Chapter Beta: Dani
Chapter Translator: Aivy & Sophie
The feeling of getting crushed woke me and opened my eyes quickly. Draco had managed to bury me in his sleep, so I was getting squeezed, sunk deep into the mattress. I almost had to laugh that he didn’t want to let me go even for a little bit, otherwise, he would never have wanted me so close overnight.
I started to nudge him gently until he rolled over with a grumble and I could breathe freely again. What ... so late already? Almost seven o'clock, I could forget about my run for today.
Then I remembered my plan. Now, as always, I had to be quick, so I jumped up and summoned Orange with the same spell Draco had used for his owl back in Rose Cottage. I hopped into the bathroom and washed my teeth, cleaned my school uniform, and changed into some jeans and a warm sweater in the time she needed to reach the dungeons using the magically twisting paths. I would go straight to the Great Hall just in time for breakfast so no one in Gryffindor had a chance to notice I had not spent the night in my house.
During these minutes I had to myself, my inexcusable action from the previous day came back to my mind and it almost made me feel sick when I recalled Parkinson's cramping and twitching body. I leaned against the wall for a moment. Please, Hermione, pull yourself together, you've already taken a life, so a little torture doesn’t hurt! And no, I couldn’t really convince myself of that; no matter how often I kept repeating it silently to myself, it was not right to torture. To punish, yes, but not like that!
I knew now that I could do it, just as I could do everything I put my mind to, though I also knew I wouldn’t do it again ... Stop! One caveat: if ever justified, I might do it again, but only then! I shook my head numbly to suppress the cruel images. It affected me more than what I had done to Bole. But what could I do? My trained pragmatism set in again. What had happened had happened, I couldn’t change it, and so I left the bathroom.
After that, I sat down at Draco's desk, took parchment and quill, and, with alacrity, I wrote a brief order. I demanded a meeting for today at 16 o'clock in the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade. While I was sealing the letter, Orange arrived.
"Hello, sweetie, nice to see you. Here, bring that to the beetle and only Rita Skeeter, understood? " She hooted quietly into my ear, looking at me with her huge, orange eyes. I tied the letter to her leg and dismissed her.
When I looked up, I noticed Draco watching me with a tired smile on his face.
"I did not want to wake you, sorry!" I approached him- When I reached his side, I brushed strands of his hair out of his face. He caught my hand and kissed it.
“I have to get out anyway. You look good, even your face! The ointment has done a wonderful job,” he stated, grinning pleased after his examination and pulling me by the hand into the bed, which made me fall on him and prompted him to chuckle playfully. “You wrote to the beetle?” he enquired, burying his face in my hair.
“I want to meet her today in Hogsmeade.”
“Oh, I understand, my little schemer. Did I tell you that I’m addicted to you?” He grinned, his hands roving covetously over my sides and now it was my turn to giggle.
“Draco, really, we have no time for that. Sorry.” I tried to disentangle myself from him, but he didn’t let me, instead embracing me even tighter, pulling me against his chest.
“Rrr,” he growled and what I could feel against my thigh made it clear to me what made him react with aversion. It would be the perfect revenge for his fingerplay. Hence I gave in and started to purr, kissing his naked chest and trailing my fingers further down, as if I wanted to give him what he desired so dearly, and so he released me, enjoying my caresses. I slid over the whole duvet and reached his stiff erection, brushing over it with a feather-light touch, and started to pleasure him gently through the bothersome fabric.
“Yes, just like that…Hermione?” he moaned, then looking up questioningly when I was already halfway to the door, throwing on my coat.
“Sorry, Draco, not enough time,” I explained with a nasty grin. He looked flummoxed and unhappy before a furious gleam entered his eyes.
“Mudblood, you will pay for that!” he vowed and once again an object was thrown at me, only this time it was a pillow that I could hear thudding against the closed door. It made me chuckle under the cover of my hood.
I fled through the common room of the house of snakes, noticing many fearful, anxious looks that followed me until I left Slytherin House behind me. They regarded me as if I was a monster, the monster that I truly was. It hit me like a swinging blow to the stomach that I couldn’t simply ignore and it left me slightly bemused and insecure.
Now we should appreciate the work of Lady Luck once again. Could it be any other way? As I hurried around the corner, I collided with a rock-hard chest that didn’t yield even a bit. That the owner was so considerate as to grip my upper arms and steady me so I didn’t fall could only be due to my luck.
