- Draco Malfoy Harry Potter Hermione Granger
- Action Romance
- Multiple Eras
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Quidditch Through the Ages Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Published: 12/26/2002Updated: 06/03/2003Words: 163,214Chapters: 24Hits: 76,742
- Story Summary:
- Hermione hasn't seen her two best friends in five years. Harry has``been living a self-imposed exile in the Muggle world and Ron has been``imprisoned in Azkaban. Her life is about to change dramatically.
- Chapter Summary:
- Hermione hasn't seen her two best friends in five years. Harry has been living a self-imposed exile in the Muggle world and Ron has been imprisoned in Azkaban. Her life is about to change dramatically.
Memories of the Way We Were
Saturday, August 30, 2003
As Professor Granger located an empty compartment and took a seat her mind wandered back to her first ride on the Hogwarts Express twelve years ago. Has it really only been twelve years? It seems like a lifetime ago, she thought to herself. It's amazing how something as insignificant as searching for a lost toad can change you life forever. For Hermione Granger's life was definitely changed the day she met Ron Weasley and Harry Potter. Little did she suspect that those two nervous eleven-year-old boys would end up as her best friends. Nor could she ever have envisioned the adventures they would share together.
Hermione's eyes filled with tears as she remembered what the boys looked like, that first day on the train. Harry with his unruly black hair and broken glasses and Ron with his smudged nose and mouth full of chocolate frogs.
It's strange how one's perception of events change as time passes. Who would ever think that being chased by a mountain troll and nearly killed in a girls' toilet could become a fond memory? Who in their right mind would ever wish they could be trapped in Devil's Snare again or be a living piece in a game of Wizard's Chess? The memories of those seven years constantly preoccupied her. If only she could turn back time and experience again those wonderful years and be with Harry and Ron all over again, but sadly a time turner can only turn back time a few hours, a day at most, but it won't allow one to relive her life and correct the mistakes she's made. And most sadly, Hermione reflected, it can't bring back people or restore friendships lost years ago.
Hermione Granger finished Hogwarts with the highest marks ever achieved by a student since the founding of the school over one thousand years ago. She was believed by many in the wizard world to be the smartest witch alive. Clever with books, but stupid when it comes to life choices, Hermione thought to herself. All these years and not so much as an owl from either one of them; how could I have been so stupid?
Professor Granger tried to bring herself back to reality by going over her lecture notes, but with little success. Thinking of teaching Transfiguration just reminded her of the circumstances surrounding her receiving the position. It all started when the centaur, Firenze had interpreted that Harry, Ron and she were the three proclaimed by the prophecy to be the coven that could defeat the Dark Lord.
Nearly one third of the wizard population in England had died due to the war and so it was declared by the members of the Order of the Phoenix that they should immediately seek out Voldemort and destroy him, no matter what the cost. Harry had fought for Ron and Hermione to stay behind, as he feared greatly for their safety. Hermione long suspected however that he looked upon the final battle between Voldemort and himself as a personal one, and he didn't want to risk any others.
The Order insisted that Voldemort could only be defeated by the combined efforts of Harry, Hermione and Ron. They knew that Harry would die if he battled Voldemort alone and with his death, they would lose any chance of defeating the Dark Lord. Knowing that he couldn't persuade them otherwise, Harry insisted that the families of the three should be protected, since Voldemort knew the three of them made up the covenant. That was agreed on, and both Ron's and Hermione's parents moved into the castle at Hogwarts. As soon as they were safe, the members of the covenant were given the gifts by the Order. Gifts that would aid them in the coming battle it was hoped. Harry had been given the sword, Excalibur. Ron received the Staff of Merlin, and Hermione carried the orb of Mab.
Dumbledore had referred to them more than once as the Heart, the Mind and the Soul. Due to the obscure nature of the spell and charms that bound the three of them, some personal questions had needed to be asked. Hermione was more than a little embarrassed when she was asked if Harry and her had ever been together intimately. But on answering yes, she was told that for this quest to be successful, the Heart and Mind had to be joined.
The embarrassment didn't stop there though, as she had to face Ron after answering knowing that they hadn't ever been Intimate. The fact that Ron already knew about Harry and Hermione's relationship during the fifth year did little to lessen the redness that Hermione could feel on her face. Dumbledore never answered her questions about what would've happened if Harry and she had not been together. She even muttered under her breath that they probably would've been required to perform the duty with witnesses. Nor did he answer when she asked what would've happened if Ron and her had been as intimate as she and Harry were.
Now thinking back on it, and with the aid of hindsight, she was glad that Harry and her had the intimate relationship when they did. It gave her very fond memories to look back on.
