AN: Hey people! Welcome – welcome – welcome… Now – READ! I WAS THINKING SO HARD! SO… reward it by reviewing! Remember: people out there who just read this and don't review, PLEASE REVIEW, don't just read, I do sometimes myself, but I stopped. No matter what I felt about it, I REVIEWED. YOU DO THE SAME. JUST CLICK THE REVIEW AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN AND WRITE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT THIS. THANKS. YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME – YET THOUGH I KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE JUSTREAD. I KNOW YOU PEOPLE. YOU CAN'T HIDE FROM ME. (God, I sound like Filch…)
OK – need a summary? See my first chapter.
Hermione woke up the next morning to find herself lost around the Inn. Getting up and dressing, she got herself ready. She was extremely hungry and wanted to eat, so she set out of her room, where there was a hall filled with at least 25 doors!
Groaning, Hermione opened each door until she came across a small, spiral staircase. Though she was unfamiliar with this staircase from her trip upstairs yesterday and her tour, she reasoned that there must be more ways to enter this hallway.
When she had reached the bottom of the stairs, she found a hallway with several more doors, and a backdoor to the outside. Deciding to take that route, she exited the hall and came across a backdoor leading to the lake. Next to it, were several bushes and a canoe with 'EMERALD INN' on it on the dock.
Hermione tore herself from the swaying water and fought her way through the bushes – finally reaching the entrance. There – Aunt Sadie was already making pancakes.
"Hi, Aunt Sadie." Hermione croaked, coughing out dirt and brushing leaves and mud off her silk dress.
"Hello dear," She said turning around. "Oh my! What happened to you?"
"I – I got lost – I didn't remember the way and went out the backdoor… I guess it was for canoe trips; I fought through the bushes practically making a path. I'm sorry."
"Don't worry dear. I don't care about the bushes – besides, I always wanted a way to get to the front from there. But Hermione, you're a mess!"
"I guess so."
Suddenly there was a 'bing' and Aunt Sadie trotted to the stove and put the pancakes on a plate.
"Here dear, pancakes. Syrup? Butter?"
"Um – syrup."
"Alright then! Eat – I'll join you in a minute." She said, fetching syrup from a pantry.
"Thanks." Hermione said, picking at her pancakes until her aunt returned with the syrup.
Soon, her aunt joined her and they engaged in a conversation.
"So – how is it in school?"
"Oh. School…" Her aunt was a Muggle – she didn't know about Hogwarts.
"Well, I made some friends. They're all my age."
"My best friends are boys."
"Oh… Are you interested in one of them?" Her aunt said with a sly smile on her face.
Hermione dropped her fork, an irritating glance wiping across her face.
"Why does everybody ask that?" Hermione asked annoyingly, collecting her fork again.
"Well, are you?" Her aunt said. Hermione looked at her disapprovingly; she felt like she was talking to an immature child.
"No. But they're both good looking. But Harry is better looking."
"Harry?" She asked questionly, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah. Ron is red haired and freckled while Harry has black hair and green hair."
"Pale?" Aunt Sadie asked dreamily.
"I see," For a few seconds they both rested their heads on their hands looking up at the ceiling, poking randomly sized holes in their pancakes.
"Well!" Hermione snapped, looking down at her pancakes critically. She took them to the counter and excused herself.
Surprisingly finding her room, she looked around it. Smiling, she plopped herself on her bed, looking at the ceiling happily.
Hermione looked at herself. With dissatisfaction, she took a quick shower.
After resting, she settled herself at her desk with her parchment and quill, and wrote to Harry, Ginny, and Ron.
This place is so wonderful! The Inn is huge and has a large lake beside it. They even have canoes! Well, I do admit that it is a little too big, since I got lost many times so far, and I've only been here for like one day. But Germany is just as cool. It has something called a Fußgängerzone. There, all their shops, libraries, cafes, restaurants and almost anything public is in one long big strip. I rented a Mercedes!
How's Ron? How about classes? How's Hedwig? Any news? Other than that, I bought you guy's souvenirs. Please send Hedwig here when you send the next owl. I know it's an awfully long journey, but it'll be difficult sending this to Hogwarts from Germany, especially if we'll be sending lot's of letters.
Lots of Love,
I know you'll probably be breathing down Harry's neck reading his letter, so no use of writing it all again. How's Harry? Having trouble with classes? How's Pig? Any news? Well, just write me back, and remember to keep in touch. Oh, and please don't use Pig to send any letters here. She'll never make it here.
