The Hero

The Hero

EXT. COTTAGE - CLALLAM BAY, WASHINGTON - DAY

POP!

A loud crack announces the arrival of 25 year old HERMIONE GRANGER, a young woman with dark brown skin, a lithe, muscular body and a shoulder length afro of glory, 27 year old LESLIE “DEZ” DESMOND, tall, brawny ...and 28 year old Ben Berghe, tall, dark, lean and handsome.

They have materialized from thin air and give a fairly thorough look around their surroundings before putting their wands away.

The lone cottage standing before them seems to have grown out of the lush green and brown earth encompassing it. The thick, tall trees look almost as if they’re framing the small structure. All around the house, the neatly trimmed grass covers every inch of ground, it’s green color so rich that it could have been painted by hand.

Pure. Everything about this home and its environment feels pure. People don’t belong here and after taking in the sight, Hermione, Ben, and Dez look self-conscious at their disruption.

The group walks closer to the front door.

DEZ
Well. Okay. Actually, suddenly I’m nervous.

HERMIONE
I’m feeling a little nervous myself actually.

BEN
All good. We’re here for a good reason, we have a plan, we’re solid.

HERMIONE
I think the better plan is to be honest and forthright. This is Matuma Garvey we’re talking about. She singlehandedly revolutionized the American Wizarding community. I don’t want to try tricking her into anything.

DEZ
We’re not tricking her. We’re taking our ONE opportunity to meet her and win her over before we ask for anything.

BEN

Straight up. This is too important.

Hermione notices that despite the steady breeze, the tree just covering the entryway is eerily still. She wordlessly tries to gesture to Ben and Dez but they don’t notice, they’re pumping each other up like they’re about to begin a Quidditch match.

DEZ
This you, homie. We winners my G.

BEN

Winners.

Hermione rolls her eyes, points to the tree and puts her finger to lips, indicating they should stop talking. She has barely knocked on the door when it opens widely. MATUMA GARVEY, 114 years old, looks at them with a face full of open and pleasant curiosity. Her white hair, braided into 4 long cornrows, hangs almost to her backside and her skin, a brown so deep and rich in color it rivals a glass of Merlot, doesn’t even begin to reveal her advanced age. When she speaks, her voice still carries light traces of the Caribbean accent from her youth.

MATUMA
Hello, you must be here to see me. You look like very nice young people, please, come in.

Ben, Dez and Hermione are shocked. She’s so...sweet.

MATUMA (CONT’D)

You’ve come all this way, haven’t you? Come on children, let’s hear your tale.

They follow her inside and the door hasn’t closed behind Hermione before they are all 3 disarmed and staring at Matuma, holding their wands and pointing her own in their direction, in alarm.

MATUMA (CONT’D)
You, young lady, had a great idea. Let’s skip to the ‘honest and forthright’ version. Who the hell are y'all and what the hell are you doing here?

HERMIONE
I’m Hermione Granger. This is Ben Van den Berghe and Leslie Desmond, who goes by Dez. We’re really sorry to bother you.

MATUMA
I don’t know none of y'all.

HERMIONE
Dez works with at-risk magical kids in the state of California and Ben works for an organization that helps young wizards pursue their dreams. I...well, I’m finding myself.

Matuma considers them for several long moments then sets their wands down on the small table beside her. She turns and enters her kitchen, leaving the 3 young people to stare after her. Well, they had assumed the meeting wouldn’t be boring.

INT. COTTAGE KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER

The four witches and wizards sit around a table, Matuma holding a mug of warm tea, her guests holding their hands.

MATUMA
They got a bunch of magical schools in California?

DEZ
No, Ilvermorny’s still the only recognized school in the US. But there are small groups everywhere who educate the kids that can’t go to Il.

MATUMA (snorts)

Il.

HERMIONE
Ms. Garvey, it’s a real honor to meet you. Your family is--

MATUMA
--My brother is... He was the only decent one of us.

