Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardy was indeed as rich and full of splendor as described in books; so I have learned during my short first week here. From enjoying transfiguring simple plastic muggle forks to crystalline sapphires or just lounging about in the Gryffindor common room- I’ve experienced it all.
And with all the good comes the bad. There was Professor Snape whom I instantly disliked. Peeves the poltergeist was impossible to stand. And then there was Filch and his beloved Mrs. Norris. Strange, I wonder who Mr. Norris is. Yet I must admit that the good outweighed the bad.
Overlooking the basic aspects of my life in Hogwarts, there was also the inevitable. At this moment, my life is exciting, everything still feels fresh and a day passes by as a mere second. But still, there’s that nagging feeling in the back of my mind. Perhaps it’s the stress of exams already befalling me; that’s no surprise. But I know for a fact that this wasn’t it. There was something else, possibly somebody. Mr Harry Potter.
Eversince the beginning of the year feast, I have taken keen interest in where he lurks about. Ginny didn’t lie. You would think the shadows followed him. The most I ever saw of him was half of his face, while the other half stayed in the veil of darkness that cloaked his figure.
No, I couldn’t let this stranger nag at my brain. He doesn’t do anything at all, but I feel my eyes rise to meet his when I feel his presence about. And almost always I would find those jaded eyes and drown in them. Almost willingly, but most of the time…simply mesmerized by his gaze. It was just another pair of eyes, I would scold myself, but they were so different at the same time. I’m beginning to fret that Lavender and Parvati have already casted their ‘girlyness’ upon me, book hugging Granger.
“Move it!” Someone shoved by me and I glared at them with daggers. How rude of them!
However, that was when I noticed the crowd that had gathered at the base of the staircase leading to the Great Hall. A couple more people rushed by me and I caught snippets of their conversation.
“Harry Potter…” was a name that I clearly heard amongst the crowd of eager anticipating people.
I couldn’t help but feel confusion fill my mind. “What’s going on?” I questioned from left to right.
“It’s Harry Potter! And Pansy Parkinson!”
I pushed my way to the front, ending up with a nail scratch on my hand. At once I caught sight of Harry, but this time no shadow hid him from prodding eyes. He was standing right there, dead centre of the circle being formed around him and that girl- Pansy Parkinson.
I knew the girl was a Slytherin, but all I heard of her were negative comments. Right now, she was also standing tall and straight facing Harry with a contorted look on her face.
“You liar!” She pointed a finger at Harry accusingly. “Just admit it already. Why are you hiding the truth?”
The expression on Harry’s face was unreadable, masked with experience from his past no doubt. He casually slipped his hands into the pockets of his dark jeans. “There is nothing for me to hide,” was his curt reply.
I swore I saw Pansy smirk but it was only seconds before a somber look covered it. “Oh Harry…what’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with us?”
The group of students broke out into hurrid whispers. I frowned deeply. Pansy and Harry were together? Somehow I found that rather…hard to swallow.
Harry stayed silent.
“Is it not enough that I gave you my first? Or is that of no value to the great savior of the world?!” She literally hollered at his face.
My jaw opened and shut. What in the world?! Was this girl mad? What was she trying to get at?
“You gave me nothing but a few words. The words that you are so brainlessly saying now.” His voice never changed. No anger, no joy. I was confused.
Pansy huffed and bit her lip, willing herself to cry. “Harry Potter! Why is it that you cannot love me the way I love you?”
Dead silence filled the hall.
Harry blinked once, his gaze never leaving Pansy’s wide eyes that seemed to flicker with malice and hope. I could feel the anger boiling in me, this girl was sickening.
“No.” Harry’s voice had actually risen, and the scar on his forehead seemed redder than usual due to his sudden pale features. “You do not love me. You love Harry Potter.” His eyes gleamed, causing everyone to slink back a few steps. “Now stop this act before…”
Yet Pansy had turned beat red and was shaking with sheer anger. “Oh you prat! You just watch yourself and your little attitude Potter. Can’t you get it through that thick head of yours? I like you damnit, and you keep on ignoring me!” Suddenly a smirk crossed her lips. “But whatever Potter. You ignoring me doesn’t meen the rest of the male population is. Suit yourself.” And she was off. My gaze snapped back to Harry though he was already walking by me and away. I had a sudden urge to tap him on the arm as he went by; and I did.
He turned to me, holding me by his gaze once again. I swallowed hard. I was having difficulties forming sentences but before I realized, Harry spoke up.
“Uh…what did you mean then? Saying Pansy should stop before..something. And then you got cut off…and then uhhhh…” I was babbling on nervously and I wanted to slap myself right then and there. Why couldn’t I just calm down!
