2:00am to 12:40pm
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Faith and Dawn belong to Joss Whedon, and Draco etc. belongs to JK Rowling.
Authors note: This is a short story that can be read independently in my 'wizarding war' series. It explains exactly what happened to Hermione and Draco when they left for the Bulgarian Front after saving Percy and Faith Weasleys' marriage.
This chapter is only F15, the F18 stuff is coming next chapter. (My conscience is now clear, let the magical depravities begin) Remember Americans: ‘Pissed’ to people of British descent means ‘drunk’ not only ‘angry’ or ‘urine’. And Australians and Canadians say leftenant instead of lootenant as well as the English.
* Vienelle is French for alley
14th September 2007
Platform 9 ¾
Kings Cross Station
Song playing by wizard brass band: “It’s a long way to Tipperary’
The young blond cruelly comely Lieutenant Draco Malfoy, was about to have the most peculiar day of his life.
It started badly the night before. He and Granger in full uniform (no more comfortable Muggle clothes for them for awhile) arrived at Platform 9 3/4 by themselves. They both hated seeing their mothers try not to cry, as they left for overseas service. There was a ban on wand casting on the platform due to terrorism fears, and all the luggage trolleys had been taken.
“For the unholy gods’ sake Granger.” Draco whined, as he helped Hermione carry her trunk. “What the hell have you got in here, the kitchen cauldron?”
Hermione burdened down with Crookshanks cat cage and her military rugsack, tugged at her side of the trunk. “Well if your muscles weren’t so puny, there wouldn’t be a problem, would there Malfoy?”
“Cow.” Malfoy said automatically, pushing his way rudely through the lesser mortals crowding across his path on the platform.
“Pig.” Hermione replied distractedly. Where was the train they were meant to be catching?
“Roger me blind with a cucumber Granger, but is that really our troop transport train back to the Bulgarian Front?” Malfoy stood agape at the steel magnificence before them.
The train was the pinnacle of military magical railway achievement. A double decker sleeper. It would obviously have a bar for officers, a restaurant, a coffee lounge, a games room, a sauna, a gymnasium, a library, a potions room. The officers’ compartments would have four poster double beds most probably.
“Good Heavens, not bad is it?” Hermione whistled. “I hope the familiars carriage is up to scratch as well.”
Hermione and Draco made their way to the back of the train to sign in, and then drop off Hermione’s trunk and cat.
A gloomy looking middle aged Wand Sergeant from Liverpool was on sentry duty. “ID.” He monotoned.
Hermione handed over her identity card.
The sergeant stared at it a long time. Looking at the smiling student nurse in the photograph fidgeting with her unaccustomed head scarf. He looked back at Hermione’s prematurely hardened face.
“Yer don’t look like that anymore much luv.” He checked her age, handed the card back resignedly. A corporal scurried to move her trunk.
“Yer certain yer only twenty Sister Granger?” The Wand Sergeant said quizzically.
“Idiot, what backwards Scouse slum hole did they scrape you out from Wand Sergeant?” Bloody hell, where did this oik get off speaking to a B.E.F. nurse like that, even if it was Granger? “Bet you’re a squib.” Draco handed over his ID. “Get on with it man. I suppose I look thirty?”
“No Lieutenant Malfoy, twenty five.” The Wand Sergeant said honestly. “But I see here yer only nineteen.” The Wand Sergeant was looking sorry for them. Draco snatched his ID back.
Lieutenant Draco Malfoy and Sister Hermione Granger were returning to their living hells on the Bulgarian Front and no indoor spa pool would really make up for it.
Hermione went over to the familiars carriage. Strange noises were coming from inside. Her eyes widened in surprise at the exotic creatures in their cages. Possums, kookaburras, cockatoos lined one half of the carriage. A quarter of the carriage contained one very large polar bear, raccoons, and beavers. There were the normal cats, rats and owls as well. Many of the owls were an unfamiliar breed to Hermione.
She raised her eyebrows questioningly to the corporal on duty.
“You’re getting on board a train carrying Republic of Australian Wizardry troops.” The English corporal explained, taking Crookshanks from her.
“Two hundred and fifty of the ex-colonial bastards.” The corporal went on. “Hardened lot, they’ve come fresh from fighting the Sorcery Confederation of Indonesia. ‘The Dingoes of the N.T.’ they’re nicknamed. At least our side drove back ‘You Know Who’s’ forces in the Northern Territory of Australia. There’s a consignment of eighty Wizarding Republic of Canada Healers coming on board as well. That Polar Bear belongs to Healer Tanoak the famous Inuit burns specialist.”
