Disclaimer: I don't own anything JKRowling claims for herself. Harry Potter and associated works are not mine.
A/N: Rating is T for this work. I may up the rating for later chapters, so be warned. This story is obviously AU and canon will be ignored where possible.
Ships are Hermione/Harry and Neville/Luna.
Thanks to my beta Herman Tumbleweed.
Hermione Granger - Growing Up Weasley
Prologue: Tragedy in Cambridge
Granger household, August 12th 1979:
Jane was settled in bed for the evening when odd things started happening again. As the baby kicked inside her, a lamp that stood nearby slipped to the floor, shattering the bulb. The book she had been reading flew from her hand and landed across the room.
"Dan, it's starting again," Jane moaned. "What's going on? This is the third night in a row that funny things have happened when the baby starts kicking."
Dan had no answer and he dared not think of what he had read in his great uncle's diary. That couldn't be true; it was surely just a myth. On the other hand, he couldn't explain it any other way to his wife. "I-I think you may give birth to a magical baby, dear."
"A WHAT?" she exclaimed.
"Um… my great Uncle Horace details in a diary I read when I was younger that his wife gave birth to a witch. I thought it was nonsense, but now…I'm not so sure. The rest of my family certainly scoffed at the idea, and the child died just a few months after birth, but odd things seemed to happen with her. The family kept it quiet of course, but the diary mentions it."
"Oh, Dan. I'm scared. What if it's true. How will we handle it; who could we tell?"
"I think it best we tell no one. No sense in having a circus around us. We'll find a way to deal with it."
The baby calmed quickly, but most evenings, a bit of accidental magic would manifest itself.
Sept 19, 1979:
It was announced in the local Cambridge papers, the birth of a baby girl "Hermione Jane Granger" to Jane and Daniel Granger. Mother and daughter are doing well.
A week later, they were home, with both parents fussing over the new arrival. They had tried for years to have a child and were delighted when Jane finally was pregnant. The delivery was a difficult one and odd things occurred during delivery. Implements in the delivery room unaccountably moved. Monitoring instruments blinked and reset several times, throwing the physicians into a panic. The baby, when she finally emerged, was a healthy pink and squalling. She quieted quickly, settling into her mothers arms after the nurses cleaned and checked her.
In Hogwarts, her name was recorded automatically. A witch was born.
October 20th 1979, early morning:
Avada Kedavra, spoke the man in black robes and white mask. Jane and Daniel Granger died without knowing why. Hunting for the Muggleborn baby, the killers were interrupted by Aurors who swept in quickly, stunning three Death Eaters. The DMLE was notified that a baby had survived and would be needing adoption as the parents were deceased. No other relatives could be found and it was felt that the baby girl should be placed with a wizarding family.
Albus Dumbledore was consulted as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and Headmaster of Hogwarts. After much thought, Albus contacted Molly and Arthur Weasley. "Molly, May I visit you regarding an important matter?" Albus asked, as he floo called The Burrow.
"Certainly Albus," Molly replied, hoping it wasn't more bad news. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had already killed her two brothers, she couldn't take more bad news.
The Burrow, later that morning:
Albus came through the floo carrying a carefully wrapped bundle and dusted himself off. "Is Arthur here?" he asked.
"Arthur!" she called and a tall redheaded man stepped in from the parlour.
"Ah, Professor, what brings you to our home this early. Not more bad news, I hope?" Arthur greeted his famous visitor.
"Right; to the point then. No, not especially bad news for you, but I'd like to ask your help. I know you have been trying for a daughter for some time and I need a good home for this baby girl who was just orphaned. She's Muggleborn, but a witch nonetheless." Albus unwrapped the bundle to reveal a tiny face, barely a month old.
Albus went on to explain the tragedy that had just happened and the need to keep the child safe. "I wouldn't have normally imposed on you, Molly and Arthur, since you already have a sizeable family, but under the circumstances, I felt you were the best choice. Of course, I wouldn't expect you to take the whole burden, so I've set up a trust fund. The girl will inherit her parents estate, but I am uncertain what that will be at this time."
Arthur and Molly moved closer to examine the baby, a tear in Molly's eye as a hundred thoughts ran through her head. Here was a chance to have a girl in the family at last. How will we afford another mouth to feed? Oh, she's so cute! How awful to lose her parents. Will the twins accept her?"
