Chapter 17 : Rehearsal
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“Good Afternoon, sleepy-head.” Said Molly.
“How long have I been out?” Hermione asked them.
“Almost three days, darling. We were afraid you were going to sleep through your own wedding rehearsal.” Her mother replied
“Oh No! When is it?” Hermione screamed. Just then Ron, Harry and Ginny came pouring into the room and practically tackled her.
“The Four Musketeers are together again.” Mr. Weasley said to his wife. Deep down, they were all very happy to see her awake.
“Indeed, now we can have Dobby send a letter to Jayson telling him to stop worrying.” Mrs. Granger said with a slight chuckle.
“Has he been here?” Hermione asked her mother.
“Every single one of these three days. He stopped in every chance he could.” She replied.
“That wasn’t all,” said McGonagall (who just came into the room), “Welcome back to the living, Hermione.”
“What else Minerva?” Molly asked.
“Luna informs me that the young Mr. Livermore is seeing a greenish aura around both Ron and Hermione, although he doesn’t describe it as such. He called it a ‘dark green flame’. I believe what he is seeing is your Vow taking hold.”
“Uh-Oh.” Said Ron.
“That’s not good, is it Minerva?” Ginny asked in a squeaky voice, as if she was being prodded to ask this although she didn’t want to.
“No, if Jayson’s description is accurate, then it will take some serious canceling of magic to get you two out of this.”
“Great, and here I thought we were doing the right thing!” Ron grumbled. “How is he able to see this stuff anyway?”
“No one knows, dearest.” Hermione said while putting her arms around him. “He probably doesn’t understand it. He just thinks that he is dreaming it.”
“I can see that…” Harry chimed in, “as much as he has been popping in and out, it’s a wonder he has slept at all.”
“I can sleep when I am dead!” Everyone heard Jayson shout as he came into the room. He went straight to Hermione and hugged her. “You had me worried, Mi-Mi.” He said very softly.
“Sorry…” She whispered back.
“I don’t want to lose you again to another act of cruel fate.” He returned back and kissed her cheek. “I see that Madam Pomfrey’s ministrations worked wonders.”
“They always do.” Madame Pomfrey said with a smug tone.
“Well then, I no longer have to worry, do I?” Jayson looked at Hermione with a deep fondness in his eyes. She knew that look well. He had shown it to her for many years.
“All this time?” She started to say, but he stopped her with a finger to her lips.
“As I said to mother, my largest mistake was believing my biological parents that I was unwanted everywhere. I have you back in my life, Mi-Mi, and I thank the Holy Father for it. If you are happy, then all is good.” Jayson said to her in a tone that indicated that she was used to them sharing this type of moment.
“Happy except when I am hurting like hell from my own stupidity.” She retorted.
“Remember, love, that which does not kill us makes us stronger, and you two will be stronger for it. However…if I could aid you somehow, you know I would.”
“I know.” Hermione smiled at him.
From a distance, Ron viewed the whole thing with trepidation. One the one hand, he knew that she loved him, yet here was this other man that she knew all her life suddenly back in her life. It also seemed that his future mother-in-law favored this man as well. Phillip Granger put his hand on Ron’s shoulder.
“Don’t worry, son. Jayson is no threat to your marriage. You make Hermione happy. You have from the moment she got home from first year. All she talked about was you. I knew then that the wedding was coming; it was just a matter of when. Jayson would not do anything to hurt Hermione. He is just remembering the girl he knew in the woman he sees before him. His pain is with his biological parents, not with you.”
Ron looked at Mr. Granger, “I wonder how Hermione is seeing him, though?” With that question, Hermione was suddenly looking right at Ron. When their eyes met, his worry became plain to her, and her loving reassurance melted it away. He then understood what her feelings were for the Poker Player who had been both her babysitter and her guardian angel when she was younger. He nodded, and then smiled.
“I am sorry I caused you to worry. I will talk to Jayson as soon as I can.” She thought at him.
“That’s good, because I would not want to have to fight him for you. I would do it in an instant, but I think I would prefer to fight Riddle…” He thought back, “That poker dude is tough.”
Hermione laughed when she heard that. Jayson looked puzzled.
“Okay, what’s so funny? Did I forget deodorant or something?”
Hermione chuckled again. “No silly, I will tell you later.” She then looked into his eyes. “We do need to talk, I mean seriously talk.”
