Chapter 5: Searching for Memories
|Chapter 4||Chapter Index||Chapter 6|
They were awake before dawn and gathered in the kitchen of the Burrow. They busily checked belongings and got last minute advice from Arthur and Molly. In their focus and haste, the bluish glow and announcement from the fireplace almost went unnoticed.
"Travel itinerary for Paige Turner, Ted Edward Baer, Amia Goodflier, and Ryan Carnation is available for use. Please depart within the hour."
After a few quick hugs and goodbyes, they stepped into the fireplace and began their journey.
Travel to Australia had taken them through different countries and multiple travel hops. Though it had taken only an hour to reach their destination, the travel was exhausting as Ernest had foretold. It was early evening in Sydney as they wearily walked toward their lodging. They had a quick bite to eat in a small café and drank travel potion to help them adjust to Sydney time. They checked into their adjoining rooms, each containing two beds. After changing into pajamas, they talked for a while. However, it wasn't long before Hermione and Ginny said goodnight and returned to their room to get some sleep.
A short while later, a gentle knock sounded on the door adjoining the two rooms.
The door opened a small amount. "Ron," said Ginny in a whispered voice, "I need to talk to you."
In a sleepy daze, Ron got out of bed and staggered toward the door. Harry turned away onto his side and put the pillow over his head.
"... She's worried herself into a fret over what she thinks her parents will say. Just stay with her until she's asleep and we'll switch rooms again."
Ron nodded and walked into the room. Ginny lay down on Ron's bed facing the door of the adjoining rooms to wait. "I hope this won't take too long," she thought to herself, "I'm so ...slee... py..."
Ron yawned as he sat down on the edge of the bed. Hermione was lying on her side turned away. In a gentle voice he said, "Hermione, what's the matter?"
In a quiet voice she said, "Oh Ron, I'm so worried about what Mum and Dad are going to say to me that I can't sleep. You all must think I've gone mad."
"No, we don't think that Hermione," he said gently, "we're here to help you." He rubbed her shoulder. "You're tired from traveling and need to get some sleep. I'm sure you'll feel better in the morning."
"Will you stay with me for a while?" she asked in a timid voice. "That is, if you don't mind."
"Umm ... yeah," said Ron a little unsure. He lay down behind her and put his arm around her waist. "This okay?"
She took a deep breath and let it out in a quiet sigh. Placing her hand over his hand she said, "That's much better. You're my big warm teddy bear."
A short while later they were both asleep.
Roughly prodded from behind, she climbed the stairs. "Hurry up, we haven't got all night," came a voice from behind. She stepped onto the astronomy tower and saw Amycus Carrow with his wand drawn. He was standing above a first year student sitting on the stone floor with his legs drawn close and forehead touching his knees. The student was crying.
Looking down at the first year, Amycus said in a loud voice, "Silence you ignorant child. You are in detention this evening for lying to your professor about the goodness of your muggle relatives. You will serve as practice target."
Shoved forward, she staggered to remain on her feet. Alecto said, "You refused to perform the cruciatus curse as directed in class. You will be here tonight until you do."
"I won't do it!" she shouted defiantly.
"I think you will silly girl, Imperio!"
With all her strength, she willed herself to remain focused and not let another take control of her.
"Still not following directions," said Amycus savagely. "Perhaps this will help you remember why you are here. Crucio!"
She screamed out in pain and fell to her hands and knees on the cold stone floor.
The pain stopped and Alecto shouted, "Imperio!"
A feeling of calm began to overcome her. As hard as she tried, the curse began to take control.
Climbing along the parapet, he jumped onto the floor of the of the astronomy tower and shouted, "Leave her alone. Stupefy!" The stunning spell shot from his wand and hit Alecto square in the chest. She fell back a few steps but the imperious curse did not break.
Amycus pointed his wand and shouted, "Imperio!" A peaceful feeling came over him and his face went partially blank. He could not move as Amycus continued to hold control over him.
"It seems you have an admirer," said Amycus with a wicked grin. "Come just in time to be your new practice target."
"Take out your wand and point it at him!" shouted Alecto.
