When Harry sees Cho, he stares at her face, a little at her body, at her everything, and she's really cool too - he'd really, really like to be friends with her because she's a brilliant seeker and a freaking nice person, or at least so he's seen, because she doesn't seem to fall over with hatred or envy or whatever when she sees him.
And that's... also kind of novel. A lot of people do. A lot. It's more worrying than anything, and he mostly tries to ignore it.
So when Hermione looks at him with that expression that says you've got a crush yet are being deliberately obtuse about your own feelings... again Harry figures she's right. Hermione normally is, anyway. Because yeah, Cho's really pretty. Like, really. Gorgeous even. And, as he's said - she's cool. He'd really like to - well. He's not sure. He'd like to kiss her, he'd also like to talk Quidditch. That's not very romantic.. those movies Aunt Petunia watches don't usually have people talk about sports. Or much of anything. It's all pretty sappy, really, and - it just seems odd. People don't talk like that, surely? Harry doubts his Aunt and Uncle are great examples, and since they do that stuff, call each other weird things like 'pet' and... other things, he figures most people aren't like that. Their version of normal isn't quite most people's version of such.
Regardless - Harry's not as obtuse as Hermione likes to think, though. He knows he's got some - leanings that are different than most of the people around him. He knows Hermione doesn't look at other girls the same way he thinks about other guys, sometimes. The Dursleys were pretty open about how that's not exactly normal behaviour, at least in their version of normal. Harry's pretty glad not to be in that version of normal, even if he wishes he could be in at least one. He just never wants to be their definition of normal, since that apparently includes treating people... just, horribly. Based on things they can't control.
Anyway. He knows he's got certain - leanings. Not exactly like 'the homosexuals' (Uncle Vernon had called them other things, but they sounded - they had a similar intent to what he said about people that look like Hermione's mum, or Lavender, or Lee, or Dean, so Harry's never using them) that his Uncle complained about - whenever he wasn't complaining about other things, like Harry, or what people thought of Dudley, or motorbikes, or the youths, or the current government, or some of the new people at his workplace - but sort-of.
But still. Harry would never admit any of this aloud - because he's not stupid. The Dursleys aren't a good example of people's general opinions on things - rather, the extreme side of humanity - but Harry was always kind of in the background, in Little Whinging. And he heard things because people would rather pretend he didn't exist than acknowledge his presence, so they carried on with private conversations. Harry had never wanted them to see him anyway because they'd likely gossip about him wandering the streets, and then the Dursleys would never let him out of the house.
Maybe it was accidental magic, Harry mused. That let him go unnoticed, if not unseen.
"Harry." Hermione lightly thwacked his arm. "Stop staring."
Ron snorted into his plate of mashed potatoes and steak. Hermione scowled at him and upended a spoon of broccoli onto the mess, and he glowered at her in return. It was late, early evening. The tea time feast was all set out along the four house tables and the teacher's one; the three of them were there among the rest of the Gryffindor students.
"Sorry," Harry mumbled into his suet pudding. "Just thinking. Didn't notice."
Ron snorted slightly louder, which drew some of their yearmates' attention. Hermione glared them all into submission. Cowed, they returned to their own meals and conversations - Harry eyed Lavender and Parvati, two known and notorious gossips, until he was certain they were no longer paying attention.
"Honestly Harry," Hermione said, sighing.
Yeah. Harry would like himself to get a grip, too.
(Being fourteen kind of sucked. And not in a good way.
... Ugh. See previous thought.)
Harry kind of figures out a 'crush' meant more than just thinking someone was really, really, really pretty after a few weeks.
They've only been at school a short time, so far. The tournament is an interesting distraction from school-work and the interpersonal drama teenagers are known for, but in the end, it really only fuels the latter's fire.
"Who d'you think's going to throw in their lot?" Ron asks. The five of them - the fourth year Gryffindor boys - were sitting in various places around the dorm. Dean was on his bed, working on some art thing or something, leaning against the headboard. Seamus was on his back and upside down, leaning off the end of his bed, letting the blood rush to his head and then sitting up again, waiting, and repeating the action like a complete lunatic, but then - that's Seamus. Harry's pretty sure he got that rum thing working at some point, though not without more explosions. And Neville - he's at the window ledge tending to a plant; some kind of extra work he's doing for Professor Sprout. He's good enough at that sort of thing for Harry to not worry too much, though the plant is... pretty gross. And apparently likes human blood. Great.
