Chapter 2 : Australia
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Hermione’s breath caught in her throat as she stood in front of the pale green door, her hand hovering a few inches away, fist clenched. All the hard work she had done in the past few months had led her here, but she had not yet prepared herself for what would happen after she found them. Would the reversal spell work? Would they be angry? Would they want to come back or continue to live their lives down here in Australia? Her brain was working on overtime to try and answer all these questions while she stood still in the Australia heat, her hair becoming bushier by the minute.
Gathering all the Gryffindor courage she could muster Hermione let her fist connect with the door in front of her, lightly tapping it with her knuckles. Hermione closed her eyes as she heard movement coming from the other side of the door.
Please let this work, please let this work.
“Hello dear, can I help you?” Hermione opened her eyes at the sound of her mother’s voice, it hadn’t changed in the year since she’d seen her.
Standing in the door way Hermione saw her mother exactly as she remembered her, sparkling blue eyes hidden behind her dark framed glasses, brown hair tied up to be away from her petite face. She was still basking in her mother’s appearance when she remembered that she hadn’t said a word yet and probably looked like weirdo right now.
“Oh um, yes please, um” she stuttered, trying to remember the cover story she created in hopes of gaining entrance to her parents’ house. “I seem to have gotten myself quite lost and I do not know how to get back to my hotel, do you mind if I use your phone to call a taxi cab?”
Hermione watched as her mother contemplated the idea, glancing over Hermione as if assessing her as a potential threat or not. She prayed that the natural good heart her mother had before she obliviated her memory was still there.
Seconds quickly turned into minutes and Hermione’s heart started racing faster and faster as she waited. Maybe her mother’s time in Australia had changed her? Maybe Hermione’s lie wasn’t convincing enough? She could feel the tears build up in the sides of eyes as she imagined her mother slamming the door in her face.
The worried look on Hermione’s face must have been enough to convince her mother of Hermione’s innocence as she stepped aside to make room for Hermione to enter. Letting out the breath she was holding Hermione walked past her mother and into their new house.
Hermione struggled to maintain her composure when seeing her parents living room, although the furniture and colour scheme was slightly different the living room was almost the exact same as their living room back in England. In the far corner, there was a lazy boy chair aimed towards the TV so her father could watch football and cricket to relax after a hard day’s work. Right beside the chair was a table filled with dentistry magazines and coasters with bad dentist puns on them. On the coffee table, there was two piles of books, one Hermione knew her mother had already read, the other she was currently reading through. A long sofa extended across the back wall, adorned with a few through pillows and a large soft quilt, perfect for snuggling under and watching a movie. Tears began to form in the corner of her eyes as the memories of family time in a very similar living room creeped into her head.
“The phone is in the kitchen,” her mother’s voice said cautiously, breaking Hermione out her trance. “It’s right beside the fridge. I’ll write down the address for you so you can tell the taxi-cab where to pick you up.”
“Ok thank you,” Hermione replied, focusing on her breathing.
Hermione’s mother turned away from Hermione to grab a notepad and Hermione knew that this was her chance, it was now or never. Letting her wand slip into her palm she cleared her head of everything except for one thing, memorium incante. The charm was experimental at best but it was her only hope of bringing her family back, but if it failed she had no idea what the consequences could be.
Raising her wand Hermione pointed it at her mother who was still crouching over the notepad. Please let it work, she pleaded one last time to whatever entity that may be listening.
A vibrant blue smoke was emitted from her wand, gently flowing towards her mother. When it finally reached her mother, it seemed as if all time stood still as Hermione’s mother froze, her eyes glazing over before shining the same brilliant blue that was the smoke. Hermione had no idea how long her mother was like that, it could have been minutes or simply seconds, but the anticipation and the dread of failure made it feel like hours.
After what seemed like a millennium Hermione’s mother dropped her pen and slowly stood up, her face still dazed and confused. Not knowing whether or not the spell worked Hermione cautiously took a step towards her mum, lowering her wand to her side but still gripping it tightly just in case. If the war had taught her anything it was constant vigilance.
“Mum?” she asked questioningly, her voice laced with fear and hope at the same time.
Jean Granger turned towards her daughter with a confused and quizzical look, as if she was trying to remember a song on the radio. Hermione’s heart plummeted thinking that the spell hadn’t worked and her mother would never remember her. This time she couldn’t stop the tears forming in the eyes and let out a sob she had been holding in these past months. Her knees giving out on her she collapsed onto the oh so familiar sofa and let the tears fall.
“Hermione honey, why are you crying?”
