Author's note: Never make someone a priority in your life when you are only an option in theirs. ~Maya Angelou
5 years Golden Trio's sentence ends
An attractive older couple enters the Leaky Cauldron, they walk with the air of purpose. As the woman studies the bar and its occupants, the man makes his way to the server at the bar.
The young woman turns with a friendly smile, "How may I help you?"
Returning her smile, he replies "It seems the Lamb and Flag on Rose Street isn't the oldest pub in London." Then places three sickles in her hand.
Good naturally, Hannah rolls her eyes with a chuckle, as she hands him a wooden sickle, "Third door to the left. It's a clear day so it's crowded. There is a special event today so be careful of the crush, have a great day."
The couple smiles with a mischievous glint in their eyes, "We know and thank you."
Stunned Hannah blinks as the couple walk towards the back of the pub. Tom comes from the kitchen, lining up the cups and setting up for the lunch crowd.
The couple clearly of African descent are tall and smartly dressed in attire that would easily blend with both muggle and wizard society. What made Hannah pause, the woman is a reflection of what Hermione will be older, and today is her official release from Gringotts.
"I think I just met Hermione's parents."
Without missing a beat Tom bends to pick-up the serving trays from the end of the count. "Really, I thought they were obliviated and sent to the Aussies."
Shaking her head, she takes the trays from him then wipes them down. "What do you expect from the Prophet, they always got it wrong with Hermione."
Passing through the short narrow hallway, bypassing the dining area, Solomon and Amina Granger enters one of the storage rooms. Surrounded by supplies they spy a grim with an open mouth by the corner and places the wooden coin between the fangs. The mouth closes as the weight triggers the mechanism, then at the sound of the wooden coin dropping within the statue, the bricks move in a pattern exposing a blue door opening to the courtyard of the cobblestoned wizarding shopping district of Diagon Alley.
They look at one another as they step through, Solomon smirks as Amina comments in a droll voice. "How vintage."
Placing a steady hand on the small of her back, Solomon responds, "Our little star wasn't kidding when she said nothing would change."
Steadily they make their way through the district, blending in with the crowd. Stopping in stores that caught their interest. Listening to the daily chatter of the crowd. The release of the 'Golden Trio' was met with little fanfare much to their delight. As they drew near Gringotts a small crowd was forming. Ignoring the crowd, the Grangers nods to the guards as they enter into the interior. It never ceases to amaze them the beauty of the marble walls and the golden art reliefs. Taking their place in the queue to meet a teller, a familiar voice captures their attention.
Fleur Weasley is part of the small circle of people within the English Enclave that maintained contact with Hermione and in extension with them.
It figures the few that held their respect are the deadliest ones.
Her allure affects the weak-willed and there are many in this inclusive stagnate society. This was a running joke in the many dinners between Fleur, Bill, and the Grangers.
Quickly the beautiful blond moves them to a private room, where they find themselves meeting the King of the Goblins.
Jareth sits behind a heavy ornate mahogany desk with a Tiffany lamp and feral grin. His blond intimidating glory isn't tampered by dressing as a mortal in a bold red but a classic vested suit with silk black shirt. He is a cold beauty that commands attention even reverence. Taken so off guard, Fleur guides the couple to their seats.
Quickly they both look to each other, then to Fleur. Amina gushes, "You're the 'White Duke'!" Confused Solomon looks to his wife, "I thought he was 'Ziggy Stardust'." She swats at him, gushingly she explains "He's David Jones aka David Bowie both the persona of the 'White Duke and Ziggy Stardust. Oh, I am such a huge fan!"
Amused Jareth's grin soften to a full smile, "I see where Hermione gets her enthusiasm." Amina blushes, "My apologies, I meant no offense." Sizing the mortals, he made his decision, looking to his left he nods to Chief Master Accountant.
The Goblin standing to the King left straightens, "I am Chief Master Accountant, Heauteclere. We have corresponded over the last five years concerning your daughter. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the offense to the Goblin Nation she had willing made, one that merits a full-scale war." Both parents stiffen, "However, due to your credit, Hermione Jean Granger, contacted us to rectify her offense. In this rare bold move from a witchling, the Nation paused and listened to her reasoning as took her responsibility. Another bold move from a witchling, she submitted her talents and grades for assessment to attempt to pay off said debt. You must understand there is great a deep loathing between the Wizard World and the Goblin Nation. And for a witchling or wizard to take responsibility for their actions is unheard of. The monarchy decided to have her work off her debts as an apprentice and all work within that time is solely owned by Gringotts until the debt is paid. Not only has she met the criteria of a Master Curse Breaker but also a Master Healer. Her debt to the Goblin Nation has been closed."
As Heauteclere moves to speak more on the subject. Jareth raises a finger, cutting the Goblin off in mid breath. "Let it be understood, your daughter showed both maturity and honor in her actions. Not once did she try to trick or cajole her way out of her responsibilities. Her tenacious focus is both helpful and a hindrance. But she persevered and garnered respect, I personally wanted you to know she is completely debt-free and we of the Monarch hold no ill will towards her or her family." Placing his hands on the surface of the desk, "There will be others that will not say so, they are not friends of the Goblin Nation and hold no power. If there is a claim on our behalf. Please contact us immediately." His feral smile was back in full force, "We will rectify that claim permanently."
Solomon sighs in relief as he holds Amina's trembling hands, "Finally."
