A/N: I own none of this. Nothing witty to see here: Move along
Last time on The Power He has Not:
Kings Cross Station
The Corner Cafe:
"So I thought I might ask you to think about the possibility of us. I love you Hermione. I want to be with you for the rest of our lives, how ever long that may be." From a pocket, he produced a ring. "This was my mothers, my grandmother's before her, and so on for at least 5generations of the Potters." He produced a heavy gold chain. "If you're willing to consider me, wear the ring on this chain, and think of me. I'll know." Hesitantly Hermione took the ring and the chain. "If you decide your answer is yes, just put the ring on your finger. It will resize to your finger. And I'll know."
Harry Potter and the Power He Has Not.
Chapter 19 - Reactions
Kings Cross Station
Between Platforms 9 and 10:
"Funny, I can see the entry way plain as day. I don't like to think about what my trying to use it would do. You're right, I should wait out here."
"Oh Harry, I can't even imagine what the trip will be like without you. At least when you missed the train 2nd year, I knew you were with Ron. Now you'll be alone."
"Hardly alone, Love. I'll have Goblins to hang around with. And Orphans to track down. On the plus side, my little problem isn't interfering with your ring."
"What do you mean? "
"The Ring has some serious old magic on it according to my grandmother's journals. Something about 'high elves'. I've never heard of them, but they evidently know their stuff, I can feel your emotions through it, it's odd really. I feel them as if they were my own emotions, but it's like there's a sign on them saying 'this belongs to Hermione, pay attention dummy!'and that's just when it's hanging around your neck on a chain. I shudder to think what it will be like if you ever wear it."
He looked deeply into her eyes and kissed her. Those green eyes just made her want to melt into him. "So no matter what happens, no matter how far apart we are, you're with me."
The Heads Meeting with the prefects had gone well; Stephen Cornfoot of Ravenclaw was the new Head Boy. He, if anything, was more organized than she was and had run the meeting for the two of them, accepting her ideas, and adding them to the plan he had outlined to her before the meeting had begun. It looked like they were a good match.
Stephen had left their dedicated compartment to find his Housemates, saying he would return when it was time for their patrol of the train ~- Let the prefects do their job Hermione, remember what a pain it was when some officious ass came down on you last year -~ He was right, but sitting here, alone didn't seem right. Ron had said that he would be back as soon as his patrol was over, but that would be at least an hour, and she suspected that a visit to Luna might delay his return a bit more.
A knock at the door, and it slid open. Susan Bones entered. "Hello Hermione. I thought you might want some company."
"More than you could know Susan." The blonde Hufflepuff sat next to her "It's only been half an hour, but I can't believe how much I miss Harry" Susan nodded dully.
The door slid open again. Zabini, Goyle, and Crabbe entered unbidden.
"Yes? Can I help you with something?"
The tree seemed to find her question funny. Glaring at their laughter Hermione barked out "What do you want?"
"Well, some time between your legs, would be nice." The dark Slytherian laughed. "Then maybe some time in your mouth, it's important to be early, before both become sloppy messes. Some of our elders have odd appetites."
Hermione tried to raise her wand to hex him, but found that Susan was restraining her. A quick glance at the dead eyes of the expressionless Hufflepuff spoke volumes. Her suspicions were confirmed seconds later when Zabini pointed his wand at her.
Fred Wilkin's Taxi:
Fred Wilkin had been driving taxis in London for almost 35 years. It could be quite lucrative, especially when one managed to pick up tourists who did not quite understand the exchange rate, and consequently over tipped exceptionally well. Yanks were especially good for that, with Canadians as a close second, though experience had taught him to always assume that they were Canadians. While Yanks did not mind the mistake, many Canadians for some reason viewed being called a 'Yank' as a form of insult.
Not that any of that mattered. The skinny kid in glasses he had just picked up at Kings Cross was very obviously English, which sadly led him to expect a substantially smaller tip, if any at all.
Fred was in the midst of one of the time-honored traditions of the London Cab. The unending one sided conversation wherein the driver went on at length about pretty much anything at all, when glancing in the rear view mirror, he saw his young passenger start suddenly, a look of terror in his eyes, that vanished as quickly as it started, replace by confusion.
Fred found a new topic.
The sense of warm well being that washed over Hermione because of Zabini's spell eliminated all resistance. Some portion of her mind was trying to get her to fight the effects, but so far with no results.
Goyle pulled a length of rope from his pocket. A portkey to take Hermione to their master. The Bones girl was just icing on the cake.
"Wait on the portkey Greg, why should the inner circle get first crack at these two? Given who they are and the cowardly 'boyfriends'they've collected, the odds are good that they're both virgins. I like virgins, they squeal so loud." The other two agreed. "But first, how about alittle show you two? Get your clothes off, and make it sexy."
Hermione pulled her jumper off over her head, while Susan started to unbutton her blouse.
Bill Weasley was entered the Bank Manager's office nervously. It was rarely a good thing when an employee as junior as he was called to the Manager's office.
"Cursebreaker Weasley. Good of you to come. Sit."
"Thank you Bank Manager. How may I enhance your wealth?"
"I've heard good things about you Cursebreaker, and this confirms it. Very few wizards, even among our employees know the proper forms."
"Thank you sir, my father always made it clear to me of the importance of doing the proper things."
Ragnak nodded. And the proper form continues, giving credit to the father for what you are. This boy could be a goblin, an ugly one, but agoblin nonetheless. "Ah yes, head of the Weasley clan. Never late with apayment" from a goblin, there was no higher praise. Down to business. "How well do you know Harry Potter?"
