The Sugar Quill
Author: Arabella (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Hermione, Queen of Witches, Book Two  Chapter: Chapter One
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The Secret Diary of Hermione Granger

~Year Two~

Based on "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"

by J.K. Rowling

Disclaimer: Not even a little bit mine. Except for Gwen Ė who actually belongs to herself.

Thanks to Zsenya, for making me put up this fic,

And to Honeychurch, for helping me to know Gwen better.

 

 

HQoW

July 20

Hello, Guinevere! Have you been having a nice vacation at Miss Vauclainís?

Itís been marvelous! I think Iíve told the story of the Sorcererís Stone a hundred times. Per day.

Soon there will be more stories, I promise you. School canít start quickly enough for me! Iíve had a very nice rest, I suppose, but enough already. I ran into some people from my old school the other day, Gwen. Susie Raviski- you know- the mean one who used to tease me?

Yes, I remember. You grew her teeth.

Yes. Well I saw her in the park with her whole gang. I was walking down to the bridge, on my way home, when she sort of came out of nowhere with her friends and said, "Whereíve you been all year, Mangy Granger?" Everybody laughed, but for once my feelings werenít hurt at all. I had my wand in my pocket.

Hermione! You didnít do magic outside of school?

Just listen. Very calmly, I said, "Iíve been at Hogwarts." Susie didnít know what that meant, of course. She burst into giggles and said, "Hogwarts! Whatís that, where they send all the pigs?" Which set everybody off laughing again, snorting like swine. She held up her hand for them to stop and said, "Anyhow, I heard youíre a witch, some funny witch, and your whole familyís in some kind of cult. My mumís always said your mumís a strange one- too nervous."

I had hold of my wand very, very tight, and my mind was screaming all kinds of curses- I could just see Susie growing mushrooms in her ears, or having her nose fall off, or blistering with a body full of boils. But I made myself picture Professor McGonagall, that time when she gave me detention, and I knew I wanted to avoid that at all costs. So I said nothing.

"Cat got your tongue, Granger?" said Susie, "Or did you have to sacrifice it to your cult?"

"Yeah, letís see your tongue, Granger."

"Open wide and show us those big teeth."

"Come on, Mangy, tell us about your freaky family!"

What horrible little monsters!

Arenít they, though.

Did you curse them? Say you did!

What, and let that crew get me expelled? Never. I just.... scared them a bit. I took out my wand and pointed it right at Susieís face. Suddenly, the laughter stopped.

"Whatís that?" she said, trying to sound indifferent. But I knew she must be remembering her teeth. "A twig you picked up? Oh, Iím scared."

"Yeah, itís a twig," I said. "Just a bit of twig, really." And then I did my wrist-flick. Sparks shot out the tip of my wand, and they all jumped back a step.

Are you allowed to do that?

Oh, sparks arenít anything. Every time I practice my wrist-flick, I get sparks. It shows that a wandís in good working order- thatís what Mr. Ollivander at the wand shop told me.

Anyway, I shot a few sparks and they jumped. Susie paled, and I had to laugh a little.

"What do you have," said one of her friends, "a sparkler?" Susie looked a bit relieved at that. "Oh, thatís really thick, Hermione, trying to bother us with a stupid sparkler."

"Díyou see any matches?" I said. "How am I lighting the sparkler, Susie?" She didnít have an answer. All of them were backing away, step by slow step. "Better run if you like your teeth the way they are," I said, and flicked my wrist hard. A burst of bright sparks flew up, and they positively bolted! I just stood there laughingóimagine any student at Hogwarts running away from a bunch of little sparks!

Iím glad you got them- but Hermione, now wonít they really think youíre a witch?

Who cares? Nobody would ever believe them. And it was worth it... oh, wasnít it worth it! I wish Harry and Ron couldíve seen it! Harry and Ron.

How are they?

As if I know. Iíve written them twice each. Harry didnít write back at all, and Iím rather worried about him as heís living with those dreadful people. I got one letter back from Ron, and I know about as much about him as I did before. Want me to copy it?

I do.

"Dear Hermione,

Got your letter. You sound busy. What, are you studying? You better not be. Iíve been playing Quidditch and doing chores and stuff. Did you get a letter from Harry yet, because I didnít. Hope those gits arenít torturing him. Ginnyís worried- sheís going on about it right now- I think she fancies him. What an idiot.

Everybody here says hello.

Bye,

Ron"

Well really. Doesnít he have anything to say?

Apparently not.

I just wrote back and told him not to bother Ginny- she can fancy whomever she likes and itís none of his business. I hope heís not teasing her. Ginnyís going to be a first year, and I donít really know her yet, but I probably will. Every other Weasley has been in Gryffindor. Oh, Gryffindor! How will I ever make it all the way to September?

