I'm moving back to school so internet won't be hooked up for a while. Enjoy the fourteenth chapter of this good funtimes story full of love and confusion.
Any questions, holler?
If You Let It.
Hermione awoke with a start, jerking out of bed in a tangle of sheets and curly hair. Harry groaned at the sudden chill but Hermione paid him no mind. Heart pounding and pulse thrumming rapidly in her ears, she quickly raced to the table and grabbed a piece of parchment and a quill, scribbling down the strange words as fast as she could before they disappeared back into the recesses of her mind.
"Hermione, what...what are you doing?" Harry asked groggily from his place on the bed. He had summoned the blankets back and was currently snuggling under them again.
Hermione spared him a quick glance before shaking her head and reaching for her beaded bag. She knew she had some research books in here somewhere, and maybe her Ancient Runes text would come in handy. The contents of the bag clashed and jangled as she dug through furiously, finally feeling the familiar spine of a thick book beneath her fingers.
All the commotion had woken Ron, who sat blearily in his bed. He watched Hermione rummage and sigh and scribble, scratching his eyebrow in thought. The horcrux was now safely around Harry's neck, and Ron was feeling infinitely better, if not a little embarrassed at his outburst.
"Something on your mind?" he asked quietly from his bed. Hermione stopped her movements and glanced at Ron, her eyes apprehensive. Ron sighed and ran a hand through his unruly hair, "I'm sorry. I…I was out of line, and I'm sorry."
Hermione watched him carefully before shrugging, "That's okay." She tucked a piece of hair behind her ear and continued flipping madly through a deep red book.
Ron sighed and turned to Harry, who just gave him a shrug and a half-smile. "Don't worry about it," he assured Ron lowly. Louder, "Hermione, what exactly are you doing?"
Huffing, Hermione turned to the boys and gestured to her notes, "I had another dream. This one seemed—it seemed important, so I'm writing it all down. And there are these words…" she trailed off and bit her lip, staring down at the hastily scribbled words in a language Hermione didn't understand.
Harry padded over and rested his chin on her shoulder, looking at her notes. "Hmm," he hummed, and Hermione could feel it against her collarbone. "What is that? Latin?"
Furrowing her brow, Hermione looked closer and cocked her head. "Why…yes! Harry, you're a genius!" She hugged him tightly and picked up a different book, a light blue one with yellowing pages. "This changes everything. Here I was thinking it was something much more complex, like Ancient Sumerian or Ancient Arabic." She continued to mumble to herself as Harry and Ron looked on, reminiscent smiles tugging at their lips.
The sun had risen hours ago, beating down on the tent. It snuck through cracks in the fabric and warmed bits of carpet. Ron was currently lying in one such spot, his eyes closed and the sun warming his face. Harry was next to him, the horcrux thrumming evilly against his chest. Hermione was still at the table, scribbling furiously and mumbling to herself every so often.
"Hey, Harry," Ron started, turning his head to see the scruffy boy. He raised his eyebrows in acknowledgement and Ron continued, "You know how you were saying we should go to Godric's Hollow? Well, I was thinking more or less the same." At Harry's incredulous look, Ron smirked. "I mean, we've looked everywhere. We went to that ruddy orphanage, we've gone to every important historical magic site, and we've even gone to stupid muggle towns. Why wouldn't a horcrux be in the place where You-Know-Who lost everything?"
Harry nodded vigorously, "I know! Exactly! That's what I've been bloody saying the whole bloody time!" Sitting up, he turned to Hermione and shouted, "Hermione! We're going to Godric's Hollow!"
She looked up dazedly from her notes, "What?"
Harry repeated himself, standing and walking over to her. She looked puzzled and a little put-off. "Why on earth…? Harry, I thought we agreed it was too dangerous," she reminded him. Harry sighed and smoothed out the wrinkle between her brows.
"Yes, I know, but Hermione, where else could it be? We've looked everywhere, and Ron agrees. We owe it to ourselves—and the entire wizarding world—to check every possible angle, don't you reckon?" he finished, dropping his hand and tucking them both into his trouser pockets.
Hermione glanced from Harry to Ron, and the fight sagged out of her. They both looked so determined, so much more alive than they had in weeks. She couldn't deny that kind of light. "Fine," she muttered, despite an uncomfortable twisting in her belly. "We'll go to Godric's Hollow tonight."
