The Secret Diary
of Hermione Granger
Disclaimer: Not even a little
bit mine. Except for Gwen Ė who actually belongs to herself.
Hi, Gwen. What a week.
Ever since Colin got Petrified, the whole school
is on the lookout for Slytherinís monster. Some sixth year Ravenclaws have even
started selling "protective" amulets and talismans to "ward off
evil". How on earth is a big, smelly onion supposed to make a monster go
away? People will buy anything. Neville bought an armload of crystals and newt-tails
before he remembered heís pure-blood. But, "They went after Filch first,"
he said, "And everyone knows Iím almost a Squib." I told him heís
no such thing (although, after an hour working with him on his Night Vision
Potion, Iím not so sure. He nearly blinded us both.)
Iím feeling much better, though. The Polyjuice
Potionís coming along nicely. In about another week, weíll need to add the Boomslang
skin and powdered Bicorn horn, which means stealing from Snape. Weíre going
to do it in next weekís Potions class. Iím determined to get this Polyjuice
perfect. Iím going to do the actual stealing, because Iíve got a clean
record. Ron and Harry are going to have to make some kind of diversion, just
a little distraction to keep Snape from noticing me.
That sounds just as dangerous
as the stealing.
Yes; itís about as safe as poking a sleeping
dragon in the eye. But we have to do it. We have to. Hogwarts shouldnít
be like this- people going Ďround in groups looking scared- the first years
especially. Ginnyís taking it really hard because she used to sit next to Colin
Creevey in her Charms class. Fred and George Weasley keep covering themselves
with boils or fur, and jumping out at her as a joke. I think itís their way
of cheering her up. They havenít noticed itís not working. Yes, thereís Fred,
covered with fur again--- here comes Ginnyóoh, there it is. Now sheís sitting
on the sofa, shaking like a leaf.
Tell him to stop it!
I donít have to; Harry just asked him to quit
it Ė I donít think it was so much for Ginny as just to stop them making noise,
but... oooooh, Ginnyís not shaking anymore, sheís blushing. My goodness,
redheads certainly do blush hard.
Ronís red-headed, isnít he?
Yes, but he doesnít blush the same as Ginny.
His ears turn red. It happens when heís embarrassed, and sometimes when heís
mad, too. Like today in Potions, we had to make an Elastix Ointment, and the
recipe called for two dead spiders. When I went to get the jar of them from
the store-cupboard, Ron tried to trip me- who knows why, he just does that sometimes.
When I got back and he tried to trip me again, I slapped the jar down
in front of him and said, "If you need to shut your eyes, Ron, Iíll stir
the scary spiders in for you." Harry smothered a laugh, and Ronís ears
turned red. But I just couldnít help myself.
Of course not. What happened
with the spiders?
Well, he doesnít mind them when theyíre dead,
I guess, because he flicked one into my hair. Disgusting. I kept it, though.
I might send it up to the boysí dormitory with Fred. He says if I want, heíll
plant it under Ronís pillow, no problem, and he gave me a very appreciative
smile when I asked him to do it. So there.
But you wonít, really?
I donít know. It depends on whether or not
Ron behaves himself tonight while weíre studying. Heíd better watch his smart
mouth, thatís all I have to say.
Yes! We did it! I canít believe we actually
got away with it! In Potions today, I actually sneaked out and stole the advanced
ingredients from Snapeís private stores. I canít believe I did it. I still feel
sort of... elated. I donít know. What a strange feeling. Right before class,
I reminded Harry and Ron they were responsible for making the diversion, and
didnít they look nervous! But I wasnít. I am dead determined to make this potion.
Harry was ready, even if he wasnít happy about
it. Halfway through class, he took out one of the Weasley twinsí Filibuster
fireworks, lit it with his wand and lobbed it into Goyleís cauldron. SPLASH!!
Weíd been in the middle of making a Swelling Solution, and gobs of it went everywhere!
I didnít wait to see what else happened- just slipped out, ran into Snapeís
storeroom, unbottled a handful of Boomslang skin and some of Bicorn horn into
little jars Iíd brought, hid them under my robe, and slid back into the dungeon.
Snape was still giving Deflating Draughts to everybody whoíd been Swelled up,
and didnít notice me leave or return! (He did, however, find the twisted remains
of the firework in Goyleís cauldron, and he said that if he ever finds out who
threw it, that person will be expelled. He was looking right at Harry. Harry
tried to look innocent but he neednít bother- even if he hadnít done
it, Snape would still think it was him.)
Weíve stirred in the horn and skin. The Polyjuice
Potion will be ready in about two weeks- sometime during the Christmas holidays,
I imagine. Thatís fine, because Professor McGonagall was making her list yesterday
of all the students who are staying over Christmas, and I saw that Malfoyís
name is on it. Harryís staying too, of course, and Ron and I signed up so weíd
be here to keep him company and do the Transfiguring. Harry says heíll be Goyle,
and Ronís going to be Crabbe. I donít know which of those Slytherin girls Iím
going to be, but weíre all three going to be ugly, thatís for sure. My face
might not be anything special, and my front teeth might stick out, but at least
I donít look like a troll.
You wouldnít say that if you saw them. I never
really care what people look like, but seriously, some of the girls in that
house are just as scary as the boys. Ugh, Slytherin. What I wouldnít give to
find something good on Malfoyóthis potion had better work. Iíve given so much
effort to it that Iíve really let my regular studies slide. I mean, I got one
answer off in our Herbology pop quiz the other day.
