The Secret Diary of Hermione Granger
A FanFiction by Arabella
Based on "Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone" by J.K. Rowling
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me except for Gwen,
who wishes that she belonged to JKR.
Authors Notes: This diary was my first HP fanfic.
Thanks to Flourish for getting me to post in the first place, to Honeychurch for the incredible beta reading, to Zsenya for Sugar Quill and marvelous plans
and to Kata for being the very first to understand my obsession.
Miss Vauclain at the Enchanted Stationers sold me this diary today, and told me that the very first thing I must write is my secret password. I chose HQoW. She said that, without the password, the pages will seem blank to anyone else who might try to read my thoughts. I love that no one will ever read this but me! My diary at home had a flimsy lock, and I was always sure my mother would have a look if she could. This is much better.
Miss Vauclain also said that I ought to choose a diary I thought I could get along with. When I saw your name was Guinevere, I just knew you would be mine! I so love the stories of King Arthur and Sir Lancelot, and beautiful Guinevere!
Why, thank you.
Oh! Miss Vauclain told me you might talk back if you felt inspired, but I didnt really think... then you are in there?
Will you talk to me all the time?
When you like.
Oh, Gwen, this is absolutely the most marvelous, most magical day of my life! You- you dont mind my calling you Gwen?
I dont mind.
Then, Gwen, Im Hermione Granger. Im eleven years old well, Im actually ten, but Im about to be eleven in September and this is my first real day in the world of magic! Of course, Ive always been a witch. I just didnt know it til last week. An owl came swooping into our normal every day kitchen with a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry- and Id been accepted! Without testing, or anything! And we all- my parents and I, that is- were just so shocked we could hardly believe it. But its true. Im a witch! Ive just been to Diagon Alley in London to get my school things, and Im so excited to read everything at once- where can I even begin?
Im so lucky to have open-minded parents. They agreed to let me go to Hogwarts at once, and theyre so proud of me, too! No one else in my family is magical at all, but I guess Im pretty powerful. My letter said that I show "exceptional talent for one raised in Muggle society" and that I had already performed "medicinal magical applications of a peculiarly advanced nature." I guess they must have meant when I grew Susie Raviskis teeth.
That was an accident of course. She was making fun of my overbite, in front of the whole class, and suddenly I just got so mad! And then, just as suddenly, Susies teeth were sticking out further than mine. I guess I knew Id done it, but I certainly didnt know how. If I knew how, Id shrink my stupid teeth. I hate them. But Susie deserved it; she was so horrid to me. Im glad not to be going back to that school anymore. I bet loads of people at Hogwarts will be nice to me.
Anyway, Im not allowed to grow anyones teeth, even if I do figure out how (and I will.) The letter also said that now that Im aware of my powers, I mustnt abuse them (and I certainly wont!)
Oh, Gwen, theres so much more to say, but Id better go to bed if I want to get an early start tomorrow. I mean to read every single book Ive got before I leave for Hogwarts- and thats in just four weeks! I hope Ill be able to learn enough in time.
I suppose thats all for my first entry, then. Miss Vauclain said that this diary would last forever- that the pages would never run out. I guess that means youre going to know all about me, an all about Hogwarts! Im going to keep a journal of the whole time. Im so glad to have you.
I just opened this diary by magic! I did the "Alohomora" charm, and it worked for me! Im so excited! Ive been doing quite a bit of reading up on the charms, but this is the first one I actually tried.
Actually, dear, do you mind always opening me by magic? Im ever so proud of you for learning how. Its rather startling to be grabbed in the Muggle way.
Oh, of course! The Muggle way- how funny. My parents are Muggles, of course. Completely non-magical. Dentists. But theyve been reading a lot, too. I saw a book on Mums bed-stand called "Muggle-born: Helping Your Child Make the Magical Transition". Theyre being really wonderful about the whole thing. Mum says that the most important thing for the Muggle parent to remember is that witch and wizard children are just ordinary children with extraordinary powers. I dont know about that. Ive never really been ordinary. But I love the idea of having extraordinary powers. Its still such a shock, you know? My whole life I thought magic was just something in storybooks- but its real- and I can do it! I feel so special. Im glad theres something special about me besides my being smart. Being smart doesnt count for much at Muggle schools. People just make fun of you- like that awful Susie and her whole gang. Mum and Dad always said she was just jealous, but she wasnt. She was pretty and popular, and I was... nothing to be jealous about.
Well it doesnt matter anymore! Im a witch- HQoW, to be precise- and Susie Raviski can keep all her prettiness. Id rather do magic! Anyhow, I bet loads of kids at Hogwarts will be smart. Ill fit right in. I hope.
Im scared, Gwen. Theres ever so much to learn. Ive still got five course books to do. Ill never learn it all in time. Guess Id better go try, though.
Talk to you soon!
What do you do when Ive shut you? Is it awfully dull in there?
Oh no. I go visiting.
Magical objects like this diary, which can think for itself, have brains. Our diary brains are based at the Enchanted Stationers, with Miss Vauclain. We only exist in the diary when were summoned.
And I summon you when I do "Alohomora" and write the password?
And otherwise, you visit with your friends?
Correct. Or I can rest.
Do you.... well, do you tell my secrets to the other-- brains?
Even if I wanted to- and I dont- I couldnt. Weve all been charmed into secrecy. Id have to have your explicit permission.
Well, thats a relief, then. And Im glad youve something else to do. It would be pretty boring just to listen to me. So, were you visiting just then?
Actually, I was having rather a lovely talk with Esmeralda.
Shes my best friend. She belongs to another diary.
Well, Ill let you get back then. I just wanted to ask.
Thank you. And thank you for remembering to open me by magic. Its much gentler.
Youre welcome. Goodbye!
Im so sorry to have been quiet for so long, but Ive literally been studying all day long, every day. Its incredible, what Ive been learning. I feel dizzy. Out of everything Ive read through, two things have struck me most.
First- I am most interested in Transfiguration. Turning things into other things- its fascinating! It must be really hard, though. I bet I can do it. After all, the letter did say Im "exceptional".
Second- I read all about the horrible years when the Dark Lord was in power. Can I say his name, or do you prefer I say "You Know Who"? I noticed people in the books seemed not to want to say his name.
Voldemort, you mean.
Oh, good, Im so glad youre not squeamish. I feel like I should be able to say it if I want to.
Im your diary, dear. You can say whatever you like. But I wouldnt recommend your saying it in front of the other students.
I wont, then. But what struck me most about that whole story is the boy who lived- you know- the one Voldemort couldnt kill.
Yes. Harry Potter.
I guess hes pretty famous! Hes eleven now. I did the math. I wonder if hell be at Hogwarts? Hed be a first year, too. Id like to meet him. I suppose hes pretty powerful, and I bet he thinks a lot of himself for stopping Voldemort. But then, I would, too. It is pretty heroic. I wonder if hes very full of himself. Do you know if Harry Potter is going to Hogwarts?
I dont know.
I guess Ill have to wait and see, then. I cant imagine a powerful boy like that wouldnt get into Hogwarts. Its the best wizarding school in the world, from what Ive read. Ugh. If hes all that good, I just hope hes not handsome. Boys who are handsome and smart are usually pretty unbearable. But it wouldnt matter to me. Hed be awfully popular at Hogwarts, with all that fame. I dont usually get on with popular people.
Well, back to the books. Bye.
Gwen, Gwen, I leave tomorrow! I dont know how Ill ever sleep. I hope we get to start transfiguring right away- and I want to see the enchanted ceiling in the Great Hall (its supposed to look just like the sky outside!) Im positively bursting to see some real magic. Ive tried some other charm work and its all been going well, but its so simple- I want to see the real thing! I hope I can find that crazy platform at Kings Cross. Ive never seen it there before. I hope Ill meet someone nice right off. I hope Ill be living in a good house- I think Id like Gryffindor best, and then Ravenclaw. I hope the teachers are really good. I hope the library is open all night- there are so many things I want to look up right away! For instance
Hermione, dear? Go to sleep.
All right. But first- will you let me ask one thing? Do you have any words of wisdom for me?
Only one. RELAX. Things are going to be just fine. Ive already been telling Esmeralda what a smart girl you are, and how I know youll be one of the best in your year.
Oh, thank you, Gwen!
And now Ive a question- though of course you dont have to answer it.
What is it?
What does your password mean?
Well, if you promise not to laugh?
Erm... Hermione, Queen of Witches.
Yes. I rather thought that might be it. Goodnight, HQoW.
Ill never be able to write it all down. Im not even going to try. This has been the most wonderful day of my life. Everything is a hundred times better than I expected. Hogwarts is a dream!
Getting through to platform nine and three-quarters was an amazing trick! A boys Gran helped us both to do it. Hes a first year, too, and called Neville. He seemed as much a Muggle as anything, but he says his family is all wizards for generations back. He must be magic, to be coming to Hogwarts. We rode most of the way together, but I wandered around some to help him find his toad, when it got lost. And guess who else I met?
Harry Potter! He is in first year. I didnt make a fuss over him, except I did say I knew who he was, as hes in three of our textbooks. He didnt seem to know about that at all. Neither did his friend, Ron something. Do you know- I dont think any of them read our course books! I cant imagine why they wouldnt want to- its all ever so interesting- not like normal school at all (though I always thought those were interesting enough, too.)
But Harry Potter was so... normal looking. Just like anyone, really, except for that scar on his head where Voldemort hit him. And he and his friend just sat there eating Chocolate Frogs and trading the cards like nothing special was happening at all. The one called Ron tried to do a charm on his rat, but it didnt work at all. I think he made it up. Its a bit disappointing- a couple of wizards, one so famous- and theyre just normal. I guess that "Muggle-born" book was right. Theyre just ordinary children with extraordinary powers.
But nothing else was ordinary in the least! The boats that took us through to the castle (the castle itself! To be living in a genuine castle!) the enchanted ceiling, the giant gamekeeper Hagrid, the feast, the Sorting....
Im in Gryffindor! So are Harry Potter and Ron and Neville and a couple of girls I met on the train, and two other boys, as well. They all seem... well, its really too early to say. But I was a bit surprised not to be put in Ravenclaw. After all, the Sorting Hat said that Ravenclaws are the clever, smart, studious ones. Gryffindors are supposed to be the brave ones. I guess Im glad to be counted brave, but I always thought of myself as the intelligent type. There must be loads of wizards and witches here who are cleverer than I am, filling up the Ravenclaw House. Not that Im complaining! Im happy to be a Gryffindor. (I just hope I wont have to do anything rash. Brave people always seem to be doing rash things, dont they?) Anyway, Im just glad Im not in Slytherin. All the books Ive read say that that house is full of dark wizards.
Oh, Gwen, Im yawning all over myself. We start our classes in the morning and I really want to be prepared, so I need to go back over my notes. Or maybe not. Im awfully tired.
Last night was a little strange, up in my dormitory room. Im sharing it with the other two first year Gryffindor girls Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown. Theyre very nice, I dont mean to say theyre not but it was just a little bit strange. We introduced ourselves and they asked me about my family and my house, so I told them about my parents being Muggles and everything. Lavender and Parvati both looked at me very curiously. Not in a mean way, just... I felt like I was a little bit different. Theyre both from wizarding families. There are two boys with Muggle parents in my year Dean Thomas is Muggle-born, and Seamus Finnigans dad is a Muggle. But Im the only one of us girls.
Parvati asked me, "So, what did you do before you got your Hogwarts letter?" I said, "What did I do? I went to Muggle school, I guess." She said, "No, I mean, what did you do whenever you needed magic?" And I told her the truth, "I didnt believe in magic until last month."
You should have seen their faces. Lavender said, "You didnt... you didnt believe in magic? Mum told me thats how Muggle-borns grow up, but I didnt really think...."
Gwen, they werent trying to make me feel funny, but they did. I tried not to let on; I just said, "Oh, I know Ill have a lot of things to figure out, but I catch on pretty quickly and Ive already read all our texts and Im perfectly certain that Ill be okay and lots of Muggle-borns come to this school, dont they?" They both nodded and said that Id be fine, but then they went on talking to each other about some kind of band or something that they know about from listening to the Wizards Wireless Network and I dont know anything about that.
I wonder if its going to take me a very long time to get adjusted to this world.
It takes surprisingly little time, actually. And youre very bright you wont need to worry about picking things up. Im sure youll have far less trouble than I did.
Were you Muggle-born then?
My mother was a witch, but I was raised in Muggle society. So when I got to school, I was just like you.
Oh! Well that makes me feel better. Thank you for telling me that, Gwen.
And now Ive got to go. I want to tell you everything about my first day of class, but Ive got my first assignments to do and Im determined to get full marks right off. I have a lot to learn if Im going to get really good at being a witch. I have a lot of years to make up for. Ill have to come back and tell you all about class tomorrow. Goodnight.
These first two days have been really marvelous. The first class for me yesterday was Transfiguration, and Professor McGonagall turned a desk into a pig! Of course, none of us can do anything that big for a long time. And come to think of it, I cant imagine why it would ever be a good idea to turn furniture into pigs. But it was awfully fun to see!
The best part was that, after a lot of note-taking, I managed to do a little bit of magic! Prof. McGonagall gave us all matches, and we were supposed to turn them into needles. Well, it was awfully hard- nobody could really get the knack of it- but by the end of class Id sort of caught on, and my match was all silvery, with a point at the end! Prof. M. even smiled at me a little, and as shes really stern, I took it as a really nice compliment.
I also had Herbology yesterday. Professor Sprout is excellent- she really knows her herbs and plants and fungi. Im very glad to have done so much reading; it makes class so much simpler, and I learn so much more, because Im reinforcing the knowledge, rather than just learning it for the first time.
We had our first Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson, though I dont know if I learned anything. Professor Quirrell seems quite shaky for someone whos supposed to be able to defeat mummies and werewolves and things. Every time someone asked him about any kind of ghoul or monster, he jumped four feet in the air. Not to mention that his classroom and his robes reek of garlic- the Weasley twins (Rons brothers, by the way- hes a Weasley) say he stuffs his turban full of it to ward off vampires! But then, I dont know if I trust the Weasley twins. I hope Quirrell doesnt teach the class all year; I really want to learn the Defensive Arts (in case the Slytherins decide to attack! They do seem like a moody lot.)
Then there was Professor Flitwick for Charms, which I absolutely adore. I am very good at Charms, if I do say so myself. I have the wrist-flick perfectly, and its only the first day. I feel as if I could do any spell they put in front of me! But Flitwick is adorable, the tiniest little wizard ever, he has to stand on a pile of books to be seen over the desk! And when he was doing roll call, and got to Harry Potters name, he squealed and toppled over! I almost feel sorry for Harry really, I mean, its probably nice being famous and all, but it must be a bit embarrassing to have people fussing around about you all the time.
Tomorrow weve got Transfiguration and Herbology again, and then our first History of Magic lesson (taught by a ghost called Prof. Binns!), and Astrology at midnight (imagine an outdoor class at midnight! Isnt it divine?) and Friday weve got our first Double Potions class with Professor Snape. I cannot believe this is my life. Its perfectly perfect.
Do you know, Ive been noticing that a lot of first years are getting lost in the castle, so Ive been drawing little maps for myself wherever I go. I got to the Great Hall for dinner tonight with no trouble at all- and I noticed it took some of the others (even Harry Potter and Ron Weasley) another fifteen minutes to catch me up! I guess I shouldnt feel pleased, but I sort of am.
Even with my maps, I havent managed to find the third floor corridor on the right side. Professor Dumbledore, our Headmaster, said its forbidden. Were not to go there, he says, unless were keen to die a very painful death. I dont think he was joking, and I only want to find out where it is so that I can be sure to stay clear of it.
Goodness, its late. Ive got to get to sleep if I want to be prepared to stay up til midnight tomorrow. I want to be really awake to start learning about the movement of the planets! Goodnight, Gwen.
Oh, Gwen, what a lot of rubbish.
We had Double Potions today with the Slytherins, and Professor Snape favors them so obviously! It was unfair how he treated us Gryffindors, it really was. Harry and Neville and I got the worst of it, but he dislikes our whole house, and its very unjust.
First of all, he kept asking Harry all these hard questions. (Well, they werent that hard, I knew the answers, but nobody else did.) He kept asking Harry even after it became perfectly clear that he didnt know any of it- and I had my hand raised the entire time! He didnt call on me once, even though I stood up and waved at his last question. Thats when Harry said something like "I dont know, but I think Hermione does, though, so why dont you try her?" Well I thought that was rather good of Harry (if a bit cheeky) because I was dying to answer. But Snape just barked at me to sit down, and then took five points from Gryffindor for Harrys back talk. And then Neville added his quills too early to our boil-curing potion, and ended up giving himself boils, (I swear that boys a Muggle, even if his family are wizards for twenty-seven generations or something,) so Snape took another point from us because he said that Harry ought to have caught Nevilles mistake- when they werent even partners!!!
All in all, it was a good lesson, and I can now effectively cure boils if I should ever need to. But I also had a rotten time, and I dont much like Professor Snape.
I noticed at dinner that Harry and Ron managed to get to the Great Hall on time. I guess they finally figured out how to do it without getting lost-- took them long enough. Im starting to wonder if maybe that Sorting Hat ought to have put me in Ravenclaw after all. I didnt notice any of them getting lost in the castle this week.
Thats all. Night, Gwen.
(Friday the 13th, by the way)
Oh, those boys! Gwen, are there any boy brains where you visit?
Not many. Far fewer boys keep diaries these days.
Well Im sorry you have to deal with any of them. You should have seen the mess of yesterday. Boys!! Ill have to tell you the whole story, because Im still fuming.
It all started with the flying lessons. I didnt like the lesson at all- it was hard for me to deal with the broom, which I cant understand because Im sure I read more about flying than anyone. Yesterday morning at breakfast, I was even able to give a lot of tips to the other first year Gryffindors, and I really expected all that studying would pay off. (It usually does.) But I couldnt even get my broom to jump into my hand on the "Up!" command. Stupid broom, anyway.
That isnt the point, though.
Neville was having his usual hard time, and ended up shooting straight up in the air, and falling off. Madam Hooch had to cart him right off to the infirmary. But Neville had dropped the Remembrall his Gran had just sent him to help him keep track of all the things he forgets, and this awful boy Draco Malfoy (Slytherin, of course) decided hed pocket it, just to be mean.
Well, Harry Potter wasnt having any of that. He stepped right up an said, "Give it here, Malfoy," in this voice that made me believe, finally, that this might be the same person those books were talking about. He has some kind of.... heroic thing. I dont know. I was glad he said something- poor Neville has enough problems without Malfoy stealing his Remembrall- and the way Harry looked at him, I half-expected Malfoy to hand the thing over.
Well, he didnt. He shot up on his broom like a show-off, even though Madam Hooch had specifically forbidden us to fly in her absence! (Im absolutely amazed at the disregard some people have for rules. Its terrible.) He went up into a treetop and started taunting Harry. And then Harry lost his head and got on his broom, and went after Malfoy and the Remembrall.
Harry had never flown, Gwen! It was horribly dangerous. I tried to stop him, and I hollered the whole time he was in the air for him to come back down, but hes such a boy, I swear, and sos Ron Weasley, whooping and cheering as if it were a good thing! Harry chased Malfoy right down, and when Malfoy threw the Remembrall to the ground, Harry dove- hurtled, Gwen, it was really frightening- to the ground, and caught it. Thank goodness he wasnt injured! What a couple of show-offs! (Though it was rather impressive, for Harrys first time on a broomstick. But Im still mad- he should never have flown.) Of course then he got carted off- by Professor McGonagall, who I assumed would punish him pretty badly. I almost expected him to be expelled.
