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Chapter 13 : Chapter Thirteen - The Academy of E. Earth
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The New Silver Couple
Reports suggest that the meeting of Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy in Seamus Finnegan’s club a while back was not a chance encounter but rather the start of a romantic relationship.
Inside witnesses explain how Hermione and Draco came together at the Magical Creatures department – in which they are both heads of departments – and became close. It is reported that Draco was the first by her side after the break down of her upcoming wedding to Ronald Weasley. Sources suggest that flirtations started from here and grew into something more.
They were seen lunching in Diagon Alley this week looking very happy and loved up. Lord Malfoy expressed his happiness for the two young love birds while Lord Black expressed his happiness for Hermione finding love.
Tough luck for all those admirers of Hermione and Draco looks like they’re off the market now.
No news on how Ronald Weasley and Harry Potter are taking this newest development in Hermione’s life. But if their school attitudes are anything to go by the chances are that they aren’t taking this news well.
Hermione discarded the Daily Prophet with a sigh of amusement. She wondered when the Prophet would report real news and not just the latest gossip but she supposed it was the gossip that people really wanted to read. Anything news worthy had become taboo since the end of the war. If it was bad news that couldn’t be handled by normal means then it was usually kept away from the public to avoid mass panic. Still she wished they had something else to write about other than her relationship with Draco.
Hermione picked a book off one of the many shelves in Grimmauld place and curled herself up on a sofa to read. There was a Lords Court meeting today, she didn’t know what it was about which irked her. However, sometimes her Lords held a meeting to discuss something without informing her, so she tried not to think logically about reasons they might do this because it usually ended up giving her a headache.
Anyway, if whatever was discussed by the Lords was passed, Hermione was always informed, which was why she was waiting patiently in the library with her book. Usually on days off she’d be off somewhere with Draco but it seemed the Mermen had grown to trust Draco and wouldn’t have anyone else as their liaison officer. Meaning that once again Draco was stuck somewhere deep below the surface of the sea sorting out another mermen problem. There weren’t usually many problems with the mermen but it was mating season and some could be a little over zealous with their demands – much to the annoyance of the mermaids.
While Hermione was just beginning her new book the Lords had congregated at their court, their gleaming thrones once again burning brightly against the day’s sunlight. It was Lord Gold who had requested this meeting now the Lords had all met Hermione, so it was he who held center stage now.
“I wish to bring forth an idea from our Enchantress which I feel should be put into action and made real” he began formally, “Our Enchantress has put in a lot of work into this idea which she describes as a pipe dream. A pipe dream I believe now has the chance to become real”.
“What is this pipe dream?” asked Lord Nolan.
“Our Enchantress wishes to open an Academy which specializes in four main areas. She feels that apart from one area the other three have been severely halted by the Ministry. She wants to make a difference where others have failed. She also wants to incorporate her Knights of Duty into the Academy”.
“What are the areas she wants to help?” asked Lord Malfoy.
“She would like to create a Healing/Potions department that deals with those confined to St. Mungos, those suffering from unsolvable cases etc. A Lawyers Special Case department which would deal with those falsely accused or those in need of legal aid. She would like to move the Magical Creatures department from the Ministry to her Academy because she feels she could then make bigger strides without the confinement of Ministry rules and lastly she would like a Reconstructing Families department that would deal with the orphaned and the lost”.
“It sounds like it’s been given a lot of thought. Who will run the departments?” asked Lord Black.
“I believe she will search for the correct people herself, I know she has a fair few in mind. However, she has already decided on the heads of departments should those people choose to accept”.
“Who has she chosen?” asked Lord Byron.
“She wishes for Lord Black to head up the Reconstructing Families department, Lord Byron to take on the Lawyers Special Case department, myself for the Healing/Potions department though she also wants Mr. Snape there as well. She wishes for Lord Nolan to help Draco and herself in the Magical Creatures department and would like Lord Malfoy to oversea, direct and help her Knights of Duty”.
“That sounds like a fine plan” said Lord Malfoy, “Are we all willing to donate our own money for this cause?” he asked.
The other Lords nodded their heads.
“Perfect” said Lord Malfoy.
“All in favor of making this pipe dream real?” asked Lord Gold.
The raised hands confirmed the notion had passed.
“All in favor of keeping this under wraps until we’ve secured a building and made the necessary developments?” again the raised hands confirmed that the notion had passed.
Needless to say the five Lords left their meeting feeling very pleased with themselves. The thought of making this pipe dream reality brought smiles to all their faces, especially when they thought of how surprised and happy Hermione would be.
