Chapter 13 : Rendezvous
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Chapter 13: Rendezvous
There are two different types of fear. Not three, not eight, but simply two. The first kind of fear is the kind that most superheroes, or people facing angry bosses are used to. It is the fleeting, intense sort of feeling that comes over one when one’s life flashes before their eyes. Whenever they face that type of fear, it envelopes them, then washes over. It goes away quickly, though, because either they will die in that moment, or they will not.
The second kind of fear is far more lethal and far more common. It is the lingering type of fear. This fear eats away slowly at the insides, until everything one trusts and everything one cherishes and everything that one believes in becomes riddled with uncertainty. Their mind and conciseness is slowly eaten until the individual become more savage, and more primal. One will begin to lose faith, ultimately.
While the first kind of fear may strike quickly and prove more deadly . . . the second kind of fear kills slowly, and before one knows it , they become lifeless shell, unsure and uncertain and unable to separate truth from lies.
That latter, Hermione had decided, was the kind that she was going to use on Draco Malfoy.
She was going to haunt his mind, haunt his being, haunt his surroundings, and inevitably, make him sorry for killing her. She would be a ghost, ever lingering in the corner of his mind, in his peripheral vision. She would come to him in his dreams, invade his thoughts, and conquer his being.
Hermione closed her eyes as the door to the room in which she was hiding, opened quietly. She didn’t dare breathe, it would give her away, and that was the last thing that she wanted. She felt the ripples of a spell surround the room, then cease to move. Hermione’s brown crinkled at the odd feeling. A silencing spell? How odd. The footsteps moved straight to her hiding spot. Hermione’s nerves were making her hands tremble. She berated them silently, mentally. She couldn’t be scared, not now. His worn black boots were right in front of her face. She definitely didn’t want to breathe in now…
Hermione did her best not to scream when his body landed on the mattress above her head. The wood that the mattress was laid upon, slightly curved under his weight. She wrinkled her nose in disgust. The git didn’t even shower! The boots were placed at the end of the bed, and far away from her face.
Hermione knew she was being hypocritical. She knew, that when being a pirate, that you can’t bathe every day. It simply wasn’t done. There wasn’t enough clean water to wash. Hermione simply settled for staying near islands so that they could bathe at least once a week. A ‘Scourfigy’ charm never went amiss, but it just wasn’t as satisfying as really touching the water, and feeling it pebble down one’s skin.
But he’s a MALFOY. Hermione reasoned. Isn’t there a rule against his not bathing, or something? She lay still under the bed, waiting for his breath to even out. She had reasoned this as the best place to get under his skin. He would never look for her there, under his bed. He would think she was in the hold, or in the crow’s nest. He would never dream that she was where she was at that moment. A candle flickered to life in the darkness. Hermione’s brow furrowed. Is he afraid of the dark or something? She wasn’t about to voice her thoughts. That would be stupid!
Hermione frowned in the darkness, regretting the fact that she hadn’t had time to inspect his room before running in and diving under his bed. The only thing that assaulted her was the scent in the room. It was subtle, an expensive smell. At first she thought that it was perfume, but then she threw the thought away. Even Malfoy, as conceited as he was, wouldn’t put on perfume every day. Hermione mused. She went back to trying to place what the smell was… It was slightly woodsy. Pine, perhaps? maybe?
Two hours later, Hermione’s muscles were screaming in pain. She hadn’t moved an inch since Malfoy had walked into the room. She couldn’t afford to. She made sure that no noise was coming from the bed, and that what she could hear of his breathing was slow and easy. She sighed, when she realized it was. She slithered out from under the bed, and stood up, doing her best not to let out a groan as her muscles voiced their fury. Slowly, and surely, she felt the blood rushing back into her oxygen deprived muscles.
She quietly tip-toed to his desk, not taking a moment to glance at the boy sleeping soundly on the bed. Why should she? She knew that he was asleep. His steady breathing filled the room.
