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Chapter 15: You May Now Kiss The Maid Of Honour?
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You May Now Kiss The Maid Of Honour?
As told by Rita Skeeter
Rumor Has It...
After being back in the wizarding world for only several months, Miss Hermione Granger has caused quite a stir. Mr. Ronald Weasley and the new Mrs. Lavender Weasley had their wedding 2 weeks ago at ‘The Burrow’ and Miss Granger was asked to be Mrs. Weasley’s Maid Of Honour - because her official maid of honour is currently bed-ridden with Dragon Pox.
Reports from that day say that Miss Granger launched herself onto Mr. Weasley in his parents room.
“It was scary,” Mr. Ron Weasley admitted, “she launched herself on me; trying to rip my clothes off. Hermione, herself, had taken her top off after that photo was taken.”
“When I came in, she was half naked and Ron was struggling against her.” Mrs. Lavender Weasley said, “And when Won-Won said her name at the alter instead of mine I saw immediately that he had been charmed.”
Hermione Granger was apparently an unstoppable tease during her time at Hogwarts.
“I walked in on Hermione countless times during School in empty classrooms; half naked and every time with another boy.” Mrs Pansy Zabini (nee Parkinson) stated, “I also don’t think she is a virgin anymore either,” She added and I personally, agree with Mrs Zabini.
Only yesterday, Hermione Granger was spotted roaming muggle London with former Death Eater Mr. Draco Malfoy. Is Mr. Malfoy yet another pawn in her endless game of boys?
Hermione stared blankly at the article. Swear words running through her mind. Draco had left several hours ago and Hermione had been numb since. A cold draft had sunk into her apartment and an owl had been tapping on her window for the past 10 minutes. Yet, still she wouldn’t move.
“HERMIONE JEAN GRANGER OPEN THIS DOOR UP RIGHT NOW!” Hermione glanced up from her position slightly when she heard Ginny Weasley’s voice.
“Go away.” She mumbled, feeling tears spring to her eyes again.
“Hermione open this door up now! Or I swear to Merlin I will blast it down!” Ginny yelled again, banging her fist on the door. Outside her door; Hermione could hear Harry talking to Ginny in a hushed voice. Hermione sunk lower into her couch and rubbed her temples together in a futile attempt to block out Ginny’s voice. Hermione closed her eyes as she felt tears spring to her eyes again.
“Hermione.” She heard Harry’s voice and felt him touch her shoulder. She couldn’t work out how they got in without making a sound. Then again, she thought, this was the Potter’s they could do almost anything, “Hermione.” He mummered again, squeezing her shoulders even harder until finally, Hermione moved her head and rested it on Harry’s shoulder.
“I’ll put the kettle on.” Ginny said, flicking her wand. “Mione, darling, we saw the paper. Hermione talk to us.” Ginny sat down on the lounge next to her and began to stroke her hair softly. “Hermione, talk to us.”
“Draco left me.” Hermione cried, resting her head on Harry’s shoulder.
“Why would he do that?” Harry asked, running his fingers through her hair.
“Bec - Because, he saw the picture and he thought I was kissing him back.” “Wait-. You and Draco, were, together?” Ginny spluttered. Hermione jerked her head up and glared at her best friend.
“Yes, we were. We had sex last night and then he saw the picture, and he left me.” Hermione sobbed. Ginny shot Harry a helpless look and he just shrugged his shoulders. It seemed like an age before anyone said anything.
“So... What are we going to do?” Harry asked, rubbing his hand on Hermione’s shoulder. “I could go and punch him if you want.” Harry offered. Hermione laughed a little and sat up. Ginny and Harry stared at Hermione, their arms surrounding her incase she fell.
“No,” She laughed, “you don’t need to punch him. It’s my fault.” Hermione said, wiping her tears away.
“Mione, do you wanna stay at our place until everything works out? I mean, until the press dies down.” Hermione nodded slowly and pulled Harry into a hug.
“Yes, please. Thank you Harry.” She mumbled into his collar. Harry patted Hermione on the back and shot Ginny a look of helplessness.
