"Come on Hugo, we don't want to be late", Hermione called to her son.
Her heels clacked on the shiny tiles and she cursed herself for putting them on. They were absolutely gorgeous, she knew, but they were definitely not made for walking and there was only so much cushioning charms could do.
"Yes Hermie", Hugo answered, "We still have twenty minutes."
"Hugo!", she snapped annoyed, "How many times do I have to tell you not to call me Hermie, I am your mother!"
"Aw come on Hermie, he was just joking", Ron interfered while pushing their daughter's cart for her.
Hermione's eyes shot daggers at her husband.
"I'm sorry mom", Hugo said before she could snap at his father.
"I know Hugo", she sighed, "I'm just a bit stressed. I can't believe my little boy is going to Hogwarts already!"
"Mom", he called out when she pulled him into a hug, "Cut it out, people are watching!"
"AWW Hermione", Ron said pulling him out of her arms, "He's a big boy now! Big boys only want to get hugged by their father."
"Dad!", Hugo called while struggling out of his father's bear hug.
"Hugo", Hermione said, "Keep an eye on Lily okay? It's her first year too."
"Yeah", Ron grinned, "Don't let her out of your sight. We don't want you to fail like Rose did with Albus."
"Hey!", Rose called, "It's not my fault that he got sorted into Slytherin and befriended a Malfoy."
"Rose", she said sternly, "There's nothing wrong with being a Slytherin, nor with befriending a Malfoy."
"Says you", Ron scoffed, "I'll never trust a Malfoy."
"Scorpius is not his father Ron", she sighed, "Just like Draco is not Lucius. Besides, Draco saved me during the war and you know it."
How many times did they need to have this conversation? She hated Ron for putting these kind of prejudiced ideas in their children's heads.
"Ron!", a voice called from behind her.
"Uncle George!", Rose grinned. She walked up to him with Ron right behind her, leaving Hermione and Hugo alone.
"Mom", Hugo said timidly, "What if I am like Albus?"
"You're not like Albus Hugo", she said sternly, "You are you. But if you do end up in Slytherin and befriend Scorpius like Albus did, I couldn't care less. As long as you're happy with your House and your friends, I will be happy too."
A whistle blew behind them.
"Time to go Hugo", she smiled, "Go find Lily and get on the train."
"Bye mom", he answered, "I'll write you, I promise."
After a kiss and a hug from both of her children she saw them getting on the train. Ron stood beside her as they waved at their children until the Hogwarts Express was gone from sight.
Hermione noticed a dodgy fellow staring at her from a dark corner of the platform. She tried to ignore him, but the more people left the platform, the more uncomfortable she felt.
"Ron", she said, nudging her husband, "That man is staring at me. He looks angry or something."
"Nah", he answered, not even bothering to look, "That's probably just his face. I have to pee, I'll be back in a bit."
"Ron!", she hissed, but he'd already turned away from her.
The moment Ron disappeared into the toilets, the man stalked over to her. Glancing around, Hermione noticed that the platform was all but empty. Bloody brilliant...
"Well well", the man sneered, "If it isn't Madam Minister Mudblood... All by herself..."
"Can I help you?", she asked stiffly. Shestruggled to hideher discomfort.
The man chuckled and invaded her personal space.
"Merlin knows how you became Minister", he grinned maliciously, "On your knees probably. Maybe you can show me your talent. I heard rumours about your stay with the Death Eaters during the war..."
Hermione took a step backwards before he could grab her and pulled out her wand.
"Please leave sir", she said icily, "Before something happens that we both regret."
"You act all cold, but a hotheaded little thing you are", he grinned, twirling his wand around, "I like that..."
Where the hell is Ron?!
"Oi!", someone called from behind her, "What's going on here?!"
The man grimaced and fled with a growl. Hermione spun around, her wand still in her hand.
"Hello Princess", Gregory Goyle said to her.
"Greg!", she said surprised and lowered her wand. "What are you doing here?"
"Draco asked me to come along to drop Scorpius off", he answered.
Her eyes narrowed a little as she saw him scratch his head.
"Where's Draco then?", she asked sceptically.
"Oh he's gone", he answered, "Draco always drops Scorpius off early and leaves even before the Express departures. Crowds still aren't very safe for him."
"I didn't realise it was still so bad", she said flinching.
Hermione you're the bloody Minister of Magic, how could you not know this?
"It is", Greg sighed, "It's difficult to get around if you've been associated with Death Eaters and for Draco, as a very recognisable person who actually was a Death Eater, it's even worse."
"So", she said crossing her arms, "If you're here to watch Draco, why are you not with him?"
"I'm not supposed to tell you", he answered, scratching his head again and looking at his feet.
"You better tell me Greg", she glared at him.
"Okay, but don't do anything rash", he said timidly. "You remember that I'm a freelance bodyguard, right?"
She nodded and he took a little step back. It must be a funny sight to see such a big burly guy shrink away from a tiny witch.
"Well", he continued, "We know that you refused bodyguards when you became Minister. So every time there's a public event which you attend, I'm there to guard you."
"You what?!", she fumed, "Don't you have better things to do?"
"Actually... No", Greg said sadly, "I don't get hired very often because of my position during the war. Watching you is very often my only source of income."
"Income?", she asked confused. But then it dawned on her. "Draco pays you, doesn't he?"
"Yes, but I'd do it for free too if I didn't need the money to survive", he answered hurriedly.
"You go tell Draco that you quit this job NOW", she ordered.
"But...", Greg started desperately.
"But nothing", Hermione cut him off, putting her hands on her hips. "You quit his service and you come see me in my office tomorrow morning."
"Yes Madam", he saluted.
"8 a.m. Greg, don't be late", she smiled. "Now GO tell Draco I'm a big girl. I can hire my own security."
"Until tomorrow then Princess!"
With a wink he swaggered off.
"Hermione", Ron called from behind her, "Let's go. I think that's Goyle over there, it's not safe."
She fought the urge to roll her eyes. Now he wants to be bloody protective?