Chapter 14: Centaur Sentiments

The silence of the cool morning air was broken by a whoosh and a pop as Hermione apparated onto a familiar narrow lane. She stood before an imposing and securely locked gate made of vertical wrought iron bars that were needle sharp at the top. Flanking the gate were massive stone pillars and an imposing stone wall leading off into the distance. The gate, pillars, and walls still bore the marks of battle damage. Atop each pillar, and seeming little worse for wear, the winged boars still stood in sentinel. Beyond the gate, the lane continued up a small rise bordered on each side by thick trees and large bushes. Neither birdsong, nor rustle of tree leaf, disturbed the eerie unnatural silence.

Hermione walked up to the gate and took hold of an iron bar with her hand. As her fingers curled around the bar, it began to vibrate with a low rumbling tone. An instant later, the bar in her hand, and some on either side of it, dissolved. She stepped forward through the opening and then turned to look back. The bars reappeared and the gate was once again an impenetrable barrier.

She began walking up the lane that wound its way through the trees toward the castle. After walking only a short distance, the sound of something rustling in the bushes ahead broke the silence. Taking hold of her wand, she quickly moved behind a tall tree by the edge of the lane. Reaching around the trunk of the tree, she pointed her wand toward the sound and quietly said, "Homenum Revelio." The misty figure of a very large bearded man formed at the tip of her wand.

After breathing a sigh of relief, she called out, "Hagrid, is that you?"

There was more rustling from the bushes and then the man stepped out onto the lane. Glancing around intently, he said in a deep voice, "Hermione?"

"Yes Hagrid." She stepped back onto the lane, pocketed her wand, and walked toward him.

Hagrid smiled warmly as she approached. "Hermione, good ter see yea!"

"It's good to see you too Hagrid," said Hermione with a smile. "How are you?"

"I'm doin' good, just been checkin' up on a family of raccoons. Harry said you and Ron were away helpin' yer mum and dad. Hope everything's okay."

"Yes, we're all fine and happy to be back in England. I'm going to be living with them while I complete my final term at Hogwarts this year."

"That's right nice. I'm sure yer mum and dad are happy 'bout that."

"Yes, they are. Hagrid, Harry and Ginny mentioned there's some trouble with the centaurs."

"Yea, there was a battle 'tween some death eaters and the centaurs. The centaurs eventually defeated 'em. Lots o' centaurs were injured. Some casualties too, includin' foals."

"Oh Hagrid, that's awful!"

"Yea, monstrous and wicked. The injured centaurs are well on the mend what with their knowledge of healin' and that sort of thing. But the tribes got themselves sorely ruffled and I'm worried it'll tear 'em apart. There's division 'tween the centaurs who want to be on good terms with the Ministry and those that don't. Each side keeps quotin' what they've seen in the stars, barmy if yea ask me."

"I think I might be able to help. Can you arrange a meeting so I can talk to them?"

"You couldn't 'ave picked a better day. The elders are havin' council all week to talk 'bout what they'll do. Just soes yea know, they're very caught up in their own opinions and might not listen to yea."

"They have to listen Hagrid. I know something that can work if it's what they really want. Ron is coming up to the castle later today and wants to help too."

"Okay, I'll take yea both to the centaur settlement."

"Thanks. Well, I best be on my way. I'm going to help Hannah Abbot in the library."

"I'll see yea at my hut after lunch."

"Bye Hagrid." She turned and continued walking up the lane toward the castle.

After entering the castle, Hermione made her way to the familiar stone archway that led into the Hogwarts library. She stopped and surveyed the surroundings. The damage and debris she and Ron had seen the day after the battle was gone. Now books were stacked in many tall piles on every available table and chair. Many of the books appeared to have torn pages sticking out at odd angles. The rope securing entrance into the restricted section lie curlicue on the floor. Looking in through the entrance, she caught sight of a stack of books floating toward a table. The stack settled onto the table with a small thud. An instant later, Hannah Abbot, with wand in hand and her hair wrapped in a scarf, came into view. Her clothes were powdered with dust.