“It’s okay, now come on let’s go before Rita Skeeter gets here.” Harry said, pulling Hermione to her feet. Ginny brushed a strand of hair out of Hermione’s face and pulled her best friend into a hug. Finally, they broke apart, they all linked hands and left the apartment, leaving a cold and uneven hair to hang in the room that Hermione onced called her home.
Grimmauld Place. The twelfth to be exact. That was were Hermione was standing. Outside a rickety, old, squashed house that now, apparently, belonged to Harry. It still looked as squashed and violated as it did last time she was there.
“Are you kidding me?” Hermione exclaimed staring at the house wedged in between 2 houses. She couldn’t believe she was back. She couldn’t believe they had the nerve to take her here. Grimmauld place of all places!
“Hermione, come on. It’s not that bad.” Harry said, laughing at Hermione’s reaction. Harry and Ginny linked hands and walked into their home, “We wanted to save our money so we decided to stay here for a couple of years.” Harry explained, bringing Ginny’s hand to his mouth and kissing it gently.
“Good idea.” Hermione commented blankly, looking around. Grimmauld Place looked different. The painting of Mrs. Black had vanished, the black curtains were replaced with clean windows and the floors were cleaned (‘for once’ Hermione added silently).
“Can I take your coat Master Potter? Mrs. Potter? And Miss Granger?” Kreacher asked, waddling up to the trio. Harry and Ginny took their coats off and put them into Kreacher’s greedy hands. Hermione hesitated, S.P.E.W. Flashing through her mind.
“Oh come on Hermione, you’re still not thinking of that bloody spew are you?” Harry said reproachfully. Hermione shot Harry a look of disgust.
“It’s not spew Harry, it’s S.P.E.W. And it stands for the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare!” Hermione said, thrusting her coat into Kreacher’s hand too forcefully just to prove a point. Kreacher’s knees almost buckled over as Hermione’s coat landed in his arms but none the less, he sustained his balance.
“Sorry.” She mouthed to Kreacher as she passed. Kreacher only bowed his head, not saying anything. Harry smirked at Hermione as she passed but she kept her head held high, not even glancing at Hermione.
“Come on darling. You’re not mad at me are you?” Harry teased, following Hermione into the kitchen.
“Tea?” Ginny asked, waving her wand and flicking the kettle on. Ginny pulled her hair back into a bun and sat down next to Harry -- practically on his lap -- and planted a kiss on his lips. The kiss deepened and Harry’s hands began to explore his Wife’s body. Ginny began to unbutton her shirt and that’s when Hermione took it as her que to say something.
“Ah, guys, I’m still here.” Ginny detached her mouth from Harry’s face and her cheeks became as red as her hair. Hermione stifled a laugh as Ginny buttoned up her top again and pulled herself off Harry.
“Sorry about that. We aren’t used to having guests around.” Ginny said sheepishly. Harry pushed his glasses back up his nose and shifted uncomfortably in his seat, looking as guilty as his Wife.
“I can see that.” Hermione mused, holding back a fit of giggles, “Now if you’ll excuse me. I’ll let you too get back to your.... Business.” Hermione stood to her feet and walked out into the backyard. Tears sprung to Hermione’s eyes and she reached for her phone that Dorian had bought her a few weeks ago. She reached her speed dial and pinched herself, doing anything to stop herself from crying.
“Hello?” That voice brought Hermione back. “Hey Dorian, it’s Hermione. Listen, I was wondering if we could catch up soon.” She said in the calmest voice she could manage.
“Sure. Hermione, what’s up?” Dorian asked.
“Nothing. Well, actually a lot and I have a good place to meet up. Meet me at St. Peters in 2 hours? Can you make that?” Hermione asked. She needed to show someone. Even though time had forgotten it, she certainly hadn’t.
“Sure, I’m there at the moment anyway. See you soon.” Dorian hung up and Hermione smiled her first true smile that she had made in several hours.
“So that’s all that happened?” Dorian asked, squeezing Hermione’s shoulder. They had been sitting in Salt Rocks for the last few hours, Dorian was just listening to Hermione.
