Chapter 1: PLATFORM NINE AND THREE quarters
Hermione Granger age sixteen stepped off the train from Hogwarts and smiled huge when she saw her mother and father waiting for her in the crowd. She had missed them just as much as she had always missed them since she had started attending Hogwarts school for Wizardly when she was merely eleven years old. That was the first time she had ever been away from her parents for a long period of time. She had attended private day schools and she had lived at home.
"Sorry." Hermione turned around and smiled kindly at Neville who had bumped into her. "It's quite all right Neville, it's actually my fault. I shouldn't have stopped in the middle of one of the train steps." She helped Neville grab his books that had fallen out of his knapsack.
"I should have paid more attention, than I would have known you weren't moving." Neville murmured with a blush on his checks. "I'm such a clumsy fool. When am I going to out grow this."
"Never!" Draco said in a snide voice as he literally pushed both Neville and Hermione off the train and onto the platform. He laughed as he stepped off the last step. He saw that Neville had landed on top but to the right of Hermione and he had scrapes on his hands from the fall. He was gleeful that Hermione eyes were blurry and he knew that she had scraped parts of his body in which he couldn't see at the moment.
"How dare you treat them that way Malfoy." Harry cried as he rushed down the train with Ron behind him, both boys with wands out.
Draco just laughed as he moved on down the platform to where his parents were waiting, he very well knew that Potter and Wesley wouldn't dare use spells on him. Not with a lot of innocents in between him and them and because they were still underage and couldn't use magic.
Mr and Mrs. Granger didn't have to push their way through the crowd to get to their daughter, the parents knew whom they were and quickly stepped aside to let them through to their daughter. "Oh Hermione." Mrs. Granger cried in fear; she quickly dropped to her feet and touched her daughter's face.
"I'm all right mum. I'm just shocked is all." Hermione moaned as she felt Neville finally getting his body off of hers. She allowed her dad to help her in a sitting position. She kept her hands firmly on his arms as she regained her woozy head.
"I can't believe Malfoy, he has gone too far this time." Ron said as he angrily stuffed his wand back in his back pocket. "When we get back to Hogwarts and allowed to use magic once more, I'll make him pay. Big time."
Harry nodded his agreement as he also stuffed his wand back in his own back pocket. "Nothing we can do now." He reached down and helped Neville to his feet. "Are you ok mate?" He asked softly as he noticed tears on Neville's eye lashes.
"Yeah. I'm more worried about Hermione. She doesn't look all that great. Sides she took the worse of the fall than I did." He looked down at his hands and saw some broken skin but nothing else. His eyes shifted to Hermione and saw that her color was slowly returning to her face. "How could Draco do this? I mean I'm quite used to Draco picking on me – but how could he dream of hurting Hermione. I mean she's a girl and boys shouldn't hurt girls." He hung his head. "I shouldn't have been behind Hermione, if I wasn't than Draco wouldn't have pushed me into her."
Ron put his hand on Neville's shoulder. "Neville, we all know that Draco hates Hermione, he would use any and all excuses to hurt her. It's not your fault mate. No one blames you." He squeezed his friend's shoulder slightly but still felt the tension. He sighed through his nose hating Malfoy even more than before.
"I blame myself." Neville said as he watched as his grandmother made her way over to the little party. "What happened here?" Mrs. Longbottom crackled in her cracked voice. She looked down gently at the fallen Gryffindor who had been so kind to befriend her only grandson on his first day at Hogwarts.
"Draco Malfoy willing pushed Neville into Hermione who was on the bottom step of the train, Hermione fell hard on the platform and Neville fell on top of her." Ginny cried out from where she was standing to the right of Mrs. Granger. "Wait till I get my hands on that dirty scum, I'll make him sorry he was even born."
"Ginny!" Warned Arthur and Molly Weasley as they looked shocked up at their only daughter, surprised that she knew how to speak such spite and at such a young age as fourteen.
"I'm not sorry." Ginny said with a dark frown.
Arthur sighed and nodded tightly he watched as Hermione began to get her bearings together even better than minutes before. He felt his wife sigh and knew that Molly was secretly pleased with their daughter's attitude.
"I'm fine, really. Just a little dizzy. But the dizziness is going away now." Hermione was saying a little quickly as she took in the concern looks of her parents, Neville's grandmother, the Weasley family, Harry and Ron. She blushed at all the attention she was getting. All she wanted to do was get to her feet and be on her way home. In all honestly all she wanted to do was crawl into her bed and sleep this head ache off.
Ron knelt in front of Hermione and looked her straight in the eyes and read the truth in them. He reached over and quickly moved Hermione so he could gather her in his arms and one swoop he was on his feet. "Which way to your car Mr. Granger?" He asked Hermione's father.
"Follow me, son." Mr. Granger tightly said as he tried to fight back the fear that came to him. He turned and wrapped his arm tightly through his wife's and led them quickly down the now empty platform that led towards the barrel that would led them to the muggle platform. He and his wife crossed through the solid brick wall first and he was relieved to find Ron right behind him with Hermione in his arms. His daughter had her head on Ron's chest and her eyes closed.
Harry moved past the barrel right after Ron with the Wesley twins right behind him, he knew that Ginny would be behind them and Mr and Mrs. Wealsey would be behind her and the twins would behind them and Neville would bring up the rear with his grandmother. He saw in relief that neither of the Dursleys were there to escort him to their home yet. So he was able to go to the Granger's car and make sure that Hermione was truly all right. He very well knew she wasn't, her color and her listless betrayed her. But he very well knew that Mr and Mrs. Granger would take her to the doctors before taking her home. He just wanted Hermione to feel his presence before she left the train station.
"I can walk you know, Ronald." Hermione lifted her head off of Ron's chest and tried to say moodily but she knew she failed horribly. She hated not being in complete control of her own body, but she had to admit that she absolutely loved being in Ron's arms. Of course she would never admit that to anyone. Not even Ginny whom was her closets and most trust female best friend. She had secretly been crushing on Ronald ever since she first meet him on the train to Hogwarts in their first year when they were eleven. Harry knew, he had always known although he never said anything about it. But Hermione knew that Harry knew by his eyes. But she still wasn't ready to talk about it, it wasn't time. She very well knew that Ron wasn't ready to deal with lovely emotions. He still wanted to cling to his childhood for as long as he could and too him snogging and having feelings for girls was not for him. She could wait. Because deep down she knew Ron returned her feelings. It just wasn't their time yet.
Ron shook his head with a set look on his face. "I'm not even going to reply to that, 'Mione. I'm going to carry you and get you settled in your parents car and thats all there is too it." He spoke in one of the very rare grown up tones that had been coming to him ever since he had meet her.
Hermione silently nodded and returned her head against Ron's chest and she closed her eyes. Her head was killing her anyway so she finally gave into the pain. She very well knew that her parents weren't going to take her straight home so she could crawl into bed – she knew she was going to the doctor's. She might as well stop fighting it.
Ron looked down and saw that Hermione had fallen asleep, he looked up once more as the group finally arrived at the Grangers car. He waited for Mr. Granger to unlock the back seat and he ever gently leaned down and over and placed the sleeping Hermione on the back seat. He gently moved the seat belt to cover her waist and chest and buckled her in. He couldn't resist but to brush aside some of her brown hair from her right ear. "I'll owl you tonight, 'Mione." He whispered in her ear. He turned his head and gently placed his lips onto her pale check and kissed her for a moment. He didn't like the feel of her skin, so he ended the kiss and moved his body out of the car.
"Thanks you, Ron, for your assistant on getting Hermione in the car." Mr. Granger said putting his hand out for Ron to take and shake.
Ron accepted Mr. Granger's hand and shook it firmly. He looked straight into Hermione's father's eyes, "I would do anything for Hermione, sir."
Harry had seen the gentle way Ron had treated Hermione in the back seat and he hadn't missed the kiss and he was silently pleased on how Ron behaved. He always knew his best mate secretly loved Hermione. But he also knew that Ron wasn't ready to deal with romance in his life so he hadn't started to push Ron to ask Hermione out. He knew that this romance had to work out on it's own so he just sat back and watched. He felt Ron and Hermione's romance was so much like his own parents. He knew that James and Lily both fought a lot when they were in school together before they finally admitted their true love for one and another. He smiled privately every time Ron and Hermione got into one of their bricking feast. He felt like an outsider during those times, but he didn't mind, not really.
"I know that, son, and I'm grateful that she has you in her life." Mr. Granger let go of Ron's hand and turned to Harry and held out his hand for Harry to take. When Harry took Mr. Granger's hand in his own, "I'm also glad that you are in her life also, Harry." Mr. Granger said.
"I'm glad that she's in my life." Harry replied. "I'm glad she decided to let me in to her special place in her heart."
Mr. Granger let Harry's hand go and nodded. "I'll let you folks know how Hermione is doing." He said before getting into the car and driving off.
Harry turned and noticed his aunt, uncle and cousin coming with annoyed looks on his face. He sighed. "I best be going." He nodded over to the so the group knew what he was talking about.
"Oh Harry," Mrs. Wealsey gathered Harry into a bear hug. "We will come and gather you up as soon as possible, Harry, I promise." She whispered in his ear just as the Dursleys arrived at the group.
"Thanks Mrs. Wealsey." Harry said returning the hug. She let him go so he could quickly say good bye to his friends. He turned to his natural family and said, "Well let's get going." He picked up Hedwig's cage and followed his stiff family away from his adopted family and friends. He sighed. This was going to be long summer.
AT THE DOCTOR'S
Mr. Granger pulled up in a parking space that thankfully was close to the doors to the E.R.'s entrance. He quickly turned off the car and got out. He opened the passenger door and found in relief that Hermione was only asleep, he did notice a beautiful and peaceful look on her face. He just knew that she was dreaming about Ronald Wealsey. He didn't know how he felt about his little girl dreaming about a boy, but he knew it was natural. He was just relieved that she wasn't in any pain right now. He gently gathered her in his arms and allowed his wife to shut the door and together they went to the entrance and were relieved to find that not too many people were in line ahead of them.
Mr. Granger was lucky that he was allowed to lay Hermione on a waiting gunny and the nurse quickly pushed his daughter into a open curtain space with the promise that a doctor will be checking Hermione over in a matter of minutes. She quickly checked Hermione's pulse, heart beat, eyes. She said that with the bump on Hermione's head all was looking to be normal. She was relieved that Hermione wasn't in too much pain. Hermione slowly opened her eyes and everyone was relieved that although she was still very blurry eyed she knew whom they were, where she was and the date.
