"Harry!" yelled a girl, well, no, woman, with slightly bushy hair but a rather pleasant face. Her face had never changed, really, it still was round and jubilant, and it was all the way through her twenties.
"Hermione!" he yelled back, embracing her in a hug. "Where's -" Hermione cut him off before he finished. "Oh, Ron's coming along, he's really tired, you know, what with the Ministry and all of their recent follies."
Only a few moments passed until the flaming red head of a man began to appear around the gate. He did walk as though he was tired, and he held his weight with depression. "Hey Harry," he said when he got close enough. It seemed as though age didn't touch him either, for his face was as red and dirty as ever, but the age showed in his waist, where he started to take on those extra few pounds. Ron put his arm around Hermione, and Hermione reached up and kissed him. Harry's mind went back to his years at Hogwarts, those wonderful years where they were inseparable. It was hard to believe that shortly after becoming qualified wizards and witches that Hermione and Ron got married. Mrs. Weasley couldn't have been more thrilled, practically micromanaging their entire wedding. Harry nearly chuckled when he remembered Hermione flung five gnomes that had snuck there way into the backyard and jump on the cake.
"Hey, Ron. How's the Ministry doing?"
Ron sighed, his cheeks puffing out with breath. Ever since Percy lost to my father, everything thing between Percy's department and everything else is at odds, and-"
"Oh, Ron, let's talk about something happy. We don't get to see each other that often anymore," she said, referring to Ron's Ministry job and her own Auror job. Harry had remembered considering to be an Auror, but in the end Defense Against the Dark Arts called to him, and after all with only a bit more schooling he could become an Auror.
"Well he asked," said Ron flabbergasted. This was just like the old times, the fights, the fun, the friends.
"No, no, it's alright. The Daily Prophet is making the Reordered Ministry of Magic out to be a heavenly place, I figured it wasn't. Does your dad like being Minister?"
"Oh, yes, he loves it. Though every so often he gets angry at the rest of the Department Heads trying to move him out of the Burrow. He just won't leave," Ron said, scoffing. To him, that multi-storied, leaning tower of a house had been a symbol of how poor he and his family was. To his father, it was a symbol of family and love. Harry understood this, but Ron did not.
A light rain started to fall out of the cloudy skies. Hogwarts still was a decent walk away, and they were still standing at the gates to Hogsmeade. "Oh, let's just apparate, Hermione," Ron said, watching Hermione out of the corner of his eye. "You know very well you can't apparate on the grounds!" she said, almost hitting him. He and Harry had decided long ago that whenever the opportunity arises, they would ask to do something that one couldn't on the grounds of Hogwarts.
They talked all the way up to Hogwarts, about their life within the last half-year that they hadn't talked, about Ron's new job at the Ministry as Assistant to the Minister. Harry remembered reading in the 'Gossip' section of the Daily Prophet about the 'scandal' with Arthur Weasley kicking Percy out of the position and giving it to Ron. It was odd, how Percy went from being the prodigal Weasley to a traitor and a jerk.
It almost sickened Harry to see how Ron and Hermione were all over each other. Granted, they were only holding hands as they all talked, but Harry wanted that. He'd always wanted that kind of a relationship, but it never worked out. Promptly after Harry began his education after Hogwarts, Ginny moved to Romania with her brother and was employed at Gringotts. He remembered laughing for minutes when she told him the only reason that she thought she was hired was because of her bat-bogey hex.
"Harry, is something wrong?" Hermione asked when the conversation had slowly shifted to the three of them to just Ron and Hermione.
"Oh, no, no, it's alright. Just thinking," Harry said. Under his breath, he said yet again, "Just thinking. . "
Severus pondered his options as he looked down at the letter on his desk. Why did it seem that even though it was years after the fall after the Dark Lord that he still managed to haunt him. This entire heir business was exactly what he didn't need, or want. He had a castle full of students, and it seemed as though the Wizarding Community was only growing, not shrinking.
He looked back down to the envelope he had just received. Marked quite clearly on it was To: Headmaster Snape, FROM: Draco. Just Draco, not even his surname. This revealed to Severus how his surname brought curses upon all around him, for he was charged with Dumbledore's death, not himself. Modern-day magic, thankfully, could easily prove that the Unbreakable Vow caused Severus to carry out Draco's task, and as Severus and Dumbledore had it all planned out before hand, Severus did not breach any laws. It was sad that a perfectly able and willing young adult had to be sent away to Azkaban for life.
Severus broke the seal of the envelope, and flipped the parchment open. Immediately he noticed the seal at the top, meaning that this letter was searched and approved by the Azkaban guards. Before, the Dementors had never allowed any correspondence to the outside world, but ever since the Dementors were trashed the Wizarding Police there seemed to slack a little bit.
His eyes fell down the lines of slopped calligraphy, and his mouth opened with surprise.
Chapter Two, amazing, eh? Don't be worried about how the plot seems to be going no where, besides the fact I don't have time to write too large of a chapter, I'm slowly chucking out information that could or could not be important in later events. It'll all get moving sooner or later. PLEASE REVIEW! THank you!