Queen of Witches
Based entirely on JK Rowling’s Harry
Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
A/N: I love you guys. Don’t worry – my scam/cheat/loophole isn’t
very exciting, and it certainly won’t burn Gwen to a crisp. I’m too fond of her for that.
Plus, she’d kill me.
Thanks to Honeychurch for the beta
It's all JKR's.
I have a sort of strange
question for you.
Would you mind if Ginny wrote
for a bit? She just wants to say hello and…
things. I don't mind letting her write
to you, but I wasn't sure if you would care.
You didn't give me a
choice last year.
Well, I couldn't. My fingers were all covered in pus and
bandages. Then… you do mind?
Of course I don't
mind. But to be fair, if Ginny has
things to say to me other than "hello", you might ask her to choose a
I don't know. It's just strange.
The idea that someone might
write in you, with another password, and that I won't be allowed to see it.
Oh, but it's been
happening for centuries.
Yes, but not in the now.
It feels… different, somehow. The
idea that Ginny might talk to you for pages and pages… when you're mine.
But I know you're not really mine - you belong to yourself, and you've
had a million other owners.
Well, not a million.
We will talk about my
other owners at another time.
Perhaps. Someday. In the meantime, let us determine whether
it's really all right with you if Ginny writes in me. It's not my decision. I may belong to myself, but this diary is
yours. You may hand it to whomever you
Would it bother you to
know that I had a relationship with Ginny that was absolutely separate from my
relationship with you?
I don't know. Perhaps.
Just a little.
Then perhaps it's best
that you don't lend me to her.
But that's so selfish. She just wants to say hello. And I want her to get over her diary phobia,
if she can.
Still, you don't like
the idea of me keeping someone's secrets other than your own, just at
Well… but Ginny's and my
secrets are pretty much the same right now, I think. Although this
isn't anything about the Order. All
she's told me is that it's about a boy and that it isn't Harry.
She'd better tell me who it
But I can wait. She must need someone to talk to, just like I
do. No, I don't mind. I really don't. If you don't.
I don't. But it is your decision.
All right, hang on. I'll get her.
Ginny. I just thought I'd say hi.
What an interesting
Oh that. Yeah.
Well, I doubt Hermione’ll ever write that many sevens in a row.
No, I imagine not.
Not that it
matters. She can know things if she
wants. So… how’ve you been?
Just fine. And you?
Fine. It was nice of Hermione to let me borrow you.
It's very pleasant to
hear from you again. I often wonder how
Do you? Well, I'm okay. I just… Look, I know you're busy with
Hermione's problems. But if I was trying
to work something out… Would you mind if I asked you a question?
Not at all.
Because I can't
ask Mum, and - well, I'll probably end up asking Hermione in about five
minutes, because I really want to tell her.
But I thought - you're older.
Slightly, yes. Go right ahead.
Okay. Well, the thing is, I've been asked out.
You've been -
By this bloke
Michael Corner. I didn't tell Hermione
about it, because it happened during exams, and you know how Hermione gets
during exams. And then there was the
third task. That made it hard to care
about other stuff. Michael asked me out
about two days before that happened, and I said yes, but then I barely talked
to him for the rest of the year.
I know, but now
he's sent a letter and I'm not sure what to say back to him.
What did he say?
He said he
misses me, which is really nice, except I wonder why he does. We've only been going out for a few weeks,
and we just left school a week ago. It's
not really enough time to miss a person.
Depends on the person.
He said he hoped
I was feeling better, because I seemed "distant" at the end of the
year, and he's not sure whether I still want to be going out with him, but that
if I don't, I should tell him and not leave him hanging. And he's not sure what I think of anything,
let alone Dumbledore's speech, but he hopes we'll have more time to talk in
September, if I still want to talk.
Well… all of
it. What does he mean, I was
distant? Of course I was distant. Weren't we all? Did he miss what happened? And why does he want to know what I think of
Dumbledore's speech? It's like he's
going to base his opinion on mine. Why
doesn't he just tell me what he thinks of Dumbledore's speech? I know what I think.
Ginny, may I ask you…
and this may sound impertinent.
out-impertinent Fred and George.
Well then. Why did you say yes to Michael Corner? You don't really seem to like him.
Yes I do! Yes I do.
I'm not putting him in a good light because I'm worried about things
that he doesn't understand, you know?
It's hard to fit him in. He just
doesn't fit. He doesn't know any of the
secrets. I assume you know?
I can't tell you what
Still, I'm sure
you know enough to be getting on with.
But I do like Michael. We met
when he asked me to the Yule Ball last year.
I was surprised he asked, because he's not in my year and we'd never
spoken. I couldn’t go with him anyway,
I’d said yes to Neville. But we got a
few dances in, and he was a good dancer, which was lucky for my feet -
Neville's great, but dancing's not his strong point. At one point, Michael said he thought I was
really pretty, which made me wonder if he's right in the head. But he found me a few times after that,
during the year, and one day during exams, he sat down next to me and said,
"Want to study together?" And
I said yes, but that I wanted to go outside, because I was tired of being
cooped up. So we went outside and
studied together for about five hours, but we didn't actually study much. Mostly we just talked and laughed and told
stupid stories. He's easy to talk to,
and fun to be around. And he's fit, and
he thinks I'm really fit as well, which is –
know. Good looking. They didn’t used to say that in your day? Doesn’t Hermione say it? Guess it’s a bit slangy. But what I’m saying is, we like each
other. And Michael doesn't make me nervous at
ALL, which is a bloody nice change. I
wasn't even nervous when he asked me out.
