Slamming the door shut, Hermione ran to the couch and made sure the curtains were shut. It was late—very late—and yet she did not feel a wink of tiredness. Not after what she had just witnessed.
The man called V had just blown up the old Ministry; the same Ministry that she and man of her old friends stormed during her sixth year at Hogwarts.
He seemed so calm about it afterwards, like he had just emptied out the rubbish bin. They Apparated back to Neville’s, and she ran inside, not one word spoken between the two of them.
Hermione was now sitting on the couch, trying to calm her breathing while her mind tumbled into thousands of thoughts. What was she to do now? Why did he show her this? How does he know so much about her and what the police and Markers are doing? Who is he?
‘Hermione? Hermione is that you?’ a voice whispered from the stairwell, Neville slowly making it down. Crookshanks was following him down slowly, keeping pace and looking up at him periodically. Neville made it to the bottom and Crookshanks hopped over to Hermione, and rubbed into her side.
‘It’s- . . . it’s me Neville’ Hermione answered slowly, looking off at some spot in the kitchen with her head in her hands.
‘Are you alright? Where were you, and why are you dressed? Is everything O.K.?’ he asked consecutively. Hermione closed her eyes, knowing how insane her answers would be, and how she wished it could have just been “oh, I just went for a walk.”
‘V was here.’
‘What? Here, in my home? What did he want—wait, he isn’t still here is he?’ Neville asked hurriedly, turning around and looking about his living room with his cane held up like a club.
Hermione sighed, and rubbed her forehead. ‘No, he’s gone.’
Neville looked about for a second more just in case, then turned and sat down next to Hermione, Crookshanks moving out of the way beforehand. He placed a comforting hand on Hermione’s back, and she shivered for a moment before giving another sigh and relaxing a little. Neville was there to help.
‘What did he want?’ Neville asked quietly.
‘He said that I’m in danger here, and I have to leave by tomorrow.’
‘Nonsense! They came and asked about you, and they believed what I said. Why would they come back?’ Neville responded. Hermione could tell Neville didn’t want her to leave. To see a friendly face after what he had been through, he wouldn’t be up to seeing her go that quickly.
‘I know Neville, but if they did find me—‘
‘They won’t Hermione, I promise you’ Neville said. Hermione placed her hand in his, and smiled at him warmly.
‘I know Neville, I know. But maybe it’s an idea to even leave for a few days, and then come back. Perhaps in a week or two, all of this will have died down, and I can come back without worry’ she reasoned. Neville knew well enough that Hermione’s reasoning was not something you could usually fight and win against.
‘Well, alright, if you think it’s best. I just don’t trust this V fellow, there are too many questions, and I still think he’s a Marker.’ To this, Hermione let out a quiet, but hysterical chuckle.
‘He’s no Marker; that I know.’
‘How are you so sure?’
Letting out a sigh, she looked right at Neville. ‘Because he just blew up the old Ministry.’
‘WHAT!’ Neville yelled, Hermione shushing him instantly, and looking about as if worried they’d wake up the non-existent people sleeping nearby.
‘He blew up the bloody Ministry! How do you know?’ Neville asked, quietly now.
‘He- . . . he took me with him.’
‘And you went with him willingly?’ Neville asked incredulously.
‘Well Neville, I need to find out who this guy is!’ Hermione answered tersely.
‘I know, but going along with him as he blows up the Ministry isn’t—‘
‘I didn’t know he was going to do that!’ Hermione interrupted heatedly. Both of them looked at each other for a moment, then realized the raised voices were not necessary, and tried to calm down. Neville moved a little closer, and took both of Hermione’s hands in his.
‘Did you find out more about him?’ Neville asked calmly. Hermione looked off for a moment trying to remember what they spoke about, but with so much happening, it was hard to recall every topic of conversation.
‘Just that I’ve helped him in the past before really. With what, I’m not sure, but he did say it was when we were both different people or something. He also said that the government knew about me, and that I had to leave. He knows that I’ve been to the Ministry before—more specifically that I’ve been in the telephone booth—and he can make his own spells’ Hermione recalled.
