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Chapter 4 : Chapter 2: Blind Sight
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Beautiful chapter image by Midnight_Witch over at The Dark Arts.
Life, is crazy how,
Some things never
But I'm hoping that this time goes right. - Ryan Cabrera
Chapter 2: Blind Sight
The next morning Hermione woke up excited. Today was the day she was going to the Burrow. She couldn’t wait to see her best friends again. In her enthusiasm, she threw her covers off her body and landed on her feet ready for an exciting day. She could tell Harry all about the spell and...
Suddenly, the events of the previous day hit her, and she immediately slumped onto the bed. She missed them and she’d only been away for less than a day. It felt like a year. She wasn’t sure how she’d cope living here, in the past, without them, without their parents, knowing what could happen if she did this wrong. She wondered what Harry’s reaction would be if she’d been able to tell him that she could go back and meet his parents. Begging to join her was the conclusion she had come to eventually. That was part of the reason she didn’t tell him, she knew he would want to join her and she couldn’t risk him meeting his parents. She sighed and looked at the clock on the bedside cabinet. Seven-thirty; she was meeting McGonagall to go to Diagon Ally at nine o’clock, so she took a look around the room since she didn’t give herself much opportunity the night before.
The room was set into the eaves of the castle, giving it a unique character. Above the bed was a small window that gave sufficient light to the room. The room was small, with just enough room for the double bed, wardrobe and desk. The floor was mahogany wood, and contrasted nicely with the oak of the bed frame, the desk and the wardrobe. The walls were painted in a beautiful deep purple and the bedspread matched the cream and purple curtains hung about the windows. Hermione smiled. It would take some getting used to, but she liked it all the same.
She walked over to the small, white bathroom. She stripped to take a shower. After letting the water run over her body and washing her long curls under the spray, Hermione stepped out and wrapped a warm, fluffy, burgundy towel around her and brushed her teeth.
After drying her hair and dressing, she grabbed her cloak and headed down for breakfast.
The one thing that had not changed since her time was the hustle and bustle that made up Diagon Alley. She smiled to herself at that thought. She was glad that there was something constant in her life, even if it was chaos. She looked up at McGonagall—or Minerva as she was instructed to call her—and smiled. The old woman didn’t seem to have as many wrinkles. Hermione quickly deducted that she was around fifty years old and the first war had only just begun, so the stress Minerva faced over the next twenty years was probably what caused her to look old for her age in Hermione’s time.
“What do you need, Miss Gardener?” Minerva asked. Hermione didn’t answer right away since she still hadn’t gotten used to her new identity.
“Oh, erm, these things,” Hermione said, handing Minerva a list of school supplies, “and some essentials: everyday robes, toiletries, underwear. I’d also like a pet, if you wouldn’t mind.”
“Well, it’s just as well we came in earlier than intended isn’t it? This shopping will take all day! First of all we should go to Gringotts. Albus said that you had access to his accounts. After that, we shall gather all the things we need from Wizarding shops and then we can head to the Muggle shops for your everyday essentials.”
“Sounds brilliant!” With that they headed to the huge white building and withdrew a small fortune from the Dumbledore account.
“Where to first?” Minerva asked once they had left.
“Ollivander’s. I need a new wand; mine was broken at my arrival.”
“Very well,” Minerva replied and they set off for the dingy shop. It was just as she remembered it, although there was slightly less dust on a few of the wands than she remembered.
“Ah,” came a voice. “Minerva, what may I do for you today?”
“Miss Gardener is in need of a replacement wand.”
“Is that so? I remember every wand I ever sold and the owner of each of those wands, why is it that I cannot remember you?”
“We lived in France for a time. That’s where I got my last wand.” Ollivander seemed to accept this as a fairly reasonable answer, although he didn’t seem entirely convinced.
“Very well, your wand arm—if you please?”
“Left arm,” she replied.
“Here, twelve inches, ash, unicorn hair—very good for Charms,” Ollivander said. Hermione flicked it and the plant pot opposite her blew up.
“Maybe not. Hmm...thirteen inches, vine, phoenix feather,” he said, handing her another wand. Again the wand was not for her.
“How about this? Thirteen inches, cherry, unicorn hair,” he said, handing her the wand.
“Try this, ten and three-quarter inches, vine, dragon heartstring.”
My wand, she thought as she took it. However, what happened made Hermione blanch. Instead of the usual tingling sensation she felt running down her fingertips when she held her wand, it instantly sparked and burned her hand.
