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

~Year Three~

Based on "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"

by J.K. Rowling

Disclaimer: Itís all JKRís, of course. I lay claim to nothing but the personality of Gwen, who is a little miffed about that and says I have nothing to do with it.

 

HQoW

October 31

Happy Halloween, Gwen, and the best Halloween of my life! It was marvelous!

Wonderful!

Exactly! I just got back to Hogwarts, and as weíre having the Halloween Feast tonight, I donít expect to be able to write until later, so I thought Iíd just take the time now.

Good!

I am so glad that Ron and I made it up before today. It was so much fun with him, honestly. We went everywhere! We followed Fred and George into Zonkoís first. They immediately bought a load of dung bombs and a sack of stink pellets, which course they "accidentally" set off right outside the door, in the middle of a group of fifth year Slytherins. Ron and I ran! Not just because the Slytherins were looking at us like they wanted to kill, but because those things are horribly smelly, really!

We ran all the way to the wizarding equipment shop, ducked inside, and just stood there panting for a minute until I looked around, and saw one of the most amazing shops Iíve ever been in. This was serious wizarding equipment, . This was the kind of thing you wouldnít see anywhere but Hogsmeade- some of it isnít even available in Diagon Alley. There were Disappearing Brooms for invisible flying- (and you have to have a special flierís license to own them because they can actually be used in the Muggle world, but you must avoid interference with Muggle air-traffic! Just think! Last time I was in a plane, we might have been flying past specially licensed invisible wizards, and I just didnít know it!)

But my favorite thing was called the Art-Official, and Gwen, if I am ever very, very, rich, then I will have one. It is a seven-foot tall, enchanted silk screen, and itís stretched on a rack. You can call up onto the screen an image of any great painting in history- even those that have been destroyed- and then- oh, Gwen, how is it even possible- you can step inside the painting. I nearly died, I wanted to try it so badly. I wanted to go inside "Starry, Starry Night." But thereís no testing. "You have to buy it if you want to try it!" sang the wizard in charge of the shop. Urgh. Who has the money for that? I imagine Draco Malfoy might, but then, heíd hardly appreciate an Art-Official.

Anyway, we moved on out of there because Ron was absolutely foaming at the mouth to get into Honeydukes, which is a sweet-shop. He didnít shut up about it from the second we left Hogwarts until the second we walked into the doors and smelled the fresh peanut-butter fudge. Then it was like he lost his mind. He made me try one of everything- he canít get over the fact that Iím not allowed to have sweets at home, and I think heís trying to make up for lost time or something. I had a peppermint toad, a packet of pepper imps, a square of fudge, a chocoball stuffed with sherbet creamó

Hermione! Youíll never get to sleep!

ó yes, and walking back to school made me sick to my stomach because Iím so full, and I know Iíll never touch the Halloween Feast. We topped all that off with butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks, where we also saw an Ogre!

No, you did not.

Well, we think it was an Ogre. It could have been, depending how you looked at it. He- or it- or whatever- was sitting in the back-most, darkest corner, drinking from a cup as big as the ones Hagrid always uses, but we couldnít really see him very well because there was such a vast group of people crowding the place. Ron tried to get back there and find out, but I dragged him up to the counter and told him that if it was an Ogre then we probably oughtnít pester it, and did he want me to try the butterbeer, or not? So he ordered ones for us both, and you were right, Gwen. Itís wonderful. So warm and toasty, and ever so much better tasting than wine. Itís not very strong, but itís strong enough, I suppose, because Iím lightheaded. But that could be from the cold, or the sugar, or a hundred other things.

I brought back a sack of Spider-Snax for Crookshanks, and Ron got Fudge-Flies for Scabbers, and that was the only time during the day that we were tense with one another. I guess itís just better if we avoid that subject. But then we forgot about our pets, because we saw a giant jar of Gummy-Snitches that Harry would just love, and pooled all our pocket money to get about a hundred sweets for him-- heíll never be able to eat it all. But itís no good bringing Harry sweets and I know it- he needs to see Hogsmeade for himself. I hope they catch Sirius Black quickly, so he can come with us next time!

Oh, Iíll have to write you more about it later, Gwen, because itís time for the feast.

HQoW

November 1

Gwen, Iím in the Great Hall. Itís three-thirty in the morning, and Iím supposed to be asleep, so if I stop writing all of a sudden, itís because Percy caught me.

What on earth is going on?

The whole school is sleeping in here tonight, in sleeping bags. Iím so glad I had you with me in my robe today Ė I donít usually bring you everywhere, but I had you with me in Hogsmeade soĖ well, thatís beside the point. Iím all the way inside my bag, writing by the light of my wand. But Percyís Head Boy, and he already said lights out, so I just hope I can tell you everything before he catches me.

Why is the whole school sleeping in the Great Hall? What happened?

Gwen, Sirius Black tried to break into Gryffindor Tower.

Hermione! Are you all right?

Yes, everybody is, except the Fat Lady. He slashed her up in the Portrait Hole when she wouldnít let him in-- he didnít have our password. Sheís fled from the painting, and nobody can find her. Oh, Gwen. Thank goodness Black picked tonight, when everybody was at the Halloween Feast! Thank goodness nobody was up there- even if the Fat Lady did keep him out, someone could have easily been in the hall! What if Iíd been on my way to the library, what if Harryíd been coming in from Quidditch practice-

All of you could have been killed! Iím furious this was allowed to happen. How did he get past the dementors? Itís impossible!

