A sense of contentment had fallen over the Weasley/Potter clan. The dark cloud that seemed to smother them over the past couple of weeks had lifted, and everyone had a renewed optimism. Hermione’s condition was improving. She was still on more potions than one could imagine (and most likely would be for a while) and didn’t have full use of her left leg. Even her once flawless magic had gone a little wonkey. Nonetheless, Healer Parcell brought bright news everyday. They were beginning to wonder if he was capable of bringing bad news. After what seemed to Hermione like years of sitting in bed, he informed the Weasleys that with a carefully scheduled care plan, she could soon go home.
As for her relationship with Rose, it wasn’t fixed, it had been broken for too long to fix so quickly, but they were trying. One quiet Wednesday, they were alone for probably the third time since Hermione had woken up. Although he wasn’t very keen on it, Hermione had convinced Ron to go into work a couple of days. She insisted that the pile of work on his desk was probably enormous. She shuttered at the thought of the pile of work accumulating on her own.
So as it was the middle of the day, and Rose had no real job, she puttered around her mother’s room organizing and tidying up. She was feeling much more like the old, confident, neurotic Rose, rather than the scared, confused one she had turned into.
“Merlin, there is an appalling lack of shelf space in this room,” Rose cried from the corner, “Where are you supposed to put all this stuff?”
“Ginny’s been taking a lot of it back to the house, or throwing it out,”
Rose was perusing some of the get well cards, “Who are these people? I bet you don’t even know half of them,”
Hermione looked outraged, “Of course I know those people,” she huffed, “that’s part of my job,”
“Oh really,” Rose replied skeptically, “So,” she glanced at the name on the card in her hand, “Kpangbah Togba is…” she smiled and waited for a response.
Hermione opened her mouth to answer, but then shut it in uncertainty. Her eyes rolled upwards, staring at the ceiling. Thinking hard, Hermione bit her lower lip, “Well…umm…he’s…”
Rose raised her eyebrows in anticipation, “He’s…who?”
Hermione gave a frustrated groan, “You made that one up,” she accused.
“I did absolutely nothing of the sort,” she threw the card on her mother’s bed, “Look for yourself,”
Hermione picked up the card and read the name, still with a confused look on her face, “Fine, that’s one out of all of those that I’ve had a bit of a mental block on,”
“What? You want another one?” Rose picked up a particularly fancy card, read it, and started to laugh, “Well, even I know who this is, but dad hasn’t seen these has he,” she continued to laugh.
“What are you talking about?” Hermione answered slightly harshly.
“I didn’t know you were so close to the French Minister mom,” Rose smirked.
“Sweet Merlin,” Hermione sighed, “What did that pervert write?”
"Très chère Hermione," Rose read in a severely overdramatic French accent, “Votre terrifiante attaque nous a tous inquiété. Personnellement, je ne saurais que faire si vous n'étiez pas ma contrepartie britannique. Votre beau visage me manque quotidiennement. Je vous souhaite une récupération rapide et complète; Avec amour, Pierre” **
When she finished, Rose was laughing so hard, she had to sit down. “My French may not be great, but I like the part about your ‘beautiful face’,”
Hermione did not look nearly as amused as Rose was, “That man is going to be the death of me,” she sighed, “Well, at least there’s one less thing you have to hate me for,”
“What are you talking about,” Rose asked between fits of laughter.
“If I didn’t force you to take those French lessons you hated when you were younger, you never would have been able to enjoy that,” she smirked.
“Touché,” Rose sighed, “Alright, I no longer hate you for the French lessons,”
“Thank you,” Hermione crossed her arms across her chest and winced in pain.
Rose glanced at her fearfully, “Are you alright?”
“Yes,” Hermione snapped, “I’m fine. Get rid of that stupid card. No wait, I’ll do it,” she reached toward the bedside table where her wand was sitting. Rose jumped up from her perch on the chair and raced over.
“I don’t think so,” she reached for her mother’s wand, but Hermione pulled it away.
“Last time I checked I was quite proficient at simple magic,” she snapped again.
“Last time I checked,” Rose quipped back, “You tried to summon a vase of flowers across the room and they exploded,” she reached again, “give me the wand,”
“I am not a child,” Hermione was getting rather upset now, “I’m the bloody Minister of Magic, I should be able to use my own wand!” she raised it and pointed it toward the card on her lap, “Incen-“
“Expelliarmus,” Rose cried quicker. Hermione’s wand flew out of her hand and Rose caught it.
