6th Hokage Dimensional Chronicles ~ Chapter 8
CHAPTER 8 – Aftermath
The previous night – that was illuminated more by the Dark Mark than the stars – was drawing to a close, with the view of the illuminating sun. A drowsy snore from Ron near the window was the perfect summary of last night’s tiring events. Though, the beautiful sunrays along with a cold refreshing breeze were significance of a wonderful day, this was rapidly contradicted with another flock of broomsticks landing along Hogsmeade High Street.
Ron: Another group, it seems.
Hermione: Not again.
She said that with a disinterested and exasperated look, as she handed a cup of black coffee to Ron. She, then, went to sip some of her own, on her chair as she noticed among the puddle of paperwork and other mess, today’s edition of the Daily Prophet. The Headline was blaring “The Dark Lord Returned…Again?” along with a mobile picture of the Dark Mark. The article covered arguments of a bunch of skeptical persons over last night’s sudden appearance of the evil mark.
Hermione: They really are creating sensation to the maximum. No wonder, why parents are rushing to take back their children from Hogwarts.
Ron: The Daily Prophet never changes, it seems. Sometimes, I wonder if goblins are not less greedy than them.
As she was folding the newspaper, she noticed another article in smaller headline which said:
MINISTER OF MAGIC URGES EVERYONE NOT TO PANIC.
In a quick statement last night, Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt asked everyone not to panic.
“We urge the magical population to remain vigilant but not to engulf themselves in the weaving winds of panic. The rumors on the return of Lord Vol – are still baseless. The Aurors and everyone are searching the responsible of last night’s shocking appearance around the Shrieking Shack. Aurors are also completely invigilating the inside of Shrieking Shack. We still think that it might an escaped Death Eater or a prankster from the Battle of Hogwarts, 19 years earlier and thus, we promise to find this trouble-maker soon enough.”
The Minister’s statement was met with alarm from the Wizarding community nevertheless though. Details of the Dark Mark events are still hazy, but the coincidence of this astonishing sight along with recent events like the Death of Hogwarts Headmaster, Minerva McGonagall, along with the Return of the Boy Who Lived and Vanquished, harry Potter, at Hogwarts, seem to indicate another beginning of a dark era and thus …-
She stopped reading and folded the newspaper rashly. She threw it aside from her disgusted gaze and sips back some of her black coffee.
Argus Filch was shouting, near the gate, in his inimitable voice to the parents that came to take back their children. She gave a gaze to Ron who seized her hand in return.
Hermione: I will never have thought to take this post under such conditions. Perhaps, I should indeed have leaved the post to Harry.
Ron: Don’t worry. Everything will be fine. Moreover, we knew this was predictable after last night’s Dark Mark.
Hermione: I know…
She took a big heave as she leaned her head tenderly, a bit against Ron’s arm.
Hermione: Any idea where’s Harry by the way?
Ron: No sight of him since yesterday.
Hermione: This is weird.
Ron: He went somewhere after retrieving the Elder Wand. Perhaps, I’ll go and search for him.
Hermione: Perhaps, you should indeed. What about Naruto and the other ninjas?
Ron: Well, they are all waiting for their companions to come. They are supposed to establish a plan of action, if I go by their words, next.
Hermione: Yeah, we…
She was interrupted once more Argus’s way to maintain “silence”.
Hermione: Geez, life was so much better when we were students.
Ron: You said it.
Both laughed a little when someone knocked at her door.
Hermione: Please come!
???? : Will I get kicked out if I say you’re still as ravishing as ever, oh dear “Headmistress”?
As the door flung wide open, a well-built dark-haired man appeared to the delight of some and displease of other.
Hermione: Krum…I...no, I mean…please take a seat.
Her shyness towards the handsome Quidditch champion was still well-perceptible, much to the anger of Ron. The latter give him a quick handshake without making any eye-contact with Krum, so as to hide his obvious loathing for him. Prudently, Krum tried to ease the sudden feel of the room.
Krum: So how are you doing “Hermy-ownn”?
She flushed a bit towards his weird – though improved – pronunciation of her name.
Hermione: I’m fine, Victor. But what about you? I supposed you’re here more as the Headmaster of Durmstrang rather than as a good old friend of mine. Right?
Krum: Well, you’re right. I know that you’re surely overloaded with works due to the events of last nights’…
Krum: …But my visit here is about something completely different. As a matter of fact, I’ve heard about the Dark Mark just moments before I’ve reached Hogwarts.
Ron: Then why are you here?
