Forbidden

Dumbledore's Army

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

"I think this was a really good idea," Hermione whispered to me with a smile on her face.

I rolled my eyes slightly, focusing on the people signing the list to sign up for our Defense against the Dark Arts class. There were about twenty six of them. Twenty-six people who were depending on me to teach them all I know about DADA.

Who was I kidding? So, I've been through a couple of things that no normal fifteen-year-old wizard has to go through. That does not mean that I know how to teach.

But this was Hermione's crazy scheme, and I guess if she thought I could teach, then I must be able to teach.

I just don't really think it works that way.

A girl (I think) stepped up to the table, the last to sign. I say 'I think' only because the clothes she was wearing were baggy, Muggle clothes, her hair was shoved up underneath a knitted hat, and her eyes were covered by large, darkly tinted glasses.

"What's with the specs, eh?" Ron asked her. She looked at him (I think; how on earth can she see with those things?), her mouth set in a neutral line as her shoulders lifted in a short shrug.

Quickly, she bent and signed the paper with a flourish and walked quickly out of the Hogshead, her trench coat flowing behind her.

My friends and I looked at each other for a quick second before we jumped at the paper, looking for her name.

"Jasmine McCauley?" Hermione said. "I've never heard of a Jasmine McCauley. I wonder if she's in our house."

"She could be a different year," Ron said, frowning. "Or a transfer student."

"Or a spy," I said.

"Oh really, Harry, I doubt that very much," Hermione said, though she looked nervous. "It's very unlikely that Umbridge already knows and has sent someone to spy on us. . . . Maybe – maybe this Jasmine McCauley is new, like Ron said, and she's just very shy. Or – or maybe she's a seventh year and she's ashamed about having to be taught by a fifth year."

"Thanks a lot, Hermione. That gives me real confidence in my teaching abilities."

"Besides," Ron said, leaning over me to speak to Hermione, "Fred and George are both seventh years and they're taking the class."

"Fred and George are also Harry's friends," Hermione said.

"You make it sound as if seventh years can't learn anything from Harry."

"I never said that. I just said that some seventh years may consider it degrading to be taught by someone younger than them."

"Which sounds as if you're saying Harry can't teach."

"I never said Harry couldn't teach, Ronald! I'm just saying –"

"I don't even think you know what you're saying! Maybe you should teach the class if you know it all!"

Seriously, I find it kind of amazing (and annoying) how my two best friends can find anything and turn it into an argument. I bet, if there were a piece of cheese sitting on the table right now, and Hermione said it was, I don't know, American cheese, Ron would argue that it was Swiss.

And neither of them would taste it to see who was right because they were stubborn like that.

I excused myself from the table (not that it mattered; they were completely absorbed in each other) and headed out the door. The girl was long gone, of course, but I stayed outside anyway, the wind blowing the snow gently across my face.

I wondered who she was and why I had never seen her before. She could have been a first year . . . but she seemed too tall to be one of them (considering all the first years were incredibly small this year). She could have been a seventh year . . . but a seventh year in what house? Her bulky coat, the sweater underneath, scarf, boots, gloves, and hat had been a mixture of black and white while her jeans had been, well, blue. None of those colors gave any clue to what house she was in, which I guess was the point.

Out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed a black and white figure. My head snapped around in that direction but no one was there. Making up my mind quickly, I started off at a brisk pace, my boots crunching in the snow as I hurried in towards the place where I had seen the figure pass.

Please, please, don't ask me why I was so intent on figuring out who the person is. You should know me well enough by now to know that I'm a very curious (nosy) person. But once again, the girl was gone, disappeared around a corner. I hesitated for a moment before turning and heading back to the Hogshead. The girl, whoever she was, would probably be in the class whenever we started it. Maybe I could find out who she was then.

Besides, it'd probably be best to get my arguing friends out of the Hogshead before they were kicked out.

Or at least before someone kills someone (namely Hermione kills Ron).

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