“Somehow I knew that statement was coming sooner or later.” Jayson said with a nod. He looked her right in the eye, and then said, “You don’t have to say it, Hermione, I am well aware of the score. I am no home-wrecker. If he makes you happy, then I can ask no more than that. That is all I ever wanted…for you to be happy.”
“Jayson...” Hermione thought at him, “I am going to be blunt for once…stop lying to me.”
“Huh?” He just looked at her in shock.
“Do you really think I can’t see how you feel? If my mother, all 100% Muggle of her, can get it easily, then how can I not? What you say shows your honor, but your face betrays your pain. If I knew that I would have caused this on you, I would have never have come up to you that day.” Hermione thought.
“And I would have just gone on losing to Lynch and feeling nothing the rest of my life. I know the score, Hermione. No, I do not like it, but I accept it. If it was a case of you were not happy, then that would be different.” He thought back and closed his eyes. This time he spoke out loud. “You have a good life, and friends who love you. Most of all, you have a place and purpose in this world. Over there is a man who is devoted enough to you to be equally as stupid as you were on the issue. I get to be some part of your life again, instead of never knowing what happened to you. I will be fine in time, Hermione. Let’s just leave it at that for the time being.”
“We are not done talking about this.”
“I guess not…” Jayson said shaking his head. “But you have things to do.”
“Jayson…” said Mrs. Granger.
“Will you stay anyway? We could use the help and, well, I want to talk to you too, son.” Hermione looked at her mother for a moment, and realized the truth. She had hoped that something would have developed between her and Jayson, as she got older. It made no sense, but then love usually doesn’t. Her mother loved Jayson as Molly Weasley loved Harry, like the son she never had and wanted very badly.
“Nothing changes mother, you and I both know that.” He said to her.
“I know that too, and I am very happy for Hermione and Ron. Nonetheless, I want you in our lives too. I lost you once to spite, I will not let you leave again without finding a place for you in our house; and show you there has always been a place for you in our hearts.” She hugged him tightly.
“Thank you Mother.” Was Jayson’s reply.
Cornelius Fudge and Mad-Eye Moody came up to join the group.
“It is very good to see you up, Miss Granger.” Fudge said with a smile.
“Damn good to see, Hermione.” Moody spoke.
“Thank you both.” Hermione retorted.
“Mr. Livermore,” McGonagall added, “Care to join us for lunch? That is, unless you must return again.”
“Not today, the tournament is over. My next one is not until after the wedding.” Jayson replied, and then looked over at Hermione, who nodded, “Very well, Madame, I accept.”
“Great, by the way, how did you do?” Luna chimed in. Jayson almost jumped with a start, for he had not seen Luna in the crowd.
“Well, in fact, I won, thank you.”
“Oh very good, congratulations!” She turned to McGonagall, who nodded.
“Why are they so interested in my poker playing?” Jayson wondered to himself. “This ministry doesn’t allow such things, so what is the source of their interest?”
“I told you, Jayson, we need to talk.” Hermione thought at him.
“Stop that this instant, Mi-Mi! I don’t need you to be reading me at every turn.” He shot her a look.
“Well then, don’t make it obvious.” Ginny thought at him.
“What…You too? I am definitely leaving this crazy world after the wedding.” Jayson was getting a little weary of why he was staying. Arthur Weasley immediately interjected.
“Enough you two, can’t you see that he is quite startled. Come with us, lad. We can show you how to block out their little prying, or anyone else’s.” Mr. Weasley motioned for Jayson to head with him, and the man followed. Everyone else soon join in line.
“That was mean, Ginny dearest.” Hermione thought at her.
“About time he knew the facts…namely that he was fooling nobody love.” Ginny replied with affection. She and Hermione had been closer than ever in the days since their episode. Both Harry and Ron saw this, and enjoyed it thoroughly.
As the group rounded the corner to head for the main quad, they passed Pansy Parkinson; who looked like she was simply sitting there. Jayson shot a glance in her direction. Parkinson simply looked insulted as the thought of a Muggle even thinking what Jayson obviously thought. Jayson, now highly amused by this, blinked his eyebrows up three times quickly. Parkinson left quickly in a huff.
“Stay away from that one lad; she’s trouble with a capital ‘T’.” Arthur Weasley stated quite bluntly.
