Que –HI! Your reviews have cured me of the zombie plague! I LIVE AGAIN! Seriously you guys are dumbfoundingly awesome. Within 12 hours of posting I had 3000+ hits and 80+ reviews. This was utterly mind boggling, especially after I left you guys hanging for so long! 7 months by my count! And yet you're all over the new chapter like starving dogs the moment I post it. There is no greater compliment! *bows*
You guys are lucky, you almost didn't get this chapter, I finished it on Sunday, then promptly got food poisoning and spent the next three days hurling my brains out. Suffice it to say, ouch. For those of you who like me, live in the USA, I specifically waited until today to post so you'd all have something to read while suffering through thanksgiving. And of course I get to have all kinds of lovely reviews to read to help me through the day! We should hit 1000 this chapter as well! Lets see who gets it!
Well here is the new chapter for you, its Hermione centric, but we can't just forget about her now can we, so no complaints! :P
This chapter was beta'd by Kitsune1337
kitsune of darkfire got the 900th review!
fire-lily-fox got the 2000th alert
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Chapter 15 – Catch me if you can (Angela via)
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Hermione smirked as she finished stripping all the tracking charms off her belongings and Reulan double checked her work to ensure nothing had been missed. She was sad to be going really. Dumbledore aside this castle held a lot of memories for her, she hated to just walk away and hide like a terrified rabbit, she wasn't in the house of lions for nothing after all. Did the other Gryffindors ever even stop to think about the kind of person she was at heart, to be so much a Ravenclaw, yet her bravery and courage still outweighed that?
Of course not, she was the book worm. They forgot the girl in first year who kept her cool in devils snare, they forgot the girl in second year who had braved hallways she knew contained a basilisk to warn her friends, they forgot the girl who had gone down that tunnel after a convicted murder and then traveled to the past to rescue him. They forgot that she was more of a Gryffindor than they would ever be. In light of that she had decided that it was high time this school knew just what they'd had under their noses without ever realizing it.
"You are a cruel child….. And I will still be laughing about this centuries from now." Reulan spoke, his voice sounding clearly in her mind, she really needed to get used to that. She merely shrugged at his words, her smirk transforming into a wicked grin.
"I think these people need a wake up call, what you see isn't always what you get." She answered. The Firecat chuckled, thinking of the presents she had left all around the school. Honestly the sheer number of useful spells the child knew, it was almost frightening, but he supposed she had to pick up something from all that reading. What did they think she was reading all day? History books? Fat chance! This girl had learned some truly diabolical things in that library and was using her muggleborn ingenuity to put them to use.
"Do try to leave the place standing, I don't think Hogwarts would appreciate being blown up." He answered wryly. Hermione glanced at him curiously.
"I don't think the castle will care about a few scorch marks." She deadpanned.
"You realize the castle is sentient right? She's just not capable of talking to people." Hermione blinked at him, startled as she closed the trunk and shrunk it down.
"Seriously?" she asked, the cat nodded.
"Of course." Hermione hummed thoughtfully, thinking over her little 'presents' before shrugging.
"It should be fine, I didn't leave anything too dangerous. I was trying to prove a point, not kill anyone." Hermione had made sure anything dangerous was in and around Dumbledore's office, one of the house elves had been only too happy to hide Dumbledore's 'present' for her. She had avoided using Dobby, not only had Dumbledore probably covered that base, but after living with the Malfoys he probably knew what 'present' meant in this case.
"You have everything?" he asked, at her nod he placed a paw on her knee and concentrated. Hermione took one last look around the dorm room that had been her home for four years, and then she and Reulan vanished.
Up in Dumbledore's office an alarm went off with a shriek.
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Hermione reappeared in her parent's living room looking a little green. "Oh hell, that's worse then apperation." She groaned and sat down rather abruptly, she really didn't want to puke. Reulan gave her a sympathetic look.
"It can be rather nauseating the first few times, it's been like that ever since the cataclysm, not as bad as during the storms but it's still a bit of a ride." Reulan agreed, before strolling out of the room to locate her parents.
