The shock of the cold hit Hermione in her face as she stepped off of the train, helped down by Ron. She was shortly followed by Harry and Meier, who were levitating their four trunks.
Hermione gently made her way through the crowds of younger students, while Ron merely shoved them out of the way. She gritted her teeth as she looked around, her eyes landing on the tall silver haired boy who was approaching them.
“Don’t tell me that you’re riding with us too?” Hermione asked irritably, regarding the faerie with a bit of distaste.
“You may need protection,” Meier answered snarkily, smirking at her. “It’s not my fault that your Headmaster finds you incompetent…”
Did this arse just question her proficiency?
Hermione glowered at his remark, grinding her teeth together. “Shouldn’t we be questioning your ability since you’re the one who’s gone so low as to protect a human?”
“It’ll be harder than you think, Ms. Granger,” Meier said. “There’re some things about yourself that you don’t know.”
Hermione raised an eyebrow. “And what exactly do you know about me that I don’t? I mean, really, tell me. Because I’d like to know.”
“I know a lot of things that your small, human mind couldn’t even begin to comprehend,” Meier snapped, his lip curling into sneer.
Harry and Ron stood between them, uncomfortably.
“Small? My mind is small?” Hermione asked unbelievingly, her voice rising with her anger. “I’ll do things to you with a wand that you can’t imagine-”
“Hermione…” Ron placed a gentle hand on her arm, trying to get her to calm down. “The carriages are coming.”
She reluctantly backed down from Meier, scowling at him. Sure enough, as she turned around, the thestrals rode up to the students, nearly knocking her over in the process. She stumbled back a bit but Harry held on firmly to her arm. She smiled up thankfully at him.
Hermione slid in the farthest and made sure that Ron sat next to her, instead of the faerie. Unfortunately, Meier got in before Harry and sat across from her, smiling devishly at her. When the door closed and locked and the carriage began to move, Hermione spoke.
“Well this certainly has been a day,” she said. “First we have faeries as guides“ she threw a distasteful glare at Meier “ ….next you’ll be telling me that Malfoy joined the Order.”
She laughed quietly to herself but stopped when she realized that she was on the only one laughing. Harry was carefully studying the hem of his robes, while Ron had suddenly decided to pull out a book, which was hers, and read it. Meier, on the other hand, still had that god forsaken smirk on his face.
“What is it?” Hermione asked for the third time that day. “Are you really going to tell me that Malfoy has joined the Order?”
“Er…yes?” Ron said.
“He joined over the summer…“ Ron said carefully, not wanting to upset her.
“We don’t know why though,” Harry put in quickly as he saw her mouth open in protest. “But he’s told Dumbledore. And he seems to trust him.”
Hermione breathed easier when Harry mentioned the Headmaster…but she wasn’t completely sure if Dumbledore’s trust was enough for her anymore. There wasn’t anyone she trusted less (other than some obvious people, like Voldemort) than Malfoy.
“We don’t trust him in the least,” Ron said, voicing her thoughts. “But none the less, he’ll be coming with us to prove that he’s “worthy”, which I think is impossible.”
“Maybe we should try,” Hermione said slowly, as if tasting her words before saying them. “His ties to the other side could be of great help. Almost like a spy…like Snape.”
Ron looked at her incredulously but decided against speaking. She was in a state, as it was already.
“I would like to make some announcements,” Dumbledore said, his voice magically magnified over the noise of the Great Hall after the sorting hat had finished putting the new students where they belonged.
Everyone immediately quieted.
“I would just like to make known some well known rules. The care keeper, Mr. Filch, would like me to remind students that there is to be no magic or horseplay in the hallways. Accidents last year were at an all time high. I would also like to remind you about our grounds. There is a reason for the Forbidden Forest’s name because, as it has been for the entirety of Hogwarts, it is forbidden.”
“And now for the announcement of the Head Boy and Head Girl, although I am sure that they are very aware of who they are.”
“The Head Boy is Draco Malfoy from the House of Slytherin! Stand up Mr. Malfoy and give everyone a wave.”
Loud rounds of ovation broke out from the Slytherin table, along with some of the Ravenclaws, although groans were heard from the other two houses.
“And the Head Girl, without a doubt, is Hermione Granger from Gryffindor!”
Thunderous applause broke out from the Gryffindor table, along with Hufflepuff and half of the Ravenclaws. Ron and Harry were thumping the wooden table with their fists and yelling at the top of their lungs. She threw a triumphant glance at Malfoy, who sneered back at her.
“That’s all. Tuck in!”
The tables, like every other year, filled to the brim with an assortment of foods, awing the first years, and surprising the returning students with more dishes than there ever had been before.
