Chapter 4 : Chapter Four
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The Marauders all rushed carefully, carrying Hermione like a precious package. They all demanded entry to Dumbledore’s office with her but even in her deteriorating state, she allowed only Peter in with her. Thus the remaining Marauders were forced to wait outside beyond the wards and silencing spells.
After Dumbledore had summoned Madame Pomfrey to look over and fix a very hurt Hermione, it was the dual effort of both Hermione and Peter’s words and memories that painted the picture for Dumbledore.
“So it was an unprovoked attack” prompted Dumbledore.
“Yes Sir” replied Hermione knowing Dumbledore would look into the incident with great interest.
“You wanted to see me” said Dumbledore.
Hermione knew he had some inclination to what she was about to ask. He looked at her seriously and she felt he had something more important to tell her about.
“Peter and I have talked excessively about this. We’d like to become blood siblings. We wanted you to conduct the ritual”
“You understand how serious this is. It’s not exactly illegal but it isn’t smiled upon either. You’ll both experience lingering emotions from each other. You’ll both sense where the other is. This is life binding, only ending in death. Are you sure you want to do this” asked Dumbledore.
Hermione glanced meaningfully at Dumbledore before replying ‘yes’. Peter’s determined ‘yes’ was more clear.
Dumbledore passed them a clear holy knife to slice the thick meaty part of their hands. He got them to entwine their hands together, so that their leaking blood mixed together. Then he spoke, “I bind you both together as brother and sister to look after each other, protect each other and love each other” as he spoke the words, a pale yellow hue encircled their clasped hands. As the magic swirled around them, they felt the magic spike through their bodies uniting them together. They gasped as they felt their magic strengthen and emotions entwine. When the pale yellow hue disappeared, Hermione and Peter were left panting from the ritual.
After the ritual was over and Hermione and Peter were both comfortable again, Dumbledore dismissed Peter to relaxation in the common room, taking the determined Marauder’s with him. He was reluctant to go and eager to remain with his newly bonded sister but Hermione assured him that she was fine and Dumbledore even announced he’d supervise Hermione’s journey back to Gryffindor common room.
“Sir you wanted to-“
“The ring is destroyed. The first is gone” said Dumbledore.
He seemed worried, like he wasn’t certain in his good luck in destroying his first horcrux. He’d listened diligently when Hermione had explained the horcruxes to him. She’d told him that everything must be planned before he acted, that it was incredibly important that he succeed and not get caught. Yet somehow he felt that the first destroying of the horcrux had been a bit too easy.
Hermione sensed his unease, “Professor, getting the ring was never going to be easy. You feel that the first horcrux was too easy to get hold of. I hate to say it but it’s because you had me orchastrating your move. In my past it wasn’t as easy and it didn’t end well. If it went easy, relist it, it’s about to get a lot harder” she finished looking intently at Dumbledore.
“The next one” he inquired. This was the only job Hermione had given him. He was an exceptional wizard but his meddling had almost derailed the Wizarding World, he’d be damned if he was going to do it again.
“How much do you know about Malfoy Manor” she asked.
“A bit, why?”
“The next horcrux is hidden in the Malfoy library. It’s a small empty black diary belonging to Tom Riddle. If you write in it, it writes back. It can show you the framing of Hagrid. Plan this Sir, don’t rush in. Take time and learn the ins and outs of the Manor. You cannot be seen Professor. A time-turner would help perhaps”.
“Very well Hermione, I will notify you with my plans” he nodded his head towards the door signifying her dismissal; never one to mince words was Dumbledore. Professor Espe stood outside Dumbledore’s office waiting to escort Hermione back to the common room. Hermione felt mixed feelings of happiness, confusion and irritation, no doubt Peter was feeling the backlash of Hermione’s emotions. She hoped he’d managed to placate the other Marauders into not asking further questions. She crossed the entry of Gryffindor common room saying goodbye to Professor Espe and thanking him for seeing her safely back to the common room.
