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[Fanfic] Nanoha Takamachi and the Horrors of Ineptitude

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Chrono's picture
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Posts: 16

This story continues to be excellent. It's interesting to see the fallout from the last chapter but I'm also looking forward to how the school reacts to Nanoha and Fate in classes. Should be very entertaining.

silentscream84's picture
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Chapter 9 in progress

edit: updated 06-03-14

Spoiler:

Hermione, Nanoha, and Fate arrived at the potions classroom with plenty of time to spare and took seats at a bench toward the rear of the room so as not to obscure the view of the much shorter first years who had started arriving along with them. Hearing that Professor Snape was a bit on the strict side, they had made sure to get to the dungeon a bit early. They took the time before class began to review the potions text. With only seconds before class was to start professor Snape swept into the classroom, robes flaring about him as he marched to the front of the classroom. He turned abruptly once he reached his desk, and focused his predatory gaze upon his pupils.

Nanoha and Fate listened carefully to the rehearsed speech about the merits of potioneering and Nanoha had to suppress a snicker as she found the term, “dunderheads,” to be amusing. If professor Snape took any notice of the visiting student’s mirth, he showed no sign of it. He began the class with a rapid-fire quiz on the properties of various reagents used in potion making which resulted in Gryffindor losing two points due to the first years not knowing any of the answers. The Slytherin students didn’t have any better luck with their replies but did not lose any house points.

After concluding the quiz with a few snide comments about the intellectual abilities of the students, he declared that the class would then concoct a cure for boils and magically put the instructions up on the blackboard at the front of the room. Watching with a critical eye, he stood back as the first years set up their cauldrons and went to the supply cabinet for their ingredients. As soon as the students began working, he drifted from table to table like a phantom, terrorizing the Gryffindor first years with sharp rebukes for any errors and surly silence in response to success. The Slytherins received some light praise and far less criticism.

Nanoha glanced at Hermione, [Is he alway this biassed toward his own house?] she inquired via telepathy. Hermione nodded slightly in response, having not learned how to use telepathy yet. Nanoha made a mental note to start training her as soon as they could find time for it. Browsing skeptically through the list of ingredients posted up on the board in the front of the room she inquired, “Hermione, do you know how this all works? I mean obviously these ingredients interact with each other, but what is the magical foundation?”

“I...I don’t honestly know,” replied Hermione with a slightly troubled expression. “I’ve tried to research the topic before, but I couldn’t find any answers about the underlying mechanics of why the potions work. It seems that we know what attributes certain ingredients and actions contribute and how different potion components interact, but not why they behave the way they do.”

[Now we definitely need to bring a bunch of potion ingredients back for Mari to look at,] Nanoha thought to the other two girls. [She’ll loooove having jars and bottles of things like eel eye, frog brain, and leech juice in her office.] Both of the others rolled their eyes [What? I think it’s important that we help to expand the um…knowledge of… Okay, fine. I just want to see the face she makes when we put the jar of eyeballs on her desk.] Hermione, having had four years to get accustomed to the bizarre nature of potion ingredients simply smiled slightly while Fate took a glance at the ingredients cabinet in the classroom and looked vaguely ill.

“Is something wrong Takamachi, Harlaown?” professor Snape drawled as he approached their table. “Not deigning to work with the first years?”

“Not at all sir,” replied Fate, ignoring the implied insult, “we were told by professor Dumbledore that we would be observing rather than participating at this point in time and we do not have the necessary equipment for this class.”

“I see. If you so desire, you may borrow a cauldron and participate,” he offered in his characteristic sullen tone. He actually seemed taken aback when Nanoha got to her feet, thanked him enthusiastically for the offer, and headed to the supply closet to obtain their ingredients and a cauldron. Fate got to her feet and followed Nanoha after offering Hermione a shrug. “Not going to assist your charges, Miss Granger?” professor Snape inquired after taking a moment to supervise the two visiting students as they set up their cauldron.

“They’re both intelligent young women, professor, and they should be quite able to handle themselves in a first year class without my aid. They’ll ask if they want my help.”

“Indeed,” commented Snape as he observed Nanoha deftly preparing each of the ingredients and carefully laying them out in order as Fate began to carefully concoct the potion. The two seemed to work flawlessly as a team with no communication, Hermione noted. They could have been communicating telepathically, but so far they had opted to communicate verbally with one another unless the situation demanded otherwise. Professor Snape glared at the pair as they prepared their potion before turning abruptly to antagonize other students as he couldn’t find any obvious fault in what they were doing.

