Harry woke up, went into the bathroom to relieve his bladder, and took a shower. He dressed, then went downstairs. A sniggering crowd had gathered around two seventh-years who had fallen asleep cuddling on a couch, at least until Leanne, one of the sixth year Prefects, broke them up and sent the amorous couple to their respective dorms to freshen up before breakfast.
During breakfast the boys talked about Quidditch, the next match should be the following weekend, while Hermione spent her time revising her homework. When the warning bell rang they gathered their bags and went to History of Magic.
"In 1386 the Goblins rebelled again under Uglok the Snout-faced, and rampaged through Lancashire until a team of Hit-wizards led by Cerdic of Lincoln brought their terror to a halt. The following year the Wizard's Council –"
Harry dozed off, letting the boring voice of Professor Binns lure him into further sleep, only to wake again as the bell rang signalling the end of class.
Yawning, he followed the rest of Gryffindor to Potions. Malfoy and his cronies were shouting abuse until Professor Snape let them in his classroom, where he greeted them with the customary, "Instructions are on the board. You have one hour to brew a simple Vanishing Potion before you will earn a Troll for the day," lingering on Harry as usual before moving on to sneer at Neville.
Fifty minutes in Harry's near-perfect Potion was ruined when a Troll toenail clipping landed in the bubbling liquid, thrown from the Slytherin side. The clear liquid turned brown and solid, ruining yet another cauldron.
"That's another Troll, Potter and Weasley. It seems even a simple Potion like this is too advanced for a dunderhead like you," Snape sneered at him.
Harry knew better than to protest, that would only cost him House Points. Ron was looking at Snape with murder in his eyes but fortunately also held his tongue. Snape passed by Hermione, giving her a grudging "Acceptable, Granger," for her 100% perfect Potion, before passing to praise Malfoy's near failure and giving him an Outstanding for the day.
"Stupid git," Ron grumbled at the lunch table.
"Don't say that where Snape can hear you," said Harry.
"Professor Snape, Harry," Hermione corrected him out of habit, but she frowned, too. "I do wish he were more fair. There was nothing wrong with my Vanishing Potion, I just know it."
"Dumbledore trusts him," Harry said, shrugging.
"Professor Dumbledore, Harry."
Hermione separated from the duo to depart for her Ancient Runes class, while Harry and Ron went to Divination for a post-lunch nap. Lavender kicking his foot woke Harry just as their bespectacled and inebriated teacher came close, "Well my child? What do the bones tell you today?"
Harry peered at the remains of a chicken on his and Ron's table, prodding at them with his wand. "Err... the way these two bones overlap means... err... something is returning? No, repeating? And... a warning?"
"A lesson to be learned, I think," Professor Trelawney corrected him. "But for who could the message be? Perhaps –"
The bell rang, ending class, which meant Harry had to go to what used to be his favourite class until this year.
DADA, Defence Against the Dark Arts had turned into Deny All the Death-eater Activities this year, with the toad-like 'Professor' Umbridge not allowing them to cast any spells and spending all the rest of the time telling students to read a useless text for eleven-year olds denying Voldemort had returned.
"He is back, I was there!" Harry shouted, interrupting her 'lecture' about how he, Harry, was a liar and an attention seeker.
"Detention, Mr. Potter, tonight," Professor Umbridge said, a sick smile appearing on her face.
Harry was cursing under his breath at dinner, while Ron was oblivious and was attempting to stuff a whole plate of ham into his mouth at once, and Hermione was shooting him sympathetic looks.
Detention meant writing with a Blood Quill again, and hours later Harry stumbled back into his Common Room, his hand bleeding and his head hurting. Hermione had some murtlap essence ready and they sat together for almost half an hour before they retired to bed.
Harry woke up, went into the bathroom to relieve his bladder, and took a shower. He dressed, then went downstairs. He chuckled as the same couple as yesterday had fallen asleep on the couch again, then walked over to Hermione.
"Thanks for last night, my hand isn't hurting at all this morning," he told her, smiling.
"Huh? Oh, that's good, Harry," his bushy haired friend replied. "Oh, there's Ron. Come on, let's go grab breakfast."
