Ten years post-Hogwarts, Ginny and Ron have been murdered, and Hermione is the prime suspect.
A/N Real life has taken GuitarGurl away from fan fiction writing. This past Yuletide was especially hard on her and her family, I'll just leave it at that.
I encouraged her to write"Battered Hearts", a story that she'd been kicking around since the release of DH - she dislikes the canon ending as much as I do - which, in my humble opinion, had a very good start. She wants to see the story finished, as do I, so, at her urging - really, REALLY good cookies were involved - I've agreed to take over.
Rather than pick up from where she left off, I'm doing a re-write from chapter-one. Subsequent chapters may or may not resemble GuitarGurl's original work; it's a rework in progress.
Oh, Goddess, the abbreviation for that would be, "RIP".
Ginny sat cross-legged on the carpeted living room floor of her home in Godrick's Hollow. Three year old Jimmy laughed as Al clambered over Mummy like a human climbing frame.1 All three laughing Potters looked to the fireplace as flames burned bright green, signaling either a floo-call or floo-visit from one of their friends or relatives.
Hermione's face appeared, contorted in agony. Someone's large hand in her hair was forcing her head back so that her skull touched her spine. One eye was swollen badly, nearly shut from a fresh bruise. Missing and broken teeth showed through bloody lips.
The face in the flames barely managed to croak "Help!" as the image was drawn back through the fireplace.
Ginevra Potter was so shocked by the brief apparition in her living room hearth that, for an instant, she didn't believe her eyes. Then she burst into action, screaming "accio wand" and"Kreacher!" in the same breath.
The old elf appeared instantly, sensing her urgency, "Yes, Mistress?"
"Watch the boys; I have to go to my brother's flat."
Mistress Ginevra going to see her brother and his wife was not unusual, her throwing a fistful of floo powder and diving into the green flames headfirst with her wand drawn was.
"Granger-Weasleys!" she shouted as the green flames enveloped her.
The next day a banner headline in the Prophet blared:
"POTTER AND WEASLEY SIBLINGS SLAIN !"
"Wizarding World Shocked, Grieving"
Story by Dennis Creevey.
Full details are not available to the press at this time, but what this reporter can tell you is, not since the days of Tom Riddle's reign of terror has such wholesale carnage been delivered upon one magical family.
The three recipients of the Order of Merlin, First Class, lay about the living room of the Weasley Flat in North London. Ginevra Potter's body covered the beaten and battered form of her best friend, Hermione Weasley. Mrs. Potter appeared to have been killed by apowerful reducto at close range.
Ronald Weasley, who had apparently been fighting off his wife's attacker, was on the wall opposite his wife and sister. He had, evidently, been hit with a powerful banishing curse. "Even abanisher can be fatal if the person on the receiving end hits a far wall with enough force." said Auror Baxter, the first ministry investigator on the scene.
Mrs. Hermione Granger-Weasley remains in serious but stable condition at the Fred Weasley Trauma Center of St. Mungo's. A poignant reminder of just how much this family has already given in the defense of Magical Britain.
Hermione blinked twice, displacing the grit in the corners of her eyes then focused on warm green walls and white ceiling tiles.
"Hospital room, probably St. Mungo's." she said, to no one in particular. Imagine her surprise when afamiliar voice responded.
"Right in one, Hermione."
"How did I get here?"
"Our old friend Kreature came and got me. We flooed over to your flat and, well, lets just say you were in a bad way. We brought you straight here."
Hermione couldn't believe Harry was being so matter-of-fact about this, he must have seen her freshly beaten body on the floor, he must know. . .
Harry flinched, slightly. Oh God, oh God, oh God! He was in his "professional DMLE" mode. He was coolly detached. This wasn't a visit, this was a bloody investigation.
His voice, warm and gentle, asked, "Can you tell me what happened, Hermione?"
Wonderful, she thought, he's going to play the "good cop."
She turned over in her bed, facing away from him.
"Please, Harry, can't it wait? I'm tired, so very tired."
"Of course, Hermione, I'll have someone posted outside your room in case you need to talk with someone."
Hermione's mind worked furiously. That guard on the door isn't to keep other people out; it's to keep me in. What she said was, "Thank you, Harry," before closing her eyes.
1. Climbing frame = jungle gym