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The Slytherin Court

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Hermione Granger knew she was different. She loved learning, and reading was her favorite pastime. When she realized that she was unusual (bookish, in the words of her classmates), she rallied and resolutely stuck to her views. In her avidity, she unwittingly pushed her peers away with a simple, “Honestly, don’t you lot read?”  She became an outcast,  a shadow on the wall that no one wanted around.

While at first it bothered the young girl, she soon realized that she was excelling in everything that was brought before her. Her genius caused her to skip grades, going from a 1st year to a 3rd. She would’ve gone to the 5th year like the teachers suggested if not for her overprotective parents. Hermione gladly took the years she could skip.

By the time Hermione was 10, she was able to do university level reading, math, and science. While she was in her 8th year in school she had already finished all of her studies for the year halfway through the term. Hermione read whatever book she could get her hands on. Her favorite genre was anything to do with a fantasy world. She would often dream about being in a magical world.

And then she turned 11. She received a curious letter to attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Her parents didn’t want her to go but after seeing her curiosity, they couldn’t refuse. Accompanying her to the Leaky Cauldron, they warned her to be careful and to come back within two hours. Professor McGonagall assured them that she would make sure of Hermione’s safety, and took her into the tavern. Hermione headed off into an unknown world.

---

Hermione stood at the entrance of Diagon Alley and was stunned at all the wonderful sights. She was surrounded by magic. After the professor left, she pulled her face into a mask of indifference - as much as an 11 year old could - and began to walk about. She figured she looked more accustomed to magic this way.

She muttered to herself, “Fake it ‘till you make it. You got it, mum.”

With that in mind, she took a glance down at the list of materials needed. She was required to go to Gringotts to exchange her “muggle money” for wizard money. Squinting at her surroundings, she headed towards the conspicuous marble building.

When she was done exchanging her money (and gawking at the goblins), she started checking things slowly off her list. She received her uniform from a very kind lady named Madam Malkin. She was fitted for her robes, and watched with concealed fascination as she quickly whipped them up, folded them in the air, and placed them all neatly in a bag. After paying for them, Hermione nodded her head in thanks and quickly walked out, head held high. As she was on the way out she passed a blonde boy and his father. The boy held the door for her and she dipped into a fast curtsey before she walked out. She could feel their eyes on her as she left and faintly heard the boy ask who she was.

Next on the list was a wand. Entering Ollivander’s, she walked towards the counter and saw an old man.

She smiles at him. “Hello, sir. I’m Hermione Granger.”

His pale eyes watched her as he spoke. “Good afternoon. I presume you are in need of a wand?”

“Yes, sir. I’m just starting at Hogwarts.” She shifted under his persistent gaze.

“Hermione Granger,” he murmured. “When is your birthdate, dear?”

As she opened her mouth to reply, a flying tape measure started measuring her height.

She frowned, saying, “September 19...Sir, how much do my physical characteristics affect my wand?”

He looked up at her, smiling slightly. “Not very much. But if we can narrow the search down even a smidgen, it will assist us in finding the wand for you. The wand chooses the wizard, you know. What’s your wand arm?”

“If you mean my dominant hand, it’s my left.”

Ollivander suddenly moved, walking hurriedly to a shelf near the back of the room. Hermione heard the shifting of boxes.  

Then he hands her the one. She felt something inside of her come alive. A vine wand, made with a dragon heartstring. Awed, she thanks him and hands him 7 galleons.

She collects her books, her quills, and the rest of the items on her list just as her two hours are up. Carrying her bags she walks leisurely back towards where she entered from. With confident steps she passes a gaggle of young witches admiring the young boy with very fair hair and his father from afar. She brushes by, accidentally knocking over a girl’s pink leather tote bag.

The teen whirled around, bleached hair flapping. “Hey! Watch it!”

Hermione turned. “Oh sorry. I didn’t mean to…”

“Yeah, well whether you meant it or not, my bag is still dirty! Do you know how much this costs? Oh Merlin, mum is going to kill me!”

“I-I’m sorry. I can’t offer anything else but my apologies.”

The teen scoffed as her friends shook their heads. “Apologies?! What good will that do? You owe me at least 140 galleons.”

“I don’t have that kind of money! It was an accident, can’t you let it go?”

“No, I can’t! I--” What was about to be a long rant was cut off as a smooth voice interjected.

“I’m sorry, is something the matter?” The man with long blond hair and tailored clothes intervened.

“Oh,” the teen breathed, “No problem at all. You’re Lucius--”

“Malfoy. Lucius Malfoy. I think you should let this one go, don’t you? She hardly looks able to pay for a bag that… luxurious.” He gestured towards Hermione. She bristled internally, but said nothing.

The teen looked slightly mollified, but couldn’t resist a snide comment aimed at Hermione.  “Yes, she looks rather like a--”

Lucius Malfoy once more interrupted, saying “Fabulous. Now, if you don’t mind…” He trailed off delicately. The group of girls got the message and turned on their heels, prissily walking down the street.

Hermione took the opportunity to thank the pair. “Thank you, for holding the door open and for saving me. It was very kind. I do hope I’ll see you at Hogwarts. Have a good day.” With a final nod she walks past the two.

“Father, do you know her? Where is she from?” The young boy asks.

“I don’t know Draco, I’ve already told you that. Now don’t nag, it’s unbecoming,” Lucius admonished but the rest of his sentence was muffled as Hermione continued to walk away. Once safely away Hermione allowed herself a small giggle. She knew she should’ve introduced herself (her mother raised her right, after all), but she liked the mysteriousness that surrounded her in the magical world. She didn’t get that at school. Everyone whispered behind her back, called her names and ignored her simply because she was younger and smarter than them. She was tired of being underestimated.

Ignoring the dark turn her thoughts took, she walked out of the magical realm to see her parents approaching her. As she smiled widely at them, she excitedly told them all about the strange new world she became a part of.  

---

The small family arrived home. Hermione quickly scrambled out of the car with all her new things and made a beeline for her room. Flopping onto her bed, she reached over and grabbed one of her new books. Hogwarts: A History , she muses, This is a good place to start.

It had already been about 5 hours since she had been home, and her nose was still stuck in her new book. She already adored the stories that the book had written on its pages. Her favorite part had to be the biographies of the Four Founders. Hermione also was fascinated with the traits they chose for. How Godric Gryffindor commended bravery and chivalry, Helga Hufflepuff promoted patience, loyalty and fair play, Rowena Ravenclaw required intelligence, knowledge and wit, and how Salazar Slytherin valued ambition, cunning and resourcefulness.

Once she had learned about the different houses, she tried to figure out which house would suit her best. Even at a young age, Hermione Granger was nothing if not self aware. She knew that Hufflepuff was the least likely. Simply put, she wasn’t a patient or fair person. If she could use something to her advantage, she should use it at the best possible moment. A petty reason not to be picked for a house, but she felt it unfair if she believed she fit in all the houses. She honestly couldn’t be that special. She guessed that the Sorting Hat would place her in Ravenclaw. She knew she was smart.  Ravenclaw just seemed to be the obvious choice.

After determining what house she would have the greatest chance of joining,  she dove back into her book and read until her eyes became far too tired to keep up. She slipped off into sleep, the book wide open underneath her.

---

Hermione looked around the area she opened her eyes to. It was dark, not a single light source to be found. It was oppressive, and she found it hard to find her balance. Your eyes are a major part of your vestibular system, her mind supplied.

Hermione...

A voice whispered into her ear, at least it felt like whatever it was that was talking to her whispered it into her ear. But when she turned around, nothing was there just the same blackness. Frowning, Hermione turned in circles.

Hermione, become the catalyst.

The voice continued to whisper. Hermione looked around the dark area, but continued walking.

Do not fear the road that has not been walked.

Embrace the unknown.

Embrace the final truth, your true destiny.

The voices started overlapping with themselves, the message becoming a jumbled mess.

“What do you mean? That doesn’t make any sense! What am I supposed to do?” She yelled out into the blackness but she knew it was useless. Whatever was there, was gone now. Hermione frowned down at her bare toes. She simply did not like knowing.

~~~

“Mum, Dad! Please hurry! I don’t want to miss the train!” Hermione said as she waited impatiently by the front door. Her trunk was at her feet, packed with all the supplies she could possibly need while she started her first term at Hogwarts.

Hermione heard her mum laugh. “We’re on our way down, Hermione. We won’t be late. Jackson has kept us on time since before you were born.”

Hermione looked up to the quiet man that was standing beside her. He was so quiet she actually forgot he was there. The mark of a good serviceman, she supposed. He was older, in his 50s. His black hair had grey streaks and he wore a nicely tailored black blazer. She turned her attention back to her mother, who was still upstairs.

“It’s not Jackson that I’m worried about, mum! I’m worried about you and dad! You both are going to make me late, and I’ll miss the train!” Hermione stated, her hands on her hips. She was wearing a simple white short sleeved shirt and a skirt. She hoped to make a good impression.

“Relax, dear. You won’t be late,” her dad said, coming down the hallway. He was straightening out his plaid button-down (typical dad, she always teased) as he walked. When he got to his daughter he wrapped her up in a hug and kissed the crown of her head.

Hermione blinked her brown eyes up at her father. “I certainly hope not! How else will I get to school?” Her father laughed at her, and her mother appeared right behind him.

“Come, dear. Your father and I are both down here now. Jackson, if you would please be so kind as to bring Hermione’s trunk to the car. We will be out in a moment.”

Jackson nodded, took the large trunk and walked out the door. Hermione’s mother looked to her. “Are you sure you have everything packed dear?”

“Of course, mum. Now let’s go, please! We should have left 5 minutes ago!”

“Toothbrush? Toothpaste?”

Hermione groaned. “Mum!”

Her mum laughed, “Very well. Let’s go, dear.”

Hermione grinned and then bounded out the front door. Her parents looked at each other with smiles and her dad shook his head as he held the door open for his wife.

 

Chapter Text

Hermione sighed as she settled into an empty train compartment. She took out The Standard Book Of Spells, Grade 1 by Miranda Goshawk. She didn’t read yet, though, because the train was magnificent. The seat she was sitting on was plush and comfortable, and the window was large and low enough for her to see everything that was going on on the busy platform. All of it was really truly...magical, for lack of a better term.

She was so lost in her thoughts that Hermione flinched in surprise when her compartment door was pushed open. The two people that opened her compartment door looked to be about her age; a blond girl with curious blue eyes and a weedy boy with black hair and deep-set eyes.

“Oh, my apologies for barging in.” The girl said, her voice soft.

Hermione offered a smile. “Oh, it’s nothing. Do, come in.”

The girl gave a small smile and sat across from Hermione. The boy, still stoic, flopped next to the blonde. Hermione raised a brow at the disgruntled boy. He clearly wasn’t raised all that well , she thought. The girl seemed to be on the same page as Hermione. She sent him a scathing look and kicked him, then turned her attention to Hermione.

“My name is Daphne Greengrass. This daft git who seems to have forgotten his manners is Theo Nott.” Hermione snorted at Daphne’s introduction. Greengrass, her mind told her. Nott. Purebloods of the Sacred Twenty-Eight.

“I’m Hermione Granger. It’s a pleasure to meet you both.” Daphne gave a nod in return. The strange little group fell into a silence, which clearly made Daphne fidget.

“I’m sorry, I can’t stand this silence. So, Hermione. What house do you want to be in?”

“Well I can’t really decide, honestly. But I’m thinking Ravenclaw would be a good match.” Daphne seemed to be slightly shocked at this.

“Really? I would think you would go for Gryffindor.”

Hermione gave a small shake of her head. “Well that was originally one of the houses I was hoping to get into, but I realized I wasn’t exactly brave. I’m sure Gryffindor is popular with the younger demographic, isn’t it? And what about yourself, what house do you want to be in? Oh, I’m sorry for asking so many questions. I’ve read things, but it’s nothing like actually being in the magical world.”

Daphne gave a few blinks. “Oh...you’re half-blood, then?”

“Not at all. My parents are both muggles.”

“Oh.” Daphne paused. “Okay.” Hermione gave a small smile, but internally she was slightly hurt. She read that many pureblood families still taught that muggleborns don’t belong in the Wizarding world. Daphne was watching her out of the corner of her eye while she pursed her lips.

“Well, as long as you’re not sorted into Gryffindor I think we can still be acquaintances.” Daphne proclaimed as Theo rolled his eyes. Hermione sat in silence, surprised. She didn’t think they would want to associate with her at all.

And then it came to her. She realized what this was. This was an olive branch. An alliance of sorts. Hermione decided to take it. Who else would affiliate with a muggleborn with no power? “Let’s keep in touch, then.” Hermione says with a large smile. Daphne smirks.

“Sounds wonderful to me.”

Chapter Text

As soon as Hermione had accepted the alliance, Daphne immediately decided she should sit next to Hermione. Hermione barely held back her smile as she easily listened to Daphne chatter endlessly about whatever caught her attention (“Do you have any pets? Mother has an owl named Bristol!”). Suddenly, Daphne stopped talking and turned to her forgotten companion.

 

“Wait, where did Draco go?”

 

Theo huffed. “He went to go find Potter. You know how he is when his ego is in play.”

 

Daphne furrowed her brow but nodded and turned back to Hermione. Before Daphne can start talking, Hermione interrupted her.

 

“Potter? As in Harry Potter?”

 

Daphne nodded.

 

“As in the Boy who Lived?”

 

Daphne nodded again. “The very one!”  

 

Hermione hummed. She had read a lot about him. She was interested in meeting him, and seeing his fabled scar. Hermione supposed that Harry Potter might be rather stuck up (he was famous, after all). She also knew his sorting was important. It had been said that he was a great wizard. If he were to be sorted into Slytherin, he would be marked as a Dark wizard.

 

No use thinking about it until I actually meet him, she thought. She wrenched her attention back to Daphne. She was just about to ask Daphne about what subjects she is most looking forward to when the compartment door was thrown open. The three occupants turned towards the door. A boy with strikingly blond hair strided in, looking for all the world like he owned the place. Two hulking boulders of boys stood in the hallway, as they were too big to fit in the compartment.

 

Isn’t that the boy from Diagon Alley? And why is he so dramatic? Hermione thought.

 

“Draco! There you are. So, how did it go?” Daphne asked, her curiosity evident. Draco smirked at Daphne.

 

“Just as I planned. I must say--”

 

“So you’re friends now?” Daphne interrupted.

 

“If you would let me finish,” Draco said with a glare. Daphne rolled her eyes but gestured for him to continue. When he didn’t, Daphne snapped her fingers impatiently. “Well?”

 

Draco was too focused on Hermione. “It’s you.

 

Hermione looked up at him. “Yes, it’s me.”  Draco crossed his arms, suddenly seeming impatient. “Well? What’s your name?”

 

Hermione frowned, sat up straighter and pushed her chin up. “It’s only proper to introduce yourself first.”

 

Draco pursed his lips. “Malfoy, Draco Malfoy.”

 

“And I’m Hermione Granger.” Another pureblood. Let’s get this over with quickly. “I’m muggleborn.”

 

Draco clenched his jaw, then sat next to Theo. The two started conversing, and Daphne eventually joined in. Daphne tried including Hermione, but Hermione knew she wasn’t welcome. She opened The Standard Book of Spells and read, the conversation fading into the background. She was just getting to the Levitation Charm when a prefect (“Weasley,” Malfoy muttered) told them the train was stopping soon.

 

As the train came to a screeching stop, they all stood at the same time. The boys let Daphne out first, but followed her without any consideration for Hermione.  

 

They clearly think of me as below them. She cracked her book and walked out of the compartment. Suddenly, she bumped into someone, causing her to drop her book. Frowning, she picked up her book.

 

“Sorry. I didn’t see you,” a boy with haphazard black hair said as he adjusted his glasses. Standing next to him was a lanky boy with bright red hair.

 

“It’s fine,” Hermione said as she brushed her skirt, making sure it was in order. Then she noticed the scar previously hidden by his bangs.

 

“You’re Harry Potter.” Hermione stated, her tone matter of fact. Potter grimaced, but nodded.

 

“I’m Hermione Granger. Nice to meet you.” Hermione looked at the redhead expectantly. When he said nothing, she prompted, “And who’re you?”

 

“I’m Ron Weasley. Did you really share a compartment with Malfoy?” He said, with a disgruntled look on his face. Hermione looked at him.

 

“Yes, although that’s really not any of your business.”

 

“Why would you hang around that twat?” He looked genuinely confused.

 

Hermione rolled her eyes. “I was in the compartment first, but it really doesn’t matter. There’s a mutual disinterest.”

 

“Why?” Potter asked.

 

“Reasons,” She sniffed disdainfully. She was tired of announcing her blood-status.

 

Potter pushed his glasses up his nose. They were clearly broken with a wad of tape trying to keep them together. Sighing, she took out her wand and pointed it at his face. He went cross eyed, trying to keep the wand in sight.

 

Oculus Reparo. ” Hermione smugly stowed her wand in the pocket of her robes. “It was a pleasure. See you around.” Hermione turned away from them, but not before she said to Weasley, “Oh, and you have dirt on your nose.”  

 

----------------------------------------------

 

“‘ello there. My name is Hagrid, the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. Now, come along and follow me. Yer goin’ to be headin’ to Hogwarts in boats, no more’n 4 to one.” Hagrid said, then turned and walked.  

 

Hermione couldn’t help but be excited about this. She knew this was coming because of Hogwarts A History, but reading about self propelling boats and actually experiencing the tradition are two separate things.

 

“Hermione!”

 

Hermione looked around trying to see where she heard her name from. She smiled in surprise when she saw Daphne waving her hand in the air. Making her way through the crowd,  Hermione looked at her in question. Daphne gave a smile.

 

“I wanted to sit next to you on the boat ride.” Then in a whisper she said, “I got rid of Draco and Theo. They’re going to sit with Crabbe and Goyle.” Hermione laughed breathily with her strange acquaintance. The two sat in a boat that was already occupied by a pudgy boy seemingly fretting about losing his toad and a small girl with straw-blonde braids. Hermione and Daphne kept to themselves.  

 

Hermione had read all about the school, but nothing could prepare her for the sight of it in person. The castle was regal, for lack of a better term. It stood tall among the trees. The moon glowed from behind it, casting an eerily beautiful silver color upon everything.  Hermione had never seen anything remotely like it.

 

-------------------------------------

 

The Great Hall. Hermione looked around in awe. The ceiling was grand, with floating candles lighting up the night sky. The four tables were full of older students. Hermione couldn’t wait to see what the ceremony was. At the end of the walkway in front of all of the tables was a single wooden stool.

 

Hermione watched in surprise as the hat Professor McGonagall had brought in came to life.

 

Oh you may not think I'm pretty,

But don't judge on what you see,

I'll eat myself if you can find

A smarter hat than me.

 

You can keep your bowlers black,

Your top hats sleek and tall,

For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat

And I can cap them all.

 

There's nothing hidden in your head

The Sorting Hat can't see,

So try me on and I will tell you

Where you ought to be.

 

You might belong in Gryffindor,

Where dwell the brave at heart,

Their daring, nerve, and chivalry

Set Gryffindors apart;

 

You might belong in Hufflepuff,

Where they are just and loyal,

Those patient Hufflepuffs are true

And unafraid of toil;

 

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,

if you've a ready mind,

Where those of wit and learning,

Will always find their kind;

 

Or perhaps in Slytherin

You'll make your real friends,

Those cunning folks use any means

To achieve their ends.

 

So put me on! Don't be afraid!

And don't get in a flap!

You're in safe hands (though I have none)

For I'm a Thinking Cap!

 

The professor stood before the first years. “When I call your name, you will come up, sit on the stool, and wait for your house to be called. Abbott, Hannah."

 

When Hermione’s name was called, she popped up quickly and hurried towards the stool. The Hat was placed on her head.

 

“Ah. Here you are again.” Hermione jolted as a voice that was not her own resounded through her mind.

 

I haven’t been here before. What are you talking about?

 

“Yes, yes. Of course not. Which will you choose now? Ravenclaw would be a very good choice for you.”

 

I know.

 

“You don’t seem very excited about that prospect. I assure you, you have the potential for greatness. You have bravery, wit, compassion, and cunning. You can choose any house you wish. But should you chose the one that you are most afraid of, everything that has been predetermined will fade and your true destiny will rise. The destiny every single one of your past lives has faltered at. Are you going to be the one that changes everything?”

 

Hermione frowned. She didn’t believe in fate or destiny. She put logic above all else. Destiny was for people who needed to place the blame on something else. Despite all this, it did sound rather exciting. Biting her lip, she gave the answer the Hat knew she would.

 

Yes.

 

There will be times where you will regret your decision. In the end everything will be as it should. You will get the ending you’ve always wanted.

 

Hermione stayed silent, her stomach lurching uncomfortably.

Chapter Text

SLYTHERIN! ” The hat’s voice boomed through the hall, startling the students who had begun to drift off. The Slytherin table clapped as the Gryffindor table booed.

 

Huffing at the lack of inter-House unity, she stalked towards her table. As the sorting continued, Hermione chatted with Daphne excitedly. Zabini was sorted into Slytherin, and Dumbledore stood.

 

After warning the new students of the dangers of Hogwarts (the moving staircases, the Forbidden forest, and how they weren’t allowed on the third floor) Dumbledore said a few choice words and clapped.  

 

Food appeared en masse in front of her. Jaw dropping, she put a bit of everything onto her plate. The feast ended after they had all had their fill (with the exception of Crabbe and Goyle, they seemed to have endless stomachs).

 

Hermione sat herself comfortably on a leather chair in the common room. She opened her book, finally reading about Levitation charms. She had been interrupted too many times. Sighing with contentment, she relaxed into the squishy chair.

 

“We heard some nasty rumors about our new resident, here.” A loud voice shattered her calm and made her jump. She looked up at the boy standing next to her. He was obviously much older, as he was enormous. His companion stood next to him, nodding along. This one’s hair was an ordinary brown, but his eyes were black and cold as ice. The large one had made enough ruckus to attract the attention of the common room.

 

“Indeed, we did. We heard that a mudblood has been sorted into our house. Care to explain that, filth?” The blonde was the one who spoke.

 

Hermione stayed silent, trying to avoid conflict. “Honestly, we should demand this mudblood be switched to a different house. Why should we have to suffer through the rubbish it’ll surely bring to Slytherin?” The large boy said.

 

“The only house it deserves is Hufflepuff. Those wimps don’t have the bollocks to say no. They’ll have to accept it.” Hermione clenched her jaw.

 

She knew she shouldn’t. She knew this, but she scoffed, catching the attention of the two bullies.

 

“Bored, mudblood?” The blonde sneered.

 

“Július, don’t give it the benefit of the doubt. It probably doesn’t even know we’re talking to it. All that muggle blood, it’s a surprise it could see Hogwarts at all.”

 

“Isn’t that more of a reason of this thing to get removed?”

 

Hermione was used to people making fun of her. She could be submissive, or she could be haughty. Submissive would ensure her safety in the moment, but also locked her on as a target for future harassment. Haughty, it was.

 

“I can assure you that my muddy upbringing won’t hurt Slytherin at all. In fact, by the end of the month you will be thanking me on your knees for being in our house.” Flipping her hair back over her shoulder, she went back to her book. If those two continued to talk to her she didn’t care.

 

The next time Hermione was interrupted, it was Daphne bounding over.

 

“Hermione! You’re never going to make friends if you keep acting like Draco!”

 

“I have no interest in being friends with bloody idiots.” Hermione said, closing her book. The two girls fell into an easy conversation, talking until they couldn’t keep their eyes open and decided it was time to sleep.

 

