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Chapter 8 : The Memorial Service and Old Friends
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DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN HARRY POTTER OR ANY CANNON CHARACTERS, I CAN ONLY CLAIM THE PLOT AND ANY ORIGINAL CHARACTERS PRESENT
The only test Hermione Granger ever failed.
I woke up the next morning to screaming all around me. I’d left Balthazar on my bed last night and forgotten what would happen if the other girls woke up before me…
I looked up and saw Zar reared up as Daphne tried to fend him off with a feather duster, while Tracey and Pansy were just sitting up in their beds screaming at the sight before them. Zar looked at me, as if asking what he should do.
“Zar, they’re sssscared of you. Come on coil back down and then you can go back onto my arm and I’ll let you out later” I asked nicely
“Okay ssspeaker, but you’d be angry too if you were woken up by getting hit on the head with a feather dussster…” He hissed before moving up my bed, which Daphne yelped at and sunk back into my right arm.
“Is…is it gone” I heard pansy ask form the opposite side of the room, cowering in the corner with Tracey.
“I think so” Daphne called out as I got out of bed, quickly putting on a sweatshirt to cover my tattoo, she looked down at her watch. “We’d better hurry if we want to have any breakfast before they start clearing the hall for the memorial.” Pansy, Tracey and I nodded as we pulled out our uniforms.
Five minutes later we’re ready to go down and get some food; but I hang back and try to talk to Daphne, even form last night I could tell today was going to be hard for her. “Hey Daphne, are you ok last night, you seemed upset…”
She just looked up at me, she had a smile on her face but her eyes were telling a different story… they looked like she’d cried again before I woke up this morning, before noticing the snake on my bed… “Yeah I’m fine I’m just a bit tied is all, now come on before Crabbe and Goyle eat everything!”
We hurried down to the great hall and ate a very quick breakfast with the girls, Blaise Zambini and Draco. “So Draco…” Blaise asked after we had went outside waiting for the Hall to be ready for the service. “…When are Quidditch trials, we still need to find two beaters and another chaser. Tracey and Daphne need to practice with the new guy whoever he or she” he threw me a glace “may be.”
Draco didn’t seem too phased. “I asked Snape this morning we should have the Field for Friday evening, just after Hufflepuff find a new seeker.” he said flatly; we were all bored, no more than me; I now had to go to what was effectively my own funeral. It might be interesting to hear what people had to say about me; I mean last night with Daphne proved that, but to be honest I’d prefer to be in class right now. It’s the Gryffindor bookworm in me; I thrive on knowing things, and while the monotony of sitting through Snape’s classes drains even me, I just like learning.
“Do you think we should go in yet?” Daphne asked, twirling a blade of grass between her fingers. There was a general chorus of no’s from everyone else except me and Draco but he had fallen asleep. “Okay then, Sophia you coming?” Daphne asked holding out her hand to help me up, her beautiful silvery blond hair shimmering in the sunlight.
“Yeah, ok” I said as I took her hand and we walked towards the front doors of the castle. As we went through the door and started to make our way towards the common room, when I saw Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Neville sitting near the staircase waiting to go into the hall, if I didn’t know most of them were faking, I’d have really felt bad for them. Daphne however kept pulling me along, away from the Slytherin Common room, which I found quite odd. She pulled me up a couple flights of stairs, up to the second floor and led me through the door to a girl’s toilet. “I thought I’d bring you up here to talk, no one ever comes in here because the bathroom is haunted…” she looked at me for a moment “So care to tell me why you have a large black snake on your arm at the moment?” I just stared at her; boy she was good. “I have no problem with you being a parseltongue, but some others might… a couple of years ago someone opened the chamber of secrets and set a basilisk on the students…nobody died but they nearly closed the school, before Potter rescued Ginny Weasley from inside the chamber and supposedly killed the monster. Only him, his friends and Dumbledore know where it is, but again bad memories…” she said mumbling off into oblivion.
“It’s okay Daphne, it’s not like I’m going to be going round the castle shouting in parseltongue at the top of my lungs, I’ll just be talking to Zar, my familiar, who I suppose you’ve met” I smirked
“You named your pet snake Tsar… what are you Russian or something?” she asked looking confused.
“No, no Zar, like short for Balthazar.” I looked at my watch. “C’mon, we have to get down to the Great hall… I… I have something to show you, but it’ll have to wait until later” I said quickly and we exited the bathroom without running into Myrtle. The Great hall was already filling up by the time we got downstairs. We took our places next to Draco, Blaise and the girls in the front row of the Slytherin section. There was a large muggle photograph of me, as Hermione in front of Dumbledore’s podium.
