Chapter Twenty One - Don't Be a Hero
Addie accepted the book gracefully and turned to the next chapter.
Chapter Twenty One
Don’t Be a Hero
“Second task?” She guessed.
Hermione looked thoughtful. “Possibly …” she said slowly. “May I?”
Addie handed her the book and she flicked to the end of the chapter to read the last sentence. “No, I think the task itself will be in the next chapter.” Hermione said. “So if we have dinner after this one.”
Addie nodded and took the book back.
Over the next week, Hermione tried not to think about whether Sirius was in Hogsmeade or not – the worry associated with it was just too strong, and it left her lying awake at night, imagining all sorts of terrible things happening.
Sirius flinched. “Sorry, Kitten.”
On Saturday morning …
“No …” Hermione sighed. “I’m sorry. I’m afraid this chapter won’t be easy to listen to.”
“Why not?” Lily asked.
“It’s not dangerous.” Hermione assured her. “But … Well, you’re about to tell me about my mum, which means a long discussion about Annabelle and … and that Halloween.”
The six sixth year girls exchanged grim looks, their faces falling. The wound of losing Annabelle was still fresh and they had yet to recover completely.
James, Sirius and Remus pulled their girls closer, and Neville – sensing that whatever they were talking about was upsetting for his mother – wrapped an arm around Alice’s shoulders.
Fred gestured to Draco, and they moved away from Ginny and Narcissa, to sit beside Arabella and Mandy, to offer them some comfort if they needed it.
… Hermione gave up even trying to concentrate on her homework, and left the others to fend for themselves for once.
“No need to be so dramatic.” Harry pouted. “We can handle things.”
Ron and Harry insisted they didn’t need her help, and since her head felt like the Marauders had moved in and were throwing a party …
Lily winced. “Ouch.”
“Hey, you like our parties!” James protested.
“Not in my head.” Lily disagreed.
… (once again, the analogy made her pause for thought) …
Hermione sighed. The Memory Charm had really thrown her.
… she headed for the quiet solidarity of the Room of Requirement, where she lay on a sofa with an icepack on her head, amusing herself by making the room provide different things.
“That’s quite good fun.” Addie conceded, having spent a good three hours doing just that before.
The surprise came at mid-morning, when she was absently considering going down to the kitchens to get something to eat, and a steaming bowl of soup appeared beside her, with a spoon and bread roll.
“Wait a second …” David said slowly. “Didn’t that note from before say that the Room didn’t provide food?”
“It doesn’t.” Lily said in confusion. “Food is one of the exceptions to Gamp’s Laws of Elemental Transfiguration. It shouldn’t be possible.”
“I’ve never managed to make food appear.” Sirius agreed.
“I have.” Hermione said quietly. “It always appears for me.”
“What do you do that they don’t do?” Harry asked. A note appeared on the table and he picked it up. “Apparently, it’s not a question of ‘doing’; it’s a question of ‘having’.”
“Alright, what does Hermione have that they don’t?” Ginny asked.
David looked thoughtful. “I might have an idea.” He said slowly. “But I won’t say anything in case I’m wrong.”
She and Lily stared at it for a few seconds, before Hermione shrugged and tucked in. “How did that happen?” She asked. “I know we’re in the Room of Requirement, but I thought food was one of the exceptions to Gamp’s Laws of Elemental Transfiguration.”
“Here we go again.” James grinned.
“It is.” Lily said slowly. “We never managed to get food to appear – Merlin knows James and Sirius tried enough times. They could eat twice their body weight and still have room for more.”
“That sounds familiar.” Ginny laughed.
Hermione chuckled. “Sounds like Ron and Harry … Well, most of the time.”