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Chapter 2 : Oblivious to the Obvious
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Hermione felt dizzy as she subconsciously held her breath in anticipation. Rafe gave her a funny look as to why she was asking this. Ron didn’t seem to notice.
“A wife? Sirius? Are you kidding me? He can’t seem to find the right woman, so he says.” Rafe answered.
“Oh.” Hermione muttered to herself.
“That’s the first question you ask? Its not ‘how have you been?’ or ‘what did I miss?’” Ron said, with a hint of sarcasm in his voice.
“Oh, I’m sorry Ron.” Hermione lied. “I’m really tired. I really need to sleep.”
“I thought you wanted to talk down here?” Ron asked her with a strange expression.
“Um…we’ll talk tomorrow.”
Hermione stood up to leave but Ron stood up in front of her. He pulled her into a sisterly hug and kissed her forehead.
“It’s really good to have you back.” He whispered into her hair.
Hermione looked up at him and smiled. She couldn’t bring herself to say, “It’s good to be back”. She quietly said ‘goodnight’ and headed up to the dormitory. The rest of the girls were already asleep so she tried her hardest not to wake them. Although she was very tired, her eyes didn’t close for about four hours.
The next morning Hermione woke up to Lavender and Parvati shaking her shoulders with excitement. She groggily brushed them aside and sat up to look at them.
“Hermione! I can’t believe you’re back! Tell us what happened!” Lavender started to fire out questions before she could fully open her eyes.
“Um, hey guys.” Hermione started. “I’ll have to explain later, I really should get ready.” Hermione said quickly, before running into the washroom and closing the door.
She leaned her back against the door and buried her face in her hands. Her emotions were becoming unstable as she relived the previous night. Her chest was heavy with a feeling of dread as Harry’s face came into her mind. She slowly got ready and tried to prepare herself for a Saturday full of questions and answers. She made her way back to her now empty room and threw on a pair of jeans and a pink hoodie.
“Hey Hermione, did you sleep okay?” Ron asked as she came down the stairs to the common room.
“Yeah, just like old times.” She lied, knowing that she probably got about one hour of sleep.
“Dumbledore came by and he suggested that we’d meet him, my Dad, and a few others for breakfast to get caught up.” Rafe said quietly.
“Oh yeah?” Hermione questioned. “Where are we meeting them?”
“I think in Hogsmeade. Aunt Lily and Uncle James will meet us there.”
“That sounds so weird.” Hermione muttered.
“What does?” Ron questioned her with a strange look.
“Hermioneeeeeeee!” Squealed a voice from the portrait hole.
Hermione turned her head to see a wave of bright red hair coming her way.
“Lil― Ginny?” Hermione coughed out, as the red hair filled her face.
“Oh, Merlin, I missed you! How are you? What happened?” Ginny started, looking at her with wide eyes.
“I’m good. The whole experience was good.” Hermione felt her face drop. “Has your life changed?” She squeaked the last part out.
“Changed? How so?”
“Well I guess you’re not dating Harry?” Hermione realized.
“Potter?” Ginny answered with disgust. “Are you kidding me? The only one in love with him is himself! Uh, are you okay?” She asked as a tear fell down Hermione’s face.
“What? Oh yeah, I’m fine. It’s just so good to see you. And who are you?” Hermione asked, sounding ruder then she intended on.
Two girls were standing beside Ginny and looking at Hermione with interest. They were both the exact same height but looked nothing alike. The one girl had black straight hair that fell past her shoulders and piercing green eyes. She was like a female version of…
“Harry has a sister.” Hermione stated, looking at this girl.
“Two actually.” Said the other girl, standing in front of her raven-haired sister.
“You two are sisters?” Hermione asked in shock, as the other girl looked nothing like Harry.
She had light brown hair that softly bounced above her shoulders and big hazel eyes that were a replica of James’. They both had the same skin tone, but each their own look.
“Hi there. I’m Gracie.” Said the girl with the black hair.
“Er, hi. I’m―”
“Hermione. We know.” Said Gracie, shaking her hand.
“You look just like Harry.” Hermione blurted out.
“She gets that a lot. I’m Holly.” The other girl said, shaking her hand. “Yes I know, I don’t look like anyone in my family.”