Hermione looked warily at the food, still promoting S.P.E.W for all it was worth, but the slight rumbling of her stomach told her all she needed to know. She took only what she knew she was going to eat, unlike Ron and Harry and most of the male population, who piled their plates high and ended up vomiting half of it.
She looked up and noticed that most of the girls were watching Meier, Ferro, or Malfoy. It didn’t go unnoticed on her that many boys were also watching her eat. Scowling, Hermione turned to talk to Harry and Ron.
“I thought you were still going on with Spew,” Ron said playfully, stabbing a piece of steak with his gilded knife
“S.P.E.W,” she corrected. “It’s an acronym, Ron.”
“Well, are you still doing it?”
“I am,” Hermione explained. “But I can’t starve either. I’m just not going to squander their hard work by taking one bite out of each piece of food and not finish eating it. Or stuff my face until I get sick.” Hermione motioned towards a once hungry Seamus, who’s face was starting to turn green from all the sweets he had eaten. “Prime example.”
She yelped when a letter appeared in front of her with a loud pop. Snickering at her, Harry took it, slit open the seal and read it.
“We’re to meet him in his office after the feast,” Harry said. “But we should try to come separately. Apparently, we’re going to be starting a lot earlier than we originally planned.”
“How much earlier?” Meier asked from beside Hermione.
“Late October, early November.”
“How in Merlin’s name are we going to be that long without anyone getting suspicious?” Ron questioned, holding a piece of steak in front of his mouth.
“Golems,” Hermione answered, surprised with it herself.
“What’re golems?” Harry asked.
“Yes, please enlighten us,” Meier put in, smirking at her again.
Hermione threw a glare at him before explaining. “ Golems originally turned up in Jewish legend. They’re little figures made of clay and are often mistaken for voodoo dolls. Through potions and some spells, the golem is brought to life and can actually, nearly be a person, if the maker wishes it to be. It would look like that person, talk like them, have their intelligence, say things that that person would say. When the original returns, the golem turns to dust.”
Laughing could be heard from the Slytherin table and Hermione turned to see who was causing it. It was, obviously, Malfoy being an obnoxious prat as usual. Crabbe and Goyle were thumping each other on their backs, as if it was some contest, and Pansy had a hand on Malfoy’s arm, although he shook her off repeatedly.
His molten silver gaze met hers and although he had a cold smile on his face, his eyes were grim, as if something heavy was placed on him. Hermione turned away, breaking the connection, and resumed eating warily, waiting with the rest for the end of the feast that would bring them answers they needed.
Draco Malfoy leaned against an overstuffed green armchair in the dark Slytherin common room. Pansy, Crabbe, Goyle, and Blaise were there, sitting around him in a circle. Draco watched as the dark haired boy knelt down to the floor, drawing a muggle drug into thin lines that he then snorted.
Blaise shook his head a couple of times before grinning up at Draco. “Want some?”
“Of all the times you’ve asked me to do heroin, have I ever?” Draco replied, sneering at him in the process.
The other boy shrugged and drew up another line of the white powder.
“I can’t believe that you made Head Boy,” Pansy said. She was painting her nails a light green, a rather ugly color that resembled vomit. The stringent smell of chemicals filled the room and Draco wrinkled his nose.
“It would be easier if you used your wand,” he told her, nodding towards the bottle of polish.
She ignored him. “I’m just glad that they replaced me with the new kid. I hated being a prefect. Everyone was always thinking that you knew what to do.”
“That’s why they replaced you, Pansy,” Draco sneered. “You don’t know how to do anything.”
The other three boys laughed and Pansy threw an arm pillow at the blonde, but ended up hitting Goyle in his face instead.
“Can you believe that they made Granger Head Girl?” she continued. Draco rolled his eyes. “I mean a mudblood given the honor. Obviously the old fool has finally gone daft.”
“Who would’ve filled the position Pansy?” Blaise asked. “You?”
“No! But someone other than her.”
“For once in your life, be honest,” Draco snarled. “We all know that you’re jealous, Parkinson.”
“I’m not jealous of that…that thing!“ protested Pansy. “She’s a mudblood for Merlin’s sake!”
“Yes you are,” Blaise put in as he snorted up more heroin. “She’s prettier than you, smarter than you, better liked than you…”
“You think she’s pretty?” Pansy screeched, standing up. Her face was red.
Blaise shrugged and drew up another line of the white powder. “She’s gorgeous Pansy. Answer enough for you? You know that I‘ve fancied her since last year.”
“I can’t believe that you’d so low as to even think of a mudblood that way!”
