A/N: Hi Everyone. Okay I know you're mad at me. This is way over do. Dancing and school work have been keeping me very busy and I have just simply not had the time to update. I have been seriously debating when I would start having the Cullens' start dropping hints that they aren't your average wizards so there's a few little surprises in the is chapter. I try to make this story as much like the real book as possible which I'm sure you have all figured out. There will be separate plots in this story so please be patient with me. I have also noticed several comments saying this is not original that were all posted between the first and second chapters. I have added several characters into the story such as the Cullens and Jacob. J.K. Rowling's original book is my outline. As always, I love reading all reviews even when they aren't very nice. I love feedback! Knowing that you guys are still reading means the world to me. Thank you so much! If you have any questions follow me on twitter nessbellalondon or write them in a review and I will be sure to answer.
Malfoy couldn't believe his eyes when he saw that Harry and Ron were still at Hogwarts the next day, looking tired but perfectly cheerful sitting at the Gryffindor table with all of there friends, and Hermione. By the next morning Harry, Alice, Jacob, and Ron thought that meeting the three-headed dog had been an excellent adventure, and they were quite keen to have another one. Bella and Edward were a bit more skeptic. In the meantime, Bella and Harry were filling the rest of the gang in on the package that seemed to have been moved from Gringotts to Hogwarts, and they spent a lot of time wondering what could possibly need such heavy protection.
"It's either really valuable or really dangerous," said Ron.
"Or both," said Harry. "Wanna tell us what it is, Alice?"
"Visions don't work that way, Harry. I get them when I get them. My dad says I ought to be able to see better when I'm older. I can only call the future to me in times of great need."
"Alice," Edward said.
"Oh, let it go, Eddie! The cat's out of the bag. I can see the future."
"Carlisle told you not to tell anyone."
"They're our friends, Edward!" she scolded him. The rest of the group was watching their exchanged with puzzled faces. "I know that they won't tell anyone. I saw it. However your secrets could hurt everyone if you don't come clean by second year. Especially with Bella."
Everyone stared at Edward who was looking very uncomfortable and Bella's face was as red as her hair. Alice was glaring at him heavily. Like they were having a secret conversation.
"Alice, that's private," he told her with a hurt expression.
"And you clearly don't understand the importance of honesty," she glanced at Jacob when she said this then turned back to Edward.
"I'll see you back in the common room," he told them. He got up from the table and walked away with his head down looking at his shoes.
They were all silent for a moment before Alice turned back to them with a smile on her face. "So what else do you know about this thing?"
Bella, happy for the change in conversation, answered her. "All we know for sure is that it's about two inches long and very important."
That doesn't give us much chance of guessing what it is," said Jacob looking frustrated. "We need more clues."
Neither Neville nor Hermione showed the slightest interest in what lay underneath the dog and the trapdoor. All Neville cared about was never going near the dog again.
Hermione was now refusing to speak to Harry and Ron, but she was such a bossy know-it-all that they saw this as an added bonus. All any of them really wanted now was a way to get back at Malfoy, and to their great delight, just such a thing arrived in the mail about a week later.
As the owls flooded into the Great Hall as usual, everyone's attention was caught at once by a long, thin package carried by six large screech owls. Harry was just as interested as everyone else to see what was in this large parcel, and was amazed when the owls soared down and dropped it right in front of him, knocking his bacon to the floor. They had hardly fluttered out of the way when another owl dropped a letter on top of the parcel.
"What do you think it is?" Bella asked and Alice giggled.
Harry ripped open the letter first, which was lucky, because it said:
DO NOT OPEN THE PARCEL AT THE TABLE.
It contains your new Nimbus Two Thousand, but I don't want everybody knowing you've got a broomstick or they'll all want one. Oliver Wood will meet you tonight on the Quidditch field at seven o'clock for your first training session.
Harry had difficulty hiding his glee as he handed the note to Bella and Ron to read.
"A Nimbus Two Thousand!" Ron moaned enviously. "I've never even touched one."
"What's so special about a Nimbus Two Thousand?" Bella asked confused. Ron, Edward, and Jacob looked at her like she was insane and Hermione tried to look interested for Jacob. "What? We weren't all raised with a family of wizards to tell us everything." They continued to stare at her.
"Oh come on guys!" Alice said. "Give her a break."
"A Nimbus Two Thousand," Jacob explained, "is the fastest broom in the world. Probably the best racing broom in existence."
'Let's open it!" Ron said.
"We can't. Didn't you read the letter?"
"Then we'll open it upstairs," Harry said then he looked at Bella and Alice, "together."
