Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Angels In Australia

Chapter 4

by EJDaniels 2 reviews

A decade has passed since the brightest witch of her age left England to search for her parents. Now employed by the Australian Ministry of Magic, Inspector Granger heads a special group of witches...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Harry,Hermione - Published: 2014-09-27 - 5955 words - Complete

The drive home was more a blur to the young witch than anything else. If she had been asked what she had seen along the way she would have been hard pressed to recall anything. Pulling into the underground parking structure Hermione quickly found her assigned space and with a bone weary sigh put the car in park and turned off the engine. I've forgotten just how draining it is to be around Harry, she mused to herself as she gathered her purse and briefcase with some files in it and exited the vehicle. While it was early morning she had not been to bed for over twenty-four hours now. That coupled with the events of that evening equated to one tired witch.

Was it always like this with Harry? Maybe I'm just older now and more aware of it? The time spent at Hogwarts seemed to have been a race from one emergency to another all the years she had been there. Harry, her Harry from then, was a trouble magnet in those days. He didn't have to go looking for misfortune, it always found him and usually with the force of a rogue bludger. There was no time to think about being tired back then she realized. I was much younger and had a great deal more energy as well. Not to mention teenage hormones running wild like crazy, she thought with a small bemused smile which quickly disappeared at her next thought. Harry had it worse than any of us back then, though. He never really had time to just be Harry.

Making her way towards the elevator she couldn't deny that she felt both physically, as well as emotionally drained after the events that had transpired through the course of the night. It was shocking enough seeing Harry, but to discover that her once best friend was now the most feared hit wizard in the world was a step or two past unbelievable. Somewhere over the last ten years her Harry, the one she had attended school with and vanquished a Dark Lord with, had disappeared leaving behind a stranger, whom if she were honest with herself, scared her more than just a little.

Entering the elevator when the doors opened Hermione pushed the button for the twelfth floor, leaned back against the wall closing her eyes. She allowed herself to rest for a long moment as the car climbed to its destination. The distant hum of the lifts motor seemed to blend in with the soft instrumental music that was playing over the speaker above her head. Right now all she wanted to do was take a shower and climb beneath the covers of her bed and sleep for a day or three.

The apartment she rented was in a high-rise building that stretched twenty floors up into the sky, just one of many in this heavily cosmopolitan area of Sydney. The residence itself was rather large, with a small kitchen separated from the rest of the living areas by a breakfast bar. Sliding wooden shutters built into the opening between the bar and kitchen could be used to hide the kitchen completely from view. The dining area flowed down into the large living room area which was highlighted by the large sliding glass doors that led out onto a spacious balcony. It was the view from the balcony that had sold her on the place. Walking in the front entranceway the first thing seen was the incredible view of the Sydney skyline in all its glory through the floor to ceiling glass doors. The sunsets from the balcony were to die for, or so she felt when she witnessed her first one. She highly suspected the realtor had shown her the apartment right at sunset just for that purpose.

Hermione made the short trip down the hallway from the elevator to her front door and opened it before stepping in. Closing the door behind herself she set her purse and keys down upon the table next to the door. With dragging feet she stepped down the three steps into the sunken living room and dropped her briefcase on the large loveseat before she realized that something was not right. Moving on instinct the TASS agent dove to one side as the redness of a stunner spell whizzed through where she had been standing but a moment ago. Before Hermione had even thought about it her wand was out and two stunners and a cutting curse had been flung in the general direction from which the spell aimed at her had originated. The thump of a body hitting the floor told her that at least one of her spells had hit someone.

"Blimey! She got Ned!" exclaimed a voice from behind her in the dining room area. Turning Hermione saw three men were standing there, wearing long black trench coats and dark clothing. They must have been hiding in the kitchen when she first walked in, she guessed. All three had their wands out and aimed in her direction. Even as she shakily got to her feet she heard a door behind her open and she knew others who had been hiding in the bedroom were now behind her with a clear shot at her unprotected back.

"Granger, we can do this quick and painless, or slow and messy," said the man in the middle near the kitchen. "The choice is really yours," he added.

"So you're Davis' dogs come to do his bidding?" Hermione asked, stalling for time as she tried to determine what would be the best course of action to get out of this alive. The experienced Inspector had little doubt that they were here to kill her. "He couldn't come himself? Didn't want to get his hands dirty?" Hermione asked with an open sneer and contempt evident in her voice.

