Chapter 20 : Back To Normal
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Before her eyelids gave out on her again, she last saw an approaching shadow.
Harry rushed to the phone after the third ring, he figured it might have been Hermione, but he was disappointed when it wasn’t. Instead, it was some girl named Belle.
“Yes, this is Harry Potter.” Harry replied to the lady’s question on the other line.
“I’m not sure if you remember me, but we met a while back at the beach.” The lady continued when she didn’t hear Harry’s reply. “I’m Cho’s cousin.”
Harry’s face scrunched up in frustration. Now he remembered her. She was the one with the hot body and guys couldn’t keep their eyes off of her. “Can I help you with something?” Harry asked almost rudely.
“Actually, I’m calling to help you.”
Hermione heard a voice laughing beside her. She was saying something, but Hermione couldn’t make out the words. She opened her eyes, which were now cooperating. Her vision wasn’t so blurred now. She could make out exactly the place she was.
She turned to the right side to see a crowd of trees stretching for miles. When she looked up, all she could see were more tree branches covering her sight. On the left side, same thing; nothing but trees surrounding her in every direction. Or so she thought.
She tried to get up, but only to realize that she was tied to down to a rectangular shaped stone on the dirt ground. Her legs were stretched below her, while her arms were stretched high above her head, tied down to the stone. She tried kicking her legs, but it was no use. She couldn’t see anyone in sight, but as panic arouse in her mind, she heard laughter once again.
She tried to spot who it was, but she already had a big hunch. A shadow emerged from behind one of the trees and came up to her. When the figure pulled off the hood from its head, Hermione only glared at the person that stood before her.
“Is this good enough for you mudblood?” The woman spat at her, grinning maliciously.
Hermione narrowed her eyes at the woman before her. “I knew it was you Cho! I knew it all along!”
“Yet, here we are.” Cho tossed her long black hair behind her shoulders. She strolled around the rectangular stone, making Hermione dizzy. “You’re the one who’s tied down like the true mudblood you are and here I am, the one with the wand.” She pulled out her wand and purposely poked it in Hermione’s neck sharply. “You knew it was me, yet you were stupid enough to fall in my trap. The rosemary scent always works…don’t you think?”
Hermione mentally slapped herself. ‘Of course that what it was!’
Only a rosemary scent could have caused her to inhale the scent of the mysterious feather in her book. Its so addicting, no one could have resisted.
‘How could I have been so unknowing?’ Hermione angrily thought to herself.
Cho seemed to have read her mind because she shrilly laughed. “Oh, the smart-ass Granger fell into a baby’s trap!” She tossed her wand into the air gleefully. “How predictable!”
“You’re pathetic.” Hermione said her stare cold.
“No!” Cho screamed approaching Hermione. “You’re the pathetic one Granger!” She grabbed Hermione by the hair, yanking her head up from the stone. Hermione winced at the pain. “If you would have never interfered with Harry, he would have been mine! We could have been together if it wasn’t for you!” She tossed Hermione’s head back against the stone, making her cry out.
Hermione felt something warm trickle down her scalp, along her neck. It was blood. Hermione could feel it, even though she couldn’t see it. She was bleeding.
Cho didn’t seem to care or notice because she continued raging on. “You know what Granger?! I’m going to make Harry mine again! He’ll love me again!”
“You’re insane if you think Harry will ever love you again.” Hermione whispered her voice becoming hoarse.
Cho stopped pacing and watched Hermione with angry eyes. Her right eye started twitching unbelievably.
“Harry will be mine again. But that’s only possible if I get rid of you Granger.” She neared Hermione, her face a few inches from hers, “And that is going to be fun and easy to do.”
Alex closed his eyes as he forced himself to sit up. He sat up successfully, but he felt the burning scars on his back ache with pain. The ointment the nurse gave him an hour before wasn’t working so great.
As he succeeded getting in the proper position, the door swung open and the thin, brown-haired lady came in, taking her seat beside his bed.
“Did you call him?” Alex asked immediately, trying to read her expressionless face.
“Yes, I did.” Belle replied, her voice a mere whisper.
Belle sighed heavily. “He said he didn’t want to talk to me or meet me, for that matter.”
Alex went quiet for a few seconds as Belle watched him.
