Thank you, Anon, I've corrected the typo's you pointed out. Will try and do better in the future. ^^

Also, REVIEWBOX would like to thank every one of you so much for your messages. She's going to pull through and make a full recovery. Luckily, she was not left untreated for long so there was only some minor tissue lose, and most of if was body fat.

And now please enjoy this fanfiction of a fanfiction. :)

All ideas/characters/whatever go to Less Wrong and J.K Rowling.


sorry about the double postage, it was an accident.

Chapter Nine


"No," Harry said for the umpteenth time. He and Hermione were coming out of the Greenhouse ahead of most of the students. It had taken Professor Spout about ten seconds to see Hermione's cast 'Quietus' charm and broke it before Harry had gotten two words in, which was just as well. She deducted another twenty points from Ravenclaw and gave Hermione a note to give to Professor Flitwick, probably containing detention times.

"Look, you don't understand," Hermione persisted.

"No, Hermione, you don't!" Harry snapped, finally losing patience completely. "If you really want to kill someone, take a knife and stab them, or set them on fire or something, there are plenty of ways to kill people other than Avada Kedavra."

"Look, Harry, I know this is a sensitive topic for you—"

Harry's anger flared. Sensitive topic? Since when was killing someone considered a normal day to day conversation?

"But you should know," she continued. "That I would not ask you if it wasn't important. Harry, you can't always protect me and I need an edge. I mean, everyone knows I can't do the Patronus charm and if I fail at this to-"

"Hermione," Harry said with a slight groan. "the killing curse isn't some clever spell that teachers will give you high marks for knowing or students would admire you for. Would you admire someone who knew every weak point in your body, capable of killing you in an instant? Do you admire idiots who carry guns? No, just because you know you can kill someone doesn't mean people will look up to you for it."

"I don't care if people look up to me, Harry, I want people to fear me!" it was the last thing Harry would ever suspect to come out of Hermione Grangers mouth. After a brief pause, Hermione seemed to register what she had just said and some familiar uncertainty returned to her. "I mean, that came out wrong. I'm sorry, Harry. It's just, Harry, I need to be able to defend myself and when the bullies hear I can't do Avada Kedavra they'll, they'll and oh, it's not just them." She bent in closer to Harry and whispered, "It's Lucius, I'm pretty sure he's here to kill me."

"What?" Harry hissed, though he didn't automatically put off the notion. "Hermione, do you know how much trouble he'd land in if he even attempted to kill a twelve year old witch?"

"Of course he's not going to go out in the open about it," Hermione hissed back. "But if people knew I could do the killing curse they'd at least be a little weary to try and start something with me."

At this point, Harry took Hermione by the hand and steered them towards the lake. They'd been walking a good distance ahead of everyone else so the entire body of first year Ravenclaws and Slytherins saw the pair of them veer off. Harry looked over his shoulder and noticed Draco looking his way, but there was too much distance between them to catch his facial expression. He'd have to deal with that latter… eventually… possibly never.

"Hermione," Harry said, once they'd lost sight of everyone. "I understand your reason for concern, and it is a really good reason, but I think you'd have better luck learning the Patronus charm."

"The Patronus charm won't help me against people, Harry."

"It's more powerful than you think," Harry said. "At least when learned properly, and I really believe you can learn it."

They both came to a stop at the edge of the lake. Hermione looked out over the water, a breeze rustling her busy hair. "Are you going to tell me now how to cast it?" she asked.

"I've already helped you as much as I can. It's something you have to figure out on your own," Harry replied, watching her. He really wished he could tell her more.

Her brows drew together. "And I suppose the killing curse is also something I need to figure out on my own?" There was more than just a hint of sarcasm to her words.

"No," Harry sighed, and, despite his earlier refusals, he gave in and explained, "all you need to perform that spell is to really want to kill something."

Hermione turned to look at Harry. "That's it?"

Harry nodded. "And if you really had it in you to kill someone, Hermione, you wouldn't need to ask me."

