Harry Potter and characters do not belong to me, though I am very flattered you think I write well enough to create such a large revenue making venture. As it stands I am a poor person attempting to survive boring classes by writing instead of doing my homework.
Summary: She catches Harry's eyes when she skirts around the library crowds, and his life is turned upside down as he realizes that part of growing up is standing up, even to those who believe in you.
Harry wondered how they'd never seen her around the school, as she wasn't like any of the other girls he had seen in the halls- what with her lack of makeup and the uncontrolled curls that bounced around her face. Most of the girls were in a dark eyeliner phase, with straight choppy hair to give them an edgy look. His green eyes blinked as he watched her shyly inch her way around the library crowds, book bag held tight to her side by two anxious hands as she bit her lip and kept her eyes darting about.
The Hogwart's librarian was having fits for this stuffy hour- as it seems all of Hogwarts had come out to use the library, and not just for books- at best it sounded like half of the school and guests were there. Harry didn't know how he picked the girl out from the crowds, even with her distinctive features she seemed to blend in and direct his attention elsewhere- which just made Harry more curious.
It was this innate curiosity of his that had gotten him into tough scrapes throughout the years- the philosopher's stone drawing his curiosity along with his need for understanding. He was thrust into this strange world of power and magic and he had wanted to learn everything he could get his hands on- it was a wonder that he hadn't noticed her before with all the heavy observing he'd been doing. He could easily recall the faces of most students in his year, but couldn't recall that girl.
Certainly her hair must have hid her sometimes – often, he amended as he watched her duck her head and slip away from his view into the shadows between some stacks – but surely her hair would be recognizable?
He turned to Ginny Weasley.
Harry and Ron Weasley were very close friends- had been since their first year, although they'd had an awkward start, uniting against the mutual teasing by another boy now their rival. Ron's younger sister kind of just fell into their group when she began attending Hogwarts, though Harry sometimes felt uncomfortable in her presence he wouldn't do anything to upset his almost family- especially after the almost falling out they'd had at the beginning of the year.
Molly Weasley was a matriarch to the core, and had shocked Harry when she had greeted him so politely and then drawn him into a bone crushing hug. He had never felt more loved- and consequently he adored whatever time he could get with any person of the family, though it had taken him a while to warm up to Percy Weasley (that was only until he'd discovered the boy had a peculiar interest in botany- something Harry had vast experience in and could help him with, especially after he'd seen the gangly teen blush and procure the hand grown daffodil to Penelope Clearwater).
Ginny should know about the girls in the school- a good gossip, though she claimed she never did anything malicious with the information she acquired (though Harry wondered if there was anything kind about gossip in the first place…), and a good friend to most the girls in their house- if she didn't know anything about that particular girl she would know someone who did.
He furrowed his brow and pushed his glasses up his nose, annoyed at the faint hairline crack at the corner that always caught his eye. "Ginny…"
She looked up with sparkling eyes and a very relieved hand dropping her quill onto her parchment. He held back a grin as he saw her barely started essay on newt's eyeballs. He sobered when she leaned forward with an expectant look in her eye as he squirmed.
Maybe he should have waited to ask Seamus?
He cleared his throat. "Do you know most of the girls?"
She quirked an eyebrow at him while settling back into her chair heavily as she gave him an affronted look. "I am friends with lots of the girls." She stated with a sniff and an upturn of her nose.
He flushed slightly.
Ron snickered and grabbed a chocolate frog from their hidden pile under some crumpled parchment, his eyes darting about frantically for the librarian before he stuffed the whole squirming sugary mess into his mouth.
Ginny snorted before returning her distracted focus onto him.
He rubbed the back of his neck and looked back to the stacks the mystery girl had disappeared into. "Do you know any girl," He glanced over to the crowd hanging around that wall, "about the height of Susan?"
She laughed at him, her head thrown back and red hair bouncing. "Harry you silly git! Half the student population is the same height as Susan!"
Ron gave her an incredulous look before snorting and turning to Harry with a sympathetic look. "She's bloody mad." Ginny kept laughing, little snorts escaping her. "Susan is awfully short for our year."
Ginny stopped and took a deep exaggerated breath as she calmed. "Really Harry, You guys think everyone is short."
Harry snorted- because everyone was short. But he kept that to himself- Ginny was very particular about certain things, and her height was one of them. Harry himself wasn't tall, but he lazed about with one of the tallest boys in their year and consequently judged height based on that. "Well, I just saw someone, and I don't think I've seen her before."
Both Weasley's sobered before Ginny leaned forward and whispered. "Maybe it was the library ghost."
Ron nodded somberly before leaning forward in a scheming manner. "Yeah, they say she's so shy she haunts the stacks and scares away any who trespass."
