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The Alternative by SlightObsession
Chapter 2 : The Game
 
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 A/N: THIS HASNT BEEN BETA-ED. My beta is on holiday :D so, yeah i check it, sorry if there is any typos ect...

 

Dragging herself out of bed was difficult in the morning, but this morning, it seemed particularly difficult. Hermione hadn’t slept properly again, she thought she was getting better with her sleeping patterns, but obviously not. 

She rubbed her eyes and sighed, she had no plans apart from her usual orange juice at the bar, but this one, would be her final time. She had made a pact with Harry and Ginny a few days back that she would stop. Hermione never liked to break a promise, so she vowed today would be her last day.

She swung her legs over the edge of the bed and slipped her feet in her slippers. Yawning, she got out of her bed and made her way into her kitchen lazily, tying her hair up as she done so. At 24 years of age, she hadn’t reached anything she wanted by her plan. When she finished Hogwarts, she made a life plan for herself. A goal chart per say, and by now, she should be engaged to Ron. That certainly didn’t happen. Hermione always wanted children and she wanted a child by the time she was twenty six, and she knew that wasn’t going to happen.

She poured herself some tea and sipped it as she made her way over to her owl, who just hooted to her as she approached. There was still no letter from Ron. She hadn’t received one since he left. Of course she had sent him some letters and they were either returned or they had been ignored.  Anger filled Hermione.

Why SHOULD I send him letters. He’s probably just laughing at me. That’s it, no more moping around, no more letters. No more.

Hermione straightened up and decided to visit her father’s grave. This would be the first time she had visited him since the funeral. She felt like it was time for herself. She downed her tea and quickly got dressed before apparating to the cemetery. It was a fast field filled with rows upon rows of white headstones. Many tree’s covered the sides of the field.

She smiled at the green caretaker as she passed the many rows of headstones. It saddened her as she walked past , knowing that some of the deaths had been because of the war. Innocent muggle s and wizards had been killed through no fault of their own. At least the wizard world knows the truth, the muggles just have to live  with this clouded thought in their mind on what really happened. It’s worse slightly, it’s not fair on them, but of course, they can never find out.

Hermione finally came up to the 12th row and turned in, making sure she wasn’t on the grass directly above the graves, she walked along until she finally found it. She bent her knees and looked up at the grave stone, she nearly fell when she realised it wasn’t her father’s headstone.

‘’Okay…’’ she spoke aloud.

She stood up and frowned, it was defiantly this row. She walked up and down the line to see if she had gone past it but it wasn’t there. She frowned once more and began searching on the other rows, but she couldn’t find him.

Why cant I find him? He has to be around here somewhere! I’ll go ask the caretaker. Hermione sped off to where she could see the man taking a rest on the bench. She hurriedly walked over to him and asked if she could sit down.

‘’Is there anything I can help you with?’’ the old greying man asked her.

‘’Um, yes, actually there is. I can’t seem to find my father’s grave. I…I know where it should be, but I can’t seem to find it.’’ She frowned.

‘’What’s the surname?’’

‘’Granger.’’

He frowned in concentration, ‘’nope, no Granger at this cemetery, sorry love.’’ He got up and went to walk away.

‘’No! no you must be mistaken! There has to be a Wendell Granger here! I…I buried him here two months ago!’’ her vision started to blur.

‘’Im sorry, I remember every name of this place, there is no Wendell Granger. I’m sorry.’’ And with that, he turned back and walked away.

Hermione flopped back down on the seat. There must be some kind of mistake, he has to be here! Hermione stood up and twisted apparating back to her flat. She looked around and found her phone on the island in the kitchen. She grabbed it and dialled in her mother’s number and held it up to her ear as she could hear the ringing tone.

Her mother always told her to give up after ten rings, and it was now the eleven. Why isn’t she picking up? She put it down and called again with the same result. Hermione sighed, she would call back later and if that didn’t work, she would apparate over.

She looked up at the clock, she had an hour before she went to the pub so she decided to apparate to diagon Alley.  The first thing she noticed was people weren’t looking at her like they usually did, Hermione released her breath. This was a start to her protests. She walked up a little and turned into a new book shop that had recently opened up after the war.

She walked into ‘A flick of a page’ and headed for the fiction section.  Yes Hermione loved reading fact books, but she had a soft spot for fiction books. She decided on  a book and settled down in one of the leather arm chairs and began to read.

It wasn’t for another 45 minutes before she looked up at the time again, and realised she should get going, so she decided to take out the book. She walked up to the balding man behind the counter.

‘’Name and book title.’’ He said in an old voice.

‘’Hermione Granger and The roaring fire.’’ She smiled at him.

‘’Sorry, no Hermione Granger on the system. Would you like to make an account?’’ he looked up at her, bored.

Hermione shook her head, confused, ‘’I should have an account on here, um…please.’’

The man sighed and tapped a book with his wand, ‘’name?’’

‘’Hermione Jean Granger.’’  She told him, pushing some of her hair out of her face.

‘’Done, bring it back in two weeks. Next.’’ He shouted over her shoulder.

