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'It's either really valuable or really dangerous,' said Ron.
'Or powerful,' said Arabella.
'Or all three,' said Harry.
They were at the breakfast table the next morning. Harry was filling them about what seemed to be in the package that was moved from Gringotts to Hogwarts.
'But the thing is, why Hogwarts? Gringotts is protected by goblins. You never mess with goblins,' said Arabella.
'No idea. Maybe it's a favour by one of the Professors or something,' said Harry.
Neither Hermione nor Neville showed the slightest interest in what was underneath the dog and the trapdoor. All Neville cared about was never going near the dog again.
Hermione was refusing to speak to Harry, Ron and Arabella, but since she was a bossy know-it-all, they saw this as an extra bonus.
'How's Hermione in the girl dormitory? Does she talk to you at all?' Ron asked Arabella.
'She doesn't really talk to me or our other roommates. She does give me some looks sometimes, like she expects me to start talking. As if,' replied Arabella, who was still mad at Hermione for her comments during their adventure.
As the owls flooded into the Great Hall as usual, everyone's attention was caught by a long thin package that was carried by six owls. Harry was just as interested as everyone else as to what was in it. He amazed that it was dropped right in front of him. He ripped open the letter first, which was lucky, because it said:
DO NOT OPEN THIS PARCEL AT THE TABLE. It contains your new Nimbus Two Thousand, but I don't want everyone knowing you've got a broomstick or they'll all want one. Oliver Wood will meet you tonight on the Quidditch pitch at seven o'clock for your first training session. Professor McGonagall.
Harry had difficulty hiding his glee as he handed the note for Ron and Arabella to read.
'Awesome! Harry you have to let me have a go at it,' said Arabella with her mouth open.
'A Nimbus Two Thousand! I've never even touched one,' moaned Ron.
The three of them left the hall as quickly as they could so that they could unwrap the broomstick in private. Halfway across the entrance, they were stopped by Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle. Malfoy seized the package from Harry.
'That's a broomstick,' said Malfoy, with a look of jealousy and spite at Harry, after throwing back the package at him. 'You're in for it this time Potter. First years aren't allowed them.'
'It's not just any broomstick, it's a Nimbus Two Thousand. What did you say you had at home Malfoy? A Comet Two Sixty?' said Ron with a big smile on his face. 'Comets look good, but they're not in the same league as the Nimbus.'
'What would you know about that Weasley? You can hardly afford the handle if you and your brothers save up twig by twig,' snapped Malfoy.
Before Ron could answer, Professor Flitwick appeared at Malfoy's elbow.
'Not arguing, I hope, boy?' he squeaked.
'Professor, I'm a girl,' said Arabella, holding on to Ron's arm, trying to stop him for attacking Malfoy.
'My apologises Miss Black,' he bowed his head, as an apology.
'Professor, Harry was given a broomstick. That's my Malfoy's here,' Arabella said before Malfoy opened his mouth.
'Oh, yes. Professor McGonagall told me about the special circumstances. What model is it Potter?'
'Nimbus two Thousand, sir,' said Harry, who was fighting not to laugh at the look of horror on Malfoy's face. 'And it's all thanks to Malfoy that I've got it.'
Harry, Ron and Arabella headed upstairs smothering their laughs at Malfoy's obvious rage and confusion.
'Well, it's true. If he hadn't stolen Neville's Remembrall I wouldn't be on the team,' said Harry as they reached the top of the stairs.
'So I suppose you think that's a reward for breaking rules?' came an angry voice from just behind them. Hermione was stomping up the stairs looking disapprovingly at the package in Harry's hand.
'I thought you weren't speaking to us? What happened?' said Arabella coolly.
'Don't stop now, its doing us so much good,' said Ron.
Hermione marched away with her nose in the air.
Harry, Ron and Arabella went up to the boy's dormitory, where they laid his new broomstick on his bed.
'Wow,' said Ron as they looked at the beautiful broomstick that was on Harry's bedspread.
As seven o'clock drew nearer, Harry left the castle and set off towards the Quidditch patch with his new broomstick under his arm.
On Halloween morning, they woke up to the delicious smell of baking pumpkin wafting through the corridors. Professor Flitwick announced in Charms that they were going to start making objects fly today. He put them into pairs to practice. Harry was with Seamus Finnigan, which was a relief as Neville was trying to catch Harry's eye. Arabella was with Dean Thomas, and neither seemed unhappy with this pairing. Ron, however was working with Hermione Granger, and nobody could tell who was madder about this.