"He's the boss," the talkative one replied. "Small jobs like this aren't for him to do," the man explained. "Now if you'll be so kind as to put down your wand we can get this over with."

"Just do `er, Darnel!" growled one of the men behind her. "I want to get back `ome before lunch and we still `ave the dentists to go do yet."

Whatever Darnel was going to say was halted by a loud crunching sound which emanated from the kitchen. Slowly all eyes turned to look towards the other room however the shutters were closed across the window between the breakfast bar and the kitchen itself. Hermione reasoned that the SOS members must have closed the wooden shutters when they were hiding there awaiting her arrival. In the still silence booted foot falls could be heard as whoever was in the kitchen made their way towards the doorway. Every head in the apartment slowly pivoted as they followed the overly loud tread.

"I don't believe the lady wants to go with you, gentlemen" said the man as he stepped into view and leaned against the kitchen doorframe before taking another bite of the apple in his hand.

"Just who the bloody `ell are you," the loud impatient SOS member near the bedroom asked heatedly.

The man finished chewing the bite of apple before swallowing it as was the polite thing to do. "Your boss may know me by another name, however I think you'll know me best as Archangel," Harry said, noting that almost all of the men paled at his words.

"Bullshite if yo-," the man's words were cutoff as the partially eaten apple Harry banished from his hand slammed into the speaker's face with a goodly amount of force.

Harry, using his other hand, banished the assailant closest to him into the one named Darnel, the two men effectively blocking the third man behind them from getting a spell off at Harry. With the same hand he had used to banish the apple, Harry silently summoned Hermione's clothes as magic would not allow you to use Accio on living matter. Because the witch was currently in her clothes she soon found herself sailing across the room only to smash into Harry's waiting arms. The two of them spun away from the door frame and into the kitchen just as the green light of a killing curse shattered the wooden frame where they had been but a second before. The two of them hastily crawled behind the counter and cabinets. A seconded Killing curse pulverized the wooden shutters, raining down splinters and debris on the two of them.

Harry looked about for a moment before transfiguring the front of the refrigerator into a mirrored surface and then used it to see what was happening in the other room. In the image of the mirror he spotted one of the men dashing across the living room area in an attempt to gain a better advantage point from which to cast spells.

Hermione saw the man in the image as well and quickly bobbed up and with a flick of her wrist called out, "Incarcerous!" The attacker fell to the floor wrapped in ropes.

"Thanks," Harry said as he motioned to the image in the mirror and levitated the bound captive before hurling him through the glass doors and out over the balcony railing.

"Harry!" Hermione gasped in shock as she watched the body dart away and then heard the sound of the breaking glass. "Let him go. You can't just kill him!" she scolded.

"Alright," Harry replied with a smirk as he released his spell and allowed the floating man to plummet the twelve stories to the hard ground before. Seeing the angry glare on the witches face Harry quickly added in his defense, "What? You told me to let him go. Besides, I didn't kill him. The ground did. If you want to be mad at something be mad at it."

Before the irate witch could respond both of them had to duck and cover their heads as a barrage of spells flew into the kitchen making short work of the cabinets across from them as well as placing a sizeable dent into the front of the refrigerator Harry had charmed into a mirror.

Harry summoned several cans that were rolling around on the floor, having been blasted from their storage place within the cabinets. With a gesture he repaired the front of the icebox so that they could once again see the living room in its reflection. The image showed five men spread about the room, each with their wands leveled at the opening directly above the witch and wizard in the kitchen.

"Nine ball, corner pocket," Harry intoned with a grin as he tossed a can of cream corn into the air and then banished it once it cleared the counter top. The metal projectile flew across the room in a blink of an eye, hitting the one named Darnel directly in the face with a sickening meaty thud. The now dead leader dropped to the floor. Shocked by the quick loss of their leader the attackers were slow to react and another one was dropped by a can of stewed tomatoes. "You really should eat better than this," Harry quipped to the witch next to him. Glancing at the two downed SOS members he added with a small grin, "Apparently that stuff is bad for your health."

The remaining three attackers quickly found cover from which to cast their spells. They also started to direct their spell casting at the wall beneath what was left of the breakfast bar rather than simply tossing them in through the windowed area above their targets and hoping to catch them on accident. A few seconds later a piercing spell punctured through the remnants of the wall, the cabinet door and Hermione's shoulder, knocking the witch forward and over onto her side which saved her life as a cutting curse tore through the area she had been but a moment before.

