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Chapter 4

’Accio, wand!’ Hermione whispered and sliding the object in the pocket of her robe she closed the door of her room.

She wanted to hurry to the Great Hall but suddenly she noticed that the door of Jasper Hale’s room was slightly ajar. She slowed down and peeked through the gap feeling a bit ashamed but terribly curious.

What she saw left her breathless. Jasper Hale was doing push-ups with no shirt on. He had just a pair of black trousers on. She sighed. His upper body was just perfect. Not too muscular but very, very sexy. His skin was pale and smooth and Hermione could see some scars, she wondered how he’d got them.

She didn’t have too much time to admire his body in secret, though. The handsome vampire stood up and looked at her with a smile. ’He knew I had been standing here. My smell. Damn.’ While he got to the door Hermione tried to make up an excuse.

’Morning,’ he said kindly.

’Morning,’ she replied. ’I just… I wondered if you’d like to come with me to have breakfast,’ she stammered.

Jasper leaned against the doorframe casually and Hermione had to force herself not to let her eyes wander down to his naked chest.

’I’ll put on a jumper and join you in the hall soon, okay?’ His voice was husky and his darkening eyes were boring into hers.

’Sure,’ she muttered and walked down the corridor just to bump into a black robe and Draco Malfoy in it.

’Was that Hale or a topless waiter from a Diagon Alley night club?’ He sneered.

Hermione rolled her eyes.

’Did he show you his sharp teeth, too?’ He went on teasing her.

’What do you care?’ She glared at him and headed to the Great Hall.

Malfoy followed her.

’I heard the auror telling McGonagall they’d found a scar on Trelawney’s neck. The most likely suspect is Hale and soon he’ll be locked up in Azkaban.’

’Why do you hate him so much?’ Hermione stopped and turned to look in Malfoy’s eyes. She tried not to show that she was a bit taken aback partly because of his pretty face partly because of the lack of hatred in his eyes.

’I just don’t trust him. And you shouldn’t trust him, either,’ he added. One kiss and you’ll end up as a newborn vampire. I don’t think McGonagall would be too happy…’ He smirked and walked over to the teacher’s table in the Great Hall.

Hermione shook her head. Damn it, Malfoy was right.

OOOOO

’Okay, let’s use those little grey brain cells, as Mr Poirot would say,’ Hermione opened her pocket book to jot down a list.

WHAT DID TRELAWNEY WANT TO TELL MCGONAGALL?

FIND. ROSE. DANGER.

FEELINGS? ASK JASPER ABOUT IT

MOTIVES?

She sighed. What did Trelawney want to tell the Headmistress? Maybe nothing important. Maybe Luna was right and the Divination teacher was surprisingly ambitious and just wanted to be seen, always around McGonagall… But she might have realised something… She might have foreseen something fatal, something crucial, a new prophecy… And there was someone who didn’t want her to report it to the Headmaster… Someone who decided to murder her…

Rose. Find… Rose... Hermione tried to recall Trelawney and the way she said the words. Did she think of the flower? But then she would have said ’a rose’ or ’the rose’. Find the rose. She walked to the window of her room and shifted her gaze to the rose garden of the castle. Or… did she mean a symbol? Rose as a symbol? Rose is the symbol of England. The symbol of some Greek Goddesses. Romantic love. Sub rosa: secrecy and silence. The symbol of alchemy. Royal houses: the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster… Hermione scowled. Rose might be a name. The name of a girl. A student. Or a woman. An elderly lady. A Muggle or a witch. Find… Rose… Danger. That person called Rose might have been in danger…

Hermione felt disappointed. How would she find the answers? All she could hope for was Jasper’s help. If he could feel Hermione’s emotions he could feel the emotions of others, too.

She had a look at the rose garden through the window again. It was getting dark. It would be dinner time soon. Dinner time for Jasper. Hermione made up her mind, put on her cloak and left.

OOOOO

Hermione was heading to the bench in the rose garden, planning to wait for Jasper’s appearance, when she noticed Neville Longbottom, her ex-schoolmate now her colleague, walking among the flowers with an unhappy face.

