Harry Potter woke up sweating. His pajamas were wet and stuck to his skin. He got up from his bed in the Gryffindor Tower and blindly made his way to the bathroom.
His hand made hazardous motions against the wall, his blindness and the darkness of the tower at night making the task of finding the light switch in the bathroom nearly impossible, until suddenly his fingers found his prize and light illuminated him.
Blinking away the pain of the sudden light after so much darkness, Harry made his way to a mirror. Never having a reason to be vain, since he didn't even consider himself all that attractive, Harry never really stopped to look at himself clearly before. But this time Harry took his time in front of the mirror. His glasses zoomed straight towards him with a silent "Accio" from his lips.
Placing his glasses on, Harry carefully analyzed himself. Everyone said he was like his father; the wild hair, the glasses, and that even his personality was similar. But Harry doubted it. He fancied himself looking a lot more like his mother, which was probably why his only favorite feature was his eyes – the eyes of his mother that were being blocked behind his glasses. He planned on doing something about that though, as today would be the first Hogsmeade visit this year, and he would see if he could find a place called "sensorio magicae instaurabo hospitali". Madame Pomfrey had told him that he could finally repair his vision and had given him the name of the place, and that she would make his appointment for him. She had even called a friend from St. Mugo's that specialized in correcting any one of the five senses, a Doctor named Lilium, to supervise him and those working on him.
Yawning, Harry thought back on his dream and scoffed. In his dream, there had been four champions for the Tri Wizard Tournament, something he thought was completely ridiculous and was still upset over since it meant he couldn't play Quidditch this year. What had woken him up though was that he had been the one to be chosen as the fourth champion and that he had been exiled from Gryffindor Tower despite his protest at him entering voluntarily. Harry shook his head to dispel the visions from his dream. It hadn't really surprised him though. He knew that somehow, someway, everything would look like he wanted to be in constant danger, in the spotlight. It didn't matter what he wanted, only what everyone thought he wanted, which he thought was utter bullshit but whatever.
He sighed. Closing his eyes and stretching, Harry turned on the faucet of the sink and began brushing his teeth by hand, never really liking having to do magic as an excuse for laziness. He then shed off his pajamas, and climbed in the empty shower he normally took as his own. His bath things suddenly appeared next to the tub, no doubt work of the house elves. He promised to go down to the kitchens and thank them later.
Showering, Harry washed his hair. Frowning at his hair, Harry was glad he had decided to just let his hair grow long; he really hated the messy bird nest hair he had. It made him look even more like his father and for once, he wanted to be more like his mother. He had Remus and Sirius now as father figures, but his mother could never be replaced. He didn't even want Mrs. Weasley to be as maternal to him as Remus and Sirius were paternal. He wanted a mother just for him, with no other children to take care of. He knew that it was selfish, and that the Weasley matriarch already thought of him as another son, but he couldn't help it. And that was why he wanted to be more like his mother, to feel her presence and her influence on him.
Hermoine knew already; thank all the magic in the world for her. She understood, having kept certain aspects of her just like her parents because she missed them so much. She had told him that even in the muggle world she had been far too ahead of others her age and her parents had decided to home school her with some of the best teachers they could find. She had never gone anywhere without her parents, and the magical world was a complete 360 degree turn from the life she knew. She understood that as an orphan he wanted to have more than just his eye color to remind him of his mother. He wanted a deeper connection to her, and Hermione could not find a fault with that.
Ron had been oblivious to their worries. The youngest boy out of seven children, Ron wanted the spotlight and to be different. He didn't understand why anyone would want to be like their parents, or at least to be anything remotely similar to them!
Harry shook his head again, running his fingers through his hair, making sure all the shampoo and conditioner were gone before he started washing his body. Soaping his spoof, Harry lost himself in thought again as he washed his arms first, and then the rest of him.
