A New Hope
Hermione Jane Granger, Jedi.
Summary: Do, or do not, there is no try. Hermione, without knowing what she was doing, did.
Disclaimer: While I do wish that the Harry Potter universe or the Star Wars universe were mine, thus making me uber rich, they're not. This is for the profit of fun.
Author Notes: This is something that has been resting on my docs for quite a while, and I didn't want to post it without finishing Fates, but things change. I'll probably update this very slowly, since this is a co-op with Icewing and we're both out of time to write, so hold on to your horses. Ah, the entire fic will be told from the POV of Hermione, Harry, for once, is going to be the 'sidekick', so to speak.
Later in life, during one of many interviews, the reporter asked Grand Jedi Master Hermione Granger for her life's most defining moments. She stopped for a while and let out a small smile. After all, there were several of them, spanning almost fifteen decades. However, if he had asked what was the very first one, she would promptly answer that it was the day when she was all of seven years old, and her father, seeing her in a rather particular funk, decided to spend some time with her in an unusual - for them at least - manner.
Hermione, by then, was already what people would call a bookworm, spending most of her time with her nose buried in a book. She had no real friends at school, and her parents, while loving and caring individuals, did spend a lot of time at their dental practice.
That particular Sunday, though, had Dan Granger paying special attention to his studious and silent daughter, watching her devour the book currently in front of her. An idea sparked on his mind, and he went to the kitchen, to start the preparations.
A few minutes later, he walked back into her room, carrying a bowl of popcorn.
"Hermione, dear, stop for a little bit, will you?" he asked, and she promptly stopped reading and looked at him. "I know you like to read and all that, but why don't we do something together for a while?"
She looked outside, noticing the heavy rain falling down, then to the book on her lap, reaching a decision. She closed it down. "I'm up for it, unless you want us to drown while standing outside. If so, you're on your own," she said with a smile.
"I'm not that mad," he laughed. "Come on," he said, and she followed him and the bowl of popcorn to the living room. She sat in front of the large TV, while her father put a VHS in the player.
TV and movie watching were interesting subjects at the Granger's home. Hermione's mother and herself liked to watch the news and the silly side of TV, like comedies and what Dan called 'chick flicks', a denomination he had heard in one of his trips to America. Dan, however, was a sci-fi nut, which caused all kinds of friction between him and the women in his life.
"This is not one of those silly movies of yours, is it?" Hermione asked, frowning.
"They're not silly. However, I'm making a deal with you. If you can't stand to watch it after fifteen minutes, we'll change to something more to your taste, and I won't badger you anymore about it. Deal?"
"You have yourself a deal," she said, and they shook hands.
Dan sat to the other side of the popcorn bowl, while the world famous score and the yellow letters started crawling up the screen. He had a smile on his face when he noticed the same look of concentration on Hermione's face as if she was reading a school book, and not the fictional story of the Rebellion and the Empire. A few moments later, they were watching the Corellian Corvette Tantive IV being assaulted by an Imperial Star Destroyer for the very first time in her life.
Fifteen minutes later, changing the movie to something else was the last thing in the young girl's mind.
The Death Star had blown up, Luke and Han were being hailed as heroes of the Rebellion, and in a small suburban home in England, a small girl was hooked for life. Once the credits started rolling up, she turned to his father, eyes shining.
"Please, tell me there's more than this?" she begged of him. Dan's smile would probably split his head in two.
"Two more movies, and an entire universe that spanned from them. Want to see the sequel?"
"YES! Please, yes!" she screamed.
Laughter bubbled from Dan, and in moments the second movie started rolling to an attentive audience of two.
That was the very first turning point in Hermione Granger's life. She loved the movies, and became a fan, like millions of other people around the world. However, her very own thirst for knowledge made her see what most would consider silly as something to be pursued, the Jedi way was something worthy of being followed, even if the powers would forever remain in the realm of fiction. So, as soon as the next time they went shopping, she bought a few books from the Star Wars universe, including RPGs and some novels.
It would all be normal, if only a tad bit excessive on the fan slash belief front. It would be normal if they didn't have one simple, very particular problem: Hermione was part of a very select group of human beings.
