Fanfic Friday: Hermione, After – Part 2

Part 1

By the time the Knight Bus pulled into Hogsmeade, Hermione had somewhat pulled herself together, pushed aside the feelings of regret she had for being too hasty, and had the beginnings of a plan. She could use the Three Broomsticks as a base, and apparate to all places she wanted to go on her own gap year trip.

Madam Rosmerta saw her immediately as she walked in the door. “Hermione!” she called from across the pub, and started to bustle towards her. Hermione was surprised that Rosmerta even knew her name. “Hermione, I am so glad you are here! Did she call you? I was just trying to figure out if I should call her husband.”

Hermione had learned that if you kept quiet when you didn’t know what someone was talking about you could often figure it out eventually.

“Hermione?” A small voice from a table in the corner caught Hermione’s ear. She turned to see Fleur Weasley looking terrible. Well, terrible for Fleur, that is. Her skin was all blotchy and her eyes were so puffy it looked like she had been crying for days.

“Fleur? What are you doing here? Are you okay?”

“I…I needed to get away somewhere, I…” she stopped, obviously trying to hold back tears. “Hermione, I am pregnant” she blurted out.

“Oh! Well that’s…um, I was going to say that’s wonderful, but you obviously don’t think it is, and that’s okay. Do you want to talk about it?”

“It is just. It is wonderful, of course it is, and I am happy. I know I do not look it, but I am. But Hermione, I am also so scared. I do not think I will be a good mother.”

“Nonsense! You are good at everything” Hermione stopped short after Fleur shot her an angry look.

“That is not true. Just because I’m pretty doesn’t mean I am good at everything. My mother was not a wonderful mother. Veelas are not known for being warm and caring. That is why I feel such maternal feelings for my sister, since I was practically her mother.”

“Well, there you go then! You’ve had experience.”

“But I did not care for her when she was a newborn baby. I have no idea what I would do. And, well, that is not even the thing I am scared of most, actually.”

Hermione sat quietly and let her go on in her own time.

“Hermione, do not judge me, but I am afraid, because of what happened to Bill, you know, I am afraid this baby will be…will be…wolfish.” She looked ashamed as she said it.

“Oh Fleur, you’re pregnant, and you weren’t expecting it, of course you are worried about all kinds of things.” The two women sat quietly then, not saying anything for a minute. Hermione got an idea. It wasn’t her favourite idea ever.

“Fleur,” she said, not believing what she was doing even as the words were coming out of her mouth, “I was planning on going on a trip. I have some thinking to do myself and, well, would you want to come with me?

Fleur looked at Hermione and her face slowly brightened. “I think that is just what I need. I can leave immediately, I just have to go back to the cottage to collect my things and tell Bill. Can you apparate there too?” The two women went out behind the pub and Hermione braced herself before apparating.

They arrived at the cottage and Fleur opened the front door. “Bill? Bill, are you here?”

Hermione found a note on the kitchen table and showed it to Fleur.


I have to go. Emergency. I’ll be gone for a few days. Be well.



Fleur looked at Hermione in shock. “This is not Bill’s handwriting, and he would never be so short with me!” Her gaze hardened. “Hermione, we have to find him!”


The Thing About Fantasy Worlds Part 2

part one 

Hi! You came back! I wasn’t sure I would see you again. You looked pretty green after that idiot tried to get his sword back last time and I was forced to hack him to bits. Good thing this sword is so sharp or he wouldn’t have died so quickly. Anyway, I’m glad to see you. It’s nice to have someone normal to talk to, you know? I’m afraid I don’t have long today though. I’ve been invited to a banquet tonight at the castle of the evil wizard nearby. Oh, don’t worry. I know it’s a trap. But he’s been pissing me off lately. At first it was lots of little things, like changing the forest so I’d get lost, or casting spells to make ordinary mushrooms poisonous, stuff like that. I didn’t eat the mushrooms – even I know that mushrooms shouldn’t be giving off sparks. But then the asshole tried to cast a spell on me. I have no idea what it was meant to do. It didn’t take, thank goodness. It wasn’t strong enough. It only took my clothes. Which, let me tell you, was bad enough! It is no picnic to walk around a forest naked, you know. Although I have to say that the whole Renaissance Faire getup I ended up with is actually a lot more comfortable than my jeans. I guess they know something about functional fashion that I didn’t.

Oh hang on, mail’s here.