Hermione found herself on the floor as soon as she entered the common room, a frantic Peter hovered above her, “Are you alright?” he asked.
“I’m fine Peter, you didn’t have to wait up for me”.
“Hermione I can feel you now. I wanted to make sure you were alright. I can still feel your pain” he said, he cared for Hermione and now he felt strongly protective of her as her brother.
“Madame Pomfrey fixed me up as best she could but she said I’d still experience some pain in my chest from the fractured ribs I had” she winced slightly, “I’m fine really Peter. A night’s sleep will do me good” she hugged Peter goodnight then retreated to the safety of her bedroom.
Little did either know someone was waiting in the shadows, listening to the conversation that had just ended and filing it away for future reference.
“Hermione are you alright?”
“Hermione we heard about your accident”.
Hermione Hermione Hermione!!! She wanted to tell them all to shut up. The rumor mill had gone into overtime creating so many different stories that the real reason for Hermione’s injuries had now been lost. Hermione had also received news from Dumbledore that those who attacked her had been punished and were now under surveillance.
Hermione was trying to go about her day as best as possible. She was still in pain when she turned a certain way, though Madame Pomfrey had fixed her ribs, she could not fix the bruising that surrounded it, that she said would have to heal on its own. Peter followed Hermione around protectively, no one really understood the burgeoning friendship between the two but with Peter’s decision to stick near her, the remaining Marauder’s too joined his quest.
The Marauders however were not as easily dissuaded from questions as other students. Also as they were acting as protection guards by a very anxious Peter, they had plenty of time to question an increasingly annoyed Hermione.
“Stop, please! These questions are annoying” exclaimed Hermione.
“We just want to know how you did it. Where did you learn those spells? Can you teach us?” asked Sirius eagerly.
“No” replied Hermione. Peter sensed the change in her mood, she felt uncomfortable and sad.
“The least you could do is teach us. We did save your life after all” James drawled.
Peter silently wished James would shut up, this was going to end badly.
“James” warned Peter, he couldn’t call him Prongs in front of Hermione.
Hermione turned her glare on James who faltered under her gaze.
“Where did you even learn those spells. Some of them sounded pretty dark” James continued his confidence slightly fractured but his determination still in check.
Even Sirius and Remus were mow looking at James warningly but he took no notice.
“Perhaps we’re missing something here. After all we weren’t there for the initial fight, perhaps she sent Peter away so he wouldn’t see her attack them first. Maybe she wasn’t the victim at all” finished James seething.
Hermione glared evilly at James. Apparently past recounts of James at school were truer than she thought.
“Is this what you do James. You get defensive and try to humiliate a person and make them crumble before you” Hermione was failing to control her anger and her eyes glistened with unshed tears, “You’re impressed by my magic, you think you deserve to learn the spells because you’re the great Marauder’s. You act like Gods but would you ever have the guts to use the spells?”
She sighed, “You assume so much James” she looked at Sirius, “I learnt those spells in a matter of life and death. Have you ever seen war Sirius? Have any of you ever lived war - fighting nonstop, throwing spells that should be illegal. Watching your own friends die before your eyes and not being able to do a thing" she said as the tears now flowed freely, Peter looked on sadly.
“Being cornered by those Slytherin’s transported me right back to the war. They attacked me first and I defended myself. I sent Peter away because I was scared. I could see a glint in those Slytherin’s eyes. They were there to inflict pain, I saved Peter from that” she said to her audience.
“You think I owe you but I owe you nothing! All I offer is my thanks” she shouting wincing in pain at the bruises upon her body.
“You’re hurt” said James.
“I’m fine” snapped Hermione, clearly not fine as the tears continued to fall, she turned on her heel and fled from the Marauders.
“Hermione wait!” shouted James running after her but she didn’t stop, so he ran faster to catch her.
“I’ve never said this but that was something. I think I actually feel guilty” exclaimed Sirius.
