Gwen? Something's happened.
Are you all right, dear? Is
it Harry? Is it Snape?
No, no- nothing like that. Onlyjust.... well,
I suppose it isn't really anything, but....
Oh, the suspense.
Oh, hush. It's Ron. He- he beat me at Wizard
Chess. Really, really badly. I don't think I've ever lost that badly. Not even
to Dad. It's... it's thrown me for a loop.
Hermione... can I say something?
You're a very intelligent girl.
But it might not be entirely bad for you to... well... lose something once in
That's what Harry said.
Well then, it's nothing to
get upset over.
That's what Ron said. And I'm not upset. I'm
just... shocked. Ron's so illogical about everything- so incredibly illogical.
And all this time, he's been faking it. He's really smart. I don't know what
to think about it. I just sat there tonight and watched him play while he beat
Harry, and all the time I was getting more and more antsy to play him myself,
you know? Because I could see how good he was, and I knew it would be a challenge!
I figured we'd be pretty evenly matched, but I knew I could beat him, no problem-
I mean, his moves were smart, but they weren't amazing or anything.
He was holding back with Harry, Gwen. He did
not hold back with me. Ron Weasley is amazing at chess.
I don't think I would have lost quite so badly
if I hadn't been so surprised. I will beat him next time.
That's the spirit, dear.
It's so strange, Gwen. I've never seen Ron look
like that- like he did while he was concentrating on his chessmen. I don't know
how to describe it.
I think I know.
Anyhow, it's late, and I've got to get my things
together for Astronomy. I can't believe we have to go out there in this snow.
I'd love to crawl into bed.... but the planets await. 'Bye, Gwen.
Gwen! We did it! We found Nicolas Flamel!
So the library did pay off,
Well, no. Harry found him on the back of a
Wizard Card, from that box of Frogs I gave him for Christmas. I guess it was
a useful present after all! But there's so much that's happened- that's not
all of it- everything always happens at once-
Can't! I was in the common room with Ron, having
a game of chess, when Harry came running in from Quidditch practice, all pale
and shaken up. (I was rather glad of the interruption really. Ron was winning
again- I still haven't managed to beat him. Though he does have to concentrate
harder, now I've had a bit of practice. You should see him get all serious.
But anyway.) Harry was upset because he'd just found out that Professor Snape
is going to be refereeing the Quidditch match, two Saturdays from now!
Oh, is it that soon? I'm just
dying for another good Quidditch story.
Gwen!! That is not important! Snape
is referee. That means he'll be able to do whatever he likes to Harry's broomstick-
or he could curse the Bludgers- or anything awful. He's never refereed a Quidditch
match before, and I just know he's only doing it so he'll be in a position to
murder Harry without any trouble. I told Harry not to play, to pretend to break
his leg. Ron said "Really break your leg." Honestly. But Harry
won't back out, because there's no reserve Seeker, and if he won't fly, then
Gryffindor will have to forfeit to Hufflepuff. Hufflepuff! As if we couldn't
beat them in about five seconds flat.
Splendid! Then he is
going to play?
Going on. I was trying to come up with some
kind of alternative, or plan, but I didn't get the chance, because right then
we were interrupted by Neville. He came falling through our portrait hole with
the Leg-Locker Curse on him- the poor thing couldn't unstick his legs to walk.
I can't imagine how he got through the hole. Well of course everybody
thought that was just hilarious, and they all laughed at him. I didn't- I did
the counter-curse and brought him to sit with us. He told us Malfoy'd been waiting
'round outside, "looking for someone to pratice that on;". Horrible.
You know, Mum always says that bad things happen in threes, but at Hogwarts
they come in a pair- Snape and Malfoy.
Poor Neville- he gets picked on so often. I
told him to go right to Professor McGonagall. She seems stern, but in a situation
like this, she can be wonderfully sensitive. But he won't go- says he doesn't
want any more trouble. Ron told him to stand up for himself, and not to make
it easy for Malfoy to be such a bully. But to that, Neville just said "There's
no need to tell me I'm not brave enough to be in Gryffindor. Malfoy's done that
already." Hang Malfoy. What a coward, attacking Neville away
from everybody and then trying to make him feel even worse about it.
But if he hadn't attacked him- oh, I feel just
awful for saying this- but if he hadn't attacked him, we might never have found
Flamel. Here's what went on:
Harry tried cheering Neville up by giving him
his last Chocolate Frog and telling him "You're worth twelve of Malfoy,"
which I thought was a really nice gesture. Neville tried to smile, but I'm sure
he was going to cry because he hurried off a second later. As he was going,
he gave Harry back the Wizard Card that came with the Frog, because Harry's
been collecting them all year. It was a Dumbledore card, which Harry turned
over in his hand. And that's when he saw it. The little summary on the back.
It says "Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard
Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon's blood,
and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel"!!!!!!
I know! Just when we were about to give up
hope of ever finding Flamel- and he was there all the time! I had a book
in my room with a whole section on alchemy. I took it out of the library weeks
ago for a bit of light reading. (Ron made fun of me for calling it "light".
I suppose it's not, compared to "Flying with the Cannons", a book
about his favorite Quidditch team, but then, the Cannons haven't been much help
in helping us find Flamel, so he ought to bite his tongue.) I grabbed up my
book, and read it out to Harry and Ron- "Nicolas Flamel is the only known
maker of the Sorcerer's Stone"! Well, they neither of them knew
what that meant. Honestly, don't they read? You know what the
Sorcerer's Stone is, I'll bet.
Certainly I do. It transforms
metal into gold, and produces the Elixir of Life, which renders the drinker
Oh Gwen, I do adore you. Precisely right!
So of course Snape wants it! Who wouldn't?
All the wealth you could dream of and eternal life, in one fell swoop- the Flamels
are over six hundred years old- just think of all the damage Snape could do
if he lived that long. It's a nightmare. He just can't find it. We have
to convince Dumbledore, but we've got no proof of anything- maybe if we
could provoke him into something nasty in Potions on Friday, and we have witnesses-
Hermione- it's Wednesday, isn't
You're very late for Astronomy,
Oh, not again. 'Bye!
Hi, Gwen. Urgh.
I'm exhausted and sore. Harry's at Quidditch
practice. Every time he goes, Ron and I practice putting the Leg-Locker Curse
on each other, so we'll be ready to use it on Snape if he tries to attack Harry
during the match. It happens to be one curse Ron's very good at, so I've been
falling over all morning. We always play a game of chess for it, and the winner
gets to do the cursing. The loser has to get cursed. I've got to get
better at chess. My backside is killing me. And Ron's having far too much fun
practicing- I've never seen him like this about his homework, but now it's always
"Want to practice, Hermione? C'mon, we have to get it perfect. You're
the one who says practice makes perfect." And if I won't, he just puts
the curse on me anyway, for fun.
The thing is, though, I can do the curse, too.
And I'm the only one of us who's bothered to learn the counter-curse. So right
now, Ron's bunny-hopping all around downstairs, because I refuse to unlock him.
Ha, ha, ha. 'Bye.
Gwen.... do you know what day this is?
YES I DO!! WHAT HAPPENED??
Shall I tell you the short version, or the
Well, it was an extremely short game, but I'll
stretch out the details as best I can. Ron and I left Harry outside the locker
room, wondering if we'd ever see him again after Snape got through with him.
But we were armed. I was so nervous that I kept reminding Ron that the Leg-Locker
curse is "Locomotor Mortis", (as if he doesn't know.) But he just
shoved his wand up his sleeve and said "Don't nag." I think he was
still a bit sore about being locked up all last Sunday. But we didn't need the
curse after all. We met up with Neville, climbed into the stands, and saw a
silver beard glinting in the sun, which could only mean one thing-
Professor Dumbledore!! He'd come to the match!
I knew Snape wouldn't dare hurt Harry in front of Dumbledore, so Harry was safe.
Maybe that's why Snape looked so extra-mean. All the Slytherins, in fact, were
in a rather foul mood. Especially Malfoy. He came along with his two idiot bully
friends, Crabbe and Goyle, and poked Ron in the back of the head. He was saying
something about placing bets on how long it would be before Harry fell off his
broomstick this game. But Ron ignored him, because the game was starting, and
we both of us had our eyes pinned on Harry.
First thing, Fred Weasley knocked a Bludger
at Professor Snape, (on purpose? We'll never know), so Snape gave Hufflepuff
a penalty shot, which made no sense at all. They put it right past our Keeper,
Oliver Wood, who looked like he might have sworn. Ten to zero, Hufflepuff. Harry
was circling for a sign of the Snitch.
Then, Angelina Johnson snagged the Quaffle!
She cut fairly past the Hufflepuff Seeker, who was circling up to Harry and
blocking her way. She passed the Quaffle off to Katie Bell-but not before Snape
had blown the whistle and awarded another penalty shot to Hufflepuff! The call
was that Angelina's cut off was a foul block- which it was not. But that
didn't stop Diggory from putting another one past Wood, who did swear this time,
so loudly that we could all hear him in the stands. Professor McGonagall took
the microphone from Lee Jordan, and called up "Language, Wood!" Lee
took the microphone back and said, "Yes, Wood, yes, it's the best language
to describe this travesty!" Everyone cheered but the Slytherins- I even
saw Professor Dumbledore grinning over at him. At that point, Prof. M. said
something to Jordan that sounded like "Do you want this job?" and
Jordan went back to the normal commentary.
Meanwhile, in the stands, Malfoy still hadn't
given up trying to get a rise out of Ron. He is so low. He said, in that sniveling
little voice of his, "You know how I think they choose people for the Gryffindor
team? It's people they feel sorry for. See, there's Potter, who's got no parents,
then there's the Weasleys, who've got no money-you should be on the team, Longbottom-
you've got no brains."
I've never been so proud of anybody as I was
when Neville turned around and said, "I'm worth twelve of you, Malfoy."
And Ron felt the same as I did, because he said, "You tell him, Neville."
Of course Malfoy laughed with his ugly bat-brained friends- they don't understand
what it means to have courage- and then he said "Longbottom, if brains
were gold you'd be poorer than Weasley, and that's saying something." I
tell you, Gwen, I am sick of him going on about Ron being poor. Draco's
rich, all right, but it doesn't change the fact that he's a useless, self-centered,
bragging, two-faced, pointy-looking-
Right. And Ron was trying so hard not
to give in to him- I mean, he was watching Harry play, for heaven's sake.
He just said, "I'm warning you, Malfoy- one more word"- without taking
his eyes off the match.
The game had begun again, Hufflepuff in possession-
but not for long- George and Fred Weasley each smacked a Bludger into their
trio of Chasers, who flew apart and left the Quaffle for Alicia Spinnet-
But there was no need for our Chasers just
then! Harry had gone into a sudden and spectacular dive! Everyone gasped and
the Gryffindor stands began to cheer like mad--
The Snitch, the Snitch!
I jumped up with all my fingers crossed and
half of them stuck in my mouth. Ron was whooping beside me. Neville was in a
state of half shock. But of course Malfoy ruined the moment-"You're in
luck, Weasley. Potter's obviously spotted some money on the ground!" It
was one insult too many.
Ron was on top of him in an instant, and had
him on the ground. And Neville actually jumped over the back of his seat and
started to help wrestle him! If Malfoy didn't have those trolls, Crabbe and
Goyle, then he would have been in serious trouble, but they pulled Neville off
and started pounding him. At that point, the whole lot of them sort of rolled
under the seats, tearing each other apart, and I gave up on them. I was watching
the Snitch! I was standing on my seat, screaming "Come on, Harry!"
He was shooting right toward Snape! If Snape had reached out his arm even a
little bit, he could have tripped the broom and sent it spinning- but Harry
was too quick- he bolted past him by inches- and a foot from the ground he stopped,
pivoted, and threw his fist up in the air-holding the Snitch!
Extraordinary! How long did
the game last?
Five minutes. It was a record, I think. No
one's ever caught the Snitch that fast. The team swooped down on him and carried
him off the field, raised high! Professor Dumbledore even went over to him and
said something, smiling- while Snape spat on the ground. I was hugging Parvati
Patil in the row in front, jumping up and down and yelling at Ron to get up
and look, which he finally did. We waved madly at Harry until he was off the
field. It was a marvelous victory.