The tri-wizard tournament champions would be named in a couple of days, on Friday October 31. Halloween, the day Harry didn't eat with as much appetite, the day he kept away from everybody, the day of the anniversary he lost everything that could've been precious to him, the day he lost his parents. He only wanted to be away from any festivities that would take place. He didn't want to have to sit through dinner, desert, and then a grand announcement for some dumb, testosterone filled, air-headed, the reason there's no Quidditch, ministry approved –on principal, Harry hated anything the ministry approved of –contest.
Finished with his shower, Harry turned off the water. He dare not step out onto the cold air outside. A silent shift in magic brought Dobby to him.
The crazy house elf, that had practically forced him to become his "master" during his third year, just beamed at him.
"Harry Potter sir called for Dobby?"
Harry just sighed and nodded. "If it pleases you, may you please select my clothes for today? I'll be going to the eye doctor in Hogsmeade and so I would like it if you could pick out something comfortable but at the same time appropriate for me to wear."
Dobby vigorously nodded his head and after handing Harry a heated bath robe, went to search through Harry's clothes. His little sounds of annoyed disapproval could be heard from the bathroom.
Harry wrapped himself up in the bathrobe, and flinched every time he heard Dobby vocally announce his displeasure. Living with the Malfoy's had taught Dobby a sense of wizard fashion only known to the pure bloods and those of the higher class. The moment Dobby had seen Harry dress himself in what Harry had deemed appropriate clothing, Dobby had automatically changed it with a snap of his fingers. Outraged, Dobby had freely expressed his displeasure with lots of snapping and angry words of how such a powerful and kind wizard could come out wearing the rags he had on. He even asked him if he had dressed himself in the dark and was making preparations to fix the light in the bathrooms of the Gryffindor Tower. In order to never suffer another angry barrage of how he should dress better and the same two hour lecture Dobby had repeated for the fourth time, Harry had practically given Dobby half of his fortune to buy him whatever clothes he thought would be necessary for him. It had been three days before Dobby had returned with boxes and bags of clothes, clothes Harry had no idea even existed and accessories that he couldn't name. Ever since then, Dobby had taken a role in outfitting him for the day. Hermione had only looked on in amusement, happy that her campaign in ending house elf enslavement seemed to be having some effect on how the previously mistreated elf was holding his head high now.
Harry sat on the toilet seat and merely waited for Dobby. The elf had also taken on the job of grooming his hair, saying that Lucius had insisted of having his hair brushed with a 100 stokes of a very expensive hair brush and comb set he had bought in France, a set Dobby had purchased for him as well. Harry sighed, thankful that his enemies had insanely weird quirks about them. It made them more human and less of Voldemort's idiotic followers.
Dobby had been quite informative on each of the Malfoy's behaviors. The house elf had told him how every time the Dark Lords name was mentioned, even as a joke, the Malfoy patriarch would go white and trips to France were held almost constantly. In fact, one time the entire family had moved to France for 3 years and all because Lucius had heard of a dark wizard who was returning to London, a wizard who had a high seat in the inner circle of Voldemort's Death Eaters. And that when Yaxley had gained his current position in the Ministry, Lucius had made Narcissa and a five year old Draco move out of London and to their larger mansion in France until he had enough information and blackmail to make sure they would be safe.
He had been surprised at Lucius's actions, though now he understood why Draco was always so proud of his father and followed his every word and footstep. He was the same way with his own parents, and could not find a reason to judge the boy on that alone anymore, not that it made Draco or his father any less than a bunch of jerks, but he felt that they were much more human now than the horrors they had been before.
Dobby had come back. He laid the clothes carefully on the sink counter, grabbed the first comb from the hair set, and began to work out any knots from his hair slowly. An hour of combing and brushing and combing again and brushing again had passed. And then began the styling, though this went much faster since Dobby only added a bit of hair growing potion and a super light hair styling gel to keep his hair from frizzing and tangling. The potion for hair growth had to be added straight to the roots of the hair, after the hair had been washed and was still damp. The potion worked really well, but it was not an instant growth potion since hair follicles were fragile and any stronger version could make one go bald or have hair so brittle that just brushing it could make one lose a large section of it. The only instant hair growth potion was taken by mouth but it was nasty and had weird side effects and could only be administered by a professional, and Harry really wasn't that much in a hurry to grow out his hair.
