The Seeing Blind
Seeing through someone else’s eyes
“Hello, Hermione.” A dreamy voice called out from nowhere. It was clearly a girl’s voice, and Hermione knew no other person in the world who had that voice, besides one.
“Luna?” Hermione questioned.
“Yes, it’s me. And Neville, too,” Luna’s soft, aloof voice replied.
“Hey, Hermione,” Neville’s familiar and awkward voice echoed. Hermione could visualize Neville’s clumsy, uncertain stance, hands in his pocket, hair disheveled.
“Hey, Neville. Wow, I’m surprised you’re here!” Hermione sat up in her bed. She was really getting sick of the St. Mungo’s bed.
“It’s good to see you, but we know you can’t see us,” Luna’s dreamy voice stated the obvious and awkward. Hermione tried not to scowl. Even if conversing with Luna wasn’t her favorite thing in the world, it was better than listening to random noises. And, of course, Luna had repeatedly fought Voldemort and Death Eaters, right beside her. She was trustworthy and loyal, even if she was a Ravenclaw, which somehow must have meant she was smart. Hermione still had doubts about that.
“How are you both?” Hermione asked, addressing her words in their direction.
“We’re okay,” Neville slowly responded.
“I didn’t have to stay in St. Mungo’s, but Neville has. He’s now in rehab,” Luna supplied.
“What are you in rehab for, Neville?” Hermione asked, surprised.
“Well, for my arm. I had a Death Eater’s curse on me, but they cleared that up easily. Said it wasn’t done very well,” Neville told her feebly.
“But now he’s in rehab for his arm. The only damage left from the curse was to his wand hand. He can’t use it at all now,” Luna stated in an aloof voice, sounding as though she was speaking to the air.
“I’m sorry, Neville,” Hermione offered.
“It’s all right. They’re teaching me how to use my left hand now. But I’m worse than ever,” he chuckled at his own ineptness.
“Well, you were getting really great at your spells, especially Defence work. You just have to train your left hand now,” Hermione encouraged him.
“I’ve tried telling him that. He’s very unsure of himself,” Luna stated, as though Neville wasn’t there. Hermione imagined Neville was probably blushing.
“So what’re you doing here?” Hermione asked inquisitively.
“Well, we wanted to check on everyone, and we thought we might take you for a walk,” Neville offered.
“A walk?” Hermione repeated.
“Yes. I think it’s difficult to learn how to walk without being able to see. We wanted to walk you around the hallways and just talk. After all, I would hate to see you lose your functions and turn into a Himphlelark. That can be terrible,” Luna answered.
“Oh, right,” Hermione stopped herself from ranting to Luna about her ridiculous, made-up creatures.
Neville and Luna proceeded to help Hermione down from her bed, and each grabbed an arm, guiding her along the room. Hermione’s ears were filled with even more sounds than usual, all coming in varying intensities. She tried to focus but was having trouble.
“We’re going towards the door to exit your room,” Luna offered, “and now your feet will feel the carpet of the hallway floor. It’s blue carpet, like the deep blue of the darkest part of the ocean.” Hermione could tell the sounds changed because of the carpeted floor. The sounds were no longer so echo-like.
“The hallway is wide enough for about four people to walk together. There are several carts sitting against the walls holding different potions and various Healing devices. There are four Healers at the end of the hall. You can probably hear them talking.” Hermione could hear them talking. She, Luna, and Neville kept moving.
“On the wall are some paintings, moving ones of course. There’s an old hairy man waving at you in one of them. Now we’re nearing the central Healer’s station. You can probably hear lots of noises. There are two Healers here, but neither one is talking. One has dark brown hair, the other dirty blond hair. The one with brown hair is heavy set, and sitting at the desk, doing paper work. The blond headed one is eyeing us suspiciously.” Hermione laughed.
“We’re taking you down the hallway across the way. At the end is a little sitting room, which is where we’re going.” Luna continued to describe nearly everything and everyone they walked past. Hermione was quite surprised to hear the extent of detail Luna used to illustrate their surroundings. Hermione felt like she could picture everything, like she was almost seeing it. Finally they came to the sitting room and sat down together to take a break and chat.
“It’s so great to be out of my room.” Hermione smiled, breathing in air that felt so different. She could hear Neville’s shoelace knocking against something repeatedly.
“Maybe you’ll go home soon,” Luna replied dreamily.
“When are you getting to leave?” Hermione asked in what she thought was Neville’s direction.
“Actually, they released me today. I wanted to visit before I went home. But I’ll be back every week or so for rehab.”
“Oh.” Hermione sighed. He was released. When would it be her turn? When would it be Ron or Harry’s turn?
“Have you visited Harry or Ron?” Hermione asked.
“They wouldn’t let us,” Luna answered.
“I think they’ll be okay. Just need some time…” Neville’s voice seemed unsure.
“I don’t think so,” Luna stated in a resigned way. Hemione felt herself still. Did Luna really think Harry and Ron wouldn’t be okay?
“You don’t think so?” Hermione repeated.
“We don’t know, Hermione,” Neville cut in before Luna could speak. “They won’t let us see them. Luna doesn’t know.” Neville’s voice came out more convincing than it had been before. The room was quiet for awhile as none of them said anything. Luna was often wrong about things, and Neville didn’t seem as concerned. Hermione tried to relax her worries. They sat for awhile, and eventually spoke of lighter topics and tried to fill in details from the battle. Hermione was still a bit hazy from when she had blacked out or gone into a coma or whatever had happened to her.
