I don't own anything, except my fingers =/ JK Rowling deserves all the credit for coming up with the world of Harry Potter =)
This takes place in the trio's 6th year. Does not follow HBP.
A.N: I know I redid this story quite a few times already, but I really want to improve on my writing. The switching points of view made the story rather confusing, in my opinion at least. And I find that it doesn't allow me much time to develop the characters and stuff. Well, I really sincerely hope that I had gotten better.
Shadows flickered, as blazing flames danced in the old brick fireplace in the round, circular office of Albus Dumbledore. Warmth enveloped the dimly lit room, which despite the minimal light present, has a rather soothing and homely feel to it. And right in this particular room, two surprisingly opposite figures, a thin, old man and a rather large woman were engaged in a deep conversation.
"Professor Dumblyy-doree, are you ceeertain of this arrangeee-ment?"
The woman's voice was filled with concern, and a bit of something else. Doubt. Uncertainty was reflected in her eyes, and her forehead was creased with worry.
Echoed her voice did in the small enclosed room, and as it bounced off the walls, it almost seemed as though her worry was magically amplified in her voice by the room itself.
The thin old man lifted his head steadily and studied the woman's features intentively with eyes of blue. The lines of age that was etched upon his face grew more prominent as he gave her an assuring smile, before opening his mouth to speak.
"I am, my dear Madame Maxime. I understand that she was your best student, but I hope that you will understand. Only by having them together can we help dear Harry to bring down Lord Voldemort. I am deeply apologetic that I cannot indulge you with more details, but I assure you that all will be revealed in due course."
The old man always had a knack for staying calm in the tensest of all situations, and that is a rare and useful gift to have, especially at a time like this. His calming smile helped to lessen the tension hanging in the air, which was so thick that breathing could become quite a difficult task. Madame Maxime let out the breath that she has held for five seconds, exhaling heavily. She pursed her lips in uncertainty, as large hands and fingers fumbled with the delicate handbag resting on her lap, having a debate with herself on whether or not to trust the man.
Knowing the inner battle in which the woman was facing at that moment, Albus Dumbledore willed himself to remain calm and put on a look of pure certainty. His composure was a crucial factor that could either earn him the lady's trust, or to lose it completely.
It soon became a battle of wills, as the two held eye contact in a tensed, silent conversation. The old man's determination shone right through his twinkling blue eyes, while doubt floated in the lady's eyes of amber. To the observer, it was pretty clear that the old man has the upper hand, for the lady's gaze flickered and wavered under his unrelenting one. But never once did Albus lowered his guard, and no hint of triumph surfaced either; he merely held his steady gaze, awaiting the lady to voice out her decision.
It was after deep contemplation did Madame Maxime made her final decision. After all, the matter was not one which could be taken lightly. It greatly concerned the fate of the Wizarding world, not to mention the lives and safety of all involved.
And it was no more than thirty minutes later when the lady emerged from the gates of the old castle, her face a mask of calmness. A few strides forward and a pause; Madame Maxime threw a glance back at the old, majestic building. With a last, long look, the large woman then pivoted on her right foot rather gracefully for someone her size, and disappeared with a flourish and a whip of her long satin robes.
It was not too long later, when Hogwarts came to be brimming with life and vitality once again. The end of the summer break brought about the start of yet another school year.
It marked the start of a new year of excitement, learning and fun at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Most were happy to be back, which was quite obvious from the bright smiles and quick steps of the throng of students heading into the Entrance Hall through the wide, open doors. Of course, they could have been hungry and anxious for the start of the Feast, but listening in to their conversations, which revolved around Hogsmeade trips, spells and gossips, showed that that was clearly not the case for most. In any case, Hogwarts was alive once again after a long summer break.
And if one look closer, within the chattering crowd, one would see three unusually quiet teenagers squeezed together as they drifted along with the flow of students flooding into the Great Hall, which certainly lived up to its name. Four long tables filled the length of the huge hall, with another shorter one perpendicular to all the rest, isolated at the very front on a stone platform. Rows of benches took their places next to their wooden companions, though individual chairs had their place behind the staff table. One stood out particularly, with a high back and intricately designed body. Being positioned in the centre of the row of individual chairs had only contributed to its prominence. And it was at this particular chair at which one of the three teenagers glanced, knowing full well that it would be occupied by the man he respected the most in mere minutes.
A lanky red-head ambled along, next to the black-haired teen who had just directed his gaze to that particular chair, and paid only the slightest bit of attention to where he was going so that he would not trip over his elephantine feet.
And last but not least, behind these two boys came a girl with a mane of bushy-brown hair, who was clutching tightly in her hands a copy of Hogwarts: A History.
Despite reading it for countless times, Hermione Granger never grew bored of it, for it was the very first book she had read about the wizarding world, after discovering that she was a part of it six years back. Her fascination with magic and fantasy was something her parents grew used to when she was young, but like Hermione herself, never did the Grangers expect that their only daughter is a witch.