Several tippy-toes later, she reached his desk. Her eyes flew open as she saw every single clue laying out on his desk. Every one but her own. Her eyes opened even wider when she saw the map that was on his desk.
It was identical to hers! The same, marauderish like map was laying there., innocently, on the table. Hermione took a moment to locate her own ship, and suppressed a gasp. What is it doing harbored so close to the kingdom? She asked herself incredulously. She rubbed her eyes, to make sure that she wasn’t sleeping. She stopped rubbing and looked back down.
Nope. Still there. Hermione shook her head. What is Susan thinking! She wondered, indignantly. Perhaps placing Susan as captain wasn’t a great decision, after all. Hermione mused. Her eyes roved over the map in the candle-lit darkness. The other thing that she saw, nearly made her faint.
Siramadra was gone, clear off the map! Hermione narrowed her eyes, making sure she wasn’t seeing things. She bit her lip, and touched the map. All of the sudden, as if someone where writing on the parchment, words appeared. They read:
She will only be found, by those who have seen her shores.
Hermione scrunched her eyes, and made a quick mental picture of her map, when she had seen Siramadra. She didn’t want to forget where it was. It was far too important, and crucial to her plan. She sighed quietly, not to wake up the other individual in the room. Her brows furrowed, when she picked up a little black notebook that graced the table.
It seemed that nothing in his cabin would cease to amaze her. In Hermione’s hands was the best piece of payback in all time. It was The Journal of Draco Malfoy. Hermione went to flip open the page, but bit back her disappointment when the book didn’t open. Of course Malfoy would have a protective spell on it! Hermione thought, irritated, and slightly stupid. He would never leave something like that unprotected.
Hermione put the book back, and went to pursue another book, this one red, when the last thing that she could imagine happened.
A scream split the air.
Suddenly, the world crashed around Hermione’s head, and she felt a jerk near her navel. She promptly passed out.
Harry crept from the hallway, and stepped behind a column. Life has ceased moving. It was four in the morning; silence seeped from the walls. The moonlight touched the courtyard softly, with the fingers of a skilled, gentle lover. The rose statue in the middle of the courtyard glowed with the attention.
Harry barely took in the sight as he discarded his invisibility cloak, and hid it in a corner. He made sure to mark the spot, so that he could come back for it. He steeped into the courtyard, eyeing the man he was meeting with.
He was desperate, he knew it. However, he also knew that he would never admit it. Harry couldn’t do what they wanted to. He was trapped in a corner, and there was no way out. Harry didn’t know how to get out of it. He was, in modern words, toast. Burnt, buttered, and served.
If only Hermione were here. Of course he thought that! He didn’t exactly want to be toast. She’d save him.
That thought has crossed his mind hundreds of times in the past couple days. He knew that she would have found a solution right now. She was smart, clever, and would figure it out. Yeah, like, hide the butter, and let you get toasted anyways? A snide voice said in his head. Harry narrowed his eyes. No. Hermione is noble, loyal, honest, and very beauti-
“Do you want me to wait all day?” The man's voice sounded in the courtyard, cold, and unyielding. It was the voice of a man who could kill with a glance; the voice of a man who had, in fact, ended many lives. It was his voice.
Harry stepped forward rigidly to the man, who had a white wig on his head. The man cocked an eyebrow at Harry, and made a mock-bow. “Your highness.”
“Your sum, as ordered, for your service.” Harry said, coldly, and dropped the pouch into the mans hand. A metallic jingling sound came from the bag, as the five-hundred gold pieces settled into new positions.
“You are sure you want to go through with this?” The man asked, snidely, weighing the sack with his hand. After seeing that it was of sufficient weight, he tucked it into his black cloak.
“You will say nothing, as you promised,” Harry said. It was not a question. It was a demand.
“I will not say, nor tell, nor write to anyone about our agreement. You have an extra 20 days, then 5 until the wedding.”
“But, you said-”
“I told you I would give you more time,” the wigged man said cleverly, “It was you who failed to specify how much time you wanted.”
