None of these people or places belong to me.
After the final battle Hermione knew that she had a lot to do. The funerals, helping repair the castle and then she had to go and restore her parents memories and explain why she had done everything without their permission or knowledge.
Staying for the funerals was a must. Helping repair the castle… well there were a lot of volunteers to help with that, maybe. Then she had to find out what her finances were and arrange the long flight to Australia. Oh, and new clothes were on the list too. It was winter down there and Melbourne was said to get cold.
At the Burrow things were not going well. Whenever Hermione brought up the subject of going to Ron, he would ignore her. Seeing the lack of support that she was getting Hermione finally offered Ron an ultimatum.
"Either you come with me or you stay without me. What's it going to be?" Hermione demanded, standing with her hands on her hips and looking more than a little intimidating.
"I'm staying. Why'd you want to get those muggles anyway? Not like they're important or nothing" Ron said.
"Muggles…Not IMPORTANT! They…are…my…PARENTS!" an outraged Hermione screamed at Ron. "That's it! If you can't even get off you lazy bum and help me with the ONE task that means the world to me then it shows how much you REALLY care about me. Goodbye Ron. Don't bother to write." With that Hermione walked away, secretly feeling relieved that it was over between her and the Git.
Entering 12 Grimmauld place, Hermione wondered what she was going to do now. Yes, she was still going to Australia and yes, she was still retrieving her parents memories. But could she do it alone? Suddenly loud voices caught her attention.
"What do you mean that it's been over for a year! I told you that I was waiting for you to finish You Know Who because you had to go off and be the hero!" screeched Ginny. "I had to give up any social life and be called frigid all year because I was waiting for you to come back and we could pick things up where they left off! I just wanted my Knight Harry back. Believe me, I could have had my pick of anyone I wanted."
"Then why didn't you? I told you it was over at Dumbledore's funeral! It's not my fault that you didn't believe me. Get over your delusions and face facts… I am not a hero, I am not your knight and I am not going to be anything more than a friend, now or in the future! It's OVER Miss Weasley. It has been over for a YEAR! Deal with it." Thundered Harry.
A loud slap was heard and then the floo sounded and then…silence.
Hermione cautiously entered the kitchen to find Harry staring at the fireplace with a livid hand print on his cheek.
"That's IT! I need to get away from here." Muttered Harry. He turned and then noticed Hermione standing in the doorway. "I guess you heard?"
"Yes. And for what it's worth, you were right and she well and truly out of line with what she said. Were you serious about wanting to get away for a bit?"
"Thanks and no, Sirius was my godfather." Harry grinned and Hermione groaned. "But yes, I need to just get away from all this madness. I can't go anywhere without being mobbed. Neither can you. The press follow us constantly and yesterday Kreature found a reporter stealing my boxers off the line! Molly is either trying to smother us both or blame me for Fred's death and I don't know what is going on with Ron. He won't talk to me." Harry ranted, "I just want to have some time to be me, not the 'Boy who lived' or 'the Man who conquered'. Just Harry. Is that too much to ask?"
"No, it's not." Hermione started thinking rapidly. "Why don't you come with me to get my parents? A month or so away from England with no reporters and no Weasley's. What do you think?"
"I think… when do we leave?" Harry said with a grin. "But… what about Ron?"
"I asked him and he said my parents weren't 'important' just because they are muggles!"
"Right then. Forget him and the rest of the wizarding world. It's just You and Me then! When's the next flight we can take?"
"Tomorrow at 10.30am. I can book the tickets tonight but, oh no, how are we going to pay for it all? All my money's at Gringotts!" cried Hermione.
"Oh, err… Mine too…I guess it's time to face them and see what reparations can be offered." Harry said nervously. "I will go there now and see what can be done."
"Not without me! We broke in together and we face the goblins together."
A quick floo trip to the Leaky Cauldron and a short walk had the pair standing at the steps to the bank.
"Well…nice knowing you" Harry nervously joked.
The pair hesitantly entered the bank and were greeted by a row of spears pointed at them. They both held up empty hands and tried to look non-threatening.
"We are here to offer our apologies and to make reparations to this bank and the goblins involved because of our behaviour." A shaken Harry said. "I am willing to talk reasonably and without violence, on my and Hermione's part, to any goblin with the authority to do so."
An elderly goblin in decorated armour stepped forward.
