Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter in any way, shape, or form…trust me.
Summery: Hermione is now in her sixth year and she and her friends are preparing for the war to come. One night, while brewing a potion, something happens that causes Hermione to begin to lose her sight and find an unlikely friend in the darkness.
Hermione: 16yrs. (6th year)Ron: 16yrs. (6th year)Ginny:15yrs. (5th year)
Draco:16yrs. (6th year)Crabbe & Goyle: 16yrs. (6th year)
Blaise:16yrs. (6th year)Harry:16yrs. (6th year)
Hermione opened her eyes slowly to the brightness of the sun leaking through her dormitory window. It was her sixth year in Hogwarts with Ron and Harry. It surprised her every time she thought that there was only one more year left.
Sitting up in bed, she blinked a few times once she realized her vision was slightly blurred. After doing this she shook her head and looked about the room again to find that her vision had not changed.
Not to be deterred, Hermione simply walked over to her trunk and rummaged around until she found her glasses case. She had gotten a pair that summer for reading; the doctor had told her she'd spent too much time in the dark. Hermione couldn't tell him that she'd been reading by candlelight and not simply in the dark because the man simply wouldn't have understood. He wouldn't have known that she went to a magical school where electronics did not work.
Hermione placed the delicate frames on her face and winced a bit when she saw herself in the mirror. She never placed her looks in the area of great importance, but seeing herself in glasses, she had to admit that she now fit the stereotype of the bookworm.
Taking a deep breath to prepare herself for the rest of the day, Hermione grabbed her clothing and began to dress. The other girls in her dormitory were gone, seemingly to breakfast as the day had barely begun.
Grabbing a handful of her hair, Hermione decided last minute, to style her hair in a French braid. It was one of the things she'd begun to do over the summer as it kept her wild hair out of her way while she worked.
Finally satisfied with herself, Hermione grabbed her books and headed down to the great hall to meet Harry and Ron.
Blaise Zabini was having a bad day. No, scratch that. Blaise Zabini was having a horrible day. First he had woken up to the sounds of Pansy's pathetic pleading to Draco Malfoy. She wanted him to walk her to breakfast hand-in-hand. Draco, of course, refused with so much disgust that Blaise almost felt bad for Pansy…almost.
Then, on top of that, he had forgotten to do his charms homework and his favorite pair of sneakers were missing. Oh, that and he woke up next to some blonde who he couldn't remember.
The girl had awoken and kissed him soundly before standing up, grabbing her clothes, and getting dressed. Once she'd finished, she gave Blaise one last kiss before leaving his dorm.
He, of course, had been too stunned to respond. After she'd left he'd racked his brain trying to think of who she was and how she'd gotten into his bed. After ten minutes he gave up and had gone on getting ready for the day. He'd just ask Draco later. He always knew every girl from every house.
"Hermione," Ginny said waving a hand in front of her friends face. Hermione had shown up twenty minutes before, wearing a pair of glasses no one even knew she possessed, and had promptly taken a seat next to Ginny and across from Harry and Ron who were, at the moment, shoving food into their mouths with no regard to anyone else.
"Yes?" Hermione responded a bit startled. She'd been daydreaming and felt positively horrid. She'd never had this sort of problem before. "Sorry, Ginny, I must've spaced out." Ginny raised an eyebrow.
"Right," she drawled not sure if she should believe Hermione or not. She'd been acting weird lately. Waking up later and later, spacing out during conversations, and there had also been times when she was reading Harry or Ron's homework where she couldn't read a word at all. "Hermione, what's going on with you?"
"Pardon?" Hermione asked. Ginny sighed and Ron and Harry finally looked up from their plates to figure out what was going on.
"Hermione, what's wrong with you?" Ginny tried again. "You've been acting weird lately. If something's wrong, you can tell us you know." Hermione smiled.
"Thanks Ginny, but nothing's wrong. I'm fine. I just think I'm a bit overworked, you know."
"Sorry," Harry mumbled. He, Hermione, Ginny, and Ron had been spending late nights learning spells and potions to help them in case they ever had to fight someone who was well versed in the dark arts.
"Don't blame yourself," Hermione told Harry. "This isn't just your fight, Harry." Harry met Hermione's eye before mumbling a thanks and looking back at his food. Hermione sighed.