I know, but so is breaking out of Azkaban, and he did that, too. Everybodyís got a theory, but all of them are rubbish. You canít Apparate or Disapparate in here, the castleís completely enchanted against people entering by stealth (honestly, Gwen, if people would just read "Hogwarts, A History", then they wouldnít suggest these things.) How did he get in and how did he get out? Or is he out? Could he have run into the Forbidden Forest? Iím terrified for Harry- that was just way too close. If anything funny happens, Iím going right to a teacher, I donít care this year. I canít believe Black actually made an attempt on our Tower.

We just overheard Professor Dumbledore talking to Snape about it, and he doesnít seem to understand how this has happened, either. Snape seems to think that someone already inside Hogwarts must be helping Black get in, but who would do that? Dumbledore says he doesnít think anybody would. But I think Snapeís trying to pin it on Professor Lupin. He said, "I did express concerns when you appointedó" but Dumbledore cut him off.

Snape really hates Lupin, Gwen. Harry thinks he might have tried to poison him, even. Today, while Ron and I were at Hogsmeade, Harry helped Lupin move in the grindylow for the next lesson, and they were in having tea in his office, when Snape came in. He brought Lupin some kind of smoking potion to drink- Harry tried to warn Professor Lupin not to drink it, he told him that Snape really wants that Defense Against the Dark Arts job and would probably do anything to get it, but Lupin went ahead and drank the entire gobletful . He said it was something Snape brewed him for his healthóand he is ill, or something, Gwen. Heís thin and pale, and too young for all that gray hair heís got. But Iím worried about him, now, too. I wouldnít put anything past Snape- if he brewed me a potion, I certainly wouldnít drink it- although he wouldnít poison anyone right in front of Harry, would he?

Oh no, I hear Percy Ė

HQoW

November 7

Hey, Gwen.

You are in deep, deep trouble, young lady.

What? What did I do?

Every year- EVERY YEAR- you come to me with some dire emergency, and then you disappear for weeks at a time, and Iím left wondering if youíre alive or deadó

Gwen, itís only been a week!

Check in with me, after telling me something like that! You canít just say "Oh, by the way, Sirius Black is trying to attack us in our beds," and then leave me in suspense. Itís very trying.

Iím sorry, Iím sorry, Iím fine- I thought youíd know it- Iíve had to study- I lost that whole night after the Halloween Feast, and for me, losing one night is like losing three- Iím so sorry, Gwen!

As long as youíre all right. Goodness. I just donít take it for granted anymore, after all thatís happened to you. Whatís going on, then? Any news about Black?

No. I wish there were, though. Itís all chaos around here- all anybody talks about is "How did Black get in? How did Black get out?" If I hear one more person suggest that he Apparated, I am going to scream. Hannah Abbott from Hufflepuff is going Ďround telling everybody that he disguised himself as a flowering bush, as if she knows. A flowering bush, honestly, heís a mad murderer. I hardly think heíd pick to be a plant.

And what about the Fat Lady? Is she back in your Portrait Hole?

No, she wonít come back. Sheís very brave to stand him off before, but sheís not interested in having to do it again, and none of the other pictures want the job, either. The only one who would take it is Sir Cadogan, and heís quite insane, which isnít surprising when you consider that he lives in the North Tower stairs, next to Trelawney.

Ah, and how is your favorite teacher?

I donít want to talk about it. One more death omen out of her.... itís very, very hard to do my homework for that class because the entire time Iím doing it, Iím thinking, "This is pointless, this is stupid, Iím not learning anything, why am I wasting time?" Especially when I have to research the medicinal uses of Spotted Twiggles for Herbology, map the Underground Broomtunnel System from the age of the Great Persecutions for Professor Binns, compare the discovery of the wheel to the discovery of the wand for Muggle Studies (three feet of parchment, thank you,) and summarize the section on kappas for Defense Against the Dark Arts before we move on. If Trelawney could really see the future, sheíd know that weíre never going to need her class for anything, and sheíd stop taking up our time.

Perhaps if your time werenít stretched so thinó

Donít say anything. Just donít say anything.

But Hermione, this isnít healthyó

Gwen, if you say one more word I wonít tell you about the Quidditch match next weekend, and Iím not kidding!

Thatís not fair!

Take it or leave it.

Humph. Well who are we playing?

We were supposed to be playing Slytherin, but Draco Malfoy continues to pretend that his wretched arm is hurting him, so the Gryffindor team is going to have to play Hufflepuff instead. Harry says that Oliver Wood is absolutely livid- theyíve been preparing moves for Slytherin all this time, and now theyíve only got a week to change around and get ready for the Hufflepuff defense, or something. I donít know, but the team is certainly tense, and it doesnít help that itís raining sheets every day- theyíve come in soaked to the skin from all their practices. Thatís the real reason Slytherinís backing out- theyíre not good enough to play in all weathers and they know it. Malfoyís arm hasnít been out of that sling since the first day of class even though I know itís been fixed all this time- what a crybaby- I canít stand him, Gwen. Heís ruined Hagridís whole experience as a teacher.

