Author's Notes: Well, this chapter concludes The Sorceress Diaries: Book 1 *sniff*. But never fear! I'm going to get started right away on Book 2, which is going to cover Hermione's fifth year from September to New Year's. Be sure to keep checking back for that…I'm going to try to put up the first chapter soon. ^_^

By the way, does anyone happen to know when exactly Hermione's birthday is? I know it's sometime in September, but I can't remember if there's anything in canon to indicate which day exactly. Thanks, folks. ^_^

I also have a funny story – the other day I was driving around with my friends, and there was a car in front of us that had a bumper sticker that said "FU" on it. I proceeded to shriek and then start laughing hysterically. My friends were all like, "That is so rude. Who puts that on their car?" and I was sitting there squealing, "Yes! FU bumper sticker! That rocks so hard!" I so totally want an FU bumper sticker! Every member of the FU should have one. It can come in the package when you join, I suppose. So congratulations to new fangirls Jade (if she hasn't died from lack of oxygen yet), Squirrel Maiden of Green, Sara Black, kissedbyarose88, and shoelessgirl! Enjoy your FU bumper stickers. ^_~

Just to clarify, in Chapter 17, Ron did not see Hermione's diary/journal. He simply came upon her writing in a book. As this is probably not out of the ordinary, Ron had and still does not have any idea that Hermione keeps a diary. Only Ginny knows. Just FYI. ^_^

And an oxymoron is two directly contradicting things, like cold fire or jumbo shrimp. Heh, jumbo shrimp. It's early and I can't think of good examples right now.

Wow, longest author's notes ever! On to the chapter! And don't forget how extremely awesome reviewing is.

Thursday, 31 August

3:24 p.m.

Prefect! PREFECT!

Oh, I'm so excited, what an amazing surprise! I'd nearly forgotten about it, being cooped up here and with everything that's been going on – well, I didn't forget about it, per se, and it wasn't entirely unexpected, but still – I'm a prefect! And so is Ron! Ron!

I have to confess, I thought it would be Harry. I was convinced it would be Harry. And I felt so foolish when I burst in there and saw him holding the badge…I just assumed…I mean, it's Harry. But Dumbledore must have his reasons. Besides, Ron's…done a lot too…he's really…well, I'm really, really happy for him. And since he's the other prefect, I'll be spending a lot of time with him this year, so that's good…I mean, it's good that it's Ron, instead of someone else like Dean or Seamus or someone I don't talk to very much…

But here I am again, getting ahead of myself.

The booklists finally arrived this morning. And, well…I know this is horrible, and that I must be extremely conceited and not at all humble and modest like Viktor…but I was expecting the badge to fall out of the envelope when I tore it open. I mean, not to be stuck-up or arrogant or anything, but…who else could it be? Parvarti or Lavender? I do have the best grades in the year…and probably the best reputation…

Ugh, I am so very conceited! Mrs. Crick would have a field day with this. It's probably some sort of arrogant, socio-emotional complex or something. I really hope no one ever figures out how to read this journal, because they'll find out just how very conceited I am.

But really…who else would it have been?

Well, I shrieked at the top of my lungs when the badge fell out anyway, and then tore up the stairs to Ron's and Harry's room. I burst in; Ron, Harry, and the twins were already in there, all looking stunned. And Harry was staring in shock at a badge in his hand, identical to mine.

"I knew it!" I exclaimed, waving my letter in the air. "Me too, Harry, me too!"

"No," Harry said in a strained voice, quickly shoving the badge into Ron's hands. "It's Ron, not me."

My arm froze mid-wave. "It – what?"

"Ron's prefect, not me."

"Ron?" I spluttered in surprise. "But…are you sure…I mean – "

Then I saw the look on Ron's face.

Now, besides feeling extremely foolish, not to mention embarrassed, I also felt guilty. Why hadn't I thought of Ron? Ron's just as smart as Harry…and just as brave…and just as kind…and yes, he's pig-headed sometimes but he can also be surprisingly…I don't know. But I felt very, very stupid. He looked offended, but I think he also looked…hurt? Or maybe I was just imagining things.

"It's my name on the letter," he said coldly.

"I…I…wow!" I exclaimed, blushing. Accursed blushing. "Well done, Ron! That's really – "

"Unexpected?" George supplied.

"No…no it's not…Ron's done loads of…he's really…" I almost said something like 'great' or 'sweet' or 'nice' and then caught myself. I don't know why I couldn't give Ron a compliment…I suppose I would have felt silly…

Then Mrs. Weasley came in, and of course the twins had to spill the beans immediately (they didn't even let Ron give her the good news, honestly, you'd think that being a prefect is a sin or something with the way they were behaving…quite frankly, I think they're just jealous). Although Ron seems a bit uncertain about the whole thing, his mum is buying him a broom, so he's happy. Mrs. Weasley was thrilled as soon as she heard, of course, and that reminded me that I should owl my parents right away. At least 'prefect' is something they can understand. I just sent Hedwig off, actually…Mum and Dad will be so thrilled!