~~~~~

 

It was All Hallow’s Eve and Hermione was angry. She thought she was finally in a place that would value her intelligence and eagerness to learn, but she was wrong. Tomorrow would mark the second month at this school. And yet, I am a social pariah.

 

Slytherin was cold. They left her alone, and she was not to be talked to. Of course, none of this was shown on the outside. Hermione learned very quickly that no matter the conflicts on the inside, Slytherin must present a united front. Well, there is that.

 

The other houses didn’t adhere to this unspoken rule; they “aired their dirty laundry for all the world to see,” according to Daphne. They were more brazen, as well. The Gryffindors threw things at her during class and spelled her bag to rip at the bottom. The majority of Ravenclaw kept quiet, reserving their judgement. Hufflepuff was responsible for most of the rumors circulating around (“I heard she’s violent. Bet she learned that from her muggle parents. Witch burnings, I tell you.”)

 

All of this because she was muggleborn and in Slytherin.

 

Idiots, the lot of them. They don’t even bother to fact-check, just blindly believe whatever rubbish is forced into their mouths. Hermione scowled at the people’s ignorance, stomping her way quite loudly down the corridor. She stopped when she realized she wasn’t quite sure where she was.

 

BOOM! Rubble came flying out of nowhere, spreading a pervasive smell. Cautiously making her way through the chunks of stone, she saw a troll, of all things. She flung herself against the wall, mind racing. There aren’t any spells I know that can pierce troll hide! She swore, running to get a teacher. She wasn’t fast enough, though. A thick hand grabbed her around her middle, squeezing the breath out of her.

 

She hyperventilated, panicking as she pounded her fist against the heavy hand. She was momentarily distracted as a sharp object hit the back of her head.

 

“HAVE YOU GONE MAD?” Ron bellowed. “ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT?”

 

Hermione twisted in the grip, blushing as she was swung around by the troll. “There’s nothing that pierces troll skin, Weasley !” She winced as she got hit by another rock. “And stop hitting me, you berk!” Potter snickered at the banter.

 

“We’re helping you! Barmy bint,” Weasley said, but then shouts as the troll reached his other hand towards the two on the floor. They scattered, but Potter wasn’t as lucky as Weasley.

 

“Fancy the weather up here, Potter?” Hermione asked sarcastically.

 

With a pale face, he said, “You really have cracked!” The last portion of his sentence was elongated as he was brought closer to the troll’s face, and promptly stuck his wand up the troll’s nose. She paused, snorted, and shot a Diffindo at the troll’s neck. It made a small scratch, but it was enough to bother the troll. The troll promptly let out a loud grunt (and emitted an awful stench in their faces) and tightened its grip on the two first-years.

 

By now, Hermione was feeling quite light-headed. Wait! Hermione aimed the same cutting spell at the troll’s eye. Potter did the same, and the troll was blind.

 

A spurt of warm blood washed over all of them as the troll roared in pain. It was seriously pissed, and dropped them.

 

As Hermione hit the floor, an intense wave of pain crawled up her leg. She moaned and clutched at her knee, turning an alarming shade of grey. Bone poked through her shin. Potter groaned as well, but quickly got up, seemingly only bruised.

 

Potter and Weasley each grabbed one of her arms, and attempted to drag her to safety. She nearly screamed, but bit straight through her lip to avoid alerting the troll to their location. She dazedly told the boys to “Get a prof’ssor. Go!”

 

She was having problems seeing, and couldn’t hear accurately. She blinked, and when she opened her eyes again, she was surrounded by white.

Chapter Text

I must be in the Hospital Wing, she realized.

 

She gradually opened her eyes to see three professors sitting by her bed. She looked around, observing sterile white surfaces and two other beds, occupied by Potter and Weasley. She felt a sudden rush of warmth, remembering that they saved her.

 

“I see you’re awake. We’d like to ask you some questions,” Dumbledore said. Hermione nodded cautiously, asking, “Have the others woken up yet?”

 

Snape sneered at them. “I wasn’t aware that you were so fond of their well-being, Miss Granger.”

 

“Now, now, Severus. I think it’s refreshing to see a spot of inter-house unity,” Dumbledore placated.

 

McGonagall sighed, and started the questioning.

 

“What exactly did you think you were doing?” Professor McGonagall bit out.

 

Hermione bit her lip. “I-I’m sorry Professor, I had just finished reading about trolls a-a-and I thought I’d be able to do something about it,” she said, looking contrite.

 

Snape looked unconvinced, McGonagall frowned, and Dumbledore just smiled.

 

“As your Head of House, I am responsible for your punishment. 20 points from Slytherin.” Snape left, robes billowing in his wake. McGonagall left as well, leaving her with Professor Dumbledore.

 

“10 points to Slytherin for bravery and cleverness. You should be proud.” He swept out of the Hospital Wing.

 

Once the Professors left, Hermione looked at the two boys. They were pretending (and failing quite miserably) to be asleep.

 

“Why were you there?”

 

The two boys looked at each other. “A third year said they saw a girl near the troll. We thought it was our friend, but turns out she was in the Common Room the whole time,” Potter says. Hermione nods in acceptance, the trio falls into a silence, Harry and Ron talking amongst themselves and sharing sweets.

 

“You’ve had visitors?” Hermione asked, breaking the silence on her end.  

 

“Erm...Yeah,” Weasley said sheepishly, “My brothers.”

 

 

~~~~~~

Once in the safety of the common room (“Filth,” the portrait hissed as it swung open) she stopped short, greeted by the sight of a full room staring unabashedly at her. “Where have you been?” A prefect demanded.

 

“I’m sorry, I was in the Hospital Wing. I got here as soon as possible, though.”

 

“I bet it let the troll in the school!” A random voice exclaimed hatefully.

 

“You’d lose that bet,” Hermione snorted. When everyone ignored her, she looked down at her feet. There was no way someone from Hogwarts would allow a troll into the school grounds, right? It had to have been an accident of some sort… right? She thought it was unlikely but during the entirety of the walk back, she couldn’t find another reason.

 

She had to get to the library as soon as possible. Knowing she wouldn’t be missed, she scurried up to the first year girls’ dorm room, whispers following her.

 

~~~~~~~

Daphne walked into her dorm and stood there, exasperatedly, the worry she felt ebbing away seeing her classmate acting like herself. She hadn’t known Hermione was in the hospital wing, she had originally came up to make sure she really was ok, but seeing Hermione throwing everything in her trunk onto the floor and mumbling to herself, Daphne knew she was ok.

 

“...is it… Where is it?!” Hermione sighed and leaned back against the bottoms of her feet, staring in front of her. Daphne continued watching silently. Suddenly Hermione gasps excitedly and burrowed down again into her trunk. With a near shriek of triumph she flipped open the book she was looking for and buried her nose in it.

 

“Hermione?” Daphne knocks on the door, feeling the need to make her presence known. “Are you ok?”

 

Hermione jolted her head up from the book, half expecting a judgemental brat. Upon seeing Daphne, she relaxed and smiled sheepishly. “Oh, yes. Thank you. Hearing that there was a troll in Hogwarts made me think of this book.” Daphne could tell the girl was amping herself up with her thoughts. Hermione saw Daphne’s expression and said, "I’m sorry. I tend to get excited when there’s a mystery to be solved."

Hermione bit her lip. She knew that she came across as a bossy know-it-all. She had been told numerous times by old classmates. She hoped that Daphne could be a friend, but was afraid of scaring her off.

Daphne smiled at Hermione and sat down next to her. "So what exactly do you think is going on?"

Hermione couldn't contain the grin that spread across her face even if she tried. Looking at the opened door she leaned in closer to Daphne. "I think someone let a troll into Hogwarts." Daphne's eyes widened.

"I thought those were just rumours! Are you sure?"

Hermione shook her head. "I don’t know. But I hope to find out.”

 

 

~~~~~

As soon as the lunch bell rang, she made a beeline for the library. She asked Madam Pince for a list of books on trolls. Looking amazed that someone talked to her, she gave a list of several books Hermione could work with.

 

Hermione jumped when Madam Pince told her the lunch period ended. She checked out three books and thanked the librarian.

 

Hermione settled comfortably on her bed, her books spread out in front of her to various helpful chapters. So far she had found out a few, well-known and agreed-upon facts. Trolls are not smart at all. Their hides are are very strong, so not much can stop them. Only a wand to the nose and spells to the eye, she smiled. Nowhere in any of her books say how someone might be able to control them using legal methods. But one thing was certain: trolls were not smart enough by themselves to even step foot on Hogwarts grounds.

 

Hermione sighed. She had been rereading these books for the past few hours. No more answers appeared on the papers, no matter how many times she reads them. Knowing there was nothing more to be read, Hermione carefully placed the books on her nightstand and decided to get some sleep. Hopefully she would be able to gather more information with a fresh brain.

 

 

~~~

It had been a week since the incident with the troll and Hermione had found absolutely no new information, so she went back to studying for her exams (“They’re eight months away!” She exclaimed to an uninterested Daphne).

 

It was as she was just settling down to write a potions essay that she heard the faintest whisper coming from her left.

 

“--Flamel.”

 

“Harry, mate, that’s obviously a dead end. Just because you ‘feel’ like you remember him doesn’t mean a rat’s bum unless you find something.”

 

“Alright, Ron, I get it. Anything about the dog?”

 

“There is no way that is considered a dog.”

 

Hermione tapped her quill against the table she was sitting at. Weasley. And Potter? Suspicious, Hermione stalked over to the secretive boys, peering around the bookshelf. They didn’t notice her, and continued to talk about Nicholas Flamel, a three-headed dog, and Snape. What on Earth happened? She decided to confront them.

 

“What in the world do you think you are doing?” Hermione asked as she turned the corner and put her hands on her hips, her voice coming out in a violent whisper.

They blanched and tried to come up with excuses.

 

“Y-You see, Granger, we were just, erm--”

 

“--We were studying! For, erm, Potions. You know, the essay.”

 

Hermione pursed her lips and put her hands on her hips. “The essay isn’t on Nicholas Flamel, it’s on the 12 different uses of dragon’s blood.”

 

The two floundered for a long minute, and Hermione smirked. “Nicholas Flamel is a well-known alchemist. And despite the way Professor Snape treats Gryffindors, there is no way he has it out for you, Potter. He has far more important things on his mind than a silly first year.”

 

Hermione started to leave when Potter stopped her. “Wait.” Sighing and cursing her curious nature, she turned and faced the duo again. Folding her arms, she waited.

 

“Let’s--Let’s say, hypothetically, that there was this--erm, larger than average dog. W-With three, erm-- okay, scratch that. There are three large dogs in a room, why do you think it-- they'd be there?"

Hermione frowned at the blatant lie.

"Well, if there were three dogs in a room, they’re probably being kept there temporarily or guarding something. Do you know what kind of dog it was?”

 

“Ah, probably a-a rottweiler?”

 

“Alright, so rottweilers are traditionally used for protecting things and people. A treasure, a room, a person, something along those lines.”

"How would you get the dog--er, the dogs to leave?" Weasley asked.

Hermione raised a brow. "Are you two really that simple? If you’re talking about a dog, then clearly, give them a treat. Of course, I can’t imagine why you would be motivated enough to try and trick a dangerous dog."  

~~

Hermione groaned as she closed her books. Try as she might, there wasn’t any revealing information to be found about trolls running rampant. She closed her eyes and thought, going over it once more.

 

She bolted up suddenly. She needed to find Potter and Weasley; they owed her.

She rushed out of the Slytherin dorms, where she barrelled down Malfoy. Throwing a quick apology over her shoulder, she snickers when she hears his loud and indignant “HEY!” and Daphne's smothered laugh.

 

~~~

Daphne laughed as she watched her friend rush out of the portrait door. She had never met someone who could be so poised but also completely frazzled at the same time. Biting her lip, she stands up and follows Hermione.

"Where are you going, Daph?" Theo asked, looking up from his essay.

"I'm following Hermione. Come if you want," She said.

 

~~~

Hermione went straight towards the courtyard, as most everybody was outside. Just as she reached the large doors, she heard her name  called. Stopping, she turned around, surprised to see Daphne following.

"Daphne, why are you here?" Hermione asked.

Daphne grinned at her. "You left in such a hurry, I thought you were up to something fun.”

Hermione smiled. "You're probably not going to like where I'm going."

 

Daphne pouted and looked at her questioningly.

"I'm going to go ask Potter and Weasley a question."

"Why are you going to talk to them, of all people?" Daphne looked disgusted.

 

Hermione smirked. "They owe me. I can call in a favor for information."

"What? Why do they owe you?"

"That's for me to know, and for you to find out,” Hermione said smugly.

"I'm still coming with you!"

Hermione grinned and opened the door to the courtyard.

Chapter Text

Hermione and Daphne spent a few minutes looking for Potter and Weasley when they spotted them coming out of Hagrid’s hut.

Hermione walked over to the pair, interrupting their hushed conversation. "You two owe me a favor."

"Why the bloody hell do we owe you a favor?" Weasley demanded.

Hermione smiled sweetly. "The troll, taking the blame for it, helping you with your dog problem. I'm sure by the end of the term you'll owe me more, so I'm collecting now."

"We don't owe you jack--" Weasley started, but Potter stepped in.

"What do you want?"

"I want to know who let the troll into Hogwarts." The two blanched, minds visibly racing. She rolled her eyes. "You have your suspicions. So tell me."

"We think it's Snape," Potter muttered while avoiding Hermione's intense gaze. Hermione groaned.

"I knew you two wouldn't be of any help! Professor Snape isn't out to get you, Potter!" Hermione paused. "Is there anything you two could possibly know that I don't?" Hermione mumbled, even though she knew she already knows the answer. She purses her lips, but then she brightens.

"You're on the Quidditch team, right? Malfoy wouldn’t shut his bloody trap about that."

Answering cautiously, he said, “Yes…? Why do you ask?”

She huffed impatiently. “When do you play next?”

"Next week. Before break."

Hermione nodded. "You still owe me, Potter. Eventually, I'll collect." She walked away, Daphne beside her. Once the two girls are out of earshot, Daphne commented on the exchange.

"It doesn't seem like you got what you needed."

"I didn't, but hopefully during the match I will," Hermione said.

"How?" Daphne asked.

"It's a crowded place. Most of the student body is there, including the professors. Potter is vulnerable on that broom. If this really is a ploy to get to Potter, it might happen then."

"But how do you know?"

"Well, isn't that when you would attack someone? Where there is less of a chance for someone to catch you?" Hermione reasoned.

Daphne nodded. It made sense.

"I guess we're going to the game!" Daphne exclaimed.

"We?"

"Granger, dear, you'd end up falling asleep waiting for something to happen. You've made your disdain for the game very apparent. So I'll be accompanying you."

Hermione laughed. "You make it sound as though you weren't going! We both know you like to watch the players in that uniform!"

Daphne blushed, but didn't argue.

~~~

Hermione was in the library once more, poring over a potions tomb. Most of the students here weren't very fond of Professor Snape, but she couldn't be more thrilled about being taught by such an accomplished potioneer. So far, potions was her favorite subject. The chemistry and precision needed for potions called to her. An exact science for an exact person.

She always picked the library because she hated the mindless drivel of the other students. Therefore, when a timidly hopeful voice interrupted her peace ("Hey--Granger?"), she exhaled sharply and snapped her eyes up fiercely towards the perpetrator.

She looked up to see the “dynamic duo” in front of her. She leaned back into her chair and crossed her arms, waiting for the inevitable request they would force upon her.

"Where would-- uh, where would one read about dragons?"

Hermione gave them a dead look. "Go bother Madam Pince. I'm not your slave, so stop treating me like one.”

The two blinked at her, not recognizing the dismissal.

"I don't feel like talking to you right now, so..." She trailed off and gave them a look. Weasley turned a light pink at the ears and Potter just frowned. After giving each other significant glances, they abruptly walked away with an occasional furtive look back.

Once they turned the corner, Hermione decided to follow them. Only God (or was it Merlin?) knew what they were up to. Packing up her books quickly, she glanced around the corner and saw them heading towards the groundskeeper’s hut. When they went inside, she stealthily walks around to the back of the hut and sits beneath the window. Listening, Hermione couldn’t help but purse her lips as she listened to the annoying small talk. She was beginning to contemplate leaving when she heard someone behind her.

“What the bloody hell are you doing?”

Hermione glares up at Malfoy, quickly she reaches up and tugs him down by the collar. “Shut up! Don’t be so loud, I’m trying to figure out what those two idiots are doing.”

Malfoy sneers at her and brushes the place off that she grabbed him. “First of all, filth, don’t touch me.” Hermione scoffed at the unimaginative insult. “Secondly, what are Scarhead and Weasel doing?”

Hermione huffed. “Don’t you listen?” Malfoy opened his mouth but before he could say anything they both jumped when Weasley yelled.

“What in Merlin’s name, Hagrid! The egg is moving, I thought it was a fake!”

“‘Course not, I wouldn’ta had it on the fire this entire time.” Hermione’s eyes widen, mind racing at the possibilities. There were several species that required extreme heat, and there was no way to tell.

“Wow, a dragon’s egg. What kind is it?”

“It’s a Norwegian Ridgeback. Mind you, don’t go ‘round tellin’ everyone.”

He really was an idiot. Hermione crawled away from the window. She grabbed Malfoy by his sleeve and started to drag him behind her, righting herself when she was away from the hut.

“What in the bloody-” Malfoy had started but Hermione whirled around and slapped a hand to his mouth.

“Shut up, you prat! We’ve heard all that we need to. I’m leaving and I am not letting you stay here to do something stupid and ruin the plan! If you want them to get in trouble, then follow me.” She took her hand away, wiped it on her skirt and started back towards the castle. She needed to make sure they were away from the hut.

“I told you not to touch me!” Malfoy said as he stalked up besides her.

“And I didn’t listen. We Mudbloods are bad at that.” Hermione said with a glare shot towards the annoying blonde. He sneered and sent a quip at her, causing the two to argue back and forth until they were both standing in front of Professor Snape’s office door. Hermione paused long enough in her arguing to knock.

Snape opened the door and immediately sighed. “Would you two imbeciles care to tell me why I’m being disturbed?”

Hermione immediately turned her attention to her favorite Professor. Biting on her lip again at having been scolded at by him. “Sorry Professor, but may we come in? I have something I wish to discuss with you.”

Snape glared but opened his door wider, allowing the two students access already knowing it would just go by quicker if he listened to the girl. He closed the door behind them and stalked over to his desk. Sitting down he just looked at the two waiting.

“Professor, Malfoy and I were walking past the groundskeeper’s hut when we heard Weasley yell about a dragon egg, and since I read in this book about dragons I know that they are heavily endangered and protected. It’s also of course illegal to have a dragon’s egg in one’s possession. So I decided I would walk up to see if I could peak inside of the hut, and there it was! Right in the fire. What’s worse is that he said that it was a Norwegian Ridgeback and those are so incredibly rare; it needs to be protected and safe! Keeping it in a hut, there is absolutely no way he’ll be able to properly take care of it and-”

“Enough, Miss Granger.” Hermione closed her mouth, and Malfoy snickered. Hermione shot a quick glare in his direction but went back to looking at the professor. “You really want me to believe that there is a dragon’s egg in that hut?”

“Yes sir! Malfoy and I saw it wiggle and everything! The school is in danger, especially the students!”

“I’m going to tell my father about this! He’ll make sure the dragon and that oaf are properly taken care of!”

Hermione angrily got out of the chair, “You can’t have the dragon killed! It’s an endangered species! We need to keep them safe! Protect them so that way they can thrive once more!”

“We don’t need dragons! They’re dangerous beings.”

Hermione rolled her eyes. “And I thought you were supposed to have been born in this world Malfoy. Dragons are obviously important! We use them in potion ingredients! Don’t be so ignorant, you sound like Potter and Weasley.” Hermione leaned over her chair and got directly in Malfoy’s face. “And if you have that dragon killed Malfoy you will regret it.” She said, fire in her eyes and a sneer on her face.

Malfoy glared at her. “You don’t scare me mudblood.” Hermione opened her mouth to continue the back and forth when Snape put a stop to it once again.

“Shut it both of you. Mr Malfoy you will not use that kind of language in this classroom. Now Miss Granger please stop the yelling and tell me exactly what you would like for me to do about this so called dragon problem.”

“But god-father-” Snape glared at the blonde boy and he shut his mouth and just sat glaring at him.

Hermione crossed her arms. She was hurt he didn’t believe her yes, but she wasn’t going to show that, so instead she glared at Professor Snape. “Professor, you have to know of someplace that deals with the care of dragons! You have to get the supplies from somewhere!”

“I get them from St. Mungos. Now leave me be with this nonsense and go bother someone else if you wish to be such a bleeding heart.”

Hermione glared at him. “Fine I will! I’m right Professor, and I will save this dragon’s life with or without your help.” Hermione twirled around and stalked out of the room. She will show Professor Snape, she’ll show him and get his approval.

~~~

Hermione walked into the Slytherin dorms, and smiled as she spotted Daphne sitting down talking with another girl that slept in the same room as them. Parkinson. Hermione and Parkinson didn’t really talk, she didn’t like her because surprise, surprise she was a muggleborn. Hermione didn’t really care to talk to Parkinson anyway because alls she wanted to do was talk about that idiot Malfoy.

“Daphne, when you’re done. Meet me up at our rooms!” Hermione said as she walked towards the hall that lead to the dorms. Hermione saw Daphne nod just as she was turning the corner.

Just moments later Daphne walks into the dorm room and joins Hermione on her bed. “What is it?”

“Please tell me that there is some sort of Dragon holding facility.” Daphne frowned and blinked.

“I think so, but I’d have to ask my mother to be sure.”

“Oh please, can you? I need to get a dragon out of here before Malfoy tells his father and tries to get the poor thing killed!”

Daphne raises a brow. “Why don’t you catch me up first please?”

Hermione blinked in surprise. “Oh! Yes of course!” Hermione begins to excitedly tell Daphne all about what happened since she left this morning to go to the library. Hermione could tell at first Daphne didn’t believe her but with a little persuading Daphne picked up a quill and parchment and began to pen her mother.

With the letter sent to Daphne’s mother the two decide to head down to the Great Hall to get seated for dinner. Once there Hermione sits at the far corner of the table, like normal. She learned quite early this was the easiest place for her to be so she was able to eat in peace. Usually she sits alone, but Daphne decided to join her today. Not bothering to ask Daphne why the two sit in a comfortable silence, Hermione begins to people watch, she starts by looking at the Great Hall entrance but she quickly puts a stop to that when Malfoy and his little group of followers enter. Rolling her eyes at the arrogance radiating off of the boy she looks over at the Gryffindor table and is surprised to see that the dynamic duo is already looking at her. Hermione raises a brow and smirks when Weasley turns an ugly shade of red at having been caught while Potter just blinks and turns his attention to his friend. Shrugging her shoulders but still curious as to what that was all about, Hermione is brought out of her people watching by Daphne. Who has started talking to her she notices because Malfoy is finally making his way over to the Slytherin table.

“Daphne, you don’t have to try to keep my attention away from Malfoy. I really don’t feel the need to talk to him. I’ve done enough of that to last a lifetime.”

Daphne giggles since just as Hermione said that, Malfoy walked right past the two who just huffed and glared. Hermione looks over at Daphne and the two start giggling again. Finally the food appears and the two dig in.