They left the hall quickly, wanting to unwrap the broomstick in private before their first class, but halfway across the entrance hall they found the way upstairs barred by Crabbe and Goyle. Malfoy seized the package from Harry and felt it.
"That's a broomstick," he said, throwing it back to Harry with a mixture of jealousy and spite on his face. "You'll be in for it this time, Potter, first years aren't allowed to have them."
Ron couldn't resist. He just had to say it.
"It's not any old broomstick," he said, "it's a Nimbus Two Thousand. What did you say you've got at home, Malfoy, a Comet Two Sixty?" Ron grinned at Harry. "Comets look flashy, but they're not in the same league as the Nimbus."
"What would you know about it, Weasley, you couldn't afford half the handle," Malfoy snapped back. "I suppose you and your brothers have to save up twig by twig."
Before Ron could answer, Professor Flitwick appeared at Malfoy's elbow.
"Not arguing, I hope?" he squeaked.
"Potter's been sent a broomstick, Professor," said Malfoy quickly.
"Yes, yes, that's right," said Professor Flitwick, beaming at Harry. "Professor McGonagall told me all about the special circumstances, Potter. And what model is it?"
"A Nimbus Two Thousand, sir," said Harry, fighting not to laugh at the look of horror on Malfoy's face. "And it's really thanks to Malfoy here that I've got it," he added.
"Harry's amazing!" Alice commented and Harry blushed.
"Well," said Professor Flitwick, "you best be getting upstairs. I'm sure you want to open it." He smiled at them as he walked away.
They headed upstairs, most of them smothering their laughter at Malfoy's obvious rage and confusion except for Jacob who laughed the whole way up to the common room.
"Well, it's true," Harry chortled as they reached the top of the marble staircase, "If he hadn't stolen Neville's Remembrall I wouldn't be on the team..."
"So I suppose you think that's a reward for breaking rules?" came an angry voice from just behind them. Hermione was stomping up the stairs, looking disapprovingly at the package in Harry's hand.
"I thought you weren't speaking to us?" said Harry.
"Yes, don't stop now," said Ron, "it's doing us so much good."
Hermione marched away with her nose in the air.
Harry had a lot of trouble keeping his mind on his lessons that day. It kept wandering up to the dormitory where his new broomstick was lying under his bed, or straying off to the Quidditch field where he'd be learning to play that night. He bolted his dinner that evening without noticing what he was eating, and then rushed upstairs with Ron to unwrap the Nimbus Two Thousand at last.
"Wow," Ron sighed, as the broomstick rolled onto Harry's bedspread.
Even Harry, who knew nothing about the different brooms, thought it looked wonderful. Sleek and shiny, with a mahogany handle, it had a long tail of neat, straight twigs and Nimbus Two Thousand written in gold near the top.
It was almost seven o'clock when Harry left the castle and set off in the dusk toward the Quidditch field. He'd never been inside the stadium before. Hundreds of seats were raised in stands around the field so that the spectators were high enough to see what was going on. At either end of the field were three golden poles with hoops on the end.
Harry, eager to fly again, mounted his broomstick and kicked off from the ground. It felt amazing just to be out on the field alone. He felt free and relax but the height of the broom gave him such a rush. Harry swooshed in and out of the goal posts and whooshed his way down the field. The broom turned wherever he wanted it to go with almost no effort.
The wind was rushing threw his hair and all over his face but his feeling of calm was suddenly interrupted by a voice. "Hey, Potter, want to come down from there so I can teach you how to play soon?"
Oliver Wood had arrived. He was carrying a large wooden crate under his arm. Harry reluctantly pulled the broom downward with the slightest tough of his fingertips and landed next to Wood.
"Very nice," said Wood, his eyes glinting. "I see what McGonagall meant... you really are a natural. I'm just going to teach you the rules of the game tonight, then you'll start with the team. We practice three times a week. Make sure you're always there on time."
He opened the crate. Inside were four different-sized balls.
"Right," said Wood. "Now, Quidditch is easy enough to understand. There are seven players on each side. Three of them are called Chasers." Wood took out a bright red ball about the size of a soccer ball. "This ball's called the Quaffle," said Wood. "The Chasers throw the Quaffle to each other and try and get it through one of the hoops to score a goal. Ten points every time the Quaffle goes through one of the hoops. Follow me?" Harry gave him a nod. "Good," Wood continued.
"Now, there's another player on each side who's called the Keeper -I'm Keeper for Gryffindor. I have to fly around our hoops and stop the other team from scoring."
Harry quite was determined to remember it all and was silently wishing Bella was here. She would be taking notes and make sure she understood everything. Was he supposed to bring parchment?