We were just sitting around out there, and he said we should get to know
each other better. And I said all right.
And he said, how about we go out?
And I said that would be good.
And then he kind of touched my arm and said he thought I was really
cool, and he’d liked me since the Ball, and he wondered if I'd mind if he
I thought about
saying no, because I didn’t know him too well.
I thought it
might be all right. So I went ahead.
And what did you
It wasn’t what I
expected. But then, I didn’t really open
Well, I half
did. Not like kissing Mum, but not
drooling all over myself.
Not like when
people try to suck each other’s heads off in public. Though we were in public, and I
wasn’t too fussed about that. Anyway, we
never got to go out together to Hogsmeade or anything, because the end of the
year was a mess, and now I’m here. And
his letter's strange. And I can't answer
his questions anyway. I'm not going to
talk about Dumbledore in a letter.
Then how will you
I thought I'd
just say that I was really glad to hear from him, and I hope he's having a good
summer and all that. And then I'll say
that the end of the year was difficult, but we'll be able to sort things out
between us a bit better in September, which I'm looking forward to. And I'll tell him that we're still going out,
since apparently he needs telling.
What an idiot, I
can't believe I have to tell him that.
He asked me out, didn't he? I
said yes, didn't I? If I didn't want to
go out anymore, does he think I'd just drift off like a coward and not say
But what do you
think of that for a letter? Just the
first bit, not that last part obviously.
Sounds perfect. You don't need my help at all.
Really? You think that's all right?
friendly. Yes, I think that's more than
Oh good. I was thinking it was too standoffish.
No. You don't need to get into details in
letters. Better to do things face to
face, especially when you haven't known a person for very long.
That's what I
think too. All right.
right. I feel better. You're really good at stuff like this. You don’t say all the wrong things and get
embarrassing about it.
Did she really say
Yes. I said I needed advice on a boy, and I wished
I could tell Mum, but Mum would just get nosy and ask for too much information
and start cooing or something. Hermione
got so excited. She fluttered her hands
around and said, "Oh, Gwen's amazing for talks like that, do you want to
talk to her? You'd feel so much
So. Thanks for letting me go on.
I might just
take you up on that. Well, but not too
often. Hermione's eyeing me. I'd better give you back. But I'll say hello again, one of these days.
I hope so. Take care, Ginny.
yourself. Bye, Gwen.
I've just had a chat with
She has a boyfriend.
She said Michael Corner asked her
out. Just like that. No fuss, or anything. He likes her, so he asked her out.
him sometimes, I really do.
Michael stupid Corner. Ugh, I feel like
such a child right now, but I can’t help it, Gwen. I suppose I’m just jealous, when what I
should be is happy for Ginny. What a
wonderful person I am.
It’s quite human.
no excuse, though, is it?
It was always my favorite one, actually. But do go on, please.
There’s nothing to say. Ginny asked me if I still like Ron. I felt stupid saying yes, when it’s not as if
anything’s ever going to come of it.
did you say?
I just shrugged and said “Ron
and I are very good friends and I’m sure we always will be.” She said, "Hermione, you know what I
mean," but I waved her off and pretended not to care and said, “Let's talk
about you and Michael." And we did.
And nothing. Apparently, between the two of us, she’s the
only one worth asking out. I’m just
invisible. Barely a girl, even.
Well I’m sorry, but that’s
how it feels.
that the boy who is interested in Ginny felt comfortable putting his feelings
Well he should give lessons
gets to that place at the same time.
You don’t say. Well I suppose I always knew that some of us
were completely immature. I guess this is proof.
you know that I’m on your side, but you’re being very hard on Ron. And there’s no need at all for you to be
jealous of Ginny – yes, she’s been asked out, but is it any different than your
relationship was with Viktor? Put it into perspective. It isn’t as if she’s been asked out by Harry.
That’s not the point.
it? Are you certain? Has she spoken of
probably over him. Just like I should be
over – no, that’s enough. That is the
end. That is it and I’m serious this time – I am over it.
always ask Ron out, you know. Equality
and all that. If it’s what the elves
need so badly, then perhaps –
Oh, would you look at the
time. I'd better go. Ginny wants me to read her letter to Michael
and check her spelling.
I’m perfectly happy,
Gwen. Really, I’m over it. Bye.
I want to get out of this
house. I want to go home. I can't imagine really living here. Growing up here, in all this darkness.
I think I'm in shock. I don't even feel angry. Or sad.
I only feel so sorry for Sirius that I don't think I can stand it.
happened? Are you all right? Is Sirius?
Well Sirius… I mean, no. Obviously… he spent twelve years locked up
for something he didn't do, wishing he could undo everything that
happened. And just before that, he lost
two of his best friends - three, really, if you count Pettigrew. Four, if you count the fact that Professor
Lupin believed he was the traitor. And
now he’s not allowed out of the house, he’s just cooped up and miserable. It's such a horrible story that I didn't
think it could get any worse.
