Ginny cringed at the taste of her now frigid tea as she placed it back on the food-covered table during the Great Hall dinner. She had been keeping a close eye on the door, waiting for Hermione to return, and as a result of this, neglected her now cold dinner. Her head lifted to see that most of the Ravenclaw table had already left, and watched members of the other houses retreat to their dormitories. She sighed as she rested her cheeks on her closed hands.
“Where’s Hermione?” she complained to Harry and Ron.
Ron rolled his eyes.
“Ginny, will you stop asking? Their detention probably ran late.” He went back to his meatloaf.
Ginny turned to Harry.
“But everyone knows that Slughorn has easy detentions. It shouldn’t take this long. What if something happened?”
“Come on Ginny, Slughorn would have been watching them the entire time. And besides, Malfoy wouldn’t do anything that would get him expelled.”
Harry turned his back to Ginny, facing the half empty Slytherin table. He then motioned toward them.
“See? Malfoy isn’t back yet. Their detention must have run over.”
Ginny huffed as she retook her stance, her cheeks resting on her hands.
She was worried about Hermione. Her and Malfoy alone was a horrible combination. Ginny knew that Malfoy had the potential to push her buttons too far, and she would react. He was downright malicious to her, and although Hermione put on a tough face,
Ginny was sure that the comments penetrated deeper that most expected.
Ginny shifted her gaze to the staff table. Most were present except Hagrid, who had left to tend to some magical creature. She eyed Dumbledore, who she had noticed had been rather quiet during dinner. All he had told the students was that it was time to eat. Slughorn was gone too, which supported Harry and Ron’s theories. Suddenly a quickly moving figure caught her attention.
Down the middle of the aisle, Professor Slughorn was making his way to the staff table; He was alone.
Harry, Ron, look!” she nudged the boys to get their attention. The three watched
Slughorn make his way to Dumbledore.
“Where’s Hermione?!” Ginny cried.
This time she didn’t receive an answer. They watched Slughorn stop directly at Dumbledore, and whisper something in his ear. The wrinkled headmaster’s face nodded in some acknowledgment. He then stood from his seat, and to her surprise, faced them. Ginny watched Harry’s eyes narrow as Slughorn and Dumbledore glanced at the three. Ginny’s stomach began to twist.
Something wasn’t right.
Hermione took in a large intake of breath as she neared that large door that lay open, welcoming passengers on the Titanic. She watched officers ushering others inside, their hands covered in pure white gloves, with smiles that could melt any exterior. Her parents responded with grins to their welcomes, and disappeared in the side of the ship. Hermione stopped walking, and with her arm still linked in Jonathon’s, turned to face the mass of people below.
This was it. There was no turning back now. New emotions of fear and anxiety swirled within her stomach. This ship was going to sink, and with it bring down more than half of the passengers. She shivered as she remembered a page in her history book, which described how the frigid cold water stabbed survivors like knives, and took their lives. But her only way out was on this ship. All she knew was that the answer to go back home could only be found aboard the Titanic.
Jonathan placed a hand on her shoulder.
“Hermione dear, are you alright?”
She lifted a forced smile to Jonathon.
“Can we proceed?” he asked with a sweet smile.
His face seemed to melt the wall of fear that stood within her. She readjusted her arm in his, and ushered him forward.
“Yes we can.”
“Ah, wonderful. And Hermione, if there is a hidden fear of sailing within you that I am unaware of, let me assure you that this ship is unsinkable.
“Yes, er, unsinkable.”
Fighting off the queasiness that had returned to her stomach, she moved forward with Jonathon. The couple soon reached the top of the catwalk, where two handsome officers greeted the couple with smiles.
“Good morning Mr. Randolf! And Ms. Bennett. Welcome to Titanic!”
Jonathon flashed his signature gleaming smile.
“Good morning to you as well gentlemen.”
Hermione responded with a smile, and while Jonathon continued with small talk, turned to face the waving crowds once more. Her eyes saw more embracing lovers, sobbing family members, and children perched on their father’s shoulders to get a better glimpse of the ship. For the first time, she thought of Draco, and a twinge of guilt rolled through her.