HERMIONE

Right.

She smiles sadly to herself, thinking on her own complicated family.

MATUMA

So what do you want?

Dez and Ben share a look before speaking.

BEN
Ms. Garv...Ms. Matuma?

Matuma nods for him to continue.

BEN (CONT’D) Ms. Matuma, you’re almost impossible to find.

MATUMA

And here we are.

BEN
And here we are. Dez and I have been talking about different ways to encourage our students-

Matuma rolls her eyes so Ben changes his approach.

BEN (CONT’D)
We mentor and work with a lot of young Black and Brown people--

MATUMA
--That ain’t the same thing?

BEN
Well, Latino people are referred to as Brown now so, Latino students.

MATUMA

Hmm.

DEZ
As Ben was saying, we work with a lot of young people and most of them feel like they don’t have an impact.

MATUMA

Why are you here?

DEZ
We want you to talk to our students. Tell them your story.

MATUMA

No. Is that all?

HERMIONE
Ms. Matuma, what you did was remarkable. I’m a Muggleborn witch from England but your name is in almost every single history book I’ve read.

MATUMA
And what did I do exactly?

DEZ
You overthrew MACUSA when you were 25 years old.

Matuma looks them all over.

MATUMA
Indeed. The answer’s still no.

Each of them looks disappointed.

MATUMA (CONT’D)

Even if I wanted to, I promised that uppity bitch Seraphina Picquery that I would disappear after she pardoned me. I can’t leave here.

Ben looks at Dez out of the corner of his eye.

DEZ

Seraphina was my Great Grandmother.

Hermione looks at Dez in surprise.

MATUMA
Your Great Grandmother was one uppity bitch. You know she wouldn’t have been President if it weren’t for me. Those evil MACUSA bastards had just begun allowing us to carry wands. And even then, wasn’t til 10 years after the NoMaj Negroes had been freed. Say they couldn’t have Negroes walking around lookin like they somebody and making the NoMaj suspicious. Then wasn’t but 50 years later they start arguing in Congress bout taking the wands away! Always scared that magical Negroes were gonna get us caught and get our world exposed by the NoMaj.

HERMIONE
I’ve never read that! They were going to ban magic by Black Americans?!

MATUMA
It’s the ugly truths that get the most makeup.

BEN

Damn.

MATUMA
All my folks is NoMaj and my parents put me on a ship to the US from Saint Anne’s when I was 7 and my magic had started showing. They told everybody I died & never saw me again. Sent me to a Negro woman here in the US that took in the magical kids whose families didn’t want em.

(she addresses Dez)
She would’ve been your Great, Great Aunt. She put me to work and taught me how to control my magic. She taught all us kids and helped us get our wand permits when the time came.

DEZ
I don’t know much about her.

MATUMA
The family wasn’t very impressed. But your Great Grandmother did spend time there in the summers. Never did have a whole lot of conversation for us common folks but she wasn’t nasty neither.

DEZ (laughing)

That’s good to know.

MATUMA
You do look like her a little bit, now that I’m gettin a good look at you. Anyway, my brother came to the US looking for me, somewhere around 16. He’d been looking since my parents sent me away, said he never forgot about his baby sister. Marcus was real political and he’s the one that taught me bout organizing people, gettin em to fight for the same cause, work together, all of that. We got to working, him for the NoMaj Negroes, me for the magical ones. Then, come 18, MACUSA had enough support to put the Negro Wand Ban to the vote. I know ya’ll already know this part but the night before the vote, my people kidnapped more than half of the voting members. They’d seen us protesting and knew we had newsletters, just like Marcus’ group did, but they didn’t realize just how many folks we had behind us. On the morning of the vote, I showed up, told them I was the President and they had to vote the ban down. Told them they had to give Negroes full rights forever, including the right to join MACUSA-

(she gives Dez a pointed look)

-or all of the missing folks would be missing forever.

Hermione looks at her in awe.

