A/N – Thank you so much for reading this far. I hope this story is very interesting and entertaining for you! Please don’t be shy and go ahead and review! Thank you. P.S. – J.K. Rowling owns the world of Harry Potter.
Chapter 2: The Ministry’s Decision
Hermione walked into the Ministry of Magic, still confused about what was about to happen. Then suddenly she saw a jet of black hair before her.
“Harry! Oh Harry, how good to see you!” Hermione exclaimed as she gave him a warm hug.
“It’s nice to see you too, Hermione,” Harry agreed.
“Why are you here?” she asked.
“We all came. It’s a big day for you, after all,” Harry explained.
“Is it?” Hermione asked amused. Why was it that everyone seemed to know more about what was about to happen than she did? Things must really be going downhill for her if she couldn’t even stay on top of her own life, let alone her studies.
“Don’t you know? They’ll choose your caretakers and providers today,” Harry explained.
Ron joined them and hugged Hermione immediately, “Hermione! It’s so good to see you again!”
“You too Ron,” Hermione smiled.
“So who are my options?” Hermione asked Harry.
“Well right now the Weasleys are going to try. We’ll find out at the meeting,” Harry smiled, “they’ve already convinced the ministry to let me go into their custody. I’m sure everything will work out with you as well.”
Hermione grinned feeling happier than she had in months, “Let’s hope so!”
“Hermione Granger,” a voice called. They all turned to look at a plump witch with kind curls and a warm smile.
“Cecila Patil, Head of the Department of Providers and Caretakers,” she introduced herself as she shook Hermione’s hand.
“Let’s get started, shall we?” she said brightly and led them into the room she had just exited.
There was a table in the middle of the room in the shape of a circle. Hermione sat down between Ron and Harry. Under the table she grabbed Harry’s hand. It wasn’t like she was nervous, but this was kinda sorta very important.
Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were also present, as well as a few other adults Hermione didn’t recognize.
Cecila shut the door slightly a bit loudly before settling into the seat across from Hermione.
“So,” she smiled, “Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. I believe you wanted to state your case first?”
“Yes,” Mr. Weasley began, “We would love to have Hermione stay with us. She’s more than welcome of course. We’ve raised enough well mannered children so far, so I’m sure we’re more than capable of doing so.”
“Yes,” Mrs. Weasley continued for him, “They’re all well fed, you know. All happy children I’ve raised, I can assure you.”
“Yes, there’s no doubt about that,” Cecila Patil smiled, “However are your finances in order to take on another child?”
“Oh,” Mrs. Weasley seemed frustrated for a moment.
“Well you see,” Mr. Weasley tried to answer, “We’ve always been able to make things work with our family. Money or not. Money isn’t necessary for a happy family, you know?”
“Yes, of course. Which is why the ministry allowed Mr. Potter to stay with you. However, in Hermione Granger’s case, we’ll need substantial proof of financial stability in order to hand over custody.”
The Weasleys looked oh-so-grim.
Hermione swallowed and asked, “who else did you have in mind, Mrs. Patil?”
“Well, the Zabinis are an option. Of course, there is always the Malfoys. They have tons of money. Let’s see there are the Longbottoms, the Browns, the…”
As the list continued, Hermione winced. She didn’t want to stay with any of them. As if her life wasn’t horrible at the moment to begin with, now she was going to have to live with a family she didn’t really care for.
“Any preferences, dear?” Cecila asked Hermione.
Hermione shook her head. She didn’t want to stay with any of them. She wanted her own family back. Her own mother and father.
“I’ll contact the Zabinis to see if they will comply,” Cecila stated and started to get up.
Hermione’s eyes widened, as did the Weasley family’s.
“Hermione, are you going to be ok?” Harry whispered as he squeezed her hand.
“This is a nightmare,” Ron muttered.
Suddenly, without warning, the door exploded before them right before Cecila had reached it. She gave out a sharp squeak which in most cases, would have been quite hilarious. Through the smoke and debris of what was left of the Ministry’s door stepped in Fred and George Weasley with grins plastered upon their faces.
“Sorry we’re late,” George started.
“Ran into a bit of a miff with some guards at the entrance,” Fred continued.
“Apparently, our names precede us,” George commented.
“Sorry about the door,” Fred apologized as they took their seat, “Just showing a little love to the dear Ministry.”
George snickered as Cecila Patil’s eyes flared.
