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Chapter 1: An Owl comes a' knocking
Somewhere remote in the forests in Devon
A brown, curly haired woman stood in the doorway of an ancient cottage, her hair fluttering in the Springtime wind. Her honey brown eyes surveyed the foilage in front of her and she frowned unable to find what she was most looking for.
“Miaa, it’s time to come in now, I’m making dinner.”
A little blonde haired girl raised her head from her position on the ground; a bunch of daffodils grasped tightly in her hand. The woman smiled as the little girl ran, giggling to herself, her baby blue eyes alight with happiness.
As the girl reached her mother she raised her hand holding the daffodils, thrusting them into her mother’s face. “Daffies! For you!”
Hermione smiled as she looked down at her daughter. She took the flowers gently from Mia’s hand and smelt them. Mia smiled and waited expectantly. Hermione looked down and her smiled widened making her daughter giggle. “They smell beautiful darling, now come on in and wash up while I make dinner, and no more playing outside its getting dark.”
Mia nodded and ran into the cottage, heading for the bathroom. Hermione shook her head and glanced at the beautiful view before her. ‘Another day in paradise, it’s a shame none of my friends can be here especially Ron…’ She sighed and caught the silent tear that slid down her cheek. Closing the door she set to making her daughters favorite meal; spaghetti and meatballs.
“So what was you doing outside today sweetie pie?” Hermione looked at her daughter as she shovelled the meatballs into her mouth one by one. Her baby blue eyes glittered in the light and Hermione felt a surge of emotional love for her baby girl.
Mia pondered the question for a second and bit her lip, her eyes upward as if she could think about her answer better that way; a typical trait of her mothers.
“ermmm, I was making the flowers grow.” Even for a five year old her daughters speech was beyond her years; if her friends could see her they would say that she had her mother’s brains.
Hermione tucked a blonde curl behind her daughter’s ears and replied, “Why was you making the flowers grow, they’re already coming out because it’s spring.”
Mia shrugged her shoulders, her concentration soley on making smiley faces with her spaghetti. Hermione smiled and watched her daughter’s antics. Six whole years had passed since she had left the wizarding world exclusively and in those Six years she had managed to raise her beautiful daughter. Hermione looked at the photos around her cottage and smiled sadly. Her favorite was of her, Ron and Harry when they finally finished Hogwarts. The laughter that all three possessed made Hermione’s heart swell with happiness and at the same time, deep deep sorrow.
“Mummy, why are you sad?”
Hermione turned round to see Mia looking at her curiously. It was weird how well she could pick up human emotions, especially being so young. Hermione reached over and brushed her baby’s cheek.
“I’m not sad sweetie, I’m feeling a thing call melancholy, its when someone feels comfortable sadness because they are remembering something good but its no longer happening.” She looked back at the photo and a floodful of memories rushed to her mind of that day.
Graduation Day for Hogwart’s Seventh/Eight Year’s
“Hey Hermione smile for the camera!” Hermione turned around to see Ginny holding up a big enchanted polaroid camera into her face. *Flash* “Haha gotcha!”
“Gin-nny!” Hermione snatched the camera playfully from her bestfriends hands and hugged her.The pair were still laughing when Ron and Harry appeared with Neville and Luna.
“Hey, why’s Ginny getting all the hugs! I think your boyfriend deserves a pretty good hug seen as he managed to graduate school when I pretty much screwed up all the answers on every test that I managed to do!” Ron swung Hermione around and forced her into his arms. Hermione pretended to escape but instead Ron started to nibble her neck making Hermione squeal with laughter.
“Aw’rh look at that” The next thing that the pair new was they were being enveloped in a bone crushing hug by Hagrid. “I kne’w you too would get t’gether ev’tually”
“Hagrid you might wanna put them down, I think your stopping their blood circulation; look Ron’s going purple” Harry pointed at the Redhead who was indeed turning purple.
“Oh’er sorry” Hagrid put them down gruffly while trying to stop the giant sized tears from falling.
Harry went up to the half-giant and hugged him around the top part of Hagrid’s legs. Hermione, Ron and Ginny joined in while Neville and Luna stood arm in arm watching the embrace happily.
“Ah Hagrid, we’ll still visit you don’t worry.”
