Chapter 17 : Rude Awakenings
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Pirates: Chapter 17
She might not have underestimated him, but what she did know is that she definitely underestimated his crew. They were a whole bunch of little Malfoys! She had woken up, groaning, into the morning. She had been much more tired than she thought she was.
Only to walk out of the door to a bucket of seawater emptying on her head.
Well, that honestly brought a new definition to ‘a rude awakening.’ It had been three days, twelve sections of slippery planks for her to fall down on her behind, twenty-seven ropes lifted off the ground just high enough for her to trip on, three knobs of the wheel covered with sap… and that had been just a small part of it.
Hermione was about to lose it.
She gritted her teeth as she stood at the wheel. Her eyes scanned the ropes, noticing knots that weren’t there before. She locked the wheel angrily and walked calmly down the stairs. It was an almost impossible feat due to the anger thrumming through her veins. Dawn was just beginning to come over the horizon.
Hermione quietly went over to the bell hanging by the stair and yanked on the rope. The bell almost deafened her, its clear ring penetrated the air. Hermione braced herself and stepped out onto the deck, waiting patiently. Blaise burst from his rooms in seconds and came to stand beside her, sleep still in his eyes. But he was there, none the less. She excused it, turning her gaze to the door.
“I didn’t notice,” Hermione answered dryly as a small puddle formed around her. She tried to ignore the ring that was burning on her hand. How could have she forgotten about the bet? She groaned inwardly… Trying to forget about it. She didn’t want to think about!
10 seconds.. 20 seconds.. .Well, if we were being attacked, our ship would have burned down by now, she thought as she counted mentally, second by second.
Suddenly, the door burst open, revealing her half-dressed crew. They stumbled out the door as the sun burst over the horizon. Several of them groaned at the light, their cutlasses glinting in their hands lazily.
“Thirty-eight seconds. We’ve been dead for twenty. Isn’t that just peachy?” Hermione asked, surveying them. “And I figured that since you all decided to wake me, I wanted to wake you.”
The boy with brown hair rolled his eyes- “You’re such a--”
Suddenly, a bright blue light flashed into the air, blinding everyone.
Hermione opened her eyes, the flash still dancing in her eyes. “What the-”
“So that’s what Mrs. Panties in a Wad was talking about.”
Oh, no. Absolutely NOT! Hermione shook her head a little bit and then stared at the apparition before her. She was hallucinating, she had to be.
Theodore Knott stood there in all his glory, not looking at all awkward in his new, rugged pirate clothes. His black hair shot up from his head, disheveled, as it was at school. Even in rags, he emanated a confident air. His cool amber eyes assessed her, looking her from head to toe. “Looking nice, Granger.”
Hermione narrowed her eyes at him. “Don’t look at me.”
Theodore laughed, a cold, chilling laugh. “Oh, sorry. I didn’t know that putting my eyes on you disgusted you. I mean, you should be honored! After all, you are a Mudblood--”
Hermione’s sword was out of its sheath and under his chin in less than a second. The laughter died on his lips, and his eyes went down to the cold metal that was kissing the skin of his throat. “Put it down, Granger.”
“You’re not exactly in the position to boss me around, Knott,” Hermione said, glaring into his lazy ochre gaze.
He smirked, a little. “You won’t kill me, Granger. Last time I checked, you were liberating house elves. Are you supposed to be murder now?” He whispered so quietly that no one else heard. “Or do you just have a split-personality?”
Hermione felt an ice chill creeping through her body despite the warm heat outside. “You don’t know that.”
“You know, maybe I should just kill you right now,” Hermione countered.
“You don’t want to do that,” he responded, ochre eyes chilling.
“Oh, I think I do.”
He stepped back from her blade and gave her a bow. “Draco said to watch my back around you, so I think I will.”
“He said what?” Hermione asked, voice chilled. She didn’t want that… git talking about her.
“If you don’t mind Captain Hell, I think I’m going to go and get the ropes from Blaise. I have a lot of learning to do, don’t you think?”
Hermione bristled at the young man who walked out with Blaise- her only friend on the ship.
She looked at the smirking crew, opening and closing her mouth for a few seconds, trying to say something. Finally, she hissed, “What are you looking at? Back to work!”
