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Chapter 13 : Poetry and bigotry
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When the scene form again, the four cousins find themselves in the overcrowded Gryffindor common room.
“What?” Lily asks angrily, “that’s it? I wanted to know what happened next!”
“December 17th. Dear mum and dad; how are you? Here, things are getting stranger by the day since the attack on that first year boy. They say that this monster is after muggle-born students, which Colin was, so I guess we are all safe, right? Except for Hermione though but, knowing her, she’d definitely outsmart the Slytherin heir!”
“This is the worst homework assignment ever,” Ron says angrily, throwing his quill on the table. “What are we supposed to learn from this anyway?”
“To develop your creative side maybe?” Hermione sighs, making the travelers think that it isn’t the first time she answers him on this subject.
“See this is where I have a problem with this,” Ron says, “it’s a defence against the dark arts class, I should be learning about how to defend myself, not how to write pretty words and flowery lines.”
“I think it’s a good idea,” Hermione shrugs, impervious to his bad mood. “How are you getting on Harry?”
“I’m done,” Harry breathes out before clearing his throat to read his homework aloud,
“Back in Waga, waga,
A tribe in Africa
There was a werewolf-man
That disturbed the calm land
Then came Mister Lockhart
He found the right spell to cast
The werewolf was healed
And the tribe cheered”
“This is hardly a poem Harry,” Hermione frowns at him.
“Poem rhymes and this thing practically does so, therefore, I say it’s a poem.”
“I think it’s excellent, can I copy of you?” Ron asks Harry, ignoring Hermione’s loud tut.
“What about yours Hermione, care to share with us?” Harry asks her while he passes his paper over to Ron.
“Well, it’s not perfect yet, I still have to add some finishing touches to it but, here’s what I have written so far,” Hermione clears her throat,
"There was once a man that had been cursed
Once a month he would change and feel a new thirst
In the form of a wolf, he walked
In the form of a wolf, he fed
In the form of a wolf, he terrorised
The Waga, waga people called along a powerful man
One that they hoped would be their saviour in the end
Brave like a lion
Agile like a cat
Handsome like a peacock
Gilderoy Lockhart came along to help the powerless tribe
The fearless man faced the beast that had all the others in frights
His glacier coloured eyes flashed in the darkness
When he uttered the words that would put an end to the tribe’s distress
With the strength of his beliefs
With one hand only he put down the beast
Homorphus Charm! He cried with all his might
The beast moaned one last time in the night
And away the monster’s traits went
No fur, no fangs; just a man crying his thanks
No longer a wolf, the man was saved and obliged
No longer threatened, the tribe christened Gilderoy Lockhart their Hero; their Knight”
Ron and Harry stare at her, mouths slightly opened in shock, as if they cannot believe what they have just heard. The four cousins though, burst out laughing at the flowery prose Hermione came up with to describe her teacher.
“This is priceless,” Rose wipes a tear from her eye, “I need to find that assignement and have it framed.”
“I bet she even wrote it on a perfumed parchement,” Lily adds while Ron and Harry let Hermione know that she might have gone a bit overboard with the assignement.
“Just because you cannot come up with anything good, doesn’t mean you need to depreicate other people’s work, Ron,” Hermione snaps before putting away her books. “Good night.”
“Good night,” the two boys answer with small smiles as she turns around and practically runs to her dormitory.
“I think we insulted her work,” Harry says.
“She’s asking for it,” Ron shrugs, “she denigrates her own intelligence by keeping up her love for this idiot teacher.”
“Touchy,” Hugo snorts at his father, “he seemed to take Mum’s appreciation of Lockhart a bit too much at heart, don’t you think?”
“He really does,” Lily nods, “I wonder if he already liked her; wouldn’t it be so romantic if he did?”
“You just used the word romantic when talking about my dad,” Rose tells her cousin, “even if he already loved her, there is a reason why they aren’t going to be together for another 6 years and it involves Dad’s lack of romantic feelings.”