“Of course she is, she would be…” Jayson replied. “That has just been the way my luck is running with ladies. All the ones I think are cute turn out to be bad. It’s been that way since I left London.”
“Then you should have never left home, son. Those bad girls will get you every time.” Mrs. Granger said. Jayson just sighed.
“I am afraid I have to go with Eloise’ on this one, my boy. You were in many ways as naïve as Hermione on certain aspects of life.” Phillip Granger said in return. Jayson suddenly stopped with a shocked look on his face. He pointed to Mrs. Granger, Mr. Granger nodded.
“I don’t think I have ever heard anyone call your wife by her first name before, not even you.” He said in a startled realization.
“Surely your parents used it.” Phillip asked. When Jayson shook his head, he started to ask what they called her but Jayson put up his hand.
“Let’s not go there. I don’t repeat those words in mixed company.”
“Jayson!” Hermione stammered. “They didn’t…”
“Yes, Hermione, they did. There is a lot you don’t know, and I will never tell you. However, if Mum & Dad thought my biological parents considered them friends, they are dead wrong. To my parents, yours were useful in getting rid of me for a few hours, nothing more. That is how they thought. Why do you think I left finally? What they said about you was the last straw.” He said slowly.
Soon, the crowd was at the Great Hall for lunch, which consisted of almost every kind of meat and fruit imaginable. Many of the students wondered who was here that merited such a great repast. From the back of the Hall, Dobby was chuckling slightly. The group turned around and he came up to them. When questioned, he simply pointed at Jayson.
“Marmaduke did not want to upset ol’ Poker Face again, so he pulled out all the stops.” He said chuckling. Jayson simply sighed again. Everyone laughed when one of the sixth years recognized him and told the entire hall who he was. Jayson simply stood and waved when the hall erupted with applause.
“I thought the Wizarding World didn’t approve of poker.” He questioned Arthur.
“No, but those of Muggle heritage would know of it…and you apparently.”
“This day is Ron and Hermione’s. If I wanted this kind of attention, I would have entered the tournament in Tokyo next Friday.”
“It’s alright, Mate.” Ron said. “There is an easy way for us to take the attention off you.” With that, he pulled Hermione close to him and planted a very big kiss. The room erupted in thunderous applause. Ginny saw this and turned to Harry.
“We’re spending tonight at Grimmauld Place, my darling. I need you…and I mean YOU!” She thought loudly.
“Yes, Ma’am!” Harry thought back with a large smile on his face and proceeded to plant an equally big kiss on her. The crowd re-erupted in applause. Jayson looked at Moody, who shrugged.
“Kids…” was all Moody said.
Lunch was uneventful after that, although some of the students did come up and ask for Jayson’s autograph; which he only semi-willingly obliged. Everyone in the group thought that was just a sort of false modesty. Harry and Hermione knew better. It was obvious to both of them that he was not used to so much of the limelight, and that he found it annoying at times – like now when he was trying to focus attention to others. Harry finally came over and spoke quietly to him.
“You are not happy, Mate. Shilling for your thoughts?” He said to Jayson.
“Why, I am not thinking anything important.” He responded softly.
“That will be enough of that!” Moody shouted and grabbed Jayson by the arm. He proceeded to drag the young poker player out into the foyer.
“You’re not fooling anyone, boy. Have it out with her.” Moody said directly, although quiet enough that only they two could hear.
“And what good would that do? Hurt her worse than what she is going through with that whatever? What am I supposed to do here, guy? Kill Ron? That would go over well. I am trying to accept the fact that I blew it, okay? Nothing is ever going to change how I feel about her, but she is happy with him. My chance happened years ago and I let it slip by. What’s done cannot be undone. I at least get to see her be happy. I do not understand this world, I am not part of this world, and I am out of it as soon as the wedding ends. She has acceptance here beyond anywhere else.” Jayson sighed before finishing his remark, “I have nothing to offer her in comparison, Mad-Eye. I play poker for a living. If you want to see an environment NOT conducive to a happy home life, there it is. She is better here, and I will get over it eventually.”
“Will you? No resolution again? It didn’t work the first time.”
“It has to this time…”
They returned to the Hall to notice an owl flying in circles above.
