Chapter 2 : Lonliness In A Crowded Room
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The door to the hospital wing flew open with a loud crash that made nearly everyone in the room jump. Just as much noise came from Harry and Ron themselves as they tried to squeeze through the door at the same time, finally shoving each other through. When they finally untangled themselves, they were mystified by what they saw. Hermione, or more like a shadow of her; sitting on the bed staring at them with big, brown, almost unseeing eyes. Ginny, sitting in a chair by the bed and Madam Pomfrey at her side, both looking helpless and out of place, seeing that there really wasn't anything they could do for her.
As the boys approached, Ginny got up and hugged them both mumbling something about getting Hermione's work from all her classes, relieved that she finally had something she could do for her best friend.
"Hermione." Harry whispered, as he sat on the edge of her bed and took her hand.
"What happened to her?" Asked Ron, pulling up the chair next to the bed. Harry and Ron looked at each other wondering what could have happened in the ten minutes she was alone to make her emotionally helpless. It took a moment for Madam Pomfrey to answer, as she looked at Hermione staring off in to space like she didn't even realize the boys were there.
"We don't know for sure. All we can say is that someone found her in one of the hallways near the astrology tower, sitting on the floor crying. She hasn't said a word since then, the poor dear."
The astrology tower? Thought Harry. That wasn't anywhere near our class this morning. Harry took Hermione's hand, to which she didn't even notice. She just continued staring out the window, like his hand went right through hers and she didn't feel a thing. It was just at this moment Harry actually got a good look at her. In the still morning light, her hair was damp and sticky with tears so that it hung in limp strands. Her face was completely expressionless, no hint of feeling or emotion. But there was something about her eyes, something different. As Harry was just about to take a closer look he was suddenly jarred away from his thought by Ron, who had turned to Harry as Madam Pomfrey left the room.
"What the hell happened to her?" he asked. Hermione didn't move.
"Hermione?!" Ron waved a hand in front of her face. No reaction.
"Maybe she's petrified. Remember, like when the basilisk did that to her." Ron suggested.
No that couldn't be, Harry said to himself, petrified people CAN'T move... she can, she just doesn't want to.
"Oh, not you too!" Ron huffed. "I'm going to get us some food, I'm sure she has to eat sometime. Do you want anything?"
Harry didn't reply, he just kept staring into those eyes as if there was some sort of picture in them that was too small to make out. What was so strange about them? They were still the same color, the same Hermione. It's as if her eyes are deeper....open from the inside almost. When Harry realized this, he looked up again at Hermione and was startled to realize she was staring right back at him.
"Hey, you moved." He said with a grin, but to no avail. She said and did nothing. Just stared at him, into his eyes, like her eyes were trying to tell him something her lips could not. Harry felt helpless, lost to her, the reality of it hitting his chest like a wrecking ball. He missed her. He was so deep into his loss, his thoughts of such painful loneliness even for those few minutes of not hearing her beautiful voice, that he didn't stir when Ron came in with two plates of food. He didn't stir when Madam Pomfrey made a tray of some of the food for Hermione. And then, the tiniest of movements violently roused his attention.
A single tear streaming down her face, gleaming with the faintest light, that sparkled like a dying star. And the slightest expression of an extreme amount of desolation, that broke the hearts of everyone in the room instantly.
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