“His lack of tact is pretty high on the list as well,” Hugo adds before the scene melts away and the four cousins find themselves outside when the scene reappears. The day is cloudy and strong winds shamelessly blow the few students out, off course. Ron, Harry and Hermione are among the brave students that chose to go outside and their future children spot them easily, taking refuge under the Quidditch stands, even though they are hidden under heavy cloaks and scarves.
“We will be very careful during Christmas time, don’t worry. You can enjoy yourselves in Egypt, I promise to look out after Ginny.”
“We couldn’t have met anywhere else?” Hermione asks the boys, her voice muffled by the scarf over her mouth.
“Didn’t want to be overheard,” Ron answers, looking around the desert area.
“Yeah, after the stunt in Potions’ class, if anyone discovers what I did, Snape will have a too great pleasure of expelling me,” Harry adds.
“But it wasn’t even you that stole the ingredients!”
“No but it was me that sent the firework and Snape knew it; he just needs a proof and we can bet he’s looking for it at the moment.”
“Of course he knew,” Ron snorts, “you need to work on your innocent face mate; it gives you away instantly.”
“Thanks Ron, I’ll be sure to not take advices from you on the matter,” Harry snaps back, stopping Ron’s laughter.
“Anyway, the potion is almost ready so, very soon, we will take it and the proofs of our actions will vanish,” Hermione shrugs.
“Unless we get caught while we are taking it,” Harry argues.
“Speaking of which, when are we going to use it?” Ron questions the others.
“I guess it’ll have to wait for when everybody comes back after Christmas,” Hermione answers, “you guys will need to keep the potion safe while I’ll be gone. It’ll be finished by then so you will only need to make sure that no one finds it; hiding it in your dorm would be a good idea since the other boys will be away as well.”
“And we’ll try to figure out how and when we can actually use it without it being suspicious,” Ron nods.
“That won’t be too hard actually,” Hermione says, “we take Crabbe, Goyle and either Parkinson or Bulstrode out for about two hours, lure Malfoy out of the common room to talk to him and pretend to be his friend.”
“Yeah,” Harry gives a sarcastic laugh, “won’t be hard at all!”
“Shush,” Ron suddenly says before lowering his voice, “I hear voices.”
Sure enough, over the howling wind, voices reach the group. Seconds later, a group of students sit in the stands, right over them and the three second year, as well as the four travelers, quietly listen to what they are saying. Instantly, they identify that Draco Malfoy is part of the small group.
“Can you believe we still have a practice under these conditions?” Malfoy asks the others.
“At least it’s the last one before the Christmas holidays,” another boy answers.
“What are you guys doing this year?” a third, older boy asks the others.
“Staying here,” Malfoy carelessly answers. “My parents have this very boring business trip planned through Eastern Europe. They’ll be going to Bulgaria, Albania, Greece and places like that; they have about half a dozen balls planned where children aren’t invited so, I would be spending my holidays with the house-elves.”
“Hey!” A strong voice shouts. “It’s a flying practice not a gossiping party! Get your asses in the air.”
The Slytherins mumble between them angrily but leave the stands none the less. Underneath, the three second year look at each other with wide eyes as though not believing what they have just heard.
“Malfoy is staying here for the holidays too?” Hermione asks excitedly.
“Surely he won’t be staying alone,” Ron says, “I’ll bet anything he’ll bully Crabbe and Goyle to stay with him.”
“It would be a lot easier to do it when the school is practically empty,” Harry adds while Ron nods his approval. Harry catches Hermione’s frown though and quickly adds, “but we’ll wait until you get back Hermione.”
“No, that’s not it,” she shakes her head. “It really would be best to do it then. I was just wondering if I shouldn’t stay here as well.”
The cousins don’t get to hear the boys’ answers though, because the scene gets blown away by a strong wind. When it stops, they find themselves in the Great Hall although it doesn’t look like the Great Hall at all.
“Oh and, to improve my chances of protecting her, I joined the Duel club. It starts tonight so, I’ll let you know how it went in my next letter; love you both! Ron,” the narrative voice is barely audible over the babbling of the crowd.