“Looking for someone to deliver mail to.” Moody said. The owl shot straight for them and dropped the package right at Jayson who caught it. “Looks like it is for you.”
“What? How could I get mail HERE? No one outside this room even knows I am here.” Jayson opened the package to reveal a very old, tarnished broadsword. “This was my grandfather’s. I saw it on his mantel for years. I thought my parents gave it away or junked it. How did it get here?”
Moody shrugged his shoulders, “Never assume anything is this world, for stranger things have happened.”
They arrived at the courtyard to see both the Priestess and the Minister there already. The area where the ceremony was to take place had already been cordoned off so that no one would either mess up the grass or try any tricks. Harry quickly explained to Jayson about the Priestess, while Jayson quickly explained to Ron about the Minister. Everyone laughed at that exchange. The day continued with a considerable amount of merriment, as well as some interesting conversations – including one between Jayson and Moody; who decided to teach the young Poker Player a few quick lessons on Occlumency so that the girls could not pick everything up he was thinking. Jayson was a little spooked when Ginny discovered that he was actually able to do it with little practice, although he liked the idea of keeping people out of his head. Fred arrived shortly thereafter to assist. Harry asked where George was.
“Still at the shop, Mate. Someone has to keep watch. Don’t worry little brother, we will both be here for the main event. George will pop by after he closes up.” He replied.
Hermione and Ron took their places at the altar and began to chat with the Priestess and the Minister about who was going to be where and do what when. Everyone else was laughing about this as things started getting a bit confused.
“And I thought setting up a final table was bad. This is going to be an interesting ceremony.” Jayson said to Moody.
“Indeed so.” Moody replied. Just then, Fred came up with a broomstick and tapped Jayson on the shoulder.
“Help me resolve a bet, Mate?” He said. Jayson looked at him funny.
“Sure, how?” Fred placed the broom next to him. Hermione eyes shot out and she began to say something, but McGonagall stopped her shaking her head.
“Reach your hand over this and say up.” Fred said.
“Why?” Jayson asked.
“The bet is on the broom’s response.” Fred replied.
“Okay…this is weird…what the hey…UP!” Jayson called out. The broom immediate shot up and hit his hand. Jayson caught it out of reflex and then shook it as if it was glued to him. “Now I am totally freaked. Get this thing off me.” He said firmly to Fred.
“Aha! I win! Anyway, just tell the broom where you want it to go.” He retorted.
“Back to wherever this guy found you…” Jayson shouted. The broom shot away. “What the hell is going on here?” Almost instinctively, he put his hand on the hilt of the sword. The look on his face was pure anger.
“Jayson, calm down, no one is trying to trick you.” Hermione said in a soothing voice.
“It is simply time you knew the truth, Mr. Livermore.” McGonagall stated in a matter-of-fact tone.
“You are a wizard, young man. The reason we know so much about you is that the background check we did was on you, not on Hermione. We had sent a letter to your parents exactly six years before we did to her parents. However, your parents’ reaction was totally surprising. They became very angry and said if we approached you on this they would expose everything to the outside world and they were not going to allow their son to be associated with hellish freaks.”
Jayson looked completely stunned, and dropped to his knees. His face constricted in pain and hatred. Hermione came to him and touched his shoulder. He looked at her almost violently.
“You knew???” He thought at her, still shaking from the shock.
She shook her head. “No I didn’t, but now I understand why your parents said what they said to me. I figured it out when you sang me the lullaby three days ago. I know a sleep spell when I feel one. But I didn’t know then, how could I? I was just eight years old and knew nothing. I’m sorry for what you went through.”
“That’s what it was all about? My parents rage at me for no reason. The treatment as if I was some sort of mutant all started then. Then what they said about you? This was what they were hiding? All this time, I could have been here. I could have been…” He did not finish the sentence. Hermione did.
“Waiting for me? Is that what you were going to say? Jayson, you would have been a seventh year in my first. I would have never seen you except in passing. Then again, with all the trouble I got into, maybe you would have.” She chuckled.
Jayson looked into her eyes as if he was seeing her for the first time, and Hermione saw a look he had never seen in her former guardian. She saw a look of complete desire – and she knew it was for her. She became serious and started to say something, when Jayson caught her mid breath.
“Truth time, Hermione…please?” He said slowly.
“Yes, I think we need to have this out.” She replied.
