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Chapter 3: Easier to Forget
Mrs. Weasley’s legs gave way, a sob emitting from her mouth; Lupin carried the distraught woman to a chair.
“No,” she mumbled wrapping her arms around herself, tears spilling down her cheeks, “she was like a second daughter to me.” Molly looked at the young girl across her. “She looks so much like Hermione.” Lupin sighed, it was true, and this girl had long matted brown hair, which looked rather bushy, and brown eyes.
“She’ll look different once she’s cleaned up a bit, it’s hard to tell considering she’s skin and bones.” Molly shook her head and buried her face in her hands.
“May I be excused?” Missy asked, looking at the adults. They nodded looking sadly upon her, her eyes shifted uncomfortably and she quickly got up from the table.
“We’ll show you the house if you want,” Fred and George chorused, getting up from their chairs, “this kitchen is way too gloomy anyhow.” A look of pondering crossed Missy’s face before she nodded. The twins took Missy’s arms and hauled her out of the kitchen.
“This to your right is the living room.”
“Would stay away from there, mum’s still on her cleaning like a madwoman stage… she doesn’t get that this house refuses to stay clean,” Fred said shaking his head,
“And on the right is the broom closet…” George stated,
“Its rather dark and musty in there, don’t go into that either, it only brings you trouble.” Fred said darkly, thinking of Kreacher. “Now follow me up these stairs… that’s the dreaded curtain I’d stay far, far away from it.”
“Its scary in the worst sort of ways.”
“So I’ve heard,” Missy stated glancing up at Fred. Who grinned and gave a short little bow. For the next hour the twins showed her around adding extra tidbits here and there.
“This is the room mum saw us all die.” Missy gave George a questioning look.
“A Boggart,” he explained.
“They change into what you are most afraid of seeing.”
“I was touched that she would be sad if I died.” Missy still looked troubled, but hid it quickly with a soft nod.
“And this is where Sirius -- he died a while back, quite a horrific thing -- hid Buckbeak, both escaped convicts.”
“Well, they were innocent.”
“Buckbeak wasn’t, he attacked the Ferret… but that’s totally understandable.”
“The ferret?” Missy asked, her eyes focused on Fred face, “the ferret…” she whispered to herself, her eyes grazed across the room, she kept on whispering, “The ferret,” to herself again and again. The twins watched her face go from a look of deep concentration to confused. “I can’t remember,” she whispered.
“Malfoy.” Fred explained softly, “dirty little scum bag. Can’t say he was even human.” She nodded.
“I’m rather tired, can you take me to my room?” she asked softly. The lightness of the day was gone. Fred nodded and quickly led her back to her room. She smiled her thanks and quickly closed the door behind her before throwing herself onto her bed, tears streaking down her face she let out a loud sob. Why couldn’t she remember anything, even when it seemed so familiar? She hated it. Hated the fact that she was so uninformed, and how everything she thought she should know… she didn’t.
She heard a discreet tapping on the window; she lifted her face and wiped the tears. There was an owl outside her window; she swung her feet onto the ground and walked cautiously to the window. Biting her lower lip, she slowly reached out to the window. Before touching the latch she glanced around her room, as if expecting someone to be there to tell her not let the owl in. Seeing no one she unlocked the window with a click she pushed open the window. The white owl flew in she stared at it wondering what it wanted.
Without warning, Missy fell to the floor, it looked like she was having a seizure, then it stopped, her eyes glazed over and her lips slowly moved.
“Mum! Mum! There’s an owl outside our window!” A young girl bounces up and down pointing at the window in the living room.
“Honey don’t be redicul-- OH!” a slender woman with light brown hair said, walking into the living room. “So there is.” The lady’s voice rose a little higher.
“It wants to come in.”
“Owls carry diseases Hermione, we can’t let it.”
