Forbidden Magic 58
Chapter 58 - D.H.
The next morning, Hermione’s back was completely turned to Ron as he crept away from her to be with Harry. “We’re going for water and some food,” Harry called.
“Alright,” came Ginny’s muffled voice. She overheard Ron say, “Girls… I don’t understand them.”
Hermione’s anger hadn’t ebbed away and Ginny could feel it pulsing like a heartbeat around her temples. “How long are you going to be angry at him?” she asked.
“As long as it takes for it to sink in that I think he does the most stupid things,” Hermione answered bitterly.
“Well, I know he does stupid things but do you honestly think he’s going to learn by your anger?” Ginny cocked an eyebrow at the brunette who was facing the tent wall with furrowed eyebrows.
“It has to sink in at some point,” she muttered.
“I’ll leave you to your sulking, I’m going to actually see if I can get in some magic practice in case, well you understand,” Ginny told her. Hermione said nothing but she did take out a book from her bag and turned her body back to the tent wall as Ginny walked away from her.
While Ginny yelled spells into the air, Hermione spent the day reading. Her eyes traced over Dumbledore’s letter to Grindelwald while the sun was slowly starting to set in the sky. The last lines struck Hermione once again; this was your mistake at Durmstrang! But I do not complain because if you had not been expelled, we would never have met. The words rang in Hermione’s mind over and over again until it clicked. Was the only reason he went along with this for him? Her mind raced as her eyes landed on the way Dumbledore spelled his name.
Or was it for this? This symbol, she thought. Her fingers traced over the A in the book and she quickly bookmarked it and ran into her bag for the Tales book. Pulling it out she compared the two symbols. I think it might be real, Ginny’s words rang out now in her head, but is it real? It can’t be.
Ginny came back into the room sweating with her wand to her side, “I need water, where are those boys. If I would have known they were going to take this long, I would have gotten water myself!”
Brown eyes were the only things looking over a book with furrowed eyebrows. “Ginny….” Hermione’s voice trailed off. Ginny arched an eyebrow and she noticed those brown eyes she was so familiar with look back to the book in her hand. The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore? “What kind of book is that?” Ginny asked as she sat down on the bed.
“I stole it from Bagshot’s home,” Hermione told her, “Do you really think that the tale of those brothers is a real story?”
She nodded her head. “I would love to believe it is because it teaches some nice morals and values. Not to mention the whole myth and lore of the items. I would love the elder wand, but I wouldn’t really want to be killed.”
“That would be if you boasted that you indeed have it,” Hermione reminded her, “I’m sure if someone were to keep the wand and keep it a secret no one would be the wiser. Besides, do you know what the wand looks like?”
“No,” Ginny said, “I guess you’re right, but knowing my big mouth. What are you looking at so intently?”
“Can you look at these two things for me and tell me what you think?” Hermione asked her.
She nodded her head and looked over the letter in the book. “What is this about?” Ginny gasped as she read the letter.
“Dumbledore wanted something,” Hermione said, “he was either madly in love and blinded or he was using Grindelwald to get what he wanted. My guess is a mix of the two.”
Ginny’s eyes looked from the letter to Hermione, “what is it that you want me to look at besides these words.”
“His signature,” she answered. Her finger pointed to the way the A was signed.
“Looks like a triangle with a circle and something else,” Ginny said, “reminds me of what’s on that Tales book… Oh and Luna’s dad was wearing this at the wedding.”
“Exactly,” she exclaimed as she took the book away from the redheaded girl. “When those two boys get back we need to tell them where we are going next.”
“I don’t follow,” Ginny looked at Hermione’s face searching for an answer.
“Xenophilus Lovegood,” she said mater-of-factly.
“Luna’s father? You want to go see him?” Ginny’s voice squeaked.
“Listen to me,” Hermione pointed to the Tales book. “This is a rune and it must mean something. It’s been around a hell of a lot longer than Grindelwald so it cannot be his symbol.”
Ginny didn’t answer. She merely looked at Hermione with a confused look.
“We saw this mark on a gravestone and it’s on this book so what does that tell you?” the brunette asked when she noticed the younger girl wasn’t exactly following.
“Oh, that it is older than him so…Krum was wrong?” she tilted her head.
