Anzahl der Beiträge : 107 Anmeldedatum : 25.10.14 Ort : Bodensee
Thema: Hogwarts, Here We Come!, chapter 65 Do Mai 03, 2018 9:36 am
Chapter beta: Welcome our new beta, Olivia! And my heart and soul, Dani. Chapter translator: (Svenja,) Sophie & Aivy
The next days were filled with a welcome but unfamiliar harmony. Are you even able to picture that? Well, neither was I. The last time I remember having had time for contemplation was very long ago, so I truly enjoyed it to fullest. Draco and I slept with each other as often as we could and savoured any minute we were close together. We both feared the long and lonely nights awaiting us back at Hogwarts.
I hadn’t known what I was missing before. Until now I had never shared a bed with someone for a whole night, only for a short tumble. However, after experiencing it with Draco I could hardly imagine the emptiness in my bed and knew that I would miss him and his bewitching scent.
Blaise had excellently integrated himself in our group. He was an ‘insider’ now; we liked him very much, and so did he in return. Besides, it would have been positively impossible to hide everything from him.
Since Draco overcame his inhibitions and opened up, he and Blaise finally mastered the gap between them to become true friends again. I was really happy for him, I could sense that something must have happened in their past, though I’d never asked about the details. In Hogwarts their friendship had been very superficial, but after this one week in the cottage together with us it had grown strong again.
He needed a male friend to bond with. And even if Ron was sometimes really annoying he could be a friend to Harry in a way I would never be able to. And now Draco had Blaise, it would be good for him when he didn’t have to deal with all problems by himself anymore.
I knew what I was talking about. In our little group I was the vibrant, female flower and sometimes, just sometimes, I wished I also had a female person to talk to. Even in Hogwarts there were only Harry and Ron. Just imagine me telling Ginny, Pav, or even Lav about my life… I guess they would be so hysteric, I could ship them to the infirmary immediately, followed by an Obliviate or an Amnesia spell.
Anyway, I had survived until now without a female best friend and would continue doing so. As soon as I heard the girls’ high and squeaky voices, the little spark of desire inside me would burn out. I couldn’t stand them, they always gave me a headache.
And the Twins, well, they were on a completely different page. I believe Draco and Blaise were both extremely sad about the fact that the two hadn‘t been sorted into Slytherin and expressed it unequivocally. For Fred and George it was the greatest compliment and they showed their appreciation openly. With the exception of Lee, their one true friend, the both of them had no real friends at Hogwarts, just like me. They were just too ‘subtle’ for most people, to describe it roughly. They were admired, but also feared, for their revenge was legendary.
Blaise didn’t know about the Twins as a couple, but I was pretty sure he already suspected something. He was extremely observant and analytical, and his power of deduction was outstanding. He must have noticed the loving way they interacted, even if they tried to avoid showing most of their affections.
So the Twins and the two snakes were bosom buddies. I was still amazed since I hadn’t really expected this to happen, but found it great that they were still able to surprise me after all. I knew we all would miss the time here and only the hope to come back brightened our mood. I had given all of them permission to live here, no matter when or why. We also included Blaise into the blood protection, as he was very much on his own in the world.
The fact that Snape wanted to train us in depth, especially me, gave me an indescribable tingle of pleasant anticipation. I admired this man for his obvious and undeniable sharp wit and powerful skills. To be in the privileged position to learn from a master in so many areas left me overwhelmed. There could have been no better Christmas present for me!
Even though thinking of being alone with him so often and getting so close to him gave me quite a queasy feeling. Where would this end or lead to? Hopefully he wouldn’t kill me, or I him. I’d just have to wait and see.
Luckily the others didn’t ask any further about my parents after Snape had left. I was very thankful, but it left me a bit melancholic since I knew this general agreement wouldn’t last long. Sooner rather than later, I would be around people who would start asking me to death again, so I was really grateful about their behavior.
