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Chapter 7 : vii.
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Now you may have begun to realize that something – or things – you’ve said or done had already impacted the future you have come from. Do not panic or do anything foolish. It is very important that you do not - and I repeat - DO NOT try to reverse it. Obviously your lack of judgment had already caused you to alter the timeline, therefore, you must let it be. It is safe to assume that you have let yourself, not only be seen, but interact with individuals in the past. Now you must deal with the repercussions of your actions.
Hermione sighed heavily while she pinched the bridge of her nose. She picked her head up from the book she was reading – the one which seemed to appear just for her, in the Ravenclaw Common Room, her first night there – and looked out the window of the library. The sky was lightening. Her eyes burned from lack of sleep; she had been awake all night. After tossing and turning for a few hours she had given up, decided to get dressed and went down to the library, where she figured she would have less of a chance of someone catching her reading a book about time-travel. Her revelation that previous evening had shaken her horribly and she needed answers.
She became quite frustrated as she leafed through the pages of the book. Most of it only applied to someone who traveled back in time on their own accord. What she tried to find was a section pertaining to someone who had been told they needed to go back. Someone who was – for lack of a better word – ordered to go back in time. Just as she was about to give up, she found what she was looking for, towards the back of the book. It was a small passage, one which made her mouth go dry and her stomach drop.
If someone had sent you into the past, and you did not venture into it on your own volition, it is very possible that you were meant to change what you have altered – or will alter. Even if you are trying not to, just by being in the past – and coming into contact with people there – you are meddling. Try, if you can, to live your life as normally as possible. Follow your instincts, but do not change anything intentionally. It is a fine line to walk, but one you must. There is a reason you are where you are. And as much as you may be tempted, do NOT, by any means, tell anyone anything about the future you have come from. Doing so could cause disastrous results.
Hermione looked up and focused her attention out the window once more. The sun was now above the mountains and casting a yellow glow over the misty grounds. “So it is possible,” she whispered to herself, her eyes unfocused. “There are things that have happened, which might not have happened if it weren’t for me.”
It was an alarmingly difficult concept for even someone as bright as Hermione to wrap her head around. There were things in her life that she had experienced which may had been a direct result of her already being in the past. The thought made her a bit dizzy and she laid her head down on her arms on the table.
Maybe it’s more… She thought. More than just saving Snape’s life. Maybe there is a larger purpose here.
Just then she heard footsteps approaching. Her head snapped up; she quickly shut her book and stuffed away and out of sight. As she was bent over with her head still in her bag, a soft voice she immediately recognized called out.
“Hello, Hermione. What are you doing here so early?” Remus asked as he stood in front of her table.
Hermione sat up and smiled sadly. “Couldn’t sleep,” she shrugged. “So I thought I would come here to read. I didn’t want to disturb any of my housemates,” she half-lied.
Remus gestured towards the chair across from her. “May I?”
“Of course,” she answered.
The scrape of the chair on the floor, in which Remus pulled out, rang through the library like thunder in the early morning silence of the castle. Hermione bit her lip and her pulse began to race. This would be the first time she would find herself completely alone with one of the students she had been close to in their adult years. She blinked rapidly, as she suddenly begun to feel her eyes prickle as she thought of how the boy who sat smiling across from her, would not be alive when – or if, she thought sadly – she returned home.
“Is everything alright, Hermione?” he asked kindly.
Hermione took a deep breath and slouched down in her chair. “Yes, I suppose. It’s just a bit surreal; being here,” she admitted honestly.
Remus folded his hands on the table between them and gave her a sad, lopsided smile. “I guess it would be quite a shock coming from home and being thrown into this environment. But I promise, you’ll adjust quickly and if you need anything, I’m usually around.”
“Thank you, Remus. That’s very kind of you,” Hermione choked out.
“Now,” Remus exhaled. “I hate to be a complete stick-in-the-mud, especially when you’ve had a rough night, but as a Prefect, I do have to tell you that you’re not,” he blushed and cast his eyes down. “Exactly allowed to be out of your dorm this early.” Remus shrugged and looked as if he felt terribly for telling Hermione off when she so obviously was feeling low to begin with.