The trio went to the Great Hall. Hermione spent her breakfast period revising while the boys talked about Quidditch.
The warning bell rang and they went to the stairwells. Harry stopped at the second floor to go to Charms, his first class for the day, when Ron called, "Oi mate, you still sleeping? It's History first, you know?"
Harry grinned sheepishly. He could've sworn it was Charms first on Tuesday...
History class was boring enough to get him to sleep again. Professor Binns was droning on about something happening in Lancashire.
"All these Goblin names sound the same, I could've sworn he talked about Uglok's snout yesterday," he said under his breath to Ron, but Ron was already in dream land. Soon after, Harry followed him.
He was hardly aware they were going down the stairs, not up to Transfiguration, until they ended up in the Potions classroom.
"Potter! Where is your Potions book?" Snape rounded on him as soon as the class had settled.
"Err... seems like I forgot, sir," Harry admitted.
"Twenty points from Gryffindor for being a forgetful dunderhead! Perhaps Weasley will let you share his for the day. Instructions are on the board, you have one hour to brew a simple Vanishing Potion before you will earn a Troll for the day." Snape sneered at Harry before stomping over to terrorize Neville.
"Lousy git. What's the use in doing the same Potion as last class?" Harry remarked under his breath to Ron.
"We did this one before? Blimey, mate, I completely forgot," Ron said, sounding confused.
Fifty minutes in Harry's near-perfect Potion was ruined again when a Slytherin threw another Troll toenail clipping in.
"Oh come on, not again!" Harry complained out loud.
"Fool of a Gryffindor! Didn't bother to read the instructions right, did you? Oh wait... you 'forgot' your book," Snape sneered at him. The Slytherin side started laughing as Snape deducted another forty points and gave both Harry and Ron a Troll for the day.
"Cheer up, mate, at last it's Care after lunch," Harry said to a dejected Ron as they left class.
"Mate, you inhale some of those fumes or what? We have Divination next," Ron corrected him.
"Ron's right, Harry. Ooh, that reminds me, Professor Babbling wanted to discuss how Sumerian Cuneiform are at the basis of the Turkic Runes in class today," Hermione cut in, sounding excited.
"Yeah, nice," Harry said, shrugging. "Damn, this day sucks." At least lunch was calm.
"Bones again?" Harry complained as they entered the classroom, only to add, "Sorry, Susan, I meant those," he pointed at the table, and definitely not at the well endowed red-head, thank you very much.
"Mate, I'm not seeing it," Ron admitted after a few minutes of poking.
"Yeah, me neither... huh."
"The way these are arranged... Repeating, and a lesson," Harry said, poking at them with a strange expression on his face.
"Ooh, very well spotted, Mr. Potter! Take ten points to Gryffindor," Professor Trelawney said, walking up to them.
"What else do you see, hmmm?"
"Err... something about... chasing?" Harry peered at the bones some more, not sure.
"Chasing? No, I think –" the bell rang, cutting off their teacher.
"Ron, quick, it's Herbology next, right?" Harry half begged his taller friend.
"I wish... nah, we got the toad," Ron said with a sigh.
Grudgingly, Harry followed him to class.
"Why isn't your book out, Mr. Potter?"
"I didn't pack it. Ma'am."
"You believe yourself to be not subject to a Ministry endorsed course load, is it?"
"No, that's not –"
"Detention, tonight, Mr. Potter."
Harry was cursing the entire line of Umbridges back to the first amphibian to crawl out of the swamp during dinner. Detention meant writing lines again, but at least Hermione was there with the murtlap.
Harry woke up, went into the bathroom to relieve his bladder, and took a shower. He dressed, then went downstairs. A sniggering crowd stood around a couch on which two seventh-years were sleeping.
"Hermione, what day is it?" he asked, worried.
"Monday, Harry. Didn't you sleep well? Was it a nightmare?" his closest female friend asked, worried.
"Monday? But it was Monday yesterday!" Harry yelled.
"Oi, Potter, enough attention seeking for now," a sneering sixth year said.
"Up yours, McLaggen!" Harry fumed, then took Hermione by both shoulders. "Hermione, please, don't joke. It can't be Monday again!"
