Chapter 1: The mind is a dangerous place
A/N: I own nothing except my mistakes. Also, this story takes place at the beginning of sixth year.
"And remember: do not make eye contact with anyone in this classroom as you practice this spell." Professor Flitwick's warning from the beginning of class shot through her mind in utter horror as the incantation had already left her lips as she practiced the mind revealing spell, which would allow a wizard to discover the other one's true intentions.
And she had been perfectly following up her Professor's instructions, until Malfoy decided to make some foul comment towards Neville from across the room, making her snap her attention to the blonde haired boy. Her glare must have been so intensive, that he had felt her burning stare as he turned his head to look her way, a satisfied smirk plastered on his face.
Not only did she make the worst mistake she could make with this incantation, she also mispronounced it in her agitation that she now let the words "Esse est percipi" slip her mouth. And it wasn't until the incantation was put into action that she knew what this spell meant.
Foul loathsome evil git. Hermione bitterly thought as her eyes squinted tightly upon seeing the smirk sitting proudly on his lips. To her utmost surprise, and also to her utter horror did his smirk abruptly disappear, and for a fleeting second did she wonder why that was, until she got the answer to her question almost immediately.
What the hell? A voice rang through her head, but it wasn't her own. No, it belonged to a boy, and not any random boy, either. She recognized that voice for she had heard it more often than she would have liked. It was Draco Malfoy's. But what in the world did he do in her head?
Before she could even think about any possible explanations, the bell rang and students started to pack their things and leave. But Hermione was glued to her chair, unable to tear her eyes off the boy across her.
"Hermione?" If it wasn't for Harry snapping her out of concentration, they would have been staring at each other for the entire day through, but she reluctantly looked away from Malfoy, and momentarily pushed away her questions. "Are you coming?" Harry asked, his voice sounding slightly concerned as he looked between her and Malfoy.
Hermione shook her head and cleared her throat silently, "No, I've got a few questions to ask Professor Flitwick. Why don't you two go ahead? I'll be right behind you." Hermione said and tried for a smile to assure them she was fine, but it came out more like a pained grimace.
The boys seemed hesitant, but knew better than to argue when Hermione was determined to get answers to her questions, and so they said their goodbyes and hurried off to their classes.
Professor Flitwick would know what's happening, wouldn't he? I'm sure that he can reverse whatever this is. Hermione thought as she hurriedly packed her bag, standing up in the progress. Granger, stop thinking. I don't want your disgusting voice ringing in my mind.
Hermione stopped dead in her tracks as that thought protruded her mind, the annoyance apparent in his voice. Ignoring the chilled shiver that uncomfortably ran over her entire body, she practically ran to her professor, surprising him slightly.
"Miss Granger? Is everything alright?" Professor Flitwick asked as he, too, must have noticed her worried expression. "Professor, I think there went something wrong with the spell." Hermione stumbled slightly over her words, not particularly sure how to put it, for she had no idea what was happening either.
It seemed that both her and Malfoy could hear the other thinking, and respond to it as well, which seemed rather obvious when one could hear the other's thoughts. But what happened that they now could do it? And more importantly, how could they reverse it?
Granger, I thought I told you to shut up. There it was again, the unwanted voice of Draco Malfoy working its way into her brain again. Instead of snapping a witted comment at him, she focused on her professor that now began to speak.
"What exactly went wrong, Miss Granger?" Professor Flitwick asked, sounding rather worried himself. "I'm not quite sure, Professor. The spell we have practiced is not quite the same as what we," Hermione pointed at herself and Malfoy that was now standing beside her, with at least a good few feet of distance, "are undergoing right now. I think the incantation that has been said by me has been mispronounced by a moment of distraction." Hermione said and briefly turned to look at Malfoy, glaring at him once more. He, too, returned her glare.
Professor Flitwick was fumbling with his wand, seeming to be rather stressed out as he looked between the two students. "I think I know what you mean, Miss Granger. And I think it would be wise for you both to head to Professor Dumbledore's office immediately. He'll be better at bringing the news than I am."
Hermione's eyes widened slightly. Bringing the news? What kind of news? And why did Professor Flitwick look so apologetic?
