Those of you who werea big fan of this story, I'm sorry! I decided to kill it, and change it and play with it. Who knows
where this will go, but I have a nice idea in my head now..Anyway, the
first part of chapter 1 is the same but halfway through I have made
serious changes. In order to understand this story you'll have to read
Chapter 1: The One With The Mysterious Book
It was possibly her least favourite thing to do, but she had managed so far. Hermione just didn't like shopping. But she had been walking around for a good three hours and she was now carrying bags full of gifts. A professional shopper would have called this a 'mission accomplished'; Hermione just wished her bloody bag wasn't so heavy. The fact that Diagon Alley had never been so busy added up to the girl's annoyance. You could barely see the cobbled street because when Hermione looked down all she saw was feet, feet, more feet and the occasional stray cat.
"'Let's celebrate Christmas at the Burrow this time, Hermione' they said," Hermione muttered to herself as she made her way through the crowd.
"'Yes, it will be fun!' he assured me. 'We can buy presents for the entire family and have a real Weasley Christmas dinner.'"
Hermione rolled her eyes. She had been excited about the idea of celebrating Christmas with the Weasleys. Everyone seemed to be going home, everyone except her. Her parents had won a trip to the Caribbean and that meant Hermione was forced to spend Christmas at school. She had seriously disliked her mother for being so damn good at crossword puzzles. That was why the idea of a Weasley Christmas sounded so good to her.
"'Don't worry, Mum won't mind. Just bring a lot of presents!' Prick." she said through gritted teeth and stopped. Of course, stopping in the middle of the street was a dangerous thing to do and only a second later she made close contact with the lovely cobble stones of Diagon Alley. The wizard responsible for her fall muttered an apology and continued walking.
"Sure," she sighed, "That's okay; you probably have millions of presents to buy. I don't mind you bumping into me, at all."
Several heads looked down as the people walked past her and she smiled nervously at them. "I'm not crazy, don't worry." she said softly and got up. At least the 'bloody bag' was still okay, and thus her presents as well. She picked it up and made her way to the side of the street where she rested against the wall of one of the stores.
"Right, let's see," she said as she grabbed a list from her pocket, unaware that she had been talking to herself for quite some time now. "I've got Mrs and Mr Weasley a present, so they're off the list. Next is Ginny, I got her something too. And Harry's present, which was fairly easy to find. There's Bill and Charlie, got those two a present as well. That just leaves the twins and," she groaned and folded the paper, "Ron."
Buying the twins a present wouldn't be too difficult. After all, she got Bill and Charlie something even though she thought that was impossible. But buying Ron Weasley a present wasn't fun, it wasn't challenging, it was a nightmare. The only presents Ron ever accepted without making a (big) fuss about it, were the sweaters his mom knitted for him every Christmas. Other than that, every damned gift he received was welcomed with a "What in Merlin's name is that?" or a "Do you even know me at all?" or a "Well, okay… can I trade it for something else?"
Hermione had thought about skipping his birthday this year, but she couldn't get out of this Christmas thing. Everyone was supposed to give everyone a little something. And even though she thought that was a lovely idea, especially for a family like the Weasleys who weren't that rich, she cursed the day she had ever agreed to it.
Because Hermione hated shopping, and if there was anything she hated more, it was shopping for Ron.
When Hermione heard a soft tapping on the window, she chose to ignore it. Instead, she pulled her cloak tighter in an attempt to get warmer. It was going to be a cold Christmas, yet there was no sign of snow yet. Ginny had whined about this, back at Hogwarts.
"Oh, I do hope it will snow! The Burrow is at its best when covered with snow! I think Christmas is the best time of the year to be home, really!"
Hermione loved the Burrow just as much as Ginny did, but with or without snow? She cared little. She sighed again as she tried to think of a proper gift to buy for Ron when her thoughts were interrupted by an annoying tap on the window again. This time she turned around. It was hard to look inside the shop and Hermione couldn't see if anyone was in there. When she took two steps back she could read the words on the window, in large orange letters: Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes.
