Courage

A co-written fanfiction by the members of Fawkes Ashes the Harry Potter forum.

This story is written at the boards by members adding a post of a paragraph or few lines to the story and continuing it.

As the story is made up from lots of posts from different people it might have a rather eclectic style, we have beta-ed it and tried to make it flow as smoothly as possible.

At the top of every chapter I will add the names of the members who have participated in the section. If you'd like to join the story then please visit the forum, join up, and start posting away J The link is in our profile.

H t t p : f a w k e s a s h e s . p r o b o a r d s 2 3 . c o m /

Heres the first chapter. Much love to those who contributed to it, that's me: Fawkes, HamsterHuey, Elvish Hobbit, Pegasus and Lunar Eclipse!

A big hello to everyone else at FA.

Enjoy…


Prologue

Its a tradition as old as the walls of Hogwarts School. A game, played every year by every member of every 7th year in every House. Courage. The player makes a list of things which he or she needs to accomplish within the year, which may take courage but will build them and shape them for their adult lives, or be the last opportunity they have to do them.

Over the years many things have stemmed from well played games of Courage. Friendships, overcome phobias, scientific discoveries, weddings, historic events... the list is endless.

This year Courage is back and its Harry's generation's turn. Will this season of Courage change their lives and the magical world forever?


Courage : Chapter 1.

"I don't care what you say Harry. I'm not playing that ridiculous game." Hermione said stubbornly, crossing her arms across her chest and shaking her head petulantly.

"Oh, come on Hermione, it'll be fun." Ron whined from the armchair.

"No."

"Hermione. Its your last year here at Hogwarts. Every 7th year has done it for centuries before you. It's tradition." Harry emphasised. Hermione frowned.

"It's a very stupid tradition." She muttered. Harry grinned and shrugged,

"But tradition all the same. You know how it is Hermione. Everyone plays the game. Everyone knows about the game. How would you feel in a few years time when you're an all successful witch and you're at a ... " he struggled for a word, "... convention or something, and everyone starts talking about their time at school. It will get onto the game. And you'll have nothing to say. You'll be in the dark."

Hermione glared at him. "This is blackmail Potter, and you know it."

"I'm just trying to make sure my best friend has a good last year. I know you Hermione, you'll regret it if you don't do this." Harry said airily, but with a grin playing at the corners of his mouth.

She bit her lip, and glanced at Ron who was staring avidly at her with puppy-dog eyes.

"Fine, fine. Whatever." She relented finally. "But if it comes within a mile of compromising my NEWTS I quit, alright?"

"ALRIGHT!" Yelled Harry and Ron giving each other a cheesy high-five and making Hermione break into laughter.

"Okay, I've got to block at least ten goals during the Quidditch season." said Ron, scribbling it down on his parchment.

"Oh yeah, I'm sure that'll happen," Ginny mumbled.

Ron glared at her, and she left.

"I'm having trouble putting this list together, I've got courage, don't I? I'm a Gryffindor, for gods' sake!"

"You've got courage, and so have I, but we've always used it in the spur of the moment, we didn't know we were gonna find the stone at the beginning of 1 year, did we?" Harry pointed out, chewing on the end of his quill.

"Well, Harry, what about Cho?" Ron grinned mischievously.

"What about Luna?" Harry shot back and watched Ron's ear turn pink.

"What about a bit of maturity?" Hermione said, smirking at them.

"Lemme see what you've written then - if you're so mature!" Ron said, leaning over and peering at her parchment.

Hermione snatched it up.

"No. It's private. They're meant to be private." She said guardedly.

"Fine, fine." Ron grumbled returning to his sheet and flinging an arm around it possessively to block anyone's view. "Get Fred and George back for latest humiliation..." He muttered, scribbling.

Hermione snorted with laughter, and swept her things into her bag. "I can't concentrate in here." She said, standing up. "Since you're making me play this stupid game I'm going to play it properly - which means my list has to be good. I'm going to work on it in my room."

"Mmm." Ron murmured distantly, chewing on the end of his quill thoughtfully then scratching another item onto his list.

"Alright, night Hermione." Harry said, looking up and giving her a grin.

"Actually," Hermione said, pausing as she made her way to the door. "I'd like to see your list before I go."

"I...uh...well...Like you said, they're meant to be private." Harry nervously replied.

