As per tradition, the family went to Mexico for Día de los Muertos in order to visit and pay respects to the relatives long gone. However, this time, they decided it would be best to go a little earlier and leave on All Hallows Eve eve and not go to the capital but to the little pueblo where their families were originally from. Hermione though had a bad feeling creeping inside her about the whole thing but couldn’t quite put her finger on it, on why it was lingering there.
Oh, if only she knew…
The events leading up to the main one started on All Hallows Eve when, for the first time since their arrival, she stepped outside the they were staying at, only to be looked up and down by the people walking by. Some whispered, some simply arched a brow and the brunette couldn’t help but wonder just what the /hell/ was happening. ‘They must recognize me from the news or something.’, she murmured to herself, continuing to walk down the street.
“They’re looking at you because you look like her.”, came a small voice, that made her whip her head around, eyes falling on a little boy who stood behind her, holding a wooden toy car close to his chest.
“I look like who, exactly?”, she asked, head tilting to the side.
“The lady who died. They said it was because of… La Llorona.” The boy whispered, visibly frightened and watched as Hermione’s jaw locked and her complexion went three shades lighter, the color draining from her face. “She had a son. She wronged him. She paid the price. They both did. It’s the Día de los Muertos. It’s the curse.” He continued, eyes boring almost into her soul.
She parted her lips to speak but before she could utter just a single word, there was a loud crashing noise behind her that made her jump and quickly turn around to see what had happened. At the sight of literally nothing, she turned back to the boy, only to notice he was nowhere close to be found.
A chill ran down her spine. That couldn’t be. It wasn’t true. It was just a silly folk tale to scary little children-- her parents did that with her, so did Hiram’s. But then, again, there were those weird events when Veronica was little, the lingering sense of someone watching her and her daughter, the time the girl fell from and out of her crib when she was just six months old and couldn’t even walk…
With a pang in her heart, she decided it was best to go back to their place. Just to check on Veronica; she was probably alright but… well, better safe than sorry.
All the while she walked, Hermione felt as if something was following her. ‘It’s just my head, nothing’s really here.’, she caught herself thinking more than once, repeating it like a mantra.
Pushing the door to the house open, she found the place with almost no light to it. It seemed to be much darker than when they arrived the day before which was quite odd, for if there was one thing the owner bragged constantly about while showing them around was just how full of light it was. To add to it, besides the sudden almost darkness, there seemed to be this… quiet, almost inaudible weeping sound that bounced off the walls; like someone was crying. Was Veronica okay?
“Ronnie?” She called but was met with no response. Going up the staircase, she didn’t need to call a second time, for she found the raven haired girl standing still outside her bedroom. “Baby, what is it?”, Hermione asked.
The young female seemed to be in some sort of trance; just standing there, almost as if she was glued to the floor.
“Veronica?”, she asked once more and the girl didn’t actually speak until she was much closer. However, when she did, Hermione’s only wish was that she had stayed quiet.
“Mom.. who’s that?”, Veronica asked, a dainty hand raising to point ahead and Hermione felt a lump form in her throat.
At the end of the hall, there was a woman standing. Her white dress was wet and dirty. She was pale and skinny looking and her long, untamed hair fell on her face. Still, she stared right at them and Hermione just knew who that was. Too paralyzed, she almost didn’t even notice when the door downstairs slammed shut and a voice she knew too well echoed through the house.
“Mom! We’re home! And we come bearing this weird story by one of dad’s tías. Apparently, ages ago, in the family, there were these deaths, by this time last year, always a child and their mother. Police used to found them both dead inside their house and it was all so very strange, most people believe the mom killed her own kid because she was “influenced” by the ghost of that woman from the tale you guys told me… La Lloro— “
Hermione felt her heart drop to her stomach at the sound of Veronica’s voice, which seemed far away. Quickly, she backed to the door behind her, only to find it was locked. Turning, she tried to force it open but to no avail. She was moving to go and try another when, one by one, all of them started slamming shut.
The ravenette turned around, desperate to find a way out of the second floor, only to find the woman standing right behind her.
Hermione screamed. The woman screamed back; a horrible, ear deafening sound. And that was all it took for it to happen.
Hearing the screams, Hiram and Veronica ran upstairs, almost tripping on their own feet, only to arrive at the most… calm scenario, with Hermione sitting peacefully on Veronica's bed, folding some clothes.
“Hermione?” Hiram asked, after exchanging a look with Veronica, as they both stood in the doorway.
“Hm?” She hummed.
“Are you okay? We heard you scream .” He pressed, looking around the room and back at his wife, who seemed unharmed and pretty much unshaken. ⠀⠀
“Oh, I'm fine. I thought I’d seen a cockroach.” The woman responded, calm as ever, directing him a smile — the weirdest Veronica had ever seen her mother wear — before it faltered and her gaze fell on the teen, her usual warm and calm chocolate brown eyes going.. strange for split a second. “I'm absolutely fine.”