At least Ron sent a Chocolate Frog with that short note of a letter. I told him last time I wrote that my parents wonít let me have any sugar because theyíre dentists, so I havenít had a single sweet all summer. I guess he thinks thatís bad. I think Iím going to go eat it.

ĎBye!

 

HQoW

July 23

Just got an owl back from Ron. Can you believe this:

"Dear Hermione,

Right, thatís it. Still no letter from Harry and so Fred and George are going to help me bust him out. Iíd tell you how weíre going to do it, but youíd just have a fit. Donít worry. Iíll write you when Iíve got him.

See you,

Ron"

And here is the letter I am sending back:

"Dear Ron (and Harry, if youíre there)

I hope everything went all right and that Harry is okay and that you didnít do anything illegal to get him out, Ron, because that would get Harry into trouble, too. Iíve been really worried, and if Harry is all right, will you please let me know at once, but perhaps it would be better if you used a different owl, because I think another delivery might finish your one off.

Iím very busy with schoolwork, of course, and weíre going to London next Wednesday to buy my new books. Why donít we meet in Diagon Alley?

Let me know whatís happening as soon as you can.

Love from,

Hermione."

Oh, I hope theyíll write me soon. I hope Harryís okay! I hope they can come to Diagon Alley. We got our book list from school, and there are several Defense Against the Dark Arts ones. I hope that means that it will be a real class this time because weíve got an entire year to make up for. All the books are written by Gilderoy Lockhart, whom Iíve never heard of, but he must be really amazing if he knows so much about the Dark Arts.

I got something else from school, too, Gwen. Itís a Certificate of Special Achievement, for my marks last year! Professor McGonagall sent a note along with it saying sheís sorry I didnít get it earlier, but it had to be signed at the Ministry of Magicóby the head of the Department of Witching and Wizarding Education, and the Minister of Magic himself, Cornelius Fudge! Mum and Dad had it framed. They are really the best!

Thatís wonderful.

Thanks. Itís something to live up to though, isnít it! I canít wait to get my schoolbooks and start studying. I really need to prepare!

Speaking of your books, when youíre in Diagon Alley, you should come and visit me at Miss Vauclainís!

I can do that?

Yes- thereís a large book of blank parchment at the counter in back- you can just write, "Hi, Gwen," and someone will come fetch me.

Really? Do I need my password?

No, no, anybody can write in that book. Will you come?

Of course! Thatís so fascinating! Oh, so many reasons to be excited- my books, Diagon Alley, visiting you, and I hope seeing Harry and Ron! Iíll bet time goes really, really slowly until next Wednesday. It always does when I have anything fun to anticipate.

Oh, thereís Mum calling. Itís lunch. See you!

 

HQoW

July 26

Harryís okay, and theyíre all going to meet me in Diagon Alley. Hereís how I know:

"Dear Hermione,

See, I knew youíd throw a fit and you donít even know what weíve done. And youíre not going to know either. Weíve got Harry, so quit harping. Quit studying too- how can you be- weíre on vacation! Seriously.

Mum says we can all go to Diagon Alley on Wednesday. How about we meet at Gringotts, since we all have to go there first anyway?

See you there,

Ron"

"Dear Hermione,

Sorry I couldnít send you any letters. My uncle wouldnít let me let Hedwig out of her cage all summer. If it makes you feel any better, I didnít get any of your letters either, because a house-elf named Dobby was stopping my mail. It was a bad summer, and Iím really glad to be staying at Ronís now, because itís much better than my house. Hope your summer was great.

See you next week,

Harry"

A house-elf named Dobby was stopping his mail. You know, Gwen, that sort of thing just doesnít surprise me anymore. After a year at Hogwarts, the fact that thereís something called a house-elf, and it goes Ďround stopping peopleís mail, just sounds like a perfectly normal part of life.

In any case, Iím glad Harryís with Ron, although I donít like the sound of whatever they did to get him out. And the way Ron talks about studying, youíd think itís some kind of ancient torture. Iím sure the only reason those two are even excited to go to Diagon Alley is to get ice cream at Fortescueís.

Oh, and you donít like Fortescueís?

Thatís not what Ióoh, never mind, Gwen. Iíll see you at Miss Vauclainís on Wednesday, okay? Iíll pop in before we go over to Gringotts.

I canít wait!

* * *

{ACTUAL EXCERPTS FROM THE DIARY HEADQUARTERS AT THE ENCHANTED STATIONERS IN DIAGON ALLEY, LONDON, JULY 29th}

 

Hello, itís Hermione Granger. Is Gwen in there, please?

