Chapter 8 If Hermione Fell
I don't know if it was cruelty or cowardliness that caused me to abandon the heart broken girl in the kitchen. Miss Granger was lost, and pleading to be found, her eyes shining, almost praying for help from me, and I, the weak man I am, fled.
In the dinning room I found a chair to sit away from everyone, I needed to forget this l interest I had for the girl, it would do me no good. She is and will always be the scrawny, bucked tooth, know-it-all, and nothing more to me.
However my resolve lasted only until Miss Granger brought in the food, in that instant my eyes shot to the door and I watched her walk about the table serving everyone and looking at no one. She was pointedly ignoring me, I would have believed that she thought nothing of me but for the way she glanced close to me and stiffened her back, and walked out proud as a lion.
I knew I was supposed to follow and watch over her but I didn't want to see her. I sat and looked at my food, wondering if she had time to poison it. Leaning closer I took a good whiff, other then the typical muggle over use of sodium it seemed all in order.
"Hermione isn't the type to posion, to take her revenge, " Madam Granger said ,the smile on her face evident in her voice, "she is more likly to face the problem head on if she feels it needs to be dealt with."
"Yes, well, how very Gryffindore of her." I muttered scooping some food onto me fork and taking a bite.
"It's very unwise, you know," she began again smiling fully at me. "to poke a lioness with a stick."
I don't know why but I found I was quite defensive all the sudden, "She needs to learn not to be so sensitive, ma'am" I said knowing that my argument was moot, considering I had rushed into Miss Granger's mind unwelcome and uninvited.
"Hummm, "She breathed seeming to be deliberating her next words, "Diving into minds is a sticky power though, you might not always like what you find."
"Much like the future?" I questioned her with a knowing voice.
"Yes!" she said brightly "Much like the future indeed." she paused and looked more seriously at me, "Speaking of the future, you and I need to talk, alone."
With the word alone the rest of the occupants looked at us but nodded and stood and left the room leaving me with Madam Granger to talk.
"Mr. Burns wants to meet with Hermione today, or tomorrow, whenever she feels up to it." she took a deep breath, "Mr. Burns is up to something." She said, then let out a sigh. "I believe he has had influence over my sons Will. Hermione's meeting with him shall prove of disprove me, I'm honestly hoping I'm wrong and that I've made an error in judging the boy, but I don't think I have."
"Why don't you like him, if you don't mind me asking." I asked.
"Why don't you like him?" she returned steadily.
My mind went immediately to his twisted laugh, then to the way he had grabbed Hermione as if she were his. "I felt something was off with him, then I looked into Miss Granger's mind and saw how he treated her, I think somethings wrong with his sudden change in behaviour toward her."
"Yes I believe that as well. From what I've heard from my own lawyer, young Mr.Burns has had so much influence over that Will ,so much so that Hermione may be penniless."
"If you will excuse me I think I need to go talk with Miss Granger." I said standing and preparing to leave.
"Don't be so cold shouldered with her, you may find that the two of you have more in common then you could have imagined."
I scowled at that and walked out.
I left the house, and made my way down the old dirt road to the small Oast. If Miss Granger was truly penniless then she would loose everything. Her family home would be taken, all of her parents things, even the gifts such as jewelry, no one cared if they were keep sakes, they just would want their money. Plus she would never be able to afford schooling. I growled at that thought, I had been tough on her to push her further then the others, she could handle it, she could be the first Potions Mistress to Britain in 60 year.
Potions Mistresses are few and far between, becoming a true Potions Mistress is one of the hardest accomplishments for a witch. I rubbed the bridge of my nose in frustration. I was angry with Miss Granger, she had effectively ruined her own live. She had to do the Gryffindore thing and turn Miss Parkinson in, if she would have just left it to the faculty and kept her nose out of it then she would be fine but no she had to be "honorable".
My foot falls began to sound more determinded as my mind focused on the anger. Then I looked up ahead and saw the Oast, and Miss Granger.
She was holding the boy Lucas, humming and swaying to the tune of the music in her head. She was comforting him, and smiling.
