Hermione and Luna have a chat.
All had offered their support to her, and that alone was almost enough to send her off into a crying fit, but she managed to pull herself together and strode forward through a small park and toward the gaping hole in the alley. Along the way, however, she noticed something off about a certain rock in the park; it was quite large, midnight black, and surrounded by four other rocks of the same colour and texture. She would have investigated further, but the Weasleys had brought her attention back to the task at hand. She figured she was just trying to find a way to distract herself from the difficult task ahead, but even after the group had determined that Harry was, in fact, still alive, and had returned to the Burrow, those rocks still nagged at her in the back of her mind. There was definitely something off about those rocks, thought Hermione, barely even noticing as Ron entered the room and sat down next to her, also in a miserable mood.
"What're we going to do, Hermione?" Ron asked quietly.
"I don't know…" Her reply was just as quiet, but she was hardly paying attention. Thinking about those rocks, attempting to figure out the mystery behind them helped keep her sorrow at bay. The colour was too perfect to be naturally occurring, and the layout of them made them seem as though they were actually placed there for a reason. One thing is for sure, though. I need to get a closer look at them. However, Hermione wasn't sure whether she would be able to visit the site once again, and she needed emotional support, and as nice as Ron was, he wasn't exactly the most emotional person in the world, and wouldn't help much when she was attempting to figure out the significance of the rocks. However, she knew just the person she could count on, and she happened to live nearby.
"Ron? Could you ask your Dad to Floo-call Luna's house? I need to talk to her." In response to his questioning look, Hermione merely said, "Girl-talk."
Predictably, Ron dropped the subject and went to find Mr. Weasley. As Hermione waited, she thought about Luna Lovegood. Certainly, her outlook on life was… different to say the least, and she had eccentric beliefs that often confused Hermione, but she was a Ravenclaw for a reason. She was certainly one of the brightest witches of their age. And who knows, maybe her strange way of thinking could shed some light on the situation by forcing Hermione to look at it from a different angle.
Ron walked back in. "Mr. Lovegood said that it's fine for you to come over." After this, Ron fell back into one of the chairs dejectedly, and for a moment Hermione wondered if perhaps she should stay and give him some company. But she had already asked to go over to Luna's, so it would've been rude to stay, so she settled for giving Ron a hug as she left the room. As she popped into the Lovegood's kitchen, she took in her surroundings, her natural curiosity overcoming her despair. As she expected, their home reflected the bizarre mindset of the young girl who lived there – every counter, table, and cabinet seemed filled with odd things that Hermione had only read about, and that had no real use of which she could think. Hermione figured that this implied that Luna's father was just as dotty as she was, so when he entered the room wearing a shirt covered in feathers, she was not overly surprised.
Luna's father took Hermione's hand into his, saying "My name is Xenophilius Lovegood, Luna's father, of course. She's upstairs, second doorway on your left." Hermione shook his hand warmly, thinking perhaps that he actually was a sane man (perhaps the shirt had been a gift of Luna's?) and that she had been hasty in passing judgment, until she opened the door and he said, "Do keep an eye out for the Baltoors on your way up, they'll do horrible things to your digestive tract." Hermione climbed the stairs, and then entered Luna's room, who greeted Hermione in her usual, dreamy fashion.
"Oh, hello Hermione, do come sit down." Hermione took the spot on the bed Luna had indicated. She may have been a peculiar person, but Luna's presence was contagious; for the first time in several hours, Hermione was finally able to relax thanks to Luna's dreamy demeanour. Luna sat across from Hermione and stared at her, waiting for Hermione to begin talking; so Hermione went into detail about her hectic morning. And when Hermione went into detail, she really went into detail – she didn't finish her story for almost 2 hours, concluding with her hypothesis on Harry's survival. Luna, typically, remained emotionless during Hermione's story. While Hermione was grateful to her for allowing her to get all her emotions out (she had even broke down sobbing into Luna's arms when she told her about when she found Harry's magical presence at the explosion site), she was still worried that Luna had not had any reaction regarding the news.
At the end of Hermione's narrative, Luna blinked. "Well, Hermione, I would have to agree with your theory. I think Harry is still alive, since You-Know-Who would want to make sure the wizarding world knew about it immediately. Kidnapping seems most likely, since such a powerful explosion would have left Harry unconscious. Is there any chance we could return to the site now before the magical residue dissipates? Maybe I can help shed some light on the situation myself."
"That was actually why I came here," replied Hermione. I know I'm not exactly thinking clearly, so I wanted your help."
At this, Luna gave a light smile. "I'm glad you think so highly of my opinion, Hermione. We should get going, then."
Hermione nodded, then stood to leave, but was stopped when Luna grabbed her arm. Hermione looked at Luna, confused, but then noticed that Luna's own eyes were suddenly filled with concern. "H-Harry, is going to be alright, isn't he?" enquired Luna. Hermione almost starting crying again after hearing the worry in Luna's voice.
"Yes, Luna. He'll be fine. He's Harry. Now let's go find him."
Well, there's your update, ladies and gentlemen of internet land. Personally, I feel the chapter feels a bit rushed (I'm just as eager as you to get back to Harry), but I also kinda think that matches Hermione's state of mind at the moment. As always, read and review, if not I'll track your IP address and send you viruses. O:)
Next time, Harry wakes up and Luna clues Hermione in.