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Free As A Bird? by Hogwartsishome
Chapter 16 : Amongst The Headstones
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3

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 Hermione’s eyes flickered open, met by the blinding light seeping through the gap in the drawn curtains. She squinted and let out a groan, her eyes slowly adjusting to the light. The covers were wrapped around her like a cocoon and she was incredibly warm, sweating even.

She drew her hands up and wiped at her eyes and her forehead, her fingers coming away slick with sweat. She grimaced in disgust and unravelled the covers from around her, and then a thought sparked in her head.

Why have I got all the covers?

Hermione blinked the sleep out of her eyes again and rolled over. She had expected George to be laid there beside her, shivering without the covers, but instead there was empty bed sheets and a slightly dented pillow, where a head should have been lying. Hermione frowned, she didn’t understand. Perhaps George had just gone to the bathroom. She pulled herself out of bed.

Hermione caught herself in the mirror as she pulled open the bedroom door. She was wearing the knickers she had had on last night and a very large white t-shirt, one she recognised as one of Ron’s old pyjama tops. She reached up and ran her fingers gently over the right side of her neck, where a slight bruising had formed. Hermione gulped and let her hand fall back down, she hadn’t woken with bruising on her neck for a long long time. After looking herself up and down for one more moment she pulled herself out of her slight daydream and exited the room, closing the door as quietly as she could behind her.

Hermione sped up the stairs towards the nearest bathroom. She tried her best to be quiet; as it was likely others were still asleep. Reaching the bathroom door she rapped it with her knuckles.

“George, are you in there?” Hermione said as loudly as she dared. There was no reply. She knocked again.

“George?” she repeated. Still no reply. Hermione tried the door. Locked. She’d left her wand in the bedroom. What if George had slipped in the shower and was now unconscious, blood pouring out of his head and down the drain. Hermione couldn’t stop the worst possible scenarios bursting into her head and chilling her blood. She spun and careered down the stairs again, back towards the bedroom.

Hermione flung the door open and grabbed her wand from the sideboard, then threw herself round again, out the door and up the stairs to the bathroom. She didn’t care about the noise she made now, there was someone trapped in the bathroom, possibly injured. It could be George.

Alohamora!” Hermione hissed. She heard the lock disengage and pulled the handle down, shoving herself forwards and into the room. She glanced towards the toilet and sink, nobody, then towards the bath tub. The shower curtain was drawn. Hermione advanced and pulled it across.

The man was ginger haired and tall, but it wasn’t George, it was Bill, his eyes tight shut and his chest rising and falling in a restful slumber. Hermione breathed out a sigh of relief, connecting the dots. Bill must have been drunk last night and gone to the bathroom whilst Fleur was asleep, but had decided that the bath was a nice spot to have a nap. It didn’t explain where George was though.

“Bill?” Hermione said, reaching down and shaking Bill’s shoulder. Bill stirred and blinked his eyes open, at first he looked dazed but then he focused on Hermione and recognition flooded through his pupils.

“Hey Hermione, where am I?” he groaned.

“In the bath,” Hermione replied, resting her hand gently on Bill’s shoulder.

“The bath? My God I must have drank a lot last night; I’ve got a banging head ache,” Bill chuckled, pulling himself upright.

“Yeah, I think you probably did, do you mind if I leave you here, I need to look for George?” Hermione smiled.

“Sure,” Bill nodded, waving Hermione away. Hermione grinned and left the room again, feeling a sense of dread hit her again as she did so. She didn’t know why but she had the strangest feeling that something bad had happened to George and that he was hurt, somewhere.

Hermione decided the next best course of action was to check if George was downstairs, to make sure he wasn’t just making his breakfast or doing something else down there that was a good excuse for his absence. Hermione walked down the stairs slowly, taking every step deliberately, telling herself it was so she wouldn’t slip but knowing deep down that it was because she didn’t want to reach the bottom and find that George wasn’t there.

Hermione reached the bottom. She looked round into the kitchen, but George wasn’t in there, nor was he in the living area or the dining area. As she feared, he was nowhere to be found. Hermione gulped, fear beginning to grip her now, although she desperately tried to force it down, shackle it and keep it at bay. She could only think to do one thing now, ask Harry what to do.

A violent beeping sound erupted in Harry’s head, causing his eyes to shoot open and his hand to flail and hit the alarm clock next to the bed. He groaned and moved his arm out from under Ginny’s head, wiping his eyes with his two closed fists. Ginny made a strange purring noise but didn’t wake.

