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Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust (Also, Reincarnation)

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Hermione Granger was well aware of the fact that she was not only Hermione Granger. Normally, this would scare someone, what with them not being only themselves. However, for Hermione this was not the case. Because ever since she had been Hermione, she had been Wendy Darling.

 

She supposes it starts when she's born. Wendy Darling had not had a peaceful death (perhaps her falling to a hook glinting in the light with a man saying, "Think a happy thought." Had something to do with that), and as a result the upset in her soul had messed up the reincarnation process.

 

Of course, she's glad to be a girl again. And she still looks mostly like herself, though she would miss her blue eyes. Her parents, a woman with untamable hair named Monica and a man with honey colored eyes named Wendell love her. They even call her Wendy when she asked them to at 3 years old. She is their bird they say and she loves them just as much as her other parents.

 

She quite likes the new world. When she has a book, no one looks at her funny and whispers that a girl shouldn't be reading. She even finds a book written by one of the lost boys (because she finds written on the first page: For Mother, your Tootles misses you) about her and Peter. She reads it and is glad to see that in that version, she does not die, though it is quite distasteful that she grows up and cannot be with Peter. That, she will have to avoid.

 

As time moves on, she grows. She flourishes in school, though her teachers say her speech patterns are odd, almost older sounding. She learns math without her Father saying it is a men's skill, and that men have been to the moon and back while she was gone. The world has moved on and though Wendy should be left behind, she is not. She evolves.

 

Wendy jumps out her window when she officially found out that she had magic. Not that she hadn't suspected that she had some kind of magic of course she wasn't daft, but still, regardless of suspicions, one does not jump out a two-story window on a guess. In retrospect, it was a stupid thing to do in front of her parents. But she had been so happy. She could finally go see Peter, and it wasn't too late, and oh if only John and Michael were there! The McGonagall woman caught her with some spell and she spent twenty-three minutes listening to her parents tell her that having magic didn't mean you could jump out windows and give people heart attacks. It was only later when she was in bed that she realized why it didn't work; She had no Pixie Dust.

 

She decides to go by Hermione now. Magic is realer than ever, and in a world where people want to kill her, Wendy is something that will never be theirs.

 

Hermione's encounters with the wizarding world thus far were much less appealing then the thought of waiting until her parents fell asleep and flying off to Neverland. However, Hermione was nothing if not patient, so she did not sneak off and meet the former/current love of her life. Even though she really really wanted to.

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Hermione was not happy the day she boarded the train for Hogwarts. She still hadn't found a way to fly without pixie dust, she was a year older, and she sat in a compartment by herself, a book in her lap about Merlin while trying to find some reference to Pixie Dust. Apparently he was Fae blessed? Surely that was also a type of fairy? A boy named Neville who's face reminds her so much of Michael that it makes her heart hurt comes into her compartment and asks if he can sit with her. He is quite for all of five seconds before explaining that he's lost his toad, and his face is so sad she offers to help him. She searches half the train, while he searches the other.

 

She had just given up hope when she entered the last compartment. It is then she sees a flash of red hair, and her heart stops because she's only seen that certain color once before. She slides open the door, and the face she sees is familiar. It's impossible and implausible, but it's also Peter looking even younger than the last time she saw him. He and the other boy look up as she enters, and her throat closes as tears flood her vision (because she knows those eyes, she knows that face. It's one she has been trying to figure out how to get to).

 

"Peter?" She whispers, looking at him, daring to hope. My lovely, lovely lost boy. The boy stares back, and her hopes are dashed. The boy's eyes hold no recognition, and pain blooms in her chest. She doesn't give them a chance to respond, and her vision blurs as she struggles to keep her emotions under control.

 

"Sorry." She tries to say, but a sob comes out instead.

 

She stumbles out of the compartment, ignoring their looks of confusion and runs back to her and Neville's section. He isn't back yet, and she feels all her composure leave her as tears slide down her cheeks. Her brain is barely functioning, and she tells herself to firmly stop it, because there are people on this train that would gladly hurt her for her blood. But she cannot help it. That was Peter, and that meant he also must have met his untimely fate. He had been holding her before-. And her last sight had been Hook looming over him. He died, she realized and cried more. Eventually her tears stop, and she is able to calm herself. Neville comes back in shortly afterward, toadless. He must sense her distress, because he asks questions about her books. She is grateful for the distraction and spends the rest of the time talking about what's she learned with him, even as her mind is a mess.

