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Chapter 8 : Year Seven - Hermione's Year One
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The first years listened carefully to McGonagall as she goes on to explain the houses and how points are won and lost. Most of them were glassy eyed with wonder at the sight they were beholding. For one of those first years, however, it was almost like a homecoming. Hermione Granger has waited six years to ascend those steps and join the ranks of Hogwarts students. Ever since the day she had stepped onto the ground via the boy who had served as guardian, champion, and best friend, Jayson Livermore.
Inside the Great Hall, Jayson waited patiently for the first years to come in. Usually, the sorting bored him completely. In fact, only two things kept him from falling asleep during that part of the banquet. One, Professor Dumbledore looking at him with a countenance that said, “Don’t you dare.” And two, the fact that Hermione was in the group this time. He kept a space open on the Gryffindor table just for her. This is the first year that he did not have Charlie Weasley to help in getting into mischief. But the Weasley twins of Fred and George were trouble all by themselves.
Suddenly the door flew open and McGonagall walked in with the first years. Jayson scanned the group for Hermione, and found her about half way down the line. She smiles and waves as she passes him. He smiles back and pats the space he kept with a look that said to her, “I’m saving this space for you…”
The Sorting Hat then began his usual spiel that he did before the sorting began. Jayson stifled a yawn while this was going on. Finally, the first student, a girl named Hannah Abbott was sorted into Hufflepuff. Each student went up as their names were called. Jayson was thinking, “Get a move on it.” At last, the name he had been waiting for…
Hermione walked up slowly and waved at Dumbledore, who smiled and waved back. She carefully sat upon the stool and the hat was placed on her head. It took the hat about five agonizing seconds to make a decision.
“GRYFFINDOR!” The hat shouted.
Hermione immediately jumps off the stool and runs over to Jayson. She throws her arms around him and he in turn gives her the biggest hug.
“Welcome to Hogwarts, Mi-Mi!” Jayson says as she takes the space that he had reserved for her. They conversed for a little while until McGonagall announced a name that ended all discussion.
“What ho, Potter has finally come to Hogwarts?” Jayson said quietly. Hermione simply nodded and whispered to him that she had sat with him and another boy on the way up and found out that Mr. Potter had no idea of how and why he was so famous. “Interesting…”
“…better be GRYFFINDOR!” The hat shouted. Everyone at the Gryffindor table was jumping for joy except for Jayson and Hermione. Hermione looked at Jayson, who had a serious look on his face. Harry Potter made his way to the table and sat down.
The rest of the feast went by uneventfully. After dessert, Dumbledore led the students in the school song, which everyone did in different times and tones. The Weasley twins were the last to finish because they had sung it as a funeral march. Then everyone was dismissed to their rooms. Percy led the other first years toward the Gryffindor Dorms. Hermione, however, was hand in hand with Jayson. Dumbledore motioned them both over.
“Now Jayson, no getting Hermione in trouble first thing. Remember, she cannot go everywhere you can go.” He said.
“True, but she can go say hi to Madame Pomfrey as long as I am with her.”
“Yes she may.” McGonagall said, “And Jayson.”
“Yes, Professor McGonagall?”
“Do not worry about Mr. Potter. He has not taken your place anywhere in this school. You have done too much and accomplished way too much for anyone to displace you, not even the famous Harry Potter.” She said with a wink.
“Thank you Professor.”
Jayson and Hermione turned and headed to say hello to Madame Pomfrey…
It was almost odd to see Jayson sitting by himself in the Gryffindor Common Room. For the last six years, he and Charlie Weasley had been the best of pals. Charlie, however, had graduated last year, and now Jayson was all alone. He was reading another potions book; something he was known for here at Hogwarts. The first years were told the story of how Jayson had sat for the potions OWL in his third year and received an “O” in it. The rest of the OWLs went pretty well for him. He got an “O” in Divination and Defense Against the Dark Arts and an “E” in everything else. He still didn’t go into any Potions classes with Snape because the two couldn’t stand each other still, which is how he came to be in the Common Room; the other seventh years had Snape right now.
He was making notes into his book when the first scream hit. Instinctively, he reached out with his mind and focused on the screaming. It was Hermione, yelling for him. He saw her in the air and on a broom that was attempting to throw her off like a bucking bronco. He dropped his book and took off quickly in the direction of the Pitch. Once he got outside, he “phase-shifted” over to the pitch and looked straight up.
