Mrs Granger sat down at the table to eat her tea which Mr Granger had lovingly prepared. Dinner time in the Granger household had always been a time to sit down and discuss the days’ events, what had happened at work, and where they were going to stay that summer. The current discussion was about the possibility of staying at her brother’s new cottage in the South of France. Hermione had hinted that she wanted someone to go with her this summer, so her parents were now discussing the possibility of inviting Ginny to come with them.
The Granger’s tucked into their meal, a bottle of red wine stood open on the side board. They sat quietly eating when they were interrupted by a knock at the door. Mr Granger looked up at the sound, not expecting a visitor so late in the evening. He rose from his seat.
“I’ll get it my love, you sit and enjoy. Would you like some more wine while I’m up?” Mr Granger asked.
“No, thank you Dave, I’m fine.”
Mr Granger got up and went to the front door. Mrs Granger was surprised to hear Mr Weasley’s voice.
“Arthur, how nice to see you! All is well I hope?” Mr Granger said jovially. “Would you like some tea and dinner? We’ve just started eating”
“I think it best if I tell you and your wife together, Dave, if you don’t mind.” The look on Mr Weasley’s face told Mr Granger this was not a social visit.
“What has happened? What has happened to my daughter? Tell me Arthur, tell me now!” Mr Granger demanded.
At the mention of Hermione, Mrs Granger got up from the dinner table and went to the living room.
“Hello, Arthur, what is it? What has happened?”
Arthur sat them down and told them briefly what had happened, as best as he knew. He was also here to take them to Hogwarts because with them being Muggles, they wouldn’t be able to see the school.
“Here, touch this. It’s a Portkey. It’ll get us there in no time.” Mr Weasley explained, at the looks on their faces. Both were very upset at the news and the nature of the impending journey didn’t help matters.
They arrived in Professor McGonagall’s office, as Dumbledore’s was unavailable. Once there, they sat down on one of the big sofa’s which had been set aside for the parents. Mrs Weasley, Mrs Longbottom and Mr Lovegood were already there. The atmosphere in the room was a sombre one; Mrs Weasley got up as Mr Granger started to pace the room. She sat next to Mrs Granger and placed a comforting hand on top of hers. Both ladies held on tightly to each other, both afraid to let go; they both knew this would not be good news. Mr Weasley and Mr Granger were talking in hushed tones, both looking pale and withdrawn.
All jumped with shock when Professor Snape entered the office, his robes billowing behind him. Professor Snape sat at Professor McGonagall’s desk and started looking around at the parents in his cold, calculating manner.
“Please, Serverus, tell us what has happened.” Mrs Weasley was the first to speak
Mrs Granger, who was not used to the way things worked here, sat back and let Mrs Weasley do all the talking for now. She had heard of Mr Snape, and didn’t want to look too emotional. The only thought going through her mind was ‘This is bad. In all the time I that was in school, I never saw any parents attend school. This is very bad.’
She felt a strong connection to Mrs Weasley; she could see that Mrs Weasley cared deeply for Hermione.
Professor Snape raised his hand motioning Mrs Weasley to refrain from asking questions for now.
“Now. What I’m about to tell you is going to sound unbelievable. All I ask is that you let me tell you what transpired, I will then answer all your questions if I can.” He said softly.
Professor Snape them told them most of what had happened, putting his own twisted angle on the events, in a way that only he could manage.
“So it would seem that Potter dragged his friends down into the Department of Mysteries, on a fool’s crusade to rescue his dear Godfather. Now, while Potter escaped relatively unharmed; your children did not. Rest assured they are receiving the best treatment from Madam Pomfrey, in the hospital wing. They will be able to resume their studies at the end of the week. Professor Flitwick will come and take you to your children in a moment’s time. Now, if you have no questions, I shall leave you be.” With that he turned to Mr and Mrs Weasley, nodded his head curtly, and made his way out of the room.
Mrs Granger, suddenly hit with the realisation of losing her daughter, burst into tears. Mrs Weasley already at her side started to comfort her.
“What the hell was Harry thinking?” Mr Granger bellowed, “Dragging MY daughter down to London, and getting her in a fight to the death with Terrorists?” He started to pace the room again, Mr Weasley let the rant continue; Mr Granger didn’t know Harry the way he did. “Well, when I see Harry I’m going to give him a piece of my mind. If he thinks he is going to see my daughter again-.” Mrs Granger cut him off.
