The old wizard sighed and turned away from the window in his office. He let his gaze take in all the things that he knew so well. Fawkes sat on his perch, regarding his master with inquisitive eyes. The many portraits of past Headmasters and Mistresses hung where they always had, many of the frames empty as the occupants had decided that it was time for a little stroll to visit friends about the castle. The old man's eyes settled on the newspaper clippings he had on his desk. The one immediately on top held a small family, laughing and smiling at him, the child's chubby hand being raised in a waving motion by his mother. His father was holding him, looking proud. That family would be destroyed shortly after the picture was taken. The clippings under that one held accounts of their deaths, how they were betrayed, and of their young son, Harry. The-Boy-Who-Lived. On the opposite side of his desk was another clipping from the Daily Prophet. Fairly recent news, about the killings of more Muggles. Two names stood out above the rest to the wizard. Andrew and Rose Granger. Their daughter, Hermione had been in his office a year ago, listening to the Headmaster break the news to her. What had been more horrible to the old man was not breaking the news to her, but her reaction. She had been in denial about it, insisting that the paper was wrong. She tore from his office, determined that she would owl her parents and they would owl her back and then she could prove that the paper had the wrong names. It broke his heart to see the owl deliver her letter back to her the next morning at breakfast. He wondered how she was doing now, that it was a year to the very day that her parents had died.
It was a full fledged war going on now, Muggles afraid to go out of their homes, wizards and witches doing their everyday things in groups. Voldemort was no longer on the rise. He had risen to the very peak of his power. Harry, Hermione, and Ron Weasley stuck closer than ever, Harry and Hermione moreso. They were each other's crutches now that they had no family to speak of. Dumbledore remembered the day he had recieved an owl from the girl's grandparents. They could not take care of her and they sent their regrets. She had been given the choice then, to stay with the Weasleys or to go to a Muggle orphanage. Of course, she opted to stay with the Weasleys, and he had gotten word over the time she had spent with them that she was having a very hard time coming to terms with her parent's deaths. In that, he supposed, Harry was a great deal more lucky than she. His parents died when he was a baby. He hadn't gotten to know them, but for Hermione, it was different; more difficult. She had spent fourteen years of her life with her family, and to have them ripped from her so suddenly caused her pain that no one should ever have to feel. Turning back to the window, Dumbledore sighed and slowly shook his head.
Harry sat on his bed thinking. It was odd, that the day his parents died, had been the same day that Hermione's parents had died. Sure, it was years later, but odd all the same. Would another fifteen years pass and then the Weasleys would be killed? Who would be next? Why did it have to be his parents? Her parents? He was so absorbed in his thoughts that he didn't hear the door open or the person entering it.
It was Hermione. She sounded as if she had been crying, or had not had enough sleep. Harry leaned over and pulled a corner of the curtain that hung over his bed up so he could see her face.
"Come on in Hermione."
She crawled into the bed with him and curled up onto her side. She looked so fragile, so tiny.
"What is it Hermione?"
She was silent for a few moments before she spoke, her words coming out in a hoarse whisper.
"Why wasn't I there? My parents were killed Harry and I wasn't there. I should have been killed too!"
Before she could open her mouth to say another word, Harry was upon her, turning her to face him roughly.
"Don't you EVER say that again Hermione Lissette Granger! DON'T EVER! You are here for a purpose that has yet to be fulfilled!"
He was yelling into her face, tears of sorrow and rage falling unchecked down his cheeks. Seeing him like that scared Hermione and she began to shake uncontrollably. He sensed he was scaring her, but her words had scared him beyond common sense.
"Don't you think about leaving me again Mione!"
Harry grabbed her and held her close. After a while, he pulled back and surveyed her in the dim light of the interior of the bed. She was pale and thin; much thinner than she had ever been before. Her hair was pulled back into a sloppy ponytail and her eyes were dead looking.
"Mione, you need to eat something."
She looked at him and sighed.
"Harry, I have been eating."
"I mean something more than what's necessary to ensure you don't starve to death. You're too thin."
"Don't start ok?"
She leapt from the bed, her eyes shining bright with tears of anger, and whirrled to face him.
"Leave me alone Harry! Leave me alone, or Merlin help you..."
And with that, she ran from the room.
|© 2002-2008. Blurty Journal. All rights reserved.|