His tone was clearly not a welcoming one; clearly demonstrated with his disgruntled look.
Krum: Well, I was here to initially discuss about the Goblet of Fire tournament that was going to be held in 3 weeks. I know that this isn’t clearly the moment but I’d like to know your views.
Hermione seemed a bit speechless about the situation. It was clear in her mind that as security measures, a tournament cannot be held but something was disturbing her nonetheless.
Ron: Well, obviously, the tournament has to be halted.
Krum: Is the matter as serious to postpone the tournament? I mean, is this the only solution?
Hermione had a questionable glance with Ron. Ron finally understood that she was confused and taken aback about her answer. To Hermione, it was clear-cut that halting a tournament of this importance will be like screaming to the world that there is indeed imminent danger, contrary to the vain measures that Kingsley and the Ministry were trying to instill.
Krum seized the confusion to try to preach the truth a bit more with his remarks and questions.
Krum: Well, I understand that as security measures for the Hogwarts students and the Wizarding world, you’re afraid to give free-run to the tournament but it will be insane to continue the tournament if the “You-Know-Who” danger is well-real and imminent.
Hermione knew what he was trying to achieve with his “precautions facade” for the tournament and as she was about to reply to him, Kakashi interrupted her with his classic position near the window.
Kakashi: So there’s a tournament…
Everyone looked towards the ever-cool Kakashi.
Krum: Um, do we know you?
Hermione: Well, he forms part of the group of ninjas who are here to investigate on the murder of McGonagall.
Krum: Oh, yes. I’ve heard about the story. So it’s indeed true…Well, nice meeting you.
Kakashi shook hands with him.
Kakashi: Me too. Will you mind if I talk with the Headmistress?
Krum: Well, sure…I…
He hesitantly looked at Hermione – who nodded – and Ron – whose wrathful staring was clearly trying to chase off Krum. Krum finally left the office while Kakashi entered fully into it.
Hermione: What is it? Anything serious?
Kakashi: Well, I’d like to know why you are hesitating for holding up that tournament of yours.
Ron: What? But it’s kinda obvious…
Hermione: He’s right. Right now, we cannot…
Kakashi: It’s rather the perfect timing.
Both were startled at the Copy Ninja’s cold conclusion.
Kakashi: We need to find the 2nd Hallow – the Stone – before Kabuto. While the snaky bastard may know that we are here, I doubt he knows already that we’re behind the Hallows like him. This tournament will act as the perfect diversion. While us, ninjas with some selected wizards could search for the Hallow, we’ll not put the castle in danger and get less suspicion eyes towards us.
Hermione: I’m skeptical. Kabuto might also attack us, in the midst of the tournament…
Kakashi: He won’t, unless he already got the second Hallow, I believe since it’s the most accessible right now.
Ron: Still, there’s still a chance that he want another Hallow first. In this case...
Kakashi: You got a point but if Kabuto indeed want all Hallows, he’ll launch an assault one day or the other. This will be the perfect lure to make him do so. This might be the only way out to make Kabuto do a reckless move. Otherwise, he’ll keep getting stronger in the shadows, spreading fear and terror through repetitive moves like the Dark Mark.
Hermione: I can’t use my students as a diversion that may end-results as them being scapegoats.
Ron: Well, Kakashi’s idea isn’t that bad either though…
Hermione: Ron, you can’t be thinking that. It’s risky and…
Ron: When have we not taken risks to succeed? To annihilate this world from evil, we’ll indeed have to risk it all once again. This is how we defeated Lord Voldemort once, right?
Hermione: I really don’t know…I…
Ron: I think, we’ve got visitors.
While they were rushing towards the window, Naruto yelled from his room.
Naruto: They have arrived.
From the midst of the reverse summoning were Sakura, Neji, Tenten, Lee, Ino, Choji, Sai, Yamato, Gaara, Kankuro and Temari. Being as rapturously enthusiastic as ever, Naruto jumped from his room in Sage Mode.
~END OF CHAPTER~
Next Chapter Entitled: Aftermath Part II (or TBD)
Well, I hope you find this good whatsoever. In fact, this chapter was longer initially. But as I was writing it, it turned out to be a bit more than double its length, so I decided to make another chapter with the other half. The whole chapter will be more impactful if it’s read to its completion, so you can say that this one is to be continued. Luckily, this means that I might eventually post up another chapter soon. :p Well, as always, I’ll await your CnCs impatiently for this one. Don’t forget to Thank or to Rate it as per your liking.