But of all the unfair- he got rewarded for flying against the rules! (Just because hes Famous Harry Potter, I expect. I can half see why Snape wanted to test him so harshly. Nobody else seems to hold him to the same standard as the rest of us. Its unfair. ) Hes apparently so good on a broom that theyre going to let him play Quidditch- the wizarding sport- for the Gryffindor house team. (Its supposed to be a secret, but good try. Everyone in our house already knows.) Hes so smug! The first first year in over a century to get put on the team, and you should have seen his and Rons faces at dinner. Gloating like pigs. Granted, it was good of him to fetch back Nevilles Remembrall, but really! He should have let a teacher get it back from Malfoy. But he and Ron- and every other Gryffindor- just think its the best thing ever. Nobody cares about rules, Gwen.. I swear I should have been a Ravenclaw.
I wish that were the end of it, but theres more- so much more.
At dinner last night, Malfoy challenged Harry to a wizards duel, to take place at midnight in the Trophy Room. I imagine he was peeved that Harry showed him up at the flying lesson (Malfoy was nothing on that broom compared to him.) Well of course, being boys, Harry accepted and Ron seconded him. When I tried to tell them it was a silly idea, both of them just ignored me. Actually, every single time I ever try to talk to them, Ron Weasley is especially awful to me. He rolls his eyes and mutters snotty comments under his breath. I try not to let it bother me, but Gwen.... I hate it when people treat me like that. Just like Susie Raviski and her group back at Muggle school. Like Im nobody. Just because I dont want my housemates breaking any more rules! Honestly.
Anyway, I waited up for them in our common room and followed them out our portrait-hole, trying to talk them out of the whole stupid duel. They didnt listen one bit. I gave up after that, and tried to go back into Gryffindor Tower. After all, its not my business if they want to get themselves expelled. I just didnt want to lose any more house points because of the Slytherins! Youd think I was an ogre, or something, the way those boys glared at me for "interfering". Well they just dont care about anybody but themselves, and heres proof- when I tried to get back into the tower, the Fat Lady who guards our portrait-hole had disappeared for some kind of evening visit, and I was locked out. And do you know what those boys did? Said they didnt care, they had to get to their duel, and off they went!
So there I was, locked out, in my bathrobe, and I had to go along with their dumb scheme, because obviously I wasnt going to stand there and wait for Filch or Mrs. Norris to catch me! (Filch is our caretaker and Mrs. Norris is his cat, and both of them have only one goal in life- to catch students and get them into trouble.) As if all that werent enough, poor Neville was asleep in the hall, locked out as well. Hed forgotten the password. (Honestly, how hard is "pig snout"?) So he had to join us, too, and we all headed down to meet Malfoy.
Well, surprise, surprise- wouldnt you know Malfoy wasnt there? He had never planned to meet Harry at all. Instead, hed tipped off Filch, who was prowling around with Mrs. Norris, trying to catch whoever showed up. Well, we ran! I didnt need to catch a detention, I can tell you! But we ran into the wrong thing- Peeves the poltergeist. Ron stupidly took a swing at him (boys!!) and so Peeves started screaming and banging round, so that we all had to duck into a locked closet and hide. (I used "Alohomora" to get us in- lucky Ive been practicing on you!)
But Gwen!!!!! It wasnt a closet at all! It was that third floor corridor Dumbledore warned us about! And he wasnt kidding about the painful death bit- theres an enormous, fanged, three-headed, mad dog in there, standing on a trap-door, guarding something. It definitely tried to kill us! We got out, of course, but poor Neville- I dont think hell ever recover.
Worst of all was when we got back into Gryffindor Tower (without being caught, thank goodness. I never would have forgiven Harry. Id have cursed him and Ron right through the roof.) Harry and Ron didnt seem a bit sorry about any of it. Almost getting Neville and me killed- or (worse, really) expelled from Hogwarts- and not sorry at all. In fact, they seemed rather angry with me.
Im not talking to them until they get some sense into their thick heads. Im going to ignore them, starting now. Ill let you know if they ever mature, but Gwen, dont hold your breath.
I wont, dear. Im very glad youre safe, after all that.
Thanks, Gwen. Ugh. Time for Double Potions again. Just what I need, to see another face-off with Harry and Malfoy. Well, I just wont even look at either of them, or Ron. Ill be Nevilles partner, and see if I cant spare him any of his usual embarrassments.
Youre a good girl. Now off with you- youre late.
I am! Oh no!
Its not even worth it to try with those two. I havent spoken a word to them in what- over a week? And I think theyre actually glad about it. I wont let it hurt my feelings. Theyre just not worth it.
But do you want to know what happened? Because its driving me crazy.
Lets hear it, then.
Well at breakfast, the owl post came as usual, and Harry got this long, thin package. Nobody seemed to be able to guess what it was. (Well really, Gwen, how difficult is it to spot a wrapped broomstick? Especially when Harry just made the Quidditch team? For Heavens sake.) Well, I shouldnt say nobody could guess. Malfoy guessed it right off, and since first years arent allowed broomsticks yet, he told on Harry to Professor Flitwick.
Of course, since Harrys an exception (unfair!) Flitwick already knows all about the special Quidditch-playing circumstances, gave Harry this big smile, and asked the model of the broom. Its a Nipper Two Thousand or something, which I guess is pretty good, because right before Flitwick came up, Ron was giving Malfoy a face and poking fun at his old broomstick. Then Malfoy said something about Rons family not being able to afford any broomsticks at all (hes awfully nasty, Gwen, to tease Ron about that). Anyway, thats when Flitwick walked over, (a good thing, too; Ron looked like he might throw a punch or something dreadful,) and Malfoy tattled.
Harry said something about "Oh yes, its my Nipper Two Thousand, and its all thanks to Malfoy here that Ive got it!" Then he and Ron dashed up the stairs hooting, leaving Malfoy looking really angry. I followed them right out goodness knows I didnt need to be the one left next to Malfoy at that moment! and I heard Harry at the top of the stairway saying "Its true, if Malfoy hadnt taken Nevilles Remembrall, Id never have made the team," and so I said to him, "So I suppose you think thats a reward for breaking rules?" After all, he did fly against the rules, and he hasnt been made to learn his lesson at all! Anybody else would have been. But hes Harry Potter.
Well, Gwen, Im telling you, those boys gave me just the dirtiest looks. I think theyre very mean. Harry said, "I thought you werent speaking to us any more?" and Ron gave me the same look hed just given Malfoy, and said, "Yes, dont stop now, its doing us so much good."
Awful, horrible, sarcastic, mean spirited, rotten boys.
I just marched right by, to show they hadnt gotten to me one bit!
But they had. Gwen, they really dont like me. They really are glad Im not speaking to them. I think.... I think theyd rather I just disappeared. If I just didnt show up to the Great Hall one day, they probably wouldnt even ask where Id gone. Theyd be relieved to be rid of me.
But what was I supposed to say?! Honestly. Humph.
Oh, great- the two of them just walked through the common room and looked right through me. What should I do now, Gwen?
Oh, fine. I guess nobodys speaking to me anymore.
Well, Guinevere, whether youre going to speak to me or not, here I am. Ive got another hour before Astronomy class tonight, and Ive done all the homework and studying I can for the test weve got. Ive made full marks (110 percent in Transfiguration and Charms, actually,) on all my other first tests, and Im sure Ill get perfect marks on this one, too. The only one that worries me is Potions on Friday. Snape might fail me just because Im in Gryffindor. I wonder why I dont care? Im so tired.
Whats the matter, dear?
So youre there. Why didnt you bother to answer last time?
Hermione... sometimes it takes me longer than a moment to decide what to say. You gave me exactly three seconds.
Oh. I- I am sorry, Gwen. But I was- it was a bad day.
Dont fret. No harm done. Any new word on Harry and Ron?
We dont speak.
Theres no point. That "Muggle-born" book really was right. Theyre ordinary children. This is just like Muggle school. People are awful to me. But Im not going to pamper egos and kiss up just to make friends. So I guess I just wont have any.
Well, its true.
You have me.
Thats true. I have you. Thanks, Gwen. And what do I want with Ron and Harry anyhow? Come to think of it, Nevilles always nice to me, and even though Parvati and Lavender are fast friends already, theyre friendly to me, too. The other night Parvati was looking unhappy and Lavender wasnt around, so I asked her what the matter was. She said that shes a little sad because her twin sister, Padma, got sorted into Ravenclaw they were hoping theyd be together. So to cheer herself up, she taught me how to play Exploding Snap, with wizard cards. Its not all bad, just because of stupid Ron and Harry.
Of course not. But dont be late for your lesson, dear.
Right. Bye, Gwen.
(Halloween. The worst day of my life.)
I just want to go home. I just want to go home. I cant do it anymore. Its worse than anything, and magic cant help.
Hermione! Are you crying?
No!! Oh yes I am. Yes. Who cares? I just want to go home. Nothing matters.
Good heavens. Tell Gwen all about it.
Its Ron. He- he said Im a nightmare.
But he didnt mean it!
Oh, yes he did. In Charms today? Professor Flitwick made us be partners- Ron and I- and we had to do "Wingardium Leviosa"- you know- making objects fly? And Harry was with Seamus Finnigan, and they set their feather on fire, and I- I just wanted to get it right! But Ron kept on yelling it out like this: WINGardium leVIosa, and its supposed to be: winGARdium leviOsa, so I told him to make the "GAR" nice and long. He snapped right back at me that if I was so smart, I ought to do it myself. So I did, and the feather flew straight up and hovered.
But Hermione, thats wonderful! Thats a very tricky charm!
I know. But it just made Ron even fouler with me when I did it, because then Flitwick made a fuss about how good it was, and for once I just... wished I was average. And when we were filing out of class, Ron was talking to Harry about me, and he said, loud enough for everybody to hear him, "Its no wonder no one can stand her. Shes a nightmare, honestly."
Ill never forget he said it. Not one word. I burst into tears- I couldnt help it!- and I had to get out of there, so I shoved by them. As I was running off I heard Harry say "I think she heard you." And Ron said.... he said....
What did he say?
"So? She must have noticed by now shes got no friends." And I havent got! And I have noticed! At least at home, when people were horrible, I could go and talk to my mum and dad, and have a good rest away from everybody. But here, I have to live with the people who cant stand me. I have to sleep, eat work with them-
Oh, my poor darling.
-and Im supposed to be in History of Magic right now, but I just couldnt face them all. Especially Ron, after all he said. Why does he hate me so much? Is it so bad to follow rules and do well in school? Why does it always make me so- so lonely?
Oh, Gwen, theyre all going to be back here in ten minutes. I cant bear it. Im going to the girls room and have a good cry. I cant even have a cry here.
I mean it. I want to go home, and I never want to see Ron Weasley- or Harry Potter for that matter- ever, ever again.
Dear, wonderful Guinevere!
Something happened! I dont want to go home. I do have friends.
Well! Youll have to start from the beginning, I think.
All right. I went off yesterday to have my cry in the washroom, and of course theres not even any privacy there. Parvati Patil found me and tried to cheer me up- the Halloween Feast was last night and she said I ought to go. But I just felt so miserable that I couldnt. After all, what good is it to go to a big party where nobody wants you? Thats worse than anything. I didnt want to go down and see those boys and everybody having a marvelous time. So I stayed in the toilet.
I dont really know how long I was in there because I sort of fell asleep in one of the stalls. I had just come out to the sink to wash my face and go back to bed in Gryffindor Tower, when the door opened, and someone came in. Rather, something came in. Something huge, and reeking, and horrid.
A twelve-foot, fully grown mountain troll, with a club.
I knew right away what it was, as Ive read all about them, and I even know some good spells for distracting them from coming at me- but I didnt have my wand, and there was nothing I could do. Where was I supposed to run in there? The troll was absolutely huge- it blocked the whole way out- all I could do was back up against the wall and hope someone would come. Well, someone did come.
Someone came, slammed shut the door, and locked it from the outside.
And then I screamed. Gwen, I really thought I was done for. The troll started coming right at me- of course theyre really stupid, so it was all very slow going, but that didnt stop it being terrifying!! It was knocking the sinks right off the wall to get over to me! I thought, Ill crawl under the stalls and make a dash for the door- but it was locked, so that was a useless plan. And just when I thought I was about to get eaten alive, who do you think came bursting down the door?
Harry and Ron!!!!!!!!
Well, I may have said yesterday that I never wanted to see those two again, but Gwen, Ive never been so happy to see anybody my whole life. Harry yelled at Ron to distract it, and Ron hurled a tap at the wall and hollered, "Oy! Pea-brain!" It would have been really funny, actually, if I hadnt been so scared. He did distract the troll anyway, so Harry tried to drag me off the wall and out the door, but I was frozen stiff- couldnt take a step.
After that, it was all chaos. I was up against the wall- too frightened to help them do anything- and next thing I knew, Harry had jumped on the trolls back and shoved his wand up its nose! It started swinging him around and batting at him with his club, but Harry just hung right on. (There really is something heroic about Harry.) And then Ron pointed his wand at the troll and shouted, of all things, "Wingardium Leviosa!" Sure enough, that trolls club flew up, fell on its head, and knocked it out cold. (I can tell you, I was glad Id told Ron how to say that charm properly in class. He said it brilliantly, with the "GAR" nice and long! And his face, when it actually worked- well, it was priceless, honestly.)
We just stood there, dazed.
And then a bunch of teachers came panting down the hall and found us, Prof. McGonagall, then Snape, and even poor Quirrell, shaking like a leaf. (He sat down on a toilet seat and had some kind of attack. I mean, really. Defense Against the Dark Arts, my foot.) Well, Prof. M. was furious- FURIOUS- to find Ron and Harry away from Gryffindor with a giant troll on the loose. She was about to deduct about a thousand house points from them, and they both looked more scared of her than theyd been of the troll.
So I took the blame.
I said it was my fault, that Id gone off to find the troll on my own, to try and defeat it with what Id learned, that Ron and Harry had come looking for me, and that theyd saved me. (Well, that part is true.) Harry and Ron looked at me then- and not like before when they were sick of me- but with a sort of happy shock. Ron dropped his wand right on the floor and Harry stared. (I guess they couldnt believe Id lie to a teacher, but really, did they think Id let them get in trouble after theyd tackled a troll for me? Im not that much a goody-two-shoes.) Prof. M. looked us up and down, and finally decided to believe me. She took five house points from me for being silly enough to try it, and said she was disappointed in me. (Awful. But I hung my head properly and took it.) Its all right about the house points, though. She gave Ron and Harry five each for defeating the troll, so we end up five ahead!
The best part of all, though, was getting back to Gryffindor Tower. The feast was still going on in there. I waited by the door for Harry and Ron to catch me up, and when they came in, we all sort of looked at the ground and said "Thanks" to each other, before going to get something to eat. It was a bit awkward, but really... nice. I guess if you go in together on knocking out trolls and lying to teachers, you end up liking each other.
I saw Harry and Ron already today. They asked if I wanted to do homework together.
Together!!! Oh- here they come. Ive got to go. Were going to go over the Transfiguration assignment, and I have a funny feeling that theyre going to need more help than Neville does with Potions.
See you soon!
I know its been forever, but with studies and Quidditch, Ive been awfully busy this month.
Youre not playing Quidditch!?
Well, not playing, but I may as well be counted on the team with all the time Ive spend on that field watching Harry. Ron, too. Oh, and Harrys broomstick isnt a Nipper. Its a Nimbus. Ron made that very clear. When he heard me calling it a Nipper, he nearly choked to death laughing. Honestly, he cant remember a thing about how to Transfigure a pebble into a marble, but when it comes to Quidditch hes even more a know-it-all than I am. He knows every name of every World Cup player for about six thousand years- no kidding. It makes me mad when he wont apply that brain to his homework! Harrys just as bad- I lent him "Quidditch Through the Ages" to read, and now hes spouting off facts like Professor Binns! "Hermione, dyou know there are seven hundred ways to commit a Quidditch foul? Can you believe they were all used during the World Cup Match of 1473? And sometimes, referees disappear for months at a time, and turn up in the Sahara Desert!" I wish either of them would give one-tenth that energy to Charms.
The first match is this Saturday. Gryffindor against Slytherin. Its a good thing Malfoy isnt on the Slytherin team- Im sure hed use all seven hundred of those World Cup fouls on Harry without blinking an eye. Itll be a dirty enough game as it is- the Slytherin players are already trying to trip Harry everywhere he goes, hoping hell twist an ankle and have to sit out the match (as if Madam Pomfrey couldnt mend a twisted ankle in two shakes of her wand). Ron and I practically have to bodyguard him in the hallways. Not that thats any trouble- since Halloween we three have spent pretty near all our time together.
Isnt that nice?
Even if they are boys who wont do their classwork properly, theyre my friends. Dyou know what Harry said to me tonight? "Im pretty lucky to have you. Dont know how Id get through all this work and practice otherwise." And Ron sort of slugged me and said, "Yeah, youre a regular chum, Hermione."
Well, here they are, double trouble, all bundled up to go out. Weve got Astronomy in twenty minutes, and the weather is freezing! Ive got to get my coat-- well would you look at that? Rons had Parvati bring it down already, and hes got it.
Ah ha. Go on then.
Harrys first Quidditch match is tomorrow! Ive got to calm down and go to sleep, but I cant! And thats not the only thing keeping me awake.
Today, the three of us were out in the courtyard at break, and as it was really cold, I conjured up a little blue fire in a jam jar (its getting to be one of my best charms). We were all getting warm by it when Professor Snape noticed us. Hes always noticing us. He really has it in for us Gryffindors, especially Harry, and as the Bluebell Flame isnt technically allowed outside of class, I knew hed take points off our house for it. We all tried to hide it as he came over. Well, he hadnt spotted the fire, but he found a reason to pick on Harry anyhow- he took away "Quidditch Through the Ages" and said something about library books not being allowed outside the school- a rubbishy rule, if you ask me. Harry thinks he made it up, and I agree. But Snape took five points off us anyway (unfair!) and limped off with the book. We noticed the limp, and Harry said, "I wonder whats wrong with his leg?" Ron said, "Dunno, but I hope its really hurting him." (Ron can be awfully sarcastic, Ive noticed.)
I didnt really think about Prof. Snapes leg after that- Ive been much too nervous for Harry, and we had loads of Charms work to get through, too. Were on Blossoming Charms- beautiful, but much harder than I thought theyd be, though if I really concentrate I can get two or three white blossoms and a twisty little vine to grow on the wall. I wont let Harry or Ron try theirs anywhere near me. They keep making fungus grow instead of flowers. (I think they may be doing it on purpose, but I hope not. It isnt very funny.) They asked me to go over written work with them, though, and I agreed. At first they just wanted to copy mine, but how will they ever learn if I let them do that? So they tried it on their own, and then we went through it together, checking answers.
Well, while we were studying, Harry shot up out of his chair suddenly- hes been so fidgety about this match!- and said he was going to get "Quidditch Through the Ages" back from Snape. Said he didnt see why he shouldnt be allowed to have it. Ron and I had the exact same opinion about that, and we said it at the same time: "Better you than me!" (Its always amazing when Ron and I actually agree on anything, but there you are. Id rather let Neville make me a Sleeping Draught than ask Snape for anything hed confiscated. Hes so nasty.) But off Harry went to get the book.
This isnt really part of the story, but I have to tell you that in the ten minutes Harry was gone, Ron managed to grow a Creeping Fungus all along Nevilles wand, so that when poor Neville picked it up to practice his own homework, he closed his hand around slimy mold, which started twisting up onto his arm. He screamed so loud that half the common room jumped. (Ron swore it was an accident, but I dont know. He was laughing really hard, and his twin brothers were winking at him.) I had to do a counter-charm on the wand before Neville would quit yelping, and even then he held the wand out from his body like it was about to start sprouting up his arm again. As if he doesnt already have enough trouble with his assignments. I started to tell Ron off, but before I could manage a good speech, Harry came bursting back in, looking wild.
I forgot all about Nevilles problems when Harry explained himself, because and this is the part thats keeping me awake- Harry had found Snape, and overheard him talking. He was with Filch, who was changing the bandages on that limping leg for him. It seems the reason that Snapes got the limp is that he was attacked by that three-headed dog-- the mad one in the forbidden third floor corridor! Which means he must have gone in there!
