Hermione awoke to a scream. Deliriously, she rolled out of her bed and grasped for her wand. She stumbled into Parvati, who looked just as exhausted and confused. "Wha-" Suddenly, the cracks of their dormitory door shined red, and several small bangs echoed. All the sleep left her as the Priestess became aware of what was happening. Someone was following Ren's instructions.
Which meant that Sirius Black was in the Gryffindor Tower. Hermione reached up for her mask and realized it wasn't there. "Damn." She gripped her wand in determination. She really wished she could summon Hypatia or even Slime at this point. Just as she pressed her hand against the door, Hermione felt a hand roughly grab her other arm. With a jolt, she turned around. It was Lavender Brown.
"What are you doing!?" Lavender harshly whispered. "Sirius Black is out there!"
Hermione ripped her arm out from her grasp. "Exactly. It's almost midnight; someone needs to go tell McGonagall or anyone else for that matter." Without looking back, she slipped outside of her room, clad only in her nightgown. With what little Thief training Ren had put her through, she began to sneak down to the Common Room.
"Remember," Ren said as he leaned a bookcase in the Crimson room before fading from sight. "Being quiet is essential, but so is speed. You never know when your target could move from their position. Stick to the shadows, meld into them. You have to take quick glances and then act immediately upon them." The older Wild Card appeared behind her, his hand on her shoulder. "Either stay where you are or quickly and quietly leap to the next piece of cover. Never step with your full weight, always on the front part of your feet. Stepping with your heel adds vibration to your step's impact, so only do that if you are a distraction."
She let out a slow, shaky breath and took a fast peek into the Common room, only to see the Fat Lady's portrait door slightly ajar. Oliver Wood and Percy Weasley were both standing at the top of the stairway, wands out. They were whispering to each other, eyes not looking away from the entrance. Hermione released some of the tension in her shoulders. She could faintly hear Ron from the boy's side of the dormitory, his voice shaking and out of breath. "H-he was right above me!"
The Wild Card raised an eyebrow. That doesn't make sense. Sirius Black was arrested for the murder of twelve Muggles, Peter Pettigrew, and betraying the Potters to You-know-who. Why would he be above Ron? She perked up her ears and tried to listen to the older students but couldn't hear much. Hermione did hear footsteps, however. Along with Oliver and Percy, she pointed their wands at the open doorway, and all cast spells.
Much to the three students' surprise, Professor McGonagall was sunk slightly into the hallway, the Orbis spell making her dodge the other two attacks.
McGonagall looked shocked that she was cursed, and before she could do anything else, Hermione cast another spell at her.
"Expelliarmus!" McGonagall's wand flew out of her hand and onto the floor at the bottom of the stairs.
"Hermione!?" Percy called out in shock, only to be silenced when Hermione continued to point her wand at their Head of House.
"Ms. Granger!? What is the meaning of this!?"
Hermione called out to the downed Professor. "Prove to me that you're the real Professor McGonagall!" This stopped Percy in mid-step before turning back to the Head of House. "I know that Polyjuice Potion exists and since we already determined that Sirius Black was here, what from the Red Spell work and the noise, it makes sense that we would want our Head of House to be here and protect us. Which, if Sirius Black were to use Polyjuice to turn into said Head of House, he could walk right by us and try to finish off the job he started 13 years ago exactly today!" The Priestess's heart was pounding as she pointed her wand directly at the potential murderer's eyes. "What did Harry, Ron, and I come to you about Snape stealing in our first year?"
"F-first year? The Philosopher's Stone."
Hermione squinted her eyes. "Why was I in the Hospital Wing in our second year?"
"You were petrified by the basilisk!"
"Before the petrification." Hermione clarified.
"It was a Polyjuice potion gone wrong; you had cat hair instead of human hair."
There was a pause before Hermione dropped her wand. "I just cursed my Professor. Twice." Then her vision went black.
Ren stormed through the halls of Hogwarts after returning through Floo Powder in Albus's Office. He barely registered the Auror behind him as he activated his Third Eye. No footprints down this hallway. "Mr. Amamiya!" A voice to his left called. It was a portrait. "Mr. Amamiya, almost everyone is in the Great Hall. Albus is with Madame Pomfrey and Ronald Weasley in the Medical Wing. Please go assist the Heads of Houses with the students." With a nod to the portrait, he began to book it to the Great Hall. When he arrived, he heard panting behind him. It was Tonks.