Allo! Hermione, we Ďav Ďeard so much of you! Iz it all true, what Guinevere Ďaz told us about ze Sorcererís Stone?

Er- yes. Are you a diary?

Mais oui, ma cherie, I am Marguerite! It iz so nice to meet with you, but I suppose you are wanting to speak wiz Gwen?

Could you find her?

For you? But of course! You are famous here wiz us, you know. We just adore your stories! Un moment, síil tu plait, and I will Ďav your Gwen.

Thanks!

Did I hear someone say Hermione?

Yes, Iím Hermione.

Hanini! How good you are. You must know how we die for Quidditch- Guinevere has told you?

She certainly has. More than once.

Well, if sheís bad, Iím worse. You will keep us informed of the Quidditch this term, wonít you?

I promise.

You are a peach, hanini, do you know that?

Excuse me, CassieóHERMIONE!!!!!

Gwen! Who was that? Whatís a Ďhaninií?

That was Cassiopeia- sheís Maltese- Ďhaninií is her way of calling you dear, dear.

Thatís so nice! How interesting to meet all your friends, Gwen. They all seem to know me.

Yes, they think youíre just splendid for keeping us entertained all summer, and everybodyís just dying to say hello. Hereís Esmeralda, my friend Iíve told you of!

Oh, good.

Sweet girl! How wonderful to finally meet you after all the raving Iíve heard from Guinevere. She speaks so highly of you- I hear that youíre top of your class?

Oh, itís nothing. Yes, I am.

And youíre here to get your schoolbooks, I imagine? How lovely to be going to school!

I agree! I just canít wait to go over and get all my new school things- thereís nothing I like better than all new notebooks and quills and books and foldersó

Is this the Miss Granger who tells such tales of sport and alchemy?

Well! Iím Hermione Granger, if thatís what you mean.

Welcome a thousand times, Miss Granger. I am Argo, and I would like to affirm that we, all of us, are in your eternal debt. You weave your world around us, and it is the warming tapestry that comforts our cold hours.

Um...... okay.

My heartfelt and humble thanks to you, as you journey forth in life. Perhaps you will share your thoughts with us another time, though I would never presume to ask such a favor. Farewell, fair witch.

What?

Donít mind Argo, Hermione. Heís over-dramatic and mildly depressed.

Okay. Gwen, this is so much fun and everything, and I hate to go, but I did promise to meet Harry and Ron at noon, and itís ten Ďtil. Iíve got to run over to Gringotts.

Well Iím just so glad you made it. Theyíll be talking about you all week. Run along to your friends, and let me know how things turn out!

I will! Goodbye, Gwen--- Goodbye, everyone!

 

HQoW

August 1

Sorry I didnít write right away, Gwen, but ever since we got my books, Iíve been-

Studying? Somehow I thought you might be.

Yes, well thereís so much to read- weíve got seven Defense Against the Dark Arts books, and theyíre all written by Gilderoy Lockhart, and we even met him at Flourish and Blotts, and heís going to be our teacher at Hogwarts, and Gwen, he looks like he should be a film star, I mean, honestly, Iíve never seen anybody up close who looked like that, and Iím going to be looking at him all year long, so how will I ever stand it!? I have to memorize every word of his books.

All seven?

I know, itís hard, but I think I can do it for Professor Lockhart.

I see. And how are Ron and Harry?

Theyíre fine. Look, in "Gadding with Ghouls" Professor Lockhart says he managed to rid a haunted castle of a poltergeist that had been plaguing it for over a thousand years! Itís about time we had a real Defense Against the Dark Arts teacheróI bet heíll get rid of Peeves if we tell him toódíyou suppose I ought to wear my lavender sweater on the first day of his class? In "A Year with the Yeti" he says his favorite color is lilac, but I havenít got anything really lilac.

I imagine your school robe will cover it up in any case.

No, not entirely, it fastens in front but nips open at the top and then parts under the clasp.

Well then, by all means, wear the lavender.

Yes, I think I will. We havenít gone shopping for my school clothes yet, except my robes of course, so maybe Mum will let me get something lilac. I got some purple ink and a new quill for that class already. Iíd wish it were September, but I need every minute left in this vacation to commit these textbooks to memory.

And your other classes?

Oh. Well, thereís second year level of everything I was taking before, plus an extra class in place of Flying, which you donít have to take after first year. My new class is called Elementary Spellish, which is the study of Wizarding terminology, you know, Latin derivatives and magical dialects and witching slang. Isnít that fascinating? Itís only twice a weekóProfessor McGonagall wants me to ease in to extra work, to make sure I can really handle it before I try to add any more. Iím sure Iíll be fineómy marks last year are proof of that!