’What happened, Neville?’ She asked him. ’You look so sad. Was it a naughty student that pissed you off?’

’No… It’s Luna. She’s so… strange. You know we two were… well, romantically involved in the summer…’

Hermione nodded.

’And now… She completely ignores me… She has changed. Do you know what I found in her notebook?’

’What?’ Hermione listened curiously.

’A drawing of a heart with an arrow… And a name in the heart. But not mine.’

’Harry’s?’ Hermione asked meekly.

Neville shook his head.

’Ron’s?’

Neville looked at her sneering.

’You would never find out. The name in the heart was DRACO.’

OOOOO

Hermione was sitting on the bench alone, deep in thought. Luna fell for Malfoy… It was shocking. She didn’t even notice Jasper arrive.

’May I cheer you up?’ His husky voice made her jump.

’I’m okay,’ she said, trying to calm down and smile. ’Uhm… I’d like to ask you some questions. You might help me… in the investigation.’

’Feel free to ask anything, young lady,’ he smiled.

’But… Not here… Let’s go there,’ Hermione pointed at a tree.

Jasper raised his eyebrows but followed the girl.

’You can lean against the tree trunk… It will be more comfortable…’ Hermione offered but avoided the vampire’s eyes.

Jasper was still suspicious but did as he was told. A second later he saw the wand flash in the girl’s hand and heard a spell:

’Incarcerous!’

Suddenly thick ropes appeared out of thin air and wrapped him around. He couldn’t move.

’Sorry,’ Hermione apologized. ’It was a body-binding spell. In case you are very hungry… Someone warned me that your teeth are… very sharp.’

’I bet it was Professor Malfoy,’ Jasper grinned. ’But it’s okay. He was right, actually. I’m looking forward to an exciting questioning… So, what would you like to know?’

Hermione would have liked to do something else than asking questions, she stood only inches apart from the tall and handsome vampire but she forced herself to concentrate on her task.

’You remember when Trelawney asked us about McGonagall, right?’

He nodded.

’Could you feel what she felt? Her mood?’ She continued.

’Sure. She was nervous. And frightened. Confused a bit.’ Jasper recalled.

’And later? The emotions of the others? Could you perceive something strange, something unusual that might help to find the murderer?’

’Well… Apart from your feelings for me…’ He was gazing down into Hermione’s sparkling eyes gently, his eyes seemed to draw her in. She blushed.

’Professor Malfoy is attracted to you… More and more.’ He finished the sentence. ’He tries to fight it off but he can’t.’

’Malfoy?!’ Hermione blinked at him.

Jasper nodded.

’And the more he likes you the more he hates me,’ he added.

Hermione gulped.

’I hate him,’ she said finally.

’I know,’ Jasper smiled. ’But that blond teacher, Luna Lovegood doesn’t. Her love for him is rather intense and… aggressive.’

’Aggressive?’ Hermione was surprised.

’She’s an ’I’ll get what I want’ person, isn’t she?’ Jasper wondered.

’Not really… But who knows… The power of love…’ Hermione whispered and their eyes met again to drink the other’s sight in through desire-hazed vision.

’Any more questions?’ He asked quietly.

’No,’ she gasped.

’Don’t you want to search me… For some clues… For the crucial evidence?’ He raised his eyebrows seductively.

’Maybe next time,’ Hermione gulped, her heart racing.

’I can’t wait.’ His lips were sexy, his smile charming.

Hermione took a step backwards.

’Diffindo!’ She yelled and the magical ropes fell to the ground. Jasper was free again.

’Hermione…’ He said, his face serious. ’Please, be careful.  You might be the next victim if the murderer learns you are investigating. It’s a dangerous game. Promise me you’ll take care.’

Hermione nodded.

’No need to worry about me, guys,’ she thought, heading for her room in the castle. ’I’m a big girl, I can deal with the situation.’

She didn’t notice the shadow creeping towards her in the dark corridor.

End of Chapter 4

 

A/N

Mr Poirot is a fictional Belgian detective in Agatha Christie’s crime stories.

 
 

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