The crew exchanged glances, and after a moment, did as they were told.
She wondered what Malfoy would have done, if he were still Captain…
But then she pushed the thought away. She looked over to the horizon, seeing the dark clouds that were brewing, forming an intimidating wall before them.
She gripped the helm. A storm was coming and she couldn’t be distracted.
Susan looked at her disguise in the mirror. It would be a disguise that she would wear for the next week or so. She had charmed her face to be sharper, angled; a drastic change from her rounded face. Her outfit revealed a lot more than it should have showed. By appearance, she was just another extra. Just another prostitute extra. Only the people who had seen her thus far into the game would see her for who she really was, which was a gem for where she was now.
Susan was careful to hide the little wooden chest that was standing on her vanity. She propped it open, before stowing it away, to make sure everything was alright with the miniature version of the ship.
The Lioness blazed inside the little box. It had taken the whole crew and then some to shrink her small enough to fit. One simply spell could make it engorge; that wasn’t something that she wanted to happen here. It would give them away in less than a second. She opened a drawer and lifted the false bottom that she had installed earlier, and put the box in. Once she was convinced no one would be able to find it, she closed the drawer and looked back into the mirror, assessing herself.
She had taken a lot of time picking out her alias. The new, different, black hair curled suggestively down her shoulders, her red dress hugged her right where it was supposed to. The corset she was wearing was light and flexible, yet still did their job. If she sat just the right way, her dress would split up to her midthigh, revealing a black garter and a red, ribboned stocking.
It was shocking, even for her, she realized as she looked into the mirror, that she was about to spend a week or so getting something that she had never really gotten: male appreciation… Well, sort of. She wasn’t about to get any respect. She grinned and wondered what Hermione would say to her appearance now.
She needed to get information, and fast: what better way than through this? She didn’t have enough time to become an emissary, a trusted soldier, or anything that would even get close to the King. She needed an inside immediately.
This was definitely the way to go. She gave herself one more once-over, making sure she looked like liquid lust. She sighed, wishing that one day, she could get a man to want her for her real looks and self. This was definitely not the Susan Bones that the world knew. Not the dull, brown haired, brown eyed, cute Hufflepuff.
A knock sounded on her window just as she was closing her cosmetic drawer. The coal pencil had rimmed her eyes, making them wide, and making her seem like she knew a little secret… and she wanted to tell someone.
She stepped away from the inn vanity and walked over to the window, unlatching it. She already knew who it was.
Thaddius grinned at her, all in black.
Susan rolled her eyes, walking back into the room. “Gee, Thads, the whole ‘all black thing’ isn’t conspicuous at all.”
Thaddius snorted. “Ah, mademoiselle, but what does it matter? Your mission walked into the bar across the street.
Susan smiled lightly, knowingly. “Looks like it‘s show time.”
Thaddius shot her a look out of the side of his eye as he primped himself up in the mirror. “I don’t like this plan at all.”
“And that’s why it’s going to work.”
Thaddius turned to her so abruptly, a fierce look in his eyes. “Blaise wouldn’t like this!”
Susan bristled. “Blaise isn’t my authority.”
Thaddius laughed darkly, voice laced with something that Susan couldn’t quite place. “And my name isn‘t Thaddius.”
Susan yanked a heeled shoe on. “You know what? I think that he would be proud of me. This is a pure Slytherin move and you know it!”
“But you’re not a Slytherin.”
Susan looked at him, and sighed. “I know. And that’s why this is going to work. No one is expecting it to happen.”
“Suit yourself,” Thaddius said, jaw twitching. “Your mission is going to bounce if you don’t hurry up.”
Susan shot him a look as she straightened up. “I’m done.”
He gave her a once over, hazel eyes burning her. “You look… inappropriate.”
Susan grinned and laughed, the tension in the air suddenly breaking. “Well, gee, Thads, I guess that’s the point!
And with a sultry smile over her shoulder, she went out the door.
Thaddius could do nothing more but watch as the plank of wood shut in his face like a splash of cold water. A silent rage filled him.
It was unlike him to feel like this, to be this angry. He was the happy one, for crying out loud! He didn’t have to cranial space to become a member of the angst club. However, his feet moved over to the vanity of their own accord. His arms, detached from his brain, opened up the drawer and lifted the false bottom….