Arthur looked at his wife, seeing the play of emotions on her face and correctly guessed what was going through her mind. "Molly, we'll make do, as we've always done. It will be wonderful to have a girl in the family."
"Oh, Arthur, do you think we can? I mean I'd love to have her, look how adorable she is. Well, she won't have red hair I guess. I hope the boys will accept her." She spoke very quickly, hoping that it would work out.
Albus smiled and gently handed the baby to Molly. "It's settled then. I'll drop by from time to time to see how she is."
"Thank you so much Albus. Does she have a name yet?"
"The papers say they named her Hermione Jane Granger. Her parents were dentists. I'll have the adoption papers ready tomorrow," Albus replied.
Molly and Arthur signed the adoption papers the next day, filling in her name: Hermione Jane Granger-Weasley. They finally had a daughter, but they all would probably call her Hermione Weasley.
Bill, Charley, Percy and the twins, George and Fred, took to their adopted sister immediately. Bill, in fact became very protective, and through the years would be closest to little Hermione.
Molly was already pregnant and the next year, gave birth again, this time to another boy. Sighing, they decided that they would likely never be able to have another girl, so Ronald Bilius Weasley would be their last child. Hermione was a quiet baby, they hardly ever heard her cry. She seemed to smile a lot, however, and her brothers marvelled at how good she was. Bill even didn't mind changing her nappies.
Chapter 1: Growing up Weasley
5 years later, The Burrow:
Hermione couldn't understand why everyone in her family had red hair except her. "Mum," she asked, "Why isn't my hair red?"
"Well," Molly began, finally realising it was time to tell her daughter the truth. She had been dreading this day, and was uncertain how her daughter would take the news.
"Why am I the only girl in the family?" she persisted.
"Sweetie, please believe me when I tell you that we all love you dearly. I knew you'd wonder and ask someday, so I guess that day is today. We took you in when you were barely a month old. Your birth parents died the day before you were brought to us. The magical government was unable to locate any relatives, so you were given to us since we always wanted a daughter but couldn't have one. You're now officially a Weasley, we adopted you."
"What's a-adopted, Mum?"
"That means that we are your legal parents, dear. It's just paperwork, but to us, you're much more than that.
A tear formed in Hermione's eye and Molly could tell that the news had hit her hard. Soon, the tears started flowing freely and Hermione ran to her adopted mother for comfort. "H-how d-did they d-die?" she asked softly, when she recovered a bit.
Molly winced at this. She knew Hermione would find out sooner or later, but she had hoped to avoid telling her as long as possible. Sighing, she decided she might as well do so now; she only hoped Hermione would understand. Sitting down, she pulled Hermione into her lap, and wrapping her arms abound her, and began.
"We haven't said much about bad things in the wizarding world, dear. In some ways, it's not much different than the ordinary world. There are good people and bad people in both worlds. We can do magic, but the other people can't. You may have seen the way we can do things with a wand. Yes, Hermione, you're a Witch just like me. You can't do much yet and you're not allowed to, but later, you'll be sent to a magical school. "Anyway, as I was saying, there are good and bad people. Most people are good, but there was a very bad man that was a wizard and he killed your parents."
"B-But why?" she stuttered, tears still glistening in her eyes.
"The bad wizard hated people that were born to non magical parents, we call them Muggles, or non magic people. You'll find that others will say bad things about you, just because you were born to non magical parents. Don't you believe them for a moment, love. Magic users aren't determined by who their parents are. Some of the most powerful Witches and Wizards had no magic in their families for generations. Somewhere in your ancestry, there was magic, and so, you have it too. Professor Dumbledore, you remember Uncle Albus, suspects you will be very powerful when you get older.
"We don't say the bad wizards name, but we've told you the story about baby Harry Potter. Harry defeated him when he was just over a year old. Nobody knows how, just that he lived when an awful spell was cast at him. Like your parents, his parents died as well. Harry would be just about your age. In fact, I believe you will both start school at the same time, along with your brother Ronald."
"Really? Were his parents Muggles too?"
"No dear, they were Wizard and Witch. We don't know why they killed them, but many people were killed in that war. I lost two brothers, Fabian and Gideon Prewitt in the war."
"W-who were my parents, mum?" she asked quietly.
