Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Other citations will be made where necessary
It was a new year, and the great hall chattered endlessly. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were among them, eating happily.
"Another year," Hermione said cheerily.
Ron sighed. "Yes. Too true."
"Aren't you happy?" Hermione asked.
Ron glared at her. "No!"
"Well, ok," Hermione said. "You don't have to be like that… how about you, Harry?"
Harry grinned. "I'm away from the Dursleys, that's all that matters."
Hermione smiled at him. "See, Ron? You don't have to be so negative."
He glared at her.
"Ok, fine, I didn't say anything."
Hermione woke up the next morning in a very cheery mood. She loved the first days of new years. It was the most wonderful feeling to open her new books, smell their brand-new book scent, put her books in her backpack, wake up beside Parvarti and Lavender, seeing Hogwarts again, and even that nervous feeling that trickled down her back. That's the way Hermione was, and she couldn't help it.
She went down to breakfast, and found Harry and Ron there.
"Good morning!" she said happily, sitting down next to them.
"Morning," Ron mumbled, picking at his bacon.
Hermione glanced at Harry. He shrugged. "Ron doesn't like the first mornings," he whispered.
Hermione nodded, and loaded her plate with mashed potatoes. "What do we have now?" she asked, seeing Harry was checking his time table.
He groaned. "Potions."
"Oh," she said sympathetically. "Don't worry, Harry. It won't be so bad."
He glared at her.
She shrugged. "Or maybe it will."
Harry, Ron, and Hermione walked towards the dungeons. The dark, twisting hallways were damp and chilly. When they came to the corridor outside potions class, they found a familiar scene: Slytherins leaning against one wall, Gryffindors leaning against the other. The members of each house glared at the members of the other house defiantly, as if daring each other to say something, or do something.
They walked ahead, and as they passed Draco Malfoy, he took out his wand and pointed it at Harry. "Accio glasses!" he whispered.
Harry's glasses shot into the air and into Draco's hand.
"Give them back, Malfoy," Harry said, turning around and bumping into Ron.
"What? This?" Draco sneered, dangling the glasses between his fingers.
Pansy Parkinson giggled.
"Now," Hermione hissed, getting out her wand.
Draco smirked. "What will you do, Mudblood?"
Now Ron got out his wand, and pointed it at Draco.
Right at that moment, Snape came, and saw two Gryffindors pointing their wands at a Slytherin.
He shook his head, smiling unpleasantly. "My, my," he said in a dead whisper. "What do we have here?"
Ron and Hermione lowered their wands.
"Ten points from Gryffindor," Snape said, opening the classroom door.
The class poured in, and Draco threw Harry's glasses into the air.
Harry caught them.
"Oily-haired git," Ron muttered, walking out of potions class. "Long-nosed toad, Big-headed-"
"Ron!" Hermione said.
"Twenty pages," Ron went on. "Twenty pages!"
"Yes Ron," Hermione said, sighing. "Twenty pages."
They walked out of the castle towards Hagrid's hut. It was Care of Magical Creatures next.
It was a nice, sunny September day. A few clouds sailed in the air, making it a beautiful morning.
As they got closer to Hagrid's hut, they could see Hagrid smiling at them.
"Hi there!" he yelled.
"Hi Hagrid!" Harry yelled back.
When they got close enough, Hagrid bent down. "Got a surprise fer ye," he whispered.
"Oh no," Ron said. "Not that, please-"
"I'm sure the class will like it," Hagrid went on. "Ye'll see."
When the rest of the Gryffindors and Slytherins came, Hagrid started talking.
"Welcome ter a new year!" he said. "I got a surprise fer ye today!"
The class started muttering.
"Wait till ye see it!" Hagrid said. He bent down, and, from a box that was next to him, got what seemed to be a small, blue ball. He put it between his index finger and his thumb to show the class.
"Now this here is a Joggart egg," he said, beaming. "Can anyone tell me what a Joggart is?"
Hermione's hand shot into the air, as usual. "Joggarts are similar to Boggarts." she said with her usual tone of superiority. "Only, instead of turning into your worst nightmare, they turn into the thing you most like. Unlike Boggarts, though, they don't change automatically. You have to tickle them in the center of the black spot they have in their tummies."
