Life was better for Hermione back at Hogwarts; an abortion, a hastened goodbye to the Weasleys and a job had kept her mind occupied.
She was staring out of the window, gazing deep into the night. Snow had fallen, the ground was white as a ghost. Wind battered at the window as she thought about her two-year-old’s upcoming birthday.
“Mummy!” a voice startled Hermione.
Her daughter had scrambled over to another window, and was staring eagerly at a robin who was twittering away at her babies, sitting in a nest on the edge of the sill.
“Jas, no, don’t-” Hermione started, as her daughter opened the window and pulled the bird’s nest inside. The mother robin did not object, but obligingly hopped onto Jasmine’s short, stubby fingers, and allowed her to bring her in.
Hermione watched the scene, thinking of a muggle Christmas card. She was amazed at how the bird was not worried about the small child.
“Mummy! Look!” the excited child called.
“Yes, Jassi. I can see. Now, put the birdie and it’s babies back outside.” Hermione said weakly.
“No! Birdie like it in here! Birdie want to live in here until summer!”
Hermione didn’t question how her daughter knew this; she had come to accept it.
“Honey, birdies don’t live inside.”
“Why not? Talley live inside!”
“Who is Talley?” Hermione asked, surprised.
“Ow. The ow.” Was Jasmine’s reply.
“What? Oh. Jas, what owl?”
“OUR ow.” her daughter replied as if this was obvious.
“What?” Hermione was confused, “our owl is called Tweeter!”
“No! His real name Talley!” Jasmine said stubbornly.
Hermione spun around. There stood McGonagall, dressed in a winter cloak and looking terrified.
“Hermione! He’s ill! Dumbledore is ill! Come, quickly!”
Hermione was momentarily stunned.
“What about Jas?”
“Bring her, too!” McGonagall said, “Just hurry!”
“No, I don’t want her to see Thestrals!” Hermione cried.
“No worry, Mummy. Can see them anyway.” Her daughter appeared at her side.
“QUICKLY!” McGonagall cried, and she dashed off.
Hermione picked up Jasmine and ran after McGonagall. She ran with a loping grace, and reached the Headmaster’s office at the same time McGonagall did. They dashed up the spiral staircase and into the office.
“Dumbledore!” McGonagall cried as she opened the door.
The professor lay on the floor, his eyes dilated with fear. His blackened hand was twitching, and he seemed to be choking.
“No, Albus!” McGonagall dropped to the floor beside him, Hermione following suit.
“Don’t hurt them, no……………… No, hurt me instead, don’t hurt them, save them, they’re innocent……” he was muttering.
“Dumbly doreeee, Dumbly dore, stay ok!” Jasmine patted his hand.
She was so young, she didn’t understand what was happening.
Dumbledore snapped out of his trance and stared, shaking, into Jasmine’s eyes.
“Save, them……… look after him for me…….. save them, hurt me instead……………..” Dumbledore gave one final, shuddering gasp and went still, his eyes glassy and blank.
Hermione and McGonagall began crying, but Jas stood up.
“Faison! Faison, come here!” she called, in a carrying voice.
Everything was still. Then, a flash of flames made Hermione jump.
Fawkes had appeared to Jasmine.
The phoenix tilted it’s beautiful head in the toddler’s direction, blinking it’s magnificent eyes.
“Faison! Help! Ged help!” Jasmine cried out to him.
Before Hermione had time to open her mouth, Fawkes had disappeared in another flash of fire.
Jasmine ran as fast as she could back to Dumbledore’s side.
“Dumbbbley dore, it okay, Faison get help.”
“Jas, he’s……….. he’s not here anymore.” Hermione said dully, trying to explain.
“yes, he is! HE IS!!!! He still here!” Jas screamed, fighting Minerva as she tried to pull her back.
Dumbledore stayed still, dead on the floor. Jasmine looked to the window, where the trees were swaying slightly in the breeze.
“But if all is in accord then it cannot be true,” Jasmine muttered, all trace of youth gone from her voice. She then stood, bent down and closed Dumbledore’s eyes. She then walked to her mother, and began crying. Hermione picked her up and cuddled her, wiping the miniscule tears from her daughter’s eyes.
The three stayed like that for a long time, until Minerva began to clean up the office and summoned some Ministry officials, and Hermione and Jasmine returned to the dormitories.
Write a Review Unexpected Complications (RE-WRITTEN): Faison and Talley