Chapter 9 : Celebrity, Animals and Pain
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Here is the next chapter (prepare to be a bit confused…)
Revelations aren’t easy
Snape didn’t move or make any indication that he’d heard Harry.
He tried again but to no avail.
I had already been starting to get spooked out by that wailing patient but this complete silence from a man who had never in the past made any effort not to direct at Harry, Ron or I a cold, cutting or harsh remark was definitely heightening the creepy scale.
Maybe that healer earlier had been right – I’m not sure if I’m cut out for this.
“Harry, I-” I began but he cut me off.
“Be quiet Hermione.”
I bowed my head.
“Shouldn’t tell the girl to be quiet. She might not like you anymore.”
My head whipped up.
Snape was staring straight at me.
I looked at Harry.
“What did you say?” said Harry.
Snape’s eyes snapped round to him.
“Mr Potter – our new celebrity!”
My mouth dropped open. That was what he had said to Harry in our first ever Potions lesson, over twelve years ago.
Ron was looking at Harry uneasily.
“Mate, maybe we shouldn’t-”
“No!” snapped Harry. “We came here with a job to do and if you can’t hack it Ron, then you leave.”
Ron looked quite stunned at Harry’s harsh words but then shook his head.
“No, I want to stay.”
“Be quiet then.”
Looks like this trip’s not going to be any team-building exercise, that’s for sure!
Harry took a calming breath and then said, “We need information on Draco Malfoy. What do you know?”
Snape, however, had taken up his previous position of staring into space.
“The bird doesn’t sing anymore,” he said sorrowfully.
Harry glanced uncertainly at me and Ron.
“Er…” he began, but I cut in.
“What bird doesn’t sing anymore, Severus?” I asked gently.
Snape turned around and looked at me again, his gaze boring into mine.
“She was such a pretty girl. Fire flowed from her head.”
Ok, now if that isn’t a breach of health and safety, then I don’t know what is!
“Who was?” I tried again.
“The jerk and his dog stoked the flame.”
Oh brilliant. Cryptic messages.
This is going to be a fun day!
“Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts…” Snape began to sing.
“He’s gone round the twist!” said Ron, exasperatedly.
“…teach us something, please…”
“Oh, well done Ron!” I exclaimed sarcastically. “I can’t imagine how you could ever have reached that conclusion whilst sitting in a mental ward!”
“…Whether we be old and bald…”
“Oh, I’m sorry your highness! I apologise if we don’t all have the same brain capacity as you, Hermione!”
“…Or young with scabby knees…”
“Well it’s pretty obvious that you don’t!”
“…Our heads could do with filling…”
“Oh, that’s right! Go ahead and insult me Hermione. You were always lording it over Harry and me at Hogwarts!”
“…With some interesting stuff…”
“Hey, don’t bring me into this!”
“…For now they’re bare and full of air…”
“You are so immature Ron! And I never ‘lorded’ it over you and Harry! Right Harry?!”
“…Dead flies and bits of stuff…”
“I told you to leave me out of this!”
“…So teach us something worth knowing…”
“I bet you never lorded it over Vicky!”
“…Bring back what we’ve forgot…”
“Oh for crying out loud! Could you be more jealous?! And it’s Victor!”
“…Just do your best, we’ll do the rest…”
“Jealous?! Why on earth would I be jealous of that potato-head?!”
“…And learn until our brains all rot.”
“Typical! Same old apparent shock and defensiveness. You know what, maybe if you grew up a bit, you wouldn’t keep bringing up the past and breaking my h-”
“The snow-white queen and the dark-lidded princess came to tea.”
I stopped talking abruptly and stared at Snape.
Something finally slotted into place.
“Harry,” I said in a hushed voice, “I think he’s talking about Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange!”
Snape’s eyes bulged at the sound of their names and the next thing I knew, he was flying at me.
The impact sent the both of us crashing across the cubicle.
Harry and Ron instantly rushed to help me but were thrown back by some invisible barrier.
“No!” hissed Snape. “You cannot speak of it.”
Assuming he was talking about Voldermort, I nodded, frozen where I was by fear.
“O-ok,” I stammered.
Snape let go off my shirt, which he’d been gripping hold of and began looking at his hands, as though they fascinated him.
I tried to move away but found I couldn’t – it looked like the barrier prevented me from leaving this…‘bubble’… Snape had cast around us.
I could see Harry and Ron trying to penetrate it but as of yet, seemed unable to do so.
Just as I began summoning up all of my power, in an attempt to break down the barrier, Snape began talking furtively, still staring at his hands.
“The queen and I shared a common goal. 1978 is me. Snivellus, Snivelly! The jerk and his dog dangled the prince – the saint’s bank showed the snake it. 1978 is me. But the jerk and his dog could no longer sniff out the prince. And the snake, weasel and beaver cannot find the ferret. 1978 is me. All for one but none for three, none for four. The one all alone. The fortress is where it is hidden, dark eyes sparkling – time is ticking forward - its cold heart beating a new tune. Love is never ending, for it shall come alive at the sound of three. The answer lies and the lies answer inside the fortress. For three, not four, it’s the end for me!”
Suddenly he grabbed my wrist, clamping down hard and a searing pain shot all up my arm.
The next thing I knew, I was flying across the ward.
I smashed into a wall, smacking my head as I did so.
As I slid down it, I could feel blood trickling down my neck.
My vision started growing dark and cloudy.
The last thing I remembered was hearing Snape’s manic laughter, Harry shouting for help and Ron by my side, telling me to hang on…
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