Chapter 3: The Troll and A Very Hairy Potion

The Feast ended when after dessert, where, instead of just having his favorite, treacle tart, Harry decided to try everything else. He found that Hermione's favorite, mint chocolate chip, was a very delicious flavor of ice cream.

The food vanished after everyone had eaten their fill, and Dumbledore rose from his spot at the Head Table. "Prefects, will you please show the first years to the Common Rooms, and give them password? Tomorrow, you all receive class schedules, so sleep, and rest well!"

Harry stood and looked around for the Prefects of his new house, one of which he remembered, a witch named Penelope Clearwater. "First years, follow me please!" She called, "First years, over here!"

Harry grouped up with the rest of the first years, including Hermione, and followed Penelope through hallways and up moving staircases, to a portrait of Rowena Ravenclaw. Penelope explained that the portrait, instead of using a password, told a riddle instead, that way if you got it wrong, whoever came by later and knew the answer would help you learn.

The Rowena Ravenclaw turned inside her portrait to regard the group of first years with kind, intelligent eyes. "Riddle me this: What golden, yet not gold, and is broken easily?"

Penelope looked over the gathered first years, some of whom looked confused.

Except Hermione Granger.

And Harry Potter.

Both had knowing smiles on their faces, and where looking at each other with smiles. They spoke in unison.

"The answer is silence." They both said. "For 'silence is golden'," Hermione started, "And is broken when ever a noise is made." Finished Harry.

Rowena smiled and nodded, and the portrait swung open, admitting them into a large windowed room draped in bronze and blue. Cushy chairs sat around the room, and a warm fire lit up the hearth where a bust of Rowena sat, a tiara on her head. The shelves surrounding the room were packed full of books, something which caused Hermione's eyes to light up in absolute joy.

Penelope waved a hand towards two staircases that led up to the dormitories. "The boys' rooms are on the right, and the girls on the left." She checked her watch. "There is about twenty minutes until curfew, so go ahead and unpack. If you have any questions, just come ask me or Roger Davies."

The boys went up the staircase to the right, while the girls went up the left. Harry and the others, a few boys he didn't know the names of, but included Micheal Corner and Terry Boot.

Harry dropped onto the soft, plush Hogwarts bed, letting out a sigh of relief. This is the third thing I missed most about Hogwarts. Damn these beds are comfortable. I only wish Fenris was here. That reminds me, I need to get those ingredients together soon, and find a werewolf.

And in no time, Harry found himself drifting off to sleep.

But his sleep was anything but peaceful.

"Harry, are you sure?"

"I am, Fenris. I've been working on this potion for years, and finally, it has come to fruition. With this last test, we will truly see if my Potion-making abilities are as good as I hoped."

"Hoped? Potter…"

"Yes, Grayback?"

"…what if this potion doesn't work?"

"Then I am afraid I leave the task of cleaning me off the walls to you, my friend."

"Bloody bugger…"

"The full moon is rising, Fenris. Have you taken the Wolfsbane I set out for you?"

"Yes, Harry."

"Good. Now, let the transformation come over you, don't try to fight it."

"I know, I know…"

"Harry?"

"Hermione! What are you doing here? Get out! It's dangerous!"

"I heard everything, Harry. Fenris took the Wolfsbane, he is safe to be around. Why are you here, Harry? Why aren't you with Ginny?"

"Ginny doesn't care for my research, nor me. Her mother slipped me love potions, and by the time I recognized the signs, I had three children. Ginny is dead, and so is Mrs. Weasley. The kids are safe in America , with a foster family and no memories of what I am about to do."

"Harry? What do you mean? How is Ginny dead?"

"I killed her, Hermione. As for what I am about to do…Fenris. Bite me."

"Harry!"

"Hermione…I have taken adrenaline potions, and I now have Lycanthropy. Only Fenris will be able to stand up to me once I turn. So if I were you, I would leave, and tell no one of what you saw."

"Harry…"

"Leave, Hermione! Now! Fenris, ready the spelled potion. You might have to force me to drink it, but don't be afraid of hurting me."

"Harry! Please!"

"Hermione…get away! Do you…gah…think that I could stand it if you got hurt? Leave before something bad happens, Hermione! …argh…"

"HARRY!"

"AROOOO!"

Emerald eyes snapped open, cold sweat pouring down Harry's face. HermioneHis thoughts were melancholy. If only I hadn't ignored you in favor of Ronthings would have been so differentand it wouldn't have been Ron you married, but me. I should have told you I love youbut now that I have a chance to make things rightyou will never be lonely again.

Harry's eye fluttered closed, and his dreams became peaceful, instead of nightmares of memories past.