 

She changes her clothes and leaves the train, Neville trailing after her. She sees the way he trips over his too long robes, how he fumbles with his wand and is reminded of her lost boys. She offers him her hand, and murmurs, "I'm nervous. Hold my hand?" with a soft smile. Neville tentatively smiles back and puts his warm hand into hers. They float across the enchanted lake, and Hermione is aware she's babbling, regurgitating words she's read, but Neville seems interested and is actually listening. She watches as the castle fully comes into view, and even she cannot stifle her awed gasp. It's beautiful, and even if Neverland is better, Hermione feels the same sense of belonging she felt there.

 

They enter a hall, and she watches as the boy who is but isn't but might be Peter and the other boy (her eyes zero in on the scar on his forehead and familiarity floods her) she now knows is Harry Potter square off with a blonde child. She doesn't pay attention to there words, and watches as McGonagall steps out from the shadows. They fall silent as she reveals herself and the older woman opens her mouth to speak when Neville shouts.

 

"Trevor!" He cries and rips his hand from hers to run up the steps. He stops in front of McGonagall and Hermione and the rest of the first years watch as he stoops down and picks up a tiny toad. She tries and fails not to smile at the happiness on his face. His face turns red when he realizes people are watching him, and he hurries back to her side, slipping Trevor into his pocket before rubbing his hand on his robe and (at her nod and  smile) and retaking her hand. She misses what McGonagall says, her mind still abuzz as she gazes at the ginger in front of her. He's not even paying attention, she thinks fondly. Neville tugs on her hand and she realizes that they are moving.

 

They are brought to another hall, this one for dining. She looks up and smiles as she sees the sky unfold above her. The star she so desperately years to go to shines brightly in the false sky, but even the fictitious sky cannot compare to the real beauty of the second star to the right that go's on til morning and Hermione looks away, upset for a reason she can't quite fathom.

 

She looks to see Neville entranced as well as several other children and hurriedly explains, "It's bewitched to look like the sky outside. I read about it in Hogwarts: A History." She murmured to him, her cheeks flushing when he looked at her. Had she just lost her first friend? But no, he smiles.

 

"You're brilliant, Hermione." He tells her. Her cheeks go darker, and she opens her mouth to speak but stops herself when she sees the headmaster stand. She doesn't pay attention to what he says, merely waits until he says what she's waiting for. The sorting ceremony.

 

"Let the sorting begin!" Dumbledore shouts, and a hat appears. The headmistress holds it and calls a Hannah Abbot. The girl beside her runs up eagerly, and McGonagall puts it on her head. Hermione watches the proceedings curiously and restrains a gasp when a mouth and eyes are molded from the fabric on the hat. It (somehow) narrows its eyes.

 

"HUFFLEPUFF!" It screamed. The girl skipped over to table with canary yellow and black banners. It was fascinating, and Hermione found herself no longer anxious, but excited. Soon enough, she hears her name being called and smiles at Neville reassuringly before rushing up to the stool. She sits and feels the weight of the hat on her head and jumps at the voice that appears in her mind.

 

Miss Granger, or should I say Miss Darling? The hat asked her. She nearly stood, panicked that everyone had heard it. No need to fear, Miss Darling. They can't hear me. Hermione settles at the words and leans back. Hmm. Interesting. Clever, smart, ambitious. Loyal. Brave. Courageous and values friendship. And a reincarnated soul of a girl from 1904. Do you feel out of place here? It asks, sounding curious.

 

Not at all. I am, after all, also a child from 1995.She says in her head. And it is much easier to read now that people no longer think a woman's only use is being a wife.

 

To her surprise The Sorting Hat laughs. True enough, Miss Darling. I think there is only one place for you. I hope you find your way back to Neverland but till then, I wish you the best of luck in "GRYFFINDOR!"

 

The last word was shouted, and she runs to the scarlet and gold clad table. She whoops as Neville is also sorted in Gryffindor, making room so he can sit beside her while still looking at the boy who might be Peter. Not-quite-Peter's friend (and Harry Potter) is sorted in her house after several silent minutes. He sits next to a pair of redheaded twins who just ooze mischief, but Hermione doesn't take her eyes off that one crimson head of hair until he runs up at, Weasley, Ron.

 

The hat barely touches his head before screaming,

 

"GRYFFINDOR!"

