Disclaimer……….. All characters are the copyright of JK Rowling.
After the Battle of Hogwarts.
A/Note, (If there are any run on sentences please ignore them, I do.) This was written just after I first read Deathly Hallows and is a small one off that I had intended to be the introduction to a story that I never got around to writing, I leave it to the readers' imagination as to what happens after the end of this tale. Merlin…
Feeling battle weary and a little confused Hermione Granger made her way up the spiral staircase to the heads office, climbing over rubble as she did so. She needed some where to think, somewhere away from everyone, she needed to work out exactly what had happened earlier that day with Ron, and why it had happened.
Ron had said something nice about house elves for a change and she had felt compelled to kiss him, throwing herself at him she had wrapped her arms around him and kissed him hard, what had her confused was the total lack of feeling in the kiss, kissing him she had felt nothing, no warm tingly feelings, no excitement, no pleasant stirrings, in fact she had not enjoyed it at all. All she had felt was the extremely strong compulsion to kiss him, which now had her truly confused.
She remembered the look of deep hurt that was on her best friend Harry's face as she turned from Ron to see what Harry was going to do next, it was then she had seen the pain in his eyes he had quickly tried to hide as he stormed off to rejoin the battle against Voldemort, she had also felt real regret for kissing Ron.
Hermione entered the badly damaged headmistress' office and looked around at the destruction caused by death eaters; entering a little further she righted the upturned chair she had seen the former headmaster Dumbledore sit in so often, as she pushed it toward the damaged desk she noticed a dark hole in the also damaged floor, it was showing from under the corner of the desk.
As she sat at the damaged desk trying to work out her feelings and what had happened and why, her mind kept drifting to the hole beneath the huge desk, finding it impossible to concentrate on her troubles while her mind kept drifting. She suddenly decided she needed to know why there was a hole under the desk, she was intrigued by the possibilities for it, maybe it was a place where the former heads had hidden important things, maybe there were some secrets to be revealed, perhaps even some books she had not read or hidden parchments, besides that, once she had satisfied this overwhelming curiosity she would be better able to concentrate, and work out what she was going to do about Harry and Ron.
Pushing the huge desk away from her, sliding it across to the other side of the room with her magic, she uncovered a hidden spiral staircase descending into the dark below, feeling a little excited at the discovery and deciding to investigate she paused taking a deep breath, she whispered lumos and conjured a light at the tip of her wand. She made her way carefully and slowly down the stairs, she reckoned she had descended at least seven or eight stories before she reached finally the bottom.
At the bottom she found a large ornate oak door fitted with ancient brass furnishing, with a quick Alohomora the door swung open slowly. Stepping through into the dark room beyond Hermione was quite surprised at what she could see, stepping a little further into the room the entire place suddenly lit up brightly; strong magical lights ran in three lines across the high ceiling, it was one of the biggest rooms she had seen at Hogwarts if she did not count the great hall, she wondered for a moment if it was as big as the chamber of secrets.
The room seemed to contain a very large quantity of valuable muggle and magical antiques and paintings, several portraits began to mumble that it was about time someone came down to talk to them, off to her right was an area set out like a small office, filing cabinets a large desk and four chairs sat on an area covered in a red carpet.
One large canvas to the left hand side of the door caught Hermione's attention in particular. Walking over to the painting she looked at the two people sitting in comfy looking armchairs, two people who looked remarkably like her best friends parents.
"Mr. and Mrs. Potter?" Hermione asked hesitantly as she stared at the two reclining figures.
"Yes, I'm James and this is my wonderful wife Lily, have you come to take us back home?" James Potter asked hopefully "its so bloody boring in here, and do you know where the hell that thief Dumbledore is?"
Hermione stepped back a little surprised at the question, and at seeing something she was sure Dumbledore had told Harry did not exist. "Home?" was all she managed.
"Yes home, that rat Dumbledore stole us and placed us here amongst all this other stolen stuff against our wishes, I think it was so we would not be able to tell anyone we chose to have Minerva McGonagall as our sons guardian if anything happened to us, he stole the only copy of our will, it's kept over in that desk, over there in the corner." James said angrily.
