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Chapter One: Lost
Hermione had just returned from a long search for her parents in Australia. She had wanted to go sooner, but she felt that she had to pay respects to everyone who had perished in the war by attending their funerals with the rest of her loved ones. It was truly hard facing the fact that so many people had died and that so many others had been affected so tremendously. But, even though there were many deaths, everyone tried to stay strong and happy.
Hermione was one of those strong, optimistic people until her trip to Australia. There, she learned, her parents had died and none of the Muggles could figure out why or how it had happened. The few neighbors that Hermione was brave enough to talk to claimed they heard screaming, but when they arrived to the small cottage, all they saw was the pair of dentists dead, with their faces frozen in terror. The Muggles, of course, struggled to explain the situation but as it was no true cause of death was found.
However, the thing that surprised Hermione the most was that the neighbors she spoke to recognized her. They had asked Hermione if she was the Granger’s daughter. Hermione had modified her parents’ memory so they would think that they were completely different people with completely different names who didn’t have any children. Hermione figured that she had not modified her parents’ memory correctly because she was so new to using the spell. She had been scared while performing it, her spell might have worked for a while, it must have worn off, there were a million different reasons as to why the spell hadn’t worked. In the end it hadn’t mattered; what was done was done. Hermione recalled the conversation she had with her parents the summer before she went to search for the Horcruxes with Harry and Ron.
“Mum, dad, you have to get out of this country and go into hiding. I don’t want you to get hurt,” cried Hermione desperately with fresh tears in her eyes. She had been arguing with her parents for the last hour about them going into hiding. The way Mr. and Mrs. Granger saw it, Hermione was overreacting, but they didn’t understand that they were indeed in great danger.
“Our answer is no, and that is final, Hermione,” said Mr. Granger forcefully.
“So you really aren’t going to trust me?” asked Hermione in disbelief. Her parents just looked at her, ashamed of the harsh truth in her words.
Hermione’s blood began to boil. Why didn’t her parents believe her about something as important as this? Hermione stalked off and went to her room. She didn’t want it to come to this, but she knew it was the only way. She immediately set to work making false identities for her parents.
It was late one night, approximately one week later, when Hermione tiptoed to her parent’s room, wand ready. She didn’t want to light it until the last possible moment, as to not wake them. It was so dark that she bumped into her father’s desk and caused a loud thumping nose, waking her parents. A light clicked on and she saw her dads face, slightly disoriented and bewildered. He realized that Hermione’s wand was pointing at him in her trembling hand.
“What on earth are you doing at this hour? And don’t point that thing at me!” exclaimed her father angrily. Before Hermione realized what she was doing, she had uttered the words that changed her, and her parent’s lives forever.
“Stupefy! Stupefy! Obliviate! Obliviate!” she cried at each of her parents, her voice shaking heavily. Then she Apparated her parents to the place that they would be staying at in Australia. She woke them and used the Confundus charm to make them think that they were Monica and Wendell Wilkins and they were a happily married couple with no other family to speak of. The rest was history.
Hermione realized that when she was performing that spell, that she was scared and this had probably affected the spell that she cast. After a period of time, she supposed that her parents must have realized what was going on, but decided to remain where they were. They probably realized that if Hermione went so far as to literally put them into hiding, herself, then there must be some serious threats out there that she was worried about. However, they still used their real names and talked openly about Hermione to others. What if someone in the village was a retired wizard and had leaked information? What if a neighbor was an active dark wizard? There were endless possibilities but only one end result.
It troubled Hermione, because like Harry, she began to blame herself for her parents’ deaths. She vowed from that day forth that she would never loose concentration again when performing a spell. Hermione had become a nervous, emotional wreck, and didn’t really want to show her face at the burrow. Shame and guilt had worked their way into her heart and she didn’t know how everyone else would react. What would they think of her when they found out what she had done? What if more innocent Muggles had gotten hurt, or even worse, killed? What other kind of damage had she done from misusing one simple spell? And what would everyone else think of her mistake? Of Her? She remembered how easily Mrs. Weasley had turned on her in fourth year, when she read in Witch Weekly that Hermione was messing with Harry’s emotions. Hermione knew that Mrs. Weasley would never forgive her for it. It was Hermione that had made a fatal mistake, Hermione who would be left with the effects and consequences of her bad job at magic. For that, she wouldn’t really ever forgive herself.