Hagridís still upset over it? But he hasnít been fired, has he?

No, he hasnít been fired. But he put away the hippogriffs and switched us over to flobberworms. Theyíre the most pathetically boring magical creatures we could possibly have to care for. Iíd rather deal with Hagridís crazy beasts than have to stuff anymore shredded lettuce down the flobberwormsí throats, but Malfoyís made him nervous- he doesnít want any other students getting injured. Oh well. At least flobberworms are easy. I need one easy class. No, no, I take that back, I donít want easy classes- I really want to learn. Okay.

Oh, Neville. Gwen, heís set his shoe on fire. I have to go.

 

HQoW

November 12

Gwen, what a day.

I donít know whether to cry or hug Crookshanks, or what, so Iíve done both, and now Iím in the middle of four assignments and a chapter on werewolves, but I canít concentrate. I canít understand why Iím so jumpy. The wind is absolutely howling, maybe thatís part of it. Harryís got his match in the morning, maybe thatís the other part. It was such a long day, too. Eight classes, three turn-backs, and I almost got caught time-turning.

How?

I turned back from being outdoors for the Care of Magical Creatures lab with the flobberworms to go to Arithmancy, so when I got to Arithmancy I was soaked through from the rain. But I ought to have been dry because "supposedly" Iíd walked straight there from breakfast with the rest of the class. I should have switched them Ďround, but I didnít think of it. Now everyone in Arithmancy thinks I ran out in the rain on purpose. I must have looked rather odd. Professor Vector winked at me, though-- she knew what was going on-- but still, I wish I could have explained myself. Lately, Iíve been feeling as though I show up in every class a little short of breath. It takes me a second to figure out where Iívejust been, and where Iím going, even though Iíve got my chartó which is falling apart. And my book bag is really heavy, so my back hurts. And Iím not sleeping very well.

Hermione....

Just let me talk. I donít need the speech. Iím too tired. Defense Against the Dark Arts wore me out today, on top of everything else. After what Snape saidó

Snape? What happened to Lupin?

Snape says heís ill, but I donít believe it. I could see right away that Harry and Ron were thinking of the smoking potion that Lupin drank the other day. Was it poison? Snape certainly enjoyed teaching the Defense Against the Dark Arts class. He made it the most miserable experience Iíve ever had in there- and thatís saying something after Quirrell and Lockhart. He made us turn to the back of our texts, and started quizzing us on werewolves. Well, weíre only on the fifth chapter! Weíre due to start hinkypunks, not werewolves- thatís end of year! But when I told him that, he said, "I was under the impression that I am teaching this class, Miss Granger, not you." Iím used to him saying things like that, though, so when he started asking about the werewolves, I put my hand right up.

But he wouldnít call on me. He kept making fun of our class for not knowing anything about werewolves, even though we told him over and over that weíd never studied them, and he refused to call on me, even though I knew the answers. He just wanted to be able to pick on us. He didnít want me to know anything, because it made him look bad. So finally I just said it out; "Please, sir, the werewolf differs from the true wolf in several small ways. The snout of the werewolfó" But Snape cut me off.

"That is the second time you have spoken out of turn, Miss Granger. Five more points from Gryffindor for being an insufferable know-it-all."

He said that. Right in front of everybody. And I know everybody already thinks I talk too much in class, but Gwen, itís different when a teacher says it- teachers shouldnít insult us- itís awful. I felt my face flush, and my eyes got blurred. I was so embarrassed.

What a horrible man! My poor dear, no wonder youíre so tired today, thatís awful. Teachers should never say such things. He was entirely in the wrong.

Yes, and I knew it, but I would have cried on the spot if Ron hadnít gone and gotten himself detention.

Oh?

Yes. I had just looked down at the floor and started fighting tears, when Ron said, quite loudly, "You asked us a question and she knows the answer! Why ask, if you donít want to be told?" Instantly, we all caught our breath-- we knew heíd gone too far. Snape gave him detention on the spot for daring to criticize his teaching. I couldnít believe he dared it, either, and Iím so sorry he got detention, but GwenóI donít know, I canít explain. Ron calls me a know-it-all at least twice a week- heís the very last person I would have expected....

Nobody said one word to Snape after that, because heíd been driven into such a foul mood. But when heíd gone past my desk and was in the back making snide comments about Parvatiís homework on kappas, I managed to turn around in my seat really fast. Ron gave me a sort of fierce look, like he thought Iíd get mad at him for having been insolent, or something. But I just mouthed, "Thank you," and turned back before I got caught. And after class, when Snape gave him his detention, Ron really swore. He called Snape a word I canít repeat. I said, "Ron!" but I donít really blame him- after all, heís in the hospital wing right now, scrubbing out bedpansówithout magic. He didnít have to do that just for me.

When he left the common room tonight to go over there, we were right in the middle of our illustrations of the Aurora Borealis for Astronomy. Our whole class was gathered over by Dean Thomas. He was helping everybody with the drawing because heís by far the best artist of all of us, but I figured out that if you use your wand almost like a quill, you can blend the colors more effectively. I was just showing Dean how to do it when Ron got up to go to detention. When he got to the door, he grinned and said, "You have to admit, Hermione, you really are a know-it-all." Everybody laughed, and Ron jumped through the Portrait Hole before I could throw anything at him. Gwen, how could that possibly make me feel better?