Hermione thought that after the battle and the deaths she had seen earlier that day she would not be shocked again for a long time, she knew now she was so wrong.
"Dumbledore a thief? Harry with Minerva? Not the Dursleys?" was about all she could manage to say in her surprise.
"God girl!!! I wouldn't put a mad dog with those people," James answered indignantly.
Hermione was again surprised as James almost yelled at her, backing away she walked over to the desk he had indicated. Unusually there were no safety charms or locking spells on the desk, she supposed it was because the room itself was so well hidden, 'Minerva obviously knew nothing about it or she would have done or said something', Hermione thought convinced of the professor's loyalties being to Harry and herself after Hogwarts.
When she opened the large file draw at the bottom right of the desk she found it full of file folders. Instantly she saw several names she recognised including her own. Pulling out her own file she lifted it and opened it on the desk, inside she found plans to keep her away from Harry by isolating her at the Weasleys with Ron during holiday times, as well as two vials marked with her name, she knew what they contained as soon as she lifted them out, they were memories. It took just a few seconds searching some of the desks myriad of other drawers for her to find a pensieve to view the memories in. What she saw in the first memory made her feel physically sick and extremely angry; it also got some derogatory comments about Dumbledore from both James and Lily.
Starting the memories to run in view mode, she saw herself and Harry in the room of requirements, and they were holding hands, Hermione recognised from her clothes straight away where and when they were, it was during their fifth year she had bought the skirt she was wearing, but she did not remember ever holding Harry's hand the way she was in the memory. She watched amazed as the memory played.
She and Harry kissed passionately, Harry stepped back from the kiss and cleared his throat a little before he dropped on to one knee and proposed to her, taking the ring he was offering Hermione said yes before dropping to her own knees and wrapping Harry in another passionate kiss.
Hermione sat stunned as the image flickered and changed then showed several different memories of herself and Harry from when they apparently started their romance, it looked like the end of their third year, and the memories covered the time as they grew closer and closer together, right up to the proposal. By the time the memories were finished she was wondering how Dumbledore had obtained them, she also began to wonder why she had none of these memories, and why Dumbledore had been sick enough to save copies of their memories.
Lily must have known what she was thinking as she called out "You seem to have had a memory block put on you, I don't think you were Obliviated or he would not have been able to extract those copies from you."
Hermione found almost exactly the same memories in Harry's file along with a marriage contract that showed Dumbledore had made a deal with the Weasleys on Ginny's first birthday, Hermione knew it was an illegal contract simply because with it was a formula for a love potion that Madam Pomfrey would be unable to trace once it was administered, it had been hidden away and kept secret along with plans to feed the potion to both Harry and his girlfriend/fiancée Hermione for quite some time. She decided she should leave it to Harry to decide what to do about it all, he was after all this seemed to affect the most. From what she read she realised that Molly Weasley could end up spending quite a long spell in prison for her part in Dumbledore's treachery, between them they also had plans made out to rob Harry of his inheritance. It was all in the files, Hermione could not believe anyone could be so stupid as to write down and keep time logs of all they had done and were planning to do.
In Ron's file she found out she herself had been sold to the boy she had kissed that very morning, and Ron knew all that was going on. There was also evidence of compulsion charms and more evidence of the use of the love potions that had been used by Molly on both her and Harry. She also found out that her bad treatment of Harry during the sixth year had been due to the compulsion charms, it answered something that had bothered her since they had begun the quest they had been on.
'Why had she been so angry at him over a simple book all last year?'
Hermione found the thought of kissing someone who had tried to buy her like a piece of meat was making her once again feel physically sick, before she broke down and began to cry, Lily shouted down from her portrait trying to get Hermione to talk to her. It was several minutes before Hermione was able to turn to the portraits and talk to them.
"I'm not sure what your name is, but as the betrothed of my son can I ask you to either take us to him or at least fetch him here, I think it may be for the best if he was to come here and we can talk about what is happening," Lily said tears falling down her own cheeks.
