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Chapter 11 : The Flight of their Lives
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“What are you doing?” Malfoy asked, his voice lacking most of its usual sneer.
“I’m looking for clues on the next Horcrux,” Hermione stated, “Now that we have a way to destroy them we can finish this stupid project faster.”
“Well, I think I might know one,” Malfoy said cautiously.
“Seriously?” Hermione gasped. Malfoy taking initiative? Unheard of.
“Don’t sound so surprised” Malfoy replied this time with his legendary sneer. He stood up and walked over to Hermione. He took the book from her hands and started flipping through the pages. “I picked it up, cause I really had nothing better to do, and opened up to this page,” he said pointing to a page in the book, “Read it.”
Hermione leaned down and scanned the page.
Jason spent most of his free time practicing Quiddich. He was a gifted Seeker with promise for a professional career. He was overjoyed when his childhood favourite team, Puddlemere United, offered him a position as their Seeker. He was having a successful season until an injury barred him from playing the sport again. He often reflects that his times on Puddlemere’s Quiddich pitch were truly magical.
Hermione looked up at Malfoy. “So you think the next Horcrux has something to do with Puddlemere United?”
“No, I’m positive that Puddlemere United has something to do with the Horcruxes and I’m fairly certain that the Horcrux is their snitch” Malfoy answered powerfully.
“Wouldn’t they use the snitch for games and practice and stuff?” Hermione asked skeptically.
“Not that snitch,” Malfoy said exasperated, “Each team has a ceremonial snitch that sits in a case above the manager’s desk at their home pitch. Each Seeker gets to hold it at the start of every season, for good luck.”
“That must be it!” Hermione said excitedly.
“Problem is, getting onto the home pitch let alone into the manager’s office is nearly impossible” Malfoy said warily.
“I think I have a solution,” Hermione said with a sudden realization.
‘What’s that?” Malfoy asked doubtfully.
Hermione let out the smallest smirk, “Go, Go Gryffindor”
Though the owl had cost 3 Galleons to rent, it was definitely worth it. Hermione smiled as she watched her letter fly off from the small village she had apparated to. She silently hoped that the recipient would respond sooner rather than later. She didn’t know how long she could sit around and wait.
Hermione didn’t have to wait long. Only a day later, Hermione spotted the coffee coloured owl soaring towards her tent. She leapt up from her seat and ran outside to retrieve the letter. She let out a small squeal as she read its contents.
Great to hear from you! It’s been a while, eh? Anyways, I’m not sure I understand the project you wrote about, but I’d be happy to help a fellow Gryffindor! Meet me at the Weasley’s Joke Shop in Diagon Alley on Tuesday at 10:00 am and I’ll take you to Puddlemere’s home field from there. Look forward to seeing you!
“Malfoy!” Hermione called out. Malfoy poked his head around the flap of the tent.
“What is it, Granger?” he asked with his usual tone of annoyance. He spotted the letter in Hermione’s hand. “What’s that?”
Hermione tapped her foot anxiously. Her watch read 9:59 am. She looked over to Malfoy who was also fidgeting. He had not been too happy to learn that he would have to once again meet with the anti-Slytherin ex-captain of the Gryffindor Quiddich team. But even he couldn’t argue that Oliver was their best hope to finding another “Horcrux”.
Hermione checked her watch again. 10:00 am. He would be here any minute. Just then Hermione saw the familiar tall, brown haired, brown eyed figure emerge from the passing crowd. Hermione caught his eye and waved him over.
“Hermione!” Oliver her greeted her smiling, “How are you?”
“Not bad. And you?” Hermione replied casually.
“Good. I was—“he suddenly cut off midsentence and his face settled into an angry glare. Hermione followed his line of vision and saw that he was staring directly at Malfoy.
Hermione jumped in before he could say anything. “It’s alright, Oliver he’s with me” Hermione said quickly, “It’s part of this project. Trust me.”
Oliver looked dubious but decided against saying anything. “Alright, Hermione. I trust your judgment. So are you ready to go?” he asked, the glare still not completely gone from his face.
