Hermione Granger sat in a sparse waiting room. She tried to stop her fingers from picking at the frayed and worn leather on the armrest, but failed. Her dress was worn and her coat threadbare. A secretary sat behind a short partition tapping on a typewriter that looked like it was a century ago. A dying potted plant sat on a low table, just short of allowing it any light through the dingy small window.
“Miss Granger?” a light voice called out from no discernable source. “Please go through the blue door.”
Three doors with their glossy brilliant paint stood out in the office of beige and brown. One red, one blue, and one yellow. Hermione slowly rose to her feet, her back aching slightly. She reached for her bag and heaved it over her shoulder, it off balanced her a bit but she gained her footing and marched her form across the office to the blue door.
The doorknob was large and brass, but it turned easily. Hermione pulled on the door and stark white light flooded out as she opened the door. She stepped through and closed the door behind her.
“Hello, Miss Granger,” a small dark skinned witch sat behind a dark wooden desk. A brass nameplate clearly read: Henrietta Lyons. Her dark hair was piled on her head and small gold rimmed glasses perched on her nose. Her green robes swished as she got to her feet to shake Hermione’s hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
The walls, floor and ceiling were such a stark white in the windowless room the light seemed to magnify off them. Hermione wondered what charms were used to keep it so clean. A black leather chair sat before the desk for Hermione to sit on.
“Thank you,” said Hermione.
“I assume you have already spoken to a healer?” Miss Lyons said as she sat back down. Hermione settled down into the new black chair. It crackled slightly as she adjusted her weight. It was becoming harder to become comfortable, lately.
“Yes,” said Hermione. “The baby will come in October.”
“That’s five months away,” said Miss Lyons. “You could change your mind.”
“I doubt it,” Hermione said flatly.
“Well,” said Miss Lyons, her eyebrows raised. She pulled a drawer out and retrieved a scroll. “You should read through this form before you sign it.”
Hermione reached out and took the thick scroll from the witch.
“This is quite extensive,” Hermione said.
“Just covering the bases,” said Miss Lyons brusquely. “Adoption can become a messy thing.”
“I can imagine,” said Hermione. The scroll had to be over five pages long.
“You don’t have to bring it back right away,” said Miss Lyons opening a notebook on her desk. “But I should ask you a few questions while you are here.”
“Of course,” said Hermione.
“Does you family have any history of health problems?”
“Not that I know of,” Hermione said.
“The child’s father’s name,” said Miss Lyons patiently.
Hermione knew this was coming. She has imagined several excuses. It still made her nervous.
“Unknown,” Hermione lied, hoping it didn’t show on her face.
“Unknown?” Miss Lyons raised her eyebrows. Hermione fidgeted. “Do you even know if he was a wizard? The child will be very hard if we don’t know about his breeding.”
Hermione felt heat rise in her face. This was her child, not a hound. Her nostrils flared.
“He was a Deatheater,” Hermione said hotly. “I would assume he comes from only the finest stock.”
“Of course,” said Miss Lyons, scribbling furiously. “Well, we should be able to place the child quickly.”
“Really?” asked Hermione. What types of people were looking at adopting? Who was this woman thinking about tossing her child at?
“As long as you choose a family soon,” said Miss Lyons. “The further along the pregnancy, the more difficult.”
“Why?” Hermione asked suspiciously.
“The family will want to pass the child off as their own,” Miss Lyons. “Bit difficult to do if the child just appears one day.”
Hermione was astonished. What did they do? Wear prosthetics? Stay out of sight and blame it on a weak constitution? What an odd tradition.
“I see,” she said weakly.
“I suggest you take your time on the contract,” Miss Lyons said. “Some people find parts of it difficult to understand.”
“I don’t think it will be a problem,” Hermione said, now quite annoyed. She rose from her chair, her slightly protruding belly swelling her robes.
“Make an appointment with the secretary on your way out,” said Miss Lyons, shaking her hand with a plastic smile. “Whenever it is convenient for you.”
“Thank you,” said Hermione.
She walked back to the door and back into the dingy waiting room. She made an appointment for a week in the future. That should give her plenty of time with the contract.
Whoever thought it would end up like this?