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 Very Dark Magic!, chapter 98

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Aivy
Kniesel
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Anzahl der Beiträge : 72
Anmeldedatum : 25.10.14
Ort : Bodensee

Very Dark Magic!, chapter 98 Empty
BeitragThema: Very Dark Magic!, chapter 98   Very Dark Magic!, chapter 98 EmptySa Jan 19, 2019 7:43 am

Chapter beta: Dani
Chapter translator: Nik (& Aivy)




After this new catastrophe, I gave myself an hour to gather my thoughts, still lounging in the garden chair.

I needed this moment of quiet; I had to find my inner peace and balance again. Looking at the garden house, I sipped on my iced tea. I needed something sweet after that shock.

It was unbelievable. I had played the whore again for Snape’s benefit. But let's be honest, with that kiss and physical intimacy I had bought myself time. Once again, I had put myself and my body to work to manipulate Snape. My conscience asked me what kind of slut I was, using every means to get my way.

What would Draco say? Would Snape tell him?

Greedily, I drank the cold liquid, feeling it running down my parched throat and cool it nicely on this warm summer afternoon — the very same one on which I would lose everything and that was about to turn into a very dark summer afternoon. With a sigh, I closed my eyes and shook my head in shock. I was stumped that I had acted so naturally with Snape even though he hadn't touched me tenderly even once since that night. Instead, each time was more akin to a brutal strike that sent me flying somewhere. That I kissed such a man deeply and didn't even feel repelled... I let my head slump back. Oh, goddess.

Soon, I was expected to enter the manor and face Lucius. I didn't even want to think about that. What were Draco and Snape expecting or hoping for when serving me up on a silver platter like that?

I had no idea, and I would probably only get a headache if I tried to understand their train of thought. I would have to let it come as it would. There was only one thing I knew for sure, it wouldn't be pretty for me... no, most certainly not!

Snape had shown me that I needed to perform the Fidelius on the house. He had known that as long as he touched me, he could enter the house despite the blood protection, even without my invitation. It was annoying, but unfortunately, it wasn’t possible for me to do the spell at the moment because it would take too much out of me. I needed to conserve every bit of my magic for what was to come.

The curses that I had performed today were also nothing to scoff at. But who had said it would be easy? Well, I should get going, I had rested enough!

I should consider myself very lucky that Snape had taken off again. Now then, pull yourself together Hermione! The day was still long and the night even longer, and my acting had to be perfect. The masks couldn’t slip even a little bit!

Determined, I got up. After all, I was no toddler, cowering in the corner, crying. I walked resolutely towards the door of the garden shed.

When I opened the door and entered, icy goose bumps covered my skin thanks to the cold that prevailed here and I could see my hot breath rising visibly in small white clouds in front of me. Brrrrrrr... My nipples hardened and an indeterminate excitement about what was to come took possession of me. I swallowed down the feeling of unease. This is how it had to happen. End of story!

Although I could feel my hesitation about what was to come, I forbid myself from thinking about it and tried to suppress the trembling.

I bent over to my stolen goods, indifferently folding back the plastic sheet covering the two lifeless men and looking at the dead. They hadn't changed, which was good, very good; they were just as dead as they had been yesterday!

I couldn't leave contaminated blood in the drug addict’s body, so I sank to my knees before him to cast a spell on his body. Running my wand up and down over his entire body, I intoned a difficult cleansing ritual to purge the toxins from his blood. The incantation was Purgatio de Sanguis, which meant purification of the blood.

Greedily, the black magic reaching into me and I could feel sweat gathering on my upper lip, despite the icy cold here, as I extracted the contaminants, washing them out of his impure blood. It was like sinking into a trance.

Phew! I fell on my backside gasped for air when the connection broke; there was nothing left to purge.

Oof... That had been more strenuous than I had anticipated. Why was it so easy to control a person's mind but so difficult to purify a person's blood? Maybe, I should write a paper about it when this fucking war was over!

