All things Buffy
belong to Joss. All things Harry
belong to JKR. No money is being made here, it's all in good fun.
Hermione knew she’d likely find Ron the same place as every other Quidditch mad witch or wizard on this particular day. Cleansweep was unveiling their latest offering, which according to their advance press release would rival the Firebolt. There was a time she wouldn’t have known that, but after living with Harry for months, she’d gotten used to the fact that she picked up all sorts of sporting trivia she would otherwise ignore.
It really was like having a brother, she reflected. Now that the weight of beating Voldemort was off his shoulders, there were days Harry was like a little kid again- more of a kid than she ever remembered him being, actually. And Kreacher was unrecognizable as well- he was thrilled to have Master Harry and Miss Hermione living at Grimmauld Place. He spoiled them ridiculously.
Ron was living with Fred in Diagon Alley, which was half the reason she’d agreed to come here today. The other half, of course, being the book she absolutely had to pick up from Flourish & Blott’s the day it was published. She’d known she’d have to track him down after she picked up the book.
So it was no surprise to find him standing on the pavement in front of Quality Quidditch, slack-jawed and looking a bit dazed.
“The new Cleansweep is that impressive, is it?” she asked by way of a greeting.
“Hermione,” Ron replied seriously. “Do I look mad to you?”
“What?” she asked, startled.
“Do I seem like I’ve gone round the twist? Finally snapped? I mean, it wouldn’t be a terrible shock, would it, all the stuff we’ve been through?”
“Ron,” she said, halfway worried now. “What are you talking about?”
“Draco Malfoy has a sister.”
Hermione was a little perplexed, but it wasn’t exactly out of the realm of possibility. Narcissa Malfoy wasn’t that old…
“Well, did you congratulate him? The Malfoys must be pleased, though I feel a bit sorry for the baby.”
“Hermione, she’s our age.”
Now Hermione was floored.
“But… Draco was the only Malfoy at Hogwarts, and I’ve seen graduation lists for Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. There were no Malfoys there either!”
“You don’t suppose she’s a Squib, do you?” Ron said thoughtfully. “I’ve heard there are some pureblood families that will keep Squibs hidden, or just give them over to Muggles to raise.”
“No, really, Hermione! Wouldn’t that be a comedown for old Lucius? One of his children a Squib!”
“Are you still here, Weasley?” demanded a voice they both knew all too well.
“Draco,” Hermione said neutrally. “Is this your sister?”
“Yep,” the blonde girl confirmed, though Hermione hadn’t really been in much doubt. There was a definite family resemblance, although the girl’s hair was slightly more gold tinged than Draco’s paler white-blonde. “I’m Buffy. Apparently word gets round fast, even when the eclipse is stationary. What’s a Squib?”
That last bit was directed at her brother, who frowned, apparently not having heard what Ron had been saying.
“A squib is someone born to wizarding parents who has no magic,” Draco said through what Hermione suspected were gritted teeth. She was glad to see he was making an effort to stay civil for his sister’s sake. Neither he nor Ron could afford the trouble a duel would cause them…
“Oh. So since I have a wand, not to mention the whole Slayer package, not one of those then,” Buffy chirped.
“Slayer?” Hermione gasped.
“Yep, that’s me,” Buffy said cheerfully. “And apparently it’s good I’m a witch, what with my birthday coming up and all.”
“How old will you be?” Hermione asked, mind racing. There was really only one birthday Slayers had to worry about, assuming they made it that long.
“Eighteen,” Buffy replied.
“But if you’re eighteen-“ Ron began, only to stop as Hermione trod on his foot with enough force to make his eyes water.
“Happy birthday,” she said smoothly, aware that Buffy and Draco had both noted Ron biting his tongue to keep from howling or cursing. “Your brother doing some birthday present reconnaissance then?”
“Nope,” Buffy replied unconcernedly. “He’s charmingly blatant about presents. He announced it would be wrong for me to be the only one born a Malfoy who didn’t have a broom, so he dragged me into the Queerditch shop.”
“Quidditch,” both wizards corrected in unison- and promptly glared at each other when they realized what had happened.
Noting the twinkle in Buffy’s eye, Hermione suspected she’d mangled the name on purpose.
“Which model did you get?” Hermione asked, deciding that hoping the boys would join the conversation and keep it civil was a lost cause.
“Draco decided the new Cleansweep was the way to go. What’s it called, the CometSweeper? Anyway, it’s supposed to be ridiculous fast, so with Slayer reflexes it should be awesome. And once I learn how to fly, he’s going to explain how all the funny flying balls work.”
Ron made a strangled noise that might have been choking back laughter, or might have been outrage that someone could be so casual about the sacred sport of Quidditch. Draco looked only slightly less appalled.
“Oh, look, there’s Narcissa now. We’d better go. It was nice meeting you, Hermione.”
To Hermione’s surprise, Buffy said that with every evidence of sincerity, and waved as her brother started to march her up Diagon Alley to meet his mother, who was just coming out of Potage’s.
Hermione waved back, bemused, before turning to Ron.
“Hermione-“ he croaked. “Did she just-“
, Ron,” she sighed.
He was clearly going to be no use to anyone until he’d talked this out. They’d just have to stop in the joke shop and warn George. Actually, the joke shop was a good plan. Ron wasn’t good at Apparating when he was rattled, and it would be nicer to floo home from his office than from the Leaky Cauldron. Besides, George might well skive off for the rest of the day and come with them to hear this.
“Let’s go back to Grimmauld Place,” Hermione said briskly. “You know Harry’s going to want to hear this. So will Luna and Neville and Ginny.”And who knows
, she thought. It might well interest the Order or the Ministry, too.