The Sugar Quill
Author: Arabella (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Hermione, Queen of Witches, Book One  Chapter: Chapter One
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

The Secret Diary of Hermione Granger

~Year One~

Based on "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling

Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me except for Gwen,

who wishes that she belonged to JKR.

***

Author's Notes: This diary was my first HP fanfic.

Thanks to Flourish for getting me to post in the first place, to Honeychurch for the incredible beta reading, to Zsenya for sugarquill and marvelous plans and to Justice for being the very first to understand my obsession.

***

HQoW

August 1

Dear Guinevere,

Miss Vauclain at the Enchanted Stationers sold me this diary today, and told me that the very first thing I must write is my secret password. I chose HQoW She said that, without the password, the pages will seem blank to anyone else who might try to read my thoughts. I love that no one will ever read this but me! My diary at home had a flimsy lock, and I was always sure my mother would have a look if she could. This is much better.

Miss Vauclain also said that I ought to choose a diary I thought I could get along with. When I saw your name was Guinevere, I just knew you would be mine! I so love the stories of King Arthur and Sir Lancelot, and beautiful Guinevere!

Why, thank you.

Oh! Miss Vauclain told me you might talk back if you felt inspired, but I didn't really think... then you are in there?

Of course!

Will you talk to me all the time?

When you like.

Oh, Gwen, this is absolutely the most marvelous, most magical day of my life! You- you don't mind my calling you Gwen?

I don't mind.

Then, Gwen, I'm Hermione Granger. I'm eleven years old - well, I'm actually ten, but I'm about to be eleven in September - and this is my first real day in the world of magic! Of course, I've always been a witch. I just didn't know it 'til last week. An owl came swooping into our normal every day kitchen with a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry- and I'd been accepted! Without testing, or anything! And we all- my parents and I, that is- were just so shocked we could hardly believe it. But it's true. I'm a witch! I've just been to Diagon Alley in London to get my school things, and I'm so excited to read everything at once- where can I even begin?

I'm so lucky to have open-minded parents. They agreed to let me go to Hogwarts at once, and they're so proud of me, too! No one else in my family is magical at all, but I guess I'm pretty powerful. My letter said that I show "exceptional talent for one raised in Muggle society" and that I had already performed "medicinal magical applications of a peculiarly advanced nature." I guess they must have meant when I grew Susie Raviski's teeth.

That was an accident of course. She was making fun of my overbite, in front of the whole class, and suddenly I just got so mad! And then, just as suddenly, Susie's teeth were sticking out further than mine. I guess I knew I'd done it, but I certainly didn't know how. If I knew how, I'd shrink my stupid teeth. I hate them. But Susie deserved it; she was so horrid to me. I'm glad not to be going back to that school anymore. I bet loads of people at Hogwarts will be nice to me.

Anyway, I'm not allowed to grow anyone's teeth, even if I do figure out how (and I will.) The letter also said that now that I'm aware of my powers, I mustn't abuse them (and I certainly won't!)

Oh, Gwen, there's so much more to say, but I'd better go to bed if I want to get an early start tomorrow. I mean to read every single book I've got before I leave for Hogwarts- and that's in just four weeks! I hope I'll be able to learn enough in time.

I suppose that#s all for my first entry, then. Miss Vauclain said that this diary would last forever- that the pages would never run out. I guess that means you're going to know all about me, an all about Hogwarts! I'm going to keep a journal of the whole time. I'm so glad to have you.

Goodnight, Gwen.

Goodnight, Hermione.

 

HQoW

August 7

Dear Gwen,

I just opened this diary by magic! I did the "Alohomora" charm, and it worked for me! I'm so excited! I've been doing quite a bit of reading up on the charms, but this is the first one I actually tried.

Actually, dear, do you mind always opening me by magic? I'm ever so proud of you for learning how. It's rather startling to be grabbed in the Muggle way.

Oh, of course! The Muggle way- how funny. My parents are Muggles, of course. Completely non-magical. Dentists. But they've been reading a lot, too. I saw a book on Mum's bed-stand called "Muggle-born: Helping Your Child Make the Magical Transition". They're being really wonderful about the whole thing. Mum says that the most important thing for the Muggle parent to remember is that witch and wizard children are just ordinary children with extraordinary powers. I don't know about that. I've never really been ordinary. But I love the idea of having extraordinary powers. It's still such a shock, you know? My whole life I thought magic was just something in storybooks- but it's real- and I can do it! I feel so special. I'm glad there's something special about me besides my being smart. Being smart doesn't count for much at Muggle schools. People just make fun of you- like that awful Susie and her whole gang. Mum and Dad always said she was just jealous, but she wasn't. She was pretty and popular, and I was... nothing to be jealous about.

Well it doesn't matter anymore! I'm a witch- HQoW, to be precise- and Susie Raviski can keep all her prettiness. I'd rather do magic! Anyhow, I bet loads of kids at Hogwarts will be smart. I'll fit right in. I hope.

I'm scared, Gwen. There's ever so much to learn. I've still got five course books to do. I'll never learn it all in time. Guess I'd better go try, though.

Talk to you soon!

 

 

HQoW

August 12

Gwen?

Yes, dear.

What do you do when I've shut you? Is it awfully dull in there?

Oh no. I go visiting.

What?! How?

Magical objects like this diary, which can think for itself, have brains. Our diary brains are based at the Enchanted Stationers, with Miss Vauclain. We only exist in the diary when we're summoned.

And I summon you when I do "Alohomora" and write the password?

Precisely.

And otherwise, you visit with your friends?

Correct. Or I can rest.

Do you.... well, do you tell my secrets to the other-- brains?

Even if I wanted to- and I don't- I couldn't. We've all been charmed into secrecy. I'd have to have your explicit permission.

Well, that's a relief, then. And I'm glad you've something else to do. It would be pretty boring just to listen to me. So, were you visiting just then?

Actually, I was having rather a lovely talk with Esmeralda.

Who's she?

She's my best friend. She belongs to another diary.

Well, I'll let you get back then. I just wanted to ask.

Thank you. And thank you for remembering to open me by magic. It's much gentler.

You're welcome. Goodbye!

Goodbye, dear.

 

HQoW

August 23

Dear Guinevere,

I'm so sorry to have been quiet for so long, but I've literally been studying all day long, every day. It's incredible, what I've been learning. I feel dizzy. Out of everything I've read through, two things have struck me most.

First- I am most interested in Transfiguration. Turning things into other things- it's fascinating! It must be really hard, though. I bet I can do it. After all, the letter did say I'm "exceptional".

Second- I read all about the horrible years when the Dark Lord was in power. Can I say his name, or do you prefer I say "You Know Who"? I noticed people in the books seemed not to want to say his name.

Voldemort, you mean.

Oh, good, I'm so glad you're not squeamish. I feel like I should be able to say it if I want to.

I'm your diary, dear. You can say whatever you like. But I wouldn't recommend your saying it in front of the other students.

I won't, then. But what struck me most about that whole story is the boy who lived- you know- the one Voldemort couldn't kill.

Yes. Harry Potter.

I guess he's pretty famous! He's eleven now. I did the math. I wonder if he'll be at Hogwarts? He'd be a first year, too. I'd like to meet him. I suppose he's pretty powerful, and I bet he thinks a lot of himself for stopping Voldemort. But then, I would, too. It is pretty heroic. I wonder if he's very full of himself. Do you know if Harry Potter is going to Hogwarts?

I don't know.

I guess I'll have to wait and see, then. I can't imagine a powerful boy like that wouldn't get into Hogwarts. It's the best wizarding school in the world, from what I've read. Ugh. If he's all that good, I just hope he's not handsome. Boys who are handsome and smart are usually pretty unbearable. But it wouldn't matter to me. He'd be awfully popular at Hogwarts, with all that fame. I don't usually get on with popular people.

Well, back to the books. Bye.

HQoW

August 31

Gwen, Gwen, I leave tomorrow! I don't know how I'll ever sleep. I hope we get to start transfiguring right away- and I want to see the enchanted ceiling in the Great Hall (it's supposed to look just like the sky outside!) I'm positively bursting to see some real magic. I've tried some other charm work and it's all been going well, but it's so simple- I want to see the real thing! I hope I can find that crazy platform at King's Cross. I've never seen it there before. I hope I'll meet someone nice right off. I hope I'll be living in a good house- I think I'd like Gryffindor best, and then Ravenclaw. I hope the teachers are really good. I hope the library is open all night- there are so many things I want to look up right away! For instance -

Hermione, dear? Go to sleep.

All right. But first- will you let me ask one thing? Do you have any words of wisdom for me?