I have to tell you, Gwen, it was so nice to be in the wizarding world again. I feel like Iím starving for magic. Diagon Alley was just wonderful, and getting to say hello to you at your headquarters was such a treat. How are all your friends?

Theyíre just fine. We all enjoyed it, too. But arenít you going to tell me about your friends, Hermione dear?

Yes, but I have to do it later. I already feel really guilty about writing for this long when I havenít even touched "Break With A Banshee" and Iíve only barely skimmed "Travels With Trolls". Lockhart is clearly serious about our education, and I mean to rise to the occasion. Talk to you soon.

 

HQoW

August 12

Well, Iíve done it. Iíve read them all. My head feels heavy. GwenóGilderoy Lockhart has done so much. Why on earth is he stopping such an unbelievable career to come teach us at Hogwarts?

Unbelievable, yes, thatís true.

So many people will suffer without his help. But I am glad heíll be helping us, instead. Is that awful?

No, itís normal.

I still havenít told you about Diagon Alley, have I? Now that Iíve finished all Lockhartís books, all I can think about is how nice it was to see everyone again. I didnít realize how much it would feel like a family reunion, what with Harry and Ron and Percy, Fred and George, my parents, Ronís parents, his little sister Ginny, and even Hagrid! We were all in a bunch on the top of the steps at Gringotts, finally back together, and I just wanted to smile Ďtil my head fell off.

Ronís dad was really fascinated with my Muggle mum and dad, and he towed them off to buy them a drink so he could quiz them about what our life is like. Theyíre still talking about it. That was their first chance to really sit down and talk with an adult from the wizarding world, and they thought Mr. Weasley was just as fascinating as he thought they were.

Harry bought Ron and me ice creams at Fortescueís, and then we window shopped for all the things we want to buy when weíre rich. Ron wants a racing broom, newest model, Nimbus 2001. Harry wants exactly the same thing. Theyíre so original. I saw a set of scales Iíd die for- itís called a Prioritizer. You write two tasks on slips of paper and place them in the scales, and it tells you which is truly the most important to do first. I need that thing. It would really help me to schedule properly during exams. But it was far too expensive to even think about.

After that, we met up with my parents and all the Weasleys at Flourish and Blotts to get our booksówhich is where we met Professor Lockhart. Iíve never seen robes like his, they were so blue, and they matched his eyes exactly, and he has blond, wavy hair, and the most perfect teeth I have ever seen. I wish I had teeth like that. Heís won Witch Weeklyís Most-Charming-Smile Award five times! He was doing a book signing, and when he saw Harry, he grabbed him up to the front and presented him with a complimentary stack of all the textbooks! The news people were all taking pictures- I mean, Gilderoy Lockhart and Harry Potter, thatís a double celebrity. Harry didnít look too pleased- I saw him dump all his books over in Ginny Weasleyís cauldron. (Really, Gwen, I thought it was really sweet of Professor Lockhart to give Harry all those books. But I guess it was also nice of Harry to give the books to Ginny, since Mrs. Weasley has to buy five sets.)

Thatís when everything started to go downhill, though, because Malfoy came over to us. If there is one thing I didnít miss about the magical world, itís Malfoy. He hasnít made any improvements over the summer. If anything, heís worse. Started taunting Harry right off about all the press attention heíd gotten with Professor Lockhart, gibing at him with "Famous Harry Potter" and all that.

Ginny Weasley jumped right to Harryís defenseóRon and I would have done it, but we were fighting our way over to him through the crowd. I watched her, and she looked livid, which was interesting considering she didnít say one word or draw one speck of attention toward herself the whole day. But she had no trouble standing up to Malfoy! "Leave him alone, he didnít want all that," she said. I was impressed. Malfoy was not. "Potter, youíve got yourself a girlfriend," he said, as if a girlfriend were the most absolutely revolting thing he could think of. Ha. He should be so lucky. I noticed that Ginny turned really red when he said it, though, so I think Ron might be rightóshe does like Harry. Itís her business, of course, but I definitely hope sheís in Gryffindor so I can find a way to ask her. Anybody who canít stand Malfoy is all right by me.

Malfoy. He said to Ron, "Surprised to see you in a shop, Weasley. I suppose your parents will go hungry for a month to pay for all those." Harry and I both had to grab Ron by the back of the jacket to hold him off, because Mr. Weasley was coming over with my parents, and I didnít need them to see us fighting! If they hadnít been coming over, though, I might have let Ron at him. Malfoy deserves.... but I donít approve of violence. Anyway, my parents got an eye full of fighting a moment later.

