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The Road Home by Harry_Potter_Mom

Format: Novel
Chapters: 23
Word Count: 89,967

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Mild Language, Strong Violence, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: General, Mystery, AU
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Molly, Ginny, Hugo, Rose, OC

First Published: 02/01/2008
Last Chapter: 08/28/2008
Last Updated: 04/26/2009


2008 Dobby Award Winner for Best Mystery/Suspense, Most Memorable Scene, and Best New Author
Finalist for Most Original Character  ||  Amazing banner by NevillesSoulmate

Caught between two worlds - the girl she once was and the witch she is becoming...
Can Hermione help solve the mystery of this young girl before the magic she carries consumes her?
A decision must be made - will Nyah live without magic or die with it?

Chapter 13: Missing Pieces of Me

Hermione’s anger was rising, “No, no – absolutely not! We cannot take away her magic. It’s unthinkable! It’s well… it’s just wrong! You said yourself that it’s illegal.” She turned away from the healer, shaker her head…

The healer said sympathetically, “Hermione, please understand… it’s the only way to save her life.”

~lovely chapter image by chiQs09 at TDA~

Chapter 13 – Missing Pieces of Me

Hermione paced the floor in Nyah’s tiny, sterile room at St. Mungo’s, chewing on her nails. She was good at books, and taking charge… not at waiting. Occasionally she would stop and mumble something, not quite audible to the room, but then would shake her head and continue her constant movement.

Molly sat and knitted – furiously – it was her cure for nervousness, as well as most other ailments. At this point… she had finished two scarves and was working on an early Christmas jumper. She would get frustrated a bit and pull out a row or two of yarn, and then set off again with a heavy sigh.

The healers suggested that Nyah’s body would recover from the magnitude of the ‘Tempus Abdomagi’ spell on its own, but if necessary, they would consider the ‘Rennervate’ spell.

Unthinking … unmoving … undreaming … Nyah lay on the bed, still cold from the shock of the spell. Hermione and Molly had taken turns talking to her, telling her stories, and even reading from “The Daily Prophet,” but nothing had yet stirred her out of her slumber.

Molly finally sent Hermione off to get some tea, sure there was going to be some damage to the floor if Hermione didn’t stop pacing. Just off the lift with tea in hand, Hermione was lost in her own thoughts and not paying much attention to where she was going. She had already gotten off on the wrong floor once, and now, had run straight into something rather solid.

“Watch where you are going, you – Granger!”

That one word snapped Hermione’s defences into overdrive. “Malfoy, what are you doing here?” her sarcasm quite evident.

“Tsk, tsk, Granger – or – oh, that’s right, its Weasley now, isn’t it? Still scraping the bottom of the barrel I see,” he said, lips curled in a cruel smile.

Hermione glared, allowing herself a short jaunt back in time, as Draco begged for his life in the final battle, unwilling to serve anyone’s interests but his own. “Odd, isn’t it? After all these years and I still feel no pity for you…”

“You haven’t changed a bit, you know,” he said, walking around her as she stood near Nyah’s room, “spending time and energy trying to save those not worth saving.” He cocked his head slightly towards the door.

“What would you know about it?” Hermione asked, more curious than angry. Her eyes studied his face – the lines, the hair, and most importantly – the cold, steel eyes. “You’ve never been interested in saving anyone but yourself.”

Unfazed, he simply raised one eyebrow. “Manners now, Granger, manners. In fact, I don’t know anything more than, say – rumors – nothing, really. Pity though, about your little shack… quite the mess I hear. Makes you wonder what they want with a little girl,” Draco said, turning abruptly and staring at Hermione, his eyes forcing their way into her mind.

“Stop!” she cried, blocking the legilemency, drawing a bit of unwanted attention to herself and Draco. Looking around, she lowered her voice and glared at the man in front of her, “Listen to me, Malfoy – you stay away from me and my children or I will personally hex you into oblivion!”

Hermione walked away, still keeping an eye on Draco. Just as she reached Nyah’s door, he called to her – loud enough only for her to hear … “That’s just it, Granger… she’s not yours, is she?” He walked straight at Hermione and leaned in, just barely, “Next time, she’ll have no magic to stop me.” 

