Chapter 130

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"What is the meaning of this?" Betty yelled.

The official took a deep breath and mentally prepared himself for her verbal onslaught. "It's a subpoena."

"What for?" Betty demanded.

"I've got one, too!" Tom yelled as he entered Betty's office. "What in the name of Merlin is going on?"

"Ms. Granger thinks that you have evidence which may be helpful to the case. A judge agreed, so you two are going to have to come to the USA and testify for the defense," the official replied.

"The defense!" Tom spat. "What could we possibly say that would help the defense?"

"Really, I thought they were going after Lucius Malfoy! What do they need us for?" Betty argued.

"I don't know. All the judge said was that she and Hermione believe that you have testimony that would be of value to the court."

"I don't know what we could possibly say," Betty began as Tom's eyes flashed with understanding.

"She saw the article by Jane Steinbeck, didn't she?" Tom asked.

"Who?" the official asked.


A figure dressed in green suddenly raced past the office. Curious, the reporters rushed to the door and poked their heads into the hall. The official stayed close behind them, wondering if he should apparate before they remembered his existence.

"What, Giselle?" Ares asked as he scooped her into his arms.

"It's horrible," she sobbed, pressing her chin against his shoulder.

"What's horrible?" Ares asked.

"I got a subpoena!" she gasped.

"A what?" he asked, his previous expression of love and adoration replaced by a mask of deathly seriousness.

"A subpoena! Hermione Granger wants me to testify for her!" Giselle cried.

"And why the hell would she want that?" Ares asked in a low voice.

Giselle pulled back to look into his eyes. "I don't know," she answered in a soft voice.

"Well then you'll just have to tell her the truth, won't you?" Ares asked.

Giselle nodded before wiping tears away from her reddening face. "Okay," she choked.

"We'll talk about this at home," Ares replied in a stern voice.

"I may not be home," she replied.

"Why?" he asked.

"Because, I just need to see some one!"

She rushed off, a look of frightened determination on her face. Ares stormed to his office down the hall. Betty looked back at the official. "Will there be a penalty if we refuse to show up?"

"The Ministry has already stated that they will fine you, and that they may not be very forthcoming with future stories," the official answered with a smirk.

"Excuse me? Who on earth could convince…"

Betty stopped. "Of course, Malfoy probably bribed some one to give these ridiculous subpoenas weight here."

The official shrugged. "I only serve the documents. Do you have any questions, Tom?"

Tom looked back. His face was pale and his pupils were large. "No," Tom answered. "I think I understand what's going on."

Hermione lay on the bed, staring at the ceiling. She hoped that Betty and Tom hadn't given the official too much grief over the subpoenas. For now, there was nothing more she could do.

She began to make out patterns in the plaster on the ceiling above her. She followed the crease from one side of the wall to another, making out a dog and a muggle airplane. Her eyelids began to droop, but she pried them open. She'd never been one for naps, and she wasn't about to start now…

The next thing she knew she was in a university classroom. If she recalled correctly it was her contract law classroom, though she could be mistaken. She sat down in a plush chair behind the professor's desk and took a deep breath.

"Long day?" A silky voice purred.

She sat up as Severus glided in. "I suppose so," she answered with a gleam in her eyes.

"At least dunderheads didn't almost blow up your classroom again," he answered.

She chuckled as she rose from her chair and crossed to his side. "Try grading essays written by smartass seniors," she replied.

He hummed before kissing her on the jawbone. "You're the only thing that makes this job worthwhile."

"You make this place a little more pleasurable too," she moaned before his kisses traveled to her neck.

He growled before making his way back up to her lips. She jolted awake, only to find Severus standing over her. "Taking a little nap I see," he teased.

"What time is it?" she asked, now fully awake.

"Lunchtime," he answered before resuming his assault on her lips.

She leaned into him and held him closer. "I had a dream about us," she replied.

"Oh?" he asked with interest.

"I dreamed we were professors," she whispered.

He smirked. "What did you teach? Anatomy?"

She laughed as he held her closer to him. "No, law," she replied. "You taught freshman potions."

"Please tell me I was in one piece," he groaned.

"Well, some one did almost blow up your lab," she answered.

He rolled his eyes. "Don't remind me of why I quit teaching. At least dunderheaded customers are gone in fifteen minutes and don't try to blow up my store."

She laughed again. "I can understand that."

"Besides," he answered. "I'm happy with our lives just the way they are."

"Really?" she asked.

He nodded. "I wouldn't change a thing… well… except maybe that small matter of a criminal trial hanging over our heads."

"Patience, Severus. It'll be over before we know it."