At the sound of her mum’s voice Hermione snapped her head up, tears still falling down her cheeks. Her mum looked down at her, this time her soft face wasn’t filled with confusion but with worry and concern, a look Hermione knew well as her mother was ever so caring and compassionate.
“Do you, do you remember me?” Hermione asked, her voice barely more than a whisper.
“Of course I remember you sweetie,” her mum said as she sat down beside Hermione, wrapping her in one big hug. “But honey, where are we?”
At the realization that her spell worked Hermione cried even harder, this time out of joy. She embraced her mother’s hug and held on as tight as she could never wanting to let go ever again. After a solid five minutes, she finally released her mother and turned to meet her dazzling blue eyes.
“Mum,” she began, not sure what exactly to say. She had been so worry about the spell working that she had never thought of what would happen after. “We’re in Australia. You and dad have lived here for the past year, but not as you and dad, but rather as Monica and Wendall Wilkins. I had to keep you safe and the only way I knew how to do that was to send you away. If something were to have happened to you because of me I…..I……”
“It’s ok honey it’s ok” Jean soothed Hermione as she started to cry once again. Jean knew that Hermione was a smart girl and would have done anything to protect her muggle family. “We’re together now that’s all that matters.”
Jean gave Hermione another few minutes to cry, she knew that her daughter must feel guilty about what she had done and extremely stressed and worried over the whole situation. Sadly though, Hermione’s stress wasn’t going to go away that quickly.
“Hermione honey,” her mother said pushing Hermione away from her a little bit so that she could look into her face. “How old are you now?”
“Eighteen,” Hermione replied, a little curious as to why her mother asked such an odd question after just receiving her memories back. She expected her to ask about the war, not her age.
Jean’s face fell a little bit hearing this, she had been hoping that she hadn’t been separated from her daughter that long. Pulling her daughter close to her once again she held on to the fact that her daughter was safe, and that all that really mattered.
“When does dad get home? I’m assuming he’s still at work.” Hermione asked, her voice muffled slightly from being hugged.
Jean glanced at the clock, it was five-thirty, only a half an hour, she thought sadly.
“Your father will be home at six on the nose, like he always is.”
Hermione laughed a little at hearing this, “some things never changed.”
“You are right about that, how about we fix some supper in the kitchen and you can fill me in on what has happened.”
Hermione shifted uncomfortably at the thought of reliving the past year, so much had happened and so many people had died. She knew that she owed her parents an explanation though for why she did what she did, and reliving parts of the past year was part of that explanation. Taking a big breath, she stood up and followed her mother to the kitchen, ready to face the events that had separated her from her family.
As Hermione reencountered her harrowing and heroic tales to Jean, it took everything she had to keep from staring at the clock above the kitchen stove. She knew that her husband would arrive at six, he was rarely ever late, and as soon as he got home and Hermione gave him back his memory everything that she had ever known would once again be taken away from her. If Jean could have one wish it would be for this moment, siting at her kitchen table drinking tea with beautiful daughter, to last forever. She would give anything to stop time right then and there.
“Monica,” she heard a male voice bellow from the doorway. “I’m home, sorry if I’m a little late traffic was just terrible. Monica?”
“In here darling,” she replied.
Hermione’s shoulders immediately tensed at the sound of her father’s voice, the smooth tenor tone was the exact same as she remembered it. With a quick glance at her mum, she picked up her wand and clutched it for dear life. She knew that the spell worked, but that was only once, there was no guarantee that it would work twice, it was too new, too experimental. As her father’s footsteps became louder her heart rate soared, her hands shaking slightly.
As her father entered the kitchen her mum placed her hand on Hermione’s and gave it a little squeeze for reassurance. Although it didn’t vanquish her nerves entirely it did help calm her down enough so that her hand stopped shaking.
“Monica I was hoping that we could have….. Monic who is this?” her father said as he walked into the kitchen, stopping dead in his tracks upon seeing Hermione.
Just like her mother her father looked the exact same as when she left them, except maybe he father was a little tanner. He still had his black salt and pepper hair that he left a little shaggy, his broad shoulders that were perfect for big hugs, his deep brown eyes that twinkled when he smiled. The man that raised her had to still be there, he just had too.
Without saying a word Jean gave Hermione a slight nod with looking at her, that was all Hermione needed. Standing up from the table she raised her wand at her father, praying for success just like she did with her mother.
The dazzling blue smoke once again wafted out of Hermione’s wand and headed toward her father, floating through the air as gentle as a summers breeze. Just like her mum her father’s face became dazed and his eyes glazed over, causing him to drop his briefcase on the tiled floor.