She was curled up next to Harry, her head rested on his bare chest and her leg curled up around Harry’s own leg. She had one of the huge training tops on that she wore for Quidditch, with Holyhead Harpies written in bold across the back.

“Ginny,” Harry whispered, reaching down with his hand and stroking a strand of her hair from her face. Harry thought she looked beautiful when she slept, not quite as beautiful as when she was laughing, but close. At his touch Ginny stirred slightly, but still didn’t wake. Harry flopped his head back onto the pillow.

Ginny came too slowly, her bright brown eyes flickering and her leg moving up and down Harry’s, her lips letting out a small groan. She shifted, causing Harry to look down at her. She was staring back, her eyes wide and childlike, as they always were when she woke up.

“Hey sleepy head,” Harry smiled. Ginny blinked and reached up, running her fingers through her hair. Harry almost laughed as the strand that he’d swept away before fell back to where it had been.

“Hey freak, what time is it?” she asked, her voice rough, as though she had a cold.

“Just gone nine, Molly will want us down for breakfast in half an hour,” Harry smiled down at his wife, a warming feeling striking his heart as she stared back up at him.

“Okay,” Ginny nodded, breaking her gaze away and letting her head rest on Harry’s chest again. Harry reached down again and stroked the back of Ginny’s thigh, small circular movements that Harry knew she found comforting.

“Do you think Hermione and George did it last night?” Ginny asked. Harry chuckled, he didn’t know why Ginny didn’t just say the word, perhaps it was because Hermione was such a close friend and George, well George was her brother.

“I don’t have a clue,” Harry replied, smiling. Ginny adjusted herself again, looking back up at Harry. She began moving her toes, stroking them against Harry’s lower leg.

“What do you think about them, honestly?”

“You want me to answer honestly?” Harry prodded.


“I think Hermione’s happy with George and I can see that George loves Hermione, but I can’t help but think he’s going to hurt her somehow.”

“Hurt her? Why would he do that?”

“Not intentionally, but I think he might, I just hope I’m wrong, Hermione’s been hurt far too much.”

“I hope you’re wrong too,” Ginny nodded, running her fingers up and along Harry’s stomach.

“Are you trying to provoke me?” Harry asked, changing the subject. Ginny frowned.

“What do you mean?”

“You’re, um, the tickling, it’s making me uncomfortable,” Harry replied.

“It’s making you uncomfortable, is it?”

Harry nodded. Ginny laughed and then a devilish look flashed across her face, Harry knew that look.

“No,” he gulped. Ginny grinned and then moved, quicker than Harry thought possible, and her fingers began tickling every inch of skin she could reach. Harry couldn’t help himself, his muscles contracted and he rolled up into a ball, laughing loudly.

“Ginny,” he breathed, “stop.”

“Sorry, what was that Harry?” Ginny giggled, tickling Harry’s ribs.

“Stop!” Harry said, a bit louder and more forceful this time.

“Sorry, still can’t understand what you’re saying?”

Harry attempted to straighten out but as he did so Ginny just tickled further, making Harry convulse. Tears were streaming from his eyes now but he still couldn’t stop himself from laughing. Ginny moved down to his feet, her fingers working expertly, knowing just how to make Harry suffer. Harry kicked out but Ginny dodged easily, continuing to tickle his bare feet. Harry desperately tried to reach up for his wand. His second attempt granted him his wish and his fingers curled round his wand, he rolled back and aimed.

Protego,” he said. A shield formed between Ginny and Harry’s feet, causing her to fall off the end of the bed. Harry broke the shield charm off and rolled over laughing, this time at Ginny who was at the bottom of the bed, crumpled in a heap with a venomous look on her face.

“Harry!” she yelled.

“Yes dear?” Harry chuckled.

“A shield charm, really?”

“I could have knocked you out, but where would be the fun in that?”

Ginny pulled herself upwards, her head appearing over the end of the bed covers. Harry laughed further. Ginny grappled to her feet, her huge t-shirt falling to just below her bum.

“This might not be the right time, but you look kind of sexy just in that shirt,” Harry said. Ginny clenched her jaw.

“If you’re trying to seduce me it’s not working for you,” Ginny replied, her eyebrow arching.

“Who said I was trying to seduce you? I said you looked kind of sexy, not that I wanted you to kiss me or anything?” Harry winked.

“That’s a shame for you then,” Ginny smiled and then jumped back on the bed and crawled up to Harry, straddling him.

“Why’s that?”

