Chapter 1 : Chapter 1 ~ Decision One
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I hope you like this new story and will check out my others "Love in Secret" and "A Beginning and Therefore Change"
I do not own anything recognizable from the books or movies... J.K. Rowlings has that privilege and right! :)
Chapter 1 ~ Decision One
The sun was shining relentlessly and the hot August day had only just started. People were awake but resisted the idea of moving from their position because even the simplest movements created sweat beads. Everyone was sitting around peacefully and blissfully unaware that just 4 months ago a war had been raging on and both muggles and wizards had been murdered each day. However, there was one person lying in a bed with her wand clutched tightly in her hand that was painfully aware and recovering from that tragedy. Hermione Granger had jolted awake and grabbed her wand when someone’s air conditioner kicked on with a loud noise. She had snatched her wand from its place under the pillow and moved into a crouched position on her bed. As her brain assessed that there was no danger, she lay back down and looked at the ceiling of her tiny bedroom in her small flat.
She released her wand and wiped the sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand. She had barely slept again and her nerves were draining her of life it felt like. She wasn’t the only one who suffered from nightmares and horrid memories of the war. From what Ginny wrote her and an occasional letter from Harry, they were suffering too. Guilt consumed her as she thought of her friends. Hermione had barely written back at all and they had no idea where she was. Their letters found her and of course the owl from Hogwarts had found her, but she had not responded much. She didn't know what to talk about and she hadn't told them where she was because she didn't want to be found. Her strength that had gotten her through the war had left her the moment Fred’s funeral had been over. She had barely said goodbye before she left and had never gone back. She left one note saying, Can’t handle it. I have to go. Don’t look for me.
Traveling for a year with Harry and Ron had been rough, but now she was even thinner because she wasn’t sleeping and rarely did she feel super hungry so meals were sparse. She had been so strong for so many years and been a support for so many people that she finally shattered when she had continued to hold others up and no one even asked how she was. Those were the reasons she barely wrote back. She felt some resentment for being alone in her pain but mostly she didn’t have the energy to support anyone else and that’s what she's have to do in her replies.
Hermione slowly rolled over and stared at the wall. She had 2 weeks until Hogwarts started the term and she had still not decided if she was going back or not. All the living students from her year and the year below had been offered to come and take their final year all together. Hermione didn’t know if she could handle going back to her second broken home after everything that had happened. Who will return? From what Harry and Ginny mentioned they seem be thinking of going back. More guilt. Would they even talk to her now? It had been a week or so since the last letter and it had seemed more bitter than the others. She really couldn’t blame them, she was the weak and pathetic one.
She rolled herself out of bed. As she stood stretching she caught sight of her scar and her stomach churned. Looking away she sighed and told herself she was going to write a Pros and Cons list of going back to Hogwarts and responding to her angry friends. After making half a bagel with cream cheese, she found some parchment and a quill to begin.
2 hours later…
She looked at her full foot-long page of mostly Cons. Glancing over them again, she felt a little energy come to her and despite the overwhelming cons to her list she decided then and there that she was going to go back to Hogwarts, it was the logical thing to do. As for responding to her friends... she needed to try and explain what was going on, especially if they’d be at school with her. So, finding some more parchment she began to write 3 separate letters. Ron she gave the bare basics and sent her regards. Ginny she told that she’d been overwhelmed and needed to be alone. And Harry, she wrote that she had been lost and didn’t want to intrude in such a hard emotional time for everyone. Then a thought occurred to her. She didn’t have an owl yet and therefore had to hope one of her friends would send one or she would have to bribe the newspaper owl to take them.
Hermione waited two more days and then decided her best bet was bribing the delivery owl. So Thursday at breakfast time when the owl came with the news she held off paying it and told it that she would give it a whole galleon if it would take the letters to Harry Potter. The owl hooted indignantly at her and bit her but stuck out its leg for her to attach them. Bloody bird she thought to herself as she sucked her finger. Now more waiting. She realized she needed to clean her place and do some laundry because she was going to have to go school shopping this weekend.
Later in the evening when Hermione was laying on her bed twirling her wand, there was a light tapping at the window. She jumped and looked towards the glass to see Harry’s new owl Eris fluttering outside. Quickly letting the bird in, she saw three letters. Thinking that they had just returned hers she held her breath. Once she had the letters in her hands she released the air she’d been holding… they were replies.
She decided to open the letter she knew would be the most understanding and mild, Harry’s. She’d know his scrawny writing anywhere.
Where have you been? It’s been over 4 months and you've barely responded to us? Do you realize how worried I’ve been… There are times I have nightmares specifically about you and then I write you.
Besides my worry and anger at you, I hope you are ok and that I will hear from you again soon. Have you made a decision on returning to Hogwarts? Ginny, Ron and I are all going to go back.
I miss you and want my genius friend back! We’ve been through too much together to forget each other.
P.S. Ron had an angry look on his face when he attached his letter and was slamming doors. Just so you know…
Hermione had tears in her eyes. It wasn’t super obvious to an outside person, but she could tell that she’d really hurt him. He’d had nightmares about her? Another string holding her together broke. She wanted to just ignore the other two letters now because she knew they’d be worse. But she had to read them, she must! Next she pulled Ron’s barely legible writing towards her. Due to Harry’s comment she was curious as to how bad of an emotional response she’d evoked in Ron.
You know you’re not the only one hurting right? You didn’t lose people like I did and you haven’t been around to help us hold on afterwards. I don’t know what you’re on about but this isn’t ok Hermione… Harry’s been a mess and so has Ginny and where exactly have you been??? Oh right, none of us knows!
We never really talked about it, but just so you get it, that kiss didn’t mean anything. I don’t think it would ever work, especially since you abandoned us.
Maybe see you soon, maybe not. That’s on you.
And there it was, the punch to the stomach! He was angry, but he also didn’t know what had happened regarding her parents… He didn’t know how badly she’d been tortured and the lasting effects it had on her… and he had obviously forgotten that she’d lost people she cared about too. Ron had also never responded to anything that she had sent him. More tears slid down her face as she opened Ginny’s letter.
Finally a bloody response! Where have you been? DO you have any idea how worried everyone has been… how worried I’ve been? I know you've written Harry a little, but I love you too you know... I have half a nerve to hex you into yesterday if I ever see you again. You can’t just leave like that. Its been months and you almost never write us? Are you coming back to Hogwarts?
God Hermione, I’ve missed you so much and could have used a girl to talk to. I hope you’re ok. I know things have been really hard and you lost people, but you’re not supposed to just leave. It hasn’t been good for any of us and I doubt it’s been good for you. Please tell me you’re going back to school!!! Harry needs to see you and so do I.
Ugh, why did you have to leave!??!?!?! That is so not acceptable! I can’t even begin to explain how much trouble you are in. Actually I won’t speak to you if I see you, I’ll just ignore you….
No wait… I can’t. I want to do that, but I love you too much and since Harry is bound to forgive you I’ll have to…
We’re going to Diagon Alley on Saturday at 11:00am. You should meet us the pet shop… We’ll wait 15 mins for you and if you don’t show we’ll know you’re decision.
Lots of love (and anger)
P.S. I really hope you’re ok…
P.P.S. Ron looked really mad, be careful with his letter.
Hermione half laughed and half cried. It was so like Ginny to be so mad but still care. She read it again and wrote herself a big note reminding her about Saturday. She needed to go… No matter what happened between her and her old friends, it needed it be settled.
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