Disclaimer: I don't own anything coming from Harry Potter or Ranma 1/2. They belong to JK Rowling and Rumiko Takahashi respectively.
"-chan" after Harry or Ranma means they are in female form.
"Neko-" In front of Harry or Ranma means they are in cat form
"Bold and Italics" Letter
Magic and Martial Arts: Year One
Chapter 20- Desire
Hermione rushed into the Great Hall the morning after her fight with Harry and scanned the length of the Gryffindor table for any hint of her raven haired friend.
"I don't see him Ron." Hermione said worriedly looking back to her other friend as he finally caught up to the distraught girl.
Ron sluggishly walked up to Hermione and bent at the waist trying desperately to catch his breath.
"How… are you… not tired?" Ron wheezed out painfully, clutching his side to ease the pain from the cramp.
"Do you see Harry?" Hermione asked ignoring Ron's question all together and continued to look for Harry.
"Hang on a second, I think I'm dying here" Ron responded light-headedly leaning against the doorway.
"Ms. Granger, Mr. Weasley, any reason why are you blocking the entrance to the Great Hall" Someone sneered behind the two.
Ron and Hermione jumped slightly and turned around only to find Professor Snape's glaring face.
"Professor… umm, we were looking for Harry" Hermione explained nervously, fidgeting under the professor's harsh glare.
Luckily for them it seemed Snape was in a good mood because he displayed a somewhat sinister smile to the two.
"Ah, Mr. Potter" Snape drawled out "From what I was told, he's been sent back home due to unforeseen circumstances."
Ron and Hermione gasped slightly at the news, they're thoughts running a mile a minute trying to figure out why the boy would leave Hogwarts so suddenly.
Professor Snape gave a smirk at the two "Now if you'll excuse me…"
Ron and Hermione could only stare blankly at their Professor as he pushed pass them and took his seat with a somewhat disturbing smile adoring his features.
Ron's anger bubbled at the smile "That git, I bet he's all smiling because Harry's gone"
"You can't really be sent home, can you?" Hermione asked meekly, guilt washing over her.
Ron looked worriedly at Hermione.
Hermione gave a sad sigh as she glanced at the empty seat next to her. It was the Monday after Harry's and her little fight and she had yet to see her best friend. She had decided to put the encounter with the potions master behind believing that the man was just trying to scare her, but true to his statement Harry had not shown up for class today.
Absently she fiddled with the necklace that Harry had given her for her birthday, the pendent giving a calming vibe that soothed her much in the same way that Harry did. It was her most treasured possession along side the teddy bear that came along with it.
"Ms. Granger, are you alright?" Professor McGonagall questioned.
Hermione looked up in surprise and took a glance around, apparently she was the only one left in the class room again. 'really got to stop doing this'
"Sorry professor, I'm just a bit preoccupied" Hermione answered truthfully and started packing up her belongings.
"You're worried about Harry aren't you?"
Hermione's head snapped up at the question and turned towards her professor again.
"You're worried about Harry, I can tell, you keep fiddling with that necklace Harry gave you" Professor McGonagall stated.
Hermione looked down but nodded her head anyways.
"Don't worry he should be back, he only went home to think over a few matters"
"It was because of me wasn't it?" Hermione asked meekly thinking back on their little spat, she so wanted to just smack herself right now.
However all she got for the comment was the professor chuckling softly.
"It's not funny! He's my best friend I don't want to lose him" Hermione said angrily.
That only caused the professor to chuckle harder "My dear child, I think you are misunderstanding this whole situation. Harry didn't leave because of you, he's practically worships the ground you walk on"
Hermione gave the professor a disbelieving look.
"What you don't believe me? I don't think someone would give you that beautiful necklace if they planned to let a small argument come between you two" Professor McGonagall said light heartedly.
Hermione looked down and held Harry's gift gently. She let it comfort her for a second before she gave a radiant smile to her professor.