“What are you doing tucked away in here Princess?” asked Sirius as he returned home to find that Hermione hadn’t moved from the spot he’d left her in earlier.
“Reading” she replied still immersed in her book.
“What? You haven’t read the entire library yet?” said Sirius in mock shock.
Hermione threw a pillow at him and missed quite spectacularly.
“Careful there, you almost hit me” he replied.
“Just be thankful I don’t throw books at you” she said.
Sirius composed his face to look hurt, “Are you saying that you value books more than me?”
“Well…” she teased.
“Maybe I’ll have to ban you from the library” he said.
“You wouldn’t” she replied.
“It all depends”.
Hermione flicked her wand and a plate of freshly made cookies appeared which Kreacher had baked this morning.
“If you ban me from the library, I’ll keep these cookies to myself” she replied.
Sirius looked horrified, “Fine, you win but only this time” he said in a huff as he pounced on the plate of cookies she was offering him.
It was Sirius’ job to keep Hermione occupied while the other Lords made arrangements. It was something that was easier said than done for Hermione had a knack for knowing when something was being hidden from her. This meant a great deal of acting skill on Sirius’s part. Luckily he was well versed in the art of charming a lady, and while Hermione was immune to his flirting charm, she wasn’t immune to the rest of his charms and thus became putty in his hands. Especially when he offered to read allowed to her.
“Whatever happened to that person you were trying to find?” she asked when a lull came in the conversation.
“I’m still trying to find them” he replied.
“Oh” was all she said. She desperately wanted to ask who he was looking for but he had an expression on his face that clearly showed he didn’t want to talk about it. Knowing that he didn’t want to talk about it led Hermione to believe that it was something big but she knew with confidence that he would tell her when he needed to.
While Sirius sat stretched out on the sofa with Hermione curled into his side, the other Lords were busy making arrangements. Through Lord Malfoy’s connections with real estate, they’d found a perfectly large five floor building to suit Hermione’s needs. It was a beautiful old brick building from the outside, not a modern concrete building – most of which seemed to be made of glass now.
They figured that the ground floor could be allocated to the Knights of Duty and the Lawyers Special Case department, that way the Academy would give off an air of serious importance. Floor two would be the Magical Creatures department – if they got permission to move it – or would become the new Magical Creatures department if the Ministry was less than cooperative. Floor three would become the Reconstructing Families department; floor four would house the patients from St. Mungo’s and other establishments while floor five would hold the Potions lab and other such medicines so that the smells and gases wouldn’t affect the patients below.
Severus was overjoyed with the prospect of working at his trade again, he was even more embarrassed and proud that Hermione wanted him specifically to work within and head up the Potions section. Lord Gold was a fine man to be working alongside with, even if he was technically going to be Severus’s boss. Severus couldn’t contain his glee at finally being able to work without restrictions or judgment. It was to be a new area of work for him and one he looked forward to immensely.
There was also the added bonus of working near Lucius. That had been one of the reasons why Severus had never returned to work at Hogwarts because he didn’t want to be apart from Lucius. That wouldn’t matter now, as they would be working in the same place and for the same extraordinary person.
The work that was being done to make this plan real was actually quite liberating. It’s often that people like Hermione are taken advantage of and not treated with the respect they deserve. None of them knew how previous Enchantresses were perceived; most of the information concerning them had become mere myths and legends during the years of their absence. Really the Lords were running on sheer luck. They put their faith in two rules, one which was law and the other which was common sense. Rule One; the words of an Enchantress are law. Rule Two; Never anger a female.
Everyone knew of Hermione’s temper, and men being men were bound to slip up one day. They were just trying to keep her anger state to a minimum.
As the painted walls dried and the floors were laid, everything was going according to plan. Recruitment had been done silently and secretly, the Lords were careful to investigate every aspect of the people they were interviewing, they didn’t want the trouble of upsetting Hermione by their choices later on. As said, everything was going according to plan and being executed with the utmost care. The only part left uncompleted was the Magical Creatures section.
It had been left up to Draco – because he worked in the department – to petition the Minister of Magic and request to move the Magical Creatures department from the Ministry and into the Academy of E. Earth. It was a big task that Draco was hoping would go smoothly. The Minister of Magic was after all a good friend of Hermione’s and Draco had already heard whispers within the Magical Creatures they helped saying that they wanted the move to be successful.
For this reason, Draco found himself standing outside the Minister of Magic’s office waiting patiently for her to finish whatever meeting she was in, so that he could go in and talk with her.