But it can. I don't know too much about his childhood,
but now I… can guess pretty well. Oh,
Gwen, his mother.
You've met her?
Just now. And she…
I want to go home.
She can't do anything. I know that.
She can't really hurt me, she’s only a painting. Sticks and stones.
What did she say to
I didn't realize enchanted
paintings could be so… I mean, I only really know the Fat Lady. Sir Cadogan's the weirdest one I've met
personally, but he's harmless, you know.
Just a bit annoying, really.
He'd never say anything to hurt anyone.
Not on purpose.
Do you… not want to
That bad then?
About you personally,
She knew what I was. The second she saw me, she knew I was a Mudb
– a Muggle-born.
I didn't mean to start
writing it. But it's still ringing in my
ears. She had the most horrible… she was
drooling. Her eyes rolled. And she didn't speak - she screamed at
She called me a freak. I don't know why that bothers me, I guess it
reminds me of the way school was for me before Hogwarts or - I don't know. I know it's just a word. Just a word, it can't hurt me. It's just a word. Like ugly.
And foul. And disgusting. Perversion.
Hideous abomination. Worthless
scum. Contaminated halfbreed. Abhorrent beast. Mutant.
She… said all that?
No, she screamed it. All those words came flying at me in about
the first five seconds. And then she
kept going. Even Ron didn't know what
to say back. He just stood there next to
me with his mouth hanging open. We
neither of us knew how to handle it.
I've never encountered that kind of hate, directed towards me. Not on that level. It made Malfoy and Pansy and everyone who's
ever said a bad word about me seem… like nothing.
Sirius came hurtling down the
stairs within a minute. He got between
his mother and me, and when she saw him,
I thought she was going to leap right through the painting and throttle
him. She called him a blood-traitor, a
fiend and a stain on the noble house of her ancient fathers - she said he was
dead to her. And then he said some
words… some words you're just never supposed to say to your mother. And then he grabbed both curtains and yanked
them shut on her portrait, and after a minute she screamed herself back to
When he turned on us, he
looked furious. He asked who had woken
her, and Ron and I glanced at each other.
We both said, "Us."
How did you wake her?
We were just laughing.
Loudly enough to wake
a painting behind a curtain?
Well, we were talking about
our parents. We realized we both got in
trouble right when we got home - Ron got shouted at for keeping his word to
Dumbledore and not telling his parents about Sirius, and I got in trouble for
my teeth. So we were sort of… doing
impressions of the way our parents act when they're angry with us - and really,
it's pretty much the same. His parents
won't accept that he couldn't tell them the secret, and my parents won't accept
that magic can be as good as science, and both of us would have been grounded
if we didn't have to come here - his parents threatened to ground him,
too. I think it was practically the same
day, and we just thought that was funny.
So we got to laughing about it, especially when Ron did the impression
of his dad, because he has it spot
on, I can tell you. We were having a
really good time, until the curtains flew open and Mrs. Black saw us.
Well, I thought Sirius was
going to kill us. Instead, he put a
finger to his lips and beckoned us into the drawing room, where he closed the
door. We both said, "I'm sorry,"
at the same time, but he interrupted us and said, "Don’t." And he looked right at me. "Like I said, it's a miracle she slept
this long. I never had four days' peace
in all the years I lived here, and now that she's awake, she'll take every
opportunity to drive us mad. Just don't
make any noise in that corridor - go straight from the kitchen to your
rooms. Do your talking upstairs.” And then he looked at Ron. “Warn the rest of your brothers, and
Ginny. I'll warn everyone else."
So Ron and I tiptoed up here,
to my room.
Where is he now?
Sirius? In the kitchen, warning Mrs. Weasley and -
No, where's Ron?
Oh. He's right here.
In your room?
Would you stop? Yes, he's in my room. He's on Ginny's bed, reading a Quidditch
magazine. He's just keeping me company,
that's all. I told him he didn't have to
stay unless he didn't mind, and he said he didn't mind as long as there was
something good to read, and I thought he was joking, but he dug around in the
pile by Ginny's bed and found Which
Broomstick? and now he's lying there, just reading away. For a second I thought he
meant he wanted to read an actual book,
but I suppose I'm delirious from all the noise and the shock.
She went to warn Fred and
George about Mrs. Black, and she never came back. I heard something explode overhead a few
minutes ago, so they're probably doing something ridiculous. Ginny loves hanging out with them. She's got a prank streak, she’s been telling
me stories about tricks she used to play on the twins even when she was really
small. I just hope all that banging
doesn't wake up the painting again.
Mrs. Black cut off some of
those elves' heads. She was evil. And she was Sirius's mum. But he isn't
evil. He was falsely accused - perhaps
this is partly why. Perhaps they were
quick to believe that someone who came from this place could do those
things. But he didn't. He was good, he didn't turn out like Malfoy. He was friends with Harry's mum and dad, and
with Professor Lupin.
Yes. That’s really quite unusual.
Well, you and Ron are
fortunate that you have families you can love and admire. You can be with them without having to
compromise your senses of right and wrong.
Some people… like Harry, for example… grow up among people they know
they can't agree with - and yet they're forced to depend on those people for
love and attention and food and shelter.