"Now what have we here?" The doctor asked with a smile as he walked into the small round curtain room. He looked down at the paper work on the clip board. "Hermione Jean Granger. Received a bump on the head from being pushed off a stopped train onto the platform." He looked up and handed the clip board to the nurse. He quickly felt behind Hermione's head and said. "You are going to have a beautiful goose egg for a few days, my dear." He quickly took her pulse and nodded his head and told the nurse to write down the numbers, he checked her heart beat and rattled off numbers. He moved his pen in front of her eyes and told the nurse to write down that all was normal with her eyes. He asked her, her name, date, her parents name, the time. He nodded his head with each answer. "I'm going to prescribe a weeks worth of pain killers, and than after that take some aspirin." He turned to Mr and Mrs. Granger, "If she has any problems in the next day or two, bring her back in."
After Mr and Mrs. Granger thanked him, the doctor left to go see about the other people in the E.R which had filled up since the Grangers arrived. The nurse handed the pain killer paper over to Mr. Granger and left herself.
Mrs. Granger asked Mr. Granger to go and get the medicine, seeing how the doctor had said that Hermione was allowed to rest on the bed that she was currently on till her medicine was ready. Mr. Granger rushed to the hospital pharmacy and was soon back with the bottle of pain killers. He handed the bag over to his wife as he gently wrapped his arms around a very tired Hermione and lifted her once more and he and his wife walked out of the emergency room and back to the car.
AT THE GRANGERS
The Grangers were soon home and Hermione was safely tucked in her bed and having taken one of the pain killers she was asleep within a half hour. Mr and Mrs. Granger watched their daughter sleep for a few hours before they felt it was all right to leave her alone.
Mrs. Granger was making supper when she heard a slight tapping sound on her closed window. She looked over and saw an owl with a note attached to it's leg. She opened the door and allowed the Hogwarts school owls in. She petted the owl and removed the letter. She gave the owl an treat and told him to rest for a while because she had a return reply to send. The owl bowed it's head and turned and flew to a near by tree where it tucked it's head down and feel into a peaceful sleep. Even through owls are night time animals, this owl was extremely tired from having flown from Hogwarts to the outskirts of London, where Hermione live. Plus this owl knew that he had to fly all the way back to Hogwarts in a matter of minutes or hours. Depending how long it took the muggle woman to write her reply,.
Gilbert and Anne,
What is this I hear about Hermione being hurt on platform nine and three quarters? Draco pushed Neville into Hermione and both of them fell onto the platform, Hermione on the bottom and Neville landing on top of her! Hermione hitting her head and had to be rushed to the doctor's? Is it serious? Should I send someone from St. Mungo's?
Anne Granger sighed deeply and sat down with a fresh piece of paper. She began to write.
Hermione is just fine dear, the doctor said that she will have a goose egg for a few days, a week at the most. He has given her a weeks worth of pain killers, also he said if she has pain next week to give her aspirin. He did warn us that if she has any problems in the next day or two to bring her right back in. She is currently asleep in her bed resting up as the doctor ordered. What a way to start her summer vacation.
How serious of a threat is Draco Malfoy to our daughter? Hermione has never told us of any problems with Draco, she just says that she doesn't like or trust him. Gilbert and I demand a full background check on him and his family. Also we demand to know exactly what is going on in Hermione's life in Hogwarts.
P.S. Sorry for being so hasty with you dear, but you know more on our daughters life than we do right now. We need more information so we can continue to protect our daughter.
Anne quickly rolled the paper up and walked back to the window. "Here owl." She called softly and watched as the owl awoke and than flew gracefully to her. She quickly tied the message to the owl's leg and gave the owl another treat and a kind gentle pet. "After you deliver this letter, than you may get your real deserved rest dear."
The owl lifted it's body up and rubbed it's head against Anne's neck in gratitude and than turned and flew gracefully away back to Hogwarts.
Anne turned around and wrapped her arms around Gilbert's waist and pulled herself into his waiting hug. "It is done. I have requested for full back ground information on Draco Malfoy and his entire family. I'm sure that she will answer."
"It's for the safety of our daughter, of course she'll answer." Gilbert leaned down and kissed his wife's head.
"I had told the owl not to come back tonight. The poor thing needs to rest after such a long flight." Anne said pulling away from her husband and walked back to the stove to finish dinner.
"To mower will be soon enough." Gilbert nodded his head. He looked out the window and smiled as he saw a very awkward owl make it's way towards his open window. "Ron's letter to Hermione has arrived." Once the owl landed he removed the letter from the owl's leg. "Thank you Errol." He handed the clumsy owl his treat and sent him on his way back to the Weasley. "I'll just leave the window, I'm expecting quite a few owl visitors this evening." He said putting Ron's letter onto the table that was close to the kitchen door.
He just turned around when he saw Hedwig perching on the window cell. "Hello Hedwig." He said as he walked over to the most beautiful white owl he had ever seen in his life. He held out his arm and Hedwig flew and perched on it. He smiled as he rubbed his finger up and down the white owl's stomach. He saw two envelopes on both of the owl's legs. "Anne come here and untie these notes please."
Anne untied both of the notes and put Harry's letter next to Ron's and than she unrolled the one that was marked for her and her husband.
Mr and Mrs. Granger:
Would you mind terribly if Hedwig spent the summer at your house? Uncle Vernon is in one of his tempers and he says that if I allow Hedwig out of her cage even once this summer, he would kill her. I can't lose Hedwig, but I can't bare to leave her in her cage for the summer. Not like the second summer that we were back with the Dursleys
If Hedwig isn't back in an hour, than I will know that you have agreed. Thank you very much.
P.S. Please call me anytime you would like if you have questions concerning Hedwig's care.
"Well isn't that sweet of Harry thinking of us first, for Hedwig." Anne smiled up at her husband and she raised her finger and ran it over Hedwig's back. Hedwig cooed her pleasure with this attention safe in the knowledge that she had a safe place to stay for the summer. She would miss Harry very much – but she was thankful to know that she would take her daily flights once more.
"Hermione will be pleased. Hedwig will keep her company in her bedroom." Gilbert looked over at his wife and smiled. "I'm glad we decided to get by that owl's cage last time we were in Diagon Alley."
Anne smiled. "I'm glad we finally decided to buy Hermione her very own owl, she'll be pleased that she won't have to use the school owls any longer." She walked to the stove and checked on dinner as her husband left the kitchen to get the cage from the downstairs closet and to set it up in Hermione's bedroom. Hedwig had flown off of Gilbert's hand and out to the tree just enjoying the night air.
Gilbert returned. "Hermione is still asleep." He went and started to set the dinning room table for two. He made sure that he grabbed the bird seed that they had brought when they had gotten the cage. He filled the tiny bowl up and another bowl of water. He walked to the window cell and lift the bowels there for Hedwig to enjoy when she was ready too par take her evening meal.
Supper has been eaten and cleaned up, Anne had made a bowl of soup for Hermione and left it warming in the oven, and soon more owls appeared. Their was the Longbottom, Dumbledore, McGonagall, most of the Hogwarts professors, and what surprised them to no end Snape's owl came. Snape's owl surprised them because they very well knew that Hermione didn't completely trust the position's professor, even through Dumbledore trusted him completely.
"Life's full of surprises dear." Anne said with a private smile. "I wonder if Hermione will share his letter with us?"
Gilbert shrugged his shoulders and went to gather Hedwig up as Anne went to get the bowel soup. It was time for Hermione to be awaken and eat.
HERMIONE'S SURPRISE AND DELIGHT
Hermione slowly began to come out of the drug induced sleep as she felt her mother's warm and gentle hands shaking her and her voice telling her to wake up so she could eat. She murmered that she wasn't hungry and all she wanted to do was sleep. But her mother didn't stop bugging her so she slowly got herself back together and remembered what had happened and she knew that she had to wake up and eat. She had to take care of herself, so she could get better that much quicker. She opened her eyes and blinked several times as her eyes began to focus. "Hey Mum, Dad. Hedwig." Her eyes widen in surprise as she saw Harry's owl in her room. On her father's shoulder never less. "What's Hedwig doing here?"
"She's going to be staying with us this summer." Her father said with a smile.
"We don't have a cage, where will she stay?" Hermione asked as she allowed her mother to help her sit up.
"Right here, in your cage." Her father said nodding over to the right of her bed where a shiny new owl cage was hanging form it's pole.
"When did you get that?" Hermione asked looking at the present.
"A few months ago. Happy birthday darling. We are going to buy you an owl in a few weeks. Once you are up and about that is." Anne said with a smile as she picked up the bowel of soup.
"Really? Wow that's so great. Thanks you guys." Hermione said. She opened her mouth for the spoonful of soup to enter. She swallowed and licked her lips. "I'm hunger than I thought I was." She ate the soup until it was done in silence.
"You have received many letters while you are asleep. They are downstairs on the kitchen table. You will be able to read them to mower after you get a good nights sleep." Her father said as he walked over to the cage and got Hedwig squared away for the night.
"Ron's letter." Hermione said with a soft smile on her checks.
"You understood him." Anne said in an understanding voice. She watched as her daughter's checks blushed a light pink. She winked letting Hermione know that she knew what it was to be a sixteen year old girl. Mother and daughter shared a tender moment that only they could understand. No words needed to be shared – ever.
After Hermione fell asleep Gilbert covered Hedwig's cage and said good night to the owl. He followed Anne out of the bedroom and shut off the light. Bed time had arrived for the entire Granger family. Even through Gilbert and Anne would be up several times to check on Hermione and sure she has a pain killer at the appointed time.
END CHAPTER ONE
Hermione slowly awoke and turned her eyes to the cage where Hedwig was sitting on top of. "Good morning Hedwig," She cooed as she slowly leaned upward allowing her body to rest on her right side.
Hedwig cooed back and flapped her wings and she flew the few feet to rest comfortably on Hermione's bed next to the girl. She leaned her head to allow Hermione to run her hand lightly down her head and onto her back. She cooed her pleasure.
"I'm glad that Harry thought of me for you to visit for the summer, Hedwig, I need the company." Hermione softly said as she repeated her pat. Her head was still hurting her but she didn't want to take a pain killer again, because that would mean she would be asleep. She didn't want to sleep a day away. She had much to do that day, like read all her letters. She had noticed the pile of letters on the table that was closets to Hedwig and couldn't wait to start reading.
Hedwig lifted her head and looked at her deeply in her eyes and Hermione knew that Harry's owl was telling her to take it easy and not to rush things. She sighed deeply and grabbed the bell that her mother had left for her. She ranged it a few times, wincing in pain. She hated feeling like this, but she knew that if she allowed her body the rest it craved than sooner she would fell better.
