Harry was so busy with class, homework, helping Neville, and Quidditch, that Halloween seemed to have snuck up on her. By that time, she and Ron had completely lost whatever friendship they had once had. Harry spent most of her time with Neville or the Weasley twins, and Ron was never seen without Dean and Seamus. Harry had been used several times by the twins as an alibi, and had checked out at least ten books from the library for them. She'd had to search their room for the latest set in order to return them on time, something she hoped she'd never have to do again since walking in their room was like trying to navigate a prank mine-field while wearing a blindfold . On occasion, they'd even used her to set up pranks for them - usually while they were in detention so that they couldn't be blamed. The only downside to her helping the twins out was that the teachers - and Filch - would sometimes regard her suspiciously, even though she knew she'd not once slipped up and left a clue to indicate that it was her who had slipped the dungbombs into all of the girl's loos or tracked bright purple and orange paint all over the corridor leading to the library (including the ceiling).

Halloween dawned surprisingly sunny, although gusty winds kept the weather cool. Transfiguration was spent turning beetles into buttons, and Harry had fun making different patterns, much to Hermione's frustration as the other girl could only manage a plain black.

Charms, however, was much more to Hermione's liking. Over the course of the two months Harry had spent at Hogwarts, she had discovered that Hermione was much better at Charms than she was, no questions asked. Hermione was still disgruntled, however, that Harry could beat her hands down at Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts, and hold her own in Potions. At breakfast one day, Harry had overheard Professor McGonagall telling the Headmaster that Harry had inherited both her Father's skills at Transfiguration and her Mother's innate talent in Potions. She had gone the rest of the day with a euphoric feeling radiating from her chest, and had vowed then and there to be best in her class at both.

Professor Flitwick had been going over wrist movements for the entire two weeks before Halloween, and the entire class was eager to try the spell, which would make objects float.

"Remember that nice swish-and-flick motion we've been practicing," the tiny professor squeaked from atop his stack of books." He demonstrated the motion easily. "And don't forget the incantation, Wingardium Leviosa. Enunciate the vowels!" He flicked his wand, which was abnormally long for his small stature, and a feather appeared in front of each pair of students. Harry had been teamed up with Seamus, Neville with Dean, and Ron, to his immense horror, with Hermione Granger.

As she and Seamus took it in turns to try and get the feather to float, Harry could hear Hermione scolding Ron. "…stop waving your arms like that! You'll put someone's eye out! And besides, you're saying it wrong. It's Leviosa, not Leviosa." Harry took her advice, and to her surprise, the long white feather she and Seamus had been practicing on floated a few inches off the table before gently drifting back.

"Nice one," Seamus said appreciatively, waving his own wand in an attempt at the charm, but Harry was still listening to Hermione and Ron's blossoming argument.

"You try, then, if you're so clever," Ron sneered. Harry winced. With Hermione's skills at Charms, there was no way it wasn't going to work.

She turned in her seat to watch, and Seamus copied her motions. They watched together as Hermione rolled up her sleeves, cleared her throat, and said, in a precise voice. "Wingardium Leviosa." With a swish and flick of her wand, the feather, a brown eagle owl from the looks of it, started to rise through the air at Hermione's direction.

"Well done, well done!" Professor Flitwick applauded. "Look here, class, Miss Granger's done it!" Hermione beamed, and Harry had to admit that she had a right to - without her advice, she doubted she would have been able to make the feather do anything so soon. Hermione was a natural at Charms, just as Harry was at Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts. Ron scowled and put his head on his stacked fists, refusing to so much as look at his partner.

As they exited the Charms classroom, Harry and Neville stayed with Dean and Seamus and Ron, even though Harry and Ron still hadn't really talked to each other besides a curt "Good morning" and "Good night" each day.

"She's a nightmare!" Ron complained loudly as they entered the courtyard on their way to the Great Hall for lunch. "It's no wonder she hasn't got any friends." Someone knocked into Harry's shoulder, and she caught a glimpse of a tear-streaked face surrounded by bushy brown hair.