“Oh my god!” Hermione squealed like a Cackles Academy fifteen year old at her first Weird Sisters concert. Hermione had always wanted to meet this magical medical paragon.
“Try not to wet your knickers Granger.” Draco told her. He pulled her by the arm. Hermione slapped his hand away contemptuously. Draco rolled his eyes. For Hades sake, they’d had sex in August. Granger hadn’t minded his hands on her then. “Come on, let’s find our sleeping compartments.”
Hermione and Draco had been allocated the same room due to a bureaucratic glitch. B.E.F. Herman Granger and Drake Malfoy had been a logical roommate choice to an over tired clerk four days ago.
Hermione eyed the two double beds in the compartment. “You sleep in that corner. I’ll sleep in this one.” She declared. “Don’t think of sleepwalking.”
“Been there, done that Granger.” Draco flopped down on his bed. Comfortable. Not four poster. The whole room was done out in a pink and gray tribute to the eighties. Not that he and Hermione realized that. There were even prints of flamingos on the dividing walls.
“You’re such a pig.” Hermione lay down on her bed. She pulled out the book she had been reading every spare moment this weekend. Her mother had passed it on to her.
Draco testing his own bed glanced over at the title. “’Bridget Jones diary.’ What the hell is that about?”
“Er, it’s about a Muggle journalist who keeps a diary.” Hermione said. “She starts off every entry with how much she weighs, how many cigarettes she’s smoked, and how many alcohol units she’s consumed.”
“Riveting.” Draco sneered. He stood up resigned. “Let’s go and consume our own alcohol units, shall we Granger? I’ll shout you at the officers’ bar.”
The luxurious officer’s bar was filling with the members of the British Isles Wizarding Armed Forces Aviators. The wizards had a higher mortality rate than the dragons they flew, They were constantly needed to be replaced. Unlike the British Isles Wizarding Infantry their ranks were of mixed gender.
Hermione spotted Flight Lieutenant Roger Davies across the bar from her. Dressed in black dragon leather with a white silk scarf around his neck, he looked very dashing. Davies noticed Hermione and waved.
Hermione and Draco had a surprisingly civilized drink together, discussing Percy Weasley’s ruined political career. A disturbance outside drew their immediate attention.
“Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi! Oi! Oi!” Came the baying chant from the platform. A path was parted in the civilian and British Isles Aviator throng crowding the platform.
“I think the thunder from down under has arrived.” Draco said peering out the window. “Unholy Gods’ they’re all pissed as newts!”
“Good heavens! Look at their uniforms!” Hermione gasped amazed, leaning over his shoulder.
The Republic of Australian Wizardry or R.A.W. were kitted out in skin tight crocodile trousers. A waistcoat of brown kangaroo leather covering their broad or bosomy chests. There was one female soldier to every three males, the females were wearing green and yellow camouflage sports bras underneath their waistcoats. Their wizard and witches hats were made of brown snake leather, with dangling wine bottle corks.
“Are you drooling Granger?” Malfoy mocked, when he noticed her mouth was slightly parted.
“No, of course not.” Hermione lied. Dear Lord, the men were muscled gods! One in six R.A.W. soldiers were Asian, mostly of Vietnamese descent, dripping with Oriental sexiness. The remainder had sun bleached blond or red hair. A quarter had sun kissed freckles. There were several soldiers of obviously Mediterranean extraction. Olive skinned, brown eyes to drown in, thick black hair. Hermione needed a lie down. “You’re such a …”
“Pig, yeah, yeah, change the bloody gramophone record Granger.” Draco said without malice. Although weather beaten, the Australian females glowed with raw good health. Looking as if they had spent their teenage years casting spells to create the perfect surf wave. Several of the R.A.W. ‘Dingoes of the N.T.’ were in fact lying comatose on floating surfboards.
“Goodness, here come the Canadians.” Hermione forget her normal disdain of Malfoy for a second, to squeeze his shoulder in further lurid voyeuristic delight. The Wizarding Republic of Canada Medical Corps males were tall broad shouldered specimens of manhood, descendants of handsome tribal medicine men or Scottish wizarding lumberjacks. The females were also very shaggable Draco noted, in a Native American Disney Pocahontas or prairie farmgirl way.
