I was just thinking about how Andromeda is suposed to look like Bellatrix, and how Hermione would react if she saw her straight after waking from a nightmare about her torture, and this idea happened. I know this has already been done loads of times before, but oh well. It's meant to be about a month after the battle and not everything has really been resovled.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters blah blah blah.
Harry was playing with his Godson at the kitchen table, trying to capture the little boy's attention with the stuffed Quidditch player he had bought him a week after first meeting him. Andromeda was sitting opposite them with a rather melancholy smile on her face. Mrs Weasley was making lunch, refusing any offers of help from Andromeda. Deciding that the food was nearly ready, she shouted the family in from outside, where all of the Weasleys were playing Quidditch or, in Fleur and Arthur's case, watching. She then turned to the pair at the table and, upon seeing Harry entertaining his Godson, addressed Andromeda.
"Could you wake Hermione up?" She nodded towards the figure curled up on the sofa.
"Of course." Andromeda replied, standing up from the table and making her way into the living room.
Harry turned to Mrs Weasley who seemed to look rather conflicted. She noticed his curiosity and smiled softly.
"The poor thing doesn't seem to be getting much sleep, it seems a shame to wake her." Harry agreed, it was not a rare occurrence these days to see Hermione with dark circles and droopy eyelids, and it was starting to worry him.
Just as he was about to answer, a blood-curdling scream came from the living room, freezing them temporarily, before making him set Teddy in his chair and them both rush into the living room, shortly followed by the rest of the family, who had burst in through the door, wands drawn.
He could see Hermione sitting up on the sofa, tears streaming down her face from wide eyes, her mouth which had been open in a horrifying scream covered by her shaking hands. She seemed to be cowering from a bewildered Andromeda who was stood up in front of her, arms thrown up in surrender. Harry chanced a glance at Ron, whose pained eyes met his for a second, communicating that they both knew exactly what this was about.
Ron was the first to move, kneeling in front of Hermione, who now seemed to be hyperventilating, tears still pouring from the eyes that seemed to be focused in the past. She looked up at him as he softly touched her wrist, and then suddenly she was clutching his shirt and pulling him towards her. After quickly recovering from the shock, he wrapped her in his arms as she sobbed into his chest. Everyone watched in astonishment as he stoked her hair, gently muttering "It's okay. You're safe. She's gone. She can't hurt you." Over and over.
Harry glanced around to see the Weasleys and Andromeda staring at him, a question in their eyes. He nodded towards the kitchen, then followed as they all went in, leaving Ron to comfort Hermione. They all sat down around the large table and Harry shut the door behind him, casting a Muffiliato on the room.
"Harry?" Mrs Weasley's voice shook slightly, "Would you care to explain what exactly happened there?"
He sighed. "It's not exactly an easy story. Or a nice one."
"No kidding." George muttered.
"Just warning you." Harry sunk into a chair, gathering his thoughts quickly. He looked up again and spoke. "It was when we were camping, Ron had warned me not to say it, but I did anyway… I guess I forgot for a second… I said his name. The snatchers appeared and we tried to run, but it was useless, so Hermione sent a stinging jinx at me. My whole face swelled up. They didn't recognise me, or Ron, but they recognised Hermione and guessed who we were. They were just about to take us when they found the sword of Gryffindor, so they brought that too. They took us to Malfoy Manor."
Harry was interrupted by the soft hiss of expelled breath from the family. He paused a moment before continuing.
"They were just about to call Riddle when Bellatrix noticed the sword and stopped them. She accused us of stealing from her vault, and when we insisted that we hadn't, she got angry. She made them take Ron and me to the cellar. She kept Hermione."
He saw Mrs Weasley put her head in her hands, the others seemed as if they too knew what was coming.
"She tortured her, I don't know exact details, but we heard the Cruatias curse, and Luna reckons she heard it at least seven times. It was horrible, and Ron was begging them to take him instead and frantically trying to find a way out. She'd probably be dead if Dobby hadn't turned up. But thanks to him, we managed to get out just as she was about to hand her over to Greyback. Then Dobby apparated us all to Bill and Fleur's. That's it I guess"
The end of his story was punctuated by a loud sob from Mrs Weasley. Harry turned to Andromeda, who was looking rather green.
"I guess that's what scared her, she must have been dreaming about it, and the she opened her eyes to you, and at first glance you do look a bit like her..." Andromeda nodded reluctantly.
The rest of the Weasleys, who had been silent until now, broke into an outburst of anger and horror. Exclamations of "That bitch!", "Poor Hermione!" and "If she wasn't already dead I'd kill her!" overlapping. The racket continued until Mr Weasley stood up and shouted, "Enough!"
The family gaped at him in astonishment and he opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by the kitchen door opening and Ron walking in with his arm around Hermione's shoulders. The silence that ensued was eerie for the Burrow.
Surprisingly Hermione was the first one to speak, addressing Andromeda.
