Hermione Granger had never been one to believe in fate. Her disdain for the 'art' of divination was widely known. Granted, the past few years had been close to make her reconsider. She firmly believed, however, that had Voldemort never heard of the prophecy he would have never targeted her best friend, Harry Potter, and as a consequence never created the path to his own destruction. She felt bold for even thinking it, but if You-Know-Who had been logical like Hermione and not put his faith in the words of a loony, he probably would have succeeded in conquering the entire island before Harry even got old enough to enter Hogwarts.
No, Hermione Granger did not believe that there was some big plan in store for everyone.
Therefore, she did not consider it odd when she was the one to find the box in Fred Weasley's old bedroom.
It was the first Christmas holiday since the war ended but the twin's absence was felt by everyone still. The one most affected by his passing was of course George, who at the moment was seated in the living room, being comforted by Angelina. They had originally been the ones designated to clear Fred's room, but between the two of them it had proven far too difficult. All it had taken for George was to spot the photo on Fred's dresser of the two of them opening the shop, and he had to leave to stop the panic rising inside of him. Angelina had cried and held him close. Hermione was glad George had Angelina. Even though it was clear he wasn't ready for anything resembling a relationship just yet, he had somewhere to turn for comfort. And Angelina seemed to understand that.
The apartment above Weasley's Wizard Wheezes was not small, but it only had two bedrooms, meaning that Ron, who would move in shortly so as to help George manage the shop, would take Fred's old bedroom. It had taken a long time for the people involved come to terms with that, but it was the most logical solution. At first, their friends had jokingly suggested he just move in with Hermione. Ron's ears had turned red at the thought and Hermione had felt her eyes grow wider than Quaffles.
The two Gryffindor's had been dating ever since that kiss at the battle of Hogwarts, but it was still a very new and tender subject. Years of trying to hide the way they felt about each other had left them utterly unprepared for public displays of affection and as a result, things were still a little delicate to say the least.
He did kiss me before I boarded the train, though. Hermione thought and blushed at the memory. Her two best friends had waved her good bye when she left to finish her last year along with Ginny, Luna and Neville. So far it had been an uneventful term, with the exception of the stress that came along with studying and preparing for her N.E.W.T.s.
Hermione had been prepared for that part. She had not been prepared for the stress that came from trauma. Everywhere she looked in castle, she was reminded of the place where someone she had known had lost their lives. It was like a twisted game her mind played.
Look, there is the spot Colin Creevey died. So young. Oh, and you never did like Lavender, so look carefully at the place where Greyback ripped her face open. At least Lupin and Tonks got a nice view of the grounds moments before they died.
Worst of all was the hallway where the wall had collapsed on Fred Weasley. Ginny had passed it several times the first few weeks, placing a flower by the rubble. Hermione had followed her every night she went there to cry. She never dared reveal herself, but she had a feeling Ginny had known, and judging by the sad smile she usually gave Hermione the morning after, she was grateful.
And it wasn't like Hermione would lose any possible sleep either way. She never realized how much she had lived to see until the events played like a horror movie in her dreams. Correction: nightmares. It had been one thing when she had a clear goal; where the mission was to keep Harry alive, keep Ron alive, find the Horcruxes, and destroy the Horcruxes…They had been good distractions. The N.E.W.T.s hardly qualified to fill that role. And after retrieving her parents from Australia she had nothing quite as large to occupy her thoughts.
That is, until she found the box. They hadn't dared evacuate the room with magic, not knowing what charms or inventions Fred had left there. She had been helping Ron look through Fred's cupboard when he left for the bathroom, and she had stumbled upon it whilst packing away some of his brother's jumpers (along with the dragon skin jacket which made Hermione roll her eyes and give a small smile). She looked at the small package, read the label and frowned.
Keep your mitts off if you want to keep them
It was a small carton, slightly bigger than her two hands combined. Knowing the twin, he had probably had a good reason to ward off unwanted snoops, meaning the object in the box was dangerous or private…or it was an elaborate prank, the label a trick to lure people to peek inside it. Hermione did not dare guess which it was. However, she was curious.
Never mind. I should probably just hand this over to George and let him determine what to do with it. Hermione decided.
She was just about to put it aside, when the box suddenly gave a faint glow and revealed more text on the label.
P.S. Unless it's you, Granger.
Now she really was intrigued.