“Jayson! Help me! The broom has gone crazy!” Hermione shouted.
Jayson looked around at the first years. He noticed they were all scared except for one who was laughing named Draco Malfoy. He also had his wand out. It didn’t take Jayson long to determine how the broom “got crazy”.
“Ascendio!” He intoned and rose into the air. When he could reach it, he grabbed Hermione’s broom and tapped it with his wand saying “Nullify”. Immediately the broom stopped bucking and Jayson directed it downward toward the grass. It took a little more than ten seconds to reach the ground in a spiral pattern due to the fact that Jayson was holding onto it from the right side. As soon as the broom had finally hit ground, Hermione jumped into his arms and started crying.
“What did I do wrong? It just started acting like that the moment I got it into the air!”
Jayson held her tightly and stroked her hair. “You didn’t do anything wrong. That broom had help going crazy. It was jinxed, Mi-Mi. Now I am going to find out who is responsible for this.” He let go of Hermione and walked over to the rest of the class as both McGonagall and Snape came running onto the scene. “All of you, form a circle around me now!” When the class had gathered around in a circle, he tapped his wand on the broom and then intoned. “Tell me who performed that magic on you.” He put his wand tip in the palm of his hand straight up and spun it clockwise. The wand continued to spin as it went flat against Jayson’s palm. Suddenly, it stopped spinning and shot straight out. When it stopped, it was pointing straight at Malfoy.
“Hey, get this stick away from me!” Malfoy shouted, “What’s the big idea?”
“The big idea is you are the one who jinxed that broom. My wand’s never wrong!” Jayson shouted back as he picked up Malfoy by the collar of his shirt and held him about two feet in the air with his wand at Malfoy’s throat. “How dare you attack another student like that? You sniveling, underhanded, cowardly little…”
“Put him down this instant, Livermore. You cannot prove he did anything. And even if he did, you do not have leave to physically harm him in any way.” Snape intoned with his usual drawl accentuated to give added meaning.
“Jayson, Professor Snape is correct…” McGonagall added, “Even you can’t beat up a student…even if he does deserve it.”
Jayson let go of Malfoy and he dropped to the ground with a thud. He stared at Malfoy, and then glared at Snape. “Detention, Friday night…I’ll figure out something for you to do. That Professor Snape can’t protect you from.” He growled at Malfoy’s direction.
“He’s got you there, Severus. He can call a detention to a deserving student.” McGonagall intoned.
“Thank you Professor, now if you will excuse me, I have other work to do.” He walked over to a still trembling Hermione. He picked up a different broom and handed it to her. “Mount up, Mi-Mi, we’re going to get you through this.”
“Please don’t make me, Jayson. I’m scared of flying, and was even before today.” Hermione pleaded.
“Hermione, flying is part of the Wizarding World. There are times where you simply have to ride a broom. There is no getting around it. I know you’re scared, but we need to get you back on as soon as possible otherwise you’ll never get on again and you won’t be able to graduate.” He smiled at her. “Trust me, Mi-Mi. Have I ever let you fall?”
Hermione shook her head and slowly mounted the broom.
“Accio Firebolt!” Jayson called and soon his broom was soaring into his hand. Most of the other first years stared in wide-eyed wonder at what Jayson had in his hand. He mounted his broom and walked over to where he was next to Hermione.
“Okay, angle your broomstick at about forty-five degrees up from the ground. To kick off, push up with the balls of you feet and pull slightly on the broom like so…” He demonstrated and rose about four feet into the air. He nodded to Hermione and she did it exactly as he did and rose slowly to where he was. “Good girl, that’s the way. Now lean forward and push on the broom slightly…” She did and was moving forward. Jayson soon followed and then began to instruct Hermione on how to maneuver a broomstick in the air with all the proper leans and turns. He took Hermione around the pitch several times before finally having her land back where they started. “You see, not that bad. You did great, Mi-Mi.”
“You also did very well, Mr. Livermore. Twenty points to Gryffindor house for such excellent tutoring.” Madame Hooch said.
“Thank you Madame Hooch.” Jayson replied.
“Yes it was well done, Jayson.” McGonagall agreed.
“Well now, if you will excuse me, I have something to show Hermione while the rest of the class is practicing.” Jayson replied as he re-mounted his broom. Then he pointed his wand at Malfoy. “I am going to keep a very close eye on you, boy! You had better not try anything like this again.” He stowed his wand and motioned for Hermione to join him. She walked over to him and he picked her up and put her on him broom with him.
