Chapter 9 : Small Price To Pay
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The sun woke her early in the morning. The rays splashed through the window drawing her soul into the sky. Her eyes remained closed. Behind her eyes danced the visions of happiness that were her dreams. Her face held the perfect smile framed by rose cheeks.
“I love your laugh.” She let out the littlest laugh as her mind reveled in the past. Unimportant phrased ran through her head. Images of joy followed. Ron stared at her smiling.
“As you wish, Hermione.” Ron left the room closing the door behind him. He didn’t need know what she was dreaming about and he wasn’t going to stick around to find out.
“Kiss me…” The sleepy words escaped her blooming lips just seconds after they would have caused disaster. A barely avoided hurricane burst through her eyes. They shot open and she was aware of everything. She through her covers to the ground. She grabbed her clothes and quickly got dressed. Then she paced across her room until the thoughts had worked themselves out.
She would not dream of him again. Repetition that was what the experts said changed things. She closed her eyes and a poof of air came out of her sinking mattress as she sat.
“What am I to do!” Hermione’s hand cupped her head as she shook back and forth. It was hopeless. Her brain wasn’t functioning and it wasn’t looking to start again. A snake’s poison was quickly spreading trough the veins that gave her life. Her gaze drifted upward. She gave a puzzled look to the door, the closed door. She hadn’t closed it last night. Someone had been in her room. She took a deep breath and scanned the room for signs of change.
Laughter escaped her worried lips as she saw the steaming plate of home made nutrition. She disregarded Harry’s note. A bite of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was not enough for her. It was all she could remember eating in far to long. The scrambled eggs and jelly toast was enough to keep her happy all day long. She knew Ron and Harry would force more on her. The meal disappeared far to fast her liking but she licked her lips and smiled.
She read the note. It initialed simple instruction on what to do to get ready for going to Grimmald Place. She laughed at Harry and did the instructions.
As her bare feet walked down the wore carpet of the steps she heard chatter from the kitchen. Before she could even get close to the door, Harry had walked out. His hair looked washed today and less messy. He was wearing nice robes and looked like he was going to go to work.
“Hey Hermione, you ready to go?” Hermione nodded and showed her bag to him. She slipped on her shoes and followed him out the back door.
Apparition to the door and then gone. Harry didn’t even say goodbye. ‘He must be mad about the Malfoy thing’ She thought as she opened the door her wand ready.
Nothing. Dead silence. It looked the same, and smelled the same but nothing was there. It didn’t sound the same. Mrs. Black hadn’t screamed. No Kretcher muttering. Complete and utter silence was hard to break. Somehow though, she felt safe here. Like this place meant something it her. She carried her bag up one flight of stairs to the old familiar room Ginny and her had shared two summers ago. She set it down on the bed and pulled out the silver sword.
It was a magical beauty but she didn’t know that yet. She traced her finger lightly along the edge. The red liquid that bubbled up melted into the blade. To Hermione’s astonishment the blade began to glow. She let go of the thing, scared it would get hot. Like a bird it hovered in the air, dancing through the dust. The handle changed to gold and blade flashed the rainbow. A bead of blood, her blood, formed in the center of the handle and grew. Blood changed to stone, stone to sand, sand to water, and then water to gem. The gem was a bright purple glowing with a seemingly endless light.
“Is this dark magic?” she whispered. Memorized by the blade she forgot all else. It swung like a pendulum. Faster and faster it swooped daring prey to come its way. Losing herself in its movement she reached out for the handle. The blade began to spin. It was a clock finding the time, the time to strike, to leap and to die.
Her hand froze. It was gripped tightly around the sword. Hermione’s eyes watered as her hand sliced open, a clean cut, diagonal through her left palm. Knees hit the ground with metal. Tears mixed with blood. The sword stayed motionless for a long moment. The glowing stopped and it seemed whatever had possessed it before was gone forever.
“Virginia. Strange I didn’t think I would meet you.” Hermione blinked. With her right hand she dried her eyes. The sword still lay where it was. It’s purple stone dull and lifeless. Who had spoken to her? “Sorry about the cut…It’s just a simple test. See where your blood truly lies. I am ready to tell you the truth.”
Hermione gasped. In the purple gem blinked an eye. Golden and beautiful it stared at her. She couldn’t look away. It held her captive.
“Who are you?”
“The sword of truth, of course.”
A hand reached out to touch the handle of the sword. It remained immobile. The magic glowing in the gold eyeball in the purple gem. A gem made of her own blood. She stared at the cut across her palm for a long time. It was deep but not enough to need major attention. She was sure it would scar however.
“A small price to pay for the truth.” The golden eye blinked. She felt angry at it. She wanted to take her wand and stab it. Odd…what good would her wand do to it? She placed her finger tips on the now gold handle.
“The truth…you can tell me the truth?” Hermione was awed by the thing and in the same moment terrified. This sword had a soul and a powerful one at that.