The next morning, down in the Great Hall, Harry sat by himself, chewing on bacon and toast, plans whirling through his head. He didn't even notice when Hermione sat next him, pulling a plate full of eggs to herself.

"Hello, Harry," she said cheerfully.

Harry didn't respond immediately, and Hermione became somewhat worried. She waved a hand in front of his vacant eyes, and he jerked back, looking for all the world like he just woke up from bed.

"Oh! Hey, Hermione. Did you sleep well last night?"

"Yes, I did, thank you for asking. Are you alright?" She asked concernedly.

Harry just shook his head and looked up, to see Professor Flitwick descending from his spot on the Head Table to pass out schedules. He reached Harry and Hermione and smiled at them. "I expect great things from you, Mr. Potter. You're mother was quite handy at Charms, I'll have you know!" He said in a squeaky voice.

Harry nodded and grinned. "Of course, sir. I'll do my best."

The professor handed Hermione and Harry their schedules, and trotted of amicably.

They looked over their schedules. First, they had Herbology with the Hufflepuffs, then Transfiguration with the Slytherins, Charms with the Gryffindors, and then Potions with the Hufflepuff, Defense Against the Dark Arts with Slytherin, and then flying lessons with Gryffindor, and finally, History of Magic with Hufflepuff.

"Not bad…" Harry muttered to himself

"Do you think we'll be doing something exciting in Herbology? Or Transfiguration? What about Charms?" Hermione asked excitedly.

Harry held up his hands in a 'slow down!' gesture. "Whoa there, Hermione, we're first years, so we'll probably be only learning the basics."

Hermione slumped over. "Oh…"

Harry smiled and clapped her gently on the back. "That doesn't mean we can't read ahead!"

Hermione looked up with a small glimmer in her eyes. "We?"

Harry quickly backed off, thinking she was suspicious of him. "Not if you don't want to!"

"No! I mean, yes! I…I don't know…" Hermione trailed off, biting her lower lip in worry. "I've never had a study partner before…"

Harry smiled gently at her. "Well, if anything, this is the place to try new things. If you'll have me, can I study with you?"

Hermione smiled back, a genuine smile. "Of course, Harry."

The first months went by quickly. Harry enjoyed all the time he spent with Hermione and even Neville, who was an even greater help in Herbology than the first time around. Even Potions was not a hassle, as Snape seemed to treat him as a regular student.

Things were great. Harry studied with Hermione every night, and they were tied for top student in their year. Harry snuck out of the common room several times those months to retrieve the ingredients for the WolfsBlood potion. He hid the simmering potion in the Bathroom Haunted by Moaning Myrtle, after asking her permission, of course.

As good as things were, there was always something, or in this case, some one, who kept trying to insert himself into Harry's life.

Ronald Weasley.

He tried, for some unknown reason, to be Harry's friend. He tried really hard.

Tried, but failed.

The day before Halloween, things came to a head between Ron and Harry and Hermione, in Charms class.

"Now, now!" Flitwick stood on a pile of books to look over his lectern, rapping his wand on it to get the attention of the class. "I will pair you up, and you will be learning the Levitation Charm."

He paired Seamus Finnigan with Harry, and Ron with Hermione. "Now, the wand movements are simple. Just swish and flick, and recite, Wingardium Leviosa. Now, practice on these feathers, and don't be disappointed if you don't get it on your first try!"

Seamus began to wave his wand carelessly, chanting, "Wingardium Leviosa, Wingardium Leviosa…"

Harry, aware of what was about to happen cast a small shield charm in front of his face as the feather gave off a small explosion. That never gets old. Harry thought to himself.

Ron fumed as he swished and flicked, yet the damn feather resisted all his attempts to levitate. It seemed like an analogy to him and Harry, No matter what he tried, Harry didn't seem to want to be his friend. It made no sense to the lanky git.

"No, no, you're saying it all wrong. It's Win-GAR-dium Levi-O-sa, make the 'gar' nice and long." Hermione said bossily.

Ron sneered and flopped back in his seat. "If you're so smart, why don't you do it?"

Hermione shrugged and incanted, "Wingardium Leviosa!"

With gentle movements of her wand, she coaxed the feather into the air, where it hovered above everyone's heads. Flitwick clapped excitedly. "Look everyone, Miss Granger's done it! Five points to Ravenclaw!"

A look of disgust made its way onto Ron's face, and Harry silently apologized to Hermione for what was about to happen after class.

Harry walked out of class, making his way to Potions, when Ron sidled up beside him. "It's Win-GAR-dium Levi-O-sa! Can you believe her? She's a nightmare, honestly! It's no wonder she hasn't got any friends!"

