Rivals Pt. 1
By Cloud_Strife_73
Characters, and Harry Potter Ó?J.K. Rowling(of course)
Foreword: The rating for this is fanfic is 'R' because it features a F/F pairing. If you don't like this sorta thing, then take a hike, and don't flame me because I DID warn you. Please R/R as this is one of my first fanfics, but be gentle... :D
Drop me a line if ya like it, O.K.?!?!?

Harry, Ron and Hermione waited for the first years to get through with the sorting hat patiently, applauding for the ones going to the various tables, louder for the ones headed their way, regular applause for new Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws, and groans of pity and shaking of heads for the unfortunate ones headed to the Slytherin table.

"Finally, they're all done! I'm starved." Ron exclaimed, as he watched the headmaster, rise to his feet to address the students.

At once, the excited chatter subsided as Dumbledore raised a hand to silence the children.

"Welcome new and our returning students. I hope you have you all have a successful year. Now to acknowledge a few things before we start the feast-"

Ron and Harry groaned. Hermione glared and mouthed a silent 'Shut up' at them. They shut up.

Dumbledore went on. "-First to the Hufflepuffs, deepest sympathies for what happened at the Tri-Wizard Tournament." The Hufflepuff students who had been there last year paled noticeably, while the new kids wondered what was the matter, looking towards Dumbledore for an explanation. "Cedric Diggory was killed by Lord Voldemort at the end of the Tri-Wizard Tournament last year. He was a fine young man and will be missed sorely. A statue of Cedric has been erected in the Hufflepuff common room." He went on to introduce the new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher, and several other thing for a few minutes, and then concluded.

Everyone cheered as lots of food magically appeared at the tables. Ron and Harry piled generous helpings of food on their plates. Hermione scoffed at their greed as she glanced over at the Ravenclaw table. She wondered how Cho had taken the mention of Cedric's name. She was relieved to see that she had taken it well. She and Cho had become friends over the last year when she informed Hermione she would be a prefect this year, since Mcgonagall took a vote last year among the prefects to decide if she should become one next year. It had been unanimous, minus the 'biased against Potter & Friends' Slytherin prefects. But it was enough to get her in. Cho saw her looking at her and winked.

Hermione blushed, and smiled at Cho. Cho smiled a charming smile and winked again in return, before going back into conversation with several of her friends at her table. Hermione felt butterflies in her stomach at the smile she got from Cho, but there was some things that were worrying her. Over the summer, she realized she liked Cho in a different way- the romantic way. And Hermione realized this was quite normal, but that wasn't one of the things that was troubling her. First how did Cho feel about her, what the rest of the school would think and most importantly, how Ron and Harry would respond if they found out about her crush: Ron probably wouldn't care, but Harry had a serious crush on Cho, ever since the previous year. How would he feel? Would their friendship suffer? Wh- Hermione was shaken of her worried thoughts by Harry's worried voice.

"What's the matter Herm? Aren't you gonna eat something? Are you feeling okay?" Harry inquired.
"I'm alright Harry... I was just thinking about something." Hermione stated, wondering how long she had been out in space like that. She shook her head and put some food on her plate and talked with Harry and Ron, pushing her troubles out of her mind temporarily.

The next day, after classes out on the grounds, Harry and Ron were playing a game of Exploding Snap with Fred and George. Hermione sat on a bench, watching them playing the game on the grass(oblivious to the punishment they'd get if they accidentally blew up some of the grass) , but not really watching them. Her mind was elsewhere- on Cho. She closed her eyes and imagined revealing her feelings to Cho and having them returned in kind, Harry falling in love with someone else (maybe Ginny; she's had a crush on him ever since she met him) and everything working out fine. She thought of all that attracted her to Cho: the long gleaming wave of black hair that stopped at her shoulders that positively begged for you to touch it; the large irises of dark chocolate that caught Hermionie's own sapphire blue ones whenever their eyes met, that made it so Hermione could hardly tear her eyes away; the smile that could reach her soul on even her worst days and change her attitude so much in a matter of seconds, Harry and Ron always asked if she had taken a drink of Finnegan's Cheer-Up Tonic; the rest of her body, but Hermione forced herself not to think of that, or else she would start blushing horribly; but above all, Hermione valued Cho's brilliant mind, sprit , and kind heart. That's all that really mattered, but the rest was a nice addition. Hermione added with a slight smile.

