Dicember, 25 of 1992
Early in the morning
Albus Dumbledore takes a look at his luggage again, humming softly to himself while still searching for his favorite pair of socks that year, all the while wondering if he really should do that trip to the USA what with the things happening at Hogwarts that year, but the letter from the Headmistress of Salem Witches Institute that arrives back at the start of term that year and his subsequence acceptant of it bound him to comply to his word. He has to go to the little reunion and see for what it was that he was required. Fortunately his Deputy Headmistress and Transfiguration Professor, Minerva McGonagall would be staying and in case anything happen during his leave, she would fix it or simply owl him about it. She was a wonderful help to him, beside begin his best friend, and even more if he so much as to admit it to himself.
There was a knock in his bedroom door, and even with it close he knew the person behind it. Walking to it, Albus open the door to see none other than the same woman that was so constantly in his thoughts. Long black hair put up in a tight bun, pale porcelain skin, and her incredible green eyes, that were behind her glasses. Her attire that day was of black robes with and outer robe of tartan green.
“Minerva, my dear, please come in” Albus smile beaming at her presence while his bright blue eyes twinkling.
Her sever expression softened a bit at his sight, and she with the grace of her animagus form enter his quarters, looking around the room and almost rolling her eyes at the amount of thing round it. Once he signals for her to sit in a chair near the bed, she did and then looks at him frowning a bit.
“Albus are you sure, you should be going out of Hogwarts?” she couldn’t refrain from asking.
“Well my dear, I did give her my word, and fortunately the attacks looks like it stopped for now” he comment, finally finding his favorite pair of socks packing it with the trunk. “Beside am really curios about what did she would want to talk about, and it is always good to have allies in other parts of the world” he looks at her knowingly.
“I know, but I still don’t like it” she sigh and then help him organize his trunk, while he watch her amusedly.
A few minutes later, both were standing at the Hogwarts gates, where he would disapparate to London, and once there he would go to the MoM, and take a Portkey to the US. She sighs and turn to him, and couldn’t keep refrain and not touch him at least a bit. Minerva lift a hand touch his hand, that even with the gloves on, she could feel the heat of his skin, her eyes lock with his sparkly blue ones, and she smile slightly.
“Take care, Albus” her green eyes convey care and worry, but there was something else there as well that he couldn’t put a name to.
“You as well my dear” He like the gentleman that he was took her hand and kisses it, before retiring a few steps and disapparate to London.
Salem Grounds, Afternoon
Albus Portkey has leaved him at the room of International Transportation in the MoM of the US, and then once registered his arrival he immediately went out and apparete to the location where he was supposed to go. The Ground of the Institute were smaller than his beloved Hogwarts but beautiful all the same, the property was surrounded by trees that were it be December it would have been cover by leafs and flowers, the gates opened by their own accord it seems when Dumbledore got near, and then it was a pat clear of snow that lead to an impressive structure of an old mansion of four floors, with an impressive fountain at the front made of white marble portraying the symbol of the school with was a cat and a full moon.
At the steps of the stairs to the impressive building was waiting the Headmistress of the Institute. Her hair was snow white, and put in a loose bun, her skin was gold-brown and her eyes were bright amber like the whiskey, and were shining with kindness and wisdom.
“Headmistress is wonderful to meet you” Albus Dumbledore said, smiling to the woman.
“Headmaster indeed is a pleasure to meet you too” she said, and then invites him in, what with the cold snow and all; it wasn’t healthy to stand outside for long periods of time.
Once inside the doors, they walk up to the third floor and to the principal office; decorate with furniture in wood and strange devices made mostly by magical tribes, and portrait of the school ground and other Headmistress, somewhat like Hogwarts. She indicates the comfortable chairs made of wood and purple velvet in front of her desk, and then sits down herself.
“First of all, please let me thank you for coming all the way from Scotland to America, even when right now the time has been not the ideal for you” at his raised eyebrows she laugh a bit, her eyes sparkly in a mysterious way. Not many people out of Hogwarts knew about the attacks, and he was wondering what other things this lovely woman knew.
“It is no problem, I could not let pass the opportunity to know this magnificent school, and be as it is, I was actually very curious as for the unusual request to come” Dumbledore comment, his own eyes were sparkling.
