Chapter 2 : The Train Ride
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Author's Note 2 : As you might have noticed, I reposted. Why? Well, a nice reviewer [ivy... i think? OMG im so sorry I forgot.. I just don't wanna go back to the review part since I only have 10mins left of internet access...] gave me a head's up on my mistake. Apparently, I wasn't able to place the italics in the story, confusing many. Hope the revision makes sense!
Disclaimer : Darn, my birthday wasn't fun. JKR didn't give me Harry Potter. :(
Chapter 2 : The Train Ride
Torrents of fast-paced falling raindrops filled the air, and Isabella was once again combing her raven black hair in nervousness. Sure, she loved going to Hogwarts. Yet somehow, she hates it too. Why? It’s because of all the deceit. She has to endure and pretend throughout another year. Truth is not an option for her, and as a safety precaution, she wasn’t even allowed to go out from their castle and go with her brothers in their mansions. She has again, to learn about not being confused and be more responsive when called ‘Hermione’.
Staring at her ebony brush, she reminisced the times when she was almost caught on the act. On her sixth year, her father announced that he was going to place a ban on owning griffins as pets. Many wizarding families were greatly affected by that decision, seeing that for hundreds of years, the said creature was protecting them. The controversy opened the talk about her family, and her brothers and herself was discussed greatly by the wizarding community.
It was 10 in the evening and the Gryffindors were sitting by the fire, doing their homework. Suddenly a round of giggles came from the girls, who were clutching a copy of the Daily Prophet. Apparently, the king’s family picture was published in the front page.
“Don’t you think that Sir Elric is so dreamy?” cooed Lavender Brown. “I think I like him better than Sir Frank.”
Parvati disagreed. “No way. Sir Frank’s tall, tanned and really handsome. He’s much better looking.”
“Really girls, we’re trying to do our homework,” Seamus said indignantly. “Please stop the talk about those two.”
“Yes or Hermione will bloody kill us if we would not finish this tonight,” said Ron raising his essay, which was due on the following day.
Both girls laughed at the now irritated boys. “We know you are not distracted about us. You like Princess Isabella, don’t you?”
“Who doesn’t?” Ron laughed. “Not a chance that she would be my girlfriend though, her being a daughter of a king,”
“Come to think of it, she never goes on public,” Lavender said. “Her brothers were known to have gone to Salem Academy, but Isabella doesn’t even have a school published to begin with. Is she being hid or something?”
‘Bingo,’ Hermione thought to herself. She was a chair away from her friends, doing her Potions essay.
“With brother’s like that, I doubt that she will have a boyfriend though.” Harry said, now partaking in the discussion. “She definitely would be off limits to ordinary wizards like us.”
‘Not really,’ Hermione thought to herself, not really immersed in her now fifteen-foot essay. ‘I’m here with you guys, aren’t I?’
“You mean you like Princess Isabella, Harry?” the girls asked, now intrigued.
A couple of chairs away, Hermione blushed.
“Sure I like her. But not romantically. I have Cho, remember?”
Hermione’s heart sunk. ‘Why did I even fall for you, Harry?” she thought wincing.
“Isabella dear,” a woman’s voice said, breaking her trance. “You must really get a move on and sleep early tonight. I don’t think you would like the idea of missing the Hogwarts Express tomorrow. It’s your seventh year, right?”
“Yes Madame Jane,” Isabella said, placing down her ebony brush. “I’ll go to sleep in a minute. You will be my guardian again right?”
“Of course Mistress Isabella,” Jane said with a smile. “We must keep up appearances. We wouldn’t like people knowing about your true identity, yes?”
“Definitely. I was just checking. Good night Madame Jane.” Isabella approached the bed and placed herself under the covers.
“Good night then, Mistress Isabella. Sleep well.”
There was a minute of silence. Then a cheerful giggle was heard.
“Save the pleasantries, Madame Jane. There is no need for that, I think.”
“Alright then Isabella. Goodnight,” said Madame Jane, tucking Isabella in her bed.
Madame Jane, a tall and beautiful woman in her forties, is the wife of Henry, the royal butler. In-charge of the beloved Princess Isabella, the woman attended to her job with such passion and grace that nobody could’ve done better in her job. Taking care of Isabella since she was born, Jane was also the foster mother of ‘Hermione’ when it comes to Hogwarts matters. She brought Isabella to the Platform 9¾ and placed a long-term glamour charm on her to prevent her from being recognized. She was also the one who fetched her after her term’s over. In Hogwarts, she was the mother of ‘Hermione’.
After one last glace to her majesty, the graceful lady turned off all the blinding lights and chandeliers with a flick of her wand. Bowing to her mistress, she left the room without uttering another sound.