"Hermione!" exclaimed Hannah. "I'm so glad you came."

"Hi Hannah," said Hermione as she walked toward her. "How are you doing?"

"I'm doing really well."

Seeing a certain sparkle in Hannah's eyes, Hermione said, "That's good to hear ... umm ... anyone I know?"

"Probably," smiled Hannah. "But we should talk about that another time."

With a mock pouting expression, Hermione said in a disappointed tone, "O..kay."

Hannah grinned. Then in a sobering tone said, "The battle took quite a toll on the library. There were so many books lying on the floor covered with dirt and debris. I found the books Last Resort Defensive Strategies and Spells for the Timid hiding in the broom cupboard. It took a bit of coaxing before they'd come out. Madam Pince almost cried when she saw all the loose and torn pages. She wants the books removed from bookcases, their pages mended, and everything cleaned."

She looked at Hermione apprehensively. "But that's not the worst part. Umm ... take a deep breath, try to stay calm, and follow me."

With a quizzical expression, she followed Hannah. After rounding a corner, Hermione gasped loudly, "OH NO!" and put her hands over her mouth in shocked disbelief.

Thousands of small cards were scattered across the floor. The book catalogue cabinets lie toppled on the floor. The empty drawers were lying haphazard a short distance away.

"Madam Pince had much the same reaction," said Hannah with a grin.

"But she's the librarian," exclaimed Hermione in distress. "She must know some magic that will make the catalogue right again."

"She's tried a few times. But each time, after a moment, there's a burping sound as the drawers slide open. Then, the cards forcefully fly out as if they're being vomited. It's a bit disgusting."

"Someone must have jinxed them," said Hermione with a thoughtful expression. "But how?"

"Madam Pince thought the same. We've run out of things to try and hoped maybe you might have some ideas."

"Someone might have tried to set up a protection before the battle ... someone in the D.A?"

"I've asked. Most think it's brilliant, but no one knows anything about it."

Hannah watched as Hermione's eyes narrowed in thought for a long moment. Then, Hermione's eyes brightened and she smiled. "Puking Pastilles. It's like the cabinet ate some Puking Pastilles."

"Are you thinking it was Fred or George Weasley who did this?"

"No, they came to Hogwarts with the Order members just before the battle started. And they defended the upper floors of the castle. Whoever it was must have used a variation of that spell. Ron's meeting me here for lunch today. I'll send him a patronus and ask him bring George along too."

"That's wonderful Hermione. Madam Pince will be very happy if they can mend it."

"So will I," said Hermione as she glanced at the floor with a forlorn expression.

After a moment, Hannah looked at her and nonchalantly said, "So how are you and Ron getting on?"

Hermione looked at her with a coy expression. "We're okay ... yeah. ... We'll have to talk about that some time."

Hannah scowled. "Oh alright ... but you have to keep it secret. We're not ready for everyone to know."

While tracing an X over her chest she said, "Cross my heart."


"Oh, that's so wonderful! Tell me how it happened."

Hannah grinned. "Bring that stack of books." Hannah also picked up a stack of books. As they started to walk she said, "We've both been spending a lot of time here at the castle helping the professors mend things. We'd take evening meal together, you know, just friends. And then we'd sit and talk for hours. Oh Hermione, he's kind, considerate, and we talk about everything. ..."

"You think that's his best offer?" said Ron as he and George walked up the lane toward the castle.

"No, I think we can get him to come down a bit more. He wants to be rid of it."

"Seems perfect to me. Close to Hogwarts and only magical people live in the village."

"Yeah, but it's pretty run down and has some battle damage. It'll be a lot of work to get it fixed up."

They rounded the final bend in the lane and the steps leading up to the great doors of the castle came into view.

"She'll be in the library. We're a bit early so let's go there."

