Day 4 Prompt: Characters
A character from a book you’ve read recently (or a television show you’re watching) comes to your life and talks to you.
What do you do? What do you talk about?
My desk phone rings, and the front security desk notifies me that a “Ms. Hermione Granger is in the VIP lounge,” and she’s waiting for me. I ask her to repeat herself.
“Excuse me, but are you sure?” I ask once she’s given me the same message again.
The elevators take too long, and I tap my foot impatiently until the doors finally open on level 1. When I turn the corner to the visitors lounge, I am taken aback. A sweet looking young girl is waiting for me, looking slightly out of place. This isn’t Emma Watson, who played Hermione so beautifully in the movies. This is Hermione, authentically and absolutely from the pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which is still sitting wide open on my night stand at home.
Rather than calling her name as I would with other visitors, I approached her and ask, “Can I buy you a warm drink?”
She smiles, and stands. We walk in silence at first, until we reach the main lobby again. “I’m not sure I know why you’re here, but I am awfully glad to see you,” I say. “Is everything alright?”
Hermione smiles again, and says, “Everything is good, with me at least. School is going well and my family is really happy for me. Christmas in the muggle world was hard, but I’m glad I went.” She pauses here, and as we walk I can tell she has more to say.
I wait until she has a cup of hot cocoa in front of her before I ask her more. We had found a small table in the back of the Bistro, and she seemed to relax when she took off her coat and sat down.
“How are you?” she asks me. This would feel normal coming from most people, but I don’t really know Hermione. At least, she doesn’t know me.
“I’m well,” I answer, “busy at work and trying to keep everything together at home, but I can’t complain.” I’m surprised I even said this much. This girl is a pre-teen, she doesn’t need to know any of that. “Why have you come to see me, Hermione? Is there something I can help with?”
“I believe perhaps there’s something I can help you with, actually,” she says. “This week you picked up the first book again, didn’t you?”
I swallowed. “Yes, it was my new years resolution to reread all of your stories to start my year off.”
“It’s been almost 10 years since you’ve read any of the books. Have you thought about why you’re so eager to read them now?” She looked at me like I already had the answer.
“Well, I guess because it’s been so long. It just felt long overdue.”
“This time when you read them,” she said, “things will feel different. You will not only know what’s going to happen, but you will understand the motives and reasons the characters have. It may not seem as innocent this time, and I think you’ve already started to see that.”
I wasn’t really following. Had she come all this way to tell me to use caution in reading these books?
“I have felt how different you are now than you were then,” she says
“I can feel you and hear your thoughts when you read about us. I know how different the world is for you now, and I came here to remind you of the brave little girl you were when you read these stories the first time. I know I look like a little kid, but I know how the story goes now that it’s over. I have seen all the way to the end.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Was she worried about me? She’s the one battling Voldemort and figuring out that she’s a wizard, and I’m the one she’s worried about?
“I dont…I don’t know what to say,” I stammer. “Growing up is harder than they told us it would be. School, yeah school is easy. I had 21 years of practice with that and then they threw me out the door and told me to figure it out. With that said, I’m doing pretty well. I have a job,” I say this as a I gesture to the beautiful Coca-Cola headquarters around us, “I have an incredible relationship and two beautiful dogs. I’m doing alright, I think!”
“You’re doing so well,” Hermione says, “and you have a lot to be proud of. Just don’t forget to be brave, at every front. Don’t forget to be excellent, because there’s really no other way worth being.”