Harry cursed under his breath upon seeing the bleeding and unconscious witch lying on the floor. The Hit wizard quickly raised his hand above the counter top while looking at the reflection in the icebox. Two of the attackers were close together while the third one was off to the side near the glass doors. "Praemium Levitas," the wizard called out focusing on the two men who were nearest each other. The former Seeker knew it was a large risk as he needed to keep his hand where it was and the targets within sight for the duration of the spell. At any moment any of the three could cast a spell that would remove his hand from his arm. He hadn't gotten through as many scrapes as he had by playing it safe though.

A thick violet bolt of electrical energy leaped from Harry's hand and crossed the distance to the first man and then arched off to also attach itself to the SOS member next to him. Harry pushed his magical energy into the spell as both men were held entrapped by the electrical current started to convulse and spasm, their muscles no longer answering their commands. Judging the amount of energy to be enough the hit wizard finished the spell, causing both bodies to suddenly explode sending blood, tissue and bone shard projectiles in every direction.

The remaining Sons of Sydney member, who happened to be the one who had taken the apple to the face, tried to apparate away only to discover that the anti-disapparition ward they had established to keep the Granger woman from getting away was still in effect. In a panic the man reached into his pocket for the emergency portkey that was there, however Harry was quicker.

The dark haired wizard jumped to his feet once he heard the explosion of the bodies caused by the exploding lightning spell he had used. Utilizing the same method he had used to leave Hermione in the elevator, Harry stepped from the kitchen in the space between one moment and the next only to reappear beside the remaining attacker with his hand splayed across the man chest. "Reducto!" Harry exclaimed, blowing the man's chest out his back in a gory mess. Before the man's body had even crumpled to the floor the hit wizard was back in the kitchen and gathering the injured witch in his arms before he stepped into the space between one moment and the next and was gone.


It was the feeling of someone else being there that finally awoke the young witch. Opening her eyes Hermione turned her head to see a woman in a healer's uniform standing next to her bed slowly moving her wand back and forth while taking readings. "How long?" the injured witch asked as she glanced about the hospital room she was in.

"Oh good you're awake, Inspector," the Healer said in an all too bright and cheerful tone of voice.

"How long have I been out," Hermione asked as she attempted to sit up only to winch at the sharp pain in her left shoulder.

"You were brought in yesterday morning," the Healer stated as she used the bed's controls to lift the head portion. "It's about dusk now," she told the woman in the now adjusted bed.

"How did I get here?" Hermione asked as she tried to find a comfortable position. Her left shoulder and upper arm were heavily bandaged which restricted movement in that area. The little she could move it sent waves of pain through her body which strongly encouraged her not to do so again.

"Let me go and get the Healer who is handling your case, Inspector," the young woman replied. "I'm just a Healer in training," she quickly explained.

"That won't be necessary," Hermione paused for a split second as she glanced down at the girl's name tag, "Amber. I've only a few more questions."

"A…alright," Amber replied hesitantly, certain she should really go and fetch the Healer in charge of the Inspector's case.

"Where are my clothes?" Hermione enquired after a quick glance about and not seeing them.

"They're in there," Amber replied with a nod towards a small closet. "Mended and cleaned as per procedure, Inspector."

"I'll be sure to note that in my report, Healer in training," Hermione replied in her business tone of voice, feeling a bit of authority might be called for. "And my wand?"

"Your…w…wand? Locked up at the Healer's station as required," Amber replied. It was standard procedure to secure the wands of all patients to prevent them from hurting themselves and others. "W…why would you need that?" Amber stuttered with a sinking feeling.

"I'm a witch after all. Can't very well be out and about without my wand," Hermione told her matter-of-factly. "Not to mention that I feel terribly naked without it."

"But you shouldn't be going anywhere," Amber stated as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"I haven't got time to be lying around here," Hermione replied. "Now be a good dear and get my wand for me or shall I have to mention that in my report as well?" the head of the TASS asked with an arched brow. The Healer in training paled and fled the room with a small squeak of fright.

No sooner had the girl left the room than Hermione swung her legs over the side of the bed and sat up only to have to fight off a wave of dizziness. Spots swam before her eyes and her shoulder felt as if someone had shoved a white hot poker into it and was doing a good imitation of stirring a cauldron of acid.

"Up and causing trouble already, Granger?" asked a very familiar voice from the doorway. "I see you've already scared off the help. What'd you do, threaten to report her?"

"She's getting my wand…or at least she had better be," Hermione growled through clenched teeth.

