7.16

144 2 0
                                                  

Hermione and I sit reading books by the fire. The hillside is glorious, overlooking a vast valley.

"You've outdone yourself this time, Hermione." We turn, finding Harry standing outside the tent, admiring the view. He looks pale, battle-worn.

"The Forest of Dean. I came here once with my mum and dad, years ago. It's just how I remember it. The trees. The river. It's like nothing's changed." She sighs. "Not true, of course. Everything's changed. If I brought my parents here, they wouldn't recognize any of it. Not the trees. Not the river. Not... me."

"Where are they?" I ask her, my voice is raspy from my latest near death experience.

"Wendell and Monica Wilkens now reside happily in Sydney, Australia. They have two dogs, run a small sweet shop, but floss daily. No children." She smiles, then it fades. "Maybe we should just stay here. Grow old."

Harry has no words. I try to speak, but as I inhale I break out into a coughing fit.

"Sorry." I mutter softly. Hermione then breathes in and shakes off her tears.

"You both wanted to know who the boy in the photograph was. Well, I know." Hermione holds up the book in her lap: The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore. "It was in Bathilda's sitting room. Rita Skeeter had sent it to her. It doesn't make for very nice reading-"

"Who is he, Hermione? The thief? Did Dumbledore know him?" He badgers her with questions. "Tell us, Hermione. Who is he?"

"Gellert Grindelwald." She answers. "He's not very well known in Britain, but there was a time, before You-Know- Who..."

"Hermione, we don't need to have read A History of Magic to know who Gellert Grindelwald is." I say.

Hermione nods, hands Harry the book, opening to a photograph of a teenaged Dumbledore laughing with another boy. The caption: "For the Greater Good? Dark Days; Dumbledore and Grindelwald."

On the opposite page is a photograph of Grindelwald in later days, clad in black, holding a jagged wand, no longer the carefree lad of youth.

"When Grindelwald was seventeen, he was expelled from Durmstrang. He'd started doing some twisted things at school... experiments. A few teachers had always protected him, but they couldn't anymore. After he left, he traveled for awhile, then ended up in Godric's Hollow where his great aunt lived, Bathilda Bagshot."

"Get to the hard part, Hermione." Harry rolls his eyes and I slap his chest.

Leaning into Hermione I whisper, "You can tell me the rest of the story another time."

She smiles and nods to me, then looks bag to Harry. "She introduced him to Dumbledore. It made sense. Dumbledore's mother had just died, Grindelwald was troubled and they were both brilliant, they'd never really had anyone they could talk to on the same level. They did a lot of talking that summer. But they always returned to one particular subject." Harry looks up. "Wizard rule over Muggles."

"And Dumbledore believed in it?" I ask.

"Yes." I nod, looking at the photograph again.

"'For the Greater Good.' What does that mean?" Harry questions.

"It was something Dumbledore came up with. He believed wizards were superior and should rule over Muggles, but gently, for their own good. Grindelwald took a more violent position." I shake my head, staring at the book. "It was a different time, Mia. It was one summer. Dumbledore was young-"

"We're young, Hermione." I tell her. "And here we are, risking our lives to fight against the very thing Dumbledore supported."

"He changed, Mia. Years later, it was Dumbledore who put Grindelwald in prison." Hermione tells me. I sigh and clear my throat, it still feels scratchy and closed up.

Harry and Amelia PotterWhere stories live. Discover now