"Dobby is done sir. Harry Potter sir must now put on his clothes and remember to not leave his wand on his bed where an enemy could break it."
Harry only nodded, he knew the elf was upset at his actions of leaving the wand lying around, but Harry was so used to not having one on him 24/7 during the summer or the years before Hogwarts, that he often found himself without his wand on him. Snape had given him detention for not spotting the holy and phoenix feather wand on him, and was a nightmare to him. In fact, he actually had nightmares about that detention and the lecture Snape had given him.
"Yes Dobby, sorry, I just forget it sometimes. I'm absent minded." Excuses really, but it was the truth. Harry would put his wand down on a chair and forget it, spending hours without his wand and forgetting where he had put it. Luckily, Hermione had noticed and told him that she would keep his wand safe when he put it down, worried about how distracted he sometimes was and how easily he left his wand behind.
Dobby nodded and smiled. "Dobby understands Harry Potter sir, which is why Dobby here has made this wand holster for you. Just place your wand here and when you don't need it, the wand will slide back in. The holster works with your inner magic. A wand can't be called out of it if not by you and burns anyone with mal intent who touches it. It'll be placed in your left forearm for easy drawing."
Harry grinned. "Thanks Dobby. Oh! And please tell the other house elves thanks for the bath supplies. I'll go down later to thank them personally."
Dobby's huge ears bounced up and down with his excited jumping and agreement. He vanished back to the kitchens.
Casting a tempus with his wand, which was placed on top of his folded clothes, Harry saw that it was near five in the morning. Sighing, Harry merely shrugged. He had been waking up at all hours of the night for the past several weeks, and it seemed as if though today would be another long day.
Picking up his clothes, Harry put on his black/grey/white plaid boxers first, before dressing in a pair of black jeans, a white tank top, and a dark red t shirt. He sat on the toilet seat again and put on his black socks and his black sneakers. He grabbed the blow dryer and quickly passed it through his hair, drying any moistness left. He wore the wand holster on his left forearm, and then placed his wand on the correct slot.
Done with dressing, Harry went back to his bed side and grabbed his trunk from under the bed. Placing it on top of is mattress; he unlocked it and opened it. Searching through his neatly organized trunk –thanks to Dobby –Harry found the black sock that hid his pouch of wizard money. Grabbing it, he closed the trunk, and locked the trunk again. He realized that he needed a more secure trunk than his current one, one that could lock and unlock with a magical word only known by the user and not the standard alohamora his trunk needed to open.
Declaring himself ready, Harry grabbed his potions book and his going out outer robe Dobby had left out for him, and went down to the common room. As soon as he entered, the fire place started, bringing warmth and light all around the room. Sitting on a plush recliner in front of the fire he secretly deemed as his, Harry opened to his bookmarked page and began to read. Snape would constantly quiz him, and if he got an answer correct Snape normally rewarded him by not snapping out at him and not deducting too many house points. When he got it wrong, it was detention, a period full of agonizing scrutiny, 20 or more house points lost for him just breathing wrong, and a 10 page report due on why the answer was what it was and not what he had answered with. To make his life simpler, Harry had just decided to read every potions book he had or could come into possession, this was in thanks to Hermione, until Snape realized that Harry did want to learn potions and that he wasn't anything like his father and more of his own person. It had thus far been working, he hadn't gotten detention since his third one in early September, a feat Hermione had rewarded him with a new potions set, a key to how she practiced the potions before and after they were assigned, and a book on the reasons why potions was necessary for Defense Against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration, the two classes he got Outstanding on his practice OWLS every year without much studying. He had actually read the book from cover to cover –Hermione knew what to get him to make him read, thank the stars for his bushy haired friend –and grew to have a greater perspective on the whole course. He had read that book about a hundred times, each time gaining something new. The potion set was nearly empty, he used it so many times, trying to get the potions done right, something Hermione had noticed he was actually really good at once he understood why he had to stir clockwise two time before having to stir counterclockwise four times instead of just stirring counterclockwise twice. Hermione had been shocked with his progress at potions, and she sometimes made potion making into some sort of fun competition between the two, each owing something to the other. A secret gift for winning, the score was almost always even, Hermione being really good at making precise measurements and making quick judgments before a potion exploded, and Harry eyeballing the ingredients and constantly experimenting.