Mr. Malfoy came up to us. Heís just as nasty as his son, and treats Mr. Weasley in the same way that Draco treats Ron. He was getting down on him for being poor, and grabbed up one of the second-hand books Mr. Weasley was buying for Ginny and started to make fun of it. Beastly.

Then Mr. Malfoy looked over at my parents, and at me, and I mean, he looked at us like we were just the filthiest trash youíve ever seen. Nobodyís ever looked at me like that, not even Susieónot even Snape. He sneered and said, "The company you keep, Weasley.... and I thought your family could sink no lower"ówhich is when Mr. Weasley knocked him into a bookshelf. They brawled so hard I thought theyíd destroy the store- our whole section was demolished- Mrs. Weasley was hollering at her husband to stop it- Ron and all the boys were cheering him on- my parents looked petrified- and THANKFULLY Hagrid came in and pulled them off one another. It all ended with Mr. Malfoy tossing Ginnyís book back in her cauldron and saying, "Itís the best your father can give you."

Ron says Mr. Malfoy hates his dad because Mr. Weasley is the head of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office, and so heís always after Mr. Malfoy for having illegally enchanted possessions. Malfoy thinks since heís rich, he should be allowed to have whatever he likes, and he resents Mr. Weasley for trying to tell him otherwise.

But I wonder why Mr. Malfoy has such an obvious grudge against me and my family? Weíve got nothing to do with him. I suppose heís just all-around horribleóno wonder his son is such an idiot. Honestly, two grown men fighting in a shopónot that I blame Mr. Weasley one bit, but my parents simply donít know what to make of it, and they keep throwing questions at me. Violence- is it encouraged in wizarding? Is there fighting all over at Hogwarts? Do children put curses on each other? Do teachers use magical punishments? Do I feel quite safe? I told them that there isnít much fighting, and that if there were any cursing going on, I'd be all right as Iím very well versed in counter-curses. And I told them that teachers certainly do not use magical punishments. I didnít tell them about the punishments Filch always threatens, because they were terrified enough. Oh, dear. I wonder what theyíd do if they knew about the Sorcererís Stone?

They donít know?

Are you kidding me? Trolls, poisons, three-headed dogs and plants that try to choke you? Theyíd never let me come back to Hogwarts again. But you know, Gwen, I really donít think the wizarding world is any worse than the Muggle one. Anywhere you go, you can find rotten people who want to pick a fight. Just look at Susie Raviski.

Oh yes, how is dear old Susie?

I wouldnít know. She wonít come near me. Hah! At least Iíve managed to defeat one of my enemies. Sooner or later, weíll find a way to shut Malfoy up, too. But fighting is certainly not the answer, so Iím going to have to find some kind of mature alternative. Maybe I could charm myself to be selectively deaf to everything he says.

Ooooh, Charms. I have to go. I still have to get through all my non-Lockhart textbooks. See you later, Gwen.

 

 

HQoW

August 28

I leave for Hogwarts next Tuesday! Mum let me get a lilac colored sweater, and Iím going to wear it to our first Defense Against the Dark Arts class, and I canít wait to start learning all the techniques he talks about in his books. I hope I learned enough to keep up!

And what are you going to wear to Transfiguration?

Oh, I hadnít really thought about it. Mmmmm, Gwen, Mumís just brought me some Brambleberry Tea she bought in Diagon Alley at Mrs. Weasleyís suggestion. Itís heavenly. Itís actually supposed to be self-brewing, and youíre supposed to use a Boiling charm, but it works quite nicely on a regular stove. Mum got all types of things on this trip. She bought the "Big Book of Magical Dentistry"- she wants to see what itís all about. I keep begging her to let me get my teeth shrunk, but sheís highly skeptical about medicinal magic. She also got a Lister for the kitchen, which tells you the second you run out of something, and she got some jam from the Forbidden Fruit Companyóall their products increase your brain capacity, and weíve been putting it on our toast every morning. I donít know if Mumís supposed to eat magic stuff, but as she hasnít sprouted any extra parts yet, I suppose itís all right.

Iíve got all my inks and quills and parchment and books..... ahhhhh. I love the smell of new school things. It always makes me so excited, all the fresh pages, the idea of how much I can learn! I just love putting things away in my head. I can never understand people who donít like school. Also, Iím still getting my magical books of the month from my subscription last Christmas. August is "Spelling From the Heart- Stores of Love Charms Gone Perfectly Right and Desperately Wrong". Itís helping me entertain myself in these last few days before school starts. Iím actually reading right now about a girl who slipped a Devotion Draught to one of her professors! But thatís one that turned out Desperately Wrong, because you canít use a Devotion Draught until youíre a fully fledged witch, and if you try it before that, it just charms the other person into a heightened awareness of your feelings for them. How embarrassing! But itís her fault- she mustnít have read the spell properly and thoroughly. Iíll bet I could find a workable love charm. If I wanted. But I donít.