"Harry... you're worrying me."
"I... I... I don't feel well. I'm skipping breakfast," Harry deflated, releasing his friend.
He went back upstairs and lied down on his bed. Leanne the Prefect came to collect him after he had missed the start of Potions and Harry had no choice but to follow her to class.
"Showing up late, are we, Potter? Perhaps twenty points from Gryffindor will encourage you to learn your schedule! Potion is on the board. You still have... thirty minutes to prove to me you're not as big a dunderhead as you seem to be," Snape sneered at him.
Grumbling Harry set to work. His Potion as nearly done when a Slytherin – this time he turned in time to see it was Theo Nott – sabotaged it, but not in time to stop it.
"Screw this!" he yelled and packed his bag and stormed out.
Professor McGonagall came to collect him during fourth period when Harry had missed his Divination class as well as DADA.
"I am very disappointed in you, Harry. Skipping class is not allowed, no matter how much... at odds... you are with the teacher," she told him.
"But Professor, something's going on, I –"
"No excuses, Mr. Potter. You will serve detention tonight with Professor Umbridge, and for Merlin's sake, keep your head down!"
"All right," Harry said, dejected.
Detention meant lines and a lecture. Fortunately Hermione was there with murtlap essence after his torture session.
Harry woke up. "Neville! What day is it?"
"Hhhnhu? Err... Monday, why?"
"Screw that." Harry pulled the covers back over himself. He ignored Ron when his friend tried to rouse him for breakfast and waited for the dorm room to clear out before he covered himself in his invisibility cloak and went back to sleep.
He was pushed out of his bed by an annoyed Prefect Leanne hours later. "Professor McGonagall told me to check your bed even if it seemed like you're not here, now I see why," she told him. "Harry, you have to come with me now."
"No, no, I don't want to," Harry whined.
"Not my problem. Incarcerous! Puerum Leviosa!"
Wrapped up and levitated, Harry was brought before his Head of House who railed into him about responsibility for ten minutes before being told he had detention with Professor Umbridge following dinner.
Harry tried to run out of the main gates instead, but fell to a Stunner fired by Professor Snape.
Harry woke up and went downstairs in his pyjamas. The seventh year couple was sleeping, cuddling and drawing most of the attention, so nobody noticed him as he stepped through the portrait entrance into the hallway.
He made it to the ground floor before he encountered his first other person, a younger blonde girl he had sat with during the train ride to the school. Like him, she was wearing her night clothes.
"Hello, Harry Potter. Have the Nargles shut you out for the night, too?"
"Hey Luna, can't talk," Harry brushed her off, before her words registered and he turned to face her. "Wait, you were out all night?"
"Oh no, I went to bed in my dorm, but I woke up like this outside only an hour ago. I think the Nargles are playing a mean prank on me again," Luna said with a small smile on her face.
"That's not right," Harry grumbled. "Wait, again? Has this happened before?"
"Only a couple of times," Luna said with that same smile on her face. "It's very strange. I think they stun me first, for it is ever so cold outside when I wake up." As if to punctuate that, she sneezed.
"Oh, Luna," Harry empathized with the bullied girl and opened his arms for a hug. Luna moved in and hugged him back and for a moment he held her, realizing how cold she was, when a hated voice sounded:
"Potter's raping a Ravenclaw in the Entrance Hallway!"
They turned to see Draco, leading a pack of snakes, standing there leering at them.
"Wha –?" Harry had time to intelligently say, when he was silenced and tied up with an Incarcerous by Professor Snape.
The silencing charm was lifted when Snape deposited him in a chair inside Professor Umbridge's office.
Umbridge looked very pleased as she twirled her wand. "I have you where I want you now, you awful boy. Raping a pure-blood? You'll be Kissed for sure... even if you are the Boy-Who-Lived."
"You're crazy! I never –!" Harry yelled, but he was stunned.
Harry woke up and went downstairs. He prodded Leanne, drawing her attention away from the cuddling seventh-years and said, "There's a freezing fourth year in the Entrance Hall."
"How would you know? And why aren't you dressed?" she asked, mistrusting.