Only one. RELAX. Things are going to be just fine. I've already been telling Esmeralda what a smart girl you are, and how I know you'll be one of the best in your year.

Oh, thank you, Gwen!

And now I've a question- though of course you don't have to answer it.

What is it?

What does your password mean?

Well, if you promise not to laugh?

I promise.

Erm... Hermione, Queen of Witches.

Yes. I rather thought that might be it. Goodnight, HQoW.

Goodnight!

 

HQoW

September 1

Dear Guinevere,

I'll never be able to write it all down. I'm not even going to try. This has been the most wonderful day of my life. Everything is a hundred times better than I expected. Hogwarts is a dream!

Getting through to platform nine and three-quarters was an amazing trick! A boy's Gran helped us both to do it. He's a first year, too, and called Neville. He seemed as much a Muggle as anything, but he says his family is all wizards for generations back. He must be magic, to be coming to Hogwarts. We rode most of the way together, but I wandered around some to help him find his toad, when it got lost. And guess who else I met?

Harry Potter! He is in first year. I didn't make a fuss over him, except I did say I knew who he was, as he's in three of our textbooks. He didn't seem to know about that at all. Neither did his friend, Ron something. Do you know- I don't think any of them read our course books! I can't imagine why they wouldn't want to- it's all ever so interesting- not like normal school at all (though I always thought those were interesting enough, too.)

But Harry Potter was so... normal looking. Just like anyone, really, except for that scar on his head where Voldemort hit him. And he and his friend just sat there eating Chocolate Frogs and trading the cards like nothing special was happening at all. The one called Ron tried to do a charm on his rat, but it didn't work at all. I think he made it up. It's a bit disappointing- a couple of wizards, one so famous- and they're just normal. I guess that "Muggle-born" book was right. They're just ordinary children with extraordinary powers.

But nothing else was ordinary in the least! The boats that took us through to the castle (the castle itself! To be living in a genuine castle!) the enchanted ceiling, the giant gamekeeper Hagrid, the feast, the Sorting....

I'm in Gryffindor! So are Harry Potter and Ron and Neville and a couple of girls I met on the train, and two other boys, as well. They all seem... well, it's really too early to say. But I was a bit surprised not to be put in Ravenclaw. After all, the Sorting Hat said that Ravenclaws are the clever, smart, studious ones. Gryffindors are supposed to be the brave ones. I guess I'm glad to be counted brave, but I always thought of myself as the intelligent type. There must be loads of wizards and witches here who are cleverer than I am, filling up the Ravenclaw House. Not that I'm complaining! I'm happy to be a Gryffindor. (I just hope I won't have to do anything rash. Brave people always seem to be doing rash things, don't they?) Anyway, I'm just glad I'm not in Slytherin. All the books I've read say that that house is full of dark wizards.

Oh, Gwen, I'm yawning all over myself. We start our classes in the morning and I really want to be prepared, so I need to go back over my notes. Or maybe not. I'm awfully tired.

G'night.

HQoW

September 2

Dear Gwen...

Last night was a little strange, up in my dormitory room. I'm sharing it with the other two first year Gryffindor girls - Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown. They're very nice, I don't mean to say they're not - but it was just a little bit strange. We introduced ourselves and they asked me about my family and my house, so I told them about my parents being Muggles and everything. Lavender and Parvati both looked at me very curiously. Not in a mean way, just... I felt like I was a little bit different. They're both from wizarding families. There are two boys with Muggle parents in my year - Dean Thomas is Muggle-born, and Seamus Finnigan's dad is a Muggle. But I'm the only one of us girls.

Parvati asked me, "So, what did you do before you got your Hogwarts letter?" I said, "What did I do? I went to Muggle school, I guess." She said, "No, I mean, what did you do whenever you needed magic?" And I told her the truth, "I didn't believe in magic until last month."

You should have seen their faces. Lavender said, "You didn't... you didn't believe in magic? Mum told me that's how Muggle-borns grow up, but I didn't really think...."

Gwen, they weren't trying to make me feel funny, but they did. I tried not to let on; I just said, "Oh, I know I'll have a lot of things to figure out, but I catch on pretty quickly and I've already read all our texts and I'm perfectly certain that I'll be okay - and lots of Muggle-borns come to this school, don't they?" They both nodded and said that I'd be fine, but then they went on talking to each other about some kind of band or something that they know about from listening to the Wizard's Wireless Network - and I don't know anything about that.

I wonder if it's going to take me a very long time to get adjusted to this world.

It takes surprisingly little time, actually. And you're very bright - you won't need to worry about picking things up. I'm sure you'll have far less trouble than I did.

Were you Muggle-born then?

My mother was a witch, but I was raised in Muggle society. So when I got to school, I was just like you.

Oh! Well that makes me feel better. Thank you for telling me that, Gwen.

You're welcome.

And now I've got to go. I want to tell you everything about my first day of class, but I've got my first assignments to do and I'm determined to get full marks right off. I have a lot to learn if I'm going to get really good at being a witch. I have a lot of years to make up for. I'll have to come back and tell you all about class tomorrow. Goodnight.

HQoW

September 3

Dearest Guinevere,

These first two days have been really marvelous. The first class for me yesterday was Transfiguration, and Professor McGonagall turned a desk into a pig! Of course, none of us can do anything that big for a long time. And come to think of it, I can't imagine why it would ever be a good idea to turn furniture into pigs. But it was awfully fun to see!

The best part was that, after a lot of note-taking, I managed to do a little bit of magic! Prof. McGonagall gave us all matches, and we were supposed to turn them into needles. Well, it was awfully hard- nobody could really get the knack of it- but by the end of class I'd sort of caught on, and my match was all silvery, with a point at the end! Prof. M. even smiled at me a little, and as she's really stern, I took it as a really nice compliment.

I also had Herbology yesterday. Professor Sprout is excellent- she really knows her herbs and plants and fungi. I'm very glad to have done so much reading; it makes class so much simpler, and I learn so much more, because I'm reinforcing the knowledge, rather than just learning it for the first time.

We had our first Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson, though I don't know if I learned anything. Professor Quirrell seems quite shaky for someone who's supposed to be able to defeat mummies and werewolves and things. Every time someone asked him about any kind of ghoul or monster, he jumped four feet in the air. Not to mention that his classroom and his robes reek of garlic- the Weasley twins (Ron's brothers, by the way- he's a Weasley) say he stuffs his turban full of it to ward off vampires! But then, I don't know if I trust the Weasley twins. I hope Quirrell doesn't teach the class all year; I really want to learn the Defensive Arts (in case the Slytherins decide to attack! They do seem like a moody lot.)

Then there was Professor Flitwick for Charms, which I absolutely adore. I am very good at Charms, if I do say so myself. I have the wrist-flick perfectly, and it's only the first day. I feel as if I could do any spell they put in front of me! But Flitwick is adorable, the tiniest little wizard ever, he has to stand on a pile of books to be seen over the desk! And when he was doing roll call, and got to Harry Potter's name, he squealed and toppled over! I almost feel sorry for Harry really, I mean, it's probably nice being famous and all, but it must be a bit embarrassing to have people fussing around about you all the time.

Tomorrow we've got Transfiguration and Herbology again, and then our first History of Magic lesson (taught by a ghost called Prof. Binns!), and Astrology at midnight (imagine an outdoor class at midnight! Isn't it divine?) and Friday we've got our first Double Potions class with Professor Snape. I cannot believe this is my life. It's perfectly perfect.

Do you know, I've been noticing that a lot of first years are getting lost in the castle, so I've been drawing little maps for myself wherever I go. I got to the Great Hall for dinner tonight with no trouble at all- and I noticed it took some of the others (even Harry Potter and Ron Weasley) another fifteen minutes to catch me up! I guess I shouldn't feel pleased, but I sort of am.

Even with my maps, I haven't managed to find the third floor corridor on the right side. Professor Dumbledore, our Headmaster, said it's forbidden. We're not to go there, he says, unless we're keen to die a very painful death. I don't think he was joking, and I only want to find out where it is so that I can be sure to stay clear of it.

Goodness, it's late. I've got to get to sleep if I want to be prepared to stay up 'til midnight tomorrow. I want to be really awake to start learning about the movement of the planets! Goodnight, Gwen.

 

 

HQoW

September 6

Oh, Gwen, what a lot of rubbish.

We had Double Potions today with the Slytherins, and Professor Snape favors them so obviously! It was unfair how he treated us Gryffindors, it really was. Harry and Neville and I got the worst of it, but he dislikes our whole house, and it's very unjust.

