Here is chapter 2 of Hermione’s Summers. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter
and I would like to thank everyone who left comments.
You are now about to read the chapter I found most difficult to write for
Summer 1991. In the comments to my story “Summer of Terror”, I was taught an
important lesson about fan-fiction writing. Only the biggest fans will read
it, and as they already know all the facts from the original source, there is
no need to repeat those.
With that in mind, I really cut out a lot from this chapter – parts that were
repeating the original books. It should now be a lot more interesting to
read. However, it was still a very hard chapter to write to keep interesting.
Kaitie, my beta-reader, gave a few good pointers in improving this chapter.
My thanks go to her for her assistance.
I hope you will enjoy chapter 2 of Hermione’s Summers.
Chapter 2: Summer 1991 (continued), Meeting with Magic
It was the first of August. Hermione
stepped out of the Underground at Charing Cross Station in London, she was a little nervous. Her
parents followed her closely. It was ten minutes to noon, and so the three of them stood there
waiting, uncertain what to do.
Hermione usually spent a lot of time in the
library, but in the past month, she had been there every day. Completely
ignoring the beautiful weather, Hermione had been searching in every book she could,
to find out about witches and witchcraft. She could not find any non-fiction
books about modern witches, although she was seriously worried about the
stories of the witch burnings hundreds of years ago. One night she even had a
horrible nightmare of being chased down by an angry mob herself.
“Excuse me,” said a pink faced girl with
blonde hair to Hermione; she was accompanied by what seemed to be her parents.
“Are you here for the… you-know-what, too?”
“The you-know-what?” said Hermione a bit
nervously. “Oh… you mean the meeting?”
The other girl nodded and she showed
Hermione a piece of folded up parchment.
“I’ve got one of those too,” said Hermione.
For some reason she was not sure if she
could say “Hogwarts” or “The Leaky Cauldron” out loud, and it seemed as if the
other girl had the same problem.
“I’m Hannah Abbott,” the other girl said a
“Hermione Granger,” said Hermione and
smiled. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Hermione had a reputation in primary school
of being a know-it-all, which caused her often to be singled out and avoided by
the other children. She knew nothing about magic yet, so perhaps she would be
able to make friends. Hannah certainly seemed nice.
“Are we supposed to gather somewhere?”
Hannah’s mother said uncertainly. “I believe there are more people than just us
“I am not sure,” Mr. Granger answered. “But
if they are as good as those birds of theirs, I guess they’ll find us.”
Just outside the station, a young woman
with long black hair, dressed in a horrible combination or a red blouse and a
pink skirt seemed to be looking for people and checking them of on a list.
“Do you think that is you-know-who?” Hannah
asked, pointing at the woman.
“Whom do you mean?” Hermione asked, looking
at the same woman. “Shimmerfield?”
“Yes, or perhaps McGonagall,” Hannah hissed
through closed teeth, not wanting to speak aloud.
The woman approached, looking from her list
to the girls.
“Miss Abbott and Miss Granger?” she asked.
“That will be us,” said Hannah, a little
“I am Susan Shimmerfield,” said the woman,
shaking the hands of the two girls and their parents. “If you all would please
She guided them to a group of people just
outside the station.
“I think that’s everyone,” she said, checking
off a scroll of parchment with a quill.
“Everyone, please follow me,” she yelled to
Hermione kept safely in the middle between
her parents. Hannah was just behind her.
Three hundred yards of walking later, they
stopped in front of a small pub, which was squished in between a bookshop and a
record shop. As Shimmerfield opened the door, the parents all gave a gasp.
Hermione wondered why. The pub was small, but still clearly visible.
“Everyone inside please,” she commanded.
“And do hurry up a little please.”
“Did you see that door appear out of
nowhere?” Mrs. Granger asked, in a surprised voice to Hermione.
“Out of nowhere?” Hermione said a little
confused. “It’s been there all the time.”
They stepped inside a little crowded pub.
“The new Muggle-borns of Hogwarts?” the
barman asked interestedly to Shimmerfield.
“Yes, Tom,” Shimmerfield replied. “All of
“I see. Three guesses who was here
yesterday?” Tom asked, brightly.
“I don’t know,” answered Shimmerfield,
Hermione wondered who this Harry Potter
person might be.
