Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. If I did, I would have millions of dollars and wouldn't cry every time gas prices went up half a cent. Laugh if you will, but I'm a starving student and last time I checked, dear readers, you didn't own Harry Potter either, so let us all cry about gas money and curse Petro Canada together.

Like The Sorceress Diaries Book One and Two, Book Three tells Order of the Phoenix from Hermione's point of view. Many scenes and a lot of dialogue is taken from Order of the Phoenix, obviously. Any scenes or dialogue that do not look familiar are "missing moments" from OotP, and obviously came from my warped little mind and belong to me.

Warning: Read Book One and Two. Siriusly. Several things probably will not make sense if you do not.

Author's Notes: Hoorah! Me and my lengthy author's notes and disappointingly short chapters are back! Just kidding, these chapters won't be as disappointingly short, hopefully. Book Three will cover from January all the way until the end of the school year. Since this is such a long period of time, and since Hermione will likely become increasingly obsessed with studying for O.W.L.'s as time wears on, Book Three's chapters will probably be fewer and far between (say an entry every few weeks rather than an entry every few days) and will therefore be longer when they do occur. So hooray for everything.

Another warning: I am kicking the R/H up a notch. Rock and roll, Hermione and Ron.

The Sorceress Diaries: Book Three

Journal of Hermione Granger

Monday, 1 January, 1996

11:24 a.m.

Well, 1996, so far I am not impressed.

Within the first hour of the new year, I managed to:

1) Make a complete fool of myself.

2) Do something abysmally stupid.

3) Yell at Sirius.

4) Yell at Tonks.

5) Yell at Ginny.

Allow me to further explain.

Sirius's "New Year's Eve party" consisted of myself, Harry, the Weasley's, Professor Lupin, Mundungus, and Tonks all trying too hard to have a good time. The twins tried to entertain everyone with their latest inventions, but it didn't work out so well because they had to do so without their mother seeing them. Tonks took over for a bit, morphing into various members of the Order and doing over-the-top impressions of them, but this became a bit too bizarre after awhile. Sirius was talking and laughing much too loudly, and Professor Lupin looked rather uncomfortable for most of the night. Mrs. Weasley just looked tired and sad; it was probably her first New Year's Eve without Mr. Weasley in a long time.

Mrs. Weasley had kept herself busy all day by cooking, as usual. She had set up some food around the kitchen buffet-style, and Harry, Ron, Ginny, and I occupied ourselves by stuffing our faces for most of the night. Harry and Ron ignored my protests against it and got themselves into a cake-eating contest; they decided that whoever ate the most slices of Mrs. Weasley's chocolate cake would win. Boys.

I noticed a glass punch bowl filled with bright pink juice set up on the end of the table and poured myself a goblet, settling down in a chair next to Ginny to watch Harry and Ron make themselves sick, if only for the satisfaction of saying "I told you so" later on. Looking back, I did think that the punch tasted a bit funny. But I thought it was another patented wizarding drink that I just wasn't used to yet - after all, pumpkin juice tasted a bit funny at first, too. So when I finished my first goblet I poured myself another…and another…

Only after Ron's and Harry's third piece of cake each did I realize that I'd had five glasses of punch, and that I was giggling quite a lot. Harry was clutching his stomach and groaning, and Ron was bravely venturing to cut another slice of cake when I started hiccupping madly.

"You all right, Hermione?" Ron asked suspiciously. I was vaguely aware that my cheeks were flushed.

"Just - hic - peachy!" I answered, giggling. "Harry - hic - you'd better - hic - catch up!"

The worst part was that I knew that I was carrying on a lot and making quite the fool of myself, but I felt as if I was unable to do anything about it. I couldn't stop giggling and had started to feel a bit dizzy.

"Do you want some water, Hermione?" Ginny asked.

"Nope!" I said giddily between hiccups, raising my fifth glass of punch. "I have this!"

"Hermione!" Sirius suddenly yelled in alarm from the other side of the room. He quickly made his way over and snatched the raised glass out of my hands.

"Hey!" I said indignantly.

Sirius looked nervously around the room, then bent over and said in a low, embarrassed voice, "That punch is…er…supposed to be for the adults, Hermione."

"Huh?" I said intelligently, and then hiccupped. Sirius shook his head, pulled out his wand, and vanished my glass of punch.

"Sirius!" I protested loudly, drawing a few curious stares. "I was - hic - drinking that!"

Before Sirius could say or do anything more, Tonks called, "One minute 'til midnight!"

"Already?" I exclaimed, leaping out of my chair and then swaying precariously. Harry and Ron gave me very strange looks, and Ginny grabbed my arm to steady me, looking as if she was trying very hard not to laugh. I think she overheard what Sirius told me about the punch.

"Thirty…twenty-nine…" Tonks counted down.

Leaping up from my chair so fast was not a very smart idea; little dots of light were now clouding my vision, and I tried to blink them away. I must have looked extremely foolish standing there, swaying slightly and blinking rapidly.

"Hermione, are you sure you're feeling okay?" Harry asked worriedly. I didn't reply; the early stages of what would become a splitting headache had begun, and everything was beginning to seem very loud and irritating.

"Fifteen, fourteen…" Tonks shouted.

"Tonks, must you do that so loudly?" I yelled irritably. I don't think she heard me over the countdown, though, thankfully.

"Ten, nine, eight, seven…" the Weasley twins chorused, a barrage of Filibuster's No-Heat Wet-Start fireworks at the ready by their sides.

