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“Nyah,” Hermione said, “you were saying something about ‘Harry’. How do you know Harry?” 

Nyah was someplace between awake and asleep … and her answer was simple … “Harry … he’s my dad.” 

~amazing chapter image by chiQs09 at TDA~

Chapter 10 – First Magic 

Molly helped Hermione floo the children home. Hermione carried Hugo while he protested the entire time about being disturbed from his sleep; Molly stood with Nyah, offering support in this newly discovered way of travel; and independent Rose came last, just as she liked it. 

There was so much that Molly and Hermione wanted to ask Nyah once the younger children were tucked in bed, but it was well past midnight and after the long day they all had … the exhaustion was nearly overwhelming. 

Sensing the dilemma within Hermione, Molly laid a hand on her arm, “Why don’t we take another look at those burns before I pop home?” 

Hermione smiled gratefully, allowing herself to be led away from the guest bedroom where Nyah lay sleeping. 

The women sat in silence as Molly tended to the burns on Hermione’s arms, both lost in their thoughts about Nyah's declaration. The ointment Molly prepared seemed to be doing its job quite well. The burns were no longer bubbled and red, and the pain was gone. 

Hermione was amazed at the healing ability Molly possessed and often wondered why she chose not to become a Healer, but before she could ask, she was cut off by Hugo’s cries … 

“Go, dear,” Molly said, “I’ll finish up here and be on my way. I’ll see you in the morning.” 

The women exchanged a hug that meant much more than a simple goodbye, each hoping that the next day would hold more clues to Nyah’s past … and her dreams. 

Darkness fell around Hermione like a well-worn shawl. The only light emanated from the tip of her wand, which lay on the old wooden desk, throwing her face into sharp contrast. She hadn’t been able to rest and needed to get her thoughts on paper for fear that while asleep, they would be lost to the night.

Her fingers caught in her hair as she reread the letters written in haste to Ron, Harry, and Ginny. They weren’t well-written at all - half-thoughts – rubbish really. What could she tell them? There was nothing absolute at this time, and it would cause worry – not relief, and judging from Ron’s last owl, everything was going very smoothly in France; even with Harry and Ginny. 

There had been such a strain on the young couple all those years ago. Losing a child was enough to send most parents running; usually away from each other, especially under the circumstances. But instead of running, Harry and Ginny held tight to the only thing certain in their lives – their love for each other. And what seemed destined by some to be a crushing blow, now stood as a defining moment in their marriage – one they could be proud of. 

Hermione truly missed each one of them, but all she could think about was Ron. He was her rock, her completion. The way he shook his head when she talked – either in agreement or complete confusion – to the encouragement in his eyes and smile to keep going until the problem was solved … it was all she ever needed … and she needed him now. 

Hermione chewed nervously on her quill as she poured over her notes once more. There were so many questions … like pieces to a puzzle. But just as easily as one piece goes in … it creates more and more questions. 

Frustrated, exhausted, and a bit frazzled, Hermione decided she had better get some rest … the day ahead was bound to be a long one.

“Rose, bring your brother another shirt, please,” Molly asked, as she wrangled the nearly 4-year-old out of the soiled tee that wore more of his breakfast than the plate.   “Hugo, I told you I’d bring you the plate in a moment. Why did you grab it like that? Just look at you!” she said, wiping off his face. 

“But I didn’t grab it, Grandma!” Hugo said with a surprised look on his pudgy face, “It just popped on me when I reached for it – all over me!” 

Rose and Nyah were just coming in the brightly lit kitchen, Rose carrying the clean tee for Hugo, when Molly clapped her hands together. 

“Oh, Hugo! We must send an owl to your mum at once,” she said very excitedly, rummaging about for quill and parchment. “I was always so excited when it happened with my children, and I know your mum and dad have been waiting for this moment … oh, for goodness sakes, where is that quill?” 

“You got excited when dad got smacked in the face with sausage?” Rose asked, with a slight look of disgust creeping across her face. 

Nyah helped little Hugo on with his clean tee, as Molly stood at the kitchen scribbling something on some parchment. Rose looked between Nyah and Grandma Molly, analyzing each of them. 

“There,” Molly exclaimed, “now Rose, dear, will you send this with Pig?” 

“Hermione keeps a pig in the house?” Nyah asked, her eyes wide. 

Rose ran upstairs to her parent’s room, as Grandma Molly laughed and began to explain. Pigwidgeon typically slept during the day, perched in the large cage on Hermione and Ron’s bureau. He was an older owl, but small and spry. Rose tied the note to his leg, and while opening the window, told him to take it straight away to her mum. He flew out the window and took a sharp left past the house, and out of sight. 

Molly had turned to Hugo and was fussing over him when Rose came back in. There were now four plates of sausage and porridge with toast set out for all of them, and Hugo got his first. Molly was beaming, as she bustled around the kitchen. Rose and Nyah were still confused. 

