Arrival at Grimmauld Place
My parents would leave for the South of France in their almost four-week holiday at the end of the week and only return shortly before school. To avoid the whole thing, as a holiday did not really fit into my daily schedule, I had, at the request of my parents, at the beginning of the first week of holiday, contacted the Weasleys and Dumbledore and explained to them that my parents would leave, but I would stay here. Professor Dumbledore said that this was not a problem at all, he had a place for me, as I could not possibly be alone in those times. I had imagined this differently, but that would not stop me from implementing my plans anyway, maybe it made it somehow more difficult, but I would make it. I was very optimistic.
Wouldn’t be fun otherwise, if it were too easy! Here my cynicism kept coming back. So I sat in our BMW on Sunday morning and was taken by my parents to Grimmauld Place. In the letter from Professor Dumbledore, it was written that he would be waiting for me at 10 am in the park in front of Grimmauld Place. My father helped me with my luggage.
"Shall we wait, dear?" I heard Mum from the rear of the car.
"No, Mum, it's alright. Not that you'll miss your plane!" I exclaimed.
"Really darling, we'd like to wait!", She said.
"I know that, Mum. But I will not have to wait here for long and I know how much you are looking forward to the holidays. Just go" I smiled at her, relaxed.
Then Dad simply pulled me without a word into a hug and murmured, "Watch yourself, little one! We love you!" He kissed me on the cheek.
"I love you too. I'll see you soon, and have a nice holiday!" I leaned toward Mums's car windows.
"Enjoy! See you soon!" I waved her goodbye, as the car was already moving, and so my parents parted to their holidays and had no idea that they would leave their daughter to a starting war. I looked at the surroundings. Behind me was the fenced typical English town park with its old trees and the green meadow. On the other side of the street were the usual English detached houses of red brick, big and solid. A hardly perceptible, quiet plopping sound next to me, which I only perceived, because I practiced like a madman to get something like this, tore me out of my contemplation of my environment.
Ok, I admit. From this I was still a tiny little bit away! Yes, alright, in contrast to this I sounded like a misfire of a motor, satisfied! Inwardly I made a whining face, as if I were biting something very bitter. I turned to the sound and smiled relentlessly, not looking too deeply into his eyes, and glanced at his gray-robed robes as he wore them. I did not believe the walls were strong enough to defend my mind, but that would not prevent me from creating them anyway.
"Professor!" I said, pretending I’m surprised. "Where do you come from?", feigning a little more being oblivious Hermione. But especially with Dumbledore, my disguise had to stand perfectly! His interference at this time would be fatal and so far I had managed to remain relatively unobserved by him, as Harry's friend, the nerd, no more, but no less.
"Miss Granger, pleased to see you. Am I too late?" He asked habitually friendly and brightly smiling, blinking his bright blue eyes flashing behind his half-moon glasses in good spirits, as he looked around searchingly.
"No, Professor, we were too early, but since the plane was not waiting for my parents, I sent them quickly, or did you want to talk to them?" I asked politely.
"No, no, everything is fine. But now, Miss Granger. You surely want to see your friends as soon as possible, whom are already very impatient," he pulled out a parchment from his robe, which he gave me. I took it and read it carefully. There stood: "The headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix is Grimmauld Place No. 12!" And the red brick houses were jerking already, sliding sideways, leaving a so far not visible building before my astonished eyes, while the paper burst into flames and fell to ashes.
"Fidelius," I whispered, very impressed.
A giggle at my side made me look at Professor Dumbledore. "You know the spell, Miss Granger?" He asked curiously, sounding more than just in a good mood. I began to recite while we reached the door of the house:
"The old and very complex Fidelius can be used to hide the knowledge of hidden locations or buildings in the memory of a person. Only the so-called secret keeper knows where this place is, and only that person can make this place discoverable and accessible to others. Anyone who does not have the secret keepers information can stand directly in front of the building, or even press his nose against the window, but still can not find what he is looking for. As the name Fidelius (lat. Fidelis = sure, faithful, reliable) implies, the secretary has an absolute trustworthiness," I ended my busy explanation.
I had sounded like a schoolbook, which was positive, because everyone underestimated nerds, since everyone assumed that the knowledge you possessed was only memorized by heart and that one could not know how to apply it. Professor Snape was convinced, and I also think the other professors would be lulled by this preconceived opinion, and that should only be right for me. Being underestimated was better than being overestimated.
"Very impressive, Miss Granger. As always correct, if we were in Hogwarts, I would give you 10 points for this achievement! ", He praised me good-naturedly and sounded like a toddler, who was now humming with pleasure.
"Professor, who owns this house?" I asked curiously, breaking through his good humor.