“What are we going to do now Alex?” She asked sorrowfully.
“What? Wait for what?”
“Time.” Alex replied, folding his hands in his lap. “Soon, Harry will know that Hermione’s missing, and then he’ll have to accept your offer.”
Belle smiled as she pondered this idea.
Harry set the table as he heard his grandfather clock chime 5 o’clock. He was preparing for the dinner Hermione promised him she would come to. The only problem was that she didn’t show up yet.
Harry decided he would call her. Perhaps she took a nap? She’s taking a shower? She got called up at work by Percy? Questions filled his mind endlessly, but he needed to know the true reason as to why she wasn’t showing up.
He dialed Hermione’s house number and after the fifth ring, Harry guessed that she wasn’t home. Maybe she was just on her way? Harry paced the room and decided to wait another 10 minutes.
At exactly 5:07, the phone rang. Harry rushed and picked it up after the first ring.
But it was someone else on the other line. “It’s me, Belle.”
“I thought I told you not to call me.” Harry was about to hang up, but Belle stopped him.
“Hermione hasn’t showed up, has she?” She asked quickly, catching Harry’s attention.
“Where is she?” Harry’s voice started to rise. “Where the bloody hell is she?! If you did anything to her, I swear---“
“No, Harry! Listen to me! I didn’t kidnap Hermione!” Belle claimed, sounding apologetic.
“Then where is she?! How do you know she didn’t show up?!”
“I---I just know, okay?”
“Did Cho put you up to this, huh? She’s behind all this isn’t she?”
“I have nothing to do with Cho, I swear!” Belle stopped for a few seconds, but Harry heard her sniffle. She was obviously crying. “Sh---she al-almost killed Alex!”
Harry’s temper lightened at this, but he still felt anger, but sorrow as well. ‘Cho tried to kill Alex?’ Hermione was in worse trouble than he thought.
Belle sniffled again. “Harry, I can help you, but you have to meet me, right now.”
“Fine then.” Harry paced the room and sighed. “I’ll give you my address—“
“No.” Belle interrupted. “Meet me at Ol’ Drunkee right now.”
Harry seemed skeptical. “How do I know this isn’t a trap?”
“You have to trust me. I only want to help you.”
“Because Cho’s out of control Harry! For Merlin sake, she tried to kill Alex! Who knows what she’s doing to Hermione right now!”
Harry’s insides fell apart. He felt like he was going to be sick. Who knows what Cho could have been planning for Hermione? Belle was right.
Harry gulped loudly. “I’m on my way.”
Hermione felt her head ache. The blood was no longer trickling, but she still felt hot burning pain from the cut on the back of her head.
A black owl flew overhead and landed on one of the tree branches. The owl transformed into its human form, the woman jumping off the branch onto the ground.
“I can’t wait to rid of you.” Cho whispered as she neared Hermione.
“Then why don’t you already?” Hermione spat at her.
“You’re desperate for death, aren’t you Granger?” She tossed her head back and laughed heavily. “I would do anything to kill you off right now, but…” She twirled a lock of Hermione’s hair in her fingers. “But…it hasn’t arrived yet. I can’t make it that easy for you. I need my weapon first…and you must know,” She pulled harshly on the curl of hair, “that I am an excellent chooser for a weapon to kill off a mudblood.”
Hermione just lost herself in thought. “What are you talking about?”
“I wouldn’t want to kill you off with a simple killing curse, now would I? That would lead all the evidence to me, a pureblood. No, instead…I figured the way to kill off a mudblood would to do it the mudblood way, so no one would suspect me.”
Hermione instantly thought that Cho must have been referring to a gun, what other weapon was there for muggles that could kill instantly?
“Don’t worry.” Cho continued. “You’ll find out soon enough, what it is.”
“Harry will find me.” Hermione spoke suddenly. “He’ll know that I’m missing and he’ll come looking for me.”
Cho laughed again. “Oh, of course he’ll look for you.” She stopped and glared. “At all the wrong places.”
Hermione gulped nervously. Hermione didn’t even know where she was, how could have Harry possibly look here? What clue was there to lead him to the middle of a forest?
“What is this place?” Hermione asked in a trance-like voice, observing her surrounding once again.
“Oh, you don’t know?” Cho asked mockingly. She slapped herself on the cheek. “Know-it-all Granger doesn’t know?”