“Where are we going?” She asked him.
“There is something I want to show you and, since you’re basically done with your flying lesson, we’re going now.” Once he had Hermione secured to the broom, he kicked off. He stayed at a slow pace as to not scare her. They rose up to a level where they could see everything. He then moved them from over the pitch to where they could see the whole lake. Hermione gasped when she saw it.
“It’s beautiful.” She whispered.
“Yes, isn’t it? I thought you would like it. I find the lake to be very calming at times. I come up here and just stare at it for hours on end when I need to think and refocus my mind. Would you like to see more of it?” He asked
“Yes, please, I would.”
Jayson pushed the broom forward and then lowered them to the edge of the lake. The water was almost glass like in its calmness. He maneuvered them to where they were on the shore about one quarter the way from the castle and set down. “You can only get to this shore by broom, Mi-Mi. It is a good reason to get proficient with flying.”
“I will try to remember that.” She retorted.
They stood at the lake and simply chatted about things that they knew; like how mother was handling the fact that both of them were now in school and away until the summer.
“Does she want us back for Christmas?” Jayson asked.
“Of course she does, why do you ask?” Hermione answered.
“Well, some of the most fun things here at Hogwarts happen during the winter holiday. I guess we can spend some of the time here and the rest at home. Wait until you see the lake when it is frozen over. The skating is fun, and so are the snowball fights.”
“Are you sure Mum will agree to this?”
“No, but it never hurts to ask, now does it?”
“I guess not, but shouldn’t we be getting back about now. Won’t they get worried? I have transfiguration after the flying lessons, and I had better not be late or Professor McGonagall will be livid.”
“Yes, true enough.”
They mounted the broom and took off to a height of about one hundred feet when they saw something coming in from a distance. It was flying towards the castle at a rapid rate.
“What is it, Jayson?”
Jayson looked hard at the object, and then realized what it was. It was a dragon, heading for the castle. Jayson immediately brought the broom down and took Hermione off quickly telling her to hide. He then pulled out his wand.
“Expecto Patronum!” He shouted. “Dragon approaching castle, send assistance ASAP!”
“I didn’t know you could do a Patronus?” Hermione said
“Don’t tell anyone either, only Dumbledore and McGonagall know. Now hide!!” Jayson intoned as he took off to intercept the dragon. The two met about a kilometer away from the shore. Jayson rapid fired stunning spells at the beast, only to have them bounce off the dragon’s thick hide. The dragon then swished its tail and shot fire back at Jayson. He managed to maneuver and avoid both attacks and shot at its underbelly. The spell hit, but did little effect to the dragon. It was then that Jayson remember that dragons need their legs to balance while flying. He, therefore, tried a leg-locker jinx. The dragon fell out of the sky and landed in the lake.
Jayson landed on the shore and Hermione ran out to meet him. They hugged for a second as she told him how scared she was he was going to get hurt. Jayson was breathing very hard and fast, but he nodded. Suddenly, the water parted and the dragon rose up from the lake onto its hind legs.
“Oh, fropp! Protego!” Jayson cast a shield charm and then wrapped himself around Hermione to shield her. Hermione screamed. The dragon let loose with a blast of fire.
Just before the fire hit, it was turned into ice and stopped about two feet from the pair. Jayson looked up and saw Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape and the rest of the staff flying into the fray. McGonagall dropped down to the ground.
“Are you both all right?” She asked
“Yes, Ma’am.” Hermione answered. Jayson was still huffing and puffing. Then he looked up and concentrated hard.
“Dumbledore, the leg-locker jinx will knock it off balance!” He said really loud. Then he slowly fell backwards and landed on the ground. Very soon everything went black.
When he woke up, Jayson found that he was in the Hospital wing. This was confusing as he had no idea how he got there. He looked up and saw Dumbledore sitting at a chair looking at him.
“Welcome back, Jayson. You had us worried a little there.” Dumbledore intoned.
“Hello sir, may I ask how long I have been out?” Jayson asked.
Jayson dropped his jaw. “Three days? I expended that much energy?”
“Indeed you did. By the way, thank you for the information on the leg-locker jinx. I was able to get the dragon down where I could start talking to her and find out why she was here in the first place.”
