A/N: Usual disclaimers apply. Much love to Starrnobella who wrote the newspaper articles for me and thanks to my sister who did the beta work. This will be a slow burn story with updates on the 1st of the month to begin with. Hope you enjoy this x
Trigger Warnings: Depression; Previous suicide attempt.
War Heroes Power Couple Files for Divorce
LONDON - It was a romance for the ages that many people were lucky to witness from the halls of Hogwarts to the battlefield of the Wizarding War. Unfortunately this romance has come to an end.
Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger have officially filed for divorce bringing an end to their seventeen year marriage. This has been confirmed by Ms. Granger's lawyer, Gregory Milligan, in a statement released to the press earlier today.
"The decision to file for divorce was agreed upon as being the best for the health of the family," Mr. Milligan said in a statement, "Ms. Granger will not be commenting and is asking that the media gives her family privacy during this time as the divorce is finalizing."
Mr. Weasley's lawyer released the following statement, "We know that this announcement comes as quite the shock to the public, but it has been decided that this is best for both parties involved. My client, Mr. Weasley, and Ms. Granger are splitting amicably. There are no hard feelings between them."
Granger and Weasley were wed shortly after the Wizarding War ended in 1998. Close friends with Harry Potter, Granger and Weasley's relationship has spent a lot of time in the public eye. Sources claim that this may be a possible reason for their divorce.
Minister of Magic Resigns
LONDON - Three months following her divorce from Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger announced today that she was resigning from her position as the Minister of Magic.
In the small press conference this afternoon, Ms. Granger explained her situation saying that it was "time for a change of pace."
Her full statement can be found below.
"Hello everyone, thank you for coming today and listening to me speak. It is with a heavy heart that I resign from my position here at the Ministry of Magic.
I have come to a point in my life where I need to focus on what is best for myself and my life. As well as what is best for my children.
It is time for a change of scenery. I have been involved with this department since the end of the Wizarding War and it is time for me to step down.
Thank you to the Ministry for understanding about my time to leave. I have truly enjoyed my time here and I will miss the friends that I have made here."
The wind swirled, howling hauntingly around her, lifting her curls and chilling her as the waves crashed on the jagged coastline below, the spindrift spraying up. She could have sworn the mist reached her face as she pulled her cardigan tighter around her lithe frame. She turned from the coastline, making her way along the little worn out path along the clifftop, back to where she had left her battered Mini in the carpark. Nodding politely at dog walkers, her head down a little as she silently ignored the melancholic melody of the beauty spot known as Beachy Head. She wasn't sure what drew her here, only that fate had marked this place for her, forever sealing the bond between her and her only friend.
Digging her hand into the pocket of her cardigan, she pulled out her keys, her fingers numb from the cold. She cursed herself for not wearing gloves as she fumbled with the lock but she never did, perversely relishing in the way the October winds caused her to feel nothing. Shivering, she turned on the ignition, flipping the heater on as she slowly backed out from the space and made her meandering way back along the coastal road.
The little bell above the door signalled her return as she pushed open the battered door.
"You're back," the raven haired woman sitting behind the counter stated, her relief audible. Slipping off the stool, she made her way around unopened boxes of books, heading into the back room.
"I told you I wouldn't be long," Mia called as she made her way over to the fireplace. Taking the box of matches from the mantel, she knelt down to the grate she had prepared earlier, the hiss of the match as she struck it to life reverberating around the room. Touching it to the newspaper, she watched as the flames caught the kindling.
The raven haired woman returned carrying a tray filled with a pot of tea and two cups and a steaming bowl of soup.
"I don't know why you go up there in this weather," she muttered, pouring them both some tea.
Mia's hands wrapped around the cup, the warmth pulsing life back into her numb fingers until it was too much for her to bear and she placed the cup down.
She made to get up, but her companion touched her hand to Mia's. "Here, let me," she smiled, as she got up and reached into the wicker basket next to the hearth. Pulling out two bone dry logs, she placed them on the fire, the flames dancing around them as the last of the newspaper crisped away.
"Thanks, Pansy," Mia murmured. "I don't know what I'd do without you sometimes."
Pansy settled back into her chair, lifting her cup to her lips with a smile. "Freeze."
Sipping his tea, Draco took the post and the morning edition of 'The Prophet' from the elf who stood waiting patiently by his study door.
"Thank you Jude," he smiled, his eyes immediately drawn to the letter with his son's scratchy penmanship.
Thank you for the sweets you sent me last week. Everything here is great and I am really enjoying being back here. I cannot wait for Halloween! McGonagall says we will have a ball this year. How great is that?
I think Albus is worried about his cousin, Rose. She seems very withdrawn and spends a lot of her time in the library. I think she misses her Mum, although I am sure she sees her in the holidays. I kinda know how that feels though. Missing your Mum. But she has a big family around her. Albus doesn't seem to have that. I mean, I know they are all part of the same family, but it's still very tough for him at home sometimes. Can we invite Albus home for Christmas? Please?
