About a year and a half ago the final battle took place. Harry had finally defeated Voldemort and everyone's lives were getting back on track after all the loss and suffering everyone had went through. Then almost a year ago now, I had went home for a weekend in my second sixth year (Since everyone was retaking their previous years work.) because my mom had been really sick and my dad had been working and couldn't take her to her doctor's appointment. I was a wreck because she had already been to a few doctors and no one could figure out what was wrong with her. We were about to lose hope when we found a doctor that might be able to help figure what was even wrong. So I had asked permission to take my mum to the doctor's office that weekend. Of course, McGonagall had let me go home to help. What no one knows though, is that after I took my mom to her appointment and got home to tuck her into bed I went out for a walk to clear my head of everything that I was told that day. I went around the block to a little park I had visited often as a little girl and sat on the swings in deep thought. Hours went by, and I hadn't even noticed to deep in my own thoughts. I had heard shuffling behind me and whipped around, only to be knocked out. I was lucky to be alive really, I had lost a lot of blood from me being cut in my inner thigh. But some one found me in the park the next morning and took me to St. Mungo's. I never had found out who found me. But I'm thankful that they did.
A month after that, I had found out that I was pregnant. The healer's at St. Mungo's had told me that I had been raped, so I knew it was a possibility. So, for a month or two I debated on what to do, never telling anyone, except the nurse and teachers and my parents, what had happened to me that awful weekend. In no time I had made up my mind to keep the baby growing inside of me. I know most people don't understand why I kept my baby girl. But I had already bonded with her. I sung to her before I fell asleep and talked to her about my problems that I couldn't talk to my friends about. I had really lost interest in being around my friends and soon found that my schooling was one of the only things that kept me interested, other than Amelia. All the teachers went easy on me, even Snape, who never once deducted points from me after he found out. I did NOT tell him my circumstances. I'm guessing McGonagall threatened him. She's been the biggest help of all. She even went as far to throw a baby shower for me with all of the teachers and my dad invited. I had the choice to bring my friends with me, but chose to keep them in the dark for as long as possible. Thankfully, I didn't really show when I was pregnant. I had kept up my exercise and ate healthy. And I always kept bottle of water and a small snack in my bag to munch on throughout the day. Plus I had always wore baggy clothes, so I wasn't changing my attire really.
The weekend before the end of the school year I went into labor. Mrs Pomphrey took me to St Mango's and I had delivered my blue-eyed, brown haired baby girl, Amelia Jane Granger after twelve hours of labor on June 3 at roughly 5 in the morning. McGonagall insisted I took the last week off. Which the Healer's and Nurses agreed full heartedly. So I went home to rest and be with Amelia and my dad.
Unfortunately, my mum had passed a few months before. The doctor that I took her to found out that she had cancerous cells in her brain. But it was growing to fast to stop or do anything about it. He gave her a few months to live. She stayed with us long enough to say goodbye to me at Christmas time and gave me a quilt passed down from generation to generation and a hope chest that she had been putting together for me since I was born. She told me that she was sad that she had to go before she got to meet her grand baby. But she knew I would be a great mother, even at a young age. The last day of Christmas break she passed away. McGonagall had told me I could stay until the funeral, but I had already said my goodbyes and made peace with it. So I went on with my life preparing to be a mom and keeping up my grades.
Throughout the summer I had a lot of fun. Yes, it was stressful at first getting up in the middle of the night multiple times a night. But that only lasted the first month. Ame's been sleeping straight throughout the night ever since. I stayed home during the day and kept the house clean and taking care of Ame. Dad babysat at nights because I had gotten a part-time job. And a couple times some old muggle friends of mine came over to see me and Ame after they saw that I had a baby. I told them what happened to me eventually because I needed someone my age to talk to. And they took it pretty well. They even helped me out during the day sometimes. We went to the pool and park together.