Harry looked at me- hard. I could feel those emerald orbs bearing down on me as he turned to leave. I was about to think he wasn’t going to even say anything back to me…
“She was smart to have left. It wouldn’t have been tears she would have shed.”
I watched as his lips moved to form those words as he retreated up the staircase and around the corner, back into the shadow’s embrace.
Several days later, I had finally obtained the entire story about the event that had occurred at the base of the staircase. At last, Lavender and Parvati had more information than books.
The story was simple, and the moral of it was that school sluts should not mess with Harry Potter. Pansy Parkinson had never even been with Harry. She never slept with him or even touched a strand of his hair. It had all been one of Pansy’s foolish attempts to get Harry to notice her. A bit too dramatic in my opinion.
“Yeah, when she’s desperate she gets way over herself,” Lavender rolled her eyes. “I’m glad there’s only one Pansy Parkinson in this school.”
“But wasn’t it embarrassing? To just declare infront of half of the student body that she had slept with Harry Potter?!” I huffed, Pansy was surely insane. “You would have to put me under the Imperius Curse for me to even think about saying such absurd things!”
Ginny hopped down the staircase leading to the girl’s dormitories. “Talking about our innocent little Pansy?” She took a seat next to me on the big scarlet couch.
“Yes, Herms was just pointing out Pansy’s lack of shame towards her behavior. But personally I think Pansy doesn’t care. She’s done too much and she knows she’s the school’s biggest whore.” Parvati mumbled. “Excuse my language Herms.”
I sighed, “Well she must’ve been crazy! Doing what she did would just cause Harry to hate her!”
“Well, we have a brain, but apparently that doesn’t mean Pansy does,” Ginny noted and sighed warily. “Nothing fazes Harry.”
“I know!” Parvati seemed rather proud, though I’m not sure why. “He’s been through so much. I’m sure a couple nutty girls have no effect on him at all!”
Lavender broke into a giggling fit. I rolled my eyes, the giggling was a warning to me that ‘gal talk’ was on its way.
I stood up abruptly. “I just remembered something! I left my quill in the library, see you all later!” I quickly darted out of the portrait hole before they could comment.
I was feeling agitated and I wasn’t very sure why.
“Maybe because it’s always about you. Isn’t it?!” I muttered under my breath as I walked through the library doors. “It’s always Harry Potter this and Harry Potter that! Really!” I marched over towards a tall dusty chestnut bookcase and let out a breath.
“I agree. It’s always about him isn’t it?”
I spun around in all directions, trying to find the source of the voice. I didn’t see anyone, and suddenly I felt awfully alone and the library didn’t feel too cozy. Madame Pince wasn’t around; coffee break perhaps?
“Are you spying on me? Whoever you are?” I hoped my voice had not been shaking and sounded firm enough to show that this stranger did not surprise me at the very least.
A chuckle came from somewhere around me. “Not at all. I just happen to be looking for some books for my herbology essay.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Why are you hiding then?”
“Well…” I heard shuffling towards my left and someone stepping out into view… “didn’t want to surprise you now, did I?”
Of course. I should have known! It was Harry. Who else had that voice? Who else hid from sight?
Instead of the cold expressionless look I had seen a few days back, he now wore an amused twinkle in his entrancing green eyes. He was clad in a deep forest green turtleneck sweater with black khakis, leaning aginst the bookcase slightly with one arm. In his other hand he held a book with a muggle wristwatch on his wrist.
“It’s you!” I exclaimed rather bluntly. Of course it was him you silly git.
He slowly walked towards one of the many tables of the library and took a seat. “That’s right Hermione Granger, it’s me.”
I stared at him wide eyed. “How do you know my name?”
He fixed his eyes on me. “Well, how do you know my name?”
I examined his facial expression, trying to see if he was joking or not. Yet his expression was serious, as if it was suppose to be that no one knew of his name. “How do I know? Oh…maybe because you’re Harry Potter!” I exclaimed incredously.
His features suddenly looked bitter. I shivered involuntarily. “So? Does that mean that every damn person I meet must know my name? Know my birthday? My favourite colour? There was even a time when people like you knew more about me than even myself.” He finally exhaled and the bitterness on his face vanished without a trace.
I bit my lip nervously. He obviously expected me to say something. “No.” I blurted out. “I mean…I don’t know what I mean actually.” I confessed exasperatedly . “But why are you making it sound like it’s so bad that everyone literally adores you? That’s why so many witches and wizards know your face, your birthday, your favourite colour! You’re a hero in their eyes.”
He snorted and ran a hand through his tousled dark hair. “Adore me? Ch, they don’t adore me. I’m a hero? Possibly, but you wouldn’t understand.”
I frowned, “Well maybe if you quit acting so creepy I will understand!” I crossed my arms and stared straight back at him without hesitation.