"I think she heard you," Harry said softly, watching Hermione run off.

"So what - it's true" Ron said defiantly, but Harry thought he looked slightly uncomfortable as he said it.

That night, Harry sat in between Fred and Neville, with Lee and George opposite them. The Great Hall was decorated so festively that Harry hardly even recognized it. Thousands of live bats flitted around the room, obscuring the eerie black and purple ceiling, and pumpkins that could fit a grown man inside them had been carved and filled with candles. The tables were packed with all sorts of sweets and candies, and the House banners had all been changed to orange and black.

As Fred served Harry a large slice of pumpkin spice cake, she realized that she hadn't seen Hermione all afternoon.

"Where's Hermione?" she asked Neville, who was happily, if messily, eating a candied apple.

"In the second-floor loo," Parvati answered from Neville's other side, leaning around him to better see Harry. "She's been in there, crying, all afternoon," she whispered. "She won't tell anyone why, though," she added with a slight frown. Harry had to sympathize with Hermione - she was extra glad she had escaped rooming with the Gryffindor girls. All the gossip would have driven her mad.

"I'll go take her some cake," she said, placing the slice Fred had just served her in a napkin and standing up. "It's not right that she should miss the Halloween feast over a stupid remark." Parvati perked up at the mention of a possible reason for Hermione's crying jag, but Harry didn't elaborate.

"Want to come?" she asked Neville.

"Err. She's in a girls bathroom," the boy pointed out.

"So?" Harry asked defiantly. "It's not like anyone's going to be around to notice."

"Exactly," Fred agreed, nodding sagely. "As long as you're not caught, anything goes."

"Just so, brother mine," George agreed. Harry looked at them, but they shook their heads. "We're not coming - this particular assortment of sweets won't be seen again 'till next year," George explained seriously.

"We've made a study," Fred added, equally straight-faced. Harry shrugged and left down the aisle between the Hufflepuff and Gryffindor tables, ignoring the stares she attracted as she left the feast.

As Harry navigated her way to the second floor, she thought about Hermione's life so far at Hogwarts, and found herself pitying the other girl. She berated herself for not being nicer, although the bossiness did make it difficult. Even so, she told herself, no-one deserves to be alone all the time, especially on a holiday like Halloween.

During her first month at Hogwarts, Harry had forced herself to learn where all of the girls bathrooms were - just in case - and 'helping' Fred and George had only cemented the knowledge. Now, she used that knowledge and headed straight to the only working girls bathroom on the second floor. The other loo on the second floor, as all of the girls knew, was Moaning Myrtle's.

"Hello?" Harry called through the door. "Hermione? Are you there?"

"Go away." Hermione's voice was raw from crying.

"Look, I'm sorry for what Ron said," Harry continued, stepping in and following the sound of quiet sniffles. "He's an insensitive prat and is most likely just jealous."

"What do you know?" Harry smiled to herself - at least Hermione was getting defensive now.

"You're talking to Harry Potter, who, according to Ron, is an attention-seeking know-it-all. Almost the same as what he says about you, actually." Casually, Harry leaned up against a sink. "I've got a slice of cake," she said. "It'll make you feel better. Sweets always make you feel better - isn't that what girls say?" Harry knew she had to do something to help cover her tracks. She was being entirely too sympathetic for the typical eleven-year-old boy.

Finally, the middle door opened and Hermione stepped out. Her hair was the frizziest Harry had ever seen it, and her eyes were red and swollen from crying. Harry didn't say anything, just held out the cake. Gingerly, Hermione took it.

"Thanks," she said, still sniffing a little. "You're awfully nice for a boy."

"I try," Harry said, waving the complement off as she had seen Alex do. As Hermione started on the cake, Harry spoke again. "Look, I'm really sorry for not being nicer - "

"It's all right," Hermione interrupted. "I'm used to a lot worse. Back at my old school people called me all sorts of horrible names." Her eyes started to tear up again, but she kept going. "And so when I got the letter, I promised myself to be less of a know-it-all, but then I was just so excited and I couldn't help myself and then you were actually challenging me in Transfigurations and Potions and you understood Defense Against the Dark Arts better than I did and I just don't want to be stupid."