"Just go there," Harry said, shrugging. He went back upstairs, showered, and dressed. When he came downstairs again the couple was gone and Hermione was impatiently waiting for him, with Ron, who didn't seem bothered.
"What kept you, Harry?"
"Nothing. Come on, let's go for breakfast. Can you help me a bit with Potions while we eat?"
"Sure, did you have something in mind?"
"Just wanted to go over the steps for a Vanishing Potion, okay?"
History of Magic was about – surprise – Uglok the Snout-faced. Harry didn't pay attention to it, going over his Potions text again.
He even ignored Malfoy's jeers as he stepped inside Potions class and immediately set to work. Forty-five minutes in Harry had a near-perfect Potion. Catching movement from the corner of his eye he quickly cast a shield charm and caused the troll toenail clippings to bounce off, landing in Seamus's Potion.
"Potter! I saw that! Fifty points for sabotaging a classmate's Potion, and a Troll for the day!" Snape yelled.
"But I didn't throw it, Nott did!"
"Another ten points for lying and falsely accusing a classmate! Get out of my classroom!"
"Lousy stupid cowardly git," Harry grumbled over the break.
"Oi mate, that shield was amazing reflexes... too bad it bounced off," Ron tried to cheer him up.
"Wish it'd hit Snape in the beak," Harry grumbled some more.
"Professor Snape, Harry," Hermione corrected him out of habit.
Harry ignored his bones during Divination, mentally preparing for Death-eaters And Dumb Associates aka DADA.
"And if you'll turn to page one hundred and thirty, you'll read all about how casting offensive spells is never necessary. After all, there is no-one out there who wants to harm you," Professor Umbridge said in her sickly sweet voice.
"Anyone saying differently is a liar, isn't that right, Mr. Potter?"
"Detention, Mr. Potter. Tonight."
"What? What for?"
"You will address me with respect, that means, 'Yes, Professor Umbridge', not 'Whatever'."
Harry grit his teeth later during detention. Fortunately Hermione was there with the murtlap essence.
Harry woke up. "Hey guys? Anyone wanna bet there's some couple sleeping in the common room this morning?"
"You're on, no way," Seamus said. "One galleon?"
"Deal," Harry said, grinning. He showered, dressed, and went down.
"Pay up," he said.
"I don't see how you could've known," Seamus grumbled.
"Just luck, I guess," Harry quipped. "One sec. Hey, Leanne?"
The sixth-year prefect turned to face him, "What is it?"
"I forgot until now, but last night I heard some Ravenclaws say they were going to prank one of their house mates... not sure if they followed up on it, but could you check if there's a student in the Entrance Hall?"
"This is not some wild goose chase, is it, Potter?"
"I swear. I'll... erm... give you a foot rub if I'm not right?"
"Make it a flight on that broom of yours?"
"Baby, you can ride my broom any time you like," Harry winked at her.
"Heh, you're cute, kid," Leanne said, smiling. "Okay... and if you're right... I'll give you a kiss, okay?"
"What's with you and betting today, mate?" Ron asked, while yawning.
"Gambling is wrong, Harry," Hermione informed them.
"Eh, have a little fun now and then, okay? Hey Ron, I bet the Goblin Binns is going on today will be named something stupid like Uglok."
"No bet, Harry. All their names sound alike."
"Ooh, you're betting? I'll take that bet, Harry," Parvati Patil cut in.
"Really? Sweet. So, what do you want if you win?"
"You have to apologize to me for being such a git last year, in public. I was really looking forward to being the Belle of the Ball, you know," Parvati informed him.
"Cor... I never realized. Wow, I was stupid then... in my defence, I had a lot on my mind. Okay, I'll take that. And if I win... I want that kiss I could've gotten if I hadn't been an arse."
Parvati flushed a bit, then nodded. "Not like you'll win anyway, you're on."
Their breakfast discussion – Quidditch – was interrupted by Leanne walking up to them. "Not sure how you knew, but she was there. I took her to Madam Pomfrey, she was freezing," she said.
"Told you," Harry said, grinning. "Pucker up."
"What? Forget it! You were probably involved in that, there's no way you could've known," Leanne said, stepping back and walking off.