Lots of Love,
Wow! You'd love Germany! Beauty salons all over! I got you some hair curlers and shampoo from here, and the shampoo is something I think you'll love. It's Sweet Vanilla Sugar mixed with Light Lavender Blossoms. I sniffed it, it smells wonderful.
Sorry Ginny, no perfume. They were awfully expensive and the cheapest one was around 30 dollars, and smelled like grass. So – no. Otherwise, how's school and Harry and Ron? How are classes? Any news?
Other than that, Germany is beautiful! It's been a fine trip, besides my nagging consciousness, and that annoying man on the plane. But the Inn is huge and beautiful and the lake is, too. You'd love it here. I hope one day you'd come, since Emerald Inn is wonderful, a little big and confusing; yes, but beautiful.
I'll see you back in London,
Hermione was satisfied with the results of the letters and placed them on windowsill. Perhaps Hedwig might come with letters for her instead. Sighing, she put the quill away and covered the letters with a book.
When Hermione left the room, she wanted to explore the place for a while, and ignored the stairs. Walking through a walnut door she examined the room. It wasn't lit at all and she found no light switches. Nevertheless, she walked through room, feeling the walls. She turned several times, but finally she came across some old, creaky stairs.
Carefully stepping on each steps, the room got even darker as she descended downward. Suddenly, a wash of cold air whipped through her face, and it got very cold, also even darker. Finally, it was completely pitch black. Thinking to turn back, she turned around, but it was still extremely dark, and there was danger of falling. Even in the dark, perhaps she could find a flashlight.
The stairs came to an abrupt stop, exposing a small room. Feeling the walls, she still found no light switches. She sighed out a deep, worried breath, but walked on with shaky legs. Without seeing it coming, she crashed into an end table, causing the silence to stop. Hermione heard things falling to the floor, as she winced.
She held out an arm, and felt something cold. Something solid. It was as tall as her chest, and had a large hole in the middle. It was a –
Ducking down, she felt a screen covering it. Removing it, she looked around to see if she could light a fire. Picking up one log, a hole extinguished itself right where the other logs were, but a tray zoomed from the hole and carried the rest of the logs away down the hole. The hole once again covered itself with the flooring. Hermione waited anxiously for something to happen, but nothing happened. She was about to cover it up with the screen again when a light erupted from the ceiling.
Examining it, she saw that its light exposed a tunnel leading farther into the fireplace. Crawling through the opening, she turned all the turns until she came across a hole with water – going far down. Was it a trap? Perhaps it was for people who didn't find the light trick at the beginning, and just shouldn't find what was at the end. They could fall without the light; since it was so bright Hermione could still see it though.
Hermione crawled over it with one big step. Keeping her eyes on the floor for any more traps, her head hit something hard. Another fireplace. There was a lever attached to the ground, on this one though. Pulling it, it wouldn't budge. Hermione searched around it, and finally found three tiles that looked identical to the ones already on it. She took each one and placed them in, and tried the lever this time.
This time, the fireplace opened like a hinge, exposing a room shaped like a hall, lit slightly. Then, the wall at the end, opened, too, showing a new room with buckets, and paintings and vases, and musty tables.
Satisfied, she found her way back till she came to the dark room. There, she put the log back, and the others reappeared. Happy with her inspection of the house, she left with a smile on her face. But when she went to her room, she saw that she was dirtier than charcoal. She washed herself thoroughly until going downstairs.
"Hi, dear," Aunt Sadie said, putting her book down. "Where were you?"
"Exploring the house." She said, grinning.
"I wanted to talk to you, but I couldn't find you. Want to help me make my famous cheesecake?"
"Love to!" Hermione said enthusiastically.
"Ok. I already made the crust, you can cut the apples." She said, leading her over to the kitchen. There, three apples were peeled and cut into slices.
"Cut them into dice." She assigned, as she began getting ingredients out of the bowl.
When they were done, Hermione put the apples on the bottom of crust, spreading them around. Then, her aunt poured the batter over them, which fit perfectly to the top.
Aunt Sadie then put the bowl in the pre-heated oven and closed the door.
"Now – we can wait for one hour." Aunt Sadie said evenly. Smiling, she led Hermione outside, to the garden, and to the car.
"Come on. We can tour the neighborhood."
After the tour of the houses, Hermione was extremely hungry. But right now, that didn't matter to her. Something was bugging her, deep inside. But what? She kept saying.
"I know I didn't mention this, but, when your done with school, you'll be receiving the Inn – but I'll help you, and it won't be until another few years, you've still got school."