Did it?

Yes. Now Iím trying to do two rolls of parchment on the ways to recognize and kill werewolves for Defense Against the Dark Arts- Snapeís making us turn it in by Monday. Two rolls. Thatís like six feet. I guess I shouldnít complain, but I donít have time for this. Lupin had better not be dead- I donít think I could bear to have Snape teaching us anything other than Potions- thatís bad enough.

Ugh..... listen to this chapter. I have to turn it into a six foot essay by Monday.

"To recognize a werewolf one must always begin by studying the human counterpart of a werewolf that has already been identified as such. Here we can clearly view the toll that the unwanted animal transformation takes on the human body. Study diagram 28c, a photograph of Vincent Vannery, the infamous werewolf who plagued the magical glen of Dealyford in 1923. Note the patches of severely graying hair, the lines at his eyes, the gaunt figure of his pale facial skin. You may think to look at Vincent Vannery that he is approaching fifty years of age, when in fact, in this photograph, he is merely thirty-two. This is because the human body is not meant to be twisted into the violently predatory, four-legged lifestyle of the werewolf. The signs of physical deterioration are always most obvious directly following the night of the full moon. On that night, the human subject will always fall ill, usually attempting to enclose himself safely in some manner. When he emerges, first note his skin, which will seem to sag slightly from his musculature, and his eyes, which may still retain a yellowish gleam."

Fascinating. Disgusting. Who cares. Iím going to bed.

Iíll write you tomorrow, though. Wish Gryffindor luckóthis weather is completely foul, and Iím just hoping Harry stays on his broomstick.

I canít wait to hear all about it. Good luck to Harry, and go get some sleep.

Okay. Goodnight.

 

 

HQoW

November 13

Oh, Gwen, Harryís alive. We thought he was killed.

What a way to begin! Did you have the match? What went on? Tell me!

We had the match. Not that thereís anything for you to tell at Miss VauclainísóIím so sorry, Gwen, but the rain made it almost totally impossible to see. It was like watching it happen underwater in the dark. The wind was howling in our ears the whole time so we couldnít even hear Lee Jordan, or each other for that matter. Ron and I were sitting up with our cloaks over our heads, trying to make a tent so at least weíd be able to squint up at Harry without getting pelted in the eyes by stinging rain, but it was just madness out there. Everybody was screaming and cheering and stamping, but the sounds were getting ripped up from the stadium and eaten by the storm before they even reached the players. I tried to keep an eye on Harry, but he kept almost slamming into people and then spiraling off in the wind.

I knew there was no way he could possibly see the Snitch- he kept taking off his glasses and trying to wipe them on his sleeve, but the rain was horrible. Finally, right as Oliver Wood called a time out, I had an idea! I thought that maybe if his glasses could repel water, heíd stand a better chance. I ran down to the field, and out to the team huddle- Professor McGonagall tried to catch me by the arm but I hollered over the rain, "No, no, let me go, itís for the team, itís going to help!" When I said that, she practically pushed me over to them. (She really wants Gryffindor to get the Cup.) I took Harryís glasses, tapped them and said, "Impervius! There! Theyíll repel water!" And then I ran back up, because I thought Oliver Wood was going to try and kiss me, he looked so grateful.

Hmmm.

Ew, hush. Harry did fly a bit better after that. The action was still really hard to see, but at least he wasnít flying directly into anyone anymore. And then he saw it!

The Snitch!

Yes, it was, and he went into a wonderful dive alongside Cedric Diggory, the Hufflepuff Seeker. Harry was ahead by just a bit, and he was almost to the Snitch, when something truly frightening happened.

A hundred dementors came gliding onto the Quidditch field, tall and rotting, with their robes dead still, even in all that wind. They had their dark hoods turned up below Harry and Cedric, as if they wanted to suck them right out of the sky. Well you remember how Harry is with dementors- he looked down and saw them- he went slack- his hands came off his broom--

From fifty feet in the air, Harry fell, unconscious, into the crowd of dementors.

Oh!!!

There was an enormous scream from the stands and everybody shot up and stood on the seats except for Ron and me- we practically flung ourselves out of the stands and down onto the field to get to Harry. Dumbledore got there first- he slowed Harry down in midair so that he hit the ground with more a dull thud than a horrible crash, and then he shot that silvery cloud out of his wand at the dementors, and all of them went away. Iíve never seen him so angry. Iíve never been so frightened. Harry was flat on the ground, totally cold and white. I burst into tears and grabbed Ronís arm as Dumbledore magicked Harry onto a stretcher, and then we, along with the whole grim Gryffindor team, climbed back through the rain into the castle. Madam Pomfrey worked on him in the hospital wing for an hour, and I couldnít stop crying until heíd come to. He really looked dead.

By the way, we lost the game. When Harry fell from his broom, Diggory got the Snitch. Itís the first game Gryffindorís lost since Harryís been Seeker.

Well, I can hardly be disappointed about the loss when Harryís life was at stake. But that is too bad.

