“Auntie Moine!” Three-year-old Lily Potter toddled out of her house as fast as her legs could carry her towards her favorite auntie.
“Oh my god,” the middle-aged man standing beside Hermione murmured to himself. Nobody heard him, because at Lily’s yell, the house erupted into chaos.
A red-haired boy fell off the roof to as his relatives pushed and shoved to get to the edge so they could see if it was really true that Aunt Hermione was there. She laid a cushioning charm on the ground, breaking her son’s fall. “James!” she yelled. “What are you lot doing up there?!”
“Merlin’s pants,” the boy murmured. “Nothing!” he hollered down. Hermione just sighed again and decided it wasn’t worth it to press him.
At the same time, a redheaded young woman poked her head out from the front door. “Hermione?” she called in relief. “Finally, someone sane!”
She felt a slight tug on her skirt, and looked down into her niece’s worried eyes. “Auntie Ginny? I’m sane, aren’t I?” There was real worry in five-year-old Rose’s voice.
Ginny’s eyes softened as she picked up Rose. “Of course you are, dear,” she reassured her. “It’s just that we girls are outnumbered here.”
Rose pondered this. “Are you saying that all boys are insane?” she asked.
Ginny laughed. “Yes, I guess I am, aren’t I? We’re all insane in our own special way,” she said, thinking that crazed mess that was her family.
Outside, Lily had reached her aunt. “Hey, Lily,” Hermione said, scooping her niece up in her arms and kissing the top of her head. “I’ve got some special people I want you to meet today.”
“Who?” Lily, always the most curious of the three Potter children, asked.
But before Hermione could answer, a small red-haired boy got up from where he had fallen and started sprinting across the yard, screaming, “GRANDMA MARIE! GRANDPA TOM!” Soon, the entire family (except Harry and Ron, who were on an Auror mission) was gathered in the front yard.
“Guys, I’d like you to meet my parents,” Hermione said. “This is Tom and Marie Granger. Mum, Dad, this is James, Albus, and Lily.” At the third name, Mr. Granger gave a bit of a gasp. His wife looked at him, but no one else noticed. “And you know Ginny.”
“Nice to meet you,” James said, looking at the ground. Lily and Albus managed mumbled, “Hi”s.
By the time all the pleasantries were out of the way, everyone had moved back into the house. The boys and Rose disappeared, leaving Lily as the only kid in the room. She snuggled up to her mum as she sucked her thumb.
Soon, Hermione and Ginny were deep into a discussion of wizarding politics. This was just what Mrs. Granger had been waiting for. She pulled her husband aside and asked him what was going on.
“You’re acting strange,” she said. “You’re not paying attention to the conversation, and you keep staring at Ginny.”
Mr. Granger shook his head. “Not Ginny,” he said. “Lily.”
It took a moment, but suddenly, Mrs. Granger understood. “Oh, lord,” she whispered.
“It’s just a coincidence,” he said. “Lily disappeared 30 years ago! If something had happened, someone would have told us...”
Mrs. Granger shook her head. “There was a war going on, Tom! People die in wars. They disappear. People don’t get notified.”
“Mum? Dad?” Hermione glanced over at them. “Sorry about that. We just got a bit caught up in our discussion. Ginny’s got to go put Lily down for her nap, but she’ll be right back...” She trailed off, looking at her parents. “What’s going on?”
They looked at each other for a moment. Should we tell her? Mrs. Granger’s eyes asked. She’s the only one who’ll have the information we need, Mr. Granger pointed out. She nodded.
“Does the name Lily Evans mean anything to you?” Mrs. Granger asked Hermione.
“Lily Evans? Of course it does,” Hermione replied. “That’s Harry’s mum’s maiden name. But how do you know that? It’s a relatively famous name in the wizarding world, but she’s got nothing to do with either of you.”
“Nothing to do with either of us?” Mr. Granger said. He let out a sharp bark of laughter. “Not exactly.”
Hermione looked again at each of her parents, and led them back to the living room. They sat down on a sofa, and she sat in the chair opposite them. “Tell me,” she said. “Please, tell me.”
And so they did.
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