Yes, yes- oh, Hermione, that's
divine. I can take that one back with me, can't I?
Of course! Tell the world how Harry's the best
Seeker Hogwarts has ever seen!
Once the noise died down, I looked over at
Ron for the first time since the game had started. His nose was bleeding all
over the place and he looked disgusting, but extremely happy; not only because
Harry had won the match, but because Malfoy was limping away from us with a
huge black eye. Then I noticed that Crabbe and Goyle had left Neville on the
ground unconscious. So Ron got Neville's head and I got his feet, and we carried
him all the way to the hospital wing together. He's still out cold, but Madam
Pomfrey says he'll be fine tomorrow.
What a great game! Gryffindor is so close-
we could win the house cup for the first time in seven years! Harry's still
in the locker rooms, and Ron's cleaning up his nose, but when they get back
we're going to have the biggest celebration this common room has ever seen-
and I'm not going to say one word to them about the "History of Flux: Changeling
Goblins" assignment until tomorrow!
How good of you.
Yes, I think so. Wait a minute. Gwen, was that
meant to be sarcastic?
Oh, dear- look at the time.
Hermione, they'll all be waiting for me back at Miss Vauclain's- I've promised
to tell them everything right away. You don't mind letting me off early, do
Last night, when Harry went to put his Nimbus
back in the broom-shed, he spotted Snape skulking into the Forbidden Forest.
So he hopped on his broom and followed him right in. Normally I'd be really
furious- that's so dangerous!- but this time I forgave him, as he found out
something we'd never have known.
Snape was meeting Professor Quirrell in there.
Harry heard him asking Quirrell how to get past Fluffy- you know, that three-headed
dog in the forbidden corridor?- and how to get past some kind of "hocus-pocus".
From what Harry heard, and from what we could figure out, it seems that there
are enchantments guarding the Sorcerer's Stone, as well as Fluffy. Quirrell
must have done the enchantments- he is the Defense Against the Dark Arts
professional, after all- and Snape was threatening Quirrell to tell him how
to break through them.
All I can say is, if the only thing guarding
that Stone is Quirrell, we're in trouble. He's no match for Snape. We simply
have to find out how much more he knows... But how, Gwen?
I'm exhausted just from thinking about it.
I don't know what we're going to do. If Hagrid doesn't believe us, nobody else
Well, if it's any consolation
to you, we're all pulling for Gryffindor to win the Quidditch Cup!
What? Oh, that. Thanks. But it won't matter
much about Quidditch if Snape gets his hands on that Stone- or on Harry.
No, I suppose not. You sound
very tired, dear.
I am. I'm going to bed to think about this.
I woke up this morning, and Parvati Patil was
dressed all in pink under her robes. It seemed like a bit much, even for Parvati-and
then I remembered. It's Valentine's Day. I hadn't even thought about it. She
was putting little pink heart earrings in her ears and giggling. She had my
music box playing "Goin' to the Chapel." I shut it off, but she just
got even gigglier. She said, "What, aren't you happy it's Valentine's Day?"
I said, "Why, should I be?" And she said, "Well, I thought at
least you'd have cards for Harry and Ron."
Well Gwen, I was just shocked. Cards for Harry
and Ron? I can just see it; "Gee.... thanks, Hermione." "Hermione,
that's sick! Get that away from me!" Honestly. How embarrassing.
I told Parvati, "Not a chance." And
she said, "Well, what's the point of spending all your time with a bunch
of boys, then?" I said, "They're my friends, Parvati."
And she said, "Fine, suit yourself. I'm giving cards to everyone, and having
a holiday of it."
She did, too. And I was right- Harry just sort
of stuffed his in a notebook, and Ron drop kicked his out the window. They both
looked at me like they were scared I was going to go next. But I just ignored
the whole thing. They were relieved, I think, that I didn't try anything stupid.
We ended up playing chess in the common room
all afternoon when Harry got back from practice, because it was too icy to do
anything outside. Ron said he'd play winner, so I went ahead and beat Harry,
and ended up playing Ron. I'm really getting much better, Gwen. He looked a
bit worried, and kept telling everyone around us to keep it down so he could
concentrate. I think I'd have beaten him this time, if it weren't for Lavender
Lavender came over, out of the blue, and she
pinched me! I said, "What's wrong with you? Can't you see I'm concentrating?"
She said, "It's Valentine's Day and you're not wearing any pink, so you
get a pinch!" I said, "That's for St. Patrick's Day, Lavender.
You pinch people for not wearing any green." She just giggled, dropped
cards on Harry and Ron, and skipped off.
They didn't even open the cards. Ron looked
at me and said, "I'm so glad you're not a girl, Hermione."
I lost pretty quickly after that. I couldn't
think straight. I am too a girl. Maybe Parvati's right. What's the point of
hanging out with a bunch of boys, anyway?
And the stupidest thing is this- after we'd
practiced our Sealing Charms for an hour, and gone over Transfiguring a candle
into a thermos half a dozen times, I gathered up all my schoolbooks to go up
to the girls' dormitory. As I was walking off, Ron pinched me really hard on
my arm and said, "No pink- hah!" and went off upstairs.
I'm so sorry. I know it's been two weeks, but
I'm knee deep in studies. Exams are coming up.
But Hermione, it's only February.
It's March tomorrow. Exams are in less than
three months. I've been color coding my notes, trying to arrange study schedules
week by week. I should have started studying a month ago! All this trouble with
Snape and Professor Quirrell- it's really interfering with my education. Even
if Snape does find the Sorcerer's Stone, he won't live very long if I
find out I've failed first year. These exams are so important for passing into
second- and I simply have to get the best marks, or I'll never be able
to convince Professor McGonagall to let me add extra classes to my course schedule
next term. I'm very busy.
Snape still hasn't got that Stone- we know
because whenever any of us goes by the third floor corridor, we listen at the
door. Fluffy's still growling away in there. I never thought that'd be a comforting
sound, but it is now.
Poor Professor Quirrell- Snape must really
be digging into him- he looks pale, and tired, and thin, he stutters more than
ever (Ron's started telling off anybody who makes fun of him for it,) and he's
even more jumpy than he was, if that's possible. I feel just awful for being
so hard on him before. I'd be jumpy, too, if I had Snape breathing down my neck.
Now, let's see. If I put a good study session
in four times a week, two being on the weekend, and split them up by class session....
I'll still have plenty of time for my regular class-work, don't you think? I
don't envy Harry, having to practice Quidditch on top of all this. I'd better
make him a schedule, too, so he won't fall behind. Come to think of it, I'll
just make one for Ron as well. And Neville. Oh, how will I manage all this in
less than three months?
Hermione, do you remember that
word of wisdom I gave you before you started at Hogwarts?
I need all new highlighters, to do this properly.
My yellow one is dead. I need to have Flying Lessons really yellow, so
I can see them apart from Herbology sessions, which are green. And I can use
the blue for Astrology and the pink for Charms... what'll I use for Transfiguration?
Orange for Potions. Maybe just leave Transfiguration blank, and outline it really
Oh, Gwen, on Saturdays do you think I should
do Defense Against the Dark Arts, or History of Magic- or should I just do them
on alternating Saturdays? But that'll never be enough- maybe I should do Herbology
Can't. Got to start on this Potions essay,
or I won't be done by four, and that's when I've scheduled my first Astronomy
Notes Session. I'm going to learn all the moons, and at least twenty major constellations,
plus do flashcards.
Talk to you when I can!
Gwen- in a rush- just an update.
Snape doesn't have the Stone. Quirrell must
be tougher than we thought. Maybe it helps that we smile at him a lot, and try
to bolster him up in classes.
Harry and Ron don't appreciate my study schedules.
They say I've gone off the deep end. They think ten weeks is a very long time,
and they get crabby every time I try to take them to the library.
Neville, on the other hand, loves his schedule,
and is following it very nicely. I won't be a bit surprised if he has better
marks than Harry and Ron.
I am keeping up. Barely. Easter holidays are
in two weeks, and I'll really need that week to study. I'm not even going home.
Hope all is well with you?
Just popping in for the holiday, Gwen. Happy
St. Patrick's Day!
I am wearing a lot of green. There isn't going
to be any pinching of any kind.
Well, I should hope not.
Got to study. See you soon.
Hi, Gwen! Happy Easter!
I can't believe it!
Not rushing off to study? Not,
"Hi, Gwen, got to study, see you in two weeks?"
Oh... well, this past week we were on holiday,
and I've gotten so much accomplished that I've given myself today free. I've
got my wand movements perfect, memorized the twelve uses of dragon's blood,
completed all my class-work, gotten through all my notes for History of Magic
up through the Medieval Period, Transfigured a mouse into a snuffbox without
Hermione, if you've given yourself
a day off, then take it.
You're right. It is Easter, after all.
My Mum and Dad don't celebrate it, but the Weasleys certainly do- Mrs. Weasley
sent an enormous box of huge chocolate eggs- for Percy, Fred, George, Ron, Harry-
and for me! I guess Ron must've written home about me, or Mrs. Weasley wouldn't
have thought to send me one, too. I thought it was so nice of her to remember
Harry as well, since he's got no parents to do that kind of thing for him.
Snape still hasn't got the Stone, by the way.
But I'm trying to take a day off from thinking about that, too.
Good. What did you do, then,
with your free day?
Today was a lot warmer than it has been lately-
not really fine, but nice enough. We got outside, and Harry let us each
have a turn on his Nimbus Two Thousand. Even Neville. Flying is part
of our exams, but I tried not to think of it as practice. I tried just to enjoy
it. I'm not a very good flier, but I've improved a lot this year, and it's much
easier on Harry's nice broom than it is on the old Cleansweeps we use for class.
Neville even managed a good circle around the Quidditch field before he let
me have a turn.
I went up nicely, but hovered. I have a lot
of trouble really maneuvering on a broomstick. Harry and Ron kept shouting out
instructions, and Harry did an impression of Professor McGonagall that was perfect-
I couldn't help laughing- "I cannot impress upon you enough the importance
of leaning forward, Miss Granger! If you do not lean forward, you simply will
not see any improvement in your speed!" He had his hands on his hips and
everything. Ron sounded more like Madam Hooch- "Up, Granger- up- up! Nice
and easy! Now lean left- that's it, now sit back a bit- there! See how that
feels? Now forward, Granger, move! Right!" By the time I came down, I felt
like I'd been put through a Quidditch workout.
It sounds like a wonderful
Do you know something, Gwen? It really was.
Mmmmmm, I'm yawning.
Well, go to bed. It's almost
Progress, Gwen! Progress on the Sorcerer's
Really? What's happened?
We were in the library, the three of us, doing
our Herbology Study Session, (and I had a time of it making he two of them study
today, let me tell you It was a perfectly gorgeous day out- just like summer.
It killed me to be indoors, too, but Herbology's going to include a very important
practical exam!) Anyway, Hagrid came in. None of us had ever seen Hagrid in
the library, so naturally we were curious as to why he was there. He wouldn't
tell us anything- - not about why he was there, or the Sorcerer's Stone,
which of course we asked about. But it was Hagrid's own fault- he brought it
He wanted to know if we were still looking
up Nicolas Flamel. Ron started hollering that we'd known about Flamel for ages,
plus we know that Fluffy's guarding a Sorcerer's Stone. Harry joined him, asking
Hagrid about what's guarding the Stone apart from Fluffy. Hagrid looked panicked-
students aren't supposed to know anything about any of this. Just to hush us
up, he told us if we wanted to talk about it, we'd have to come down to his
cabin and do it privately. "I'm not promisin' anythin', mind," he
told us. But I knew I could get him to talk.
We had another two hours of study session before
we could go down to see him. Ron was sick of studying- big surprise- so he went
to see what section of the library Hagrid had been in. It was all books about
dragons, Gwen! He'd been looking up things on dragon keeping, and their care,
and all of that. But Ron said that dragon breeding was outlawed at the Warlocks'
Convention of 1709 "everybody knows that". (Honestly. He can't remember
a single date for the Goblin Invasions we've got to learn for History of Magic,
but he can spout right off about the Warlocks' Convention of 1709. If these
exams were on dragons, chess, and Quidditch, Ron would have the best marks of
everybody.) We cut our study session short by an hour to go and see what on
earth Hagrid could be up to.
