Chimera’s Call

Murron & eretria

Rating: PG - 13
Category: Angst/friendship/ little tingles
Characters: Hermione, Ron, Harry (with special malicious appearance by Draco & friends :o))
Timeframe: Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, 5th year
Disclaimer: The characters and settings in this story belong solely to J.K. Rowling. We only borrow what has become most dear to us. This story was written for entertainment purposes only. No money is gained and no copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: Just after New Year, the world seems to be all right for the trio in a snow-covered Hogwarts. But is it really? Or is there more to it? Mischief is a pleasing thing after all ... (NO Voldemort included)
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A/N: Loads of thanks go to our creative back-up team: Baylor, s1ncer1ty & valonia. Thank you, dearies, for tireless beta-ing, supporting, encouraging and simply being there. You’ve truly been the guarding muses behind our quill.

Murron also wants to say thank you for a partnership that never runs out of inspiration and ever pushes story-creating to higher levels.

Eretria says thank you to Murron for being the guardian of her sanity during her bar exam. No me without you.


The wild winds weep,
And the night is a-cold;
Come hither, sleep,
And my grieves enfold!
(William Blake)

Snow had fallen all New Year’s night long, and covered Hogsmeade with a soft, white blanket that hushed the students’ steps. The air was clear and crisp, and an almost impossibly blue sky spanned over their heads.
Ron, Harry and Hermione hurried through the streets of Hogsmeade, coming from Honeydukes, their bags and pockets filled to the brink with more sweets than they could possibly eat in half a year. It didn’t matter, though, just picking them had been fun enough.
„I still don’t trust the stuff Fred and George gave me for Christmas,” Ron said, his voice muffled by the scarf he had pulled almost up to his nose. „It looks delicious, but . . .”
„Having lived under one roof with them for only four years now, I would give you the advice not to eat it,” Harry chimed in, remembering with a shudder the last time he had accepted something from Fred and George. It had not exactly been pleasant.
„Imagine how it is living with them all your life!” Harry could see Ron’s eyebrows knit under the hem of his cap, and knew with a certainty that Ron was thinking along a very similar line as he was.
„I wonder what my parents would say if they saw us carrying all that.” Hermione grinned. Her nose was bright red and her eyes glittered mischievously. She patted the bag with chocolates lovingly and added: „Sometimes, being away from home has quite a lot of merits.”
Ron stopped dead in his tracks and made a low, wheezing noise. Both Harry and Hermione turned immediately, casting worried glances at their companion.
„You all right, Ron?”
„She . . .” He pointed at Hermione with a gloved hand. „She said it!” He drew a deep, overly dramatic breath. „You heard that, too, Harry, didn’t you?”
Oh. So this was where this was going. Harry folded his arms in front of him and stepped back, getting out of the line of fire before he nodded, hiding a wide smile in his yellow and red scarf.
„Heard what?” Hermione asked, looking from Harry to Ron, bewildered. „What did I say?”
Ron pushed the scarf away from his mouth, showing that an overly large grin was plastered on his face. „Perfect Miss Granger has just admitted that there are rules meant to be broken? Be still, my heart! Harry, remind me to mark this day in my calendar. With bright, red --”
Ron never finished the sentence. Before Harry could do so much as blink, Hermione had dropped the bag, had taken off her gloves and had formed the biggest snowball Harry had ever seen. A snowball that landed directly in the middle of Ronald Weasley’s grinning face.
„Oi!” he sputtered around a mouthful of snow. „You . . . Hermione!”
It didn’t happen all too often that Ron was caught off his guard. Harry had learned early that in the Weasley family, you had better be careful, unless you wanted a well-meant, but completely unpleasant, surprise. At Hogwarts, Ron had always considered himself relatively safe, Harry knew. And both Fred and George were in the pub, enjoying their butterbeer with the rest of the students who hadn’t gone home for Christmas, so there shouldn’t have been anything to worry about.
Good to know you were never safe, anywhere. Harry cringed at his train of thought and tried his best to concentrate on what was going on in front of him, forgetting the implications this thought brought.
„Be still, my heart?” Hermione echoed sweetly. It was the kind of voice that made Harry’s hair stand on edge, and he was glad it wasn’t directed at him. „Looks more like ‘Be still, my mouth’ to me.” Hermione had stepped on the mock war-path. He could see the glint in her eyes.
Ron still goggled at her, trying to understand what had just happened. She had hit him with a snowball. Right in the middle of his face?! And she was insulting him?
Things clicked visibly into place. Ron dropped his bag as well and narrowed his eyes. „Are you sure this is what you want?”
‘Uh-oh,’ Harry thought. If Hermione had any sense at all, she’d run now.
If it was possible, Hermione’s eyes twinkled even more. „Try your worst,” she challenged.
Harry shot a glance that was half amusement and half anxiety in Ron’s direction.
Ron didn’t need telling twice.
Within seconds, the air was filled with flying snowballs, and Harry had a hard time dodging some of the poorly aimed ones.
The score Hermione had wasn’t too bad, he noticed. Even though Ron had taken up Quidditch practice for Gryffindor this year and far surpassed her throwing skills, she made it up by being smaller and more agile than his larger body.
„Come on, Hermione! Show him!”
Another snowball hit Ron, knocking the cap from his head. Clear laughter drifted over the snowy hills around Hogsmeade. It was a strange contrast to the gleaming white snow, this mop of fiery red hair. Before Harry could give Hermione an enthusiastic thumbs-up for the hit, something white and cold came flying in his direction, hitting him in the stomach.
„Where are your loyalties, Harry?!” Ron called over to him, scowling fiercely.
„What loyalties?” Harry replied. „You’re both my best friends, so how can I . . .”
A thought formed in his mind. He quickly pulled off his gloves and --
Was hit by twin snowballs, before he could even do so much as arm himself against the onslaught of flying white spheres. „At him!”
Harry Potter’s world drowned in snow.


