AN: Thank you all so much for the support! It is deeply appreciated!
"I can't do it Mum."
Hermione brushed off the last of the soot from her robes. Then she muttered a cleaning spell, which took care of the ash on the white carpet.
"How can I tell everyone that one of my parents' greatest accomplishments is taking their loved ones' memories?" Victor asked.
"Ginny gave you some helpful phrasing," Hermione began.
"Oh sure," Victor slumped into a leather swivel chair. "I can tell everyone that there is a 'correlation,' between lycanthropy and amnesia. Then I will add that correlation does not equal causation, as if anyone will pay any attention to that caveat."
"Sweetie," Hermione cooed.
Victor threw up his hands, almost hitting the oaken desk to his right. "I can already hear the questions which will be raised. 'Were your parents aware of the potential for harmful side effects?' 'Was this cure worth the trouble it's causing?' and my personal favorite, 'how many hair care products do your parents go through on a weekly basis?'"
"Thirty bottles of Slekeazy's."
Hermione smirked. "I go through thirty bottles of Slekeazy's a week. Your father hasn't used so much as a bottle of shampoo since he was nine."
Victor couldn't help but crack a smile. "People would be dumb enough to believe that, wouldn't they?"
"Indeed they would," Hermione answered.
The light in Victor's eyes died. "I can't do it, Mum. I cannot write an article which I know would subject you and Dad to such scrutiny."
"You're right." Hermione approached him. "Somebody else should write this letter."
"Who else could do it?"
She reached over and took the quill from atop the desk. "I should be the one to write this letter."
"Why would you say that?"
"I was the one who helped create the potion, so I should be the one to explain its drawbacks."
"When I said I could not write the letter, I meant that Uncle Draco should write it, not you."
"This is not Draco's potion though. It was created by your father and me, ergo we should be the ones to explain its side effects."
Victor opened his mouth.
"And if you argue with me on this point I will remind you of who is the mother and who is the son," Hermione interrupted.
He chuckled. "Yes, Mum."
"I'm glad we have reached an understanding." She gestured for Victor to stand.
Victor rose and stepped aside. Hermione sat and took a deep breath. Then, she dabbed the quill into the ink pot, her eyes focused on the parchment before her.
"Victor, would you like some tea?"
The door cracked open. Ginevra stepped into the room, carrying a silver trey with matching cups and a kettle.
"I made earl gray tea. I know it's your favorite, and I was hoping it could inspire you to…" Ginevra's face lit up. "Hello, Hermione."
Hermione grinned. "Hello Ginny."
"Oh my," Ginevra set down the tray on a nearby stand. "I wish I had known you were coming. I would have gotten an extra cup for you if I had."
Hermione shrugged. "I had not originally intended upon coming, but Victor flooed me asking if I had any suggestions for how to write your latest newsletter. It seemed to be a conversation which would be more productive if we were face to face instead of in a fireplace."
"That makes sense."
"As we further discussed the issue I realized that I should be the one informing the voters for our findings, not him."
"Are you certain you want to write about this? We can always hire someone else…"
"No, I should write this," Hermione replied. "This is my husband's and my potion. If anyone should explain its harmful side effects, it should be one of us. Considering that Severus is in hiding at the moment, the task falls to me."
Ginevra picked up one of the cups and the kettle. "Well, if that's the case then you should have a bit of tea for inspiration."
"I really don't want to trouble you," Hermione began.
"Nonsense," Ginny replied. "I'll just get myself a cup from the kitchen. You can have mine."
Hermione replied. "I suppose it never hurts to write while well-hydrated."
"No," Ginevra poured the tea. "It does not."
Hermione's blood ran cold.
"Ginny, are you there?"
Ginevra leaned closer and whispered. "It was great seeing you again. Please let me know if you need anything."
"I will," Hermione promised.
Ginevra turned to Victor.
"Don't worry," he answered. "I'll let you know if we need anything."
She backed away from them. "Good."
A red-haired man burst into the room. "Oh Ginny, there you are."
Victor put a hand on his mother's shoulder.
"I think you need to listen to…" the man glanced over at the woman in the chair. He swallowed.
Victor glowered at the man, while Hermione's face betrayed no emotion.
"Hermione," the man gulped. "I didn't expect to see you here."
"I could say the same of you," Hermione muttered.
"Here George," Ginevra pressed the tea trey into her brother's chest. "Let's go into another room…."
"Actually," George did not move. "I think Hermione may want to hear this."
"Hear what my brother has in store for your husband."
Hermione's face reddened.
"How dare you barge in here and start talking about what Percy plans to do to my father, as if he has a right to pass judgment on anyone," Victor snapped.
"No, you listen," Victor argued. "My mother has gone through enough at the hands of your family. If this is about last night and you want to yammer on about justice of some sort….
"I don't want to discuss justice for anyone other than for the amnesiacs," George warned.
"What kind of justice could you possibly give them?" Victor demanded.
"I can tell their loved ones where the hell they are," George answered.
Victor's eyes grew.
"Percy has the amnesiacs stashed away at St. Mungo's as we speak," the red head explained.
"Do you have proof of that?" Victor asked, the hostility absent from his voice.
George reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a recorder. He set it onto the desk. Before he could press the play button though, Ginevra grabbed his hand.
"Hermione," she asked. "Is it okay for George to be here? We can go into another room if you would prefer."
"If what he says pertains to my husband, then yes, I would like him to remain here," she replied.
Ginevra removed her hand from her brother. George gave her a look before pressing the button.
Although the voices were grainy, the words were clear enough to decipher.
"I needed to ask you a question."
"No, I do not have any money to loan you."
"I don't want money."
Hermione's heart constricted at the sound of Ron's voice. The more he droned on about his problem and his lack of funds, the harder Hermione bit her tongue.
How dare Ron care about his parents' marriage when he cared so little about destroying mine? What right does he have to laugh about Severus' condition and the actions he took to get away from the aurors? At least Severus has the excuse of being ill when he took Rose hostage. What is Ronald's excuse?
Victor rubbed Hermione's back. She clasped his hand and sighed.
George pressed the "stop" button.
"What do you think?" George asked.
Ginevra smirked. "It's perfect and could not have come at a better time."
George asked, "What do you mean?"
"In our next newsletter, we'll have to admit that we know the cause of the amnesia, but we will also expose a massive kidnapping operation," Ginevra continued. "In a way, those pieces of news will balance each other out."
"You have a point there," Hermione mused aloud.
"Wait?" George asked. "You've found the cause of the amnesia?"
Ginevra glanced at Hermione.
"Go ahead and tell him everything," Hermione replied. "He'll know soon enough anyway."
Ginevra put a hand on George's back. "Let's discuss the amnesia cause in private. We wouldn't want to distract Hermione from writing half of our next newsletter."
"No, we would not," Victor replied.
"Uh, sure," George drawled.
Hermione looked at George. "Thank you for your help in exposing Percy. My family truly appreciates it."
"Yes," Victor chimed in. "We do."
"You are more than welcome," George answered.
Ginevra led her brother out of the room. "Now, we may need you to give a couple of interviews as to how you obtained this information…"
George laughed. "As if people wouldn't already know."
Victor looked down at his mother. "Are you certain you will be fine?"
"Yes," Hermione's expression softened. "I think that after George exposes Percy, we will all be much more than fine."