"That's much better, now you better run along you don't want to be late for lunch, do you now?" Professor McGonagall said with a smile only for it to turn into a look of surprised as the bushy haired girl engulfed her in a hug.
"Thank you so much professor" Hermione whispered into her chest.
"You're quite welcome child" Professor McGonagall said hugging the small girl back.
Hermione sat by the window in her dormitory watching the snow fall. It was a winter wonderland out there, something straight out of the story books. But despite that she couldn't enjoy it at all, not without Harry around at least. Even though the talk with Professor McGonagall had convinced her that it wasn't her fault, she had been without her best friend for weeks.
"Maybe I should write him" Hermione said to herself, "He did leave Hedwig here"
A few days after she had found out that Harry had left, Hedwig had flown though the window and took perch on her head. At first she had grown excited, figuring that Harry had written her but there was no letter attached. However, ever since then, Hedwig has stayed with her constantly except for classes and meals.
"Hello, Hedwig" Hermione greeted as she walked over to her bed where Hedwig was resting at.
Hedwig opened her eyes and gave a small hoot which Hermione guessed was a 'good morning' or 'good night' depending on who's schedule you were using.
"I think it's about time I write Harry don't you think?" Hermione asked.
Hedwig looked at her with a 'no duh' kind of look. Hermione let a small laugh out.
"okay, so I'm a little bit late" Hermione admitted as she set about writing a letter to her friend.
"Say, Hedwig why did you end up staying here while Harry went back home? Did he forget you?"
Hedwig gave an indignant muff which Hermione giggled at "How silly of me, Harry would never forget such a beautiful owl such as you"
Hedwig puffed out her chest a bit, looking as regal as a snowy owl should be and Hermione giggled once again. "So, your highness, why are you here? Harry tell you to stay?"
Hedwig nodded and flew to Hermione's shoulder. Once she settled she nuzzled with Hermione's hair a bit and gave her ear an affectionate nip.
"oh… he told you to look after me" Hermione figured. "I guess he really isn't that mad at me"
Hermione quickly finished up her letter and tied to it to Hedwig's leg "If you could please?"
Hedwig nipped her at fingers and took off though the window that Hermione opened for her. Hermione stared blankly at the window for a bit before turning around and headed for the portrait hole.
Hermione wondered around the halls lost in thought, she knew it was past curfew but she really didn't care at the moment. However, when she saw a light appear at the end of the hall ways she had second thoughts about this midnight excursion.
She turned around and quickly headed in the opposite direction only to see another light at the opposite end of the hall ways. Panicking slightly she scanned the hall way. Luckily there was a door ajar a few meters down, Hermione high tailed towards it.
Hermione held her breath as the light neared the door, fortunately the person ignored the opened door and continued on.
"P…p... professor Snape, w…what are y…you doing h…here"
Hermione went wide eyed as she recognized the voice 'why would Professor Quirell and Professor Snape be up at this hour'
"Don't pay coy with me. I know what you're doing. Have you figured out how to get past that beast?"
"I..I.. don't k… know what y…ou're t..ta.. talking about" Professor Quirell stuttered out.
"I'll take that as a no" Snape sneered "I'm watching you Quirell, you can't run away now"
Hermione watched as the corridor slowly darken and let out a sigh of relief, though her mind was going a mile a minute with the information she just overheard.
She definitely planned on telling Ron and if she could, Harry. Hermione took a look around the room that she had stumbled into, it was obviously and old classroom given the board and the raised platform, but what really stood out was the object in the middle of the room. Where every thing else was covered in dust, the object looked new.
Hermione walked up to it curiously, the object itself was covered in a large cloth and the thing itself was at least 7 feet tall. Hesitantly at first, Hermione raised her hand before slowly removing the cover revealing a beautiful full body mirror. It was obviously very old, and the gold frame was intricately designed. There was something written at the top but all that fell to the side as Hermione gazed into the mirror's depths.
"Ron! Ron! Wake up!" Hermione cried out softly as she tried to wake her friend.