"Your mum and dad were dentists named Jane and Dan Granger. Your birth name was Hermione Jane Granger after your mother. In fact your adoption papers list you now as Hermione Jane Granger-Weasley. Most people will just call you Hermione Weasley though. I think it best not to draw attention to your ancestry; people will ask too many awkward questions. You should be proud of your parents though, they apparently were very nice people. But you're a Weasley now, and we love you as if I bore you myself. Your brother Bill is especially fond of you and tends to get a little overprotective of you."
Hermione giggled at that, remembering the times Bill would rescue her from the twins pranks. "Mum, when can I do magic?" she asked, already pushing the past behind her. It still hurt, but she determined to look forward to school. Mum had already been home schooling her and Ron. Her brother was bored most of the time, preferring to play, instead of learn, but Hermione soaked up everything she could like a sponge.
"You're not old enough yet, Hermione," Molly reminded her. "But, I think we can teach you some basic cleaning and kitchen spells soon. You'll have to use my wand for that, but be sure to ask first. I'll teach you when Ron's outside playing. If he's like his brothers, he'll get into trouble if I let him use my wand."
Hermione giggled again, Ron wasn't the prankster that George and Fred were, but he loved to tease her. The twins were always getting into trouble and Hermione learned to avoid them when they had that mischievous look in their eyes. "What does Dad do?" she suddenly asked.
"Your father works at the Ministry of Magic in the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts office.
"But what does he do?" she persisted.
"Well, some wizards like to charm ordinary Muggle things and leave them for others to um… hurt themselves with. He confiscates those and sees that they are brought to account by our laws."
"Run along now, dear. I have to start dinner. Your father will be home soon." As she spoke, their magical clock showed Arthur leaving work. A moment later, he stepped through the door.
Smiling, he greeted his wife and only daughter, giving them both a hug.
Hermione ran outside, joining Ron and the twins in a game of tag. Ron stopped and asked her what their mum had said to her, but Hermione refused to tell him, a sad look in her eyes.
"Did you get in trouble?"
"No. Please don't ask, Ron." She said softly, tears welling up in her eyes.
Bill saw her sad look and came over. "Hi sweetie, anything wrong?"
"N-no, it's all right," she sniffed quietly.
"Come on then, I know how to cheer you up." Bill at 14 was in his fourth year at Hogwarts and loved flying, as did his 2 year younger brother Charlie.
Bill walked over to the broom shed and took out his broom. Helping Hermione on, he mounted behind her, wrapping an arm around her and grabbing the handle. "Ready? Hang on." And they were off for a low circuit of the field. Charlie joined them a minute later with Ron in front of him.
"Go higher Bill!" she squealed in delight. Bill had taken her up several times this year and she thoroughly enjoyed it.
"No, Hermione, Mum says to stay close to the ground. I wouldn't want anything to happen to my sister."
Hermione pouted, but anytime Bill would take her flying was always an adventure.
Inside, Molly turned to Arthur with a sad look on her face. "I had to tell Hermione about her folks today," she said quietly. I hated to do it, but she was persistent and asked awkward questions. We knew this day would come, Arthur, I just hope she'll move on and accept what she can't change."
"You told her that we love her as if she were our own, of course?" he countered.
"Of course dear. I think she understood. I also told her a bit more about our world. She asked when she could start learning magic. I think I'll teach her some household charms soon. She should be old enough now to do a few simple things. I don't want Ronald or the twins to know, though. Ron would insist on learning as well, but he'll only cause trouble. He'll have to wait until he's older. Hermione has shown a real aptitude to learning; I can't teach her fast enough. She absorbs anything I show her like a sponge. Merlin help whoever crosses her later in life. She's much smarter than any of her brothers were at her age. She could be brilliant when she goes to school.
"Be careful Molly, you know the law for underage magic," Arthur warned. "If the Ministry finds out…"
"I know Arthur, that's why she'll be using my wand under my strict supervision."
"Okay, when's dinner?"
"Just a few minutes, dear, why don't you relax for a bit? I'll call you and the children."
