Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. All characters, places, etc. belong to JK Rowling, Scholastics, etc. Avril Lavigne, "Skater Boy", owns the song from the CD "Let's Go". "Longview" is owned by Green Day, from the CD "Dookie", and "You Gotta Be" is by Des'Ree. New Found Glory belongs to whatever company owns them, as does Green Day, Sugarcult, and No Doubt.
Summary: All Hermione wanted to be was popular, well liked, and considered "cool" – anything but the bookworm that she was labeled. Now, in her final year at Hogwarts, can she achieve that or is everything just mismatched?
Author's Notes: It's been a while since I wrote anything… and Girl Midget wasn't going anywhere fast, so here's my newest story and idea, warped into something that was experience, and well… common sense and logic. Also note that this story is FIRST PERSON, a.k.a., all in HERMIONE'S POV. Updates won't be too often, since it's only the second day of school and I had homework in all of my classes. School is my number one priority at the moment, and writing will just have to wait until I get a break to write, like now. Thanks for sticking by! ~ Kneazle
CHAPTER ONE: Brain Cloud
It just had to be raining. Of course, it was the perfect type of weather for my mood, make no mistake there, but I really didn't reckon that was the best way to start off the New Year (with capitals). Yet I hadn't looked out the window just yet, so I couldn't guarantee that it was raining, but guessing that my room was really really dark and had a grayish sort of colour to it all, it wasn't too hard to guess. After all, I had been in this room for nearly seventeen years of my life, and I should know the seasons, weather patterns and all that crap like the back of my hand.
With that gloomy atmosphere, I slowly made my way out of my warm, comfy bed and padded my bare feet across my hardwood floor. Note to self: Don't get hardwood when you live on your own – very cold in the early British morning.
I opened my wardrobe doors, grabbing some simple yet modest oxford shirts, but Hogwarts skirt and knee socks. I sighed as I did all this, wondering if this year was going to be any different than the last six, minus the fact that I was Head Girl now.
Head Girl. The two words rang in my head, as my eyes wandered over to where my Head Girl badge rested on my neatly folded black Hogwarts robes, which were on a single chair in the corner of my room. Last year I had been a prefect, like I had been in my fifth year, but Head Girl… that was more responsibility, more freedom, more everything.
I didn't know who was Head Boy, but I had a few guesses. Harry Potter, for one – he was the Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team, all-around mischief-maker, and most popular, handsome, available guy in the school. Not like I had a bloody chance with him anyway. The other guy was Draco Malfoy, another fellow seventh year student of mine. He was in Slytherin, had that pale, brooding mysterious air about him, and enjoyed making my life a living hell – though not as much as Harry's. Evidently, they had been enemies since they met a second time (on the train to Hogwarts) when they were eleven. How can guys hold grudges that long? Gods above!
Anyway, while my mind had been running around, trying to figure out who was going to be Head Boy, I had wandered downstairs to the delicious smell of waffles being made by my fabulous mother. She and my father both worked in the dentistry practice, in a very popular and renowned office in downtown London. We, safe to say, are well off, and I had never been denied anything in my life… we're sort of the upper class of London.
Before I continue on with my pointless rambling, I should tell you about myself. It would make things a smidgeon easier, don't you think?
My name: Hermione Anne Elizabeth Caroline Granger. Age: 17 on September the 30th, which was currently 29 days away and counting. Family: My father, Doug Richard Granger, my mother, Julianne Shannon van De Burg-Granger, and my younger (non-magical) pest of a brother, Samuel Albert Granger, age 13 and going on pain in the neck.
I had known I was a witch since, well, early on. I don't really remember the first time I had known, but it could have been when I was four and had seen a unicorn up north at my Grandmother's farm. Or perhaps earlier when I played hide-and-seek with Cornish pixies. You can take your pick, wherever, whenever. I just knew, and it wasn't too much of a shock to receive my Hogwarts letter when I was eleven. My parents, however, were completely freaked out by it, and poor Samuel was traumatized by the age of seven onwards.
