The Sugar Quill
Author: ChaosStorm  Story: Hermione's Summers  Chapter: Chapter 1: Summer 1991, A Magical Discovery
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Hermione’s Summers

Foreword
In Hermione’s Summers I will describe each summer vacation of Hermione between her years in Hogwarts. Some years (like the first) will take multiple chapters, while others might take fewer chapters. I had to invent certain things around Hermione myself; like the name of her parents and the city in which she lives.

 

A few things can be considered doubtful to canon. J.K. Rowling has stated she always had in mind that Hermione would have a little sister. That sister never appeared in the books so far and she will not appear in this story either. J.K. Rowling has also said a few words about the way Muggle-Born students are introduced to world of magic. By the time the chat logs in which she said this were placed on the internet, the first few chapters of this story were so far finished that I could no longer change them without having to start all over.

 

This story is also one of my first serious attempts to write an “undark” story. I hope you enjoy it.


Last, but certainly not least, this story is the first one in which I work together with my new beta-reader, Kaitie. My thanks go to her for making suggestions and corrections to this story.

PS: I have something with the movies. If it were not for the movies, I never would have been into Potter. Fun thingy is that I completed and uploaded the first chapter of this Hermione story on Emma Watson’s birthday (although it is probably later “online” because of the slight delay in the SQ). Happy birthday, Emma!
J



Hermione’s Summers

 

 

Chapter 1: Summer 1991, A Magical Discovery

 

It was the first Saturday of July, and the weather made it a wonderful day. It was sunny and warm, and a little breeze from the sea caused for some welcome refreshment in the streets of Rochester.

 

Carrying a paper bag containing three bagels and three croissants, a ten-year-old girl with rather large front teeth and lots of bushy brown hair walked home, which was currently a mess.

 

The girl’s father, David Granger, was busy renovating the kitchen. Although he was not very skilled in such work, he enjoyed it and he always managed to get the job done perfectly – eventually. He had been working on the new kitchen for three days now and even though his wife, Sandra, was insisting on hiring a professional to place the kitchen, Mr. Granger did not want to hear of it. He was having too much fun placing the kitchen himself.

 

“I’m back,” said the girl to announce her presence, as she opened the front door.

 

“Good,” said her father, a thin, thirty-eight-year-old man with short brown hair. His face was sweaty of the work with the kitchen. “I could use a little break.”

 

The girl put the bag on the table in the backyard and sat down next to her mother, a short pretty woman with short brown hair, who was a year younger than her husband was.

 

“Thank you, Hermione,” her mother said as she opened the bag. “They look delicious.”

 

“I’ll be there in a moment,” said Mr. Granger. “I just need to drill one more hole. I’d better do it now before I forget it.”

 

“Alright, honey. Do hurry up. The croissants are still warm.”

 

Hermione leaned back and relaxed, watching her father measuring up something on the wall and taking out the drill. She could easily watch what was happening, as she was sitting roughly two yards away from her father. The backyard was directly next to the kitchen, and the door was wide open.

 

Hermione put her hands against her ears as her father put the drill on the wall and started to drill. It gave a loud, screeching noise. Dad said something, but Hermione could not clearly hear what it was as she still had her ears covered and the screeching of the drill was too loud.

 

There was the sound of a small explosion; Dad swore in pain; large stone chunks of the kitchen wall flew around. A rather large chunk, roughly the size of a tennis ball, hurled straight at Hermione with dazzling speed.

 

Hermione tried to evade it, but she knew it would be impossible to jump out of her garden chair fast enough. As she saw the chunk of grey stone rocket towards her, she had the impression that it was turning white.

 

It hit her on the side of her head. Hermione was sure it was large and fast enough to crack her skull. However, it shattered into a million small pieces, sticking in Hermione’s hair and dripping on her T-shirt, but leaving her unharmed otherwise. It was soft, cold and wet.

 

“Hermione!” her mother screamed and dashed towards her. “Are you alright?!

 

“I’m fine, Mum,” said Hermione, stunned. “Just a bit scared. It did not hurt at all.”

 

“It’s the bloody drill,” her father said angrily, holding his right hand with his left. “It got stuck and just a second later it exploded in my hands. It burned my hand and nearly injured my child. I’m going to write Grunnings a long letter about this, it’s one of their drills.”

