As added bonus, I'm putting up the first few chapters to the sequel to Penny Dredfule entitled Bonds of Fate...
I may continue writing this, bur my love of fanfiction has faded. Enjoy! The story is forever a mystery, without and ending, but rest assured that it ends happily ever after....
CHAPTER ONE -HERMIONE MAKES A FRIEND-
Where did you get that ring?
Harry, Ron and Hermione looked up at the girl who had spoken. They were on board the Hogwarts Express, winding their way through the countryside. Their sixth year had ended with an eerie quietness that had left them wondering what was to come.
During that year, they had seen the capture of an ex-Enchanter and the Goddess Isis reborn again. Albeit that they didnt have much to do with the capturing or the Goddess, they had been there.
But the year had winded down after that. Normally, everything was in chaos towards the end of the second term. Either they were dealing with some mystery, or finding the answers to previously unanswered questions. Neither had happened the past year, leaving them to wonder what exactly was coming.
They were now riding towards their seventh and final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Things would be busy this year, and they were worried and anxious of what was awaiting them. But there was still that undercurrent of disaster biding its time. They werent to worried, though. Disaster usually had no problems finding them.
The girl who had spoken was a quiet first year that had boarded the scarlet steam engine with an expression bordering on awe and excitement, fear and nausea. She had asked whether or not the seat across from Hermione was free, and stayed quiet the entire time. In her hands she held a book entitled Whimsical Words of Woe and the Human Heart-poetry by Gilderoy Lockhart. She seemed to be having a good laugh over a few of the poems.
She was now looking at the three of them with an intense expression, her clear blue-green eyes reflecting their faces with looks of surprise. She smiled at them with an innocence only mastered by the young and awaited their answer.
Im sorry? Harry replied.
Im just curious where you got the ring youre wearing.
Harrys demeanor quieted. It was my mothers. He looked at the ring on the ring finger of his right hand. Made of silver and gold, it resembled two snakes biting each others tails to make a circle. It seemed to glow with its own warmth.
Im sure she was very nice. The girl replied.
What was that? Harry said, his face pale.
Nothing, nothing, so what are your names?
There was silence in the compartment of the train. You mean you dont know who we are? Harry asked.
The girl shrugged. Should I? Im only just starting at Hogwarts, arent I?
Finally, Hermione spoke. Well, Im Hermione, this is Ron and thats Harry. Harry Potter.
The girl shrugged, and smiled. Pleased to meet you. My names Ivy. Ivy Lewis.
Hermione, who still couldnt believe that this girl hadnt heard of Harry, smiled back at her. Nice to meet you Ivy. Are you excited for your first year at Hogwarts?
Very excited, actually, and a little nervous to tell the truth. Ive never studied magic before.
Hermione thought back to when she had first started at Hogwarts. Alone and afraid, though she would hardly let anyone know this, she had wandered the corridor of the train being bossy and stubborn; the only way she knew how to fight fear. Her heart warmed to this young eleven-year-old girl.
Its alright, Ivy. We were all pretty awed when we first came here, too. Tell you what, stick by my side, and Ill show you around. Sound alright?
Ivy smiled. Thatd be nice. Thank you Hermione.
The talk in the compartment then sped along a different track. Hermione was to be Head Girl this year, an honour that she had mentioned only three thousand times in the last two hours. What? she replied to Harry and Rons protests, Cant I be proud of being Head Girl?
Well, yes, but we dont have to hear about it every five seconds Miney. Youre starting to sound like Percy.
There was silence.
I do not sound like Percy. Hermione said huffily.
Yes you do. Ron replied.
No I dont!
Yes you DO!
No I DONT!
There was more silence.
Oh for crikeys sake! Harry called out. Im going to get something from the lunch cart. And he stood up.
Wait up Harry, Ill come with you! Ron shouted, following Harry out and closing the door behind him.
Ivy smiled. Boys. She said.
Tell me about it. Hermione said in response.
How long have you and Ron been together?
Since last year. Hes pretty great, actually.
You sound surprised.
Well, hes always been soI dont know, so Ron. Know what I mean?
Not really, but thats okay. So, whos going to be Head Boy if youre Head Girl?
Hermione shuddered visibly.
Draco Malfoy, she said.
I take it hes not a very nice person.
No, no hes not. The only way he ever got anything was to have his father buy it for him. He probably bought his way in. He has a thing against Mudbloods, so Im not too happy about it.
You dont know what Mudbloods are?
No, I dont know much about Magic.
But how can you not know what Mudbloods are?
ImIm not from around here. Ivy smiled weakly.
Ivy and Hermione talked like old friends after that. They talked mostly about Hermione, though. Ivy seemed to want to know everything about her. Where she came from, who her parents did and who they were, that sort of thing.
