When Hermione was a little girl, her parents took her on a trip to Norway. She can’t remember much of it now, but her mother brought back a kitchen witch that is still in their home to this day. At the time, she couldn’t read the little sign around the doll’s neck, but as she grew older, she would stand in the kitchen and stare at the little cloth woman.
For centuries, Norwegians have hung this good witch in their kitchen. They believe she has the power to keep roasts from burning, pots from boiling over, and sauces from spilling.
Her mum wasn’t the best cook, you see. She would try, but she had a frenetic energy and usually wound up burning something or mopping up after an overflowing pot. Hermione would frown and look at the kitchen witch. “Clearly, you’re not a real witch. If you were, you’d do your job.”
Her mum would laugh and say, “She’s just for luck. Magic isn’t real, my dear.”
The next year Hermione’s powers started manifesting. You could’ve knocked the Grangers over with a feather.
The day she left for Hogwarts, she stood in the kitchen again, eyeing the little doll. “Do you want me to take it down?” her mum asked. “I never thought about it before, but it could be considered offensive, yeah?”
“Leave it,” Hermione said. “You need the luck.”
Mrs. Granger laughed for three minutes straight.
Sometimes Hermione would still think about her mum’s kitchen and that little witch who was supposed to drive the demons of bad cooking away. She herself had done well in potions, so it made sense that she was also rather adept at cooking.
Who’s the kitchen witch now? she thought to herself, chuckling. “Oh god, I need maternity leave to end.”
Since she’d had Scorpius, Hermione’s whole life changed. She loved being a mother. She’d had more telephone calls with her mum, asking advice and figuring out how to raise a tiny person. Poor Draco had taken on extra responsibility at the Ministry as it seemed several witches had gotten pregnant at the same time and were all currently still on leave.
He’d been coming home late a lot.
That didn’t stop her from creating elaborate meals every night, though. It was something to do with her time. Scorpius was an ideal baby—he slept through the night most nights and didn’t even cry that much. She wondered how they had gotten so lucky.
Maybe life had decided she and Draco had made it through the worst and were due for some joy. It hadn’t been easy on him once he switched sides in the war, but he fought alongside them and fought for her, and she couldn’t be happier that he had. She was on track to have a perfectly normal (read: boring) life—marry Ron, pop out a few kids, work her way up in the Ministry.
But Draco had convinced her she wouldn’t be happy settling for something ordinary. So she joined him to go back to Hogwarts to finish their education, and they fell in love. He overcame the odds to join the Aurors and now he and Harry were thick as thieves. Especially since Ron left the department to run the joke shop with his brother.
She worked in the DMLE as well, but on the research/policy side of things. She helped create and pass laws that the Aurors would enforce. And if she had to work closely with her husband and her best friend from time to time, so be it.
Currently, Scorpius was napping in his crib, and she was perfecting a few dishes for quick future preparation. Hermione enjoyed combining old Granger family recipes with magic to maximize deliciousness and efficiency. Today she was attempting to take the traditional Beef Wellington—a dish which required a lot of steps—from the standard over two hours down to about 20 minutes. She had already done this for several other dishes and was now a whiz at whipping up a quick and easy dinner using a few simple spells.
She was considering writing a book about it for other working magical mothers. After all, in addition to taking care of her son, she had reorganized their entire flat and read through almost the entire Malfoy family library. Grandpa Lucius and Grandma Narcissa loved visiting with Scorpius upon their frequent visits. It had taken time for them to get used to having Hermione as a daughter-in-law, but now they were all incredibly close.
When she saw the perfectly pink center of the tender meat, Hermione smiled. She’d done it yet again.
It was several nights later that she was rocking Scorpius to sleep, reading him a bedtime story. The book levitated in front of her face as her baby wiggled in her arms. He was fighting slumber, his little yawns here and there the only evidence of his sleepiness, but she continued reading. It was his favorite story, one about dragons.
He had just fallen asleep when the door silently opened, Draco shuffling in looking positively worn out. She knew he was on a fast track for a promotion and the extra hours he’d been picking up were part of that, but still—she didn’t like him working himself to the bone like this.
“Hi. Sorry I’m so late,” he whispered, not wanting to wake their sleeping son.
Hermione rose and put Scorpius in his crib. “Don’t apologize. I know why you’ve been working so much. I just hate seeing you so tired.”
He kissed her soundly, his arm sliding around her waist. No matter how tired he was, he almost always still had energy left to fool around. When he pulled back, he smiled at her. “Have you eaten?”
“I should be asking you that,” she chided. “As it so happens, I only had a nibble when I fed your son, so I’m famished. And I’ve just finished perfecting another speedy recipe.”
“Ooh, what is it?”
“Your favorite, Beef Wellington. Let’s go down to the kitchen and you can watch me work my magic.”
“Excellent, and then for dessert I’ll work my magic on you.” He waggled his eyebrows suggestively and Hermione giggled.