Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter but my Co-authoress does, wait scratch that she doesn't own it either but she does covet it with the same passion that she covets anything shiny (as do I if it comes down to it).
Hermione Granger hated Ron Weasley with a passion she normally reserved for lima beans. If Ron Weasley ever found out he would be flattered and very afraid. Harry Potter had no idea why Hermione Granger was hated Ron Weasley but he did know that the Weasley red the Hermione had dies her hair to suited her skin tone very nicely. Fred and George Weasley had no idea where their experimental shampoo had gotten to and they were starting to panic. And Ginny Weasley knew what all of her brothers (and her brothers best friend) did not, Hermione Granger was going to kill them all (not excluding pig but possibly Hedwig because Hedwig had nothing to do with anything).
As Hermione attempted to stalk menacingly across the room she spotted her reflection in the mirror she was shocked (the red looked better on her then on any of those goddamned Weasley's). She watched as her hair turned from red to a sickeningly bright shade of orange. At once she was flooded with anger again and her hair turned back to the Gryffindor scarlet. "Ronald Weasley, come out from behind Harry and I might not give you detention when we get back to school."
Ron appeared to be weighing the consequences and deciding after a very brief mental debate that Hermione wouldn't really abuse her head girl privileges like that continued to hide behind Harry. "Alright then Harry, move out of the way or you'll get detention as well." Her voice was cool and calm; always the worst kind of anger and Harry (feeling the briefest ping of sympathy for Ron) did as she told him to.
"Some friend you are, you'll stand up to he-who-must-not-be-named but not Hermione?" Ron muttered, his voice lacked true conviction on the last part. He would rather face Voldemort too, all he could come up with was a few hours of torture before he would let him slip off into endless oblivion (he may be an evil sadistic prick but he lacked the mercilessness that seemed to be bred into females). Ron stood up to his full height (6'3 and a half) hoping to intimidate the much smaller Hermione with his sheer size. It wouldn't work Hermione was too used to being surrounded by tall people. Ron made a mental note to try next time to look small, harmless and cute when Hermione marched straight up to him and yanked on his ear. Pulling him down to her level (5'4 even).
"Ronald Weasley let me see your wand." Hermione's voice was still even and Ron wondered whether he should do as she said or let her continue to torture him. She began twisting his ear and he immediately held it out to her. She snatched it and let go of his ear immediately marching up to her room with it.
Ron looked over at Harry and felt a strange foreboding "Don't reckon I should have done that mate." Harry smiled his you-are-such-an-idiot-but-I'm-too-nice-to-say-that-so-I'll-smile-this-patronizing-smile-instead smile and Ron felt a sinking in his gut.
Hermione returned downstairs after about an hour her hair a muted yellow (not blond but yellow) and flounced over to Harry and Ron, she handed Harry Ron's wand and flounced to sit next to Tonks. Harry handed Ron his wand back mutely and waited with almost baited breath to see what would happen next. For the next five minutes Ron simply stared at it very hesitant to try a spell. Then he steeled himself and waved his wand muttering a quick acio. Nothing happened, the plate he was trying to acio didn't even begin to move. And there were no explosions (something that greatly disappointed Fred and George who had now figured out where their shampoo had gotten to).
Ron cursed eloquently and went to get the plate himself filling it and sitting back down to shovel the food into his mouth. "What do you reckon she did to it mate?" Harry shrugged and whipped out his own wand to acio a plate. Ginny stood up and walked past stumbling into Harry and pressing a note into his palm at the same time. Harry waited until Ginny had walked past before unfolding the note which said simply 'tell Ron to look in his charms book for this year'. Harry passed the note to Ron who stared blankly at it before nodding and continuing to stuff food into his mouth.
When all the food had been consumed and Ron finally came up for a breather, he didn't seem to remember that he was supposed to check his Charms book.
"Ron, mate," Harry said, seizing the opportunity, "Don't we have to finish up packing?"
Ron's face was blanker than the scrolls of parchment in Harry's trunk. This was a difficult task, considering the fact that he had only bought them this morning and had yet to open the packaging. "Nah, I finished packing ages ago." Ron replied.
"Are you sure?" Harry asked, shooting him Meaningful Looks.
Ron's comprehension dodged the Meaning in the looks and eyed him skeptically. "Yeah, mate, you were there, remember? Why are you pushing this?"
Hermione raised an eyebrow at the precise moment that Harry darted his eyes in her direction. She gave a little smirk his way and lowered her eyes to her book. Her hair was the plum shade of satisfaction.
"Ron," Harry said, exasperated, "We need to finish packing, now." His eyes nearly boggled out of his head with the excess Meaning he slathered on.
"Are you all right, mate? You look purple. Did you get a bad pudding at dinner or some-ow!"