After a few minutes, Hermione saw Fate wave draw her wand and wave it over the cauldron, a skeptical expression on her face. The blonde’s eyebrow quirked a bit as she saw the potion react to her wand waving and Nanoha smiled in amusement at her friend’s puzzlement. The two then checked to make sure the burner was set properly before leaving their potion to simmer for the prescribed time and returning once again to talk to Hermione. Mindful of Professor Snape’s close observation, the three had to make sure not to mention anything regarding the TSAB much to Hermione’s annoyance.

Nanoha and Fate had Hermione quiz them on potion making knowledge until their potion was ready for the next stages. They had initially tried to assist some of the younger Gryffindors who were having trouble but were reprimanded sharply and lost their house 5 points much to their chagrin. Returning to their cauldron, Nanoha took care of adding the ingredients while Fate took the cauldron off the fire and took care of the required stirring. Neither had said anything, but Fate was sure that Nanoha would tease her later about not wanting to touch the slugs the potion had required. Finally, a few quills, stirs, and a wave of the wand later, their potion was complete and Hermione confirmed for the two visiting students that their end result looked correct. Smiling, Nanoha poured a sample into the vial Hermione supplied them to turn in while Fate began cleaning up their workspace.

langrisser's picture
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I wonder what kind of potion Nanoha will make.

Chrono's picture
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Posts: 16

Probably something like this:

Snape: Takamachi! That is not the weed killing potion you're meant to be brewing!

Nanoha: No Professor, we're doing that one too in the other cauldron; this is my personal favorite recipe for weeds....

It's called Napalm.

silentscream84's picture
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Spoiler:

Hermione, Nanoha, and Fate arrived at the potions classroom with plenty of time to spare and took seats at a bench toward the rear of the room so as not to obscure the view of the much shorter first years who had started arriving along with them. Hearing that Professor Snape was a bit on the strict side, they had made sure to get to the dungeon a bit early. They took the time before class began to review the potions text. With only seconds before class was to start professor Snape swept into the classroom, robes flaring about him as he marched to the front of the classroom. He turned abruptly once he reached his desk, and focused his predatory gaze upon his pupils.

Nanoha and Fate listened carefully to the rehearsed speech about the merits of potioneering and Nanoha had to suppress a snicker as she found the term, “dunderheads,” to be amusing. If professor Snape took any notice of the visiting student’s mirth, he showed no sign of it. He began the class with a rapid-fire quiz on the properties of various reagents used in potion making which resulted in Gryffindor losing two points due to the first years not knowing any of the answers. The Slytherin students didn’t have any better luck with their replies but did not lose any house points.

After concluding the quiz with a few snide comments about the intellectual abilities of the students, he declared that the class would then concoct a cure for boils and magically put the instructions up on the blackboard at the front of the room. Watching with a critical eye, he stood back as the first years set up their cauldrons and went to the supply cabinet for their ingredients. As soon as the students began working, he drifted from table to table like a phantom, terrorizing the Gryffindor first years with sharp rebukes for any errors and surly silence in response to success. The Slytherins received some light praise and far less criticism.

Nanoha glanced at Hermione, [Is he alway this biassed toward his own house?] she inquired via telepathy. Hermione nodded slightly in response, having not learned how to use telepathy yet. Nanoha made a mental note to start training her as soon as they could find time for it. Browsing skeptically through the list of ingredients posted up on the board in the front of the room she inquired, “Hermione, do you know how this all works? I mean obviously these ingredients interact with each other, but what is the magical foundation?”

“I...I don’t honestly know,” replied Hermione with a slightly troubled expression. “I’ve tried to research the topic before, but I couldn’t find any answers about the underlying mechanics of why the potions work. It seems that we know what attributes certain ingredients and actions contribute and how different potion components interact, but not why they behave the way they do.”

[Now we definitely need to bring a bunch of potion ingredients back for Mari to look at,] Nanoha thought to the other two girls. [She’ll loooove having jars and bottles of things like eel eye, frog brain, and leech juice in her office.] Both of the others rolled their eyes [What? I think it’s important that we help to expand the um…knowledge of… Okay, fine. I just want to see the face she makes when we put the jar of eyeballs on her desk.] Hermione, having had four years to get accustomed to the bizarre nature of potion ingredients simply smiled slightly while Fate took a glance at the ingredients cabinet in the classroom and looked vaguely ill.