Well Harry was horribly disappointed. When he woke up and found out heíd lost, he looked like he wanted to go right back under. And even worse, when the team finally left to give him some rest, he asked us what had happened to his Nimbus Two Thousand. We didnít want to tell him. Itís really bad. Professor Flitwick brought it up in a sack right before Harry regained consciousness.

In a sack?

When he fell off, it got blown away. It hit the Whomping Willow. Professor Flitwick just handed us the leftover pieces.

Oh, no. Poor Harry. Poor Gryffindor.

Yes. Itís really awful- you should have seen Harryís face when we dumped the pieces out on his hospital bed. He looked like heíd lost his best friend. But do you know whatís really sweet, though? I came up to Gryffindor afterwards, to change and get dry and start studying, and Ginny knocked at the door. Her eyes were all bloodshot, and she wanted to know if Harry was alive, and if he was, was he very upset about the Nimbus? "I tried, but that tree is really horrid." Apparently, sheís the one who went over to the Willow and picked up all the pieces! I canít believe she went near that tree. Anyway, I told her that Harry came around, and she just breathed this enormous sigh of relief and said she was going to make him a get-well card-- did I think that was a good idea? I told her yes, I thought it was, rather.

That is sweet.

Isnít it? And brave. I take it back about Ginny being too shy. Sheís fine. But as for Gryffindor-- donít be too upset yet, Gwen! Weíve still got a chance at the Quidditch Cup if Ravenclaw beats Hufflepuff in the next match. Oliver Wood hasnít given up- even if he did try and drown himself in the showers after the game. We could still come back and win it.

Oh, I hope so!

So do I. All right. Guess what?

Youíre going to go and study.

Ah, I see you are receptive to the resonances of the future.

Yes, quite. All right, go on then. Theyíre going to torture me at Miss Vauclainís, though, when I come back without a match for them.

Well then, tell them all about it. I know there isnít much to tell, but you can stretch it out a bit.

Thank you! Iíll do that.

ĎBye, Gwen.

 

HQoW

November 15

Gwen?

Hmmm?

You would think, wouldnít you, that one year, just one, we could have a normal Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher- somebody non-threatening? Wouldnít you think that?

But I thought you liked Professor Lupin!

Professor Lupin is a very good teacher. He also happens to be a WEREWOLF.

Iím sorryówhat?

I know itís hard to believe, but itís true. Listen to this:

"Note the patches of severely graying hair, the lines at his eyes, the gaunt figure of his pale facial skin. You may think to look at Vincent Vannery that he is approaching fifty years of age, when in fact, in this photograph, he is merely thirty-two." Okay. Thatís from the chapter about werewolves in my textbook. Thatís exactly what Professor Lupin looks like. Hereís more:

"The signs of physical deterioration are always most obvious directly following the night of the full moon. On that night, the human subject will always fall ill." The other day, when Lupin got ill? I checked the lunar chart in my astronomy atlas. It was a full moon.

"When he emerges, first note his skin, which will seem to sag slightly from his musculature, and his eyes, which may still retain a yellowish gleam." We had to turn our essays in for class today, and I made a note of his skin. It was hanging off, a bit. I looked at his eyes. They were tinged with yellow. He was clammy and pale.

And beyond that, Gwen, do you remember when we were fighting the boggart? His greatest fear was that silvery orb, and I thought it was the moon- Gwen, it is. That makes perfect sense. He hates the full moon, because it forces him to be "twisted into the violently predatory, four-legged lifestyle of the werewolf."

Heís a werewolf!!!

Youíre perfectly certain?

I am.

Hermione... what are you going to do?

I donít know. I really donít know. Professor Lupin.... heís such a wonderful teacher. Iíd rather have him teaching me Defense Against the Dark Arts than anybody else. And when I read the whole werewolf chapter and did the six-foot essay, I also learned that there is a potion that makes the werewolf harmless- it makes it so that the human being transforms, but doesnít become predatory. Wolfsbane Potion, itís called. Thatís the smoking potion that Snape made for him- it wasnít poison- it was Wolfsbane. It has to be. Which means that Snape knows.... and thatís probably why he assigned the essay.... which means Dumbledore must know, too... so thereís no need to go to a teacher....

Gwen, if I just kept this to myself, would it be a very bad thing? I donít want Professor Lupin to leave. I donít want Snape to take over that class. I donít want our class to fall even further behind in Defense Against the Dark Arts than we already are. And Harry and Ron.... well itís better if I just donít tell anybody, isnít it? Iím not worried, because I know about the potion. But they could panic, couldnít they? I donít know. Iím already keeping so much from them this year that it wouldnít be very difficult just to add this. And honestly, if theyíd done their essays, theyíd know too. So itís really partly their own fault if they donít figure it out, isnít it?

Lupin isnít dangerous?

Not if heís taking that potion, which I guess he is.

And the staff already knows about it?

I think they really must. How could Dumbledore not know?

Then I wouldnít say anything to anybody, Hermione. Werewolves arenít very well.... understood in the magical world. People are afraid of them. Itís really very sadówerewolves are just peopleóthey donít choose to be bitten, but once they are, theyíre afflicted for life. Itís probably very hard for Professor Lupin to find employmentó especially as a teacher. Imagine the flood of Howlers there would be if parents found out a werewolf was teaching their children! If Professor Dumbledore has seen fit to hire him at Hogwarts, then I think..... I think itís safe enough.