Those facts did help narrow the ideas of who it could be, but not everyone. Almost everyone at Hogwarts during her time knew that she had been to the Ministry with Harry and the others. And Hermione did help out a lot of people while at Hogwarts. The fact that he could make his own spells did not mean much, considering so much time had passed.
‘Some of that information helps probably’ Neville figured, trying to stay positive about it all. ‘But that doesn’t mean you have to leave.’
‘Neville’ she started, getting up from the couch and pacing about in the dark room. The moonlight coming through the windows, along with the streetlamps, gave enough light to see around the room. ‘So far he’s been right about everything, and as much as I don’t want to leave, maybe I should for a few days.’
‘But what about your work? If you don’t show up all of a sudden, they’ll know something’s wrong’ Neville put forth. Hermione turned as she paced, and shook her head.
‘No, they won’t notice, or care really. If they know where I live, they know where I work, and calling in to say I’m sick or something wouldn’t do any good.’
Neville was distraught about how the situation was looking, but he began to concede Hermione leaving London for a few days, or even a week.
‘So where will you go? Liverpool to see you family again?’ Neville asked, as he pat Crookshanks, who was lying over his left leg on the couch.
‘No, not Liverpool. If they know where I live and work, they’ll probably know where my family is. Maybe Birmingham or . . . hmm’ she started to think, Neville wondering.
‘Well’ Hermione said, her fingers on her chin. ‘I know someone, in a really small town that might do well. Ever been to King’s Lynn?’ she asked.
‘”King’s Lynn”? Hmm . . . no, not really.’
‘It’s in The Fens, just south of The Wash. I know an old friend that lives there, quite secretively. I should be able to go there without worry for a few days.’
Neville thought this over for a moment, and agreed. Hermione honestly wanted Neville to be alright with it all. It would cause a lot of tension if she went without his agreement, and there would be a good chance he would go after her, which he was in no shape to be doing.
‘Can Crookshanks stay here with you?’ she asked as she sat back down next to Neville.
‘It shouldn’t be a problem I think. I think he likes it here’ Neville proposed, giving Crookshanks another pat. The cat purred softly, and Hermione smiled at Neville.
In the morning, Hermione gathered the small amount of belongings she had, and got ready to leave. Neville insisted she have breakfast first, and she obliged. Breakfast itself was not that grand, but Neville tried to make it important by cooking crepes. Well, at least an attempt at crepes.
‘Honestly Neville, they’re good!’ she restated as she took another bite of her dish. In actuality, they did have a soft touch of asphalt in them, but once you muscled your way past it, they were alright. Crookshanks was smarter, and after one lick began hissing at the crepes, and instead settled for a nice lump of government-regulated tuna.
‘Well, alright. I just want you to have a good last meal before you go’ he admitted, coming over from the kitchen and sitting down at the table, a small amount of pain wiping across his face as he shifted his weight into the seat.
‘I’m not going to be gone that long Neville. You make it sound like I’ll never come back’ Hermione said, Neville taking a bite of his creation, and grimacing as he chewed.
‘Uch, these are terrible. Why didn’t you tell me?’ he demanded, a little playfully as he continued to taste the road in his mouth.
‘What? I like them.’
‘Then you must have the palette of an anteater’ he asserted, taking the rest of his crepes and pushing them aside. He was trying to get up again, but Hermione kept him seated.
‘I’ll get you some toast, just stay here’ she advised. He agreed, and slumped back down, giving his now discarded plate a frown.
‘So are you going to tell me who you’re going to see?’ Neville asked, turning his head slightly towards the kitchen as Hermione put the bread in the toaster. Hermione walked over as the bread was being toasted, and whispered in his ear.
‘GIN-‘ he started to shout, Hermione placing her hand over his mouth. ‘Ginny!’ he whispered in astonishment. She came close to his ear, and whispered more.
‘Yes, Ginny. I haven’t seen or talked to her in years. She wasn’t at Hogwarts when it fell, because her Mum asked her to stay at her aunt’s house in King’s Lynn. Ginny wanted to fight, but respected her parents wishes.’
‘Part of me wishes she was there with us, I missed her. I'm surprised she actually stayed away.’
