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Come on Mia! He can be very impatient, especially when even he cant figure out how to do it.
Terrissa shouted behind her as she ran through the maze to their destination.
Hermione rolled her eyes, Im coming geez. Merlin, slow down! The chamber has been sealed and
protected for thousands of years I am sure it can wait another ten minutes while we walk, Hermione
emphasized the word with her actions, slowing to a leisurely pace, to this supposedly uncrackable
chamber.
Terrissa spared Hermione a quick glance over her shoulder before taking off down a separate corridor.
Hermione, realizing her proposal had been shot down sighed and ran after her. Silently Terrissa led her
through several more corridors before reaching a set of stairs. Here she waited impatiently for
Hermione to catch up before leading her down the torch lit, stone staircase into a fire lit room.
There was a man in the far corner staring at the inscriptions on the wall, his shoulders tense and
frustrated. Something made Hermione pause and look closer at the man, and she suddenly felt as if all
the wind had been knocked out of her. His hair was a shocking ginger red.
Did you find her Terrissa? the man asked, not turning from the wall. Hermione gasped silently, she
knew that voice, it was one of several that haunted her dreams at night, now she was sure this was
Yes Bill, Terrissa sighed in mock exasperation, Shes right--, Terrissa noticed Hermione had frozen at
the foot of the stairs, Mia get over here, he doesnt bite I swear.
Slowly Terrissas voice comprehended in Hermiones mind, and she took a small step forward, watching
the man cautiously, he still hadnt turned around. Its over, she thought, part of her horrified while the
other part was elated at the change of events, Everything Ive worked for, over. I knew I shouldnt have
listened to Terrissa.
Bill, Terrissa said, unaware of how stiff Hermione had gone, This is my best friend Mia. Mia this is my
coworker Bill Weasley.
Bill turned and his eyes locked with Hermiones as he inspected her silently, extending his hand.
Cautiously, and a bit hopeful, Hermione did the same, shaking his hand trying to avoid looking into his
strikingly green eyes for too long. Hoping he couldnt recognize her.
So youre the woman I hear so much about. Mia could do this, and Mia can do that, even Mia could
have done that in seconds, Bill smiled mischievously and sent Hermione a wink, So I finally decided to
see if the legendary Mia is as fabulous as she sounds, Bills eyes quickly traveled from Hermiones
hiking boots, up her tan legs clad in blue jean short shorts and past her red tank top to look Hermione in
the eye, And so far she seems just as fabulous as I have heard.
Hermione cleared her throat and tried to beat back the blush that was threatening to spread across her
face even as relief flooded her body; he really didnt recognize her. Thank you, I guess, she said, Ill
see if I can live up to the ideals Terrissa has probably mistakenly placed in your head. What is it you
need? she asked looking over Bills shoulder, eager to get away.
Bill followed her gaze and frowned, Well, he said, his voice changing to sound more business like, I
read this inscription here, Bill pointed, and tried to use the spell to get through that wall, again Bill
pointed his hand, but this time to a different wall than the one he had been staring at. Ive been trying
to work it out for weeks and havent been able to figure out what I am doing wrong, one long tan arm
reached up to scratch the back of his neck, Quite frankly its got me stumped.
Hermione smiled, noting the embarrassed frustration hidden in his voice. Well let me see what I can
do, she said stepping past him as she studied the wall, not noticing Bills eyes following her movements
far more closely than a professional relationship would normally allow.
Terrissa, however, noticed right away and she smiled secretly to herself. She had been trying to get the
two (mostly Bill) to meet for over a year now, and as she watched the way Bills eyes followed
Hermione, she knew she had been correct. The two would be good for one another. Clearing her throat
to cover a giggle that was threatening to break free, Terrissa spoke, Well, Ill just let you two get to
work then. I need to get home, Traci wont be happy if her babysitter has to stay much longer.
Terrissa smiled when neither turned to acknowledge her and turned to leave, Oh and Bill? she said.
Yeah? Bill responded, turning quickly from watching Hermione.
Its already past seven, dont keep or let her Terrissa smirked, Or yourself, stay out much longer. All
work and no play makes you people very dullwell something that rhymes with play. Anyway, good
night! She called turning to leave again.
Hermione waved absently, her eyes never leaving the inscriptions on the wall, her wand finding its way
to rest behind her ear. Silence fell over the semi-dark room after Terrissas departure, as Hermione was
focusing all her energy on deciphering the ancient spells and figures on the wall, trying to keep her
attention from the red-head. Bills attention however, was solely on her.
She seemed oddly familiar to him, like he had met her before, but he was certain he would remember if
he had met someone as beautiful as her before. She looked to be in her early twenties, but her eyes,
what he had been able to see of them in the few short seconds she had allowed him to look, had shown
a wisdom that was far beyond her years; something he recognized on the faces of his own younger
siblings and friends who had fought in the war.
Terrissa had been trying to convince him to meet her for nearly a year now, but he had resisted, finding
his life was easier when he wasnt involved in a relationship that only he would be dedicated to. Terrissa
had really praised her friend in everything, her knowledge, her advice, her beauty, her kindness, and her
dedication, most of which Bill had already noted to have been true.
Bill watched in interest as Hermione pulled her wand out from behind her ear and began to wave it in
delicate and intricate patterns, murmuring the incantations under her breath. Nothing happened, and
Bill smirked, glad to know it hadnt just stumped him. This occurred twelve more times, with Hermione
growing more and more frustrated, finally on the thirteenth attempt, something happened. The torches
all went out. Hermione cursed, and Bill let out a bark of laughter.
Great, this is just perfect! Hermione growled, leaning back against the wall, absently wondering if she
had closed her eyes or not, it was so dark. What am I doing wrong? she groaned. Hermione thought
over the various attempts trying to figure out what went wrong, trying to avoid thinking about just who
it was she was with. A quiet inhale of breath caught her attention, then a few quick exhales, and
Hermione frowned, Its not funny Bill.
The odd breathing became full blown laughter, and Hermione glared in the direction she thought she
heard his laughing coming from. Okay, so maybe talking to myself is a sign of insanity, but do you really
have to laugh at me? Hermione snapped, trying to contain a smile, even though she knew he couldnt
see it.
Yes, Bill responded, Its okay that you didnt get it on your first tryor your first couple of tries as the
case may be, Bill gave another chuckle, Its taken me nearly a thousand attempts to realize that I
needed help, whether I like it or not. Bill lit his wand and walked over to where Hermione had slid to
the sandy floor. He reached a hand down to her to help her up.
Hermione stared at the hand for a second before carefully reaching her own hand out to take it,
surprised when she felt a small jolt flow through their hands. Her eyes flew up to meet Bills, who was
grinning back at her, his hands holding her a moment longer than necessary.
Listen, you dont have to keep helping me on this, but I would really appreciate it if you would. Terrissa
says you dont officially work with this kind of stuff, but that you help her with a lot of her difficult
assignments. I am head of the assignment in this part of Egypt, and if youd like I can see about getting
you a job as a curse breaker here with Terrissa and I, Bill watched as emotions raging from elation to
disappointment to resignation ran through Hermiones eyes at the job offer.
I would like to, but I dont think I can. Im sorry, Hermione said softly, looking at the ground.
Bill frowned, the emotions he had seen in her eyes werent ones that coincided with her answer. Its a
well paying job, he insisted, There are only five of us working on this assignment, so there is very little
competition, your schedule would be lenient, and --,
Hermione shook her head, cutting him off, I am sure its a great job, its just not for me.
Bill shook his head, Not true, he said firmly, I know for a fact that Terrissa would never have figured
out half of her assignments without you, and already you are closer to opening this thing than I was
when you first showed up. Think about it Mia, he pressured, not knowing why he was trying so hard to
get her to agree to the job.