“I believe I already told you that. At least your quicker than your grandfather.” A cheeky soul as well. The words caught her though.
“My grandfather? My grandfather!” Suddenly amazing thoughts ran through her head. This sword knew her mother, her parents and their parents and even further. She could find out so much. “What can…” She cut herself off suddenly looking down at her palm. ‘A small price to pay for the truth.’ It was a lesson as well. She looked up at the golden eye. “How does it work? Do I ask you questions and you tell me the truthful answer or…” She drifted off watching the great eye blink lazily.
“Not questions! Statements! But it will do no good for you to say them.”
“Why not? Wouldn’t you be able to tell if I was lying?” Laughter resounded through her skull and she narrowed her eyes.
“Not if you believe what you say. Your great grandmother always believed everything. Never lied she did.” Hermione sighed. The slit upon her hand had finally stopped bleeding. It was turning black from clots. The floor however was not black but a watery pink color. A rainbow from one color.
“So do you just glow or something when someone lies to me?”
“I can glow…I can poke, I can do many things. Depends on who you are? You mother and I had a lovely discussion when she was young about whether heating up or poking would hurt more if you had a hickey.” Hermione raised her eyebrows.
“But you’re a sword…you wouldn’t be any where close to a hickey.” More laughter rang through her head.
“Ahhh…innocents! Been too long since I’ve told the truth to the innocent. But deary I have many talents.” The sword rose into the air. Hermione quickly backed away as it began spinning. She wasn’t going to fall for its enchantment again. “Dooo deeee dooby dooooooooooooooo.” The sword sang as it shrunk as it spun. Suddenly it was smaller than Hermione’s palm. It gave another chorus of do’s and a golden chain rose from the top of the handle. Hermione couldn’t help but laugh.
“You look like a cheap vending machine necklace,” she said through a giggle.
“Well excuse me! If you don’t want the truth.” The sword floated towards the door.
“No wait! I do.” Hermione shouted. As clots hit the chain, they broke open. A drop of blood hit the ground. “Ow,” Hermione breathed.
“You lie.” Hermione stared at the sword. It said nothing more but the golden eye glared at her. Silence held itself in the room like a goddess. Silence laughed at them both and wrapped her clothes around their souls.
“Wither you want it or not the truth is bound to come out. Isn’t it better to know right away?” Silence slipped away from the room like a caught thief.
“Not always…trust me.” Hermione laughed. She was being asked to trust the sword of truth.
“So is there any non painful way to know when somebody lies to me?” Watching the now tiny eye was getting annoying. It didn’t do anything but blink.
“Well I could always ring…you know… or annoyingly scream ‘they lie.’ Until you get a headache.” Hermione laughed again.
“I honestly don’t want to look crazy telling someone who isn’t there to shut up. So how about the ringing.”
“Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggg. That good?” Hermione covered her ears at the loudness of the swords voice.
“Softer please,” Hermione whispered not wanting to set it off again.
“Well now that that’s covered I’m going to take a nap.” The necklace rose in the air and fell around Hermione’s neck. The golden eye closed in a purple lid. The gem was dull and lifeless once again.
Hermione sighed at the mess. She grabbed her wand. The next sigh to escape her lips was a sad one. She couldn’t do magic. Not for another year. She would turn seventeen in a week but with the war the ministry had changed age of legal magic one year higher. She pocketed her wand and headed toward the kitchen. Eerie as the house was, she couldn’t believe how much at home she felt. It was strange to think that Sirius hated the place. She stopped on the last step. Why had she thought of him? She supposed it made sense. She was in his house anyways. Harry… It was Harry’s house now because Sirius was dead. She remembered the last time she’d talk to Sirius. He had seemed so weird that day. It had felt like he wanted to tell her something. Now she wondered if he knew about her blood. He’d always been so kind to her. She shook her head and kept walking toward the kitchen. It was silly to be thinking about Sirius it would only get her spooked to be in a dead man’s house.
She opened the door to the kitchen. It was colder in that room. Instinctively she looked around for Draco. Laughing at herself when he wasn’t anywhere to be found, she grabbed some towels and hurried back to her room. Living by herself wasn’t going to be fun. Neither would living with someone else though. She was too confused and had too much thrust upon her.
She looked at the sword and locket resting around her neck. Glad the mess was cleaned up she sat on her bed. It wouldn’t be bad to take a nap too. She was asleep before her head hit the pillow.
I realize it was a bit long. My apologies. it was orginally two chapters. However, the first chapter was far to short. I would like to thank everyone for reading and reviewing. The reviews really motivate me to keep writing. I'm planning on trying to get a chapter out every weekend. Hopefully if I plan it right you'll get a good Draco and Hermione scene for Valentine's day. I hope you enjoyed the chapter, and keep reading to see how annoying the sword of truth can get.
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