<loud flapping and a strong gust of wind as a maelstrom of wings swoops through, leaving one fluttering letter behind>

I want to go to this banquet tonight because I want to see what I’m up against. I’m not planning to take on the wizard or anything, just get a feel for him, see how arrogant he is, you know. I won’t eat anything, and in case I’m forced to, I got this antidote thing. It’s called a bezoar. I’m glad I read Harry Potter as a kid so I knew what to get. And you do not want to know how I got it – they don’t use money here so I had to resort to… well, never mind. It was awkward.

<ziiiiiing thwap>

Ugh, that was terrible. I’m useless at archery. It’s really hard to hit a stationary target, much less something moving erratically. But I’m sick of rabbits and shitty oatmeal. Whatever. Everything here is so stupid and hard.

<throws bow and arrow into a bush>

I guess I should read my letter. Oh, excellent! My application has finally been accepted to fight in the tournament. They think I’m a dude, of course. I think I mentioned that I have some serious issues with their attitude towards women here – I will get to that rant one of these days, I promise. Anyway, I did a bit of digging around when I was in town for the bezoar. Turns out that the misogyny goes deeper than I thought. They have a habit of sucking young women like me over here to basically be virgin sacrifices.

<snorts derisively>

They’re not too picky about actual virginity; it’s mostly the look of the thing – and they got more than they bargained for with me. The top brass is actually paying off this wizard to take me out, because they’re worried that since I slipped through their net I’m going to wreak havoc on their whole shady system. Well, they’re dead right. I plan to tear them to shreds. So if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to change into this dress I stole when I got the tunic getup and go do some recon.

<she strips, revealing a nasty scar across her chest>

Thanks for the chat! It’s nice to get a touch of normalcy. Stop by again sometime.


Fanfic Friday: Hermione, After

“What now?” The question was keeping Hermione awake. School was over. “Ceremonial Graduation” they called it, although it seemed very unceremonial to Hermione. Unceremonial and Anticlimactic.

Everyone in their year was thrilled, but Hermione was disappointed. She had been looking forward to her last year at Hogwarts. She assumed that by the start of next year she would either be dead, or that she would be making up her last year. All her professors reassured her that “killing Voldemort” would look better on a resume than one more year of school. But Hermione liked school. She was good at school.

Harry and Ron were already planning a gap year trip. And of course she would go with them. She wanted to. She did. But their idea of a fun trip was not really the same as hers. Bits of it would be, but she wanted to see historical sites, and art, and they would just make fun of her for that. Ever since her first year she had been keeping that part of her bottled up a bit. Harry was her best friend, and Ron was…he was Ron, but their insults from first year still stung from time to time. She knew that they respected her cleverness now, and Ron had told her it was part of why he loved her, but still. She knew that sometimes it bothered him that she was smart. Its like he couldn’t see that it was such a big part of her, and it never occurred to him that the fact that she was smart didn’t have to mean that she was just a stereotypical nerd. She was constantly reminded of how much Ron and Harry didn’t understand her.

And then there were her parents. This was only her second night at home with them. She had lifted the memory curse and had to explain to them why it felt like no time had passed since the last time they saw her. They were crushed. Both her parents were soft spoken people, and the harshness with which they had been speaking to her since they found out hurt deeply. Her heart was already raw and she needed her parents so badly to comfort her. She had been holding it together for so long. She understood why they were mad, but she needed them! But she didn’t know how to tell them all of this, and so she had just been avoiding them. Her fists were squeezing the blankets and her jaw was clenched. She had to relax and try to sleep. She looked at the clock. Three a.m. But her body wouldn’t relax, and neither would her mind. She didn’t fall asleep until the sun was starting to come up.

She was woken up by the sound of loud voices. She went downstairs to find Ron and Harry in the kitchen, talking to her parents.

“There you are!” Ron exclaimed when he saw her, and folded her in a huge hug.

She smiled, happy to see them, and hugged Harry as well.

“We thought we would surprise you,” Harry said in response to her sleepy and confused face, “and come to finalize the plans for our trip! We were just telling your parents.”

“You told them? I hadn’t had a chance yet, and I’ve only just come back, so I was thinking…”

“Right.” Ron jumped in. “We were thinking the Greek islands first. Some sun and sand? And We’ve heard on some of the busier islands, they make this magical ouzo that…”

“Just some relaxing, right?” Harry interrupted. “We’ve certainly earned it.”

Hermione smiled weakly but didn’t look anyone in the eye.

“Hermione?” Ron said.