The Canadians uniforms consisted of black wool trousers or divided skirts for the females, black riding boots, with tight fitting red wool jackets adorned with gold buttons. On their heads they wore black moose skin berets. In a hospital situation the healers wore white doctors’ coats over their uniform. The nurses white aprons.
“Makes you wonder why the hell we got such naff uniforms, doesn’t it Granger?” Draco said enviously. His khaki uniform modeled on a First World War British Officer’s didn’t do much for him, he had always felt.
“Well, their uniforms won’t be very sensible in Bulgarian mud.” Hermione sniffed disapprovingly. God yes! Hermione would love to wear a posh nurse’s uniform like the Canadian nurses, instead of looking like a frump all the time. Her uniform was modeled on a First World War nurse's too.
Flight Lieutenant Davies was walking over to their table. The ex Hogwarts pupils greeted each other. Watching the drunken Australians board the train with interest.
“Rough bunch, brave as they come though.” Davies observed, brushing against Hermione as he peered through the window. “Oh well, shouldn’t be too much trouble sharing the train with them till we reach Paris.”
Weekend Pass: 24
Platform 2 ½
Gare du Norde
Song Playing through speakers on the train’s compartments: “I’m leaving on a jet plane” cover by Chantal Kreviazuk. (Canadian Singer)
Draco woke up as he heard his compartment door unlock. He had always been a light sleeper when he was stressed. Granger was standing in the doorway with Flight Lieutenant Roger Davies.
“It was ruddy superb getting to know you this evening Hermione.” Davies was saying, leaning on the doorframe. “I wish we had the opportunity…I have to disembark now, catch the connecting train to Berlin with the rest of my squadron.”
“Yes…” Hermione looked up at him. “Good luck Roger.”
Davies took Hermione in his arms and kissed her.
Draco could hear the little murmurs of desire, that were starting to come from them both as they snogged desperately. Oh for Hades sake, he was trying to bloody sleep!
Draco had lost twenty galleons playing cards in the Officers Bar with some cheating Canuck bastard, failed to pick up an English Rose aviatrix, the fickle bitch succumbing to the Maple Leaf healer’s charms instead. Draco had headed off to bed an hour ago. This truly was the worst leave of his military life.
A siren wailed through the train. Davies tore himself away from Hermione’s eager arms. “That’s the final call for us. Take care Hermione. I’ll owl you.”
“Goodbye.” Hermione leaned against the doorframe. Her hand pressed against her swollen lips. Good Heavens.
Song Playing: 'The safety dance’ by Men Without Hats (Canadian eighties band)
On the platform, a group of middle aged wizarding adults were on the verge of fisticuffs.
The Australian Colonel was red in the face. He poked the Mayor of Magical Paris threateningly in the chest with his wand. “No, you listen mate. If we’re bloody stuck here for the next twenty four hours. Waiting for a bunch of Wizarding Foreign Legion soldiers to join us. Before we can start moving again. My troops get to disembark.”
“My contingent too.” Healer Tanoak nodded firmly.
“Mais non.” The rotund little mayor shook his head firmly. “Your Australian troops left a trail of destruction behind zem in Diagon Alley yesterday. We ‘eard of the riots zey caused in zee drinking establishments’ zere. Our inn landlords do not want zee same disaster to ‘appen in Quasimodo Vienelle.”
“Well, why can’t my healers and nurses get off the train then eh?” Healer Tanoak inquired perplexed. His contingent was very orderly.
“Quarter of your people zpeak zat strange Quebec dialect of French. We don’t want our children to be exposed to your colonial bastardization of our language. Et ees nothing personal, we did not let zee troops from Magical French Polynesia get off zeir train zee other day for zee same reason. A lot of Canadians chew gum, et es aesthetically unappealing.” The mayor smiled patronizingly. “As es zee appearance of your ‘ard, ‘ard female zoldiers coiffures, Colonel Howard.”
“Why, you bloody mongrel...” Colonel Howard drew his wand on the mayor in gentlemanly outrage. How dare this frog arsehole criticize the Shelias’ in his regiment?
“Imperialist Moose face.” Tanoak drew his wand as well.
Instantly they and the Australians’ Lieutenant Colonel and The Canadians’ medical unit’s Matron, fell to the ground unconscious, as the Mayor’s body guards cast defensively. The Parisian Magical Mayor got a lot of death threats, he had no idea why. Perhaps it was because he was a loup garou? It couldn’t be because of his personality surely?