Her strength and will were being overwhelmed. As hard as she tried, she could not prevent her hand from taking hold of her wand. Tears began falling from her eyes as she slowly turned and pointed her wand.
With fierce concentration, he pulled himself back into control and shouted, "Protego!" A shield formed around her and Alecto fell backward onto the floor.
The curse lifted and she quickly pointed her wand at Amycus shouting, "Stupefy!" Amycus was thrown backward and his curse broke. Quickly moving forward, she took the hand of the first year and pulled him up. They rushed to his side and she pushed the first year behind them.
He shouted, "Protego Totalum!" and a shield formed around the three of them. They stood by the opening in the parapet with their wands pointed at the Carrows.
"Enough," said a hissing snake-like voice. Two red slit-like eyes glowed maliciously from the shadows. The eyes gripped everyone in a cold feeling of fear and dread. "I will deal with two incompetent death eaters shortly. But first, I will show you how to conduct a proper detention lesson. Crucio!"
In excruciating pain, they were blasted into the air and backward off the astronomy tower. Terror filled screams reverberated in the darkness as they fell toward the ground below ...
Eyes snapped open as they abruptly awoke and each sat upright breathing in quick shallow breaths. The bed sheets were strewn and partially hanging off each bed. Harry saw a frightful expression on Ginny's face. He quickly moved to sit beside her on the bed and put his arm around her shoulder.
"It's okay Ginny. It's okay."
Hermione quickly stepped into the room through the adjoining door. Ron, with wand in hand, followed an instant later.
"We heard you both shout," said Hermione with a concerned look on her face. "Are you okay?"
Her fright subsiding, Ginny said meekly, "It's just that nightmare again Hermione. Sorry to wake you. I'll be okay in a minute. You and Ron can go back to sleep."
"Again?" said Ron in a whisper to Hermione.
"I'll tell you later," whispered Hermione.
"Umm ... Okay Ginny," said Hermione tentatively. "Sorry about your nightmare. See you in the morning."
The clock on the nightstand showed ten pm. Hermione and Ron walked back into the other room. Feeling her calm down Harry said, "In your nightmare, were you blasted off the astronomy tower?"
She looked at him with an unsettled expression. "Yes. You had the dream too?"
She blushed. Then, in a contrite voice said, "Oh Harry, they made me do it. I tried so hard with all my might to resist but they made me curse that first year boy. It really happened Harry, in one of the dungeons. I'm so ashamed. I wasn't strong enough. If it hadn't been for Neville and Luna covertly attacking the Carrows and drawing them away, I shudder to think how much more pain I might have caused."
Harry rubbed her back. "We've all been made to fight and do things that are unbefitting of magically endowed beings. It's not your fault Ginny. You did the absolute best you could. That's all anybody can be expected to do."
The words echoed in his ears.
"I want to help others Harry, not hurt them."
"You will Ginny, you will. Somehow, we'll put all the terrible things behind us and find peace and love again."
After a moment, she lay down. Taking his hand, she gently pulled him toward her and then turned onto her side. He lay on his side behind her and she put his hand across her midriff. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Breathing in the scent of her hair, he closed his eyes. They each felt a warmth and comfort from the other and a moment later, they were both asleep.
It was a gentle and soft tingling sensation. She sluggishly opened her eyes to see a wand floating above her. The tip of the wand lightly brushed her forehead. It felt like a soft downy feather. The wand was slowly rotating counter-clockwise along its length. She reached for the wand but it backed away. "Okay, I'm awake." she silently thought. The wand hesitated for a moment longer and then floated away and settled onto the nightstand.
In the dim morning light, she saw Ron lying on his stomach beside her still asleep. Smiling to herself, she carefully got up and silently made her way to the door adjoining the two rooms. She peeked in and saw Ginny asleep, lying on her side, toward the edge of the bed. Harry was asleep on his back beside her. Hermione smiled warmly and then quietly walked into the room.
Standing at the foot of the bed, she gently said, "Harry ... Ginny ... it's time to wake up."
Ginny began to stir and rolled onto her back. Harry turned toward the nightstand and began groping for his glasses. After retrieving his glasses and putting them on, he looked and saw Hermione smiling at him.
