Welcome to the world of The Moonlight Glares.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of JK Rowling's wonderful world or characters.
The Moonlight Glares
The moon peered through the open window and cast its fading light on the figure of a girl sitting with her back against the windowpane, a closed book clutched in her hand and her head looking out into the grey sky.
Hermione Granger had been at home for nearly a month, and the events from the Ministry of Magic still replayed in her mind nightly. On the upside, the Ministry had stopped being an idiot and acknowledged Voldemort's return. On the downside, she had been isolated from the magical world for far too long. She knew Harry had gone to the Burrow not long after school was out, he and Ron had written. Yet, she knew she couldn't just leave her parents and brother here, shutting herself out from her family for the entire year. So, she had decided to stay all but the last week of the summer with them.
Which left her here, sitting on a windowsell, in her purple bathrobe and slippers on top of pajama pants and an old white T-shirt, clutching an old book, looking out at the near-pink sky in the direction of what she hoped was the Weasleys' house.
In a beautiful Victorian-style house several hundred miles away in the country, surrounded by gardens, orchards and fields of all kinds, another girl was getting up with the sun. She slipped into a pair of pin slippers and padded over to the window, now alight with the sun's pink rays, and put her plain brown hair up in a pony tail as someone knocked gently at her door.
The girl turned around, and a woman, older but smiling with a mass of untamed brown curls, already dressed for the day, entered.
"Dear, there's something I wanted to talk to you about," she said to the girl.
"Yes mum?" said the girl, sitting down on her rather large bed.
"Well, darling, you've always wanted a sister, right?" the woman said, sitting down next to the girl, who couldn't be more than ten or eleven. The girl's eyes lit up.
"Oh yes mum! Are you and daddy having a baby?"
The women laughed gently, "No, dearest. But I do want to tell you something. You see, when I was younger, much younger, before daddy and I got married, I had another daughter."
The girl's eyes widened, but the woman continued, "I was too young to keep her, so I put her up for adoption. She's your older sister."
The girl scrunched her nose "Well then what happened to her?"
"A pair of muggles adopted her, and she's lived happily with them since. I've checked in once in a while. But, she's going to come live with us soon."
The girl's eyes lit up again, and she asked, "Really! Wait. . . is. . . is she a witch?"
The older woman smiled, and inclined her head, "She'd in her sixth year at Hogwarts. I wanted you to meet her before you started your first year."
"Oh. So, when can I meet her?"
Jane Granger sat at the table clutching her coffee mug tightly. Her husband sat across from her, having just hung up the phone.
"That's it then, isn't it? We have to be there this afternoon."
Jane looked down at the table. "I know, but, Frank . . . Why did it have to be before she graduated? I don't want to have to tell her in the middle of her summer break."
Frank sighed and said, "It's better than right before exams, you know how she gets."
Ten minutes later found Frank flipping pancakes and Jane reading the paper as their daughter came downstairs.
"Morning Mum, Dad." Hermione said, grabbing a plate and some finished pancakes. Hermione had not changed that much from that first train ride to Hogwarts. She was taller, and had filled out a little, and granted her hair had calmed some, so it wasn't frizzy but rather very curly, but other than that, she seemed to be the same know-it-all bossy girl of five years ago.
She sat down at the table and started eating her breakfast as an owl flew in and delivered her copy of the Daily Prophet. As she started paging through it, she felt her mom's hand settle on hers, pushing the paper down.
"Hermione, we need to tell you something," Jane said. Hermione noticed her father had turned off the stove and come over to sit down
"And, it has to be before Johnny wakes up," Jane smiled at the idea of her eight-year-old son.
Hermione finished folding up the paper and set it down, "Sure mom, what is it?" Jane took a deep breath and then shook her head, and looked at her husband.
"What your mom doesn't want to say is. . . Hermione, you're. . . you're adopted." Her father said.
"I. . ." Hermione was in shock, then, no, she's got to be dreaming. "No, you're kidding me! This can't be real. .. you, you have…" but when she thought of it, they didn't have any of those pictures or videos, or fake cigars, or. . . anything from when she was born, only ones of her brother. Her voice trailed off.
Her mother had come over to her side of the table and hugged her fiercely. "We still love you. And we always will, no matter what." She said hugging her tightly.
Hermione couldn't say anything. Maybe. . . maybe this explained more than it didn't. Hogwarts. Only me showing magic, not Johnny at all. The way I could figure magic out at the drop of a hat. . .
". . . So that will be at four o'clock today," Her father finished, breaking Hermione's concentration.
"Sorry," said Hermione, "What were you saying?"
"We're meeting your birth parents today," Mr. Granger re-iterated, "At four,"
The room was darker than she would have liked, only one big window behind the desk, the rest all mahogany wood and burgundy linens. The ornate desk sat squarely in front of the window, across for the huge carved doors. Hermione, Jane, and Frank Granger sat facing the desk near the wall containing a now-empty fireplace, waiting for the lawyer and the. . . other people.
Finally, at quarter after four, the lawyer came in leading a woman with a mass of brown curls, a tall man with messy blond hair, and a girl who looked to be ten or eleven. The woman had tears in her eyes and looked like she wanted to run over and hug Hermione, but Hermione was glad the woman was able to refrain herself. The girl was excited, she looked at Hermione, and then back at her Mother, and whispered something into the lady's ear, to which a nod was given.
The door shut and the lawyer came back around to the other side of the desk and gestured for the three to sit down, which they did. The lawyer pulled out a wand and summoned a stack of papers to his hands.
"So, Mr and Mrs. . ." he looked at the papers, ". . . Granger, and Mr and Mrs. . ." another glance, "Lane, you're here to discuss custody of Miss Granger here, at least until her seventeenth Birthday?"
Hermione felt herself anger. Her parents had never said anything about custody! She was sixteen years old for Goodness' sake! Did this mean she would be moving somewhere else! My go—
". . . Really the choice is up to Hermione here unless you want a court battle." The lawyer was finishing. He peered at Hermione, "Well?"
"Um. . .I. . ." Hermione stuttered, What had he been saying? Oh, good time to zone out, "I. . . could you, rephrase it?"
The lawyer sighed, "Here I have the papers that Mrs. Lane is your birth mother. Mr. and Mrs. Granger adopted you, and yet Mrs. Lane has decided she would like custody of you again. It's your choice to stay with your current parents, or go with Mrs. Lane."
Hermione shut her eyes briefly, trying to get this all done with. She took a deep breath.
"Please, I don't know Mrs. . . Lane. . . well enough to decide now, can I have some time to think it over?"
The lawyer nodded curtly and used his wand to send the papers back into his desk, "A month. That is all."
The lawyer left, and Mr. Lane got up to shake hands with Mr. Granger, while Mrs. Lane and the girl came over to Hermione and Jane.
"Her. . . Hermione," Mrs. Lane hugged Hermione so fiercely Hermione thought this strange woman was going to suffocate her. Finally she let go.
"Oh, Hermione, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to leave you for sixteen years, I just. . ."
"Um. . . it's okay Mrs. Lane. . ."
"Oh please, call me Mum, or at the least Elizabeth."
At this point the girl stepped forward, and looked up at Hermione.
"You're taller than I thought you'd be," she said, "I'm Anna."
Hermione cocked her head, "You're my. . .?"
"Yes, Mark, your father, died in the war against You-Know-Who, before you were born. So, I married Jim Lane after the war was done."
"Oh." Hermione really didn't have a lot to say to all this. It was a bit too much information. So it came as a surprise when Mr. and Mrs. Lane asked the Grangers out to lunch as well.