“Gendarmes, put these people een the Mayoral dungeons.” The mayor ordered instantly. “Zhut down that train with an anti apparation charm. Put a forcefield charm on zee doors. No one gets off eet until zee Wizarding Foreign Legion arrives.”
Song playing: ‘Cold Hard Bitch’ by Jet (Aussie band)
Draco got out of bed in his pajamas. He peered down the corridor in the officers’ carriage. People were yelling out the carriage windows to French wizarding civilians, passing money out and getting winged bottles of liquor flown back in.
“What’s the hold up?” Draco asked the nearest person to him. “Why are we still here in bloody Gay Paree?”
A R.A.W. Second Lieutenant filled him. “Bar’s run bloody dry.” He explained how the train was grounded. How the highest ranking officer on board the train was now a twenty four year old R.A.W. Major from Brisbane. Major Kevo O’ Hara. And he had passed out drunk two hours ago.
Draco stuck his head out a window. He noticed a tall woman with sleek black hair, a thin mouth, heavily lidded eyes, pale skin, and the Black family's patrician good looks and bearing. She was wearing a maintenance uniform, walking away from the train with a floating pallet of rubbish. Mostly boxes of empty beer and wine bottles. A sinister looking maintenance man walked beside her, chuckling evilly.
“Auntie Beatrix!!!” Draco yelled out to her in shock, before he thought about what he was doing. Oops. His Aunt Beatrix was totally round the twist. She’d been a right evil witch bullying him to kill Dumbledore, that was for certain. Cripes, and wasn’t his nefarious aunt meant to be on the run from the wizarding law in all the free magical countries?
Beatrix Lestrange turned her head to look at her nephew. Her jaw dropped open. He could see her mouth the words. ‘Oh shit, Draco.’
Beatrix Lestrange and her companion apparated out of the Gare Du Norde, taking the rubbish with them.
Draco shrugged. Odd. He must write and tell Mother her sister was still alive. In code somehow, so the censors didn’t send the Aurors round to their family residence. In any case he was going back to bed.
4:00 am Song Playing: ‘Clouds’ (both sides now) by Joni Mitchell (Canadian singer)
Hermione and Draco sat bolt upright in their beds, as loud music blared through the train speakers in their room.
Hermione waved her wand and switched on the lights. “Good heavens, what on earth…?”
Draco waved his wand at the speaker, trying to get it to turn off to no avail. “The lunatics are running the asylum Granger. There’s no one really in charge at the moment.” Draco began to explain their grounded situation.
“Oh dear.” Hermione didn’t like the sound of all this. It was pointless trying to sleep however. “Cast a ‘no doze’ spell on me please?” She asked Draco.
“Sister Goody Good Granger, uses the frowned upon spell by the Top Wizarding Brass, to get through her thirty hour shifts in her field hospital does she?” Draco smirked. He drew his wand. “Me too, thanks.”
Hermione headed for the bathroom down the carriageway to get dressed, with unnatural speed. A little side effect of the upper spell Draco had cast upon her.
Draco felt something at the foot of his bed. There was a gift wrapped box there, with the message ‘from a secret admirer’ written on an attached card. He opened it. There was a letter from his aunt inside.
I know you think I’m evil and insane. But although I was evil before I went into Azkaban I wasn’t mad. You try spending over a decade having the Dementors’ suck every even vaguely cheerful thought from your brain, and see how mentally balanced you’d be after that little experience.
Now I haven’t been the best aunt to you, I know Draco. Again, being behind bars for all of your childhood, did rather curtail the aunt nephew activities I would have liked to do with you. Such as taking you to the Orkney Islands to see a Muggle burned alive in a wicker basket. To ensure the crops flourished in spring. How I enjoyed that mid term break treat when I was a girl, with my aunt.
In any case, with a lot of therapy recently, I have seen that although I am still as keen as ever to bathe the wizarding world in blood under the Dark Lord’s rule, family is very important to me.
So Draco my only nephew, it is because of this I am warning you that there is a magical time bomb on the train you are on. Get off the train as soon as possible.
P.S. I told you I wasn’t insane anymore. This paper has been impregnated with a special charm, if you try and tell anyone else about the bomb your head will explode.
P.P.S. Give my best regards to dear Cissy if you make it back alive.