Harry's keeping away from the window. For no related reason.
(Muggle gardening is just - so much easier. And less life-threatening. Begonias don't want to eat you. Marigolds don't want to maim you, and Petunias - unlike his Aunt - don't want to strangle you to death.)
"Bets on your brothers tryin' their damndest even tho' the age line's up and runnin'," Seamus - slurrs, yep, got the rum spell working at some point. Harry kind of wonders where he keeps it all, for no particular reason.
"Obviously," Ron rolls his eyes.
"That's a fool's bet," Dean agrees. "Hey, maybe one of the chasers? Angelina - or is it... Alicia, they're about the right age."
"Maybe," Harry agrees. Alicia Spinnet and Angelina Johnson were great chasers, sure, but he had no idea if they'd be any good at the tournament unless it included flying a broom. But then, Harry doesn't know them all that well outside of the field, he concedes. They could be really, really good at that sort of stuff.
"Diggory seems like he might want to throw in his lot," Seamus adds. Lavender and Parvati might be notorious gossips, but Seamus always seems to know things before even they do. There's also apparently a secret gobstones-based gambling ring around the school, somewhere, but all Seamus does is wink and return to the dorm with sickles and chocolate frogs to spare. He probably pays them in rum, since Harry's pretty sure he spends all the winnings as quickly as is possible, and he can get the rum whenever if he made that spell work. Or he found one, instead of trying to make one up in English rhyme.
"What about the Ravenclaws?" Ron asks. "Any of them, d'you think, Seamus?"
"Maybe," Seamus says. "One or two of them have seemed interested during our matches. At least, they're very distracted. Means more money and chocolate for me, so no complaints here."
Dean grins at his drawing (or whatever) at that.
There's knocking at the door.
"Tell your girlfriend to fuck off, would ya kindly, Ronald?" Seamus asks, sweet as sugar. Ron throws a pillow at him and gets up, irritable all of a sudden, then goes to the door and opens it.
As expected - Hermione. At least she knocked, this time. Rather optimistically, Harry hopes that becomes a habit.
Hary waves half-heartedly. He's a bit tired, but not really ready to sleep. He's had this same weird dream a lot, recently - an old man, an old house, and a green light. Harry shivers at the reminder and returns his attention to his friends. Sort of.
"You left this," Hermione unceremoniously tosses a sack to Seamus, who squawks and nearly falls of the bed as he attempts to catch the small bag, as she talks - "in the common room." She narrows her eyes at all of them. "You're lucky I found it, and not someone with more of a tendency towards keeping things not theirs," She says, imperiously. "Also - Ron - here," She hands him a roll of parchment. "You need to redo the vast majority, but the opening only needs a few tweaks. I've outlined the necessary grammar issues in blue, and the other things in red, but you are going to have to read a book to get the information," she says. "And Harry?"
Harry glances at her. "Yeah?" He asks, preoccupied with his memory of the dream. It didn't really feel like a dream, but what else could it be?
"Your History Of Magic essay needs to be just - completely scrapped," She sighs. "I can help you with an outline - did you lose your notes or something?"
"Maybe," Harry says, cagily, "Maybe I never wrote them."
Seamus snorts. Hermione gives him a withering look, and snaps, "Well, if you think it's so funny, how about I have a look at your essay?"
Seamus pales drastically. "Oh no, Granger," He says, "No, it's fine. I get marks I'm happy with."
"That makes one of us." She says, stiffly. "If you're happy with them that must mean you get full marks, yes?"
"Er - no," Seamus says. "Sometimes, we admit defeat on a subject, Granger. Isn't that what you did with Divination?"
Hermione, with no comeback to give, throws a pen - a muggle ball-point pen she had in her hand along with the rolls of parchment, one with a red lid and end so Harry figures that's the ink's colour - at him, then turns around and shuts the door behind herself.
"At least she can't aim for shit," Seamus says, eying the pen that was lying on top of the room's heater... thing. The big old Victorian looking contraption in the center of the room.
Why do they even have that, this is a magic school.
"I wouldn't say that," Dean says, and Seamus sighs, "True," He says. "She's much better with a wand."
Dean snorts, and Neville's lips quirk up at the corner.
Yeah. Innuendo. It's only not kinda funny to Harry because it's regarding Hermione. That's just - weird to think about.
There's no Quidditch this year, but they'll be damned if Oliver will let them slack even though that's the case.