“Yes!” Hermione said holding out her wrist. Oliver grabbed it and waited while Malfoy hesitantly grabbed Hermione’s other one. Then without another moment’s hesitation, Oliver pulled them into apparation.
Hermione’s feet landed softly on the ground of their destination, having been guided by Oliver. She took a moment to take in her surroundings and gasped at their magnitude.
Puddlemere United’s home pitch was massive. It was a huge stadium that extended into the sky. The navy blue and gold flags of the team draped from pillars that stood on both sides and ends of the stadium. The entire exterior of the building was a blown up picture of the current Puddlemere team, smiling and laughing into the camera. Hermione spotted Oliver’s figure laughing heartily like the rest of the players.
“It’s only like that when there’s no game” Oliver whispered into Hermione’s ear, “When there is a game, they use a picture of us looking all intense and stoic. It took five takes before they got a shot where no one was laughing!”
Hermione smiled at this. And continued watching the smiling faces a moment longer.
“The offices are all up there,” Oliver said pointing to a row of windows at the top of the stands, “There is an elevator over this way.” Oliver pulled them towards a door at the front of the stadium.
Hermione walked cautiously on alert. If they were right about this, there would surely be some more people on the lookout for them.
The door turned out to be the elevator. Oliver hit the button and the door slid open with a chime. They all stepped in, though Malfoy did so hesitantly, and Oliver hit the button labeled “Team Management”.
The elevator took off and Hermione let out a breath. So far, so good she thought.
After about a minute the elevator came to a stop and the door slid open.
“This way,” Oliver said leading down the sunlit hallway. Hermione and Malfoy followed in tow, occasionally glancing over their shoulders.
The hallway was lined with windows on one side and heavy oak doors on the other. Each door had a name plate, the office of some part of the team management.
Suddenly, Oliver stopped in front of a large black door trimmed with gold. It was a bit gaudy in Hermione’s opinion.
“You wanted Philbert Deverill’s office right?” Oliver asked.
“Right” Hermione replied.
Malfoy looked at Hermione incredulously. “How on earth did you know that Philbert Deverill was the manager of Puddlemere United?”
“There are these great things called books that you can learn these sorts of things from. You should try one some time,” Hermione replied her voice dripping with sarcasm. It was a bit uncalled for but in this tense situation, she didn’t need anyone questioning her. Especially not Malfoy.
Malfoy crossed his arms and sneered at her. Hermione shrugged it off and looked back to Oliver, who looked rather uncomfortable.
“Well, this is his office” Oliver said with a slight question in his voice.
“Thanks,” Hermione said, “I’ve got it from here” she pointed her wand at the door. “Alohomora” she said and the lock clicked open.
The office was as decadent as the door. It was rather spacious with a window overlooking the pitch on the back wall. His desk was a deep cherry wood and sat directly in front of the window. The right was painted navy blue with two gold crossed bulrushes, the sign of Puddlemere United. A rack with three premium broomstick was also on the wall, just beside the emblem. The left wall was filled with plaques, awards, and certificates.
“Granger, look here” Hermione heard Malfoy say. He was standing in the direct centre of the left wall.
Hermione walked over and immediately saw what he was looking at. Right in the centre of the wall, there was a shining golden snitch mounted, encased in a small glass box.
“That must be it!” Hermione whispered excitedly. She picked up the glass box and took a closer look. The carved details of the snitch were just the same as the ones on Harry’s.
“Come on, let’s go,” Malfoy said. Hermione nodded and they turned towards the door, only to be stopped dead in their tracks.
“I think you may find that hard to do,” said a voice. Hermione’s eyes widened. At least fifteen hooded figures stood blocking the doorway, their wands pointed at her and Malfoy.
“It would be best to come quietly,” said another, followed by the cackling of a few others.
Hermione looked around desperately. She felt Malfoy take a step closer to her. She pointedly ignored the odd feeling she got from him being so close.
“When I say ‘now’ do something to distract them,” he said, his voice barely a whisper. Hermione tried to keep her face impassive, but on the inside she was a wreck. What on earth is he planning to do? She thought panicked.
