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2012 Writer's Duel: Changing Impressions by HPFF United
Format: Short story collection
Chapter 1: The Surprising Life of Hermione Granger by magicmuggle01
It was officially four months into the war and it was the start of a new term at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft And Wizardry, and as usual platform 9 and ¾ was heaving with the usual hustle and bustle of students – old and new – rushing about saying hello to old friends and goodbye to anxious and worried parents. Though the place looked really busy – with students running about – there was a noticeable drop in the amount of people returning to Hogwarts for the new term. Hermione Granger, Ronald Weasley and Harry Potter – who were returning for their sixth year – met up under the old clock next to the Scarlet Engine. Hermione had a worried look on her face and appeared to be in dreamland, it was only the timely shout from her boyfriend Ron that snapped her out of her thoughts and brought her back to reality. She looked towards where her friends were standing and her face broke into a strained smile,
“Harry, Ron” she said in an equally strained sounding voice that sounded even more forced than her smile.
“How are you both doing?”
“Better than you by the look of it” said Harry, “You look like you’ve lost a Galleon and found a Knut, what’s up?”
But once again, Hermione didn’t appear to hear, she was just staring with a vacant expression at something that appeared to be just passed Ron’s right ear. Her thoughts were once again a long way from the present time.
It was August the 25th and Hermione and her parents were shopping for her sixth year School supplies. They’d just entered the leaky Cauldron and walked through to the back yard where Hermione had done the tapping on various bricks and the usual archway opened up in the middle of the wall to reveal the magical world of Diagon Alley. With a smile and a happy sigh Hermione skipped happily across the thresh hold and walked jauntily a little way into the alley, where she stopped and waited for her parents to catch up. The first port of call was Gringotts bank to enable them to exchange their muggle money. Turning to their left and walking along the cobbled street they soon saw the familiar site of the white marble stone building. As they approached the entrance the two Goblins at the entrance dressed in dark Blue Livery and Gold Braiding, bowed as they entered the building. Even though Hermione’s parents had been in this building many times before, it never ceased to amaze them of the grandeur and splendour of the main banking hall with its high ceilings and crystal chandeliers hanging down, and the long rows of wooden desks that went down each side of the vast hall. The family made their way towards the exchange desk at the far end – passing many Goblins weighing treasure and counting gold, silver and bronze coins – and pulled out a roll of Ten and Twenty pound notes ready to be exchanged for wizard money. The attending Goblin looked up and with a slight look of disgust welcomed them and gestured for them to sit in seats situated at the front of the low desk.
“What can I do for you today Mr and Mrs Granger?” He asked in the usual gravely voice that was associated with the Goblins.
“Were here to exchange two hundred and fifty pounds into Galleons, Sickles and Knuts” replied Mr Granger handing over the muggle money. The Goblin took the money and looking in a ledger said,
“The exchange rate is currently two Galleons for every one pound of muggle money; for once the rate is quite good.” The Goblin rose and walked through the door at the back of the desk, and after a couple of minutes returned with a black leather bag which clinked when he set it down on the desk. He filled out the details of the transaction in a large ledger and once completed he handed the bag of money over to Hermione’s father who took it and thanking the Goblin – in which he raised an eyebrow – turned and followed by his wife and daughter exited the bank.
The family walked down the alley until they reached Flourish and Botts and while Hermione’s parents brought her school books for her upcoming year, she as usual began browsing along the book shelves occasionally taking down a book, leafing through it and then replacing it back on the shelf. It was during one of these reading sessions that a cloaked figure approached and stood beside her. The figure reached up for a book and whilst it appeared to be reading it, it spoke in a harsh voice,
“Your parents are not who they appear to be.”
Hermione almost dropped the book she was reading and looked towards the figure as if in a state of shock, but she couldn’t see anything of the shadowy features of the person, he or she – since the sound of the voice never gave away the sex of the person – also kept their hood up covering all of their face and head.
“I beg your pardon” said Hermione in response to what she’d just heard.
“Your parents are not who they appear to be” the mysterious figure repeated. “You’ll find out more at Hogwarts on the first of September.” And with a slight wave of his hand the figure turned and walked out of the shop.