Being that Hermione was a Prefect in her own time, she was more than aware of the rules of Hogwarts. She just did not expect that anyone else would have been up and out of their dorms that early as well. She could see that he was looking extremely uncomfortable and she figured that he was not exactly as at ease as she had once been enforcing those rules. The corners of her mouth lifted slightly.
“I’m sorry, Remus.”
“No worries, Hermione. You didn’t know,” he said.
Hermione raised her eyebrow and smirked. “So what are you doing out of bed this early then?”
Remus’ eyes widened a bit and he turned even redder than he had been just a moment before. He gave her a smirk of his own and cocked his head a bit to the side. “Prefect’s privilege,” he joked.
“Must be nice,” Hermione giggled.
“Oh yes,” Remus laughed, “nothing like doing rounds at the crack of dawn. I’m living the dream, Hermione,” he announced with his arms spread wide open.
Hermione laughed her first full out belly laugh, in what felt like ages. It felt fantastic.
After the two of them regained their composure, Remus began to fidget. He was twisting his fingers and his cheeks took on a reddish hue once again.
“Erm… Hermione? Can I – I mean – I have a question for you,” he mumbled.
She sat straight up, her brow furrowed in concern. “What is it, Remus?”
Remus opened and closed his mouth a few times, looking like he was having extreme difficulty forming his question. Hermione did not have the slightest idea of what he wanted to ask her. With her being new to Hogwarts, she couldn’t imagine what he would need her help with. After a few more moments, he seemed to have worked up enough nerve.
“Has – er – has Amelia… Has she possibly mentioned me at all?” he nearly whispered, then looked around, assumingly making sure no one else was around.
Hermione didn’t know how, or if, she should answer. She wasn’t sure if this would be a prime example of interfering, sticking her nose where it didn’t belong, or altering the future. If she told Remus the truth, that Amelia did seem to fancy him, then it would be because of her if they proceeded to take their friendship to the next level. But then, maybe it would have ended up happening anyhow. Maybe, by her telling Remus of what she knew, she was only just speeding up the process. Obviously she knew that their relationship, if they did end up having one, would not last after Hogwarts, so why should she begrudge him a little bit of happiness while he’s there. Especially since she knew that years of solitude and despair were just around the corner for him.
She chewed on the inside of her lip and felt her mouth curl up despite herself. “Possibly…” she answered cryptically.
Remus' head whipped up and there was a new light in his eyes. “What did she say!?” he nearly shouted at her, then covered his mouth quickly. “Sorry,” he apologized through his fingers.
It was quite strange to be sitting there and having a normal teenage conversation with Remus, Hermione thought. Also, it was wonderful to see him so carefree and having nothing more to worry about than if a girl he liked felt the same way. It filled her with the strangest assortment of emotions – sadness, glee, loss, and a bit of anger. The anger was due to the fact that he would very soon lose that - and she thought the term very loosely – innocence of adolescence. He, just like she, Harry and Ron had, would be forced to grow up very quickly in the near future.
Hermione smiled and let out a small laugh – to Remus, he would have never known all of those thoughts had just run through her head – and told him it was more than alright.
“Well, she hasn’t said anything specifically.” She watched his face fall. “But,” she continued quickly, “I do get the feeling that she may be wishing for more than friendship with you.”
Remus perked up, “What makes you say that?” he pressed.
Hermione cocked an eyebrow, “This stays between us, ok?” Remus nodded. “I don’t know, Remus. Just the way that she seems to light up when she sees you, or talks about you. The way you two were last night; blushing, brushing against one another, joking together. I just get the impression that she fancies you, too.”
“You really think so?” he asked eagerly.
She let out an exasperated sigh. “Yes, Remus.”
Remus smiled widely and seemed to sit up a bit straighter. Hermione suppressed a laugh.
“Why don’t you ask her to be your date for the first Hogsmeade visit?” Hermione suggested.
Remus scrunched his eyebrows together, he looked a bit confused. “How do you know about those?” he asked, surprised.
Wonderful, Hermione. Watch what you say, you’re new here, remember? You’re not supposed to know things like that.
She squirmed a bit uncomfortably in her seat. “Oh – erm – Uncle Albus,” she flinched, “mentioned the trips to me,” she lied.
Remus chucked, “I keep forgetting that you’re related to Professor Dumbledore. He’s just so – I don’t know – Dumbledore-y. It’s hard to picture him as a normal person, with family and everything.”
