A Long Way to Saturday
Already the next day had caught up with me, it was Thursday and once again the Daily Prophet was a source of enlightenment. A newspaper article on the title page informed about professor Umbridge’s intentions to undertake long overdue reforms in Hogwarts on behalf of the ministry. A decree made her Hogwarts’ ‘High Inquisitor’.
This croaking toad! Unbelievable. I couldn’t even shake my head about that. Did the wizarding world get its ideas from the Muggle world?
Hello? High Inquisitor? Would they introduce the inquisition like in the Muggle Dark Ages? Did the Ministry go mad? Would they burn everybody at the stake that didn’t agree with Fudge? Now I did shake my head over the luridness of the article. And so her surveys in the other teachers’ classes began, which I found very exhilarating with my inclination towards deadpan humour, but unfortunately nobody asked me about my opinion. The surveys were glorious. Harry and Ron told me about divination, as I had dropped out in Third Year, finding the subject too ambiguous. I needed clear, structured guidelines, not this… I see something in a foggy crystal ball, but unfortunately it can only be described vaguely and imprecisely! Yes, that was not my forte and I knew when I met my limits and in this case they had been met and more.
“That’s just unreal, the way the old toad snubbed the crazy insect” Ron recounted without sympathy and I could see Trelawney before my inner eye, with her greatly magnified eyes behind her too large glasses and the dozens of veils and shawls and several bead chains she had wrapped herself in to seem more mysterious. No, she was no match to Umbridge’s deviousness.
“Yes, she unsettled her with her ignorant manner, following her from table to table and Trelawney acting all entranced and mysterious didn’t go down well. Not that it works on us, either!” Harry grinned maliciously.
“Right you are! And what did happen next?” I enquired curiously, cutting of a bit of the roast, and chewed thoroughly.
“Damn, that was really bloody vile! Umbitch wanted to hear a prophecy and the dragonfly talked the same rubbish as always! It was unbearable!” Ron continued, chuckling nastily.
“I felt embarrassed for her! No kidding, the dragonfly trembled all over, at that moment I felt really sorry for her. And I can’t stand Umbitch with her self-righteous manner!” Harry got worked up. Understandably, who didn’t dislike the toad?
When lunch was over we hurried to Professor McGonagall’s transfiguration class and had the honour to meet Umbridge there as well. Admittedly, I approved of Harry’s and Ron’s modification of her name. She was a bitch, but good, rule-abiding Hermione would never utter such a word. The balancing act to appear as this Hermione got larger and more difficult everyday. It was thoroughly exhausting.
McGonagall didn’t disappoint me and wasn’t fazed by the wicked witch. After one disruption too many she barked at the ‘High Inquisitor’ to let her teach in peace. If she didn’t agree with the older witches way of teaching, she would be welcome to take over the lesson. The ‘Dolores’ that McGonagall burred expertly, was balm for the annoyed students’ peace of mind and it resulted in Umbridge retreating to a corner, miffed, and scribbling on her file, however from then on she remained silent.
When we went outside to Care of Magical Creatures with the Slytherins, suddenly a hand touched mine and gave it a quick squeeze. I looked up, baffled, and saw only Draco’s back vanishing from view. Ah, that was sweet of him, as we hadn’t yet found time today to talk. I missed him, though it seemed it wasn’t the only one feeling that way. It was a nice feeling to know that he felt similar! When we all had gathered together, Professor Grubbly-Plank had to stand up to Umbridge, which she managed pretty well. She didn’t lower herself to discredit Hagrid nor Dumbledore, whom I regarded with some mistrust by now.
In the last lesson of the long day, Umbridge’s own class, once again she and Harry got into an argument about the Dark Lord’s return or lack thereof. It was a never-ending story, but this time he got detention for the whole week, every night of it. Harry, Harry, you will never learn! Sometimes talking was silver, but most of the time silence was golden!
At dinner Snape put in an unexpected appearance and I could feel his gaze on my back, however I tried to ignore it and refused to react! Draco observed everything eagle-eyed, especially me, whereas I myself watched my surroundings attentively as well. Hey, we could make a game of it, I thought sarcastically, who twitches first will lose. And thus I dined in the limelight. Very relaxing, my cynicism ran riot.