Hermione tossed the intro to physics book down onto the coffee table, causing her father to look up.
"Something wrong pumpkin?" he asked as he folded the newspaper he had been reading and set it aside.
"Do the people who write these texts deliberately make them difficult to read? Or am I just an early peeking idiot?"
"Sweetie, you're trying to fly through a secondary school text book, on your own, without a teacher to help you. And you're still only eight. Give yourself a little bit of credit, and tell me what you're having problems with, maybe I can help..."
"I just don't get it! I feel so dumb!"
Daniel Granger took his daughter's hands in his. "Ok, let's take a deep breath... Now, what's the most important thing to know?"
"Everything... As Sir Francis Bacon said, 'I have taken all knowledge to be my province'."
"And in some ways sweetie, you already know more than he did... There's a lot more knowledge today than there was in his day... Now, let me ask you, what would Master Yoda say is the most important thing to know?"
The pint sized bookworm pondered this question. Several times, she started to answer, but reconsidered. Then finally, she answered, confidence in her voice. "Yourself. No matter how much you know, if you don't know yourself, you'll never be able to do the right thing at the right time..."
"Good answer... So, how does one get to know themselves?"
Hermione rolled the question around in her mind, thinking over all she had seen and read about the ways of the Jedi. "Meditation?"
"That's a good place to start... So, grab your jacket and get your shoes on and come out into the back yard." When she just looked at him, confusion clear on her face, Daniel smiled. "Trust me, pumpkin..."
With a shrug, Hermione did just that, running upstairs to get her jacket and shoes before heading to the back yard.
When she arrived in the neatly trimmed yard, Hermione saw her father gesture her towards him. "Ok, so, we're going to start with you standing like this in front of me. Just stand like I am..."
"Dad... I thought we were going to meditate... This is outside..." she said, gesturing with her arms to encompass the yard.
"Yes, it is. Now, some meditation is done in the quiet and stillness, but the real trick to meditating is to find that calm inside yourself, not having it all around you... That's why I'm going to start you on something called Tai Chi."
** ** ** ** **
This happened for an entire week, and Dan was surprised with the dedication Hermione had towards it. He figured, when they started, that she would complain after a couple days and stop altogether some time later, but she was tackling it with as much fervor as she did a new book. Her movements were becoming more fluid, but something bothered him. Her scrunched face.
"Hermione, stop for a second," he asked, and she did.
"Something wrong, dad?"
"Perhaps. Tell me, what are you thinking when you do the movements?"
She looked at him as if he was the most stupid man alive. "In doing them right?"
"Okay, that's good, but that's not what you should be focusing on," he pointed, coming closer.
Hermione looked as if she had been slapped. "It isn't?"
"No, it isn't. Tell me, what's the objective of the movements?"
"Meditation," she concluded.
"Ok, what meditation is about?"
"Exactly, so why are you forcing yourself to do the movements right? You have to feel them, in order to understand your body, thus ending up doing them perfectly. Perfection comes with constant practice, not on the second try. Feel your body first, the rest will come naturally. Understood?"
She nodded, and started again. When she finished, the scowl had disappeared.
** ** ** **
Time passed, Hermione practiced her meditation and Tai Chi with almost religious fervor. Her parents were pleased with the fact that her grades, always at the top of her class, hadn't dropped a single point, and in the case of phys ed, they'd actually gotten a note from the gym teacher, noting her improvement in several areas, although her disdain for participation in team activities was still causing issues.
To Hermione herself, things had changed as well. After some months, she felt something change in her, something she had no real understanding of, except to think it had to be a side benefit of the meditation and Tai Chi: she started to feel things. It would be odd mentioning that to her parents, and they would probably think she was going a bit far with her 'jedi' training, but she couldn't ignore it any longer.
It started at school, and it was almost imperceptible at first. While not really having friends, she had a couple acquaintances that she talked with eventually, and she felt more... at ease with them, and them with her. However, this wasn't what really got her thinking about it.