The revelation did came as a shock, especially since neither of Hermione's parents had a drop of magical blood or history in them. Thankfully, they were a very open-minded couple, and accepted her true identity even more readily after they had got over their initial shock than she herself did. Fears popped out one after another, and the brunette was overwhelmed by the sudden rush of confusion and excitment. And...fear of not being accepted by the other student. After years of being bullied and out casted in school, eleven-year-old Hermione had grown to be wary of all things unfamiliar in fear of being tricked or bullied. But with much assurance and a spell or two performed by Minerva McGonagall, the young girl grew to understand and accept her identity.
Ever since she found out that she is a witch, curiosity fuelled her thirst to know more about the magical world that she had never known before. She was never one who liked to be kept in the dark or to be unsure of anything, and she always seek to find out as much as she could on any unfamiliar things that she come across. This strong learning spirit did aid her a great deal, especially in her studies, earning her the reputation of being the brightest witch of her age. The title did not came as too much of a surprise to her delighted parents though; her level of intellect has always surpassed that of her peers, whether magical or not.
It was there at the old castle of Hogwarts where she, together with the other students, was introduced to the art so few knew existed. The years at Hogwarts came and went quickly, with each passing year being filled with more dangers and challenges than the previous one. You-Know-Who has risen once again, throwing the wizarding world into the midst of chaos and darkness, and it certainly did not help matters at all that she was a good friend of the boy who attracts trouble like a magnet.
The famous teen wizard, with his wild head of jet-black hair and his statement lightning-shaped scar, was none other than Harry Potter. Who was also conveniently seated right in front of her as they await the start of the Feast. The many famished students in the Great Hall were almost bouncing in their seats, anxious to see delicacies spread across the long House tables. Not many, sadly, had their attention on Albus Dumbledore, who was addressing the school just as he did every year with his welcoming speech.
"… This year, we are delightfully honoured to have a newcomer to join us! Please put your hands together and welcome Professor Delacour, who will be here at Hogwarts under internship as the assistant Transfiguration professor!"
The elderly Headmaster concluded his speech with the introduction of a new addition to the staff ranks, sweeping his hand out to gesture at the side door.
Hermione's attention was snapped back to the present. The students were packed in the Great Hall, seated in accordance to their Houses. Brave Gryffindor, loyal Hufflepuff, brainy Ravenclaw, and ambitious Slytherin. The Hall was decorated with drapes of cloth the colours of the four Houses, which thankfully relieved it of some of the monotony and dullness it possessed.
But the brunette was not interested in the decorations, or the excited chatters of the students that had started after the Headmaster's unexpected announcement. Instead, she found herself drawn to a certain door that led off from the side of the Great Hall, which had swung open to reveal a slim, beautiful blonde. Silence descended upon the Great Hall as all eyes snapped towards the newcomer.
Adjusting the front of her midnight blue robes, Fleur Delacour exited the small, dingy room, though not at all unhappy in doing so, and entered the Great Hall. She was pretty ruffled and annoyed that she was kept in that dark, dingy room for at least two hours. Of course, there wasn't a clock in that room. It would not have been in working condition even if there was one. Fleur had read quite enough to know that electronic gadgets do not work here in Hogwarts. But luckily, there's still magic, Fleur thought in irritation.
The woman strode in from the side door with an air of confidence, her posture perfect, her expression one of coolness. The sound of heels against the cold, stone floor resonated throughout the Hall, which was otherwise silent as everyone stared transfixed at the Veela. She turned on her heels to face the student population upon reaching her place at the table, and with a small smile, tilted her head slightly in acknowledgement, though inwardly cringing in disgust.
The fake smile vanished almost as suddenly as it had appeared, and Fleur Delacour made sure to try not to roll her eyes at the expressions, or the lack of, of the students. The males, as expected, wore dazed looks that could rival that of Inferi. With glazed and lust-filled eyes, the male species were all rendered incapable of logic, and they could almost drown in their own drool.
But one stood out from all the rest, the only one who seemed to have retained her brains in all the glory of the part-Veela.
Hermione Granger widened her brown eyes at first sight of the goddess reincarnate, and slackened muscles caused her lower jaw to drop without her conscious thought. That unglamorous scene thankfully did not last long, as shock and surprise was soon muffled by cynicism which ran through the brunette's mind when the blonde strode into the room with strong, confident strides. Hermione Granger closed her gaping mouth, clenching her jaws together tightly.
The expression on Fleur Delacour's face was aloof, and not to mention, freezing cold. From her expression, it seemed to Hermione that she herself did not really like the idea of being an intern there. That set the gears in the brainy girl's head turning, searching for the reason why that Frenchwoman had accepted the job then, if that was the case. Raising an eyebrow, she shot a skeptical look at the staff table, where the part-Veela had took her seat with grace with what was clearly a nonchalant look etched upon her beautiful face.
Icy blue eyes swept over the Hall, and connected with amber.
Fleur narrowed her eyes as Hermione stiffened visibly under her gaze. Frowning slightly at the student, Fleur stared right into her chocolate-brown orbs, not knowing why the girl was so affected just by her mere gaze alone. If anyone were to ask the platinum-haired woman why that girl was so hostile towards her, she would have shrugged and say that she has no idea. However, though Fleur may seem quite unconcerned, she was curious to know why one of the best friends of The Boy Who Lived would dislike her with burning passion. The intern noted with a slight hint of disappointment, that the Granger girl seemed to be filled with boiling hatred for her, so full of it that it was spilling out of her in her very glare.