Nevertheless, Hermione really wanted to return to the Burrow. She decided that she wouldn’t tell them exactly what happened, just that they had died. The thought of even admitting that they were dead haunted Hermione. She didn’t even think she would be able to utter the words “death” and “parents” in the same sentence again. She was in a very fragile state when she entered the Weasley home the next day. Still, she mustered up her Gryffindor courage and with a hardened expression embedded upon her features, she opened the front door.
“What’s wrong, Hermione,” asked George Weasley, sitting on the chair facing the door, who had been the first to see her enter the Burrow. Harry and all of the Weasley family, with the exception of Ginny who was out at Hogsmeade, were at the Burrow awaiting her return. In that moment everyone seemed to freeze and look at George. It was unusual to hear his voice in the house and weirder still to hear it scratchy and hoarse from being unused for so long. He’d gotten quiet after his twin’s death. To most, it had seemed normal because of George’s loss, but George had once been so energetic and lively that the Weasley clan knew better. The fact that he had spoken was a great surprise and Hermione found it hard to remain on task. Hermione took a few short breaths and finally answered his question.
“They’re…they’re d-dead,” she sputtered, finally. Then, the tears came, as did the rest of the family to console her. Ron engulfed her in his embrace while the rest of the family patted her supportively on the back.
Around dinnertime the fireplace erupted into flames, and out stepped the familiar figure of the new Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt.
“I have wonderful news,” he announced kindly in his soothing, strong voice. “My lovely idea, if I do say so myself, was agreed upon. They’re making a memorial in the Ministry of Magic with all the names of those who died during the war. So they’re asking us to write all the names down we know and pass it around.”
“They can put Fred’s name on there?” asked George, speaking for the second time in what seemed like forever. There was hope in his eyes, something that had become a familiar stranger in the Weasley household. To see it in George sparked hope in the rest of the family and Kingsley smiled gently.
“Of course,” replied Kingsley.
“And my parents?” asked Hermione, hopefully.
“Hermione,” Ron said. “Your parents are Muggles, though. None of the wizarding world is really going to care if you put their names on that list. Wouldn’t you rather see names of actual wizards on a wizard memorial?” Hermione opened her mouth to speak but couldn’t find the words.
“Well, I’m a wizard and I’d love to see Hermione’s parent’s names on that list, thank you very much,” Harry said, coolly.
“Anyone that perished by the hands of Voldemort or his supporters is worthy of having their name on the memorial. If you’d like to be hired as an Auror under my rule, then I suggest you get your mind in the right place,” Kingsley said in a strict tone.
“Yes sir,” said Ron, slightly offended that no one took his side on the matter. Hermione remained silent, unsure of how to respond to such an insensitive statement.
Later that night, Hermione and Ron took a walk in the garden and the conversation inevitably turned to the news they happened to receive earlier that day.
“So you think that whole Magic is Might statue in the ministry last year is right?” Hermione asked. “With the Muggles bowing down to us in their rightful place?”
“No, Hermione, that was wrong, but I just thought that your parents really had no point in the war so they shouldn’t be put on the memorial. And how did you mess up all of their memories?” he accused harshly. He had put two and two together. That seemed like the only logical answer for how her parents had died.
“No… no point?” Hermione reiterated dumbfounded, “They… they were my parents Ronald. They were the people that raised me. Without them there would be no me! And you think they had nothing to do with the war? And it doesn’t matter if they didn’t mean anything to the Wizarding world! They meant everything to me! I can’t believe you would even say that and then defend yourself for it! I don’t know you anymore, Ronald. You’ve changed, a lot,” Hermione said, trying not to cry, but failing miserably.
“Don’t, Hermione. I’m sorry. I hadn’t realized…” Ron trailed off quietly when he realized he made her cry. He instantly regretted what he had said and knew he was wrong. He’d had a plan in mind for something secret he’d been thinking about for a while, but now, it had pretty much backfired. He had ruined any chance he’d had of following through with his plan. Hermione hugged him and kissed his lips for what she knew would be the last time.
“I can’t do this anymore, Ron. It hurts too much. I’m sorry, but it’s over. I can’t… I just can’t Ron,” Hermione said before running back to the comfort of the Burrow. Ron watched as she left him outside to sulk.
Hermione ran up the many stairs of the Burrow trying to get away from all the pain. She climbed the final stairs to the roof and sat down, putting her face in her hands. What have I done? She asked herself over and over until she heard footsteps behind her. She quickly snapped her head up and her eyes were met with a cautious George Weasley approaching. He sat next to her and they sat in silence for a while.
“You’ve been crying,” said George. It wasn’t a question. He knew that she had been crying because the moonlight highlighted the tear streaks that ran down her face.
