Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter, I'd be adored by millions, would insist upon cameos in all the movies, and would be rolling in cash. Unfortunately, I do not own Harry Potter. The characters in this fic, along with several scenes and a lot of dialogue, belong to J.K. Rowling. However, Hermione's thoughts and feelings belong to me. And Ron. *Ba dum, chh!* Damn, I'm good. All the new scenes and/or "extended scenes" (this is sounding like a DVD right about now) also came from little old me.
Warning: This fic contains a good, healthy dose of R/H. Not overwhelming amounts, but you have been warned nonetheless. Take Order of the Phoenix, and then take the R/H up a notch. Like Emeril. BAM!
Warning #2: You will be totally and completely lost if you have not read The Sorceress Diaries: Book One. Well, perhaps not totally and completely lost…but go read it anyways. And review. And stuff.
Author's notes: Finally! I've had this started for quite awhile, but with that damn schoolwork and those even damner (I realize this is not an adjective, but these are my author's notes and I will do whatever the hell I please, thank you very much) exams, I haven't had much time for writing/editing/posting. But here it is …the affectionately nicknamed The Sorceress Diaries: Reloaded (kudos to Chibikat for the brilliant title). Book One (which, as previously mentioned, you should probably read before tackling this) covered the trio's summer as written in Order of the Phoenix, but from Hermione's perspective. Book Two will cover the first day of school up until roughly New Year's or so, I haven't really decided exactly when.
Huge thanks and numerous sexy pictures of Alan Rickman (^_~) go out to Chibikat, whose input, encouragement, and super duper beta-ing skills are the reason this book even got started. You rock my socks, Kat. You rock them hard.
So without further ado…
The Sorceress Diaries: Book Two
Journal of Hermione Granger, aged fifteen years minus eighteen days
Friday, 1 September
Well, I can't sleep, so I may as well do something constructive.
Goals for the school year:
1) Achieve an "O" level in every O.W.L.
2) Make certain Harry and Ron achieve an "O" level in every O.W.L.
3) Or at least an "E".
4) But not by passively surrendering homework and giving them the answers. Will aid friends with gentle but firm encouragement.
5) Continue fight against forces of ignorance and oppression by figuring out a way to free Hogwarts house-elves, and recruiting new members for S.P.E.W.
7) Remind the old members of S.P.E.W. (Harry, Ron, Viktor, Mum, Dad) of their duties.
8) Contribute to school community in a positive way by honouring new prefect duties and setting a good example for younger students.
9) Begin looking into career paths and setting career goals for self.
10) Do not, under any circumstances, think about things that should not be thought about which have to do with a certain someone who will not be mentioned by name because that may or may not set off thinking about said things that should not be thought about.
I just had the most brilliant idea! Those hats that I made while trying to learn to knit a few weeks ago…Sirius won't allow me to give them to Kreacher, but what if I left them for the Hogwarts house-elves to find? Oh, why didn't I think of this before?! I'm going to start making new hats and leaving them around the common room as soon as I get to Hogwarts! The house-elves may not want to pick them up at first…so perhaps I'll have to hide them…so that they'll pick them up by accident…not that I'm trying to trick them, of course. They'll probably be ecstatic as soon as they realize what it means to be free! And once I get back to school I can use magic to knit instead of attempting to do it by hand, which is an enormous pain in the neck. Oh, this is so exciting! I always have my best ideas when I'm half-delirious in the middle of the night.
I wonder if anyone else is awake.
Well, I did some reading after the last entry, and surprisingly, that put me to sleep for a little bit. This may be because the Defense Against the Dark Arts text is an excellent cure for insomnia. I have a dreadful feeling that this is going to be a horrible year in terms of Defense Against the Dark Arts; that text is the dullest thing I have ever read in my entire life, and that's saying something.
Oh my goodness! It's 10:25, not 9:25!!!
Lavender and Parvarti aren't saying anything. Perhaps they've gone to sleep. Or perhaps they're silently plotting against me somehow. I really don't care.
It's been an absolutely insane day. We were late in getting ready thanks to my less-than-stellar time-reading skills, Fred and George nearly broke Ginny's neck by sending their trunk flying into her on the stairs, Ron panicked because he thought he had lost his prefect badge, only to discover it was in his pocket (the dolt), Hedwig almost didn't return to Grimmauld Place in time for me to give her back to Harry before we left, Sturgis Podmore didn't show up (as part of Harry's "guard" to King's Cross; of course Harry wasn't happy about that), Sirius recklessly insisted on coming with us to King's Cross, and I didn't even get to say goodbye to Kreacher.