Later I laid in my bed, for a change dutifully at one o’clock as I would sneak out once again tomorrow, on Friday, to meet with my Sensei for the first time in a week, and as a consequence my jogging routine in the early morning was back on the schedule, so I prefered to go to sleep quickly.
Today, on Friday, I had classes only until four o’clock, which meant that I bored Harry and Ron with talk about the library, homework, and tests until they happily rejoiced when I disappeared at half past four. It was just too easy to deceive them. However, I didn’t rely on my irritating streak, no, I brought in help from my allies!
“Fred, George, even better that I meet you. You are on your way to the common room?” I asked the two walking towards me.
“Yeah, beautiful. Where are you going? We have a big sales event today. We have every intention to drive Umbitch mad,” the vicious Red Devils grinned demonically.
“Too bad, I will miss out on it, I have to go to my training,” I shrugged apologetically.
“You are going to leave Hogwarts?” Fred asked surprised, though his eyes were twinkling with a wicked glimmer.
“Yes, can you cover up for me, so that Harry, Ron and Ginny won’t get suspicious?” I looked at them pleadingly, fluttering my eyelashes charmingly.
“Sure. When can we expect you back? So that we don’t worry something has happened to you,” George wanted to know.
“I hope to be back around ten p.m., or half an hour later,” I provided the information gladly. I found their concern very sweet and just then I remembered Draco’s words, that at least someone should know where I went.
“All right. If something happens, write on your galleon and take care of yourself,” George asked me seriously and patted my cheek with one hand.
“You leaving on your own… Just be careful!” Fred said, too, shaking his head. They wouldn’t stop me, though, and that was something I very much appreciated in them.
“Always, I promise! Don’t worry so much, I can take care of myself. See you later, or I will be late,” I bid them goodbye and raced down to the dungeons. I had everything in my school bag: my shrunken down sports bag and my daggers. The school supplies I left behind in the secret passage and apparated to the gym from the Forbidden Forest. There I faced my Sensei and once again received an impressive beating. Against this Sirius’ assault had been a true caress, even if it had hurt me all the more. But well, what had happened, happened and couldn’t be changed.
Eventually, at half past nine, I was on my way to Hogwarts, hobbling slightly as I had landed improperly after a spin and twisted my right ankle. I would have to search my books about healing for the right spell, as I hadn’t studied sprains and strains much before. After all, I couldn’t study everything at the same time. Incredible, but true - even I had my limits! That didn’t help much to lift my mood about my lapse.
When I entered the dark, fateful alley to apparate back to the nocturnal forest, I was able to suppress the rising anxiety quite well. Hey, I got really good at it! I applauded myself generously for this feat.
And so I hobbled through the secret passage a short time later and entered the dungeons, only to be faced with the darkly clad chest of my favourite professor five steps in, who was staring down at me as if I were prey that he had found and caught, a thoroughly unnerving feeling!
“Professor Snape!” I uttered courageously and looked up into his pale face that showed his disapproval openly.
“Miss Granger, what are you doing in the dungeons just before curfew?” I was confronted with an icy snarl.
“I, er… I, well, I am a prefect, am I not? And because of that…” Ha, a save or not?
“Do you take me for a fool? What are you doing down here? Didn’t I tell you to keep your hands off the dungeons and its inhabitants?” he breathed at me, his words crisp and cold, while his deep-black eyes gleamed deadly.
“What makes you think that, sir? It’s nothing like you assume. I will leave now,” I wanted to placate him, all the while trying to appear pain-free and play down my hobbling, an attempt that was unfortunately futile under his predatory gaze that noticed everything. I hadn’t expected anything else. Thus he grabbed my upper arm roughly and stopped me in my tracks.
“Where have you been, you impossible girl? You are injured once again. Come on, you walking disaster!” he hissed venomously and showed me a distorted grimace as if he had been forced to eat a dozen lemon drops. As his private office was just around the corner, as well as his quarters, he towed me along ungraciously like a bag of potatoes. For a second I thought I had glimpsed a head with bright hair a corner ahead, but it vanished so fast, I assumed I had imagined it. It couldn’t have been Draco, as the figure had been visible only for the blink of an eye.
