Chapter 6 : When Was The Last Time You Snored?
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"Welcome students," She wheezed, "I am Professor Carrow your new Muggle Studies teacher." She paused for a breath. "I can see that you education in this subject has been rather selective shall we say, well I'm here to put things right. I'm here to teach you about the filthy, dirty, witless creatures we call Muggles…"
I sat up in my seat, never had I heard a teacher speaking of non-magical folk with such contempt. I watched as all around me the students once again shuffled backwards in their seats, as though frightened of Professor Carrow. I tightened my grip on the table; this could only mean bad things for those such as myself with Muggle parents.
"I understand that your previous teacher Professor Burbage – was it? Taught you of the equality and fairness of the Muggles. This is a lie!" She cried her voice ringing to the furthest corners of the room startling everyone within her presence. "Muggles are not nice, or equal. Muggles are foul magic hating pigs who despise us for we are of superior talents. Finally after such a long time, where we've been forced into hiding because of their hatred we are free to rule once again. Finally the natural order has been righted!"
I watched as someone near the front of the class slowly raised a single hand. Professor Carrow seemed to notice the hand also and a twisted smile spread across her pale face.
"Yes – A Question?" She said in a mock kind voice.
"What will be actually learning in this class?" A girl asked in an almost whisper which I had to strain my ears to hear from this corner of the room.
"We shall be discussing many interesting topics, and covering what the mistakes that have been made in your previous education in this subject." She said with a smile so twisted I felt a sickening twist in my stomach.
The rest of the lesson followed in same pattern as the first five minutes, Professor Carrow spent the entire lesson ranting and raving about Muggles and how they were ungodly filthy beings who's main goal in life was to rid the world of wizards and witches. She showed no remorse for the commentary made about Muggleborns and half bloods. She was evidently one of the more insane blood obsessed followers of Lord Voldemort, I could not imagine how anyone in their right mind would allow her to teach at the school, the unpleasant fact that the Ministry was no longer in control of itself playing over and over again in my mind.
Finally after several terrifying rants the bell rang, many seemed glad to be out of her presence scooping up their books and practically running from the room, others seemed pleased with her teaching methods; in particular several of the Slytherin students who remained behind to talk to her, those who I assumed were Death Eater's children.
"Well that was certainly… different." Huffed Ernie Macmillan as the class exited the room.
"Different isn't the word for that!" I spat. "A more appropriate word would be dreadful! I mean what does she hope to achieve by telling us such dreadful things?" I asked desperately.
"Hermione, the world isn't how we remember it. So much has changed we have to change and adapt or fall victim to the darkness." He sighed.
I single word rang in my head at these words. 'D.A'
"Ernie?" I asked quickly my voice dropping to a low whisper. "Do you still have your fake D.A Galleon?"
"I think so; I mean I'd have to check. Why?" He asked.
"Just see how many of the old D.A members still have the coin, ask Justin if he still has his, Hannah too."
"Justin didn't return this year." Ernie replied sadly.
"Why?" I asked, worried that he too had suffered an unfortunate fate or a family member had.
"The Muggleborn Registry his blood status meant he couldn't return to Hogwarts this year. I'm surprised you could you're a Muggleborn as well!" He hissed.
"He wasn't allowed to return?" I asked. "Neither was that girl from Ravenclaw. How did you get into Hogwarts?" He asked.
"I don't know…" I said taking a step backwards.
How had I? I thought instantly. Why was I allowed back into the school and they weren't. The answer could only be sought from one person – Professor McGonagall. Whom I assumed had a part to play in this. I walked numbly from the classroom where I had been standing talking to Ernie seconds beforehand; his calls to me fading away to the back of my mind to her office where after a small knock I heard her calm voice invite me in.
"Miss. Granger?" She said a look of worry breaking across her face.
"Professor… Why am I here?" I asked quickly.
"What! What do you mean?" She stuttered.
"You know full well I'm not supposed to be!" I cried. "All the other Muggleborn students, they weren't allowed back into the castle!"
"Miss. Granger… Take a seat." She said indicating to a small wooden seat in front of her.
I took the seat in a calm manor, but my insides were churning uncomfortably, in a way that felt as though I was about to be sick.
"You understand how important you are in this war don't you?" She asked me.
"No! I'm just a student. I have no place in it!" I cried. "How can anyone think that I'm to play a part in this mess?"
"You underestimate yourself." She pointed out.
"No I don't. I just think that believing that I have some part to play is idiotic. I mean what am I supposed to do?" I asked.
"Albus Dumbledore obviously thought you were important." She said calmly.
"What?" I asked.
"He left you an item in his will did he not?"
I opened my mouth astounded as this piece of information, "How did you know?" I finally managed to spit out.
"Not too much took place after his death here that I was not aware of. I myself was granted the honour of receiving an item from his personal collection." She said pointing to an elegant looking golden instrument upon her desk. "I know you don't seem to think you haven't got a role in this war, but if Albus thought you did than even you can't deny that maybe there is another purpose out there for you. He left you a book did he not?" She asked.
I nodded in response.