"Wait here. Catch your breath. Don't let anyone, not even Dumbledore, inside. Bang the door if you have to get my attention." He didn't bother waiting for her to answer. Ren reached up and swapped to Odin- a commanding, yet safe, presence- before entering the Great Hall. A single spell was headed his way, only for The Wild Card to tilt his head and the red curse passed him. Ren turned to look and saw that the spell came from Severus, who was the closest. The Potions Master still had his wand pointed at him.
"I have yet to feel this presence from you." Severus said instead of explaining. "What did you give me in exchange for escorting you to the Hospital Wing?"
"Coffee." Ren called upon Odin's energy and felt Lighting cover his arm. He pointed it at the Potion's Master. "What potion did you give me five hours ago?"
Severus scoffed. "I didn't give you a potion." Ren smirked and dispelled his energy. Shortly afterward, three young Hufflepuffs ran up to him. One grabbed onto his leg and started crying.
"MR. AMAMIYA!" The girl on his leg sobbed. "I WAS SO S-SCARED! Hic- I TH-THOUGHT SIRIUS BLACK WAS GOING TO GET US W-WHILE YOU WERE GONE!" Ren placed one hand on her head while swapping to Uriel -his best comforting Persona- with the other.
"Emily, it will be okay now. Why? Because I am here." He gently smiled at her and the other two Hufflepuffs that came with her. "I won't let anything happen to you." Ren looked around, noticing most of the Hufflepuffs and the nearby Slytherins were staring at him. "That goes for all of you!" He called out. The entire Hall had gone quiet when Emily Bell shouted his name. The tension in the Hall seemed to disappear. "I brought an Auror with me, who will help be on the lookout for Sirius Black tonight. I swear I shall not let any of you come to harm as long as I am here!" He rubbed Emily's head, gently pushing her off of him. Ren could faintly see Pomona smile at him from her spot in the Hall, and he nodded at her.
A rush of movement made him tense. It was Draco Malfoy, who stood up from his makeshift bed. "I want to help!" The Slytherin called out. This surprised him, but not as much as a few other students standing and offering their own support.
"I appreciate your offers!" Ren called out. "Right now, just stick together! Don't go anywhere alone! Students, listen to your Prefects, the Head Boy and Girl, your Professors, and other Heads of Houses that aren't your own!" He gestured around to them. "Have each other's backs!" Ren took in the faces he could see and again noted the time. These kids were exhausted. "And go to bed! All of you!" He heard a few snickers and groans. Minerva approached him.
"Ren, it's good to see you back so soon."
"Minerva, tell me everything that happened." He was all business as he listened to her tale. Sirius Black had torn the Fat Lady's Portrait and had stood above Ron Weasley, before fleeing from the scene thanks to Harry Potter shooting red sparks at the murderer's face. The sparks caused Ron to wake up, and he started screaming. That, in turn, caused most of the third year to wake up, and they started casting noise-making charms and red sparks, which made Sirius flee. And when Minerva went to see what was setting off the alarms she put in Gryffindor tower, she was cursed twice by his student. Minerva had a proud smile on her face.
"My little Lioness did her best to protect her house. She thought I was Sirius Black under a Polyjuice Potion and questioned me while she had me sunk into the ground. When she realized I was indeed me, she fainted in shock!" Ren let out a chuckle at the thought. "Yes, re-telling the story reminds me. 100 points to Gryffindor for protecting her house!"
Severus appeared beside them quietly. "And 50 points to Slytherin for standing up for the right thing."
Ren pretended not to see Minerva jump from Severus's appearance, nor to hear Severus quietly laugh at her jump.
Hermione knocked on the Professor's door, remembering the reason she was here.
Ren was busy most of the day once he returned and asked to use the time-turner to desperately catch up on sleep. Hermione understood, given the bags under his eyes. While yes, she could go to the Crimson Room to continue her training, she also decided to look into the library for different potions. Ren had said before that he had some medicine that he took with him during his time in the Metaverse. Ideally, there could be potions to help better than most muggle medicines. Hermione had already started a list of some that seemed really beneficial.
"Ms. Granger." The Priestess nearly jumped out of her seat when Snape's voice sounded from behind her.
"Yes, Professor Snape?"