“Now remember Isabella,” her father fussed. “I’m only an owl away. If you need more books, quills, parchment, horses, I’m here, all right? And if you need more dresses, we can call Mario and Gina to…”
A playful chuckle escaped her blood-red lips and consoled her father. “Seriously father, I don’t think I will need more books than that,” Isabella said playfully, pointing at her very large trunk, twice the size of a normal Hogwart’s student. Her brothers, who were also sending her off, laughed at the thought.
“Horses?” Elric guffawed. “I don’t think a horse will be allowed at Hogwarts. A dragon, maybe?”
“Isabella, I mean Hermione will be swamped by books if that happens!” Frank said.
“Hey Isabella, no boyfriends, alright?” Elric warned. “If somebody there becomes your boyfriend, or tries to touch you in an appropriate way, I’ll be coming for you, and he’s going to rot in Azkaban.”
“And I’m coming with Elric.” Frank said. “Owl us at least every week. And can you please get our names right?”
“Try writing a letter while Ron’s whining at you. I had no bloody choice but to name you Viktor so I wouldn’t get caught.” Isabella defended herself.
“Isabella, no profanities,” the King tutted. “Where in the world did you learn how those disgusting words?”
“Seriously Isabella, I do not know why you liked them as your friends. Every year, you almost get killed, and we have to restraint father from going to Hogwarts every time,” Frank said.
“Remember your second year?” Elric said. “We bloody placed a charm on father so he wouldn’t storm the school.”
“Elric,” the king warned.
“Isabella’s fault.” Elric said, pointing accusingly at her younger sister. “Got it all from her.”
Isabella blew a raspberry at Elric. “I got it from Ron.”
“No you did not!” Elric said indignantly. “You must’ve gotten it from one of your bloody books!”
“Elric! No profanities!” Glaring at the two bickering royals, Frank placed a silencing charm on them.
“Honestly!” Frank said. “You of all people fight too much for your own good!”
“Mistress Isabella,” her lady-in-waiting Jane said, holding a comb as their portkey. “We must leave now or we’ll miss your train.”
Isabella removed the silencing charm on herself with her wandless magic with her brother following her example. “I’ll miss you papa,” she said kissing her father on the cheek.
“Hey what about me?” Frank said. Isabella kissed him on the cheek.
“And me?” Elric enunciated, pointing to his cheek. Isabella just stared at him and sauntered to Madame Jane. But a second later, she kissed her brother Elric goodbye.
“BYE!” and with a poof, she was gone.
“Now Miss Isabella, the charm?” Lady Jane said.
A blue light covered the royal child, and Princess Isabella turned to the muggleborn bookworm, Hermione Granger.
“All set, dear?” Lady Jane said to her charge.
“Yes mum.” Hermione sighed. “I love going to Hogwarts, I just don’t want to do all the pretending.”
“Don’t worry, your majesty. Do not get in any danger your majesty, or the charm will be removed. This is your last year,” said Lady Jane once more, tapping Hermione’s trunk with a finger, placing a lightening charm with her wandless magic. Not a moment too soon, the train whistle sounded. Hermione hurried with her now light baggage to the Head’s compartment. It was not a surprise that she was Head Girl.
“Goodbye Jane!” waved Hermione to her foster mother, the Hogwarts Express increasing speed.
“Goodbye to you too, dearie!” A moment later, and Lady Jane was gone from sight.
“Hmm. Interesting. The mudblood’s in first name terms with her own mother,” a voice drawled. Hermione shivered at the cold voice. It was Draco Malfoy, the new Head Boy. Funny, he also dubbed as the “Amazing Bouncing Ferret” compliments of a dear friend, Ron.
A smirk was placed in her face and she replied. “Nice seeing you to, Mr. Ferret sir.”
Draco’s face began to lose its color, eyes now menacing. “Never. Remind. Me. That. Incident. Or. Else…”
“Or else what, Mr. Amazing-Bouncing-Ferret?” Hermione chided. “You’ll scream like a little girl?”
“Feisty.” Draco huffed. “I’m out of here.”
“Good. Just don’t be late for the meeting with the prefects later, or McGonagall will be after your head.”
“That old hag’s always after me, I don’t really care.” Draco stated, slamming the door shut.
“The nerve of that guy!” Hermione said. Suddenly, the train stopped, and Hermione was thrown to her seat, power going off a second later. Hermione started to shiver. She was never afraid of anything. Never. Except the dark, that is. Piercing cold wind entered her compartment, her door sliding open. Her eyes widened in horror on what she saw.
“Dementors.” A second later, she fainted without a thought, the dementor sucking out her soul. “Help!” she screamed in terror.
“Hermione!” her friend shouted, rushing to her aid. It was a good thing that she was on her way to see Hermione when the Dementor attacked, or else.
“Expecto Patronum!” a girl’s voice uttered, and an eagle patronus drove away the dementor feeding on Hermione. The girl rushed to her side, trying to find out who was the victim of the unruly dementor. She stared in awe to what she saw.
“Hermione?” she gasped at the raven-haired royal. She was none other than Princess Isabella Clarisse Renaulde.