What looks like the entire student population stands around a long and large table on top of which Professor Lockhart and Professor Snape are standing. It takes the travelers a couple minutes to find their parents in the crowd and, really, they only find them when Snape himself points them out of the crowd. By the time they reach the small group of second year, Harry is getting ready to duel Draco Malfoy, Ron is facing Seamus and Hermione faces a troll-like girl. The students are told that they should only disarm their adversary but it is clear that many of the students have something else on their mind. Sure enough, when the duelling starts, Harry and Malfoy begin sending nasty jinks at one another.
Rose and Al, being closer to Hermione and her troll, watch in awe as the little second year girl sends a good enough expeliarmus that sends her adversary a couple steps backwards. The massive girl growls angrily and charges at Hermione who can only squeals in fear when she is taken in a headlock by the other girl.
Lily and Hugo have the great pleasure of watching Ron and Seamus face off. Ron sends his spell first and, although the spell is said correctly, a pink coloured spell bursts out of his wand and hits Seamus straight to the head. The boy’s sandy hairs stick up and turn a violent shade of purple. Horrified, Seamus sends a pinching jinks to Ron who dodges it before sending yet another failed disarming spell to his classmate; that one knocking Seamus out of his shoes and into a large seventh year Hufflepuff.
“Why aren’t our Duelling classes like that?” Rose laughs at the chaos that surrounds them.
“Once again I ask you, how did these people win a war?” Hugo asks the three others.
“This is the worst Duelling club ever,” Lily shakes her head in disbelief. “Uncle Ron certainly didn’t learn how to protect Mum with a class like that.”
“As if Mum ever really needed her brothers’ protection,” Al answers with a smile, pointing at Fred and George, a couple feet further in the crowd. Both boys are sending jinks around them, willingly and joyfully hitting people in the back with tickling and hopping charms.
“Doesn’t look like these two even want to protect anyone,” Lily acknowledges. The atmosphere in the Great Hall tenses up suddently and, as Ron holds up a bloody-nosed Seamus, professor Snape calls Harry and Malfoy up on the tables for a demonstration. Their attention caught by what is about to happen, the travelers are disapointed to see the scene blur around them.
“Bugger,” Lily says, disapointed, “we won’t get to see Dad kick Malfoy’s behind.”
“Or maybe we didn’t see it because it went the other way around and Dad doesn’t want to remember Malfoy kicking Uncle Harry’s ass,” Hugo supposes as the Gryffindor common room settles around them. The few students still in the common room are in small groups of students sit scattered in almost intimate spots.
“How can you even suggest that?” Al says, outraged while the two girls nod fervently; sending dark looks at Hugo for even suggesting that Draco Malfoy could beat Harry Potter.
“December 18th,” the narrative voice of Ron begins in a slightly discouraged voice. “Dear Ginny, I hope you are doing ok because, honestly, you don’t look all that well these days. I know you had a pretty hard first trimester but I can assure you that things aren’t always so gloom at Hogwarts and that they will definitely improve after Christmas.”
The four cousins quietly make their way next to Ron, Harry and Hermione’s table. The tone of Ron’s letter is clearly reflected by the three second years sitting by the fire. Other than them, the rest of the students are sitting far away from the trio, sending furtive looks in their direction from time to time.
“What I don’t understand,” Harry tells the others in a small voice, “is how I could have learned that langage. I mean, don’t you usually have to take classes for that?”
“I don’t think it works that way,” Ron soflty answers before Hermione can speak, “it’s the kind of abilities that you are born with. You either have it or you don’t; you can’t learn it.”
“And like we said earlier, it’s usually been seen in Slytherins,” Hermione says, reluctantly, “probably because it’s the kind of abilities that passes through blood and family.”
“How can I have it though? My Mum was muggleborn so she can’t be the one that had it and my Dad was as Gryffindor as can be, Hagrid told me.”
“Maybe it’s the kind of thing that can skip some generations,” Ron shrugs, “it’s not like you know much about the rest of your family, going back to Slytherin’s time.”
“You need to work on your tact Dad,” Rose shakes her head in disbelief, looking at young Harry’s demolished face.