Hermione knew exactly what Remus meant. There was such an aura of power and greatness that radiated from the man that to think of him having something as mundane as a niece like her was kind of outlandish.
She gave Remus a half-smile in response and shrugged. “I can see that, I guess.”
Hermione and Remus then both agreed that they should get going, as they both realized it was time for breakfast. She knew it was a mistake, becoming close with Remus, but it was just so easy to get along with him – she couldn’t help herself.
As they walked into The Great Hall together, she glanced towards the Gryffindor table and saw Sirius’ eyes narrow considerably as he hit James’ shoulder and pointed to her and Remus. James wolf-whistled and gave Remus a thumbs-up; Sirius looked like he was grinding his teeth.
Hermione heard Remus exhale loudly. “I better get over there, before they come over here,” he grumbled.
Hermione smiled apologetically. “That’s probably for the best,” she agreed. “Thanks for keeping me company this morning. I had a nice time.”
“Yes, it was nice,” he smiled back.
She bumped her shoulder into his. “And don’t forget what I said about Amelia,” she winked.
Remus' eyes widened as he looked around quickly, making sure no one overheard. Hermione giggled, waved goodbye and made her way to her table to sit down next to Amelia.
As she sat down, Amelia did not greet her or look away from her plate.
Uh oh, Hermione thought. She realized how it must have looked – her missing this morning, only to reappear looking very friendly with Remus. Hermione knew she had to smooth everything over quickly.
“Morning, Amelia!” she said brightly and began to load herself a plate of bacon and eggs.
Amelia looked at her from the side of her eye and sat up very straight. “Good morning,” she replied stiffly.
Yeah. She is definitely not pleased with me.
“How was your morning?” Hermione asked, acting as if she did not notice the indifferent – almost cold – way Amelia was treating her.
Amelia swallowed a bit of toast and still would not look at Hermione. “Fine.”
Hermione reached for a piece of toast and began to butter it. “I found out something interesting this morning.”
Amelia snorted and it sounded like she muttered, “I’m sure you have.”
Hermione fought the smile that was tugging at her lips. “Well if you don’t want to know that a certain Remus Lupin was asking about you, then I guess I’ll just keep it to myself.”
The effect of that sentence was instantaneous. Amelia choked and whipped her head around to face Hermione – who had to bite down on her lip to keep from laughing. “WHAT –“ Amelia shouted, blushed then cleared her throat. “I mean – what did he have to say?” she asked, feigning indifference.
“Oh nothing really,” Hermione teased airily. She was amazed at how comfortable she was; joking and having girl talk with Amelia.
Amelia playfully hit her arm. “Come on, Hermione. What did he say?”
“Alright,” she resigned. “He may have eluded to being interested in asking you on a date. Possibly to our first Hogsmeade trip.” Amelia smiled widely and blushed profusely. “But I did not tell you anything,” Hermione added.
“Tell me what?” Amelia winked.
Both girls then tucked into breakfast and afterwards, on their way to Ancient Ruins, Amelia seemed to have a new spring in her step.
Ancient Ruins was another one of those classes not many students went on with after their O.W.L.s. When the girls entered, there were only a handful of students already seated. Lily and Remus – he turned around and smiled brilliantly at a blushing Amelia – were sat in the front desk to the right, Sturgis and Edgar were behind them, two Hufflepuffs were in the front desk in the middle and – Hermione’s heart skipped a beat – Snape was sitting in the front desk to the left with a Slytherin girl she did not recognize, sharing the desk with him.
As Hermione and Amelia took the center desk – Next to the other two Ravenclaws – Snape looked back at Hermione. Once again, he did not full out glare at her – Progress, she thought – but his expression was not overly friendly either.
After Hermione gathered her belongings for class, and placed them on her desk, she thought that she had already been bringing enough attention to herself; by answering questions correctly, making a perfect potion in Potions class and the things that had happened with Sirius. She decided she would lay low for the hour. She took her notes, kept mostly silent and only raised her hand twice. She glanced at Snape a few times during the lesson, but he seemed completely unaware. He kept his head down and scribbled non-stop throughout the entire class. She was very impressed, but altogether not surprised, at the level of commitment he had towards his studies. It was definitely something to be admired, she found herself thinking.
