I own nothing but my car...
They had won, the war was over. They had suffered casualties, much too many in fact, but it was done. Voldemort had died, Harry killed him. Hermione Granger walked around the great hall in a bit of a daze. There was the incredibly complex mix of joyous celebration and unimaginable grief. So many people she knew were gone. Colin, Lavender, Snape, Remus, Tonks, Fred.
Hermione was sitting on the cold floor of the great hall before she realized what was happening. So many images flashed in her head. Every death, whether she saw it or not, even Harry's dead body flashed. Suddenly she couldn't breathe, the walls were closing in on her. She couldn't stay there another minute. She apparated before she really thought of what she was doing, only momentarily thinking that the wards must be broken for it even to be possible on the grounds.
Looking around she realized she was in Diagon Alley, just in front of the twins' shop in fact. That wasn't as crazy as it seemed when she thought about it, she was looking for comfort, safety and understanding. Of course she ended up at his home. He had always been there for her, looking out for her, making sure she didn't take herself too seriously. Thinking of him made the tears fall without her consent. How could this happen, if anyone deserved to survive, it was him. How could she live in this world without him. The worst part was he didn't even know. He had no idea how much she needed him to be okay. This world would lose so much of its color without him in it.
It was with that thought in her head that Hermione made a decision. Holding her head up high, shoulders squared, she walked down the alley. It was still early in the morning, she was almost worried that they would be closed. She should have known better, these were goblins, they had very little interest in what was happening in the wizarding world, even something as big as the defeat of Voldemort. There would be no holiday here.
Hermione was certain of one thing, having a couple dozen goblins glaring at her as she walked through the quiet bank was one of the most nerve wracking things she'd ever experienced. That was saying something given the past couple months.
"I-I would like to make a withdrawal, please," Hermione said quietly to the first teller she got to.
"Wait here," the goblin growled down to her before turning and disappearing. Hermione gulped audibly as she caught sight of her reflection in the shiny surface of the counter in front of her. She looked a fright, hair entirely out of control, dirt and who knew what else covered her face. She tried in vain to get her hair under control, but quickly gave it up as a lost cause. She stood a bit taller, hoping that she could fake enough confidence to make up for her horrid appearance.
"Hermione Jean Granger?" a gruff voice called out.
"Yes," she said, her voice strong than she had expected it to be. She wasn't surprised they knew who she was, it was just yesterday she flew their old half blind dragon through the ceiling.
"Follow me," the voice said as she noticed the grumpy looking goblin it belonged to walk toward a door she hadn't noticed. She quietly let him lead her further into the bank, before he stopped at a door that looked just like several others that lined the hall.
Hermione walked into the room that was bigger and brighter than she expected. It had no windows, but the light color of the walls as well as the many wall sconces made up for it. It looked almost muggle, with a large desk and comfortable looking armchairs in the center. One wall was entirely covered in shelves, holding hundreds of books, any other time this would have caught her attention. The only thing that would have been out of place in any muggle business office, besides the angry looking goblin sitting at the desk, were the fierce looking battle axes hung on the wall behind him.
"Sit," the goblin behind the desk grunted at her. Hermione took half a second to look down at her filthy clothing before doing as she was told. The goblin finally looked up from the parchment he was writing on and looked deeply in her eyes. "Miss Granger, my name is Fiaherk. What can I do for you today?"
"Well sir, I'd like to close out my account, and if at all possible have my balance transferred into muggle currency," Hermione told him, a bit taken aback at his civility.
"Very well," Fiaherk said, summoning a piece of parchment and looking it over. "We have taken out a fee for the damage that Misters Potter, Weasley and yourself caused yesterday from each of your accounts. You have received a sizable sum from the Black Estate, as per the last will and testament of Sirius Orion Black. That, along with the deposits you have been regularly making brings your account balance to this."
Hermione looked over the parchment Fiaherk handed her. She was surprised at the total, being far greater than she had suspected. She was unaware that Sirius had left her anything, but extremely grateful nonetheless.
"If I could, I would like you to take Ron Weasley's fee from my account instead," Hermione asked. The Weasleys had done so much for her and lost so much already, she didn't want them to have to pay so much back to the bank as well.
"As you wish," Fiaherk said, waving his hand over the parchment and the numbers adjusted themselves.
"Thank you so much. You've been much kinder than I'm sure I deserve. I hate to press my luck, but I wonder if you could help me with one final thing," Hermione asked a bit wistfully.