Hermione shook her head and began to make her way up the stairs, her own wand lit and raised above
her head, I just cant alright? she stated, her back to him.
Bill watched her go for a second before shaking his own head and flicking some of his long hair out of his
face, he would convince her if it was the last thing he did. He followed her to the surface in silence and
watched as Hermione paused once outside and looked up at the clear night sky. Some part of him knew
that if he let her leave now he would never see her again, and he didnt like the thought at all. Let me
take you out for some ice cream or something and Ill walk you home. If I havent convinced you to work
here by then, then Ill leave you alone, Bill saw her wavering, Please, he said a moment later.
Hermione looked at him and took a deep breath, Bill was startled to see the terror in her eyes as she
looked at him, but he said nothing. Finally she nodded, Okay, she said softly.
Bill grinned and led the way out of the small fenced in compound. Is there anywhere you would like to
go in particular? he asked.
Hermione watched him, contemplating what she was about to do, Theres this place near my flat, she
said, and she held out her hand which Bill warmly held as she turned on her heel and apparated them.
//-/-//-/-//-/-//-/-//-/-//- an hour later-\\-\-\\-\-\\-\-\\-\-\\-\-\\-
So how long have you lived here? Bill asked as they walked side by side on the way to her small
apartment, ice creams in their hands.
Hermione smiled, I thought you were supposed to be trying to convince me to work with you, she said
teasingly, looking up at him with her brown eyes twinkling.
Bill chuckled and smiled back, I figured that since you allowed me this chance to try and convince you,
you didnt actually need convincing. You and I both know you want to take the job, eventually youll
agree.
And how would you know that? she asked, half mockingly half serious.
He shrugged, You just remind me of someone I used to know. But you didnt answer my question, how
long have you lived here?
She watched him for a minute, before responding, Four years, she said finally.
Bill nodded, then asked, attempting to hide the deep curiousity, Do you have a boyfriend, husband?
Hermione laughed, I wish, she said, her eyes growing pensive for a second.
So you live alone? Bill inquired, noticing how they were walking into a more worn down and
dangerous looking area of town.
Hermione shrugged, finishing her cone, Kind of, she replied, not looking at him.
Bill nodded absently, his eyes searching for any sort of attacker, but noting the way she had said kind of,
as if there were something she was hiding from him. How old are you, if you dont mind my asking.
Hermione gave a small laugh at his endless questions, Twenty one. I turn twenty-two next month.
Bill raised his eyebrow, September what? he asked, finishing his own cone.
Nineteenth, Hermione answered, her eyes also flicking around with an experienced air, clearly weary
of attack, but ready if should one should occur.
Bill frowned as he saw this, no one should be afraid to walk to their own home, Where did you move
from? he inquired, trying to squelch the inexplicable protective instincts that were rising as he watched
her scour their path anxiously, You most definitely do not have an Egyptian accent, so you were born
English speaking.
Hermione smiled again, she seemed to be doing that a lot since she met him, she absently thought to
herself. WereI mean I am from London. Hermione winced at the slip up.
We, huh? Bill joked, So there is someone else living with you.
Hermione stopped walking, You didnt hear that, she stated as if it were true.
Bill raised an eyebrow, Actually, I am pretty sure I did, he responded with a twinkle in his eyes, finding
himself amused by the steely glint in the younger womans eyes.
Hermiones eyes narrowed, I just told you there was no boyfriend or husband or anyone living with
me, she stated resisting the urge to childishly stamp her foot. She went to continue when Bill began
laughing, her frown deepened, What, may I ask, is so funny?
Bills laughter trailed off, more serious thoughts filling his mind, Im sorry, you just reminded me of a
girl I used to know, especially that look you just gave me.
Hermione, who had began to walk off in indignation, hesitated and turned around, trying not to let her
emotions portray themselves on her face, Oh? she squeaked, umwho would that be? she asked
softly, watching as a sadness rested in Bills eyes.
An old friend of my families Hermione Granger, he said quietly, his mind clearly somewhere esle.
Hermione eyed him for a silent moment, asking herself just what she was getting herself into, before
dredging up her Gryffindor courage, Tell me about her? she asked, wrapping her arms around one of
the hands he had stuck in his pockets in an act that was pure Gryffindor.
Bill looked down at her in surprise at her sudden forwardness, but seeing the honest and kind eyes
staring back up at him he sighed and allowed a small smile to light upon his lips, She was a muggleborn
and she went to Hogwarts with my youngest brother Ron. I have five brothers and one sister by the
way, Bill added, before returning to his story, I suppose youve heard of Harry Potter, being from
London and all correct?
Hermione silently nodded, looking away for a moment as the name struck a chord within her. Bill
continued, Well Harry, my brother Ron, and Hermione were all in the same year at school. She was a
bookworm, and they were trouble causing idiots. Why she was insane enough to become friends with
them I will never understand, but I am glad she was. She certainly saved my brother and the-boy-who-
lived-twice more times than I am sure even she would care to admit. Without her Harry would have at
the very least taken much longer to win the war, and at the most would have died somewhere around
his first year.
Bill went silent for a while and Hermione simply walked silently beside him, How did you meet her?
she asked, despite already knowing the answer.
Harry had a godfather--,
Sirius Black? Hermione interrupted, considering this a safe question to ask.
So you have heard of him? Bill said rhetorically, Yes, Sirius Black. Sirius owned the old Black house
and thats where Hermione and I met, she was about fifteen at the time. She had been running around,
chasing after Ron to get her book back, Bill chuckled, She ran straight through the doorway and
directly into me. She began apologizing profusely, over and over and over, even after I tried to assure
her it wasnt that big of a deal; it got quite annoying actually, he smiled remembering.
Hermione remembered too, she had been so startled to see Bill standing there. It hadnt helped that the
man was so devilishly handsome her brain had short circuited, and she had began rambling on about
how sorry she was. It had annoyed her as well, she thought with a smile.
By the time she had finally stopped talking long enough to actually realize who I was I had retrieved her
book from my brother, Bill went on, I had never seen a girls face go so red before in my life, he
laughed, But before I could say anything she had taken off. I found her a bit later sitting in the old
library reading, somehow we got onto the subject of my work and she astounded me with her
knowledge of what I did. Bill gave a self depreciating laugh, She new enough that she was actually able
to argue with me over various techniques, this fifteen year old girl, arguing with a professional curse
breaker about his job. It was amusing and it wasnt long before we became good friends.
Hermione tightened her arms around his in comfort, recalling the many conversations they had had.
What happened? she asked finally.
Bill didnt answer for a moment, There was a raid on her street, she had enough time to call for help
but thats all we know. Bill closed his eyes for a second, trying to push down the regret he felt, Lucius
Malfoy later claimed that he and the other Death Eaters had kidnapped her, Bill shook his head, There
wasnt anything worse than that in our books, death would have been better, at least she wouldnt have
to suffer.
More silence fell on them, then Bill spoke again, One of my younger brothers, Percy, had been pretty
much disowned by my family, he had said and done some things that we all thought were unforgiveable,
and none of us liked him. Hermione however, always seemed to defend Percy, even when he wasnt
around. She trusted him, for whatever reason. When aurors finally showed up to help fight off the
Death Eaters, they found out that Hermione hadnt been the only witch living on that street.
Bill took a deep breath and Hermione hugged his arm again, As it turned out, my brother Percy had
actually been living on the street as well. None of us had seen him since the end of the war, and even
then it had been some time before any of us had been able to look at him without feeling betrayed. He
had chosen to take the ministrys side of things for the most part during the war, and because of this he
got into some arguments with our parents that were very hurtful on both sides. Eventually he just
stopped coming home, stopped communicating with any of us. When the war ended we had thought
that maybe things would go back the way they used to be, but instead he just disappeared.
