Sorry for being a week late but some things came up... Lets just say it was a long few days. The chapter is a little short but that couldn't be helped. I need to break it into a couple of more manageable sections.
I'll be updating in two weeks as normal.
For those interested, JIM BUTCHER's New book SKIN GAME is out and it is excellent. Go pick up a copy!
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Hermione huffed as she stepped outside into the crisp evening air. It wasn't cold, just cool, and the last vestiges of sunlight painted a pink and purple sky visible through the nearly leafless trees.
She had offered to wait for Luna but her soon to be sister had shooed her away saying she would be fine. Truth told she had been glad to get out of there. She had been poked and prodded for most of the afternoon by a woman who insisted they call her Margo, as they were now part of the family. Margo had started the afternoon all smiles but as time had worn on and the number of tests had increased, her demeanor had taken a definite turn for the worse.
In the end her hair was tussled, she was muttering to herself, her shoes were missing along with her lab coat, and each time she paced the room she seemed more disheveled. With the final test result in her hand she had stomped to Hermione's exam table and said one word with a harsh voice, "WAND!" as she held out her hand.
When Hermione produced said object, she snatched it from her hand. "No magic! Nothing! Don't try! Don't wish! Don't even think about it! Understood?"
Hermione then said one word, one singular word that would start an avalanche. "Why?" That singular word brought about one of the most vitreous diatribes that Hermione had ever heard, even something from a movie would have paled in comparison.
In the end, though, it had boiled down to one thing. The injuries she had received at Hogwarts her first year were much greater than she and her parents had been led to believe.
Taking another deep breath she began to walk down the hill toward the sound of music, where she had been told Harry and his band were practicing, still thinking about what the doctor had told her and her parents about the extent of the injuries.
She had known about her pelvis and legs, but the damage that Margo had found to her upper body had never been discussed. In truth, Margo had no idea how she had survived. The damage had been extensive, and the treatment had been minimal at best.
Margo had then gone on to explain that a magical person tended to be much more resilient than others. Their magic would seek to protect them from harm, and then if that defense was overwhelmed would augment the healing process.
A regimen of different potions could be given to aid in this process as well, but the patent would need a specialized diet and, depending on severity, dietary supplements to aid in the body's abilities to repair the damage.
It was also standard to restrict use of magic to absolute minimums during the healing because any magic used diverted it from healing and would slow the process, along with possibly causing more damage.
Both of those facts, it seemed, were unknown to her English counterparts as they had Hermione up, around, and attending classes as soon as she was able to hobble around. This had led them to the situation that Margo was beginning to address. She immediately started Hermione on a new regimen of potions, diet, and supplements to correct the lack of bone density in the regrown bones, as well as strengthen the breaks she had sustained. She was hopeful that it would also solve her lingering pain problems.
Another set of potions would help with her internal injuries… in all it had been a jarring day to say the least. Margo had high hopes that she would be ready in time for the scheduled return to England.
At the bottom of the hill she found what appeared to be a lone freestanding two door garage, both doors of the wooden structure swung wide open allowing a song, the Who's: Won't be Fooled Again, to roll out into the evening air.
She had to smile when she saw the man sitting out front in a lawn chair and she walked over and stood next to him. It took a moment for him to notice her. When he did Sirius mouthed, "A little loud isn't it?"
Hermione replied, "If it's too loud, then you're too old!" with a cheeky grin.
Sirius then did a fabulous impression of a fish, as the song finished. "What?" he said incredulously.
"It's an old saying… When someone of your advanced years..."
She continued… "says that the younger generation's music is too loud, then they are just too old." She broke down then laughing.
"I'm not old!" said Sirius in a mock hurt tone. "So how was your day?"
She sobered quickly. "Long…" She shook her head, then changed the subject. She looked over at the band. "They sound pretty good."
Sirius shrugged, "A lot of what they were doing I didn't know, but that last one I heard when I was at his pare…his birth parents, the Potter's, home. Lily had a muggle radio… she loved music," he said wistfully.