The next moment, he was out the window. He had a duty to do. His feelings, however, didn’t matter. They didn’t even factor into the equation. At least, they weren’t supposed to...
Ron walked into the Fliadopian version of a bar on the Fliadopian strip. It was the one place that no one could really find him, unless they were looking for him. The smell of alcohol permeated the air. “One fire whisky, please.” He took off his jacket that was sprinkled with little raindrops and hung it up on a hanger by the door. The room was musky.
The bartender looked at him and laughed. “Ronald Weasley , right?”
Ron grunted in response. A loud clang erupted from in front of him, the fire whiskey sloshed over the top of the mug. “Enjoy, General.”
Run didn’t even look at him as he slid a gold coin towards the man. He grabbed the mug by the handle, and gulped it down in one go, slamming the mug on the table. The fire whisky left a burning trail down his throat. His head went a little clearer.
Life really sucked. Royally. At least, here it sucked. Actually, he conceded, it was worse both places.
It had taken Ron every bit of willpower that he had not to launch at the slimy ferret. It took all he had. But he didn’t. And he even smarted off. He thought that, for once, he had won against the Slytherin Prince. And then, he lost. Again.
It was the same cycle all the time. He didn’t like who he was becoming; didn’t like how the world was treating him. He didn’t like it at all. One day, he wasn’t going to be the sidekick, one day… maybe he could win. Maybe.
The bell rang, signaling that someone else was coming in the door. Maybe they wanted to drink away their troubles, like he did. Ron heard a rustle of silk beside him, and suddenly, an overwhelming cloud of scented air entered his nostrils.
He looked to the side, eyes suddenly going wide as he took in the creature beside him. Her red dress revealed so much more… Her black hair was falling over her shoulders sensually.. It reminded him of Pansy. His throat constricted.
“Hello, captain. Long day?” Susan purred, touching his arm. He looked down at her lacquered fingers. A lighter color attracted his eyes beneath her hand.
His breath caught in his throat.
His eyes flew up. No. This was not for him. Merlin! What would his mother say? He jerked his arm away from the lady. “Can I help you?”
Susan smiled at him, going for the all knowing look. She leaned into his shoulder just as he was leaning back. Then he felt it. There was no mistaking the point of a dagger pushing through his shirt. “Now, Captain, why don’t you come with me and we can chat a little?”
“No,” Ron growled.
The dagger pierced into his skin. “I’m not playing games, captain. Outside, now.”
Ron got up careful not to move too much. He didn’t fancy dying just now… or wait, did he? They walked out of the door and into the sprinkle. He noticed that the raindrops didn’t fall on her, they pebbled off, like there was some sort of force around her that kept her save from the little water missiles.
“What do you want?” He asked to her, once they were out of sight of the bar.
“I want to know where the King keeps his signet.”
Ron stopped immediately, turning to her. “You’re not an extra.” Her question had given it away. The extras didn’t even know about the game. They were just here to make life more realistic.
His comment took her by surprise. She said the only thing she could: “Neither are you.”
“Who are you?”
Susan smiled at him. “I’ll give you information, if you’ll give me information. A fair trade, don’t you think?”
Ron pondered for a moment, as she twitted the dagger in her fingers. “What do you want to know?”
“I already told you. You have three questions. I have five. Since I’m the lady, and all.”
Ron narrowed his eyes. “Deal. I don‘t know. He usually has it with him, toying with it and such,” He answered. “Who are you?”
“Any question but that.”
“But you said--”
“I’m throwing your life into the bargain,” She said, twirling the dagger pointedly.
“Fine,” Ron gritted. “Are you a noble?”
The girl threw him a slash of a smile. “Pirate.”
Oh, that was definitely good news. He‘d be lucky to get out of this conversation alive! “Brilliant. Are you going to slash my throat when we’re done?”
“Is that a question?”
“No.” Merlin, but she was quick! He surveyed her again. “I’m supposing your name isn’t up for questioning?”
She gave him a smirk. “ That would ruin all the fun now, wouldn’t it?”
“Whose ship are you on?”
“Hermione’s? Oh, Merlin. Is she alright, is she--?”
“I haven’t heard from her since she got killed.”