“Well seeing as you will be staying here six days, there is still time for that matter that we will talk about” Onawa Gouyen was a peculiar woman of the third age, and he knew it, but there was something more to her than meet the eye, and Albus knew it. “Now am sure you’re probably tired and want to rest before lunch and then we will give you a tour of the school” there was a knock at the door after she spoke, and her eyes become even brightly. “Come in”
In came a little girl, mostly of the age thirteen or so it seem, with slightly wavy dark brown hair pass her shoulders, light tan skin and big dark brown eyes almost black, she was wearing a long sleeve purple sweater two size bigger, black leggings, and grey boots. When Dumbledore saw her, he thought that perhaps he has known her from somewhere else, she was very familiar to him, but he could not, for the life of him, put from where.
“Ah, Miss Jay, always in time” Onawa said kindly to the little girl who was standing by the door. “Please come in and take a sit” once the girl has done it, she continue, highly aware of the curiosity of the man in the room. “This wonderful man here, is Professor Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry”
The girls eyes almost pop out of her sockets at the mention of the name, and she turn her big eyes to him, looking at him in wonder, but rapidly turn to look at her headmistress a bit red in the cheeks for staring shamelessly like that. Both adults were amused by her reaction, but neither says anything about it.
“The professor would be staying with us for a few days and when am not around, you’re going to be his guide around the school” she inform the girl calmly.
“Me, headmistress?” came her quiet voice, her eyes as big as plates. She was obviously surprise.
“Yes, my dear. Now the professor has just arrives, why don’t you show him his room? It’s in the section of the professors quarters, is The Lily room” she said a sparkle in her whiskey like eyes. “Headmaster, please follow Miss Jay, she will show you the path to your room” Albus Dumbledore has the knack feeling that she was speaking with second meaning, but couldn’t be sure if that was true or not.
“Yes, Headmistress” Jay said quietly, standing and turning to see the man beside her. “Ah… Er… how should I refer to you, sir?” she asks unsure.
“Professor Dumbledore is fine, Miss…?” he let the words trail waiting for her name, for neither has told him her surname.
“Jay Granger, sir”
Albus eyebrow shot high in his face, almost reaching the hair line. Granger. No wonder she looks so familiar to him. If he was correct in his assumption, she most definitely was family of a bushy hair girl that was sorted into Gryffindor house. Now he was starting to think that whatever Onawa Gouyen would tell him surely would be interesting.
“This way sir- Er- professor Dumbledore” Jay said, guiding Dumbledore out of the office and down the corridor towards the stairs.
“So Miss Granger… is there a possibility that you be related to Miss Hermione Granger?” Dumbledore asks her, his bright blue eyes have a curious sparkle in them while watching her.
“Eh? Well, yes. We are family, sir- I mean professor Dumbledore” she said a bit nervous, climbing the stairs to the four floor with him following her.
“Oh! I suspect it. But is a wonder that you are not attending Hogwarts, but well you are living at the State so that would surmise it all, I guess” Albus was talking merrily, he hasn’t know that the brightest witch muggle-born has a familiar with magic. “Are you cousins?”
“Eh? Well… not exactly… but we are close” she said vaguely. And seeing his curious gaze, she sighs and told him what she has been meaning with her word before.
“Ah, it is most unusual, but nothing bad I assure you Miss Granger” he smile kindly to her. “What are you favorite things to do, if I may be so bold to ask?” he wanted to see how much the two girls were alike.
“Hmmm… I would say read books would be, but I also like to draw and paint so I’m not sure what I like the most between those” she said, walking down a corridor, with big double wood doors, each one of it has a flower carve in the front. She stops in front of one with a blue tiger lily flower carved beautiful. “This is the room assigned to you professor Dumbledore” she inform him quietly. She was very polite.
“Thank you my dear, now I hope that we would meet again in my stay here Miss Granger it was a pleasure meeting you” he said kindly and with his customary twinkle in his bright blue eyes.
“Same, professor” Jay smile shyly at him, before turning around and leave him to his things.