“Yes,” said Tom. “But he didn’t seem to
have a clue about the wizarding world. Why didn’t you guys take him with you
“Because Dumbledore thought it was best to
give the boy a personal guide, considering his history,” said a tall woman. She
was wearing emerald green robes. Her black hair was in a little bun and the
look on her face indicated, to Hermione’s pleasure, that she was a woman who
would punish rule breakers swiftly, severely but with justice. Hermione immediately
had the feeling that she would like this woman.
“If you all come with me, please,” said the
woman. “We have a room in the back.”
Everyone scrambled in a small but cosy
room. Hermione guessed there were roughly ten children and about fifteen
parents. Some of the children had brought only one parent. Hermione sat down in
the middle between her mother and father. Exactly on the same chair one row in
front of her, sat Hannah.
“Well, this is it then,” Hannah smiled over
her shoulder to Hermione. “You really think we are real witches?”
“I don’t know,” said Hermione. “What they
showed so far with the owls and such seemed to be true.”
There was some murmur in the room, as
everyone was being seated.
Shimmerfield tapped herself on the head
with a thing, long piece of wood and muttered some complicated words. Her awful
combination of a red blouse and pink skirt disappeared. It was instantly
replaced by black robes. Everyone gasped and some applauded.
“That’s better,” Shimmerfield said. “And
thank you for the applause, but I am not giving a show here.”
“Welcome everyone. I am Susan Shimmerfield
from the Bureau of Muggle Relations at the Ministry of Magic, and that is
Professor Minerva McGonagall,” said Shimmerfield, pointing at the woman with
the black bunned hair. “She is Deputy Headmistress, Head of House and
Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts. The two of us will be introducing all of
you to the wizarding world this afternoon. I shall be talking mainly about the
wizard society in general and our laws, while Professor McGonagall will be
addressing issues related to Hogwarts.”
“Welcome everyone,” McGonagall said. “We
can imagine you have had many doubts when you first received your letters from
Hogwarts, but today we shall take away any doubts you might have about the
“That is true, Professor,” said
Shimmerfield. “There is a lot to tell, so we’d best get started right away.”
Shimmerfield continued in a long but interesting
speech about the wizarding world. She explained the difference between wizards
and Muggles. She explained that Muggle-borns, like all the children present,
are wizards who have two Muggle parents.
She continued about the need of wands. Then
she explained that there were several magical places, which only wizards could
see. Hogwarts was one of those and the door to The Leaky Cauldron could only be
seen by Muggles if it was opened.
After that, she told a little about laws by
which witches and wizards were to keep themselves. The two most important laws,
she said, were that wizards under the age of seventeen were not allowed to do
magic away from school, and that a wizard was never allowed to do magic in
front of Muggles.
Parents and siblings of Muggle-borns were
allowed to see and benefit from magic on the condition that they signed a
magical contract of secrecy. However, this would not allow an underage wizard
to do magic away from school. The parents could expect their contracts
somewhere in August.
“Also important to know,” Shimmerfield
added. “Is that the wizarding world has its criminals, just as in the Muggle
world. They often practice and use illegal spells. I trust that none of you
will ever get on the wrong side of the Ministry’s Department of Magical Law
After that, Professor McGonagall took over.
She told them about Hogwarts, being the main magic school in Great Britain. After that, she said that
students were to come to Hogwarts by train, which left on the first of
September. She explained how to get on the hidden platform nine and three
quarters at King’s Cross Station.
Finally, McGonagall assured the Muggle-borns
that they would not be very much behind the other children at Hogwarts on the schoolwork,
although they might be a little behind on many of the traditions and slang.
The entire meeting took about two hours. The
longer it went on the more and more Hermione was convinced everything was true.
The moment McGonagall asked if there were any questions (almost everyone raised
their hands), Hermione had the feeling as if she had known of wizards and
witches all her life.
“What job opportunities does one have after
graduation from Hogwarts?” was the first question by one of the parents and by
the agreeing murmuring it seemed to be an important question for nearly
“All job opportunities will be within the
wizarding world of course,” Shimmerfield said. “There is a wizarding economy
which nearly equals the Muggle economy. One could work in the magical
hospitals, work with many of the magical beasts, teach at Hogwarts, or get a
job at the Ministry. There are plenty of jobs a wizard can take and there will
be a career opportunity for everyone.”