'Don't forget class, swish and flick!' squeaked Professor Flitwick, who was on top of a pile of books.
Harry and Seamus swish and flicked, but nothing was happening. Seamus was getting impatient and started probing his want with the feather, which set it on fire – Harry had to put it out with his hat.
Arabella was at the table behind Harry with Dean. She seemed to be able to get it a few inches off the table before it fell again. Dean was having no luck at all. His feather barely moved from the table.
Ron was at the table beside Harry. He wasn't doing well either.
'Wingardium Leviosa!' he shouted, waving his arms like a windmill.
'You're saying it all wrong,' Hermione snapped. 'It's Wing-gar -dium Levi-o-sa, make the 'gar' nice and long.'
'You do then if you're so clever,' snarled Ron.
Hermione rolled up her sleeves, flicked her wand at the feather and said, 'Wingardium Leviosa!'
Their feather rose off the desk and hovered about four feet above their heads.
'Well, done! See everyone! Miss Granger's done it!' cried Professor Flitwick as he started clapping.
Ron was in a bad temper by the end of the class.
'It's no wonder why she doesn't have any friends. She's a nightmare, honestly,' he said to Harry and Arabella.
Someone knocked into Harry as thy hurried past him. It was Hermione, and was startled to see that she was in tears.
'I think she heard you,' said Arabella as she watched Hermione walk by them.
'So? She must have noticed that she doesn't have any friends,' said Ron, who looked a bit uncomfortable.
Hermione didn't turn up for any of their next classes and wasn't seen all afternoon. As Harry and Ron were making their way to the Great Hall, they met up with Arabella.
'Guys, Hermione has been crying in the girl's bathroom. Parvati told me,' she said in an uncomfortable voice. Ron looked awkward at this information, but as soon as they entered the Great Hall and saw all the decorations, Hermione was put out of their minds.
They all sat down and helped themselves to the food that was in front of them. Harry was just helping himself to some jack potatoes when Professor Quirrell came sprinting into the hall with terror on his face. 'Troll in the dungeons – thought you ought to know.'
He then fainted.
There was uproar. Purple firecrackers exploded from Dumbledore's wand to bring silence.
'Prefects, lead your Houses back to the dormitories immediately!'
Percy was in his element. 'Follow me! Stick together, first years! Stay behind me! No need to fear the trolls if you stick with me!'
'How could a troll get in?' Harry asked as they climbed the stairs.
'Don't ask me, they're supposed to be really stupid,' said Ron. 'Maybe Peeves let it in for a Halloween joke.'
'They wouldn't go that far. Somebody else must have done it,' said Arabella.
They passed several different groups if people hurrying in different directions before Harry grabbed Ron and Arabella's arms.
'I just thought – Hermione.'
'What about her?' asked Ron, just as Arabella hit him over his head.
'She's in the bathroom. She doesn't know anything about the troll,' said Arabella
Ron bit his lip.
'All right,' he snapped. 'But Percy better not see us.'
They joined the Hufflepuffs going the other way, then slipped down a deserted side corridor and hurried off towards the girl's bathroom. They just turned the corridor before they heard quick footsteps behind them. Ron pulled Harry and Arabella behind a large stone griffin.
Peering around, they saw Snape. He crossed the corridor and disappeared from view.
'What's he doing?' Harry whispered. 'Why isn't he down in the dungeons with the rest of the teachers?'
'Search me,' said Ron.
Arabella looked at them with a worried face. 'You don't think he let the troll in, do you?'
Harry and Ron looked at each other with terrified expressions. 'Let's hope not.'
Quietly as possible, they crept along the next corridor after Snape's fading steps.
'He's heading for the third floor,' Harry said, but Ron held up his hand.
'Do you smell something?'
Harry and Arabella sniffed. A foul stench reached their noses. It seemed to be a mixture of old socks and the kind of public toilet that no one seems to clean.
Then they heard it – a low grunting and the snuffling of gigantic feet. At the end of a passage was something moving towards them. They shrank into the shadows and watched it emerge in front of their eyes. It was a twelve feet tall. Its skin was dull, granite grey, its great lumpy body like a boulder with a small perched on top like a coconut.
The troll stopped next to a doorway and peered inside. It slouched slowly into the room.
'The key's in the lock,' Harry muttered. 'We could lock it in.'
'Good idea,' said Ron nervously.
'No! Not a good idea! That's the girl's bathroom!' shouted Arabella.
