise you to help, but afterwards I want all the details, Miss Granger,” it came quite uncompromisingly from him and i nodded, showing my assent. “Alright, I’ll manage to distract Lucius until summer and you will stay at Hogwarts!” he made his demands.

“Fair enough. Thank you, sir!” I beamed at him.

“There isn’t much to add. Stay away from the streets. How will you all get back to Hogwarts? Only two days left until the end of the holidays,” he continued to plan. Our professor was a very single-minded man.

We were all impressed, exchanging looks of admiration. He thought of everything. We nodded unanimously, we had talked about it already.

“We will apparate to Hogsmeade and pretend that we travelled with the Knight Bus,” I told him and he nodded slowly.

“That is good, but go as ‘Abraxina’ until you reach Hogwarts,” he recommended, enunciating the word with as much contempt as he was capable of. Then something else seemed to cross his mind.

“Did you induct Potter as proposed, as I will have the honour to teach him the art soon?” He sounded less than happy and I knew he meant Occlumency.

“Do you think that is a good idea?” I asked very doubtfully. Why did Dumbledore demand something like that from Snape? I didn’t believe for a second that was a beneficial constellation: Harry and Snape in the same room!

“I agree, but what shall we do… We will see. And, did you…?” he asked again curiously, albeit his expression demonstrated indifference.

“Naturally. Since the great incident he is looking into the books. The rest… as you said, we’ll see.”

“Good. Then everything is dealt with,” he summarized gruffly.

“It is always a pleasure to have you here,” I stated, smirking, and stood up to escorte him politely to the door as I had understood his implication that we were finished.

“Gentlemen!”

“Professor, sir,” everybody chorused well-behaved, unbelievable but true.

In the corridor, I wanted to open the door and kindly hold it open for the professor, when he put his hand against the wood so I couldn’t pull it open. Confused, I looked back over my shoulder and saw him towering over me, his outline barely discernible.

“What are you planning to do with your parents. You won’t… kill them, right?” he whispered in a very low voice, staring intently into my eyes.

I whispered back just as quietly: “You aren’t putting much past me, Professor. Let yourself get surprised. The plan is ingenious, you’ll see!” I smirked deviously.

“Don’t do anything you might regret!” he stated solemnly, laying his big but slender hands over my own, and pulled the door open.

I couldn’t really say where he was, as he got one with the darkness of the night almost instantly and I couldn’t make out more than the bleak blackness in front of me.
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