"Oh, the Blacks, my love."
He opened the door. "Please, come in," and waved his wand in the direction of my luggage, which rose into the air and followed us into the interior of the house. Wow, Sirius's house, a real, real, magical wizards home. I was totally excited and nervous, not to be compared with the clean, cheerful and noisy burrow. I hid my overflowing joy with a frightened and nervous look, because my face should show my insecurity. We entered a gloomy, long hallway. On the walls hung paintings depicting the Blacks who had long since died, who critically eyed us and criticized us with evil and disapproving faces, then to insult us whispering, not to disturb them.
Here and there stood disgusting things like a troll-leg, which was used as an umbrella stand. Everything seemed descended and uninhabited. The spiders on the ceiling and the omnipresent dust all made a very eerie impression, but the past splendor of imposing times was recognizable everywhere. What I liked very much were the silver door handles and knockers, which represented delicate, detail-loving snakes. The professor told me to be quiet with a finger on his mouth, and led me deeper into the old dark-mage house.
We approached a door from which I could hear voices. Dumbledore opened the door and then went through the dusty, dark brown wood staircase, decorated with the tasteless, shriveled heads of the former Black House elves. It wasn't nice here, but a certain atmosphere you could already give the whole thing and I liked the tension here. The burrow couldn't compete. The house exerted an incredible charisma on me, which I would have given myself immediately, had I not had to mimic my role of the good Hermione. We passed through the door, which led us into an old, but clean and large, long kitchen, of which in the middle was a long dining table, with several persons sitting there, most of them with red hair.
"Hermione!", I could hear screams. Ron and Ginny had jumped up and rushed toward me. I was glad to see her, but I hated this, as my true self was too cool to appreciate such affections, but I remained faithful to the part I played.
I put on a wrong smile and returned the hugs.
"Ron, Ginny, nice to see you!" I exclaimed. They sat down and began to discuss the latest Quidditch results, while I greeted the other attendees.
"Mrs. Weasley," I greeted the mother of the two and nodded to her. She smiled at me kindly. "Hermione, dear, how are you?", And another hug. Ughhh, I didn't need that, but good now.
"Thank you, very well, and ... Sirius!" I walked up to him, who was sitting quietly in his chair at the head of the table to greet him. I remembered him, how Harry and I rescued him from his prison in one of the towers at Hogwarts, with a Bombarda, as we rode Buckbeak. "A Black in the House of Black. What a surprise!" I said ironically, handing him my hand, a daring smile graced my face.
He looked at me with flashing, gray eyes and a fat grin on his face. The last year had obviously done him good. He didn't look so hungry, exhausted, and depraved, and his curly, shoulder-length, dark brown hair fell well, clean, and softly shimmering round his shoulders. His eyes were no longer as cloudy as before, but looked interested. He seemed much better. He looked good. At the same time, his face was adorned with a beard, which he had carefully trimmed. It was easy to imagine how he used to twist all of the girls’ heads.
"My Savior. The smartest little witch I know, Hermione! Nice to see you here," Sirius said sincerely but also flatteringly, and led my hand to his mouth, what a charmer. He wanted to flirt a bit, and in me, he obviously saw a matched opponent, unlike Ginny. His eyes flashed brightly when I didn't back off but gave him a sober smile.
"Smarter than you are, Sirius, you Casanova! And I see you are better than the last time we met!. How do you feel in the house of the Blacks?", I brought it to the point, I took him firmly into target. Grumbling, he let go of my hand, even the cheeky grin flew away and made a bad-tempered expression, so I quickly sat down beside him in a chair and patted his shoulder, while Professor Dumbledore was quietly talking to Mrs. Weasley. Ron and Ginny looked at us again and again, our conversation about the Blackhouse now seemed not to be too exciting.
"Oh, you know Hermione, I hate this house, far too many memories, but little good! ... ah, but what can you do?" I interrupted him in his self-pity. "Sirius, I beg your pardon, still better than Azkaban!" I did not show any sensitivity, and he let me feel this by giving me a slightly indignant look.
"Well, I do not want to complain, but Kreacher too ... it's not easy and then this boredom!" He moaned further, whipping a strand from his forehead.
"Kreacher? I promise you, I'll try to entertain you until Hogwarts starts again!" I flirted with a clear look to him. What was I doing? No idea!
But as he sat before me, I liked what I saw and a hard-working woman like me should have her fun, right?
Sirius swallowed too much air, coughed briefly, and lost some of his casual attitude. "Her ... Hermi ... Hermione, thank you ... oh and Kreacher, that's my mother’s stupid house-elf!" He stammered, first panting, but then he caught himself astonishingly gallant and steered quickly at last on the house elf.
