Alternate Magic @aaliseliza
Chapter 4

Chapter 4

October 14, 2011

After SHIELD discovered and raided her home in Louisiana, Hermione relocated to the midwest. She luckily was able to secure a new flat in Columbus, OH. Nearby she found employment at a gastropub that allowed her to pay her bills.

After disapparating from her kitchen in Baton Rouge, Hermione had gone straight to her landlady to drop a check for her rent to fulfill the rest of the lease. Despite having to break the agreement, the witch couldn't imagine stiffing the older woman, after all of the help she'd provided when Hermione first arrived in Louisiana.

Hermione left a note, along with the money, detailing that she'd been discovered by her ex-boyfriend and she no longer felt safe residing in the city. The witch had included a very distinct photo of one, Agent Coulson as well as an explanation of his bad habit of impersonating federal officers. She also made sure to describe his talent of falsifying government documents of superior quality.

Within an hour, her former landlady and boss Edith called her mobile with new lodgings for her in the State of Ohio along with the promise of secrecy about her whereabouts and profuse gratitude for entrusting her with Hermione's circumstances. The new flat was owned by her sister-in-law, who also had her own abusive ex-husband. Hermione had found a kindred spirit the moment they met.

Furthermore, she hadn't run into another SHIELD agent for months.

Columbus turned out to be large enough to provide her precious anonymity, but also ensured she could support herself. Granted she was employed as a waitress, but it paid her bills and allowed her to continue adding to her savings, which was comprised of hers and Harry's vaults from her world.

Hermione had broken down into tears of relief when she'd discovered the muggle money here was the same from her world. Out of desperation from the stranglehold the Death Eaters had on the Wizarding World, Hermione and Harry had converted almost all of their money into muggle funds, and retained only a small reserve of wizarding currency.

A risky choice at the time had ultimately saved her life after she jumped through the veil. It still flabbergasted her to this day.

Currently, her only major concern was that she was stuck using the documents she'd previously forged after escaping from SHIELD, and strategically placed within the proper government agencies. If SHIELD's agent's were smart enough, eventually they would manage to track her down. Unfortunately, it was too risky and far too much effort to replace everything again. As a result she remained living under the name, Hermione Potter.

The witch's deep thoughts were interrupted when she collided violently with another shopper's trolley.

"I'm so sorry!" Hermione apologized to the man. She was mortified to be caught so unaware of her surroundings.

"Don't worry about it," the taller man answered cordially, before offering her a smile. "No harm done."

"Are you positive?"

"Yes," he said. "I am craving a cup of coffee if you're intent on making amends though."

"Yes! It's the least I can do," Hermione agreed.

"I'm Clint," the man said reaching out his hand.

"Hermione," she said grinning as she shook his hand. Both chose to postpone their shopping in lieu of finding a coffee house. Clint happily escorted the witch to one of his favorites, Kafe Kerouac and proceeded to purchase them a cup of his favorite blend.

"I said I was craving a cup of coffee," Clint reminded her when Hermione protested his purchase. "I never agreed to let you pay."

The man's cheekiness drew a laugh out of her as they sat down with their cups. Their conversation went far longer than either anticipated, and became a fixed outing after Clint learned she was new to the area. Each meet up further developed their friendship until Hermione was informed she was to join Clint and his wife Laura for dinner. She'd laughed when Clint admitted he also wasn't given a choice in the matter.

After Hermione arrived at the Barton's farm, Clint's wife Laura took one look at Hermione and insisted that Hermione attend Thanksgiving with them. After it was clear that both Lila and Cooper found Hermione fascinating, Laura decided to continually invite Hermione over, even when Clint was out of town on business.

October 31, 2011

"Now who do we have here?" Hermione asked pretending not to recognize Lila or Conner. Both children preened under attention, with the latter wearing a quiver and holding a bow.

"I'm Robin Hood!"

"You look quite dapper," Hermione told Conner with a grin. "I've no doubt we'll be safe from bandits tonight with you."

Conner beamed while his little sister Lila watched shyly as Hermione turned her attention to the little girl.

"I have no doubt that you're a proper witch," Hermione deduced upon seeing the black pointed hat and matching robes.

"One I've never seen before," Laura said. "We had to buy three seperate costumes for her to perfect that outfit. Wicked Witch of the West, one for a boarding school girl, and a judge."

"She's absolutely nailed it," Hermione declared.

"I've no idea where she came up with it," Laura added.

"Mommy, I'm Minerva McGonnagal. From Auntie Mia's stories! I even have my wand," Lila said producing a thin stick for Hermione to inspect.

"You are the spitting image of Professor McGonagall," Hermione said as she shoved away the rising feeling of nostalgia. "Such a proper little witch, and the quintessential Gryffindor."

"Are my stories not good enough anymore?" Laura teased Lila.

"They're better than Daddy's," Lila answered with a shrug, causing both adults to laugh hysterically. "He doesn't do the voices right."

"We'll keep that between us," Laura said grinning.

"Conner already told him. Can we go get Candy now?" Still laughing, Hermione and Laura agreed before ushering the children outside. They had a fifteen minute drive to the nearest suburban neighborhood, but once they arrived the women released the children.

"Lila's fascinated with those stories you've told her," Laura told Hermione as the followed the two girls. "She talked my ear off about why she had to have the perfect costume when I first told her she could only choose one."

Hermione looked over at Laura bemused, "How'd she convince you?"

"Lila's never been able to focus on one thing for more than five minutes. NOw she's actively drawing pictures of these stories and telling me about each one in detail. Rather than having a fit, she earnestly explained the importance of a witch's attire, specifically if one was to attend that boarding school."

Hermione listened to the awe in Laura's voice, while surprised at how taken Lila had become to the stories she'd shared from Hogwarts.

"After that I couldn't say no," Laura said. "She's so focused on each detail of these stories and I'm fascinated by the change. My baby was so enthused...I couldn't miss a single detail. Conner even helped her find the 'perfect wand'. Honestly Mia, you should write these stories down and publish them."

"Lila would love that," Hermione said laughing with Laura. Both children insisted on showing off their spoils after they returned home. By the time Hermione and Laura managed to get both of them in bed, Hermione was struggling to stay awake.

"Take the spare room," Laura ordered. "Clint will be pissed if you get hurt on your way home because you were too tired." Hermione capitulated, knowing that Laura was right, and that the kids would be so excited to see her in the morning.

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