I was hyped to go to Hogwarts, and make some friends. Ah, the friend factor. Let's get something clear right now: From the ages 5-11, I had no friends. I was classified "the geek", "loser", and "the bookworm" from the early teasing ages, and those names had stuck. Very wounding. I could never escape it, and I had hoped that it would be different at Hogwarts. Excuse me while I go and laugh: ha, ha ha!
It was no different. I boarded the train, all smiles and good nature, when Neville Longbottom (a Gryffindor) lost his toad. Kind as I am, I helped him find it. Unfortunately, I stumbled upon Harry Potter and his best friend Ron Weasley's compartment, just was the redhead was about to attempt some magic. Of course, I had to be curious and ask what he was doing and see it. When it didn't work, I got so proud and showed them that I could fix Harry's glasses, on to realize who he was, and gawk. Not very nice, especially on his first day of school.
Ron wasn't exactly helpful either, and I left feeling confused and wounded that they hadn't liked my show of magic. Maybe I just wasn't cut out to be a witch. I then stayed by myself in my compartment until it was time for us to leave.
I shared a boat with Susan Bones, and two other Hufflepuffs that I don't know the names of. Upon entering the Great Hall, I looked up at the same time as Susan and told her: "The ceiling is bewitched to look like the sky outside. I know because I read it in Hogwarts: A History." I thought she was impressed at first, but she shot a glance to Hannah Abbott later and then a glance at me – one that wasn't a nice glance.
Isolated, I stood by myself; waiting and watching the others get sorted, until – "Granger, Hermione!" I jumped up, sat down on the stool, and waited.
I was so startled I didn't know what to think, so the voice continued while I was petrified in fear.
You have so much potential, Ms. Granger. You are loyal and sweet enough to be a Hufflepuff, yet I believe you would be bored there… Slytherin could do you well with your intelligence and ambition to strive for the best… and yet Gryffindor… you could be great you know, it's all there in your head, and Gryffindor is a place where you may find those true friends you seek, with your brave and courageous head-on attitude. But your intelligence and shyness makes me more inclined to announce… RAVENCLAW!
And so the hat was lifted off my head, and I drifted towards the clapping table. There, I sat down and turned my head to see the High Table and other students that still needed to be sorted. As I had drifted over to Ravenclaw, I realized with a start that it was now Harry's turn to be sorted.
Where would he be? I had wondered. There wasn't much known about him except that he is the only known person to survive the Killing Curse.
Ravenclaw, Ravenclaw! My mind screamed. Be in Ravenclaw, be my friend! I wanted to know him, ease the pain, loneliness and confusion from his eyes and guide him.
"Gryffindor!" the hat screamed, and I deflated. Harry Potter was a Gryffindor, where the brave and loyal went. I was a Ravenclaw, dull yet smart. We were worlds apart.
Six years passed and nothing changed. Harry was popular from the day he was born; everyone liked him, everyone loved him, minus the Slytherins. We didn't have many classes together, except Arithmacy and Ancient Runes by fifth year. I hadn't spoken to him since the day on the train, but I had noticed that his glasses never ever had the Sell-O-Tape holding them together again. That fact made me smile in the darkest of times… that was every day after our fourth year.
Voldemort had risen at the end of our fourth year, using Harry's blood (or so the rumors go). Cedric Diggory, a Hufflepuff, died that night too. I don't want to go over the details so I'll skip that and go right to the main points.
There were three girls in my year in Ravenclaw: Padma Patil and Mandy Brocklehurst, if you forgot about myself, though. Terry Boot and Christopher Moon were the only boys in our year that were in our house too…
Never mind that, though – what I need to tell you is that I was isolated right away. Padma and Mandy thought me weird, and Terry and Chris thought I was too much of a goody-goody. So that left me with my books and bright area of my room, alone.
Always alone, you see… always.
But now that I had my own room as Head Girl, I knew that something was different. Maybe it was the feel of the air as I stepped out of our house, inhaling the mucky rain-filled scent that there was before a nasty thunderstorm, or maybe it was just all the electricity that I felt around me…
If you asked me that now, I wouldn't be able to tell you. I still don't know what it was, but I knew that something was going to be different, and different in a BIG way. Okay, Voldemort was still on the loose, okay, I still didn't have any friends. So what? This was my year, and I knew it.