Granger! A voice bellowed in her mind, and her head immediately snapped to her left, looking at the burning glare of Malfoy. Understanding what he was going at, she decided to rest her questions for a few minutes as she hurriedly excused herself from her Charms professor, walking in a fastened pace to Dumbledore's office.
Remembering the password from the last time she visited his office with professor McGonagall at the beginning of the year for a question about her timetable, she hurriedly said the password to the Gargoyles and got on the stairs that were forming their way up.
Knocking on the wooden door that led to Dumbledore's office, she waited for the cheery voice from Dumbledore coming through the other end to allow her entrance. Yanking the door open, she panted slightly as she walked up to his desk.
"Everything alright, Miss Granger?" Dumbledore asked, slightly alarmed as he observed her. "Not really, sir." Hermione admitted and took a deep breath so she could explain the situation properly. In as much detail as she could, she explained to him what happened at Charms class, and it wasn't until she was done talking that Malfoy had finally caught up with her and casually walked into the office with a deep scowl settled on his face.
"How nice of you to join us, Mr Malfoy." Dumbledore said with a faint smile on his face, and if she was not mistaken, a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Couldn't say the same, old man. Hermione gasped softly at the harsh thoughts Malfoy was having about Dumbledore, and immediately turned around to look at him.
However, Malfoy just simply shrugged as he rolled his eyes at her. Frowning, she turned back around and saw Dumbledore looking curiously between the two. "Why don't you take a seat?" Dumbledore smiled and pointed at the chairs in front of his desk, and Hermione carefully sat down on it, always afraid she would fall backwards considering the chair was close to the edge of the platform.
Looking at Malfoy, whose scowl had not left his face and was stubbornly rooted to his spot, seemed unwilling to sit down. "I'd rather stand." He spat and Hermione raised an eyebrow, not quite understanding his cold behaviour to their headmaster.
She knew that Malfoy didn't like him much, but she didn't understand why he had to act so cold around the man. It's none of your business, Granger. Again the uncomfortable shivers ran over her body as his voice came crystal clear into her mind.
"Very well." Dumbledore, however, didn't seem affected by Malfoy's cold tone as he calmly went on. "I'll just get straight to the point, for the sake of both your restless minds." Dumbledore spoke and folded his hands on top of each other, his face sympathetic, but there were some underlying expressions that she could not quite differentiate.
"I'm afraid that the incantation that has been caused, has been one to link your minds in such a way that you two can now, as to say, read each other's minds." Dumbledore said and Hermione puckered her lips in thought. She had figured that out herself as well, but it still didn't make sense why they were so serious about this.
"What is it that you fear, sir?" Hermione asked and Dumbledore smiled lightly at her, most likely knowing that she was withholding herself from throwing all her questions out at once. "You see, Miss Granger, your unfortunate mispronunciation, has led to a spell that presumably belongs to the Dark Arts, and little people know of."
Hermione's mouth dropped wide open when he mentioned the fact that she – unwillingly – made use of the Dark Arts. "This spell is known for the effects you two now undergo, and as a punishment for invading each other's mind so personally, there is, I am afraid, no way to cure this."
The office fell dead silent as both students let the information sink in. But as silent as the room was, as loud was her mind. There was no possible way that this spell could be unrecoverable. There must be something out there to reverse the damage that had been caused. Wasn't there?
But what if there wasn't? Were they honestly going to be linked to each other's mind for their entire life? Were there any more consequences to this spell or was there some way to lessen the power of their linked minds?
A deep growl was heard behind her, and the angry "Granger!" that Malfoy shouted got her to stop thinking for a moment. "Professor, you can't honestly tell me, that I, Draco Malfoy, am supposed to listen to this insufferable Mudblood for a second longer."
The term he used to refer to her blood status got her hurt, she wouldn't deny that. It had actually been a few years since he last used that term, but in the moment of his anger he most likely seemed unable to control himself. She was pleased to see, however, that he had the right to momentarily look guilty for the word he let slip out before composing himself.
"First of all, I do not wish for such foul language to be spoken in my office, Mr Malfoy. Then secondly, yes, that is exactly what I'm telling you." Dumbledore spoke, looking stern over his half moon spectacles at Malfoy.