"I am Ragnok, Clan leader and head of this bank. Speak quickly and explain your actions." The goblin snapped.
"Clan chief Ragnok." Harry said with a bow. "We, Hermione Ron and I, entered this bank because we found out that there was an artefact here that was keeping Voldemort alive. To kill him we had to have that item. With the help of the goblin named Griphook, we entered the bank and, I confess, we stole the artefact. Griphook had only helped us because we promised to give him the sword of Gryffindor in exchange for his help. The arrangement was that once the item was destroyed then we would give him the sword to return it to its makers descendants, as per your laws. Unfortunately, once the vault was opened, and before we had found the artefact, he took the sword and alerted the guards. We were running for our lives, because of the betrayal of the deal made in good faith, and we regret and apologise for the damages caused by our actions and will submit to your judgment."
"Griphook! Step forward. Is what this human saying true? Did you renege on a deal made in good faith? Who did you make the deal with? Was there honour involved?" Snapped Ragnok
A clearly trembling Griphook stood in front of his clan chief and answered quietly. "The deal was with Potter. I thought it would be more profitable to take the sword and give the thieves to the guards."
"Then there was no honour, no profit and only an oathbreaker left here. My judgment is this." Said Ragnok. Suddenly he smiled at the nervous teens. "For having the honour and courage, which we goblins value highly, to face us and confess your crimes I am being lenient. I am only charging you for the cost of the repairs to this building. The estimation stands at G6382900. This will be divided three ways and each of you will bear the cost of your third. After this visit, and until that amount is paid, you will not be allowed in this bank. We will inform the third member of your party, Mr Ron Weasley I believe, of his punishment." He then turned to Griphook. "For your part in this you will be fined the full repair amount. You will be known as an oathbreaker to all and your remaining assets seized and given to the one you broke faith with, namely Mr Potter. Take him away. His new duty is to clean the dragon pen."
Turning to Harry and Hermione, Ragnok signalled for the guards to leave. He then ushered them both into a private room.
"Mr Potter. Your vaults contain enough to cover your third of the payment, so you are free to go about your business once you authorise the transfer. Miss Granger, I am afraid that you only have a few hundred galleons in your vault. Until you pay your share then I will have to ask you to stay away from this bank."
"Clan chief, do I have enough to pay for Hermione's share? As a loan, of course." Asked Harry.
"Don't you read your statements? You should have at least a rough idea of your worth. Yes it can be done and I will draw up the papers."
"Sir, umm, I have never got a statement." Replied Harry.
"Odd…I will look into it at a later date. To summarise. You are one of the richest wizards in Britain. You have more than G190, 000,000 at last tally. It will be even more with the oathbreakers assets added."
"… " Was all that either teen could say.
Harry turned to Hermione with a grin and said "Those tickets better be business class or better! And no tents or backpacker hostels. Looks like I'm paying for the trip and it's going to be first class all the way."
"Are you planning to travel? May I ask where to?" asked Ragnok.
"We are going to Australia"
"Ahh, it is a big country. Anywhere in particular?"
"Melbourne, is that right Hermione?"
"Yes, I need to collect my parents there." Said Hermione softly
"In that case give me a minute. Here are the transfer forms and the loan agreement. You can set what interest you wish and your own repayment plans as it is a private loan. I will be back shortly." Said Ragnok as he rose and left the room.
"Ok, loan agreement…zero interest…repayments as you can afford it, don't stress if you can't… signed, you need to sign here Mione. Ok, done. Transfer, umm, G4, 255,267. Ok, we are now back in the, well semi, good graces of the bank." Said Harry. "Ron owes G2, 127,633. That money is going to be his problem. Unless he asks, I'm not going to offer any."
"Ok, but why did you offer it to me then?"
"Easy. Who is always there for me? Who stay's beside me no matter what? Who has never deserted me? Who never asks for anything even when they need to just because they put others first? Hmm… I think that is you, you, you and you. Anything else?" Harry finished with a grin.
"Err…no" replied a flustered Hermione.
Ragnok walked back in the room.
"Sorry to make you wait. I collected a few things that you may need. Mr Potter, a passport and driver's licence, a credit card, it says Bank of England but that is our muggle cover, and a personalised wallet that takes cash from your vault in whatever currency you need.
"Miss Granger, a purse that does the same as the wallet, an updated passport and a driver's licence. These are gifts to you both for your honesty and bravery today. Is there anything else I can help you with today?"