“Miss Granger! You seem to love the dungeons and its inhabitants very much!” he snarled. Quickly, I pushed back my hood and hissed:
“Let go off me, sir! I have to take off my coat. The Slytherins will go to breakfast soon!”
“And you don’t want them to know who storms their common room so often?” he ventured a guess.
“Professor, please!” I outright begged. He looked at me wonderingly and loosened his clutch. To my astonishment, he unclasped my cloak himself, pulled it from my shoulders, and shrank it down. Then, he hooked a finger into a loop of my jeans, pulled me closer and tucked the shrunken piece of fabric inside.
His very intimate and unexpected touch made me swallow heavily.
“Now tell me what happened that you appear so confused and disoriented.” He looked at me sternly. “You do come from Draco’s bed, don’t you?” I simply nodded and when we heard footsteps approaching the staircase, he pulled me into one of the alcoves Draco and I favoured, getting much too close to me for comfort, but I was still distracted by my insecurities. I couldn’t get over what I had done.
“I, I, oh, sir… Draco visited Lucius!” I hadn’t even finished speaking and he had already clutched my arms again and was watching my face with a serious expression. “He only said that his father enquired whether Draco knew if I would stay at the castle during Easter and that he has free time because it’s going so well for the Lord!” I groaned and gnawed on my lip. “Due to this information I have to go to Hogsmeade today, to meet the beetle. I have an idea that could make sure that Lucius gets once more occupied with the Dark Lord’s business…” I was still nervous because Snape didn’t twitch a muscle, just regarded me calmly, his face framed by his chin-length black hair.
Leisurely, he raised his hand, tracing my cheek, and I downright froze under his touch.
“Sir?” I asked breathlessly, the images of yesterday’s occurrences fresh in my mind, including our farewell.
“What did actually unsettle you? I know you, Miss Granger, all that wouldn’t elicit more than a yawn from you. So what happened with my Slytherins that you are so pale?” I could only marvel at his ability to spot the things I wanted to keep hidden and now I was a little bit fearful about Sunday, when he would use Legilimency on me. “Tell me, what happened?”
“Sir, I don’t think I should tell you.” I licked my dry lips.
“If I assure you that you won’t have to face any reprisals, would you tell me then, Miss Granger?” he breathed into my face. How could I resist such an offer?
“Deal, sir!” I agreed and an almost satisfied smile crept onto his face.
“I… The Slytherins rebelled a bit yesterday, when Draco wasn’t there yet. I didn’t find it that bad, but Draco demanded that I use the Cruciatus as a punishment!” I faltered and forced the lump down my throat.
“Who ended up as a target?” He showed himself unperturbed, staring alarmingly deep into my eyes. He seemed neither surprised nor particularly worried.
“Sir… Parkinson!” I whispered soundlessly.
“And what is it that affects you so much?” he asked, terribly cold and indifferent. I stared at him dumbfounded and thus he continued: “You already did worse.”
“Did I truly? I found the other thing less bad than this kind of punishment,” objection sparked inside me.
“You are something special, Miss Granger, so corrupted yet still so good… Mh-hm, it’s rare, a blend like that, as one tends to use their scruples relatively fast once one begins to play this game.” He braced himself against the wall, his cheek nearly touching mine, to whisper in a low voice: “Miss Granger, it’s too late to back out. You know that well enough. Learn to live with it. And that here…” He laid the palm of his hand directly and unabashedly on my chest, causing me to catch my breath. To feel his large hand on my chest, was so… It made my heart beat faster, which he noticed easily. “That has to harden!” He declared silkily, his thumb tracing circles over the cotton wool of my jumper.
“Professor, don’t tell me that you don’t care about what happened in the common room of your house!” I whispered haltingly, standing frozen in place.
“What…? Draco is Slytherin’s leader. If he decided it, then I won’t call his decision into question. Did you perform well, Miss Granger, was Draco able to be proud of you?” he asked quietly. He didn’t retract his hand, though, just watched my face with interest.
I swallowed with difficulty. “I fulfilled the task!”
“Miss Granger, Outstanding as always, I assume,” it came ironically from him. “But what did I expect? A refusal? No! You aren’t stupid enough for that. Now you have won the Slytherins’ respect, because, let us be honest, most of them would cast the curse and you would only feel a tickle, am I wrong?” He seemed to amuse himself quite well.