Visibly furious, Hermione yelled at her daughter, “How dare you disarm me young lady!” It took every ounce of Rose’s self-control not to launch into a tirade herself. She knew Hermione was frustrated. She had been stuck in that bed for weeks and the few times Healer Parcell had actually allowed her to try simple spells, they had gone horribly wrong. Parcell said that he expected that as a result of what she had gone through, and that it was most likely only temporary. Rose had been given quite the talking to by her father and her aunt about how everyone had to understand how hard this was on Hermione and how everyone had to try and be sympathetic. However, Hermione was continuing to yell at Rose, making it very hard for her to be understanding. “You give me back my wand right now or else…”
“Or else what?’” Rose retorted sharply, “You’ll ground me? I’m twenty one years old mother, you can’t do that anymore,” She flicked her wand and sent the card soaring toward her. It would have been just as easy to walk the three steps and take it, but Rose didn’t have as much self-control as her father wanted her to have and she knew it would irritate her mother more to see her do simple magic. Rose let the card drop on the tile floor and pointed her wand at it “Incendio,” the paper card burst into a quick ball of flame and just as quickly burned out, leaving nothing but a black spot on the floor. “Scourgify,” Rose shined up the floor brighter than it had been before. She crossed her arms across her chest and glared at her mother.
“Rose Weasley!!” Hermione cried, “I have never seen such disobedience in my life,”
Rose rolled her eyes, “Oh come off it, I’ve done much, much worse than that,” She sighed and dropped her arms. She walked over to the side of Hermione’s bed and sat in the chair next to it. Her glare had softened. She had apparently regained her composure. “Look mom, I get that you’re frustrated,” Hermione huffed and opened her mouth to reply, but Rose cut her off, “I would be too, but you have to let us help you. That’s the only way you’re going to get any better. Healer Parcell said the one thing you need the most is time to heal. He said the weird magic stuff will eventually fix itself, you just can’t push it,” Rose smiled, “And you’re acting childish and you know it,” she added for good measure.
Hermione placed her head back on her pillows, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath that was clearly difficult, “You’re right,”
Rose lifted her hand to her chest, “What was that?” she sarcastically asked.
Hermione looked directly at Rose and spoke deliberately, “I said you’re right. Happy?”
“Yes, very,” Rose replied, “I don’t know if you’ve ever told me that before,”
“Oh please,” Hermione exclaimed, “give me a little credit. I’m not that horrible of a mother,”
Rose just laughed. “Hmm, I’ll rack my brain and try and remember a time,”
Hermione suddenly looked extremely sad, and stared intently at her lap in front of her, “You know, I used to be one of the most powerful witches in the world,” then realizing how she sounded added quickly, “not that I really care about that,”
Rose took her mother’s hand in her own, “Mom, you are one of the most powerful witches in the world. You just have a roadblock at the moment. You mean to tell me that after all that crap you were telling us about the other day, you don’t believe you’ll get through this one,”
“I was much, much younger then,” Hermione sighed.
“Exactly,” Rose cried, “If you can get through all that at eighteen, think of how much you can overcome at…” Hermione cut her off with a glare, “now,”
“When did you become an adult?” Hermione smiled.
“I dunno,” Rose replied, “Like last week,” They laughed. “Mom, can I ask you something?”
“All that stuff, you know when you were younger, after all that, how are you even as normal as you are?”
“Are you implying that I’m not normal, by regular standards,”
Rose scrunched up her nose, “You know what I mean, and yes, I’m implying that you are not normal,”
Hermione sighed, “Like I said it was a very long time ago,”
Rose shook her head, “But it doesn’t seem like it does it? Like those dreams I had, you were sure we had the same ones. That one at Malfoy Manor was so real. It didn’t seem like something you remember like it was a long time ago. You remember every detail of it don’t you?”
Rose could see something change in Hermione’s eyes. She had not accepted the response that everyone had believed for so many years. “Yes, I do. Things like that are hard to forget, and even when I wasn’t in a coma, I would have dreams about it,”
“So, how aren’t you locked in a padded room?”
Hermione hesitated, “I don’t know, I just…”
“Come on mom, there had to have been something,”
She sighed, “You don’t want to know. You’ll laugh,”
“No I won’t!” Rose was outraged, “Come on,”
“It’s really corny. You’re going to think I’m making it up,” Hermione protested.
“Pleeaassee,” Rose jutted her bottom lip out and put on her best pair of puppy dog eyes.
“That may work on your father, but I think you look pathetic,” Hermione shook her head, “Fine, fine, it was you,”
Rose’s pleading face morphed into a look of confusion, “What?”