And sometimes, standing up to those people and saying "I
disagree" means giving up all those other things. Those are hard things to give up, even if you
feel passionately that you must stand up for something else. It takes an unusually strong person to do it.
I wonder what Sirius had to
give up. I wish I could ask him. But I… just don't feel comfortable around him
in that way. And I feel like he's barely
restraining himself, as it is. Like
he's about to fly apart at any second, and there's no telling what might set
him off. I really did think he was
going to shout our heads off, down there.
I really can't read him. He's
not… I mean, he's obviously great and everything, and Harry would kill me for
saying it, but I just wonder if… I don't know.
After Azkaban and eating the rats and all of that, can he really be
Right in the
I just wonder, that's
all. Just a bit.
Fair enough, I
Well, Ron must've read the
whole magazine, or else he got bored. He
just threw it on the floor.
Why don't you go and
talk to him for a bit?
Wait, hold on, he's mumbling
Oh my GOODNESS - I will go and talk to him - I'll be back
later though, because he just said - you won't believe - well - I'll just be
Ron and Sirius are related!
Is that what I've been
waiting an hour to hear?
Well, don't you think it's
I'm not sure. The Weasleys are purebloods, aren't
And based on the
disgusting manner in which Kreacher and Mrs. Black have spoken to you, I'll
assume that the Blacks are a pureblood family as well.
Then it's actually
Why, because of the
It's a thing elite
groups like to do. I've never understood
it myself, but then, I didn't have any attractive cousins.
What? I could have married a cousin. Is that what Sirius and Ron are?
I don’t know. I’m not clever about genealogy. I never know if someone's a second cousin or
a first cousin once removed. Our family
isn't big that way. I know who my first
cousins are, and beyond that, I just don't have a clue. And Ron's not sure himself. He says it's all convoluted.
I imagine Mrs. Weasley
could tell you exactly what all of them are, if it interests you.
It does! I'll ask her.
And I'd also imagine
that the relationships don’t end with the Blacks and the Weasleys.
What do you mean?
Well, what I mean is,
it's so convoluted that it generally involves all the families who are at a
certain level - or at least that's how it works with royalty. What other pureblood families can you list
off the top of your head?
I've never really thought
about it. The Longbottoms, I
suppose. The Patils. The MacMillans. Ugh, and the Malfoys.
But Gwen. You're not really saying - that all the pureblood families…
Why don't you ask
Ron? Is he still there?
Well… all right.
What did he say?
He left. He said he had to go and be sick.
No answer, then?
Oh he answered. He pulled a horrible face and said,
"Thanks so much for bringing
that up. I’d almost managed to block
that out. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm
going to be sick." And then he
So he… he really is related
to Malfoy. Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy
I'm sorry, I'm laughing just
looking at that. It can't be true. It's too bizarre.
It can be true. Blood has very little to do with
anything. You know that.
Well I know, but it's just funny to look at it this way. Purists look at me like I'm the freak because I come from non-magic parents, but you know,
I think it's rather freakish to discover that they are ALL RELATED. It's weird.
It's not right. It leaves a funny
taste in my mouth. Ron and Malfoy?
They're not family, they can't be - they're not even in the same
I feel so sorry for Ron! I wish I'd never asked. I wonder if Ginny and the twins know - but
they must. Oh, Gwen. That would mean that when Lucius Malfoy gave
Ginny that diary, he was giving it to someone in his own family.
Well. Family in the very loosest sense.
But STILL. Ugh. I
think I'm going to be thinking about this for a long time.
Don't, if you can help
No, I have to. But I'll feel better if I have details. I'm going to go and ask Mrs. Weasley to tell
me how it's all connected, if she doesn't mind. Or maybe I'll get Ginny to do it. I still don't feel quite right about Mrs.
Weasley - she's lovely to me, of course, but it was just a few weeks ago that
she believed the Witch Weekly article about me, and I'm still not convinced she
really likes me.
Anyway, I'll talk to you
later, Gwen. Bye.
Tonight was a full moon. I had almost forgotten about Professor Lupin
being a werewolf.
So had I. Where did he go for his transformation?
He stayed right here. Mr. Weasley gathered us all up after dinner
and told us not to go into the attic.
Can that be…
Yes, he used to stay in his
office at school without any problems as long as he had the Wolfsbane Potion -
which he does. I don’t know who made
it. Probably someone in the Order we
haven’t met yet. Do you know, the
Ministry has passed laws this summer which make it nearly impossible for him to
get work, just because he’s a werewolf?
It’s so stupid. They’re all so stupid.
He’s so wonderful and calm and clever – anyone would be lucky to have
him on their side, for any reason. I
wish they’d hire him back as our Defense teacher. I can’t imagine we’ll get anyone good. Ron and I have been up all night talking
about that. And other things.
Oh you know. Life and things. But mostly Defense. And Harry.
It’s very, very late. Everyone
will be waking up in a couple of hours.
Perhaps you should go
I know I should. But I wanted to talk to you.
Ron was nice to be with,
tonight. There's something easy and
comfortable between us since we've been here, and I can't quite put my finger
on why. Why do you think it is?
I'm… not sure.
Oh. I thought you’d know.
Perhaps if you told me
what happened tonight, I’d have a better picture. That is, if you want to.
