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Chapter 21 - Their Story

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1 Chapter 21 - Their Story on Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:26 pm

Mrs.KreszentiaBlack

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When Rose got to Hermione’s room, it was already full. Hermione was in her usual spot in the bed. Ron was pacing little circles in the corner while Hugo sat against the wall with his knees scrunched against him, watching his father. Ginny sat in the chair in the corner, resolutely looking at her hands. James and Albus were next to Hugo on the floor, both looking confused about what was going on. Lily was perched on the end of Hermione’s bed stealing glances at each of them in turn, also clearly wondering why they were all here. Harry sat on the chair beside the bed with a smile on his face, the only hint that their gathering wasn’t going to be the life crushing meeting they all suspected it was going to be.



Rose’s mind, as it tended to do a lot these days, jumped immediately to the worst case scenario. Her mother wasn’t really getting better, she was actually getting worse and would be dead by the morning. Or their adventure to the Malfoys’ had gotten her dad and uncle fired and now they couldn’t afford her mother’s treatment, or even to be in the hospital. Or the rest of Malfoy’s gang was after them and they were going to have to leave the country. Or they were going to confess that they have been illegally selling banned potions from Amsterdam and now they were going to jail and the five of them were orphans. ‘Ok,’ she thought to herself, ‘Maybe it’s not that last one,’



She looked suspiciously around at the other occupants of the room. She could clearly tell that neither Hugo, James, Lily, nor Al had any idea what was going on. “What’s the matter?” she tried to keep her voice as clam as possible, but sounded rather panicked nonetheless.



“Nothing’s the matter, Rosie,” Harry replied, “Come sit down,”



She still had the distinct feeling the something was in fact the matter. She walked across the room and carefully sat down next to Lily on the edge of the bed. She leaned in nervously toward her mother and whispered, “Are you dying?”



With the same look of serious apprehension that Rose had given her, Hermione leaned back toward her and whispered back, “Not anymore,” She flashed her daughter an amused smile and gingerly rested herself back on the pillows.



“If Aunt Hermione’s not dying,” James piped up, “Then who is?”



“Yeah,” Al agree, “Why are we all here?”



Harry laughed, “No one is dying. But apparently we have to get you all together for more happy occasions,”



“We feel we owe you an explanation,” Hermione explained, “We might not have been completely truthful about what happened to us while we were at school, and during the war, and how Harry defeated Voldemort,”



“And how I probably would have been dead at eleven if it wasn’t for Ron and Hermione,” Harry added. James and Albus exchanged identical looks of shock at this admission. They had both conjured images of their father, the conquering hero, over the years, and none of them ever seemed to include their aunt and uncle.



“Ahh let’s just put it all on the table,” Ron finally replied from the corner, “Both Harry and I would have barely made it out of first year without Hermione,” Harry nodded in assent.



“If I remember correctly, it was you two that saved me first,” Hermione beamed at them both, “But we need to start from the beginning. I think we’re confusing them,”



She was right. Their five children sat in silence looking at each other, searching for some sign that one of them knew what their parents were talking about.



“Right,” Harry clapped his hands together, “The beginning…”



“Wait, wait, wait,” James stood up from his spot on the floor, waving his hands out in front of him, “You mean to tell us that you’ve lied to us all these years,”



“Not lied, James,” Ginny spoke directly at her son, “Just selectively omitted,”



“Why do you want to tell us all of a sudden?” he blurted back. Hermione caught Rose’s eye and Rose instantly knew why.



“You’re adults now,” Harry came to the rescue, “There’s a lot of things that we didn’t want to tell you because, well, because kids shouldn’t know about stuff like that. But you’re older and we think you should know,”



Anticipation was building up in Rose. She just wanted stupid James to shut up so they could tell them. She felt like the last couple of weeks were all working up to this. Then, suddenly, something dawned on her. For the first time in what she could only figure were years, Rose was grateful to her mother. She knew that it had to have been Hermione that talked to the others about telling them. Hermione understood, without Rose really having to explain it to her, what Rose wanted and here she was, ready to give it to her.