"Up! Up and at 'em!" Oliver says, drawing the curtains and snatching his hand away before Neville's 'sweet child' of a man-eating plant can take hold of his hand and leave him a bloodless corpse.
"Oliver," Seamus says, plainly, voice muffled by his pillow, "If you're here for Harry, he's over there, there's no need to wake the rest of us up at - uh, Tempus -" He reaches for his wand and grouchily says - "Oh, great, yeah, six a.m."
Ron groans and flops back down onto his bed, and pulls the duvet over his head. "Nope." Harry just about hears, and completely, utterly, unequivocally, agrees with that sentiment.
"There's no Quidditch this year," Harry grumbles into his pillow. "Why even bother?" He sort of whines, and ignores how his voice cracks in the middle of the sentence.
Oh great. Wonderful. That again. He thought that was done with last year, but nope.
No such luck.
"There's no -" Oliver stands there, his face contorting. Oh. Right. Harry reminded him.
"I am aware," Oliver says, tightly, jaw locked and eyes narrowed - "That official games have been canceled. But that does not mean we should let up on our training, Harry."
"But it's Saturday," Harry complains. "Just -" Harry tiredly flapped his hand in the direction of the door. "Go. Wait until a more -" He yawns, and in his opinion, rather proves his point - "reasonable time, please."
Oliver narrows his eyes more, then sighs.
"Am I the only one that cares?" He asks apparently no-one, as he leaves while he says it.
"To that extent, a vehement yes," Seamus groans into his pillow, then spells his canopy shut.
Harry flops back onto his pillows after he gets up and closes the door that Oliver left open. He sighs, as he stares up at his canopy.
He had the weird dream again.
"Go the fuck back to sleep, Potter," Seamus grouses like he somehow knows Harry's about to just not bother doing that and get up, get ready and leave the dorm. Hermione - knowing her - is probably awake, after all, and Oliver does have a point about keeping up with flying even if the matches aren't on.
He probably knows from four years of experience. Hmm.
Alright, sure. Whatever. Harry spells his curtains shut, and tries to get a few more hours sleep.
(He didn't have a good rest last night, anyway. What with the weird dream.)
He doesn't get out of flying on Sunday - but it's a nice day and Oliver waits until a more reasonable two o'clock in the afternoon, so Harry rather enjoys himself. The twins badger Oliver into being less strict about the whole thing, though they still do general exercise, which is always kinda dull.
After that, though, it's a random impromptu Quidditch match. Because there isn't anything official on, and really, that would probably make Oliver go hide in the showers like he did when the Dementors attacked the game last year and they lost again, so... it's better for everyone (and Percy, who, the largest surprise of the year, was the person who arranged this... Harry hadn't realised he was in the same year as Oliver and - whoa. Living with Oliver year-round for seven years? No wonder Percy is... Percy) if they do some form of flying-related activity.
And, it turns out, when there aren't house points on the line, the whole thing is way less tense. Harry enjoys that match immensely - this, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that Cho (and Cedric) showed up part way through to join in. At which point, of course, Seamus, who had appeared out of nowhere as the teen tended to do, along with Fred and George and Lee, started up a betting pool on which of the three would win.
(There are no Slytherins there. Harry's rather glad since that means no Malfoy, who would not have passed up the chance to attempt to show off - and then immediately try and get them in trouble when he lost.)
Harry might get - distracted, once or twice, while that particular seeker's match is on, but... well, he's not the only one; Cho and Cedric are dating, after all. And anyway, they're too high up enough for anyone to really notice, and Harry's good enough at what he's doing to catch the snitch anyway - if the other two are distracted by each other when he grabs it, well, that's just unlucky timing on their part, and he wasn't looking out for it at all.
Harry had been kind of embarrassed when he found that the betting pool considered betting on him winning a low risk (so therefore low reward) but Cho had smiled at him, Cedric had said "Good match," In that genuine, casual cheer of his, and alright then. Hermione, when he catches her eye, stops eying him speculatively - and oh lord, if she finds out, he'll never hear the end of it.
Nope. No thank you.
(Harry's kind of a goner, but he already knew that. Hermione figures everything out, in the end, after all.)