A week ago I got my Hogwarts' letter asking for me back again this year. In the letter McGonagall had congratulated me for having Amelia. And told me that if I wanted to return she'd set up a separate common room from everyone else so I would be able to have my privacy and a house elf would be appointed to me for the year to help with Amelia. Almost as a last minute thought, she told me that seventh years are allowed to wear their own clothes this year and as long as no one took advantage of the privilege we would keep it the whole year. I wrote back expressing my gratitude for her consideration and said that of course I'd go back to school for my final year. I may be a mother, but I still wanted to finish my schooling and get a job. My wish was to take a year off with just a part-time job then return to Hogwarts' as a teacher.
Now I was walking down the busy Diagon Alley street on a beautiful late summer day. Everyone that saw me kept whispering about the odd occurrence they were seeing. Trying my best to ignore the whispering gossip around me, I went to my favorite book store, "Flourish and Blots". Once inside the confines of the store I went to the back of the store to be away from the windows and prying eyes of everyone outside. This is why I haven't been out with Amelia since she was born in June. Well, at least not to the wizarding world. I'm supposed to be a "saint" to them and yet they don't know. McGonagall kept Amelia's birth out of the Daily Prophet somehow. So no one that I didn't want to know about her, didn't.
After an hour of looking around and getting my school books and a couple children's story books. I decided to check out and get an owl so I didn't have to use the school owls and so my dad knew that the letter's or packages were from me. On my way up to the counter I heard a familiar voice call me from the front of the store. "Hermione, is that you," a feminine voice asked. So she turned around and saw that she had come face to face to with Lavender Brown.
"Oh, hi Lavender, how are you," I asked politely, while double and triple checking the stroller.
"Oh, I'm great. I'm having a great summer. I've been to the Burrow a lot this summer with Ronnykins. But other than that everything has been the same old, same old. That's who I'm here with actually," she rambled on until she realized I just took out Amelia who wanted feeding. "Oh, who's this cutey?" she squealed.
"She is my daughter, Amelia. And she's hungry. Do you want to sit down with me while I feed her?" I asked while sitting down in one of the lounge chairs.
"Your daughter," she exclaimed.
"Yes, my daughter," I sighed. This was going to be a rough year. "She was born June third." I said because that's usually the next question asked. "And no, she doesn't have a father. I wouldn't know who he was. I was knocked out when he raped me." I sighed again as I finished feeding Amelia. "Please, I know this is probably big gossip to you. But I ask you not to spread it around. When I need, or want, to tell people I will. I didn't tell people last year because I had a lot going on in my life and didn't want to bother everyone else."
"Oh my, I'm so sorry," she started, but I just held up my hand.
"I came to an understanding myself. I had a crappy year last year with really bad luck. But I got a beautiful baby girl out of it. She's my life Lavender. I'm not sorry for having her," I said with watery eyes.
"Why haven't you told Ron, Harry, or Ginny? I know we've had our differences in the past with Ron. But you need your friends. Not to mention, they all miss you," Lavender confessed.
"I just didn't know how to. Every time I would want to, I'd just lose my courage and not tell them. And then when I went into labor and had to take the last week off. I figured they'd be mad at me for not telling them," I confessed myself. "Why are you being this nice to me Lavender? We've never really talked before."
"Well, you look like you need someone to talk to for one. And two, your friends, your best friends, have missed you terribly," she shrugged before smiling at Amelia in my arms.
"Would you like to hold her," I asked getting up smoothly with Amelia gurgling happily in my arms. Lavender nodded her head shyly and got into a better position to hold her. "Just make sure her head is supported, she's still getting used to holding it up by herself," I said as I carefully put Ame into Lavender's arms.
"Wow, Hermione. She is beautiful. She looks a lot like you," she said as Amelia looked up at her with her big brown eyes. I just smiled. I thought so too. But I wasn't going to say that.
"She likes you." Lavender smiled at that. "So, you said you were here with Ron and them? But you're not with them right now though," I asked.
"Oh, I wanted to go to Madam Malkin's, but they were all engrossed in the Quidditch Shop. So I told them I was going there. I was on my way there when I remembered there was a new book of cosmetic spells I wanted to get. So, I came here quick. Well, not so quick now. I'm glad I ran into you though," she smiled. "Did you want to go to Madam Malkin's with me?" she asked hopefully.
