Harry Potter and the Gilded Portrait

Chapter 47 – Deleted Scenes;

Below is a small collection of ideas and scenes that I did not use in the story for one reason or another. I'm not sure why I'm posting this but I found them while clearing off some clutter from my writing files so instead of dragging them to the waste bin I thought I would share them…Thanks for reading!

Deleted Scene Number One;

A.N. – This was a scene I was going to use to escalate the deterioration of Hermione and Ron but I went in a different direction…

…As Harry sat wondering how his life had seemed to veer so far off course, he heard the 'pop' of apparition out in the main hallway. He knew it could be only one of two people since the three people could apparate in and out of #12 were himself, Ron and Hermione. Hermione usually chose to use the flue though, saying it was only polite not to just barge into someone's home like that.

Harry had assured her that he didn't mind but, he knew Hermione well enough to know that she wouldn't anyway.

When Ron made his way into the drawing room, Harry could tell right away that he was extremely agitated about something. He had a copy of the Daily Prophet clutched tightly in one white-knuckled fist. His jaw was set in a hard line.

Oh boy…he must have seen that article about Hermione!

Harry couldn't believe that he would actually believe that tripe! Ron knew that she had sent her parents away and it should have been obvious to him that she would have to go get them back but Harry also knew, if the stories in the Prophet about him held any truth at all, that very little penetrated Ron's fire whiskey addled brain these days.

His long nose seemed to be a permanent dull shade of red.

"Seen the Prophet today?" Ron asked, rocking slightly on the sofa.

Harry simply held up the copy he laid down when Ron stormed in.

Ron lurched to his feet and began pacing the room.

"I can't believe it Harry," Ron growled, "I can't believe she would run off to see that…that…BLOODY BULGARIAN BASTARD! I can't believe she would do that to us!"


Harry rubbed his eyes tiredly. He was about to calmly explain to Ron that the story was complete fiction and tell him he was being a total prat when he heard the fireplace in the kitchen flare and heard Hermione's voice calling from below.

"Harry, are you here?" She sounded like she was angry herself.

Harry groaned internally and closed his eyes. Things, he knew, were about to get very sticky.

Ron froze mid-stride. His face crumpled in a mask of rage.

Harry stood up. He was suddenly feeling very apprehensive.

"Ron!" He gave his best mate a warning.

Hermione blustered through the doorway and the moment her eyes lighted on Ron's figure she stiffened. She was carrying her own copy of the Prophet.

Harry found himself silently cursing the whole right to free press thing.

Harry could see right away that Hermione did not look very good at all. She seemed thin and drawn. He could tell from the flush of her cheeks that she was ill. He wanted to step between them but he knew that this was something that needed to happen and he also knew that he would be powerless to stop it.

He also had a fairly good idea that Ron was about to make a complete idiot of himself but Harry was tired of saving his best mate from himself. It was time for Ron to grow up.

Round One…Ron Weasley….

He held up his crumpled copy of the paper and glared at her.

"Mind explaining this?"

Hermione lifted her head slightly.

"Explain what Ronald? That you're strangling a copy of the Daily Prophet?"

Ron was barely containing his rage.

"Romania lovely this time of year, is it?"

"I wouldn't know," was Hermione's calm response.

Harry could see that Hermione was trying to avoid the impending confrontation but he also knew that she would not back down if pushed.

He was right…of course.


Hermione's face darkened. Harry could see a frightening tempest brewing in her tired brown eyes.

"Is that what has your knickers in a twist?" Her voice was dangerously calm and even.


Hermione moved slowly toward Ron. He squared himself.

"Is that what you believe? That I ran off to visit Victor? Well…seems to me by what the Prophet's been saying these days about one Ronald Weasley I'm surprised you even noticed."

Hermione unfolded her copy of the paper and thrust it in Ron's face.

"Whose darling little face is plastered all over the front page?"

The cover photo was of Ron with his arms around two very attractive blond witches. One was a famous singer and the other a wealthy socialite.

Ron seemed to pale slightly. Harry just leaned against the wall and waited.

"A few of your many Fan Club members I suspect."

"They're not my fan club, Hermione. They're just some people I met at a charity fund raiser for the Leprechaun Children's Orphanage in Buxley yesterday."

"Oh yes I know. You're quite the social butterfly these days. What was it the day before…oh yes…I recall you were asked to endorse a new line of Quidditch helmets wasn't it, or was it the launching of the new Night Bus?"