Hermione huffed, usually the staff were extremely nice and she had never seen this man before. She shook her head and headed of for the pub that was at the other end of the street, passing by the people who didn’t give her a second glance. Hermione found it all to strange, but relieved at the same time. As for some time (all of the time)  she was annoyed at everyone staring at her, she felt like she didn’t deserve it. She didn’t do anything special. She felt very sorry for Harry, as he got it worse than she did. It wasn’t fair on the three of them, but the money came in handy for the Weasley’s.

She finally turned and saw the pub, she had five more minutes before Draco was going to be in, and so she went up to the bar and ordered an orange juice . She went an sat down in her usual booth and looked outside, she hadn’t realised it before, but the street was…different per say. It looked less broken down, like the war never happened. Maybe she hadn’t realised before, but it defiantly did look different and it bugged her as to why she didn’t notice before.

 She shook her head and sipped on her orange juice and looked around, everyone seemed happier, something was different about everyone. Usually people had a glum dull look about them, like they had a storm cloud over them –some people did, a side effect of magical depression, out of control magic- but today, everything seemed different.

Was this a good thing? Or had everyone moved on too quickly for Hermione’s liking.

 

Hermione looked up at the clock and the hand was now on the hour, she looked at the other entrance and waited.  She  waited but he didn’t enter. Hermione felt deflated. Somehow it was a comforting thing, seeing him every day, she didn’t know but she just felt like that. It was a routine, and every day, he didn’t object either.  He would come in also, but he was never usually late.

Hermione started to feel the familiar pain shoot through her chest. She was having a panic attack. After the war, she became prone to them, she needed to calm down. Her breathing started to become irregular, why isn’t he here? Hermione closed her eyes and focused her mind being empty. She took in deep breaths and the pain’s started to calm down and soon her breathing was back to normal. Her doctor said that a panic attack pain can be mistaken for a heart attack as the pain is in the same area. Merlin, if that is what a panic attack feels like, I don’t ever want to know what a heart attack feels like.

She looked up at the clock once again, it was now quarter past the hour. Hermione shook her head and took a sip of her orange juice when she heard the doorbell go. She looked up at saw him enter the bar. A flood of relief came over her but she was confused…Since when do I care?

He didn’t acknowledge her, he just sat in his booth - staring at something that wasn’t visible to everyone else, or he was off in his own world.

Hermione raised an eyebrow, this was out of the norm for him, so she carried on drinking her orange. She never figured out why she was like what she is when it came to Draco, but she didn’t  let it bother her, she hated him, and he (supposedly) hates her. In a weird way, she felt like she knew him, when he was happy, when he was down, yet, she hadn’t had one conversation with him.

 

Hermione started to get bored so she downed her drink and went to leave the pub, but as she went past the booth Draco occupied, something caught her eye- or it was more what didn’t catch her eye. His  dark mark didn’t occupy his arm anymore, and Hermione knew this was impossible as she had done research on the subject.

She didn’t care if he would be rude to her, she had to know how you done it. So she slid in the seat on the other side of the table.

‘’Malfoy, where’s your dark mark?’’

Draco looked up at her, not bothering to make a rude comment, ‘’i…I don’t know.’’ He looked back down at his arm, ‘’anyway Granger, why do you care?’’ he spat.

‘’Because Malfoy, I’ve noticed a few things today that seem out of the norm, your missing mark being the weirdest. What do you mean you don’t know?’’

‘’Like I said, I don’t know. I woke up this morning and it was gone. I gave up my search to get rid of it a year ago. There is no cure.’’

‘’I know that.’’

‘’Of course you do.’’

Hermione rolled her eyes. ‘’What do you think has happened?’’

‘’I don’t know. Why are you so concerned?’’

‘’Because, like I said, this isn’t the only weird thing today.’’

Draco narrowed his eyes, ‘’what else then?’’

‘’Well…I couldn’t find my father’s grave  this morning, and I’ve noticed diagon Alley looks different. There was nothing about a refurbishment anywhere.’’

As soon as Hermione had stopped speaking a letter appeared on their desk. Hermione’s first instinct was to read it, so that’s what she done. She opened the letter and read aloud:

‘’Hermione and Draco,

You may seem very confused and I’m glad if you are.

As you are both from different sides of the war, I have selected you two to take part in my little…let’s call it a game.

My Game.

I have placed you in an Alternative world, a world in which it is not what it seems.

You will find out many things along the way, you will also get hints or…clues per say. In the end, you will have a choice. You stay or you go. There is no way out until then.

Until next time.’’

‘’What. What the fuck is this?’’ Draco took the letter from Hermione’s hand and re-read the letter.

‘’I don’t know what it is. But I think…I think we need to speak to someone.’’

Draco turned over the letter to see if it had anything on, but there was nothing.

‘’Great, im stuck in this with you of all people. Let’s go.’’ Draco got up out of his seat and looked down at Hermione.

‘’Im not so happy about it either.’’ She rolled her eyes and joined him, and they both walked out of the pub.

 

 

A/N: HEY!

how are you guys?

what do you think?

who was the letter written by?

i hope you guys like this :)

SlightObsession xx


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