Hermionie, Lost and Found - Sarah Dahl

            “You should be women, you know, you girls know knothing about akny-thing. You girls call yourself knights but you are knot, you don’t know aknything about real terror, real danger, real battle.”

            This is what Hermionie Weaslie said to the group of witches—some young, some old, some normal-looking, some sneezing into enormous cerulean-colored handkerchiefs whilst their wands formed figure-eights in midair—sitting in front of her.

            It was only the 10th bi-weekly meeting of the Congregation of Courageous Conjurers, Charm-Chanters, and Witches (CCCCW for short), yet Hermionie, president and co-founder (alongside her good friend Jinny, who was currently taking maternity leave), already felt tuckered out.

            A drum, a drum, was beating in her head, tediously, monotonously, this incessant pounding that didn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Thump. Thump-thump Thump. Thump. Thump-thump Thump. Thump.

            The greatest is behind, she thought sadly, in more ways than one, with a tint of nostalgia that she quickly reined in—lest the group catch her sniffling and think her weak. That would not look good for these witches gathered in front of her, who vowed on their first meeting to fight for the good of the Wizarding World ’til death do them part, and yet, there didn’t seem much “good” to be “fighting” for.

            That was the problem. Hermionie didn’t know for what purpose she had formed the group. There was no evil to be fought in the world. Her one female friend, Jinny Pawter, had happily agreed to help out, but she’d just given birth to her second son on Tuesday. Hermionie had suggested Jinny use one of those new-fangled charms that washes a baby, feeds it, and changes its diapers at all times and during all hours of the day, in order to be able to continue aiding the CCCCW—but Jinny had given her a blank, piercing sort of look (it even seemed a little condescending to Hermionie, yet she didn’t dare think of her dear old friend in that manner), then said coolly, “Oh thank you, darling, but I would much prefer spending all my time with our darling little infant. Best wishes with the CCCCW.”

            Hermionie had nodded graciously at the time, but on the inside she’d been seething. She began to think Jinny had only agreed to co-found (and co-preside, for the precious few days before she’d gone into labor) in order to humor her.

            The pounding in her head continued. Hermionie’s voice continued moving down the agenda typed up on the desk in front of her, while her mind continued to wander.

            It seemed like everyone was just trying to humor her these days. Rawn, who only cared about Quidditch matches and the latest brooms coming out, would smile and kiss her when he came home, but Hermionie doubted if he even listened to her as she talked about her day. He nodded and grinned with a distant look in his eyes, then ran off to turn on the telly and watch Quidditch. Albeit, Hermionie admitted her days weren’t very interesting—sitting in bed until noon (and casting spells in the direction of the staircase whenever she wanted a clementine or a tangerine [it changed day-to-day] and a piece of toast), typing up the next CCCCW meeting’s agenda on her computer, and then sitting dismally in her daughter Rohse’s bedroom until Rawn came home from the office. Rohse was away at a special boarding school for talented witches and wizards that Hermionie herself had once gone to; though at the moment she couldn’t quite place its name. She thought it had something to do with hogs.

             Anyway, Hermionie’s uninteresting life as a middle-aged empty-nester seemed like a breath into the wind—though not in the usual sense. This wind reeked of happy, happy bliss, and Hermionie’s breath was just a painful, useless cry against it, against problems that didn’t exist.

            There was no trouble in the world. Hermionie had nothing to occupy her time, nothing to fight for, nothing to fight against. Sometimes she almost wished for her old life, back when she’d quit going to that school that started with the word Hog, travelled around England with her male friends Hairy and Rawn (though Rawn had been absent for part of the time—Hermionie never found out why, even after she married him), and fought against the evil forces of U-Kno-Who.

            Suddenly the pounding in Hermionie’s temple grew even stronger. She felt an immense pain, and strange images of death flashed across her eyes.

            Then she realized it was probably because she’d taken the wrong vitamin that morning.