“Mr. and Ms. Zabini, it is wonderful to have you back.” McGonagall said as she watched with amused eyes, the duo in front of her. The last time she saw her beloved Gryffindor she was her glamoured-self, yet no longer did she see unruly frizzy hair and a pale freckled face. No, she saw an incredibly different woman in front of her. This new Hermione glowed with natural, effortless beauty; it was almost surreal.
“Hello Professor.” Stated the smaller sibling, her voice a few octaves different from what McGonagall remembered her initial voice sounding. Grace clutched onto her lower back, knowing perfectly well it was unwise to apparate with an injury.
“Hello, Ms. Zabini. It is wonderful to finally meet you.” McGonagall said with a wink.
“She’s the only one in Hogwarts who knows about your true self. Besides Dumbledore, he knows everything that happens in this school, even if he is long gone.” Blaise whispered to his sister, who gave a small nod in response.
“Well, dinner is to start in fifteen minutes. Your trunks are already placed in their rightful locations.”
The two teens gave polite nods in means of ‘thank you’, but before they could exit the office the headmistress spoke again. “Ms. Gra-Zabini. Welcome back.” She stated with sad eyes. Oh how she hated to see a Gryffindor forced into Slytherin house, but it was for the best.
“Thank you professor.” Replied the smallest sibling. And both walked down the steps.
“This is going to be fun”, snickered Blaise after a few moments of walking in a comfortable silence.
“What do you mean?” Grace asked, noting the hint of mischief in her brother’s tone. She stopped slightly to adjust the hem of her skirt, which began to touch the fresh sores on her back.
“I’m sure Slytherin will be in an uproar when they see I’m back, the only thing I have to worry about is keeping you safe.” He replied nonchalantly.
“I am perfectly fine with taking care of myself.” Grace snorted, crossing her arms in annoyance. It seemed like everyone was worried about her safety, but she accepted the consequences to make her family feel more at ease.
“You were never a Slytherin. You don’t know how they think.” Blaise said, interrupted by another one of his sister’s snorts. “Besides…” he tried to lighten the mood, “seeing you, many males, Slytherin or not, will be running up to grab you.”
Grace halted. “I am NOT some piece of meat,” she seethed.
“There are very few genuine guys at this school Gracie, that’s why my brotherly instincts will help you pick out the stupid ones.” Blaise said, his pace never stopping. ‘What does he mean by that?’ Grace thought, catching up to her twin.
Back in the Gryffindor common room, Harry and Ginny were having a hard time being civil when they watched the fellow couple in the couch across from them. A month ago, shortly after Ron’s rampage, Lavender became the new girlfriend. And after that it was Hanna Abbott. The next one was Tiffany Tran, and later Georgi Frueuff. It seemed Ron had completely given up on Hermione and the sight greatly disappointed Ginny. However, her boyfriend decided it was a great thing. Harry knew if Hermione was to come back she would have a reasonable explanation, and seeing Ron somewhat happy helped calm his nerves. He hadn’t completely given up on their missing best friend, but he was quickly adapting to life without her.
Ginny snapped, “Can you both STOP SNOGGING!!” Her face became beet red and her voice raised with every word she said.
Ron and Lavender retracted their tongues from each other’s mouths and shifted towards the furious sister. Apparently they got back together.
“I-I understand Ron, why you did this.” She sighed and gestured towards the couple. “But don’t you ever think that Hermione is still out there, who loves you, and is waiting to come back?”
“Gin don’t do this to him”, Harry interjected.
“Can’t a girl dream?” Ginny sighed and grabbed her boyfriend’s hand. The lot of them walked out of the portrait and headed towards the Great Hall for dinner.
“ZAAAAAAABIIINNNNNIIIII!!!!” bellowed Malfoy as they entered the Slytherin common room.
“Hey mate.” Blaise replied easily.
“Hey mate. HEY MATE IS ALL YOU CAN SAY. YOU WEREN’T HERE FOR FOUR WEEKS AND ALL YOU CAN SAY IS HEY MATE. WHAT KIND OF MATE ARE YOU?!!!!!”
“Geez, mum sorry I didn’t tell you sooner.” Blaise stated in a mock voice. “Oi and it was two months.”
“THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT ANY BETTER.” Malfoy seethed.
“Calm down mate, really. You’re scaring my sister.”
The common room gasped, all motions stopped, and the Slytherin head became even paler. Letting go of Blaise’s hand, Grace walked out from her position behind her twin brother. Seeing everyone’s eyes grow wide at her appearance, she let out a smirk. “Hello.”