“David, shut up! My daughter is lying in Hospital; and all you can think about is getting your two-penny’s worth! I’ll not have it. Not until we know the full story! Okay?”
Mrs Weasley finally saw the resemblance of mother and daughter. Mr Granger visibly calmed.
“I’m sorry dear. I’m just so frustrated, I didn’t mean to go of like that; I’m sorry.” He went over to his wife and sat down next to her, placing a comforting arm around her.
Mrs Weasley went over to Mr Weasley. “Arthur, they say Sirius is dead? That he fell through the Veil?” Mr Weasley nodded his head, confirming her fears. Mrs Weasley sobbed on to his shoulder.
“SIRIUS BLACK! THE MASS MURDERER? My Neville was in the same room as the ring leader of He Who Must Not Be Named most trusted servants?” Mrs Longbottom shrieked.
“He is not a Death Eater.” Mr Lovegood spoke up “He’s-.”
“If you say he was the lead singer in a band, then so help me Mr Lovegood I will…” Mrs Weasley took a deep breath. “Well lets just say you will not like it.” Mrs Weasley had stopped crying now. Anger was radiating from her.
“Sirius Black was a good man. I didn’t agree with most of his views, but he has proven to be just and loyal. He helped my family when they needed it most. I will never forget that. I will also not tolerate any bad words spoken against Harry.” She looked at all in the room.
“Do not judge Harry on what you have otherwise heard. From what we have heard he was tricked by a vision and Harry, being Harry, acted on it. It is the same way he acted when he saved Arthur here, and the same way he acted when he saved my Ginny, my Ron, and even your Hermione. It’s who he is and I love him all the more for it.” Mr Weasley was smiling; he loved it when she defended her children to other parents.
“But what I don’t understand is why my Neville was with them? Don’t they know he’s useless at magic? Oh no, he’s not a patch on my Son. Merlin help him, how did he ever get out of there alive?”
“Harry.” Mr Weasley said. “He helped form a defence group. He taught them all defensive magic. From what Ron has told me, Neville was one of the top students.”
“I take it my daughter was in this group?” Mr Granger asked.
“In it? She helped start it!” Both Mr Weasley and Mr Granger smiled.
“Yeah, that sounds like my daughter alright.”
“Is all this to do with the article I wrote the other month?” Mr Lovegood asked.
“I don’t think it helped.” Mrs Weasley answered dejectedly.
“What article?” Mrs Granger asked.
Mrs Longbottom pulled out the Quibbler, and handed it to Mrs Granger. Mr Lovegood beamed with pride: if somebody as distinguished as Mrs Longbottom read his magazine, then he must be doing something right.
Mrs Granger looked at the article. Her eyes were all glazed over with anger and confusion. When she had finished she wiped away her tears and gave the story to her husband.
“Is all of this true?” The look of sorrow on Mrs Weasley’s face confirmed it.
“But he is so young! Why? This Voldemort-” Everybody flinched. Mr and Mrs Granger looked around confused.
“I’m sorry Jayne, but we dare not speak his name. Most of our kind fears him. He is the embodiment evil itself. All of us are his targets, Muggles and Muggle Born especially, but I’m afraid to say that Harry is on the top of that list.” Mrs Weasley sobbed again.
“So that means that all of our children are on that list now?” Mrs Granger whispered. Mrs Weasley cried out, confirming these fears.
Mr Granger stood up “Well that settles it, Jayne. We’re getting the hell out of here, away from this place; this school; this world. I will not have my daughter a target for cowards and terrorists. We will leave the country; Jayne’s brother has a place in Europe. We will move over there.”
Mrs Longbottom stood up “And they will find you. No, the safest place for your daughter is here at school with Professor Dumbledore. Nobody will harm your children. Everybody knows that You-Know-Who is afraid of Professor Dumbledore. It is the only place safe for your daughter. Besides, she can learn to fight and to defend herself, and her family.” She paused and made a silent resolve with herself. “When I have seen my Neville, I shall get in touch with my old friends and contacts. It is time to take a stand. He destroyed my son and my daughter-in-law’s life. He will not destroy Neville.”
A power radiated from Mrs Longbottom. It was an ancient power, long hidden but now fully awoken. “I must speak to Professor Dumbledore before the night is out.”
Mr and Mrs Granger were sitting down next each other, having a hushed conversation, deciding their daughter’s future. Mrs Weasley leaned into Mr Weasley.
