Disclaimer: Not even a little
bit mine. Except for Gwen – who actually belongs to herself.
The Secret Diary
of Hermione Granger
Hi, Gwen. I’m not feeling well. My head cold
is making it impossible to study, I’ve used up a box of tissues and I can’t
concentrate on anything but how sick I am. Harry’s at Quidditch and Ron’s down
there with him, so I’m bored, but then I saw Ginny writing in her diary and
I just knew I’d feel better if I came to talk to you. It’s a glum sort of day.
I’m so glad you came to me
Hermione, because I’m concerned about something. Ginny Weasley’s diary- ‘Tom’-
nobody here knows him. Nobody here is in Ginny Weasley’s diary. Where did she
I don’t know- Diagon Alley, I expect. Why are
It’s an old wizarding maxim
"Never trust an object that can think for itself if you can’t see where
it keeps its brain."
Well it could be from another shop, couldn’t
it? I mean, your headquarters had brains from France and Malta, so couldn’t
Ginny’s diary just be foreign?
Yes, but then she couldn’t
have gotten it in Diagon Alley, and we’re the only headquarters of our kind
in all of England.
Maybe her brother Charlie sent it from Romania.
Should I ask her?
Well.... maybe I’m just making
something out of nothing. But if anything odd happens, yes, you might ask Ginny
about the diary. Just in case.
I will. Gwen, you know, I’ve never really thought
about it, and please don’t be offended, but.... what are you, anyway?
Where are diary brains from? What are you made up of? Were you a person? Are
you a ghost?
I thought you’d ask this sooner
or later, and I’m not a bit offended. Let me see—how to explain it? I’m not
a person, exactly.
I’m a consciousness from a diary written by a person. I am the essence of that
person’s thoughts and life as it was written in the diary.
You mean you’re a brain made up of Guinevere’s
diary entries? The actual Guinevere?
Yes. Guinevere—well, I
wrote this diary while I was in school, and then in Camelot, at King Arthur’s
court. I kept it faithfully, enchanting the pages as I went along so that they
would retain my secrets and myself.
Wait! Wait! What? But Guinevere- that’s
only a myth- Camelot- it’s just a legend—
Hermione, you of all people
ought to know better. You used to think that magic only existed in fairy-tales,
and here you are, a witch.
You..... this..... I have a diary that is the
consciousness of Guinevere? Sincerely? Camelot Guinevere? All this time?
Why you’re – you’re a queen – you’re a famous—goodness!
How did you get into this diary? Did you transfer
somehow? How does it work?
This is not just any diary.
It was my very own. Have you never noticed that it’s been re-bound? Dozens of
times over the centuries, actually. The parchment is enchanted, as you know,
so that it will never run out and can store infinite memories. Mine are here,
too. And the secrets of others.
Others? You mean you’ve been someone else’s
diary before you were mine?
Think how many years I have
been dead. Imagine how many hands I have passed through. Someday, I may tell
you whose they were. But not now.
But no, even if all this were possible, this
can’t be true-- because Guinevere wasn’t a witch!
Oh, wasn’t I? My specialty
happened to be Love Potions.
You know, I’m very glad I had no idea who you
were when I started writing in here. I’d have been absolutely terrified to talk
to you. I mean, you’re Guinevere and I’m just some second year witch at Hogwarts
who happened to make a lucky purchase in a shop. But now I know you and
I’ve told you so much, and you’re just.... how can I put this?
I’m just Gwen?
Yes. I don’t feel a bit awkward about knowing
who you really are.
I’m so glad! That’s how I prefer
it. No fuss. Just Gwen. And by the way, you’re not just "some second year
witch". You’re a very special girl, Hermione.
Oh, well. Thanks. Although I do wonder...
I’m sorry, but I don’t know how to believe
– I mean, Ijust can’t imagine the real Guinevere liking Quidditch so much as
And why not?!
Well, it isn’t the sort of thing I’d expect
the Queen of Camelot to do – go ‘round cheering for a lot of flying brooms.
Oh! I only wish I’d been allowed!
I didn’t get to cheer for Quidditch very much. I lived in a Muggle world most
of my life, but I had developed a taste for Quidditch at school – it is
a very old sport, you know; it was played in my time as well – and when I went
to Camelot, I missed it so... I suppose a thing can become rather an obsession,
if it gets taken away.
I suppose.... but I have another question.
I’ll answer one more right
now, but then you’ve got to rest your head; I want you to recover from this
All right. My last question is – well – I’ve
read the legend, you know, and I just never imagined... well, I don’t know quite
how to put this, but Gwen, you’re a little bit – sarcastic.
There it is again. I just wouldn’t have imagined
What’s the matter, queens can’t
have highly developed senses of humor?
Of course they can! But the story of your life
doesn’t read quite that way, you know. In the story it says–
The story of my life is just
that, Hermione. A story. The facts aren’t always going to match up with the
legend. Sometimes, I wonder who was responsible for giving those authors their
information. Of course, if anybody wanted the true
account, they ought to just read me – but I’d never let that happen.