But today was Saturday, and today was a Hogsmeade date with the Bulgarian Quidditch player who had Hermione constantly in mind. Hermione had told him that Victor Krum had asked her on a friendly outing to Hogsmeade since he had never been anywhere outside of Bulgaria. She had agreed if he talked about the Durmstrang classes and how the different kinds of magic were taught. He had laughed when Hermione had recounted how happy Krum had looked when she had asked about his own school and homeland, and congratulated her on finding a friend.
Ron had been oblivious on Hermione making friends, simply eyeing the curvy blonde supermodels of Beauxbatons Academy, never once listening to Harry or Hermione when they said that their veela appeal, no matter how small, was affecting how he saw them. Both had resigned to watch him stare rudely at the backsides and breasts of the French girls, which in turn regarded him as rude and called him a red pig half the time they deemed it fit to remark on how little Hogwarts had to offer compared to the magnificent palace of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic.
Harry had decided to stay away from the French girls as much as possible; he didn't want to make a fool of himself! Hermione agreed with him, unaffected by the Veela allure since she was not attracted to females herself, and often times, both had to tag team against Ron, hitting him with a book or distracting him with food before he made a fool out of himself again.
Harry just shook his head. How could he be affected by the Veela allure when he constantly had to watch and stop Ron from trying and epically failing at pawing and panting after the French girls? It was disgusting!
Harry stopped his thoughts from wandering even further. Too tired from thinking about the source of his nightmares, he read his book.
Potions: Poisons and Antidotes- A Guidebook for Beginners and Masters by Alicia Artwater, was a book given to him by Hermione on one of his winnings. It outlined the basic steps essential for all poisonous potions and antidotes, how the ingredients reacted together to make the poison more or less toxic, how to detect poisonous potions, and how one or two herbs could either stop or delay the effects until an appropriate antidote could be made. Harry was reading on the effects of Basilisk venom and how virtually nothing could be used against it once the Basilisk itself was dead and anti-venom from the same Basilisk could not be made. Phoenix Tears, an ingredient that destroyed most venom and toxics, could stop the venom from spreading but that it could do nothing against the actual venom since it became a permanent part of the body. Pure, freely given Unicorn Tears were the only effective remedy since the tears destroyed the venom completely. It was interesting since it meant that he had diluted Basilisk Venom and Phoenix Tears in his bloodstream. It also mentioned how a bite from any kind of dragon, especially the poisonous types, could enhance the poison and mutate it. Effects varied from person to person and from dragon to dragon so no true diagnostics was ever the same.
The section was quite heavily detailed, with numerous examples, pictures, and diagrams of the different stages of the Basilisk bite, the age of the Basilisk versus the age of the person who was bitten, and the different cases involved. One case even mentioned how the venom had created various hallucinations and made the bitten wizard amputate his arm in hopes of stopping the spread of the venom before realizing he was too late and then later, committed suicide. It was later discovered that the true hallucinations were originally a symptom due to a plant he had previously worked on and that the Basilisk venom had merely amplified the pollens affect. The black markings on the wizards arm, the markings the wizard had thought to be the venom working his way through his bloodstream, were actually created by the juices of the plant that had splattered all over him. It was quite interesting since he had not experienced anything odd himself.
