amazing chapter image by socal at tda and beta'd by WeasleyTwinMom
The mind is a fragile thing, our greatest gift and most dangerous weapon. It keeps us on the right path, or at least the one that we believe to be right. We hardly understand the intricacies of it, and yet without it, we would be little more than an animal. Yes, the mind is a fragile thing. It can only bend so far without breaking. Snapped and shattered, we are lost to our own nightmares. We become the monsters we fear the most, volatile and helpless.
Hermione took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet country air. Her long hair flew behind her like a wind tunnel; yet, she still smiled.
She had lost a great deal in the battle, she had lost her faith in people; she had lost her friends and, worst of all, her family. Voldemort’s followers had tracked down Hermione’s parents and had tortured them into insanity. Just like Neville’s parents.
And so, six months later, Hermione was standing at Clevedon Pier, overlooking the sea. She needed a break from everyone — especially Ron. Hermione had promised everyone that she was coming back — that her disappearance wasn’t forever, but (as much as she hated to admit it) she was deeply in awe of the solitude. There was no one around to tell her how to act or who to be with, for the first time in months, Hermione Granger could decide for herself how to live her own life.
Taking another deep breath, Hermione released her grip from the cold, blue railings and began to walk towards her new home. The cold English breeze tugged at her clothes, teasing her with its strength, and the trees whistled Mother Nature’s tune in her ears. Even though it seemed like the entire world was against her, she still found a reason to smile.
For the first time in eighteen months, Hermione was completely and utterly happy.
But, every good thing has to come to an end
Her house was small, much smaller than the house she'd grown up in, but she adored it. It was just large enough to fit all of her books, and she had enough room in the kitchen to move around in. What more could anyone want?
Walking over to her large pile of books, Hermione slid her fingers along the spines. For her, there was satisfaction in reading books: reading could transport her to far away lands where troubles mysteriously disappeared. Hermione selected a book and sat down to read. Her eyes scanned across the page quickly, darting from one line to another. It was one of her all-time favourite books: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
A strange noise brought her out of the story, almost a vworp - Hermione jerked her head out of the book quickly and looked around. The sound came again, louder this time. Pricking her ears, Hermione placed her book on the sofa and pulled out her wand.
It's coming from upstairs
, she realized with a jolt. Stepping lightly up the stairs, Hermione peered into the bathroom. No one was in there. Taking another few steps forward, Hermione looked carefully into her bedroom and saw an odd looking man, wearing a bow tie, standing by her bed.
“Hermione!” he exclaimed when he saw her, jumping over the bed and pulling her into a hug. “How long has it been for you? Time travel, it's just wibbly wobbly.”
When they broke apart, Hermione had time to study the man. He had short, brown hair with mischievous brown eyes. He wore a white shirt, with suspenders and a bow tie wrapped around his neck. His attire reminded Hermione rather of photographs she'd seen from the 1920s.
The strange man had a huge smile on his face. “It’s me! The Doctor!” he said, pointing to his face. “Is this a new room? I must say, Hermione, I don’t like this one. It’s too much like your first room, plain and boring,” he added, looking around.
“I’m sorry,” Hermione stuttered, “but who the hell are you?”
The Doctor took a step back. “A memory jog is what you need!” he declared, taking hold of Hermione’s hand and dragging her into the hallway.
“Wh... Where did that come from?” Hermione exclaimed when she saw a mysterious blue box in the hallway. She recognized it as an old police box, but she had no idea how it had got there.
“She missed you,” the Doctor said, indicating the blue box. “Where do you want to go to this time? The tenth asteroid belt? Agora? Or how about Iphitus?” he rambled on, opening the door to the blue box.
Jumping inside, he spun around. “Well, are you coming?” he asked, holding out his hand. All of Hermione’s instincts were screaming at her to run away, but there was something about the man with the bow tie that made her feel safe, like she had known him her whole life.
“Okay.” Hermione said, nodding slowly. “Just one thing. Who the hell are you? I’ve never seen you before in my life.”
The Doctor’s hand dropped. “Well, it was only a matter of time before this happened,” he muttered, rubbing the back of his neck. “Well, your name is Hermione Jean Granger, you’re a witch and I can see it in your eyes that you want to come inside the TARDIS with me.”
Once again, curiosity got the better of Hermione. Extending her hand, she took hold of the Doctor's hand...
...just as the house caved in above her.