He's got a dragon egg in his fire, Gwen. He's
tending to it so it'll hatch properly. I mean, that is so against the law, not
to mention that dragons breathe fire, and Hagrid lives in a wooden house.
I tried to tell him that, but would he listen? No; he loves his pets too much
to care. His pets!! First Fluffy, now this dragon egg. Plus that enormous
dog he's got, Fang. Can't he just get a cat? He won the egg off some stranger
in a pub. I can't believe he'd actually think of trying to raise it, right here
at Hogwarts. Does he think Dumbledore won't notice? It's a dragon, for heaven's
sakes. But, well, that's Hagrid for you.
But about the Sorcerer's Stone?
Oh, yes, we've got information about that.
Harry asked Hagrid to tell us what's guarding the Stone apart from Fluffy. Hagrid
said not only wouldn't he tell us, but he couldn't. Apparently he doesn't
know any more about what enchantments are in the way than we do. But I went
about it a different way. I used my most flattering tone of voice. I said to
Hagrid that I was sure he knew all about it, because he knows everything
that goes on 'round here, and since Dumbledore trusts him so much,
I just knew he must at least have some idea of who set the enchantments
that are guarding the Stone. I warmed him right up, and it worked like a charm.
Sometimes you just have to be a girl, you know? No matter what certain
people might think about girls, we've got a whole separate kind of magic.
Hagrid told us everything.
There are enchantments guarding the
Stone. Here's who set them: Professors Sprout, Flitwick, McGonagall, Quirrell,
Dumbledore, and Snape.
Snape. Which means he was in on the
guarding. Which means he knows all the enchantments. Quirrell must have set
some Dark Arts one that he can't crack, and otherwise, his way is free and clear!
Except for Fluffy- Hagrid says that only he and Dumbledore know how to get past
Fluffy. At least that's something.
All this to worry about- plus Hagrid's dragon
egg- plus exams! I wish there were some way to make more hours in the day. I
really need them. Oh, Gwen.
Gwen, the dragon hatched!
This morning, when the owl post came at breakfast,
Hagrid sent us a note that just said "It's hatching." Ron and Harry
wanted to skip class and go right down, but I said we had to wait 'til break.
"Hermione, how many times in our lives are we going to see a dragon hatching?"
But I told Ron that classes are important, not to mention we could get into
trouble, which is nothing in comparison to the trouble Hagrid's going to be
in when someone finds out what he's---
Harry cut me off in the middle of my speech.
He'd seen Malfoy listening to us, and Malfoy was grinning. Oh, how I hoped he
hadn't heard anything! Drat Ron for yelling. I didn't want Malfoy knowing about
Hagrid and the dragon- he'll just get us all into trouble.
Ron and I bickered all the way to Herbology.
It's so juvenile, the way we go at it, but I can't help it. This is what
we sound like:
"He'd never have heard us, Ron, if you
hadn't been shouting."
"I wouldn't have had to shout if you hadn't
"It's not nagging to say that classes
are important. They are. Exams are very soon!"
"Oh, exams, exams- I'm sick of you and
"They're your exams, too, Ron."
"Oh, shut it."
"I said, OH, SHUT"-
And then there's poor Harry, trying to stop
"Come on, both of you- now, Hermione-
oh, come off it, Ron- I'm serious- look, would you cut it out?"
So we did. But then Ron started whining and
pouting, which I can't take.
"Oh, come on, Hermione, let's go to Hagrid's?
It'll be fun. I want to see it. Don't you want to see it, Harry? It'll be so
cool, I swear- I can write Charlie all about it. And Norwegian Ridgebacks are
rare, Hermione, really rare- you'll be glad you went- I know you, you
like rare stuff. Please? Please? Please?"
So we went to Hagrid's, at our first break.
And it was rather... cool. Interesting thing to see, really. But I'm
sure dragons grow very quickly, and I want Hagrid to get rid of it as soon as
possible. Especially since there was someone spying on us through the window
the whole time it was hatching.
Malfoy. He knows.
Hagrid's got to give up that dragon, or we're
all going to get kicked out of Hogwarts, I just know it. But Hagrid thinks it's
a helpless little baby or something. When it hatched, he actually said, "Bless
him, he knows his mommy!" He's mad.
I'll let you know when something else happens.
Gwen, the dragon is three times bigger. Hagrid's
calling it Norbert and playing peek-a-boo with it- "Norbert, where's mommy?
Where's mommy?" Ron says he's lost his marbles, and for once, we agree.
At least we know what we're going to try and
do. Ron's brother Charlie works with dragons in Romania. We've just sent him
an owl to see if he can come take Norbert out of here. It took us all week to
convince Hagrid to do this- all our free time has been spent at his hut, trying
to make him come to his senses. I've lost so much study time, I'll never make
I hope Charlie writes that he'll take Norbert.
Malfoy could go to a teacher any day now.
More soon, I promise.
Charlie will take the dragon. He sent a letter.
Some friends of his are going to come to the top of the tallest astronomy tower
at midnight on Saturday. It's out of bounds except for class, so Harry and Ron
are going to use the Invisibility Cloak to sneak Norbert up there. Hagrid's
already crying about losing him. I'd feel sorry for Hagrid if I weren't so scared
they're going to be caught. Or if I weren't so worried that Norbert will get
free and scorch them. Or if I didn't have so much homework to catch up on.
Actually, I don't feel a bit sorry for Hagrid.
I'm mad at him. All this trouble for everybody- why did he have to try and raise
a dragon in the first place?
Oh, yes I do feel sorry for him. It's awful
to see Hagrid cry. I'm going down to his hut to see if he's all right. 'Bye.
Norbert bit Ron yesterday. His hand is twice
its normal size, which means now I've got to help Harry get Norbert up
that tower on Saturday night. Ron says his hand feels like it's going to fall
off. Horrible dragon. When it bit him, Hagrid told Ron off for scaring it! Horrible
Hagrid. (Well, not really. But this is all very frustrating.)
Even worse is this- Malfoy went to visit Ron
in the hospital wing, pretending that he wanted to borrow a book. What he really
wanted to do was threaten to tell Madam Pomfrey what really bit Ron's hand.
Ron's been telling her it was a dog, and she's already suspicious, so he just
shoved a book at Malfoy and told him to get lost.
But Gwen, Charlie's letter was in that book.
Now Malfoy knows all about our plan to meet on the tower. Ron just about lost
it when he realized what he'd done- but Harry and I tried to keep calm. After
all, Malfoy doesn't know about the Invisibility Cloak. We still might be able
to pull this off. And anyway, what choice do we have? Hagrid can't keep Norbert,
and we don't have time to send Charlie another owl.
I'll tell you how we manage after Saturday.
Well, actually it's May 3rd. It's
one-thirty in the morning on Sunday. But it doesn't matter what day it is, or
what time, because my life is over. Over.
Hermione! My dear, what is
it? Didn't you manage to save Norbert?
Oh, Norbert's just fine. Off having a great
time in Romania by now. We dragged him from sobbing Hagrid to the top of the
tower, got him into the harness Charlie's friends had brought, and saw him off
safely. Yes, Norbert's gone. It's us. We got caught.
Foul, evil, malevolent. I despise him. He's
ruined my life. Ruined. My. Life.
Come now, I'm sure it isn't-
No, listen. It is. It's that bad. When
we were carrying Norbert up, covered with the Invisibility Cloak, we saw Professor
McGonagall dragging Malfoy down from the tower. She was in her hairnet and bathrobe,
looking furious, telling him off for being out of bed so late. He tried to convince
her about us, and the dragon, and everything- but she thought he was just lying,
so she gave him a detention.
It was too good to be true. Malfoy in detention!
I told Harry I was so happy I could sing! He said, "Don't." We laughed
about it when we got up there, thought we were so clever, so funny. When Charlie's
friends took Norbert, we were so relieved! We ran back down the tower stairway-
we couldn't wait to tell Ron everything.
Filch met us at the bottom of that stairway.
We'd forgotten to put the Invisibility Cloak
Oh.... oh.... oh, no....
Oh, yes. And he took us to Professor McGonagall's
office. Where we waited. Just waited. Couldn't speak. Thought I'd faint. How
could we have been so stupid? How, how, how? And then- do you think this could
get any worse, Gwen?
Guess again. When Professor McGonagall finally
came in, she had Neville by the ear. He said, "Harry! I was trying to find
you- to warn you- I heard Malfoy saying he was going to catch you, and he said
you had a drag"---
Oh, yes. Professor McGonagall, luckily, still
does not believe we had a dragon. She thinks we made it up to get Malfoy out
of bed and into trouble. She accused us of thinking it was funny that Neville
got caught up in it, too. Poor Neville. He was sincerely trying to help us,
and now he thinks we were trying to have a joke on him. I feel worse about that
That's a lie. I feel the worst about the points.
The points- the house points-
the Gryffindor house points? What, did she take ten?
Ten! I only wish it were. She took fifty.
Fifty each. One hundred fifty points
from Gryffindor. Plus detention. Plus the humiliation of hearing her say that
she'd never been so disgusted with students in her life. "And you, Miss
Granger. I thought you had more sense." After she called me an exception,
and let me practice magic at home! Now she hates me.
Everyone is going to hate me. All of Gryffindor.
They'll hate all of us. A hundred and fifty points- gone. We were winning, too.
Now we'll have no hope. Now Slytherin will win. Everybody's going to kill us.
I've never been so scared of tomorrow. I wish
I didn't have to wake up in the morning. I never want to look anyone in the
eye ever, ever again. Neville cried all the way back to Gryffindor Tower. I'm
going to cry myself to sleep right now. My life at Hogwarts is over. I've never
been in so much trouble in my whole life. What will Mum and Dad think of me?
No, don't. Don't try to make me feel better.
I deserve this. I'm going to kill Hagrid. I hate dragons. I hate Filch. I hate
Malfoy. I hate... myself. How could we have left that cloak? I'll never forgive
myself. Never, never, never.
I feel nauseated. I think I'm going to be sick.
Life goes on, but it's awful. I'm glad exams
are so soon. It doesn't give me much time to think about the fact that things
It's worst for Harry, because he's famous.
People keep yelling out at him in the halls for losing all those points. Neville
and I might not be famous, but they know us well enough not to speak to us-
and not just the Gryffindors, either. All the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws are
ignoring us, too. Everybody wanted to see Slytherin lose the House Cup. Now
they'll probably win. I can't even blame everybody for being so mean. I wanted
Slytherin to lose more than anybody.
Ron's standing by us, and people are giving
him the cold shoulder by association. He says it should have been him up there.
I think he feels really badly that I got in so much trouble. He and Harry don't
seem to mind being in trouble quite as much as I do. He keeps telling Harry
not to worry- that Fred and George have lost loads of points since they've come
to Hogwarts. But they've never lost a hundred and fifty in one go, so that doesn't
help much. Harry says he's resolved never to interfere in anything ever again-
he feels just awful about the points- even went to try to resign from the Quidditch
team. But their captain said that would only make things worse, because then
Gryffindor wouldn't be in the running for the Quidditch Cup, either. I can imagine
practice must just be suffering for Harry, though. He says they won't even call
him by name anymore- just refer to him as "the Seeker".
My one consolation is that, having no social
life, I've got plenty of time to catch up on my studies. We al three spend hours
and hours on our work now. Harry and Ron don't even complain when I want to
haul off to the library. They say they might as well, since they haven't got
anything better to do.
Still, it's depressing. I wish we could get
back those points- do something incredible- but what? We're never going to figure
out what to do about the Sorcerer's Stone. And anyway, Harry's right. We shouldn't
ever interfere with these kinds of things again. We should have gone straight
to Dumbledore when we saw that dragon egg. I've certainly learned my lesson.
I'm off. Time for studies. We're going to drill
all the Charms we've learned this year. Harry's going to get that wrist-flick
if it's the last thing I do. Talk to you soon.