Hermione just stood there rooted to the spot, staring after the dark cloaked figure. So much so that she never heard her parents come up behind her.
“Are you alright Hermione darling?” asked her mother.
Hermione jumped as if she’d been shot.
“Y…Y…Yes” she managed to stammer and managed to produce a small weak smile and following them the three of them exited the shop.
When Hermione came out of her seemingly self induced trance, she found that she was on the train in a compartment with Harry sitting across from her and Ron sitting next to her holding her right hand, looking at her with a worried expression on his face. She looked around her and seemed surprised at where she was.
“How did I get here?” she asked, and looking out of the window at the countryside flashing by she said “and when did we leave Kings Cross?” she was starting to sound rather scared.
“Sweetheart” said Ron “we left Kings Cross nearly half an hour ago. You’ve been in some sort of trance since then. Neither Harry nor I could get through to you; you seemed to be so distant. What’s wrong?”
Hermione hesitated, as if she was unsure of how to reply to the question.
“Darling” continued Ron “I love you dearly, and I’m very concerned for you especially since your acting out of character. Please, please tell me what’s wrong.”
Hermione looked deep into Ron’s eyes and was silent for a few seconds. But not even she could ignore the puppy love that she saw there. So with a smile at the one she deeply loved she went into deep detail about her encounter at Flourish and Botts and also about images that had been flashing in and out of her mind since.
“What do you mean when you say images?” asked Harry.
“Well, I tend to see what looks like buildings that let off a startling golden glow and tall spires, and also people who appear to be over 6 feet tall with long shimmering golden hair. It’s all getting very confusing, and I hate not knowing what’s happening and not understanding things. I’ve tried researching what’s happening to me, but I’ve not found a thing, I can’t even research what I don’t know. It’s so frustrating.” She concluded with a thump of a fist against her leg.
After thinking about what Hermione had said, Harry started to say,
“Ok, you said that this person said you’d find out more at Hogwarts.” Hermione nodded her head. “Well the way I see it is that all we can do for the time being is wait and see what happens, and in the meantime we’ll have to try and make sure that you stay out of trouble.”
After a couple of hours the Hogwarts Express reached Hogsmead. And as they alighted onto the platform, they could hear the usual sound of Hagrid calling the first years to him for the usual trip across the lake. As the three passed him – on their way to the carriages - Hagrid called out,
“Hi Hagrid” called out a smiling Harry “we’ll see you later.”
So while Hagrid dealt with the new first years, Harry and his two best friends exited the station and got into the next available horseless carriage. While they were waiting for it to move, Luna Lovegood joined them, and smiling her usual dreamy smile at the three of them her eyes came to rest on Hermione and she said,
“Are you feeling alright Hermione?”
“Yes I’m feeling fine Luna, why do you ask?”
“It’s just that you seem to be emanating an aura that I’ve never seen before. It’s like a golden colour and is quite strong. You do appear to be alright, but I sense that you’re not happy with something.”
Hermione was slightly amazed at Luna’s intuition, and was about to say something to Luna, but was stopped when she noticed that Harry was shaking his head slightly from side to side and also coupled with the fact that the carriage had started to move it was generally thought of to be the best idea to remain quiet for the time being.
Their carriage came to a halt at the foot of the long stone staircase that led up to the front door. The three of them stepped down from the carriage and made their way into the castle and into the great hall where they sat at the Gryffindor table in the same seats that they’d sat in for the past five years. They were talking with their friends, catching up with news about how each others holidays went. When headmistress MacGonagall stood up and announced for the new first years to come forward, all became silent. Through the large doors Professor Filtwick led a group of eleven year olds towards the front of the hall, towards where the staff table stood. And in front of that sat a small wooden stool with a dog earred old hat sitting on top. The rest of the students craned their necks to try and see what was happening. Professor Filtwick produced a sheet of parchment and proceeded to call out names to come forward to be sorted. But Harry, Ron and Hermione wasn’t even listening, Hermione had once again gone into one of her trances. Harry and Ron watched her with worried expressions on their faces, with so many people about the two of them were unsure about how to act. All they could do was keep an eye on her and hope for the best. But luckily this session didn’t last long, by the time the sorting was over Hermione had come out of the trance in time to enjoy the feast.