"And they play with the Quaffle. Okay, got that. So what are they for?" He pointed at the three balls left inside the box.
"No idea. Sorry."
"It's alright. Here, I'll show you now," said Wood. "Take this."
He handed Harry a small club, a bit like a short baseball bat. "What do I need this for?"
"I'm going to show you what Bludgers do," Wood said. "These two are the Bludgers."
He pointed at two jet black identical balls, slightly smaller than the red on, Quaffle, Harry remembered. Harry noticed that these balls seemed to be straining to escape the straps holding them inside the box almost as if the were alive.
"Stand back," Wood warned Harry. He bent down and freed one of the Bludgers.
The ball rose high in the air and then went straight for Harry's face. Harry swung at it with the club to keep it from breaking his glasses, and it went soaring away into the air. The Bludger seemed unhappy by this and went for Wood next who dived on top of it and managed to pin it to the ground.
"See?" Wood panted, forcing the Bludger back into the box and strapping it down safely. "The Bludgers try to knock players off their brooms. That's why each team has two Beaters. The Weasley twins are ours. It's their job to protect our side from the Bludgers and try and knock them toward the other team."
"Three Chasers try and score with the Quaffle; the Keeper guards the goal posts; the Beaters keep the Bludgers away from their team," Harry reeled off.
"Good, I think you've got it."
"Um just one question, have the Bludgers ever killed anyone before?" Harry asked.
"Never at Hogwarts. We've had a couple of broken jaws but nothing worse than that. Now, the last member of the team is the Seeker. That's you. And you don't have to worry about the Quaffle or the Bludgers unless they crack my head open. Don't worry, the Weasleys are more than a match for the Bludgers. I mean, they're like a pair of human Bludgers themselves."
Wood reached into the crate and took out the fourth and last ball. Compared with the Quaffle and the Bludgers, it was tiny, about the size of a large walnut. It was bright gold and had little fluttering silver wings.
"This," said Wood, "is the Golden Snitch, and it's the most important ball of the lot."
"I like this ball," said Harry smiling.
"Ah you like it now. But in the game it's wicked fast and down right impossible to see. It's the Seeker's job to catch it before the other team's Seeker, because whichever Seeker catches the Snitch wins his team an extra hundred and fifty points, so they nearly always win. That's why Seekers get fouled so much. A game of Quidditch only ends when the Snitch is caught, so it can go on for ages. Catch this ball, Potter and we win."
Harry understood what he had to do all right, it was doing it that was going to be the problem.
"We won't practice with the Snitch yet," said Wood, carefully shutting it back inside the crate, "it's too dark, we might lose it. Let's try you out with a few of these."
He pulled a bag of ordinary golf balls out of his pocket and a few minutes later, he and Harry were up in the air, Wood throwing the golf balls as hard and as fast as he could in every direction for Harry to catch.
Harry didn't miss a single one, and Wood was delighted. After half an hour, night had really fallen and they couldn't carry on.
"That Quidditch cup'll have the Gryffindor name on it this year," said Wood happily as they trudged back up to the castle. "I wouldn't be surprised if you turn out better than Charlie Weasley, and he could have played for England if he hadn't gone off chasing dragons."
Perhaps it was because he was now so busy, what with Quidditch practice three evenings a week on top of all his homework, but Harry could hardly believe it when he realized that he'd already been at Hogwarts two months. His lessons were becoming more and more interesting now that they had mastered the basics. He had plenty of friends with the Cullens, his sister, Ron, and now his new teammates. Hogwarts was starting to feel like home. He belonged here, he thought as he walked through the portrait.
He began to walk threw the common room and around the large sofa when he tripped over a pair of black shoes. "Ouch!"
"Who's there?" Harry asked. He could see the outline of a person now, huddled up behind the couch. The figure shifted and turned on a lamp next to the sofa.
"Hello Harry," Edward smiled slightly.
"What are you doing up so late? You can't be doing home work," Harry gesture to the pile of papers in front of him.
"No, I'm afraid not." Harry sat down and made himself comfortable. Edward seemed nice most of the time but Harry didn't know him that well. Maybe this would give him a better chance.
"What's wrong?" When Edward didn't answer Harry looked at one of the papers. There words, words he didn't fully understand, romantic words, sad word but one word the repeated though out the papers caught his eye. Bella. Harry looked up at Edward in surprise. Edward, who was looking down at his hands, sighed.
"You know you can trust me don't you?" Harry asked him. There was long pause before Edward looked up.