"Now not a word of this to anyone," said George sternly. "We don't want him getting word of what we're planning to do."

Ron glanced at George and nodded.

A few minutes later, Ron and George stepped into the library. Ron called out, "Hermione, we're here."

"We'll be right there Ron," came her muffled reply from somewhere deep within the rows of bookcases.

A moment later, Hermione and Hannah emerged from a far corner and made their way toward them. Hermione's clothes were now powdered with dust like Hannah's.

"Hi Ron, Hi George," said Hermione. Everyone exchanged hellos and then Hermione said, "George, we need your help."

"Sure," said George with a cautious look on his face. "What is it?"

"It's over here," said Hannah. She led them to where the cards lay scattered on the floor.

Ron said, "Looks like this area needs a bit more tidying up."

"That's the problem," said Hannah. "Every time we try, the cards get vomited back out of the drawers."

Hermione watched George as his eyes opened wider. With a smirk she said, "It reminded me of Puking Pastilles. Know anyone who might be responsible?"

As they watched, George carefully stepped over to the cabinet. He began examining inside the drawer openings as if looking for something. Ron stepped over next to George.

"Ron, shine a bit of light into here."

Ron took out his wand and lit it. Then he squatted down and poked his wand into one of the drawer openings.

George tilted his head at different angles looking into the cabinet for another moment. "There." He reached in and with a small grimace, withdrew something.

George and Ron stood and looked at the object in George's hand.

"It's brilliant," said George with an amazed expression on his face. "Absolutely brilliant."

"What is it?" said Hermione.

"It's a small muggle electrical battery. It was stuck to the inside of the cabinet with a pastille covering each end."

"Do you know who did it?" asked Hannah.

"Yes, I think I do." A somber expression came to George's face as he handed the battery to Ron.

"The battle had started and we were making our way toward the Room of Requirement. Colin came running up to us and said he needed the spell for Puking Pastilles. Fred told him that he wasn't of age yet and shouldn't be at the castle. He just kept insisting on the spell so Fred told him. As Colin was running off, I hollered after him to find a safe place and stay there. He shouted back that he already had and then disappeared around a corner."

They were all quiet for a long moment. Then Hermione said in a quiet voice, "Under normal circumstances, the library is one of the safer places."

"But he didn't stay here," said Hannah sorrowfully. "Neville and Oliver found Colin's body outside the castle."

"There was fighting everywhere," said George. "Something must have happened to make him leave. Maybe someone was trying to fight their way into the library. That would explain Colin setting up a diversionary cover."

"The window over there was completely blown out," said Hannah pointing. "It finished mending itself just last week."

Ron said, "He must have gone out through the blown out window."

"But this is the third floor," said Hermione. "Where could he have gone?"

Ron said, "There's a narrow ledge just under the window on the outside. I remember seeing it on the map. The ledge circles down to the ground floor."

They were silent. A moment later, Madam Pince entered the room. "Everyone please use caution to not step on any of the cards."

"We think we have it sorted out Madam Pince," said Hannah.

"Yes," said George. "I think the cards will stay where they belong now."

Madam Pince took out her wand. "Stand back everyone and we'll see."

After everyone stood clear, Madam Pince waved her wand in a sweeping motion over the floor. Like a great blizzard of snow, the cards flew from every corner of the room. They began rapidly collecting and shuffling themselves into the drawers. The cabinets righted themselves and the drawers, now full of cards, slid smoothly into place. They all watched and waited for a long moment. Nothing happened.

Hermione breathed a sigh of relief. Madam Pince said, "Oh thank you so very much. Do you know who cast the jinx?"

"It was Colin Creevey," said Hannah. "We think he was trying to defend the library during the battle."

"I see," said Madam Pince in a soft voice. "He was brave indeed, a true Gryffindor. I will mention this to the headmistress."