“Yeah we’ll still come for those rock cakes we love so much.”
“And we’ll even bring you presents for you and ‘witherings’” The trio and Ginny all looked up to see their favorite giant swelling with pride.
“I love you guys” There was another massive bone crushing hug before Hagrid had to go sort out some of the decorations that were falling down in the Great Hall.
Ron put his arm around Hermione and Harry and smiled. “Looks like we’re on another adventure.” He turned his head towards Hermione especially, “A very special adventure.” Hermione beamed up at her boyfriend and kissed him lightly on the cheek, “Yes we are.” Harry nodded in agreement and glanced up at his girlfriend and saw that she had managed to obtain the camera again. “Hey! You know how much I hate having my picture taken.”
Ginny poked her tongue out at Harry and smiled at the three, “I don’t care this is a memorable moment and I’m going to capture it whether you like it or not so smile everyone!” The trio grinned as the little Redhead took the picture.
That was the happiest moment of Hermione’s life and it was also the last time that her and her friends were together.
Back to present day
Hermione smiled again at her daughter and noticed that she was beginning to get sleepy. “I think it might be time for bed for a certain little darling.” As if on cue, Mia made a small shaped O as she yawned.
“Yep definitely time for bed.” Gently, she placed her hands around her daughters body and lifted her into her arms while being careful to not joilt the nearly sleeping form. As she crossed the living room, heading towards her daughter’s bedroom she noticed how messy the cottage had gotten since the morning. Sighing and shaking her head, knowing full well that she was going to be spending half the night cleaning it, she opened the door to her daughter’s bedroom.
The bedroom itself was beautiful and quaint for her little girl and was filled with the colour yellow. It was Mia’s favorite colour and she demanded that everything she owned be yellow. That meant Hermione had to spend ages finding the perfect birthday present for her as it had to be yellow. Yellow teddy bears, yellow curtains for the bedroom, yellow toys, yellow clothes, yellow bedsheets and pillows, yellow toy boxes, yellow carpet. Everything had to be yellow. It was really Hermione’s fault. She didn’t want her baby to have a typical pink room because she thought the colour was very sexist but due to Mia’s bright ability to remember everything she sees, she remembered that her orginal nursery colour was yellow and it meant that ever since then she had wanted yellow to be in her life.
Looking down at her daughter, she noticed that the blonde haired child had fallen asleep in her arms. She smiled affectionately at her baby girl and realised that the child would have to be put to bed with her clothes on instead of her pyjamas, otherwise she would have to wake Mia up and that was a recipe for disaster. Pulling back the bedsheets she placed her daughter gently between them and quietly crept from the room.
“What am I going to do about this place?! How can one little toddler cause this much mess?” She stared at the strewn clothes and toys that were decorating her comfortable living room and sighed. She had hoped for a quiet night reading a book by the fire but with this much mess she’d be going to bed around 1’o clock in the morning.
“I wonder…” She spied the little oak box that sat along her bookshelf with her most favored collections. Crossing the living room she picked up the little box and opened it with the tiny key that she kept hidden around her neck along with her locket.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve used this.” On opening the box came a musical chime that made Hermione remember the happy melody that played the day her and Ron first danced together. She felt the happy tears form in her eyes as she remembered the good times that she had with him along with what lay in the box; her wand.
“Wonder if it still works after all these years.” She picked it up from the box delicately, as if from the slighest touch it would break. It was like coming home from a long trip. The wood felt warm in her hands, almost like a caress, and most importantly it felt like she had gained a long lost friend. Shefelt so happy to have her hands around it that she even whispered “Hello dear friend; it’s been a long time.” As if it knew that Hermione was speaking to it, it glowed slightly in agreement and Hermione couldn’t help feel like her teenage self again. With the slightest flick, the mess in the living room had cleared and everything was perfect again. The dishes were being washed magically and even the cushions on the sofas were plumping themselves up. Her giggled as he favorite book; pride and prejudice floated from the bookshelf, it was as if her wand had specifically tapped into her mind and brought out the book for her.