Realizing where he was he said, "Oh ... I, ah ... guess I fell asleep."
"We both did," said Ginny sleepily. Stretching she said, "Best night of sleep I've had in a long time."
"No explanations are needed from either of you," said Hermione in a kind voice. "Just because you slept in the same bed doesn't mean anything improper happened. Harry, you comforted Ginny. I did the same for you last Christmas after the attack in Godric's Hollow."
Harry gazed at the ceiling with a blank distant expression. "I don't remember you doing that." ... He looked at Hermione. "Thanks. That was the worst nightmare ever."
With a thoughtful expression Hermione said, "Now that you mention it Ginny, last night was a peaceful night of sleep for me too. Well, I'd better go and wake up Ron. We have a lot to do today."
A yawning sleepy voice from the doorway said, "No need ... I'm awake." Then with a drowsy expression, "Why can't there be just one time zone?"
Getting up from the bed Ginny said, "C'mon Hermione. We need to get ready." The two of them disappeared into the adjoining room and closed the door.
After breakfast, they made their way to the public records office and went inside. Hermione and Ron stepped up to a clerk standing behind a counter while Harry and Ginny watched from the waiting area. The clerk pointed to various machines located in the room as he spoke. A few minutes later, Hermione nodded and thanked the clerk.
They returned and Hermione said, "Harry, you and Ginny can start looking through the home sales records on that equipment over there. Check for dentist office leases too. Ron and I will go through the dental licensing and written examination records."
Hours later, Harry sat back in his chair. He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. Running her fingers through her hair Ginny said, "I thought we were on to something with that one."
Harry put his glasses on and looked up as Ron approached. "Let's take a break for a while and get some lunch," said Ron. "My eyes are about to fall out."
They stood and followed Ron back to where Hermione was sitting. She hastily jotted down a few notes and then stood. They all walked toward the door.
"Honestly, I thought they would have better record keeping," said Hermione as they ate lunch. "How far did you get?"
"About half way through," said Harry. "We haven't found anything yet."
"We're a bit further but nothing yet either," said Ron. "Muggles sure have to take a lot of tests."
"Magical healers have to do the same," said Hermione. "But at the rate we're going, it will probably take the rest of the day. Are you all okay with that?"
"Absolutely," said Ron. Harry and Ginny also nodded.
"Well then, we'd better get back to it. The records office closes at five."
The afternoon search was little different from the morning. Harry and Ginny continued to look but found nothing. A little after four, they heard Hermione squeal and they quickly went over to where she and Ron were sitting.
"What did you find," asked Ginny.
Hermione pointed to the screen. "It's an attendance sheet for a class on Australian business law. Two of the people who attended are Wendell Wilkins and Monica Wilkins!"
"Where was the class held?" asked Ron.
"The University of Melbourne, the class was only a few months ago. They might still be in Melbourne."
"That's fantastic," said Harry. "Should we travel there today?"
"Yes, I think so," said Hermione with a satisfied smile.
Ron pulled out the map from his pocket and looked at it. After a moment, he said in a low voice, "There's a magical transport point two blocks further down the street, turn right and then one more block."
They all stood and hastily departed the building.
With a gentle whoosh, they found themselves beneath a gazebo in a secluded garden. A reddish glow of twilight illuminated a few wispy clouds in the darkening sky. They stepped from the gazebo a short distance and Ron reached into his pocket for the map. Harry leaned his head in and they began a quiet discussion, each pointing to various places on the map.
Ginny moved close to Hermione as they watched Harry and Ron. In a low voice Ginny said, "What is it with guys and maps?"
"I have no idea. ... It's probably from some long ago quirky twist of male evolution." They both giggled.
"It does seem to contribute to their cuddly factor," said Ginny with a smile.
Hermione smiled. "Yes ... strange as it is, I think you're right about that."
Ron pocketed the map and he and Harry turned to face them. The expression on the face of Ginny and Hermione quickly changed to one of interested expectation.
"There's magical lodging a short walk from here," said Ron in a confident tone. "It's called the Drowsy Dragon."