Ron bristled.

"So what's wrong with any of that?"

Hermione looked very weary. She felt she shouldn't have to explain to him that she thought they were supposed to be together. She also knew that with each appearance Ron made, he was always photographed with his arm around one or more devastatingly attractive young ladies.

"Nothing Ron, "she sighed, "nothing at all."

"That's right. I'm just having a bit of fun, that's all. It's not my fault that you and Harry want to be shut-ins."

Harry visibly winced.

Ooh Ron! Mate…you should have learned by now when you should just keep your bleeding mouth shut.

Round Two…Hermione Granger…

"Shut-ins…SHUT-INS!" Her face flushed a deep scarlet, "You stupid, brainless twit! Do you think Harry and I want to live this way? Do you think we enjoy getting mobbed by thousands of people every time we go out the door or having flashes from photographers follow us where ever we go?"

Hermione's chest was heaving slightly.

"I can't speak for Harry but I can tell you for certain I don't want the attention. I just want to be left alone so I can go on with my life!"

"Well life is different now Hermione…" Ron stated.

"Yes Ron, it is. It's different because that's the way you want it!"

"You're right! It is the way I want it. For the first time since I was eleven people know who I am…ME!" Ron slapped his chest, "Not Harry Potter's best mate or that other red-headed bloke…ME, Ron Weasley! They know my name, which is more than I can say for the likes of people like Slughorn! Remember? He never could remember my name! For the first time in my life I get respect. Respect for what I've done…"

Hermione seemed to explode.


Ron took a furtive step back. Hermione's finger was now pointing at Ron's nose and she was standing on her toes. An angry artery was pulsing in her neck.

Harry had never seen her so angry.

"Let me tell YOU something Ron Weasley! From the day he was dropped off on the Dursley's doorstep, Harry's been subjected to INTOLERABLE abuse. He was treated as nothing more than a piece of furniture, something to be stuffed into a cupboard under the stairs when not in use. Can you imagine what that must have been like? CAN YOU!?"

Hermione didn't wait for Ron to respond. Harry started feeling a bit self-conscious but he wasn't about to try and stop her. She was livid!

"His entire childhood was spent in the shadow of his disgusting cousin Dudley. He was forced to wait on them like a…like a HOUSE ELF!"

"YOU…All your life you've been coddled and protected and surrounded by people who love you."

"Even after Harry found out he was a wizard, what did we do for him? We hung a bleeding prophecy around his neck like an anchor and said, 'There you go Harry! We know you're just a kid but we expect you to save us from a PSYCHOTIC MAD MAN HELL BENT ON ENSLAVING US ALL AND KILLING YOU IN THE PROCESS BECAUSE YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN STOP HIM!'"

Hermione turned away from Ron and kicked a small table next to the sofa. She spun back around.

"And how do we repay him for succeeding? We pursue him like a wild beast, forcing him onto hiding in a dusty old house because he can't even go to the market without getting mobbed by a bunch of nutters looking for an autograph or a photo or people just wanting to touch the Savior of the Wizard World!"

In three angry strides, Hermione was back in Ron's face, tears were now streaming down her cheeks.

"You go have your fun Ron Weasley and I hope you enjoy all your new-found fame and glory but if you think for one moment that those people respect you then you're in for a rude awakening. What are you going to do when the novelty wears off? Hmm? What are you going to do when the bloody wizard world turns its back on you because you're old news?"

Hermione's chest was heaving. She looked strained to the limit.

Ron still looked indignant. He set his jaw and glanced at Harry. Harry tried to keep his features neutral.

"I don't know Hermione and I really don't care. I'll worry about that when the time comes. I'm not blaming Harry for anything. I'm just taking advantage of what's out there. If those tosspots want to see me as a hero then who am I to tell them any different. What I wanted was for you to share it with me but if that's not what you want…fine."

Ron tossed the paper on the floor and walked right past her toward the kitchen.

Hermione turned toward him.

"Where in that convoluted dead space you call a brain did you think I would ever want to live that way? You of all people should know me better then that Ronald! Don't you dare come crawling back to me when no-one wants you any more. I won't be you're disposable girl any longer."

Ron stopped but didn't look back. Harry could see his shoulder slump slightly.

"Fine," was all Ron said as he disappeared through the door to the kitchen.

Hermione bent forward, wrapping her arms around herself as she broke down.

