Sunday lunch was still a strained affair in the Granger household. It wasn't that her parents didn't remember Hermione Jean Granger months after the daughter of the family had travelled to Australia and revealed herself to be, well, the daughter of the family. It wasn't even that they thought any less of her for what she had done in temporarily removing their memories.
The awkwardness of settling into a routine which now seemed long forgotten was unnerving to the whole family. A roast dinner served in the living room (using the good china, as Hermione had been constantly reminded as a child) seemed alien to the girl who had spent the last year living in a tent and the older couple who were used to the more relaxed lifestyle of the outback. Nevertheless, the more the Grangers upheld these traditions, the more they seemed to be able to reconnect with each other.
It was on one such occasion, a few months after the end of the war, that the roast chicken and boiled potatoes was interrupted by a rather frantic Mrs Granger screaming about a man's head in the hearth. Hermione immediately jumped up and ran into the living room, brandishing her wand and fearing the worst.
Sure enough, there was a head in the middle of her living room fire. Had it been Harry or Ron, Hermione would have laughed the incident off easily however the distressed looking face did not belong to either of her best friends.
Hermione felt her mouth drop open at the distressed appearance of her ex-professor and friend as his frantic eyes landed on her.
'I can't get him to stop.'
Hermione shook herself and knelt down beside the hearth. 'Stop what?'
'Crying, screaming. I can't get him to eat. I don't know what to do.' Hermione quickly grasped that it was Remus's young son that was the cause of his panic. 'Andromeda's not home, Molly's out, I didn't know who else to go to...'
Hermione held her hand up. 'Remus, calm down. I'll be right there.'
The head in the fire nodded tersely and disappeared. Hermione went into the kitchen to try and calm her mother before apparating. Hermione's parents were still remembering the finer details of her magical existence. Owls, wands and Hogwarts they remembered, howlers and (apparently) floo connections they did not.
Remus was pacing when he heard the knock on the front door. Trust Hermione to be polite and not appear in the house. He opened the door hurriedly, swapping Teddy over to his other arm. The child was still howling and Remus knew that he himself looked a state, it was the image he saw reflected in wide toffee coloured eyes.
'Thank you for coming.' He said tiredly, letting Hermione into the house.
'Um, how long ago did The Who leave?' The girl asked, as she looked around the cramped living room.
He had no idea who The Who were but he was too tired to care. 'I really don't know what to do. I mean, I keep thinking he's hungry but he won't eat, and he hasn't slept. He hasn't slept for days.'
She smiled kindly, 'I guess that makes two of you. Here.' She held out her arms to Remus and he handed her Teddy. 'I hear spilt porridge is the new blue.' Remus watched as she rocked Teddy back and forth.
'I'm so sorry, Hermione. I hardly ever see you, but the minute I'm in trouble…'
She gave him an easy smile, 'That's what friends are for.' She continued to rock Teddy back and forth, and Remus stared as he slowly began to quiet. 'No offence, Remus, but you smell as good as you look.' She was still smiling, and so Remus decided not to take offence, 'Why don't you go and take a shower and I'll start to clean up?'
'I can't do this,' he whispered dejectedly, sinking down onto the battered sofa, 'I can't raise him. I can't raise him all by myself.'
Remus felt the seat dip under Hermione's weight as he continued to stare at the floor. 'Yes you can.'
'What makes you think so? Look around you, Hermione, I'm a failure.'
The girl sighed, Remus felt her hand on his cheek, turning him to make eye contact. 'You can because you have to. He's your son, and you'll just have to find a way.' She smiled, 'But for now you can put one foot in front of the other and get some sleep and then a shower, I'll take care of the rest.'
He stood and watched for a second as Hermione continued to sway Teddy gently. She smiled once more and Remus turned to do as she had said. He had seen more in that smile than she had meant him to. For the first time since entering his house she had slipped and smiled at him with a look of pity.
Just a few words on the changes I have made to JKR's storyline. Tonks died in the Battle of Hogwarts, but Remus survived. Hermione and Ron are not an item, but I have a real thing about people who make Ron out to be a bad guy, that's not the person he is in the books and I've tried (to the best of my limited abilities) to keep the essence of characters true to the books. Where this has not been possible with Hermione I have imposed my own personality onto her, as I have always seen myself in her when reading the books.
The story will be told by a third person omniscient narrator, alternating between the lives of the two main characters. This particular scene was adapted from Gilmore Girls, as I loved the dialogue but some of it just didn't work. For example, I couldn't imagine Hermione calling Remus 'honey'. Yet.
Disclaimer: If you recognise it, I don't own it.