Chapter 3 : The Grudge of a Dementor
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Sirius Black was alive. This fact was the only thing that Harry needed to hear before setting off with Hermione to find him and bring him back. The last place that Harry and Hermione stopped at before leaving on their newest adventure was the Shrieking Shack to stock up on necessary supplies. Harry knew that Azkaban prison was no picnic. Once they got within fifty miles of the island, a series of powerful ancient spells would stop them from performing any magic. They would have to take a boat to the island and infiltrate the island by muggle methods. This was not going to be easy considering the thousands of dementors that patrol it. Harry grabbed some pocket knives, some waterproof matches, some rope, and a jacket. If they needed to they could stock up in an area closer to the prison.
“Harry we need to get a move on,” Hermione said with worry in her voice. Ever since the incident in their third year when they first met Sirius, Hermione had been very close with Sirius. She felt like she was an older sister because despite his age she found herself correcting his behavior and telling him to act his age. Even though this got annoying at times she found when he was no longer there that she missed it and wished she could do it more. Now she could and she was just as happy as Harry to know that the days that seemed out of reach were once again in view.
“Okay, okay,” Harry said while putting everything into a backpack, “so I thought that we would save each other a lot of trouble and just go through the veil like Sirius and come out next to him.”
“Harry are you thinking clearly?” Hermione asked rather seriously, “We don’t know nearly enough about the veil to even attempt that. What if there was more than one side to the veil and we came out somewhere else. What if we couldn’t find the other side. Obviously once you fall through the veil you cannot return because then Sirius would have been back already. So...”
“Alright alright,” Harry said laughing a little, “that was not a brighter thought of mine, but then where do you suggest that we start?” Harry inquired looking at Hermione’s face. She was stunning when she was flustered. No, she was ravishing.
“Well I would like to see if there is a book on Azkaban to help us ease the infiltration,” Hermione said, “ I have a feeling that if we go back to Hogwarts then they will try and convince us to stay, so maybe we could stop in at Beauxbatons in France. I hear they have a magnificent library,” Hermione added while checking her own gear to see if she was ready.
“Sounds like a plan. We can also see how Fleur and Francois are doing,” Harry said while turning the knob on the front door and stepped out into the haze of the summer afternoon.
“Oh yes, I hope they are doing alright,” Hermione said while she stepped out with Harry and grabbed his hand. “I hope Ron is alright, I hope he finds whatever it is he’s looking for,” Hermione added while she turned to face Harry.
“I’m sure that he will, he might even be here when we return with Sirius,” Harry said encouragingly. He then pulled her in and planted a kiss on her lips. Hermione smiled and then started walking down the path towards Hogsmeade. They made their way to the end of it and they both disapparated to Beauxbatons.
Like Hogwarts, Beauxbatons school was guarded by many ancient spells that made it impossible to apparate within a certain boundary. So, due to this technicality, Harry and Hermione were redirected to a small town on the outside of the boundary called Bourgade. This is the town where Fleur and Bill bought their house.
“It is so nice and warm here,” Hermione said as a warm gust of wind blew against her and sent her hair flying behind her for a brief period. They were on top of a hill that overlooked the town and the school as well so they both knew right away that this was a wizarding community. “I think that since we are in Bourgade we should find Fleur and let her know that we are here,” Hermione added. Her face was flushed from the warm breeze and she looked at Harry who was nodding his head and blushing because Hermione was blushing.
Beauxbatons was a school that was almost as old as Hogwarts and nearly as magnificent. What it lacked in size it made up for in splendor. The school looked like a cathedral except that it towered into the sky. There were stained glass windows and statues of famous wizards ‘protecting’ the front doorway. If one looked up to the edge of the roof they could see that gargoyles were perched up there and every once in a while would take flight to stretch their wings.
The two of them set off down the hill toward the town of Bourgade and picked up a lot of speed toward the bottom. When they did reach the bottom of the hill, they continued running until they regained their sense of balance and walked into a bazaar. When they entered they were met by a plump, short woman who was standing behind a counter and drying off her hands with a hand towel. Harry was at a loss for words when he realized how strikingly similar she was compared to the late Molly Weasley.
“Bonjour! Ou est lu maison du Madame Fleur Delacour?” Hermione asked in flawless French.
“Madame Delacour?” the clerk repeated while happily nodding her head up and down.
“Oui,” Hermione clarified herself and the clerk pointed at a simple white house down the street.
“You never told me you know French, not that I’m surprised,” Harry said happily while walking towards the house with Hermione, “so you just asked where Fleur lives?”
