Hogsmeade was a small town of only 2,000 permanent residents. Around 95% of the time it was just like any other quaint small town, albeit one with a well developed main street, but on a few weekends a year students would be unleashed on the town and it would transform. The silent streets would echo with laughter, teens would date, kids would buy copious amounts of candy, and the shops and restaurants would fill up with young customers.
Most of the buildings on the main street had small flats above the stores in which the proprietors and their families lived, but there were many other houses further into the town and a few homes that were slightly outside of the city limits. One of the more recent residents of Hogsmeade was a well-liked young woman with curly brown hair and excellent book recommendations.
After 1 year in London working for the Ministry in the Auror department trying to track down death eaters, Hermione had found herself backed into an alley by Walden McNair and panicked. She shot off a killing curse for the first time and McNair had dropped dead. His face still locked in a grin that would never leave Hermione’s nightmares. Hermione fell to the ground devastated at casting an unforgivable and that’s when her new auror partner, Draco Malfoy had turned the corner looking for her. No doubt he had seen the telltale green light. He was out of breath and eyes looked wild as he took a second to realize that Hermione was still alive. Draco stepped over McNair’s body and reached out to grab Hermione’s arm as she sobbed. When she didn’t seem as though she was going to move, he picked her up and brought her to St. Mungos where she was quickly discharged after a calming draught. The next day, Hermione resigned.
After a few months in Australia trying to get to know her parents in their new identities and failing to gain their trust, Hermione had decided to take on a less stressful lifestyle. She had done enough and helped take down Voldemort and many of her followers. A few days after she returned and crashed on Ginny’s couch, an owl dropped off a letter for her from Draco Malfoy.
Welcome back to the U.K. I know your nose is always in a book so I wanted to let you know of an old shop that just went on the market. It’s next to Honeydukes, which could be a good spot for a bookstore. Looks like it’s 25,000 galleons and includes a flat above it. Didn’t you receive an award with 40,000 galleons for helping win the war?
Hermione rolled her eyes but throughout that morning his letter was in her mind and it started to seem like a really good idea. Hogsmeade was just quiet enough to get some peace but also a place that she was familiar with and had many good memories. She could be safe there and she could help other students have a safe spot to visit at Hogsmeade.
Hermione apparated to Hogsmeade later that day and laid her eyes on a two-story brick building near the three broomsticks. It was dusty and small with large shop windows. At the back of the shop, there was another door leading to a staircase. At the top of the staircase, Hermione found herself in a sunlit apartment with a beautiful set of windows overlooking the town. The first room was large and included the kitchen as well as the living space. As she walked to the small hallway behind the living room she found a spacious bathroom and two small bedrooms. Hermione walked over to the windows and looked down onto the street. An old couple walked by eating sweets from Honeydukes as a kid rode a muggle bicycle down the street. Hermione smiled and put in an offer.
Hermione stood in front of her shop “Books & Bobs” and smiled as Daphne Greengrass took her picture for the Daily Prophet to celebrate one year since she had opened the shop.
“Okay, next up grab a favorite book and lean against the door frame” Daphne instructed.
Hermione laughed and grabbed “Fair Weather” by Richard Peck.
“Perfect! I think we are all done with the picture part! Where would you like to do the rest of the interview?” Daphne asked.
“Come on in to the shop, I’ll show you around and we can sit at one of the reading tables,” Hermione said with a proud smile as she led her former classmate in through the red door and into a colorful room almost completely surrounded by floor to ceiling bookshelves with all types of books. In the front corner, there were smaller bookshelves creating a little children’s area with picture books, puzzles and stuffed animals for sale. The window had a plush cushion on it in case someone wanted to sit in the window and read.
As they walked further into the shop, they passed sections titled “Magical Fiction”, “Muggle Fiction”, “Muggle Non-Fiction”, “Magical Non-Fiction”, “Self-Help Books”, “Teen Books” filled with books organized perfectly on the shelves. At the back of the shop was a purple sign titled “The Reading Zone” and underneath the sign was an area with four bean bags and two tables for people to sit down and read at.
“Have a seat, Daphne. Would you like some tea?” Hermione asked as they reached the table.
“Oh no thank you. Thanks for offering” Daphne responded as they sat down.
“Tell me about the shop. What makes Books and Bobs unique?” Daphne asked pulling out a quill and scroll.
“I created Books and Bobs as a place where Hogwarts students and the Hogsmeade community could come together and buy both magical and muggle books and gifts. Books have always had a soft spot in my heart and I love the places that books can take us. As a muggle-born, I often felt like I was either in the magical world or in the muggle world. I want this to be a place where muggle-borns and those curious about muggle culture can feel at home. I’ve added these tables and bean bags back here so that people can choose to come in and just relax outside of their normal routine. I welcome everyone”. Hermione finished.
“What’s one of the best things about owning your own shop?” Daphne followed up.
“That’s a hard question. I really love seeing the faces of happy customers and interacting with the community but another interesting perk is that I’m able to set my own hours. There is a lot of great independence in that”. Hermione replied.
The rest of the interview went similarly and Daphne left to write up the story for the Daily Prophet. It was now 5:00 PM on a Sunday so Hermione locked the door and switched the open sign to closed. She pulled the blinds on the windows, and reset the wards before heading up to her flat. Ginny had helped her decorate both the downstairs and the upstairs and Hemione was so grateful. It looked even better now that there was some artwork and throw blankets and a deep purple rug in front of a cozy light gray couch. Hemione even rigged it up to be able to have a working TV and DVD player.
She smiled and laid down on the couch before grabbing a book from the coffee table and turning on a reading lamp at the side of the table. Hermione read late into the night until her eyes closed and the book slipped from her hand. It was close to 4:00 AM when a pecking noise woke her with a start from her slumber. A familiar-looking regal bird was waiting for her with a letter in its beak. Hermione’s stomach churned with worry as she rushed to the window to let the bird in. She unfolded the letter and read:
I have a favor to ask you. Some things went sideways during a death eater capture and we need a safe house for a small girl. She’s malnourished but otherwise healthy. We need someone that would be unexpected and have access to heavy warding to take her in. I’d bring her home with me until the situation blows over but we think her father saw me pick her up right before we arrested her uncle. Even if it’s just for a short time… please consider. Owl me back as soon as possible.
Hermione rushed to her bedroom to pull out a piece of paper and a quill from her desk. Her hands were shaking as she replied back the ink blotting as she pressed too hard.
I’ll take her in. I’ll open the store floo from 4:15-4:20.
She ran downstairs, still in her work outfit. A kid needed her. She could do this.