With that statement, the head judge of the Judicial Room was gone, leaving Harry to his thoughts, buzzing angrily in him mind.
Voldemort should have worn a wig. Then, he probably could have scared the hell out of me.
Harry waited until he heard the extra’s footsteps fade into darkness. Once he was sure that he was alone, he pulled out an old book that he had found in the library from his pack, that he was carrying on his back. He looked at the title, praying that it would do what he asked of it.
Apparation of Materialization
He had one person in mind.
Hermione felt as if her soul had been jerked from her navel- almost as if she was on a portkey, except somehow, she knew that her body wasn’t there with her. It was probably collapsed on the floor by Draco’s desk.
Hermione cursed silently to herself as her soul flashed through time. How could I have been so careless? Hermione knew that it really wasn’t her fault, and that she really couldn’t have expected for her soul to be so unceremoniously jerked from her body. But still!
All of the sudden, everything was still. Hermione opened her eyes, as well as a ghostly like apparition could open their eyes, and drank in her surroundings. So maybe I’m not dead.
She looked at the beautiful courtyard that surrounded her, the moonlight dancing on the vines that crept up the large stone walls… A statue, by which she was standing, bathed in the moonlight. Hermione smiled wistfully. For once, she felt slightly at peace. I guess I can put that away to the fact that I’m not in my body.
The familiar voice jerked her out of her reverie. She whirled around to look, excepting anything.
Her voice cracked. “Harry?”
A lone figure stood by a window, tying a not to a nantchuket that she had stolen from the village. It was dark outside; her face was only barely illuminated by the moon that hung high in the sky.
Susan Bones had no idea what she was doing. Fraternizing with the Slytherins was impeccably stupid. This, she knew. Through all the stereotyping at Hogwarts, somehow, ’These belong in Hufflepuff, where they are just and loyal, those patient Hufflepuffs are true, and unafraid of toil’ meant ‘These Belong in Hufflepuff, where they are stupid and dimwitted, those patient Hufflepuffs are true…. -ly retarded and pigheaded.’
Or so went the new sorting hat song that the Slytherins had made up. Truly and honestly, there were no real famous Hufflepuffs, and those who got fame…
Cedric Diggory: death
The Fat Friar: hung
And that was about it.
Susan felt helpless in her predicament. Was it impossible, for a Hufflepuff to be remembered? Did it even matter in this game? Was she still considered a Hufflepuff?
Did it hurt, that she wanted to be remembered, and not forgotten?
Susan cursed under her breath. Someone has to change this stupid Hufflepuff precedent. We can be great! We can be remembered! And we can fraternize with Slytherins, blast it!
With an impatient gesture, she looped the knot tightly too quickly, causing the nantchuket to squeal. Susan’s frustration abated immediately. She loosened the knot, restraining her anger, and keeping it from her work.
She gently let the creature out the window, and watched it as far as the moonlight would allow.
Susan walked back into her cabin, and sat down on her cot, head in her hands.
It only really then occurred to her.
What it Merlin’s name am I doing?
Ah. The downfall of the Hufflepuff name: doubt.
The realization shook her to the core. She couldn’t doubt her decision; she needed to be filled with a righteous anger. This much, she knew she could do.
Quickly she washed herself, and got into bed, pulling up the covers to her shoulders. In moments, she was asleep.
And as they had been since the Battle on the Island….
Her dreams were of him.
Ron couldn’t sleep. Pansy’s accusing face kept haunting his dreams. He didn’t know what to do. He had been tossing in bed, moving from one position to the other, never getting comfortable. Just when he’d be almost asleep, a noise would sound, or a whisper would penetrate the silence.
He felt strange, as if something was going on that shouldn’t be going on. Some sort of forbidden magic. Ron pushed away the covers, and stepped out of his bed. Groggily, he reached for the water basin on his nightstand that splashed some of the cold water onto his face. After toweling his face dry, Ron threw on the robe that was hanging by his bed. Normally, he slept near the barracks with the rest of the extra’s, but today, after seeking some ‘company,’ he stayed in the castle.