HERMIONE
I get chills every time I read that story. Hearing you tell it is...remarkable.

BEN

It really is.

MATUMA
It was the only law I ever passed as President.

She winks at Hermione, a slight twinkle of amusement in her eyes.

HERMIONE
Why did President Picquery banish you? I would think she would be your greatest champion.

MATUMA
After we got the laws passed, I knew the world wasn’t gonna be kind to me so I hid out for a little bit. I didn’t go into hiding or nothin, just didn’t wanna be fighting all the time. Folks don’t like you interrupting their comfort.

She makes a point to look at all of them but quickly laughs and resumes her story.

MATUMA (CONT’D)

After Seraphina was elected President in 20, she needed to make everybody feel better. The Negroes was happy cause we had ourselves a President but the White folks was mad cause they felt threatened. She had to make me her enemy in order for them to accept her. All the other folks took to me kindly though. Chinese, Mexican, the Italians and the Irish wasn’t too liked back in them days so them too. We all had the same rights then and everybody knew after ours was taken, it was only a matter of time before they were next. One day, just so happen to be visiting Old Miss Picquery and guess who’s there?  Madam President herself. Told me that if I disappeared for good and gave her my word that I would never return to the magical community, she would drop all the charges against me and leave me be. I figure I did a good thing already, so I accepted.

They all sit in silence for a moment, absorbing the entire tale. Matuma, lost in the recollections of her past. Ben clears his throat.

BEN
Dez and I have been brainstorming some ways that we can reach our students, to shake their apathy, you know? They’re so hopeless about the condition of society, their constant argument is that “this is just how it is”.

DEZ
I said your name to one of the kids and they didn’t know you were.

Matuma waves her hand dismissively.

DEZ (CONT’D)
Then we just had this crazy idea of seeing if you were still alive and bringing you to California to meet with a bunch of teenagers and tell them how you led a revolution.

MATUMA
I take it you didn’t have to work real hard to find me.

DEZ
No. My Grandfather knew you were in Clallum Bay and then we just tracked your magic.

HERMIONE

I tracked your magic.

MATUMA
It’s easy enough to do. It doesn’t matter who tracked it, does it? But now you have the story you wanted, so you better get on your way.

HERMIONE

Oh.

BEN
Can we make arrangements for you to come to LA before we leave tonight?

MATUMA (confused)

I’m not coming to LA.

Dez opens his mouth to try one more time to convince her but Hermione places her on his arm and shakes her head no.

She stands and the guys follow almost immediately. Matuma and Hermione share a knowing smile.

HERMIONE
Ms. Matuma, I am rich with your story. Rich beyond definition or belief. We all are. Thank you very much.

EXT. COTTAGE - CLALLAM BAY, WASHINGTON - DAY

Hermione, Ben, and Dez stand outside the cottage, a combination of joy and disappointment evident on their faces.

To their surprise, Matuma pushes open the wooden shutters on her window and gives them a small smile.

MATUMA
It’s a good thing if they don’t know who I am. It means they’re so used to rights, they don’t have to wonder how they got them. So don’t be so hard on your students.

DEZ
Good point. But I still think they would love this!

MATUMA
Share it with them. Play the memory on that thing and tell them not to idolize me. Hero’s are the ones that are fighting. I was a hero once, so I know. But y'all are the heroes now, Coming all this way, all the way up here, just so you could reach some kids. Be proud of yourself. And keep going.

After one more smile, she closes her window and gets back to minding her own business.

THE END.

--

“Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis” is a fan-made “Harry Potter” web series that follows the brightest witch of her age as she tries to tackle her most difficult challenge yet: her 20s. 25-year-old Hermione Granger (played by black actress, Ashley Romans) tries to figure out her life after The Battle of Hogwarts, and decides to leave her life in the U.K. for the unknown shores of Los Angeles and a chance to reconnect with her old classmate, Parvati Patil, the Granger family she left behind and, most importantly, herself.

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