“Yeah, old Mad-Eye over there said the same thing.” He drew a breath, “Just one real question…are you really happy with the red-head over there? If you said the word right now, I would take you anywhere you wanted to go. No where is out of reach for me on this planet. I can get us anywhere, and make us disappear without a trace. Money is not an object; I have more than I can spend if I tried. You will want for nothing…especially love and devotion. I have always loved you, Mi-Mi. I was a fool not to tell you before. Yes, I would have waited for you to come of age. Everything would have been done with honor. I should have come to your Mom that day. If I had, how much would be different? Say the word, love, and I will fly you anywhere that has ground below and heaven above…”
Hermione started to cry. Jayson went for a handkerchief and she shook it away. “Oh you dear sweet man, why didn’t you say something sooner? Of course, I love you, and I always will…just not in that way. I was too young to feel like that, but I felt safe with you since a particular night when we had a…ahem…discussion?”
Jayson almost choked on that last word, he knew what night she meant. “I didn’t realize I had made that much of an impression.”
“From that day on, I saw you as my brother, and my guardian. The person who I could come to if I was in trouble or in need. I will always see you as that. However, the only person I have had any romantic feelings for was Ron. It started my first year, and I had to stop denying it when he was poisoned last year. I am happy, Jayson, and more so because I found my brother to share this with me. I thought I had lost you too.” Her eyes shone as he read them hard. He gulped as he comprehended what she shared with him. For several moments there was silence, and then all of a sudden he began to laugh. Most everyone thought he was losing it, but the laugh became lighter as it went along. Finally his face looked as if a great weight had been lifted as he placed his hand on Hermione’s cheek.
“So be it…little sister.” He said as he kissed her forehead. She hugged him warmly. Ron and Harry breathed sighs of relief. Ginny simply looked down at Hermione and smiled.
“I am glad that’s over.” Harry said aloud, not realizing he had.
“I am too, though for him the hard part begins.” Moody replied. Harry turned to Mad-Eye after Moody had said this.
“Hard part? Why?”
“Once he is recognized as a wizard, he is subject to Wizarding laws. This means he needs to find a new profession as well. He can say he did not know then, but not now.”
“Oh, yeah I forgot about that.”
The actual rehearsal began happily, as the quartet gathered at the altar with the rest of the assembly watching intently. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, except Jayson and Moody who were engaged in a heavy discussion on who knew what. Occasionally McGonagall joined in, so Harry figured it was about his future.
Harry thought about it for a while. Yes, he did like Hermione’s childhood friend. True, he was a bit pushy, not to mention a bit of a hothead. Nonetheless, he came through when Hermione collapsed and made sure she was safe. He also came through when they need him for the Cup Search. Harry nodded, Jayson had honor, though very rough around the edges.
“So were we…” Ginny thought to Harry with a mischievous smile on her face.
The wedding party went through the ceremony as it was meant to run four times to make sure that everyone knew what was going on at what time. To his credit, the Minister did not skip a beat throughout the entire exchange.
“I am actually finding it quite fascinating.” He said.
“Of course, sir, I do need you to…ahem…” Hermione touched her nose. “Treat this like a confessional?”
“Of course, Hermione dear, I understand how this would be badly perceived. I must say though, I have been amazed by this world.”
“Thank You, sir.”
“Everything is going to be perfect for the wedding next week.” The Priestess said.
“EXCEPT THAT YOU WILL ALL BE DEAD YOU FILTHY LITTLE MUDBLOOD!” Everyone looked up to see Draco Malfoy, with Crabbe and Goyle on brooms. Worse, they saw more Dementors than they had ever seen in their lives. Malfoy was laughing hysterically.
“How did you get them in?” Harry demanded.
“Walked right in the front door and set up a portkey for them.” Malfoy sneered. “Didn’t learn from Dumbledore’s mistake, did you Potter. Did you really think that the Dark Lord was going to let those two actually marry? This was a perfect way to kill you all.”
“Impedimenta!” Hermione shouted and flung her wand in Malfoy’s direction. Malfoy simply blocked it.
“I have been trained by the Master himself on how to deal with you. I am stronger than you two maggots will ever be. Kill two slime with one shot, Avada Kedavra!”
Hermione and Ron looked with shock as the biggest green wave came out of Malfoy’s wand that they had ever seen.
