Disclaimer: I am in no way anyone who owns Harry Potter and surrounding and supporting characters and universe. In fact, my sister stole my set of books, so I don't even have that.
AN: I am alive! To anyone who reads any of my other stories, I am AT WORK on them. There will be updates arriving, hopefully before American Thanksgiving. (Hopefully) In the meanwhile... Canon until book 5, then, well, for now it is canon, but that is subject to change, depending on what happens next.
Also, something to note about this series of short point of view bits - they are powerfully Point of View! That means that each narrative is colored by personal prejudice and thought. In the case that anyone is confused,
Chapter One is about Sirius Black, told by Remus Lupin
Chapter Two is about Harry Potter, told by Hermione Granger
Chapter Three is about Remus Lupin, told Lily Evans (Potter)
Chapter Four is about Luna Lovegood, told by her daughter
And this chapter is about Hermione Granger, as told by Neville Longbottom
And, with no further ado,
Introspection: Hermione Granger
I was always jealous of her. Hermione, I mean. It was silly, yes, for a slightly chubby pureblood boy to be jealous of a strong, wild, bookish muggleborn. But I was.
I saw from the beginning, the way Harry Potter found being Ron Weasley's friend exhausting. The redhead had three tracks that played daily – eating, Quidditch, chess. Flip, repeat. Yes, I know about cassette tapes.
It wasn't that I wanted to be the friend of Harry Potter, the Boy Savior. It was that I wanted to be friends with the slightly shy kid with horrible hair, huge glasses, and wrists too small for a proper watch. The kid who stood up to Malfoy for me, the kid who told me that I (me, Neville the Squib!) was worth twelve of Malfoy.
But Hermione, not me, became the third in what would be known in the future as "The Golden Trio."
She was very strong-minded, and believed in books to the point of her detriment. I still can't believe a girl with her brains fell for Lockhart, but, she always had a little too much respect for authority.
Fourth year, I had a small crush on her. Alright, a huge crush. She had grown, and her wild brown curls paired with a firm body built by lugging too many books was something for me, the unpopular boy, to dream about.
I even got up the courage to ask her to the Yule Ball.
Obviously, someone else saw her beauty first.
There died my crush.
I'm not sure I realized just how linear she was, how one-way-and-only-one-way she was, until the DA began. I mean, she had always tried tutoring me, because I was terribly behind, and I lost points for Gryffindor. But, it had never worked.
In the DA, I saw the two different ways one could learn, and I was startled by how different they were. Hermione taught like a normal teacher, "here is the problem, find the solution." She tried to get Harry to teach the DA like that.
Harry taught the DA "here is the solution, find the problem. Good, now find your way from the problem to the solution. Reverse it. Feel it." In comparison, Harry was like an orchestra in full concert, while Hermione was a determined, but steady, scale.
As the year drew to a close, I became more and more aware of the tightening stress on the bonds between the "Golden Trio." And then Sirius died.
I think, in that moment, something inside of Harry that had been struggling for so long to stay together had finally shattered. After that night, his face was so empty, so haunted.
Hermione noticed it. Of course she did. Hermione Granger was very good at noticing things, she always had been. It was responding to them that she didn't always understand, because Hermione was structured and by-the-book. If a book said it, it was true.
But Harry wasn't an experiment in a Self-Help book. All of Hermione's attempts were pushing him further and further away. Even Ginny noticed it.
"They think we're still children," she said bitterly, "And Hermione's actually willing to accept that."
I found that I spent a lot more of my time with Ginny, now, rather than trailing around behind the "Golden Trio." When I mentioned the silly moniker at one point, she had snorted, and said, "What does that make you, me, and Luna? The Silver Trio?"
Perhaps it was partly hysteria, but it took us a while to stop laughing.
"Besides," Ginny had said, slightly breathless, "Luna spends more time with Harry these days that Harry with Ron and Hermione."
And it was true.
Summer seemed to move oddly, fast and slow simultaneously. I sent letters to Ginny, and received novels back; I sent letters to Luna and received detached ramblings carted by foreign birds; I wrote to Harry and received shaky, uncertain replies.
I wondered, as summer drew to a close, did Hermione (Queen of Noticing, yes, I've read Doctor Doolittle,) notice the odd way that Harry wrote? Did she confront him, or ignore it?