Harry waited for her to take a breath before cutting in. "It's fine," she said. "Let's just forget it and start over. Friends?" She offered the dumbfounded girl her hand. Hermione ignored it and flung herself at Harry, who stumbled as she caught the other girls hug, the half-eaten cake dropping to the floor. "Geez!" Harry managed to get out.

"Yes, yes! I'll be the best friend you've ever had!"

"Might be kinda hard," Harry warned, rubbing her ribs when Hermione let her go. "I've got a twin."

"Oh." Hermione thought for a moment. "Well, I'll be the best friend you've ever had that's not related to you."

Harry smiled. "Neville won't be happy. Well, maybe he will. You're scads better at Charms than I am."

"Oh. Does he need help?" Hermione looked pleased at the thought.

"He always asks me, so you shouldn't be too different," Harry said. "Why don't you wash up and we can go ask him ourselves." Hermione did as suggested, and together they headed towards the door.

"Oh, Harry!" Hermione shrieked. "You'll get in trouble! This is a girls bathroom!"

"Everyone's at the feast, Hermione," Harry said. "And I've done worse in the past two months than be caught in a girl's bathroom." Fred and George hadn't been joking when they'd said she owed them. Harry shuddered - if Snape ever found out…

Hermione looked slightly horrified. "But - you're such a good student!"

"Good student doesn't necessarily mean model behavior." They reached the door, and a funny smell hit Harry's nose. "What that smell?" she asked, reaching for the handle.

"I don't know," Hermione admitted. "It's a bit…moldy, don't you think?"

Harry opened the door, and let out a very girly shriek before slamming it shut again. "Go, go!" she yelled. "Get back!" Hermione just stared at her, so Harry grabbed her arm and pulled her to the very back of the room. They had only barely gotten into the corner when the door smashed open, splinters flying all over the room. The smell intensified, and Hermione let out her own shriek of terror at the large, ugly troll that lumbered through the door.

"What is it?" she whimpered.

"Mountain troll," Harry answered faintly, watching as the troll sniffed the air. She wondered how it could smell anything over its own putrid stench.

"What do we do? What do we do?" Hermione asked in a high-pitched, panicked voice. Harry shook her head, lost for words.

"I don't even know how it got in. They're supposed to be really stupid." The troll took a heavy step in their direction, and Hermione grabbed Harry's arm with both hands.

"Get off," Harry said, shaking her arm to make the other girl let her go. "I'm thinking." She pulled out her wand, and thought over all the spells she knew she could cast. Desperate, she pointed her want at one of the larger pieces of the door and used the very first spell she'd learned in Transfiguration. "Acumuto," she nearly yelled, and watched in fascination as the piece of wood shimmered as it turned into a giant needle, slightly larger than the length of her arm. She picked it up with her left hand, surprised at how heavy it was.

The floor trembled as the troll took another step forward, and Harry was jolted from her inspection of her enormous needle. "Back!" she yelled, lunging forward and stabbing the troll's leg. It roared angrily and took a swipe at her and Hermione with its large, knobby club. Harry just managed to push Hermione out of the way, but her needle-sword was knocked from her hand as the club whooshed overhead. The club collided with two of the three sinks, and water sprayed into the air as the pipes broke, porcelain shards flying like small daggers across the room.

"I don't want to die, I don't want to die!" Hermione moaned, her eyes squeezed shut.

"You're not going to die!" Harry hissed as she stood up, wand raised before her. A flashback of that mornings' Charms lesson darted through her head. It's Leviosa, not Leviosa. With a swish and flick of her wand, Harry directed the spell at the trolls' club and bellowed "Wingardium Leviosa!" at the top of her lungs. She watched in awe as the troll swung its fist again, but the club stayed where it had been, hovering in the air. Concentrating, Harry directed the club to rise up to the ceiling directly above the troll's head. The mountain troll looked at its' fist stupidly, then turned its' head wildly from side to side, trying to find its weapon. Finally, it looked up, just in time to get a brief glance of its club, right before it landed directly between its eyes.