“Well, I’ll ask that you two leave instantly. Your family has been denied custody of Hermione Granger. So you have no business here,” Cecila said stiffly.
“That’s too bad,” Fred said.
“May we ask who the family is to receive her, then?” George asked while glancing at Hermione with apologetic eyes.
“No,” Fred and George said together.
“What? Is there a problem? The family is more than financially capable of taking care of another dependent. Also, they volunteered. That’s more than enough reason…”
“Wait, wait,” George said, his eyes bright with an idea.
“George, you really think so?” Fred asked, knowing already his brother’s plan.
“Might as well,” George answered.
“We’ll do it,” Fred announced.
“Do what?” Cecila asked.
Cecila snorted, “That’s all very nice and such but it’s impossible. I mean…you two…take care of someone else…” she started laughing.
George’s face reddened, “I think we’re quite capable. We’re financially stable enough, and we actually know Hermione. We won’t be stiff and cold towards her. She’ll be more than taken cared of with us.”
“Hmmm. Well it is true. You two do have the finances, and a big enough home.”
The twins grinned.
“But there’s just no way I can, in my good judgment, let the poor girl have you two as providers and caretakers. It’s just insane,” Cecila said finally.
The twins’ grins vanished, and they shared the grim look of everyone else in the room.
Cecila was making her way to the door again when a small voice of Hermione Granger spoke up, “Wait.”
All eyes turned her, and for a moment she was too embarrassed to speak.
“Well?” Cecila asked, starting to get impatient.
“What if I requested them? What if I wanted to live with Fred and George?”
Cecila rolled her eyes, “That’s nonsense. You couldn’t possibly want to live with these two immature beasts, I mean beings.”
Cecila received quite a few glares, but Hermione insisted, “But I do. Let me live with them. There’s no other reason they are incapable, correct?”
“Why, yes, but…”
“Then it’s settled?”
“Fine,” Cecila stated and sat down again, “Whatever. This is going on long enough. You want to live a crazy life, so be it. I wash my hands of it.”
Everyone started grinning again.
Cecila pulled out the papers for Hermione, Fred, and George to sign. Everyone was smiling. Everyone, but Hermione.
Although she had won a small battle, she still didn’t have her family back. She never would. And now she had Fred and George as her providers and caretakers. What was her life coming to?
They all rose from the table to leave. Cecila left quickly wanting to get away from the mad bunch.
“Well, things could be worse I suppose,” Mrs. Weasley muttered as her husband placed a hand on her shoulder.
“Now, now, dear. I’m sure Fred and George will do just find,” he encouraged.
Mrs. Weasley fought the urge to roll her eyes as she gave Fred, George, and Hermione hugs goodbye.
“Bye, dear,” she said to Hermione, “If you need anything, just owl.”
Then she turned to Fred and George with her eyes narrowed, “You two behave yourselves. You have more responsibility now, so you should act like it!”
Mr. Weasley smiled as a way of saying goodbye, and they walked through the partial blown-up door.
“Well, have fun I guess,” Ron grinned, “Don’t get corrupted or anything.”
“Oh, Ron. You know I would never…”
“You never know,” he winked and gave her one last hug before leaving.
“Ron’s right you know,” it was Harry’s turn, “2 weeks there and you’ll be creating more popular gadgets than Fred and George and put them out of business.”
Hermione laughed with Harry and hugged him, “Oh Harry. I’m going to miss you.”
“Don’t worry,” he smiled to her, “I’ll come visit. I promise.”
She smiled and watched him leave. Soon it was just her, Fred, and George.
“Well,” George said, or was it Fred? “Let’s go home!”
They started their way out of the Ministry.
“You’re going to love the place above the shop, Hermione,” Fred said enthusiastically.
“Oh yeah,” George agreed, “It’s brilliant, really. You’ll have your own room and everything. We won’t even test new products in there or anything.”
Hermione couldn’t help but smile and laugh a little, “well thanks for that. Thanks for everything.”
“No problem,” one of them smiled, “Couldn’t have the brightest witch that ever came out of Hogwarts stay with one of those stuck up snobby rich families. It would ruin you.”
“Yes,” the other one agreed, “We have to use your brilliance for more important things.”
“Like what?” Hermione asked, half knowing the answer.
“For jokes of course!” Fred and George said together.
Hermione sighed wondering where the rollercoaster she was riding called life would take her next.
A/N – hope everyone like the story so far! Please review and let me know! Thanks!
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