“For now.” She replied, she had just finished telling Dorian about everything that had happened in the last 72 hours. She smartly left out the part where her best friend and her husband almost had sex in front of her. Dorian lifted Hermione’s chin up and wiped away her tears with his thumb.
“Please stop crying.” He pleaded, looking straight into Hermione’s eyes, “Please.” Hermione laughed and ducked her head, “I’ll try.” She promised. Hermione pulled Dorian into an unexpected hug.
“What’s in that cottage?” Dorian asked when they broke apart, pointing to the one part of the garden that Hermione refused to enter. Hermione turned her head and saw the decaying old, wooden cottage. To Hermione it looked like something she would never want to enter but to Dorian he saw adventure and an ending to a good story.
“I dunno.” Hermione said, shrugging her shoulders.
“What, you mean you’ve been coming to this garden for almost 8 months now yet you still have not entered the cottage?” Dorian laughed. “No, I’ve entered it. Once. But I’ve never gone back in. It scared me.” Hermione admitted, studying the ground for a moment. Dorian laughed and stood to his feet, holding his hand out for Hermione. She grabbed his hand with hesitation and pulled her to her feet.
“Come on Granger. Let’s go into the spooky abandoned cottage together and face certain death!” Dorian exclaimed sarcastically lifting an imaginary sword up into the air. Hermione giggled and discretely put her right hand on her wand. There was something about that house, something not right. Something about the magic in that place, it wasn’t good magic. It was quite the opposite.
“Come on Hermione. We can do it together.” Dorian pleaded. Hermione raised an eyebrow at Dorian. She didn’t want to go in. It was a bad idea. Yet, grief got the better of her.
“Okay.” She said, smiling. Dorian kissed Hermione quickly on the cheek with joy and pulled her into the cottage. Little did she know, that Dorian had grabbed her wand and thrown it onto the ground. The wand snapping on impact.
Ciara walked through the fragmented mirrors, watching Dorian win over Hermione again. She smiled, thinking about the time that Dorian had won over her as well before she became a ghost. Yes, Ciara, herself, was once a witch and a powerful one at that. One of the most powerful witches the world had ever seen.
Dorian had won over Ciara’s body and mind. She had fallen for him, in her own version of Salt Rocks. You see, Salt Rocks wasn’t real. Salt Rocks was a projection of Dorian’s imagination. Hermione saw what she wanted to see and the cottage was filled with Hermione’s worst nightmare.
Ciara had changed since she died. She used to be neat, tidy and caring. Not malicious, black and morbid. Dorian had apparently told Hermione a joke because she began to laugh.
I bet it was the same joke he used on me Ciara mused, running her fingers along her jawline. Occasionally, Ciara missed the freedom of being able to walk anywhere. Now, she could only walk in mirrors and glass.
'I wonder if anyone remembers me?' She thought, allowing human emotions to run through her mind once again. Memories came flooding back to her, memories of her three sisters. One of them was always dressed in black - She always did live up to her last name Ciara amused herself - the middle sister had brought shame to the family name, even though she was placed in Slytherin, she read books all the time and then fell in love with a muggle-born; the final sister wore bright colours, attracting the attention of every guy in their school, but she only had eyes for one man; the infamous Slytherin prefect Lucuis Malfoy.
I wonder if they ever got together in the end Ciara thought. Yes, Ciara was, once upon a time, next in line to receive the Black throne. People always assumed that there were only three Black sisters - Bellatrix,Narcissa and Andromeda, but they were wrong. They were deeply wrong. Hidden underneath conspiracy and lies was a secret that a fair few knew about.
A secret that Ciara knew only too well. She wasn’t always Ciara, the mirror girl. She was once beautiful, she once had flowing blonde hair. She was once a Black. Yes, Ciara, the mirror girl was once upon a time, Elena Black, the missing sister of Narcissa, Bellatrix and Andromeda.
Then, suddenly Dorian and Hermione vanished.
Finally. Ciara thought. Then the next thing Ciara heard was like music to her ghostlike ears. It was a shatter of glass and then a scream. A girl’s scream.