Hermione looked up when she heard a crack in Bills voice, he had a couple of tears streaking down his
face, as he looked away from her. When they got to the house Percy had been living in, it had been
destroyed, Percy and his wife Penelope were dead.
Hermione gasped, she had hoped that somehow Penny had at least made it out alive, now however
Im sorry, she whispered, moving her arms to give Bill a full hug.
And the worst part is, Bill continued, hugging her back, he had three kids.
Hermione lifted her head at that, How do you know that? she asked, cautiously.
Dumbledore was the one who married Percy and Penelope strait out of Hogwarts, it turns out Percy
wasnt as perfect as we all liked to think he was. He had gotten Penelope pregnant, and they had twins a
couple of months after they got married. Then about a month before the attack they had another baby.
Bill explained.
Hermione led him to the front of an old worn down building covered in graffiti, she paused right outside
the door, What happened to them? she asked, attempting to subtly wipe away some tears.
Bill shrugged, I dont know. No one knows, and I think that hurts more than anything. Bill looked up
from the ground, where he had been scuffing the toe of his boot, suddenly noticing the tears on
Hermiones face, Hey, he said softly, reaching out to wipe the tears away, Why are you crying? You
didnt even know them.
Hermione shook her head, Its just so sad, she said. She looked down at her hands which were fiddling
with one another anxiously and quickly made a decision, squaring her shoulders she looked up into Bills
face and asked, Would you like to come inside for a minute?
Bill smiled a tiny smile then nodded, silently noting the nervous hitch in her voice, but glad for the
chance to change the subject. He followed Hermione up a set of stairs that were broken and creaky,
skipping the same steps she did and coming to a halt outside a faded neon green door with old peeling
paint. Hermione pulled out her keys after a quick embarrassed look at Bill, and stuck them in the lock.
The second she opened the door a young woman about Hermiones age with dark hair and skin came
whirling out, The kids were great, theyre all asleep, I have to go or my Mum is going to kill me, just pay
me next time! and with that she was gone.
Bill stared after the girl as she ran down the dimly lit hallway, while Hermione just laughed, That was
Ayana, she said as if that explained everything, leading Bill into the small living room and plopping
down on a moth eaten couch. She babysits the kids.
Bill followed her awkwardly, not sure how to respond to her offhanded comment, Kids? he asked,
standing in the middle of the room. Looking around the apartment, it was incredibly small and used, on
the far wall in one corner there was a small sink with a small fridge and oven on either side of it. A
rickety looking table rested in the other corner. There were three doors, one on one side and two on the
other. There was an old television with a cracked screen sitting in the corner beside a small book shelf
that stood next to the door.
Hermione looked up at him, Yes kids, remember that kind of I was talking about? Its them.
Bill looked back at Hermione who was watching him, Is their father around? he asked, not wanting to
get Hermione into trouble with her husband or boyfriend.
Hermione shrugged, Theyre adopted. Their parents asked me to take them before they died, so I did,
she responded, noting how Bills eyes kept circling the room, Trust me, it doesnt get any bigger, she
joked, half serious.
Bill looked alarmed, and was about to apologize when one of the two doors across from the couch
opened outward and a little redheaded girl walked out rubbing her eyes.
Mummy? the girl whimpered catching sight of Bill.
Hermione stood, Right here Rosie, she said, causing the girl to hedge around Bill to come and stand by
Hermione.
Who is he mummy? And how come he looks like Arthur and Gideon? Rosie asked, her eyes never
leaving Bills astonished ones.
Hermione picked the girl up, Rosie, this is Bill Weasley, Bill this is Molly Rose, Hermione looked at her
little girl, Tell Bill how old you are Angel.
Rosie held up four fingers, one hand wrapped around Hermiones neck tightly. Bill smiled and told her
that she looked much older, which was apparently the right thing to say as the girl giggled and buried
her face in Hermiones neck. Hermione smiled at Bill then asked, Why arent you in bed Rose?
Just then two lanky red head boys walked out of the room the girl just came from. The two boys stopped
when they saw the man standing in the living room, Who are you? they asked simultaneously.
Arthur, Gideon! Remember your manners! Hermione gasped.
Bill chuckled at the chastised looks on their faces, Sorry, they both said in unison.
Its alright, I dont know how I would react to some strange man being in my front room. Im Bill. Bill
said holding his hand out and shaking both boys hands. Bill then turned to Hermione who was smiling
sadly at them and spoke, Well I see you have your hands full here, I should probably let you go, he said
noticing that the clock on the wall showed that it was past eleven.
Hermione looked like she wanted to protest, but the words died on her lips, Alright, she said leading
him to the door, Thank you for everything, she said.
Bill nodded, with a smile on his face, It was no problem, just promise me youll think about that offer
alright? he said before walking away.
Hermione smiled wistfully and closed the door, locking all five locks. She turned to her boys who were
looking at her with questions in their eyes, What offer? they both asked.
Hermione sighed, Bill is a curse breaker, and he wants me to come and work with him on site a couple
of miles away.
Rosie lifted her head, Are you gonna? she asked.
Hermione looked back and forth between the two boys and the little girl in her arms, I dont know, she
finally said, It would be a change.
But it would be a good change, Arthur said seriously, his twin nodding his head.
You dont like the job you have now, and you dont get paid enough to stay there, Gideon agreed.
Hermione laughed, You two are awfully observant for ten year olds, she said, and as such I think you
all know that you need to go to bed now.
The twins groaned making Rosie giggle, Tuck us in Mummy, she demanded, her eyes wide and
innocent.
Hermione smiled and led them into their room. There was a bunk bed in one corner and a smaller bed in
the other. She laid Rosie down on the small bed and pulled the light blanket up, Good night Angel, she
said, I love you.
Love you too Mummy. Rosie replied already halfway asleep.
Hermione turned and tucked the Arthur in on the top bunk, then Gideon on the bottom, Good night my
little geniuses, she said, quickly pecking a kiss on each of their foreheads despite their loud protests.
As she turned off the light and went to close the door she heard one of the twins ask, Why did that
man look like us?
Hermione sighed and closed her eyes, Ask me again tomorrow and Ill tell you, she said.
So there is something to tell? the other twin asked.
Hermione smiled, her boys, always looking for knowledge. Ill explain everything tomorrow when you
get back from Terrissas, alright? Hermione said, reminding them that Terrissa was going to be coming
to get them the next day after school to watch them while Hermione went to work.
Alright, one of them sighed, then Love you mum, they both said.
Hermione smiled, I love you too, and with that she closed the door and made her way across the few
steps to the couch where she plopped herself down once more, what a draining day. It had not gone at
all like she had expected.
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/..Bill\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
As the door closed behind him, Bill felt an odd urge to turn around and go back, but there was no reason
to do so, so he continued onwards down the stairs and out the door. As he walked he recalled the
events of the evening, it had been one he felt he would most likely remember for a long time. He hadnt
felt this complete and relaxed since the last time he talked with Hermione a week before she was
kidnapped.
It was surprising how similar the two girls were really, Bill thought, feeling like he was missing something
big. They even had the same birthday. Bill froze, his mind beginning to race, piecing things together.
Hermione had disappeared nearly four years ago, and that was when Mia said she had arrived here in
Egypt. Hermione and Mia shared the same birthday, the same calming personality and temper. Bill
wouldnt be surprised to find out that Hermione would be just as good at curse breaking as he was at
this point if she had had the chance to learn how to do so as Mia seems to have done. Their ages were
even the same.
Bill turned around and began walking briskly, turning it into a run as more and more pieces fell together.
The kids were about the same age Percys kids should be, what if? Bill wouldnt let himself finish that
thought. If he was right, he wasnt sure whether to be angry or relieved. Reaching the door to the
apartment building Bill found it locked.
Cursing Bill turned around, panting from his run, seeing no muggles in sight he closed his eyes and
concentrated.
