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CWM 14

The term was over. There was no other way to say it. Hermione stood in the train station waiting for her parents who were late for the first time in their lives. The Potters, Lupins and Sirius and Emelia stood with her and her friends after Hermione tried to convince them to let her wait alone. She was looking forward to her solitude away from anything school related so she can think about her upcoming months. Harry stood right by her side with Rafe and Gracie close by, holding hands behind their parents back. Holly and Ginny were saying goodbye to some friends, while Ron stared up at the large clock as seeing if time stopped.

“Really, they will be here any second. You all can go.” Hermione said as politely as she could.

“We’re not in any hurry.” Sirius said with a gentle smile.

“So, Hermione, I suspect we’ll be seeing you this summer?” Lily asked in a motherly tone. “Since somebody has a big birthday in July.” She finished before James clapped a hand on Harry’s back.

“Oh yes, you’ll see me. Don’t worry.” Hermione looked down at her feet, knowing the only person she’ll be going there to see is Sirius.

“I see that you managed to keep up all your grades, Hermione. You did excellent in Defense Against the Dark Arts. How did you do it?” Remus asked in a quiet voice.

“I can’t say it was easy.” Hermione said with a sigh. “I had help though.” She smiled at Rafe and then at Harry, who helped her more then she could ever hope.

Harry rubbed her back and Rafe made a curt nod in her direction as if saying “no problem”. Remus looked over at Rafe who was whispering something in Gracie’s ear, which was making her giggle.

“Am I the only one who didn’t know this was going on?” Remus asked, as calmly as possibly, nodding at his son’s direction.

“Yes honey, I think you are.” Jenna said with a grin.

“You knew?” Remus turned to his wife with a glare.

“We all knew.” Sirius said with a laugh. “C’mon Moony, you work at the school and you couldn’t even figure it out. Even Dumbledore knew!”

“Oh wow, I’m really out of the loop if Dumbledore knows more about my son than I do.” Remus frowned.

“C’mon dad, I was going to tell you. But I knew you’d be telling me to—“

“Focus on your school work.” James and Sirius said together.

“Am I really that predictable?” Remus frowned once again.

“Yes.” They said again in unison, which sounded like Jenna said it as well.

“Mom!” Hermione called out as Mrs. Granger came into view, clutching her purse as if she was going to be attacked any second.

“Oh there you are. Sorry I’m late dear.” Her mom kissed her on the forehead and smiled. “One of my patients couldn’t decide on what colour of filling to get.” She sighed and turned to everyone else. “Nice to see everyone again, but Hermione we better be going. I’m parked in a No Parking zone.”

“Okay then.” Hermione said awkwardly.

She walked over and hugged Ron, Gracie and Rafe. She gave an awkward handshake to Remus, hugged Jenna, Lily, James, ignored Emelia and turned to Sirius. They both put out their hands to shake but changed it to a hug last minute.

“See you soon.” She whispered to him.

She turned to Harry and hoped to Merlin that he wouldn’t put on the dramatics in front her mom. He hugged her and kissed her cheek.

“I’ll write, I promise.” He said with a genuine smile, which warmed her body.

“I know you will, Harry. I’ll come visit you very soon. Once I get unpacked and all.” She kissed him quickly on the cheek again as her mom was checking to see if her car was towed.

She turned from everyone and began walking with her mom. She turned back to them with one last wave and watched them all wave back with bright smiles. Just as she was about to continue walking, something caught her attention, which just about winded her. Her eyes focused on Emelia’s arm as her sleeve was lifted with her wave. Hermione gasped loudly as her face sunk with fear. The Dark Mark was tattooed on the inside of Emelia’s forearm glowing as dark as could be.

“What is that!” Hermione came running back to the group of people. “Show me your arm!” She could have sworn smoke was coming out of her ears as she was yelling.

Her friends looked on with wide eyes as Emelia was a dark shade of scarlet.

“Hermione, what is the matter?” Mrs Granger followed her back with a concerned look.

“What is it?” Harry asked.

No one else spoke.

“Oh…you like this bracelet?” Emelia sputtered. “I-I got it in Portugal when I was there on work.”

She held up her wrist, which bared a tacky turquoise bracelet with lime green beads. Hermione glared into her eyes, hoping to burn a hole through to the other side.

“The other arm.” Hermione said in a raspy voice, which didn’t resemble her own.

Emelia placed a hand over her forearm and gave her a funny look. She clenched it slightly, but rolled up her sleeve to show her bare blank arm…no Dark Mark.

“Where did it go?” Hermione demanded, as Sirius stepped forward to get a better glance at Emelia’s arm.

“Where is what?” Sirius asked. “What is going on?”

“She’s a Death Eater!” Hermione shouted, pointing at Emelia. “I saw her mark!”

“Shh! Hermione, don’t even!” Jenna stepped forward and looked around to see other people looking. “That is just rude!”

Emelia held her hand daintily over her eyes in a dramatic cry. She made a whine-like whimper and walked towards the washroom. Even Harry wouldn’t even look at her. Everything fell silent as Hermione’s panting subsided. She had to have said some sort of concealment charm. Hermione’s insides were churning and her face was red with fury.

“Let’s go dear.” Mrs Granger said softly.

She put a hand on her daughters shoulder and led her out of the station. Hermione couldn’t even look back at people. She dragged her feet, making her steps echo in the station. She didn’t know if she should be embarrassed or scared for their lives. She knew she saw the mark on her arm. But where did it go?

*

A month went by and she hadn’t received one letter from any of her friends—not even Harry. She hoped that he’d at least support her through this, but for some reason, he didn’t bother to write. Hermione didn’t even bother to subscribe to any Wizarding newspapers, so she was somewhat lost on what was going on outside the Muggle world.

Hermione clenched a quill in her hand, one afternoon, while staring down at the parchment. She wrote the name “Sirius” at the top with her neatest writing. She looped the S until it was barely noticeable what letter it was. She held the quill over the parchment, without even realizing that a blob of ink fell onto the white paper.

Sirius,
I don’t know what I can say for you to believe me. I hope of all people, you’ll understand. I would never lie to you. I need to meet you—“


Before she could finish her letter, a soft tapping on her window interrupted her thoughts. She looked over to see a small black owl with piercing yellow eyes, tapping it’s small beak against the glass. Hermione jumped out of her seat, so excited to finally hear from anyone outside the Muggle world. She opened her window and the black owl flew at her face, scratching the rolled parchment against her cheek. Slightly irritated, Hermione untied the scroll and ripped off a piece of crust from her sandwich she was eating and sat on her bed. Her vibrant smile faded instantly when she read the letter.


Hermione,
Come to St. Mungo’s. Sirius is not doing well. I can’t explain more. I hope the Muggle world is doing better then this. See you soon.

Lily

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