It wasnt until the four of them were leaving the steam engine, Ron, Harry and Hermione going through the back door of Hogwarts Castle for Seventh Years with Ivy going across the moat in the row boats, that Hermione realized that Ivy had volunteered no information about herself.
* * *
The sorting ceremony went well. Lewis, Ivy ended up being sorted into Gryffindor as well and Hermione was glad of that. Ivy seemed to need a friend right now, so she was happy to have Ivy in her dormitory.
Hermione looked up at the Head Table, where the Professors sat. Professor Dredfule was there sitting close to Professor McGonagall talking excitedly. Hermione was glad that Professor Dredfule was back to teach for another year. It was somehow comforting having the Goddess Isis on the teaching staff.
There were two empty chairs however. But, every other class had an assigned professor, who else would be teaching this year? They were about to find out, as Dumbledore was walking up to the front of the hall to address the entire school.
Welcome to another year! I hope you have all unlearned what you learnt last year? We get to stuff them full again! First off, welcome to the new first years! We hope you will be very happy here! Congratulations to our new Head Boy and our new Head Girl, Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger!
There was a burst of cheers from the Gryffindor and Slytherin table. Stupid Malfoy! Ron said to Harry, Wonder whos dick he had to blow to be Head Boy!
Ron! Harry exclaimed, Be quiet, people might hear you!
Oh, cmon Harry, everyone knows hes gay. But if you had a father like Lucius, would you be out of the closet?
Harry thought for a moment. Nope. He said, Guess not.
As always, continued Dumbledore, the Forbidden Forest is, well, forbidden. As well, the second tower is off limits as well. We would like to welcome back Professor Trelawney from her sabbatical, and Im sure were all glad to have Professor Dredfule and Professor Townsend back with us this year. As Professor Trelawney is resuming her post, Professor Townsend will be teaching the Art of Tarot this year. Dumbledore paused to gesture to the two empty seats at the Head Table.
We have two new classes that all seventh years are required to take. Thus, we have hired two Professors that are quite capable in their trade. The first course will be Magical Poetry, taught by none other than Gilderoy Lockhart.
What! Ron said, You cant be serious!
Quite serious, Mr. Weasley. Dumbledore smiled. Now the other course. It will be Wizard Journalism, taught by none other than Rita Skeeter.
WHAT?! bellowed Hermione.
Dumbledore smiled, and looked as if he wanted to laugh. They will be arriving tomorrow. Now, Im sure were all very hungry, so lets eat!
The golden plates before them filled with food and everyone dug in. Can you believe this?! Hermione said. She was practically seething.
Why are they teaching here? Ron asked, There must be some reason.
Dont look at me. Ivy said, Im new here.
I knew something was going to happen this year. Why else would they hire those two jokers?
..BECAUSE THE EVIL IS.. said a voice. Except, it was Ivy who spoke, and Ivy who was now clapping a hand to her mouth.
What did you say, Ivy? Harry asked. He looked very pale all of a sudden.
Ivy giggled. Nothing, Harry. Pass the peas?
* * *
CHAPTER TWO - IN MIND AND BODY
Hermione looked about her bed, making sure that everything was in place. Things had been busy after dinner. Everyone trumped up to their rooms to clean, unpack and get ready for the first day back at school.
While at Hogwarts, she tried to make the place feel like home. She loved Hogwarts very much, but she did miss her parents.
She picked up the teddy bear that was on her bed. It had been a gift from Ron for her seventeenth birthday. At first it seemed a little juvenile of a gift until he had shown her what was tied into the ribbon around its neck.
It was an engagement ring. It shaped like two owls, with their wings outstretched to form the band. Wing to wing, wing to wing. Each owl made up half the circle. One bird was silver and one was gold, very much like ring. Except that his ring was two snakes biting each others tails.
Its a promise ring. Ron had said.
What are you promising?
To be there for you when you need me.
Hermione's eyes had misted and they had embraced. She loved Ron, she really, really did. She just wasnt sure what she wanted to do with her life. She didnt want to be tied down if she went to work for the Ministry of Magic. She was supposed to find out about her Auror application soon. She sighed loudly.
Why so glum?
Hermione gasped and turned. Ivy was standing in the doorway of her room holding a teddy bear of her own. Ivy, Hermione breathed, hi.
He loves you, you know.
Ron. He really loves you, Hermione. Youre so lucky to have him. But he doesnt see it that way. He doesnt think youre lucky to have him.
What do you mean?
Just what I say. Ivy smiled. Im going to go settle down for the night. She turned to leave. Oh! I almost forgot, this is for you. She thrust out the teddy bear.
Dont you want it? You might need something to make you feel better. It can get scary here.
Thats okay. Its just to thank you for being my friend. Its nice to have something youve never had. And with that, Ivy smiled and turned to do to her bed.
