The next morning, Harry and Hermione were entwined in each other’s arms and legs, sleeping peacefully, and ignorant of the world around them, not noticing the small ball of fluff flying around the room and the two figures staring at them.
“Oh, should we really wake them up? They look so cute…”
“Emma, are you seeing what I’m seeing? Of course we have to wake them up!”
“Oh, Dan, stop it, they have on clothes.”
“You think I should tell Hermione about the story of when we were in college together? How most nights… hell, all nights in our senior year… you were never in your room, and I—”
“No, you really don’t have to tell her, Emmie…”
“Oh, I think I should. Our daughter has been in love with this man for over three years! If she wants to do anything, she has my permission, and so does Harry.”
“How do you know she’s in love?”
“Have you seen the way she was glowing and the way he was blushing when she kissed him on the cheek on the train a few years back? I almost made her go back and ask him out on the spot! Now I wish I had, actually…”
“It could’ve been the sun, y’know. The sun always makes Hermione smile, and the boy appeared to have red cheeks by the glow.”
“The glow from the sun or Hermione?”
“It doesn’t matter, now, but do how you know it was love, anyway? It could’ve been a small crush.”
“Firstly, She had never kissed anyone on the cheek before except us. Secondly, I’ve never seen her that happy in her entire life, except for the smile that she gave me when I wondered if the two were dating. Lastly, she told me after we got home that day. And yes, it was indeed love. I’m sure that my daughter knows the difference between love and like. I always knew they would be together. You still owe me ten daily foot-rubs, by the way.”
“As much as I want to talk some more about this, I think we should wake them up before that flying… thing attacks them in their sleep.”
“You just want them out of the same bed, Dan.”
“I can’t help it. She is my only daughter and—”
“—and if we say anything against Harry, we’ve lost her, so don’t tell me you don’t want to lose her.”
“What makes you say that she’ll choose Harry over her own parents?” Dan exclaimed, more in shock.
“What’s the only reason she stays at Hogwarts for Christmas some years? Why was our vacation cut short in her fifth year on one Christmas? Why are we in New Zealand now? Any way you see it, whether you know it or not, our daughter revolves around Harry Potter. She has been enamoured with him since first year and has not stopped. And now, looking at them, I don’t think it ever will now that she knows that he feels the same way. Ultimately, if she had a choice between Harry and us, she’ll take a long time to think, of course, and will probably be crying afterwards, but do you know who’ll be comforting her after her decision? One person. Not two.
“Dan, are you still listening to me?”
“I still don’t like it.”
“Dan, the only people you ever liked is me, Hermione, and your family. And since Harry is going to become family soon…”
“Don’t talk like that!”
“You heard him yesterday, he would like to propose to Hermione. What do you think he meant?”
“I didn’t take it seriously!”
“Quiet, Dan, you’ll wake them!”
“That’s what I’m trying to do, Emmie.”
“See, she moved!”
“Probably trying to escape his grasp.”
“She’s the one using his chest as a pillow. Dan, why can’t you understand the fact that they are madly in love and they belong together? We are going out today; you and Harry will bond and Hermione and I will catch up. Unless you want to stay here? This place does look really nice.”
“Fine, now can we wake them up? That furball is getting on my nerves. We shouldn’t have let it in.”
“I still think we should let them sleep a bit longer.”
“If you weren’t such loud talkers,” A voice interrupted, “I would wholeheartedly agree with you. Good morning, mother. Good morning, father.”
“Umm… good morning, Hermione,” Emma sheepishly said. “How much did you hear?”
“Morning, Hermione,” Mr. Granger said uneasily. It seemed that his daughter waking up with Harry in her bed was routine. He had honestly hoped that Harry snuck in bed in the middle of the night to ‘cuddle up’ with his daughter. It would give him a chance to get rid of him, and for Hermione to realize that all boys were untrustworthy. That hopefulness was squashed when Hermione gave Harry a small squeeze around his waist before she slipped her arms (and unbeknownst to them, her legs) off of him. She lifted the covers and got up from the bed, and Dan had to choke back a gasp while Emma tried to contain her grin. Hermione only had on a tank top and green knickers.