"Oi! You owe me a kiss," Harry yelled after her.
"Harry, don't harass the prefects," Hermione said in a snippy tone.
"In 1386 the Goblins rebelled again under Uglok the Snout-faced, and rampaged through Lancashire until a team of Hit-wizards led by Cerdic of Lincoln brought their terror to a halt. The following year the Wizard's Council –"
"Oi, Parvati? Hear that?" Harry grinned as he prodded his house mate.
"I heard, cheater," Parvati glared at him.
"What do you mean, cheater? We had a bet!"
"You probably read ahead. How gullible do you think I am? You're just trying to weasel out of that apology... boy."
"Mr. Pelican, did you have question?"
"It's Potter, and no, sir."
"Good. Now, as I was saying... the Goblin horde ravaged the village of Shitte-on-the-Sticke, and –"
Grumbling about girls not keeping their word, Harry went to Potions. He and Ron worked on the Potion for a while, until it was near perfect. This time he waited a little longer to cast the shield, then called out as the toe-nail clippings struck it: "Try again next time, Theo!"
"Potter! Why are you disrupting my class?" Snape stalked over.
"I'm sorry, sir. I just prevented Theo from sabotaging my Potion."
"A likely story... not that it needed sabotaging. Troll for the day, Potter."
"But it's perfect!"
"Evanesco. Oops... my wand slipped."
Harry glared at the bully/teacher as his Potion disappeared. Across the room, the Slytherins were laughing, except for a few. Daphne Greengrass had a neutral expression as always, and her friend Tracey Davis actually looked disgusted at her own House mates.
At lunch, Harry was complaining again. "Stupid git, Snape. I shielded, catching the clippings, and he still would not believe me!"
"Maybe you shouldn't use a shield next time, Harry. Try the Immobilization Charm, 'Arresto Momentum'," Hermione suggested.
Harry was getting bored out of his skull during Divination. "Study bones. Boring."
"I hear you, I'd rather study Bones," Ron quipped, pointing at the red-headed Hufflepuff in front of them.
"Losers," Susan said just a little too loud, turning to look at them in distaste.
"Hey, he said it, not I!" Harry complained.
"All boys are perverts. I've seen you leering," Susan said.
"As if I want to see you anyway," Harry hot-headedly said.
"You'll never see them, dream on, loser," Susan sneered before turning back.
During DADA Harry tried to keep his temper, until the end of class.
"Made it, finally. I can't wait to get away from Toadface," he commented under his breath to Ron at the end of class."
"I heard that, Mr. Potter! Detention tonight!" she yelled from across the room.
"Oh, fuck me."
His hand bleeding, he really appreciated the murtlap essence after detention.
Harry woke up and went downstairs. He tapped Leanne on the shoulder, and as the sixth-year Prefect turned, he dipped her in a kiss. The girl stood frozen for a second, before breaking away and slapping him, hard.
"How dare you!" she yelled.
"Eh, nothing ventured, nothing gained," Harry said, rubbing his cheek. "There's a fourth year girl stuck in the Entrance Hall. You might want to go rescue her."
"What, did you do something to her, too?" Leanne was glaring at him, but Harry ignored her, going back upstairs to shower and dress.
"Oi mate, you'll never believe the latest rumour. They are saying you kissed Leanne!" Ron said at breakfast, laughing.
"Yeah, she owed me one. Slapped me, though," Harry remarked casually. "Hey Hermione, how does the immobilization charm go again?"
"What? You really –" Ron's mouth shot open, and he was too shocked to continue speaking.
Hermione peeked up, having ignored them in favour of her homework. "Immobilization Charm, Harry? Easy, 'Arresto Momentum'. No wand movement, just point and cast."
"Thanks, you're a life saver," Harry said, shooting her a grin. Then he noticed Lavender and Parvati were whispering and pointing at him, so he got up and walked over to them.
"Harry?" Lavender looked up, confused.
"One moment, Lav. Parvati, I want to apologize for last year. I was a colossal git at the Ball and I really regret ruining your evening."
For a moment, Parvati was stunned. "Really?"