First of all, he kept asking Harry all these hard questions. (Well, they weren't that hard, I knew the answers, but nobody else did.) He kept asking Harry even after it became perfectly clear that he didn't know any of it- and I had my hand raised the entire time! He didn't call on me once, even though I stood up and waved at his last question. That's when Harry said something like "I don't know, but I think Hermione does, though, so why don't you try her?" Well I thought that was rather good of Harry (if a bit cheeky) because I was dying to answer. But Snape just barked at me to sit down, and then took five points from Gryffindor for Harry's back talk. And then Neville added his quills too early to our boil-curing potion, and ended up giving himself boils, (I swear that boy's a Muggle, even if his family are wizards for twenty-seven generations or something,) so Snape took another point from us because he said that Harry ought to have caught Neville's mistake- when they weren't even partners!!!

All in all, it was a good lesson, and I can now effectively cure boils if I should ever need to. But I also had a rotten time, and I don't much like Professor Snape.

I noticed at dinner that Harry and Ron managed to get to the Great Hall on time. I guess they finally figured out how to do it without getting lost-- took them long enough. I'm starting to wonder if maybe that Sorting Hat ought to have put me in Ravenclaw after all. I didn't notice any of them getting lost in the castle this week.

That's all. 'Night, Gwen.

 

HQoW

September 13

(Friday the 13th, by the way)

Oh, those boys! Gwen, are there any boy brains where you visit?

Not many. Far fewer boys keep diaries these days.

Well I'm sorry you have to deal with any of them. You should have seen the mess of yesterday. Boys!! I'll have to tell you the whole story, because I'm still fuming.

It all started with the flying lessons. I didn't like the lesson at all- it was hard for me to deal with the broom, which I can't understand because I'm sure I read more about flying than anyone. Yesterday morning at breakfast, I was even able to give a lot of tips to the other first year Gryffindors, and I really expected all that studying would pay off. (It usually does.) But I couldn't even get my broom to jump into my hand on the "Up!" command. Stupid broom, anyway.

That isn't the point, though.

Neville was having his usual hard time, and ended up shooting straight up in the air, and falling off. Madam Hooch had to cart him right off to the infirmary. But Neville had dropped the Remembrall his Gran had just sent him to help him keep track of all the things he forgets, and this awful boy Draco Malfoy (Slytherin, of course) decided he'd pocket it, just to be mean.

Well, Harry Potter wasn't having any of that. He stepped right up an said, "Give it here, Malfoy," in this voice that made me believe, finally, that this might be the same person those books were talking about. He has some kind of.... heroic thing. I don't know. I was glad he said something- poor Neville has enough problems without Malfoy stealing his Remembrall- and the way Harry looked at him, I half-expected Malfoy to hand the thing over.

Well, he didn't. He shot up on his broom like a show-off, even though Madam Hooch had specifically forbidden us to fly in her absence! (I'm absolutely amazed at the disregard some people have for rules. It's terrible.) He went up into a treetop and started taunting Harry. And then Harry lost his head and got on his broom, and went after Malfoy and the Remembrall.

Harry had never flown, Gwen! It was horribly dangerous. I tried to stop him, and I hollered the whole time he was in the air for him to come back down, but he's such a boy, I swear, and so's Ron Weasley, whooping and cheering as if it were a good thing! Harry chased Malfoy right down, and when Malfoy threw the Remembrall to the ground, Harry dove- hurtled, Gwen, it was really frightening- to the ground, and caught it. Thank goodness he wasn't injured! What a couple of show-offs! (Though it was rather impressive, for Harry's first time on a broomstick. But I'm still mad- he should never have flown.) Of course then he got carted off- by Professor McGonagall, who I assumed would punish him pretty badly. I almost expected him to be expelled.

But of all the unfair- he got rewarded for flying against the rules! (Just because he's Famous Harry Potter, I expect. I can half see why Snape wanted to test him so harshly. Nobody else seems to hold him to the same standard as the rest of us. It's unfair. ) He's apparently so good on a broom that they're going to let him play Quidditch- the wizarding sport- for the Gryffindor house team. (It's supposed to be a secret, but good try. Everyone in our house already knows.) He's so smug! The first first year in over a century to get put on the team, and you should have seen his and Ron's faces at dinner. Gloating like pigs. Granted, it was good of him to fetch back Neville's Remembrall, but really! He should have let a teacher get it back from Malfoy. But he and Ron- and every other Gryffindor- just think it's the best thing ever. Nobody cares about rules, Gwen.. I swear I should have been a Ravenclaw.

I wish that were the end of it, but there's more- so much more.

At dinner last night, Malfoy challenged Harry to a wizard's duel, to take place at midnight in the Trophy Room. I imagine he was peeved that Harry showed him up at the flying lesson (Malfoy was nothing on that broom compared to him.) Well of course, being boys, Harry accepted and Ron seconded him. When I tried to tell them it was a silly idea, both of them just ignored me. Actually, every single time I ever try to talk to them, Ron Weasley is especially awful to me. He rolls his eyes and mutters snotty comments under his breath. I try not to let it bother me, but Gwen.... I hate it when people treat me like that. Just like Susie Raviski and her group back at Muggle school. Like I'm nobody. Just because I don't want my housemates breaking any more rules! Honestly.

Anyway, I waited up for them in our common room and followed them out our portrait-hole, trying to talk them out of the whole stupid duel. They didn't listen one bit. I gave up after that, and tried to go back into Gryffindor Tower. After all, it's not my business if they want to get themselves expelled. I just didn't want to lose any more house points because of the Slytherins! You'd think I was an ogre, or something, the way those boys glared at me for "interfering". Well they just don't care about anybody but themselves, and here's proof- when I tried to get back into the tower, the Fat Lady who guards our portrait-hole had disappeared for some kind of evening visit, and I was locked out. And do you know what those boys did? Said they didn't care, they had to get to their duel, and off they went!

So there I was, locked out, in my bathrobe, and I had to go along with their dumb scheme, because obviously I wasn't going to stand there and wait for Filch or Mrs. Norris to catch me! (Filch is our caretaker and Mrs. Norris is his cat, and both of them have only one goal in life- to catch students and get them into trouble.) As if all that weren't enough, poor Neville was asleep in the hall, locked out as well. He'd forgotten the password. (Honestly, how hard is "pig snout"?) So he had to join us, too, and we all headed down to meet Malfoy.

Well, surprise, surprise- wouldn't you know Malfoy wasn't there? He had never planned to meet Harry at all. Instead, he'd tipped off Filch, who was prowling around with Mrs. Norris, trying to catch whoever showed up. Well, we ran! I didn't need to catch a detention, I can tell you! But we ran into the wrong thing- Peeves the poltergeist. Ron stupidly took a swing at him (boys!!) and so Peeves started screaming and banging 'round, so that we all had to duck into a locked closet and hide. (I used "Alohomora" to get us in- lucky I've been practicing on you!)

But Gwen!!!!! It wasn't a closet at all! It was that third floor corridor Dumbledore warned us about! And he wasn't kidding about the painful death bit- there's an enormous, fanged, three-headed, mad dog in there, standing on a trap-door, guarding something. It definitely tried to kill us! We got out, of course, but poor Neville- I don't think he'll ever recover.

Worst of all was when we got back into Gryffindor Tower (without being caught, thank goodness. I never would have forgiven Harry. I'd have cursed him and Ron right through the roof.) Harry and Ron didn't seem a bit sorry about any of it. Almost getting Neville and me killed- or (worse, really) expelled from Hogwarts- and not sorry at all. In fact, they seemed rather angry with me.

BOYS!!!! Honestly!!!!

I'm not talking to them until they get some sense into their thick heads. I'm going to ignore them, starting now. I'll let you know if they ever mature, but Gwen, don't hold your breath.

I won't, dear. I'm very glad you're safe, after all that.

Thanks, Gwen. Ugh. Time for Double Potions again. Just what I need, to see another face-off with Harry and Malfoy. Well, I just won't even look at either of them, or Ron. I'll be Neville's partner, and see if I can't spare him any of his usual embarrassments.

You're a good girl. Now off with you- you're late.

I am! Oh no!

 

 

HQoW

September 22

Gwen,

It's not even worth it to try with those two. I haven't spoken a word to them in what- over a week? And I think they're actually glad about it. I won't let it hurt my feelings. They're just not worth it.

But do you want to know what happened? Because it's driving me crazy.

Let's hear it, then.

Well at breakfast, the owl post came as usual, and Harry got this long, thin package. Nobody seemed to be able to guess what it was. (Well really, Gwen, how difficult is it to spot a wrapped broomstick? Especially when Harry just made the Quidditch team? For Heaven's sake.) Well, I shouldn't say nobody could guess. Malfoy guessed it right off, and since first years aren't allowed broomsticks yet, he told on Harry to Professor Flitwick.