"I'm sorry. You really don't look anything like her, I don't know what came over me."
Ron turned to her, shocked, "Blimey Hermione! I didn't bring you in here for you to apologise! It's not your fault that-"
He was interrupted by Mrs Weasley, "Hermione, your arm is bleeding." Her worry finally pushing through her shock. Everyone simultaneously glanced at her arm, that is everyone except for Fleur whose lips tightened into a white line and kept her eyes firmly on Hermione's.
"Ees eet still bleeding?" She asked, a knowing spark in her eyes.
Hermione looked down too, "I must have scratched it in my sleep." She said softly.
Before Fleur could offer to clean it up in private, Mrs Weasley hurried over to Hermione, pulling up the sleeve of her top before she could react. Hermione tried to pull her arm away and hide it behind her back, but it was too late, they had seen. The crudely carved letters were slowly trickling drops of blood, looking as thought it were something out of one of those horror movies Dudley had liked to tease him with. Mrs Weasley's hand flew to her mouth, tears trickling down her cheeks, eyes still stuck to the word on her arm. MUDBLOOD.
Hermione, like the rest of them was stood still, her eyes wide with shock. Ron was staring at the word, complete surprise etched onto his face, making Harry think that he hadn't known either.
He reinforced Harry's suspicions when he broke the stunned silence.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"Me" not "us", this was something that the old Ron would have corrected, he would have been embarrassed by seeming like he cared too much. This was one of the few things recently that forced Harry to acknowledge his best friends' changing relationship, not that he minded and not that they had admitted anything yet, but still, it would take some getting used to this new Ron.
Hermione broke her gaze from Mrs Weasley, who was still crying. She pulled her arm softly from her grasp and glanced around quickly at the still silent faces of the family. She finally rested her eyes on Ron, who had since dropped his arm from round her shoulders. She looked back to the floor before replying.
"Because I knew you'd just get upset, and there's nothing to be upset over, it's fine."
Ron frowned, "It's bloody well not fine Hermione!" his statement was followed by many staggered voices all agreeing with him. Surprisingly the one whose voice was loudest, and last, was George who had been much quieter since his twin had died.
"He's right, it's not fine. You can't just brush these things off, you need to see a healer."
"I have." Hermione's voice was quiet again, "There's nothing they can do, the knife was poisoned. Now if you'll please excuse me, I need to wash off the blood and change my top." She pushed her way out of the room before anyone could recover enough to stop her, Harry could hear the locking charm she placed on the bathroom door.
A smell of burning broke the mutual shock and Mrs Weasley quickly disposed of the burnt food with the flick of a wand. No one was feeling particularly hungry anymore. Everyone sat back down, dazed. Well, all except for Ron who stormed out of the room. Harry guessed he was going to talk to Hermione, but right now he didn't really care, the guilt he had experienced after Malfoy Manor was resurfacing.
Mr Weasley seemed to be considering telling Ron to come back, but Harry stopped him.
"She'll want him there." Was all he said, but it seemed to be enough.
No one wanted to talk about what had happened, at least not right away, so Ginny turned the conversation to another topic on everyone's minds.
"Do you reckon they're together yet?"
Everyone gave a shocked laugh, the tension relieving slightly.
"They better be after that kiss or I don't know if they'll ever be." Everyone turned to Harry, curious.
"What kiss?" Mrs Weasley asked, a smile starting to form on her face.
"I forgot you wouldn't know!" Harry gasped. "Well, it was in the middle of the battle, we'd just sent Ginny out of the room of requirement-"
You mean I just missed it!" Ginny exclaimed, horrified, "I've been waiting for this for years and I just missed it?"
"I bet you haven't waited as long as them though!" Harry laughed, "Anyway, Ron said something about evacuating the house elves, and all of a sudden Hermione just jumped on him and snogged him. Right in front of me too! I had to remind them that there was a war going on to make them stop!"
"I knew it!" Shouted Ginny, I knew she'd be the one to make the first move!" She held her palm out to her brothers. "Pay up."
George sighed, pulling a red book from his pocket. He flicked through until he found the right page. "Bill, you owe her 10 galleons, Charlie you owe 5, I owe you 10 and Mum, you also owe 10."
Arthur turned to her, shocked. "You bet on our son?"
"Well it was inevitable, I just had a little too much faith in him I suppose." She sighed fishing out her money and placing it in Ginny's hand like the rest of them.
Ron could hear her crying from behind the bathroom door, he wasn't sure how he should proceed. He had stalked upstairs with all of these good intentions, but the second he heard her cry he stopped thinking straight. He didn't know whether he should open the door or not, would she want him to? Surely not seeing as she'd magically locked the door… but she had used a spell that she knew Ron would be able to reverse. 'Oh stuff it' he thought, 'I can't just let her cry like that.'