“You can be sarcastic all you want, but Harry----“
“Harry will come for you!” Cho exclaimed, throwing her arms into air. “That’s all you can say Granger! Harry will never find you here!” Cho paced around the stone again. “Of course, it was sweet Harry’s idea for me to bring you here.”
Hermione looked confused. “What are you talking about?”
“You know this place very well Granger. Take a look around. Don’t you remember?”
Hermione looked up through the tree branches again. What on bloody earth was Cho talking about? She never saw this place in her life----
Hermione gasped knowingly.
Cho smiled maliciously. “Ah, now do you remember?”
Hermione thought furiously. Harry’s birthday. Hermione already had given Harry his present, and then…Cho gave him a peek of hers. It was the most beautiful scenery she had ever seen. It was a forest…a magnificent forest with a lovely waterfall and grass planted stairs…
“No.” Hermione whispered softly.
“Yes.” Cho replied, her smile spreading. “Harry gave me the idea. Ironic, isn’t it?” Cho sighed happily. “My grandmother told me to use this forest as a representation of love. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
“By killing me off?” Hermione asked softly.
“By killing you off, I will have my love…forever.”
Harry took a seat hesitantly in the booth, nearest the door. The bartender approached him, cocking a grin.
“Can I get you anything?” The gruff man asked.
“Uh, no. I’m fine.” Harry searched the bar. There wasn’t anyone there; especially a woman.
“You sure?” The bartender pressed on.
“Yes, I’m fine.” Harry continued, his eyes wandering. “Did a woman happen to stop by here anytime today?”
The bartender eyed Harry suspiciously. “What’s your name lad?”
“Harry. Harry Potter.”
“Oh, so you’re Mr. Potter then.” Harry watched as the large man searched his pants pocket for something. “Well, I have a message here for you.” He pulled out a white note that was folded in half. He handed it to Harry. “Some lady stopped by earlier to have me give you that.” He strolled away to another table, wiping it clean with his towel.
Harry anxiously opened the note. It had such a sweet smell to it that demanded to be inhaled.
‘I’m sorry Harry, but this is the only way you can help Hermione.’
After Harry read the note, he rubbed his eyes a few times. He was suddenly feeling very drowsy. Before he could react, his eyes were shut to darkness and his head fell to the table.
The bartender looked some what amused. He walked over to the restrooms, gesturing to the shadow that was hidden behind the wall.
“It’s done. He’s asleep.”
“Good.” The shadow replied, pulling out gold coins. She handed it to the bartender. “Make sure no one knows of this.”
“I’ll be sure of it.” The man pocketed the coins. “What about him?”
“Leave that to me.” The lady replied, emerging from the shadows.
Alex tried to relax as the nurse applied the ointment on the bruise on his shoulder. She applied it slowly and soothingly, suddenly stopping when Alex winced.
“Alright, there you are.” The nurse said, fastening up the cap on the bottle and getting ready to leave.
“Nurse Carrie?” Alex asked hesitantly.
“Can you do me a favor?”
“Can you find me Remus Lupin and call him here to the hospital?” His eyes met the nurse’s. “It’s urgent.”
“Aren’t you even a little bit curious?” Cho asked Hermione happily.
Hermione narrowed her eyes at Cho. “What are you talking about?”
“About everything.” Cho strolled around Hermione once again. Only this time, she skipped once or twice. “Don’t you want to know how I got it all done up to this point? Don’t you want to know this genius’s secret?”
“No. I don’t give a damn about how you tricked us all with your evil plans.”
Cho laughed openly. “Well, I don’t care what you think. I’m still going to reveal it.” She stopped behind Hermione, hissing in her ear. “Besides, I’m proud of my achievements.”
Hermione scoffed as Cho stood, lost in thought, a smirk appearing on her ghoul like face.
“Lovegood didn’t know what hit her.” She turned to face Hermione. “After the horrible day I had to ‘pretend to be friends with you’, I had to go and apologize to Looney Lovegood. But she wasn’t as forgiving as you were mudblood. So, I had to jump to faze two quickly. I left her place, but not without leaving a special little present for her first.”
“The Imperius curse bracelet.” Hermione said her voice sickening.
“Correct Granger! Now let’s see if you can guess two in row right!”