So we arrived in his living room through the bookshelf, where I was rudely flung onto the couch. It saved me the trouble to complain. It would accomplish nothing and only result in vicious remarks.
“Where have you been?” he immediately hissed demandingly, staring me down from his towering position, the arms crossed in front of his chest aggressively.
“I…” Now I rolled my eyes. “What do you think? At training,” I replied defiantly, but truthfully.
“You are still going? How are you able to leave, Miss Granger? Do you wear that head only as adornment - not that it is very adorning - or is there any working matter left?” he spat derisively at my head which he had just insulted.
“You especially should know how dangerous it is out there and to not sneak out voluntarily and search for danger. What were you thinking? Oh, I forget, you weren’t!” he now yelled. And yes, he was formidable in his cold, controlled fury.
Gosh, I felt sorry for myself. Everything had gone so smoothly - okay, except for my twisted ankle, but that I had run into his arms was once again the work of my luck, or the lack thereof. Did this man think I was deaf? Given that, I prefered him groaning deep inside me, his whole passionate energy channelized for a better purpose. At this absurd thought a laugh almost escaped me, but I was able to stop it in time. Otherwise, he probably would have skinned me alive, the way he was working himself into a rage.
“Where did you get the idea to leave the school grounds, Miss Granger? I am talking to you, so answer me!” he threatened angrily.
“Er, I… You know what I am doing… Why are you so upset, sir?” I asked cautiously. That might not be a clever move, but I was interested in the answer nonetheless.
“How dare you talk to me like that. I am still your teacher!” he snapped at me contemptuously.
“I know that, sir, but you know as well that you cannot stop me. You can’t even tell on me!” I exclaimed provocatively and beamed at him. What? Did somebody claim that I was nice or had invented those spells only because they sounded so pleasantly in Latin? They could help me in situations like this and I was not above taking advantage of it. And the time when I had been afraid of Snape was long gone. At least I told myself that, as he was already in front of me, crowding me ruthlessly against the back of the couch and trying to intimidate me with his physical presence. Meanwhile he was looking at me with a blank mask on his face, but fury burning in his eyes.
Oh, I knew very well that he was not to be underestimated. He was a dangerous man, capable of many things. However, I remained calm and reasonable, and didn’t let him unsettle me.
“Miss Granger, are you aware what you have just said? Consider carefully whether you want me as an enemy!” he threatened me silkily, sounding deceptively soft.
“But Professor, never! I don’t want you as an enemy… Please!” I plead in a soft, gentle voice, while looking up at him through my full eyelashes from my semi-lying position. But I admitted gladly, if I hadn’t had the pleasure of having him this close to me as Minna, I would have been a lot more nervous now as I was.
“I mean, I am careful. Only Fridays from five to nine I have my combat training and you yourself said that it is beneficial to be prepared and especially after... after Bole… I am even more motivated,” I provided quietly, though still sincerely and took a deep breath for my confession.
He was very close, only centimeters between our faces, nearly touching. He was still staring at me. It seemed like he was dissecting my words and when he most likely saw in my eyes that I was speaking a truth that could not be dismissed, he disengaged himself from me and slipped into his armchair.
“What are you expecting from it? What are you hoping to achieve?” he asked, now smooth and cold again. He had regained his composure and was crossing his legs casually.
“Ahem, if you ask it like that, sir… I am not stupid, a war is approaching and I am only a woman. However, I want the best foundations to defend myself and wizards are often, well, lazy. They rely on their wands and ignore their bodies, and there I see my advantage. I will be doubly underestimated and I can use that to my advantage! Only, that combat has to be learnt the hard way, by training regularly, Professor. Please understand!” I begged for his understanding. Pride would be out of place here.
“You are asking for a lot, Miss Granger. It is forbidden to leave the grounds,” he stated, still emotionless and cold.
“As if I ever stuck to the rules, sir,” I retorted pertly and raised my chin.
“Of that, Miss Granger, I am aware! But I don’t have to encourage you in your behaviour,” he showed me a malicious and arrogant grin.
“But Professor, I am not harming anyone. Nobody knows that you might know about it,” I objected swiftly.
