“Hermione darling, please listen to me. I don’t have much time... I know you did what I asked you to do with the money you inherited from your father and me when we died. Now I want to help you have a smooth transition into the next part of your life.”
Hermione turned frantically searching for the source of her mother's voice.
“I want you to retire from your job as Head Healer and with the money you receive open a bookstore for both muggles and wizards. Don't tell your husband what you are going to do.”
Still searching for her mother's voice, Hermione called out, "where are you mum? Why can't I see you?”
“Don't worry about me sweetheart, I am visiting you in a dream. And unfortunately I am not yet strong enough to support a corporal form. I am very sorry. Hurry! There is not much time left. Promise me you will do what I am asking you to do.”
“I p-promise. I will do everything you have asked me to do. Why don't you have much time? Do you think I can see you before you go?” Hermione pleaded.
“Thank you, I will hold you to your word. Dawn approaches and I must return to your father. Remember, I will always be proud of what you do. Her mother's voice started to fade, I love you... Remember to do... What I have.... Asked of you...”
Suddenly, directly in front of Hermione, a golden figure began taking shape. Slowly she began to make out her mum's features. She was surrounded by a golden glow and was waving at her with a smile on her face. She looked content and at peace.
“MUM!” Hermione screamed, and began running towards her. However, the faster Hermione tried to run towards her mother, the farther away her mum became. Just as she finally started to get closer, her mum faded and her surroundings slowly faded from the comforting white fog that enveloped her to a complete seeping darkness that made her feel uneasy.
Just before she was completely engulfed in the dark shroud, she heard her mum saying, “Remember what you must do! I love you! Good luck!”
*End of dream*
The sudden blaring of an alarm ripped her brutally away from the peaceful darkness of sleep. Shortly after waking up her sleeping husband, she heard the rush of water from the shower. Wanting to hang onto the comfort her warm bed offered, she lay there listening to the sound of water falling in the bathroom. When she heard the flow begin to diminish, she quickly got up and put on her bathrobe before heading downstairs to start a quick breakfast for Ron. Upon entering her cheerful white and yellow kitchen, she quickly started the coffee machine.
As she was gathering ingredients to make waffles, Ron's favorite breakfast item, she began to recall little tidbits of her dream. She knew it had something to do with her mum... And some sort of promise she made to her mum... And her job...maybe more would come back to her as the day wore on.
When breakfast was ready, she went back upstairs to fetch her husband. Knowing Ron, he was probably starving by this point. As she walked up the stairs
contemplating the plans she had for the day. She knew that she had an appointment with the detective she hired a few months back. Other then that, she had a free day. She decided the week before to not go to work today, and just have a day when she could relax.
Then again, depending on the report from the detectives would decide whether or not she got her relaxing day. Hopefully, for Ron's sake at least, there would be nothing negative in that report and her paranoia would not be roved true.
Upon entering their bedroom, she found a hastily written note on her bed stand... Again... Not knowing why she even bothered reading it again, she picked it up and read it anyway.
-Hermione, sorry I have to leave unexpectedly again. When I got out of the shower, there was an owl from the ministry calling in for security reinforcements for some major trial that got moved up last second. See you at home later tonight, it'll probably be a late night though so don't wait up for me.
Anger filled Hermione as she put the note in the top drawer of her bed stand along with all the others. As much as she wanted to throw them all away, she knew they would eventually come in handy. Since when were aurors a part of security? Wasn't that what the MINISTRY SECURITY DIVISION was for? The back up job for all the older aurors who couldn't bear retiring just yet and could still be used for something.
Crestfallen, Hermione walked back downstairs to eat Ron's favorite breakfast meal alone... Again... Soon, she thought, soon i won't have to tolerate his obvious lies. And if need be, I WILL confront him with all of his lies and publicly ruin him.
She set about doing all the necessary chores she needed to get done before her appointment. Seeing she still had time to spare, she decided to go soak in the tub and try to relax a bit. By the time she got out, it was time to start getting ready for her appointment. As she got dressed, she thought about the agency she hired for this.... rather unpleasant job… She didn’t ask to meet the people who ran, or even owned the agency. In fact, she didn’t even do any research or background check on the agency. She overheard two Healers talking about it and saying how wonderfully and completely they did their jobs.
As she walked downstairs to collect her purse, she remembered more of her dream. She was supposed to open a bookstore, but was unclear was where she would get the money to open it. There was something else she was supposed to do but for now, it was eluding her. Just before waling out the door, she decided to stop by the kitchen to leave food out for Ron, just in case he decided to come home for lunch. It was highly unlikely, but better safe then sorry.
When she felt she could do nothing more, she apperated to the coordinates the secretary of the agency owled to her earlier in the week.
