GRANGER, WE NEED TO TALK

Chapter 7.11

The world of HP belongs to JK Rowling.

I make no money playing in her sandbox.

What's your end-game, Greengrass?

Middle September

The old, disused classroom off the fifth floor corridor really was very dusty mused Hermione as she employed some cleaning spells from her wand and settled in to wait for Daphne Greengrass' arrival. The Hogwarts house elves were still so busy with their normal school-in-session work, and the continuing re-building of the damaged castle, that unused areas were getting no maintenance attention from them at all.

"Oh, how I miss the Room of Requirement" Hermione thought. "It would be ideal for a meeting such as this one is likely to become." The lamented Room had not reappeared after the FyendFyre had consumed the Room of Lost Things, and Hermione felt that a friend had been lost in the conflagration, a friend she could trust to keep secrets. And war had brutally shown her how exposed secrets could get you and yours killed.

Transfiguring a pair of comfortable chairs and a table from some broken desks, she sat and pulled from her book bag the tome Greengrass had given her a week ago, a fountain pen and several pieces of parchment with writing on them, and placed them all on the table. Hermione had no clue as to the title of the book. It had some extremely powerful charms placed that blurred any titles on the cover or chapter headings. Annoyed by the secrecy, Hermione had attempted to remove or break the charm, or charms, and had not only failed miserably, but during the last try, the book had zapped her with a purple spark of something that had left her

wand arm useless for hours. She had been having nightmares about purple spells ever since The Battle of the Ministry years ago, so, discretion had triumphed over annoyance and Hermione had settled for reading the book best as she could.

The book turned out to be absolutely, bloody gobsmacking amazing. Someone had compiled a list of all the PureBlood families in Magical Great Britain, all of their family trees, marriages, political alliances, business alliances, how they made their money and even an estimate of each families wealth. The book revealed that someone had vast knowledge of the influence each family had in the Wizengamot, who they controlled and had influence with. Hermione was starting to lose sleep trying to plan how to use the information sometime after graduation and also how to get Greengrass to show her what was written in the obviously tampered parts of the book she could not read. And finally she was plotting revenge for that purple spark.

Hermione's ruminations were interrupted by the old door creaking open to admit Greengrass and her hip implant Tracy Davis. She had a brief thought of them not separating even to shower. Of course that could mean . . . Hermoine chopped that thought off. Of course both Greengrass and Davis were very pretty. You could do worse if you wanted to play with the home team. Hermione chopped that thought off also.

"Damn. I need a boyfriend!" She thought.

Hermione watched as Greengrass performed some impressive high level locking and silencing charms on the door and around the room. With a huff she transfigured another chair at the table.

"Greetings Granger." "How is our illustrious Head of House feeling today?" Greengrass smirked. Hermione's glare bounced right off the blondes unflappable bearing.

"Greetings Greengrass, greetings Davis. I am doing quite well today", replied Hermione calmly.

The two witches walked over to the table and sat in the chairs provided.

Greengrass spoke, "I must say, Granger, you transfigure a comfortable chair"

"Well", replied Hermione, "One should observe the proprieties when meeting with such distinguished PureBlood guests from House Slytherin."

"HalfBlood here Granger, and I much prefer to be known as an Eighth Year." growled Davis. "Sucks to be a half blood in Slytherin."

Hermione blinked at the obvious dislike in Davis' voice for her ex-house. And mentally kicked herself for not remembering Davis' status from the book.

"Wait a minute," Hermione thought. "House Davis and House Greengrass were both missing from that book. So that's what was blanked out."

Further thought later in the week would bring her the realization that more had been hidden from her than those two houses. And when she realized that she had been so fascinated by the books revelations that she completely overlooked that the Potter and Black families were also missing, it would piss her off for weeks

Greengrass spoke up after a look at Davis. "I will make the assumption that you found the book endlessly fascinating and informative?" Hermione nodded her head.

"Tell me Granger. Have you come to any conclusions as to how the book is indexed?" Greengrass said.

"No, not yet". Hermione admitted. Alphabetically had not worked. Age of House had not worked. Estimated wealth had not worked. Hermione's logically constructed mind had been equal parts frustrated and appalled.