Harry and Ron are both sure hes trying to get past the dog and steal whatevers hidden under that trapdoor. But I cant believe it- a Hogwarts teacher might be nasty, mean, ugly and foul-tempered, but he would never steal from Dumbledore. He must have been the one assigned to feed the beast, or something, and I guess it attacked him accidentally. I told them I couldnt dream of Snape stealing, even if he is horrid, but they just ignored me (as usual, when Im right. Theyre still boys.) Ron gave me his withering voice: "Honestly, Hermione, you think all teachers are saints or something." Well I dont, but I also dont think that Professor Snape is a thief. Ron says he wouldnt put anything past Snape. (Well what does Ron know anyway? He cant even make a Blossoming Charm work.)
He did have one good point, though. Whats that dog guarding? Ive never really wondered- I was too mad at them before, after we got locked in that closet and all. I suppose its not any of the students business, but I am a bit curious. I dont suppose it could really hurt to riddle it out a little...
Hermione, dont go off getting yourself into trouble. Im sure whatever it is, if Dumbledores hidden it, hes got quite a good reason.
Oh, Gwen. Youre starting to sound just like me. But youre right- I cant think about this now. Goodnight, then- and heres to a Gryffindor victory in the morning!
Nowthat I will certainly support.
Gwen, the match starts in an hour, and wed better beat Slytherin! I know we can do it with Harry as our Seeker- but he wouldnt eat any breakfast due to his nerves, and if he faints and falls off that broomstick---!!
Im sure hell survive.
Well, it wont be my fault, anyway. I tried to make him eat some toast. Oh, Gwen! We made a big banner for him and everything; it says "Potter for President" and I charmed the paint to flash all different colors, and Dean Thomas drew a big Gryffindor Lion- were all just so excited we could die. Im going with Ron right now to get good seats. I have my fingers all crossed that the next words I write in this diary will be: "We Won!"
WE WON!!!!! Ah ha ha! Take that, you horrible green and silver snakes! We won, and it was EXCELLENT!!!!!!
Oh, Hermione, how wonderful! Wish I could have seen the match. Sigh.
Well dont be blue about it! Ill give you the whole thing, play by play- at least, Ill give you what I can remember- I was jumping up and down screaming the whole time, and my brains quite tired.
Oh, tell, tell!
Plus, Gwen, something really dreadful happened- I still cant believe it. All those things Ron and Harry thought about Snape
Thematch, Hermione, dear, the match.
Right. Well. Gryffindor scored first (our Chasers are all girls, by the way. I am glad its a co-ed sport. I noticed all the Slytherin players are boys, but my house obviously has a more advanced view of things.) So Angelina Johnson got the Quaffle, and put it right past their Keeper- 10 points for Gryffindor! You should have seen those Slytherins- the "fanged green gits" as Ron kept hollering into the sky. You should see him, too, Gwen. Quidditch isnt a sport to him, its a religion. Honestly. You twod probably get on well.
Go on then, go on!
Then Hagrid joined us up in the stands with his binoculars- hed been watching from his cabin, but couldnt stand to be apart from all the cheering- and I knew just how he felt! When Angelina scored, we all screamed rather than cheered, and Harry did hoops in the sky! He was just gliding over the game at that point, looking for the Golden Snitch- and almost got knocked out by a Bludger! (Those Bludgers are a bit terrifying, I think. I certainly wouldnt want to be attacked by one fifty feet up.)
And then... Harry saw the Snitch. He and the other Seeker hurtled toward it, and Harry almost had itbut at the last moment, the Slytherin Captain blocked him off so hard that he nearly fell from the sky! He spun off like mad, gripping on- Ron and I gasped together- Hagrid started bellowing- and Dean hollered to give that Marcus Flint (Slytherin captain) a red-card, and toss him out of the game. (But as thats a soccer rule, and soccers a Muggle sport, nobody listened, least of all Ron, who snorted like he couldnt imagine why anybodyd care about a sport played on the ground.)
Through it all, Harry stayed on that broom, and righted himself. The Slytherins got what they wanted, though. The Snitch had disappeared. Our Announcer, Lee Jordan (a friend of the ever-tricky Weasley twins) had some fighting things to say about that. Prof. M. kept trying to rein him in, but hes awfully funny, and he just kept telling things his own way- "After that obvious and disgusting bit of cheating," or "Flint nearly kills the Gryffindor Seeker, which could happen to anyone, Im sure," and so on. We were all yelling back "You tell it, Lee! Gerroff, you lousy Snakes! Foul! Foul!" Just to give you an idea of the tumult.
In any case, we lost the Snitch, but got a penalty shot, and Alicia Spinnet put it right in- Ha ha ha! Twenty to zero, Gryffindor! So much for the all-boy team! After that, Slytherin did manage to score, though- and it was the only fair shot they got all match, if you want to know. The rest were all cheats. So the score was twenty to ten.
And thats when the horrible thing started to happen. Harrys broom started shaking and jerking all across the sky. It was dreadfully scary- not even Hagrid was calm about it, staring up with the binoculars and saying that only powerful dark magic could ever affect a broom so badly- and then the whole crowd, even the Slytherins, were on their feet, because Gwen, the broom had thrown Harry off, and he was dangling up there by one hand!
Yes! And Neville dug his face into Hagrids sleeve and started shaking. Ron was just paralyzed with fear- he turned totally gray and was swearing under his breath while his twin brothers (our Gryffindor Beaters) circled under Harry, trying to catch him safely off his broom and onto one of theirs- which didnt work, because his broom just jerked higher and higher. It was like it was being controlled- like it was a puppet. The horrible Slytherins were stamping their feet and cheering him to fall- their rotten captain scored five times without anyone bothering to stop him (cheater, cheater!!!), making it sixty points to twenty in favor of Slytherin- and the whole school was in mass chaos.
How perfectly exciting!
And then I thought- if Hagrids right, if only dark magic can interfere with a broom, then someone must be jinxing Harry this instant! I grabbed Hagrids binoculars and started searching the crowd. And I found him- muttering and starting at the sky- without blinking (and Ive read all about jinxing, you know, and its necessary to have perfect eye-contact, so Im sure it was a jinx.)
It was Professor Snape.
Youre not serious!
I didnt really think about what I was going to do- just quickly told Ron, and shoved him the binoculars, then ran for it- across the seats- to the far side of the stadium- to Snape. I knocked over a mess of people on the way, including Prof. Quirrell, who I smacked right into the next row. (Normally that would really bother me, you know, practically attacking a teacher, but I didnt have time to care, as Harry was being killed just then. I doubt Quirrell noticed anyway. He had been staring up at Harry too, muttering and looking more scared than Ron and I put together. I cannot believe hes supposed to fight the Dark Arts- what a coward!)
But then? Then?
Right, sorry. When I reached Snape, I took out my wand and set the Bluebell Flame on his cloak. He caught fire, yelped, lost eye-contact, and I ran for it- I mean, RAN for it. But with all the commotion, that evilthat foulthat b... (Well, I wont say it. Ron does though.) Anyway, he never knew what hit him.
But Ron and I knew what had hit Harry.
Back to Harry. His broom quit acting up; he clambered back on and steered back down as fast as fast as he could- just wanted to be out of the sky after that fright, I imagine. Ron came back to his normal color and yanked Nevilles head out of Hagrids armpit, Hagrid started breathing again, and I ran back along the stadium to my seat, watching Harry all the way. When I got close enough, Ron yelled "Whatd you do?" And when I could whisper, I told him, "Set him on fire." He laughed and groaned with relief, said "Wish Id set fire to the stupid prat," and clapped me so hard on the back I thought Id choke. (I think hed really go out of his mind if something happened to Harry. Its sweet.)
You are keen on it, arent you? All right, GQoQ (thats Gwen, Queen of Quidditch), heres the ending of it. Harry was soaring to the ground when he suddenly looked like he was going to be sick- his eyes opened wide and he clapped a hand over his mouth. Then he landed, fell on his hands and knees, coughed.... and can you guess what fell into his hand?
The Snitch? The Snitch?
The Golden Snitch! He looked at it for a moment, held it up, yelled "Ive got the Snitch!" and the whole stadium (minus the Slytherins, who hissed like the brat-serpents they are,) shot up and started screaming wildly! Victory for Gryffindor, one hundred seventy points to sixty! The Slytherins were livid- and Snape.... well I thought he might murder someone on the spot.
How marvelous! Its just been ages since Ive heard such a good one. Did they all hoist Harry up and carry him off? Was there a celebration?
They didnt carry him off- didnt have a chance. Hagrid ran down to the field, scooped him up by the arm, and towed the three of us off to his cabin so we could all get our nerves back. Rons were just as shot as Harrys, he gaped at him with a look that said "You idiot, how dare you go almost breaking your neck! Raging great game!" And Harry shot back a look and a head-shake that said "Cant believe it either. Glad Im on the ground. Wasnt it cool?" (Those boys. If they could die for Quidditch, I think theyd happily do it.)
Anyway, in Hagrids hut, Ron and I told him and Harry what had happened with Snape. Harry believed it all right. I cant believe I thought Snape wouldnt steal from Dumbledore. If hed try to kill a student, hed steal for sure. Wish we knew what was under that trapdoor! Hagrid wouldnt say a thing- told us to keep out of it, none of our business, and is also sure that Snape had nothing to do with Harry almost getting killed up there today. I know I was of Hagrids opinion yesterday.... but after what I saw.... I wish he believed us.
Hagrid was a little surprised to find out we knew anything about the trapdoor in the first place. Not happy when he found we knew about the three-headed dog, either. He calls the dog "Fluffy", Gwen.. Fluffy. Ive never heard of anything less appropriate in my whole life. That dog is about as harmless as Snape. But Hagrid loves big, monstrous creatures, and thinks theyre just sweet little babies. I guess its easier to be friends with massive animals when youre twelve feet tall.
Hagrid did tell us one thing, though, by accident. He said something along the lines of- "This is a matter between Dumbledore and Nicolas Flamel." We all three grinned, and Harry said, "Aha! So theres someone called Nicolas Flamel involved, is there?"
Hagrid did not look pleased with himself. Im glad he slipped up, though. We will find out about Flamel. Were going to the library with every spare minute, starting tomorrow. Im sure the answer is there somewhere. But until then.... Im going to sleep. This has been a very long day. When we got back to Gryffindor Tower, there were still people waiting up to jump Harry and celebrate his victory with the Snitch, and what with jinxing and cheering and thinking and celebrating and setting people on fire... Im pretty exhausted.
Oh, but Hermione, before you go...
I wouldnt normally ask- but just this once- you see, Esmeralda and Simone and Argo and Bathsheba- some of my friends- are also Quidditch fans, and I hoped...
Of course, of course. I give you permission to tell everybody all about it! I want the entire wizarding world to know that Gryffindor is the best!
Brilliant, Hermione. Theyll adore it.
Gryffindor is the best, then? No more wondering if you should have gone to Ravenclaw?
Ravenclaw?! Never. This is my house, these are my friends, that was my team, and that Sorting Hat must just be smarter than I thought.
Now Im off. Falling asleep. Night.
What a Monday. We havent found anything on Nicolas Flamel.
Ive asked at Miss Vauclains for you, Hermione, but nobody there has heard of him, either.
Oh- thanks, Gwen. Never mind, I know well find him sometime. There just isnt anything you cant get from the library- Im sure of it. Im sure wed have him by now, if Harry and Ron would be a bit more organized about searching, but they both just pull books out at random. Ive been trying to teach them how to research a thing properly, but Ive noticed that whenever I try to tell them anything, Harry gets this look, an Ron says "Oi, Hermione, youre putting us to sleep," or "Whatever you say, Professor," or something like that. He calls me a know-it-all about three times a week. Its very trying, having boys for friends.
There isnt much I wouldnt tell them, though. I havent met a girl here I like half as much as Harry or Ron. They might be idiots, but Id miss them if anything happened to them. And with Snape on the loose, Ive got to keep a close eye out in Potions, to make sure he doesnt try and do something else dreadful to Harry.
Hermione... are yousure of what you saw at that Quidditch match?
Positive, Gwen. Positive. Oh, by the way, howd it go with the other brains? Did you tell them about Gryffindor winning, and the Snitch flying into Harrys mouth and all?
I did indeed. Its the best story anyones had all year, and Im quite the center of attention right now. Any more matches soon?
Not til after the holidays. I wish there were. Quidditch is marvelous.
Things are mostly okay. Hogwarts is completely freezing. I can see my breath in the hallways. Its warm enough in the common room and the Great Hall, what with the fires and all, but I wont mind going home for a bit of regular Muggle-style heating over Christmas. Itll be strange though, to be back in that world. This one feels ever so much more natural to me. And what will I do without magic for two weeks? I wonder if I could get special permission, you know, just to show Mum and Dad a few things...
Or maybe I wont miss magic. Ill have enough to do while Im home. Ive got so much holiday work already, Gwen. Its almost three weeks til I go, and already theyve started piling it on. Tonight, after dinner, Harry and Ron and I have agreed to research our "History of Magical Blunders: Medieval to Present" assignment- three rolls of parchment by Friday! Honestly, how does Professor Binns expect it to be thorough?- plus Ive promised Neville Ill give him a hand with Temporary Paralysis Potions. (Id never let him do that one alone. Im terrified hell paralyze himself forever.) Ron said we can practice putting the potion on Scabbers (his pet rat) which I thought was rather generous of him.
Not to mention that Im still having trouble getting an ordinary feather to Transfigure into a quill. It looks so simple when Professor McGonagall does it! Someday I want to be as clever a witch as she is. (You should see her turn a regular wheel into a miniature merry-go-round!) My feather will grow a nib, but it always falls off. Harrys only grows a pointy tip- but Rons is the worst; all the feathery things fall off it whenever he tries. But they wont practice, and its their loss. Goodness knows Ive tried to make them do. But whenever I say anything, its "Oh, stuff that, Im too tired," or "How dyou expect me to concentrate when you wont shut it?" (Guess who says that.)
Anyhow, Im hungry. See you later, Gwen.
Horrible, conceited, badmouthing idiot!
What has Ron done now?
Not Ron. Draco Malfoy.
Its all right. It very well couldve been on any other day... but today.... oooh, Gwen, those Slytherins are all just.... wrong. Heres what happened. After Potions today (where we froze in the dungeon, and where, by the way, Neville managed a Temporary Paralysis Potion that didnt kill anything,) we found Hagrid dragging an enormous Christmas tree up to the Great Hall. Ron offered to help him do it. Just then, Draco Malfoy came up behind us, and he actually said-- well, let me give you the background.
Malfoys said some pretty nasty things to Harry lately. Ever since that Quidditch game, hes been going round telling everyone that a wide-mouthed tree frog would make a good replacement Seeker (you know, since Harry nearly swallowed the Snitch that time?) But the thing is, everyones so impressed that Harry stayed on his crazy broomstick that they dont really care how he caught the Snitch. So they ignore the rubbishy insults and keep on praising Harry- which only makes Draco even crueler. Hes started taunting Harry about having no parents.
Gwen, you know what happened to the Potters. They were murdered by Voldemort.
Well its tragic! And Malfoy doesnt care at all- hes so jealous of Harry hell say anything to make him suffer. Today in Potions he was bothering him about it, something like, "I feel so sorry for those people who dont have any parents to go home to over the holidays." Only he wasnt a bit sorry. Hateful. I was so proud of Harry! He just measured out his powdered spine of lionfish, as cool as anything- and even Ron didnt give him the satisfaction of saying anything back.
Hermione, dear? Does this all come back round to Hagrid and the Christmas tree?
Yes- it just goes to show that by the end of Potions today, we were all completely fed up with Malfoys mouth. So yes, back to my story- Ron offered to help Hagrid with the tree, and thats when Draco came up behind us. I guess hes not getting enough joy out of just torturing Harry anymore, so he said something really bad to Ron. He saw Ron trying to help with the tree and said- oh, I cant believe his nerve- "Are you trying to earn some extra money, Weasley? Hoping to be gamekeeper yourself when you leave Hogwarts, I suppose- that hut of Hagrids must seem like a palace compared to what your familys used to."
Ron snapped. I dont blame him. He dove for Malfoy, and Malfoy (coward) ducked himand Professor Snape came around the corner from the classroom and caught him. Snape took five points off Gryffindor for fighting, of course, even though Hagrid told him that Ron was provoked. Snapes such a.... well, he doesnt care whats fair, obviously; look what he tried to do to Harry. "Five points, Weasley, and just be glad it isnt more." What a bad joke. Weve got to find out what hes trying to steal. Weve got to prove to Dumbledore that hes horrible. I wish he werent a teacher here. He ruins everything.
When Snape strolled off, Ron was so angry- "Ill get him, one of these days Ill get him," and Harry said "I hate them both- Malfoy and Snape." Well I hate them too. Its not Harrys fault hes an orphan. Its not Rons fault hes poor. Who cares anyway? Theyre wonderful people, and they shouldnt have to put up with that kind of dirty teasing. I guess Ill enjoy being home for a couple of weeks- just to be away from everything even remotely connected to Slytherin.
Things cheered up a bit after that, though. Hagrid took us to see all the decorations in the Great Hall. Theyre amazing- magical bubbles, fairies, crackers that explode and give you actual presents instead of confetti.... my tree at home just wont compare. Hagrid looked so proud of it. He really loves Hogwarts. Im so fond of Hagrid- even if he wont tell us anything else about Nicolas Flamel. Hes rather mad were still looking him up. But how else are we ever supposed to find out what Snapes after?
We went to the library this afternoon. We had a half-hour free. Were still at square one. Its frustrating, especially since Im leaving for the holidays today, and wont have a chance to look up anything for two whole weeks. Harry almost made it into the Restricted Section today, but Madam Pince caught him. Ill bet Flamel is in the Restricted Section. Otherwise Im sure wed have found him. Too bad we cant just ask Madam Pince, but we all agreed no grown-ups, since we cant risk Snape finding out what were up to.
Im going in just a few minutes- back home, to the Muggle world. I told Harry and Ron to send me an owl post if they find anything about Flamel. I hope theyll send a post anyway.
Going to miss them, are you?
Well, Im just going to miss Hogwarts. You know, Im awfully glad Rons staying with Harry. His mum and dad are off to Romania to visit his brother Charlie, and so all the Weasley brothers will be at Hogwarts, too. Id hate to think of Harry all alone, and hell definitely have fun with Ron. (Too much fun. Theyll probably burn the whole thing down, with the help of the twins. Ill be shocked if they so much as look at our Charms assignment. But as its Christmas, Ill wait to bother them til I get back. Actually, I already bothered them. But as its Christmas, theyve gone temporarily deaf.)
Bye, Gwen. Next time I open you, itll be in the Muggle World. Bye, Hogwarts!
Merry Christmas, Gwen!
Oh, am I in the Muggle world, then?
Yes. Its not very interesting. The best things here are Mum and Dad, and my presents. Gwen, theyre so good.
Well, I meant Mum and Dad, but yes, my presents are really nice. Mum sent off to Diagon Alley for most of it- lots of magical stuff! It all came late last night by owls, and its marvelous. Mum and Dad are brilliant- theyre so interested in all my schoolwork and things, and so easygoing about my new life. They love owl post and they just about died when I did the Blossoming Charm on our tree, and made berries grow in the branches.
I got special permission from Professor McGonagall to exhibit my lessons for my parents. I was so pleased; she said, "Normally, Miss Granger, I wouldnt let a student practice outside of our world- especially a first year student such as yourself. But you have shown consistent excellence in all your studies, and such dedication to the discipline of witchcraft that I consider you an exception." And then she drew up a list of spells Im allowed to show them! Its so funny to use a wand in front of Mum and Dad. They go wild for it, though.