Back to the matter at hand. Breathlessly, I got off of my butt and crawled over to the junkie. I stared, disgusted, at the dead pale face in front of me before reaching for it, purposefully heading to his mouth to part the cold lips which were almost immovable from rigor mortis.

Eww... the skin felt so elastic and icy cold, unpleasant under my living, warm fingers. I struggled hard to part the addict's lips; not a simple task, seeing as he was dead. Slightly disgusted by myself, to pried his lifeless lips apart with difficulty and poured my mother's blood into his mouth. He didn't have to swallow; it just had to slowly run down his throat. When I had achieved this, I breathed a sigh of relief. It wasn't nice to feed something to a dead man. However, things were going like clockwork, thus I turned with a grim smile to my second victim.

For him, a Lautus was enough and I healed and cleaned his strangulation marks forever with a quick Recuro. Then, I proceeded to repeat the same act with my father's blood. Here, too, with great physical effort on my part, I managed to administer the blood. I could barely stop myself from wiping my sweaty face, knowing that I certainly wouldn’t want to touch myself until I had washed my hands.

I was tinkering with two-day-old corpses, yuck, I shouldn't touch my bare skin.

But I wasn't finished yet. I got up, panting, and positioned myself in the middle of the concrete floor. I took a deep breath, calmed myself, and drew my wand. It was time to begin the real ritual, so I traced a magical pentagram.

The contours of the five-pointed star burned into the concrete, hissing and glowing red. I positioned one corpse to the south, the other to the north. I swallowed again and could hardly stand the tense atmosphere. This was a life-changing decision. Nobody chose to follow this path lightly!

The time had come for my dark and twisted deed to begin.

I closed my eyes and concentrated deeply, trying to suppress all feelings that could make me feel guilty; I suffocated my inner conscience currently begging me to reconsider. There was no turning back. I stoically began to recite the incredibly long incantation. I repeated the spell I had learnt by heart, intoned the chant and swung my wand in the intended, ritualistic, rhythmic movements. I felt my pulsating magic flowing out of me; it was not a pleasant feeling.

It was as if I was losing a part of myself with this steady flow. The magic began to accumulate in the room. I felt sweat running out of my every pore as I was working the magic so entranced and riveted. When in the beginning, I had firmly pushed the old Gaelic words out of my mouth, I now hissed them almost lethargically as it became ever more strenuous to maintain the spell. It became hard to breathe as the concentrated magic in the room threatened to suffocate me and compress my lungs.

Nonetheless, I couldn’t afford to stop now. Aborting a black magic rite would have terrible, unforeseeable, and fatal consequences. One doesn’t play with dark magic. If you weren’t up to it and couldn’t control it, then you paid a price and if you were lucky you only paid with your life. Thus, I clenched my teeth until they were grinding against each other and refused to give up. My body trembled and shook under the strain of the chant, but I held on and persevered stubbornly.

Approaching the end of the ritual, I felt slightly dazed, when I began to notice the accumulated magic at the borders of my perception starting to move like a gentle breeze in the shed, cooly brushing over my sweaty face. I startled slightly. It was time; I drew my dagger. Without hesitation, I cut my palm as I had done to my parents last night, feeling no pain. Perhaps I did this too often, I mused, as I watched my red blood emerge fresh from my wound. I distributed it generously by waving my bleeding hand through the air. Droplets of blood landed on the corpses and the pentagram. My blood behaved like acid, eating into the concrete with a loud hiss.

I stared at this spectacle as if spellbound. At last, I pulled myself together and recited the final part of the ritual so that my work might come to fruition:

“Inferius,” I exclaimed fervently. As soon as the fateful word faded away, a beam - black as the darkest night - emerged from my wand and I was unable to suppress a frightened flinch.. A thick black mist suddenly spread through the shed and engulfed everything.