Hagrid, Ron, and Hermione walked along a path that weaved and led deep into the forbidden forest. They walked past many broken trees and branches lying on the ground, some of which were blocking the way forward. While Hagrid could easily step over the fallen trees, Ron and Hermione had to carefully skirt around them and rejoin Hagrid further up along the path. After a long and arduous walk, they came to an abrupt stop at the sight of a large chestnut colored centaur that stepped silently from the bushes onto the path ahead of them. The centaur held a bow with an arrow on the string. There were scars and battle injuries on his body and hindquarters.

"Good to see yea Sarion," said Hagrid in a pleasant voice.

"Hagrid, you are friend," said the centaur sternly. "Who do you bring among us?"

"These 'ere are Ron and Hermione. They fought with us in the battle at Hogwarts."

"What is their business?"

"They want to speak ter the council elders."

"They are outsiders. Only those of heritage within the tribe may speak during the time of deliberation."

"What they got ter say is important," said Hagrid a bit impatiently. "Talk ter Firenze, he taught 'em lessons at Hogwarts. He'll vouch fer 'em."

Sarion slowly lowered his bow. "Very well Hagrid, on your word as friend. Wait here."

Hagrid nodded. Sarion returned the arrow to his quiver and shouldered the bow. Then he stepped away and returned a few moments later accompanied by Firenze.

"Greetings to you all," said Firenze. "I apologize. These are troubling times and the stars tell of a great need for caution. I must hold your wands if you wish to come among the tribe."

With a determined expression, Hermione took out her wand and then looked at Ron with her hand outstretched. With an uneasy expression, Ron took out his wand and placed it in her hand. She stepped forward to Firenze and handed the wands to him.

After placing the wands in his satchel Firenze said, "Fear not. Walk at my side and do not speak until I tell you. Do not address the elders until you are spoken to."

They walked a short distance further up the path and it opened into a large clearing. The perimeter of the clearing was dotted with dwellings. A large dwelling was on the north side with a wooden deck in front of it. Upon the deck, a group of elder centaurs with stoic expressions presided. A heated debate between two centaurs was in progress. Gathered in the clearing were many centaurs of all ages listening intently to the discourse. The elder centaurs took notice of the new comers and whispered to each other. Hagrid stayed back at the clearing's edge as Firenze moved forward with Ron and Hermione at his side.

The black centaur who was speaking noticed them approaching. Wheeling about, he pointed at them. In a raised voice he said, "See the disregard for the traditions and customs of this tribe." The eyes of all the centaurs focused on the three of them as the black centaur menacingly stepped toward Firenze. "You who collude with the untrustworthy and arrogant. They trodden upon us and force us to live in unnatural ways. Have they come to inflict still more injury upon us?"

Firenze stopped and they stood their ground. Firenze said, "I hold their wands, freely given to me, while they are among us. With all respect to this council, and you Bane, they defended us, and themselves, from a far greater evil, as Ronan has borne witness."

"Defended us!" shouted Bane and his eyes flared in anger. He pointed at Ron and Hermione. "It was their kind who came to this very place and murdered Tyketis, Pyxeso, and foals Orozoro and Vokarus. By their own laws, those who committed these heinous acts are criminal! But those criminals need not be concerned. No jury of witches and wizards will find them guilty or convict them of anything."

"They stand among us bringing hope," said Firenze in a solemn tone. "Bane, by your voice, the stars foretold this to us." Firenze looked down at Ron and Hermione. With an outstretched hand above them he said, "Your words are fulfilled for here they stand." Firenze looked back at Bane. "I only ask that you and the council hear the words they have to speak."

"These cannot be of whom I spoke," said Bane in contempt. "They are little more than foals and no doubt ignorant of the callous deeds of their so-called Ministry."

"Persecuted and yet defiant they rise, watchful stars of the deliverer's quest," said Firenze.

With a scowl Bane said, "Then let us hear the words they have come to speak." Bane turned and walked toward the side of the clearing in disgust, his tail swishing forcefully.