"Six, five, four, three…" Ron chanted beside me. I found myself gawking at him openly, mulling over how tall he was for some reason.

Before I knew it, everyone else had yelled, "Happy New Year!", the twins were setting off their fireworks, and all the adults were raising their wands in the air and sending up gold sparks that made very high-pitched noises, as is the tradition in the wizarding world (or so I've read in Weird Wizarding Ways: An Explanation of Magical Traditions for the Muggle-Born Wizard or Witch). The fireworks began whizzing about and exploding all around us, and everybody started hugging and kissing.

I know it's an old-fashioned tradition for Muggles to kiss someone on New Year's Eve, but I didn't think that wizards did it as well; it wasn't in Weird Wizarding Ways, anyway. But there was Tonks kissing a fiercely blushing Professor Lupin right on his nose, and Fred and George squishing their mother between them, with one twin kissing each cheek, and Sirius kissing Mundungus on the forehead with a huge smacking noise, laughing hysterically (and a bit too forcefully). And Ginny…bold little Ginny Weasley walked right up to Harry and casually kissed him on the cheek with a bright little, "Happy New Year!", then flounced away to kiss her mother without a second look back at The Boy Who Lived, who was at that moment The Boy Who Looked Sort of Surprised And Red in the Face. And I stood there, panicking.

I don't know if it was the punch, or if one completely loses their wits for the first few moments of the new year or what, but I looked at Ron and thought, Well, I'd better kiss somebody, and on impulse, leaned towards him to kiss him on the cheek.

Except Ron turned his head at the last moment, probably to glance at me and figure out what on earth I was trying to do…

And I sort of…missed.

I ended up kissing the corner of his mouth instead. Just the corner, mind you. But it was a far cry from the intended target of his cheek.

I jumped away in horror, cheeks flaming, head spinning, and stomach lurching either at the thought of what I'd just done or because of the punch. I turned and fled.

After a very awkward flight up the stairs involving much tripping over my own feet, I managed to get into my room and fling myself upon my bed, my head now throbbing painfully. A few moments later I heard the door creak open. Ginny, the little vixen herself, walked into the darkened room.

"Hermione?" she whispered. "Are you okay?"

"Nooooo," I groaned, trying to figure out what was worse - the queasiness in my stomach or the throbbing pain in my head or the tight feeling in my chest because I'd just gone and practically snogged her brother. Or the corner of his mouth, anyway. I hiccupped loudly.

"Are you…?" Ginny trailed off and started laughing. "How much punch did you have?"

"If you're just going to - hic - make fun of me, leave me alone!"

"I was just checking on you…Ron said you ran off right after the countdown and told me to come up and make sure you're all right…he sounded rather concerned."

Brash little tart…she couldn't even be bothered to keep the hint of amusement out of her voice.

"Go - hic - away!" I yelled. I think I may have thrown a pillow at her. At any rate, she left, and I was mercifully granted reprieve from my headache by immediately falling into a deep, though pillowless, sleep.

This morning, rather than going down and facing everyone after that foolish display last night, I told Ginny that I still had a terrible headache (which was not a complete lie; my head still hurts a bit, though not as bad as last night) and stayed in bed. A concerned Mrs. Weasley came up a few times to check on me, but I pretended to be asleep. I think I even saw Sirius poke his head in at one point. Hopefully Ron won't come up…

Pretending to be asleep eventually got boring though, and I couldn't even get out my books and use this time wisely by revising for O.W.L's, because if anyone comes to check on me and finds me revising for exams they'll make me go downstairs. So I took out my trusty journal and have been writing under the covers for the past hour or so.

I don't know what I'm going to do…I can't hide up here forever, but I can't go downstairs either because that will likely involve having to look Ron in the eye, which I cannot attempt to do after last night. Mrs. Crick would say that my unwillingness to take responsibility for my actions reflects a learned helplessness orientation and is not conducive to my cognitive growth. Oh well, Mrs. Crick and cognitive growth can stuff it.

I think what I need to do is re-evaluate my personal goals. It's a new year, after all, and despite the fact that I've already done something incredibly stupid in 1996, there is no reason I have to follow suit for the rest of the year.

Goals for the New Year:

1) Spend at least one hour per day revising for O.W.L's. The amount of time spent revising will increase exponentially as O.W.L's get closer and closer.

2) Continue honouring commitments to the D.A., S.P.E.W., and prefect duties.

3) Resume knitting clothes for house-elves immediately after return to Hogwarts. Think of all the poor house-elves who had to stay there over the holidays because I didn't knit enough clothes to free them! I feel just terrible…

4) Look further into career paths - something to do with creatures' rights, but also possibly Healing…?

5) Do something about Umbridge. (Force her to somehow break one of her own educational decrees and get sacked? Write an anonymous letter to the Ministry complaining about her teaching skills, or lack thereof? Push her down the stairs and make it look like an accident?)

6) Do something about Neville's parents. (?)

7) Do something about Voldemort. (?)

8) Do not let Harry get down on himself. Do not let anyone else get Harry down.

9) Do not let Ron frustrate, annoy, or fluster me. Do not spend excess amounts of time thinking about Ron. Do not allow Parvati or Lavender to over-analyze Ron's conduct towards me or vice versa. Do not contemplate the meaning behind any gifts Ron has given me or may give me in the future. Do not, under any circumstances, randomly throw self at Ron, hug Ron, or try to kiss Ron on the cheek. Overall, deal with Ron in a calm, rational, friendly (but not too friendly) manner.

10) Achieve emotional satisfaction.

12:52 p.m.

11) Do not drink any punch.