“If they think there going to ban her from seeing Harry, they are in for a rough ride. That kind of friendship cannot be broken, and if I’m not mistaken, Jayne thinks that as well.”
She looked over to Mr and Mrs Granger who had finished their discussion. Mr Granger wiped a tear from his face, and sighed in resignation.
“Do you think it wise to carry on with my plans to go to Sweden?” Mr Lovegood asked.
“I don’t think it would matter. Why are you going?” Mr Weasley asked.
“Why, to see the Crumple Horned Snorklacks of course. I have heard of sightings!”
Mrs Granger looked at Mr Weasley. “The Crumple Horned What?”
“Snorklack.” Mr Weasley finished and smiled.
“Mental, the lot of them.” Mrs Weasley mumbled.
The door opened once again, and Professor Flitwick walked into the office.
“It’s time to go down. They’re all going to be okay. If you would please follow me?”
* * *
The walk down to the hospital wing was a subdued affair, neither party speaking. As they walked into the hospital there were cries of emotion from the group that were awake. Ginny ran over to her mother.
“Mummy!” Mrs Weasley hadn’t been called that in a long time, and she felt a pang of compassion for her daughter, tears were falling down Ginny’s face.
“Mummy I was so scared, please don’t be angry with us. Sirius… Sirius is dead.” Ginny let out a cry and sobbed into her mother’s embrace.
“Shush my angel, it’s alright. You’re safe now.” Mrs Weasley comforted her daughter in the way only a mother could. Now wasn’t the time for questions. Mrs Weasley saw her husband walk over to Ron’s bed and sit down by his side. Mr Weasley took his son’s hand into his own. Silent tears were falling down his face as he looked at Ron’s unconscious form.
“Well son, what have you gotten yourself into now, eh?” Mr Weasley sighed and wiped his eyes. Mrs Weasley sat down opposite to her husband and took Ron’s other hand.
Ginny sat down on the end of Ron’s bed sobbing. “He saved me and Luna, Mum; he got us away from the Death Eaters and then he got hit with a strange curse, it sent him all funny and he couldn’t think straight. I’m so sorry Mum, Dad.”
Mr Weasley motioned to his daughter. She came over and sat on his lap and hugged him tight. He could feel her trembling as he kissed the top of her head.
“It’s ok, my precious. It’s all over.”
Within five minuets Ginny had fallen asleep on his shoulder. He picked her up and placed her on the bed next to Ron’s. Then he went and sat next to his beautiful and loving wife.
* * *
Mr and Mrs Granger walked over to their daughter, sat down and placed their hands in hers.
“Hermione dear, it’s Mummy here, I’m here to-.” She broke down in tears and rested her head on her daughter’s hand.
Mr Granger placed his hands on his wife’s back and gently rubbed it in tight circle’s. He had never been a religious man, but he silently prayed to God, begging for his daughter’s well being.
He looked up and saw Mr Weasley pick up his daughter and place her on a bed.
The only thoughts going through his mind were. “How am I going to protect my family? When will this ever end? Where is Harry, why isn’t he here with the rest of them?” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. It was going to be a long night.
* * *
Mr Lovegood turned to his daughter who was sitting silently at her bed reading her magazine. He chuckled to himself as the sight of her reminded him of his late wife.
“Hello Daddy! I have had such a night! I rode a Thestral, I duelled with Death-Eaters, and I saw the Veil of Death, Daddy and I’m pretty sure I heard Mummy.” Mr Lovegood had to look away from his daughter as a tear fell from his eye.
“Is that right, my pumpkin? Is that right?”
“Oh yes Daddy. She is happy there, she is at rest.”
Mr Lovegood smiled and hugged his daughter, silent tears falling down his face.
* * *
Mrs Longbottom walked over to Neville. His nose was fixed and he sat, looking down at his bed.
“Hello Neville. We must talk about last night, but not now I have just come to see that you are okay. I must have a talk with Professor Dumbledore.” She patted Neville on the head and walked away without a goodbye.
Neville got up, walked over to Madam Pomfrey and asked if he was well enough to go up to his dormitory.
With a final look behind him, Neville saw all his friends’ parents consoling each other, before he turned and walked back to his dorm.
* * *
Many thanks once again to Elfmaiden and Tante, and also to me beta, Thekillerpie. May his red pen be the source of light and headaches to come. I should also mention his fine fic, Life after the old. He wrote it all by himself. Can I have my pet bunny back now please TKP? Be on the look out for the next part in the series, Men at Work.