“Ron!” Hermione scowls him, much to Rose’s hapiness.
“What? I didn’t mean it like that, I just meant that none of us know our entire lines; I don’t know wether my great-grand-parents were Gryffindors or Slytherins either.”
“I can’t tell you exactly why but, let’s just say that Harry, Hermione and I are planning something that could definitely put a stop to all this. Speaking of Harry, I just wanted to give you the inside scoop on him. See, he really is a Parselmouth. He already knew he could speak to snakes he just didn’t know it wasn’t a regular thing. More than that, he doesn’t even notice when he speaks it! Thinks he is speaking plain English... I think he was the most terrified person in the Great Hall that night at the Duel Club when Justin shouted at him. Harry claims he told the snake not to attack Justin and, since he was sure he said it in English, he really didn’t understand why Justin was so scared and angry,” the letter continues while Harry explains it to his two friends. Judging by their reaction of overunderstanding, it seems that he explained it to them a couple times already but they let him finish.
“We could go and ask Hagrid if he knows more tomorrow,” Hermione suggests.
“That’s a good idea,” Ron brightens up, “nothing more we can do tonight anyway. I’m so tired, I can’t really think straight anymore.”
“Like that changes anything,” Al and Rose roll their eyes.
“But you guys saw it, right? I mean, how hard is it to see that when I spoke, the snake dropped his attack?” Harry asks the two others as they get up. Ron and Hermione share a quick uncomfortable look behind Harry’s back as they get up to go to bed.
“Honestly Harry, I didn’t” Hermione answers. Harry turns around fast, giving her a pained look. “I’m sorry Harry, I hate snakes and I kind of panicked when this one appeared.”
“And I was too stunned when I heard you speak parselmouth; I didn’t even think of looking at the snake or Justin at all,” Ron admits.
“But we believe you Harry, no question,” Hermione assures her friend while Ron nods vigorously, “your version of the events makes complete sense.”
“Yeah,” Harry mutters, depressed, “only the rest of the school won’t want to hear it so they’ll all think I’m Slytherin’s heir. They’ll think I’m the one that attacked Colin and Mrs Norris.”
“No, they won’t,” Ron firmly says but his worried face gives away his lack of conviction.
“He doesn’t say it but, I think he’s pretty scared about it too. He worries that he could really be Slytherin’s heir and, thing is, there is no real way to prove it, is there? It’s not like he has any family to answer his questions. Well, that’s it really, I hope you’ll take the Christmas holidays to relax a bit and get your energy back, you seem to need it. Ron,” the narrative voice finishes while the two boys bid Hermione goodnight and the three of them make their ways upstairs.
“This has got to be the worst way to find out about being a parselmouth,” Lily says after the scene changes to become the strangely empty library.
“Especially since there was no one to explain what it really was to him,” Al nods sadly.
“Basically, all he knew was that the ability to talk with snakes was a sign of being evil and that there was something evil loose in the castle; the connection was easy to make,” Hugo says before the four cousins find Ron and Hermione who are checking through the aisle, apparently looking for someone.
“December 19th Hey Gin, well, just a quick word to tell you that Harry has NOTHING to do with what happened to Nick and Justin, I swear! He just happened to be there but it means nothing, even Dumbledore agrees and don’t believe Harry is responsible for it all.”
“Are you kidding me? Another kid was attacked and Uncle Harry ended up on the scene again? How unlucky can you get?” Rose blurts out.
“Where is everybody?” Hermione asks Ron in exasperation when they meet at the end of an aisle.
“Dunno, but it looks like some people left in a hurry; the tables are still filled with personal stuff,” Ron shrugs, looking around.
“Well, we better go back to the common room, Harry must have found Justin by now and hopefully be in a better mood about all this,” Hermione says but before they have time to leave, the door opens and a tall, thin and bird like old woman walks in.
“What are you two doing here?” she snaps at them when she spots the two second year.
“Sorry Madam Pince,” Hermione says in a sweet voice, “we were looking for our friend but, what happened here?”