After about the third time Ron finally jolted awake, "Who… What? Hermione?"
Seeing Hermione there Ron quickly pulled the covers up to his neck.
Hermione looked at him amusement "What are you doing Ron? You don't really have anything to cover up."
Ron sat up a little flush but ignored the question "What are you doing here Hermione, this is the boy's dormitory"
"I know, I know, but this is important, I need to show you something" Hermione whispered.
Ron nodded and followed Hermione out. His eyes widened as he saw her leave through the portrait hole. "Hermione it's after hours!"
"Yes it is"
Ron just watched in awe as the number 1 rule follower disregard the after hours rule so casually.
As Hermione retraced her steps Hermione started recounting the events, of how she came about the room, the conversation between Snape and Quirrel and finally the mirror.
Ron gazed at the mirror in astonishment and happiness.
Hermione looked at Ron's elated expression. "What do you see?"
"I see myself as Headboy, holding the Quidditch cup" Ron answered wistfully.
Hermione looked at the mirror analytically, "Seems it shows what our desires are"
"Hmm?" Ron responded absently still gazing into the mirror's depths
Hermione stared at Ron before pulling him away from the mirror. "It also seems to hypnotize you..."
Ron looked down sheepishly "Sorry"
"It's okay. So why do you think it's here?" Hermione asked out loud.
"I don't know, if it was moved recently maybe it has to do with the 3rd floor" Ron suggested.
"Maybe, what about the conversation between professor Snape and Professor Quirrell?"
"Seems to me that Snape is trying to scare Quirrell" Ron answered thinking back on the story Hermione told him.
"Makes sense, if someone or something is being hidden then there has to be a few protections guarding it. Who better to break these protections than the DADA professor"
Ron nodded "we should probably tell Harry. I'm sure that since we know this much he'll have to tell us the rest.
Hermione nodded in agreement.
Hermione sat in front of the mirror staring into it's depths with a melancholy smile on her face. It had been a week and Hedwig still hasn't returned. Without the snowy owl around to sooth her nerves Hermione had become increasingly lonely. So lonely in fact, that she had come to see the mirror almost every night since she had found it.
"I see you have found the pleasures of the mirror of Erised"
Hermione literally jumped into the air clutching her chest in the process. She quickly turned around only to see the Headmaster standing behind her also staring into the depths of the mirror.
"Headmaster!" Hermione exclaimed nervously "I… uh…"
"That's quite alright Ms. Granger, you're not in trouble" Dumbledore soothed causing Hermione to relax. She watched the Headmaster approach the mirror and examine it, no emotion playing on the elder's face. But even so she could tell he was seeing something, while the man showed no emotion, he gazed at the mirror with a startling intensity.
"Many have withered away at the whiles of the mirror. Desires can be such a powerful adversary at times." Dumbledore commented off handedly breaking his eyes away from the mirror and gazing at his student.
"Why don't you read the inscription at the top?"
Hermione stared at the Headmaster for a second trying to decode his cryptic messages before glancing up at the jumble of letters that she had missed earlier in her inspection.
"I show not your face but your hearts desire?" Hermione questioned glancing at the Headmaster again.
"Excellent Ms. Granger, I see Harry wasn't exaggerating about your brilliance."
Hermione flushed "About Harry…"
Dumbledore hummed "Ah yes, Mr. Potter, he did say you might ask about him. He seems to know you well. " He commented lightly.
Hermione nodded "He's my best friend" she said proudly
Dumbledore smiled "A very fine choice indeed, I doubt you'll ever find better. However, I do believe you wanted to know about Mr. Potter's current disposition?"
Hermione nodded quickly eager to know about her friend.
"Very well, however I've been meaning to inquire about that stunning necklace you have there" Dumbledore commented lightly gazing at the slightly glowing pendent around Hermione's neck.
Hermione looked down and grasped her treasure tightly, it had become something akin to comfort, something to look too when things got bad.