As a very hairy Bulgarian man emerged from the Minister’s office, her secretary, a very sickly make-up caked female told Draco that he could go on in. Her arm lingered on his arm a little too long and he hoped she hadn’t tried flirting with him…there was only so much rejection of people he could take before he lost his temper. Most of the females running after Draco were only interested in his name or his vaults anyway, so why would he waste his time.
“Mr. Malfoy, welcome” said The Minister of Magic, “Please sit down, would you like some tea? Coffee?” she asked.
“Tea would be fine” replied Draco.
Once tea was poured the tension in the room seemed to increase quite dramatically.
“So, what did you want to talk about?”
“I would like to move the Magical Creatures department from the Ministry” said Draco.
The Minister’s face seemed to pale slightly, like she’d been hoping he wouldn’t say that.
“I’d heard rumors that you wanted to do this but I had hoped I was wrong” she replied, “I’m afraid I cannot let you move a Ministry department”.
“Ahh, see I know you can and I know you will. I’m but a mere messenger. The request comes from Enchantress Granger. You and I both know that her word is law”.
The Minister spluttered into her tea, “How dare you presume to cite the law to me, I am the Minister of Magic and I am telling you that the department will not be moved” she shouted indignantly.
Draco pursed his lips and frowned at the Minister, “Are you not one of Miss Granger’s friends Minister?”
“That has nothing to do with this matter”.
“Yes, but did she not visit you recently warning you not to stand in her way?” continued Draco like the Minister had never spoken.
“I am not standing in her way! The Magical Creatures department is part of the Ministry and cannot be moved”.
“I had so hoped you would cooperate. Seems I was wrong, no matter” said Draco, a hint of the old Draco coming through in his voice.
“What do you mean?”
“You didn’t think this was our only option did you?” he smirked, “Oh your face says you did. Let me enlighten you, three quarters of the cliental of your Magical Creatures department now belong to the Magical Creatures Sector at The Academy E. Earth and all your employees in your now empty Magical Creatures department now work for The Academy E. Earth” said Draco.
“Enchantress Granger is above Ministry law, which is the whole point of Enchantresses; they have the power to change things and aren’t restricted by laws or rules of society. Enchantresses are incapable of evil and nefarious deeds which make them honest and pure. The Magical Creatures department is where Enchantress Granger and I have invested half our lives and yet still the Ministry creates new laws that stop us from helping others, or cuts back on our monthly budget. With the department out of the Ministry it is beyond your control and your prejudices against Magical Creatures. Enchantress Granger and I will be able to change and help even more that we could before”.
“But I’m the Minister of Magic” she whined.
“And you have to learn that there is a higher power here now, one that trumps you every time. Don’t make this difficult for yourself. The press and the public back Enchantress Granger. If you are seen making trouble for her, the public won’t look at you kindly and you may find yourself out of office”.
With a last glance at the Minister’s face, Draco left the office and walked back to the newly completed Academy E. Earth with a smile on his face and hope in his heart. He rather thought that that had gone quite well. He hadn’t had to resort to anger or violence – habits which he rather preferred to keep in the past – but he had found the Minister’s sudden change of personality rather interesting. At first he was told that she (the Minister) was good friends with Hermione and that Hermione had warned her against getting in her way. The Minister had seemed quite cooperative then, and seemed willing to let Hermione go about doing what needs be. However, in the meeting Draco had just had with her, she seemed adamant about getting in Hermione’s way. Her constant boasting that she was indeed the Minister of Magic just confirmed to Draco that she was jealous of Hermione for being a more powerful witch with bigger influence. If needs must Hermione could easily replace the current Minister for another.
Draco could only assume that the Minister didn’t think her behavior would get back to Hermione, whereas Draco would inform Hermione of the Minister’s change in attitude as soon as he could. Well he’d have to wait until her surprise was revealed to her before he could tell her or she’d wonder what he was doing visiting the Minister in the first place.
There was a sea of contracted plumbers, electricians, muggle trained wizards who could handle technology, builders and decorators traipsing around the building when Draco returned to it. He had thought his Father was being a little too ambitious wanting to get everything done in a minimum of two days but everything looked set to be revealed to Hermione tomorrow. Draco knew that most of the people here would be working through the night and earning a fortune – courtesy of the five Lords.
