Edmund Pevensie had been a bully at school. Peter always held him back but that didn't stop him from pulling wierd little Hermione Granger's hair. She would put her nose up in the air and behave like she was better than everyone, just like Peter. So he loved to bully her. Over time though, even though they lived in the same area of London, they would see less and less of each other.
The summer that Edmund and his siblings returned from the Professors house, he was changed boy. Time spent in Narnia had given him a different way of looking at things, a different path of life. He had a clear goal for he kind of person to become, and it was very much like King Edmund, The Just.
Time spent in Narnia had also made him of a rather curious nature. No wonder, that summer, when they finally returned to their house in London, he noticed every small and curious thing. One such thing was the was the little window of Hermione Granger's room directly across his. It was the most wonderous and intriguing thing ever.
The reason behind this interest wasthat one day, he saw a white snowy owl enter her room in the middle of the night. He was bursting with curiosity and he wanted to share it with the others, this source of mystery, but was almost sure that Peter would ban his looking into the window at all.
But his curiosity kept him watching, though he dared not to breathe to anyone, while his pride and honor somehow managed to curb his boying urge of climbing onto that window's wall and get inside that room. The owls kept on coming repeatedly, always during the night and Edmund was apalled how no one else had noticed them before. They always came during the night, so it was no unusual sight to catch him sitting beside the window with a book, either reading or looking outside silently (or so they thought). No one ever got suspicious about this, since in the later years of the Golden Age at Narnia, King Edmund was found to be the most calm, clever and patient of them all.
It was on one such night that he noticed more movement in the room than usual. The bushy haired girl seemed to be in a hurry and she seemed to be throwing things around a lot, for a lot of objects were flying about. At last, she closed the curtains. This got Edmund suddenly alert and more interested than ever - she never closed the curtains, even while sleeping. What did this mean?
As he looked more closely, the front door opened and she heaved out a trunk, then started waiting for something. Was she planning on running away? But then, why was she waiting?
Edmund looked around his room furitively - only Lucy was present there, involved in a book, Peter and Susan were absent. As he looked back down in the street, a single cab was driving down the road and she was hailing it.
On a sudden impulse, he jumped up. "Lu, come on. I'v got some work." he quickly grabbed two jackets for them, and dragged her downstairs as fast as possible, while Lucy hissed protests in the dark. "What is this about, Ed? Where are we going?"
By the time they got out, the cab had almost disappeared down the road. He gave it a chase on foot, Lucy following closely behind, and caught another cab on the main street, never losing sight of Hermione Granger's car. Lucy had quit her complaining and took to silently following, until they were well seated inside the cab and following the other closely.
"Now are you going to tell me what this is about? And who are we following?" Lucy repeated crossly. After a moment's contemplation, he said, "It's the girl who lives across the street. I think she's running away."
It sounded silly even to his own ears. "And we're following because...?"
He bit his lip. While he hadn't minded taking Lucy with him at that time, now he was starting to regret his decision. It had been based on the fact that Lucy was the most accepting, observant and level-headed and would ask less questions and maybe accept strangeness as it came. What he had forgotten was that she tended to be quite curious as well, and poked her nose everywhere, especialy where it wasn't required.
As he was about to turn around and retort to her, his sister interrupted - "Is she running away with someone?"
He snapped his head to the front again, and sure enough - they were exactly behind her cab now - there were two figures sitting in the back. The man had kind of straight brown hair but the light was very interefering. They followed the cab silently- finally, his sister had stopped asking questions.
The cab stopped at Charring Cross Road and both the occupants climbed out. The man was much taller than Hermione Granger, and looked even somewhat old. There was no trunk in sight.
"Are you sure she's running away?" Lucy said, an eyebrow raised towards him as they observed the leisurely pace of the two people who were now walking along the road. "Stay here, Lu." he said and quickly got out of the cab.
He needn't have done it though, as soon as he had taken a few steps after them, they entered a very dingy looking pub, so small that he almost thought they had disappeared, not having noticed the pub at first. He was about to rush towards it himself when someone caught his arm.
"What is going on, Ed? Are you going explain anything?" It was Lucy.
"Well, they just went into that pub over there. Looks like Granger's got a secret boyfriend. What happened to the trunk though-?"
"Edmund, what pub?"
Lucy was looking carefully at him now, almost like she was afraid for his sanity.
"There. The one between that small store and music shop." he pointed towards it, but Lucy shook her head desperately. "I can't see it! I don't see a pub anywhere near those shops Ed!"
What was going on? It was right there, in front of him, two people had just gone into it!
"Come on, let me show you." He grabbed her hand and started walking towards the place when Lucy dug her heels and gasped suddenly. "Ed, do you think this is like the wardrobe?"
He stopped suddenly. It hadn't occured to him. To be honest, he didn't even know why he was following Hermione Granger and it had led him to this pub, his gut instinct. Was it that it was another gateway to Narnia? He grinned with excitement at the thought. He looked at Lucy and she was smiling too, though it was clearly sad.
"What is it? This is good news! Why aren't you happy?"
"It's you who can see it, Ed. Not me. I still can't see it." Her smile was sad and she almost looked a little upset.
"Well, then I can see it for once, I can check if it's actually there and then tell the others."
He was about to turn around when Lucy caught his arm again. "No!"
He looked at her in chagrin. This was not fair. He could tell from the look on her face what she was about to tell him, before the words were out of her mouth.
"We really should get the others first. It doesn't work that way and you know it. So I don't really think rushing off alone is a good idea."
He knew she was right, of course. But it didn't make it any less difficult. "Look, I still think I should go once. What if I can't find it again? Don't you want to make sure, Lu? Don't you want to go back too?"
His voice was almost desperate and Lucy looked more upset than ever but they both knew what was right.
"Let's just get Peter and Susan as soon as possible. I can remember the place easily enough." Lucy said, and they both drove back home in silence.
Peter and Susan were awake and quickly filled in; their departure had not been noticed, thankfully. Peter was, of course, upset at his impulsive behaviour, but it was clear as day that he was somewhat excited too. Susan seemed less convinced but he didn't care.
The next morning was a huge disappointment. There was no pub on Charring Cross Road, especially near the place they driven to last night. Lucy was, of course, upset but she believed him. Susan told him outright that it was not a good joke and Peter looked defeated too but didn't linger much on the subject.
They were back to their normal selves within a day, but one mystery remained unsolved. Hermione Granger never returned. Not that summer, or the next. He couldn't surely say about the next one but the curtains never opened again. Nor did she ever read through the night again, if she was there. He was sure he had seen her with a trunk when she entered the cab, but there was none when she left. No missing notices were sent out though and Mr. and Mrs. Granger shifted out of the locality two years later.
As for the pub, his eyes would stray towards those same shops but he would never be able to locate it. For some time, the dim fire of hope kept burning inside him. Eventually though, it died. He stopped looking.