Hello, Gwen. I'm feeling low. We've got to
serve our detention in an hour. We got notes this morning from Professor McGonagall
saying that Harry, Neville, Malfoy and I all have to meet Filch in the entrance
hall at eleven. I can't imagine what he wants us for in the middle of the night,
but it can't be good. Oh well. Maybe if he tortures us, everyone will feel sorry,
and ease up on the silent treatment a little.
Snape's practically got the Stone, by the way.
Yesterday, Harry heard Professor Quirrell sobbing through a classroom door,
saying "No, please, not again," and then, "All right, all right,"
as if he was giving in. So that's it. Snape knows how to break whatever enchantment
Quirrell set up, and now all that's stopping him is Fluffy. Ron wanted to try
and stop him ourselves, and I thought we should go to Dumbledore, but Harry
says we're in enough trouble as it is, plus we've got no proof. It's true. I
hate to let it go, when we've done so much work... but we don't have any choice.
So Snape will get rich and live forever. A perfect end to a perfect year.
Detention. I can't believe I've got
detention. And with Malfoy. I'm never breaking the rules ever again.
Detention was amazing! I'll never recover.
Oh, Gwen, wait 'til I tell you!
sounds a bit more like it.
I know, I've been a little depressed.
But I'm not now- I'm anxious and excited and...
exhausted. Gwen, I was up 'til five-thirty this morning.
What on earth kept you up so
Talking to Harry and Ron.
Listen and I'll tell you. It's long and complicated.
First, we met Filch in the entrance hall and he dragged us outside to walk us
to our detention. He was giving us a talking-to, and enjoying every minute of
it. He loves to have students in trouble. If nobody ever broke the rules, I
don't know what he'd do for fun. He says he still keeps chains oiled
in his basement in case they ever let the old punishments come back. Awful,
awful. He told us we'd learn our lesson the hard way, though, because we would
be doing our detention in the Forbidden Forest.
There are creatures in there, Gwen. Like werewolves.
Neville went ahead and started whimpering. Malfoy looked and sounded very unlike
himself- lost his cool a bit, I imagine. But Harry and I felt a lot better when
we realized who was to be going with us.
Hagrid, thank goodness! Filch took us to Hagrid's
cabin, dropped us off, and said he'd be back later for what was left
of us. Honestly, I think if we'd died, he'd have done a jig on the spot. But
Hagrid told him to quit lecturing us and get back up to the castle. And then
we found out what we were going to be doing.
We had to go into the forest because something
has been killing unicorns, and Hagrid needed help to find an injured one, quickly
enough to either rescue it, or put it out of its misery. Malfoy tried to give
Hagrid a hard time about going into the forest, saying it was "servant
stuff"-- but Hagrid just told him if he wanted to skip detention and be
expelled, he was welcome to go back up to the castle and start packing. Harry
and I looked at each other. Wouldn't that be nice? But of course Malfoy
didn't go anywhere. Just kept muttering on about how his father would have something
to say about it.
Then Hagrid showed us the unicorn's silvery
blood on the ground, and we started to follow the trail of it. I've never felt
so terrified in my life. Hagrid said that whatever was doing this must be something
powerfully evil and quick to kill a unicorn, and I certainly did not
want to meet it. Malfoy obviously agreed with me, because he said, "What
if whatever hurt the unicorn finds us first?" But I was glad he was the
one who said it, because he sounded like a scaredy-cat.
We came to a fork in the path. Neville, Malfoy
and Fang went one way- Harry, Hagrid and I the other. Hagrid told them to keep
to the path, and to send up green sparks if they found the unicorn, red ones
if there was any danger. Poor Neville looked like he'd send up red sparks right
then and there, and I didn't blame him a bit- going off into those woods with
Malfoy is about the worst thing I can think of. But he grabbed onto Fang's collar,
and let himself be dragged away.
For my part, I tried to wedge myself in between
Harry and Hagrid, who told us that nothing would hurt us so long as we were
with either him or Fang- but this was hard to believe a moment later, when we
heard a horrible, slithering noise right near us. I'd never heard anything like
that, and obviously Hagrid hadn't either, because he yanked Harry and me behind
a tree and said "Somethin's in here that shouldn' be." Whatever it
was, it snaked off too fast for us to figure it out. It was fast, and unfamiliar,
and I could tell Hagrid thought that it was what had killed the unicorns.
How dreadful, Hermione!
I know. And then, while we were behind the
tree, we heard another noise coming at us, Hagrid fitted an arrow into his crossbow
and called out for it to identify itself. For a moment, I thought he was going
to leap out and shoot it- but it's a good thing he didn't. Gwen, it was a centaur!
Can you believe it?
Had you never seen a centaur?
Er- no. We have regular animals where I'm from,
not magical creatures. He was beautiful! His name was Ronan, and he had red
hair, and a beard, and was a man to the waist, but with the body and legs of
a chestnut steed.
Well honestly, Gwen, it might be old hat to
you, but I was amazed. What a gallant looking person- or creature?- he was.
Anyway, Hagrid introduced us, and Ronan asked if we were learning anything up
at school. And I thought, what a funny question. Here I am, a witch, in the
middle of a Forbidden Forest, standing next to a wizard, and a centaur wants
to know if we're learning anything up at school. Sometimes, I have to pinch
myself to be sure I'm awake, and this is really my life.
But back to Hagrid- he asked Ronan about the
strange creature and the unicorns- wanted to know if he'd seen anything unusual
lately. Ronan was not very helpful, I must say. He went on about the
forest holding many secrets, and Mars being "unusually bright". I
thought it was very evasive. And then another centaur named Bane came along,
and Hagrid asked him the same questions. But Bane just said what Ronan did-
"Mars is unusually bright tonight." What on earth is that supposed
to mean? Hagrid didn't get it either, because when the centaurs left he looked
confused, and called them "ruddy stargazers". I think I rather agree
with him- but I'm going to look up all my Astronomy notes on Mars and see if
I can't figure something out.
We walked on a little farther, and then I nearly
jumped out of my skin-- I grabbed Hagrid's arm and pointed across the trees--
Neville and Malfoy were sending up red sparks! Hagrid told us to stay put, and
ran off to get them out of trouble. I asked Harry if he thought they'd been
hurt- more for the sake of making conversation than anything else. It was awful
standing there in the dark, surrounded by goodness only knows what, without
Hagrid to look after us. He said that he didn't care if Malfoy was injured,
but if anything had happened to Neville.... after all, it was our fault he was
out there in the first place. I felt my stomach turn very icy while we waited.
What if something had happened to Neville?
Here's what happened to Neville- Malfoy thought
it would be a great joke to sneak up from behind and grab him. He was startled,
and sent up red sparks.
Oh, very funny.
Yes. Ha, ha. Wretched Malfoy. How I hate him.
Hagrid kept Neville with us after that, and sent Harry off "with Fang an'
this idiot." I was glad he called him that. If Malfoy is anything, he's
an idiot. And Harry is much better equipped to deal with his stupidity than
Neville is, so they went off, and I let Neville get between Hagrid and me. Seeing
how shaken up he was, I felt a lot braver. I tried to calm him down a bit while
we walked on. But after about a quarter of an hour, when we still hadn't found
the unicorn, and Neville's breathing had gotten extremely irregular, Hagrid
reckoned we'd better turn back and try the other direction.
We turned and started back toward Harry and
Malfoy. At this point, Neville was repeating "I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm okay,"
in a low voice, without stopping, but I had gotten used to the idea of being
in the forest and was finally starting to relax.
That is, until Malfoy came screaming toward
us with Fang, looking totally white with fear. Normally I'd've enjoyed seeing
him look like such a baby, but at the moment all I could think of was "Where's
Harry?" Malfoy couldn't speak- just pointed behind him and started to shake
worse than Neville. Hagrid grabbed him by the shoulders and lifted him six feet
off the ground. "Where is he?" he growled. Malfoy started stammering,
"The unicorn-- blood-- revolting-- Harry was behind me-- don't know where
he is-- let go, you great oaf-- get me out of here!" He wriggled away from
Hagrid, dropped to the ground, ran to a tree and backed against it, looking
around him very wildly. Neville surprised me by going up to him and saying calmly,
"It's okay, Draco. We've got Fang. They can go get Harry, and you and I
will go back up to the castle."
Hagrid clapped Neville on the back, said "Right,"
and then he ran to catch me up. I had already started running in the direction
Malfoy had been pointing, with my wand out. "Can't believe he left him,"
Hagrid was panting. "He's a coward," I said. "I'm not surprised
at all." Not surprised, maybe, but very, very panicked. "Hagrid, you
don't think Harry"--- "He's FINE," he said. He sounded like he
was trying to believe it.
He was fine. Thank goodness, Gwen. We
almost ran smack into him- he was on the back of another centaur, looking very
strange. He said he was all right. He told Hagrid the unicorn was dead in the
clearing behind him. Hagrid ran to find the unicorn, and Harry slid off the
centaur's back. I overheard it say, "Good luck, Harry Potter. The planets
have been read wrongly before, even by centaurs. I hope this is one of those
times." Then he galloped away, and we went to get Hagrid.
I tried asking Harry what the centaur meant,
saying that, but he just shook his head. I noticed his scar looked so bright
it was almost purple, and he had taken off his glasses and was rubbing it. I
was really worried, especially when we got to the clearing where the unicorn
was lying, and Harry stopped and looked all around like he was waiting to be
attacked. I asked him what was the matter, but he just looked-I've never seen
him look like that before-sick, and scared, and his voice was all croaky. He
said, "Tell you when we get back, okay?" I didn't want to press it.
We went to examine the unicorn. It was certainly
dead, but otherwise, it was the whitest, sweetest thing I've ever seen. Everything
around us was pitch dark, yet it seemed to be reflecting light. Hagrid was smoothing
its mane and saying "Second one this week. Who would do it- who could
do it? Harry, did yeh see anythin'?" Harry was as evasive as a centaur.
"I'm not sure... I was startled... then Malfoy and Fang made so much noise...and
then Firenze came and got me out of here." (Firenze was the centaur he'd
been riding.) Hagrid nodded and said, "I hate to leave her like this, Hermione."
I had gotten down on the ground beside him. I stroked the unicorn for a moment
(it was like liquid moonlight, Gwen,) and then I patted Hagrid's hand, (he looked
like he was going to cry,) and he walked us back up to the castle.
When we got back to our common room, Ron was
asleep in a chair. I guess he'd tried to wait for us. Harry ran upstairs quickly
to check if Neville had gotten back okay, and then he came down and shook Ron,
who yelled out something about Quidditch fouls- "Oi- that's right! Penalty
to the Cannons, you bloody cheaters!" (The language he uses in his
sleep. Honestly.) Once he was really awake though, he asked what we'd had to
do. Together we said, "Forbidden Forest", and his jaw just dropped.
We told him about everything- Malfoy and Neville, Hagrid and Fang, the unicorn,
the slithering sound, the centaurs.... Ron just got more and more amazed, and
I admit, I was pretty proud to be able to tell a story like that. It's about
the most interesting night I've ever had in my life. When we came to the part
where Harry and I split up, I told them what had happened on my end, what with
Neville shaking and Malfoy running up screaming his head off. Ron laughed. "Wish
I'd seen that." Then Harry said, "I'll tell you why he was screaming,
and I wish I hadn't seen it. You won't believe it."
Gwen, we very nearly didn't. Harry told us
that when he and Malfoy had stumbled across the clearing where the unicorn lay,
they had seen a hooded figure there, crawling along the ground toward its body.
When it reached the unicorn, it bent and started to drink the unicorn's
blood. That's when Malfoy screamed and ran with Fang. They made so much
noise it attracted the hooded figure's attention. Harry was frozen to the spot
with fear , plus his scar started to burn out of control, so he was half-blind.
The hooded figure started to come straight at him, barreled toward him, and
just about killed him! That's when Firenze jumped in- Harry jumped on Firenze-
and they rode off.