The door opened and Anne stuck her head. "Time for breakfast dear, than another pain killer." She carried in the tray that was landed with oatmeal and toast. She set it before Hermione and watched as her daughter eat everything slowly. She took out the pain killer and handed it over to her daughter and watched as Hermione swallowed it with the glass of orange juice.
Anne watched as Hermione snuggled back down into her bed and closed her eyes and waited until her daughter was back in her drug induced sleep. She lifted the tray and Hedwig flew and rested on her shoulder. She walked from Hermione's bedroom leaving the window and the door open for which ever way Hedwig decided to reenter the bedroom.
TWO DAYS PASS
Two days have passed and Hermione now could get herself out of bed and tend to her needs. Not as well as she normally could, no she was still shaky on her knees. But she could at least take showers and baths without her mother having to guide her into the bathroom or help remove her clothes. She relieved to see that she was healing just find and that nothing more serious had happened to her.
She was sitting with her legs outstretched on her couch which was next to her open window. The summer's sun and heat was warming her bedroom and she was grateful that she had decided to turn on the fan that she had brought a few years previous. She had the stack of letters beside her and she reached over and picked up Ron's. She wanted to read his letter first, because truly he was the only one who had vocally said that he would write.
She slowly started to read:
I'm sitting here in my room with my doors closed staring out the window. All that is flashing though my mind right now is watching you fall hopelessly onto the platform and having Neville fall heavily on top of you almost crushing the back of your head. I was so worried that I would soon see a pool of blood around you head and you would be dead. What would I do without my 'Mione? What would I do without Hermione starting fights with me. (Yes you do,)
"I do not." Hermione's eyes flashed. She looked down at the next line and than laughed suddenly.
(Yes you do, and I have the last word on this one.) What would I do without Hermione by my side when Harry goes off on his wanting to handle his problems alone, (when he forgets that he's not alone that he has us and others who want to be by his side to help him?). What would I do if I couldn't look forward to having Hermione coming to the burrow at the end of the summer before school begins once more. What would I do without ... (I won't continue along these lines, because I know that they are downers and depressing.)
I know that you, 'Mione, are safe in your bed resting as the doctors have ordered. I know that you Hermione will be fine in a week or two and will come to the burrow at the end of the summer. Perhaps I can get you do my chores for me. (Like how you pretty much do my homework).
My mind now goes to when I first met you back in first year. Remember Hermione? Who showed up at the door of Harry and mine compartment looking for Neville's toad. You were just a wild curly hair girl, and you annoyed the hell out of me when you opened your mouth and started proving the first out of many times how much smarter you were than I. I knew than that you would never be my friend.
That was why I said those things to Harry Halloween, 'Mione, I was jealous that you were so much smarter than I, and I was hurt deep within that I could never even began to dream that I could make friends with you. I didn't hate you, I realized what I had done the moment you brushed past me and I knew that you were upset by your shoulders. But I was a eleven year old boy and I couldn't handle being forward and offer my friendship, so I behaved horribly towards you. When I learned that you had been in the john ... sorry girls' bathroom crying for the rest of the day, my heart fell and I knew that I had to go find you and tell you how sorry and total mental I truly was. I wasn't going to confess to you that I wanted to be friends with you, no I just wanted you to realize that I did have a heart after all.
But on the way back to the common room when the troll was loose and I remembered that you were in the bathroom quite unaware of the troll, I knew that I had to warn you because I didn't want anything to happen to you. When Harry and I got the girls; bathroom and saw the troll go in; I knew if you died or got hurt it would have been my fault. So I pushed Harry into the bathroom and my heart dropped when I saw you hiding underneath the sink trying to hide yourself from the giant troll. Your face was so terrified and I knew that I or Harry had to save you from the troll. Harry beat me to the push, he allowed the troll to pick him up and swing him around. Hermione, given the choice I would have allowed the troll to grab me instead of Harry, I would have died if it meant saving you.
Tears came to Hermione's eyes as she read those words. She put the letter down on her lap and she covered her eyes with her hands as giant sobs wracked her body. She cried for twenty minutes until no tears were left and she pulled her hands away and she grabbed the Kleenex that she had left on the floor next to the couch. She quickly blew her nose and grabbed some clean Kleenexes and wiped her eyes. She picked up the letter and read.
I finally became un jealous of your smarts when you willing helped me take down the troll and save Harry. But I still knew that you would never want to be my friend. One you were so much smarter than I, and I had hurt you. I was surprised that you took the blame of the troll situation onto your shoulders, I wanted to speak up, but I was scared of Professor's McGonagall, and Snape. I allowed you to take the blame and the disappointed looks for me.
"Oh Ron," Hermione shook her head as she spoke softly.
When you came to me and asked to become my friend, I was so overwhelmed that I said the first thing that came to my mind. 'Are you mental?' I saw the hurt look on your face so I suddenly smiled and held out my hand for you to take it. We were friends from that point on. Who knew that a life long friendship could take place in a girls' bathroom with a troll on the floor beside us. Can't fight fate I guess. I just wish now that I just allowed fate to take over the first time I saw you in the compartment. Than I wouldn't have wasted all my time and worries about you not being my friend.
You do like me don't you Hermione? Even through I'm dumb as a brick?
"You aren't dumb Ron, you have smarts that I don't process." Hermione whispered. She knew she had to write Ron back write away. But she felt her hand shake and knew that she wouldn't be to hold a pen or a quill for at least another day or two. She looked over at Hedwig's cage and saw the owl sitting on top of the cage eying her. She knew what she could do. She smiled softly to herself and went back to finishing up the letter.
When you were petrified my joy went straight out of my life. If you had died ... (no I won't go there). I would sneak Harry's invisible cloak from his trunk and sneak down and sit by your side. All night at times just willing you to get better on your own. I talked to you, I told you all that I have stated all ready in this letter. I also told you that I was sorry that I didn't go to the library with you, if I had than I would have been petrified instead of you.
When Malfoy called you 'Mudblood' I wanted to kill him instead of cursing him with slugs. I was so ashamed that my curse filled me and I ended up with the stomach full of slugs. One that you knew that I couldn't protect you, and two you had to see me at my worse barfing up the slugs.
I wanted to jump out of the bed that Sirius had me in and rush to protect you when we all thought that Sirius truly was the murder of the Potters, when I saw you come in the room I knew that you would be killed. But I was so terrified for my self and that stupid rat, that I couldn't even try to get up on my bloody broken leg. I am sorry Hermione that I once more didn't protect you. At least Harry is always there when I fail. Thank God for Harry Potter.
When we got out of the sheirking shack and Professor Lupin transformed into a werewolf and you tried to reason with him, I saw him turn his red crazed eyes on you and I wanted to move and protect you. But once more I was horrible afraid, but than Professor Snape jumped in front you and Harry and protected you. I can't believe I'm saying this, but, Thank God for Snape. If he wasn't there that night than surely you would have been killed.
I should have protected you at the Ministry. If I had my way than I would have made you stay back at Hogwarts, where it was safe. But I knew that you would have fault and I would have backed down, so I didn't even brother. I wish I had. If I had than no one would have been able to hurt you. Than that bastard Dolohov wouldn't have been able to curse you with the curse that went to your chest and almost killed you.
I am writing this letter to say that I'm sorry that I couldn't be the protector that you deserve, 'Mione. But I do promise the moment I next see Draco Malfroy, I'll make him pay for what he did to you.
Hermione blinked. Oh Ron, you short changed yourself. It is I who am lucky that you decided to become my friend. You are the perfect protector for me. Remember the chess game, I was going to move and you shouted at me not too. You took the killing hit to save me. You have saved my life countless times after that.
I wish I could see your face than I can make you believe me when I tell you that you are my hero. A letter won't do. No, I have to wait till I'm eye to eye with you. Hermione sighed as she set Ron's letter carefully on the floor next to the box of Kleenex. She next picked up Harry's.
I hope this letter finds you home and resting. I have a feeling that you probably won't be able to read this for a day or two. You probably know by now that I sent Hedwig to your house with a letter to your parents asking if you could keep her this summer. Uncle Vernon is one of his tempers where he said that he would kill Hedwig if I allowed her out of her cage even once this summer. You were the first person to come to mind to protect Hedwig, if you couldn't do it than I would have sent her to the Burrow.
Speaking of the Burrow, I know that Ron probably has started his letter to you. I pretty much have a feeling I know what his letter will be. His blaming himself for not being able to protect himself. Well Hermione I'm here to say that somehow and soon you have to get together with Ron and convince him that the weight of your life doesn't rest solely on his shoulders. (Hmmmm doesn't this advice sound familer? You and Ron keep reminding and are going to keep reminding me this years go by.) But I know that you know what you have to do – I don't need to know what is said or done – I'll see the end result when I get to see you both at the end of the summer.
I know you are wondering how I'm doing – not great. I still miss Sirius terribly. Like Ron, I too blame myself for his death. If I hadn't rushed heedlessly to the Ministry than he wouldn't have had to come and recuse us and than Bellatrix wouldn't have had the chance to send him behind the veil. He would still be well and safe at Grimmauld Place. Miserable, but alive. If I hadn't rushed to the Ministry than you guys wouldn't have had to come. Than you, 'Mione wouldn't have been almost killed by Dolohov. That was my fault. Solely my fault. I should have allowed Snape to get the Order members and had them sort everything out. They wouldn't have gone to the Ministry. They would have found Sirius safe and that would have been the end of that.
I'm sorry 'Mione. I'm not the hero or protector that you need in your life. The mistake will never happen again. I will not put your life in danger again. So help me if I do.
Hermione sighed as she looked up from Harry's letter. She knew that she couldn't put what she wanted in a letter to Harry either. No he had to see her eyes to see into her soul to make him realize that she didn't blame him for anything. That she would be by his side through the worse that life could throw at him. She put his letter on top of Ron's. She reached for the next letter which happened to be Ginny's.
I'm going to officially kill Draco Malfoy with my own two hands. I'm not even going to use magic against him. What he did to you and Neville was so cruel that the bastard doesn't deserve a quick death. He deserves to feel pain and fear for what he did to you.
I know I'm taking a hard line against him, this isn't usually me. But when I saw you fall onto your back and hit your head on the plat form, not having enough time to protect your head or your back, my blood ran cold and I saw red. I'm still seeing red.
Oh Ginny, forgive please for my shake. I don't allow hatred to enter your heart. Hermione closed her eyes and said a long prayer for her three friends. For Ron to forgive himself, for Harry to find himself some ease from all the death that he had witnessed the passed two years and for Ginny to rid the hate that had enter her soul.