Of course, since Harry's an exception (unfair!) Flitwick already knows all about the special Quidditch-playing circumstances, gave Harry this big smile, and asked the model of the broom. It's a Nipper Two Thousand or something, which I guess is pretty good, because right before Flitwick came up, Ron was giving Malfoy a face and poking fun at his old broomstick. Then Malfoy said something about Ron's family not being able to afford any broomsticks at all (he's awfully nasty, Gwen, to tease Ron about that). Anyway, that's when Flitwick walked over, (a good thing, too; Ron looked like he might throw a punch or something dreadful,) and Malfoy tattled.

Harry said something about "Oh yes, it's my Nipper Two Thousand, and it's all thanks to Malfoy here that I've got it!" Then he and Ron dashed up the stairs hooting, leaving Malfoy looking really angry. I followed them right out - goodness knows I didn't need to be the one left next to Malfoy at that moment! - and I heard Harry at the top of the stairway saying "It's true, if Malfoy hadn't taken Neville's Remembrall, I'd never have made the team," and so I said to him, "So I suppose you think that's a reward for breaking rules?" After all, he did fly against the rules, and he hasn't been made to learn his lesson at all! Anybody else would have been. But he's Harry Potter.

Well, Gwen, I'm telling you, those boys gave me just the dirtiest looks. I think they're very mean. Harry said, "I thought you weren't speaking to us any more?" and Ron gave me the same look he'd just given Malfoy, and said, "Yes, don't stop now, it's doing us so much good."

Awful, horrible, sarcastic, mean spirited, rotten boys.

I just marched right by, to show they hadn't gotten to me one bit!

But they had. Gwen, they really don't like me. They really are glad I'm not speaking to them. I think.... I think they'd rather I just disappeared. If I just didn't show up to the Great Hall one day, they probably wouldn't even ask where I'd gone. They'd be relieved to be rid of me.

But what was I supposed to say?! Honestly. Humph.

Oh, great- the two of them just walked through the common room and looked right through me. What should I do now, Gwen?

Gwen?

Oh, fine. I guess nobody's speaking to me anymore.

 

 

HQoW

October 17

Well, Guinevere, whether you're going to speak to me or not, here I am. I've got another hour before Astronomy class tonight, and I've done all the homework and studying I can for the test we've got. I've made full marks (110 percent in Transfiguration and Charms, actually,) on all my other first tests, and I'm sure I'll get perfect marks on this one, too. The only one that worries me is Potions on Friday. Snape might fail me just because I'm in Gryffindor. I wonder why I don't care? I'm so tired.

What's the matter, dear?

So you're there. Why didn't you bother to answer last time?

Hermione... sometimes it takes me longer than a moment to decide what to say. You gave me exactly three seconds.

Oh. I- I am sorry, Gwen. But I was- it was a bad day.

Don't fret. No harm done. Any new word on Harry and Ron?

We don't speak.

Ah.

There's no point. That "Muggle-born" book really was right. They're ordinary children. This is just like Muggle school. People are awful to me. But I'm not going to pamper egos and kiss up just to make friends. So I guess I just won't have any.

Oh, Hermione.

Well, it's true.

You have me.

That's true. I have you. Thanks, Gwen. And what do I want with Ron and Harry anyhow? Come to think of it, Neville's always nice to me, and even though Parvati and Lavender are fast friends already, they're friendly to me, too. The other night Parvati was looking unhappy and Lavender wasn't around, so I asked her what the matter was. She said that she's a little sad because her twin sister, Padma, got sorted into Ravenclaw - they were hoping they'd be together. So to cheer herself up, she taught me how to play Exploding Snap, with wizard cards. It's not all bad, just because of stupid Ron and Harry.

Of course not. But don't be late for your lesson, dear.

Right. Bye, Gwen.

Goodbye.

 

HQoW

October 31

(Halloween. The worst day of my life.)

I just want to go home. I just want to go home. I can't do it anymore. It's worse than anything, and magic can't help.

Hermione! Are you crying?

No!! Oh yes I am. Yes. Who cares? I just want to go home. Nothing matters.

Good heavens. Tell Gwen all about it.

It's Ron. He- he said I'm a nightmare.

But he didn't mean it!

Oh, yes he did. In Charms today? Professor Flitwick made us be partners- Ron and I- and we had to do "Wingardium Leviosa"- you know- making objects fly? And Harry was with Seamus Finnigan, and they set their feather on fire, and I- I just wanted to get it right! But Ron kept on yelling it out like this: WINGardium leVIosa, and it's supposed to be: winGARdium leviOsa, so I told him to make the "GAR" nice and long. He snapped right back at me that if I was so smart, I ought to do it myself. So I did, and the feather flew straight up and hovered.

But Hermione, that's wonderful! That's a very tricky charm!

I know. But it just made Ron even fouler with me when I did it, because then Flitwick made a fuss about how good it was, and for once I just... wished I was average. And when we were filing out of class, Ron was talking to Harry about me, and he said, loud enough for everybody to hear him, "It's no wonder no one can stand her. She's a nightmare, honestly."

Oh, dear.

I'll never forget he said it. Not one word. I burst into tears- I couldn't help it!- and I had to get out of there, so I shoved by them. As I was running off I heard Harry say "I think she heard you." And Ron said.... he said....

What did he say?

"So? She must have noticed by now she's got no friends." And I haven't got! And I have noticed! At least at home, when people were horrible, I could go and talk to my mum and dad, and have a good rest away from everybody. But here, I have to live with the people who can't stand me. I have to sleep, eat work with them-

Oh, my poor darling.

-and I'm supposed to be in History of Magic right now, but I just couldn't face them all. Especially Ron, after all he said. Why does he hate me so much? Is it so bad to follow rules and do well in school? Why does it always make me so- so lonely?

Oh, Gwen, they're all going to be back here in ten minutes. I can't bear it. I'm going to the girls' room and have a good cry. I can't even have a cry here.

I mean it. I want to go home, and I never want to see Ron Weasley- or Harry Potter for that matter- ever, ever again.

Boys. Honestly.

 

HQoW

November 1

 

Dear, wonderful Guinevere!

Something happened! I don't want to go home. I do have friends.

Well! You'll have to start from the beginning, I think.

All right. I went off yesterday to have my cry in the washroom, and of course there's not even any privacy there. Parvati Patil found me and tried to cheer me up- the Halloween Feast was last night and she said I ought to go. But I just felt so miserable that I couldn't. After all, what good is it to go to a big party where nobody wants you? That's worse than anything. I didn't want to go down and see those boys and everybody having a marvelous time. So I stayed in the toilet.

I don't really know how long I was in there because I sort of fell asleep in one of the stalls. I had just come out to the sink to wash my face and go back to bed in Gryffindor Tower, when the door opened, and someone came in. Rather, something came in. Something huge, and reeking, and horrid.

A twelve-foot, fully grown mountain troll, with a club.

I knew right away what it was, as I've read all about them, and I even know some good spells for distracting them from coming at me- but I didn't have my wand, and there was nothing I could do. Where was I supposed to run in there? The troll was absolutely huge- it blocked the whole way out- all I could do was back up against the wall and hope someone would come. Well, someone did come.

Someone came, slammed shut the door, and locked it from the outside.

And then I screamed. Gwen, I really thought I was done for. The troll started coming right at me- of course they're really stupid, so it was all very slow going, but that didn't stop it being terrifying!! It was knocking the sinks right off the wall to get over to me! I thought, I'll crawl under the stalls and make a dash for the door- but it was locked, so that was a useless plan. And just when I thought I was about to get eaten alive, who do you think came bursting down the door?

Harry and Ron!!!!!!!!

Well, I may have said yesterday that I never wanted to see those two again, but Gwen, I've never been so happy to see anybody my whole life. Harry yelled at Ron to distract it, and Ron hurled a tap at the wall and hollered, "Oy! Pea-brain!" It would have been really funny, actually, if I hadn't been so scared. He did distract the troll anyway, so Harry tried to drag me off the wall and out the door, but I was frozen stiff- couldn't take a step.

After that, it was all chaos. I was up against the wall- too frightened to help them do anything- and next thing I knew, Harry had jumped on the troll's back and shoved his wand up its nose! It started swinging him around and batting at him with his club, but Harry just hung right on. (There really is something heroic about Harry.) And then Ron pointed his wand at the troll and shouted, of all things, "Wingardium Leviosa!" Sure enough, that troll's club flew up, fell on its head, and knocked it out cold. (I can tell you, I was glad I'd told Ron how to say that charm properly in class. He said it brilliantly, with the "GAR" nice and long! And his face, when it actually worked- well, it was priceless, honestly.)

