"Okay Hermione, here we are!" Hermione's mother said as they drove to the playground, "Now remember to have fun!"
Hermione sighed as she put her book down and got out of the car. She hated going to the playground as she'd usually end up playing by herself most of the time, and she would rather read a book instead. But Her mother was usually firm on getting her to exercise, so there was no changing her mind.
The playground in question was rather dull, with a few swings and a slide being the only forms of enjoyment she could get. There weren't that many people here today either, two boys were playing together while their father slept on a bench. Hermione sighed again and went under the stairs leading to the slide to get away from the heat.
Hermione screamed as someone suddenly spoke. She turned around to see that a boy with ragged clothes and glasses was standing behind her.
"What is your problem? You nearly gave me a heart attack!" Hermione shouted.
"Sorry," The boy said, "I didn't mean to scare you."
"It's fine," Hermione said after she looked at the boy for a brief few moments, "You look like you're sorry, so I forgive you."
"Thank you." The boy smiled.
"So what are you doing here?" Hermione asked.
"Oh, I'm just trying hide." The boy said.
"From who?" Hermione asked.
"Found you freak!" A large boy smirked as he looked at the boy with glasses, Hermione frowned at the word 'freak'.
"That's not very nice you know." Hermione said.
The large boy snorted, "Who cares what you think?" The large boy turned his attention back to the boy with glasses, "Anyway, we're going to start another round of Harry hunting, you'd better start running!"
The boy, who she assumed was named Harry, began to run away as the large boy cracked his knuckles.
"Excuse me," Hermione called out to the large boy, "What's 'Harry hunting?'"
"Oh, it's where we chase the freak down and beat him up," the large boy said.
"Why would you do something like that?" Hermione asked.
"Because he's a freak," The boy shrugged, as though it was that simple, "He deserves it anyway."
As the boy ran off into the woods, Hermione became resolved to tell the boy's father, who was probably still sleeping on the bench, about what his son was doing.
"Excuse me sir," Hermione said as she walked to the bench and shook the man's shoulder, "But I think your son is bullying someone, and he won't stop."
"Huh? Dudley wouldn't bully anyone," The man said as he rubbed his eyes, "Unless you're talking about my nephew..."
The man suddenly jolted in his seat and looked around the playground for the boys.
"Did you see where they went?" he asked her. Hermione pointed in the direction they had ran in, and soon the man stood up and marched into the woods before marching back out with Harry following him, the boy who was chasing him was walking with them as well, crying as loud as possible.
"This is why I don't take you anywhere boy," The man said to Harry, "You're nothing but trouble!"
"S-sorry Uncle Vernon..." Harry stuttered as he looked down at the ground.
"How dare you try and bully Dudley, did you think you could get away with it?" The man said, "And then you try to lie and say Dudley was bullying you instead?!"
The man then pointed at her, "That girl saw everything, and she made sure I knew exactly what you were doing."
Hermione felt sick as Harry stared at her, she couldn't tell what he was thinking but she quickly tried to explain herself.
"No sir, Harry was the one being bullied!" Hermione shouted, "Dudley was the one who-"
"It's okay." Harry said.
"I should take responsibility for my own actions," Harry said, "I don't need you to try and lie for me."
"But I'm not-"
"Didn't you hear him girl?" The man asked, "There's no need to lie, at least he's being honest for once."
The man smirked, "I may lessen your punishment for your honesty, freak." The man then turned to the boy who was crying, "Let's go Dudley, go get Piers."
"Okay Dad," Dudley said, as the man then turned back to Harry to lecture him, Dudley bumped her shoulder and stuck his tongue out at her, and Hermione realized that his tears had been faked.
"See you, freak lover." Dudley whispered to her as he ran back into the forest.
Hermione stared at Harry, who was listening to his uncle rant at him. Harry noticed her staring at him and gave her a small smile before he turned back to his Uncle. Dudley soon came back with his friend, and the four of them left the park. As Hermione left the playground she went back to the car and climbed into the backseat.
"Hermione, what's wrong?" Her mother asked her, "Why are you crying?"
Hermione told her mother about what had happened, and her mother frowned.
"I don't understand why he was like that to his nephew, calling him a freak," Hermione said as she wiped her eyes, "He didn't even ask his son if I was telling the truth."
"Well, Hermione there are some adults who aren't...nice people," Hermione's mother said, "Not every adult has the ability to act their age."
"Well those adults should learn how to act their age then." Hermione said.
"Some of them don't want to learn how," Hermione's mother said, "Anyway, are you ready to go home?"
As they drove home, Hermione thinking started to change, at first, she had thought that all adults were responsible and mature people like her parents or her teachers. But what she had seen at the playground shattered that idea, if there were people like that man around, how many more adults were exactly like him? How many kids had to deal with the things Harry had to deal with? She wasn't really sure, but she knew that she was never going to become like that when she grew up...