“That’s the third time you’ve spoken today,” replied Hermione.
“And you’ve been counting?” asked George raising a bright red eyebrow.
“Everyone has,” replied Hermione. They sat in silence for another moment.
“So where’s my stupid little brother? He certainly made a fool of himself today,” George said. He noticed tears well up in Hermione’s eyes and her bottom lip tremble slightly. “What’s he done?” he asked, his voice hardening. He searched Hermione’s face for the answer. Forever had gone by before she was able to compose herself enough to reply.
“I believe the exact words were, you’re parents really had no point in the war,” said Hermione, her voice shaking tremendously. “So,” she continued. “I-I broke up with h-him,” she stuttered, as the tears flowed freely. George slowly pulled her into a tight embrace and after a few moments Hermione had calmed down.
“He’s a prat, Hermione,” said George. “Don’t listen to him. Everyone, from Fred, Lupin, and Tonks, to Dobby and your parents, were very important in the war.”
“Thanks,” she breathed, pulling away awkwardly. “Sorry.” She pulled out her wand and nonverbally dried the wet spot she had made on his shirt.
“Harry always said that your ability to perform magic when you were upset was amazing,” complimented George with a smile. To his surprise, Hermione returned it.
“I guess I just love magic completely. I’ve always been amazed by it because it was the only thing that no one else in my family could do. I felt, a sense of self-pride knowing that I was able to do it so well.”
“Hermione, having self-pride?” asked George. “Now that’s something you don’t hear every day.” Hermione shrugged. “Looks like little miss perfect has a dark side,” said George.
“Maybe, maybe not,” she said mischievously. They both laughed at her playful attempt to be mysterious but soon Hermione’s face twisted in anger.
“But I just can’t believe my magic went wrong!” exclaimed Hermione suddenly. New tears appeared on her cheeks but anger was the cause not sadness. She was angry with herself and she couldn’t stop the tears from coming. Hermione’s fragile state took George by surprise. He had never really seen Hermione so shaken and it took him a few moments to recover.
“What are you talking about?” ask George gently putting a hand on her shoulder. Hermione realized her mistake. She hadn’t told anyone about messing up with that magic on her parent’s memories yet, and she just let slip something that she would have to explain. Could she trust George? Before even answering the question that had popped into her head, Hermione had opened her mouth, talking rapidly about everything that had happened.
“Please don’t tell anybody!” she exclaimed with a pleading look when she was finished with her story.
“Of course I won’t,” said George firmly. He was very surprised at the information Hermione had just given him. Her parents were dead and, well, it was indirectly her fault. Comforting words to this situation couldn’t reach his mind. He had no clue what to say, so he just hugged her.
“I’m sorry,” said Hermione meekly after a few moments. “I’m putting you through all this. You can honestly leave if you want to. You don’t have to comfort me.”
“If I had wanted to leave, I would have left a long time ago.”
“But why do you stay then? I don’t deserve it. I’m completely stupid. I know Ron didn’t mean what he said earlier. Things he says just don’t come out right. So now, I’ve just ditched my boyfriend for no apparent reason and that’s not even the tip of the iceberg! My parents are dead and everything is entirely my fault! ” Hermione shouted in exasperation.
“Hermione, the reason I stay here is because you’re hurt and you need a friend right now. Don’t justify Ron. He’s completely mental for saying those things and every time you keep going back to him means another chance of you having your heart broken again. Hermione, you’re the brightest witch I know, and yeah you made a mistake, but that’s no reason to blame yourself. It’s not your fault that Ron’s a prat, and it’s certainly not your fault that your parents died. If anything, you gave them more time to live.” Hermione had never thought about it like that before. She finally gave a soft smile.
“I’m not even going to lie, Hermione,” said George with his eyebrows raised. “You look terrible and you need to rest. You’ve been through a lot,”
Hermione nodded and George led her to the room she was sharing with Ginny for the summer. She heard bustling going on inside the room and realized Ginny must be back from Hogsmeade. She had been out getting Harry’s birthday present for most of the day.
“Goodnight, Hermione,” said George. “And don’t think about anything. Just close your eyes and sleep. You need it.”
“Thanks,” replied Hermione. “Goodnight to you too.” And George hugged her for what seemed to Hermione the millionth time that night. But, she didn’t mind, for she needed it. Then he did something he’d never done before and kissed the top of her head. Finally, he released her and walked off down the hallway to his room, leaving Hermione at a loss for words.