"Really. If I could do it over, I'd dance with you all night, until you saw fit to reward me with a kiss."
Parvati blushed, and mumbled something.
"What was that?"
"She said, 'You're forgiven,'" Lavender repeated for him, her eyes shining with amusement.
"Really? Great... Let's hug on it?" Harry stood there, arms wide.
Parvati stood up and stepped in his arms, putting hers around him. Suddenly Harry leant in to kiss her on the mouth, while his right hand kneaded her bum through her robes.
Parvati froze, then jumped away from him, yelling, "You bastard!"
"Hey, you owed me a kiss," Harry said while backing off.
"I'll get you!" Parvati yelled, fishing for her wand. Seeing Lavender also go for hers, her face also distorted in anger, Harry chose to run.
The two girls kept glaring at him during History of Magic, as did the other girls, Hermione included.
Harry didn't get a chance to say anything to anyone before they stood in line for Potions.
"Blimey, you have some nerve, mate... some of us would've been castrated for that stunt," Ron said.
"Sometimes it's good to be me," Harry quipped, ignoring the angry scowls by the Gryffindor girls.
"If Mr. Potter is quite done giving his best Lockhart impression, you may enter," Professor Snape's voice startled them all.
Harry brewed the perfect Potion and just as it was finished, turned and cast 'Arresto Momentum' at the toe-nail clipping.
"Potter! There is to be no wand waving in this class, that's ten points from Gryffindor and a Troll for the day!" Professor Snape yelled at him.
"Really? No comment on the blatant sabotage from one of your snakes?" Harry talked back, shocking most of the class.
"I didn't see who threw it... you probably did so yourself, out for attention again," said Snape.
"Oh, my mistake. I forgot dungeon bats are blind," Harry dead-panned.
The entire class was silent, except for the bubbling of the Potions.
"Potter! Out, out, out!" Snape yelled. That broke the dam. The Gryffindors were cheering, and even some of the Slytherins had smiles.
Harry noticed. "Damn, Greengrass, you're a fox when you don't look like you are an Ice Princess," he called out to one of the prettier girls in class. To his satisfaction, he noticed a small blush briefly appear on her face before she looked away.
"Mate, no idea what's up with you today, but you're a legend," Ron said during the break.
"Thanks, Ron. One sec... hey, Parvati?"
"What," came in a cold tone.
"Sorry for stealing a kiss earlier. I couldn't help myself, you were so close, and so stunningly beautiful... can I make it up to you, somehow?"
"M... Maybe," Parvati answered. Harry grinned. Her blush meant she was not fully angry. Besides, what did long term consequences matter?
"Today, in Divination, you will study the casting of bones," Professor Trelawney greeted the combined Hufflepuff and Gryffindor class.
"Ron, partner with someone else today, okay?" Harry said under his breath and, not waiting for an answer, dropped down next to Susan.
"Errr... hi, Harry," Susan said, unsure.
"Hellooooo," Harry drew out his greeting, smiling at her.
"Err... okay." Susan shrugged in Hannah Abbott's direction, Hannah being her usual partner. "Erm, Harry, do you want to go first?" Susan indicated the small bag of bones they were to spread over their table.
"You go ahead, I'm already at work," Harry said, smiling still.
Susan started prodding at the bones trying to see if they made a shape, when she realised Harry was still looking at her.
"What?" she said, a little irritated.
"Nothing, go ahead."
Susan fidgeted as she worked, hoping Harry would stop staring soon, but he didn't.
"Well, dears? What do you see?" Professor Trelawney asked them.
Susan poked in the mess. "I see loss, of a relative? By... by the end of the year?" she said, a little sceptically.
"Ah... grim tidings indeed, but that is what the bones say," her teacher agreed. "And you, Harry?"
"Professor, I can't see clearly. May I remove the obstruction?"
"Of course," Professor Trelawney encouraged him.
Harry took out his wand and pointed in the direction of the table, only to angle it towards his partner for the hour, instead. "Evanesco," he cast, and Susan's upper robes, shirt, and bra disappeared.
"I see a big C, perhaps a D. I see a long, passionate night, followed by exhaustion," Harry said in the sudden silence.
