Hermione Granger was five years old and starting school when she discovered she was different.
‘Special,’ whispered the teachers when they thought she wasn’t listening. ‘Prodigy’
‘Freak,’ said the other children.
Hermione could recite the periodic table when she was five. She explain why the Earth moved around the Sun, and why the leaves were green, and how babies were born. She only had to read a book once to memorise it.
She was the least popular girl in her class. In her entire school. She was mocked, taunted, spat upon. The other children didn’t care she could recite Shakespeare sonnets and knew what the distance between the Moon and Earth was exactly.
The best thing that she could hope for was to be ignored at playtime.
So she started to watch people, she started to observe. She put her talents to good use, and while the teacher was explaining the times tables to her classmates (boring!) she was analysing the tan line around his finger to find out exactly when he had divorced his wife.
And now she had a weapon against the playground bullies. They could push her over, but she knew the exact secrets to destroy them.
Ronald Weasley was completely ordinary. He was the youngest son of a large family, and his days were filled with tussles with his older brothers and teasing his baby sister. When he started school, he immediately made friends with all the boys in his class, and they would sit around playing with marbles and ignoring the teacher.
His favourite class was PE. He would run around the track with the wind whipping around his ears, and imagine that he was flying.
Nothing special happened to either Ron or Hermione when they turned eleven years old. And with barely a pang, they continued their lives, never knowing what they had missed.
When Hermione Granger was 16 years old, she was finished school and started her superior studies at Oxford. She spent her days in the Bodleian library devouring the books that were her constant companions. Not for her the drunken revels of a university student!
She graduated a year later with a PhD in biochemistry.
Ron always knew that he wanted to join the army. He wanted to protect the weak, and serve his country with honour. As soon as he turned eighteen, he was off to volunteer, despite the pleas of his mother and younger sister.
“Don’t worry,” he said, “I’ll be back.”
Hermione was sent down from Oxford in the middle of her post-graduate studies once her stock of heroin was discovered. She didn’t care; she had already read all the interesting books in the Bodleian and the drugs were the only things that saved her from the incessant boredom the plagued her.
She moved to London the next day.
Ron was shot in the shoulder when he was twenty.
He was immediately relieved from his posting in Afghanistan and sent back to England.
‘Lucky to be alive’ was what the doctors had said to him, looking on in amazement as the bullet wound, mere centimetres from the heart.
But when Ron found that he could no longer walk without a cane, that he would have to leave his dream behind and return home with no qualifications, and no job prospects, he could help thinking
‘Unlucky to be alive.
Hermione started to help DI Potter with his murder investigations.
She kicked her drug habit, and the detective sent his son, Harry, around at least once a week to make sure that she wasn’t going to relapse.
She was still called freak, but at least she was free from the terrible boredom.
Ron refused to live with his parents. He was a grown man and he wanted to stay in London, despite not having enough money to rent even a small flat.
When he mentioned this to Ginny, he was slightly disturbed by the way her eyes lit up as she dragged him off to meet her boyfriend, Harry.
“How do you feels about books?” asked Hermione.
Ron could only blink, slightly stupefied, as he watched the brunette. No sooner had he entered the lab at Saint Bart’s then he had been abandoned by both Harry and Ginny (the traitors!) and left alone with his potential flatmate.
“I tend to leave them around the flat when I’m working on a case, piles everywhere. Bit of a health and safety risk to be honest.”
“Sorry, what are you talking about?”
“Well, if you’re going to share a flat with me you should know these sorts of things.”
“Who said anything about flat sharing?”
Hermione smiled for the first time.
It was a bright, slightly manic smile, and looking at it Ron knew that he was never going to escape it.
“You were a soldier, weren’t you?”
“Good shooting skills.”
“The best in my regiment.”
“You must have seen a lot of trouble out there.”
“Enough to last a lifetime.”
“Do you want to see some more?”
“Oh God yes!”
Life with Hermione was, interesting, to say the least.
They ran around London solving crimes, being shot at (and really, Hermione had to start being a bit more careful. Ron was aware of the fact that as soon as she opened her mouth, people had to supress a burning urge to shoot her, but he did have his own life outside of protecting her, and bullets were expensive damn it!) and occasionally teaming up with Harry if his father became really worried about the threat level.
(And Harry wasn’t a bad guy. He might even start liking him if he wasn’t dating his younger sister.)
And life, really, went on.
“Come on you idiot! Where’s that Slytherin cunning? If you freeze to death that means you won’t be able to solve the mystery!”
“Do try to use at least a tenth of your brain John. Of course we’re not going to freeze. It is seven degrees Celsius.”
“You know what I mean. I am going to knock on that door and we are going to take shelter before you catch your death of cold.”
“And is that a professional opinion Healer Watson?”
John Watson ignored Sherlock Holmes, as usual, and knocked on the door to 221 B Baker Street.
Voldemort could jolly well wait until the morning!