It had been this way ever since Sirius' death last year. Harry had pulled away, convinced that anyone of them could be used to hurt him. Like Sirius. He had even broken up with Ginny after dating her during the summer.
Hermione knew that Harry felt like it was all on him to destroy Voldemort and, in a way, it was but it was so hard to convince him that he wouldn't be alone. That she, Ron, and Ginny would be right there. Right beside him, no matter how it turned out.
"Louise Blackshire," Draco drawled to Blaise as the two strolled out of their common room casually. Blaise nodded in satisfaction.
'So that's who was in my bed this morning,' he mused silently.
"Did you two…?" Draco trailed off and Blaise shrugged.
"If we did, it wasn't memorable," he answered honestly. Draco laughed slightly.
"Not bad Zabini." Blaise smirked.
"What about you and Pansy?" Draco's upper lip curled in disgust.
"I couldn't kill her affection with an Avada Kedavra spell," he told Blaise. "I've tried to be nice, I've tried to be nasty…she just doesn't get it."
"How can she when your father promised you to her at the age of two?" Blaise reminded him. Draco shrugged.
"He's in jail now, he has no power over me any longer and Pansy has always known where she's stood with me. At least, she should know. You'd think, after five years, that she'd take a hint and leave me be." Blaise laughed.
"Zabini," Draco said suddenly as he stopped walking. "You do know that he's growing stronger don't you?" Blaise's jaw locked and Malfoy could see the muscle working there.
"I do," he nodded tersely.
"Then you know we'll have to pick sides soon." Blaise nodded again.
"I already have," he told Draco. Draco nodded a bit sadly.
Hermione sighed. This was getting absolutely ridiculous. Even with her glasses on, she was having a hard time reading the swirling words in front of her face. She pulled them off of her face and rubbed her free hand over her eyes.
It was getting worse. She'd have to tell them of course, ("them" being Harry and the others), but she couldn't bring herself to do that. If she told them she was having trouble seeing, then they'd worry more about her than about how to fight off the evil that was hunting them. It was better they didn't know…at least for now anyway.
With another sigh, Hermione placed her glasses back onto her face and gathered her things. She was going to go see Madame Pomfrey. Something had to be done.
Hermione sat on the infirmary bed assigned to her by Madame Pomfrey as she tried to take in what was being said to her.
"Excuse me?" she asked the woman in front of her.
"I'm sorry dear," Madam Pomfrey said. "There's nothing I can do. You're losing your sight. Can you think of anything that might have triggered this?" Hermione, suddenly breathless from her spot on the infirmary bed, tried to think.
"Um, there-there was a potion," she whispered desperately. "I was alone and I wanted to learn to make the protection potion. I-I knew it was complex but I thought I could handle it…I thought…" she sniffed. "It blew up in my face but it left no mark. Nothing. I wasn't hurt, there was no damage done…I thought," she tried again. "I thought I could handle it." She began to cry. "I thought I could handle it."
Ginny sighed as she followed Harry and Ron into the common room. Hermione had disappeared after breakfast to head to the library with the promise of meeting them for lunch. Ginny had nodded slowly in response, still worried about the older girl, but had let it go. Right then she had other things to worry about. Namely Harry.
"Harry," she called. "Harry, we need to talk." Harry frowned and nodded before making a quiet excuse to Ron who just raised an eyebrow before bounding up the stairs to their dormitory.
"What is it?" Harry asked once he'd reached Ginny.
"It's us," she answered him honestly. "Harry, I know you think that staying away from me will protect me but believe me when I say I don't care about him. I want to be with you and nothing he can do will stop that feeling." Harry shook his head.
"I can't take that chance," he admitted to Ginny. "It's bad enough that I'm even friends with you guys but I just need to know that someone's there. I know you want to carry my weight for me okay? I know that, but you can't. Voldemort is my fight and if he knows how I feel about you, he'll use you. I can't take that chance."
"Well I can!" Ginny exploded suddenly. "You are so selfish! Did you ever stop to think about what I wanted? Did you ever stop to think that I can handle him too?"
"You can't even say his name?" Harry shouted back. "How can you handle him if you can't say his name?"
"Voldemort!" Ginny shrieked. "Voldemort! Voldemort! Voldemort! Are you happy now? I've said his name. Voldemort doesn't scare me Harry. The only thing that scares me is not being there for you. Letting you go through this alone. That," she said lowering her voice. "That scares me."