Harry continued to read on Basilisk venom until he came across a very stirring passage at the end:
"Due to this books need to cover all the basics in poisons and their antidotes, it is noteworthy to know that no Basilisk bite on a parseltongue has ever been recorded. Since the ability is so rare and considered a dark trait by many Christian countries (examples include Britain, The United States and the majority of the European Countries), as the snake has always been considered a symbol of evil, it would be prudent that if any reader would like to further their study in potions to venture outside of any snake fearing country. Countries of interest should include the Middle East, South America, Asia, and many parts of Africa as these locations hold the largest numbers of parseltongue wizards and witches. The different varieties of poisonous reptiles are in some form or another related to each other, which of course means that having extensive background knowledge on snakes should be the reader's main priority. For any more information on how snakes and potions are related please read: Reptiles and Potions by Grimma Sharpskin; Snakes: The Key to All of Magic by Sir. Draconic William; and Snakes All Around the World by Dr. Hissarks."
It had been interesting to note just how many snake parts actually went into potions, and that the most detailed and widely used healing potions were actually invented by parseltongues, this Harry had learned from a series of books titled "Parseltongue: Dark or Just Severely Misunderstood Animal Magic" by Emrys Earthwalker. These books were given to him by Sirius once he had told Remus and him of all the "adventures" he had found himself in at Hogwarts.
Harry bookmarked his page and simply just sat thinking. Ever since his last encounter with the Basilisk he had never once really thought about his unique gift, merely casting it off as another tie he and Voldemort had. But the several books he had read, Languages of the World by Dr. Lengua and Ancient Animal Languages by Professor Barkmouth, mentioned that nonhuman languages were not able to be transferred from one person to another by any sort of magic so the gift of parseltongue was not a power Voldemort had transferred the night he tried to kill him. In addition, only wizards or witches whose magic was strong enough to know the language instinctively were able to actually use it. A wizard or a witch who learned the language by studying it could not do the magic that corresponded to that specific language. So that meant, Harry reasoned, that unlike Dumbledore, who had learned mermish by intense study, he could use the magic normally associated with parseltongue, which ironically enough was deeply tied to all sides of magic. Parseltongue was not just Dark Magic, as everyone here believed, but was actually a much more primitive language used in healing, necromancy, transfiguration, transformation from one form to another form (Not anything like an animagus, who could only achieve one form. A parseltongue could change their shape into various forms, as long as it was related to a snake. There was a theory written down that it would be possible for a parseltongue to change into a dragon but it remained unproved since no known parseltongue had stepped forward in order to test it.), potions, and divination. Of course, the use of the language depended on the actual wizard or witch, as all magic was based on intent.
It reminded Harry of Voldemort's first words to him, of power and people too weak to seek it. He wondered if thinking that magic was all about intent meant that he was, in some way, sympathizing with him. He didn't believe so. Sirius had mentioned how James, his own father, had come from what the ministry would've considered a "dark" pureblooded family, and how different his family valued their magical traditions in relation to every other pureblood family. When he tried to find out more, Sirius just laughed and said that "in time [he'd] find out all [he] needed to know. To wait until the summer started." He'd been calmed down by those words and a summer filled with letters of his godfathers' childhood stories, those that extended beyond Hogwarts.
The clock above the fireplace mantel chimed seven in the morning. He must've missed the six o'clock chime sometime during his reading.
Getting up, as he could already hear some of the more early birds rising, Harry stood from his place in the common room, grabbed his traveling cloak and book, and left Gryffindor Tower for breakfast.
Silently walking through the castle to the Great Hall, Harry merely kept to himself. He exchanged some pleasantries with some of the Hufflepuffs and the Ravenclaws he knew from Quidditch, and kept a respectable distance from the Slytherins, no need to get into a brawl so early in the morning. He ignored Malfoy's normal morning death glare, the blonde was a devil first thing in the morning and he wondered who in Slytherin was brave enough to wake him up. He shrugged off his curiosity though, almost four years of being in every morning class with the Slytherins had taught him that Malfoy was not someone to bother or even glance at first thing in the morning, the blonde wouldn't be in a semi decent mood until after lunch time, if the stresses of class and homework didn't put him into a foul mood for the whole day.