Hermione’s blood ran cold as Draco walked away, his trademark scowl firmly imprinted in her mind. She slowly opened the door to Nyah’s room, her thoughts racing. Setting the tea on the table, she took little notice in her surroundings…

“It was him! That foul, evil man…” she spat to the room. “At my house – to take my children! He was one of the Death Eaters!” Hermione was pacing again, her wand out, sparks flying with each word.

“Who, dear?” Molly casually asked, continuing her knitting, a contented smile crossing her face.

Stopping in her tracks, she crossed her arms, and hissed, “Malfoy. Ron’s going to murder him…”

“Who’s Malfoy?”

“A horrid, little ferret who takes pleasure in hurting other people, and …” Hermione’s voice trailed off, as she turned towards the bed…

The young girl sat cross-legged on the bed, devouring a plate of cheese and crackers. Her hair was wild and her eyes dark … but she was awake … and for the first time in days, Hermione could finally breathe.

Molly set down her knitting, coming to stand next to Nyah’s bed. “She woke up just after you left to get the tea,” Molly said beaming, rubbing Nyah’s back.

“Nyah, how are you feeling?” Hermione asked, unsure as to how much the little girl knew about the spell that was placed on her.

Nyah set the plate on the night stand with a small sigh. “I feel – okay – I guess,” she replied, studying her hands. “I mean, its cold – here,” and she put her hand to her heart, “like something’s gone missing.” Nyah shook her head, “That sounds crazy.”

Hermione pushed the hair back from Nyah’s face, as the little girl sniffled a bit, “No, it sounds completely normal.”

“But that’s just it, Hermione … I’m not normal – not here,” she said with a sigh, “and not there either.” Nyah’s thoughts turned to Anna and Father. Nothing was normal anymore – and she didn’t think it would be ever again. Nyah looked up at Mrs. Weasley and Hermione – each with looks of worry imprinted on their face.

Nyah studied Hermione a bit more – the signs of the recent battle were gratefully few; her face held only one bandage on her forehead and her hands held evidence of cuts, although they were left exposed. Nyah reached out to touch the wounds on Hermione’s hands, somehow wanting to make them disappear – but Hermione pulled away mumbling about getting home, Ron, children, and a long nap.

As Hermione left the room to retrieve a healer, Mrs. Weasley whispered, “See, she’s fine … don’t you worry.” She patted Nyah’s arm, happy to finally be going home.

The healers were in and out of the room for the next hour, taking readings with various wands, each recording small, but stable, levels of magic. Nyah was released from St. Mungo’s with explicit instructions on her care and activity level; she was to be kept quiet with daily reports owled in, and should anything happen, they were to bring Nyah straight in.

Hermione had been ordered home to rest, while Molly stayed with Nyah until discharge. The healers insisted on going over the instructions once more in detail with Molly, who was turning three shades of red out of frustration.

Once Nyah was finally freshened and ready to go, Mrs. Weasley led her to the large fireplace labeled “departures” in the lobby at St. Mungo’s. Nyah took a handful of Floo powder as she stepped inside, and with a clear voice, said “Weasley Cottage, Hogsmead.” The green flames shot up as St. Mungo’s began to disappear – and for a second – a man walked behind Mrs. Weasley and looked directly into the flames – his pale gray eyes were piercing,  staring straight through Nyah… and then – he was gone.

Nyah walked out of the flames and into the living room of the Weasley cottage, its familiar surroundings welcoming her home. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, letting the warm air fill her lungs. The windows were opened, but the curtains stood still for lack of a breeze.

There seemed to be no one moving about as Nyah walked towards the staircase. Looking around, the front door had been replaced and the hole in the dining room repaired. No visible signs remained of the Death Eater attack and Nyah shook her head, marveling at the wonders of magic.

As she walked across the rug near the door, her thoughts wandered back to that night… seeing Hermione lying motionless on the rug – Rose crying – and that awful man… pointing his wand at a helpless little boy. A single tear escaped her eye, but her breathing remained steady – no tension and no magic. The one piece of Nyah that felt ‘right’ – was now gone – stripped from her like some defective article of clothing, now tossed aside. She felt, in a sense, nonexistent – not a Muggle – and no longer a witch.