Harry finishes his HOM essay about an hour before it's due, at about eight in the morning. Hermione chews him out all the way to the lesson, and he neglects to tell her he hadn't started it until three hours before. She doesn't need to know, anyway, and Harry's never much cared about History of Magic. Neither has Ron, who, with his own complaining and specific phrasing - "it's a bloody waste of time, 'Mione, we did all this shit last year, and the year before that, Binns says the same stuff for every year, even Percy agrees there's no point and he's Percy-" - distracts her enough so that Harry can slip into the classroom due to the fact that her laser-sharp focus is directed elsewhere.
When the two enter, along with the rest of the class who hadn't already gone in and started napping on the desks or reading or in Dean's case, frantically finishing up a potions essay - Hermione stalks over to one of the Hufflepuff girls who blinks at her, then gains a sympathetic look and moves her bag so Hermione can sit down.
"What'd you say this time?" Harry asked as Ron sat in the desk next to him.
"No idea." Ron groans, as he pulls out one of his worn copies of that mad muggle comic Hermione eyes with distaste every time she sees it. Entirely, Harry thinks, because Ron will read this but not their textbooks.
He doesn't say anything about it, because that would spark an argument between the two, and honestly, he can't be bothered to listen to another one - they have at least one every day, anyway - but, but... it's easier to read a comic book (which isn't simply dry text but has pictures and other things and looks nice and appealing and it's short and stuff, whereas their textbooks go on random tangents and use the weirdest words and half the time don't make sense unless you read about five other books and a dictionary is at your side at all times) than a textbook.
Plus, these comic books are a little different to muggle ones - that's obvious. The pictures move, the text responds to how you want it - large, small, formatted a certain way, on a specific colour background, with a specific colour text, a certain font, even, though they all do look like something a quill could make - so it's just... nicer. Easier. The textbooks are so... dull. And the font is the worst. Half of them look handwritten. And not in a nice appealing readable script or print way, but awkward tiny letters and strange embellishment and 'a's that don't look like 'a's and all that jazz.
The wizarding world could use typewriters, Harry thinks, sometimes. That might make things a little easier on the less fortunate when it comes to sight and all that. Y'know... like himself.
(Ron's got good sight - way better than Harry's, at least - but sometimes - when it comes to reading - Harry thinks he could do with something. It's not that he can't, or that he needs glasses to read because otherwise the Weasley's would have got them for him; after all, Percy has glasses. But it's something else, maybe. Whatever it is, Harry has no clue, and that's, unfortunately, starting to be a running theme. Harry having no clue about things.
There's also the fact that Ron uses those grammar quills. And when he doesn't 'Ronald Weasley' becomes... definitely not that.)
Well. Anyway. Harry shrugs, pats Ron on the shoulder and leans in, squints at the comic book. "You'll fix it up later," he says because they always do. Ron and Hermione are friends and good ones at that. Their personalities just clash, sometimes. It comes from being so strangely similar yet wholly different people.
(Harry's not as obtuse as he just knows Hermione thinks he is; it's in the way she looks at him, sometimes, as if to say 'What. An. Idiot.' And, because of that, he can tell that his friends have some issues regarding how they value themselves and a rather obvious problem with jealousy. Then there is, of course, their pride... it's not an issue, exactly, to have pride in yourself - but it can get out of hand. When you refuse help and advice and everything else. Regardless - they just... they show it in different ways.)
So - the other schools arrive; Durmstrang, 'our friends from the north'; men and women, all of the right age to be in the tournament, with severe expressions for the most part and a generally vaguely terrifying demeanour. Then there's Beaubatons, the French school, men and women in light, flowy blue silk - entirely unprepared for the Scottish weather, and Harry easily spots certain antagonistic looks shared between these students and his own fellow Hogwarts pupils - the English ones, specifically.
"What's that all about?" He asked Hermione. She paused from her glaring analysis of the other schools and sighed. "Even in muggle history... we haven't exactly had great relations with our neighbouring countries," She said and left it at that.
"Harry," Ron said, and Harry glanced over at him. His skin was pale (more so than usual) and his freckles stood out in stark contrast. "That's Viktor Krum." He continued, voice slightly strained. He wasn't the only one - nor was he the only one with a white-knuckled grip on someone else's arm. Harry winced and patted his hand awkwardly.
Parvati Patil, who was in front of them, faltered slightly in her ogling of some of the French students to flick her eyes in their direction, and then turn her attention towards the world-famous seeker. "So it is," She murmured, and then immediately turned to Lavender.