But mercifully, we all managed to get to King's Cross on time, Ron and I with Mr. Weasley and the others with Mrs. Weasley, Tonks and Professor Lupin. Mad-Eye met us there, and then we all said goodbye. Although I'm so relieved to be out of Grimmauld Place, I will miss Tonks – she's been so kind and friendly to Ginny and I – not to mention Ron's parents, Lupin, and even Sirius…although his coming to the station was an enormous mistake…but I'll get to that later.
Once we had all scrambled onto the train, and the twins had gone off to do "business" (oh dear) with Lee, Harry turned to Ron and I.
"Shall we go and find a compartment, then?" he asked. Ron and I exchanged looks, and then Ron got very busy examining his fingernails.
"We're – well – Ron and I are supposed to go into the prefect carriage," I explained. I looked to Ron for help, but he was determinedly not looking at Harry. I sighed.
"Oh. Right. Fine," said Harry in typical I-appear-to-be-all-right-with-this-but-really-I'm-not fashion.
All right, that was uncalled for and a tiny bit mean. I know Harry has a right to be like that occasionally.
…But really, it's getting old.
I explained to him that we'd only be there for about an hour, and Ron and I were just about to leave when Ron anxiously spoke up. "It's a pain having to go down there," he said very fast. "I'd rather…but we have to…I mean, I'm not enjoying it, I'm not Percy."
"I know you're not," said Harry with what I hope was a genuine grin. But Ron still looked anxious as I dragged him away, towards the prefect carriage.
"I'm not," he repeated, for my sake, presumably.
"Of course you're not Percy," I said, feeling quite impatient with him at the moment, since I thought we were late. "But you don't have to justify yourself to Harry. He's happy for you."
Ron said nothing until we got into the prefect's carriage. There, to our utter delight (sarcasm), we found none other than…joy…Draco Malfoy. He and Pansy Parkinson are the Slytherin prefects. Gag.
"Well, well, well," said Malfoy softly as we walked in, a look of mild surprise on his face. Ron stopped in his tracks, promptly scowled, and balled his fists. I just glared at him. If I can tell off Emma Crick, I can most certainly tell off Draco Malfoy. I am so extremely sick of him. This year, I absolutely refuse to take it from him. And to think he's a prefect. He was absolutely horrible to a first-year when we first got to Hogwarts…but never mind, I'll get to that.
"What an accurate representation of Gryffindor house – a Mudblood, and a Mudblood-lover," Malfoy smirked.
"Did it take you all summer to think up that one, Malfoy?" Ron snapped sarcastically.
Ron: 1, Malfoy: 0.
Malfoy looked slightly taken aback, but that disgusting smirk quickly hitched itself back onto his face. Pansy (how did she get to be a prefect?! How?!) sauntered over, wearing an expression eerily similar to Draco's.
"I must admit I'm surprised that Dumbledore's favourite boy isn't here," Malfoy said. "I suppose even Dumbledore has finally realized that Potter really is a – "
"Everyone here?" said the Head Girl, Margaret Hunter, briskly. Ron and I contented ourselves with glaring at Malfoy and then took seats next to Ernie Macmillan and Hannah Abbott. Ravenclaw's prefects are Anthony Goldstein and Padma Patil, who looked at Ron disdainfully when we sat down.
Margaret and Robert Brooks, the Head Boy, proceeded to introduce themselves and explain to us our duties for the year. It sounds like a lot of responsibilities, but I'm really very excited about it, and I took lots of notes so that I won't forget anything. Our duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
1) Patrolling the corridors of the Hogwarts Express during the journey, and supervising students as they get off the train. (That one's a bit obsolete now, obviously, but we're supposed to supervise the train ride home too).
2) Leading first-years to the Gryffindor common room after the Sorting Feast. (Already done too, of course.)
3) Maintaining order and supervising students in our common rooms, the corridors, the grounds, and the Great Hall. (Ron looked absolutely petrified at this…I think he realized that he's responsible for telling off the twins, if the occasion arises.)
4) Giving detentions (they stressed when we see fit…but of course that won't stop Malfoy from blatantly abusing his privileges…argh), or notifying a teacher when we see students misbehaving or breaking any of the school rules.
5) Supervising the students during Quidditch matches and Hogsmeade visits, and ensuring that all students return to the school safely afterwards. ("Great, I won't be able to enjoy a Quidditch match or Hogsmeade visit all year if we have to watch the little buggers," Ron grumbled. Really.)