Green flames shot up again the fireplace as Mrs. Weasley came walking out. She nearly tripped over the large oval coffee table, as she continued the rant that had started at St. Mungo’s. “Do they think I don’t know how to take care of a child?” she blurted to the room. “I’ve raised seven children – seven – two of which gave me gray hair the moment they were born!”

Nyah suppressed a giggle while Mrs. Weasley continued to ramble on about child-rearing as they made their way to the kitchen. Tonics and potions of numerous shapes and colors were produced from Mrs. Weasley’s large bag, all with various directions and conditions; and all for Nyah.

Mrs. Wesley turned and looked at Nyah. “Now, how are you feeling?”

Nyah shrugged, unwilling to share her true thoughts just yet, and flatly offered, “Fine.”

“Well, why don’t we start some dinner before I pop home? Let’s see … hmm..,” she said, hands on her hips. Mrs. Weasley pointed to a large cutting board by the back door, “Nyah, dear, hand me that board and I’ll look for some vegetables to start on.”

Nyah took the cutting board off the hook and took a step to hand it to Mrs. Weasley when the back door burst open and a sword came crashing down to the floor in the spot where Nyah had just stood.

Mrs. Weasley instinctively pulled Nyah behind her as the young girl let out a scream. Molly whipped out her wand, ready for battle, as someone yelled, “Take that! And that!” as the sword swooped and plunged through the air, battling an invisible enemy.

Hugo appeared in the doorway, his hands and face covered with dirt. He screamed and dropped the small sword when he saw his grandmother’s face – her wand pointed at him.

“Hugo Arthur Weasley!” Mrs. Weasley screamed at her grandson, dropping her wand arm to her side, clutching her heart with her other hand.

Ron tripped up the back steps and nearly fell flat at the sound of his mother’s cry, as he struggled to pull his wand out of his pocket. Breathing hard, Ron threw his arms up and exclaimed, “Blimey! What was that about?”

“Your son came swinging that sword through the door – and after what happened here just the other night – what did you expect?"  Mrs. Weasley planted her fists on her hips, and asked her son, “Where on earth did he get that?”

Ron grabbed a pastry off the counter and popped it in his mouth while attempting to say, “I gave it to him. He wanted to play pirates.”

Rose had entered the kitchen without any fanfare, but took the opportunity to give her little brother a right smack on the arm as she walked in. Hugo scowled back and followed her further into the room, listening to the argument between the grownups.

“Hugo, go tell your grandmother you’re sorry,” Ron said, pointing to Mrs. Weasley.

Hugo ran to the arms of his grandmother, offering her not only a hug, but a small peck on the cheek. “Sorry I threw my sword at you … but I didn’t know you were here,” he said, offering Molly a small pout.

“Oh, for goodness sakes!” Molly said, squeezing his cheeks, “run off and play!”

Hugo squeezed her tight once more, but it was an abrupt stop-off, as he then made his way to Nyah. His large, blue eyes searched her face and when he found a smile waiting for him, he jumped slightly off the floor and crashed into her legs, squeezing them tightly.

Nyah extracted herself from the little boy and knelt down on the kitchen floor so she was nearly smaller than Hugo. “Are you okay?” she asked, memorizing the little face before her.

“Yep,” he said beaming, as Rose walked up. Hugo leaned over to Nyah and whispered very loudly in her ear, “And you know what? I think you better hide because Dad said he’s going to kill the person who put a hole in the house.” He stood up with his eyes wide and his eyebrows raised, nearly reaching his hair. “You can use my cupboard – I hid a mouse up there for a month and nobody found it!”

Rose wrinkled her nose in disgust, “Gross!”

She rolled her eyes and tapped her foot impatiently at her brother. “Hugo, you know that Dad would never kill someone, would you?” she said, looking up at her father, beaming.

“Only if it was Malfoy,” Ron said with a snicker, grabbing another pastry from the counter.

“Ronald!” his mother hissed.

“Sorry,” he said, shooting a wink to Rose as she shook her head at him, very much like her mother.

“Hi,” Ron said, waving. “You must be Nyah. The kids haven’t stopped talking about you.” He seemed a bit nervous, but leaned in a little towards Nyah, “I was just joking about the whole ‘I’m going to kill somebody’ thing, you know.” He cleared his throat as his face went red.