"It looks like he does too," she said nodding toward Harry who was talking with the other members of the band as they packed up.
Sirius smiled softly. "Yeah… Lily, his mother played the piano. Nothing like this mind, but every once in a while you could find her in the conservatory at Hogwarts playing, after curfew. She loved to play… When her mother passed, James even braved seeing her sister to get her the upright from her parent's home… That was a hard time for her… She lost both her parents inside a year and her sister opposed the will, saying that Lily…" He choked up even now thinking about it. "She said that she had run away when she was eleven, and didn't deserve any of the inheritance."
He sighed deeply, and shook his head. "She is a right piece of work, Petunia is, and with the lack of muggle paperwork… she got away with it. That piano and a few pictures was all she managed to get to remember her parents by."
Hermione was almost in tears. "Do you know what happened to it?"
He shook his head. "I'm hoping that it is with the things being shipped here… I don't remember if it was in the house, or not… And I could never bring myself to go back… not without him."
She nodded in understanding, and decided to change the conversation before Harry walked over. "What do you know about their Thanksgiving?"
He sat for a moment, probably still remembering his old friends. "From what Harry said, it is a celebration of freedom, friendship and family. Where we gather together and eat till someone rolls us away from the table, his words not mine."
"Well when I talked with Shar, I saw her up at the main building, she said something about breakfast as well…" she said.
Harry's voice interrupted. "Yeah, that's part of our tradition! You, Luna, Sirius and your parents need to be over to the house by 7:30. Dad and I always fix breakfast Thanksgiving morning and we want you all to have the full Thanksgiving experience! You'll love it!" he said with a huge grin.
"I want you both to meet the band; Will Franklin, rear tire carrier plays base, Jamie Roberts, mechanic, keyboard, Ken Jackson, he drives our truck, rhythm guitar, Jason Alfonse, mechanic… and suspension specialist, drums."
After introductions they began going their separate ways, till finally it was just Harry, Hermione, and Sirius, walking toward the guest quarters. "And what do you play in the band Harry?" Hermione asked.
"Lead guitar, though I trade off with Ken on a couple of songs, and Jason on a couple of more. I can play the keyboard, but not well enough to do it in the band…" Sirius smiled at that, maybe that piano of Lily's would find some use again.
"Do you just play rock and roll?" she asked. "I know that that last song was from the Who, and I know you're an Elvis fan… what else do you play? Or listen to?"
"A little of everything… Mom loves the classical stuff, Dad is really big into rock… the only rule about that though is he or she who drives chooses." He smiled at that. "Though the funny part is, they have kind of infected each other with their music choices… Dad has a box of classical stuff under his passenger seat he listens to sometimes when he is on the road alone, and Mom 'keeps some stuff' in her car for me."
He adjusted the strap on his guitar. "I'm a big fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan, I love to hear him play. I listen to a lot of blues, rock, and recently more and more country music. I like what Garth Brooks is doing, he's mixing a lot of different styles with country music… he's good. I'll listen to just about anything that catches my ear. What do you listen to?"
"I…" she hesitated, her pace slowing as she thought about the question. "I- don't know any more… I like… older Rock and Roll… the Who, The Rolling Stones…. Phil Collins... and Genesis… But… well there isn't much in the way of music at Hogwarts… there is a wizarding wireless in the Gryffindor common room… but it isn't very loud and it's in the seventh years' study area… so I spent most of my time studying…"
Sirius agreed with her. "Unfortunately that is true, that wireless was there when I was a student, probably still in the same place too. Programming on it is limited, in comparison to what you are used to. They only broadcast from 6 till 10 in the morning then 5 till 9 in the evening… a little news, some music… nothing like what you have here, Harry."
Harry was kind of stunned. "Just the one station?" They both nodded. "I'll loan you some stuff tomorrow. I'll pick some good stuff out."
Hermione grinned. "Thanks… I think I'd like that. Now what can I expect tomorrow?"
Harry just laughed. "A great time, great food, music… You'll love it!"