6) Providing a positive example for younger students as well as help and advice to any of our house-mates. (This produced a hilarious mental picture of Malfoy lending some arbitrary first-year Slytherin a shoulder to cry on, and earned me several strange looks from the other prefects and Ron when I had to clap my hand over my mouth to keep from bursting into laughter. Sometimes I can be very silly.)
It sounds like a lot of hard work, but it also sounds like a lot of fun! We have prefects meetings once a week on Saturday mornings, and we get all sorts of privileges, like our own lovely bathrooms and a little prefect's lounge on the third floor! Ron seemed to perk up a little at that, although I'm afraid the prospect of sharing a lounge with Malfoy is not very appealing to me, personally. Oh well, hopefully he'll stick with the Slytherin common room.
"That's it!" Rob (Robert told us to call him Rob; he's such a nice boy and really smart too…Margaret told me that he wants to be a Healer when he graduates from Hogwarts…it's so difficult to get in though, you have to get a ton of N.E.W.T's) said brightly. "We're supposed to get you lot to patrol the corridors from time to time, but Maggie and I will take care of that for the most part so you can get something to eat," he grinned. "I think the trolley's already gone by, but hopefully you've got some good friends that got you something."
"Hopefully. I'm starved," Ron said enthusiastically, unceremoniously picking up Crookshanks and dumping him in my arms, and then grabbing Pig's cage.
"Detention, Weasley," said Malfoy from behind us. I was very tempted to tell him to get a hobby…but sadly, I really believe that taunting us is his hobby.
"Oh, honestly Malfoy, you can't give him detention," I snapped irritably.
"What for?" Ron said in a bored voice, rolling his eyes.
"For being that ugly," Malfoy smirked. Pansy let out a high-pitched squeal which I think was supposed to be a laugh. Ron's face turned red. I gritted my teeth and dragged him out of the prefect's carriage.
Us: 1, Malfoy: 1
"word that describes Malfoy perfectly but that I do not care to repeat, even in writing…" muttered Ron savagely as we searched for Harry and Ginny. "Why would Dumbledore make him a prefect?"
I sighed. "Well if you think about it, what other choices were there? Crabbe? Goyle?"
"Good point," said Ron as we finally found Harry. He was in a compartment with Neville, Ginny, and that strange Luna girl from Ravenclaw. I don't mean to be rude, but she seems a bit…batty, quite frankly. And how was I supposed to know that her father was the editor of that rubbish magazine? Anyway…we told everyone who the other prefects were (Ron still seemed bitter about Malfoy, but he contented himself with shoving numerous chocolate frogs down his throat in a thoroughly disgusting fashion), then Harry started reading that Luna girl's magazine and Ginny, Neville, and I started talking about Quidditch.
All right, so Neville and Ginny started talking about Quidditch. I listened and nodded. I just can't get into that sport…it's only interesting when Harry's playing.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and predictably, Malfoy showed up in our carriage not ten minutes later. The door opened and there was Malfoy, flanked by his cronies Crabbe and Goyle, who seem to have increased both in girth and stupidity over the summer.
"What?" said Harry in annoyance before Malfoy could even open his mouth. That's another point for us. I love it when Malfoy doesn't get the first word or the last laugh.
"Manners, Potter, or I'll give you a detention," Malfoy drawled. "You see I, unlike you, have been made a prefect, which means that I, unlike you, have the power to hand out punishments."
What a complete sack of lies; he can't give Harry detention without permission and a reason any easier than he could give Professor McGonagall detention. Prat.
But Harry, unfazed, shot back, "Yeah. But you, unlike me, are a git, so get out and leave us alone."
Us: 3, Malfoy: 1. Unfortunately, our victory did not last long.
"Tell me, how does it feel to be second-best to Weasley, Potter?" Malfoy snarled.
I hate that boy.
"Shut up, Malfoy," I snapped.
"I seem to have touched a nerve," said Malfoy, obviously enjoying himself. "Well just watch yourself, Potter, because I'll be dogging your footsteps in case you step out of line."
I breathed in sharply and stood up. "Get out!"
Malfoy snickered, but he gave one last glare to Harry, and then to myself, and quickly left. I like to think that Malfoy's somewhat wary of me. He probably thinks that I might do something unexpected and violent, like slap him again. But I'm fairly sure that slapping another prefect is grounds for having your prefect duties taken away from you. Unfortunately.
But that wasn't what was on my mind then…it was Malfoy's use of the word "dogging". Obviously, Peter Pettigrew would have told Voldemort about Sirius being an Animagus, so it's not so hard to believe that Lucius Malfoy would know about it. I knew Sirius coming to the station was a mistake! What if this gets back to Malfoy Sr.? I seriously considered writing a letter to Grimmauld Place immediately, but then I remembered what Mad-Eye said: "If in doubt, don't put it in a letter at all." So there goes that idea.
