This was most definitely not my week. First of all, Ron and I had another major argument over his lack of time spent at home, as opposed to that spent partying with his friends and my apparent ‘obsession’ with my job. The usual argument provoking topics really.
He had changed drastically from the boy I thought I knew. Well, I suppose we both had changed. That was what usually happenend when you gets older, you mature with time. I didn’t really resemble much of the person I were at the age of eleven.
After that, I was told that one part of the Dobby Law, which had taken me weeks to draw up, was not able to go through, due to it stating that an elf had a right to leave their owner after five years. This somehow infringed on another law which meant I would have to redraft it all. That would take forever, thus provoking yet another argument between me and Ron. It seemed to be a never-ending cycle.
Finally to top it all off, Andromeda asked me to take care of Teddy this afternoon. As much as I loved him, I wasn’t really looking forward to looking after a hyper three year old boy right now. It would not do well to add to my already high level of stress. Also, it didn’t help that Teddy was to be dropped off in my unusually cluttered office, meaning that I had to tidy that up as well.
I didn’t exactly have any of his toys here, so what was he supposed to do? Now that I thought about it, I could have brought the miniature solar system along, as it didn’t take up much space. I did think it was a good idea to prepare him from Hogwarts. Astronomy was a truly fascinating subject and the quicker he started learning the better off he would be.
Of course the others thought I was mad for teaching a three year old about the planets, but it would set him in good stead for Hogwarts. Remus would have been pleased to know that his son followed in his academic footsteps.
Back to the point though, I only had approximately ten minutes to sift through this pile of papers and order them according to their purpose before Teddy arrived. That task was near impossible to complete even when I had a whole afternoon to do it.
There was a brief knock on the door to my office. I was far too stressed out to open it, so I merely called out, “Come in, the door should be open!” I couldn't think who it might be, as I wasn't expecting anyone. The person who was meant to be bringing Teddy shouldn't be here for another good ten minutes.
Much to my surprise and great annoyance, Draco Malfoy strolled into my office, with Teddy in his arms who appeared to be posing as his mini-me for the day. I knew that we were on slightly better terms, but I didn’t particularly want him stopping by for a social visit. “Granger,” Draco greeted me curtly. “Nice office you’ve got here, shame you haven’t got a house elf to come and tidy it up for you.”
“Malfoy, you fully well know my views on house elves. I’m more than capable of keeping my office in an immaculate condition; it’s just an off day for me. What are you doing here with Teddy, anyway? I didn’t know you had anything to do with each other.” I was rather perplexed at the situation, because as far as I knew Teddy’s Malfoy relations had nothing to do with him. I thought they wouldn’t want to associate themselves with someone who had ‘impure blood’.
“What do you think? Aunt Andromeda is visiting a friend who has dragon pox. Teddy is my cousin, a fact I know all you lot like to deny, so I’m just being the caring relative and looking after him.” He was still in a bad mood I see.
Throughout this altercation, Teddy remained completely silent, something out of character for the usually lively toddler. It was only at the mention of Andromeda that he seemed to have perked up and paid attention to the conversation.
“Aunty Hermy, we went to Dwaco’s house. It was big, and pretty, but there was ‘Storia who was mean,’ Teddy piped up, sounding incredibly animated and began waving his arms around.
I stood up and walked over to him, as he had now been placed onto the floor; I had to bend down before I could reply.
“Well that’s lovely. I’ve heard about his house, and it’s meant to be pretty. If that ‘Storia is mean to you again, you can just come to me, ok. You know you can tell me anything Teddy,” I replied, while trying to block out my memories of my visit to Malfoy Manor. I would have spent a lifetime with this ‘Storia person, if it meant I didn’t have to suffer the ordeal I went through. I looked up and I could see Malfoy still smirking down at me.
“Malfoy, why didn’t you do anything to stop this ‘Storia? If you’re meant to be this caring person you claim to be now you should have helped him out,” I asked accusingly. I needed to do anything just to prevent those memories resurfacing. I glanced around the room in hope of finding something to distract me. A photo of Crookshanks sat on my desk and seeing that cheered me up a little.