(They were supposed to be in alphabetical order... but really, that never happens. Once they were in it they just shuffled back around to their friend groups again. And once the inspection was done, Parvati put the hair ornament back in - many others did similarly with jewellery and other such things. Professor McGonagall was a little too busy with the other schools' theatrics to pay them much mind - though Harry is certain at one point she did notice... but she can't have, because she didn't do anything about it.)
"Viktor Krum," Ron repeats as if he can't believe his own eyes. Once again, he's not the only one. His grip on Harry's arm tightens slightly as the seventeen-year-old in question marches on towards the doors to the castle, incidently moving down the line of students and therefore closer to the trio themselves - with the Headmaster of Durmstrang, one 'Igor Karkaroff', apparently - walking alongside him, and the other students following behind.
Once they're inside, Ron relaxes - when one particular girl from the French School had passed by, many people hadn't been able to look away, Ron included... which, admittedly, helped with that whole 'relaxing' thing. Harry supposed she was indeed very pretty... but really, in his personal opinion, Cho's much prettier. He didn't really think she garnered that much of a reaction - especially with the way she held herself; something about her expression reminded him of people like Justin Finch-Fletchly... a look in their eyes that states 'I'm better than you, and I know it, and you aren't worth the ground I walk on'. Whether it was due to her appearance, or heritage, or money, or whatever, he didn't know - but she had that look regardless.
(There's also - well. There's also the fact that she'd been walking in front of the Hufflepuffs, at the time, and Harry might have had someone else to look at. Maybe.)
Anyway - the other schools are all inside the castle now, and so they follow in semi-orderly procession, straight into the Great Hall.
The Goblet itself is revealed, and it's... cool, the way Dumbledore does it, and it looks kinda cool, but it's still sort-of... underwhelming.
Still. The Castle, come morning, is abuzz; people chatting in the corridors, being late for class, staring at the Hogwarts students and the Durmstrang students and the Beauxbatons students - trying to guess who might enter, what competition they might have, presumably.
"Angelina for Hogwarts champion, definitely," Dean said, one night. "You gotta be kidding me," Seamus said, having already returned from... somewhere. "Diggory's got the best shot at this, you know he does."
"He's got talent," Neville agrees, quietly, as he frowns at his evil plant consideringly and pours a strange concoction onto a patch that looks redder than the rest of the plant.
"Fred and George are betting on Angelina," Ron said. "They're usually good at that sort of thing..."
"Betting?" Seamus asked, raising an eyebrow. "Trust me, they can work the Quidditch scene all they want for some tosser's loose change, but I know this school. Diggory's got it in the bag, mark my words."
Ron rolled his eyes at Seamus, who shrugged.
"Bet on Hermione showing up in three... two... one..." Seamus said, and lo and behold, there she was.
She hadn't knocked, of course. Harry sighed, and flopped back onto his bed. No such luck there, then.
"You forgot your gobstones." She paused, for emphasis. "Again." Hermione glowered at Seamus, and this time when she threw them at him, the sack hit him square in the forehead. "Ow, bloody - Granger," He complained. "Yes, yes, I won't forget them again."
"You better," She said, tersely. "Or I will tell McGonagall about your -"
"Yes, yes!" Seamus exclaimed, "No need to do that, Granger, Merlin, your warning has been taken into account."
"Make sure of it," She said, cooly. "And you two," She gestured to Harry and Ron, jabbing her index finger in their directions. "Come with me."
Harry sighed, stood, and nodded. Hermione turned, stalked out of the door. "Blimey," Dean said, under his breath. "What're you lot up to this time?"
"Hell if I know," Ron grumbled. Harry shrugged, equally confused, then clapped Ron on the shoulder and moved to follow his other friend down into the common room. "Come on," He said. "Better not leave her waiting."
The fire in the common room is alight - it's very, very late - all three of them should be in their respective dorm rooms and fast asleep, but once they'd gotten out of earshot Hermione had explained why they weren't doing that.
"Sirius." She said, "Sent me a message."
"Why you?" Ron asked. "And not Harry?"
"Because I'm obvious," Harry said. "And Sirius... isn't the most inconspicuous, but even he knows sending me brightly coloured exotic birds with his mail might raise a few eyebrows. Mostly because I told him so in my last letter."
"So now I get them instead, occasionally," Hermione said, her eyes narrowed, "which means I have to contend with Lavender's incessant questioning about some foreign paramour I have somehow managed to acquire over the summer. Despite being fifteen."
Ron choked on the air in his attempt not to burst into laughter, and Harry blinked rapidly, bemused.