“You will not cease breaking the rules anyways. I had the pleasure to get to know you well enough to know that.” His voice was dripping with bitter irony, making clear that he meant the polar opposite of what he had said.
“Sir, I could still show you the secret passage. Will you cover me on Fridays if I show you one of my secrets? It’s a way you could get outside unseen when the Dark Lord calls you!” I offered. His face blanked at the mention of the Dark Lord immediately and completely, if it was even possible to increase its blankness even more. However, I knew that Slytherins fancied bargains like that. Feed them something and they are ready to give you a little something in return. In this regard they were predictable, if you got them to the point to engage in a deal.
“You know how to bargain, Miss Granger” he snarled sullenly.
“Thanks for the compliment, sir,” I beamed at him.
“Well, if you want to endanger yourself, I won’t stop you! Your choice. But you will come to me every Friday, so I can heal you. You can’t walk through the school injured,” he declared, sighing, and pursed his lips in irritation. “And now show me your foot.”
After getting him to do what I wanted, I would not alienate him by refusing him access to my foot, so I slipped off my shoe and uniform sock. I stretched my leg to present my foot. A slight swelling at the ankle, nothing severe. Okay, the dear professor was still able to surprise me repeatedly, for he slid out of his chair and knelt before me, taking my foot in his hands.
Wow, he went on his knee in front of me! That was unexpected. If I told somebody about it, I would sentence them and me to death. I was allowed to rejoice about it, though, wasn’t I? Already I could feel his cool fingers touching my foot and the swelling. The feeling was pleasant and uncomfortable at the same time, as he was good in finding the painful spots. I didn’t mind his touch, I truly liked it. No wonder, given our intimate encounters where he had touched me in entirely different ways. Thank the goddess, that he didn’t have an inkling about those.
Even when he was kneeling, he gave the impression that he was dominating me. It was his whole demeanour, making me appear small and insignificant. He was a truly striking figure that one shouldn’t disregard.
“Oww” I called out suddenly.
“That’s where it hurts?” He raised his head with a sadistic expression, his smug grin becoming visible when his hair fell sideways. “Pes tumor sanatio” he intonated and I could see the swelling in my foot receding. I tried to move it and was able to turn and twist it without pain.
“Thank you, Professor. You are too kind, sir” I smiled at him bashfully. Meanwhile he slipped back into his seat and spelled a glass of liquid into his hands, saying nothing, just watching me dressing myself. It was welcome not to perform a full striptease in front of him for once.
“Don’t pride yourself on that” he growled, ill-tempered.
“Never, sir, not at all!” I acceded and wanted to retreat. “I think I should leave. Thanks again, sir.”
“Not so fast, Miss Granger. Did I dismiss you?” He raised his eyebrow in question.
“No, sir,” I admitted in a small voice.
“I have observed that Malfoy is acting differently around you lately. Have you forgotten my request the other day?” His request? More of a threat.
“What do you mean, sir, I don’t understand.” Acting dumb. A good tactic.
“Airhead doesn’t suit you, Miss Granger!” he hissed at me frostily.
“Professor, what do you mean?” I tried to sidestep, because I didn’t like the direction this was going.
“What do you want from Draco Malfoy?” he asked his question and looked at me piercingly.
“Where do you get the idea that I want anything from him?” I wanted to placate him.
“I noticed your interaction in the Great Hall. You are good, both of you, but I am better. Believe me, I saw the glances. And I told you to keep your distance from him!” He ordered icily.
“Glances... sir?” I still acted as if I didn’t understand the issue. I would confess to nothing.
“Don’t take me for a fool. I know what I saw. Leave Draco out of your games!” he erupted angrily.
“Sir, I didn’t do anything.” I had straightened myself and was looking at him innocently, while denying it stubbornly.
“Get out, Granger, and lie to someone else. I have enough!” he stated contemptuously, and the next second his glass flew in my direction. Thanks to my quick reactions I ducked and it shattered against the wall. With a loud clang it splittered into thousands of small crystal shards.
“I warn you one more time, keep away from Malfoy!” he yelled at my back, when I turned tail and ran.