“For fuck’s sake Pansy,” Draco said exasperatedly. “Shut up. Her being a mudblood isn’t a good enough excuse anymore. It’s because she’s her and you’re jealous. Admit it, sit down, and shut your mouth.”
Pansy went quiet and huffed as she sat back down, throwing Draco a venomous glare.
“Did you see the other new kid at the Gryffindor table?” Blaise asked him. “With the silver hair. You and him look alike.’
Draco snorted. “I look better than him.”
“Sure you do,” Pansy muttered under her breath, feigning a look of innocence when Draco glared at her.
“And that’s why you’re always all over me, Pansy, not to mention in my bed?” he sneered at her. “Because I’m ugly?”
“I’m just saying that you, Ferro, Blaise, and the other kid are neck for neck with this year’s “Hottest”,” she explained, referring to the school wide list that many girls made.
“You, and all the other slags, actually write this crap down?” Draco asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Yes,” Pansy sniffed indignantly.
“Loser,” Blaise said, smirking.
She glared at him and picked up her bottle of polish, opening it and letting the odor escape once again.
“Must you insist on painting your nails with that godforsaken crap in here?” Draco snarled at her.
“It’s Armani nail polish, Draco. It’s the best.”
The blond rolled his eyes. “You know that Armani is a muggle line right? A line run by a muggle?”
“What?” Pansy asked, her voice screeching with false disbelief. She glanced around at the other four as if she needed approval for something. “Well than I can’t use it,” she determined, setting the bottle down on the coffee table.
“You’re such a hypocrite,” Draco told her, as Blaise stood up to get another bag of heroin from a concealed pocket in his bag.
“All of those damn robes you’re so proud of,” he started, nodding towards her Dior robes thrown over an armchair, “are produced by muggles, Parkinson. They’re made for wizards but mudbloods produce them. Why are you wearing things made by people you despise?”
Pansy opened her mouth to speak but no words left her thin lips. Blaise snorted at the lack of her comment and began to draw up more lines of heroin.
Draco looked down at his platinum silver watch, and mumbled under his breath when he realized the time.
“I have to go,” he said, standing up. Crabbe and Goyle made to follow him, but he held up a hand. “Alone. It’s a Head meeting.”
The two lackeys grunted in response and sat back down. He swiftly made his way out of the Common Room entrance and ventured into the cold, dungeon corridors.
Draco’s eyes adjusted to the darkness of the first floor, with the occasional light of flames in the sconces. Students were still up, it being an hour before curfew, although many were still out after that. Giggling couples walked the halls while gossiping friends followed them. His gaze landed on a head of shining, auburn colored hair. Only one person had hair as magnificent as that.
“I need to talk to you, Granger,” Draco called out after her, his tone cold and condescending.
The figure halted and turned around, only to throw him a look of contempt. “What is it Malfoy?”
He approached her, drawing her against the wall by her upper arm where they almost melted into the shadows.
“The meeting is in ten minutes,” he said. “He wants us on time.”
Granger rolled her eyes at him. “When have I ever been late, Malfoy?”
They stood, looking at each other for a moment, soaking in the awkward silence.
“I don’t trust you,” Granger said, her amber eyes searching his own. She stopped as if she had found something, or a lack of. “But I won’t question you unless something you do forces me to, Malfoy.”
She turned to walk away but he said something in such a cool manner that made her stop and consider if what he was saying was true.
“I don’t hate you Granger, contrary to general belief.”
The words were true, although he knew she would doubt them. He grinned maliciously as he saw the perplexed look on her face. How he loved to confuse people.
“I don’t hate you either… not completely,” Granger replied. “But I certainly don’t like you.”
Ouch. A blow to his pride.
Draco’s eyes narrowed in anger. “Good,” he said, his voice deadly calm. “Let’s keep it that way.”
As he walked away, ignoring the girls who were coming onto him (which he would normally take advantage of), he had to admit to himself that the last words he spoke were far from what he wanted to be the truth.
Dumbledore sat in his large, winged, armchair with Snape standing to his left and McGonagall on his right. Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were also there. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were sitting before the Headmaster, while Ferro and Meier stood behind them. Malfoy sat next to Harry, rather uncomfortable at the thought of being in the same room of people who hated his father and partially him, although he had dealt with it much over the summer.
“I assume that we all know why we are here and in case someone needs some filling in, I’ll explain.” Dumbledore paused, touching his fingertips together. “ Voldemort-” The Weasleys, Tonks and Kingsley flinched. “- is planning something. We’re not sure, so we’ve enlisted the help of faerie guides along with two spies in his Deatheater ranks.”
