Gone

Chapter 7

J K Rowling owns all the rights to the books and the amazing characters she created. I write only to satisfy my imagination and use my creativity and make no money from my writings.

Chapter 7 – The Talk

Hermione Granger believed in Dumbledore's philosophy of the "next great adventure" and an afterlife if only because she knew ghosts were real and because Dumbledore was the wisest wizard in the world and would know about these things. However, she did not believe in Hell – until she was assigned her detentions with a sadistic house elf.

At first she was relieved to hear that a magical terra farming was taking place outside so there would be no shoveling snow and all detentions were to be held inside. Hermione was the first to have one under the Head House Elf, so probably she would be doing cleaning and maybe dishes, but no doubt it would be only after dinner for a few hours so she could live with it…she supposed.

However, she now had two detentions since she had missed the first one and, if the truth be known, Oscar did not like the Girl-who-wants-to-give-elves-clothes as: (1) it upset the elves very much and they were afraid to clean/gather laundry, etc. for Gryffindor; (2) although several people such as Good Neville, Lovely Luna, Heroic Harry and even a few teachers such as Sprout and Flitwick told her in no uncertain terms, that the Hogwarts elves did not want "freedom" and only elves such as Dobby who had been severely abused by the Malfoys wanted an escape from THEM but wanted to be someone's elf; (3) she was too…snobby…and if Oscar didn't know better, he'd swear she was a Pure-blood; and (4) Oscar loathed her even more than he did Dumbledore!

The two detentions would take place on Saturday and Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Breakfast would be served at 7:45 a.m., lunch at 12:15 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. and dinner after 8:00 p.m. She would be allowed a loo break at 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. where, if she had done enough to satisfy Oscar, she would get a cream tea.

Ironing. It was ironing, something Hermione had never had to do as her parents sent the ironing of their dental smocks and Mr. Granger's shirts to a laundry. Apparently, all of the Hogwarts bedding (except Dumbledore's) was made of 100% linen and linen needed to be ironed. Most people didn't notice as Muggleborns had sheets of various cloth which didn't need ironing and Magical households either had an elf or used an ironing charm. You also had to gently sprinkle the sheet with a bit of water – but not too much or too little – and make sure you didn't scorch it, especially using the old style irons which were heavy and you had to heat on a specially heated surface, iron for a bit, then replace that iron with the other one, etc.

She was given strict instructions on how to sprinkle, handle the irons and the ironing itself and how to fold the sheets and pillow cases. It was hard and tedious work and she had burnt a few in the beginning, which Bindi, the elf in charge, took away to get the scorch mark out, rewash it and return it for ironing. Eventually, she had it down pat (as she was Hermione Granger who didn't do failure or bad work) but it was still boring and tedious, her back ached from bending over, she burnt herself twice by accident and the elf assigned to check her work, had healed her both times.

When lunch rolled around, she was too tired to eat much and was just happy to be sitting down. By the end of an exhausting day, Bindi forced her to eat something, then sent her off to enjoy the rest of her evening. All she did was to take a hot shower and collapse into bed but the next morning arrived too quickly and the horror started again.

By the end of her two detentions, she resolved to not get another one. No one had asked about her detentions, if only because they didn't care, but she talked about them anyway to warn them of what awaited if they got a detention. Ginny Weasley managed to acquire three and Lavender Brown one, to be held on the next weekend. However, Ginny had a plan which apparently Miss Know-It-All hadn't thought of. She told Lavender who decided to do the same.

They purposely scorched the sheets. It was thought that if they did it enough Bindi would give up and they would get out of their detention or assigned something less arduous. However, the elf finally told them that as the Americans say "three strikes and you're out" with an addendum of increasing your detention and/or paying to replace the damaged sheets.

"Granger never told us about that" Lavender had wailed but was overheard by Bindi who replied rather snippily "She-Who-Gives-Clothes-To-Elves did the best she could. She did two burnings by accident but at least has the opinion that one must do their best at anything."

Being a Weasley, Ginny sassed Bindi with Lavender agreeing. Guess who got another weekend detention? Besides the sheets, the girls were given the linen shirts, shifts and underclothing of the staff. Now they had that horror to add to their misery. Apparently, the female staff wore…bloomers…chemises and stockings which also had to be ironed. They didn't want to think about Flitwick's, Snape's, Fitch's and (shudder, shudder, shudder) Hagrid's. Apparently, the new staff and the Sal imposter had modern undies that didn't need to be ironed.

Of course, they weren't the only ones to get into a "bit of mischief" as the Twins played pranks unobserved by the staff – or so it was thought – and Ron, Crabbe, Goyle and a few others continued with their bad table manners. But the day of reckoning was coming in all its terrible forms.