Hermione looked up, oblivious of the looks on her parent’s faces. “Oh, good morning, Pig.”
“Pig?” Dan asked questionably, trying not to wrap his mind around yet another image that would make him shudder uncontrollably.
“Short for Pigwideon,” Hermione explained, “Ron’s pet. I think I see a letter tied to his leg. I really wish I had Harry’s seeker skills…hold on a second…” She grabbed her wand on the headstand and pointed her wand at the happily bouncing owl, who looked like it was trying to get away from her and continue flying. “Accio Pigwideon!” Moments later, a happily struggling owl was being held firmly, yet gently, by Hermione as she tried to remove the letter from his leg.
“You know,” Hermione said to her parents, still looking at Pig, “I would ask you both how you got in here, but Harry told me that he was missing his key last night. We used the summoning charm, like I just used on Pig, but It was nowhere in this room. But something told me that when you came in this room, the key did, too, right dad?”
“Damn,” Dan muttered as he pulled the key out of his pocket and threw it on the bed. “Why did you have to have your mother’s brain?”
“As always, he doesn’t trust you,” Emma said, shaking her head at them. “I didn’t want to go with him, but I wanted to see you again. It was a long time, after all.”
“But you didn’t know me, then,” Hermione said as she successfully removed the letter, “And It should only seem that you had a very long dream.”
“It did seem like a long dream,” Emma said, “but we were still there, dear. It feels like we were in a deep sleep. We thought about you subconsciously, but it never came to the front of our minds.”
“Oh, I’m sorry for that. I thought I had all of your memories of me.”
“You cannot make us forget about our daughter, honey.”
“I thought magic would’ve made that possible,” She muttered as she opened the letter. “Oh; this one’s addressed to just Harry. Strange…” She rolled the parchment up, not wanting to pry, left the letter on the bed next to Harry, and left the room with her parents to avoid waking up Harry.
Minutes later, the sun shined on Harry through the window as if forcing him to wake up. He groggily opened his eyes and tried to block the sun with his hand, until he realized that there was no comforting presence near him. Letting his senses return, he heard people talking in the living room of the suite. He turned around to see that he was indeed, the only one in bed. The people talking sounded like her parents. That put Harry at ease again.
Just as he was about to go to sleep again, his hand hit something. He turned back over in bed to see a letter in Hermione’s place. Curiosity piqued, he reached for his glasses and placed them on. Seeing the letter clearly now, he grabbed it.
How’s it been, mate? Hermione give you any trouble? I told Pig that he had to give the note directly to you. Mum sent you a box of chocolates straight from Honeydukes. Pig couldn’t send two boxes (when we get Merlin’s Money, I’m gonna buy a better owl first) so you could just send it back so I could send the other box. I’m sure you understand why Hermione’ll get a bigger one.
She’s been mad at me lately. First, she kisses me in the middle of the battle. Then, she breaks up with me after two days! She didn’t even kiss me again! Could you believe that! I said it once, I’ll say it again. That one is mental! What am I gonna do with her! Put in a few good words for me, would you, mate? Maybe she’ll come to her senses while you guys are gone.
Oh, and mum said she’s going to send you chocolates every two weeks. They get addicting, you know, so I’m sure you won’t complain. She’s asking you not to pay her when you come back. She said that when you return, that’ll be reward enough.
Ginny says hi.
Harry didn’t particularly know what he was to feel for Ron. Although he felt a little sad that Hermione was with him now, he would never regret it. So he did what he always did when he didn’t understand what he was feeling at the moment; he shrugged. He had been hanging around Ron too much.
Harry looked around the room. There were no chocolates around the room, nothing wrapped or shimmering. Harry frowned, wondering if Hermione put the box in the fridge. He got up slowly, cracked his back and neck a few times, then trudged out of the room.