Gwen, youíre really wonderful, do you know that? Iím terribly relieved. I didnít want to turn him in. I like him, I know itís not his fault he was bitten, and I donít think heíd ever hurt any of us. But now that I know heís a werewolf... I canít help sort of... keeping an eye out.

Thatís all right. You do that.

Okay. Well I just had to tell you that because when I figured it out in class today, I nearly burst. I couldnít wait to get back here and write.

Iím so glad you did.

I feel a lot better. I do have to go, now, though.

As usual.

No, no, for once Iím not studying. Ginnyís just come to the door, she wants to know if Harry liked her get-well card. I have to think of an honest way to tell her yes. I think he was rather flattered, but for some reason she made the card so that it would sing whenever Harry opened it. He had it shut up under his fruit bowl the whole time he was in the hospital wing.

Just tell her the first part. "He was rather flattered," and leave it at that.

Yes, thatís good, okay. ĎBye.

 

HQoW

November 26

Gwen, what am I going to do about Ron?

What do you mean?

I mean, Iíve got enough on my hands just now without having to hold him back from trying to kill Malfoy between classes.

What did Malfoy do now?

Well, ever since we lost the Quidditch match, Malfoyís arm is suddenly, miraculously healed. What a liar. As soon as he got the sling taken off, he started doing impressions of Harry fainting off his broom. Itís so revolting- Harry really could have died on that Quidditch field- itís just not the type of thing you make fun about, even if youíre an evil, horrid little nothing like Malfoy. But of course, he gets worse every day, so I shouldnít be surprised anymore.

But thatís no excuse for Ron to crack up in the middle of Potions class and throw a crocodile heart at Malfoyís head.

Ron did that?!

Yes. Malfoy was pretending to scream and faint, "Oh, my scar! What will I do! The dementors are coming to get me!" and of course Snape wasnít making any moves to stop him, so finally Ron just reached into the supply jar in the back, heaved out a huge, slippery heart, and pegged Malfoy in the head with it. It was so disgusting! His hair was all bloody, black and purple, and the heart got squashed on the floor under Goyleís massive boot, and Pansy Parkinson was gagging at the sight of it....

Come to think of it, it was rather funny.

Rather!

But Snape did take fifty points from Gryffindor, and Ron needs to learn to control his temper. Honestly, flinging bloody hearts about the classroom. What next?

Flinging... Oh, I am sorely tempted right now.

To what? Laugh? Go ahead. Harry laughed so hard he had to actually crawl under the desk to keep from being punished, too. Dean and Seamus both put their faces in their cauldrons and snorted, and even Neville, who is usually too terrified of Snape to laugh at anything in his class, pulled his head inside his robe like a turtle and started to shiver with giggles. I was the only one who managed to stay calm. Although thinking of Pansy now, "Oh, Draco, Draco, your hair!" Parvati and Lavender were giggling too, and I heard Parvati say "Oh, Draco!" in a high voice, when she passed Pansy after class. I donít suppose it was all bad.... but it was a waste of potions ingredients and a silly thing to do, and I just donít thinkó

Oh, Hermione. Itís funny.

Okay. Oh, Gwen, it really was. Urgh.... I wish Ron could make me laugh about this nonsense. Eighteen advanced Charmetry problems by tomorrow. Itís really great, and I love Arithmancy, but itís SO HARD. But Professor Vector says that if we ever expect to understand pre-Magicaculus next term, then weíve really got to have this down. And Iíve got that Bicycles to Broomsticks section to read for Muggle Studies, and a thousand other things... whereíre my notes for Charmetry....

Hey, I have all the wrongó wait just a minute....

No, here they are, but theyíre allóoh, no, oh, no, Iíve got all my notes mixed up in the wrong folders! I took them in all the wrong spots. Now Iíve got to tear them out and put them with the right ones, and try to find... whereís my stupid Spellotape... oh, Gwen, this is going to take me an hour to figure out.... why did I do this? How could I get so confused?

I donít know. Iím not saying anything.

This is ridiculous. Iíve got to go get Ginny, sheís got Spellotape and I canít find mine. ĎBye.

 

HQoW

December 8

Hi Gwenógood news!

Ravenclaw absolutely flattened Hufflepuff in their Quidditch match, so Gryffindor still has a chance at the Cup!

That is good news!

Yes, and Iím just in a good mood in general. Professor Flitwick has his classroom decorated for Christmas alreadyówe walked in today to a roomful of fairies all lit up everywhere. It was so lovely. We worked on Motion Spells all morning, you know, "Mobiliarbus!" where you lift up objects and move them about? And there was a whole crowd of fairies sitting on the globe, spinning it every which way. Parvati and Lavender and I were just enthralled by it, even though the boys were all making fun of us and pretending to think fairies were stupid-looking. They were the ones who looked stupid when we three girls pointed at the globe and said, "Mobiliarbus!" We moved it from the side table into the middle of Harry, Ron, and Seamusó and all the fairies flew up around them, and settled on their heads! One was even swinging from Harryís glasses! I love Hogwarts at Christmas.

