Authors Note: This story is for Narc, who is a bit tired of Mary Sues'. Read and enjoy.
Steam puffed in big clouds around the engine of the waiting Hogwarts Express as it waited at Kings Cross station to roll out into the bright country side and make its way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Platform nine and three quarters was packed with students and parents, scurrying around, greeting old friends and saying goodbyes. Harry, Ron and Hermione had arrived, for the first time since their first trip to Hogwarts, a bit ahead of time. They were using the extra moments to look about at the organized confusion.
As if they all saw the same thing at once, they all said in unison "Who is she?"
"She's quite pretty isn't she?" asked Ron.
"In a Slytherin sort of way," responded Hermione edgily.
"You really think she looks like a Slytherin? asked Harry. "I'd say she looks more...well, happy than that, really quite sparkly."
"Harry, what ever are you taking about?" Hermione asked irritably, how could you ever call that girl "sparkly?"
"Well she looks smart, doesn't she," stated Ron, "as though she isn't worried about anything."
"Why, because she's...." began Hermione, but she was cut off by the arrival of Ginny.
"Did you three notice the three new students?" she asked.
For the second time in five minutes, they responded together, "What!?!"
Ginny pointed out three different girls standing on the platform, although in different places. It became immediately clear that Harry, Ron and Hermione had each been looking at a different new girl.
Hermione had been watching a tall slim girl who was dressed in black. She had shining, black hair that hung almost to her waist. She was wearing black lipstick and a silver snake bracelet that curved around her wrist and part way up her forearm. She was very bewitching, with alabaster skin and piercing eyes. However, she had a menacing look that clearly said, 'stay back'.
Ron had been looking at a girl dressed in a Hogwarts uniform, but without any indication of a house affiliation. Her luggage was neat and orderly and she stood primly clutching a large book in her arms. She had a stack of books, bound with twine, beside her trunk, all of which were thick and ponderous. She had brown curly hair, neatly caught up in a ribbon at the back of her smiling and calm face.
The girl Harry had spotted was digging through a large, lumpy bag at her feet. Her plaid skirt was quite short and in bending over, she showed rather more of her legs than was normally seen on the train platform. As she straightened, she checked her hair in a small mirror and re-adjusted a set of headphones that were hooked into a CD player fastened to her waistband. There was a brightly colored skateboard standing near her trunk, which was pale blue, with flower stickers applied liberally to all sides. She was blond and beautiful, with a tanned and sunny complexion. She stood fidgeting as she waited, chewing gum, and tapping her foot. Her sweater was tied around her shoulders over a white blouse with one too many buttons undone down the front exposing the hint of a hot pink lacy bra.
Harry, Ron and Hermione looked at each other wonderingly.
The train ride to Hogwarts turned out to be quite different from their normal trip. As the three had settled them selves in a compartment, they were joined by the three new students, who arrived one at a time, each asking if there was a spare seat. Hermione had greeted them cordially and invited them in.
Once the train lurched forward, Hermione decided to strike up a conversation with the newcomers. "Where are you all from?" she asked cordially.
The girl in black sniffed, stared directly at Hermione and said, "I am the daughter of Tom Riddle. Do you know what that means...mudblood?" then looked away as if in disgust. Hermione gasped and Harry felt for his wand before Ron stopped him.
The girl with the large book spoke up. "I'm Mary Huggle. I was home schooled by my parents up until this year. They were very concerned when my Hogwarts' letter came, five years ago. They wanted to be sure that I received the proper normal education before getting too involved with spells and such. They hired a muggle tutor and a wizard tutor for me."
"I've been able to learn loads that way. This year, I thought going to a real wizard school would help me. I've already sat all the exams I can at home. I currently have a university degree from my work with my tutor, and I was able to do my O.W.L.'s as well. I only got 14 "O's" so I insisted on coming to Hogwarts this year to see if I couldn't improve my performance.
Hermione was sitting with her mouth open, not apparently knowing what to say. Harry and Ron didn't seem to have a proper rely either. Finally, Harry said, "Good plan, then."
They all turned toward the girl in the corner seat with headphones in her ears. "And you?" asked Hermione.
The girl did not respond or lower the magazine she was reading.
Ron reached over and tapped her arm that was covered in bright and shiny bracelets that jangled as she kept time to the unheard music. Hermione scowled. The girl looked up and removed her headphones. "Yes?" she asked.