 

“Let’s see, dear,” said Mrs. Granger and took her husband’s right hand and examined it. “Those are a few nasty burns. You should hold it in cold water for a while and let Doctor Brown take a look at it.”

 

Mr. Granger sat down at the table in the backyard, while his wife filled a bowl with cold water for him told hold his hand in.

 

“Are you alright, Hermione?” he asked.

 

“Yes,” said Hermione, plucking pieces of debris from her hair. “I just don’t understand why it didn’t hurt.”

 

She looked at what she had taken out of her hair. It was white, cold and soft, but it quickly melted in the warm summer sun. Right then Hermione realized that the hard stone had somehow changed into something else.

 

“Snow?” she whispered confused to herself.

 

“It must be your guardian angel again,” her father smiled. “Remember that car?”

 

Hermione smiled.

 

“Dad, that was ages ago.”

 

“Actually, it was last year,” Dad said and put his hand in the bowl with water Mrs. Granger had set on the table. “AAARGH! That’s cold…”

 

“It’s supposed to be, honey,” she said with a smile.

 

Hermione clearly remembered what had happened last year. How it had happened, she did not know. Her father, although not a religious man, claimed that she had a little guardian angel watching over her, protecting her so she could become the politician to set certain things right in the country.

 

Just like today, Hermione had been to the baker to buy bagels. The baker was just across the street, and she was often sent if her parents needed anything. Because it was raining extremely hard that day, Hermione crossed the street quickly and carelessly, wanting to be home and dry as soon as possible. Then she had heard the claxon. A car, with its brakes screeching like her father’s drill, came running in at high speed, about to crash straight into her. Hermione saw the driver, and clearly remembered his terrified face. However, suddenly the car lifted off the ground, as if it were a balloon. It had literally flown over Hermione at dazzling speed before it touched down softly again.

 

The driver had stepped out, very confused about what had happened. He had a small conversation with Hermione and her father, who happened to be the man’s dentist.

 

Two weeks later, he came for his annual dental check up. That evening Dad told Hermione that the driver could not remember the incident.

 

“The shock has seemed to have wiped it from his memory,” Mr. Granger had said.

 

*****

Next Monday Mr. Granger had hired a professional to finish installing the new kitchen. His hand had been bandaged by Doctor Brown and so he could not work in the kitchen himself anymore. The doctor had said that the injuries on Mr. Granger’s hand were not dangerous and would heal soon, but the bandages should stay on for a week. Mr. Granger had sworn never to touch another drill in his life, with the exception of his dentist tools of course.

 

On Tuesday morning, Mrs. Granger was baking breakfast in her new, fully installed, kitchen. She had opened the door to the backyard to let out the smell of the baking.

 

Hermione was sitting at the table, reading a little until breakfast was ready, as her father came back from the letterbox, carrying three envelopes.

 

“Ah blast,” he swore as he saw the first one. “Another one from the National Health Service, and to make things worse; the second one is from the Inland Revenues. The government is at me again!”

 

For a few moments, Mr. Granger kept silent and glanced at the third envelope.

 

“This is a stylish one,” he finally said. “It seems like it’s made from some sort of ancient parchment and it’s written in some sort of calligraphy with green ink.”

 

Whom is it for?” Mrs. Granger asked, without looking up from the breakfast she was making.

 

“Miss H. Granger,” Dad teased, tossing the envelope to Hermione.

 

“It is for me?” Hermione said surprised, closing her book and taking the envelope.

 

She closely examined it. Her first thought was that it was a party invitation, but she quickly banished that thought. She did not have any friends at primary school who would invite her and none of her cousins had a birthday coming up.

 

Most children in Hermione’s class thought she was a bossy know-it-all and never talked to her much. As she was going to Charles Dickens Secondary Day School after the summer, she was sure everyone at her old school would forget her. She felt a bit disappointed, but she was used to having no friends by now. It was not that she was feeling alone, she still had Mum and Dad.

 

With great curiosity, she opened her envelope, noticing that her parents were looking just as curious as she felt. There were several sheets of paper in it. She looked a little closer at the paper, and realized it was not paper, but old-fashioned parchment - the same kind as from which the envelope was made.

 

Hermione read the first sheet of paper.

 

 

Dear Miss Granger,

 

We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of necessary books and equipment.

 

Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Minerva McGonagall

Deputy Headmistress

 

 

Hermione read the letter with open mouth. She reread it three times in succession and could still not believe it was real. A school for witchcraft, that had to be a joke.