Nyah stood up, with Hugo still holding onto her hand. She felt bad, and wasn’t sure what to say. “Mr. Weasley, I’m really sorry … about the wall … and Hermione.” Nyah looked towards the floor.

Ron smiled, “It will take a whole lot more than a door to take her out. She’s brilliant, really, she is. Oh, and you can just call me Ron – ‘Mr. Weasley’ sounds like you’re talking to my dad.” He stood with his hands set in his pockets, shaking his head.

“Mum wasn’t home for more than a few minutes before she left again,” Rose announced, while helping her grandmother with the vegetables the trio had picked from the garden.

“What?” Mrs. Weasley dropped the potato she was washing and turned to look at her son, hand on her hip. “Ronald, you know Hermione was to be resting! Why on earth did you let her leave?” her face reddened with every word.

“You try and stop her when she has her mind set on something!” Ron exclaimed, shoving another pastry in his mouth. Swallowing hard, he added, “Besides, she said it was a surprise – for Nyah.”

Nyah had stopped twirling around with Hugo at the mention of her name, her head still spinning a bit while Hugo bumped into the wall, completely off balance. Stifling a laugh at the little boy, she looked at Ron as she asked quietly, “Did you say, she went to do something – for me?”

As Ron nodded, tears sprang to Nyah’s eyes once more. Quickly excusing herself, Nyah turned and ran up the stairs, desperate to be alone with her thoughts.

She closed the door to the little borrowed bedroom, amazed at how comfortable she felt here – away from the cobwebs and dust of the attic, this petite space had quickly become her refuge. She flopped onto the bed and wrapped herself in the familiar quilt, taking in the scent of lavender. Her mind wandered over the many thoughts vying for attention … but as her eyes scanned the room, they landed on the small desk in the corner… the letter – gone.

Nyah jumped from the bed, recounting her steps as best she could remember. She touched the walls and the draperies… Lavender, something about the curtains, and the desk – I know I wrote Anna a letter. Nyah lifted the desk’s lid searching the contents – no letter.

“Hm,” she voiced out loud, “maybe Mr. Weasley has it.”

She sped down the steps, nearly knocking Mrs. Weasley to the floor, as Nyah turned towards the kitchen at full speed.

“Oh, gosh,” Nyah stammered, her hand over her mouth, “I – I’m so sorry. I wasn’t thinking. I’ll just – never mind. I’m sorry.” She turned to run back to her room, when she heard muffled laughing.

Ron was nearly busting at the seams, holding his stomach and pointing at his mother. When he finally got his senses together, Nyah and Mrs. Weasley were both looking at him; Nyah with her arms crossed, scowling with confusion, while Mrs. Weasley stood with her hands on her hips in complete irritation – both wondering what was so funny.

Still laughing, but at least comprehensible, “Ginny did the same thing, remember? Before her first year – but Mum was carrying laundry,” as he took a moment to catch his breath. He acted out his mum throwing the basket of clothes up over her head, and in fits again, “and the underwear – landed on Percy’s head!”

Nyah wasn’t sure if she was laughing at Ron’s story – or at Ron himself! Hugo’s giggles added to the sound, completely unaware at what was so funny, but willing to laugh at nearly anything, especially if his Dad thought it was funny.

Rose, on the other hand, looked like a Molly in minature, standing with her hands on her hips – face tight.

“Ronald, you are hopeless,” Mrs. Weasley sighed, containing a smile, and then turned to Nyah. “Now, was there something you needed?”

“Yes, sorry,” Nyah giggled, “I came down to see if Mr. Weasley – um – I mean Ron – if he knew where my letter was for Anna. It was on the little desk upstairs.”

Ron shook his head and offered a small shrug. “No, but Hermione may have it. She should be back any minute. In fact…” he said, ducking a bit to look out the window, “you can ask her yourself.”

The door opened and Hermione stumbled in, looking a little tired and quite frustrated. Seeing the room full of people, her face softened. Ron and Rose met her at the door, while Hugo offered a big, “Hi Mum!” as he ran off to play outside.