Chapter Text

Hermione was getting impatient. She could 100% say she hated when school was out of session. Not only did it mean she had to take how to be a lady courses, she also has to attend the numerous galas her mother likes to put on. Her mum absolutely adores having people over. It can be something super simple like just a plain dinner and her mum will go all out with the planning. Her dad has told her - she honestly hopes he’s joking when he says this- that ever since her mum had found out she was a girl she’s been planning Hermione’s coming of age party.

 

That’s a party Hermione can say she is not looking forward too.

 

Hermione can’t help but wince as the hairstylist her mum hired pulls once again too hard on her hair. Breaking her of her thought. She refocuses her eyes and stares at herself in the mirror. She still looks the same, the same boring eyes and the same wild untamed hair, and the same buck teeth. But this is her, and nothing will change that.

 

The hairstylist finally stops the pulling on her hair and all of her curls are piled on top of her head in a messy but cute fashion. Thanking the stylist Hermione gets up out of the chair and walks back to her bathroom where her dress is hanging up waiting for her. It’s a pretty thing, with red long sleeves it flares out with the help of a black petticoat underneath it. Slipping the dress on quickly, Hermione fluffs it up and once she is satisfied with it she twirls and giggles.

 

She hates the hair appointment her mum forces her in for these functions but she loves dressing up. She loves the ballgowns, the lace, and petticoats. She always feels amazing when she puts a brand new dress on. She stops twirling and sighs as she heads out of the bathroom. Now to stand quietly next to her parents as they walk around and greet everyone that has come.

 

~~~

 

Hermione goes over to the large table filled with sweets. Since her parents are dentists she barely ever gets a chance to eat a whole bunch of sweets in one night and with her parents attention elsewhere she has full access to the table.  

 

Picking up some petit fours she places them on a napkin when she hears an excited voice call her name.

 

“Hermione!” Hermione blinks and turns her head to who is calling her. Her eyes widen in surprise to see Daphne walking quickly over to her. She was wearing a long sleeve blue dress that was floor length, and it tucked into her waist to make her appear older than she was.

 

“Daphne!” Hermione puts the small cakes down and hugs the other girl.

 

“What are you doing here!?” Hermione asks, her excitement clear.

 

“My parents are looking to expand their investments and when they got this owl in the mail from a business associate of theirs they thought it might be time to broaden their horizons or something like that. I lost interest. It’s usually so boring at these sort of events.”

 

Hermione nodded in agreement. “Agreed.” The two girls pause and nibble on the small cakes when Hermione’s eyes widen and she groans. Daphne looks at her friend quizzically. “Come, I should introduce you to my parents properly. My mum will kill me if I don’t show her I’m actually making friends at my boarding school.”

 

Daphne nods and puts down her small dessert plate. Hermione turns towards her ever silent butler. “Jackson do you know where mum and dad are?”

 

“Follow me little lady.”

 

Hermione nods with a smile and turns towards Daphne. “Come on let’s follow Jackson.” Hermione pauses and the trio begins walking through the large party. “Oh, and Daphne this is Jackson. Jackson this is Daphne. Daphne and I know each other, Jackson from the boarding school I now attend. Daphne, Jackson’s family has been serving my family for generations now actually. Jackson has been with my mom since she was a little girl. He’s the best.”

 

Daphne blinks at Hermione, confused as to why she would introduce her to her help. But ultimately she decided to go along with it. Her friend is weird after all.

 

“A pleasure Jackson.” Daphne said with a curtsy.

 

“Good to met you as well Ms. Daphne.” Jackson said with a bow to the blonde. Hermione smiled at the two of them with a wide grin.

 

“See Jackson! It would have been rude had I not introduced you two. No matter what mum says!”

 

Jackson smiles down at his young charge. “As you say little lady.”

 

Hermione turns towards Daphne, who was merely watching with an exasperated look. Hermione sees the look Daphne is giving her and she blinks.

 

“What? My mum doesn’t like it when I introduce my guests to Jackson. But I feel as though it’s rude because he is a person and he is standing right by me most of the time. So why should I purposely ignore his existence?”

 

Daphne sighs. “It’s nothing Hermione. I’m just wondering when I’m going to stop being surprised by you.”

 

Hermione grins.“I’m always full of surprises Daphne. Get used to it.”

 

Daphne rolls her eyes but giggles and Hermione joins in. Her eyes bright.

 

“Come little lady, it’s time to find your parents now.”

 

Hermione smiles and nods.

 

~~~~~~

 

“Mum, dad I would like for you to formally met my friend from boarding school. Daphne Greengrass. Daphne these are my parents. Dr and Dr Granger.”

 

“It’s wonderful to meet you both. Hermione’s told me a great deal about you both. I hear you both are very successful…” Daphne pauses and looks towards Hermione. Hermione seeing the look mouths the word ‘DENTISTS’ to her struggling friend. “Dentists.” Daphne finishes with a grateful look towards Hermione. Hermione winks with a smile.

 

Hermione’s parents look at each other fondly. Then look towards Hermione and her new friend.

 

“Well Ms. Greengrass it’s wonderful to make your acquaintance. Hermione has also told us about you and we are very thankful that she has you helping her along the way at her new school.” Hermione’s mum said as she gives the young girl a smile and a small head nod to the girl’s curtsy. Hermione’s dad smiles as well and lifts Daphne’s hand, he then plants a chaste kiss on her knuckles.

 

“It’s wonderful to meet you Ms. Greengrass. I’m relieved to know that our daughter has made a friend and isn’t stuck in her books like she usually is. And just so you know you are always welcomed here.”

 

“Dad!” Hermione says with an embarrassed blush. Daphne giggles.

 

“I think I rank second to her books. She usually shushes me when she’s just starting and then she will completely ignore me when she is in deep with her books.”

 

Hermione pouts as she crosses her arms. Everyone around her just laughs. Daphne after finally being able to stop laughing turns towards Hermione.

 

“Come, you should meet my parents.”  She says and grabs a hold of Hermione’s arm. Hermione nods enthusiastically.

 

“It was wonderful to meet you two. I shall see you again soon.”

 

The two elders nod. “Of course Ms Greengrass. It was our pleasure.” Jane said.

 

“Take care of our troublemaker Ms Greengrass.” Alexander said with a friendly smile and wink. Hermione rolled her eyes and stuck her tongue at her dad quickly.

 

“Come on Daphne let’s go find your parents.”

 

Daphne nods and the two turn around.

 

~~~~~

 

The two are slowly getting through the crowded room when Hermione stops and grabs ahold of Daphne.

 

“Wait! Daphne, is there anything I should know about meeting your parents? Like any customs I should know about?”

 

Daphne pauses and then bites her lip. “No actually. So far they seem to be the same.”

 

Hermione breathes a sigh of relief. “Ok. That’s good news.” The two continue weaving through the crowd when Hermione stops again. “Daphne! Is there a book on pureblood customs that I’d be able to read?”

 

Daphne blinks and looks at her friend. “I think so, that’s a question for my mom I would think.”

 

Hermione nods a determine gleam in her eyes. Daphne continues to look at her friend and she can’t help but assume that she just opened up a whole deal of trouble with that line. She doesn’t know what exactly but she just has this feeling.

 

“Oh! Hermione, I found my parents! Come on.”

 

~~~~~

 

“Mum, father this is Hermione Granger. Hermione this is my mum and father, Lo- Mr and Mrs Greengrass.”

 

Hermione curtsies to the two, keeping her eyes low towards the ground but high enough to where she can see just enough of their faces to know that Daphne is the spitting image of her mother and her father is a stern looking man with jet black hair. The two where both in muggle formal wear and looked as though they belong on the cover of a vogue magazine.

 

“It is a pleasure to met the both of you. Daphne has helped me tremendously with getting acclimated to my new school.”

 

Daphne interrupts. “Don’t start acting all modest Hermione.” Daphne directs her attention back to her parents. “I’ve heard from several of the teachers that Hermione is already at the top of our year. If anything Hermione is helping me with my studies!”

 

Hermione gives a small smile, not used to someone being so enthusiastic about her studying.

 

“Well it seems like we owe you our thanks Ms Granger. Daphne’s never been the studious type, it was always difficult to get her to sit still and read a book.”

 

Daphne merely ignored her parents and looked towards Hermione who was giggling into her hand. Daphne turned fully towards Hermione and rolled her eyes. Hermione and Daphne both do a quick little curtsy before the two went back to the dessert table.

 

“Hermione, I know this is terribly rude to ask but do you think there is anyway we could find somewhere that’s a little farther from the party?”

 

Hermione tilted her head at her friend, curiosity clear in her eyes.

 

“Well of course. I can show you some muggle books I think you might find interesting. They’re in my parents office.”

 

“Oh! Wonderful. We have some things to talk about!”

 

Hermione looked towards Daphne a smile on her face and her eyebrow raised. But instead of saying anything about her strange friend’s behavior she just motioned for Daphne to follow her.

 

Hermione took Daphne out the back way, she really didn’t want to explain anything to her dad and especially her mum.

 

She leads Daphne through the kitchen, into the formal dining room, up the grand staircase in the middle of the entryway. Once up the stairs Hermione takes a left and enters the first door on the left. The doors were a heavy dark wood that made the entrance to the office and library look imposing.

 

(In fact when Hermione was a little girl she used to be so scared to approach the doors because there was this old brass knocker, which wasn’t actually brass when she thinks back on it it was this dark grey almost black color, and it had a bright red gemstone in the middle with two dragons fighting over it, the tails of the dragons was what made the handle of the knocker. The knocker was also split in half so that way even if the doors are open the two dragons still look as one. But about a year ago now the knocker disappeared Hermione’s dad tells her he’s the one that took it down but Hermione believes that she would have remembered that day, but her mum agrees with her dad so Hermione stopped fighting it.)

 

Hermione opens the door with the rather boring knocker now.

 

“Wow Hermione, this is gorgeous!” The office while it wasn’t as grand as her father's study it still was breathtaking. Where in the wizarding world dark large ornate desks chairs and bookcases where picked because it made everything look imposing and a child small, this study had two desks that were separated by a perceived walkway both slim and sleek in design , as was the chairs. The bookcases were also inside of the walls. Nothing making the room appear smaller than it actually is. And the room itself just felt all around warm. Daphne remembers the warmth she felt when she met Hermione’s parents and realizes that the whole family just gives off this aura of warmth.

 

Hermione smiles as she stares at the room she’s been in countless times. Everytime she comes into this room she can’t help but just take a deep breath to breath in the smell of the books. “My dad is pretty proud of the book collection himself. He’s still expanding it too. He’s looking for the first edition of all his favorite titles.”

 

Daphne can’t help but to laugh. “Is that who you got your passion for reading from?”

 

Hermione grins and steps further into the room. “Kind of. Both my parents love to read. But since their practice is so large now they barely have time to read. By now I think it’s merely just a hobby for him to collect books. My mum just likes to be surrounded by books when she’s going over paperwork and such.” Hermione shrugs, bites her lip hesitant to continue but then Daphne puts a hand on her shoulder. Hermione turns towards the blonde.

 

“I’m guessing there is a seating area? How about we go to it and sit down and get to know each other.”

 

Hermione blinks in surprise. But smiles with a nod. “Of course it’s just this way.”

Chapter Text

“Here it is.” Hermione motions with a small wave of her hand. Daphne takes in the area, impressed, although it is exactly what she knew she should expect from seeing the office before and meeting Hermione’s parents. But it was still challenging for her to connect Hermione’s wealth and class to the cozyness of her homelife, as it is such a difference to what she was taught as the norm.

The seating room was homey, yet regal. There’s a fireplace as the main focal point of the room, with a luxurious rug laying in the middle. Two large and plush recliners face the fireplace at an angle, and look as though they are made of clouds as does the love seat that could clearly seat two people with room to spare. The leather of all the seats looked used but there was obviously care put into retaining their life.

Hermione walks over to one of the recliners and Daphne walks over towards the other recliner. Daphne suddenly stops though and frowns, a memory playing in her head.

Daphne was starting to get annoyed with Draco. The stupid prat would not stop staring at her with that infuriating half-smirk-thing he’s been trying to do. She knows he’s trying to be like his father, she’s even told him so, but he denies it every time, making her roll her eyes at his idiocy. She was trying to talk to Pansy about the latest rumor involving a broom closet, a 5th year and a 6th year - both in Slytherin, obviously- and that they got caught by Peeves. But she kept fading in and out because she kept being distracted by Draco- he obviously wants something

“What is it that you want?” Daphne finally snaps at the annoying blonde.

“Pansy?” Draco asked.

Pansy immediately perked up, her crush on the boy visible. “Yes Draco?”

“Could you just give Daphne and I a second?”

Pansy’s eyebrows furrow but she nods enthusiastically, gives a quick wave to Daphne, flutters her eyelashes at Draco and flounces off. Daphne sighs at Pansy, she never listens to her,but she’s said her piece, no reason for her to keep trying to use a broken wand.

“What is it Malfoy.”

Draco smirks once more, or at least attempts to, and Daphne just stares at her ridiculous friend.

“You’re not really friends with that filth.” Daphne gives him a dead look, and decides he doesn’t need an answer.

His look just grows to look even superior than he already feels like he is. “I told Theo you weren’t friends with that thing and he said you are. I can’t wait to rub it in his face that he was wrong.”

Daphne turns her lip and scrunches her nose at him. “You’re right Draco. I’m not friends with filth, I’m friends with Hermione.”

“No you’re not.”

Daphne rolls her eyes. She knows Draco will do this all day, so she decides to cut it short. “I’m done with you. I’m going to my room.”

Draco tries to chuckle but it comes more across like he’s giggling, Daphne glares at him. “It’s great. Seeing things that you don’t. That thing isn’t your friend. You know who you’re friends are. It’s Pansy, Blaize, Theo and me -”

“And Hermione.”

“What’s Pansy’s favorite color?”

“Purple, she likes that it accents her eyes.”

“Blaize?”

“Red.” Daphne couldn’t help but roll her eyes. “Cause it’s the color of passion. The prat hasn’t even kissed a girls hand properly.”

“Theo?”

“Blue. He likes that it’s calm.”

“Me?”

“Green, because you have a hard time detaching yourself from your father.”

Draco glares at her, but continues. “That thing. Does it have a favorite color?”

“Her name is Hermione, and she is a she not an it as for her favorite color it’s…” Daphne paused and looked to the side, her brows furrowed as she tries to remember what Hermione’s favorite color is.

Draco smirks in triumph. He gets up from the plush reading chair and swaggers over to Daphne. He gets really close to her, his grey eyes cutting into Daphne’s blue.

“Told you.” He said matter-of-factly, and swaggered off again.

Daphne didn’t acknowledge Draco’s parting as she stared in front of her. Realizing that she really couldn’t call herself a friend because she knows absolutely nothing about the bookworm. Daphne frowns further.

This has to change.

Daphne shakes herself mentally out of her mind and grabs for Hermione’s hand before the bookworm could decide to sit in the single seat.

“Daphne?” Hermione looks towards her friend.

“Come.” Daphne says as she lets go of Hermione’s hand, and sits on part of the love seat. “Sit next to me.” Daphne finishes with a pat to the empty cushion next to her. Hermione blinks but smiles and gives a quick nod and sits herself primly right next to Daphne.

Daphne smiles at the girl and then sighs. “Hermione, I’ve been unfair and I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am. I’ve been saying for awhile now that we are friends and it’s unfortunately been brought to my attention by a certain bright, blonde prat that we are only friends when it’s convenient. I have not once stood up for you or even with you. I’m sorry for not realizing it sooner.”

Hermione looks at Daphne her gaze unwavering, the penetrating gaze almost making Daphne squirm. She instead put the uneasy energy into a small smile and grabbing Hermione’s hand. “What brought this on Daphne?” Hermione asks, her gaze softening into worry.

Daphne purses her lips, she knows it’s improper but its somewhat comforting for her to do with all the nervous energy rushing through her. She knows what Hermione will say to her. But there is still that nagging in the back of her head that Draco might have actually been right about this. “I don’t know your favorite color Hermione, how can I say your my friend when I don’t even know something as simple as that?”

Hermione’s penetrative gaze is back. But a smile breaks her face quickly. Daphne could feel all her anxiety melt away.

“Daphne, I’m so glad we are friends. Just because I don’t know your favorite color doesn’t mean anything. I know that you hate getting up without a cup of tea and that painting relaxes you. I know you. That’s what’s important to me. Not some trivial thing.” Hermione squeezes Daphne’s hand. “I’ve never had a true friend before, I’ve waited all year for you to turn away from me and you haven’t. I don’t need someone to stand up for me. Just knowing I have you with me is enough.”

Daphne gives Hermione a genuine smile, her eyes sparkling, and not being able to help herself she wraps Hermione up in a hug and squeezes her tightly.

“I’m so glad I met you Hermione.”

Hermione squeezes her friend back. Thankful as well. With all of Daphne’s worries -as well as Hermione’s- gone the two decide to stay in the quiet office and library area to get to know each other even better.

Before either one of them realizes the time there is a knock on the door and Jackson enters soon after.

“Forgive me for interrupting little lady but it is time for Miss Greengrass to leave.” Jackson said, his right hand in front of him to do a quick bow as the apology rolled off his tongue.

Hermione pouted but nodded and stood up, Daphne doing the same. “Come on Daphne, I’ll help walk you out.”

Daphne smiles at Hermione and loops her arm into hers. The two now walking in sync.

The girls hug once they reach the entrance. “I promise to write first. This way I can give you access to an owl that won’t be seen by muggles.” Daphne says as she releases Hermione from the long hug.

Hermione nods with a smile. “Good. I’ll be waiting for it!”

~~~~

Hermione sighs as she walks onto platform 9 ¾. She loves being a witch but she hates that she can’t practice the new spells she has found during her own studying during the rest of the break. There is this truly interesting spell she wants to learn where it shrinks the size of objects. She can’t help but think how useful that would be when it comes to bringing more books with her to and from home and Hogwarts. But of course minors aren’t allowed to do any sort of magic outside of school grounds.

Sighing herself out of her thoughts she starts turning her head to see if Daphne has arrived yet. Hermione is hoping that if she and Daphne get in quick enough they can avoid sharing a cabin with Malfoy. Frowning when she realizes she can’t see her friend she purses her lips then decides to grab out her book, flipping through to a certain bookmarked - never doggy eared that was blasphemy. You don’t desecrate books like that- page. Reading the spell and how the movement is supposed to go she mimics it a few times before she closes the book and points her wand at her trunk.

“Reducio.” Hermione says her movements sharp and precise. A purple light blasts from her wand and onto her trunk causing the large luggage to shake and rattle until it starts to shrink. Not letting her gaze waver from it nor her wand she waits til the trunk is at the proper size to be able to fit in her school robes. Once that was done she picks up the now small trunk and pockets it.

Hermione continues her trek to the train not realizing that she drew a few curious gazes.

Hermione jumps on the train. Trying very hard to keep the excitement she was feeling in. She did it! And on her first try too! She couldn’t believe it. She really can’t wait to find Daphne. She’s really hoping her friend is already on the train.

She purses her lips when she’s checked every compartment with an opened door. Now she’s going to have to try and make nice with some people that hate her guts.

Turning back around she’s just about to knock on the closed door right in front of the last opened door she was at when she hears a voice that is hard to dismiss. Dropping her fist she decides to make her way towards the irritating voice. Maybe Daphne is with that inane twit. They are close friends after all.

If someone came up to Hermione just now and asked what Malfoy was talking about so loudly she would turn to them and say, “I don’t know.” But since the word dragon just left the young heir’s mouth Hermione is a lot more interested in what nonsense he’s spitting now.

Hermione enrage stomps towards the open cart. Her hands in tiny fists at her side.

“- see how upset that giant oaf is going to be when my father comes with the board and shows the dragon to everyone and reviles how dangerous that Monstrous thing is. My father will have that thing killed in no time.”

Hermione knocks on the door to Malfoy’s compartment three times. Loud rough knocks that almost make Hermione want to cradle them into her chest but she fights through it. She’s gritting her teeth hard and her face is set in a harsh glare. She’s just about to open her mouth when she sees various people just watching her, and waiting to see her explode.

Taking a deep breath in and out she smothers her hands down her shirt making sure her sweater is over everything comfortably and then she smothers her skirt down dusting out the imaginary wrinkles. With that done she corrects her posture smiles at everybody like everything is ok, walks into the compartment and then shuts the door.

Hermione is back to glaring at the pale blonde as soon as the door is closed.

“If you even try to utter anymore about this poor creature I will come for you Malfoy. This dragon needs to be protected, how dare you come from a background with such magnificent creatures and treat them this way.” Draco gets up in Hermione’s face they both are glaring at each other.

“You can’t do anything filth.” He sneered and looked her up and down, trying to look menacing.

Hermione rolls her eyes and crosses her arms with her hip cocked. “Do you lot honestly know nothing more than just three bloody things to call me? Filth, mudblood, and idiot. Are really all I hear. This house is prized on their tongues and you say I put this house to shame. I’m the top of the class. I’m the one leading the house in points. And you say I’m the idiot? You need to look in the mirror. All of you lot.” Hermione paused and looks Daphne right in her eyes. “Except for Daphne, obviously.” Daphne giggles in her hand. Hermione having said her piece turns around. Only to have to stop dead when a person grabs onto her arm.

Hermione jerks back in response, she snaps her head back ready to give a lashing but she only sighs when she sees who it is, Pansy and some brunette Hermione doesn’t know. Rolling her eyes she jerks her arm out and then immediately crosses them across her chest.

“I don’t want to be here, you don’t want me to be here. Just let me walk out and we can continue pretending-.” Hermione stops midway blinking in surprise at the hand being held up in her face. Taking a step back at the rudeness Hermione looks at the dark haired brat.

“How dare you speak to Draco that way! You shouldn’t even be allowed in the same room as us Purebloods. You stink up the air-“

“I shower regularly thank you.” Hermione quips back. Daphne can’t help but giggle, and she notices that Draco has to smother a smirk as well.

Pansy rolls her eyes and scoffs. “You’re the lowest of the lowest. I’m not going to stand here-“

“Technically you’re sitting.” Hermione mumbled. Daphne giggles again and Draco this time can’t hold back his laugh either.

Pansy huffs and stands up, her friend standing as well. “I’m not going to sit here another minute breathing the same air as you. Let’s go.” Pansy huffs as she a angrily stands up. Hermione purposefully stands right in front of her. “Out of my way mudblood.” Pansy tries to glare, but it only makes her look as though she is squinting. Hermione opens her mouth to say something sarcastic once more but before she can get anything out Pansy pushes her out of the way just as the train starts to leave. Causing Hermione to hit her head horadly hard making the girl pass out.

“Hermione!” Daphne screeches as she hurries to the knocked out girl. Theo and Blaise rush towards the two girls to try and help, ignoring Pansy stomping out of the compartment, she stops at Draco.

“Come on Draco let’s go.”

Draco gives her a bland look. “Blaise and Theo are here.”

Pansy pouts and just walks out of the compartment. The brunette following as well.

“Hermione!” Daphne says, her voice shaking. She could see she was breathing but that was it. She wasn’t responding.

Daphne turned to the boys. “Quick! Go get someone!” That’s when Draco stood up.

“We can’t!”

Daphne stared right into Draco’s soul. “What.” Blaise and Theo just looked between the two.

Before Draco even opened his mouth Hermione groans awake. Daphne gasps in shock and grabs onto Hermione’s hand.

“Please be careful Hermione.” Daphne says as she moves in closer helping Hermione to sit up.

“Malfoy is right Daphne.” Hermione says her hand cradling her forehead. Her brown eyes closed tight. “We can’t get anyone, if we do it could end up being a whole big mess. I’ll just get even with her.”

Daphne begins to argue but Hermione just waves her off as she opens her eyes. “It’s fine, honestly. I just have a bit of a headache, I just won’t sleep tonight.”

“That doesn’t sound much better Hermione!” Daphne exclaims. Hermione frowns and then realization hits her.

“It’s a muggle thing, I’ll be fine I promise.”

Daphne sighs but nods, knowing she isn’t going to win this one. Daphne helps Hermione get up from the floor and she watches Hermione carefully as she sits. Hermione smiles at Daphne to show that she really is ok, Daphne pursing her lips begins to rut through her bag.

Hermione turns her gaze out to the window. Watching, but not paying attention, she notices in the reflection of the mirror Malfoy staring at her.

Almost cold silver eyes met warm and curious brown.

Hermione is surprised to see his gaze, curious as to why he’s held it for so long with her. His eyes drifted towards the crown of her head.

Oh.

Hermione blinks when his gaze meets with hers once more. He’s frowning she notices. And not in his normal way either. Not really understanding why, Hermione gives him a small genuine smile to try to show him she is ok.

Malfoy’s eyes widen at the look and he quickly, with a sneer goes back to studying the fast moving trees. Hermione rolls her eyes but turns back to Daphne.

 

“I have a book!” Daphne exclaims. Theo groans.

“Bloody hell Daphne you sound exactly like Granger.” Theo says through a groan causing the tension still hanging around to lessen immensely. Daphne merely rolls her eyes and grabs the book from her trunk.

“I actually lied, I have a few books to give you. The first two are on etiquette and customs and the last one is a rather obscure book my father actually found for me. It’s a book about a muggleborn-” Daphne shoots a glare at Malfoy causing the boy to roll his eyes and Blaise snicker. “Being taken in by a pure blood family and teaching them all about being in said family!”

Hermione blinks at the three books that have suddenly taken up residence on her lap. She then clutches them to her chest and smiles at Daphne. “Oh Daphne! This is amazing. Thank you so much!”

 