"MOVE!" Harry yelled, grabbing Hermione's wrist and dragging her out of the path of the falling troll. They barely made it to safety before the troll landed, but lost their footing in the resulting shaking its massive body caused. Harry landed squarely on her Transfigured needle, and she took it in her hand as she helped Hermione to her feet.

"Is it…dead?" Hermione asked, freeing her hand from Harry's and peering fearfully at the troll.

Harry stepped forward and leaned over the troll. "I don't think so," she said. "Just knocked out." She strengthened her grip on her needle-sword and started towards the door. "We should get out of here before it wakes up." Hermione nodded fervently and jogged over. They had barely made it past the troll's feet when a panting Professor McGonagall appeared in the doorway.

"Oh, my," was all she seemed able to say as she took in the fallen troll, Harry with her make-shift sword, and a terrified, slightly bloody Hermione. Her hand fluttered towards her wand but she didn't draw. At that moment, Professors Snape, Flitwick, Sprout, and Quirrell came up behind her. Harry stood silently as Professor Snape's face contorted into a sneer. Flitwick was too busy tying up the troll, and Sprout merely gaped. Professor Quirrell sank weakly onto the nearest seat, which happened to be an overturned toilet. Harry hadn't realized how much of a mess their fight had caused.

"What is the meaning of this!" Professor McGonagall finally managed to get out. "Potter, Granger, why weren't you at the feast with the rest of the students."

"I - I," Harry started, trying to decide if Ron would get in trouble if she told the truth. As roommates, they had an unspoken pact to never get each other in trouble if they could avoid it.

"It was my fault, Professor," Hermione spoke up. Even Snape looked surprised. "I was upset with my Charms work and came in here to practice. Harry came looking for me when he saw I wasn't at the feast - "

"How touching," Snape muttered, but no one paid him any attention.

" - and we were just about to leave when the troll came in." Harry, whose brain had finally caught up, nodded fervently and picked up the story.

"I did the first thing I could think of, and Transfigured a piece of wood into a needle," she said, twitched the needle-sword. Professor McGonagall had a look of pleasant shock on her face as she saw the size of the Transfigured object.

Snape, on the other hand, sneered. "Typical Gryffindor foolishness. It would have been better to Disarm the beast."

"We haven't learned how to do that yet," Harry said calmly, even though inside she was mentally raging at the Potions professor for being such an insensitive wart. "And it didn't really work, anyways," she added wryly. "So I thought back to what Hermione had said in Charms and used a Hovering Charm on its club and knocked it out." Professor Flitwick was now the one with a pleased expression.

"Very well," Professor McGonagall said at last. "Ms. Granger, you would do well to attend feasts in the future. For now, go see Madam Pomfrey and get your cuts tended to." Hermione nodded obediently and left, smiling sheepishly at Harry as she did. Once Hermione's bushy, and now slightly dusty, hair had vanished from the room, McGonagall turned to Harry. "Mr. Potter, five points from Gryffindor for not attempting to contact a professor. Every first year knows that one must only touch their wand to the castle walls and call for your Head of House." Harry's mouth opened in a silent 'oh'. "Fifteen points to Gryffindor for excellent use of Transfiguration and Charms-work in a stressful situation." Harry closed her mouth with a snap.

"Th - thank you," she stuttered.

"That's it?" Snape snarled. "No punishment for using magic outside of class or for destroying a bathroom?"

"Severus," Professor Sprout said, speaking for the first time since seeing the troll. "I'm sure you'll agree that a bathroom destroyed is a small price to pay for two students' lives." Snape nodded curtly after a small hesitation. Harry had to wonder what it was the man had against her, since she had never done anything to him (the shoes hadn't been her idea).