Phew. It was good that he wasn’t following me. I flew out of his office, focussed on escaping. When had Snape ever lost his composure enough to smash a glass? He was letting his emotions flow more freely than he ever had in the years before, at least around me. And Sirius was knocking me around the kitchen. Maybe I was provoking the men too much. Apparently I had the ability to drive them into a rage. While I ran, I took it with a sense of humour and started to giggle in amusement. Just then I was stopped suddenly and pulled into an alcove faster than I could blink. Draco pressed me into the cold wall and I put up with his strong grip, huddling against him, calming my heartbeat.
“What are you doing here? And with Severus of all people? I thought I was seeing things, when he dragged you into his rooms,” he whispered quietly, his breath tickling my ear. So I had seen correctly earlier, it had been Draco. He had to loiter everywhere!
“I… I was out…,” and could feel how his hands clamped on my shoulders, digging into my flesh.
“Where did you go? Why do I not know anything about that?” he hissed quietly now, but definitely upset.
“I… Why should I keep you informed about every step I take?” I showed my confusion.
“Because I want to know when you leave the school. Did anybody know?” he asked for clarification.
“Yes, the Twins, they are covering for me!” I admitted to him.
“You are trusting these clowns?” he asked condescendingly.
“Don’t make the mistake to underestimate them. They are a lot more capable than you think, and have a lot less scruples. And please don’t call them that,” I chided him quietly.
“I am still waiting. Where have you been?” He didn’t dwell on the topic of the Twins.
“At training. Every friday from five to nine o’clock,” I answered.
“And you think it is not necessary to tell me that?” I could sense the effort it took him, showing how peeved he felt about it.
“Well, no, but I had planned to tell you tomorrow,” I replied calmly, but defensively.
“Learn from this, as of now I always want to know when you leave Hogwarts, understood?” He squeezed down a bit more and I grimaced indignantly.
“Okay, if you insist, I will inform you in the future,” I offered in a conciliatory matter, as long as he didn’t restrain me.
“And why did you flee his rooms like that? Did he harass you again?” he didn’t give up and showed his curiosity openly.
“No no… he intercepted me when I returned. I was hobbling, which he didn’t miss, naturally, and snatched me and dragged me into his quarters. He healed my foot. From the holidays he knew that I have been learning martial arts and insisted that I come to him every friday, so that he can heal me. In return I have to show him the secret passage…” I licked my dry lips. “And then he said that he had seen our glances in the hall and wasn’t stupid… He threatened me! Said I should keep my hands off you. I acted dumb and then he threw his glass at me and kicked me out. When I ran, making sure to get away quickly, he yelled once again that I should keep away from you!” I was exhausted and let my head fall against his chest.
“Do you think, I provoke the men too much? I don’t believe it is normal for Snape to throw glasses at people! I mean, he is otherwise always such an ice block and, and… I made Sirius livid with rage, too, didn’t I? I mean, he doesn’t beat anybody, usually!” I sighed and rubbed my face against his chest in frustration. I could feel his chest quivering under my hands and face. Was he laughing? Laughing? This… He was truly laughing? What was that about? This was no laughing matter!
“Mudblood, did anybody ever tell you yet that you are really cute when you are rattled like this?” He continued to laugh, albeit repressed, and left me speechless.
“That isn’t funny! I mean… I,” I stuttered nervously.
“Don’t think so much about this. You are special! That is the reason everybody is losing it,” he breathed a dramatic compliment in his calm manner.
“Eheh,” I replied very intelligently.
“As I said, you can be cute, so intelligent, so clever, so cunning that you are serious competition for the best of Slytherin, though so ingenuous here, almost naive!” He kissed my forehead now and leaned his brow against mine after that.
“Azkaban didn’t do Black any good and he is no match for you by far! In all likelihood he didn’t know what else to do,” he said next. “And Snape. It is really astounding that you are making him lose control like that. The only situation I know about with the glass, is when father is making him livid. Something father manages time and again, incredible but true!” Draco explained to me, very elaborately, making him giggle, probably in remembrance of a scene between the two men.
“Why he insists that you keep your distance, I will learn in time and bring a stop to it. But let that be my responsibility. I will settle that with Severus, I promise!”
“I think our conversation tomorrow is absolutely essential for our mutual understanding,” I proclaimed. I was on overload and had listened to his statement with my mouth open.