~~~~~~

Hermione sighs as she settles into her bed after a long first day back. Her body is tired, she can feel it but her mind is buzzing. Professor Snape talked to her today. He went over all of her work and even the extra credit work he assigned her (that was simply because he got tired of her knocking on his door during his hours and asking him for advanced work because she was bored already and no other professor would, except for Professor McGonagall, she didn’t tell him that though. She didn’t want to lose a chance to study with one of the greatest Potion Masters. It took a little while but he grudgingly gave her more advanced work.)

He was impressed with how thorough her work was and he decided to continue on with her advance studies. But only if she could keep up her marks in the rest of her classes. Having agreed to his terms Hermione happily took the new book he was to be teaching her from as well as the first assignment. She was to read the first two chapters and then give him a 4 foot essay on why and how the same ingredients can form two separate potions, one that heals burns and one that can cause burns.

When she told Daphne about the extra lessons, Daphne shook her head and laughed. Fondly calling her a book worm, but also asked earlier to start studying with her already in the library.

Hermione sighs as she focus back up to the top of her canopy, she sinks into the bed a little bit but pops up to throw her night stand drawer open grabs her thin book on the myth Hercules. Closing her drapes to her bed she settles in and continues to read.

 

A few hours later Hermione puts her book back into the night stand. This happens to be the fourth time she’s read the myth this year alone. She’s usually not one to reread books too often since she can retain information so quickly now with all of her reading but something seems to keep bringing her back to this particular book. It’s not even her favorite.

The tale of Persephone happens to be her current favorite at the moment. She’s also always had a fondness for Hades. He was so misunderstood, well at least she thought so. Hermione rolled her eyes at her thoughts. Deciding that it was time to force herself to sleep, she angrily sat up and turned around so that way she was laying on her stomach and could throw the pillow over her head.

Her mind was focusing too much on this. She wasn’t going to be able to sleep at this rate.

Hades.

Underworld.

Cerberus.

Hermione suddenly bolted straight out of her bed. “Yes!”

“Shut up Hermione!” Daphne mumbles and throws a pillow at the bookworm.

“Sorry!” Hermione whisper yells back. She then starts giggling in her hand and snuggles back into her covers. So she’s finally figured out that mystery. Somewhere in this castle there is a three headed dog guarding a door to something.

Now she just has to figure out what.

And fast.

Chapter Text

Hermione yawns into her hand as she makes her way into the Great Hall. Her bag idly thumping against her thigh.

 

“Hermione!”

 

Hermione opens her eyes again and sees Daphne walking up towards her.

 

“Come on, breakfast is going to end soon! I’ve already saved you a plate and some juice. Why are you here so late? You’re usually here before me!” Daphne said as she pulled Hermione over to where Blaise, Theo and Malfoy where sitting. Daphne sat in front of Theo and Hermione sat in front of the premade plate for her, which just happened to be in front of Malfoy.

 

Hermione ignored the snarky blonde and started to dig into her food.

 

“I figured out something last night Daphne, on our way to first I’ll tell you all about it.” Hermione whispers towards Daphne her hand in front of her mouth.

 

“I was wondering about that, you weren’t exactly quite in your celebrations.”

 

“Sorry about that I just got really excited. It might help me get what I need.”

 

“How?”

 

“Because if worse comes to worse, I can help them get past what they need to get past.”

 

Daphne frowns but knows she won’t get anything else out of her friend at the moment so she just goes back to sipping her pumpkin juice and listening to the boys talk some nonsense about Quidditch.

 

Hermione looked down at her plate, moving her fork around lost in thought. Somehow there is a three headed dog in Hogwarts guarding the way to something. It has to be valuable. Something worth keeping down most likely even further down from the dungeons. She bit her lip.

 

Flamal. She read about him in a book, once. Maybe it’s time to look him back up. She must have missed something. Satisfied with her realization Hermione finally digs into her plate.

 

Hermione eats her food quickly but gracefully. Her mother drilled table etiquette into her brain, if she so much as even grazed her elbow on the table her mother was all over it.

 

Hermione, had to go over to the Gryffindor table during lunch a few days a go because she realized during a partner essay that Neville forgot to add something in his portion so she wanted to see if he would be willing to mend it.

 

(This is actually her third pairing up with Neville. She really quite enjoys talking to him. He’s one of the few people still nice to her, which is obviously nice.)

 

While making her track towards the lanky male she had to walk past Potter and Weasley, and she will never make the mistake of looking their way again because the way Weasley eats really should be outlawed. It was barbaric. Hermione actually lifted the upper left part of her lip and the rest of her face just kind of squished closer together. Really he was just absolutely disgusting. Finally taking her eyes away from the red headed disaster she found Neville.

 

Hermione blinked out of her thoughts once she fully realized her plate was completely empty. Blinking again she puts her fork down,takes her napkin from her lap to gently tap at her mouth making sure she was free of crumbs. With that complete she turn to Daphne only to see her friend staring at her with the boys holding back laughter.

 

Hermione only blinked some more, causing the boys to bust out laughing. Hermione finally frowns and goes back to staring at her only friend.

 

“What?” Hermione finally asks.

 

Daphne starts to pout and she crosses her arms as well. “Hermione I’ve been calling you for 5 minutes now.” Hermione puts her hand to her mouth.

 

“Oh Daphne! I’m so sorry. I just got so lost in thought that I completely forgot where I was for a moment.”

 

Daphne pouts for a moment longer but ultimately she shrugs her shoulders. “It’s alright. You have a lot on your plate at the moment. I’ll forgive you this one time.”

 

Hermione giggles into her hand but than places her other hand on top of Daphne’s that is now resting in her lap. “Thank you Daphne.”

 

Daphne giggles back. “You’re welcome Hermione. Come on! Let’s get to class!”

 

Hermione nods and picks up her school bag and follows Daphne out of the Great Hall making their way to their History of Magic course. Once out the great big doors Daphne links her arm into Hermione’s and begins to skip off, forcing Hermione to begin to do it as well.

 

“Bye boys. We’ll see you in class.” Daphne throws over her shoulder. Hermione can’t help but throw her head back and laugh, she has no idea what has gotten into her friend but she likes to see Daphne having fun, and including her no less!

 

After some more laughing the pair finally stops to catch their breath Hermione bending over putting most of her weight into her hands that were resting on her knees. Finally deciding she was tired of laughing she took a deep breath and exhaled really slowly. Calming her heart rate fairly easy after doing it two more times. With her breathing and heart rate now back under control Hermione turns to Daphne with a brow raised. “What in the world was that?”

 

“Did I surprise you?”

 

“Well yes, obviously.” Daphne grinned at Hermione.

 

“Good! I finally got you Hermione!”

 

Hermione blinked a few times at her friend, and readjusted her backpack more onto her shoulder. “What are you talking about?” Hermione finally asks as she continues their walk towards History of Magic.

 

Daphne shrugs and follows. “You’re just always surprising me for whatever reason. I wanted to know what that felt like from your end.”

 

Hermione only smiled and shook her head her curls bouncing with each movement. “You are a strange one.”

 

“Yes well, I am only becoming so to be more like you.”

 

Hermione rolls her eyes. “Anyway. So I know what’s guarding the passage to whatever caused the person to let loose the troll into the castle.”

 

“You really think they are connected?”

 

Hermione nods. “They have to be.”

 

Daphne merely agrees with her friend. “Ok. So what is it?”

 

“Cerberus.”

 

Daphne stops walking. “What?”

 

Hermione rolls her eyes, grabs Daphne’s wrist and begins to pull it forward with her. “The three-headed dog that’s supposed to be guarding the underworld is in Hogwarts somewhere.”

 

Daphne could only stare ahead of her, blinking her eyes and a frown on her face. “How do you get past that?”

 

Hermione waves her hand in the air. “That’s not what’s worrisome. The first thing is is that Potter and Weasley know more than I do currently. The second is I need to know what the dog is guarding because then I can figure out how many more safety precautions there could be and I can plan accordingly.”

 

Daphne can only blink at her friend. “Plan accordingly for what?”

 

Hermione shrugged. “I actually have no idea. But whatever it is I need my wits about me, especially since I feel like it deals with the dynamic duo.”

 

“Dynamic duo?” Daphne asks, confusion clear.

 

Hermione gives Daphne a surprised look. “What?”

 

Daphne gives Hermione an exasperated look. “You called something a dynamic duo. What are you talking about?”

 

Hermione stares at Daphne and then she can’t help but to laugh. “Oh Daphne I’m sorry. That’s just what I call Weasley and Potter.”

 

Daphne shakes her head. “You are a strange one Hermione.”

 

Hermione only smiles at Daphne. “I have some more research I have to do before I confront the two.”

 

Daphne nods, then decides to shift the conversation. She then brings up a fashion article she was reading before breakfast and Hermione noticing the change in topic, quickly followed Daphne’s explanation of the article. thankful she didn’t have to think about the Dynamic duo anymore.

 

The Professor comes in causing Hermione and Daphne to quiet their conversation but not stop it. The two girls lock eyes when the duo comes rushing in at the last minute. Hermione shakes her head, she can’t believe that the fate of the wizarding world rests on this idiot’s shoulders.

 

Hermione turns away from the idiots and starts to pretend to listen to the lecture. She’s already read this chapter, she has more important things to do. Like try to remember who this Flamel is.

 

~~~~~

 

Hermione and Daphne are both giggling to each other as they enter the great hall for lunch. Hermione can’t even remember what started this round of giggles and when she voices that to Daphne, she agrees and then that causes another round of giggles. The two are sitting at Slytherin’s table when their giggles finally stop.

 

Daphne ends up in a conversation with Theo, and Hermione is silently buttering a roll thinking about her next classes when Malfoy comes strolling in. She ignores him, even when he straddles the bench right next to her, staring at her with a smirk. She continues ignoring him, she can feel her eye twitching though with the strain of keeping her annoyance to herself. She hates being stared at.

 

He continues, his eyes not once leaving Hermione’s form. She lasts 5 minutes.

 

“What.” She snaps at him.

 

Malfoy only chuckles and grabs an apple, his smug attitude not leaving.

 

“If you keep staring at me Malfoy I’m going to start thinking you fancy me. Now. spit. It. out.” Hermione snaps.

 

“The dragon’s gone.” He snaps a bite out of the apple.

 

She can feel the furry in her start rising up. Her full attention now on him. “What did you do.”

 

He shrugs. “I’m merely letting you know that, that thing is gone, I wanted to see your face when you realize you couldn’t save it.”

 

The glare on her face never leaves. She’s upset, she reached out to all of the sanctuaries for magical creatures she could find. Some of her post was returned without it ever being opened, she had a feeling it was because she was using the school’s owls. But it just wasn’t fair. That poor creature. But she refused to let Malfoy see her upset.

 

“Message received, you’ve watched my face. Now leave me alone.” Hermione turns back to her plate, moving in such a way her hair curtains her profile. Her bushy hair blocking her view of the blond prat. Her eyes go straight to the Gryffindor table, looking for the dynamic duo.

 

She doesn’t like the two, she’s made that perfectly clear. But she knows that if they’re upset something did actually happen to the dragon, if they aren’t then Malfoy’s information is missing pieces. When she finally sees the two she notes that they seem to be fine. She looks back down to her half filled plate. She needs more information. Again.

 

~~~~

 

Hermione is angrily tapping her quill against her parchment. Her head in her hand, a glare on her face, parchments and books litter around her. Glaring at the wall of books in front of her. The only thing she can find on this supposed well known alchemist, is that:

 

he’s an alchemist.

 

None of the books she’s been able to check out has mentioned anything else, she can’t find any of his achievements. It’s almost as if whatever he did he didn’t want a lot of people knowing about it. Her glare softens only marginally as her eyes start to lazily trace the books on the shelf in front of her. Her brows furrow though when she notices a book that seems slightly out of place. Curious, she decides to get up and pull the book. Maybe it’ll help jump start her brain for something else, she does have one final essay for Professor Snape, he wanted her to research the uses for Unicorn Blood.

 

She quickly takes the book off the shelf and places it on the table she’s using as a desk. Alchemy, Ancient Art and Science by Argo Pyrities. Hermione tilts her head as she takes in the title. Well it won’t help her with potions, but maybe….

 

She bites her lip, she’s trying not to get to excited because it could be a dead end but she can’t help but feel as though this will be it. She flips to the back of the book, checking for an index. Using her finger as a guide she quickly goes through the alphabetical index.

 

Flamel, Nicholas, 310

 

She grins.

 

A while later Hermione is in shock. She can’t believe it. Not only is the Philosopher’s Stone actually real, it’s being protected by a three-headed dog, at her school. Suddenly everything just makes sense.

 

The troll, it was a distraction. Someone is trying to get to the stone.

 

Someone is trying to get the stone.

 

Someone wants to get the stone and they’ll endanger whoever they want to get it.

 

Hermione suddenly breaks into movement. She returns the book to the shelf, grabs all of her scattered parchments, stacks them into a quick even pile. She quickly corks her black, blue and red inks, throws the three books that were lying wide open in front of her into her pack. Then she puts her papers on top and throws the inks into a separate pocket outside of her main one. With the table now clear she quickly rushes out of the library.

 

She has to get to Professor Snape.

Chapter Text

If Dr. Jane Granger could lay eyes on her daughter right now, there would be a severe look on her face. Hermione wouldn’t ever call the look her mum gives her when she’s doing something unladylike a glare. It’s just this look Hermione receives and she knows she’s in trouble.

 

That’s the look Hermione knows she would be receiving right now. She could just hear her mum now. “Hermione Jean Granger. What are you doing running all throughout this house? You are well aware that is extremely unladylike and I will not tolerate such behavior. Up to your room and I expect a paragraph as to why running in the halls is unladylike in 30 minutes.”

 

She doesn’t have a chance to think more about it because just as she rounds the corner she sees the dynamic duo walking towards her. She slows down as she gets closer and comes to a stop when she is a few feet from them.

 

Hermione doesn’t get a chance to say anything before the two start talking.

 

“Granger! We were looking for you.” Weasley says.

 

“Clearly not well enough if you’re just heading to the library.” Hermione snarks at the two, crossing her arms.

 

“Er, well.. Anyway.” Potter sputters. “We need your help. There’s this potion riddle blocking the way.”

 

She can’t help but let the surprise show on her face, they’re actually getting to the point without trying to lie. Weird. “To what?”

 

Potter grimaces. “It’s uh, a goblet.” Ok, maybe not. “That’s being locked away. And we really want the goblet because it uh…”

 

“Heals people who drink from it!” Ron interrupts.

 

Hermione rolls her eyes and scoffs. “Go away you two. I need to get Professor Snape.” She makes to leave, but Potter puts his hands up.

 

“Please Granger, we need help!”

 

“Tell me the truth.”

 

“I can’t.”

 

“Then I can’t help you. Goodbye.” She brushes his hands away and continue to walk towards her destination.

 

“I have to steal the stone before someone else does.”

 

Hermione smirks and looks over her shoulders at the two. “Let’s go.”

 

With a glance between the two, and then a look at Hermione. They finally nod and take off. Hermione follows behind. But then she stops.

 

“Wait.” She says, and the Dynamic duo pauses and then they turn towards her.

 

“What now. ” Weasley whines. Hermione gives the red haired boy a look.

 

“What happened to the dragon?” Hermione directs her question towards Potter. She’s pretty sure if she tried talking to Weasley she would only get a headache in return.

 

The two boys share a look. Hermione glares at them and crosses her arms. “Don’t bother trying to lie. I’ll see through it.”

 

Apparently saying that doesn’t help convince them, because after that leaves her mouth they huddle together. And start to whisper furiously back and forth. Hermione shoots her eyes up to the roof of the castle and breathes through her nose.

 

“I just want to know if that creature is in a safe sanctuary or not.” Hermione adds, she thought about using her actual manners on this one, but she also sorta thinks that they don’t really deserve her at her nicest, or best.

 

Her new remark seems to have worked because Potter turns to her. “Ron’s brother works at a Dragon Preserve. That’s where she is now.”

 

Hermione gives a quick nod. “Good. Now we can go.”

 

She’s somewhat shocked when they go to the third floor, and she frowns when she sees the door ajar.

 

“The door is already open.” She voices her concern.

 

Potter waves it off. “We’ve been here plenty of times. We probably just forgot to close it.”

 

Hermione’s frown deepens as they enter the room, a harp is lying there with a three headed dog that looks to be slowly waking up. She can’t believe it.

 

“Cerberus actually exists?!” Hermione excitedly whispers, not really directing it towards anyone. She just merely couldn’t hold it in anymore, she never once thought she’d be able to actually see the dog guarding the stone. She makes a note that Harry pulls out a flute and begins to play.

 

“Cerberus? No. That’s Fluffy.” Weasley says. Hermione looks at him from the corner of her eyes and then back to the supposedly mythical creature. The large dog back to sleep.

 

“I’m surprised the two of you even made it this far, Potter you play horribly.” Hermione says to the back of the boy who lived. They walk towards an open trap door. She really does have a bad feeling about this, but she’s already voiced her concerns. No point in wasting her breath. Potter jumps through the door first, Weasley following shortly after.

 

Hermione peers down the dark square hole in the floor, looking over her shoulder at the door she bites her lip. Her gaze goes back to the hole, taking a deep breath she follows.

 

She lets out a very soft oomph as she lands on something quite bumpy, blinking a couple of times at the dim lighting she finds Potter and Weasley. “What is this?” She asks, she swears its moving.

 

“We know it’s something called Devil’s Snare and as long as we stay still we eventually get to the floor. It just takes a reallllllllllly long time.”

 

Hermione frowns and takes her wand out. “Honestly, don’t you two read! This could actually kill you! Devil’s Snare doesn’t like light or fire. But allow me.”  

 

Lacarnum inflamari.” She says as she ends the swish towards the Devil’s Snare. A bright flash of orange started pouring out of her wand. As soon as the fire landed on the Devils Snare it began to wiggle harshly and before she knew it she was forced to cut off the flame as she fell down to the lower level. She landed on her feet but the force of the fall caused her to wobble and fall on her backside.

 

“Ow. That hurt!” She forces out through clench teeth as she stands back up again. She rubs at her sore tailbone and then glares at the two. “Well let’s go. You won’t have to worry about that plant anymore.”

 

The threesome walk in a somewhat awkward silence. She was just fine that there was no chatter, but the other two seemed to be anxious about it. Especially if the glances they kept giving each other was anything to go by. She rolls her eyes as they get to a room with the door opened.

 

“We’ve solved these next two rooms for good. They never reset after our first time through.” Potter says as he walks through the door. Small little clinking noises followed his every foot step. Hermione walks through the door after allowing the red head to go in first. She closes the door behind her, just in case. She looks down as she enters to see a bunch of keys on the floor.

 

Fascinating.

 

After walking past a rather large pile of gold keys, she sees the exit. Another door of course. She walks through the exit and into a well lit room. “What --.”

 

“It was a giant game of wizarding chest!” Potter exploded in excitement. “I never would have been able to get through without Ron!” He praised and threw a grin towards his best friend. Ron’s hand went to the back of his head scratching at it lightly while his face flushed bright red.

 

“I told you it was nothing.”

 

Hermione looks at Weasley, and then the mess of what she assumes was the chess pieces and the board. She takes in the apparent carnage.  “That’s actually impressive Weasley. Good job.” His face only gets redder. “Never would have taken you to be someone with a brain.” Weasley’s proud smile was quickly reduced to a glare at the curly haired witch.

 

“It’s the one after this next one that we can’t get through.” Potter says as they climb over the wreckage that the chess board is now.

 

Hermione hums in response. They fall into a silence again but they finally reached the end of the chess board. Great, she thought. Another door.

 

They go through the next door and they’re all in shock over the stench. Quickly covering her nose and mouth with one hand, she starts pushing on Potter’s back. Seemingly getting the hint he starts going faster. They make it out of the room in record time, exiting through another door.

 

Instead of a room though it was a hallway. The hallway was lined with torch scones every few feet, the end of the hallway though was dark. The trio walked on. When they finally reached the end of the hall.

 

She takes in the dim room. Right in the middle of it sat a very simple wooden table with a red runner on it. On top of the table runner sat 7 potions.

 

The first potion was milky white in color and sat in a spherical tube. The one right next to it was bright red and sat in a tall triangular tube. After that was a light blue potion in a tiny square bottle, which sat next to a burnt orange potion in a tube taller than the red one but had a spherical bottom. Next to the burnt orange potion sat a dark green potion in a bottle that was just barely bigger than the bottle that held the light blue potion. A large black bottle sat besides the green one, this bottle was the largest one of them all. And the last one was a purple sludge looking potion that also sat in a spherical bottle.

 

Next to the bottles lay a rolled parchment with a ribbon tied to it. She grins and looks at the two.

 

"Brilliant. This isn't magic — it's logic — a puzzle. A lot of the greatest wizards haven't got an ounce of logic, they'd be stuck in here forever." She goes towards it and the two follow.

 

They all jump when a strong whoosh sounds around them and flames began to sprout from the floors. Purple flames lick at them from behind them and black laid in front of them.

 

“At least they don’t produce heat.” She mumbles and then grabs the parchment. She unwraps the ribbon tied around it and unfurls it.

 

"Danger lies before you, while safety lies behind,

Two of us will help you, whichever you would find,

One among us seven will let you move ahead,

Another will transport the drinker back instead,

Two among our number hold only nettle wine,

Three of us are killers, waiting hidden in line.