“Alright,” she exclaim, “Shut up James! I want to hear the story,” James shrugged and collapsed on the floor next to Al.



“Ok,” Harry started, “The beginning…Once upon a time there was a boy…”



“Dad,” Lily cried, exasperated as she threw an extra pillow in his direction. Everyone laughed as Harry put his hands up defensively and apologized to her daughter.



And they told their story.



At the beginning, the five of them sat listening politely. However, as the story got more exciting (as it did rather quickly) they couldn’t help but interrupt. They heard the story about the troll in the bathroom, how Harry, Ron and Hermione had become friends. (“A troll!!” Lily had shouted in disbelief, “At Hogwarts,”) They continued on about their first year at Hogwarts, about the Sorcerer’s Stone and Professor Quirrell. Albus’s eyes looked as if they were going to pop out of his head as they passed a three headed dog, and Hugo gave his dad an encouraging punch on the leg after hearing about the greatest game of chess ever played.



“Wow!” James said, when their young parents were safely on the train home, “You’re right that was a good story,”



The four adults looked at each other and smiled, “Oh James,” Harry addressed his son, “That was child’s play compared to what happened next,”



“Next?”



Ginny piped in much more, once they started their second year at Hogwarts. They explained about the Chamber of Secrets (“But that’s just a legend,” Rose interrupted. “I thought so too,” Hermione countered) Harry explained about the mysterious attacks and Hermione recounted the moments before she herself was attacked. (As she did this, she caught Rose’s eye and winked.) Ginny spoke about her encounters with Tom Riddle’s diary and being brought to the Chamber of Secrets. Tears welling in her eyes as Harry saved her.



The stories of the next two years went much quicker, as the children already knew about Sirius Black and the Tri-Wizard Tournament. They listened as Harry recounted with a deep seeded fear in his voice, the moment when Voldemort returned to power. All five of them were too scared to even blink as the story in the graveyard unfolded.



As the story got more and more intense and there was more and more information they did know, the five of them sat stiller and more enthralled than ever. People began to die and battles started being fought. They heard about that rumored prophecy and how it turned out to be true. Harry went through a long monolog about the history of Tom Riddle, and how he became Voldemort, and how Harry himself had found out about it. More battles were fought, and more people died, including Dumbledore. All the adults found it extremely hard to recount the night of his death. Rose couldn’t help but remember what Dumbledore’s portrait had told her before: “I died before the really exciting part,”. She couldn’t imagine what was going to come next.



The story of what was officially called the Great Wizarding War took almost as much time as the rest of the story beforehand. They were taught about Horcruxes. (“Who would even think to do something like that?” was all Albus asked). It was more painful for him to recount than Harry had anticipated, and he could see that Ron and Hermione were discovering the same thing. Ron spoke about his doubt in Harry and his fear for his family. Hermione cried when they told about Ron leaving and could hardly speak about being tortured at Malfoy Manor. Harry and Ron told that from their point of view. (Rose started to cry during this part as well, remembering the dream she had had). Ginny gave the updates about what they were doing at Hogwarts, and how she and Dumbledore’s Army was fighting back. The Battle of Hogwarts itself, they had heard all about. There were so many people there that there was no way to hide any of it. Harry did explain about how he was supposed to have been dead, but didn’t die. (“Holy shit,” was James reaction to that).



By the end of the story, hours had past, but exactly how many, no one really knew. Both families sat in silence for a while, simply taking it all in. In some ways, Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione felt rather light. They had never told everything to anyone. Ginny was even hearing some parts of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s Horcrux hunting journey for the first time. Everything was finally out. It wasn’t just their story to tell anymore, it was their children’s story to pass on.



Rose, Hugo, James, Albus, and Lily had so many thoughts buzzing through their heads; they could hardly speak. Rose matched every single one of her dreams to a memory of her mother’s. Dumbledore was right, she did have a new appreciation for her. How anyone could be any semblance of normal after going through all that was beyond her. She also smiled remembering the number of times her all-conquering uncle would have been dead if it wasn’t for her mother. Go figure.