Hermione looked down at the teddy bear in her hand. She had forgotten to ask Ivy what his name was. He was very cute, with blue bead eyes, and a red scarf tied around his neck. She smiled, and put the teddy bear beside the one Ron had given her.
As she turned off the lights and felt sleep claiming her, she had one last clear thought. Harry, Ivy and herself all had rings shaped like two animals and made out of silver and gold. Weird, she thought.
* * *
In the dark, Ivys bear seemed to glow. Unknown to anyone, the bears blue eyes seemed to blink.
* * *
Hermione felt the sun on the lids of her eyes. She didnt want to wake up, she had been having such a wonderful dream. The owls of her ring had come to life and she had flown with them, soaring high into the sky and beyond. She smiled and opened her eyes.
Ivy was standing above her.
Ivy, Hermione said, still sleepy, whats wrong?
Nothing. She shrugged. Professor McGonagall sent me to get you. Youre supposed to be downstairs in the main hall to have your Head Girl pictures taken.
WHAT? Oh my god! Thank you Ivy! Hermione threw on a T-shirt, a pair of jeans and her robes, collected her book bag and hurried off downstairs.
Ivy smiled as she watched her new friend disappear. It was nice to have a friend. She was about to leave the room when she noticed her bear on Hermiones nightstand.
She went over to it, and patted its head. Watch over her, dad. She said. She needs watching over.
Ivy then collected her books, and headed down to have breakfast.
* * *
So nice of you to join us, Granger. Malfoy said with a sneer. He had dyed his blonde hair a dark shade of black. It had purple highlights in it.
So nice of you to wait for me, Malfoy. Did I keep you from having your manicure?
At that moment, Professor McGonagall stepped towards them. Miss Granger! Wonderful, now we can get started! If youll both just stand over there
The pictures took about a half-hour or so. Hermione was glad when they were finished. She hated having her picture taken, especially with Malfoy. It was an experience that she could have done without.
So, Malfoy said in between pictures, your boy is looking cute, if I do say so myself. Has he been working out?
You touch Ron, and I hurt you, Malfoy.
Tut, tut, such anger! It will ruin your complexion, Granger. What little of it you have.
So, whod you have to blow to be Head Boy, Malfoy?
Who said I blew? Maybe I was blown
Hermione shivered. Im not even going to dignify that with a response, Malfoy.
With the pictures over, Hermione rushed to the breakfast hall. She wanted to bite something. Hard.
She found Ivy, Ron and Harry all sitting together, eating and talking. Ron kissed her cheek and continued talking. I mean, I have to wonder how she got a job here! Why is she teaching at a school that she was banned from?
Who you talking about? Hermione asked.
You should know who, you have your first class with her.
Hermione looked down at her timetable. Period One: Journalism, Rita Skeeter. Crap! she said. Of all the things to make my day! First pictures with Malfoy and now this?
How did that go? Harry asked.
Dont ask. He dyed his hair.
I saw. Its kind of neat, actually.
Hmm. Well, I wouldnt do it. Anyway, I have to run to the library to find a book before class, got to go.
What? Ron said, Mione, its the first day of school!
Yes. She smiled. I know. See you at lunch!
* * *
Ivy made her way to her class, leaving Harry and Ron to go to Divination on their own. They didnt get very far however.
So, do you think Professor Trelawney has calmed down some over the summer? Ron asked.
I doubt it, somehow I think she gets- and they stopped. Ron, is that-
Yes. Yes it is.
In front of them was a body. One that looked particularly dead. It was the body of Nearly Headless Nick.
* * *
The school was in an uproar. Professor Dumbledore, with Professor Trelawneys help, took Nearly Headless Nick up to the hospital wing.
But how can a ghost have a body? Hermione said at dinner.
Its almost as if, Ivy said, his death was eaten away.
* * *
CHAPTER THREE - NEARLY DEATHLESS NICK
Everyone looked at Ivy. She looked back at them calmly. What do you mean its almost as if his death was eaten away? Hermione asked.
Well, it just makes sense, doesnt it? I mean, since Nick has been a ghost for so long, to bring him back to his body is to take away his death. And to take that away is to kill him all over again.
A silence, thick and somber, spread over the table. Ron exchanged a worried look with Harry and Hermione had a look of concentration on her face. It seemed there was more to Ivy than she had previously thought.
* * *
Schedules were passed out and, to the trios delight, they were all taking Wizard Journalism first thing in the afternoon. Ivy was taking her first Potions classwith Snape
You have to be careful with him, Ivy. Ron told her. He has it in for any student that isnt in Slytherin. Just dont let him boss you around to much.
How am I supposed to do that if Im trying not to be noticed?
Oh. Ron said. Good point. Hey, how bout we take you down to Hagrids after classes are over? Im sure hed love to meet you.
Sounds like a plan. Ivy said.