"Harry gave it to me for my birthday" Hermione finally said hesitantly, somewhat reluctant to share her treasure with her Headmaster.
"Ah I see, would it to be too bold to ask to see it?" The Headmaster asked lightly.
Hermione was torn, she really didn't want to anybody touch her necklace but it was the Headmaster and she really wanted to know about Harry.
"Okay, but I'm not taking it off" Hermione finally agreed.
"I didn't think you would" The Headmaster said happily as Hermione held out the pendant to him.
"...remarkable..." The Headmaster muttered "...never before..."
Hermione shuffled uncomfortably, but she wasn't sure if it was because of the odd position she was standing in or because someone other than her or Harry was touching her necklace.
After what seemed like an eternity the Headmaster stepped away from Hermione "Ms. Granger you have been given a remarkable gift, keep it close to you. I think you'll never find something like this again."
Hermione nodded slowly slightly confused at what the Headmaster had seen.
"Now, about Mr. Potter, let me see if this addled mind can recall what exactly happened..."
"Well this is a surprise, what do I owe for such a visit so late at night" Professor Dumbledore commented lightly when Professor McGonagall and Harry walked into his office.
"Headmaster seems Mr. Potter here is requesting for a brief leave." McGonagall answered stiffly.
The Headmaster's eyes widen, but other than that showed no action.
"This is a turn of events... well my boy, take a seat and tell me what led you to this course of action." Professor Dumbledore stated in a slightly surprised tone, after all it's not often that you find young children wanting to leave the school who taught them magic.
"Headmaster I just got into a fight with Hermione-chan"
"Oh?" Dumbledore asked with surprise, he knew those two were practically attached at the hip.
"About Nicholas Flemel and his stone" Harry continued.
Dumbledore choked a bit on nothing, while Professor McGonagall gasped slightly by Harry's side.
"And how, pry tell, did you come about this information?" Dumbledore asked sternly.
"You mentioned him the last time we spoke, so I just looked him up" Harry explained, pulling out two books that the Headmaster recognized as Hogwart's: History and it's Headmaster's edition counterpart.
"Very astute of you, but that doesn't warrant leaving the school"
"Hermione-chan is a very curious person, always wanting to learn. She wanted to know why she was almost killed on Halloween. It was dangerous so I kept the information away from her" Harry said quietly with his head down.
"I see and she found out about it. I'm sorry Harry, but I cannot let you go home for reason such as a disagreement between friends." Dumbledore reasoned, though he did feel for the boy's predicament, he wouldn't be able to pass the decision though the higher ups.
"Yes, Headmaster, it's not only that, I don't think I'm suited to be a wizard" Harry said solemnly.
Dumbledore and McGonagall both gave the boy a perplexed look.
"Why do you say that, Harry"
"You should know! I can't cast spells! No matter how hard I try, how perfectly I copy the movements, how well I say the incantation, it doesn't matter!" Harry cried out, his control finally slipping.
Dumbledore and McGonagall looked a bit uncomfortably at subject and that seemed to push the boy over.
"I am surprised that you are letting me stay in school" Harry finished as he narrowed his eyes at the two.
"Is there a reason why?" Harry asked after a second of scrutinizing his two teachers.
Dumbledore gave a soft sigh and wondered if he was slipping since an eleven year old seemed to be reading him like a book. "Yes Harry, there is a reason, however I cannot tell you at this moment."
Harry scowled but accepted it nonetheless "Yes, Headmaster"
"Now as for your magic problem, I'm sure there's some way we could help you get over that hurdle"
"Hey! Father Time you still haven't figured it out yet?"
Harry, Dumbledore and McGonagall all jumped a bit at the sudden interruption. Though Dumbledore really had to wonder why the Hat was being so active since Harry came to the school.
"Figure out what?" Harry asked
"We had discussed your predicament earlier in the year and the shorting hat had said it wasn't about having no control of your magic but the exact opposite." McGonagall explained.