I wanted to watch, as is my fashion, I wanted to see the way other humans treat each other, without hate. I couldn't disrupt the moment she was having.
After a short while she sat on the stairs still holding Lucas, who seemed to have fallen asleep.
She just sat there holding onto the boy and crying silently to herself. She was helping the boy, but not looking for help in return, what an odd female. In all my years teaching it always seemed that the female student body when in emotional distress flocked about each other screeching with there high pitched voices.
I sighed a bit disappointed that I wasn't as mad as I had been, and moved forward as silently as possible. Miss Granger was so vulnerable, she hadn't even heard my approach, had she not learned anything from DADA?
"Here Miss Granger, I'll take him inside now." I said towering over her.
She opened her eyes swiftly and looked up at me, her eyes got a bit softer and that made me recoil and harden, no one looked at me like that.
I took Lucas, and laid him down, I told Miss Granger to follow me, that I needed to talk to her.
Once she finally sat down I informed her that she had a meeting with Mr.Burns today, she looked a bit apprehensive, and I informed her of her Grandmothers fears.
She looked as if she were going to argue but thought twice about it and replied, "I can't truly judge him until after the meeting. Should we get ready now?" she asked.
"Is that what you want Miss Granger?" I asked in an annoyed tone indicating the fact that I could care less if she went to the moon.
"I want to get it over with." She said and then excused herself so she could prepare.
For my part I took off my cloak, black trousers never go out of style, and a plain collared white linen shirt passes easily enough in the muggle world.
Miss Granger came down stairs wearing a black a-line skirt and a nice short sleeve white top with a large black belt around her waist over the shirt, muggle fashion ever changing.
"We have to drive you know." she said as she ajusted her skirt.
"Do you have a car?" I asked raising a brow at her.
"Yes, come on we need to walk back to the house."
And that, my friends, is how I found myself the passenger in a death trap, with the tiny scrawny Miss Granger driving, barely able to see over the wheel, yet driving like an old pro.
My blood pressure I assure you doubled in that ten minute trip. I've never been so happy to stop and step out of anything, even the Knight Bus is less of a thrill ride. "I don't care if your insurance doesn't cover me, I'm driving back." I scowled at the giggling little witch.
The little outburst of hers didn't last long as we heard a call "Hermione!"
My skin had an immediate response to the voice, crawling and cringing, breathing deep I turned to see Mr.Burns smiling to Miss Granger, and then scowling at me, clearly disappointed that I was there. That made me happy.
He led us into his 'large' office clearly trying to impress upon us how 'large' it was. "About half the size of my office wouldn't you say Miss Granger?" Miss Granger being clueless to Mr.Burns ego hanging on the line answered agreeing with me, thus allowing me to show up Mr.Burns quite easily.
We sat in the two chairs in front of the desk opposite Mr.Burns who was fishing through his draw and pulling out a key and a few folders.
"Now Hermione, the Will is in a lock box in the firms vault. I have the key here in an envelope and I will now transfer the key to you the rightful owner." He smiled as if forgetting the reason why she was the new owner, Miss Granger sat starring at her hands. I don't think she wanted the key or the Will at all.
He moved the key from the envelope and pushed it into her unopened hands, "Come on Hermione, grow up." he sighed.
I watched tears raise in her eyes but she didn't let them spill.
"If you will be so kind Mr.Burns, just wait for your new client to compose herself until she is ready to look at the Will, not when yourready." I said gritting my teeth at his being so unseemly in this moment, even I know better.
"Yes." he said curtly looking at me, "of course."
We were soon in the vault and starring at three walls of steel cubicles made into the wall, each with it's own door and lock. Truly foolish to keep things together in such a way, increases the risk and success of thievery, muggles.
Hermione read the number on the key and moved to cubicle 42, she slowly slide the key into the keyhole and twisted it silently and gently pulled the tray out. The tray that contained information that would ruin her life.
A/N It's been so long anyone miss me? I'm really trying to find time but it's hard, I'm sorry it took so long.