Chapter One- The Effect
Hermione had only been back at home for 2 weeks when she began to feel odd. She was so very tired and spent a couple extra hours in bed. She did her homework and read in her bed. Her parents were convinced this had to do with the Department of Mysteries fiasco, a depression perhaps. And they weren’t completely wrong, night terrors plagued Hermione of her time in the Department. Black, cloaked figures wearing masks, chased her around and around. Sometimes Harry and the others would be rushing along with her. When that was the case, her dreams made her cry out in the night. Tentacles snatched Ron up, strangling him till he was limp and blue, Neville howled under the eerie red threads of the Cruciatus Curse while Bellatrix cooed to him in an insane cackle. Ginny would crumple under broken limbs, Luna cornered and beaten. Then there was Harry… blood red eyes, a sneer upon usually soft lips. He would suddenly turn on her, wand raised at her chest. A slash of his wand, and his eyes would reflect the emerald green of the killing curse, giving her a second to see her Harry in the cold, dead depths. Her screams would wake her parents and she was torn from the pain and despair.
Her mysterious depression and illness must have something to do with the fight in the Ministry but she dreaded to hear what it was. Her breasts were aching and for her period to be this late… she didn’t want to consider what that meant. She hadn’t thrown up but she was usually nauseous throughout the day. But she needed to know, so, one evening while her parents went out, she stopped by the nearby store. It was four weeks after school let out and her period was three weeks late. Logically, it was impossible. She was a virgin and didn’t have much of a taste for boys yet. School was much more important… but here she was.
The little white stick sitting so innocently on her bathroom counter held the rest of her life as it ran the test. Then, that small blue plus sign appeared in the window and she felt her breath leave her. It couldn’t be right. She bolted to her room, tears streaming down her face. And that was how her parents found her.
They were understandably upset. Who wouldn’t be? She was only sixteen after all. Then there was the mystery of how. Hermione could see the doubt on her father’s face. They were Muggles after all. When her school letter came, she immediately sent the owl back with a plea for Professor Dumbledore to come speak with her.
And that’s where she stood now, her chest tight as Professor Dumbledore stepped inside with Professor McGonagall.
“Miss Granger, what is troubling you, my dear?” Professor Dumbledore asked. “And good evening.”
Hermione dragged her gaze away from Dumbledore's crippled, blackened hand, swallowing hard. Hermione opened her mouth but was unable to speak, her eyes stung. Her father stepped forward, his cheeks pink. “Is there a way for those in your world to become pregnant while still a virgin?”
This seemed to throw them off. Professor McGonagall’s hand flew to cover her mouth and she turned to Hermione, her eyes wide. Dumbledore looked grim as he stepped forward. “No. Not that I know of. So I must ask, Miss Granger, if you think anyone obliviated you?”
Hermione had considered it but, her heart thunder with fear. Her mum was gripping her hand tightly. “I don’t know, sir.”
McGonagall removed her wand from her robes as she spoke. “Miss Granger, with your consent, I'd like to run a spell to detect when the child was created. We could have Severus run a potion as well to detect the father.”
“Yes, please. I'd like this to be over with.” Hermione choked. Her father pulled her into a hug.
Professor McGonagall stepped up to her and waved her wand in a complex circle over Hermione's torso. With a pop, a parchment appeared and landed in Professor McGonagall’s waiting hand. “June 18th 1996, 19:04 .”
“But that was the Department of Mysteries.” Hermione blurted, her mind racing.
“Indeed it is, Miss Granger. I realize you were unconscious during parts of the battle?” Dumbledore inquired.
“Yes sir, but I was with Harry and the others the while time.” Hermione shut her eyes and leaned against her father.
“Would you be willing to meet at The Burrow? I will fetch Misters Potter and Longbottom.” Professor Dumbledore asked. Hermione nodded.
“I'd like to come along.” Her dad spoke up, her mother nodding vigorously.
“Of course. Professor McGonagall will pick you up in a couple days.” Dumbledore replied.