Harry and I exchanged meaningful looks, but of course Ron didn't notice anything amiss, thanks to his excellent observational skills (sarcasm again).
The rest of the train ride was uneventful. Ron and I left the carriage early to supervise the students getting their things together and getting off the train. It's amazing how much more respect you get with a prefect's badge pinned to your robes, especially from the first-years! They look up to you, they respect you…it was a wonderful feeling. I could tell Ron rather liked it too. As much as he's trying not to enjoy the fact that he's a prefect – because of Percy - I know that he is enjoying it, just a little.
Once everyone was off the train, I immediately looked around for Hagrid. Something cold settled in my stomach when I spotted Professor Grubbly-Plank with a lantern near the docks, calling for the first-years. I grabbed Ron's arm.
"Where's Hagrid?" I demanded, as if he would know.
"Hagrid?" repeated Ron, looking around quickly. He spotted Professor Grubbly-Plank. "No…what's she - ?"
A group of first-years who had been struggling with their luggage suddenly broke us apart, hurrying to get over to Professor Grubbly-Plank. Ron and I got separated in the crowd, and I was roughly jostled by several excited students until I found myself on the other side of the platform. I started heading back towards where I'd seen Ron's head disappear, but then I spotted Malfoy. He was looming over a tiny, blonde first-year boy, who was clutching his luggage to his chest.
"Repeat it," Malfoy commanded. A few of his mindless Slytherin followers, including Pansy, Crabbe, Goyle, and Blaise Zabini, had formed a circle around the poor boy to prevent him from escaping.
The boy's eyes darted around at the circle of people enclosing him. "I…I'm a lowly piece of first-year scum…and will watch where I'm…I'm going - " the boy whispered reluctantly.
"Yes, Granger, can I help you?" Malfoy sneered.
"Let – that – boy – go – this – instant!" I said furiously, breaking through his little Slytherin circle to stand near the small first-year.
"I'm sorry Granger, are you under the impression that you have more authority than me?" Malfoy said in mock surprise. "Because if so, you would not only be delusional, but also sorely mistaken."
"I don't care if you're wearing a prefect's badge, you can not treat first-years like that!" I yelled.
"He bumped into me. I was simply disciplining him," Malfoy said lazily. His cronies snickered. The first-year boy, who had remained motionless behind me, suddenly stepped up beside me, jutting out his chin. Crabbe glowered at him. The boy seemed to change his mind and hastily stepped behind me again.
"I'm reporting you to Professor McGonagall," I said coldly. I put a hand on the first-year boy's shoulder and started marching away with him.
"Of course, run to McGonagall," Malfoy called after me. "Unfortunately, she won't be able to protect you and the other Mudbloods from what's coming!"
I ignored him, but that didn't stop the shivers that suddenly went down my spine.
…Us: 3; Malfoy: 3
"Thanks," said the first-year boy quietly. His name's Euan, I believe; he was Sorted into Gryffindor.
"If he bothers you again, tell me or one of the other prefects, or a teacher, all right?" I said. He nodded and then hurried towards Professor Grubbly-Plank.
When I finally found Harry and Ron, they were looking around as if they had lost something. I ranted to them about Malfoy's foul behaviour, got Crookshanks back from Ginny, and then got into the carriage. That Luna girl came along with us, and when Ginny brought up Hagrid, she came out of her own little world for a moment.
"Hagrid can't have left, can he?" Ginny asked worriedly.
"I'll be quite glad if he has," Luna said. "He isn't a very good teacher, is he?"
"Yes he is!" said Ron, Harry, and Ginny all at once. Harry glared at me, and I felt my cheeks flush.
"Erm…yes…he's very good," I supplied. Well, it's not a lie, but it's not the truth either. Hagrid knows his material and he is very, very good with magical creatures, but...Malfoy scared him back in third year and I don't think Hagrid's ever gotten his confidence back. Everything comes back to Malfoy, the dirty, rotten…and who does that Luna girl think she is, anyway? Criticizing Hagrid when she'd snapped at me for criticizing her father's rubbish magazine on the train…and what does she care about who Ron went to the Yule Ball with?!
"Well, we in Ravenclaw think he's a bit of a joke," Luna said conversationally.
"You've got a rubbish sense of humour, then," Ron snapped. This didn't seem to bother Luna though; she just stared at Ron for the rest of the carriage ride.