Finally, Luna and Neville walked Hermione back to her room and said goodbye. Hermione was glad to have had something to occupy her for a time. She was tiring of all the time she had in St. Mungo’s. She felt helpless and was ready to leave and learn how to live as a blind person, if they were never going to cure her.
And she was ready to see Ron and Harry, but she had been since she had woken up. It seemed like a lost cause.
It had been another long day of lying in the bed at St. Mungo’s, listening to repetitious ticking, shuffling feet, and the occasional conversation. However today Hermione had been taken on a brief walk with one of the Healers, and later again with Mrs. Weasley, so that was something. She was thankful for the company, but more than anything she was tired of being alone, tired of being in the hospital when nothing could be done for her, and tired of being kept away from Ron and Harry. It was frustrating to no end.
She had asked Mrs. Weasley about it. All she received was another excuse. She had asked Mr. Weasley. He seemed to feel sorry for her and merely promised that he was working his hardest to get her cleared to go see her friends.
Hermione had been through so much – helping find and destroy Horcruxes, battling Death Eaters, winning the final battle against Voldemort, even if she had been blinded and knocked unconscious in the process. Now it felt like she couldn’t be trusted, or as though telling her the truth about Ron and Harry would be too much for her. She felt like she was purposely being kept in the dark, and that highly angered her. Maybe she was wrong – maybe no one knew more than what they were letting on to, but she felt like they did. She felt like they were hiding something. Did they think there was something she couldn’t handle?
She had asked Ginny, Fred, and George. But they were all dead ends.
Instead she had spent another day wondering about the fate of her friends, longing to see them, to speak to them, to touch them. Finally the dreadfully long day had slipped away, like all the others before it, and Hermione knew she was falling asleep. She dreamed of something, but upon awaking, it was completely forgotten.
“Hey.” She heard a voice as she awoke. The room was dark, but Hermione reminded herself that that was no different from usual.
“Harry?” she whispered. Even if it was always dark for her, Hermione knew it was the middle of the night some time. She had finally learned to gauge these things based on the appearance or disappearance of the Healers.
“Yeah, it’s me,” Harry’s voice came out in a steady whisper. He was right beside her bed and before he had finished speaking his hand had found hers. She loved feeling his touch, feeling connected in some way to the voice in the darkness.
“It’s late. Is something wrong?” she asked.
“No…” Harry responded, his fingers playing with her hand.
“Why are you here?” she asked softly, but as an after thought she hoped it hadn’t sounded like she didn’t want him there. Truthfully she did. She always wanted him around. And Ron too. That was the trouble these days.
“I just wanted to see you.” Harry’s voice sounded unconcerned, but Hermione thought she knew better. Harry never appeared to someone in the middle of the night for no reason.
“Really?” she pushed. Harry didn’t respond. Now both of his hands were toying with her right hand, tracing lines and drawing circles. Hermione took in the sensation, and allowed him his silence. She didn’t know why exactly he was there, but she was glad he was. She hated feeling so far away from her boys. Her boys – that’s what they were. She leaned her head back, thinking. Her hand closed over one of Harry’s and she held his hand firmly for a moment. Something was bothering him, she knew it. And that was bothering her.
“Harry, what’s wrong?” Hermione asked in a more pleading whisper. She still held onto one of his hands, but his other hand began to graze along her arm. She could feel his fingertips dancing playfully at her wrist. They brushed along her skin in a tickling yet soothing manner from her wrist all the way to her upper arm, and then his fingertips danced back down her skin to her wrist. He was repeating this motion over and over again.
“Nothing’s wrong,” Harry insisted in a light whisper. His fingertips continued to graze the skin of Hermione’s arm. The gentle brushing and constant rhythm was tranquillising and she thought she could feel the tension leaving her body. At some places, his fingertips tickled in a strange way, but it felt nice. Mostly the sensation was sending her into an extremely sedated and peaceful trance. He could pet her arm like that forever and she would never tire of it. In fact, she thought it might just put her to sleep.
Some minutes later, Hermione guessed, it really had put her to sleep. She was roused by hair that was tickling her face – Harry’s unruly, course hairs. She felt warmth very close to her and then a soft touch on her cheek. Harry kissed her and lingered for a moment, breathing gently and still holding her hand. He whispered something into her ear, something that sounded like ‘Goodnight,’ and then she felt the warmth pull away. She knew he was leaving and suddenly she didn’t want him to. She tightened her hand on his, attempting to keep him there beside her.
“I can’t stay, Hermione,” Harry whispered. Hermione mumbled some response, though she couldn’t remember later what it had been.
“I’ve got to go back. I just couldn’t sleep and wanted to see you.” Hermione couldn’t figure out why his voice sounded so unlike him. In her grogginess, it gave her a vague creepy feeling.
“I’ll see you next time?” Hermione murmured. There was silence for a moment.
“Yeah,” Harry agreed. She felt him lift her hand off the bed, and next felt a soft and delicate touch – his lips against the back of her hand. He had kissed her hand. Hermione didn’t know why this made her feel happy and sad at the same time. Sometimes she hated the emotions that came with being a girl.
“Good night,” Harry whispered, replacing her hand next to her.
“Good night,” she replied. Harry’s fingers slid away from her hand, and she fell asleep to the sound of his feet retreating.
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