Harry Potter - Series Fan Fiction ❯ Harry Potter and the Werewolf Prophecy ❯ A TALK IN THE LIBRARY ( Chapter 26 )
Harry was almost at McGonagall's office when he stopped. “I wouldn’t normally do this,” he thought. “I’d ask Hermione. Am I avoiding her?”
He shook his head for a moment, and then turned to make his way to the library.
He couldn’t see Hermione at first, so he made his way to a desk piled high with books. He peered over them to see Hermione scribbling furiously, six or seven books lying open, and dozens more in heaps on the desk and floor.
“Harry!” she said, smiling. “Excellent. There’s a volume in the Dangerous Books section I’d like to refer to, but I really need someone to subdue it while I check the index.”
“Er… yeah,” said Harry. “In a minute then. I was just going to ask your advice.”
“Always happy to help,” she replied.
“There’s a girl – Amy – in First Year – you must have seen her, she’s in a wheelchair. In my class today, she cast a nonsense spell with a fake wand, and it – well, it sort of worked. Is there something wrong?”
Hermione pursed her lips and steepled her fingers. “Well, in First Year I’d say that’s not very surprising. After all, Harry, all of us started out with magic that just happened like that, when we were very young. You told me about that time at the zoo with your cousin, for example.”
“Yeah, I had loads of things like that happen when I was a kid. When I had my own wand though…”
“Even then, for some quite powerful wizards or witches, the magic can just sort of… spill out of them. Harry, this is what my lectures are about. If you’d come along…”
“I meant to, but…” In the absence of an adequate excuse Harry spread his arms wide and tilted his head on one side, relying on Hermione to provide one for him.
“I suppose you do have to prepare for your classes – you should have asked me to help you. Anyway, there’s a whole history of this kind of thing – wait a moment…” Hermione began to sort through one of the piles of books.
“There you are – Manifestations of Magical Ability in Pre-Pubertal and Pubertal Wizards and Witches. It’s all in there – sleep levitation, poltergeists, possession, anything you could imagine really. The interesting thing is being able to harness this ability without losing the precision that…”
“Poltergeists?” interrupted Harry. “What, like Peeves?”
“Yes, exactly. They’re manifestations of magical energy that allows an angry or frustrated teenager – well, any teenager, really – to act out in a separate physical form.”
“Hang on – Peeves has been here for years. Who’s manifesting him then?”
Hermione thought for a moment. “That’s very interesting. I seem to recall cases where multiple children collectively manifest a single form. In which case, Peeves could simply be the repository of all the various adolescents who’ve progressed through Hogwarts, absorbing their excess sexual tension in order to… oh, don’t smirk, Harry, you’re as bad as Ron. Anyway, that might explain his persistence.”
“OK – so it’s quite normal for this to happen. Do we need to do anything about it?”
“Oh, she’ll need some special classes to ensure that she can focus through her wand… actually, Harry, if you don’t mind, I’d quite like to take her under my wing. As I’m studying the phenomenon, it would be very useful to me to have a working example, as it were.”
Harry nodded. “That’s fine, then. I’ll tell her to come and see you.” He got up, but stood there, wavering.
“Is that all, Harry?”
He shook his head. “No, that’s it, really.”
Hermione looked hard at him. “I think there is something else,” she said quietly.
Harry turned slightly away. “It’s just… after Quidditch, Ginny and me – we used the invisibility cloak.”
“Why would you do… oh, of course.”
“We were just trying to get some privacy so we went down to the shed where the Quidditch gear is stored.”
“Oh,” said Hermione.
“We weren’t spying – you know we wouldn’t, but…”
“But you saw me with Viktor.”
Hermione played with her quill for a moment. “I know you didn’t see me… do… anything, because I didn’t. But there was…”
“A kind of moment?”
Hermione shook her head. “Not even that. But there was a closeness. Do you know, with all that he went through, Ron’s never talked to me about how he felt about it? His brother dying, all the injuries, when he… went away like that and came back.”
Harry grimaced. “Well, that’s Ron. He doesn’t like to… well, he grumbles all the time, but it’s never about the real issues.”
“It’s all very well to say ‘that’s Ron’,” said Hermione sharply, “but we’re supposed to be a couple now. There’s things I would like to talk about too. I’ve been lucky – I haven’t lost anyone in my family – but there were bad things that happened to me as well.”
“But…” Harry began.
“Oh, I know what you’re going to say!” Harry, who wasn’t at all sure what he was going to say, kept quiet. “Surely Viktor Krum isn’t someone you can confide in? He’s this strong silent sports hero. Well, when you get to know him, he’s not like that at all. He told me what happened during the… when the war flared up for real. He saw horrible things. Some of them even worse than happened here. And I… I was able to tell him about… about Bellatrix. I’ve never really told anyone about how it felt.”
Harry shuffled his feet. “Hermione, if you ever want to…”
Hermione patted his hand. “Harry, I know I can talk to you, but it shouldn’t be your job. You bottle things up as much as Ron, I know, but at least you can talk to Ginny.”
Harry nodded. “Ginny was really mad when I had that thing where I could sense Voldemort’s thoughts, and I didn’t talk to her about it. I’ve, well…”
“You got the point,” said Hermione.
“I certainly did,” said Harry.
“The question is, how long will it be before Ron gets it?”
“Have you…well, asked him?” said Harry, tentatively.
Hermione sighed. “I’ve started to, but he gets touchy and defensive and says he’d rather not talk about it.”
“Maybe things will be better now he has a job.”
Hermione shook her head slowly. “I’d have hoped so, but I’m not sure it’s really the job he wants. He wrote to me about a mission he was on with Shacklebolt. I know he can’t discuss specifics – it’s all hush-hush – but I know he was upset, and I just wish he’d… oh, well.”
“Where does this leave us, then,” Harry asked.
“I’m not going to give up on him that easily, after all these years, if that’s what you’re asking. I waited for years for him to look at me as something more than a friend.”
“It’s just… I really want you both…” Harry suddenly found himself unable to speak.
Hermione smiled at him. “I know you do. I hope it all works out.”
Hermione shook her head. “Viktor is just a friend.”
“Does he know that?” asked Harry wryly.
“I’ve told him very clearly…” began Hermione.
“Yeah, but what does Viktor hear? He’s always had a thing for you. Hanging out with him – he might start to think he’s in with a chance.”
“I know you’re worried that I might… lead him on. Hurt his feelings,” began Hermione. That wasn’t at all what Harry was worried about. “but I couldn’t be plainer. He said that he accepts it.”
“Good. That’s… good.”
“Harry, I’m going to sort things out with Ron. One way or another. Can you leave it with us? I promise you won’t have him saying ‘oh, you knew what was going on, why didn’t you tell me?’” Hermione spoke in a level tone, but her eyes were pleading.
“Of course not! You’re both our friends, and we trust you.” Harry hoped it was true. At least if he couldn’t trust Hermione, he could trust Ginny to trust Hermione.
“Good. Now, can you please help me to subdue this book.”