"I suggest that thinking about it too much is a waste of time." Greengrass said. "The method used in the magic when the book was first created has long since been overrun by chronic lack of logic used in the wizarding world. It is a true one-of-a-kind artifact."

Hermione just looked back at her. "Logic and its non-existence in the wizard world strikes again," she thought.

"Now that we have the pleasantries out of the way?" Inquired Greengrass with a lifted eyebrow. Hermione nodded once.

Greengrass gestured to the pile of parchment and paper. "I will now answer the questions about the book that I am allowed to. I will tell you up front you are going to be disappointed due to what little I can talk about at this time."

With a look of frustration that Hermione was sure she was going to be repeating, she asked, "Can you tell me where the book came from?"

"No."

"Can you tell me who the book belongs to?"

"No."

"Can you tell me what enchantment keeps me from reading parts of the book."

"No."

"Is anybody not in this book a member of the Wizengamot, head any departments in the Ministry, or own a large successful business in this country?"

Pause. "No. But I could be wrong about the third part of your question."

Another two minutes went by with Hermione asking questions and Greengrass replying in the negative. Hermione finally stopped talking, huffed hugely and glared at Greengrass. Hermione's life was a hunt to satisfy her voracious appetite for knowledge and Greengrass was keeping knowledge she wanted locked away. To her, what was being done was somewhere between blasphemous and evil incarnate. That Greengrass had already gifted her with enormous knowledge from the book was irrelevant.

To Daphne, the look in Granger eyes made her surreptitiously finger her wand, as she wondered if the hard-eyed witch was angry enough that hexes were about to start flying.

As Hermione succeeded in reining in her temper before she threw a tantrum and started hurling blasting curses at everything in sight, a part of her mind wondered if her lack of sleep was finally pushing her over the edge of what she felt was her somewhat fragile sanity. She made the effort to sound normal as she asked one last question from her lists.

"Alright, she said. "one oddity that I noticed was that the Millicent Bulstrode's family was one of the few that had no business or source of income listed. Is the book ignorant, or are they that secretive? I mean, you've lived with her for seven years"

It was Greengrass' turn to blink and develop that blank "I'm thinking" look on her face. It was almost half a minute before Greengrass stopped staring, looked over to Davis and cocked a questioning eye at her.

Davis shrugged a bit and said, "No idea. Mils (1) has never said anything. And now that you have me thinking about it, all these years, she has never talked about her family's work, bragged about its success or moaned about how bad things are for her family because some business deal had gone tits up. Ack, I mean sour, sour!" the rapidly flushing dark haired girl wailed.

The other two girls quickly placed a hand across their mouths to keep from breaking out in giggles at Tracy. This was not supposed to be a girly meeting. This was business.

"Our time together, pleasant as it is, is coming to an end for today," said Daphne.

"I wish to further your education a bit further, Granger," she stated. "This is a book from a library and is titled Our Ministry: Ministerial Departments and Personnel."

If you would take the time to read it, we will have something else to converse upon, say, same time in three days".

"Is this another book designed to be as uninformative as your last recommendation?" Hermione snarked, glaring at Greengrass.

"If you found that book uninformative, then you are not as intelligent, or as bright as six years of observing you at this school had led me to believe," Greengrass snarked right back.

"I will guarantee you will not find the information you have been given access to in its pages anywhere else in the wizarding world. The information has many possible uses. I suggest you start coming up with some of those uses."

With that, Daphne stood up, walked over, picked up the first book she had loaned Hermione, and with Tracy in her wake, headed for the door and into the hallway.

Hermione's frustration was so great that she seethed for half a minute before her observant side kicked in and she realized that the locking and silencing charms Greengrass had used, and then removed, on the doorway were very advanced spell work. As a matter of fact, they were NEWT level Charms that Professor Flitwick was supposed to be teaching in a few months. In fact they were almost as powerful as Hermione's would have been if she had performed them.

Hermione actually blinked a few times as she had a sudden thought that the academic distance between number one, her, and Greengrass, in the Eighth Years was not as great a distance as she had thought.