The entire kitchen seemed to go silent as they waited to see if the spell worked, the hum of the refrigerator drifted away, the dripping kitchen faucet stopped, even the birds seemed to have silenced their beautiful singing. Everything seemed to be in anticipation of whether William Granger would regain his memories.
“Hermione?” her father asked, recovering from the spell a lot faster than her mother.
“Dad,” Hermione ran towards her father at light speed, flying into his arms and enrapturing herself in his hug.
The feel of her dad’s embrace and his hand patting her mane of curls was all it took for Hermione to start crying once again. The relief of knowing that both of her parents were alive and well and remembered her was probably the happiest she had ever felt.
“Jean,” her father said still hugging Hermione, “How old is she?”
Why was everyone so worried about her age? Did she really look that different? She thought to herself.
“Eighteen,” her mother replied, sounding almost on the verge of tears.
Why is that so upsetting? Are they sad that they missed my birthday? We can always throw me a birthday party, it’s not like I got to have one while on the run. She mused to herself, hoping that a party would solve all her parents worries.
“Is he gone?” her father asked, letting go of Hermione and walking towards her mother.
“Yes,” Jean replied, her head hanging slightly.
“Then we have to take her to them. We promised.”
Them? Them who? Hermione’s head was going a mile a minute, what was going on?
“I know,” her mother said, now standing beside the small kitchen table.
“What is going on?” Hermione asked, finally deciding to speak. Her parents never kept secrets from her.
“Hermione….” Her mother began,
“Jean,” her father interrupted, grabbing her mother’s arm gently. “Let me.”
“Hermione, I know this may sound strange, but after everything you’ve been through she shouldn’t be the weirdest thing you’ve ever encountered.” Her father began, his hands folded on the table in front of him. William Granger only ever had his hands that way when he was worried about something.
“The truth is, your mother and I knew you were a witch when we got you. We weren’t surprised at all when you started showing your magic when you were little, or when you got your acceptance to Hogwarts when you were eleven. We’ve known that you were a witch the entire time. Your mother and I actually know a lot about the wizarding world, more than you’d expect.”
“Wait,” Hermione interrupted, “what do you mean by “when we got you”? You mean when you had me right?”
“No, I don’t Hermione, I meant got you, as in received you, took you in.” Here her father took a long breath, probably the longest breath he’d ever taken in his entire life. “You’re not related to us by blood Hermione. Your mother and I took you in when you were eight days old, you come from a wizarding family, and a very powerful one at that.”
Hermione was extremely confused at what her father was saying, wizarding family? Took her in? They had to be lying, she was their daughter and no one else’s.
“I know you find this hard to believe Hermione but it’s true.” Hermione’s mother finally spoke, reaching her hand out towards her daughter who was standing frozen. “We brought you home when you were eight days old and raised you as our daughter, but you have another set of parents, your birth parents. And they miss you very much.”
“How do you know that?” Hermione spat angrily, “How do you know that they didn’t just abandon me, cast me away like some reject?”
“Because Hermione,” William said, standing now, his palms flat against the white table. “Your father and mother are two of my closest friends, and there hasn’t been a single day that they haven’t missed you and wanted you to come home.”
“Your friends? Your friends?” Hermione asked, almost screaming now. “Why would your friends give you a baby? This is making no sense! You’re lying!” Tears started dripping down her cheeks.
“They did it to protect you Hermione!” Her father was yelling now, his face turning redder by the second.
“They thought they were protecting me by sending me to live with muggles? How daft do you think I am? Are you angry at me? Is this why you’re doing this? Because you’re mad I erased your memories? I did it to protect you because I couldn’t stand it if something were to happen to you!” The tears were now running profusely down her cheeks.
“Hermione,” Jean said calmly as she grabbed her daughter’s hand. “You erased our memories to protect us, just like your parents gave you to us to protect you.”
Her mother’s words caused Hermione to think, she had always been rational, and there was a part of her that was begging her to listen to her mother’s words. Confused and exhausted Hermione sank down onto the cold tile and cried, letting her thoughts argue against one another.
“I knew she wouldn’t believe us,” her father mumbled quietly, running his hand through this salt and peppered speckled hair. Hermione couldn’t see very well due to the tears but she swore that she saw a hint of a tattoo that had never been there before, peak out the sleeve on her father’s arm.
“Maybe she’ll believe us when she meets them,” her mother replied still stroking Hermione’s mess of curls.
“Hopefully,” was all her father said as he exited the room.
Thank you everyone for reading! I would greatly appreciate it if you could review!!
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