DISCLAIMER: That part of this world and those characters you've seen before belong to their Creator: JKR. The rest is mine - although I cannot quit my day job as I make no $$$
This is rated M mostly to be safe and eventual violence. There is no (not yet, at least and even then, not as a plot point) graphic sex, although it will be suggestive. While I explore some themes again, this one intends to be more magical and less Muggle than the others… It is mostly H/Hr, although it is also H/Multi as well.
Saturday, March 11th, 1995
"Don't worry about it, Hermione," Ginny said as the two of them entered an unused corridor in the school. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had been around for a thousand years. It was in a castle, massive by any standards that, according to Hogwarts: A History, a book Hermione Granger practically had memorized, had been built and rebuilt numerous times. Had it not been a magical castle but a real one such as the Muggles had used in the Middle Ages, it could quartered several thousand soldiers with ease. As a magical school, however, it had fewer than 500 students and staff meaning there was a lot of unused and in many cases forgotten space such as this corridor.
"I really don't care what they write to me," Hermione huffed. "My concern is if they write my parents that rubbish." Hermione was complaining about the hate mail she had been receiving the past week following an article in the Daily Prophet by Rita Skeeter reporting that she was cheating on Harry Potter with Victor Krum. "What's even more upsetting is Victor's just a friend! He's engaged already and asked me to the Ball because I had no interest in him that way! I was his hostage because I am the only friend he has here! I've already written to his Katya to tell her the article was a pack of lies, but…"
"We know, Hermione," another voice said. Hermione looked and saw a blonde haired girl from her own year. It was Daphne Greengrass from Slytherin who, like several others, was now a part of a secret club, one that was meeting in full for the first time. "And I wouldn't worry too much about those people writing your parents about that filth. The type of people who believe that stuff are also the types who wouldn't be caught dead communicating with Muggles."
"So where is this place?" Ginny asked.
"Just ahead," Hermione said. "Near as I can guess, this corridor hasn't been used in centuries. I warded the entrance to it so only we can find it and have similar wards on the door to the rooms."
"How…?" Daphne began.
"Rune based notice-me-not and forgetfulness wards," Hermione said. "It's…"
"Part of this year's Ancient Rune studies," Daphne nodded. "But how can we be keyed in? Professor Babbling hasn't taught much about keyed warding schemes yet."
"Those hairs I asked for," Hermione said. Daphne remembered the Society message asking for a strand of hair from each of them just a week ago. "I used it in a boundary potion tied into the wards. We can find this corridor. No one else can. I even checked Harry's unique map."
Hermione was really pleased she managed to convince Harry to get that map back from Professor Moody. The Professor had made the mistake of asking to borrow it which meant he was honor bond to give it back if asked. Harry had told her afterwards that the Professor had tried every trick in the book to get out of giving it back. He had said it was essential for security that he retained it what with the Tri-Wizard Tournament and Harry's strange participation. That was rubbish. Unless you knew who you were looking for - as in had memorized the names of everyone in the school - or if you were focusing on one location, the map was only useful for avoiding people, not finding them. If there were an intruder, you could find them, but that was mostly a case of accident as had been the case the previous year when Harry saw "Peter Pettigrew's" name on the map. The Professor then claimed it was a banned object, but that was a load of tosh too. It was not on the list posted outside Filch's office and therefore was not banned. Ultimately, the Professor gave up and returned the map - it was, after all a family heirloom which Hermione now knew meant unless it could be conclusively proven that it was banned dark magic, the Professor had no choice but to give it back.
"This corridor is no longer on it," Hermione said. It was before I set the wards although there was an annotation good place to take a date for private time, but otherwise useless."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Ginny asked.
"It was Black's handwriting," Hermione said. "My guess is he brought girls down here for…"
"Here we are," Hermione said. She opened a door and the three entered a large hall of some sort. While it was much smaller than the Great Hall, it was larger than any of their classrooms. Unlike the corridor, which looked neglected, the room was clean and well lit. Along the opposite wall hung the banners of all four Houses. A circular table was in the center of the room, around which were eighteen chairs. Hermione, Daphne and Ginny were the first of the secret society to arrive.
In a way, this society began on October 31st. That was the day Harry Potter's name had been drawn from the Goblet of Fire and he became an involuntary participant in a life threatening tournament. Harry was only fourteen. There were supposed to be protections that prevented anyone under the age of seventeen to enter their names. Harry said he did not enter his name. Hermione believed him. She knew Harry wanted nothing to do with this silly tournament. She thought, given the reaction of both the teachers and most of the students that she was the only one who believed Harry. Their other friend Ron did not believe him until later, after Harry had nearly been killed by a dragon and, to be honest, Hermione doubted that Ron's change of opinion was genuine.
