Chapter 27 : The Darkest Hour Comes Before the Dawn
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I was awoken hours later by an insistent knocking at my front door. "Coming!" I called sleepily, stretching my stiff limbs by the low light from the fireplace. Opening the door I saw Ginny standing there, eyes a little red, cheeks aflame.
"Ginny? What's the matter?" Sleep and concern thick in my voice.
"Mum. We had a big fight about you and Ron." She said sadly as she moved past me into the living room.
"I'm so sorry. I didn't mean for this to come between you and your family." I apologized.
"It's not your fault, Hermione. Mum will come around and hopefully Ron will snap out of his whatever it is he is going through."
"What happened?" I sighed, sitting on the sofa across from her.
"We were having lunch and she was going on about how horrible it was the way you had treated Ron and said she was forbidding me from seeing you again, saying you are a bad influence. I told her she was wrong. I told her that Ron had broken up with you the night of the Weasley Wizarding Wheezes Ball and had started dating Lavender that same day. She said she was shocked I was taking your side over my brothers and believing your lies. I told her to ask Ron herself and that I'd rather be on your side and that you'd done nothing wrong. She said if I liked you so much then why didn't I move in with you? I told mum fine."
"Oh Ginny! You didn't!" I cried in dismay.
"I did. Mum needs to realise we aren't children anymore and we have to be accountable for what we do. She'll come around. She just needs time to cool down. So how did the interview go?"
"Good, but don't change the subject. Ginny, tell your mum you're sorry." I scolded.
"No. It's time she saw the truth about her kids. I'm not a little china doll, I want to live a life of action and Quidditch. George is not a disappointment because he didn't finish Hogwarts. Bill and Fleur are happy together and Ron needs to grow up and be a man."
"I'm sure she means the best, Gin. It must be hard going from having a large family of children to an empty nest." I reasoned.
"I'm sure you're right." She sighed before continuing in a small voice "You don't think I was too harsh do you?"
"Maybe a little, but nothing pasta and a bit of red wine can't fix."
We headed to the kitchen to prepare dinner, lighting candles with a wave of our wands.
"Hermione, what's this ash in the kitchen?"
"Oh ... I ... got another howler, no big deal." I responded as I turned away to a cupboard. "Now do we want fettuccine or spirals?"
After being fed and watered we cleared up are dishes and headed to bed. As I was about to enter my room Ginny said to me "You know the darkest hour is always before dawn, right? Everything will work itself out, you'll see."
"I know. Night Gin."
As I laid my head upon the pillow I was grateful I had such good friends in my life.
The next morning I was feeling better as I headed downstairs to make us a proper Sunday breakfast with eggs, bacon, toast, baked beans, tomatoes and mushrooms plus some fresh orange juice and coffee. As I started pulling the ingredients out of the fridge I heard a soft scratching at the kitchen window from an owl delivering the Sunday Prophet.
After I paid the owl I impatiently flicked through the pages until I found the Sunday Lifestyle Section. I gasped as I saw front page was taken up with a photo of me sitting on my couch laughing with the caption “Golden Girl: Hermione Granger talks about family, fashion, fighting evil, fame and those rumours.”
I opened the section and was surprised to see I had gotten a 4 page spread with almost all of the photos she had taken being used with quotes on some of the pictures. I started to read.
Hermione Granger is one of the best known witches of our age. Everyone knows she is the brains behind the “Golden Trio”, a muggle-born witch and champion of House Elves. But there is much more to her than meets the eye. This part was written over a full page photo of me modelling one of mum’s robes. I quickly continued to the main article.
I’m greeted warmly by a nervous and even slightly shy looking Miss Granger and promptly invited into her delightful cottage. In my experience you can tell a lot about a person by their house, from the furniture to the room set up. Some others I’ve visited are showy without substance or trying too hard to be something they’re not. Hermione Grangers house however is just like her public persona: Classic, elegant and down to earth.
The article continued to give me a glowing report and was only positive about Ginny, Harry and definitely my parents. There was almost a whole page about how much they were involved in the wizard world, their relationship and my mum’s robes! I was so pleased.
Hermione Granger has had to deal with more than any witch of her age and has come through it all time and time again with grace, dignity, determination and a wisdom beyond her years. I hope I can one day be amongst the lucky few that get to call this wonderful witch a friend because she is truly worth her weight in gold. – Article by Avalon Clare.
I was almost done cooking and wondering what the best "thank you" gift for Avalon would be when Ginny came downstairs.
"Morning Hermione." She said, stifling a yawn. "Hey is that the Sunday Prophet?"
"Mmm - Hmm. Wait til you see the article Avalon wrote."
Ginny picked up the Sunday Lifestyle Section and was so engrossed she didn't even notice when I put a huge plate of food in front of her.
"I really mean wow. Four pages, almost one all about your parents and your mums robes. This is really great! Your mum is going to be so pleased!"
"I know." I repeated beaming
"And I really love the way she dealt with the relationship rumours" Ginny said as she read aloud from the article.
"...She looked distressed at the rumours of her cheating on Ron Weasley. “We broke up almost a month ago." She said, putting on a brave face to hide the hurt. "Ron and I have grown apart. We want different things at this stage of life."
When asked about the other possible men in her life she smiled and denied she was dating anyone. "The only one getting my hugs and kisses is Teddy Lupin." Teddy Lupin is the godson of Harry Potter and she occasionally babysits for him."
"I wish you could meet her, Gin. Avalon is such a nice person, so warm and friendly. She couldn't be more different to Rita Skeeter."
"Well... maybe you could get her an invite to something or a nice gift. Did she seem to like anything yesterday?"
"She was really impressed by mums cooking and... That’s it! One of mums robes! It would be perfect."
We spent the rest of the day cleaning my cottage and talking about robe ideas for Avalon before I disaparated for dinner at my parents’ house.
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