I think Iím going to try and stay here over the holidays again, even though Mum and Dad will probably be upset. After all, I did stay last year, and theyíd probably like to see me on the holidayóbut Ron and I were talking about it, and we donít think Harry should be here in Gryffindor all by himself. Weíre both writing our parents for permission to stay. I hope they say yes. Want to hear my letter? I just composed it and I think itís going to be very effective.

Go ahead.

"Dear Mum and Dad,

How are you? I miss you. Things here are going really, really well, and Iím having a wonderful year. I couldnít be happier. My academics are still top of the class, and my friends are wonderful.

Iím writing to you about my friend Harry Potter. You know all about Harry- remember when I told you that heís an orphan? Well, I was thinking, it must be awfully hard for him at Christmas- and he seemed to have such a nice time when Ron and I stayed here last year- I wonder if I ought to stay again? Of course I want to come home, you know I do, but itís just I canít stand the thought of Harry all by himself on such an important holiday, thinking about his parents and feeling lonely. I know you wouldnít want me to stay all by myself.

Staying through the holiday would also really help me with my academics. I think it might be best if I stay close to the Hogwarts library over the break. If I intend to keep my full marks next term, (and you do want me to stay head of my class, donít you?) then Iím going to have to get ahead of my studies.

Please write and let me know whether or not itís all right for me to stay. Ronís writing his mum, too, so if you want to check with Mrs. Weasley about it, please go ahead and do. Iíll definitely understand if you say no, but Iím just not sure how poor Harry will take it, not to mention that my schoolwork may also suffer.

I love you!

Your daughter,

Hermione"

What do you think?

I think youíre a bit of a ham, dear. "Poor Harry"?

I know, but I just know itíll work. They canít stand the thought of anybody alone on Christmas. Ronís is just as pathetic Ė not that heíll have to convince his mum. Mrs. Weasley loves Harry so much sheíll probably ask Ron why he doesnít just bring Harry to their house for the holiday.

You two are terrible.

True. But itís not all silliness- I really do want to keep Harry company, and I really do need to study over the holiday. Two weeks to catch up- itís like a dream come true. I canít wait.

Youíre really behind?

Not technically, but Iím barely keeping up and I feel like my brain is starting to refuse information. Does that make sense? I think itís absorbed all it can for one term, but I have to keep studying anyway. I canít afford to get backed-up on a single assignment-- Professor McGonagall wonít let me use any excuse of being overburdened with work, remember? Iím not allowed to ask for extra time to finish anything, and even if I could, where would I find extra time?

You could always drop a class next term.

WHAT?!

You could always drop a class next term.

Gwen, thatís not funny!

I didnít mean it to be.

Iím not dropping classes!

Not even just one? For your sanity? Please, Hermione, please think about itó

No! Itís your sanity Iím worried about. Iíve never skipped a single class on purpose in my whole entire life- except that time in first year when I couldnít stop crying in the bathroom. That was right before Harry and Ron beat up the troll. Wow, remember that? That seems like forever ago.

Donít try and change the subject. Weíre talking about your classes.

No, weíre not. Iím not skiving off anything- Dad always says that commitment is one of the most important things in a personís character. Once youíve committed to something, thatís it.

There are exceptions to every rule.

Well, this isnít the exception. Anyway, Iím not complaining about my class work, Iím just saying itís a bit challenging, and that this Time-Turner is a lot of work. I donít mind. Iím sure I can make it through to the holidays if I onlyó

Yes?

Hermione? Whatís going on?

Have you passed out?

No- sorry, Gwen, itís Crookshanks. He just came, knocked my pen out of my hand, and sat right on top of you.

Well, I never!

Donít be mad- heís been doing this a lot lately with my schoolwork. I think he knows when Iím tired or upset. Sometimes when Iím up really late doing assignments, Crookshanks will jump up, sit right in the middle of my work, and stop me from getting anything else accompó

Hermione?

Am I being sat on?

Crookshanks, no! Naughty cat! Oh, maybe heís right. I suppose I am a bit tired, and since I have the whole weekend to study, maybe I should get one good night of sleep. Iíve done almost all my reading, so itís just written work now.... twelve classesí worth.... Iím yawning just thinking about it.

Well, in any case, shut me. I donít need to be squashed by a cat, thank you. Goodnight, Hermione.

Yes, all right. Goodnight.

 

HQoW

December 15

Gwenó

I can stay at Hogwarts for Christmas! Ron and I both got owls back from our parents today, and things have turned out just as we planned. We read each otherís responses in DivinationóHarry and Neville were both running late, so I paired with Ron. His mum was so funny in her letter- she told Ron if he didnít stay with Harry heíd be grounded all summer, and gave him strict instructions not to let Harry go wandering around after dark as long as Sirius Black is on the loose. And my mum wrote,

"Dear Hermione,

Very interesting letter, sweetheart. I see youíre learning things at school that donít have anything to do with your classes.

Yes, of course you may stay with Harry- your father and I think itís lovely that you care so much about your friend. You may take your holiday at school on two conditions: One- Iím very glad to hear that youíre keeping up on your studies, however I donít want to find out that you spent all your vacation time buried in books, because your father blames your over-achievement on me. He says weíre both workaholics! Honestly. But for Mummyís sake, promise Dad that youíll have some fun. Two- Being away from home does not mean that you are free to eat loads of sugar. Remember how that drill felt, the one time you had a cavity? Remember that your teeth have to last the rest of your life, and take care of them, please. Promise you wonít run wild with sweets. If you tell me you wonít, Iíll trust you.