But it was soon clear to Hermione there were others out there who also believed that Harry was competing against his will and, like her, that there was far more going on here than any of the adults were saying, none of which was good for Harry. Moreover, each of these others also believed deep down that Harry was far more important to the future than anyone was saying, although none of them could say why. They all wanted to help Harry, but they all knew they had to go through Hermione to do so. Hermione was a little upset that not one of them was a boy, for it made the others look like they wanted to offer a different kind of help. There was one boy out there who genuinely wanted to help Harry, but there were reasons he was not here tonight.
Ginny Weasley was the first to approach Hermione about Harry. It was the day after the Champions were announced. True, the brown eyed, red haired Weasley girl, first daughter in that line in generations, had had a crush on Harry her first year, but she was truly interested in another boy now, even if he hadn't noticed yet. She believed Harry would never do something so stupid and feared for his life. She considered Harry a friend and unofficial brother. Moreover, Harry had saved her life. The thirteen year old Gryffindor Third Year owed him and made it clear she would do anything to help Harry.
Katie Bell also approached her that first day in November. She was a Fifth Year in Gryffindor House with light brown hair and brown eyes. She was fifteen and one of the youngest girls in her year, but still had made starting Chaser of the Gryffindor House team the same year Harry started as Seeker. Hermione found that impressive as she was a Muggle Born witch as well and Hermione and noted few Muggle Borns were any good on a broom, at least at that age. Katie refused to believe Harry wanted any part of the stupid tournament and hoped she could help find a way to get him out of it. She feared for her friend and teammate's safety.
The next day, three more girls approached Hermione about Harry. All three were surprises in their own way. Hermione was alone in the Library studying in a quiet corner when Parvati Patil asked to speak with her. Parvati was her roommate and while they were friendly, Hermione could not honestly say that they were friends. Parvati seemed to prefer talking non-stop about boys, clothes, make-up, Witch Weekly, divination and gossip with their other roommate Lavender Brown, whereas Hermione preferred to talk about books, classes and maybe Harry. Still, despite her giggling girl image, Hermione knew Parvati was very smart and observant. While Lavender had clearly joined the "Harry's a Cheat" camp, Parvati had not. She had not openly disagreed, but she confessed to Hermione that none of it made any sense. It was so out of character for Harry that Parvati was convinced someone was trying to kill their classmate. All other things considered, and Parvati believed that Harry might well be the most important wizard alive, the boy did not deserve this and she wanted to help somehow.
As surprising as this was to Hermione, it was more surprising that Parvati still wanted to help a couple of months later following the Yule Ball. Harry had been her date and from Hermione's perspective, it had been a nightmare first date for her roommate. But that was not really Parvati's opinion. She told Hermione that Harry was actually a very good date for the most part, at least until he went over to see how Ron Weasley was getting along. Parvati was convinced Weasley must be part dementor. The red haired menace certainly could suck all the fun out of a room. The only fault Parvati found for Harry was sticking with the backstabbing git, an opinion Hermione quietly shared.
The other two girls who approached Hermione about Harry were a total surprise. Throughout the school, the two Fourth Years were known as the Untouchable Twins, although they were not related. They were both very pretty by any standard, one with long, black hair and grey eyes and the other a perfect figured blonde with blue eyes whom all the older boys (and at least one or two girls) drooled over. The two girls were considered among the most desirable girls in school, and yet they dated no one. (Neither would be at the Yule Ball about two months later). The Blonde was also known as the Ice Princess and had hexed more students than anyone else, all of whom were boys and most were from her own House. What was really shocking was that Tracy Davis and Daphne Greengrass were Slytherins, who were generally believed to hate Gryffindors on principal and hate Harry Potter in particular.
Hermione was naturally suspicious of the intentions of the Untouchable Twins, but after a long conversation, she began to see the two as both very Slytherin and very much not so. The Davis and Greengrass families had long ties to that house, and that was it. They were Purebloods, but not one had ever married another Slytherin. They arranged marriages with families on the Continent or sent their children off to jobs on the continent in the family businesses with the implied task of finding their spouse there. The few who had married British, married into the other houses, not Slytherin. Daphne said she would rather have been a Ravenclaw, but the damned hat would have none of it. That being said, she had no interest in Slytherin boys stating that is was not much of a step up from goats and sheep.
To these two, Harry was one of a very select few boys of any worth in the entire school. Hermione wasn't sure if they fancied her friend and wasn't sure if she would accept their help if they did. Both of them convinced her, however, that as attractive as Harry might be, he was far more important to the world than being listed as Britain's Most Eligible Wizard year after year. They believed three things about what had just happened. First, Harry was not the type of person most of the school thought he was and would never have tried to enter the tournament even if he was old enough. Second, someone else had tricked the Cup and worse, Dumbledore and the other so called adults turned a blind eye to that. Harry had been tricked into accepting a contract he had no reason to accept. This statement floored Hermione. All Harry had to do to get out of this was refuse to participate? He did, until Dumbledore told him it was too late, when it was not! Daphne and Tracey were convinced that whoever was involved (to include Dumbledore), things were set up in a way that was not in Harry's interest if he wished to live a long and healthy life. Finally, these two Slytherins saw Harry as important, but shackled. So long as others were calling the shots, Harry and the future were in danger. While Dumbledore might think he was helping Harry, letting Harry compete had caused the two Slytherins to rank Dumbledore just below Voldemort as the greatest risk to their collective futures. They needed to see Harry through this fiasco and then free him from his puppet masters so he could do whatever he was meant to do and not what old fools felt he should do. Hermione wondered what they meant at the time, but when they had both offered to swear an unbreakable vow of loyalty to Harry Potter, she accepted their help without requiring the vow. In the weeks and months that followed, she was grateful she had taken that leap of faith.
