A/N: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters.
The only thing that she was aware of was the heat. It was oppressive this morning as she awoke and the sun was not up yet. At the moment they were at the hotel in the muggle community and soon the guide would come to collect them.
She and her parents had decided to go on holiday to Egypt after she had heard so much about it from Ronald and the rest of the Weasley's the previous year. The history of Egypt was well known in the wizarding world, but because of the International Statute of Secrecy not much is known in the muggle world but they were a superstitious lot.
The truth. The ancient Egyptians were the first wizarding community before Alexander the great wiped out the original settlements out of fear and drove them into hiding. Under the reign of Cleopatra the last pharaoh of Egypt wizards were able to blend with the muggle community and held more or less respect within Egypt. However, those from out side the country were not told the truth unless they were visiting wizards and that was so they could avoid shock at the culture and how they were blended. A place were blood nor status mattered just your knowledge.
In Hermione's opinion it just showed how closed mind some people were, and how honesty could improve relations.
The hotel that they were staying at in Alexandria was a large world chain owned by muggles in America which they booked before arriving. Needless to say it was outside the natural community. Bill Weasley had found out from his mother about the Grangers and Hermione's trip and took upon himself to act as a guide for them, in a friendly way. Since he was a curse breaker for Gringotts he worked on the sites that most tourist visited, and the ones wizards only saw.
Hermione could now feel the air condition turn on as it shut off at night because of the dip in tempter near the 10°C before it jumped back up near 50°C. She figured it was rising into the 20's not a bad day for the desert.
Looking at the side table she saw that it was 7:08am a good time to start getting ready for the day.
She thought today was a fine day to see the tomb of the fabled Cleopatra the VII. Many thought her tomb was near the sea and sank below the waves the same time the lighthouse did. However, they were wrong. The great Queen was in the desert outside Alexandria in a temple befitting her predecessors. Only it was better concealed and protected from outsiders.
The trip was going to a hot one so Hermione choose'd to wear beige slacks, with a blue and white thick striped T-shirt and a light tan over coat that she bought in the market the other day that was charmed to keep the wearer cool. On her feet were a pair of scholar's boots high enough to keep the sand out but low enough to walk comfortably. In all she looked like the British scholar she was, just not a wizarding one as she was trying to go unnoticed.
Grabbing her wand, to which she hid in her coat sleeve where she could reach it, and room key she walked out her hotel room to the hall to briefly wait for her parents as the Grangers were light sleeper's as a family rule. She did not wait long for as she closed the door to her room her parents started to walk out theirs.
"Good morning, Princess," her father greeted. "Did you sleep well?" He was dressed similarly to her self only differences was he did not have a wizard's coat to keep him cool and he wore a light green polo shirt. Her mother was dressed also in light pants and a T-shirt of pink (her mother love'd the girlish aspects of women, pink being one of them).
"Yes I did, however the heat is quite heavy this morning," reply'd Hermione in a cheery voice. "I only hope it becomes dryer over the course of the day."
"That's our girl, always looking on the upside of things," remarked her mother. "So what is on today's to do list?"
"Well there will be breakfast with Bill down stairs, then we will be heading to the Tomb of the Last Pharaoh of Egypt for a tour of the complex before heading to Wizarding Egypt for some light shopping," said Heroine in thoughtful manner. "Bill informed me yesterday that that International Statute of Secrecy is lax down here because of the difference of opinion on magic, therefore shopping here is more simple for non-magical families."
"Oh good, maybe I'll get lucky and find something useful," came her dad's optimism. "Maybe a good wallet."
She and her mom both giggled at her fathers nonchalance about magic. Magic does not solve all problems, it is a tool just like any pen! and Why need a wand when you can just use your hands are her fathers go to lines regarding magic. Truth was his mother, her grandma, was a squib as was her grandfather (a pure-blood act to produce pure-blood offspring with magic from what she was told). Both were from France's wizarding community and taught their son as much as they remembered about magic when he was young just incase he was excepted as a wizard. Because, he never showed any propensity for magic he was sent to muggle schools and arranged to marry another squib. Her mother was a Nott and technically Theodore Nott and her were related as her mother was his aunt. So when she was born her dad thought to raise her with a understanding of both worlds and appreciation of what a person could do if they put their mind to it albeit if they were wizard or muggle. It was just surprising she was a witch, so magic became a gift, a tool, or a talent.