“Yes. But sir, aren’t those curses treated as Unforgivables for a reason?”
“Oh, please, Miss Granger, don’t act the fool. I can’t have an opinion on that. I’m not who I am for nothing. Everyone of us has to carry aspects of the person we present ourselves to be inside of us, or we couldn’t play the part convincingly!” He spoke very honest words, but very true as well, while watching me with a solemn expression, though still caressing my heart with circular motions.
“You mean, you aren’t a Death Eater for nothing? Part of you is truly one of them?” I enquired tentatively.
“If you want to phrase it like that, be my guest! … I raised Draco that way, to not show pity when he feels obligated to act. You have to learn that too. Don’t waste your sympathy on people like Parkinson, they aren’t worth it!” He responded in mentor-mode, a side of him I was unaccustomed to. He was really astoundingly nice to me, considering that I had dodged a projectile just the night before.
“Understood, sir, thank you for your words. I think I’ll come to terms with it now… Better, at least. I know that I can’t back out. The frightening thing is, that I don’t want to,” I admitted freely, looking deeply into these dark eyes.
“Mh-mh. And I always thought you were clever,” he replied hoarsely, a slight rebuke resonating in his voice.
“That was not actually a compliment, sir, was it? If it was, I believe I’ll faint!” I exclaimed, joking. He surprised me when the corners of his mouth actually twitched in reaction.
“You want to leave the castle and I believe you think it is important?” he went back on topic.
“Yes, unfortunately, but I have to go. Draco wants to provide me with security!”
“Very well. I am going to visit Lucius immediately and keep him busy. Take care, we don’t want Draco getting anxious!” he pointed out. Then he lifted his hand from my chest, pushed himself off the wall and left without looking back.
I released all tension from my body and slumped against the wall behind me, leaning my head back. It had done me good to talk about what had happened the day before. I truly appreciated that Snape had listened to me without flying into another rage or even mentioning our little, really just itty-bitty disagreement.
Thus I went on my way and arrived at breakfast the moment Orange soared into the hall, prompting me to nearly throw myself into my seat next to Harry to prevent the owl from crash-landing.
“What kind of cute owl is that?” Ginny cooed from her place opposite me.
“Orange, she’s a Ptilopsis leucotis, a white-faced owl!” I informed her in my usual swotty tone while freeing my little owl from its burden. “Thanks, sweetie!” I handed Orange a small rasher of bacon that I took from one of the plates.
“Hermione, she’s really beautiful. Since when do you have her?” Harry asked, seeming very nervous. The moment he turned around, a suffocating cloud of aftershave enveloped me, so much that I was in danger of passing out. What did that smell of…? Moss?
They had arranged to meet at noon and he was already polished? His hair had a silky shine to it that wasn’t normally there. Had he used conditioner? Oh goddess, that was too… sweet. Hopefully, the whinging goose would appreciate that Harry was sacrificing his olfactory nerves for her and mine right after.
“Uhm, I got her from my parents for Christmas so we can stay in contact more easily!” I lied.
“She’s a beauty and her name is well-chosen!” Harry said honestly and I could hear Ginny huff. Why was she sulking this time?
“Thanks, Harry!” I looked up and noticed Ginny glaring at me when Harry started to pet my little owl. I smiled and opened the letter to find the anticipated positive answer from Rita. She wrote that she would await me and the moment I had finished reading the letter disintegrated, leaving only ash.
“How did yesterday’s detention go? Was it as horrible as expected?”
“Of course, my hands would be raw if I didn’t have my healing salves! But please, let us draw a veil of silence over it; I only just managed so nicely to push it out of my mind. The next detention is certain to come soon enough!” I explained dismissively. Harry patted my back compassionately and encouragingly. A short silence encompassed us while I pondered how I would be able to pitch my idea to him.
“Harry, I learned something more yesterday. HE is gaining more and more influence because Fudge is such an idiot. I might have arranged a little something for today. But only if you want to, as you don’t like the person… However, I would be happy if you agree to it!” I whispered into Harry’s ear, breathing with utter fearlessness the overwhelming scent he was emitting mercilessly. He seemed to have bathed in it.
“Hermione, don’t beat around the bush, just tell me. Your ideas are usually brilliant!” he professed flatteringly, looking at me fondly.