“There was another attack, that’s what happened,” the older woman answers, her eyes a bit wild, “a boy and a ghost. A ghost, I ask you!”
“Another attack? In here?” Ron asks but the woman glares at him reproachfully.
“No, not in here boy, in the corridor, just outside. They got the culprit though, I’m pretty sure of it. That Potter boy was on the scene, again, and now he’s with Dumbledore,” she sighs, “this horrific term is about to end, finally.”
“What?” Ron shouts; his neck and ears red in anger but Hermione pushes him back.
“Thanks for giving us these details Madam Pince, we’ll get back to our common room now,” she grabs Ron firmly by the wrist and pulls him out of the library and the four cousins follow quickly.
“Why didn’t you let me finish?” Ron says, angrily as he pulls his wrist free.
“Because that’s not what is important right now. We need to find Harry and hear what really happened.”
“No, we need to stop that vulture-woman spreading lies!”
“I’ve got to agree with Uncle Ron on that,” Lily says.
“Oh come on Ron,” Hermione starts walking, “I personally don’t think Harry is responsible for the attack so that means the Slytherin’s heir is still out there right now.”
“Poor Harry,” Ron says after a couple seconds of silence, “and poor Justin; you’d think the heir is really trying to frame Harry.”
“It does look like that, doesn’t it?” Hermione says in a very small voice, “I mean, when you only look at the facts, Harry is the only common factor between at the victims.”
“And the only person that was found on or near all the attack scenes,” Ron reluctantly adds, “I can’t wait until the potion is ready and we can finally prove that it’s Malfoy and not Harry that’s responsible.”
“Me too, except –”
“Except you still don’t think it’s Malfoy, right?” Ron growls angrily while Hermione blushes, “next you’ll say you really do think it’s Harry?”
“Never!” she yells at Ron, “and don’t you ever suggest it, alright?”
“Alright, alright,” he mutters. They walk in silence for a couple seconds, climbing staircases, lost in their thoughts. When they reach the seventh floor and make their way to the Gryffindor House, they almost knock into Harry. The boy looks just as preoccupied as his friends.
“Harry,” Ron says in surprise, “where are you coming from?”
“Dumbledore’s office,” he glumly answers, “it’s in a tower very close from our house.”
“Would have been useful to know that last year,” Ron mutters while his two friends nod.
“We heard what happened or some of it at least,” Hermione begins, uncomfortable; “we’d like to hear your version though, if you want to tell us.”
“Sure just, not in the common room,” Harry shrugs, looking completely defeated, “I don’t want everybody looking at me like I’m a monster.”
“We could go to Myrtle’s bathroom,” Ron proposes.
“I don’t like the idea of going so far away; increases the chances of being caught,” Hermione shakes her head, thinking about another solution.
“Why don’t they use the Marauders’ Map to look out for teachers?” Rose asks while the three second years throw ideas in the air.
“Dad only got it in third year,” Al answers, “it does make sneaking around a lot easier.”
“I hear something,” Ron suddenly says and, sure enough, footsteps can be heard at a distance. The three of them look around, wildly looking for an escape and they spot a door and run behind it, ending up in a desert classroom. They wait until the footsteps pass them and decide to stay put to talk, hoping that no one would come by again for a while. They sit around on desks and Harry begins telling them what happened earlier that day.
“I went to the library and found the Hufflepuffs there, without Justin. I listened to their conversation for a couple minutes and they think I’m the heir so they’d told Justin to hide from me.”
“They said that? What idiots!” Ron says, shaking his head in disbelief.
“So after I confronted them, they told me to go away and leave Justin alone so, I thought that I would and that Justin really wasn’t worth it after all.”
“About time you listened to us,” Ron mutters with a half smile, clearly trying to lighten up the mood but a disapproving look from Hermione tells him he should stop.
“Harry has got to be the most unlucky person in the world; he always finds himself at the worst possible place,” Ron narrates in a disbelieving way, “I really don’t understand how he does it and why it always happens to him.”