When the bell rang, and the class shuffled around, preparing to leave, she debated on whether she should try speaking to him again or not. She stood and waited for Amelia to finish packing and looked over her shoulder towards Snape. He had just stood up, threw his bag over his shoulder and looked directly at Hermione. She gave him a tentative smile, which unsurprisingly he did not return. He opened his mouth, as if he were about to say something, when she felt an arm around her shoulders.
“What do you have next, Devereux?” Edgar smiled at her.
Hermione felt a wave of disappointment wash over her, as she turned her head back around and saw Snape’s robes swoosh by her. Her shoulders dropped the tiniest amount as she forced a smile across her lips.
“Oh – next? Erm,” she pulled out her time-table to double check.
Her eyes scanned across her courses for Friday: Ancient Ruins, Free Hour, Charms – w. Hufflepuff, Lunch, Defense Against the Dark Arts – w. Slytherin. She felt that dropping sensation in her stomach once again as she read which house she would be sharing her DADA class with that afternoon. It was another opportunity to make a complete fool of herself in front of Snape and the rest of her classmates; as that was how her luck had been running thus far.
Edgar, who must had read her schedule along with her, squeezed her and then let go. “Free period, too? Excellent! We were all thinking of heading out to the lake, want to come with us?” he asked.
Hermione looked at the hopeful expressions on Amelia, Edgar and Sturgis’ faces, took another glance at Snape’s retreating figured and sighed. She thought about maybe going after him – accidentally bumping into him, perhaps. But figured that would most likely not be in her best interest. Maybe a little leisure time outside with her house mates wouldn’t hurt.
“Sure,” she agreed. “That sounds lovely.”
As Hermione and her new friends all sat out near the lake, she looked up at the sky. It was cloudy and looked as if the sky would open and pour rain upon them at any moment, but that did not seem to deter any of them from remaining outdoors. The temperature was lovely – probably one of the last warm days left of the year.
She had taken her cloak off nearly five minutes after arriving to their destination as she found herself beginning to sweat and rolled her sleeves up to her elbows. She took a quick peek at the inside of her forearm and was pleased to see her glamour charm still appeared to be working, yet felt a peculiar emptiness in its absence. There was no scar engraved in her. The sight of her blemish-free arm made her begin to feel a bit homesick. The Mudblood which was permanently carved into her served as a talisman. It reminded her of who she was, what she fought for and why she was currently sitting around the Black Lake with a group of Ravenclaws in the year 1976.
Her attention was brought back to the present by the snide tone of Rita calling her name. She looked over towards the grinning blonde and tried with all of her strength to answer in a civil manner.
“Yes?” she called back.
Rita smiled sweetly and scooted nearer to where Hermione was sitting with Amelia, Edgar, Sturgis and Otto.
“We were just wondering, why now, all of a sudden, did you decide to grace us with your presence?”
Hermione went to respond with her – by now routine – answer.
“Because my parents – “ But she was cut off by Rita.
“Yes, speaking of your parents. If you are related to Dumbledore, why did they not just send you to Hogwarts to begin with? What do they have against your,” she smirked, “Uncle, which would cause them to homeschool you instead? Was there some sort of falling out within your family?” Rita’s eyes burned into Hermione’s. Hermione had never seen her so eager for information.
Although her backstory was completely fabricated, Hermione was astounded by the personal questions Rita had just bombarded her with. Normal people did not inquire about someone’s home life after only knowing them a few days. She is nothing more than a nosey gossip, Hermione thought.
As Hermione’s mouth opened in utter astonishment, Amelia – once again – spoke up for her.
“That’s enough, Rita.” She said coolly.
Rita kept her eyes wide and innocent. “I didn’t mean anything by it, dear. It’s just that inquiring minds want to know.”
Hearing Rita say the same thing that she had told Harry, before she printed fabricated information about him in the Daily Prophet, caused Hermione’s blood to boil. She placed her hand on Amelia’s shoulder. “It’s alright,” Hermione said and looked Rita directly in the eye.
“First of all, what you are asking me is quite personal – and before you jump to any conclusions, no. That does not me that there had been a falling out between my parents and my uncle.” Her eyes narrowed. “But if you must know; my family and I resided in France and did not want to offend my Uncle by sending me to Beauxbatons. That is why I was homeschooled. And like the whole school already knows, my parents are away on business in the states, which is why I am here now.”
