"End of an Era"
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters. All characters are creations of Joanne K. Rowling, © 2007, to whom I am deeply indebted. I make no money from any of this. I'm just taking her world and tweaking it a bit.
Note One: Hello there! Before we jump into the good stuff, there are a couple things I would like to address.
First and most importantly: I am planning on rewriting all the books in Hermione's POV. It's going to take a lot of commitment, dedication, and time on my part and it will only continue on if I have you readers as support and to keep me motivated.
Secondly: I will follow the books loosely up to a certain point, and then things will take a different twist. New characters, situations, etc. will be introduced and I hope you enjoy them when the time comes.
EDITED 06/11/2011: I'm changing how the dates are set up in the story since it'll make things easier for us all.
WE WILL JUST ACCEPT THAT THE SECOND HP MOVIE WILL COME OUT IN JULY OF 2016. OK? OK!
3 July, 2016
Lindsay Homer broke down the last of the cardboard boxes and stacked them neatly in a pile on top of the trolley. With a victorious grin, she arched her back and groaned, hearing some of her bones crack. She was proud of herself, managing to restock a good portion of the fiction section (which was, to Lindsay's dismay, mostly teen vampire romance) and cleared a spot to put out a new series that was being released the next day. It shouldn't have taken as long as it did, but the person who was supposed to help Lindsay with the huge stack of books was sitting on top of the counter, watching the television that was hanging in the corner.
"So we're done, then?" Karen Lays asked, not taking her eyes away from the television.
"I'm done, you did nothing." Lindsay pointed out, grabbing the handle of the trolley. "All this could have been done over an hour ago if you had just gotten up and helped me."
"You were doing fine on your own." Karen said dismissively, turning up the volume. Lindsay tsk'd and stalked off towards the storeroom, pulling the trolley behind her. She propped open the door with an unopened box and began to put the pile of cardboard in the compactor at the back of the room.
Lindsay had worked at the locally owned bookshop Just Imagine for a little over a year now and was still in love with the job. Her initial plan was to just work there for the summer to save up some spending money before she went off to university, but after the summer was over she couldn't bring herself to leave. She also met and befriended Karen, another university student, on her first shift. They were hired around the same time and quickly bonded over their love of books (Harry Potter and The Mortal Instruments being two of the series they both loved).
Lindsay had reluctantly admitted that when she found out the owner's last name was Potter she really wanted the job just for that fact. Expecting Karen to laugh at her, she was surprised when Karen admitted to being the same way. After that little bought of nerdiness, the two girls became great friends.
Finished putting away the cardboard, Lindsay kicked the box holding the door open out of the way and headed back into the main room. Karen had not moved from her spot on the counter, and was leaning slightly towards the television. "So what's so interesting that it's keeping you from doing your job?" Lindsay asked, coming up beside Karen and leaning on the counter.
"…and with the final Harry Potter instalment being released at the end of the week, let's take a look back at the little café where a young woman started it all…"
"They're really going all out on this one, aren't they?" Lindsay commented as pictures of the café where J.K. Rowling wrote the Philosopher's Stone flashed across the screen. The channel had been showing documentaries about the books and making the movies all day.
"Well it is the end of an epic story that's only one of the most popular books of all time."
The little bell above the door jingled as it opened. Karen sprang off the counter, turning around and wiping the spot where she was sitting as if there was evidence she sat there all afternoon. Laughing at her friend, Lindsay looked up and saw Mrs. Potter and her son walk into the shop, her son carrying two large boxes.
"Evening, Mrs. P," Lindsay greeted, turning down the volume on the television, "Ryan."
"Good evening, Lindsay." Mrs. Potter smiled warmly at the girls as she set her purse down on the counter. Mrs. Potter was a woman in her mid-thirties with thick brown hair and had an almost unhealthy obsession for books. "Karen, what have I told you about sitting on the counter?"
Karen flushed with shame and looked away. Lindsay grinned. Mrs. Potter had an uncanny knack of knowing when the two girls (mainly Karen) were doing something they weren't supposed to. They didn't get in trouble since they did get their jobs done, but Mrs. Potter always guilt tripped the two of them like only a mother could.
"What are those?" Lindsay asked nodding towards the boxes Ryan was carrying.
"I forgot these when I brought the other books over," she said, instructing Ryan to put them down by the counter. "You don't have to get them all out tonight," she laughed, seeing Lindsay and Karen's distraught expressions, "these are just some extra copies of Bite Me. I expect we'll sell out tomorrow and it would be a good idea to have extras just in case." The books that Just Imagine sold were always sent to Mrs. Potter's house first. It was something she started when the shop first opened and it just stuck as the shop got more and more popular.