For their Christmas presents, I did a presentation. I Transfigured feathers into quills for each of them, wrapped flowers round Mums head, flew Dads telly remote over to his hand, and lit a giant Bluebell Flame in our fireplace. They loved it. Theyre so proud of me! And as for my own presents, I got some Advanced Potions ingredients, a bottle of Invisible Ink, a music box that plays whatever song you tell it, a membership to the Magical Text of the Month Club (this months book: "Tears and Laughter; Practical Applications of Emotional Charmwork") a new robe, and Mum got me this stuff called "Sleekeazys Hair Potion" for my big bushy head. (Its going right in the back of my trunk- Ill never use it. Who cares about hair? Nice thought, though.) I also got some regular Muggle stuff I needed: good shoes, a thesaurus, and some lovely sachets for my bureau. Dad says I made out like a bandit.
Its been such a nice Christmas. I hope Harry and Rons was nice, too. I got them candy. They got me candy. Guess its hard to think of what to get. But Mum and Dad are both enjoying the Cauldron Cakes and Chocolate Frogs, so I guess its a good present after all.
I sent a note back to Hogwarts with a late owl- one got here during breakfast with my first Book of the Month. Guess it was too heavy. Anyway, my note said:
"Dear Harry & RonMerry Christmas! Things are lovely here. Mum and Dad love the candies youve given me- thanks. Im showing them loads of things from Hogwarts and theyre both really funny about it- they love magic. I hope your holidays are fun, too. Found anything about Flamel yet? Do send an owl if you have. (Its funny, Ron, but my parents dont know a thing about him. Shocking, really. Oh well.) See you day before term starts! --Love from, Hermione"
The reason I said that to Ron, about Flamel and my parents and everything, is that just before I left, he suggested I ask my parents if they knew anything about Flamel. "Itll be safe to ask them," he said. "Very safe, as theyre both dentists," I said. Sometimes I just cant resist giving back some of that smart mouth. (Mum says sarcasm is unbecoming to a lady, but then Mum doesnt have to deal with Ron.)
Oh, Ive got to go. Dads demanding that I fly his dinner over to the couch, and Mums giving him a Look.
The holidays are over, but I dont go back to Hogwarts quite yet.
I miss the library.
Yes. The library. And I miss classes- especially Charms. I thought Id miss Transfiguration most, but its that flick of the wrist in Charms- Im so good at it. And I miss my four-poster in Gryffindor Tower, and I miss the Fat Lady in the portrait hole. I even miss helping Neville with Potions. I just miss....
Oh, all right. I miss Harry and Ron. They sent an owl back, by the way. Here, Ill copy it down for you:
"Dear Hermione Christmas was really great- we spent it thinking up ways to get Malfoy expelled. Thanks for the Every Flavor Beans. I just got one that tasted like soap. Very nice. And Harry got the best present ever- wait til you see it! Weve got one on Filch now- hah! Got to go murder a Bishop. Bye, Ron"
And Harry wrote,
"Dear HermioneThis is the best Christmas Ive ever had in my life. Thanks for the Frogs. I got you Frogs. We could have just kept our own. Ill show you that thing Ron was talking about when you come back. Its cool. We havent found Flamel , but the thing will help us. Rons been teaching me Wizard Chess, but Im terrible at it. Hes killing my Bishop right now. Got to run. --See you, Harry"
I didnt know Ron could play chess. I can play chess. Im rather good. The only one who can beat me is Dad. Cant wait to get back to Hogwarts and have a game!
Hogwarts.... urgh, the holidays here are really over. Mum and Dad took the rest of my Cakes and Frogs away. They dont want me having any more sugar. (Dentists.) Thats all right, I guess- I dont need any more problems with these giant teeth Ive got. Ive already asked them if I can have Madam Pomfrey shrink my teeth by magic, but I got a great big "NO". Theyre very open minded, but they want me to use regular braces. Bother.
Im really looking forward to getting back. I wonder what the secret thing is that Harry got? And what did Ron mean about having one on Filch? I hope theyre not doing anything that could get them into trouble. (Right.)
Guess Ill go skating. It takes my mind off school. I should do my final assignment. Its a one and a half foot essay for Snape on "Secretus Potions: The Development of the Spontaneous Sweating Recipes" and were supposed to talk about who came up with it and why... but I just cant. Schoolwork makes me miss Hogwarts even worse. It wont be long now- its Friday and I go back Sunday- so why does it feel like forever?
Talk to you soon, Gwen.
I am so happy to be back at Hogwarts! Ill miss Mum and Dad, of course, but nothing compares to school. Nothing. Im lying in my big four-poster, watching the snow fall out the window, feeling snug and warm as the sun goes down, just killing a bit of time before dinner... lovely. Of course after dinner will be a different story, as I am the only person who finished all of the holiday assignments, and now everybody wants to copy them off before term starts again tomorrow.
Well they cant. Im going to have a nice read by the fire, and put on ear muffs so I wont have to listen to them whine.
I had a chance to chat with Harry and Ron- but barely. I think he and all the Weasleys were trying to throw as many snowballs as they could at each other before the holidays end. The Weasley twins have enchanted a couple of snowballs to follow around Professor Quirrell and hit him on the back of the turban. It shouldnt be funny, really. (But it is. Defense Against the Dark Arts? Hes terrified of snowballs.) Anyhow, they told me what Harrys secret present was. An Invisibility Cloak! Isnt that marvelous? It used to belong to his dad. I think its the only thing of his that Harrys got, and we dont know who gave it to him. There was a note, but no signature.
Harry used it to sneak into the Restricted Section, late at night. I dont know whether to be mad or glad- what if Filch had caught him! And he didnt find Nicolas Flamel, so it wasnt even worth the trouble. He did find something interesting, though. The Mirror of Erised. Apparently it shows you your hearts deepest desire. Harry saw his family. (I nearly cried when he told me that. I wanted to hug him. Its just desperate, his being an orphan. But I was calm. You cant really go crying and hugging all over the place with boys. They dont appreciate it.) Ron saw himself as Head Boy and Quidditch Captain. I guess his deepest desire is to be something, be noticed as somebody. I can imagine it must be hard, with all those older brothers to compete with. The thing is, though... I dont know.... Ron doesnt have to compete with his brothers. Hes his own person. (Why would he want to be Head Boy, anyway? Percyll probably be Head Boy, and Ron cant stand Percy.)
I wonder what I would see if I looked in the Mirror of Erised? Ron said Id probably see myself holding up my exam results with full marks. But I dont know. I guess I have to think about that one. My hearts deepest desire...
Mmmmmm.... you should smell that. Dinner! Im off.
Gwen? Somethings happened.
Are you all right, dear? Is it Harry? Is it Snape?
No, no- nothing like that. Onlyjust.... well, I suppose it isnt really anything, but....
Oh, the suspense.
Oh, hush. Its Ron. He- he beat me at Wizard Chess. Really, really badly. I dont think Ive ever lost that badly. Not even to Dad. Its... its thrown me for a loop.
Hermione... can I say something?
Youre a very intelligent girl. But it might not be entirely bad for you to... well... lose something once in awhile.
Thats what Harry said.
Well then, its nothing to get upset over.
Thats what Ron said. And Im not upset. Im just... shocked. Rons so illogical about everything- so incredibly illogical. And all this time, hes been faking it. Hes really smart. I dont know what to think about it. I just sat there tonight and watched him play while he beat Harry, and all the time I was getting more and more antsy to play him myself, you know? Because I could see how good he was, and I knew it would be a challenge! I figured wed be pretty evenly matched, but I knew I could beat him, no problem- I mean, his moves were smart, but they werent amazing or anything.
He was holding back with Harry, Gwen. He did not hold back with me. Ron Weasley is amazing at chess.
I dont think I would have lost quite so badly if I hadnt been so surprised. I will beat him next time.
Thats the spirit, dear.
Its so strange, Gwen. Ive never seen Ron look like that- like he did while he was concentrating on his chessmen. I dont know how to describe it.
I think I know.
Anyhow, its late, and Ive got to get my things together for Astronomy. I cant believe we have to go out there in this snow. Id love to crawl into bed.... but the planets await. Bye, Gwen.
Gwen! We did it! We found Nicolas Flamel!
So the library did pay off, then.
Well, no. Harry found him on the back of a Wizard Card, from that box of Frogs I gave him for Christmas. I guess it was a useful present after all! But theres so much thats happened- thats not all of it- everything always happens at once-
Cant! I was in the common room with Ron, having a game of chess, when Harry came running in from Quidditch practice, all pale and shaken up. (I was rather glad of the interruption really. Ron was winning again- I still havent managed to beat him. Though he does have to concentrate harder, now Ive had a bit of practice. You should see him get all serious. But anyway.) Harry was upset because hed just found out that Professor Snape is going to be refereeing the Quidditch match, two Saturdays from now!
Oh, is it that soon? Im just dying for another good Quidditch story.
Gwen!! That is not important! Snape is referee. That means hell be able to do whatever he likes to Harrys broomstick- or he could curse the Bludgers- or anything awful. Hes never refereed a Quidditch match before, and I just know hes only doing it so hell be in a position to murder Harry without any trouble. I told Harry not to play, to pretend to break his leg. Ron said "Really break your leg." Honestly. But Harry wont back out, because theres no reserve Seeker, and if he wont fly, then Gryffindor will have to forfeit to Hufflepuff. Hufflepuff! As if we couldnt beat them in about five seconds flat.
Splendid! Then heis going to play?
Going on. I was trying to come up with some kind of alternative, or plan, but I didnt get the chance, because right then we were interrupted by Neville. He came falling through our portrait hole with the Leg-Locker Curse on him- the poor thing couldnt unstick his legs to walk. I cant imagine how he got through the hole. Well of course everybody thought that was just hilarious, and they all laughed at him. I didnt- I did the counter-curse and brought him to sit with us. He told us Malfoyd been waiting round outside, "looking for someone to pratice that on;". Horrible. You know, Mum always says that bad things happen in threes, but at Hogwarts they come in a pair- Snape and Malfoy.
Poor Neville- he gets picked on so often. I told him to go right to Professor McGonagall. She seems stern, but in a situation like this, she can be wonderfully sensitive. But he wont go- says he doesnt want any more trouble. Ron told him to stand up for himself, and not to make it easy for Malfoy to be such a bully. But to that, Neville just said "Theres no need to tell me Im not brave enough to be in Gryffindor. Malfoys done that already." Hang Malfoy. What a coward, attacking Neville away from everybody and then trying to make him feel even worse about it.
But if he hadnt attacked him- oh, I feel just awful for saying this- but if he hadnt attacked him, we might never have found Flamel. Heres what went on:
Harry tried cheering Neville up by giving him his last Chocolate Frog and telling him "Youre worth twelve of Malfoy," which I thought was a really nice gesture. Neville tried to smile, but Im sure he was going to cry because he hurried off a second later. As he was going, he gave Harry back the Wizard Card that came with the Frog, because Harrys been collecting them all year. It was a Dumbledore card, which Harry turned over in his hand. And thats when he saw it. The little summary on the back. It says "Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragons blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel"!!!!!!
I know! Just when we were about to give up hope of ever finding Flamel- and he was there all the time! I had a book in my room with a whole section on alchemy. I took it out of the library weeks ago for a bit of light reading. (Ron made fun of me for calling it "light". I suppose its not, compared to "Flying with the Cannons", a book about his favorite Quidditch team, but then, the Cannons havent been much help in helping us find Flamel, so he ought to bite his tongue.) I grabbed up my book, and read it out to Harry and Ron- "Nicolas Flamel is the only known maker of the Sorcerers Stone"! Well, they neither of them knew what that meant. Honestly, dont they read? You know what the Sorcerers Stone is, Ill bet.
Certainly I do. It transforms metal into gold, and produces the Elixir of Life, which renders the drinker immortal.
Oh Gwen, I do adore you. Precisely right!
So of course Snape wants it! Who wouldnt? All the wealth you could dream of and eternal life, in one fell swoop- the Flamels are over six hundred years old- just think of all the damage Snape could do if he lived that long. Its a nightmare. He just cant find it. We have to convince Dumbledore, but weve got no proof of anything- maybe if we could provoke him into something nasty in Potions on Friday, and we have witnesses
Hermione- its Wednesday, isnt it?
Youre very late for Astronomy, dear. Run.
Oh, not again. Bye!
Hi, Gwen. Urgh.
Im exhausted and sore. Harrys at Quidditch practice. Every time he goes, Ron and I practice putting the Leg-Locker Curse on each other, so well be ready to use it on Snape if he tries to attack Harry during the match. It happens to be one curse Rons very good at, so Ive been falling over all morning. We always play a game of chess for it, and the winner gets to do the cursing. The loser has to get cursed. Ive got to get better at chess. My backside is killing me. And Rons having far too much fun practicing- Ive never seen him like this about his homework, but now its always "Want to practice, Hermione? Cmon, we have to get it perfect. Youre the one who says practice makes perfect." And if I wont, he just puts the curse on me anyway, for fun.
The thing is, though, I can do the curse, too. And Im the only one of us whos bothered to learn the counter-curse. So right now, Rons bunny-hopping all around downstairs, because I refuse to unlock him.
Ha, ha, ha. Bye.
Gwen.... do you know what day this is?
YES I DO!! WHAT HAPPENED??
Shall I tell you the short version, or the long?
Well, it was an extremely short game, but Ill stretch out the details as best I can. Ron and I left Harry outside the locker room, wondering if wed ever see him again after Snape got through with him. But we were armed. I was so nervous that I kept reminding Ron that the Leg-Locker curse is "Locomotor Mortis", (as if he doesnt know.) But he just shoved his wand up his sleeve and said "Dont nag." I think he was still a bit sore about being locked up all last Sunday. But we didnt need the curse after all. We met up with Neville, climbed into the stands, and saw a silver beard glinting in the sun, which could only mean one thing
Professor Dumbledore!! Hed come to the match! I knew Snape wouldnt dare hurt Harry in front of Dumbledore, so Harry was safe. Maybe thats why Snape looked so extra-mean. All the Slytherins, in fact, were in a rather foul mood. Especially Malfoy. He came along with his two idiot bully friends, Crabbe and Goyle, and poked Ron in the back of the head. He was saying something about placing bets on how long it would be before Harry fell off his broomstick this game. But Ron ignored him, because the game was starting, and we both of us had our eyes pinned on Harry.
First thing, Fred Weasley knocked a Bludger at Professor Snape, (on purpose? Well never know), so Snape gave Hufflepuff a penalty shot, which made no sense at all. They put it right past our Keeper, Oliver Wood, who looked like he might have sworn. Ten to zero, Hufflepuff. Harry was circling for a sign of the Snitch.
Then, Angelina Johnson snagged the Quaffle! She cut fairly past the Hufflepuff Seeker, who was circling up to Harry and blocking her way. She passed the Quaffle off to Katie Bellbut not before Snape had blown the whistle and awarded another penalty shot to Hufflepuff! The call was that Angelinas cut off was a foul block- which it was not. But that didnt stop Diggory from putting another one past Wood, who did swear this time, so loudly that we could all hear him in the stands. Professor McGonagall took the microphone from Lee Jordan, and called up "Language, Wood!" Lee took the microphone back and said, "Yes, Wood, yes, its the best language to describe this travesty!" Everyone cheered but the Slytherins- I even saw Professor Dumbledore grinning over at him. At that point, Prof. M. said something to Jordan that sounded like "Do you want this job?" and Jordan went back to the normal commentary.
Meanwhile, in the stands, Malfoy still hadnt given up trying to get a rise out of Ron. He is so low. He said, in that sniveling little voice of his, "You know how I think they choose people for the Gryffindor team? Its people they feel sorry for. See, theres Potter, whos got no parents, then theres the Weasleys, whove got no moneyyou should be on the team, Longbottom- youve got no brains."
Ive never been so proud of anybody as I was when Neville turned around and said, "Im worth twelve of you, Malfoy." And Ron felt the same as I did, because he said, "You tell him, Neville." Of course Malfoy laughed with his ugly bat-brained friends- they dont understand what it means to have courage- and then he said "Longbottom, if brains were gold youd be poorer than Weasley, and thats saying something." I tell you, Gwen, I am sick of him going on about Ron being poor. Dracos rich, all right, but it doesnt change the fact that hes a useless, self-centered, bragging, two-faced, pointy-looking
Right. And Ron was trying so hard not to give in to him- I mean, he was watching Harry play, for heavens sake. He just said, "Im warning you, Malfoy- one more word" without taking his eyes off the match.
The game had begun again, Hufflepuff in possession- but not for long- George and Fred Weasley each smacked a Bludger into their trio of Chasers, who flew apart and left the Quaffle for Alicia Spinnet
But there was no need for our Chasers just then! Harry had gone into a sudden and spectacular dive! Everyone gasped and the Gryffindor stands began to cheer like mad--
The Snitch, the Snitch!
I jumped up with all my fingers crossed and half of them stuck in my mouth. Ron was whooping beside me. Neville was in a state of half shock. But of course Malfoy ruined the moment"Youre in luck, Weasley. Potters obviously spotted some money on the ground!" It was one insult too many.
Ron was on top of him in an instant, and had him on the ground. And Neville actually jumped over the back of his seat and started to help wrestle him! If Malfoy didnt have those trolls, Crabbe and Goyle, then he would have been in serious trouble, but they pulled Neville off and started pounding him. At that point, the whole lot of them sort of rolled under the seats, tearing each other apart, and I gave up on them. I was watching the Snitch! I was standing on my seat, screaming "Come on, Harry!" He was shooting right toward Snape! If Snape had reached out his arm even a little bit, he could have tripped the broom and sent it spinning- but Harry was too quick- he bolted past him by inches- and a foot from the ground he stopped, pivoted, and threw his fist up in the airholding the Snitch!
Extraordinary! How long did the game last?
Five minutes. It was a record, I think. No ones ever caught the Snitch that fast. The team swooped down on him and carried him off the field, raised high! Professor Dumbledore even went over to him and said something, smiling- while Snape spat on the ground. I was hugging Parvati Patil in the row in front, jumping up and down and yelling at Ron to get up and look, which he finally did. We waved madly at Harry until he was off the field. It was a marvelous victory.
Yes, yes- oh, Hermione, thats divine. I can take that one back with me, cant I?
Of course! Tell the world how Harrys the best Seeker Hogwarts has ever seen!
Once the noise died down, I looked over at Ron for the first time since the game had started. His nose was bleeding all over the place and he looked disgusting, but extremely happy; not only because Harry had won the match, but because Malfoy was limping away from us with a huge black eye. Then I noticed that Crabbe and Goyle had left Neville on the ground unconscious. So Ron got Nevilles head and I got his feet, and we carried him all the way to the hospital wing together. Hes still out cold, but Madam Pomfrey says hell be fine tomorrow.
What a great game! Gryffindor is so close- we could win the house cup for the first time in seven years! Harrys still in the locker rooms, and Rons cleaning up his nose, but when they get back were going to have the biggest celebration this common room has ever seen- and Im not going to say one word to them about the "History of Flux: Changeling Goblins" assignment until tomorrow!
How good of you.
Yes, I think so. Wait a minute. Gwen, was that meant to be sarcastic?
Oh, dear- look at the time. Hermione, theyll all be waiting for me back at Miss Vauclains- Ive promised to tell them everything right away. You dont mind letting me off early, do you?
Last night, when Harry went to put his Nimbus back in the broom-shed, he spotted Snape skulking into the Forbidden Forest. So he hopped on his broom and followed him right in. Normally Id be really furious- thats so dangerous!- but this time I forgave him, as he found out something wed never have known.
Snape was meeting Professor Quirrell in there. Harry heard him asking Quirrell how to get past Fluffy- you know, that three-headed dog in the forbidden corridor?- and how to get past some kind of "hocus-pocus". From what Harry heard, and from what we could figure out, it seems that there are enchantments guarding the Sorcerers Stone, as well as Fluffy. Quirrell must have done the enchantments- he is the Defense Against the Dark Arts professional, after all- and Snape was threatening Quirrell to tell him how to break through them.