Well, apparently that was against the stars,
or fate, or something, because Harry said that Bane and the other centaurs were
furious with Firenze for saving his life. Said it went against what was written
in the heavens. I told Harry I think that's all tosh. Hagrid's right. Ruddy
stargazers. That's what Firenze must have meant when I heard him talking about
hoping the planets had been read wrongly this time. They all think Harry's fated
to die. Ron and I went into a fit trying to convince him that it's just idiotic-
of course he isn't going to die. Well, I mean, everybody dies,
but he's not going to do it soon or anything. I think centaurs are very
beautiful, Gwen, but they're highly melodramatic.
But what if they're not? Is Harry fated to
die? I don't believe in any of that... but what Firenze told Harry about the
unicorn blood and the Sorcerer's Stone is enough to make me think that maybe...
I'm really scared for Harry, Gwen.
And what did Firenze say to
He said that unicorn blood will keep you alive
even if you're only inches from death, but if you kill a unicorn and drink its
blood, you've slain an innocent thing, and you'll only have a cursed life after
Yes. That's true. It's an ancient,
Great. Harry asked Firenze why anybody would
want to live like that-- a half-life. And Firenze said normally they wouldn't-
that it would have to be someone with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
That if a person were just waiting to get their hands on something else, something
that could make them immortal, something that could restore their life completely,
then it might be a worthwhile risk. And what's at Hogwarts right this minute
that can make a person immortal?
The Sorcerer's Stone.
Right. And then Firenze asked Harry who he
could think of that would risk a cursed life to be restored to power- who would
steal the Stone from Dumbledore- who would do anything, even drink unicorn blood,
to stay alive- who would want to attack Harry in the middle of the Forbidden
It can't be.
But he's dead.
Hagrid said before that he thinks that's codswallop-
that he didn't have enough human left in him to die. It was Voldemort
in that forest, Gwen. Voldemort under that hood. No wonder Harry's scar
hurt him so badly! No wonder he looked so sick-
No wonder you were up until
All this time, we just thought Snape wanted
to get rich-- but he's helping Voldemort. He's trying to get the Stone for him,
to return him to power. He must be. He's certainly nasty enough to be on the
Dark Side, and we've seen that he's perfectly willing to kill Harry- it all
goes together- Gwen, don't you see?
This is very serious, Hermione.
What are you going to do?
We don't know. We can't think of anything.
It was all Ron and I could do last night just to talk Harry down from some kind
of fever-he was babbling on about how Voldemort's going to come 'round and finish
him off, but the centaurs will be happy, because the heavens will have been
right after all. I told him that You-Know-Who (Ron gets upset when Harry says
Voldemort) will never be able to hurt him while Dumbledore is around. Everybody
knows that You-Know-Who is scared of Dumbledore. Plus, all that talk about the
heavens... well if you ask me, it sounds like fortune-telling, and Professor
McGonagall says that's a highly imprecise branch of magic. But Harry
didn't look like he felt any better, and we had to sit up and hash it through
with him half a dozen times before we finally got off to bed. We none of us
got up 'til after lunchtime today, and we all sound sick now- all that talking
made us hoarse.
Besides which, can you even believe this is
happening to us just one week before our exams?! A week from tomorrow, they
start. Right now, I'm trying to commit to memory all the circumstances surrounding
the uprising of Elfric the Eager, and half my brain is off worrying about Harry.
Snape could find out how to get past Fluffy at any moment! Voldemort could come
strolling right into the castle at any time! It's enough to make me to want
to just forget our Transfiguration Notes Session this evening.
But you won't, I imagine.
Well of course not. Failing my exams
won't stop Voldemort coming back to power, now will it? What we should
do is brush up everything we've learned so far in Defense Against the Dark Arts.
It's not much, but at least it's something. Actually, that's precisely what
we should be doing. Why didn't I think of it before? I'm going to get Ron and
Exams begin tomorrow. I am through studying,
because if I don't know it by now, I'm never going to know it. I need a nice
rest from my notes.... and the library.... and my books.....
You're kidding. What's wrong?
Gwen, they made me! They forced
me! I want to go to the library- I need to go over my notes- we've
got Transfiguration tomorrow morning, and I'm dying to have one more
look through my textbook. But I'm not allowed.
They tricked me. When I ran upstairs this morning
to get my study things, they got hold of my wand. When I got back, they did
it. Ron put me in a Leg-Locker Curse, and Harry held up my wand so I'd know
I couldn't do anything about it. I said, "What on earth do you think you're
doing? Ron Weasley, unlock me. Harry Potter, give me that wand, or I'll scream."
He said, "Go ahead." I looked around
the common room. A few people were laughing, but most just ignored us- we're
still getting the silent treatment for losing all those points. "Nobody
cares," he said. "You're stuck." So I said, "Fine then,
what do you want?" Ron said, "It's a really nice day out, Hermione,
and we've gone over this rot about six million times." "It's not rot!"
But, "We're done," said Harry. "And
so are you. Let's go outside. We all need a day to rest our brains before this
week starts." And I said, "What are we going to do? Sit around all
day fretting about Fluffy? No thanks." Ron said, "We're going outside.
To have fun. We're not going to think about anything." And
I said, "Fine, go ahead. I want to study."
"We knew you'd say that," said Harry.
"But really, Hermione, it's for your own good." Oh, he is so patronizing
sometimes! "No books, no wand, and no legs until you promise."
"I'll hate you," I said. "I'm
not kidding. If I get one single point off of that Transfiguration test, I'll
kill both of you."
"Oh, don't be such a drama queen,"
said Ron. "Repeat after me. 'I, Hermione Granger'."
I didn't say anything. But what was I going
to do? Harry had carried off all my books by that time, and I couldn't get my
wand away from them, so I finallyjust gave in. I mean, I didn't want to sit
there all day. "I, Hermione Granger."
"Do solemnly swear."
"Do solemnly swear."
"That I will give it a rest with the studying."
"I'm not saying that."
"That I.... that I will refrain from studying
"I also promise not to spend all day whining
"I hate you."
"That's not very nice. Harry, d'you think
we ought to leave her locked up, just for that?"
Long story short, I'm bound by my word of honor
not to study, or complain about not studying, all day long. It is extremely
annoying. I am going to write down my exam schedule, to make myself feel better.
Monday: 9am Transfiguration 1pm Flying
Tuesday: 9am Charms 1pm Herbology
Wednesday: 9am Defense AtDA 12am
Thursday: 1pm Potions
Friday: 9am History of Magic
Hermione... did you get outside
and have any fun at all?
Well... .actually Gwen, I tricked them. I did
do some studying for tomorrow. But I did it without breaking my word. We went
out to do some flying, you know, because it "takes off the tension"
according to Harry. And I got them to give me some really great tips on take-off.
I'm still shaky on landings, but the way I felt today, I'm sure I'll get an
'A', no matter what.
Oh, Hermione. You're funny.
Why? What do you mean by that? Oh, for heaven's
sakes. Ron's just yelled over "What are you doing? You'd better not be
studying!" And I said, "I'm not!" But he came over anyway and
tried to peek-at my diary! What a nerve. Guess I'd better shut you before he
tries to read anything. Wish me luck on my exams!
Dear, I don't think you need
it. But good luck.
One exam to go. Just one. And then a week of
waiting for our marks. It's going to be torture.
But it's a free week!
You know, Gwen, sometimes, you really sound
like Harry and Ron. And after that trick they pulled on me last Sunday.....
well, all I can say is, they are very lucky that I knew everything on
our Transfiguration written. The practical, too-we turned mice into snuffboxes!
Just what I'd been practicing. Thank goodness. Our Flying exam that day
was all right, too, and Madam Hooch gave us our marks right on the spot. I got
a 93%. I'm not too pleased, but it could have been worse- my take off was excellent.
I was just a bit shaky on my landing. Ron got a 98%. Harry, of course, our Nimbus
professional, got 100%. He's the only one who did. She just loves him.
Malfoy, on the other hand, got an 85%, because he bungled the very first thing
he did. He said "Up!" and the broom shot right past his hand! Ha!
I was so glad! I could have laughed right out loud. Ron and Harry went ahead
Tuesday we had Charms (which I just knew, as
we were doing it, that I was passing with perfection. And I was right! Today,
Professor Flitwick took me aside in the hall and told me secretly that I got
112%!!!! I guess that will make up for Flying.) Herbology was also fine.
It was so nice to see Neville looking confident about something. He's quite
good in Professor Sprout's class.
Defense Against the Dark Arts was too easy.
We didn't even have to do a practical. Of course, we hardly learned a thing
in there all year. Professor Quirrell still looks half-dead- all that mess with
the Sorcerer's Stone must have affected his health really badly. Poor man. I'm
trying not to be too angry that his class was a complete waste of time.
Astronomy was lovely- a really lovely practical.
We each looked through the giant telescope, and named stars and constellations
and planets. Even the written was gorgeous- we had these little individual maps
of the heavens that really moved and swirled, and we were given special quills
that made tiny points of light, so we could plot the moons and chart the rotations.
I hope we get them back once they're marked. I'd really love to keep mine.
Potions, of course, was simply dreadful. I
knew everything on it, and the practical was just a Forgetfulness Potion, which
I could just about do in my sleep by now, I've helped Neville with it so many
times. But just being in the same room with Snape- the way he looks at Harry-
knowing what he's trying to do- I can't stand it. And Harry's scar keeps paining
him, ever since he saw Voldemort in the forest. It's awful. At least Fluffy's
still growling away up there. Maybe Snape won't be able to get past him.
It's all I can think about, Gwen. Snape, Voldemort.....
Harry. It was easy enough to ignore this mess when we had so much studying to
do, but now we've only got one exam left- History of Magic tomorrow- and I know
I'm prepared for that one. Now there's nothing for me to do for whole week except
wait and worry, about Voldemort, and about my exam results. (I know this is
terrible, but I think I'm equally worried about both. Deep down, I feel like
Harry will always be safe, so long as Dumbledore is around. But just as deep
down, I'm sure Snape will give me an unfair grade on that Potions exam, just
because... because he's a mean, hook-nosed, Dark-Sider. So there.)
Oh, Gwen. One more exam. I'll try and concentrate
Or, you could just go on up
to bed, dear.
Even better idea.
Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. What are we
thinking? We're going to get killed. We're going to die.
Hermione! Explain yourself
before I have hysterics!
Gwen. We're going down- through the trapdoor-
past Fluffy- through the enchantments- to find the Stone. Tonight. We're going
Don't you DARE! You go straight
We tried. He's gone. Oh Gwen. Oh my goodness.
What will Mum and Dad do? I'll die down there. How'll we do it? How can we possibly?
Do you have enough time to tell
me just exactly why you have
to do this foolish thing?
Yes. We have time. We have to wait until everyone
here's gone up to bed, so no one will know we've gone, and there are still a
dozen people hanging 'round. I've been going over my notes, trying to find some
of the enchantments we might have to try and break. But I can't concentrate.
Oh Gwen. Ron and Harry are just sitting there, looking morbid and nervous. It's
enough to scare me to death. What if.... what if Voldemort....
Hermione, please, try to be
coherent. I know you can do it.
I'll try. All right. After our last exam today,
we three went out to enjoy the sunshine. I was actually feeling nice. At first
I wanted to go back over our tests, but Ron says that makes him feel sick, so
for once we just.... stopped thinking for a bit. But Harry wouldn't. He kept
rubbing on his scar, saying he felt like he'd forgotten to do something. I told
him that was just exam nerves- that I'd woken up from a nightmare about Transfiguration
the other night and gotten halfway through my notes before I realized we'd already
done that one. But he said no, it wasn't like that.
Then suddenly he shot up and started running
to Hagrid's, going on about the stranger who had showed up in the pub with the
dragon egg. Ron and I had no idea why this was important, but we followed him.
Sure enough, Harry'd had a.... an.... what's that word, Gwen, I'm so nervous
I can't think.
Idea? Brainstorm? Breakthrough?
Epiphany! Good. I need a clear head. He'd had
an epiphany. He'd figured it out. He asked Hagrid just a couple of questions,
and then Ron and I realized it, too.