“Do you love her?” Susan asked him, wanting to know.
He shrugged his shoulders. Do I? Instantly, someone else’s face popped into mind. He tried vehemently to shake it away. “I’m not sure.”
She raised a brow at him. “Any other questions? I know what I need to know.”
“No. I know what I needed to know as well.”
She gave him another slashed smile. “It’s not as bad as you think, Ron--”
“Not a Slytherin.” She wouldn’t have called him by his first name. So she was on Hermione’s ship, not a Slytherin… what else could he get from her?
“I said,” Ron replied, “You’re not a Slytherin. What’s your name?”
Susan rolled her eyes. Looks like I couldn’t pull if off after all. “I’m not in Slytherin, big deal. If I was, I would have killed you by now.”
“True,” Ron replied, brows furrowed. “I just want to know who you are.”
She gave him a throaty laugh as she gave him a bow, flourishing with her dagger. “Doesn’t everyone?”
He watched her walk away. He knew that voice.
While he was thinking he heard something behind him. He didn’t even have time to turn around as a fierce pain blossomed on his temple. He never even remembered hitting the ground…
Susan thought she heard something behind her, but it was probably Ron just walking away. She walked leisurely into the hotel, swinging her hips, she then gave a suggestive smile to the innkeeper. He winked at her, only to be slapped in the face by his wife that had just walked around the corner.
Susan winced mentally as she walked up the stairs. She didn’t like what this outfit did to her. Suddenly, as she was walking up the stairs, a feeling of apprehension filled her. Her feet began to move quickly, and before she knew it she was running, almost tripping over her dress to get to her room.
As soon as she was in front of the door, her hands fumbled for the necklace that had snuggled between her breasts. She pulled out the key, and jammed it into the lock…
The door opened after a moment, and she rushed inside. Her hands went straight for the drawer with the false bottom. She ripped the piece of wood out, and then covered her mouth with horror.
The black box was gone.
Harry sighed as the snitch flitted in between his fingers. He didn’t know what he was doing anymore. Hermione’s ship, the Lioness, was off the radar, and Malfoy’s was no where to be seen. The ex-captain was going out to find whoever killed him, and well.. Well. It wasn’t good at all.
Draco coming in to be a General was the most of his worries. He simply couldn’t have a person like that coming in and being under his command. He had to admit, it was slightly gratifying for once, but in all honesty, there wasn’t much he could do.
What was he going to do, get his own ship, for mercies sake?
Harry sighed again. Then there was that thing with Ron. Harry didn’t know what to do. How could he make it up to his best friend? Throw a ball for him, the best general ever to have served in Fliadopia?
He sat up, ramrod in his seat. It was brilliant! Right after Hermione comes to save him from his wedding!
Hmmm. He didn’t exactly know what to think about her. He didn’t know what to say at all. His mind had been haunted by her very memories. Perhaps it was because she was soon to become his savior. Maybe he wanted to be more than her friend.
He couldn’t do that to Ron. Never.
He sat back in his seat again, snitch closed in his fingers, struggling to get out. His fingers closed in tighter. One more thought hit him: What if Hermione knew how he felt. Would Ron matter then? If, by some miracle, Hermione felt the same about Harry as he did about her.....
Ron didn't matter. The realization hit him like a flash. If that's what Hermione wanted, Ron would comply. He'd be out of sorts, but he would comply.
Still, he didn't know if he could do that to his friends; Men's code and all.
But Merlin, how he wanted to.
“I don’t care how many whirlpools we have to go down, how many storms will rip our sails apart, just FIND HER!” Draco shouted to his crew, hands begging him for permission to rip up the map in his hands.
He created another copy of a Ship-ish map, and waterproofed it. It was raining hard, the drops falling into his eyes. The game just started, he realized as the wind whipped past his face. It was almost the same, he had to concede, as being a pirate. Minus the whole pants-too-tight, constricting, shiny uniforms to the stoic crew. Without even knowing it, he had lapsed into a freer world; it should have appalled him. The pirate clothes, not being able to bathe all the time… It was adapting, he told himself, but the thought still nagged him. The game was changing him- he would have a lot to return to when he would go back to Hogwarts when the game was over.
But did he even have to go back? Could he remain forever free?