All I can say is, if the only thing guarding that Stone is Quirrell, were in trouble. Hes no match for Snape. We simply have to find out how much more he knows... But how, Gwen?
Im exhausted just from thinking about it. I dont know what were going to do. If Hagrid doesnt believe us, nobody else will.
Well, if its any consolation to you, were all pulling for Gryffindor to win the Quidditch Cup!
What? Oh, that. Thanks. But it wont matter much about Quidditch if Snape gets his hands on that Stone- or on Harry.
No, I suppose not. You sound very tired, dear.
I am. Im going to bed to think about this. Night.
I woke up this morning, and Parvati Patil was dressed all in pink under her robes. It seemed like a bit much, even for Parvatiand then I remembered. Its Valentines Day. I hadnt even thought about it. She was putting little pink heart earrings in her ears and giggling. She had my music box playing "Goin to the Chapel." I shut it off, but she just got even gigglier. She said, "What, arent you happy its Valentines Day?" I said, "Why, should I be?" And she said, "Well, I thought at least youd have cards for Harry and Ron."
Well Gwen, I was just shocked. Cards for Harry and Ron? I can just see it; "Gee.... thanks, Hermione." "Hermione, thats sick! Get that away from me!" Honestly. How embarrassing.
I told Parvati, "Not a chance." And she said, "Well, whats the point of spending all your time with a bunch of boys, then?" I said, "Theyre my friends, Parvati." And she said, "Fine, suit yourself. Im giving cards to everyone, and having a holiday of it."
She did, too. And I was right- Harry just sort of stuffed his in a notebook, and Ron drop kicked his out the window. They both looked at me like they were scared I was going to go next. But I just ignored the whole thing. They were relieved, I think, that I didnt try anything stupid.
We ended up playing chess in the common room all afternoon when Harry got back from practice, because it was too icy to do anything outside. Ron said hed play winner, so I went ahead and beat Harry, and ended up playing Ron. Im really getting much better, Gwen. He looked a bit worried, and kept telling everyone around us to keep it down so he could concentrate. I think Id have beaten him this time, if it werent for Lavender Brown.
Lavender came over, out of the blue, and she pinched me! I said, "Whats wrong with you? Cant you see Im concentrating?" She said, "Its Valentines Day and youre not wearing any pink, so you get a pinch!" I said, "Thats for St. Patricks Day, Lavender. You pinch people for not wearing any green." She just giggled, dropped cards on Harry and Ron, and skipped off.
They didnt even open the cards. Ron looked at me and said, "Im so glad youre not a girl, Hermione."
I lost pretty quickly after that. I couldnt think straight. I am too a girl. Maybe Parvatis right. Whats the point of hanging out with a bunch of boys, anyway?
And the stupidest thing is this- after wed practiced our Sealing Charms for an hour, and gone over Transfiguring a candle into a thermos half a dozen times, I gathered up all my schoolbooks to go up to the girls dormitory. As I was walking off, Ron pinched me really hard on my arm and said, "No pink- hah!" and went off upstairs.
Im so sorry. I know its been two weeks, but Im knee deep in studies. Exams are coming up.
But Hermione, its only February.
Its March tomorrow. Exams are in less than three months. Ive been color coding my notes, trying to arrange study schedules week by week. I should have started studying a month ago! All this trouble with Snape and Professor Quirrell- its really interfering with my education. Even if Snape does find the Sorcerers Stone, he wont live very long if I find out Ive failed first year. These exams are so important for passing into second- and I simply have to get the best marks, or Ill never be able to convince Professor McGonagall to let me add extra classes to my course schedule next term. Im very busy.
Snape still hasnt got that Stone- we know because whenever any of us goes by the third floor corridor, we listen at the door. Fluffys still growling away in there. I never thought thatd be a comforting sound, but it is now.
Poor Professor Quirrell- Snape must really be digging into him- he looks pale, and tired, and thin, he stutters more than ever (Rons started telling off anybody who makes fun of him for it,) and hes even more jumpy than he was, if thats possible. I feel just awful for being so hard on him before. Id be jumpy, too, if I had Snape breathing down my neck.
Now, lets see. If I put a good study session in four times a week, two being on the weekend, and split them up by class session.... Ill still have plenty of time for my regular class-work, dont you think? I dont envy Harry, having to practice Quidditch on top of all this. Id better make him a schedule, too, so he wont fall behind. Come to think of it, Ill just make one for Ron as well. And Neville. Oh, how will I manage all this in less than three months?
Hermione, do you remember that word of wisdom I gave you before you started at Hogwarts?
I need all new highlighters, to do this properly. My yellow one is dead. I need to have Flying Lessons really yellow, so I can see them apart from Herbology sessions, which are green. And I can use the blue for Astrology and the pink for Charms... whatll I use for Transfiguration? Orange for Potions. Maybe just leave Transfiguration blank, and outline it really dark.
Oh, Gwen, on Saturdays do you think I should do Defense Against the Dark Arts, or History of Magic- or should I just do them on alternating Saturdays? But thatll never be enough- maybe I should do Herbology on Saturdays
Cant. Got to start on this Potions essay, or I wont be done by four, and thats when Ive scheduled my first Astronomy Notes Session. Im going to learn all the moons, and at least twenty major constellations, plus do flashcards.
Talk to you when I can!
Gwen- in a rush- just an update.
Snape doesnt have the Stone. Quirrell must be tougher than we thought. Maybe it helps that we smile at him a lot, and try to bolster him up in classes.
Harry and Ron dont appreciate my study schedules. They say Ive gone off the deep end. They think ten weeks is a very long time, and they get crabby every time I try to take them to the library.
Neville, on the other hand, loves his schedule, and is following it very nicely. I wont be a bit surprised if he has better marks than Harry and Ron.
I am keeping up. Barely. Easter holidays are in two weeks, and Ill really need that week to study. Im not even going home.
Hope all is well with you?
Just popping in for the holiday, Gwen. Happy St. Patricks Day!
I am wearing a lot of green. There isnt going to be any pinching of any kind.
Well, I should hope not.
Got to study. See you soon.
Hi, Gwen! Happy Easter!
I cant believe it!
Not rushing off to study? Not, "Hi, Gwen, got to study, see you in two weeks?"
Oh... well, this past week we were on holiday, and Ive gotten so much accomplished that Ive given myself today free. Ive got my wand movements perfect, memorized the twelve uses of dragons blood, completed all my class-work, gotten through all my notes for History of Magic up through the Medieval Period, Transfigured a mouse into a snuffbox without any trouble
Hermione, if youve given yourself a day off, thentake it.
Youre right. It is Easter, after all. My Mum and Dad dont celebrate it, but the Weasleys certainly do- Mrs. Weasley sent an enormous box of huge chocolate eggs- for Percy, Fred, George, Ron, Harry- and for me! I guess Ron mustve written home about me, or Mrs. Weasley wouldnt have thought to send me one, too. I thought it was so nice of her to remember Harry as well, since hes got no parents to do that kind of thing for him.
Snape still hasnt got the Stone, by the way. But Im trying to take a day off from thinking about that, too.
Good. What did you do, then, with your free day?
Today was a lot warmer than it has been lately- not really fine, but nice enough. We got outside, and Harry let us each have a turn on his Nimbus Two Thousand. Even Neville. Flying is part of our exams, but I tried not to think of it as practice. I tried just to enjoy it. Im not a very good flier, but Ive improved a lot this year, and its much easier on Harrys nice broom than it is on the old Cleansweeps we use for class. Neville even managed a good circle around the Quidditch field before he let me have a turn.
I went up nicely, but hovered. I have a lot of trouble really maneuvering on a broomstick. Harry and Ron kept shouting out instructions, and Harry did an impression of Professor McGonagall that was perfect- I couldnt help laughing- "I cannot impress upon you enough the importance of leaning forward, Miss Granger! If you do not lean forward, you simply will not see any improvement in your speed!" He had his hands on his hips and everything. Ron sounded more like Madam Hooch- "Up, Granger- up- up! Nice and easy! Now lean left- thats it, now sit back a bit- there! See how that feels? Now forward, Granger, move! Right!" By the time I came down, I felt like Id been put through a Quidditch workout.
It sounds like awonderful time.
Do you know something, Gwen? It really was. Mmmmmm, Im yawning.
Well, go to bed. Its almost eleven. Goodnight.
Progress, Gwen! Progress on the Sorcerers Stone!
Really? Whats happened?
We were in the library, the three of us, doing our Herbology Study Session, (and I had a time of it making he two of them study today, let me tell you It was a perfectly gorgeous day out- just like summer. It killed me to be indoors, too, but Herbologys going to include a very important practical exam!) Anyway, Hagrid came in. None of us had ever seen Hagrid in the library, so naturally we were curious as to why he was there. He wouldnt tell us anything- - not about why he was there, or the Sorcerers Stone, which of course we asked about. But it was Hagrids own fault- he brought it up.
He wanted to know if we were still looking up Nicolas Flamel. Ron started hollering that wed known about Flamel for ages, plus we know that Fluffys guarding a Sorcerers Stone. Harry joined him, asking Hagrid about whats guarding the Stone apart from Fluffy. Hagrid looked panicked- students arent supposed to know anything about any of this. Just to hush us up, he told us if we wanted to talk about it, wed have to come down to his cabin and do it privately. "Im not promisin anythin, mind," he told us. But I knew I could get him to talk.
We had another two hours of study session before we could go down to see him. Ron was sick of studying- big surprise- so he went to see what section of the library Hagrid had been in. It was all books about dragons, Gwen! Hed been looking up things on dragon keeping, and their care, and all of that. But Ron said that dragon breeding was outlawed at the Warlocks Convention of 1709 "everybody knows that". (Honestly. He cant remember a single date for the Goblin Invasions weve got to learn for History of Magic, but he can spout right off about the Warlocks Convention of 1709. If these exams were on dragons, chess, and Quidditch, Ron would have the best marks of everybody.) We cut our study session short by an hour to go and see what on earth Hagrid could be up to.
Hes got a dragon egg in his fire, Gwen. Hes tending to it so itll hatch properly. I mean, that is so against the law, not to mention that dragons breathe fire, and Hagrid lives in a wooden house. I tried to tell him that, but would he listen? No; he loves his pets too much to care. His pets!! First Fluffy, now this dragon egg. Plus that enormous dog hes got, Fang. Cant he just get a cat? He won the egg off some stranger in a pub. I cant believe hed actually think of trying to raise it, right here at Hogwarts. Does he think Dumbledore wont notice? Its a dragon, for heavens sakes. But, well, thats Hagrid for you.
But about the Sorcerers Stone?
Oh, yes, weve got information about that. Harry asked Hagrid to tell us whats guarding the Stone apart from Fluffy. Hagrid said not only wouldnt he tell us, but he couldnt. Apparently he doesnt know any more about what enchantments are in the way than we do. But I went about it a different way. I used my most flattering tone of voice. I said to Hagrid that I was sure he knew all about it, because he knows everything that goes on round here, and since Dumbledore trusts him so much, I just knew he must at least have some idea of who set the enchantments that are guarding the Stone. I warmed him right up, and it worked like a charm. Sometimes you just have to be a girl, you know? No matter what certain people might think about girls, weve got a whole separate kind of magic. Hagrid told us everything.
There are enchantments guarding the Stone. Heres who set them: Professors Sprout, Flitwick, McGonagall, Quirrell, Dumbledore, and Snape.
Snape. Which means he was in on the guarding. Which means he knows all the enchantments. Quirrell must have set some Dark Arts one that he cant crack, and otherwise, his way is free and clear! Except for Fluffy- Hagrid says that only he and Dumbledore know how to get past Fluffy. At least thats something.
All this to worry about- plus Hagrids dragon egg- plus exams! I wish there were some way to make more hours in the day. I really need them. Oh, Gwen.
Gwen, the dragon hatched!
This morning, when the owl post came at breakfast, Hagrid sent us a note that just said "Its hatching." Ron and Harry wanted to skip class and go right down, but I said we had to wait til break. "Hermione, how many times in our lives are we going to see a dragon hatching?" But I told Ron that classes are important, not to mention we could get into trouble, which is nothing in comparison to the trouble Hagrids going to be in when someone finds out what hes---
Harry cut me off in the middle of my speech. Hed seen Malfoy listening to us, and Malfoy was grinning. Oh, how I hoped he hadnt heard anything! Drat Ron for yelling. I didnt want Malfoy knowing about Hagrid and the dragon- hell just get us all into trouble.
Ron and I bickered all the way to Herbology. Its so juvenile, the way we go at it, but I cant help it. This is what we sound like:
"Hed never have heard us, Ron, if you hadnt been shouting."
"I wouldnt have had to shout if you hadnt been nagging!"
"Its not nagging to say that classes are important. They are. Exams are very soon!"
"Oh, exams, exams- Im sick of you and your exams."
"Theyre your exams, too, Ron."
"Oh, shut it."
"I said, OH, SHUT"
And then theres poor Harry, trying to stop us:
"Come on, both of you- now, Hermione- oh, come off it, Ron- Im serious- look, would you cut it out?"
So we did. But then Ron started whining and pouting, which I cant take.
"Oh, come on, Hermione, lets go to Hagrids? Itll be fun. I want to see it. Dont you want to see it, Harry? Itll be so cool, I swear- I can write Charlie all about it. And Norwegian Ridgebacks are rare, Hermione, really rare- youll be glad you went- I know you, you like rare stuff. Please? Please? Please?"
So we went to Hagrids, at our first break. And it was rather... cool. Interesting thing to see, really. But Im sure dragons grow very quickly, and I want Hagrid to get rid of it as soon as possible. Especially since there was someone spying on us through the window the whole time it was hatching.
Malfoy. He knows.
Hagrids got to give up that dragon, or were all going to get kicked out of Hogwarts, I just know it. But Hagrid thinks its a helpless little baby or something. When it hatched, he actually said, "Bless him, he knows his mommy!" Hes mad.
Ill let you know when something else happens.
Gwen, the dragon is three times bigger. Hagrids calling it Norbert and playing peek-a-boo with it- "Norbert, wheres mommy? Wheres mommy?" Ron says hes lost his marbles, and for once, we agree.
At least we know what were going to try and do. Rons brother Charlie works with dragons in Romania. Weve just sent him an owl to see if he can come take Norbert out of here. It took us all week to convince Hagrid to do this- all our free time has been spent at his hut, trying to make him come to his senses. Ive lost so much study time, Ill never make it up.
I hope Charlie writes that hell take Norbert. Malfoy could go to a teacher any day now.
More soon, I promise.
Charlie will take the dragon. He sent a letter. Some friends of his are going to come to the top of the tallest astronomy tower at midnight on Saturday. Its out of bounds except for class, so Harry and Ron are going to use the Invisibility Cloak to sneak Norbert up there. Hagrids already crying about losing him. Id feel sorry for Hagrid if I werent so scared theyre going to be caught. Or if I werent so worried that Norbert will get free and scorch them. Or if I didnt have so much homework to catch up on.
Actually, I dont feel a bit sorry for Hagrid. Im mad at him. All this trouble for everybody- why did he have to try and raise a dragon in the first place?
Oh, yes I do feel sorry for him. Its awful to see Hagrid cry. Im going down to his hut to see if hes all right. Bye.
Norbert bit Ron yesterday. His hand is twice its normal size, which means now Ive got to help Harry get Norbert up that tower on Saturday night. Ron says his hand feels like its going to fall off. Horrible dragon. When it bit him, Hagrid told Ron off for scaring it! Horrible Hagrid. (Well, not really. But this is all very frustrating.)
Even worse is this- Malfoy went to visit Ron in the hospital wing, pretending that he wanted to borrow a book. What he really wanted to do was threaten to tell Madam Pomfrey what really bit Rons hand. Rons been telling her it was a dog, and shes already suspicious, so he just shoved a book at Malfoy and told him to get lost.
But Gwen, Charlies letter was in that book. Now Malfoy knows all about our plan to meet on the tower. Ron just about lost it when he realized what hed done- but Harry and I tried to keep calm. After all, Malfoy doesnt know about the Invisibility Cloak. We still might be able to pull this off. And anyway, what choice do we have? Hagrid cant keep Norbert, and we dont have time to send Charlie another owl.
Ill tell you how we manage after Saturday.
Well, actually its May 3rd. Its one-thirty in the morning on Sunday. But it doesnt matter what day it is, or what time, because my life is over. Over.
Hermione! My dear, what is it? Didnt you manage to save Norbert?
Oh, Norberts just fine. Off having a great time in Romania by now. We dragged him from sobbing Hagrid to the top of the tower, got him into the harness Charlies friends had brought, and saw him off safely. Yes, Norberts gone. Its us. We got caught.
Foul, evil, malevolent. I despise him. Hes ruined my life. Ruined. My. Life.
Come now, Im sure it isnt-
No, listen. It is. Its that bad. When we were carrying Norbert up, covered with the Invisibility Cloak, we saw Professor McGonagall dragging Malfoy down from the tower. She was in her hairnet and bathrobe, looking furious, telling him off for being out of bed so late. He tried to convince her about us, and the dragon, and everything- but she thought he was just lying, so she gave him a detention.
It was too good to be true. Malfoy in detention! I told Harry I was so happy I could sing! He said, "Dont." We laughed about it when we got up there, thought we were so clever, so funny. When Charlies friends took Norbert, we were so relieved! We ran back down the tower stairway- we couldnt wait to tell Ron everything.
Filch met us at the bottom of that stairway.
Wed forgotten to put the Invisibility Cloak back on.
Oh.... oh.... oh, no....
Oh, yes. And he took us to Professor McGonagalls office. Where we waited. Just waited. Couldnt speak. Thought Id faint. How could we have been so stupid? How, how, how? And then- do you think this could get any worse, Gwen?
Guess again. When Professor McGonagall finally came in, she had Neville by the ear. He said, "Harry! I was trying to find you- to warn you- I heard Malfoy saying he was going to catch you, and he said you had a drag"---
Oh, yes. Professor McGonagall, luckily, still does not believe we had a dragon. She thinks we made it up to get Malfoy out of bed and into trouble. She accused us of thinking it was funny that Neville got caught up in it, too. Poor Neville. He was sincerely trying to help us, and now he thinks we were trying to have a joke on him. I feel worse about that than anything.
Thats a lie. I feel the worst about the points.
The points- the house points- the Gryffindor house points? What, did she take ten?
Ten! I only wish it were. She took fifty.
Fifty each. One hundred fifty points from Gryffindor. Plus detention. Plus the humiliation of hearing her say that shed never been so disgusted with students in her life. "And you, Miss Granger. I thought you had more sense." After she called me an exception, and let me practice magic at home! Now she hates me.
Everyone is going to hate me. All of Gryffindor. Theyll hate all of us. A hundred and fifty points- gone. We were winning, too. Now well have no hope. Now Slytherin will win. Everybodys going to kill us.
Ive never been so scared of tomorrow. I wish I didnt have to wake up in the morning. I never want to look anyone in the eye ever, ever again. Neville cried all the way back to Gryffindor Tower. Im going to cry myself to sleep right now. My life at Hogwarts is over. Ive never been in so much trouble in my whole life. What will Mum and Dad think of me?
No, dont. Dont try to make me feel better. I deserve this. Im going to kill Hagrid. I hate dragons. I hate Filch. I hate Malfoy. I hate... myself. How could we have left that cloak? Ill never forgive myself. Never, never, never.
I feel nauseated. I think Im going to be sick.
Life goes on, but its awful. Im glad exams are so soon. It doesnt give me much time to think about the fact that things are miserable.