We just stood there, dazed.

And then a bunch of teachers came panting down the hall and found us, Prof. McGonagall, then Snape, and even poor Quirrell, shaking like a leaf. (He sat down on a toilet seat and had some kind of attack. I mean, really. Defense Against the Dark Arts, my foot.) Well, Prof. M. was furious- FURIOUS- to find Ron and Harry away from Gryffindor with a giant troll on the loose. She was about to deduct about a thousand house points from them, and they both looked more scared of her than they'd been of the troll.

So I took the blame.

I said it was my fault, that I'd gone off to find the troll on my own, to try and defeat it with what I'd learned, that Ron and Harry had come looking for me, and that they'd saved me. (Well, that part is true.) Harry and Ron looked at me then- and not like before when they were sick of me- but with a sort of happy shock. Ron dropped his wand right on the floor and Harry stared. (I guess they couldn't believe I'd lie to a teacher, but really, did they think I'd let them get in trouble after they'd tackled a troll for me? I'm not that much a goody-two-shoes.) Prof. M. looked us up and down, and finally decided to believe me. She took five house points from me for being silly enough to try it, and said she was disappointed in me. (Awful. But I hung my head properly and took it.) It's all right about the house points, though. She gave Ron and Harry five each for defeating the troll, so we end up five ahead!

The best part of all, though, was getting back to Gryffindor Tower. The feast was still going on in there. I waited by the door for Harry and Ron to catch me up, and when they came in, we all sort of looked at the ground and said "Thanks" to each other, before going to get something to eat. It was a bit awkward, but really... nice. I guess if you go in together on knocking out trolls and lying to teachers, you end up liking each other.

I saw Harry and Ron already today. They asked if I wanted to do homework together.

Together!!! Oh- here they come. I've got to go. We're going to go over the Transfiguration assignment, and I have a funny feeling that they're going to need more help than Neville does with Potions.

See you soon!

HQoW

November 12

Hi, Gwen!

I know it's been forever, but with studies and Quidditch, I've been awfully busy this month.

You're not playing Quidditch!?

Well, not playing, but I may as well be counted on the team with all the time I've spend on that field watching Harry. Ron, too. Oh, and Harry's broomstick isn't a Nipper. It's a Nimbus. Ron made that very clear. When he heard me calling it a Nipper, he nearly choked to death laughing. Honestly, he can't remember a thing about how to Transfigure a pebble into a marble, but when it comes to Quidditch he's even more a know-it-all than I am. He knows every name of every World Cup player for about six thousand years- no kidding. It makes me mad when he won't apply that brain to his homework! Harry's just as bad- I lent him "Quidditch Through the Ages" to read, and now he's spouting off facts like Professor Binns! "Hermione, d'you know there are seven hundred ways to commit a Quidditch foul? Can you believe they were all used during the World Cup Match of 1473? And sometimes, referees disappear for months at a time, and turn up in the Sahara Desert!" I wish either of them would give one-tenth that energy to Charms.

The first match is this Saturday. Gryffindor against Slytherin. It's a good thing Malfoy isn't on the Slytherin team- I'm sure he'd use all seven hundred of those World Cup fouls on Harry without blinking an eye. It'll be a dirty enough game as it is- the Slytherin players are already trying to trip Harry everywhere he goes, hoping he'll twist an ankle and have to sit out the match (as if Madam Pomfrey couldn't mend a twisted ankle in two shakes of her wand). Ron and I practically have to bodyguard him in the hallways. Not that that's any trouble- since Halloween we three have spent pretty near all our time together.

Isn't that nice?

Even if they are boys who won't do their classwork properly, they're my friends. D'you know what Harry said to me tonight? "I'm pretty lucky to have you. Don't know how I'd get through all this work and practice otherwise." And Ron sort of slugged me and said, "Yeah, you're a regular chum, Hermione."

Well, here they are, double trouble, all bundled up to go out. We've got Astronomy in twenty minutes, and the weather is freezing! I've got to get my coat-- well would you look at that? Ron's had Parvati bring it down already, and he's got it.

Ah ha. Go on then.

Bye, Gwen!

HQoW

November 14

Harry's first Quidditch match is tomorrow! I've got to calm down and go to sleep, but I can't! And that's not the only thing keeping me awake.

Today, the three of us were out in the courtyard at break, and as it was really cold, I conjured up a little blue fire in a jam jar (it's getting to be one of my best charms). We were all getting warm by it when Professor Snape noticed us. He's always noticing us. He really has it in for us Gryffindors, especially Harry, and as the Bluebell Flame isn't technically allowed outside of class, I knew he'd take points off our house for it. We all tried to hide it as he came over. Well, he hadn't spotted the fire, but he found a reason to pick on Harry anyhow- he took away "Quidditch Through the Ages" and said something about library books not being allowed outside the school- a rubbishy rule, if you ask me. Harry thinks he made it up, and I agree. But Snape took five points off us anyway (unfair!) and limped off with the book. We noticed the limp, and Harry said, "I wonder what's wrong with his leg?" Ron said, "Dunno, but I hope it's really hurting him." (Ron can be awfully sarcastic, I've noticed.)

I didn't really think about Prof. Snape's leg after that- I've been much too nervous for Harry, and we had loads of Charms work to get through, too. We're on Blossoming Charms- beautiful, but much harder than I thought they'd be, though if I really concentrate I can get two or three white blossoms and a twisty little vine to grow on the wall. I won't let Harry or Ron try theirs anywhere near me. They keep making fungus grow instead of flowers. (I think they may be doing it on purpose, but I hope not. It isn't very funny.) They asked me to go over written work with them, though, and I agreed. At first they just wanted to copy mine, but how will they ever learn if I let them do that? So they tried it on their own, and then we went through it together, checking answers.

Well, while we were studying, Harry shot up out of his chair suddenly- he's been so fidgety about this match!- and said he was going to get "Quidditch Through the Ages" back from Snape. Said he didn't see why he shouldn't be allowed to have it. Ron and I had the exact same opinion about that, and we said it at the same time: "Better you than me!" (It's always amazing when Ron and I actually agree on anything, but there you are. I'd rather let Neville make me a Sleeping Draught than ask Snape for anything he'd confiscated. He's so nasty.) But off Harry went to get the book.

This isn't really part of the story, but I have to tell you that in the ten minutes Harry was gone, Ron managed to grow a Creeping Fungus all along Neville's wand, so that when poor Neville picked it up to practice his own homework, he closed his hand around slimy mold, which started twisting up onto his arm. He screamed so loud that half the common room jumped. (Ron swore it was an accident, but I don't know. He was laughing really hard, and his twin brothers were winking at him.) I had to do a counter-charm on the wand before Neville would quit yelping, and even then he held the wand out from his body like it was about to start sprouting up his arm again. As if he doesn't already have enough trouble with his assignments. I started to tell Ron off, but before I could manage a good speech, Harry came bursting back in, looking wild.

I forgot all about Neville's problems when Harry explained himself, because - and this is the part that's keeping me awake- Harry had found Snape, and overheard him talking. He was with Filch, who was changing the bandages on that limping leg for him. It seems the reason that Snape's got the limp is that he was attacked by that three-headed dog-- the mad one in the forbidden third floor corridor! Which means he must have gone in there!

Harry and Ron are both sure he's trying to get past the dog and steal whatever's hidden under that trapdoor. But I can't believe it- a Hogwarts teacher might be nasty, mean, ugly and foul-tempered, but he would never steal from Dumbledore. He must have been the one assigned to feed the beast, or something, and I guess it attacked him accidentally. I told them I couldn't dream of Snape stealing, even if he is horrid, but they just ignored me (as usual, when I'm right. They're still boys.) Ron gave me his withering voice: "Honestly, Hermione, you think all teachers are saints or something." Well I don't, but I also don't think that Professor Snape is a thief. Ron says he wouldn't put anything past Snape. (Well what does Ron know anyway? He can't even make a Blossoming Charm work.)

He did have one good point, though. What's that dog guarding? I've never really wondered- I was too mad at them before, after we got locked in that closet and all. I suppose it's not any of the students' business, but I am a bit curious. I don't suppose it could really hurt to riddle it out a little...

Hermione, don't go off getting yourself into trouble. I'm sure whatever it is, if Dumbledore's hidden it, he's got quite a good reason.

Oh, Gwen. You're starting to sound just like me. But you're right- I can't think about this now. Goodnight, then- and here's to a Gryffindor victory in the morning!

Now that I will certainly support.

