The Boy Who Was Forgotten
To say that Hermione Granger felt alone and frustrated while completing her seventh and final year at Hogwarts would be a gross understatement. Yes, she had Ginny Weasley to talk to, but Ginny had not been the same since the death of Fred and even at her best Ginny wasn't Harry and Ron. While she understood why the other two members of the golden trio had elected not to finish their Hogwarts education, she was still disappointed. Without her two best friends popping up with some strange story or quip that would make her want to scold them, all Hermione Granger has is her studies. Since the beginning of fall term, she had spent whatever moments she was not in class, eating or sleeping, holed up in the back of the Hogwarts library, trying not to think about the aftermath of the war and her breakup with Ron. Sometimes she lost track of time and would be woken up by a cross Madam Pince mumbling about students drooling on her volumes.
This time however, Hermione woke to a soft swearing. All the candles set around her newly claimed workstation had burnt out but one that was nearly out. Hermione wiped the sleep from her eyes and peered through the darkness toward what she thought was the direction of the swearing. She could make out a slight hint of silver white.
"Hello?" She repeated. "Anyone there?"
"Come out. I won't harm you." Hermione stepped towards the frozen light.
It was a ghost, a boy, or really young man, around her age. She could tell that when he was living he may have been considered handsome. He was tall, taller than Ron with long light hair that was bound back with a dark ribbon. His eyes were also light but held different tones of silvery white. His thin yet muscular frame was covered in clothes which must have been made of both leather and silk. A dark silk shirt with a leather jerkin laced overtop and fitted leather pants that were tucked into sturdy leather boots, whether his clothes were all black or brown, she could not tell by his ghostly color. Around his neck was a miniature hammer talisman roped by a leather thong. In his right hand was a worn book and in his left was a quill. His full lips were slightly parted in an uneasy smile.
"Hello." His voice was low, not airy like the other ghosts she had spoken to, it had a hint of power behind it.
"I've never seen you around the castle. I thought I knew all the ghosts." Hermione stayed where she was once she surmised how he looked like he was about to bolt.
"I tend to only stay in the library, miss."
"Oh no, you don't have to call me miss." She could feel herself blushing. He may be a ghost, but he is a handsome ghost.
"Then what shall I call you?" He put his hands together in front of him, holding both his possessions tightly.
"Nice to meet you Miss Granger."
"Oh no! Hermione is fine. Please. Just Hermione."
"Alright, Hermione. What are you studying?"
"Ancient Runes." She saw a spark of interest in his eyes.
"Yeah. The material that Professor Babbling gives us to decipher though is sort of dry, even for me so it sort of put me to sleep."
"Does the material have a storyline?" The ghost boy walked towards Hermione.
"No, not really. Just some philosophical essays about whether or not we as the magical community should exercise our power and rule over the muggle world or help them or just continue on as we have always, separate."
"That is an interesting debate, but probably not with the Runic alphabet." He glided past Hermione to her books.
"By Spellman. I knew him. Helped him translate this. He was terrible with Runes."
"Truly. It was sad really. Runes are a great source for magic though, secretive as well."
"And he was able to publish it? Without your name on it?"
"I do not like people knowing my name." He responded sadly.
"Can you tell me your name?" Hermione asked quietly.
"You like to read?"
"Do you know how to rematerialize an object from another realm?"
"Say a ghost realm?"
"Um. I read about a spell but it's in a book in the Restricted Section." Hermione was really puzzled by this ghost boy.
"Get it." His voice was forceful.
"Trust me. You'll enjoy the outcome since you love knowledge so much."
Ten minutes and several coatings of dust later, Hermione returned to the ghost boy with the small greenish-brown volume tucked under her right arm. The boy was seated cross-legged on top of the workstation and was scribbling rapidly in the book he held in his hands. He looked so intense and concentrated that Hermione felt an unfamiliar flutter in her chest. Of course a possible academic equal to her was a ghost. Not wanting to bother him, she sat down on the carpeted floor and pointed her lit wand at the book that now rested in her lap.
"A Slightly Dangerous Guide to Resurrection and Other Related Magics by Rowena Ravenclaw and Helena Ravenclaw."
The title caused an involuntary shiver to course through her body. Hermione jumped when the boy's voice cut through the tense darkness.
"They wrote that for me, you know."
"What? You were around during the time of the Founders?"
"Not only was I around, I was alive."
Hermione's heart began to beat fast despite her silent prayers that she remain calm. Someone that knew the Founders!
"You were one of the original Hogwarts students, weren't you?"
"In a way, yes." He floated down off the workstation so he was level with Hermione and the book. He pulled out a thick ghost knife from his ghost boot and before she had a chance to react, slit his right wrist and places the steady silver flow over ghost book, splashing the cover.
"Can you turn the book to page 127, please?"
Hermione's brain jump started and complied. The book was written in the Runic Alphabet. The little she could make out were the words "possession", "dead", "restore", and "living". The boy seemed to know the spell at one glance and began chanting in a low crude language Hermione didn't recognize. The book in the boy's lap began to glow and slowly filled with color. When the stream of silver blood seemed to have stopped, the book looked solid and his wrist sealed itself.
"Go ahead. Pick it up." He instructed Hermione. She again complied. The soft leather was warm as if it was cooling off. She was about to open the cover when the ghost boy stood.
"You should find it more interesting than Spellman I hope. Keep my journal and that book safe and secret. Return them to me when you have finished."
He vanished only like a ghost could vanish.
Hermione though eager to dive into this new mystery knew that she should probably do so in a more private setting so she packed up her belongings and returned to her private room that she had been awarded as Head Girl.
Once she was tucked in her bed, pajamas on and a glass of water with one candle lit and one on standby, she cracked open the ghost boy's journal and gasped at the Runic words on the first page.
"17 August 1012
To my son, Alexi Mikhail Mathias Ravenclaw Slytherin, on your 15th birthday. May this journal be filled with your private thoughts and musings. You are a brilliant boy. You make your father and I proud. You will do great things my son.