“I agree, and am looking forward to it,,” he whispered in a raspy tone.
“Where are we going to meet?” I asked curiously.
“Come to our common room. Disguised, of course! You will see the rest, when you get there,” I could clearly hear that he was envisioning the potential entertainment already.
“As you wish. After dinner, the Twins will cover for me,” I could hardly wait.
“They know you are meeting me?” His voice revealed the astonishment he was feeling.
“Yes!” I said emphatically.
“And we can really trust them?” he inquired skeptically. “Yes, we can.”
“Are they under your spell?” he demanded.
“No, but if it reassures you, I can enchant them, so they can’t tell anybody about you and me,” I offered unperturbed.
“Do it. In times like these one should better be safe than sorry,” he stated with unapologetic sternness.
“As you wish, Draco,” I relented. He was somewhat right and why should I argue about it? The Twins would probably agree with him.
“And tomorrow we have finally time to talk. Now, go and rest. You need that, too, from time to time, my Mudblood,” he declared firmly and embraced me.
“Until tomorrow, Pureblood,” I regained my laid-back nature. Draco was good for me.
“Be good,” he said cheekily and I vanished quickly into the secret passages. When I entered through the portrait Gryffindor was still bustling with activity.
“Finally! We were ready to send a message. What held you up?” Fred dragged me to a window recess.
“A lot. We have to talk urgently. Remain awake! Maybe we will be alone after midnight…” I whispered quickly. He simply nodded and joined the others. I stayed seated for a bit longer and watched the merry picture of my class and house mates. I couldn’t connect to their banter, jokes and funny anecdotes at all. I just wanted to go back to the dungeons, to the men of my heart, or my mind. I was allowed to witness the room clearing of people, including the Twins. Harry and Ron wished me a good night as well and went to bed. As I couldn’t find any rest before one o’clock, I did the only sensible thing and worked. This way I was the last person left in the common room, when I heard the two Red Devils sneaking back down already.
“Fair thee well, lovely maiden!” Fred said jokingly as he and George sat down on the very comfy but sagging light brown couch in front of the fireplace, next to my favorite armchair.
“Hello, you two. I hope the late hour doesn’t bother you, does it?” I asked before taking a sip from my cup of tea.
“Nah, we are all nocturnal creatures! And what are lessons good for if not for sleeping?” Fred crowed, amused, and exchanged a high five with his brother.
“Very funny. You know, learning is very important!” I chided sternly. The leopard can't change its spots, it seems!
“Yeah, that’s our Hermione. But honestly, we are learning more from the Restricted Section!” George declared seriously.
“Ahh, of course, I forgot we aren’t interested anymore in that kind of magic!” I rolled my eyes in exaggerated exasperation.
“Exactly, you got it! Who needs boring school magic…” They simply grinned at me mischievously and I smiled back with an equally malicious expression.
“What important matter did you want to discuss?” They became serious now.
“I, oh well, I don’t know how to word it. I have to lay a spell on you, which will protect me. Not that I think you would tell on me, but…” I tried to explain, my speech somewhat awkward.
“Hermione, most beautiful, don’t talk in riddles. You can hex us as much as you want! What’s the matter? Don’t lead us on. Talk!” they demanded relentlessly. Tcha, the Twins were truly not blind.
“Draco would like us, well him and me, to be protected. His distrust is not directed at you, personally. He just thinks it’s better to be safe than sorry!” I said defensively and raised my hands apologetically.
“Even if I don’t like the ferret, he does have a point,” George stated in agreement, surprisingly reasonable.
“Yes, he has! However, we will do it for you, not him! Understood?” Fred said, the corners of his mouth turning down.
“Thanks. You are the best, my devils!” I was happy that they took it well. I raised my wand and spoke “Credere tacientiae 'Hermione and Draco Malfoy'!” and already the spell was done and I had put my wand away again.
“That was it?” The both of them asked, surprised, and I beamed at them.
“I just wonder what you see in the idiot. What about Sirius?” George enquired next and rubbed his neck, which prompted me to freeze and sit there with my back very straight. Though that didn’t escape their notice, naturally.