He took his wand out and reversed the spell, then he took hold of the door handle and opened the door quickly. He took a sharp breath as he surveyed the scene; Hermione was stood at the sink scrubbing at her arm with a flannel, blood was leaking out of the ripped wounds and was flowing down the plug hole with the water coming from the taps. Hermione's eyes were also dripping, her sobs escalating as she looked into his eyes.
He shut the door behind him and walked over to her, he prised the now red material from her grasp, placing it on the counter. Still keeping his eyes to hers he picked up a towel from the rail and wrapped it around her arm.
"What are you doing?" He was surprised to hear his voice shaking. When she didn't answer he persisted, "What's wrong Hermione, tell me!"
"I want it to go away." Her small voice made her sound almost childish.
"Making it bleed more won't make it go away."
"I know. I just… it hurts, and every time I close my eyes and try to sleep I see her and I can't handle it Ron! I just want it to all go away! I can't handle this, I'm not strong enou-"
His lips on hers silenced her voice. They had only kissed a few times, with everything going on they hadn't really had much time – or privacy – to start anything. Only when her arm started to bleed through the towel did they part. Hermione looked up at him, eyes shining.
"Accio bandages." Ron grabbed them as they flew towards him and carefully wrapped them around her bleeding arm.
"Hermione. Tell me what I can do." He pleaded as he tied a knot securing her arm.
"This." She said kissing him again quickly. "I just need you."
"Do you reckon they're okay?" Molly asked. They had been gone for a while after all; maybe Hermione was still upset.
"I'll go check on them." Bill offered.
"Thank you dear." Molly replied kissing his cheek. Bill rose from the table and made his way upstairs. After a few seconds he came bursting back into the kitchen, a smug grin on his face. He sat down at the kitchen table barely containing his laugh.
"Well? Are they okay?" Molly prodded.
"Sure, if okay constitutes as snogging, then they are most definitely okay."
The group burst into raucous laughter, even Andromeda managed an amused grin. Then Ron and Hermione walked in, both bright red from embarrassment and they laughed even louder. George rose from his seat, truly grinning for the first time since the battle, and clapped his brother on the shoulder.
"I think I speak for everyone when I say it's about damn time!"
Ron grinned sheepishly and Hermione ducked behind her wild hair, smiling slightly.
"Well, it seems it's going to be sandwiches for lunch, seeing as the food burnt." Mrs Weasley flicked her wand, plates, bread and various fillings flew out of the cupboards and onto the table. "Help yourselves."
Everyone gathered around the table, pulling different combinations together, George's was particularly unusual, consisting of chicken, cucumber and strawberry jam. Ron kissed Hermione on the cheek before joining his family. Hermione didn't join, however, she just watched he familiar chaos that she felt so at home with now. She didn't even notice Mrs Weasley until she was touching her arm. She jumped slightly at the contact and looked up into the worried eyes that seemed to see right through her.
"Dear, can I talk to you for a moment?" The hesitance in the woman's usually confident voice surprised Hermione.
She let herself be guided outside and onto the bench overlooking the makeshift Quidditch field . They sat and there was a moment's silence before Mrs Weasley spoke.
"I never thought I had it in me to kill someone you know."
This was certainly not what Hermione was expecting her to say. She wasn't sure why she had been taken out here but she thought it might have something to do with Ron, or her scar, certainly not this. Understandably it took her a moment to formulate an answer, but by he time she opened her mouth, Mrs Weasley spoke again.
"Sometimes I feel guilty about it. I know she was a vile woman, but that doesn't take away the fact that I ended someone's life." She turned to look Hermione in the eye. "But then I find out something like this and I feel glad, not just that she's gone, but that I was the one to do it." There was a pause while she considered her next words. "I hope you know that you're like a daughter to me Hermione, and that there's no one I'd rather have my son be with than you. I know I can never repay you for looking after those two reckless idiots all these years, but I thank you Hermione. Thank you for bringing my boys back."
Hermione burst into tears and Mrs Weasley pulled her into a tight, motherly hug.
"I knew it was going to be you, ever since that first letter home." Mrs Weasley mused. "He couldn't stop talking about this annoying little girl with bushy hair, who wouldn't stop nagging him. He loves you a lot Hermione, I hope for his sake that he never lets you go. For mine too mind that, you might be the only daughter-in-law I actually like."
Hermione giggled, sitting back. "I'm not going anywhere, I've been waiting far too long to do that."
Mrs Weasley smiled, wiping the remaining tears from the girl's cheeks. "About that scar Hermione, I hope you understand that it's just a word. It means nothing to us. Think of it as a mark of bravery, something to be worn proudly. You survived something that I'm not sure anyone else has, or at least has come out of with their sanity." The image of Neville's parents flickered through Hermione's mind. "That's something to celebrate."
Hermione nodded, smiling as this new perspective sank in. "I suppose I can do that."
"Good." Mrs Weasley pat her on the shoulder. "Now let's get back inside and get you some food. You're still awfully skinny."
Thanks for reading :)