"If I tell you something, you have to promise me you will not let anyone else know." Harry nodded and Edward continued. "I'm not evil Harry. I don't practice dark magic. I'm only a first year."
"I know you're not evil," Harry told him. "You're Alice's brother, you couldn't be evil."
"Alice isn't my sister, Harry. I'm an only child."
"But on the train, you kept talking about your siblings on the train and she calls you her brother all the time."
"Well that's Alice. I live with my uncle, Carlisle. He's a healer. Alice's real brother is Emmett. My parents died back in the first war just like yours. It was the death eaters. They came for them one night when I was staying with my Carlisle and Esme. They wanted information on Dumbledore. They thought he had an army. My parents were part of the rebellion. They refused to give up there friends and they paid the price. My parents were supposed to come pick me up that night but they never showed and I never saw them again. And Carlisle and Esme, they knew what happened so they kept me. They brought me up ever and I've live there since."
"So Alice and Emmett are really your cousins?"
"I still don't see what that has to do with you being evil."
"As I'm sure you've figured out by now, seeing as my sister has no filter on her mouth, she can see the future. She gets visions but she cannot control when she gets them. That's why she knew what was going to happen that day on Quidditch field. We're special."
"Can you see the future too?"
"No but I know what you're thinking," Harry was suddenly very confused. "I can hear everyone in this school all the time, I can tell you what Ron is dream about right now. I could tell you all of Hermione Ganger's test answers as she writes them down. I know that right now you believe that I am going mad but you still want to help me."
"I told you, Harry, Alice and I are special."
"Is there anything else I should know about you?"
"Alice tells me you'll figure it out with time. But until then don't go looking for answers. There is no logic, no book out there that will help you."
"Just one more thing, Edward. Why is my sister's name written all over your papers?"
"Because, out of all of the students and the teachers in this school, she is the only one I cannot read. It puzzles me and yet it is rather intriguing as well. And just to be safe you may want to keep her away from Malfoy."
"Thanks," Harry said as he started to stand up and leave but something stopped him. "I know what it's like you know, to grow up without parents or feel like you don't have a family. My aunt and uncle were awful to Bella and me. If felt like we didn't have anyone."
"But you had Bella, you did have someone that was truly family."
"We should probably get some rest. Everyone is going to be loud tomorrow."
"Well it is Halloween," Edward smiled getting up. The two boys walked up the stairs together with a new bond and a new secret. But all too soon reality started to sink in for Harry. Secrets that he couldn't tell Bella, learning about his friends over time, gifts that normal wizards did not posses. Where they even really wizards at all?
On Halloween morning the castle woke to the delicious smell of baking pumpkin wafting through the corridors. Even better, Professor Flitwick announced in Charms that he thought they were ready to start making objects fly, something they had all been dying to try since they'd seen him make Neville's toad zoom around the classroom. Professor Flitwick put the class into pairs to practice. Harry's partner was Seamus Finnigan (which was a relief, because Neville had been trying to catch his eye). Ron, however, was to be working with Hermione Granger. Edward was partnered with Alice. Bella had been paired up with Jacob (which Edward did not look to happy about.)
"Now, don't forget that nice wrist movement we've been practicing!" squeaked Professor Flitwick, perched on top of his pile of books as usual. "Swish and flick, remember, swish and flick. And saying the magic words properly is very important, too – never forget Wizard Baruffio, who said 's' instead of 'f' and found himself on the floor with a buffalo on his chest."
It was very difficult. Harry and Seamus swished and flicked, but the feather they were supposed to be sending skyward just lay on the desktop. Ron, at the next table, wasn't having much more luck. Bella was making hers go about a millimeter off the desk and having it come down after about fifteen seconds. Alice and Edward were, of course, doing very well but trying hard not to show off.
Harry felt bad for Ron. It seemed that Hermione was now correcting his grammer.
"Wingardium Leviosa!" he shouted, waving his long arms like a windmill.
"You're saying it wrong," Harry heard Hermione snap. "It's Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, not Levi-o-sah."
"You do it, then, if you're so clever," Ron snarled.
Hermione rolled up the sleeves of her gown, flicked her wand, and said, "Wingardium Leviosa!"
Their feather rose off the desk and hovered about four feet above their heads.
"Oh, well done!" cried Professor Flitwick, clapping. "See here evereyone, Miss Granger's done it!"
The class clapped for her and Ron gave a disgruntled sigh. "I can do it," said Seamus. He prodded it with his wand, spoke the spell, and set fire to their feather which Harry had to put it out with his hat.
"Hey," Jacob said pulling Bella's attention away from the commotion. "Some of the older kids in Gryffindor are gonna set up a Halloween party tonight after dinner. Are you in?"