After a significant silence, James stood up from his spot on the floor. “That,” he sounded almost exasperated, “shook my worldview to its very core,” unexpectedly, a giant grin came over his face, “Thank you,” Harry started to laugh at his son. Soon everyone was laughing and talking. Al and Lily were recounting their favorite parts as if they were little kids after a bedtime story. James was confirming some of the more heroic bits with his father. Hugo was talking to Ron about chess. Rose sat cross-legged at the end of Hermione’s bed staring at her fingernails, still deep in thought.



“Rose,” Hermione was looking at her with concern, “Are you alright? That’s what you wanted right?”



Rose looked up at her mother, “Yes, it was, and thank you for telling us. But I still don’t understand something,”



“What is it?”



“Now I understand what the dreams were, and what you went through, but why could I see them too? I mean, I still don’t get it,”



“Sweetheart,” Hermione placed a hand on Rose’s knee, “There comes a time when you have to concede that there is some magic we will never understand,” Rose looked at her skeptically, “I understand it’s not easy. I’ve been thinking about it since we talked last and I can’t understand it either. I don’t like the feeling anymore than you do,” she smiled.



Rose continued to stare at the bed. She didn’t like hearing that at all. Everything was finally starting to come together like she had wanted. Her mother was alright, she had a long road to recovery in front of her, but she was getting better. She had heard the whole story about her parents and their role in the war. She had apologized to her mother. Kenny hadn’t even dumped her after his near death experience. She knew, somewhere deep inside she was certain that it couldn’t be that easy. For the first time in her life, she had to convince herself that that was all she was going to know right now. The thought of it made her very uncomfortable, but if Hermione could come to terms with it, then so could she.



“So,” Rose slowly looked up at her mother, “You really made Polyjuice Potion in your second year huh?”



A grin spread on Hermione’s face, “It was one of my more impressive moments, yes,”



“And that whole Dumbledore’s Army thing, that was your idea?” Rose couldn’t help the pride that was inching its way into her voice.



Hermione’s face flushed pink. Her daughter hadn’t been outwardly impressed by anything she had done since she was seven years old. Just as she was about to respond, there was a knock at the door. Healer Parcell’s head poked into the room, “How are we feeling in here?”



“Overwhelmed,” James answered seriously.



Healer Parcell laughed, “As interesting as that is Mr. Potter, I was talking to my patient,” Al slapped James on the back of the head.



“Good actually,” Hermione replied to Parcell, “Better,”



“That’s good news,” he replied with a bright smile, “I did find something that belongs to you, Miss Weasley,” he pointed at Rose and opened the door wider. Kenny stood there looking slightly tired, but no worse for the ware. He smiled when he caught a glimpse of Rose.



“Those big guys wouldn’t let me in,” he explained, “They did say they wouldn’t let me near here without a Weasley with me. If it wasn’t for Healer Parcell, I would have been fighting them for hours,” he shook Parcell’s hand as he entered the room, “Thank you,”



“You are more than welcome,” Parcell replied and then turned back to Hermione, “I’ll be back in about an hour to do a check in. Visiting hours should be over by then,” he made a slight bow and left. Rose jumped off the bad and went over to Kenny. She grabbed his hand and led him back across the room.



“Kenny, this is my mom,” she looked back and forth between the two of them, “Mom, this is Kenny,”



Kenny extended his hand and took Hermione’s, “Kenny Baldwin. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you Mrs. Weasley,” he introduced himself quite smoothly and gave her a charming smile. “I’ve heard quite a bit about you,”



“Really,” Hermione reacted, eyeing Rose, “Interesting, I’ve heard very little about you,” Rose looked away guiltily.



“That is interesting,” he also glanced at Rose, “I guess we’ll have to fix that,”



Hermione surveyed him for a moment, deciding whether or not she wanted to give him the chance, “Well,” she responded slowly, “I guess we will,”



Rose knew Kenny was making a much better first impression on Hermione than he had on Ron. She also had a suspicion that he was making sure that happened. Maybe things really were going to get better



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