"And there's a pub next door where we can get something to eat," said Harry.
"Sounds good to me," said Ginny as she turned to look at Hermione.
"Lead the way."
They all turned and walked toward the street.
"Booth seating for four," said the hostess. "Right this way." After taking their seats, the hostess handed each of them a menu. "Your waiter will be with you shortly." Then she turned and walked away.
Holding his menu just below eye level, Harry looked over the top at the surrounding room of people. His gaze fell on a table part way across the room. The middle-aged man and woman seated there had followed their movement when they walked in. Now the couple appeared to be talking to each other intently and glancing every so often in their direction.
Still appearing to look at his menu, Harry said in a low voice, "We've been noticed. What do you make of the couple halfway across the room at two o'clock?"
Harry turned his head to look at Ginny, "Just a security check ... constant vigilance."
"They don't seem like a threat to me," said Hermione looking toward Ron.
"Me either," said Ron. "Maybe they recognize you from a picture."
"In Australia?" said Harry with a mild look of surprise.
Ginny said, "Your picture was on that 'Undesirable No 1' mug shot last year. They posted it at Hogwarts in the library and common rooms. Who knows how many they printed or where they sent them."
"I hope people know that mug shot is rubbish now," said Harry with an irritated expression.
"That's something we didn't consider before coming to Australia," said Hermione looking annoyed. "There were stories in the Daily Prophet about you defeating him. But I'm not sure how fast that news has spread. Some might still think you're wanted by the Ministry."
"Well, they're not concealing themselves," said Ron. He smirked at Harry. "I reckon they're just members of your extended Australian fan base."
Harry tilted his head and looked over his glasses at Ron with a half frown, giving him the eye. Ginny and Hermione giggled.
A waiter walked up to their table. "Evenin' mates. What'll it be?"
The waiter took their orders and hurried off. A short while later, the couple they had been watching started to get up to leave. After standing, the man and woman looked towards them. The man tipped his hat and the woman silently mouthed 'thank you'. Harry gave them a small nod. Then the couple turned and walked toward the door.
"Good news travels fast," said Ginny.
"Yes it does," said Hermione with an expression of relief. Then with a thoughtful expression said, "Still, we should probably consider disguises. Harry, maybe we should change your glasses."
Later that evening, they all sat around a table in the economy room Hermione had insisted they get. It was magically enlarged and very spacious with a king-size bed, closet, and adjoining bathroom on each side. They discussed the Melbourne information Hermione had brought with her. The small business and residential areas were expansive and they cross-checked frequently with the map to determine magical transport availability.
After about an hour, Harry sat back from the table. "So what's the plan for tomorrow?"
"Pretty much the same as today," said Hermione. "After breakfast, we'll go to the public records office and search the archives. I hope it doesn't take too long to find an address where they work or live."
"We'll find them," said Ron confidently.
After a quiet moment Hermione said, "It's getting late. We should go to sleep so we're well rested. Ron and I will take this side. Wake up is at six."
"Could we make it six-thirty," said Ron with a pleading expression.
"We'll have to cut breakfast time shorter," said Hermione looking at him with a small smirk.
Ron looked at her and smiled knowingly. "Okay, have it your way."
They changed into pajamas, turned out the lights, and got into bed. Harry said in a whisper, "No nightmares tonight I hope."
"No, I don't think so," whispered Ginny. "Just a cozy night of sleep."
They entered the public records office soon after it opened the next morning and began searching through the archives.
A long while later Ginny said, "There!"
"Yes!" said Harry as they carefully looked at the screen. The names Wendell and Monica Wilkins were present on the image of a postal registration card.
As they were copying down the address, Ron hurried toward them. "We found their license to practice dentistry."
"We've got something too," said Harry as he and Ginny got up to go with Ron.
Hermione was excitedly copying down the information on the screen. She looked at them with a radiant expression. "Ashby Court. They live on Ashby Court."
"That's the address we found too," said Ginny.
Hermione turned back to the image on the screen and stared at it. "I can't believe it."
"Told you we'd find them," said Ron looking over her shoulder at the screen.