“Is something wrong Takamachi, Harlaown?” professor Snape drawled as he approached their table. “Not deigning to work with the first years?”

“Not at all sir,” replied Fate, ignoring the implied insult, “we were told by Headmaster Dumbledore that we would be observing rather than participating at this point in time and we do not have the necessary equipment for this class.”

“I see. If you so desire, you may borrow a cauldron and participate,” he offered in his characteristic sullen tone. He actually seemed taken aback when Nanoha got to her feet, thanked him enthusiastically for the offer, and headed to the supply closet to obtain their ingredients and a cauldron. Fate got to her feet and followed Nanoha after offering Hermione a shrug. “Not going to assist your charges, Miss Granger?” professor Snape inquired after taking a moment to supervise the two visiting students as they set up their cauldron.

“They’re both intelligent young women, professor, and they should be quite able to handle themselves in a first year class without my aid. They’ll ask if they want my help,” Hermione replied.

“Indeed,” commented Snape as he observed Nanoha deftly preparing each of the ingredients and carefully laying them out in order as Fate began to carefully concoct the potion. The two seemed to work flawlessly as a team with no communication, Hermione noted. They could have been communicating telepathically, but so far they had opted to communicate verbally with one another unless the situation demanded otherwise. Professor Snape glared at the pair as they prepared their potion before turning abruptly to antagonize other students as he couldn’t find any obvious fault in what they were doing.

After a few minutes, Hermione saw Fate wave draw her wand and wave it over the cauldron, a skeptical expression on her face. The blonde’s eyebrow quirked a bit as she saw the potion react to her wand waving and Nanoha smiled in amusement at her friend’s puzzlement. The two then checked to make sure the burner was set properly before leaving their potion to simmer for the prescribed time and returning once again to talk to Hermione. Mindful of Professor Snape’s close observation, the three had to make sure not to mention anything regarding the TSAB much to Hermione’s annoyance.

Nanoha and Fate had Hermione quiz them on potion making knowledge until their potion was ready for the next stages. They had initially tried to assist some of the younger Gryffindors who were having trouble but were reprimanded sharply and lost their house 5 points much to their chagrin. Returning to their cauldron, Nanoha took care of adding the ingredients while Fate took the cauldron off the fire and took care of the required stirring. Neither had said anything, but Fate was sure that Nanoha would tease her later about not wanting to touch the slugs the potion had required. Finally, a few quills, stirs, and a wave of the wand later, their potion was complete and Hermione confirmed for the two visiting students that their end result looked correct. Smiling, Nanoha poured a sample into the vial Hermione supplied them to turn in while Fate began cleaning up their workspace.

Hermione waited patiently as Fate quickly and efficiently cleaned up their workspace and Nanoha trotted up to the front of the room to turn in their vial. Finding that they still had a few minutes of class remaining after cleaning up, Fate and Nanoha returned to having Hermione quiz them on basic potions knowledge. Class soon concluded and the three girls breathed a collective sigh of relief as the left the oppressive atmosphere of the dungeon. They actually felt a bit lighter as they ascended the stairs back up to the main levels of the castle.

They were headed toward the defense classroom when they were intercepted by Professor McGonagall who was rather poorly trying to conceal her annoyance with a hastily plastered on smile. “Ah, Miss Granger,” she spoke to Hermione, “I was sent to inform you that the schedule you and your wards will be following for the day has been modified. You will not be observing the first year defense…” she was cut off abruptly by the very squat, pink-clad woman she had been trying to avoid exposing the new students to.

“Hem hem,” Umbridge’s girlish voice interrupted. “Why Professor McGonagall, what ever do you mean? I was not informed of any changes,” the woman announced with a painfully insincere smile. “Encouraging your newest...students to skip their scheduled courses would reflect rather poorly on your house, don’t you think?”

“It would,” McGonagall replied coolly as she reached into her robe and withdrew a folded parchment which she then handed to the offensive woman. “However, they have been summoned to a meeting with the Headmaster and I for one am not one to question his reasons or timing.” She had to force herself not to smile at the chagrined expression which crossed the toad-like woman’s features. “Now if you will excuse us, I need to escort these three to the Headmaster’s office.” Turning abruptly, Professor McGonagall gestured for the three girls to follow her as she led them swiftly away from the stewing Umbridge. As they gained distance the relief flooding off of the elderly professor was almost palpable to the younger women.