"Damn, you look like bloody hell, Granger," Jess said in a more serious tone as she crossed the distance from the door to the bed and laid a supportive hand on her friend's good shoulder. "They really did a number on you didn't they?" Hermione almost shrugged and then thought better of it and simply nodded once. "Your healer girl is going to be very disappointed," the blonde witch continued with as she pulled a wand from her pocket and handed it to Hermione. "I figured you'd want that as soon as you were awake."

"I wonder how long it will take her to work up the courage to come and tell me that she can't find it?" Hermione said with a small grin as she accepted the wand, welcoming the feel of the familiar wood in her palm once again.

Jess snorted humorously. "You're assuming she doesn't pass out right on the spot when she can't locate it. You can be a tad bit mental when you put your mind to it."

"I've been told that a time of two," Hermione admitted. "Help me get dressed will you? I have to get to Mom and Dad's as soon as possible." Hermione quickly explained how one of the SOS members had stated that the elder pair of dentists were their next target. She wasn't willing to chance that just because all of the ones attacking her were detained that her parents would be spared. Even allowing for time for the SOS to regroup after the failed attack at her apartment, she knew that with nearly two days having passed, the chance of her parent still being alive were small to non-existent.

In just a few minutes the injured witch was dressed and side-along apparated, clutching the blonde witches arm, into the back garden of the Wilkins' home. As soon as Hermione could move they made their way through the back door of the residence as quietly as possible. Once inside the house they drew their wands and eased up to the door that separated the kitchen from the living room area. Easing it open slightly Hermione peeked out and saw her parents sitting on the sofa enjoying a cup of tea.

The two witches exchanged looks and gave a slight nod before lowering their wand, using their bodies to shield them from view rather than putting them away just yet. "Mom. Dad," Hermione called as she pushed open the swinging door and walked into the dining room area which let out onto the living room where her parents were seated.

"Hermione Dear, and Jessica!" the elder Wilkins woman said with a warm welcoming smile as she got to her feet. "What a pleasant surprise!"

"Come to get your arse handed to you in cards finally?" asked Wendell Wilkins with a large smile at the brunette witch who was like a daughter to him and his wife.

Hermione slowly crossed the space to them, glancing about only to spot that there were three teacups on the table. "You have company?" she asked as casually as she could. Jess hurried past the injured witch intercepting Monica Wilkins and exchanging pecks on the cheeks followed by a warm hug.

Monica nodded as she released the young blonde girl and walked towards her daughter. "He just left before you both came in. Such a nice young man. Why haven't you brought him about sooner, Dear?" she asked Hermione with a disapproving scowl on her face.

"How long ago did he leave?" asked Hermione, concerned as well as worried about who had been in the house and then fled when they had arrived.

"Just a minute or two ago," Monica replied in a slightly confused tone. "Is something wrong, Dear?"

"He said that you sent him over," Wendell offered as he got up and came to stand next to his wife. "I didn't hear a car so he may have walked. If he did then he shouldn't have gotten too far away."

Hermione shot Jess a quick glance which had the blonde witch out the front door and hurrying to the street in short order. "Can you tell me when he got here and what he did and said?"

"I don't understand, Dear. Is something wrong?" Monica asked worriedly even as her husband slipped a comforting arm around her waist.

"Perhaps it would be best if we sat down," Hermione offered as she stepped forward and kissed her mother on the cheek only to hiss as the movement caused pain to flare up in her injured shoulder.

"What happened to you?" Monica exclaimed suddenly having caught a flash of bandages under Hermione's clothes as well as heard the sharp noise caused by the pain.

Hermione tried to wave off their concerns with her good arm but neither of the Wilkins were having any of it and wouldn't say a word till they had her resting comfortably in an arm chair. "Really, it's nothing," Hermione told them. "I got injured at work yesterday morning. The doctors said I'll make a full recovery. They just bandaged it to help keep it immobile so that it can heal faster."

Hermione's parents were about to launch into a speech about being careful however Jess returning interrupted them before they could get started. "Whoever he was he's long gone now," the curvy witch told them as she closed the front door behind her and took a seat on the couch.

"Start at the beginning and tell me what happened," Hermione said turning to look at her parents once again. "When did he get here?"

"It was yesterday morning, early," Monica replied with a glance towards her husband. "Wendell had gone into work early, so it was after that. He showed me his badge and said that you had asked him to come over and keep an eye on the house as there had been some commotion or something at your work. Is that how you got hurt, Dear?"