The 'ow' was where Harry finally lost patience and elbowed him sharply in the ribs.
"We've a few last minute things to pack." Ron announced to the room at large as comprehension dawned. "You know us, always delaying to the last minute." This was not strictly true. Well, it was, or it would have been, had Mrs. Weasley not screamed at them hours ago that if they didn't pack right this instant, there would be no pie, and Mrs. Weasley made excellent pie.
The two boys trudged upstairs with a slightly guilty air. "Here," Harry said, pulling out his copy of Charmed Life by Freya Grendel, "Take a look at this." It was opened to the first page. The passage began with the words "WHY ISN'T MY WAND WORKING?" in large bold letters. At the time, it seemed like fate. At the very least, it was luck finally lending a hand to help a bloke out once in a while.
Looking back on it later, they would frown and pout and sulk with dark expressions and mutter about "that evil creature." But, at the time, it seemed like fate.
"'An inactive wand can mean several things.'" Harry read. "'First and foremost is the possibility that the magic has gone from the center. This is highly unusual and therefore its chances of happening to the average wizard are very low. It is unlikely that anyone who doesn't use their wand a hundred times an hour to use up the magic in their wand. Therefore it most often happens to acrobats at wizard circuses. It requires the purchase of a new wand. If you are not and acrobat at a wizarding circus, you may breathe a sigh of relief.' See, it says right here you can breathe a sigh of relief." Ron was many things, but an acrobat in a wizarding circus he was not.
"'The second, far more likely, possibility is that someone has performed a Locking Charm. Locking Charms are very easy to reverse. If you know someone else has had your wand and it has not worked since, this is probably what has happened.' Ah, there it is!" Harry continued. "All you need is someone else to touch the tip of their wand to yours, and say 'Kilchamora' and you'll be all set and working again."
"There, now." Ron heaved a sigh of relief. It may be that he was actually relieved, or maybe he was just having an extremely delayed reaction to the book's order. "There, now." He repeated, overcome with an emotion that was either relief or pride. Considering what they were now doing, Harry would have voted for relief.
"Just hand me your wand?" Harry asked. Ron had been holding it protectively since they sat down, occasionally lifting it up and staring at it from all angles and then hugging it tight again.
"Sure." The redhead replied, handing his wand to his friend who took it.
"Kilchamora!" Harry whispered, touching his own wand tip to tip with Ron's.
A fine silver mist rose off the wand and hung like a cloud over the place where the wands met. After a moment, is dissipated. Harry handed Ron's wand back to its owner. "Why'd she do that, I wonder?" he thought aloud. "It didn't seem to have much point. D'you reckon she thought we'd never look in the book and you'd be magicless for eternity?"
"Dunno." Ron shrugged. "I'm just glad that everything's back to normal with my wand." He studied his wand appreciatively before tucking it away. "You're right, though, mate. It didn't seem to do much. All we had to do was thumb through the book and do the Unlocking Charm."
"Not even that. Not much thumbing through, really, it was right at the front of the book." Harry reminded helpfully.
Ron looked for a moment like he was trying to remember some vital bit of information, grasp a concept that was just beyond his mind's reach. He grappled with himself for a while, then conceded defeat to the thought that eluded him and forgot it even existed. "Bloody pointless. D'you think she's losing her touch?"
"I reckon so, maybe something happened this summer or her hair dye cut of circulation to her brain. I wonder where she bought it, it is very unique isn't it?"
Ron laughed nervously as he scratched the back of his head "That it is." Harry looked at him suspiciously, Ron was using The laugh. The laugh is different from other laughs, when Ron laughs The laugh it means that Ron is hiding something.
"So why was she mad at you anyway mate?"
Ron laughed The laugh again before replying "Who knows mate I mean she's a girl since when do girls need a reason to be mad? She probably thinks I called her fat or some other such nonsense." Ron neglected to mention that he did in fact call her fat only hours before she stormed at him. He doubted that was the reason anyway.
Harry looked at him dubiously, Hermione had never seemed to be that interested in what people thought about her but he decided not to press it (maybe Hermione's girl hormones were finally kicking in. "Yeah that's probably it, lets get some sleep."
"Yeah, night mate. Nox." Ron turned off the light and settled in for a nice rest not feeling the itch that would plague him for a long time begin.
Hermione awoke feeling quite contented until she looked at her hair, which was once again a pale, icy blue. It flared quickly to red as she was overcome by anger but quickly faded into plum as she thought about her revenge. She hastily changed into jeans and a pink jacket that had once looked very good on her (unfortunately now it contrasted with her hair). She jammed her wand into her pocket and went to eat breakfast. All through out breakfast Hermione watched (her hair now a strange shade of lavender) as Ron started to scratch his leg.