Ginny didn’t answer, just made another devilish face and bent down, forcing her tongue into Harry’s mouth. As she did so the door to the bedroom burst open, banging loudly against the wall, and Ginny rolled off Harry like a rocket, her face turning bright red. Hermione was stood in the doorway, a horrible fear etched into her deep brown eyes.

“George has gone!” she said desperately, barely acknowledging Ginny’s burning face.

“What do you mean?” Harry frowned, sitting up awkwardly.

“George has vanished, he’s not in my room, he’s not in the bathroom, he’s not even downstairs!” Hermione said again.

“Hold on a minute Hermione, calm down, I’m sure it’s fine, he’ll have just gone for a walk or something,” Harry said, gesturing for Hermione to chill out. Hermione did no such thing.

“No Harry, I can feel it, he’s nowhere close, he’s disappeared,” she choked, tears beginning to swim in her eyes now.

“Look, don’t worry-” Harry began but was cut off by Ginny.

“I know where he is.”

“You do?” Hermione frowned.

“Of course, do you not know what today is?” Ginny replied, the burning red in her cheeks slowly turning back to a freckled pink. Hermione shook her head, signalling she didn’t.

“George never told you?”

“No, he didn’t, tell me, what’s today?” Hermione asked, even through the anxiety that was etched into her face irritation was easy to hear in her voice.

“Today’s the day that Fred and George showed Umbridge what was what,” Ginny replied proudly, ignoring Hermione’s tone.

“How do you know that?” Harry frowned, amazed by Ginny’s memory.

“That doesn’t matter does it, what matters is where George has gone?”

“Well where has he gone then?” Hermione questioned, gulping.

“Where else? He’s gone to visit Fred, as he always does on this day,” Ginny clarified.

“How do you know that?”

“He told me, last night, we were talking whilst you were still driving to the Burrow,” Ginny explained.

“Why didn’t he tell me?”

“I don’t know the answer to that I’m afraid.”

“Where’s Fred buried?”

“Hogwarts,” Harry breathed. Of course Fred was buried there; all the victims of the Battle had been buried there, why hadn’t Hermione remembered that? She should have done.

“I need to go and see if he’s okay,” Hermione gulped, although relief was flooding through her.

“I’m not sure that’s for the best,” Ginny said.

“Why ever not?”

“George, he likes to grieve alone,” Ginny replied.

Hermione apparated to Hogsmeade station, she believed taking a carriage would be the quickest way to Hogwarts. The station was deserted aside from an older witch who was sat on one of the benches, looking rather gaunt and wrinkled whilst clutching a battered suitcase. A brown tawny cat sat next to her. Hermione headed for the exit.

The gate swung closed behind her as she reached the carriages. She remembered a time where she wouldn’t have been able to see the Thestrals, just before she saw Sirius Black die, and it hurt her, knowing that she’d witnessed far too many deaths since.

She approached the front carriage. As she did so the two Thestrals pulling it twisted their heads and glanced at her, their eyes white and milky, terrifying yet friendly at the same time. Hermione pulled herself into the carriage and as she did so the Thestrals trotted forward. Only fifteen minutes until she’d be able to see George. She smiled.

“Hey, wait up!” a familiar voice called behind her, the gate clanging. Hermione frowned and turned to look as Luna Lovegood ran up to the cart. Well actually, she was now Luna Scamander but Hermione still knew her as Luna Lovegood. Hermione didn’t know if the sigh she let out was due to relief or annoyance. It was a well-known fact that Luna and Hermione didn’t quite always see eye to eye, even if they saw each other as friends. The carriage pulled to an abrupt halt and Luna jumped in, only realising it was Hermione when she positioned herself opposite.

“Oh, Hermione Granger, it’s you!” Luna said, her lips altering to reveal a breath-taking smile.

“Hey Luna,” Hermione smiled.

“Is there something bugging you?” Luna frowned. Hermione did sometimes find Luna a little eccentric but there was no doubting that she was brilliant at reading people, extremely perceptive.

“No, not at all,” Hermione shook her head, lying and forcing a grin. Luna nodded, she knew something was up but she didn’t push Hermione on it. Hermione appreciated that.

“I thought you were away on a trip with Rolf?” Hermione continued, changing the subject.

“Oh yes, we were in Russia, searching for Nargles, we heard there was a huge outbreak of them but there was no sign, we just got back yesterday,” Luna nodded, “I was just popping to Hogwarts to ask Neville about something Herbology related, we came across this strange plant, quite odd, and I wanted to check with him what it was.”