Looking toward the elder centaurs Firenze said, "Honored ones, these are Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley. They wish to speak."

"Let them come forward," said the auburn colored elder centaur.

"As you say Cerineas." Firenze looked at Ron and Hermione and gave them a single nod of his head.

Ron and Hermione glanced at each other with unsure expressions and then slowly advanced toward the front. Ronan, the centaur who had been debating with Bane, made a small bow of his head toward them and then backed away. The four elder centaurs, three with long and graying beards, looked at them intently for a long moment. Ron and Hermione looked back at them and saw weariness in their eyes and skepticism on their faces.

The elder with long sandy colored hair said, "I am Erufea, daughter of Olipas and descendent of Chiron." She raised her hands toward the gathering of centaurs. "We endure lives of travail and poverty. Our natural freedoms have been taken away and we are little more than prisoners on this remote land where we are permitted to dwell. We have no voice in the laws that affect our lives and well-being. Your Ministers speak of liberty and justice but their words are empty lies." There was loud applause at these words.

"You have every right to be distrustful of the Ministry," said Hermione. "For many years, the Ministry has been influenced by those who have little respect for the dignity and rights of others. They tried to do what the Dark Lord wanted, empower only those who are magical pureblood and subjugate all others. They call me mudblood because I am born of non-magical parents. By the words of their creed, I am an abomination to the magical world."

Ron said, "This last year, many like Hermione were rounded up. They were subjected to fake trial, falsely convicted, and sentenced to imprisonment in Azkaban. Before that, those with wealth held great influence on how things got done at the Ministry. We tell you this not to belittle the injustice you have endured. Things have not been right at the Ministry for a very long time."

Hermione said, "But there are many witches and wizards, like the Weasley family, who embrace the dignity of non-magical life in the world. They fight, some at the cost of their lives, for justice, equality, and the right of self-determination. Using the Ministry legal system, I will continue that fight. I want to make the laws more equitable for centaurs, elves, and any who are unjustly treated. It won't be easy but laws can be changed and unjust laws must be abolished."

A dark gray elder said, "I am Kidor, son of Lylath. After so long a time, why will the Ministry be any different now?"

Hermione said, "Kingsley Shacklebolt is acting Minister and his permanent appointment is little more than a formality. He fought for justice in the recent battle and for many years as an Auror. He's different from those who served as Minister before him. He treats those in both the magical and non-magical worlds with respect. He will purge the Ministry of those who do not honor this principle."

Erufea said, "The Minister may change but the untruths spoken of us will not be dispelled. They call us half-breed and heathen. Law is easily changed when compared to the hardness of a heart."

Hermione said, "Before coming to Hogwarts, I knew of centaurs only from muggle fairy tales. It's because of those like Firenze that I learned the truth about your skills, knowledge, and culture. I want to learn more. Many on both sides will fear and distrust so long as we live in separate worlds. But with time, we can change and mutually benefit each other."

Kidor said, "What have centaurs that will benefit witches and wizards? Your magical abilities provide for your needs."

Ron said, "You could give guidance using what you see in the stars ... maybe publish horoscopes in the Daily Prophet. That would be a start. And like Hermione said, both sides will come 'round once they get to know each other."

"We are not charlatans," said Cerineas in an irritated tone. "Fortune tellers consider only the few stars that wander the sky and ignore the countless others with far greater stories to tell. The true diviner sees each star as an individual that is alive, immensely old, and wise beyond anything we can imagine. In the language of their glister is an offer of guidance toward the universal grandeur. Each has a lesson for those who seek and patiently listen with the heart. Many years of study, practice, and dedication are needed before the majesty and splendor of the heavens can be rightfully divined."

"That's the point," said Hermione in an earnest tone. "It's your skills and abilities that make what you say valuable. Your knowledge of healing is also well known. I've heard Madam Pomfrey mention it on many occasions. We can learn to have mutual trust and respect for our differences. It can work ... that is ... if it's what you really want this time."