Hermione pushed past them, tears streaming down her face.

Harry's eyes hardened as he watched Hermione run off. Ron looked like he could care less about making a girl cry. He put his arm around Harry's shoulder. "So, you want to go play some Wizard's Chess?"

Ron cried out in pain as his arm was twisted behind his back and his face slammed against the nearest wall.

Harry growled out, "I don't know what you think you're playing at, Weasley, but it ends here. You think you can insult my best friend and not by held responsible? Whatever kind of idiot you are, remember this: Stay away from me and Hermione, and don't you even think about talking about us behind our backs. Do you understand?"

"Yes!" Ron squeaked out, the pain making his voice high.

"Good." Harry released Ron's arm, and turned walking away. Ron, furious, pulled his wand to do something, but Harry was faster.

Whirling, Harry's wand was in his hand faster than the eye could follow, and he flicked it, twice.

The first flick, Ron slammed into the wall.

The second, Ron's robes turned flamboyantly yellow, and his hair hot pink.

He crumpled to the ground, unconscious, as Harry put his wand away. He spun on his heel and left, determined to find Hermione.

The Halloween Feast. Hundreds of carved pumpkins hovered above the tables, with bats fluttering around the Great Hall.

Harry sat at the Ravenclaw table, not really eating, waiting for the moment when Quirrel would run in and announce the troll.

Harry had tried to get Hermione to come out of the Girls Bathroom she had locked herself in, but she had refused, and it now fell to Quirrel to play his part.

Harry was not disappointed.

The doors to the Great Hall burst open, and Quirrel ran in, his purple turban askew, his face pale. "Troll! In the dungeons!" He stopped in the middle of the Great Hall, murmured, "Thought you ought to know…" Before dropping to the ground in a dead faint."

Tch. Douche. Harry thought while the Headmaster called for silence. He then ordered the prefects to take the all the students to their common rooms while the teachers searched the dungeons.

Harry split off from the main group and headed straight towards the bathroom, hiding in an alcove when Snape hurried by to the Third Floor Corridor.

He heard Hermione's scream, and rushed through the door to find the gray, ugly big-eared mountain troll swinging a giant club at a brown-haired figure huddled underneath a sink.

"Hey, UGLY!" Harry sent a Bludgeoning Hex straight at the troll's head, drawing its attention from Hermione. The troll turned and swung its club at the pesky annoyance, only for its club to fly out of his hand and into his face.

Repeatedly.

The troll dropped to the ground, face bloody and unconscious, with a thump that shook the room. The club was dropped on top of it unceremoniously.

Hermione peeked out from under her fingers at the troll lying on the ground and asked, "Is it dead?"

Harry kicked it. "No, just unconscious. Are you alright, Hermione? It didn't hurt you, did it?"

"I'm fine, Harry," Hermione wiped her eyes hastily, and looked at Harry sadly. "Did you mean what you said?"

Surprised, Harry asked, "What did I say?"

Hermione looked down. "I overheard two girls while I was in here, and they said that you hurt Ron Weasley because he insulted me…and…and that I was your best friend."

Harry quickly knelt next to her and hugged her tight. "Of course I meant it, Hermione. You are my best friend. Ever since we met on the train, I've liked you. And when I found we had so much in common, even the same house, I...I guess I thought of you as my best friend. I'm sorry if presumed too much…"

Harry let go of Hermione…or, at least, tried to. He looked down and found her clutching the front of his robes in desperation, tears in her eyes.

"No!" She shouted, then glanced at the troll fearfully as it shifted. "It's just…I've never had a friend before, and this is all so new to me…"

Harry hugged her again, and this time, she returned it. "Me too. I never had any friends when I was younger. We can find out, together."

They leapt back in fright as the troll moaned.

"But first, let's get out of here." Harry, hand-in-hand with Hermione, hurried out of the bathroom, and back to their Common Room.

The Tarnished Sickle was a pub of ill repute in Knockturn Alley. Vampires, werewolves, hags, and other sorts of 'Dark' creatures enjoyed their favorite beverages, poisons and other various substances here.

The pub was filled with the sounds of low chatter and murmurs, the everyone keeping themselves quiet.

The door to the pub opened, and someone in a hooded cloak, that hid all discernable features about the person from view, stepped into the pub as it fell silent.

The person swept up to the bar and asked in a low voice to the bartender, "I heard that I could find a werewolf here."

The bartender, a woman named Lupinesca, bared her overly large canines at him. "What do you need one of my kind for, human?"

Emerald green eyes peered at her from underneath the hood.

"To make history."

A/N: Enjoy, Read, review!

Keep Being Awesome!

-Sol