Choose, unless you wish to stay here for evermore,

To help you in your choice, we give you these clues four:

First, however slyly the poison tries to hide

You will always find some on nettle wine's left side;

Second, different are those who stand at either end,

But if you would move onwards neither is your friend;

Third, as you see clearly, all are different size,

Neither dwarf nor giant holds death in their insides;

Fourth, the second left and the second on the right

Are twins once you taste them, though different at first sight."

 

Hermione bites her lip and then looks back at the seven potions lining the table. She plops down her school bag, and grabs her quill and her three ink pots. She places everything on the table. Her gaze then turns to the two boys.

“Go.” She waves her hand towards them in a dismissal. “I’ll tell you when I’m done.” She then turns back to the potions, the riddle, and her parchment to write on.

She hasn’t looked up from her project since she started, but if you asked Hermione how long she’s been figuring out this riddle she wouldn’t be able to tell you. If the crink in her neck is anything to go by though, it’s probably along the lines of 10 minutes now. She looks over her notes. Then she grins.

“I got it!” She announces, and grabs the third and seventh bottle. The two reappear at her side. She hands Potter the small light blue potion. “That’s the way forward. Unfortunately, there’s only enough for one person.” She rolls her eyes at this, then shakes the purple one with a grimace as she sees the potion actually act like sludge. “This will help us go back.” She uncorks and takes a swig, handing the bottle to Weasley. “Make sure you leave it for Potter. Good bye.” She ignores them when they try to get her attention, waving her hand in the air. She couldn’t see the stone, no point in waiting around.  


 

Hermione sighs as she closes the door behind her. She stares at it for a minute, shakes her head and decides it’s time to head for her common room. As she’s walking though she does realize she feels lighter than she has all year. She really did figure everything out that she wanted too. She pauses in her walking.

Well, except who was behind it all. She taps her chin, as she looks skyward. But then decides that she’ll find that out in the morning. Those two idiots probably have no idea. So she continues walking, and starts to think back on her first year.

She made her first real friend in Daphne.

She’s currently leading her house in points, she’s accumulated just a little over 75 points to their 400-something. Putting them well into the lead.

She was able to get Professor Snape to agree to extra lessons to further her studies.

She helped the Dynamic duo solve multiple riddles, and she was able to solve one of the hardest puzzles she’s ever come across.

All in all, she’s had a pretty great year.  

She enters her common room, and walks up to her dorm room. It’s time for her to get a well deserved good night sleep.


 

Hermione’s final week at Hogwarts was coming to a close. She’s sitting next to Daphne in the Great Hall, giggling into her hand. The Great Hall was decorated in honor of Slytherin winning the house cup. There was a pleasant buzz in the air, when Dumbledore stood up. He raises his arms up and as soon as he did, everyone was quiet.

“Thank you.” He smiles. Hermione looks at the head table for the first time since she came into the hall. Everyone is seated. Everyone except for Professor Quirrell. Hermione scrunches her nose. He was behind everything? That was, well than.

“It has come to my attention that there are some acts of bravery that have happened recently and deserve some points.”

Hermione glares at the Dynamic duo at Gryffindor’s table. She wasn’t liking where this was going.

“To Ronald Weasley 70 points for an outstanding game of chess.”

No. Daphne grabs Hermione’s hand and starts to squeeze.

“To Harry Potter, 90 points for outstanding bravery and wit.”

Hermione bites her lip. It’s ok. They’re tied. Maybe Dumbledore won’t forget about her and she’ll be rewarded for solving the potion puzzle. Her ears begin to roar.

“And finally. 10 points to Neville Longbottom because while standing up to your enemies is hard, standing up to your friends for what you believe is right is even harder.” Suddenly Dumbledore’s eyes locked with Hermione’s. Then with a smile from him and a seemingly innocent gesture of putting his nose just slightly in the air he raises his arms up and with a swish of his robes everything changes from Slytherin green and silver to Gryffindor red and gold. The Great Hall was in an uproar. Gryffindor, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff where all celebrating the fall of Slytherin.

What? Hermione thinks. She’s completely numb to everyone around her. She’s too shocked, there was no way. He wouldn’t, there was no way that was intentional. Shocked brown honey eyes locked straight with emerald. But as soon as her eyes registered she was looking at Potter’s her shocked gaze turned into one that was cold and harsh.

It wasn’t fair. She worked all year, she worked so hard to raise her house up so they would at least accept her academically. It was sort of working, no one was really calling her a mudblood in her house anymore. Only Malfoy and Malfoy really didn’t count. She breaks her stare off of Potter and she turns her glare to Dumbledore.

She helped those two prats out and they dare do this to her? And Dumbledore, how dare he. He knows she was there. He knows that she was the one who solved that potion riddle. And he’s going to act as if she’s nothing? As if she’s noone?

Almost as if… No.

She looks down to the plate that has suddenly appeared in front of her. Not registering the food that is in her peripheral vision either. She clenches her jaw.

If Dumbledore wants to think of her as a nobody then fine, she smirks to her plate. Her eyes on fire.  

She’ll be a nobody.

Chapter Text

Hermione groans as she leans back to stretch, she raises her arms above her hand as her back arches into the stretch. She’s been leaning over her economics work for the past two hours without pause. She really wanted to hurry up and get this work done so she could reply to Daphne’s letter.

 

Hermione can’t help the happy giggle that leaves her lips. Absentmindedly kicking her feet underneath her desk. It still boggled her mind that she found a genuine friend in Daphne.  

 

Pursing her lips she looks at her homework and then towards her Hogwarts trunk. Her gaze going back to her homework. Then she nods to herself. She gathers her homework into a neat pile and places them into her economics binder. With the spot of her in front of her all clear, she stands up.

 

Walking towards her trunk, she kneels in front of it. Quickly clicking the lock on it she flings open the heavy lid. She grabs a rolled piece of parchment, her black ink well and a quill. Having her supplies, she closes the heavy lid and replaces the lock with a click. Gathering her supplies in her arms she goes back to her desk. Putting everything down gently, she heads to her large walk in closet.

 

Throwing open the white French style doors she walks into her closet. She muses that the best way to describe her closet is really to call it a room - closet, it’s half the size of her room, and it was still huge. She’s actually been trying to convince her mother to allow her to transform half of her closet into a study. It’s surprisingly been a concept she’s not ok with, especially considering that they have a library in their house. Her mother tells her to set up an area in that room but Hermione refuses. Half the reason is because she wants another area away from the library so when her parents have to use the library Hermione can work undisturbed, the other half is because she hadn’t thought of that in the first place and she refuses to let her mum win this one.

 

The last one is a rather petty reason but she doesn’t really care. Sometimes she just wants what she wants. She frowns at herself when she sees herself in the full body mirror in the middle of the room - closet. That’s a bit selfish, to think that way. Her frown then turns to a half smile, well. She is a Slytherin after all.

 

She looks to the mirror again, and instead of seeing herself she can see Daphne standing in front of her.

 

“You’re a Slytherin, Hermione.” Mirror- Daphne says as she flicks her blonde hair over her shoulder. “We get what we want. Through whatever means necessary.” Mirror-Daphne continues, she places her hand on her cocked hip.

 

“It’s not a crime to want what you want. Remember that Hermione.”

 

Mirror- Daphne disappears from her mirror, and Hermione’s back to looking at herself. Shaking herself out of her thoughts, she continues on her mission. She walks to where her cocktail, evening and formal dresses hang, all in protective garment bags. Pushing the garment bags away in order to access one of the safes hidden in the wall. There are three in her room - closet itself, she also has a safe room hidden right next to the safe she was at, as well as one in her room right behind the nightstand next to her bed.  

 

Spinning the lock expertly, she opens the safe. Inside this safe where all of the things that she held an emotional attachment too. There was an intricately designed Japanese Puzzle box that her parents brought back for her a few years ago when they went to a medical conference in Osaka, Japan. Inside of it where various smaller trinkets from her parents travel. Behind the Japanese Puzzle box were two stacks of books, they were all the first editions of her favorite classic fairy tales. Beauty and the Beast, a collection of Sonnets from William Shakespeare, and his collection of plays to name a few. (The reason why these first editions weren't in the library was because they were hers. She doesn’t want her editions mixing in with her father’s.) Besides the puzzle box was a shoe box sized memories box. Reaching for the light gold colored box, she flings the lid and looks to see the letters from Daphne. Which happens to be the only thing in the memories box, except for her Hogwarts letter. Grabbing the one on top, she closes the lid to her memories box, as well as the safe and moves her garment bags back to cover the safe.

 

She makes her way out of her room - closet and back to her desk. She settles herself back in her chair and takes the letter out of the once wax sealed envelope. She already has the letter memorized. But when Daphne and her began their correspondences through letters, Hermione had tried in the beginning to write without Daphne’s letter as a reference but the anxiety of writing something and Daphne not being interested in what she says and thus Daphne would end their letters. So she remedied it quickly, deciding she would have Daphne’s letter in front of her and to only write about what Daphne asked about, and what she learned in the books that Daphne had leant her.

 

The three books were actually very interesting, the first one she read was The Ways of the Pureblood Women by Elizabeth Swane. The book was separated in three parts, the first part was about being a well behaved adolescent, the second part was about how to behave when it came to courting age - which she was shocked to find out it was when the girl turned 13 in pureblood society. Then finally about being a proper wife. She really only skimmed the last part if she was being honest, not only was it because of how young she was but she had a feeling it wouldn’t really pertain to her.

 

The second book she read was only based on courting and was called   The Ways of Courting by Elizabeth Swane. In one of the letters Hermione sent, she made a quick remark that the author needs help with naming her books. Daphne agreed but then brought up that since it was such a simplistic title it was probably easier to sell. Hermione agreed with her point but still thought it was an unfortunate title. She liked the book though, it went into greater detail then the first one about courting and answered the questions she had running through her head from the first book from  Elizabeth Swane.

 

The whole courting aspect was new to her. She didn’t have anything like this in her family. Hermione had made sure to ask her mother about it, just in case it was something her father was refusing to teach her because he was so protective of her. She didn’t fault him for it of course, she was his little girl after all. And he really was only interested in protecting her from boys. Anyway - her mother said that they used to follow courting rules in her family years ago but that stopped also years ago, because of the stubbornness of the women in her family tree. Hermione grinned at that and her mother gave a cheeky wink.

 

She was fascinated by the whole aspect of it though, because it was a partnership. The man was to show her that he would be able to provide for her. He has to show his intended that we was able to support her, and he had to do it in the form of three gifts. It didn’t matter what the gifts were just as long as he was able to show that he was indeed going to be a successful husband and father.

 

The woman was to show him that she would be able to make his house a home. She also had to provide three gifts to her intended, they too had to show that she would be a successful wife and mother. The difference though was that the woman was required to make her three gifts from scratch, while the man had to provide three very expensive gifts.

 

She thought it was a little silly to have such a rule but she understood the reasoning behind it, even if it was archaic.

 

The third book, which was actually a journal belonged to a woman named Elliana Black née Westford. The journal was another fascinating read, albeit an emotional one too.

 

A few days ago she was reading the journal in the family den, while her parents played a game of chess. She was at a particularly difficult part where Elliana was fighting with her soon to be husband, and it was an awful fight from what Elliana wrote. Hermione hadn’t realized how invested she was in Elliana’s happiness until her mother got her attention.

 

“Hermione dear, are you ok? You’re crying my sweet.”

 

Hermione turned her wavy gaze to her mother. “Of course mother.” She then gave a sheepish smile at the worried gazes she was receiving from her parents. She cleared her throat of the large lump in it. “I’m sorry, I hadn’t realized how invested I was in my book.” She raised her hand to wipe off the tears she hadn’t even felt falling.

 

Her mother giggled behind her hand and her father merely shook his head fondly. Hermione gave another smile to her parents and went back to reading.

 

Hermione bites her lip and finally opens her new piece of parchment to begin writing her reply to Daphne.

 


 

 

Hermione ends the letter with a flourish, and then lays her quill down. Deciding she’s been cooped up in her room for too long, Hermione stands with a stretch of her arms over her head, a quick left then right twist of her back had her lower back snapping. Immediately the tension throughout her back and neck relaxed some. She then made her way out of her room.

 

When she closes the French doors that lead to her room, she pauses. Biting her bottom lip she looks around the silent hallway, her gaze falling to the window at the end of the hall. Seeing the sun shining brightly and the bright blue sky, she knew where she was going. With that, she began her trek through her house to the outside.

 

After walking down a staircase, two left turns, and a long hallway, Hermione threw open another pair of French doors. - Her mother was obsessed with them, clearly. Once the doors were open she took a deep breath in. And then slowly released it.

 

She grins as she continues walking, she walks out of the shade of the deck and straight into the simmering sunlight just in front. She stands there for just a few moments, her eyes closed and her head tilted back. Enjoying the warmth that spreads through her, no wonder cats sunbathe. She idly thinks to herself.

 

Hermione opens her eyes as she puts her head back to its natural position. She shrugs off her cardigan, and just tosses it to the side of her. She slips off her sandals. Leaving her in a plain white collared polo shirt and her denim shorts. She looks down at her bare feet in the grass and wiggles her toes. Giggling at the tickling feeling. Looking up Hermione gazes out to the backyard of the house. Biting her lip she looks towards the house. Her parents aren’t home, their work calling for them to come in even though they were supposed to have a day off.

 

Her parents were apologetic about it, but Hermione waved away the apologies. She understood how important her parents work was to them, but she also knew that she was more important to them then anything else. That’s why she was always ok with it when work called them away, they couldn’t help it.

 

Taking her gaze away from the house, she continues biting her lip. A breeze makes the grass dance and her hair, pushing it away from her face she makes a decision.

 

She runs.

 

A grin breaks across her face as she pushes herself to run as fast as she can. She runs until she’s in the middle of the yard, when she stops she turns towards back towards the house. Putting her hand above her eyes to block the glare of the sun. Squinting her eyes slightly when she sees a tall figure standing on the porch. Her grin doesn’t leave as she waves frantically to the figure. She figures it’s Jackson, but she’s not going back to the house yet.

 

Her smile softens as she turns away from the house. The breeze still playing slightly with the grass and her hair. She raises her arms so they are a little ways away from her, her palms were open and her fingers were splayed out. She closes her eyes again and enjoys the sun as well as the breeze, she stands still.

 

She doesn’t realize it but moments later she starts to sway with the breeze. And then she’s dancing. She doesn’t do it often, dancing. Especially outside in the open, where people can see her, but she’s happy. And she feels free. And it’s just something she needs to do.

 

Hermione used to dance all the time, it was one of the classes her mother made her take while she was still in her elementary school. And she loved it, they had tried all of the extracurriculars the school offered. But dance was the only non-academic class she was even relatively good at, or had the patience for it. She just can’t stand it when she can’t get something right the first time around, some subjects would just irate her while others she would be seething at the end of the lesson. Especially if her try didn’t exactly model the teacher’s. Like Art. She shivers, that was something she doesn’t want to relive.

 

Dance though, seemed to be the only thing she was willing to actually practice at. When her mother saw that, she had immediately contacted a private instructor to teach her whatever style she fancied. Knowing how easy her daughter got bored with something, if it didn’t challenge her, she easily lost interest in it.  

 

She started with ballet, then tried tap, jazz, contemporary, and ultimately ended back at ballet. She adores the rules, and how the movements where so organic but you have to be disciplined. It just screamed her. She’s also of course very well versed in the classic partner dances as well, the Waltz has been her favorite so far. The Tango was a close second, but she prefers watching the Tango be performed. She just can’t get the same emotional impact as professionals do, probably because she’s so young.

 

Hermione ends her impromptu dance practice in a dancer’s lunge, with her arms above her head, her back arched and her head to the side. She smiles through her heavy intake of breathing. Really it’s been far too long since she dedicated any time to dancing.

 

I have to change that.

 

Gathering her shoes and socks she makes her way towards her house and the tall figure still waiting on the porch.

 

“Jackson! Where did you disappear to?”

 

“Just off doing errands Little Lady.” Jackson said as he titled his head forward and his right arm went up to his chest.

 

“Any ideas when dinner will be? I’m starving!”

 

“Most likely in three hours Little Lady. Would you like for me to bring you up a snack?”

 

Hermione grins up at her friend. “That would be wonderful Jackson! I need to wash off the grass. And finish my economics works” Her grin has a twinge of guilt through it. Jackson raised his brow, surprised at the young Miss. “Ohhh, Jackson don’t look at me like that! I already feel guilty enough as is!”

Chapter Text

Hermione sighed happily as she settles into the plush seat of the Hogwarts Express. She’s so excited, she can’t wait to start already. She’s especially interested in what sort of advance potion work Professor Snape has in store for her. She had done some advance reading while she was at home and she’s very interested to learn about the Draught of the Living Dead.  

 

Her musing is cut short when the compartment door opens, she grins at the blonde that comes through. 

 

“Daphne!” Hermione squealed as she jumps from her seated position to hug her friend. 

 

“Hermione!” Daphne says with the same amount of enthusiasm as she envelops her friend. They hug for a minute before they release and Hermione invites Daphne to sit with her. “Oh Hermione, you wouldn’t believe the summer I had.” 

 

Hermione giggles behind her hand. “Daphne we wrote all summer! I already know how you spent it!” 

 

Daphne pouts. “Hermione, you don’t understand! I was with Draco all summer. And my sister but she doesn’t count. She’s relatively easy to knock off.” Daphne leans in close to Hermione, whispering conspiratory. “She has this massive crush on Draco. It’s hilarious and Draco is all like ewwwww, girls have dragon pox. They have to stay away.” Daphne rolls her eyes. “Honestly sometimes I don’t even believe that that is my own flesh, Astoria I mean. I don’t think I’d survive if I was actually related to Draco. But I mean, what in the world is that girl thinking having a crush on that blonde thing. ” 

 

Hermione can’t stop her laughing, and she’s been trying. But sometimes, Daphne is just too much. “Daphne! You’re such a gossip and about your little sister no less!” 

 

Daphne waves her hand in the air as though she’s dismissing that thought. “Oh posh Hermione. Besides, you never know when good gossip will come in handy.” Daphne winks at her and Hermione can only shake her head but she’s grinning. 

 

The two turn their heads when the compartment door is opened again. It’s Zabini and Nott. 

 

“Ah! Ladies.” Zabini says as he enters he sweeps into a bow. “A pleasure, as always.” He then puts himself right next to Hermione. His arm resting on the back of the bench, he smiles at Hermione. 

 

“Good Morning Ladies.” Nott says behind his friend, he doesn't do anything dramatic like a bow but he does nod his head to the both of them. He then takes a seat next to Daphne. 

 

Hermione watches the two boys as they come in. And she can’t help but compare the year difference. Last year, they wouldn’t even acknowledge her. But now she’s accepted into the fold, and Zabini is even smiling at her! No one smiled last year in the beginning to her. She was optimistic before, but now she’s absolutely positive that this year will be a thousand times better than last. 

 

She really can’t wait. 

 

“Any sign of Draco yet?” Daphne asks the two newcomers, and they both shake their head. 

 

“Ah, wait. I saw Lord and Lady Malfoy leaving the platform.” Theo says, his eyes bright. “So Draco has to be here.” 

 

Daphne nods. “Well, especially since I know Mrs. Malfoy would never leave the platform without making sure she saw with her own eyes that Draco got on this train.” 

 

Theo nods in agreement and Hermione just sighs with an eye roll. She almost forgot about him, almost. 

 

Knock down that thousand times better to merely a hundred times better. 

 

The foursome talked briefly about how their summers where to each other when the compartment door opens and in strides Malfoy with Crabbe and Goyle flanking him. Hermione huffs air through her nose as she scrunches her face for a half a second before going back to a neutral expression. Hermione notes in the back of her mind that the train whistle has just blown. They’ll be leaving the station soon. 

 

Malfoy throws himself into the seat next to Theo, while Crabbe and Goyle just stood there. Malfoy looks at the duo with disgust when his gaze met theirs. “Sit down would you.” The two clumsily try to sit down in a space made for just one. It goes on for far longer than it should, to where Hermione almost said something but Malfoy ends up exploding.

 

“You two are just a couple of idiots!” He snaps at them. “Get out of my sight. I already feel as though my intelligence is suffering.” He waves them away, and the two start to break towards the door. 

 

Hermione, meanwhile is incensed. She’s glaring right at Malfoy. “Who in the world do you think you are!” Her glare hardens and she scowls at the sour boy. “And don’t you dare say I’m a Malofy. That does not excuse this behavior towards boys that you have known since you were in nappies!” She looks towards the two larger boys. “I’m leaving, one of you may take my place.” She looks back over to Malfoy. “One day Malfoy you’re going to look around you and realize none of the people who you hold in your heart want anything to do with you . But everything to do with your name.” Hermione storms out of the compartment. She’s about to slam the door shut on the shell shocked occupants when she turns around once more. “I pity you Malfoy, and I’m the lowest of the low according to your lot. What’s that say about you?” 

 

“You filthy-” She slams the door on his face and marches off. In hindsight she probably should have tried to stay in the compartment since Daphne is technically her only friend in the school. So it’ll probably be hard to find a compartment with people that will sit with her, but she refuses to be in that… that… things company. 

 

Pursing her lips though, she figures it’s time to start looking for a compartment to sit in for the rest of her time. She’s still trying to blow off steam when a hand appears at her side and loops around her elbow. She turns to see Daphne.

 

“Daphne!” 

 

The blonde is grinning, her eyes sparkling. “Oh Merlin, Hermione. You just missed the biggest tantrum ever!” She starts giggling. “Draco is so angry. ” 

 

Hermione shrugs. “Yes well. Someone needs to stand up to him apparently. He’s too used to running all over people.” 

 

It was Daphne’s turn to shrug. “Yeah, but it’s also what he’s used to Hermione.” 

 

Hermione shakes her head. “My parents spoiled me rotten when I was a child. I literally had everything a little girl could ask for. But they also made sure I realized the value of what they were giving me.” Hermione pauses for a second. “For a while though I was a terror. It took me a little while to understand but I had that voice. Now it’s Malfoy’s turn.” 

 

Daphne looks to her and shakes her head. “You really do surprise me sometimes.” 

 

Hermione laughs lightly. “This again?” 

 

Daphne grins at her. 

 

The two look for a compartment that they could agree on when they stumble upon Neville and a bright blonde girl with cornflower blue eyes. 

 

“Oh! Granger! Greengrass!” Neville is clearly shocked to see the two.

 

Hermione rolled her eyes. “I’ve already told you Neville, it’s Hermione and Daphne.” She pauses and Neville flushes. “Good Morning Neville, and…?” 

 

“I’m..” He starts to stutter and his face turns beet red. 

 

“Oh my Neville, it seems as though the wrackspurts have gotten a hold of you.” The blonde says over Neville’s stammering. She then pats his knee. “It’s ok.” She then turns her startling blue eyes towards the two girls. “I’m Luna Lovegood, it’s a pleasure to meet you both.” 

 

Hermione inclines her head, as does Daphne. “It’s lovely to meet you as well, would you two mind if we shared this compartment with you?” Hermione asks. 

 

“Of course, please.” Lovegood’s dreamy voice floated, and she motioned to the empty bench in front of her. 

 

“Thank you.” Daphne speaks up, and the two sit down. 

 

“Are you a first year, Lovegood?” Hermione asked, her curiosity getting the better of her. 

 

Luna smiles, and Hermione wonders briefly if everything the fairy blonde does has a dreamy quality to her. “Please call me Luna, and yes Hermione, it’s my first year.” 