"Evidently it holds the clue you need. How can deny being important when your two best friends are out there now trying to do everything they can to change the fate that seems to be looming above us. Yes Miss. Granger I know Mr. Weasley is not severely ill in bed with Spattergroit as all have been informed. I also know that you were supposed to be with them, however something changed and you returned."
"I understand that though. I'm not meant to be here." I replied.
"And that leads us to the next complication. I'd hoped to avoid this." She said with a sigh standing and walking to the window behind her desk. "It's changing out there, it's worse than before and without proper precautions you'll fall victim to the terrors of the outside world. Miss. Granger, I've ensured that you were permitted into the castle this year. I don't think I could have lived with myself should I have allowed you to fall into the mercy of the Muggleborn Registration Commission. Surely you received an invitation?" She asked me.
"No I didn't. I didn't even know until just before that's why I came to ask you." I replied.
She breathed a deep and heavy sigh, "There's only so much I can do. They're going to realise sooner or later that you are within the castle."
"What am I supposed to do?" I asked desperately, almost as though that time was upon us.
"Run. Unless you can fake your family tree, the only thing you can do is run and hope for your own sake that you're not caught."
Her words stun deeply within my chest, what fate could be so terrible that she was defending me from it? What kind of fate required the protection of one of the most powerful teachers at the school? Was it really like that out there, where muggle hatred was at a point where those of us with muggle parents were being rounded up and tagged like common animals.
"Do you understand what I've said?" She asked me taking her seat once again.
"If I'm found, it's run or find someone willing to vouch for me being part of their family. Or face death or imprisonment." I replied in a low tone.
"Or I fear…" She said her voice grave. "You will be left at the mercy of the Carrows…"
My breathing had not slowed, and the aching knot that felt as though it had been crammed into my chest had not eased, even as the day passed. I wandered around aimlessly, the worry that I would be forced to run with only minutes notice weighed heavily upon me. I took out my frustration upon a group of second year Slytherins, who seemed to find the time right for a spot of Quidditch in the corridors. I stormed down the corridor causing a halt in the game.
"Get down here now!" I called to a small smug looking girl.
"I don't take orders from filth like you." She spat.
"That's it twenty points from Slytherin!" I hissed.
I turned and pulled my wand from my pocket.
"Don't. Push. It." I snarled through my teeth.
I watched as slowly they sank lower and lower towards the ground, I extended a hand and grudgingly they passed the school broomsticks into my hand. I warned them never to let me catch them flying within the corridors again, or else the punishment would include a detention however they laughed and walked off mocking me. Things had most certainly changed around here. I would have never dreamed of insulting a Head Girl or Boy in such a manor when in my second year, nor would I have dared in any of my years. I could only begin to formulate how I was to be treated by the sixth and seventh year Slytherins, whom of which I was sure would find no problems in openly mocking me, just to make my task harder.
I stormed along the corridor and shoved the broomsticks into the nearest broom cupboard. Climbing inside and slamming the door after me. Once inside the darkness enclosed around me, I slowly sunk to a sitting position. I carefully pulled my knees up to my chest, the knot within my chest throbbing painfully. Why did all of this have to happen? Why did everything just have to go wrong no matter what? I closed my eyes forcing back the tears which welled up in my eyes. I blinked back the tears as the memories I'd long repressed were dredged up. I emerged what seemed like hours later when the memories finally made their way into the back of my mind, walking casually into the Great Hall where lunch awaited me.
It seemed as though the day was passing in an uncomfortable blur, my fatigue was finally catching up with me, for the first time in History of Magic I failed to take notes, I however rested my head on my hands and tried to remain awake as Professor Binns droned on unnecessarily about Giant Wars once again. Herbology required my full attention the dangers of not paying attention including the Venomous Tentacula grabbing you from behind while you were concentrating on other matters; for instance the task at hand. My mind wandered constantly as I attempted to pay attention to the review of the previous years work, however the only thing this caused was painful memories to be dragged to the front of my mind once again.
I looked down at my timetable; I had a free study period. I walked to the library, one of the things about having a free period last was that you could go to the library and accomplish spell theory in peace, however today even I could not focus on this. My mind was constantly wandering to the person several seats away from me Draco Malfoy. He was smirking. I felt like screaming at him 'What the hell are you smirking at!' but avoided doing so, deciding to avoid emotional outbursts in public for now. Aware that I was going to accomplish very little in the Library I gathered my books and walked outside into the welcoming sunshine, however the warmth was missing, the sun shone brightly onto the ground by the happiness and warmth it usually brought was missing.
I noticed the white marble tomb standing in the centre of the grounds; it fit the scenery perfectly, only adding to the beauty of the grounds. I walked over to it sadly remembering the night he'd died; he was the last person we needed to lose in a war such as this. The smartest and the greatest there was. Who was left to fight now? I sat down on the ground and pulled out the book he'd given to me and watched as slowly night crept upon me and the light slowly faded from the grounds.
I could hear the muffled calming sound of Parvarti and Lavender breathing deeply in their sleep as I crept across the dormitory to my warm comfortable bed. Despite the fact I had not been sleeping particularly well I knew at least they had half the worries I did, and for that I was grateful. No-one else needed this, no-one else need the constant worry burning deep within their minds, I crawled into the inviting bed, closing my eyes and was asleep and snoring by the time my head had hit the soft pillow.
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