How was I supposed to think about the fact that my professor trusted me to do something unforgivable to my parents? His warning ‘Do not do what you could be sorry about’ was quite meaningful. Had he changed his standpoint towards me? Apparently he really thought I could…yes, what, kill my own parents?! How flattering that he believed I was willing to do anything. Well I was, just a little different than he thought. Though I was really eager to find out his reaction when he would realise that his worst concerns had come true. Would he despise or understand me? I mean his reaction had already been uncommon when I had told him a little bit and it had left Draco and me astonished. But how would he react when I would put my plans into practice? I would let myself get surprised!
“Now it‘s going back to Hogwarts!” we could hear Blaise exclaiming sadly, expressing his absolute displeasure to go back.
“Why aren‘t you excited?” asked Fred whilst we all put on our coats and I did the exhausting transformation into Abraxina again.
“What…? Um, no, it‘s just, this break was so cool, you don‘t want to go back to school!” he explained while watching me, mesmerized by the transformation.
“Woah, how amazing is this?” The Devils were almost going nuts.
“Crazy, you look just like Draco's sister!”
“You could be a Metamorphmagus with how completely you changed your look!” the Twins nearly screamed, totally astonished. Their astonishment didn’t come as a surprise to me, given that they hadn’t seen my disguise before. Draco smiled archly and pulled me, his “sister”, into a deep kiss.
“I got a corny saying on the tip of my tongue, Draco, but I better keep quiet!” George said sheepishly and scratched his head. He hinted at his relationship with Fred, very funny!
I disentangled myself from Draco and breathed deeply, looking at him mischievously.
“My dear friends, it is not easy to maintain and requires a lot of concentration as well as power. Let‘s go, so I’ll be able to keep it up until we arrive at Hogwarts!“ I requested and with that we apparated to Hogsmeade and were greeted by the unfriendly, wet, and cold winter weather of Scotland.
“This is terrible weather; at least it was mild around the cottage!“ Draco nagged in a bad mood, pulling his hood down into his face along with the rest of us.
“We don’t know how to tell you, but Hogwarts is in the north and it is winter,” the Twins’ retort came very smartly.
“Quiet!” I barked at them, as a grumpy, whining Malfoy wouldn’t stop and the Twins would only infuriate him more and more. To stop them, I casted a powerful Impervius over the group, making our clothes water-repellent so the rain couldn’t harm them.
“Her… Abraxina, do you think it’s wise to throw such a spell over all of us? You have to strain yourself the most even without doing that,” a worried Blaise said circumspectly and I touched his arm graciously.
“It’s alright, Blaise! If I am ever not capable to endure that, I can throw myself at Lucius’ feet immediately.” I laughed, brushing his concern aside.
“Thanks, my love, it’s much better this way! I didn’t even think of that spell,” a thankful Draco interjected and I took his arm. In the distance we could see the impressive castle high above us. It was always a glorious sight and my heart beat faster in my chest when I spotted it. It was an honour to be allowed to lie hear, even if I already was out of ideas how I would juggle my activities. I fervently wished for my time-turner to come back.
“Hurry up… How are we going to proceed when we will have managed to reach the castle?” the Twins asked curiously.
“Look out!” Blaise hissed all of a sudden and we saw a group of at least five bulky adults clad in dark colours, lurking around in a corner and looking alert.
“Damn, I recognize Wilkes and Yaxley. They were certainly instructed by Father to be here!" Draco whispered to us, quickening his gait with his head down.
"Do you believe it’s about her, or Harry?" the Twins asked worriedly.
"If you ask me that: both. Don’t look!" he commanded. "We'll go to the dungeons quickly and show you a secret passage that you may not yet know. Then you can turn back into Gryffindors and then ... then you go to the tower!" Draco finished, and we all fell into thoughtful silence. We braved wind and rain and walked past the group as calmly, civilly and unobtrusively as possible.
At least now we knew that our safety precautions had not been without reason, and so I felt validated in my actions, though I hated to transform myself. I was already afraid of the transformation back into Hermione.
When we arrived at the castle there was quite a bit of bustle, even though most would arrive by train this evening. With everyone covering themselves against the weather, our little group did not stand out. We arrived in the dungeons quickly and unseen, continued down the corridor and stopped in front of a tapestry featuring a battle scene of magical animals in the Forbidden Forest. Blaise carefully pulled it away from the wall so we could all slip into the passage.
