A/N Hey guys! I'm back with another chapter. I'm sorry for making you wait, I'm really frustrated with myself for not making more time to write. My finals are coming and it's been crazy busy preparing for them. I do want you to know that even if there is some time between my updates, I will NEVER abandon this story! I have it entirely planned out and it will some day be published as a complete piece. Thanks for your patience! I also want to thank you all who took the time to review my story! It really means the world to me.
Hermione soon found herself at the entrance to the Headmistress' quarters, the mysterious book safely tucked under her arm. She took one last calming breath before muttering the password she vaguely remembered hearing in the beginning of the morning's staff meeting, (lynx lynx), and started up the stone stairs as the gargoyle moved from her way.
She had the time to knock twice before the door was opened by none other than the Headmistress herself.
"Hermione, dear, how are you? Is everything alright?", the older woman asked with furrowed eyebrows.
Hermione nodded quickly before speaking. "Yes Headmistress, everything's quite alright. I do have something urgent, however. May I come in?", she peered into the office, unsure if she was welcome at the moment.
"Well, yes," the older witch said glancing about her office, before adding, "of course Hermione. And please, it's Minerva, remember?", she told her, indicating with a wave of her hand to step in.
Hermione smiled and walked past her to sit on the chair in front of Minerva's desk, while the witch in an emerald robe took the seat she had been vacating for most of the day, no doubt, judging by the amount of parchment piled on her desk
"What brings you here? I assume you've already made yourself at home in your new quarters, yes?", Minerva started, crossing her fingers on top of the table.
Hermione unconsciously squeezed the book under her arm, which was still seemingly undiscovered by the Headmistress. Or if it wasn't, she assumed Minerva knew her well enough to not be shocked if she was seen with a book.
"The quarters have been perfect, Minerva, thank you for your concern. Funny you should bring that up, as it is something concerning my quarters that I came to talk to you about. More specifically, what I found from there."
Minerva pursed her lips into a tight line before asking, "I see, and what might that be?"
She knew the young girl well enough to identify the glimmer of unfulfilled curiosity laying behind her chocolate brown eyes. That was always a dangerous thing to spot.
Hermione glanced at her right arm, under where the book lay, and brought it onto the table for the older witch to inspect. She didn't let go of it entirely, however, and kept her hands on top of it in a guarding manner.
"What is this?", Minerva asked after eyeing the object for a moment, frowning in growing confusion.
Hermione tightened her hold on the book before continuing cautiously. "It's a book I found from my room, Professor, but before I disclose any more information concerning this book, I need you to promise me you will listen to all I have to say before taking any course of action."
Merlin help her if she's already found herself in trouble, the Headmistress thought. She nodded slowly, giving the younger Gryffindor the affirmation she needed to continue.
Under the Headmistress' stern gaze, Hermione could feel her pulse quickening. She had exactly one change to convince her, and she needed to do it right.
"You see, Professor, I found this book yesterday from under my bed, by an accident. At first I thought it was a regular book, just lost from where it should've been, seeing as that would be the most likely case. With closer inspection, though, I found it to be a bit more peculiar than that. You see, there was no writing inside it, no title, whatsoever. Only these golden letters," she ran her fingers across the letters to emphasize her point, "and that made me think, what are these kinds of books usually for-" Hermione was cut off when the Headmistress gave a deep sigh and straightened herself on her chair.
"Hermione, you're babbling. You've found a diary, that's wonderful. If you're wondering whether you're permitted to use it as your own, be my quest. For what it matters to be, evrrything you find from that room is yours. I'm sorry to tell you that if that's all you're here for I really should concentrate on more pressing matters, if you know what I mean", she said, glancing at her evident load of work.
Hermioine straightened in her chair, mirroring the older woman's pose. "No, Minerva, that's not what I'm here for. Just... please let me continue", Hermione pleaded, annoyed at being interrupted.
After receiving a skeptical glance but no objections, she took it as a positive sign and continued even more cautiously. "The thing is, Minerva, it was empty when I found it, but not anymore. Here, let me show you", Hermione opened the second page of the book, trying to hide the less than flattering double of the older Gryffindor, and showing her only the last page she had written onto.
Minerva leaned forward onto her elbows to inspect the text. "What is this supposed to be? I'm sorry dear but I have no interest in taking a peek into your internal world", the older witch retorted, pushing her glasses higher on her slender nose.