The words proved difficult to decipher. Latin wasn't as straightforward as Hermione would like, and all those verb tenses were messing with her already tired mind. She thought she had gotten at least part of it, although the message seemed vague and mysterious: 'If one knows where the appearance of.'
That certainly didn't seem right, but Hermione had yet to be deterred. While Ron and Harry planned their trip to Godric's Hollow, Hermione slaved over the translation.
The sun was gone, and the chill of the night crept into the tent. Hermione was asleep on top of her books, the pages sticking to her cheek. Ron and Harry had gone over and over their plan to enter Godric's Hollow without being detected and were just about ready. While Ron packed up Hermione's bag and began work on the tent, Harry nudged her awake.
"Wake up, Hermione," he whispered in her ear. His soft breath tickled the shell and she groaned in her sleep.
"Go 'way, Ced," she grumbled into the pages. Harry shook his head and tried again.
"Hermione, it's me. Get up, you're going to be late for your N.E.."
At that, she shot up so quickly Harry had to dodge out of the way to avoid a broken nose.
A puzzled look washed over her features as she took in her surroundings. "I—there are no N.E. today," she announced, meeting Harry's laughing eyes.
"I had to wake you up somehow," he shrugged, brushing her wild hair out of her eyes. "It worked, didn't it?"
Hermione nodded before glancing back down at her notes. The words had shone brightly in her dream again, and she was pretty sure she had the translation now. "Of course," she breathed as, in her mind, the words slowly refigured themselves until they formed a sentence clear as day. "Of course!"
Harry stared at her, quite confused. "Of course what, Hermione?" She ignored him and he shook his head. "Either way, we're ready to head out to Godric's Hollow. Come on," he tugged gently on her hand but she ignored him again.
Reaching for her abandoned quill, Hermione quickly scribbled out the words and smiled in triumph. "I've got it!" she announced, meeting Harry's eyes. "The translation; I was using the wrong verb. It's 'The lost can be found, if one knows where to look!' Don't you see? It's referring to Cedric! And subsequently, Sirius!"
Ron came over and placed the beaded bag down on her notes. "Brilliant. Let's go."
Hermione was a little chuffed they weren't as excited as she was, but wasn't that how it always was? Harry and Ron were more about action, whereas Hermione was the thinker. This would, ultimately, lead them directly into danger, as it had time and time again.
"Cedric, you bloody fool! Where did you disappear off to that time?"
Cedric slowly opened his eyes, less than happy to be pulled from his dreams of Mya. Granted, this particular dream wasn't as enjoyable as the others had been, but still. It was a chance to see her again, and he missed her more than he thought possible.
"I saw her again," he answered dreamily, blinking slowly. The grey in-between slowly began to take shape and he groaned. "Damnit, I hate it here!"
Sirius sat next to Cedric and placed a hand on his shoulder. "What did you see?" he wanted to know. His grey eyes were curious and burning.
Sighing, Cedric leaned his forehead against his palm. "I dunno," he said, rubbing his eye. "Er…I saw…an old house. It looked run-down, decrepit. And…" he wracked his memory, trying to find anything other than Hermione's face. It was difficult. "Oh! I saw a woman! She was very old—she kind of looked like she was supposed to be dead, but something got in the way…" the thought made his skin crawl. "And…I saw a—a snake? No, that can't be…" but it was, and Cedric knew it was.
He could now see the things he missed when he was so focused on her face. He saw a snake bursting forth from the old woman, tearing from her neck and lunging. He saw Hermione raise her wand and send a stream of fire at the snake, but she was too slow and it attached itself to a man with shaggy brown hair's arm. Blood flowed viciously. He saw the big window behind the three explode, and he saw them leap out, he saw them twist, he saw the streak of red splatter against the wall as they disappeared. He saw the snake howl and twist, and he saw a black-robed figure appear where the three had just been, moments before.
Somehow, she always managed to get into unimaginable danger. And Cedric hated that he wasn't there to help her, to pull her out of it. So caught up in his anger and distress was Cedric that he didn't even notice the familiar tugging and squeezing, nor did he see the bright blazing blue of his ring.
Sirius did, and Sirius was flabbergasted, because right before his very eyes, Cedric was fading, flickering light a waning light bulb.