“I want you to give an interview in the Three Broomsticks at four o’clock… it’s Skeeter!” I rattled off quickly and boldly.
“WHAT?” he yelled loudly with indignation, making me flinch back and bringing us no attention at all in the Great Hall.
“Shhhh, Harry!” I felt the focus of Ginny’s attention on us, who watched us constantly, not letting us out of her sight for a moment.
“Gee, Harry, what’s that racket about? What have you two been whispering about this whole time?” Ron enquired curiously now, leaning towards us.
“Not now, Ron. Wait, Harry will tell you in a moment!” I asked for his patience and he nodded, staffing another rasher of bacon into his mouth, munching happily.
“Harry, she’s the best journalist out there,” I tried to convince him.
“But I won’t give an interview to the Daily Prophet, and about what should I talk anyways?”
he declared petulantly, showing us a rebellious face.
“No, of course not. However, I wanted to ask Luna if the Quibbler would print it! And you should talk about everything that is always held back by the Ministry!” I played my trump card.
“Wow, you think that would be possible?” He immediately glanced at the Ravens’ table, at once appearing more cooperative.
“Yes, but first I wanted to ask you. Can you be at the Three Broomsticks at four, with or without Cho?”
“Well, in that case, I’ll do it, even though I don’t like to think or talk about it. Maybe it’ll help to stir up one person or another,” he said earnestly, looking up with determination. However, I knew what it demanded from him to say that.
“That’s what I wanted to hear. Then I’ll deal with Luna.” I laughed, relieved.
I walked up to the Ravenclaw table where the petite girl with the slightly tousled, waist-length, ash blonde hair sat alone looking quite lost but not unhappy in her isolation, reading intently in a magazine. I nudged her shoulder.
“Luna?” I asked and she turned her delicate face towards me. Everybody was watching us; although she was a DA member, only a few were really talking to Loony Lovegood. However, I didn’t think she was loony, or at least not that much. On the contrary, when she looked at me with her blue-grey eyes, I often had the feeling she was able to see more than most think her capable of. I knew I wouldn’t make the mistake and underestimate this very outlandish girl.
“Hermione, what can I do for you?” she purred, inviting me with a gesture to take the place beside her and I slipped onto the bench.
“Harry wants to take a more active role against the Dark Lord and is going to give an interview to Skeeter today. However, it won’t be published in the Prophet, we would like to publish it in the Quibbler instead. Do you think it will be possible to include it in the next edition?” She listened to me while humming quietly, rocking back and forth in a gentle, swaying motion.
“Harry would do that? Mhhh… finally… mhh… That would be good! I’ll have to ask Father and send him an owl, though I think, why not?” She made me smile and I extended my arm, whistling. Immediately, Orange flew back to me.
“Here is the owl, you can take mine!” I offered her.
“You are always quick to act, aren’t you?” She beamed at me almost ethereally, penned down a short note and handed it to me. Thus, Orange flew off with a new assignment.
“Will I come along when Harry speaks with Skeeter?” she asked softly.
“If you want to, be in the Three Broomsticks at 4 o’clock latest,” I said, waving goodbye to her and walking towards Harry with a grin on my face to show him that everything had been taken care of.
I had done some calming meditation exercises with Harry in the boys’ dorm to give him a little more confidence and had sent him into the shower once more. He had taken offence at my open words, but I wouldn’t have been a very good friend if I had let him go on a date smelling that fragrant. I had told him straight to the face that he stank!
When I left the sheltering doors of Hogwarts behind me in the shadow of the Twins, watching Harry walking in the direction of the village with Cho, I groaned in relief as Ron had made the last minute decision to go to Hogsmeade in a group with Lav, Pav, Dean and Seamus during the time I had hounded Harry to use the shower. With Harry out of the picture due to his date and Ron not in the mood to attend an interview with Rita, the Twins escorted me like bodyguards.
In my back, I had spotted Draco, Blaise, Nott, Crabbe and Goyle who surprisingly always stayed near us. One time I even noticed Blaise giving me a worried glance.
We observed how Harry turned off towards Madam Puddifoot’s with Cho, hearing the Slytherins dissolving into mean laughter. To our shame, we had to admit that the three of us found it difficult to keep our expressions neutral. Harry was entering the soppiest small café, decorated with lots and lots of pink frills, something so totally not his world. Harry was many things, but a romantic was not one of them!