"However, I must ask of the both of you, to keep whatever you hear or see to yourselves. I'm quite certain we're all aware of the connections each has to another individual, and if words get out, there will be severe consequences. For the both of you." Dumbledore said, the twinkle in his eyes leaving as his stern eyes looked at the both of them.
"See?" Hermione asked with a raised eyebrow, not aware that she could actually see any of his thoughts, for she now only could have heard them. A faint smile seemed to return to her headmaster's lips as his features softened as he looked at her.
"Yes, Miss Granger, see. My best advice would be to pay a visit to the library, and look for a book called: Mind reading: the art of knowing. I will give you a permission slip for you to look into the Forbidden Section, so you will have your much needed answers." Dumbledore spoke and immediately reached out for the scroll of parchment that laid on his desk, and started to scribble a note in the neatest handwriting she had seen so far.
Handing the piece of parchment to Hermione, she got up out of her chair and made sure to keep a firm grip on it so she wouldn't lose it. "If any of you have any questions, you will know where to find me. But for now, I'm certain that the book will give you all the answers you will need." The mischievous twinkle returned in his eyes and Hermione couldn't help but wonder what he was so cheerful about. Because to her, this situation was anything but cheerful.
Thanking her headmaster, she said her goodbye as she headed out of the office and to the library, hearing Malfoy vaguely walking behind her as he, too, must have been wanting some answers. Passing the note to Madam Prince, they followed her as she allowed them into the Forbidden Section, a stern look on her face as she looked down at the students suspiciously.
Moving in the direction where Madam Prince had said the book would be, Hermione struggled as she just couldn't quite reach it. An exasperated sigh came from behind her as she got pushed to the side, and not so gently either. I swear this girl is as short as a toddler. It's a wonder she has been able to grab every book she read around here. The annoyed thoughts from Malfoy intruded her mind which she scowled at. She was not as short as a toddler. Yes, she might have been a bit shorter than she would've liked, but it wasn't that bad.
Nonetheless, she was glad that he did have the required height to easily grab the right book and followed him out of the Forbidden Section and to an empty table at the back of the library. No one needed to know that they were reading a book together, for they wanted to avoid any unwanted questions.
As soon as he dropped the book on the table – quiet enough to not get Madam Prince's attention - she eagerly opened it and skillfully scanned the pages, having read enough books to easily spot her wished information that she wanted to read. Skipping several chapters in just a minute, she finally spotted the words 'consequences' and 'mind reading' and left the page open at that.
CHAPTER SIX: YOU'RE GETTING BETTER AT READING MY MIND
For all I hold dear
I must ask once more
what do I do, when I can't do it anymore?
keep me awake.
So tiring and maddening
it's more than I can take.
But to quiet a mind
is to find peace within.
But what to do
when neither can win?
As many may have noticed by now, is that by performing this spell, you will have made a mistake. Constant thoughts penetrate your mind, none of which are your own. Sleepless nights, tired mornings.
But not to fear! Even though there is yet no cure to this unfortunate turn of events, there is still some hope for those who wish to seek relief. The beginning is always the hardest, but as your journey continues, you will notice that it becomes easier to do, and the never-ending foreign voices will leave you be.
To make it easier, we have put the journey in a few simple stages, all of which you will undoubtedly go through:
1. Being able to only hear thoughts and communicate
This means that all your thoughts can be read by the other. Neither one will have any control over it. Replying to someone's thought is very much possible by simply thinking your reply.
2. Being able to only hear thoughts and communicate
This is the same as stage one, only now you will have more control over your thoughts. Only your dominant thoughts will be read by the other person. Minor thoughts will only be read when the other voluntarily decides to listen.
3. Being able to see things the other has seen, as well as hearing thoughts
Once more you lose all your control – at least, when it comes to showing the other what you see. What the other can hear, however, is still the same as in stage two.
4. Being able to see things the other has seen, as well as hearing thoughts
You now have full control over both, and can even suppress certain hearing thoughts, shielding them from the other. This, however, is only achieved when having practiced enough, which shows some difficulty. This has to be done in such a subtle way, that the thought is considered minor so that the other will pay no attention to it.
5. Being able to see memories that occur in thoughts
Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, your partner with whom you are connected, can now see the memories that you think. In this stage, you have no control over this just yet. However, not every memory shall be seen. Only the ones that are dominant enough, shall be displayed to the other.