"Can I bring Alice?" Bella asked him.
"Of course, she seems like fun. You can bring Harry too," he smiled but then his face became serious. "Just don't come with her brother." Jacob said looking across the room to where Edward was sitting. Bella turned around and looked back him to find him staring at her. He looked away abruptly when he noticed her.
"Why would I bring Edward?" Bella asked confused.
"Because he likes you."
"Edward? No. He doesn't like me. Alice would have told me."
"Okay so it's on?"
"Sure." And that was the end of the conversation.
Ron was in a very bad mood by the end of the class. "It's no wonder no one can stand her," he said to Harry as they pushed their way into the crowded corridor, "she's a nightmare, honestly. "
Someone knocked into Harry as they hurried past him. It was Hermione. Harry caught a glimpse of her face and was startled to see that she was in tears.
"I think she heard you."
"So?" said Ron, but he looked a bit uncomfortable. "She must've noticed she's got no friends."
"Ron, I'm her friend." Bella said.
"Me too," Alice agreed. "I mean I think she's a little ignorant about the future and her wardrobe could definitely use some work but she's still my friend."
"Oh come one," said Ron. "You can't tell me she doesn't annoy you. She's like the biggest know-it-all to ever walk the planet, next to Percy of course."
"You better apologize to her, Ron. That was really mean," Alice told him.
"Fine, next class I'll tell her how sorry I am and she has wonderful friends."
"Good, but you might want to cut out the sarcasm," Bella told him seriously.
But Hermione never showed up for the next class and wasn't seen all afternoon. On their way down to the Great Hall for the Halloween feast, Harry and Ron overheard Parvati Patil telling Alice that Hermione was crying in the girls' bathroom and wanted to be left alone. Bella glared at Ron who was looking incredibly awkward at this, but a moment later they had entered the Great Hall, where the Halloween decorations put Hermione out of their minds.
A thousand live bats fluttered from the walls and ceiling while a thousand more swooped over the tables in low black clouds, making the candles in the pumpkins stutter. The feast appeared suddenly on the golden plates, as it had at the start-of-term banquet.
"Guys!" They heard as they walked in. "Guys over here!"
They looked across the great hall to see Jacob with his legs out as far a as they would go across the seats and waving franticly with a large grin on his face. "Whoa!" he fell off the seats and onto the floor. He got up immediately, slightly blushing.
"Hey." Bella smiled as she sat down next in one of the places Jacob's legs had been.
"I saved you all seats," he said as he took a spot next to Bella and winked.
"How sweet of you'" said Alice as she slid into the open spot next to her friend. Harry, Ron, and Edward went to the other side of the table and sat down across from them.
"So Bella did you invite everyone yet?"
"Invite us to what?" asked Ron.
Alice immediately turned to look at Bella. "We all got invited to a party and you didn't tell us?"
"Well, I wouldn't say we were all invited to a party…" she answered slowly.
"What are you talking about?" asked Jacob. "Of course they are." Bella looked at him specially but his expression was clear. We'll talk later.
"Who's party is it?" Harry asked.
"It's just a bunch of people from our house throwing it in the common room. It's supposed to be forth years and up but my cousin said I could come and bring a few people."
"You have a cousin?" Ron asked surprised.
"Yeah. Her name is Leah. She's in forth year. Her brother's coming next year too."
"Cool. Emmett and Rose are going to be so mad when they here that we went to an upper years' party without them," Alice said excitedly.
"Alice," Edward started.
"Don't start Edward. Come to the party with us or don't. I don't care but Bella and I are going and we're going to have fun." Alice turned to face Jacob next. "When's the party start?" she smiled.
"Right after the feast," he smiled and gave Bella a wink. They were all quiet for a moment before Jacob picked up the conversation again.
"So how's everyone's happy Halloween been?" Jacob asked. Then he looked around. "Where's Hermione?"
Bella frowned but the only one who seemed to notice was Edward.
"Ask him," said Alice gesturing to Ron.
"Oh come on, Alice! How long are you going to be mad at me? I think I had a right to be upset with her, don't you?"
"Doing something correctly in class isn't something to insult you, Ron."
"It wasn't because she did it right. It was because she made me look like an idiot."
"Well that doesn't take much."
"Alice, cut him a break," Harry said.
"Not until he apologizes to her."
"How can I apologize when I don't know where she is?"
They continued on like that for several minutes with Harry and Edward occasionally attempting to stop Alice from going on any longer.
"Am I missing something?" Jacob whispered to Bella.