"Ugh, this bloke tastes terrible!" Ron moaned again, scrunching up his face in disgust. He had taken poly juice potion long before, when they arrived in the graveyard of Godric's Hollow, but the taste still hadn't left his tongue. The man he drank was shorter than he, with shaggy brown hair and a permanent scowl. A scar across his eyebrow made him look arrogant and intimidating.
Hermione ignored Ron's complaints and made sure the Cloak was still covering her and Harry. They were following a peculiar old woman who smelled like death and walked like it physically pained her greatly to do so. An uneasy feeling tugged at her belly, but Hermione didn't know what to do. So she tightened her hold on Harry's familiar hand and continued on.
The house they entered was old and falling apart. A twisted tree stood out front, its branches looking like broken fingers. The fence surrounding the property was rickety and in desperate need for repair, but the woman looked in no way capable of fixing anything.
A horrible smell wafted out to greet them as soon as the door opened. Hermione gagged and plugged her nose, Harry doing the same. Ron coughed roughly and covered his mouth.
The old woman gestured them over to an old table, littered with pictures. Hermione was curious, but the lighting in the house was less than stellar. Without missing a beat, the old woman turned and stared at the spot where Harry would be. Her milky eyes seemed curiously empty, yet bright with knowledge.
Harry looked perplexed. "I—can she see me?" he whispered. Hermione didn't answer, because the old woman beckoned with a crooked finger at Harry. He shrugged and carefully removed the cloak, leaving Hermione covered.
A small twist of the lips was the only reaction the old woman gave to Harry Potter's sudden appearance. The uneasy feeling in Hermione's belly grew. The old woman gestured upstairs, and Harry followed slowly. Ron shared an anxious look with Hermione, shuffling his feet and staring helplessly after the retreating pair.
"This is mental," he whispered to her. Hermione couldn't help but agree.
"We should follow," she replied, gesturing upstairs much like the old woman had done. Ron nodded and led the way, creeping carefully up the steps.
Harry stood with his back to the woman, his eyes locked on something in the corner of the room. Hermione and Ron hurried into the room, and the old woman noticed the intrusion. She turned to them and her neck twitched horribly. Harry turned and raised his wand, but suddenly the old woman's neck twitched again and began to split. Hermione felt her ring warm, and a strange tug was felt in her chest. A moment later, a huge snake was lunging at the trio, its dangerous fangs glinting wolfishly in the candlelight.
Hermione shot off a jet of fire, but the snake had already launched itself at them. Its fangs dug into Ron's arm and he shouted out, stumbling back. Harry steadied him and shot a spell at the snake, but he missed. Hermione let loose a stream of fire, the bright orange mixing with the sudden glow of her ring. The snake reared back, its fangs dripping with Ron's blood, and before he could recover Hermione had grabbed his arm and leapt back, spinning sickeningly and disappearing in a swirl of robes and shattered glass.
The blinding glow of her ring filled her vision as she slammed heavily against the ground. Ron groaned in pain and collapsed into the leaf-covered ground, clutching his arm. Harry looked frantic.
"I knew it was a bad idea, going there!" she cried, searching desperately for the dittany in her beaded bag.
Harry shot her a look and replied darkly, "Now really isn't the time for an 'I told you so,' Hermione."
Ron looked grey and sickly. His arm was gushing blood, the four holes looking vicious and lethal. Her ring continued to glow, and Hermione tried to ignore the incessant tugging in her chest.
"Cedric!" Sirius rushed forward, reaching for the flickering boy. His hand briefly made contact before sinking through.
"Wh—what's going on, Sirius?" he asked shakily, staring at his fading hands. Sirius shook his head and met Cedric's eyes.
"I haven't a bloody clue. Stay with me, Ced, okay?"
Cedric nodded, "I'm…okay, okay, I think it's ending." And it was. Suddenly, he was solid again, no longer flickering perilously in this land of in-between. It was a strange mixture of relief and sorrow he felt.
"What the bloody fuck," he whispered, his grey eyes wide with the unknown.
Sirius held his shoulders tightly, staring awestruck at the still faintly-glowing ring on his finger. "That about sums it up," he agreed with a shake of his shaggy head.
the title of this chapter is a lyric from Arcade Fire's "Crown Of Love."
love me love me love me.
I love you. Very much.
Love Jasper 4 ever.