 

HQoW

November 15

Gwen, the match starts in an hour, and we'd better beat Slytherin! I know we can do it with Harry as our Seeker- but he wouldn't eat any breakfast due to his nerves, and if he faints and falls off that broomstick---!!

I'm sure he'll survive.

Well, it won't be my fault, anyway. I tried to make him eat some toast. Oh, Gwen! We made a big banner for him and everything; it says "Potter for President" and I charmed the paint to flash all different colors, and Dean Thomas drew a big Gryffindor Lion- we're all just so excited we could die. I'm going with Ron right now to get good seats. I have my fingers all crossed that the next words I write in this diary will be: "We Won!"

*************************************************************************************

HQoW

WE WON!!!!! Ah ha ha! Take that, you horrible green and silver snakes! We won, and it was EXCELLENT!!!!!!

Oh, Hermione, how wonderful! Wish I could have seen the match. Sigh.

Well don't be blue about it! I'll give you the whole thing, play by play- at least, I'll give you what I can remember- I was jumping up and down screaming the whole time, and my brain's quite tired.

Oh, tell, tell!

Plus, Gwen, something really dreadful happened- I still can't believe it. All those things Ron and Harry thought about Snape-

The match, Hermione, dear, the match.

Right. Well. Gryffindor scored first (our Chasers are all girls, by the way. I am glad it's a co-ed sport. I noticed all the Slytherin players are boys, but my house obviously has a more advanced view of things.) So Angelina Johnson got the Quaffle, and put it right past their Keeper- 10 points for Gryffindor! You should have seen those Slytherins- the "fanged green gits" as Ron kept hollering into the sky. You should see him, too, Gwen. Quidditch isn't a sport to him, it's a religion. Honestly. You two'd probably get on well.

Go on then, go on!

Then Hagrid joined us up in the stands with his binoculars- he'd been watching from his cabin, but couldn't stand to be apart from all the cheering- and I knew just how he felt! When Angelina scored, we all screamed rather than cheered, and Harry did hoops in the sky! He was just gliding over the game at that point, looking for the Golden Snitch- and almost got knocked out by a Bludger! (Those Bludgers are a bit terrifying, I think. I certainly wouldn't want to be attacked by one fifty feet up.)

And then... Harry saw the Snitch. He and the other Seeker hurtled toward it, and Harry almost had it-but at the last moment, the Slytherin Captain blocked him off so hard that he nearly fell from the sky! He spun off like mad, gripping on- Ron and I gasped together- Hagrid started bellowing- and Dean hollered to give that Marcus Flint (Slytherin captain) a red-card, and toss him out of the game. (But as that's a soccer rule, and soccer's a Muggle sport, nobody listened, least of all Ron, who snorted like he couldn't imagine why anybody'd care about a sport played on the ground.)

Through it all, Harry stayed on that broom, and righted himself. The Slytherins got what they wanted, though. The Snitch had disappeared. Our Announcer, Lee Jordan (a friend of the ever-tricky Weasley twins) had some fighting things to say about that. Prof. M. kept trying to rein him in, but he's awfully funny, and he just kept telling things his own way- "After that obvious and disgusting bit of cheating," or "Flint nearly kills the Gryffindor Seeker, which could happen to anyone, I'm sure," and so on. We were all yelling back "You tell it, Lee! Gerroff, you lousy Snakes! Foul! Foul!" Just to give you an idea of the tumult.

Marvelous, marvelous!

In any case, we lost the Snitch, but got a penalty shot, and Alicia Spinnet put it right in- Ha ha ha! Twenty to zero, Gryffindor! So much for the all-boy team! After that, Slytherin did manage to score, though- and it was the only fair shot they got all match, if you want to know. The rest were all cheats. So the score was twenty to ten.

And that's when the horrible thing started to happen. Harry's broom started shaking and jerking all across the sky. It was dreadfully scary- not even Hagrid was calm about it, staring up with the binoculars and saying that only powerful dark magic could ever affect a broom so badly- and then the whole crowd, even the Slytherins, were on their feet, because Gwen, the broom had thrown Harry off, and he was dangling up there by one hand!

No!

Yes! And Neville dug his face into Hagrid's sleeve and started shaking. Ron was just paralyzed with fear- he turned totally gray and was swearing under his breath while his twin brothers (our Gryffindor Beaters) circled under Harry, trying to catch him safely off his broom and onto one of theirs- which didn't work, because his broom just jerked higher and higher. It was like it was being controlled- like it was a puppet. The horrible Slytherins were stamping their feet and cheering him to fall- their rotten captain scored five times without anyone bothering to stop him (cheater, cheater!!!), making it sixty points to twenty in favor of Slytherin- and the whole school was in mass chaos.

How perfectly exciting!

And then I thought- if Hagrid's right, if only dark magic can interfere with a broom, then someone must be jinxing Harry this instant! I grabbed Hagrid's binoculars and started searching the crowd. And I found him- muttering and starting at the sky- without blinking (and I've read all about jinxing, you know, and it's necessary to have perfect eye-contact, so I'm sure it was a jinx.)

It was Professor Snape.

You're not serious!

I didn't really think about what I was going to do- just quickly told Ron, and shoved him the binoculars, then ran for it- across the seats- to the far side of the stadium- to Snape. I knocked over a mess of people on the way, including Prof. Quirrell, who I smacked right into the next row. (Normally that would really bother me, you know, practically attacking a teacher, but I didn't have time to care, as Harry was being killed just then. I doubt Quirrell noticed anyway. He had been staring up at Harry too, muttering and looking more scared than Ron and I put together. I cannot believe he's supposed to fight the Dark Arts- what a coward!)

But then? Then?

Right, sorry. When I reached Snape, I took out my wand and set the Bluebell Flame on his cloak. He caught fire, yelped, lost eye-contact, and I ran for it- I mean, RAN for it. But with all the commotion, that evil-that foul-that b... (Well, I won't say it. Ron does though.) Anyway, he never knew what hit him.

But Ron and I knew what had hit Harry.

Back to Harry. His broom quit acting up; he clambered back on and steered back down as fast as fast as he could- just wanted to be out of the sky after that fright, I imagine. Ron came back to his normal color and yanked Neville's head out of Hagrid's armpit, Hagrid started breathing again, and I ran back along the stadium to my seat, watching Harry all the way. When I got close enough, Ron yelled "What'd you do?" And when I could whisper, I told him, "Set him on fire." He laughed and groaned with relief, said "Wish I'd set fire to the stupid prat," and clapped me so hard on the back I thought I'd choke. (I think he'd really go out of his mind if something happened to Harry. It's sweet.)

But the match????

You are keen on it, aren't you? All right, GQoQ (that's Gwen, Queen of Quidditch), here's the ending of it. Harry was soaring to the ground when he suddenly looked like he was going to be sick- his eyes opened wide and he clapped a hand over his mouth. Then he landed, fell on his hands and knees, coughed.... and can you guess what fell into his hand?

The Snitch? The Snitch?

The Golden Snitch! He looked at it for a moment, held it up, yelled "I've got the Snitch!" and the whole stadium (minus the Slytherins, who hissed like the brat-serpents they are,) shot up and started screaming wildly! Victory for Gryffindor, one hundred seventy points to sixty! The Slytherins were livid- and Snape.... well I thought he might murder someone on the spot.

How marvelous! It's just been ages since I've heard such a good one. Did they all hoist Harry up and carry him off? Was there a celebration?

They didn't carry him off- didn't have a chance. Hagrid ran down to the field, scooped him up by the arm, and towed the three of us off to his cabin so we could all get our nerves back. Ron's were just as shot as Harry's, he gaped at him with a look that said "You idiot, how dare you go almost breaking your neck! Raging great game!" And Harry shot back a look and a head-shake that said "Can't believe it either. Glad I'm on the ground. Wasn't it cool?" (Those boys. If they could die for Quidditch, I think they'd happily do it.)

Anyway, in Hagrid's hut, Ron and I told him and Harry what had happened with Snape. Harry believed it all right. I can't believe I thought Snape wouldn't steal from Dumbledore. If he'd try to kill a student, he'd steal for sure. Wish we knew what was under that trapdoor! Hagrid wouldn't say a thing- told us to keep out of it, none of our business, and is also sure that Snape had nothing to do with Harry almost getting killed up there today. I know I was of Hagrid's opinion yesterday.... but after what I saw.... I wish he believed us.

Hagrid was a little surprised to find out we knew anything about the trapdoor in the first place. Not happy when he found we knew about the three-headed dog, either. He calls the dog "Fluffy", Gwen.. Fluffy. I've never heard of anything less appropriate in my whole life. That dog is about as harmless as Snape. But Hagrid loves big, monstrous creatures, and thinks they're just sweet little babies. I guess it's easier to be friends with massive animals when you're twelve feet tall.