He was angry. He was tired of being known as the side-kick, or ‘Harry Potter’s Best friend.’
He knew what he had to do. He was going to win this game. And he wouldn’t let Harry get in the way. He’d kill him if he had too.
Ron’s face twisted into a sneer. With a single thought, he smirked.
Long live the king.
Unlike Harry, Ron could walk around the castle at any given hour at any given time of any given day, in plain sight. He was a General. Something could come up in the middle of night that required his assistance. Sure, Ron knew he was taking advantage of the situation, but was he, really?
Ron stepped out into the hallway, and shut his door quietly behind him. His feet almost didn’t make a sound as they padded along the stone floor. Sneaking around with Harry Potter ‘after hours’ at school had to pay off somehow. Ron turned a corner, and almost collapsed onto the ground from the dark atmosphere that hit him like a wall.
He gasped for air, and pulled out his wand from his robe pocket. After encasing himself in an atmospheric repellant bubble, he walked back around the corner, still feeling the air prodding and poking at his shield. Something was drastically off. He knew he had felt something uneasy when he woke up.
Ron stole through the hallways, following the dark feeling on impulse. The castle suddenly became a maze- down some hallways, the feeling wasn’t so dark, so lethal… Ron went the ways that it was strong, and potent.
The moon shone through the windows, duly illuminating the castle walls, and rug decorations that clung to the walls. He kept going and going, the feeling pressing stronger, and stronger…
Then suddenly, it stopped.
Ron’s red eyebrow flew up in confusion. He walked backwards, feeling where the atmosphere had been strongest… and…
Ron stomped in frustration. He had been so close! His frustrated eyes glanced around, to pass by the window… then back through the panes.
What he saw was something that should have made him angry.
It made him furious.
Blaise was confused.
Not just plain old 'I just lost my cat' confused. But 'I just left the bathroom, so where the hell are my pants?' confused.
He thought that he could control his emotions! And now.. Now, he wasn’t quiet so sure. Every time he tried to bring Hermione up into his mind, he got her eyes.. And that was it. Slowly, he would watch them transform into a darker, richer shade of brown from the honey they had been moments before.
Susan Bones was becoming a bit of an emotional problem.
He got a letter from her every night, when the clock should have chimed three in the morning, had there been a clock, which… well, on that ship, there wasn’t. Except for in the assembly quarters, and it had been silenced. No one liked to be woken in the middle of the night by a chiming bell.
He had tried, inconspicuously to get away from Draco, so that he could go and wait for his letter. Everyday, he reported to her, and every day, she wrote him a small letter. Soon, the letters had evolved into a little more than a report. It started out with him asking her how her day was. Blast it, he didn’t know why he did it, he just did.
Hence the reason for his confusion.
Whenever he was with Hermione, he felt in control of himself. Everything was black and white, each decision a moment in pinpoint clarity, defined by Hermione’s will. With Susan, he forgot his control. He felt giddy when waiting for a letter, got an odd feeling in his stomach right before he opened them, and then holding his breath while he read them.
In laymen’s terms, Blaise Zabini was turning into a cuddly teddy bear. How pleasant, Blaise thought cynically.
He roved his hands over his face, closing his eyes to the unmoving stars above him. His ebony skin blended in so well with the ship, that he had become just another shadow, a stain, in the wood of the vessel.
He didn’t understand why he felt the way he did. Was this how my aunt felt when she remarried, and remarried, and remarried… He wondered, if ‘fickleness’ was an inborn gene. Then again, he conceded, it could be a mutation from all the pureblood marriage mania.
He had never asked to become what he had become. He could only question, and wonder, if he was of his own making, or of his parents? Even though he already knew the answer, he didn’t want to acknowledge it.
If he was of his own making, this… situation.. With Susan could last for a while longer. If not, he needed to end it immediately.
Only he knew what he would have to write in reply to the letter that he would receive soon.
