Of sweet dreams and wizard powerDisclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
The dreams wouldn’t stop. Admittedly, they weren’t nightmares, either, but they were still disturbing.
Certainly, dreaming that you were a graceful moth (or a butterfly), fluttering from flower to flower under the light of the moon (or the sun) wasn’t so bad, but after almost two weeks in a row, Hermione Granger was ready for something different.
And it wasn’t that she liked butterflies all that much – oh, sure, she didn’t hate them, but to dream of them constantly, all the time? Not her thing, thank you very much. It was more of a Luna Lovegood thing, and honestly, the two young women weren’t all that close to each other either – because of the age difference and other factors.
That put aside, why was she dreaming of being an insect every single night? Was she cursed or something? Hermione had never been particularly interested in curses, but she was fully aware that they existed even if she didn’t know about them – so taking an advantage that it was a weekend date but Ron was out for some business or another, she got up to talk to Rupert Giles.* * *
“Ah, good day, Hermione,” the older Brit said politely, managing to hide his surprise surprisingly well, if there was any. “What brings you to the Watchers’ Council on this occasion?”
“Well,” Hermione looked somewhat embarrassed – for her, anyways. “Tell me, do the Watchers study dream magic or whatever it is called?”
There was a pause, as Giles looked at Hermione in a rather estimating way. “You’re not a Vampire Slayer,” he said finally, “so I doubt that it is that sort of a prophetic dream.”
“Yes! No! No, I don’t think that this is a prophetic dream – the only thing that is bothering me is the fact that it is one and the same dream: I am an insect, a moth or a butterfly, flying around a meadow from flower to flower,” Hermione exclaimed. “Once or twice I would’ve forgotten about it already, but every night? That can’t be natural, can it?”
“Every night? For how long?” Giles took off his glasses.
“Almost two weeks now,” Hermione replied.
“Ah,” Giles rubbed his glasses. “And they’re the same?”
“Yes! I am an insect, a moth or a butterfly – wait, I told you this already,” Hermione frowned in suspicion. “Mr. Giles, I wasn’t cursed, was I?”
“I don’t know, you tell me if something unusual have happened to you before the dreams started?”
“Nothing,” Hermione replied slowly. “I mean, Ron and I finally got engaged – um, how this can relate to me dreaming being an insect?”
“I am not sure,” Giles admitted, “but I believe I know someone who does. Hermione, we need to go to St. Mungo’s.”
Hermione twitched.* * *
Hermione didn’t have too many happy memories of St. Mungo’s. Sure, she wasn’t in the same situation as Neville, but few people, magic or not, like going to the hospital just for the fun of it. Rupert Giles, however, was apparently one of these few, since he walked through the hospital’s corridors happily enough, even exchanging greetings with an occasional mediwizard or witch as they passed him through the corridors.
“So,” Hermione said, trying to sound not too worried, “who are we here to see?”
“Him,” Giles said cheerfully, as he knocked on the door. “Donald, can we talk right now?”
“Sure, Rupert,” a man of about Giles’ age with a rather impressive beard replied. “And who’s your young friend? Another Slayer?”
“Oh no, this is Hermione Granger, a muggle-born witch with an unusual problem,” Giles shook his head, and briefly described Hermione’s problem to the mediwizard. The other man, however, responded more emotionally to Hermione’s situation than Giles have done:
,” he said with a clear emotion, “dvoedushets
“Excuse me?” Hermione frowned at foreign-sounding words. “What do you mean?”
“Well, Miss Granger,” Donald looked thoughtful, “one of the theories why some people can’t do magic, and other people – such as us – just can, is because the magic-users have an alternate self, sort of an innate familiar, you know?”
“No,” Hermione frowned in thought. “This is some sort of a magical theory that is known only to determined Ravenclaws, right?”
“Yes,” her interlocutor nodded slightly. “Now, Miss Granger, you’ve always been nervous about being a witch that is a muggle-born?”
“What? No! Well, initially, especially during the second year at Hogwarts, when there was that nastiness with the basilisk,” Hermione exhaled. “The whole muggle-born-pureblood debate started to become quite nasty at this point, you know?”
“And you never wanted to leave our world and live a normal, non-magical life?”
“No!” Hermione exclaimed vehemently, before calming down. “No. I mean, it must be weird and I don’t know what to tell you precisely, but I didn’t. Still don’t, not that I could. I mean, I don’t think-“
“Stop,” the mediwizard said in such a manner that Hermione gratefully stopped. “Listen. You’re a witch, muggle-born or not, and this is your world. So try to accept this subconsciously as well as consciously and begin to think of yourself as a witch, too.”
“And how do I do that?” Hermione asked, slightly huffily. “Take a potion or something?”
“Probably yes, but I wouldn’t advise you, not since the great potion scandal of 1902,” the medi-wizard shook his head. “Funny things, potions are. Instead, you get to wear this!” and with these words he pulled out a hat out of a cupboard to his right.
Hermione stared. “It’s like the Sorting Hat of Hogwarts!” she finally proclaimed.
“No, it’s actually a nightcap, designed to deal with problems just like yours,” the mediwizard shook his head. “Just put it on every night, and it should be the end of your problems.”
“And for, uh, how long?” Hermione asked, somewhat tentatively.
“Oh, it’s one of those things where you yourself feel when the time is right,” the mediwizard replied cheerfully. “And don’t worry about paying – this one’s on the house. Just please, if there’s any development – good, bad, or plain weird – just notify me first, would you?”
“Of course, Dr.-“
“Donald Mellett and the title is mediwizard, though doctor is fine too,” the other man replied cheerfully. “Well, Miss Granger, good luck. Rupert, can you stay with me for a little while, though?”
“Of course, Donald,” the Watcher instantly replied, but Hermione was so relived, that she didn’t notice anything odd, but merely said good-bye and left.* * *
That evening, though, Hermione told about the whole situation to the Weasleys. Mrs. Weasley was concerned, but Mr. Weasley, surprisingly, was supportive.
“So that’s how it goes? Fascinating,” he proclaimed after Hermione explained the situation with her new nightcap.
The others – including Hermione and Molly Weasley – just stared at him.
“What?” Arthur Weasley continued unabashed. “Only the strongest of muggle-born wizards and witches are rumoured to develop this sort of ability and that included Merlin. Of course, it’s impossible to tell fact from fiction about Merlin, at least until he wakes up from his magical sleep... but our family’s ancestor had the character trait, though.”
“Really?” Ron sounded curious, for once.
“Yup. Of course, for him it was a weasel, hence the Weasley part of our family name,” Arthur Weasley nodded. “And he lived in the times of Merlin, too! In any case, Hermione, this changes nothing as far as I am concerned. Welcome to the family – or welcome to it soon enough!”
And as the rest of the Weasleys joined in to make Hermione feel welcome, Hermione finally began to feel completely at ease: surely, nothing could go on now?* * *
...And in one of the more protected cells in St. Mungo, Verte suddenly snapped into awareness. There’s someone like me around? I need to know!
she thought and began to plan after many decades of passiveness.