Its worst for Harry, because hes famous. People keep yelling out at him in the halls for losing all those points. Neville and I might not be famous, but they know us well enough not to speak to us- and not just the Gryffindors, either. All the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws are ignoring us, too. Everybody wanted to see Slytherin lose the House Cup. Now theyll probably win. I cant even blame everybody for being so mean. I wanted Slytherin to lose more than anybody.
Rons standing by us, and people are giving him the cold shoulder by association. He says it should have been him up there. I think he feels really badly that I got in so much trouble. He and Harry dont seem to mind being in trouble quite as much as I do. He keeps telling Harry not to worry- that Fred and George have lost loads of points since theyve come to Hogwarts. But theyve never lost a hundred and fifty in one go, so that doesnt help much. Harry says hes resolved never to interfere in anything ever again- he feels just awful about the points- even went to try to resign from the Quidditch team. But their captain said that would only make things worse, because then Gryffindor wouldnt be in the running for the Quidditch Cup, either. I can imagine practice must just be suffering for Harry, though. He says they wont even call him by name anymore- just refer to him as "the Seeker".
My one consolation is that, having no social life, Ive got plenty of time to catch up on my studies. We al three spend hours and hours on our work now. Harry and Ron dont even complain when I want to haul off to the library. They say they might as well, since they havent got anything better to do.
Still, its depressing. I wish we could get back those points- do something incredible- but what? Were never going to figure out what to do about the Sorcerers Stone. And anyway, Harrys right. We shouldnt ever interfere with these kinds of things again. We should have gone straight to Dumbledore when we saw that dragon egg. Ive certainly learned my lesson.
Im off. Time for studies. Were going to drill all the Charms weve learned this year. Harrys going to get that wrist-flick if its the last thing I do. Talk to you soon.
Hello, Gwen. Im feeling low. Weve got to serve our detention in an hour. We got notes this morning from Professor McGonagall saying that Harry, Neville, Malfoy and I all have to meet Filch in the entrance hall at eleven. I cant imagine what he wants us for in the middle of the night, but it cant be good. Oh well. Maybe if he tortures us, everyone will feel sorry, and ease up on the silent treatment a little.
Snapes practically got the Stone, by the way. Yesterday, Harry heard Professor Quirrell sobbing through a classroom door, saying "No, please, not again," and then, "All right, all right," as if he was giving in. So thats it. Snape knows how to break whatever enchantment Quirrell set up, and now all thats stopping him is Fluffy. Ron wanted to try and stop him ourselves, and I thought we should go to Dumbledore, but Harry says were in enough trouble as it is, plus weve got no proof. Its true. I hate to let it go, when weve done so much work... but we dont have any choice. So Snape will get rich and live forever. A perfect end to a perfect year.
Detention. I cant believe Ive got detention. And with Malfoy. Im never breaking the rules ever again.
Detention was amazing! Ill never recover. Oh, Gwen, wait til I tell you!
Wellthat sounds a bit more like it.
I know, Ive been a little depressed.
But Im not now- Im anxious and excited and... exhausted. Gwen, I was up til five-thirty this morning.
What on earth kept you up so late? Detention?
Talking to Harry and Ron.
Listen and Ill tell you. Its long and complicated. First, we met Filch in the entrance hall and he dragged us outside to walk us to our detention. He was giving us a talking-to, and enjoying every minute of it. He loves to have students in trouble. If nobody ever broke the rules, I dont know what hed do for fun. He says he still keeps chains oiled in his basement in case they ever let the old punishments come back. Awful, awful. He told us wed learn our lesson the hard way, though, because we would be doing our detention in the Forbidden Forest.
There are creatures in there, Gwen. Like werewolves. Neville went ahead and started whimpering. Malfoy looked and sounded very unlike himself- lost his cool a bit, I imagine. But Harry and I felt a lot better when we realized who was to be going with us.
Hagrid, thank goodness! Filch took us to Hagrids cabin, dropped us off, and said hed be back later for what was left of us. Honestly, I think if wed died, hed have done a jig on the spot. But Hagrid told him to quit lecturing us and get back up to the castle. And then we found out what we were going to be doing.
We had to go into the forest because something has been killing unicorns, and Hagrid needed help to find an injured one, quickly enough to either rescue it, or put it out of its misery. Malfoy tried to give Hagrid a hard time about going into the forest, saying it was "servant stuff"-- but Hagrid just told him if he wanted to skip detention and be expelled, he was welcome to go back up to the castle and start packing. Harry and I looked at each other. Wouldnt that be nice? But of course Malfoy didnt go anywhere. Just kept muttering on about how his father would have something to say about it.
Then Hagrid showed us the unicorns silvery blood on the ground, and we started to follow the trail of it. Ive never felt so terrified in my life. Hagrid said that whatever was doing this must be something powerfully evil and quick to kill a unicorn, and I certainly did not want to meet it. Malfoy obviously agreed with me, because he said, "What if whatever hurt the unicorn finds us first?" But I was glad he was the one who said it, because he sounded like a scaredy-cat.
We came to a fork in the path. Neville, Malfoy and Fang went one way- Harry, Hagrid and I the other. Hagrid told them to keep to the path, and to send up green sparks if they found the unicorn, red ones if there was any danger. Poor Neville looked like hed send up red sparks right then and there, and I didnt blame him a bit- going off into those woods with Malfoy is about the worst thing I can think of. But he grabbed onto Fangs collar, and let himself be dragged away.
For my part, I tried to wedge myself in between Harry and Hagrid, who told us that nothing would hurt us so long as we were with either him or Fang- but this was hard to believe a moment later, when we heard a horrible, slithering noise right near us. Id never heard anything like that, and obviously Hagrid hadnt either, because he yanked Harry and me behind a tree and said "Somethins in here that shouldn be." Whatever it was, it snaked off too fast for us to figure it out. It was fast, and unfamiliar, and I could tell Hagrid thought that it was what had killed the unicorns.
How dreadful, Hermione!
I know. And then, while we were behind the tree, we heard another noise coming at us, Hagrid fitted an arrow into his crossbow and called out for it to identify itself. For a moment, I thought he was going to leap out and shoot it- but its a good thing he didnt. Gwen, it was a centaur! Can you believe it?
Had you never seen a centaur?
Er- no. We have regular animals where Im from, not magical creatures. He was beautiful! His name was Ronan, and he had red hair, and a beard, and was a man to the waist, but with the body and legs of a chestnut steed.
Well honestly, Gwen, it might be old hat to you, but I was amazed. What a gallant looking person- or creature?- he was. Anyway, Hagrid introduced us, and Ronan asked if we were learning anything up at school. And I thought, what a funny question. Here I am, a witch, in the middle of a Forbidden Forest, standing next to a wizard, and a centaur wants to know if were learning anything up at school. Sometimes, I have to pinch myself to be sure Im awake, and this is really my life.
But back to Hagrid- he asked Ronan about the strange creature and the unicorns- wanted to know if hed seen anything unusual lately. Ronan was not very helpful, I must say. He went on about the forest holding many secrets, and Mars being "unusually bright". I thought it was very evasive. And then another centaur named Bane came along, and Hagrid asked him the same questions. But Bane just said what Ronan did- "Mars is unusually bright tonight." What on earth is that supposed to mean? Hagrid didnt get it either, because when the centaurs left he looked confused, and called them "ruddy stargazers". I think I rather agree with him- but Im going to look up all my Astronomy notes on Mars and see if I cant figure something out.
We walked on a little farther, and then I nearly jumped out of my skin-- I grabbed Hagrids arm and pointed across the trees-- Neville and Malfoy were sending up red sparks! Hagrid told us to stay put, and ran off to get them out of trouble. I asked Harry if he thought theyd been hurt- more for the sake of making conversation than anything else. It was awful standing there in the dark, surrounded by goodness only knows what, without Hagrid to look after us. He said that he didnt care if Malfoy was injured, but if anything had happened to Neville.... after all, it was our fault he was out there in the first place. I felt my stomach turn very icy while we waited. What if something had happened to Neville?
Heres what happened to Neville- Malfoy thought it would be a great joke to sneak up from behind and grab him. He was startled, and sent up red sparks.
Oh, very funny.
Yes. Ha, ha. Wretched Malfoy. How I hate him. Hagrid kept Neville with us after that, and sent Harry off "with Fang an this idiot." I was glad he called him that. If Malfoy is anything, hes an idiot. And Harry is much better equipped to deal with his stupidity than Neville is, so they went off, and I let Neville get between Hagrid and me. Seeing how shaken up he was, I felt a lot braver. I tried to calm him down a bit while we walked on. But after about a quarter of an hour, when we still hadnt found the unicorn, and Nevilles breathing had gotten extremely irregular, Hagrid reckoned wed better turn back and try the other direction.
We turned and started back toward Harry and Malfoy. At this point, Neville was repeating "Im okay, Im okay, Im okay," in a low voice, without stopping, but I had gotten used to the idea of being in the forest and was finally starting to relax.
That is, until Malfoy came screaming toward us with Fang, looking totally white with fear. Normally Idve enjoyed seeing him look like such a baby, but at the moment all I could think of was "Wheres Harry?" Malfoy couldnt speak- just pointed behind him and started to shake worse than Neville. Hagrid grabbed him by the shoulders and lifted him six feet off the ground. "Where is he?" he growled. Malfoy started stammering, "The unicorn-- blood-- revolting-- Harry was behind me-- dont know where he is-- let go, you great oaf-- get me out of here!" He wriggled away from Hagrid, dropped to the ground, ran to a tree and backed against it, looking around him very wildly. Neville surprised me by going up to him and saying calmly, "Its okay, Draco. Weve got Fang. They can go get Harry, and you and I will go back up to the castle."
Hagrid clapped Neville on the back, said "Right," and then he ran to catch me up. I had already started running in the direction Malfoy had been pointing, with my wand out. "Cant believe he left him," Hagrid was panting. "Hes a coward," I said. "Im not surprised at all." Not surprised, maybe, but very, very panicked. "Hagrid, you dont think Harry"--- "Hes FINE," he said. He sounded like he was trying to believe it.
He was fine. Thank goodness, Gwen. We almost ran smack into him- he was on the back of another centaur, looking very strange. He said he was all right. He told Hagrid the unicorn was dead in the clearing behind him. Hagrid ran to find the unicorn, and Harry slid off the centaurs back. I overheard it say, "Good luck, Harry Potter. The planets have been read wrongly before, even by centaurs. I hope this is one of those times." Then he galloped away, and we went to get Hagrid.
I tried asking Harry what the centaur meant, saying that, but he just shook his head. I noticed his scar looked so bright it was almost purple, and he had taken off his glasses and was rubbing it. I was really worried, especially when we got to the clearing where the unicorn was lying, and Harry stopped and looked all around like he was waiting to be attacked. I asked him what was the matter, but he just lookedIve never seen him look like that beforesick, and scared, and his voice was all croaky. He said, "Tell you when we get back, okay?" I didnt want to press it.
We went to examine the unicorn. It was certainly dead, but otherwise, it was the whitest, sweetest thing Ive ever seen. Everything around us was pitch dark, yet it seemed to be reflecting light. Hagrid was smoothing its mane and saying "Second one this week. Who would do it- who could do it? Harry, did yeh see anythin?" Harry was as evasive as a centaur. "Im not sure... I was startled... then Malfoy and Fang made so much noise...and then Firenze came and got me out of here." (Firenze was the centaur hed been riding.) Hagrid nodded and said, "I hate to leave her like this, Hermione." I had gotten down on the ground beside him. I stroked the unicorn for a moment (it was like liquid moonlight, Gwen,) and then I patted Hagrids hand, (he looked like he was going to cry,) and he walked us back up to the castle.
When we got back to our common room, Ron was asleep in a chair. I guess hed tried to wait for us. Harry ran upstairs quickly to check if Neville had gotten back okay, and then he came down and shook Ron, who yelled out something about Quidditch fouls- "Oi- thats right! Penalty to the Cannons, you bloody cheaters!" (The language he uses in his sleep. Honestly.) Once he was really awake though, he asked what wed had to do. Together we said, "Forbidden Forest", and his jaw just dropped. We told him about everything- Malfoy and Neville, Hagrid and Fang, the unicorn, the slithering sound, the centaurs.... Ron just got more and more amazed, and I admit, I was pretty proud to be able to tell a story like that. Its about the most interesting night Ive ever had in my life. When we came to the part where Harry and I split up, I told them what had happened on my end, what with Neville shaking and Malfoy running up screaming his head off. Ron laughed. "Wish Id seen that." Then Harry said, "Ill tell you why he was screaming, and I wish I hadnt seen it. You wont believe it."
Gwen, we very nearly didnt. Harry told us that when he and Malfoy had stumbled across the clearing where the unicorn lay, they had seen a hooded figure there, crawling along the ground toward its body. When it reached the unicorn, it bent and started to drink the unicorns blood. Thats when Malfoy screamed and ran with Fang. They made so much noise it attracted the hooded figures attention. Harry was frozen to the spot with fear , plus his scar started to burn out of control, so he was half-blind. The hooded figure started to come straight at him, barreled toward him, and just about killed him! Thats when Firenze jumped in- Harry jumped on Firenze- and they rode off.
Well, apparently that was against the stars, or fate, or something, because Harry said that Bane and the other centaurs were furious with Firenze for saving his life. Said it went against what was written in the heavens. I told Harry I think thats all tosh. Hagrids right. Ruddy stargazers. Thats what Firenze must have meant when I heard him talking about hoping the planets had been read wrongly this time. They all think Harrys fated to die. Ron and I went into a fit trying to convince him that its just idiotic- of course he isnt going to die. Well, I mean, everybody dies, but hes not going to do it soon or anything. I think centaurs are very beautiful, Gwen, but theyre highly melodramatic.
But what if theyre not? Is Harry fated to die? I dont believe in any of that... but what Firenze told Harry about the unicorn blood and the Sorcerers Stone is enough to make me think that maybe... Im really scared for Harry, Gwen.
And what did Firenze say to Harry?
He said that unicorn blood will keep you alive even if youre only inches from death, but if you kill a unicorn and drink its blood, youve slain an innocent thing, and youll only have a cursed life after that.
Yes. Thats true. Its an ancient, terrible magic.
Great. Harry asked Firenze why anybody would want to live like that-- a half-life. And Firenze said normally they wouldnt- that it would have to be someone with nothing to lose and everything to gain. That if a person were just waiting to get their hands on something else, something that could make them immortal, something that could restore their life completely, then it might be a worthwhile risk. And whats at Hogwarts right this minute that can make a person immortal?
The Sorcerers Stone.
Right. And then Firenze asked Harry who he could think of that would risk a cursed life to be restored to power- who would steal the Stone from Dumbledore- who would do anything, even drink unicorn blood, to stay alive- who would want to attack Harry in the middle of the Forbidden Forest?
It cant be.
But hes dead.
Hagrid said before that he thinks thats codswallop- that he didnt have enough human left in him to die. It was Voldemort in that forest, Gwen. Voldemort under that hood. No wonder Harrys scar hurt him so badly! No wonder he looked so sick
No wonder you were up until five-thirty.
All this time, we just thought Snape wanted to get rich-- but hes helping Voldemort. Hes trying to get the Stone for him, to return him to power. He must be. Hes certainly nasty enough to be on the Dark Side, and weve seen that hes perfectly willing to kill Harry- it all goes together- Gwen, dont you see?
This is very serious, Hermione. What are you going to do?
We dont know. We cant think of anything. It was all Ron and I could do last night just to talk Harry down from some kind of feverhe was babbling on about how Voldemorts going to come round and finish him off, but the centaurs will be happy, because the heavens will have been right after all. I told him that You-Know-Who (Ron gets upset when Harry says Voldemort) will never be able to hurt him while Dumbledore is around. Everybody knows that You-Know-Who is scared of Dumbledore. Plus, all that talk about the heavens... well if you ask me, it sounds like fortune-telling, and Professor McGonagall says thats a highly imprecise branch of magic. But Harry didnt look like he felt any better, and we had to sit up and hash it through with him half a dozen times before we finally got off to bed. We none of us got up til after lunchtime today, and we all sound sick now- all that talking made us hoarse.
Besides which, can you even believe this is happening to us just one week before our exams?! A week from tomorrow, they start. Right now, Im trying to commit to memory all the circumstances surrounding the uprising of Elfric the Eager, and half my brain is off worrying about Harry. Snape could find out how to get past Fluffy at any moment! Voldemort could come strolling right into the castle at any time! Its enough to make me to want to just forget our Transfiguration Notes Session this evening.
But you wont, I imagine.
Well of course not. Failing my exams wont stop Voldemort coming back to power, now will it? What we should do is brush up everything weve learned so far in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Its not much, but at least its something. Actually, thats precisely what we should be doing. Why didnt I think of it before? Im going to get Ron and Harry. Bye.
Exams begin tomorrow. I am through studying, because if I dont know it by now, Im never going to know it. I need a nice rest from my notes.... and the library.... and my books.....
Youre kidding. Whats wrong?
Gwen, they made me! They forced me! I want to go to the library- I need to go over my notes- weve got Transfiguration tomorrow morning, and Im dying to have one more look through my textbook. But Im not allowed.
They tricked me. When I ran upstairs this morning to get my study things, they got hold of my wand. When I got back, they did it. Ron put me in a Leg-Locker Curse, and Harry held up my wand so Id know I couldnt do anything about it. I said, "What on earth do you think youre doing? Ron Weasley, unlock me. Harry Potter, give me that wand, or Ill scream."
He said, "Go ahead." I looked around the common room. A few people were laughing, but most just ignored us- were still getting the silent treatment for losing all those points. "Nobody cares," he said. "Youre stuck." So I said, "Fine then, what do you want?" Ron said, "Its a really nice day out, Hermione, and weve gone over this rot about six million times." "Its not rot!" I said.
But, "Were done," said Harry. "And so are you. Lets go outside. We all need a day to rest our brains before this week starts." And I said, "What are we going to do? Sit around all day fretting about Fluffy? No thanks." Ron said, "Were going outside. To have fun. Were not going to think about anything." And I said, "Fine, go ahead. I want to study."
"We knew youd say that," said Harry. "But really, Hermione, its for your own good." Oh, he is so patronizing sometimes! "No books, no wand, and no legs until you promise."
"Ill hate you," I said. "Im not kidding. If I get one single point off of that Transfiguration test, Ill kill both of you."
"Oh, dont be such a drama queen," said Ron. "Repeat after me. I, Hermione Granger."
I didnt say anything. But what was I going to do? Harry had carried off all my books by that time, and I couldnt get my wand away from them, so I finallyjust gave in. I mean, I didnt want to sit there all day. "I, Hermione Granger."
"Do solemnly swear."
"Do solemnly swear."
"That I will give it a rest with the studying."
"Im not saying that."
"That I.... that I will refrain from studying anymore today."
"I also promise not to spend all day whining about it."
"I hate you."
"Thats not very nice. Harry, dyou think we ought to leave her locked up, just for that?"
Long story short, Im bound by my word of honor not to study, or complain about not studying, all day long. It is extremely annoying. I am going to write down my exam schedule, to make myself feel better.
Monday: 9am Transfiguration 1pm Flying
Tuesday: 9am Charms 1pm Herbology
Wednesday: 9am Defense AtDA 12am Astronomy
Thursday: 1pm Potions
Friday: 9am History of Magic
Hermione... did you get outside and have any fun at all?
Well... .actually Gwen, I tricked them. I did do some studying for tomorrow. But I did it without breaking my word. We went out to do some flying, you know, because it "takes off the tension" according to Harry. And I got them to give me some really great tips on take-off. Im still shaky on landings, but the way I felt today, Im sure Ill get an A, no matter what.
Oh, Hermione. Youre funny.
Why? What do you mean by that? Oh, for heavens sakes. Rons just yelled over "What are you doing? Youd better not be studying!" And I said, "Im not!" But he came over anyway and tried to peekat my diary! What a nerve. Guess Id better shut you before he tries to read anything. Wish me luck on my exams!
Dear, I dont think you need it. But good luck.