Never. But that doesn’t mean
I won’t tell you other things.
Oh, would you? I’d like to know the true account!
Well... one day. You know my
true personality, which is more than most people could say, even when I was
So you were always sarcastic, but I’m the only
one who knows it?
I know it. Actually, come to
think of it, I suppose my personality now does
differ a bit from the Guinevere I once was. But that’s to be expected, isn’t
it? I’ve been a diary consciousness for hundreds of years – some of my owners’
idiosyncrasies must’ve rubbed off on me a bit, along the way. For example, I’m
certain that my use of language has changed. Why, I haven’t said "thee"
or "thou" in absolute centuries.
Do you... think that maybe... I’ll rub
off on you?
You already have, my dear.
Oh, but yes. I imagine if I
were alive again, I’d head straight to the library.
Honestly. What’s so wrong with the library
Nothing at all. But Hermione,
I really want you to rest now. We can talk more about this another time.
Well, all right... but goodness, I mean, you
will let me tell Mum who you are? I mean, she’ll absolutely die.
She probably won’t believe
you. But yes, of course – tell away.
Oh, Gwen. Thanks. I think I’ll write her a
letter right now. See you soon.
It was such a nice peaceful common room
until Quidditch practice let out. Fred and George Weasley must think quiet is
a sin or something. Now it’s going to take half an hour before I can
bring Ron back ‘round to this Potions assignment, which Harry hasn’t even started
yet. But I suppose it’s not his fault; he was at practice and then Filch kept
him back awhile.
Filch? Did Harry get in trouble?
For once, no. Filch is just in a rotten mood
from cleaning up the halls all day, and he wanted to punish Harry for dripping
mud in them. Well Gwen, it’s raining outside and there’s dirt on the Quidditch
field. What does he want? But he dragged Harry into his office anyway. He had
to leave him there a minute to go scream at Peeves for something, and that’s
when Harry poked around on his desk and found some sort of "Kwikspell Correspondence
Course in Beginner’s Magic" letter, whatever that is. I don’t know
why he’d want to poke around Filch’s desk when he was already in a bad mood-
it was a dumb idea. Filch came back and saw that the letter was moved, and just
about had an attack. Harry said he was actually worried Filch might try and
use those ankle-suspension chains he’s always threatening. But then Nearly-Headless
Nick (that’s Sir Nicholas, the Gryffindor ghost,) made an enormous racket with
Peeves and distracted Filch so that he got confused and forgot to punish Harry.
Lucky Harry. That was nice
of Sir Nicholas.
Wasn’t it? Harry asked Nick if there was anything
he could do in return, and he said yes, we could all three come down to his
five-hundredth deathday party on Halloween, and Harry said we would! I imagine
not many live people have ever been to a deathday party, and I’m sure it’ll
be just fascinating. I wonder if Professor Lockhart’s ever been to one? I’m
sure he has. I’ll just have to ask him all about it tomorrow.
Ugh, just thought of something. Hope Moaning
Myrtle doesn’t come to Nick’s party. She’s this ghost who haunts a toilet in
one of the girls’ bathrooms, and she’s so depressing that no one even goes in
there anymore. I mean, you say one word to her and she cries like a baby.
OH NO--- DUCK!!!!! Are they MAD? Yes, Gwen,
the Weasley twins are insane! They’ve put a Filibuster firework inside a Salamander,
and the poor thing is ricocheting around the room and giving off orange sparks!
Fred says they "rescued" it from a Care of Magical Creatures class.
Rescued it so they could torture it! Oh yes, very funny—you tell them,
Percy. Of course Harry and Ron are having an absolute fit of laughter.
Well that’s going to end in a moment. I’m making them do this Potions essay
Gwen, there’s a mystery. Something very odd
happened last night. Odd and disturbing. And I’m not talking just about the
deathday party, although that was certainly very strange. A roomful of ghosts
and putrid food and Moaning Myrtle. Yes, Myrtle was there, and of course when
we said hello she got offended and cried herself silly.
But the really odd thing happened after Nick’s
party. We were leaving the dungeon when Harry started to hear that voice again-
the one Professor Lockhart couldn’t hear that night when he was in detention.
He was absolutely panicked about it. It was saying things like "I smell
blood" and Harry was afraid it would try to kill somebody, so we tried
to follow it. Well, follow him really, because we couldn’t hear anything.
I guess the voice floats up, or something, because Harry took us all the way
to the second floor, to the end of the last corridor. And that’s where it was,
in the torchlight.
On the wall, in foot-high words, somebody had
"THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS
HAS BEEN OPENED.
ENEMIES OF THE HEIR, BEWARE."
That’s not the only thing. Underneath the words
something was hanging up on a torch bracket. It was Mrs. Norris- Filch’s cat-
all stiff and glass-eyed with her tail straight up like she’d just been stuffed.
It was freakish.
Who did it?
That’s just it. Nobody has a clue. There was
just the cat, the words, and a big puddle coming from the bathroom- I’m sure
Myrtle just got in the pipes again. And of course there was that voice Harry
had been hearing.... not that I could really verify that. Ron said we’d
better get out, because we didn’t want to be found there. I thought that was
right, I mean, we didn’t look too innocent standing there in the middle of all
that when we should have been down at the Halloween Feast.
