Chapter 43 : Rome
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Mid September 1979
Hermione moved quickly down the dark deserted hallway. The Vatican looked incredibly frightening at night. Her little white orbs of light danced ahead of her, leading the way. Gideon and Fabian followed closely behind her, wands drawn.
“We need to find the Pieta that leads to the Entrance of the Vaults.” Gideon said quietly, looking at the scroll he held, one of Hermione’s orbs bobbing about him so he could see it.
“Why couldn’t the book be in the bloody archives?” Fabian whispered furiously.
“Because having magical books in the Vatican’s archives is such a good idea.” Hermione said whispered back, rolling her eyes.
Fabian glared at her back as she kept walking. “I just want to get the hell out of this city. It gives me the creeps.”
“I agree. We’ve had a tail ever since we arrived here. Whether it’s Death Eaters or Vatican spies I couldn’t tell you.” Gideon said softly, pausing in his walking to look at the scroll then at the intersection they had come to.
“I don’t like the fact that Vatican may or may not have spies.” Fabian said shuddering.
“They have more than spies Fay,” Gideon murmured, frowning slightly. “Remember Hoggle? He came here on a mission, never came back. No one knows what happened.” Gideon said, glancing up from the scroll he pointed to his left. “This way,” he said and started walking again. Fabian shuddered again and followed him, twirling his wand in his hand.
Hermione followed them, glancing over her shoulder every so often, and when Fabian noticed, he took her wrist gently and led her on. “Can’t have you falling behind kiddo.” He said, giving her a smile. They walked along and soon enough Gideon stopped.
“I think that’s it.” He said, nodding to a sculpture down the hall from them. When they came upon it, Hermione set her orbs about it, and it was indeed a sculpture of Mary and Jesus. She walked around it, inspecting the beautiful craftsmanship of the marble sculpture.
“Look for a way to trigger the door. I can see scuff marks on the ground.” Fabian said as he crouched down and inspected the floor. “I’d say it hasn’t been opened in a while. It looks as though someone has tried to sand them down and polish them away.” He said, running his fingers across the marble floor.
“Bernini…” Hermione breathed, as an orb hovered over a nameplate on the back of the sculpture where an inscription was presented.
“Bernini?” Gideon said looking up at Hermione, pausing in his inspection of the piece. “I thought he never sculpted a pieta?”
Hermione pressed her fingers to her lips in awe at the piece before her, only seen by people who had access to the halls of Vatican. “Sometimes the Vatican kept what they wanted and never showed pieces of works to the public.” Hermione said, ghosting her figures over the folds of the drapery that cascaded down the back of piece. “Bernini was probably one of the best sculptors of Italy, to be able to see his work is wondrous.” Hermione whispered and moved her light to view the inscription. “There is something written here.” She said, “In Latin I think. Although, it may be written in an earlier version of Italian.” Hermione said, squinting at the words.
“Do you need more light?” Gideon said, coming around the side of the piece where Hermione was crouched.
“No, it’s worn away somewhat,” Hermione said running her fingers over it. “Here” She said, showing him. He nodded as he ran his fingers over the worn words. “It could very well be Tuscan, although that is before Bernini’s time. During the 14th century when the Vatican was losing power, and the people came up with a common vernacular, which was Italian. It’s based off the Tuscan language, which is what this looks like, but I can’t be certain. As to why Bernini would write it in Tuscan and not Latin I couldn’t tell you.” Hermione said, clucking her tongue.
“It’s obviously an inscription to open the entrance, or telling us how to open it. I don’t see any levers, so it has to be a trigger of some sort, or a spell.” Fabian said sitting up.
“True. Bernini was part of the Illuminati, and it doesn’t surprise me that they knew magic existed and tried to hide it.” Hermione said, leaning down for a closer look at the inscription. She cast a quick spell over the inscription and got a translation. She frowned and stood, moving around the side and standing in front of the piece. “Fay, give me a boost.” She said as she glanced up at him.
“Okay…” He said and carefully lifted her up. She leaned forward and when she was mere inches away from Christ’s lips she gently blew on his parted lips. Something clicked and Fabian held her tighter, moving away from the sculpture, Gideon moved out from behind it and stood next to them. Fabian carefully set her down on the ground as Gideon patted her shoulder.