Hermione continued glaring as Cho walked carefree back and forth, smiling to herself.
“I had Lovegood in my grasp. She was there for a while, always backing me up, of course. And what else could I have gotten away with?” Cho smacked herself on the forehead. “Oh, of course! She was my cover-up for the night you were so brutally attacked.” She smirked in Hermione’s direction. “Weasel was a perfect pansy wasn’t he?”
“Go to hell!” Hermione spat, but Cho continued.
“My little house-elf gave you pretty big scare the same night, didn’t she?”
“That was planned, just like everything else, wasn’t it?!” Hermione screamed at her.
“Yes, but you just couldn’t stand leaving the truth alone.”
“It wasn’t the truth. It was a pure lie!”
“And you wanted to find it out for yourself. I knew you would.”
“You planted the Veritaserumin the cabinet so I would find it.” Hermione was really starting to hate herself for falling in Cho’s predictable traps. “But Veritaserumin can go in any drink without something happening, on how earth did you get away with that? Oh, wait. Let me guess…you faked it.”
“I know. Veritaserumin can go in anything, so that’s why I faked it. I put some special ingredient in my omelet that made it make me turn that shade of purple. I knew my Harry-poo would save me with that bezoar.” Cho giggled, clasping her hands together. “Genius, aren’t I?”
“No, you’re not. You’re just as vile and pathetic as any other criminal!”
“Silencio!” Cho hissed her voice threatening.
Hermione opened her mouth to retort, but no sound came out.
Cho smiled. “That’s better. Now…where was I? Oh, yes. My brilliant achievements.”
Hermione scrunched her eyebrows together in frustration, but her mouth was closed now since there was no point in trying to talk.
“Things were going great. A couple of days later, I had to meet with Harry, but I knew that was impossible because he didn’t want to see me, so I had to grasp his attention. That wasn’t too hard.” Cho beamed, while Hermione rolled her eyes. “Innocent Eyes contacts gave me that open opportunity. He took one good look at me in the eyes and he didn’t want me to leave his sight.” Cho’s smile faded and turned into a vicious frown. “But then, you showed up. His glance was knocked off of balance once he took one good stare at you.”
Hermione smiled slyly. Harry truly did love her. He actually had to be under a curse to be in love with that monster, Cho Chang.
“At the Quidditch Cup, I swore to have my vengeance on you. I wanted to take it step further. I wanted to put you to sleep and drug Harry and take him to my tent, but even then…you made it impossible…mudblood.” Cho said with emphasis. “You were getting on my last nerve. I wanted to do something to you, but what?” She grinned. “And then, who else to show up, but Mr. Viktor Krum himself? Oh, I knew he had a thing for you, and I had the perfect solution for him, but even then, you just had to figure it out, didn’t you? Just because you’re a smart-ass know-it-all mudblood.”
Cho sighed heavily. “I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to take my anger out on someone.”
Hermione’s eyes watered. She remembered Luna being in the hospital, not remembering what happened. Cho attacked her.
As a silent tear slid down Hermione’s cheek, Cho smiled. “Yes, Lovegood was a perfect target at that moment. Besides, she had been faking along with me the whole time through; claiming to be my friend and loyal to me, when really…she was just faking friendship with me. What can I say, she deserved it.”
Hermione closed her eyes tightly, trying to avoid the malicious look on Cho’s face as she gloated over her victory.
“Just like Alex deserved the painful Cructias Curse…” Her eyes traveled to Hermione’s. “Just like you’re getting what you deserve.”
Belle easily levitated Harry out of the bar. The only hard part was keeping him steer clear of any muggles.
She took him straight to the back of the bar in an empty alley. She slowly released his body to the floor below, where she had already laid a bed sheet. Harry was in a deep sleep.
Belle took out a piece of parchment from her inside jacket pocket and unraveled it, looking at it skeptically. She took a glance at Harry and then back at the writing on the parchment again. “I sure hope this works.”
She closed her eyes and sighed deeply, trying to find concentration. At first she heard the cars passing by and some muggles laughing and chatting, but she had to completely block out everything and clear her mind for this to work.
She opened her eyes when she felt completely confident. She read the writing on the parchment, chanting her words carefully. It was hard for her since she didn’t know much Latin, but she was learning.
