The Letter

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  • Published: 16 Jul 2017
  • Updated: 16 Jul 2017
  • Status: Complete
Hermione finds a letter in her dorm one afternoon.

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1. The Letter

I’m Hermione Granger. With a Muggle background, I received a Hogwarts letter at age eleven. From then on, I’ve been studying hard to be fully accepted into the Wizarding World. I am now in my seventh and final year of school and all is going well. I am the Head Girl, and I am getting straight O’s. 

I plopped my giant stack of textbooks on the scarlet blankets of the four-poster bed. Something caught my eye; so I picked it up to find it was a letter. I opened it out of curiosity. Its shape was a sloppily cut heart, and I thought I recognized the handwriting inside. It read, “Meet me outside by the lake at twelve.” A tiny heart was drawn next to the words with red ink.     

As Head Girl, I knew I shouldn’t do this, and getting caught would result in many detentions and my title being taken away.  The letter was very intriguing to me; so I planned my midnight journey. This wasn’t very like me, to go breaking rules, but what if Ron had written that note to me? It reminded me of something he’d do. After a rather uneventful first half of my last year at Hogwarts, maybe something exciting would happen now.    

Late that night, after even Harry and Ron had gotten tired of watching me study,  I left the Gryffindor common room and was careful to avoid being seen by Filch or Mrs. Norris. I hurried down to the lake after pushing through the large wooden front door. The sky was dark, and stars were the only thing letting out light; so I used a simple flick of my wand and a, “Lumos!” to illuminate my surroundings.    

Nearing the lake, I didn’t see the bright ginger hair as I had expected. A figure in a dark cloak with a hood hiding its face was standing there.    

“Hello?” I asked apprehensively. From the darkness, the fact that it was covering its face, and the fact that I didn’t remember the voice, I had no idea who I was talking to. “Did you send the note?”

It snickered at me. “Note? Since when would I have ever thought to send a note to the Mudblood Granger?” I fumbled for something to say. “Of course it was me! Why else d’you expect me to be out here?” I growled quietly, not loud enough for it to hear, “What do you want?” It giggled, and now I could tell it was a she. “Come closer…” It was if I was testing her ability at harming me when I took those few steps forward. Unaware that she had her wand out, I thought she was just like a little speck of dust, and I was all the more powerful.

“Sectumsempra!” In the blink of an eye, the spell was cast. I instantly collapsed to the ground as an invisible sword sliced through my leg like I was soft butter. The figure was gone the next time I looked up. I hadn’t reacted fast enough, and she was probably already on her way back to the castle. Blood stained the grass as it poured from the cut. The pain was intense, but I didn’t make a sound. Only warm tears streamed from my eyes. One question kept coming back to me, "Why on earth would someone want to do that to anyone?”

Throughout the next few days, I recovered and ended up not missing any classes. I was lucky enough to evade any detentions when my friends Harry and Ron found me the next day. They made up a story to keep me out of trouble. Madame Pomfrey said I’d lost a lot of blood and to take it easy, but that was okay because I spend most of my free time reading.    

My next class was potions with the Slytherins. As soon as I walked into the dank dungeons, a Slytherin with light blonde hair was staring at me. That’s Draco Malfoy. He’s the Head Boy. Although his gaze was unusual, I ignored it and took a seat on a stool. “Open your books to page 271,” instructed Snape. “Today we will be brewing an ageing potion. At the end of class, we’ll be testing them on ourselves.” Snape gave that smug look as he always does after assigning a difficult potion. I began chopping, mincing, stirring the ingredients in. Half an hour in, I faced away to cut some leaves, and when I looked back, my potion had gone from a grotesque green colour to a misty purple. “Harry, does your potion look like this?” I asked. With only half an hour of class left, I couldn’t redo mine now. It still had another twenty minutes of simmering before I could taste it.

“Time is up,” said Snape finally. Around me, classmates were taking drops of the potion, which caused them to turn wrinkly with gray hair and .  All of the boys had scraggly beards a few feet long. Ron was nearly bald, and Harry had bags under his eyes that made it look like he never slept.

I tipped the spoon in my mouth only to, seconds later, have something completely unexpected happen. The spoon was engulfed by the purple mist of the potion when I dropped it into the cauldron in pain. Tiny needles seemed to be pricking my skin all over, and the whole class was staring at me now as I tried to stay calm. Tears ran to my eyes but I blinked them back. The redness on my face, hands, and the only visible part of my legs were more and more conspicuous with each tick of the clock. Each step felt like walking on nails as I was led to the hospital wing. I got an antidote for whatever had been put in my potion.

I’d have to keep my eyes out the next few days. Someone was after me, and I suspected her to be a Slytherin. As head prefect, I have to monitor the younger students on their trips to Hogsmeade. That’s what I was doing on this Saturday afternoon: Standing outside with chilly wind blowing my frizzy hair into even more of a tangled mess. The male head prefect, who we all know by now to be Draco Malfoy,  stood a few feet away from me. Students were dressed in warm clothing. Some had on Ravenclaw scarves, and some had Hufflepuff hats that indicated what house they were in. “How goes it?” asked Draco unexpectedly. We don’t normally talk when we’re on duty.

“It’s alright.” I avoided eye contact by looking at my shoes. Draco’s voice was soft, unlike I remembered it to be. I tried not to look at him the rest of the time, but I couldn’t keep from noticing how good looking I thought his hair was now. His silver-grey eyes were also very attractive. It couldn’t be though. No. Draco is supposed to be my enemy.