“I walked out of the library and tripped, falling head first on the floor. It was Justin” Harry explains, a pained look on his face as he remembers the event, “he was like the cat, all rigid. And he looked like he was surprised at something so I looked around and I saw the strangest thing I have ever seen in my life. There was Nick, floating still but it wasn’t Nick anymore. He was almost opaque and there was smoke coming out of his, err, ghostly body? Like something had burned him.”
“Burning a ghost? I didn’t know that was possible,” Hermione says, looking disgust.
“That’s because it’s not,” Ron says, fear and confusion mixing on his features, “you can’t hurt a ghost, they’re already dead.”
“Well something hurt Nick pretty bad,” Harry shrugs. “After that, McGonagall came and took me to Dumbledore’s office but he wasn’t there yet so I looked at his strange bird and it burst into flame!”
“What?” Hermione and Ron shout at the same time before lowering their voices, “it caught on fire? How?”
“Apparently it’s a phoenix,” Harry says.
“Oh, it was his burning day,” Ron nods knowingly while the two others, as well as the four travellers, look at him in surprise. “What? I can’t know things sometimes? You guys seem to forget I grew up with Charlie, the magical beast lover; he told me quite a lot when he was still at home.”
“Alright,” Harry shrugs with a half smile, “but you’re right, that’s what Dumbledore said when he arrived. He was really understanding too, Dumbledore. Said he didn’t believe I was the attacker.”
“Of course he doesn’t,” Hermione says, “remember after the first attack, he said that this goes beyond the magic of a second year.”
“Maybe but anyone could be controlling a beast; it could be the beast that has all the power,” Ron says. “Doesn’t mean we think it’s you though.”
“I know Ron,” Harry chuckles at his friend’s discomfort, “anyway, it didn’t last long with Dumbledore and I’m glad he doesn’t think I’m the one attacking all the students but, I have to admit that I can’t wait for everyone to go away for the Holliday.”
“I’m sure it won’t be that bad,” Hermione says although she doesn’t really seem to believe it. Just then, the scene changes to a busy corridor where the three second years are easy to find. They come behind Fred and George, the twins shouting loudly to make people move away.
“Move along now, Slytherin’s heir coming through,” one of the boys shouts.
“Make way for the slithering prince, master of all that crawls,” his twin loudly adds, making a small first year jump away, clearly scared when she looks up at Harry’s face.
“Well, I hope you aren’t siding with the Huffle-idiots and that you will kick your classmates for acting like idiots when they pass near Harry in the corridors. I can’t wait for everyone to leave for the holidays; we’ll finally get some peace. Love, Ron.”
“That must have been such a horrible time for Dad,” Lily softly says as she watches the kids shamelessly running away from Harry.
“I’m starting to understand why they didn’t tell us about this year,” Rose says, getting angrier by the minute as the corridor empties around the three second years, after Fred and George entered their classroom.
“Yet, something tells me this year will get even worse before it ends and then, we’ll really understand why they didn’t tell us about it,” Hugo declares as the scene changes to the snow covered grounds. Harry, Hermione and four of the five Weasleys are the only ones outside even though the winter sun is shining. They are all dressed with multiple layers of sweaters and warm jackets, hard at work, building an army of snowmen.
“December 25th, Dear mum, dad and Bill; Happy Christmas!!” Ron’s happy narrative voice booms over the grounds. “Thanks for the presents and the nice Egyptian card, I loved it! Harry says thanks too for his present, he was really happy you thought about him again this year. There is so much snow this year; it’s a lot of fun.”
“What a surprise,” Al declares when they get closer to the little group, “Uncle Percy did not join the party!”
“You’re wrong Al,” Rose points at a figure, growing closer as it runs toward the group.
“Found it!” Percy shouts, holding his wand over his head. “Now I’ll do this only once because, no matter if it’s allowed, it is not encouraged.”
“Shut up Perce and just do it,” one of the twins tells their older brother.
“Alright, move away from the snowmen,” Percy pompously tells the others as he positions himself to aim at the seven snowmen. The builders run on the side and await anxiously for Percy to shout, “Mobilus!”