Just four days, Gwen. Four days and Iíll be back on the Hogwarts Express and Iíll be able to point my wand and do whatever I like! (within reason.) Iím itching, just itching, to do magic. Summer was far too long.

 

HQoW

September 1

Well Iím miffed. Harry and Ron arenít on this train. No, Iím not miffed, Iím worried. Why arenít they on this train? Fred and George are here- I saw Percy- and Ginnyís right next to me writing in her diary. Where is Ron Weasley if all his siblings are here? And where is Harry? Theyíd better not be doing anything bad.

I think Ginnyís diary is enchanted too, Gwen. She keeps stopping her writing and waiting and nodding, sometimes giggling, just like I do with you.

You giggle?

Sometimes, when youíre funny. There, she just giggled again and murmured something. It has to be enchanted. I want to ask her if she likes Harry, but thatís really none of my business. Itís just that this is such a perfect opportunity, with them not here.... but Iíll hold back. I donít want to make her nervous. I mean, I hardly know her, so it would be rude.

Donít ask her, Hermione, think how you would feel.

Youíre right. All right.

I cannot believe them! Why on earth arenít they on this train? Our first day back and I was so looking forward to a good long talk.... I hope theyíre okay, wherever they are.

Well why donít you ask Ginny about that?

Oh, right. Good thinking, Gwen. ĎBye.

 

HQoW

September 2

Itís not funny. Theyíre both lucky they havenít been kicked out of Hogwarts for good, but the way everyoneís behaving, youíd think that coming to school in a flying car and crashing it into a Whomping Willow is some kind of marvelous joke. Itís ridiculous. They said they couldnít get through the barrier for platform nine and three quarters, but why didnít they just send an owl? Think about it. You know itís a bad beginning when the first words I hear from Harry are "Well, we havenít been expelled," and the first from Ron are, "Skip the lecture."

Fine, Iíll skip the lecture. I wonít mention that you could have been killed, youíve damaged school property, you could have lost a thousand House Points for Gryffindor, you mightíve ruined your fatherís reputation at the Ministry of Magic, and youíve terrified your little sister not to mention me! Rude, thoughtless, foolish. Percyís the only one who doesnít seem to think itís a cool way to make an entrance, but as heís a prefect who abides by the rules and gets good marks, Ron and Harry donít care what he thinks. I wonder if Iíll be made a prefect? I hope so. Then I can give all the lectures I want and nobody can tell me to "skip" anything.

Most of all, though, they missed the First Day Feast and the Sorting. They werenít there to see Ginny get sorted, and I think sheís a little disappointed. It was adorable- the hat slid all the way down her head, and then gave a little hop and piped "Gryffindor!" and the rest of her brothers cheered her wildly. So did I. Sheís a shy girl, but I think Iíll like her- we had a sort of chat on the train and she said she knew who I was because sheíd heard about me over the summer, how Iím top of the class and all about the Sorcererís Stone and everything. Iím surprised Ron told her about that- but then wizarding families probably arenít as shocked by that sort of thing as my mum and dad would be.

Didnít you say she has an enchanted diary?

I think so, yes. I mean, at one point she stared down at the page just reading for five whole minutes, and then gave a little sigh and said "Oh, Tom," and started writing furiously. If itís not enchanted, then she needs to have her head checked.

Tom?

I think thatís what she said. Oooh, I need sleep. Tomorrow we start class, and I want to be really rested for Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Go on and get your beauty sleep.

ĎNight!

 

HQoW

September 3

Hi, Guinevere! I love school!

I got thirty points for Gryffindor in one day- twenty for knowing about Mandrakes in Herbology. Theyíre used to restore people whoíve been transfigured or cursed, and we were repotting them all morning while wearing earmuffs, because their cries can kill. It was marvelous! Oh, how wonderful to back at Hogwarts with things like Mandrakes to work on! Then we had Transfiguration and we all had to practice turning beetles into buttons, just to get ourselves back in shape. I made a perfect set of coat buttonsógood thing I kept up on my studies and practiced my wrist-flick all summer, because everybody else seemed to be having a rough time. Especially Ron, but then thatís his fault, isnít it? His wand snapped when he flew that car into the Whomping Willow, and a wand wonít work properly if itís thereís just Spellotape holding it togetheróoh, and did I mention he got a Howler this morning in the post?

Those are rather embarrassing, arenít they?