"Very good," Hagrid said. "Ten points fer Gryffindor."
Hermione beamed with pleasure. Ron looked at her with an annoyed expression.
"The Joggarts will be smaller than this here egg," Hagrid went on. "But they'll grow in a few months. At first they won't have any black spot on their tummies, but it'll grow. Now, erm… it will change on the thing ye most like depending on yerselves. If yer liking for that thing is really powerful, then the Joggart will turn into it at their first tickle. If not, then ye'll have ter keep trying. They'll hatch in about a week. Any questions?"
"Ok then," he got the box. "Joggarts are rare, they are. So's ye'll have ter work in pairs. One Joggart fer each pair. Oh, and ye'll have ter make a report about it. You know… write its progress, its changes, and everything. And ye'll also have ter find out what it eats. Now choose yer partner."
There was the usual scramble there is when a teacher tells you to choose a partner. Harry and Ron instantly chose each other. Hermione didn't mind. She was used to being left out when it came to pairs. She looked around to see if anyone was available. Everyone was calling out to each other. No one seemed to be alone.
"Hermione!" Hagrid yelled. "Come here!"
Hermione obediently walked towards Hagrid. He was standing next to Draco Malfoy.
"Do ye have a partner?" Hagrid asked her.
She shook her head, dreading the worst.
"Malfoy here doesn't, either. Ye'll have ter work with him," he said, giving her an egg, and leaned over. "Do ye mind too much?" he whispered.
Mind? Did she mind?! Of course she did mind! Hagrid was crazy to even ask.
She shook her head weakly. "No, I um… don't"
Hagrid beamed at her, and hit her on the back playfully, which sent her flying towards Draco, and just missing crashing into him by an inch. "That's the spirit!" and he left.
Now there were alone.
Draco eyed her coldly.
She looked at him helplessly.
He just glared at her, as if she had something to do with being partners.
There was only silence, while everyone else talked.
What should she do?
She couldn't just stand here, not doing anything!
She finally smiled awkwardly. "So, um," she said. "Who keeps the egg?"
Draco stared at her without saying anything.
She shifted from one foot to another, and glanced at him.
He was still looking at her with his usual arrogant face.
"Well," Draco said.
She jumped a little. He had broken the silence so suddenly!
"Since you already touched it, mudblood, you keep it."
She glared at him. He still had his arrogant expression fixed on his face.
A bell rang in the castle.
"Tell me when it hatches," Draco said, and left.
Hermione spent all week looking at the Joggart egg. She kept it safely in one of her drawers, in a little bed she had made for it. Several times a day, she looked at it eagerly to see if it had hatched. But no luck.
Harry and Ron said she was obsessed with it.
"I am not!" she protested when they were talking about it in the common room.
"Hermione," Ron said. "You made a bed for it."
"So?" she asked defiantly "It may need to be comfortable, and-"
"I don't think it can feel anything," Ron went on. "Since it's inside its shell!"
"How would you now?" Hermione asked. "You're not a Joggart!"
Ron laughed at this. "No," he said, still laughing. "I'm not a Joggart, am I?"
She looked at Harry, as if expecting him to say something to Ron.
"Well, um…" Harry said. "Oh, come on, Hermione! It's a Joggart, not a mouse, or… or a baby!"
"Fine," she said, turning on her heel. "I suppose placing the egg under a bed, like you have done, is much better, isn't it?" she slammed the door behind her.
Finally, two days after that last discussion, Hermione saw a little crack on the Joggart's egg. She squealed, got the egg, put it safely in her pocket, and ran out of the common room.
She had to find Malfoy and tell him it was hatching!
But where could he be? She looked around the castle, opening doors, checking all the corridors. She even had the courage to ask some Slytherins of where he might be. But they refused to say.
Finally, she found him in the last place she thought he could've been: The library.
He was silently writing something on a piece of parchment, with a book by his side.
Hermione walked over to him, and sat down on the chair next to his.