The trio of girls were quiet as they followed the assistant Headmistress through the winding corridors toward the Headmaster’s office. [Hermione,] Nanoha inquired to her newest friend, [do you have any idea what this is about?] receiving a barely noticeable shake of the head in response, she pouted a little as her mind worked overtime to try to figure out what had prompted the sudden summons. A quick glance to her side informed her that Fate was just as clueless as she, and was likewise running through her own list of possible reasons for being asked to the office.

None of the trio of girls had been able to come to any conclusions regarding the mystery of their sudden summoning by the time they reached the gargoyle that guarded the stairs up to Dumbledore’s office resulting in the trio becoming increasingly nervous as they were led up the spiral stairs which had appeared after Professor McGonagall had told the gargoyle the password. The nervousness abated somewhat upon their entrance to the cluttered office at being greeted with a congenial smile by the headmaster and being offered candy which Nanoha and Fate graciously accepted and Hermione politely declined.

“Now,” began Dumbledore as he sat behind his desk to face the three girls sitting across from him, “I am sure you are wondering why I’ve asked you here. I have discussed this issue with Professor McGonagall and we are in agreement that the situation in the school is going to be murky enough as it is with the Ministry’s interference. So I must ask you who you really are and who it is that you are working for. You see, there are simply too many unknown variables right now for us to be able to ensure the safety of our students.”

Taking a deep breath, Nanoha recited the brief speech she’d been provided for this circumstance. “I am First Lieutenant Nanoha Takamachi of the Time-Space Administration Bureau and this is First Lieutenant Fate Testarossa-Harlaown of the same. Our mission here is one of peaceful exploration. I am not permitted to answer any further questions, however now that you have been informed our commanding officer would like to schedule a meeting with you within the next twelve hours.”

Dumbledore nodded. The puzzle pieces were starting to come together now. The girls’ military bearing had been explained, and he had a feeling based on the name of their organization and Professor McGonagall’s report on their actions in Diagon Alley that their organization was not based on Earth. His reservations about showing his hand by letting them know that he knew they were “exploring” quickly evaporated in the face of the relief that he had made the correct choice in preventing them from attending Umbridge’s class. He was somewhat concerned about the lack of any surprise being demonstrated by Hermione however. “I understand that you must be under orders not to tell me more and so I will not press you as I do not doubt that you will not divulge anything you are not supposed to. Please let your superior know that I would like to meet at his or her earliest convenience.”

Crazyla's picture
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Posts: 434

You know Dumbledore is a mad genius when, the one time he thinks something outraugeous like 'aliens are here', he is actually right.
It is kind of funny though, that if it came out the ministry could use it as further proof that he is getting senile. I mean first a dark lord coming back from the dead, now he's talking about ufos... He's so obviously gone off the deep end! What will he say next, that magic is real? XD Lol, I just find it so amusing...

Chrono's picture
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Posts: 16

First and foremost thanks for another great addition to this story.

I did note one sentence that you might want to take closer look at:

Quote:
Returning to their cauldron, Nanoha took care of adding the ingredients while Fate took the cauldron off the fire and took care of the required stirring.

I'd recommend "...Nanoha added the ingredients while Fate..." as an alternative.

Either way, fun stuff as always, can't want for more!

silentscream84's picture
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Posts: 20

Almost done with this chapter...

Spoiler:

Hermione, Nanoha, and Fate arrived at the potions classroom with plenty of time to spare and took seats at a bench toward the rear of the room so as not to obscure the view of the much shorter first years who had started arriving along with them. Hearing that Professor Snape was a bit on the strict side, they had made sure to get to the dungeon a bit early. They took the time before class began to review the potions text. With only seconds before class was to start professor Snape swept into the classroom, robes flaring about him as he marched to the front of the classroom. He turned abruptly once he reached his desk, and focused his predatory gaze upon his pupils.

Nanoha and Fate listened carefully to the rehearsed speech about the merits of potioneering and Nanoha had to suppress a snicker as she found the term, “dunderheads,” to be amusing. If professor Snape took any notice of the visiting student’s mirth, he showed no sign of it. He began the class with a rapid-fire quiz on the properties of various reagents used in potion making which resulted in Gryffindor losing two points due to the first years not knowing any of the answers. The Slytherin students didn’t have any better luck with their replies but did not lose any house points.