"Uh-huh..." Hermione said, smiling. "And what could you possibly write down that you want to be kept secret?"

"Well, if they're meant to be a secret, then why would I tell you?" Harry replied promptly. "Anyway, you're right. These are stupid. I'm...uh...gonna..." He faked a yawn. "...go to bed now. I'm getting a little tired."

Hermione narrowed her eyes at him.

"Fine. I'll let you off this time, but don't expect that list to be safe." She teased. "Night," she added, leaning on tiptoe to brush a tiny kiss to his cheek. "Night Ron," she called back to Ron who was still hunched over and scribbling feverishly on his list.

She climbed the stairs and slipped into the dormitory, luckily for her, Lavender and Pavarti were both out. Probably on a romantic walk with Dean and Seamus Hermione thought smirking.

She moved over to her desk and sat down, arranging a piece of parchment in front of her and dipping her quill into the ink.

Okay... well number one priority is my exams... she thought, writing neatly,

1. Pass NEWTS

She paused, tapping the underside of her throat with the quill thoughtfully

What about other things?

After ten minutes of staring, her list looked bleak, with only two words scribbled at the top.

Come on now, Hermione, you surely have other goals, she chided, tapping her chin thoughtfully with her quill again. Something that takes a bit of courage - that's the whole point of the game, isn't it?

An idea came to her, and with a grimace, she put it down. After all, two was better than one, wasn't it?

2. Overcome fear of flying.

"There," she said, thankful that the dormitory was empty. After all, the lists were secret... and if she didn't accomplish it, surely she could simply cross it off?

Feeling oddly elated, another idea popped into her head, and she scribbled it down.

3. Continue tutoring Neville potions,

Well, that took a lot of courage, didn't it she reasoned, grinning as she got into the swing of it.

4. Beat Ron at Wizard Chess

5. Swim across the lake.

6. Get my first kiss.

She looked at the words she written in haste and rolled her eyes. She was getting sucked into the game far too much. She went to scribble out her rashly added items then paused. Surely, this was the point of the game, the fact that she wanted to cross them out at all, meant they were fit to be on her Courage list.

Chewing her bottom lip, she nodded. She could add more to the list as they occurred to her. Tapping it with her wand and shrinking it to a stamp size, she folded it over and carefully tucked it inside the small heart locket Ron and Harry had bought for her the previous Christmas.

Yawning, she cast an eye over to the door, there was no sign of Parvarti of Lavender still. Shrugging, she shed her clothes and clambered into bed, falling instantly asleep.


Muffled voices were the first things to filter through to her, shaking her from her heavy sleep. Had she even dreamed? She couldn't remember, but judging from the light shining through the curtains, and Parvati's detailed descriptions of her Courage list, then she was most definitely awake now.

Thinking back to her own Courage list, she bit her lip. Maybe it's not such a good idea, after all.. She shook the thought away instantly. The game was a challenge. And Hermione Granger was never one to back down from a challenge.

Reaching for her wand, she fumbled with her locket and retrieved her list. Upon second reading, it didn't seem to be too difficult... Well, except for number 6. Beating Ron in Wizard's Chess, for example, didn't take much courage. Skill, but not courage.

What had she done, or rather, not done, throughout Hogwarts that she could do now? Much of her courage had already been proven - the adventures shared with Harry and Ron were more than enough.

She bit her lip, deep in thought, and smiled as another addition or two to the parchment presented themselves.

7. Get drunk.

8. Befriend House-Elves again.

She stifled a giggle as she wrote down the last one. After S.P.E.W had started, most house-elves wouldn't come near her, even now that she had given up trying to free them.

"Hermione? Are you awake yet?" Lavender was hovering close to the bed; Hermione could make out her shadow. "Have you started your Courage list yet?"

That sparked another idea.

9. Share girls' night in with Parvati and Lavender.

"Yes, I'm awake. And… yes I've started it." Hermione answered, rolling over to grin at Lavender.

"Come on then," Parvati said, joining Lavender on the edge of Hermione's bed. "Let's see."

Hermione squirmed.

"Isn't it meant to be a secret?" she asked, stalling for time as she folded it back up in her hands. Parvati and Lavender looked at each other.

"No, it's not."