"Detention, Ms. Granger." Her eyes narrowed. Snape continued. "You are here in the library alone, after being told by the Groundskeeper to stick together. You will be serving the detention with me tonight, after dinner." Before she could even argue about the fact that Madam Pince was just over a few meters, Snape had already turned around and started walking away. "And bring that list with you."
She couldn't very well fight the detention, as she was with Harry and Ron in the Hospital Wing for most of the day, and she wasn't sure if Ren or Dumbledore had told Snape about the Time-Turner. The door swung open, and Snape stood there with the ever-present sneer on his face as he looked around. "Time for your detention." he shouted into the Hall behind her, even though there was no one there. She narrowed her eyes and followed him inside the Potion's classroom, where she made to say something only to be silenced with a glare. Once inside his office, though, Snape's sneer vanished. "Did you bring that list of potions?" He asked, his tone different than it was a few moments ago.
Hermione seemed confused about what was happening before pulling out her list. "Yes, Professor." Snape put one of his hands out.
"May I see it?"
Okay, this is really strange. The Priestess thought while handing him the list. The Potion's Master looked it over before nodding.
"Ms. Granger, you are going to need more than these if you are going to fight Erebus." He barely looked at her as he started writing more potions on her list. Hermione felt her mouth open in shock. "Befuddlement Potions, Blood-Replenishing Potions, Bloodroot Poison, Burn-healing paste, Calming Draught, Draught of Peace'' He read off as he continued writing. "These are all excellent options, but you may need more experimental potions. Such as Dizziness Draught, Drowsiness Draught, Drink of Despair, Erumpment Potion, Exstimulo Potion, and Girding Potion, but in non-consumable form..." He trailed off for a moment. "Having Murlap essence, Restoration potion, and Revive Potion will likely help too." Snape looked up from her list before handing it back to her. "I can also attempt to make new potions if you give me any special ingredients. Mr. Amamiya has given me a few things that I think may prove useful in creating new potions. If you find anything in that Forest that you think may be able to help, bring them to me."
"You know about-"
Snape cut her off. "Erebus, yes. Whatever else you are doing, I don't need to know about it. I can't know about it. Ms. Granger, there is more going on here than you know." Hermione suddenly noticed how stressed her Professor looked. "Despite how it seems, I am not a hateful person. I do what is expected of me. "
What Ren had told her the other day jumped into her mind. Besides just Palaces and Shadows, we still have to work with people in the actual world to try and lessen Erebus's pull. Dumbledore is doing what he can politically and behind the scenes to work on some legal things. So that must mean that Snape is one of those people. He's expected to favor the Slytherin's, and look down on the others. He's Dumbledore's 'in' to the Slytherins' parents, nearly all of whom are Lords and Ladies of the Wizengamot!
Hermione nodded in understanding to the Slytherin Head of House. "I understand. When is my next detention?" A minuscule smirk appeared on Snape's face.
"Thursday, after dinner."
Everything seemed to stop as the sound of glass shattering entered Hermione's ears. Suddenly a blue Tarot card appeared in her vision. The card was the Emperor Arcana. A soft male's voice echoed through her head.
Thou art I… and I am thou… Thou hast established a new bond…
It brings thee closer to the end…
Thou shalt be blessed when obtaining Personas of the Emperor Arcana…
The Tarot vanished from her sight, and time seemed to resume. "You seem unwell." Snape brought out a bottled potion. "This is a calming draught. Drink it and return to your tower. There is no point in having you serve detention if you are sick."
In a daze, Hermione downed the draught before making her way out. She had to tell Ren about this.
Aether has brought to my attention that she started her first SL.
Surprisingly, the SL is the Emperor Arcana, but even more surprisingly, the SL is not the Weasley Twins like I assumed, but actually Severus. This is the only time in Journal his name will be mentioned. Just in case legal trouble comes about, representations of SLs will be swapped to something else, such as a Title.
SL's will now be listed in Journal to help keep track.
IV: The Potions Master- Will now assist in making Potions for Enchanted Forest.
Sirius Black was spotted in Gryffindor Tower. From what I've been told, he chose to attack Ron Weasley instead of Harry Potter. Very strange. One would think that he would finish the job after all these years? Why target Ron? Will speak to Albus later. I'm still exhausted from staying up all night for two nights in a row. The Auror sent with me from the Ministry should start being able to take night shifts.
Must make her coffee as thanks.