It was funny. Ginny's a heavy sleeper, you know. And she was tired, so she fell asleep reading
the Quidditch magazine Ron threw on the floor the other day. But I was wide-awake. So I opened up "The Standard Book of
Spells, Grade Four" and started revising for my O.W.L.s, but I couldn't
quite concentrate. It was raining and
cool, and for once, the house didn't seem spooky, but I was distracted. So I sat back against my headboard and
wondered what Ron was doing. I wondered
if he was asleep. I thought about going
upstairs to see, and then I felt… I don't know.
Yes, and I couldn't go up
there. Which really is silly, when you
think about how long Ron and I have been friends. It's not as if something's going to suddenly
change, that much is clear. But just as I was deciding not to go upstairs
and knock on his door, there was a knock on ours. I got up and put on my dressing gown and
unbolted it, and Ron was standing there scratching his head. He said he couldn't sleep. I said I couldn't either, but that I didn't
want to wake up Ginny.
It was a funny moment. Funny odd, not funny ha ha. Ron looked at his feet and said, "Well,
there's no one else in my room."
I wonder why I felt so
flustered. It's just a room. Soon, I hope, Harry will be living in it too
- Ron shouldn't be in there by himself. Everyone
else has someone in with them - Fred and George have each other, and so do
Ginny and I, but Ron's alone, and it's not fair. Sometimes he looks like he's not getting any
sleep at all. His eyes have dark rings
underneath. He might easily share with
the twins. But I don't think he'd want
to ask. I don't think he'd want to admit
Boys often have a hard
time with that.
But he should just do it, and
get some sleep! It's not as if there's
anyone here that he has to impress.
It's so hard to want to lean
on him and not be able to. I don't… it
feels like it would be the natural thing to do, but it would also be
different. And I don't want to be the first
I want him to do what Michael
did with Ginny. I want him to ask. And perhaps he never will, and perhaps this
is as much as there really is between us.
Perhaps I'm just wishing. Perhaps
we're just friends. Though friendship is enough, I mean, friendship is
amazing. It's its own perfect
thing. I'd never say "I'm just friends" with Harry - well, unless
I was trying to stop people believing Skeeter – because the "just"
would devalue it somehow - friends is what we are and it's everything. It's all it needs to be, there's nothing that
But with Ron I'm just not…
satisfied by that. I want to be. I try to be.
But I'm really not, and it hurts a bit to have to hold it back every
time I feel it. But I can do it. I’ve already done it. And if he doesn't ask this year, I'll
know. And once I know, perhaps it will
be easier to hold it back.
Give him time.
You've said that before. There's been time since then.
I know. It's so frustrating you think you might just…
Cry. Throw something. Tell him.
But instead I sat on Harry's
empty bed, and Ron sat on his, and we talked for hours and hours and
hours. And I'm not saying it wasn’t
nice. It was. We didn't fight, we didn't try to get under
each other's skin - it was just like a few weeks ago, at school, right after
the third task. We hardly had any time
to deal with that together, because most of the time, Harry was there, and he
didn't want to think about it, so we both just stayed quiet and tried to do
what Harry needed. But that meant that
neither of us got to have it out, either, and there's no one else I can really
talk to about it. The same goes for
We both miss Harry. We wrote him letters. It's hard to write letters when you can't say
anything at all, but we tried. They
were miserably short, and I had to start mine over, because I referenced
something Ron had just done, and there was no way I would have known that
unless I was with Ron. And Harry's not allowed to know that we're
together, in the same place. Or, I
should say, the people who might want to interpret our letters aren't allowed
to know that. Harry could know, if it
weren't so dangerous.
I bet he's losing his
mind. I'm so worried about him that I
don't even want to think about it. I
know how he gets when he's anxious - he ties himself in knots, it's sickening. And now, after what he's been through, it
must be a hundred times worse than ever.
Oh, Harry. Honestly, thinking of
him alone with no information - it makes
me want to take a train to Surrey. I
said so to Ron, and he said that if I wanted to do it, he'd go with me. I laughed and said that somehow I thought it
would just make things worse than they are.
The Weasleys would be worried, they'd come looking for us, we might get
the Order exposed… and then I said, "How long do you think we'll have to
live wondering whether the next owl we write is intercepted?"
And Ron just looked at me for
a minute, without answering. I know he
doesn't know the answers. But it's a
comfort to know that he's right here in this with me. Right in the thick of it, sorting it out just
like I am. Maybe we'll have to live
like this for twelve years, just like it was before. But we could do it. We're already doing it. We'll get through it, I know it.
Yes you will.
He had a good idea
tonight. He didn't even realize he was
having one. We were both ranting about
Defense, saying that we can't imagine we're going to get a decent teacher. I mean, look at our odds. We got a psychopath, an idiot, one good
teacher, and then another psychopath.
Ron said, "We're due an idiot," and I laughed, but you know,
he's probably right. I'm really worried,
too, because it's our O.W.L. year, and the class needs to prepare us for exams. It has to
prepare us, or we won't even be eligible for the N.E.W.T. level courses, and
without that N.E.W.T. there are thousands of careers we just won't be able to
try for. I was saying all that, and Ron
said, "Well, if we get a dud, we'll just ask Harry to show us everything
he knows. We’re not just preparing for
And I don't think that's a
bad plan, actually.
No. It isn't.