“It was you,” Hermione threw up her hands, “After the war, you’re right, it was really hard. I had nightmares all the time. I was paranoid about everything. I was afraid that it wasn’t really over. We had a lot of things we had to explain, and we didn’t really feel like explaining them. As cheesy as it sounds, the only thing that made me feel any better was your father, as infuriating as he could be. So as time went on, everyone started to get back to normal. It got a little easier; time will do that. But I still had the nightmares and couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe the world really was a terrible place. I mean, we saw so much death and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Mind you, I was very good a hiding this. I went back to Hogwarts and finished my NEWTs. I got a job at the Ministry, everything I was supposed to do. Ron was the only person who ever figured it out. We got married, that made me happy,” a purely blissful smile stretched across her face, as she remembered, “And then we found out we were going to have a baby, and I was terrified. I loved my nieces and nephews and my new little godson, but I couldn’t rationalize bringing a person into this world that I was still so convinced was a dark and frightening place. But then you came. You were so tiny, and they put you in my arms. You had these bright red, rosy cheeks. And I thought about it differently, I had been a part of so much death when I was younger, now here was new life right in my arms. You were so damn cute too,” Hermione looked at Rose, who looked simply stunned, “I know it sounds corny, but it’s the truth,”
Rose continued to stare at her mother, “You’re kidding,”
“No, I’m not. Why are you so convinced I hate you? I don’t hate you at all Rosie. You, and your little rosy cheeks, saved me,” Hermione ran her hands through her hair, “Oh dear, I really sound like a bad, melodramatic paperback don’t I?”
“A little bit,” Rose admitted, “But I guess it’s ok,” she moved the chair closer to the bed and leaned in, resting her head on Hermione’s shoulder. “You know, you’re making it harder for me to be irrationally mad at you,”
Hermione pushed a loose strand of red hair behind Rose’s ear, “Sorry,”
Just then, Healer Parcell knocked on the side of the open door, “Good afternoon ladies,” he smiled and entered, with Ron close behind. While Healer Parcell checked the charts on the end of Hermione’s bed, as well as the potion bottles on the table, Ron made his way over to Hermione and Rose. He gave Rose a quick peck on the top of her head and Hermione a sweet kiss on the lips.
“How are my girls?” he smiled goofily down at them.
Hermione glanced sideways at Rose, who had straightened up in her chair, “Fine,” she replied, “How was work?”
“Quite busy actually,” Ron answered, taking an apple from a nearby ‘get well’ fruit basket, “Harry is devising this whole new security scheme for you,” he took a large bite, “He fired Geller,”
“What?!” Hermione responded, “Why? He was a perfectly competent Head of Security,”
“I guess ‘perfectly competent’ isn’t acceptable for Harry anymore, and I agree,” Ron continued to eat his apple and talk between bites, “He promoted someone to take his place. One of the young, egar kids,”
“I think you’re all taking this a bit far,” Hermione retorted, “Who is this poor kid anyway? Do they even want to be Head of Security?”
“Of course he does. It’s a big promotion. I mean, Albus was a Junior Auror two days ago…”
“Wait a minute,” Hermione interrupted, “Albus? You mean our Albus. Harry and Ginny’s Albus,”
“Yeah, do you know any other Albuses?” Ron looked at Rose for support, but she only returned a confused look.
“You mean to tell me that Harry promoted his own son from a Junior Auror to Head of Ministerial Security, for a Minister that just happens to be is aunt,” Hermione put her head in her hands, “That looks so bad,”
“C’mon Hermione,” Ron still had apple in his mouth, “It was Al who broke the case. He figured out Malfoy’s big plan, and he was the one who stopped him and caught the rest of them,” he paused and swallowed, “He earned it,”
“Saved my life,” Rose added.
“I am going to take such a media beating for this,” Hermione sighed.
“Already taken care of,” he replied, “A number of high ranking Ministry officials, non-family members I might add, went on record as fully supporting the move. Saying nothing but good things about Al and fabulous things about you,”
“And who thought of that?”
“Jenny, actually. She’s been pretty much running that office. Your Deputy Minister, yeah, he’s no help to anyone. I suggest finding a different one,” he thought for a moment, “Maybe Jenny,”
Hermione looked flabbergasted. Jenny was a fantastic assistant, but to be able to run the office and think of shrewd political moves to avoid a large media scandal. Maybe she was underutilizing her.
“Or maybe not,” Ron backtracked when he saw Hermione’s face.