Hermione was surprised to appear a few beside a picnic table in a beautiful muggle park a few blocks from her childhood home. As a child she often came to this park with her parents and later when her children where born, she would bring them here as well. She proceeded to sit down and read a new book on ancient spells she got a few weeks ago. After a few moments of reading, a tall blond male appeared right next to the bench where she was sitting.
She knew that the time to find out the truth had finally arrived. As she looked more closely at the man standing in front of her, she was shocked to recognize the blond. Hermione could hardly believe her eyes. DRACO MALFOY stood before her slowly turning around to face her. He looked as good as ever, with more age matured features. And of course, he wore his signature black suit.
As he looked down on her, she could her shock reflected over his features. He could not believe that HERMIONE GRANGER sat on the table before him probably waiting for him.
After staring at each other awkwardly, they both said, “What are YOU doing here?!”
“ Well, I’m waiting for a detective from an agency I hired a few moths ago.” Hermione said, “What are YOU doing here?”
“I’m here to deliver a report to a client.” He replied, “ I’m assuming that would be you right? I never would have guessed that it was you! I figured it would be another crazy Weasley fan. “
“ Of course not! I didn’t have another choice but to use an alias. It would have been all over the wizarding world if the tabloids found out that I suspected my husband of cheating!” Hermione exclaimed, “ So, is this your agency or are you just a messenger?”
“Oh uhhh.......... I own it. I opened it a few years after the war ended, but really the only work I do is deliver the results to the clients and manage the economics of it.” He said, “so, how is it that you don't know i am the owner”
“Several co-workers recommended it, and I decided to give it a try.” She explained, “Can we please get to the results? I have a few errands to run after this.”
“Ok then. Let's get down to business.” With that, he started taking out all the pictures and other information they gathered for this report.
It shocked Hermione to see all the information they gathered about Ron. They even included birth certificates for not only Ron, but their children and even her as well! They dug up pictures of them as children and how they grew up to pictures from their wedding.
After a few minutes of organizing different papers and photos into separate piles, Draco finally said, “So this is everything we gathered about him. I won't bore you with all the details leading up to the last seven years, which is what you asked for,” he took a pause.
“Up until six years ago, his work schedule remained unchanged. He began work at 10am and came home at 4pm. Then on the 16th of September 2017, he requested and was granted a schedule. This changed his time of entry to 10:30am and his exit to 2:30pm. Since then it has stayed the same, however, he's had an annual salary increase as well... “
He paused again and looked over to see a pale Hermione and asked, “Are you ok? Should I even bother to continue?”
I”'m fine. I'll be even better when I finally know the complete truth. Especially if it helps me get rid of the sorry excuse of a husband I trusted.” She answered him in a deathly calm voice, “Please continue.”
“Well, if you insist… From all the information you gave us, we installed cameras and microphones on all his clothes, wand, work office, and other personal items he usually carried with him. We also added a little something extra to his wand. We installed a GPS microchip in order to track his whereabouts.
“Using this, we found out that every morning around 6:30, he leaves your place and apperates to 6615 Shadow's Lane a small three bedroom house near London. We looked into the ownership of the house and found it to be owned by a young couple by the name Wilcox, who got married recently. About 6 years ago. From what we were able to gather, Raven Wilcox is Ronald Weasley under false identification. Do you want me to continue?”
Upon hearing this, the shock of this new information was too much for Hermione to handle. Slumping forward, the last thing she heard was Draco’s exclamation "Hermione!" before losing her hold on reality....
Acting quickly, Draco leaned forward and caught her before she fell of the bench. As carefully as he could, he conjured a blanket and pillow and ever so gently laid Hermione down, making sure she was in a comfortable position. After making sure that Hermione had only fainted, he sat down leaning against a nearby oak tree and began to read a book while waiting for Hermione to wake up.
Finally, after a few hours, Hermione began to slowly stir. When she sat up, she looked around in confusion. Where was she? What was she doing here? Slowly, Hermione began to remember everything that had happened a few hours ago. A single thought filled her mind: Ron was going to pay dearly for everything he was putting her through.
Looking around for Malfoy, she wondered if he even bothered to stay. Astonished she saw that he had. However, what she saw surprised her even more. Draco Malfoy sat completely engrossed in the book in his hands, not noticing that Hermione was wake once more and quietly observing him. Only realizing she was awake when she said, "Wow... You stayed... Thank you.... Could we please continue with the rest?"
" Are you absolutely sure you want to continue today? Maybe we should stop here and continue some other day?" he asked, " I will even give you a discount..."
"Are you trying to get rid of me?! I want to learn more... No," she amended, "I NEED to learn everything! I don't want the discount. I'll pay what the contract says. No more, no less."
"Ok, fine. Don't say i didn't warn you... Four years ago, they had twins, a boy and girl. The little boy's name is Ethan Dawn and the little girl's name is Midnight Rosalind. Conveniently enough, they found a way to post pone giving them a lastname until their 5th birthday, which is this August," he said.