“Filiolus of somnus…” She waved her hands magically over Harry’s body. “Permissum excito in phasmatis of ego. Phasmatis exsisto existo in somes quod animus.” Harry’s body shook a little and Belle was positive this was going to work. “Transport thy animus.” She touched Harry’s chest now for her final words. “Oh, Filiolus of Somnus, diligo est eternus.”
The wind started to pick speed around them. It was as if there was a storm gathering right in the alley. Belle covered her face from the dust, while Harry’s body was picked up in the wind. She watched through her fingers as Harry’s body twirled faster and faster and then….pop!
The wind stopped completely and Harry disappeared into thin air.
Belle looked dumbfounded and thrilled at the same time. “I have to tell Alex the great news!”
Remus stared hard and long at the hospitalized person before him. Was he telling him the truth? It sounded so unbelievable; he just had to be sure of it.
“Where are they?” He asked once again.
“I told you, I don’t know exactly.” Alex replied, looking weary. He was starting to regret calling Remus over.
“You don’t know, yet you tell me that Cho has Hermione Granger captivate?”
“Yes.” Alex said with certainty in his voice.
Remus rubbed the side of his temple. This just wasn’t making sense.
Suddenly, the door swung open and a young teenaged woman came rushing in, her hands on her chest from running. “Alex! I did…it! Harry’s gone!”
Harry rubbed his eyes as he observed his surrounding. It was all so blurry, but he found the reason why; his glasses were on the floor beside him. He quickly placed them on and stood up, wincing in pain as he did. He had an excruciating headache from some fall he had landing there.
He seemed to be in some sort of forest. In every direction, all he saw were trees that went on forever. In the further distance there was smoky fog that sealed up the rest of the forest.
‘Where am I?’ Harry thought as he searched for any sign of existence.
Harry looked around himself. He had never seen this place before, yet it felt strangely familiar.
He walked a few steps forward, or what he thought was forward, before he saw a shadow moving behind a tree. The shadow was watching Harry because when Harry realized he saw it, the shadow quickly tried to run out of sight.
Harry, without thinking, ran after it.
The shadow emerged out behind the trees, and into full view. It was a person covered in a large cape and hood.
This sight encouraged Harry to follow this person, finding out who it was or what it was up to. His heart skipped a beat in suspicion.
Keeping his eyes on the hooded figure, Harry wasn't watching where he was stepping. So he tripped over a giant tree root in the ground. Re-adjusting his glasses, he stood up and checked all around for the hooded figure, but it was gone. Whoever it was was in a hurry.
Not knowing where to go now, Harry decided to check the ground for foot prints, but there weren't any surrounding him. It was as if the mysterious person was flying on thin air.
Hermione was alone for sometime now since Cho turned into an owl and flew off somewhere.
This was Hermione’s fifth attempt at what she was doing. She twisted her arms and legs as much as she could to somehow loosen herself from the rope that tied her down, but it was no use. The binds were too tight.
Hermione yelled out in frustration. She had her voice back again because ever since Cho left, the spell was released, but that was no use either.
Not long, a brown owl came flying in once again, this time; it had something in its beak. It glimmered in the sunshine as the owl flew past Hermione, and turned back into her human form.
Cho seemed to look frightened. Hermione saw that in her reaction immediately. Something was frightening her.
Hermione remained oblivious to the dagger that she held in her right hand. She just watched Cho’s expression. Hermione was surprised to see her like that. Apparently she saw something that was distracting her.
She met Hermione’s gaze and her face quickly turned into an evil smile of hatred and revenge.
“I’ve got you now Granger.” She raised her hand to show Hermione the beautiful jewel crested dagger that shimmered in the sunlight. “I finally get to get rid of you.” Her smile switched into a glare as she stood across from Hermione’s tied down body.
She held the knife up in mid-air…
Hermione did the only thing she could do at that moment…she screamed for her life.
Harry heard it; screaming.
Out of nowhere, there was screaming. A woman was screaming. And it was near by somewhere.
Harry quickly ran in the direction of the screaming. It made him panic because it sounded like Hermione, but he silently prayed it wasn’t. He hoped that this was a nightmare and she was safe at home.