But that’s right when the Feast let out. Everyone
came crashing through the halls. We were surrounded by students. They stared
at us, trying to read the wall and take in the whole scene. To make matters
worse, Draco Malfoy stepped up. He was flushed and grinning and he said, "Enemies
of the Heir, beware! You’ll be next, Mudbloods!" Then he looked at me and
he was laughing as if he meant me in particular.
Filch came over next and when he saw what had
happened to his cat, he went—and I mean this—insane. Turned on Harry and us
and started to shriek. Lucky someone thought to call the other teachers, because
Filch was about to kill Harry, no question, until Dumbledore and some other
professors came up and took the five of us away- that’s us three, Mrs. Norris,
and Filch- to Professor Lockhart’s office, to try and figure everything out.
(May I just say that Professor Lockhart’s office is absolutely perfect? He has
his awards and pictures all up on the walls- those magic pictures that wave
and smile- I wonder if he’d give me one? Harry says he sends them off with his
fan mail replies ,so maybe if I sent him a letter, he---)
Yes, by all means, send him
a letter. His office sounds perfectly lovely. Now what happened in there?
Oh, well we found out what had happened to
Mrs. Norris. Dumbledore examined her and said she’d been Petrified. She’s not
dead, but she’ll need a Mandrake Restorative Draught when our Herbology ones
are fully mature. Filch just kept on crying and screaming that Harry’d done
it, but Dumbledore said it’s advanced Dark magic and no second year could possibly
have managed it.
Then Snape said (Snape was there, too, and
Professor McGonagall,) that maybe we’d just been in the wrong place at the wrong
time, but why was that? So we explained about the deathday party and being down
in the dungeon. But that didn’t explain why we hadn’t gone to the Halloween
Feast afterwards, I mean, why had we gone without any supper? We couldn’t very
well tell the truth: "We were chasing Harry, who is currently hearing a
floating voice that smells blood." So Harry told them we were just off
to bed early because we’re tired.
Our teachers know us a bit too well to believe
that. Snape said Harry ought to be taken off the Quidditch team until
he tells the truth.
Calm down, Gwen, Professor McGonagall loves
Quidditch almost as much as you do, and the only thing she loves more is Gryffindor.
So if you think she’s going to let Snape ruin Gryffindor’s Quidditch chances
then you’re crazy. Harry’s still our Seeker.
me like that!
Well it scared us, too, but Dumbledore says
Harry’s innocent until proven guilty, and he let us all go. Once we were off
the hook we got out of there as fast as we could, ducked into a classroom and
started whispering. Harry asked if we thought he should have told the truth,
but Ron said no, that "hearing voices no one else can hear isn’t a good
thing, even in the wizarding world." I think he was thinking the same thing
I was—is Harry losing it? I mean, I didn’t hear a thing, Gwen.
Harry must’ve felt us thinking it, because he said, "You do believe me,
don’t you?" Ron said yes, but he had to admit it was weird.
It is weird. All that about a Chamber
of Secrets.... the enemies of the Heir.... I guess that’s the Heir of Slytherin.
I read about Salazar Slytherin in "Hogwarts, A History". He formed
Slytherin House when Hogwarts was first founded. But what does that have to
do with Malfoy? What does it have to do with me being a Mud—I mean, with me
Muggle-born. That’s such ROT. I mean, look
at Filch, taking a Kwikspell course! We found out tonight he’s got no magic
at all- he thinks that’s why Mrs. Norris was attacked- and he’s from an all-wizard
family. Ron says that makes him a Squib.
A word you shouldn’t call people
if you can help it; it’s unkind.
Oh, Ron says it isn’t funny ordinarily—but
as it’s Filch, you know—he thinks that’s why Filch hates the students
so much. He’s bitter.
Yes, it’s sad. If Filch were a bit nicer, I
might even feel badly for him. But it just goes to show, doesn’t it, that blood
Anyway, that’s the story, Gwen. Isn’t it strange?
The Chamber of Secrets.... why do I remember... I know I’ve read it somewhere....
YES! That’s it! It was in "Hogwarts, A History". I have to go to the
library right now, before all the copies get checked out—I wish I’d brought
mine, but I couldn’t fit it in my trunk with all the Lockhart books!
Gwen, hi—not only have all the copies of "Hogwarts,
A History" been taken out of the library, but I’ve managed to have two
very bad ideas in one week. I’m feeling edgy.
First off, I remembered what you suggested,
about asking Ginny Weasley about her diary if anything odd happened. I think
last weekend qualifies as odd, so I decided to ask her if the diary’s enchanted,
and where she got it. And I’m not blaming you for the idea, Gwen, it’s just
I have terrible timing. Ron was trying to cheer her up- she was sitting on the
sofa in the common room trying not to cry any more about Mrs. Norris—the whole
episode last weekend really upset her. Ron was saying things like "You
haven’t really got to know Mrs. Norris. Honestly, we’re better off without
her." It wasn’t helping. Especially when he said not to worry, that they’d
catch the maniac who did it and expel him- he only hoped the maniac would Petrify
Filch first! Ginny turned totally white and started rocking back and forth.