Harry patted her shoulder before he followed Ron down into the kitchen. Just as he was about to toss a handful of flue powder into the fireplace, he turned to look at Harry.

"Come to have a go at me as well?"

"No Ron," Harry said calmly. "I just wanted to tell you that I think you're making the biggest mistake of your life if you leave right now."

"Why Harry, because I won't do things her way? Why is it that between the two of us, she's always right or always knows best?"

Harry thought about that for a moment. Why, indeed. The obvious conclusion was that it was because…she was Hermione Granger. Between the three of them she had always been the one who did know best. She almost always had the right answer. She was just…better at life than either one of them.

He looked up at Ron.

"It's because I've known you for a long time mate and I know you well enough to know that you will regret this, maybe not tonight or tomorrow, but soon. You'll wake up and wonder why things didn't turn out the way they were supposed to and you'll want it back."

Ron looked off into the dark shadows of the kitchen for a moment then, as if making a decision, he looked back at Harry.

"Not this time, mate." Ron turned back to the fireplace.

That incensed Harry at once.

"Then do me a favor Ron."

"What's that?" Ron asked.

"Don't blame Hermione or me when you don't get what you want." Harry turned and left the kitchen.

He heard the fireplace flare as he made is way back to the sitting room. Hermione was still standing with her head bowed, tears streaming down her face. Harry walked carefully up behind her and placed a hand gently on her shoulder.

Hermione spun and wrapped her arms around Harry's middle and buried her face in his chest.

"Oh H…Harry!" Hermione sobbed like he had never seen before. He held his arms tightly around her for what seemed like an hour.

When she had cried herself out, Harry guided her to the sofa and sat them down. He called Kreacher to bring her some water and some tissue. He watched her for a moment.

"Hermione, you know Ron will eventually come around…"

Hermione leaped off the couch, her anger flaring once again.

"NO! Harry! Don't you dare make excuses for him. You always do. He's made his choice. I meant what I said. I won't be tossed aside like some garment or an old sock, lying there until it's needed again. NO!"

Hermione turned back to look at Harry. She looked exhausted, her face a mask of deep sadness.

Harry hated to see her like this.

"I was willing to forgive him when he called me a 'nightmare' when we were younger. I forgave him when he completely overlooked me for the Yule Ball. I forgave him about the whole misunderstanding with the Slug Club," she started shaking uncontrollably, "I was even willing to forgive him for that whole Lavender Brown mess."

She looked down at her hands.

"I might have even been able to forgive him for abandoning us during the hunt for the Horcruxes some day Harry but this…"

She looked at him in the eyes, tears spilling down her cheeks once again.

"I know I'm not pretty or attractive or alluring but I won't ever be someone's afterthought."

With that, Harry jumped to his feet. His anger and frustration flared.

"Don't Hermione," he growled, "Don't you ever think you're not good enough! You are all those things and more! Just because one brainless twit can't see what other blokes like me see, then too bad for him. I don't want to ever hear you say that again. You're amazing Hermione!"

She smiled but then swayed slightly on her feet.

"Harry, I don't think I feel so…" Harry watched as her eyes rolled up in her head and she fell forward like a downed tree. Harry leapt over the tea table just in time to catch her before her head slammed into it.

"Hermione!" Thinking fast, he called for Kreacher.

Kreacher appeared in the doorway.

"Kreacher, get to Hogwarts fast. Go to the infirmary. Tell Madam Pomfrey I'm coming with Hermione Granger and she's gravely ill."

Kreacher didn't waste time bowing or responding like usual, the old elf simply snapped his fingers and was gone.

Harry picked Hermione up and cradled her in his arms. He made his way to Rugulus' old room and found Philius Negellus Black's portrait.

"Headmaster Black?" Harry cried. He was about to shout again when he saw his image peer around the frame on the right.


"Headmaster, please. Inform Headmistress McGonagall that I'm coming through her office flue. I'm bringing Hermione Granger and she's gravely ill."

Phinius popped up at once.

"Right away!"

"Thanks," he said but he was already making his way to the kitchen. He looked down at Hermione. Her face had gone white as a ghost and her breathing seemed too short and shallow. Harry's heart skipped a beat and his blood felt a bit colder. "Hang in there Hermione."

He supported her with one shaking arm as he grabbed a hand full of flue powder in the other. He tossed it in the fireplace.

"Headmistresses office, Hogwarts!" In a bright swirling flash of green they vanished.

