It had been seven years since the Battle of Hogwarts. Only seven short years after the monumental event. Some days, Hermione could hardly believe that all those terrible things had happened. The world, now, seemed so normal, so calm.
The Burrow was quite, unnaturally so. After Apperating just outside the grounds, Hermione walked briskly up the walkway to the ramshackle home.
Today they were remembering all those lost during the battle. They did so every year. They remembered Fred, Tonks, Lupin, and the many others that died. And she was late. Looking up, she saw Ron exit the front door.
"Hermione," breathed Ron as he came to greet her.
He wrapped her up in a tight hug. Hermione sighed into his neck.
After the war, she and Ron had stayed together for almost two years. They still loved each other greatly, but they simply worked better as friends. Hermione had become busy opening a bookstore and developing the new edition of Hogwarts: A History; while Ron had become extremely busy with Auror training. Near the end of their relationship they barely ever saw each other. They quickly realized that they were no longer lovers, but friends masquerading as boyfriend and girlfriend. The separation was mutual and uncomplicated.
"How are you?" Hermione asked, pulling back to look him in the eyes.
Ron shrugged. "It's easier, but this day is still – you know – this day."
Hermione smiled sympathetically at him. The loss of a brother had hit all the Weasley siblings hard.
"Let's head in. Get this over with," Ron said quickly. She took his hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze.
When they entered the Burrow, a loud squeal erupted from the sitting room. Toddler James Sirius Potter squirmed in his father's arms.
"'Mione! 'Mione," squealed the boy.
"Oh, how's my favorite Godson?" Hermione cooed, taking the child's hand.
"Hey Hermione," Harry said, leaning in to give her an awkward one armed hug. James giggled and played with his father's glasses.
"Coming through!" Yelled a voice behind her.
Turning around, Hermione saw Teddy Lupin on Percy's shoulders. The war had changed no one more than it had Percy Weasley. He was no longer the stuck-up prat that he was before and made up for lost time by being an easy-going, playful uncle to Teddy, James and Bill's children.
"We're playing Dragon rider!" Teddy said excitedly. "Percy's the dragon!" Teddy's hair had turned a fiery red.
Percy cringed in pain as Teddy fidgeted on his shoulders.
"Come here, Teddy," smiled Ron. "Let's go and kick some gnomes."
"Yes! Yes!" Teddy scrambled off Percy's shoulders, who smiled gratefully at Ron.
"Percy, where is Audrey today?" asked Mrs. Weasley.
"She decided to stay home with the children today. Lucy was feeling a bit under the weather." Percy replied as he flopped down on to the sofa.
Through the window, Hermione could see Ron and Teddy chasing the garden gnomes. Teddy laughing hard, unaware that his parents had died on this day seven years ago.
"Well," sighed Mr. Weasley. "If we're all here then, let's get going."
Hermione flopped down in her office chair. She sighed heavily and ran a hand down her face. It had been a trying day.
After their visit to the Fallen Heroes Graveyard, a graveyard dedicated to all those who fell at Hogwarts or fighting Voldemort that year, Hermione wanted nothing more than to go back to work in her quiet bookstore. So many of the names on the graves were of students that she had gone to school with; others were Order members who she remembered fondly.
"Hermione?" Luna said, poking her head around the office door.
"Luna, you can come in." Hermione had Luna look after the store today.
"Oh, I was just wondering if you were here." Hermione, despite Luna's unusual tendencies, trusted her completely to run the store while she was away.
"Yes, I'm here now. You can leave if you wish. Thank you so much for helping me today," smiled Hermione.
"Quite alright," said Luna, fully entering the room. "How are you doing? How are Harry and Ron?"
"They are fine. I'm fine as well, thanks. How are you holding up?"
"Very well. But I can tell you are distracted, so I'll just be going. See you soon," Luna smiled and left the room.
After a few moments, Hermione sighed and moved to the store's front. Taking a moment to look around the empty bookstore, Hermione quickly decided that she would close the store early and go home for the day. She was tired and emotionally drained.
However, just as she decided that she would close, the door chimed and a boy walked in pulling an older lady.
"Book!" The boy squealed. "I want book." The boy was no older than James.
"Very well, dear. We have to meet your father soon, so we must be quick."
Hermione's blood ran cold as Narcissa Malfoy's voice rang through the small room. At the end of the war Harry had testified for Narcissa Malfoy and her son. They were not charged for their indiscretions. Lucius, however, was sentenced to twenty years in Azkaban.
Even though Mrs. Malfoy had saved Harry's life, Hermione could only think of her as the sister of the woman who had tortured her.
"Missis," said the boy, breaking away from his grandmother and running over to Hermione. "Miss. I have a book, please?"
The boy took Hermione's hand. Too shocked, Hermione didn't know how to respond. She wanted to rip her hand from the boy, but the boy had done wrong. He didn't deserve to be treated simply because he was born a Malfoy.
"I – I –," stammered Hermione, looking over at Mrs. Malfoy, who was looking just as bewildered as Hermione felt.
The boy's bright grey eyes sparkled up at her. He looked just like his father. His features only soften by his childishness.
Placing a small smile on her face, Hermione said, "What kind of book would you want?"
"Dragons! Or giants. No, just dragons," the boy frowned in thought. "My daddy is a dragon."
"Oh! Wow." Hermione crouched down so she was level with the boy. "I think I know the perfect book for you."
"Scorpius…" Mrs. Malfoy stated, "I think that we should –"
But Mrs. Malfoy was cut off by the door chiming once more.
"Daddy!" screamed the boy. But Malfoy did not look nearly as happy to see him.
"Hey buddy," Malfoy forced a smiled as he picked up his son. "What's going on?"
"Missis going to get me a book! A book about dragons!" Scorpius said excitedly.
Hermione had not seen Malfoy since the trial. He looked older. His hair was no longer slicked back. He looked…happier, more carefree. However, the last time Hermione had seen Draco, Voldemort had been living in his house for several months. All in all, it was strange seeing him.
Malfoy shot a sharp look to his mother. "That's really great, Scorp." Draco smiled tightly. "I think that we should be going though. We are not welcomed here." Just as Scorpius' face feel, Draco added, "I promise to get a book some other time, okay?"
Before Hermione could stop herself, she said, "No stay. It's fine." She cringed slightly, but tried to recover with a smile.
Mrs. Malfoy and Malfoy mirrored shocked expressions, while Scorpius smiled broadly.
"Granger, I –"started Malfoy, but Hermione quickly cut him off.
"Would you like me to get you that book now, Mr. Scorpius?" Hermione smiled at the boy, who was currently trying to wiggle out of his father's arms.
"Yes!" After a stern look from his father, he added, "Please."