“I love it when Dad does that!” Lily yells happily as the snowmen begin moving on their own under the cheers of their builders.
“Now Harry, Hermione, you can give orders to the snowman you built,” Ron tells his wide eyed friends before turning to the snowmen he made earlier. “Snowman, send a snowball to the one on your left!”
“Snowman!” Percy yells back when his creation receives the ball, “send five snowballs to the one on your right!”
“Snowman! Tear off his arm!” Ginny shouts, suddenly taking the travellers’ attention to a rough fight currently happening between Ginny’s snowman and the twins. The twins’ snowmen are holding Ginny’s to the ground but as soon as she sends her order, her snowman turns around and starts pulling at the arm of George’s.
“Hey, that’s not fair, no destruction!” George yells at his sister.
“Look at my snowman, his face is all squashed because of you George, if that’s not destruction, I don’t know what it is,” Ginny yells back. “Well done snowman, now beat him with the arm!”
“Mum is vicious,” Rose says, immensely surprised when she sees Hermione give her snowman the order to attack Fred’s from behind.
The fighting continues for a couple minutes until all snowmen are destroyed and the spell is lifted. Harry and Hermione, who have both witnessed this for the first time, are particularly excited with it. Harry declares that this has got to be the best use of magic he has seen in his life while Hermione admits that, thanks to this, she likes winter a bit more now. Everyone is surprised by her admission, considering she dislikes wizard’s chess because of the violence it holds, but she shrugs it off and says she liked not being the one that got all wet and cold. The group starts moving toward the castle and the scene melts away to become the fairly empty Great Hall. About fifty students are sitting at their respective House table. The Weasleys, Harry and Hermione are the only Gryffindor students, making them the smallest group. As the Headmaster leads the students and staff into a chorus of carols though, their house is clearly the one singing the loudest.
“Well, I haven’t got any more space for food,” Percy tells the others as he gets up from his seat, “I’ll see you later in the common room, be careful when you walk back.”
“Bye Perce,” they all chorus while pilling large amounts of desert in their plates. Slowly, the Great Hall empties and before long, only Ron, Harry and Hermione remain at the Gryffindor table.
“We are being careful and enjoying ourselves to the fullest. Thanks again, I can’t wait to see you again! Love and Christmas kisses, Ron (and Harry too)!”
“Malfoy has left,” Hermione tells the two boys next to her, “we should act now, while they are the only two Slytherins there.”
“Speaking of,” Ron tells her, “I’ve thought about it and, I think only Harry and I should do it; it won’t be easy to explain how Millicent came back and an hour later, she left again.”
“I won’t let you do it alone!” Hermione snaps at him, “I want to know too and I did the potion almost all myself.”
“We know that,” Harry says, trying to back Ron, “we just think it’ll be easier to figure out if Millicent is part of it.”
“She will be,” Hermione firmly tells them, putting two cupcakes in front of them, “you give them to Crabbe and Goyle and we meet in the bathroom in twenty minutes.”
“They are right,” Rose acknowledges as she watches the younger version of her mother leave the Great Hall in a huff. “Is it impossible for her to admit that she might be wrong?”
“She just wants to be part of the plan too,” Al shrugs, “and to find out whether Malfoy is the culprit.”
“Also,” Hugo says, “she probably doesn’t trust Dad and Uncle Harry; probably think that they will mess it up if she isn’t there with them.”
“She’s probably right on that one,” Al admits while the two second years boys leave the table, cupcakes in hand. The four cousins follow them quickly, excited to see what is coming but the scene melts away when they pass through the doors.
“Darn,” Lily says, disappointed as the scene reforms around the hospital wing. “And things got interesting too! They ended up in the Hospital wing; it’s always a sign of adventure for them.”
“December 26th, hey Ginny!” Ron’s letter begins a bit too happily for the surroundings. “So, remember when I told you we had an infallible plan to put an end to the attacks and all? Well, I was wrong and things didn’t really go as planned. First, we had the wrong attacker and so, really, the entire plan was bogus because it only proved that it isn’t him that’s behind the attacks.”