“Nice job.” He said and moved towards the stairs, Hermione’s orbs following him.
“What did it say?” Fabian asked, as he hooked the canvas bag’s belt tighter across his chest.
“Giving the breath of life is how you will enter.” Hermione said as she sent her orbs down the dark staircase.
Fabian shook his head, “It still gives me the creeps, the Vatican knowing about magic.”
“Makes me wonder what else they know about.” Gideon muttered, walking slowly down the stairs. When they came to the bottom they walked down a long hallway, veiled by cobwebs. They came upon a large copper door and Gideon reached out, turning the large spiral, the door groaned loudly as it opened.
“We’re going to need more than your orbs, I think.” Fabian said as he reached for one of the torches next to the door and lit it with his wand. When they got inside none of them could see much past the light of the orbs. Gideon set to looking for an extra light source and found one.
“Fay, give me the torch.” Gideon said, holding out his hand, Fabian handed it to him and watched in awe as Gideon dumped it into a basin and the flames moved around the room, illuminating it. Hermione let out a gasp as she glanced around, the room was easily larger than the Great Hall and full of objects large and small.
“Pagan statues!” She breathed, glancing up at a few statues as she walked by them. “These haven’t been for centuries.” She whispered in awe.
“That’s great Hermione, but we need to find that book. Right now. I don’t have a good feeling about this.” Gideon said, as he started reading the spines of books.
“Me neither. I feel like whatever was following us is waiting.” Fabian said as he glanced around.
Hermione moved around the room, inspecting books as she passed them, and looking at other curious objects as she searched for the book. All the objects amazed her, and the fact that the Vatican held onto said objects bewildered her even more. Most of them looked magical, or at least had a magical origin. As she searched for the book she walked by a largely draped object. Taking the sheet into her hands she pulled it away and gasped at what lay under it. “The Mirror of Erised.” She breathed, staring at the inscription laid on gold at the top.
“Hermione, come on.” Gideon said, as he rummaged through a chest full old dusty things.
“Just a sec…” She said trailing off as she glanced at the mirror. She had heard of the mirror, through Harry and Ron, but had never seen it. She stared it, and found Remus standing next to her, and in his arms a young boy. Hermione peered closely at the boy and found he wasn’t Logan, but another boy. Hermione’s hand moved instinctively to her stomach, and watched as the small boy nuzzled Remus’ neck. Hermione was jolted away when Fabian jostled something behind her and she turned around suddenly, her barrier flying up round her.
“Sorry.” Fabian muttered. Hermione sighed and dropped the spell, quickly moving away from the mirror. She moved behind it, and rustled through a cabinet, finding bottles of numerous potions and many bottles of extremely quick silver. She drew her hand away from the bottles in alarm, on the bottom self was a book covered in a thick layer of dust.
“Gideon?” Hermione murmured, glancing over her shoulder.
“Yeah?” He said, as he looked from searching through another cabinet.
“What are traveling mirrors made of?” She asked softly, causing Fabian to look up as well.
“Extremely quick silver.” Gideon said frowning. “Why?”
“I think I found the book.” She said, running her fingers over the spine, wiping away the dust. “Yes, this is it.” She said picking up the leather bound book.
She made her way carefully over to Fabian and placed it in the pack over his shoulder and buckled it tightly. “There we go.” She said, patting the bag, grinning up at Gideon.
“Thank goodness.” Gideon said sighing softly.
“Can we get out of here please?” Fabian said starting towards the door. Gideon nodded and nudged Hermione to the door, and extinguished the flames that illuminated the room.
“I would have liked to look around more.” Hermione said, frowning as she started walking down the hallway.
“I know, I would have as well, but we wasted too much time trying to get it open. Fay? What’s wrong?” Gideon said as closed the door, and followed Hermione. Fabian was hovering near the bottom of the stairs, one of the orbs dancing around at the top. He was holding out a hand to stop them, the other pressed to his lips.
“Get rid of your lights.” Gideon whispered very quietly in Hermione’s ear.