“You have your father’s eyes.” Hermione said quietly. “So, Holly and Gracie…you two are Harry’s sisters?”
“Yeah.” Said Holly. “You know he’s not that bad once you get to know him. It’s just that prat Draco that influences him.”
“If need be, he will protect us.” Gracie cut in with a laugh.
“Yeah, if Dad makes him.” Holly finished.
“So, you three are all in the fifth year then?” Hermione asked, feeling very out of place.
“Of course we are.” Ginny said happily. “They’re twins.” She said, pointing at Gracie and Holly.
“Never would have guessed.”
“Okay, enough of this chit chat about the Potter twins and my sister, lets go meet Dumbledore.” Ron cut in, clearly annoyed with the lack of attention.
“You haven’t changed at all.” Hermione smiled at him and wrapped her arm around his shoulder.
“Miss Granger, how was your sleep?” Dumbledore asked as he met them by his office.
“Very well. Thank you.” She answered, feeling like she was a guest in a hotel.
“I see you’ve met Harry’s sisters?”
“Yes, I did. Uh, sir, where are we going?”
“Well I thought that you would want to get some more answers. So I arranged a meeting with the Potters, Professor Lupin and Mr Black to fill you in on some details.”
“Mr Black?” Hermione choked out.
“You okay?” Rafe asked her.
“Yeah, I’m fine thanks.” Hermione rolled her eyes, so that Ginny saw.
Ginny stared at her strangely before breaking the silence.
“Well we wont keep you then.” Ginny said, nudging Gracie and Holly.
“You’re not going to come?” Hermione asked.
“I’ll catch up with you later.” Ginny answered her, giving her a ‘tell me later’ look.
“Um, sir, why do we have to meet with Harry’s parents and Sirius?” Hermione asked, as they started walking.
“Well after you went to bed last night, Professor Lupin suggested that we should meet for tea. Apparently he made a promise to someone when he was in school that they’d get together and catch up.” Dumbledore said with a wink.
Hermione stared at him, trying to figure out what he meant. She remembered back to her yesterday when they were in the Room of Requirement. Remus mentioned that they would have to catch up when she returned. She couldn’t fathom the idea of how he remembered all this time.
The winds blew against her face as they walked towards Hogsmeade village. Ron and Rafe were stooped in an eerie silence that made Hermione feel very uncomfortable. Dumbledore occasionally spoke to point out the scenery. They eventually came into Hogsmeade, where the streets were filled with people doing their Christmas shopping.
“Where are we meeting them?” Ron asked, dodging an old lady carrying three parcels.
“Nice one.” Rafe commented, as the old lady almost lost her balance.
“Just up here Mr Weasley. Mr Lupin, is your Mother joining us today?”
“No, she sends her regards but it is really busy at the Ministry.” Rafe answered.
“The Ministry? What does she do there?” Hermione asked with excitement.
“She’s in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures…Beast Division.” Rafe said, looking apprehensive.
“Beast division? What is her job?”
“Werewolf registry.” Rafe said, blushing slightly.
“How are werewolves treated exactly?” Hermione asked, stopping in her tracks.
Dumbledore stopped, but Ron didn’t notice and he kept walking. Rafe looked at Hermione, as if he was not sure what to say. Dumbledore nodded at him, as if he was telling him to continue.
“Well my Dad is a teacher, I’m in school and my Mom works for the Ministry, so they aren’t treated too bad right?” Rafe said, with an uncomfortable laugh.
“Your mom is not a werewolf.” Hermione stated.
“Was that supposed to be a question?” He asked back with raised eyebrows.
“Miss Granger, maybe things are not exactly how you remembered them.” Dumbledore said coolly.
“But I just saw her yesterday! And she was not a werewolf!” Hermione yelled, but whispered the last part.
“I know this is bizarre for you Miss Granger, but please be calm.”
“Easy for you to say. I feel like I’m going insane! When did she become a werewolf?”
“Before they got married.” Rafe said. “She did it so he wouldn’t be alone.”
Hermione stood there in awe-struck in front of Rafe. She couldn’t believe that Jenna wanted to be a werewolf for Remus. And more importantly, she couldn’t believe that Remus would go through with it.