"Oh, Hermione made Ron feel like an idiot in Charms because he got cocky and then he said she had no friends but she heard him and ran off. Nobody knows where she is."
"Oh my gosh. So that's why Alice is so worked up?"
"Yep." She said popping the "P."
"And what about you?" he asked her. "You're her friend too. Why aren't you screaming at him like she is?"
"Mostly because I know that Hermione is smart and knows that we are her friends and Ron's just mad because she's clearly smarter and knew what she was doing. Everyone's over reacting."
"Well then props to you for being so calm." Bella's face began to turn red and she tucked her hair behind her ear.
The two looked back up at the argument in front of them.
"I did!" Ron stated forcefully.
"No clearly you did not!" Alice yelled back. She opened her mouth to say something else but then stopped. Her face went completely blank and Edward froze. Ron stopped to look at her and Jacob put down his goblet of pumpkin juice. Bella completely stopped breathing. She had only ever seen Alice willingly go into a premonition. She put her hands on Alice's shoulder and waited. Harry's eyes kept going back and forth between Alice and Edward.
"Alice?" Bella whispered. She didn't answer her.
"Alice." Again she got no reply.
"Alice!" she said this time quite forcefully.
Alice twitched and looked up at everyone. "We need to leave. Now."
At that very same moment, the doors to the Great Hall swung open as Professor Quirrell came sprinting into the hall, his turban askew and terror on his face. Everyone stared as he reached Professor Dumbledore's chair, slumped against the table, and gasped, "Troll –in the dungeons – thought you ought to know."
Then he fell to the floor unconscious.
There was an uproar as the students and even some of the teachers began to panic. Several students ran out of the hall. Other's tried to hide under their tables. It took several purple firecrackers exploding from the end of Professor Dumbledore's wand to bring silence.
"Prefects," he rumbled, "lead your Houses back to the dormitories immediately!"
Percy was in his element.
"Follow me! Stick together, first years! No need to fear the troll if you follow my orders! Stay close behind me, now. Make way, first years coming through! Excuse me, I'm a prefect!"
"How could a troll get in?" Harry asked as they climbed the stairs.
"Don't ask me, they're supposed to be really stupid," said Ron.
"Maybe Peeves let it in for a Halloween joke," Bella suggested.
"No, he wouldn't get it past Flitch," said Edward.
They passed different groups of people hurrying in different directions. As they jostled their way through a crowd of confused Hufflepuffs, Alice suddenly grabbed Ron's arm.
"I've just thought – Hermione."
"What about her?"
"She doesn't know about the troll."
"We have to go and get her Ron." Harry told him.
Ron bit his lip.
"Oh, all right," he snapped. "But Percy'd better not see us."
"What about the rest of us?" Bella asked them.
"You, Edward, and Jacob go with Percy back to the common room," Harry instructed.
"Oh joy," Jacob muttered.
"We're going to bring back Hermione."
"Be careful." Bella said before giving Harry a hug and running off with the two boys.
Ducking down, Ron, Alice and Harry joined the Hufflepuffs going the other way, slipped down a deserted side corridor, and hurried off toward the girls' bathroom. They had just turned the corner when they heard quick footsteps behind them.
"Percy!" hissed Ron, pulling Harry and Alice behind a large stone griffin.
Peering around it, however, they saw not Percy but Snape. He crossed the corridor and disappeared from view.
"What's he doing?" Alice whispered. "Why isn't he down in the dungeons with the rest of the teachers?"
"I don't know." Ron answered.
"Come one, we better keep moving."
Quietly as possible, they crept along the next corridor after Snape's fading footsteps.
"He's heading for the third floor," Harry said, but Ron held up his hand.
"What is it?" Harry asked.
"Can you smell something?"
Harry sniffed and a foul stench reached his nostrils, a mixture of old socks and the kind of public toilet no one seems to clean. Alice was holding her nose tight.
Then they heard it. The low grunting, and the shuffling footfalls of gigantic feet. Ron pointed – at the end of a passage to the left, something huge was moving toward them. They shrank into the shadows and watched as it emerged into a patch of moonlight.
It was a horrible sight. Twelve feet tall, its skin was a dull, granite gray, its great lumpy body like a boulder with its small bald head perched on top like a coconut. It had short legs thick as tree trunks with flat, horny feet. The smell coming from it was incredible. It was holding a huge wooden club, which dragged along the floor because its arms were so long.
The troll stopped next to a doorway and peered inside. It waggled its long ears, making up its tiny mind, then slouched slowly into the room.
"The keys in the lock," Harry muttered. "We could lock it in."
"Good idea," said Ron nervously.
"Are you sure about that?" Alice asked.