"I see," Hermione said after a pause. She looked back over the lake and let out a breath. "I guess I should go see Flitwick now." She turned to go.

"Hermione," Harry said. She stopped but didn't turn around. "Don't do anything to interfere with Professor Quirrell's detentions. You know he doesn't hand out punishment lightly."

"Do you know why you are being punished?" Hermione asked. All Harry could make out was the back of her bushy head. He offered no reply and she said nothing more.

It was hard for a man that hardly came up to your chin to be intimidating, but, somehow, Flitwick managed it. He scrutinized the dirt splotched note Hermione had handed him, lips pressed so tightly together he seemed not to have any at all.

"Miss, Granger," he said in a trilled whisper. "Is this true? Did you, my young, Ravenclaw student disrupt a class in session?"

"Um, no," Hermione replied, not completely defeated. I cast the Quietus charm. It would have been a little more disrupting if I had not.

"Did you, or did you not attempt to distract a student in the middle of a lesson?"

"I just wanted to ask Harry a quick question-" Hermione said with not an ounce of respect she would have usually shown the Charms Professor.

"Miss Granger," Flitwick interrupted with a sigh, letting the hand holding the note fall. "You know better than this. I'm not going to punish you," he said quickly as Hermione's expression began to change. "You have enough detentions to be getting along with, and you've already lost forty points to Ravenclaw. I can see that you do not think very highly of your teachers right now, but please consider that we do have your best interests at heart. Please try and keep out of trouble?"

She left the charms classroom not quite keeping her anger as effectively as she was accustomed to these days. Professor Flitwick disheartened voice and pleading words almost convinced her not to go through with her plan… almost.

Classes had just ended for Monday, and Harry was more than ready for his four-poster bed, unfortunately he had another detention that evening, not to mention dueling lessons with Neville. He also wanted to meet with the Chaos legion and Draco, he'd probably end up doing one or the other. At the moment, Draco was more pressing so that took precedence over tactics for the next battle, whenever that might be.

He decided to skip dinner and sleep for an hour before detention, which hopefully this evening would last only an hour. He'd just veered off from the rest of his fellow Ravenclaws, thoughts occupied with how he was supposed to find evidence on a murder that took place more than ten years ago, when Hermione came chasing after him.

"Harry! Harry!" she shouted, pushing her way through the gaggle of first years.

He kept walking.

Excellent, keep this attitude up and Professor Quirrell is sure to let you out early. Sytherin sneered.

"Harry," Hermione said, coming to walk beside him. "I thought about what you said, and I realized that you were right."

Harry, mouth half open, about to let loose a few well-crafted words, instead let it drop a few inches. Hermione admitted he was right about something? He closed it, and let out a sigh instead. "That's great, Hermione."

Maybe, if he'd been more awake, he would have been at least a little suspicious. As it was, Harry wasn't completely sure which conversation she was referring to, nor did he much care. He continued up the marble stairs, hoping she'd go away.

"Yeah, I really got to thinking about the Patronus charm and you know what?"

"What?" Harry asked in far from enthusiastic tones.

"Well," Hermione said looking over her shoulder. She watched the last of the first years round the corridor before going on. "I did it."

Harry stopped in his tracks. "What?"

Hermione smiled and grabbed his hand. "Get out your cloak and I'll show you."

Numbly, Harry reached into his pouch and pulled out his cloak. Something wasn't right, but that could be blamed on the surreal feeling you get when you lose enough sleep. Just as Hermione snatch the cloak and began stuffing it into her own pouch, Harry wondered stupidly why she would need an invisibility cloak to cast the Patronus charm.

"Come on!" she said, taking him by the hand. She practically yanked him up the last few steps and continued to drag him around till they reached an unused classroom. He might have been angry at the treatment, but he was in too much of a state of shock to care. He did understand her enthusiasm though, so he let the groaning of his arm suffer in silence.

She glanced self-consciously about the room, eyes darting to the empty desks and chairs. She flashed Harry a nervous smile before breaking into the gestures for the Patronus charm, but when it came time to expel the words she spun to Harry and said, "Somnium!"