"I'm sorry for the bathroom," Harry offered half-heartedly. In truth, she couldn't care less. But Remus, while he'd still been there, had drilled into both her and Alex how important it was to apologize. "Look, I'll clean it up." She frowned, concentration hard on how the bathroom had been before the fight, and before any of the professors could object, made the sweeping motion that accompanied the Mending Charm. "Reparo," she said clearly, and watched with fascination as toilet stalls flew back together, and water stopped spraying as the pipes magically repaired themselves. The needle in her hand strained towards the doors, and when she let it go, it transformed back into a large sliver of wood midair before slotting itself back where it belonged. "That was cool," she said when everything had stopped moving, breaking the silence that seemed extra loud after the loud squelches and clinks of the mending sinks, toilets, and various woodwork.

"Oh, bravo!" Professor Flitwick squealed, the first of the teachers to recover from the shock of seeing such a small child perform a powerful feat of magic. "Ten points to Gryffindor!" Snape looked like he wanted to blow something up. Harry swayed, slightly dizzy from her large expenditure of magic. Professor McGonagall reached out and caught her shoulders, steadying her.

"Mr. Potter," she chided, although a look of immense pride was in her eyes. "That was very foolish of you to attempt such a large undertaking. You could have caused yourself serious harm, especially with the blood loss you have already sustained." Harry looked down, and was surprised to see that she, like Hermione, was covered with multiple shallow lacerations.

"Oh," she said. "I didn't know." Snape snorted in disbelief.

"Regardless," Professor McGonagall continued, "That was very impressive, and the points were well earned. I will walk you to the Hospital Wing for your wounds to be looked at. Filius, Pomona, Severus, take care of the troll." As the three professor moved forward, Harry caught sight of a nasty tear in Snape's trousers, and saw blood seeping from what looked like a giant bite wound. Before she could look closer, Professor McGonagall was sweeping her from the room.

Part-way to the Hospital Wing, Harry panicked - she was going the one place she and Alex had agreed that she should avoid at all costs. The matron, Madam Pomfrey, would be able to tell with a single spell that she was not, in fact, a boy.

"No," Harry said out loud, struggling against Professor McGonagall's grip.

"What is it, Potter?" the Transfiguration teacher asked immediately, concern evident in her voice.

"I can't go there! I can't!" Harry knew she was panicking but couldn't get a hold on her emotions. She was just too tired, and felt like the walls were slowly fading into black.

"Where can't you go, Potter?" Professor McGonagall bent down to look into Harry's eyes. "The Hospital Wing?" she asked softly.

Harry nodded fervently. "I can't go there!" she repeated.

"You have no choice," said Professor McGonagall sternly. "Your wounds need tending."

"No! I can't!" Harry knew she would have to offer something more, so she lied, feeling horrible as she did so. "Mummy died - they couldn't help her! I can't go there!" Professor McGonagall took a step back, shocked beyond words.

"Harry," she said, using Harry's name for the first time. "I'm afraid you have to. Otherwise we'll be obligated to call your father."

Harry knew she was caught - there was no way she could let her father see her; he would know the second he saw her. "No. Don't call Father." She straightened her shoulders, took a deep breath, and said, "I'll go." The black at the edges of her vision was starting to get larger, and she had barely taken her first step towards the Hospital Wing before she collapsed to the floor, the darkness swarming over her.

Harry woke up slowly. She was comfortable and warm and she no longer ached or felt like she had swallowed a gallon of sand. With a large yawn, she turned on her side and snuggled into the cleanly starched blankets. Starched? Harry's eyes snapped open and she groped for her glasses. Finding them on the bedside table next to her, she jammed them onto her nose. Her stomach sank as she looked around. She was in the Hospital Wing, the one place she hadn't wanted to go. And, she had arrived unconscious.

Pushing herself upright, Harry picked up her wand, which was also on the bedside table. As she brought it to her lap, her arm muscles screamed at her - she had over-extended herself last night. She inspected her wand - there was a small scratch on the otherwise pristine wood that hadn't been there before.