"Alice, it's the best chance we've got," Harry told her.
They edged toward the open door, mouths dry, praying the troll wasn't about to come out of it. With one great leap, Harry managed to grab the key, slam the door, and lock it.
"That was great, Harry! Now we have a good story to tell at the party!" Ron beamed.
"I'm not so sure about that," said Alice.
Then they heard something that made their hearts stop – a high, petrified scream – and it was coming from the chamber they'd just chained up.
"Oh, no," said Ron, pale as the Bloody Baron.
"What did you do?" Alice yelled.
"It's the girls' bathroom!" Harry gasped.
"Hermione!" they said together.
It was the last thing they wanted to do, but what choice did they have? Wheeling around, they sprinted back to the door and turned the key, fumbling in their panic. Harry pulled the door open and they ran inside.
"Where the bloody hell are they?" Bella paced around the common room.
Jacob sat relaxing on the couch by the fire with his arm up and his legs crossed. Edward was sitting in the corner chair and appeared to be focusing intently on something that wasn't really there. Fourth and fifth years were busy running around, putting up streamers and setting up tables.
"Ugh!" Bella stomped her foot. "Am I the only one that's worried about them?"
"Alice can take care of herself, Bella and clearly, so can Harry," Edward told her.
"Are you insane? We're all first years! We've only been here for two months and you think that they can survive a troll? What is that?"
"That's faith in my sister and frankly you should have a little more in Harry," Edward told her seriously.
Bella stood there completely speechless.
"Come on, Bells." Jacob said in his relaxed voice and patted the seat next to him. "Sit down, relax. I'm sure that they're going to be just fine. Have yourself a glass of pumpkin juice."
"No," Bella said forcefully.
"Why not?" Jacob asked looking confused.
"I will not sit here and wait and relax with you two like everything is okay. My only brother and my best friend are out there wondering around in the castle with a troll on the loose trying to find Hermione. How can you two just sit here and do nothing? Edward, Alice is your sister, your only sister! Don't tell me that you're okay with just waiting for her to come back completely unharmed when you don't even know if she's alive."
"I'm not worried because I know that she is okay."
"How can you know that? Can you read her mind? Can you hear her?"
"I…" Edward started to say but then he stopped. Bella raised an eyebrow at him to continue. "I just know."
"Humph," she scoffed and went back to pacing.
"Mental, that one, I'm telling you," Jacob said solemnly before taking a swig of pumpkin juice.
Hermione Granger was shrinking against the wall opposite, looking as if she was about to faint. The troll was advancing on her, knocking the sinks off the walls as it went.
"Confuse it!" Alice said desperately to Ron and Harry. Seizing a tap, Ron threw it as hard as he could against the wall.
The troll stopped a few feet from Hermione. It lumbered around, blinking stupidly, to see what had made the noise. Its mean little eyes saw Harry. It hesitated, then made for him instead, lifting its club as it went.
"Oy, pea-brain!" yelled Ron from the other side of the chamber, and he threw a metal pipe at it. The troll didn't even seem to notice the pipe hitting its shoulder, but it heard the yell and paused again, turning its ugly snout toward Ron instead, giving Harry time to run around it.
"Come on, run, run!" Alice yelled at Hermione, trying to pull her toward the door, but she couldn't move, she was still flat against the wall, her mouth open with terror.
The shouting and the echoes seemed to be driving the troll berserk. It roared again and started toward Ron, who was nearest and had no way to escape.
Harry then did something that was both very brave and very stupid: He took a great running jump and managed to fasten his arms around the troll's neck from behind. The troll couldn't feel Harry hanging there, but even a troll will notice if you stick a long bit of wood up its nose, and Harry's wand had still been in his hand when he'd jumped – it had gone straight up one of the troll's nostrils.
Howling with pain, the troll twisted and flailed its club, with Harry clinging on for dear life; any second, the troll was going to rip him off or catch him a terrible blow with the club.
"Hold on, Harry!" Alice yelled. Then she turned to Ron. "You have to do something!"
"Me? What am I supposed to do? What about Hermione?"
Hermione had sunk to the floor in fright and was hiding under the sink closest to the door.
"Oh, alright!" Ron pulled out his own wand – not knowing what he was going to do he heard himself cry the first spell that came into his head: "Wingardium Leviosa!"
The club flew suddenly out of the troll's hand, rose high, high up into the air, turned slowly over – and dropped, with a sickening crack, onto its owner's head. The troll swayed on the spot and then fell flat on its face, with a thud that made the whole room
Harry got to his feet. He was shaking and out of breath. Ron was standing there with his wand still raised, staring at what he had done. Alice raced to Harry's side to hug him and Hermione slowly crawled out from her spot under the sink.