Then they heard a high pitched scream coming from the doorway.
'Hermione!' they said together.
Harry pulled the door open and ran inside. Hermione Granger was shrinking against the wall opposite, looking as though as was about to faint. The troll advanced on to her, knocking the sinks off the walls on his way.
'Confuse it!' Harry said desperately to Ron and Arabella. He grabbed a tap and threw it against the wall.
The troll stopped a few feet away from Hermione. It turned around, trying to see what made that noise. When its eyes saw Harry, it made its way from him, lifting the club as it went.
'Oy, pea-brain!' yelled Ron, as he and Arabella threw metal pipes and anything they could find at it. They efforts were pointless as it didn't seem to notice it. The troll did, however, hear the yell and paused again, turning towards Ron and Arabella instead, giving Harry time to run around it.
'Come on, run, run!' Harry yelled at Hermione, but she couldn't move, she was still against the wall, mouth wide open in terror.
The shouting seemed to irritate the troll. It let out a roar and started towards Ron and Arabella, who was the closest to the giant troll.
Then Harry did something that was very brave and very stupid: he took a big jump and managed to fasten his arms around the troll's neck from behind. Harry than jammed his wand into the troll's nose.
Howling with pain, the troll twisted and flailed his club, with Harry clinging on to it for dear life.
Hermione sank to the floor in fright, Arabella was staring at Harry in terror; Ron pulled out his own wand – not knowing what he was going to do. He heard himself cry out the first spell that came to his head: 'Wingardiun Leviosa!'
The club flew suddenly out of the troll's hand, rising higher and higher into the air – and dropped, with a crack on the head of the troll. It swayed on the floor before it fell on its face.
Harry got to his feet. He was shaking and out of breath. Ron was standing there with his wand still raised, staring at what he had done. Arabella was moving slowly towards the troll.
It was Hermione who spoke first.
'Is it – dead?'
'No, it's knocked out,' said Arabella, slowly poking the arm of the troll.
Harry took out his wand from the troll's nose. It was covered in what looked like lumpy grey glue.
'Urgh – troll bogies.'
He wiped it on the troll's trousers.
A sudden slamming and loud footsteps made the three of them look up. They hadn't realised what a racked they had been making, bout of course, someone downstairs must have heard the crashed and the troll's roars.
A moment later, Professor McGonagall had come bursting into the room, closely followed by Snape and Quirrell. Quirrell took one look at the troll, let out a faint whimper and sat down at one of the toilets, clutching his heart.
Snape bent over to the troll. Professor McGonagall was looking at Harry, Ron and Arabella. They had never seen her look so angry.
'What on earth were you thinking?' said Professor McGonagall, with cold fury in her voice. 'You're lucky you weren't killed. Why aren't you in your dormitory?'
A small voice came out of the shadows.
'Please, Professor McGonagall – they were looking for me.'
Hermione had managed to get to her feet at last.
'I was looking for the troll because I thought I could deal with it on my own. I read all about them.'
Ron dropped his wand. Arabella was staring at Hermione with her mouth open.
'If they hadn't found me, I'd be dead by now. Harry stuck his wand in its nose. Ron knocked it out, while Arabella was trying to distract it from me. They didn't have the time to go get anyone else. If they did, I would probably be dead by now.
Harry, Ron and Arabella tried to look as though this news wasn't new to them. But failed.
'Well – in that case… Miss Granger, five points will be taken from Gryffindor. I am very disappointed in you. You getting get off to Gryffindor tower. Some of the students are finishing the feast in the Houses.'
Hermione left just as Professor McGonagall turned towards Harry, Ron and Arabella.
'Not many first years could take on a troll, I would say you were lucky. You each get five points. Professor Dumbledore with be informed. You may leave now.'
They hurried out of the chamber and didn't say anything until they climbed two floors up.
'We should have gotten more than fifteen points,' Ron admitted.
'It was ten, after she took away Hermione's points.'
'Good of her to get us out of trouble. Mid you we did save her.'
'She might not have needed saving if she wasn't in their in the first place,' said Harry giving Ron a pointed look.
They had reached the Fat Lady and gave the password.
The common-room was packed and noisy. Everyone was eating the food that was sent up. Hermione, however, stood alone by the door, waiting for them. There was a very embarrassing pause. Then they all said 'Thanks' and hurried off to get plates.
But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll in one of them.
Yeah! They're all friends! Thank you for reading, please review :)