Before long they were boarding the train. Harry and Ron were glad to realize (for two totally different reasons) that Hermione wasn't angry anymore and that her hair was plum once again (they weren't quite sure what that meant but they knew that plum was better then red). They were lucky enough to find an empty compartment which they hastily staked their claim in before Hermione left to do something (it had something to do with the fact that she was head girl). They leaned back in their chairs and began discussing quidditch (they needed two new beaters and another chaser Yes Ginny would be good at that).
Hermione glided into the heads compartment scanning automatically for her Y-gene counterpart. Seeing that he was not their her hair turned a light green for an instant before her disappointment turned to contentment (these chairs were extraordinarily comfortable) and her hair turned light blue again. The panel swung open once again and professors McGonagall and Snape walked in and dread filled her (her hair was the nicest shade of raven's wing black). If Snape was here that meant she would have to work with a sniveling Slytherin she hated most of the brats (most meaning all except for the first years they haven't shown enough of the characteristics yet). She began running down the options, Malfoy smart but Dumbledore wouldn't pair her with the enemy would he? Maybe ha was going for the whole friends close, enemies closer approach but she had no desire to keep Malfoy close on any level. Crabbe, too stupid. Goyle, the same. Pansy might or might not be a guy but relatively smart (although not smart enough to stay away from Malfoy). Zabini, pretty sure that she is a girl but might be wrong never really got the chance to tell nice name though. Damn there was no one else she would have to work with Malfoy, she barely suppressed a gag.
When the panel slid open she didn't lift her eyes, she had no desire to see Malfoy's proud smirk. Snape's oily voice began "Mr. Zambini you are late." Zabini? But Zabini was a girl! Hermione's hair turned bright orange as she realized how far off she was, damn it she had been so sure that he was a she. She looked up, and up, and up and cursed, what was it with all the tall men? She could see why she had thought he was a girl in earlier years, his face was more feminine then her own and the shoulder length, wavy (gorgeous) ebony hair didn't help. But when looking below his face there was no doubt that he was a man (women do not grow muscles like that!). "Now to get this meeting started, we have ground rules to set up. You as heads can give and take points as well as assign detentions but if you abuse this privilege we will yank you from your position. The heads no longer have their own quarters (you will sleep with the rest of your classmates) but you do have a room which is to be used exclusively by you two where you can plan events. You have to plan graduation and two school dances. One around the winter holidays for the whole school and another at the end of the year for seventh years only. Do you have any questions?" Snape's voice was still horrendously oily and Hermione wondered briefly if it was caused by the excess oil from his hair seeping down into his throat.
"No professor." Hermione and Blaise answered together. They looked at each other and Hermione fought down the instinctual need to glare at the Slytherin (bloody assholes the whole lot of them) when he sent her a little smile. She even managed to work up a smile of her own and was pleasantly surprised when her hair turned from black back to icy blue. She looked automatically at professor McGonagall who only raised an eyebrow at her hair.
"You are free to go now. The prefects will patrol the corridors you go sit with your friends, this is your last ride to Hogwarts after all." McGonagall's voice was still severe but Hermione didn't waste time trying to figure out why (it was probably the bun causing her such pain that she couldn't speak any other way). She walked quickly (head girls did not run) down the corridor back to the compartment that contained her friends.
"Have I missed the Annual Asshole Approach?" Her opening line upon entering the compartment, slightly gratified that Malfoy was in the compartment wand pointing at Harry. It was nice to know that some things never change (it would change of course after they had killed Malfoy and all his death eater buddies but she would cross that bridge when she came to it). "Oh I haven't I'm glad I wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to fraternize with the ferret." He spun and pointed his wand at her "Now there is no reason to be rude Malfoy didn't your mother ever teach you not to point your wand at someone until the small talk was over? I thought Malfoy's were gentlemen." He snarled and put his wand down as her hair turned into lavender amusement.
"Hello Mudblood. Nice to see the you-know-who hasn't killed you yet. How are you? I'm fine thank you. Fine weather we're having isn't it? Are you happy now? The Malfoy's are far more noble then you will ever be! Expelliarmus!" He looked shocked when Hermione did a little flick with her wand and deflected his curse sending Neville's wand into his hand instead.
"That's just insulting, did you honestly think that would work on me? I've know the counter to that since we learned it. I wonder if you do? Expelliarmus!" With a flick of her wand both Malfoy and Neville's wands flew neatly into her hands. Handing Neville his back she turned back to Malfoy. "Apparently they don't teach the dogs of Voldemort such useful tricks. That's what you are isn't it Malfoy? A dog of Voldemort heeling and fetching at his command, I wonder if you know any other tricks. Sit boy!" Malfoy started to sit before he straightened and glared at Hermione. "So you don't sit but I bet you can fetch." Holding his wand out to him as she would a bone to a dog she turned and threw it down the corridor. Malfoy hurried after it, making sure to give Hermione a hard shove into the door on his way out. Hermione looked up, dazed after he left a dark bruise already forming on her brow. "So he still doesn't fight fair, eh?"