She was almost saddened to place it back in the little box and lock it away but she had vowed to never use magic in this life with her daughter. Not after what had happened…not after losing Ron forever. Hermione shook her head trying to rid the images away and placed the box back on its shelf. Picking up the shawl that was elegantly draped over her favorite armchair, she placed it over shoulders and turned to the dogeared first page. Nothing beat the flowing words of Jane Austen.
It wasn’t until Twilight until Hermione decided that it was time to go to bed. She raised from her position in the armchair and stretched her long limbs, slightly worried at all the cracks that she heard as she got up. Oh well, guess that’s what you get from having a little troublemaker as a child; always keeps ya on your toes.
Placing her book on the coffee table so that she would be able to read it later, Hermione turned towards her bedroom.
*Tap Tap Tap*
Hermione turned at the noise and noticed a Barn Owl at her window. Her eyes widened and inwardly she scolded herself for using her hand; she knew it was a risk using it – they might be able to find her!
Glancing towards Mia’s bedroom to make sure that she had not awoken from the noise she carefully opened the window to let the bird in. Attached to the Owl’s ankle was a letter.
“Oh crap. They’ve found me I just know it!”
Untying the letter from it’s leg, Hermione gave the bird some oats that she left by the window in case there was any wild birds flitting around. “Here you go.” The Owl pecked at the oats gratefully and flew to perch onto the back of one of her dining chairs so that it could clean it’s feathers.
Hermione as she remembered Hedwig doing the same thing so many times over in the past. Looking down at the letter in her hand, Hermione’s head was clouded with fears.
What if they’ve found me? What if they come here! What if they tell my parents where I am and then they come and take me back home! Oh god please don’t let it be bad.
With shaking hands, she opened the letter. It read;
We’ve placed a tracking charm on your wand hoping that one day you will use it so that we will be able to find you…well not us anyway but this Owl. We don’t know if you’ll ever get this message because we know that your really stubborn that you may never use magic again.
Personally, I hate the fact that you’ve left and that I can’t see you everyday; your my best friend and losing you like this is awful. I know what happened is too hard for you to ever get past and that you loved him so, so much but this is no way to leave the situation! You have to face the world some time and we all want to be here with you when you do.
Please come home..please.
Hermione let the tears fall. She looked at the date in the corner of the parchment and noticed that it was dated shortly after she had left the world she loved and the people she loved. The letter was five years old. This Barn Owl had to wait five years for a tracking charm to finally work so that it could fulfill its task.
“Oh Harry, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for leaving you and Ginny and Neville and Luna and –“ She stopped short as she realised that there was no one else to list. Her tears fell freely and fast as she reread over the letter that was five years old.
Hermione turned around quickly to see Mia rubbing her eyes questioningly. She must have sensed Hermione’s sudden change in emotion and it awoke her. Hermione smiled at her and reached out her arms for a hug. Mia sort of stumbled into her mother’s arms and curled up in her warmth. Hermione smelled the almond scent that always seemed to stay in her daughters hair and cried. Mia fell back to sleep as she was rocked gently by Hermione’s sadness but her mother was comforted by her presence all the same.
The pair stayed there like that for the rest of the night; snuggled up on the loveseat sofa, hugging tightly for warmth. The Barn Owl that had brought the letter to Hermione flew over to the chair where a patchwork quilt laid. Using it’s talons, it picked up the quilt and placed it over mother and daughter as if it was real person. With that it flew back to its position on the chair and fell asleep in it’s wing.
“Mummy? Mummy wake up it’s breakfast time!” Hermione felt the nudgings of her daughter and started to murmur incoherently. Mia became impatient with Hermione’s sleepiness and started to poke her in the cheek. “Mum-myy!”
Her poking became deeper before Hermione was rudely awoken by a sharp stab. “Ow! Mia, what was that for!” She rubbed her bruised cheek to see her daughter glaring at her from underneath her blonde bangs. “You wouldn’t wake up!”
Hermione rolled her eyes and knew that the girl had unfortunately obtained Hermione’s impatience and stubborness. “Okay, okay I’m up now, so what do you want for breakfast sweetheart?”
Mia smiled and shouted, “PANCAKES!!” Hermione laughed at her daughter’s exclamation, knowing full well that it was what Mia had every morning.
