Disclaimer: As with previous chapters, and it is still with the greatest of regrets, i do not own any of the characters in this fic they blong to the creative mind that is JK Rowlings, without her we wouldn't have these wonderful characters :D.
however the story is mine :P
Authors note: i'm glad your all still with me on this, thanks for the reviews and kind words. I still don't really know where i'm going with this so i'm just gonna write away and hope it comes to a conclusion at somepoint, i hope you don't get too bored with it.
As always please do review, more reviews the quicker the update *Tehe*
As Always this is a MMHG centric fic so if you don't like that then you know what to do hit the button that takes you to the previous page.
If only you knew
chapter 11 - a set back.
Hermione was late in coming down to breakfast the following morning, she bumped into Ginny on the stairs.
"There you are mione, mum was begining to think you weren't coming down for breakfast, she's made way too much again. She sent me to come and get you" Ginny said smiling, slowly taking in the tired look on Hermione'f face. "You ok Mione?"
"Yeh i'm fine" came the short reply as Hermione continued down the stairs, Ginny following closely behind.
"Course, you said your mum made breakfast?" Hermione asked quickly getting the subject away from her "I'm starving" she managed a small smile and walked down the hall.
Once inside the kitchen, taking her usual seat at the far end of the table, Ginny walked over sitting down next to her.
"Oh there you are Hermione, i was begining to think you weren't joining us for breakfast"
"Slept in" Hermione said giving Molly a smile
Molly returned her smile and made up plates for the two girls and set them down in front of them, returning to her own chair.
As she ate her breakfast, Hermione only half listened to whatever it was thet Ginny was muttering on about, she heard something about the twins latest experiment and something funny Harry had said, but Hermione found the kitchen door more interesting.
"Mione!" Ginny said loudly trying to get her attention, when that didn't work she gave her a sharp nudge in the arm to try and get her attention.
"Oww what was that for" Hermione said glaring at her
"She's not here" Ginny said just loud enough for Hermione ot hear her
"Who's not here?"
"McGonagall, that is who your looking for isn't it?" Ginny said, watching her friends cheeks turn a slight shade of red. "She had to go back to Hogwarts, mum said she left pretty early too."
"Yeh, school stuff."
Hermione sat there in silence for the remainder or her breakfast, pretending to listen as Ginny continued to jumped when Mr Weasley came barging into the kitchen throwing the door open and making his way across to his wife "I've just heard at the Ministry, the muggle authorities have arrested Mr Granger on several charges of assult"
Molly quickly left the kitchen, dragging Aurther out with herand into the hall, raised voices could be heard, she was angry.
Harry, Ron and Ginny silently turned to look at Hermione having heard what Mr Weasly had said.......
The first thing Minerva McGonagall when she arrived at Hogwarts that morning, was make a point in visiting Madam Pomfrey. Molly certainly did a great job in tending to her injuries the previous evening but still, thought a check up was wise and after all if Poppy found out without Minerva going to see her, no doubt a lecture would ensue.
A few hours later she found herself sitting amongst the rest of the Heads of House in Dumbledores office, going over new class schedules, the students supply lists that needed to be posted out the following day. The meeting had dragged on for hours, it was the same every year. When she did eventually get up to leave she was stopped.
"Ah Minerva, i was wondering if i could have a quick word?"
"What is it Albus?" Minerva asked with a sigh as she took the indicated seat opposite his desk.
"Somethings been troubling you all day, and give me that look Minerva, and don't try to deny it either i've known you for years and you also know i can rarely be fooled"
"Really its nothing Albus"
He sat watching her for a while, she wasn't meeting his gaze "it wouldn't have anything to do with the arrest of Miss Granger's father would it?" - he watched as Minerva's head turned quickly, she stared at him as if he'd suddenly grew an odd pair of horns "The Muggle authorities picked him up late last night after a pub brawl, he is to be charged and well has to remain under a doctors supervision until they deem him fit, now do you want to tell me the truth Minerva, or do you want me to tell you what i think?"
Minerva hesitated slightly before she spoke quietly, her voice a little uncertain "I took Hermione home yesterday afternoon, to collect the rest of her things. We were just getting ready to leave when her father returned home, clearly intoxicated and shouting the odds" Albus listened as she spoke, watching the conflicting emotions reflected in his friends eyes. "I got in between his fists and Hermione, i wasn't about to let him harm her again, not after the pain he has already caused, the man needs help Albus."
"I trust both of you are fine now"
"Well yes of course, she was upset once we'd returned to headquarters but she insisted we go to the muggle police. She blames herself for me getting hurt, but she's ok"
"And you Minerva?" he asked
"I'll be fine after a good nights rest, don't worry yourself about me Albus, ive been through and seen worse"
He watched Minerva's face for a minute, he'd seen that look before, seen that same haunted look in her eyes many years before and it had pained him then as it did now. "Minerva" he paused causing her to look up at him again "You do know a sleeping potion - no matter how good Severus's are, will not stop the dreams returning"
"You forget dear, i've known you for a very long time, i can see when something is effecting you. I saw how troubled these dreams made you before, and i suppose what happened yesterday afternoon with Miss Granger's father opened a few old wounds" Minerva could only nod her head, not trusting her voice to not betray her. "Don't you think, its about time she knew why you want to help her"
"I don't think hearing of an old war will help her forget and get over what has happened, she might not get over it completely"
"That maybe so, but still it might help her to understand a little more, help her to see that it will eventually be alright. Help her to realize that she's not alone and right now that is exactly how she'll be feeling. Too scared to tell her friends in fear that they will not understand, and unsure of how they will treat her. But with the news of her fathers situation now most likely already of knowledge at the house, they will have found out sooner than she is ready for them to"
Of course Minerva thought, she should have thought on that sooner, she needed to get back as quickly as possible.