One exam to go. Just one. And then a week of waiting for our marks. Its going to be torture.
But its a free week!
You know, Gwen, sometimes, you really sound like Harry and Ron. And after that trick they pulled on me last Sunday..... well, all I can say is, they are very lucky that I knew everything on our Transfiguration written. The practical, toowe turned mice into snuffboxes! Just what Id been practicing. Thank goodness. Our Flying exam that day was all right, too, and Madam Hooch gave us our marks right on the spot. I got a 93%. Im not too pleased, but it could have been worse- my take off was excellent. I was just a bit shaky on my landing. Ron got a 98%. Harry, of course, our Nimbus professional, got 100%. Hes the only one who did. She just loves him. Malfoy, on the other hand, got an 85%, because he bungled the very first thing he did. He said "Up!" and the broom shot right past his hand! Ha! I was so glad! I could have laughed right out loud. Ron and Harry went ahead and did.
Tuesday we had Charms (which I just knew, as we were doing it, that I was passing with perfection. And I was right! Today, Professor Flitwick took me aside in the hall and told me secretly that I got 112%!!!! I guess that will make up for Flying.) Herbology was also fine. It was so nice to see Neville looking confident about something. Hes quite good in Professor Sprouts class.
Defense Against the Dark Arts was too easy. We didnt even have to do a practical. Of course, we hardly learned a thing in there all year. Professor Quirrell still looks half-dead- all that mess with the Sorcerers Stone must have affected his health really badly. Poor man. Im trying not to be too angry that his class was a complete waste of time.
Astronomy was lovely- a really lovely practical. We each looked through the giant telescope, and named stars and constellations and planets. Even the written was gorgeous- we had these little individual maps of the heavens that really moved and swirled, and we were given special quills that made tiny points of light, so we could plot the moons and chart the rotations. I hope we get them back once theyre marked. Id really love to keep mine.
Potions, of course, was simply dreadful. I knew everything on it, and the practical was just a Forgetfulness Potion, which I could just about do in my sleep by now, Ive helped Neville with it so many times. But just being in the same room with Snape- the way he looks at Harry- knowing what hes trying to do- I cant stand it. And Harrys scar keeps paining him, ever since he saw Voldemort in the forest. Its awful. At least Fluffys still growling away up there. Maybe Snape wont be able to get past him.
Its all I can think about, Gwen. Snape, Voldemort..... Harry. It was easy enough to ignore this mess when we had so much studying to do, but now weve only got one exam left- History of Magic tomorrow- and I know Im prepared for that one. Now theres nothing for me to do for whole week except wait and worry, about Voldemort, and about my exam results. (I know this is terrible, but I think Im equally worried about both. Deep down, I feel like Harry will always be safe, so long as Dumbledore is around. But just as deep down, Im sure Snape will give me an unfair grade on that Potions exam, just because... because hes a mean, hook-nosed, Dark-Sider. So there.)
Oh, Gwen. One more exam. Ill try and concentrate on that.
Or, you could just go on up to bed, dear.
Even better idea.
Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. What are we thinking? Were going to get killed. Were going to die.
Hermione! Explain yourself before I have hysterics!
Gwen. Were going down- through the trapdoor- past Fluffy- through the enchantments- to find the Stone. Tonight. Were going to die.
Dont you DARE! You gostraight to Dumbledore
We tried. Hes gone. Oh Gwen. Oh my goodness. What will Mum and Dad do? Ill die down there. Howll we do it? How can we possibly?
Do you have enough time to tell me just exactly why youhave to do this foolish thing?
Yes. We have time. We have to wait until everyone heres gone up to bed, so no one will know weve gone, and there are still a dozen people hanging round. Ive been going over my notes, trying to find some of the enchantments we might have to try and break. But I cant concentrate. Oh Gwen. Ron and Harry are just sitting there, looking morbid and nervous. Its enough to scare me to death. What if.... what if Voldemort....
Hermione, please, try to be coherent. I know you can do it.
Ill try. All right. After our last exam today, we three went out to enjoy the sunshine. I was actually feeling nice. At first I wanted to go back over our tests, but Ron says that makes him feel sick, so for once we just.... stopped thinking for a bit. But Harry wouldnt. He kept rubbing on his scar, saying he felt like hed forgotten to do something. I told him that was just exam nerves- that Id woken up from a nightmare about Transfiguration the other night and gotten halfway through my notes before I realized wed already done that one. But he said no, it wasnt like that.
Then suddenly he shot up and started running to Hagrids, going on about the stranger who had showed up in the pub with the dragon egg. Ron and I had no idea why this was important, but we followed him. Sure enough, Harryd had a.... an.... whats that word, Gwen, Im so nervous I cant think.
Idea? Brainstorm? Breakthrough?
Epiphany! Good. I need a clear head. Hed had an epiphany. Hed figured it out. He asked Hagrid just a couple of questions, and then Ron and I realized it, too.
That stranger in the pub, who just happened to find Hagrid, and just happened to have an illegal dragon egg, also happened to be wearing a hooded cloak. Just like the stranger who tried to attack Harry in the Forbidden Forest. And he also just happened to ask Hagrid about Fluffy. Wanted to know, it seems, if Hagrid could handle a dragon. Which led Hagrid to say that, after Fluffy, a dragon would be easy. And of course the stranger was very interested in Fluffy. "How many three-headed dogs dyeh meet around Hogwarts?" he said. So the stranger asked just how does one handle such a dog, and Hagrid saidoh, he wasnt thinking, Gwen! Hed never betray Dumbledore on purpose! But just get that man started about his pets, and he loses his mind!
What did Hagrid tell the stranger?
"Fluffys a piece ocake if yeh know how to calm him down, jus play him a bit o music, an hell go straight off ter sleep."
Then Voldemort knows how to get past Fluffy. Hermione, you simply must go to Dumbledore, and quickly.
I told you, we tried! Hes gone!
What do you mean, Dumbledores gone?
Hes been called out of town very conveniently, to London, by the Ministry of Magic. But we just know its a trick- Snape must have written him that letter to get Dumbledore out of the way, and now hes going to get the Stone. He must be going tonight, while Dumbledores gone. So weve got to get to it first.
No. No. Go to another teacher.
As if any of them would believe us after all the trouble weve caused this term. Professor McGonagall certainly doesnt. We ran into her when we were trying to find Dumbledore. Shes the one that told us he was gone. We told her it was important- we even told her it was about the Sorcerers Stone! She was so shocked she dropped her books. She couldnt imagine how we knew about any of that. But she told us to never mind, that the Stone is very well protected, and that we ought to go out and enjoy the sunshine.
Well be lucky if we ever see the sunshine again.
Anyway, when she was walking off, thats when we started figuring that Snape must have faked that letter to Dumbledore. And as we were standing there talking about it, Snape came up behind us!!! We know he heard us, too, because he said, in this twisted voice, "Anymore nighttime wanderings, and I will personally make sure you are expelled."
We tried to keep an eye on things, but it was impossible after that. Harry and Ron charged me with watching over the teachers lounge in case Snape came out, so wed know to follow him, while they went up to stand guard outside the third floor corridor. I said, "Why me?" And Ron said, "Thats obvious. You can pretend to be waiting for Professor Flitwick." And then he put on this high voice and did this little dance and said, "Oh, Professor Flitwick, Im so worried, I think I got question fourteen b wrong!" I told him to shut up, and Id do it. How Ron Weasley can be perfectly sarcastic in the face of mortal peril is beyond me.
Exactly. But the plan didnt work anyway. Snape came out, asked me what I was doing there, and I told him "Waiting to talk to Professor Flitwick about the exam." Snape went to get him, and I had to run for it. I mean, I already know I got 112% on that one. In the meantime, Professor McGonagall found Harry and Ron by the forbidden corridor and told them off for thinking they could do better than a pack of enchantments. So we dont know where Snape is. For all we know, hes been down there and back already. For all we know, he has the Stone. For all we know, hes given it to Voldemort. At that point, I thought wed have to give uphide Harry in a trunk- wrap him in the Invisibility Cloak- send him to Romania on his Nimbus- ANYTHING.
But Harry decided he had to try it. He couldnt let Voldemort come back to power without a fight. After all, Voldemort killed his parents. The way he talked about it.... his scar was bright, and so were his eyes, and his voice..... it was like iron, Gwen. Hes going down there and nothing we can say will stop him.
Butyou dont have to go. Dont, Hermione.
Gwen, I have to. After all thats happened, after all weve done for each other! Ron and I both have to go. How could we let Harry do it alone?
Oh my goodness. Its almost time. Lee Jordan is the only one left down here. Lees stretching.... hes yawning..... hes going up to bed. Harrys gone to get his cloak and a flute to put Fluffy to sleep. He says he doesnt feel much like singing. Neither do I.
Dont do it.
Goodbye, Gwen. If I dont write again tomorrow, you have my permission to tell all these entries to whomever you like. Consider them the memoirs of my short life.
Be careful! I... Im rather fond of you, you know, my dear.
This is it. Through the trapdoor.
Hi, Gwen. My, its late.
Hermione! Oh, sweet heavens, youre all right!
Mm-hmm. Im all right. Thanks, Gwen.
What happened? Did you find it? Was he down there?
What? Who are you talking about?
ExCUSE me? Dont get smart with me, Hermione Granger, Ive been in terrible suspense for the past three hours.
Three hours? .... what was I doing three hours ago.... huh. I cant think of it. Oh well.
Dont you oh well me! You write downeverything.
Oh, shhhhh, Gwen. Really, I dont know why youre making such a fuss about nothing.
Hold on...... this isnt my room...... hey, Gwen, Im in the hospital wing, I think!
Mm-hmm. I remember now. I drank a potion. Unthinkable Potion? Undreamable? Un..... somthingable. Hmmm. I feel funny.
I see. Isee. Ill bet you feel funny. That stuff could knock out a Giant. Its the Unimaginable Draught, dear. It makes you forget horrid scenes temporarily, so that you can sleep without nightmares. It also makes you---
Gwen, Ive got hiccups. Oh.
--- extremely tipsy.
Gwen, I remember! It was horrid!
You do? I dont believe it.
Oh yes, perfectly horrid, I remember. There was a lady, and she yelled at me, and I yelled back and said, "Give me my diary or I wont drink it!"
And the lady said, "These students today, how Im supposed to cure anybody I just dont know!" and then she said, "Accio, Hermione Grangers diary!"
And then I flew in.
Yes, Gwen! Very good! See how horrid-- oh, hummm. Lovely. Its so warm in here.
So. Madam Pomfrey must have Summoned me. Well, she tricked you, my dear. Youll be out like a light in three minutes, and you wont be able to write a thing until the morning.
Whats that, Gwen? Ooooh, these hiccups.
Never you mind, Hermione. Go to sleep.
Oh, Gwen, look at Ron. Isnt that cute?
Hes sleeping with his mouth open. I dont know why hes in here. Boys arent supposed to be in the girls dormitory.
Of course, yes. Now go to slee
Ha- he snored! He looks peaceful when hes sleeping. Probably because he isnt saying anything..... anything sarcastic...... hmmmmmm.
Yes, thank you.
Did I ever tell you Rons very nice looking?
Youll be sorry you said that tomorrow, Hermione.
Oh, wake up and shut me, or somebody will be able to read this! Hermione!
Well, in any case,this should be interesting.
Well! I had a complete attack when I woke up and found you wide open like that. I just read that last bit over and I dont know what I was talking about. That potion had me very confused. Anyway, Im glad Rons not awake yet. Hes just lying there like a dead---
Dead!! Ron! Harry! Gwen, hold on a minute I have to ask Madam Pomfrey if theyre all right--- my memory just came back!
Theyre okay. Rons asleep with a nasty concussion. I havent got a scratch, and the two of us are going to be released when Ron wakes up and Madam Pomfrey can give us the once-over.
Harrys in another room, because hes unconscious. I dont know how he got that way, and Madam Pomfrey wont tell me. She says she doesnt know how long hell be out hours or daysoh, Gwen, I remember now, I remember everything.
I shudder to think.
Believe me, so do I. I dont have the words to tell you what went on.
But youll try.
All right. Ill try. I guess it started, really, even before we left the common room. We were trying to figure out how to fit the Invisibility Cloak over all three of us, when Neville popped out of an armchair in the corner, and told us wed better not be going out to get Gryffindor in any more trouble. Hes still upset about what happened that night with the dragon. He said hed fight us, and he got in front of the portrait hole.
Ron said "Get away from that hole and dont be an idiot!" And Neville said something like, "Dont you call me an idiot, and youre the one who told me to stand up to people!" And Ron said, "Yes, but not to us.". But Neville didnt care. He said, "Go on and hit me then, Im ready," or something ridiculous, and then Harry turned to me and said, "Hermione, do something."
So I did the only thing I could think of. I said, "Im really, really sorry about this." And then, "Petrificus Totalus!" The Full-Body Bind. He fell over, couldnt move or speak. It was awful, but we couldnt have him scream the house down! We had no other choice.
Sorry, but when did you learn the Full-Body Bind?
Oh, last week, when I was trying to find a good way to get back at Harry and Ron for Leg-Locking me on Sunday. Well, now I know how well it works. Poor Neville. He must really hate us. But we had to get out of there, so we left him lying on the floor like that while we pulled on the Invisibility Cloak and ran out toward the third floor corridor.
On the way, we passed Peeves the Poltergeist. He knew someone was there, cloak or no cloak, and he threatened to call out for Filch! Luckily, Harry thought to pretend he was the Bloody Baron- the Slytherin ghost, the only one Peeves is scared of- and so Peeves let us alone. We got to Fluffy a minute later. The door was already open. Snape was already inside.
Thats when Harry said to us, "If you want to go back, I wont blame you." Ron said, "Dont be stupid," I said, "Were coming," and in we went.
Harry started playing the flute, and Fluffy went right to sleep, but we still had to go right up to all three of the big, smelly heads, in order to get through the trapdoor. We dropped the cloak and Harry gave me the flute so he could go first. It was a short drop. We followed very quickly- I was last- and in the two seconds of silence when I stopped playing the flute, Fluffy raised its head and snapped at me, but I had already jumped. We were past Fluffy.
You three are absolutely out of your minds. What happened next? What was the first enchantment?
Good question. We didnt realize it right away, but we had landed in the first enchantment. It was Professor Sprouts. It was a plant, and it started twisting round our ankles. I managed to get free and move against a wall, but in seconds it had covered the boys and was choking them! I remembered then what it was called- Devils Snare- we learned about it in Herbology. Ron said, "Oh, Im so glad we know what its called, thats a great help." And I said, "Shut up, Im trying to remember how to kill it!" Well I was figuring it out loud- how they dont like the damp and dark- so Harry suggested I light a fire- and I thought, yes, but I havent any wood- and then Ron lost it. "HAVE YOU GONE MAD? ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT?" And I remembered- the Bluebell Flame! I shot it at the Devils Snare, and it shrank away. They got free.
Harry said, "Lucky you pay attention in Herbology, Hermione," and I thought, it certainly is, but then Ron said "Lucky Harry doesnt lose his head in a crisis- theres no wood, honestly," and I felt troubled. I guess even if Im the best witch in our class, underneath it all, my first instincts are still Muggle. Its a bit disappointing. I wonder if that will eventually wear off, or if Ill always be a Muggle when it counts.
Nonsense. You may be Muggle-born, but you are also a born witch. Dont ever doubt it.
What happened next? This is excruciating.
The next enchantment was down a stone passage in a chamber that had a high, high ceiling, filled with birds.
Well, we thought they were birds. We thought they might be attack birds.
Well, we didnt know! Harry ran across the room with his arms over his head, and they didnt do anything- just kept flying around- so Ron and I ran across, too, and tried to get the door open. It was charmed shut. Not even "Alohomora" would open it. And thats when we took another look at the birds and realized that they were actually flying keys.
I suppose attack birds are just as likely as flying keys. Go on.
It was Harry, who saw the brooms and figured we had to fly up and catch the proper key. But there were hundreds of them! So Ron took a good, long look at the lock, and figured it was probably a big, old-fashioned, silver one. We took brooms and went for it. It only took a minute- you know what a great Seeker Harry is- he caught the right key as if it were a Snitch and fitted it in the lock. We were through! Thats when I remember feeling surprised at Ron, thinking to examine the lock like that. Its something I would have done. But then, hes very smart when he wants to be, and thank goodness, because wed never have gotten any further along without him.
Why? What was next? This is so exciting. Its almost like Quidditch.
Oh yes, just like Quidditch. Except our lives were at stake!
Well you survived, didnt you? Now tell me what it was!
It was a giant, living chess set. Professor McGonagall must have Transfigured it, because it was amazing. Huge, stony pieces, blank-faced but alive. Harry said, "Now what do we do?" But there was no need to ask. Ron got that concentrated look on his face- the one he got the first time I ever saw him play chess- and said, "Its obvious, isnt it? Weve got to play our way across the room." Well, right there, Harry and I just shut up and let him take over. He made us take the places of three Black Chessmen- Harry a Bishop, myself a Castle, and Ron became a Knight. He was thinking really seriously, and we kept perfectly quiet like he always wants us to when we try to play in the common room, because each move of this game was more important than the last.
I never noticed how tall Ron is until he stepped out on the board, and its funny, but when he started directing us, I wasnt worried. I knew he could get us across all right. Though I have to admit, I got nervous when I saw how the White Chessmen took our players. Each time a piece was taken, it was positively bludgeoned to the floor. A white piece would reach out with a wide, stone arm, and-- CRASH! Awful to see. But Ron was.... well, theres only one word for it. Awesome. He took almost as many white pieces as they had taken black ones. Once, he saw just in time that Harry was about to be taken, and he moved him to safety. And then, he was about to move me a square, and as I was picking up my foot he suddenly yelled, "No, Hermione! Dont move! I just about killed you dont put your foot down." And then he moved himself instead. Thats when he had to really stop and think. "Were nearly there," he said. But suddenly he looked very pale.
Ill never forget what happened next. The White Queen turned her blank stone face to him as if to say, "You know what you have to do." And Ron said, "Yes.... its the only way. Ive got to be taken."
Thats what Harry and I both yelled. But Ron said thats chess, and you have to make sacrifices, and did we want to find Snape or not? After seeing what the white players did to the pieces that were taken, I thought maybe finding Snape wasnt so important after all. But Ron had decidedif he moved a square, the White Queen would take him and leave Harry free to checkmate the White King. So he squared his shoulders, and..... oh, Gwen, it was...... wonderful. And monstrous. He stepped forward. The White Queen smashed him across the head, and he was gone. She hit him so hard, I thought he was killed. I dont know how I stayed on my squareI just remember screaming. And then Harry moved where Ron had told him to, we won, the White Chessmen parted, and we had to leave him there.
Gwen! Hes awake. Rons awake! He just rolled over and said "Get out, Hermione, girls arent sposed to be up here." His Unimaginable Draught must still be in effect. Im going to have to explain it to him. Gwen, would you mind very much if I tell you the rest when Im back in Gryffindor Tower? I want to help Ron.
Go. Ill be waiting.
How nice to be alive. I never thought Id see this dormitory again.
Hows Ron? Hows Harry?
Harrys still out cold, but Madam Pomfrey swears up and down that hell be perfectly fine. Hed better be. She wont even let us in to see him. Ron, on the other hand, is perfectly recovered and has returned to normal. When his potion wore off and he remembered everything, he looked quite pleased with himself. Hes down in the common room right now, telling everybody how he single-handedly saved the day. Honestly.
I saw Neville down there, too, and hes better. Im forgiven for the Full-Body Bind, now that hes heard what we were going after. Hes down there with Rons audience, listening to the whole story. Speaking of which, I havent even finished telling you the whole story.
Im trying to be patient.
Youre very good. Where was I? The chess room. Ron, lying on the floor, pale, maybe dead. With a last look at him, we stumbled through the next door, and into Professor Quirrells enchantment.