"Ron," said Harry, "does Ashby Court show on the map?"
"No, the map only shows highways. We need to get a street map."
"The concierge at the Drowsy Dragon should have one," said Harry.
Ginny noticed Hermione still staring blankly at the image on the screen. "Are you okay Hermione?"
"Yes ..." She took a deep breath. "I'm just a little anxious about ... well, you know." After a moment, she stood. "Come on, let's go have some lunch and get a map."
They walked into the lobby of the Drowsy Dragon. Harry and Ron went up to the front desk.
"G'day mates. How can I 'elp yah?"
"We need a street map of the area," said Ron.
The concierge reached into a drawer and pulled out a folded piece of paper. Handing it to Ron he said, "Here's a magical street map of Melbourne and surround 'n parts. Just point yer wand to where yah want to go and an image will appear. The image can be focused on for safe apparition to the destination."
"Brilliant," said Ron. "Thanks."
"Ave a g'day."
With two small pops, each couple apparated into a secluded area by the street corner. After carefully checking that the area was clear of bystanders, they stepped onto the sidewalk and began slowly walking up the street. The houses were small to medium in size. The neatly trimmed yards contained all manner of shrubs, flowers, and trees. Some had white picket fences and stone pathways leading to the front doors. The neighborhood was quiet and they heard birds singing in the trees.
They stopped by a large shrub and looked forward to the next house. It had a large tree in the front yard and a brick path leading up to the door. The window blinds were open but they saw no movement inside. With Ron, Hermione, and Ginny standing around him for cover, Harry took out his wand. He pointed it at the house and quietly said, "Homenum Revelio!" Two small misty figures of a seated man and woman appeared briefly and then dissolved into the air. Harry pocketed his wand and looked at Hermione. After taking a deep breath, she took Ron's hand and together they stepped forward. Harry and Ginny followed a short distance behind.
Standing before the door of the home, Hermione reached over and rang the doorbell. A moment later, the door opened. Her heart skipped a beat and she took a quick breath at the sight of her mother standing in the doorway.
Monica looked intently at Hermione for a long moment. She felt a deep down and ever so slight tinge of affection. She struggled to find a memory that stubbornly remained just out of reach. "May I help ... Do I know you? Somehow, you seem familiar."
"H ... Hello. Yes, I'm family. My name is Hermione and this is Ron."
"We have no family members with those names. Who are those with you?"
"They are my friends Harry and Ginny. We've all come from England to find you and Wendell. The two of you lived in England last year. We've come to explain the dreadful thing that has happened to you."
"Wendell," said Monica over her shoulder, "will you come to the door?"
A moment later, Hermione's heart skipped another beat as her father appeared beside her mother.
"What is it?"
"She says they are family. She also said we use to live in England."
Wendell looked at Hermione with a doubtful expression. "We've never lived in England. You must be mistaken. ... Still ... you do seem familiar to me."
Hermione pleadingly said, "Please, may we come in and explain it to you?"
Wendell looked at each of them for what seemed like an eternity to Hermione. "This seems very important to all of you. Please come in."
Hermione felt like she would burst with joy. Ron, Harry, and Ginny felt a shock of relief at his words. They quietly entered the living room of the home. Harry, Ron, and Ginny stood with their backs to the window blocking the view. As she walked into the room, Hermione let her wand slip down into her hand from up her sleeve. She turned and held her wand behind her out of sight.
The door closed and Monica and Wendell entered the room side by side. "Please be seated," said Monica.
Hermione raised her wand and pointed it at Wendell and Monica. Tracing a clockwise oval around their heads she said, "Resuscitet Conscientia." The expression on the face of Wendell and Monica went blank and they looked at her with an unfocused stare. Continuing to point her wand at them, she twisted her wrist and gently said, "Memento Filia." Then, after tracing an oval with her wand three times counter-clockwise she said, "Excitaret!"
Hermione lowered her wand and bit her lower lip watching her parents anxiously. Slowly the blank expressions and distant gazes faded. Then, with a snap of realization, they blinked and looked around.
Her mother looked at her. "Hermione?"