Draco could see that the only Lord who appeared unhappy was Lord Byron. It had been agreed by the others and Hermione herself that he was indeed under some sort of spell or in a trance if you will. Hermione said she’d seen this behavior in a number of muggles but with the added enhancer of magic something seemed to have gone wrong and he was now trapped in that state. It was like he had taken a potion to remove all the love, sadness and happiness from his soul and how he was just left with hate and emptiness. Whatever had happened, Draco hoped that Hermione could find a cure for him soon for he brought the whole atmosphere down and made others uncomfortable. Nobody wanted a grouchy old man for a lawyer when they were seeking help.
The night was coming to a close, the sun was rising, the birds were chirping and there was already a pot of coffee waiting in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place when Hermione suddenly awoke from her peaceful slumber. The last thing she remembered was falling asleep in the library while Sirius read to her. She smiled softly in the knowledge that it had been Sirius who had carried her up to bed and cocooned her in the blanket. When he wanted Sirius could be really sweet, he had always been kind and considerate to her while he saved his mischievous and flirty ways for other times. Hermione always thought it was quite sweet the way Sirius behaved with her, he treated her a little bit like glass but loved her as family and Hermione knew he was ever thankful for her part in saving him from the dementor’s kiss.
Hermione had been suspicious yesterday when Sirius had insisted on keeping her stuck in the house and entertaining her. For a moment she’d been worried about what sort of entertainment he meant but then she’d begun to wonder why he wanted her to stay in the house and what was going on that he didn’t want her to know about. Her first thought was that someone had done something stupid and dangerous and they were trying to clear it up before Hermione could find out about it. She hated to think it was a surprise, she didn’t hold much in store for surprises. Most of the surprises she’d received during her life had been from Harry and Ron and the only thing that unearthed for her was that they never really knew her. Like the time they took her to a Quiddich match for her birthday…Or the time they threw away all her books so they’d have room to play Exploding Snaps…
But she knew Sirius loved her and reasoned that any surprise Sirius had in store couldn’t be that bad especially since he knew how dangerous she could be with a wand. Her thoughts carried her all the way from her bedroom down to breakfast, where the object of her thoughts was trying to make pancakes.
“What are you doing?” she asked rubbing the remains of sleep from her eyes.
“Making pancakes” replied Sirius.
“Is that what that burnt thing on the pan is supposed to be?” she asked.
“Urh yes?” he replied.
“Idiot” she mumbled. “Sit down!” he obediently dropped the pan, moved away from the disaster he’d created and sat at the kitchen table.
Hermione made quick work of clearing up the mess Sirius had made and using the remaining ingredients to make proper pancakes that were actually edible.
“How do you do it?” Sirius asked though it sounded more like a choked splutter considering his mouth was stuffed full of fresh hot pancake, one of many that Hermione had just put on the table.
“I’ve made them before” replied Hermione.
Sirius seemed to sulk at this.
“Didn’t you use a recipe?” asked Hermione.
“No” muttered Sirius, “I’ve seen you do it before, I figured that was enough knowledge to make them myself”.
“You really are an idiot aren’t you” she giggled.
Sirius scowled but didn’t comment, he didn’t want her to take away these delicious pancakes, which were like heaven in his mouth.
“Ok so you were trying to make pancakes…why? Either you’re in trouble and need my help or you want something from me” said Hermione smiling.
Sirius pretended to be shocked and hurt, “Must you always assume the worst in me?” replied Sirius.
“It’s not assuming the worst when it’s the truth” said Hermione pointedly glaring at Sirius. It was a glare that said ‘tell me what you know or be prepared to have your butt kicked’.
Sirius didn’t want his butt kicked by Hermione. She knew some pretty terrible spells, most of which were her own creation, “Alright, don’t hex me love!” exclaimed Sirius.
Hermione lowered her wand slightly, “So you’ll tell me?” she said smiling.
“I won’t tell you but I can show you. It’s a surprise after all” he teased.
Hermione pouted, “I don’t like surprises” she moaned.
“You’ll like this one” assured Sirius dragging Hermione along behind him.
The workers had been working hard all night to make sure everything was completed and the finished result was quite stunning. The Lords were especially pleased. They stood proudly outside the entrance waiting for Hermione and Sirius to arrive. The Knights of Duty waited inside the ground floor of the building. Draco waited with the Magical Creatures department – some clients had even come to celebrate and Severus waited patiently on the top floor with the potions.
Sirius had managed to persuade Hermione to wear a blindfold. She looked quite sweet with her red summer dress and blindfold attached. She didn’t like being kept in the dark and not being able to see but she trusted Sirius completely. When they finally came to a stop Hermione was itching to take the blindfold off.
“Are you ready Hermione?” asked Sirius.
“Sirius” moaned Hermione irritated.