Nervous and apprehensive, Blaise sat up quickly, eyes scanning the horizon, and he did the only thing he could do:
Hermione watched him rake his hands nervously through his already messy hair. She took a moment to look at his disheveled appearance. The dark purple crescents under her friends tired green eyes told her that he hadn’t slept well in a while. “Where am I, Harry?” Hermione asked, always curious.
Harry sat down by the side of the sculpture. “You’re in Fliadopia.”
Hermione’s eyes went wide. “WHAT?!?”
“SSSHHH!” Harry shushed loudly. “Do you want the who world to hear?” he whispered.
Hermione frowned. “Do you realize, Harry, that you have detached my soul from by body?” She was livid- her ghost brown eyes a fierce brown. She almost looked whole, if it wasn’t for she was slightly transparent.
“Well, I kinda did…”
“And yet you still brought me here, knowing that you could have possibly killed me?”
Harry shook his head desperately, his eyes wide. “No! No, I didn’t know that! I was just following this old spell book. Speaking of which, I only have about 6 more minutes with you, and I really need your help.”
Hermione looked at the candle that was lit, resting its base on a petal of the sculpture. Hermione could dimly make out the minute marks on the candle. It was almost halfway gone. “Alright,” she sighed. “You better make it quick though, your time is burning out.”
Harry smiled his crooked smile, a swell of joy flowering inside of him. She’s not mad at me! “Well, you see, the extras here are trying to make me get married-”
“What?” Hermione asked, in shock. She really could take many more surprises.
“Yeah. To Cho…. -”
“Well, that’s not so bad-”
“No. It really is that bad.” Harry sighed. He had so little time, and so much that he wanted to say to her. “the fact is, is that they want me to follow tradition, and marry someone. They’re getting restless. It makes me wonder whether they can rebel against me, since they are extras , after all. But really, I can’t get out of it at all! I just bribed the head man to postpone the decision, until all the drama has died down.”
“What drama?” Hermione asked. She had so many questions…
“Well, Susan Bones sent a messenger telling us that Malfoy,” he gritted his teeth, pausing for a moment to calm himself, “had killed you.”
Hermione grimaced. “Yeah. It wasn’t pretty.”
Harry’s eyes went alight with curiosity, but he really couldn’t ask the questions that he wanted answers to. He just knew what he needed to ask. And that’s what he would ask. “As much as I’d like to hear about that, I really need to get out of my present situation. I am getting married to Cho Chang in 25 days, and I need a way not to do that.”
Hermione quickly began making plans. If she was going to scare the heck out of Malfoy, she needed at the very least 15 days, then she’d have about 10 days to spare, to get to the wedding, and then…
“Hermione..” Harry began anxiously. “There’s only a minute left on the candle.”
Hermione grinned at him. “I’ve got a plan.”
“That fast?” Harry asked in relief. I knew I could count on her.
“Yeah.” Her eyes were shining with excitement.
“I’m not going to tell you.” Hermione stated with a grin.
“SSHH… Or do you want to the whole world to hear you?” Hermione mocked playfully.
“But why can’t you tell me?” Harry asked. He needed to know.
“Because,” Hermione answered, starting to fade away, “If anyone asks you, you can just tell them that you don’t know.”
Harry narrowed his eyes. “Hermione….”
She simply smirked at him. “I’ll see you soon Harry!”
He watched helplessly as she faded away, grin still on her face. Moments later, he was starting at empty space. He sighed as the candle burnt out, the glowing light dead and gone. He got up to leave, when a six sense kicked in. Someone was in the yard with him, he could hear their breathing, their footsteps stepping closer to him.
Harry turned around, shocked to see who it was.
“So tell me, your majesty, how long have you been rendezvousing with our friend?”
Harry whirled around, jerked out of his reverie, looking at the person who had spoken. His eyes went wide, and his mouth fell to the ground. Oh, Merlin's... merlin's! He couldn't think of a way to finish the thought.
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