Hermione nodded to Lily and went back to the desk, she began to tidy the files into a more organised set up so she could show Harry, when a ring fell from the back of the large folder with her name on it, she recognised it instantly, it was the engagement ring Harry had given her in the memory. Picking it up she placed it on her ring finger and then she took several deep breaths to calm her self before she walked from the room.
Ginny Weasley was standing around the coffin of her brother Fred with her family in the great hall as they and Harry discussed what to do next, she had just slipped her arm around Harry when Hermione stormed into the hall and strode straight up to them.
Ron tried to wrap an arm around her, Hermione turned on him and slapped him across the face as hard as she could, she then yanked Ginny away from Harry "Keep you filthy hands of my fiancée," she growled at the smaller woman.
Molly Weasley opened her mouth to yell but was stopped when Hermione pointed her wand directly between the Weasley matriarch's eyes and spoke first, "You keep your mouth shut, if you live long enough, I'll see you in court, and you are going to need your breath to explain selling your daughter to Dumbledore amongst other things. Harry you are coming with me, there is something you have to see 'right now'." She then stunned and bound the shocked Molly Weasley with a spell of her own invention.
Ron was the first one who managed to get over his shock and speak after Hermione's outburst, "What the bloody hell are you on about, calling Harry your fiancée, you belong to me." He asked in shock forgetting about his mother lying trussed like a turkey ready for Christmas.
Hermione turned her wand on him and pointed it at the red heads face, "You best keep your stupid foot out of that garbage hole in your face or I'm liable to forget I'm a lady and blow your Effing head off, I am not yours, and never will be, I am not a piece of meat you can buy, even if it was that old bastard that tried selling me to you." She then drew back her leg and kneed him hard where it really hurts, just like her dad had taught her.
Pulling hard on an astonished Harry's arm she dragged him from the hall, leaving several stunned Weasleys all staring at Molly and lost for an answer to what just happened.
Ten minutes later Hermione placed a locking and privacy charm on the door to the room under the heads office. Harry was still stunned by what had happened in the hall and had not said a single word all the way to the room.
"Harry I want you to look at something, but first there is someone I think you should talk too," Hermione said as she led him across the room.
She left him standing in front of the portrait of his parents, "I'll be back soon, I have to fetch Minerva and Poppy," she said as she walked away.
Harry was confused as hell; he had seen Hermione less than an hour ago when she told him she was going to try to take a nap. Yet she had just turned up in the great hall in a raging temper, she even used swear words while threatening Ron, in all the years he had known her he had never once heard her swear, not even a mild swear word. Not knowing what was going on but trusting her implicitly he allowed her to lead him to this odd place under the heads office.
Harry stood and stared disbelievingly at the portraits in front of him, there in a huge painting were the portraits of his mother and father. It was his mother who was the first of the three to speak.
"Harry?" she asked in almost a whisper.
"M-m-mum," he replied equally quiet. Harry then looked at the man with his mother, "D-dad?"
Giving Harry some time with his parents it was thirty minutes later when Hermione returned with both Minerva and Poppy Pomfrey. Harry had spent the entire time talking with his parents, but now Hermione dragged him away telling him he now had plenty of time to get to know his mum and dad, they both did.
Hermione showed the three people with her the memories and files that she had found, leaving three angry people, one of the three was furious because she could no longer do anything to undo what had been done by someone she had considered her friend for fifty years.
Harry was raging about what the Weasleys had been doing and he wanted blood, he was so angry that it was starting to scare the three women. Eventually though Hermione managed to calm him down some what, and they started to plan their revenge and punishment on the red haired clan.
At the insistence of both teenagers Minerva McGonagall performed the potentially dangerous memory block removal charm; she was relieved when the memory blocks were removed with out damaging the brains of her two favourite people.
Both Harry and Hermione were holding their heads in their hands as the removal of the memory blocks caused them quite a lot of pain, the rapid return of access to their memories added to the rapidly growing head ache.