* * *
Hermione, Ron and Harry all sat together in the back of the classroom. They didnt want Rita to see them right away, they wanted to have the element of surprise. Hermione had a large jar in front of her and she was smiling brightly.
Rita came in, fifteen minutes late looking cocky and very sure of herself. She stood in front of the class and adjusted her horn-rimed glasses. They were coloured a neon pink, to match her robes.
Journalism, she began, is all about being the best! If being the best means you have to hoard a few facts, stretch a few truths to get the story told, so be it! Do what you have to do to get the story written! Understand?
The class responded with silence. Not many were sure exactly how to reply to that obviously pompous statement. Hermione raised her hand, however.
Yes, miss Graaaaaa! Rita said. She had just noticed who had her hand up. Colour had drained from her cheeks.
Hi Professor Skeeter, how are you
F-fine, Miss Granger. D-did you have a question? Her eyes darted nervously to the large glass jar on Hermiones desk.
Yes. Are you asking us to lie, or say, cheat, do what ever we have to do to achieve a story?
No, no, where did you hear that? How silly of me! I meant, um, tell the facts straight! Tell the truth, but, um, be the best?
Yes, said Hermione, thats what I thought you meant.
* * *
In Potions class, the feel of the room was much less happy. Ivy could feel the cold stone around her, as if it were a second skin. Snape has thus far paid her no heed and for that she was grateful. She didnt like him. He reminded her of Death.
Not that Death is a bad thing, she pondered. Death can bring on a Season of Change. She knew that well. Death was rooted in her bones even as life tried to help her grow. What a cruel irony, she thought.
Now, if youll add the peacock quills to the armadillo bile, you should get a thick purple substance that bubbles slightly. Snape said. Lets take at someones failure, shall we? The Slytherins giggled. How abouthmmmmMiss Lewis? Can you show us your- Snape had stopped talking. The moment he had looked into Ivys eyes, the entire world had ceased to exist.
Ivys ring began to glow with soft white light. For Ivy and Snape, the world around them was replaced with the trees of the Forbidden forest. They could see two people, hear snippets of conversation.
.But Snape, I cant love you back. You know that.
It doesnt matter, you can learn to love me!
Severus, I cant, Im sorry. I love James. With this, the woman ran off back towards Hogwarts.
Lily the younger Snape whispered.
The world clicked back into focus.
You loved me. Ivy whispered.
Iyou? Snape replied. He was visibly shaken.
Ivy smiled and resumed working on her potion.
* * *
Im here, Rita continued, to teach you the difficult art of Wizard Journalism. What facts to report, what to leave out, the whys and the hows of the business. Not everyone can be a journalist, but I am here to see if some of you have what it takes. Now, if youll all take out a sheet of parchment-
There was a knock at the door. Rita grumbled something under her breath and went to answer it. When she opened the door, she shrieked. Nearly Headless Nick, no longer a ghost, was standing in the doorway
His face seemed to be falling off of its bones, as if it were made of Silly Putty. Eyes full of pain looked out from behind a large mop of brown hair. It seemed that he was floating, on the verge of falling.
Her-mine-ee He whispered with lips barely able to form the words.
Hermione rose from her desk and went to Nick. Slowly. Calmly. Yes, Nicholas?
Wanted to tell youowls in flightdark of nightsleep well my Queen.for you have been seenand Maab will rise again. With that, Nicholas fell to the floor and gave one final breath.
* * *
Where have I met you before? Snape asked Ivy.
I havent met you before, Professor.
I know you.
Perhaps, but we have not met before, Professor.
But I am sure- he began. Ivy had raised her eyes towards his.
Calm yourself, Severus. She whispered. The whisper voice sounded much older, wiser. It would not do to upset others, dont you agree?
Yessscalm. Snape replied.
Is my secret safe with you, Severus? Ivy whispered.
Good. Ivy smiled, and the spell was broken. Snape looked around wildly for a moment, as if he were unsure of his movements. He then saw Ivy smiling at him. Snape then did something that most thought impossible. Snape smiled.
A bell sounded and Ivy headed for the door. Snape watched her go, watched the room empty itself of students. He sat at his desk for quite some time. Finally, he uttered one word:
* * *
Someone in the classroom screamed.
Hermione, Ron and Harry had bent down to look at Nick and to protect him from the mob of students that were trying to leave the classroom. Rita Skeeter was in hysterics.
CALM YOURSELVES CHILDREN! ITS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT! EVERYONE STAY CALM! She screamed, not sounding at all calm herself.
It was then that Hermione saw a piece of parchment in Nicks hand. She tried pulling it free, but the bodys rigor mortis was quickly setting in. She motioned to Harry to help her unclasp the hand. With a little effort they did so.
Hermione slipped the paper into her pocket just in time. When she stood she was face to face with Professor Dumbledore.
* * *