Molly introduced Hermione to magic a month later, after their home schooling one day, letting her hold her wand and showing her the basic wand movements and telling her the theory behind casting spells. A few tentative swishes with the wand sending yellow sparks dancing around the room and Molly was confident enough to show her the basic Scourgify charm to clean things, explaining that a more advanced charm would be Tergeo. After a couple of tries, Hermione could perform both perfectly. The first time she used Tergeo, she missed her target and the paint above the sink peeled off.
"Oops! Sorry," Hermione giggled.
"That's alright dear. My, you seem to have a bit more power than I realised. We'll have to get Uncle Albus to test you." Molly was surprised; usually it took Charley or Bill ages to get it right and then not as powerfully as her daughter managed. Albus would definitely be interested.
Molly managed to keep Ron and the twins in the dark about Hermione's use of magic for almost a year. She taught her the basic Reparo spell as well as a handy levitation spell to put away pots and pans in cupboards that she couldn't reach.
"Wingardium Leviosa," Hermione tried. Nothing happened. She tried it several more times but failed each time. Becoming frustrated, she shouted the charm with the appropriate wand movements that her mum showed her. The stack of pillows she was practicing on, shot up to the ceiling, startling her and Molly. She jumped back suddenly and the pillows fell to the floor.
"Very good!" her Mum exclaimed. "I wouldn't have believed that if I hadn't seen it. I was expecting a pillow to rise a few inches off the floor, not all of them, and not so high."
"Hermione clapped her hands in glee. "I did it!" she exclaimed. "Did you see how high they went?" The smile on her face was worth the effort Molly had put into teaching her.
"I think that will be all for today, Hermione; run along outside. You look like you could run off some of that energy." In truth, Hermione was starting to worry her Mum. Molly had never heard of a child that was such a quick study and with so much power. She'd talk to Albus tomorrow about her daughter. Maybe I've made a mistake teaching her so young, she thought.
A few minutes later Ron came running in. "Mum, come quick, something's wrong with Hermione. She just collapsed in the front yard!"
Molly ran to the front yard to see Hermione lying in a heap on the ground, unconscious. Quickly examining her, Molly could find no reason for her collapse. She seemed to be breathing, albeit shallowly. There were no cuts or bruises; in fact, she seemed to be asleep. Picking her up gently, Molly carried her inside. Laying her on the couch, she waved her wand over her. "Rennervate!" she spokeHermione slowly opened an eye and groggily asked, "Lemme sleep…so tired," and promptly closed her eye. She lay still and Molly sensing she had overextended herself and her magic, carried her up to bed.
Hermione didn't rouse for the rest of the day and by the time Arthur came home she was getting worried. "Arthur, I think I'd better call Albus. I can't rouse Hermione."
Ron poked his head in, along with his brothers, wondering what had happened. Arthur shoed them out, telling them he'd talk to them later. Bill was persistent, however. "Uh Dad, Mum, can I talk to you?"
"Not now Bill. Your mother has to floo call Albus Dumbledore."
"Erm, well, it's about Hermione, Dad."
Arthur gave him a suspicious look. "What about Hermione, Bill."
"Um, Hermione told me that Mum had been teaching her some magic and so I asked her what she had learned. So she told me. This was about a week ago. I thought it was brilliant. So I taught her this one spell that could protect her in case anyone bothered her."
"And, just what was that spell?" Arthur's voice held a dangerous tone to it.
"My patented Bat Bogey Hex," he replied sheepishly.
"What! Bill, she's too young to learn that! That takes a fair bit of power. No wonder she's out. Your mother had just taught her the levitation charm and she levitated all the pillows to the ceiling. If she had been practicing your spell before your mother taught her, she's probably exhausted her magical core. It could take days for her to recover. What were you thinking? She's your sister, for Merlin's sake! I taught you better than that. You should have told us before doing that."
Bill hung his head, ashamed. "I-I only wanted to help her defend herself. Not many wizards know about that spell, so it could be really useful when she grows up."
"When she grows up, Bill! She's just a little girl; you can't be thinking she'll have to defend herself at five."
"No sir," Bill said dejectedly. "She was able to produce it though," he smiled. It was brilliant. She did it to one of the Garden Gnomes. It was really funny to watch."
"Bill," Arthur warned. "Please don't do that again until she's much older. You could have killedr her without knowing it. Wizards and Witches depend on their magic to keep them alive. Have none of your teachers told you that?"
Bill winced and mumbled, "Yes sir," quietly.