An hour passed and Hermione reached for the next letter on her pile and found it to be Neville's.
I'm so sorry for being behind you. If I wasn't than Draco wouldn't have pushed me into you causing you to crash onto the plat form and hurt yourself. Draco would have just pushed me and than I would be the one and only one to be hurt by him.
Hermione sighed as she realized that all four of the letters blamed themselves, she just hopped the rest of the letters wouldn't continue along those lines. She placed Neville's letter on top of Ginny's and picked up another letter. The letter was from Mr and Mrs. Wesley.
I hope as you are reading this letter you are feeling better. We are sure that you aren't reading this for a few days. At least I hope you aren't trying to read it with your head aching and your eyes swimming, dear. (If you are wait until Molly gets you back at the burrow. (Now Arthur I just care about her like my own daughter is all.) (I know Molly, I know.))
Hermione smiled at this side note. She knew that the magic quill was writing on it's own free will at this time. She was surprised that Mrs. Wesley had allowed the lines to be kept in the letter, but not really. She knew that Mrs. Wesley wanted her to know how much she cared for her.
We want you to rest and take care of yourself this summer, obey your parents and not to worry them too much. We will see you at the appointed time dear.
Mr and Mrs. Wesley.
Hermione went for her next letter and found it was from Professor McGonagall. She smiled as she realized her favorite teacher, mentor and friend had written her also. She wasn't surprised that Professor McGonagall had learned about her accident so fast, with so many witches and wizards that were at platform nine and three quarters that afternoon, one of them had sent word to Hogwarts.
My heart dropped when the owl arrived with the message on what had accord on plat form nine and three quarters. I wished that I had been there so I could have helped you. If I was there than Draco Malfoy wouldn't have been able to hurt you or Neville. I have off ically taken a hundred points from Slytherin. That means that they are no longer in the running for the house cup next year.
I have also sent a formal letter to the Malfoy manor demanding a apology from Draco, which will take place on the first night after the sorting. Plus Draco will no longer be able to come near a hundred feet of you again. I have also informed Snape that Draco will be doing detention every night next year.
I just wanted you to know that direct action is being taken place. Get well and enjoy the rest of your summer.
Professor Minerva McGonagall
Hermione sighed deeply as she re read McGonagall's letter. She had read between the line and knew that McGonagall was blaming herself. Even though this happened off Hogwarts grounds and away from Gryffindor. She put the letter with the rest and reached for Dumbldore's letter. She just hoped her head master didn't blame himself for this.
I am quite sure that Professor McGonagall had told you the action that will be taken out against Draco Malfoy so I won't write about that. Instead I'm going to write on a happy note. I'm sure by the time you get to my humble little letter you have read, Ron, Harry, Ginny, Neville and Minerva's letters all blaming themselves and very angry. Yes even Minerva blames herself for what has happened to you. She is the head of your house and feels like a mother hen towards you even when school ends. She feels that way with all her Gryffindor's. No matter how old they get. That's why I made her the head of the house, she out of all the other heads have the most maternal heart. If you mention I wrote you this too her, Hermione, than I will deny it.
Hermione had always known that Professor McGonagall had a maternal heart from when she first arrived at the Granger's door step the summer before her first year at Hogwarts with her letter. Once she learned about the houses and which house McGonagall was head on, Hermione privately prayed and wished that she would end up a Gryffindor. She was glad the sorting hat had read her inner desire.
It is curious Hermione, by all rights you should have been sorted into Ravenclaw ... but yet you were sorted in Gryffindor. (Interesting isn't it my dear') I'm going to tell you what I told Harry at the end of his second year. The sorting hat sorts you into the house that is your inner desire. (I had a feeling that you would end up a Gryffindor when your name first passed my ears, I'm glad that I was right).
Hermione couldn't keep the grin off her face. She didn't even have to fake a blush. If Dumbledore had been in front of her, she still wouldn't have blushed.
I hope that you will rest and follow your doctor and parents orders until you are back on your feet. No cheating my dear. If they say no studying than no studying. You are still way ahead of everyone ... including most of the professor's here.
Professor Albus Dumbledore.
Hermione picked up the next letter and found only a few sentence on it.
Your request is being full filled as we speak. I should have some answers when you return.
Hermione looked up and stared at her wall and nodded firmly. Her lips went into a stiff straight line.
If you need any assistance please call up on me.
Mad Eyed Moody
You comforted me and saved me when I most needed it. If you need the favor return please don't hesitant.
Count on me to guide you back to Hogwarts at the end of the summer. You, Mr. Potter and Mr. Wesley won't be out of my sight for one moment.
The rest of the letters from the professor's of Hogwarts and the Order were along these lines. Hermione sighed deeply as she got up and picked up the pile of letters and walked over to her night table and tucked them away in her top draw. She climbed into bed and snuggled down and tried to sleep peaceful. But she knew that it would be a long time before her restless thoughts and worried heart would settle down.
END CHAPTER TWO
The reason for this chapter was to lay out the details of everyone concerned in Hermione's life. I know Ron would never write a letter like that, but the letter and Ron's deep depressing feelings will play a major part in this story. The Hogwarts Professors' and the Order will also be playing a major part in Hermione's safety and her quest in finding out her true mother.
Also what is Snape doing for Hermione? Find out in a later chapter.
Chapter 3: DIAGON ALLEY
Two weeks had passed and Hermione was completely healed. She no longer had even a headache and she had stopped taking aspirin three days previous. Today was the day that the Grangers and Hedwig would be going to Diagon Alley so Hermione could get her owl. With Hedwig on her shoulder Hermione walked into the living room and over to the fire place. She was carrying the bowl with Floo powder. The Grangers felt that it would be quicker and easier on everyone if they arrived at the Leaky Cauldron by Floo . What Mr and Mrs. Granger didn't tell Hermione was that they were going to have escorts in Diagon Alley. Set up by the Order.
No one could get to the Granger's house at the moment, and the Grangers and the Order all agreed that it was much to dangerous for Hermione to leave her house alone. Even with her parents. Not only with the threat of Draco Malfoy, but also the threat of You-Know-Who. Not only is Harry Potter's life in grave danger, but so are Hermione and Ron's. Only less, but to get to Harry, You-Know-Who could send out his Death Eaters to kill Ron and Hermione. So the two teens would be protected more now than they had when You-Know-Who first came back.
Hermione would be upset of course with the knowledge that she has to have guards around her from now on, but she was a bright and sensitive girl and she would realize quickly that they would only want to keep her safe and alive. Sides her protection wasn't anything that it wasn't at Hogwarts.
"Mum I'm ready to go," Hermione smiled looking at her mother who was sitting in her own special chair next to the huge bay window which looked out front. "Where's dad?" She asked seeing her father no where to be seen.
"He's finishing up on some paper work on one of his patients, dear. He should be done any time now." Anne said with a smile. "You might as well put the Floo powder on top of the fire place, Hermione dear. Take a seat. He may be a few more moments than a minute."
Hermione blushed slightly and grinned ruefully. "I'm just excited about getting my owl, is all." She felt Hedwig move around on her shoulder. She reached up and patted the owl on the under bellow. "Hedwig is excited about seeing her old friend the shop keeper." She looked up and sideways and cooed lovely up at Harry's owl. Hedwig looked down and cooed back. She closed her eyes briefly as she quite enjoyed the human girl's touch. The human girl wasn't Harry, not by a long shot, but the human girl loved her almost as much as Harry did and Hedwig quite enjoyed being loved.
Hermione looked back over at the fireplace and gently put the bowl on top and still petting Hedwig she walked over and sat down carefully on the sofa so not to freak Hedwig out. She leaned back and closed her eyes as she felt Hedwig lean her body against her head quite enjoying the belly rub that Hermione was giving her.
"Hello dears," Gilbert said with a smile as he walked into his living room. He walked and bent and kissed his wife lovely on the lips and than turned and saw Hermione slowly open her eyes. "Hermione, are you all right?" Concern laced his voice as he stood straight and tall once more.
"Yes dad, I'm quite all right. I was just enjoying the lovely private time that Hedwig and I found ourselves in was all." Hermione said dropping her hand and getting to her feet, she felt Hedwig move her feet so she had a better spot on her shoulder. She walked to the fire place and picked up the bowl of Floo and looked over her shoulders. "Are we ready?"
Gilbert helped Anne onto her feet and they walked to their daughter's side and each scooped a hand ful of Floo. They watched as Hermione grabbed her own and than replaced the bowl on the fire place. "Ok Anne, you go first." He watched as his wife stepped into the fire place and held her hand above her head. "LEAKY CAULDRON". Anne said in a firm and loud voice and she tossed the Floo powder onto the ground. Anne disappeared in bright green lights.
Hermione stepped into the fire place and she held her hand over her head, "LEAKY CAULDRON" and she disappeared after her mother. Gilbert quickly followed after his wife and daughter and he opened his eyes and saw that he was in the Leaky Cauldron fire place with his wife and daughter looking at him, Hermione had a deep frown on her face and he sighed as he realized that she knew why Tonks was beside her. He stepped out of the fire place, "Hello Tonks, I am pleased to see that you are right on time."
"I almost wasn't Mr. Granger," Tonks began.
Gilbert held up his hand. "You will be protecting my daughter from now on, so call me Gilbert and please call my wife Anne."
Tonks smiled and nodded. "Of course Gilbert. Like I said I almost wasn't here on time."
Anne's face tightened and she moved closer to Hermione and wrapped her arm around her daughter's waist. "Oh and what has happened."
"Nothing serious. Just my parents couldn't say good bye to me was all." Tonks said reassuring.
Anne relaxed and she let Hermione go and she walked over too stand next to her husband. "When are we going to get the honor to meet your parents, Tonks?"
"Perhaps before the school term starts." Tonks replied with a nod.
"Why aren't you at Privet Drive protecting Harry?" Hermione demanded in a hard voice as she simply glared at Tonks.
"Dumbledore has assigned me to your personal guard, after what Draco Malfoy did to you two weeks ago." Tonks said with a nod. She wasn't surprised at Hermione's glare and hard voice. "Harry is well guarded."
Hermione shook her head in annoyance. "I don't need a guard. I'll be perfectly fine in my muggle home. Merlin, Draco would never ever walk in a among muggles. He would have to do that to get to me." She laughed a hard laugh.
"All I know is that Minerva has gone to Dumbledore and ordered him to order protection around you full time." Tonks said with a slight shrug. "I got called to Dumbledore's office and both he and Minerva had ordered me to protect you until you arrive unharmed at Hogwarts front gates." She looked steading into Hermione' s eyes. "I don't shrink my orders, young lady, so I suggest you don't give me any trouble this summer."