Hugo, however, didn’t understand why Grandma Molly had to owl his mum about dropped sausage, but any concerns he had for how his mum would react went out the window as his plate was set in front of him. 

“Just like his father, he is,” Molly told the girls. “Ron was a bit of a late bloom too; had Grandpa and I worried for a bit, but then up he went, and – well, just look at him now. And, well, Hermione …” Molly sighed, “he gets it honestly …” 

“Gets what, exactly?” Nyah asked, thoroughly confused at this point. 

Just as Molly started to answer, green flames shot up in the fireplace and out stepped a very tired, but beaming Hermione. 

“Mum!” yelled Rose, as she jumped from the table. She ran to Hermione and hugged her tight. 

“Good morning, sweetheart,” Hermione said quietly. 

“And you, young man,” she said to little Hugo, who sat clutching a sausage in each hand while his large blue eyes fixed on Hermione. “Just like your father,” Hermione laughed. 

She motioned the little one out of his seat and over to a large chair near the fireplace. Reluctantly, Hugo set the sausages on his plate and made over to where his mother was sitting. 

Nyah watched intently, lost in the wonderment of this family … how even though everyone had been wonderfully accepting … she still was on the outside looking in, and wished desperately for a family like the Weasley’s. 

Hermione took Hugo’s hands in her own and when she looked in his face, her eyes sparkled with tears. He looked so much like Ron it nearly took her breath away. She reached out and ran her fingers through his thick, red hair as a tear made its way down her cheek. 

“Don’t cry, Mummy,” Hugo said, touching her face, leaving sausage grease where the tear once was. “The plate didn’t even break, and Grandma Molly has it all cleaned up, see? Please don’t be angry.” 

Hermione pulled him into a tight hug. “I’m not angry, darling,” she told him, “I’m so proud of you. Today, you grew up a little bit … you did your first bit of magic.” 

Hugo’s eyes went wide and his mouth dropped open. His first magic! Today, he was a wizard! 

“Grandma Molly owled me,” Hermione said as Hugo jumped up in the air, and added with a whisper, “because I missed it …” 

Hermione had never missed anything … even with her busy schedule; from the first smile, the first tooth, the first word, wave, giggle, and step … but this … the first magic. To Hermione, this was one of the biggest firsts, and she had missed it. 

Rose’s first bit of magic had come very early; she was just over a year old. Hermione and Ron had been visiting Hermione’s parents that Christmas. The adults were visiting while Rose played on the floor. She had been teetering after the Christmas tree all morning, especially wanting a bright silver ball that reflected her smile when she looked in it. Ron whispered that it looked an awful lot like a snitch and was certain at that moment, Rose was destined to be Seeker on the Quidditch team, playing for Gryffindor of course. Rose was clapping and staring at the bulb … then she opened her tiny fist and put it in the air … and the bulb jumped from the tree into her hand. She had turned to look at Hermione with the biggest smile and said, “Mine.” Hermione’s mother nearly passed out, and her father laughed remembering back to Hermione’s first bit of magic, with her mother’s reaction being very similar. 

Hugo, however, hadn’t shown any magical ability at all. Ron would secretly confide to Hermione that he was afraid Hugo might be a squib. Ron would pace the floor wondering what to do, what to say … if people were to find out, while Hermione simply waited … knowing, just like his father, that Hugo would shine brightly when the time was right. 

And shine, he did … Hugo was still dancing around the cheery living room with Rose, when Hermione noticed Nyah sitting at the table. The look on her face was more than longing … it was a yearning and aching … to simply belong. 

Hermione moved to sit in the chair next to Nyah, while looking in at the two children dancing around the coffee table. 

“I don’t know,” Nyah blurted out. 

Hermione and Molly looked at each other, a bit confused. 

“Know what, dear?” Molly asked. 

“I don’t know when I had my first magic,” she cried, “that’s what it’s called … ‘first magic’, right?” Nyah looked at Hermione. 

“Yes,” Hermione whispered. 

“Nyah, we’re going to do everything we can to find out who you are and get you home.” Hermione said, rubbing Nyah’s arm. She looked to Molly, wondering if she should ask Nyah about the dreams. 

Before anyone could say anything more, McGonagall’s head popped in the fireplace.
“Good morning, Headmistress McGonagall,” Hugo beamed at the elderly face, “Guess what?” 

The headmistress was unable to resist the charming little boy and said, “What Hugo?” 

“I did my first magic this morning! I made my breakfast plate smash into my face!” he said with a huge smile, throwing his hands to his face to relive the moment. “The sausage went everywhere and I think I even had some porridge up my nose! I can’t wait to tell Dad!” 

The face in the flames smiled lovingly, “That’s wonderful dear, now is your mother available?” 