“Ah Astoria, well she’s a tricky problem you see, and not one I particularly want to deal with. I assumed he was quite content playing with the house elf, so I didn’t interfere. It was nice talking to you Granger, but I’d best be off, someone’s got to actually do something useful. Andromeda will pick him up at six,” Malfoy replied, before sauntering out of the door.
He still acted as if he owned the place, despite his father no longer able to buy little Draco everything he wanted and thinking that his blood status makes him superior. I guess in some respects people never changed. This whole idea of giving Malfoy another chance was a lot harder than I anticipated it to be.
We had slightly gotten over our school time animosity, with Harry and me acting as witnesses at his trial. I think the ordeal with Snape taught us a very valuable lesson. Everyone deserved a second chance; Snape got one after all, and look at what he did for Harry, so I felt that Draco deserved one, as you never knew what good he could do.
Of course Ron disagreed with me. He was always stubborn, and I think those jibes from Malfoy over his wealth and family still deeply affectd him. Being called a mudblood by him still affected me too, but I guess looking in retrospect at the circumstances he was in and the way he was brought up, he really didn’t know any better.
“What shall we do today then Teddy? Do you want to go and see Uncle Ron and George in the shop?” I asked. Ron had recently given up on being an Auror and decided to help out in Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. George still grieved over Fred’s death and that meant he was incapable of running it himself, so Ron stepped in to help him out.
“Yeah let’s go there Aunt Hermy,” Teddy replied excitedly. It was such a delight to be with him. Yet, I couldn’t help but feel so sad at the same time, as Remus and Tonks never got the chance to know him.
I scooped Teddy up and I was just about to head for the day when the Head of Magical Law Enforcement, Gregory Platton, rapt on the open door. Without waiting for a reply, he promptly stepped inside and leaned against the door frame.
“Miss Granger, could we possibly talk?” Platton asked and began tapping his foot against the floor.
“Not right now, as you can see I’m otherwise occupied.” I never particularly liked that man, as he always took an incredibly tough line on criminals. It was almost as if he was Barty Crouch reincarnated. As well as being tough on criminals, he was tough in his demeanour and always sought to get his own way, so I doubted that I could get out of speaking to him right now.
“Well you’ll just simply have to get rid of the child for a few minutes, as this is urgent business. Besides, you know the ministry policy of having children in the work place. It’s simply not tolerated,” Platton replied sharply and he edged a little closer to me.
“Fine, just wait a minute while I go and find someone to look after Teddy," I said curtly. "I’ll have you know, that I have the afternoon off, so there’s no need to come out with the Ministry rule book, Platton.” I stormed out of the office and the glass in the frame of the door shook a little as I did so. I had always detested arrogant people like him.
Luckily, Susan Bones worked in the same department as me. We had become friends since working together and she had a great fondness for young children, so I was sure she wouldn’t mind looking after Teddy.
I strolled down the corridor and entered Susan’s cubicle. She was unfortunate enough to not end up with a proper office, and this resulted in lots of grumbling at me at the unfairness of it all. I found her hunched over her desk, looking intensely at a set of pictures showing attempted mermaid tagging. In fact, her entire room was covered in mermaid pictures with most of them scowling at me as I walked in.
“Hey Susan, you don’t mind doing me a favour do you?” I asked hopefully and jostled Teddy in my arms.
“Of course Hermione, what is it?” She replied, while looking up from her desk.
“Platton came by and asked if we could have an urgent talk, and you never want to annoy him. So I was wondering if you could look after Teddy.” Luckily, Teddy decided to give her a cheery smile at that exact moment.
“Sure, but you’d better come and tell me what Platton wants. I never thought our departments did anything together. They always seem to look down on us.” Susan sounded annoyed at the lowly position our department held in the ministry. It annoyed most of us really, because abuses against animals and magical creatures really should be a matter of greater importance.
“Of course, I’m rather eager to know myself, if truth be told. Teddy, I have to go and talk to someone, so you're going to stay here with Susan. She used to go to school with me and she’s very nice, so don’t worry,” I said soothingly. I wasn’t too worried anyway; Teddy seemed rather mature for his age and never seemed phased by strangers.