Hermione sighed deeply and nodded. "Share we go to Diagon Alley than." She said brighting as she thought about the owl that she would be getting. She didn't really mind the guard, she actually felt cared about. Although she would never admit that to anyone, not even in pains of death would she admit that Draco Malfoy did worry her quite a bit. No Hermione Jean Granger was a fighter and very independent.
"Lead away." Tonks bowed and waved her hand in a very dramatic move to allow Hermione and her parents to pass her by. She heard Hermione's light laughter and knew that the younger girl has finally come to terms to a personal guard. She was smiling brightly when she lifted her now bright pink hair. She followed behind Mr and Mrs. Granger and waited for Hermione to hit the right combination to enter Diagon Alley.
Hermione's breath always caught in her throat whenever Diagon Alley appeared in front of her eyes. Out side the Leaky Cauldron was London. Beautiful London England, but yet boring ordinary London England. But behind the magical bricks of the Leaky Cauldron lay one of the most beautiful magical town in all of England. Hermione knew that she would never grow bored or weary of Diagon Alley, not as long as she lived. Not like she had with her native London England.
Hermione led the way towards Eeylops Owl Emporium she looked behind her and smiled. "We also have to stop at Flourish and Blotts, I just must buy my school books for next year. I'm two weeks behind on my studying after all." She looked forward once more as she reached the door to the Emporium. She opened the door and stopped in surprise. "Mr. Ollivanders what on earth are you doing here?" She was surprised to see England's famous wand maker in the Emporium. She didn't know why she should be surprised, Mr. Ollivanders had ever right to be in any store that he pleased, he was a person after all. But she was surprised.
Ollivanders turned around at the sound of her voice and his face widen in huge smile. Bigger than the one he had been wearing as he was talking to his friend Fred who was a clerk at the Emporium. "Why Miss. Granger, and how are you today? And your parents?" He said turning his smiling eyes to Mr and Mrs. Granger.
Gilbert and Anne nodded their hello's and listened as their daughter talked to the wand maker. They began to walk around the Emporium trying to guess which owl Hermione would chose.
"I'm sorry to have been so rude Mr. Ollivanders before, but I was just surprised to see you here of all places. I have never seen you here before." Hermione was blabbing and she couldn't even think on why she was suddenly nerves around Mr. Ollivanders, she just was.
"I'm friends with Fred who is a clerk here," Ollivanders nodded over to where a tall young man, around thirty five, was helping another customer.
"I've never seen him here before." Hermione mussed as she tilted her head as she looked at Fred. "What's his last name?" She turned her eyes back to the wand makers.
"O'Neil." Ollivanders said. "He's from Ireland. I had met him back when I was at Hogwarts and I went to Ireland for the summer back in my fourth year. Fred just moved here a few months ago."
Hermione nodded. "I see." She smiled as she felt her nerves settled down.
"And how is your wand holding up, Miss. Granger?" Ollivanders asked fully knowing that Hermione had been using her wand more at Hogwarts than was attend when she first got it. Ollivanders was part of the Order so he knew of her, Potter, and Wesley's adventures at Hogwarts.
"Wonderful." Hermione replied without thinking of her wand. Her eyes lit up and without saying goodbye to Ollivanders she walked off towards an owl.
"Sorry about that Mr. Ollivanders. The Grangers promised Hermione an owl for her birthday." Tonks said as she and Ollivanders simply watched as Hermione walked as if in a daze towards a owl that was across the room.
"I understand." Ollivanders said with a smile. "Well I best get back to the shop, I have some first years who may be wanting their wands early." With that he left the shop and Tonks followed behind Hermione.
Hedwig cooed softly tilting her head past Hermione's as she looked the owl over. She was pleased in what she saw in her fellow female owl. The owl's feathers were dark brown with black spots painted over it. It looked like the owl had taken a dip in some ink. The owl's black eyes blinked back intellect back at Hedwig and the owl cooed and lifted her head proudly.
"She's perfect." Hermione breathed softly. She held out her hand, the hand that didn't have Hedwig on it's shoulder, and the owl flew and landed gracefully. "Hello there precious." Hermione cooed as she gently rubbed her fingers on the owl's under belly. She smiled as the owl took pleasure. "What's your name now," Hermione paused to listen and nodded her head. "That's a right beautiful name you have, Daisy."
Gilbert walked over to Fred and payed for Daisy. He walked back over to his wife who was standing in front of their daughter who had both owls on both of her shoulders now. "Well now we can be on our way. Welcome to the family Daisy." He said softly to Hermione's new owl. "You are a Granger now." He grinned as the owl cooed her pleasure and bopped her head.
Anne led the way out with Tonks behind her. She knew that Hermione was behind Tonks and Gilbert was bringing up the back so he could keep a good eye on Hermione and the owls. Once back on the main street she turned and, "I can hold Hedwig on my shoulder if you would like, dear."
"No, Hedwig is quite happy getting to know Daisy." Hermione said. "They are going to be sharing a cage after all for the summer, so they might as where learn to share the same human also." She cooed up to Daisy and told her new pet that Hedwig was visiting for the summer, that once school starts Hedwig will go back to her owner, Harry Potter. Daisy cooed to let Hermione know that she understood.
"I see Hedwig and Daisy are going to be friends for life." Tonks said with a laugh as she watched as Hedwig and Daisy tilted their heads until they were touching and both owls were cooing.
Hermione led the way to Flourish and Blotts and waited for Tonks to open the door for her. It was hard to lift her hand and pull back the door with two owls on her shoulders. She didn't want to unsettle either owl so she allowed someone else to open the door for her. She nodded her thanks to the slightly older witch and walked into shop where she would find her sixth year books. She had much to look at and buy. She was glad that her parents had gone to Gringotts and gotten the money the other day. It saved them a trip to the bank before she had been able to get her beloved owl.
"Let's see I will need ..." and she began to rattle off a whole list of books, knowing that the shop elves were running around gathering them for her. She was soon at the front desk with a huge stack of books and her father was paying the bills.
"Your books will be waiting for you at your home, Miss. Granger, you don't have to worry about getting them there yourself." The shop owner said smiling over his huge glasses.
"Thank you." Hermione said with a grin. She was quite used to this response, she had been here buying not only her school books but also every other book about the magical world that wasn't required reading for school. She turned and left the shop after her parents with Tonks at her side.
DOWN THE STREET
Severus Snape frowned darkly into the eyes of the fumbling wizard who was trying to back away from having his face so close to his own. "Don't get more on my nerves than you all ready are. Do you or do you not have the required information that I need." He said in steel voice. A voice that he hadn't used since his Death Eater days. A voice that Albus would lecture him on if he had heard it, but Severus knew that this voice would get the required results so he didn't even worry that anyone would hear it besides the wizard before him. If and when it got back to Albus than Severus would tell him that he was doing something at the request of Hermione Granger.
Severus himself couldn't believe that he was doing Miss. Granger's work. If someone had told him two years ago, even five months ago that he would be working with Hermione Granger, the know it all pest of a girl than he would have laughed in their faces or even sent a curse their way. But when Hermione had come to him with her request he knew that he couldn't deny her, like he wanted to. His 'no' was on the tip of his tongue among the harsh things he wanted to say to her when the voice of Albus Dumbledore entered his head and reminded him of the things he had promised to do to be Albus's right hand man. So Severus had said yes, with a deep skull but he had agreed to help Granger.
That was why he was in this dark alley with the bumbling annoying wizard before him. He watched as the wizard managed to make his way towards the wall before he suddenly moved forward once more and grabbed the man's robes and brought the man's sweaty face close to his once more. "Well ..." He softly barked.
"I-I ... give me more time Snape. I – I don't have the information y-yet. I n-need more t-time." The wizard startled as he tried to back away and get Snape's hands off of his robes.
"You had two weeks, you miserable worthless human." Severus growled as he pushed the wizard away from him and watched with great pleasure he had to admit as the wizard stumbled and almost fallen on his butt. Too bad that he hadn't, but you couldn't always get what you wish for.
"The information you seek is not easy information to gather. It is too much to ask for the information in just two weeks." The wizard said breathing more easily when he saw that Snape wasn't going to make another move towards him. "I have to get the information past some Death Eaters, as you very well know, Severus." He said looking meaningfully into Snape's eyes. He lowered his eyes as he read the raw anger in Snape eyes.
"If you weren't so honest and liable to my needs than I wouldn't have come to you, I would have found another wizard or witch who isn't a spineless jelly fish." Severus growled as he shook his head.
He gritted his teeth. "Get me the information as soon as you can." With that he stormed away from the wizard.
The wizard looked after Snape and smile a hard smile. Yes it was true that he was honest and would never turn to the other side, but he didn't like Severus Snape not one bit. But if he hadn't promised Albus Dumbledore to be of any help to Severus Snape in this matter than he would have just told Snape off when Snape had first come to him. He sighed deeply and walked the other way down the alley. It wouldn't be good to be seen coming from the same alley as Snape, there were spy's ever where.
"Hello Miss. Granger, Mr and Mrs. Granger, Tonks." A soft sad male voice said from behind the group which was now standing just outside of Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. The group turned around to see the drawn pale face of Remus Lupin. Hermione didn't miss the glow of Tonks checks as she locked eyes on the older man.
"Hello Professor Lupin. How are you today?" Hermione asked in a kind voice. She knew that Lupin was recovering from the full moon. She was relieved not to find any new scratch marks on one of her favorite professors. Although Remus Lupin was no longer a professor, how could he be when most parents didn't want their children to be taught by a were wolf. But Remus Lupin was a valuable member of the Order and was James and Lily Potter's best friend. The only one left of the original Marauder's. (Peter Pettigrew who was Wormtail doesn't count, upon seeing how he went to the dark side and betrayed James and Lily and got them killed.)
"I'm doing better, much better now that I see you Miss. Granger." Remus said with a delighted smile on his face, he didn't miss Tonks looks and he tried to keep his own face away from the younger woman's lest she thought he returned her feelings for him. He did in deed, he knew that it wasn't going to work out. How could it, he was a were wolf after all and she was an young and innocent witch. He wouldn't ruin her life with his company. That's why he had began to distant himself when he felt her feelings towards him had grown in to ... a crush, that's all it was just a simple crush. Tonks would soon move on.
"I wish you would call me Hermione, Professor Lupin, after all I'm no longer your student." Hermione said with a smile.
