Chapter 4 - Undesired and Alone

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A/N: Ok so I know its been a while, but here is the next chapter for Afterwards. 

Chapter 4 - Undesired and Alone

Hermione woke to see that the sun had long ago disappeared behind the horizon and all the portraits of previous headmasters and mistresses asleep and snoring. Her neck ached from sleeping on the cold hard floor, but she didn't recall falling asleep. 

And then she remembered: the war, Fred's death, Ron's cold glare...

....And her lie.

Hermione didn't know for the life of her why she said "Draco Malfoy". He was the last person she cared about. She was willing to believe the part about her parents in the prophecy (to some extent), but not about the Death Eater's son. Trelawney has been wrong before; I mean how many times had she 'predicted' Harry's death? But something about her parents had her curious. Like she was willing to believe it was true.

Ever since she was younger Hermione felt as if she didn't belong with the Grangers, like she was a puzzle piece that didn't quite fit. When she received her Hogwarts letter, she thought that was the reason why: because she was magical, and her parents were not. But she still felt like something was missing when she returned home for the summer holidays. Almost like she was visiting the Weasley's; except it was less crowded and she was less wanted. Hermione remembered asking her parents if she was adopted when she was nine, her parents were horrified by the idea, but when she pointed out she looked nothing like them, they fell silent. Eventually they came to her and said she just looked like her great grandmother, with the explanation that sometimes genes skip generations. Hermione wanted to believe it was true, and she did for a little while, but the skeptical side of her continued to nibble away at the back of her mind.

When Hermione obliviated her muggle parents they did not take the names she had intended for them, they had their own names. The only thing that worked for Hermione was her plan for them to move to Australia, but even that was different somehow.

As for her feelings about Ronald, she felt the same as she always did. She loved him more than she ever had anyone else. Hermione was not the type to go around kissing people for no reason, and that kiss with Ron outside the chamber of secrets was definitely not a 'spur of the moment' kind of kiss.
Her heart pained at the memory of that kiss, the moment they were really together; and now he hated her; all because of some stupid lie.

Hermione knew that if Ron had any idea of how she really felt for him, he would not have left. He would have helped her find her parents. She couldn't do that to the Weasley's again: take Ron away, not when they were grieving over Fred's death. No. Ron needed to be with his family. And so did she.

So she lied.

And now she was alone. Now she was a traitor.

Tears were fighting to escape behind her closed eyelids. Hermione refused to let them consume her again.

Hermione staggered to her feet. Ignoring her aching limbs, she gathered the letter, key, and box into her purse. Then she stood contemplating whether or not she should keep the ring. It was painful to look at, but also too painful to leave behind.

In the end, she kept it; before running down the stairs to the kitchens. If Hermione wanted answers she needed to find them, but first she needed to eat.

The elves were long gone by the time Hermione made it to the kitchens; thanks to Ron.

Hermione gathered food that would last her a while on the road; she already had all the other essentials from when Harry, Ron and she were in hiding. Her purse was now worn and frail on the outside, but from the inside it still was as handy as ever.

Hermione had her last meal at Hogwarts alone. Funny how you thought you could never feel that way here she thought. Hermione let out a harsh humourless laugh. She was all out of tears.

As she ate she began to brew up a plan. With only names and a letter Hermione had to figure out who exactly these people were, school records were destroyed in a fire set by the Lestrange's during the battle, so that was out. Maybe there's a record of pureblood families? The school library was no use, pretty much everything was destroyed. The castle would take years to rebuild. She thought sadly.

She would have to go to the public wizarding library, she had been there a couple times during school holidays when she had time to spare.

After removing all evidence that she had been there and after making sure her purse was securely tied to the belt around her waist, Hermione spun on her heel and was gone with a zap.

Bringing thoughts and memories of Hogwarts with her.

And leaving thoughts of a normal life behind.

.oOo.

A/N: So thats the long awaited chapter 4. I'm sorry if this has been a major disappointment for the Dramione fans but don't worry i do plan on making up for it.

I also forgot to mention in the description that this is not a story for those looking for a plot based around romance. (Don't worry Hermione will get her happiness, just not anytime soon).

ALSO: has anyone picked up on my accidental pun? ;)

Anyway, sorry if I have disappointed you, but you know the deal: Comment, like, etc.

Don't forget to check out my other works if you enjoy this one :)

'Till next time, *internet love* Jess -3-


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