Dis: Dis: The universe of Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling, and is used here without her permission. No copyright infringement is intended, and I acknowledge that I have no rights to any cannon characters, settings or events mentioned. I have no intention and no desire to make profit from this piece, as the credit deserves to go to JK Rowling as she invented them and thus owns all rights to them. Not me. Got it? Good. The lyrics that I have quoted below I lay no claim to whatsoever, as they come form the sing 'Pirouette' by '3 Colours Red' from their 1999 album, 'Revolt' which is available on Creation records. Yet again, no copyright infringement is intended.
From out of the air it seems
She fell into your dreams
She could turn your day to night
Been chasing the pirouette
But she doesn't know it yet
Spin me out one more time...
Pirouette (3 Colours Red)
It was cold that day. The autumn leaves, richly coloured in gold and red danced a pirouette across the playground in unison, sweeping high into the air before the gust faded, then falling back to earth with the same natural grace. It was an enthralling, magical sight. The little boy, huddled in the corner out of the biting wind of the on-coming winter, watched the recital in wonder as his teeth chattered in light of the cold. He sunk deeper into his coat, two sizes too big so it engulfed his tiny, fragile figure. For once, he was thankful for that. He continued to stare out across the playground as his fellow classmates made good use of the remaining playtime. Their laughs echoed off the red-bricked Victorian buildings, the high windows steamed up from the inside obscuring the teachers from view, making it definitely their time. But it wasn't his. He closed his eyes and sighed heavily as he felt the bruise begin to form around his eye. He knew better than to cry. At least they'd leave him alone now.
The bell wasn't going to go for another fifteen minutes. Not that he was counting: In fifteen minutes they'd trudge back into the classroom where he was bound to be humiliated once again, the slightest misendevour becoming yet another permanent mark upon his record book. But he'd grown used to it. To everything. The isolation, the regular beating sessions, the abnormalities that seemed to be the main cause of them.
The leaves continued in their ritual. The boy continued to watch.
The voice was young and sweet, unusual in it's sound as it addressed him and lacking the normal sarcasm or malice. Instead it almost sounded genuine. He didn't want to look up in case it was all a dream. Things like this normally were.
She persisted. She wanted a comeback, a retaliation. That's what they all wanted. To see that Potter boy lose it. It was rare, but when he did it was the talk of the playground for weeks to some. Otherwise he would be left alone. No one would dare to be seen talking to him. Possibly out of fear of the wrath of Dudley's gang, possibly for the sake of fashion itself. He was the token freak.
He continued to look away as the figure came closer. He even felt her sit down next to him on the cold, hard tarmac. He was not used to company. He stared at the dancing leaves once more, the unknown companion following his gaze and watching intently as the leaves continued their ballet. They swept ever closer, almost tip-toeing across the grey playground floor, skipping over lines and boundaries, creating a path between the screaming children like the parting of the red sea. Harry could feel his pulse racing as they made their approach, like ants towards the nest, creeping ever closer with every gust of wind. She had fixed her gaze, the leaves almost obeying her every command as they swept in towards them, finally ending their performance at the little girl's fingertips.
He now looked up and met her gaze. Her eyes were large and brown like the earth on a crisp winter's morning, a richness in colour but as solid as ice. Her teeth protruded a little over her lip, probably the result of constant thumb sucking, more noticeable as she broke into a wide knowing smile. It was infectious. Harry smiled back, the emotion unfamiliar to his youthful face and filling him with a warming glow that was a hundred times better than Aunt Petunia's pathetic tomato soup. The girl swept a handful of brown bushy hair out of her face as she picked up the leaves and examined them carefully in her fingers. Harry watched, as mesmerised as before as the twirled them with her fingertips with the ease and skill of a majorette, carefully exploring each vein as she spoke.
'You're going to be fine Harry,' she said finally as he began to rise from the depths of his coat, like a shy tortoise emerging his head from the safety of its shell. He didn't attempt a reply. He merely listened. The girl began to edge forward on her delicate knees, reaching out and pushing back some of his messy black hair and running her finger down the vivid red scar. He touch was just as warming as her smile, just as alien. She sat back and looked him in the eye again.
'You'll get your wish. One day you will be found.'
She handed him a leaf and without a second thought, he took it, the feeling dusty to his hands that in their own way were coarse and hardened. For a moment the little girl looked sad. He eyes became misty as a single tear began to roll down her cheek. But sooner than that she wiped it away, the warming smile returning with a vengeance as the bell finally signified the end of their liaison.
'Good luck Harry.'
And then she was gone. The playground was beginning to empty, but she was no where to be seen. It was as if she'd evaporated into thin air. He wondered if yet again, his imagination had got the better of him. But then he saw the leaf, glowing red in the afternoon sun as once again it danced out of his hands and out onto the fields beyond. His dream was real, and like the leaf it was out of reach. It remained in the distance, sitting on the verge of the fence as it tittered back and forth before it danced out of sight, bound to return with the changing of the wind. One day, it would find him.
She sat up in bed, her eyes snapping open at the conclusion of her dream. Beads of sweat, something she put down to the fever began to form upon her forehead, flushed red with the height of her temperature, her breathing coming in short sharp stabs as if she'd been running forever. It had felt so real.
Her mother poked her head round the door, a face full of worry and concern. She smiled at her daughter as she hugged her teddy bear closer, the thumb soon returning to her mouth as an act of childlike defiance. He mother sighed and raised her eyebrows.
'How are you feeling darling?'
Hermione smiled and merely nodded. Her mother understood and turned to leave.
She paused in the doorway, for a moment surprised by the broken silence caused by the sound of her daughter's voice. She tuned and listened intently.
'I just had a really odd dream. I was in a playground and I was talking to this boy as if I knew him, but I didn't. I told him it would be all right. He looked so sad, mummy...'
The older woman just smiled.
'Don't worry about it. Just concentrate on getting better.' She began to close the door, muttering to herself about getting another doctor's appointment. It was the flu season after all.
Hermione lay back for a minute, a little thoughtful herself. She turned over and began to close her eyes, giving in to the need for sleep as it began to drown her. As she finally submitted, her arm fell out the side of her bed, dropping to the floor like a lead weight, her conscious self fading away as her hand began to slowly unclasped. The leaf she had been twirling in her fingers fell to the ground and finally came to rest.
A/N: Weird, I know! I wrote this really late and I had really bad leg ache at the time. That's what happens when you run to catch trains with a sprained ankle. Doh! Anyway, Sorry if it's too strange to comprehend, it was supposed to be a meeting that Harry and Hermione weren't entirely aware that they had. I quote 'The weirdest thing about all these people was the way they seemed to vanish the second Harry tried to get a closer look.' Reviews greatly appreciated!