His own fault. His mother lectured him right there in the Great Hall, in the loudest voice Iíve ever heard. She said everything that I wanted to say to him the other day, and for once he and Harry seemed to realize the seriousness of what theyíd done. Sometimes you just have to go about it the loud way when youíre dealing with those two-- and anyway I donít care if Ron was embarrassed because at lunchtime he grabbed my schedule and saw that Iíve drawn decorations all around my Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, and he didnít care one single second if I was embarrassed. He yelled "Why have you outlined all Lockhartís lessons in little hearts?" and it was loud enough for the whole Gryffindor table to hear. I noticed Ginny give me a sympathetic glance. Iíll bet she really knows what itís like to be tortured what with six brothers. Poor girl.

Anyway Gwen, we had Defense Against the Dark Arts this afternoon, and Professor Lockhart was wearing turquoise. He has the nicest dress sense of any wizard Iíve ever seen. He gave us a pop quiz and I got full marks and he said, "Where is Miss Hermione Granger?" I raised my hand and he said I was "Excellent!" and told me to take ten more points to Gryffindoróand I swear I saw him wink at the color of my sweater! All that, and then he let out a cage full of Cornish Pixies for us to try and catch. A real hands-on lesson! They wreaked havoc in the room, but I know Professor Lockhart was just testing our capabilities. Ron and Harry, on the other hand, seem to think he has no idea what heís doingóthey think heís made up all those things he talks about in his books. But Dumbledore would never let him be our teacher if he didnít have merit, so I say theyíre just jealous because heís such a clever wizard. Iíve got to go and start the assignment heís given us- "Compare the conquests of Gilderoy Lockhart to those of Ulysses in a five paragraph essay". Thatís going to take far more than five paragraphs, and I mean to do it thoroughly. Talk to you soon!

 

HQoW

September 12

Quidditch will definitely be interesting this term, Gwen.

Oooh, really? Why?

Malfoy is the new Slytherin Seeker. His rich father bought the whole team new Nimbus Two Thousand and Ones, so now he gets to be on the team. Theyíve kicked off the rivalry alreadyóRon and I were down watching Gryffindor practice this morning when the Slytherins came and tried to take over the field so they could show off. Malfoy said something really nasty of course, about our teamís broomsticks being so old they ought to be raffled off to a museum, so I said, "At least no one in Gryffindor had to buy their way in. They got in on pure talent."

Good for you!

Except then Malfoy called me a "filthy little Mudblood."

He did WHAT? Never mind, donít repeat it. I heard you. How dare he call you thatóoh, wouldnít I like to teach that brat a lessonó

Everybody else reacted that same way, Gwen. There was a general yell, Fred and George Weasley tried to jump him, Ron pulled out his wand and said, "Youíll pay for that one, Malfoy!" and tried to curse himóbut you know his wandís broken. The curse came out the back end and poor Ron got it right in the stomach, a belly full of slugs. He started belching them everywhere and it was really disgusting. The Slytherins were laughing fit to kill. Harry and I took Ron under the arms and pulled him off to Hagridís. I tried to remember the counter-curse to stop him being sick, but there isnít one; you just have to retch up Ďtil theyíre all out, and oh, Gwen, he shouldnít have done that for me, I mean, who cares what Malfoy says?

Ron did just what he should have done. I only wish the curse had gone out the right way.

He told me- between slugs- that Mudblood is the foulest name you can call somebody like me, whoís Muggle-born. It means I have common, dirty blood, and Malfoy thinks heís better because heís a pure-blood. Now I understand why he and his father were so vicious to my family in Diagon Alley. Theyíre prejudiced against witches like me.

Lousy, rottenó

No, no, really, itís okay, Gwen, I donít care. Iíve got good friends. Ron stood up for me, and he said pure-blood doesnít mean anything anyway, just look at Neville, heís pure-blood and he can hardly stand a cauldron the right way up. And Hagrid says, "They havenít invented the spell our Hermione canít do." Our Hermione, isnít that nice? Malfoy canít bother me when Iíve got such great allies.

Well, if youíre really all right--?

I am. Hagridís a dear, if he is a bit mixed-up. Professor Lockhart was leaving his cabin when we got down there, and I get the feeling Hagrid doesnít like him. He said that if a word Professor Lockhart says is true, heíll eat his kettle, but it is perfectly obvious to me that heís as envious as Harry and Ron. Poor Hagrid, he must be a bit jealous, not being allowed to use magic or anything. He was expelled from Hogwarts in his third year. Thatís why heís gamekeeper instead of a wizarding teacher.

Expelled? What for?