"We were all wondering how you come to be at Hogwarts. If you don't mind telling us," said Hermione solicitously.
"Oh! Duh!... I'm Marie. But everyone calls me Suzy, after this one movie me and my friends went to once, and there was this really nerdy guy there, and he said, well...I guess you had to be there. I am on an exchange program from America. California...that's where I live, I mean, it's so rad...California, that is. This place is sort of cold, isn't it? she asked, but didn't wait for an answer. "I hope I have the right clothes. Can you get shipments from The Gap at Hogwarts? The robes are really horrible aren't they, I mean black is so Goth, isn't it." She gave a sideways look at the first girl. "Like, do you guys listen to rap, cause I'm really down with some of it...would you like gum?" she asked rummaging through a large unorganized bag and producing a pack of gum sticks. When she bent over it was impossible to ignore her cleavage. Hermione could tell that Harry and Ron had not missed that fact.
Once they arrived at the castle, the sorting was begun. The three older girls were sorted last. Before McGonagall placed the old hat on their heads, Dumbledore stood and made a special announcement. "We do not normally receive new students who are past first year. This year we are privileged to have three older students join out ranks, I'm not really clear why, but there you have it. Ms. Marie Suzanne Valle-Garl is here as an American exchange student. Ms. Mary Sue Huggle comes to us from London with an excellent educational background, and Ms. Susan Mary... pardon me... 'Mars' Riddle, has been educated at Durmstrang these last years, but is now transferring here due to.....well, I don't really know, but, we are happy to have her here."
Hermione could not believe that Dumbledore had allowed the granddaughter of Lord Voldemort into the school, and she wasn't too keen on the exchange student either. Since when did Hogwarts ever have exchange students?
The sorting hat was first placed on the head of the solemn Mars. It barely touched her head when it announced "Slytherin". She glided, unimpressed to the Slytherin table. Hermione was watching the teachers, and noticed the look Snape gave her as she settled into her seat. It was a look of extreme interest. Just then, a blast issued from the Slytherin table. Mars had just hexed a third year who had accidentally dripped pumpkin juice on her as he passed a pitcher.
Dumbledore was ignoring the commotion while Snape's eyes glittered in appreciation.
Mary Huggle was sorted into Gryffindor and took her seat. She immediately began to recite the history of the sorting hat and explain how it was completely logical that the hat would sort her into Gryffindor.
Marie however, proved to be an enigma. The hat rested on her head, but gave no indication, what ever, that it was even considering her. She sat smiling widely and giving little waves and grins at various boys who were clearly ogling her. She crossed her legs and half the males in the room sighed. She shifted around on the stool and finally asked, "I mean, can I take this manky old hat off now? It's totally grossing me out. Like, what's the point?"
Dumbledore rose and trying to cover up the strange behavior of the hat, said, "Perhaps the hat is tired...let it be Gryffindor then."
Marie said "Whatever!" and flounced toward Gryffindor where several boys made room for her and helped her with some food.
Hermione noticed McGoangal who muttered under her breath, "brainless, I suspect."
Mary was happily chatting with the Gryffindors nearest her. She was now giving them a history of the castle and was explaining that the giant squid was actually a one-of-a-kind creature that was the offspring of a breed of salt-water squid and the Loch Ness monster. She seemed to know a lot about everything.
This fact was even more apparent the next day in their first Charms class. Mary was not only able to work all the new charms that Flitwick showed them, but explained how she had developed a few charms of her own. Professor Flitwick was so impressed that he allowed her to explain the process she had used to concoct a charm to alphabetize a shelf of books. "Well done, Ms. Huggle, rarely have I seen student with such a gift for Charms, one hundred points to Gryffindor."
Their next class was Potions with the Slytherins. Harry, Ron and Hermione were dreading it. Hermione had been very quiet since Charms class. Flitwick had totally ignored her when she had raised her hand and she was miffed. As the walked down toward the dungeon, the other Gryffindor girls were grouped around Mary as she explained the meaning of the universe.
The Gryffindor boys were crowded around Marie who had them carrying her books and opening doors for her, as she giggled and twirled her hair around her finger. Ron and Harry were as smitten as the rest, and were vying for her attention, as though she were a veela. Harry was actually brushing the hair away from his scar, but Marie seemed oblivious as to its meaning. Hermione was simply seething.
