Me: "I do not own Harry Potter."
Harry: "Yeah, you don't own me. I own me."
Ginny: "Harry's mine!"
JKR: "Harry, I own you. Don't listen to them."
Harry: "Why are all these women claiming they own me?"
I do NOT own anything Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling owns it all.
(Unfortunately for me!)
(A/N: VivienDevereaux, this is for you. What follows is Vanessa's first real meeting with Harry and Ron, on the morning after she arrived in 2005 with Hermione.
To everyone else: VivienDevereaux reviewed saying she was interested in what happened to Vanessa after she reached Hermione's time. Like the piece about Remus, I had originally wanted to write that in, but found that it interrupted the story too much. So, here it is now! Enjoy!)
What happened to Vanessa?
(Set between Chapters 16 and 17. It is the 15th December, 2005.)
It was six o'clock in the morning when Vanessa Esprit stirred. Blearily opening her eyes, she registered the white snow once more swirling past the window, the familiar colours of gold and crimson adorning the dormitory.
Looking intently at the sleeping figures around her, Vanessa got a shock. Everything was the same, and yet different. None of the bodies lying curled in their warm, comfy four-posters was familiar. Lily, Angelica, Renae, Zoe, all replaced by these foreign students.
The raven-haired girl looked over at where Hermione should be peacefully sleeping. The bed was empty, sheets ruffled and long-abandoned.
"It so weird to know that it's now 18 years later." Vanessa muttered to herself. Then she giggled softly. "That means I'm 35!" Shaking her head at her own foolishness, Vanessa clambered out of bed, shivering as her bare feet touched the icy crimson carpet. Wrapping her Ravenclaw-blue velvet dressing-gown tight around her and tying it firmly around her waist, Vanessa silently cracked open the door and slipped out of the room.
Ron Weasley looked up as he heard light footsteps coming from the stairs to the girls' dormitories. His red hair glinting in the firelight, he shrugged, then went back to staring into the flickering flames.
Padding softly down the spiraling stairs, Vanessa paused as the neared the bottom, stopping just out of sight. Peeking around the edge of the wall, she saw a tall, lanky red-headed 7th year, who looked like one of the people Hermione had introduced her to the night before.
"Are you… Ron?" Vanessa asked curiously, emerging around the corner. The red-head jerked violently and spun around.
"Er, yes. You're… Vanessa?"
"Yeah. Well, hi."
"Hi." A silence fell over the pair. Ron stood up, ankles and wrists showing at the ends of his too short pajamas.
"So…" Vanessa began, standing awkwardly at the landing.
"So…" Ron echoed. "Err, do you like Hogwarts?" He asked.
"So far. Although I've been here less than 24 hours, it seems nice enough. And Hermione's here, so I'm not totally alone." She smiled, and Ron sat down again, gesturing to the armchair opposite him. Vanessa gracefully settled into the chair, warming her bare toes by the flames.
"How do you know Hermione, anyhow?" Ron enquired.
"Pen-Pals." Vanessa lied on the spot. "We've been friends since we were children, and we were both so surprised when the two of us found out about the Wizarding World." Ron looked confused.
"So why were you never here before? Where did you go to school?" Vanessa thought frantically. Luckily she was saved having to answer as a tall, skinny boy with scruffy dark hair entered the room through the archway near the Portrait Hole.
"Hi Harry." Ron smiled.
"Hey Ron." Harry gave his best friend a questioning look in Vanessa's direction.
"I'm Vanessa." She said amiably, warming to the mischievous grin covering Harry's expression.
"Harry. Aren't you the girl that… came back… with Hermione?" She shot Harry a warning glance.
"What?" Ron looked confused. "She just said they were pen-pals." Harry winced.
"Err, Ron, you should go talk to Hermione. She told me to fetch you anyway."
"Why? And what's this got to do with her?" Ron pointed in Vanessa's direction, bearing down on Harry with an annoyed look.
"I'm still here you know." Vanessa said in a sing-song voice, affronted by Ron's tone. Harry and Ron continued talking.
"Ron, just go see Hermione. Charms classroom." Harry said firmly, steering the taller boy towards the portrait hole.
"Fine." Ron muttered rebelliously. There was a slight bang as the portrait swung shut. Harry pushed his glasses back from the tip of his nose and looked at Vanessa.
"Harry Potter." He smiled, shaking Vanessa's hand. "Don't mind Ron. He's actually a really nice guy." Then his cheerful expression faded, becoming sober. "Hermione told me everything. More than I think she's going to tell Ron, at any rate." Vanessa shivered.
"So you know about me?" She felt a slight twinge of trepidation, but dismissed it, relying on the fact that Hermione would never reveal who she was.
"Everything Hermione knew. Well, that's what she told me." He smiled mischievously again.