The thunder crashed, and another wave swelled up, trying to knock the ship over. A deckhand rushed up the stairs, tripping several times on his way up trying to get to the captain.
“WHAT?” Draco shouted into the wind.
“We need to said for less rough waters. We’re nearing a very dangerous spot in these waters. They’re be waterspouts out here, if there aren’t already!”
And then he fell down the stairs.
Draco didn’t care. He had to find her so that he could kill her. His blood roared for her death , he thirsted for her blood. He wanted to kill her slowly, cut her up into little pieces until she was begging him for mercy.
That thought made him a little calmer. She would beg for mercy before he was done with her. She’d beg him to kill her. Oh yes, she would. That little infuriating Mudblood would scream for him, shout his name….
He felt his lips curl into a smirk. He would enjoy it. Every last bit. And the best thing about it is, is that Potty won’t be there to save her. Not McGonagall, not Dumbledore, not that foolish Weasel, no one. She’d be mine to do as I pleased.
The thought pleased him as well. He wanted to hear her cry.
“CAPTAIN! THE SPOUTS!”
“Shit!” Draco muttered under his breath. He had gotten distracted. His eyes flew to the area in front of the ship: Two huge waterspouts were looming above him, trying to threaten him, trying to intimidate him.
He knew they were dangerous. He narrowed his eyes, focusing on the best way to get out of here. He watched the spouts for a moment, realizing that they were moving much slower than he anticipated. There was an archway that they formed ever minute of so. He’d have to make it then.
Going around them wasn’t an option, going through them was the equivalent of death… But he could go in-between them.
He started shouting orders, loudly, but calmly. He had to show that he was in control.
The only reason that you’re in this mess is the fact that you weren’t in control.. a snide voice said in his head.
He pushed it away, and focused. In that moment, he didn’t know who in the world Hermione Granger was. He was a captain of a ship, and he was saving the lives of his crew. Where this new form of humanitarism came from, he had no idea.
Soon, the sails were out to their fullest potential, petals against the dark, storming sky. They strained against the ropes, but his crew was good. Maybe one of the best in Fliadopia. They’d make it.
He turned the wheel sharply to the left, avoiding a wave that would have capsized them. This was beyond dangerous. The rain slapped into his face, his hair was plastered to his forehead. On his face was a look of pure determination. Stupid vortexes of water could not get the best of Draco Malfoy.
Malfoy rule #1,256.
Ok, so it wasn’t a rule, but it should be one, he thought, summing up his confidence. He was brimming with it; but not overflowing. He could do this. He had the knowledge to do it. He had been a pirate for Merlin’s sake! This was easy as pie!
Or so he thought. The ship rocked and rocked as they got nearer to the area between the spouts. The waves were higher now, fighting the ship, trying to knock it over. Draco felt like a bug next to these spouts that reached the sky…
One wave crashed over the ship; he watched stoically as several men went overboard. They were just extra’s, they didn’t matter.
Then he was going between them. The ship was loosing a battle between the waves, loosing, fighting, wanting to be free….
And then, it was over.
The ship shot out from underneath the makeshift bridge, airborn by the wave that carried it. The were almost touching the sky. There was a light drizzle on this side of the spouts, but he could see the sun ripping away the clouds, wanting the spotlight.
The warmth felt good on his skin. “How many did we lose?” He asked a uniform that walked up to him.
Oh, joy. How lucky. “Give the order to clean up the deck, then get some rest. It’s been a long, hard day.”
The man gave him a small smile, almost as if he felt it would have offended the captain and hurried to do his bidding.
Draco leaned against the wheel, soaked to the bone. He knew he couldn’t rest until his crew had. He pulled out the map from his pocket, glad that he had thought to water proof it, and unrolled it, putting it on a soaked flat surface.
What he saw sent a rush of anger, anticipation, and adrenaline through his body.
There it was. His own ship in all of it’s full glory. It looked enchanting, a shadow on the horizon.
Too bad he was about to blast it apart. His lips curled into a smirk. It was time to give the little mud blood a rude awakening. A very rude awakening.
He could already hear her screaming his name….
A/N: Happy Christmas :) Hope you liked!!! Let me know what you thought!
Enjoy the Holidays!!!~Greta
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