 

and he settles between Potter and one of the twins. Hermione sighs for a moment. Ron, while a lovely name, doesn't suit him. Perhaps she is imagining things. Reading too much into his likeness to the boy from Neverland. Or maybe he really is her Peter, come back to her because Death wasn't as big an adventure as it let on. Either way, as she watched him talk to Harry Potter, she knew that it was more important then ever she find a way to Neverland. And she had to determine whether she was leaving Peter behind or going to see him once again.

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All of her classes are with Neville, thank god and she often spends time with him. She finds comfort in his and Trevor's presence. She also finds herself following Ron around, searching for Peter's mannerisms in him. She's still unsure if he is in fact Peter, but one thing for sure is that he gets in trouble like him. A week into school and both he and Harry Potter are sneaking out after curfew. She manages to convince them that Malfoy isn't coming to their stupid duel and stumbles upon a Cerberus before returning to the tower. And what does she get for her troubles? A glare and a "Stay out of it, Granger." from Harry Potter. What an arse.

 

Days pass and she falls into a pattern.

 

History of Magic is droll, and Hermione's the only one taking notes because there just might be a chance she hears the world Neverland.

 

Astronomy is her favorite class, as she can sit for hours and gaze at her home, her real home. Professor Sinistra is impressed with her knowledge about stars, and lets her look through the telescope the whole class.

 

Defense Against the Dark Arts is a joke, as she is sure everyone knows. Quirrell is a stuttering fool, and merely chatters incessantly about Vampires. There are no Vampires in Neverland, what does she have to fear from them?

 

Herbology is about plants, which is actually far more interesting than the teacher first let on. Plants she's never heard of exist, and she finds it fascinating. Not to mention Neville adores talking about plants with her.

 

Transfiguration's enlightening and she writes on a list that grows longer each day that maybe she can turn into a bird and fly to Neverland.

 

She was excited for Flying, only to find out it was on brooms. Even that wouldn't have been so bad, but they were banned because of an accident involving Neville that somehow was overshadowed by Harry Potter getting to be a seeker for the Gryffindor quidditch team. So now they were stuck taking notes until Christmas.

 

The only class she finds she doesn't like is Potions. Professor Snape reminds her of him (We could call you Red Handed Jillyou could tell stories.) and something about him (not the clothes, for they all wear black here) and his countenance makes her anxious. If the Professor picks up on her unease, Hermione does not know (She doesn't know that Severus did sense it and looked into her mind once, only to see flashes of hate and some young girls scream. A scream that was so similar to Lily's when she was younger that Severus never looks in her mind again, and never bothers to ask her about who the girl in her head who screamed is) and doesn't care. She finds the man for all his brilliance needlessly cruel, and though she respects him, she is disappointed that he is so callous and cold. It is merely the way of this world, but Hermione is bitter nonetheless. Who was he to call her a know-it-all? What did he know of her and her hardships?

 

One day in Charms, she watches as Ron nearly pokes his eye out and hurriedly stops him. "It's Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the 'gar' nice and long." He turns red and she resists the urge to giggle.

 

"You do it then, if you're so clever!" He snapped. A thought hits her, almost like lightening.

 

She wants to show off for him, surely that would make him remember her? After all, that was how they met. Him showing off. Maybe it's my turn now, Peter. Perhaps, she thinks, it will jog a memory. So, she flicks her wand and states firmly, "Wingardium Leviosa!"

 

Hermione watches as the feather rises and catalogues it as a possible way to fly before turning to Ron. She is not surprised to see anger on his face. Peter was a sore loser too. The bells chime and she watches as everyone scurries away. She hurriedly packs her books before trailing after Ron, going unnoticed by the young boy. He walks up to Potter and starts chattering. She can't hear his words and she moves forward only for her heart to drop as she heard him loud and clear.

 

"-She's a nightmare, honestly. No wonder she has no friends!" He sneered. He can't be talking about me. He can't be. I didn't-, Hermione thought desperately, clutching her books tightly as tears welled in her eyes. Her mind unwillingly flashes back, to Peter's cruel words the night before Hook came to her.

 

"I will not grow up! You cannot make me! If I have to, I will banish you like Tink!" He screamed, each word like a dagger in her heart. The tranquility of the moment they had just shared forgotten as she felt rage encompass her heart.

"I will not be banished!" She shouted, falling to the ground with a gasp as all happy thoughts left her. How can he not love? She thought, When I love him ever so much.

"Then go home! Go home and grow up!" He told her, rising in the air, "And take your feelings with you!" He finished before flying off, leaving a trail of sparkly dust in the air before even that dissipated.

