Hermione Granger and the Alternate Universe
(Disclaimer: I have no business connection with HARRY POTTER. My only purpose in writing this story is to have fun and maybe share it)
(Author's note: Obviously, this story is set in an alternate Universe; it is not Harry's, and it is not ours either.
CHAPTER I The Nobel
Professor Hermione Granger was doing some complex tensor calculations on her laptop when she heard a knock at the door. It was followed by her husband's voice calling "I'll get it, Minnie. Stay where you are."
She knew why Mark was taking precautions. There were very odd things happening in the world today, and it paid to be cautious, even in their little university town. But she felt as protective toward Mark as he did toward her. She decided to wait in the sitting room just off the entrance hall. If Mark was in danger, she would be able to charge in to his defence – though, as she had no training in fighting, it was not clear how much good she could do.
Today, the precautions proved unnecessary. Whatever Mark saw through the peephole apparently satisfied him, and he opened the front door to admit two men, middle-aged, very blond, in business suits. Speaking in a Scandinavian-sounding accent, the taller of the two asked "May we speak with Professor Granger?"
"Minnie, could you come join us?" Mark called out.
Hermione waited a few seconds, to conceal the fact that she had been watching nearby, then walked into the entry hall. There was no fear of danger now, though she felt a little self-conscious over the fact that she was wearing an old T-shirt and jeans, while her guests were smartly dressed. Mark ushered everybody into the living room – or, as Hermione still thought of it, the drawing room.
"Professor Granger," said the taller man, "I am Mr. Thorvald, and this is my colleague Mr. Larsen. We are from the Swedish Acadamy—"
"The Nobel people!" Mark said excitedly.
"Yes. Professor Granger, we have come to inform you that you have been offered a share in this year's Nobel Prize for Physics, 'for your correct predictions of the operations of the Flu Force deduced from string theory'."
"Wonderful!" said Mark. He gave his wife a huge hug, while she was still trying to restrain herself and keep a stiff upper lip. "Congratulations, darling!"
"You said a 'share'," Hermione observed. "So there are other winners?"
"Yes. You will be sharing the prize with Dr. Satyavan Ramasita of India, who has also worked on string theory."
"I know him," Hermione said," at least by Email. We exchanged correspondence, trying to determine if our fields of research were related. That's still an open question. He deserves the prize."
"As do you, Minnie! Don't be modest," admonished her husband.
Mr. Larsen drew an electronics pad out of his pocket. "We're trying to put together a bio of you to attach to our official announcement; may we confirm our information?"
"Go ahead," said Hermione.
"Hermione Jean Granger, born 19 September, 1979 in London England, to William and Margaret Granger, dentists. Attended Clifton College Upper School from 1992 to 1997. Entered Cambridge University in 1997, received the highest honours. In 2001 decided to accept a teaching position at Baconia University in the US – why Baconia, may I ask?"
"Frankly, they gave me the best offer," said Hermione. "Salary and immediate tenure."
"Professor Mahadenka, here, liked her thesis, and persuaded the University that she would be a good asset to them," said Mark. "And he was right. The university now has a Nobelist on the faculty."
"Please, Mark, don't brag on me like that."
"You've earned bragging rights, Minnie, and if you're not going to use them, I will."
Mr. Larsen prudently ignored the marital bickering. "Married Professor Marcus Gold in 2004 – you, I presume. No children."
"No," Hermione said wistfully. They had been trying for years, and had even been to doctors, to no avail. But the bio didn't have to go into all that. Let people think she was too busy with research and had decided to postpone having a baby.
"In 2005, published her first paper on what she called the 'Flu Force', based purely on mathematical analysis of string theory - why Flu Force, may I ask? An acronym? A private joke?"
"I don't really remember now," Hermione hedged. "I think it just popped into my head."
That was the first explicit lie that she had told tonight. The fact was that she had had a very weird dream, with odd-looking people, all with startlingly red hair, throwing what they called "Flu Powder" into fires and disappearing. She had been casting about for a name for her research project and decided that "Flu Force" was as good as anything else. But that was another private matter that didn't have to go into her bio.
"2008, went through the naturalization process and became an American citizen."
"2009, CERN experimentally confirmed the existence of the Flu Force, transporting 3 milligrams of carbon over a distance of a kilometre. This established the theory, although there are technical complications currently preventing the use of the Force on a larger scale, or the development of practical applications. Professor Granger received the Fields Medal for her mathematical work- and, off the record, that was when the Nobel Committee, started considering you for the Physics Prize. 2011, Professor Granger was notified of the prize and accepted the offer – I assume that you ARE accepting, Professor?"
"Oh yes." Hermione tried not to sound like a child at Christmas.
"Then now, as you Americans say, we can get the ball spinning," said Mr. Thorvald. "Tomorrow, we shall notify President Parkinson that an American has won half of the Physics Prize. Do you mind our notifying Prime Minister Malfoy as well? After all, you grew up in England."
"It's OK." Hermione was not too fond of either the American President or the British Prime Minister, but she might as well be gracious.
"After that we will release the news to the general public. And you and your husband are hereby invited to the Nobel ceremony next month in Stockholm, where you will personally receive the prize from our King!"
. . . . . .
Something woke Hermione up in the middle of the night. She was very tired, not only because of the excitement of the prize-winning but because she had engaged in some very energetic lovemaking with Mark earlier tonight "in celebration of your victory", as Mark put it. Lazily she turned to look at her beloved.
There was a red-headed stranger in bed with her.
"Aaiiiiieeee!" Hermione screamed.
"Minnie! What's wrong?" said Mark's voice. "What happened?"
She looked again. It was Mark lying beside her.
"I – I – I don't know. Nightmare, I suppose—" There were some things you couldn't say even to a beloved and devoted husband – like the possibility that you might have slept with somebody else.
"The excitement of the day, I guess—"
"Maybe. I'm sorry I woke you up."
"Hey, no sweat. How many guys can boast that they were woken up by a Nobel Prize winner?"
But as Hermione brooded on it, she wasn't sure it was just a nightmare.
Because she had seen the red-headed bloke before.
TO BE CONTINUED.
(Author's Note: Baconia University is an imaginary small college that I invented for my JOAN OF ARCADIA fanfics, and decided that I might as well reuse)
(Author's Note: I have not researched the actual protocol for notifying Nobel Prize winners. If I am wrong, then just assume it's different in the Alternate Universe.)