Remus shook his head. "It's not proper ..." He winked. "I'll call you Hermione if you will do the honors and call me Remus. After all I'm no longer your professor as you so happened to had point out not just a moment ago." He said as he read her face. He looked over at her parents. "If you don't mind that is Gilbert and Anne."
"I don't mind." Anne said quietly and she walked over and put her hand on Remus shoulder. "How are you really?" She asked in a soft voice.
"Now that I see Hermione up and about, I'm fine." Remus replied just as softly and put his hand over her own. He felt warmth over flow his entire being. Not many people would offer such friendly and warm touches towards him once they learned he was a were wolf.
Hermione, Tonks and Gilbert just stood quietly by allowing Remus and Anne to have their lovely private moment. They all knew that the wizard who got bitten by a were wolf when he was just a mere boy and who ended up turning into a werewolf every full moon didn't have many friends left in this world; so any nice moments such as these should be granted and honored as they were.
"If it isn't the mud blood with two freaking owls on her shoulders!" A youthful male voice snared from the side of the group. Hermione went rigid and she felt both Hedwig and Daisy tongs bite deep into her shirt. She knew that they would leave a bruise. She slowly turned around and faced Draco Malfoy who was standing beside his father. Before she could open her mouth, Tonks moved in front of her with Remus beside her both had their wands out and ready.
"You best get out of here, Draco, you aren't allowed within a hundred feet of Hermione." Tonks hissed through her nose.
"That's only at Hogwarts. And that won't take place until the start of the year." Draco said with a snare. He looked up at his father and than back at the group. "But that will never happen. Father is going to go to the Fudge and report Dumbledore to him. Once Fudge's calender is clear than he will go to Dumbledore and tell Dumbledore that no actions as Dumbledore and McGonagall have set up will take place."
Lucius placed his hands firmly on his son's shoulders and tightened them. He looked into Gilbert and Anne's eyes in turn. "I suggest that you lecture your daughter on her proper behavior concerning her betters." He said in a snaring voice that matched his son's.
Gilbert stepped forward and stood a little ahead of Remus and Tonks who were guarding his daughter. "I suggest Mr. Malfoy that you teach your son the proper way to treat a female. His behavior at plat form nine and three quarters was disgraceful to all males." He said holding his head up.
"How dare you use that tune with me muggle ..." Lucius whispered as he let go of his son's shoulder and reached into his robe and pulled out his wand. "We will see who teaches their child the proper way to behave." He waved his wand quickly at Gilbert and saw the landless muggle fly against the window of the robe shop smashing the window into millions of sheds.
"DADDY!" Hermione screamed in flight and Hedwig and Daisy flew off into a tree, as Hermione turned and rushed over to her fallen father.
"GILBERT!" Anne screamed at the same time and she only arrived at her husband's other side just a second after her daughter. They both fell to their knees and helped Gilbert sit up and wipe the glass off his face and hands.
"Help me up." Gilbert said softly. With tears in their eyes mother and daughter did his bidding. Gilbert let go of his wife and daughter hands and stepped out of the shop and back on the main street. "Don't use your magic Remus and Tonks. I can handle this on my own." He said just as Remus and Tonks were about to flick their own wands towards Lucius.
"You want more." Lucius said with a smile. He lifted his wand to,
"Why don't you settle this man to man, Malfoy." Gilbert said with a growl. "Or are you too chicken to not relay on your magic."
Lucius lowered his wand and bowed his head. "As you wish." He moved his wand to put back in his robes when he saw Gilbert push up his sleeves of his pull over, when he suddenly swished his wand and Gilbert suddenly turned into a donkey.
"A jack ass, classic dad." Draco laughed up roaring beside him as he clapped his hands.
Severus rushed towards the group with his wand at ready and he quickly aimed it at Gilbert and turned Gilbert back into himself. He turned around he snarled at Lucius. "What were you thinking, Lucius."
"Who's side are you on Severus." Lucius said in a warning hiss.
"You know who's side I'm on." Severus said and than turned back to face the group and the on lookers. "Nothing more to see or to be done here, folks, so I suggest you all get back to your shopping."
"This isn't over yet, not by a long shot." Lucius snared looking at Gilbert and Anne dead in the eyes before he grabbed Draco's shoulders and stormed away.
"Thank you Severus for coming when you did." Remus said in a tight voice. He tilted his head. "What are you doing here any way? I thought you were on some business for Dumbledore."
"He sent me here." Severus said in a equal tight voice. "What are you doing here Moony?"
"I wanted some fresh air. It's a good day for it." Remus said with a nod. "Do you have a problem with that?"
Severus shook his head and nodded firmly and than stormed away going the way the Malfoy father and son had. He had some business to attended too. One to make sure that neither Malfoy would go after Hermione and her parents again, and two he had to get the item that Dumbledore had sent him there for.
After Snape had left Hermione had walked up to her father and, "Are you all right dad?" She asked softly as she noticed that there were still shades of glass in her dad's skin. His skin just looked like he cut himself shaving which was a relief, no jagged or deep cuts had happened to him. Which was a relief.
"Yes dear, I'm quite all right. Embarrassed, but all right." Gilbert said as he removed a few more shades of glass and felt Anne helping hands on his face. "Don't worry about your old man, I'm much tougher than I look." He smiled and winked.
"So is there anything else you need here?" Tonks asked as she finally put her wand back into her robes.
Hermione shook her head. "No we are done here." She looked up at the tree and cooed and watched as Hedwig and Daisy flew down to her. She felt the owls on her shoulders. "Let's go home. It's been a nice long and eventful day."
"I'll see you home." Remus said walking beside Hermione as she was following her parents. Tonks was on her other side. "You need to know Hermione, that Albus has asked me to keep an eye on you this summer."
"I had a feeling he would." Hermione said with a sigh. She lowered her voice. "Keep my parents safe too."
"Of course." Remus said and the group left Diagon Alley in silence.
END CHAPTER THREE
Chapter 4: The Unexpected Deaths
REST AND PEACEFULNESS
It had been two weeks since the eventful trip to Diagon Alley. Remus had moved into the down stairs study which was easily turned into a guest bedroom, while Tonks took the spare bedroom next to Hermione. Hermione was actually quite happy to have another young female in the house who was also a witch to boot. It was like having a long over night sleep over. Hermione and Tonks would be found in either her bedroom or Tonks room gossiping around present and past times at Hogwarts. Tonks would fill Hermione in what Hogwarts was like when she herself was a student there. Sometimes Remus would join in with stories about James, Sirius, Lily and himself during their time at the school. He never mentioned Peter, he didn't have too. The two witches understood.
Remus would leave with Gilbert and Anne whenever they had to step out to go to the office and he would return back to the house after they were safe among other muggles. He very well knew that Lucius would never dare walk among muggles so he knew the Grangers were quite safe. No his main job was to protect Hermione and he aimed to do it. Each nite at the end of the working period he would go and meet Gilbert and Anne and escort them home. He had promised Hermione that he would keep her parents safe after all.
Hedwig quickly got used to sharing a cage with another owl. After all it was Daisy's rightful cage and Hedwig was the guest. Daisy soon felt herself quite at home in Hermione's room and watched Hedwig to learn Hermione's likes, dislikes and how to tell her different moods.
Hermione was leaning back against her back board with her knees up and a book on them holding it up with one hand. She was deeply engrossed in the information that she was trying to find when suddenly the cell phone next to her rung. Even through cell phones didn't work at Hogwarts her parents had brought her the Christmas of her first year. They told her that they wanted her to have one in case they were late getting to the plat form. They said once she had crossed the barrel onto the muggle side she could always call them. She had given the number to Harry, Ron, Ginny, Neville once she got back to the school. Harry pocketed the number after saying thank you. But Hermione and Harry had to explain what phone numbers were to Ron, Ginny and Neville. Of course they had to explain to the pure blood witch and wizards what a phone was also. But once they got the jest of it they thanked her and put the number in a safe place.
Hermione picked up the phone and flipped it open and read GINNY. She smiled as she thought of when she went to Arthur, Molly and Neville grandmother and explained what phones were to them and they all agreed to buy cell phones for them and each of the children. Harry and Hermione took the Wesley's to a cell phone shop that they knew a witch was running. That way the Wesley's managed to sign on to the cheaper of family deals for their phones.
She pushed talk. "Hello Ginny."
"Hello Hermione. I'm calling to see how you are feeling." Ginny said into her phone.
"I'm better now." Hermione said with a smile. She raised her eye brow. "Why haven't you called me after you received my letter?" She had sent Hedwig with her letters to the Wesley family four days after she read the pile of letters. Ginny had written right back with messages from her parents, brothers, all expect Ron. Hermione was actually surprised that she hadn't received another letter from Ron.
"I couldn't get into the London until now." Ginny said in a rush and it sounded like she was running.
"Where on earth are you?" Hermione asked eyes sparkling as she pictured Ginny's red hair flying out behind her as she was rushing along.
"Mum said that we could go to see a movie." Ginny said into her phone. "Fred and George were running late so we have to rush to get to the show time on time."
"How's Ron?" Hermione asked as she felt the book slip from her knees.
"Truthfully, not so great. He's still blaming himself for what Draco did to you." Ginny said softly and she sounded like she was standing still.
"But that's ridicules. How on earth can Ronald be blaming himself for? He was no near Neville and I when Draco pushed Neville onto me. There was nothing he could do." Hermione said using the same voice that she used with Ron whenever she was annoyed with him over some silly thing. She shook her head as sighed deeply in her throat. "Put Ronald on." She breathed.
"He's not here with us." Ginny sighed. "He wouldn't talk to you any way if he was here."
Hermione's eyes widen as she sat up. "Why the hell won't he talk to me!" Her hand gripped the phone tightly against her ear, causing her ear to be in pain. But she ignored the pain.
"Ron isn't talking to anyone right now, Hermione, he has been silent since we arrived home that day. He just went up to his bedroom, wrote his letter to you and than nothing. He wouldn't have left his bedroom expect mum orders him out to eat and to get clean." Ginny said in a worried soft voice. "He blames himself fully for not being able to protect you, dear."
Hermione sighed. "Thanks for the information Ginny. I'll let you go." Without a final good bye she hung up on her best female friend. She put the phone up to her chin as she stared thoughtfully at the wall that was opposite her bed. Oh Ron, what am I going to do with you?
Albus walked down into Severus's dungeon only to find his long time friend with his head in his hands as he was staring and murmuring to himself over a piece of muggle binder paper. "Well that can't be the information that I had requested out of you," He said in his all knowing voice.