She ran off too, all the way to the little house he built for her. She slammed the door shut before closing her eyes and starting to cry.

 

He's not-

 

"Who?" Dean Thomas asks, face covered in soot because he said the incantation wrong.

 

"Granger, of course. Who else?" Ron said, and turned to look at her when a wail broke free from her throat. She pushed past him, her books falling from her hands as she covered her face because she doesn't want him to get the satisfaction of seeing her cry. She ran to the girl's bathroom and locked the stall door before crying in earnest.

 

How could she have thought that this stupid selfish boy was her Peter? How did she even know that Peter wasn't waiting for her? She thought, wiping her face on her sleeve. Peter would have never said something like that. She walked out of the stall and looked into one of the mirrors. For once she hated her new face. I don't want to be you. She thought venomously. Stupid friendless Hermione Granger. She was pushed out of her thoughts by the sound of footsteps, and hurriedly ran back in the stall. She heard Lavender and Parvati say something before they stopped in front of her stall.

 

"Hermione? Come out please?" Parvati asked, knocking on the door of her stall. Her concern seemed genuine, but Hermione felt tears well up again and shook her head before remembering the other girl couldn't see her.

 

"I think I'm going to stay here." She said, trying to keep them at bay.

 

"Are you sure?" Lavender questioned. She sounded bored, and Hermione bit back an insult.

 

"I'm fine. I'll see you later." She stated. The girls seemed to wait a few seconds, then she heard them leave. Alone again, she didn't hesitate to start bawling once again.

 

After feeling like she had cried for hours, she stepped out of the bathroom. She ran a hand over her face before turning to leave, only to come face to face with a troll. It looked at her for a moment before raising its club over its head and bringing it down hard. She automatically dodged, but let out a whimper as it whipped around and missed her head by a hair. She ran towards the door, and felt her knees weaken. It was locked. She ran back into her stall, trying to hide from it. She heard it smashing the sinks and let out a cry when the stall next to her was crushed. Letting out another whimper she started to cry again as she ducked down. Splinters of wood hit her back as it demolished the top of the stall where she stood mere seconds ago. She looked around and realized she had nowhere to go. She was cornered. The troll seemed to realize that because it grinned grotesquely and lumbered toward her. If she died now it would be for the second time for (possibly) the same boy. Seeing no solution, Hermione closed her eyes and prayed she would die fast this time.

 

A shout made her open her eyes and she watched as Harry Potter and Ron take on the troll. She blinks as she watches Ron use the spell he insulted her over correctly, dropping the club on the troll's head. It starts to fall backward in her way, but Hermione can't move she's so in shock. It gets closer and Hermione realizes it's going to crush her, but before she can move a hand grabs her and yanks her out of the way. She falls onto the person, and looks down to see a red-faced Ron Weasley. She immediately scrambles off him, and smooth's down her hair before opening her mouth. She barely got a word out before there were suddenly teachers everywhere.

 

"What where you doing?" McGonagall asked them, her face stern. Hermione sees the nervous looks Harry and Ron give each other (looks at sparkling blue eyes, midnight dances and thinks Oh the things I do for you) and steps in.

 

"Professor, please. It was my fault. I was looking for the troll. I read about them and thought I could handle it. But I was wrong." She lied, keeping her head tilted down so the older woman couldn't see her eyes. "They saved me." She added before McGonagall could ask why the boys were in a girl bathroom.

 

"Is that true, Potter? Weasley?" She demanded, and the boys quickly stopped gawking at Hermione in time to answer affirmatively. The witch pinched the bridge of her nose before speaking again. "Well then. I'm very disappointed in you. Five points will be taken from Gryffindor for your serious lack of judgement." Hermione didn't say anything, and McGonagall turned to Harry and Ron. "As for you two gentlemen, five points will be rewarded to each of you for sheer dumb luck." She told them, before turning on her heel and leaving. Snape followed, and Quirrell shooed them off. The three of them walked together to the dorms, and parted at the stairs.

 

The next day, Hermione (for reasons even she couldn't understand) was waiting at the bottom of the steps for them. They looked at each other, then walked together to breakfast. And as Hermione listened to the two of them talk about quidditch, a sense of contentment fell over her. Maybe, she thought staring at Ron as his face lit up as he spoke about flying, I was wrong about you Ron Weasley. After all, when had she ever felt this happy then when she was with Peter?