Her father said, "Mione, what has happened?"
Hermione rushed forward and repeatedly hugged each of them, sobbing uncontrollably, and saying how very sorry she was to each of them.
Ginny had tears in her eyes. Harry and Ron did a high-five in jubilation. Harry put his arm around Ginny's waist and squeezed her tight.
"There there my dear one," said her mother as she held Hermione and rubbed her back. "What has made you so upset? Come over here and sit down with me."
Ron stepped up to Hermione's father and extended his hand. "Not sure if you remember but I'm Ron Weasley. I think we last saw each other in Diagon Alley."
Dan shook Ron's hand. "Yes, you are ... one of Arthur and Molly's children and a good friend of Hermione." Looking at Ginny, her long red hair triggered a memory and he said in an unsure tone, "You are ... Ginevra?"
"That's right. But if you please, call me Ginny."
Harry extended his hand. "I'm Harry Potter sir. It's good to see you again."
"Ah ... yes, the one we were so worried about. I trust everything is well with you."
"Very well, thank you. Mission accomplished, a great evil has been defeated. It could not have been done without the extraordinary sacrifices made by Hermione."
"Please, find a place to sit and be comfortable. Emma and I would like to hear more about what has happened. It seems like we've just awoke from a kip."
"Dad, will you please come and sit next to me too?"
For the rest of the afternoon they talked. At times, Dan and Emma looked at them with shocked expressions as they told them, in general terms, what had happened. Hermione also explained, while holding their hands, what she had done to them.
With tears in her eyes she said, "Mum, Dad, I'm so very sorry for taking away your memory of me, even if it was just for a time. It was wrong and disrespectful of me to make that kind of decision for you. I promise, with all my heart, never to do such a thing to you again. It's made me realize that there are enormous consequences to using certain kinds of magic."
Her mother said, "It is disappointing that you felt you couldn't talk to us about it. But hearing all you've been through, we understand your true reason for doing it." She squeezed Hermione's hand. "We love you very much too."
Her father squeezed her hand saying, "We're more proud of you than words can say. You've had to deal with so many unpleasant things. In the future, let us know if you think our knowledge and experiences can help."
He looked around at all of them. "You've grown into such honest, responsible and independent adults." Looking at Hermione he said, "There are few greater gifts that a parent can receive from their child."
After a short pause, Emma glanced at the clock. "My word, its dinner time. Are any of you hungry?"
When they all nodded, Dan said, "Why don't we go out for dinner? Do you like Italian?"
"Yes we do," said Ron enthusiastically. Harry, Hermione, and Ginny grinned.
"It will be a tight fit getting there," said Emma to Dan with concern. "We have a small car."
"We'll manage," said Dan.
"Umm, I might be able to help with that," said Hermione meekly.
"Yeah, an undetectable extension charm," said Ron exuberantly. "That's what my dad did to our car."
Dan and Emma looked at Ron and Hermione with bewildered expressions. Ron said, "It makes the inside of the car bigger than the outside."
Hermione smiled at the questioning look on their faces. "It will be easier if we show you."
"Very well," said Dan. "Your mother and I need to get used to being around magic again."
"Maybe one day soon ... could you ... can I help you cook that casserole you used to make for us?"
Emma smiled warmly at her daughter's request. It had always been her favorite meal since she was a little girl.
"Of course my dear, and maybe a few of your other favorites too."
Hermione hugged her mother. Then, they all stood and followed Dan to the car.
Over dinner, they talked about the travel to Australia and their search to find where they lived. They agreed to stay at the Granger house. Harry and Ginny would stay a few more days so that they all could go sightseeing together.
They returned to the house a few hours later comfortably drowsy from the meal. They played exploding snap, much to the delight of Dan and Emma. It wasn't long before they all began to feel sleepy. After some reassuring private words between Hermione and her mother, the two couches in the living room were magically extended. It had been an emotional day for Hermione and she now felt much more at peace with herself. They all fell asleep in short order and slept soundly.
A while later before going to bed, Dan and Emma looked in on them and smiled warmly at the peace and serenity they saw.