Sitting down at his customary spot in the Gryffindor table, Harry picked out his favorites for breakfast. Chocolate chip pancakes with a scoop of ice cream and thick cherry syrup with fruit on top, a side of perfectly well made sunny side up eggs with the yolk still gooey inside, lovingly browned sausages, thick and not too crispy slices of bacon, a small bowl of oatmeal topped with brown sugar and slices of strawberries, and a small fruit and herb salad. Too drink, he picked tall glasses of milk, apple juice, and a hot cup of green tea already prepared with his usual two tablespoons of honey and a teaspoon of brown sugar.
Looking all around him before digging into his meal, he noticed several pairs of eyes on his food choices. He mentally snorted. He had gotten a huge appetite boost every time he had woken up too early because of nightmares. Pomfrey, he had gone straight to her when it became obvious that he was eating more than Ron, had merely stated that his body had to take in extra energy in compensation for his lack of sleep. His usual appointments, he had one every week since his first one here at Hogwarts, were now filled with a therapy session in order to understand where his disturbing lack of sleep came from. He still had to take his weekly nutritional potions and his monthly growth potions, but at least Pomfrey wouldn't be commanding a six course meal every three to five hours anymore.
Taking a knife in one hand and a fork in another, he happily cut into his pancakes and forgot anyone else existed. He loved chocolate and he loved pancakes so he was in a very happy place now. The pancakes were the first to go along with his glass of milk; then his eggs, sausages, and bacon; quickly followed by his oatmeal, fruit and herb salad, and the rest of his apple juice. Once he considered himself satisfyingly full, he brought up his still warm tea and peacefully began to drink it.
Glancing around, he noticed a slightly more filled Great Hall but a little less than half of each house was filled. He looked at all of Gryffindor table. About twenty students, including him, sat under the gold and red banner, and they all looked as if though they had just gotten out of bed. He could hear their groans about it still being too early and their moans about it being too bright. He wondered if they even knew what time it actually was.
A slight noise alerted him to look up. Hedwig, his beautiful snowy owl, was coming straight towards him. Picking up a small bowl of bacon and small bits of sausages and fruits he had set aside for his lovely owl, he extended his forearm for her to perch on.
Having Hedwig be the first one to greet him each morning without fail was about one of the best things he loved about having her for his own. She wasn't violent when she landed, her talons only gripped as hard as it was needed to be secured, and she was absolutely graceful in everything she did. From flying to landing to even grooming her feathers after landing, Hedwig was the most beautiful owl in all of Hogwarts and he loved her dearly.
"Here lovely, I have some breakfast for you. I know you ate your customary owl food but I bet it tastes nasty, so I got you some of your favorites." Harry cooed, his entire being focused on moving Hedwig onto the table from his arm safely.
Once standing in her customary perfect pose in front of him, Hedwig began to nip softly at his fingers and hooted so lovingly that it sounded as if though she was singing to him. Smiling, Harry returned her happy greeting with his fingers petting her neat feathers and slowly bringing the bowl to her. Hedwig, noticing her treats, merely waited until they were placed in front of her before gracefully eating her fill. All the while, Harry kept petting her and stating how lovely she was and how she was the most perfect owl in the entire school.
Murmurings of the students around him grabbed Harry's attention away from his usual ritual of praising his beloved pet. A short glance around him confirmed the usual words. He merely ignored them and continued on petting Hedwig. He had never been able to shower someone with his love and he wasn't going to stop showing how much he loved his pet just because others thought he was weird for talking to an animal. He sometimes wondered how some of those very students could talk to each other, considering that most of them looked like they were animals themselves. Nevertheless, Harry continued on.
"Don't listen to them girl. They're all just jealous because you're the most beautiful owl here. Some of them even look like rats themselves so don't let them get you down. You're the perfect owl. So graceful when you're flying, I would love to fly with you someday lovely."
Hedwig ruffled her feathers, happy at her master's attention. She wasn't used for mail like all the others owls here and she didn't want her master to forget her, but it seemed as if though she worried for nothing. He was praising her like always, and her heart was content in being fed and petted by him. Once done, she raised her head from her bowl and rubbed her soft feathery head against his, chirping softly.
Harry replaced her food bowl with another small bowl, this one filled with water, and presented it to her. "Here, drink some water girl."