“Cool, we didn’t know this one yet!” one of the Twins exclaimed happily. We all shed the heavy cloaks while the Twins looked around excitedly. There wasn’t much to see besides grey stones, but well, if that excited them, they were welcome.
While they were distracted, I started the transformation, nearly wincing when the pain hit me when the bone structure of my face revered back to its natural form. The hair on my head pulled uncomfortably on my scalp as well. I grimaced at the rubbery feeling, rubbing my hands over it as I wanted to regain feeling in my face.
“Wicked, how icky is that? Your skin looked like rubber!” Thank you, very tactful, guys. Now I had the confirmation that it not only felt like it, it looked like it as well. Thanks, guys!
Draco rolled his eyes upon the Twin’s heartfelt sympathy.
“Was it that bad?” he asked with concern, glaring at the two redheads while caressing my burning cheek gently. It was still stinging slightly under my skin, but it wasn’t painful anymore.
“It’s okay, still quite uncomfortable. Do I at least look pretty again?” I asked vainly, which made the others snicker.
“Beautiful, darling!” he declared and kissed me again. Now it was time to say goodbye. We could hear the Twins and Blaise whisper, however, they let us have a moment of our own. Draco pulled me close and I leant heavily against him. He broke our liplock, kissing my forehead instead. “Now we are back. I want you to visit me often in the dungeons, please!”
“Alright, I’ll come to you after my lessons with Snape whenever possible. Okay?” I disenganged myself from him and turned away determinedly.
“Do that, my Mudblood!” He showed himself now honestly happy, slapping my butt playfully.
“Hey, my Pureblood. Where are your manners?” I scolded with pretend cheek.
“Two squirrels absconded with it!” He laughed diabolically and the Twins immediately jeered in protest.
“Bye, Blaise. Look after him!” I asked of our new friend.
“Sure, most beautiful. I’ll keep Pansy away from him as well!” he grinned radiantly, having borrowed the Twin’s pet name for me.
“Don’t listen to him. Pansy is annoying as hell!” Draco objected.
“You’ll do it.”
“To battle. Let the lion roar!” the Twins yelled and rushed the piddling stairs.
“Whaat... ? We are already there? What a ingenious secret passageway is that?” They beamed at each other blissfully and waved at the snakes still standing downstairs. “And we only just learnt about it…!” they cried in dismay, amusing the other two boys.
Thus, we left the Slytherins behind and returned to our tower after Christmas.
There weren’t many Gryffindors populating the tower yet, mostly those that had stayed during the holidays and a few that had returned using different ways to get back than the train. However, Harry, Ron and Ginny were there and jumped to their feet when they saw me and the Twins, rushing over to greet us. Their presence took us by surprise.
“Hermione, Fred, George!” they yelled, flinging their arms around our necks.
“Caution! Easy… It’s nice to see you!” We greeted everybody.
“Where is Lee?” Ginny enquired.
“Um, he had to take care of something family-related and wanted to follow later with the Knight Bus!” The lie fell smoothly from the Twins’ lips, sounding totally convincing, and technically speaking it wasn’t even a lie, they had actually arranged that Lee would arrive via Knight Bus.
“And you, Hermione, shouldn’t you have arrived with the train?” Ginny probed further. Do you see now what I meant when I said that it was nice that I hadn’t tell every little detail to the rest of our circle? Here you had to be afraid to do anything because you had to report everything to a tee and justify your every action, too.
“I met the two of them in the bus. I didn’t want to endure the train ride on my own,” I said with a fake smile, noticing Harry’s blank look. What was up with him?
“Fair enough. I would have done the same,” Ron declared while we went to claim our usual seats around the fireplace.
Suddenly, Harry pulled me close and hugged me before I had the chance to sit down, tight enough that I thought he wanted to crush me. Hey, what was that about? I breathed into his ear “Harry, what?” and he whispered back:
“We have to talk!” and let go abruptly.
I was flummoxed for a second, but carried on and asked everybody: “Please tell, what happened at Grimmauld Place? How is Arthur?”