They were met at once on the other end by a very surprised McGonagall.

"What is it Mr. Potter? What has happened to Ms. Granger?"

Deleted Scene Number Two;

A.N. – I was going to pursue this as an alternate ending or maybe a epilog but it eventually got deleated…

…As they sat sipping their beverages, they could tell Ginny was very uncomfortable. She squirmed in her chair and could not seem to get settled.

"Alright there Ginny?" Hermione asked with a smirk.

Ginny shot Hermione a withering glare.

"What do you bloody think," the fiery redhead groaned and clutched her ample belly, "I feel like I've swallowed fifteen pounds of wet cement!"

Hermione and Gretchen couldn't help but laugh. Ginny continued to glare at them both.

"Glad you're enjoying my discomfort," she shifted again, "It wouldn't be so bad if they would give my intestines some room for Merlin's sake. My bladder feels like Grawp is stepping on it!"

"It won't be long Ginny," Gretchen said with an unavoidable snicker, "They'll be coming before you know it."

"Can't be soon enough as far as I'm concerned," Ginny grimaced at the thought of her impending birth, "Honestly, I just want these two things out of me! They're kicking me to death! I swear if they don't come on the due date I'm going to swallow a blast-ended skrewt to chase them out!"

That cracked the other two up right and proper.

"I can't believe it," Hermione added, "Twins. As tiny as you are, it's no wonder you're in so much pain. Dean is helping, isn't he?"

Ginny closed her eyes for a moment. The other two could see the beads of sweat collecting at her hairline.

"He's been trying to avoid me at all costs it seems," She lamented.

"Couldn't be that sunny disposition of yours now could it?" Gretchen smirked.

Ginny made a face and stuck her tongue out at her friend. The waitress brought their orders and placed them in front of their respective places. Ginny looked at her plate of fresh green salad and winced. She then looked down at the huge bulge in her maternity top.

"Now hear this you two," she whispered, "I'm going to eat this so your just going to have to give me some space…got it?"

Gretchen looked at Hermione.

"Yours has got a birthday coming up, doesn't he?"

"Yes, actually," Hermione nodded, "on the 31st."

"I still think it's very strange that you gave birth to James the same day Harry was born," Ginny said with her mouth half full of salad. She was shoveling her food in as if she hadn't eaten in a month.

"Ugh…Ginevra Weasley," Hermione held up her hand, "Must you always remind me?"

"Well I think it's sweet," Gretchen said, "Makes birthdays a bit easier."

"Maybe," Ginny added, "but really, what are the chances of something like that happening? One in a blue bloody billion I suspect."

"Ginny please!" Hermione implored.

"I know, I know," Ginny gave Hermione an evil grin, "It smacks of Divinations," she said in an affected voice, "and we all know what the great Hermione Granger thinks of Divinations.

Hermione rolled her eyes at her very pregnant best friend but let it go without comment.

"Well," Gretchen pouted, "I still hate you both."

"Still no luck?" Hermione glanced sadly at Gretchen.

"No," Gretchen sighed, "and it's not for the lack of trying mind you."

"Gods," Ginny gagged, "Tell you what. When I spit these two blighters out I'll gladly let you and Benton borrow them for a while, that aught to cure you of any sentimental notions. I swear we should just name them Fred and George and get it over with!"

"Oh Ginny, stop whining," Hermione snipped as she took a bite of her lunch, "it won't be as bad as all that."

The women fell into a companionable silence as they concentrated on their lunches for a while. Ginny finally came up for air as she stared down into her empty plate.

"I'm still hungry," she said as she waved at their waitress. She ordered something else to eat as Gretchen looked at Hermione.

"So how does Harry like his new job?"

Hermione smiled widely as she looked off into the distant shadows of the restaurant for a moment.

"He absolutely loves it Gretchen. I truly think he has finally found what he was meant to do." Hermione gave Gretchen a significant look, "I've never seen him so happy."

"I'm glad for him," Gretchen smiled sadly.

It was no secret to Hermione that this oddly-shaped but kindly sweet woman had an undeniable crush on the Savior of the Wizarding World once upon a time. It was that as well as several other factors that finally spurred Hermione to realize what everyone else seemed to already be aware of…that she was in love with Harry as well.

But as it seemed to always manifest itself when she waxed nostalgic about her realization, her mind drifted to Ron. She looked up at Ginny.

