Chapter 1: It's My Choice
Disclaimer: This is a fanfiction based on the Harry Potter universe by J.K. Rowling. We do not own anything, except the plot and a few characters created by us to further the plot line in the future.
It was beautiful day in Muggle London, Hermione Granger, war heroine, muggle-born witch, teacher at Primrose Hill Primary School, sat in her classroom, reading The Quibbler. She recently did an interview with Luna from The Quibbler about accepting an invitation to Draco Malfoy's 22nd Birthday.
Hermione began to read the article, "The Golden Trio's Leading Lady is Back!"
"That's such a clever title," Hermione said sarcastically.
"The brains of the Golden Trio, Hermione Granger, 21 years old has emerged from the shadows after five years, but not with her counterparts, the famous Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley! A year after the War ended the Trio gradually drifted in different directions. Of course Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley never drifted, both were Auror's together up until Weasley decided to help his older brother George with the Joke Shop in Diagon Alley, but Hermione Granger, after she completed her education at Hogwarts, went back to the Muggle World in desire to become a primary school teacher. After the War, Granger never accepted interviews or commented on anything related towards the War until now! Granger has remained incognito up until her acceptance to Malfoy Heir's Twenty-second birthday this upcoming weekend, hosted by Narcissa Malfoy. We interview Mrs. Malfoy and asked why she invited the Muggle-Born Witch; her response was "I did not care what a person's blood status was, that was my husband's view."
"At least I know now why Mrs. Malfoy invited me."
She continued on with the article, "Lady Malfoy and her son have escaped Azkaban after housing convicted death eaters for over two years. While both her and Draco Malfoy remained free of all charges, the husband and father, Lucius Malfoy was found on the outskirts of London on April 30th, just three days before the fifth anniversary of the War. He remains in Azkaban, waiting his trial which will take place on July 10th where he will either be given life in prison or the Dementors Kiss." Hermione was truly shocked that they caught Lucius Malfoy, Ginny, told Hermione that Harry and Ron have been trying to find him after he fled leaving behind Draco and his mother. Hermione then heard the school bell ring though her ears. She set down the newspaper and looked up to see the eager young children grabbing their bags.
"The bell does not dismiss you," Hermione began.
"You do." The children said in unison.
Hermione waited for a few seconds and then let them go, "Okay, have a good day; stay safe!"
The young children filed out of the classroom. She had just finished grading a few spelling tests and was free of homework herself. She set her bag on her desk and placed the article inside.
When she was about to leave when a hoot came from outside. An owl swooped through the window and dropped an envelope on her desk. Before she left the Wizarding World, she picked up a beautiful barn owl. She kept it as the class pet and took it home during breaks and weekends. She examined the front of the envelope to see a Gryffindor red wax seal stamped with the letter "P" signifying that it was from the Potter's. Hermione opened the letter and saw that it was from Ginny, who of course, besides Luna, is the only other person that she kept in touch with after leaving the Wizarding World. Hermione peeled the seal open. The wax was solid, but still warm, which meant Ginny had written the letter recently. She pulled about a piece of tan parchment that said,
I just read The Quibbler, and am completely shocked that you accepted the invitation to Malfoy's party. He hates you and you hate him. How could you go after everything he has done to you, have you gone bonkers? I know you're not speaking to either Ron or Harry, after going back to Muggle London but they are both furious. Come meet me at the Leaky Cauldron, to discuss this more.
Hermione grabbed a piece of parchment paper and a quill and ink. She always kept spare ink and quills in her desk. She did not feel liking explaining herself on parchment.
I will meet you at the Leaky Cauldron at 3 o'clock.
Hermione rolled the piece of parchment up and secured it around Owl Eyes' leg. Hermione let her students decide the name, because it was their first class pet. She sent the owl off and grabbed her bag. I better not keep Ginny waiting, she thought as she locked her classroom. Hermione tried to hurry knowing that free time with Ginny was scarce now that she and Harry had baby James.
She drove straight home, set her things down in her flat, and grabbed a different bag to take to the Leaky Cauldron. Crookshanks was waiting in the windowsill glaring at Owl Eyes, when Hermione arrived. Crookshanks jumped down and started rubbing up against her legs, welcoming her home.
"I'll be back later, Crookshanks. Be good while I am gone. You too, Owl Eyes." Hermione said acknowledging her pets. Hermione placed Owl Eyes in his cage and placed him in her room, closing the door to separate the two. A caged bird was just too tempting for Crookshanks.
Hermione thought of the alleyway next to the Leaky Cauldron and disappeared.