"I'll be out by mid-June."
"Um – ah, yes."
"Alright then, the cheesecakes ready."
"Ok." The cheesecake turned out to be delicious.
"Aunt Sadie – I – never mind."
"Alright, I'll be reading, dear."
Hermione was thinking hard on this floppy, flippy little thing deep inside urging for attention that was bugging her beyond belief. But the night in bed after a week at the Inn it annoyed her the most.
Stop dwelling on that STUPID subject, my god. You're back? Yes, I'm back. Didn't I get rid of you? You tried to. Maybe you can help me. No, I can't. I'm just here to annoy the heck out of you. Too bad, now listen; I have to you all the time. Fine. I have an annoying feeling inside of me. Ok. … And? What is it? You don't know? No! Well, how am I supposed to know? For gods sake, you're my conscious! Fine, silly girl. You don't know? No. Hmmf. Well, it's a boy. Who? Too much information – goodbye.
Hermione thought her conscious had fooled her that night, but the night she was dragging her luggage downstairs, she couldn't stop dwelling on a boy.
Uh – no.
Definitely not, Hermione, what got into you, even considering?
That stupid little Muggle kid that pushed me down the swing when I was five?
Wait – Harry?
"Dear, come on, to the airport, don't just stand there!" Aunt Sadie commanded.
With that, Hermione was brought out of her trance, as she started jogging toward the car.
"Honey, you okay?"
"I'm fine." Hermione said shortly.
"Alright then, go in the car." Hermione obeyed quickly.
Harry – no – it couldn't be Harry. But – maybe – no –
"Aunt Sadie, please, what I mean is – just – FASTER!" Hermione said frantically.
Her aunt looked back at her, with a puzzled, eyebrow raised look. Hermione instead, looked away, smiling the crook of her mouth oddly.
"I mean – um, faster please."
"Okay then," Her aunt looked up again to the steering wheel, but had a hard time keeping concentrated, so she flung her head backwards and talked. "Are you sure you're okay, Hermione?"
"Just peachy." Hermione said sarcastically, though her aunt took it as a true answer.
The ride to the airport seemed shorter than usual, and Hermione sensed a hint of disappointment in the air. But she ignored it like she usually did with Ron. Ron – Harry – Hogwarts – yes. She would be there in a few hours, at home.
"Dear, I'll see you in half a year then!" Her aunt bade, laughing.
"Bye, Aunt Sadie!"
"I will." Hermione promised, but eyed her watch, said one last hasty goodbye, and had to run off.
Finding the plane wasn't hard anymore, but she still wouldn't remember in half a year. Excited, she broke into a run as she reached the plane, thrusting the ticket in the stewardess's hand.
"Have a nice st –" The stewardess began.
"Yes, yes, thank you." Hermione said annoyingly and ran off to find her seat.
Fortunately the ride was free from all annoying living creatures…
The plane ride was over very fast, probably because Hermione had started reading again.
"Please unfasten your seatbelts, insecure your belongings, and please safely exit the plane." A voice boomed through the plane. Hermione, anxious, bumped into many people on her way out, and barely heard a stewardess say to her "Careful, miss" as her handbag whipped the stewardess in the face while running.
She darted to baggage claim, and grabbed her bags hastily as she ran away from the airport. Eyeing her watch, she gasped. If she got there fast then she could get there before morning.
"Hurry, Hermione." She murmured before running even faster.
Finally, Hermione got there in time, smiling at the sight.
"It's – home." She dragged her luggage to the front as she watched lights flickering on and off in Hogwarts, until every light was off. It was so dark that she bumped into the gates. Gasping, she realized that she had made a ton of noise, causing attention. Somehow, lights flickered back on, and people anxiously looked out their windows, some with blankets over their faces.
"Watta you doin' here?" A voice said behind her, bringing in a flashlight to view. Hermione whirled around to see the familiar face of Hagrid.
"Hagrid, it's you! You – you scared me."
"Hermione, watta you doin' here? Ya shouldn' be here at nigh'."
"I'm sorry, but I just came back from a trip. Can you lead me inside?"
"Sure, 'Mione. Better get you inside."
But when she trudged inside the common room, she saw something she didn't expect to find.
AN: Thank you for reading. Now that you finished… REVIEW! And, I have a surprise. For everybody who read, I have a surprise.
I realized that it takes guts to build up an inn. To go through your parents' deaths. That's why… Growing Up Too Soon. See, GUTS. Initials! YAY!