“I see,” Hermione nodded. Luna’s grey eyes seemed to be looking at Hermione, but instead of being fixed on her face it was almost as though Luna was looking right through her. It unnerved Hermione slightly.

“My father always said not to ask personal questions when those you want to ask do not seem open to questioning,” Luna said, then she twisted her body, reached her hand over the side of the carriage and patted one of the two Thestrals gently on the back. Hermione liked Luna; she always knew when to leave you alone and when to push you for answers.

They continued the rest of the journey in silence until they reached the wrought iron gates, the visitors’ entrance to Hogwarts. A short wizard, perhaps even shorter than Professor Flitwick, was stood next to the gates.

“Hello Duncan,” Luna smiled down at the man as they approached. The little man grinned, recognising Luna. His face brightened further as he recognised Hermione.

“Why Hermione Granger, it’s a pleasure to meet you!” Duncan barked excitedly, running around the cart and jumping up into the seating area next to Luna.

“Hello,” Hermione smiled.

“Sorry, I got a bit carried away with myself, I’m supposed to make sure it’s you before I approach the carriage, guess it’s a bit late now,” Duncan chided himself, although he was still grinning manically. The gates opened and the Thestrals lead the cart through, stopping on the other side once they were clear of the fence. The gates must only open when Duncan jumps into the cart Hermione realised.

“You haven’t been here in a while Miss Granger?” Duncan continued.

“No, I haven’t,” Hermione shook her head. She didn’t really want to chat to the old man, but he kept pushing her with questions.

“How come you have decided to visit today?”

“I’m going to visit Hagrid,” Hermione replied. It was a blatant lie, but it might hold some truth, Hermione might pop in on Hagrid later on.

“Oh yes, Rubeus Hagrid, a fine gamekeeper, best Hogwarts has ever had,” Duncan nodded.

“He would be quite chuffed to hear that,” Hermione smiled.

“Any reason why you’re going to visit Rubeus?”

“No, not really, I need to catch up with him is all.”

“Duncan, I don’t think Hermione is in much of a mood to chat,” Luna cautioned the wizard, taking his tiny forearm in her hand gently. Her tone was quiet and distant but had as big an effect as Ginny’s shouts.

“Of course, of course, I’m sorry to bother you Miss Granger, I must be returning back to my post,” Duncan nodded fiercely then stood up and departed the carriage swiftly. As he did so the Thestrals pulled forwards and they were moving again.

“Thank you Luna.”

“No need to thank me Hermione, it’s what friends should do, and I believe you count me as a friend?” Luna replied. Hermione wasn’t too sure if she meant it as a question or a statement but she replied just in case.

“I do count you as a friend Luna.”

“That’s good,” Luna nodded, “oh look, we’re approaching the greenhouses, I’m afraid I’ll have to get out now, I hope you find who you’re looking for in the graveyards.”

“How do you know-”

Luna had already vanished though. Hermione watched her as she ran across the grass, her feet barely touching the ground, and disappeared into the third greenhouse, her blonde hair the last to disappear around the door. Hermione felt her eyebrows rise, Luna was a strange girl, but boy was she clever, Hermione had never mentioned she was going to the graveyard. Before she could dwell on it though the carriage moved again, turning off the path and heading towards Hagrid’s Hut. The graveyard was just beyond that.

The carriage pulled to a stop as they reached Hagrid’s Hut. Hermione got out of the cart and patted the Thestral on the nose as she passed it. The Thestral whinnied at her touch but Hermione didn’t linger, she walked around the side of the hut and looked down at the graveyard below.

When people think of a graveyard they see a dark dank area of grass, filled with grey headstones and black spiked fences, but the Hogwarts graveyard was nothing of the sort. Sure, there were headstones, but they were large statues of each victim each surrounded by hundreds of envelopes, each with a name on it, representing the person who’s memoir was inside. Hermione had several memoirs stored in this graveyard.

Hermione couldn’t spot Fred’s statue amongst the crowd, even after much scanning and searching, so she decided to go closer, perhaps she’d find it whilst walking through. She stepped forwards onto a clump of dirt below her. It slid downwards, carrying Hermione’s leg with it as well as a slight shriek of fright. Hermione heard a crash behind her and heavy footsteps.

“Hermione!” Hagrid’s voice bellowed but his voice caught as Hermione motioned for him to be quiet. Hagrid frowned and barrelled forwards, reaching down and pulling Hermione back up onto the solid ground.

“Am sorry ‘Mione, I thought you was in trouble,” Hagrid said, quieter this time as his huge fingers removed themselves from Hermione’s upper arm.