I think, Gwen, that Ron was actually trying
to help. It’s just he doesn’t have the first clue. So I said, "Ron, go
on, let me have a minute with Ginny," and moved over next to her. She said,
"I’m okay, Hermione, it’s okay, I’m okay," sounding just like Neville
does when he’s not okay. I told her all the things that always make me
feel better: that no one can hurt us as long as Professor Dumbledore’s around,
that Hogwarts is the best wizarding school in the world and that with teachers
like Professor Lockhart around to ward off the Dark Arts, we’ve got no worries
at all. She looked so much better after that, I thought it might be okay to
ask her about ‘Tom’. So I did.
"By the way, Ginny," I said, "I
have a question about your diary, if you don’t mind." Well, Gwen, that
is as far as I got. The blood left her body so suddenly I thought she’d faint
on the spot. Instead, she bolted.
But why? You didn’t say anything.
I just picked a bad moment, Gwen- she was so
shaken up already, and diaries are so personal- maybe she thought I’d read it
or something, I don’t know. I told you she’s shy. Now whenever I’m in the room,
she avoids me entirely, so I definitely botched that one, and I won’t be finding
out anything about where Ginny got her diary.
My other bad idea is actually a really good,
really smart idea, but it’s against about fifty school rules so I’m trying to
pretend I haven’t thought of it because it’s so good that I might just have
to do it. I’m completely torn.
Well for goodness sake, don’t
keep me in such suspense!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, Gwen, about
what Malfoy said about the Heir, and about the Mudbloods being next. He seems
like he knows an awful lot about what’s going on. My first thought was, what
if Malfoy’s the Heir? His family’s all been in Slytherin and they’re certainly
nasty enough-- and if they’re after Muggle-borns then I’m in definitely
in danger, because they already hate me. But then I thought, no, this
is Malfoy we’re talking about, and he’s not smart or powerful enough
to Petrify anything—I don’t think he could possibly be the Heir of Slytherin.
But maybe he knows who it is. Couldn’t
his father have told him? It’s possible. He’s the darling of Slytherin, if he’s
not the Heir, and he just... he keeps looking at me.... Anyway, I was wishing
all week that there was some way, any way, to get close to Malfoy and find out
what he knows—but there isn’t. I’d rather drink Neville’s version of a Boil-Curing
Draught than ask Malfoy's help with anything, and we all know he wouldn’t associate
with the likes of me if his life depended on it, so there it is.
Unless. Unless. Oh, it’s too good, I might
not be able to stop myself, and then I’ll be expelled and thrown back into my
old life forever. But maybe I could manage it.
Okay. Snape was lecturing us in Potions the
other day, all about different recipes that can assist in Transfiguration, and
he mentioned this one called a Polyjuice Potion. You add a bit of any person
you want to Transfigure into- like a hair or a fingernail clipping- and one
dose of the Polyjuice Potion will turn you into that person for one hour. Well
I couldn’t help but think, if I were to Transfigure into one of those lousy
Slytherin girls, like Pansy Parkinson or Millicent Bulstrode, then I’d have
a whole hour to ask Draco Malfoy anything I want about the Chamber of Secrets,
and he'd probably tell me everything. Say it isn’t brilliant.
I admit, you’ve definitely
Except I’d have to get a book out of the Restricted
Section of the library in order to get the potion recipe, and then if I managed
that there’d probably be a ton of advanced ingredients, which I’d have to steal
from Snape, but I just couldn’t let myself go that far—or could I—yes,
I think I—no, Gwen, talk me out of it, please! It doesn’t matter! The Chamber
of Secrets, well, I don’t even know what it is, and Malfoy’s just an idiot who
said all that to scare me. There isn’t any Heir of Slytherin. Is there?
I don’t know. And even if there
is, remember what I told you about legends: facts and truth don’t always line
up. We should try to find out what the truth really is. I’ll ask about it for
you- do you think you could wait to decide on the Polyjuice Potion until we
find out what it’s all about?
I guess so. I can’t think about it anymore,
I just can’t think about it, it’s driving me crazy and I have to study a thousand
other things. See you.
I came back early from dinner because I’m too
bottled-up to eat anything, and I only have about a half-hour before everyone
else comes back, so just excuse me while I get this all off my chest. I’m scared,
Gwen. I won’t tell Harry or Ron, but Malfoy—the way he keeps looking at me in
the halls—it’s not good. And once I get an idea in my head, I just can’t stop
thinking about it, so this whole Chamber of Secrets thing has just been making
me feel a little cracked. I had to find out what it meant.
I went right ahead and interrupted Professor
Binns in the middle of History of Magic today, and demanded that he inform us
of the legend of the Chamber. I don’t think anyone’s ever raised a question
in there before- probably because no one’s ever been awake in there
before- but that woke everybody right up. Professor Binns told us everything.