“My, my! Most certainly not that one. Ahh, yes. Eleven inches, holly, phoenix feather,” Hermione tried not to look too shocked when she recognised the description as Harry’s wand. No, she thought, this isn’t supposed to be my wand. She held it and willed it to have the same effect the other wands had, but to her utter astonishment, and almost disgust, the wand made her body feel electric and a blast of silver light protruded from the end. It was a memory, showing Harry. It was only brief and then it disappeared.
“Well. How very intriguing,” Ollivander said. “I’ve never seen such a strong reaction between a person and their wand. You, my, dear are destined to do great things with this wand.” All Hermione could do was stand there dumbstruck. She was still speechless when she handed over the seven Galleons for the wand, and still so when she walked out into the street.
“Are you alright dear?” came the kind voice of McGonagall.
“Yes,” Hermione replied, attempting to wipe the gormless look off her face. “Where now?”
“Madame Malkin’s for some robes, I think. We can’t have you wearing the same ones all summer!”
“Alright,” Hermione said. When she walked in, she noticed nothing had changed. She saw, however, that she was not alone. Standing on a footstool was a pale skinned, long haired young man being fitted for what looked like dress robes.
“Watch it! This is expensive material you know!” the young man yelled at the shop assistant. He glanced at Hermione and smirked. “Lucius Malfoy,” the blonde boy said, “I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you yet.”
“Hermione Gr-ardener,” Hermione replied shortly, stepping onto the stool beside him for fitting. She wasn’t sure that meeting Lucius was a ‘pleasure.’ She knew from personal experience that he wasn’t someone she particularly wanted to know.
“I haven’t heard the name. Do you go to Hogwarts?”
“I haven’t until now. I was home schooled, but my parents were attacked by Death Eaters. I am Professor Dumbledore’s ward.”
“Ah. Well. I left Hogwarts three years ago, it is a shame I will not have the pleasure of knowing you better,” he said with a slight leer. She had to hold back her look of disgust.
Three years. That would make him almost three years older than Narcissa, as Hermione was told that she was one of the youngest in the year above the Marauders. Poor girl, Hermione couldn’t help but think, she was probably married straight out of school. She never thought she’d see the day she felt pity for the Malfoy matriarch.
“You are finished, Mr Malfoy,” said the lady who was serving him. “We’ll be finished with the robe within the week.”
“Thank you, I must be off. People to see, plans to make,” he said and swept out of the shop. When he left Hermione visibly shivered.
“You’re ready to go now dear,” said the assistant. With that, Hermione jumped off the stool and exited the shop.
The first thing she heard when she entered the large bookshop was a heated debate.
“No! The best book for Animagi transformations is Animagus Life by Mark Shoos,” a red haired girl around Hermione’s age told a boy with sandy hair and amber eyes.
“As a biography, yes, it’s good and it does explain the feelings an Animagus has in their transformation but it doesn’t explain what it takes to become one,” the boy retorted, “if you wanted to become an Animagus then Changing Plains is an essential read.”
“Changing Plains has nothing interesting in it. It doesn’t show the kinds of feelings that an Animagus goes through in its transformation. Animagus Life helps someone who wants to become an Animagus to understand the strains, the emotions; the stuff you should know before you even consider becoming an Animagus,” the red head retorted.
Hermione was fascinated by the debate but more so by the fact that standing in front of her was a teenage Remus Lupin and Lily Evans. Lily Evans and Remus Lupin were debating about a book before her very eyes. This wasn’t even a memory she had stepped into. This was reality. She had the overwhelming urge to reach out and touch Lily. To hug and kiss Remus. She couldn’t do that though, instead she turned and spoke to them as she walked past.
“Neither of you are right. The Encyclopaedia of Animagi and their Transformation by C.H. Anger is the most complete summary of anything related to Animagi,” and headed toward the potions sections. As she was turning the corner of a bookshelf she saw in her peripheral vision the two teens staring at her, eyes wide and mouths open. She smiled to herself.
Just as she was collecting her third book, someone tapped her on the shoulder. She turned and almost dropped her book in shock at seeing Harry’s green eyes staring back at her. “Yes?” she asked.
“Erm...” Lily started, “my name’s Lily Evans. I haven’t seen you around here before.”
“No. I’ve just moved here. My name’s Hermione Gardener, I’m Professor Dumbledore’s ward,” Hermione replied, outstretching her hand.
“I didn’t know Dumbledore had a daughter,” Lily replied, hesitantly taking Hermione’s hand and shaking it.