She felt somewhat guilty for leaving him alone in the mass of people, with muggles he had never met. What if he never got on the ship? Hermione shuddered at the thought of being alone to solve the task. She hoped that Malfoy would have had been smart enough to find the third class line, and get on board. As much as she had undermined his intelligence in the past, she had faith that he would possess enough brains to get on Titanic. He had to, because that thought of doing this alone was overpowering.
“Hermione? Are you ready?” Jonathon asked sweetly.
She turned, taking in a large breath.
The two turned away from the officers to meet their first glimpse from the interior of the titanic. Smooth polished wood lined the walls, its coat of varnished unworn or faded, due to its new condition. Lightened oak wood covered the floors, also glistening in the outside light. Intricate paintings hung on the walls, its warm patterns in inviting and soothing.
Hermione and Jonathon marveled at the interior as they reached Hermione’s parents.
“This is splendid, just extraordinary Jonathon! Do you see the woodwork here? It is utterly extraordinary!” said her father in awe.
“It is a work of art,” replied her mother.
“I knew you would all fancy it! And Hermione?”
She was still speechless.
“I can’t believe it.”
Hermione grinned as she saw her father tinkering with a golden clock on the opposite wall as other extravagantly dressed passengers passed by.
“Charlotte! Take a look at this exquisite metalwork!” he shouted as he ran his hands over the gold.
Her mother raised her chin as she narrowed her eyebrows.
“Charles! Will you hush! You sound as if you’ve never seen wealth before. You are making us all look like new money.”
She watched her father secretly roll his eyes and return to her mother’s side.
“Bennett money is not new money dear. Neither is Jonathon’s.”
Her mother shooed her husband.
“I’m well aware of that Charles.”
Hermione unleashed her arm from Jonathon’s as she walked over to a nearby window. Her nose almost touched the glass as she gazed over the crowd. Her heart jumped as she remembered the ancient photo from her textbook of passengers waving goodbye on the deck of the ship.
“Well, Should we make our way to our suites now?”
“Yes Jonathon,” replied her parents.
The others turned.
“Aren’t we going to go on deck and wave goodbye?”
Her mother’s face tightened to match her pursed lips, and her father chuckled and shook his head. Jonathon was grinning.
“My dear, who are you saying your goodbyes to?” asked her father.
Hermione’s face reddened.
“No one, just waving goodbye, like everyone else is doing.” She pointed.
Her mother spoke.
“Hermione, only the third class peasants go on deck and wave. It is proper etiquette for the wealthy to make their way to their rooms. We will go up when we are settled.”
“Oh,” she replied as her cheeked reddened.
“Jonathon, will you lead us to our suites?” asked her mother.
“Of course Charlotte. Will you join us Hermione?” he beckoned.
Hermione forced another smile as she made her way over to Jonathon. She placed her arm in his as they continued down the intricately decorated hall. Along the way, she was hoping that she wouldn’t receive the wrath of her mother for breaking a class rule again.
Draco scowled as he stepped in the stark white interior of the third class section of Titanic.
“This is rubbish.”
He turned as Peter followed inside after him.
“Would ya take a look at this mate? We got wooden floors, and brand new painted walls! This beats all the other boats I’ve been on.”
Draco narrowed his eyes at a grinning Peter.
He was tempted to ask which other ships that he had been on, and how much worse their conditions were than this. This seemed as bad as it could get to Draco.
Thinking logically, he began to rummage through his bag, and look at his ticket. The only thing he had to do was meet Hermione on deck, but she would be too busy strutting around with her pompous new family for a while. He then suspected that he should find his room. Draco looked up, expecting Peter to be searching for his ticket as well. Instead, he stood anxious with some form of excitement.
“What do we do now?” he bluntly asked Peter.
Peter responded with an even bigger grin.
“We gotta go up to the top ‘o’ the ship! To the deck! Come on Draco!’