Several more minutes passed and Dumbledore finally stood. “I will start off today’s proceedings by welcoming you all here to remember the life of one of our best and brightest, Hermione Jean Granger. Ms Granger was always one for following the school rules to the letter, however during the course of her schooling here, her friends did help her let go of those tendencies… somewhat. She always had the answer to a question that was asked of her, and many that weren’t. However I being headmaster to all of you did not know Ms Granger half as well as either of us would have liked… I’m sure we would still be heatedly debating an advanced branch of magic or two. So I feel it apt to hand over this memorial service to those who knew her best, her friends, two of whom have volunteered to try and stay strong for all of us and say a few words. Firstly, Harry Potter.”
Dumbledore sat down on his throne like chair as Harry climbed the steps to the Podium. “Hermione Granger was one of my first and best friends. I can honestly say that I would not be the man I am today without her, and the fact that she always checked mine and Ron’s essays and let us copy her potions homework.” He sniffled a bit. “She was our rock, our mooring point and I can honestly say that there are many of us who cannot imagine life without her. I will finish by quoting her, from our first year after we had accidentally encountered the Cerberus named ‘Fluffy’ which used to inhabit the third floor corridor” He cleared his throat and in his best impersonation of me I’d heard “Now If you two don’t mind I’M going to bed before one of you comes up with another CLEVER idea to get us all killed or WORSE EXPELLED!” he then went back and took his seat among the sniggering students.
Dumbledore stood again “Now Ms Daphne Greengrass would like to say a few words.” Daphne stood and approached the podium. The hall was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. Nobody thought of a Slytherin standing up to say words at what was effectively the funeral of a Gryffindor, especially a muggle born one. Draco and Blaise sat there with their mouth hanging open as she cleared her throat.
“I cannot say that I knew Hermione Granger well; I know that a section of Gryffindor house are now glaring at me and chastising me for even speaking at this, but I have some things to say…” She paused to look down at the Gryffindor section, from which only Ron was glaring at her. “I looked up to… no I idolised Hermione Granger, like some people look up to professor Dumbledore, or how the Slytherin boy who is head over heels for a certain Gryffindor redhead looks up to professor Snape she was the best of us, had we been in different houses I more than likely would have tried to have been one of her best friends…”
“I only knew Hermione as a good friend for about a year, but apart from the nagging about homework; it was one of the best years of my life. Thanks Hermione we’ll all miss you.” She then stepped down and sat next to me again, a small line of tears streaming down her face.
The service didn’t go on for much longer after that, Dumbledore made another speech and McGonagall said a few words, while professor Umbridge sat down the back looking like she had just seen the most adorable kitten ever… bitch. After Lunch I was sitting in the dormitory reading, when Hedwig swooped in carrying a note from Harry.
Tomorrow, midnight, the astronomy tower, come alone.
I folded the note again and nodded to Hedwig to give her some sort of response and she flew straight out the window again, back up to Gryffindor tower.
After a while I went down to the common room and sat next to Daphne. We played some exploding snap with Pansy and Blaise, but soon things died down and Daphne turned to me, “Earlier, you said you had something to show me?” she asked. I nodded, grabbed her hand and led her out of the common room. Up the stairs to the entrance hall “Where are we going?” she asked as we rounded the corner and continued up the stairs.
I barged through the door of Myrtle’s bathroom, dragging Daphne in behind me. “Sophia, not that I’m complaining, but why did you just drag me into a bathroom for no apparent reason?” she asked.
I started pacing back and forth “I’m going to need someone inside Slytherin who knows my secret… Hermione Granger isn’t dead…” I said slowly not wanting to look at her. I had grown kind of close to Daphne over the last two years, sure arithmancy and ancient runes wouldn’t make most people bond as friends , but we were the nerds of the school, what can I say. The only thing we ever actually argued about that wasn’t academic was Victor.
“What do you mean she’s not dead…?” she asked the tears welling up in her eyes again? I quickly put the put the glamours back on and went and hugged Daphne. “You…you…you’re alive? But how Dumbledore…” Then I told her everything, about Voldemort, Gringotts, me and mum becoming spies and Sirius being innocent… “Can you take the glamour charms off again... even the eyes?” she asked sniffling from the crying. I lifted the charms and she stepped back, let my eyes go back to normal and just let my arms hang down by my sides. “It really is you then?” she asked hesitantly. I nodded, but before I could say anything she had flung her arms around me. “I’m so glad you’re…not dead” she kind of fell off at the end.
“I’m glad I’m not dead too!” I laughed. “Listen, you can’t tell anyone about this okay?” She nodded.
“Your secret is safe with me” she whispered, still holding me in her arms, she lowered her lips onto mine…
A/N: And that’s the end of chapter 7.
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