The only person that didn't seem very thrilled (apart from Fred and George, but they're just prats, so they don't count) was Harry.

Once Ron had dashed from the room, saying something about his broomstick, an awkward silence descended upon Harry and I. I looked at him. He looked away and walked over to his bed.

"Harry?" I tried.

"Well done, Hermione," he said in a voice that sounded extremely fake. "Brilliant. Prefect. Great."

"Thanks," I said, for lack of something better to say. I wanted to tell him that he deserved it too…that perhaps Dumbledore had chosen Ron because Harry will be busy with Quidditch and whatnot…but that would have been like accusing him outright of being jealous.

"Erm – Harry?" I said instead. "Could I borrow Hedwig so that I can tell Mum and Dad? They'll be really pleased – I mean, prefect is something they can understand."

And, once again, I take the prize for being the most insensitive person in the world. Well, maybe second place; Ron usually takes first. That was so the wrong thing to say…poor Harry, he must have thought I was rubbing it in his face, but I really wasn't trying to, it just came out wrong…

"Yeah, no problem!" Harry said in the same strained voice. "Take her!"

I took a few uncertain steps forward, and Harry turned his back to me. I quietly called Hedwig, and after hesitating a moment, I left the room with Hedwig perched on my shoulder. I didn't know what to say. Harry always gets everything; usually it's Ron that needs mollifying. It was strange to see the situation reversed. But hopefully Harry will realize that this is a wonderful thing for Ron…hopefully he'll be happy for both of us.

10:02 p.m.

I was just looking over the previous entry, and now I feel bad about what I wrote. "Harry always gets everything." I suppose it's partly true – after all, he was the youngest Seeker on the Quidditch team in over one hundred years, he got to be one of the Hogwarts champions, he's always had fame…but Harry didn't want any of that. Well, except perhaps for Quidditch. And now that I think about the things he's been through, I feel even more terrible about him not being chosen as a prefect. As I said before, I'm sure Dumbledore has his reasons – but with everything that's happened, everything the Daily Prophet's been saying, wouldn't he want to show a little faith in Harry?

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy for Ron. I'm glad that he was chosen; I think in such a large family, he sometimes gets lost in the crowd, and I could tell he was pleased that his mum had a special party for us tonight. And let's face it - Ron's self-confidence could do with a little boosting.

But even he agreed that it was strange Harry wasn't chosen.

To backtrack, Mrs. Weasley returned from Diagon Alley at around six o'clock (with our books, thank goodness…there's only two new ones, though, and the Defense Against the Dark Arts text is quite disappointing). She gave Ginny and I our things, still beaming, and hurried off to give Ron his broom, calling over her shoulder for us to get ready for dinner.

"The twins were being such prats, honestly…you'd think being a prefect was some sort of sin, the way they were carrying on," I told Ginny as we headed downstairs.

"Well," said Ginny tentatively, "Percy was a prefect."

"Oh." I stopped on the stairs, suddenly feeling foolish. "I hadn't thought of that."

"But so were Bill and Charlie, and they turned out fine," Ginny pointed out. I smiled weakly, and we resumed walking down the stairs, past those dreadful heads, which I still haven't successfully figured out how to get down.

"The twins just like to tease the rest of us, that's all," Ginny said under her breath with a smile as we came upon the boys in the front hall. Harry was looking and acting a bit more like himself, and Ron was clutching his new broom lovingly. The twins were glaring scathingly at either Ron or the broom, I'm not sure which. We entered the kitchen, where Mrs. Weasley had hung a scarlet banner over the dinner table, reading: "Congratulations - Ron and Hermione - New Prefects". I beamed.

"I thought we'd have a little party, not a sit-down dinner," Mrs. Weasley told us, glowing. "Your father and Bill are on their way, Ron. I've sent them both owls and they're thrilled."

Fred rolled his eyes. I shot him a dirty look.

Tonks, Kingsley, Mundungus, Bill and Moody showed up later on, and each congratulated Ron and I (though Moody in his own peculiar way). Mr. Weasley made a toast, and even Harry looked genuinely happy for us. Ron seemed too pre-occupied with his new broom to talk about our prefect duties, so I gave up on him and ended up getting into a great discussion with Professor Lupin about elf and werewolf rights.

When I went up to the table with Ginny for another baked potato, Mrs. Weasley swooped over and gave me a motherly kiss on the forehead.

"Congratulations dear," she said with a smile. "I'm sorry I didn't properly congratulate you before, I was all in a dither! Oh, it's so wonderful that you and Ronnie will be prefects together…"

"And before you know it, they'll be getting married…" said Fred, heaping food onto his plate.

"…having children…" continued George.

"…who will also be prefects…"

"…and their children's children, too…"

"Oh shut up, you two," Ginny said, seeing how red my face had become.

