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Chapter 4 : Another Terrible Goodbye
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The Lion's Pride
Another Terrible Goodbye
Hermione woke with a start in her bed, twisted around to where Terry normally slept, and found her bed empty. This type of awakening always startled her because it had been so long since she had to sleep alone. From the day she and Terry began their serious relationship, she had him next to her, guarding her while she slept. Each time she woke without his warmth near her, a terrible chill would cascade down her spine and cause her eyes to dart around the room, looking for a shadow that might be more than it appeared. Her breathing came under control as she heard the soothing sounds of the shower water beating against the wall of her bathroom. Obviously, Terry had gotten up early in order to get ready for work.
Work. It was inevitable. She had almost forgotten that it was Monday. Days seemed to melt together, never letting her separate weekdays from weekends. It seemed as if once she would find rest on a Saturday, Monday was right around the corner, rearing its ugly head. Grudgingly, she swung her legs around the side of the bed and stretched her arms up high over her head, yawning loudly. She slipped on her house shoes and grabbed her robe from a nearby chair, wrapping about her body tightly. Coffee. It made the world a better place.
Hermione traipsed down the hall to the kitchen and poured herself a steaming cup of coffee, surprised that Terry already started a pot. He wasn't a coffee drinker, preferring tea's sweetness to the bitter taste of Columbia grounds. Coffee cup in hand, she walked to the front door, opened it and reached down for her daily installment of her two magical news sources. The Daily Prophet had kept Hermione in the loop of the Wizarding world, along with keeping her entertained by Luna Lovegood's recent findings spotlighted in The Quibbler.
When she sat herself on a chair at the table, she began sipping her coffee and perusing The Daily Prophet, looking for anything that might catch her eye. Though she never knew what to expect, for some reason she always felt that her answers would come from the newspaper. Perhaps because it was a familiar that connected the trio, or maybe it was because it was the only way she could get updates on the remodeling of the Wizarding world. Realizing that no good information, aside from a Madam Malkin's robe sale, could be found within the depths of the paper, Hermione switched her focus to her old school mate's ramblings.
It brought her some comfort to know that people she knew from Hogwarts were still finding solace in their old habits. Luna, bless her, was still as mysterious and mental as ever. After the war, Hermione hadn't talked to her much, but read her articles from her father's newspaper on a daily basis. It was calming to know that Luna hadn't lost her childhood edge; dreams and imagination still reflected in her writing. Since the war, she had still been on so many adventures, taking time out from writing to go explore places that she had been told were magical fortresses of desire.
As she was starting to get lost in the paper and the strange bumblings of her former classmate, Hermione noticed that the shower water was still running. She could hear it as it continued to pound against the wall of the bathroom, almost as if no one was standing under it. Intrigued by the white noise, Hermione rose from her chair, coffee and newspapers scattered across the kitchen table. Slowly, she made her way to the bathroom to find Terry. It wasn't like him to linger in the shower anyway.
The bathroom was filled with steam, making it near impossible to breathe. She wondered how in the world Terry had been able to stand it for so long. Walking to the shower, she held her hand over her mouth, trying to avoid steam, and get a good long breath of oxygen. The curtain to the shower was dark blue and pulled to each side of the shower as if Terry was afraid of anyone catching a glimpse of his bare form.
Hermione playfully swiped the curtain from the wall. A blood curdling scream echoed off of the walls of the bathroom as she looked down and saw Terry’s slouched form in the tub, lifeless. There was a trickle of blood running from his hair down to his chin. The water that had backed up in the tub had taken on a murky red color, which was beginning to stain Terry’s naked body.
Instinctively, she backed up from the tub stopping only when the back of her shaking legs hit the toilet. Still screaming, tears flooding down her face, she slammed herself down onto it, but fell down onto the floor instead. She began rocking her body, drawing her legs up under her chin and sobbing for Terry to wake up.
Droplets started splashing out of the shower, sprinkling Hermione’s face and body with water. Perhaps it was this wetness that snapped Hermione from her shaken state, or it possibly could have been the rational person that she was. Either way, Hermione stood from the ground in the bathroom and made way to run down the hall to contact the Ministry of Magic. Just as she was getting floo powder to toss into the fireplace, Hermione felt a strong hand on her shoulder that spun her around.
Another loud scream would have made it from Hermione’s throat had she not been stunned as she turned around. Briefly, she wondered how it was possible that this man was at her apartment. She hadn’t seen him in many years. Her last correspondence with him was back in the beginning of her seventh year at Hogwarts, when she informed him that she had moved on; that she loved Ron.
Hermione’s stunned body could do nothing but listen to the heavy breathing that was being released from her attacker. It was angry, reminding her of the last time she had seen him. Flashes of memory, of the final war, started playing in her mind as her frozen eyes stared into his coffee colored, hateful orbs.
"Promise that you vill write me everyday, Hermoninny," he pleaded as he held her hand in his. Though his voice was always rough, there was a soothing note within it that Hermione had always found dashing.
"I promise," she said softly. She stood on her tiptoes and planted a firm kiss on his lips, bidding him goodbye.
It has been ages since I last heard from you. Is everything okay, my love? The Dark Lord grows stronger here everyday and I can't imagine how hard it is in England, where you are befriending Harry Potter. Please, tell me that you are safe.
