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Chapter 3: The Next day
22 days before Halloween
Hermione stared at the body of the assassin wondering what she should do. She figured that since she had heard someone screaming, it was a safe bet to assume that someone had probably already called the muggle police, who even now might be on their way.
Not wanting to be caught at the scene of the crime when the police arrived, she began walking back to the professor’s office, making sure to act as normal as possible. Hermione was about halfway back to the office, when she was struck with the idea that she should send a message to Harry.
Considering the fact that the assassin had been a wizard and the other stranger had come out of a mirror, there was bound to be enough magical energy around the scene to attract the attention of the Aurors.
There was also a good chance that Harry would be one of the Auror's assigned to the case and he was the only person she trusted to tell what had happened. Casting a quick patronus charm, Hermione imbedded the message, that she was in need of his help and where to find her, and sent it to Harry before walking back to the office to wait for his reply.
Entering the office, Hermione peered around the room taking in the amount of damage her swift duel with the stranger had caused. She was surprised to see that except for the broken desk lamp, the stack of papers that she need to grade scattered on the floor and a book lying on the rug near the wall, the room seemed to be in order. Forcing herself to cross the room, Hermione headed over to the mirror and placed both of her hands up against the glass waiting for something to happen.
With a sigh, she moved away from the mirror and began picking up the pieces of the broken lamp, placing them into the trash can behind the office door. Her nerves were on edge, her mind was going a mile a minute, and cleaning up the small signs of the struggle by hand helped to distract her until Harry was able to get there.
She had just begun to gather up the papers that were scattered on the floor, when she heard the distinct sound of someone apparating behind her. Spinning around, Hermione pointed her wand at the throat of the new comer.
“Woah, Hermione calm down, it’s me.” Harry said quickly throwing his hands up in surrender.
“Thank goodness, you came,” Hermione breathed out in relief lowering her wand at the same time. “You won’t believe what just happened.”
“Does it have anything to do with the body that was found on your campus a few minutes ago?” Harry asked, lowering his hands.
Harry quickly noted how much Hermione's hands seemed to be shaking and how much on edge she seemed to be, so he motioned for the two of them to sit down on the small tan couch.
“How do you know about that already?” She said sitting down next to Harry, her surprise evident in her voice.
“The Auror department detected the use of magic being performed in front of muggles. We had just arrived at the scene about the same moment I got your message.”
Hermione quickly recapped everything that had happened from the moment she arrived at the office, all way up to the moment she sent her charm to Harry. By the time she was finished, Harry was staring at her with a curious expression on his face.
“Is that the mirror?” Harry asked pulling away from Hermione and standing up from the couch.
“Yes,” Hermione paused, watching Harry approach the mirror.
Harry ran his hands across the frame of the mirror marveling and the cold sensation that travelled through his hands. He had never known a mirror to cause such physical reactions to a person’s body.
It fascinated and worried him at the same time. He pressed his face up against the glass to see if he could see inside the mirror to the supposed man hiding in the mirror that Hermione spoke of.
Unable to see anything mysterious other than his own reflection, he moved two steps back, taking his hands away from the mirror, warmth flowing quickly back into his hands.
Puzzled by the strange symbols written all along the frame and the weird cold sensation that the mirror invoked when he touched it, he proceed to cast a series of different detection spells to see whether or not he could reveal the mirror’s secrets.
Unfortunately nothing happened. Every spell that he tried just seemed to bounce off the mirror with no effect what so ever. After ten minutes of trying, Harry came back over to Hermione and stood in front of her completely baffled.
“Well, I am stumped. You were always better at solving mysterious than I was.” He paused with a sigh, part of him knowing that he had been gone too long and needed to get back to work before he got in trouble with his superiors.
“I need to be getting back to work, and from the looks of it, you could use a good night’s sleep. I will check some of the files at work and see if I can find any references to a mirror matching this description, while you go home and rest up. I will let you know if I find anything, and if anything else comes up, just send me another message.”
Nodding her head, Hermione stood up from the couch and retrieved her backpack from the floor next to the desk, scooped up the essays that she still needed to grade, and stuffed them all into her bag before following Harry out of the office making sure to lock the door behind her.
With a quick hug, they both decided to reconvene later that day after they both were well rested and went their separate ways.
For the first time ever in her entire life, Hermione did the unthinkable. She decided to take up Harry’s idea and go home to get some sleep, ditching all classes for that upcoming day. Once home her plan was to take a couple of aspirin, a quick hot shower, and tug on her favorite t-shirt. She would then crawl into bed making sure to pull the covers all the way up over her head.
Hermione had never abandoned her plans and schedule. She had never failed to meet things head on. As tight as her schedule was, if she let a single thing slip or fall behind, a dozen others were affected. One tiny lapse would be the start of a downward spiral.
In the past Hermione would be the first one in the library searching for the answers to this mystery, and wouldn’t give up till it was solved. This time however, she just wanted to hide from it all, which wasn’t like her. She just didn’t know how to deal with it all.
Figuring chocolate was a great start; she grabbed a bag of Hershey’s Kisses as soon as she walked into her flat and in her warm cocoon beneath the blankets, began making short work of the decadent, little morsels. It wasn’t long before she fell into a deep sleep.