“But we’ll be blind… wait… I have an idea.” She said, vanishing her orbs, she whispered another spell. “Lumniscous irisous.” Her eyes glowed briefly as the spell took over, allowing her to see in the dark. “I can’t believe I didn’t think of this earlier.” She said and reached out to Gideon, taking his head in her hands. “It will take a few moments to get used to.” She said, murmuring the spell and watching as Gideon’s eyes glowed for a moment before turning to Fabian and doing the same.
“What spell is this?” Gideon said, blinking a few times and looking around.
“I made it up myself.” Hermione said smiling softly.
“Shush.” Fabian said.
“Honestly Fay, what is it?” Gideon growled impatiently.
“I heard something.” He said, creeping up the steps slowly. Hermione followed closely behind, leaning against his back, Gideon close behind her.
“Move slowly.” Gideon instructed and they all moved slowly up the stairs, as they all stepped out, the sculpture began to move back in place.
“Well, well, well, what have we here?” A voice said, causing all of them to whirl around in alarm, wands raised. Four figures walked towards them, all dressed casually, and all incredibly beautiful. Hermione’s eyes widened in alarm and quickly she brought up a shielding spell over her and the twins.
“Vampires…” Gideon whispered.
“Very good.” The one in the front said, obviously he was the leader. “Now, give us back the prophecy you have taken.” He said, stepping forward, one hand outstretched towards them. His fingers nearly brushing the edge of the blue shield spell.
“What prophecy?” Gideon said from behind Hermione, his hand coming up to rest on her shoulder, gently pulling her closer to him. “We haven’t taken any prophecy.”
“Yes you have. We know when a prophecy has been stolen. We feel a connection to them.” The vampire said, his hand still held out, waiting for the prophecy to be placed in his hands.
“We did not take a prophecy. There were not any down there.” Gideon said.
“No, they are not. But another vault was opened.” The vampire said.
“Look this is a misunderstanding-“ Fabian said, but was silenced by the vampire’s glare.
“You will give us the prophecy.” The vampire said. “It does not belong to you.”
Hermione stared at the vampire, a powerful knock-back spell ready at her fingertips. “Fine.” She said as she stood a bit taller. Being able to form spells wordlessly had it benefits, she was glad Remus had taught her that during the Second War. As the Vampire came closer, she lowered her shield spell, and pretending to take something out of her deep pocket she flung her fingers wide at him. The vampire’s eyes widened in shock as he was suddenly sent flying backwards knocking into the other three vampires. “RUN.” She screamed at Gideon and Fabian.
She didn’t have to tell them twice, they were running as soon as she’d lowered the spell. She turned on her heel and ran after them, but was suddenly yanked back by her hair. She let out a cry of pain, and both of the twins faltered in their running. “GO!” She yelled at them, and they kept running. She was then roughly turned around, the Vampire’s gold eyes glaring at her, his face contorted into a snarl. She watched as his nostrils flared and a look of disgust washed over his features.
“You’re a lycan’s bitch.” He said as an eerie smile slid across his lips. Still holding her hair tightly he tilted her head to the side and pulled her shirt back, leaning in he sniffed her neck as his eyes found the mark Remus had left on her. As he sniffed again, he drew back slightly, his eyes meeting hers. “Two werewolf scents? You are a Pack whore then?” He looked her up and down, then peered over her shoulder. “Those brothers share you?” He said and Hermione glared up at him. “No?” He said smiling. He looked to the other three vampires that watched with interest. “No. They are not wolves, the scent would be stronger, it’s a few days old. You see, we are not allowed to kill Pack members, it would start a nasty war.” He looked to the vampires again, “Vladimir, Toulouse, kill them.” He said motioning in the direction Gideon and Fabian had run.
“No!” Hermione cried, trying to pull away from the Vampire, but he held her tightly. She watched in horror as two of the vampires leapt away. “We’re not here for a prophecy. We came for a book!” She cried, and let out another gasp of pain as his grip tightened on her hair.
“A book?” He said, his hold listening somewhat, shock evident in his red eyes.
“Yes, a book. We never knew anything about the prophecies here.” She said, and then suddenly the third vampire was knocked back by a green spell, a killing spell. He let out an inhuman snarl as he jumped up. The spell wouldn’t do anything, he was already dead. The vampire holding Hermione quickly turned, dragging her around with him, looking for the source of the spell. She knew it wasn’t Gideon or Fabian. She gasped when she saw them, cloaked figures, shining masks. “Death Eaters.” She whispered, and the vampire quickly dragged her behind a pillar as a spell shot by them. He let go of her hair and for that she was grateful. “They have your prophecy.” She said, glancing up at him.
