Chapter 16 : Chapter 16
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Before breakfast that morning I had packed the jar containing Rita Skeeter in a box and sent it straight to the Ministry with a note explaining why I had sent it. That evening at dinner I received a letter from Kingsley.
Dear Miss Granger,
I must say it was rather a shock to receive your package this morning. Ms. Skeeter is maintaining her innocence by claiming that she is in fact a registered animangus. As we have no record of this we must conduct a full investigation into the matter. At the moment we are holding her in the Department of Mysteries as it is the most difficult to get out of. I want to thank you personally for bringing this blatant disregard for our laws to my attention and to assure you that we will do all that is necessary to keep her from going free. However, if it does go to trial I must forewarn you that you will be required to testify. If you can think of anyone else who may know about this let me know because their testimony will also be required. I will do everything in my power to make sure this doesn’t happen. Thank you again.
Minister for Magic
Of course she would try to get out of trouble. I was amazed at how deceitful she was. It wasn’t just in her writing it was in her soul. I hoped she would be convicted and sent to Azkaban. It was only right that she be sent to the prison. She had been breaking the law for who knew how long. We would all be much happier if she wasn’t allowed to go free.
I showed Kingsley’s letter to Ron, Harry, and Ginny; and they were in agreement with me as to what should become of that woman. She had been a thorn in our side for far too long.
“I have wanted this kind of news since fourth year,” Harry said. “Rita Skeeter deserves the worst kind of punishment.”
I nodded in agreement, however, since there weren’t dementors guarding the prison any longer the worst punishment was now solitary confinement. I shuddered slightly at the thought of the dementors. And even though I was glad they were gone (most being held in room in the very same department as Rita Skeeter), secretly I thought Rita deserved the dementor’s kiss.
“It’s only too bad they don’t have dementors anymore,” Ron said. He clearly was thinking the same thing as I.
“I have to tell Kingsley who else knows about her,” I reminded them.
“That’s fine,” Harry said. “I’m willing to do anything that will get her thrown in prison longer.”
“Same here,” Ron and Ginny said in unison.
“Who else is there?” Ginny asked.
“Draco,” I replied. “Remember fourth year? He was her inside contact. And Pansy Parkinson.”
“Pug-face Parkinson?” Ron asked. “How do you know?”
“Skeeter said as much in all of her reports that year,” I said.
“Are you going to tell Malfoy, or let him find out when he is summoned before the Wizengamot?” Harry asked.
“I’ll probably tell him tonight while we’re watching the first years,” I answered. “I’m looking forward to the first. It will be nice to be able to sleep in my own bed.”
“I agree wholeheartedly,” Ron said. “Being stuck in the Great Hall all night is really getting to me.”
“I still wonder where they will go once they’re sorted,” Harry said. “I mean the dorms are full with the rest of us.”
It was then that I forgot that I hadn’t told them about my conversation with McGonagall that first night back.
“Maybe they won’t be sorted,” I offered. “McGonagall told me that the school might have to do away with the sorting ceremony.”
“And what about the houses?” Ginny asked. “It wouldn’t be Hogwarts without the four school houses.”
“That’s what I thought,” I replied. “But I guess there is pressure to quit the sorting. Maybe it will be that the school will have to wait until after the first year to do it. That way the students can show their talents and then the placement would be better for them.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Harry said. “Surely they won’t do away with it right now. The wizarding world is still healing from the war. Why throw a wrench into something that has been going on for over a thousand years now?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “Maybe McGonagall will explain it all on the first.”
“Maybe,” Harry agreed. “Still doesn’t answer where the first years will go after the start of term feast.”
“I’m sure it will be explained then too,” I said.
That night while we were patrolling the Great Hall, I approached Draco. He needed to know what I had done with Rita Skeeter and that his testimony might be needed later on.
“Hi Draco,” I said. “How has your day been?”
“Not bad,” he answered. “I had to listen to Pansy complaining all day about our kiss.”
“I’m sure it didn’t sit too well with her,” I said trying not to laugh. It was common knowledge that Pansy Parkinson assumed that she would one day be the next Mrs. Malfoy. In fact since Draco and I had started our friendship I have to admit I have been afraid of the day she found out. I would be sure to watch my mail. I had learned my lesson in fourth year when someone has sent me some hate mail laced with bubotuber pus. I still had a few small scars on the back of my hand.
“That is an understatement,” Draco said. “Although I have to admit it could have been worse. I’m surprised Rita Skeeter didn’t write an article about it. I was sure I had seen her lurking about last night.”
“She was, but she was indisposed to write her story,” I said.
“How do you know?” he asked.
“Remember when I said someone was trying to eavesdrop on our conversation with that reported last night?” I answered his question with one of my own.
“Yeah,” he replied. “What was that all about anyway?”
“Well, I know that you know that Rita Skeeter is an animangus,” I said.
He was reluctant to admit to this. I could see that he didn’t want to remember everything he had done to make Harry’s life hell in the past, but he did finally nod his head to show that he did know about it.
“It was her,” I admitted. “I put a charm on the jar so she couldn’t change back and I sent to her to the Ministry this morning.”
“Oh,” he said. “I’m sure that went over well.”
“It went better than I could have planned, actually,” I said. “She’s being held in the Department of Mysteries while they investigate.”
“I’m sure there is more to this story,” Draco said.
“There is,” I said sheepishly. I didn’t want to put this on Draco’s shoulders so soon after his father’s own trial, but he needed to know that there was a possibility. “She is maintaining her innocence. Since there is no record of her being a registered animangus it’s pretty useless, but there is a possibility that there may be a trial. If this happens Kingsley says that he will need people to testify. And since we know about it we could be called before the Wizengamot to give evidence.”
“Of course that woman would maintain her innocence,” Draco sighed. “You know I’m pretty sure she was in Slytherin house when she attended Hogwarts. If she wasn’t then the Sorting Hat had a senile moment.”
“I don’t think any of the other houses would have accepted her,” I laughed. “Speaking of the Sorting Hat. Did you know that the Ministry is trying to do away with the sorting ceremony?”
“Yeah I had heard something about it this past summer,” he admitted. “Sorry I didn’t tell you about it before.”
“That’s okay,” I said. “You had other things on your mind this summer.”
“This is true,” he said. “But none so much as you.”
I blushed at this admission. I was actually kind of flattered that he had spent so much time thinking about me this last summer. I wondered when I first entered his mind.
“I guess it was shortly after the war,” he answered my unspoken question.
“How did you know what I was thinking?” I demanded.
“You actually said it out loud,” he said. “But anyway I have been thinking about you for some time now.”
“Oh,” was all I could say. This wasn’t because I rendered speechless by his revelation. It was because once again he had closed the small gap between us and kissed me. Again it was a chaste kiss and again I was sorry when it ended.
“I’m sorry,” he apologized. “I don’t know what came over me.”
“Don’t apologize for kissing me,” I said. My bossy nature was beginning to take over. “Don’t ever apologize for that. I like it. In fact I can’t wait for you to kiss me again.”
“I will do it every day if you want me to,” he said.
“I would like that very much,” I admitted. “But maybe we shouldn’t do this every day just yet.”
“Whatever you wish,” Draco said. “I’m willing to work at your pace.”
A/N: So we finally get to what everyone has been waiting for. The relationship between our two main characters starts to move along. Also, I don't know how everyone else feels about Rita Skeeter, but personally I think it is about time she got her comeupance. I hope everyone enjoys this chapter. I promise to have some more Dramione coming soon.
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