"I don't understand why parents let their children read this vampire porn," Karen scoffed, going over to the first box and yanking it open. Mrs. Potter gave Karen a disapproving look. "What? It is." Lindsay and Ryan snorted as she grabbed a copy of Bite Me and held it up, making a face at the cover - a gothic looking male leaning over a woman in a crimson red dress with a corset. The words Bite Me were written in blood red and were made to look like blood was dripping down onto the cover.
Mrs. Potter tutted and shook her head as she snatched the book out of Karen's hands, "Ryan dear, can you put the boxes in the storeroom for me, please?"
Mrs. Potter placed the book delicately back into the box as Ryan heaved the two boxes into his arms. As he passed by, Lindsay couldn't help herself and snuck a peak at him. Once he disappeared through the storeroom doors, she tore her eyes away only to find Mrs. Potter smirking knowingly at her.
Lindsay felt her face heat up and rushed off to go clean up the isles as Karen, who had saw what had happened, cackled gleefully.
4 July, 2016
With the release of Bite Me, Just Imagine was the busiest it had ever been for a good couple of months. Karen, Lindsay, and another co-worker Adam were the only ones working the shop that day. Mrs. Potter's younger children had just come back from the private schools they went to and she was taking the day off to spend time with them.
"Lindsay can you go get more copies of Bite Me?" Adam called from the front. Lindsay, who was cleaning up after a group of girls had knocked down a Jane Austen display, looked towards the fiction section and saw that there were only a few copies left of Bite Me left on the shelf. Shaking her head, she left the stack of Pride and Prejudice on the floor and hurried to the storeroom to get more.
Ryan had placed the boxes on a trolley near the back beside the compactor. Sighing, Lindsay manoeuvred her way through the unopened boxes, shifting some of them out of the way with her foot to make a path back to the door. She reached the first box and lifted it up onto the second one. Grabbing the pen that was being held up in her ponytail, Lindsay stabbed the packaging tape that held the cardboard flaps together and yanked it towards her. Once the box was open, she began to pile copies of Bite Me into her arms.
The sound of boxes being shuffled around made Lindsay pause. She looked over her shoulder to see if Karen was hiding in there, but then remembered that Karen was helping Adam at the cash register. Lindsay let it go and continued to pile books into her arms. When she felt her arms start shake from the weight of the books, she straightened up and began to shuffle back to the door.
A loud crash made Lindsay shriek, jump, and drop half of the books she was carrying. Cursing, she spun around to see that the tall stack of boxes by the compactor had toppled over onto the boxes that carried the copies of Bite Me.
"Are you okay?" Karen asked, poking her head into the storeroom.
"I'm fine," Lindsay replied. She bent down and began to pick the copies of Bite Me, "You heard that?"
"The entire shop heard it," Karen entered the storeroom and took the books from Lindsay. "I'll take these out. You should probably clean up in here."
Lindsay thanked Karen and watched her go back out into the main room. She looked over to where the boxes fell and sighed. If the boxes had fallen when she was getting the books, she probably would've been seriously injured. Workmen's Comp wasn't something she could live off of, either.
She got up off the floor and made her way back to the back of the room, groaning when she saw that some of the cardboard boxes had been ripped open from the fall. Books lay scattered across the floor and on the trolley, some of the paperback novels had their covers bent at odd angles. Mrs. Potter would've had a stroke if she saw the damage some of the books had taken.
Lindsay bent down and quickly began to make piles of the books, trying to stack the ones that were the same in their own piles. Thankful that she didn't start the compactor the previous night, she reached in and grabbed a stack of cardboard and quickly made some makeshift boxes. She worked quickly, praying that Mrs. Potter wouldn't decide to show up to see how everyone was doing.
The muffled chatter from out in the shop grew louder, letting Lindsay know that it was around lunch time which meant their rush was about to start. Not looking forward to the shop being even busier than it already was, Lindsay shoved the books into the boxes and placed them on the trolley, deciding that she would fix things when the shop died down. She grabbed a few more copies of Bite Me and hurried out of the storeroom.
Lindsay didn't have time to go fix up the storeroom until it was time for Just Imagine to close. She couldn't believe how many people bought that stupid vampire book! Her and Karen had scoffed and told Mrs. Potter when she ordered two hundred copies that she was going overboard. But, surprisingly, they nearly sold out.
"I guess it's a good thing that teenagers are reading," Karen relented. She and Lindsay agreed to clean up the shop first (it was a mess and they were so busy during the day that they didn't have time to tidy up) then tackle the books in the storeroom. Adam was just ringing up the last of the customers and then he had to go to his aunt's birthday dinner. "I just wish they had better taste."
"It's just a phase," Lindsay shrugged, handing Karen a couple books and watching as she put them away. "In five years there'll be something new that everyone will be writing about."
It took a little over half an hour for Lindsay and Karen to clean up the shop. By the time they were finished, they both were working into overtime. They didn't care; Lindsay knew that if Mrs. Potter came to work tomorrow and saw how everything was stacked they'd be in trouble. She could tell that Karen felt the same way - she hadn't complained once about having to do actual work.