“No,” Hermione shook her head. “He was right. In a way anyway. This sign was taken and used for something which tells me that this sign must mean something amazing. So I want to see Mr. Lovegood. We can’t see Dumbledore for obvious reasons and we surely cannot see Grindelwald, so who’s left?”
“Fine, but you will have to tell Harry about this,” she said. Harry and Ron walked into the tent at that moment with water and some food.
“Tell me what?” he asked with a confounded look on his face. Hermione’s eyes moved from Ginny to Harry. She walked up to him with the book under her arm. “I need to show you something,” she said.
“Oh no, not again,” Harry noticed the title of the book and really didn’t want to look at it again but Hermione pressed him to sit down and take a look at it.
She pushed the letter under Harry’s nose but the boy’s eyes told Hermione that he didn’t understand. “Look at the signature,” she told him. He did as she said but didn’t see anything right away until he looked more closely at it.
“Er-What are you -?” Ron tried to speak but Hermione challenged the boy with a dirty look as she turned back to Harry.
“Me and Ginny have been talking about this,” she told him, “It keeps coming up, don’t you think?”
“Well,” Harry started. He kept staring, “what does this tell us?”
“Not a hell of a lot,” Hermione said, “but it can if we go see Xenophilus Lovegood.”
“Hermione honestly,” Harry told her. The sun was setting in the skies outside and Hermione’s eager face was staring at Harry as he tried to think of what to say. “I don’t want another Godric’s Hallow and you know that-“
“IT KEEPS APEARING!” Hermione cut him off with a yell. “Dumbledore left me this book for a reason! This symbol means something.”
“Oh come on! Dumbledore just left me a worthless snitch, it doesn’t-“ Harry was cut off by Ron’s hand on his shoulder.
“The Deluminator came in handy for me,” he said, “I think it knew my heart’s desires and that says a lot. It helped me find you.”
Harry was about to fight with him but Ron pressed on, “I think Hermione is right.”
“I think so too,” Ginny chimed in. “We have no other choice in finding out more about the horcruxes. If we run into trouble, I’m ready for it.”
“Why now? Why didn’t he just tell me when he was alive?” Harry shot a dark glance at Ginny and Ron.
“It won’t be like Godric’s Harry!” Ginny fought with him, “The Quibbler is on your SIDE!”
“I’m sure this is important!” Hermione shouted at him. Harry was now closing his eyes so he didn’t have to look at the three of them.
“Dumbledore wants you to find this out yourself,” Ginny told him, “I’m sure he didn’t know this was going to be useful or.. or.. well, I’m sure he has a bloody reason for doing this. It is Dumbledore after all!”
“Yeah, that makes sense,” said Ron trying to convince himself that it did.
“It doesn’t!” Hermione snapped at him, “but it’s something! It connects three people and places together for a reason!”
“We need to find out!” Ginny added.
“Ok ok,” Ron held up his hands and then threw them to his side. “Let’s put it to a vote, eh? All in favor of going to see Lovegood-?”
Hermione and Ginny both shot their hands into air with lightening quick reflexes. Ron held his hand up weakly. “Well, out voted Harry,” he said, “sorry but it looks like we are going to see Mr. Lovegood.”
“Fine, but once we do this it’s back to looking for horcruxes,” Harry grumbled irritated, “Anyone know where they live? I never did ask Luna about that since we didn’t have much… time.” He added the last word with a quiver of sadness.
“They live near us,” Ginny said, “I don’t know exactly where though.”
“It shouldn’t be too hard, mum and dad always point over to the hills when they mention the Lovegoods,” Ron said cheerfully.
Hermione nodded her head weakly as she walked off to her bunk. Harry grabbed both Ron and Ginny by their shirts and pulled them close to his face. “You two only agreed on this because you want into her good book again,” he told them.
“Why Harry, I’m surprised at you!” Ginny chirped. “That’s not it at all, unlike you I happen to think Hermione is smart enough to figure out that this is important. I don’t do things for her to get onto her good side or into her bed for that matter.”
Ron started to laugh, “Hey mate, all is fair in love and war. Oh, its Christmas break isn’t it?” His blue eyes shined into Harry’s green eyes who knew exactly what Ron was going to say. “Luna might be there.” A cheesy grin rushed onto his freckled face as his sister did the same thing. These two faces were looking at him as he blushed.