Both Harry and Hermione stood and bowed to Ragnok.
"Sir, thank you for these gifts. It is more than we ever expected. There is one thing I wish to ask please. Are you aware of any goblin made items in my vaults?" Replied Harry.
"Yes there are a few items that I am aware of."
"Then I freely give my permission and blessing for those items to be removed and given to the families of the makers." Harry said to a shocked goblin.
"Thank you Mr Potter. This gift is greater than you know. Many families will toast your name tonight." A flustered Ragnok replied.
"Thank you for your time and generosity today" said Hermione.
Bidding Ragnok farewell the teens left and started making plans. Booking the tickets was easy with Harry's card and a shopping trip for new clothes went faster than either of them realised.
The next morning found Harry and Hermione sleepily sitting in the departure lounge. It had been a busy night, packing, making sure they had everything, giving orders for Kreature to follow while they were away. Then they had to be at the airport by 6 am to check in on time. Thank goodness they could sleep on the plane.
The trip was uneventful. They touched down safely and took a taxi to the hotel they had booked. The Quay (Pronounced Key) West hotel was directly across the Yarra river from one of the busiest train stations in Melbourne, Flinders st station. From the room's balcony they could see many iconic landmarks and they promised themselves that after they found Hermione's parents they would take the time to explore the city.
"Not a bad place. Especially when you think that it was started by convict labour." Thought Hermione.
After a filling breakfast the pair set out to start looking for the Grangers, or rather, Wendell and Monica Wilkins. The phone book was a bust. So was asking about dentists by the Wilkins name.
"And here I thought it would be easy" thought Harry. "They could be anywhere. This state is bigger than England! Where do we start looking?"
After two solid weeks searching they decided to take a day off. Why not go to some of the places they had heard about and just relax for a day?
They decided to go to Coal Creek, a historical village that was about a ninety minute drive from their hotel.
Getting there was no problem. They had hired a car to use as they needed. Entering, they found many lovingly restored original buildings and artefacts from around the area. They struck up a conversation with an elderly gentleman who took them on a tour of the small coal mine that had been dug out by hand. Talking with the man after the tour he commented about how much Hermione looked like his new neighbour. "If I didn't know better I would swear you were Monica's daughter!" he chuckled.
Hermione could not believe what she was hearing. They were here? Miles from where she had arranged to set them up.
After slowly making their way to the exit they discussed what they were going to do with the information they had stumbled on.
"We can't just start door knocking and hoping we find the right house." Harry said.
"A town like this, someone else will know the 'Wilkins' and possibly mention it to me. I do look like Mum and people notice."
They started wandering around the town, stopping frequently to look in the shops. At a little café a few hours later they finally got the information they needed. The Wilkins were coming to pick up an order. They would be there any time. Hermione started getting nervous. What if they don't forgive me, what if it doesn't work, what if…
All thought stopped when 'Monica' walked in. She looked around and saw Hermione sitting on the edge of her seat.
"Hermione! What are you doing here! Come here and give your Aunty a hug! You didn't tell me you were coming. Oh, and this must be Harry. I haven't seen you since you were 12! Those big green eyes give it away. Ok You two follow me. No arguments. You're coming home for dinner!" With that she paid for their coffee and her order and almost pushed them out the door and into her car.
A short drive later they pulled up outside a little miner's cottage.
"This is our new home. It's small but we both fell in love with it the moment we saw it. Come in."
After an emotional reunion with 'Wendell' and 'Monica' everyone sat down to discuss the past and the future.
"Hermione, I know that you thought that you had erased our memories, but it was you who had the modification done. We talked all it over and we decided to just came here to be safely out of the way so you wouldn't worry about us. Things were too dangerous for you to be distracted. So we agreed to come here and you thought the memory charm would be safest for you. That way everyone thought that we wouldn't remember magic." Said 'Wendell'.
"We let it be known that we didn't have any children of our own but that we DID have a niece that we loved like a daughter. That way we could have your pictures out and people not comment." Said 'Monica'.
"I thought you wouldn't remember me. I was afraid that you would never forgive me for doing this." An emotionally spent Hermione confessed.
"We remember and we are assuming that things are back to normal now?" Asked 'Wendell'
"Yes sir," answered Harry, "It's as safe as it can be. The war is over and everyone is picking up the pieces."