September First was a Sunday, at the beginning of our sixth year. Sleepy-eyed and dodging muggles, we boarded the train.
I met Luna wandering the corridors, and it took little time to locate the rest of our group of six. Hermione's irritated voice was easily audible from quite a ways away.
Her strident tones stopped abruptly, but Ron's angry shouts were vocal beacons, and it took me and Luna only moments to find the right compartment and enter.
Sitting next to a window, looking irritated, Ginny beckoned us past Hermione and Ron. Sitting beside her, I wondered how it was that Ron was related to her. I mean, Ginny was an image of perfection, and Ron was… well… an arse.
Hermione was huffing. Something about Harry not being in contact all summer. Really, I couldn't understand that she didn't see. Harry looked… broken. As if something vital to his soul had been shattered.
I had always thought that Hermione was one of the smartest people I knew, but she resembled Mrs. Weasley in her self-centered fury. Puffed up and narrow-minded. She somehow managed to even be offended by Luna when the quiet blonde moved Hermione's book-bag and sat beside Harry!
She shut up her not-quiet sighs when Malfoy entered for his annual chat.
Malfoy sneered on and on, insulting Harry's parents, grandparents, and various relatives, along with their sexual habits. Through it all, I could feel Ginny tensing up beside me – even if Luna was somehow keeping Harry from ripping Malfoy's throat out, Ginny was becoming rather offended for Harry's sake.
Then, Malfoy made his biggest mistake – Hermione gasped, and Ron turned bright red – Malfoy mentioned Sirius Black, and insinuated that his death was a good thing.
To this day, I have never seen anyone move so fast. Harry seemed to just move, and his wand was out and down, flinging four spells forward with the ease that can only come from practice and natural capability.
Malfoy was out with the door slammed before the rest of us could blink. Oh, and he was wearing a tutu. Ginny and I had to fight to keep from laughing. Hermione, for some mysterious reason, looked even more upset than usual.
We were lucky, I guess – our Defense Professor seemed to be a normal human being with no plots to harm or kill any students. Hopefully.
The only problem was that he was the type of teacher who would have been wonderful in 1991. Now? Now, even I was bored and not learning anything useful.
Harry took one look around the classroom, and made an easily readable decision. DA was back in business. As soon as our first Defense period finished, Harry passed me a note.
"Pass the word on. RoR, Tonight, 8 pm."
At lunch, I made sure to sit next to Ginny, so that I could tell her that the DA was back. Across the Hall, I saw Hermione shaking her head at Luna. Why?
I told Ginny about the DA. Grinning widely, she kissed my cheek and danced out of the Great Hall. It took me ages to remember how to move again.
That evening, I realized what Hermione had said to Luna – from the old members of the DA, there was nearly a full turnout – Chang and Smith and Edgecomb didn't come, obviously – but Hermione and Ron were nowhere to be seen.
I was so confused by that. It had been Hermione who had convinced Harry to create the DA in the first place. And now, she didn't come? I asked Luna what Hermione had said, and Luna had just shaken her head.
I got my Patronus on the first try, during our review. So did Ginny. Hers was different though, from what it was last year. Last year, it was a horse. Mine's still a lioness. Smith laughed, last year, but then Hermione told him that it was in fact, the lioness that fought and hunted.
Ginny's Patronus is a bear. I couldn't help but wonder why it changed.
After the DA meeting, Harry passed out golden medallions. They were Portkeys, he said, permanent Portkeys to the Chamber of Secrets. They would also return the wearer to wherever they were before use, on second use. On one side, the rune Sowilo was engraved, while on the other side was the rune Elhaz.
How could Harry have known how important those medallions would become – that they would be the beginning of a network within the Wizarding World.
Days grew into weeks, and Hermione Granger grew conspicuous in her absence from Harry's side. More often than not, it was as if she had utterly forgotten who it was who had saved her life several times over – who it was who had been the binding glue between Granger and Weasley.
I can remember the very day, to which I can point, that I lost my faith entirely in Hermione Granger. Despite her brilliance, and her potential for greatness, it was September 28th, 1996, that I realized that she had fallen from her pedestal in my mind.
She and Ronald Weasley kissed.
It seems so little, and you might even wonder if it was because of my old crush that I felt this way, but it was for another person entirely.
I will never forget the struck expression on Harry's face, when the two of them kissed. He had mentioned, only days prior, that he wished to perhaps make up with the two of them.