It was dark. Through the blackness, I could perceive plastic covers suddenly beginning to stir, rustling and crackling. Oh goddess, that was eerie. I could barely make out my hands before my face. I shivered with unease, knowing what was making those sounds. Hurriedly and breathlessly, I cast a spell that effectively banished the black mist.

It was time to face the truth. I gazed down at the inferi lying on the ground before me, my creations.

The eyes of the dead men opened as if on command. They looked around frighteningly cold and as if not perceiving anything. With frightening, choppy movements they began to get to their feet. They reminded me of one of those awful horror movies in which zombies were on the loose, except that I was standing in a small garden shed with the two undead. I observed all this with a certain macabre fascination, couldn't tear myself away from the grotesque spectacle as they moved their limbs so stiffly and clumsily. The only thing missing from this picture would be their mouths agape in hunger. They seemed absurd as they marched so threateningly towards me. I had to bite my lips tightly to avoid laughing loudly and hysterically.

Oh, gosh, that was creepy!

As they stood before me in all their naked splendour, I would probably have flushed red from embarrassment if I weren’t already harbouring a guilty conscience for committing the most perverse, horrible form of desecration.

I hoped the souls of the deceased could forgive me; it would probably take me a long time to get over that.

The inferi now began to approach me with their distorted movements. I shouted:

“Stop!”

Immediately, they stopped like puppets on a string. Good. I was relieved. The ritual had worked properly, and they obeyed me.

They didn't look so frightening at all; with inferi that always only came when the decomposition process began. As long as they were nice and fresh, they were only scary in the way they were moving. But it would work. It was enough for what I was planning; you wouldn't see much of them.

I examined the sunken, pale, dead faces of the two men, pulling out two vials and handing one to each of them.

“Here, drink this,” I commanded, unmoved when they came so close to me. But as a beautiful saying goes: “Everyone listens to my command” and that was what my two dead slaves here did for me. They obediently drank the disgusting brew and reacted completely differently than living human beings did who grimaced and made disgusted, choking sounds. The two inferi, however, endured the transformation without any visible proclamations of distaste. It was a bizarre picture as their bodies distorted.

Now, I stared into the empty faces of my naked parents.

“It is wonderful that everything is working out so well,” I announced loudly. I had only been ninety per cent sure that the inferi would transform. This was amazing. I summoned underwear, clothes and shoes from the house and instructed my zombies to dress quickly. They obeyed, a little wobbly and clumsily, but I was patient.

Meanwhile, I cast an Episkey and a strong Scourgify on myself. I was shivering in the cold. I had done a lot of terrible things in this shed. I promised myself I would tear it down when I returned to cast the Fidelius on the house.

I had used very dark magic. Oh, who was I trying to deceive? I had used the darkest magic of all!

I doubted even Snape had ever created an Inferius. But then, I was quite good at crossing lines that should never be crossed. Nobody should go on believing my parents could still be alive. No, after tonight, Mr and Mrs Granger would be history forever.

“Mum, Dad, all set?” I smugly asked my two zombies, as I called them in my mind, and approached them. “Hold on to me,” I ordered harshly and immediately apparated with them to the designated forest edge. As we materialised, I quickly freed myself from the inferi's rigid, cold and dead hands. I shook myself slightly. Since it was only 7 p.m., some rays of sunshine still shone through the branches of the trees. My two companions seemed to be uncomfortable, but they would have to put up with it. Soon, they would never be disturbed by the sun again.

I released any potential enchantments with a flick of the wrist and watched as my parents' BMW became visible before my eyes. How very clever of the goblins to keep it hidden with a spell until I came and removed it. The goblins were intelligent, crafty little fellows. That's why I got along so well with Rangok; we were kindred souls in this relationship, I mused.

I opened the doors, pointed to my ‘father’ and said:

"You drive, and you sit next to him, got it?" I went to the back seat and hoped that the corpse would manage to drive the car without killing us. Wasn't this thought sarcastic? But amazingly, like a robot, he, or rather it, performed surprisingly well.

