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Chapter 22 : Stopping, Shocking, Surprises.
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It could have been so easy for Hermione to let Ron kiss her and be transported back in time, if only for a couple of minutes. But Hermione knew she couldn’t. She had already made enough of a mess in her life that she didn’t have to confuse it more. Hermione watched as Ron slowly closed his eyes and leaned towards her as if in slow motion. Hermione moved her hand so it covered Ron’s mouth and gently pushed his head back.
“Ron…” She started, standing up and moving back slightly.
“I know, I know.” Ron said, sighing as he stood up.
“You don’t know how hard this is, I just can’t.” Hermione tried to explain explained.
“Look, I understand. I was just being stupid. I know we can never be… well you know.” Ron said, running his hand through his hair.
“I’m sorry.” Hermione whispered, feeling guilty like she had somehow led him on.
“Don’t worry about it. Ok? I’d better go.” Ron said as his face gradually grew bright red. He quickly turned around and walked towards the door, as he reached it he turned around and looked at Hermione with a small smile on his face “It was nice to see you anyway. And Harry will come around. He’s not stupid.”
Alli was fuming as she walked back to her common room. How could those boys think that they could fight for her attention? Did they really think that she’d just swoon over the winner like some blond bimbo in the movies? Or did they think that if one of them won that they’d own a part of her? As if that would change any of her feelings, that she hadn’t even worked out yet, about either of them. She knew for sure that at that moment she felt nothing but annoyance from the both of them.
Alli was so mad that it took her a couple of seconds to register what she was seeing as she entered the common room. Nate, who knew nothing about magic, was travelling by the powder that Tom had told Alli about, flow or floo or something like that. Alli watched as Nate walked out of the fireplace like a pro, dusting himself off in the process.
“What are you doing?” She asked, making Nate jump slightly. Nate’s head snapped in her direction and he let out a breezy laugh.
“You scared me there!” Nate said, smiling at Alli as he walked into the kitchen and got himself a beer.
“How did you do that?” Alli asked, rooted to the spot.
“Your mum taught me silly! It makes you dizzy as hell, but I’ll admit, its an easy way to get back to Australia for business.” Nate said, motioning for Alli to sit with him on the couch, “What’s gotten you so freaked anyway?”
Alli sighed and relaxed her shoulders. She walked over to Nate and sat on the couch with him. “Boys.” She said simply.
“Ah, of course. Any boys in particular?” Nate asked, sipping his beer.
“Two. James and Dom. They’re both stupid! I mean today I found them fighting. Over me! Like I was some toy that they both wanted to play with.” Alli ranted, “I mean really. This is the 21st century! I choose who I like and don’t like, not them!”
“You know, when I first met you something similar was happening. Do you remember?” Nate asked nicely.
“Simon Walker.” Alli said, sighing slightly.
“That’s right, Simon Walker. You and that Kristy girl were fighting over him for weeks! And in the end, neither of you won. But you kept on fighting Kristy for some reason. Why was that?” Nate asked.
“We never liked each other. Simon was just an excuse.” Alli said, quietly.
“Exactly. Just because they say their fighting over you this week doesn’t mean they weren’t fighting over something different last week. Though they both may like you, you were just an excuse to see who was the better ‘man’.” Nate said before sitting in silence for a couple of minutes, letting Alli soak it all in.
It had been a couple of days since the big fight and Hermione was still slightly in shock. Instead of wallowing in self pity like she wanted to, Hermione spent her days in the library researching any explanation to how Alli and Tom had fought off the Death Eaters. By the third day of searching, Hermione still could find no explanation and she was getting frustrated.
After searching the library for hours, the tired and annoyed Hermione walked back into her common room to find a letter on the table that was left for her. She instantly recognised Dumbledore’s perfect handwriting.
I would like to inform you that there is a Order of the Phoenix meeting at Grimmauld place tonight at eight o’clock. I expect you would like to come here as it concerns you and your family, along with the rise of Lucius Malfoy.
See you soon,
Hermione stared at the paper in dismay. She hadn’t spoken to either Harry or Ginny since the incident, and wasn’t planning on it any time soon. She was still trying to put the pieces together on what had actually happened. Though Hermione didn’t want to go to the meeting, she knew she had no other choice.
The noise in the dining room of Grimmauld place was deafening, many people were chatting away at what they thought the meeting was about. Some, Hermione included, sat silently trapped in their own thoughts. Hermione’s welcome to the house was as well as to be expected. She rang the doorbell and waited to the door to open. Ginny opened it and without so much of a glance in her direction, motioned for Hermione to enter before closing the door behind her and walking into the dining room where around twenty people were already sitting around the table.
As Dumbledore stood up from his chair to address the table, everyone in the room went silent, waiting for him to speak.