A sudden scream was followed by Susan's fist coming straight for his face. Just before he blacked out, he thought, 'Worth it'.
Harry woke up and stared at the ceiling. He ignored Ron and the others until they left.
"Harry, what's wrong?" Hermione's voice called him back to earth.
"What's the use, Hermione?"
"What do you mean?"
"You wouldn't understand if I told you," Harry said, dejectedly.
"No matter what I do, every day is the same. I go to class and get abused by teachers, then I get detention from Toadface, and I end up back in my bed the next morning. What is it all for?"
"Oh, Harry!" Hermione rushed in to hug him. "It'll work out, really. You're just... depressed."
Feeling her hug him close, Harry thought back on Susan's large breasts he had seen just 'yesterday'. "Heh. Boobs," he dumbly said.
Quickly, Hermione let go. "Pig," she said, looking angry.
"Wait, I didn't mean –"
"Save it for someone who cares. Have fun with your pity party, some of us need to get to class." She left. Dejectedly, Harry dressed and slipped in History of Magic, late but unnoticed by their ghostly teacher.
He didn't make any effort in Potions, which Snape was quick to capitalize on: "Looks like The Boy-Who-Lied feels he is above doing work today. Troll, Potter."
He made an effort not to look at Susan during Divination and ignored his task. "I'm afraid that if you don't even try, the lesson will just repeat itself," Professor Trelawney said with a sad expression on her face as she vanished his assignment.
He tried to keep his calm during DADA, but Professor Umbridge still gave him a detention, this time for not paying attention.
"Oh, Harry. Here, I have some murtlap for you," Hermione was there, waiting for him, when he returned to the Common Room.
"I don't deserve a friend like you," Harry mumbled.
"No, you don't," Hermione said kindly and hugged him.
Harry woke up. 'Hermione is always there for me,' was his first thought. Quickly he dressed and went down to find his friend.
"'Mione! Come with me, please?"
"Harry, hold up, where are we going?" Hermione called, running after him until they reached the Entrance Hall, where they found a cold and sad girl.
"Luna? What happened to you?" Hermione asked.
"Her house mates are bullying her, 'Mione. Can you go get Professor Flitwick while I take her to Madam Pomfrey? You're a prefect, they'll believe you."
Professor Flitwick lost his temper when he saw what was done to his 'poor Raven' and promised the perpetrators would be caught. Meanwhile, Harry and Hermione were late for History.
"Oh Harry, I can't believe I missed most of the class..."
"It's okay, 'Mione. He'll be discussing the Uprising of 1386 today, Chapter 41 in the book."
He read with her during class and automatically joined her desk at Potions.
"Thinking you can ride Miss Granger's coat tails during class, Potter? I doubt it'll help!" Snape sneered.
Harry ignored him and worked with Hermione, crafting a perfect Potion. About a minute before the critical end phase he turned and called out loud, "Theo, you shouldn't get Troll toenail clippings now, that'll ruin the Potion!"
Professor Snape turned on his Slytherin, catching him with the pot in hand and reaching in.
"Foolish boy! I expect better from my House!"
Harry and Hermione earned an Outstanding, but got an Acceptable in class.
At lunch, he walked to Parvati and Lavender instead of sitting down immediately. "Parvati? May we talk for a moment?"
"Sure, Harry. What is it?"
"I know it's late, but I want to apologize for how I acted during the Yule Ball last year. I was completely self-centred and didn't pay any attention to you at all. So I apologize for ruining your evening."
"Well... that is... surprisingly mature. Apology accepted, Harry. And don't worry, a cute Beauxbatons boy rescued me that evening."
Seeing the girls were about to be giggling again, Harry smiled and sat down next to Hermione.
"Have fun with Runes. I wish I had that class, the magical proto-Turkic runes are fascinating," Harry told her after lunch.
"Harry, you're impressing me today... keep it up," Hermione said, smiling as she left.
"Professor Trelawney? Does this arrangement mean that I have a lesson to learn that will repeat itself if I fail to understand, and I should chase after something?"
Their Divinations teacher rushed over and looked down. "After someone, someone you hold dear, but otherwise correct," she beamed at him.