"Heard from Ron lately?"

Ginny nodded.

"He was by the flat on Monday. He looks good so I guess the injuries from the last Quidditch match have healed fairly well."

Hermione knew that Ron had been on the second string team of the Chudley Cannons for almost two years now. Due to injuries of the other two first string Keepers he had finally gotten the chance at a starting spot at last Saturday's match with the Wimbourne Wasps.

Both she and Harry regretted the fact that they could not attend his first match but they were busy getting Harry settled in at Hogwarts. They were so excited about his starting as the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, it drove everything from their minds. Hermione wanted him to have the best start possible.

They had promised to catch the next match with the Tutshill Tornados if he was still scheduled to Keep.

Deleted Scene Number Three;

A/N – Was going to use this as a way for Hermione to catch on to the Transfiguration Professor's plot…

One evening, after breaking up a rather heated tryst between Ginny and Dean up on the Astronomy tower, Hermione was making her way down through the hall that contained the Transfiguration class and Professor's quarters.

She was still a bit rattled because Ginny had practically lost her mind and went completely off on Hermione when she had, as Ginny so eloquently put it, stuck her self-absorbed, self important, ego-inflated nose into other people's affairs she had no business sticking it into!

Hermione was certain she was going to have to start tap dancing around bat boggy hexes at any moment but then Ginny simply broke down in tears of frustration and bolted from the tower leaving a completely bewildered and frightened Dean Thomas standing there red-faced with trousers down around his socks.

Thankfully, he had not gotten as far as his underwear when Hermione showed up. Ginny, however, had been almost completely naked except for her bra.

Hermione couldn't help thinking she knew now why all the blokes thought Ginny a total hottie!

Why the hell couldn't I have developed like that!?

Hermione thought glumly trudging through the halls trying desperately to put the whole embarrassing thing completely out of her mind.

As she passed the Transfiguration Professor's quarters she was snatched out of her reverie by the unmistakable hushed tones of animated conversation coming from the Professor's quarters.

For some reason, Hermione found herself stopping in her tracks and remaining as still and quiet as she could.

It was ridiculous! First, it wasn't unusual for Professors to get together after hours and talk. Second, it was none of her business who Professor Star happened to be entertaining this evening in her quarters, even though it was well after midnight and three…

Hermione found herself silently creeping closer to Professor Star's chamber door listening as intently as she could.

"Have you determined a way to get him here yet or are we to assume that's not possible," a male voice asked. He sounded very young to be in a Professor's suite after hours.

There was something about his voice that seemed oddly familiar but Hermione was almost certain she had never heard it before. Still yet…

"I'm still working on that part," Professor Star replied, "Oh…It simply irks me to no end I did not anticipate this possibility sooner! I do have some ideas but they're no more concrete than fig pudding at this juncture. Bah!"

Professor Star sounded terribly agitated. The topic of their discussion, while not precisely clear left Hermione with a feeling of cold dread gripping her.

"Seems to me time is against us…" but the young man's voice was abruptly cut off by a shushing sound.

That was Hermione's queue to vacate the area as quickly and quietly as possible before she was discovered eavesdropping on a conversation she had no business listening to. Just as she turned the corner of a bisecting hallway she heard the chamber door to the Transfiguration Professor's quarters open with a squeak of rusty hinges then, after a heart pounding few moments the door closed again.

Without looking to see if the coast was clear Hermione went on her way to finish her rounds contemplating what she had heard and trying to decide if it was something she needed to be concerned about. It wasn't as if she had enough to deal with already.

What Hermione didn't know was after Professor Star opened the door and stepping out into the hall cleverly reached back and closed the door purposely remaining in the hall to see if anyone peaked out from some corner or shadow to see if the coast was clear. It was only after she heard nothing for a long moment did she re-enter her quarters still possessing the feeling someone had been outside her door listening.

She would have to be more diligent in applying silencing charms about her room before having such conversations with her rather un-welcomed houseguest.

Deleted Scene Number Four;

A/N – Was going to incorporate this into the story as a dream Hermione had and then use it as an alternative ending as she "actually" lived the vision in real life in the future – I decided to go in a different direction…

Hermione's Dream;

It was late afternoon. The deep oranges and reds of the setting sun threw long shadows across the quaint avenue as she walked toward a cottage. It would have been completely unrecognizable if it weren't for the familiar intricate wrought iron fence that ran around the front of the place. It was interwoven with snitches and quafles that she immediately distinguished as Bowman Wright's old home place.

