Disclaimer: The who and where belong to JK Rowling. The what, when, and how are mine.
Author's Note: I am one of those people who dwell on the humor fics and adore them deep down in my soul, but when asked to write humor, am struck down by a bolt of lightning. A bolt of lightning I affectionately call the Giant Lightning Bolt of Terror. This, however, is my attempt, and if you hate it, I'm sorry. I am trying. I have a real strong feeling that most of this story will be written in my room after midnight, all rebellious-like, because my mother thinks I'm asleep. Mwa ha ha. Therefore, I will try very hard not to make silly mistakes in my grammar or spelling, but since I can barely read what I'm typing, let alone understand it, I trust you will all forgive me. Oh dear, I am making much too many excuses and complaints. I really should just get on with the story. So, here you go...
Chapter 1: Rings and Things
Hermione stood from bed around dawn. She looked down at her hand and smiled at the small, demure diamond then at the young man still slumbering peacefully. She crept through the dormitory room to the staircase where she walked silently until getting to the Common Room, running full speed at the staircase leading to her dormitory, then crept to her own bed, plopping down for a short morning nap.
The yapping of young girls drew her awake and she flung her curtains open, praying to God that she wasn't late in waking. What she saw was Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil gaping and giggling at their star chart assigned by Professor Trelawney. Twits!Hermione's mind mused annoyingly. She sank back into her pillows, desperately trying to recover any chance she had at more sleep, but to no avail. As she was already up and there was nothing to be done about it, she changed out of yesterday's outfit into today's and stepped into her robes. She made her bed neatly and pranced down the stairs into the Common Room wearing a smile a mile wide.
"Geez," Ginny said as Hermione wished the whole house a good morning, "What's gotten into you?"
"Nothing," Hermione said, hiding her left hand behind her back as she tugged the ring off her finger and placed it in her back pocket.
"Well, you're sure in a happy mood," Ginny said, shrugging it off, "I just thought something might have happened."
"Like what?" Hermione demanded. "What did you think might have happened?"
Ginny looked taken aback. "I don't know..." then she smiled mischievously, "Like you might have met a guy."
"No!" Hermione said loudly, and then recovered, "I mean, no, I haven't met anyone."
"Fine." Ginny walked away, flipping her hair happily and joining some other fifth years.
Ron made his way across the Common Room and met Hermione. "Hey," he said. "Let's go down, I'm starved." He clutched his stomach as a booming rumble emanated from beneath his shirt.
"Where's Harry?" Hermione asked, trying to sound casual.
"He'll meet us down in a minute. Why?"
Why did everything sound so suspicious?
"No reason," she answered quickly. "Can't a friend just wonder about another friend?"
"Yeah," Ron said, stepping back with an expression as if Hermione had assumed the form of a giant, fire-breathing cactus. "I was just wondering."
"Sorry," she said, taking his arm and leading him to the portrait. "I've been kind of stressed lately."
"I can tell." He stopped after they had exited their Common Room. "You know, Hermione, you can tell me anything. If something's bothering you, I'm the guy you can come to."
"I know," she began walking again, "but this is nothing, just schoolwork piling up on me." She waved a hand and let out a little, exasperated giggle.
Ron cocked an eyebrow skeptically.
"Okay, so that's not the whole truth," Hermione confided, "but the whole truth is just so much bigger and more complicated than I can even grip my mind around."
"I wasn't pushing it," Rom said, highly amused at her melodramatic display.
Hermione's cheeks reddened slightly. "Sorry again."
They entered the Great Hall, the aromas lifting and tantalizing their senses. Did it always smell this good? Hermione thought to herself.
They seated themselves and began feasting on hot cakes and oats and muffins and all that the Hogwarts' kitchen had offered. Hermione thought that nothing could lighten her mood more, until the doors swung open and Harry waltzed into the Great Hall, his arms swinging at his sides, a confident gleam in his eyes.
It was then, in the midst of all his radiating glory, that a blueberry muffin struck him in the temple, wiping the stupid grin off his face. Hermione stifled her laughter until she glanced at the origin of the flying muffin. Slytherine table... and Draco Malfoy. She ran to help Harry up, and cleaned the muffin entrails from the side of his face and out of his hair.
"Oh, is your mommy cleaning you up, Potter?" Malfoy jeered, his goonies snorting uncontrollably.
"Shove it, Malfoy," Hermione spat back.
"Gladly, Doll." Malfoy winked at her and licked his lips suggestively as his crowd howled with laughter. Harry's pupils dilated in rage and he turned towards the Slytherine table, knocking over chairs and innocent first years in the process.
"Harry!" Hermione ran after him, desperately trying to hold him back, but to no avail. Harry pulled his fist back and slugged Malfoy straight in the nose, resulting in more blood than was intended. Malfoy straightened himself, wiped his mouth viciously, and returned the favor. By now, Ron, Seamus, Dean, Neville, and a hoard of other Gryffindors had joined the crowd, shooting punches at anxious Slytherine boys who had been awaiting them. When a good portion of the staff arrived, they were able to separate the boys and send eight, including the original offenders, to the hospital wing.
Hermione and Ron stood at the edge of the Hospital Wing, waiting impatiently for the signal to visit Harry.
"So," Ron asked for about the thirty-eighth time since the fight had broken up, "what did Malfoy do to send Harry off like that?"
"It's not important, Ron," Hermione said, "it was just one of those irritating, insulting things that Malfoy says."
"But it wasn't 'Mudblood'?"
"I thought we had already established that."
"Then why won't you tell me?"