Ron snorted. "Hermione," he said impatiently, "It's Malfoy. He wouldn't know fair if it bit him on the arse." He scratched distractedly at his leg while he spoke.
She considered this a minute. "True." She replied, sitting down. "So, do we have any sweets yet?"
Harry passed her the bag he'd filled with his purchases from the witch with the sweet trolley. "I thought you frowned upon rotting our teeth with sugar."
"Well, yes, but that doesn't mean I can't do it." Hermione replied tautly, settling into her seat after selecting a Pumpkin Pasty.
Harry rolled his eyes. "How'd it go in there?" He asked curiously. "Who's Head Boy?"
"The bad news is, it's a Slytherin." She replied tauntingly, toying with the wrapper of her Pasty.
A groan echoed around the compartment as the Gryffindors registered what this meant for them.
"The good news is, it isn't Malfoy." They sighed with satisfaction, even though they should have realized that there was no way Malfoy could be conferencing with her and here mocking them at the same time.
"Come on, Hermione, who is it?" Ron burst out. "Your hair is purple and you're smiling. This is torture. Just tell us which Slytherin it is so we can prepare ourselves before we have to face the git with a big shiny badge on his chest." Hermione's hair flicked to a deeper shade of plum as she saw him scratching at a spot on his arm while he watched her intently.
"It's Blaise Zabini." She said, finally.
Harry blinked. "Zabini? I thought Zabini was a girl."
"So did I!"
"He isn't. He's Head Boy."
"I knew he wasn't a girl." Neville said timidly.
They all swiveled around to face him. "What?" The trio asked, in perfect unison.
"How?" Ron asked, eyes wide.
"I saw him in the restroom once."
"When?" Harry asked.
"Sometime in second year." Neville answered sheepishly.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. I accused him of being in the wrong lavatory, and he let it off on me. He was right angry." The pudgy boy shrugged. "But he got tall after that. If he weren't so quiet in class, you'd all have noticed. I mean, he's as tall as Ron."
The other three Gryffindors looked at each other for a minute, then shrugged and let it go.
"So, Neville," Ron started, helping himself to a chocolate frog, "Have you got Trevor?"
"Yes." Neville answered, putting a hand in his pocket. "Want me to take him out?"
"No!" Harry answered, a little too quickly. "We, erm, just wanted to be sure you hadn't lost him. We don't want to get all the way to Hogwarts and then realize he's missing. We'd have to stay on the train and look for him."
When they pulled up to the school, they did realize he was missing. However, there wasn't much staying on the train to be done, for, luckily, he was right under Neville's seat, asleep. He had, to all appearances, been there for some time.
"Merlin, Neville, you were s'posed to keep a hold of him." Ron said, once they were in a thestral-borne carriage.
"I'm sorry. I forgot."
"Blimey if that doesn't defeat the whole purpose." Ron replied irritably, picking at a place on his side.
"Now, Ron." Hermione said, in that I'm-Head-Girl-and-I'll-have-none-of-that-hair-dying-nonsense-of-yours way of hers, "Neville's found Trevor and we're all off the train and happy. No harm done."
By the time they reached the school, Peeves had obviously already been at work. The entire Entry hall was covered in crepe paper and stuffed elephants. Pink stuffed elephants. "Blimey, Peeves is at work early this year." Ron said, as a sparkler went whizzing past him and nearly caught his already flame-red hair on fire.
"Yes, yes." Hermione said impatiently. "Now let's get in to the Great Hall and sit down." Her hair, now that they'd looked at her, had turned an unpleasant greenish brown. They didn't know what that meant and didn't want to. Needless to say, they hurried over to the Gryffindor table pretty quickly to comply with her wishes. The Sorting Hat was soon brought out and placed on a stool in front of some rather green looking first years.
The rip over the brim opened and began to sing it's special annual hat song.
"Now I have a story of old
One that I know you have never been told
A story of Gryffindor and Slytherin
Of the perils of being too driven
Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw
Of the four founders fatal flaw
Gryffindor was brave 'tis true
But he was arrogant through and through
Slytherin was cunning, aye
But in the end he would only lie
And Hufflepuff was loving and kind
To cruelty she was totally blind
Ravenclaw was totally brilliant
But she was simply not resilient
Together each talent was shown
They separated and flaws were known
They allowed themselves to fall apart
And they shattered Hogwarts' heart
Remember now what I say
Together you can keep the evil at bay
I warned you before
You knew how to stop this war
I hope you recall
Before Hogwarts falls
Is the same as ignorance
They go hand in hand
I am done now
Set me upon your brow
So that I may tell you
Into what house you will debut"