Later that night as she and Harry sat in their shared Eighth Years Heads of House suite doing some late revising and talking about what further improvements Hermione could make to the Muggles Studies course she was teaching twice a week to First and Second year students, she told Harry about the two books she had gotten from Greengrass. She did not mention the warning about Harry the fellow eighth year had given her almost a week ago. Professor Trelawney had made more specific prophecies than blondie had.

After describing how she was given the first book, and then the meeting earlier, she started analyzing out loud, obviously using Harry as a sounding board.

"Harry," she said. "It was a really peculiar book. The more I think about it, that book would be the type of thing Lucius Malfoy would have had so he could get leverage or extortion material on people he couldn't bribe. I mean, suppose you knew a Head of Family you needed to vote your way in the Wizengamot. And that they import Flaming Screech Sprouts from Tibet. But Tibet is having a drought that cut the harvest in half. Now if you quickly bought up the available supply, you could hurt that family's income because they wouldn't have any for their customers. Now, being a Malfoy rat barsted, you dangle that they can get a supply of Flaming Screech Sprouts if they just vote yea or nay on some supposedly-minor, probably-not-so-little legislation you are sponsoring in the Wizengamot."

"Since I doubt that Narcissa is selling off Malfoy family grimoires or some such secrets," Harry mused, "where do you think that Greengrass got that book?

Hearing Harry say that out loud suddenly crystalized the information that Hermione had been trying to organize in her head. She was out of her chair and giving Harry one of her rib-cracking hugs so fast he figured she must have apperated across the table.

She was actually hopping in place while hugging Harry.

"That's it Harry," she squealed. "That book must be something like an Old Family grimoire!

I mean it's not really, because I could read it, but I'll bet my Order of Merlin bonus that it is a piece of old, powerful Greengrass Family magic!"

Harry usually would have been deafened by a point blank Hermione squeal. His hearing was saved by his position. He was still sitting when standing Hermione squid-hugged him. And the ear not covered by her arm was squashed into her chest.

Her soft, cushy, bobbling chest.

Harry flushed so fast and so bright that the front of Hermione's jumper surely had a huge scorch mark upon it. He was about to frantically try to escape when several thoughts flashed through his mind. First, was embarrassment because it was into HERMIONE'S chest he was burrowed. Second, if he clawed himself away from her, how hurt would she be that he seemed to not want to touch her? Third, was how wonderful her chest felt. He really wanted to stop this sensation? Was he daft?

But still . . . IT WAS HERMIONE!

Bugger.

Harry's thoughts screeched to a crashing halt as Hermione suddenly stopped hopping and slowly unwrapped her arms from around his head and shoulders.

Harry refused to look up to her face as she slowly stepped backwards.

"Uh, I . ., um I gottagototheloo!" she sprayed out and scurried through the suites bathroom door, slamming it behind her.

Harry sat in stunned immobility.

Confusion coursed through his mind. On one hand, what had happened was wonderful. On the other hand, he had no idea how he was going to be able to look her in the eye.

Harry had the premonition that he was in for several uncomfortable days around his suite mate.

As Harry had feared, Hermione was stiff and distant around him for the next two days. Harry mostly avoided being alone with her in the Head of House common room. He did notice she was in a full Hermione Knowledge to be Gained quest while reading that second book she had gotten from Greengrass. She was also taking copious notes while reading, and had one time absent mindedly asked Harry if she could borrow Hedwig to deliver a letter. Her mortification immediately after that gaff was teary. Of course he forgave her thoughtlessness. He could never forget his familiar in his mind but the raw grief had scabbed over.

He figured that by pretending what had happened had not happened, he could get his best friend relaxed and back to normal. Or what he thought should be normal.

Two days later, Hermione hesitantly asked Harry to come with her back to their suite common room. She had him sit on the couch and handed him the second Greengrass book. He could see it had over a dozen scraps of parchment inserted as bookmarks.

"Harry," she said. "I need to return this book to Greengrass tonight. Would you take the time to read the parts of the book I've marked? I need you to at least have some idea what I am talking about when we find some time, SOON, to sit and discuss what Greengrass has brought to us. I may be wrong as to what I think I'm seeing, but if I am not, you have to have some understanding of where I'm coming from."