“No bloody way…” Ron said in a whisper.
“It can’t end this way…” Hermione cried.
All of a sudden, a flash came across their bodies as the assembly saw a blue streak intercept the spell yelling “NO!” When the body dropped, it was Jayson holding his sword in front of him as if he used it to try to deflect the shot.
“Holy…” Harry got out
“JAYSON!” Hermione and her mother both screamed. Everyone else went from shock to total anger as they pointed their wands at the three young wizards above. Malfoy just laughed.
“I have hundreds of Dementors, and I am 50 meters up, you are all still dead. That fool simply delayed the inevitable.”
Hermione and Ron looked down expecting to see a corpse, but instead they found Jayson alive; although writhing in agony as his body attempted to fight off the spell as he had done with Lynch. His groans grew louder by the second as his face twisted as if someone was touching him with white hot coals.
“Hermione…get…out of…here…NOW!” He managed to get out between exclamations of pain. Hermione turned toward Malfoy and pointed her wand.
“Expecto Patronum!” She yelled, but nothing came out. “Where’s my Patronus?” She thought. Malfoy laughed even louder.
“Aw, didn’t work, Mudblood? No happy thought? You must have loved the fool! As he dies, you have nothing to defend yourselves with…”
“SectumSempra!” Ron yelled and the white wave headed right for Malfoy, who froze for a second, but was still able to deflect it.
“Not bad, Weasel-by, but you won’t be able to save her. You are all doomed.”
Ginny stepped forward, looked right at Malfoy and said…”Go to Hell you Son-of-a-bitch…EXPECTO PATRONUM!” Her cheetah Patronus roared out of her wand directly at the Dementors. When the light faded, about one-sixth of them were destroyed.
“What?? HOW??” Malfoy said in shock. “Get them!” They then heard something in Bulgarian and five more Dementors disappeared. They looked to see Viktor Krum with his wand out and smiling.
“I just had to join da party!” He said.
Hermione was still in pain as she saw Jayson writhing. She had no happy thought, not even her wedding, to produce anything. Ron had been able to keep the Dementors at Bay by using the SectumSempra spell, but he was getting tired. Then she heard voices in her head…
“Prove your worth, boy!”
“Don’t disappoint us like your father did.”
Then she heard a kindly voice, “Have faith, my scion, and all will be right…” When she saw Jayson’s face, it was as if he was in a trance. He then drew his sword…and plunged it into his own body.
“Jayson, what are you doing?” She screamed.
“Getting it over with!!!” Malfoy sneered. With that Harry stepped forward.
“I have had enough of you, Malfoy…EXPECTO PATRONUM!” Harry’s silver stag rose majestically into the air. It galloped on the sky until it crashed headlong into the Dementors. When the light cleared, many of the remaining dementors were gone…
“Damn Potter, you have gotten good, too bad you don’t have enough time to re-load.” Malfoy said sarcastically. The remaining Dementors were already swooping down on them. Malfoy was right; he could not get another Patronus fast enough.
“We’ll do this…” Ginny screamed into his head.
“We must…” Harry started to think back when a flash of blinding light appeared out of nowhere.
“Ka-Chaken!” A voice deep as thunder yelled as the light swept over the sky. The remaining dementors were destroyed and standing in shining golden ring mail stood Jayson; holding the sword, which also looked brand new. Both he and the sword were shimmering with a power unknown.
“My grandson has proven his worth, by faith and sacrifice. The chain is once again whole. The Priory of Asymol is reborn. Let all those who cherish the dark side beware!” A specter, much like the ghosts in Hogwarts spoke these words. Jayson said nothing, he just looked at Malfoy and his flying friends with disgust.
“How? He’s a Mudblood, this can’t be happening!”
Suddenly Jayson leapt into the air, covering the whole 50 meters in one bound. His sword swung right at the three boys and shattered their brooms into multiple pieces. Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle fell to earth with a large thud. Malfoy looked as if he had seen hell itself. Jayson finally spoke.
“This is over for you, boy. I am your doom, as I am for your Master.” He stated. Just then, a woman’s voice bellowed.
“Avada Kedavra!” Pansy Parkinson shot the spell directly at Jayson, upon which, when it got to him, simply bounced.