“But mum!” the girl called Hermione whined,
“I’m sorry sweetie, lets finish making those brownies.” Hermione gave the owl another glance before following her mum back to the kitchen. Hermione had a hard time ignoring the continuous tapping. “Well darling, I have to go to work, remember don’t let that owl in,” the woman told her daughter sternly. Hermione nodded like the good daughter and went to her bedroom. As soon as she heard her mum leave, Hermione grabbed a book and propped it open. Five minuets later Hermione stopped reading; she could still hear the owl’s annoying tapping on the window. Slowly Hermione got up and opened her bedroom door, her brown eyes widened as she started toward the window. She was doing something her mum told her directly not too, something she hadn’t done before. Her small hand reached for the lock on the window then pulled away, her brown eyes scanned the room expecting to see someone standing there telling her not to. She bit her lower lip no one was around. With a snap she unlocked the window and opened it. The white owl flew in and landed on the sofa.
“Missy, you alright? Missy!” Someone shook her; Missy gazed into the warm brown eyes of Fred.
“Yeah…” She stated. Her hand shook slightly. Fred pulled her off the ground and he brushed off imaginary dirt from her clothes. Still looking her up and down, his eyes telling her he didn’t believe that she was all right. She shook her head slightly, trying to get rid of the image of the little girl from her head.
“What happened?” he asked, his hands still on her forearms, his eyes penetrating into her own; she shrugged.
“I don’t know,” she whispered, suddenly she stopped and struggled from Fred’s grasp. He let her go. Looking around she noticed that the owl she let in was gone. She spun around the room looking. “There was an owl here,” she gasped out. Fred grabbed her hand to stop her spinning. “I let an owl in… through that window…” She pointed to the open window. “And it landed there.” She also pointed to the desk in the far corner of her room.
“You better come with me,” Fred said gravely and led Missy out of her room; his hand was still clasped with hers. Still glancing around the room Missy let herself be pulled out of her room. Fred didn’t say anything as they walked down the stairs; Missy trembled as he led her back to the kitchen his hand tightened around hers. She looked up at him and smiled, he gave her a sympathetic look before he entered the kitchen; the whole Order was sitting around the table.
“The owl,” Missy gasped; sure enough the white owl was sitting on the back of a stern looking black-haired lady. Everyone turned to look at her; she moved closer to Fred, her eyes widening.
“What has this girl been told?” the stern lady asked looking around the table.
“Nothing,” Fred spoke, “she hardly knows anything and there are some that are not permitting her to be told anything, or anything worth telling anyhow.” His eyes flamed with anger.
“How do you expect her to remember anything if you don’t try to jog her memory with things from the past?” the lady snapped. “Does she at least remember being a witch?” At everyone’s blank face the lady sighed, “Come here, child.” Missy looked at the woman in fear and clung to Fred’s hand.
“It’s alright, she’s on your side,” Fred whispered her and gave her a light push, Missy walked wearily to the woman.
“I’m Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” Minerva explained. Missy stared at the lady, her whole body trembling still. Minerva looked up and met Fred’s eyes. “She seems to trust you, Mr. Weasley, I don’t know why she would choose you of all people, but, well, I give you full permission to tell her whatever you think necessary.” Fred smirked a little before pulling a serious face and nodded. Missy, hearing what Minerva said, bolted back to Fred’s side. Minerva smiled slightly. “With that, meeting adjourned.” Order members got up from the table and started leaving the house. “And Fred, you may want to show her this as well.” Fred took the letter Minerva handed him and he looked to whom it was addressed to.
Where ever you are
“Impossible,” he muttered, “I’ll be right back,” he told Missy and he quickly ran to catch up with Lupin. “Remus, I thought you said Hermione was dead,” Fred gasped out.
“I did,” Remus said without hesitation.
“Then how do you explain this letter?” Fred shoved the letter in Lupin’s face,
“I don’t know, Fred, I suppose Hedwig got lost or just got tired of flying around and came here, she had no where else to go to, with Harry dead.” Fred shook his head disbelieving; he ran his ran through his hair before turning to leave. “Oh, and Fred, be careful will you?” Fred looked back, but Lupin was gone. I wonder what he meant by that, Fred pondered. He stood in the front doorway for a few moments when he hard Missy scream. He whipped around and rushed back to the kitchen, Missy stood eyes wide as George had a smirk on his face. There were remnants of their fireworks they made a long time ago were on the floor. Fred groaned inwardly but walked into the kitchen with a huge grin plastered across his face.