At that exact moment the door of the shop opened and a boy, only a few years older than herself, smiled at her. It was a cheerful smile, decorated by the freckles in his face.
"Bloody hell, Hermione, has someone ever told you that you're deaf?"
Hermione was pushed aside by someone and almost fell again. That was it, she thought to hereself as she grabbed her bag and walked towards the door.
"I was in deep thought!" she told the boy and walked past him, into the store.
"Hello yourself," she heard him say as he closed the door behind her. "Well, what do you think?"
Hermione dropped her bag and looked around. It had been over a year since she had last visited the shop. The summer after Sirius had disappeared, the twins had invited half the student body of Hogwarts to come and take a look at their new business. Hermione, Ron and Harry had received a personal tour back then, but what she saw looked nothing like the store she had seen before.
"It's..." she started, but couldn't finish that sentence. What was it? Shelves full of colourful boxes along the walls. Nougat, fudge, toffee and all kinds of chocolate to choose from in a corner of the store. A table filled with curiosities from last season on sale; old fake wands and some left over Weasleys' Wild-Fire Whiz-Bangs. The store was filled with practical joke items and a wide variety of tricks and treats. Hermione had to admit it looked good and above all surprisingly tidy. Even though she was expecting the familiar scent of explosions and burned clothes (a familiar scent if you slept near the twins bedroom in the Burrow), it actually smelled nice in the shop. She couldn't figure out where the delicious scent was coming from.
"Hot chocolate." she heard him say.
Hermione looked at the red haired boy who was grinning at her. "It's hot chocolate, what you're smelling. We always have some fresh hot chocolate, because it lures in the customers. And George can't get enough of it, of course. Want some?"
"Oh, I'd love some hot chocolate," Hermione breathed and smiled. She took off her coat and walked around a bit. After carefully examining some things she smiled. "This place looks great, Fred."
"What?" she heard his voice call from the back of the store. Hermione stopped in front of a funky coloured bookcase full of actual books and furrowed her brows. Books? In a joke shop? Curious about the content of the books – probably recipes, she reckoned – she brought her hand to one of the books and took it from the shelves.
"I said," she repeated a bit louder, "it looks great, here!" and began to flip through the pages. All of the sudden a horryfing sound emerged from the book. It seemed to be screaming at her, after which it sprayed a large amount of orange goo in her face.
Hermione started screaming as well and dropped the book on the ground. Her hands flew to her face and touched the orange goo, while the book – still open – continued its wail. It was a deafening and above all, incredibly annoying sound. She couldn't decide between covering her ears with her hands, reaching for her wand and shut that book the hell up or getting rid of the orange goo in her face.
So, Hermione did what any other girl would've done in her situation. She started crying.
Seconds after she started crying, the door of the shop flew open and footsteps made their way in her direction. A familiar voice yelled "Silencio!" and the book stopped screaming. From the back of the store, Fred appeared again and he rushed towards the scene, where he picked up the book and closed it, causing some of the orange goo to splash around.
Hermione couldn't stop crying though, and when she looked at her hands (by now completely covered with goo) she cried even louder. She wanted to drop down on her knees, but someone shoved a stool under her bum and she landed on that. Fred gave her a half amused, yet half worried glance and told her he'd be right back with a towel.
Through her tears she tried to see who had 'saved' her from the evil book and when she looked up, the other half of the Weasley Twins smiled at her. She let out a loud sob before wiping some of the goo from her face.
"Hermione," a sympathetic George said and placed his hand on her knee, "Why on earth are you crying?"
She sobbed again and shook her head. "The book… it was… and then… and this stuff on me now… and I'm tired… stupid presents… Ron… Christmas holiday… I hate shopping!"
At this, George laughed and handed her the towel Fred got her. "I think Hermione didn't enjoy our new soon-to-be-best-selling books," he told his brother.