I know. But Iím going to study right now, because
end of term tests are next week- the 19th is the last day of classes
before break. Iíll bet I can do extra credit for Professor Sprout and make up
that point. Maybe sheíll let me give her some help with the Mandrakes- itís
really important that they grow fast, now that Colinís been Petrified, too,
because theyíre needed for the Restorative Draught. Iím going to go ask her
if she wants a hand.
Oh dear, Gwen. I donít know what to think.
Harryís a Parselmouth. He can talk to snakes.
What? You never told me that.
I only just found out. Harry only just
found out. Unfortunately, all of Hogwarts just found out. We were all in the
Great Hall tonight because Professor Lockhart decided to start a dueling club
so we could learn how to do a proper Wizardís Duel. We all three thought that
would be extremely handy, and signed right upóI especially wanted to learn all
Professor Lockhartís special techniques for dueling, I mean, what with all his
Iím sure you did.
So first, Professor Lockhart got up with Snape
to show us how to disarm one another. First you bow- and Professor Lockhart
does a lovely bow, even if Harry says itís more like a curtsey- then you raise
your wand, and then you try to set a charm on your opponent. In this case, they
were only going to disarm each other. They bowed, raised wands, and Snape yelled
"Expelliarmus!" which is the Disarming Charm- but he put so much force
behind it that he knocked Professor Lockhart across the room and slammed him
into a wall! The Slytherins all cheered, and even Harry and Ron were laughing-
when I said, "Do you think heís all right?" they both answered at
once, "Who cares?" I mean, Snape wasnít supposed to hurt him,
he was supposed to disarm only, but heís such a nastyópoor Professor
Lockhart, howís he supposed to teach us if Snape kills him?
I imagine thatís the idea.
In any case, then we were supposed to pair
off and try it ourselves. Professor Lockhart paired Neville with Justin Finch-Fletchley,
(a Hufflepuff boy whoís been working with us in Herbology). He was going to
pair Harry with Ron next, but Snape came up and said, "Time to split up
the dream team," and made Ron go with Seamus Finnigan. Harry tried to come
partner me instead, but Snape wasnít interested in seeing any of us enjoy ourselvesóhe
made Harry go with Malfoy, and I got put with Millicent Bulstrode. Sheís
enormous- seriously- I was scared.
We all bowed and raised our wandsóbut thatís
as far as it resembled any kind of respectable Wizardís Duel. The Great Hall
seemed to explode all around me. I shouted "Expelliarmus!" but before
the spell was half-out of my mouth, Millicent had disarmed me her own way, by
bludgeoning my wand out of my hand with a great swat. Then she pointed her wand,
and opened her big, heavy jawóbut nothing came out. She just stared at me with
her puzzled, dead eyes and stammered, "Er...." So I ducked and made
a quick dive to the floor for my wand. I had just got my fingers to it when
Millicentís own wand clattered to the floor beside mine, and I felt a huge,
muscled arm clamp Ďround my neck and lift me up onto my feet. She had me in
a headlock. From where I was, I could do nothing but whimper and watch (upside-down)
what my friends were trying to do.
Neville ducked Justinís spell, which went behind
him and hit Parvati Patil, whose own spell got reversed, and she ended up disarming
herself. Then Neville aimed his own spell, but so poorly that it hit Justin
in the head and knocked him to the floor. Neville was so surprised that he fell,
too, and they just lay there in a pile.
Ron hit Seamus with what would have been a
perfect Disarming Charm, if it werenít for the fact that his wandís so badly
broken. The spell hit Seamus in his wand-hand, but instead of disarming him
it seemed to travel up his arm and into his body, turning him into jelly as
it went. He looked weak and gray. Ron had to grab him under the arms and hold
him up so he wouldnít fall down in a puddle, and all the while he was apologizing,
"Sorry, sorryóbloody broken piece ofósorry, Seamus."
Harry was doing only slightly better, but he
and Malfoy werenít pretending to stick to disarmingóthey were really trying
to duel. Malfoy hit him in the stomach with a Breathtaker Charm ("Exhalio!")
which is like getting slugged. Harry struck back with "Rictusempra!",
the Laughing Charm. Between gasps of laughter, Malfoy managed to choke, "Tarantallegra!"
and Harryís feet started to do a crazy tap-dance.
"Finite Incantatem!" It was
Snape. All the spells in the room came to a shuddering halt. Half the Great
Hall was on the floor, the other half was gasping, bleeding, or groaning, and
I was still stuck under Millicentís armpit, where it was starting to smell.
Harry yanked her off me before I gagged. I was more than ready to get out of
there and be done with dueling, but Professor Lockhart decided it would be useful
for us to learn to block unfriendly charms. Normally I would have agreed with
him, but unless he was going to teach us to box, I didnít see how I was going
to "block" Millicent.
He was going to have Neville and Justin do
the demonstration, but Snape said no, it was a bad idea. He made fun of Nevilleís
ability (horrible) and said theyíd be "sending whatís left of Finch-Fletchley
up to the hospital wing in a matchbox." So he chose Harry and Malfoy to
do it instead. Professor Lockhart showed Harry how to block- he did this really
intricate wiggling motion with his wand, which I could hardly understand, I
mean, it looked incredibly complex. I guess Harry didnít quite catch it either,
because he had no idea what to do when Malfoy shouted out "Serpensortia!"
It was just the kind of dirty charm a Slytherin
would know how to do. A giant snake burst out of Malfoyís wand, fell between
them, and raised up to strike Harry! Snape wouldnít even do anything
about it. He said, "Donít move, Potter. Iíll get rid of it," but then
he just stood there, smiling like he was watching a movie with a happy
ending. Thank goodness Professor Lockhart was there! He stepped up and knocked
the snake away from Harry with some kind of Banishing spell- but unfortunately
he knocked it in the direction of Justin Finch-Fletchley. Justin and the snake
were eye to eye and it was poised to strike againó everyone was deadly quiet
except Lavender Brown, who was cryingóand thatís when it happened.