“Yes, how is dad doing?” the Twins chimed in with concern.
“He is well. It’s a pity you didn’t get to see him, but he is improving. Mum is fussing over him like a hen over its unhatched chicks. It’s hilarious,” Ron recounted, Ginny nodding in agreement.
“He is much better! It’s the reason they sent us back via port key, that’s why we are back already!” We all breathed in relief. The explanation was plausible as well.
“That’s good and well. But please excuse us, business is calling,” the Twins stated and waved goodbye. Everything was back to business as usual.
“I have nothing to tell, just a calm, peaceful Christmas. What else did happen at your’s?” I asked the others curiously.
“Nothing. Absolutely boring. But something happened after we got back. Our ladies’ man here has something to tell,” Ron related with excitement while Ginny’s face fell at his words and Harry’s cheek had gotten a slight red tinge. Their reactions pointed me to the right answer.
“Cho,” I said simply, getting astonished looks in return as if I was psychic. Alas, that was one of the few things I would never master: Divination and the caring and rearing of plants. However, to read Harry, Ron, and Ginny wasn’t something I would call inextricably difficult.
“Yes! Woah, how do you know that?” Ron looked at me in awe with big, blue eyes. Harry on the other hand had simply raised one of his eyebrows.
“Come on, I know you. Now, spill it, Harry,” I requested, but with a strained expression as I remembered our talk before the holiday. The way Harry looked he had still pinned his hopes on the overly emotional girl. Couldn’t Sirius get anything right, I thought resentfully.
“Cho was in the courtyard when we arrived and approached me… You still remember our last DA meeting? Well, she asked me out to the next Hogsmeade weekend,” he explained and I groaned in reply, looking at him doubtfully. He answered with a vague shrug of his shoulders. Okay, I wouldn’t address the topic in front of Ginny, but in my eyes he tried to tell me that we weren’t finished.
“You accepted,” I surmised and he nodded. Figures. But please, I could tell him already that it would go pear shaped and he would be upset again. However, I wouldn’t stop him, everybody had to make their own choices and mistakes.
“Ginny, do you have a minute?” We could hear Colin shout from another corner of the room and she glanced annoyed in the direction of her classmate.
“Yes, I’m coming! You… sorry!” She shot Harry an intense look out of brown eyes. Well, Harry, snap her. Ginny would spread her legs for you in a second, I thought derisively, but didn’t say a word.
“Now that Ginny is gone,” Harry started and I gave him my attention, “Snape showed up in the kitchen on our last day. Sorry, Ron, but I wanted to have Hermione there when I tell you. Well, Sirius was there as well and… and he said I would have to learn Occlumency from him. Dumbledore’s order! Every Thursday evening. Why doesn’t Dumbledore teach me himself? I mean, I read your books and meditate in bed, which is totally not my thing. But Snape?! He doesn’t like it, too. And you know what? For the first time I’m in complete agreement with him!” Harry looked feverish. “I mean, the books say it’s all connected with the mind, and memory, and thoughts. Shouldn’t you do that with someone you trust or like and not someone who hates you?” he stated absolutely correct and comprehensible questions. Snape and I had asked the same.
“Harry, I really don’t understand or like it either that he chooses to force you both, Snape as well as you. But we haven’t been able to understand his actions for quite some time, have we?” I remarked diplomatically.
“Uh, guys, do I have to understand what you’re talking about?” Ron looked around helplessly.
“No, Ron, it’s just about learning, an extra-curricular assignment,” I clarified gruffly.
“I see! I had thought… Do we want to go and grab some food?” he asked cluelessly, standing up and stretching his limbs, his stomach growling loudly.
“In a moment, Ron. I just have to go to the special room with Hermione. We will follow shortly. Is that alright?” Harry asked Ron while looking at me with a clear request.
“Alright, mate. Until later,” Ron rushed out to get to his dearly yearned for meal.
“Are you coming, Hermione?” Harry prompted me to follow him, which I did quietly.