"We don't have an emergency, (yet, she thought) but there is a reason why she is approaching me. And I think we should find out why soon."

"Oh and by the way. I may be feeling paranoid, but . . . ."

A couple hours after dinner found Hermione again ensconced at the table in the disused classroom.

Since she figured she needed some type of an edge against the Greengrass/Davis duo, she had a house elf bring a tray with tea and biscuits.

Right on time the two ex-Slytherins entered through the door, Daphne did her impressive locking and silencing charms, and the two sat down at the table.

Pouring tea, nibbling on biscuits and polite inquiries as to how classes were proceeding occupied several minutes until everyone knew the preliminaries were over.

The two young women politely looked at each other waiting to see who should speak first. Wordlessly, Hermione handed the book to Greengrass. Just as silently, Daphne placed it in her book bag.

"Oh for Merlin's sake you two," burst out Davis. "This is not a high level magical ambassadorial meeting where no one is going to say anything controversial or constructive."

Daphne's blazing blue glare should have lit Tracy's hair afire. "It's pretty damn close to being as important as ambassadors meeting to decide the fate of magical realms," she snapped off.

Hermione sat quietly. The occasional need for silence on her part had been sometimes brutally driven home over the last two years, but Greengrass' vehemence had surprised her.

Greengrass turned her attention back to Hermione and spoke in a calm, controlled voice. "Before I hex my companion into oblivion, would you please tell me any conclusions you have drawn from the latest book?" Tracy just smirked.

Hermione had anticipated the question. She took a steadying breath. "The most glaring conclusion is that every Department Head is a PureBlood. All the Senior Undersecretaries are PureBloods, and all the Under Secretaries are PureBloods. I see there are some HalfBlood Assistant to the Under Secretaries, but my notes from your other book show they are connected to powerful PureBlood families."

"And most damningly," she continued, "over half of them are new at their posts. They've taken over from senior government officials who mysteriously died at the same time Voldemort did, or were run out of office as Death Eater sympathizers."

After a short pause, in a deceptively soft voice she said, "Outside of some of their children, I don't think one of those families shed any blood here at The Battle. They were not among those that came when we pleaded for help." Hermione was pleased she managed to get that last out without spitting.

"Congratulations, Granger, you've managed to stumble upon English wizard-kinds dirtiest little secret. We PureBloods run this country and though there may be a lot more of you, Halfbloods and Muggleborn do not. And never will. When you get too uppity or vociferous about your condition we merely shovel lots of galleons at some PureBlood bigot, give him Dark Lord status, and point him straight at the likes of you."

Shite. It was a trap. She had been setup and walked right into the ambush.

The listening Hermione was afraid to look at Greengrass. If that blond haired bitch had a smirk on her face, Hermione was going to end up in Azkaban for murder. "Wonder if Shack can save me from being Dementor kissed, "she thought.

The cool under pressure, combat honed Hermione Granger started to resurface after many months of being suppressed. She slowly raised her eyes off her notes and calmly looked at the other two girls. First she saw Davis with her wand in her hand pointing at her. Greengrass was being a little less obvious. Only her non-wand hand was showing above the table.

She was proud that she didn't have to swallow or lick her lips to speak.

Looking straight in Greengrass' eyes, she was looking for her tell. That twitch or whatever that would mean she was about to cast a spell. Unexpectedly, all she could see was uncertainty. Those dark blue trademark eyes didn't seem to have the look of someone trying to work up the nerve to kill her.

"So, this seems rather an elaborate trap to merely kill off an uppity Mudblood. Do you think that old custom that a PureBlood can kill a Muggleborn and only get a slap on the wrist because they were so crass as to get caught still applies these days?"

Hermione had her plan already formulated. Push off from the table and tip the chair over backwards. Get her wand from its wrist holster, roll behind that broken table back of her left shoulder, and then . . .

Suddenly an evil little smile started on Hermione's lips. From somewhere had come the memory of some muggle western where three gunmen were staring at each other in a graveyard, hands near their guns, waiting to see who would move first. She could even hear the music.

