The Hogs Head
I was on my way to the great hall for breakfast when Harry approached me, waving like a lunatic. I stopped my movements at the end of the staircase and waited for my brother to catch up with me.
"We need to talk." He stated quietly.
"Okay, what's up?" I asked, rather annoyed and eager to get to the food.
"Not here, too many people." Harry whispered and motioned for me to follow him.
Rolling my eyes, I pouted a bit at the loss of breakfast and followed Harry. I swear if this is about Voldemort, I might just murder my brother. I was so sick and tired of hearing about the prat. Was a quiet year of school too much to ask for? I sighed loudly when I realized where Harry wanted to talk. The Gryffindor common room. Why couldn't he of picked Myrtle's bathroom? Or the courtyard? No... It had to be the damn lion's den.
Harry whispered the password and the painting of the fat lady swung open. I practically ran in, not wanting Malfoy or Parkinson catching me here... I'd never hear the end of it. I was instantly annoyed when I saw who was sitting on the couch. Why did Weaslebee and Know-it-all need to be here?
"Hi, Ella!" Granger squealed and gave me a toothy grin. You'd think with her parents being dentists... No! Stop! Be civil, Ella.
"Hello, Hermione." I replied softly and gave a small smile in return. Harry placed a hand on my shoulder and we walked towards the large fireplace. Ron looked just as devastated as I was about skipping out on breakfast so, I sat awkwardly next to him.
"Alright, so, Sirius wants to talk to us all and with everyone being at breakfast.
I figured this would be a good time." Ron and I groaned in unison at his response as he muttered a spell into the diminishing fire.
The dainty fire suddenly roared, cracked loudly, and became a blazing shade of red-orange. Diminishing again with loud cracks coming from the small flame. A face formed in the coals. The face belonged to Sirius Black, who seemed to be having a hard time breathing.
"I don't have much time, You said you were worried about Umbridge. What's she doing, training you to kill half-breeds?" Sirius said, chuckling softly.
"More like, not training us at all." I blurted out.
"Well, I'm not surprised. The latest intelligence says that Fudge doesn't want you trained in combat."
"Combat?" Ron shouted, "What's he think, that we're forming some sort of wizard army?"
"Well, that's exactly what he thinks."Sirius said with a sigh. "That Dumbledore is assembling his own forces to take on the Ministry. He's becoming more paranoid by the minute. The others," He paused, "Wouldn't want me telling you this, but things aren't going at all well with the Order. Fudge is blocking the truth at every turn, and these disappearances are just how it started before. Voldemort is on the move."
"Well, what can we do?" Harry asked desperately.
"Someone's coming! I'm sorry I can't be of more help, but for now, at least, it looks like you're on your own." Sirius said, whispering the last bit. The fire roared again and he was gone.
"Well, that was cheerful." I said, in a sarcastic tone. Harry and his friends remained silent as a bright flash of lightning came from outside. Hermione got up and walked towards the window, which now was soaked from the pouring rain.
"He's really out there, isn't he? We've got to learn to defend ourselves. And if Umbridge refuses to teach us how," She paused to turn to us, thunder boomed loudly in the distance. "We need someone who will."
"If you're talking about Lupin," Said Harry, shaking his head disapprovingly.
"I'm not talking about Lupin, he's too busy with the order..."Hermione trailed off.
"Who, then?" Said Harry, frowning at his friend.
Hermione sighed very deeply.
"Isn't it obvious?" She said. "I'm talking about you, Harry."
I snorted loudly, receiving a nasty glare from Hermione. "Oh come on, Hermione!" I said quietly. "I do agree with you, but who else will?"
"But i'm not a teacher, you can't possibly-"
"Harry, you're the best in our year at defense against the dark arts, and not to mention... you've really been there. You know, faced Voldemort," Hermione shuddered slightly at his name. "In the flesh. Who better, than someone who has real experience?"
"You know, I hate to admit it, but I agree with Granger." Harry was about to protest, "No, Listen to us Harry." I gave him a threatening glare and he sat silently. "Every year you have been at Hogwarts, you've managed to save the
whole school from danger that seems to be lurking around every corner of this castle."
"She's right, mate." Said Weaslebee. "First year you fought off you-know-who and saved the stone."
"I got lucky, I didn't actually fight him."
"Second year you actually fought and killed the Basilisk in the chamber, saving all the muggle borns from Tom Riddle." I said, still bitter that he wouldn't reveal the entrance of the chamber to me.
"Yeah, but if Fawkes hadn't turned up I-"
"Third year," Ron interrupted. "You fought off about a hundred dementors."
"Well, the time turner-" Harry began, but was cut off by Hermione sighing loudly.
"Don't even get me started on last year, Harry." Said Hermione, in a very serious tone.
"Look, it all sounds great when you put it like that, but I almost always had help..."
"Harry, don't be a prat!" I shouted at my brother. "Look, we need your help if we hope to survive what's to come."
"Do you really mean that, Ella?" My brother asked me in disbelief.