We drove quickly towards the hotel we had booked, and after a relatively short drive, we arrived at The Marquis Inn. We drove up the black tar driveway and stopped in front of the whitewashed, single-storey, typically English country house with a dark roof that had been converted into a five-star hotel and also housed an excellent restaurant. The hotel's lettering was featured on one side of the white façade, pretty and picturesque.

Immediately, a young man with honey-coloured hair, a little older than me, rushed over to offer his help.

“Can I help you?” he asked me politely as I climbed out the rear door.

“Yes, please. Our luggage is in the trunk, and we have a reservation under Granger,” I answered very politely, and continued to speak loudly in a honeyed voice: “All right, Mum, Dad, I'll check us in. You have yourselves a nice evening, enjoy your trip to the White Cliffs. I know how much you love them! I'll see you later... bye!”

After we had closed all the doors of the vehicle, they drove off as planned.

Perfect! I now had to work quickly. I accompanied the page boy to the small reception.

“Your parents want to go to the cliffs?” he asked curiously, though probably also to be polite and start some small talk.

“Oh, yes. My parents spent their honeymoon in Dover, and they enjoy watching the sunset from the cliffs every now and then. It's getting late as it is, but since they have plans to emigrate to South Africa, I wanted to make sure they enjoy it one last time in their old homeland. And let's be honest: I would only disturb them if I came along”, I giggled in a ditsy manner, channelling Lav. You can't say you can't learn anything from her.

“South Africa…? How beautiful... I would like to go there too! Are you going with them, if I may ask?” he wanted to know with interest.

“No, I attend a boarding school in Scotland all year round. There are only two years left and then I will follow!”

“Sure, but isn't the weather in Scotland even worse than ours?” he joked, shaking his head. I laughed. The receptionist who had listened to our conversation greeted me enthusiastically as we had booked the suite. I provided my father's credit card as security, and the young man took me to our rooms.

“I hope you like it,” he said, opening the door and proudly leading me into the suite.

“Yes, very much. Thank you! I think I'll rest a bit then.” I pressed five pounds into his hand and locked the door behind me after he had left.

A moment later, I apparated into the side street where my zombies were waiting for me. They sat well-behaved in the car, the engine running. Even to me, with their rigid, motionless faces, they looked akin to remote-controlled puppets. Quickly, I cast an Invisibility Spell on myself before getting into the back seat and guiding them to the cliffs.

I let them drive back and forth, and when it was shortly after eight o'clock, I got out of the car and ordered them to drive over the cliffs at the viewpoint - it was still well frequented despite the late hour - and to scream nice and loudly. I explicitly told my ‘mother’ to do this!

It should look like a tragedy.

Still invisible, I stood in the proximity and watched. As commanded, Dad and Mum were gesticulating wildly and loudly calling for help as they approached the cliffs at breakneck speed. I heard hysterical screams from them as the car shot over the cliffs, falling and finally crashing into the rocks below.

I saw the metal at the back of the car bending as the vehicle smashed into the jagged rocks with tremendous force.

Boom! Unexplainable mechanical failure of the brakes… It could happen... All right, a little magic at the right time helped, but ‘Dad’ had played his part well until reaching the precipice. With all the research I had done in preparation I could become certified as a car mechanic by now. My perfectionism could reach pathological degrees!

I stood on the vantage point and looked at the chaos developing before me, shocked spectators of the deadly accident running around headlessly.

Shortly afterwards I wielded my wand, unseen, and broke the connection to the inferi, returned them to hell and the realm of the dead. I cut off their unnaturally preserved lives with a Gaelic death chant that was drowned out by the loud, roaring waves, the noise of the ambulance sirens, and the screaming of the people. The invoked words flowed from my lips and I felt outright how a heavy load, which had been oppressively resting on my chest until now, fell away. I could breathe freely and easily again. Meanwhile, I turned the living dead back into unliving dead.