/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\...Hermione./\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
Hermione sighed and forced her body to stand up. Regardless of whether or not she was going to take
the job Bill offered her, she still had to go to work tomorrow. With that thought Hermione walked into
the small moldy bathroom and closed the door, flipping the little sign on the door that proclaimed the
bathroom to be unoccupied to occupied, since the lock was broken. Just as she had turned the water on
and was about to start disrobing she heard a small CRACK.
Reaching for her wand Hermione quickly turned off the water and crept slowly to the door. Pulling it
open slightly, she jumped out and shouted Petrificus totalus! without even looking at her intended
target.
Bills eyes barely had time to widen in surprise before he found himself lying stiff as a board in the
middle of the floor. He heard Hermione gasp and her footsteps as she rushed to his side. Finite, she
murmured, removing the spell. I am so sorry Bill, she exclaimed, But what on earth were you thinking
apperating into someone elses--,
Do you know Hermione Granger? Bill demanded, interrupting her, his eyes searching hers as he sat
up.
Hermione gasped and fell backwards, she stared at Bill speechlessly for several long minutes, before
building up the courage to reply, I wondered how quick you would figure it out, she said softly.
Bill frowned and rose to his feet, So its true then? he said, his voice tense, You are Hermione Jean
Granger?
Hermione scrambled to her feet, Yes, she said quietly, when Bill continued to search her face she went
on, finding herself suddenly finding herself eager to , My parents are muggle teeth healers, my old
familiar is an orange kneazle cat. I met Harry and Ron on the Hogwarts Express and told Ron that he had
a bit of dirt on his nose. I brewed a polyjuice potion in my second year and turned myself into
Bulstrodes cat. Third year I used a time turner all year, and helped Sirius Black escape from the
Dementors kiss. My boggart was of McGonagall telling me I had failed--, Hermione was cut off as Bill
suddenly pulled her into his arms in a tight hug.
Hermione started, he should be mad, not hugging her; but Merlin it felt so good to be the one being
comforted rather than the other way around. Slowly her arms came up to clutch at the back of Bills
shirt and she felt every wall she had ever built around herself come crumbling down and the dam burst.
Tears leaked from her eyes, first one at a time, then more and more flooded her vision until she found
herself sobbing, her tears soaking Bills shirt.
Silently Bill held the woman in his arms as shuddered with heart breaking sobs. He had no idea what she
had been through, but he could easily feel her need for his comfort, which he offered freely. When her
sobs began to quiet some time later Bill realized she had fallen asleep and he sighed, picking Hermione
up, suddenly noticing that she weighed next to nothing. He headed over to the door he hadnt seen
opened earlier and shifted her so he could open her door. Part of him was completely unsurprised to
find the room was smaller than some closets he had seen, barely big enough for a twin sized bed and
rack that left several of her clothes hanging over part of her bed.
Bill frowned, Hermione Granger should never have to live in a closet, she was far better than that. He
had no idea what had lead her to be in this situation, in such dire straits, but he knew that from
tomorrow on, things were going to change. He slowly bent to lay Hermione on her bed and sat down
next to her, staring at her tear stained face, wondering what to do next. Deciding there was nothing left
for him to do that night Bill stood to go make himself comfortable on the old sofa in the front room for
the night but found his hand caught in hers.
He turned to look at her and found her hazel eyes staring at him in fear, Dont leave, she said, I
wouldnt be able to bear it if this turns out to be a dream, she whispered weakly.
Bill stared at her in silence, then one quick look over his shoulder later he sighed, slightly relieved at not
needing to sleep on the small sofa, Scoot over, he said as he slipped his shoes off and lay down next to
her, just as reluctant to let her out of his sight as she was. Youre not off the hook yet, he said in a low
voice, You still have a lot of explaining to do.
Hermione nodded tiredly, I know, dont worry, Ill explain everything, she said softly, pressing herself
against the wall and trying to give Bill some space.
~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~ NEXT MORNING~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~|~
The sweet smell of French toast is what woke Hermione the next morning. Groaning softly Hermione
gracefully fell out of bed, knocking some of her clothes to the floor on accident as she stood up. Opening
her door and walking out of her room Hermione let out a frightened shriek and nearly pulled her wand
out. She caught herself before she did however, recognizing the woman sitting at her table who had
startled her.
Ayana! Dont scare me like that! she exclaimed placing a hand on her chest, her attention so focused
on Ayana and her mischievous grin that she hadnt noticed the tall, long haired redhead making
breakfast. Ayana gave a small laugh and another deeper voice chuckled.
Hermiones eyes shot from the girl and her multicolored outfit to the man who was flipping a couple of
slices of French toast on her Muggle griddle while laughing at her, Bill, she whispered in shock.
Ayana looked at an invisible watch, Well would you look at the time, she said standing up, Bill was
just telling me how you were intending to move, I am so sad to see you go, but glad that you are finally
getting out of this horrible place. I wish I could come with you, she said wistfully, The kids are all at
school and Terrissa called to make sure she was still picking them up afterwards to take them. Bill told
her to do so, but that you and he will come to pick them up later. Then he called your work and told
them you are taking a vacation day, Ayana smiled and gave Hermione a hug.
Hes totally hot, nice pick! Ayana whispered before saying louder, He is also a great cook, but youll
soon discover that for yourself. Id best be going, Ill see you around Mia, alright? Ayana said showing
herself out the door before Hermione could comprehend everything she had just said and respond
accordingly.
Does she ever stop talking? Bill wondered out loud, loading a stack of French toast onto two plates.
Hermione just gaped at him, Youre actually here, it wasnt a dream, she murmured, her eyes never
leaving Bills form as he walked closer to her to set the plates on the table. Bill raised an eyebrow at her
in a silent question. Ive had dreams that one of you had found me, she looked at the French toast
that was on the plate that had been placed before her, I always wished that it had actually happened
the next day when I finally woke up. But now, Hermione paused and looked back up at him, Its real,
youre really here.
Bill sat down, his eyes not leaving hers, And I have no intention of going anywhere so you can get that
idea out of your head right now, he said firmly, surprised by the sudden anxiety that Hermione
portrayed at the thought of him leaving.
I wasnt sure I would ever see you again last night when you left the first time, but I didnt know how to
explain Hermione trailed off.
Bill speared a piece of his French toast and began to eat, gesturing for Hermione to do the same. Slowly
the food disappeared from Hermiones plate, even though she had tried to stop eating several bites ago,
Bill wasnt having it. Once their food was gone Bill charmed the plates and things to clean themselves
before turning to look at Hermione.
First off, when would you like to move? he asked in such a way that said that there was no argument
for whether or not Hermione was moving, it was just a matter of when.
Hermiones startled gaze met his, What?
Well you dont expect me to let you continue to live in a dump like this do you? Bill asked rhetorically,
At least not in good conscience.
Looking at him defiantly, Hermione chose to ignore the this-is-not-open-for-debate tone of voice and
stated, I cant afford anything else.
Afford? Who said anything about money? Bill asked, his eyes telling her that she was missing
something, but for the life of her Hermione couldnt figure out what.
Hate to break it to you Bill, but you need money to buy things like houses, Hermione stated.
Bill began to smile as he realized where the confusion lie, but decided to tease her rather than enlighten
her; he had missed these kind of arguments, Again, Hermione, who said anything about buying a
house? he asked.
But you just said--,Hermiones voice cut off as she contemplated the conversation thus far,
understanding suddenly dawning in her eyes, I cant! she suddenly exclaimed.
Bill raised his eyebrow, Cant what? he asked innocently.
Move in with you! Hermione stated firmly.
Bills smile widened, Move in with me, why Hermione, what a wonderful idea!
Hermiones face turned from a shocked look to a flustered frown, Thats not what I meant Bill and you
know it, she stated.