"Yes, I do." Shaking my head I got up from the couch and gave my brother a reassuring hug. "Look, I know we have our differences, and that we don't
always get along, but you're my brother," I let him out of my embrace and looked him in the eyes. "My only family, and I have faith in you, Harry."
"Okay, fine, I'll do it." My brother said softly, giving me a small smile.
"Fantastic!" Squealed, Hermione as she practically jumped for joy. "I'll get a small group of people together, and if one of you could find a meeting place..."
"I could find a place to meet." I quickly interrupted, knowing full on that neither my brother or Weaslebee were sneaky in the slightest.
"Think you can come up with a place before lunch?" Asked Hermione.
"Challenge accepted, Granger." I said, smirking.
Lunch came around quicker than I had expected and I had a couple of possible places to meet, but wasn't sure how Granger and the rest of the Gryffindors felt about breaking school rules.
My first thought was trying to get Harry to tell me where the chamber of secrets was, but quickly turned that down considering it might make the muggle-borns uneasy. My second thought was the forbidden forest, but quickly realized that there were extremely dangerous creatures that dwell in that forest and we would have a band of misfits with us.
I sat down at the Slytherin table feeling slightly defeated. I let out a rather loud sigh, looking at the table and took a sip of pumpkin juice. Looking up from the table, I almost spit pumpkin juice all over Malfoy.
"Geez, Malfoy!" I shouted angrily. "You could at least announce yourself!"
Malfoy chuckled and smirked at me. "Oh, but that would ruin the fun of scaring you."
I rolled my eyes, desperately trying to ignore him. When he didn't leave, I met his gaze. The whole situation was very unsettling.
"So, Potter..." Malfoy began. "Are you planning on going to Hogsmeade this weekend?"
Hogsmeade. The Hogs Head. It was perfect! Definitely off the beaten track, and no one ever went there. I had to tell Granger. Getting up from the table, Malfoy looked extremely puzzled.
"Sorry, Malfoy!" I said, starting to walk away. "I'll talk to you later!"
I was practically running to the Gryffindor table when I collided with someone.
"Um, ouch." Squeaked Daphne.
"Sorry, Daph, I didn't see you there..." I said, apologetically. Hoping she wouldn't hex me.
"What are you in such a hurry for?" She asked, fixing her hair and picking up a book she dropped.
"I have to tell my brother something important..." I said, then suddenly realizing that I would be the only Slytherin attending this meeting. "Hey." I began, catching Daphnes attention. "What are you doing after lunch?"
She raised an eyebrow at me skeptically. "Umm, nothing... why?"
"Meet me at The Hogs Head in an hour, and I'll explain everything." I gave her
a reassuring smile before I continued on towards Granger.
"This is mad! Who'd want to be taught by me? I'm a nutter, remember..."
"Oh, shut it, Harry!" I yelled, and punched him in the arm.
"So who's supposed to be meeting us, then?" Harry asked Hermione, rubbing the arm I had just punched.
"Just a couple of people." Replied Hermione, as the four of us walked into The Hogs Head.
Walking in, the smell of alcohol was overwhelming. So overwhelming, that it made me want to barf. We sat down next to a small table and waited for everyone to arrive.
About an hour later, everyone started walking through the door and having the same reaction as we did to the smell of alcohol. The majority of them were Gryffindors, leaving a few Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs. The last to arrive was Daphne and I was kind of upset that we were clearly getting silently judged by the other houses in the room. Hermione cleared her throat loudly and stood up.
"Um, hi. So, we all know why we're here. We need a teacher; a proper teacher. One who's had real experience in defending against the dark arts."
The room was silent for a few moments, and a few people looked as if they were going to leave. Then a thin boy from Ravenclaw emerged from the small crowd, looking skeptical.
"Why?" He spat, and glared at Harry and I.
"Why? Because You-Know-Who's back, you tosh-pot." Said Ron, proudly defending Harry and I. Well, Harry more than me.
"So they say." He spat out and pointed at my brother and me. I was about to punch this prat in the face when Hermione must have sensed my discomfort and placed a hand on my shoulder.
"So Dumbledore says." She replied, glaring at the Ravenclaw boy.
"So Dumbledore says because they say so. The point is, where's the proof? If Potter could tell us more about how Diggory got killed..."
"I'm not going to talk about Cedric, so if that's why you're here, you might as well clear out now." Said my brother in a firm tone. I looked at the faces in the small crowd and noticed Cho Chang, looking rather upset that Harry wouldn't go into detail of her boyfriend's death.
"Is it true that you can produce a Patronus Charm?" Someone said in a small voice. It turned out to be Luna Lovegood, seeming rather interested.
"Yes, I've seen it." Hermione replied, when Harry remained silent.
"Blimey, Harry I didn't know you could do that!" Said Dean Thomas in an astonished voice.
"And he killed a Basilisk, with the sword in Dumbledores office!" Cried Neville. To this, the others started whispering.
