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Chapter 13 : Göndul Part II
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 17|
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Long overdue and very short.
The lyrics in the description are from Breath of Life by Florence & the Machine.
Gondul, Part II
Initially, things were entertaining. The sun continued to smile down at them through the afternoon, as Hermione was introduced to Lauriat Malfoy and her unbelievably adorable son Marvel. It was impossible not to love the little boy, who launched himself from his young mother’s arms to circle Hermione and then hug her. Hermione was so charmed that she managed to completely ignore the dirty looks Pansy kept throwing at her.
As the afternoon danced on, Hermione settled on the grass with Zoey, Max, her mum, and Lauriat, a small distance from the others. Zoey brought everyone snacks every so often, and Max occasionally went to join Blaise for a game of football. At one point Marvel trotted over to her and unfurled his fingers to reveal a rather crumpled butterfly, which upon first inspection appeared to be dead, but after Hermione gently nudged its wing turned out to be playing possum. The little boy laughed gleefully as it leapt to life in his palm and fluttered away.
Zoey and Lauriat were explaining the entirety of the situation to Hermione’s mother. She caught scraps of their conversation but generally tried to stay out of it, believing that they had a better ability to make Alison understand than she did. After all, she still only new half of the situation.
At three thirty, Draco left the others to come and sit with her. Marvel immediately toppled into his lap and settled there, bored and tired of flying around his mother like a pest.
“So what are Potter and Weasley doing?” he asked abruptly, stroking Marvel’s hair.
Hermione chewed her lip. “They’re working on something out of country. I wrote to them when we heard that my father was dead, and got a reply from Harry telling me that they couldn’t come back. I haven’t written back to them…” she admitted.
“Can’t say as I blame you.” Malfoy shrugged. “I imagine you’ll have a lot to talk about when they eventually do get their arses back into Bonny Old though…”
Hermione just rolled her shoulders in a shrug and looked up at the blue sky. Truthfully she hadn’t thought much about her two best friends lately. Their lack of support when she needed them had taken her by surprise, and given her a slight bitterness toward them that she wasn’t sure they deserved. She had neither the inclination or the patience to fill them in on her situation. If they couldn’t find the time to even write to her again to make sure she was alright, then she didn’t have the time to let them know about Malfoy et al.
Across the sunny yard, Alec was holding his wand at Sunny’s car, hovering it five feet off the ground while she peered underneath it.
“When do you think Ava will attack again?” Hermione asked, glancing at Malfoy.
“Soon,” he replied. “She’s not one to waste time. And the Stone brothers are more brawn than brain, they’re always ready to go. We’re going to have to keep our guard up twenty-four seven from now on, to be honest.”
Hermione nodded, turning to check that her mum was still alright. Alison was still listening intently to Zoey and Lauriat, nodding every so often. Behind them, in the far distance, a field of golden corn husks swayed gently in the summer breeze.
Unfolding and then re-folding her legs, Hermione basked in the contented serenity of the scene. Malfoy was still absentmindedly brushing his fingers through the now-sleeping Marvel’s hair, his own steely grey eyes lazily observing his friends. A cluster of butterflies were sunning themselves on the golden stone path between their patch of grass and Sunny’s car, which was still gently hovering off the ground as the female twin fiddled with it’s underside, carefully watched by her brother. Max stood as his fervent backup, wand at the ready should he be asked to do anything.
Deacon and his father stood a few feet away, half watching the car and half engaged in some lazy discussion. Beyond them, Pansy was settled against the manor wall reading her battered copy of Alice in Wonderland, bare legs stretched out in front of her, with Blaise slouched against her picking at the ivy growing up the stone. Pansy’s eyes flicked up from her book and met Hermione’s. No expression passed between them, as brown eyes bored into blue, until both girls relented and looked back down.
It was an improvement on the glaring, but Hermione couldn’t see them smiling at one another anytime soon.
She began lazily making a daisy chain, picking the small white-and-pink flowers out of the grass around her. The sun felt hot and soothing on her back, reminding her of the summer days at Hogwarts, when the whole school gathered around the lake to enjoy the serenity of the pre- and post-exam weeks. Daisy chains had always been more of a Lavender and Parvati thing, but then again Hermione had always sat with her back against a tree and a book in her lap. To her, time spent loitering and rolling around in the grass was time wasted. Even now she had an urge to raid Blaise’s library and filch a book.
She looked up, and found Malfoy’s eyes fixed on her. “Hm?”
“Have you thought about what happened?” he asked.
It took her a long moment to figure out what he was referring to, and when she did it was as though a dark cloud eclipsed the sun. “No. I don’t understand how we made it out.” She tried not to think of her Uncle.
“Something must have happened. You were at the center of the explosion, and it took out the entire street.”
“How far apart were we?” Hermione asked him, wondering whether her mother had somehow managed to fall behind something sturdy enough to protect her. Maybe she had landed in a doorway… or beneath the table. The explosion was huge, but it wasn’t unheard of for someone to be miraculously unharmed, was it?
Malfoy gave her a strange look. “You had hold of her arm when we found you,” he said slowly. “You were lying beside each other.”
Hermione stared at him. “No… that’s not possible. I wasn’t even in the same room; I was upstairs. My mother was in the kitchen.”
Draco looked at her for a long moment, before turning his head and shouting at Pansy. “Pan! Come here!”
Looking wary and irritated, Pansy got to her feet and crossed the path to them, scattering the sunbathing butterflies. She crouched beside Malfoy. “What do you want?”
“What do you remember about the Göndul?”
The word sounded familiar to Hermione, but she couldn’t place its origin or meaning. Interested, she watched Pansy as the dark-haired girl turned her blue eyes between the two of them, evidently choosing to silently catch up with Malfoy’s train of thought rather than answer his question. Eventually she fixed her gaze – interested, but with her usual touch of animosity – on Hermione. “Her? What makes you think that?” she asked Draco.
“She says she was in a different room to her mum when the street blew.”
Pansy gave Hermione an intrigued once-over before shrugging one angular shoulder and rising to her feet. She stalked back to the path and straight up to the ivy that clung to the sunny manor wall, hands twitching with her back to Hermione. After a moment she returned, the fingers of her left hand loosely caged around something.
A butterfly, Hermione realized.
“What are you doing?” she asked, wary of the look in Pansy’s eyes.
Pansy tilted her head to one side, looking for all the world like a pretty, malicious bird, and then her left hand burst into flames.
Hermione jumped, jaw dropping. “You horrible creature!” she exclaimed, and the golden fire extinguished itself as quickly as it had started. Pansy unfurled her fingers. In the center of her palm lay the broken, charred body of the butterfly, almost nothing but ash. It pulled at Hermione’s heart to see it killed so mercilessly, and she found herself hating Pansy even more than usual.
“Think about how much you want it to live,” Pansy said to her, eyes like hard diamonds, “and then touch it.”
“What are you talking about?” Hermione had no desire to play mind games with the girl right now; all she wanted was to get far away from her.
Pansy snatched at her wrist and gripped it hard. “Think about it, fucker!” she spat. “Think about how this could have been your mum twenty four hours ago! A shouldering skeleton, stinking of burning fat. Nothing human left. ”
She yanked Hermione’s hand into the space between them and held the dead butterfly up to it. Her fingers were starting to burn Hermione’s wrist, she wanted the girl to let go and get away from her, get away from her mother and stop hurting things-
The butterfly sprang out of Pansy’s hand, whole and alive, to settle on Hermione’s arm.
Okay, very very short I know. But I couldn't think of a better place to leave the story, and I have a bit of writers block today so... sorry? Review and let me know what you think anyway (:
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