He looked up and fixed his gray eyes into Hermione's brown ones.
"Yes?" he asked.
Hermione took out the egg and placed it between them. "It's hatching," she said excitedly.
He went back to his work. "Oh."
Hermione stared at him. Oh? How could he say Oh and then go back to his work? Wasn't it exciting for him? She was almost besides herself! She was about to see a Joggart hatch!
She stared at it intently for the next few minutes. Finally, another crack appeared, this time bigger. After a few moments, one of the cracks opened, and some blue, soft hairs poked out.
Hermione glanced at Draco. He was still writing on his parchment.
A little black foot poked out next. Then she remembered. Hagrid had told them to write down the Joggart's progress! She didn't have any parchments or quills with her, but Draco had…
She cleared her throat. "Malfoy," she said. "Could I please have a piece of parchment and a quill?"
Draco looked up again with no expression on his face. "No, Granger," he said flatly. "You may not borrow a parchment or a quill from me."
"But I need to write down the Joggart's progress!" she complained. "Hagrid said!"
He looked at the Joggart. "What progress is it making? It hatched. It's blue. The end," he drawled.
Hermione looked at the Joggart. It had hatched! And it was blue, with spiky, soft blue hairs. It had big, round eyes, ad it ended in two small black feet. The Joggart tried to walk, but fell flat on his face. Hermione giggled. It looked up at her, and blinked several times. She giggled some more.
Draco looked up. "Could you stop making that infernal noise, Granger?"
"What should we name it?" she asked, ignoring him.
Draco stared at her. "Name it?"
"Yes," Hermione went on. "We should name it, don't you think?"
"It's a Joggart."
"Yes, it is," she said. "How about bluey?"
"We are not naming a Joggart."
"Fine, Bluey it is," Hermione insisted. Then, she reached over and snatched a parchment and a quill from him.
"Granger!" he hissed.
"Since you're not doing anything about the report," Hermione said, writing down the Joggart's every move. "I'll do it."
Who did she think she was? A mudblook snatching a piece of parchment and a quill from a Malfoy! How dare she? He would've snatched them back, but she was doing the report. It would be better for him, anyway. But he hated to loose a battle. He clenched his teeth and went on writing.
Soon, Pansy came over.
"Hi Draco!" she said cheerily. "Where were you? I looked all over for you!" she glared at Hermione, who was still writing. "What's she doing here?"
Draco ignored her. Damned girl! He couldn't take two steps without being followed by her. Pansy sat on the other chair at his side. "So, tell me, Draco," she said. "What are you doing this afternoon?"
He ignored her.
Hermione stood up. "Done," she said happily, rolling up the parchment. "Here, Malfoy," she put the small Joggart in front of him. "Your turn to take care of it. Be here next week, same time. And find out what it eats," she added, walking away.
Draco stared after her.
"What are you doing this afternoon?" Pansy insisted.
Draco continued to ignore her.
The next day was potions again.
"Five hours," Ron muttered as they headed towards the dungeons. "Five hours!"
"It took me four," Harry complained.
"I did it in three," Hermione said proudly. "It was very easy. You could find so many information in the library. For instance, in The Magical Guide to-"
"Shut up," Ron said.
Hermione glared at him. "Fine!"
They went into the potions corridor to find the same scene as last week: Slytherins on one wall, Gryffindors on the other.
Draco watched as the trio walked by. Why did Granger leave him to take care of the stupid Joggart? It was extra homework for him! He'd return it to her next week at the library…
"Draco!" Pansy jumped next to him. "Did you do the homework?"
He clenched his teeth and didn't say anything.
Pansy giggled. "You don't have to be so cold, Draco,"
He watched as Hermione laughed with Potter and Weasley, condemning Parkinson.
"Or maybe you should be cold," Pansy added. "Your father probably likes it better that way. After all, you and I are growing up to follow the Dark Lord."
He didn't say anything. What she had said was true. His father wanted him to serve the Dark Lord, once he was of age. But lately he had been thinking about it, and he wasn't so sure if he wanted to do that…
Hermione laughed again. He glared at her.
Then Snape came, and the class started.
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