Harry ran forward and let out these incredibly
scary hissing noises, and the snake dropped to the ground, docile. It looked
up from its coils at Harry as if it were nothing but a sweet little pet. Hagrid
would have appreciated it- but Justin didnít. He looked at Harry like heíd rather
have faced the snake any day, and shouted "What are you playing at?"
Then he stormed out of the hall. This was followed by a general muttering and
pointing, and everybody cleared a circle and started to back away from Harry.
Ron grabbed both of us by the elbows and steered us out of there before anything
worse could happen.
Harry didnít even know what heíd done, Gwen!
He didnít realize heíd spoken a different language; to him it just sounded like
heíd said, "Leave him alone!" But it was an evil hiss, I mean, even
I thought he was egging it on or something. Iím sure Justin thought so. Itís
really bad, because Salazar Slytherin was well known for being a Parselmouth-
thatís why the symbol of Slytherin House is a serpent. And itís a really rare
power to have, and so now everybodyís going to thinkó
That Harry Potter is the Heir
Yes. And he canít disprove it. I mean, we
know heís not, but since he doesnít know anything about his mum and dadís heritage,
and since Slytherin lived about a thousand years ago.... it would be almost
impossible to say. Itís not good, Gwen. Not good at all.
Ow, my neck. Itís going to be permanently damaged
after what Millicent did to it. Iíll probably be crooked for the rest of my
life. One good thing, though- wrestling with me, Millicent rubbed some of her
hairs off on my robe. I have one in a vial. Iím going to use it in my dose of
the Polyjuice Potion- Iím going to Transfigure into Millicent Bulstrode. Itís
a disgusting thought, but itís only going to be for an hour.
Oh, Gwen, I hope Harryís okay. Everybodyís
so uptight about the Chamber of Secrets- theyíre just looking for somebody
to blame- what if they think he Petrified Colin and Mrs. Norris? Iím sure theyíll
think so. Heís going to be in for a really rough time of it until we find the
real Heir. If only he hadnít gone and hissed like that in front of everybody.
Heíll be all right, Hermione.
You and Ron will stand by him, and Iím sure other people will see that heís
not really Slytherinís Heir. You go ahead and rest, dear. Do you need to go
up and see Madam Pomfrey for your neck?
Ugh, no. Half the school is up there trying
to recover from bad charms. I donít think the dueling club is going to last,
Gwen. Too bad, think of all Professor Lockhart could have taught us!
Yes, just think.
Oh well. Goodnight.
Hang it! Gwen, am I never going to win a game
of Wizard Chess? Ron canít be perfect, I have to beat him some time.
His chessmen are so used to mine that they have no mercy. His bishops wrestle
my knights off their horses, his King and Queen wonít even speak to mine,
and all my little pawns are scared to play because his ones like to thwack them
in their heads whenever theyíre taken. He needs to be beaten.
Need I remind you that last
year, you were glad Ron was such an excellent chess player?
No you certainly neednít. Ron reminds
me all day long. "Didnít hear you complaining when I saved your life. Admit
it, Iím a genius." Honestly. Now heís trying to get Ginny to play, but
sheís just wringing her hands, looking out the window. I think sheís sick again,
and no wonder! I saw her come in from the snow this morning, wet to the skin.
Thereís a bad blizzard out- what on earth was she doing? All the outdoor classes
got cancelled. But maybe she forgot, and tried to go to Flying. Itís something
I would do.
Harryís gone off to find Justin and explain
what he really said to the snake. He wanted to tell him in Herbology today,
but Greenhouse classes got cancelled, too. He looked as fretful as Ginny all
morning. I hope he finds Justinóand I really hope Justin will believe him.
This blizzard is beautiful, Gwen. I was going
to go check on the Polyjuice Potion, but I think Iím going to curl up by the
fire and read awhile instead. I got a new book of the month- "Magical Institutions:
From Alpenstachen to Zarholla". Itís all about wizarding schools around
the world, and it should be fascinating. See you.
Oh, itís awful, itís awful, itís awful, itísó
Hermione! Deep breath.
Justin Finch-Fletchley and Nearly-Headless
Nick were both found Petrified half an hour ago.
Harry was standing next to them, alone, when
they were found.
Oh no- that is
I told you! He got carted right off
to somebodyís office, and rumors are just flying. Two Petrifications.
Nearly-Headless Nick! How on earth can you Petrify somebody thatís already dead?
And to think, I was about to go out by myself and check that potion. Oh, Gwen,
Gwen, whatís going to happen? Why does Harry have such terrible timing? How
did he come to be standing thereónow everybody thinks heís the Heir,
and the people who didnít think so last night are quickly changing sides. Even
Gryffindors. Parvati just asked me if Iím afraid for my life. I said, "Why
on earth would I be?" And she said, "Well, Harryís- I mean,
you know- he knows all about you!" And I said "No kidding. Donít you
think heís had loads of opportunities to kill me, if he ever wanted to do it?"
But she just shook her head like sheís already at my funeral. This is going
to get really nasty. Ginnyís sobbing in the first yearsí dormitory, and when
I tried to help her she just choked, "No, no, donít talk to me, donít come
near me!" I mean, thatís some crush sheís got. Harryíd better get
back here quick and tell Ron and me just what is going on.