Hermione and her parents walked into the room, transfiguring a nearby glass into a pair of jean pants. Emma noticed that, for he first time, it was something snug instead of slightly baggy. She couldn’t help but smile when her woman of a daughter pulled on her jeans that showed off her figure. She didn’t know who was luckier, Harry or Hermione.
Hermione turned to face them. “Now, why did you enter without our permis—” But she stopped in mid-sentence when she noticed a plain brown package on the counter on the box. Caution overcame her curiosity as she lifted her wand to the box.
“Revelio,” she commanded in a firm tone. The package started changing a multitude of colors, until finally settling on pink. “Mum, dad,” Hermione asked, panic rising to her voice, “where did that come from?”
“It was tied to that owl’s leg,” Emma explained. “Pig,” Dan snickered at the name while she ignored him, “was carrying it with one leg. We were here and let it in when it kept running into your window. The poor fella flew all the way from…you know, you never told me where this ‘Burrow’ is.”
“I never knew,” Hermione said absently as she was cautiously stepping towards the mysteriously wrapped gift. “I always used the Knight Bus or apparated. One time I used a portkey. I told you about those, right?” They nodded. “And I doubt you know where Ottery St. Catchpole is.”
“We don’t if it’s a magical place,” Emma said as she steeped closer to her daughter, who absently handed over Pigwideon, who was hooting happily in her hand the whole time. “Hermione…is something in there…dangerous?” She whispered the last word.
But Dan heard. He ran over to Hermione, who instantly raised a hand to stop him proceeding any further. “Hermione, if something in there’s dangerous, then it’s my job to—”
“Dad, if there’s a curse on that package it is not your job. I can protect myself.” She stopped a meter away from the package. “And I never said that it was dangerous, but I’m not going to take any chances. Locomotor package.”
The plain brown package lifted up and over to the sink. “Have you two touched it?”
“Yes, when we moved it,” Emma said, backing up a little. “What are you going to do?”
“Well, since you can touch it, I’m going to open it and see what it is. I don’t know what’s in it, though. I’ve never seen a pink reaction before.” She slowly approached the package and picked it up. She eyed it for a long moment, as if she had a magical eye. She then narrowed her eyes in suspicion. “Is it a warming charm?” She muttered to herself. “Then what were the other colors?” She tentatively grabbed a fold of the brown wrapping and ripped it. Several tears later, she was looking at a plain white box. Her parents surrounded the box as Hermione slowly lifted the cover to reveal…
“Chocolates, dear?” Emma asked in an amused tone while her husband burst out laughing. “We had to do an ‘Indiana Jones’ on a box of chocolates?”
Hermione could actually feel her face burn at the embarrassing paranoia. “Sorry. You get really paranoid over a year’s time.” She reached out to touch the chocolates. “I know, that was really stupid, and I—”
She stopped when she felt one of the chocolates. Something was wrong.
“It’s not warm,” she whispered. “Then what was the charm on them?”
“Is the warming charm in the filling?” Dan asked, his eyes lighting up like a child being told Christmas had come.
“Oh, honestly, Dan, aren’t you a dentist?” Emma teased.
Hermione frowned at the lump of chocolate in her hand and squeezed it between her thumb and index, waiting for the gel-like filling to come out.
Instead, a pink liquid-like substance dropped from her fingers freely, nothing like the creamy substance that she always saw in muggle chocolates.
“What is that?” Emma asked, looking at the pink substance in a mix of curiosity and disgust.
“I’m not eating that,” Dan said.
“It’s Harry’s, dad.”
“How do you know?”
“It’s on the card.” Hermione picked up a card that was on the underside of the cover with her clean hand. It was to Harry, from Ginny. Hermione narrowed her eyes in suspicion. It couldn’t be…
“Could what, dear?” Emma asked as she picked up a chocolate and unwrapped it. “Two worded sentences, Hermione? I believe we’ve been gone far too long, and you’ve been away from school far too long.” She lifted the chocolate and prepared to take a dainty bite.