"What did he do while he was here," Hermione asked, ignore her mother's question for the moment.

"Well, not much at first," Monica replied as her brow creased in deep thought. "He mentioned he was new to these parts and so we talked about all the things there are to see and do."

"I'm surprised that didn't send him running right there," Wendell piped in with a grin in an attempt to lighten the mood in the room.

"Hush you or you can cook your own dinner tonight," Monica scolded him in return. Despite the seriousness of the situation the two witches present couldn't keep the grins off their faces.

"Come lunch time he helped in the kitchen with preparations saying he didn't feel right just sitting by while I did all the work. From the way he handled a knife I would have to say he was not stranger to cooking." The two TASS agents exchanged knowing looks as they both knew that any good assassin would know how to properly handle a blade.

"I got home just as lunch was ready," Wendell offered, taking over the narration of events.

"Surprising how often that happens," Monica interjected just loud enough for all to hear, but with a playfully affectionate smile on her face.

"After lunch the young man helped me with a few chores around the house," the elder Wilkins said acting as if he hadn't heard his wife's comment. "He even managed to get that old tiller, you know the one I was going to overhaul, working again." Wendell said with a knowing look towards Hermione. The witch had offered to buy them a new tiller many times but her father had always countered by saying he was going to overhaul the old broken one that was collecting dust out in the shed.

"After doing all those chores, we couldn't let him go without feeding him," Monica said, picking up the thread of the conversation once again while shooting her husband an accusing look. The elder Wilkins matriarch, while glad the chores got done, still wasn't pleased that Wendell had gotten the young man to do the lion's share of the work. "He helped in the kitchen once again and did the cooking this time. I don't remember what he called the dish now but it was something like Cornish Blue or close to that," she told them.

"After helping with the dishes we all sat down for a spot of tea to relax when I noticed that he didn't look right." Monica's face took on a worried expression for a moment before she turned and looked at her husband. "You shouldn't have worked him so hard. Him being new to here and all. I'm certain it was the heat that got to him."

"How was I to know?" Wendell asked defensively. "It wasn't like he complained none."

Monica glared at her husband for a long silent moment before turning back to face the two witches. "Well I checked and sure enough he was running a fever. I couldn't very well send him home like that so I told him to stay the night. He graciously turned me down though."

Wendell chuckled, unable to contain his mirth any longer. "You know how your Mum is once she's made up her mind," he said in a conspirator tone of voice. "Needless to say he eventually gave in and spent the night. As if he had any choice in the matter," Wendell snorted in amusement at his own words causing the younger two women to smile as well.

"He was feverish," Monica replied indignantly while trying to keep from grinning as well.

"What happened today?" Hermione asked, beginning to think that they may have been worried for nothing.

"Nothing much," her mother replied with. "His fever seemed to have gone away when I checked in the morning. It was rather funny though, coming downstairs in the morning and finding breakfast ready and waiting for us. Seems your young man was an early riser and was up ahead of us. He had an entire spread for us for breakfast. He knows his way around the kitchen. He's going to make some lucky woman a wonderful husband someday," she said with a pointed look towards Hermione.

"Mrs. Wilkins," Jess cut in, coming to her friends rescue with a bemused grin on her pretty face, "can you tell us what this man looked like?"

"He was about your age Hermione Dear," Monica said, never taking her eyes off of the squirming girl. "He was handsome and very polite. I can't recall the last time I've been called Ma`am so many times," she added with an appreciative smile. "He seemed to really like the color black as well. I believe everything he had on was black now that I think about it."

"Wearing black may not be the brightest thing to do here, given the heat and all, but to each his own," Wendell offered with a slight shrug. "I tell you, I won't forget that scar of his anytime soon though. Nasty piece of work that was," the only male present added with a slight shiver.

"Scar?" Hermione and Jess asked in unison.

"I thought it made him look a bit dashing, in a roguish manner," Monica offered with a slightly wistful sigh.

"You never said that about my scar!" Wendell exclaimed a bit dejectedly.

Monica slapped her husband playfully on his shoulder as she replied with, "That's because yours in on your backside and there is nothing roguishly handsome about that, Dear." Leaning over she took her husband's hand in hers and gave it a gentle squeeze of reassurance. "Not like I don't love the rest of you, you know."

"What did the scar look like," Jess asked.

"It was a nasty thing," Wendell replied. "Ran from his hair line all the way down to his jaw."