The whole school stampeded out of here this
morning to go home for the holidays, and I wonít miss them. Itís sickening
to see how everybodyís treating Harry- like heís about to sprout fangs and Petrify
them if they look at him sideways. At least the Weasleys and I donít think heís
the Heir. Fred and George walk ahead of him in the hallways and say things like,
"Move it, clear out, seriously evil wizard coming through!" It would
be really funnyóif it werenít so awful. I keep telling people that he
didnít have anything to do with Nick and Justin, but no one listens. They keep
telling me that Iím insane to stay here over the holidays and give Harry
a chance to attack me. Why wonít they look at the facts?? Then they wouldnít
be in such a panic.
And the facts are?
That Harryís got a perfectly sound alibi. He
was with Hagrid just seconds before he was found with the victims. You remember
I said he went to look for Justin?
Well he didnít find Justin, but in the library
he overheard Ernie Macmillan and a whole bunch of other Hufflepuffs talking
about what he did at the dueling club, and how heís a Parselmouth. They think
it means heís a Dark wizard- they think thatís how he escaped Voldemort- they
think thatís why Voldemort wanted to kill him in the first place, because he
didnít want another Dark wizard to compete with! Harry couldnít stand to hear
them go on, so he stepped forward and asked where Justin was. They wouldnít
say, they were all too terrified, and Ernie even went so far as to tell Harry
not to get any ideas, because the Macmillans are pure-blood for generations.
Well, now, really.
Isnít it idiotic? So of course Harry wanted
to get away from them and come back to us. Thatís when he ran into Hagrid, who
was going to find Dumbledore. He had a dead rooster in his fist (well, why not,
itís Hagrid) and was trying to figure out what killed it- foxes or a Blood-Sucking
Bugbear. He wanted to go up and get the Headmasterís permission to put a magic
barrier around the chicken coop. So Harry said, Ďbye then, and kept going Ďround
the cornerówhich is when he found Justin and Nick, lying Petrified on the hall
floor. It was nothing but incredibly unlucky timing. Hagrid vouched for him,
but everybodyís too panicked to be logical. Itís a mess. At least Harryís not
in any troubleóDumbledore believes him.
Thatís a relief.
Yes. Professor McGonagall took Harry to Professor
Dumbledore after he was found standing in the middle of that scene, and Dumbledore
says he knows very well that Harry didnít attack any of these people. Harry
said if he hadnít felt so nervous, he might have enjoyed the visit- he said
the Headmasterís office is really a sight, and Professor Dumbledore even has
a Phoenix up there!
Yes, named Fawkes! Harry even got to see it
burst into flames and rise up from the ashes! Professor Dumbledore told Harry
that Phoenix tears heal wounds, and they also make extremely faithful pets.
I wish Iíd seen it! Iíd love a faithful pet. Harry has Hedwig, Ronís got Scabbers,
even Neville has Trevor the toad. I need a pet. I probably wonít be able to
get anything like a Phoenix, but maybe an owl? No, I can get an owl from the
Owlery if I ever need one. I want a pet that fits me. I donít know.
Anyway, Gwen, itís just me, Harry and the Weasleys,
together in Gryffindor for the whole break. I think thatíll be so much fun!
(Except, of course, when we take the Polyjuice Potion. Itíll be ready Christmas
Eve, or Christmas. What a merry holiday thatís going to be, walking around
inside Millicent Bulstrode. Ew, ew, ew.)
Why arenít the Weasleys going
home for Christmas?
Their parents are going to visit their brother
Bill. He works for Gringotts, in Egypt. Iím glad theyíre all here, they make
me forget what a nightmare last term was. Fred and George are hysterical- they
keep asking Harry who heís going to attack next, and waving garlic at him. The
only person who doesnít think itís funny is Ginny- sheís desperate about it,
really. I wish sheíd cheer up a little, I mean, how often do we get to play
Exploding Snap as loud as we like? We can practice dueling, too. Maybe thatíll
make Ginny feel betteróIíll teach her the Chicken Curse. Then, whenever Fred
and George make her feel anxious, she can watch them walk around clucking and
flapping their arms.
Percyís just come in. He says itís childish,
the way weíre all behaving in here. Heís probably right, but for once, I donít
care. Itís fun.
Merry Christmas, Gwen!
Merry Christmas to you! I have
a present for youóbut it will take a few hours for you to receive it. Next time
youíre really bored and canít think of anything to study, tell me, and weíll
Hmm! Iím intrigued! I wish I had something
for you, though.
Believe me, the stories you
tell are enough.
Thanks, Gwen. Want another one?
When have I ever said no?
Good point. Well, the Polyjuice Potion is ready.
Weíre going to do it tonight. I have a plan all worked out. Iíve made two chocolate
cakes filled with a Sleeping Draught. Harry and Ron need to make sure that Crabbe
and Goyle eat them (and theyíre sure to, the greedy pigs.) Once theyíve passed
out, they should be locked in a broom closet, and Harry and Ron should steal
their shoes and a few of their hairs. Then theyíll meet me in Moaning Myrtleís
bathroom, weíll take the potion, go to Slytherin, and get Malfoy to talk.
Itís all so risky! But itís
Iím very excited to find out whatever we can.
I think Harry and Ron are, too. Weíre going to do it straight after supper-
theyíre going to try and catch Crabbe and Goyle on the way back to Slytherin
from the Christmas Feast, and leave the cakes in their path. I canít believe
weíre doing this on Christmas. What a weird way to spend the holiday.
Itís been very nice otherwise, though. Weíre about to go down to the feast-
Iím just putting my presents away, first.