Hagrid did tell us one thing, though, by accident. He said something along the lines of- "This is a matter between Dumbledore and Nicolas Flamel." We all three grinned, and Harry said, "Aha! So there's someone called Nicolas Flamel involved, is there?"

Hagrid did not look pleased with himself. I'm glad he slipped up, though. We will find out about Flamel. We're going to the library with every spare minute, starting tomorrow. I'm sure the answer is there somewhere. But until then.... I'm going to sleep. This has been a very long day. When we got back to Gryffindor Tower, there were still people waiting up to jump Harry and celebrate his victory with the Snitch, and what with jinxing and cheering and thinking and celebrating and setting people on fire... I'm pretty exhausted.

Oh, but Hermione, before you go...

Yes, Gwen?

I wouldn't normally ask- but just this once- you see, Esmeralda and Simone and Argo and Bathsheba- some of my friends- are also Quidditch fans, and I hoped...

Of course, of course. I give you permission to tell everybody all about it! I want the entire wizarding world to know that Gryffindor is the best!

Brilliant, Hermione. They'll adore it.

Gryffindor is the best, then? No more wondering if you should have gone to Ravenclaw?

Ravenclaw?! Never. This is my house, these are my friends, that was my team, and that Sorting Hat must just be smarter than I thought.

Now I'm off. Falling asleep. 'Night.

 

HQoW

December 1

What a Monday. We haven't found anything on Nicolas Flamel.

I've asked at Miss Vauclain's for you, Hermione, but nobody there has heard of him, either.

Oh- thanks, Gwen. Never mind, I know we'll find him sometime. There just isn't anything you can't get from the library- I'm sure of it. I'm sure we'd have him by now, if Harry and Ron would be a bit more organized about searching, but they both just pull books out at random. I've been trying to teach them how to research a thing properly, but I've noticed that whenever I try to tell them anything, Harry gets this look, an Ron says "Oi, Hermione, you're putting us to sleep," or "Whatever you say, Professor," or something like that. He calls me a know-it-all about three times a week. It's very trying, having boys for friends.

There isn't much I wouldn't tell them, though. I haven't met a girl here I like half as much as Harry or Ron. They might be idiots, but I'd miss them if anything happened to them. And with Snape on the loose, I've got to keep a close eye out in Potions, to make sure he doesn't try and do something else dreadful to Harry.

Hermione... are you sure of what you saw at that Quidditch match?

Positive, Gwen. Positive. Oh, by the way, how'd it go with the other brains? Did you tell them about Gryffindor winning, and the Snitch flying into Harry's mouth and all?

I did indeed. It's the best story anyone's had all year, and I'm quite the center of attention right now. Any more matches soon?

Not 'til after the holidays. I wish there were. Quidditch is marvelous.

True, that.

Things are mostly okay. Hogwarts is completely freezing. I can see my breath in the hallways. It's warm enough in the common room and the Great Hall, what with the fires and all, but I won't mind going home for a bit of regular Muggle-style heating over Christmas. It'll be strange though, to be back in that world. This one feels ever so much more natural to me. And what will I do without magic for two weeks? I wonder if I could get special permission, you know, just to show Mum and Dad a few things...

Or maybe I won't miss magic. I'll have enough to do while I'm home. I've got so much holiday work already, Gwen. It's almost three weeks 'til I go, and already they've started piling it on. Tonight, after dinner, Harry and Ron and I have agreed to research our "History of Magical Blunders: Medieval to Present" assignment- three rolls of parchment by Friday! Honestly, how does Professor Binns expect it to be thorough?- plus I've promised Neville I'll give him a hand with Temporary Paralysis Potions. (I'd never let him do that one alone. I'm terrified he'll paralyze himself forever.) Ron said we can practice putting the potion on Scabbers (his pet rat) which I thought was rather generous of him.

Not to mention that I'm still having trouble getting an ordinary feather to Transfigure into a quill. It looks so simple when Professor McGonagall does it! Someday I want to be as clever a witch as she is. (You should see her turn a regular wheel into a miniature merry-go-round!) My feather will grow a nib, but it always falls off. Harry's only grows a pointy tip- but Ron's is the worst; all the feathery things fall off it whenever he tries. But they won't practice, and it's their loss. Goodness knows I've tried to make them do. But whenever I say anything, it's "Oh, stuff that, I'm too tired," or "How d'you expect me to concentrate when you won't shut it?" (Guess who says that.)

Anyhow, I'm hungry. See you later, Gwen.

 

HQoW

December 19

Horrible, conceited, badmouthing idiot!

What has Ron done now?

Not Ron. Draco Malfoy.

Sorry.

It's all right. It very well could've been on any other day... but today.... oooh, Gwen, those Slytherins are all just.... wrong. Here's what happened. After Potions today (where we froze in the dungeon, and where, by the way, Neville managed a Temporary Paralysis Potion that didn't kill anything,) we found Hagrid dragging an enormous Christmas tree up to the Great Hall. Ron offered to help him do it. Just then, Draco Malfoy came up behind us, and he actually said-- well, let me give you the background.

Malfoy's said some pretty nasty things to Harry lately. Ever since that Quidditch game, he's been going 'round telling everyone that a wide-mouthed tree frog would make a good replacement Seeker (you know, since Harry nearly swallowed the Snitch that time?) But the thing is, everyone's so impressed that Harry stayed on his crazy broomstick that they don't really care how he caught the Snitch. So they ignore the rubbishy insults and keep on praising Harry- which only makes Draco even crueler. He's started taunting Harry about having no parents.

Gwen, you know what happened to the Potters. They were murdered by Voldemort.

Yes.

Well it's tragic! And Malfoy doesn't care at all- he's so jealous of Harry he'll say anything to make him suffer. Today in Potions he was bothering him about it, something like, "I feel so sorry for those people who don't have any parents to go home to over the holidays." Only he wasn't a bit sorry. Hateful. I was so proud of Harry! He just measured out his powdered spine of lionfish, as cool as anything- and even Ron didn't give him the satisfaction of saying anything back.

Hermione, dear? Does this all come back 'round to Hagrid and the Christmas tree?

Yes- it just goes to show that by the end of Potions today, we were all completely fed up with Malfoy's mouth. So yes, back to my story- Ron offered to help Hagrid with the tree, and that's when Draco came up behind us. I guess he's not getting enough joy out of just torturing Harry anymore, so he said something really bad to Ron. He saw Ron trying to help with the tree and said- oh, I can't believe his nerve- "Are you trying to earn some extra money, Weasley? Hoping to be gamekeeper yourself when you leave Hogwarts, I suppose- that hut of Hagrid's must seem like a palace compared to what your family's used to."

Ron snapped. I don't blame him. He dove for Malfoy, and Malfoy (coward) ducked him-and Professor Snape came around the corner from the classroom and caught him. Snape took five points off Gryffindor for fighting, of course, even though Hagrid told him that Ron was provoked. Snape's such a.... well, he doesn't care what's fair, obviously; look what he tried to do to Harry. "Five points, Weasley, and just be glad it isn't more." What a bad joke. We've got to find out what he's trying to steal. We've got to prove to Dumbledore that he's horrible. I wish he weren't a teacher here. He ruins everything.

When Snape strolled off, Ron was so angry- "I'll get him, one of these days I'll get him," and Harry said "I hate them both- Malfoy and Snape." Well I hate them too. It's not Harry's fault he's an orphan. It's not Ron's fault he's poor. Who cares anyway? They're wonderful people, and they shouldn't have to put up with that kind of dirty teasing. I guess I'll enjoy being home for a couple of weeks- just to be away from everything even remotely connected to Slytherin.

Things cheered up a bit after that, though. Hagrid took us to see all the decorations in the Great Hall. They're amazing- magical bubbles, fairies, crackers that explode and give you actual presents instead of confetti.... my tree at home just won't compare. Hagrid looked so proud of it. He really loves Hogwarts. I'm so fond of Hagrid- even if he won't tell us anything else about Nicolas Flamel. He's rather mad we're still looking him up. But how else are we ever supposed to find out what Snape's after?

We went to the library this afternoon. We had a half-hour free. We're still at square one. It's frustrating, especially since I'm leaving for the holidays today, and won't have a chance to look up anything for two whole weeks. Harry almost made it into the Restricted Section today, but Madam Pince caught him. I'll bet Flamel is in the Restricted Section. Otherwise I'm sure we'd have found him. Too bad we can't just ask Madam Pince, but we all agreed no grown-ups, since we can't risk Snape finding out what we're up to.