"Just be careful Minerva" he said quietly as she got up to leave.
"I always am" came her reply as she turned and exited the room. Walking through the empty corridors of the school she wondered what had caused him to say such a thing, of course she'll be careful she was nothing but careful. "he's as daft as ever" she muttered to herself as she apperated away from the school once she was clear of the gate.
Albus stood at the large window behind his desk watching as she moved through the grounds of the school. He maybe be getting on in years, but he wasn't blind, far from it, he could see things many did not wish him too. She might have changed a little over the years, but he could still read her very well, they had been friends since the beginning of the war with Grindelwald, and best friends by the end of it. He had been the one to head the 'rescue team' that had gotten Minerva and the others who had be captured alongside her to safety, he'd brought her back to Hogwarts, watched her go through exactly what she was watching Hermione go through. The only difference was, he hadn't gotten in to deep like she had now. He only hoped that she'd be cautious.
Once she had made it inside headquarters Minerva knew something wasn't quite right. She passed through the hall looking in the open door of the sitting room. She found Tonks, Mr Weasley, Moody and Remus sitting in the far corner in what seemed to be a very animated conversation. The boys Harry, Ron, Fred and George were all sitting by the fire playing a game of exploding snap for what looked like chocolate frog cards and Ginny well she was sitting at Harry's side making doe eyes at him - no Hermione. She continued down the hall to the kitchen finding the reason why most of the others seemed to be hiding away in the sitting room - a very angry Mrs Weasley. She was obviously in a foul mood, banging pots and pans around on the stove rather than move them around by flicking her wand. No wonder everyone had sought out refuge elsewhere she thought.
"Molly, is everything ok"
Molly jumped slightly at the sound of her voice, but recovered quickly "Oh its just you Minerva, of course everything is fine, well as fine as they can be when your husband returns home from work, shouting about how Hermiones father had been arrested. So of course those who were at breakfast instantly started to fire question after question at the poor girl. She loked scared out her mind..."
Minerva didn't hear the rest of what Molly had said, she'd left the kitchen before she had even had the chance to start asking questions herself. She made her way quickly through the house in search of Hermione, deciding to try her room first, she knocked on the door getting no answer she peered inside - nothing. The library she thought, but she didn't find her there either, only a single house elf who was dusting the shelves. After exhausting every possible place she could think of to look, she went back down stairs to the living room. "Miss Weasley, may i talk with you a moment please?" she asked standing in the doorway. Ginny ignored the teasing remarks her brothers had made when she got up and followed her professor out the room.
"Yes Professor?" she asked.
"You haven't seen Miss Granger anywhere have you?, i haven't been able to find her"
"No Professor, i tried talking with her at breakfast, but then dad came in said something about Mione's dad, and mum got mad. Ron wouldn't stop asking stupid question and she ran out the kitchen" Ginny said taking a deep breath.
"Did you notice where she went?"
"No but she came back for lunch and never said a word to anyone until Ron started asking his stupid questions again about her dad and why she thought he'd been arrested and she just snapped, she started shouting and screaming at him then she ran out the room crying......Professor is Mione alright, i mean she's shouted at my brother before, but nothing like this. She just looked so mad, and very upset. He didn't hit her too did he... i mean her dad that is." Ginny paused waiting on Minerva's reply.
"Miss Weasley, i cannot say, for i am unsure myself of the full extend of what happened between Miss Granger and her father" she lied "However, when she is ready she will no doubt tell us"
"You care about her don't you?" Ginny asked "About what happens to her."
Minerva looked at her she surely is her mothers daughter she thought "She's a student, of course i care about her well being, just like i care about all of you" she said simply. Turning on her heels she made her way quickly back towards the stairs and out of sight.
Ginny watched as her professor walked away "That wasn't what i meant" she said quietly, to no one in particular as she went back into the living room.
Minerva decided to go to her rooms to think, as she stepped inside she heard muffled sobs coming from the corner of the room. There where she least expected her to be was Hermione, sitting against the wall hugging her knees.
"Hermione" she said gently she didn't want to startle her in anyway "Hermione? is everything alright"
Hermione looked up, she got up quickly once she realized who was talking to her, she all but ran towards her hugging her tightly crying. Minerva was taken slightly by surprise, but held her as she continued to cry. As Hermione's sobs began to calm down, Minerva guided her to sit down on the bed. She sat next to her, but kept a little distance. "What happened?" she finally asked
Hermione played with the sleeve on her jumper, wiping her eyes a little "he wouldn't shut up....he kept asking.... he kept asking"
"Maybe you should tell them a little of what happened... not everything" she added quickly looking at the horror that had crossed the young womans face "they are your friends and they are just worried about you, as we all are. Dumbledore told me what happened to you father.. are you ok?" Hermione nodded a little still not looking at her "well how about you go get yourself cleaned up a bit and we'll go down to the kitchen together, give Molly a hand with dinner"
"Ok" Hermione replied getting up.
"I have your Hogwarts supply lists with me as well, so i'll hand them out before dinner, i guess its a trip to Diagon alley for us all tomorrow" Minerva said following Hermione's lead and standing also.
The mention of going back to school brought a small smile to Hermione's face which Minerva couldn't help but return. She decided tomorrow she might just explain a few things to her young friend.