‘The war is finally over,’ Hermione thought, ‘and it’s finally safe to visit my parents in Australia.’
In the early days after the war ended, she was afraid to even contact them in case she was being watched by the remaining Death Eaters or Death Eater sympathizers. She had missed them dearly and felt it was finally safe now as most of the remaining death eaters had been killed or captured.
When her friend Harry found out where she was going he asked her to come along. Ever since he came into his inheritance, he had taken up any chance he could to travel, sometimes being gone for weeks or even months at a time. Harry had said that Australia was a place he had always wanted to visit.
The plan was to stay with her parents for a few days, see the sights and return to England while Harry would stay two weeks longer before returning as well.
The pair arrived in front of the Granger home via international portkey. Hermione rang the doorbell, and after a few moments Emma Granger greeted them.
Emma Granger was still a very good-looking woman with wavy brown hair unlike her daughter’s frizzy hair and although older still kept in excellent shape.
“Hello Hermione,” Emma smiled warmly as she hugged her daughter. “I’ve missed you so much,” she gushed. “And this must be Harry Potter,” she said, holding her hand out to shake. “Hermione has told me so much about you I feel like we practically know each other already.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you as well Mrs. Grangers,” Harry said as he shook her hand and looked around the room.
It was nicely decorated, and there were a few family pictures on the wall, mostly of Hermione when she was younger. There were also a couple of pictures of Dan and Emma Granger when they were younger, presumably before Hermione was born.
One, in particular, caught Harry’s eye. They were standing side by side in the countryside. From the looks of it, Mrs. Granger had likely graduated university, at most a couple of years after they took the picture. He noticed Hermione looked almost identical to Mrs. Granger at that age, aside from the hair.
“Where’s dad?” Hermione questioned looking around, she expected her father to be there to greet her as well.
“Why don’t you two come in and I can explain,” Emma said, her smile faltering a bit as she led them into the living room and sat down to explain. “Hermione I’ve been keeping something from you,” Emma explained, “but please promise me you’ll hear the entire story before you do anything.”
Hermione nodded, but there was an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach.
“I’ve been keeping something from both you and Dan. I didn’t want to, but I didn’t have a choice,” Emma confessed.
“What is it, mom?” Hermione was almost reluctant even to hear the answer now.
“I’m a witch too Hermione,” Emma confessed.
“What?!” Hermione stated in shock. “How could you keep this from me? Is this why dad left?” She said as she shot to her feet. The only thing that stopped her from storming out of the house was Harry grabbing her hand.
“You said you would hear her out first.” Harry reminded her.
“Did you know about this?!” Hermione rounded on him.
“What? No, of course not, we only just met.” Harry denied it quickly. “I just think that if your mother hid this from you there must be a reason for it, and you should give her the time to explain.”
“Fine,” Hermione huffed. “Why did you keep it a secret?”
“When I graduated Hogwarts, I found myself in much the same situation as you. It didn’t matter how good my grades were, or how many house points I earned, I just couldn’t get a job anywhere.” Emma explained.
“If you weren’t at least a half-blood, they wouldn’t even look twice at you,” she explained, still somewhat bitter. “After two years of trying, and borrowing far too much money from my parents to survive, I finally gave up and moved back to the muggle world.”
“That still doesn’t explain why you kept this from me all for all these years,” Hermione accused.
“I think I know what happened,” Harry interrupted. “When I started traveling there were a bunch of forms I had to fill out to get an international portkey. There were a lot of questions they asked that didn’t seem to have anything to do with travel, so I brought the forms to Mr. Weasley to see if he understood.”
“Not that I don’t find this interesting Harry, but what does any of this have to do with my mom?” Hermione interrupted impatiently.
“The reason for all the questions is that the ministry was trying to find out if any half-bloods or muggle-born were planning to leave the Wizarding world. If Mr. Weasley hadn’t helped me with the forms, I would have got a visit from the Aurors,” Harry explained. “When a muggle-born leaves the magical world they could intentionally or unintentionally cause a breach of the statute of secrecy. They force you to sign a magical contract forbidding you from using magic outside of the magical world and talking about it to anyone that is not an adult wizard or witch. The only exception is for immediate family, and then only if at least two of those people are fully trained wizards or witches.” Harry explained.
“Is that what happened, mom?” Hermione asked, not sure what to think.
Emma nodded, “I tried to explain it to Dan after you grew up but he doesn’t understand how serious magical contracts are, and what would happen if I break them. He was just so upset with me for keeping something like this from him… After that, he said he didn’t want to hear any more about it and he left.”
“A few days later a lawyer contacted me with divorce papers, and a note from Dan saying that he was moving to the United States and didn’t want me to contact him again.”
“Oh mom,” Hermione said sadly as she hugged her. “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s ok sweetheart,” Emma said sadly. “He filed for divorce a few months ago, so I’m doing better now.”
“He told me to give you his address and phone number before he left, but he wants you to wait a year or so before contacting him. He said he needs some time to get himself sorted, but he still loves you,” Emma said as she handed her daughter a piece of paper.
Hermione sniffled a bit as she read over the note that her father left her. It was brief, just explaining that he loved her, that he knew she didn’t know about this either and that he didn’t blame her for any of it. He just needed time to make peace with all the lies and secrets before he could talk to her again.
Harry sensing the mood, put his hand on Hermione’s shoulder in support. “I know this is a lot to take in Hermione, but it will be ok,” he promised. “Why don’t we go on the tour your mother told us about? It will help you get your mind off things,” he offered.
“I don’t know if I’m feeling up for it today,” Hermione confessed. “Maybe another day.”
“There are some great magic libraries in Australia, and all of them are part of the tour.” Harry tempted her. “And unlike in Britain they’re public, any wizard or witch can visit. It would be a shame to miss out on them.”
The internal struggle in Hermione’s mind went back and forth. On the one hand, she had gotten some awful news about her parents and all she wanted to do was mope, but this was a great opportunity. It could get her mind off things, and there wasn’t anything she could do to fix things with her parents at least for the moment.
“OK,” Hermione decided. “But if I change my mind can we still come back?” She asked.
“Of course,” Harry agreed. “… Why don’t you join us, Mrs. Granger? It could be fun,” Harry said after a moment’s thought.
“You know, perhaps I will. Just let me grab my purse.” Mrs. Granger agreed. “It’s been so long since I’ve been in the magical world.”
A few minutes later the three of them stepped out and walked around the side of the house to pick up Australia’s version of the knight bus.
Hermione was just admiring some flowers in the garden when she saw a flash of light out of the corner of her eye and heard a thud. She immediately drew her wand and turned on her heel but it was too late, she felt a burst of magic strike her back and she slumped to the ground.