“Mrs Lupin is the reason why werewolves have their freedom today.” Dumbledore said. “She has done so much for the wizarding community.”
“Wow…this is all so surreal.”
“Hey guys! Don’t tell me you’re stopping or anything!” Ron said sarcastically, walking back to them.
“You looked like you were having too much fun walking by yourself.” Rafe joked.
The two boys started to play fight when an older man with dark hair came and tackled them both. The man was slightly tanned with black hair that fell above his ears and bright blue eyes that stood out from his face.
“Break it up boys!” Called a woman in a sarcastic manner.
Hermione looked to the woman and saw a beautiful middle-aged red head with piercing green eyes. She flashed her a smile that Hermione recognized.
“Lily?” Hermione stuttered out.
Lily looked at Hermione for a second with a questioning look but it quickly changed when she recognized who it was.
“Hermione? Oh Merlin, I can’t believe its you!” Lily gasped, walking over and pulling Hermione into a motherly hug.
“This is so strange.” Hermione muttered.
She pulled back and looked up at Lily and smiled. She looked exactly how she thought she would. Her hair was still as beautiful and small laugh lines framed her bright eyes.
“You made it.” Hermione whispered, as a tear fell down her face.
“All thanks to you.”
Hermione’s gaze fell to the man who walked up beside Lily. He was the one who tackled Rafe and Ron. She couldn’t forget that face if she tried her hardest to. He looked at her as if he was reliving his past. Hermione opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out. Sirius smiled down at her and contemplated his next move.
“Mr Black, you remember Hermione?” Dumbledore said, making the situation just that much more uncomfortable.
“Uh, yeah. How can I forget?” Sirius answered before hugging her very awkwardly.
Hermione didn’t know what to do. She didn’t even bring her arms up to put around his back, so she felt like she was getting squashed. She pulled back and flashed him a half-smile, which made him feel stupid for hugging her.
“Well James is waiting inside. I made him reserve the table for us.” Lily cut in with a laugh, eyeing Sirius.
The rest of the morning, Hermione endured explanations that made her feel slightly queasy. Nothing seemed real and the more she heard, the more she didn’t want to be here. Sirius was sitting beside so she tried not to look at him. Every time she remotely stole a glance at him, he saw and she blushed like a childish schoolgirl. Ron started to notice her feeling uncomfortable so he rubbed her arm as if that helped her.
James didn’t change one bit. He was still really goofy and even more in love with Lily then when they were teenagers. Him and Sirius were just like a bunch of kids, while Remus gained a bit of maturity over the years.
“Can you tell me something?” Hermione cut into the laughter about a joke that she missed.
“Anything? Ok well―” James joked
“Harry.” Hermione cut him off. “Why is he in Slytherin? He called me a mudblood yesterday.”
“He what?” Lily gasped. “That boy will never learn. Remus I thought you said he was getting better at school?”
“He was never like this. He would never call anyone a mudblood!” Hermione said, lowering her voice.
“I’m sorry that he said that to you. Harry is just really difficult to understand. He, uh, well he blames me for his lack of pureblood.” Lily finished, clearly getting upset.
“Hunny, stop.” James said, comforting her. “We’ve never had trouble with the girls, but Harry seems to want to take a different path in life.”
“He’s still a good kid James.” Sirius chimed in.
“He is just in with the wrong crowd.” Remus added on.
“Well I still don’t understand how he could be sorted into Slytherin. He was in Gryffindor with me!”
“To this day, we don’t know why he is in Slytherin. He has a connection with―”
“Lily.” James cut in. “He was hoping for Slytherin ever since he found out that he was accepted to Hogwarts.”
Hermione thought back to her first year when he was sorted into Gryffindor. The sorting hat was going to put him into Slytherin, because he had that connection with Voldemort but Harry didn’t want to.
“I guess growing up in the wizarding world changed Harry’s views on muggle born wizards then.” Hermione stated, shaking her head. “Do you get along with him?” She asked Lily.
“He gets along better with James. He’s not as bad as you think. He cleans his room, he tells me he loves me, he writes home all the time but when he gets angry he can be very rude. But he knows at the end of the day, I’m his Mother and I can ground him for decades to come.” Lily laughed.