“Don’t worry Hagrid,” Hermione grinned, Hagrid always put a smile on her face, even in the dullest and darkest of situations.

“What brings yeh here?”

“I came to visit the graves,” Hermione said, strangely not wanting to reveal to Hagrid that she was really there to comfort George, who had no doubt heard Hermione’s shriek and Hagrid’s shout, but had merely chosen to ignore it.

“Not to see me then?” Hagrid replied. Hermione glanced up at him, Hagrid had meant it as a joke but it was plain on his face that he was a little hurt. Hermione understood though, neither she nor Harry had visited Hagrid in quite a while.

“Sorry Hagrid, Harry and I should have visited, we’ve just been busy, really busy,” Hermione gulped.

“Don’t you worry yehself with me Hermione,” Hagrid suddenly brightened, his giant palm batting Hermione on the back, causing her to stumble forwards slightly, “but why don’t yeh come and grab a bite to eat, after you’ve done yeh visitin? You can bring George too; he’s down there, if yeh didn’t know.”

“That would be great, thanks Hagrid, I’ll see you in a bit,” Hermione smiled, taking her opportunity to make a swift exit. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to talk to Hagrid, it was just that she had more important things on her mind.

“Suit yehself,” Hagrid smiled and Hermione gave him a quick nod and ventured down the slope again, this time with no slips. She reached the bottom and looked back up to the top; Hagrid had already disappeared back into his Hut, most likely to bake a couple of rock cakes or some other inedible concoction. Hermione turned back round, facing a statue she knew all too well.

Tonks and Lupin, stood side by side, Lupin’s scarred face grinning and Tonks staring happily up at him, their hands clasped together. Hermione gulped. They looked so life like. She looked at the envelopes surrounding the base of the statue. There were hundreds, Hermione’s among them, but it was the newest one that caught Hermione’s eye. It was a crisp white envelope with a very neat scrawl, very different to the cream envelopes surrounding it.

Teddy Lupin

The name sent a dagger through Hermione’s chest. She felt tears come to her eyes. Teddy. He must have written his own letter, after seeing so many others, and then come down to the graveyard out of class and set it down with all the others. It took pride of place next to Harry’s and Andromeda’s. Hermione felt a need to reach down and open it, to read what the young boy had written, but she felt it would be an invasion of privacy. The letter was personal. She pulled her eyes away and looked back at the inscription on the stone beneath Lupin and Tonks’ stone.

Remus and Nymphadora Lupin.

That’s all it said. There had been much debate about putting messages on the statues themselves, but somebody had said that the letters would be enough, and many people agreed, including Hermione. Hermione let out a small smile, the tears in her eyes managing to spill out of her eyes and down her cheeks. She wiped them away, gulped and pulled herself away from the stone, she couldn’t bear to stand there for any longer, else the tears would truly grip hold.

Hermione moved further through the statues, recognising several names but also not recognising many others, which she thought was sad. Five minutes in she heard it, sobs, coming from her right hand side. Hermione crouched and pulled herself in next to a statue. She peered round it; just enough to see the tall ginger haired statue and the small crumpled man crouched next to it, reading a letter from one of the envelopes with tears running freely down his cheeks. Hermione pulled back.

George was crying, his sobs echoing off the statues surrounding him and his hands trembling. Hermione desperately wanted to approach him and hug him too her, but for some strange reason she couldn’t bring herself to do so, perhaps it was Ginny’s words ringing in her head or something deep down in Hermione’s stomach that told her not to interrupt George. Hermione looked up at the statue she herself was pressed against and almost had to stop herself from letting out a cry herself.

The statue was of a boy, carrying a camera with floppy blonde hair and wearing a red and gold scarf. It was Colin Creevey. Hermione backtracked slightly, away from the figure. George’s cries were still very much audible. Hermione couldn’t take it any longer, she needed to go to George, else she’d be caught up in the misery of the graveyard as well. She gulped and stepped past Colin’s statue, making sure not to step on any of the envelopes, and walked quietly over to George, her footsteps making no sound on the soft dirt.

George didn’t notice she was there until Hermione rested her hand on his shoulder. He jumped and swung his head round to face her, shock flashing across his tear filled eyes. In that short moment Hermione saw a sadness George had never exhibited in front of her before. His eyes were red rimmed and bloodshot, snot poured from his wet nose and his lips were moist. From afar Hermione had noticed he had been trembling but it was worse up close, George’s hands were visibly shaking, the letter clasped in his fingers vibrating so much that it was a wonder it hadn’t been torn.

