― CHAPTER FIFTY-FIVE ―
'Hey I finished writing the letter.' Jaquenetta said, passing it over to Hermione for her to read. Hermione had explained her idea to enlist Rita to speak with Harry and to write the truth about what happened at the tri-wizard tournament and about the Azkaban breakout.
I know that our last meeting was not on the most congruous of terms but I wish to extend to you an offer. As you may be aware the Daily Prophet has become less about facts and truth and more about the control of information and personal agenda.
I realise now that I am no better than those that I scorn. I acted poorly towards you in a misguided effort to halt the mistruths that were written. I took away your free will and for that I have many regrets.
Please meet me in Hogsmeade at the Three Broomsticks on February the 14th at midday. I believe I can provide you with an opportunity that will do us both well.
Hermione put down the parchment and turned to Jaquenetta 'you are nothing like them' she said.
'Hermione, I kept her in a jar. It was not my finest hour.' Jaquenetta said solemnly.
Hermione smiled 'I understand.'
'So, do you think it's enough for her to come?'
'I hope so, she may be a salacious gossipmonger but people read what she writes.'
After sending off the letter and a quick talk with Luna who was thrilled at the idea and was most certain that The Quibbler would publish the interview all they could do now was wait for a reply.
BY ORDER OF THE HIGH INQUISITOR OF HOGWARTS
Teachers are hereby banned from giving students any information that is not strictly related to the subjects they are paid to teach.
This is in accordance with Educational Decree Number Twenty-six.
'She doesn't waste much time does she' said Ron as he and Jaquenetta passed it on the way to breakfast the next morning.
This latest Decree soon became the subject of numerous jokes among the students. Lee Jordan had made a particularly unwise one when Umbridge told Fred and George off for playing Exploding Snap in the back of the Defence Against the Dark Arts class.
'Exploding Snap's got nothing to do with Defence Against the Dark Arts, Professor! That's not information relating to your subject!'
When Jaquenetta next saw Lee in the common room on the morning of Valentine's Day, the back of his hand was bleeding quiet badly. She slipped him some of the balm she had made up for Harry before heading to the Great Hall.
A particularly disgruntled looking Brown Owl was waiting for Jaquenetta when she entered the Great Hall. No sooner had Jaquenetta sat down did the Owl drop the envelope onto her plate and fly off. Upon opening the parchment and seeing Rita's response she handed it over for Hermione to read and walked over to the Ravenclaw table in search of Luna.
I'll be there, but it better be worth it.
Luna was seated at the very edge of the table reading an old copy of The Quibbler. Jaquenetta recognised it as the one Luna had leant her on the train ride to Hogwarts at the beginning of the school year.
'Luna' said Jaquenetta.
Luna placed The Quibbler down on the table next to her forgotten toast 'Jaquenetta, are you lost, the Gryffindor table is in the opposite direction' she said, a vacant expression on her face.
Jaquenetta smiled, shaking her head 'No, Luna I came to see if you are free at midday today. Rita has agreed to meet with me.'
'Of course she did' said Luna, picking up the newspaper once more. 'I'll meet you at the three broomsticks.'
Jaquenetta bade Luna farewell and walked over to where Hermione was waiting for her near the entrance of the Great Hall.
'Luna will be there' said Jaquenetta, taking Hermione's hand in hers as they headed back to Gryffindor Tower.
'Excellent, so will Harry.'
'I know I made you promise not to buy me anything' Hermione said as she walked into her room, Jaquenetta following closely behind. 'But I have been thinking about this since the first Hogsmeade weekend.'
Hermione opened up her drawer and pulled out a box before sitting on her bed and motioning for Jaquenetta to join her.
'I realise that we will not be able to spend as much time together as I'm sure either of us would like over the next two years, and we have spoken previously about the difficulties we may face communicating while you are living at Number 12.'
Jaquenetta nodded, smiling at how Hermione's face lit up as she passed Jaquenetta the box in her hand.
'I was reading through that charms book you leant me, where you got the charm for this,' said Hermione as she held up the kunzite crystal around her neck 'and, well, it's easier to explain if you can see it.'
Jaquenetta opened the box and removed what appeared to be two journals. Jaquenetta was instructed to open both of them and what she saw made her realise, truly realise, just how talented Hermione is. There on the front page of both of the journals, as if carbon copies was the inscription:
From ink and words to beyond
'The journals are linked' Hermione explained 'whatever is written in one appears on the other instantaneously, irrespective of the distance between them.'
Jaquenetta was amazed and threw her arms around her girlfriend 'You really are the brightest witch of your age, Hermione' Jaquenetta said as she slowly removed her arms, reaching into the pocket of her robes to pull out a small wrapped present which she held out to Hermione on her palm
'I told you I–'
'I didn't spend any money Hermione' Jaquenetta said, before her girlfriend continued 'but I made you something.'
Hermione took the offered present and began to unwrap it. A lot of Jaquenetta's free time had been spent on it and a part of her desperately hoped that Hermione would like it. Inside the wrapping was a small carved otter made from a branch Jaquenetta found by the lake on one of her walks. A bone crushing hug was all the assurance Jaquenetta needed.
The journey to Hogsmeade just before midday was a lot less cluttered than Jaquenetta would have thought considering it was Valentine's day, and as the Three Broomsticks came into view, and Jaquenetta caught a glimpse of familiar platinum blonde hair she couldn't help but wish there were more people around.