The low mrrow nearly made Sarah jump a few moments later, she looked down to see Crookshanks by her ankle, the Firecats illusion back in place. How the heck had he gotten here? He was supposed to be at the school with Hermione! The cat stared her down with those strangely piercing blue eyes of his before dashing out the door. She worriedly followed the cat to the living room, only to find Hermione getting unsteadily to her feet.
"Hermione?" she asked confused, Hermione looked up and smiled a little wanly at her.
"Um Mom, how do you feel about moving to Africa?" she asked, Sarah blinked.
"What? Why would we?" she wasn't sure what to think of that. Hermione shrugged, looking tired.
"Things went downhill at Hogwarts, I had to make a run for it, we don't have a lot of time, where is Dad? We need to start packing, we only have an hour or two before they know I'm gone."
"What? What do you mean 'things went downhill'?! Why are you running away?" Sarah demanded, alarmed. Hermione grimaced.
"The headmaster is nuts, he was trying to drug me with mind control potions to find Harry so I had to get out. I have a friend who going to set us up in the city of White Gryphon in Africa, Dumbledore can't legally get to me there, not that that's going to stop him for long but they apparently have good security." Hermione answered rapidly. Sarah blinked slowly.
"Hermione, are you sure…."
"MOM!" Hermione's yell cut her off, she was glaring at her mother in frustration. "We don't have time for this! Get Dad and start packing! We need to leave now!"
"She is right, we must leave soon, and we don't have very long." Sarah's head snapped downward to stare at the cat, which quite abruptly, no longer looked like a house cat. The red and white cat stared her down, its head now at waist height.
"What the hell?" she demanded taking a step back in shock. Hermione sighed and shot Reulan a sour look.
"Mom this is Reulan, he was pretending to be a house cat, he was Crookshanks. He's the one who got me out of Hogwarts." Sarah was about to answer as Richard stepped into the room.
"Hermione? What are you doing home?" Hermione looked relived, her father tended to be more sensible about these things, and he already had a good idea as to what was going on.
"Dumbledore's gone completely off the rails, he was trying to drug me with mind control potions, I have a place we can go in a magical city in Africa. You need to pack!" she explained rapidly, now Richard had been in the military when he was younger, he understood that sometimes there was no time to talk about things, or you'd get your ass shot while you yapped. After helping Harry get out of the country he had been half expecting something like this to happen.
"Sarah go pack, we need to leave." Sarah shot him a look, frowning, before looking back at Hermione.
"Are yousure this really necessary dear?" she asked her daughter.
"YES!" Hermione snapped back, getting impatient. Sarah looked at her for a long moment before nodding sharply and sighing.
"Alright, how long do we have?" Sarah agreed, Hermione smiled, relived.
"An hour? Maybe less?" she answered, Sarah nodded and disappeared upstairs. "I'll shrink stuff for you!" she called after her. "Not like I have to worry about underage magic laws if I'm leaving the country," Hermione sighed in relief as her father also left to pack.
"I was beginning to worry." Reulan said thoughtfully, Hermione nodded tiredly and headed upstairs to help her mother. 20 minutes later Reulan tensed, his ears flicking up like he was listening to something, before cursing. "Dammit, I thought it would take longer!" he hissed, turning to glare at the door and the old wizard that had just appeared on the front walk. A moment later magic fluxed outside and Dumbledore was forced to dodge a fireball from an angry pair of Firecats. "Ah, back up." He muttered relived. "Hermione!" he called sharply.
"What wron…" a loud bang from outside cut her off, she swore and bounded down the stairs.
"Don't worry you've got a minute. Grab your parents and let's go! Reulan snapped.
"MOM DAD TIME TO GO!" she yelled up the stairs. Less than a minute later her father came thundering down the stairs a duffle bag over his shoulder and carrying two more, one in each hand.
"SARAH LETS GO!" he called, Hermione could hear her mother swearing up stairs, before she came running as well with a backpack and a suitcase.