“Ah, yes, Hermione,” the headmistress said as Hermione hurried to the fireplace, “we need to leave in just a moment to visit the Kelly family and their daughter, Claudia.”
Hermione was nearly panicked in fear of disappointing the headmistress, “Yes – yes, of course – I’m just on my way, Minerva. Thank you.” 

“I’ll see you in my office then. Good day, Molly, children,” and with a ‘pop’, the headmistress was gone. 

Hermione rushed through the house, hugging each child, and ending with a hug and goodie bag from Molly. 

“Thanks, Molly,” Hermione said, heading to the fireplace, “I’ll be home as soon as I can, and then … summer break!” 

“Yeah! Summer break!” yelled Hugo, getting his second wind, doing another round in the living room. 

“Don’t be silly, you don’t even go to school, yet,” Rose said bluntly, “so you can’t know anything about school holiday.” 

“All right, you two,” Molly scolded, pointing her finger at the two Weasley children, “get yourselves together and we’ll just be off.” Turning to Nyah, she smiled and said, “We’re going to head to the Burrow, are you up for that, dear?” 

Nodding in excitement, Nyah beamed. 

“Head up and get dressed, then, and we’ll be off,” Mrs. Weasley said with a smile.
The rest of the day was like the most wonderful dream. They flooed to the Burrow and with Mrs. Weasley helping Hugo, it meant that Nyah had to go alone; she didn’t mind - especially as Rose was staring at her, arms crossed and eyebrow raised, wondering if Nyah would have the guts to do it while Mrs. Weasley reminded her to speak very clearly before throwing down the powder. 

Once everyone arrived, Rose took it upon herself to show Nyah the wonders of the Burrow. They combed the garden for gnomes, and other interesting things that Nyah had never seen. They crawled through the bushes, and hid behind the shed ready to jump out and scare Hugo if he came looking for them. Nyah nearly caught a garden gnome, but upon learning they often gave a nasty bite, the girls decided to leave the gnomes to their worm hunting. They set off for the orchard and pond, where Rose told stories about all of the wizarding things Nyah missed out on … but Nyah’s favorite stories were of the Weasley family; they seemed such a lovely contrast to the family she was raised with. 

Nyah’s thoughts wandered back to The Stewart Manor … although only gone a short time, Nyah felt so distant from the nightmares that lived there. Anna and Alexander’s party would be in full swing by now, and Nyah could imagine the festivities from the pony rides and cowboy hats, to the cake and gifts. She wished she could be there with Anna, but knew that wasn’t going to happen. Nyah also had no desire to leave this place right now; nothing in her life had ever been so perfect. 

Nyah was pulled out of her thoughts when Mrs. Wesley yelled for the girls to come in for lunch. They stood and brushed as much dirt and grass off of their clothes as they could and turned towards the Burrow. Nyah had never been so dirty in her life, and she loved it! She leaned against the old tree, tying her muddy trainers once again. She started to move when she noticed some old carvings in the tree, just slightly higher than her head. Rose stood on tip-toe reading the letters carved inside of a heart; HP + GW. Nyah smiled as she touched the knotty wood, tracing the letters with her finger. 

“That’s my Aunt Ginny – GW – Ginny Weasley. My Uncle Harry did this before the war,” Rose said. “I’ve never noticed it … hmm … I wonder if my mum and dad have one too.” 

The girls spent the next few minutes searching the tree, their hope peaked as they found some carvings on the opposite side – but those were more jumbled with lots of letters crossed out, and one that Rose said looked ‘blasted clean off’. 

“I bet my Aunt Fleur or Aunt Angelina did that,” Rose said, pointing at the tree, “Uncle Bill and Uncle George had a tendency to date quite a few different girls, so one of my aunts probably got tired of seeing the other initials and blasted them off,” Rose explained. 

“So do you think I’ll get to meet all your aunts and uncles before I go to Hogwarts?” Nyah asked, hoping Rose would say ‘yes’

Rose looked around the tree, as if checking it for spies, and lowered her voice to a whisper, “Don’t tell Mum I told you … but your 11th birthday is next week, right?” 

Nyah nodded, while biting her bottom lip nervously. 

“Well,” Rose continued, “my dad will be back from France by then and I heard Mum and Grandma talking about your birthday party, so yes, I think you’ll see everyone!” she added with a mischievous smile. 

Rose put her finger to her lips and Nyah crossed her heart, promising not to tell. Mrs. Weasley yelled again, and the girls ran towards the house, Nyah loving every minute more and more. 

Lost in thoughts of parties, cakes, presents, and the most wonderful temporary family, next weekend couldn’t come soon enough … but for Nyah, the next few days would challenge everything she once was and everything she was becoming … it would seal her fate forever. 

Author's Notes:  I can't thank all of you enough who have walked this Road with me... the reviews have been wonderful and so helpful!!!  Please continue ...  Let me know what you think of this new chapter!

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