Salazar Slytherin, who formed Slytherin House, did not believe that students
should be admitted to Hogwarts unless they were of pure-blood descent. Godric
Gryffindor disagreed with him, and eventually drove him out of the school with
the help of Helga Hufflepuff and Rowena Ravenclaw, all of whom believed that
any child who showed magical capabilities should be given a wizarding education,
Muggle-born or not.
So Slytherin was forced to leave the school.
But before he did, the story goes that he built a chamber that none of the others
knew about, deep in the castle, that could only be opened by his own descendants.
And in the chamber he concealed a monster that, when unleashed, would fulfill
his dreams of purging Hogwarts of all the Muggle-born students. Basically, there’s
a mythological monster here who wants to kill everyone who doesn’t have pure-blood.
And that means me.
Now, Professor Binns says that it’s just a
story, a legend—but so is Guinevere and so are witches— so I say that legends
are true around here. Who Petrified the cat? What is this voice Harry’s been
hearing? Who put those words on the wall? It’s extremely unsettling, and I’m
frightened. I’ve got to know what Malfoy knows- he must know something- he just
gives me these awful stares, and mouths "You’re next."
That’s it. I have to do it. The Polyjuice Potion.
I’ll tell Ron and Harry. Oh, Ron’s such a.... he wanted to copy my composition
today after we had ten days to do it, and I’m feeling extremely
snappish what with all this Heir of Slytherin madness, so I bickered with him
"I only need another two inches, come
"Forget it, Ron. We have to go to class."
"Just tell me one thing, come ON, Hermione,"
"Too late, next time think ahead."
"You’re such a know-it-all, I swear."
"And you’re lazy."
"As if! At least I get outside and do
things- who’s the one always cooped up in the library?"
"Fine, tell that to Professor Binns, say
‘Professor, I haven’t got my homework assignment, but I did get in some lovely
Quidditch,’ and see what he thinks."
"Sometimes I really want to kill
"Good, you can help Malfoy. That’s top
on his list, too."
He felt sorry after that and tried to make
it up to me, but no thank you, I am in a BAD MOOD. The least he can do
is try to understand why I have such a short temper right now, but he
and Harry don’t have anything to worry about because they’re pure-blood.
At least I got to laugh at him a bit later
when we were going to drop off our books before dinner. We passed by the place
where we found Mrs. Norris-- that foul writing’s still on the wall, it won’t
scrub off-- and decided to look ‘round a bit for clues. We found scorch marks
of some kind, and then I saw a row of spiders marching in a line on the windowsill,
dropping down a thread like little soldiers. Really, it was so bizarre! I said
to Harry, "Have you ever seen spiders act like that?" And Harry said,
"No, have you, Ron?"
Ron was frozen back against the wall, looking
like he was trying very hard not to run. Apparently, spiders are not his favorite
things. He never told me he was scared of them! He doesn’t like the way they
move or something, just because when he was three, Fred changed his teddy-bear
into a great big one. I tried not to giggle but you should have seen his face,
and the spiders were just babies. I wonder what he’d do if he saw a tarantula!
I should take one out of the cabinet next time we’re in Potions, and see.
That’s really it for clues, though. We’re no
closer to finding out who the Heir is. Oh, and that flood of water was mopped
up, but when Harry reminded us of it, sure enough it must’ve led to Myrtle’s
toilet. (Harry and Ron both looked really uncomfortable being in the girls’
bathroom, which I also thought was funny.) We tried to say hi to Myrtle and
ask her if she’d seen anything, but of course she just threw a big fit of self-pity
because she’s dead, and dived down into the pipes again. So we left the bathroom
and ran straight into Percy.
That might have been the funniest bit, come
to think of it- listening to Percy tell Ron off for lurking around in the girls’
room- or at least it would have been funny if they hadn’t gotten into a fight.
Percy said if Ron had any feelings he might think of Ginny, because she’s scared
we’re all going to get expelled over what happened to Mrs. Norris, and so we
oughtn’t to hang around the scene of the crime. Ron said Percy doesn’t care
about Ginny, he’s only worried about us ruining his chances to be Head Boy next
year. Percy got mad and took five points from Gryffindor.
Oh great, everyone’s back from dinner, and
now I have to try and concentrate on Charms when all I can think about is "Enemies
of the Heir, beware." I’ve been wrestling with this Polyjuice Potion for
a week and now I’ve got to make a decision. Do I try it? Why does everything
have to be so difficult, Gwen?
I don’t know, dear. See you
My mood is hardly improved, but at least it
is decided. We’re doing it. The Polyjuice Potion. I almost didn’t tell
Harry and Ron because they are getting on my nerves so badly, but we’re doing
it and that’s it. Here’s the plan: I get Professor Lockhart to sign a library
note saying I can take "Moste Potente Potions" out of the Restricted
Section so that we’ll have the recipe. We’ll think about getting the ingredients
later. What do you think?
Your plan is.... rather thin.
Have you got a better one?