And what did you get?
I got the best thing! Remember that set of
scales I saw in Diagon Alley- the Prioritizer? Well, Mum and Dad splurged and
got me one! Itís going to be so helpful with scheduling, and making decisions
about my studies and things- Iíll be so glad to have it when Iím choosing my
classes for third year! Iím really pleased about it. Plus, my parents renewed
my subscription to the Magical Text of the Month Club, and sent me nice thick
socks and new gloves, and oh, Gwen! They sent a travel guide of France, and
a French-English dictionary, and in the cover Dad had written, "Brush up
for this summer!" Weíre going to France!!!
Thatís quite a gift.
I know, Iím practically spoiled rotten. I even
exchanged gifts with my friends. Harry got me a luxury eagle feather quill,
which is so funny, Gwen, because thatís exactly what I got for him. We seem
to always get each other matching things. For Ron I almost got a book of Arachnid
Iím not that mean. I got a little map
of the world, instead, and charmed it to show where his family all is. Thereís
a tiny blinking light in Egypt for Bill, one in Romania for Charlie, and one
where his house is. And he got me a book called "Unexpected Witches",
which is a collection of short biographies of Muggle-born girls that went on
to have great magical careers. I thought that was really, really nice.
It certainly is.
Oooh, and Gwen, I got a Christmas card from
Professor Lockhart! He sent it along as the answer to the fan-mail letter I
sent him and it says:
"To Miss Granger,
A very Merry Christmas to my best student,
and my faithful fan! I can always spare a picture for someone in need, so
here you are, and Happy Holidays!
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."
He gave me a picture! Iím adding all this to
You have a file?
Yes, of course, of the tests heís marked and
Oh, of course.
Well, I guess Iíd better go. Theyíre both hollering
up here for me to hurry it up. "Hermione, come on, weíre starving."
"Yeah, whatíre you doing up there? You better not be reading that
Lockhart card again, or Iíll shred it." Honestly. I need to remember my
wand, and my vial- the extra robes are already in the bathroom- weíre going
straight from the feast to Moaning Myrtleís, so wish me luck, Gwen. Oh, Iím
nervous. What if it doesnít work? What if I made it wrong?
If you made it, dear, then
Iím sure itís a perfect Polyjuice Potion. Good luck.
Thanks, Gwen. Iíll write you as soon as weíve
had our little chat with Malfoy.
Gwen, I ruined the potion and I look revolting
and Madam Pomfrey says Iím going to be like this for a month! Iíll die of embarrassment
if anyone else sees me.
Are you Millicent Bulstrode?
I only wish. I put that hair in the Polyjuice
Potion- the one I thought was Millicentís- but it wasnít. It was her catís
hair. Now I look like an old, warped, ugly cat! And the potionís not supposed
to be used for animal transformations, so Iím stuck like this until probably
February. I didnít want anybody to see me, but Harry and Ron had to, because
theyíre the ones who dragged me up here to the hospital wing. Oh, it was humiliating.
I could see by their faces that I look just frightful. I thought nothing could
be as bad as Millicent Bulstrode, but this is a million times worse. Iím furry
and whiskery and I have pointy ears and a tail. Iíd laugh, but I just
want to cry my yellow cat-eyes right out.
Then.... all that work, and
you never even spoke to Malfoy?
I didnít. Harry and Ron had to go without me.
The potion itself worked brilliantly- they got the hairs and transfigured without
a hitch. But I couldnít go with them. As soon as I drank my potion I knew something
had gone wrong, and when I felt my furry face.... well, I knew going to Slytherin
looking like that wouldnít worm any confessions out of Malfoy, so I told
Ron and Harry to go on. I didnít check in the mirror until they had left.
I was never very pretty, Gwen, but Iím so ugly
now that I scared myself. Moaning Myrtle started making fun of me, and I just
pulled my robes up over my head and started sobbing. Thatís how Harry and Ron
found me. When I showed them how I look, Ron backed into the sink and almost
fell down. I could have died. It took them a long time to get me out of the
bathroom, and even then they had to guide me all the way up here to the hospital
wing, because I wouldnít take my robes off my face, so I couldnít see where
I was going.
How could I have been so stupid? All that planning,
and I spoiled my potion. Plus, Iím a cat until February, and I just have to
sit up here with the bed curtains pulled shut so no one will be able to see
me and laugh at me. At least I have you. Ron and Harry promised to visit every
night after dinner and bring my assignments, too. Iím going to miss a month
of classes! Iím going to start crying again. Oh, Gwen, how could this have happened
Iím so sorry, Hermione. Would
it make you feel any better to tell me what happened with Harry and Ron? Is
Malfoy the Heir of Slytherin?
Of course heís not. I knew he wasnít.
Heís an idiot. He told Harry and Ron flat out that he doesnít even know who
it is. Mr. Malfoy knows, but wonít tell him. I guess it would be suspicious
if Draco knew too much, what with all these Petrifications going on. All he
knows is that the last time the Chamber of Secrets was opened, it was fifty
years ago. Fifty years ago- and a Muggle-born student actually died.
Harry told me that Malfoy said, "I bet itís only a matter of time before
one of themís killed this time. I hope itís Granger."
That lousy littleó
I know. And Ron said, "Harry, are you
crazy- donít tell her that!" But I wanted to know. I knew anyway. Harry
also told me that when Malfoy said it, Ron almost punched him in the mouth and
gave away the whole plan. That made me feel.... funny. Glad. Better. Do you
know what I mean?
Yes, I do. Then you still donít
know anything about the Heir?