“I forgot she’d been in a war” said Remus, “Anyone else feel like his obsession with Lily is waning?” he asked.
“We should go” murmured Peter, walking away.
Down by the Black Lake
“Hermione, wait, please” said James.
“Why? So you can assume more things of me?!” she shrieked.
“No, look I’m sorry” said James.
“Do you really mean that?” she asked.
“Yes. I get so angry sometimes. I don’t think before I talk. Remus always tells off for it” he said.
Hermione stayed silent.
“What was it like in the war you were in?”
“Horrific” she replied, “Half the time I didn’t know what was going on. I was just trying to survive and protect my friends”.
“What war was this? I haven’t heard of it” he inquired.
“I’m sorry but I cannot tell you, it hurts too much”.
“Who attacked you?”
She sighed knowing James had a temper, “If I tell you, you mustn’t take it upon yourself to punish them. They’ve already been taken care of” James mumbled in response.
“James” she replied testily.
“You have my promise” he said solemnly.
“It was Severus Snape and Rodolphus Lestrange” admitted Hermione.
“What!!” exclaimed James.
“James shh!” said Hermione.
“What was their punishment?” he asked.
“Detentions nightly till graduation and extreme close supervision by teachers and heads of house, Grandfather was furious” said Hermione, she only referred to Dumbledore as her Grandfather when she was talking to the Marauders or Charlotte and Kate.
James grasped Hermione’s hands in his, “How badly did they hurt you? You never said and we were foolish not to ask” he muttered.
“I had a head injury. I took a slicing hex to the shoulder and I thought I’d cracked a rib but I’d actually fractured several”.
James winced as she reencountered her injuries, “Don’t look so pained James. I’ve suffered worse injuries” she was thinking of Dolohov’s spell that had hit her during the fight at the Ministry and the curses she’d survived under Bellatrix. She suddenly realized this was the wrong thing to say for James was positively pulsing with anger. She even thought she heard him growl.
“James are you ok?” she asked softly.
“I hate to think of people hurting you” he murmured.
“People always hurt other people James” said Hermione matter-of-factly.
James growled in response, Hermione sighed, “I’m here now isn’t that what matters more” she said.
“Suppose” mumbled James. He’d always been good with girls, could charm all of them with one glance. Lily was, well James wanted her because she was everything he was. He thought they’d be perfect together. Pity he didn’t see her for what she really was. Hermione however, well she was different, superbly so. James felt at odds for the first time in his life. Here was this amazingly gifted and beautiful witch and he had no idea how to handle her. For the most part he felt beneath her – and that alone was a new experience, James Potter had never felt beneath someone in his whole life.
Padfoot and Moony teased him over his confusion. They said his behavior was because he felt something towards Hermione but he didn’t believe it. He just wanted to protect her and keep her away from boys. He loved Lily, Lily, he hadn’t thought about her in a while nor asked her out.
Hermione was here and now, they had a good friendship didn’t they.
He liked the sound of his name on her lips whether she be angry, sad or happy. He liked it said in whatever emotion she was feeling. Her lips looked so luscious at the moment, so plump and rich. He wanted to kiss her. No rational thoughts or consequences, just kissing.
He was still holding her hands, he bought them closer as he ducked his head to kiss her. She was surprised by his action but didn’t turn him away. Her lips were incredibly soft and he kissed her tenderly enjoying her sweet taste. He soon found himself seeking permission to enter her mouth and battle with her tongue, she greedily accepted and soon they were both out of breath and grinning madly at each other.
“You’re amazing Hermione” whispered James, winding his fingers in her birds nest hair.
Far away in the Gryffindor common room sat a very content Peter, pleased that wherever Hermione was, she was happy.
Watching five Dracula films back to back has made me never ever want to watch one again. Now if I could only bring myself to watch the seven werewolf films that I need to watch, I'll be exhausted but happy!
It's my birthday in 7 days (27th) wooo! Very excited :)
As usual tell me what you think! ~ Zyii
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