The defeat of Voldemort certainly wasn't simple and without the gifts it would have been impossible. But defeat him they did. After his essence was banished into oblivion, they returned to Hogwarts. After three years, they knew the wizard world could rejoice. They were finally free of the constant dread of the Dark Lord. None of them could keep the smiles off their faces as they grew closer and closer to their school and families.
Those smiles were quickly replaced with frowns and then looks of fear and anguish. As they approached Hogwarts, instead of seeing a great celebration, they all witnessed truth of the war in stark reality. Smoke was rising from the ruble that had once been the location of the Great Hall. Voldemort had ordered a Death Eater attack on Hogwarts before he'd been destroyed. The Headmaster and two of the professors had lost their lives in the attack, along with twenty-one students. Six other people had also been killed. Both Hermione's and Ron's parents had been killed along with two of Ron's sisters. Harry, of course, blamed himself for having suggested they take refuge in the castle.
A service was held and the hillside beyond the Quidditch field was turned into a memorial cemetery to honor those who had lost their lives. Harry didn't attend. When Hermione returned to her room she found a simple note on her bed.
When someone destroys what is most precious to the ones he loves, that someone no longer deserves their love or friendship. I can never give you back what I have caused to be taken from you and I cannot bear to look at your faces and know that I am responsible for the grief displayed upon them. I will love you both always. I know the love you have for each other will see you through this time of grief and that together you will in time find happiness. All my love forever.
It was signed Harry. Hermione ran as fast as she could to his room, but to her despair she found he was already gone.
Hermione lowered her head to her cupped hands. Tears came to her eyes. She missed her friends, and remembering such times did little to help the feeling of separation she felt from them. Suddenly, she was shocked back to the present with a loud rapping on the glass of the compartment door.
The lovely red haired girl on the other side of the window said, "Can I join you?"
Hermione looked up in surprise, quickly wiping the tears from her eyes. "Ginny, I can't believe it's you. Come in. Come in." As soon as Ginny had closed the door, Hermione put her arms around her and had held her in a tight embrace.
Ginny returned the embrace and they both stood like this for a few moments before the silence was broken by Ginny saying, "Hermione, are you all right? I thought I saw you crying."
"I was. Every time I think of ..."
As if knowing exactly what Hermione was about to say, Ginny interrupted her, "I know. I know. It was so hard to lose so much you love and cherish in one day. I don't think I'll ever fully get over it."
As if trying to change the subject, Hermione quickly suggested, "Sit down Ginny. It's so good to see you again. What are you doing on the train? Are you going to visit friends in Hogsmeade? Why didn't you fly or Apparate?"
"Actually, Professor, I'm traveling to the same place you are. You're looking at the new Muggle Studies professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I assume we both took the train for the same reason: fond memories."
Hermione tried to hide the shocked expression she was sure covered her face, "You are going to teach Muggle Studies? Ginny, don't detest me for saying this, but what do you know about the Muggle World?"
"First, Hermione, I could never hate you and second, I've become rather knowledgeable about Muggles. You know that my father always had such a love for Muggle inventions. Well, after I left Hogwarts, I really didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I decided to learn all I could about the Muggle world and figured the best way to do it was to actually live in their world." A look of pride washed over her friend's face, "You, Professor Granger, are looking at a graduate of New York University."
Hermione couldn't avoid showing a combination of pride and envy. She had planned on going to a Muggle University herself after completing Hogwarts. Her parents had always dreamed of her becoming a doctor and in memory of them she had wanted to fulfill that dream. However, when Professor McGonagall asked her to take over as Transfiguration Professor, she had found it impossible to turn her down. Not only was it an extreme honor to be offered such a position directly out of school, but also she had such respect for Minerva that it was impossible to say no, especially after her former teacher had almost died saving the lives of two students during the devastation.
"Congratulations, Ginny. I'm so proud of you, but then you did finish first in your class, so I shouldn't be surprised. It's certainly going to be nice to have another woman on the staff. I've felt extremely out numbered these last few years and now with Minerva retiring."
Ginny interrupted, "Knowing that I'd be teaching along side you is one of the reasons I decided to take the job when it was offered by Professor Snape. Hermione, we were such good friends and then...well when Harry broke up with you and well... I know he dated Katie for awhile, but -"
"Ginny, it's all right. I know what you're trying to say. Harry and I, well I guess it must have been all hormones. We were just so comfortable with each other and I guess I just convinced myself I was in love with him. Harry, on the other hand, should have broken up with me much sooner. Not once did he tell me he loved me, probably because he never did really. Ginny, I don't blame you for our breakup. And yes, there is nothing more I'd rather see happen than us become good friends again. It's been so lonely with out Harry and..." Hermione hesitated before saying, "Ron."
Ginny noticed the hesitation in Hermione's voice before she had uttered Ron's name.
