"Ooh, look at Granger!" giggled Draco Malfoy, who was perched on the stairs, looking smug. "You'd think she'd be running towards class, not away from it."

As Crabbe and Goyle chuckled, Hermione Granger, who had paused when Malfoy spoke, continued her charge up the stairs. When she was halfway up the flight, Crabbe–or possibly Goyle, as no Gryffindor had ever bothered to figure out which was which–moved his massive bulk directly into her path. Hermione stopped, irritated.

"I don't want to be late, Malfoy," she said almost calmly. "May I go by?"

"No," he answered quickly, grinning. "Know what's under this staircase, Granger?"

"I don't care," she said through gritted teeth. "Look, I just need to get my book, and get to class. Can we possibly do this during free time?"

"Do what?" said Malfoy, quite pleased with himself. "I don't know what your problem is, Granger. All I'm doing is standing on the stairs. I'm not bothering anybody."

"You're bothering me!"

"Well," he laughed. "I'm not bothering anybody of consequence."

It was difficult, but somehow Hermione managed to prevent herself strangling him. "Right," she said carefully. "I'll go to class without my book."

"Without any books, it looks like," drawled Malfoy. Hermione had left her book bag outside the classroom, to help her run faster. "Goyle?"

Oh, that was Goyle. The enormous boy moved forward, and before Hermione could so much as reach for her wand, he'd seized her awkwardly around the arms, pinning them down. Struggling against Goyle, Hermione gasped, "What are you doing? Get off!"

"Ahem," said Malfoy. "I asked you before, Granger: do you know what's under these stairs?"

"I don't care!" said Hermione angrily, struggling to reach her wand. "Let me go, you stupid – you stupid boys!"

"You don't know. Well, you'll have to let us know what you find out." Malfoy gestured at Goyle with his head.

Goyle shuffled up the stairs, apparently having no trouble lifting Hermione, who continued in her attempts to free herself. Crabbe and Malfoy turned as Goyle passed them, watching. Malfoy put one of his feet up on the stair in front of him.

"Bon voyage, Granger!" said Malfoy, to the raucous laughter of Crabbe and Goyle. Goyle released his hold on Hermione, and for a split-second she was free.

The staircase decided this was a good time to move. It lurched to the right, and Hermione watched in horror as Malfoy slipped, losing his balance, tipping backward onto the stair on which his foot had been balanced. Malfoy grabbed the closest thing to him: Hermione's robes. Wheeling around, Hermione let out a brief shriek, trying to break free of Malfoy's grip, but he held fast. Hermione felt herself losing her balance, and shrieked again, falling backwards on top of Malfoy –

Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle paused mid-guffaw, and simply stared.

"Did the stairs eat them?" said Goyle, after a minute.

"...No..." Crabbe replied, slowly.

"Well, what...?"

"Let's...let's go to class," said Crabbe, the smarter of the two.

"Right," Goyle said, who always felt better when someone told him what to do.

Shouldering Draco's bookbag, Crabbe led the way back down the stairs, to the Potions classroom.

"Hey, Goyle?"


"Why's Draco have a book called Potions Ingredients of the Western World?"


"Oh. Okay."

Warning: If you have not read the story for which this is the sequel, turn back! You will soon be very confused. Trick Stair, the original story, is located under my penname here on Thanks!