Sal and others had been very busy with the terra farming as great amounts of magic were needed, supplies and greenery had to be acquired, four greenhouses had to be built and the animals stocked. The Centaurs had decided not to return to New Hogwarts as they had found much better accommodations, but unicorns, owls, Thestrals, snow pixies, and the other usual inhabitants of forests now had a home, along with a few hippogriffs, a polar bear family, spelled to keep away from the main school area, and of course, the students' pets, Fluffy and Fang. A canal had been dug out to the sea where the Giant Squid found a happy home, plenty to eat and no Merpeople to annoy him.

It had taken nearly two weeks and the assistance of a colony of Dwarfs but finally it was complete. Hagrid had a new custom made hut (with a bathroom) and Fluffy had his own doghouse attached to the hut. He was very happy in his new home, but still yearned for Scotland and the place where Hogwarts had been for centuries.

It was exactly 18 days before Yule, not Christmas, but Yule, which would be celebrated in the traditional manner, but one could celebrate Christmas if one wanted, when a mandatory dinner meeting was held. Rumor had it that He-Who-Claims-to-Be-Salazar was actually going to tell them the how and whys the school had been brought to wherever it was now.

The rumor was true but first dinner was served and then dessert and beverages were brought in but the students were warned to pay attention or else. Before anyone could ask (one guess who) the very beautiful teacher who was known only as Professor, said that the students would be told all that they needed to know and no questions were allowed to be asked because "If your curiosity isn't satisfied – TOO BAD!"

She said this looking directly at Hermione. "The running of this school is on a need-to-know-basis ONLY. You wouldn't go to a Muggle school and demand the Headmaster/mistress tell you everything going on or that since YOU don't like the way they are running the school and hand them a list of changes to be made, would you?" again looking at Hermione. "Dumbledore never told his staff anything of importance and kept so many secrets that he did more damage than good."

"First I have some announcements. It has not gone unnoticed that some of you have ignored the few rules we have posted, such as using proper table manners. Starting tomorrow, your common room's bulletin board will show the names and punishments of the slobs, which will start at midnight. I am singling out the Weasley Twins, as your transgressions are…legendary…to quote Headmaster Salazar. You will be escorted to his office after the meeting, so enjoy your freedom while you still have it."

Instead of being worried as they should, they snickered once the Professor turned her back and walked to the head table, but she had very good hearing and smiled to herself as she knew what was coming. Once she had taken her seat, it was time to "spill the beans" – another saying that Sal had heard and liked – once it was explained to him. These modern people had such a way with words.

After he sonorized his voice, he stood in front of the head table and began his speech.

"It has come to my attention that almost all of you do not believe that I am the real Salazar Slytherin. Well surprise, surprise, I am. I am one of the Four Founders. I have a fourth interest in this school and the three heirs of the other Founders have the rest." He then swore on his magic that he was Slytherin the Founder, waved his wand and caused all of the Gryffindors to have red and gold stripes on their skin and robes to prove that he still had his magic and had told the truth.

"I have read – with great disgust and anger – the tome known as Hogwarts, A History and state that about 90% of my biography is flawed or rather downright lies/misinformation. It is the same with Godric, Rowena and Helga, but in varying percentages. Now you may ask yourself, 'If you are really Slytherin, how have you survived for a millennia?' I had indeed left Hogwarts but not for the reasons stated in the History. I had received a frantic summons from my great uncle Severus – no relation to Snape – imploring me to come to him immediately as a magic beyond the comprehension of his formable intellect and powers in the form of a Sorceress of great power and mystery had invaded the land. I neglected to tell Ric about the Sorceress because he fancied himself a ladies' man and would have followed me when Ro and Helga weren't looking."

"Naturally, Godric wanted to accompany me for the adventure and Rowena for the potential gain of new and powerful knowledge. Fortunately, Helga's common sense prevailed as 'who would teach and run the school?' and Ric and Ro reluctantly gave me permission to go 'As long as you return and bring back tall tales, new powers, knowledge and glory.' I had every intention of doing so but fate, in the form of the Sorceress, prevented me from doing so."

"Now I will introduce you to the Sorceress who has probably changed history, whether for better or worse is still to be determined."

A rather tall young women joined Sal at the dais. She had light brown hair, startling dark blue eyes, was of medium build and had the air of a Pure-blood. Looking at her, Hermione was reminded of someone, but she couldn't think who, but it didn't matter as perhaps her name would solve the puzzle.

"May I have the honor of introducing Arwen to you" Sal said proudly. He expected to hear applause but instead the hall remained mostly silent except for the odd snicker and a loud snort coming from Hermione. Had someone actually named their child after an elf in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Trilogy? However, Hermione had a bigger problem when her snort was heard in the quiet hall as this Arwen person raised her wand and cast a spell at Hermione. It was such a surprise that Hermione couldn't dodge or put up a shield and the next thing everybody knew was that Hermione had been changed into a…sow!