4:15 am Song Playing ‘Scar’ by Missy Higgins (Australian vocalist)
Hermione was sandwiched between two very good looking red haired officers in the queue for the bathroom. She wished she was wearing something more sophisticated than her Garfield print pajamas.
The man on her left, a Canadian, looked just like a younger version of Bill Weasley, right down to the pony tail and pierced ear. He had on grey sweat suit pants. His lean muscular torso bare. Entwined snake tattoos curled around his wrists. A real bad boy.
The man on her right, an Australian, resembled Charlie Weasley, slightly more freckled if possible, with a scarred nose from sunburn. He was in surf shorts, bare chested as well. A shark tooth pendant hung around his neck, he had a heart tattoo above his left pectoral muscle with ‘Mum’ written on the scroll. He looked decent. Nice.
“What the fuck is the bloody hold up?” The Australian commented fidgeting. S’truth, he wanted to use the dunny badly.
“I suppose we all have to be patient. I mean there’s a war on.” Hermione replied, crossing her legs unobtrusively. God, she needed the loo.
“Yeah? Musta missed the fricking memo.” The Canadian teased, moving against the wall. Christ, he needed to pee in the bathroom.
“Captain Lancelot Weasley.” The Australian said, holding out his hand to Hermione and the Canadian. “But my mates call me ‘Blue’ on account of my hair.” Blue explained it to them. “Blue opposite of red, get it?”
“No bud, not even slightly.” The Canadian held out his hand too. “Captain Excalibur Weasley, but my pals call me ‘Rusty’ because of my hair. That makes fricking sense.”
“Sister Hermione Granger.” Hermione shook the men’s hands. “My friends call me Hermione. Because, er that’s my Christian name.” She finished lamely.
Draco rushed past Hermione, doing up his braces. He backtracked to pause in front of Hermione. He opened his mouth looking anguished. He shut it again and dashed off.
“What a weird guy.” Rusty observed.
“Got a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock, that bloke.” Blue concurred. “Mate of yours?” he asked Hermione.
“Er…beloved enemy I suppose these days.” Hermione realized. “I think Malfoy’s funking out about going back to the front lines.” Hermione conjectured. “I was wondering… do you men have family in Ottery St. Catchpole in the U.K.?”
“Nah, don’t think so. But an ancestor from there of mine was convicted in 1801.Transported to Australia when it was a magical penal colony. For stealing his neighbor’s broomstick for a joy ride. Poor little nipper was only thirteen.” Blue said interested.
“Creepy! My great grandpa hailed from that village too. He immigrated to Canada in the 1890’s for the Floo rush in the Yukon.” Rusty contributed. “Hey, I guess we must be long lost cousins kinda Blue.”
5:00 am Song Playing: ‘Losing my grip’ by Avril Lavigne (Canadian Singer)
“This coffee tastes like moose pee.” Rusty complained, as the three new acquaintances sat in the officers coffee lounge together.
“Yes, well as I keep telling you both, there’s a war on.” Hermione said defensively. British Isles Wizarding Armed Forces were doing all the catering on the train.
“We had a bit of a bloody situation going on back home.” Blue replied “And believe me darl. The coffee didn’t taste like it had come out of a wallaby’s wizzer. Our troops don’t put up with shit rations when we don’t need to. The kitchen staff better get their heads out of their arses before brekky, or you’re looking at a riot happening from our diggers.”
Draco sprinted into the coffee lounge. He started to frantically pick up sugar bowls from tables and hold them to his ear.
“Fuck off drongo!” A startled Australian Second Lieutenant snapped at him.
“Oh dear, excuse me.” Hermione left her companions.
She went over to Draco. “Are you alright Malfoy?” She inquired concerned.
“Never been better Granger.” Draco said curtly, picking up the milk jugs and peering underneath them. “By the way, be on your guard against those Casanova colonials you’re fraternizing with. They’re over paid, over sexed and on our train. Wanting to get into your white cotton unmentionables.”
“You are such an excruciating pig!” Hermione scowled offended. “We’re merely killing time together.”
“Don’t be naive Granger.” Draco spilled milk over his face accidentally. “When are you going to get a grip on bloody reality?”
Back at Hermione’s table, Blue and Rusty tried to stare each other down.
“Nah, I don’t think so mate. I saw her first, you bloody rack off.” Blue declared.