Bill shook his head, Look around you Hermione, do you see what I see? This place is old, run down and
not healthy. There is mold in the bathroom, the stairs leading up to your apartment are dangerous at
best, you have to have five locks on your door, the paint is peeling, you sleep in a closet, your sink leaks,
your refrigerator is too warm to even be called a refrigerator, your windows dont open unless theyre
broken, your oven could kill you if it was so inclined, and your neighborhood is terrifying. There is no
way in heaven or hell I am letting you stay here.
Hermione had seen the determined glint in Bills eyes that told her no matter how hard she tried there
was no changing his mind. She had watched while he had stood to stand at his full height, the effect
ruined by his rumpled clothes, messy hair and her memories of him. She sighed, Theres no changing
your mind is there, she finally said. Bill shook his head, Fine, how soon can you have us? she asked.
Bill smiled in victory, it wasnt often Hermione gave up a battle, even if she knew she would never win.
How does today sound? he asked.
Hermione rolled her eyes, Okay then, let me go change my clothes, she said standing up and going
into her room.
Bill watched her go suspiciously, but said nothing, a lot was happening, and the only reason he had any
idea what to do was because he had stayed up well into the night thinking about it. Hermione returned
dressed in a dark blue one shouldered tank top and a pair of black short shorts. She quickly pulled her
hair back into a messy pony tail, then pulling out her wand and a small beaded back she quickly flicked it
and suddenly everything that belonged to her and the kids began to shrink and fly into her bag.
Bills eyes widened when she smirked at him two minutes later, Okay, Im packed, and this place is a
pay as you go thing, so I can leave whenever Id like. Where to Mr. Weasley? she asked.
Blinking once in astonishment, Bill extended a hand to Hermione, shocking her by pulling her into a hug
once she had taken it. Seconds later there was a loud CRACK and the familiar push and pull of
apperation took over. Opening her eyes Hermione gasped as she found herself standing in front of a
three story white and red brick house.
Hermione turned to Bill in astonishment, You live here? I thought you had an apartment.
Bill smirked, I do have an apartment. I just have this house too.
Hermiones eyebrows furrowed in confusion, I know you dont make enough to pay for both, she says
pointedly, yes he made quite a lot at his job, but not enough for a near mansion like this and an
apartment as nice as the one she knew he had.
Bill laughed, Youre right, I dont. I actually won this house.
Hermione stared at him, You won a house, she repeated.
Bill nodded and led the way up the driveway to the double doors that were the entrance to the
mansion, An old curse breaker left this house and everything in it to any curse breaker who could get
into it. When I first came to Egypt a friend of mine had thought it would be funny to trick me into trying
it, as it had been declared by several curse breaking masters to be impossible. It had been sitting as a
tourist attraction for charm and curse breakers for nearly twenty years. My friend, who was also my
boss, brought me here and told me to get into the building. I had no idea what it would mean if I did, but
I accepted the assignment. Two days later I had pulled down every ward, curse, hex, and anything else
place on this building, shocking everyone, including myself when I found out what I had accomplished. I
was only nineteen at the time.
Hermione laughed, So why didnt you tell your parents about this house?
Bill shrugged, During the war it seemed like the fewer people who knew about it the better, making it
easier to turn it into a safe house if we needed to. Now, he shrugged again, It just hasnt come up.
Bill opened the door, Come in and see what you think.
Entering the large house Hermione felt a grin break over her face as she took it all in. Several feet in
front of her was a white stone curved garden box of sorts that had four small palm trees stretching up
past the second floor and almost to the third. The rest of the box was overflowing with various flowering
plants that smelled wonderful. As Hermione walked around to the other side of the small indoor flower
garden, stepping down the four small stone steps, she was surprised to see that there was a plush cream
couch that wrapped around the side comfortably.
As her eyes followed the palm trees up she guessed that the ceiling was at least fifty feet tall, spanning
all three floors. The ceiling looked as if it had been woven together out of a dark pliable wood and was
in a pentagonal shape. Each floor above her seemed to be designated by a stretch of beautiful dark
cherry wood and intricate wrought iron railings. To her right was a wall of windows and glass doors that
lead to a small outdoor courtyard with a fountain. There was also a lovely curved grand staircase made
of the same dark cherry wood that led to the next floor.
Directly in front of her from the floor to the top of the second floor was a wall made up only of windows,
giving an excellent view of the spacious backyard. Entranced, Hermione moved forward toward the
windows only to run into something. Looking down in surprise, sufficiently startled awake, Hermione
noticed that there was a lovely collection of cream, light grey and dark red couches and chairs arranged
comfortably in the middle of the room.
Bill gave a polite cough as he tried to cover his laughter at her actions, leading Hermione to look over
where he was standing next to a gorgeous black grand piano that was settled nicely between two
doorways. Giving him a fake glare Hermione asked curiously, Whats in those rooms? she gestured to
the various doorways.
Bill pointed to each room in turn, That is the dinning room, he said gesturing to the room furthest
away from the front door, This is the way to the kitchen, Bill gave Hermione a wink, Im a pretty good
cook if I say so myself, he joked, Hermione laughed and agreed, she had eaten the French toast that
morning after all.
Bill lead her back towards the door and off to the side a little, Over here is what is called the staff
quarters, pretty nice in my opinion, he chuckled and crossed to the other side of the great room, Over
here is a lounge and the
Library! Hermione breathed reverently as she entered the room, barely containing a joyful squeal as
she noticed that there were two floors of the room full of wall to wall books.
Bill gave a hearty laugh, I was tempted to wait until the end of the tour to show you this room, but I
couldnt resist, he gave a shrug and watched with a pleased glint in his eyes as Hermione nearly gave
herself whiplash looking from one thing to the next, trying to take it all in at once. He gave her another
couple of minutes before guiding her gently from the room and down a glass hallway that revealed the
courtyard on one side and the lovely green front yard on the other side.
This is a guest suite, he told her as they passed an open door, causing Hermione to crane her head
around to look into the room as she was being propelled along by Bill, they made a turn and walked
down another halway, this one closed off but still well lit, And being muggle born Im sure youll enjoy
this room, Bill pushed open two doors.
Hermione gave an incredulous laugh as she looked inside, Have you ever even watched a muggle film?
she asked him rhetorically, knowing he hadnt, as she took in the comfortable looking home theatre
room. Laughing she gestured for Bill to lead on which he did with a smile, There are two studies here,
one for the man and the other for the women he said using mocking voices as he pointed out which
was which, The owner before me was apparently a sexist.
Hermione grinned, not taking offence, and followed Bill out of the hallways and back into the Great
room where he lead her to the staircase, There are actually two master suites in the house, he told
her as they climbed, You will be taking this one, he opened a white door and lead Hermione into one
of the most beautiful rooms she had ever seen. The room was in an odd but beautiful almost octagonal
pattern, leading to the far wall appearing to be curved.
The curved wall had nice wide windows that showed a view of the beautiful gardens, and what looked
to be a privet porch. The cream carpet looked soft and had gold swirls in various patterns that seemed
to move slowly as Hermione watched. Against the wall that held the door rested a large canopy bed that
had a wooden frame attached to the ceiling. Comfortable chairs were spread around the room with a
small desk in a far corner.
My suite is actually right over there, Bill told her as he opened one of the glass doors to her left and
stepped out onto the privet balcony and pointed to the other side of the gap that separated the two
parts of the house, There are curtains, he told her quickly, as if she were worried about him peeking or
something, and on the other side of the bed there is a master bathroom with a nice sized tub you may
enjoy getting to use sometime, Bill winked at Hermione, making her blush.
Are you sure you want us to stay here? Hermione asked him softly as they left her room behind and
walked a little ways down the hall passed a large glass door that opened into the second part of the
open courtyard.
