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Hermione knew she had her eyes closed because although her nose stung from the Infirmary’s custom sterile scent, she could only see darkness.

“A fine way to spend Christmas,” said Madame Pomfrey, seemingly from far away. “In bed with cuts and breaks all over their poor bodies.”

“Now Poppy, you know it’s only Draco that needed attending,” Dumbledore gently reprimanded. “Keeping the others here is overreacting.”

“Well I like them here,” she sniffed. “Keeps them away from trouble.”

The muffled snickering of Charles Curative reached Hermione’s ears. There was something extra comical about its sound that made a smile tug at the corner of her lips. She slowly opened her eyes.

“You’re up!” whispered Ron joyfully. “Go on! Say you’re okay so we can go down for some lunch!”

Hermione looked down the line of beds and gasped when Draco was nowhere in sight. “Where is he? And Aurora?”

“Now, now Granger,” a familiar drawl said. “You’re sounding a bit too needy.”

Quickly, she sat up and saw Draco on the bed right across hers. He was flat on his back and covered in numerous bandages. “Oh you pompous git!” she cried in relief as she hopped off her mattress and onto his.

“Did you see that jump she made, Madame Pomfrey?” said Ron. “Clearly we’re more than ready to go down the Great Hall.”

“Clearly,” muttered Ginny as the two snogged shamelessly in front of them.

Harry shook his head. “I have to start getting used to this.”

Madame Pomfrey coughed disapprovingly. “Not too enthusiastic now, Miss Granger. Mr. Malfoy is still mending.”

“Sorry,” she grinned. Her eyes roved about the ward. “Where’s Aurora?”

Draco took her hand. “She’s already left, love.”

Tears began to form at the corner of Hermione’s eyes but there was s mile on her face. “Reckon it’s for the best. I’m gonna miss her though.”

“Me too.”

“Rest assured that the young Gifted is in good hands with others of her own kind,” Professor Dumbledore said. “Charles is more than capable to rear her and her powers into stability. He is both a kind and competent man.”

“Will we ever see her again?” asked Hermione.

“Our world hardly crosses with the Gifteds’, Ms. Granger, much like how we avoid it crossing with the Muggles’. But the bond you formed with the ten months you took care of her will always stay. Who knows? There may come a time when you will meet again.”

He laid a hand on both of their shoulders. “For now, you both should be proud of the work you did for Aurora. The punishment that was given was surpassed by turning it into something beneficent for both of you as students and for Aurora as a child of great power.” His eyes twinkled. “So congratulations, I believe your detention is now dropped.”

The three Gryffindors and even Madame Pomfrey applauded this announcement. Charles Curative whistled in agreement from his mount outside.

“Hmm,” Draco said thoughtfully, “I don’t know, Professor. We very nearly drove Madame Pomfrey mad when we left the Infirmary.”

Hermione vigorously nodded in agreement. “And roaming the school grounds after curfew is a serious violation.”

“Very.”

“Truly.”

Professor Dumbledore shook his head and rolled his eyes. “When they’re too smart…” He started gathering Harry, Ginny and Ron from their beds. “Come along, you three. Time to tuck in the pudding.”

Madame Pomfrey ran after the departing group and protested loudly, but was drowned out by the three students’ cheering. As soon as they stepped out of the ward, Draco looked back at Hermione who was smiling down on him. “I’ve forgotten where we left off.”

“You locked the Infirmary,” Hermione smiled, “but you were on the other side of the door.”

“Oh! This about right then?”

She nodded. “Good enough.”

Draco laughed and took her face in his hands. “Come here.”

 

*

 

Somewhere...

“New kid for registration,” came someone's voice amidst the clicking and clacking of computer keyboards. “ID number 0740624...”

“Copy that...”

“Transferring personal data...”

“Accepting...” The blond guy seated across the major computer screen leaned back on his chair. “This the baby that got lost?”

“Yeah,” said the one who brought all the necessary data in for encryption in the motherboard. “All right, do your stuff.”

 The blonde shook his head. “Sometimes, I wonder if these kids will hate me in the end.”

 His friend shrugged. “It's just a name. They can always change it once they’re old enough.”

 The blonde sighed. “Okay.” Clicking and clacking ensued. "Powers are weather control? Just that?"

“You know what I heard? That this kid can wipe buildings off the ground with tornadoes the size of Texas. Crazy right?” said the other guy. He swiveled around in his chair impatiently. “Come on, man! What are we calling her?”

 Clickety-clack. Clickety-clack. “I'm changing Aurora to Ororo.”

 Silence.

 Clickety-clack. "We can call her Storm."

 Enter. Data saved.

 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Stephen King for the concept of being Dim. Stan Lee. JK Rowling. T. And people who reviewed. Thanks. It's been friggin' fun.

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