We donít know. He wonít tell us. I think he has his old school wand inside his umbrella though, because the umbrella is over by his pumpkin patch, which is obviously growing under the influence of an Engorgement Charm. But the pumpkins do look nice. Theyíll be fantastic at the Halloween Feast and so even if he is breaking rules, I couldnít help but say that heíd done a good job on them.

He said Ginny Weasley said the same thing the other day- I guess she was down at his cabin hoping to Ďaccidentallyí run into Harry.

Oh, thatís darling.

I think so too, but Hagrid and Ron of course had to tease Harry about it. What is wrong with them? Itís sweet to be liked. Youíd think Ginny were doing something idiotic, the way they go on. The only thing idiotic is that she likes somebody whoís too stupid to appreciate it.

Theyíre just stupid in general sometimes. Flying a car into a tree- honestly, Iím glad theyíve got detention tonight. Maybe theyíll think twice the next time they want to act like boys.

 

 

 

 

HQoW

September 13

Well, Gwen, Harryís finally gone crazy. He is now hearing voices.

Is that so?

Yes. He was doing his detention with Professor Lockhart, helping him answer his fan mail (and may I just say that I donít think thatís any kind of a punishment? I mean, Iíll do that voluntarily if Professor Lockhart needs an assistant or anything. I should ask him.)

Of course.

So he was in detention when he heard a voice say, "Come.... come to me.... let me rip you.... let me tear you..... let me kill you...." But Professor Lockhart couldnít hear a thing, and heís the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher! I think Harry might need to try and get a bit more sleep. Too many early-morning Quidditch practicesóheís confused.

That is strange. Oh, Hermione- before I forget to ask you- is Ginny Weasley still writing in that diary?

All the time, why?

Nothing... yet. I need to ask a few more questions at Miss Vauclainís about it, thatís all. And you said she called it ĎTomí?

Yes, I think so.

All right. Just checking into things a bit.

Oh, Gwen, I have to go. Iíve got Elementary Spellish homework, and I want to add a few things to that essay for Transfigurationóand hereís Neville, wanting help with Potions. Oh, Neville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HQoW

September 21

Hey, Gwen.

I found out about Mudblood. I asked about the history of that term, in Elementary Spellish, and itís.... awful. Itís like the words we have in the Muggle world that some people use to make fun of people who are of other races and other backgrounds. There are all kinds of ugly names- so ugly that I donít even want to repeat them- and Mudblood is one of those words. Where Iím from, you have to be a serious bigot to use a word like that. The Malfoys are more hateful than I thought.

You know, itís only a word, Hermione. Please, please donít take it to heart.

I donít. Itís not that, I just.... I never thought that Iíd be the subject of that kind of prejudice. Itís a strange feeling, being hated for something youíve got no control over. Thatís all.

Spellish is easy, by the way. If this is what itís like to have one extra class, then I want three. I can handle anything. Muggle-born or not, Iím top witch in my class, and itís going to stay that way. Iím going to study.

 

HQoW

October 11

Weíve got our first tests back, and youíll forgive me for not writing lately when I tell you that I got full marks on all of them, plus house points for my Defense Against the Dark Arts one! And Professor Lockhart wrote a note on the back of my test, which says,

"My dear Miss Granger,

Again you are the only student to correctly answer every question- take ten points to Gryffindor for knowing that my lifelong recurring nightmare is that of being chased down by six hundred Giants, and defeating them with the Impediment Charm! Also, take five points for choosing to use purple ink.

Excellent Work!

Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defense League, and five-time winner of Witch Weeklyís Most-Charming-Smile Award."

Isnít that divine? Iím keeping this test forever!

Oh dear. Ginnyís smoking at the ears.

What, is she angry about something?

No, literally, sheís smoking at the ears. Percyís been trying to make her take some of Madam Pomfreyís Pepperup potion for her head cold, and I guess she finally drank it because it makes you smoke at the ears. Ginnyís a redhead, so it looks like her head is on fire. Ronís laughing at her as if he wouldnít look exactly the same, and poor Ginnyís just trying hide behind a book so Harry wonít be able to see heróno, he doesnít seem to know whatís happeningóoh, she definitely likes him, I can tell.

Oh, can you always tell?

Yes, Iím very observant about that kind of thing. I can always see when somebody.... well, you know, when somebody has a crush. They act like idiots. Iím awfully glad I donít behave that way over anybody- not that Ginnyís so bad, sheís just painfully shy around Harry so it makes it more obvious.

Hah! Gwen, Ronís taking out his chess set. He owes me a game, so heíd better not start playing with Harry-- I might have beat him last time if Neville hadnít misdirected a Flying charm and knocked over all our pieces. Yes, heís giving me the game face. I have to go, I have to beat him. Bye, Gwen.

//
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