"That's what I expected. So, when can we go home and stop being 'Monica and Wendell' and start being Stan and Dorothy again?"
"When can you be ready to leave?" asked Harry.
"Hmm… we need to give notice at work and invent a reason to go back…" said 'Monica' "Three weeks should do it."
"Ok, three weeks it is then. In the meantime, while you are welcome to visit, you two need to go and have some fun. There is a great theatre district and you have to go and watch the footy at the MCG. I think the Pies are playing the Cats on Saturday. Going to be a good game. It's better than soccer. And there are other things that you can do. Just have fun." Enthused 'Wendell'
Hermione and Harry headed back to Melbourne in an almost euphoric mood. Suddenly Harry turned and asked "What's today's date?"
"Umm…I think it's the 30th of Jul…oh Harry! It's your birthday tomorrow! That's it. We can go to a nightclub and celebrate tomorrow night! I think that I read about some clubs at the casino. How does that sound?"
"That sounds like a plan to me. We can make it a double party because we didn't do anything for your 18th."
The next night was one like nothing either teen had ever experienced. Two nightclubs and a few bars later both were more than a bit tipsy.
After a final few drinks at the sports bar they decided to walk back up the river path to their hotel.
"Hey, Its my 18th. Party time!" a drunk Harry yelled. "Cool! A fountain you can walk through!" he said taking off his clothes.
"Harry no! Don't… Will you at least put your boxers back on?" An embarrassed and, secretly, amused Hermione called picking up his clothes.
"Nu-uh. More fun this way. C'mon Mione, come in!" Said Harry, running through the fountain. He was attracting a crowd.
Two police officers came over and started ordering Harry out of the fountain.
"YOU! Get out of the fountain. And put some clothes on!"
Harry ignored them. One of the officers braved the cold water and chased Harry through the water, eventually catching him. Many people were watching and cheering Harry on.
As Harry was led away, his hands cuffed behind his back he called out "Alright! A divvy van! I love Australia!" and started singing off key "I'm going home in the back of a divvy van" and loud thumps were heard as he stomped his feet to the beat, much to the amusement of onlookers.
Hermione just shook her head and wondered if her life was ever going to be normal around Harry Potter. Somehow, she doubted it.
After a night in the drunk tank a sober and penitent Harry had learnt his lesson. The police officers had enjoyed the strange songs about wizards and their wands and a weirdo named Odo that a drunken Harry was singing but it made his cell mate a little more "under the weather". Vomit stains were hard to remove from clothes, even with magic.
Harry and Hermione went on to enjoy the rest of their time in Melbourne and decided to make it a regular trip.
The pair got engaged at the top to the Rialto tower the following year, got married on Mt Dandenong a few years later and would later emigrate permanently with Hermione's parents, back to being Stan and Dorothy Granger, where their children attended the Melbourne School of Magic.
For the Potter and Granger families, life was good.
Meanwhile, back in England.
Ron was in heaven. For his part in destroying Vol…Vold…You know who, he was given a big cash reward and was getting endorsement offers and being paid for the interviews he gave. As long as the money was coming in he would talk to anyone. All his business was done through the floo or face to face. He had avoided the mail after remembering what had happened to Hermione in his fourth year. He wasn't going to get a booby trapped letter.
About a week after his fight with Hermione Ron decided to buy her a present. "This will show her that I forgive her for being so selfish." He thought to himself. "I just need to get some money out at the bank."
Walking into Gringotts Ron was met by several guards holding pikes and battle axes.
A teller walked to Ron and said "You are either very brave or very stupid to come here. Until your debt is paid we cannot allow you to come in here."
"Debt? What debt?" asked Ron, confused.
"For your part in destroying our bank. You were sent a letter explaining this. You have been charged G2, 172,633 for the repairs. Do you have the money with you? No? Are you going to pay your share of the debt? Miss Granger and Mr Potter already have paid their shares and now it is your turn." The goblin was handed a note. "Ahh, with the amounts put into your vault you now owe G1, 039,136. When can we expect a full payment and resolution on this matter?"
"Yo…you… you took my money! That was mine! You ca…" Ron was hit on the head with the flat edge of a battle axe, slumping to the floor unconscious.
"Well, it looks like we have more help for cleaning the dragon pens. Take his away until the debt is paid."
It would be more than seventy years before anyone saw Ron Weasley again.
A.N. All places referred to in Melbourne are real. Car'n the Pies!