“Ok, bye Aunt Hermy,” Teddy replied confidently. Sensing that there was no need to worry, I headed out of the door and I could hear Susan asking whether Teddy wanted to see some pictures of mermaids or not. I knew they were going to get along.
I walked into my office to find Platton anxiously pacing the room. He paused for a moment by my shelf and wiped away at a bit of dust on it. I really did need to get around to learning more household spells. It would prevent people looking down on the state of my office.
“What’s so urgent then Platton, if you deign to come down to my Department?” I asked snidely. He had already annoyed me today, so I was in no mood to pay him any pleasantries.
“Granger there is a serious situation going on right now, and you have the expertise to come and help us,” Platton said darkly and wiped the dust off of his fingers and onto the floor.
“What is this serious situation then, and why do I need to help? You have a whole team of Aurors; surely they’re not that incompetent?” I asked curtly and sat at the desk by my chair. I scooped up a pile of pens and placed them onto a pot on my desk.
“There’s a new group of people, Death Eater sympathisers and relatives of former Death Eaters, who are presenting a high risk to the safety of the wizarding world. As you were part of this so called ‘Golden Trio’, you’re specialised in matters like this one, so I’ve put in a transfer request to have you moved from this department and to come and join the Auror office,” Platton stated. His announcement shocked me so much my hand went flying and knocked over the pot of pens.
“A new group? Who’s involved, and what are they even doing? I mean, I haven’t heard about any threats at muggleborns, so surely this is a bit over the top?” I had barely had time to recover from the past war; I didn’t need another uprising to divide the wizarding world again.
“They’re calling themselves Réincarné, which is French for reborn. We believe that they’re based near the French city of Lyon. At the moment the levels of activity are at a minimum." Platton paused for a moment and then continued. "They’ve been spreading some propaganda in France and some of their agents have been found in Knockturn Alley. There have also been some low-level attacks on the muggle populations there. What we need you to do is lead a team in Lyon and try and gather some basic information on them.”
“So you want me to go and there just find out anything? Who will I even be going with? And when? You can’t just expect me to disappear and not to tell anyone.” I had given up on the pens and had begun pulling the caps of the pens on and off as a way of calming me.
“Yes that’s the basic idea, and your team will be relatively small. Harry Potter obviously, as he has experience in this area. Neville Longbottom again has experience in fighting Death Eaters." Again, he paused as if he didn't want to say the next bit. "Then there will be Draco Malfoy. You will be leaving in precisely two weeks’ time for an initiation in the French Ministry, where you’ll meet your French counterparts.”
“Draco Malfoy! Why him? He’s not even Auror! Plus he’s a former Death Eater! You shouldn’t allow him on this mission; he could jeopardize us by supporting them.” I was not prepared to work with him. Though he had changed, letting him come on a mission like this was simply absurd.
“Granger don’t you think we would have thought about this before announcing it? The reason why Draco is coming along is due to him being a former Death Eater. He will be able to get inside knowledge you couldn’t get because he can infiltrate them more easily than you three would ever be able to. The fact is, he’s coming whether you like it or not, so deal with it,” Platton replied harshly and banged his fist on the shelf for good measure.
I still didn’t feel letting Malfoy on this mission is a good choice, but I could see that they weren't going to change their minds on that matter. "What am I supposed to say about my sudden disappearance though? People will notice if I just don’t turn up to work one day.” I would have thought the Auror department would be better at logistics. This mission looked like it was destined to fail.
“I don’t know Granger, you’re meant to be ‘the brightest witch of your age’. I’m sure you’re capable of coming up with an excuse. Just don’t tell a single person the real reason why, and everything should be fine. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some business to attend to,” Platton said, and with that he swept out of my office.
I was too wrapped up in my thoughts about my impending mission that it was at least half an hour before I remembered to pick up Teddy.