Ginny grumbled a bit when they looked over the hills into Orrey St. Catchpole village. The breeze was curling around her body and making her shiver. She hadn’t been the same since the lake incidence. Hermione’s body was near by but not near enough to keep her warm. They had disapparated early that morning with Harry under the invisibility cloak.
“It’s so odd,” Ron finally broke the silence, “being this close to home and not saying hello to them.”
“You were just there for Christmas,” Hermione said coldly, “it’s not like you haven’t seen them.”
“I wasn’t at the Burrow!” said Ron with wide eyes. Hermione jumped a bit at this sentence. “Do you think I would go back there? Fred and George would have hung me up by my ankles for leaving you lot!”
“That’s true,” Ginny nodded, “you are lucky I didn’t jinx and hex you when you got back. I was too weak.” The redhead smiled at her brother who was gulping nervously.
“Then where were you if you weren’t home?” Hermione asked.
“Bill and Fleur have a new place called Shell Cottage,” Ron told them. Hermione’s eyes blazed once again. “When were you planning on telling this?” she snapped.
“I-I-I forgot! But um, let me continue!” Ron held up his hands.
“Yes, for the love of Merlin, let him,” Ginny groaned at Hermione who was now glaring at her.
“Anyway, Bill has always been decent to us, well, he has you know. He’s a good person so I figured I could trust him. He wasn’t happy but he didn’t go off on it. They told mum that they were going to spend Christmas alone together.”
“Since you know, she hates Celestina Warbeck,” Ginny added with a laugh that sounded like a shrill. “As do I.”
Ron turned his back on the Burrow, “let’s try up here.” Ginny took one last look and turned around with her brother. Hermione felt such a rush of sadness that it nearly knocked her over the hill and into the houses below.
Hours later they found one house that seemed interesting enough, “do you think they left?” Hermione’s eyes looked into the window.
“Trust me, you would know its Luna’s house,” Harry said with a smile. He was growing with excitement the closer they got to her. He didn’t understand why he didn’t want to do this. Luna wasn’t on his mind when she should have been. So much danger and problems have made Harry distant and cold. Something he wasn’t really proud of.
Ron disapparated away followed by the rest of them. “Aha!” Ron shouted before Hermione and Ginny were even able to appear. “Over here!”
They were looking up at a huge house that was weirdly shaped. “It looks like a rook,” Ginny commented.
“Who else would live there but them?” Ron squeaked with happiness.
“It’s nothing like a bird,” Hermione snorted.
“The chess piece Hermione,” Ginny said with a roll of her eyes. “A castle to you.”
Hermione and Harry were lagging behind the two long legged siblings as they reached the house first with a high five. “I knew it!” Ron smiled. Ginny grinned at him, “me too!”
“It’s theirs alright!” He told the two who finally caught up. They were both holding on to their sides with a pant. Hermione would have exchanged a glance with Harry if she could see him. Three hand made signs hung on the gate.
The Quibbler. Editor, X. Lovegood
Pick Your Own Mistletoe.
Keep off the Dirigible Plums please.
“Interesting,” Hermione said with a raised eyebrow. As the gate opened it let out a long creak that made Ginny’s ear’s bleed. The whole lawn looked horribly unkempt as Ginny’s eyes scanned the place. She frowned at it but kept going up the path with her company.
“You’d better take off the cloak, it’s you we need him to help after all,” Hermione advised him. As he took it off, Hermione knocked three times on a knocker that was shaped like an eagle.
The door swung open as Xenophilius was standing in front of them. His whole body looked as if he were awoken from a deep sleep. “What? Who’s there? Who are you?” His eyes, which reminded Harry of Luna’s, bounced from Hermione to Ginny to Ron and once they landed on Harry, his mouth was a complete O shape.
“Hello,” Harry waved slowly with a weak smile, “I’m Harry, Harry Potter.”
“I know who you are,” his voice was flat as his eyes looked at the scar.
“Would you mind if we come in?” Harry asked.
“I don’t think that would be alright,” the man whispered to them. “But there’s something we need to ask you,” Harry pressed, “It won’t take that long please?”
“I-Oh, well,” the man looked around before opening the door to them, “alright alright, come in, QUICKLY!”