Draco then proceeded to show Hermione pictures of the apartment (both inside and outside), Esmeralda, Ethan, and Midnight. The final pictures he showed her completely broke Hermione's heart. Family pictures of Ron, Esmeralda, Ethan, and Midnight from their very first day as a new family at the hospital and one of each year till now.
"Thank you for everything. Can i keep all the information you gathered?" Hermione asked as she handed him a check.
"Of course," he replied, "I certainly have no use for it. If you don't take it its going straight to the trash... I am deeply sorry for causing you s much pain in the past and now for being the bearer of such terrible news..."
"Don't worry about it. I already forgave you for that years ago. After all, you were doing what you had to in order to survive," she said, "As for this, I was going to find out eventually. Better now then later. I will say one thing though: Ron will be completely humiliated when this gets out. He won't ever want to show his face to the wizard public for a long long time."
"Just don't do anything you will regret in the future. He deserves to suffer for the manner he has treated you," he said," No man should ever be disrespectful of a lady."
"Don't worry about me," Hermione said with a laugh, "I will be extra careful. Well, I need to be on my way soon."
"Ok then. If you ever need any help at all, you are welcome to come to me," he said, "Would you like to have tea or coffee with me sometime?"
"Thanks for the offer. If i ever need help again, I’ll keep you in mind," Hermione said with a smile, "After the dust settles, I'll take you up on your coffee offer. I'd love to stay and chat a while longer, but I really must go now. Finding a divorce lawyer who can be discreet will be a difficult task."
"Don't worry about it. I understand. Maybe we can talk on the phone and get to know each other till then?" Draco asked nervously.
"Of course! I'd like that." Hermione said as she quickly gave Draco her cell phone number, Ron never knew she had one.
After a final good-bye, Hermione apperated to her office in St. Mungo's and began getting all her resignation papers in order. The way she saw it,if she had all the paperwork done, she could turn it in when she was ready. Before she went home for the night, she called a few well known wizard lawyers and found one that was willing to work on such a short notice.
it was almost close to midnight when she finally shade it home. She went into the kitchen and was not surprised to see that the house was completely dark and empty. Furthermore, the food she had left for Ron was sitting untouched on the table. Seeing the food finally brought out all the anger and resentment she felt for her soon to be ex-husband. After everything she had sacrificed for him, how could he do this to her?
She was not going to keep pretending everything was alright. Ronald was no longer welcomed in her home. That decided, Hermione gathered all his belongings and shrunk them to fit into a single box.
She then wrote him a letter asking him to meet her in a week at a park near her childhood home and sent both the letter and box to the address Draco gave her.
As soon as the box was sent, she changed all the locks and wards so that he could not get in in a few hours. Before she went to bed, Hermione decided to write a letter to Rose.
28 February 2024
My Darling Rosie,
As you well know, today I had an appointment with the detectives. All I am going to say for now is that I have sent all of your father's belongings to his second family. He has another wife and they have been married for just as long as you've been attending Hogwarts. You also have a little half brother and sister! I made some copies of the pictures of his new little family. By the time you and Hugo come home for the summer, he will be out of our lives.
That doesn't mean however that you and Hugo can't see your father. I'm leaving that choice up to both of you. I would completely understand if either of you would prefer to live with your father for parts of the holidays. However, that is something we will discuss in a few weeks during spring break. Please don't say anything to Hugo. I want to be the one to tell him.
Sometime between now and Spring break, I am going to quit my job and by then I will have opened a bookstore! Doesn't that sound like fun? We'll have so many different kinds of books and no one will tell us to stop spending so much money on books! And just think... We will be able to also do all of the things your father never let us do because he thought they were either dumb or a waste of money or way to expensive! Imagine... We could go shopping and finally go on a family vacation!
Well anyway enough about our future plans! So, tell me, how's everything at school? Any guys catch your eye? Or did you catch anyone's eye? Oh! How ate your classes? Please tell everyone hi for me, Ma and Pa Weasley, and all the aunts and uncles! I hope you will write to me soon. I will keep you updated about what happens with your father. I terribly miss you and Hugo and I cant wait to see you soon.
Thank you for being the one person I can confide about not only what has been happening with your father, but everything else as well. I love you my darling little angel.
P.s. it's been a while since you said anything about Scorpius. Is everything ok between the two of you?-Mum
It took Hermione a few hours to write her letter to Rose. She didn't want it to seem resentful of what Ronald did to them but she also didn't want to seem completely unaffected. When she was finally satisfied, she called Aphrodite and sent it off, hoping that her daughter would get the letter when she was alone.
Hermione then decided to go to bed hoping that sleep would come to her quickly. However her mind had other plans. After long hours of tossing and turning, Hermione finally fell asleep with tears drying on her cheeks.
The next morning Hermione swore she would never again cry herself to sleep over Ronald Weasley, or any other man.