“Yep, I learned some basic French while I still went to muggle schools before Hogwarts. Wow that seems like so long ago I can hardly believe that I remember it,” Hermione answered while she walked up to the front door of the house and knocked. Harry doubted that it was a ‘basic’ French understanding just because it was Hermione and Hermione always ensured that she would get a ‘thorough’ understanding of every subject.
When Fleur Delacour opened the door, Harry and Hermione were bracing themselves for the worst. Fleur in no ways looked happy, but she looked composed. She had to be strong for her young child who would grow up not knowing his father. Harry knew how this felt to some extent but knew that Francois would grow up in peaceful years with at least a loving mother watching over him.
“‘arry!....and ‘ermione!” Fleur lit up the second that she realized who was on her doorstep. “Please come een and make yourself at home.” Fleur side stepped and allowed her guests to enter her home. It was in good condition and showed evidence of a toddler busy at play. There were toy trucks and blocks scattered off in one corner and a door that had ‘Francois’ painted on it across the room. This was no doubt the door to Francois’ room.
“Vene ici Francois!” Fleur yelled into the room happily and a little toddler with flaming red hair came slowly out of the room. As soon as he entered the main room he stumbled. Obviously he hadn’t perfected walking yet and relied on both walking and crawling.
“Bonjour,” Francois said politely before hiding behind his mother’s legs. He seemed beyond shy and verging into terrified so Harry and Hermione chose to only smile at him so that there was no chance of him bursting into tears.
“So, why are ze two of you in Bourgade?” Fleur asked while she bent down and picked up Francois in her arms and held him upside down to the clear delight of the toddler.
“We have received news that Sirius Black is alive and is somewhere in Azkaban island. We were going to save him but we needed to visit the Beauxbatons library before we leave for the Caspian Sea,” Hermione responded while laughing at the toddlers amusement.
“Sirius Black lives?” Fleur responded in a serious tone. She placed Francois on the ground and told him to go and play with his toys. After he ran off she addressed them in a more hushed voice. “Zat is remarkable. Ron didn’t mention dat when he was here.”
“You’ve seen Ron? Where is he headed? Is he alright?” Harry asked rather quickly. When Fleur had processed all that Harry had said to her she responded as best as she could.
“‘e just stopped in to see if I needed ‘elp. I thought ‘e would have told you. ‘e didn’t tell me much of anything. ‘e mentioned Dolohov ze Death Eater,” she said in a confused voice. She knew that the ‘Golden Trio’ always traveled in a pack of three. Now Ron was on his own and seemed to by hunting down one of the most dangerous Death Eaters by himself.
“Damn it he is trying to get revenge for what happened to Ginny,” Harry stated in a sort of hushed yell. “How long ago did you see him?”
“It must ‘ave been about two hours ago,” Fleur answered before adding, “well I am sure zat you two would like to visit the library. I will bring you zer myself.”
As Harry, Hermione, Fleur and Francois made their way to the Beauxbatons school library, the sky began to darken and they all knew that it was getting late. After the library, Harry and Hermione will have to find a place to stay for the night.
The library itself was very impressive. While the Hogwarts school library was bigger and contained more books in it, the Beauxbatons school library was full of very old first edition books that Hermione knew would be useful to them. In the corner was a shelf full of books that were in English. Hermione practically sprinted over to them and started examining the spines of the books to see if there was one on Azkaban. About twenty seconds after she arrived at the shelf she found a book called “1001 Gulags, Prisons, and Penitentiaries.” Hermione stuffed the thick book into her backpack and hustled out of the library before anyone could even tell what had happened. Hermione definitely had experience in searching for books in a library and could win a race in finding books if a competition as bizarre as that actually existed. Harry chuckled to himself as he thought of this and chased her out the door followed shortly by a bewildered Fleur with Francois ‘piggy-backing’ and having the time of his life.
The four of them went back to the Delacour household and started going through the thick book. As soon as Hermione found the section on Azkaban she began reading it out loud so that Harry could listen while he helped Fleur cook dinner. Fleur had graciously invited them over for the night and Harry volunteered his services in payment.