‘I know Neville. As for staying away, well, her parents wishes, and also not having her wand kept her there. She helped with a lot of the wounded when Mrs. Weasley escaped. They Apparated a lot of them to King’s Lynn and helped heal them before going off to fight at Ministry. Ginny didn’t go to the Ministry though, she was smart enough to know it wouldn’t do any good.’
‘So Ginny’s alive’ Neville restated in disbelief.
‘And that’s where I’m going, so there’s no worries’ Hermione said, turning around and getting Neville’s toast.
‘Why didn’t you tell me before?’ Neville questioned a little heatedly.
‘I couldn’t Neville, you know that. I haven’t talked to her in years, I just hope she’s still there’ Hermione hoped.
'But of all the people that should have known-'
'I know Neville, I know. When I come back, we can both go and you can see her? I'm sorry I can't bring you earlier, but it would be hard for you to travel' Hermione explained consolingly. Neville looked to be on the verge of tears, but nodded in agreement.
'I'll just be happy to see Ginny again. I've dreamed about her so much.'
They finished breakfast at a leisurely pace, then Hermione got her things. She disliked leaving Neville in the middle of a situation she created, but this was the only way to get them away from him.
‘How are you getting there?’ Neville asked as he leaned in the hallway as Hermione packed her belongings in the front room.
‘Well, I can’t go the Muggle way. They’ll have police looking everywhere for Mary Granger.’
‘So you’re going to Apparate?’
‘I already did it once, I can probably do it again. I just have to make sure I end up close to King’s Lynn, since I’ve never been there.’ This did not make Neville any more relaxed with her departure, but came over and gave her a hug.
‘Just keep safe, and come back soon. It’s been so great to have you here’ Neville murmured from Hermione’s shoulder.
‘It’s been so wonderful Neville, I’ll be back soon, I promise. And I’ll tell her you say hi and that you miss her.’
Neville backed away with some tears in his eyes, and Hermione gave him a kiss. With all that he had been through, he did not want to lose the one person who understood almost everything about him. So few people did in the world he lived in.
‘Now you be nice to Neville, alright Crookshanks?’ she told her cat. The stubby-nosed creature purred and rubbed up against her pointed finger, and she smiled at him. He knew perfectly well that he was going to get more tuna in the coming days.
Hermione grabbed her pack, and her box with her wand and other wizarding items, and smiled at Neville one last time. He smiled shakily at her, and with a hard thought of the countryside, she gave a twist.
In the last instant she saw Neville, his expression changed as he looked towards the front door, and his smile dropped. She suddenly wished to return to find out what was going on, but she was already surrounded by darkness and that old tube-like feeling.
Meanwhile, back at Neville’s home, a knock came at the door, and he hobbled over. Crookshanks trotted over to the staircase, and turned to face the door.
Neville opened the door, to find three men dressed in black suits standing on his front step.
‘Yes? May I help you?’ he asked kindly. The front man turned towards him and removed his hat; Neville’s mouth dropping open, and Crookshanks hissing from the stairs.
‘Hello Longbottom’ sneered Draco Malfoy.
Hermione landed in the middle of nowhere. The look on Neville’s face continued to perplex and worry her, but she knew it was probably nothing. She disliked leaving Neville alone, but it was needed for both their protection.
But how was she to get to King’s Lynn when she ended up in the countryside?
She found herself in the middle of a grass field, with cows and other farm animals grazing in the distance, one cow nearby lifting its head and chewing on the grass. She could see a lone road wind its way across the expanse, and she started off towards it, making sure to watch her step for the substance that made the area smell so wonderfully.
Reaching the road, she hadn’t a clue which way to walk. Roads led to towns, but which was her town? The high inclined Sun did not help her in figuring East from West, so she took a guess, and headed to the right.
No cars came for a while, until finally an old red car that looked to be the misfit in a used-car lot came puttering up. It was tiny car, and the driver looked to have terribly skills behind the wheel, but it began to slow down as it approached Hermione from ahead.
Stopping on the other side of the road, Hermione instinctively looked both ways, and crossed the road to the car. An old man, at least in his sixties, was the driver. He had a rough grey beard, and pudgy cheeks that gave him one of those cute grandfather looks, just like her mother’s dad, Grandfather Malory had. He always had the best cookies that Grandmother Malory made just for Hermione. She used to say since Hermione was her only grandchild, she had to spoil her as much as possible. Grandfather Malory didn’t like to spoil, but always smiled at Hermione eating the cookies while he fixed his violin. He was always fixing violins.
