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Chapter 7 : Chapter Seven
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The next day, Hermione didn’t come out of her room.
At many times during the day I felt tempted to go inside and comfort her, but I couldn’t do that. I knew that having people bother you didn’t exactly help with the whole ‘feeling miserable’ thing. Despite the fact that most people say that talking about your feelings is good for you, it really makes matters worse. Besides, I didn’t want to be an annoyance.
The next day wasn’t any better... or the next day... or the day after that. At first I just hung around the apartment reading her books, cleaning up, and watching some of her movie collection. I left food out after I ate for her, just in case she wanted to eat. I think she came out late at night, so I wouldn’t see her blotchy red eyes. Women, even ones like Hermione, are odd that way.
Eventually I got bored. I had long ago finished all one thousand pages of The Lord of the Rings, and although I had tried re-reading the trilogy, I couldn’t. I guess I was the type who could only reread something after long periods of time.
I decided to go out and walk around a little bit. I took some money from Hermione’s change bowl on the table (just in case I got hungry later on and need a snack) and shouted out, “I’m going out!” Hermione doesn’t respond, but I didn’t expect her to. I debated on opening her door and repeating myself, but I decided against it. I’m a big girl; I can leave a note. Besides, most likely she won’t even notice I’m gone.
Once I was outside, the brightness of the early-August sun blinded me temporarily. I blinked heavily, shading my eyes with my hand, and wished that when Hermione and I had gone shopping I had thought of buying sunglasses. Once the sunlight was no longer blinding, I put my hands in my pocket, whistling random notes in no particular tune.
Before long I was out of our neighborhood and in a shopping district. I window shopped, deciding to get Hermione a small gift. Maybe that would cheer her up a bit.
At the end of the street I noticed a store so small that I almost missed it. Indeed, the people around me walked past as if it isn’t there at all. Deciding to look closer, to make sure it was a real place and not my imagination, I opened the door cautiously and entered.
Right away I was overcome by a powerful odor. People all around were smoking cigars, clinking brandy glasses, talking and laughing cheerfully. It looked as if it were some sort of celebration. I coughed from the eau de tobacco, and the people at the table closest to me looked up.
“Come sit down with us!” one of them boomed loudly.
“I didn’t mean to intrude,” I said, backing up to leave.
“Nonsense. Tom, get another glass of brandy, my treat!” he called. Immediately, the stooped bartender rushed over, pulling out a glass out of midair. I was so astonished I didn’t even argue as the man pushed me into a chair. “Everyone should celebrate the anniversary of the day You-Know-Who was defeated!” the man continued, a drunk smile on his face. “Go on, drink up!”
He stared at me, non-verbally telling me to ‘do what he say ‘in a friendly manner. I took a small sip, and that seemed to satisfy him, for he finally looked away. Once his gaze was elsewhere, I pushed away the glass. After all, the coma had taken away twenty years of my life. Did I really want to make my life shorter by drinking or doing things that could affect my health and body?
However, instead of getting up and leaving as any sensible person would, I stayed still. I was curious to know whom this “You-Know-Who” was, and why everyone was so happy for his defeat. So, I committed a little white sin - eavesdropping. It was hard at first to pick out a conversation to listen to, because everyone was talking loudly at the same time. Slowly I grew accustomed to the noise, and began to pick up pieces of conversations here and there.
“There is yet another reason to celebrate. I hear that Hogwarts will be reopening soon!” a woman across the bar exclaimed excitedly. I turned my head quickly. Had I heard correctly? Hogwarts?
“Certainly took them long enough,” a man sitting across from the woman remarked, nodding in approval.
“Well, the Death Eaters had almost destroyed it completely, and you know how large Hogwarts is. Even using magic took a long time. Especially when they had to renew all the spells surrounding it,” the woman responded.
Magic? These people must be crazy! Maybe I was dreaming, and this really wasn’t happening. I pinched myself, only to find that this is very much a reality.
“I still can’t believe that Harry Potter, a boy of only seventeen years old, defeated Voldemort, when wizards wise and powerful, such as Dumbledore, couldn’t,” another man remarks, an awed expression on his face. His companion hisses at him to “Call him You-Know-Who!”
Harry Potter? Death Eaters? Voldemort? Besides Harry Potter, all those words seemed familiar somehow. Then I remembered. Hermione had mentioned them on the way home from the hospital. If anyone could explain everything to me, she could. I got up and rushed out of there as fast as I could, heading for the closet thing to home I knew.
A/N- I just want to give a huge thanks to my beta, caryjanecarter, the most fantastical and marvelous beta in the world and Alabama’s true sweetheart and the only known user of Ctrl+. as her highlighting tool. *coughcoughshe’spraisingherselfcoughcough*
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