“It’s just that, I’m not sure…”

“We thought you wouldn’t be,” Ron said, “so we invited your parents to come meet up with us so you can all go to some museums.” He beamed at her.

They had it all planned. They had already thought of a perfect solution, the four of them.

Her father spoke gently to her for the first time in two days. “It would be a good time for us to reconnect.” Her mother smiled weakly in agreement.

Hermione couldn’t tamp down her anger any more. “No.” she said.

“What?” Harry said

“I said no. THANK YOU,” Hermione continued, the rage bubbling over now that she had let it out “I don’t want to just run away and have a relaxing trip! Plus my idea of a relaxing trip is NOTHING like what you two have planned. Did you honestly think I would be interested in MAGICAL OUZO?”

“Hermione,” her mother started gently.

“No, mom, don’t try to calm me down. You and dad are just as bad. You snap at me for two days, when I haven’t seen you in months, and I’ve just been through HELL, and now you just want to plan a wee trip together like we’ll all just be like lah di dah, everything is fine.”

“We know you’ve been through a lot, but so have we, this was a lot to take in.”

Hermione didn’t know what to say. She glanced at Ron, hoping he would step in.

“Your mum has a point, Hermione, this last while has been hard on all of us. Let’s just run off and have a bit of fun.”

Hermione gaped at Ron. He grinned at her with that lopsided grin he had. The silence hung around them all for a full ten seconds before Hermione broke it with a hoarse whisper.

“I don’t want to go anywhere with you, Ronald. Not ever again.” She ran straight out the front door without thinking. It was just the closest door. But then she had a thought. In one flourished movement she summoned her beaded bag, which was still packed, and hailed the Knight Bus. There was a new witch taking tickets, who didn’t even look at Hermione when she asked “Where to?”

Hermione hesitated with her mouth half open and then said “Hogsmeade please.” It would be the perfect place to plan her own trip.

She went up to the upper level, which was almost deserted, sat down, opened her bag and peered in, closed it again, and then burst into tears.

The Thing About Fantasy Worlds Part 1

The thing about being transplanted into a fantastical world filled with magic and mystical creatures and shit is that there’s no convenience here. Like, there are no words for how much I wish I could charge my phone, and for it to say something other than NO SERVICE once it turned on. And a Starbucks! I would kill a unicorn and drink its blood for a grande quad ristretto half-sweet hazelnut latte.

Hang on, orcs. Back in a sec.

<sounds of slaughtering>

Ok, so where was I? Convenience. Right. So there’s just nothing easy here, you know? I can’t even make oatmeal properly. It’s all gather grains, boil them ALL DAY, find a fucking beehive, get thirty stings trying to get enough honey to sweeten my chewy, unsalted because where the hell would I find salt, disgusting oatmeal, then eat it. With what? A leaf? My hands? Also, there’s nothing here that I would attempt to milk, so there’s nothing besides that honey of pain to put on it. Gross. And then it’s bedtime and I’ve wasted the entire day trying to make breakfast. No wonder the elves make that shitty waybread.

<unsuspecting rabbit has its neck wrung>

Good, that’s supper sorted.

Sometimes I have nightmares that I’m in a Burger King drive-thru and I don’t have any money and the only thing they’re willing to barter with is my sword. And sane me, sleeping me, knows that it doesn’t matter, that I don’t need a sword in the real world and I can just hand it over and everything will be fine. But me in the dream has a screaming meltdown, because this sword is literally the only thing I have of value, and by value I mean use, in this place. Apparently it was someone’s great-great-great-grandfather’s, but he was deep into the wine casks and didn’t seem to mind loaning it to me. I only found out it was an heirloom later, and I felt a little bit bad, because I had my grandma’s decorative plate collection back home and it was special, you know? But I’m sure it’s fine. He’s definitely over it by now. And it’s dead useful, since no one notices me or respects me until I whip this baby out. Then it’s all what can we do for you, OMG, do you know what that is, etc etc, and then I show them that yes, I do know it’s a sword, and what’s that you say? This end is sharp? Let me test it. Whoops, that was an accident. And now I’m going to take all your meat pies and bugger off. It’s totally brilliant.

Oh, hang on, someone’s coming. Oh look! Speak of the devil; it’s the sword guy. He seems pissed. Maybe he’s not actually over it yet. Well, it’s been nice chatting, but it looks like the rest of my day just filled up. Come back next week. I have a whole rant built up about the misogyny in this place. It’s unreal!

<violent clashing>