The Broken Watch
September 1st was a day of powerful emotions. Happiness bubbled within the students whom would soon study the arcane, powerful and beautiful art of magic. Pride swelled within the parents as they waved their children off, the train speeding away, great globs of steam billowing in its wake. Sadness weighed down the small children who would not see their older brothers and sisters for months. As for one Hermione Jean Granger, well, why don't we just have the cameras follow her?
From afar, nothing seemed too out of place. She maintained a slightly disheveled appearance, and she strolled along King's Cross Station at a brisk pace. Nothing she did seemed particularly unlike Hermione. However (zoom the camera in a tiny hubit, will you? Much better, thanks), if you look a bit closer (that doesn't mean zoom in more! That's one strike Malfoy. Three strikes and you're fired) you would notice that the brightest witch of her age wasn't looking too hot (strike two Malfoy, stop sniggering. You're a terrible cameraman. I know I should've hired that Creevy bloke…). She was flustered, shaking with anxiety, and kept mumbling to herself, "I'm late, I'm late, I'm so very late!" She checked her pocket watch again. The time stared unforgivingly back at her. 10:56. She had but six minutes until the train took off.
In case it wasn't painfully clear, Hermione Granger was late, for the Hogwarts Express no less.
She checked the watch again, and then gave up any and all attempts to be calm. She sprinted towards Platforms 9 and 10, making it there within an impressive three minutes, twenty-eight seconds. She ran headfirst into the barrier separating the platforms, not caring if any muggles saw her. Screw the International Statute of Secrecy; she was going to be late for school! When she made it through the magical barrier, she finally allowed herself a moment to catch her breath. She put her hands on her knees, gasping desperately for air. She didn't allow herself that long a reprieve though; she still had to board the train.
She stood up straight, and walked towards the tracks. It took her a whopping five seconds to notice a severe lack of red, gold, and magical trains, not to mention a lack of people. She was the only one in Platform 9 ¾.
Well, almost the only one.
"Hello, Hermione. You're looking quite terrible right now. Did you forget to protect yourself from Nargles again? You can be so reckless sometimes, did you know that?" Hermione groaned internally. Of all the moments, of all the people, why did it have to be now, and why Luna Lovegood?
"Luna, I missed the Hogwarts Express. I'm not in the mood to deal with Nargles, Wrackspurts, Heliopaths, Blubbering Himgidders-"
"Doesn't matter!" Suddenly, a thought struck her. It's unfortunate how thoughts will physically abuse you. "Wait, Luna! Did you miss the train, too? Of course you did, you're standing right here with me. Oh, this is horrible! We missed the Hogwarts express! We're going to be expelled! Where's a flying car when you need one?"
Luna stared bemusedly at her clearly stressed friend. "Miss the train? What are you talking about? It's only 9:15. Perhaps you mean miss the train like you miss Harry? I can understand that. They're both quite lovely."
Most of Luna's words went over Hermione's head as she could only focus on a short string of numbers. 9:15. 9:15. 9:15. She was so stuck on those four digits that she wasn't even coherent enough to yell at Luna for that 'you miss Harry' comment. 9:15. 9:15. She wouldn't believe it, no, couldn't believe it until she had confirmation that this was possible.
She pulled out her pocket watch, smirked in an odd mixture of disappointment and triumph, and shoved the watch in Luna's face, just inches from her eyes. "Ha! You see that? It's not 9:15, it's 10:56! …Wait. Hold on." Luna grabbed onto the hem of her shirt hard enough that her knuckles turned whiter than her already pale skin. "10:56…but it just said that 10 minutes ago! …And 25 minutes ago…and 3 and a half hours ago…"
Hermione took a closer look at the watch, holding it up to her eyes and squinting. The seconds hand was frozen.It was almost as if, "My watch is broken! Are you telling me I panicked for nothing? That I rushed here, not even eating breakfast, all for nothing? That I screamed at myself in public and sprinted across King's Cross Station mumbling like the White Rabbit, all for nothing?" Just for added confirmation, she checked the giant clock hanging over the platform. 9:15.
"You know what? I don't even care anymore." She placed the pocket watch on the ground then proceeded to step back a few feet, taking out her wand in the process.
"Avada Kedevra!" she shrieked at the top of her lungs. The jet of green light hit the watch with frightening accuracy, causing it to shatter into thousands of pieces, the debris flying all throughout the platform. Where once stood a pocket watch now sat a miniature crater with smoke seeping out from the center.
Luna, never taking her eyes off the place where the killing curse made contact with the watch, calmly asked, "Better?"
"…You know you still have the trace, right?"
"Yeah, so what?" A short moment passed. "Oh."
"Have fun in Azkaban."
"I'm mad at you. You ruined my fanfics. How can you and Harry be shipped if you're in Azkaban? Well, I suppose I could just report all the illegal things he's done in Hogwarts… maybe they'll let you two share a cell! Then my fanfics won't be ruined!"
And that, dear readers, is why you don't mess with a shipper.
"Hey, worst comes to worst, I'll still have AdvanceShipping, ignoring the disappointing lack of evidence in canon."
"Sometimes, Luna, I really hate you."
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