‘Hello there darling, what yeh doing all the way ou’ here? Where you talkin’ to the cows or somethin’?’ he asked, giving her a strange look with his blue eyes.
‘Um, no, not exactly. I’m trying to get to King’s Lynn, could you help me?’ she asked. The idea of getting help from a stranger at this time was not too accepted by Hermione, but she honestly had no idea where she was. She put a lot of judgment into how the old man would react. If he reacted too quickly, then he could be a Marker in disguise. If he reacted too slowly, he might suspect her and bring her to the police.
He looked her over for a moment, then up and down the road, and of all things-laughed. The tension in Hermione’s neck was increasing, but with the laugh, she smiled. He had a bark of a laugh, but it was genuine.
‘Well pretty lady’ he started, ‘if yer on yer way to King’s Lynn, yer walkin’ in the wrong direction. It’s thata way’ he informed, pointing in the direction that Hermione had not picked. So much for her guessing abilities.
‘Oh, alright, thank you’ Hermione responded, turning and starting to walk that way. The old man sat in the car for a second, then got out.
‘Well hold on a tec! I’m on my way to Castle Rising, I can give yeh a lift to King’s Lynn if you’d like’ the old man offered. Hermione stopped, and turned to look at the man.
He was beefy, but not very tall—almost the same height as herself. He wore simple clothes, jeans and a collared shirt. His stance was very relaxed, and his voice sounded sincere.
‘If it’s not a proble-‘
‘Not at all young lady!’ he interrupted, motioning her to sit in the car. She walked over and sat in the tiny car, and he walked to the driver’s side. The interior had the aroma of old leather and a small whiff of tobacco, but it didn’t bother Hermione. The windows were open, so once they started moving it would be alright.
The old man took his seat, and the car swayed in reply. His hefty weight was enough for the car, and as he turned it over, he smiled at Hermione.
‘Archibald Weirman’ he introduced himself.
‘Her—I mean, Mary Granger’ Hermione introduced herself, shaking his outstretched hand. He took hold of the wheel, and started the car off on the road.
‘So, Miss Hermary Granger, what’re yeh doin’ all the way out here?’ he asked, Hermione smiling.
‘It’s just Mary Granger actually-‘
‘Not a problem. I’m coming to visit a friend’ she explained, looking out the window at the farmland and breathing in the air. It was so nice near the water, it gave a nice salty scent to the air.
‘A friend yeh say?’ the old man restated, Hermione getting nervous in the way he mentioned it. They were now driving along a bend in the road, and coming up to some hills.
‘Well, perhaps I know’em. I have some family in King’s Lynn.’
‘Probably not, they live just outside the town’ Hermione offered, hoping to squash the topic. Archibald nodded, and gave a glance towards Hermione.
‘You look familiar’ he said offhandedly. Hermione started to become nervous again.
‘I do? I have one of those faces I’ve been told.’ Archibald was shaking his head.
‘No, no, I’ve seen you before. But where . . .’ he pondered. Hermione was already getting her wand ready, incase she needed it.
‘Oh, I remember now! You’re the one on the news!’ the old man spouted, Hermione pulling her wand out and pointing it at the man.
‘Pull the car over, now!’ Hermione demanded, Archibald waving his hand to try and calm her down.
‘Tak’er easy little lady, I’m not the police’ he insisted.
‘Just pull the car over’ Hermione again demanded.
‘And what? You’re going to walk the rest of the way? I don’t mind drivin’ yeh, just calm down, and put yer stick away’ the man told Hermione. She kept her wand on him for a moment longer as he looked at her, then dropped it, and put it on her lap.
‘There, that’s better’ Archibald sighed. ‘I’m not lookin’ for trouble, an’ I don’t mind drivin’ yeh. Just don’t be hurtin’ me please.’
‘I’m not a criminal’ Hermione attested, Archibald giving her a look.
‘Yeh don’t look like one. Too pretty’ he noticed, getting reminded of Gary from the carpark. Archibald gave a bit of a smirk, and it relaxed Hermione. She still could not trust this man, but his calm nature made her feel better.