Over the next several weeks, as Harry went through that horrid First Task and the school got wrapped up in the coming Yule Ball and as Hermione spent hours with Harry helping him prepare for the tasks ahead, she also sat at a desk in the library meeting with girls from her growing organization. They unofficially called themselves The Harry Potter (Real Hogwarts Champion) Fan Club. It had grown over time. In addition to Tracey and Daphne, two other Slytherins had joined. There was a fifth year named Lucinda Urquhart who also happened to be a Prefect, which in and of itself was very useful. There was also a third year named Rosario (Rosie) Rosier, whose Uncle was a former Death Eater and whom her family had vowed to kill on sight. These two ran with Daphne and Tracey, which meant they were outcasts in their own House, not that they cared. Slytherins tended to date Slytherins, and these four pointed out that there was little difference between sex with a Slytherin boy and bestiality. Ravenclaw was also represented. There was another Fifth Year named Laura Caldwell (a Muggle Born). Parvati's twin sister Padma was one of "them" now and remained such after the disaster that was letting Ron Weasley take her to the ball. Padma's roommate Lisa Turpin was also in the group as was an old friend of Ginny's, a Third Year named Luna Lovegood. Hermione found Luna to be a little strange but also absolutely honest. Hufflepuff contributed two more of Hermione's classmates: Hannah Abbot and Susan Bones. Both were from very old magical lines yet neither was a Pureblood. There were also two more Muggleborns. Marcia Robbins was a Fifth Year Prefect, giving this group more "cover" and there was also a Third Year named Andrea Lee.
They could not get Harry out of this mess, so the group decided to find out how he got into it and why. They also helped Hermione with spell research which she passed on to Harry. But the how and why led to more questions which led to more questions. Hermione coordinated the research they were doing. Until now, they always met with Hermione in ones or twos deep in the Library and, in fact, until this day most had no idea who the others in this group were. This idea came from the Slytherins who, to Hermione and the other's horror, revealed that Snape and Dumbledore were both accomplished in Legilimancy and used a passive form of it on students routinely. It was illegal, but damned near impossible to prove. All the girls began studying Occlumency and this meeting had been delayed until such time as they were all skilled enough at it to block passive attempts at reading their thoughts. Hermione wanted Harry to learn this as well, but it had to wait. He had to stay alive first.
Hermione took her seat at the table. While she was the leader in a sense by virtue of her close friendship with Harry Potter, there was no head seat at this round table. Each of the others sat down without regard to Houses or anything until only two seats remained. Hermione took the time to make sure everyone knew who everyone else was. The door to the room opened one last time and two young women in the blue robes of Beaubatons, the French magical school entered.
"Ladies," Hermione said as everyone eyed the striking blonde and pretty brunette who had entered, "these two have also been helping out since the Second Task and wish to join us. Miss Michellle Marcella is actually Italian and is in her Fourth Year and you may recall Miss Gabrielle Delacour? She was one of the hostages Harry rescued from the Black Lake."
"But that was just a girl!" Susan protested.
"I am part Veela, non?" the blonde said in a noticeable accent. "We develop different."
"She recently turned fourteen," Hermione added. "Her Veela heritage means two things. First, she entered puberty later than most. Second, she goes through puberty in a matter of days."
Gabrielle nodded. "It was not pleasant. I grew every way very fast. Maman says it hurts more than childbirth."
"And why are they here?" Hannah asked.
"I owe Harry a life debt," Gabrielle said.
"But Dumbledore said you were in no danger," Katie protested.
Gabrielle shrugged. "He is silly old man. I am part Veela. His magic could not save me from my heritage. Being in water like zat so long… It kills us even if we are under a spell. Had Harry not helped me when he did, I would be gone."
"And I wouldn't trust Dumbledore's word on that either," Daphne said. "We won't know if any of them would have lived had they not been saved."
"And the other one?" Ginny asked.
"She's my friend," Gabrielle replied.
"Just out of curiosity," Luna began, "your sister is Beaubatons Champion yet you're here to help Harry?"
"I love my sister," Gabrielle said, "but Harry saved my life. Fleur can be nice. But she can be full of herself too. Harry is not so."
"Have a seat," Hermione said.
The two new girls found their seats and sat down.