 

Hermione nods. “We’re in the same year as Neville.” 

 

“That’s nice.” 

 

Before long the four students end up doing their own things. Luna pulls out a strange magazine entitled The Quibbler, it’s a glossy brightly colored thing that Hermione decided she needed to stay far away from . Neville was reading an herbology book that Hermione can’t make out, she’s also only assuming it’s on herbology because of the plant on the cover and it’s green. Daphne had decided to curl up and take a nap and Hermione decides to give her eyes a break from reading and goes to gazing out the window.

 

She lets her eyes lazily take in the quickly moving scenery. Not really taking anything in, she lets her mind wander to when she was getting supplies with Daphne at Diagon Alley. 

 

~~~~~~

 

Hermione hums to herself as she taps the brick wall in front of her. Three up and two across and suddenly an entrance way appears in front of her. Not one to lollygag she quickly walked through. 

 

Flourish and Blotts, Flourish and Blotts have to make my way to Flourish and Blotts. Hermione thinks to herself. She’s weaving in between people, trying to look for a familiar blonde head. She smiles a little when she sees the sign for Flourish and Blotts. She forces herself to put a neutral face on when she sees the massive amount of people in front of the bookstore. I wonder what’s going on? 

 

Hermione bites her lip as she scans the crowd, the door to the bookstore on the opposite side of the street from where she stood. She can’t see- oh!

 

“Daphne!” She raises her voice slightly when she sees her friend coming out of Madam Malkin’s. She starts making her way over to her friend. 

 

Daphne’s blonde head perks up and looks in the area that she hears her name from. She smiles. “Hermione!” They come together in a hug. “It’s been too long !” 

 

Hermione giggles. “You’re so dramatic.”

 

Daphne pouts as she loops her arm through Hermione’s. “You would be too if you had to spend all summer with Malfoy. ” She agasts. 

 

Hermione giggles again and starts to walk towards the overly crowded bookstore. When she stops suddenly and gasps. “Daphne!” 

 

Daphne scrunches her face at the sudden stop, gasp and her name. “What?”

 

“Gilderoy Lockhart is doing a book signing today!” 

 

Daphne nods. “Yeah, and?” She doesn’t understand the importance.

 

“Why are you not more excited! He’s the author of half the books on our list! His tales are so inspiring!” 

 

Daphne raises a brow at her suddenly gushing friend. “Well someone is a fan.”

Hermione flushed slightly. “He’s done such amazing things. How can you not admire a man like that?” 

 

“Ah, I see. You like him for his brain and his accomplishments. It has nothing to do with his ever so charming smile. Nor his amazing wavy hair.” Daphne’s brow seems to arch higher. 

 

Hermione’s blush darkens. “Whatever Daphne, let’s go get these books. I want to try to have him sign one.” Daphne throws her head back and laughs. 

 

They finally get into the bookstore and it takes far longer than it should for them to gather all of their books and pay for them. Hermione’s shocked at the cost since it is a school books list, but she hands over the money easily anyway. Let’s be honest here Hermione. You’ve spent three times as much in the past. With the books in a bag and Daphne at her side, the girls left the bookshop and Hermione took that as her sign to happily drag Daphne to the end of the line. 

 

“Honestly Hermione, why do we have to stay in line? We could always owl him our books and get his signature that way.”

 

Hermione shakes her out of control curls. “Absolutely not Daphne. It’s not the same!” 

 

Daphne shakes her head. “Anyway, after this we so need to go to Sugar Plums sweets shop. I’m so craving a chocolate frog.” 

 

Hermione can’t help but wrinkle her nose. “Daphne. Please tell me that you don’t plan on eating something that sugary this early. Also, gross.” She sticks her tongue out. 

 

Daphne looks at Hermione as if she had grown two heads. “Well obviously Hermione. It is after lunch!” 

 

“But that’s..” Hermione pauses, but ultimately shrugs. “Well. It’s not my teeth.”

 

Daphne gives Hermione a side eye not too sure what exactly Hermione was saying. But it doesn’t really matter. 

 

The two girls idly chat about nothing really. Stepping forward as the line moved and then stopping when the line stopped. They’ve been standing in line for a good few minutes now when suddenly a man’s voice sounds around.

 

“My word. If it isn’t Harry Potter! It’s an absolute honor to meet you, just as much as I’m sure it is for you to meet me!” He must be using the Sonorus charm. Hermione finally sees that it is Mr. Lockhart talking. Oh my, it’s him! It’s actually him! “While I’m sure there is no need for me to introduce myself, I will for the sake of our lovely audience. I am of course the Order of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defence League and five-time winner of Witch Weekly's Most-Charming-Smile Award Gilderoy Lockhart.” The crowd around him erupts into applause and suddenly everyone is pushing forward. Knocking Hermione and Daphne out of the way. 

 

Hermione glares and huffs. “Come on Daphne. Let’s go get you that chocolate frog.” 

 

“Wait but Hermione, your signature-” 

 

Before Hermione could say anything Lockhart’s booming voice appeared again. “Please, please. No pushing, the press do need to get their pictures of this historic moment. Especially with this announcement I will be making.” His voice pauses. Definitely the Sonorus charm. “It is my pleasure to announce that I will be teaching at Hogwarts as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor!” 

 

Hermione can’t help but grin at that. She had a feeling since half of the book reading list was written by him, it would therefore make sense if he was teaching. But she’s glad her instinct was right. 

 

“Clearly, it’s not necessary. I’ll get his signature at Hogwarts.” Stupid Potter. Has to ruin everything.

 

Daphne decides not to push it since it means she’ll get her chocolate frog quicker. They enter the garishly pink store, only to see an elegantly robed woman with white blonde hair. Hermione figures it must be Lady Malfoy since the youngest Malfoy was standing right beside her. The mother and son turn around, Malfoy holding a candy bag stuffed with sugary confections. 

 

Hermione has to remind herself multiple times to not let the disgust show on her face. “Lady Malfoy! I found my friend, and we got our books already!” Daphne says as Hermione and her walk farther into the store. “Lady Malfoy, please allow me to introduce my best friend Hermione Granger.” 

 

Hermione dips into a curtsy as Daphne says her name. “It’s a pleasure to meet you Lady Malfoy.” 

 

Lady Malfoy tilts her head in acknowledgement. “It’s nice to finally place a face to the name. If you girls would like you are more than welcome to accompany Draco and I. Draco still needs to get his books.” 

 

I’m amazed. Not only was I acknowledged but she even spoke to me. Hermione thinks, she fully walked into the introduction expecting that Lady Malfoy to completely act as though she wasn’t there. 

 

“We would love that Lady Malfoy but I couldn’t ask for you to wait for us while I get a chocolate frog.” Daphne says. 

 

“Oh nonsense, no point in purchasing something Draco has three of. Draco, give the girls both a chocolate frog.” Lady Malfoy says over her shoulder as they walk out of the shop. Malfoy turns red. 

 

“What!? Mother! I’m not going to give that-” 

 

Lady Malfoy turns around, her eyes burning ice. “ Now. ” 

 

Malfoy glares at his mother but pulls out the chocolate frogs. He hands one to Daphne and tosses Hermione’s on the floor. 

 

“You were raised better than that Draco.” A deep voice sounded behind Malfoy, causing him to flinch. “Pick it up and hand it to the lady.” 

 

“But Father! She’s a-”

 

Now Draco.” Lord Malfoy’s voice didn’t boom like Mr Lockhart’s did. But his voice cut deep. Malfoy didn’t dare glare at his father, he knew better. So instead he let his displeasure be known be stomping over to the tossed chocolate frog and thrusting it towards her. 

 

“Thank you.” Hermione says, taking the offered treat. Oh drat. 

 

“You need books. Let’s go Draco.” Lord Malfoy said. His black robes billowing behind him. He really does look like a Lord. Hermione idly thinks as his imposing figure sweeps past her. He looks at her from the corner of his eye as he does so. Hermione’s surprised again. Hmmm. How strange is this. Words from the Lady and a look from the Lord. Daphne starts squeezing Hermione’s hand as soon as the two adults turn.

 

“Oh Merlin, I felt like I was about to faint! I can’t believe this. They both acknowledged you!” Daphne frantically whispers to Hermione.

 

“I know. I’m as shocked as you are!” Hermione whispers back. 

 

“What did you do to my parents you stupid mudblood.” Malfoy’s face is red as he angrily talks at Hermione. 

 

Hermione rolled her eyes. “I did absolutely nothing towards your very powerful parents. I don’t have a death wish.” 

 

“Then why would they-” He’s seething and she’s about to say something when Lord Malfoy appears by Draco once more. How does he get around so quickly and quietly. Hermione wonders.

 

“Do not make me look bad Draco. Malfoy’s don’t start fights. Now let’s go. You’re making me late.” 

 

The three quickly walk, and stay quiet behind the two adults. Watching from that same distance as a tall and much older Weasley. Redhead and tall, most certainly a Weasley bumps into Lord Malfoy. 

 

Hermione watches the interaction closely. Lord Malfoy is clearly insulting the man, but he’s doing it in such a way that some of it goes above Mr Weasley’s head. Until Lord Malfoy is reaching into his daughter’s cauldron and picks up a book. Then he’s leaping at Lord Malfoy, trying to punch the man in his face. The scuffle is quickly put to a stop and Lord Malfoy is putting the books that he took out of the cauldron back in. Then the older Weasley turns around and he walks away, as well as his party. 

 

Lord Malfoy fixes his robes and opens the door for his wife. Draco is immediately at his father’s side and holds the door open for both Hermione and Daphne. With everyone in the store Lord Malfoy turns to Draco. 

 

“We don’t start fights, but we finish them.” With that he goes further into the bookshop. 

 

“Draco, don’t you dare get into any fights young man. Now come let’s get your books.” Lady Malfoy quickly says and she too starts to walk into the bookstore. 

 

~~~~~~~

 

Hermione comes out of her thoughts when she sees a bright blue blur streak past the train. 

 

“Daphne, did you see that?” Hermione looks from the window down to her friend only to remember she’s sleeping.

 

“She’s still sleeping Hermione. If you’re asking if someone saw a blue streak I did.” Luna says, her blue eyes looking outside as well. 

 

“Yes Luna. Thank you. I wonder what it is.” 

 

“Did you know that flying cars exist Hermione?” Luna instead dreamily replies. 

 

Hermione looks at Luna for a second. “No, actually I didn’t.”

 

Luna simply nods her head. “They do, quite fickle things.” Suddenly she pauses and locks eyes with Hermione. “Lots of strings are being cut Hermione.” Her voice losing that dreamy quality, it sounds as though she was giving a warning. She then looks out the window again. “They especially don’t like being handled improperly.” Luna’s voice is back to the dreamy quality.

 

Hermione furrows her brows. Confused, but she decides to ignore it. It’s probably nothing.

Chapter Text

Hermione could honestly say she was glad this week was over. It wasn’t school of course, she was pleasantly surprised when she realized the jump in difficulty with some of her classes this year, except for potions. Instead, it’s Daphne. She’s been asking Hermione nonstop to go to the Quidditch tryouts next weekend and Hermione refuses. The last time she went to a match she just sat there bored out of her mind. So why bother going.

Daphne though is relentless. No matter where Hermione was Daphne was right there, asking her to go. So much so Hermione is actually hiding from her. Granted she is hiding in her bed so it’s not really that great of a hiding spot. But with a simple detect-me-not spell, Hermione wasn’t too worried about being spotted for at least 20 minutes. She hopes.

She really needs to get some studying done, OWLs are right around the corner. She has been trying to convince Daphne to start studying with her. But everytime Hermione asks her, Daphne gives her this are you crazy look.

“Hermione, those are 3 years away. We have other things to be worrying about. Like this for example, did you see those earrings that Pansy paired with my necklace. It was so last season.” Daphne said one time when Hermione brought it up. Hermione didn’t even bother with a reply only glaring at her, knowing what her friend was doing.

Hermione shakes out of her thoughts and looks down at her open potions book. Parchment is scattered everywhere on her bed. Professor Snape has her doing research work on the effects of Polyjuice, and so far with everything she has found she is really hoping that Professor Snape will actually allow her to brew this potion.

She loves potions, it’s one of her favorite classes because of how exact it is. But she finds that she’s already getting bored with the lectures and the not so difficult potions that they are going to be brewing in class this year, especially since she brewed all of them last year during her advanced lessons. So obviously she’s extremely thankful for the jump in difficulty with this potion.

She’s brought out of her studying haze when her curtains are torn open and a triumphant Daphne standing there.

Hermione throws her head back and groans. “Daphne.”

The blonde rolls her eyes. “Come off it Hermione. You’re going with me.”

Hermione shakes her head. “Absolutely not. You know I detest that sport.”

Daphne perches herself on Hermione’s bed. “We have to go and show our support for Draco!”

Hermione gives Daphne a dead look. “Oh yes, I certainly want to go and support a boy who has caused most of my teasing throughout first year. Not to mention he’s the one that made me the social pariah.”

Daphne scrunches her nose. “Hermione I think you did the social pariah-ness all yourself.”

Hermione waves her hand in the air. “That’s true for the second half of the year. Everyone in our year are idiots. Except for you of course. I can’t stand people who waste my time or try to use me. But the first half? When I was trying to be a good little mudblood so people would at least somewhat accept me. They didn’t, because of him. So no. I won’t go support him.”

Daphne frowns at Hermione. But suddenly her eyes practically start to glitter mischievously. “But Hermione, aren’t you usually the one that is preaching that people deserve a second chance? Or going on about being the bigger person? This is the perfect chance to try and start mending your relationship with Draco!”

Hermione simply raises her brow. Why did she decide Daphne would be a good friend to have. “You’re not going to change my mind.”

It was Daphne’s turn to groan. “Fine.” Daphne pouts. “I didn’t want to use this but it’s my last idea.” She pauses, definitely doing it for dramatic effect. Hermione sighs as Daphne starts to talk again. “If you come to the tryouts and the first practice, I won’t ask you to go to anything else Quidditch related for the rest of the year.”

Hermione locks eyes with Daphne’s. She waits until she sees her friend get impatient with Hermione taking so long to answer. Finally Hermione nods. “Ok. I accept.” Daphne starts to grin. “But.” Daphne’s face falls and before she complains, Hermione is holding her hand out with her pinky extended. “We make a pinky promise.” Daphne’s face clearly shows her confusion.

“A what?”

“A pinky promise. It’s something muggles do to show that they are serious in their promise. Because if you break it, I get to break your pinky.”

“What!”

Hermione rolled her eyes. “Oh relax Daphne, I’m just joking. Sort of. It’s how the promise goes. But I’ve never actually broken anyone’s pinky. Then again, no one ever has broken a pinky promise with me.” Hermione pauses and then shrugs. “Don’t worry Daphne, I won’t break your pinky.”

Daphne just stares at Hermione for a minute but then she smiles and holds out her pinky. “Muggles are weird Hermione. But if it makes you come to the tryouts and their practice I’ll follow your weird muggle rules.”

Hermione giggles and hooks her pinky onto Daphne’s. “It’s a promise.”

 

~~~

Hermione stifled a yawn as she walked beside her supposed friend. She was up late finishing the last bit of her charms homework, because a certain someone failed to tell her that they would be up early to catch the first Slytherin quidditch practice.

Why anyone would willingly wake up this early to play a silly sport was beyond her. Hermione took a side glance at her ex-friend, she was way too giddy for someone who hated mornings.

“What aren’t you telling me?” Hermione muttered as she continued side watching her ex-friend.

Daphne just smiled at her, and then giggled behind her hand. “Oh don’t worry Hermione. You’ll see when we get there.”

Hermione glared at her ex-friend, Daphne seeing the glare just giggled harder. “Don’t worry Hermione, you’re going to love it.”

“I better. I never would have agreed to this had I known it would be this early on Saturday.”

Daphne waved her hand in the air. “Hermione you would be up this early anyway going over your homework.” Daphne pauses and gives her a side-ways glance. “The homework that isn’t due for another 3 weeks.”

Hermione merely rolled her eyes and stuck her tongue out at Daphne. “There is nothing wrong with being prepared, Daphne.”

Daphne rolled her eyes. “Hermione, you -” She pauses and she begins to grin. “Oh, wonderful! We haven’t missed anything!” Daphne grabs Hermione’s hand and begins to pull her towards where her gaze was. “Let’s go Hermione, you won’t want to miss this!”

Hermione follows behind Daphne, brows furrowed when she realizes the direction that they are going. “Daphne, this is towards the entrance to the pitch. Not the stands.”

“Oh trust me I know.” Daphne turns towards Hermione and gives her a wolfish grin. “Just trust me.” Daphne exasperatedly says as she begins to pull Hermione more aggressively over towards the entrance to the pitch. “If we don’t hurry we’re going to miss everything!” Hermione rolled her eyes, but allows herself to be dragged.

The twosome finally get to the entrance of the pitch and that’s when Hermione finally notices the Slytherin Quidditch team standing there. “Why are we meeting the quidditch team?” Hermione asks Daphne, her brows furrowed with a frown.

“Did we miss it?” Daphne asks a random quidditch member. He was taller than the two girls, with shaggy black hair that hung in his face.

“Not yet, Flint is too busy talking.” He said annoyance clear in his voice. Daphne can’t help but to grin up at him and turn her gaze towards Hermione.

“Wonderful.” She says as she brings her hands up to her chest and clasps them together. “We haven’t missed the show.” She says directly towards Hermione.

Hermione meanwhile is not impressed, she crosses her arms over her chest and begins to tap her foot. Daphne seeing this merely rolls her eyes and giggles. “Oh Hermione, relax.” Daphne pauses and leans into her, whispering. “We’re waiting for the Gryffindor team to take the pitch, that’s when they strike.”

Hermione sighs but nods, she leans towards Daphne, mimicking her. “Why are you whispering?”

Daphne shrugs her shoulders. “Cause it’s fun.” She continues her whispering.

Insane. Hermione thinks to herself. I have an insane best friend.

The two continue to talk to themselves and Hermione is just about to start complaining that this is taking far too long when a male’s voice sounds out.

“Slytherins’.” Is the only thing that the voice says and in just a blink the Quidditch team is lined up. Hermione assumes that they are in order of their positions, since Malfoy is at the end of the line and she knows that there is only one Seeker in the game. Which is the extent of her Quidditch knowledge.

Daphne hooks her arm into Hermione’s and grins over towards her. “Finally.”

The team and the two girls end up meeting the Gryffindors’ in the middle of the pitch. The two stand off to the side and watch the volley of the back and forth between the team captains. While Hermione is watching the back and forth nothing is really going to her ears, she’s thinking about the study plan she has for her OWLs.

I think I need to switch charms and potions on my timetable. I’m receiving plenty of practice when it comes to potions with Professor Snape’s extra assignments. But charms I could use more practical practice. Not only that but maybe I need to cut down on my time studying Arithmancy, I haven’t even step foot in that class. So all I’m aware of is the theoretical --

Hermione is taken out of her thoughts by an elbow to the side. She sends a side glare towards Daphne.

“It’s finally getting good!” Daphne whispers and Hermione tunes into what’s being said.

“-train our new Seeker.” The captain of Slytherin said, Hermione realizes that she can’t remember the name of him for the life of her. And just as he said that the team parts and Malfoy moves to stand next to his captain. Hermione couldn’t really see his face from where Daphne and her where standing but if she had to guess he was probably looking like an insufferable prat, a smirk going across his face and a brow raised.

“Malfoy!” Potter ends up somewhat growling, his hands clenching at his side.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Weasley basically yells.

Hermione rolled her eyes at the idiocy, Malfoy she’s sure did the same thing if the huff she heard from him was anything to go by.

“Is this why you’re such a simpleton Weasley? Not only do you not know how to use your brain but you also can’t use your ears? Pity.” Malfoy bit back condescendingly, he cut in before the other two could say anything. “I’m the new seeker for the Slytherin team. Obviously.” He continued to boast. “As a congratulations Father sent the entire team new brooms, Nimbus 2001s to be exact.”

Hermione knew the look on Malfoy’s face was probably unbearable, especially if Weasley’s face was anything to go by. If he turned any redder he’d end up being purple. She wondered briefly if she should tell him that his skin clashes with his hair when he goes that red.

“At least no one on the Gryffindor team asked their daddy to buy them in.” Potter snaps.

Hermione scrunches her nose, and decides to intervene. Afterall, what’s fair with two against one? “That’s absolutely rich coming from the likes of you Potter. No one bought their way in, unlike some who use their fame to get what they want.” She stands next to Malfoy her arms crossed. Evidently she said the wrong thing because next thing she knows Potter is holding a rabid Weasley back and an arm is pushing her back.

Hermione is shocked to see that the arm pushing her back belonged to Malfoy, but she doesn’t let the shock show. She puts her attention back on the red haired dog.

“-stupid bloody mudblood!” The Weasley yells. The Gryffindor team is filled with gasps, while the Slytherin’s without Hermione’s knowledge all take their wands out and was holding them to their sides. Hermione’s attention was split, she kept an eye on the Gryffindor team but her other eye was on the clenched fist of the Malfoy heir.

What in the name of Merlin? She thought, she quickly looked back to the Gryffindor team. That’s when what Weasley said finally got to her brain. Not being able to help it she throws her head back and laughs.

It’s not her usual laugh either, the one where she keeps her manners and her etiquette in check. This one is a mouth wide open, teeth showing, head thrown back full belly laugh.

Everyone is suddenly silent and staring at the curly haired Slytherin.

Then she stops and she quickly pretends to start crying, in order to really sell it she puts her hand to her heart. “Oh my poor, poor feelings. Whatever will I do? I’ve been called a mudblood of all things. The most horrid name and I’ve been called it. What am I supposed to do?” Apparently her on the spot acting was too convincing because a couple of the Gryffindors looked severely uncomfortable. She continues to pretend to cry and Daphne comes over and lays a hand on Hermione’s shoulder, pretending to comfort her friend.

As if rehearsed, Daphne drops her arm and Hermione drops her crying act. They both then glare at the duo, Daphne with her hand on her hip and Hermione standing with her arms crossed, her head tilted up so it made it clear she was looking down to them.

“If you really honestly expect me to be upset about being called a mudblood of all things. You really are far more daft than I thought. I have been called that since I started, not only by my fellow housemates but by basically every single student that walks Hogwarts halls.” She pauses and puts a thoughtful expression on her face. “Honestly, I’d really love more creative insults.” She sighs and places a hand on her cheek as she turns her attention towards Daphne. “It makes it all the more glorious when I can tear someone down and actually have to use a portion of my brain that I usually don’t get too in order to do so.”

Daphne giggles behind her hand. “Oh Hermione.”

“Now leave Potter and friend. The Slytherin team needs to practice, and I don’t feel like breathing in the same air as you spawn.” Hermione said with a dismissive wave, a somewhat sneer on her face.

Malfoy cackled, and leans against his broom. “Run along now Potter and Weasley. You heard what she said. I’d hate to catch anything from your hand me down filth.” He says with a sneer in Weasley’s direction.

Wealsey ends up saying a bunch of ineligible words and pulling out his wand, shoving it in the direction of both Hermione and Malfoy. Hermione lifts a corner of her lip up, when she notices the state of his wand.

“Weasley, I wouldn’t recommend-” She starts but is cut off when the red haired idiot starts to finally speak english.

“Eat slugs!” He bellows and flicks his wand with an incantation. Hermione doesn’t even bother with a counter, already knowing what’s going to happen.

“If you would have let me finished, I would have told you-” She’s interrupted again by the red haired dog doubling over and throwing up a couple of slugs. “Disgusting. But I would have told you casting any sort of spell with a wand fixed with spellotape is an awful idea. It’s only going to backfire on you.” Hermione said and fixed the younger Weasley with a disgusted look as he throws up yet even more slugs.
“You should probably get that checked.” Hermione adds. Potter starts to drag his friend out and the rest of the Gryffindors follow. Two identical Gryffindors stay back, looking as though they want to say something but they too leave.

Hermione looks towards Daphne. “Now can I please go back to the common room and study? I’ve already wasted enough of my saturday.”

Daphne giggles. “Oh fine.” Daphne turns her attention to her childhood friend. “Have a good practice Draco!” She then looks to the rest of the team, and wiggles her fingers at them. “Bye boys.” She ends with a flirty wink.

Hermione glares at Daphne, she really does not want to say goodbye to these people. “Have a good practice. Goodbye.” She ends with a curtsy and a head tilt. She then begins to walk away, Daphne quickly catching up and hooking her arm through Hermione’s once again.

They are a little ways away from the pitch when Daphne separates from Hermione, skips ahead of her a little ways and turns around to walk backwards, her hands clasped behind her back. “Well that was interesting.”

Hermione decides to play dumb. “Mmm, what was?”

Daphne rolls her eyes. “You know what.”

Hermione sighs. “I have no idea what that was. Malfoy is an enigma.” She shrugs her shoulders, honestly not really caring about the blonde heir.

Daphne hums in response, then adds. “I think it’s because of his mother and father.”

Hermione cocks her head to the side. “Why?”

“They obviously threw him when they were actually…” She pauses, looking for the right word. “Cordial.” She nods to herself. “They were cordial to you back at Diagon Alley. Clearly that wasn’t what Draco was expecting of them.”

“Why do you think they were?”

Daphne stops walking backwards and returns to walking besides Hermione, she doesn’t answer for a minute. “Because. Ultimately, Slytherins’ stick together.”

Chapter Text

Hermione sighed as she settles into her seat in DADA, placing her pack besides her before she begins to take out a quill set, which contained three quills, two inkwells, and a stand for the quill she decides to use, as well as a dozen sheets of parchment and her notes on the books for the class. Because there were so many books required for this class it made it impossible for Hermione to keep her books by her side like she usually preferred.

She was looking forward to the beginning of the class, she’s curious as to how she did on the pop quiz that was handed out for the first class they had.

“Hello my amazing fan-” a throat clears. “Excuse me, my amazing students.” Professor Lockhart said as he entered the classroom from the hallway, his pale yellow robes swishing with his movements. Hermione turned in her seat to see his entrance, giggling with Daphne at the awful robe color.

As the Professor walked by her he threw a wink in her general direction, causing Hermione to duck her head, pushing her hair behind her ear while biting her lip. Realistically she knew that it wasn’t for her but, well, she was a girl with a great admiration for the Professor.

“Oh you’re definitely not crushing on the Professor.” Daphne whispers into her ear. Hermione sticks her tongue out at her friend.

“He’s a very accomplished man, Daphne. There is nothing wrong with admiring someone for what they accomplished.” Hermione whispers back.

“You’re an idiot Granger.” A voice snips behind her. Hermione turns around and glares at Malfoy.

“If there is one thing that I cannot be called of all things Malfoy, it would be an idiot.” She snips back, and turns back to the front of the class, fully intending on ignoring her annoying housemate. Daphne meanwhile just giggles into her hand.

Hermione turns her eyes towards the Professor, and grabs one of her three quills. She waits patiently for the lecture to begin, she’s really hoping that today they will learn how to perform the spell Expelliarmus. While of course she knows the theory behind it, from her charms textbook assigned this year and all the other reading she has done. She’d really love to learn how to use it practically, it seems like one of the most useful spells that she’s come across so far.

“Now my lovely students, since last class was so taxing on everyone-” Professor Lockhart started.

“Because you’re a failure of a Professor.” She hears a mutter behind her, that causes her to roll her eyes.

“I have decided that instead we are going to dive into one of my books, Break with a Banshee. I’m going to read out one of my most thrilling adventures in the book, and you all will follow along!” He proclaimed with a flourish and in a cloud of smoke the book appeared in his hand. Hermione glanced down at her desk with a frown, but took out her notes on his book.

“But Professor, what about the test results from last class?” A girl’s voice calls out from the class. Professor Lockhart sends an award winning smile towards the girl. Hermione turns towards the girl, not recognizing the voice and knowing that this classroom was only filled with second year Slytherins,she thought she should at least know the voice. Even seeing the girl though, she can’t recognize her. So, she leans over towards Daphne.

“Who is that?”

Daphne shots her an are you serious face. “She’s in our year Hermione!”

“I know!”

“She’s in our house!”

Hermione glares at her. “I’m aware Daphne.”

“Tracey Davis.” Daphne says with an eye roll.

“Oh.” Hermione says with a nod. “I don’t recall her.”

Daphne giggles. “Obviously Hermione.”

Hermione sticks her tongue out.

“-so yes. I will be passing out the results, right now in fact!” Hermione tunes back into what the Professor is saying. Hermione kicks her feet in anticipation, hoping she at least got a passing grade on it.

Professor Lockhart performs another flourish with his wand, adding his pale yellow robe in the mix to make it all the more dramatic. A stack of papers appear on his desk which he picks up with another wave of his robes.

“This first test that I’m going to pass out, is the only person in the class that received an absolutely amazing perfect mark.” He grabs the top paper, waving it as he talks. “Hermione Granger.” He says and with a flounce places the paper on Hermione’s desk, flashing her one of his award winning smiles. Hermione meanwhile flashes a bright smile up at her Professor, proud of her accomplishment.

“Teacher’s pet.” She hears a mumble behind her that she ignores.

Daphne leans into her. “Admiration huh?” She says with a raised brow a smile playing on her lips.

“Yes!” Hermione says with a nod, completely ignoring the undertone of what Daphne was hinting at.

Daphne hums an “Mmhmm” with a conspiratorial look in her eyes. Hermione hearing it sticks her tongue out again. “My, my, Hermione whatever would your mother say with that language!” The two fall into each other giggling.

They chat while their Professor hands back the tests, taking longer than a normal Professor would because he feels the need to bat his eyelashes and flash his grin to everyone.

“Hermione! It’s not funny! I thought I was at least going to get 75 points! I only got 50!” Daphne whines when she receives her test back.

“And I’m the one that has the crush?” Hermione asks sarcastically and Daphne responds with a tongue out.

“I wanted to at least pass!” Daphne pouts and leans on her desk, her face resting on her open palm. Hermione rubs her back soothingly, and Daphne shoots her a look. “I can’t believe it but you can even make a movement seem sarcastic!”

They go into another fit of giggles, that they immediately have to quiet because the Professor calls the classroom back to order. “Now with the tests passed out, I shall begin reading out loud one of my favorite adventures from Break with a Banshee.”

Hermione picks her quill back up, prepared to start to take notes on anything she might have missed while reading the book.