I guess I should get a new dress robe just in case and maybe get a couple things for Ame. She's going to need winter clothes and a couple more nighties to grow into. Thankfully, dad made me keep all my money for school time. He refused to let me buy anything for myself or Ame this summer. He even gave me a thousand Euros to change into wizarding money to get my school books and more things for this winter before I go back. "Sure, I have to get more winter clothes for Ame tomorrow. But, I'd like to get her a couple thicker robes. I like her muggle clothes for style. So much better on the eyes, if you ask me." I laughed as I took Ame from her and placed her in her stroller and pulling the cover down over so the sun wouldn't bother her outside. Then quickly paid for my books and shrunk them down to store them on the bottom of the stroller with the rest of my stuff.
"Yeah, they are cute. She's done wonders for you too. You've grown into yourself more," Lavender pointed out as we walked out the door and down the street to Madam Malkin's.
"She has. I have to be in comfortable clothes to be able to take care of her. But my dad thought it'd be good to freshen up a bit for myself," I paused a moment while I lifted my hand to my where my hair used to be. I had chopped all my hair off and got a whole new wardrobe. Oh well, I love my hair short now that I can spike it. "I guess mum told him that that's something she wanted me to do before she passed away last Christmas," I said not thinking about telling her my mum passed away till it was to late.
"Oh my god. Hermione no wonder you weren't yourself after that. Well more so then before. We were getting really worried about you. I'm sorry. If you don't mind me asking, what happened?"
"She passed away from Cancer the day before I came back from Christmas. But I had a good Christmas with her. She told me I'd be a good mum. I told them straight away so they wouldn't be surprised when I came home. They already knew what happened to me, so they weren't mad at me. Just worried that keeping Ame would be bad for me. But I explained she's been the best thing for me. Even before she was born. My mum gave me a quilt that has been passed down from generation to generation. And gave me my hope chest. Which gave me my idea to start one for Ame too. I'm taking it to Hogwarts' with me. So maybe when I get settle in you can come to my dorm and see it." I said as we walked into Madam Malkin's, not noticing the stares in the slightest being to preoccupied talking to each other. Half an hour later we heard the front bell chime signifying another customer in the store, so we looked up to be greeted by my three very shocked best friends. "Hi guys," I said meekly. Ginny had written to me a couple times this summer and I told her I had been to busy to see them. But didn't explain to them why because I wanted to tell them in person. Of course, she was the first over her shock at seeing me and enveloped me in a bone crushing hug. "Gin, I missed you too. But I don't think my little girl would be happy if she didn't have her mum anymore."
"Wait, what," she asked dumbfounded by my statement. Then she noticed Lavender who was holding Ame again cooing contently. "You have a baby? Since when? When were you even pregnant," she asked more confused by the minute. I looked back between Ron and Harry and they had the same expressions on their faces.
"Well, I told my dad I'd be home before to long and I wanted to get an owl yet. Did you guys want to come with me to get my owl, I got what I needed for now. Lavender actually said she wanted to hang out tomorrow before we go back and help me go shopping for more baby clothes. If you want we can make a whole day out of it with all of us. But I wanted to send an owl to my dad telling him I'd be late. Then we can all go to the burrow and I can explain everything to you I should've told you last year. But please don't be mad at me and don't think Ame is a bad thing. She's not. She's the best thing that has happened to me this past year," I was crying by the end of me talking and Ginny just enveloped me in another hug.
"Mione, we could never hate you. We've been worried about you. But we could never hate you," Gin said as she refused to stop hugging me. Then , Ron and Harry joined in the hug while I was still crying.
A couple minutes later I finally calmed down and I felt like a fool crying like that. I looked at Lavender who was now holding a crying Ame and carefully took Ame from her.
"Shh. It's alright Ame. Mommy was just upset. Shh. It's okay," I said softly to calm Ame down. Then looked up at my friends who were in awe of the baby in my arms. "Guys, this is my baby girl. Amelia Jane Granger. She was born on June Third last school year." Then I looked to Lavender and immediately knew that her and I were going to be very close this year. I just felt it.
Sorry for the short chapter. I try to keep all of my chapters over 1000 words and I'm pretty sure this isn't one of them. But alas, it is only the intro. Most of the new chapters will be longer than this one. Well, I hope I caught your attention with it anyway. =]