I then stepped into our family car, glancing once more at the gray suburb. A splat of rain fell and hit my window was a loud clack, making me jump.
Oh, who was I kidding? I was probably going to fall flat on my face, get soaked and be made fun of by Malfoy twice before the day was out.
Platform 9 and ¾ was packed with people by the time I arrived. Cats were meowing, owls were hooting, and somewhere in between all that and the chatter of parents saying goodbye, and students telling each other about their summer vacation, the Hogwarts announcer said, "ALL ABOARD!"
I managed to find an empty place for my trunk and started towards the train's boarding door when the whistle blew and the familiar chug-chug-chug started up.
Gasping, I began running along side the train, hoping to grab on to the railing handle. A few heads looked out the window, pointing and laughing as I did this – but I couldn't care less. I had to get on the train, or else!
Finally, when the train was just beginning to pick up speed, it paused for one second, and that was all I needed. I grabbed the handle, using my body motion to pull myself up onto the steps. Since it hadn't stopped raining, my hair was plastered to my head, my skirt and jacket soaked, and my breathing uneven from running down the platform.
I leaned my head against the cool metal of the red train, and calmed myself down as the train gained its required speed. The wind blew in the small train-boarding door, whipping my skirt around my knees, chilling me to the bone. I wouldn't be able to stay out here any longer, so I quickly opened the door and welcomed the warm heated bliss.
I walked down the narrow compartment, peeking in the door for an empty compartment. I finally found one, secluded from the rest, near the back of the train and storage compartments.
I had fallen backwards onto the seat, easing my now squeaky shoes off to dry. As I was about to pull my socks off, the door slid open and a head peeked in.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't Miss Perfect," said a voice. Glancing up, I saw the familiar blond head that belonged to the darling Pansy Parkinson and her Slytherin girl gang. Did I mention that they also love making my life a living hell?
I said nothing, but watched from my bent-over position what she was going on about.
"Did you get your daily exercise? I see that nothing helped you lose your weight – still a whale, you are," she snarled, baring her teeth at me. Her pale skin and dark gothic make up made her far scarier than she actually was, but I supposed that was the point. When I said nothing, she continued.
"Well? Aren't you going to say anything about that stupid run you did? What were you trying to do, Hermione? Merlin – outrun the train?" she laughed harshly. "As if you could ever do that."
She then waved at her girl gang and they disappeared as quickly as they arrived. I felt tears prickle at the corner of my eyes as the weight and panic of nearly missing the train slipped forward, and Pansy's hurtful words were just adding to it.
Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
Stand up and be countedDon't be ashamed to cry
I mouthed the words to the familiar Muggle song, hoping to push my emotions back. A Head Girl doesn't cry, or show her fears in front of others. That's considered a weakness… and if Malfoy came in now, I would break down and cry in front of him, no question. He would scorn me, and that would make things worse, because he would tell everyone.
Damn – another reason for people to make fun of me.
I didn't look up when the witch with the food trolley asked if I wanted something, nor did I look up when Neville Longbottom came in and asked if I was all right – he had seen my run and thought I was still clinging to the handle.
You gotta be...
You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day
That chorus stuck in my head, right up to the point when we slowed and arrived at the Hogwarts platform, and beyond. It kept winding itself around and around, strengthening my self-confidence and made me feel good.
Des'Ree was right – I had to be bad, bold, and wise to beat everyone at the game they were playing against me. I had to be hard, tough and strong against their words. I had to be cool, calm and I had to stay together if I wanted to achieve what I wanted…
With that in mind, I stood, put on my damp socks and shoes, and squeaked my way out of the compartment, down the narrow passages, out into the gray and foggy countryside, followed my classmates and entered a carriage with three other younger students.
By the time I got to the Great Hall, most seats were taken. I spotted my House off to the corner, between Slytherin and Gryffindor. Of course, we just had to be the mediators.
I found an empty seat next to Padma Patil, but just as I was about to sit down, she twisted in her seat, and slammed her booted heel down on the seat.