Hermione received a small scolding from Mrs. Weasley about taking care of herself before turning to motion Nyah over. “These last few days have been crazy,” she said, putting her arm around the young girl, “so – I thought it might be nice if you had a bit of a distraction.” Hermione turned and called towards the doorway, “You may come in now.”

A tall, beautiful girl peeked quickly around the doorway of the cottage, her blonde curls bouncing from the movement. She nervously ventured into the front room, as Nyah let out a scream. “Anna!” 

The two girls jumped in circles, thrilled to see one another again, as the grownups covered their ears from the shrieks emitting from that area of the house.

Mrs. Weasley quickly reminded Nyah, “Remember, calm and quiet – like the healers said.”

Nyah was beaming at Hermione as she hugged her, whispering, “Thank you.”

Anna smiled and said ‘hello’ or ‘Nice to meet you’ as she was introduced to everyone. She kept glancing around the room as if she expected something horrid to leap out at her, and was pleasantly surprised at the normalcy of the house.

Hugo was acting bashful and hiding behind his dad, only peeking out when he didn’t think Anna was looking. Ron and Mrs. Weasley were welcoming and polite; but Rose, on the other hand, was not happy Anna was here, and sat with her arms crossed in front of her. She had come to appreciate having Nyah all to herself, and was pleased when she heard Anna was only permitted to stay until Wednesday.

“Ron, please escort your wife upstairs – to rest!” Mrs. Weasley announced, motioning Nyah into the kitchen. “Nyah, it’s time for your medicine, dear.”

Ron took his wife’s hand, eagerly heading towards the stairway, with a grin on his face that Nyah thought made him look a bit goofy.

After Mrs. Weasley gave Nyah a healthy dose of a purple medicine, which tasted a bit like soda pop syrup, the girls went straight to Nyah’s room, arm-in-arm. The rest of the evening, Nyah spent talking and laughing with her sister. They exchanged stories about their week apart and Nyah heard all about Anna’s birthday party.

The next morning, Mrs. Weasley took Anna, Nyah, and Rose to Hogsmeade for a bit of exploring. They had lunch at the Three Broomsticks, and did a lot of window shopping at the curious little shops.

Coming near the lake just after noon, Anna wrinkled up her nose and pointed across the deep blue water, “Why doesn’t someone tear that down? It’s a terrible eye sore.”

Nyah looked between Anna and the building across the lake, amazed at the magic protecting the castle. There, shining in the sun stood Hogwarts, it windows winking at Nyah – its secret safe. It was a small comfort in her heart to see her future school – her magic able to see it, and Hogwarts still recognizing Nyah. She secretly wondered if she would be allowed to attend classes with broken magic … and if she couldn’t be at Hogwarts, where would she go?

They decided to end the day early and made their way towards the cottage. Anna had spent most of the day complaining about everything from the poorly dressed people to the lack of nice shops; she especially didn’t like any of the cooking, which Mrs. Weasley took exceptionally hard.

Hermione had set off for the Ministry as soon as the girls left the house earlier that day. She had gathered as much information to explain Nyah’s situation, as well as a couple of theories. Hermione apparated to the Ministry entrance, prepared to fight for the young girl who had captured the heart of everyone in her family.

Even with Hermione’s best estimate at the number of delegates that would show up, she was shocked when extra chairs had to be brought in for the witnesses. During the session, everything from the first meeting to Nyah’s present condition was discussed in detail. Much talk was had in the nearly packed room about the muggle medications Nyah was given; the room’s consensus being that while helping to deter her outbursts by numbing her emotions temporarily; it served little beneficial purpose, and quite possibly aggravated her magic to a breaking point.

But the final testimony came from Healer Sabinski. She offered little hope aside from finding Nyah’s biological parents as well as the wizard who cast the highly-illegal spell that caused such damage. And what was worse… all of those things must happen before the child’s eleventh birthday – before her magic sets in place. At that point, the condition would become permanent. If left untreated, Nyah’s magic would set off a self destructive pattern that would eventually be fatal.

A vote was taken – a plan set in motion – a girl’s fate sealed – and a woman walked home with the knowledge that a child she has grown to love will die.

Author's Notes - Thank you, thank you for the wonderful reviews offering support, a helping hand, and general praise.  

I'd love to hear from all of you - Let me know what you think of this, or any of the previous chapters!  Thanks!  :)