“Hello good friends, its been a long time. We haven’t needed the Order for a while now but some things have come up that need our full attention. For one, we believe that we have found the ‘Key’ of the prophecy that Draco found a year or two back. Second, we believe that the darkness is rising.” Dumbledore said. After he finished, the room broke out into different people discussing what he had just said.
“What do you mean the darkness? I’m hoping you mean the band.” Neville said, earning a couple of chuckles.
“We believe that Lucius Malfoy is beginning to come to power as the next Dark Lord.” Dumbledore said bluntly, stunning everyone into silence.
“I guess not then…” Neville mumbled.
“What do you mean? Malfoy is dead! I killed him myself.” Ron said in disbelief.
“No he isn’t. He recently attacked Miss Granger and her family.” Dumbledore responded. Ron immediately turned his head to Hermione and watched her nod her head in confirmation.
“Sorry I didn’t have a chance to tell you before.” Hermione said quickly.
“How can that be? I killed him!” Ron half shouted.
“Are you sure you didn’t miss? You had been fighting for days. Maybe he just fell and was unconscious…” George said reasonably.
“Not possible. I checked.” Ron said stubbornly.
“Well… there’s one thing we haven’t thought of…” Hermione said quietly, earning the attention of the room, “he could have made a Horcrux…”
The room remained silence for a couple of seconds before it loudly broke out into arguments. Hermione sat quietly listening to the conversations around her. It seemed like everyone was trying to deny the idea aside from Draco, who was staring at the table with a troubled look upon his face.
“Quiet!” Dumbledore said loudly for everyone to cease talking immediately. “I know this sounds impossible to everyone but we must remember the facts. Lucius was Vodemort’s right hand man. He murdered almost as many innocents as Voldemort himself. If Voldemort told anyone how to make a Horcrux it would have been Lucius.”
“But you need to be very powerful to pull that off. Lucius didn’t seem that powerful. Scary, yes, but powerful?” Ginny said, glancing around the room for confirmation.
“He was…” Draco said quietly, as though speaking to himself.
“He was that powerful. And I don’t doubt that he made one. It makes sense.” Draco said, still staring at the table with a guilty look upon his face, as though it was his fault that his father was evil.
Everyone in the room sat in silence, digesting what they had just found out. Hermione glanced around and watched Harry and Ginny share a worried glance.
“We will pursue this further soon, but we still have another matter at hand. The prophecy.” Dumbledore said, earning everyone’s attention again.
“I’m sorry, what prophecy is that?” Hermione asked, glancing around the table. Apparently she wasn’t the only one that didn’t know about it. Just about everyone in the room was exchanging confused glances aside from Harry, Ron and Draco.
“Draco, would you like to tell everyone?” Dumbledore said, nodding towards Draco who looked up and nodded slightly. He cleared his throat and stood up, addressing the room.
“A couple of years on my first solo mission for the Order, I stumbled upon an old woman. She seemed harmless and I soon got into a conversation with her. We had been talking for around an hour when suddenly she went still and started talking in tongue. I thought it was strange so I went to Dumbledore and told him about it. Apparently she was speaking the old language. The language that the magic people spoke thousands of years ago. It took us weeks but we finally translated it. The woman had said:
The key will soon unlock the door
To the greatest power man will see
That will destroy all mutiny
The key that is full of love
Will find the power from above
To free the good and stop the evil
From entering this world into upheaval ‘”
The room sat quiet as they soaked the new information in. Draco glanced at Hermione who was sitting in stunned silence. Draco slowly sat down and looked around the room, the only people that seemed to be moving were the people that had known about the prophecy. They were looking around with worried expressions at their friends and loved ones.
Slowly the occupants became more animated, first with small movements like taking the hand of a loved one. Then by whispering to each other. Soon everyone was talking loudly and George looked a Draco and asked, loud enough for everyone to hear, “Are you positive?”
“Yes. That’s what she said.” Draco responded solemnly.
“So there’s going to be a third war?!” Fred shouted slightly.
“It appears so.”
The volume of the room shot up tenfold, some people shouted denials, some shouted at Draco as if that was the problem, and some just hugged each other silently, knowing that there was nothing they could do.
“Wait, you said you found the key. What is it?” Someone asked Dumbledore, making everyone turn in his direction.
“We are not positive, but we believe that the key is a family.” Dumbledore responded.
“A family? Who? One of the shamans in South Africa?” Someone else asked.
“No, we believe that part of that family is in this room.” Dumbledore said. The silence in the room was deafening. Everyone looked around, as if to see one person glowing or appearing out of nowhere.
“Who?” Neville finally asked after over a minute of silence.
“Miss Grangers family.” Dumbledore said, motioning to the stunned Hermione. Suddenly everyone in the room stared at Hermione in confusion.
Sorry for the long wait! Its good to be back (:
Since I gave you this chapter, you should give me a review saying just how amazing it is haha (:
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