Dad and I will send your Christmas presents on to Hogwarts. Weíll miss you so much, darling, but I know youíre doing the right thing.

All my love,

Mum"

So everything is perfect, except that Ron had an absolute attack when he read the part about me not being allowed to eat sweets. "You have to, Hermione! Weíre going to Honeydukes next weekend and you still havenít tried ice mice, or sugar quills, or--!" I cut him off. "No, I have to promise, Ron," For a second, he looked like he was going to argue, but then he suddenly grinned, grabbed my hand across the table, and started pretending to read my palm. (Weíre starting work on palmistry in Divination next term, and Professor Trelawney is making us memorize the "symbols" with our last week before break. Itís ridiculous, if you ask me.) Ron said, "Hey, Hermione, I forget- whatís the symbol that stands for promises?" I sighed. "Itís a triangle, Ron, honestly, we were supposed to know that by today." I had no idea what he was doing, or I wouldnít have told him. Ron went over a few random lines on my hand before saying loudly, "This is bad, Hermione. This is really bad."

So of course, Professor Trelawney came right over and sat with us. She just loves tragic predictions. "What is it, my dear? What do you see?" Ron pulled my hand up and showed her. "Look, itís a triangle marked with a line! Sheís going to break a promise- I think sheís going to break a promise to her parents, really soon." Professor Trelawney looked thrilled, even though there isnít any triangle on my hand. "What kind of promise?" she breathed.

Ron fought to keep a straight face and said, "Donít ask me how I know this, but I just have this feeling that sheís going to break a promise this weekend, in Hogsmeade. Something to do with..... ice mice." At this point, he was having to grit his teeth and dig his fingers into my hand to keep from laughing, but Professor Trelawney was too misty-eyed to notice anything. She bought right into it and said, "Perhaps you are receptive to the Inner Eye after all," patted Ronís shoulder, arched her eyebrow at me, and went back to sit with Parvati and Lavender. For heavenís sake. Ron was sniggering, and I had to kick him under the table to make him let go of me.

You had to kick him?

Yes I did, he was hurting my hand. And Harry walked through the door just in time to see me do it, and to hear Ron hiss, "Ow, stop it!" and try to kick me back, which almost knocked over the table. Harry hurried in, stopped the table from crashing just in time, and said, "Whatís wrong now?" Thatís when we told him that weíre both staying here for Christmas, and he looked really surprised and happy about it. "Oh, thatíll be great fun, you two trying to kill each other. Seriously, you-- you donít have to stay. Iíll be okay."

But we know heís glad. I said, "Donít imagine Iím doing this for you, Harry Potter. I need to stay here and use the library." And Ron said, "Yeah, and I canít handle two weeks in the same house with Percy the Bighead Boy." But Harry grinned. He knows weíre really doing it for him.

Iím glad you are. No one should be alone at Christmas.

I agree. Holidays are better at Hogwarts, anywayóoooh, and Hogsmeade at Christmas, too! Weíre going on Saturday; itíll be so brilliant Ė I wish you were alive so you could come.

Oh, Iíll be all right. I wrote an entry once about the marketplace outside Camelot at Christmasóit looks just like a picture-village under all that lovely snow! Iíll re-live that memory while you go on and make one of your own.

I forgot you could do that. Youíve got quite a life in there, havenít you?

I suppose I do, for a diary.

I just wish Harry could come with us. I wish theyíd hurry up and catch Sirius Black, because Harry still hasnít seen Hogsmeade and itís not fair. Butterbeer and ice mice and Christmas shoppingóIím going to get my parents those Toothflossing Stringmints I saw at HoneydukesóHarry would love it. Of course, I am glad he wonít be out where Black can hurt him. Iíll just have to find a really good Christmas present and make it up to him! I already know what Iím going to get Ron.

What?

A diary. Not an enchanted one like you, though, because if he never writes in it, I wouldnít want the brain to feel neglected. Just a Never-Ending Notebook that I saw in the equipment shop last time. Iíll show him how to lock it with strong magic, and then he can use it for whatever he wants.

Didnít he say last year that he thinks diaries are for girls?

Yes, but Iím going to tell him itís a journal, not a diary.

There isnít any difference.

He doesnít know that. Anyway, Gwen, I have to go.

Off to bury yourself in books, as your father so aptly puts it?

Well, unless you can do this for me: Equate the Transfiguration model t=[1/2(4 x s)] divided by the force of Charm concentration [c x t = (a/5)] to the second power.

It depends on the variables.

Oh, Gwen, Iím teasing Ė thatís not even a real equation. But yes, I have to go and do my assignment. Itís not very difficult, actually, itís just that there are a lot of them to do, and I want to be completely finished with this weekís schoolwork before I get in the carriage for Hogsmeade.

Then go, by all means. I want you in that carriage and out having fun. I quite agree with your dad that you could use a bit more play.

I know, I know. Thanks Gwen. Iíll write you after Hogsmeade! ĎBye!

 

//
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