Sirius, Remus, Ron, Harry, Fred and George were all standing in the yard moving their gazes to each other trying to figure out how to trace Ginny’s apparition. “Someone go get Dumbledore.” Ron said and as the twins were moving to volunteer when a silver horse patronus appeared in front of Harry, Ginny’s patronus and Ginny’s voice filled the air.
“Everyone stay at the Burrow. I’m with Hermione. I’m going to convince her to come home with me. She looks so sad by the willow.” and the patronus then faded away. No one could move as they all thought if anyone could force Hermione home it would be Ginny Potter, she had been trained at Molly’s knee.
“She’s with Hermione.” Sirius whispered as he grabbed Remus’s arm for support. Remus turned to look at his friend and wondered if Sirius would be able to make it thru this sane. The last two years he’d watched as his best friend had slow slipped further and further from the ones who loved him as he desperately searched for Hermione.
“Sad by the willow.” George repeated as he looked at his twin, Fred looked as confused as the rest of them.
“What does that mean?” Fred asked as the others all looked to each of them in confusion.
“Gods!” Harry said as he caught onto Ginny’s clue. “Chesterfield park! I proposed under the willow there, remember that day of the celebration picnic.” Harry said as Ron turned to run into the Burrow to inform the few in the house they were leaving as the five left outside quickly apparated to the park. As they all then rushed towards the willow tree the rest of the Weasley’s and Lupin’s appeared started to help with the search of the park. Most didn’t see Sirius walk straight to the tree and kneel down and cover his face drawn by a faintly familiar and sorely missed scent. Remus and Harry were the first to notice him and as the others started searching the park Remus and Harry walked over to where Sirius was kneeling.
“Sirius?” Remus asked quietly to the dark headed wizard who looked up at him with startled eyes.
“Gods Remus. It’s her scent I can still smell it.” he whispered as he took another breath closing his eyes as the smell caused his chest to fill with happiness. He wanted nothing more than to change into Padfoot and trace the smell and never lose it again.
“Sirius can you trace it?” Remus asked and he watched as Sirius wiped his tears away and nodded and they both followed him as he traced the scent but the closer to the edge of the park the more desperate Harry was becoming. Sirius lost it at the parking lot when it became confused with car fumes. “Bloody hell I lost it. Car fumes!!”
“Remus…does Sirius…” Harry started asking but Remus cut him off as Sirius moved when Arthur called to him.
“Harry … Sirius has loved her for a very, very long time.” Remus turned to watch Harry take in his explanation, Harry in turn surprised him further.
“Good…maybe he can convince her to come home where she belongs.” Harry said as they all three turned to joint he others in their fruitless search of the park.
Hermione was driving towards her house as Ginny sat beside her in the small blue car. “Hermione where are we going?”
“The house I rent is close by here.” Hermione said as she turned off the main road.
“You mean you stayed in England?” Ginny asked stunned everyone had been sure Hermione had left the country and most of their searches had been in America and other European countries.
“Yes, I couldn’t leave my homeland and the wizarding world…believe me it was hard enough sneaking into the events I was able to.” Hermione said as she turned left again.
“The blonde woman at my wedding.” Ginny remembered from the wedding ceremony. The blonde woman had smiled at her and kissed her cheek as she had entered the church and whispered how happy and proud that she was that Ginny and Harry had made it to their wedding. Ginny had knocked it up to nerves that the woman seemed so familiar, but thought that she had worked at the church.
“Yeah, not my best disguise.” Hermione replied as she turned the car onto a street where all the houses were the exact same in different shades of brown. “It was a beautiful ceremony, Ginny.”
“Why!” Ginny demanded as Hermione pulled into a small driveway of a brownstone house.
“Come on…I’ll explain everything…you may never want to speak to me again afterwards.” she said as she got out of the car and Ginny followed her up to the house. As they entered the kitchen Hermione asked Ginny to sit as a young girl maybe fifteen entered the room.
“Hello, Ms. Granger…” she grinned “Sleeping.”