After concluding the quiz with a few snide comments about the intellectual abilities of the students, he declared that the class would then concoct a cure for boils and magically put the instructions up on the blackboard at the front of the room. Watching with a critical eye, he stood back as the first years set up their cauldrons and went to the supply cabinet for their ingredients. As soon as the students began working, he drifted from table to table like a phantom, terrorizing the Gryffindor first years with sharp rebukes for any errors and surly silence in response to success. The Slytherins received some light praise and far less criticism.

Nanoha glanced at Hermione, [Is he alway this biassed toward his own house?] she inquired via telepathy. Hermione nodded slightly in response, having not learned how to use telepathy yet. Nanoha made a mental note to start training her as soon as they could find time for it. Browsing skeptically through the list of ingredients posted up on the board in the front of the room she inquired, “Hermione, do you know how this all works? I mean obviously these ingredients interact with each other, but what is the magical foundation?”

“I...I don’t honestly know,” replied Hermione with a slightly troubled expression. “I’ve tried to research the topic before, but I couldn’t find any answers about the underlying mechanics of why the potions work. It seems that we know what attributes certain ingredients and actions contribute and how different potion components interact, but not why they behave the way they do.”

[Now we definitely need to bring a bunch of potion ingredients back for Mari to look at,] Nanoha thought to the other two girls. [She’ll loooove having jars and bottles of things like eel eye, frog brain, and leech juice in her office.] Both of the others rolled their eyes [What? I think it’s important that we help to expand the um…knowledge of… Okay, fine. I just want to see the face she makes when we put the jar of eyeballs on her desk.] Hermione, having had four years to get accustomed to the bizarre nature of potion ingredients simply smiled slightly while Fate took a glance at the ingredients cabinet in the classroom and looked vaguely ill.

“Is something wrong Takamachi, Harlaown?” professor Snape drawled as he approached their table. “Not deigning to work with the first years?”

“Not at all sir,” replied Fate, ignoring the implied insult, “we were told by Headmaster Dumbledore that we would be observing rather than participating at this point in time and we do not have the necessary equipment for this class.”

“I see. If you so desire, you may borrow a cauldron and participate,” he offered in his characteristic sullen tone. He actually seemed taken aback when Nanoha got to her feet, thanked him enthusiastically for the offer, and headed to the supply closet to obtain their ingredients and a cauldron. Fate got to her feet and followed Nanoha after offering Hermione a shrug. “Not going to assist your charges, Miss Granger?” professor Snape inquired after taking a moment to supervise the two visiting students as they set up their cauldron.

“They’re both intelligent young women, professor, and they should be quite able to handle themselves in a first year class without my aid. They’ll ask if they want my help,” Hermione replied.

“Indeed,” commented Snape as he observed Nanoha deftly preparing each of the ingredients and carefully laying them out in order as Fate began to carefully concoct the potion. The two seemed to work flawlessly as a team with no communication, Hermione noted. They could have been communicating telepathically, but so far they had opted to communicate verbally with one another unless the situation demanded otherwise. Professor Snape glared at the pair as they prepared their potion before turning abruptly to antagonize other students as he couldn’t find any obvious fault in what they were doing.

After a few minutes, Hermione saw Fate wave draw her wand and wave it over the cauldron, a skeptical expression on her face. The blonde’s eyebrow quirked a bit as she saw the potion react to her wand waving and Nanoha smiled in amusement at her friend’s puzzlement. The two then checked to make sure the burner was set properly before leaving their potion to simmer for the prescribed time and returning once again to talk to Hermione. Mindful of Professor Snape’s close observation, the three had to make sure not to mention anything regarding the TSAB much to Hermione’s annoyance.

Nanoha and Fate had Hermione quiz them on potion making knowledge until their potion was ready for the next stages. They had initially tried to assist some of the younger Gryffindors who were having trouble but were reprimanded sharply and lost their house 5 points much to their chagrin. Returning to their cauldron, Nanoha handled adding the ingredients while Fate removed the cauldron from the fire and took care of the required stirring. Neither had said anything, but Fate was sure that Nanoha would tease her later about not wanting to touch the slugs the potion had required. Finally, a few quills, stirs, and a wave of the wand later, their potion was complete and Hermione confirmed for the two visiting students that their end result looked correct. Smiling, Nanoha poured a sample into the vial Hermione supplied them to turn in while Fate began cleaning up their workspace.