I wonder if Harry would mind
showing us. I have no idea what he’d say
if we asked. I mean, I’ve helped him
with a million spells and charms, but I’m only good in theory. They’re not real until you really use them,
and only Harry has.
And then I told Ron a secret
that’s been bothering me for a long time.
It’s silly, I’m sure. But it’s bothered me since first year, and
now that things are so… real… I think about it more and more. You remember when Harry and Ron and I fell in
the Devil’s Snare?
You remember how I forgot I
was a witch?
You were panicked.
I know I was. That’s exactly my fear. That something will happen, and I’ll panic
and I’ll forget what I am. And
everything I ever learned will go right out of my head and be useless.
And you said this to
Yes. I reminded him of what he said. “Are you a witch or not?” Remember?
Ron didn’t. He looked properly shocked. He said I remember too much, and that he
never meant anything by that, and that he can’t believe I’ve been thinking
about it for four years. Which I
haven’t. Not constantly. It just comes into my head every so
often. Am I a witch or not?
Of course you’re a
witch, don’t be ridiculous.
Some people don’t think so.
I hope you’re not
talking about Sirius’s mother.
Not just her. Lots of people say it.
Lots of blind and
I remember telling you once
that I sometimes fear that I’ll always be a Muggle, when it counts. I still fear that. And that’s what I said to Ron.
What did he say?
Well, he was quiet for a
minute. And then he said he wished he
could put a hole through that bloody painting.
I told him it wasn’t the painting making me feel this way, that it’s
something I’ve had in me a long time and that it’s why I’ve always worked so
hard to be the best witch possible. To
try to make up for not having a head start.
To try to make up for the lack.
Ron gave me a serious look –
a really serious one, it was kind of odd – and said “Nothing’s lacking,
Hermione.” He sort of sounded like his
dad, when he said it, and for a second I felt… I don’t know. Like we were two adults sorting out our lives
together. I felt mature.
And then he cracked a grin
and said that anyway, if I’m lacking, then he’s in serious trouble because
he’ll have to find someone else’s notes to copy.
He’s such a big idiot.
And then we talked about how
these exams will be important – or, well, I talked about it and Ron listened –
but it's only three years until we're out of school, and You-Know-Who might
still be gaining power when we're finished.
If he is, we'll both fight in the Order.
All three of us will. We talked
about that tonight, too. Ron said he
wants to do it now, that he can't wait to go after the people who ruined
Harry's life and killed Cedric and tortured the Robertses and… everything. Ron would join tonight, if they asked
Yes. I would.
I'd be frightened, though. I
don't know enough to fight alongside Aurors and people like Sirius and
Professor Lupin. I don't think I even
know enough to fight alongside Harry.
It’s never really been tested – well, it has. There have been moments. But nothing like that graveyard. If something like that happens again, and I’m
there, then of course I’ll fight with him – I just don’t know how much help
that will be. But I’d do anything for
Harry, and so would Ron. We hope he
Ron told me about the
conversation he and Ginny had with his dad, about coming here and being a part
of the secret.
After Percy left.
Yes. Mr. Weasley called them out of bed and down
to the kitchen table, and told them that, after they relocated, they would have
to be adults about the things they knew.
He told them there would be no room for slipping up, no room for
forgetting. He told them that if they
thought they couldn't manage it, then they had to tell him right then so that
he could try to find a way for them to live outside it - though honestly, I
don't know how he could have. It's not
as though Mrs. Weasley would ever have let them go. Anyway, after he'd given them as much of the
picture as he could, Mr. Weasley sent Ron out and talked to Ginny alone, and
got her answer. Ron said she came out of
the kitchen looking like she wanted to pick up her wand and knock some Death
Eaters unconscious right then and there.
She said, "Go in, you're last."
Ron went into the kitchen and
sat at the table. He said his dad just
looked at him for a long time, and then said, "Son, I don't even have to
ask you for your answer. I know you can
keep the kinds of secrets you're going to have to keep, and I know what you've
done for Harry. I got the whole story
from Dumbledore. I know what went on in
the Shrieking Shack."
Ron got rather red while he
was telling me all this. He said,
"Never mind, you don't want to hear the rest," but I said, "Yes,
I do! Please tell me - I'm so glad your
dad knows. I’m glad your parents
understand, I wish mine did."
So Ron shrugged and looked
away and said, "Okay, well, then Dad said… What you did for your sister
when she was in danger has always been proof to me that you're…" And then
he mumbled something, and I had to ask him to speak up, but he barely did. I had to really listen to hear him say, "That you're man enough for
I did not know what to
say. So I just didn't say anything. And Ron finished up rather quickly by saying,
"Then Dad said he wanted my answer anyway, just to hear me say it. So I said yes, yes of course I'm coming, of
course I'll do whatever I have to do."
He says he thinks his dad was a lot harder on Fred and George, when he
questioned them, because they're closer to Percy's age, and they might have had
their own agendas. But for all the
messes the twins like to make, in the end they care about the right
things. Or, at least, I think they
do. I'm not sure. They keep offering me sweets, but I haven't
eaten any. I'm sure they're not really
sweets at all. They offered me money to
swallow one, for research purposes, and then they offered the money to Ron when
I wouldn't do it - but I wouldn't let Ron take it. I think they're both insane.