It was astonishing how easily I had done it.

Thanks to my and my parents' blood, and the Polyjuice Potion, infused with a drop of blood as well, I had ensured that the inferi would not change back even after their final passing.

They would retain the appearance of Mum and Dad even in death. I owed the whole affair to another stroke of genius. That's how it was, though. These two men would still be my parents even as corpses. Macabre and very scary, but exactly what needed to be done, right?

Now I needed to return quickly. I turned my back to the unfortunate scene.

As soon as I arrived in the hotel room, I calmly ordered their expensive wine and a few canapés from the room service and then quickly went to the shower, where I almost scrubbed my skin from my bones. I relished feeling the warm water flow down my body.

I wanted to forget the inferi; they had been so unreal and cold. That I had made them into my parents' image made even me shudder - how thoroughly revolting. But above all was the knowledge that I had been mistress of these beings, these magical creatures. It touched me deeply, even if I couldn’t put it into words. Despite it all, it had been the best, the most practical plan.

Why was I always so rational?

I kept in mind that I should ensure that no one in the magical world took notice of my deeds. Nobody in the magical world approved of necromancy; even the Death Eaters and other dark wizards repudiated this very-frowned-upon branch of magic. I suppose I had once again crossed a major line with aplomb.

Now I sat on the couch, waiting. Again and again, I sipped on the tasty, full-bodied wine and saw the pictures of the day replaying before my eyes. It was really like a film, a bad one at that. I felt exhausted, tired and worn-out. Magically, it had been devilishly exhausting. I thought of the car crash, how the metal had been warped like tin foil on the stone cliffs and the loud crash. It all seemed so unreal as if it had been scripted.

On the soft couch, I nestled down in my silky nightshirt, my still towel-wet hair tickling my shoulders. A loud knock on the door signified that my brief rest was over. I rose with a restrained sigh. Here we go, the act began!

“Mum, Dad, don't be so impatient, you're late anyway,” I shouted through the still-closed door and yanked it open, beaming with joy in the pretended expectation of seeing my parents.

“What is it?” I asked, embarrassed as I was only wearing my nightwear after all. I skilfully conjured a shameful blush into my cheeks.

“Miss Granger?” a bald man asked harshly, clad in a dark blue jacket. I estimated him to be in his mid-fifties. The woman standing next to him, wearing her red hair in a bob, also looked to be around the same age. I frowned reluctantly and nodded.

“Yes,” I responded with a hint of distrust.

“Why don't you go and put on a dressing gown?” the woman asked empathetically. I got the sense they were attempting to play 'good cop, bad cop' from the start.

“Um, yes...” Of course, I wasn't about to let those two inside during that time. “Please wait!”

After those words, I closed the door and ran into the bathroom, put on the hotel's fluffy white cotton bathrobe and went back to the door.

“Um, please, what can I do for you?” I looked at them anxiously and with uncertainty but, eventually, led them into the living room of the suite.

“Miss Granger, we're with the police,” the woman explained with care, while the man looked around, registered the wine, the pastry and his gaze slipped to the stereo. “I'm Detective Steel, and this is Inspector Erwin,” she introduced herself.

“What... and what do you want from me?” I said in an uncertain voice.

“Please, Miss Granger, sit down...!” the woman sounded caring and concerned. I got even more hectic in my movements.

“Why...?! Please, tell me what you want from me!” I insisted nervously and became even more restless, hectic and a shaky tone prevailed in my voice.

“Miss Granger, stay calm,” the man ordered.

“Tell me what's going on, you're scaring me,” I hissed, visibly upset, waving my hands through the air in agitation.

“As you wish, Miss. Your parents had a tragic accident today. As it looks, they are...!”, the detective began uncomfortably and looked at her colleague.

“What happened to my parents?” I demanded to know but, at the same time, showed great, recognisable concern in my wide-open eyes and clenched my hands fearfully into fists.