Hermione waited patiently as Fate quickly and efficiently cleaned up their workspace and Nanoha trotted up to the front of the room to turn in their vial. Finding that they still had a few minutes of class remaining after cleaning up, Fate and Nanoha returned to having Hermione quiz them on basic potions knowledge. Class soon concluded and the three girls breathed a collective sigh of relief as the left the oppressive atmosphere of the dungeon. They actually felt a bit lighter as they ascended the stairs back up to the main levels of the castle.

They were headed toward the defense classroom when they were intercepted by Professor McGonagall who was rather poorly trying to conceal her annoyance with a hastily plastered on smile. “Ah, Miss Granger,” she spoke to Hermione, “I was sent to inform you that the schedule you and your wards will be following for the day has been modified. You will not be observing the first year defense…” she was cut off abruptly by the very squat, pink-clad woman she had been trying to avoid exposing the new students to.

“Hem hem,” Umbridge’s girlish voice interrupted. “Why Professor McGonagall, what ever do you mean? I was not informed of any changes,” the woman announced with a painfully insincere smile. “Encouraging your newest...students to skip their scheduled courses would reflect rather poorly on your house, don’t you think?”

“It would,” McGonagall replied coolly as she reached into her robe and withdrew a folded parchment which she then handed to the offensive woman. “However, they have been summoned to a meeting with the Headmaster and I for one am not one to question his reasons or timing.” She had to force herself not to smile at the chagrined expression which crossed the toad-like woman’s features. “Now if you will excuse us, I need to escort these three to the Headmaster’s office.” Turning abruptly, Professor McGonagall gestured for the three girls to follow her as she led them swiftly away from the stewing Umbridge. As they gained distance the relief flooding off of the elderly professor was almost palpable to the younger women.

The trio of girls were quiet as they followed the assistant Headmistress through the winding corridors toward the Headmaster’s office. [Hermione,] Nanoha inquired, [do you have any idea what this is about?] receiving a barely noticeable shake of the head in response, she pouted a little as her mind worked overtime to try to figure out what had prompted the sudden summons. A quick glance to her side informed her that Fate was just as clueless as she, and was likewise running through her own list of possible reasons for being asked to the office. Keeping with their training, both young officers carefully memorized the route they were taking while they continued to wonder what would be awaiting them at their destination.

None of the trio of girls had been able to come to any conclusions regarding the mystery of their sudden summoning by the time they reached the gargoyle that guarded the stairs up to Dumbledore’s office. Hermione could plainly see that Nanoha and Fate were nervous about being summoned and tried to give them a reassuring smile only to have her own apprehension sabotage her efforts. Fate and Nanoha watched in fascination as the gargoyle greeted Professor McGonagall and asked for the password. The incredibly life-like golems and other magically animated objects were not something either Nanoha or Fate were extremely familiar with. Sure, Precia had sent golems at them, but those behaved like robots, not living beings.

After being provided the password, the gargoyle allowed them access to the spiral staircase it had been guarding. The stairs moved upwards like an escalator leading the girls to briefly ponder the mechanics of the stairs as they ascended. The stairs came to a halt in front of a wooden door which Professor McGonagall knocked on. “Come in,” came the somewhat rusty sounding voice of the Headmaster from inside. Opening the door, Professor McGonagall ushered the three girls into the office and softly shut the door behind them before moving to take a seat beside the Headmaster’s desk.

The nervousness among the girls abated somewhat upon their entrance to the cluttered office. Dumbledore’s congenial smile helped put the girls at ease the moment they walked in and Nanoha and Fate were intensely fascinated by the curios covering every visible horizontal surface of the office. “Ms. Granger, it is always good to see you. Ms. Takamachi, Ms. Harlaown, it is good to see you looking well rested. I trust your first night in the castle went well?”

“Yes, Headmaster,” replied Fate. “The accommodations here are very comfortable.”

“I’m glad to hear that you like it here and I hope that you continue to do so,” Dumbledore said, earning curious looks from the students for the odd turn at the end. “Lemon drop?” he offered, holding out a small bowl filled with candy. Nanoha and Fate each accepted one of the confections while Hermione politely declined.

“Now,” began Dumbledore as he sat behind his desk to face the three girls sitting across from him, “I am sure you are wondering why I’ve asked you here. I have discussed this issue with Professor McGonagall and we are in agreement that the situation in the school is going to be murky enough as it is with the Ministry’s interference. So I must ask you who you really are and who it is that you are working for. You see, there are simply too many unknown variables right now for us to be able to ensure the safety of our students.”