“What? What happened in the last few days? What did Fred and I miss?” he asked skeptically, while raising his red eyebrow in a serious manner. It was an unusual move, seeing as he only did so for the sake of humour in normal circumstances.
“Oh, nothing severe. I just had an argument with Sirius, that’s all. It’s over!” I explained curtly and coldly.
“What… what… what? What happened?” they yelled, discomposed.
“As I said, nothing special,” I crossed my arms dismissively in front of my chest.
“Because of Malfoy?” they asked in sync.
“No, not because of Malfoy. We just did,” I waved my hand at them. “It just came to my mind… I want to give him a Galleon tomorrow and wanted to inform you.”
“Aha, it has gotten that far!” George rubbed his chin and seemed to be thinking hard. “If that’s how it is, we should get to know him sometime. That is, when he isn’t with the pile of Slytherins that are always swarming around him.”
“Yeah, I feel the same way. If he’s included, he should go the whole way,” Fred voiced his agreement with enthusiasm.
“Oh no, please not! If you start to snog in front of him, I will flee!” I teased them now.
“Eh, and if we fancy him? You have got to hand it to him, he’s handsome!” Fred whispered lasciviously, sensuously licking his red lips. I was on the verge of hitting my head on the table.
“You say that about every man I get… close to!” I countered desperately.
“Well, they are always tasty blokes, aren’t they?” Fred retorted cheekily and licked his lips again indulgently.
“Oh man, stop it, or George will get jealous again!” I reminded him of his brother.
“What? I? No… never…” George laughed nastily and seemed to amuse himself exquisitely at my expense.
“Fun aside, how is business going?” I became serious once again.
“Good, very good, most beautiful. We already need to replenish our stock again! Since that bitch arrived, the stuff sells like hot cakes!”
Both beamed with satisfaction, showing their white teeth.
“Replenish how…?” I inquired thoughtfully.
“We going to meet Dung in Hogsmeade on Sunday to place our order,” George explained to me readily and very seriously.
“That sounds good. Actually, what’s your opinion about the bitch’s lessons?” I asked curiously.
“George, am I deaf? Has Saint Hermione uttered the bad, bad word?” Fred teased me, spitefully.
“Fred, actually that’s her language! We should feel honored that she doesn’t pretend in front of us! Am I right or am I right?” George said, wittily. I rolled my eyes. Such dunderheads, I thought, it’s hard to believe that genius minds were hiding behind flaming red hair. Though they always made me laugh.
“And the bitch is unbearable. We will wear her down! There is no better target to test or demonstrate our products as the pink monster! And her lessons? What lessons? We learn nothing! No patronus, nothing. And I was so looking forward to learning that spell!” they both were lamenting. They had seen my beautiful magpie and no doubt wanted to know what their own animal was. They were very silly like that. George patted Fred’s shoulder encouragingly.
“He wanted to know his animal since he met your magpie! But under her tutelage, that won’t happen!” George told me, and I was amazed about my knowledge of human nature, as Fred’s unhappiness was displayed blatantly on his face. During this litany of complaints, my mind was working furiously and I had an idea as to how we might be able to train ourselves! Yes, that was an idea alright, I would just have to develop it a bit more.
“Hello, beauty! Did you descent once again into places where nobody can follow?” they pulled me out of my musings with their exclamations. I shuddered after Fred had shook me rather urgently.
“Oh, sorry, I had an idea,” I explained my absentmindedness.
“Yeeeesss, we guessed! You eyes had glazed over. And what is the result of your trip?” George asked, looking expectantly.
“Nothing definite yet. But wait, get me a room in Hogsmeade for next Sunday. Somewhere we can talk with other students,” I instructed them, gnawing at my lower lip excitedly. Yes, that could work. I would just have to convince Harry and that should be no problem.
“Geez, you always make it suspensefully. But oh well! We will go to bed now. There is someone here I have to seduce!” Fred declared before he started to drag George in the direction of the dormitories while snogging him.
“Have fun. And don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” I called after them, laughing.
“That means we can let go of any shame and reserve. Thanks for the tip!” they winked at me diabolically.
So that was done as well, and a new issue had arisen. I really didn’t let myself rest at all. But as you make your bed, so too you must lie on it. And it seemed like I preferred to lie on one without any comfort.