Draco folded the letter thoughtfully, images of Rose's Mother in the library unexpectedly flowing through his mind. He could quite imagine Rose as being exactly like her Mother, nose pressed into a book, shutting herself away in the deepest corner of the library. Belatedly, he realised he was smiling at the thought before wondering, not for the first time, what had happened to Hermione Granger.
The roar of the floo broke his reverie and he looked up from his desk to see his best friend, Theo, striding into the room.
"Are you still looking for that book?" Theo asked, foregoing the formality of greeting as he dropped into the chair opposite Draco's desk.
Draco furrowed his brow. "Which particular book?"
"That rare, first edition of 'Moste Potente Potions', " he grinned, as he rested his ankle on his knee.
Draco's eyes widened. "Yes. Why?"
"Pierce has found it. In some muggle bookshop down in Brighton," Theo informed him nonchalantly, referring to his antique dealer who, for the right sum, could be relied upon to source rare items.
Draco frowned. "Brighton?"
"Some muggle seaside resort on the south coast. He is in talks with the woman who owns the shop. Mia Gordon."
"Witch or muggle?" Draco asked, eyes narrowing in thought.
"Pierce couldn't tell. Apparently she is a very vague person to deal with," he waved his hands dismissively. "Anyway, he needs to know what your top price is."
"Anything," he replied without hesitation.
Theo looked up from inspecting his perfectly manicured fingers in surprise.
"I will need to inspect the copy to see if it's the exact one I am after, but if it is, then I will pay whatever this Mia Gordon asks for it," Draco informed him, trying to ignore the pounding of his heart as the adrenaline coursed through his veins.
"I'll have Pierce make the arrangements."
Ginny opened the door, greeting Draco with a kiss on the cheek as she took his coat. "Harry's in the kitchen" she told him, gesturing down the hall.
"You off out?" he asked, watching as she touched up her lipstick in the hall mirror.
"Yea, Luna is in town so we thought we would head out to Muggle London for a couple of drinks. "Be good boys!" she called, before winking at Draco and heading out the door.
Harry was at the fridge as Draco stepped into the kitchen. "Beer mate?"
Draco nodded, taking the bottle with thanks, twisting off the cap deftly. It still felt bizarre sometimes that they were friends. But after the events of their boy's first year at Hogwarts, it seemed necessary to call a truce. With much encouragement from Ginny they had quickly found they had a lot in common and a tentative friendship had formed. Before long they had developed a ritual of Draco stopping by Grimmauld Place on a Friday night after Harry got in from work and every other Sunday he came around for dinner. He had expected that becoming friends with Harry would automatically mean forced socialising with Ron and Hermione, however they had separated the Summer between Scorpius' first and second year, divorcing soon after and then Hermione had unexpectedly resigned. Draco had been left with a mixture of feelings; relief that he wouldn't have to spend time with Ron Weasley, who to this day annoyed the fuck out of him, and intrigue as to what had caused Hermione to divorce her husband, leave her job and effectively disappear from the wizarding world, all in the space of six months.
In the beginning, he had bugged Harry constantly about Hermione's departure. But he had remained tight lipped. Two years later, he had stopped asking and started employing his Slytherin skills, storing any mention of her name, trying to piece together what had happened. So far, he was no closer to finding her than he had been two years ago. Why he felt the need to find her however, was still a mystery to him.
"Scorpius wrote me a letter this week" he began, taking a pull from his beer.
Harry looked up from the sandwich he was making.
"Oh? Everything alright?"
"Yea" Draco sighed "He's worried about Albus though"
Harry fixed his eyes on Draco, waiting for him to elaborate.
"He thinks Albus is worried about Rose. Get this" his eyes twinkled, as he put his beer on the counter "She seems to be hiding out in.."
"The library" Harry finished with a laugh. "Like Mother, like daughter!"
Draco laughed with him for a moment before growing serious. "He thinks she misses her Mum."
Harry nodded. "I think we both can relate to that in a way" he replied, somberly. "She spent some time with her in the Summer but it must be hard for them both."
"Harry, why did Hermione go away, leave her job and her family like that?" Draco asked.
Harry sighed. "It's not my story to tell, Malfoy."
"But you must know where she is and why she left like that?" he insisted, quietly.
"The Incident" he stated, referring as they did to the events of their boy's first year at Hogwarts. "It opened old wounds. For all of us, for sure, but for Hermione, it was harder. Facing up to things she had thought were buried deep" he explained, sighing heavily. "Hermione has always been one to do what Hermione thinks is best. She felt this was for the best. She needed to get away from all of it."
Draco took another pull from his beer, buying himself a little thinking time while he considered whether to ask the question that was forming on the tip of his tongue.
"So she's in the Muggle world somewhere?"
Harry nodded. "That's all I can say, Draco. Honestly."
Draco nodded in reply. It wasn't much to go on, but it was a start.
A/N: Written in collaboration with the marvellously talented Starrnobella who penned the articles for me. Beta love to my sister who cast her editorial eye over the chapter. This story will be a slow burn.