Harry still sat unfazed. Ginny was right again. Nothing seemed to startle him, nothing at all. “Yes, of course. After all, you’re Hermione Granger. You’d understand everything.”
My brow creased. “Are you mocking me?”
The boy-who-lived simply shifted his glasses. “No.” I didn’t hear anything but sincerity in his voice. I fell silent.
“You’re already top of the class in this short period of time, well, along side with me,” He smirked. “Answering the question you had a while back about your name? Well, you’re the new girl are you not? Naturally I’ll hear about you around the school quite a bit.”
Harry sat up straighter in his chair. “So now are you going to answer my question? It’s only fair.”
“I did already didn’t I?”
“Answer again then,” He simply replied.
I rolled my eyes. “How do I know your name? Hmmm…let me think…this is rather hard. Well maybe because the name Harry Potter is in a dozen million books, and maybe because this young man happens to have defeated you-know-who twice.” I stated matter-of-factly and was about to continue when Harry pulled his chair back and stood up.
“Yes, it’s always the same reason and story isn’t it?” He grumbled as he headed towards the doors of the library. “I had false hope in thinking maybe the second time round you would answer differently. It’s always about the books and the media.”
I watched as he pushed opened the doors to leave. “Wait!” I called. He stopped but didn’t turn. “Why hide in the shadows then? When you can have so much in the spotlight?” I couldn’t help myself. This question had nagged at me from the very start and I wanted an answer.
He seemed to be processing the question in his mind before he finally broke the silence. “The world of fame isn’t as glorious as it seems. You have to face reality. And reality is cruel.”
“Has it been cruel to you though?” I found it hard to believe that the great Harry Potter would think of life as a cruel thing.
The Slytherin boy was silent again, pondering over my question once again. But this time no reply came from him for he had abruptly walked through the doors without another word or even a good-bye.
One thing that Harry Potter definately needed to learn were manners!
But nonetheless, it finally dawned on me that I had just had an actual face to face conversation with the great savior of the whole wizarding world.
I kept my little conversation with Harry a secret. Though I had no reason to and I wasn’t ashamed about it or something, I just simply didn’t want two of my roomates to go all giddy around me. I could imagine Lavender fainting right then and there going “Goodness! The Harry Potter?!”
Girls. Sometimes I am rather ashamed to be part of this gender. Not that I wanted to be a boy.
“Oy! Hermione!” I looked over my shoulder. I saw the grinning face of Ron Weasley coming up to me with a rather excited look in his blue eyes. “Yes Ron?”
“Quidditch season is starting! Are you up for it?”
“What exactly does that mean?” I questioned.
Ron grinned from ear to ear. “I mean, are you going to try out?”
I stared at him as if he was a maniac. Was Ron crazy? “Hello Ron? You’re talking to who? You’re talking to Hermione Granger here. Miss Bookaholic.”
He laughed and shook his head, “Ah too bad then. It’s bloody fun you know! You get to fly around and beat those tiny little Slytherins into mushy pulps with bludgers…”
“Ron!” I glared at his disapprovingly and he sighed.
“Ok, nevermind about the bludger part. But other than that, Quidditch is really fun! You get to fly on a broomstick with the cool spring breeze whipping in your face and the cheers from the crowds makes your spirits rise and..”
“Stop!” I brought him back down to earth and giggled. “You looked so faraway!”
“Sorry,” He grinned sheepishly at me and we continued down the hallway towards Professor McGonagall’s classroom. “Ginny’s on the team you know? She’s a chaser, a really good one too.”
I smiled, “Really? I didn’t know.”
“Yeah, she tends to forget to introduce that part of herself to people.” He said. “Madame Hooch has just informed the captains of the teams about the first match. It’s Gryffindor versus Slytherin! Ha, those Slytherins think their all that but I’m not gonna let ’em win this time!”
“They won last year?”
Ron nodded grimly. “It’s all that Potter’s fault I tell you.”
“Uh huh,” He nodded quickly. “He got the position of the Slytherin Quidditch team captain last year. Something about Malfoy failing all of his courses except potions so Snape had to give the position to someone else which just had to be Harry Potter. And he’s bloody darn good!” Ron relunctantly confessed as we entered the Transfiguration classroom. “But this year, we’re prepared for any weird tricks that Potter’s gonna pull! Right Seamus?” He turned to face his friend that was already sitting in one of the many seats.
“Darn right Ron!” Seamus grinned at him and me. “Our little Ronny here is captain on our team, did you know that Hermione?”
“No,” I rolled my eyes. “And saying your sister tends to forget about introducing the Quidditch side of herself. Seems to me you forgot to tell me too.”
Ron just laughed and took his seat next to Dean and Seamus. I headed towards the front of the classroom where Neville Longbottom was sitting. I sometimes felt sorry for this guy since he seemed to have horrible memory and lacked friends.