I finally presented the idea to Harry and Ron
because they were talking about how they think Malfoy really is the HeirHHHHHH
HeirH. I disagreed, but I said that if we really want to know, then what
we need to do is go over to Slytherin and ask Malfoy a few questions without
him knowing it’s us. Harry didn’t see how that was possible, and Ron just laughed
at me- he obviously doesn’t see how upset I am over this because he is
trying my nerves every second and he has a sarcastic remark
for everything. He and Harry didn’t even remember Snape telling
us about the Polyjuice Potion. Where would they be if I weren’t always thinking
I think I’d better shut up for awhile, because
I’m being lousy. I’m just tied up in knots, that’s all- I’m sorry I’m so cross,
Gwen. I think I’ll go to bed.
That’s all right. I hope you
wake up feeling better.
Thanks, I hope so too. Goodnight.
We’ve got the recipe! I told Professor Lockhart
that I just wanted "Moste Potente Potions" as a bit of background
reading to help me understand "Gadding with Ghouls", and do you know
what he said? "I’m sure no one will mind me giving the best student of
the year a little extra help"!!! And then he signed my library note with
his special peacock quill that he only uses for book signings! He’s just wonderful.
And did you know he also plays Quidditch? He told Harry he’d give him some pointers,
which I thought was very generous, but Harry looked at him like he was insane.
Then, when we were out of earshot, Ron called Professor Lockhart a "brainless
git"! He is not a brainless git! And I didn’t want Madam Pince to
take that library note he’d signed for me, I wanted to keep it, but Ron wrenched
it away. What is wrong with him?
We’re using Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom as our
base of operations, because nobody in their right mind goes in there. We took
the book into a stall and went through the recipe. I felt calm for the first
time in days. Finally we were going to do something, not just sit around
waiting for some monster to come and kill me. Just having that recipe
in front of me made me feel a million times better.
And that’s when the boys started to complain.
Harry’s worried because we have to steal so many of the ingredients. Ron’s mad
because he thinks it’s sick to drink a potion that contains actual bits of Slytherin.
"I’m drinking nothing with Crabbe’s toenails in it." Neither of them
gave one single thought to me- to the fact I’m Muggle-born and have to do something
about this— it wasjust "What about this, Hermione, what about that,
Hermione, what a bad idea, Hermione" on and on and on. Finally I
just let loose and yelled.
"If you two are going to chicken out,
fine. I don’t want to break rules, you know. I think threatening
Muggle-borns is far worse than brewing up a difficult potion. But if you don’t
want to find out if it’s Malfoy, I’ll go straight to Madam Pince now and hand
the book back in!"
That shut them up, for once. Even Myrtle stopped
crying in the end stall. Ron said, "I never thought I’d see the day when
you’d be persuading us to break rules," and it was the first time in two
weeks that his tone of voice was friendly to me. But then Harry made the mistake
of asking how long the potion will take, and when I said it takes a month, Ron
was off again. "A month? Malfoy could have attacked half the Muggle-borns
in the school by that time!" Well thank you, Ron. I hadn’t thought
of that. I am just sick of all the whining. I will do this by myself
if I have to.
I’m going up to bed because I’ve been cranky
for two weeks and it’s making me tired early. I want to stay up and study, but
what’s the point if I’m just going to be killed. Harry and Ron are just leaving
for bed, too. There they go, up to their dormitory, laughing about something.
They don’t know how scared I am, and they don’t care. How they can think about
Quidditch? Well, Harry’s first match is tomorrow so I suppose— and yes,
Gwen, I’ll tell you all about it first thing. Goodnight.
Wait a minute, hold on— they’re not talking
about Quidditch—they’re talking about me.
Well, I wasn’t meant to hear that! I
guess they figured I was out of earshot.
What were they saying?
First they were talking about the match, and
then Ron was saying-
"Seriously, Harry, just knock Malfoy
off his broom tomorrow. I’m sick of seeing her like this."
"I know, she’s tense, isn’t she?"
"’Course she is. She’s scared because
she’s Muggle-born. I’m worried about her, too."
"Right. Yeah, I’ll knock that git off
his broom, don’t worry."
I feel better.
Ah, Quidditch. The joy. The agony. Where to
begin? Maybe it’s better if I don’t tell you, after all, the suspense could
be unhealthy—and of course there was that enchanted Bludger—but you wouldn’t
want to hear about all that, I mean, I wouldn’t want to bore you—
I’m. On. Edge.
You’re too easy, Gwen. Okay, let me set the
scene. Ron and I left Harry with our best wishes, and climbed into the stands.
It was a heavy late-autumn day, and there was thunder in the air, and we were
going up against the most hated house in all of Hogwarts. Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs
and Ravenclaws all cheered when our team soared out above the pitch in their
red cloaks, looking ready to fight! They were followed by Slytherin in slime-green,
each riding his own shining new Nimbus Two Thousand and One. Both teams hovered
as Madam Hooch unleashed the game balls—she blew the whistle—and the game was
First thing, a Bludger hurtled at Harry’s
head- he ducked and it barely missed him- and it was beaten off by George Weasley.