"Right," He said, having decided not to ask.
"Lavender's a romantic at heart," She sighed, and there was something a little fond about her expression, even if her tone was annoyed. That's kind of what you get for living with people for four years in such close proximity - even if you didn't like them very much, you still kind of care. Unless they're genuinely awful people, at which point you go hide out with other people in other dorms. There's a boy in the year below them - McClaggen - who's rather... obnoxiously awful to most people, and that's scared off some of his roommates to find another place to sleep. Not all of them, though, because even obnoxiously awful people can somehow find friends. Most likely, it's because they're equally obnoxiously awful.
"Right," Harry said, again, and maybe there's something about his tone - because Hermione narrows her eyes at him again, and he winces. "Well," Ron said, after a moment of that. "Let's get on with it, yeah? We've got potions tomorrow... who knows what Snape'd do if we passed out in class."
Also, there's the fact that Ron just likes to sleep - but so does Harry, really. When he's not having nightmares, it means a break from responsibility; like having to clean the gutters and water the plants and cook breakfast at the Dursleys', or go to class and ignore the staring and read terrible textbooks and not get to play Quidditch and maybe stare at certain people and try not to make a fool of himself when they inevitably notice -
"We should," Hermione agreed, nodding, and Harry felt a little bit relieved once her too-knowing eyes were off of him. He doesn't know what she knows or thinks she knows (which usually means genuinely knows, so that point is kind of moot), but he has the feeling he won't like whatever conversation she'll think is necessary when she finds the time for it.
Sirius has found shelter somewhere - he's a bit cagey about the location, of course, but it doesn't matter because he's safe enough, it seems. Sometimes it kind of sounds like he's angling to find a reason to come back to England, even to Hogwarts all the way up in Scottland... but Sirius has almost gained something about his face that makes him look slightly less like an emaciated skeleton, so Harry finds the words that will ease that wish of Sirius' and get him to stay where he is so the man can build up strength.
"Alright, alright, I get it," Sirius said, sighing. "I'll stay here for a while longer." There's a kind of conflicted look in his eyes - but the green glare of the floo's fire makes it hard to tell much about that.
"We'll send constant updates," Hermione promises, and Harry's kind of offended that she thinks she needed to glare an agreement out of him, but whatever.
(He never promised they had to be wholly accurate, though...)
"Good, good." Sirius nodded. "You look after each other, you hear? Strange things are going on over there, or so I've heard."
"It's just the tournament," Ron said. "That's happened before. Dangerous, yeah, but... not that odd."
"Things tend to go wrong during these things, though," Sirius pointed out. "There's a reason they were disbanded, after all."
"I don't know why they couldn't just overhaul them," Hermione grumbled, almost to herself but blatantly meant to be heard by all of them. "Just - make it more co-operative. Get teams of students from each school, mix it up. Get them from more years, too, so it's not just the adults." She paused, frowning into the middle distance. "Why not do that? I mean, this is supposed to bolster international magical cooperation, but we're competing. They are quite literally antonyms!"
Sirius looked vaguely amused, but before he could respond, there was the sound of footseps on the stairs. Sirius said a hurried goodbye and Harry's whispered one went unheard, as the man had gone just before he'd said it.
"What are you three still doing up?" Percy asked, suspiciously.
"And you?" Ron retorted. "I," Percy said, imperiously, "Am off to start my rounds, Ronald. As a prefect, that is a part of my obligations." He narrowed his eyes at Ron, who glowered right back. "As you well know," Percy added, eyes roaming the room, face set in such a way that Harry figured if he saw one more person down here at this time of night he was going to start taking points away.
Percy harrumphed, then practically marched over to the fat lady's portrait; the exit to the common room, and glared once more at them as if to say 'go to bed already, you three' before he climbed out of the common room.
It is a portrait, after all. Hung on a wall, not flush with the floor.
"Well, he's in a good mood," Ron said, dryly. "Think he's off to see Penelope?" He asked nobody in particular. Harry shrugged, anyway, and Hermione rolled her eyes. "Even if so, it's not our business," She said, and Harry and Ron just looked at her, flatly.
She pursed her lips, but there was a telltale tug at the corners which meant she was suppressing the urge to smile at least a little.
(It was a funny thought, after all. The idea of them not butting in on 'things that don't concern them'; things that are not their business. Quite frankly, it's ludicrous. They always do that. Not for the boring stuff, like what Percy does with his life, obviously, but... still.)