After the feast had ended and they were in the Gryffindor common room relaxing – it was late, twelve thirty in the morning – the three of them sat next to the roaring fire and discussed what had happened in the great hall.
“It was the same thing as the last time” said Hermione “I was in a large golden city, and there were people all around. The place seemed familiar to me, even though I had never been there or seen it before in my life; it felt as if I belonged there.”
Just as she’d finished saying this, Hermione suddenly started to rise slowly into the air and at the same time her whole body became surrounded with a golden glow which shone so brightly it lit up the common room. Harry and Ron were so stunned by what was happening that they just sat there with looks of total astonishment, as if they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. This time Hermione was fully aware of what was going on, and she looked scared and seemed to be fighting some sort of internal battle. After what seemed like forever the glow started to fade, and she gently descended back onto the seat she’d been sitting in. when it was all over she burst into tears and cried out,
“What’s happening to me?”
“I don’t know darling” said Ron, “but I think we’d best get you to the hospital wing right away.”
He never got any objections from Hermione, so the three of them exited through the portrait and with Ron holding a sobbing Hermione in his arms they slowly made their way along various corridors until they arrived at the double doors of the hospital, after several loud knocks, they finally heard footsteps and the sound of the doors being unlocked and opened. Madam Pomfrey took one look at the situation and immediately ushered the three over to the nearest bed, where the healer took over and taking a hold of Hermione she lowered her gently onto the bed. And started to erect screens around her patient. Upon turning around she saw that Harry and Ron were still standing in the ward. She shooed them out with the two of them protesting loudly, but Madam Pomfrey was a formidable force and they left the hospital wing, but only stayed outside the door. After about five minutes of impatient walking up and down the small corridor, the two boys soon saw another formidable figure walking towards them, and that was the figure of MacGonagall. The two boys started to walk towards her so they could ask what was happening, but she had a look on her face that indicated that she didn’t want to be asked any questions at this time; so they stayed silent. She took one look at the two of them and with a slight nod and a small smile, she went into the hospital wing, closing the door behind her.
After what seemed like forever – which was in real life about ten minutes – MacGonagall came out and indicated for Harry and Ron to follow her, they fell into step behind her. Once they’d reached her office, she sat down behind her desk and indicated that the two boys sit down in the two seats in front of the desk. At once they both started asking questions.
“How is Hermione Professor? “What’s wrong with her? When will we be able to see her?” The headmistress held up her hand and with the look she gave, she was able to silence the questions being fired at her and started asking a few of her own.
“Did Hermione show any indication of anything like this happening when you both saw her during the summer holidays? How was she acting? Did she do anything differently to what she normally did?
All the two of them could do was explain about her actions at Kings Cross and what she’d told them about what had happened in Flourish and Botts, and also what had happened in the common room before they’d taken her to the hospital wing.
“Well it would appear that her DNA is slowly changing” went on the headmistress “It’s like she’s becoming another person entirely, it’s very difficult to explain, not even I understand what’s happening since I’ve never seen anything like this before. I must tell you though, that I’m very worried about her. At the moment she’s stable and Madam Pomfrey has said that you can see her for a few minutes.” And with that MacGonagall fell silent with a look of deep thought on her face. Both the boys rose from their seats and left the office, and made their way as fast as they could back to the hospital wing.
Upon entering through the large doors, they were met by the healer and told that they had only a few minutes, and not to disturb the patient to much as she needed her rest. So they both walked over to the bed and looked around the screens and saw Hermione sleeping peacefully in the bed. Ron sat on the one and only seat that was available beside the bed and took a hold of her hand in his hand. He looked into the face that he loved dearly and gently stroking the hair out of her eyes, could be heard muttering in a shaken voice,
“Please Hermione please come back to me, I love you with all my heart I don’t know what I would do without you in my life. You and I are joined in a bond that I could never really understand. All I know is that I love you and if anything was to happen to you, my life would be totally empty and there would be an unfillable void that I could never fill.” And with that, tears started to roll down Ron’s cheeks and he began to sob loudly. Harry went over to his friend and put his arm around his shoulders squeezing gently offering what support and comfort he could. He also looked down at his friend and silently urged her to fight what ever it was that seemed to be afflicting her.