Hermione read the introduction of the section to herself and then repeated the important things, “Huh, it seems that Merlin himself founded Azkaban. It seems that Merlin’s lover Nimue had planned to trap him on the island and when she succeeded, he spent the next two hundred years in deep meditation. While in meditation he charged a powerful magical barrier around the island that prohibits magic use and has lasted ever since. Since the word got out that Merlin was trapped on the island, some witches and wizards who called themselves ‘The Brethren’ took it upon themselves to set up a jail on that island for dark wizards who were destined to be trapped on that island..... Even though Merlin was on the island and was a great man,” Hermione covered up quickly before continuing, “Sirius must have been able to escape because he wasn’t destined to be trapped on the island like the other convicts. The barrier must have somehow known that he was innocent.”
“Does it say anything about getting to the island?” Harry asked. He had temporarily stopped cooking to listen when the retelling became interesting. When she started skimming again he turned around and picked up his spatula to flip the home fries that he was making.
“Let’s see,” Hermione answered and began to skim the text, “oh yes. In response to the magical barrier that was set up by Merlin, many sea creatures have been called to it to help honor the last magic that Merlin performed in life. Some rare creatures, like the mythological Kraken that was first spotted of the coast of Azkaban three hundred years ago. Beasts like the Kraken make naval infiltration of the island of Azkaban very difficult,” Hermione finished. How were they going to get to Azkaban if they couldn’t apparate or go by boat. Instead of just thinking this, she voiced her opinion, “I don’t see how we can make it to the island if any boat that we take will be ripped apart by a Kraken....I mean supposedly it says here that a Kraken is so big that it has been mistaken for a chain of islands!”
“Could we go under the water?” Harry asked.
“I don’t understand Harry,” Hermione replied.
“I remember from fourth year that Durmstrang arrived in a ship that could travel underwater,” Harry said shrugging.
“Harry that is a brilliant idea! We would be able to avoid the Kraken and make it through the barrier because it isn’t magic it is an already enchanted ship. I can’t believe that I didn’t think of that one,” Hermione said playfully pushing Harry in the shoulder.
“Thank you, don’t forget that I was second in our year. You didn’t beat me by much Mione,” Harry said as he lightly pushed back.
“So I guess we will head off for Durmstrang tomorrow morning.” Hermione finalized with a smile. Harry grew suspicious of her smile as his thoughts drifted to Viktor Krum. The quidditch star that had been Hermione’s date to the fourth year Yule Ball and her ‘pen pal’ up until sixth year. He figured that since they broke contact, then he was safe from having to worry so he didn’t press the matter and just lightly smiled back.
In the middle of the night Hermione ran into Harry’s room, “Harry! I read something very important about Dementors in the book just now!” Hermione shrieked with panic in her voice. “The race of Dementors are not a natural race of creatures. They were engineered,” Hermione read from the thick book in her hands. Harry sat bolt upright at this and she continued, “the head of The Brethren created them specifically to guard Azkaban and to be relentless.” As Harry thought about what kind of a person would possibly want to create such horrible creatures Hermione continued, “he even gave the Dementors some human attributes. For example, Dementors have the ability to hold a grudge. The Grudge of a Dementor is very powerful magic that bonds the Dementor to the last person who stood in its way.... Harry think about all of the Dementors that you stood up against in third year. I was there it must have been thousands of dementors.” Hermione finished speaking, her chest was heaving up and down rapidly and she looked incredibly frightened.
“How come I haven’t been attacked by any Dementors?” Harry asked.
“Each and every Dementor is bound to Azkaban Island, but Harry now we are going to them. They will see you,” Hermione said while starting to cry, “they will steal your soul. You can’t perform the Patronus charm under the barrier.” Hermione finally finished and burst into tears.
Harry stood up and closed the two foot gap between them. Then he lifted her head and kissed her passionately. After about half of a minute they broke the kiss and he hugged her to him. She buried her face in his chest as he began rubbing her back. When she stopped sobbing Harry said, “Hermione, I know that there is a terrible risk, but we have to take it if we want to save Sirius. Think about how much more intense their grudge against him will be. Will we let him lose his soul that way? Of course we can’t. Now I am going to Durmstrang tomorrow and I need you by my side. I love you Hermione and nothing is going to stop that,” Harry said before he met her lips in another kiss. This kiss slowly grew more passionate. Hermione pushed Harry onto the bed and embraced him until their drowsiness caught up with them. They drifted off to sleep in each other’s arms.
When Harry and Hermione woke up in the morning they got ready and left for Durmstrang. They made sure to help Fleur in any way that they could before they left and thanked her repeatedly for her amazing hospitality. After a quick breakfast they both headed out and dissaparated. Next stop Durmstrang in Romania.
When they arrived at Durmstrang they noticed two things almost immediately. First, there were no wards protecting Durmstrang against apparation within a certain boundary. Secondly, the air was much crisper, and a good deal colder as well.