Harry shot upwards, and started scanning for the Snitch. That’s when we heard
Malfoy yell, "All right there, scarhead?" Ron jumped up next to me
and hollered up, "What a waste, Malfoy, a flier like you on a broom like
that!" Malfoy couldn’t hear him, but everyone in our section applauded
and Lee Jordan announced, "Yes, a sad waste- couldn’t have put that any
better myself! And Gryffindor Chaser Katie Bell has the Quaffle and she—ah,
there’s a Bludger in her way, no score—and it’s back already to Gryffindor—Alicia
Spinnet nears the hoop and she’s going to—no, there’s another Bludger—what’s
going on up there, where are our Beaters? Oi, Weasleys, get in the game!"
But our Beaters were busy. The other Bludger,
which had flown at Harry first thing, was continuing to fly at him with a vengeance.
When batted away, it would stop in midair, turn, and zoom straight for Harry
again! George and Fred took turns whacking at it, but no matter where they aimed,
it would change direction and come for Harry like it was magnetized. Bludgers
are supposed to tackle everybody, but this one had a mind of its own and there
was nothing for the Weasley twins to do but each take a side of Harry and try
to keep the rogue Bludger from breaking his jaw.
With both our Beaters and our Seeker stuck
in a clump, Gryffindor could hardly survive. It left Slytherin free to control
the other Bludger entirely, and they slung it at our Chasers again and again,
making them miss every possible shot. They also used it to keep our Keeper occupied—Oliver
Wood was shunted to the side by the Bludger and then Marcus Flint put the Quaffle
through once—twice—and it was sixty points to zero for Slytherin before you
Finally when they managed to smack the Bludger
into Angelina Johnson’s stomach, throwing her backwards, making her double up,
and losing us another goal-shot, Wood called a time out.
We couldn’t hear from the stands what was happening
in the huddle, but I knew one thing. That Bludger had obviously been fixed.
Ron said "I just don’t see how, though." I said I thought Malfoy
had done it, but Ron just laughed and said he’d be surprised if Malfoy could
tell a Bludger from a hole in the ground, let alone be able to curse one. But
I said, "No, Ron, really, think about it, why else would it keep going
for our Seeker and never for himself? He knew there was only one way to beat
Harry—he’d have to cheat—and somehow he’s done it!" Ron looked like he
really wanted to believe me, just to have one more reason to hate Malfoy.
Time out was over. The game began again and
the storm had begun by this time—rain was falling and the Bludger was still
going for Harry a hundred percent. Fred and George, however, had returned to
protecting our Chasers so we could catch up our score. Harry was now doing his
best to out-fly the rogue Bludger on his own, in the rain.
What a sight, Gwen, I mean it. Harry dodged,
he swooped, he spun to avoid being smashed in mid-air. Malfoy yelled, "Training
for the ballet, Potter?" I yelled back, "Shut up, you sorry excuse
for a Seeker!" and Lee Jordan whistled and announced, "Another on-the-spot
comment from the stands! Did you hear that, Malfoy? It was ‘Sorry excuse for
a See—‘" but Professor McGonagall had clapped a hand over his mouth.
And then it happened.
BAM!! The rogue Bludger slammed into
Harry’s arm and the crunch was audible. There was a sickening gasp from three
quarters of the stands but of course, the Slytherins cheered. Then, to our shock,
Harry lurched downward, pivoted, and flew straight at Malfoy like a bullet!
We all thought he was going to attack him and suddenly three quarters of
the stands erupted in cries of "GET HIM, POTTER!" But we were wrong,
Harry wasn’t attacking Malfoy—better than that, Harry had seen—
Oh, still hanging on tight, are you, Gwen?
Good! Yes, it was the Snitch- it was right above Malfoy’s ear and the idiot
didn’t even see it! Harry’s broken arm was hanging off him at a crazy
angle, but even that didn’t stop him- he picked up his good hand from
the broom, reached out, snatched the Snitch, tumbled to the ground—and fainted.
The crowd went wild! People were cheering, Slytherin was hissing, Professor
McGonagall and Lee Jordan were exchanging heated words with Madam Hooch- probably
about that Bludger- and all in all it was a victory for Gryffindor! Tell everyone
at Miss Vauclain’s.
You know I will! Oh, Hermione!
But Harry’s arm- the Bludger- will he be all right? Was
it Malfoy’s fault?
Well, about Harry’s arm. Ron and I ran down
to where Harry had fainted, and Professor Lockhart was trying to help him. He
was going to mend his arm- heal the bones. Well, anyone can make a mistake,
Gwen. I mean, the point really is that he stopped Harry being in pain,
isn’t it? It’s not that off target to do what he did.
What did Lockhart do to Harry’s
Well he... he de-boned it. Instead of fixing
the bones, he removed them. An honest mistake! He was the only one trying to
help and I’m sure all that noise either distracted him, or somebody bumped him,
I mean, it was a very tight crowd all ‘round Harry. Harry looked like he was
going to pass out again when he saw his arm, but Ron and I just took him right
up to the hospital wing and Madam Pomfrey’s re-growing his bones right now,
so there’s no actual harm done. I had to sit around outside the bed-curtain
while Ron got him into his pajamas, all the time yelling at me, "How can
you stick up for Lockhart now, Hermione, eh?" What Ron’s got against Professor
Lockhart I’ll never know. I still say it’s jealousy.