One day, at class, she felt something at the back of her neck, and on instinct she tilted her head minutely to the left. It was enough for the spitball aimed at her bushy hair to miss her completely and hit the target right in front of her. Since she sat on the first row of desks, right in front of the teacher's own, the ball hit Ms. Pritchard right on her glasses. The culprit, an idiot boy who liked to pick on everyone almost indiscriminately, was sent to the headmistress office, while Hermione stood there, thinking about what had just happened.
As for the kid, it was his last warning, he was already on probation. He was politely asked not to return to the school the next term.
Not that anybody would mind the lack of one Dudley Dursley.
** ** ** **
These small events continued for a while, Hermione growing more worried and at the same time, more intrigued about them. As the months passed, she felt more balanced, her clumsiness had all but vanished, and while it would be hard for her - or anyone else that knew her - to pinpoint, she felt that she learned things faster, and better.
She did Tai Chi with her eyes closed, trying to better understand and feel what was happening to her, so she missed a few important facts, the leaves that moved around her, even without wind, following the routine of the martial art. When she ended, she felt so...complete, so at peace, that a smile always came unbidden to her face.
Until the day she felt something wrong inside the house.
** ** ** **
Hermione came running inside, one thing she never did, to find her mother crying over the phone.
"Mum?" she asked, not paying attention to the fact that she could almost feel what her mother was feeling.
"Oh, Hermione," Emma blurted, and grabbed her in a strong, rib-crushing hug, tears falling heavier.
She learned a few minutes later that her grandmother had passed away.
** ** ** **
Hermione stood by her mother's side on an ugly, cloudy day, watching her grandma's coffin being lowered to its final resting place. She felt so constricted, so utterly pressed by all sides that she almost ran away, but the death grip holding her hand wouldn't allow it. So, following the creed she had taken as her own, she took several deep breaths, trying to find her own center, her focus. Once she did, the bushy haired girl felt something ethereal brush against her cheek, almost like a soft kiss, and a smile came to her face.
The Code was right. There is no death, there is the Force.
** ** ** **
Hermione was sitting, her attention and focus directed inward, as she sat on the hardwood floor of her room in the classic lotus position.
For the past several weeks, since the funeral in fact, every time she was meditating or practicing her Tai Chi, sometimes she felt a... tickle, at the back of her mind..
Several times, she'd tried to pin down what it was. But, the feeling was always fleeting and, every time she tried to focus on it, bring the sensation to the forefront of her mind, it was as if she was trying to grab wind with her hands. Every time she had tried, she failed, feeling it slip away like the sun on her skin as the clouds hid the light from view.
Remembering the wise words of Yoda to a young Luke Skywalker, she stopped trying to grab it, trying to quantify the, whatever it was, and decided to let it go.
One sense at a time, she detached herself from the world. Shutting out all the sensations which came from outside of her. Sight, sound... One by one she shut down her senses, until all she could hear, all she could feel, was the slowing beat of her own heart. The swoosh of the blood in her body...
Then, without warning, she felt the sensation once more, whatever it was. At first it was just as tenuous as before, but, this time, instead of trying to direct her attention to it, she instead kept her focus on her own self. Then, as she was aware of the very air flowing in and out of her lungs with each breath, whatever it was, changed, and as it did so, went from being a gossamer caress on her consciousness to a ocean all around her, pressing against her, and then flowing into her, keeping her safe, making her feel warm and secure as it rushed into her and filled her.
And, in that moment, she could feel
her entire room, where her chair was, every book and knick knack she had. She could see, without opening her eyes, the model of the Millennium Falcon her father had given her as a gift, resting atop one bookcase. Hermione lifted her hand, without opening her eyes, and she, somehow, felt the painstakingly crafted scale version of the Falcon lift into the air, wobbling as if Han and Chewie had let the repulsorlifts get out of alignment. Taking a breath, she could feel the ship steady out, balancing as it hovered, showing the uncharacteristic grace that only the Falcon could. Calm washing over her, she opened her eyes, to see the model float a couple inches above the surface of the bookcase, slowly creeping forward, as if exiting a docking bay.
Her eyes widened, and her first reaction was to scream in suprise.
And in that moment, her concentration vanished, and the Falcon was once again subject to the laws of gravity.