A/N: Thanks for the patience! I know that this turn of events has confused some of you, but let me explain my plans for this story. I would like each character, Ron Neville Hermione Draco and Luna, to have their own adventures at Hogwarts as well as the canon events to come. This is second year, so it's going to be a busy year for poor Hermione. I am always open to suggestions and comments. I have all the pairings sorted out as well as the last chapter written, though we have quite a bit to go before we reach that. For those who keep asking about pairings, please keep in mind they are very young right now. Affections change and twist! Don't worry, I know what I'm doing. I think. Lol. Anyway, enjoy this next installment in Come What May.
Severus Snape rubbed his eyes wearily, closing the dusty tome he had been perusing. He and Poppy Pomfrey had been up all night long, scouring through dry, musty medical books trying to find a cause for Hermione Granger's coma. As of yet neither of them had found anything even remotely useful. The girl had been moved to the Hospital Wing, where Poppy had been monitoring her closely, looking for clues as to her condition.
Severus sighed, pulling another book toward him. He had a long night in front of him.
Luna watched Draco pace back and forth like a caged lion, smiling softly to herself. Speaking the comparison out loud would most likely insult the prideful Slytherin.
"I don't understand," Draco said for what had to have been the hundredth time. "How can she just fall asleep and never wake up? She was fine before bed."
Harry chewed on his lip worriedly, his eyes shining like broken sea glass in the late afternoon sun and his face drawn and pale.
"I mean," Draco continued, "Someone had to have hexed her. This isn't normal. Someone had to have done this to her."
Neville's brows drew together as he sat cross-legged in the grass, absently playing with a daffodil.
"Who would do that to her, though?"
Draco shook his head in frustration. "I don't know."
Ron sighed, staring at the azure sky as he laid sprawled out in the grass. The children fell silent, the only sounds the soft rustling of the breeze dancing through the leaves and the quiet splashing of the waves of the Black Lake lapping at the sandy shore.
"She's okay," Luna said placidly. "She just has something she has to do, is all."
The boys turned to stare at the little Ravenclaw girl, who smiled serenely at them. The golden sunlight dripped down from the leafy branches of the tree she reclined against, painting her hair and skin with an almost otherworldly glow.
"What the bloody hell are you nattering on about?" Draco growled irritably, rather like a lion. Luna giggled softly.
"It's in her blood," she replied.
Ron sat up, looking interested. "Her blood?"
Luna nodded. "Yes. She has ancient blood, you see."
"Bollocks," Ron said, flopping back down. "She's muggleborn, remember?"
Luna only hummed in reply, her tiny fingers deftly weaving a daisy chain. Harry eyed her.
"Luna," he said, almost cautiously, "do you know what's going on with Hermione?"
Luna smiled at her daisy chain, admiring the silky petals of the flowers.
Harry deflated and Draco rolled his eyes, resuming his pacing.
"But the ghosts do."
And with that rather remarkable statement, Luna stood up and happily skipped back to the school, the daisy chain hanging loosely from her hand.
Hermione had, in all honestly, never felt more bewildered in her life. And bewilderment was not a good feeling for Hermione Granger. She was used to everything having a logical explanation, a cut and dry reason for happening. But try as she might, she could not figure out how she ended up so far from Hogwarts. She had been thinking very hard the entire time she had been following the scruffy muggle boy through the village, though, and she had come up with a few viable theories.
Theory one, she thought as she edged around a rather mottled looking chicken, she had been hexed by someone and these were all hallucinations.
No, she thought rather sadly, that wasn't very likely, seeing as she distinctly remembered going to bed and her dorm mates weren't the type to maliciously hex a sleeping classmate. She tried to picture Padma Patil standing over her sleeping body, wand raised, a manic look of glee in her eyes. No, definitely not.
"Maybe I'm dreaming," she said out loud. The boy shot her an impatient look.
"Lydia, will ye hurry up! We don't have all night! If they find out you were doing it again…"
Hermione peered at the dirty little boy curiously. "Doing what?"
He made a noise of exasperation. "The things ye do, sister. The…heathen things."
Hermione frowned. "Heathen things?"
The boy sighed, looking around him anxiously before leaning close to her. He smelled of manure and hay and sun. "Magic," he whispered, blue eyes wide.
Hermione laughed. "Of course I'm going to do magic. I'm a witch."
The boy clasped a grubby hand over Hermione's mouth. "Are ye bloody mad?" he hissed, his eyes darting toward the shadows of the night in panic. "Ye talk like that and ye'll burn at the stake, ye will!"
Hermione pushed his hand away, her patience wearing thin. "Okay, look. Who are you? Where am I? Where's Hogwarts?"
The boy eyed her fearfully. "I believe you are fevered, sister. You truly know not who you are?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Don't be daft, of course I know who I am. The question is, who are you?"
The muggle shifted from foot to foot, a pained look on his young face. "Lydia, I'm Aiden. Yer brother."
Hermione growled in frustration. "My name is not Lydia, and I am an only child!"
The boy opened his mouth to speak, but before he could say anything his eyes grew wide with fear. Hermione frowned at him.
"What is it? What's wrong?"
The boy merely ducked his head, staring at his dirty, shadowed feet.
"Well, well, well," a voice purred from behind Hermione, making the fine hairs on the back of her neck stand up. "What have we here?"
The hospital wing was silent, empty save for the young girl laying in the sterile white bed. Her brown curls were spread out over the pillow, the moonlight casting a silver glow to her face. She was wearing a crown of daisies and had an uneasy, worried look on her childish face.
The Bloody Baron stared at her sadly, his chains clinking quietly in the empty wing.
"Lydia…" he whispered.
The girl in the bed whimpered slightly, her eyes moving behind her closed lids. Her breathing came out in jagged, fearful pants.
"Lydia," the ghost murmured again.
A light lit up from the direction of the nurse's office and, as Poppy Pomfrey carried her candle over to check on her patient, the Bloody Baron silently faded away, leaving nothing but tendrils of a pale mist and an echo of a name behind him.