"There’s a house-elf here? I haven’t seen him yet, but don’t be so nasty Sirius, the poor house elves. And I have to tell you, I find your home exciting, but now what do you want to do to keep yourself from getting bored?" I flirted deliberately to irritate him and leaned a little more towards him. My long hair fell over my shoulder. Why I wanted to flirt, the devil knows, but I had always liked him, and one could still see the good-looking, happy, funny, young man from him who had difficult years, which made him all the more interesting, as I found his gray eyes inevitably drew me into his spell.
I think I felt sorry for him, and a bit of flirting made life twice as much fun. We were just not allowed to get caught, once again a good exercise for me to act in secret. What would happen if the others would find out, hell would break loose, one would gossip at our age and everyone would be outraged at my morals. Ron would be speechless and Harry..., well Harry, I didn't know, because he was really hard to judge in such matters and Sirius was still his godfather.
I smiled at the group and asked: "How long have the others been here?"
"The Weasleys are here with sack and pack since the beginning of the holidays. They want to help make the house more homely," Sirius informed me consistently ironically, as if this was an impossible undertaking. "Why are you already here anyway?" He asked, giving me a penetrating look.
"Oh, my parents are going to southern France today, and I didn't feel like it. And under these circumstances, I am very happy about this decision, because I too was bored," I smiled sarcastically, looking at Sirius’s captivating gray eyes. He tore them wide open and looked at me in surprise, while they darkened themselves to the hidden message behind it. "... um, well ... that's ... great," he stuttered, visibly unsure how to react to my advances. Ok, I'd take out a gear now, not that he will take the escape from me, I decided, when it started to become loud and it made it unnecessary to do something, as everyone turned to the noise. And there stood two cheeky-looking and identical looking twins in the kitchen, with red hair and a devilish expression in their freckled face, which could mean only nonsense.
"Heyyyy, most beautiful Hermioneee, you here, what do our dark, tired eyes see? The dark, musty house shines in new splendor!" It came out of their identical mouths at the same time and they grinned at me sardonically.
"Oh, Fred, George! Please stop apparating in the house, just because you can do magic now does not mean you have to use it for everything!," Mrs. Weasley instantly exclaimed, but the Twins surrendered to her with an apologizing bow, and she turned back to our director which mildly smiled towards the twins.
"It's alright, Mum!" Both boys muttered annoyed, but not really apologetically.
We had always understood each other very well, very well indeed. I liked these chaotic boys, who weren't as chaotic as many thought they were, but brilliant and ingenious, albeit diabolically dangerous. In addition, their deeds or rather misdeeds were usually not so nonsensical. I would rather say, who underestimated the Twins, could burn their noses badly and I knew that since my first year. They also tried to conceal their existing brilliance under their spleen behavior, which I had long ago looked through, but since we were probably similar in this behavior, they had also long ago realized that I was not always that I showed to be. They were more attentive than one thought and always good for a surprise. Since Harry's third year, I also knew why they had sometimes asked me very funny questions, in which they had told me that they had seen me a few times at night times where I shouldn’t have been. Their secret was the marauders map.
Since that time, we have been helping each other here and there, and I really do hope you don't believe that all of their ideas and the implementation of their so-called jokes and their products have been created with loving, innocent, white spells. There was one thing these two monsters were certainly not: innocent. I was curious about what they were doing with the money of the tournament Harry had given them. Soon a conversation was due.
"Haha and with so much red I'll be blind soon," I retorted back. "I'm looking forward to seeing you. What nonsense did you think up now?" I asked, smiling at the two as they slumped on their respective chairs.
"Well, you look good and our heads are full!", One of them gave me a high-spirited smile, as I noticed Sirius's eyes, and how he was looking at us.
"So full they're bursting soon ...", "And what we plan to do ...", "We shouldn't say, it’s a secret!", "Secret," said Fred and George in their non-serious way, alternately and confusing. They probably wanted to drive their mother into madness, so I nodded only mildly, leaned forward and whispered quickly:
"Fool the others, but please not me. Today after dinner, I'll listen to what new stuff you've already planned, understood!" I whispered vigorously, narrowing my eyes to slits.
"Alright, beautiful!", Was their conspiratorially reply, which they whispered to me, and they put their heads together and whispered about God and the world. Sirius had watched us closely and raised an eyebrow. I looked at him with mischief in my eyes. Now I wanted to take a closer look at my surroundings.
"Where will I sleep?" I asked to no one particular, but this now seemed to have caught Ginny’s attention, for she jumped up and cried: "With me, come on, I’ll show you!"
"Mum, I'll show Hermione everything," she told her mother, who had been talking to the professor all the time, and ran off.