Oh goddess, I could just imagine that Cho had chosen this café, probably knowing it from Cedric, who had been a covert softy. But if that was the right location to escape the past? I had my doubts, but nobody ever listened to me! I stand by my opinion, this girl was not a good match for Harry.
We were walking quickly to the Three Broomsticks as the boys wanted me out of the open as fast as possible. The clean and welcoming pub was as well-frequented as always. We found seats around an old, scarred wooden table. Draco and Blaise were in front of us, making it possible for Draco to smile at me. They had sent the others away, reserving the table for them. They were close enough to witness everything.
Then it was time to drink butterbeer and wait, something that wasn’t boring in the least when accompanied by the Twins. We spoke about business mostly. They had arrived at the decision to not return to the Burrow. As soon as they finished school they would open a joke shop in Diagon Alley.
I assured them of my continued support and learned that they had found another investor besides Harry and me, someone that had hair so pale it was more white than blonde and was smirking very impertinently in our direction right now.
They also told me about a vacant house in a prime location on the main street with a shop on the ground floor and a flat above it, right next to Gringotts. It had belonged to Draco’s late great-grandaunt. He had inherited it and via Gringotts, he and the Twins had negotiated a rental contract for the next ten years for a ridiculously low price. I could only stare at Draco wordlessly, mouthing thanks once I had collected myself. He accepted it with a slight nod of his head and a playful wink.
Right then, the door opened and Harry stormed towards us with fury in his eyes as soon as he had spotted us.
“Women!” he declared nastily, slumping into a chair.
“That well, mate?” Fred tousled Harry’s shaggy hair that looked like he had torn at it more than once on the way to the pub.
“Dreadfully.” Harry’s head connected with the table. Above it, I could see Draco laughing. Yes, I could imagine quite well that the Slytherins, who were complete once again, were having a field day.
“What did go wrong with Cho?” I enquired carefully.
“You!” was the unexpected retort.
“I… What… Why?” I jolted in my seat in indignation, pressing a hand against my chest.
“I told her that we would meet you here by four o’clock and then she started to get nasty. She’s of the opinion that we are much to close for ‘just friends’ and very determined… I said that a girl that wanted to be my girlfriend would always have to accept my best friend, the girl that is like a sister to me,” he explained with so small amount of venom and agitation.
“Honest words, brother. You’d never ditch Hermione because of such a stupid cow!” The Twins worked themselves into a rage.
“Harry, no, you can’t fall out with your girlfriends because of me!” From the corner of my eye I saw Draco perking up his ears to not miss anything. “You have to understand, she was and is jealous of me and when you told her first thing that you’re going to meet me it rubbed her the wrong way,” I actually defended the goose against Harry.
“Hermione, I don’t care a bloody bit. You’re the most important person in my life next to Sirius, you two are family!” Ow, that hurt. You don’t tell lies to family and that was what I did with Harry. Soon… soon… I made a vow to myself.
“You forget Ron!” I pointed out.
“No. Ron will never be able to understand our relationship like we do, he already has a big family,” Harry spoke words that rang true. “And then I said that I don’t trust her friend, that girl, Marietta, and after that we only yelled at each other, quickly abandoning this small, stuffy hut where I couldn’t breathe properly. She huffed off, and I don’t know… I think you were right, Hermione, as always!” He looked at me sadly, like a whipped puppy.
Suddenly, Luna appeared at our table.
“May I sit with you? I know, I’m too early… but…” she asked with uncertainty.
“Do sit down, Luna. Interested in our newest invention, Canary Cream?” the Twins welcomed her and I thought: Luna, better leave it alone. She would be transfigured into a large canary. Fortunately, the effect only lasted for a minute. Although it was fantastic that they distracted Luna so that I could give Harry a moral uplift.
“Harry, dearest, don’t be upset. If she is such a stupid cow, then forget her. Oh, she’s already here - Miss Skeeter - much too early. Catch a hold of yourself, I’ll intercept her,” I said quickly and did just that.
“Rita, so nice to see you. It has been a while. How are you, my dear?” I stopped in front of her, murmuring a spell that would protect us from eavesdroppers.
“Miss Granger, was your evening at the ball pleasurable? Astounding, the kind of company you enjoyed at the ball!” The old bitch tried to take the lead at once.