“Dragons can speak English?”
“No, but they have their own language. Fortunately, I know the language and was able to calm the lady down before any more damage was done. It seems that one of her eggs was stolen from her and the baby hatched here.”
“Let me guess, Hagrid had it.”
“Yes, he did. He apparently received it from a traveler he met at the Three Broomsticks. Poor Hagrid was upset that he had to give it up, but understood that the baby belonged to its mother.”
“Headmaster, I have spent a considerable amount of the time thinking about this situation. I have come to the conclusion that this episode wasn’t coincidence. Someone had to send that dragon here. Last I heard, the only place you find Norwegian Ridgebacks is in Norway.”
“Quite correct. I agree with your conclusion, Jayson.”
“Now, do we have a suspect as to who?”
“Not at this time. Hagrid didn’t see enough of the traveler’s face for a positive identification.”
“Too bad.” Jayson said with a sorrowful tone.
“Now, now, no real damage was done except for you being out for three days. By the way, Mr. Malfoy did his detention with Professor McGonagall. She had him polishing the trophy case next to the Gryffindor Dorms.”
“Ah, I forgot about Malfoy. Good, I’m am glad that he did not get off.”
“Yes, and now about your recent jaunt. It seems that your exploits have made you a hero to a lot of the students. Also, the Patronus was seen by the entire flying class. While you could not bring the dragon down, you were able to hold it off until help arrived, thus sparing the school any excess damage except for a few scorched trees.”
“I just did my duty to the school, sir.” Jayson responded.
“Yes, well the faculty feel you went above and beyond your duty. That is why your efforts have merited special commendation in your record and two hundred points for Gryffindor; which has made you a double hero in your House.” Dumbledore announced.
“Thank you sir.”
“Now, if you are able to stand, Madame Pomfrey can discharge you and you can resume your studies.”
Between Jayson’s duel with the dragon, and Harry, Hermione, and Ron’s exploits concerning the Sorcerer’s Stone, Gryffindor had the House Cup won by a landslide. Snape came over and shook McGonagall’s hand in congratulations. Dumbledore also congratulated Gryffindor when the Great Hall heard a pounding on the large double doors. They opened to find Jayson walking in carrying two packages…and dressed in non-school robes.
“Couldn’t wait to break the rules again, could you Livermore?” Snape said with a scowl.
“Actually, Severus, those rules don’t apply to me any longer. Seeing as I am no longer a student.” The crowd gasped when they heard those words. Jayson walked up to McGonagall and presented her with one of the boxes. “You’re favorite candy, Ma’am. It’s just something from me to you to say thank you for your guidance these last few years.”
“Thank you Jayson.”
He walked over to Dumbledore and gave him the other box. Dumbledore opened it and found a brand new chess set inside.
“I hope you find a student who gives you a challenge every now and then.” He said as Dumbledore smiled. Jayson smiled for a moment then his face got serious again. “There has been an incident in Whitechappel. They are afraid that a wizard used the killing curse on a Muggle, but no one knows for sure. They have asked me to join the investigation and see if some of my potions can find a better answer.” He then had a sad look on his face. “It is time for me to go, old friend.”
“Yes I believe it is, my young friend. Will you return for the ceremony?” Dumbledore asked.
“Maybe, I don’t know right now.”
Dumbledore nodded. “Of course, it was a privilege to have taught you.”
“Thank you, sir. Those sentiments mean a lot.” Jayson said, and then bowed and turned to leave. As he passed the tables, he stopped and stared at Harry.
“Potter, if you want to really get in good with Dumbledore, then learn chess.”
Harry laughed, and Jayson went on until he saw a crying Hermione.
“Why the tears, Mi-Mi?” He asked.
“You’re leaving! I will never see you again!”
“Yes, you will. I will always be home for the holidays. It is now time for me to move on with my life. But I will be there when you really need me. That I promise you.” He handed Hermione a locket. “Wear this. If you ever find yourself in real need, rub it hard and concentrate. I will know and come to assist you.”
Hermione hugged him hard. “Good luck, Jayson!”
Jayson hugged back. “Good luck to you too, Mi-Mi.” Then he released her and turned to the doors. He then “phase-shifted” out them.
“So that’s how he did it all these years?” Snape said.
“Yes indeed, he is quite talented. He should do well.” Dumbledore replied.
Hermione nodded in agreement.
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