Just as Afternoon tea begins
Aurors begin to cut through the crowd and surround the platform, making a human shield and space as the Ministry officials quickly assemble. Harry and Ron join the ensemble taking their place in the front row, deliberately leaving an open seat for the last of the Trio. Jonathan Southwark the newly elected Minister of Magic in the middle of making the right noise and promises when the doors of Gringotts gently open. First a murmur then a shot, as the line of goblins pour out of the building to the last step before the street. It was the first time in 100 years since the wizards saw such a display of control and precision. Both armor, shield and weapons gleam in the sun as they part, creating a corridor for others to follow. The press scramble to receive this strange display. As they jockey for position, Southwark speech comes to a halt.
Two couples make their way down the steps, the first a tall man with blond hair and red muggle suit accompanied with a woman in a black and gold Ankara cape mid-calf dress with matching head wrap. The second couple, both in the colors of black and purple catches up with the striking couple.
Both Harry and Ron recognize the woman in black and gold, softly Ron whispers "Hermione". Jareth smirks, his little minions ensure mischief is to be at hand. Her name is heard throughout the street attracting the crowd's attention.
Turning Jareth addresses the reporters with grace and presence many envies, "It seems our esteemed press has gotten the memo." Some of the crowd, snicker and outright laugh. "Good afternoon, ladies and gentle. I am Lord Tuatha de Danaan, representing the Goblin Nation. Master Granger has served her sentence to the Goblin Nation. In fact, she has shown such respect and honor that.", turning to the witchling now woman, "Master Granger is considered to be a friend and ally." Several hovering parchments begin to disappear in a flash blue flame. A cool curl of rose-colored lips and tawny eyes meet the scowl of tortoise cat framed blue eyes. Hermione feels her mother's arm around her waist as her father places his hand on her shoulder. He murmurs, 'Interesting dye job there, almost believable." As others snicker, Rita flush in anger.
As the reporters shout their questions, with the grace many admire and envy Jareth redirects the group of reporters' attention back to him, "Now my esteemed people of the English Enclave please hear a few words from Master Granger." Ignoring the protesting reporters and their persistent questions Hermione gives her one statement before letting her father whisk both herself and mother off into the crowd. Her voice travels over the noise, "It is my hope the people of the English Enclave can us my incarceration as one of the many symbols of a break in the terrible cycle of nepotism. No one is above the law."
"Yet, you only served five years!" Jareth's eyes take a predatory gleam, mid-afternoon snacks, he will need to fly an additional circuit around the castle to keep fit. Hermione steps closer to the crowd as her voice lowers. "Yes, I did. Ladies and gentlemen of the press. I served my full sentence. A woman of no magical lineage or backing served her time as mandated by the court. Don't think gentle people of the press, that I am bitter or angry. But it needs to be said. The cycle of bigotry and nepotism, blindly taking the word of one man or one source for truth. Which helped escalated into such a terrible moment of the English Enclave history should be at an end. We need to move past the deep-seated elitism and move forward." Hermione's eyes roam over the crowd, skipping over the Minister of Magic and his entourage, "As I move forward. I hope to see all that was terribly affected to seek a peaceful closure so we may prosper once again. Good day, I have a family to reconnect to again."
As the Grangers turn to leave, flashing bulbs and clicking cameras accompany hurling questions hoping for further responses from the long-missing third of the trio. Some reporters turn to the mute Minister Southwark, all ignore the child savior and favorite ginger sidekick.
Weeks later, Supper time 'The Greenman and Still'
Night has fallen and the traffic almost drowns out the conversations of the group leaving the tunnel of an old apparition point. Today marks the historical event, of the reopening of the Kimble apparition point. For in the Spring of 1915 this and many apparition points throughout England were closed due to WWI. Luna and husband Rolf Scamander quickly embark on the barge on the Thames River with the remaining guests to the event celebrating the occasion. Giddy with excitement Luna touches the tiny lights and silk flowers adorning the rail Rolf chuckles at his wife's antics.
At the far end on the barge, a lively affair was underway. Music, laughter and the tinkling silverware fills the dining area.
Above the open bar, banner of white and copper letter says 'Farewell'. Guests that span all walks of life were invited to celebrate becoming survivors of a world that so easily tossed them aside. Muggle, muggleborn, half-blood and pureblood. All bled in a needless war.
Adorn in a plum and gold high neck Anarkali pantsuit, the light catches the connecting three-strand chains combs securing her updo, Hermione flutters from one group to another. Charming those who only know of her through gossip and slander, they see her in a new light. Gone was the bushy hair, bucktooth know-it-all. The skinny arms, legs, attitude, armed in her weight of books now grew into a woman of grace with smokey hooded gold eyes and painted sly smiles. Brokering information as she introduces movers and shakers across the realm.
Blaise watches the organized chaos as he chuckles, Pansy leans in, "Care to let me in on the joke."
"The Ministry fuck up royally and they don't know it yet." As he started pointing out the important persons from the continent attending the function.
Sitting at the table closest to the live orchestra Kingsley, Andromeda quietly speaks with the Grangers. Quickly the table swells as Jareth joins them with his queen, Sarah, and entourage.
Fredrick Tobias Williams, the heir of the Tuatha de Danaan fortune plays the game of words with undercover Unspeakables. 'Oh, Hermione forget to tell the press she is the representative of the Guild of Bronzelights within the High Court Seelie and a 'Friend' of the Goblin Nation? Hmm, I swore this was stated."
Bits of information fed to the few reports flutter amongst the crowd will make headlines as the one question is not asked.
Where were the rest of the trio and their entourage?
Better question who cares?