Adam finished up cleaning his area and called out to the girls that he was leaving. After saying goodbye, the two dimmed the lights, locked the door, and made their way into the storeroom.
"We really need to organize this place," Karen moaned, pushing some of the boxes out of the way so she could sit on the ground.
Lindsay grabbed the first box that she placed on the trolley and cursed as the bottom of the box burst open. The books that were inside the box crashed to the floor, narrowly missing Karen. "I'm sorry!" Lindsay cried, "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," she replied, grabbing the ones that fell nearest to her and stacking them up.
"We should get all the books together first and then pack them," Lindsay said, grabbing another box - by the bottom this time - and placing it beside her. "It'd be a pain in the ass if we packed them up and then had to search through all of them."
The two of them silently began to work, only speaking if they had a copy of the series the other was collecting. Twenty minutes later, there were piles of books surrounding the two girls. Karen got up, announcing she was going to the front to grab some packaging tape and a marker and left the storeroom. Lindsay hopped up and grabbed a few more stacks of flattened cardboard, making them into boxes.
"Here we go," Karen returned, tossing the roll of tape to Lindsay. "I got some paper too so we could have a list of what books are in what box. That should some win points with Mrs. P."
Lindsay laughed and began taping the bottom of the cardboard boxes she had made earlier while Karen wrote down the book's name, author, and quantity that would be in the box.
"So," Karen began, handing Lindsay a stack of What to Expect When You're Expecting, "Mrs. P caught you checking out Ryan."
"Shut up." Lindsay muttered, feeling her face burst into flame.
Karen burst into laughter and clapped her hands excitedly. "Oh you should've seen your face when you realized she caught you!" she cackled.
"Shut up." she repeated, grabbing more books and stuffing them in the box. She shoved the box at Karen and then grabbed another one.
"I don't blame you," she said, taping the piece of paper to the side off the box, "that Ryan is one fine looking man."
"I guess so." Lindsay agreed.
"You guess so?" Karen said incredulously, "Lindsay, the man is walking sex. That messy brown hair, those eyes, those abs…"
"Okay fine, he's gorgeous. Happy?"
"And how would you know what his abs looked like?"
"A girl can dream…" Karen sighed. "What's that? Do I detect jealousy in your voice?"
Lindsay rolled her eyes and pushed the now full box towards Karen. "We're going to need bigger boxes."
"Go look for some then."
Lindsay passed the roll of tape to Karen, stood up, and walked over to compactor. Unfortunately, the extra cardboard in there had been crushed and bound with plastic. She manoeuvred her way through the boxes to the other side of the room where there were some open boxes. Peeking into the box, Lindsay saw that there was only a black leather journal in there. She pulled the journal out, placed it on the shelf beside her, and picked up the box.
"This should be big enough," Lindsay said, dropping it in front of Karen.
Since the box was twice as big as the boxes they had been using, Lindsay and Karen decided to empty the last box they had packaged and add the books to the bigger one. Leaving Karen to pack up the box, Lindsay picked up the smaller one and headed back to where she had left the journal.
When she got there, she stopped. Frowning, she stared at the shelf. There were now two stacks of eight journals piled up nicely where she had left the one.
Dropping the box, Lindsay reached up and grabbed one of the journals. 1.1 was written in the top right corner in shimmering silver ink. She could tell that there was once a long, elaborate title (she could sort of make out cursive writing), but it was now scratched out. Underneath the scribbled out title, in the same ink and writing as the 1.1, was Her Story.
Lindsay was usually very good at remembering the books that Mrs. Potter kept in stock, but she didn't recognize this one at all. "Hey Karen," she called, "do you remember us getting a book called Her Story?"
"No, I don't." Karen said after a moment's pause.
Lindsay looked over the cover, trying to find an author, but couldn't find one. Turning the book over, she looked for a barcode, which was also missing. She glanced back up at the stack of journals and grabbed another one. It was made from the same type of leather but there was no scribbled out title in the middle, just Her Story in the same silver ink. Instead of 1.1, 5.2 was written in the elegant writing on the top right corner. And, after a quick search, Lindsay found that there was neither author nor a barcode on this journal as well.
"Do you think that this could be Mrs. P's?" Lindsay asked. She held out Her Story: 5.2 to Karen as she came over to where Lindsay was standing. "This doesn't look new. It looks like it's been used."
"I don't know…" Karen said slowly, turning the journal around in her hands. "The journals we get are usually wrapped in plastic."
She grabbed the leather string that was keeping the journal closed and tried to unwind it. Lindsay watched as she began to frown and tug at the string from different angles. "It's stuck," she grunted, now yanking on the string.