No. But it wasnít a totally useless trip for
Ronó now he can help his dad get back at Mr. Malfoy for all the horrible things
he said. Draco let it slip that his rotten dad keeps all their illegal
possessions under a trapdoor in their drawing-room floor. Now Mr. Weasley can
uncover all of it, and his office at the Ministry can fine the Malfoys loads
Good. Those Malfoys need to
be taught a lesson.
Hermione.... how did I get
to the hospital wing? Did you have me with you when you Transfigured?
No, Iówell actually itís rather funny. Remember
last year, when I refused to drink the Unimaginable Draught unless Madam Pomfrey
let me have you?
Well, when I was settled in bed up here today,
Madam Pomfrey brought over my De-Felinious Draught (thatís my medicine to stop
me being a cat) and said, "Drink up, Miss Granger." But I just looked
at her, crossed my arms and said, "I wonít drink it, unless...." She
rolled her eyes and sighed. "Oh yes, thatís right. Youíre the little businesswoman
about these things." Then she rolled up her sleeves and took out her wand
and said, "Accio, Hermione Grangerís diary!" She remembered! As soon
as I had drained the last disgusting drop of potion, she handed you over. Blech.
I have to drink it every night and it tastes like cat food. If I ever have a
cat, Iím giving it real food. That stuff is torture.
How am I going to sleep? If I lie on my back,
my tail gets in the way, and if I lie on my side, my face-fur itches. This is
so stupid. I hate this.
But at least you tried, Hermione-
and the potion did work with the right hairs! Youíve managed a very complicated
spell, and you should be proud of yourself. I imagine if Snape knew, heíd be
Are you kidding? If Snape knew, Iíd be expelled.
But I suppose it was rather clever.... Gwen, Iím going to try and sleep.
Itís so odd- I can only get comfortable if I curl up like a kitten. Iíll certainly
understand cats a lot better after this experience.
Iím sure you will. Goodnight.
Good morning, Gwen! Happy New Year!
Most of my face-fur is already gone! I still
have the ears, the tail, and the yellow eyes, but the hair was what made me
look so dreadful, so I feel much better. Madam Pomfrey says the ears take the
longest- my normal ones have to completely re-grow, and for now Iíve only got
little pointy cat ones poking out of my hair. Harry and Ron say that I look
cool like this. They think I should keep the ears and the yellow eyes.
I mean, really, Gwen. Theyíre so weird.
Iím glad youíre feeling better.
I am. And Ron and Harry are spending most of
their time up here with me until term starts on Monday, so Iím not too
bored. Although every time they come in, Ron scratches on the bed curtains and
says, "Here, kitty, kitty!" until I open them up. Itís not
If you say so.
Gwen. Also, Iíve been reading my book Ron gave
me, "Unexpected Witches", and guess whoís in there? Lily Potter. Thatís
Harryís mum! She was Muggle-born, and the book says that she was one of the
strongest witches to fight against the Dark Forces, although she was "struck
down tragically alongside her husband James. The murder of the Potters constituted
the final act of the Dark Lord Voldemort; Lily herself died in a courageous
attempt to protect her infant son, Harry. Indeed, her son still lives, and there
is reason to believe that Lily Potterís sacrifice has a great deal to do not
only with his survival, but with the ultimate downfall of the Dark Lord himself."
Thereís a picture of her, too. Sheís got dark red hair and sheís very pretty.
I thought about showing Harry.
You should. Heíd want to see
But itís so sad, wonít it just hurt him?
The hurt is already there.
Knowing his past better can only help him to heal.
Well, I will. Next time he comes up. Actually,
I just heard the door open, so maybe heóno, itís Ron. Heís scratching on my
curtains and meowing.
And thatís not funny.
Well, I guess it sort of is.... oh,
good, heís brought our chess sets! He says, "Iíll let you win today, as
Iím feeling sorry for you." Not on your life, Ron Weasley; Ill beat you
fair and square. Heís telling me to quit writing.
Term starts tomorrow. Harryís out practicing
his flying and Ronís helping Ginny with hers. I can see them out the window
and Iím so bored in here that itís killing me.
Well.... thereís always your
Oh! I had completely forgotten! Yes, Gwen,
yes, Iíd love my Christmas present.
All right. Iím going to take
you inside my memory.
Iím going to show you a day
I had once, at Camelot.
You mean youíre going to tell me about
No, Iím going to show
it. Iím going to bring you inside it.
Inside... but Gwen, how is that possible?
Iíll explain. In a moment,
youíll turn the page and Iíll make a small screen in the blank parchment. Youíll
be able to see into a specific memory Iíve chosen to show you.
And if you press your eye up
close to the screen, the memory will engulf you. Youíll be inside it- on a walk
I took once with Lancelot. Itís just walking and talking, but itís a lovely
view of the castle from the road above the river, and you can see Camelot in
the autumn. Would you like to try it?
Would I like to.... are you mad???
Gwen, this is amazing! I want to try it, are you ready? Can I turn the page?
Just one more thing. Lancelot
and I will be unable to hear or see you- youíll just be observing the memory
as it existed then. When the entry I created of this memory is ended, youíll
find yourself back here, in the hospital wing. Do you understand?
Iím going to get to see you! To see Lancelot!
To see Camelot! And you said youíd never let anybody read your diary Ė oh, I
feel so privileged Ė canít I turn the page yet Gwen? Ė please, pleaseó
Yes, dear. Go ahead.
Hermione? Are you back?
Oh, Gwen. Guinevere.
Did you like it?
Like it....? It was..... unreal. I could have
stayed there forever. Now I know what I would have seen in the Mirror of Erised.