~~~~~~

Daphne yawns as both Hermione and her leave the classroom. “Hermione, how in the love of Merlin did you stay awake through that whole thing? It was awful.”

Hermione shrugs. “You never know when a piece of information will be useful.”

Daphne gives her friend a side glance and a sly smile. “Mhmm, sure. It has absolutely nothing to do about our Professor having a pretty smile or gorgeous eyes, right?”

Hermione rolls her eyes. “Merlin, Daphne. Would you give it a rest! I admire Professor Lockhart for all of his accomplishments. It’s a great honour to be able to be taught by someone like him.”

“Geez Granger, laying it on a little thick dontcha think?” A male voice sounds behind, causing Hermione and Daphne to turn around to see who it was. Zabini and Nott were walking behind them, having just exited the classroom as well. The two girls wait for the other two before they continue to the Great Hall, ready for lunch.

“Absolutely not, Zabini. There are multiple Professors’ here that I admire just the same.”

“I don’t know Granger, I don’t see you in any other class smiling dreamily at the lecturing Professor, or drawing little hearts on your notes for the class.” Nott pipes in.

Hermione glares at the two boys, and knocks her shoulder into Daphne’s giggling form. “You witch! You told them!”

Daphne laughs even louder, and hooks her arm around Hermione’s. “I did no such thing Hermione!” A grin on Daphne’s face.

“Lies.” Hermione says as she glares at the blonde, who just continues to smile.

The foursome continued to talk as they made their way towards the Great Hall. Hermione was surprised at the continued ease that Zabini and Nott had while talking to her. She continually expected to be at least glared at, or maybe even verbally scorned. But nothing happened. It really seemed as though they were genuinely trying to be her friend.

While Hermione was thinking to herself and involved with the two boys, Daphne while involved with being in the middle of the conversation took time to notice one interesting thing no one else seemed to see.

A certain blonde was staring at the foursome, a frown on his lips.

 

~~~~~

Hermione sighed as she pulls her black hood off. She just narrowly escaped leaving the common room without being seen. It was Slytherin’s house Halloween party, and Daphne of course made her go. The theme of the party was something to do with the 1800s in England. So everyone was in some sort of period wear, Hermione decided she was going to go as the muggle version of a vampire. While she received a myriad of glares and sneers, she knew without a doubt she was a pretty looking witch.

Daphne made her put on one of her creations, she just recently got into working in fashion and design. So naturally, she made Hermione be her puppet for new techniques and designs. She was so excited and inspired apparently, from when Hermione told her about the muggle version of all the creatures that they don’t believe in and how drastically different their versions are to the actual versions that exist in the wizarding community. She decided immediately what she wanted to make Hermione wear.

Really though, with all of her complaining and whining, it really was a gorgeous dress. The bodice was a sweetheart neckline, with a corset back. A majority of it was a soft black material with a stripe of blood red fabric going down the middle of it with the bottom flaring out into a trumpet style. Lace detailing in black swirled up the blood red fabric. Overall the dress was extremely elegant and something that she’d never be able to replicate or buy from a muggle store.

Overtop the dress she wore another one of Daphne’s creations. It was a black cloak, with a red ribbon used to tie it around her. The sleeves came down in a bell, going just a little past her fingers.

Overall it really was a pretty ensemble, and Hermione knew she looked great in it. She just was not in the mood to party. There was just something that felt off, plus why would she want to spend time around her housemates when they clearly still didn’t want her. Though that number if she really took notice was starting to dwindle significantly. The only answer she can come up with is that her housemates see that she really is an asset to gaining house points and have decided that they’ll keep her.

Hermione snorts to herself. It’s like I’m a dog or something. She can’t help the snicker that leaves her lips. Mother would so give me that look if she ever heard me snort like that. I’d be in instant trouble.

Hermione decided that she was going to explore the castle, while everyone else was partying. And yes it is after curfew. Yes, it’s against the rules but as long as she doesn’t get caught, she can’t get in trouble.

Last year, she was so caught up with dealing and helping Potter and Weasley she wasn’t able to really appreciate the magic of the castle. But this year she was determined to change that. So, she figured she’d start tonight. Plus maybe while she’s out tonight she can find an empty classroom for future use, she is determined to actually keep her word to herself. Where she actually does go out of her way to practice her dance.

~~~~

Hermione’s been walking for a little while now and she just can’t keep the small smile off her face. For once her brain is silent, enjoying the silence of the usually busy castle halls. She was enjoying being able to feel the magic of the castle, it was like a humm in the air that resonated in her bones. She almost felt as if the castle was trying to talk to her, and let her in on the secrets it withholds.

She’s been so calm that she hasn’t been paying attention to where she’s been walking and she’s almost confused as to where she’s at. Biting her lip she looks around, and keeps her ears open. Making sure Mrs Norris isn’t around, since she hasn’t actually been paying attention like she should have been. Her shoulders sag with relief when she realizes she’s still ok.

Hermione keeps her bottom lip between her teeth when she realizes she's at a crossroads. She could either walk straight ahead, or make a sharp left and walk down that hallway. She starts to walk forward planning on going straight when she stops and looks down the left hallway. Shaking her head she continues to go straight, keen on following where her brain was telling her to go.

She’s walked a little ways down the straight path, but she keeps looking back. She can’t help it. It’s almost like something was calling her down the left hallway. Furrowing her brows, she finally decides to follow the feeling. So in a flurry of black she quickly turns around, and backtracks.

Hermione’s only walked a little ways down the hallway when she pauses. A coldness sweeping through her.

Mrs Norris.

Oh no. Hermione thinks to herself, dread filling her. Knowing already that she’s been caught. Deciding to get this over with quickly she continues walking. She stops again. A gasp leaving her when she fully takes in what’s ahead of her, picking up her dress she picks up her pace.

The hairs on the back of her neck stand straight up, the cold dread filling her body once more. It was almost like ice was flooding her veins.

Infront of her was Mrs Norris, her tail twisted around a torch sconce. And she was just hanging there, no meowing or noises coming from her. Hermione couldn’t help the gasp that escaped her, her hands going up to cover her mouth. The poor cat. While Hermione, just like everyone else and didn’t have fond feelings for the feline, she certainly didn’t deserve this. Nothing deserved to be treated like this in death.

Hermione reaches up to untangle the cat from the torch sconce when she stops. While Hermione thought the poor cat was dead at the first look. Something was off.

Medusa, while not one of her favorite Greek myths was one she was very familiar with. Hermione remembers the first time reading about the gorgon and wishing she had the ability to turn people to stone. While Mrs Norris wasn’t completely entombed in stone, she wasn’t showing the signs of death. Right after death, the body enters rigamortis which makes the body go completely rigid. But that doesn’t last, it ends somewhat quickly. Mrs Norris on the other hand, was still completely rigid and didn’t seem to be leaving that rigidity anytime soon.

In another book she read, one she borrowed from the Hogwarts library talked about Petrification. She can’t recall everything that was stated in it, especially what could be the cause. She’ll have to try to remember the book title and check it out again but she’s almost certain that Mrs Norris is petrified. Not only that but what cat dies in such a peculiar way.

She’s refusing to look to her left, not wanting to reread what was painted in red. At least Hermione was hoping it was paint. She’s brought out of her musing when she hears footsteps and voices. Brown eyes widening she quickly looks around hoping for some place to hide. Spotting an alcove she makes her way towards it, looking down in annoyance when she sees she’s stepped in a puddle of water. Picking up her dress and cloak she rushes towards the alcove she spotted.

She’s sufficiently hidden in the alcove, when she hears another pair of footsteps coming from behind her. Her heart starts to race.

Oh I’m so getting caught. Hermione thinks as she flips her hood up and presses herself as far into the alcove as she physically can. Her clammy hands finding a small relief on the cold stone of the castle. Wanting to make sure she uses the hood fully to her advantage she tilts her head down, pulling on the hood even more. She’s sincerely hoping she’s hidden well enough and that the person isn’t paying very close attention at all.

Her heart starts to pound faster when the footsteps that where behind her stop directly in front of the alcove. Biting her lip, she slowly, very very slowly tilts her head up trying to get a peak of who it is. As soon as she can see the lower body of the person, liquid heat courses through her.

“Malfoy!” She snappily whispers, getting the blonde’s attention. The usually slicked back hair was for once gel-less. He too had opted out of dressing up in themed attire, and instead chose to wear simple black dress robes.

Grey eyes snap to the seething witch, who steps towards him. Hermione grabs onto the sleeve of his robe and pulls him into the alcove roughly.

“Why are you following me Malfoy?” She continues to whisper, anger coming through her every word. A harsh glare on her face.

“First off, you stupid bint, I’m not following you. Second.” He pauses and rips his arm out of her grasp. “I told you not to touch me.”

Hermione rolls her eyes. “Then what are you doing out here Malfoy?”

It was his turn to glare at her. “I don’t have to explain myself to you.” He snaps, not whispering. Hermione quickly takes a peak out of the alcove to where she came running from. Thankfully there was still no one there.

“Would you shut up! You’ll get us caught!” She snaps right back, her voice still low.

Before Malfoy has a chance for rebuttal, the voices Hermione heard finally arrive.

“Would you please stop asking me that Ron. I’ve already told you I don’t bloody well know!” It takes Hermione a second, but she does place the voice. Stupid Potter.

Hermione’s eyes roll skyward. Why in the name of Merlin are they here.

“But Harry!”

“Ron shut the-” Potter pauses.

He must be at the wall. Hermione shots a glare to Malfoy and places her finger against her lips. Please for once let this idiot listen.

The blonde almost as if he read her thoughts shots her another glare. But stays silent, crossing his arms and just watches. Hermione, having stopped paying attention to what the blonde was doing presses herself up against the wall again. This time though instead of staying still, she slowly walks along it. Peeking her head around the corner to watch what the dynamic duo was doing.

“Oh shit. Harry. What the bloody hell. Is that blood. Oh Merlin, I think the cat is dead.” Weasley starts to prattle on.

“Ron. Shut up for a minute and let me think!” Potter snips at him.

Hermione can’t help but raise a brow in surprise. Who knew Potter had that in him. Then she hears a loud snort behind her, that most certainly bounces off the walls. She quickly snaps her head to glare at Malfoy.

“I told you to be quiet!” Hermione hisses at him.

“Did you hear that Ron? Someone is here with us.” Potter pauses. “Well, come out! You’ve been caught.”

Well I did say I was going to get caught. Hermione thinks as she rolls her eyes skyward. Praying that she’ll be able to deal with all three idiots together. She walks out from her alcove, and she can’t help but let a small laugh leave her.

“Oh Potter and Weasley, put your wands away. You lot don’t even know how to use them properly.” Hermione draws out, as she flicks her hood down and shakes out her crazy hair. She feels a presence behind her and with a quick glance in her peripheral she concludes it’s only Malfoy, standing with his arms crossed.

Hermione turns her attention back to the dynamic duo. They still had their wands out but instead of pointing at her they were pointed towards the ground at their side. She sighs and crosses her arms deciding to let the two idiots in front of her to make the first move.

“Granger!? You did this?” Potter motions to the wall besides them. She’s still ignoring the message to her side, it makes her skin crawl and itch.

Hermione rolls her eyes and can’t help the small laugh either. “Oh, you’re an idiot Potter. Of course I didn’t do it. I would never harm a poor animal, that’s the epitome of an awful, dark depraved human being. On top of that, I don’t know what this chamber is.”

Weasley snorts and crosses his arms. “That’s what Slytherins are, Granger. Awful, dark and depraved. Though I wouldn’t use human to describe you.”

Hermione rolls her eyes. “No, Weasley, you’d just use mudblood wouldn’t you?” She sighs. “Just go away you two. Run along and tell your precious Headmaster why don’t you.”

“What about him?” Potter says with a glare towards Malfoy.

Hermione looks at her housemate, and before either one of them answers Weasley’s obnoxious voice cuts through.

“It’s obvious Harry. The precious princess won’t go anywhere without her beloved knight to back her up.”

“Ohhh little weasel has claws.” Malfoy finally drawls in. “Now Potter, what’s to say that it wasn’t you two that did this abhorred piece of art?”

Hermione stopped her smile from showing on her face at the looks of confusion that passed by Potter and Weasley’s faces. “Seems like we have to dumb down our vocabulary Malfoy.” She pauses and her eyes glance at the writing on the wall, then back to the dynamic duo. “Sadly though I have a feeling they didn’t do it either, because obviously if I don’t know something, they certainly won’t know it.”

Malfoy just stays quiet, and Potter cocks his head to the side. His eyes questioning but it quickly disappears as he turns back to Weasley.

“Come on Ron. Let’s just go.” He says and starts to pull on the red head’s robe. Weasley starts to protest but it stops before it even leaves his mouth and nods. The two quickly make a retreat and once they are out of eyesight Hermione turns back to the wall.

The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir, beware.

She frowns as she looks at the red writing. Her skin crawling as she reads it, the hairs on her arms standing up.

Enemies of the heir. What heir? The heir to what? There is certainly no heir for all of Hogwarts, that just seems highly improbable. How could there be an heir to a school? So it’s something to do with Hogwarts. Obviously whatever this Chamber is, it’s somehow tied to theheir. And it seems to be a big deal that it’s been opened. So the only conclusion is that it’s been sealed for quite some time now. So perhaps this Chamber is in the-

Hermione is taken out of her thoughts by a rough jab in her side. She whips her head around to glare at her apparent partner for the night.

“We need to go.” Was the only thing the blonde said before he turned around to start walking back to the dungeon.

Hermione started after the blonde for a few seconds, confusion clouding her face and thoughts. What in the world is wrong with this boy? Why the niceties? Hermione frowns but starts to walk back to the dungeons as well. She does have some research to do.

Hermione never turns back to look at the message written on the wall. If she did, she would have noticed the ghost of a girl staring after her.

Chapter Text

To say Hermione was annoyed would be a severely gross understatement. She was up way later than what she expected because on the way back to the dungeon they ended up getting spotted by a Slytherin prefect, as they snuck back in. Malfoy was of course left off with merely just a look, while she was stuck in a far too long lecture about protecting Slytherin’s image and some other nonsense that she was only listening with barely one ear open. Since she was late to bed, she woke up late and because of the time she woke up, she had to choose between either going to the library or going to breakfast. Hermione of course chose to go to the library. Only to have it stab her in the back with every book about this chamber being checked out. 

 

Stupid Potter, probably couldn’t keep his mouth shut about the wall. Hermione thinks moodily as she tredges to her first period class. She was not looking forward to it either, it was History of Magic and Professor Binns was just painfully boring . Sure she was probably the only student that was able to stay awake during class and would actively take notes on his many lectures. She just was not looking forward to having to stay awake and pay attention in class, if only she had some Pepper-Up Potion. 

 

That would put a pep in my step. Hermione thinks ironically, a smirk flashing on her face at the silly little joke. At least the classroom is close by. Hermione continues thinking to herself, then suddenly as if she did drink the Pepper-Up Potion she starts to walk faster. Maybe Professor Binns knows about the Chamber! 

 

~~

 

Hermione slids into the seat that Daphne left open for her and whispers a quick hi as she starts getting her supplies ready for the class. 

 

“Well miss always on time was almost late to class!” Daphne says, not bothering to whisper. Hermione’s only reply was to stick her tongue out causing Daphne to giggle. “Why’d you miss breakfast? You were in such a rush this morning I didn’t even get a proper good morning!” 

 

“I was trying to get some information on something called The Chamber of Secrets, but all the books on it where checked out.” Hermione says with an eye roll and a huff. Daphne nods but something flashes across her face, and then starts to dig into her knapsack. Hermione decides to ask her friend about it later. 

 

“Well I figured it was something crazy you were doing and you would undoubtedly miss breakfast because of it. So I brought you a few scones and an apple.” Daphne states as she pulls out a brown paper bag. 

 

Hermione sags into her seat, incredibly grateful to have a friend like Daphne. “Oh Daphne. You’re the best. What would I do without you?”

 

“Starve.” The two giggle. 

 

Hermione hurriedly shoves one of the scones in her mouth, internally wincing at the lack of manners, but the ghostly Professor was coming out and she needed to be ready for him to begin class so she can ask her question. After roll call, Professor Binns began.

 

“Today’s lecture is on the Medieval Assembly of European Wizards. ” He isn’t even finished with the sentence when Hermione’s hand shoots up. Everyone stares at her, including the Professor. Well he’s clearly never had a question in this class before. She thinks as she just continues waiting with her hand in the air. 