"Its true, and last year he really did fight off you-know-who in the flesh." Hermione said quietly.
"Hermione... Look, it all sounds great when you say it like that, but the truth is most of that was just luck. I didn't know what I was doing half the time, and I nearly always had help."
"Hes just being modest..." Hermione assured the group with a small giggle.
"No, Hermione, I'm not... Facing this stuff in real life is not like school. In school, if you make a mistake, you can just try again tomorrow, but out there...when you're a second away from being murdered, or watching a friend die right before your eyes... you don't know what that's like."
The room fell silent for a few moments. Hermione softly broke the silence. "You're right, Harry, we don't. That's why we need your help, if we're going to have any chance when facing..." She paused and looked to the ground. "Voldemort." This elicited a lot of whispering and horrified looks.
"He's' really back?" Asked a younger Gryffindor boy. Harry nodded in response and the boy walked towards us and signed our list.
Soon, nearly the whole room had signed our list, even Daphne to my surprise. Now our only problem was finding a place to practice. We walked out of The Hogs Head feeling rather triumphant.
"Right, first we need to find a place to practice where Umbridge won't find out." Harry stated in a worried tone.
"The Chamber of Secrets!" I squealed, earning a disapproving look from Harry.
"The Shrieking Shack." Said Ginny.
"Too small." Replied Harry. I glared at him for not taking my spot into
consideration. We continued to walk in silence until Ginny spoke up.
"Harry, what happens if Umbridge does find out?"
"Who cares!" Cried Hermione, and I nearly tripped, gawking at her. " I mean, it's kind of exciting, isn't it, breaking the rules?" To this, Ron was gawking at her too.
"Who are you, and what have you done with Hermione Granger?" Ron asked in disbelief.
Hermione just laughed at Rons question and continued walking. "Well, anyway, at least we know one good thing that's come out of today."
"What?" Harry asked.
"Cho couldn't take her eyes off you, could she?" Hermione said quietly, as Harry furiously blushed, and I made a loud gagging noise. Which resulted in me receiving a glare from Granger.
"Okay, by later today we need to each come up with a couple of possibilities. We've got to make sure wherever it is, Umbridge won't ever find out." We nodded and went our separate ways.
As I walked to the Slytherin common room, I finally felt like everything was falling into place. I was developing a friendship with my brother and his friends and I'd finally be learning some defensive spells this year, even if Harry was the teacher.
As I walked to potions the next morning, I heard a loud banging noise echoing throughout the hallways. Turning the corner to see a mob of students staring up at the new decree Flich was attempting to nail to the wall.
All student organizations are henceforth disbanded. Any student...
Shaking my head in disgust, I walked away from the scene and towards the dungeons to class. When I arrived, Snape was looking rather ill, which made me a bit worried. Snape was never ill.
After class, Snape had motioned for me to come see him when the room began clearing out. I walked to the front of the classroom, suddenly nervous. With the wave of his wand, he locked the door, shut the shades, and put a silencing charm around the room.
"I was called to a meeting last night." He started, in a very shaky voice. "And it would appear, the dark lord has found out some crucial information; involving you."
"W-what... me?" I squeaked, and dropped my bag, feeling the color drain from my face.
Snape rubbed his temples and gave a deep sigh. "He has been given some information on your prophecy, by Lucius Malfoy. How Malfoy came across this information, I do not know, but-"
"I know how." I said, cutting Snape off. "When I was at my brothers hearing before the start of school, I might have been spying on Malfoy." Snape looked furious, and I knew that I shouldn't have been so careless in a dangerous situation. "Anyway, I only could make out a few words from the conversation. Prophecy, girl, and very important."
"Do you have any idea how foolish it was of you to going meddling?" There it was, Snape was about to rage. "I would advise you to not be foolish again, Ella." I sighed, and nodded.
"You and your brother will be staying with the order for the holidays... I have already spoken with Dumbledore and he agrees that this the safest for you both." He stated, cooly.
Snape waved his wand. The shades opened and door unlocked. He forced a smile at me and shooed me away.
I walked to the Gryffindor hallway where I was meeting my brother and his friends. Apparently, Neville had found the perfect place to practice.
"You've done it, Neville. You've found the Room of Requirement." Said Hermione in awe.
"The what?" Ron asked, and I wished he hadn't, because we now had to listen to the walking, talking, history book.
"Also known as the Come and Go Room. The Room of Requirement only appears when a person has need of it, and addresses the need..." Granger stated, and I looked around the large room. It was perfect. It even had little dummies for us to cast your spells at. My thoughts were interrupted by Weaslebee.
"So, say you really needed a toilet..." I snickered loudly, and Hermione rolled her eyes in disapproval.
"Charming, Ronald, but yes. That is the general idea."
"Its brilliant!" Harry said in astonishment. "Its like Hogwarts wants us to fight back."
We all agreed on our first lessons being this Saturday, and I couldn't wait. If Voldemort was indeed after me, I could definitely use some practice.