His lips lifted in a snarl. “Who were you sent by?” He asked, his fangs elongating as his eyes changed to a pale blue.
“Dumbledore, Albus Dumbledore.” She whispered and let out a snarl again, yelling to the other vampire across the way in a language Hermione did not recognize.
He grabbed her by the shoulders then and peered into her eyes. “Go. Leave here at once. We will take care of these Death Eaters. I am sorry to have caused you and your comrades any trouble. I hope that they are still alive.” He said and quickly thrust her in the direction Gideon and Fabian had gone. She didn’t glance back, only set another shield spell around her body and took off. Shouts echoing through the great halls.
Sirius was pacing in Dumbledore’s office, the old man’s eyes following Sirius’ movements. “How is Remus?” Albus asked finally, tired of watching Sirius pace. Sirius paused and looked up at the older man.
“A wreck. He’s nervous because he hasn’t heard from Hermione in a few days.” Sirius said, running his fingers through his hair.
“I asked about Remus, not you.” Albus said, giving Sirius a soft smile. Sirius glanced up at Albus in shock.
“I- Oh who am I kidding.” Sirius grumbled, plopping himself down into the vacant chair. “This whole thing has me barmy.” He muttered resting his head in his hands. “Making sure the Grangers are safe, seeing that beautiful little baby, knowing it’s Hermione… and how this is going to hurt Remus later on.” He sighed and sat back in the chair. “Why can’t she just stay here? Letting her go back is going to kill him.” Sirius said, looking up at Albus sadly.
“She’s dying.” Albus said softly, shaking his head. Sirius stared at Albus in horror. “Her magic is slowly draining from her body. It’s what has sustained her this long in our time. Now that she has been born, however, her magic will start to drain, and her life as well, since her infant form is now alive, that life source for this time is being used up. She has stayed too long. This is one reason why task bearers are normally sent to times where they are not alive.”
“She was supposed to leave before she was born.” Sirius whispered and Albus nodded.
“Yes, her timeturner went back not too long ago. This is why I need the book on traveling mirrors.” He said softy.
“Does Remus know any of this? About her going back, and you having to find a way to do send her back.” Sirius whispered.
“Not to my knowledge. I think he’s always known that at some point she had to return.” Albus said softy. “He will not remember her though.” Albus murmured and Sirius’ head snapped up in alarm.
“Why not?” Sirius snarled, his eyes flashing angrily. “He loves her Albus. You can’t take that away from him.”
“He will remember only what she has taught him. It is the way things have to be. You will not remember her either, none of us will.” Albus said, shaking his head. “Now, are they safe?”
“Yes.” Sirius growled. “The Grangers are in their new home, not remembering anything of the wizarding world.” He was about to keep going when suddenly a patronus appeared in the room, a large wolf. Albus stood immediately and Sirius’ entire body went stiff. “That’s Hermione’s patronus.” Sirius whispered and Albus glanced at Sirius in alarm.
“She had an otter last time…” He murmured, quickly opening a drawer in his desk. He took out a ring and tossed it to Sirius. “Go to them. She needs help. She wouldn’t have sent it otherwise. You can not apparated in the Vatican.”
“The Vatican?” Sirius said looking up at him in shock.
“Sirius, Go!” Albus shouted and as Sirius slipped the ring on his finger he was gone. Albus sighed and sat down heavily in his chair, glancing at the patronus as it disappeared. “Oh Remus… what have you done…”
Didn't have time to check for errors, I wanted to post what I had. Reviews would be lovely, since I've had trouble writing. I just want to know if people are still reading this I guess. Thank you so much to those who have reviewed, it means a lot.
The next chapter will center around the aftermath of this attack, and then go on to Halloween, and hopefully it will be longer.
Oh! If you are all interested, there is another story that centers around other characters in this storyline. It takes place before and after Hermione goes to the past. It's only men narrating so far, Logan, Ridge, Sirius, Remus and a few other characters not yet mentioned. It's called Clockwork.
All comments welcome.
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