Taking a deep breath, Nanoha recited the brief speech she’d been provided for this circumstance. “I am First Lieutenant Nanoha Takamachi of the Time-Space Administration Bureau and this is First Lieutenant Fate Testarossa-Harlaown of the same. Our mission here is one of peaceful exploration. I am not permitted to answer any further questions regarding the nature of our organization or mission, however now that you have been informed our commanding officer would like to schedule a meeting with you within the next twelve hours.”

Dumbledore nodded. The puzzle pieces were starting to come together now. The girls’ military bearing had been explained, and he had a feeling based on the name of their organization and Professor McGonagall’s report on their actions in Diagon Alley that their organization was not based on Earth. His reservations about showing his hand by letting them know that he knew they were “exploring” quickly evaporated in the face of the relief that he had made the correct choice in preventing them from attending Umbridge’s class. He was somewhat concerned about the lack of any surprise being demonstrated by Hermione however. “I understand that you must be under orders not to tell me more and so I will not press you as I do not doubt that you will not divulge anything you are not supposed to. Please let your superior know that I would like to meet at his or her earliest convenience.”

Nanoha and Fate exchanged a brief glance and shrugged. “Would now be acceptable, Headmaster?” inquired Fate.

Dumbledore considered briefly before replying, “I would like the opportunity to gather some relevant faculty members first. Perhaps immediately following lunch?”

“That should be fine,” Nanoha replied after a brief hesitation. “Will we be meeting here?”

“Yes, I think that would be best,” Dumbledore stated. “Now run along, you three. I’ll see you after lunch.” After the three girls had left and the door closed securely behind them, Dumbledore turned to Professor McGonagall, “Hermione didn’t seem very surprised at any of those revelations, did she?”

Frowning worriedly she replied, “No, she didn’t. She didn’t mention anything to me when I spoke to her at breakfast either. What do you suppose that means?”

“Obviously she managed to find out about them on her own, which is not an unexpected outcome. That she didn’t let you know makes me think that she was sworn to secrecy, or perhaps that she joined their organization. She hasn’t always received the best of treatment from our society and she doesn’t have any other organizational ties which would prevent her from doing so. Even though she knows of the Order of the Phoenix, she was not permitted to join due to her young age. She may have joined solely for the new learning opportunities they could offer her.”

Professor McGonagall nodded somewhat wearily. While she was careful not to show favoritism in her classes, Hermione was one of her favorite and most promising students. It was galling to her that Hermione would keep such an important development from her. Dumbledore, picking up on her distress, commented, “I am sure that Hermione’s options were limited when she found out and she had to make a difficult decision. I am confident enough in her abilities to think she most likely made the best one that she was able to.”

“Who will you invite to this meeting?” Professor McGonagall asked, changing the subject.

“Professors Snape, Flitwick, and Sprout,” he replied quickly, before adding a moment later, “and I think Professor Vector as well. Her foundation in arithmancy might help us to understand their magic a bit more.”

“Are you certain it’s wise to have Severus present?”

“I trust him to share only the appropriate information at the proper time.”

***

Hermione led the trio back down the spiral stairs and away from the Headmaster’s office. The meeting had left her feeling conflicted, the guilt she had largely managed to suppress started to bubble to the surface again. She knew that the professors must have noticed her lack of surprise at Nanoha’s admission that she and Fate were associated with an organization from another world. What must they think of her now? Especially Professor McGonagall, her head of house and favorite instructor besides.

“Hermione?” Fate’s soft voice interrupted her thoughts, “are you alright?”

“I’m not sure,” Hermione admitted. “I feel conflicted, like I should feel guilty for signing up as a contractor with you. It feels like I’m betraying something.”

“I don’t think the Professors will hold it against you when they learn about the situation and the choices you were presented at the time. Besides, it doesn’t seem like you’ll run into any conflicts of interest while you’re still attending school here. The Headmaster is the, ‘Leader of the Light,’ after all, right?” Nanoha reassured her. “Hey, there is still plenty of time before lunch, do you want to find an empty classroom and we can start answering some of those questions I am sure you have been saving up.”

Hermione’s expression brightened somewhat at the prospect of getting some of her questions answered.

silentscream84's picture
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Joined: 10/13/2012
Posts: 20

chapter 9 is up on fanfiction.net

Chrono's picture
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Joined: 03/18/2010
Posts: 16

Great fun as always, thanks!