The next morning, Harry sat in the common room waiting for Hermione to come down for breakfast. Ron, Seamus, and Neville filed past him and out the portrait hole with a "see ya Harry!" and "Charms at 9!" When it seemed the whole of Gryffindor Tower was empty, Harry trudged up the stairs to the girls dorm. When he found the room that she shared with Lavender, Parvati, and another girl in their year, he knocked. When the door opened, he was face to face with a stunned Parvati.
"Parvati, is Hermione here?"
At this, the Patil twin's eyebrow darted up into her hairline.
"No Harry. She left us in here last night to go "study". We figured she was in the common room already."
A cold feeling of dread began to make it's presence known to Harry. He knew she wasn't in the common room, he had just come from there.
"Ok, thanks Parvati."
As fast as he could, Harry ran down the stairs and out of the portrait hole. Maybe she was in the library early this morning and decided to go ahead to the Great Hall for breakfast.
At the Gryffindor table, Ron looked around. Harry wasn't there and neither was Hermione. He had heard he come into the room last night and heard part of the conversation she had with Harry. Then next thing Ron knew, Hermione was on the verge of yelling at Harry and telling him to leave her alone. He knew things had to be rough on her, but he didn't pretend to understand what it was like. She had spent her summer holiday with the Weasleys, and he wasn't sure he had ever seen her look so horrible. She didn't even pick up her books or hound him with facts from Hogwarts:A History. Even though he'd never admit it to her face to face, he missed the constant nagging and bickering that had become them both. Ron looked up from his plate to see if he could spot either of his two best friends and saw Harry skid to a halt outside the doors of the Hall.
"Over here Harry!"
Harry sprinted over to Ron, a frown creasing his forhead.
"Ron, has Hermione been here?"
"No. Maybe she's in the library. That girl and those bloody books..."
Ron's tirade faded out as the cold feeling grew inside of Harry.
"... sleep with books when she was little I bet you. Harry? Are you alright?"
Instead of answering his best friend, Harry sprinted back out of the Hall and sped towards the library. He reached it out of breath and earned himself a stern look from Madame Pince, who told him "Potter, you're breathing too loud. Become silent this instant or I'll throw you out!"
He fought to catch his breath and wandered around the vast library. Almost half and hour later, his search yielded nothing of the whereabouts of Hermione. On his way out, he asked Madame Pince if she had by any chance seen the girl.
"No Mr. Potter. Not since yesterday afternoon."
Without looking back, Harry mumbled a thank you to the librarian and walked out.
In the Divination classroom, a little known fifth year was fighting the urge to sleep. Sarin Haley hated the class with a passion, and only took it because it was easy to "predict" one's own death. As her eyes grew too heavy to hold open, the girl began having a strange vision. In it, there was a girl, a sixth year, bound and gagged. She was silently crying and looked to have been tortured some. A cold voice floated into the mist of Sarin's mind.
"Tell me the prophesy girl."
The bound prisoner looked up with defiance in her eyes.
"Have it your way. CRUCIO!"
Sarin screamed and started awake. The entire Divination class stared at her; Professor Trelawney looked annoyed, concerned and interested all at once. The crystal ball she held in her hands was forgotten for the moment.
"Ms. Haley. What did you see?"
Tossing her black hair back, Sarin looked at the batty old woman.
"Who said I saw anything? Maybe I'm just bored out of my wits!"
The rest of the class shrank back away from Sarin, especially her twin brother, Tobias. He knew he'd be owling their mum and dad by the evening.
"Very well Ms. Haley. When you are ready to share, let me know. In the meantime, class is dismissed. Don't forget to work on your charts!"
"Sar, that was NOT necessary! What if you had gotten detention? Or worse?"
Sighing heavily, the girl stopped in the middle of the hallway, turned to her brother, and looked him in the eye.
"Toby, Trelawney is a harmless old kook with nothing better to do than predict death and suffering. You know she eats up the misery angle. Why give her more ammunition? Besides, it was just a dream."
"Just a dream huh? Like it was just a dream that that sixth year's parents would die last year? Sar, you have a gift... you are a true Seer."
Sarin couldn't get the girl's face out of her mind. She looked so familiar! She knew she was a sixth year at Hogwarts, but why did she look as if Sarin had seen her before, on many occasions?
"Maybe Tobias, maybe."
"There's no maybe about it Sarin! You really are!"
By this time, they had made it to the Great Hall. Sarin's face lit up when she saw Ginny Weasley waving to her.
"Just drop it Toby."
He had no choice as he followed his sister to the Gryffindor table.
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