Picking her up and whirling her around in the air, she replied “Pancakes it is then.” Mia giggled with delight and gave her mother a quick peck on the nose, “Yay!”
Hermione smirked at her daughter’s happiness and placed her in her chair, it was then that she noticed that the Barn Owl from last night was still perched on the back of her dining chair; its eyes wide with wonder. She stroked it lovingly and was happy to see that it rolled its head into the pet.
“What a beautiful bird,” she murmured and it hooted in agreement.
“Mummy, why is there an Owl in the dining room?”
Hermione turned to see her daughter watching the moment that she was having with the Owl, her eyebrows raised questioningly.
Hermione smiled and said, “You know I’ve told you about the Wizarding World where mummy used to live before you was born?”
Mia nodded. “Well, this is how we send messages in the Wizarding World, we use Owls. We also have them as pets if we want them as one.”
Mia got up from her chair and cautiously petted the Barn Owl. “Can we keep this one as a pet?”
Hermione looked at the Owl, pondering her daughter’s question. “Well, if doesn’t have an owner then I don’t suppose why not, he’s very beautiful. We have to make sure it doesn’t have an owner though.”
Mia looked up at her mother in wonderment. “How?”
Hermione stroked her daughters cheek and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. “We ask it.”
“Does it understand?”
Hermione laughed and nodded. “Well, sort of, Owls are very intellectual and this one seems especially intelligent.” She turned to the Owl and stroked it feathers, wondering how the best method would be to figure out if it had an owner or not. She went for the most obvious.
“So, Mr Owl, do you have an owner?”
The Owl cocked it’s head to one side, staring at Hermione intently with it’s yellow eyes. The next thing Hermione knew it had shook its feathers which Hermione remembered from one of her books that it meant no.
She turned to her daughter and grinned widely. “Nope he doesn’t, shall we ask him whether or not that wants to stay with us?”
Mia nodded vigorously.
Hermione stroked the bird’s feathers lovingly, and asked, “Do you want to stay with us?” The bird stared for a moment longer and then rubbed up against Hermione’s fingers. She smiled and then gave Mia the thumbs up.
Mia jumped for joy and started bouncing around the room. “Yay, yay,yay!” All of sudden she stopped and looked up at her mother in shock.
“We need to give him a name!”
Hermione bit her lip and looked heavenwards, similar to the look that her daughter used the night before. “How about… Shadow?” The bird twitched and rubbed against Hermione’s fingers which made her laugh. “I think he likes it.”
Mia giggled and started dancing around the room again. Hermione went to the box which held her wand, opened it up and flicked so that the pancakes started magically making themselves. Mia grabbled her doll and started playing up at the table, Shadow watching her intently.
“I think I need to write back.”
Hermione grabbed a piece of parchment from the cupboard underneath her bookshelf and found a pen lying around the countertop.
Tapping her lips with the top of her pen, Hermione thought about how she was going to write back.
It’s been five years since your letter, and yet I’ve only just received it; my fault not yours. I didn’t want to use magic ever again, not since that…that day. I know it must have been hard for you and Ginny and I didn’t plan to stay away from the pair of you but I didn’t know how to return after what happened.
After leaving, I had responsibilities that didn’t concern anyone but me and I needed space to recover from what happened in the past so that I could carry on with my future. I feel terrible that I left you, you are my best friend and you have always been in my thoughts since I left, youa and Ginny.
See the thing is, I couldn’t come back to you, to my family, because something happened after that day that has changed my life completely for the last five years. I became pregnant. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and she is my world. These last five years I’ve been looking after her and teaching her everything I know. Her name is Mia, and she has kept me on my toes, sort of like how it was when we was always running around after Voldermort and keeping you out of trouble.
I feel terrible for not keeping in contact with you and I know that I should have but I really needed time to heal.
If you’ll let me, I’d like to to meet up with you, and Ginny, and maybe I can even bring my daughter with me.
Your best friend forever and always,
She reread over the note and nodded to herself. Looking over her shoulder she watched as her daughter played by herself happily, and knew that things were about to change.
A/N: Well this is the beginning of my new story and hopefully the first chapter has made you want to read on. Please read and review so that I can improve my writing. I know there's no mention of a certain blonde yet but don't worry he'll be around soon.