"Potter." Harry jerked her head up and met the irate eyes of a very stern-faced Madam Pomfrey.

"Madam Pomfrey," Harry replied. After a few seconds, she asked, "What time is it?"

"Six in the morning," the matron answered. Her lips thinned. "And we need to talk." She flicked her wand around them. "Silencing Charm," she stated at Harry's enquiring glance. And then Harry knew that Madam Pomfrey had found her out. Hands on her hips, Madam Pomfrey turned to her. "What are you playing at?" she asked, eyes narrowed. "You are a girl. Why on Merlin's good Earth are you dressed as a boy?"

After brief hesitation, Harry told the truth. "I want to play Quidditch," she stated boldly. Madam Pomfrey's brows came together in a frown.

"But you're a girl," she blurted out, then clamped her lips together.

"Are - are you going to tell?" Harry made sure to open her eyes wide and to blink up at the older woman.

The look, which worked wonders on her father, seemed to affect the nurse as well. Her features softened infinitesimally as she looked down at Harry. "I won't," she promised. Madam Pomfrey drew herself up proudly. "I took an oath when I took this badge," she said, fingering the crossed wand and bone brooch at her throat. "I divulge no information without the patient's permission."

Harry relaxed. "Thank you."

"I'm not doing it for you, Mr. Potter." Madam Pomfrey gave Harry a tight smile before taking down the Silencing Charm and walking away.

"Wait," Harry called after her. "When can I leave?"

"Whenever you like," Madam Pomfrey replied from her office door. "You were fine about four hours ago, and I wanted to speak with you. Besides," she said sniffily, "you were sleeping." She vanished into her chambers.

Harry hopped out of her bed and found her clothes, holey but cleanly washed. With fast, conservative movements, she dressed herself, and then left. The abandoned halls outside were dark and unlit, giving the castle an eerie mood.

The common room was empty, and she made her way up the stairs. In her room, the four boys were asleep, and soft snores permeated the air. With a grateful sigh, Harry dropped her wand on her bed-side table and collapsed on top of the covers without bothering to get undressed. She'd have time for that later.

Since the incident with the troll was supposed to be secret, the entire school knew some version of what had happened by lunch the next day. Harry was mobbed by boys asking to see her sword (although how they had found out about it was beyond her), and Hermione was bombarded with questions of whether or not she and Harry were dating, especially when she sat with Harry and Neville the next morning. Accordingly, in order to escape the students' hounding, Harry spent as much of her time as possible in the library, where Madam Pince kept out anyone who spoke in a voice louder than a whisper.

Oliver Wood and the Weasley twins hunted her down, the former to make sure she would be fit to play in the first game of the season, nearly a month away, and the latter to congratulate her on successfully making so much chaos. The twins were very impressed with her Transfiguration skills, and proceeded to interrogate her as to which classes were her best subjects. When she told them Potions and Transfiguration, they gave her speculative looks and slunk off, whispering frantically to each other.

The three and a half weeks until the first match of the season, Gryffindor versus Slytherin, were marked by an ever-increasing amount of practices. Towards the end, Harry traipsed out to the Quidditch field every night of the week, and every morning on weekends. She was immensely grateful that Hermione was now her friend; without her, Harry doubted she would have been able to complete her homework on time, and Neville's grades would have suffered dramatically as well. Luckily, Hermione was only too pleased to be able to help her academic rival complete the assignments, although she (rather smugly) refused to do the work for her. Harry was glad - she wanted to do well on her own - but Quidditch came before homework any and every day of the week.

As Oliver had promised at their very first practice, the Gryffindor House Quidditch Team was the best team at school. They steamrolled Slytherin, ending with a score of 360-40, much to Slytherin's dismay and the crowd's exuberance. The only interesting part of the game was Harry's spectacular dive for the Snitch, where she beat out the Slytherin Seeker by at least three body lengths. Harry felt slightly guilty, as part of what allowed her to fly so much faster was her slimmer body - as a girl, she had nowhere near the body mass of even the lightest boy on the pitch.