"Enjoy? Enjoy? New product! That's evil! How can…anyone allow you to sell those things! I'd never… I'd…"
Hermione stopped talking and looked at the Weasley twins. It was of no use, there was no way she could convince these two that their practical jokes were evil and useless. Fred shook his head with a sheepish grin on his face, reminding her more and more of Ron, only shorter and more well built. George, who took the towel back from her, grinned mischievously at her. To Hermione's surprise, she now noticed that he had let his hair grow and it was now much longer than Fred's. In fact, he resembled his older brother Bill, though his hair wasn't as long as Bill's, and the fang earring was missing.
"You grew your hair," she stated, completely forgetting why she had been so upset before.
George looked up, ran a hand through his hair and laughed. "It grew itself, really."
She gave a weak smile and stood up. "Would you mind, Fred?" she asked the other twin as she pointed at her clothes.
"Not at all, Hermione," Fred said amiably and pointed his wand at her. "Evanesco" he spoke happily and to Hermione's relief the orange goo vanished completely.
"Sorry about that, Hermione," Fred snickered. "Do you still want to see the rest of the shop or should I get you that hot chocolate I dropped earlier because of your cries for help?"
Hermione glared at him and he turned around, obviously quite amused with himself. Behind her, she could hear the other one laugh again.
"I'm in a bad mood now, I warn you," she said slowly and whirled around, "Where did you come from anyway?"
"I was at Flourish & Blotts, actually. Saw you pass by, too, but you were talking to yourself and ignoring everything around you. Don't blush; I thought it was rather amusing!"
"You would," Hermione snorted. "And how do you explain the book business! I mean, a child could've taken it from the shelf and…"
"Actually, there's this big sign up there with a warning," George interrupted her and pointed above her. Indeed, right above the bookcase floated a very colourful and blinking sign:
WARNING! Slightly dangerous (yet very funny) practical joke items!
"People actually compliment us on the safety of our shop," George commented dryly. "I suppose you were too busy talking to yourself to notice the warnings all around. But! What do you think of the Weasley emporium?"
"Lovely," she told him, "Just lovely."
"Remind me why I agreed to go with you?" Hermione yelled over the crowd as she tried to keep up with George.
The redheaded twin looked over his shoulder and flashed her a smile. "Because you're a nice person and needed a break from shopping!"
She caught up with him and frowned."And going to another store is the way to do that?"
He chuckled. "Yeah yeah. It will only take a minute, Hermione. Here."
"What? Wa-wait!" Hermione grabbed George's arm. He looked at her curiously, ignoring the witch that bumped into him.
"Where are you going? This is Knockturn Alley!" she hissed.
"I know that." George told her slowly, "I just need to pick up an order here."
Hermione was absolutely stunned. Was he kidding? The dingy alleyway was known for its shops that are devoted to Dark Arts items.It was probably full of illegal magical items, and not to mention crawling with Death Eaters!
George seemed to know what she was thinking and shook his head. "Don't worry, I'm not doing anything illegal and the order has nothing to do with Dark Magic."
"I wasn't thinking that you'd-" Hermione started, but George shook his head and pulled her with him.
"Never mind that, we just have to go in here for a minute or two." he told her.
The alley looked dark and deserted and gave Hermione a very uncomfortable feeling. There were, however, some people in the Alley. A wizard who walked passed her gave her an ice cold glare, and another witch who came out of Borgin & Burkes seemed emberassed to be seen there and quickly disappeared.
They passed several street vendors selling things Hermione had never seen before, until they stopped in front of a small shop.
"Here!" George said.
The small sign read "Hopkirk & Smith" but Hermione couldn't tell what kind of shop it was.
"Overseas shipping and other businesses," George told her. "I'll be right back, you can wait here."
Before she could protest, he had closed the door behind him. Hermione studied her toes, hoping that no one would notice her that way. The minutes seemed to pass ever so slowly, until finally the door opened and George stepped outside, carrying a big cardboard box.
"That looks heavy," Hermione remarked as she followed George.
George grunted. "It is. Bloody books."
"Books? More funny books?"
"I don't know. Fred ordered them. All kinds of books, I reckon.." he paused and leaned against the wall. "I'm kind of curious about them, but I suggest we take a look at them in the shop."
"Here, let me help," Hermione offered and took out her wand.