“Nope. I think she’s kinda cute.” Rusty shook his head. “But hey, seeing we’re sorta related? We’ll let the English chick make up her own mind, okay? Twenty galleons she picks me.” He held out his hand.
“You’re on.” Blue shook the Canadian’s hand firmly. “Let the best bastard win yeah?”
6:00 am ‘Run to you’ Bryan Adam’s (Canadian singer)
Hermione ran on the treadmill in the officers’ gymnasium. It was convenient that the gym supplied work out gear. But her khaki bikini was a trifle revealing she felt. Although both Blue and Rusty had complimented her on her navel piercing.
Draco entered the room and picked up the free standing dumbbells. Holding each to his ear in turn.
“Does the bloke want to hear the sound of the sea or something?” Blue panted, as he ran on the adjoining treadmill. “Because I have a conch shell back in my compartment. I used to scuba dive in the South Pacific looking for sunken treasure in peace time.”
“How fascinating.” Hermione admired, sweat pouring off her.
“Maybe he’s missing English drizzle. I could give him my rain making stick.” Rusty volunteered on the other side of her. “I hung out for a year when I was nineteen with Cree tribal shamans in Manitoba. It’s why I know so much about magical wound healing.”
“Goodness, how truly interesting.” Hermione breathed.
7:00 am Song playing ‘I see red’ by Split Enz (New Zealand band the Aussies say is theirs.)
Major Kevo O’Hara had a rude awakening. A bucket of icy water was poured over his face. He spluttered. The Canadian nurse beside him in bed squealed in protest, as the cold water hit her naked flesh.
“Scram Sister MacDonald.” The Native American, Acting Matron Nancy Longfeather ordered, putting down her empty pail.
The chastened Toronto nurse limped from the room.
“Get up and face your responsibilities O’Hara!” Druid Dusty Brown the R.A.W. regiment’s spiritual adviser, yelled at the highest ranking officer on board the grounded train.
“Shit, don’t speak so loudly, please Druid Brown.” The hungover Major O’Hara, wiped the water off his face gingerly with the corner of his doona. (Doona =Duvet, Quilt)
“You’re in charge apparently Major O’Hara.” Acting Matron Longfeather sneered. “Our superiors have been incarcerated by some dickwad French Mayor. There’s a riot about to start over the breakfast rations. You need to get down to the mess carriage immediately.”
In the mess carriage Hermione sat opposite Blue and Rusty. The officers’ restaurant wasn’t operating sadly. So the three temporary companions were stuck with the same breakfast rations as every one else was receiving that morning.
“We want real bloody tucker! We want real bloody tucker!” The Australian troops were slamming their spoons down on the tables.
Major O’Hara who looked like a bleary eyed Heath Ledger clone, stumbled through the mess carriage, followed by a prodding Acting Matron Longfeather and Druid Brown.
Major O’Hara picked up one of his soldiers bowls. He tried not to vomit at its contents.
“What the fuck is this?” Major O’Hara barked at the dark haired digger before him.
“Our breakfast Major.” The Australian wizard informed him indignantly. “We can’t eat this puke.”
“Certainly not, uh, Private DiCaprio.” Major O’ Hara replied. “I’m not expecting my wombat familiar to eat this shit.”
Major O’ Hara strode into the kitchen. He cornered the chief cook.
“What is this bloody cat spew you’re feeding my troops?” O’Hara said quietly, dangerously.
“It’s porridge.” The head cook put his hands on his hips. A cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth.
“It’s like no oatmeal my people have ever seen.” Acting Matron Longfeather spat.
“Fuck this for a laugh. We’re calling in our ambassadors.” Major O’Hara announced to everyone in the kitchen. “Bloody Magical France can have a diplomatic incident on its hands.”
8:00 am Song playing: “Figured you out’ by Nickleback (Canadian band)
Hermione, Blue and Rusty looked at the assembled international wizardry media on Platform 2 ½ Gare du Norde, from out the window of the officers’ games room.
The Canadian and Australian wizarding ambassadors had arrived. At present they were engaged in yelling at the Magical Mayor of Paris.
Major O’Hara and Acting Matron Longfeather were leaning out a carriage window, shouting out their people’s demands. More alcohol, the trapped familiars to be let out of their cages and be taken for a walk, fly, hop, to stretch their legs, wings.
Most importantly, better food, their people refused to eat the English muck that was on offer. It was tripe and onions for lunch on the menu today apparently.