That stranger in the pub, who just happened
to find Hagrid, and just happened to have an illegal dragon egg, also
happened to be wearing a hooded cloak. Just like the stranger who tried to attack
Harry in the Forbidden Forest. And he also just happened to ask Hagrid about
Fluffy. Wanted to know, it seems, if Hagrid could handle a dragon. Which led
Hagrid to say that, after Fluffy, a dragon would be easy. And of course the
stranger was very interested in Fluffy. "How many three-headed dogs d'yeh
meet around Hogwarts?" he said. So the stranger asked just how does
one handle such a dog, and Hagrid said-oh, he wasn't thinking, Gwen!
He'd never betray Dumbledore on purpose! But just get that man started about
his pets, and he loses his mind!
What did Hagrid tell the stranger?
"Fluffy's a piece o'cake if yeh know how
to calm him down, jus' play him a bit o' music, an' he'll go straight off ter
Then Voldemort knows how to
get past Fluffy. Hermione, you simply must go to Dumbledore, and quickly.
I told you, we tried! He's gone!
What do you mean, Dumbledore's
He's been called out of town very conveniently,
to London, by the Ministry of Magic. But we just know it's a trick- Snape must
have written him that letter to get Dumbledore out of the way, and now he's
going to get the Stone. He must be going tonight, while Dumbledore's gone. So
we've got to get to it first.
No. No. Go to another teacher.
As if any of them would believe us after all
the trouble we've caused this term. Professor McGonagall certainly doesn't.
We ran into her when we were trying to find Dumbledore. She's the one that told
us he was gone. We told her it was important- we even told her it was about
the Sorcerer's Stone! She was so shocked she dropped her books. She couldn't
imagine how we knew about any of that. But she told us to never mind, that the
Stone is very well protected, and that we ought to go out and enjoy the sunshine.
We'll be lucky if we ever see the sunshine
Anyway, when she was walking off, that's when
we started figuring that Snape must have faked that letter to Dumbledore. And
as we were standing there talking about it, Snape came up behind us!!!
We know he heard us, too, because he said, in this twisted voice, "Anymore
nighttime wanderings, and I will personally make sure you are expelled."
We tried to keep an eye on things, but it was
impossible after that. Harry and Ron charged me with watching over the teacher's
lounge in case Snape came out, so we'd know to follow him, while they went up
to stand guard outside the third floor corridor. I said, "Why me?"
And Ron said, "That's obvious. You can pretend to be waiting for Professor
Flitwick." And then he put on this high voice and did this little dance
and said, "Oh, Professor Flitwick, I'm so worried, I think I got question
fourteen b wrong!" I told him to shut up, and I'd do it. How Ron
Weasley can be perfectly sarcastic in the face of mortal peril is beyond me.
Exactly. But the plan didn't work anyway. Snape
came out, asked me what I was doing there, and I told him "Waiting to talk
to Professor Flitwick about the exam." Snape went to get him, and I had
to run for it. I mean, I already know I got 112% on that one. In the
meantime, Professor McGonagall found Harry and Ron by the forbidden corridor
and told them off for thinking they could do better than a pack of enchantments.
So we don't know where Snape is. For all we know, he's been down there and back
already. For all we know, he has the Stone. For all we know, he's given it to
Voldemort. At that point, I thought we'd have to give up-hide Harry in a trunk-
wrap him in the Invisibility Cloak- send him to Romania on his Nimbus- ANYTHING.
But Harry decided he had to try it. He couldn't
let Voldemort come back to power without a fight. After all, Voldemort killed
his parents. The way he talked about it.... his scar was bright, and so were
his eyes, and his voice..... it was like iron, Gwen. He's going down there and
nothing we can say will stop him.
don't have to go. Don't, Hermione.
Gwen, I have to. After all that's happened,
after all we've done for each other! Ron and I both have to go. How could we
let Harry do it alone?
Oh my goodness. It's almost time. Lee Jordan
is the only one left down here. Lee's stretching.... he's yawning..... he's
going up to bed. Harry's gone to get his cloak and a flute to put Fluffy to
sleep. He says he doesn't feel much like singing. Neither do I.
Don't do it.
Goodbye, Gwen. If I don't write again tomorrow,
you have my permission to tell all these entries to whomever you like. Consider
them the memoirs of my short life.
Be careful! I... I'm rather
fond of you, you know, my dear.
This is it. Through the trapdoor.
Hi, Gwen. My, it's late.
Hermione! Oh, sweet heavens,
you're all right!
Mm-hmm. I'm all right. Thanks, Gwen.
What happened? Did you find
it? Was he down there?
What? Who are you talking about?
ExCUSE me? Don't get smart
with me, Hermione Granger, I've been in terrible suspense for the past three
Three hours? .... what was I doing three hours
ago.... huh. I can't think of it. Oh well.
Don't you 'oh well' me! You write
Oh, shhhhh, Gwen. Really, I don't know why
you're making such a fuss about nothing.
Hold on...... this isn't my room...... hey,
Gwen, I'm in the hospital wing, I think!
Mm-hmm. I remember now. I drank a potion. Unthinkable
Potion? Undreamable? Un..... somthingable. Hmmm. I feel funny.
I see. I see.
I'll bet you feel funny. That stuff could knock out a Giant. It's the Unimaginable
Draught, dear. It makes you forget horrid scenes temporarily, so that you can
sleep without nightmares. It also makes you---
Gwen, I've got hiccups. Oh.
--- extremely tipsy.
Gwen, I remember! It was horrid!
You do? I don't believe it.
Oh yes, perfectly horrid, I remember. There
was a lady, and she yelled at me, and I yelled back and said, "Give me
my diary or I won't drink it!"
And the lady said, "These students today,
how I'm supposed to cure anybody I just don't know!" and then she said,
"Accio, Hermione Granger's diary!"
And then I flew in.
Yes, Gwen! Very good! See how horrid-- oh,
hummm. Lovely. It's so warm in here.
So. Madam Pomfrey must have
Summoned me. Well, she tricked you, my dear. You'll be out like a light in three
minutes, and you won't be able to write a thing until the morning.
What's that, Gwen? Ooooh, these hiccups.
Never you mind, Hermione. Go
Oh, Gwen, look at Ron. Isn't that cute?
He's sleeping with his mouth open. I don't
know why he's in here. Boys aren't supposed to be in the girls' dormitory.
Of course, yes. Now go to slee-
Ha- he snored! He looks peaceful when he's
sleeping. Probably because he isn't saying anything..... anything sarcastic......
Yes, thank you.
Did I ever tell you Ron's very nice looking?
You'll be sorry you said that
Oh, wake up and shut me, or
somebody will be able to read this! Hermione!
Well, in any case, this
should be interesting.
Well! I had a complete attack when I woke up
and found you wide open like that. I just read that last bit over and I don't
know what I was talking about. That potion had me very confused. Anyway,
I'm glad Ron's not awake yet. He's just lying there like a dead---
Dead!! Ron! Harry! Gwen, hold
on a minute I have to ask Madam Pomfrey if they're all right--- my memory just
They're okay. Ron's asleep with a nasty concussion.
I haven't got a scratch, and the two of us are going to be released when Ron
wakes up and Madam Pomfrey can give us the once-over.
Harry's in another room, because he's unconscious.
I don't know how he got that way, and Madam Pomfrey won't tell me. She says
she doesn't know how long he'll be out- hours or days-oh, Gwen, I remember now,
I remember everything.
I shudder to think.
Believe me, so do I. I don't have the words
to tell you what went on.
But you'll try.
All right. I'll try. I guess it started, really,
even before we left the common room. We were trying to figure out how to fit
the Invisibility Cloak over all three of us, when Neville popped out of an armchair
in the corner, and told us we'd better not be going out to get Gryffindor in
any more trouble. He's still upset about what happened that night with the dragon.
He said he'd fight us, and he got in front of the portrait hole.
Ron said "Get away from that hole and
don't be an idiot!" And Neville said something like, "Don't you call
me an idiot, and you're the one who told me to stand up to people!" And
Ron said, "Yes, but not to us.". But Neville didn't care. He
said, "Go on and hit me then, I'm ready," or something ridiculous,
and then Harry turned to me and said, "Hermione, do something."
So I did the only thing I could think of. I
said, "I'm really, really sorry about this." And then, "Petrificus
Totalus!" The Full-Body Bind. He fell over, couldn't move or speak. It
was awful, but we couldn't have him scream the house down! We had no other choice.
Sorry, but when did you learn
the Full-Body Bind?
Oh, last week, when I was trying to find a
good way to get back at Harry and Ron for Leg-Locking me on Sunday. Well, now
I know how well it works. Poor Neville. He must really hate us. But we had to
get out of there, so we left him lying on the floor like that while we pulled
on the Invisibility Cloak and ran out toward the third floor corridor.
On the way, we passed Peeves the Poltergeist.
He knew someone was there, cloak or no cloak, and he threatened to call out
for Filch! Luckily, Harry thought to pretend he was the Bloody Baron- the Slytherin
ghost, the only one Peeves is scared of- and so Peeves let us alone. We got
to Fluffy a minute later. The door was already open. Snape was already inside.
That's when Harry said to us, "If you
want to go back, I won't blame you." Ron said, "Don't be stupid,"
I said, "We're coming," and in we went.
Harry started playing the flute, and Fluffy
went right to sleep, but we still had to go right up to all three of the big,
smelly heads, in order to get through the trapdoor. We dropped the cloak and
Harry gave me the flute so he could go first. It was a short drop. We followed
very quickly- I was last- and in the two seconds of silence when I stopped playing
the flute, Fluffy raised its head and snapped at me, but I had already jumped.
We were past Fluffy.
You three are absolutely out
of your minds. What happened next? What was the first enchantment?
Good question. We didn't realize it right away,
but we had landed in the first enchantment. It was Professor Sprout's. It was
a plant, and it started twisting 'round our ankles. I managed to get free and
move against a wall, but in seconds it had covered the boys and was choking
them! I remembered then what it was called- Devil's Snare- we learned about
it in Herbology. Ron said, "Oh, I'm so glad we know what it's called, that's
a great help." And I said, "Shut up, I'm trying to remember how to
kill it!" Well I was figuring it out loud- how they don't like the damp
and dark- so Harry suggested I light a fire- and I thought, yes, but I haven't
any wood- and then Ron lost it. "HAVE YOU GONE MAD? ARE YOU A WITCH OR
NOT?" And I remembered- the Bluebell Flame! I shot it at the Devil's Snare,
and it shrank away. They got free.
Harry said, "Lucky you pay attention in
Herbology, Hermione," and I thought, it certainly is, but then Ron
said "Lucky Harry doesn't lose his head in a crisis- 'there's no wood',
honestly," and I felt troubled. I guess even if I'm the best witch
in our class, underneath it all, my first instincts are still Muggle. It's a
bit disappointing. I wonder if that will eventually wear off, or if I'll always
be a Muggle when it counts.
Nonsense. You may be Muggle-born,
but you are also a born witch. Don't ever doubt it.
What happened next? This is
The next enchantment was down a stone passage
in a chamber that had a high, high ceiling, filled with birds.
Well, we thought they were birds. We thought
they might be attack birds.
Well, we didn't know! Harry ran across the
room with his arms over his head, and they didn't do anything- just kept flying
around- so Ron and I ran across, too, and tried to get the door open. It was
charmed shut. Not even "Alohomora" would open it. And that's when
we took another look at the birds and realized that they were actually flying
I suppose 'attack birds' are
just as likely as flying keys. Go on.
It was Harry, who saw the brooms and figured
we had to fly up and catch the proper key. But there were hundreds of
them! So Ron took a good, long look at the lock, and figured it was probably
a big, old-fashioned, silver one. We took brooms and went for it. It only took
a minute- you know what a great Seeker Harry is- he caught the right key as
if it were a Snitch and fitted it in the lock. We were through! That's when
I remember feeling surprised at Ron, thinking to examine the lock like that.
It's something I would have done. But then, he's very smart when he wants to
be, and thank goodness, because we'd never have gotten any further along without
Why? What was next? This is
so exciting. It's almost like Quidditch.
Oh yes, just like Quidditch. Except our lives
were at stake!