“George, you dolt, trying to scare the poor girl to death?” Fred said. Missy glanced over at Fred and nodded enthusiastically. Fred chuckled, “Well, we better get to our shop, eh, George?”
“Your shop?” Missy asked in interest. An idea seemed to light up Fred’s eyes.
“Our joke shop, you want to come?”
“A joke shop?” Missy said, raising an eyebrow. Fred and George nodded, looking slightly unsure until she nodded.
“Brilliant!” the twins chorused.
“Hold onto my arm real tight now wouldn’t want you splintered.” Fred said jovially. Missy grabbed his arm and pressed herself tightly against him, smiling slightly. Fred disappeared.
Shaking her head a few times, she looked up at Fred her brown eyes showing confusion, “I take it you don’t like apparation?”
Missy didn’t answer; her eyes were growing wide with fear.
“What is apparation?” she burst out shaking a little, Fred gave her a confused look before he hit his head.
“um… well” Fred stuttered, “It’s a form of magic.” He finished, rubbing his hand across that back of his neck Fred sighed. He had forgotten that she had no idea about magic. Missy stepped away from Fred; bringing her arms around herself she looked around the store.
Just then George popped into view; he was also looking rather disturbed.
“Fred, mate…” George started, “It appears…” George looked at Missy, noticing how pale she was he shut his mouth.
“Yea,” Fred muttered, knowing what his twin was about to say. George moved closer to Fred,
“She’s taking better then mum expected; mum was raving how Missy would be freaking out at her disappearance.” George muttered,
“Um… well I think she is well maybe in shock or something.” Fred quietly spoke, watching Missy’s every move. Missy was standing still her eyes darting around the room. After a few minuets of silence, Missy looked at the twins.
“How did I just disappear… then end up here?” She whimpered almost close to hysterics. The twins shuffled around nervously, not sure if they should tell her or not.
“Um… well you see Missy… that story is probably better for another day… how about you just enjoy your day and we’ll talk about it tonight?” George stated quickly. Missy frowned, and stepped back hastily, almost tripping over her feet. Missy blinked a few times she glanced to her left her body still shaking he saw a brightly coloured box, a bow and a swooning girl on a pirate ship. The label was large with flashing colours, ‘Patented daydream charm.’
A girl with long, bushy brown hair squeezed in through a crowd of kids, picking up a box she looked at what it did. “You know,” she said, looking up at a black-haired boy with emerald green eyes, “this is extraordinary magic.”
“For that, Hermione,” someone said coming up behind them, “you can have that one for free.” Standing before the two was a beaming copperhead man wearing magenta robes.
“Missy! Missy!” Someone was shaking her. Missy’s eyes focused again and were once again staring into the brown eyes of Fred Weasley, holding the box she stared at it. “What’s wrong?” he asked pulling her to her feet. “What just happened?”
“You…” She stared at him before shrugging her shoulders; she tried to pull from his grasp.
“Oh no, you don’t. This happened before, in your room; it looked like you were having a seizure and then you collapsed to the ground.” Fred demanded his eyes penetrating in to her own; she let out a short gasp and struggled harder.
“Let me go,” she demanded. Fred pursed his lips and held on tighter bringing her against his chest.
“No,” he whispered. Missy lifted her small fist and banged on his chest. Smiling, Fred pointed out, “Last time we let you go, we didn’t see you for five years.” Missy stopped struggling and looked up into his eyes.
“What do you mean?” she asked, Fred glanced away.
“You were missing for five years, Hermione,” he said, carefully watching her every expression.
“Hermione?” she asked, confusion clouding her sharp brown eyes.