“Righto.” Major O’Hara took the piece of paper that Druid Brown handed him. “I have a list here. One hundred jars of Vegemite. That’s a spreadable yeast extract. Fifty kilos’ of prawns. Damper, that’s bread made without yeast. Maybe the yeast is needed to make the Vegemite? Never thought about it before. Kangaroo meat patties. Anzac biscuits….” He carried on
Acting Matron Longfeather read out her list next. “Peameal bacon, Apple pie with Cheddar cheese, baked cream corn and cheese, Maple Syrup…”
“You are out of your uncultured minds, eef you zink zat oh zo disgusting food you both request ees available in Paris.” The Mayor interrupted nastily. “Why do you not just ask us to bring you back ze plastic bags of fast food from Muggle Multinational food franchises, you peasant zwine?”
“What like Macca’s/Mickey D’s?” O’Hara and Longfeather said simultaneously.
“Yeah, golden arches work for me, no worries.” O’Hara turned to Longfeather pleased. “You?”
“Well now that the big yellow m has their new health conscious menu, of course.” Longfeather nodded.
“I was being zarcastic you colonial imbeciles.” The mayor sneered.
“Why you rude little bugger!” the Australian ambassador took out his wand. The Mayor’s body guards cast their knock out spell.
Hermione and her new friends shook their heads. Diplomatic negotiations weren’t going too well.
“Gonna get nasty out there soon. Wanna play wizarding poker?” Rusty suggested.
“Yeah.” Blue nodded. “Five wand stud?”
“I don’t know how to play wizarding poker.” Hermione confessed.
“Relax baby, we’ll teach you.” Rusty offered. “Crap, isn’t that your bud over there again?”
Hermione looked askance at the unshaven Draco going through the Games Room cupboards, picking up backgammon boxes and emptying their contents on the floor. What on Earth was Malfoy doing?
9:40 am Song played: “’Ironic’ by Alanis Morrisette.” (Canadian singer )
“Goodness, so I’ve won, correct?” Hermione pulled the currency towards her across the card table. “I always was good at arithmacy.”
10:00 am Song Played: ‘When it all falls apart’ by The Veronicas (Australian singers)
“So this is what Major O’ Hara thinks will prevent your troops kicking up a racket. Organized games?” Hermione sat with Blue on a floating bench.
“Yeah, might work.” Blue put his arm around her. Hermione didn’t shrug him off.
On the roof of the train carriage. Rusty encouraged his Canadian Ice Quidditch team to victory.
Ice Quidditch was played like ice hockey. In that all the objects that were normally in the air were on the ground. The teams were still mounted on their broomsticks. The seeker in ice Quidditch needed to catch the golden snitch with a butterfly net.
Draco came out onto the magically iced roof of the train, sliding. He picked up the golden snitch and listened to it.
Poor Malfoy, he had completely lost the plot, Hermione sighed to herself.
11:00 AM Song Playing 'Daydream Believer' cover by Anne Murray (Canadian Singer)
“C’mon Aussie, C’mon, C’mon, C’mon, C’mon. Aussie C’mon.” The R.A.W. troops cheered. They were close to winning.
Blue still had his arm around Hermione's shoulders. Blue was such a nice chap. Hermione could tell he was wanting to go a lot further with her than touching her shoulder. Hermione really had no objections to a good snog session with him. No further than that of course.
Rusty captured the golden snitch. The Canadians won the ice Quidditch match! Rusty flew up to Hermione. He gave her an impassioned victory kiss.
Oh goodness, Rusty was a very experienced kisser. Hermione had a dilemma going on here.
12:40 pm Song Playing: 'Suicide Blonde' by INXS (Australian band)
“It’s amazing how a 'fillet of fish' tastes the same the world over Blue.” Rusty commented as he ate his lunch in the mess carriage.
Hermione had left their table. She had gone over to prevent Draco getting into a fight with a Canadian nurse. After he had crawled under her chair, trying to pry loose a curling tile on the floor.
Rusty grinned across at Blue. “I think she’s hooked on me bud.”
“Dream on Rusty mate. Hermione’s cracking on to me.” Blue chuckled, helping himself to the last of the French fries.
The two captains had been getting on very well. Rusty was the older of the two. He was twenty six to Blue’s twenty three years of age.
“I think we need to speed up her decision making process.” Rusty grinned. “Candy’s dandy, but liquor’s quicker. It’s gone past twelve, let’s hit the Officer’s bar.”