 

“Are you alright, dear?” her mother asked. “Your mouth is hanging open. What’s the letter about?”

 

“It’s… I… I can’t believe it,” stammered Hermione.

 

“What is it? Did you win the lottery?” her father asked smiling. “Can I get a loan then? The Inland Revenue is trying to get extra taxes from me again.”

 

“No,” said Hermione sincerely. “It seems to be an invitation to some sort of… private secondary school.”

 

“Really,” said Mum, interested, dropping her attention to the preparing of breakfast. “Which one?”

 

Hermione looked her mother straight in the eyes. She was not sure what to say, or if she should laugh or not. Was this letter serious, or was it just a joke? Hermione was quite sure of the last one.

 

“Hogwarts,” answered Hermione a little confused.

 

“Never heard of that one,” replied her mother.

 

“Hogwarts?” said Dad smiling. “I’ve been to that one, it was a great school. We had an outrageously funny French Professor there.”

 

Mrs. Granger hit her husband playfully with a towel.

 

“You didn’t go there,” she said laughing. “We both went to Churchill’s.”

 

“Yes, I remember,” smiled Mr. Granger. “But we still had a funny French Professor. He was a lot funnier and easier going than a certain prefect I remember.”

 

Mum nodded.

 

“Yes, he was funny.”

 

“What about the prefect, Dad?” Hermione asked interestedly.

 

“A certain prefect once caught me peeking through the keyhole of the door to the girl’s dormitory,” Mr. Granger said with a blush on his face, smiling to his wife. “She couldn’t laugh about it and gave me detention for a week.”

 

Hermione giggled.

 

“You know what I did to that prefect afterwards?” Dad smiled.

 

“No,” Hermione answered truthfully. “You didn’t hurt her, did you, dad?”

 

“Of course not,” smiled Dad, and hugged his wife. “I married her.”

 

Hermione giggled again. She knew that her mother had been a prefect, but she did not know her mother had put her father in detention. Although Hermione found it a funny story, her mind was still with the mysterious letter from Hogwarts.

 

“Can I see it?” Mum asked, taking the letter and reading it, after which she passed in to her husband. “They can’t be serious. Some one is pulling a joke on you, Hermione. I bet it is Uncle Michael.”

 

“I don’t know,” Dad said thoughtfully. “My brother usually only picks on me with his practical jokes… What is this? ‘We await your owl’? What is an owl? They do not mean a bird, do they? Shouldn’t that be a pigeon then?”

 

Hermione rummaged through the papers a bit more and eventually started reading another paper that looked like a letter. At a quick glance, it seemed to explain a little more, but still Hermione was not sure. Was Uncle Michael was really behind it? Was he pulling a big joke on her?

 

“Oh,” she said. “I think this one explains something, if it is true of course.”

 

“What does it say, dear?” her mother asked. “April Fools?”

 

“No mum,” Hermione said. “Let me read it aloud.”

 

Dear Miss Granger,

 

You have just received your invitation to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Since you were born in a non-magical (Muggle) family, we can imagine that you have many questions and even doubts about the existence of magic. To give answers to these questions we hereby invite you to a meeting at The Leaky Cauldron in London. Please meet at the Charing Cross Underground Station on 1 August at noon, from where you, and some of your future schoolmates, will be guided to The Leaky Cauldron. After the meeting, you will have the opportunity to buy your books, wand and other equipment in Diagon Alley.

 

During the meeting, we will introduce you to the society in which wizards and witches live, and we will inform you about the most important laws in our society. We shall also demonstrate some magic to you, in case you are still sceptical (we guarantee that you no longer will be once the meeting has ended). We encourage you to bring your parents, who are also invited to this meeting.

 

During the meeting, the speakers will be Mrs. S. Shimmerfield from the Ministry of Magic and Professor M. McGonagall from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

 

If you wish to attend the meeting, which we do recommend, please write down your name at the bottom of this letter and tie it to the leg of the return owl we will send you. We will await your owl by no later than 15 July if you wish to attend the meeting.