Severus's head jerked up and he quickly got out of his chair and he moved to cover the part of the desk where the paper was. Albus watched in some amusement the younger man trying to fold the paper with one hand. He held up his right index finger and swished it to and for. "Now, now Severus how many times do I have to tell you that you can't hide anything from me. I know you are working with Hermione Granger."
Severus snorted through his nose and almost dropped the paper as he was putting it in his robes. "Like I would be helping that know it all."
"Oh so you are helping another muggle?" Albus asked his eyes sparkled in good natural. He waved his hand. "I don't need to know all the details on what Miss. Granger has asked you to do for her, I know that whatever she has in mind it is to protect Harry."
"What I do on my own time, is my own freaking business." Severus snarled. He breathed through his nose trying to calm down because he knew Albus had been trying to get a rise out of him. And had succeeded. Damn it Severus hated losing control and in front of Albus Dumbledore never less. Damn Hermione and her quest. He should have denied her his help from the get go – but no – she had caught him at a weak moment and he was paying for it ever since.
"Well you are capable of doing two important things at the same time." Albus said with a nod. "Now what have you found out about the ring?" He walked over and looked at the table that Severus had gotten up from. He looked down at the parchment that was spread out.
"The ring is a horcruxe just as you assumed it was." Severus said as he walked over and stood on the other end of his table. "To destroy it you have to have Basilisk poison. The sword of Gryffindor will do because Potter had used that in the Chambers of Secrets to kill the Basilisk. You could even go back down the Chamber and grab some of the teeth if need be. But even you Albus don't have the proper password. "
Albus waved his hand. "When the time comes Harry will be able to get back in the Chambers and he will retrieve the required teeth."
Severus continued on as if he wasn't interrupted. "The ring carries a curse of extraordinary power. If you even touch it it means your death." As he was saying this he looked up and looked into Albus's eyes. "You do understand what I'm telling you, don't you."
"Yes." Albus said in one word. He turned and left the dungeon.
Severus sighed deeply and took out the note book paper and went back to the quest that Hermione had sent him on. God sometimes he hated his life.
GRANGER'S HOUSE A WEEK LATER
"Look Remus, we don't need you to baby sit us tonight." Gilbert said after he had taken Remus aside. "I want you and Tonks both to stay here and protect Hermione at all cost."
"But Hermione has expressed the wish that I was also to protect you and Anna." Remus said softly as he looked sideways at where Hermione was sitting next to her mother on the couch. "I keep my promises Gilbert."
"I said not tonight, Remus." Gilbert said in slight anger. "That's my final word." With that Gilbert went and gathered Anne and after saying good bye and good night to Hermione they left for their dinner out.
"Why didn't you go with them Remus?" Hermione looked over to where Remus was still standing .
"Your father said that he and Anne wanted a night out on their own. They will be fine." Remus said.
Hours passed and Hermione was fast asleep when the next thing she knew she felt arms shaking her shoulders "Hermione wake up dear." She slowly opened her eyes and looked into Tonks tearful ones. She sat up quickly "What is is? What's wrong?"
"Come down stairs." Tonks said as she stood to her feet and waited for Hermione to get up and grab a robe. She held out her hand for Hermione to take but Hermione walked from her bedroom without taking it and lead the way downstairs. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Dumbledore, McGonagall, Mr and Mrs. Wealsey. "What's going on?" She asked for the second time since she was woken up.
"Come and sit down Hermione." Mrs. Wealsey said with a chocked up voice and tears running freely down her checks.
"I think I will stand." Hermione said in a voice that she didn't recognize as her own. She looked around the room and than over at the clock. "Where are my parents?" She saw that the time was two thirty in the morning long time since her parents should be home and in bed themselves.
All the adults looked towards Dumbledore before they began to look every where but at Hermione.
Dumbledore walked over and stood in front of Hermione. "There's no easy way to tell you this Hermione, but there has been an accident."
"Where are my parents? Which hospital? I have to get to them, they need me." Hermione quickly said as she began to turn away. "Give me a minute and I'll be ready to get to them."
Dumbledore put his right hand on Hermione's shoulder to keep her from leaving. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, Hermione," he said in a soft and chocked up voice. "But your parents didn't make it. They died the moment the other car hit theirs."
Hermione swung around and jerked Dumbledore's hand off of her and she back away. "No!" She whispered as she backed into the wall. "No! I don't believe you." Tears fell down her checks. "Where are my parents, I have to get to them." She shook her head back and forth as Dumbledore's words kept replaying themselves in her head.
McGonagall had rushed over and put her arms around the sobbing sixteen year old girl and pulled her favorite student close to her. She felt Hermione wrap her arms around her waist and felt Hermione moved closer as if she was trying to disappear from the world and become one with McGonagall. McGonagall couldn't keep the tears in any longer and she lowered her head and allowed her silent tears to fall on top of Hermione's head.
AN HOUR PASSED
Hermione finally pulled away from McGonagall and walked with her teacher over to the couch and sat down weakly. Remus sat down on the other side of her. "What's going to happen to me?"
Dumbledore walked over and sat down in the chair that was across from the couch so he could keep a sharp eye on Hermione.
"We have a room for you at the Burrow dear. You can stay with us until school starts." Molly said from where she stood next to Arthur next to the fireplace. "You can have Charlie's old room or even Bill's."
Hermione shook her head. "Thank you for the kind offer Mr and Mrs. Wealsey but I want to be by myself right now. I love your family and your home very much, it's like a second home to me," tears rolled down her checks. "But I can't be around your family right now. I'm sorry."
"It's quite all right dear." Molly said as tears rolled down her eyes. "We are always here for you."
"Hogwarts is open too you." Dumbledore said.
Hermione shook her head. "I don't want to be in Gryffindor tower by myself."
"You won't be staying in Gryffindor tower. You will be staying in my private rooms." McGonagall said.
"Oh Professor McGonagall I couldn't." Hermione said lowering her head.
"That's settled than." Dumbledore said standing up and walked to the fireplace. "Mr and Mrs. Wealsey it's time you get back to your family." He shook hands with Arthur and Molly and they were soon each in the fireplace flooing back home to wait till morning to tell their children about Hermione.
Remus stood up and put out his hand for Hermione to take. Hermione lifted her head and glared up into Remus's eyes. "Why didn't you go with them? I asked you to protect them and keep them safe. You should have kept your promise Remus Lipton. Or do werewolves not know the meaning of promises." She jumped up and moved away from Remus and crossed her arms.
Remus had moved away from Hermione as she had been saying those things and he now slowly turned to face the angry heart broken girl. "Your father ordered me to stay here with you Hermione, he told me to keep you safe."
"I had Tonks here with me." Hermione seethed.
"Your father said that he wanted both Tonks and I to remain here with you." Remus said softly. "I'm sorry for breaking my promise to you Hermione, but I knew that your father would never forgive me if something happened to you while I was out with them."
"So now they are dead." Hermione said in a deadly tone.
Remus hung his head.
"I will never forgive you for this Remus." Hermione turned her back on Remus. "If you show your face around me ever again than I will make sure you end up in Azkaban with the Dementor's kiss upon arrive."
Remus walked to the fire place and flooed out of there with one last sad look at Hermione. With a look at Dumbledore Tonks soon followed.
Dumbledore waved his hand and soon the Granger fireplace was wide enough for three people to floo together. He walked over and put his hand on Hermione's shoulder. "It's time to go Hermione." Hermione shrugged his hand off and walked over and stood in the fireplace and waited for her two Professors. "Don't ask me to forgive because I won't. Not ever."
McGonagall walked over and slipped her right arm around Hermione's shoulder and pulled her to her side, as Dumbledore stepped in at Hermione's other side. With a wave of his hand the three disappeared and the fireplace turned back to normal.
END CHAPTER FOUR
Hermione walked with a bowed head over to Dumbledore's chair in his private office, they had arrived in Dumbledore's fireplace upon arriving at Hogwarts. She sank back in the chair and she just stared at Dumbledore's desk. She felt numb, she felt nothingness enter her soul.
Albus walked over and sat down in the chair next to Hermione's and just simply watched the bowed head sixteen year old Gryffindor. The girl who had craved a very special place in his heart since the moment she was born. Actually since he leaned that she was too be expected on this earth. Yes Albus Dumbledore had known Hermione Granger from the very beginning of her life; although she herself was not aware of this fact. It was better that way. Safer.
Now things were different. Now Albus had to decide if or even when he should tell Hermione. He sighed deeply as he reached over and put his right hand on her shoulder. "Hermione," He softly said.
Hermione looked up with expressionless eyes. "Don't." She said and lowered her eyes once more.
Albus looked up and saw Minerva's concerned eyes. He shook his head and watched as his most trusted friend sigh and nod and walk over to stand behind Hermione's chair. He looked back down at her bowed head and watched Minerva put her hands on her favorite student's shoulders. Suddenly two owls flew through the window and sat on the desk facing Hermione.
Hermione looked up and found Hedwig and Daisy cooing at her in gentle voices. She swallowed around the lump in her thoart as she saw letters on each feet of the owls. She lowered her head.
"Hermione," Albus said once more. "I'm so very sorry for this tragic accident that claimed your parents. They were taken before their time."
Hermione's head lifted and anger flashed in her eyes. "This was no accident, it was murder plain and simple." Her back tighten as she finally felt hands on her shoulders, she began to move her shoulders in a fashion and caused the hands to be removed. "The Malfoy's murdered my parents, they are murders and they have to pay for what they have done." She said in a death tone. "And I am just the one who will make sure that justice will take place."
Albus's hand tightened on Hermione's shoulder, "Hermione, your parents wouldn't want you talking like this. Or feeling like this."
"My parents are dead, sir, dead." Hermione spat out.
"I'm checking into the matters and if it turns out that they were murdered than I and the Order will handle the matter." Albus said still in a gentle voice.
"All you are going to do is put them in Azkaban and what perhaps have the Dementor's kiss, but you know what sir, that won't bring my parents back." Hermione said in a a wild crazed voice. Her eyes started to become a little wild.
"Killing them with your bare hands, will that bring your parents back?" Albus asked in a straight forward manner.
"N-no." Hermione said softly as a tear fell from her right eye. Her hand reached up and quickly brushed it away. Her body tensed up once more as she told herself to remain angry that anger would get her through this loss in her life. That if she remained angry long enough than she wouldn't have to feel anything else ever again.
"Remus is ..." Albus started to say when Hermione burst in.
"Don't even think of asking me to forgive Mister Lupin." Hermione spat out, "I will never forgive him. If he had done the one simple thing that I asked him, keep my parents safe, than my parents would be alive right now." She got to her feet and stormed away towards the stair case. She turned around suddenly and wrapped her arms tightly across her chest. "Who told Harry that my parents are dead?" She asked in a tight voice.