Thus we walked silently through the dim darkness of the deserted corridors, which was only interrupted by some sparse torches on the walls, spreading their soft light. On our walk we were accompanied by the watchful gazes of the portraits on the walls until we turned into the floor where our special room was located. Here the wall hangings predominating weren't as snoopy as their painted colleagues.
Harry wished himself a room. It was surprisingly small and cosy. There were only one settee and a fireplace, nothing more. The room was decked in dark brown and beige tones, apparently he wasn’t feeling cheerful.
“What was it you wanted to talk about, Harry?” I enquired. He sat down, nervously pressing his lips together.
“You first, Hermione. Say something about Cho!” he pleaded jittery.
“What could I say that I haven’t said last time? I wish you well, although I don’t think that she will make you happy!” I explained myself, squeezing his hand encouragingly.
“Yes, I know; and though I already acknowledged your position. She asked me out and I want to give us… me the chance!” he countered determinedly.
“Then so be it, Harry. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!”
“Thanks! Snape next. You knew about the Occlumency already. Wherefrom?” he asked, from one second to the next mistrustful and much more self-confident.
“Do you think I am blind? Wherefrom? It is the only possible protection for the mind, therefrom! Though even if I think that your antipathy towards Snape is exaggerated, I don’t understand why Dumbledore wants Snape to teach it to you. However, I really ask you to take the lessons seriously, Snape or not!” I tried to express urgently how important this was.
“Sirius said that as well. However, I’m a little bit scared. Tomorrow is the first lesson…” He ran his hand through his untidy hair anxiously.
“It will be alright… It has to be!” I sounded doubtful.
“We will see. Something strange happened back then. We were all sitting in the kitchen when Snape showed up and spewed some cryptic stuff at Sirius… For example if he knew where the magpie was and something about Malfoy Senior. He refused to tell us anything about who, what, how, or where. Sirius even run after Snape, but he too refused firmly to explain anything. Do you know what they were talking about or do you suspect something?” Harry related with agitation and I had to restrain laughter with difficulty. Wasn’t it lovely when a spell was showing positive results? I was very happy and congratulated myself for my circumspection and far-sightedness.
“Strange, Harry, very strange. What is going on between Sirius and Snape?” I pretended to be innocent. However, I believed to see something flashing in the deepest depths of the green soul mirrors represented by Harry’s eyes when I denied to know something. Was I deceiving myself or imagining something?
“It’s a bummer that you don’t know anything. Not even an assumption?” he wasn’t letting it go.
“No, none!” I lied to him again.
“Well then, I wanted to tell you about our visit to St. Mungos. I remember you telling us about Neville. Well, we’ve met his grandmother as she visited his parents in the closed ward…”
“Poor Neville, it has to be horrible!”
“Yes, it was, but there was also Lockhart - he’s still not right in the head - and another patient, also a long time patient of the Department for Spell Damage, a certain Broderick Bode. He was completely out of his mind, but starting to speak a little bit again. He got a super ugly potted plant with very long tentacles as a christmas present. Strange department, truly a pity you haven't been with us. I just can’t forget this plant; I mean even Neville's plant, which he had with him on the train at the time, looked like a beauty against it.
“I truly missed you, Harry!” I admitted suddenly and honestly. I would have liked to have him with me in the cottage, it would have made me all around happy. “Did something occur with this thing?” I didn’t let him get a word in edgewise, pointing at his scar.
“No, thank god, no!” He looked up, relieved. “Are you going to join us in Hogsmeade, in case something goes wrong?” Heaven help, when he already approached the matter like this. I knew I wasn’t allowed to leave Hogwarts. However, I couldn’t leave my best friend alone in such a situation, he already had to deal with so much on his own.
“Of course I’ll accompany you!” I promised, knowing that it was a mistake, but he was my friend and I couldn’t think only of myself. The others would kill me.
“Thanks, Hermione, I can always rely on you!” He threw himself at me and hugged me tightly, but in honesty this time.
“Harry, why were you acting funny earlier, when I came in?” I dared to ask after this hug.
He rubbed his arms self-consciously. “I talked with Sirius and he said I should be careful with you!” I thought I had misunderstood him at first. What did this mutt think? Argh Sirius, I’ll kill you, when I get my hands on you next time, I promised myself.