“Well, it looks like we’re here,” Hermione said while gazing at the school. Compared to Hogwarts and Beauxbatons this school was not impressive. The walls were all made from cold, rusted steel plates. The school itself was only about three or four stories high, and there weren’t any towers or even windows for that matter. The land was relatively flat and treeless which left the school in plain sight. The school in general looked, for lack of a better word, like a death trap. Harry and Hermione knew that if they wanted to get to Azkaban then they were going to have to get a favor from Headmaster Karkaroff so they could not just walk away or around it.
Harry walked forward and banged the heavy metal knocker against the door. Two seconds later the door swung inwards with impressive speed and the two of them entered without a fuss. When they entered the school they were greeted by none other than Viktor Krum himself.
“Ah!” Viktor exclaimed in joy, “eet is Harry Potter and Hermioninny!” Viktor caterwauled. Harry chuckled at the fact that two years of correspondence and dating still hadn’t made Viktor say Hermione’s name right. Harry felt suddenly welcome in what was previously viewed as a torture chamber as Viktor pulled Harry into a brotherly hug. After releasing Harry Viktor hugged Hermione and held on a bit longer. When Harry loudly cleared his throat Hermione politely released Viktor. Harry was proud to see that she wasn’t blushing because of the situation. “So, vat can I possibly do to help ze man who defeated Voldemort?” Krum said to Harry. The news of Voldemort’s downfall had spread fast and even in Durmstrang, a school that specialized in Dark Arts, the students and faculty felt a wave of relief.
“I was wondering if you might have a ship that we can use, you know, one that can go underwater?” Harry asked hopefully.
“Of course. You know, Igor Karkaroff eesn’t here but he put me een charge and I theenk zat I can make zat decision.” Krum said proudly, “you will be vanting a crew for eet as well?.”
“Only if you can spare one Krum,” Harry said not trying to intrude.
“Of course. Now ver are you two taking de sheep?” Krum asked.
“.....We were....taking it to....Azkaban island,” Harry said quietly.
Viktor Krum let out a huge breath of air and walked away to a window that Harry and Hermione hadn’t seen on the other side of the narrow building. His smile had vanished and he had replaced it with a very solemn and concerned face. “Vy are you going der?” he asked quietly.
“To save the life of Sirius Black..... my godfather,” Harry explained.
“Oh, de one dat zey say is a murderer?” Krum asked.
“He was never a murderer Viktor and that is why we need him to come back with us,” Hermione pleaded.
Krum saw the look on her face and brightened up. “Okay, eef you need heem so desperately, zen I see no problem,” Krum said while only looking at Hermione. In that moment Harry could have felt jealous and protective but he didn’t want to sacrifice what they had just achieved. “I vill show you two ze sheep.”
As Harry and Hermione followed Krum outside to the docks they took time to look at the school. The first impression of the school had been misleading. What appeared to be a very small and narrow school was actually just the ‘tip of the iceberg.’ The school itself had been built into the ground and part of a cliff so that it touched down at the water and went up about three stories above the cliff. The school itself was over the cliff and had windows everywhere that gave beautiful views of the Caspian Sea. By the time that they had reached the dock floor they noticed that it was getting dark again. They couldn’t afford to waste time however, so they eagerly went on board and met their crew. Once on board they turned around and saw the now beautiful school on the cliff face.
“Thank you for everything Krum!” Hermione yelled back to him as they set sail and were about to submerge under the water.
“Good luck to ze both of you!” Krum yelled back from the dock.
Then they went bellow deck and prepared for their infiltration of Azkaban. If they were going to do this then they had to move quickly and know where their destination was. Under the water’s surface it was safer yet it was easier to get lost. Whatever lay before them, be it a Kraken, or an army of vengeful Dementors, Harry and Hermione braced themselves because they knew that Sirius depended on them. To them he was worth it.
A/N: I couldn’t just make the whole thing one chapter so I decided to split it into two separate chapters. I hope you liked it and here is some clarification.
Bonjour! Ou est la maison du Madame Delacour = Hello! Where is Ms. Delacour’s house?
Vene ici Francois! = Come here Francois!
In addition, the character of Nimue came from T.H.White’s The Once and Future King. In this story of King Arthur and his knights. Merlin describes how he was destined to fall in love with this woman, teach her his power over magic, and then become sealed in a cave for a long time. It is a very good book which I would recommend to those of a higher reading level due to its difficulty. Well, please review and I’ll see you next time!!!
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