Anyway, I asked Ron why no
one had interrogated me, and he
looked surprised. But then he grinned
and said, "I will, if you
want. But it's the same thing, isn't
And what did he mean
Oh. Just… that I'm probably as good as Dumbledore
at keeping secrets, and that I've never had a problem going through trapdoors
or following murderers into shacks, so I'm probably a safe bet for the Order.
Did he say that? Even the bit about Dumbledore?
Well I'm not going to be
conceited enough to make it up myself!
It was a good
conversation. Really good. We both ended up stretching out and falling
asleep while we were talking, and when I woke up I shook Ron and told him to
bolt his door if he wanted, and then I came back down here. I almost stayed with him, but it might have
been strange tomorrow. And I thought
Ginny deserved a bolted door, too. And I
wanted to tell you about it.
good to talk to you like this, Hermione.
It's good to talk to you,
too. I was reading over some of the
things I've written about Ron before, and I’ve always cut myself off right
before telling you the truth about anything.
Yes. I hope I wasn't too frustrating.
no. No, not at all.
I'm glad. All right.
I'm going to bed. Goodnight,
SO AM I. HE'S DOWNSTAIRS. IN THIS HOUSE. HE IS IN THE ORDER.
heavens. Will the revelations never
And I'm not saying – I’m not
saying he shouldn’t be in it. I’m sure
he’s the reason Professor Lupin had his Wolfsbane the other night, and I know Dumbledore trusts him - that was
obvious at the end of last year, and I suppose it's been obvious all along
since he's a professor at Hogwarts, although that's not necessarily any indication of merit, I mean, look at Lockhart,
and Quirrell, and Trelawney, and Barty Cr -
SNAPE – DURING THE SUMMER -
NO. I cannot believe this. We’re already trapped in a house full of
chandeliers that fire crystals at us like bullets -
On our way downstairs today,
the serpent chandelier in the front hall came to life and started spitting its crystals down at Ginny and me. We screamed and woke up the portrait, and
Mrs. Black screamed and cackled at us while we got pummeled. I got whacked in the head and shoulders and
it hurt - one of them split the skin
on my upper arm. Ginny got hit in the
mouth and her lip bled, and her eyes were watering, and we both ran to the
kitchen, past Professor Lupin, who ran to the portrait and shut her up, to get
plasters from Mrs. Weasley.
And THERE WAS SNAPE.
Doing what, for
Sitting at the wooden table,
poring over a huge scroll of parchment with Bill Weasley, who wasn't really
looking at the parchment. He was looking
all narrow-eyed at Snape, and he saw us the second we walked in - so did Snape,
actually. Ginny and I both gasped so
loudly that we were hard to miss.
And what was on the
I don't know. Snape made the parchment vanish and he stared at us like he'd never seen us
before. I don't think he knew that
either of us was in the house. He turned
a look on Mrs. Weasley, but she didn't see it; her back was to him and she was
cooking over the fire. And he said,
"You've brought… children to
this house? All of them, I presume? And Granger - " He stopped. He looked like he couldn't think of anything
nasty enough to say. But then he
did. "Is there no absurdity to which
your family will not stoop?"
That was when Bill stood up
and said the meeting was over for the time being and that since Snape wasn't
keen on eating with us, he might as well get out before breakfast got
started. It was so satisfying to see
Snape get told off. I do like Bill.
Snape got up from the table
and leered at Ginny and me. He looked
from her lip to my arm and said, "Brawling before breakfast. How charming.
Good day." And he swept out.
And then a big pot of
porridge flew over from the stove and slammed down onto the table and
frightened us all -
The house is throwing
porridge at you now?
No, it was Mrs. Weasley. She whirled around looking fit to kill, and
she marched to the kitchen door and slammed it behind Snape and growled like a
tiger, and said, "He is positively…"
We all waited. I was rather hoping she'd finish her
sentence. But she just adjusted her
apron and marched back over to the stove and sent a big platter of eggs banging
onto the table and told Ginny and I to go and fetch everyone else for breakfast
- and she snapped at us to be quiet so that we wouldn't wake up anything else
in the house. So we ran up the stairs
and washed up our cuts, and then Ginny went to get the twins and I went to get
Ron. Only I couldn't get Ron, because
he'd bolted his door shut, and I couldn't use my wand to open it, and I didn't
want to make more noise, so I couldn't pound - Professor Lupin had already
quieted down the portrait once. So I had
to wait for Fred and George.
Ah yes. They have their wands this summer.
And they take every
opportunity to use them. It's
ridiculous. At breakfast this morning, Fred
made his eggs float in the air in front of his face, and he just stuck his chin
out and took bites of them when he wanted some more, rather than just picking
them up with his fork. I don't know why
Ginny thought it was so clever. It was
disgusting. Mrs. Weasley thought so too
– as soon as she turned around and caught him doing it, she flicked her wand
and made the eggs splat right down onto his plate, and then she gave him a
lecture on table manners like none I have ever heard. And Ginny seemed to enjoy that, too.
So then, I suppose
they woke Ron for you?
Didn't they. Blasted his door open and shot cold water at
him. He wasn't pleased.
No, I imagine not.
