The Sugar Quill
Author: shanfawn16  Story: The Long Road Ahead  Chapter: Default
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The Long Road Ahead

The Long Road Ahead


          “Absolutely not! This has all gone on long enough.” Hermione sat and listened as her mother seethed. She couldn’t remember ever having seen her this mad before. Her father sat across from her, looking lost and completely dejected. She truly didn’t know what was worse.


It had been a week since Dumbledore’s funeral, and it had been the longest week of Hermione’s life. Everything was in turmoil. Her parents had been so frightened after hearing about the Headmaster’s death, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to discuss her plans with them. They’d always tried to understand the world to which their daughter belonged, and she felt they’d done a wonderful job – until now.


“If you would just listen for a moment, plea-” Hermione tried, but she was cut off once again by her mother.


“Oh, no. We’ve ‘just listened’ too much over the last six years, against our better judgment! I’ve lost count of the number of times you’ve wound up in that hospital wing. We expected some problems and minor injuries, given the nature of your schooling, but this is too much! Now you expect us to just sit by while you skip your last year of school and go running off on some mad scavenger hunt against people who want to kill you? All because of some boy?” She looked quite frightening in her temper, and Hermione should have been cowed, but her mother had one fact right – it had been too much.


Hermione suddenly stood and met her mother’s glare. “First of all, Harry is not just some boy. He’s one of my best friends, and he’s saved my life more than once. But, besides that, you are right, Mum. It is enough. But unfortunately Voldemort and his Death Eaters don’t seem to think so. It’s not going to stop just because you want it to.” At this her mother began to visibly swell with anger again, but her father, seeing something in Hermione’s eyes, stilled his wife with a hand on her arm.


“I know it’s hard for you to understand everything that has been going on, and I’m sorry for all the times that you’ve been scared and confused.” Hermione steeled herself for what she knew she had to say next. “But there’s no way to stop what’s coming. Our family is a target simply because I’m magical and you’re not. I refuse to sit by or hide when others are fighting against all this. And you’re right; it is because of Harry. But that’s not the whole of it. I want to fight for all of the people who can’t, like the young witches and wizards who are losing family members left and right. For the innocent people who have already died, like Cedric Diggory, just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And for the people who have died to protect the rest of us – like Harry’s parents, his god-father, and Professor Dumbledore,” Hermione had to forcibly swallow over the large lump which formed in her throat at the mention of her late Headmaster.


“Mum, Dad,” she looked imploringly at her parents. “This isn’t going to just blow over or go away. It’s a war, and it’s going to affect everyone – not just the magical community. You’ve always taught me to stand and face whatever may come. My place is with Harry and Ron right now. We may be able to stop this.”


“But Hermione,” her mother said pleadingly, a look of desperation on her face, “you’re so young! Why can’t someone older, with more experience do this?”


“I’m of age in the wizarding community,” Hermione responded calmly, “and in a couple of months I’ll be of age here, too. As for experience, Harry has more experience facing Voldemort than anyone else, ever. And, Ron and I have been there with him most of the way. I’ve told you that I’m leaving to go with Ron and Harry, not to ask for permission, but because I didn’t want to just disappear. I wanted you to understand my reasons.” Hermione fixed her parents with a very determined stare, and saw them visibly shrink with the realization of everything she’d told them.


Grasping their hands in hers, Hermione took a deep breath before speaking again. “I’m not doing this only for Harry. I’m doing this for you; for all of us. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone. It could be quite a while. We’ll be getting messages back to the Burrow, and Ron’s parents will keep you informed.”


“Why can’t you contact us directly?” her father asked. This was the first time he’d spoken during this long, drawn-out discussion. Hermione realized that this question was an acceptance of what she had to do, and she felt her heart swell with love and gratitude for her father.


“Dad, it’s just not safe. Since the Weasleys are so involved in the Order, they have secure means of communication. I wish I could tell you more, but I just can’t.” Hermione stood then, and reached out to her mother. “This is our war now, and we’re going to fight. With love and faith, the Light side will win.”


Her mother’s eyes were shining brightly as she stood and embraced her. She crushed Hermione against her body, and she squeezed back just as tightly. As they pulled apart, Hermione looked into her mother’s eyes and saw fear, but also acceptance and determination.


“Well, I guess you’ll just have to show this Voldemort why you’re the cleverest witch of your age,” her mother said. “We love you,” was her father’s reply.


“And I love you,” she said, and with that, Hermione picked up her traveling pack and Disapparated with a soft ‘pop’, leaving her parents to comfort each other.

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