“No, no,” Hermione recovered quickly, “I’ll deal with that when I get out of here,” she looked eagerly at Parcell, “Speaking of which…”
Parcell glanced back with an amused smile on his face. “Ah, that’s right. We did say we would talk about that didn’t we?” He walked over to the end of her bed and peeked at her chart again. “I think we can certainly send you home within the next couple of days,” All three of them in front of him looked giddy with excitement. “But,” Parcell continued, “we have to make sure you know exactly how you need to be cared for. It’s going to be very specific and time sensitive,”
Ron started to look a little nervous, those were all things that he wasn’t particularly good at. Rose, however, was quite good at remembering all those things, “Not a problem,” she answered Parcell, “We can do it,”
“Fantastic,” Parcell replied, “I’ll go write it up. I’ll be back in about an hour to go over it with you, and with any luck, we’ll all be out of here tomorrow,” He smiled his bright white smile again and left.
“Tomorrow?” Hermione exclaimed, “I don’t know if I can wait until tomorrow!”
“Sweetheart,” Ron gently started to rub Hermione’s shoulders, “It’s only one more day. Now, at least, you have something to look forward to,” He kissed her softly on the top of her head. She closed her eyes and tried to relax, letting him calm her down.
Rose couldn’t help but watch her parents. They had been together for so long, but they were still really in love. She had to admit, there were some times that she didn’t really understand how they were still together. Her mother was so uptight and organized. Her father was laid back and, at times, borderline lazy. But then they pulled stuff like this and she couldn’t deny it. Thinking of how much her parents loved each other made her think of something else:
“Dad, you didn’t happen to see Kenny before you came here did you?” Rose asked, “He was spending the day with James. I didn’t know if he was home yet,”
“He wasn’t at the house when I stopped there,” Ron answered, “I’m sure they went to James’ place. I think Al said something about going there after he got out,”
Rose nodded as the door to the room opened again.
Hugo strutted into the room, “So word in the hallway is that you’re going home tomorrow,” He walked over and greeted his mother with a kiss on the cheek.
“Yes, finally,” Hermione answered with relief in her voice.
“Healer Parcell is going to go over all the stuff we have to do to take care of her,” Rose informed her brother, “And don’t worry, I’ll make sure I understand all of if before we leave,”
Hugo looked at his sister questioningly, “So you’re staying then,”
“What are you talking about?” Rose seemed confused, “Of course I’m staying,” Hugo glanced at his parents. They all shared a look that suggested they had spoken about this issue before, without Rose.
“Sorry,” Hugo recovered, “I just thought you would want to finish school or something,”
Rose shook her head, “No, I’m done there. I need to be here,”
Hermione shot a concerned glance at Ron, but didn’t say anything.
An hour later, Healer Parcell returned with new sets of potions and a multitude of paperwork. He went over, step-by-step, the procedures for taking care of Hermione at home. Each potion had a specific time and amount in which it had to be administered. Some of them where on such complicated schedules that if they were taken at the same time two days in a row, the consequences would be dire. He continued with ways in which to deal with both her leg and her magic, giving quite precise instructions about what spells and when she could attempt them. Ron and Hugo were getting more and more confused as Parcell talked. Rose, however, was ini her element. She was feverishly taking notes and asking questions, making sure she knew exactly what to do. Hermione was slightly overwhelmed with all the fuss over taking care of her, but she hid it well. She politely listened and took in most of what Parcell was saying.
When he finished, Rose doubled checked her notes, and reviewed them with Parcell. She wanted to make sure there wasn’t even the slightest error. Soon she was satisfied that she completely understood everything he had said. Parcell pointed his wand at the door and a silvery burst shot out of it.
“I want to introduce you to the Healer who’ll be taking over…” Parcell began.
“What?!” Ron interrupted, “Where are you going?”
Rose looked slightly embarrassed at her father, “He lives in Los Angeles, Dad. He’s going home,” Ron still looked flabbergasted.
“Rose is right,” Parcell addressed Ron, “I have patients and a practice in California. But I have made sure that your wife will be taken care of in the best possible way,”
A tall, good-looking wizard appeared at the door. Parcell introduced him as Healer Peter Jones. As he spoke about what Parcell had told him of Hermione’s condition, Ron resolutely crossed his arms. He did, however, speak well enough to impress Hermione.
“Well, alright then,” Hermione smiled. She just wanted to go home.
**Translation (made better by Akussa :-) ): My Dearest Hermione,
Your frightening attack has all of us concerned. I, personally, would not know what to do if you were not my British counterpart. Your beautiful face is missed on a daily basis. I wish you a quick and complete recovery. With Love, Pierre (I used an internet translation, as I speak 0 French, so how good it is I'm not sure...)
So yay!! Another chapter and it didn't take 6 months, I told you. I hope you liked this one, and we are getting to the end!! (eek scary I've actually never finished a story thing long before) Let me know what you think.