“Oh, my dear, I think that is not a topic that should interest you!” I threatened her playfully with a wagging finger. Today, she was wearing a silvery grey ladies’ suit under her grey cloak, very professional.
“But Miss Granger, don’t you think you are overestimating yourself? Lucius Malfoy, please!” She shot me a derogatory, calculating look through the lenses of her spectacles.
“Don’t tell me you were again undercover on spy business?” I snickered.
“And if I was, Miss Granger, would I have been shocked with what presented itself to my eyes?” She stated a rhetorical question and pressed her lips together grouchily.
“Well, Rita, then we should all be happy about my spell and the fact that you know you can’t do anything with your observation! Or why are you telling me that…?” I taunted her. Man, I loved to debate with this woman!
“I… I would never violate our agreement!” she ground out.
“I know that, otherwise I would already have heard of your deep slumber!” I acknowledged generously. It made her visibly swallow with difficulty. I loved to show her that I was firmly in control.
“You know what, Miss Granger…” she hissed with eyes squinted in spitefulness. “I think you deserve exactly what I was allowed to witness that day. How goes the saying? You made your bed, now lie in it!” Wasn’t she lovely?
“Did anybody say that I don’t like the way I lie? Once again, Rita, you make the mistake thinking that I feel sorry for myself. I like everything the way it is!” I declared truthfully.
“Lie to yourself all you want. I don’t believe you wanted what the man did there!” She bit out viciously. Well, who ever liked what Lucius did to them? It hadn’t been that bad and I couldn’t change it, so what did she wish to accomplish?
“Rita, what do you know about me? Nothing! And it will remain like that forever. Let it be my concern. What I do goes over your head! Now come, Harry is waiting!” I ordered coldly.
While I approached the table with Rita by my side, the Twins stood up and went to the bar. We should be a small group for now.
“Miss Skeeter, may I introduce you to Miss Luna Lovegood? You know Harry!” Luna politely shook hands with her, smiling her absent-minded smile. Harry just nodded curtly, the gesture not hiding his dislike for her.
“I heard that I’m permitted to interview you, Mr. Potter,” Rita chirped immediately.
“Not so fast, Miss Skeeter. Today, you get an exclusive report from Harry about the rebirth of the Dark Lord. The article will be published by Luna’s father in the Quibbler!” I informed her, which made her jaw drop. “Now, after the mass breakout and the other activity, the masses will more likely to listen to Harry’s story!”
“Miss Granger, when I write something, it’s only for the Prophet, not for that rag!” she hissed indignantly and with that I was at the end of my tether.
“Rita, please consider carefully who you want to make angry here. You will now fetch your feather and write down what Harry tells you, or… Do you really want that I employ the ‘or’? If you don’t do what I want, I won’t have any further use of you! You have a minute, beginning now!” I explained with total indifference. I still didn’t like the beetle. When I turned away, I was confronted with the absolutely perplexed and surprised faces of Harry and Luna. I gave them a relaxed smile in return. Once again, only Harry’s eyes told me that he wanted to know more, so I nodded subtly to give my affirmation.
It was satisfying to see everything was working out the way it should. Rita complied with my demand, assiduously noting down Harry’s story with Luna listening attentively. I knew she was not dumb enough to tempt fate and challenge me. If she had her doubts, I would badly disappoint her. I would follow through on everything I had threatened her with, without hesitation, without deliberation!
While the three of them had their heads together, I looked around, noticing Draco watching everything with interest. He showed me his respect with an appreciative nod as he had heard everything for I had included him in the protective spells. This way I wouldn’t have to retell so much later.
I was certain, as soon as the interview was published, I would get some rest from Lucius. The sensational article would produce a public outcry after which he would be busy to convince Fudge to keep burying his head in the sand. It was his job to keep the Minister calm and compliant and he would have to invest a lot of time to ensure that.
I wouldn’t want to be exposed to the Dark Lord’s moods in the coming time.
After they had finished and Luna had gone off with Rita to sent the article to her father, we took off in a convoi back to the castle. I pulled my hat deep into my face and my scarf over my mouth, so I wasn’t easily recognizable. But it seemed Snape was successful in keeping Lucius occupied as we all reached the secure halls unscathed.
That way an eventful day came to a close, though the expression on Harry’s face led on that it wasn’t finished just yet, at least for me.