Chapter 2

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"Mummy?" Hermione looked down again to see her son tugging onto her skirt. "Mummy, who are these people?"

Hermione picked Scorpius up and whispered into his hair. "These are people Mummy had been hoping to avoid, Scorp."

"Are they baddies?" Scorp whispered back.

"No, they're my family... And they're mean." Hermione paused. "They're muggles, darling, so don't talk about magic."

"But Granny Jen and Grandpa Richie are muggles and we talk to them about magic."

"But these muggles don't know about it, and it's going to stay like that, alright?" Scorp nodded

"Hermione, why don't you say hello to the others, and introduce Scorp." Jennifer suggested, sending her a look that says you-better-do-it-young-lady.

Hermione sighed, but step back towards the family, looking slightly guilty. "Hi, it's been a long time." She said awkwardly. "This is my son, Scorpius. Scorpius this is Grandpa Richard's family."

"How old is he?" Grandfather Charles asked, finding the drama that was unfolding around him more interesting than Michael Jackson's memorial service.

"He's three." Hermione answered, looking down at her son fondly.

"Shame on you, Hermione." Cordelia said, making Hermione frown at her. "You should have known better than have a child out of wedlock!"

"I didn't. I'm married." Hermione said tightly.

"Then where's your ring?" Cordelia asked smugly.

"Right here." Hermione held up her left hand, displaying her gorgeous emerald and silver engagement ring and her gold wedding band.

"Where's your husband? You could be making him up and just wearing some rings."

"Seeing his family in Wiltshire."

"How convenient." Cordelia sneered. "If you did get married, how come we weren't invited?"

"For the same reason I don't come to these reunions."

"You've been avoiding these reunions?" Grandma Pippa accused.

Hermione bit her lip. "Not the reunions themselves, but some of the people at them." She admitted, allowing her eyes to glance towards Cordelia and Isabel. "You know I haven't been avoiding you and Grandfather, I saw you at Easter even after I stopped attending these events."

"Last time we saw you was when you were 17, then your parents seem to drop out of existence for just more than a year, and we don't see you for 12 years."

"I- Well- It's-" Hermione struggled to explain her and her parents' disappearance without mentioning magic. Thankfully her father swooped in to save her.

"Around that time Hermione was... enlisted in a service that later brought her to the front lines of war." Hermione flinched at the recollection of the devastation she witnessed first hand at the Battle of Hogwarts, what she saw that year still made her wake up screaming from the nightmares. Scorpius seemed to sense the change in his mother's demeanour as he clung to his mother slightly tighter, as if to reassure her that she wasn't in the middle of a battle. Scorpius wasn't the only who noticed though, Tristan had seen the pain that flittered across her face at the mention of war. "It was decided that, as her immediate family, it would be safer for us to go into hiding. After the war had ended, Hermione spent many years tracking down a number of big shots on the enemy side."

"Where were you posted?" Tristan asked, genuinely interested.

"I'm afraid it's classified. Only two other people know exactly where I went."

Isabel scoffed. "Please, that's so pathetic. You at least owe it to us to tell us the truth. There's no need to make up some feeble codswallop." Several others nodded in agreement.

"Bel." Tristan warned, believing what they had said.

Hermione's eyes hardened. "'Feeble codswallop'?" Hermione hissed as she put Scorpius on the ground.

"Oh no." Scorpius muttered, hiding behind his mother's legs.

"'Feeble codswallop'?" Hermione repeated. "Let's see that chuff face of yours after seeing this." Hermione pulled up the sleeve on her left arm, showing off the horrible disfiguration that Bellatrix Lestrange had done to her arm. The cursed knife never let her skin heal properly; the word that was carved into her skin was raised and still red, the skin around it blue and dead. As if it were infected. "I suffered through torture. I was scarred, physically and emotionally, just because they wanted information out of me. And by the end of it, I couldn't even summon the energy to even scream. I think I can honestly say that Hell would be a million times better than what I went through."

Most stared slack jawed at Hermione. Jennifer and Richard turned away from the sight, still uncomfortable with the fact that their daughter had been tortured and there had been nothing they could have done to prevent it or protect her. Grandfather Charles started to tear up, thinking that no person should ever have to go through something like that, especially one so young - memories of the Second World War flashed in his mind, does the human race never learn? Grandma Pippa had sprung a leak.

"You all have your room keys, so I believe you are all set." Hermione was all business; as if this wasn't her family she was talking to, but instead was stern and solemn. "The West Wing is forbidden. It is private property belonging to a family that doesn't like to be disturbed. Under no circumstances are you to visit it, unless explicit permission has been given by myself or one of the family members." She paused. "Mum, Dad, I will see you at dinner. Everyone else, I will see you when I am forced to be in your presence by my parents - tomorrow at breakfast when the reunion actually starts." She took Scorp's hand and walked off, her mood completely changed as she started to laugh and smile at something the toddler said.

"Isn't that the West Wing?" Sophie mused, her eyes following her niece as the two walked up the stairs and towards the West Wing. Her thoughts were ignored though.

Tristan frowned and turned to Richard and Jennifer. "You let your daughter go off into dangerous situations like that?"

"Believe us when we say we had no idea that what she was doing was dangerous until she'd already tricked us into hiding." Richard defended, remembering how he thought everything was safe at Hogwarts and Hermione was happily studying for her exams. He then thought about the life she'd fed into their brains about Australia. "We thought she was behind a desk."

"What's a 'Mudblood'?" Isabel asked, confused at the word on Hermione's arm.

"A horrible, dirty word that should have never been said, let alone etched onto my daughter's skin." Jennifer spat.

"Well I still think she's not married." Cordelia announced before walking off to find her room, strutting as if she was on a catwalk and as if she was the greatest thing alive.

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Sorry the update was later than I was hoping. I started writing it immediately after the last chapter was released, but I couldn't quite find the perfect way to write the chapter about half way through. I hope it's alright...

Hope you enjoyed it!

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