I flew through the corridors, hoping dearly that Susan wouldn’t be too annoyed that I left Teddy for longer than I expected. I needn't have worried, as I found the two eagerly engrossed in a book which showed the many different species of mermaids. I suspected that Teddy may have found his latest obsession, as Susan had managed to keep him entertained on the same topic for longer than five minutes.
“Hi Teddy, are you ready to go to the shop?” I asked trying to inject a happy tone into my voice, when in fact all I could do was worry about this mission. Finding out that there was a new uprising, didn’t do much to brighten my mood.
“Yay, let’s go!” Teddy replied more eagerly than I could ever sound. He instantly dropped a pile of pictures to the floor and they flew around the room.
“Hey, wasn’t I good enough for you then Teddy?” Susan asked pretending to be annoyed. She waved her wand around and the pictures flews back to her.
“You were, but Uncle Ron gives me bear hugs, which are fun.” His face lit up at the mention of Ron, if only mine could do the same.
“Oh ok then. I was just making sure you still liked me,” she replied jovially. “What was that about then, Hermione?” Susan asked lowering her voice.
“Oh he wants me to go the Shetland Islands for a while. It’s believed that a centaur gathering happening there, so he thought I would be the best person to deal with it, in case it gets out of hand,” I spat out, hoping if I talked really fast my lie would appear more believable. Most people didn't even know where the Shetland Islands were so hopefully it would be ok.
“Oh ok, sounds fun,” Susan replied, and her face clearly didn’t match up with her reply. It looked as if that would be the last thing she would want to do.
“Yeah it should be. Come on Teddy we’d better go, or the others will wonder where we are,” I said to him. I picked him up, gave a brief wave to Susan and walked out of her cubicle and headed to my fireplace, where we could floo to Diagon Alley.
I knew it was probably best to announce my departure as soon as possible to Ron. He was the type of person who needed lots of time to adapt to a situation. So I left Teddy in the shop under the care of George, who was entertaining him with the classic Puking Pastille, while I spoke to Ron in the small office behind the shop.
“How’s your day been?” Ron asked pleasantly. He had clearly recovered from a previous argument then. This was a great surprise, as he often tended to sulk for the rest of the week, before slowly drifting out of it.
“It’s been interesting,” I replied trying to be nonchalant. I knew that despite what Ron, Harry and I had been through together, I still couldn’t tell him the details of the mission. Due to him no longer being at the Ministry, he didn’t have the security clearance to hear about it. I had learnt from experience that it was always best to stick to the rules and that was what I was going to do.
“Interesting in what way?” Ron had an evidently bored tone in his voice. He hated things being vague and he much preferred it when you just came out with it. His eyes began to skirt around the many objects in the room, as if to say they were more interesting than the conversation.
“I’ve been asked to go to the Shetland Islands for a couple of weeks to monitor a centaur gathering in case of trouble. They still haven’t gotten over the time when Umbridge ruled in the ministry, so no one can really predict what may happen there.” I really should stop embellishing this lie it was going to end up being much harder to keep at this rate.
“Well that old hag had what was coming for her. I don’t really blame the centaurs for trying to revolt against her. Will you still be able to make it to the Ministry ball next week, as it’s supposed to be important so it would be a shame if you missed it.” Perhaps I should go away more often, I pondered. This seemed to have mellowed Ron’s mood considerably.
“Oh yes, I should still be able to make that, as I’m leaving next Tuesday, and the ball’s this Saturday. Damn, that means I still need to get a dress.” That would have been a good excuse to get out of that ball. Dress buying was so tedious and I hated formal occasions like this.
“Just ask Ginny to pick it out for you, you know she loves that sort of stuff,” Ron laughed.
“That’s quite a good idea actually. Well, I’d better go back to the main room and check on Teddy. Merlin knows what George is introducing him to,” I replied, and headed into the main room to investigate what the others were up to.
Author Note: Sorry for the long update, I’ll try and be quicker next time. So what are your views on Hermione’s POV, did you like it? And their mission, I know it’s sort of cliché, but hopefully it will have some twists this time around! If you want to be lovely, you could leave a review :’) Thanks for reading!