"Poor dear must have lost his eye as well as he had a black patch over where the left one should have been," Monica added.


It was some time later when Hermione and Jessica found themselves sitting alone in the living room together. The Wilkins had stepped out to go shopping. Hermione had asked if she could stay with them and they had both readily agreed, however the ice box was not stocked for company and so off they went to the store.

"You going to be alright here?" Jess asked in a soft yet worried tone.

"Better here than someplace else," Hermione replied with a tired sigh. "If I stayed away I would just worry myself sick over them. At least here I can keep an eye on them both and protect them should the need arise."

"Like you're in any shape to be fighting off an attack," Jess stated with a small snort at the thought.

"Well…maybe...if I had some help?" Hermione said in a small voice assuming a sad puppy dog look while batting her big brown eyes.

Jess stared at her boss and friend for one very long moment before being unable to resist those big brown eyes. "Fine! I guess I can sleep over for a while to keep an eye on you." Hermione blew her a playful kiss of thanks which the blonde witch mimicked snatching it out of the air and stuffing it in her pocket. "I'll collect on that later, Granger," she stated with a lecherous leer.

"Oh, before I forget, I tracked down that Ronald Weasley you asked me to look for," Jess said, changing subjects rapidly as was her want on most occasions. "Nasty bit of work that one," she added with a small shudder, mimicking Wilkins senior from just a bit ago. Seeing the questioning look from the witch across from her she continued. "He wasn't all that hard to find. He's with the rest of his family after all."

"I'm not surprised," Hermione said with a nostalgic smile as she recalled her time at the Burrow. "The Weasleys always where a close knit family after all. I'm not surprised they're all living into the Burrow these days."

"Well, they're not living there now," Jess countered with.

"Really?" Hermione asked with more than a little surprise. "Where are they?"

"The entire family is buried in a cemetery in Ottery St. Catchpole, Devon, England," Jess said as she pulled a piece of paper from her back pocket and so missed the shocked expression that crossed Hermione's face upon hearing her words. "It seems the family was rather heavily involved in the war a decade back with that Voldemort person who thought of himself as a Dark Lord. A group of his followers paid the Weasleys a visit on the night of New Years a little over a year after the death of their master. Killed the lot of them."

"H…how did…," Hermione had to pause and swallow heavily as her mouth had suddenly gone dry. "How did they get past the wards?"

Jess gave her friend a concerned look, picking up that the Weasleys were no ordinary family to Hermione, only to recall that this was the Hermione Granger. A fact she often forgot being so close to the woman with her. "From the report that was filed, they used a car filled with explosives and petrol. Seems the wards around the place were keyed to allow cars to pass through them. The explosion leveled the place and killed everyone who was inside. According to the report the entire family was visiting for the holiday with even the older brothers having made a special trip back for the occasion."

Ron! Fred! Hermione's eyes suddenly grew large in fear as well as dread as she thought of something. "Did the report mention if Ginerva Weasley being there as well?" Jess glanced at the list before nodding and trying to force back a shudder of revulsion. "What?" Hermione asked seeing her friend's reaction.

"At the time of the attack the youngest Weasley was six months pregnant," the blonde witch said, paling slightly. "Whoever did the attack wanted to make certain that the baby was dead and gutted her to remove the child and kill it by decapitation."

Hermione sat stunned in disbelief. All the memories of her summers spent at the Burrow came rushing back in an instant. The crazy antics of the twins, Ron's obsession with Quidditch and Ginny's overwhelming desire to marry The-Boy-Who-Lived. Large boisterous meals surrounded by a sea of redheads. Molly's hugs that could squeeze the stuffing out of you while filling you up with love at the same time. To think that all of them were now gone and had been for nearly a decade without her knowing about it at all was just inconceivable. Hermione couldn't help but wonder just how many other friends had been lost over the years that she knew nothing about.

"I would sure hate to be the poor bastard that did that if the father ever catches up to him," Jess said softly more as if she was thinking it to herself aloud. "The only victims of the attack were Weasleys so I'm assuming the father either survived the attack or wasn't there in the first place."

Can this be why Harry is the way he is, Hermione suddenly wondered. Did Ginny finally get her wish and catch Harry's attention enough that they got married and had a baby? If so then the people on Harry's list must be the ones responsible for the attack on the Burrow, she reasoned as the pieces began to fall into place. That explains why Harry is so ruthless; he's dead inside, the bright witch realized. That was Harry's baby that was killed!
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