By the time they had finally agreed on a truce, each one of them had gotten their turn at being the victim. First, it had been Harry attacked by both Ron and Hermione. Then Ron was on the receiving end. But Hermione certainly got the raw deal out of it. She lost her cap and her scarf in the tumble, snow was pushed into her cloak, and both boys had taken great delight in washing her face thoroughly with snow. As she struggled to break free, they held tight to her squirming body and lifted her effortlessly and dipped her face-forward into the snow. Harry was still surprised that her squeals and protesting screams hadn’t woken every dead wizard in the perimeter of a hundred miles.
She gave up then, her hair hanging wet around her face, her nose even redder then before, her cheeks flushed with a mixture of indignation and excitement.
„Th-that was not f-fair, you t-two,” she protested, her teeth chattering rhythmically.
Harry and Ron beamed at her. „No, it wasn’t. But you started it, remember?” the dark-haired boy quipped.
Hermione shot Ron a look which lost a lot of its impact when she sneezed loudly.
She searched her pockets for a handkerchief, then sighed. „Just my luck. Wet as a cat and not even a handkerchief with me.”
Harry searched the pocket of his robes and came up with a fresh one. „Thank you.” Hermione sneezed.
Both boys exchanged a quick, knowing look. „I reckon you should get back to the tower, Hermione, or you’ll catch cold,” Ron said carefully.
„Oh, really?” She let out a sarcastic snort. „Who would’ve thought?”
Harry grinned while Ron harrumphed indignantly. „Just trying to be helpful.”
„Ron’s right, though,” Harry joined in. „I don’t think Madam Pomfrey would like another student with a flu in the infirmary, especially since she’d have to leave the birthday party for it.”
„What about you?” Hermione said, pointing towards red and black hair that was just as wet as hers.
„We’ll be fine, don’t worry.”
„Oh, so you two won’t catch cold?”
„No,” both Harry and Ron said in perfect synchronisation.
„Besides,” Ron continued, „we really have to see what Fred and George are up to down at the Three Broomsticks. Wouldn’t want people to get hurt.”
Hermione raised both eyebrows, and again the attempt of looking disapproving was ruined by a sneeze.
„We’ll walk you to Honeydukes, prepare a diversion and you can take the shortcut back to Hogwarts,” Harry said.
„How awfully kind of you,” she said loftily.
Harry and Ron graced her with their most winning smiles.


When the diversion was prepared and Hermione had almost disappeared in the tunnel, she called out to them one last time: „Don’t you have too much fun without me!”
„Would we ever?”
They didn’t even get an answer. The only thing that reached their ears was a tremendous sneeze, which somehow managed to sound sarcastic.


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