“They were in a car accident. They died immediately,” confessed the woman in a calm, now monotonous voice. I slumped into the armchair, as if all life was leaving me, and looked around in silence and shock.

“My parents are what...?” I whispered after some time as if stunned and began to rock back and forth slightly on the seat of the chair. “No, no... no, that can't be!” I played the orphaned daughter well.

“We are very sorry, Miss Granger. Your parents have unfortunately passed away! Are you all right, Miss Granger?” The question came again very worriedly from the woman.

It went on for a while in the same manner, and as I said, I honestly deserved an award here. Even I believed my performance of the grieving daughter. I bravely didn’t allow any tears to spill; only my eyes swam in unshed tears. It was heartbreaking.

They interrogated me, and I answered as if numb and detached. Of course, I knew I didn't have to cooperate, or should have called a lawyer. Why didn't I? Simple - if I were too indifferent or too calm, it would raise questions.

Nothing implicated me, and let's face it, at most I was responsible for killing two corpses. That wasn't so bad, I almost smirked cynically.

The two told me that the wreck would be salvaged tonight and that they would pick me up tomorrow morning to confirm whether these two people were, in fact, my parents. I blinked anxiously in their faces as the woman dared to ask me how old I was, and if they should bring someone in to take care of everything for me. I was on the verge of breaking out in laughter.

I hesitated and explained that I had turned eighteen two days ago and had no other family members left. I was alone now. She almost started crying with me; how glorious!

I asked if I could go home to Chelsea. They both replied that tomorrow, after I had been in the morgue, they would arrange for transportation back to home for me, and asked me if they could leave me alone.

When the two fools of the Muggle police had at last removed themselves from the room, I couldn't help but muse that there was really no difference between them and the aurors. The same kinds of people were always attracted to the same kind of job, no matter in which world.

I flung myself on the soft, wide double bed, called the wine to me with an Accio and, now relaxed, drank some more. It was good that this was over so fast. I would be able to keep my promise to Snape and be in the cottage the day after tomorrow.

Fortunately, I had a restful night despite all the exertions. The exhaustion and the relief that the affair with my parents was almost over, had given me a deep, dreamless, almost comatose sleep. The two of them were sitting safely in their plane to Australia; I wondered if they had already landed?

Not a clue. This had been in the hands of the goblins from the beginning!

As I lay in bed, I rolled myself up into a small ball. Unwanted thoughts immediately resurfaced, wafting through my brain and showing me in vivid colours what a corrupt bitch I was. What hadn’t I done yet? An Imperio against my parents - the problem was that it had been a highly official, legal document that I couldn’t forge, and so I had had no choice but to manipulate my parents to get their signatures.

Did that make it better? How could I explain to Harry that I now could say I had mastered all three Unforgivable Curses? Phew. Probably best to not mention it at all. At least, I had already come to terms with the Obliviate. It had been necessary!

What concerned me more was that I had delved deeply into necromancy, a very frowned-upon field. Necromancy, the raising of the dead, was considered dirty even by the black wizards. What kind of person played with corpses, after all? Since the decomposition process couldn’t be halted for long, it was a truly disgusting affair. That's why even very dark characters distanced themselves from it. And what had I done? Delved right into it. Bloody hell! I really shouldn't tell anyone anything about it.

I decided I had indulged in enough unproductive thoughts and unfurled my protective ball. Last night, I had sorely missed Draco's warm and strong body. He would have held me in his arms. Unfortunately, you didn’t always get everything that you wished. I should consider myself fortunate that everything had worked out so smoothly concerning the necromancy so far and none of the pitfalls, the difficulties or adversities had occurred, which tended to accompany this particular branch of magic.

To be honest, I had found other spells much more difficult. I didn't understand why the books made such a fuss about these things!

Enough of that! Today, I consciously dressed in a dark brown, discreet wraparound dress. I didn’t want to lay it on too thick and drape myself in black; after all, who packed only black clothes when going on vacation? So I granted my potentially deceased parents just a dark brown, as I wouldn't have accepted their deaths yet, and thus was still demonstrating hope.