Hermione slept straight through until 9pm that night. Upon waking, she felt so much better that it occurred to her that perhaps all she had really needed was a good solid ten hours of uninterrupted sleep in order to absorb everything that had happened.
That perhaps, now that she was getting older – after all, she wasn’t a Hogwarts student anymore, she was twenty five years old, so it was obvious she needed more rest. That maybe her many frequent all night study sessions were finally starting to take their toll on her.
Now with a clear head and a rested body she was ready to start all over again, to face the day or night as it may be and prove to herself that she was still the brightest witch of her time.
The idea that one day he might be able to get vengeance on Salazar for imprisoning him into the mirror, was the only thing that has kept Godric Gryffindor from going stark raving mad in the past one thousand one hundred and thirty three years.
From the outside all anyone would see is an elaborate antique mirror, but behind the illusion of the mirror, it contained and hide a circular stone prison, fifteen paces across at any point one chose to walk. Over the years he had counted every stone of the stone floor, stone walls, and stone ceiling.
Ever since the day that Salazar, a man who he’d once counted his closet friend and boon companion in the arts, tricked him into the mirror in order to secure immortality for himself, vengeance was the only thing that Godric could think of.
He’d lived it, breathed it, became it, and over the centuries it kept the liquid in his veins burning.
Given the extent of the binding spells Salazar had used on him, coupled with his powerlessness within the glass and his inability to exit it, unless granted a brief freedom by the chanting of the summoning spell by someone outside of the mirror, his vengeance had over the centuries become a boiling tempest.
It didn’t matter how fast he ran, how far he went, or what wards he tried to use when he was outside of the mirror, the Dark glass always managed to reclaimed him after his allocated time was up .
Some would think that the idea of vengeance was impossible, but Godric refused to believe that. There were days inside the mirror when Godric felt that he would willingly cut off his right arm for just a single deep breath of a peat fire heaped with sheaves of fragrant heather, or even just a lungful of the briny air of Scotia’s wild shore.
Godric had not seen his beloved Scotland in centuries and that was hell for any highlander to have to live through.
At least he’d had a view from where the mirror was located in Salazar's office, and over time Godric had learned that he had the ablity to summon items into the mirror, as long as they were within his view, without the use of a wand.
By summoning books, periodicals, and newspapers that came within view range, Godric had been able to keep up with the changing of time.
Finally after thinking and dreaming about his vengenace for so many years, Lady Luck had finally decided to favor Godric at long last, giving him the chance to get his revenge upon Salazar.
Today would make the tenth day of the tenth month and Godric needed only to stay out of Salazar’s hands for a mere twenty one more days until just after midnight of all Hallows’ Eve, to make that vengeance his at long last.
Considering how many hands the Dark Glass had passed through in the black market, and how far it had been sent, Godric had been sure that Salazar wouldn’t be able to find the mirror in time.
However, with the arrival of the assassin last night, it was obvious that his vengeance wouldn’t come as easy as he had been hoping.
It had taken every ounce of strength he possessed in order to catch the assassin, Roman, as fast as he did. The whole time he had been worried that the mirror would end up reclaiming him before he would be able to catch up with Roman, and so he hadn’t be paying attention to his surroundings, or taken note of anyone who might see what was going on.
While standing over the body, Godric had briefly wondered what the local authorities would think when they found Roman, but the mirror summoned Godric back into it before he could dispose of Roman's remains properly.
He had no doubt that Salazar would be sending more assassins to collect the Dark Glass, and to make sure that all traces of anyone having so much as glimpsed the mirror in passing were properly dealt with.
Godric knew that he desperately needed to come up with a plan and quick, which in turn brought his thoughts onto the woman, who was now in mortal danger. Even more so now that she had told her male friend about the mirror.
Godric could tell that she was a fiery type in the way she handled the assassin, determined in her pursuit of knowledge, and courageous to boot. She was a stunning woman, with glossy curly brown hair framing a delicate featured face and the most perfect body he had ever seen.
The young woman seemed to be everything Godric could ever hope for in a woman, and the first one of her kind to come his way.
Godric had seen in great detail each intimate curve of her body in those low slung blue jeans and snug peach sweater. Creamy sun kissed skin, eyes like honey, mouth of a temptress, and the assassin had said her name was Hermione.
It had taken every ounce of his will power to not simply turn on her, drop her to the floor, and spread her for his pleasure, forgetting about her assailant entirely. It had been centuries since he had laid with any woman, many long and lonely centuries of seclusion.
However, Godric couldn't let that happen for that would mean there was a chance that Hermione's life would be blown out like some frail candle flame caught in a deadly tempest not of her own making.
“Twenty one days,” he murmured to himself.
After more than a millennium of biding his time, his vengeance was now dependent upon a laughably finite number of days.
Hermione Jean Granger didn’t know it yet, but she was going to help him gain that vengeance. If not willingly, then by means of every touch of magic Godric had at his disposal.
Godric knew a lot of different types of magic, had practiced most of them, and excelled at all of them.