Hermione blushed and huffed in annoyance, pointing to the spiky handwriting, making her point clear. "Do you recognize the handwriting, ma'am?"
After a brief glance towards the younger witch, Minerva inspected the script more carefully. "Yes, this one's clearly yours, and then this one…", her voice faded away as what Hermione hoped was realization washed over her, leaving her eyes the size of two plates and her mouth wide open.
"W-what is the meaning of this?", the woman managed to get out, "Is this one of his diaries? How come...", the witch was left again speechless, mouth wide open gaping at the book.
Hermione knew instantly the older witch had figured out of whom this was about. Something caught her attention in the Headmistress' initial reaction.
"What do you mean one of his diaries?", Hermione inquired, subconsciously running her fingers across the leather book.
"He... H-he had a habit of writing some sort of journals, I think. Yes, I remember seeing him scribbling something down to a book not unlike the one you have there, more than on just one occasion, during our faculty meetings and such. At the time I thought he'd been making notes, which I did find amusing considering his evident dislike towards anything that had to do with teaching. Now, come to think of it, it only seems logical for him to write down his thoughts, seeing as he was the Master Spy of our age. It's no wonder he'd have to keep track of his actions and thoughts in a position like his."
The witch's gaze had averted to something on the back of the room as she whispered barely audibly, "Could it really be him?".
"It's him, Professor. I have been talking to him. And you're not to be worried!", she exclaimed as the older witch suddenly leaned back on her chair, eyes still wide from shock, resting her hand on her forehead. "Nothing you should be worried about has happened. We've only been writing for a short while, and I've been careful with how I've approached this... thing. I think we have a reason to believe there might be something going on, something more than just a book writing by itself."
Hermione watched the older witch show clear signs of internal struggle, before she relaxed, although a fraction. "Since when has this been going on? I wish you would have told me the minute you saw something abnormal was going on. If something like this were to occur while students were under our roof I expect you to immediatly inform me. It's not only for your safety but ours as well."
Hermione couldn't help the blush of feeling guilty brought out of her. She pulled the book back to herself before explaining further. "It's only been going on since this morning, Minerva. I was as stunned as you were the first time I saw this happen! I was just dood… writing on the first page, when the book flashed in a blinding light and-"
"You mean what was going on this morning in our meeting?", the Headmistress asked.
"Why didn't you say so earlier?"
"I wasn't sure how you'd react. And I wasn't sure what this was about, honestly. I'm not sure if I know it now either, but I'm sure as Merlin going to figure that out. Please, Professor, read what we've discussed up until now", the witch said, pushing the book back towards the older witch.
Minerva scanned the few pages, too concentrated (or deeming it not the most urgent issue at play) to pay focus on Hermione's doodle, fortunate for her. After she'd finished scanning the pages, she looked up from the book, her face unreadable.
Hermione found the following silence excruciating to bear. The older witch was switching her gaze between the book and the young bushy haired teacher, studying both with equal firmness. The younger witch was just about to add something in her defence, when the older witch spoke, more calmly than Hermione had expected.
"Thank you, Miss Granger, for bringing the book to my attention. I shall look in to it more closely and see what it's about. Your input in this matter is no longer needed, this book is now in safe hands", the Headmistress was about to take the book onto her own hands, when she was stopped by the younger Gryffindor's strong tug.
Hermione was not satisfied with her employer's answer. It seemed she had not managed to convince her of the book's potential significance, and she feared that after she left the room the book was going to get hexed six ways to Sunday.
Inwardly shuddering at the thought of letting such an interesting object go to waste, she decided to try once more.
"Professor, please, be sure to really look into it, would you? I wouldn't say this if I didn't really mean it, but I have a feeling about this, a feeling that tells me something with significance is going on. You can't just let it slip. Promise me you'll really try to find out what's going on?"
Hermione's pleading gaze was enough to make the Headmistress yield in her own doubt filled mind, and the younger Gryffindor could see a change in her ardour as she bowed her head as a yes.
"Miss Granger, Hermione. I promise to find out what I can to the best of my abilities. If this indeed has something to do with Sev-Severus," the woman swallowed before continuing, " I owe him as much. Now off with you, I better make some standard charms to see if there's any real danger to this peculiarity."
When Hermione made no attempt to move, and instead just stared at the book, the Headmistress added, "I shall inform you if I were to find something I deem worth of your attention. Thank you, Hermione. I'll see you at lunch."
A/N Yay! I love reviews ;)