“What…?” I huffed in indignation and, now my acting skills were required, added in a hurt voice: “Why?” Tears shimmered on my long lashes, imitating a beaten Cho. However, inside of me a storm was raging. How dare Sirius to shake Harry’s confidence in me?
“Shsh, Hermione, I didn't mean it like that. Don’t cry, love! Please! He only said that he knew from experience that still waters run deep, and that not everybody is always as it seems!” he appeared slightly frantic, quickly trying to explain himself.
“Yes, but Harry, why does Sirius says something like this? I thought he liked me. I… You and I, we helped him escape from the tower. I really thought he liked me,” I cried theatrically. If that wasn’t enough for an Oscar, I didn’t know what would be
“I had a row with him right then, and we left things out of sorts,” Harry admitted, sad and incensed at the same time.
“Harry, no, not because of me. You like Sirius so much,” I protested. They weren’t supposed to fight over me, especially since Sirius was right. Alas, in itself it was the mutt’s own fault, I only felt sorry for Harry.
“I don’t understand what’s his problem,” he cried out frustrated, “I mean he does know what we have been through together; I would trust you with my life! Please, don’t cry, I can’t take it!” I sniffed into a hanky and straightened up. Harry was so kind. “I don’t understand what has gotten into Sirius. He owes you his life and thanks you like this. This is not the Sirius I know!” he exclaimed with vigour, disappointment and bewilderment.
“And you’ll always be able to trust me, Harry. I swear! Sirius though… Maybe being locked-in is getting to him. He exchanged one prison for another,” I tried to explain and justify one of Sirius’ mental blackouts once more.
“Maybe. Nonetheless, are you keeping something from me?” Uh-oh. Harry was growing up, believe it or not. Even if he was getting closer to me and my secrets, I could only be elated about this development of his. “I can see it! I saw it the moment you stepped into the common room! What is it, Hermione? Trust me!” he now begged me softly for my trust.
“Yes, Harry, a lot,” I admitted truthfully. The friendship I felt for this boy required it, and if he finally managed to open his eyes I wouldn’t have to lead him around by the nose all the time.
His eyes opened wide behind his glasses and he looked at me in disbelief when he heard my tone, understanding the meaning which went with it.
“What, how much, Hermione?” he asked, confused “What are you not telling us...me?
I now got up and walked to the fireplace before turning around again. I would now, for the very first time, show Harry my true colours. It wasn’t easy, absolutely not!
“Does not every person have something he or she doesn't tell?” I started and he nodded at this statement. “Well, I am the same… I promise you, one day I will tell you everything, but please don’t push me. I ask this of you, in the name of our friendship. And please don’t even think about following me… Seriously! I am on the trail of something and do a lot of research. And the facts I already know, well, you wouldn’t like them, though please don’t ask me about them now! I don’t want to say anything to you until I have all the facts together. You know me!”
“Hermione, I am happy about your openness. And yes, I know how you can be, like a terrier that has gotten his teeth into something! I have always trusted you and won’t start to mistrust you now. I promise you to neither follow you around nor to probe further. Just give me a clue, please?” he asked solemnly and I was so dumbfounded and grateful that Harry behaved like Draco, Blaise and the Twins and didn’t pick everything to pieces, giving me the chance to choose the time when I wanted to bring him into the loop. He hadn’t been like this before, I knew that. He would have pestered me, argued with me. He was really growing up!
“Hearing you say that, Harry, means a lot to me!” I dried my tears. “Dumbledore,” I gave in to his request and it was the only thing I said.
“What do you mean?” He looked up, intrigued.
“The past, but don’t ask more; I think in a few month I’ll know more!” Now I had a Harry in front of me that was deep in thought. “Don’t worry about it, it’s useless. Let me do it, I am better at this. And now let’s go, otherwise we won’t get anything to eat and you’re still growing!” We both laughed and we knew the matter was partly resolved.
And thus we departed harmoniously and tightly entwined. Sirius’ attempt to banish me from Harry’s side had backfired. We were once again closer as before. Tomorrow we would be faced with more challenges and we would face them together.