Well you survived, didn't you?
Now tell me what it was!
It was a giant, living chess set. Professor
McGonagall must have Transfigured it, because it was amazing. Huge, stony pieces,
blank-faced but alive. Harry said, "Now what do we do?" But there
was no need to ask. Ron got that concentrated look on his face- the one he got
the first time I ever saw him play chess- and said, "It's obvious, isn't
it? We've got to play our way across the room." Well, right there, Harry
and I just shut up and let him take over. He made us take the places of three
Black Chessmen- Harry a Bishop, myself a Castle, and Ron became a Knight. He
was thinking really seriously, and we kept perfectly quiet like he always wants
us to when we try to play in the common room, because each move of this game
was more important than the last.
I never noticed how tall Ron is until he stepped
out on the board, and it's funny, but when he started directing us, I wasn't
worried. I knew he could get us across all right. Though I have to admit, I
got nervous when I saw how the White Chessmen took our players. Each time a
piece was taken, it was positively bludgeoned to the floor. A white piece would
reach out with a wide, stone arm, and-- CRASH! Awful to see. But Ron was....
well, there's only one word for it. Awesome. He took almost as many white pieces
as they had taken black ones. Once, he saw just in time that Harry was about
to be taken, and he moved him to safety. And then, he was about to move me a
square, and as I was picking up my foot he suddenly yelled, "No, Hermione!
Don't move! I just about killed you - don't put your foot down." And then
he moved himself instead. That's when he had to really stop and think. "We're
nearly there," he said. But suddenly he looked very pale.
I'll never forget what happened next. The White
Queen turned her blank stone face to him as if to say, "You know what you
have to do." And Ron said, "Yes.... it's the only way. I've got to
That's what Harry and I both yelled. But Ron
said that's chess, and you have to make sacrifices, and did we want to find
Snape or not? After seeing what the white players did to the pieces that were
taken, I thought maybe finding Snape wasn't so important after all. But Ron
had decided-if he moved a square, the White Queen would take him and leave Harry
free to checkmate the White King. So he squared his shoulders, and..... oh,
Gwen, it was...... wonderful. And monstrous. He stepped forward. The White Queen
smashed him across the head, and he was gone. She hit him so hard, I thought
he was killed. I don't know how I stayed on my square-I just remember screaming.
And then Harry moved where Ron had told him to, we won, the White Chessmen parted,
and we had to leave him there.
Gwen! He's awake. Ron's awake! He just rolled
over and said "Get out, Hermione, girls aren't s'posed to be up here."
His Unimaginable Draught must still be in effect. I'm going to have to explain
it to him. Gwen, would you mind very much if I tell you the rest when I'm back
in Gryffindor Tower? I want to help Ron.
Go. I'll be waiting.
How nice to be alive. I never thought I'd see
this dormitory again.
How's Ron? How's Harry?
Harry's still out cold, but Madam Pomfrey swears
up and down that he'll be perfectly fine. He'd better be. She won't even let
us in to see him. Ron, on the other hand, is perfectly recovered and has returned
to normal. When his potion wore off and he remembered everything, he looked
quite pleased with himself. He's down in the common room right now, telling
everybody how he single-handedly saved the day. Honestly.
I saw Neville down there, too, and he's better.
I'm forgiven for the Full-Body Bind, now that he's heard what we were going
after. He's down there with Ron's audience, listening to the whole story. Speaking
of which, I haven't even finished telling you the whole story.
I'm trying to be patient.
You're very good. Where was I? The chess room.
Ron, lying on the floor, pale, maybe dead. With a last look at him, we stumbled
through the next door, and into Professor Quirrell's enchantment.
The one Snape couldn't crack!
That's what's so odd, Gwen. It was only
a troll, and Snape had already knocked it out. Was that Professor Quirrell's
big Dark Arts enchantment? There's nothing so mysterious about that. I mean,
Harry and Ron knocked out a troll in October, and they're only first years.
Maybe Snape has a lot of trouble handling trolls, or something. Odd, though,
don't you think? In any case, we got past that one without having to do anything
but hold our noses against the smell of nasty troll, and we came to another
It was Snape's. Immediately after we entered
the room, a purple fire leapt up in the door behind us. Before us, in the door
that led onward, a black fire was burning. We were trapped. We turned to Snape's
enchantment, which consisted of a line of seven potions, and a parchment. Feeling
very small, I read what was on the scroll.
It was a logic puzzle, Gwen! A riddle! I couldn't
help but smile. Some of the best wizards of all time didn't have an ounce of
logic- but I've got loads. All the clues were there: two bottles of wine, three
of deadly poison, one to move you back, and one to get ahead. The scroll just
made a puzzle out of their positions. It took me a minute to work it out, but
I did it!! It wasjust my kind of enchantment!
There was only enough in the "move ahead"
bottle for one swallow. Harry said he'd take it. He told me to go back, wake
Ron, get brooms from the flying-key room, get up the trapdoor and past Fluffy,
and go send an owl for Dumbledore. Well, I didn't want to leave him there- what
it Voldemort was past that black fire? (And Gwen, he might have been, I still
don't know.) But Harry just pointed to his scar and said, "Well-I was lucky
once, wasn't I?"
I just lost my head. I flew at him and hugged
him- told him he was a great wizard- courageous and brave - I think I embarrassed
him. But Gwen, it was just one of those moments.
Then I took the "move back" bottle,
and drank it. For a second I thought I'd done it wrong and taken poison, because
my whole body felt like ice. But then I realized that must be meant to get me
through the fire, so through I went. I didn't want to go. But I had to leave
Harry alone to find the Stone.
I couldn't think about it. I ran back past
the troll to the chess room, where Ron was still lying, crushed, on the side
of the board. I tapped him with my wand and said "Ennervate," but
it did nothing. I checked his breathing, and he was alive, so I picked up his
shoulders and shook him. I didn't know what else to do, so when he still
didn't come to, I slapped him in the face.
Don't go into nursing, please,
I know, it's terrible. Finally, I got right
in his ear and started yelling at him, "The Chudley Cannons are the worst
team in history! Quidditch is a losers' sport! I hope the Cannons all crash!
What a bunch of stupid prats! Down with the Chudley Cannons!"
It worked. Halfway through the insults, Ron
had started swinging a fist in the air with his eyes still shut. By the time
I was done, he was awake and ready to fight. I had to bring him to his senses,
remind him what was happening, before he'd stop hollering names at me. Even
then, he said, "You don't talk about the Cannons."
We grabbed brooms and flew out of there, past
the Devil's Snare, up the trapdoor, past Fluffy, into the hallway. We could
have cared less about Filch. We ran to get to the Owlery and send off a message
to Dumbledore, but there was no need. Dumbledore was coming in through the entrance
hall, and somehow, he knew. He said, "Harry's gone after him, hasn't
he?" We nodded, and he hurtled up to the third floor.
That's when Ron collapsed again. He didn't
pass out or anything, just fell and put his hands to his head where the White
Queen had smashed him. I knew it was probably due to a concussion, so I helped
him up and told him we were going to the hospital wing. For once, he didn't
argue with me. He just let me help him down the hall while I told him all about
the troll and about Snape's potions.
Maybe it was because he was leaning on me for
support, or maybe I'm just a.... girl, but I must have lost my head again
because I said, "You were really very brave in there, Ron." And he
said, "Well I wasn't going to let you get knocked cold, was I?"
That was a nice reply, I thought. Then again, maybe it was the concussion talking.
But I didn't mind.
After all, I hear he is
rather nice looking.
I don't know what you're talking about.
We got to the hospital wing, where Madam Pomfrey
took a look at his head and took him right in. When I explained about drinking
the ice-potion, she said I had to stay the night, too. That's when I started
yelling about getting my diary. And that's when she Summoned you, and made me
drink the Unimaginable Draught. "Accio, Hermione Granger's diary!"
Accio..... very useful. I'll have to work on that one.
Hermione, I have to say, you
are truly amazing. You've come through all that, and still managed to learn
a new Charm. No one else could have done it.
I couldn't have done it without Harry and Ron.
You three make a formidable
We do, don't we? Thanks, Gwen.
You know, I can still hear Ron down there telling
a very unbalanced version of the events. I think I have to go give him
a few reminders. He doesn't seem to be remembering anything accurately. Think
Yesterday afternoon, Gwen, was the last Quidditch
match of the season. But don't get excited.
I-- I'm not.
Harry's still unconscious, so Fred Weasley
had to play Beater and Seeker. Let's just say it was a short match.
Short, and ugly, and goodbye, Quidditch Cup.
But I'm going to make it up to you, Gwen. When
Harry wakes up and gives us the end of the story, I'm giving you permission
to tell it.
The whole story?
The whole story. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
Stone. I think it makes a good substitute- after all, you said it was almost
I did! Oh, Hermione! Do you
mean it? They'll run positively wild with delight.
It's the least I can do, after you've put up
with me all year. Remember when I first got you? I was so nervous to come to
Hogwarts! Those awful first months. And then all the studying, and the silent
treatment, trolls, dragons and unicorns, not to mention Malfoy and Snape-- and
Voldemort!-you've been the best diary in the world.
And I wouldn't want to be anybody
Oh, Gwen. Do you know, now that it's all over
Hogwarts about what happened down there, under the trapdoor, everyone's talking
to us again? There's a party down in the common room right now. Gryffindor is
rather proud of us, I think.
I'm sure they are. Go have
Okay. I'll tell you first thing when Harry
Harry is awake, and alive, and well! (Although
he looked sick when we told him how badly we lost the last Quidditch match.)
We've just been visiting him in the hospital wing, and now I have for you, Gwen,
the rest of the story about the Stone. Not that you will ever believe it in
a million years.
First of all, it wasn't Snape. Snape never
had anything to do with any of this. When Harry walked through the black fire,
into the last enchantment, the only person sitting there was...
Professor Quirrell. Sitting beyond that fire-
just waiting for Harry. He tied Harry up with magical ropes, and revealed that
he's been the one serving Lord Voldemort all this time!
This has to be untrue.
I know! It's unbelievable! But Quirrell was
behind everything- it only looked like it was Snape. Quirrell let the
troll in at Halloween to create a diversion, so he could try and get past Fluffy.
That's when Snape got bitten- he was trying to stop him! Quirrell was the one
who was trying to jinx Harry off his broomstick- remember how I knocked him
over on my way to set fire to Snape? That's what stopped it. Snape was only
doing a counter-jinx, to try and save Harry. That's why he wanted to
referee the next match, too--to be nearby in case Quirrell tried anything else.
And that's why Quirrell's Dark Arts enchantment didn't make any sense down there!
Snape never needed to break it at all- he wasn't threatening Quirrell to give
him the answer- he was threatening him to give up the search!
Are you.... actually serious?
Tell me, Hermione.
Deadly serious. And so was Quirrell. Harry said
that he was desperate to get his hands on the Stone- for his "Master".
Disgusting. But first he had to break the final enchantment, which Dumbledore
had set. It was the Mirror of Erised.
Which shows you your heart's
That's the one. Quirrell would look in it and
see himself presenting the Stone to Voldemort, but that didn't help him to find
it. That's when Harry first heard a voice- a horrible voice that Harry said
could just stop your heart- and the voice said, "Use the boy." So
Quirrell used Harry- untied him, forced him before the Mirror of Erised, and
demanded to be told what Harry saw.
Harry told us that his deepest desire at that
moment was to find the Stone before Quirrell did. When he went in front of the
mirror, he saw his own reflection reach into his pocket, pull out a blood-red
stone, wink, and drop it back into his pocket. That's when Harry felt the real
Stone fall into his pocket with a thud. Can you even believe it? He did it!
He got the Sorcerer's Stone!
But I don't understand!
Dumbledore had made it so that only a person
who simply wanted to find the Stone-not actually use it-would
be able to get it. Isn't that just divinely brilliant? Dumbledore is truly the
greatest wizard of our time.
Harry lied to Quirrell, of course; told him
he saw himself in the mirror holding up the Gryffindor House Cup. But then he
heard the same horrible voice saying "He lies, He lies!" The voice
demanded to meet Harry face to face. It said, "I have strength enough....
for this." And that's when Quirrell unwrapped that turban he always wears-
the one that reeks of garlic- and turned around to show Harry the most awful
sight any of us has ever seen.