I’ll agree with that.
Thank you, Gwen. You always understand.
Well, that’s really it. We don’t know what
happened with the Bludger. I know it was Malfoy’s fault. That’s just
one more question we’ll have to ask him when we take that Polyjuice Potion.
Ooooh, what if we’re all sitting there, Transfigured, and he admits that he
did it! I imagine we’ll all three try and strangle him at once. Wouldn’t he
be shocked if Bulstrode, Crabbe and Goyle were suddenly attacking him? Oh, that’s
Harry was tremendous though, Gwen. You would
have loved it. He flew so well that Gryffindor’s in the lead for the House Cup,
because Harry got fifty points for sticking to it even with that broken arm.
Nobody’s rich father can buy them what Harry’s got—courage and talent—no, Malfoy
will never be anything to Harry Potter, no matter what kind of broom he’s riding.
For one day I felt better, but that was yesterday
and now I’m terrified again, and don’t tell me to calm down because Colin Creevey’s
been Petrified. Just like Mrs. Norris. Ron and I heard Professor McGonagall
telling Professor Flitwick about it this morning at breakfast. And Colin’s Muggle-born,
too- a tiny little first year- I felt sick just thinking about him and I must’ve
looked sick, too, because Ron said, "You okay, Hermione?" and
then offered to come back up here to Gryffindor with me. But I don’t want to
sit around here. I want to start that Polyjuice Potion. We’re going down to
get whatever ingredients we can out of the student store-cupboard—I’m just waiting
on Ron, he’s upstairs borrowing somebody’s old cauldron. It’s taking him long
enough. I told him to go on and get Harry from the hospital wing, and meet me
in the bathroom- I’d get started on the potion myself. But he doesn’t think
it’s a good idea, me wandering the halls alone. Honestly, as if he’s going to
protect me- what can Ron Weasley do to the monster of Slytherin that I can’t?
Except maybe make it die laughing. Oh, Gwen,
he’s wearing his galoshes and he says he’s got an umbrella in case Moaning Myrtle
tries to flood us out with one of her crying fits. He is funny. Got to
Gwen, tell me something, please.
How am I supposed to survive seven years of
I’m not sure I understand.
Ron and I were in the toilet stall starting
the potion. We threw in the ingredients we managed to get our hands on, and
I guess I was looking serious again because Ron said, "You sure you’re
all right?" I told him, "I’m fine, I’ll just feel better if we can
get some answers. And I wish Malfoy would stop looking at me like that."
"What d’you mean," he demanded, "how does Malfoy look at you?"
I tried to describe it, the way he leers and points, and whispers with his horrid
friends as if he’s saying what’s going to happen to me.
Then Harry came bursting in with his bones
all back together, to tell us how Colin got brought up to the hospital wing
last night. I told him we already knew about it, and Ron threw the lacewing
flies into the potion and practically snarled "The sooner we get a confession
out of Malfoy, the better." But there’s one thing Malfoy won’t be confessing
to, Gwen. Harry found some things out last night. Malfoy didn’t fix that Bludger.
It was Dobby.
Dobby—the house-elf? The one
who was stopping Harry’s mail over the summer?
Yes. He visited Harry in the hospital wing
in the middle of the night- Harry woke up and Dobby was sitting on him, sponging
off his face. Almost frightened him to death. It seems he’s tried everything
to get Harry to stay away from Hogwarts—first stopping his mail so he’d think
he had no friends, then he sealed up the barrier at platform nine and three-quarters
so Harry and Ron couldn’t get on the Hogwarts Express—
Which is why they flew the
car to school!
Exactly, and it’s why they nearly got killed
by that Whomping Willow. Finally he fixed that Bludger. He hoped Harry’d get
injured just enough to get sent home. Ron said if Dobby doesn’t quit trying
to save Harry’s life, he’ll probably kill him.
But how is Harry at risk? He’s
Dobby wouldn’t say- or couldn’t. I guess house-elves
don’t have very much freedom. Harry said something about "the house-elf’s
enslavement" which did not sound very nice. But Dobby did
accidentally let something important slip—he told Harry that the Chamber of
Secrets has been opened before! It’s real, Gwen! It’s real, it’s been opened,
and it’s open now. Harry asked who opened it, but Dobby was too frightened to
say. That’s when Colin Creevey got brought up, and in the chaos, Dobby vanished.
So I ask you again, Gwen, how exactly am I
supposed to survive this place? There’s a monster. It got Colin. It could get
I’ll tell you one thing, though. Knowing for
sure that the Chamber exists, I somehow feel better. I’d rather know. And we’re
doing everything we can, what with the Polyjuice Potion, to figure out how to
stop it. There’s nothing I can do except wait, which gives me loads of time
to study. I really need to catch up on everything, but suddenly I just got exhausted
all over. One good night of sleep, and I think I’ll be myself again. Goodnight,