"That bastard better not blow the house up!"She growled, Hermione stifled a laugh, her mother was not someone you wanted to deal with when she was pissed. And few things made her madder than being rushed. Reulan didn't wait for them to even stop moving, the moment they were all close enough to link magic to they were gone. The two Firecats outside blinked out as well, unharmed if not a little ruffled. Dumbledore didn't even bother entering the house, he could tell his quarry was long gone. He quickly cast a spell to trace the magic, thinking it a portkey or some such, but the trace faded unnaturally fast, keeping him from getting a lock on it.
"Damn," he muttered darkly, he knew she had known what was going on! With a crack he vanished as well, thinking hard as he made his way back to his office. What had those cats been? He had never seen anything quite like them before, and how in all the hells had the girl tricked the truth potion he had given her? That at least he knew had worked, even if his other spells had all failed for one reason or another.
He frowned heavily wondering where it had all gone wrong. Everything had been going according to plan, and then Harry had up and bolted out of the blue! He didn't even look up as the gargoyle jumped out of his way and he headed up the stairs. "Why can't they understand that I know best?" he muttered tiredly as he entered his office. He sat down heavily at his desk, to distracted by his thoughts to sense the spell on the chair that had just been set off. A long moment passed before the spell triggered completely setting off several dozen magical fireworks that had been hidden strategically around the room. Dumbledore's howl of pain and surprise was drowned out by the sound of a thousand firecrackers (the magical variety, 20 minutes of continuous fun or your money back!) going off all throughout the school at once, as well as a number of far subtler things that would be slowly discovered over the coming weeks. Much to everyone but the Weasely twins horror.
(AN/ I know people are going to be howling about how this isn't Hermione style, and you'd be right, she's not really a prankster. It was meant to be a distraction to buy her more time, but of course he triggered it after he came back and not before he left. Oh well, it'll still keep him busy for a while.)
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Hermione groaned as she landed in a heap on the ground. Oh god, that was far worse over long distances, so so much worse. "I think, in the future, I'll be walking." She heard her dad groan, she made a sound of agreement but made no move to get up or talk. The way she felt her lunch would probably end up all over the floor if she did.
"I have to say that was one of the more spectacular landings I've ever seen." A voice piped up, Hermione made to get up only to feel a hand on her shoulder pushing her back down gently. "Careful, I've done long rang jumps with a Firecat before, you're better off just laying there for a few minutes." Hermione couldn't deny that he was right, but didn't let her suspicion fade away.
"Oh calm down, he's one of the priests" Reulan grumbled in her mind tiredly. "We are currently in a temple for my Lord in White Gryphon, you'll stay here tonight and move into your new home in the morning."
"Sounds good," she muttered, wondering if it was safe to open her eyes yet.
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Hermione wasn't sure what she had been expecting, but when she stepped out of the temple the next morning she had to stop and stare in utter awe. The crash of waves on the rocks below was barely audible where they stood high up on a snow white cliff. It had to be several hundred feet tall and extended to her left and right in two great arms around a massive bay easily miles across. The waters below were a perfect tropical blue-green and the ships moored at the docks looked like toys in a bath tub. Over head a dozen gold, tan, and cream colored gryphons played on the still breeze blowing in off the ocean.
It, it was wonderful. She heard the priest chuckle behind her. "It is nice to see our home can still put people in awe." He said with a smile, Hermione could only nod, unable to tear her gaze away from the sight.
"Beautiful." Her mother whispered behind her. Hermione smiled, she couldn't wait to tell Harry about this place.
"If you could follow me?" the priest called, finally tearing her away from the view. He was waiting patiently next to a long staircase. Hermione winced internally at the thought of the shear amount of stair climbing this place would require, but for that view she would put up with it gladly. The three turned and headed after the priest. "Your apartments are on the lower levels, the 5th to be precise, there are 65 total." He explained as they began the long trek downward.
"We are currently on the 51 level so it's a ways down, you needn't worry about getting back up, there are elevators of a sort for reaching the upper most levels. The earlier founders believed it was good for you to take the stairs but even they understood that making someone climb all the way back up was a bit cruel. The first few generation didn't have that luxury however, as the city was founded in the aftermath of the Cataclysm. Magic was at the time, unreliable at best, no one would have trusted a magical elevator system." He said with a bit of a grin. Hermione gave him a puzzled look.