She felt her insides tighten and her body shrivel as she apparated. When her body was released, she opened her eyes to see the brick wall of the building. She fixed her hair and her clothes, trying to look presentable before proceeding into the building to find it packed with a bunch of wizards staring at her.
"Miss Granger! So glad to see you're back!" An old witched chimed.
"Look it's Hermione!" Someone shouted.
Hermione waved shyly as she made her way through the crowd of people.
She had forgot how famous she exactly was. She had been gone for so long that the normalcy of Muggle London had taken over.
In the Muggle world she was just Hermione Granger. She didn't save anyone or was known for ending a War. She was just Hermione Granger, a 1st grade teacher at Primrose Hill Elementary.
As she made her way through all the witches and wizards greeting her, she finally found Ginny sitting at a table waiting for her. Her dear friend looked tired. She had bags under her eyes and was wearily bouncing James on her lap—–trying to get him to calm down. Hermione hadn't seen James in person. The last time she saw Ginny, she was still eight months pregnant.
"This is my first time ever seeing James, can I hold him?" Hermione asked.
Ginny smiled and set the child in Hermione's crossed arms. She rocked James back and forth in her arms as he giggled and cooed.
"He's beautiful. He looks exactly like Harry." She commented.
"I know, I am so thankful he doesn't have my flaming red hair." Ginny said with relief.
"Nonsense, Ginny your hair is beautiful!" Ginny shrugged off the compliment
"You're a natural. I should have you baby sit this weekend. It would give Harry and I some peace and quiet."
"Nice try, I've already told you I am going to Malfoy's party."
Ginny huffed, "Which is why you're here. Don't go! He's nothing but a ferret. Why would you celebrate his birth, when we all condemn it so much?"
"This isn't Draco's doing. Narcissa is the one who invited me."
"Why would you want to go back to the house where they," Ginny lowered her voice, "tortured you?"
"During the fiv years I was in the Muggle world, I have learned to forgive and forget. Let bygones be bygones. Besides, it wasn't Narcissa who tortured me. It was Bellatrix and now she is paying for her actions."
"Regardless, they are related. That house is nothing but trouble." Ginny warned, "Just don't go. Nobody will miss you. I bet galleons that you're the only muggle-born there."
"Nobody will miss me? What do you mean by that? And yes I could possibly be the only Muggle-Born, but even Narcissa said that blood status only mattered to Lucius."
"I just meant that, it's probably going to be a boring party with a bunch of snobbish rich wizards and witches that do care about blood status. Narcissa may claim she doesn't, but the others still hold grudges. I mean, you don't see Harry and I receiving an invitation. They still think my family are blood traitors."
"I think that Narcissa also knows her son can't stand your husband and dislikes your brother, maybe she thinks he'll have a change of heart when it comes to me."
"A change of heart? What do you think that he will ask you to forgive him for everything he has done to you? I'm sure you are mistaken. Malfoy's aren't the type of people to be forgiven, especially Draco. He has tortured you since your first year at Hogwarts."
Hermione handed James back to Ginny, causing him to fuss and cry. Ginny tried to calm him down, but each time she rocked him he cried louder.
"Ginny, I know what Malfoy has done to me, and what his family did to me." Her right hand instinctively covers her left forearm, despite the fact there is nothing there anymore. "But I need to forgive them for that, if I don't, how am I going move forward with my life?"
"Hermione, I only wanted to talk some sense into you, please don't go to Malfoy's party. Imagine how it would make Ron and Harry look. A member of the Golden Trio going to an ex-death eaters party."
"How it would make them look?" Hermione asked, "I have been doing what they said my entire time at Hogwarts. I think it's about time I did things for myself." Ginny stared in shock at Hermione, "Now if you'll excuse me I have to go shopping for a gown. Goodbye Ginny".
Hermione stood up and went out to the back of the Leaky Cauldron. She pulled out her Dragon Heartstring wand and tapped the brick third from the trashcan and up two. The bricks began to move and change positions to reveal an archway.
Diagon Alley was roaring to life. It was mostly full of adult wizards and their younger children too young to be enrolled in Hogwarts. Hermione walked along the cobblestone pathway and went inside to Madam Malkins.
While browsing through the selection of gowns, Hermione was set on finding a gown that was perfect for the occasion. The party was a ball, but she did not want a puffy gown that will be difficult to manage. While roaming through racks of gowns, she finally found the perfect one, it was a beautiful emerald green, floor length gown.
Hermione looked at the sizes and found hers. She walked over to Madam Malkin, who was measuring a young Ravenclaw's sleeve.
"Excuse me?" Hermione asked, tapping the woman's shoulder, "May I try this on?"