Poppy studied the potion formula for a while before she left the room and headed for the hospital wing, she came back twenty minutes later with an antidote to the love potion and then had to leave again, she promised she would return after she had seen to her patients, of which there were quite a few.
Minerva sat with Hermione reading the files that Dumbledore had kept. For reasons neither of the women understood Albus Dumbledore had kept records, logs and evidence to show he had been using memory charms to direct students lives, and on occasion to rob them for years, he had apparently bankrupted several pupils over the past fifty years by simply stealing their inheritances, he had also stolen everything in the room, calling it his personal collection'.
Minerva found her self wishing the evil prat was still alive so she could kill him her self, she made her mind up that she was going to banish his painting to moaning Myrtle's bathroom permanently.
Harry simply wanted to sort out the Weasleys, he was fuming again as he thought about his life so far, he had never had any freedom of choice before due to Voldemort, and now he had that hard won freedom, the Weasleys were willing to take it away from him using potions and their daughter, what really annoyed him was the fact that they were doing it to get their hands on his money, money they had been helping them selves too for sixteen years. Had they asked he would have happily given it too them when he had thought of them as his family. Now they would be lucky to get the dust from his shoes, and he wanted back all they had stolen, if he could resist the desire to hex them all into the permanent damage ward at St Mungo's hospital he intended to see them arrested and charged, spending their last years in Azkaban.
Hermione, with help from Harry's mum Lily, came up with the first part of their revenge on the Weasleys, with a few words to Minerva she and Harry arranged to get married that very afternoon. They would hold a small ceremony in the great hall in front of everyone, despite what the love potions had made them do they both knew they could not live without each other in their lives, and considering that they had been engaged for over two years it was about time they married, at least that's what Harry told his old professor and true legal guardian. The two teens promised each other a proper wedding in the Muggle world once they had recovered Hermione's parents from Australia.
As the discussion about getting married and having a debate about getting married for the right reasons started by Minerva, Hermione pointed out that had it not been for the interference of Dumbledore and the Weasley family, they would have probably married before going after Voldemort so that if one of them died the other would still have the memories of being married. Harry pointed out, had he not had his memories hidden he would have written a will leaving everything he owned to Hermione, instead of splitting it between her and Ron.
The Weasleys who were still worried about Hermione's earlier outburst, that the still trussed up Molly was convinced was caused by the stress of the battle, along with several other people were asked to be in the great hall at two pm, while Minerva was mustering those who would be guests without telling a single one of them what was happening at two, Harry and Hermione made their way up to the hospital ward where Harry spoke to Neville Longbottom who had suffered from some burns during the battle but having been under the magical ministrations of Poppy Pomfrey was feeling almost 100 percent fit again. Harry asked Neville if he would stand with him as his best man when he and Hermione got married, to which Neville replied that he would honoured.
While Harry explained to Neville what they had found out, Hermione was talking to Luna Lovegood who had been slightly injured and once healed had chosen to remain and help in the hospital ward.
At five minutes to two Harry and Neville entered the great hall and made their way to the head table and climbed up on the podium, where they were joined by the acting minister of magic Kingsley Shacklebolt.
At exactly two o clock Hermione, Luna, Minerva, and Poppy all appeared on the podium next to Harry. The minister walked to the front of the podium and called for silence, all the speculation and whispering died out quickly when the large no nonsense Kingsley pulled out his wand and created a small thunder clap above the gathering. Once the silence was established Kingsley turned his back on the crowd and stood facing Harry and Hermione. Harry and Neville stood to his right, Hermione and Luna to his left.
The shock that rippled through the crowd when it was realised that they were witnessing a wedding ceremony between Harry and Hermione was increased when Ron Weasley started yelling about Harry stealing his woman, the shock rose to fear when Minerva McGonagall pointed her wand at the tall red head and stunned him, nodding to herself in satisfaction as she watched him fall before turning back to watch the rest of the ceremony, and see her Harry get married to her favourite ever pupil.