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Chapter 7 : After the fire
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“Nothing is burnt,” Elana said tentatively picking up a bed sheet.
“It’s still smoking though isn’t?” Hermione glanced nervously at Harry.
“Do you have any enemies?” Harry asked.
“You think someone I know did this? I mean I probably have some people who don’t like me but to try and kill me? I think that’s over dramatic,” Elana looked to Hermione for a reassurance.
“Of course not,” Hermione smiled kindly, “we will go and get lunch ready and you just collect some things you’ll need to stay for a little while. Jace, Harry let’s leave Elana for a minute.” Hermione ushered Ron out.
“Harry,” Elana whispered, “I really appreciate all your help but I might stay in my spare room.”
“We don’t mind at all, honestly.”
“I think Rachel minds a bit she’s been very…I don’t know anxious?”
Harry thought, yes she had definitely been more anxious since a muggle had moved in. Changing all the photos in the house of romantic ones of Harry and her. Sharing a room to keep the couples charade up and locking doors to rooms with notes, plans of our investigation here. Now the possibility that our neighbour had been attacked when we were the actual intended targets. Yes it was safe to say Hermione was very anxious.
“She’s a clean freak, she’s just nervous.”
“Thank you all the same but I’m already stealing her boyfriend tomorrow so I should probably leave her house alone,” Elana smiled, “I’ll come past and get my stuff.”
“If you’re sure?”
Elana nodded and Harry waved her goodbye and headed home.
“What took so long?” Hermione hissed, putting the kettle on.
“Elana says she wants to stay in her spare room,” Harry repeated.
“Absolutely not!” She called, finally giving up not using her wand she made tea cups zoom over to the kettle followed by the sugar, milk and tea bags.
“How come?” Ron interjected, “it’s too risky having a muggle live with us.”
“Come off it! We know that fire was no accident, in fact I’m not even sure it was a fire! It didn’t burn through anything but that smoke, that was the deadly part of it. I’ve never seen anything like it before, I was up all last night reading and what—“
“You think it was meant for us and they got the wrong house?” Harry interrupted.
“I think whoever it was saw Dudley and you,” Hermione set tea in front of us.
“The warning to the Minister, then the fire, all happened right after you saw Dudley,” Hermione looked very serious.
“But the Minister’s niece’s wedding? You don’t that has anything to do with it?” Harry challenged.
Hermione combed her fingers through her hair, “I don’t know, all I know is trouble seems to follow us even overseas.” She shook her head and seemed to snap out of it, “now what so we do about Elana?”
“Tomorrow is the weddings, she’ll be on her own for one night, if we haven’t figured it out by then why don’t we ask her to stay then?” Ron had finally chimed in, to Harry’s surprise not in favour of letting the stunning Australian beauty hang around a bit longer.
Harry smiled, “I agree, we’re right next door.”
Hermione pursed her lips, “alright fine, well I’ll go drop her things back to her.”
“Hello,” a voice called, “it’s just me Elana.”
Hermione quickly disposed of her wand and smiled as Elana entered the room. Harry was stumped as what colour her hair was, it looked almost coppery and reminded him of saffron sunsets. It must be the Australian sun that tans their hair. Because no woman in London had hair like that.
“Hi, just wanted to thank you for having me but I can stay in my spare room until my room gets the all clear. Thank you though,” she gave Hermione’s hand a squeeze.
“We’re right next door if you need anything,” Hermione replied.
“Thanks guys, I’ll just get my stuff.”
“Let me help you,” Hermione and Elana wandered upstairs still chatting.
Ron looked nervously to Harry, opened and shut his mouth several times and finally said, “Harry, I’ve been thinking about what you said,” he whispered, keeping his head bowed and pressed on, “I know the image you have of me now but I want to get something straight, a lot of it is made up.”
“You expect me to believe that?”
“You of all people should know what Rita Skeeter is like!”
“But you boasted about it? All the women and the hook up’s.”
“I went along with it because…because…I liked the attention, the rest of the team, noticed me more,” Ron rushed on, “I know it’s not the right attention but it was attention unrelated to Voldemort and everything terrifying that happened that year…it was just nice to be known for something trivial. Hermione knows the press make it up but she doesn’t know I fuel it.”
“Sure, that might be exaggerated but what about Elana and Nina?”
“You were dancing with Hermione!”
“We’re supposed to be a couple, you know that!”
“How do I know you haven’t done anything but dance?” Ron narrowed his eyes.
“Really? Really Ron? After all this time, you don’t trust us?”
“No, I guess…well of course I do mate. I need to get off that team, they’re crazy, drinking every night, new girls every weekend. Mc Gonagall said they’ll need a new flying teacher next term, I was thinking of going back to Hogwarts when this is done.”
Harry couldn’t believe it, he had thought the fame and money had gone to Ron’s head but in fact it had gotten into his head and being away from the spotlight long enough made him realize.
Hastily Ron bowed his head to his tea and Hermione entered.
“Well that’s that, she said she will call if there are any problems,” Hermione carefully took her mobile phone out staring at it as though it might ring just from her mentioning it.
“Are you excited for the wedding tomorrow?” Hermione asked Harry suspiciously.
“I am,” Harry agreed, “I can’t believe I’ll see Aunt Petunia tomorrow and I’m not depressed about it either.”
“I thought you might be a little bit nervous,” Hermione asked smiling slightly.
“Nervous?” Ron said, “he’s been to plenty of weddings.”
“Well it’s kind of like a date,” Hermione smiled full watt this time, “with Elana.”
“No Elana thinks you’re my girlfriend,” Harry smirked back, “there will be no date Hermione.”
“We’ll see tomorrow won’t we?”
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