Sirius chuckled and finally removed Hermione’s blindfold shouting ‘surprise’ as he did along with the others. Hermione blinked once or twice her eyes becoming accustomed to the bright light of day. She saw her five Lords standing before a grand building. They all looked incredibly proud of themselves. Hermione looked about their heads and let out a gasp of surprise. Painted in large gold letters were the words ‘The Academy of E. Earth’. Hermione felt tears well up in her eyes. She couldn’t believe they had done this for her and she couldn’t wait to explore everything.
“This was a good surprise wasn’t it Hermione?” asked Sirius amused by Hermione’s shocked expression.
Hermione nodded slowly.
“Would you like a tour of everything?” asked Lucius.
Again Hermione nodded speechless.
Lucius smiled at the ever silent Hermione it was amusing to find her so speechless. Lucius and Sirius led the front of the party, with Hermione following while Lord Gold, Lord Byron and Lord Nolan bought up the rear.
As Hermione entered the building she was struck by the beauty of it. The rich colours were lined with gold, silver and bronze. She assumed each floor was colour coded to match its department. Hermione was shocked to find that her Knights of Duty had already been given uniforms, as she’d been looking forward to that task but she could not deny that they looked rather dashing. Their robes were made up of the deepest purple colour with silver lining, while their coats were made in a royal blue colour. They stood to attention awaiting Hermione’s command. This was exactly what Hermione wanted for she had a plan to exact. With a flourish she handed Lucius a large folder that left the Lords wondering where she’d been hiding it.
“My Knights of Duty” she said, “you look fabulous” she giggled, “The folder I’ve just handed to Lord Malfoy is something of great importance. I hope you will all work together on this one for I will need help” she said.
She was greeted with a combination of bows and curtsies, followed by a bout of ‘of course Enchantress’. Hermione vowed to come and see their progress after she’d seen everything else.
Hermione was led over to another part of the ground floor by Lord Byron. This area she was told was to be the Lawyers Special Case department, dealing with those who were in dire need of help or had been falsely accused of crimes.
Through all the happy smiling faces, Hermione could see but one which was still as grumpy as an old sour maid. This was something which Hermione intended to sort out shortly. She left the Knights of Duty and the Lawyers Special Case department to their work as she continued with the three Lords to the next floor.
She was told by Draco, who looked quite handsome in front of he,r that this was the new Magical Creatures department. She was surprised to see all her colleagues there and even some clients around to celebrate with her. This floor was painted in luscious colours of forest green. Draco managed to let Hermione know how uncooperative the Minister of Magic had been. The look on Hermione’s face was enough for him to know that the Minister would be in for hell later. Draco promised he’d see Hermione soon, placing a tender kiss on the back of her hand letting her know how he felt. Then Hermione was led away to floor three.
The third floor was allocated to Reconstructing Families (like the lost, the orphaned, etc), and with Sirius heading this department it was of no surprise that the décor was red and gold. Sirius proudly told Hermione that he already had a large base of families willing to adopt or foster the children in need. Sirius was happy to finally have a purpose to work again and he knew more of families than most people having been rejected by one and fostered by another.
“You will do great things here Sirius” said Hermione proudly.
“Thank you” replied Sirius his eyes alight with emotion.
It was then that Hermione was taken up to the fourth floor with only Lord Gold by her side, Lord Nolan having stayed with Draco where he was to become part of the Magical Creatures department. Floor four was for the patients that St Mungo’s couldn’t heal. Hermione was surprised to see Luna Lovegood there as Chief Healer, she was expertly trained after all and would be a great help.
Hermione passed Luna a folder marked important, Luna looked at Hermione seriously like she almost knew what lay within. She watched as Hermione was led to the final floor by Lord Gold.
Hermione was quite surprised to find the Potions and Healing lab, though smelling quite potent was not doused in creepy dungeon colours, but rather decorated in pale creams and whites. And there standing in the middle of it all was Severus Snape. Upon seeing him there back at his trade Hermione’s face lit up in a humongous smile that covered her whole face.
“Severus!” she exclaimed running up to give him a hug.
Severus chuckled at her hyper response, “Hush child, I’m trying to work!” he mocked her in a fake stern voice, much to Hermione’s amusement.
“So have you been truly surprised?” he asked her.
“Well and truly and oh so completely, this is wonderful!” she announced dancing around like a kid at Christmas.
Ok so I still haven't finished writing this story. There are three chapters left for me to post before I shall take a break and try to finish it. So please stick with me :) ~ Zyii
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