Harry looked perplexed and was about to say something when the hat flopped down over his eyes.
"Well, well, Mr. Potter, or should I say Saotome Potter. I thought I told you to come visit me to discuss a few things" The Hat greeted out loud for everybody to hear.
"Sorry, Mr. Hat, it has been a bit crazy lately" Harry responded in kind.
"Mmm, yes you have been quite busy. You were even able to grasp the English language" The Hat commented "But if you'd come earlier I might have saved you some trouble"
"What do you mean?" Harry asked curiously.
"I'm speaking of your magic problem. One of the things I saw in your mind was the amazing control you have over your energies" The Hat explained.
"Energies? I can only control my ki though" Harry questioned.
"Yes, but if you control your life energy, you control everything in you, hence energies"
Harry looked a bit confused for second "If what you say is true then I should have perfect control of my magic"
"Mmm, not quite. How would you explain all the others because able to perform magic then, they don't even have a fraction of the control you have" The Hat countered almost humorously.
Dumbledore watched as Harry took on a thoughtful pose, it was times like these he wish he knew what was going on in the minds of his students, especially one so oddly unique as Mr. Potter. He'd had prepared himself for the time when the boy would come to his school, he expected many personalities for the boy; angry, controlling, shy, meek, arrogant. He was even prepared to deal with a boy who was slightly insane since he didn't know exactly what the killing curse had done to the boy. But what had arrived at the school was just... perplexing. The was no other way for him to explain it.
Dumbledore was knocked out of his thoughts though when the subject of his thoughts finally spoke.
"Headmaster, could you cast a spell please?" Harry asked politely. The Headmaster noticing that the Sorting Hat had resumed it's place on top of his shelf.
Dumbledore nodded and cast the levitation spell wondering to himself what exactly was the boy planning.
He almost dropped his wand though when Harry's eyes seem to take on a depth to it then wasn't there before. Although nothing changed in Harry's appearance, Dumbledore felt as if Harry was seeing the world differently; in ways the aged Headmaster would never understand.
The headmaster never before had heard such a word so filled with emotion; the sadness, grief and disappointment he could hear in just that one word made he want to just take the boy into his arms. In fact that is exactly what his deputy did.
"You alright Harry?" Dumbledore heard McGonagall whisper in the boy's ear, making him wonder how close the two were with each other.
After a couple of minutes listening to his deputy and Harry whisper to each other the Headmaster gathered their attention.
"I see there is more to this than it seems. If I may be so bold to assume that it has to deal with this other power you have?"
Both McGonagall and Harry nodded, which surprised the Headmaster a bit, maybe he should have listened a bit more carefully to their whispered conversation.
"Very well, I believe given the circumstances I can grant you leave to return home for an undetermined amount of time, pending that Professor McGonagall will vouch for you of course" The Headmaster stated finally.
McGonagall nodded and laid a hand on Harry's shoulder.
"Well, then I believe Harry you have some packing to do. Professor McGonagall and I will arrange for your departure while you're gone." Dumbledore concluded as he started pulling the paperwork up for Harry's leave.
"Thank you Headmaster" Harry responded and bowed before leaving though the door.
Hermione sat in silence with the headmaster for while contemplating the story she had just heard.
'I guess professor McGonagall was right, Harry didn't leave because of the fight we had' Hermione thought to herself and while she was upset at the reason why Harry left should couldn't help but feel happy and relieved that she wasn't the cause of his abrupt departure.
"Well Miss Granger, I believe it is time to 'hit the haystack' as muggles like to say" The Headmaster stated, startling Hermione out of her thoughts "And I believe it would be wise for you to also turn in. And please no more midnight escapades, I would hate for one of our upcoming prize pupils to get in trouble."
Hermione nodded quickly now reminded of her incursion of the rules.
"Oh and Ms. Granger, please do not go seeking this mirror again, it's temptation is simply to much for one to handle"