He reached the horrifying scene. He saw before him, someone standing in a hooded cape, with a knife high above their head, as the knife inched higher, the hood fell off and Harry saw that it was Cho Chang, trying to murder Hermione, who was screaming her lungs out.
Hermione still kept screaming and Cho brought down the dagger in one quick motion.
"Noooooo!!!!" Harry screamed.
He launched himself forward, tackling Cho to the ground. She hit her head on the corner of the rectangular rock when she fell. She was knocked out. Harry quickly took the dagger out of her hand, cutting Hermione’s ropes open, setting her free.
Hermione embraced Harry in a heartfelt hug. She sobbed uncontrollably on his shirt.
“Shh…” Harry soothed. “It’s over now.” As he soothed her hair, he felt blood on his fingers. “You’re hurt Hermione.” He said worriedly. “We have to get you to the hospital.”
Hermione didn’t oblige or say anything because she was scared of what had just happened, but glad that Harry was there when she needed him.
As they stood up together, Harry left the dagger on the rectangular rock. Cho opened her eyes slowly at the sight of Harry and Hermione walking away.
She got up viciously. She grabbed a hold of the dagger and launched herself at Hermione once more, screaming like a mad-woman.
“Stupfey!” A man’s voice yelled.
Hermione and Harry turned in time to see Cho fall to the floor, stunned. They saw a figure approach them from the other side of the shadows, behind Cho’s frozen body.
They sighed with relief. It was Remus.
“Are you two alright?” He asked immediately, approaching them.
Harry nodded his head, but Hermione felt only her heart pound like crazy. What if Remus wasn’t there? Cho would have killed her off like she hoped. She shivered from the thought.
“I have to get Hermione to the hospital. She’s bleeding.” Harry claimed, his grip increasing around his girlfriend’s shoulder.
Remus approved and let them go, but as they did, they heard Cho wake up in the pair of strong-armed aurors that held her by each arm. She screamed again.
“No! Harry you belong with me!” She yelled furiously at them. “Don’t leave me! Come back! You’re mine! You always will be! You love me!” She fought against the aurors, but they were too strong for her. “No! I love you Harry! Come back to me!”
The aurors dragged her out of the forest as Remus stood behind with Harry and Hermione.
“What’s going to happen to her?” Hermione whispered as she watched Cho being dragged away.
“Well, like any witch or wizard criminal, she’s going to Azkaban to serve her time.” Remus replied, rubbing the back of his head.
“Are you okay Remus?” Harry asked, watching the old man’s expression change and look a little weary.
Remus gave him a reassuring smile. “Yeah, I’m fine. The trip here wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.”
Harry smiled in agreement. He didn’t know how he got there, but he was glad to know that he came there in time to save Hermione.
“How do we leave?” Hermione breathed to ask.
“That’s easy.” A lady’s voice startled Hermione. She knew it sounded bluntly familiar. It was Belle, from the beach. She walked beside Remus and explained herself. “I believe that we have to leave this place just like the way we came.” Remus covered his mouth as if he felt sick all of a sudden. “Don’t worry sir. It’s better when you go in a group.”
Alex ripped up the piece of parchment Belle had given back to him at the disappearance of Harry.
He was glad to have used the same chant on Remus to transport him to the same place Cho was.
He relaxed his back against the pillow and closed his eyes. It was done, he could feel it. Cho had been captured and Hermione was safe again.
He was glad that he could help.
Even though Cho didn’t truly love him, she did trust him and told him everything….everything.
Hermione opened her eyes to see the white wall of the hospital she knew so well, St. Mungo’s.
She felt a squeeze on her hand and she saw Harry sitting beside her, holding her hand in his.
She smiled. She couldn’t be happier that this was all over.
Harry kissed her hand reassuringly. “It’s all over Mione.” He whispered, as if he was reading her mind. “Everything’s back to normal.”
*A/N: THE END! There you have it! This story’s finished. I know the ending wasn’t as “mind-blowing”, but I thought it was a perfect way to end it and have it as a start. For those that don’t know yet, I’m planning on a sequel to “Psycho Path, Cho Chang” so I can continue on the suspense and excitement. The next story will be called, “The Return”, Ooooh, so look out for it! Thanks to everyone for their fantastic reviews! The sequel is dedicated to all of you! Goodbye for now!! *hugs and kisses*