"Is it - dead?" It was Hermione who spoke first.
"I don't think so," said Harry, "I think it's just been knocked out."
"Are you alright?" Alice asked him.
"I will be," Harry answered. He bent down and pulled his wand out of the troll's nose. It was covered in what looked like lumpy gray glue. "Urgh – troll boogers."
He wiped it on the troll's trousers.
A sudden slamming and loud footsteps made the four of them look up. They hadn't realized what a racket they had been making, but of course, someone downstairs must have heard the crashes and the troll's roars. A moment later, Professor McGonagall had come bursting into the room, closely followed by Snape, with Quirrell bringing up the rear. Quirrell took one look at the troll, let out a faint whimper, and sat quickly down on a toilet, clutching his heart.
Snape bent over the troll. Professor McGonagall was looking at Alice, Ron, and Harry. They had never seen her look so angry. Her lips were white and any hopes of winning fifty points for Gryffindor faded quickly from Harry's mind.
"What on earth were you thinking?" said Professor McGonagall, with cold fury in her voice. Harry looked at Ron, who was still standing with his wand in the air. "You're lucky you weren't killed. Why aren't you in your dormitory?"
Snape gave Harry a swift, piercing look. Harry looked at the floor. He wished Ron would put his wand down.
Then a small voice came out of the shadows.
"Please, Professor – they were looking for me."
"I went looking for the troll because I – I thought I could deal with it on my own – you know, because I've read all about them."
Ron dropped his wand. Hermione Granger, telling a downright lie to a teacher? "If they hadn't found me, I'd probably be dead now. Harry stuck his wand up its nose, Ron knocked it out with its own club. Alice showed them where I was and made sure I didn't get hurt. They didn't have time to come and fetch anyone. It was about to finish me off when they arrived."
Alice, Harry, and Ron tried to look as though this story wasn't new to them.
"Well – in that case..." said Professor McGonagall, staring at the four of them, "Miss Granger, you foolish girl, how could you think of tackling a mountain troll on your own? You are only a first year."
Hermione hung her head. They were all speechless. Hermione was the last person to do anything against the rules, and here she was, pretending she had, to get them out of trouble. It was as if Snape had started handing out sweets.
"Miss Granger, five points will be taken from Gryffindor for this," said Professor McGonagall. "I'm very disappointed in you. If you're not hurt at all, you'd better get off to Gryffindor tower. Students are finishing the feast in their houses."
Professor McGonagall turned to the remaining three.
"Well, I still say you were lucky, but not many first years could have taken on a full-grown mountain troll and lived to tell the tail. You each win Gryffindor five points. Professor Dumbledore will be informed of this. You may go."
They hurried out of the chamber and didn't speak at all until they had climbed two floors up. It was a relief to be away from the smell of the troll, quite apart from anything else.
"We should have gotten more than ten points," Ron grumbled.
"Five, you mean, once she's taken off Hermione's."
"Good of her to get us out of trouble like that," Ron admitted. "Mind you, we did save her."
"She might not have needed saving if we hadn't locked the thing in with her," Harry reminded him.
"She wouldn't have needed saving if Ron had just held his tongue," Alice spat.
They had reached the portrait of the Fat Lady.
"Pig snout," they said and entered.
The food had been sent up. Students from all years were in the common room; laughing, talking, eating, and drinking. Hermione, however, stood alone by the door, waiting for them. There was a very embarrassed pause. Then, none of them looking at each other, they all said
"Thanks," and hurried off to get plates.
"Wait, Hermione," Ron said hurrying after her.
"It's alright," she smiled slightly. "Honestly I probably deserved it. Thank you for saving me."
Ron blushed awkwardly. "No problem. Um, I should probably um go find Harry. Bella's going to kill him and someone should be there to hold her back."
"Yeah, um okay. Bye."
And that was that. But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.
A/N: I am very very incredibly ridiculously sorry for this taking so long, I could give you all of my reasons for not updating sooner and I'm sure some of you started to give up on this story. Please don't! I really do try my best to keep going but sometimes I just can't. I have had a serious case of writers block for quite sometime now but I woke up this week and I just knew what to do again. Thank you for all of your support and patience with me and this story. I hope you find that this chapter was worth it. As always please review and add me to all of your favorites and alerts. I do read and appreciate all of my reviews and private messages. It means so much to me that so many of you enjoy reading what I have done with J.K Rowling's work. Thank you everyone who has stayed with me and I will do my best to update more frequently. I am not giving up on this story any time soon.