I fingered through the pages of my Herbology textbook. The clock suddenly caught my attention. Its hands pointed to the six and the two. Even though it would be nice to study for the N.E.W.T. tests I have at the end of the year instead, but I’d promised to eat dinner with Ron and Harry at six tonight. Clearly it was ten minutes after six already. I frantically shut my books and dashed through the empty Gryffindor Common Room. (Everyone else was in the Great Hall by now.) “Sorry!” I said automatically as I bumped into a brown haired girl who just happened to be where I was walking.

“Sorry?” With each word, the girl’s voice grew louder. “Sorry?!” Her face was bright red, and her fists were clenched, one hand wrapped around her wand. I stumbled back because she was coming at me from nowhere. I didn’t even recognize her. “I like her hair, he said!” Her voice was shrilly when she yelled. “Her smile is cute, he said!” The girl, dressed in green Slytherin robes, stepped threateningly closer, curly locks of hair swaying in her face. Her eyes were popping out of the sockets like a crazy lady. Thinking fast, I whipped my wand up to protect myself. I was pretty knowledgeable on defensive spells and even dark magic if it came to. “Draco is mine!” She sucked in a manic breath.

I was frozen in shock as I heard the sentence, unsure whether to be excited that Draco apparently thinks I am cute or to be scared for my life. The Slytherin, who I could place a name on now that I’d had a closer look, was still steaming with rage. Pansy Parkinson had her wand pointed at me and mine was aimed at her in return. “Impedimenta!” Orange light came from her wand as she cast the first spell before a full-fledged duel broke out between us in the hallway.

Usually I would finish it off pretty quick, but I was fueled by hatred from all the things she’d done to me. I needed more self control before a professor found us, but getting caught didn’t matter to either of us then . “Finite Incantatem!” I fired back rapidly. This stopped her spell, and I instantaneously cast a disarming spell. I don’t actually want to hurt her. “Expelliarmus!” The sparks shot from my wand towards hers, but she jumped out of the way in time. One of the things I regret most is not using a Muffliato charm to make our shouting noiseless to anyone else. They could probably hear it in the Great Hall ever since we started.

“Augamente!” Pansy thoughtlessly cast a spell to make water shoot from her wand. The water went in all directions, not only soaking me, but also splashing her. My hair was plastered flat to my head from the wetness, and I spit out water. “Petrificus totalus!” Pansy fell stiffly to the hard ground with a “Thunk!” I turned around to leave the scene, but Professor McGonagall was walking swiftly towards us, her robes billowing up behind her.

“I am very disappointed in you, Miss Granger. Dumbledore’s office, now.” Professor McGonagall stayed behind with Pansy. My mind was racing. I shouldn’t have let this happen-- I’ll for sure have my Head Prefect badge taken away. I’ll get more than a few detentions. My last year at Hogwarts, and-- The realization hit me and I felt the anger boiling up inside of me. I could be expelled! I took a deep breath, but I couldn’t help thinking of the worst. Ron and Harry won’t like me anymore. All of the professors will hate me for what I’ve done. I won’t have anywhere to go if I get expelled. They might take away my wand, and I’ll have to try to make a living somehow, somewhere.

Dumbledore led me up the spiral staircase to his office when I got there. His face showed that he was upset with me. My heart was speeding as I sat down in a squishy upholstered chair with him facing me. “Just get it over with,” I thought anxiously. “Tell me I’m expelled already...” Draco and Pansy came in, directed by McGonagall. Pansy had to be kept under control though, or she probably would have ended up infuriatingly pouncing on me again. Draco looked annoyed that he had to go through all of this, and quite frankly I was sorry that I had to put him through it. “Hermione,” The headmaster began, “We have seen actions here tonight that we had never expected to see from you. Please explain.”

My cheeks went pink as I told the whole story and the parts about the letter, being attacked, my duel with Pansy just now and how she was jealous of Draco and me. I was as truthful as I could be because I knew that lying could only put someone in more trouble. Pansy struggled in Professor McGonagall’s hold. If she could right now, she would kill me. I never knew someone could be so possessive of a thing. “ I never thought you were one to lie. From your story, you were merely defending yourself. Unfortunately I’ll be giving you a few detentions for sneaking out after hours-- Three to be exact, and you’ll serve them with Professor Snape in the dungeons for the next three Friday evenings.  But I am glad to say I won’t be taking away the position of Head Prefect from one of my most hard working students. You may go now.”

“As for you, Miss Parkinson, it is very inappropriate to attempt to kill another student! I’m afraid you will be…” I didn’t hear the rest of her sentencing after that because I was already gone from the room. Draco followed beside me as we went to dinner.  Not seeing her at school the next few weeks though, I assumed Pansy had been expelled.

The desks were all empty, and I was just gathering up my stuff at the end of Transfiguration. It’s my last class of the day. “Hey,” a voice came from behind me. I turned around to find Draco Malfoy. His smile melted my heart, but the words he emitted next made me do a double take. “How is it going, Mudblood?” The word must have slipped. No… His snarky voice was not accidental. With my textbooks held protectively close, I simply walked off. After all, Draco really was just my enemy. He can go die in a hole. I was just kidding myself when I thought I had feelings for him because I never really liked him at all. Being sent to Azkaban sounds better than spending my life tied down with a stupid Death Eater known as Draco Malfoy.

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