"So you're Lily and James's son?"
"Yeah." Harry's voice was quiet. "So you knew them." There was an awkward silence.
"For a little while." Harry looked down at the carpet.
"I'm sorry, this is just so strange. You were 17 when my parents were 17, and now you're 17 when I am. What were they like?"
"They were wonderful people." Vanessa's voice became soft. "You're mother was kind, funny, beautiful, and caring. When I first met James in his first year he seemed rather overconfident, so did Sirius." She paused. "James and Lily loved each other. In their 7th year, when I really came to know them, they were inseparable. I cried for them when Hermione told me what happened."
"Anyway, you think it's weird? Try being me! Think about it. I've just come 17 years into my own future. I'm still seventeen, most of the people I knew are gone, or they're in their 30s!" Harry grinned, and the atmosphere lightened.
"It would be rather strange." He laughed. Rubbing a hand through his black hair, Harry frowned slightly. "I wonder how Ron's going to deal with this."
"Hermione." Harry stated simply. Vanessa shrugged.
"I only met him last night, how would I know?" They both laughed.
"So. Hermione tells me you were a Ravenclaw. Why did you move Houses?"
"I just felt like I belonged more in Gryffindor than in Ravenclaw." She lied. "Well, it wasn't entirely a lie, just not the whole truth." Her mind added.
"So-" Harry's speech was cut off by a loud bang and some stomping. Ronald Weasley stormed into the Gryffindor Common Room.
"Why did she tell you first!" He snapped at Harry. "You should have told me!"
"Ron, be serious. I was awake first, and down here when she came downstairs. It was just a matter of timing. She told me, and I came back here to tell you." Harry rolled his eyes.
"Does it really matter?" Vanessa inquired politely, linking her hands behind her back.
"Yes! Everyone tells Harry things before me. And you, you lied to me! You've been here 'less than 24 hours,' and the first conversation we have, you lie!" Crossing his arms across his chest, the Weasley frowned.
"What was I supposed to say! 'Oh, I came forward from my time with Hermione after she visited 1987?" Vanessa retorted calmly, non-offended.
"She's got a point, Ron." The red-head calmed down.
"I'm sorry." He said grudgingly. "I was just annoyed that you lied to me. I didn't think of it like that."
"Since when do you think, Ron?" Harry snickered.
"Oh, shut up Harry." Ron bantered, smiling once more. He threw a cushion at Harry, but missed. It hit Vanessa in the head instead.
"Nice one Ron." Harry laughed.
"Ha ha, very funny!" Vanessa giggle, throwing the pillow back at Ron.
"Oh, so that's the way things are going to be, huh?" Ron picked up another pillow and lobbed it at Harry, who soon joined the fray.
When a pale, tired, and sad Hermione Granger entered the Common Room at 7 o'clock on the 16th of December, 2005, an astounding sigh met her chocolate eyes.
Ron, Harry, and Vanessa were having a massive pillow-fight in the middle of the Gryffindor Common Room. Smiling weakly at the sight, she quickly put a Silencing Charm over the room so the noise wouldn't disturb the slumbering students upstairs. Vanessa had pinned Ron to the floor, and was clobbering him with a cushion, although not very hard, and Harry was dancing around and pegging cushions at the two of them, and smiling broadly while watching Ron try to squirm away from all the pillows. When Vanessa let him up, Ron ran at Harry and thumped him with a cushion. Harry fell over onto the couch, laughing hysterically, then Ron crash-tackled Vanessa, knocking her to the floor, then landed on top of her and beginning to tickle her with some of the numerous feathers littering the room.
It was then that Harry looked up at the archway to the Portrait Hole and say Hermione there, her thin face wearing a slight, wavering smile as she surveyed the scene before her.
"Ron." Harry hissed. "Ron." Laughing, Ron looked up. Harry pointed in the direction of Hermione.
There was a sudden silence. Ron rolled off Vanessa, lying beside her. Vanessa herself plucked off a feather that had been adorning her nose. She was smiling, trying not to laugh, and Ron was very quickly turning beet-root red. The feathers floating in the air began to settle and sink, a few crisping as they fell too close to the fire.
"I see that you've met my friends, Vanessa." Hermione said, a shadow of laughter faintly audible in her voice.
"Yup. And very friendly friends they are too." The raven-haired girl was attempting not to laugh, but she failed. Her infectious amusement filled every part of the room, and soon everyone else cracked up.
(A/N: Well, there you have it. Vanessa blends well in her new home, and becomes firm friends with our Golden Trio. She also becomes good friends with Remus, since she's also technically known him for more than 15 years, just like Hermione.
And as I attempted to suggest earlier, the friendship between her and Ron does… develop. However I am not going to write about that as it would be another story entirely. #Grins.#
So, once and for all in this story, ADIÓS!)