"Isn't it?" Hermione reached for her robes. "Well... I'll show you when I've finished writing it. There's not enough on it now to count." Not wanting to stay and 'have her mind changed', she wriggled into her robes, out of Parvati and Lavender's presence, and sprinted down into the common room. Neither of the boys was awake yet, and she heaved a sigh of relief.

When they come down, I'll hex them to infinity and back for getting me into this. My list is staying secret.


Hermione was tucking into her breakfast when she saw Harry and Ron enter the hall, they looked as though they were arguing about something but they stopped by the time they reached her and slipped into their usual places, either side of her.

"Morning," she said conversationally, and received two grunts in reply.

"How are you?" she asked, and a further two grunts answered her. Ron slowly reached past for a piece of toast.

"I started my Courage list," she said conversationally, and was amazed at how quickly the two boys snapped to attention.

"Morning! How are you?" asked Harry, whilst Ron stared at her suspiciously.

"What did you put on it?"

"Hmm, wouldn't you like to know?" Hermione said teasingly. "No, this list is private." She absent-mindedly played with the locket.

Harry raised one eyebrow. "Really?" he asked, eyeing the locket suspiciously. Hermione flushed, and let go of it quickly.

"Oh, go on Hermes!" Ron groaned. "I've told you mine! They're not meant to be secret."

"I haven't really put that much on mine," Hermione lied quickly. "But fine! I'll show you mine - after I've seen yours and Harry's." She gave a smirk that a Malfoy would have been proud of, and bit into a crumpet.

"Err... err... Mine's not ready yet," Harry claimed quickly, avoiding eye-contact by pushing his bacon round the plate. "I haven't written much on it."

"What're you talking about mate? You worked on it for ages in the common room last night," said Ron.

"Well, most of that was thinking," Harry said desperately. "I didn't write that many down."

"Then why were you scribbling as though your life depended on it?" Ron grinned.

"Because... because... because I was doodling!" Harry snapped crossly.

"Aw, go on mate, then we can see what Hermes's written!"

Hermione looked at Harry. If he gave in and revealed his answers now, she was in for serious ridicule...

"So who was she?" asked Hermione in a flash of inspiration. Harry paled.

"What? Who? There's no she!" he stuttered. Ron grinned.

"So that's why you were writing so much!" he crowed. "Harry's got a girlfriend!"

"I haven't!" hissed Harry, looking around as the other Gryffindors turned from their conversations to watch the Trio with interest.

"Then why won't you let us see?" asked Hermione innocently. If she played this right, Harry would bolt.

"Because- because it's not finished, that's why. Besides, Ron hasn't showed his," said Harry petulantly. Ron shrugged.

"Don't go trying to get out of this, mate. Who is she?" he asked, his grin widening.

"No one!" insisted Harry. Hermione raised an eyebrow.

"So why are you so panicky?" she asked offhandedly. Harry paused, thinking of an answer.

"I... forgot my Transfiguration homework! See you in class!" He, true to Hermione's suspicions, bolted. She gave a satisfied smile as Ron, confused, rummaged to check his timetable.

"We haven't got Transfiguration today," he said, brow wrinkled. Hermione sipped her pumpkin juice and shrugged.

"He's distracted, that's all." And my list is staying secret.

She hid her grin by taking another long sip of pumpkin juice and taking a sweeping gaze around the hall. The doors had just banged shut behind Harry, her eyes skimmed the Ravenclaw table, and the Hufflepuff table, before her gaze snagged on a blonde head at the Slytherin table.

Malfoy was still holding fort there, sat next to Blaise Zabini, his new best friend, ever since he'd lost patience with the brainless Crabbe and Goyle. Blaise was guffawing about something or other, his shiny chocolate coloured curls falling appealingly into his eyes, as he rested his forehead on the table and banged his fists, hooting with laughter.

Ron followed her stare and snorted. "Probably just heard Malfoy's ideas for their Quidditch formation this year," he said. Hermione rolled her eyes,

"Ron - I thought you liked Blaise."

"I said he had character, Hermione… that he was 'likeable' as far as Slytherins go. But when it comes to Quidditch, he's - "

" - the enemy." Hermione finished, grinning.


That's it for the first chapter! Please let us know what you think of it in a review – and remember if you'd like to join in then come and sign up at the Fawkes Ashes forum. The link is in our profile!

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