“He doesn’t. My father was close to him but he died in an attack on my village. I was sent to Dumbledore, as he was my named guardian. He adopted me almost as soon as I stepped through the threshold.”
“I see,” Lily answered. She looked down at the book in Hermione’s hand. “Are you coming to Hogwarts this year?”
“Yes. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m getting a feel of the castle, living there, but I can’t wait to start lessons,” Hermione replied with a smile.
“What year will you be in?”
“I’m going into sixth year this year too! You should come over before the summer is over; it’s always difficult to meet new people in a new school. Especially since everyone will know everyone.”
Hermione smiled. So much for nature or nurture, she thought, imagining that Harry would do a similar thing in Lily’s situation, “I’d love that! It’d be nice to get out of the castle for a while and see people my own age instead of the professors,” she said.
“Are you finished here?” Lily asked. “Only if you pay I can show you around more of Diagon Alley.”
“Yes, I’m nearly finished, only one more book and then I’ll pay. Wait for me?”
“Sure.” Lily replied and after Hermione retrieved her last book and paid the two girls started to talk animatedly to each other about various books and subjects. On the way out of the shop, they passed by Remus standing with a stout mousey boy. Pettigrew. It took all of Hermione’s willpower not to hex him into the last century, and she was sure that she was giving him an odd look.
“Bye, Lupin,” Lily said. “See you in school.”
“Bye, Evans. Bye... I’m sorry I don’t think we’ve formally been introduced. Remus Lupin, pleased to make your acquaintance,” Remus said, extending his hand to Hermione.
“Hermione Gardener,” she answered, shaking his proffered hand.
“Peter Pettigrew, miss,” Pettigrew said, offering his hand in the same manner. Hermione fought a scowl and took his chubby hand.
“Pleasure,” she said, a little too dismissively from the looks she received from the other three teens. “Really,” she said to amend herself. “It’s so good to meet people my age. Albus and Minerva are nice enough, but I need someone to talk about something other than the fascinating aspect of transfiguring a goblet to a cow.”
“Albus and Minerva?” Remus asked.
“I’m living in Hogwarts at the moment. I was orphaned and left to Albus by my Dad.” Remus raised an eyebrow at this.
“Well, we must be off; lots to do before school!” Peter said.
“We’d better be going too, I promised the ‘rents I’d be quick and if I’m showing you around the place then we have to hurry,” Lily said to Hermione, who simply nodded and followed the group out of the shop. The girls waved goodbye to the boys, who headed in the opposite direction.
“Wow!” Hermione exclaimed.
“I know,” Lily said with a similar amount of awe in her voice. “The wizarding world never ceases to amaze me.” Hermione smiled. She liked Lily; she seemed to be similar to herself. She wasn’t used to this kind of connection with a girl, or even a boy. She had had Ginny, but their relationship wasn’t based on academic parallels. Ginny was more an outlet for when she needed to talk to a girl, but Lily was different. That was why they were standing in the apothecary, gazing at the shelves ceiling-high full of potions ingredients. She’d been in there before, but she still marvelled at the sheer magnitude of it all.
“May I help you?” a gruff voice asked, and they soon got the supplies they wanted.
“Where next?” Lily asked.
“I want a pet. An owl preferably, but I had a cat until I... moved,” Hermione replied.
“This way then,” Lily said pointing toward the magical emporium.
As soon as they stepped in the door Hermione felt drawn to the back of the shop. There in the corner of the store in a small cage was a young, pale barn owl, staring out at her with its black eyes. She instantly fell in love with it, and decided that she just had to buy the creature. She paid for it and left the shop with a smile on her face, a bird cage in hand and Lily beside her. Soon, however, Lily said that she really should be getting back to her parents. Hermione checked her own watch and was shocked to see that she had fifteen minutes before she was to meet Professor McGonagall. They hugged and said their farewells, and Hermione promised to write during the week before heading down the high street.
The crowds surrounding the Quidditch Quality Supplies shop window had not thinned from Hermione’s memory of her own time. Among the crowd, she saw a familiar head of jet black, scruffy hair and a glint of glasses that rested on his face. In a momentary lapse of memory she called out to the recognisable scrawny figure.
“Harry!” she yelled through the crowd, waving her arms to gain the boy’s attention. When he turned around, however, she was not met with the familiar vibrant emerald eyes but with curious hazel eyes. Her breath caught in her throat, her eyes stung from tears of either reminiscence or embarrassment, she was unsure which.
“Do I know you?” the boy asked while trying to gain eye contact with her downcast eyes. She flushed with embarrassment and could feel her whole face turn red.