Jayson looked over at Parkinson with complete disdain. Malfoy seized his chance. He grabbed Crabbe and Goyle and quickly activated a portkey. The three were gone before anyone could stop them.
All eyes fixed on Jayson, who walked over to the broken brooms, put away his sword, and picked up the longest handle.
“That, little girl, is strike one. You do not want to get to strike three.” Was all he said.
“Jayson, you wouldn’t…would you?” Hermione asked completely shocked.
“Yes I would, as you well know. She has been warned.” He replied.
Hermione yelled at Parkinson, “Don’t do it Pansy, he is dead serious and you WON’T like the consequences.
“Oh, and I am going to listen to you, Mudblood! What can this dirt-monger do to me?” Parkinson shouted back.
“What is a Mud-Blood?” Jayson asked quizzically.
Hermione went livid at being insulted again. Therefore, it came out of her mouth before she even thought about it, “It is the Witch equivalent of a Skank!” She then put her hands to her mouth as if she had actually done something wrong. She knew exactly how Jayson was going to react to THAT…
“In that case, that’s strike two, young lady.” He said to Parkinson.
Parkinson looked around at the courtyard. Her spells were bouncing off him like water, so how could she hurt him. Then she noticed a gargoyle at the top of the building. She smiled maliciously.
“If magic can’t hurt you, let’s try good old fashioned pain... bombarda!” She aimed right at the statue, which immediately fell over and came crashing right down on the top of Jayson.
“Jayson!!!” Hermione screamed!
“Aha, not so tough, are you dirt-monger? With him gone, there is no one to stop me from hurting you…bad!”
“Miss Parkinson, cease this instant!” McGonagall shouted with an air of authority she seldom used.
“She’s MINE!” Hermione said through clenched teeth. She drew her wand with a look like she was willing to match curse for curse with Parkinson.
“Hermione, No!” Harry shouted and tried to step in. Ginny also tried to get between the two women, but Hermione’s wand shot out a white light and everyone stepped back fast, even Harry.
“He was my brother, you skank! If you want a fight, you got it now!”
“Excellent…to the death then!” Parkinson replied.
“Fine with me…it’s your death,” she growled. Everyone was shocked at her expression and tone. However, the biggest shock came exactly one second later…
“YOU WILL DO NO SUCH THING!!!” The voice was like thunder as, to the wide-eyed shock of everyone, the gargoyle went straight up in the air and exploded across the yard. The look on Jayson’s face said it all…he was completely pissed off! Hermione began to shake when she saw it, as if she was scared to death of something.
“It isn’t possible…” Parkinson said totally dumbfounded.
“And that, little girl, is strike THREE!” Jayson moved like lightning, snatched Parkinson up as if she was a leaf on the grass, and started walking towards the classrooms. Hermione stopped shaking, except for her head. When everyone got to her, she was saying the same thing repeatedly…
“She shouldn’t have done it…she doesn’t know what she has brought on herself…”
“Hermione, what is Jayson doing with Miss Parkinson?” McGonagall asked but Hermione simply closed her eyes as if she could see it all.
“She will be protesting right about now…”
“YOU CAN’T DO THAT TO ME, I AM SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD!! I AM NOT A CHILD, DON’T YOU DARE!” Parkinson was screaming from a nearby classroom.
Hermione continued, “She’ll fight him now, which will make it worse. Once you pass that line, there is no escape.” She took about three deep breaths and said, “any moment now…”
Everyone suddenly heard Parkinson screaming at the top of her lungs, “OW, OW, OW! STOP! YOU CAN’T DO THIS, OUCH, STOP!” The cries went on for several moments, then all became quiet. Hermione spoke again…
“She has finally submitted, but now is when she finds out that what she got up to now was only the warm-up to get her attention…”
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT DOESN’T COUNT?? NO, PLEASE!! NO MORE, PLEASE, I’M BEGGING YOU…OUCH! OW, NO, NO, NO OW, OW!!” The sounds continued for a while. McGonagall turned to Hermione and asked the obvious question.
“Miss Granger, how do you know what is happening in there when you are out here?”
There was a tear in Hermione’s eye when she spoke. “I almost feel sorry for Parkinson, she never knew what hit her and Draco left her high and dry.” She took a deep breath. “The reason I know is due to the fact that it is forever burned into my memory, because nine years ago, I received the same punishment from him…and deserved every stroke of it too…”
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