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I have these days sometimes where I wake up and just know that everything is going to go wrong, no matter what I do to try and prevent this. It feels like a dull mist is hanging in front of your face, making everything that should be brilliant in your life look fuzzy, hazy and far away. You know that everything is going brilliantly, heck, you can see it, all around you, but the mist hampers it, makes you ignore all the good and focus on the one, singular thing that's going wrong in your life.

It's usually love. Maybe he's too far away, unreachable no matter how much your heart and soul cries out to be near him. Maybe he doesn't know you exist, or maybe you know in your heart that he feels for you, but as you scratch and claw trying to break the outer surface it still remains hard, strong and unrelenting against your advances.

It's enough to drive a person crazy. It makes you feel sick, it makes you want to drive your head into a book, or scrub every surface around you clean until you've forgotten, however fleetingly, the way you're feeling.

I feel like all I ever think about and all I ever do is talk about him. Like a constant broken record in my head. I really wish I could be like any other love sick girl, but I can't. Hermione Granger does not get ill from being in love with her best friend. You cannot fault Hermione Granger. Reliable, trustworthy, good. Everybody knows it. Especially him.

"Hermione...?" His voice cuts into my consciousness and my head snaps up at a dizzying speed, sending my head spinning.

"Help me, please. This potions homework... Why are you being so stubborn all of a sudden? You know I think you're the most wonderful person in the world...?"

My heart leaps at the false compliment, but I don't let it show. I sigh heavily and bury my nose deeper into my book.

"Ask Harry. He has the book."

Oh yes, "the book." As if my life wasn't hard enough at the moment, I have to compete with the elusive "Half Blood Prince."

"Why are you so bitter about that, 'mione? Any normal person would at least be interested... the guy is a bloody genius."

"If you're implying Harry-"

"-not Harry, the prince."

"Ron. When will you get it into your skull that this book is nothing but dangerous! Remember Second Year? Remember what a strange, clever book did to your sister? If you had an ounce of sensibility you'd be agreeing with me and telling Harry to get shot of that thing."

I turn away from him, face red at having gotten so angry. My studies are my pride and joy. Harry is the hero. He can't encroach on my territory, not while I can help it.

"Get over yourself, Hermione."

I turn to face him again, eyes watering with a mixture of hurt and complete rage.

"Can't you be happy for him, for once? Can't you be happy for me? We're both slightly cheerful for the first time in years and you do nothing but sneer at us as if we're pathetic rodents about to catch a deadly disease. Lavender makes me happy. The Half Blood Prince evidently makes Harry happy. WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?"

Ron advances until he is mere inches away from my face. The tears escape the confines of my eyes and roll down my cheeks, burning like acid against limestone.

I step back, away from his angry face.

"How would you like it if you could see what's most precious to you being stolen away from you by something so utterly insignificant it's almost laughable?" My voice is barely above a whisper. His face stays the same.

"Listen, Hermione, you need to wise up. Grades aren't the be all and end all in life. If that's what's most precious to you, then I pity you."

He storms out of the common room, smacking the Fat Lady against the wall on his way out. Her loud complaints echo the down the hallway outside as the tears roll off my chin onto my jumper. I look down at "Hogwarts: A History," open in my arms at the page cataloguing Hogwarts' most famous witches and wizards. No mention of a Half Blood Prince. I grab the top of the page and rip with all my force. I throw the book to the ground and cast spell after spell, disintegrating it without even touching it.

I slump into the nearest armchair and pull my knees up close. I sob into my tights until visible wet patches form on the knees. Next to me lies a piece of tattered parchment, no doubt left by a student the night before after completing homework. I wipe my eyes and grab a quill out of my nearby bag.


I wipe my eyes again before continuing, smudging my newly bought mascara. Another attempt at making him notice me failed.

"Do you know why I envy you so much? You always have somebody to talk to. Your best friend is always there, by your side, in the next bed. You're boys, you share boy-ish things, you laugh about what girls have done and talk about who, in an ideal world, would throw themselves before you and beg to be with you.

But me, my two best friends are boys. Who do I turn to when I get down? I'm not blaming you. I know you'd never understand and I don't expect you to. When you're so alone in the world as I am, you tend to hold on to the things that matter most.

Be they books, grades, appearances... they matter because they define you, and without yourself, who do you turn to when there's nobody else?

Harry's book drives me crazy, Lavender Brown makes me want to hurt something. Why? They're both driving me further and further away from what really is most precious to me in the world. And, if now, after all of that, you can't figure out what it is..."

I stop writing. I can't finish that sentence.

Leaving the parchment lying casually on the table, I collect my belongings and head up to the dorm. No doubt it'd be thrown on the fire within minutes. Careless, perhaps, to leave it lying there where anyone can pick it up, but this has made me careless. I don't care about a first year finding out that Hermione Granger has dropped her defences and fallen in love. It's about time the world knew anyway.

Harry ambles into the common room shortly after Hermione left, slinging his bag on top of the still-wet ink of Hermione's letter. He stands a short distance from the fire and places his broom on the ground. He repeatedly summons it, trying different ways of catching it in his hand every time, no doubt trying to look cool but, sadly, failing. He adds a wink, in his last attempt, making the entire spectacle more hilarious than alluring.

A sigh, and Harry picks up his bag, his eye catching Hermione's neat script as it falls to the floor. He grabs it an inch from the carpet and pockets it before racing up the stairs to his dorm. He'd give it back to Hermione tomorrow. No doubt she'll be mortified to find one of her essays missing.