“May I add to that, please,” McGonagall
interrupted. “In fifth year at Hogwarts there will be a one-on-one conversation
with each student in which we try to find out what jobs fit that student best.
Hogwarts guides each student in the attempt to find them a fitting job when
“Isn’t magic something from fairytales and
children’s books?” Mrs. Granger asked. Hermione got slightly embarrassed by her
“Most of those children’s books have been
written by skilled wizards,” Shimmerfield explained. “They have been written to
make sure Muggles will cease the believe in magic once they are adults.”
There was some modest laughter in the room.
After that, the questions kept on going, about the wizarding world in general
and about Hogwarts in specific.
“Will you teach my child normal subjects as
math and science?” Hannah’s mother asked.
“Once you child can do magic, she will find
that she has no need for math and science.”
The questions kept on coming until finally
the last question of the afternoon came, it was asked by Hermione’s father.
“Once my daughter has socialized in the wizarding
world and is part of your society, will I still be able to see her?”
“Hogwarts is a boarding school,” McGonagall
answered. “And we usually do not allow visits, to protect the secrecy the
wizarding world deems necessary. The children will go home in July and August
every year, with Christmas they will have the choice of going home or staying
at Hogwarts. Once the children have left Hogwarts, there can be normal contact
again between the child and the parents.”
“Are there any more questions?” Shimmerfield
asked and looked around the room. “No?”
“May I then suggest I lead you all to
Diagon Alley?” McGonagall said. “It is a shopping street especially for
wizards. There you can buy your schoolbooks, robes, cauldron and most
importantly, your wand. As Mrs. Shimmerfield has already said, you will be
unable to perform and study magic without a wand. First years are not allowed
to bring their own broomstick, so please keep that in consideration if you have
the wish to buy one.”
“Broomstick?” Hannah blurted out in
“Yes, broomstick,” Shimmerfield replied.
“The classic image of a witch flying on a broomstick is true. Witches and
wizards can fly on specially crafted broomsticks. Unless I am very mistaken,
you will be taught how to fly at Hogwarts.”
“First years will get flying lessons on
school brooms,” McGonagall confirmed. “And Hogwarts has its own Quidditch
competition. Quidditch is a game played on broomsticks.”
There was some laughter in the room, mainly
from the Muggle parents.
“If you all please follow me,” McGonagall
said. “I shall show you how to get to Diagon Alley.”
“Pay close attention everyone,” McGonagall
said. “To access Diagon Alley you will need to have a wand. I sincerely
recommend everyone to buy a wand as soon as possible. Tap
your wand three bricks up and two across from the dustbin - like this.”
McGonagall tapped the wall, which instantly
split in two. If Hermione still had any doubts about the existence of the
secret wizarding world, those doubts had all vanished right there. She was
gazing at a beautiful old-fashioned shopping street, which was crowded by
people in all kinds of colourful robes.
McGonagall led everyone into Diagon Alley
and as they walked on, she pointed out several places of interest.
“There is Flourish and Blotts, the biggest
bookshop in Diagon Alley; you will certainly find all your school books there… Florean
Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Palour, ice-cream must be one of the best Muggle inventions…
There is Ollivanders, the best wand maker in Britain; I never buy my wands anywhere else… There is Madam Malkin’s shop,
Hogwarts has a contract with her, and so she has the best prices on Hogwarts
Uniforms. You will not need to purchase ties and scarves in the first year;
Hogwarts will be supplying them to first years, as you do not know into which
House you will be sorted yet. Ties and scarves always match the colours of your
House… Ah and there is our first stop, Gringotts. You can exchange Muggle money
here for Galleons.”
They walked up the stairs of the gigantic wizard
banking building of Gringotts. On top of the stairs, McGonagall turned around.
“Boys and Girls, Ladies and Gentlemen, a
little moment of attention please,” she said. “Before you go to Gringotts,
changing money and spread over Diagon Alley buying your supplies, I would like
to point out to everyone that I will be sitting in The Leaky Cauldron until seven o’clock, in case you have any questions. I
recommend that everyone stay out of Knockturn Alley. There is no need to go
there for school supplies and the shopkeepers are generally not very friendly
towards Muggles and Muggle-borns. If there are no more questions right now, I
would like to thank everyone for your attention and for attending the meeting.
I hope to see all the children at Hogwarts on the first of September.”
There was a polite applause.