Ginny was the last one in and her body was barely inside when he slammed the door. She jumped almost ten feet into the air. I’m going to die of a heart attack one of these days, she thought with a frown.
There was so much noise that Harry was wondering what Luna was up to, but once they made it upstairs he noticed that she wasn’t there. A frown spread over his face and Ginny caught it. She frowned along with him; she knew exactly what was wrong.
“Why are you here?” he asked Harry but before he could answer Hermione jumped nearly out of her skin.
“What the hell is that?!” Hermione pointed to a horn mounted on the wall.
“That? It’s the horn of a Crumple-Horned Snorkack,” he answered simply.
“No it isn’t!” Hermione shrieked.
“Hermione,” Harry grumbled to her, “not is not the time to-“
“But Harry, oh for the love of,” Hermione was jumping up and down pointing at the object, “That thing, oh, that is an Erumpent Horn! It’s a class B Tradeable Material and it’s a really really dangerous thing to have in a HOUSE!”
“A WHAT?” both Weasleys jumped back about 5 feet. “How did you know?” Ginny asked shocked and scared.
“There’s a description in this book I read called Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them!” she answered with gulp. “That needs to be removed!”
“Like right now!” Ginny exclaimed.
“The Crumple-Horned Snorkack is a very peaceful magical-“ he started but Hermione cut him off by asking, “where in the world did you get that?”
“I bought it two weeks ago,” he answered proudly. “It was for Luna. Now then, why did you come here?”
A bomb for your daughter? Harry are you sure about this? Hermione thought as she couldn’t take her eyes off the horn. You would have to deal with this nut for a father-in-law!
“We need help,” he answered.
“With?” he asked. “The thing is…”
“Aren’t you the one that who says that everyone should help Harry?” Ron snorted. “You know in that magazine you run?!”
Xenophilius glanced around nervously, “Um, well yes, but-“
“Oh so that’s just for everyone else not you?” Ginny pressed him.
“Well, um…” he tried to speak but couldn’t. “Where’s Luna?” asked Hermione, “I’m sure she can give us a solid opinion.”
The man closed his eyes and gulped. Hermione thought she could see him suck in tears but she disregarded that when he spoke, “Luna is down by the river, she’ll, um, be back later,” he lied.
“Is she?” Harry brightened up.
“Um, yes,” he gulped again, “I-I’ll go, um, call her, and then… um, help you. Yes. Um, hold on.”
“Coward,” Ginny said.
“Yeah, Luna’s got more guts then he would ever have,” Ron spat.
“Hey now,” Harry turned to the redheads, “he’s just worried. I’m a marked man remember?”
The two siblings seemed to frown at the same moment and nodded.
“I agree with them,” Hermione rang in. “He tells everyone else to have courage and he has none? I mean, come on.”
“He’s Ravenclaw Hermione, not Gryffindor,” Harry reminded her.
“So? Luna is Ravenclaw and when she says something, she means it. No matter how weird it is,” Hermione shot back.
All four of them were looking at a weird bust in the room when the front door opened and a very shaken Xenophilius walked into the room. “Ah, do you like her?” he asked.
The four teenagers were confused as they looked him. “Um, sure?” Harry answered unsurely.
“What is it?” Ginny asked. “Or rather who?” Hermione added to that.
“That bust is Rowena Ravenclaw! ‘Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure!’”
They took a seat with the old man as he poured them juice, “I’m sure you are all very thirsty! Drink up.”
They all took a sip as the man nodded his head, “Luna is very excited that you are here, she’s down at the very bottom so she ought to be here soon.”
“Right,” Harry nodded brightly.
“Now, what is that I can help you Mr. Potter?” he asked Harry with crossed legs.
“Well,” Harry started. His green eyes looked at Hermione who was nodding urging him to ask the question yet she was still encouraging him. “It’s about that symbol you were wearing at the wedding of Bill and Fleur, Mr. Lovegood. We wonder what it means.”
“Are you asking me about the Deathly Hallows sign?” Xenophilius asked nodding his head with raised eyebrows.
That what? What is he going to talk about now? Hermione thought with a sigh that escaped her lips. “Ah, yes, I’ll tell you all about that,” he said sagely, “I very well will.”