‘So why are they after yeh?’
Hermione sighed, and looked out at the countryside passing by. ‘I don’t know why’ she lied.
‘Well, yeh’ll be safe in King’s Lynn. ‘Tis a small town, outta the way and such.’
A tree passing by, Hermione looked forward and saw a small hamlet ahead. The car pulled off onto a side road, and towards the town. It looked quaint, about a dozen or so buildings, none more than two stories tall. Coming into the main street, the odd person walked along the road, while others were working in the fields.
Archibald slowed the car, and it came to a gentle halt.
‘So does your friend live in the town, or the outskirts?’
‘Not too far from here, I can walk the rest of the way. Thanks Archibald for the ride’ Hermione said to the man. He smiled through his beard, and Hermione got out of the car. He waved good-bye, and slowly putted along in the car, continuing down the road, over a hill and gone.
Hermione looked around, giving another sigh, and caught a familiar building. It was on the corner of a junction, and had a black roof. She remembered eating at that inn one night with Ginny, and walking back to her place afterwards.
She started down the dirt path, and after several minutes of walking and smelling the wonderful sea breeze, she came around a long bend, and from behind the trees came a cozy looking cottage. With a slanted thatch roof, and old brick walls, she walked up, and knocked on the old wooden door.
After a few moments of shuffling inside, and a few muffled voices, the door opened slowly, and the side of a red-headed face peaked around the side.
‘May I help you?’
‘I’m . . . here to see Ginny Weasley.’
‘And you are?’ the person asked, the door opened a little more to see a light brown eye looking at Hermione.
‘I’m Hermione. Hermione Grang-‘
The door swung open and the red haired woman threw herself at Hermione mid-introduction. Hermione staggered backwards with the sudden jolt, but hearing the sniffs from Ginny’s crying, she smiled, and hugged her friend tightly. Her long red hair was still as fiery as ever, and Hermione stroked it gently, smiling as she remembered the times she saw it swaying down the halls of Hogwarts.
‘Hermione’ Ginny sniffled, giving one more warm squeeze before backing away. ‘Oh Hermione, I’ve missed you so.’
‘I’ve missed you too Ginny’ Hermione responded with a smirk and a wipe of a tear, Ginny wiping her face also.
‘Come in, come in’ Ginny insisted, opening the door and ushering her in. Hermione entered the tiny home, and looked about.
It was so much like the Burrow, it was easy to tell a Weasley lived here. Knick-knacks were strune all over the mantle over the hearth, and the kitchen had flowers in a vase, with water boiling on the stove while pictures—Muggle pictures—were plastered all over the white fridge. Old red-laced rugs were covering the floor in the sitting room, while in the kitchen and adjacent dining room wood floors creaked under her steps.
Ginny closed the door, and turned back towards Hermione, where they again shared a hug. Hermione could not believe that she had come all the way up there to see Ginny. It had been so long, it wasn’t surprising she didn’t recognize her right away.
‘Oh Hermione, please come and sit. Tell me where you’ve been, what you’re doing’ Ginny persisted, leading Hermione over into the dining room and pulling out one of the four wooden chairs for her. She continued on into the kitchen to get some tea going as Hermione started her story.
Hermione went ahead and told her of her escape from Hogwarts with Seamus and the others, and how she managed to get back to London and keep low. She mentioned where she worked, and her trip to Liverpool, and then came to the topic of Neville.
‘While I was in Liverpool, I ran into someone from Hogwarts.’
‘You mean a student? Someone we knew?’ Ginny asked as she was taking the tea pot over to the table, very carefully.
‘Yes. It- . . . it was Neville.’
A sudden and strict gasp and the smash of pottery filled the room as Ginny dropped the tea pot in shock. The tea splashed all over the floor, and the pot broke into thousands of pieces as Ginny held her mouth in astonishment.
‘N-N-Neville . . . alive?’ Ginny stuttered. Hermione stood up quickly, and helped Ginny to sit down in one of the chairs.
‘Yes, he lives in London now. I just visited him.’
Ginny was still in utter shock over the information, and in her staring at the floor, noticed the tea pot.