Peter stepped in front of Draco as he began to walk down the floor. After realizing that Draco wasn’t following, he turned.
“Come on lad! Move your feet! We don’t have much time!’ he waved violently to Draco.
Draco sighed and began to follow Peter, and eventually caught up with him.
“And just where are we going?”
“Up to the deck!” he joyously shouted.
After turning down hallways, Draco turned to Peter again.
“Do you have any idea where we’re going?!”
“Nope! But I figure that all we have to do is keep on going up, right?”
After what seemed like weeks of weaving through hallways and up flights of stairs, Draco and Peter reached the top of Titanic. Surveying the deck, Draco gasped.
Hundreds of people lined the edges, waving one or both arms at the dock below, and shouting to their families. Peter sprinted forward.
“Come on mate!”
Draco attempted to run after Peter, and keep up with his pace. Peter pushed through hoards of people, until his hands clenched the edge of the ship. Draco pushed behind him, and ended up grabbing the side next to him. He watched Peter raise an arm, and wave it profusely at the crowd.
“Goodbye England! Bye! I’ll come back one day when I’m a rich man!”
Draco scowled beside him. He lifted his gaze to watch others of muggles shout cries of farewell to their country or their families. He tightened his grip on the white railing as he peered over the edge. Down the entire side of the ship, more muggles were waving goodbye.
“They’re all a bunch of lunatics.”
Peter turned to him.
“Wave Draco! Wave!” he shouted as he turned back to face the dock.
Draco grimaced again.
“I have no one to wave to.”
Peter again smiled back.
“Welll I don’t either!” he replied, throwing up his hands, “But you have to say goodbye to something!”
An almost permanent scowl formed on Draco’s face.
“Goodbye to my sanity. I’m trapped on a sinking ship with bloodly Granger and an incessant muggle,” he whispered under his breath.
As he looked over the edge, he realized exactly what was occuring. He was stuck in a time portal, and about to set sail on a doomed ship, that would sink in a matter of days. His main objective was to solve the task. He glanced towards the crowd.
On land, he was safe from harm. He was leaving England, and even though it was years earlier, it was home. There was still a hidden magical world during this time. He shuddered at the fact that he may never return. So against his mind, he lifted a hand and began to wave.
“Bye England. I bloody hope that we solve this task.”
He turned to a smiling Peter and chuckled. Peter was sure enjoying himself.
From behind him, a piercing blow horn sounded.
“Draco! We’re leaving! We’re leaving!”
Draco clenched the edge as he felt the ship lurch forward. Sure enough, the ship was slowly pulling away from the docks. For the first time, he was afraid. They were going out into open sea, where icy cold water was waiting for passengers.
The screams and cries of farewell raised in volume over the sounding horn. Fathers grabbed their children away from the edge, their waving arms never ceasing. Boys scampered throughout the crowds, attempting to find new openings to stand in. Draco had to admit that it was an extraordinary sight. He peered over the edge once more, now able to see a thickening stream of water separating Titanic from the dock. He couldn’t believe that he was actually leaving land now, setting off to sea on a ship that was bound to sink to the bottom of the Atlantic.
He turned as the horn sounded once more, signaling that Titanic’s departure was moving quicker. The ship now had a decent gap of water between it and the docks, and was slowly turning to open sea. From the right, a small looking boat seemed to be pulling Titanic into deeper waters. Draco, of course, barely had any idea what a boat was.
The crowds were still waving, but not as violently, for the ship was a notable distance from the docks now. Draco turned to face a still ecstatic Peter.
“Can you believe that!? Now that was amazing!”
“Sure it was.”
Titanic was now cruising slowly out of the harbor, past English sand beaches, and seaside cottages, venturing into deeper waters.
Draco somewhat wondered what Granger was doing right now. He had a few guesses, which included sipping tea with her mother, ordering servants around, or even eating pastries. It didn’t seem fair or right that Granger was given the first class ticket. That was his arena. He glanced around deck, realizing that there weren’t any other first class people on deck at the moment.