At that point, Albus Dumbledore arrived and greeted them. "What's happened, Arthur? Molly was a little stressed out when she called me."
"I'm afraid Hermione has magically exhausted herself, Albus. You knew that Molly has been teaching her a bit of magic, but we didn't know Bill has as well.
"I see. I warned Molly that she was bit young to learn magic"
"Yes. Best talk to Molly. I'll fill you in on what my son Bill has taught her."
"My word." Albus said. "Some of those are first year spells. And you say she was able to do them at five years old? Remarkable. I'll call Poppy, she'll likely give her a pepper-up potion. Then we should, I think, take her to Hogwarts infirmary for observation for a couple of days."
After Madam Pomfrey had checked Hermione over and found she was just exhausted, she flooed to Hogwarts with Hermione and placed her in a hospital bed for two days to help her recover, and so she could monitor the young girl for any after effects.
On the third day, Hermione was up and about, none the worse for wear, but Madam Pomfrey and the Headmaster lectured her on the excessive use of magic at her young age. "You must pace yourself, Hermione. You shouldn't even be learning magic for a few years yet," Albus warned her.
"Yes sir," she replied meekly. "But it's so much fun. I want to learn more."
"It's dangerous, Hermione," Madam Pomfrey explained. "You don't have the control yet. You could seriously damage your magical core by pushing it too hard. There's plenty of time to learn, and you look to be exceptional when you come to Hogwarts."
Her mum, suspecting Hermione needed contact with a girl close to her own age, introduced her to the Lovegood family. Luna Lovegood was a year younger than Hermione, but they got along famously.
"This is what she needed," Molly thought. "A witch about the same age to play with."
Luna Lovegood was a bit quirky, but Hermione found her fun, laughing with her a lot most days. They would visit one another's home as often as they could, usually two or three times a week. Luna would be a year behind her when she would attend school, but that didn't stop them from becoming fast friends.
By the end of her ninth year, Hermione knew a prodigious number of spells. Ron was actually afraid of her at times, and the twins learned to fear her Bat Bogey Hex. Instead of risking her ire, though, they recruited her into some of their pranks. Molly kept a close watch on her daughter and made sure she did all of her regular home school work. Hermione didn't mind, she just absorbed her lessons like a sponge. Nothing Molly could teach her seemed to be beyond her understanding. She would sit for hours studying a particularly vexing problem until she worked it out.
She had also picked up some serious flying skills. Bill and Charlie taught her all they knew and she could fly rings around the twins and Ron. Ron was a bit jealous of his sister, but was as protective of her as the rest of the family. Ron and the twins, as well as Percy had been told her story a few years before, so they knew she needed all the support they could give. Bill and Charlie were old enough to understand when she was brought there and were told immediately. At age ten, she easily did first year Hogwarts work, although Molly forbade her to practice potions. Molly had enough problems with the twins and their experiments. The twins, however, had other ideas and during summer break, would teach their brilliant sister everything they learned, much to their mother's dismay when she caught them at it.
Her eleventh birthday passed too late for her to attend Hogwarts that year, so the next September, she was more than ready to attend Hogwarts and truly become a witch.
Albus Dumbledore had tested her magical core and was surprised at how strong it was. "Arthur, Molly, she's incredible. I doubt any child her age has been this powerful in a very long time. She's at a level I wouldn't expect for another three years or more."
Molly and Arthur didn't want to pass this bit of information on to Hermione, but were afraid she'd find out for herself. "Hermione," her dad told her one day, the summer before she went off to Hogwarts. "You must be careful when you start school. You're magical index is much higher than others of your age. Be careful not to flaunt it: especially in your first year. We've taught you how to control your magic and I ask you not to show off. Young people tend to get jealous and would shun you and tease you. We don't want that. I'm not telling you to not learn as much as you can, just don't show everybody everything you can do."
"Yes, Dad. I think I understand, but I really want to learn everything!" she finished, forcefully.
"Your Mum will be taking you and the boys to Diagon Alley tomorrow for your school things," he smiled. "Be good, no pranks."
"Yes Dad." She smiled back.
At last, she thought. I finally get to meet Harry Potter. She had been thinking of him constantly the past year. Here was a boy, much like her that had lost his parents. She wondered if they could be friends. She would certainly try.