"Did you see Mione and Ron during dinner?" whispered Dan to Emma. "They care very much for each other."
"Yes," whispered Emma. "Harry and Ginny care very much for each other too. I so hope they will have some peace in their lives now. They need to be carefree for a while."
Dan nodded and whispered, "We need to help them stay connected so they can put all that has happened behind them."
Emma turned to look at Dan and whispered, "Are you saying that we should move back to England?"
"Yes, I think I am," whispered Dan. "We shouldn't put Mione in the position of having to choose between being with us or her close friends. If we live in England, she'll be able to do both. Mind you, we'll need to come up with a good cover story for our friends as to where we've been all this time."
"That will require some creative thought," said Emma.
The following morning, shortly after she awoke, Hermione heard the muffled sound of soft conversation. She quietly got up and walked into the kitchen. Her parents, each with a cup of tea, sat at the kitchen table.
"Good morning," said Hermione as she sat down at the table.
"Good morning," said Emma as she poured Hermione a cup of tea. "Sleep well?"
Hermione nodded and took a sip of tea. Then looking at them and frowning slightly she said, "I'm still feeling badly about what I did to you." She looked down at the table and her gaze became distant. "This last year, there were times when I thought I might never see you again. It hurt to think that you might never know you had a daughter who loves you." She looked at them intently. "Do you really forgive me?"
"Yes, Mione we really do," said Dan. "At that time, you thought it was the best for us. You told us yesterday that we were in real danger and that you feared for our lives. That put an overwhelming stress on you. We are most sorry that it was necessary for you to make that kind of decision in the first place. But you chose carefully and then took responsibility for your actions. You've made it right again and we can put it all behind us."
Emma said, "We love you very much and have only your best interest at heart. We want you to be happy and hope you will trust us when you need advice or an opinion. We'll support you even if we might disagree."
Hermione looked at them warmly. Then, with an uneasy expression she said, "Mum, Dad, I want to live with you for a while, even if that means moving here to Australia. We've missed so much as a family."
"We want to spend more time with you too," said Emma. "But it's clear that you, Ron, Ginny, and Harry have a very close friendship, the kind that should be cherished and nurtured just like family. We don't want you to have to choose between them and us because either choice will leave a great emptiness in your heart. Your father and I have talked about it and we've decided to return to England."
"That's wonderful. I'm so happy to hear you say that." She felt relieved as another weight lifted from her shoulders. "You are absolutely the best mum and dad in the whole world." She got up and hugged them both.
She happily sat back down and took a sip of her tea.
"We also noticed you and Ron," said Emma with a smile. "Is there more than just friendship?"
Hermione smiled and looked into her teacup. "We've both been attracted to each other for almost as long as we've gone to Hogwarts. Neither of us had the courage to tell the other how we really felt until recently. A boyfriend girlfriend relationship is new for us and we're still sorting it out."
She looked up and was delighted to see both of her parents smiling at her in approval.
After a short pause Dan said, "Mione, what are your plans for school this fall?"
"I want to go back to Hogwarts and complete my NEWTs. Professor McGonagall is arranging makeup lessons. I want to do something about the laws that regulate magical creatures. They are treated so unfairly. ..."
A while later, after putting the living room back in order, Harry, Ron, and Ginny joined them in the kitchen. They happily shared in Hermione's excitement when she told them that her parents were moving back to England. Everyone pitched in to help prepare breakfast. Over breakfast, they planned what they wanted to see and do. They decided that a morning shopping trip, followed by an afternoon at the Healesville Sanctuary, would fill their day. Emma and Dan were amazed at how quickly the four of them cleaned up after breakfast using magic.
At the shopping mall, the girls and guys split up. Emma, Hermione, and Ginny spent time looking at clothes and trying on different things. They playfully talked about how their respective boyfriends might react. The cosmetic counters received some attention as well as the shoe and accessories stores. Ginny found a pair of red sandals she really liked and Hermione found a handbag. Emma was happy to be spending some girl time with Hermione and Ginny and getting reacquainted with them.