"That would be?" Fiaherk asked, looking at her in a calculating manner. Fiaherk was a very clever goblin, he knew exactly what would have happened to his kind if the dark lord had come to power. While most goblins were quick to lump all witches and wizards into one unsavory bunch, he was different. Fiaherk was very close to Fillius Flitwick, still seeing his childhood friend regularly. He had heard of this particular witch before. He'd heard of her incredible intelligence, but also if her kind heart. He'd heard of her passionate pleas for equality among all magical beings. For these reasons, and the genuine respect she had shown since arriving in his office, Fiaherk was willing to help her. She certainly looked as if she could use some help.
"Would you be able to point me in the direction of someone who could give me a new, muggle identity?" Hermione asked quietly. She knew she was putting a lot of trust in this goblin, something in his eyes told her he would keep her secret though.
"That can be arranged," he said, she thought she saw a flicker of sadness pass his features, but it was gone so quickly she was sure she'd imagined it.
Hermione Jean Granger walked into Gringotts Bank that morning, but it was Emily Weston who left.
They had won, the war was over. All over the great hall people were laughing and celebrating, while others were still grief stricken at the ones who were gone. George Weasley didn't celebrate, he didn't laugh or joke. George was sitting on the cold floor holding the cold hand of the most important person he knew. His family had backed away, gave him some time, to say goodbye he guessed. How exactly does one say goodbye to half of themselves?
George vaguely heard Harry walk over to his family. George didn't have it in him to look at the younger wizard. Why was he able to die and come back, when Fred was still lying on the floor? As soon as the thought entered his mind, he instantly regretted it. He could hear Fred's voice admonishing him for even letting the thought firm fully. George laid his head on his brothers chest, silently asking for forgiveness when he heard Harry speak.
"Has anyone seen Hermione?" Harry asked the group at large.
George was about to stand up, to let Fred go when he felt a twitch from Fred's hand. Quickly he began scrambling, trying to find a pulse, a rise in his chest, anything to tell him what he's just felt was real. Then he found it, just the lightest thump from Fred's chest, just the slightest rise from the shallowest of breaths.
"I need a healer here, now!" George shouted out, never taking his eyes off his twin. His family looked at one another then back to him, pity evident in their eyes.
"George, mate, he's…" Charlie was the first to speak, but was cut off by George.
"I'm not mad, I just felt a pulse! It's weak, but it's there. Now someone get a bloody healer now!" George shouted again. The commotion caught the attention of a medi-witch sitting nearby who came over to the knot of redheads.
"What's the problem?" she asked kindly, looking among them.
"Please, I felt a pulse, I saw his chest rise, it wasn't much, but it was there. Please just check him," George was all but sobbing now.
The medi-witch gently put her hand on George's shoulder, he backed away slightly to give her room, but never took his eyes off his brother. The witch raised her wand and began waving it in complex patterns, muttering spells quietly. A soft red light emanated from Fred's body gaining a gasp from the witch. Quickly she pressed her wand to a lime green bracelet and muttered something again. Within moments a healer was rushing to the group.
"What's going on? What happened to the boy?" the older witch asked the medi-witch.
"It seems as though he was hit by some sort of combination of spells. Did anyone see what hit him? What colors were the spells?" the medi-witch asked the Weasleys.
"He-he wasn't hit by any spells," Percy spoke up shakily. "I was standing next to him and the wall exploded. He was hit by the wall."
The healer took in everything that was said and turned to Fred and made her own diagnostic spells. Once again his body glowed a soft red.
"We need to get him to St. Mungo's immediately," she said conjuring a stretcher and levitating Fred's body onto it. "He is alive, but he was hit with an immobilizing spell in combination with something else i'm not sure of at the moment. He must have been hit just before the wall came down. He would appear dead, being immobilized and no one would have suspected otherwise because no one saw him hit by a spell. All I can tell you right now is the second spell was dark, it's continuing to work through his body. It seems as though the immobilizing spell has run it's course and that's why he has a heartbeat again."
"Are-are you saying we could have buried him alive?" Charlie asked, all the color draining from his face.
"It looks as if you've just given your brother his best chance at surviving," the medi-witch smiled softly at George, who was smiling so brightly his face hurt at the action.
"Have you two got the bond?" the healer, who had been preparing Fred for transport asked George. He looked at her quizzically.
"They do, since birth. I was a Prewitt, there were at least six generations before them," Molly told the healer finally finding her voice.
"Brilliant, that will make this a bit easier. Prewitt, you say? Fabian and Gideon?" the healer asked Molly.
"My brothers, the boys namesakes in fact," Molly nodded.
"Good men, incredible wizards, and the strongest twin bond I've ever heard of," the healer smiled. Then turned to George. "Alright, child, come along with me, let's see what we can do about saving your brother yeah?"