“George, mate, watch the shop.” Fred called, “I’m going to the ice cream parlour down the street, the new one, Neville’s.” George yelled his affirmative before Fred led Missy out of the shop. Fred remained quiet as he quickly made his way down the street of Diagon Alley; stopping in front of a small building, Fred pushed the door open and the bell overhead rang. A man with short brown hair and crooked teeth stumbled his way to the front.
“Ah… erm… George…” the man began. Fred smirked at his confusion. “Fred, I take it, what can I do for you and…” Neville stopped in mid-sentence, staring at Missy. “Is that…” he asked looking at Fred, Fred just gave Neville a look that said this was not the time.
“Just two chocolate cones… with sprinkles,” Fred added almost as an afterthought. Sitting Missy down, he grabbed a seat across from her. Waiting for Neville to bring the ice cream, Fred and Missy sat in a tense silence. With Fred tapping his fingers together and Missy nervously biting her lower lip.
“Here you go,” Neville said, handing them two cones, turning on his heel, he slipped and fell on his too long robes.
“Are you alright?” she asked out of concern for the boy.
“Just fine, happens all the time,” Neville stated. “There was this once, I fell and spilled all the ice cream on one of my customer’s lap… good thing it was Seamus… oh, oh right,” Neville said catching Fred’s look. “Enjoy.” The silence continued as Fred licked his ice cream. Missy bit her lower lip again.
“Fred?” she asked, “I want to know what’s going on.” Fred looked upon her face noticing the look he had seen quite a few times before. It was the look when something major was going to happen and she was trying to figure it out. Like when the trio was figuring out the last Horcrux. Shaking his head, it was only 3 weeks after that Hermione went missing. He remembered the last time he saw her with her best friends.
“You must go, mustn’t you?” Mrs. Weasley had asked, searching their faces for any kind of fear, and having found it on each on of their faces, she pulled them into a hug. “Well good luck you three.” Sobbing Mrs. Weasley pulled away, the trio stood at the door of the Burrow when Fred and George popped the air with their Apparation.
“Ronniekins!” they bellowed, throwing themselves at their younger brother. Ron staggered under their weight.
“Ger’off me!” he yelped.
“But… but we’re just so… so torn! We may never see you again!” they chorused together, wiping stray tears; their small smiles gave them away. Rolling his eyes, Ron shrugged his two older brothers away. Harry was grinning slightly in the background, well, the closest thing he could get to a grin in those days, and Hermione was leaning against the doorframe. The two of them rushed to Harry bowing and stumbling over each other like one of his many fans.
“Honestly, you two, be serious for once in your life!” Hermione said crisply,
“Oh, Hermit, we haven’t forgotten about you!” the said, turning toward the bookworm. Hermione backed away from the charging twins.
“Leave her alone.” Ron said, but not very convincingly. The twins tackled Hermione to the ground smothering her with hugs and small kisses on the cheeks.
“Urg!” she protested, pushing them off her.
“Remember us when you’re on your long and tiring journeys,” the twins chorused. Rolling their eyes, the trio said their goodbyes and popped out of sight.
Fred sighed, returning from his memories. Of course, he thought, when they had destroyed the last Horcrux, the final battle began, which Hermione had been a part of, but he hadn’t seen her. The same with Ron… He hadn’t seen Ron either, it was only after that he seen saw his younger brother who he had thought dead.
“Fred?” Missy asked, touching his hand. Fred looked at Missy.
“We thought we lost you Hermione.”
“Stop calling me that,” Missy cut in; Fred gave her a pained expression.
“The last time I saw you, you were heading off with Harry and… and Ron to destroy the last remaining Horcrux. Apparently you were in with the final battle as well. Lupin said he had seen you head on with a Death Eater, after that he doesn’t know.” Missy stared at him.
“Why are you telling me all this?” she ground out tears springing to her eyes. Fred looked at her with interest.
“Because you need to know,” Fred put it simply. “You can’t go on with life without knowing what happened, without knowing your past.”