After the shock wore off, the hall broke out in laughter. Draco laughed so hard he fell out of his seat, as did a few others. Naturally, the Gryffindors were the worse. As usual, Ron was stuffing his face with desserts and being rude about it and half chewed chocolate cake spilled out of his mouth. He was laughing harder than Malfoy, still eating and making rude remarks to Hermione. However, she got back at him by using her new tusk teeth to chomp on Ron's leg. He screamed like a Banshee especially since she wasn't letting go. He was about to curse her but then he changed into a piglet. Hermione started chasing him around the hall as he frantically squealed and started bleeding from his little piggy leg. The laughter got louder and who knew how long it would have lasted if Sal hadn't sent sparks out of his wand and called for order.

"That was – what do you call it?" Sal asked.

"Dinner theatre" Arwen replied.

Some of the Half-bloods and Muggleborns started laughing anew but one look from Sal stopped them dead.

"To continue with the tale – but not a curly one" he said trying to joke, but no laughter resulted so he continued.

"Arwen is a full-blooded witch, is very intelligent, creative and powerful. She was educated both in Magical Schools and at Muggle Universities in America and had almost completed a – Ph.D.? Did I say that correctly?" She nodded yes.

"She was working on her experiment, which was being partially funded by the American government, and being assisted by a complete fool, who was trying to not only sabotage her, but to steal her work and claim it as his own and thus selling it to the highest bidder. She caught him late one night tampering with her special machine and decided to punish him by the Muggle way – since he didn't know she was magical – and to quote her 'I beat the stuffing out of him, but he managed to reach the machine and fool around with the controls to escape. She caught hold of him trying to stop him from further damaging the experiment when – POOF – the machine activated and both of them were brought back into my time and eventually Arwen met my uncle."

Since Hermione was indisposed, a Ravenclaw just had to ask a question "Are you saying you were experimenting with a time machine?"

"Yes."

"Like the Tardis or H.G. Wells?" another asked.

"My own work. Naturally that *#&^$#&^ freaked out when I finally managed to get the machine under control and started causing trouble, getting us some very unwanted attention. People had noticed the landing and were coming over – armed – so I did the only thing I could. I shrank the machine, pocketed it and would have apparated the idiot to safety but he fled and I had no choice but to apparate away. I found out later from Severus Slytherin that he was beaten and then burned as a witch."

"I managed to hide by living off the land and keeping away from people. I finally found a cave, put up repelling charms and began trying to fix the damage done to the machine. Severus had been designated to investigate the situation, but it wasn't until Sal answered his uncle's call that I was found. Fortunately, I had studied ancient languages so I could communicate with them, told my story, and after swearing on my magic it was all true, showed them my machine. With Sal's help and his uncle's protection, I was able to repair it – sort of."

"However" Sal interrupted "There is something in this time called Murphy's Law where anything that could go wrong will. One of my uncle's apprentices betrayed him, found out where we were and knew we were working on some powerful magic. He talked a warlord into loaning him some men and attacked the cave. In desperation, we used the machine to escape and ended up in this time. Unfortunately, it was beyond repair and we found that instead of landing in 1975, the time Arwen was from, we ended up in this time. We had no choice but to seek out Arwen's relatives."

"Since then I have been taught the ways of this modern world and Arwen has updated her skills, both Magical and Muggle. I was interested in knowing the fate of the school and was very disappointed when I discovered how low it had sunk due to the manipulations and treachery of Albus Dumbledore. I spent a year doing research, interviewing people and formed a plan to bring the school back to its former glory. With the help of Arwen, her sisters and others, we 'liberated' Hogwarts but had to do it the way it was done as that…BEE…was too powerful AND a certain Dark Lord had resurrected and would cause havoc and play what is called 'The Great Game' of Dumbledore's devising."

"The only way to protect the school, students and others was to make it seem like Hogwarts was hit with one of those atomic bomb thingies. Hopefully, once Dumbledore and the Dark Lord fight it out, Hogwarts can returned to its place of origin – as long as Dumbledore loses."

Despite the order of not asking questions, the hall broke out in nothing but questions. However, before Sal could say another thing, Piglet got into mischief. He was ignored by Hermione who had listened in rapture to Sal's tale, and a merciful house elf had healed his bitten leg, if only because he was bleeding on her clean floor. While people were entranced by the tale, Ron took the opportunity to do a walk-through, meaning that due to his small size he could sneak under the tables and hopefully get a peak or two up a girl's robes. Things were going fine until he pressed his cold nose up against…something he shouldn't…and then all hell broke loose. He ran for it after his investigative stroll was discovered and wands were drawn and pandemonium reigned.

Seeing a way out of the questions, Sal, Arwen and many of the other teachers left to have a meeting. A new form of detention must be invented, especially for Weasleys!