Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: Snapshots: One Winged Angel :: That Idiot!

That Idiot!

Category : Missing Scene

Notes : The pov is skippy, but that’s okay!

Hermione sat down to eat her nutritionally balanced breakfast, pausing to shake out her napkin and drape it over her lap, and to smile at her parents, before picking up a fork and having a bite. When an owl flew in with that day’s Daily Prophet she absently produced a knut and slipped it into the bird’s pouch, and set the paper off to one side to read once she was done. After all, it was highly frowned upon in their household to read at the table, never mind what was customary at Hogwarts.

She mused as she ate, pleased that she had long since finished all her holiday work and had managed to get a good head start on the upcoming year. And at that, she had spent quite a bit of time pondering the prophecy Harry had confided in her. Hermione had to admit, if she were to be at all honest with herself, that it was possible Harry could be correct. Maybe.

He might actually not live through the final confrontation. Still, she had promised him she would figure things out. He had been right to come to her, and it nearly broke her heart to realize he had been suffering so nobly all year long and hadn’t dared talk to anyone for fear of their safety. That’s what she kept telling herself, that is.

In all actuality, she was touched that he had confided in her, and only her, but a part of her would not be denied. A part of her was very angry at Harry for keeping her in the dark for so long. Another part of her was astonished that Harry could keep a secret for that long; she simply hadn’t thought it was possible. She would like to think it was a guy thing, but she knew quite well what dreadful gossips girls could be. Well, that was all right. She could keep a secret, and she would figure out how to help her friend. He obviously needed her.

It was about then that her father made a choking noise, which caused her to look over in alarm. “Dad?”

John Granger tapped the folded Daily Prophet several times rapidly.

Hermione looked down in confusion, then frowned when she realized she could see part of Harry’s face. Were they running another of those horrid stories about him? Then she noticed the headline and quickly reached out to unfold the paper to see it properly.

Dark Lord Defeated—Harry Potter Dead

The first thing she did was screech, “That idiot!” But as she continued to stare in disbelief at the visage of a photo-shy Harry Potter, her lower lip began to tremble and her eyes suddenly began to sting. “I failed him,” she whispered.

“Don’t take on responsibility that doesn’t belong to you,” her mother said quietly.

Hermione looked up. “What? Mum, he’s dead. I never had a chance to figure out the—”

“That what, dear?” John asked.

“I promised I would never tell!” Hermione wailed. “And now I’ve failed him! He came to me—me!—asking for my help, and . . . he’s dead? He can’t be dead. There must be some kind of mistake! Barely anything happened this past year, Harry wasn’t involved in a life or death struggle, and he—it’s totally the wrong time of year for Merlin’s sake!”

John looked at his wife helplessly. She responded by scooting her chair closer to their daughter, so he pulled the paper over and began reading the article. By the time he looked back up Hermione was pacing around violently and muttering under her breath.

“This says he went missing on the ninth.”

Hermione stopped dead and shrieked, “What!”

“He . . . went missing on the ninth,” John repeated.

“How could—?” And then she fainted dead away.

John’s chair went flying as he leapt forward to try to catch his daughter before she hit the ground. A few minutes later they were in the sitting room; Hermione had been settled onto the couch and was just stirring back to consciousness, with Jane sitting patiently at her side with a glass in one hand.

“Have some of this, dear,” she said and extended the glass.

Hermione took it without really looking and had a sip, immediately spitting it back up. “What the bloody hell is this?” she demanded.

“Hermione Jane Granger! You will not curse in this house,” Jane said sternly. “And it’s brandy.”

“Am I suddenly some missish featherhead from a trashy romance novel?” Hermione asked.

“I wouldn’t know, dear,” Jane said patiently. “I’m not the one who reads them.”

“Are you saying I do?” Hermione asked indignantly.

Jane reached over and reclaimed the glass. “If you don’t like it, don’t drink it. And I have helped clean your room for years now, dear, so I’ve seen what you hide in your closet.”

John thought the byplay was amusing and distracting, but rather felt it was better to get back to the real issue and gave his wife a meaningful look.

“Hermione, I’m sorry, but your friend is dead,” Jane said bluntly, but gently.

What little colour remained in Hermione’s face fled at that and her eyes went quite watery. A second later fat tears began to stream out and slip down her cheeks. “That just can’t be, mum. He’s not supposed to die. I wasn’t going to let that happen. I thought he was just exaggerating, and now I’ve failed him, and I’ll never forgive myself. And we were at odds this year, and. . . .”

Hermione rattled on incoherently for some time as her parents watched and made futile attempts at comforting her, and eventually she drifted off to sleep, exhausted. Jane tucked a blanket around her and went back into the kitchen with her husband to clean up the remains of breakfast.

“I wonder at times if she was in love with that boy,” John mused once they were done, then took a seat with a fresh cup of coffee.

“Surely not, John. I would have thought the Weasley boy,” Jane replied as she set a cup of tea down and slid into a seat herself.

John shrugged.