Chapter 3 : Chapter 3
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Hogwarts hadn’t changed, it was still the same castle and that was slightly comforting in this time of need. Gryffindor Tower however was a different story with extra security at every turn, protection spells placed upon everything we touch, the new rules were put up in this time of need and finally the portrait of Professor McGonagall had been taken down as head of Gryffindor. “I wonder who will be the new head of Gryffindor now that McGonagall has gone?” I asked to nobody in particular. However it was Lavender that answered me, well not exactly answered but replied to my question, with another question.
“But who’s left to take on the head position?”
Thinking about it she was right, there was no one, there was no teacher in the right mind who would take up a head position in this time of the war. The head’s of house were the ones that would have to take up the responsibility of the students if the event aroused. And if you weren’t you were only meant to defend who was nearest to you and if there was no one just yourself. The entire school depended on the four teachers to defend its pupils.
At this moment another portrait came to life to announce another meeting within the great hall for all 7th years. This was most unusual, why would they call a meeting for only the 7th years?
Harry and Ron both looked at me. I shrugged and motioned to move out into the corridor. As we got there I whispered to them that I didn’t think that this felt right, and be on the lookout. Once again I got the ‘you belong in an insane asylum’ glare. Shrugging again I trudged off down the corridor and amongst the staircases until finally we reached the entrance hall. Down in the entrance hall we were met by all the other 7th years. I looked around for another familiar face and my glance caught on Malfoy. He was sitting by himself looking glum and hoping that nobody would notice him. Both Crabbe and Goyle had been expelled for their involvement in the dark arts and while it might sound strange I kind of felt sorry for Malfoy in a way. Family tradition held him to become a Death Eater. Whether or not he wanted to he was and will remain apart of that tradition if he hasn’t already. He glanced up and notice me staring. He just stared back until I was forced to break the contact. It felt strangely good to stare at him though. I felt a tug on my arm as Ron pulled me away and dragged me into the Great Hall.
Sitting at the Gryffindor table seemed lonely for just the 7th years. The usual buzzing of gossip, the strangely satisfying knowledge that you are one of many seemed lost in this now sample of what Hogwarts had to offer. It was a strange sight to see everyone together in the one hall, to see the tears of distress as their lives were torn apart on the holidays. The looks of triumph from the Slytherins whose family belonged to death eaters and once again my glance was caught on Malfoy who sat by himself up the end of the Slytherin table as if trying to remain unnoticed by his crowd. It struck me as strange that his actions contributed in the defeat of what was to be seen as the only wizard that could defeat Voldemort and yet he did not include himself within the realms of Slytherin pride. He could be a hero amongst them yet he did not associate with them. There was something strange about it all. Something wasn’t right with him.
“Hermione are you going to be continuing to tune out during our conversations or is this just for today as sort of a welcome back?” Ron asked me irritably.
“Oh shove it Ron, I was just thinking, something you may have forgotten to do once in a while, it’s like breathing to me, and yet for you it’s like exercising, one day you’ll get around to it” I replied with no enthusiasm.
“Now that wasn’t fair Hermione, I exercise regularly, look feel my bicep, its getting bigger everyday!” He threw back.
“Yes, and yet the thinking has still not quite kicked in, and no thanks I wouldn’t want to spoil my appetite” I retorted
“We already ate,” He told me confused.
“If I lost it, it wouldn’t be coming back Ron,” I replied.
“Burn” Harry muttered under his breath as he struggled not to smile. I heard him however and had to stifle a giggle. After all the crap I had been through over the past few years, I relied on these times to get me through the next stage of the war. At this moment however just before Ron tried to come up with yet another comeback, McGonagall made her way up on to the stage.
“Welcome back to Hogwarts. Yes I know it must be hard to live during these times of war. Not knowing who to trust amongst us, whether are spies in this room, whether there are people amongst us who are weak. We live through these times in order to achieve peace for future generations. Your children will know peace because of your actions in the next few months. As the 7th years, you are officially allowed to practice magic, because of this I am placing you in charge of the younger students who have not reached your level of maturity, your magical capability or your strength. You must, you will protect these students, teach them to defend themselves through these hard times. We strive towards a better future, this must begin now. All 7th year students will now be placed in charge of a rostered patrol of the corridors, no one is allowed out of the Hogwarts buildings, yes even to class, without the supervision of either an auror or a professor. You will wait in the entrance hall if you need to leave the buildings for class. All outdoor classes will be held indoors where possible. Except for those who have continued Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures. We have suffered many a great sacrifice in the journey for peace, I don’t wish to lose anymore”.
The hall remained silent after that speech, despite all that we had gone through, to see her speak to us in such a manner made us realise that she was just as affected by the loss of Dumbledore than we were. She too had relied on him not only for a friend but for a mentor. I couldn’t help it, I wanted to cry and I could see by many of the faces around the room that I was not the only one who felt that way. Many of the girls had red faces as they struggled to keep their emotions in. Glancing at the Slytherin table, I was surprised. Malfoy had disappeared through the speech, I was the only one who was yet to notice this fact.
(a/n once again please leave a review..it really does help me to improve)
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