Dan, Harry, and Ron spent some time in the electronics store. But they mostly just walked the mall window-shopping and talking. After making a complete circuit of the mall, Ron and Harry thought they should go meet back up with the others. Shaking his head knowingly, Dan told them that it was much too soon yet. So they began another circuit of the mall. In a previously missed far corner of the mall, they came across a toy and novelty shop. Ron led them inside to look around. The merchandise paled in comparison to Weasleys' Wizarding Weezes in Diagon Alley. Nevertheless, a few things caught Ron's eye and resulted in a thoughtful expression on his face.
Ron was intently examining an object and running his fingers along the surface of the glass sphere. Pink and blue tendrils of light followed his fingers as he moved them. As Dan came up beside him, Ron said, "This is amazing. What is it?"
"I believe it's called a plasma globe."
Ron continued to gaze into the globe and trace his finger along its surface. "Is this what muggle electricity looks like?"
"Sort of ... It shows the affect the electricity has on the air inside the globe. What do you think of it?"
Ron looked around to see that no one else was near. Then he said in a whisper, "With a bit of magic, this would be a great product in my brother's joke shop."
Dan whispered, "How would you change it?"
"Magic would connect two of them together. The people touching them would feel each other's hand and fingers. It would be like holding hands when you can't be with them. You could make them laugh by tickling their hand. Or maybe they could see each other's face in the glow."
"Those are interesting thoughts," whispered Dan. "Any other ideas?"
Ron turned and pointed to a nearby shelf. "That metal spring thing over there. It's great that it can walk down stairs and slink from hand to hand. But with a little magic, it could walk up walls and across the ceiling too. Maybe it could play hide and seek with little kids. Or curl itself to help them learn letters and numbers."
As Harry walked up beside them, Ron said, "I wonder where I can find these things in England? It would be fun to work out the magic."
"Perhaps I can help you with a small business loan and you can get them now," said Dan. "What are your terms?"
Ron looked at Dan first with surprise and then a warm smile. After thinking for a moment he said, "How about cost plus ten percent of the profit on the first fifty units sold?"
"Those terms are acceptable," said Dan. Shaking Ron's hand he said, "Pick out what you need."
While Dan was talking to the cashier, Harry leaned close to Ron and whispered, "Where did you learn to make business deals?"
Ron whispered, "Listening to Fred and George when they'd talk about the joke shop. George is bloody brilliant when it comes to the business side of things."
They left the novelty shop carrying three bags and began walking toward the food court to meet up with the ladies for lunch. When they reached the food court, they saw Emma, Hermione, and Ginny seated on a small bench talking. Hermione eyed the packages Ron was carrying. "What have you got there?"
"A few things I'm going to work on with George when we get back to England. That's all I'm going to say about it." Then looking at the packages Hermione was holding he said, "And what did you get?"
With a coy expression she said, "It's a secret. You'll see later."
After lunch, Dan drove them all to the Healesville Sanctuary. They enjoyed the afternoon leisurely walking around and looking at the many different kinds of native animals that were there. The kangaroos, wombats, and wallabies were favorites and the bird show was fascinating. Hermione particularly liked the koalas and said they reminded her of teddy bear. Harry and Ginny snickered and Ron put his arm around her. Dan and Emma smiled. Harry and Ginny had an enjoyable time talking with the parrots.
Late in the afternoon, Dan treated them to ice cream cones and they leisurely made their way toward the exit. Emma mentioned the need to stop by the grocery store on their way home. She wanted to make a particular casserole for dinner. A small squeak from Hermione proclaimed her whole-hearted support.
|Chapter 4||Chapter Index||Chapter 6|
This is an original fan fiction story based on the seven book series 'Harry Potter' written by J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter, the characters, names and related characters are trademarks of Warner Bros., Inc. Harry Potter publishing rights © J.K.R. This is an unofficial, not for profit site and is in no way connected with J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Books, Bloomsbury Publishing or Warner Bros., Inc. This site is not endorsed by any of these aforementioned parties. Rights to characters and their images is neither claimed nor implied. This fan fiction story is owned by the author and subject to copyright law under transformative use.
Copyright © 2015-2017 Don Buczynski
San Diego, California
Last Updated: 9/21/17