‘Oh . . . there’s a mess. I’ll- . . . I’ll clean it’ she spoke incoherently.
‘Don’t worry, I’ll get it’ Hermione insisted, taking her wand and wiping over the mess, the tea pot coming back together and the tea disappearing.
‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING!’ Ginny screamed, Hermione jumping back and falling down onto the floor—hitting the tea pot over and it breaking again.
‘What? What’s wrong? I just-‘
‘You did- . . . THAT!’ Ginny ranted, her state of mind totally in rage.
Hermione looked at where Ginny was pointing, and it was then she realized she used magic. Hermione did not even notice she did it, she just went and cleaned up the tea pot. She was so startled with herself, she dropped her wand, and began backing up from it as if it was some dangerous insect.
‘Why do you have that here?’ Ginny questioned, standing up and looking at her while she picked up the tea pot pieces.
‘I- . . . I had to bring it with me. Markers are after me.’
‘Markers?’ Ginny stated worriedly.
‘Yes, I had to leave London, and I thought it would be alright to come here since it is out of the way’ Hermione said, trying to appeal to Ginny. She could see how worried she was at the mention of the Markers, and Hermione suddenly using magic did not make things well.
Ginny looked at Hermione on the floor, giving a sigh, and offering her hand to help her up. Hermione stood, and Ginny continued into the kitchen, where she took the broken tea pot, and threw the shards into the rubbish bin.
‘I’m sorry Hermione, I’ve just been living in fear for so long, and hearing about Neville and you showing up all of a sudden-‘
‘I know, I’m sorry to put all this on you at once, but thank you Ginny. And I’m sorry about the tea pot, I don’t even know why I did it.’
‘It’s alright Hermione, sometimes I even find myself swishing my hand thinking there’s still a . . . a wand there.’
The two friends talked about what they had been up to, and what was going on with people they knew. Ginny was very interested in hearing about Neville, as they were getting serious when Hogwarts was attacked, and the thoughts of Neville made Hermione again worry about him.
‘So is there a man in your life now Hermione?’ Ginny asked innocently.
‘No, I couldn’t, even if I wanted to’ Hermione answered straightforwardly. Loosing the two men she cared about the most just made it impossible for her to think of seeing another man.
‘Did you hear about the Old Ministry?’ Ginny asked, Hermione’s fingers beginning to tingle with fear.
‘No, what happened?’
‘It was on the wireless that it was blown up for reconstruction’ Ginny told.
‘Reconstruction?’ Hermione questioned, trying not to look too guilty of knowing the truth, that a masked man who had come to her in the middle of the night actually destroyed the Old Ministry right in front of her.
‘I know, doesn’t make sense. If you’re using . . . you know, you wouldn’t need to blow the whole thing up to reconstruct it.’ Hermione remained quiet about the truth of it, and simply nodded thoughtfully.
The two of them talked some more in the sitting room, until a knock came at the door, and both of them became nervous. Ginny mentioned she received few visitors, so the idea of two in one day made Hermione think the worse.
Ginny got up, and walked slowly across the room towards the door, while Hermione went over and instinctively reached for her wand. Could someone have followed her to Ginny’s?
The door was opened slightly, and Ginny was conversing with whoever was outside. She smiled back at Hermione, and opened the door to let the person inside.
‘Hello there Hermione! Wonderful seein’ you got to yer friends house’ the old man spoke happily.
‘Archibald? Um, my name is Mary, not whatever you said’ Hermione said, Ginny looking at the old man funnily.
‘Archibald? What kind of name is that?’
‘What, remember Uncle Archie? He was a crazy old guy, and I thought I looked like him’ Archibald explained, Hermione becoming exceedingly confused.
‘What’s going on?’ she asked, looking from Archibald to Ginny.
‘Oh, you’ll be findin’ out in a few minutes there lassy’ Archibald said, giving Hermione a wink while Ginny rolled her eyes.
‘Stop talking like that, and go upstairs and get changed.’ Archibald bowed to the two ladies, and went upstairs with surprising speed.
‘Git’ Ginny commented.
‘Ginny, how do you know him?’ Hermione asked quickly, looking out the window to see the tiny red car sitting in front of the house.
