As Hermione walked, she mused about men.
There were good ones and bad ones. No one was all saint, or all sinner. Some were more light than dark, and some were completely different than they originally seemed.
Like Draco and Ron. Upon first meeting them, a stranger would paint Draco black and Ron white. But Hermione knew the real state of things. She'd known for quite a while about Ron's "dark side".
But she'd had Draco all wrong. She hadn't known that she would find a friend and more in him.
It was like coming out of the shroud of night into a brilliant new morning. The sun finally broke through the clouds to chase away all the hurt and sadness. It spread its warming glow to the very edges of the earth to proclaim a bright new start. Everyone gets another chance.
Hermione felt like this was her second chance. She didn't know what was going to happen next, but she felt light and happy. She hadn't felt like this in a long time. There were still things to figure out and knots to untie but right now, she was happy.
She had no Ron to contend with. She only wished Draco were here too. Hermione wasn't sure when she'd see him next. That made her happy a moment a little bittersweet. But at least she had time and space to plan.
When she was in a more sure state of mind she'd be able to apparate successfully.
Hermione was nearly to Kirkwall. It was a small town with a lovely old cathedral. It looked like a peaceful place to think. She made her way over to it and sat outside on the front steps.
How many people throughout the ages have come here seeking solace? She wondered. Now here I am, trying to solve my own problems. Should I go back to Hogwarts? Should I wait?