"Dear, I think we'll find you something," came her Nana. For seventy-three years old she was active and had a tongue a sharp as ever. Her father thought to keep an eye on her by bring her. She was dressed in tan skirt and a loose-off shoulder shirt that was white showing off her figure. She looked no older then forty and still had good curves. "Maybe, a foe mirror for Hermione, and a never-ending journal for you Meredith."
Now that everyone was awake they could go down the sleek elevator to the dining hall for breakfast. The ride down was quite, but her grandmother tried to draw her into a conversation about the flying horse races being held at the family estate in France, the reason for her being with them.
As they existed the elevator they entered a bright hall with windows in the back filtering in the sun and indigenous flora, the fairing of food off to the right on beautiful stone tables, and covered tables sprinkling the floor for guests. In all it displayed all of the beauty of Egypt and none of the unrest.
Bill was seated at a table in the far corner near the windows, probably an attempt to get more sun before heading back to work. When he spotted them coming he stood up and pulled out a chair. He was a cool looking Brit with a long black coat and trousers, a light colored shirt and his hair hid an odd looking earring.
"Mr. Granger, Mrs. Granger, Mrs. Granger," greeted Bill looking at each of the adults in turn. Nodding to her, "Hermione, I trust you all slept well?"
Her father pulled a chair for her mother and responded before his mother could, as she had a sharp tongue and an opinion as to how she was address, "we slept as expected during travel." A respectable response, "Hermione was just telling us what was on today's itinerary. Perhaps you can add to it, something about a tomb."
Hermione always thought that if her father was a wizard he would have been in Slytherin. He had a way of steering a conversation in the direction he wanted and defused what her mother said was a 'sleeping wyvern,' truly a simple question about health and her grandmother could have anyone crying.
"Oh yes, when Hermione contacted me before your arrival, I thought a visit to the tomb of Cleopatra would be exciting for everyone as there are many mysteries about the Last Pharaoh even in the wizarding world." Bill started, as her grandmother took the seat proffered. "We still do not know how she died, if she was telling the truth about Octavian, or what she used to name her successor, if their was one."
Hermione took a seat next to her grandmother, the thought of the food mere feet away made her hungry. As if sensing her need to eat, Bill waved his wand under the table and the food from across the hall appeared in the center for everyone to divulge in. "A simple spell really and it prevents the muggle's from seeing flying food, but as you grab food from these plates they will refill from the food over there," pointing to the displayed food.
"You really missed your calling in life, Mr. Weasley," remarked her grandmother, as she reached for slapjack's and honey. "You would have done well in the service industry." The look her dad gave his mother was dark as she dismissed him just as easily.
"Oh," smiling, Bill joked, "I thought I had that covered working for the bank, and it makes good money."
"Really, I didn't think the Goblins paid that well for wand wavers, preferring their own to do the work."
"True they don't like wizards much, but they make exceptions -"
"And what pray tell do you do? Fill forms? Feed dragon's?"
"Grandma, Bill is a curse breaker for Gringotts," said Hermione before a fight broke out at the table. "And before you ask yes he is qualified for the position." Bill was affronted after the verbal assault to his skills, he was being kind to his brother escorting the Grangers through Egypt for the last week and a half. He wasn't expecting bigotry, and he wasn't above walking away.
"I'm sorry Bill," came her words again, in a calm manner. "My grandmother was raised to be proud. She forgets her demeanor around others in her old-age and this is why she tends to stay at home." chiding her grandmother as well as calming Bill.
Her words seemed to do the trick as Bill relaxed, but he looked to have caught something her grandma said. "It's alright, no harm done. But, Mrs. Granger, don't mind my prying but you seem to know an awful lot about wizards," he looked at everyone as he said, "almost as if you were one."
Her grandmother obviously couldn't help herself as she saw the door and ran with it, "of course not or else I would weld a wand myself, no. Now being born to a set of pure-blood parents makes me, my son, and my daughter-in-law something else."
Bill's face was stone blank and you could see the wheels working as he put together what was said. "So, your alluding that your a squib. Merlin's beard, Hermione are you a pure-blood?"
Her father decided that now would a good time to speak, "As a matter of fact, yes. Mother," looking at his own mother, "was the only daughter of the Delacour Family, who also had an elder son. In a attempt to accommodate their daughter's status, they married her to another squib from the Black Family, Orion Black, my uncle, was largely upset and asked my grandfather if he had to acknowledge me. When I was born my magic was weaker then expected and I was classified a squib. So I changed my surname from Black to Granger." Looking at his mother, he silenced what ever she wanted to say.