“Ready,” he whispered, Hermione tightened her grip on her wand, “NOW!”
“DIFFINDO!” Hermione cried pointing her wand at the ceiling just above the doorway. The ceiling gave way with a crash and she heard the shocked cries of the hooded figures.
Dust began to fill the room. Hermione squinted searching for Malfoy. He suddenly reached out and dragged her towards the window.
“Diffindo” Malfoy said pointing his wand at the window. It shattered, sending shards of glass onto the field.
“What do you think you’re doing?!” Hermione shouted.
Malfoy shoved one of the premium brooms into her hand. “They have anti-apparation spells on these stadiums to stop people from stealing a better seat by Apparating there” he explained, “We need to fly just outside the boundaries of the stadium.”
“Fly?” Hermione asked nervously. Suddenly, some of the hooded figures burst through the rubble and into the room.
“Yes, fly!” Malfoy yelled grabbing Hermione by the wrist and yanking her out of the window.
Hermione let out a terrified screech and started plummeting towards the ground. Somehow she managed to swing her legs onto the broom and unsteadily began to fly. She saw Malfoy just up ahead of her, and soared towards him. Her sweaty palms gripped the broom handle so tightly that her knuckles turned white. She urged herself not to look down and focused on catching up with Malfoy.
All of a sudden, Hermione heard angry yells from behind her. She looked over her shoulder and saw at least seven of the hooded figures zooming towards her. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a jet of red shoot past her followed by more jets of light that began to rain down on her. She swerved violently past one of the hoops and over the barrier of the stadium. She looked to her side and saw Malfoy soaring up next to her. She fired some stunners over her shoulders and urgently searched for a safe place to land. Suddenly, a jet of red shot so close to Hermione that she had to shift her entire body to avoid it. She just barely missed the spell but couldn't manage to stop sliding. She hands lost their grip and she tumbled off of her broom.
A mangled scream escaped her lips and she plunged towards the hard ground below. Her mind went blank and no spell came to her aid. She squeezed her eyes shut preparing for impact when something latched onto her waist and yanked her into apparation.
Hermione peeled open her eyes. She felt absolutely horrible. Groggy, sweaty, and overall just exhausted. She slowly took in her surroundings. She was lying in her bunk bed, wrapped up in her sheets. She was aware of a dull pain in her side. She rolled up her shirt and saw a long, gauzy bandage extending from her naval all the way to her right hip. She tried to sit up, but the bandaged wound flared with pain causing Hermione to gasp violently.
“That probably won’t feel very nice,” she heard a voice say. She turned her head and saw Malfoy writing in his strange green journal.
“What happened?” Hermione croaked.
Malfoy looked up at her. “You splinched yourself when we were Apparating. It was pretty bad but I reckon it’ll most likely get better in a day or two”
“You---you healed me?” Hermione asked dumbfounded.
“Way to state the obvious, Granger,” Malfoy replied, sarcasm coating his voice.
“You saved my life,” Hermione said, still in disbelief, “Twice.” She said suddenly remembering her fall from her broom.
Malfoy gave her a strange look, “Yeah, I did,” he said pensively as if just realizing it himself, “So I guess we’re even now.”
“Yeah, I guess we are. But thanks anyway,” Hermione said sincerely. Malfoy nodded in return before returning to his writing. And from that moment on things between them were a little different. Sure they weren’t best of friends, but the hatred that had been built over the past seven years, seemed to dissipate slightly and suddenly life with each other seemed more tolerable.
A/N: Hey Everybody I hoped you liked this chapter! As I'm sure you know Puddlemere United is JK Rowlings creation and is the team that Oliver Wood leaves to play for. You can find more info on it online. Anyway, please leave a review. I promise to answer all reviews so even if you have a question on the plotline, please leave a review! I'm sure a lot of you want to know when the "real" Dramione action will start. As you can see I'm starting to develop their relationship so be patient. There weill definitley be some Dramione action starting up as well as some more just pure action. So please keep reading and reviewing!
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