“So Mum was right,” Rose sighs, “their only lead was a big nothing. Oh Merlin, is that why they are in the Hospital wing, did one of them get attacked?”
“I don’t think so,” Al answers, a bit scared at the thought, “I think I can hear the three of them talking behind the curtain over there.”
The four cousins get closer to the curtain and as they walk around it, they can hear the two boys telling Hermione that it wasn’t Malfoy and that the boy told them he doesn’t even know who is behind the attacks.
“So it’s not Malfoy but he did confirm what Dobby told Harry the last time he was in here,” Ron sums up, “the Chamber has been opened before and the last time, a muggleborn girl died.”
“So Aunt Hermione didn’t go after all?” Lily frowns, “then she must be the one that got sick.”
“Holy Merlin!” Rose burst out laughing when she crosses the curtain. The three others follow suit and for a couple minutes, they laugh themselves silly, not even listening to the conversation between the three second years. Whatever they expected could have happened to Hermione, her turning into a human sized cat definitely wasn’t it.
“This is priceless,” Lily wipes a tear from her eye, “why did they never tell us about this?”
“Shame? Fear that we might try to best them? Or that we might make fun of them?” Hugo guesses; his eyes bright at the thought of mocking his mother when they get back to their time.
“Oh and you can be sure that we will bring this up at some point or another,” Rose grins mischievously.
“Second, well, Hermione got a bit injured and, although madam Pomfrey assures us she will get back to normal, she can’t say for sure how long it will take. Could be weeks or even months! I hope it won’t be too long because Hermione will go spare if, when classes start again, she can’t go!” Ron narrates with a laugh.
“So,” Harry asks Hermione, “does Madam Pomfrey know what really happened?”
“No,” Hermione eyes widen, “she didn’t ask for any detail. She actually said that she doesn’t need to know the truth, she’ll be able to cure me no matter.”
“She probably knows anyway,” Ron declares, knowingly, “I’m guessing she doesn’t want you to confirm anything, that way, she isn’t involved in our illegal actions.”
“That’s exactly what I think about her!” Hugo bursts out, surprised of not being the only one with this suspicion.
“How long did she say it will take before you’re ok?” Harry asks, ignoring Ron.
“She doesn’t know,” Hermione sighs, “but it will definitely take a couple weeks at the very least. What are people going to think when they come back for the next term?”
“That you got attacked by the monster, certainly” Harry answers.
“Wait until they see you though, they’ll think the monster improved its tactic,” Ron grins at her but under her furry face, she keeps the same sad face, “I’m kidding Hermione; we’ll make sure no one sees you or hears about what really happened to you. Say you’ve got a nasty cold or something.”
“Thanks Ron,” she gives him a little smile.
“So,” he asks her with a renewed happiness, “how does it feel, being a cat?”
“Yeah, do you think like a cat now?” Harry follows with the same mischievous smile.
“Do you feel the urge to lick yourself?”
“If you jump off the roof, do you think you’ll land on your feet, unhurt?”
“I think I need to sleep,” Hermione says, annoyed at their antics.
“Oh come on Hermione, answer us,” Ron presses with a wide smile, “do you control your tail or does it move on its own?”
“Yeah, answer them Aunt Hermione, those are valid questions and I want the answers,” Lily smiles.
“Well, that’s it,” the letter continues over the boys’ interrogation, “I haven’t seen you much the last couple days, even though everyone else is gone; I hope it’s because you are taking a lot of rest so you feel better but if you want to, you can definitely come and hang with Harry and I. Or go visit Hermione at the Hospital wing; I’m sure she won’t mind your presence. Love, Ron.”
“Fine, we’ll go for now but we’ll come back with a brand new list of questions and we expect answers miss know-it-all,” Ron says in a mock serious tone.
“Good night Hermione,” Harry laughs, pulling Ron by the arm.
“Bye guys,” she answers as a whiff of parchment reaches the travellers’ nostrils.
These chapters are getting longer and longer... are they any good though? Please let me know in the form of a review!
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