But it was much different than she remembered…

It was beautiful. The small front lawn was immaculate with a flagstone walk way that curved to the front steps. Neatly trimmed hedges framed the front porch to the left. There was a wooden bench swing set in the far left corner of the porch hidden in the shadows.

Somehow, she knew it was there!

The cottage was painted a brilliant white with neatly trimmed black shutters. The roof above the front porch sported two large dormers. Warm, golden light radiated from the windows. The right side was the two story section of the house with large windows and it was covered in ivy all the way to the slate gable roof.

As she made her way up onto the porch, she approached the front door. It was painted a deep maroon with gold trim.

Gryffindor colors!

She couldn't help but smile.

Mounted on the door was a rather large, golden lion's head door knocker. It seemed almost comically out of place but as she reached for the door handle the lion head spoke.

"Welcome home Mrs. Potter," it declared in a deep, resonating voice and the door swung inward by itself.

"Good evening Lionel," she heard herself say as she made her way into a small entrance hall.

How did she know that name?

Was that her voice? She couldn't tell. It really didn't sound like her at all.

To the left, through an arched entry way was the sitting room. The furnishings were all antiquated but remarkably well preserved. The walls were painted white but half way down, they changed to a deep, rich oak paneling. It gave the room a cozy feeling. A huge stone fireplace was set into the far wall. The fire screen had the same designs as the fence out front.

Just to the right of the front door was a set of stairs that went to the second floor. Somehow she knew that up those steps lay a large master suite, two more bedrooms, several baths and a large playroom on the left side.

Next to the stairs on the left was a short hallway that led to a quaint little kitchen and a breakfast nook.

She found herself moving to a door to the right at the bottom of the stairs. She opened a door into what she knew was the library and office. She watched feminine hands place a satchel neatly on the side of the desk and turned to exit.

She found herself moving down the short hallway that led to the rear of the cottage. The walls were lined with photos and paintings on both sides. She knew they were there but for some strange reason they seemed to be blurry and out-of-focus so she was unable to make out who they all were.

The only picture she recognized was a small photo toward the end of the hall on the left. She had seen it before, only then it had been torn. It showed a messy-haired toddler zooming through the frame on a tiny broom several inches off the ground. James was running after him laughing. Lilly was standing off to the right side of the picture, laughing and clapping her hands.

It was the picture Harry had found in Sirius' room the night they sought refuge from the Death Eaters at #12 Grimmuald Place.

She made her way through the kitchen to the rear entrance. She looked out into the back yard.

It was much larger than the front with high white fences on both sides. The lawn spilled away down to a small brook that meandered lazily by. Beyond that rose a large hill covered with deep forest and ancient trees.

There, in the grass just beyond a flagstone patio was a man standing with his back toward the house. He was tall and broad-shouldered. He was bent forward with his arms outstretched as if in anticipation of catching something.

As she watched, she saw herself rest her left hand on the window frame. She saw two rings on her finger…Lilly's finger. One was a rather large diamond solitaire. The other was an intricately carved band of silver and gold. The two metals woven together to form a delicate braid.

It was one of the most beautiful rings she had ever seen.

As she looked back out into the yard, it was then she saw him. He was so tiny. He had the same head of untidy black hair. He smiled and gurgled as he tried to make his way to his father on his short, rather bandy little legs. He wobbled and then sat quite abruptly on his bottom in the grass. His eyes never left his father nor did his smile ever fade.

The man lurched forward as if to catch the toddler but stopped himself.

"Come on son," the man whispered, "you can do this!" then sat down a few feet away and waited.

His voice was so familiar…but older.

The tyke struggled to his feet once again and resumed his unsteady journey toward his father's waiting embrace.

Suddenly, she felt herself overcome by very powerful emotional feelings as she watched the scene unfold before her. She felt a warmth and contentment that she had never experienced before. It seemed to fill her to the point of bursting with joy and happiness.

But as quickly as those wonderful emotions had filled her, they were replaced with a sudden sense of shame and deep regret. It was as if she was intruding on something private and deeply personal.

As she struggled to extract herself from the vision, Hermione heard herself speak to the man, her words echoing as if they were spoken from far away. She couldn't understand them.

As the man turned to face her, the scene dissolved into a thick white mist that seemed to cloud all her senses.

It was then that she woke up bathed in a cold sweat.