“What If I don’t want to know? What if it’s easier not knowing?” she pleaded quietly. Her mind change was evident. “Easier forgetting then remembering,” she whispered, almost inaudibly. Fred stayed silent, but Missy could tell he was thinking hard. Rubbing the back of his neck, he sighed quietly; this was not as easy as he thought it was going to be.
“Maybe you should read this,” Fred said handing over the letter. Missy gingerly took the letter from Fred’s hands; her eyes widened at seeing to whom it was addressed to. Slowly, she tore open the seal and pulled out the creased parchment from within.
One year has passed and no one knows where you are. I think they are putting you on the death count soon. There’s just one question in my mind: where are you Hermione? Because we need you back, and something deep inside me tells me you’re not dead.
Missy looked up at Fred.
“I don’t understand,” she told him truthfully.
“Harry was one of your best mates, he wrote that I suppose while he was in hiding, making one last desperate attempt to find you. That’s how I know you’re Hermione, Hedwig -- that’s Harry owl -- never screws up or gives up. If you were dead, she would have instantly gone back to Harry, but she didn’t. And coincidentally, she shows up at your window the morning after you arrive,” Fred said, “plus is does help that you have keen resemblance of Hermione, even after five years.” Missy bit her lower lip in concentration. “And,” Fred added chuckling, “you have her traits, biting your lower lip whenever your thinking, Hermione always used to do that.”
“Can… can you take me back to my room?” Missy asked softly, shaking a little she stood up, her brown eyes blinking more than needed. Fred looked at her with unease. “Please?” she pleaded, her voice shaking. Fred couldn’t refuse her request.
“Put this on our tab, okay, mate?” Fred called over to Neville who was still watching Missy intently, nodded absently. Fred decided to that apparating probably wasn’t the best thing to do so he grabbed her hand and lead her out of Diagon Alley. Fred took Missy to number twelve Grimmwauld Place the muggle way.
Upon arriving at the headquarters Fred took Missy up to her room, shutting her door behind them as he led her to her bed.
Sitting beside her, he grabbed her hand, rubbing his thumb across the back of her hand in small circles; he watched as she slowly relaxed, resting her head on his shoulder.
“Fred?” she asked, lifting her head a little so she could look into his eyes.
“Did I know you before this?” Looking down at Missy, Fred nodded.
“I was your best mate’s older brother.”
“Ron’s.” Missy nodded her head and let her head drop back onto Fred’s shoulder.
Looking down at her a few minuets later, Fred noticed she had fallen asleep; taking her in his arms, he tucked her into the bed, and quickly kissed her on her brow as he left the room. Wondering down to the living room, he noticed Lupin and Tonks sitting on a couch together. Torn between wanting to tell Lupin and letting the two of them have a bit of time alone, he stood in the door way stock still for a few seconds before walking in clearing his throat, the two of them looked up.
“Ah. Mr. Weasley, what’s troubling you?” Lupin asked though he was looking slightly irritated.
“I told Missy that she was Hermione, thought you ought to know,” Fred said, smirking. Lupin’s eyes hardened. Tonks jumped up,
“Fred, you can’t just do that! Especially when the facts are that Hermione is dead!” Tonks shot at him, looking absolutely livid with her bright pink hair. “You cannot hide from the truth, Fred, nor can you make stories up to make this girl feel like she belongs, the report said--”
“The report was wrong!” Fred bellowed, his eyes flaming, “Why else would Hedwig--”
“Fred, there are plenty of reasons…”
“Oh yes, she simply got lost! Or got tired and decided to stop here for a grand old visit.” Lupin shook his head.
“Fred, this has gone too far, Hermione is dead, I think you need a break, you’ve been spending an awful lot of time with this girl,” Lupin stated sternly.
“When will you open your blind eyes, Lupin? Hermione is in that room right now sleeping! It’s her, just take one glance all the evidence other than that stupid report says its her.”
“Having Hermione here won’t bring Ron back!” Lupin replied harshly.