Suddenly she could see fear in Greengrass' eyes. Got ya, bitch. Ready, set, g . . .

"Please, don't hex us with something Madam Pomfrey can't fix." Came the tumbled words from Greengrass' mouth. "Tracey, I've made a mistake. Carefully place your wand on the table. Granger, I'm going to leave my wand in my lap, bring my hand up slowly, and I'd like to have my arm still attached to my body when I put my hand on the table."

"Bloody hell, Daphne," Davis moaned. "She's gonna curse us into next fuckin' week." Her wand started to quiver.

"If you don't put that wand down, you just made a prophecy, Davis," came the response from the other side of the table. "I might just hex you with the Lavium mus (2)anyway."

It took a second for Davis to process what she had heard. Her eyes grew round. "You wouldn't!" she squealed. And got a raised eyebrow in return.

Suddenly Hermione twitched her arm and a wand appeared pointed right between the two girls. It had appeared so fast it was like . . . magic.

"Merlin," thought Daphne, "no one should be that fast." Tracy dropped her wand on the table, and Daphne slowly brought her empty hand up.

The non-verbal Accio wands that had both girls wands flying into Hermione's left hand raised the tension across from Hermione even higher. "Humpf." She thought idly. "Maybe I could have been a Seeker."

Daphne had never seen brown ice before. But Hermione's eyes had become cold, cold. And her evil smile of intent to do bodily harm would have done a shark proud

"Now, this Muggleborn witch is going to get some answers or you will become very, very uncomfortable in your own skins. Let us begin." And impossibly, her smile got even larger.

It was about an hour later that two exhausted girls left the room. They didn't have to remove the locking and silencing charms. Hermione had already done that with a wave of her wand and an incantation that neither heard. Again, it had been a difficult bit of non-verbal spell work that would be the final impression that the two departing witches would carry away with them.

As soon as they closed the door, an even more secure set of locking and silencing charms were raised not just on the door, but on every wall, the floor and ceiling.

"That went well," she said into the apparently empty room.

"Merlin and Morgana, Hermione" came the voice of an invisible Harry about twelve feet from the backs of the chairs Daphne and Tracy had been sitting in.

He continued as he removed his invisibility cloak and folded it away. "Just where have you been hiding that inner Alpha bitch? For a moment I thought they were going to pee themselves. You do know you're scary sometimes? Brilliant, but scary". (3)

Hermione's return smile had the cutest dimples. "Why Harry Potter, you say the nicest things".

She then batted her eyelashes at Harry who gusted out a laugh and plopped himself down in the chair across from Hermione.

"So," he said. "I get why you wanted me to read the Who's Who of the Ministry book. And Greengrass' explanations were . . . informative.. So, what was in the first book you read that Greengrass loaned you?

Hermione expanded on her short explanation from the other day. It was during this talk she suddenly realized that among the missing family information were the Potter and Black families.

"Oooh, that bint," she nearly screamed . "I'm going to rip every perfect blonde hair right off her skull and force feed it to her."

The turnabout shocked Harry. But still he said the first thing that popped into his mind. "And just when you two were becoming such good friends." Hermione's glare was smoking, but Harry had been glared at before. He continued in a patient voice that made her want to start ripping his hair out. "What set that off?"

Gritting her teeth Hermione explained about the missing Potter and Black family incomes and alliances in the book. And how she had just realized they were missing and she now knew nothing about the two families.

Harry's reaction stunned Hermione. He started chuckling, then laughing, finally roaring with laughter. Hermoine's reaction to Harry was first puzzlement, then her face started to flush and when he started holding his sides in pain she was about to hex him.

Painfully.

Seeing her purpling face, Harry managed to gasp out, "But Hermione, we have all . . . that information . . . down in my room."

Hermione carefully put her wand down and started banging her head on the tabletop.

A/N

Mils, not girly Millie. Memory from a story long

ago in a story far, far away. If anyone can remember

who wrote this idea, I would like to credit them.

Wash mouth.

Line was not in the books, but from the movie, HP&PS.