Madam Pomfrey arrived during their friendly chat and cut Ron off.
"You can see Mr. Potter now," she said, "there were no serious injuries, just a bloody nose and a sprained ankle."
They followed her down the row of beds until they got to the last one, in which Harry was laying, looking bored, if anything.
"Hey, Harry," Ron said, "how you feeling?"
"Great. I'd just like to get out of here. I can't miss another day of Potions, three in a row will land me permanent residence with Snape."
Hermione took Harry's arm softly, "I'm sure you'll be out in time for Potions."
His eyes lit up as they paused for a tender moment. Harry took Hermione's hand, running his thumb over her fourth finger plaintively before turning to Ron, "Hey," he said cheerfully, "you think you can sweet talk me out of this bed?"
Ron winked, cracked his knuckles and turned on his heel towards Pomfrey.
"Harry," Hermione whimpered, "you can't do this. We have to make a stand, because if we continue the way we've been, you are going to have to learn to control yourself."
"But did you hear..."
"Yes," Hermione stroked his hand lovingly and said in a calmed voice, "and it wasn't nearly as bad as the things he's said and done to me in the past. People will suspect something's up if you start a riot over a comment that innocent."
"Innocent? Do you know what he was suggesting?"
"I'm not eight, Harry, of course I know what he was suggesting."
Pomfrey returned with Ron's earlobe held tightly between her thumb and forefinger. "Mr. Potter, if you send your little crony to meddle in my business once more, I will confine you to that bed for the remainder of term."
"Ooh, four days- scary..." Ron managed in the midst of his ear-splitting agony, to which Pomfrey yanked and twisted harder, emitting a low groan from Ron.
"I'm sorry, Madam Pomfrey, I just didn't want to miss another day of Potions, and, seeing as how I'm feeling so much better, I thought I might be let out early."
Pomfrey squinted in thought, her nose wrinkling unpleasantly.
"Alright, you may go to Potions, but if you have trouble walking or the blood starts flowing again, come straight back to me. Understand?"
The three of them nodded solemnly.
"Then be on your way."
As they approached the dungeons, the trio was thoroughly regretting leaving the Hospital Wing. Missing another day of Potions seemed glorious as they heard the deafening disorder emitting from the dungeons, along with lots of smoke a rank, rotting smell.
Ron shot a desperate glance in Harry's direction, though Harry missed it. He was far too caught up in his own painful musings of the horrors he would be put through because of his tardiness.
As they approached the dungeons, the rotting smells and smoke became more apparent, along with other sounds that didn't quite seem right, including a few choice words from a very unhappy-sounding Snape.
As they turned into the dungeons, they met an absolute anarchy. Many of their friends were running past them screaming, some being stunned in the process. This brought on a new curiosity in our friends, and they raced down the hall to the heart of the offense, defending themselves against attackers all the way.
When they turned into Snape's classroom, they met a horrific sight- that in which Snape was without a shirt... sprawled on his stomach across his desk.
"Oh God!" Ron shrieked manically, "shield my virgin eyes!"
It was only after this first terror had passed that the whole situation came into light. Three men, cloaked and unrecognizable, stood over a group close to seven or eight students, all either stunned magically or out of pure fear. One of the men, taller than the others, turned his wand to Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
"Ah," he sighed darkly, "just the one I've been waiting for." He strode to the trio and Hermione and Ron stepped in front of Harry protectively.
"You'll have to get through us," Hermione said, raising her wand.
The Death Eater chuckled softly before grabbing Hermione up in his arms and carrying her to the other students. This was, to say the least, a surprise. No one ever threatened Hermione, she was not a target- that role was reserved for Harry, so the three of them stood, completely perplexed for a good three seconds before the large Death Eater man raised his wand and cleared his throat menacingly.
"Avada..." the three men said simultaneously before having their wands dispelled from their hands and through the door behind Harry and Ron.
With the combined efforts of Harry, Ron, Neville, and a few others who had been paying attention in Defense Against the Dark Arts the Disarming spell had worked perfectly. The same group of heroes turned to tend to the now frantic Death Eaters, none of which could seem to locate their wand, and all of which were stunned within moments.
Hermione joined her friends, quivering slightly at her near-death experience. "We need to go to Dumbledore!" she shouted above the sounds of hysterical teenagers. Always one to take charge, she instructed Harry stay and watch over the criminals, Ron stay and revive the students and the shirtless Snape, and she would go to find Dumbledore. They agreed, not completely eager on Ron's part, and separated.
Hermione took off down the hall, trying not to step on the blanket of students lining the hallway. The search for her Headmaster did not take long, as he was at the entranceway to the dungeons just as she was, resulting in a collision of sorts.
"Dumbledore!" Hermione said, rubbing her head and standing slowly, trying to avoid the little stars blocking her vision. She gave the Headmaster her hand, and helped him to his feet. "There are three Death Eaters in the..."
Dumbledore nodded quickly, "Don't worry, Miss Granger, I have it taken care of." He turned away from her and briskly made his way down the hallway, turning mid-stride to shout back at her, "Kindly report to your Transfiguration classroom now, Miss Granger. Professor McGonnagall needs to speak to you."
She nodded and turned, bolting towards the Transfiguration classroom, relieved to have a place to go.
End Note: Hello again. Well, there's my first chapter. Wow, a multi-chaptered story, what a novel idea for me. Let's hope I can keep this up, shall we? If you want to give me feedback, that would be peachy and I would be thrilled, though I'm not pressuring you because it annoys me when authors do that. I'm simply putting the suggestion out there. Love you all and good night!