"Wingardium Leviosa" she mumbled as she pointed her wand at the box. The box levitated from George's hands and he smiled gratefully.
"That's Hermione, thank you very much," she told him warningly. Hermione didn't see the tall wizard walking their way, and before George could warn her, Hermione had already levitated the box of books into the wizard. The man fell on the ground, and the box with him.
"Oh!" Hermione exclaimed and stared at the wizard.
"Terribly sorry, sir." George muttered as he helped the man up. "My friend here didn't mean to -"
He stopped mid sentence when he recognized the man. Lucius Malfoy shot Hermione a filthy look and then looked down on George, who was holding his arm. He quickly let go.
"Release me, Weasley." he ordered. "Or I shall have you arrested for assault."
Hermione remained awfully quiet. Lucius turned to her. "And you.. Granger, was it? The mud-, 'hem, muggle born. Can't blame you for lacking proper magical skills."
She gritted her teeth. George looked at her and shook his head, warning her. She knew that Lucius was not someone to mess with. But he made her blood boil, and when she thought of all the hexes she could throw at him at that moment..
Lucius, however, suddenly made an impatient impression and stepped over a pile of books.
"I have other business to attend. So I suggest you two leave," he sneered and kicked one of the books away, "and take your filthy books with you."
The wizard walked passed Hermione, who tried to control herself and the urge to punch the man in his face.
When he walked into one of the shops, George cursed. "Sodding bastard." he muttered and kneeled down to collect the books.
"Those Malfoys are nothing but a bunch of slimey gits." Hermione sighed. "I don't know how you could stay so calm around him. I could've killed him!"
George laughed as he reached out for the book Lucius had kicked away. "Hardly! But you looked like you were ready to – hey!"
"Hey, what?" Hermione asked.
"This book, it feels.. weird."
"It's probably been a while since you've touched a book," Hermione remarked, though she looked at the book curiously. It was a large book with a red cover. There were two golden letters on it, two D's. Underneath, there was written something in a language she didn't recognize. Bysi sai si oreas vaer.
"Haha." George laughed in a sarcastic tone.
Hermione leaned over his shoulder. "Go on," she nudged him. "Open it. Let's read the first pages and see what's so special about it."
The pages felt old and heavy as George turned them. On the fifth page, the writing began. The same sentence from the frontpage was written on this page.Hermione's voice whispered in his ear as she read the first paragraph out loud.
"Bysi sai si oreas vaer."
Neither realized that as the words were spoken, a gray mist slowly came down on them.
"Your journey began as a trip down Memory Lane as you reminisced about one of the greatest Adventures ever, those of the Dungeons and Dragons. Or perhaps you started on this path to learn more about this fantastic Adventure and the people who experienced it. Either way, not long after you have embarked upon your quest, you begin to notice that the world about you is changing."
As Hermione and George continue to read, they failed to notice the surreal, gray fog that slowly surrounded them.
"Somehow, without your notice, Memory Lane has become a winding path through wild, tangled thorns. Even as you press on, curiosity getting the better of you, a rational part of your mind begins to wonder, "Is this the right way? Where does this lead? Where am I?" And then, you look up. You stop in surprise."
Suddenly, Hermione stopped and looked at George.
"Whydidyastop?" he asked her, before bursting out in a fit of coughing The gray fog was everywhere, and George could barely see. "What is this?"
"I think we made a mistake, George!" Hermione yelled as she suddenly felt a force tugging. "Somethin is pulling me.."
"Hermione, are you feeling this too?"
Hermione wrapped her arms around George's neck, as she felt her body being pulled towards something else.
The only thing she was sure of at that moment was that she could not let go of George. Who knew what would happen! Before she could say something, though, she was blinded by a flash.
"George!" she screamed.
"Don't let go!" he yelled back, and then there was darkness.
"All your other questions are forgotten. The only thing you can wonder now is, "Am I still on Earth?"
Disclaimer:I do not own Harry Potter or anything affiliated with Harry Potter, nor do I own D&D. Passages from the book were borrowed/adapted from Kryschenn's website (http/kryschenn.