Bill snorted, What would I do with all of this space by myself? he asked her, Besides, there is no way I
was going to let you stay in that dump you were in, so dont even think about it, Bill gave her a
reassuring smile and hesitated before adding, It also gives me a sense of peace knowing that you
werent just a dream and that youre not just going to up and leave again.
Hermione gave him a weak smile back, Well if youre sure, she sighed.
I am, Bill stated firmly. Deciding to change the subject he pointed to a small kitchenette/dining/ living
area across the gap of the Great Room, That is a smaller kitchen for those midnight snacks, I suppose, I
havent really been able to figure out what the point of it is, but its nice I guess, he pulled her to one of
the doors over by the kitchen/dining room/living room, I thought this could be the twins room, he
told her, They could each have their own room, Merlin knows there is plenty of rooms for them to
choose from, but I figured that if they were anything like Fred and George they would want to share.
Hermione looked in the room that was a mix of forest green, navy blue and white, They will love it,
she agreed, and they are a lot like the Fred and George, sometimes a little too much, she joked.
Bill gave her a small smile, Every room has its own bathroom suite with it so I think theyll enjoy that as
well, he added uselessly as something to say.
Yes, more chores, Hermione laughed, attempting half heartedly to lighten the conversation.
It didnt seem to work, as Bill simply gave her a small smile again as he lead her back to the other side of
the second floor, This is the second part of the library, he told her gesturing to one of the doors as
they passed, This is another guest suite, and this room, he pulled Hermione to a stop, Is the room I
thought Rosie might like, he opened the door and stepped inside a bright pink and white room.
Hermione couldnt contain the amused snort that escaped as she took in the room. Seeing Bills
confused expression she tried to explain, Pink is the reason I found out Rosie was a witch, she started,
I bought her a pink jumper for her birthday a year ago, Hermione bit her lip in amusement, She
picked it up with this disgusted look on her face and suddenly the thing was in ashes and in a pile on the
floor.
Bill let out a surprised laugh, Really? he asked her interestedly, he had been admittedly a little worried
that the children werent magic like the rest of their family, but hearing it confirmed that at least Rosie
was a witch gave him some relief, not that he would treat them any different if they were squibs, but it
would be hard for them if they were, What about the boys? he inquired, Have they demonstrated
magic?
Giving a sarcastic shrug Hermione nodded her head, You could say that, she laughed, The first time I
ever met Gideon came about as a result of him doing accidental magic, Hermione suddenly felt as if she
simply couldnt hold the story in anymore so she whipped out her wand and flicked it, changing
everything that was pink in the room to a sky blue with clouds that floated around on the ceiling.
Bill seemed to sense the change in Hermione and grew suddenly tired of the tour as he guided her back
to the library and down the small spiral staircase that was in the room to the comfortable couches that
were on the main floor. He watched as Hermione sat in an armchair across from him, not looking at him.
They both sat in silence for a long while, Bill intensely studying the girl across from him and Hermione
intensely studying an errant thread on her jean shorts.
Just when Bill was about to break first and push her for answers Hermiones shoulders squared and she
lifted her head with a deep breath, After the war things were so confusing, she started, Suddenly
there was no reason to be scared anymore, and I honestly didnt know what to do with myself. Nor did
Harry, Ron, Neville or Draco, for that matter. We all decided to go back to school as eighth years and
finish out our schooling in an attempt to get back to normal. By the time we all graduated it seemed like
everyone knew what they wanted to do with their lives.
Hermiones gaze dropped to her hands for a second before returning to look at Bill, Draco, Ron and
Harry all wanted to become Aurors, Neville wanted to be the new Herbology professor, Luna wanted to
work at the Quibbler, Ginny wanted to play professional quidditch, she sighed, But I still had no idea
what to do with myself. Offers were coming in left and right from various companies, schools, and
different Ministry departments, but none of them really appealed to me. Ultimately I just decided to
find myself a flat with all that compensation money from the Ministry and take some time to get
reacquainted with who I was when I wasnt on the run from an evil wizard.
Bill waited patiently for Hermione to get to the point, he had after all been one of the people back then
that she felt comfortable discussing her lack of self knowledge with. His patience paid off moments later
when Hermiones eyes connected with his, About two weeks after I moved into the flat I was out for
one of my evening walks that I took every night. I had let myself just wander aimlessly for a couple of
blocks, not paying attention to where I was going until I heard a couple of children screaming playfully
and a mans laughing voice growling after them. I looked up and across the street was a nice house with
a red headed man playing with his equally red-headed boys while a blonde woman watched from the
front porch.
Hermione gave a small smile as she remembered the scene wistfully, It only took me a couple of
seconds to recognize Percy and a few more to recognize Penelope Clearwater, she gave a small half
chuckle, If I had been a Weasley I probably would have stormed over there and demanded to know
what exactly was going on, Bill gave a laugh at this, it was true, Weasleys had a natural tendency to
rush into things without thinking first, a trait he had had to get rid of in order to succeed in his line of
work, But thankfully I am not a Weasley and my brain did not temporarily abandon me.
I watched them play for a few minutes, before figuring that Percy was an intelligent man who loved his
family, so whatever reasons he had for not letting his family know where he was were probably good
enough reasons for me to leave them be, Hermione shrugged, So I went home, surprising myself by
discovering that I was only a few blocks away from my own apartment. But from that night on every
evening stroll I took ended up taking me passed their house.
Bill smiled in confusion as Hermione let out a small laugh, What? he asked her, not sure what was
funny about what she had told him.
Well it was lucky for all of them that I walked past their house every night, she told him with a twinkle
in her eye, because as I said before, the first time I met Gideon was a result of him accidentally doing
magic, she paused and tried to force down the smile, He had gotten himself stuck in the tree in their
front yard, she stated seriously.
Bill gave a smile, Flying isnt something unusual for Weasley children, he commented affectionately.
With a shake of her head Hermione suppressed another laugh, Oh he wasnt flying, she said, He was
literally stuck in the tree, a small laugh left her lips as she pressed them firmly together, And Arthur
was so panic stricken that he was running around in circleswith his feet two feet above the ground,
Hermione allowed herself a few giggles, I was walking by just in time to help them both out, I calmed
Arthur down to the point where his feet were actually touching earth and then I ended up climbing the
tree to the five year old Gideon to remove his right arm and leg from the tree trunk. After helping him
down, he was crying quite profusely, I lead them both to the front door, deciding that this was as good a
time as any to alert Percy to my presence.
Hermione sobered up as she remembered where she was and the story she was telling, So I took
Arthurs hand while Gideon clung to my neck as if he were trying to get stuck on me, and I rang the
doorbell. Penelope answered the door and simply stared at the three of us for a minute before she
seemed to recognize me. Panic almost visibly flooded her every movement as she shouted for Percy to
come to the door, which he did, wand out and looking ready to do battle.
I released Arthur, thinking he would run to his mum, but he simply stood next to me as if hed known
me his whole life, and lifted my hand in a surrendering gesture before I quickly explained what had
happened, Hermione small shrug, Percy recognized who I was before I even let go of Arthur and had
put his wand away, appearing completely unsurprised that I was there. Apparently he had noticed me
that first night and every night since and was only waiting for me to finally confront him.
Bill took a deep breath, So Percy knew you were there all along?
Her curls bounced as Hermione nodded, He was on high alert, and anything suspicious, like a woman
who stopped and stared as he played with his boys was just that. He invited me in, offered me tea, sat
me down, and proceeded to tell me everything.
The pause that came after this statement was full of tension, and Bill found himself snapping at her for
the first time since he had found her, Well? Go on! he exclaimed impatiently.