I'm going in just a few minutes- back home, to the Muggle world. I told Harry and Ron to send me an owl post if they find anything about Flamel. I hope they'll send a post anyway.

Going to miss them, are you?

Well, I'm just going to miss Hogwarts. You know, I'm awfully glad Ron's staying with Harry. His mum and dad are off to Romania to visit his brother Charlie, and so all the Weasley brothers will be at Hogwarts, too. I'd hate to think of Harry all alone, and he'll definitely have fun with Ron. (Too much fun. They'll probably burn the whole thing down, with the help of the twins. I'll be shocked if they so much as look at our Charms assignment. But as it's Christmas, I'll wait to bother them 'til I get back. Actually, I already bothered them. But as it's Christmas, they've gone temporarily deaf.)

'Bye, Gwen. Next time I open you, it'll be in the Muggle World. 'Bye, Hogwarts!

 

HQoW

December 25

Merry Christmas, Gwen!

Oh, am I in the Muggle world, then?

Yes. It's not very interesting. The best things here are Mum and Dad, and my presents. Gwen, they're so good.

Your presents?

Well, I meant Mum and Dad, but yes, my presents are really nice. Mum sent off to Diagon Alley for most of it- lots of magical stuff! It all came late last night by owls, and it's marvelous. Mum and Dad are brilliant- they're so interested in all my schoolwork and things, and so easygoing about my new life. They love owl post and they just about died when I did the Blossoming Charm on our tree, and made berries grow in the branches.

I got special permission from Professor McGonagall to exhibit my lessons for my parents. I was so pleased; she said, "Normally, Miss Granger, I wouldn't let a student practice outside of our world- especially a first year student such as yourself. But you have shown consistent excellence in all your studies, and such dedication to the discipline of witchcraft that I consider you an exception." And then she drew up a list of spells I'm allowed to show them! It's so funny to use a wand in front of Mum and Dad. They go wild for it, though.

For their Christmas presents, I did a presentation. I Transfigured feathers into quills for each of them, wrapped flowers 'round Mum's head, flew Dad's telly remote over to his hand, and lit a giant Bluebell Flame in our fireplace. They loved it. They're so proud of me! And as for my own presents, I got some Advanced Potions ingredients, a bottle of Invisible Ink, a music box that plays whatever song you tell it, a membership to the Magical Text of the Month Club (this month's book: "Tears and Laughter; Practical Applications of Emotional Charmwork") a new robe, and Mum got me this stuff called "Sleekeazy's Hair Potion" for my big bushy head. (It's going right in the back of my trunk- I'll never use it. Who cares about hair? Nice thought, though.) I also got some regular Muggle stuff I needed: good shoes, a thesaurus, and some lovely sachets for my bureau. Dad says I made out like a bandit.

It's been such a nice Christmas. I hope Harry and Ron's was nice, too. I got them candy. They got me candy. Guess it's hard to think of what to get. But Mum and Dad are both enjoying the Cauldron Cakes and Chocolate Frogs, so I guess it's a good present after all.

I sent a note back to Hogwarts with a late owl- one got here during breakfast with my first Book of the Month. Guess it was too heavy. Anyway, my note said:

"Dear Harry & Ron-Merry Christmas! Things are lovely here. Mum and Dad love the candies you've given me- thanks. I'm showing them loads of things from Hogwarts and they're both really funny about it- they love magic. I hope your holidays are fun, too. Found anything about Flamel yet? Do send an owl if you have. (It's funny, Ron, but my parents don't know a thing about him. Shocking, really. Oh well.) See you day before term starts! --Love from, Hermione"

The reason I said that to Ron, about Flamel and my parents and everything, is that just before I left, he suggested I ask my parents if they knew anything about Flamel. "It'll be safe to ask them," he said. "Very safe, as they're both dentists," I said. Sometimes I just can't resist giving back some of that smart mouth. (Mum says sarcasm is unbecoming to a lady, but then Mum doesn't have to deal with Ron.)

Oh, I've got to go. Dad's demanding that I fly his dinner over to the couch, and Mum's giving him a Look.

'Bye Gwen.

 

HQoW

January 2

Dear Guinevere,

The holidays are over, but I don't go back to Hogwarts quite yet.

I miss the library.

The library???

Yes. The library. And I miss classes- especially Charms. I thought I'd miss Transfiguration most, but it's that flick of the wrist in Charms- I'm so good at it. And I miss my four-poster in Gryffindor Tower, and I miss the Fat Lady in the portrait hole. I even miss helping Neville with Potions. I just miss....

Mm-hmmm?

Oh, all right. I miss Harry and Ron. They sent an owl back, by the way. Here, I'll copy it down for you:

"Dear Hermione- Christmas was really great- we spent it thinking up ways to get Malfoy expelled. Thanks for the Every Flavor Beans. I just got one that tasted like soap. Very nice. And Harry got the best present ever- wait 'til you see it! We've got one on Filch now- hah! Got to go murder a Bishop. -Bye, Ron"

And Harry wrote,

"Dear Hermione-This is the best Christmas I've ever had in my life. Thanks for the Frogs. I got you Frogs. We could have just kept our own. I'll show you that thing Ron was talking about when you come back. It's cool. We haven't found Flamel , but the thing will help us. Ron's been teaching me Wizard Chess, but I'm terrible at it. He's killing my Bishop right now. Got to run. --See you, Harry"

I didn't know Ron could play chess. I can play chess. I'm rather good. The only one who can beat me is Dad. Can't wait to get back to Hogwarts and have a game!

Hogwarts.... urgh, the holidays here are really over. Mum and Dad took the rest of my Cakes and Frogs away. They don't want me having any more sugar. (Dentists.) That's all right, I guess- I don't need any more problems with these giant teeth I've got. I've already asked them if I can have Madam Pomfrey shrink my teeth by magic, but I got a great big "NO". They're very open minded, but they want me to use regular braces. Bother.

I'm really looking forward to getting back. I wonder what the secret thing is that Harry got? And what did Ron mean about having one on Filch? I hope they're not doing anything that could get them into trouble. (Right.)

Guess I'll go skating. It takes my mind off school. I should do my final assignment. It's a one and a half foot essay for Snape on "Secretus Potions: The Development of the Spontaneous Sweating Recipes" and we're supposed to talk about who came up with it and why... but I just can't. Schoolwork makes me miss Hogwarts even worse. It won't be long now- it's Friday and I go back Sunday- so why does it feel like forever?

Talk to you soon, Gwen.

HQoW

January 4

Dear Gwen,

I am so happy to be back at Hogwarts! I'll miss Mum and Dad, of course, but nothing compares to school. Nothing. I'm lying in my big four-poster, watching the snow fall out the window, feeling snug and warm as the sun goes down, just killing a bit of time before dinner... lovely. Of course after dinner will be a different story, as I am the only person who finished all of the holiday assignments, and now everybody wants to copy them off before term starts again tomorrow.

Well they can't. I'm going to have a nice read by the fire, and put on ear muffs so I won't have to listen to them whine.

I had a chance to chat with Harry and Ron- but barely. I think he and all the Weasleys were trying to throw as many snowballs as they could at each other before the holidays end. The Weasley twins have enchanted a couple of snowballs to follow around Professor Quirrell and hit him on the back of the turban. It shouldn't be funny, really. (But it is. Defense Against the Dark Arts? He's terrified of snowballs.) Anyhow, they told me what Harry's secret present was. An Invisibility Cloak! Isn't that marvelous? It used to belong to his dad. I think it's the only thing of his that Harry's got, and we don't know who gave it to him. There was a note, but no signature.

Harry used it to sneak into the Restricted Section, late at night. I don't know whether to be mad or glad- what if Filch had caught him! And he didn't find Nicolas Flamel, so it wasn't even worth the trouble. He did find something interesting, though. The Mirror of Erised. Apparently it shows you your heart's deepest desire. Harry saw his family. (I nearly cried when he told me that. I wanted to hug him. It's just desperate, his being an orphan. But I was calm. You can't really go crying and hugging all over the place with boys. They don't appreciate it.) Ron saw himself as Head Boy and Quidditch Captain. I guess his deepest desire is to be something, be noticed as somebody. I can imagine it must be hard, with all those older brothers to compete with. The thing is, though... I don't know.... Ron doesn't have to compete with his brothers. He's his own person. (Why would he want to be Head Boy, anyway? Percy'll probably be Head Boy, and Ron can't stand Percy.)

I wonder what I would see if I looked in the Mirror of Erised? Ron said I'd probably see myself holding up my exam results with full marks. But I don't know. I guess I have to think about that one. My heart's deepest desire...

Mmmmmm.... you should smell that. Dinner! I'm off.

//
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