Disclaimer: Harry Potter and anything recognisable is not mine. Aislin and Matthew are, however, and any other original characters, as well as the plot.

This popped into my head last night, no idea why, but I thought it would be an interesting idea. This chapter is rather short, I must admit, but it's really more of an introductory chapter and the chapters will get longer.

Summary: Harry and Hermione have been divorced for several years and consequentially can't stand one another. But when strange events start happening and Harry gets a new fiancé, is it possible that they stay apart? Or will they be drawn back together?

So, without further ado, I present to you the first chapter.

*** Chapter 1: Introductions and a Visitor ***

"Aislin Elizabeth! I've told you that you're not allowed sweets before dinner."

"But Daddy lets me." The small child clutched the sweets to her chest. Her mother made a face. She wasn't even sure how her daughter had gotten such sugary sweet things, and her comment over her father hadn't been very pleasant. The divorce hadn't necessarily been very amiable, with both parties having to be stunned and magically handcuffed so that they couldn't do magic. Seeing her ex-husband once a week was bad enough-she didn't want to spend time with her daughter talking about him.

"Aislin; that's very nice that your father lets you have sweets before dinner, most likely to annoy me, that's against the point. My point is that your father is not here and you are under my guidance at the moment. I am your mother and I say you can't have sweets." The mother held out a hand, waiting. The girl scowled. The mother sighed.

Why, oh why did she have to inherit both of our stubbornness?

"Aislin, I'm waiting." She began to tap her foot, hand still out- stretched. Aislin made a face.

"But-"

"No buts, Aislin. Give it to me. Now." With one last pout and stamp of her foot, Aislin tossed the package to her mother, who quickly pocketed them. "Very good, Aislin. Now, do you have any school work to do?"

The girl was still pouting. She was six year-old and attended wizarding primary school in the neighbourhood where her father lived, much to her mother's chagrin. But the school was the best there and she wasn't going to deprive Aislin an excellent education.

"No, Mummy. Matthew and I did it already."

Her mother voiced the unsaid, but definitely present ending. "At your Daddy's. I know, Aislin, I know." She sighed; blowing a small tendril of hair that had fallen into her face. "All right then, you may turn on the television. But only half-an-hour!" She called out as Aislin had already begun to run towards the coveted object.

Shaking her head, she smiled in thought of her daughter and went into the kitchen, deciding to start dinner.

***

Half an hour later, when dinner was almost ready, the back door slammed open and an, grinning nine year-old rushed in. "Mum! I got in! Isn't that great! I got in!"

She smiled at her son. "That's nice, Matt. I'm not going to pretend to know anything about Quidditch, but I'm glad you got on the junior team. What position?"

Matthew, Matt for short, dropped his equipment bag and sat down on the floor, pulling off his trainers. "Seeker. That's amazing, I'm only nine and they made me Seeker! Usually the oldest members only get to try out, but they said I was a natural and that I've got a career as a Seeker in front of me." He stood up, picking up his bag. "Dad-I, er, sorry, Mum."

She shook her head, pursing her lips. "It's all right, Matt, go on, and tell me. He is your father."

Unfortunately, she added silently.

Matt looked at her questioningly. "Well, Dad says that I'll probably be able to play at Hogwarts. He says that my Head of House would be mad not to let me on the team. He said I looked really good out there and I ought to know. Plus he said I should be proud that I accomplished something like that so young and what he would have given to have known about the Quidditch Junior League when he was my age."

She gave a tight-lipped smile. "Well, that's nice, Matt. And you know that I really am proud of you, it's just that-"

"-You don't understand a thing about Quidditch. I know, Mum, I know. Dad's told me stories about how you've gotten things all mixed up, like when you called a Wronski Feint a 'Wonky Faint'."

She smiled forced again and turned back to the stove, where the marinara sauce was simmering. "Yes, well, I happen to believe that there are more important things than Quidditch in the world, Matt, but your father wouldn't understand. But never mind you, go upstairs and change into your normal clothes so we can eat. And tell Aislin that her television time is up." She called to her son's retreating back.

***

Her marriage had started out wonderful, a thing out of fairy tales. They had been best friends for years and the dating came naturally. Right after graduation he had proposed and she had accepted, sure that this would be the best decision of her life.

She was wrong.

At the beginning, she was floating on air. She had just graduated Hogwarts and they had had a beautiful ceremony, one that was talked of for years afterwards. They had everything and when Matthew came, everything was perfect. Waiting a few years, Aislin came and for a few months, everything was fine.

Or at least it seemed fine.

He was busy at work, she was busy at work, they had a three year-old and an infant. Tempers grew short, time away from home grew longer and they both began arguing over the littlest things. It had been Ron, blasted Ron, who had suggested they go to a marriage counsellor.

It hadn't worked.

Actually, it had made things worse. He was humiliated that the papers had gotten wind of their martial problems and she was humiliated that they had to go to a counsellor in the first place. It was soon evident that the marriage wasn't going to work and that the strain on the children was too much.

When Aislin turned two, finally beginning to talk in understandable terms, they both decided that it was time to end it and start anew. They had been best friends before they had married, why not go back to the same relationship they had had then? Quite simple, really.

Not.

No matter what the goals had been, everything changed once they filed for divorce. The media caught wind of it, friends were torn over which side they were on and the children were really to young to understand.

It became a nightmare.

Instead of ending their marriage and going back to being friends, hostility grew between the two of them and widened between them. Animosity grew and they had a hard time being in the same room as the other person. Everything and everyone was put in the middle.

The fairy tale marriage had ended in ruins, the Prince and Princess barely speaking, the Kingdom torn in two, the subjects confused as where they stood between their separated monarchs.

But life goes on and with words few and visits even fewer; they managed to survive without killing each other.

Just barely, however.

***

Dinner was an animated affair, Matthew explaining to his sister about Quidditch and Aislin looking to her mother for confirmation, something that her mother couldn't give her. Matthew was in high spirits, Aislin had just caught the last half of Beauty and the Beast and she herself was beginning to relax after a hard day in the office, taking time to make a nice dinner and already planning out the bath after Aislin and Matthew were tucked into bed.

Except that she had learned the hard way that things aren't always what you expect them to be like.

And this was definitely true that particular evening.

Cleaning up the dishes, she sent Matthew up to finish his reading assignment, drew a bath for Aislin and made herself a cup of tea when the fireplace lit up in green flames and spit out a hunched figure.

Frowning and drawing her wand, she trained it on the unmoving figure, as Matthew rushed down the stairs to see what had happened and Aislin came out of the bathroom, wrapped in her dressing gown. Motioning for her children to stay back, she prodded the figure with her wand as the hood fell back and the three of them gasped.

***

Like it? Please read and review.

-Mirror, 9/27/03