Emma didn’t know what her daughter just said, and thought she would ask after she took a bite. Imagine her shock when she ended up biting her fingers. “Ouch!”
“What just happened, Hermione?” Dan asked in alarm as he looked over at his wife, then calming down when he saw her rubbing her thumb, no visible marks on her fingers but tooth impressions.
“I summoned the chocolate from you, mum. I’m sorry, but chocolates from Harry’s ex-girlfriend is something that I have to check.”
“Say no more, sweetie,” Emma assured her as she put her hand on her daughter’s shoulder. “That just spells out ‘disaster’. Never leave your ex’s gifts unchecked.”
Hermione scanned the chocolates again. Again, a spectrum shone before her, before pink showed for a few seconds, before turning back into its original white.
“No…Ginny couldn’t have…she wouldn’t have…”
“Dear, what is it?” Emma asked in alarm.
“I-I’m not saying anything for sure,” Hermione said, shaking her head frantically, “because I don’t want to jump to any conclusions.”
“Is it safe to eat, Hermione?” Dan asked sternly.
“I don’t think so,” Hermione muttered, “I really don’t think so.”
“What will you say to Harry, dear?” Emma asked after a few seconds of silence.
“I don’t know,” Hermione said. “I could throw the chocolates away and say that I ate them, but I don’t want Harry to be mad at me and lose his trust…again.”
Emma nodded. She knew Hermione was referring to the Half-Blood Prince’s book. “Why don’t you tell him the truth…whatever it is?”
“Because I don’t want to jump to any conclusions!” Hermione whispered frantically. “You don’t know how protective Harry is of the Weasleys. Mrs. Weasley is a mother to him and Ron is the brother he never had.”
“But we are talking about Ginny,” Emma retorted. “This is between you and her, not the rest of the family.”
“But that was Ron’s owl,” Hermione countered. “Ginny has her own owl. That must mean…”
Before she could finish, They heard a bone-breaking crack.
“He’s awake,” Hermione whispered hurriedly as she put the cover back on the chocolate and magically wrapped the box again. “What am I going to do?” She quickly washed her hands of the sticky residue.
Emma decided to take charge. “Ask him if you could read the letter. We’ll take care of the rest.”
She wasn’t given time to argue, as Harry had chosen that moment to step through the door. “Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. Granger,” Harry said as his eyes adjusted to the light. “Morning, love,” He said as he saw her by the sink. “You okay?” She looked rather clammy and disturbed.
Hermione did not speak for a moment, so Mrs. Granger came to her rescue. “Good Morning, Harry. Hermione doesn’t feel well. We think it’s because of the chocolate she ate.”
“Chocolate?” Harry asked quickly, then turned to the box, which was wrapped.
“We think it’s a tummy ache,” Dan said, “She rarely eats chocolates.”
Hermione gave a small snort. Her parents would, of course, lie that a piece of chocolate could give a stomach virus. After all, when she was three, she was told that her teeth would fall out if she ate so much as an M&M.
“Are you okay?” Harry asked, getting closer to inspect her face.
“Oh, she’s perfectly alright,” Dan said. “She just has a small tummy-ache. It’ll disappear in a few minutes. Let’s get her to a chair.”
After they fake tended to Hermione, she deemed herself well after forty minutes. She missed being cared for by her parents, and if they were honest, they missed looking after their little girl.
Harry came to the conclusion that the chocolate had spoiled, so he took the package and threw it away. He noticed that Hermione seemed more relieved to be rid of it, but he realized that he would have been too if the chocolate had made him sick to his stomach.
Emma, wanting to get the day started so she can talk to her daughter, told them all of her plans. Harry reluctantly agreed, wary of his girlfriend’s father, who was an expert at using drills. Just not the drills that Harry thought.
Author’s Note: Dedicated to my Dad, who succumbed to cancer on July 2, 2010. He always encouraged me to write. If he hadn’t, I would’ve left this hobby of writing long ago. Thanks.