"Hermione, no one blames you. Ron was a total arse and the whole world knows it. He just let the whole bloody Quidditch thing go to his head. Maybe if he had never made the team, things would have been different between you two."
Hermione shook her head, "I don't really know. There were so many ifs when it came to Ron and me. What if I had dated him first? What if he hadn't been bitten by Remus and turned into a werewolf? What if we had ignored the dangers and made love? What if he hadn't made a professional team? Ginny, I just don't know, but once he started getting that press and the girls started following him, we had no chance."
"I was disgusted to have him as my brother. What did the headline in the Daily Prophet read? 'WEASLEY SCORES 85 IN A ROW!'? Then the text went on to quote Ron as having said he wouldn't be satisfied until he scored at least two hundred. I was totally confused. Keepers don't score points. Then when I saw the pictures of all the girls, I realized they weren't talking about Quaffles through a hoop it was about how many different women he had shagged in a row."
"Another Quaffle through a different hoop, perhaps?" Hermione said, the sarcasm edging her voice. "The money, the fame--we know which head that all went to. He definitely got the publicity he'd always envied of Harry. He never apologized; do you realize that? Never an "I'm sorry, Hermione". He just walked out of my life without so much as a goodbye. Harry, at least, left a note."
Ginny moved to the other side of the compartment next to her and embraced her tightly, not at all fooled by the amusement Hermione had attempted to convey. "Well, at least the devil got his due."
"Ginny, even Ron didn't deserve that. As much as he hurt me as a girlfriend, I can't hate him. He was a wonderful friend for seven years. If he came to me today and just apologized, I'd lean over backwards to get that friendship back. Oh! Don't get me wrong," Hermione exclaimed, noticing the odd look on Ginny's face. "I would never, ever think of him romantically again, but I miss the closeness we had. We three had a special bond."
"I guess he would have made it to two hundred if it hadn't been for that championship game that lasted four days. He had to know what would happen when moonrise came, but he was stubborn and kept playing."
"Were you at that game, Ginny?" Hermione questioned.
"Yes, I didn't really want to go, but Fred and George insisted. 'He's your brother', they said. It's the championship game. The tickets are free. So we went, and on the fourth day the sun set and Ron turned into a werewolf. I'll never forget the look on that poor chaser's face when Ron went after her. Sometimes I have nightmares about it and wake up hearing her screams. It took ten Aurors to get him off of her. Till this day I don't know how they avoided being bitten, too. But by the time the Aurors had subdued him it was too late. His bite had nearly severed the born girl's leg and she had gone into shock."
"Did anyone from the family ever try to talk to her?" Hermione questioned.
"I tried to, but she wanted nothing to do with anyone who bore the name Weasley. I couldn't blame her. She's a beautiful girl. I imagine up till then she had to fight the boys off. Just eighteen years old. She had the most beautiful long blonde hair and her figure, well she'd even give you competition."
The fact that Ginny paid her such a nice complement in the middle of such a serious conversation caught Hermione quite off guard and she turned a bright red. "Now her life will never be the same"
"No, the court, besides sending Ron to Azkaban for four years, liquidated all his assets and gave them to her, but her life is ruined. What good is money when the world shuns you? Most werewolves at least have the benefit of being able to hide what they are from the public. This poor girl had her face spread all over the wizard press. She can't walk down the street without someone recognizing her."
"Ginny, isn't Ron's time up soon?"
"Yes," she nodded, "he's scheduled to be released next Wednesday".
"Oh! Have you talked to him? What are his plans?"
"I haven't talked to him, but George and Fred have. He's changed a lot. Not the same Ron we knew. Fred and George have offered him a job managing their store in Hogsmeade until he gets on his feet."
Hermione's face turned as white as the blouse she was wearing. "He's going to be here? Here in Hogsmeade?"
From the look on Hermione's face, it was Ginny's turn to change the topic of discussion. "So what do you think Severus Snape will be like as a Headmaster?"
"Oh! Ginny, I don't know what to say? Sometimes it's almost as if he's developed multiple personalities. I feel so sorry for him. First he loses Lily to Harry's father. Then after all those lonely years, he falls in love with your sister just to lose her so tragically. You were there that first year after her death. What was he like in class?"
"He certainly wasn't the Professor Snape that taught you. It was like he was there, but just going through the motions. He seemed like he didn't care anymore. Oh yes, he taught the class, but he was completely calm and quiet. It was like he was some sort of zombie from an American horror picture. He didn't yell. I don't even recall him taking house away points the entire year."
"Well, now he's a different person every day," responded Hermione. "You never know what to expect from him. One day he can be so pleasant and very personable. The next day he's mean and miserable. Day after that he looks so sad and lonely that you feel like you have to take him in your arms and hug him as tight as you can."
"Hey! Hold on, girl. Sounds to me like someone has developed a little crush on old Snapie." Ginny wiggled her eyebrows at Hermione.