"Cataclysm?" She asked, he shot her an odd look.
"They don't teach ancient history in England?" he asked, she snorted.
"Our history teacher was a ghost who was stuck on the goblin rebellions, he didn't learn much of anything in that class. And the history books only went back a few hundred years at best." She answered, he sighed looking thoughtful.
"Well a short history of this city then. White Gryphon was founded in the aftermath of an event that has become known as the Cataclysm. The Cataclysm itself was caused by the assassination of the great sorcerer adept Urtho, and his enemy Ma'ar who was killed at the same time as Urtho finally expired from poisoning. The power released by the device used to kill Ma'ar and Urtho's own death created an explosion of magical energy which tore half the world apart and permanently damaged magic itself. The blast created the Dhorisha plains, and Lake Evendim. Both of which are far to the north of here. The mage Urtho was allies with a group of nomadic people know as the Kaled'a'in. the clans were able to escape but one was separated from the others and chose to head south to find undamaged lands. That was the clan k'Leshya. They eventually found unravaged lands and founded White Gryphon. Named for the gryphon who delivered Utho's final weapon to Ma'ar. As his escape though an unstable gate spell bleached his black feathers snow white." Hermione stared at him, utter focused on his tale as he continued to speak. Telling her of k'Leshya's meeting with the Haighlei Empire, and two thousand years later finding their way back to the north and the other clans just in time for the Cataclysm to echo back across time and nearly destroy the world again.
How much had she missed trapped in that castle in Scotland? She had so much to catch up on. Her eyes glittered with glee at the thought of all there would be to learn in this place, she couldn't wait.
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He'd been twitching all day, and whether Devaran believed him or not, it wasn't about the horcrux. Something was wrong, he knew it. He tried not to think about it and went through the spell he was trying to learn once more. The upside of knowing a gryphon being that she knew the spell for fixing feathers, the hard part was learning how to do it wandlessly. It didn't do him much good if he had to change back to fix his wings, he wouldn't have wings at the time.
He sighed giving up for the moment stalked into his bedroom to collapse in a heap face down on the bed with a thud. He laid there for a long moment once more wondering what the hell could possibly be wrong now that he was missing somehow. Rolling over with a growl he stared at the ceiling willing it to tell him what the hell was wrong. It promptly turned orange. Talyn blinked at the accidental magic before snorting and grabbing his wand off the side table to fix the ceiling. He froze, the journal was glowing. He couldn't jump out of bed fast enough. Snatching the journal from the table and all but tearing it open.
First off I am fine, so stop panicking, I know you.
Talyn blinked at those first words, mildly embarrassed that he was that predictable before reading on. Cursing himself for being stuck on the wrong side of the planet while Hermione was caught up in whatever bullshit was now consuming Hogwarts. The next sentence nearly made him see red, even with the calming potions.
I hadn't wanted to tell you, but Dumbledore has been trying to drug me with loyalty potions and such, obviously he hadn't succeeded, but I ended up having to make a run for it last night after Luna warned me he was going to spike all the drinks at dinner. It wasn't as difficult as I would have thought. It turns out Crookshanks is not a Kneazel. He's a Firecat and apparently the avatar of some sun god I've never heard of. Ill interrogate him more later, but Luna trusts him and I needed to get away fast. Firecats can apparently teleport so it worked out. I got my parents and I'm in a city in Africa right now called White Gryphon, you should see this place, it's beautiful! Fully magical city and all, I'm currently signed up to start at White Falls Academy of Magic here in the city. So all in all I'm fine, my parents are fine, and I put fireworks in Dumbledore's office so he's probably not fine.
Talyn stared at the message, not really sure if he should be angry or happy. It was weird really, that he hadn't needed to go to the rescue. He grimaced slightly, annoyed. "Damn hero complex." He muttered darkly, irritated with himself.
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Que – well that's it for 15 my friends! Hope you liked Hermione's tale.
Beta Kit- I know I did~ And oh my god hero complex characters are the best~