“Draco!” Peter shouted, “Let’s go to the front for a better look.”
Draco blankly agreed. He watched Peter turn and begin the walk to the front of the ship, and he began to follow. As he followed Peter, Draco looked off to the right, gazing at the now rolling green forests of coastline that they were passing. He had to admit that it was breathtaking.
Suddenly his body collided with something-or someone- hard. Draco was thrown onto the ground.
“Ouch! Watch where you’re bloody going-“ Draco caught his breath as the man who he had just collided with turned.
He was huge. Rippling muscles protruded from his arms, and his torso seemed as thick as cement. He wore a tight cap, and he had a front tooth missing. He was obviously third class. Draco slowly stood as the man caught a clenched fist with his other hand.
“You vetter vatch your step, Engzish boy,” he spat in a thick Russian accent.
Draco scowled as he glared at the Russian.
“Who says it was me? You,” he pointed, “were in my way.”
In an instant, the Russian reached for the front of Draco’s linen shirt, and pulled him towards his toothless grin.
“You don’t vant to mess vith me, you scum,” he spat in Draco’s face.
Draco noticed that he seemed to have a posse of three or four other Russians staring him down. He gulped and prepared for the worst. Suddenly, from his left, Peter appeared. He pulled Draco from the Russian’s grasp, and stood in front of him.
“Aye mates. Let’s not start a fight on the first day. You see my friend Draco here,” he ushered towards Draco, “has a bit of a walking issue. His, er, um, left foot, er points inward, and he trips a good amount. So he didn’t mean to hit ya mate. He has always had the problem.”
Draco stared with a scowl. That was the best story he could think of?
Luckily, the Russian seemed to buy it, and turned away. Before he left, he towered over Draco.
“Next time you von’t have your little friend to save you.” He turned as followed his fellow
Russians through the crowd.
Draco heard Peter give a sigh of relief next to him.
“Phew! That was a mighty close one.”
Draco watched Peter, still smiling, give him a toothy grin. He sighed as he looked at Peter.
“I could have handled it myself, but thanks for that anyway. It was, er, helpful.”
Peter still grinned.
“Aye, no problem mate. But as a warning, never cross a Russian. They aren’t very forgiving.
Draco rubbed the place where the Russian had grabbed onto his shirt.
“I believe that.” He muttered.
The two felt the ship turn once more, signaling its venture out into open waters. Draco and Peter moved to the other side to get a better look. With a bright horizon and shimmering waters, it almost seemed as if nothing could go wrong with Titanic’s voyage. But Draco, of course, knew better.
Ginny paced the Gryiffendoor common room after dinner. Ron and Harry blankly stared at a crackling fireplace as students played chess, completed assignments, or played with Fred and George’s creations.
“She still isn’t back yet.” Ginny announced.
“We know Ginny,” scolded Ron.
“You both saw the look on Slughorn’s face when he went up to Dumbledore at dinner. Something is wrong. And Hermione isn’t back here yet.”
Harry spoke from his seat.
“I think we’re overreacting. We all know that Slughorn worries over the littlest of things.
Maybe he spilled a potion or something. I don’t know.”
“But why would he miss dinner? And then run up to Dumbledore after?”
“I don’t know Ginny,” Harry responded with worried green eyes.
Ginny sqeezed between Harry and Ron on the sofa.
“Well, what do we do now? We can’t just waltz up to Dumbledore and ask where Hermione is.”
“We wait. Dumbledore will summon us if it’s bad news. All we can do right now is wait.”
Ginny scowled as she blanking stared into the fire. Harry was right.
There's chapter 5!
Okay, I have some things to mention:
First of all, I wanted to wish a happy birthday to a reviewer, avalade, who's birthday is on the date of the Titanic sinking. Happy Birthday!
Another thing, April 15th is the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. 1, 517 people tragically lost their lives when it sank. Just a reminder to think about those who died on that day.
On a happier note, they next chapter should be up soon! Please review!