“So he’s not as bad as Draco then.” Hermione realized.
“No one is as bad as Draco.” Rafe supplied. “That guy has it out for everyone. I think the only reason why he’s nice to Harry is because he’s scared shitless of you guys.” He said, pointing at James and Sirius.
“Watch your language.” Remus said sternly, making Hermione burst out laughing.
“Sorry.” Rafe said quietly.
“You know what I found the other day?” James started. “Remember the picture we got taken on one of your last days with us?”
Hermione shifted her weight uncomfortably. Lily sensed that she was really uncomfortable talking about this, so she kicked her husband under the table.
“Ow! What was that for?”
“Who needs a drink?” Sirius said, standing up.
“It’s 11am Sirius.” Remus said calmly.
“Well I best be getting back to school.” Dumbledore interrupted. “I told Professor Sprout that I would attend to her Milcing Millies while she stepped out of the castle. But I trust that you three are in safe hands.”
“Goodbye sir.” Hermione, Rafe and Ron said in unison.
Dumbledore swept away from the table and disappeared into the crowd of people.
“So can I drink now?” Sirius asked in a childish voice.
“Yeah, make it two.” Remus finished.
“Three?” Ron pressed.
“I think not! Sirius sit down. We’re having a nice conversation without drinking.” Lily took over.
“Wow, things never change.” Hermione laughed.
“Hey Dad, do you think I can show you that broom I want for my birthday?” Rafe asked, before standing up anyway.
“Looks like I don’t have a choice. We’ll be back.”
“I’m coming.” Ron added on.
The three of them left, leaving Hermione alone with Sirius, James and Lily. Hermione quietly drank her tea, hoping for someone to speak.
“James I need a drink.” Lily pointed out.
“It appears you do.”
“Let’s go get one.”
“I knew there was a catch.”
Lily and James got up together in an obvious matter and headed towards the bar. What they didn’t know is that Hermione and Sirius could still see them and knew that they didn’t make it all the way up. They stopped in a corner and started talking.
“Uh, er hi.” Sirius stuttered, completely out of character.
“That wasn’t too obvious was it?” Hermione said sarcastically.
“No, they aren’t too smooth those two. So how have you been?”
“I just saw you yesterday, so bear with me here.”
“This is probably so hard for you…all the changes I mean.” He covered up.
“It is hard.” She replied quietly, looking up to his eyes.
No matter if she could admit it out loud, he was very good-looking. His eyes were still framed with the long dark eyelashes and his smile was still as striking as it was yesterday. She felt guilty trying to breath in his cologne.
“Er, so you’re an Auror?” Hermione choked out.
“Yeah. So, I guess you saved me from being killed.” Sirius joked, putting an arm around her shoulders in a friendly matter.
He looked at her for a minute, shook his head and drew back his arm.
“Okay, we have to talk about this Sirius…Mr Black? We can’t be this uneasy the entire time.”
“Sirius. Don’t call me Mr Black. I’ll feel old.”
“You’re not old.” She said with a smile.
“What do you want to talk about?” He said, fiddling with the tea bag.
Hermione racked her mind on how to word this. There was no easy way to say this.
“I was in love with you yesterday and today you’re 20 years older.” She said in one breath.
Sirius opened his mouth, but coughed instead. He blushed slightly, which made Hermione feel even more terrible for saying that.
“How come you never married?” Hermione asked.
“Any girl in the school would have gone out with you.”
“What happened after I left?”
“Listen Hermione!” Sirius finally got a word in. “I get this all the time from them, I don’t need to explain my love life to you as well.” He retorted rather rudely. “I’m sorry this is hard for you, but its not exactly easy for me. I have somewhere I need to be. I’ll talk to you later.”
Sirius backed up his chair and stood up, trying not to look at Hermione. When he turned to leave, a silver chain fell out of his shirt and revealed a small ring to be at the end of it. Hermione’s face fell when she saw what it was. It was the ring that she slipped into his hand, the day she left him. It took him a second to realize what she was looking at, before he slipped the ring back under his shirt.
“I told you that I could only give away my heart once.” With that, he left the pub as tears filled up Hermione’s eyes.
I hope you liked it! If it wasn’t your cup of tea, let me know where I can improve! Thanks! =)
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