George smirked. "Well done, Gin. Keep it up and Hermione might just make you the maid of honour."

"Ginny's going to be whose maid of honour?" said Harry from behind us. I whirled around; he was standing behind George with an empty plate, waiting to get seconds. Thankfully, Ron was still halfway across the room, talking animatedly to Tonks about his broom.

"No one's," said Ginny breezily. "Baked potato, Harry?"

I could have sworn the corners of Harry's mouth twitched before he nodded and accepted the offered potato. Really.

Mrs. Weasley turned in early, and after talking to Moody for awhile, a quite pale-looking Harry quickly left as well. Speaking to Moody can often have that effect on a person. Tonks, Bill and Kingsley bade us goodnight around nine o'clock, the twins disappeared with Mundungus, and Lupin and Sirius retired shortly after. After waving his wand to set the cutlery and plates to cleaning themselves, Mr. Weasley left as well, yawning. Ginny started playing a game which I like to call coax-Crookshanks-out-from-under-the-table, while Ron sat down and started polishing his broomstick. I sat down opposite to him and smiled. Ron barely glanced up at me before returning to his broom.

"Well?" I prompted him.

"Well?" he repeated.

I sighed in exasperation. "Well aren't you excited?"

He shrugged.

"You know that we're supposed to go to the prefect carriage as soon as we get on the train, right?" I asked. "I suppose that's where the Head Boy and Girl will explain everything to us, and we'll get to find out who the other prefects are. Who do you think it is? I wouldn't be able to stand it if Malfoy was made prefect for Slytherin, although I have this horrible feeling that he will be, with his father's money and reputation. But I do hope Hannah Abbott is one of the Hufflepuff prefects. Last year she was always saying how much she wanted to be one – "

"I know we're supposed to go to the prefect carriage, I read the letter," Ron said quite brusquely.

Ginny rose to her feet with Crookshanks clutched in her arms, glanced at the two of us, and then quietly left the kitchen. I stared at Ron and took a deep breath. I knew what this was about.

"Look, Ron," I began slowly, "I'm sorry, I just thought…that Dumbledore would choose Harry…what with everything that's happened…"

Ron looked up from his broom, suddenly looking sheepish. "I know," he said quickly. "Sorry."

"I mean, I'm sorry if I embarrassed you but I just thought that – what?" I furrowed my eyebrows, caught off guard. Apologetic and forgiving aliens had apparently abducted the real Ron and replaced him with a well-disguised member of their own species.

"I thought it would be Harry, too," Ron muttered.

Evidently the aliens are honest, too.

I felt a wave of relief wash over me. "It's not that he's any better than you, Ron," I said gently. "It's just that…well…"

"He's Harry," Ron finished. "I know. He's always been Dumbledore's favourite." He shook his head. "So why did he pick me?" he asked in a low voice.

"Well, because you deserve it!" I exclaimed.

Ron looked at me skeptically.

I felt my face going red again. "I mean, you're smart and…you've done all sorts of brave things…and you're very loyal to your friends, obviously, and…well, you've leadership skills, and that's important for a prefect…"

Ron's ears went slightly pink. "Leadership skills?" he said, looking pleased. "Really?"

"Well, sure!" Again with the horrid blushing!

"Well," Ron said, looking a bit happier. He rose from his chair, broomstick clutched close. "We'd better get to bed…long day tomorrow, you know."

I nodded in agreement, even though I wasn't (and still am not) tired in the least – I don't know how anyone can sleep before the first day of school! Especially after an entire summer in Grimmauld Place, how could you not be ecstatic about going back to Hogwarts? But I followed Ron upstairs anyway. I do hope he doesn't drag that broom around with him everywhere all year.

"Well…see you tomorrow," I said once we got to the landing.

"Yeah," Ron said with a small smile. I turned to the bedroom door and he started heading up the stairs.


"Yes?" I asked, turning around.

"Thanks," Ron blurted out. Thankfully, he quickly pounded up the stairs, so he didn't see my face flush red. Stupid, stupid blushing!!!

This has really got to stop.

But on a lighter note – tomorrow! Finally, fifth year! I know it's going to be difficult what with O.W.L.'s and all, but I'm actually looking forward to the O.W.L.'s – and apparently this year we also get to look into career paths. Career paths! There's so much I want to do after Hogwarts, I don't know what to pick!

So with prefect duties, S.P.E.W., O.W.L. prep, not to mention regular homework, and choosing what I'm going to do for the rest of my life, I'll probably be much too busy this year to dwell on things that should not be dwelt upon. Much too busy. No more blushing or acting silly; this year is a time to get down to business and study.

In fact, I may even be too busy to write in here. I expect I won't be able to write in it at all this year, with my busy schedule!

Save for perhaps once every few months.

Well…maybe once every month.

Or…every few weeks.

And I suppose I still have to do my Weekly Goals…I'll just have to write in it every week.

Maybe more than once a week, should anything important should happen…

But it is not a diary.

It's still just a journal.