A/N: Everyone has been saying, is Hermione going to step into this? Are you going to leave Hermione out of the group? I say to this, How DARE you! Leave Hermione Granger, the most brilliant witch of her generation out of the loop? HA! It'd be easier to keep stampeding plot bunnies away! Now, unto the story, BTW, I need a poll, who wants Hermione/Ron, and who wants Hermione/Draco? I needed some reason to get Hermione over there this chapter, but you have several chapters to think about a permanent pairing, I need some answers for fore-planning please.
Harry grinned and tucked a paint brush into his pocket, drinking in the sweet sounds of infuriated screaming girls in the morning.
"Thats my cue to leave," He muttered and took off through the entrance of the Hufflepuff common room. The halls look especially bright this morning, Harry noticed cheerily making his way down to the Slytherin dungeon entrance.
The statue moved obligantly so he could make his way to the1st year Slytherin dorms where Ron was undoubtedly still snoozing the morning away.
"Hey Harry" Neville said casually not taking his eyes off his target.
"Hey Nev." Harry grinned from his position at the door. This was going to be good. "Draco up?"
"He was taking a shower when I left Griffindor tower." With a flick of his wand, Neville canceled the levitation charm and a bucket of a tepid water fell over the sleeping red head with a great 'SPLOOSH'.
"ARGH!" Ron bolted up in his bed sputtering and gasping. Harry and Neville sprang out of range of flying water droplets, grinning like mad men. Draco hurtled into the room panting.
"Whad I miss?" He gasped doubled over trying to catch his breath.
"Just my morning shower." Ron growled dangling himself from his bed. "Why were you running?"
Draco grinned and straitened up proudly. "I just filched something from your brothers is all." Gasps from the other three were music to his ears. With a flourish, he pulled out an blank sheet of old yellow parchment.
"What is it?" Harry asked doubtfully.
"I don't know." Draco deflated slightly, passing the parchment to him. "But whatever it is, its really valuable, or it could get them in a lot of trouble, and apparently it helps them manage mischief."
"Thats what they whispered when they saw me coming down the hall. Mischief managed."
It was a unanimous decision that Harry should keep it to try and figure out what it was. After all, he knew defense against the dark arts of their year like the back of his hand.
Neville caught Draco staring at the griffindor table during breakfast. He nudged Ron and Harry and pointed out what, or whom you could say, Draco was staring at. With a mischievous grin Harry leaned into Draco's ear.
"She sure is cute, isn't she?"
Sigh. "Yeah. HEY!" Draco whipped around to glare at his chortling friends. "I do NOT think she's cute." Ron elbowed him in the side chummingly.
"If you like her, go ask her to come hang out with us."
"I do NOT like her. Her names Hermione Granger. She's pretty smart and-and has potential. But she's always in her books. No friends at all."
"Well that settles it then."
"Yeah, go ask her over."
"Go on then, actually we'll all go."
"Alright, lets go."
They got up from the end of the Hufflepuff table, their usual morning haunt, and strode across the hall to the Griffindor table. Hermione didn't notice them coming to stop behind her, her nose was still buried in some large, moldy looking book. Harry reached around on her left side and snatched the book from her. Hermione looked around wildly.
"How do you do?" Draco dropped down into the seat on her right side.
"Good morning." Neville took her other side. Ron and Harry appeared on the other side of the table.
"We were just wondering-"
"Would you like to hang around the castle this fine day with us?"
Hermione looked suspiciously at the four grinning faces around her. "Which of you took my book?"
"The book, she says!" Harry clapped a hand on his forehead dramatically.
"A dry bit of work it is at that." Ron commented flipping through it casually. Hermione reached for it, but Ron held it out of reach.
"We'll only let you have it back if you agree to have some fun with us." Neville stated solemnly.
"Doing what?" asked Hermione narrowing her eyes at them.
"Oh a bit of this, a bit of that. You know, the best kind of fun. What do you say?" Draco casually draping his arm about her shoulders.
"Well...I guess it wouldn't hurt." She agreed hesitantly.
"Brilliant!" Harry leapt up from his seat. Ron handed the book back to Hermione ceremoniously. She stood, took out her wand, shrunk it, and stuck it in her pocket. They stared at her.
"Oh yes, you definetly have to hang out with us more often." Ron patted her on the back. "If you help, we may actually graduate, imagine that!" The boys laughed, which apparently was infectious because Hermione couldn't hold in a small giggle. It was then Harry remembered they hadn't introduced themselves.
"My names Harry."
"Neville's the name."
"And I need no introduction, I am the great and all powerful Draco Malfoy- Ouch!"
"I'm Hermione. Hermione Granger..."
True to Rons dramatic prophecy, their groups grades did indeed increase. not by leaps and bounds of course, but the change was substantial enough that Professor McGonaldgall congratulated her on 'knocking some sense into those four!'. Their first act on plan Get Granger Out Of Her Books More began the very next night, when the four bodily detached her from her homework and drug her to the out of bounds corridor.
"ARE YOU INSANE!" Hermione screeched struggling to get away from Ron and Nevilles gasp. "What part of HORRIBLE DEATH don't you GET!"
"Shhhh!" Harry frowned at her. "Do you WANT to get caught?" That quieted her. She still broke free and stood there in a half huff-half nervous stance. Harry rolled his eyes and turned back to the lock Draco was muttering at.
"Alohomorem. No, damn it, what was that charm? Alohaimera."
"I think it was, Alomahora." Harry jabbed his wand at the lock.
"Oh for the love-!" Hermione shoved them both out of the way. "Alohamora!"
The lock slid smoothly upward. Ron kneeled on the floor before her.
"Oh Lady Hermione! How did we ever expect to get through our lowly years without your prowess! Worship!" He waved his arms around frantically as Draco yanked him off balance by his collar, Hermione giggled in spite of her self. Neville and Harry were already slowly creeping into the room, gesturing for the others to follow quietly.
"Its really dark."
"Can't see a thing, Lumos!"
Teeth. Fur. Fangs. Drool. Red Eyes. Three heads. Trap Door. Three heads. Teeth. Door. Slam. RUN!
Harry slid to the floor panting in front of the hufflepuff portrait. He could vaugly hear his friends do the same. The three headed dog was still in front of his eyes.
"Did-" Hermione grasped Draco's shoulder as she stood on shaky knees. "Did anyone else see what it was standing on?"
Ron made a faint whimpering sound in disbelief. "It had THREE HEADS! And you looked at its FEET?"
"A trap door." Harry said faintly.
A trap door.
"I think its got something to do with Hagrids you-know-what." Draco stated firmly in between bites of marmalade toast.
Harry nodded. "Definitely." Hedwig peck the untouched bacon from his plate.
"Question is, what is you-know-what?" Neville contemplated, poring ketchup on his sausage.
"And why are they hiding it?" Hermione added digging into her own breakfast.
"You reckon Hagrid knows everything?" Ron said around a mouth of porridge.
Harry nodded, " Dumbledore trusts Snape. Why wouldn't Dumbledore trust him?"
"Speak of the Devil." Draco nudged Harry in his sides and pointed at the doors to the great hall. A pale face with an unmistakable nose peeped into the nearly empty great hall. Snape took a furtive look around then disappeared as quickly as he came.
Harry nodded to his friends and slipped off after the potions professor. The rest of the gang weren't worried and didn't try to follow him. They all new that if there was one thing Harry couldn't be beat in, it was spying unnoticed.