Hermione seemed surprised that she had stopped talking, Sorry, she murmured, I just she shook
her head, Dumbledore had known all along that Percy wanted to work for the Ministry after Hogwarts,
and had planned accordingly. He, meaning Dumbledore, was apparently unsurprised when Percy came
to him to tell him that he had accidentally gotten Penelope pregnant, and Dumbledore offered to marry
them right after graduation, which Percy agreed to, he loved her so it wasnt a problem to him to get
married; yes, it wasnt ideal, but it was practical. Dumbledore apparently took the opportunity of having
Percy come to him to let Percy in on his plans a little bit.
Taking a deep breath Hermione continued, Dumbledore asked Percy if he wanted to join the Order, and
according to Percy his response was an immediate yes. So right there and then Dumbledore initiated
Percy into the Order of the Phoenix
Percy wasnt a member of the Order, Bill suddenly interjected, He wouldnt have said and done the
things he did if he had been. He hated Dumbledore.
Hermione nodded her head, Right after he was inducted into the Order, she pressed on, almost
ignoring Bills outburst, Dumbledore gave him a mission. He was to be a spy in the Ministry.
Bill shot to his feet, What?! he exclaimed, Percy was a spy? he shouted incredulously before shaking
his head, No, he would have told us!
Remaining in her seat Hermione shook her head, He couldnt tell you. In order for the Minister to truly
believe he was on his side he had to be vehemently against Dumbledore, which in turn would make all
of you mad at him. No offence to all of you, but you arent the best actors in the world. If you had
thought for even a second that he wasnt serious you would have blown his cover and he would have
been in danger from the people he was spying on.
Hermione went quiet as she watched Bill begin to pace around the room before turning to her with
obvious hurt and pain in his eyes, Percy was a spy? he repeated brokenly suddenly dropping back onto
the couch and placing his head in his hands, After everything we said to him, and how we treated
him Bill trailed off, his voice revealing the same pain that was in his eyes, If it werent for Fred and
George accepting him back at the Final Battle I dont think any of us except Mum would have ever
welcomed him back, Bills head suddenly jerked up, Did they
Fred and George had used their extendable ears one day that they shouldnt have and figured it all out.
According to Percy that was a life saver for him, to have at least two of his brothers that knew a little
about what he was doing. Out of all of you Fred and George have the most experience lying and
pretending not to know anything, so it was lucky that it was only them who figured it out
Lucky?! Bill shouted, his eyes flashing a bit of amber as he stared angrily at her, I hated my brother!
he exclaimed, how was that lucky?
Hermione waited patiently for him to finish before speaking again, If you would let me finish the story
you would find out, now shut it or I wont tell you anymore, Hermione waited as he flopped back on
the couch in a petulant move so reminiscent of Gideon that it almost made her laugh, Again, if anyone
else had known his cover would have been blown
And he could have gone into hiding like the rest of us! Bill interrupted again, At least then he would
have had his family!
Rolling her eyes Hermione took a deep breath, Why do you think he disappeared after the Final
Battle? she snapped back, because he blew his cover when he asked for you and your familys
forgiveness, thats why! Percy had the second most dangerous job in the Order next to Severus Snape.
Dumbledore knew the Ministry would be the first thing to fall prey to Voldemort, so by placing a spy
who appeared for all intents and purposes to blindly follow whoever was the minister at the time,
Dumbledore effectively had two spies in Voldemorts ranks.
Hermione sighed, seeing that Bill was finally back to being Bill, not the Bill that acted like Ron, and that
he was listening with an intelligent ear now rather than the emotional one he had been using earlier,
There were many people throughout the Dark Days that followed Voldemort that were not marked as
they would be of greater use to Voldemort without his Dark Mark on their arm. It was Percys job to
figure out who these people were and what Voldemort had commanded them to do.
After the Final Battle Percy went into hiding not because of the marked Death Eaters, but because of
the unmarked ones that he had spied on. They all thought he was one of them until that Final Battle
when he showed his true loyalties to Harry and the Order. Just like there was a inner circle of
Voldemorts Death Eaters, there was also an inner circle of the Unmarked, thats what they called
themselves, Hermione quickly explained, Percy had managed to get himself into the lower ranks of the
inner circle, for all intents and purposes he was like the Malfoys in Voldemorts Death Eater circle.
Bill held a hand up slightly as he asked politely to ask a question, Why werent any of the Unmarked
found then? he asked, Didnt Percy have a contact in the Order to pass secrets to?
Some of the Unmarked were caught, like Umbridge, Madame Edgecombe, and Albert Runcorn, but
others Percy wasnt able to tell anyone about. His contact was Dumbledore, and Dumbledore left him no
one else to contact after he was killed, here Hermione paused, Percy was the main reason why I
decided to join the Aurors, she told him, He couldnt tell just anyone who the Unmarked were, and
once I completed my training in an almost record of three months, topped only by Harry and Dracos
two months, I became Percys contact. I used what resources I had to gather evidence and catch all the
Unmarked I could.
A wave of gratitude Bill hadnt expected suddenly flowed over him as he studied the amazing witch
before him, Harry and Ron had told us all about your record of catching dirty Ministry officials and
other followers of Voldemort that not even Snape could point out, and youre telling me that you knew
who they were and how to find them as a result of being Percys contact in the Order?
Hermione nodded, Yes, she told him, Though because of this I unintentionally drew a rather large
target on my back, alerting the Unmarked to the fact that there was someone who knew who they
were. If I hadnt been so good at my job, and if I hadnt have spent that year on the run with Harry I
would probably already be dead. As it was, Percy offered to be my secret keeper, and I offered to be his.
He had been living under the guise of a muggle Mathematics professor at the local primary school, and
he and his wife had quit doing magic altogether. By being his secret keeper I gave him the opportunity
to allow him to do magic in his own home once again. Though for safeties sake he and Penelope
refrained from practicing magic in their home so that their magical energies couldnt be traced.
A refreshing looking glass of ice water was suddenly hovering in the air next to her knee and she reached
out gratefully to drink from it. The water felt nice and cool on her throat and she sighed contentedly as
she rested the now empty glass on the small coffee table in front of her next to Bills own nearly full
glass and the pitcher full of water.
My visits to Percys house became something that occurred just about every night. Percy and Penelope
both seemed to enjoy having someone older than five years old to talk to, and I enjoyed their kids.
There were times when it seemed strange that I had only found them months ago in July, then others
that it seemed so impossible that I hadnt known them both all my life. Percy and I had had several long
intelligent conversations back when we were at Hogwarts together, and it was just as easy to converse
with him as it had been then. Near September Percy invited me over for dinner one night during which
both he and Penelope were both bursting at the seams with smiles and happiness.
Bill looked intrigued, Apparently Penelope was pregnant again, Hermione told him to ease his
curiosity, They were both so happy about it, and so was I, but I didnt want their baby to grow up in
hiding like Arthur and Gideon were doing, so I began to burry myself in work, trying desperately to track
down every last Unmarked out there. I found quite a few of them, but in the end it still wasnt enough
for Percy and Pen to come out of hiding.
Hermiones eyes again dropped to her lap where her fingers twirled busily around one another, May
rolled around and Pens baby came so early and so quickly that we didnt have time to rush her to a
hospital, muggle or magical. In the end it was just Percy and I that helped to deliver little Molly Rose into
the world. I left the overjoyed couple to their celebrating that night and returned the next day. Percy
pulled me aside, looking more somber than I had seen him look since I first found him and his family. He
told me that he and Pen had had a long conversation the night before and that they had both come to
the conclusion that they wanted me to Molly Roses godmother.
Surprised Bill opened his mouth to say something, but no words came out, causing Hermione to give a
small chuckle, That is pretty much how I felt, but then he went on and asked me if I would also be
Arthur and Gideons godmother. He said that if anything ever happened to him and Pen he didnt want
his kids going to live with family they had never met when they knew and loved me already, and I would
make sure they would still know them. So I agreed and two days later we performed the ceremony that
bound me to them officially as their godmother.