"Blimey, mate, who does she mean? Maybe you're lucky and it's Susan with the big baps?" Ron said when Trelawney walked over to the next table.
"Seriously Ron? You shouldn't talk about Susan, or anyone else, that way. You should apologize to her."
Susan had just turned to say something scathing, but now mouthed a 'thank you' to Harry, ignoring Ron who at least blushed.
DADA was boring, Professor Umbridge was forcing them to read the same boring text over and over again, "Until it sinks in, dearies."
Harry kept his calm – with great effort – all the period and stood up when the bell rang to pack his bag.
"Detention, Mr. Potter."
"Professor? But why?"
"Careless packing of one's bag. You are damaging a Ministry textbook."
"I am sorry Professor, but that is ludicrous."
Harry held Hermione back before they could enter the Great Hall for dinner. "'Mione? Honestly now... do you think that detention was in any way fair?"
"No, Harry, but what can we do? You went to Professor McGonagall before..."
"'Mione, for some reason she doesn't believe me. Can you, please, come with me? So we try together one more time?"
"Okay, Harry. For you."
The two intercepted their Head of House in her Transfiguration classroom before she could leave.
"What brings you two here? It's dinner time."
"Professor, please listen to Harry. I know it's hard to believe, but it's the truth."
"What is?" The Scotswoman looked sceptical.
"Professor... she is making me write lines with a quill that takes blood and scars my hand. Surely, that cannot be legal?"
"Stop telling lies, Mr. Potter! That's what got you into this problem to begin with! Didn't I tell you to keep your head down?"
"Are these lies?" Hermione grabbed Harry's hand, and pushed it towards her teacher. "Every night, Professor. Every night Harry comes back with his hand bleeding, lines cut in deep. I had to prepare three batches of murtlap essence so far just to stop the worst of the scarring!"
"Morgana... I never..." Professor McGonagall collapsed in her chair. "Mr. Potter, I... I don't know why I didn't listen before. This..."
"This has to stop, Professor. Even if she is from the Ministry, this can't go on," Hermione insisted.
"You... you are right. Mr. Potter... Harry... I... am so sorry. But I have to ask you to go to detention one more time, tonight."
"Do it, Harry. I trust her," Hermione said, smiling.
"For you, 'Mione."
Harry grimaced as he entered Professor Umbridge's office.
"Just in time, dear. You know the drill."
"Please, don't make me write lines. It hurts."
"Just what a nasty boy needs. Now start writing."
Suddenly a male voice boomed: "Drop that quill!"
From under an invisibility cloak, someone dressed in red appeared, as well as a witch with a monocle.
"Dolores Umbridge, you are under arrest for forcing a minor to use a restricted Blood Quill. Auror Jenkins, take her wand," the monocled witch said. Harry realised he knew her, this was Madam Bones, the only one who had seemed interested in giving him a fair trial earlier this year.
"You can't stop me! I am the Undersecretary of the Minister!" Umbridge croaked.
"Stupefy," Jenkins cast. At the look from Harry and Madam Bones he added, "She, erm, was resisting arrest?"
"Fine with me," Madam Bones smirked. "Mr. Potter, please return to your dormitory. Rest assured, we have her red-handed. Will you assent to give testimony during her trial, should it be required?"
"Off you go then, lad."
Harry nearly skipped back to the tower. As he rushed in the common room he saw Hermione sitting there, nibbling her lower lip with worry. A feeling came over him and he rushed in to kiss her.
"Wow... what was that, Harry?"
"I don't know, 'Mione, I felt like I had to."
"I... liked it."
"Well then, Harry, why don't you do it again?"
Harry woke up to the snickering of a crowd of people. He opened his eyes and realised he and Hermione had fallen asleep on the couch as they cuddled.
"Really? Not just seventh-years, but fifth-years, too?" Leanne complained.
Harry turned to face Hermione. She was blushing, but didn't seem to mind that much, judging by how she leant in to kiss his cheek briefly before she got up.
'Lesson understood,' Harry thought, grinning like a loon as he went up to his own dorm room.
A/N: Thanks to firefly81 for being an awesome beta.