Chapter 15 : The Room of Destiny.
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The room had lost its shape. The colors had blended together. A blur of sliver and gold whirled around her face. She rolled around.
“Come on…it’s not that bad.” Hermione let out a sob into her pillow. She felt dead. Her best friend had joined Lord Voldemort. He had betrayed them all. That was what Voldemort had meant the first time. Ron had broken the order. Ron had gone evil.
Ron…Evil? She couldn’t even think of it. It was unimaginable, indiscernible, indescribable, unspeakable and impossible. She pulled the quilt over her head and let her tears drain into it.
She told him that she didn’t care. She told him to go die. She told him Voldemort could do the deed. She hadn’t meant it. She did want to mean it. She wanted to be at Hogwarts trying to solve the latest mystery of the castle. She didn’t want to be here, worrying over who she could trust and who was really her friend.
“Come on Virginia. It’s not that bad…come on. Just think about the past. I’m sure he had a good reason. You still have Draco and Harry and of course the truth is always on your side.” Hermione moved the covers off her head and stared through her messy hair to the sliver blur before her.
“What does the truth know of sides! What does the truth know of trust! How do you know who I still have!” she shouted at the sword. She could tell it had shrunk in sizes as she yelled, even though everything was blurry from tears.
She felt as if a cloud had wrapped around her like shawl, choking her like death with its fingers of doubt and confusion. She gripped her knees and closed her eyes. “I just want it all to end,” she whispered through sobs. This was too much. She couldn’t handle it. Not Ron…anyone but Ron…let it be Harry, let it be Ginny, let it be Luna. Let it be Dumbledore back from the dead and on his side but not Ron. It had to be Ron. Her heart ached. A physical pain shearing through her chest harder than the emotional pain.
The tap upon the window shook her from her thoughts. A single hand wiped the tears away from her eyes. The snowy white own stared out her with its big golden brown eyes. She let it watch her as its foot scratched the window for a good minute. The she sat up and opened the window. The bird dropped two letters upon the floor and with two quick flaps of his wings the bird was gone. Hermione watched Hedwig fly away as if the bird was her hopes and dreams.
Staring at the two envelops on the floor she let the cold August air wash over her dieing soul. The writing on the envelopes was Harry’s. One was from Ron, addressed in Harry’s hand writing. She stared at it, her head cocked to the side.
“Hermione?” The voice was Draco’s. She jumped and looked out the window from which the voice had come. She stared out it. He was standing on the side walk, unable to see the house which she lived. He shouted her name again. She stared out the window and the closed it. She wanted nothing to do with him.
“Are you going to leave him in the cold when he obviously cares about you?” Hermione glared at the sword and stared at the empty painting. Expect it wasn’t empty now.
In thick black paint the words ‘I hate this place’ was inscribed upon the canvas. She stared at it with the same dull curiosity she had stared at everything.
“I hate this place,” she whispered. The picture turned black and then brown. A golden door handle was painted on one side and with a sharp glow the painting had turned into a door. Hermione’s eyes drifted from the letters on the floor to the window and then back to the door. She was being presented with a choice. Like the Hermione everyone knew so well she opened the door and passed through it with out a second thought. Knowledge and curiosity over passing her want for friendship and love again.
When she reached the top of that long stair case she found herself in that same round room with the same doors and that pedestal. Thrive, revel, undercover, love, expose, opportunity, veil, and exist. She looked at the colors and sighed. There was some puzzle to this and she wasn’t sure what it was. She didn’t have any idea what it was. A single step towards the door with the word veil on it and the room began to spin. She sank to her knees as a loud screech sounded through the room. Tears formed at her eyes and she couldn’t believe it.
“Tell me!” screamed a harsh feminine voice. “What is your name? Why are you here?” Hermione could hardly think.
“Hermione…Hermione Granger,” she gasped out through the pain in her head. She couldn’t even see the floor before her because of it. She scrapped her fingers across the floor trying to distract herself from the ever growing screech.
“YOU LIE!” screamed the voice again. The screech blasted in Hermione’s ears and was soon joined by her scream. Seconds passed into minutes. Hermione felt the syllables of the screech in her ears upon her brain diving deep into her soul. She felt as if it would kill her. ‘A Banshee’ the thought faintly occurred to her.
Suddenly everything was silent and Hermione felt tears roll down her cheeks as her head pounded with the echo of the pain she had just endured.