Now Hermiones hands were wringing each other so fiercely Bill began to become concerned for their
safety. Gently he reached out and grasped them both in his own hands, Hey, he murmured soothingly,
Its alright.
Hermione sniffed and removed one of her hands from his grasp to wipe away an errant tear, Three
weeks later in June they were attacked. To this day Im not certain how they managed to find Percy and
his family, as they were protected, but somehow they did. I was on my way to their home when I heard
the spells being shot left and right. I had just enough time to send my patronus for help before I dove
into the fray myself. I went in through the back door and immediately stunned seven Unmarked who
were simply trashing the house while another five were dueling with Percy, I managed to stun two of
that five before Percy shouted for me to go upstairs and help Penelope protect the children.
Hermione swallowed harshly, completely unaware of how tightly she was gripping Bills hands, I went
upstairs and managed to knock out all of the Unmarked I could see, and I entered the twins room,
which was the safety room if something like that were to ever happen. Pen was in the corner, clutching
all three of the children to her with her wand in her fist. She nearly hexed me as I managed to surpass all
of the wards that had been place on the room. When she realized it was only me she nearly collapsed in
relief, but then we heard Hermione sobbed.
Gently Bill tugged her from the chair she was sitting in to the couch next to him where he could offer her
more comfort. His stomach sank as he contemplated what she was telling him, he had a horrible feeling
he knew exactly what they had heard, but he waited patiently for Hermione to continue anyway. He
didnt push her, he simply smoothed his hand up and down her back as she cried into his chest for what
he suspected was the first time since the attack.
One of the Unmarked had killed Percy, she finally whispered, The horror was clear enough in
Penelopes eyes for me to know what I had heard really had happened. The Unmarked quickly climbed
the stairs, and began tearing down the wards I placed on the room. Pen gave me this look and I just
knew she was going to make me take the children and go; and there was nothing I could do to change
her mind. When she finally voiced the thought I agreed, thinking I could grab her at the last minute and
take her with me, but she was too fast. Next thing I know Im standing in the living room of my
apartment with two crying boys and a screaming one month old baby.
Hermione shook her head as best she could from its current position against Bills chest, I cannot even
begin to describe the panic that spread through me at that exact moment. I knew without a doubt that
Penelope was dead along with Percy, and I now had three kids to take care of. I forced myself to calm
down and consider my options. I knew we couldnt stay in my apartment, so I moved around as quickly
as I could packing everything into my little purple beaded bag from my days of hiding with Harry. Option
number one was that I could go to the Burrow and hope to find protection there. Almost at the exact
moment I thought of it I felt people begin to tamper with my wards, making it apparent that they
werent just after Percy and Penelope, they wanted me too.
Option number two was that I take the kids there, explain what was going on as quickly as I could and
go into hiding by myself. One look at the three kids had that idea flying away, there was no way I was
going to be able to leave them with people they didnt know even if they were family, and whos to say
they wouldnt have gone after them anyway to lure me back. Option three was to go to Grimmauld
Place, where ultimately the same outcome as before would end up happening. So I chose option
number four, just as they managed to breach my flat. I grabbed the kids, my bag, and apparated us to
France.
Bill looked down at her in surprise, he had thought they had come straight to Egypt, Hermione noticed
his look and sat up to explain, wiping the tears from her eyes, I figured I had enough money that we
could live comfortably in France, only they seemed to find us there rather quickly, and again in Romania,
and Germany, and America, finally I figured out that they were tracing my Gringotts account. So we
moved here to Egypt and I got a muggle job, leaving my Gringotts account completely alone. No has
managed to find us for the last four years, she sighed, Until you.
Bill shifted them to be more comfortable, all the while fully aware that he was tightening his grip around
her, as if he thought she would get up and leave at any minute, Are you going to run again? he asked
her softly, Now that Ive found you?
Hermiones eyes widened for a minute, the idea of leaving hadnt even occurred to her. She was tired of
running, it was time to face down her problems; maybe bringing her friends in on the battle would make
it end sooner, Are you kidding? she finally responded, I was just offered the job of my dreams, why
would I run away from that? she asked impishly, a smile spreading across her face.
A small twinkle appeared in Bills eyes, So youll take the job? he asked to clarify.
She nodded, If its still open, she agreed with a laugh.
Bill tightened his arm around her shoulder, feeling an inexplicable need to pull the younger woman into
a hug, so he did, Of course the job is still open, he replied, I would have to be crazy not to hire the
smartest witch Hogwarts has seen since Ravenclaw herself.
Hermione gave a short laugh and shook her head as she pulled out of the hug, But what should I do
about the kids during the day while we are both at work? Today was the last day of school so theyll be
home all day.
Contemplating this Bill gave a small shrug, What did you used to do whenever you had to go to work?
he inquired.
Ayana would come and watch them until I would come home, Hermione answered, She had come
over to ask if she could borrow some milk for something her mother was cooking and noticed that I was
having a hard time getting the kids ready to go to school. She introduced herself and offered to help out,
next thing I know she became a permanent part of our lives.
Where does she live? Bill wanted to know, almost certain that Ayana had lived in the same apartment
complex.
Hermione paused before answering, She lives three doors down from where I live with her mother,
Hermione gave a small sigh that must have sounded sadder than she had intended if Bills curious
expression was anything to go by, Her mother is often very sick because of the mold and bad conditions
of the place, but between the money she makes as a maid for one of the local hotels and the money
Ayana earns working for me and at the restaurant, there is barely enough for them to get by.
What restaurant? he asked curiously.
Hermione moved from her comfortable position to turn and face him, leaning her side against the back
of the couch, Its a small place called Isis. Its run by a nice old man named Afua, Hermione noticed
Bills curious gaze at the respectful voice she had used when speaking of Afua, He was kind enough to
give me job when no one else would, Bill looked surprised, I looked everywhere, but the fact that I was
an unmarried English woman with three kids didnt exactly go over very well. Then I met Ayana who
found out that I was having a difficult time finding a job and introduced me to Afua. He interviewed me
and hired me right on the spot, and the only thing he ever said he regretted was that he wasnt able to
pay me more.
He sounds like a nice guy, Bill commented, already thinking of ways he could repay the man who
seemed to have taken such great care of his Hermione; Bill stopped as his mind replayed those last
words, feeling somewhat pleased by them, his Hermione, the thought made something in him roar in
pride but then he realized just what he was thinking and shoved it to the back of his mind.
Unaware of Bills thoughts Hermione nodded, He is, the kids love him, and more than once he took it
upon himself to make sure we were all fed properly. He is almost ridiculously optimistic and hilariously
funny, Hermione trailed off, Though it will make me feel incredibly guilty I have no doubt that he will
be overjoyed with the news that I have found a different job.
Bill gave Hermione a smile, How much does he know about Bill gestured to the air as if it meant
something.
He knows that Im a witch, and the kids arent mine by birth, but thats about it, Hermione informed
him with a small smile, Both he and Ayana are wizards so it wasnt difficult to tell them that I was as
well, particularly when Ayana walked in on me cleaning the apartment with magic. She then told Afua
who was seemingly overjoyed with the news.
Allowing his body to slouch against the couch, completely relaxed for the first time since he had first
found Hermione, Bill contemplated their situation, What would you think about offering Ayana and her
mother a place here? he asked after a few minutes of comfortable silence, Ayana could watch the kids
while were at work and her mother could clean the house and cook when neither of us are able. It
would get them out of that shoddy apartment and it would keep the kids with someone they already
know and trust, while helping us out as well.
Hermiones eyes widened, You would do that? she hesitated, Are you sure?
Bill gave Hermione a look she couldnt decifer, Hermione, do you trust Ayana and her mother? he
asked her, almost rhetorically.
Her head nodded vigorously, With my life, she breathed, still in shock that Bill was willing not to only
take the four of them into her house but two other people he had never met before.
Then that is good enough for me