Hermione sat, quill in hand, thinking of the best way to tell him it was over. She and Ron had finally admitted their feelings toward one another. Of course, she should have broken it off with Viktor before, but it was such a distance, she didn't think it would matter. She barely believed that he could feel that way about her. It didn't stop her from feeling guilty, however. In the pit of her stomach, she knew she was breaking his heart and it made her feel very uneasy. Sighing deeply, she let the cursive words flow from her mind onto the parchment, giving deepest regret and parting sympathies.
She never did hear back from him after that, figuring that he took it well and decided to move on. Little did she know, she would see him once more, though her mind would never let her remember his face through the haze of loss that she had trapped herself in.
Harry, Ron and Hermione ran up to the battle that was ensuing in front of their beloved school. The whole Order had shown up to fight the Death Eaters that had come, and it looked as though Voldemort was no where to be seen. With their wands drawn, they each ran after any of the Order members that were dueling two people at once. Hermione took aim at a man who was trying to send torture curses at Professor Vector, her Arithmancy teacher.
Stunner after stunner was sent in Hermione's direction from the man she was fighting. She began jumping; running and ducking, while trying to fire spells back toward the Death Eater. Finally, she sent a stunning spell at the man, hitting him square in the chest and causing him to fall down, unconscious. Taking a moment in victory, Hermione stood still, smirking at the masked villain. Needing to satisfy her own curiosity, she walked over to him and lifted his mask, gasping at the angered face of Viktor Krum staring back at her. Though he was incapable of movement, she could feel his eyes boring in to hers.
"Why?" She asked in a hushed voice.
An essence of evil filled the scene; she could feel it growing around her. Even with the scent of it, she still paid no attention to who was standing behind her, wand drawn, ready for a duel.
Her eyes skimmed over the crowd, trying to find her friends, to make sure that they were having the same luck as she was. Eyes growing wide, Hermione realized that Harry and Ron were running toward her, wands drawn defensively as if they were going to attack her. A high pitched shriek found its way from her throat as she ducked down, out of aim of Ron's purple curse.
A jet of orange light answered the purple light. Hermione realized that there had been a Death Eater behind her. When she whipped around to duel him, she saw narrowed scarlet eyes staring back at her. Before she had time to try and defend herself, Harry ran forward, wand outstretched with a jet of green light emitting from the tip. Ron, however, saw that Voldemort had acted to counter his attack quickly, and jumped in front of Harry at the last second. Voldemort still wore a satisfied smirk, though he missed his intended target.
"Hermione get out--” Harry shouted as he twisted around quickly and pointed his wand at Voldemort. "Avada Kedavra!"
Somehow Harry had caught Voldemort off his guard. His eyes widened and he was hit in the chest with the killing curse a moment before he had raised his own wand. Death Eaters stopped fighting and watched their master crumple to the ground. One voice rang out into the night.
"Avada Kedavra," yelled a strong, accented voice.
Harry fell to the earth, peaceful expression on his face. Hermione fell next to him and looked up to where Harry's killer stood, heaving deep breaths. Over his shoulder, she could see Zacharias Smith battling Narcissa Malfoy. Luna Lovegood was running over to where Hermione was cradling Harry. Hermione dragged her eyes back to the dark murderous orbs of the bastard that killed Harry. Viktor Krum wore a twisted expression, one of pain and hate.
Luna reached where Hermione sat at the mercy of her old boyfriend, who had his wand raised and in striking position. Before Luna could get to him, he screamed in a hoarse voice, "Obliviate!"
The last thing Hermione heard before passing out onto the ground was the sound of Luna's voice angrily cursing Viktor, "Expelliarmus!"
Viktor Krum’s burly arms lifted Hermione up over his shoulder and threw in floo powder to the fireplace. His features were twisted into an evil grin before stepping in and shouting, “Durmstrang.”
With Hermione swung haphazardly over Viktor's shoulder, they landed with a loud thud on the hard concrete floor of Durmstrang. He brought Hermione down from his shoulder and held her carefully in his arms, under her knees and behind her neck, as if he was carrying a sleeping princess. Dodging the scattered rubble of the castle, Viktor walked Hermione over to his dormitory bed and laid her down, letting her rest peacefully while he cleaned up the mess around them. Before pulling the black drapery around the bed, he cast an enchanting sleep upon her, and kissed her forehead in goodnight.
He had been watching her long enough to know that she liked things as clean as they could be. His dark eyes skimmed the scenery around him, taking in the destruction that their old Highmaster had caused. Concluding to start with the dark cement blocks that were scattered across the floor, Viktor began heaving the large chunks of stone and tossing them into a bigger pile in the corner. Once they were all piled up, he used an apparition charm in order to clear them from the castle. A cold breeze swept through one of the holes in the wall, causing the air inside the room to chill. Viktor then turned his attention to the dark curtains that were covering the broken windows of the room. Shards of glass laid along the wall of the window. Quickly, he cast a Reparo Charm and then proceeded to knock the dust from the drapery.
Satisfied that the room was now habitable, Viktor walked to the bed and stirred Hermione, hoping she would wake. No response came from his prodding, so he simply lay next to her, cuddling her close in his arms. Bulgarian words of love and regret slipped off his tongue as he apologizing for the horrific way that he had taken her from her home. But, he knew that they could be together now; there was no one to get in the way. Her poor and filthy Weasley was dead, the boy who lived was dead, and now her lover had succumbed to the same fate. Viktor was all she had left and he intended to keep it that way at all costs.
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