December, 29 – Afternoon
The past days in the institute the Headmaster of Hogwarts has learn interesting things not only of the building but of the people living in it too. Salem Institute has the same classes that they teach at Hogwarts, but unlike his school, this one didn’t require to live in it for all the school year, even when some of the students do request to live there for less inconvenient to travel every day to classes. And incredibly very few chose to remain living all the school year at the institute. He learns that the tolerance to Muggle and Muggle-Born were very high and there weren’t much Pure-Blood supremacist.
Now about the people there, the headmistress was a very unique woman, mysterious in her own way and very wise indeed, with a kind heart, and yet she until his leaving day didn’t mention the reason for his presences in her school. And Miss Granger relative… well there was much to say about that girl. He discover that she was three years older than Hermione, making her fifteen years old, but her physical appearance made her look younger than she actually was, she spend her time around books of every class, not only magical but novels and other types too; she like to listed to muggle music, she didn’t know how to dance a waltz not even to save her life, and the most interesting thing was her compassion to others, and her logical and down to her mind. But in others aspect she was peculiar. She saw thing that other people didn’t and have a kind but detached personality where physical contact with others were rare.
In that time he spend with her, that was kind of a lot of his stay there, he discover that she has a natural mental barrier pretty strong, and he suggest teaching her Occulomancy to polish her natural defenses to outside penetration and she excited accept his offer. He was extremely surprise that she to the four day of training was able to block him completely, if not a bit rusty. It was interesting, because she wasn’t bright in the same way that Hermione was, his class notes were testimony of that, but she exhibits the trails of the Slytherin House, such as self-preservation and a cunning mind, has she not been muggle-born and living at the US, she would most certainly would have been put in Slytherin.
At the last day of his stance there, he was called to the Headmistress office, and now knowing his way around the school, he went humming to himself, deep in thought, especially of a green eye witch of his that he have a need to see. He had mail repeatedly with Minerva those days but it wasn’t the same. Sighing to himself, he knocks at the door, and waits to tell him to enter. Once inside Albus note that the Headmistress was sitting at the heath watching the fire and the bit of smoke that it was making. Her whiskey like-eyes were with a faraway look like she was seeing something beyond the room.
“Ah, please sit down Albus” after a few days they both were in first name basis.
They were silent for a few minutes, but then Onawa turn from the flames with a thoughtful expression in her face, and with a wave of her wand conjure a coffee for herself and chocolate for her guest, she knew his sweet tooth, and it was legendary.
“Now Albus, I think is time to talk about why I requested your presences here, don’t you?” her voice was as calm and mysterious like the first day, but there was a seriousness in it that he haven’t hear before. “Have you deciphered about the reason behind it yet?” she asks him, her bright eyes turning a shade of orange-red by the fire light.
He mussed it in his mind, and just could go to one conclusion.
“You wanted me to come here, to meet Miss Granger, am I correct?” his blue eyes didn’t have its usual sparkle but were totally serious.
“Yes, my friend. But do you know why I wanted you to meet her?” she ask again, all patience and kindness. Her gaze never wavering.
“She is an interesting character, peculiar girl, and bright in a different way at the usual… but beside that, I confess I have no clue as to why that would make you want me to meet her” he said sincerely.
Onawa sigh a bit, and turn to watch the fire like she were thinking about something and organizing her ideas before speaking again. He drinks a bit of his chocolate and wait patiently for her response. After a few minutes she finally turns to watch him again.
“I have a… how would you call it? Ah! A sight of sort… It comes with my family and tribe magic, not everyone has it, is somewhat like a Seer, but not quite the same” she pause and took a sip of her mug before speaking again. “We see things in the fire and smokes like your branch see things in a crystal ball”
Albus watch her now very intrigue. He has hear something about it before but nothing concrete, the Native American Tribes were secretive of their magic and not many outsiders were made participants of it.
“And what did you see in the vision, Onawa?” he has known her very few days, but he knew she wasn’t a person to lie or say crazy things, like say, Sibyl Trelawney, his Divination teacher back at Hogwarts.
“I’ve seen what should happen in the up comings years, the rise of this Dark Lord of yours, and what should be of those who dare to opposed to him” she sigh like the weight of all the world were on her shoulders, suddenly her face was marked by lines and her snowy white hair was more visible of her age and all the things she must have seen in her life. She looks old beyond years. “There is so much loss” she closed her eyes, suddenly tired.