Rita’s face betrayed nothing but polite interest, except for her eyes. Her eyes, once again, had that hungry curiosity in them. Hermione became a bit self-conscious because it seemed as if Rita looked right through her.
“So I am assuming you are fluent in French then?” Rita asked politely. Hermione wanted to hit her.
“Yes,” she said through her teeth. “Do you speak it as well?”
Rita full out pouted. “Sadly I do not, yet it is a beautiful language. Would you mind indulging us with a little, teeny-tiny sentence?”
Hermione rolled her eyes and thanked her lucky stars that her actual parents had her learn French when she was a small child. She actually was quite fluent in the language.
She exhaled loudly and looked directly into Rita’s eyes. “Very well then. T'as une tête à faire sauter les plaques d'égouts. Je déteste tout de toi. Si je le pouvais, je te maudirais si fort que tes aïeux le sentiraient.” *
Rita’s eyes flashed dangerously as she smiled sweetly at Hermione. “Like I said, truly a beautiful language.”
Later on, after Charms class, as they all made their way to The Great Hall for lunch, Amelia fell behind and whispered to Hermione. “What did you say to Rita? In French, I mean.”
Hermione chuckled softly and let a mischievous grin spread across her face. “I told her she had a face that could blow off manhole covers and if I could, I would hex her so hard that her ancestors would feel it.” She had left out that she had also told Rita she hated everything about her, because as far as Amelia was concerned, Hermione had only just met Rita and it may seem a bit odd for Hermione to hate her so strongly so soon.
Both girls exploded into a fit of laughter, which they barely had contained even as they sat down at their table and filled up their plates.
After lunch, when the girls arrived to the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, they found a crowd gathered around the door. As they craned their necks to see what the holdup was, Edgar pushed through everyone and came to a stop facing the two of them.
“Class is outside today,” he huffed. His hair was disheveled and his robes were twisted from squeezing through their classmates.
Hermione raised an eyebrow at Amelia, who shrugged.
“Well that’s different,” Amelia said.
They made their way outside – Hermione was relieved to see it hadn’t rained like it looked like it was going to earlier – and found Professor Crabtree waving them all towards him, very eagerly. The stocky wizard, who wore a bow-tie and kept pushing his glasses up from sliding off his nose, clapped his hands together once everyone had arrived.
“Good afternoon, class!” He had a very pleasant voice which did not sound anything like Hermione would have imagined it would. It was smooth and very deep. Exceptionally soothing. “I thought that since this is probably one of the last nice days we’ll have for a while, that we would have class outside today,” he explained.
Someone scoffed quietly near Hermione. She turned her head to see who was being so rude to this young teacher and felt her heart freeze as she looked into a pair of unfriendly black eyes. Snape boldly looked back at her almost as if challenging her to speak to him. She cocked an eyebrow at him, watched his pupils dilate the tiniest amount then she brought her gaze back on the Professor.
From that brief exchange, she noticed just how deep and full of sorrow his eyes seemed to be. She just had to find a way to break down some of his walls. There had to be a way. There had to be something she could do or say that would help shed a little more light on the puzzle who was the teenage version of her former Potion’s professor.
She was vaguely aware of Professor Crabtree giving instructions for the lesson, but found herself completely distracted. It truly began to bother her that there seemed to be so much pain in him, that he tried to hide with a permanent scowl and by isolating himself.
The Professor clapped his hands together again, which caused Hermione to jump and bring her attention back to the class.
“So let’s break into pairs and see if you can manage pulling off a bit of non-verbal magic!” Crabtree exclaimed.
The poor guy, Hermione thought sadly. He seems so excited to be teaching. It’s really a shame he won’t be back next year.
Amelia placed her hand on Hermione’s forearm. “Partners?” she asked hopefully.
Hermione agreed with a smile, yet her thoughts were still on the enthusiastic Professor. She really hoped nothing horrible happened to him that caused him not to be back the following year. He seemed like a nice enough young man.
The students all started to pair off and spread out; facing their partners. Hermione and Amelia stood under a few trees, right on the edge of the Forbidden Forest. She looked around and saw most of the students looked a bit nervous and unsure of themselves, just as they all had in her time – during her first lesson dealing with non-verbal magic. The only student who did not appear apprehensive, which surprisingly did not shock her, was Snape. He almost looked bored, she thought.