There was no hope, now.
I could only congratulate Ginny, and watch as Harry slipped out of the celebrations for our first Quidditch win.
Within the week, Harry had practically stopped spending any time with Gryffindor. He would smile weakly at me, or Ginny, but he wandered about Hogwarts beside the spindly blonde from Ravenclaw.
Mid-October, Ginny confided that she had caught Harry and Luna kissing.
Actually, what she did was stalk up to me, kiss me until I fell over, and then told me that she was horny due to watching a certain couple in the library.
I couldn't believe how oblivious the rest of the world was – more specifically, the ever-proud Sixth-Year prefect, Hermione Granger. Harry spent his days in a daze, only seeming to wake when in Luna's presence.
Meanwhile, Granger and Weasley spent more and more time together, seemingly forgetting that Harry was once their best friend.
One evening, in the Common Room, raised voices drew all eyes to a small corner.
"I can do it myself!"
"It will be late, and I can help!"
And then –
"Bloody HELL, Granger, just STAY OUT OF MY WAY! I can do my OWN homework, and write my OWN essays! LEAVE ME ALONE!"
The slam of the portrait stunned us all for a moment, and Hermione stared after the vanished form of Harry Potter. She looked around, as if utterly clueless at what she had done. Ginny plopped down on my knees, and I kissed her neck absently.
How could Granger not see? First, she treated him like dirt, and now, as if he has no brain? It is no wonder that Harry got angry at her.
Feeling a prickle on my neck, I looked up to see her eyes on me. I rolled my eyes.
"You're losing him."
But she didn't seem to hear me.
I took Ginny to Hogsmeade, Halloween weekend. She and I wandered about, and I mused at how far we had come from our 'first date,' the Yule Ball. Through the window of the Three Broomstick, I could see Hermione and Ron talking and kissing.
When I pointed them out to Ginny, she gagged.
And then, right amidst the sunny and cheerful afternoon, Death Eaters attacked.
We all fought – even Hermione and Ron – but it was easy to tell who was DA and who was not. The DA was clearly at advantage, crushing the Death Eaters, and popping in and out with the injured.
Only breaths later, it seemed, it was all over. The Aurors and teachers had arrived.
I saw Granger leaning against a fallen wall, looking utterly exhausted. Maybe, now she would rejoin the DA.
I followed her line of sight, and saw Harry kneeling at the body of one of the few casualties. He was bleeding, and brushing ineffectually at the dead girl's face, as if to heal her, somehow.
Luna stumbled past me, and stopped behind Harry, putting her hand on his shoulder. Leaning forward, she murmured in his ear.
"Sowilo, love. My Sol."
Harry stood slowly, and fell into Luna's arms like a small child.
That evening, they missed dinner, but the Grey Lady informed me that they had been spotted by the Room of Requirement.
I spread the word that the DA shouldn't go there for the night.
Autumn fell into winter, and snow cloaked the castle and grounds. It lit a candle in everyone's hearts to see Harry and Luna rolling about in the snow, playing some game that made sense only to them.
Despite Luna's previously mentioning at trip to Sweden for Christmas, they both stayed at Hogwarts over break. Granger begged and pleaded, alongside her boyfriend, but Harry refused to leave Hogwarts.
One evening in February, after the DA meeting, Harry pulled me aside.
"Neville," he rasped, his voice strange from a mix of shouting and disuse. "How have you been?"
I stared at him. "Fine," I replied. "I'm going out with Ginny." Inane comment, I thought to myself. Harry has a personal conversation for the first time in ages, and I talk about my girlfriend?
But Harry just smiled. "Yes, congratulations." A lock of hair fell into his eyes. "Listen, can you get Hermione off my back?"
I blinked. "What?"
"She's been bugging me about my visions, and about –" Harry stopped abruptly, but I got the message.
"I'll see what I can do."
For the rest of the school year, I used every last bit of cunning I had to distract the Gryffindor Ravenclaw. I grew irritated with her tenaciousness, and stunned by her determination. Hermione had the ability to focus on one thing, and one thing only, and never turn away.
In a way, I admired that. In a way, I hated it.
Eventually, the school year drew to a close. The ride to London was eerily quiet. We were all wary of an attack from the Death Eaters, and were relieved when the train pulled into King's Cross.