The one Snape couldnt crack!
Thats whats so odd, Gwen. It was only a troll, and Snape had already knocked it out. Was that Professor Quirrells big Dark Arts enchantment? Theres nothing so mysterious about that. I mean, Harry and Ron knocked out a troll in October, and theyre only first years. Maybe Snape has a lot of trouble handling trolls, or something. Odd, though, dont you think? In any case, we got past that one without having to do anything but hold our noses against the smell of nasty troll, and we came to another chamber.
It was Snapes. Immediately after we entered the room, a purple fire leapt up in the door behind us. Before us, in the door that led onward, a black fire was burning. We were trapped. We turned to Snapes enchantment, which consisted of a line of seven potions, and a parchment. Feeling very small, I read what was on the scroll.
It was a logic puzzle, Gwen! A riddle! I couldnt help but smile. Some of the best wizards of all time didnt have an ounce of logic- but Ive got loads. All the clues were there: two bottles of wine, three of deadly poison, one to move you back, and one to get ahead. The scroll just made a puzzle out of their positions. It took me a minute to work it out, but I did it!! It wasjust my kind of enchantment!
There was only enough in the "move ahead" bottle for one swallow. Harry said hed take it. He told me to go back, wake Ron, get brooms from the flying-key room, get up the trapdoor and past Fluffy, and go send an owl for Dumbledore. Well, I didnt want to leave him there- what it Voldemort was past that black fire? (And Gwen, he might have been, I still dont know.) But Harry just pointed to his scar and said, "WellI was lucky once, wasnt I?"
I just lost my head. I flew at him and hugged him- told him he was a great wizard- courageous and brave I think I embarrassed him. But Gwen, it was just one of those moments.
Then I took the "move back" bottle, and drank it. For a second I thought Id done it wrong and taken poison, because my whole body felt like ice. But then I realized that must be meant to get me through the fire, so through I went. I didnt want to go. But I had to leave Harry alone to find the Stone.
I couldnt think about it. I ran back past the troll to the chess room, where Ron was still lying, crushed, on the side of the board. I tapped him with my wand and said "Ennervate," but it did nothing. I checked his breathing, and he was alive, so I picked up his shoulders and shook him. I didnt know what else to do, so when he still didnt come to, I slapped him in the face.
Dont go into nursing, please, Hermione.
I know, its terrible. Finally, I got right in his ear and started yelling at him, "The Chudley Cannons are the worst team in history! Quidditch is a losers sport! I hope the Cannons all crash! What a bunch of stupid prats! Down with the Chudley Cannons!"
It worked. Halfway through the insults, Ron had started swinging a fist in the air with his eyes still shut. By the time I was done, he was awake and ready to fight. I had to bring him to his senses, remind him what was happening, before hed stop hollering names at me. Even then, he said, "You dont talk about the Cannons."
We grabbed brooms and flew out of there, past the Devils Snare, up the trapdoor, past Fluffy, into the hallway. We could have cared less about Filch. We ran to get to the Owlery and send off a message to Dumbledore, but there was no need. Dumbledore was coming in through the entrance hall, and somehow, he knew. He said, "Harrys gone after him, hasnt he?" We nodded, and he hurtled up to the third floor.
Thats when Ron collapsed again. He didnt pass out or anything, just fell and put his hands to his head where the White Queen had smashed him. I knew it was probably due to a concussion, so I helped him up and told him we were going to the hospital wing. For once, he didnt argue with me. He just let me help him down the hall while I told him all about the troll and about Snapes potions.
Maybe it was because he was leaning on me for support, or maybe Im just a.... girl, but I must have lost my head again because I said, "You were really very brave in there, Ron." And he said, "Well I wasnt going to let you get knocked cold, was I?" That was a nice reply, I thought. Then again, maybe it was the concussion talking. But I didnt mind.
After all, I hear heis rather nice looking.
Gwen.Anyway, I dont know what youre talking about.
We got to the hospital wing, where Madam Pomfrey took a look at his head and took him right in. When I explained about drinking the ice-potion, she said I had to stay the night, too. Thats when I started yelling about getting my diary. And thats when she Summoned you, and made me drink the Unimaginable Draught. "Accio, Hermione Grangers diary!" Accio..... very useful. Ill have to work on that one.
Hermione, I have to say, you are truly amazing. Youve come through all that, and still managed to learn a new Charm. No one else could have done it.
I couldnt have done it without Harry and Ron.
You three make a formidable team.
We do, dont we? Thanks, Gwen.
You know, I can still hear Ron down there telling a very unbalanced version of the events. I think I have to go give him a few reminders. He doesnt seem to be remembering anything accurately. Think hell mind?
Yesterday afternoon, Gwen, was the last Quidditch match of the season. But dont get excited.
I-- Im not.
Harrys still unconscious, so Fred Weasley had to play Beater and Seeker. Lets just say it was a short match.
Short, and ugly, and goodbye, Quidditch Cup.
But Im going to make it up to you, Gwen. When Harry wakes up and gives us the end of the story, Im giving you permission to tell it.
The whole story?
The whole story. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. I think it makes a good substitute- after all, you said it was almost like Quidditch.
I did! Oh, Hermione! Do you mean it? Theyll run positively wild with delight.
Its the least I can do, after youve put up with me all year. Remember when I first got you? I was so nervous to come to Hogwarts! Those awful first months. And then all the studying, and the silent treatment, trolls, dragons and unicorns, not to mention Malfoy and Snape-- and Voldemort!youve been the best diary in the world.
And I wouldnt want to be anybody elses.
Oh, Gwen. Do you know, now that its all over Hogwarts about what happened down there, under the trapdoor, everyones talking to us again? Theres a party down in the common room right now. Gryffindor is rather proud of us, I think.
Im sure they are. Go have fun.
Okay. Ill tell you first thing when Harry wakes up!
Harry is awake, and alive, and well! (Although he looked sick when we told him how badly we lost the last Quidditch match.) Weve just been visiting him in the hospital wing, and now I have for you, Gwen, the rest of the story about the Stone. Not that you will ever believe it in a million years.
First of all, it wasnt Snape. Snape never had anything to do with any of this. When Harry walked through the black fire, into the last enchantment, the only person sitting there was...
Professor Quirrell. Sitting beyond that fire- just waiting for Harry. He tied Harry up with magical ropes, and revealed that hes been the one serving Lord Voldemort all this time!
This has to be untrue.
I know! Its unbelievable! But Quirrell was behind everything- it only looked like it was Snape. Quirrell let the troll in at Halloween to create a diversion, so he could try and get past Fluffy. Thats when Snape got bitten- he was trying to stop him! Quirrell was the one who was trying to jinx Harry off his broomstick- remember how I knocked him over on my way to set fire to Snape? Thats what stopped it. Snape was only doing a counter-jinx, to try and save Harry. Thats why he wanted to referee the next match, too--to be nearby in case Quirrell tried anything else. And thats why Quirrells Dark Arts enchantment didnt make any sense down there! Snape never needed to break it at all- he wasnt threatening Quirrell to give him the answer- he was threatening him to give up the search!
Are you.... actually serious? Tell me, Hermione.
Deadly serious. And so was Quirrell. Harry said that he was desperate to get his hands on the Stone- for his "Master". Disgusting. But first he had to break the final enchantment, which Dumbledore had set. It was the Mirror of Erised.
Which shows you your hearts deepest desire?
Thats the one. Quirrell would look in it and see himself presenting the Stone to Voldemort, but that didnt help him to find it. Thats when Harry first heard a voice- a horrible voice that Harry said could just stop your heart- and the voice said, "Use the boy." So Quirrell used Harry- untied him, forced him before the Mirror of Erised, and demanded to be told what Harry saw.
Harry told us that his deepest desire at that moment was to find the Stone before Quirrell did. When he went in front of the mirror, he saw his own reflection reach into his pocket, pull out a blood-red stone, wink, and drop it back into his pocket. Thats when Harry felt the real Stone fall into his pocket with a thud. Can you even believe it? He did it! He got the Sorcerers Stone!
But I dont understand!
Dumbledore had made it so that only a person who simply wanted to find the Stonenot actually use itwould be able to get it. Isnt that just divinely brilliant? Dumbledore is truly the greatest wizard of our time.
Harry lied to Quirrell, of course; told him he saw himself in the mirror holding up the Gryffindor House Cup. But then he heard the same horrible voice saying "He lies, He lies!" The voice demanded to meet Harry face to face. It said, "I have strength enough.... for this." And thats when Quirrell unwrapped that turban he always wears- the one that reeks of garlic- and turned around to show Harry the most awful sight any of us has ever seen.
Voldemort was sharing his body and his face was coming out the back of Quirrells head. Is that not the most horrifying-- the sickestand thats why hes been doing all these things- drinking unicorn blood, skulking around in classrooms after hours and crying- hes been sharing his life with that evil.... that monster..... oh, Gwen, Harry told us he had red eyes like slits and a high, cold voiceI screamed just thinking about it!
Harry Potter faced Voldemort a second time-- he survived it again how--?
Harry Potter is a great wizard. Hes got powers that just... come out. They came out on Friday, and even he doesnt understand how.
Voldemort told Harry to give him the Stone. Somehow, he knew what had happened with the mirror, and he knew the stone had fallen into Harrys pocket. But Harry refused to give it over, no matter how he was threatened, even when Voldemort told Harry hed die like his parents, begging for mercy. He must be evil- pure evil- to be able to say such a thing.
Harry said "LIAR!" He yelled it out without meaning to as he was telling us the story- Gwen, he was beside himself. I dont ever want to hear Harrys voice sound like that again. He told us how Voldemort had described his parents deaths, too. "I killed your father first, and he put up a courageous fight... But your mother needn't have died.... She was trying to protect you.... Now give me the Stone, unless you want her to have died in vain!"
"NEVER!" he shouted
Im so proud of Harry for hanging on at a moment like that. Harry said he didnt think it was too brave- he figured he was going to die anyway, and thought he might as well die fighting. But Im still awfully proud. Imagine if the murderer of your Mum and Dad were standing there, taunting you, telling you how hed killed them.... Hagrid says Voldemort hasnt got enough human left in him to die, but he deserves to die- horribly- and he will one day, I know it.
Nothing Voldemort said, no matter how low and revolting, would break Harry. Finally, he ordered Quirrell to take the Sorcerers Stone by force. But Quirrell couldnt! Every time he tried to touch Harry, his skin would scorch and burn- he couldnt get near him without howling in pain, Harry said. Voldemort would yell "Seize him!" and Quirrell would sizzle in agony. It held him off, but the downside was that each time Harry burned him, the pain in his own head was so bad that he said he thought his scar would explode from the pressure.
In the end, Voldemort told Quirrell to kill Harry, and be done with it-- just kill him!-- just like that. So evil. And, Gwen, he was really going to do it- a teacher, a Hogwarts teacher- and he raised his wand to strike out at a student with deadly force! Thats when Harry reached up and grabbed Quirrell by the face, which burnt him so badly that he couldnt perform the curse! But the longer he held off Quirrell, the worse his scar became, until finally he couldnt hold him another second. It was too much. He said he found himself blacking out to the sound of Voldemort screaming "Kill him! Kill him!"
Hermione, this is truly frightening.
You should have seen Harrys face when he told it. Stark white. His scar still looks raised- its bright and puffy. Dumbledore told him that a few more minutes and the exertion would have killed him. When he got to Harry, it was almost too late. He pulled Harry off of Quirrell and did some magic of his own, and we only know the following few things about what happened after Harry passed outVoldemort left Quirrells body and fled somehow. Quirrell is dead from having his life-force taken away. And we know that the Sorcerers Stone has been destroyed.
Then the Flamels- Nicolas and his wife
Yes, without the Sorcerers Stone to make the Elixir of Life, theyll soon die. But Dumbledore says that to the well-organized mind, death is the next great adventure. Ron says Dumbledores off his rocker.
But what of Snape? He was trying to save Harry? Then he doesnt hate him?
We know a little about that. Harrys father once saved Snapes life when they were in school together, though we dont know how or why. Thats the reason hes worked so hard to protect him this year. But no, he definitely still hates him. Dumbledore just says he wanted to make amends so he could go back to hating all the Potters in peace.
But Harry- burning Quirrells skin- how did he manage it?
Oh yes. Dumbledore explained that, too. Its actually very simple, and very beautiful. Harrys mother died for him, and hes shielded by that sacrifice. Hes marked by her love, forever. Its right in his skin. Voldemort is too evil to understand that kind of love- he cant lay hands on anything so good without suffering terrible pain.
So Harry is still protected by her, even in death?
Well, I could just.... cry.
Go ahead. I did. When Harry told us that part, I had to duck my head to hide a sob. And I noticed that Harry himself couldnt make eye contact with us- and even Ron looked away...
Then Madam Pomfrey kicked us out. She wont have us "ruining his health." Honestly! As if we didnt save his life!
Tomorrow is the End of Year Feast, and Slytherins going to win the House Cup. But its all right. Were all alive, and weve had an incredible adventure, and Im just too tired to care about any old cups.
And that, Gwen, is the whole story.
Gwen, nothing is impossiblenothing! Ill pass out from happiness!
GRYFFINDOR WON THE HOUSE CUP!!!!
We had the feast, and Dumbledore read out the points: Gryffindor-312, Hufflepuff-352, Ravenclaw-426, Slytherin-472. The Slytherins were screeching and banging their goblets on the table. It looked to be a rotten kind of party. The hall was all done up in their colors, and Draco Malfoy looked so smug that I leaned across Harry and told Ron I wouldnt mind if he launched a turkey-leg at Malfoys fat head. Ron said, "Right, shouldve thought of that," and rather grimly grabbed a fat one from the platter. He was just about to hurl it, when Dumbledore suddenly said that, in light of recent developments, he had some last minute points to dish out.
Rons turkey-leg froze. The three of us were rigid with excitement. I think we all sort of imagined what was coming. But we werent prepared for how marvelous it could possibly be. Nothing could have been so wonderful.
"To Mr. Ronald Weasley," Dumbledore said, "for the best-played game of chess Hogwarts has seen in many years, I award Gryffindor House fifty points."
Rons face went absolutely purple, and he dropped the turkey-leg on the floor as our table started cheering him like mad. I was smiling so wide I thought my face would split, and I think I cheered louder than anybodyafter what he did down thereI was so glad!
"To Miss Hermione Granger, for cool logic in the face of fire, I award Gryffindor House fifty points."
Cool logic! I was so proud- I felt my heart grip up in my chest, and all of a sudden everybody was whooping- Ron and Harry were yelling my name- and I put my head down on the table and started to cry. My fifty points! I got them back!
"To Mr. Harry Potter." Gwen, I have never heard that hall so still. The quiet was immediate, and the hush was almost deadly. Everybody had heard about Quirrell by then. Everybody knew what Harry had done.
"For pure nerve and outstanding courage, I award Gryffindor House sixty points."
There was a rush of noise! Stomping, screaming, howling- Harrys eyes were swimming and he had to duck his face- everyone who could add could see it- we were tied with Slytherin! And thats when Dumbledore said what I think was the best thing of all.
"There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies- but just as much to stand up to our friends. I therefore award ten points to Mr. Neville Longbottom."
Dear Neville! Hes never won so much as a point before! I had only just recovered from crying, but one look at his stunned face when he heard Dumbledores words and I was off againNeville was the hero! Everybody mobbed him- I thought the noise would take my head off- the Gryffindor colors suddenly splashed across the Great Hall- Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff were hollering, too- people were actually standing on the tablesSlytherin had lost!!!!!
GRYFFINDOR HAD WON!!!!!
The party we had tonight was unbelievable. Everyone was asking us to tell the story over and over- even begging Neville to tell his part. He was giving a rather shy version of events, but Harry said, "No, cmon, Neville, tell the whole story," and Ron jumped up and said, "Yeah, Neville, move- heres how it was." The four of us then proceeded to act out the scene in the common room for everyone to see. It was so much fun, Gwen! They all gasped and laughed and booed in the right placesand then came the end, when I pointed my wand at Neville to do the Full-Body Bind!
Well, honestly, it wasnt as if I was going to do the curse, or anything, and I was just about to tell him so. But before I could explain, Neville had taken things into his own hands. He whipped out his wand and shouted "Wingardium Leviosa!" And my wand flew out of my hand as Neville dived behind a chair. When wed recovered from laughing, Neville poked his head out and said, "Been wanting to try that all year," with the funniest little grin. We howled! I almost died laughing!
The night in the Forbidden Forest was the most mysterious of my life, the night with Norbert the most miserable, and the night searching for the Sorcerers Stone was the most challenging. But tonight, Gwentonight was the best.
Exam results, Gwen! We got them. In the excitement, Id forgotten all about them- if you can believe that.
Ill try. And whats the verdict?
Harry and Ron both passed with about a 90% average. I was so proud of both of them! They do so well when they just apply themselves. Neville averaged around an 83%- he nearly failed Potions, and that took him down quite a notch. But hes so good at Herbology that it didnt destroy his overall!
I passed. With 102%. The best marks in my class.
Hermione! Well, goodness knows you certainly deserve it.
The best marks for a first year in forty-seven years! Prof. McGonagall told me that. And she said, "Miss Granger, perhaps we can make an arrangement. Come to my office if youd like to talk about an extra class." And I did, and oh, Gwen, I get an extra class next term! I cant believe it! Prof. M. still likes me! I get to take an extra class!
Im so proud of you, Hermione. Do your parents know?
No, and Im off to the Owlery right now to tell them all about it. What a wonderful school this is! Im so happy, Gwen. Mum and Dad are going to be so excited! Maybe Ill get to practice magic outside of school over the summer, too! Oh, I hope so, I hope so. Ive got to go ask. Talk to you later!
What, no more excitement?
No. Last full day at Hogwarts. Im all packed. We go to the train tomorrow morning. I dont want to go. I wish school were year-round.
Dont let your friends hear you say that.
Too late. I sort of sighed it out over breakfast, and got a miserable look from Ron. "Youre sick, you know that Hermione, dont you." But Harry said he didnt know, he thought he might like to spend summer at Hogwarts. (And thats when Ron flipped a pancake at his glasses. I guess I shouldnt have encouraged him with that turkey-leg the other day.) Harry doesnt want to go home to his Aunt and Uncle, but Gwen, they cant be that bad, can they? Anyway, I guess I am rather glad to have a vacation with Mum and Dad. But Gwen?
Dyou mind if I go? I want to spend this last day with.... well, with Hogwarts.
Well, thats it, then.
Its all over. Three months, almost, til I get to go back. Its going to be a very long summer. Im going to miss so many things! Magic----we cant practice magic--- not even me--- Im going to go mad.
Not even "Alohomora"?
No. Im going to have to grab you in the Muggle way, Im afraid.
The train ride was nice, and Mum and Dad met me with the car. Im in the backseat right now. They have so many questions, but I dont feel much like talking--- talking makes me sad. Mums up there whispering to Dad that she read in her "Muggle-born" book about how the first summer apart from school is always the hardest for the new witch or wizard, and how they have to be very delicate with my feelings. And Dads saying, "Oh, shes too much like you. Youve both got to learn how to take a vacation." As if I cant hear them. I hate it when adults do that.
Rons invited Harry and me to stay. I dont want to think about them, either. It hurts. I wont be able to stay with him, Im sure. Hope Harry will, though. His Uncle Dursley was at the station, and he was extremely rude to everybody. Harry shouldnt have to live with people like that. Sweet of Ron to ask us, really.
Oh, how will I ever do without them?!
Cheer up, Hermioneyou always have meand just think how nice it will be to see them again for the first time! And you can always send owls, cant you?
Yes. I can, Gwen. Thanks. Ill be fine.
Oh, what a marvelous year. I just know it cant get any better than that.
This work of blatant thievery is brought to you by a person who finished Book Four and thought, "Oh no! How will I ever manage until next year?"
She is still trying to manage.