Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoat Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Summary: Have you ever felt afraid to look in a mirror? I have. It's not my reflection that scares me, it's the feeling I receive when I see my face staring horrified right back at me. I have had this phobia for so long. If only...

The tall girl smirked down at the younger one. "Who on earth would want to be friends with you?" she asked scathingly.

Hermione's head lowered and she walked away.

"You're nothing but a freak!"

Freak freak freak

'I'm not a freak. I'm not a freak!' she cried mentally.

-and the world was spinning and she was hurting and she couldn't breathe and everything was just slipping and black, black, black…

She fell on her knees, sobbing. Her heart was going to implode she was sure of it. The pain; the never ending pain!

The teenager threw her head back, screaming. Her hands were twitching, as if she wanted nothing more than to scratch and rip and tear at something.

Get me out of here!

Her mother's concerned eyes slowly swam before her vision, and her ears popped as she heard her father's gruff voice somewhere in the distance.

"I want to…happened! …she on…?" the dizzy girl's father demanded.

Hermione's narrowed eyes gazed blearily at her mother, small tears cascading down her face from where they had been trapped on her eyelashes.

"Mommy? What's…going on?" she whispered slowly.

Her mother blinked furiously as her mouth widened to a relieved smile. "Oh, baby!" she cried as she gathered her daughter into a hug. "What happened, sweetie?"

Tired russet eyes immediately turned cold and narrowed. "Nothing," she responded stiffly.

Those hardened brown eyes glared at herself in the mirror.

I hate you

I hate you

I hate you!

A malicious laugh echoed through the room of mirrors. Hitting each glass surface and rebounding around her.

One lowly cracked mirror lay in front of the kneeling girl. A flash of memory flickered reflecting in her eyes. Her heart started to pound and tighten, and her lungs seemed small and tried desperately to leave her body. She was thrown into the shadowed mirror.

The small girl held herself confidently, walking on the train with a brief wave to her parents before she set out to find a, hopefully, empty compartment.

The bushy haired child had prepared herself for this leg of her life. After receiving her acceptance letter, she'd dragged her mother to Diagon Alley so that she could purchase all the necessary school supplies. The moment they had arrived back at home, Hermione locked herself in her room and read all of her textbooks. She probably knew more than three quarters of the first year students.

Relieved russet eyes looked into the seemingly empty room, and the girl sat down on the cushioned bench closest to the door. Not ten minutes later, the door opened to allow a small, pudgy boy who was looking out into the hallway with terrified eyes, practically squeezing the forest green toad that lay in his hands.

Turning around slowly as if just noticing someone else in the room, the boy glanced down at Hermione. He smiled nervously and gulped. "Um hello. Sorry, I didn't think anyone else was in here. Do you – mind? If I sit here I mean."

The eleven year old shook the masses of bushy chocolate hair that had entered her line of vision and had disrupted her view of the small first year.

"No, no it's fine," she spoke in a clear voice.

The boy smiled hesitantly and sat across from her, also near the door. He looked as if he was about to bolt.

"My name's Neville Longbottom, and this," he said pointing at the toad in his lap, "is Trevor. Are you a first year too?"

Hermione spared a short distasteful glance at Trevor before once again gazing at Neville. "My name is Hermione Granger, and yes, I am also a first year."

Neville tilted his head to the side, confused. "Granger? Are you muggleborn then?"

The girl's top lip folded as she bared her teeth, and snarled, "Yes, I am. Is that a problem?"

The boy's eyes, once having been calm if not slightly nervous, turned fearful as he frantically shook his head. However, as his attention had wavered, Trevor hopped out of his lap and into the hallway. The boy cried out for him, momentarily forgetting about Hermione.

Said girl shook her head so that she could gather herself. She watched as Neville ran out of the compartment, stumbling after his toad. Realizing the perfect opportunity to explore the train, Hermione exited, albeit with more grace than Neville had, and headed the other way.

She glanced through the glass doors for interesting characters when she found one near the end of the train. The compartment held two boys, one a red head and the other with black hair and the greenest eyes Hermione had ever seen.

She opened the door and poked her head inside. "Excuse me, by any chance, have either one of you found a toad?"

© 2008 Inyx Dawn