It was times like these when he hated these two- he could never tell when they were taking the Mickey out of him. And when he was trying to be serious about something, and get a serious answer, they sometimes didn't get it.
They cracked up laughing just seconds after that thought.
Harry sighed and returned to reading his book- though he really had no clue how underwater plants would help his assignment on transfiguration, Neville had recommended it from a reliable source. And the poor boy was passing somehow.
Harry briefly grimaced at the malicious thought before he shook his head and returned to his attempt at the assignment, worried he wouldn't get it done on time for class tomorrow- but he was still distracted enough for one more glance to the shadowed stacks.
He shook his head and picked up his quill- determined to finish this and then figure out the girl later.
It was a few days before he saw her again, and he was so startled he nearly dropped his bag but recovered it and still ended up stumbling. She didn't look up towards the noise, though McGonagall scowled from her desk before muttering something and returning to her grading.
Harry sheepishly rubbed his head before he looked around to his usual seat, pausing briefly when he realized that there was no one else there and he could sit wherever he wanted- but then McGonagall gave him a disproving look and he flushed before abruptly sitting in the seat he stood beside.
It was a few uncomfortable minutes before the rest of the class trickled in, Ron yawning and slumping into his customary seat beside Harry before letting his head land on the desk with a hollow sound.
Harry snickered and class started- he completely forgot his quest to find out more about the silent girl.
Malfoy sneered cruelly before smacking her on the arm, Harry watching her spin around and face the Slytherin trio as she held her books tightly to her chest. Harry wondered how her arms could hold all those thick library tomes without somehow dropping them- she was such a small thing the books practically became a shield.
She licked her lips and then pushed her chin out in defiance- the act making her look more vulnerable than brave as she'd been trying to go for. Malfoy laughed and elbowed his sidekicks to join in the fun, putting his hands behind his back to leisurely stroll around the girl with the lion's mane.
She stiffened up even more, her eyes widening in a glare that made them look gold with all the light reaching them from the stained glass window. Malfoy smirked as he watched his prey, and Harry puffed as he quickened his stride to meet the two- the crowd milling around did nothing.
He spotted Ginny Weasley off to the side with her pack of girls, watching but making no move to help as Harry thought she would have. He was glad to notice that the rest of the crowd wasn't made up of those from the pride; he didn't think he could live knowing his house could be so cruel to stand by and simply watch this.
"The little mudblood," Draco sneered, his eyes darting over the crowd for their reactions before he all out grinned (a rarity, though Harry found he didn't even like it when Draco Malfoy smiled instead of smirked), "walking through the halls all alone."
The girl straightened now, staring at him intently as he continued to circle and watch her with disdainful eyes.
Malfoy growled. "The silly little savage probably doesn't understand a word I'm saying…o dear, it's a wonder she attends our prestigious school."
Harry doubled his pace as he got his second wind, feeling his chest tighten as she girl pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes- though he could still see that suspicious shine. He felt his own growl building at the back of his throat as he reached the crowd, pushing his way through easily due to his experience having to fight for his place (however measly that place was) in his muggle home.
He made it to the center of the gathered circle, strangely reminded of a muggle witch trial as he used his presence to get between the girl and Malfoy (whose face turned from sneering and delighted to stunned and disgusted realization).
He watched the crowd break away- only a few looking at him with blushing, shamed faces while the rest simply shrugged and continued on as if looking for more entertainment to break up the monotony of life.
He sighed and scratched his cheek as he turned around to face the girl, his shoes squeaking on the clean stone as he watched her straighten out her things and then look up to him as if confused as to why he was still there.
He gave her a small grin, watched as she gave him an unsure grin in return- and he wondered how something so uncertain could still be so inviting. "My name's Harry." His grin widened and he stretched out his hand, watching her blush and then shuffle the books around in her arms before she managed to shake his offering hand.
He laughed and her smile turned sheepish before her lips pressed together and she looked down the hall- the direction she had been going in. He felt his brows furrow, that strange pinching sensation that tickled his brain making him back off the thought, before he nodded his head.
He watched her go with the strange thought becoming prominent, he had seen her house patch when she had shifted…so why had he never seen his fellow Gryffindor in the den?
Hermione hugged her binder tighter to her chest while - watching the other kids go on to the playground - she prepared herself for the walk home. She bit her lips, drawing them in between her teeth as she watched them with wide wary eyes, the brown glossy and dark as she waited for just the right moment- they had to look away sometime. She sniffled as the group finally turned to the playground equipment, their attention now focused away from her as she shuffled her way out the door quietly and then edged along the schoolyard fence.
She had gotten through the day again.