She looked back in surprise, recognizing the male voice. “Mister Potter?”
“Please, call me James.” Harry’s father said quickly, tugging the baseball cap lower on his head. “Nice to see you again, Hermione. Come along, your mum’s this way.”
Bewildered – would she ever not feel off balance near this man? She wondered – she followed him to a dark luxury sedan.
“Hello darling.” Mari greeted her, kissing her on the cheek as James got into the passenger’s seat. “You’ve lost weight, my Ami.”
The teen smiled affectionately; her mother had greeted her with the same observation every day after school, and all three years at Hogwarts. “I haven’t lost weight Mum, I’ve just grown up instead of out!” She replied, completing the mini ritual. “Hello again, Professor.”
“Hermione, I’m no longer your teacher; you don’t have to call me Professor.” Remus smiled at her. “Remus or Moony will do just fine.”
She smiled politely without actually answering. He would soon learn that she always used the titles of the people she respected, whether or not they still held that position.
“Mmm.” Mari shook her head. “Did you forget to eat again, Ami?”
Hermione blushed slightly. “Maybe once or twice. But the homework was just so fascinating! We actually learned some practical work in Defense this year, and I started Arithmancy and Ancient Runes…” She prattled on for a good five minutes before noticing James, Remus and her mother exchanging an amused look in the rearview mirror. “What?”
“You are so much like your aunt that it is a bit scary.” James laughed. “I was having a déjà vu moment.”
“My aunt?” She frowned. “Mum, I didn’t know you had a sister.”
“Two, actually, neither of whom I have spoken to in years.” Mari said sadly. “One is…out of reach at the moment, and the other,” she grimaced. “We’re going to visit right now. She has something that should’ve been mine a long time ago, legally, so it’s past time to set that right.”
Hermione frowned again, thinking furiously as they pulled up in front of a neat little house. It was pretty, she supposed, in a cookie cutter, trying too hard to be normal type of way. At least the flowers and grass looked to be well loved and maintained.
James stayed in the car as Remus, Mari, and Hermione got out. “This is your mother’s show.” He explained with a grin when Hermione glanced at him in question. “Besides, it’s better if I’m not seen by too many people just yet.”
Intrigued, the teen followed her mother and Remus up the walk. Both of them were dressed in elegantly posh, well-made business clothing. Remus rapped sharply on the door with his cane, which had an onyx howling wolf head topping it. Hermione caught a glimpse of the address just before the door opened: Number 4 Privet Drive. “We’re here to rescue Harry?”
Mari winked at her, before assuming a stern expression as the door opened.
“Uncle Remus? Hermione? What are you doing here – oomph!” Harry staggered back as Hermione launched herself at him for a hug, nearly squeezing the life out of him.
“I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but something’s afoot.” She whispered in his ear. “Stay with me, quiet and out of the way. Do you have your wand?”