Bill nodded, "So your a Black. So I've been addressing your mother poorly." Looking to the Matriarch he said, "I'm sorry Mrs. Black for not correcting my speech earlier."
"That is alright, she won't mind," said her dad. "Yes I'm a Black and own all the Black property, well manage, as my aunt upon her death left it all to my daughter, as her eldest son is incarcerated and the youngest assumed dead. That is how we learned she was a witch. She also owns the Delacour manor and vaults in France as my mothers brother married a Veela," he said with a grimace. "Gran, was not very forgiving, he now has two girls Fleur and Gabriel one is slightly older then Hermione. However the downside is the requirement that her last name was changed back to Black."
"Really, so Hermione here is not a Granger," Bill mused.
"Not really," Hermione piped. "When I was born my full name was Hermione Jean Black-Granger, and mom's a Nott."
"Yes, but when Aunt Wally died she required Hermione to drop the Granger name formally. Dumbledore thought the Granger name would help with blending with her classmates but her report cards are under her formal name." Her father looked every inch his fifty-two years, and her grandma pointedly ate her food. "So that's our family history. I hear your the oldest of quite the crowd."
Bill flushed, "I am surprised to be in good company," he knew of the old practices but never seen an affected family, "however, to my own family, I'm the oldest of seven children-"
"Seven! Your poor mother must work like a house elf with that many children," exclaimed her grandma shocked with the number of children in one family.
Bill smiled in humor at the elderly woman's shock, "Mum, is a good natured woman that runs a mean ship. She can cook with the best of them, and she keeps my twin brothers on their toes." Hermione smiled at the description of the aging matron thinking that Bill truly loved his mother. "I have five brothers and the youngest is my only sister, Ginevra."
"So I take it your family is extremely happy to have so many children," her mom tried in an attempt at diplomacy. "I know that it was hard for us to even have Hermione." Children in the wizarding world was a touchy subject, thing was most witches were infertile or had difficulty conceiving. So the Weasley's with seven children was slightly unheard of; more than three children was amazing
"Yes we are a happy bunch, but there is a strain on my parents in regards to budgets for school, supplies, and pleasure. Dad works for the ministry and they pay well but their is no pay increases."
"So as a good son you help out," inquired the seventy plus lady. "After all as a widow myself with no skills my son takes care of me these days. Surly a young man with a good job, no family to take care of, and no debts sends money home to help his parents."
Bill still smiling looked at the elderly snake, "I help were I can. However, I should say the day is still young and we are going touring."
Hermione jumped on this topic change, calmly, "How are we heading to the tomb?"
"Here in Egypt they have very strict Transportation Laws," remarked Bill, losing his smile a bit. "it's hard to fly a broom let a lone get approval for a porkey. However, the tomb is not far from the city so we are going by jeep."
"So you know how to drive then," asked Mrs. Granger.
"Yes, my father had a Ford for several years until two years ago when my brother drove it into a tree," recalled Bill, Hermione blushed as she remembered the story surrounding the loss of Mr. Weasley's car. "I learned on that car and have one of my own that I use when I'm home. Down here I use the company cars to get to and fro from the sites. Much easier then apparition when you deal in artifacts."
"So you excavate tombs for the bank," inquired her dad. She decided to delve into the food and she wanted fruit and yogurt with some light tea and honey.
"Yes, it is the goal of the Bank is to Open a Wizard's Museum in Diagon Alley," mussed Bill. "I my self think it's about time, but there is the need for space, artifacts, and we will be reaching out to Old Families like yours for loans on some item's as well."
Hermione thought for a second and wondered why they would ask for a loan of items. "What Items would you be looking for the museum that you would like to display," she inquired. "I don't think we have anything that is of interest."
"Oh, but you have paintings, personal items, and even Journals of important people such as the late Headmaster Phineas N. Black," countered Bill with enthusiasm. "By putting their things and written thoughts out for the public others can see for themselves why they did the things they did, and it could change how history looks on those people."
"Maybe looking into these people is not the best thing for the public, Mr. Weasley," marked her Grandma dolefully. "Maybe it will change things for the worst and we would question our society and existence."
This quieted everyone as they all tried not to think of the worst this very idea would bring. In fact breakfast conversation ended into silence as everyone began to focus on their own meal.
Hermione couldn't help but feel that in some way her nana was right.