After all, I couldn’t come to terms with their passing so quickly. I also reminded myself never to use the past tense for my parents in the presence of the police, and always to speak of them in the present tense. Otherwise, it would seem as if I had already accepted the fact of their passing and that couldn't happen so quickly, I told myself.

I loosely pinned up my hair to give myself a more mature look and packed my suitcases. I had deliberately not put on make-up and therefore looked quite pale and worn out, but that was only fitting. The heavy red wine also had left its traces; I was more used to whiskey. My face showed very decorative bags under the eyes. The magic I had performed had drained my strength. It had been very potent magic, and the blood protection shouldn’t be forgotten either. I didn’t look like I was in the best of states.

When I entered the lobby with my suitcases, the same page boy as the day before was already hurrying towards me to help me. He looked at me as if he was about to burst into tears but said nothing for which I was grateful.

Yesterday's two civilian policemen picked me up and silently took me to the morgue after they saw my sorrowful and sad appearance.

My footsteps echoed loudly on the tiles of the hall. It appeared entirely different from the dignified crematorium in London, where history had dwelled in every corner. Here we were in a cheap seventies' building, which just seemed depressing. I didn't have to exert much effort play up my bad mood; it came almost exclusively by itself!

The smell was terrible. It seemed as if the employees were trying to mask the smell of the corpses with a strong, orange scented cleaner, but in the end, the slightly sweet fruity fragrance reminded me more of the sweet scent of decomposing corpses than any other smell could have done. It was gruesome. I got goosebumps and I tried desperately to breathe only through my mouth, which I also let the two policemen notice. They should recognise that I had a gentle disposition, and should not be burdened too heavily.

I rubbed my hands over my upper arms because, as in every place where the dead were kept, an icy cold prevailed. This gave me a very lost impression, and the two policemen had noted this too, as I noticed from their pondering, compassionate looks. Good, very good!

They stopped in front of an iron door and waited for me before explaining to me with a lot of words what was about to happen.

Then I saw ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ lying in front of me. The workers were very concerned with dignity and showed me only a small part of their still intact faces. If one had looked at me carefully now, one could have perceived a very satisfied expression in my eyes. My two cute zombies had not reverted to their own selves. I was a genius! Perfect! Mr & Mrs Granger could now go down in the annals of history!

Let me put it this way - it was a very tearful farewell. Inspector Erwin would have to put on a new jacket because his current one was wet with tears after he had comforted me, appearing slightly overwhelmed. The policemen agreed that everything else would be handled via my solicitor. I gave them the address. He was a Muggle-born magical lawyer who was at home in both worlds and who should be able to take care of everything. He had come highly recommended, with kind regards, from Rangok.

I told the police that I would leave my home after I had brought back my belongings. I wanted to go to friends who wished to help me cope with my loss. I was lying through my teeth. They gave their permission and wished me all the best.

Rangok was instructed to deliver my letter, which I had already prepared, to my lawyer this afternoon. He would arrange everything, like the funeral, and he would also claim the life insurance. If the Muggle authorities wanted something from me, he would contact me through owl mail, as per my instructions.

A uniformed officer brought me to London, to my home. What a service!

The first thing I did was lie in a fragrant bathtub filled with bubbles. I tried to soften my skin as I wanted to wash the last two days out of me. I still thought I reeked to high heaven. Afterwards, I applied the expensive lotion vigorously and dressed casually. A pair of crop trousers in dark silver and an airy twinset in almost the same colour; I let my hair down. I felt a deep-set need to look good.

Dressed like this, I cheerfully packed my things, happy that everything had gone so smoothly. I locked and sealed the house. It was good that I was in such high demand and kept busy. I barely had time to breathe and indeed no time for unwelcome thoughts. I had a plan, and I would stick to it. Next stop: the cottage.
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