“No, sorry I – I mistook you for a friend of mine.” Taking a deep breath to compose herself, she extended her hand toward the boy. “Hermione Gardener.”
“James Potter,” he said smiling. “So this friend of yours, was he more or less handsome than me?” he asked confidently. That was when Hermione noticed the difference between Harry and James. Where Harry would wear oversized Muggle clothes, James was adorning well cut and expensive robes. There were no scars on James’s face and his bright hazel eyes held none of the sorrow Harry’s emerald ones did. James also seemed to have a slightly stronger, heavier jaw line than his son did, and his hair was longer and messier. Hermione soon deduced that this was due to the Punk trends starting its influx, and was more out of choice rather than necessity.
“I can’t say,” Hermione soon said after her evaluation of the boy. “He was my best friend – I never thought of him that way. I’d say you were equal in your looks; be them good or flawed,” Hermione smiled.
“I would never say my looks are flawed but I suppose we shall have to leave it there,” James smiled. “I don’t think I’ve seen you around. Are you new to the area or have my observational skills failed me?”
“I’m new. I’ll be starting in sixth year at Hogwarts this year,” Hermione replied.
“Brilliant!” James beamed. “You’ll be in our year. Maybe you can help me with Lily Evans. Hear that Sirius? I’ve got someone working from the inside this year!” At his words, she looked up to face him and she saw a grey eyed, black haired teenage boy. The tears that had welled up in her eyes from her earlier humiliation threatened to spill upon seeing him. She had to remind herself to breathe, and that this beautiful boy was not the broken man of her own time.
“I doubt that would help much,” the black haired boy said. “You’re going to have to buy that girl the whole of the library before she even glances in your direction, mate. Sorry, where are my manners? I’m Sirius Black,” he said, before wiping his hand on his robes and extending it.
“I’m Hermione Gardener,” she said, resisting the urge to pull him close and hold him and tell him that everything would be okay now that she was here. It took more willpower than she thought she had. As if sensing something was the matter, he gently squeezed her hand. She smiled up at him in thanks of the gesture before dropping her hand.
She took some time to look at Sirius with the same critical eye she had looked at James, comparing him to the Sirius she knew. The first thing she noticed was that he had a very clear masculine figure in contrast to the skin-and-bones man she knew. His robes, though clearly as expensive as James’s, were not as well kept and she noticed that they had a more Muggle-type slant on their design, with chains incorporated and it was finished with a long leather jacket clearly indicative of the Punk movement of the time. His hair, like James’s, was long and scruffy, but had a sheen to it that made it look almost blue. His style seemed more effortless than that of James, and he was more self assured than the Sirius of her time.
“Hey Sirius, James, you’ll never guess wh—” the voice from across the street halted, and the three teens turned to see that Peter was approaching with Remus on his heels. He had stopped at seeing Hermione.
“Oh,” he said, clearly taken aback. “I see you’ve already met.” He sounded disappointed and Hermione couldn’t help but feel a little sorrow for the chubby boy –that he had known something they didn’t and his glory was quashed by chance meetings.
“Yeah,” Hermione said dejectedly. “I ought to—” Hermione was cut off by McGonagall calling her name. She looked around to see that her teacher was headed toward the group, bags in hand and hair in minor disarray.
“Hermione, dear, we ought to be going. You said you wanted some underwear and we have to go before the shop closes.” At this, Hermione blushed and started to splutter. As she was attempting to avoid eye contact she met grey eyes that seemed slightly darker than she had seen them only a few minutes before. At this she blushed even harder and tore her gaze from Sirius.
“Yes, well, see you soon then, boys.” Hermione said slightly awkwardly.
“Yeah,” Remus said. “Owl us if you get bored and need some comic relief.” She merely nodded and followed McGonagall to the Leaky Cauldron.
Their shopping trip in the Muggle world was brief but truly essential. Hermione bought three sets of matching underwear plus packs of knickers, two pairs of pyjamas, some socks and some cheap jewellery.
When she returned to her room at Hogwarts that night, she was absolutely exhausted and slipped into her newly purchased pyjamas and fell straight to sleep.
A/N: Ok people, small quiz... there are two wands in Ollivander’s that are character’s wands besides Hermione’s and Harry’s, which are they and who do they belong to?
Also any diehard fans will see that I made Narcissa younger than she actually is – this is for plot reasons, I do know that if this was completely canon then Narcissa would have already left Hogwarts in the time this was set.
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