The old woman turned around to look at her and smiled, "Oh of course! Welcome back, Miss Granger!" The Madam beamed. Hermione thanked her and walked into the dressing rooms in the back. Hermione set her bag down and took off her clothes. They seemed so out of place compared to the store which had robes and cloaks. She placed the dress over her head and let it fall around her. She tied the strings in the back and buttoned the clasp at the top since it was a halter. The dress fit her so beautifully, she fell in love with it. She knew that she had to purchase it. Hermione sat there a minute, just staring at herself in the dress. She seemed so different. So Slytherin. The color complimented her nicely. She finally undid the dress and put her muggle clothes back on. Once back out of the dressing rooms, she went to pay.
"With this be it, deary?" Madam Malkin asked as she placed the gown aside.
"Yes, that's all."
"Did you find everything, you were looking for?" She questioned as she got a bag.
"Yes, I just needed this for tomorrow evening." Hermione said looking at the old woman.
Hermione paid her with a handful of galleons and knuts she kept just in case. She was so rich after the war for being a hero, she didn't even glance at the price tag. She hardly ever used it. It basically rotted in Gringotts until every couple of months she would cash it in for muggle money.
"Oh that's right. You're going to that party the Malfoy's are hosting. I am surprised you're going. I mean, you––at a Deatheater's party? It's very unusual."
"I know it might seem unusual for me to attend, but it has been so long since the war ended. I think it is time to make amends with the ones who wronged me in the past. And personally, I don't think that it's other people's business what I do." Hermione grabbed the bag with her dress in it and walked out of the store, leaving Madam Malkins. She apparated back to her flat in the muggle world. She hung up her dress, then left to a nearby shoe store to find a pair of heels that would suit her gown.
"Why does everyone care if I go to Malfoy's party, I mean, the war ended five bloody years ago, let it go." Hermione said to herself. She found herself looking down aisles of heels, until she saw a pair of silver strapped pumps. She went up to a worker and tapped on her shoulder, "Umm, excuse me miss?"
"Yes," the worker says turning around. "What could I help you with?"
Holding up the pumps, "Do you have these in a seven?"
"I'll go look in the back."
Hermione waited for the worker to return. She began to worry how Malfoy would react once if he saw her. A green dress and silver pumps. She was taking pride in the wrong house.
The lady came up to Hermione with the heels that she wanted in her size. They both walked up to the register, so Hermione could pay.
"That will be thirty-four even." Hermione shuffled through her purse to find her wallet. Once she found it, paid for her shoes, "Here you go. Thank you for helping me."
Hermione walked out with the shoe box in hand and walked home. It wasn't too far from where she lived. Hermione walked up the stairs to her flat on the fourth level. As she unlocked the door she heard an owl hoot.
"Oh, Owl Eyes is probably hungry." She said as she opened the door. The flat was pitch black. Hermione didn't realize how long she'd been out. She turned on her lights and then opened her bedroom door to find Owl Eyes glaring at a figure on the bed. Hermione flicked a lamp on, to see a small owl the size of her palm. She recognized it as Ron's owl, Pig. The owls big eyes looked at her happily as it dropped a rolled up piece of parchment. Of course, Ron didn't place it in a letter, he just rolled it up and sent it off. Lazy git. Hermione was positive it had to do with her acceptance to Malfoy's party. That's all anyone wanted to talk to her about. Hermione unrolled the parchment and read:
Mione, please don't go to that git's party
After Hermione read it, she paid Pig––sending the owl on it's way. She found herself sliding onto the floor with tears rolling off her cheeks. She was so tired of defending her decision to go to the party.
"Why does he even care?" The tears streamed down rapidly. "He didn't seem to care on how I felt when I found him snogging Lavender. It's was stupid, even after five years, he still had this effect on her. He broke her heart and he still gets to be happy with Lavender. Why is he trying to keep me from moving on?" She stood up, walked to the bathroom and threw the note in the sink. She pulled out her wand, pointing it to the note, "Incendio." The note slowly became engulfed by the flames until there was nothing but ash.
Hermione sat in her room. Writing letters back that would never be sent. Many of them beginning with, "Dear Git or Prat", but she didn't have the heart to send them. Instead, Ron received nothing back and she cried herself to sleep.
Author's Note: Hello everyone! Thank you for reading chapter 1 of The Lion's Secret. This fanfiction is a collaboration written by AmateurWriter98 and AnonymousMaknae if you want to check out either of our separate accounts. This fanfiction will be updated every Tuesday if you want to see more. Please follow and favorite us as authors or the story in general if you liked. We would also really appreciate it if you would review. We do read them and really like hearing feedback, good or bad. Thanks for reading and tune in next Tuesday for Chapter 2.
~ AmateurWriter98 and AnonymousMaknae