"No, it's not like that Ginny," Hermione blushed brightly. "He is an attractive man and honestly, we have taken in a few shows together, but purely as colleagues. It was totally platonic. I could never picture myself in a relationship with Severus."
"Well, I sure could. When he was dating my sister he really took care of himself. His hair was clean and styled, not oily. He dressed differently; he was drop dead bloody gorgeous. There were many a night when I fell asleep thinking about him..."
"Virginia Weasley! I can't believe my ears."
"Believe them. Ginny Weasley isn't that timid shy little girl anymore." Once again she changed the subject. "So, do you do the same Animagus trick to start your first year class that McGonagall did? I nearly peed my pants the first day when that cat jump off the desk and transformed into McGonagall."
Hermione blinked once and shook herself slightly, attempting to adjust to Ginny's frankness before answering the other woman's question. "I tried that my second year, but it didn't work out quite as successfully for me as it did for Minerva. The first years were too frightened to enter the classroom. It seems a wolf lying on the professor's desk is a bit more intimidating than a cat. Oh, I nearly forgot. What years will you be instructing in Muggle Studies?"
"First through seventh."
"Goodness, Ginny, are there enough hours in the day?"
"Oh," Ginny smiled. "This isn't your normal two or three times a week class. Since there is more and more interaction between the wizard and Muggle worlds, the Board of Governors wanted all years to at least get an introduction to Muggle Studies. They realized it would be difficult to squeeze it into the students' already tight timetables, so the class will only meet once a week with two houses attending at a time. Actually, I'll only have fourteen lessons a week. Professor Snape has even worked out the schedule so that I have no classes after noon on Thursday."
"Now I'm envious. Want to trade? My schedule is so full what with Animagus training and all that. I have no idea when I'm going to prepare lessons and grade tests, let alone sleep."
"Hermione, if you're anything like you were in school, you'll make time. I assume there have been some changes since I left. Who else is on the teaching staff this year besides us?"
"Well, of course, you know Charlie is returning to teach Care of Magical Creatures and unfortunately Trelawney will be roosting in her tower again." Hermione suddenly had a disgusted look on her face.
"You don't like Trelawney, do you?" Ginny had a questioning look on her face.
"It's not that I don't like her, it's just that she's so... fake. And I hate that she goes as far as predicting student's deaths. She did it to Harry year after year and now she's doing it to Jamie. It really bothers the poor girl and she's such a good student."
"First name. Sounds a little like she's the teacher's pet."
"No, not at all, she is just a very special girl.. Jamie's at the top of all her classes and like Harry, was made seeker of her Quidditch team in first year. The girl is absolutely beautiful, but doesn't have a conceited or mean bone in her body. You'll love her, believe me."
"Sounds to me like she the product of mixing Harry and Hermione genes." Ginny laughed. "Have you not been telling us something?"
Hermione blushed because she often wished she could have a daughter, a daughter exactly like Jamie. Unfortunately the father she wanted for her child wasn't in love with her. In fact, he was no longer even a part of her life.
"Well unless you're suggesting that Harry and I conceived a baby when we were both nine years old-- I'm afraid that's out of the question. Actually, I've met Jamie's parents. They are very nice people and have another daughter named Emily who will be starting Hogwarts next year. Let's see, where was I? Madam Hooch will be back for flight instruction and Professor Longbottom will be once again teaching Herbology. Professor Monroe quit as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, so I guess we're back to one-year guest appearances again. I haven't heard who the lucky victim is this year. As long as it's not another Gilderoy Lockhart we'll be okay."
"Hermione!" Ginny was practically shouting. "Professor Longbottom. Is that Longbottom, as in Neville Longbottom?"
"The very same." Hermione said. After Professor Sprout was killed there was some difficulty in filling that position, but Neville started last year and really took to it."
"Is Neville still as good looking as he was your last year?" Ginny had a devilish look in her eyes.
"No. Actually I think he has gotten even better looking." Hermione couldn't help but snicker.
"And you haven't gone after--" Ginny was interrupted
"No, Ginny, Neville and I are close friends, but no more," came Hermione's firm response.
"Which sounds better, Hermione? Virginia Snape or Virginia Longbottom?"
"I'm not sure. How about Virginia Malfoy?" Hermione teasingly responded. "Draco is taking over as Potions Master now that Severus has become headmaster."
Ginny Weasley's face flushed as she sputtered, "Draco-- Draco Malfoy is teaching potions?"
The action gets turned on in chapter two. I hope you will join me for what promises to be a very reveling chapter. I'd like to thank Sarah for suggesting I give writing a try and both Sarah and Andrew for beta reading this chapter. Thanks also to Ryan for britpicking. Please be a good reader and review.