The elders glanced warily at each other. Then the tawny colored centaur said, "I am Redotus. What knowledge have you of our past dealings with your Ministry?"

"I know of two failed attempts to better unite our worlds. The second attempt by Solicitor MacLaren nearly succeeded. So much work completed to lay the foundation for improved relations. Why did you choose not to accept?"

"We do not exchange one freedom for a lesser one," said Redotus in an indignant tone.

"No, you shouldn't," said Hermione contritely. "With your help, we can try again. The world is a different place now. We influence and affect one another without even realizing it. We have to work together, as we did in the battle, to suppress evil in all its forms. We are stronger when we work together."

"What help is needed?" said an old and feeble looking centaur. He slowly stepped from the shadows of a dwelling and limped forward. His long hair and beard were white and his body was a dull silver color.

"Grand Elder Paxeas," said Cerineas, "you are ill and knackered."

"I am strong enough to speak," said the elder gruffly with a grimace.

An attendant centaur hurried to his side and helped Paxeas slowly shuffle forward.

Firenze moved close behind Ron and Hermione. In a whisper he said, "Grand Elder Paxeas is the eldest of our tribe. His ability to divine our future in the stars is revered. He is wise and taught most here present when we were foals. On a number of occasions, headmaster Dumbledore took council with him."

"I can stand on my own four legs," said Paxeas in an irritated gruff voice as he waved his hands shooing away the attendant. Ron and Hermione glanced at each other and smiled.

Looking at the council members Paxeas said, "My time grows short and the stars of this world will soon pass from my sight." Paxeas gestured toward Ron and Hermione. "Take heed of the words they speak. As divined many years ago in the stars, A great darkness shall be displaced and a new star will shine forth. It will gather a firmament unto itself and the long awaited spring morning shall dawn."

He looked at Hermione. "What help do you require of us?"

"With all due respect to you Grand Elder," said Bane as he walked up to Paxeas, "deliberations are not complete nor has this council made any decision."

Paxeas looked at Bane with an irritated expression. "I wish only that the council know what may be needed."

Paxeas looked back at Hermione.

"The way to achieve a lasting future is by legal means. This is what the centaur tribes in Australia have done. Laws and treaties were enacted to recognize and protect their rights as self-directed beings. I want to help you do the same. I'll need information about your living conditions and the things that are important in preserving your way of life. Everyone with a differing viewpoint must have a say. We'll write a formal petition to the Ministry of Magic requesting tribal sovereign rights. It will clearly identify what the tribe needs to live, grow, and pursue your destiny. We can build on the work done in the previous treaty attempt."

Paxeas looked up toward the other elders. "Do you have further need of questions for these?"

The elders glanced at one another. They gathered into a close circle and whispered to each other for a long moment. Then looking at Ron and Hermione, Erufea said, "Thank you for the words you have spoken, they shall be considered. You may step aside so that others may speak."

Paxeas looked back at Hermione and Ron. "If you please, will you join me for a cup of tea?"

"Umm ... yes," said Hermione as she and Ron turned to follow Paxeas with bewildered expressions.

Firenze followed and they very slowly made their way toward the edge of the clearing. Paxeas beckoned Hagrid to join them. A short distance further, in a shaded area set off to the side, there was a high table with some tall chairs. With a step up, Ron and Hermione seated themselves at the table as the others gathered around its circular shape. A moment later, a centaur set a tray holding tea and biscuits onto the table.

Paxeas said, "Bykea, take word to Bane of my request that he join us here for tea."

Bykea nodded and then trotted away.

Hermione looked at Paxeas with a concerned expression on her face. "Our time speaking with the elders seemed to end rather abruptly. Did I say something inappropriate?"

"Not at all," smiled Paxeas as he poured them all tea. "You were both quite clearly understood and no further words were necessary. Firenze, I think their wands may be returned."

