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Chapter 4 : 'Cause I don't think we could face it.
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‘Umm... who are you? And how do you know my name?’ I asked, quite surprised and possibly a little frightened at the complacent way she spoke to me.
‘You received a vase of black roses from my shop early this morning yes?’ She questioned and I nodded. ‘You are Hermione Granger, this is a wizarding florist, almost every witch and wizard knows your name and I am no exception. Though most wizarding folk find my store a little out of the way and expensive for their likings, I am assuming you have a question for me but I will say now that I probably cannot answer.’
‘Yes, I have three actually. I would like to know who purchased these roses, how much they cost and if they said why they were being sent.’
‘My dear, I do not know who bought them, they were not familiar to me, they cost £50 and they asked me to attached a small parchment to them, which I assume you found. I had a house elf deliver them, as there was no specification to why, they just didn’t want to deliver them personally.’ My hazel eyes narrowed in on her at the mention of house elves, I’d given up on S.P.E.W. for now but I was still passionate about their rights. ‘I hope that satisfies your curiosity and please remember Hermione Granger, curiosity killed the cat’
‘And satisfaction brought it back’ I retorted, somewhat frustrated that I knew nothing more than the cost of the beautiful roses that would grace my house for the next thousand or so days. It also erked me that she always said my full name, almost hauntingly, as it reminded me of Professor Trelawney.
‘Thank you for your help’ I added, turning on my heel and getting out of the shop. I’d wasted a few hours, I couldn’t decide if that was a positive or a negative thing either, the fact I’d been distracted for a while. I apparated back home, not feeling like eater dinner I went upstairs, collapsing on my parents bed after gulping down a small goblet of a dreamless potion and feel into a restless sleep.
The next day past without incident, I packed my bags and I wrote summaries of certain chapters of my favourite textbooks, keen to get a good head start as always. When I woke on the morning of the 1st of September it was way to quiet for my liking. It wasn’t as if I had expected anything different to the last few days after being on my own but the fact that my parents were gone really hit home when I realised they wouldn’t be there to wave good bye to me on my last train ride to Hogwarts.
So many things hit me all at once, so many things that I hadn’t thought about before all crashed on me at once like a massive tidal wave. My parents would never be there to see me graduate, my father would never walk me down the aisle when I got married, my mother would never be there to give me advice about pregnancies and children, my children would never meet a set of their grandparents. At that moment I just couldn’t take it anymore. I’d cried countless number of times before, I’d stared at their photos, I listened to their voices on the home videos but nothing could bring them back. I feel so alone, I’d never be held by them anymore, they’d never be able to tell me that everything was going to be okay. All the walls I’d built up since the shock of their deaths came crashing down and there was nobody around me to help build them up again. Harry and Ron weren’t coming back and as Head Girl I wouldn’t see Ginny much anymore because I’d be busy with my duties and studying for my NEWTS plus living in my own separate dormitory.
As I got out of bed, I flicked my wand around the room, packing my already overflowing trunk to the brim with books, parchment, potions supplies and clothes, tears still running down my face. I grabbed the only clothes left in my wardrobe and chucked them on. They were old faded jeans and a pale blue shirt, ‘comfort clothes’ I told myself as I walked into the bathroom and washed my face with a wet towel as if to wash away my tears that I couldn’t stop from falling. I tied the laces on my Converse shoes, tucking the laces in the sides and pulling the bottom of my jeans over the tongue. I shoved a few notes of muggle money in one of my pockets and some wizarding gold in the other and looked over everything I had around me, making a list in my head.
Hogwarts, A History. Check
Robes and other clothing. Check
School supplies. Check
Photo Albums. Check
Breakfast. I knew I was forgetting something.
I wandered into the kitchen, pockets bulging, trunk pack, opening various cupboards for something that was even slightly edible. I’d lost weight in the days I’d been away from Molly’s amazing cooking, I can’t remember eating much since I had left the Weasleys, I’d spent too much time crying, sleeping and crying a little more. I came across two croissants and a tub of Nutella. I heated the croissants in the microwave so they’d taste a bit less... stale... if that was even possible whilst eating the Nutella straight from the jar with a spoon.
I sat on the kitchen bench, just staring out the window. My life had changed so much over the past eight years, becoming a witch, meeting Ron, Harry, Ginny and so many more people from the wizarding world, helping Harry defeat Voldermort and now losing my parents. I was really hoping that something would go right for me this year, without incident, without having to fight for my life. At that thought I fingered the scar on my neck from Bellatrix’s knife, it was a faint silver line across my skin. I’d tried every charm I could think of to make it go away or even to cover it up but nothing would work and in the end I had decided it was not just an ugly scar, it was a badge of honour. I had survived. What wasn’t there to be proud of?
I threw up strong wards around my childhood home as no-one would be living there for a few months. I then shrunk my trunk down with a quick incantation and held it firmly in my hand as I stepped into my fireplace and shouted ‘Platform Nine and Three Quarters!’
I could see Ginny being farewelled by Ron, Harry and Molly at the other end of the platform. Part of me wanted to run up to them and hug them yet the other part of me wanted to avoid them for as long as I could. I could see Ginny staring at me, I made eye contact and shook my head, hoping she would understand. I got what appeared to be a slight nod of her head and I quickly boarded the train to avoid being seen. I knew Ginny would bombard me with questions as soon as we spoke at Hogwarts but for now I think she knew I needed space and for that I was grateful.
I slid my compartment door open, glad that I only had to share with the Head Boy, if he did decide to grace me with his presence, whoever he was. I laid down on the cool leather seats and closed my eyes and let time pass me by. I felt the jolt of the train moving forward and heard the compartment door slid open. I sighed, opening my eyes to see a pair of mischievous grey eyes staring back at me.
And I knew then and there that my last year at Hogwarts was going to be a very long year....
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