Both were silent in the room, digesting the words. He had known that Voldemort would come back, but even with that notion, there was still a bit of a hope that he would be wrong. It seems that now such a thing wasn’t possible. For some reason he believe her every word.
“But… I’ve seen what a single pawn in a game of chess could change the outcome for the better” here she pause and look at him pointedly. “And even when some deaths could not be change, some could be save… if we allow that pawn to play its role”
Albus mussed in his own thought for a few minutes, before focusing in the wise and kind woman in front of him. His bright blue eyes have a sparkle of intelligence and something more.
“What do you suggest, Onawa?”
“Teach her what you think pertinent for her to learn… when the time arrives, you’ll know what to do, and how she will make a difference in the outcome of the war… because there is going to be war, don’t doubt it” Onawa said somberly.
She didn’t quite like putting her girls, whom were more like the daughters she never could have, in peril danger. But in this case it was necessary. The fire and smoke have talk and show it to her what was to come. And she knew that the girl if things go well would find happiness. Besides, she could not in good conscience, let people die if she knew some actions could stop it. Specially those, whom had suffered for so long.
“Her capacity to see beyond what most people do, would probably save more than one life, but you must guide her through this path, even when there would be people against her for her youth” she smile mysteriously. “He certainly would protest at first against her… but he would need her, and she would need him” Onawa never mention this person name, but for the look in the man eyes, she assume that he knew to whom she was talking about.
Dumbledore could not contain his chuckle at the thought of one Potion Master of his that would without doubt protest at having such young and inexperienced girl in the group to fight against Voldemort should he rise again. And he will. Now there were no doubts in his mind about that. And even now, he was thinking about what he would like to teach her and how to present her to the others when the time arrives. Everyone but Minerva, that is.
They talk about different things after that. And soon was time for him to pack and go back to his castle and his job. So with a few words they said good bye. And Albus went to his room and start packing, at afternoon everything was ready for his leaving. He shrunk his trunk and put on his travel cloak and with one last view to his temporary quarters turn around and went out.
At the front door of the Institute was standing a little figure clothed in a black cloak that reach her toes, and had a knit hat in black, and a big and fluffy scarf in purple and white, with black gloves in her petite hands.
“Ah, Miss Granger! Is good to see you before I go” Dumbledore said, smiling brightly at the girl, who in return smile calmly at him. She has relax in his presence after a few days of begin constantly in the company of the other.
“Professor” was all she said, while starting to walk through the door and into the snowy outside, followed by him. None speaks until they reach the gates.
“It was a truly pleasure to meet you Miss Granger” he said pausing at the gates.
“Same professor Dumbledore” she smile a bit larger this time. “Thank you very much for teaching me and taking time out of your agenda to spend time with me”
“It was no problem. Now next time I visit I will teach you more interesting things to learn, meanwhile, why don’t you research in this topic?” he take out a little piece or parchment out of his cloak pocket, and extend it to her.
“Thank you Professor, I will” she took the parchment and put it in her own pocket, before looking at him again. “Have a save trip” she look insecure for a moment and then impulsively hug the man, it was short but sweet, and Dumbledore, whom the hugs didn’t happen often, just smile brightly.
“Thank you my dear, until next time” he said and then he Disapparate with a ‘pop’.
She just stood there for a few more minutes, watching the snow starting to fell and then turn around to start walking back to the institute that was her home nine month out of twelve, and for each step she takes the curiosity pick at her, about the topic of research the great wizard of all has ask her to study about. Jay was sure that whatever it was, it surely would be interesting and exciting to do.
December, 29 – Hogwarts Ground, Nightfall
Dumbledore arrives at his beloved home pass sundown, with a lot of thought in his head, while his legs carry him through the path to the Gates, and he should admit to himself that he wasn’t at surprise when he saw Minerva waiting for him at the other side, all cover in her tartan coat.
“Albus, welcome back” was all she said, after he cross the gates. “How was your trip?”
Dumbledore just smile mysteriously before chuckling.
“Insightful, my dear… very insightful indeed” was all he said, before starting to walk toward the castle. “I hope the house-elves have prepared something delicious, because we have some interesting things to chat on” the twinkle in his eyes was back at full force.