“Well?” Harry asked the elf as it came around the corner.
“She took it and drank it,” it began, “And she gave me this.” It held out a glimmering golden galleon.
“Oh, er, do you want it?” Harry questioned uncertainly, not knowing how elves besides Dobby and Winky felt about money.
“No sir.” The elf said, holding it out as if it were poison.
“Oh. Well, then. Let me take it then. Thanks so much. You can, er, go do whatever it is you do.” The elf bowed deeply and started to stride away. “Thank you!” Harry yelled just before it turned the corner.
“Look Ron,” Ginny was whispering. “We didn’t poison her. We just…”
“Filled her drink with a lethal substance.”
“It wasn’t lethal. It was just, erm, spices”
“I still can’t believe you guys,” Ron had his arms crossed, and his blue eyes were angry slits.
“Ginny, stop. Just stop.” The two rounded a corner to find the little elf knocked out by the entrance to the Great hall where Hermione had just been.
“Where’s Hermione gone?” Ron questioned. Ginny sighed.
“Probably to get this elf some help.”
“Yes. Of course.” Ron looked uneasy.
A few minutes later the elf slowly opened it’s eyes.
“Ron,” it croaked.
“Wow. You house elves really know your stuff. I suppose you’re the one that keeps re-organizing my homework? I should thank you for that.”
“Ssshhh. You look like you could use some rest. Go back to sleep and I’ll carry you to the kitchens.
Hermione woke up and wondered vaguely if she had been dreaming, or if Ron carrying her had been real. She had wished, hoped countless times that he secretly harbored feelings for her and would come out and do something about them. But she knew that she had been dreaming. Dreaming waking up and seeing his face, up close and worried. Dreaming being scooped up in his arms and carried to…where?
Where am I? she wondered as she looked around her. She saw crates. Huge crates. Lots and lots of huge crates. Bigger than she was, in fact. They had names, but the letters were huge. She leaned back to read them. They read things like; “Potatoes,” “Eggs,” “Bacon.” Then she saw jugs. With labels that all read the same thing. “Pumpkin juice.”
Hermione was very confused. She blinked and looked around. Maybe she was still dreaming? She tried to make herself go back into the other dream, the one where Ron had been carrying her, it had been so real. How she wished it was.
Ron was wondering where Hermione had gotten to. He wanted to watch her protest for S.P.E.W. some more. She was so cute when she felt strongly about something. That’s half the reason I argue with her. he thought fondly, smiling. As much as he argued with her about S.P.E.W., he saw her point. House elves did need rights. Maybe she has a point, he thought.
“Where is she?” Ginny asked, walking up to Ron.
“You didn’t find her?” Harry asked coming from the opposite direction. “I checked the Owelry, the Great Hall, the classrooms…”
“Really? Ginny asked, “I checked the common room, the bathrooms, the dormitories…”
“I checked the grounds and the library.” Said Ron, starting to get a bit worried.
“She wasn’t even in the library?”
“Nope. I combed the whole place over.” Ron started to panic now, running blindly and yelling, “HERMIONE! HERMIONE, WHERE ARE YOU?”
Hermione thought she heard Ron calling her name. She got up from where she had been trying to sleep and wandered sightlessly through the wooden door into…
“Good! You’re awake!” Squeaked a house elf. “Just in time, we’re making the tarts for lunch!” And with that, Hermione had a bowl full of yellow, lemon smelling goop and a spoon thrust into her hands. Well, what she thought were her hands.
“What’s happened?” Hermione screamed, and out of the corner of her eye she saw Dobby the house elf come running.
By the time Dobby got there, Hermione was leaned up against the fireplace in the Hogwarts Kitchens. “What is wrong? Are you not feeling well?”
“Dobby!” Hermione screamed; the elf jumped back. “It’s me! Hermione! Harry Potter’s friend!
You is an elf now, miss?” Dobby asked, confused.
“NO! I’ve been turned into a house elf by someone…I was protesting for elf rights, and an elf brought me a strange drink, and I didn’t want to be rude, so I drank it. It must’ve been polyjuice potion!” Now that she thought about it, Hermione realized what it was that the elf’s drink had tasted like. It had been the potion she, Harry, and Ron had taken in their second year. Hermione had accidentally added a cat hair and been turned into a cat for weeks. The potion was not meant for non-human transformations. She needed to talk to someone. McGonagall was probably at breakfast or preparing for her lesson. Dumbledore. “Dobby, we have to go see Dumbledore.” Was all Hermione said. She grabbed Dobby by the hand and dragged him to the gargoyle statue that guarded the entrance to Dumbledore’s office. Just as Hermione realized that she didn’t have a password, the gargoyle jumped aside and Dumbledore strode out.
”Well, hello Dobby, wonderful to see you this morning. And hello,” he began, seeing Hermione. “I hate to say this, and it would be horrible of me to have forgotten your name, but I believe I have. I’m terribly sorry, I did think I knew all of my elves names.”
“Oh, no sir. It’s Hermione.”
Oh, yes, maybe I haven’t met you then. We do have a sixth year in Gryffindor whose name is Hermione, perhaps you’ve met her, she and her friends Ron and Harry visit the kitchens quite often.”
“Sir,” Hermione started, inwardly marveling at the knowledge of Dumbledore. “It is Hermione. Hermione Granger.”
“Well now,” Dumbledore whispered, “How did this happen?” He motioned at Hermione’s elfish appearance.
“I think I’ve been given some polyjuice potion. It’s been over an hour, but then, the potion isn’t meant for non-human transformations.”
“You seem to have quite a lot of knowledge of it. I know, I know,” he began, holding up a hand, “you read quite a lot. Now, we must figure out what we’re going to do. While I think,check some references, and talk to Madam Pomfrey, you can go back to the kitchens and get a taste of the life as a house elf. If you’ll act as if you are an elf so that the other elves don’t catch on and panic. Dobby,” he turned and faced Dobby now. “I am trusting you to lead Miss Granger through daily life. I will summon you both when I have a solution.”
“Yes sir.” Dobby bowed, and figuring she might as well get used to it, Hermione bowed too. It was harder to bow straight than it appeared to be.
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