Title: Memory's Past (1/?)
Summary: Harry hasn't seen or spoken to Hermione in eleven years. Now that he's retired, he's found himself tangled in Hermione's new life.
It was time. Time to retire; to move on. He'd been doing this---fighting evil---since he was born. He was nearing thirty, and was thoroughly exhausted. Too many scars lettered his body---the most noticeable, a lightning bolt, blemished his forehead.
He'd turned in his badge, and bought a small cottage on the outskirts of London. The cottage was made unplottable with dozens of wards. even eleven years after his defeat of Voldemort, his fame haunted him. Girls followed him around like he was the biggest thing since the Beatles. Each year it had died down a bit, but he still got the occasional pair of knickers in the post. There were also a few leftover Voldemort supports who wanted Harry dead.
After Hogwarts, Harry regrettably lost touch with his friends. Ron had died in seventh year (kidnapped, and then killed by Voldemort himself). Harry was depressed after that, and did his 'push-people-away' bit, resulting in a falling out with Hermione. Their friendship was strained after that, and never quite recovered. Thus, that resulted in them not keeping in touch. The last Harry'd heard (via the Daily Prophet), Hermione had married a wealthy American muggle by the name of Malcolm Foxworth. After that, Harry canceled his Daily Prophet subscription.
"Argh!" Harry yelled, banging his head against the mahogany coffee table near the living room fireplace. He'd fallen asleep on the floor reading. He'd woken up from a dream, no, a nightmare. One that hadn't plagued him in over five ears. It had Hermione---being tortured to the point of insanity. And crucio wasn't even close to the worst of it. Harry shivered.
Getting up, he put on a fresh t-shirt and jeans. He jammed a cap on his head and started for Diagon Alley. Hedwig had died a few years previously, and Harry hadn't had the time to buy a new owl. (he also knew in his heart that no owl would ever replace Hedwig.)
Pushing open the door to the Magical Menagerie, Harry had to cover his ears. The animals were all being rather loud---screeches and hisses filled the place. Harry moseyed over to the owl section of the store, and peered into some cages. None of them stood out like Hedwig had. Sighing, Harry headed toward the door.
"OW!" he exclaimed as something ran into him. It was a little boy with curly, flaxen blond hair and periwinkle blue eyes.
"Sorry, sir...I'm just 'cited 'cause my mum said I could buy a cat!" he said in almost a whisper, clearly scared of Harry. And before Harry could reassure the boy that he didn't mind being trampled on, the kid had shot over to the cat bin. Chuckling, Harry opened the door and walked outside.
Memory's Past was the sign directly across the street from the Magical Menagerie. "Book Shoppe" was underneath. Over the years, Harry hadn't had the time for a girlfriend, nor did he want to put anyone in danger by being associated with him. So he had taken up books. Frequently he thought that they made better companions that some humans.
The store was very musty, although it had a 'new feel to it. Dust particles danced in the sunlight streaming in from the front window.
Startled, Harry whipped his head around to the source of the noise. A shelf was turned over and a cloud of dust rained down. Books littered the floor every which way. "Ahhh, Carrie! Not again! You need to be more careful down here. Get upstairs, NOW!" Harry blinked. He knew that voice. That bossy, yet melodic voice that had scolded him throughout his Hogwarts career. The girl he had dreams about, even now. "Hermione" he whispered breathlessly, as she came out from a back room to clean up the books Carrie had spilled.
For the first time, Harry noticed a little girl with long, wavy flaxen blond hair sprawled on the floor near the upturned shelf. As Hermione walked into the room, the girl---Carrie---jumped up and scurried to a staircase leading upstairs. Hermione sighed and bent down over the books, gathering them in her arms. Her long hair formed a curtain over her face, so she couldn't see who was in her shop. "I'll be with you in just a sec," she chuckled softly, "my daughter...I swear, it's a hobby of hers, messing up my store..."
Harry blinked. Daughter? Store? Daughter...well, she had gotten married. It made since she would have kids. But Harry felt almost...disappointed? Jealous? He wasn't entirely sure. Shaking himself out of the trance, he focused back on the present. Hermione had finished shelving books and turned to face him.
"Can I help you find something?" she asked, not recognizing him. It had been almost eleven years. His face and body had matured, mostly from the stress of war and fighting crime. He was no longer the malnourished, scrawny boy of his youth. His hair was also longer now, being just above his shoulders. The glasses he now wore were rimless instead of the wired ones he wore as a child.
"Hmm, I dunno. Can you?" he replied cheekily, correcting her grammar.
"Harry Potter? Cor, is that you?" she an over to him, stopped, looking as though she was about to hug him. Instead, she reached her hand back and slapped him right across the face.
Mmm, that was shorter than I thought. o_o chapter 2 coming whenever I finish writing it. XD