“My apologies,” came a sweet honey voice, “the banshee is a safety measure. I never expected her to get so out of hand.” Hermione opened her eyes and felt the world swirl. “Careful,” came the soothing voice again. “That should have killed you.” Hermione felt two arms slip under her own and hold her up. She slowly opened her eyes and turned to face the speaker. As she steadied the room froze so she could see the woman.
She had a thin figure, the kind you would see in teen magazines. She had a pretty face. Eyes were the color of blood, lips the color of maple leaves and skin like the sand of a golden beach. Hermione found herself staring at the eyes. Red but not evil, they were comforting. She had bright blue hair that was pulled into pony tails on the sides of her head. She reminded Hermione as something you’d see in an Anime cartoon. Tall legs held a surprisingly flat chest high in the air. A second revealed the silver robe covering her body. Another second and Hermione had discovered the purple shoes she wore. A third second and black butterflies began to fly around the figure. In the last second of silence Hermione realized that woman before her was missin the color yellow.
“It seems to me,” the woman said with a smile, “that you don’t know who you are. Come let’s sit and talk so you can recover.” She took careful steps on her heels toward the pedestal and sat down next to it. Hermione found herself joining the woman. “I will start by telling you who I am. Maria Black, my father built this house long before muggles came to this area. I bound myself to the house on the day I was to die, and since then it has been an adventure. So my new friend what would you like me to call you?” Hermione stared in aw at the room that would have died a century ago.
“Errr…H-her, sorry, H-h-h, excuse me, Hermione,” Hermione found that she could hardly talk and that her voice was rusty inside her throat. She felt her head still pounding. An invisible drummer hit it with a steady rhythm never ceasing or letting up. “W-wh….where are w-w-w…” she gave an exasperated sigh as her voice dried up and wouldn’t work.
“Don’t worry about your voice,” Maria waved her hand in the air and a glass of water slowly built itself out of air molecules. “Drink this, it will help, you’ll have it back to full capacity by tomorrow I promise. As for where we are my answer will surprise you. We are in the attic of Black Manor. This room, along with the rest of Black Manor, was burned down in the sixties but was restored by a man who told me to call him Padfoot. Do you know the one?” Hermione nodded. “Good. He was a great man. I was sad to hear of his passing. Black Manor survives as a ghost to the building you call Number Twelve Grimmald Place. Certain keys open certain doors to the Manor.” Maria combed her fingers through the left pony tail. “We are sitting in the Room of Destiny. My father’s grandfather created it long ago. He used the best magic the Black family has ever know to construct its puzzles and security.” She laughed and looked over at Hermione. “You probably don’t care, do you? Probably want to get busy work on the puzzles and solving the mysteries.” Hermione, who had been happily drinking the water, shook her head and swallowed.
“Not at all!” She declared, glad her voice was returning. “What’s the point of solving a puzzle if you don’t know why it was put there to be solved. History really is just as important as logic.” She smiled at Maria. “Plus it’s not like I really have any where else to be.” Maria tilted her head to the side.
“Hermione, tell me your troubles. Perhaps I can help.” Hermione sighed and spilled out her heart to Maria Black, the sprit of the Room of Destiny.
Upon finishing her story, Hermione’s throat hurt and tears had formed, once again, at the corners of her eyes. Maria frowned and looked off into space.
“That is quite a story. It, however, sounds like you are in right place. This room is full of answers to almost every question you could ask; perhaps not the easiest information to obtain but you can obtain it. Why a man named Albus once came here seeking information about an all powerful invisibility cloak.” The woman smiled and let her blue hair bounce. “I personally would give your friend a chance, let everyone explain themselves. I would do it before trying to figure out some silly puzzles too. Good Luck Hermione.” With a click of her heels Maria Black had disappeared into the air.
Hermione looked around. Her head didn’t hurt so bad anymore. She stood up and looked at all the doors. ‘I’ll be back here.’ She promised herself as she walked down the stairs back to her room.
The door dissolved back into a empty painting. Something was different about the painting however. It now looked as if it had the possibility of being filled where as before the canvas had looked dead never to hold any drop of paint. She looked upon the floor and at the window. The sword of truth rose from her bed happily and spun around her neck.
“I thought you had died you took so long.” He said and that made Hermione laugh.
I hope to bring you many more chapters in the summer months to come. but cross your fingers that nothing comes up.
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