‘Why did you say your name is Mary? Did you change it? You shouldn’t, Hermione is nice.’
‘Ginny, he gave me a ride here, who is he?’
‘He’s someone who knows you’re not “Mary”’ a familiar voice called from the staircase. Hermione turned, and her jaw dropped as she began to laugh.
‘Fred!’ Hermione yelled, running up and giving the tall red head a monster hug.
‘Nice to see you too there Hermione’ Fred responded. Hermione hugged him for a moment longer, before stepping back and giving him a smack across the shoulder.
‘Why didn’t you tell me who you were when you picked me up, and why were you changed? Did you use Polyjuice Potion?’
‘Well, to be honest, I wasn’t sure you were you. That is, until you took your wand out. Then I knew easily. As to the potion, when I travel out of the town, it’s sometimes needed to change up how I look. The potion is really the only thing we make that is . . . you know.’ Ginny noticed one things Fred said however, and was not happy.
‘You took your wand out in public!’ Ginny yelled, Fred and Hermione shushing her voice, worried about eavesdroppers that did not exist.
‘It wasn’t in public, we were in the car. Just the way he was talking to me, it made me nervous.’
‘Wonderful Fred, make a woman we haven’t seen in years feel nervous.’ George was trying to look innocent.
‘I didn’t do anything! I was nice, I brought her here’ Fred attested.
‘Don’t worry Gin, he was alright. It’s just so nice to see you, last time I saw you-‘
‘I know, bad with the burns, and my arm. It’s still sorta messed, but I’m alright.’
Now three, they all sat down and talked about their lives. Fred was so happy to hear Neville was alive, and expressed interest in having him up to King’s Lynn sometime to catch up.
Fred, since the time of the fall, had learned how to do some Muggle farming, and worked on a nearby farm. They were long hours, and hard work, but it paid well, and kept him low on the radar. He made trips to Peterborough and Cambridge every once in a while to get news on things, and to see one or two people he knew.
Ginny in the meantime worked at the restaurant at the corner. One of the owners was a wizard, and understood Ginny’s need to keep low. He helped out with finding their house, called Rose Abbey, and getting settled in without using magic. They both attested to having their wands put away in safe places, but that they had not even looked at them in years.
Turning on her mother’s old Wizard’s Wireless Network, Ginny sat back down and listened quietly. She kept a few items of her mothers’, the wireless being one, having many memories of sitting around the Burrow and listening as her mother braided her hair.
By now the Sun was beginning to set, and Ginny was about to get supper ready for the three of them. The two Weasley’s had no troubles having Hermione stay there for a few days.
‘Coming up next, the ecstatic comedy styling of Bulbus the Bumble, but first this word’ came from the wireless in a high pitched woman’s voice.
‘Bulbus isn’t that bad I think, he has his moments’ Fred commented.
‘Could you turn that off please Fred? And put on that Muggle television so we can hear the news’ Ginny asked as she started getting things ready. Hermione went over and began to help her, but Ginny insisted on doing it herself. Hermione instead settled for making the table ready.
Turning the wireless off, and sadly missing Bulbus, Fred turned on the Muggle television, and turned the dial to channel six, which showed a commercial for a furniture store.
‘You watch the news?’ Hermione asked Ginny.
‘Mostly to see what the government is doing, and if anyone we know has been found.’
‘Tonight on News Six’ a female anchor woman started, ‘a fire rips through the non-quarantined zone outside Exeter, killing dozens, while-‘
‘Bloody terrible news they have on this Muggle television’ Ginny commented as the news reports continued.
‘-killing four, while the driver escaped. Police desc—shhhhhhhh‘ the anchor woman said, being cut off and the screen turning blank.
‘What’s going on?’ Ginny asked.
‘Who knows with these infernal Muggle machines’ Fred responded, getting up and smashing the television.
‘That won’t help you know’ Hermione insisted.
‘Oh, it will don’t-ah, here we go. What in the-?’ Fred wondered, looking at the screen.
‘Good evening England’ a deep, calm voice sounded. The words came to Hermione's ears, and her face grew cold as she turned towards the television.
‘Who is that?’ Ginny asked, glancing without much worry.
‘V’ Hermione whispered.