Hagrid wasn't in the Great Hall either, but no one else seemed to notice his absence. In fact, I think Professor Dumbledore was trying not to call attention to it. Hagrid must still be doing something for the Order…I just hope he's not hurt…or in danger…
Then we spotted the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
"It's that Umbridge woman!" Harry exclaimed.
"Who?" I asked.
"She was at my hearing, she works for Fudge!"
"Nice cardigan," Ron snorted. I have to admit - it was a horrid cardigan. She dresses and speaks like a ten-year-old girl…which is somehow unsettling…
"She works for Fudge!" I said, frowning. "What on earth's she doing here then?" I glanced up and down the staff table, and suddenly a horrible thought occurred to me. She works for Fudge. Fudge sent her. The Ministry is interfering at Hogwarts.
Just then, the first-years were brought in to be Sorted. The Sorting Hat was singing quite a different tune this year. All throughout the song, a very cold feeling was growing in the pit of my stomach. I was listening intently, but I couldn't keep my eyes off Professor Umbridge, with that fake smile plastered on her face. As the song went on, the smile kept getting faker and faker. By the end it looked more like she was grimacing.
I'm worried about the Sorting Hat's song. Are things so bad that the Sorting Hat feels the need to give the school advice? Don't get me wrong, it was sound advice…but it was also frightening. "Know the perils, read the signs…Hogwarts is in danger from external, deadly foes…we must unite inside her…" I don't think many people knew what to make of it, and those that did are going to have a hard time following that advice. But I think it's very true…we do have to unite from within if we want to have a chance against You-Know-Who.
We asked Nearly Headless Nick about it during the feast, and he said that the hat's given the school warnings before, whenever it feels the school's in danger. But then we didn't find out anything more, because Ron had to go and insult poor Nick. As if it wasn't bad enough that he disgusted everyone at the Gryffindor table by shovelling indecent quantities of food into his mouth.
After the feast, Umbridge interrupted Dumbledore during his speech (she interrupted Dumbledore…the nerve!) to say a little speech of her own, which was rather illuminating. She confirmed my suspicion that the Ministry is going to be keeping a very close eye on Hogwarts this year. I don't know just how much power this Umbridge woman has (or thinks she has) at the Ministry or at Hogwarts, but I didn't like the sound of it. We have other things to worry about besides having to worry about the Ministry of Magic interfering at Hogwarts. And if her speech was any indication, Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons are going to be horrible this year.
After the feast, Ron and I had to take the new Gryffindor first-years (they seem like a good bunch) to the common room. I showed the girls to their dormitory and reminded them where mine is just in case they have any questions for me. They seemed too tired to care about anything at the time, but I'm sure they'll have loads of questions for me in the morning.
I went back down to the common room, just to see if Ron and Harry were there, and finding it Ron and Harry-less I headed back up to my dormitory. I froze outside the door, however, when I heard Parvarti and Lavender talking in low voices.
"…see who he took the carriage with? Loony Lovegood. Mum told me he'd gone mad; he must be if he's hanging around with her."
"I don't know, Lavender…"
"But he's done all those crazy things! Do you remember in Divination last year, when he started screaming in his sleep? He's always been strange…and now he's making up those stories about You-Know-Who - "
Having heard enough, I strode furiously into the room and slammed the door behind me. They immediately stopped talking. Turning pink, Lavender cleared her throat, got up off her bed, and started unpacking her things with her back to me.
"Oh…hi Hermione!" Parvarti said in a fake, nervous-sounding voice. "How was your summer?"
"Harry is not mad," I said furiously. "He is not strange, he is not a liar, and You-Know-Who is back."
Lavender whirled around to face me with her hands on her hips, looking flushed. "Well…that's just the sort of thing…of course you're going to believe him," she stammered defensively.
"What is that supposed to mean?" I demanded.
"Well…you're his friend...and…and…well, I'm entitled to my own opinion!" Lavender said shrilly. She looked to Parvarti for help, but Parvarti had gone strangely quiet.
"Fine, but keep your misinformed opinion to yourself," I snapped. "I won't have you spreading rumours about Harry."
Lavender pursed her lips and her chin wobbled. She looked as if she couldn't decide whether to scream at me or burst into tears. Not really caring which she decided upon, I stomped into the bathroom, changed into my nightgown, and without looking at either of them, shut myself up in my bed and started writing in here. Neither of them said a word after that. They must both be asleep by now.
I hate ignorant people, I am going to hate this Umbridge woman, and I hate Malfoy. The tally for today ends at Us: 3; Malfoy: 3.
…Not that I'm doing anything childish, like keeping score.
Oh, dear. This year hasn't started out on a very positive note, has it?