6. Full control
The final stage, where we finally achieve some peace. Even though the spell still remains, reading minds shall now only be voluntarily, and some can even be shielded after enough practice. Enjoy your well deserved rest!
Please do note that each stage will take around two months develop. To achieve the last stage, you will thus have to wait a year until you can finally get that peace.
But not to worry, it gets easier over time! Or at least, if you still live the day to see that.. Minds can make you do crazy things.. Good luck.
The pages seemed to go on more about the experiences of others, but she did not feel like reading those. It would only bring her spirits down even further, and besides, she was quite certain that she'll have the experience herself as well.
It truly was positive to know that there at least was a chance of improvement, but the required time to pass each stage was ridiculous. Two months for just a tiny bit of peace? And then the next stage you'd be presented with a whole new experience where you'll lose most of your control. And an entire year of constant working on their progress and listening to each other's thoughts.. she couldn't even stand the few times she heard him think, let alone an entire year before she could finally tune everything out.
That goes for both of us. The voice growled in her head and Hermione awkwardly cleared her throat, realizing that he in fact was listening to her. It was sometimes easy to forget that her mind was now open for reading to those she wished they wouldn't be able to do so.
Hermione heaved a deep sigh as she closed the book, figuring this was all the information they could use for now. Anything else that would be explained would not be to any advantage for them. They were still early in stage one, where they still had to find everything out.
Before she even had the chance to get up and take the book away, however, Malfoy grabbed it and easily placed it back on the bookshelf it belonged. And without another glance her way, he kept on walking straight out of the library, heading off to God knows where.
Not that she minded the slightest bit. It was worse enough having him with her the entire time, being able to listen in on any personal thoughts she had, let alone being around him all the time as well.
Leaving the library herself, she walked down the marble staircases as soon as she could. She already missed an hour of Herbology, and on top of that she missed half the time of lunch as well.
Taking a few deep breaths to calm down, she tried to enter the Great Hall as calmly as she could, briefly glancing at Professor Dumbledore who was gently smiling at her. Not feeling like returning the smile, she just averted her eyes and took a seat next to Harry and grabbed herself a piece of toast.
"'Mione! Where have you been?" Harry asked, and Hermione focused on Ron in disgust as he spoke whilst eating, showing the munched food clearly. "Yeah, I thought you were right behind us." Ron said, or, at least that is what he most likely tried to say with his stuffed mouth.
Hermione opened her mouth to speak and tell them what happened, but shut it immediately when Malfoy's voice snapped at her. Don't. He warned and Hermione's eyes shot to the Slytherin table, easily spotting the blonde haired boy that was purposely avoiding looking at her.
You can't decide that. My friends have the right to know. Hermione argued in her head, needing to remind herself to control her facial expressions as to not arouse suspicion. Actually, I can, Granger. I'm as much a part in this as you are. Don't tell them.
And why not? She truly didn't know why it was such a big deal. Hermione always discussed everything with the boys, just like they always discussed everything with her. Do you even need to ask? She could easily imagine the sneer that would go along with his arrogant voice right now.
You want me to stay shut about whatever I might hear between you and the idiots you call friends? Then don't tell. Was he honestly threatening her right now? Although, on the other hand she could understand. Harry and Malfoy were mortal enemies, and them knowing could drag some unwanted attention to it.
With a quiet groan she decided to keep it to herself for now. "I asked Professor Flitwick to give me extra work, and he permitted me to work on that when having Herbology." Hermione lied as convincingly as she could. Lucky for her she had time to improve over the years.
The boys were too distracted with their food to notice her little lie, anyway. "Extra work?" Ron asked as he had swallowed his food. "You get perfect grades! What do you need that for?" He asked incredulously and Hermione shrugged nonchalantly. "Knowledge is power, Ron. It never hurts to learn more."
I really might consider opting out like the book said. Hermione looked up just in time to see Draco's face turn sour, seeming to let out a heavy groan.
A/N: Please do leave a review, for it will let me know what you guys think about this story, and where you might like to see improvement. Please do keep in mind this is just the first chapter, though. Just an introduction for what's coming!