"Sorry, taken," she flashed a fake grin at me, snapping her bubblegum. I opened my mouth to argue, but Dumbledore chose that moment to say, "Please be seated! I have a few announcements before the we eat." Apparently, a couple carriage had been slow and we had missed the Sorting already – bugger.
Wrinkling my nose in distaste, I nodded curtly once, and scanned the table for a free seat. I found one, just one all by its self, isolated and located in a dark corner against one of the Great Hall's tree-like pillars. I slumped down in my seat, crossed my arms, and leaned against the cool white marble, staring ahead of me, listening to Dumbledore speak.
"Firstly, I would like to begin by saying that – in these times – the Dark Forest is strictly forbidden, to all students, and also to all Professors, unless absolutely necessary," he began in a somber voice. "On a happier note, I welcome a new Professor to our collection: Professor Paige Cardigan is our new Social Studies Professor. Those of you who took her course will find it to be very interesting." Dumbledore smiled, his arms resting on the table. When he glanced at me, I saw him wink; and thought: Great, does he know that I'm taking that class too? Am I the only student in the whole bloody school taking more than the required six classes?
I was brought out of my brooding when he said, "… to announce the Head Boy and Girl now. The Head Girl is Ms. Hermione Granger of Ravenclaw, and the Head Boy is Mr. Harry Potter of Gryffindor. The Head Prefects are Mr. Draco Malfoy of Slytherin and Ms. Susan Bones of Hufflepuff. They can help all you students if there is a problem, and are always there for you. Now – eat up!"
My meal appeared on my gold plate, looking a bit dull. Or maybe it was just I, in a dull spot, when no one was congratulating me on my achievement of making Head Girl. Draco, Susan and Harry were swarmed with friends and acquaintances offering their happiness for them, yet I sat alone. Wonderful.
Finally, I ate my meal, a very small portion mind you, and stood, leaving the Great Hall behind. As I passed Pansy and her friends, she went, "did we hurt your feelings earlier, Mudblood? Aww…" before laughing loudly with her friends.
I cringed as I walked by, my head high and eyes hard, facing forward. There was no way I was going to let her get to me, but by the time I reached the tapestry of Rowena Ravenclaw (where my Head Girl room was), I could feel the tears leaking out for the second time in the past four hours.
"Are you the new Head Girl, Hon?" asked the tapestry, looking kindly down on me. Nodding, I wiped my eyes hastily, as she continued to ask kindly, "What would you like your password to be?"
Looking in every direction, making sure no one was around; I leaned close to the tapestry and whispered into Rowena's ear, "Spider webs."
Nodding, she leaned back and the tapestry ruffled, revealing a hole behind it. I crawled through, and entered my domain.
I had a small study area, where there was a blue velvet couch, worktable and cushy armchair in front of the fire.
An iron wrought staircase spiraling up led to my bedroom, in what I was to believe was a tower. Wonderful – I was a living Rapunzel.
As I clambered up the stairs, I spotted my head, the tears fell through, and I was soon sniffling them back, or at least trying to. Screw Des'Ree, I can't be bad, or bold, or cool and collected. I can only be myself.
I fell on the bed, and grasped the silk sheets tightly in my hands as sobs wrecked my body, making me take huge gulps of air.
It was then when I vowed to never again me that "whale" as Pansy called me, or the invisible "bookworm" I was labeled as since I was five… I wasn't going to go back into my room every night, after finishing homework that wouldn't be assigned for another two weeks only to cry. Hell no – I was going to do my damnest to lift my brain cloud and get into the right frame of mind. Have friends, be confident, enjoy my life and be social. I was going to do that and show Hogwarts just who Hermione Anne Elizabeth Granger really was – the kind, loyal, brave, fun and spunky girl that was underneath the bushy brown hair, wide chocolate eyes, big mouth and slightly buck-tooth teeth. I was going to start right away, with reinventing myself, becoming the "It" girl, and making everyone want to be my friend.
All I… yawn, had to do was… yawn, sigh, was…
As the sobs slowed, and my breathing evened out to a drowsy sigh, I had one final thought:
Aw, hell – I'll do this tomorrow.