Chances Prologue Part 2
Hermione sat once again in the stark white office. She wasn’t sure she liked Miss Lyons.
A black portfolio of families lay in front of her. It seemed a little too thin for her comfort.
“We normally don’t let it out of the building,” said Miss Lyons. “But if you promise to have it back by Tuesday I’m sure it won’t be missed.”
“Thank you,” said Hermione. She wasn’t sure a few moments were enough to decide who should raise her child. She tucked the portfolio in her bag and bade her goodbyes.
Hermione pulled the hood of her voluminous jacket up as she made her way to the Leaky Cauldron.
The streets were crowded as usual and the sky overcast.
“Supposed to be bloody spring,” she heard a man selling newspapers mutter as a few stray drops spiderwebbed through the newsprint he had displayed. She had bought a glossy fashion magazine from him and carried on her way.
The Leaky Cauldron was packed, as usual. Hermione was thankful no one she knew was there. It would be better not to have to make any excuses.
Hermione waded through the crowd, picking a bottle of Butterbeer up on her way to the back of the tavern. Tom had private rooms back here, for a price. People used them for private parties, meetings, afternoon dalliances, whatever the like.
The key she held matched a pattern on one of the doors. She carefully turned it in the lock and heard a mechanism that didn’t sound like any lock she had ever heard grind and clunk into place. The doorknob turned easily in her hand.
The room was dark, a thin dark curtain pulled over the dingy window. The sillohette of a man sitting in a chair seemed to be the only dressing in the room. Blue smoke swirled in the filtered light. The soft clicking of wooden pipe stem against teeth resounded in the room.
“Did you bring the forms?” the shadowed figure asked.
“Yes,” said Hermione. She handed over the portfolio and the man lay it on the small table in front of him.
“Well,” he said, taking the pipe out of his mouth. “Let’s get this over with.”