Something to Wish For

Prologue

Hermione had thought that she would be out hunting horcruxes with Ron and Harry instead of going to school this year, but the two had buggered off without her in the middle of the night, leaving her with no choice but to return to Hogwarts for her seventh year without them.

She had been made Head Girl, of course, so it was a small matter for her to wander about the castle at all hours of the night, even in the midst of all the turmoil. Snape saw her as no real threat without her sidekicks in tow, and really, so far he seemed to be right.

She felt rather depressed that her two best friends had discluded her from the most important of all the missions they'd had to date, but to tell the truth, she'd grown tired of them over the years anyway. She'd spent all her time and efforts helping them, and they didn't even appreciate what she had done for them. It really hurt.

And it especially hurt that Ron had not even bothered to say good-bye. She had thought that perhaps they'd been getting closer to becoming more than friends—he'd even kissed her once or twice—but now that she thought back on it, they'd been awkward kisses and she really hadn't felt comfortable with him touching her in that way. But the least the boys could have done was let her know they were okay, and so far it was already three weeks into the new school year, and they hadn't even done that.

Hermione wished she had never even met them. She wished she'd never even had anything to do with this stupid war, or with the Order, or any of it. She especially wished she'd never let herself want Ronald Weasley all these years so much, when he wasn't even worth the effort. She was feeling decidedly bitter, and as always when she felt this way she went to the place where she felt the most solace—the Hogwarts school library.

Alone with her books and her thoughts, she could lose herself for hours and hours, and forget about all the cares of the war, the demands of Headmaster Snape and his treachery, and the designs of the evil Lord Voldemort who wished to take over the world.

She sighed heavily as she realized in this sort of mood that no book in the regular section would comfort her. She needed to cut loose in some way, do something she ought not to. She knew from previous exploration of a room within the forbidden section of the library where she might find what she needed. Over the years, she had entered it on two or three occasions, and each time it had been different and exactly what she'd wished for. Perhaps she would find exactly what she needed today if she went there again.

With no worry of discovery, she crept through the forbidden area and found her destination, stepped right up and grasped the knob. But before she opened it, she gave some thought to what exactly it was she most needed. She was so angry with her friends for abandoning her here, and without thinking of the consequences, she said something quite careless as she turned the knob.

"I wish I never had to see either one of those stupid gits ever again!"

As she stepped inside, a flash of white-hot light hit Hermione right in the eyes, knocking her to her knees. She surged forward into the room, crawling a couple feet forward to where she saw a huge bed, and managed to get into it.

"What the devil is this doing in here?" she muttered as she lay upon it.

The room was spinning around her, and all her thoughts became disjointed in her head, so she couldn't string a single one together. Dizzy, she drifted off, wondering if she would ever wake again.