‘Who?’ Ginny asked again, Hermione not hearing her as she walked out of the kitchen and into the sitting room, slowly sitting down as she watched the ivory mask of Guy Fawkes on the screen.
‘Allow me to first I apologize for taking time from your busy lives, and interrupting the tranquility and safety of the everyday and familiar’ V continued on the screen in his deep voice.
‘Who is this guy?’ Fred asked, Hermione shushing him quickly, and nudging him out of the way.
‘I like many of you enjoy the comforts of the everyday. But unlike many other days of commemoration that pass by, those associated usually with the triumph of a glorified battle or the death of a noble hero, and marked by a quaint holiday—the spirit of this day, like many of those before, has been lost to time and history and is no longer remembered as it should.
‘So it is on this November the fifth, a day lost to time and the minds of the people, that I thought we could take pause from our routine of the everyday to sit to have a nice chat.
‘What is this guy-‘ Ginny started.
‘Shhh!’ both Fred and Hermione spoke, their eyes both glued to the screen, Ginny soon following suit.
‘There are some of course, who do not wish this little conversation to happen. Believe me when I say there are orders being shouted and men with guns and other more terrible items that the world would dare not know of will soon be here.
‘Why? Because while the force of law has been used to squash conversation, words have maintained their power to those who will listen; words are the means to understanding and the illumination of truth to us all. And that truth is—there is something is terribly wrong with this country.’
At this point, Fred, Hermione, and Ginny all looked at each other.
‘He’s a wizard’ George stated, everyone looking back at the screen.
‘Now mired in cruelty and oppression, where once you had the freedom and power to speak and do as you please, you are now bound by sensors, rules, and supervision compelling your conformity and demanding your submission. Many of you whom years before lived openly and in harmony with the world now live in fear and hide yourselves away from the world.
‘Who brought this upon us? How did it happen? Believe me pour Britons, there are those more accountable than others, and they will be held to justice. But again, to bring forth the truth, if you seek the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.’
‘I know why you did it, you were all afraid. With war raging and thousands dying, disease running rampant, and strange happenings occurring all over the world, who wouldn’t be afraid of the outside world? People gave up on hope, and ran into the dark places of their minds and of the world in hopes of disappearing from the terror that struck our nation.
‘Those who remained, corrupted by the violence and destruction, and coerced by fear and panic, let go their common sense and looked to the now Lord Malfoy, and the Dark Lord of Britain. Lord Malfoy promised you peace and stability, asking only for your silent obedience and consent in return.
‘Last night I sought to end that silence.
‘Last night, I destroyed the Old Ministry to remind you, and this country what has faded in our minds, and has been forgotten into history and the shadows.
‘It was him! I knew it wasn’t a reconstruction!’ Ginny spouted, Fred and Hermione shushing her.
‘More than four hundred years ago, one man; one great citizen sought to ingrain the fifth of November in our hearts and minds forever. He wanted to remind us and make us remember that freedom, truth, and justice are superior to just mere words, but are perspectives to see the world through.
‘If you are blinded by the lies pulled over your eyes, and the crimes of this government are unnoticed by you, then there are no reasons for you to denote this date, and I suggest you continue in your everyday routine.
‘But if you have seen all that I have seen, felt as I have felt, and seek what I also seek, then I ask all of you to come and stand beside me, one year from now, outside the gates of Parliament. United together, with our conviction and freedom, we shall give them a fifth of November that history, and they, will never, ever forget!’
The screen suddenly turned black, embossed with the letter V, and all three inside the small house looked at each other in awe.
They knew that this was the beginning of something big.
A/N - Please of course review and let me know what your thoughts are towards my story, in such things perhaps as where it is headed, the plot and how it's moving along, the characters, possible ideas for improvement, etc.
Rose Abbey - I named it this, as King's Lynn (which is an actual place in England), is near Leicester, where the War of the Roses was ended.
Archibald Weirman - Not so much his name (which was made off the top of my head), his character is meant to incorporate many aspects of people that Hermione relates to, including her grandfather with his appearance, Hagrid with the way he speaks (though she doesn't acknowledge this), Gary the security guard from her work with the comment of her being "too pretty" to be a criminal, and of course Fred actually being him.
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