“I have an idea that he is on a search for immortality, although this time it’s not rampant. We have little information but we do one thing that Severus has brought to my attention. He wants you, Ms. Granger,” he said slowly, looking at her over his folded hands. “We’re not entirely sure of the reason at this moment, but Remus may hold some of those answers.”
“Remus!” Mrs. Weasley gasped, clearly shocked and upset at the prospect of disturbing the sickly. “But Albus! He’s in a comatose state at St. Mungo’s!”
“His body is, but his mind isn’t, Molly,” Dumbledore told the distraught woman kindly. “I assure you that I’ll be able to talk to him.”
“Why are we sending Hermione out on this mission when Voldemort wants her?” Harry asked, a fire blazing behind his eyes. “We’re practically handing her over!”
“Don’t talk about me as if I’m not here!” Hermione snapped at the black haired boy angrily but she was ignored.
“That’s why we have guides Harry,” Dumbledore told him calmly. “I’m sure that Meier and Ferro won’t let harm befall Ms. Granger, unless she orders them to do so, which I find highly unlikely. It‘s not fair for her to be left out of important things like this”
Mr. Weasley spoke up from the corner, his arm around his worried wife. “Why are we sending children to do this? It’s highly dangerous, not to mention all the work they’ll have to make up at the end of the mission. They‘re missing a lot of school time”
“How old were you Arthur when you went on your first mission to retrieve information from our allies in Bulgaria, despite a high alert of Death Eater activity?” Dumbledore asked, his eyes twinkling at the younger man.
Mr. Weasley blushed. “I was eighteen.”
“And you Tonks?” he asked, turning towards the Metamorphous.
“Seventeen, Albus,” the pink haired witch answered proudly.
“What better way to bring them into adulthood, and let them experience what they’ll be doing for Merlin knows how much longer, than now, in the height of it?” McGonagall said, speaking for the first time. “Although I am still apprehensive, they have some of the best protection around, better than ten of us together.”
“They’re so young!” Mrs. Weasley protested, wringing her hands on the bottom of her robes.
“If it makes you feel any better Molly, they’ll be followed at almost all times by no less than three Aurors,” Dumbledore said. “Think of this as a test, where they have to prove themselves.”
“And faeries are good with magic?” Mrs. Weasley continued apprehensively, narrowing her kind eyes at the two men standing behind Hermione.
Dumbledore motioned towards Meier and Ferro, as if asking for them to explain…which they did.
“I alone can take down ten wizards,” Ferro said, his Italian accent apparent in his speech. “My companion will be able to defeat more for he has greater experience than I do.”
Hermione rolled her eyes. Faeries certainly weren’t modest.
Ron’s mother finally seemed reassured and sat down, her husband’s consoling hand on her shoulder.
Dumbledore continued. “On November 17, you will start packing, bringing all the essentials that you’ll need. At the same time as we are meeting tonight, all of us will meet again. That night, you’ll leave to meet pleasant associates in Diagon Alley and after a night, leave for the heart of England to meet more allies.”
“How are their disappearances going to be unnoticed?” questioned Kingsley in his deep, rumbling voice.
Snape’s upper lip curled into a sneer. “I’ll be taking care of that.”
“Golems,” Snape said. “ Exactly as the original. A clone, if you please.”
“The golems will be placed in their beds a week before they leave,” Dumbledore interrupted. “The week before will be seclusion in extra dorms, filled with training, classes about Faeries ( Mr.’s Meier and Ferro feel that you should get to know about them), and of course, making up the work that you’ll be missing. The day before you enter seclusion, your appearance will be altered”
“But you don’t have any free time before then,” Dumbledore reminded them. “Severus still has to make the golems. Every Friday night, after ten, is time for training, and every Monday night, after nine, is still for making up homework, because yes Mr. Weasley (do close your mouth), you will have that much work given to you.”
“If not more,” Snape added nastily, leering at them.
Ron and Harry shot vehement glares at their Potions master.
“I still don’t understand why Hermione’s coming if he wants her so much,” Ron said. “It’s a ridiculous idea.”
His mother began to scold him from her seat. “Ron, don’t saying such things.
“What?! It’s true!”
“Don’t talk about me as if I’m not here Ron!” Hermione repeated. “You can’t stop me from going. And if you’re not going to send you me, then you might as well keep Harry here too because there’s more risk with him leaving.”
“That may be incorrect,” Dumbledore said softly. Everyone turned theirs eyes on the wizened Headmaster. “What Voldemort seeks, immortality where there’s no hope of him being killed, may lie with you. This is why you need so much protection. So you see Ms. Granger, I may actually, in time, regret sending you.”
Track This Story: Feed
Write a Review
JOIN HARRY POTTER FANFICTION
Get access to every new feature the moment it comes out.Register Today!