"Indeed," said Firenze. He removed the wands from his satchel and gave them back to Ron and Hermione.

As they pocketed their wands, Ron and Hermione glanced at each other still unsure.

"C'mon yea two" said Hagrid in a gruff voice, "don't keep Ron and Hermione guessin'. What's gonna 'appen next?"

Paxeas took a sip of tea. "What has been foretold to us by the stars." He held a small plate out to them. "Do try the alfalfa biscuits. They are my favorite and really quite delightful."

With a stern expression on his face, Bane walked slowly up to the table. His tail swished the air forcefully from side to side.

"Thank you for joining us," said Paxeas to Bane as he handed him a cup of tea. "Our guests are curious about the message you divined from the stars. Would you kindly tell them about it?"

"There are many others who can speak it to them," said Bane with a frown.

"Ah, but the stars speak most eloquently with your voice, both then and now. Please honor us."

"Very well, Grand Elder, if it pleases you."

When the sun is held by the warrior's hand,
and Laelaps ascendant accord,
they stand among us bringing hope,
of Libra's lawful balance restored.

Persecuted and yet defiant they rise,
watchful stars of the deliverer's quest,
faithful council and shield of integrity,
in light of golden daybreak they are blest.

Peaceful battle with the bull shall be waged,
mistrust be trodden by the champion under hoof,
then alliance shall sprout from the ashes,
durable growth from a just shared reproof.

After a moment, Ron looked questioningly at Hermione. "The sun held in the warrior's hand?"

"The warrior is Orion. The sun is above the stars of his hand at the summer solstice. That's in just a few weeks."

"And what about that peaceful battle with the bull part?"

"Orion battles the bull, which is the constellation Taurus. The bull represents ..." A chill of realization washed over her. She quietly said, "The Ministry of Magic."

"Quite correct," smiled Paxeas.

"Wow! No pressure Ori ... umm ... Hermione," grinned Ron.

She looked at Ron with a half-smile and raised eyebrows. "You're in there too you know."

"Really? ... How so?"

"Laelaps, Sirius."

"The dog star?" said Ron with a puzzled look on his face.

Hermione smiled. "What's your patronus?"

"Oh," said Ron with quiet comprehension.

Hermione said meekly, "A bit like how Harry must have felt." After a brief moment, she looked at Bane. "When did you first speak those words?"

He spoke with a quiet voice. "When I was a young foal and student of Paxeas."

"The stars choose the messenger," said Paxeas with a glint in his eye. "And you the champion Bane."

"No Grand Elder, I think that unwise. If council decides to proceed, Firenze is more skilled in the wizard customs and ways."

"Your passion for our cause burns deep, you will represent us well. Speak with Redotus, he is ... knowledgeable of past dealings with the Ministry of Magic. I leave it to you to choose a second."

Bane looked at Hermione. "I mean no disrespect to you but ... your understanding of the stars is greater than I expected."

"Thank you," smiled Hermione. "I take it as a complement." And in that briefest of moments, a sense of respect past between them.

She turned to Paxeas. "When will the council make a decision?"

"All pronouncements are made after sunset on the day of Litha. You are both most welcome to attend." Paxeas leaned slightly forward and said, "Please invite Mister Potter and friend to attend on my behalf. I would very much like to meet the deliverer."

This is an original fan fiction story based on the seven book series 'Harry Potter' written by J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter, the characters, names and related characters are trademarks of Warner Bros., Inc. Harry Potter publishing rights © J.K.R. This is an unofficial, not for profit site and is in no way connected with J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Books, Bloomsbury Publishing or Warner Bros., Inc. This site is not endorsed by any of these aforementioned parties. Rights to characters and their images is neither claimed nor implied. This fan fiction story is owned by the author and subject to copyright law under transformative use.

Copyright © 2015-2017 Don Buczynski
San Diego, California
Published: 8/30/14
Last Updated: 10/17/17