I would have seen myself a princess, in Camelot.
Well, donít be too sure. You
would have had to put away most of your magic. But it was heavenly to look at,
wasnít it? I loved it there. What did you think of the castle?
It was right out of a fairytale! That part
of the legend was perfectly true, at least. And the sky really was amazingly
blue, and I swear, walking down the river, there was an island with a fortress
Ė it had "four gray walls and four gray towers" Ė that wasnít really
Well yes it was! You certainly
have done your reading.
Was there really a Lady?
There was. Elaine. Poor girl.
I didnít see her in the tower.
She was already dead by then
Ė about a month prior to the memory you just saw, she had come floating down
the river. What a chilly night that was. But Lancelot just looked at her and
Oh, Gwen. Lancelot.
Ah yes. Now youíve seen him.
He was.... He was....
I mean, the closest Iíve ever seen in real
life isóbut even he doesnít compare now that I--- goodness. But it didnít
seem to me that he was only handsome Ė he had a sort of... a sort of look on
his face. Like heíd seen everything, and been back again. I canít describe it.
But I can still see it.
And the way he looked at you Ė oh! And you,
Gwen, you!! You were simply... how could you be so... perfect? You were
How old were you in that memory?
Twenty-six, I think Ė no, twenty-seven.
What did you look like when you were twelve?
Actually, I was rather gawky
and I had a funny face.
I canít imagine that. I wish I were twenty-seven.
But Gwen, that memory was absolutely glorious. Iíve never seen an autumn like
that in my life. I canít believe it was really real, and that I was actually
thereó walking by the river in Camelot! I canít believe you showed me
that. Iím so honored. Iíll dream about it forever.
Iím so glad you enjoyed it.
Really. I havenít shared that with anyone for a long time.
Gwen, itís the best Christmas present anyoneís
ever given me. Thank you, thank you a million times. Iíll never forget it.
Neither will I. Youíre welcome.
Do you mind if I shut you and... think about
Not a bit. I could use a moment,
myself. See you soon, Hermione.
Hi, Gwen. My tailís almost gone.
Well, thatís nice.
Yes, it is. Iím starting to be able to sleep
normally again. I wish I could open my bed curtains up, but everyoneís back
in school, and they keep filing by to see what I look like. Parvati came to
see me when she got back from holiday, and she said she thought Iíd been Petrified.
There are apparently all sorts of rumors that Harry attacked me over Christmas
break. I said, "Oh, no, Parvati. Harry tried to Petrify me, but
messed it up, and turned me into a cat instead." She thought I was serious.
It took me an hour to convince her it was just a joke. I gave her the same explanation
Iíve given Madam Pomfrey, because obviously I canít admit to anyone about the
Polyjuice Potion. I said that we were practicing dueling in the common room,
and we just got a bit out of hand with curses we couldnít handle.
Thatís believable enough.
Itís worked so far. I donít think Madam Pomfrey
really believes me, but luckily sheís not asking any questions.
Harry and Ron just left. They brought me my
schoolwork for todayóitís so hard to keep up without having the in-class
demonstrations. It always helps me so much to be able to see how Professor Flitwick
uses his wand, in Charms. And there are certain things in these Transfiguration
lessons that are almost impossible to understand without asking Professor McGonagall
a few questions. Iím totally dependent on Harry and Ron to teach me some of
what weíre learning, which is a really strange position for me to be in, considering
that Iím usually the one translating lessons for them.
On the one hand, I think itís a really good
thing, because when they explain the assignments to me, theyíre studying without
realizing it. Theyíre also taking much closer notes, because I told them to
take the kind I always do, because Iíd go crazy at exam time without
really good notes. I guess theyíre scared of what that would be like, because
these notes are really good. Ron writes notes within the notes sometimes, like
"In 1673, the last descendants of Circeís Coven were burnt at the stake,
as if I care." Or, "The Reverse Curse: a curse which causes the victim
to do everything backward for varying lengths of time. The longest reported
reversal lasted two hundred and thirteen days. Hermione, remind me, you have
to teach me this one. I want to do it to Percy and have it last a year."
It makes me laugh. So thatís the good part about all this.
And the bad part?
Is Defense Against the Dark Arts. Ron flatly
refuses to take notes in that class, and every time Harry hands over the ones
heís done, I am forced to sit through Ronís impression of the lesson.
He imitates Professor Lockhart in a high voice, and minces all around, twirling
his hands and saying things like, "Oh, excuse me class, but we wonít be
able to continue fighting Vampires today, as Iíve just mussed up my hair."
I canít really complain, though. Theyíre the
best friends, really, and Iíd never get through all this without them. Or you.
I still canít get over Camelot.
Neither can I.
Gwen? Itís creepy in here. Itís dark.
What time is it?
Three in the morning. I woke up out of a nightmare.
I was dreaming that I was in the middle of the Quidditch field, and there was
a monster coming toward me, but I couldnít see what it looked like, and I couldnít
move my legs. I could hear all of Slytherin cheering in the stands, and Malfoy
was standing behind me shouting "Get the Mudblood! Get the Mudblood!"
Thatís a horrible dream. Are
you all right now? Get some water.
Iím very shaky. I got some water already, and
then made the mistake of looking in on Colin Creevey when I was on my way back
to bed. Heís still up here, you know. Petrified. So are Justin, and Nick, and
Mrs. Norris. I try not to think about it, but that nightmare just reminded me,
so I stupidly opened Colinís bed curtains. Heís so still. His eyes are wide
open. He looks dead, Gwen.