"He's a family friend Bank Manager. He met my youngest brother on the Hogwarts Express their first year and bonded. He spends quite alot of time at my family's home."
"He also credits you for the idea for a business venture that will generate a massive amount of profit for the bank. Torpkar is getting old and has been making noises about returning home to teach the cubs how to make steel. I need a replacement, are you interested?"
Bill swallowed. Department manager? For a wizard? Unheard of. "A great honor Bank Manager, but there are many in the department senior to me."
"When they generate the profits you did through your relationship with Harry Potter, then they can protest. Until then Torpkar is leaving tomorrow. I will need a new manager."
/Oh hell.../ "I accept Bank Manager. But I must know, what did I do to generate this profit?"
"Cursebreaker, what do you know about Horocruxes?"
The captive women had stripped to their knickers. Crabbe spoke for the first time. "Have them make out a bit."
Zabini looked over at him "And Malfoy always said you never had any good ideas." The command went out.
Susan took Hermione's face in her hands and started a soft gentle kiss that Hermione found herself returning.
There was a knock at the door and Neville Longbottom entered the compartment "Hermione? Have you seen Sus..." he stared open mouthed at the scene before him.
"Get out Longbottom. Get out now." Zabini hissed. "This has nothing to do with you. Tell him girls."
"Yes please Neville, please go." Susan said
"Just having a little fun Neville" Hermione followed.
Neville looked into their eyes and his shoulders slumped in his familiar pose of defeat. He turned back to the door. Deep in their minds both of the women were screaming for him to get help, but no sound would come.
The Slytherins returned their attention to the women, who had received silent commands to begin again. The women's hopes disappeared when they heard the door slide shut.
Then everyone in the compartment heard the lock engage.
An enraged Neville Longbottom was pointing his wand directly at the Slytherin trio. His first spell, a silent bone breaking curse shattered both of Zabini's femurs, Goyle stood to raise his wand and was met by Neville's'reducto' to the chest. Goyle slumped to the ground. Crabbe also stood, but tripped over Goyle's bleeding form, falling to the floor he found himself being kicked repeatedly by the women freed from the imperious curse when the pain of Neville's curse caused Zabini to lose consciousness. Susan repeatedly kicked him in the ribs breaking several, while ever the lady, Hermione concentrated on his crotch ensuring that the Crabbe line was ended.
His rage spent, Neville put the Slytherians into Full Body Binds, and he then gathered the two girls in his arms until they stopped shaking trying very hard to ignore the fact that they were almost naked.
Three Cars behind the Heads Compartment:
As was their habit, the Patil twins, Lavender Brown, Hannah Abbot, and Susan Bones had taken a compartment for themselves to enjoy a back to school gossip session. More than half an hour before Susan had excused herself to go to the toilet, and had not yet returned. The girls were more than a little surprised when a knock at the door found them looking at Neville Longbottom.
"Ladies, I need to leave Susan and Hermione with you for afew moments, he pulled the two girls into the compartment. "Please don't hassle them too much, they've had a hard time so far this year. Lock the door behind me, if anyone comes by including me, check them for the Imperious Curse, and verify who they are. If you will excuse me, I have some trash to take out."
And he was gone.
It was obvious to all in the compartment that Susan and Hermione had been crying. A few gentle questions and the story came pouring out. Of Susan being imperioed upon leaving the toilet, of what the Slytherians were planning to do to them, and what they had been forced to do. Finally what Neville had done.
Once Neville was finished with his self-imposed chore, he sought out Stephen Cornfoot, who then found and informed the Prefects of what had happened. Neville then stationed himself outside the compartment where his girlfriend was sitting and settled in to wait. As the word spread, the train was filled with some very angry young people. The Prefects and Head Boy suddenly found themselves with many volunteers to assist in the security of the train. Neville was joined at the door by a very large 5th year Hufflepuff and Cornfoot himself.
"Where are they?"
Neville gestured to the compartment with the shades drawn. "In there. I told them to lock the door and not let anyone in. If I know those girls, they've gotten the whole story by now, and that compartment is filled with six extremely pissed off witches."
"Good thinking Neville, but I meant the assholes that did this."
Neville told him. Cornfoot started to laugh. "Well done indeed. How are they?"
"Zabini has two broken legs. Goyle took a reducto to the chest, and was bleeding pretty good. Crabbe will never have kids, and it probably hurts to breath."
"They could die like that," the Hufflepuff pointed out.
"And I'd feel real bad about that." Neville said. "It would probably put me off dinner for three or four minutes."
After the crying had stopped, the conversation turned to more mundane matters, like how dead the three Slytherians were. Then a few jokes about how lucky Neville was going to get the next time Susan got hold of him.
Hermione noticed a ragged doll in the bag on the floor in front of where she sat. She reached down and picked it up. It looked for all the world like a 12-year-old Harry Potter in miniature. "What is this?"
Lavender looked embarrassed. "It's a Harry Potter doll. Zonkos sold those years ago; I got him when I was nine. We were talking about those dolls last time we all got together, I remembered how much I loved that doll, so I brought him to school this year..." she hesitated. "All grown up, aren't I?"
"If so, so are we" Pavarti said, pulling her own doll from her bag, Padma did as well. Susan and Hannah each produced their own doll. The girls started to laugh. It felt good to laugh.
Hermione pouted. "Not fair, everyone has a Harry doll, but me."
"It seems to me that you've got the prototype." Padma pointed out. "And yours is the only one anatomically correct."
Hermione huffed. "Maybe, but I doubt yours snore or hogs the blankets."
Everyone stopped laughing and stared at her. Lavender found her voice first.