"Remus." Minerva said in a tight voice.
"Harry all ready has enough to deal with on his own. He doesn't need my tragedy to shoulder also." Hermione said as anger overcame her. "I didn't want Harry to know until he comes back to Hogwarts."
"I have things that I need Harry's help with before he comes back to Hogwarts." Albus said with a deep sigh. "Harry would have wanted to know, if he could be here for you right now, Hermione, than he would be."
"I don't want him to be." Hermione said with a frown. "Matter of fact I don't want him or anyone else to be here for me." She looked at her two most beloved professor's in the eye. "It's bad enough that you two are here." She lowered her eyes once more.
Shock and sadness entered even more deeply in Minerva's eyes. "Hermione dear, why don't we get you to your room now." She walked over and put a hand on her shoulder and kept it there even through the child stiffened and tried to shake it off. "Come now, you need your rest."
Hermione looked up into McGonagall's eyes and she just simply nodded and allowed her transfiguration teacher and Head of house to lead her out of Dumbledore's office.
Albus watched the two women leave him with a deep frown on his face. He was extremely worried about Hermione's state of mind and heart. If she didn't break soon than she would perhaps never heal.
MINERVA MCGONAGALL'S PRIVATE ROOMS
Minerva gently led the sixteen year old girl down the corridor towards Gryffindor tower. They stopped outside the entrance towards her private rooms which was right next to the Fat Lady portrait that led to the Gryffindor's common rooms and dorms. The portrait outside her private rooms was the happy go lucky galen t solider.
"Password." The usual chipper and smiling solider said in a soft voice as he looked with compassionate look on his face. He all ready had heard about Hermione's parents.
Seeing how school was out for the summer Minerva knew that she didn't need a complicated or tongue twister to protect her private rooms from students. Non of the other professors would ever dream of trying to come in without her person invitation. "Frogs." She said. The portrait swung open and she gently pulled Hermione along side her.
Hermione suddenly felt two small feet on each of her shoulders and knew that the two owls finally decided to join her. She stopped and looked at at Minerva. "The owls stay with me, if not than I'll stay in the Owlery with them."
"I never dreamt otherwise, dear, of course Hedwig and Daisy will stay in here with you until school starts." Minerva said with a nod. "If you would care to remain with me once the other students return than they are quiet welcomed also."
Hermione lowered her eyes once more. Minerva sighed as she realized that the young girl wouldn't be saying anything else on the matter with her. "Here let me show you where my room is located , so if you need me in the middle of the night you will know where to go."
"I won't need to." Hermione said in a deaden voice.
"Just in case." Minerva said as she led the way past the circle of comfortable couches towards a door that was closed. She opened it to prove to Hermione that it was in deed a bedroom, she looked at Hermione and saw the poor girl in shock. She held out her right hand and was actually surprised that Hermione reached out and took it in her own. She was relieved that Hermione accepted this small comfort. She slowly led the way across the living room towards where another door was closed. She opened the door and allowed Hermione to walk in before her, Hermione kept her hand in her own. "This is your bedroom, dear."
Hermione lifted her eyes from the floor and almost gasped at the site of the bedroom that Minerva had led her two. She saw a huge four poster bed with golden curtains strung up around it, the comforter was a mixer of golden yellow, baby blue and the lightest touch of rose on it. Her eyes slowly turned from the bed to where she saw Daisy's cage on the floor next to two long owl posts, she felt both owls leave her shoulders and glide to the posts and settle in. Her eyes traveled past the owl posts and over to a black oak wardrobe, she could tell that it was hand made and quite expensive.
Her eyes moved over to where there was a private sitting room set up in a nook with a window that would allow the sun to shine in when it was day time. The couches and the chairs were all woven with the same material as the bedding and each piece was overstuffed. She turned her eyes and saw the rest of the room. "All my favorite things." She softly said.
"How about you try to rest dear, and we'll speak more in the morning." Minerva gently said stepping away from the young girl. She waited for Hermione to speak but she got nothing so with one last look at her student, she turned and left the bedroom closing the door behind her softly.
PLAN OF ACTION
Severus had watched as Minerva had led the sell shocked Hermione Granger passed the hallway where he had been standing waiting for someone anyone to leave Albus's private rooms. He had just heard what happened to Gilbert and Anne Granger and he had jumped from his bed and through his robes over his night clothes and come running to Albus's private rooms knowing that was where Hermione was.
But he stopped before he gave the password that would allow him to have access to the rooms, he knew that he may not be wanted or needed. Not by Albus, Minerva or especially Hermione herself. He did not do the comfort in the time of personal tragedy well. Look how he handed when his beloved Lilly was killed. No he would make the situation a whole lot worse and more tense if he had gone up.
So he walked away from the portrait and waited in the hallway that was just five feet away. He leaned against the wall and just kept a sharp eye on the portrait and waited for Hermione to leave. He also listened closely for unwanted feet too try to make their own way to the portrait. He may not be able to do the comfort scene but he could protect the privacy of the one who needs the comfort.
After Minerva had walked Hermione passed the hallway, he had stepped out and went to the portrait and given the proper password and he made his way up the sharp and windy stair case and stopped at the closed door to Albus's private rooms. He raised his hand and knocked.
"Come in Severus," The tired sad voice of Albus Dumbledore said from the other side of the door. Severus opened the door and walked in and allowed the door to close softly behind him. He found his mentor behind his desk. He walked up the steps and simply stood in front of the desk.
"I see that you have heard," Albus's head nodded.
"Why didn't you tell me when you first learned the news? I should have been with you to protect you when you went to the Granger house." Severus couldn't help the harsh tone that creeped into his voice. He didn't do the comfort scene.
"I'm sorry Severus, but I needed you to remain here." Albus sighed. "I needed you to protect Hogwarts while both Minerva and I were away."
"That's fine and dandy, but why didn't you tell me what happened before you left. I was sound asleep for crying out loud and assumed that you and Minerva were both in your beds." Severus shoulders stiffen. Ok this discussion wasn't going the way he planned it.
"I'm sorry Severus, when I heard the news about Gilbert and Anne all my thoughts were on Hermione." Albus softly said as he looked up into the younger man's eyes.
"Of course as they should have been." Severus finally said as he calmed down. "Do you know what caused the accident?"
Albus shook his head. "I'm having Remus and Tonks checking it out right now." He looked steady into Severus's eyes. "What actually happened in Diagon Alley two weeks previous?"
Severus told him what he had witnessed between the Grangers and the Malfory's leaving nothing out. Albus sighed and leaned back in his chair. "I sincerely hopped that Gilbert and Anne were not murdered, because I do believe I would have to step in and save Lucius life."
"What do you wish for me to do?" Severus asked.
"Just as you are doing, Severus, I want you to continue to do what you have promised Hermione that you would do at the end of last term, plus what I want you to check for my own personal use." Albus's eyes looked knowing into Severus eyes. "You have too much to do all ready, Severus, I don't want you looking into this matter."
Severus nodded his head curtly. "I understand."
"Good." Albus said in a voice to let Severus know that the meeting was over. Severus turned and walked from the room making sure that the door closed softly behind him.
TENDING TO HERMIONE
Minerva put her hand on the door knob and slowly turned. She hoped that she would find Hermione in bed, hopefully the poor girl had fallen asleep. She slowly pushed the door open only to find that Hermione hadn't moved from the spot where Minerva had left her two hours previous. She walked into the room and walked over and wrapped her arms around Hermione and pulling the younger woman to her for a hug.
"Oh Hermione," She whispered as Hermione stood stiff as a board in her arms. She sighed in the younger girl's hair as she looked at the two owls who had steady eyes on her. She knew what she had to do and she was going to do it. She pulled Hermione away from her and gently led the shell shocked girl over to the bed. She saw that Hermione's night things were all ready laid out.
Hermione simply stood in front of her waiting ... just waiting. Minerva carefully helped Hermione sit down on the edge of the bed so she could unbutton the girl's shoes and remove them. She removed the girl in front of her socks also. She helped Hermione stand again and gently began to unbutton Hermione's night shirt that she had been wearing the night before, it was solid with sweat. Hermione just looked at her with dead but very trusting eyes. Minerva knelt down so Hermione could put her hands on her shoulders and she reached over and pulled down the girl's shorts down. She saw that Hermione needed some fresh underwear also. So she carefully removed the dirty underwear and looked up into Hermione's eyes as she reached to grab the fresh pair of underwear from the bed. She lowered her head so she could make sure that she got Hermione's legs in the right leg holes. She gently pulled the underwear up and covered Hermione once more. She felt Hermione take her arms off of her shoulders so she could stand on her feet once more. She kept her eyes on Hermione's bowed head as she reached over to the bed and picked up the soft pale yellow night grown and put it over Hermione's head and helped the girl put her arms through the arm holes. She slowly let the night grown to fall down Hermione's length.
Minerva moved passed Hermione in a slight movement and turned down the bed covers, she turned back to see that Hermione was still staring straight forward as she had when Minerva was undressing and dressing her for bed once more. She reached over and put her hand on Hermione's shoulder and the girl turned her eyes onto her. Minerva gently nodded over towards the bed and Hermione turned to face the bed and walked a few steps. Minerva gently helped Hermione slide onto the bed and watched as the girl laid down straight as a board. She covered her student with the light weight sheet and one of the comfortable blankets. She reached over and turned off the muggle lamp that was next to the bed. Minerva turned and put a hand on Hermione's forehead and gently stroke the hair off of clammy skin. She was deeply worried. More worried than she had ever been for this student of hers. Her prized student.
Hermione's eyes looked up into hers and Minerva read correctly that Hermione didn't want to be left alone. Minerva let Hermione go and pulled the curtain pulled around her side of the bed so the up coming sun from the window won't shine in the girl's eyes. She walked to the other side of the bed and pulled back the sheet and blanket slightly and she got into the bed. She covered herself up and put her arms around the sixteen year old girl and pulled Hermione closer to her. She set her check on top of the girl's forehead. She felt Hermione start to relax but still felt the tense body parts, Minerva started to sing a Scottish lull bye.
Hermione's eyes finally closed and she drifted into a dreamless sleep. She didn't feel anything anymore ... and she was happy with that. She didn't want to feel. Not anymore.
END CHAPTER FIVE
Wow this chapter was the hardest chapter of all to write. I myself have never gone through a tragedy of losing my parents, I haven't lost anyone close to me in a tragic and senseless way ... so I have no personal experience of this kind of mourning. So if this chapter seemed flat, I apologize.