Now Iím all scared. I feel like Iím up here
in this room alone with a bunch of dead people. I wish Ron and Harry were here.
I wish I were in Gryffindor. But my ears and eyes are still cat-like, and Madam
Pomfrey says I canít go back to my dormitory until Iím completely recovered.
But oh, itís horrid to have to stay here tonight.
Lay your head down and try
to think of something peaceful.
I tried. I just get nervous and canít sleep.
Do you have that music box
with you? The one that plays whatever you tell it?
Yes. Lavender brought it up for me the other
Well, tell it to play the lute.
I always found that very soothing.
Okay, hold onóoh, that is nice. Thanks,
Gwen. That helps. Goodnight.
Professor Lockhart misses me! He sent me a
get well card. Parvati brought it up this afternoon, and he told her to tell
me that he misses having me in class! She looked like she wished she
were up here getting cards too. Itís gold, and it wishes me a speedy recovery
from my "concerned" teacher!! Iím putting it under my pillow.
Oh, not because I want to sleep with
it under there, or anything. I just want to hide it, you know--
No, really! Oh, all right. After all,
this is my diary. Gwen, IóI have a confession. But this is really secret.
And donít laugh.
I think I sort of might, maybe, just a little,
wellólike Professor Lockhart.
Yes. And Iím mad at myself for it, Gwen. I
mean, I know I stick up for him all the time, but Iím not stupid. He
de-boned Harryís arm, for heavenís sake.
It could have been an honest
But it wasnít. And I never thought I could
be such a girl about anybody. Itís so strange, because other than being
handsome, Professor Lockhart doesnít have any of the things I really like about
Well, I would like a person to be clever
and funny and interesting and.... brave. I donít think heís any of those things.
Except maybe heís brave, I donít knowóI just canít believe heíd really lie
about all those things he did in his books.
Well, youíd hope not.
Yes. Anyway, this is one of the first things
I really havenít been able to tell Harry and Ron. Theyíd just lord it over me
if I admitted theyíd been right about Professor Lockhart, and theyíd tease me.
I donít need to be as obvious as Ginny is about everything.
How is Ginny?
I donít know. She was peering in here the other
day, and I waved at her, so she opened the door, but stayed outside it, like
she was hesitating, or scared. I told her to come in, but she shook her head,
and said, "Hermione, I have to... I have to..." She looked like she
was trying to work up the nerve to tell me something. I thought maybe she wanted
to talk to someone about Harry. But right as she was about to say whatever it
was, Madam Pomfrey came up and told her that she needed to come in or go out-
she couldnít just stand there letting all the germs into the infirmary- so Ginny
fled. Sheís a funny girl.
Iíve been leaving my bed curtains open most
of the time, so I can wave at my friends in the halls. I donít mind being seen
now that my normal ears are coming back and my cat ones have shrunk so that
my hair hides them. My tailís completely gone now, too, and my eyes are almost
brownish again. But all that didnít stop the Weasley twins from sending up a
cat-nip toy for me to play with. Ha, ha, ha. Actually, I did laugh. Theyíre
nice, even if theyíre crazy. Theyíve always been nice to me, ever since Malfoy
called me "Mudblood" on the Quidditch field that time.
Malfoy actually came by the infirmary a few
days ago. I heard him coming from down the hall, saying, "Letís see if
sheís dead yet." He made a blow-fish face on the window with his mouth
and then he and Crabbe and Goyle started laughing at me and screeching like
alley cats. I yanked the curtains shut. I hate him. I was going to tell Harry
and Ron about it, but decided against that, too. I donít want Ron going off
and trying to curse him again, and getting another belly full of slugs.
This month has gone so slowly, and time at
Hogwarts usually flies! I canít wait to get out of here. Iím going to
read myself to sleep tonight. I got my January book of the month- "Atlantis:
Then and Now". Itís all about merpeople! Theyíre real!
Oh, Gwen. Goodnight.
Madam Pomfrey says I can go back to class on
Monday! Just three more nights in here, and I can sleep in my real bed again.
I canít wait to get outside and play, and study in the Gryffindor common room
by the fire, and just be out of this hospital wing!!! I hope I never spend this
much time here again. Itís enough to drive a person insane. At least the Petrified
people donít feel the time passing.
Then you have restored to normal,
I take it?
Except for the tiniest fraction of my ears,
yes, Iím myself again. Cat-free! Harry and Ron came up to give me the last of
this weekís assignments. Iím going to finish up my work over the weekend so
Iíll be ready to jump right into classes on Monday. Ron says if he turned
into a cat, heíd take a break from all the schoolwork. But Iím awfully glad
I kept up, because I hate to be behindóand anyway, Ron and I donít see eye to
eye on certain issues.
Well, studying, for one. And personal privacy,
for another. Gwen, he saw Professor Lockhartís card sticking out from under
He has no feelings at all sometimes, I swear.
He yanked it out and read it out loud and said, "You sleep with this under
your pillow?" in the same voice you might use to say, "You
ate a pail of toad guts?í He let out this breath of disgust, and I was
livid. How dare he read that card?! I was about to shout at him, but
Madam Pomfrey came over with my De-Felinious Draught and shooed the boys out,
so I didnít have to explain myself. He is SO NOSY and SO RUDE. And as he and
Harry were leaving the infirmary, I heard him say, "Is Lockhart the smarmiest
bloke youíve ever met, or what?" Professor Lockhart might not be bright,
but I donít see how that makes him smarmy. Ron has problems, Gwen, donít
you think so?
Dear, if I told you what I
really thought, you wouldnít believe me.
What do you mean?
Oh, thatís so unfair!