Her middle-length bushy brown hair was carelessly lifted from her shoulders by an almost unnoticeable breeze of early October wind. She was no longer paying attention to the notebook resting in her lap, but looking at the other people passing by in the train station. Some walked by alone; others in a whole herd of acquaintances, friends or perhaps relatives. Some were noticeably older, maybe possibly around the same age as grandma and grandpa. Others were maybe rather the same age as she; six-year-olds holding their parents' hands and trying to catch up with their so much bigger steps. Most of them were adults or young adults, though, carrying shopping bags or heavy suitcases, and some only a small backpack. Most of the ones carrying the suitcases, she assumed to be students.
There was a great diversity in people, Hermione concluded. Another difference between the men, women and children passing by would be some running to catch their trains and others sitting around trying to wait patiently for theirs, like Hermione. She looked up to her left to see her mother still wrapped up in a conversation with her aunt Maureen. She didn't mind all that much, though. Aunt Maureen was after all her favorite aunt. She always brought Hermione's little niece Robyn and nephew Drew along when she visited. Robyn was around the same age as she, and perhaps her all time favorite niece as well. She didn't really like Drew, though. He never wanted to join in with the dolls, but always wanted his race cars.
When Hermione averted her gaze, something caught her interest on the other platform. She forced herself to look at the large screen with train arrivals above her head. 11:18, she read, along with a very odd name she couldn't read. Hermione could not remember when her mom had said their train would arrive, but the seventh platform was almost empty except for them, so she assumed there was no hurry. If it would be arriving soon, there would most likely have been more persons. She sighed, and found herself looking at the other platform opposite hers again. The dark blond girl she'd noticed before was trying to lift a noticeably heavy black suitcase onto the waiting train. The girl that accompanied her had dark brown curls and was already on the train, visible in the open doors.
When the other girl still standing on the platform had managed to get the suitcase lifted into the train and shifted position, Hermione noticed tears running down her cheeks. Her round face was flushed, too. She was basically crying her eyes out, and Hermione ― still too young to really understand that kind of situations ― would have said that both of the girls were in great pain. The older, dark brown haired female wasn't crying, but something in her eyes ― even though Hermione sat a bit too far away from them to be able to see it well ― expressed precisely the same as the girl still standing on the platform. Pain. And maybe little Hermione wasn't that far from the truth. If she'd only thought about the non-physical pain. Maybe she was still too young to make that connection, too. Wasn't the younger, dark blonde going with? Hermione wondered. The older girl gently reached out to stroke her friend's cheek, as the younger one quietly leaned against the train doorway, still crying.
Something about this image caught Hermione, intriguing her up to the point where she picked up the long lost pencil from between the pages of her notebook, in which she'd unsuccessfully been trying to spell her name earlier, until she had gotten bored with it. She could never seem to be able to write a good enough R.
It felt as if someone or something else led her hand over the sheet of lined paper as she started to draw, fast and very precise at the same time. Perhaps too precise and impossibly detailed to be drawn by a small girl who was barely six years old. Hermione's eyes remained glued to her drawing in progress, only looking up every now and then for maybe a flash of a second towards the image that the young girl was trying so fervently to put down on the sheet in front of her. Hermione's hand moved over the paper like lightning. Within instants, she'd drawn an almost perfect pencil picture of the young couple on the other platform. Hermione gave her own drawing a last satisfied glance before looking up.
She vaguely noticed both girls' lips moving, indicating talking between them. The oldest one leaned in to brush lips with her friend, then the two hugged, and Hermione suddenly understood that maybe, she hadn't drawn just friends, but lovers. A warm inexplicable feeling washed over her, as a low whistle sounded from far away, and she witnessed how the youngest female pulled back, her girlfriend gradually following her example. The doors of the pale red train on the other platform suddenly closed, and panic radiated through the youngest female called Delphi. She started shivering uncontrollably, as if cold had taken over her being. Hermione could almost feel the dark blonde's panic and pain as she silently watched her girlfriend on the other side of the foggy train window.
Vaguely, Hermione thought that she could see the oldest female form a heart with her forefingers and thumbs. She thought that she could even hear the youngest one's sob from across the platforms between them. And then another whistle sounded and the old pale red train was set into motion, slowly taking the loved ones apart from each other. Hermione still wondered why the dark blonde didn't go along wherever the oldest one went. Delphi leaned back against the electricity cabin behind her, feeling alone in the world with a broken heart on top. It felt as if her sweetheart had just walked out of her life for good; that she wouldn't ever see her again in this life. Adeline felt like all she'd ever had, and now the two of them were apart, to Delphi it felt as if she was losing everything, including that which philosophers call our sanity. Hermione wondered as if something like going crazy with heartbreak ever really existed, as the train clattered out of sight, leaving the youngest one of the female-female couple alone on the platform.
Hermione looked back at her drawing and ripped the sheet out of her notebook, lifting it against the rays of sunshine breaking their way through the panels above her head. She carefully watched the dark blonde turn around and walk away, when suddenly a gust of wind very close by closed off her sight. By the time the train stood still before her, she realized that she'd lost the sheet of paper with the drawing. Hermione's mother abruptly ended the phone call, stuffing her mobile back into her handbag before getting up, taking her daughter's hand and starting to walk towards the train. Hermione broke free from her mother's hand and swirled around, breath catching slightly as suddenly she caught sight of her drawing, the silent fall wind blowing it away from where she stood. "My drawing!" She squeaked, but Hermione's mother gently caught hold of her hand again, the young girl's hope vanishing as this meant that Jean had no real intentions to go after the sheet of paper.
"I'm sure you could draw the same again back at home," Hermione's mother whispered kindly.
"No, I cannot..." Hermione protested lightly, but she said no more, watching the wind become more outrageous, lifting her pencil drawing higher and higher into the air, and let her mother lead her into another pale red train. Hermione chose to sit right beside the window, but as she looked out of it, the dark blonde girl of earlier was gone, just like her drawing.
"I'm sorry," Hermione whispered, holding onto the surplus of Minerva McGonagall's robes. "I never forgot about the one couple at the train station, even though it might already have been more than ten years. I couldn't be the one clattering out of sight this time, away from the woman I love." She sobbed. "When the whistle sounded, I vividly recalled how the doors closed between them, and I didn't want them to close this time, between us. I love you, Minerva. I love you so much."
"Shh," Minerva whispered, tears threatening to spill. "I'm glad that I wasn't the one being left here in tears. I love you, too."
Far away in the distance the Hogwarts Express disappeared out of sight, leaving Hermione Granger and Minerva McGonagall holding onto each other for life with the ruins of Hogwarts surrounding them. At least they were together.
It wouldn't be easy all the time with the age difference and their former positions as a professor and pupil. There would be rumors for sure, but they would make it work. Love isn't really enough, but with so much in common like their persistence, it would be fine in the end.
They would be happy. They might not be the day after, or even a month later or more, but they certainly would.