"Hey."
Hermione almost thought she could hear Cho calling her in her thoughts...
" 'ey Hermione!" Someone was shaking her shoulders, bringing her back to the real world.
"Wha? What is it? I-" Her eyes flew open, not wanting to leave her perfect mental world. As her eyes adjusted to the sudden intake of sunlight, she gradually saw none other than- "Cho?"
"The one and only. At least at Hogwarts, that is." Cho said grinning. She turned to face the others. "Hey, Harry, Ron, Fred , George. What's up?"
Harry looked like he was choking, since all he could do was nod at Cho. Rod, Fred and George all said hello, then after Fred clapped Harry on the back several times to get him breathing again, they resumed their game. Cho, turning to Hermione once again, started to speak again.

"Hermione, do you want to go for a walk? I wanna show you something." she whispered in Hermione's ear.
Hermione's heart pounded fiercely, as if it had suddenly turned into a bass drum. Thoughts raced through her head, but she knew what she was going to say.
"I'd love to."
Cho's eyes lit up even more than they already were. "Let's go then. We want to be back in time for dinner." She pulled Hermione up by her hand and dragged he off towards the castle.
After they were out of earshot, Harry said, "Wonder where they're off to?"
"Maybe Cho needed help with her homework," Ron suggested, then quipped "If only YOU were a brain, Harry, you could tutor Cho one-on-one."
Fred and George snickered.
"Shut up Ron."

They had been climbing random staircases for the past ten minutes. Eventually Hermione's curiosity got the best of her. "Where are we going, Cho?" she said, pausing to catch her breath.
Cho turned around to face her. With a look of feigned annoyance, although her tone revealed excitement, she simply said "It's a SECRET... any way it's just two staircases more, so come on..." pulling Hermione along towards the next staircase. Once they had climbed the final staircase, they walked down a narrow hall where Cho stopped suddenly. Hermione looked around. "Cho, there's nothing here, except a painting." Cho smiled and pointed at the painting. Hermione looked closer. The painting looked exactly like a door and, upon closer examination, she saw a keyhole. She looked up at the Ravenclaw Seeker confused. Cho reached into her pocket and pulled out a bronze key. She placed it into the keyhole and turned it. A loud 'click' signaled the door was open.
"Where'd you get this?" Hermione asked.
"Roger Davies gave me the key and told me all about it to keep me quiet when I saw him and this 7th year girl coming out of an unused classroom last week after classes. Obviously he had been using it for his midnight trysts." Cho pointed towards the door. "You go first. I came up here yesterday."
Hermione opened the door.

A large sized room greeted her eyes. It was like the grounds, with a small lake in the center. The ceiling seemed to be enchanted, as was dark blue with the nights first stars emerging. Cho entered behind her and silently closed the door. She then gestured towards the lake. "It's a magical lake. If you come closer it'll tell you what it does. Hermione stepped closer. A ghostly voice came out of the lake singing a song sort of like the Sorting Hat, only shorter.

'I'm the magical pool
And my predictions of who you love are fool proof
My matchmaking skills are precise
And you-and the lover I name, will be together for life.'

Hermione's heart skipped a beat as she wondered what Cho would do if the pond was going to say what she thought it would. She walked forward, knelt down, and looked at her reflection. The pond began to sing again.

'Lo and behold,
The person you love
Is standing above.'

Puzzled, Hermione looked behind her shoulder. Cho was standing behind her, looking shocked.
"I can explain..." Hermione started, as she stood to face her crush.
Cho put a slender finger to Hermione's lips to silence her. Hermione's eyes widened in puzzlement.
"Last night when I came up here... the pond revealed my true love.. and it was you."
"So that's what you brought me up here for? Why didn't you just tell me how you felt?"
"Because I didn't know how you felt. That's why I brought you up here. If it had been someone else you loved, I wouldn't have said anything, just let my feelings for you go.." She reached forward and embraced Hermione, who responded in kind.
"But.. Harry likes you too, Cho."
"Well, I guess that makes you two rivals, eh? We'll tell him when the time is right." Cho looked at her watch. "I think we should head down to the great Hall, Herm. Diner's about to start."
"O.K." Hermione grabbed Cho's hand and they walked hand-in-hand downstairs, relinquishing their grasp on each other after they had passed a dark corner ,nearing the sounds of students. The only thing that could ruin this day was if someone found out and told Harry before she could muster the courage to face him herself.

A full minute later after the two lovers had passed, Draco Malfoy stepped out of the shadows, a very nasty grin spreading across his pale face.

End of Pt. 1