 

We ask you not to disclose any information from this letter to anyone but your parents and siblings.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Minerva McGonagall 

Deputy Headmistress                                                 
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

 

Susan Shimmerfield
Bureau of Muggle Relations
Ministry of Magic”

 

 

“A meeting?” said Mrs. Granger surprised when Hermione had finished reading. “I don’t know about it. It sounds like a weird club of people. I would like to know how they got our address in the first place. Why do they want to be secret? ‘Do not disclose’? I don’t think it can be trusted.”

 

“I don’t think it can hurt to go, and hear what they have to say,” Dad said. “Perhaps we can have a good laugh. If it all turns out to be a joke, we’ll just call it a day sight-seeing in London.”

 

“What do you think, dear?” Mum asked Hermione. “After all, it is about you. I hope you are sensible enough to not take it seriously.”

 

Hermione stared out in front of her for a few seconds, quite convinced it was a joke. She was just wondering who was joking on her and why. Suddenly, as if by magic, the thought of the car flying over her came to her mind, quickly followed by the snowball-like chunk of stone.

 

“I think there is one thing that has me convinced,” she said thoughtfully. “Do you remember what happened when Dad’s drill exploded? Maybe it is not a guardian angel? What if it is magic?”

 

“I think Hermione is right,” Mr. Granger told his wife. “Even if this club of wizards appears to be a group of freaks, they might have some answers. After that, we can make a more honest judgment on what to do.”

 

“Alright then,” sighed Mrs. Granger, as she started to set the breakfast table. “We’ll go.”

 

“Better return that letter right now,” Dad whispered to Hermione. “Before your mother changes her mind again.”

 

Hermione quickly grabbed a pen, and tried to write down her name. The pen would not touch the parchment. Whenever Hermione brought it close to the parchment, the pen just deflected away to the left or right. Hermione had the feeling as if she was trying to connect two magnets to each other with the wrong ends. Suddenly, out of nothing, a fashionable quill and a tiny bottle of ink appeared.

 

“Wow!” said Hermione, she was gazing at the inkbottle and noticing that her father was doing the same.

 

“Impressive,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that.”

 

Her mother looked a little worried, and prodded the bottle with the tip of her finger, as if she were afraid that it might explode.

 

“I think I will have to write down my name with that,” Hermione said and opened the bottle of ink. A little awkwardly, she wrote down her name using the quill. She was not used to writing with an oversized feather, but it worked out quite well.

 

The moment Hermione had written down the last “r” of her surname, there was a flapping sound. Suddenly a big eagle owl swooped down in the backyard, entered through the open kitchen door and sat down on the breakfast table.

 

Mrs. Granger cried out in fright and Hermione gave a little shriek too. She was not afraid of birds in any way, but the sudden and noisy arrival of the owl did scare her for a moment. Dad watched it happen with an amused smile on his face.

 

“I guess that is what they mean by ‘owl’ then,” he smiled. “I’d still rather go for a pigeon.”

 

“I guess I have to tie this letter to its leg then?” Hermione said unsurely. It was as if the bird had understood what she had said, as it held out its left leg.

 

A little clumsily, Hermione rolled up the parchment, sealed it with some tape and taped it to the leg of the owl, which hooted gently and flew off the same way it had come in.

 

During breakfast, the Grangers talked about only one thing: the strange letter from Hogwarts, the appearing ink and the owl. Hermione was still a bit stunned by it all; her mother found it all a little weird and even dangerous. Mr. Granger seemed highly amused. The three of them had silently agreed on one thing: the letter from Hogwarts was not a joke, and there was seriously something weird going on.

 

Hermione kept worrying if the owl would deliver the letter correctly. She had never sent a letter by a bird before. On the other hand, she told herself, the owl did find out where she lived.

 

As Hermione helped her mother cleaning up after breakfast, there was another flapping sound. The same owl had returned in the backyard. It quickly flew into the kitchen, dropped an envelope on the table and flew off again.

 

“Do you think he got lost and returned your letter?” Mrs. Granger, said a little confused.

 

“I’m not sure,” Hermione said. “I did not return it in an envelope.”

 

Seeing her name on it, Hermione grabbed the envelope and ripped it open. There was a small letter in it.

 

Dear Miss Granger,

 

We hereby confirm that you are registered for the meeting at The Leaky Cauldron on 1 August. Please bring along this confirmation to the meeting.

 

We hope to see you and your parents on 1 August.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Susan Shimmerfield
Bureau of Muggle Relations
Ministry of Magic

 

“Wow!” said Hermione, stunned. “That’s fast.”

//
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