There came a nervous cough from behind them, and when they both looked behind them they saw Madam Pomfrey standing looking rather awkward,
“I’m sorry but I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave for the time being, Hermione needs her rest, and you two look as if you could do with a good nights sleep.” The two boys started to protest but Madam Pomfrey was adamant that they follow her orders. So they made their way out of the hospital wing and with one last look at their friend they slowly made their way back to the Gryffindor Common Room.
Once back in the Common Room, neither went to bed, they just sat there looking sorry for themselves. Then Ron looked towards Harry and spoke up,
“Why is it we always attract trouble? We’re only one day into the new term and we already have problems, and this time it’s affecting Hermione.”
“I don’t know Ron” replied Harry with a hoarse croak in his voice. “I just don’t know. But I have a feeling that there is something happening this time that we may have no comprehension of fully understanding.”
Neither of them knew how long they sat there, the next thing they knew it was daylight outside and there was the sound of movement as people awoke to start their day.
Meanwhile up in the hospital wing, several strange hooded figures had appeared out of nowhere and were standing around Hermione’s bed with their hands held out over the top of the blankets. A golden glow emitted from their fingertips and engulfed Hermione’s body. Hermione moaned and squirmed and after a few seconds she opened her eyes and looking up at the figures she didn’t feel scared anymore. Soon her body started glowing by itself and as she floated off the bed the hooded figures pulled back their hands, and they all bent down on one knee, heads bowed.
As Hermione rose and the glowing got more intense, her hair colour changed to a rich gold colour and her completion changed from a pinky colour to a golden colour. A smile spread across her lips and she threw back her head as memories surfaced in her mind.
In the great hall, Harry and Ron were sitting with their fellow Gryffindors eating breakfast. Or rather the others were eating breakfast, but Harry and Ron were just picking at their food too worried about Hermione to eat. At that moment the big doors flew open and several golden beings entered and flanked the doors on either side – as if being on guard – and five other figure’s appeared – two in front and two behind and one in the centre –. They approached the staff table – where the staff had drawn their wands – and the centre figure raised her hand and spoke,
“Do not worry professor MacGonagall, this is not an invasion, you may put your wand away.”
Minerva MacGonagall slowly lowered her wand and said,
“Is that you Miss Granger?”
“Yes professor, it is I, except my real name is not Hermione Granger, its Sakura. I’m the daughter of the king of Atlantis. I was sent away on the day I was born because of a civil war that had broken out – in which my parents were killed – my true parents were afraid for my safety, Atlantis is the custodian of all the magical knowledge in the known universe, and before I was sent away, that knowledge was endowed into my genes so that it would not be lost forever, and for that reason I was able to perform magic from a very early age, and be known as the greatest witch of my time. My profile genes were changed so that I never showed any of my Atlantian traits as I grew up and I was adopted by the Grangers – who couldn’t have children of their own – and I was raised and cared for in a loving environment. The reason that the things have been happening to me lately is that once I turned Seventeen my DNA was set to revert back to my original DNA. And the memories that I have, have been memories from the time I did have with my people. I must go now, but first I must say that the Grangers and the staff at Hogwarts have helped shape me to be the person I am today, and for that I thank you. I hope never to disappoint you, and the last think I have to ask is this – turning to the rest of the astonished school and walking over to Ron – Ronald Weasley, I also love you with all my heart and I have to return to rule, and I would like you to join me as my husband to be, and rule as King along side me. What do you say?”
Ron just sat there with his mouth hanging open totally surprised at what was unfolding before him.
One of the attendants said,
“Your Highness, we really should be on our way.”
“Well Ron, what do you say?” said Sakura.
Ron stood up and approaching Sakura he said,
“It doesn’t matter to me if your Hermione or Sakura, I love you very much either way and I want to be with you. So what can I say but yes my darling.”
And the two embraced and gave each other a long passionate kiss. And amid all this the great hall erupted into a great cheer. Amid the cheers the two of them along with the seven other figures vanished amidst a golden glow.
THE END ????