 

After a few moments he finally acknowledges the hand up. “Yes Miss…” He pauses, he also clearly does not pay attention to roll call. Hermione thinks as he takes his time to remember her last name. “Grant.” Well, that’s a little insulting. Especially since I’m probably his best student.

 

“It’s actually Granger. But I was wondering if you could tell us anything about the Chamber of Secrets?”

 

Professor Binns stares at Hermione for a minute before he answers. Everyone in his class suddenly interested in what he has to say. “The story goes that Slytherin had built a hidden chamber in the castle, of which the other founders knew nothing. Slytherin, according to the legend, sealed the Chamber of Secrets so that none would be able to open it until his own true heir arrived at the school. The heir alone would be able to unseal the Chamber of Secrets, unleash the horror within, and use it to purge the school of all who were unworthy to study magic.” He pauses in his talk and adjusts his glasses, clearly not used to his class actually paying attention to him. “This is of course all a myth.” He pauses again. “Please remember students, I deal with facts, not silly myths and legends. I will not hear anymore of this Chamber.” He turns back to his papers on the Medieval Assembly, and clears his throat. With that, the class began. 

 

Hermione frowns as she stares down at her empty parchment. So the heir is a descendant of Salazar Slytherin. I wonder if I would be able to trace his ancestry somehow. She pauses her thoughts and thinks back to the writing on the wall. The Professors seem too… On edge, I believe is the word I’m looking for. This can’t have been the first time this Chamber has been opened. There has to be something somewhere that tells the history of this supposed ‘non-existent’ chamber. She pauses again, and looks at Daphne through her peripheral. I think she knows something that she doesn’t really want to share. With that train of thought she purses her lips and does something in class she usually never does. She completely ignores the lecturing Professor, and starts writing theories on her empty parchment. Trying to crack this code on the mysterious Chamber of Secrets. 

 

~~~

 

Hermione checked her watch as she knocked on the door to the potions room. Good only 5 minutes early. Hopefully Professor Snape won’t complain. She thinks as she adjusts the strap to her pack. Anxious to finally begin her potions work with the potions Master.  

 

“You’re early Ms Granger.” Professor Snape says as he opens the door. 

 

Or not. “Sorry Professor.” She says as she walks into the classroom behind her professor. The two walk to the front of the classroom. 

 

Professor Snape walks to his desk fiddling with something while Hermione places her stuff on the desk in front of his. Hermione starts to pull out her quills, ink pot, and blank pieces of parchment. With her note taking instruments out and placed, Hermione walks to the closet where the cauldrons are stored. But before she can even open the door the Professor stops her. 

 

“You won’t be needing the cauldron.” Professor Snape’s voice cuts through the silence. 

 

“Oh, yes sir.” She walks back to her desk, and takes a seat. 

 

“For your advanced potions work this year we will be working on your preparations of ingredients, as well as talking about a few advanced potions, depending on your skill and ability to listen you will be brewing at least one of these potions, if not multiple.” He says and the blackboard behind him flips over to reveal what she was to be working on. 

 

She quickly writes out the 5 ingredients listed and the 5 potions she was to be learning about. 

 

Felix Felicis, Polyjuice Potion, Draught of Living Death, Draught of Peace and Calming Draught. Finally some interesting potions. She thinks to herself as she finished up writing the list, with that done she looks back up at the Professor. 

 

“For some of these potions you’ll have to get access to the potion book Moste Potente Potions, which is housed in the restricted section of the library.” Professor Snape bores into Hermione’s eyes. “You are being trusted to take out this book. Do not ruin this trust Ms Granger.” 

 

Hermione enthusiastically nods her head. “Of course not Professor.” 

 

He hums, but doesn’t say anything else on that matter. “You will receive a slip from me granting permission to take the book out. As for the ingredients, you are to handle them as I tell you, do with them as I tell you, and execute them as I tell you.” He pauses and stares at her again. “Do I make myself clear Ms Granger?” 

 

“Of course Professor.” 

 

“I want a foot essay on all the ingredients listed and their uses. Each ingredient gets its own essay. As for the potions, I expect a three foot essay on each potion, their intended uses, the ingredients on each one, why they are so important for the potion itself and also why the potioneer constructed it the way they did.” 

 

Hermione diligently writes the instructions as the Professor talks. Excitement coursing through her, this is what she wanted. Actual intelligent work to keep her mind going. This was going to be so much fun! They were momentarily interrupted by Professor McGonagall walking into the room after a swift knock to the closed potions door. 

 

“When you have a moment Professor, it is a bit urgent.” She says in a forced calm manner. 

 

“Now with that, it seems I have ran out of time today. You are dismissed.” He says and he billows towards the awaiting Professor. 

 

~~~~~

 

Hermione flops onto her bed, exhausted after the day. She really is almost useless if she doesn’t get enough sleep. Bitting her lip she stares up at her canopy top and sighs. 

 

“Hermione!” She hears Daphne yell, causing her to bolt up. Adrenaline rushing through her like hot lava. “Hermione!” Her friend yells once more as she throws open the door to the dormitory. Hermione stands up from her bed. 

 

“Daphne? Daphne, what is it? I’m right here.” Hermione meets the blonde half way inside the room and before she knows it she’s wrapped up in a hug, having the breath squeezed out of her. “Daphne?”

 

“A student was found petrified, a muggleborn and they haven’t said who it was yet, and..” 

 

Hermione hugs her friend back. “It’s ok. I’m right here Daphne.” 

 

Daphne pulls away from the hug slightly. “Hermione I was so worried. I just thought…” she pauses. “I’m so glad you’re ok.” 

 

“I’m fine Daphne. You don’t have to worry.” 

 

Daphne shakes her head. “You can’t be walking alone while whatever this is is roaming the halls. It targets muggleborns specifically.” 

 

“Daphne, that’s a little extreme…” Hermione is interrupted with a rough head shake from Daphne. 

 

“Please! Just do this for me.”

 

“Daphne-”

 

“Please.” 

 

Hermione sighs but nods. Only agreeing to it because it seemed to be so important for the blonde. Daphne smiles shakily at her and pulls her in for another hug, somehow being held tighter than before. Hermione rolls her eyes skyward but can’t help the fond smile that spreads across her face as she hugs her friend back. Once again thankful for the blonde. 

 

When they finally part Hermione drags Daphne to her bed and makes her sit down. “How would I go about tracing Slytherin’s bloodline?” Hermione asks her while settling onto her bed, right across from Daphne. 

 

Daphne tilts her head, brows furrowed as she thinks. “Why would you want to do that?” 

 

“I want to figure out who this heir is of his.” 

 

“Why?”

 

“Because if I find that out then I should be able to figure out how he’s petrifying animals.” Hermione pauses. “And now people.” Hermione bites at her lip, as her mind races. “I wonder if he wants to be petrifying his victims actually.” 

 

Daphne starts to give Hermione an ‘are you serious’ look. “You can be such a Gryffindor sometimes.” 

 

Hermione gasps, her hand going to her heart. “You don’t need to be so cruel. ” The two giggle. “But why do you say that?” 

 

“You have to stick your nose into everything weird that goes on in this school!” 

 

Hermione pouts. “I don’t like mysteries Daphne, if there is something that could be learned I want to know it.” 

 

Daphne gives her a full body sigh. “You’re such a know-it-all.” She pauses. “But at least you’re my know-it-all.” Daphne doesn’t talk for a minute, and Hermione could almost hear the gears working in her friend’s brain. It wasn’t long until her blue eyes lit up and a smile graced her lips. “ I personally don’t know how we can trace Slytherin’s roots, but I know someone who does.” Daphne gets up and walks over to her trunk and starts to riffle through it. While she’s doing that Hermione goes to her trunk as well.

 

She was immensely disappointed in herself last year when she didn’t bring a journal with her to document everything. Granted she did document everything she could on extra pieces of parchment that she had but it just wasn’t the same, especially when the memory wasn’t fresh. Digging through her trunk she grasped the leather bound journal, briefly wondering if she’d be able to continue to expand the journal should she run out of room. 

 

I should look into that. I’m sure there’s a spell, if not maybe I could attempt to redesign a spell so that way I can use it the way I want too… I wonder if Professor Snape would be willing to answer any questions I might have as to how I could redesign a spell - 

 

“Hermione!” Daphne yelled very close to Hermione’s ear breaking her out of her thoughts. 

 

“Ack! What!?” Hermione glares at Daphne holding her ringing ear. 

 

Daphne pouts as she settles on Hermione’s bed. “You were too busy thinking to listen to me talk!” 

 

Hermione rolls her eyes. “Well excuse me. So what was it that you were saying?” 

 

Daphne clears her throat. “Like I said, I know someone who does know how we can trace Slytherin’s roots. Or where we could even find his lineage.” Hermione nods and decides to just get comfortable on the floor in front of her trunk. “Mrs. Malfoy.” Daphne says as she leans in almost like it’s a conspiracy. 

 

Hermione raises a brow and doesn’t even need to voice her concern before Daphne’s waving it off. “Of course she’ll help us. It’s actually one of her hobbies. The Malfoys’ have been around for generations, so of course you would think there was at least a family tapestry somewhere in the home. But when Mrs Malfoy married into the family and learned that there actually wasn’t a family tapestry she took it upon herself to start researching and reading old Malfoy journals. Piece by piece she was able to trace the family lineage all the way up to the first, the very first, Malfoy that came to Great Britain from France. And then she made a tapestry of it.” Daphne was almost bouncing, she seemed so excited. Hermione grinned at her friend, the excitement contagious. 

 

“She certainly seems like the perfect source!” 

 

Daphne nods her head. “I thought so too!” She pauses. “What else are you thinking?” 

 

Hermione blinks, lost. “What do you mean?”

 

Causing Daphne to roll her eyes. “About the Chamber. That’s not the only thing you’re curious about.” 

 

Hermione grins. “You’re right.”

 

“Obviously.” 

 

“The Professors seem too on edge for this to be the first time. Especially Dumbledore, so there has to be history of this ‘non-existent’ chamber. And I’m going to make the assumption that it’s not good. At all.” Daphne nods, to show that she’s listening. “So I need to find out the history of this chamber, and maybe with the history of it I’ll be able to deduce what exactly this creature is.” Hermione pauses. “And how if possible to stop it.” Hermione watches Daphne’s expression carefully, noticing the slight shift in the way she was holding herself. 

 

The two are silent for a minute. 

 

“What is it Daphne?” Hermione asks, knowing there is something bothering the blonde. 

 

Daphne does another full body sigh, this one though seemed reluctant. “You’re right about it not being the first time. It’s actually been opened quite a few times.” Hermione locks eyes with Daphne. “The most recent time was back in 1942-1943, multiple students were petrified, but one.” Daphne pauses. “One was killed, a girl. It actually almost caused the school to be shut down.” 

 

Hermione frowns. “Killed? Why was only one student killed?” 

 

Daphne shrugs. “I don’t really know, I only know what my mother told me.” 

 

Hermione continues to frown. “So then.” She pauses, trying to get her thoughts in order. “ Is the petrification an accident?” She asks, mostly to herself. Knowing Daphne doesn’t have the answers she needs. 

 

Daphne shrugs anyway. “It’s why I want you to be really careful Hermione. I don’t want to lose you.” 

 

Hermione stands from her seated position on the floor, and grasps Daphne’s hand. “You’re not going to lose me Daphne. I promise.” 

 

“Pinky promise?” Daphne asks, her voice small as she held up her pinky. 

 

“Pinky promise.” Hermione says as she hooks Daphne’s pinky with her own.

Chapter Text

Hermione sat on her bed, lost in thought. Daphne went down to the common room after their promise. Saying she felt better with the silly little pinky promise and that she needed to talk to Pansy about something or another. Hermione didn’t catch what exactly it was that she said but she let the blonde go. Understanding the need to getaway.  

 

She feels a little bad for assuming Daphne was trying to hide something from her. While she sort of was, Hermione realized that it was the concern Daphne was feeling for Hermione that she didn’t want her to see. Hermione sighs to herself and flops her torso down onto her bed, letting herself bask in the self-loathing she was feeling for a few minutes. 

 

When her few minutes were up, Hermione stands up from the bed and goes back to her trunk. Kneeling in front of the still open lid she grabs for her journal. With the journal in hand, she’s about to shut the lid tight when she notices something red in her peripherals. Looking down at what it was, she brings a palm up to her forehead and slaps it. 

 

Staring up at her is a red bound book, a golden school crest in the middle of the hardcover with a golden border around the edges and decorative fleurs on the four corners. It was her favorite book and one she doesn’t even remember packing, thinking her school load was too much to bring it along. But apparently, her subconscious felt otherwise. 

 

Hogwarts: A History. I could have saved myself such a headache if I just looked in here sooner! She thought with another smack to the forehead. She gathered her favorite book, her journal and loose pieces of parchment then stood up to spread out on her bed. Hermione puts her journal down on the bed and places her loose parchment on top of it, she settles on her bed sitting with her legs crossed and her book in her lap. 

 

Quickly flipping through the book, she lands on the small blurb on the Chamber. Scanning through the words, she groans when she realizes there isn’t really any new information available to her. Flopping down on her bed, she stares up at her canopy. 

 

It is a very unfortunate thing when even your favorite book lets you down. Hermione lets out a full-body sigh. I’ll have to go to the library tomorrow to see if I can’t find books on animals that petrify their prey. Too bad it isn’t Medusa, that would be truly interesting. But I have a feeling Greek mythology coming back to life would be a little too much even for the wizarding community. Hermione pauses in her thoughts and sits up. Grabbing her journal and her loose parchment paper, she leans over to her nightstand and rummages through it for her self-inking quill. It’s a little ragged looking, so she never uses it outside of her dorm room. 

 

“Appearances no matter how small, are important, you must remember that Hermione. You never know who is watching.” Her mother once told her, she can’t remember exactly why it was that her mother had told her that. But it was something Hermione held on to. Especially when she first started at her muggle private school. Everyone looked at her with noses up and sneers on their faces when they caught sight of the new girl with the crazy curls. The looks slowly stopped when they saw that she was on the same level as they were with her materials. The whispers about her hair and intelligence though never did stop. 

 

Shaking her head away from where her thoughts were going she goes back to thinking about the monster running amok in her school. She starts to tap the end of her quill on her parchment. 

 

What do I know so far? She thinks, and writes down that thought at the top of her page, underlining it for good measure. It’s some sort of creature, Salazaar Slytherin was its master and only the true heir can call to it. Or control it. It can inadvertently petrify someone. Slytherin wanted to get rid of muggleborn and half-blood students, students that he felt didn’t deserve to be in the school or to have magic period. What word was used? Hermione pauses. That’s right, purge. He wanted to purge the school of muggleborn and half-blood students. 

 

Hermione scrunches her face in thought. The school was founded around 990 A.D. Hmm, weren’t muggles killing others because of the fear of magic? Logically you can’t really blame Slytherin for being wary and not wanting to include children that came from non-magical families, the risks than were huge. Hermione bites her lip. Obviously, times have changed now, there are safety precautions and spells now that almost eliminate all risks. So to have that viewpoint now is just primitive, and not to mention annoying. 

 

Hermione shakes her head again. Ok, focus. The monster of Slytherin, I’m going to conclude that the monster is actually supposed to kill its victims. Slytherin doesn’t seem like the type of guy to be… lenient on anyone. Especially those whom he didn’t like. I know certainly that I wouldn’t be. While killing should always be a last resort, if I perceive someone as a threat then… well. Ok, right. Focus Hermione. The monster is supposed to kill its victims, not petrify them. So then why are the victims being petrified? Hermione starts to tap her quill on her parchment again. 

 

What do I remember about Mrs. Norris’s crime scene? She bites her lip. There didn’t seem to be anything amiss. Her mind goes quiet as she dredges up the memories from that night. She replays what she deems important. Maybe Mrs. Norris wasn’t petrified there, perhaps she was moved. She was basically tied to the torch sconce by her tail. Hermione sighs. I’m going to have to revisit this. Maybe I can get into the infirmary to see the newest petrified victim. See if that helps at all. 

 

Hermione stretches her arms up and arches her back with it, sighing in relief as the tension leaves her back. Ok, time to take a break. Hermione stands up and stretches some more. Maybe I’ll see what Daphne is doing now. I’ll do my advanced potion homework later. Hermione winces slightly, suddenly realizing her head was pounding. Definitely, need to take a break. She thinks as she makes her way to exit the dorm room. 

 

~~~~

 

“Pansy, I’ve already told you to drop it! We aren’t doing it!” Daphne’s voice snaps, echoing in the suddenly quiet common room. “What?” Daphne snaps again to the quiet common room and suddenly it’s bursting with life again. Hermione frowns as she ascends up the steps and finally enters into the common room. Her eyes immediately finding her best friend, she walks towards her and doesn’t spare Parkinson a glance as she fumes past her knocking into Hermione on purpose. 

 

“Watch yourself you stupid mudblood.” She seethes and Hermione rolls her eyes, ignoring the actual idiot. Hermione sits beside Daphne, smiling slightly at Nott and Zabini and ignoring Malfoy. 

 

“What was that all about?” Hermione asks, her eyes going to Daphne. Daphne waves her hand as if she was dismissing a smell. 

 

“She just refuses to leave some traditions, traditions that haven’t been enacted in centuries, alone.” Daphne huffs. “She just likes attention on her all the time, and sometimes I just can’t deal with it when she doesn’t listen.”

 

“Right.” Hermione says, knowing something isn’t being said but she just decides it’s best to ignore it for now. The group of 2nd years lapses into a silence that lasts for a few minutes before Zabini decides to break it. 

 

“Granger, I hate to ask. But do you think you could help me with the charm’s homework? I’m having an issue writing about the memory charm.” 

 

Hermione turns her attention towards where Zabini was sitting only now just seeing that he had a book in front of him with balled up parchment littering the floor. A quill was also in his hand and more parchment was in front of him. 

 

“Of course Zabini.” Quickly looking around the common room, she sees that there is a table with a couple of chairs that is currently not occupied. “Let’s move to the table over there so it’s more conducive to your writing.” 

 

Zabini’s tense shoulders immediately relax. “Thanks, Granger.” He shoves his parchment into his book and stands up, ignoring the pieces on the floor. Hermione frowns, a little annoyed at the mess he’s leaving behind but decides to leave it. It’s not a battle she needs to fight. 

 

“Oi! Wait for me, I need help too!” Nott says as he bolts from the chair he was in and towards the entrance to the boys’ dormitory. Hermione walks over to the table and sits down, Zabini taking the seat across from her. Nott reemerging and joining the duo. 

 

“Well, now I feel left out!” Daphne says as she stands beside them her hands on her hips. Hermione smiles at her. 

 

“Well, go get your homework and join us. I’m sure we can make room for you.” Hermione says through her smile. Daphne smiles back and flounces to the girls’ dormitory. Hermione makes the boys squish together more as she moves the chair farther away from the table. Making sure that when Daphne comes back she’ll have enough room to work as well. After the trio gets situated again, Daphne comes back with her supplies as well. 

 

“So, how would you guys like to do this?” Hermione asks her head tilted to the side. 

 

“Could you just go through it all?” Zabini sheepishly said. 

 

Hermione nods and looks to Daphne. “Would you mind if I use your book?” 

 

Daphne shakes her head. “I’ll read over Theo’s shoulder.” She says with a slightly evil grin. Nott sends a glare at Daphne but doesn’t say anything as he moves the book in between the two. Clearly not a fan of someone looking over his shoulder. Hermione thinks but doesn’t acknowledge it as she grabs the charm book. Briefly, she scans the chapter, even though she already has it memorized, she just doesn’t want it to seem like she’s not taking their asking for help seriously. 

 

With her scanning done, she hands the book back to Daphne. Daphne, in turn, looks at her, confusion clear in her eyes. “That’s it?” 

 

“Yes.” Hermione decides not to elaborate, instead, she goes right into talking about the memory charm. Hermione talks about the memory charm, pausing every so often to make sure the small group is following along. She can’t help the blush that spreads to her cheeks when she notices that they are actually taking notes on what she’s saying. Hermione makes sure to answer questions as they pop up, and even decides to start asking them questions as to what she’s already talked about so far. 

 

“Wow, Granger. How in the world can you remember so much about one single charm?” Zabini ends up asking out of the blue, completely stopping Hermione’s small monologue on the difference between the memory erase charm and the false memory charm. 

 

Hermione stares at him for a moment, trying to gauge if he’s being sincere or subtly making fun of her. Realizing he’s asking an honest question, she answers. “It’s mostly due to my study habits, but it also helps that I have a photographic memory.” Seeing the looks of confusion, she elaborates. “I have an easier time recalling information that I’ve read from books, or that I’ve heard from word of mouth. But that really only got me so far, if I didn’t study or read as much as I do, I wouldn’t be able to recall half of what I do.” The three next to her just stare at her, making Hermione shift slightly. “What?”

 

Daphne shakes out of the stupor first. “It’s just really impressive Hermione.” Daphne smiles and places her hand on top of Hermione’s. “That’s all. We’ve, well I’ve never heard of something like that before, didn’t know something like that existed.” 

 

Hermione nods and looks at the other two boys. Zabini shrugs. “What Daphne said.”

 

Nott nods his head. “Agreed.” 

 

Hermione stares at the trio for a moment more, ignoring the heat on her face. “Anyway. Iussoiate (ee-Oh-ss-ee-ate) is the false memory charm, Obliviate is the charm that erases specific memories from the intended target. The only true way to tell the two spells apart is just by the incantation. The wand movements are almost exactly the same.” Hermione demonstrates the wand movements for each spell, then puts her wand back away. “ Obliviate is, of course, the charm that the homework is on.” She says and goes back into talking about the memory charm that they needed to know about. 

 

After helping the trio with their charms homework, Hermione decides it’s time for her to start getting ready for bed. Tomorrow will be here before she knows it, excusing herself from the trio and saying goodnight she makes her way to the dorm room. Intent on gathering her showering supplies, she’s always preferred showing at night before bed. If she had to think about a reason why she did, it would probably stem from her dance practice. She always practiced after dinner and a majority of the time she worked up quite a sweat that would simply require her to shower. Eventually, she just ended up adopting it into her routine, even when she didn’t have a practice so it just kind of stuck.

 

Walking into the bathroom, she walks into one of the three shower stalls and places her bathing supplies on the ledge. With a flick of her wand, she starts the water going. Making sure the curtain behind her was fully closed she begins to undress. With that task done, she steps into the warm spray. Going through her routine, her mind starts to wander. 

 

I really should have done Professor Snape’s assignment today. I already feel so far behind even though our lessons only just started. It’s really exciting though that he gave me permission to take out a restricted section book. It is an amazing opportunity to work with such an accomplished Potion Master. She pauses in her thoughts as she thinks back to their brief lesson today. He seemed very adamant that I follow his instructions when it comes to preparing the potion ingredients. He already knows that I follow the book to a T. So why would he stress something like that. I guess it doesn’t really matter right now. But I really do need to get to work on that assignment tomorrow. It’s already eating me up that I haven’t even written the first draft yet! Hermione stops her thoughts as she turns off the water with a flick of her wand. Quickly drying her body off, she steps into her pajamas.


Tomorrow I’ll get the book from the library, start my assignment and hopefully find an empty classroom that I can practice in, both for my dance and my spells. Professor Lockhart doesn’t seem to want to teach us anything… which is rather disheartening. He’s supposed to be so accomplished and so talented, but he’s just… not living up to the expectations that I had. Perhaps he just needs more time to get acclimated to a classroom setting. Hermione pauses in her thoughts. I really hope that’s it. She thinks with a frown as she slips under her covers.