As she pulled out of her dive, near the Gryffindor stands, she heard Neville call out, "Nice catch, Harry!", from his spot beside Hermione, who waved and smiled at her as well. Harry waved back, Snitch still clutched in her hand, until Fred and George came and pinned her between their bodies, steering her down towards the locker room. "Party in the common room!" they yelled out together. Those Gryffindors close enough to hear cheered even louder.

Fred and George's party was nothing like Harry had ever experienced. Girls came up to her and kissed her on the cheeks, praising her for her skills. Harry blushed whenever this happened, to the great amusement of the rest of the team, but only Fred and George knew the real reason why. They purposefully sent girls her way, and she ended up glaring at them over a crowd of admirers, including a very fervent Lavender Brown.

Finally, she'd had enough and managed to escape upstairs to her room. It was empty, so she collapsed onto her bed with a tired sigh. Still in her Quidditch jersey, the one that had belonged to her godfather all those years ago, Harry closed her eyes and fell asleep.

Nov. 1
Dear Alex,

Yesterday I had a bit of a run-in with a mountain troll in a girl's bathroom. Dad may or may
not be writing you about it, since I think Professor McGonagall notified him that I was injured.
Nothing major, just a few scratches and a mild case of magical exhaustion. I Transfigured a
large chunk of wood into a needle, but it was more like a sword. It was useless against the troll,
and I ended up using the Levitation Charm to knock it out with its own club. In case Dad asks.

Hermione Granger is my friend now. She's a bit bossy and really clever, and doesn't like to be
out-smarted. She was jealous of me for being better than her in Transfiguration and Defense
Against the Dart Arts, and drawing even in Potions. But she's like you and the twins - really good
at Charms. She and Neville just met this morning, and already they get on really well since she
likes to help people and Neville, well, Neville needs help in everything except Herbology. He's
amazing in the greenhouses - the plants grow like nothing else! I think Professor Sprout wants to
adopt him. I'll tell you more about the troll this summer. Give me an update on your classes, please.
I'll write Dad so he doesn't get too worried about me. Have you made any new friends besides Jonah?



Nov. 4
Harry -

I can't believe you fought a troll! That's so cool! I've told all my friends about it and they're
super impressed. Of course, they all think you're a boy so they don't know the half of it. I'm
glad you're all right, and I won't even ask why you were in a girl's bathroom.

Thanks for telling me about Hermione. She's sounds nice. I've made two new friends, Simon
Fischer and Rémi Lefebvre. Simon was born in America but grew up in South Africa, and Rémi is
French. Si is even better than me at Charms, and Rémi is here on scholarship for Potions. Classes
are good. We just had our first round of tests, a sort of way to see how we're doing. I've had to
sign up for extra lessons for Transfiguration, but I'll tell Dad myself this summer so he can't try and
reach McGonagall about it. Everything else is just fine. There aren't very many girls here, just so
you know. In the entire first year class, there's only six. The other fifteen of us are boys. I don't
know the girls very well, since they tend to stick together. I do know that one of them is named
Diana, and there's also one called Birdy, but I don't know what her real name is.

- Alex

Nov. 6
Dear Dad,

The first round of tests just finished. I did well on everything, although I am still having some
difficulties with Charms. I've made two new friends, Rémi Lefebvre and Simon Fischer. They're
both really nice. Simon is really good at Charms, and Rémi is here on a scholarship for Potions.
He's even better than I am! The girls here aren't really personable, maybe because I've only ever
been around boys. Plus there's only seven of us total. Yesterday, Jonah and I were studying the
stars, and I saw a comet!



Nov. 14
Dear Harriet,

It relieves me to hear that you are making friends, even if they are all boys. Rémi sounds very nice,
and maybe you can ask Simon for help in Charms. Jonah seems like a gentleman, and it is very
kind of him to help you so much with Astronomy. Give him my regards.


Your Father

Nov. 24
Alex -

WE WON THE MATCH! 360 to 40!

- Harry