Soft coughing at his side made Harry turn his head to his right. The Creevy brothers, Collins and David, had taken to wanting to eat their meals next to him since after the Basilisk incident in second year. It had started with Collins and when his younger brother came, the both of them had gotten together to eat with him. He hadn't minded since he knew that both boys were naturally shy and hadn't made many friends. He nodded at the both of them.
Both boys grinned from ear to ear. "Good morning Harry."
"And good morning to you too Hedwig," the boys said; sheepish smiles on their faces for forgetting to greet their hero's pet bird.
"Don't mind her; she just received her usual greeting from me just now so she's glowing in praise."
Both boys nodded, smiles on their faces. They sat next to each other at Harry's right and began to pile food in their plates. They turned to each other to converse.
Harry merely smiled, wondering how it would've been like if he had a sibling. But before he could think too deeply on what could have been, a loud noise that sounded suspiciously like someone's head slamming against wood alerted him to the double entrance doors. There he found a still more than half asleep Ron and an already short tempered Hermione, seems like the witch had been verbally wrestling Ron into getting up this morning.
Both of them made it to the table, Hermione and Ron sitting side by side in the seats in front of him like usual. They normally always had their backs to the Ravenclaws, saying something about the Ravens not doing anything foul to their turned backs unlike the Snakes they faced. Harry only shrugged. He personally didn't care. If they did do something, he'd only fight as hard as he'd been given.
Hermione said her customary morning greeting; filled with a good morning, where were you, and the story of this morning's mission to wake Ron up. He marveled at her ability to talk, pet Hedwig, put food on her plate, and look over a Daily Prophet newspaper all at the same time. He wondered if she could add reading a book to that list but hoped she couldn't. Honestly, the girl's nose hardly saw anything other than the inside of a book.
Ron sleepily mumbled something he didn't even try to make out. His only wakeful motions were his arms piling food onto his plate. Harry wondered where all that food stored itself, because there was more food in his friend's one plate than in all of his own meal.
Ron had just eaten his third slice of toast, a second fried egg, and two sausages when the girls of Beauxbatons entered. They sat at the end of the Ravenclaw table, gossiping among themselves. They each looked like they just got made up for some runway shoot, each face was so perfectly made that Harry wondered what they actually looked like beneath the makeup. He was glad he wasn't a girl if that's what they did.
He looked back at the only girl he knew that wasn't like that, and wondered if Hermione ever once considered being like that. He hoped she hadn't. He liked his best friend just the way she was.
"Do I have something on my face?" Hermione's voice startled him. She really did know everything! How else could she have guessed he was looking at her face when all of her focus was on the newspaper?
"Do you ever put makeup in the morning? Like the girls from Beauxbatons?" Harry automatically felt stupid. He hoped she didn't take his question in a bad way.
Hermione only looked up at him questioningly. "No. I just wash my face and get ready for the day. I don't really like makeup. Why do you ask?"
Harry only shrugged. "I just noticed that some of the girls here wear a lot of it and I bet that takes some time to put on. I don't want you to lose sleep because of some silly makeup. You already study too hard as it is, and I don't think you should lose anymore sleep to look like one of them."
Hermione smiled. "That's so sweet Harry. Thank you. And it does take some time to put it on correctly. Pavarti Patil and Lavender Brown from the Girls Dormitory always wake up really early to put theirs on. It's kind of annoying, especially since it limits my time. In any case putting on and then removing all that makeup is bad for your skin and it'd take up too much of my study time."
He nodded, glad that his friend had her priorities in order.
"Besides you'd look weird in makeup." Ron's mumble was difficult to hear with all the food in his mouth, but Hermione and Harry still caught on to most of the pieces to understand him.
Harry reached across the table to grab onto his friend's hands before she grabbed a book and knocked Ron unconscious with it, it seemed as if though she was still upset over dragging him across the castle this morning. He held it until she took two deep breaths and her attention was back on her plate.
"Thanks," she said softly.
Hermione went back to her food and he went back to stroking Hedwig.