"Not so rough! You're going to break it." Lindsay placed Her Story: 1.1 between her legs and snatched the book from her. Grabbing the string she gently pulled, frowning when she met resistance. Karen had a smug grin on her face she watched her friend struggle with it. She gave up a few moments later and tossed it back on the shelf. "It's like it's been glued or something." She grabbed the one between her legs.
Karen reached up and grabbed the next journal. This one had a scribbled out title as well with Her Story written underneath and 3.1 in the corner. She grabbed the string and tried to untie it, but to no avail. "Oh come on!" she cried, slamming the journal back on the shelf. Now frustrated, she grabbed the next one (7.2) and yanked on the string violently.
Lindsay looked at the journal in her hands and sighed. Grabbing the end of the string she gave it a pull and was surprised to see that it unwound immediately. Karen stopped tugging on 2.2 to watch her as she slowly opened the journal. A note was wedged in between the cover and first page. Karen grabbed it and began to read.
Before reading on, I want whoever is reading this to know that this was meant to be a companion series, we had agreed -' I can't make out the rest." She said, squinting at the note. "It's like it was scribbled out, and there's some water stains too… oh! Here we go!
`…story. Please keep in mind that this is the true version. Some facts and events that happened in the original were just works of fiction, straying from the truth. We decided that it was time for people to read the true story. Her story. My story.
"What the hell?" Lindsay grabbed the note from Karen and looked it over. It was written in small, extremely neat handwriting. After the first line all the words became smudged by ink and were illegible. Water stains made the end of the first paragraph and most of the second one impossible to read. "Who is H.J?"
"Mrs. P?" Karen suggested.
"Mrs. P's first name is Jeanine." she shook her head. "And her last name starts with P. This says it's a J."
"Maybe it's Hermione Jean?" Karen joked, bumping her shoulder against Lindsay's.
"Don't be stupid." Lindsay rolled her eyes. She placed the note delicately back into the journal and wound the string back around it.
"What are you doing?" Karen demanded as her friend placed the journal back onto the shelf.
"We have work to do," she said, motioning to the books that still needed to be put in boxes.
"But don't you want to read what's in the journal?" Karen followed after Lindsay as she made her way back to the boxes they were working on. "Come on Lindsay! I know that only being able to open the first journal and that note makes you want to read it just as much as I do!"
Lindsay narrowed her eyes as she sat down on the trolley and heaved the large box towards her. She hated to admit it, but that note did pique her curiosity; she did want to know what was in that journal. But at the same time she wasn't sure that it was even meant to be in Just Imagine. "What if it is Mrs. P's diary? We could be reading her personal thoughts and invading her privacy."
"Didn't you just say that Mrs. P's first name is Jeanine and her last name is Potter? It doesn't fit," Karen huffed and sat down beside Lindsay, grabbing the sheet she had been working on before. "Where's your sense of adventure?"
"You are way too nosy."
"And you're way too stuck up," Karen retorted. Lindsay's head snapped up and she glared at her friend, shoving the box roughly towards her so she could tape the piece of paper to it. After a few minutes of painful silence, Karen sighed. "I'm sorry Lindsay. You aren't really stuck up. All I'm saying is that it won't kill you to read a bit of it."
"Okay, fine," Lindsay relented, grabbing the next box and beginning to tape it together. "We'll take a look at it, but -" she said quickly as Karen whooped, "we are finishing this up first. Mrs. P will kill us if she sees the storeroom like this tomorrow."
Karen smiled and grabbed a new piece of paper to write on. The two girls worked quickly through the mess, and Lindsay had to admit she was a little excited to see what was in the journal.
Twenty minutes later Karen was stacking the new boxes off to the side of the compactor and Lindsay was putting away the supplies they used. When she turned around, Karen already had the first journal in her hands and was waiting for Lindsay by the door.
"We should clock out before we read this," Karen squealed excitedly, practically running out of the storeroom. "Mrs. P would kill us if we stayed a couple hours after closing time and didn't sign out."
"Do you think we should take these home?" Lindsay asked, following her out of the room.
"And have Mrs. P freak out on us when she finds out?" Karen scoffed, grabbing her time card and swiping it through the machine. "I don't think so. We could stay in the break room. The couch is really comfy."
Lindsay frowned but didn't say anything. She wasn't entirely sure what type of security system there was for Just Imagine, and didn't fancy having the police barge in on them because they set off some sort of motion detector.
Karen noticed Lindsay's expression and groaned, "It'll be fine. Trust me."
Lindsay swiped her time card through the machine, double checked that the door
was locked and followed Karen through the door to the break room.
"Ready?" Karen asked, plopping down the sofa and patting the space beside her. Lindsay rolled her eyes and sat down beside her. She cleared her throat and opened the journal dramatically. "I'll read first."
End Note: And there you have it, the beginning! Drop a review to let me know what you think!