Fleur Delacour was definitely not very keen on making enemies on the very first day of school. And worse still, for a reason that she has no knowledge of.
However, the part-Veela did hazard a guess that it was her heritage causing the problem. The idea just came to her, and she suspect that the Granger girl was just jealous of her blood, like most other females.
But even so, there was no way the tall blonde is going to worry herself over these petty females. She had long grown accustomed to the jealousy of the female population and the disgusting stares from the male population. She could obviously handle a hormone-charged, fiercely jealous teenager. She kept her emotions out of her gaze as she looked back into the brown eyes of the student with an unfriendly expression of her own. Two could play the game.
Angry at not knowing the actual reason why the blonde was there, Hermione glared back with an unrelenting stare. Both refused to look away, and the intensity of the stares was so much that there was an unmistakable tension rising between the two. But neither wavered, and maintained eye contact for quite a while until the new intern finally grew bored and turned away.
There were far more interesting things that mattered to the blonde in the old, drafty castle than a hostile brunette.
The woman turned towards the source of the voice, to find Minerva McGonagall looking at her with apparent concern in her eyes.
"Oui Professor?" With a politeness that seemed slightly strained, the Frenchwoman replied questioningly.
"Call me Minerva. Nothing much, you just seem a bit overwhelmed. By the students, I presume?"
Overwhelmed. Fleur snorted silently at the older woman's choice of words. The young Veela has experienced enough to know what to do in this type of situations, if she was even concerned about it in the first place. If not, it wouldn't be unusual for her to just tune all out and not bother herself with any of it. It was obvious that she does not like it when others stare, but Fleur Delacour certainly is not so easily fazed by it.
But, for lack of an appropriate answer, Fleur decided that there was no harm in a white lie.
"Maybe by ze stares. Don't worry, I'm all right. Thanks for ze concern."
That seemed to satisfy the professor, who nodded quite sympathetically before turning away.
Fleur Delacour rolled her eyes heaven-wards towards the turned back of Minerva. Even though she understood that there was good intentions behind McGonagall's concern, she couldn't help but feel slightly amused that the older woman actually thought her to be one who is easily affected by her environment and the people around her.
To Fleur, they meant nothing. All that she was concerned about was her responsibilities and doing what she was supposed to do well. Anything else would not be worthy of her concern and her time. The Delacour was not one who would waste time and effort over things that she has no interest over. This is to say, almost everything.
And far off from the teacher's table, Hermione watched the exchange between the two discreetly between small mouthfuls of potato. It was quite obvious to the brunette's keen and observant eyes that Fleur was not at all interested in the conversation.
And that irritated said brunette to the core. She always had a low tolerance level to superficial and hypocritical people.
Fleur Delacour may have the looks, but to Hermione Granger at that moment, looks were not everything. Hermione had always believed that inner beauty, and not outer, is all that matters. But looking at Fleur, it was quite hard to stick to her beliefs.
Hermione was feeling very much...confused. With herself.
Though Fleur was indeed undeniably beautiful, there was something about her that made Hermione slightly uncomfortable. A part of her had felt vulnerable and lost in the part-Veela's stare, as though she was drowning in the icy blue depths of the Delacour woman's gaze. The brunette tried to shake off the feeling that the blonde's piercing eyes seemed to be able to see right through her.
Uncomfortable and rattled, intense dislike for the part-Veela took its root in Hermione Granger then.
And Hermione could not shake off the feeling that things were only just beginning to get a little complicated.
The entire time, not one soul in the Great Hall had noticed that the exchanges between the new intern and the Gryffindor prefect were closely monitored by a certain silver-haired old man. Albus Dumbledore took a sip of his pumpkin juice, then gave it the smallest of frowns. It seemed to be lacking of flavour. But that wasn't the most pressing of all matters at hand, and so he chose to just make do with it.
It was the two stubborn women that he was more concerned about.
Habitually pushing his half-moon spectacles up the bridge of his slightly crooked nose, his sharp eyes darted over to where the Golden Trio was seated. He hoped, with all of his age-old heart, that it would not be long before three becomes four.
He knew that, in accordance to the secret prophecy, that the two females would ultimately hold the key to the Dark Lord's defeat.
The opportunity was already created, to bring the two females closer for the bond to forge itself. However, it would all be up to them to fulfil the prophecy, unknown to them, even Harry Potter. Only if everything proceeds in the direction the Order wished then could the prophecy be revealed to them.
The results of the prophecy would be cruel though, as the love the two would have built up would be sacrificed. The love that they would have come to share would be forgotten once the Dark Lord was defeated, as it would be the love that defeats the Dark Lord.
Love is the strongest weapon on the side of Light, and it is only natural for the Order to use it to its fullest.
And the Greater Good of the wizarding community lies, only in the hands of Love.
Please let me know how to improve yea? Thanks=)