As we all went our separate ways, Ginny pulled me into a long kiss. "To keep from seeing Ron kiss her," she murmured, as we pulled apart.
I frankly couldn't blame her.
I couldn't hold back a wistful smile, though, as Harry stood on tiptoe to kiss Luna goodbye.
The look on Hermione's face was amusing, also – she looked as if someone had smacked her.
I saw none of them, over the summer, although a note had come from Ginny through Muggle post, just mentioning that Professor Lupin had died, and that Ron and Hermione were absolutely sickening.
But summer ended, as all summers do, and we soon found our way back on the Hogwarts Express.
I sat with Ginny and Harry's trunk – Harry was too busy pacing the corridors. He was like a panther, all dark and stormy as he prowled. Hermione had attempted to speak to him, and given up. I wondered where her Gryffindor heart had gone.
Even Malfoy avoided Harry.
We pulled into Hogsmeade station around eight, and Harry continued to carry storm clouds over his head. We entered the Great Hall, and somehow managed to seat Harry between myself and Ginny.
Then, suddenly – Chaos.
Death Eaters poured into the room, and we were all drawn into the fight. I watched and fought simultaneously, throwing vicious spells that Harry had cautioned us to only use in just such a situation. But just when the tide was beginning to turn in our favor, and voice sent silence across the Hall.
Voldemort had entered Hogwarts.
Harry hurtled into a duel with his mortal enemy. Sword in his left hand, and wand in his right, it was vision of awing inspiration.
But Voldemort was more experienced, and soon had removed Harry's wand and sword from the equation.
Luna cried out – when had she gotten here? – "Harry!"
And Harry lifted both hands, and began to fight. Wandless.
Roaring, I took over Harry's previous opponent, Bellatrix, barely noticing as Luna calmly dispatched Lucius Malfoy, Rodulphus Lestrange, and Rabastan Lestrange. Ginny destroyed someone named Carrow with a ferocious shriek, before blowing up their brother and vaporizing Umbridge.
An explosion of blue light stopped all of the fighting, and suddenly, all eyes were focused on the main duel – Harry and Voldemort.
Harry spat a Parseltongue spell, and green light enveloped both fighters – Voldemort screamed in agony. Streams of purple light flowed in every direction, and the green light turned silver.
Like a slowed Pensieve memory, Voldemort toppled to the ground.
Those Death Eaters that were still alive, collapsed.
Harry dropped to his knees, and smiled, his eyes blank and unseeing.
Luna blasted through the piles of destruction, her eyes wild. I had never seen her so focused, so intent, in all the years I had known her. Tumbling beside Harry, Luna stroked his hair, ignoring her own injuries.
At that moment, as Harry lifted a hand to touch her cheek and murmur something, I was struck by how tiny he was. I felt my heart thundering in my chest, as Harry stirred, and grew still.
Across the Hall, Hermione Granger gasped, and fell to the ground. Ginny moaned, and struggled over to me, hugging me tightly. But it was Luna's response that told us exactly what had occurred.
She tilted her head, ignoring the blood and tears that painted her face, and opened her mouth. Her scream was silent, but the agony was loud enough to be heard by even the most deaf of men.
At the funeral, Luna held a bundle of black – the reason she had not been on the train.
This, though it pained us all, was a turning point for many. I asked Ginny to marry me. Padma Patil definitively split from her twin. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger broke up.
Hermione placed her Head Girl badge in Harry's grave.
It was a turn for the better, for her, I think. She never became a part of the DA, but she was our liaison, you might say. She visited Harry's grave every year, and used the money left to her from him to build a tiny bookstore. Harry's Haven, she called it.
On the anniversary of Harry's death, in 2003, Hermione sent an urgent note to me and Ginny, one that cemented her turn from selfishness, in our eyes.
To Harry's Vanguard – Scrimgeour and Flint have ordered Tsuki unfit as a guardian for Sowilo's flower. Hurry.
Thanks to the message, we managed to save Luna from the first of many attempts to take Lily Selene Potter from her mother.
In 2009, Hermione Granger married a muggle, and left our world, permanently, after selling her bookshop to WWW Ltd.
I never saw her again. My memories of her were mixed, filled with negatives and positives, but overall, I remember her as well-intentioned and bull-headed.
In short, Hermione Granger.
AN: There you go. Also, I have finished the sequel to Out of Place; it is called Purple Snowflakes.