Voldemort was sharing his body and his face
was coming out the back of Quirrell's head. Is that not the most horrifying--
the sickest-and that's why he's been doing all these things- drinking
unicorn blood, skulking around in classrooms after hours and crying- he's been
sharing his life with that evil.... that monster..... oh, Gwen, Harry told us
he had red eyes like slits and a high, cold voice-I screamed just thinking about
Harry Potter faced Voldemort
a second time-- he survived it again- how--?
Harry Potter is a great wizard. He's got powers
that just... come out. They came out on Friday, and even he doesn't understand
Voldemort told Harry to give him the Stone.
Somehow, he knew what had happened with the mirror, and he knew the stone had
fallen into Harry's pocket. But Harry refused to give it over, no matter how
he was threatened, even when Voldemort told Harry he'd die like his parents,
begging for mercy. He must be evil- pure evil- to be able to say such a thing.
Harry said "LIAR!" He yelled it out
without meaning to as he was telling us the story- Gwen, he was beside himself.
I don't ever want to hear Harry's voice sound like that again. He told us how
Voldemort had described his parents' deaths, too. "I killed your father
first, and he put up a courageous fight... But your mother needn't have died....
She was trying to protect you.... Now give me the Stone, unless you want her
to have died in vain!"
"NEVER!" he shouted
I'm so proud of Harry for hanging on at a moment
like that. Harry said he didn't think it was too brave- he figured he was going
to die anyway, and thought he might as well die fighting. But I'm still awfully
proud. Imagine if the murderer of your Mum and Dad were standing there, taunting
you, telling you how he'd killed them.... Hagrid says Voldemort hasn't got enough
human left in him to die, but he deserves to die- horribly- and he will one
day, I know it.
Nothing Voldemort said, no matter how low and
revolting, would break Harry. Finally, he ordered Quirrell to take the Sorcerer's
Stone by force. But Quirrell couldn't! Every time he tried to touch Harry, his
skin would scorch and burn- he couldn't get near him without howling in pain,
Harry said. Voldemort would yell "Seize him!" and Quirrell would sizzle
in agony. It held him off, but the downside was that each time Harry burned
him, the pain in his own head was so bad that he said he thought his
scar would explode from the pressure.
In the end, Voldemort told Quirrell to kill
Harry, and be done with it-- just kill him!-- just like that. So evil. And,
Gwen, he was really going to do it- a teacher, a Hogwarts teacher- and he raised
his wand to strike out at a student with deadly force! That's when Harry reached
up and grabbed Quirrell by the face, which burnt him so badly that he couldn't
perform the curse! But the longer he held off Quirrell, the worse his scar became,
until finally he couldn't hold him another second. It was too much. He said
he found himself blacking out to the sound of Voldemort screaming "Kill
him! Kill him!"
Hermione, this is truly frightening.
You should have seen Harry's face when he told
it. Stark white. His scar still looks raised- it's bright and puffy. Dumbledore
told him that a few more minutes and the exertion would have killed him. When
he got to Harry, it was almost too late. He pulled Harry off of Quirrell and
did some magic of his own, and we only know the following few things about what
happened after Harry passed out-Voldemort left Quirrell's body and fled somehow.
Quirrell is dead from having his life-force taken away. And we know that the
Sorcerer's Stone has been destroyed.
Then the Flamels- Nicolas and
Yes, without the Sorcerer's Stone to make the
Elixir of Life, they'll soon die. But Dumbledore says that to the well-organized
mind, death is the next great adventure. Ron says Dumbledore's off his rocker.
But what of Snape? He was trying
to save Harry? Then he doesn't hate him?
We know a little about that. Harry's father
once saved Snape's life when they were in school together, though we don't know
how or why. That's the reason he's worked so hard to protect him this year.
But no, he definitely still hates him. Dumbledore just says he wanted to make
amends so he could go back to hating all the Potters in peace.
But Harry- burning Quirrell's
skin- how did he manage it?
Oh yes. Dumbledore explained that, too. It's
actually very simple, and very beautiful. Harry's mother died for him, and he's
shielded by that sacrifice. He's marked by her love, forever. It's right in
his skin. Voldemort is too evil to understand that kind of love- he can't lay
hands on anything so good without suffering terrible pain.
So Harry is still protected
by her, even in death?
Well, I could just.... cry.
Go ahead. I did. When Harry told us that part,
I had to duck my head to hide a sob. And I noticed that Harry himself couldn't
make eye contact with us- and even Ron looked away...
Then Madam Pomfrey kicked us out. She won't
have us "ruining his health." Honestly! As if we didn't save his life!
Tomorrow is the End of Year Feast, and Slytherin's
going to win the House Cup. But it's all right. We're all alive, and we've had
an incredible adventure, and I'm just too tired to care about any old cups.
And that, Gwen, is the whole story.
Gwen, nothing is impossible-nothing! I'll pass
out from happiness!
GRYFFINDOR WON THE HOUSE CUP!!!!
We had the feast, and Dumbledore read out the
points: Gryffindor-312, Hufflepuff-352, Ravenclaw-426, Slytherin-472. The Slytherins
were screeching and banging their goblets on the table. It looked to be a rotten
kind of party. The hall was all done up in their colors, and Draco Malfoy looked
so smug that I leaned across Harry and told Ron I wouldn't mind if he launched
a turkey-leg at Malfoy's fat head. Ron said, "Right, should've thought
of that," and rather grimly grabbed a fat one from the platter. He was
just about to hurl it, when Dumbledore suddenly said that, in light of recent
developments, he had some last minute points to dish out.
Ron's turkey-leg froze. The three of us were
rigid with excitement. I think we all sort of imagined what was coming. But
we weren't prepared for how marvelous it could possibly be. Nothing could have
been so wonderful.
"To Mr. Ronald Weasley," Dumbledore
said, "for the best-played game of chess Hogwarts has seen in many years,
I award Gryffindor House fifty points."
Ron's face went absolutely purple, and he dropped
the turkey-leg on the floor as our table started cheering him like mad. I was
smiling so wide I thought my face would split, and I think I cheered louder
than anybody-after what he did down there-I was so glad!
"To Miss Hermione Granger, for cool logic
in the face of fire, I award Gryffindor House fifty points."
Cool logic! I was so proud- I felt my heart
grip up in my chest, and all of a sudden everybody was whooping- Ron and Harry
were yelling my name- and I put my head down on the table and started to cry.
My fifty points! I got them back!
"To Mr. Harry Potter." Gwen, I have
never heard that hall so still. The quiet was immediate, and the hush was almost
deadly. Everybody had heard about Quirrell by then. Everybody knew what Harry
"For pure nerve and outstanding courage,
I award Gryffindor House sixty points."
There was a rush of noise! Stomping, screaming,
howling- Harry's eyes were swimming and he had to duck his face- everyone who
could add could see it- we were tied with Slytherin! And that's when Dumbledore
said what I think was the best thing of all.
"There are all kinds of courage. It takes
a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies- but just as much to stand
up to our friends. I therefore award ten points to Mr. Neville Longbottom."
Dear Neville! He's never won so much as a point
before! I had only just recovered from crying, but one look at his stunned face
when he heard Dumbledore's words and I was off again-Neville was the hero! Everybody
mobbed him- I thought the noise would take my head off- the Gryffindor colors
suddenly splashed across the Great Hall- Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff were hollering,
too- people were actually standing on the tables-Slytherin had lost!!!!!
GRYFFINDOR HAD WON!!!!!
The party we had tonight was unbelievable.
Everyone was asking us to tell the story over and over- even begging Neville
to tell his part. He was giving a rather shy version of events, but Harry said,
"No, c'mon, Neville, tell the whole story," and Ron jumped up and
said, "Yeah, Neville, move- here's how it was." The four of us then
proceeded to act out the scene in the common room for everyone to see. It was
so much fun, Gwen! They all gasped and laughed and booed in the right places-and
then came the end, when I pointed my wand at Neville to do the Full-Body Bind!
Well, honestly, it wasn't as if I was going
to do the curse, or anything, and I was just about to tell him so. But
before I could explain, Neville had taken things into his own hands. He whipped
out his wand and shouted "Wingardium Leviosa!" And my wand flew out
of my hand as Neville dived behind a chair. When we'd recovered from laughing,
Neville poked his head out and said, "Been wanting to try that all year,"
with the funniest little grin. We howled! I almost died laughing!
The night in the Forbidden Forest was the most
mysterious of my life, the night with Norbert the most miserable, and the night
searching for the Sorcerer's Stone was the most challenging. But tonight, Gwen-tonight
was the best.
Exam results, Gwen! We got them. In the excitement,
I'd forgotten all about them- if you can believe that.
I'll try. And what's the verdict?
Harry and Ron both passed with about a 90%
average. I was so proud of both of them! They do so well when they just apply
themselves. Neville averaged around an 83%- he nearly failed Potions, and that
took him down quite a notch. But he's so good at Herbology that it didn't destroy
I passed. With 102%. The best marks in my class.
Hermione! Well, goodness knows
you certainly deserve it.
The best marks for a first year in forty-seven
years! Prof. McGonagall told me that. And she said, "Miss Granger, perhaps
we can make an arrangement. Come to my office if you'd like to talk about an
extra class." And I did, and oh, Gwen, I get an extra class next term!
I can't believe it! Prof. M. still likes me! I get to take an extra class!
I'm so proud of you, Hermione.
Do your parents know?
No, and I'm off to the Owlery right now to
tell them all about it. What a wonderful school this is! I'm so happy, Gwen.
Mum and Dad are going to be so excited! Maybe I'll get to practice magic outside
of school over the summer, too! Oh, I hope so, I hope so. I've got to go ask.
Talk to you later!
What, no more excitement?
No. Last full day at Hogwarts. I'm all packed.
We go to the train tomorrow morning. I don't want to go. I wish school were
Don't let your friends hear
you say that.
Too late. I sort of sighed it out over breakfast,
and got a miserable look from Ron. "You're sick, you know that Hermione,
don't you." But Harry said he didn't know, he thought he might like to
spend summer at Hogwarts. (And that's when Ron flipped a pancake at his glasses.
I guess I shouldn't have encouraged him with that turkey-leg the other day.)
Harry doesn't want to go home to his Aunt and Uncle, but Gwen, they can't be
that bad, can they? Anyway, I guess I am rather glad to have a vacation with
Mum and Dad. But Gwen?
D'you mind if I go? I want to spend this last
day with.... well, with Hogwarts.
Well, that's it, then.
It's all over. Three months, almost, 'til I
get to go back. It's going to be a very long summer. I'm going to miss so many
things! Magic----we can't practice magic--- not even me--- I'm going
to go mad.
Not even "Alohomora"?
No. I'm going to have to grab you in the Muggle
way, I'm afraid.
The train ride was nice, and Mum and Dad met
me with the car. I'm in the backseat right now. They have so many questions,
but I don't feel much like talking--- talking makes me sad. Mum's up there whispering
to Dad that she read in her "Muggle-born" book about how the first
summer apart from school is always the hardest for the new witch or wizard,
and how they have to be very delicate with my feelings. And Dad's saying, "Oh,
she's too much like you. You've both got to learn how to take a vacation."
As if I can't hear them. I hate it when adults do that.
Ron's invited Harry and me to stay. I don't
want to think about them, either. It hurts. I won't be able to stay with him,
I'm sure. Hope Harry will, though. His Uncle Dursley was at the station, and
he was extremely rude to everybody. Harry shouldn't have to live with
people like that. Sweet of Ron to ask us, really.
Oh, how will I ever do without them?!
Cheer up, Hermione-you always
have me-and just think how nice it will be to see them again for the first time!
And you can always send owls, can't you?
Yes. I can, Gwen. Thanks. I'll be fine.
Oh, what a marvelous year. I just know it can't
get any better than that.
This work of blatant
thievery is brought to you by a person who finished Book Four and thought, "Oh
no! How will I ever manage until next year?"
She is still trying