|hg_reads (hg_reads) wrote in snark_n_bark,|
@ 2008-06-10 06:55:00
|Entry tags:||complete, hermione|
Your sun so bright it leaves no shadows, only scars
Characters: Hermione, her co-workers, the Muggle liaison, a Ministry postal clerk
Summary: Hermione receives a letter during a briefing.
The briefing was blessedly normal, with Jack floating everyone's coffee to the conference room table and Peony effortlessly copying the Muggle liaison's specs for the joint operation on Scafell Pike. He'd participated in a similar exercise involving his group and the military on Gibraltar several years ago, and his superior and Tanner had decided it was time for a little interagency cooperation. Magic was back, but there was no guarantee that the drain wouldn't start again, and Tanner felt it was high time that his people got a little Muggle experience.
James was immaculate and charming, as always, and Hermione had to smack Peony under the table when her sensible co-worker started to melt when he turned that smile on her. "You know his reputation, Robinton," she murmured.
"Mm. Deserved, I hear," came the soft reply. "He'd be worth it - "
Jack rolled his eyes at both of them. "Some of us are trying to listen, you know. This could be - "
A knock at the door cut him off in mid-sentence. James raised an eyebrow at the interruption. Tanner frowned and flicked his wand at the knocking.
"This meeting is closed," he said to a youngish, slightly pimply postal clerk. "Whatever it is can wait."
"Is there a - " The clerk studied a slightly wrinkled envelope in his hand. " - Miss Hermione Granger in this department? We've been looking all morning and this was the last place left."
Hermione frowned at Tanner, who looked equally bewildered. Miss Sickleworth had instructions to deliver anything from Ron, Harry, or Molly immediately, but this clearly wasn't from them. "I'm Hermione Granger. What is going on?"
The clerk shrugged. "I wouldn't know that, Miss. This was found in the Veil Room this morning, no delivery instructions beyond 'Miss Hermione Granger, Ministry Employee.' If you're her, then it's for you." He tossed the letter across the table to her and shrugged again. "I'll be on my way then."
The handwriting looked shaky, almost blurred in areas as if it been wetted down. Hermione went cold as she recognized the handwriting. "Wait - this was found where?"
"The Veil Room, as I said." The clerk blew a shiny, bright purple bubble. "Don't know more. Sorry, I got rounds to - "
Hermione did not notice him leave, or hear Tanner say her name. Someone who sounded like Peony was making anxious noises, and a smooth voice that was rather like James said something like get her to lie down, she doesn't look well. Nothing made sense.
Nothing except the letter in her hand.
Harry's blocking job...just walk through...it it really is me...take care of Harry...thank you...your old stray...
It couldn't be. But it was.
"Sir?" Her voice sounded strange, high pitched and strained. "May - may I be excused? There's been - "
How had Tanner gotten from the head of the table to her seat? And why was he so pale? "Go home, Granger. We'll brief you later." His big, calloused hand patted her shoulder. "Report back tomorrow."
"Yes - yes, sir." She stood up, conscious of everyone starting at her. "I - thank you."
She barely noticed when Jack Fraser joined her on the way to the Floo, or his quick, hard hug as he spoke with someone through the flames. Her eyes stung, and the words blurred on the page as she tried to read it again.
Sirius. Oh Sirius, you didn't -
Her last thought as Jack shoved her into the Floo was that she had to tell Harry that his godfather was gone.