People cheered and yelled and cried as they waited for the arrival of Harry Potter, whom everyone most hoped would be the next champion of the Triwizard Tournament. If he was, that could mean a whole new light for Hogwarts, in addition to the bragging rights that a mere fourteen-year-old boy was able to win against everyone else.
Chatter was abuzz as people anticipated the moment when Harry Potter would walk out, onto the field to battle the horrid dragon that awaited him. It looked fierce and strong, but all the teachers, students and any living being at Hogwarts was sure that Harry would come out on top. Well, almost everyone.
There was one young Gryffindor girl that was quite unsure of the whole thing. Because that young girl was none other than Hermione Granger, the brightest witch of her age. She knew Harry better than anyone, and while he was outlandishly brave he still hardly stood a chance against a Hungarian Horntail!
Hermione had never done much research on dragons. It was one of the few topics that didn't spark her interest. But she knew enough that a fourteen-year-old should never have to face one, even if it was on chains!
Hermione tugged at her long hair and bit her nails as the wind picked up and her best friend walked out. Nervous couldn't even begin to describe her emotions.
He looked so brave. His black hair was untidy as the wind thrust it around every which way, and he had a weak smile painted on his lips. But everyone could see that little boy who was terrified.
Hermione forgot about her hair, but she kept chewing on her nails.
"Ey, Hermione, cut it out!" Her other friend, Ron Weasley jumped in and sat down next to her. "If you keep it up you'll bite the whole bloody finger off!"
He laughed as if he'd just told the funniest thing in the world.
"You know, Harry might be able to make one last joke before he perishes!"
He laughed again.
Hermione couldn't take this as a joke.
"Ronald Billius Weasley! Do you not realize what's going on here? Harry could die, Ron, within seconds! And you're focusing on my nails? And what is wrong with you, saying Harry will perish? Do you have no hope?"
"Well, I hope Harry puts up a heck of a fight," Ron laughed, pushing his ginger hair back. Hermione stormed off, glancing at the ground where Harry was already in battle. Did Ron even care?
"No, Mione'. I don't."
Hermione whipped around. "What?"
"You asked if I cared. I don't."
"No, I never said it aloud. You're screwing with me, Ronald."
She ran over to the seats in across the stadium, which before the tournament had been the Ravenclaw seats, the house she originally was put in. However, before they had been for quidditch matches. Now they were cheering for the triwizard champions, and a majority of them were doing absurd things to support all the wizards (and witch) in the games.
"Ridiculous," she muttered. "Utterly ridiculous."
She didn't have time to give it much thought though. Before anything else could happen, before Harry could even pull out his wand, she heard a snapping sound. Loud and ear piercing, like twigs snapping, but louder. Like chains breaking. The Horntail started flying up, and before anyone could stop it, the flames spewed everywhere.
It started at the Hufflepuff seats, and then it spread to the Slytherins. Then the Gryffindors and finally Ravenclaw, where Hermione was seated.
The heat was unbearable and she hadn't even been hit. Smoke slowly suffocated her, but before it did, the beastly dragon flew directly over her head. And shot the flames right at her.
Hermione woke up gasping. It took everything in her not to scream at the top of her lungs.
She gripped the side of her bed so hard it was surprising she didn't break it off.
It's OK, she thought. Just another nightmare. It's not real.
These nightmares had been consistent lately. Most of them were about all the incidents that happened at Hogwarts, and all the things that could've gone horridly wrong. Although this one was bad, it wasn't even near the worst ones.
The worst involved her friends and family from out of Hogwarts, and putting them in life threatening situations.
A few weeks ago, her dreams had featured her own Mum and Dad looking straight into the eyes of the basalisk, a horrid snake that had a Medusa-like effect on anyone who managed to lock eyes with it, and a more or less better effect if they saw it in a reflection. This one had been especially bad for Hermione, considering that when she was only twelve she'd been a victim to the basalisk.
Of course, she'd only seen it through a mirror while looking around a corner, but it was still hard to think about.
Hermione quietly got out of bed and opened her window. The night air felt fresh as she leaned out the open window. Well, it wasn't quite night. The sky had few stars in it, and was a light blue-gray color.
She sighed as she slowly recovered from her night terror.
She opened up the blinds all the way, but closed the glass so that nothing could fly in. Apparently she was a second too late because before she could do anything, a white owl with a letter flew, or rather crashed, in through the window.
Hermione instantly knew the meaning of this owl.
It was undoubtedly carrying a letter from one of her friends from Hogwarts or even Hogwarts itself. However, she didn't recognize the owl. It also didn't have a name tag, like how Harry or Ron had on theirs. Hermione patted the owl on the head and petted it for a moment until it left.
She was about to close the window when another one flew in. This one she recognized.
It was Ron's owl that he'd been gifted at the end of third year, Pigwidgeon. Hermione did the same to this owl and let it gracefully fly away.
"I'll just leave it open," she declared. However, now she had two letters to read.
She chose the one from the unknown sender, as it had shown up first.
She unfolded the letter and not only was there a letter, but a small square of paper that had nothing on it?
Even if it did, she wouldn't be able to see it. It was smaller than her fingernail!
She set the piece of paper aside and read the letter.
I just want you to know it was incredibly hard to get this to you without father noticing, but because I'm awesome I was able to. Yeah, you can thank me later.
Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and tell you that I can't wait to see you on the Hogwarts train!
Love from Draco.
Of course! Who else would have a father that they were deathly afraid of sending a letter to in front of?
Hermione and Draco had secretly been best friends since first year, despite other rumors. There had been times when he'd been rude or called her a Mudblood, but it was only to paint an image of their nonexistent rivalry.
She smiled as she thought of him, and realized that it would only be a few more weeks until she'd see him again!
But she still didn't know what the piece of paper was for...
She noticed there were a few more words on the page.
P.S., the tiny paper should have the effect of my prolonged Engorgio charm any second ;).
Hermione's eyes darted to the paper, and without a doubt it was larger now. It was now big enough to see that it was a framed image of her and Draco.
The picture must've been taken sometime in third year by the looks of it. They were both wearing their Hogwarts uniforms and each had a hand around the other's shoulder.
Hermione beamed and placed it next to her clock.
As the first rays of sunlight cane into the room, Hermione felt much better.
Then she realized that she still had another letter to read, from Ron.
She practically tore open the envelope, eager to read it. But what she expected wasn't what she got.
This is actually a message from mum. She wants you to meet us at...
Hermione had never seen that address before, yet it was hardly two blocks away from her house! And what was more surprising was the next few words.
It's about the Order of the Phoenix or whatever the devil that's supposed to be. Anyway, meet us as soon as you can!
Love from Ron.
The Order of the... What?