Snape stood across from the same Slytherin girl he had sat with during their class that morning. He stood with his shoulders hunched over just a bit and levitated a small twig in the air. His partner, on the other hand, kept running her hand through her chestnut hair and looked extremely nervous.
Hermione felt the corner of her mouth turn up in spite of herself and couldn’t help but to admire the way Snape seemed so sure of himself, for a teenager who appeared to spend most of his time alone. She realized that he almost had that same air of confidence that was present in the adult version she had known.
“Alright, class,” Crabtree called out from somewhere in the middle of them all. “You’re going to work on disarming your partner without speaking the incantation aloud. Only disarm them! Got it?”
A few students – she suspected the Slytherins – sniggered and sounded like they had no intention of merely disarming their partners.
“You may begin!” he announced.
Hermione turned back to face Amelia, who had her wand out and ready to go.
“Ready, Hermione?” she smiled.
“Ready!” Hermione called back.
She watched as Amelia flourished her wand a few times, yet hers remained firmly in her hand. Amelia, she could tell, started to become a bit irritated. Her face grew red and her teeth were clenched as she tried again and again to remove Hermione’s wand without speaking. Hermione shouted out words of encouragement with each try.
“I think I felt it move that time, Amelia! You’ve almost got it!”
All around her she could her students swearing or mumbling under their breath as they all tried to disarm their classmates. She looked away from Amelia’s increasingly frustrated face and allowed herself to watch Snape for a moment.
His sleeves were pushed up to his elbows and a scorching intensity was in his eyes. He waved his wand again and again, each time with no results. She could tell he was becoming angrier with each failed attempt; his teeth were bared and she even thought she heard him growl at one point. She shivered slightly and found herself glad that she was not on the receiving end of that glare and growl. Truth be told, he looked pretty frightening.
Suddenly Hermione’s wand went flying out of her hand and she turned her head back around to see Amelia standing there sweating with a smug smile on her face. She was the first one to have done it.
“Well done, Miss Bones!” Crabtree called out. “Five points to Ravenclaw!”
Amelia smiled even wider and wiped her brow with the back of her sleeve. “Thanks, Professor!”
Hermione yelled her congratulations to Amelia and prepared herself for her turn. She knew that she would have to pretend to struggle with disarming Amelia non-verbally, lest she bring more attention to herself. She wasn’t quite sure how she would do it, since performing simple spells without speaking had become second nature to Hermione by that point. Never the less, she took a deep break, squared her shoulders and pointed her wand at Amelia’s.
Actively not doing magic, while appearing to be trying, proved to be extremely tiresome. Hermione, as she held back the spell to disarm, which was almost begging to come out of her, began to sweat like the rest of her classmates. It almost felt like holding in a cough, or a sneeze. Like she was trying to suppress something her body did naturally, of its own accord. It almost became painful.
Amelia, who must have assumed Hermione was just having trouble with the spell, cheered her on as Hermione had done for her.
After nearly ten minutes, Hermione could not hold off any longer. She flicked her wand and watched as Amelia’s sored high into the air. As hard as she tried not to be, she was still the person to do it the quickest.
“Merlin’s sweaty socks,” she mumbled under her breath as Crabtree exclaimed excitedly.
“Miss Devereux! Excellent, excellent work! Ten points to Ravenclaw!” he shouted.
As she mumbled her thank you to the professor, she felt her cheeks heat up as the entire class looked at her. Some with wonder; others with pure jealousy. One person in particular had an unfathomable look in his black eyes. It wasn’t quite openly hostile, as she had become used to, it was more… impressed might had been the closest word she could think of to fit his expression. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but it made her feel a small flip in her stomach.
A/N. - I apologize, I – just like Rita – am not fluent in French at all.
T'as une tête à faire sauter les plaques d'égouts. Je déteste tout de toi. Si je le pouvais, je te maudirais si fort que tes aïeux le sentiraient. - "You have a face that would blow off manhole covers. I hate everything about you. If I could, I would hex you so hard your ancestors would feel."
The translation was done by a very kind French reader, since what I originally tried to translate through google (You have a face that could blow off manhole covers. I hate everything about you. If I could, I would hex you into the middle of next week), did not translate well. :)
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