“Thank you Mary…I’ll see you next week.” Hermione said as the young girl grinned, nodded her head and rushed out of the house.
“Hermione?” Ginny asked from where she sat and Hermione pulled out a tea set and started to make two cups of tea before she spoke to Ginny. “You can’t keep ignoring the questions.”
“Okay but you have to promise to listen to everything.” Hermione said as she looked at her best female friend in the eye she had told so many secrets to Ginny that Harry and Ron had no idea.
“Of course.” Ginny promptly replied just trying to figure out why Hermione had left them all.
“Well there was a reason I left…I knew something no one else knew…after the final battle with Voldemort…I was still grieving after the battle you know my parents were gone. I knew I still had to deal with everything that caused. Before the battle I had a…I guess you’d call it a one night stand/relationship/something I never did figure out what it was. After I’d been gone about a week I found out…” Hermione sighed. “I was pregnant.”
“Merlin! Hermione.” Ginny said as her own eyes filled with tears for her friend. “How could you do that to Harry and us? We’ve always loved you!!”
“I just had to do it on my own. I knew when I left that night that the whole wizarding world would probably be looking for me. So I locked up my wand and became a muggle again. Except for the few times I snuck glances into what you guys were doing. For the last year I’ve pretty much been hiding out here.” she said as she waved her hand at the house they sat in.
“But Hermione we did locater spells every couple of months. Harry, Ron Sirius have all been searching for you. Following every lead they got.” she looked around at the house. “Where are we?”
“What is the one street in the world that Harry would never set foot back on?” Hermione grinned as Ginny’s eyes got huge.
“You didn’t.” she gasped out and covered her mouth as she started laughing.
“Welcome to number 18 Privet Drive.” the two girls started laughing hysterically and after several minutes Ginny could speak again.
“Oh Hermione after he hugs you he’ll probably kill himself for not thinking of looking here.”
“Hide in plain sight.” at that moment a childs cry filled the room thru the baby monitor on the kitchen counter. Hermione turned and stood to leave the room. Ginny quickly followed. “Hey my boys.” Hermione said as she entered the childs room and saw both of her sons standing in their cribs. Their black heads bouncing as they both started jumping when they realized their mum was home.
“Mum!” the two boys called out.
“Hermione you can’t keep them away from Harry he has a right to know his sons.” Ginny said and Hermione who had just picked up the first small boy jerked around at Ginny’s words.
“What?” she held the boy tightly as she looked at Ginny like she’d never seen anything quite like her.
“You can’t keep Harry from his sons…I mean I know you said it was only one night and I understand.” she stopped when Hermione started laughing.
“Xavier.” she whispered to him “Do you want to meet mummy’s friend?” the small boy nodded and Hermione walked to the door where her friend stood. “Ginny look at his eyes. My sons are not Harry’s” Ginny sucked in air as she looked at the small boy who was staring at her and she connected with the boy’s silver-blue eyes, the Black family eyes.
“Gods! Their Blacks!” Ginny said as she grabbed the door frame to try to continue to stand upright. Xavier grinned and Ginny could see Sirius’s smile stamped on the smaller face.
“Mummy down!” He called out and Hermione put him down and she turned to let Ginny gather her thoughts. “Mummy play Adrian now.” Hermione scooped up both boys then and she turned back to her friend who was crying in the doorway again.
“Ginny I would you like to meet Xavier and Adrian or their full names are Xavier Orion and Adrian Sirius Granger. Boys this is Ms Ginny Potter, one of my oldest friends.” as Ginny laughed Hermione smiled for the first time in a while. “Now do you understand why I left and why I haven’t come back? I thought Sirius was dead. Course he will probably kill me once he sees the boys, but they were the only thing that kept me going after that battle. A little piece of him that I could keep even though he was gone.”
“Lets go sit down. I’ve got to figure out what I’m going to do.” Hermione said as they walked down the hall to a small living room.
“Come on we’ll come up with a plan…believe me I believe Sirius will be ecstatic when he sees you.”
“What are you talking about?”