“Hey Neville,” I greeted and placed my book bag beside my desk.
“Hi Hermione! Aren’t you excited? The first Quidditch match of the season is in two weeks time! Well I think it is at least…I’m not very sure if it was two weeks or three…err..” He looked rather thoughtful.
“Why is everyone such crazy Quidditch fans in this school?” I asked to no one in particular.
“Because! Harry’s on the team!!” Parvati squealed from behind me. “I’m so glad that the first match is Gryffindor versus Slytherin! I was starting to loose my memory of Harry on a broomstick since its been an entire two months since I’ve seen him on one!”
I was about to say something back at her but the sudden appearance of a familiar tabby cat silenced the room. When the cat finally reached the front of the classroom it instantly turned into Professor McGonagall in her sweeping emerald robes. “Good afternoon class.”
“Good afternoon Professor McGonagall,” The class chorused in fake excitement, though mine was not fake at all. We had Transfiguration with the Hufflepuffs and they weren’t hard to get along with.
“Right now,” She clapped her hands together. “I want you all to go back into the groups you were in last class to continue on trying to transfigure spools of thread into mice.”
I heard Lavender squeak and whisper, “And I thought we were done with that.” to Parvati.
Justin Finch-Fletchley came up to me and took the seat the Neville had just abandoned to join his partner. “Ok, we’ve only got five more to go.” He said while placing the five spools of thread in front of me and a cage of mice on his desk. There had been ten spools of thread in the frist place, but we had sucessfully got five of them to change into mice. I found it rather unique that the tails of the mice were different coloured according to the colour of thread the spool they had once been were.
I brought out my wand, “Great, so only five more to go.”
“Yep,” He smiled and followed my lead.
As I placed a spool of grass green thread in front of me, Justin decided to break my concentration. “Isn’t it exciting? Quidditch season..”
“Yes, yes, yes! I know, it’s starting,” I cut him off rather rudely and blushed. “Sorry, I’ve just been hearing that for the past hour.”
“Oh, I see,” He nodded with understanding. “Yes, but it’s starting rather early this year.”
I shrugged, I wouldn’t know. “So…are you on the team?” I decided to ask to start some friendly conversation.
“Yeah! I’m a Beater, strained my arm a dozen times! We’re having tryouts to get a new Keeper though since Cedric Diggory graduated last year and he was keeper.” Justin explained rather excitedly. “I just hope we won’t have to play against the Slytherins.”
“Why not?” I asked with interest.
“Because they play so violently! You should watch them this upcoming match and you’ll understand what I mean. It was even more violent when Draco Malfoy had been the captain. I’m kind of glad Harry replaced him. But he’s really good which makes their team almost unbeatable!” Justin sighed as he waved his wand over a spool of purple thread and it instantly turned into a broomstick. He grinned, “Guess we better stop thinking about Quidditch.”
“Right,” I agreed and went back to transfiguring my spool of thread which I managed to change into a mouse instantly. I carefully picked it up and dropped it into the cage. “Go join your little friends.”
Justin chuckled, “You don’t scream when you’re around mice?”
“No, why would you say that?”
He pointed over towards Lavender and Parvati’s table in which they were nearly shrieking when they managed to transfigure their spool of thread into half a mouse with its head still a spool. “Because you’re a girl and it’s a universal fear for girls.”
I whipped my wand over another spool. “Well it doesn’t mean I have to be like them does it?” I snapped. “Oh gosh I’m sorry for snapping. It just frustrates me when people compare me to…well…I’m not saying that Lavender and Parvati are bad or anything but..”
Justin nodded, “I understand.”
“Good,” I smiled and dropped another mouse into the cage. “Well they both get all giddy when they talk about Harry and I think it’s not that big of a deal. I didn’t get that giddy when I talked with him.”
“You talked with him?” Justin asked with surprise written across his face.
I blushed, “Well in a way yes…”
“Wow, that’s rare. I mean rare for Harry to talk to someone who’s not in the same house as him. Especially a Gryffindor!” He exclaimed. “I think he might like you.” He added rather softly.
I stared at him incredously. “No way! I’m just Hermione. We just bumped in the library and we just accidentally started talking.”
“Accidentally started a conversation? That makes alot of sense Hermione,” Justin said sarcastically but then lowered his voice. “But I would be careful if I were you. It’s not everyday that you see Harry Potter speaking to a girl. And no offense, but to a girl as smart as you, to put it nicely. It’s just he doesn’t have many female friends, possibly none.”
I nodded numbly but frustration was evident on my face. “I’ll make my own descisions on who I need to watch out for, thank you.” And this time I didn’t apologize for snapping at him and I wasn’t very sure why.