He spasmed and threw off his
covers and shouted out a string of swear words and flung himself out of bed,
panting. Ginny laughed and laughed, and
Ron launched himself at all of us, looking like he wanted to punch
someone. But the twins and Ginny just
ran down the stairs and out of reach, and he wasn't about to punch me. He just pushed back his hair, because it was
dripping down into his eyes, and thanked me very much for playing along with
those two Neanderthals he's got for brothers.
I told him I hadn't realized what they were going to do until it
happened, and I told him about Snape straight away, and I told him he's had
another letter from Harry - we each have.
But he was still really grumpy all through breakfast.
So was Mrs. Weasley… though
grumpy isn't really the word for it. She
was… just so harsh. About
everything. She didn't set anything down
– she slammed things. She didn't ask how
we'd slept - instead, she told us she knows we've been staying up till all
hours, and she hopes we've got sense enough to stay out of the way of the horrible
things in the house, and she doesn't care if we've exhausted ourselves
gossiping, because there's a lot of work to be getting on with today. And then she gave the twins another
lecture. She told them that now they're
of age, they'd be better off studying for their Apparation exams and looking
into careers than throwing all their mad concoctions about. The only person who didn't get a talking-to
was Bill, because he finished breakfast as we were coming downstairs, and
kissed his mum goodbye, and went off to work at the same time as his dad.
I wonder if Mr. Weasley sees
Percy at the office. I wouldn't dare to
It must be… I don't even know
the words. It must be so terrible and
tense. Mr. Weasley must feel sick every
They both must.
Both? I don't know if I believe that. Perhaps he's really pleased with his
promotion and just doesn't care. He
couldn't care too much, could he? Not
after treating his whole family the way he did.
Yes he could. Just you wait.
Well… we'll see, I
I should go back downstairs. I was supposed to come up, get dressed, and
run back down with the rest of them straight away to start the decontamination
of the day.
Well, we're still working on
the kitchen. Since Fred and George can
use their wands, they’re supposed to do the heavy lifting and test for obvious
curses. I hope they decide to be helpful
today. Sometimes they spend more time
plotting things on their own than being useful.
Well… not all. Some of the things they talk about sound like
they might be halfway legitimate, but I can’t be sure; they talk in a sort of
code. Well – not code, but it’s
incomprehensible anyway. Fred will say something like, “And then we can
add a bit of – you know – spark to
it.” And George will say, “D’you reckon
if we put a bit less of the other it’d turn out better?” They understand each other perfectly, but the
rest of us have no idea what they’re on about.
They’re very secretive.
It’s no secret that they’re
irritated right now, though – they’ve misplaced some new invention that they
really liked. They’d just perfected it,
they said, and it’s vanished. They’ve
looked all over – George swears that the prototype was in his pocket when we
were all in the front room last night – you know, when Mr. Weasley called us
together to tell us to stay out of the attic.
But George couldn’t find it after that.
I’m sure it just fell out of his pocket, but the twins seem to think one
of us is responsible. As if any of us
wants to be within a hundred feet of their inventions! I would prefer not to be changed into a giant canary, thank you very much.
In any case, the kitchen
needs to be finished – today, if possible.
Mrs. Weasley is tired of wrestling with it. She has a huge amount of cooking to do
tonight and she wants to do it in relative peace, even though she said she
can't imagine that will ever happen, curses or no curses. She muttered on about how she hasn't had any
peace for years. She's in a really bad
Why does she have to
do so much cooking tonight?
Because it’s Friday, and
there's a meeting. The first full
gathering of the Order of the Phoenix.
Everyone who isn’t on duty is going to be here.
Who is everyone?
Well, we don't really
know. We know there are lots more than
we've met yet - there have to be. So far
we know: Kingsley Shacklebolt, Bill, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Professor Lupin,
Sirius, Professor Snape… that's all.
Well obviously, yes, he’s in
– but I wonder if he’ll come tonight!
Goodness, I hope so. I need to
ask him if it's really necessary to keep Harry in the dark like this. His letter this morning was desperate, and
Hedwig gave me a sharp peck with her beak when I didn't go straight to the desk
to reply. I feel terrible, not telling
him things. He's Harry. He's supposed to know.
I'm sure if I could just speak to Dumbledore…
Anyway, the meeting should be
You'll all be sitting
No, we "kids"
aren't allowed. We're not in the Order,
not even Fred and George. You have to be
overage and finished with school. Fred
and George said they'd be happy to be finished with school right now, and that
they'll go right ahead and drop out if it means they'd be allowed to join the
Order. Honestly, the cheek.
But if you're not
going, then how will you know if it's interesting?
Oh, erm – Fred and George
said they've made up a way to spy on the proceedings, so we should all be able
to hear everything from upstairs. I'm
not sure how I feel about it. On the one
hand, we should NOT be spying on Dumbledore's secret group. But on the other… Well, there is no
other. It's wrong to do it. But Gwen, I'm so curious.
I don't know if I'll be able
to turn down an opportunity to find out more about what's happening in the
world. We need to know. And eventually we will be allowed to tell Harry what's
going on - I'll want to make sure he knows everything.
He has such a good
friend in you, Hermione.
Go on. Get started on your decontamination.
To free up your
evening for a bit of illicit spying.
Just – well – oh, all right.
It’s true. Never mind. Bye.