The dungeon classroom was filling. Mars, the new Slytherin student, arrived alone, and after Snape had entered the room. She looked around casually for an empty seat. Snape looked her over shrewdly, "Ms Riddle, please take this seat." He indicated a chair very near his desk. She gave him a slight unimpressed nod and glided to the seat he had indicated. As Snape moved to the side of the room and began speaking to the class, Hermione was sure he had actually touched Mars' shoulder as he passed.
Mary immediately produced a perfect vanishing draught, and was sharing her notes with several other Gryffindors. Snape actually commented that hers was quite acceptable. High praise from Snape.
Marie didn't actually make a potion at all. The various boys hovering around her did all the work as she worried over the state of her fingernails. She kept saying, "Oh, you're so strong, could you like, lift this for me, "or "This is like, too gross to touch, could you...," and all was handled. Ron was blushing as he helped her brush some dust off her front that Neville had dropped on her, while helping her add root of asphodel to her cauldron. Harry was leaning on the table next to her and totally ignoring his own smoking cauldron.
Hermione noticed that Mars needed absolutely no help. She looked both stately and dangerous as she brewed her potion. She was using magic to chop, grind and add ingredients to her cauldron. The other students had never been allowed to do such a thing by Snape. Professor Snape simply stared at her in blatant admiration. Hermione thought if Mars had been a treacle tart, Snape would have devoured her in ecstasy, and then licked his fingers.
Snape was admiring her potion and then asked that she join him in his office to see a book on magical properties of the mandrake. "Ms. Granger, as you have finished, please clean up Ms. Riddle's work station, she spilled some bubotuber pus on the floor, mop it up for her," he snapped.
Several days passed, during which Hermione's wrath increased. She came down to the common room late one night and found Harry sitting with Marie. She was giggling over something he had said, and running her fingers along his arm. "Harry, so what do you use your wand for? Guys can do way better spells with their wands than girls. Can you like, make a love potion? ...not that a hunk like you needs one..." He was looking, starry-eyed, into the face of the brainless idiot. Hermione stormed out through the portrait hole without Harry even noticing. She ran smack into Ginny who was coming in.
"Oh!?! Sorry," she said.
"It's ok," said Ginny, who was looking upset as well.
"What's wrong with you?" asked Hermione.
"Oh it's that Mary Huggle, the amazing muggle born brain. I'm so sick of having her answer every question as though she was a walking encyclopedia. Does she ever get the wrong answer? She just 'corrected' my essay and added about a foot of parchment to it, and all I asked was if there were one or two 'd's' in Riddikulus."
Hermione just shook her head and continued off toward the owlry, where she was going to post a letter home. Rounding the last corridor before the owlry stairs, she stopped as she heard crying from around the corner, "But...Draco... how could he do that."
"She's amazing, you have to admit. Snape is really taken with her you know." came Draco's reply.
"But," came the tearful response, "how could he take away my prefect badge and give it to her?" There was a long pause full of sobs.
Hermione now knew the voice. It was Pansy Parkinson, from Slytherin.
"You fancy Mars too, don't you." Pansy snapped.
"And why not, she makes an excellent potion, and she is the heir of Tom Riddle. Who would not want to ally with the daughter of the dark lord," replied Draco. "Father will be so pleased."
This was sickening. Hermione chose another route to the owlry.
The next night, there was an unprecedented meeting. It took place in a dark, empty greenhouse where the conspirators had lit a single candle, while they hatched their plan. Two nights later, they acted.
In the paddock where Care of Magical Creatures was normally held, a strange group assembled at midnight. Marie arrived and was surprised to find Mary standing there. "I got a note from that cute Ron boy to meet him here, what are you doing here?"
"Well, I'm here to see the Nightlite Gagglehorns. It's some type of rare beast that I overheard that Ginny Weasley going on about," replied Mary.
Just then, some one cleared their throat and a wand tip was lit. It was Mars Riddle. "Where is Draco," she demanded waiving a parchment note. "I have better things to do then play hide and seek games in the dark..."
The questions became moot a moment later. Three jets of green light sprang out of the darkness, three voices pierced the silence, "Flirt!", "Princess!", "Know-it all!", and the three new girls lay motionless in the clearing.
Hermione, Ginny and Pansy stepped into the clearing and inspected their work. "Dead!" pronounced Ginny with satisfaction. Pansy nodded.
"Yes, no one messes around with true Hogwarts girls," Hermione said with satisfaction.
They walked casually back to the castle without a backwards glance.