However the moment was short lived and an angry mask suddenly descended on George’s face. Hermione frowned. She hadn’t expected George to be angry.

“What are you doing here?” he said forcefully, although his voice was gruff from crying.

“I wanted to make sure you were okay,” Hermione gulped.

“I’m fine, but this is something I do alone, I don’t want you to be here,” George fired, a nasty edge to his voice.

“I thought you’d want company though,” Hermione said, feeling tears prick at her eyes again. She blinked them away; she didn’t want to cry, not now.

“I don’t, who told you I was here?” George growled accusingly.

“Ginny did but-”

“I knew it, why? She knows this is something I do alone!” George said, his voice raising a few octaves, the gruffness of before sinking away.

“She told me that too,” Hermione blinked again.

“Well why didn’t you listen?”

“I thought-”

“You thought you were an exception?” George said, his eyebrows rising, “well you thought wrong, leave, please.”

“You want me to leave?”

“That’s what I said.”

“But George-”

“But what?” George burst, standing and advancing forward, causing Hermione to backpedal slightly, “why are you here? What gives you the right? Ginny told you I don’t like company when I come here, so why didn’t you listen to her?”

Hermione gulped, she found George suddenly very intimidating, similar to how he’d been after she’d kissed Oliver Wood, but this time much, much worse.

“Because- because you helped me with Ron,” Hermione murmured.

“What was that?” George growled, his bloodshot red rimmed eyes making him look somewhat crazy.

“Because you helped me with Ron, and I wanted to repay the favour,” Hermione replied, her voice stronger now.

“Go away,” George said, contempt filling his tone. Hermione felt the tears that had pricked her eyes before spill over and down her cheeks.


“Didn’t you hear me? Go. Away.”

Hermione blinked and read George’s face for a moment. He wasn’t joking, she knew that much.

“Fine, if you won’t go then I will,” George snarled and then he pushed past Hermione, his shoulder hitting hers and causing her to fall to the floor. Hermione’s bum hit the ground painfully and her wrist crunched as it bent awkwardly. She let out a strange gargled sound.

She didn’t allow the tears to fall, she bit them back with a ferocity she didn’t know she had. Hermione didn’t want to cry over George and his behaviour, not here, not amongst all the statues that were much more deserving of her tears. For a while she sat there, pain reaching up her left arm where her wrist had crunched and an ache eating at her bum.

It was only when the pain in her bum had subsided that Hermione pulled herself to her feet. She glanced around but George had disappeared, which she was rather glad of. She clutched at her wrist and stumbled over to the bottom of Fred’s statue.

The letter that George had been reading was discarded on the floor, next to its envelope, both turned over so none of the writing was visible. Hermione was intrigued yet a little scared, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to know whose memoir George had been reading. She contemplated it over in her mind and, overcome by curiosity, stopped cradling her arm and reached down to pick the letter and envelope up.

Hermione flipped the letter over. She felt her hands begin to tremble as she scanned the parchment, sending a wave of pain up her injured arm, she knew whose this memoir was, and she just didn’t want to admit it to herself. It was as though Hermione knew the handwriting like it was the back of her hand, a neat definite scrawl that jumped out, easily readable and incredibly familiar.

Hermione’s jaw clenched, she bit her lip, still desperate to stop anymore tears escaping. She turned over the envelope shakily and there, written on the front of the cream parchment, was the exact name she had expected.

Hermione Granger.

Her own.

Hermione gulped and stuffed the letter back into its envelope. She didn’t want to read what she’d written, all those years ago; it was too personal, too private. It would be as though she were invading into the mind of her eighteen year old self and she didn’t want to do that. She placed the envelope back next to Fred’s statue and looked up.

The statue was indeed incredibly life like. It even depicted Fred’s cheeky grin perfectly. Hermione sighed.

“I wish you hadn’t died Fred,” she murmured, “George would be happy, if you hadn’t d-died.”

As expected the statue didn’t offer a reply, but it did make Hermione feel a little better. She clutched at her wrist again and looked at it for the first time since she’d fallen. Her hand was bent at an awkward angle. It looked very much as though her wrist had snapped. Hermione bit her tongue, feeling her stomach contort. She blinked back up at the statue.

“I’ve got to go Fred, sorry, I think I’ve broken my wrist,” she said matter-of-factly, as though the statue were a real living being and breaking her wrist was an average thing to have happen, and then turned and weaved her way back through the statues and back to the bottom of the hill.


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