It's funny how love does that. Flies into your life, hits you in the heart, takes you by your hands and twirls you mercilessly around the dance floor. You're dizzy with love, almost drunk on love, euphoric as you are twirled around. Then – he lets you go. And you fall, repelled like the wrong pole of the magnet, and you crash, on the floor, against the wall, panting, out of breath. The other people on the dance floor are laughing, and you watch, dazed, as your love is off, dancing with some other girl, probably leggy and blonde, twirling her as mercilessly as he twirled you. That's love. That's life.

At least, that's how it was for Hermione Granger. Cupid's arrow had well and truly hit the bull's eye, and she had fallen – no not fallen, dived into this love, so suddenly that she had lost sight of her reserve, her senses, and had forgotten to come up for air. And now, now her love had gone, she realised she needed air.

And so she would leave, fleeing the place that her love had been. The Astronomy Tower, clichéd resort of all canoodling couples; the Room of Requirement which would turn into an unnumbered suite in an unnamed hotel at the slightest blush of a thought; that secret broom cupboard on the fourth floor – the one that nobody knew but them; the Gryffindor tower, where she could still hear their furtive footsteps creeping up to his dormitory. Hogwarts. The dreamy castle, where she had fallen in love, and fallen so hard! Her home for seven years.

But she had lost him. Lost him to a leggy blonde. I should've known, Hermione thought, surveying her own physique critically. The slightly rounded stomach, the curve of her hips, the gentle tapering of her waist and the protruding of her breasts – she had grown into a woman. She had become a woman here. At Hogwarts. She had given everything to him. Here he had awakened her to womanhood, in all its passionate, tumultuous nature. She had given herself to him so wholly, so willingly, not restricting anything from him, not leaving herself anything in reserve. She had given her heart, her soul, her body.

And now he had thrown it all back at her! Preferring Lavender to her, a rather nondescript brunette. Well which would you choose? She couldn't blame him there. A graceful blonde with 32.5 inch legs who would fawn over him disgustingly and practically give him lap dances at the breakfast table was bound to win – over her, Hermione Granger, the girl who loved books more than boys. Had loved books more than boys, she corrected dismally.

At least he waited until after NEWTS. At least he let me do my best in my exams before dumping me. She pushed a curly lock away from her face angrily, trying to stop her hair sticking to her tears as she packed.

"Hermione? Honey are you up here?" It was the voice of Ron's little sister, Ginny Weasley.

"Up here Gin," Hermione called back wearily, pulling the zip round her trunk and sitting on it.

The door opened slightly and Ginny Weasley entered, a concerned look on her face. "Ignore my brother. He's being such a twat!" Ginny exclaimed, flopping down on Hermione's bed, her red hair clashing violently with the crimson curtains draping by her friend's four-poster.


"It was Fred and George's fault. I told Ron not to do it – but they were offering him some money and you know what my stupid brother's like! Honestly Herm if I had known he'd choose you as their guinea pig I wouldn't have let him do it. And now you're sitting up here feeling sick-"

"But I'm not feeling sick!" Unless you count lovesick…

"The new powder they've made to put in the Skiving Snack boxes. Makes you feel sick." She waved her hand dismissively.

"No. They didn't try it out on me." She answered glumly.

Ginny sat up on her friend's bed, a new frown appearing on her face. "Look, just because I'm Ron's sister doesn't mean I have the emotional range of a teaspoon too, you know. What's up Herm? Come on, I see that lip going there!" She gently teased her friend.

Hermione burst into tears and sat, shaking on her trunk. Ginny quietly slipped off the bed and crouched down behind Hermione, putting her arm around her shoulders. "Hey… hey… what's all this for? What's happened? Deep breaths, stop crying. Oh Herm!"

Gasping for breath, Hermione squeezed her eyes shut trying to stop crying. "He dumped me." A new wave of sobs tore from her body, wracking her chest as she swayed.

"No way! He didn't! Oh Herm – what did he say?"

"He didn't say anything. He was just hugging Lavender, caressing her the way he used to cuddle me… what did I do wrong? Why's he in love with her? I love him!"

"Oh sweetie. What are you going to do?"

"I'm leaving. I'm leaving Hogwarts, and the wizarding world. I'm just going to go, someplace no one can find me."

"You can't! No – I mean – what about NEWTS?"

Hermione shrugged. "What about them? I've sat them. I daresay Hogwarts' owls can find me to deliver my results. I can't stay here though Gin – you know that. Not when he's with her. I'd die. I know it."

"You really are in love with him aren't you?" Ginny said sadly. "Can I not persuade you to stay? For your friends? Ron and I'll miss you."

Hermione shook her head. "Thanks hun, but no. I have to go. I have to leave."

"Write to me."

"I can't!"

"Why not? Please Herm!"

She sighed, relenting at the look on her friend's face as they sat comforting each other. "Promise you won't tell anyone you're writing to me? And don't tell anyone my address!"

"I promise!"

"I'll owl you when I'm settled. Oh Ginny I'm gonna miss you!" Her eyes watered as she grasped her friend in a fierce hug, releasing her immediately.

"I'm gonna miss you too – bye Hermione." Her voice trailed as Hermione picked up her trunk and with a grimace, picked up an old quill and felt the familiar tug on her navel.