This is a Study Group??
“Morning Di,” chuckled Anne as she woken up by her kitten mewing and licking her face.
Anne checked her watch and saw that it was six o’clock, the other girls were fast asleep, it was a Saturday morning, so Anne let them continue sleeping. She pulled out a pair of dark blue jeans and an emerald green jumper and went to go take a bath. As she was now a Prefect, she had access to the Prefects bathroom which was far less crowded. She took her time in the bath but didn’t add any bubbles as she had to wash her hair.
By the time she came back to the dorm at seven and was brushing out her hair on her bed, Persephone and Lisa were both wide awake.
“Why are you guys up?” asked Anne, usually her roommates slept in till at least nine on Saturdays.
“We’re just too excited,” said Lisa.
“Yeah its Hogsmeade today,” nodded Persephone.
“Oh yeah,” muttered Anne, today was going to be the first time she was visiting Hogsmeade as she hadn’t had permission in third year and hadn’t really been all that bothered in fourth year, but today she was being dragged into the village, apparently Hermione had something to talk to them all about.
“Can’t you guys go without me and tell me later?” asked Anne.
“Don’t you want to learn how to defend yourself?”
“This got something to do with Umbitch?” asked Lisa.
Anne flinched and grabbed her right hand where the marks were still visible.
“It’ll be fine Anne,” said Persephone, “besides there’s a great bookshop.”
“Yeah you’ll love it,” said Lisa.
“Alright,” muttered Anne as she tied a ribbon on the end of her single dark red plait which turned green to match her jumper.
Anne fetched her cloak, hat scarf and gloves. Even though it was only late October it looked like the weather was fairly miserable today and she didn’t want to get cold.
“Morning Annie,” grinned Irwin giving her a warm kiss.
“Get a room,” groaned Jamie one of the first years, who worshipped the ground that Anne walked on.
“Get your own girlfriend,” replied Irwin.
“You look lovely today Anne,” beamed Jamie.
“Thank you, Jamie,” said Anne as her and Irwin left for breakfast.
“I don’t like that kid,” muttered Irwin.
“He’s harmless,” chuckled Anne.
“It’s supposed to be my job to tell you how beautiful you look, today for example the emerald in the jumper makes your red hair look even more gorgeous.”
“Thank you,” she blushed.
Anne and Irwin went down for breakfast and were soon joined by the others and everyone pulled on their cloaks, hats, scarves and gloves. It didn’t look it was going to snow today but it was getting pretty close to the first snow of the year.
The eleven of them all headed down to the village together, Anne and Irwin were holding hands, Anthony had his arm around Persephone’s waist, Lisa was talking animatedly to Justin Finch Fletchley who she had been going out with for nearly a year now, Mandy and Padma were gossiping about how which boys they were interested in, Michael and Terry were trying to plan what they wanted to pick up from Zonko’s, and Luna was skipping behind them all bringing up the rear as they walked down the crisp path to Hogsmeade.
They decided that as Anne hadn’t seen any of the village before that she had to see everything. First, they all bought unhealthily large amounts of chocolates and sweets from Honeydukes. Then they went to Zonko’s where Michael and Terry restocked their supplies of fanged Frisbees. Anne and Anthony turned the other eye when they saw their friends buying the frisbees as they were officially forbidden at Hogwarts and as prefects, they were supposed to stop them. But seeing as everything vaguely fun or exciting was slowly getting banned they ignored it. Then they went to the bookshop and they all left with the bags much heavier than they had been when they had gone in.
When they left the bookshop, Irwin checked his watch.
“Merlin, we’re going to be late,” he exclaimed seeing that it was nearly twelve o’clock.
They ran quickly to the Hogs Head to meet with Harry Ron and Hermione but found that they weren’t the only ones in there. The pub was packed before they had come in but now it was fit to bursting.
A few older Ravenclaws were there including Cho Chang and Marietta Edgecome, for some reason Brenda Poteger was there with a couple of her third-year friends. The distictive red hair of the Weasleys jumping out from crowd made it clear that not only Ron, but also Fred, George and Ginny were here. Most of the people were Gryffindors but other than Justin, Hannah Abbot, Susan Bones, Ernie Macmillan and Zacharias Smith had come from Hufflepuff. There were at least thirty of forty people in total.
“I thought this was meant to be a study group?” muttered Anthony as their group stood in the doorway. Once they came in there would be over forty people.
“I thought it was meant to be secret,” muttered Irwin glaring at Hermione.
“Well shut the door,” said Fred.
“Yeah we don’t want to get cold,” added George.
The Ravenclaws and Justin came into the pub properly and sat down looking expectantly at Hermione waiting for her to say something.
“Um hi,” she stuttered, “I see you’ve all found the place,” she laughed nervously.
“Well er I suppose you’re wondering why we’re all here, well Harry I mean I had the idea that we should set up a Defence group, so you know we can actually study it properly and be able to defend ourselves, because what we’re learning at the moment is just,” she faltered for a moment.
“Useless rubbish?” offered Anthony.
“Yes,” Hermione nodded, “its reached the point where we have to take matters into our own hands, actually learn the spells so we can defend ourselves.”
“And pass our OWL exams whilst we’re at it,” added Michael.
“Of course but its much more than that we have to defend ourselves because,” Hermione struggled for a moment, “because Voldemort is back!”
Irwin gripped Anne’s hand protectively under the table, Anthony took a sharp intake of breath, Brenda gave a small scream.
“Well that was the idea anyway, anyone have any questions?”
“Where’s the proof that you know is back?” smirked Zacharias.
Justin groaned and tried to get his friend to shut up.
“If Dumbledore believes it,” started Hermione.
“Dumbledore believes him,” said Zacharias pointing at Harry.
“Shut up and sit down Zach,” said Ernie glaring at Zacharias.
“Well I’m sorry,” said Zacharias ignoring his friend, “but I think we’ve all got a right to know exactly what makes him say that You Know How is back.”
“That’s not what this meeting was meant to be for,” stuttered Hermione.
“That’s ok Hermione,” said Harry gently standing up.
“What makes me think that he’s back?” asked Harry looking directly at Zacharias. “Because I saw him, Dumbledore told you everything last year but if you don’t believe him then you’re not going to believe me.”
“All Dumbledore told us that was that Cedric had been killed by You Know Who and that you had brought back the body. But where’s the proof in that? For all we know you might have killed Cedric themselves.”
Harry practically launched himself at Zacharias across the pub and nearly pulled his wand out on him.
“Look,” said Harry getting frustrated, “I didn’t kill Cedric, Voldemort did! If you want to really know what its like to watch Voldemort kill one of your friends right in front of you then too bad because I can’t help you. I don’t want to talk about Cedric so if that what you’re here for then just bugger off and clear out!”
Nobody moved a single muscle.
“So,” said Hermione trying to regain control of the situation, “we need to sort how and were we will meet , how often.”
Susan Bones put her hand in the air.
“Um yeah,” said Harry indicating towards Susan.
“Is it true you can cast a patronus?”
“Yes,” said Harry.
“A corporeal Patronus?”
“Yeah,” said Harry slightly confused, “do you know Amelia Bones?”
Susan nodded, “she’s my auntie, she told me about your Patronus, it’s a stag isn’t it?”
“Yes,” nodded Harry.
“Harry saved my soul over the Summer with that Patronus,” said Anne.
“Wow Harry!” exclaimed Dean.
“Awesome!” said Terry and Michael.
“He and Anne fought You Know Who for the Philospher’s stone in first year,” said Irwin.
“That’s not to mention,” said Cho, “all of the challenges that he had to face last year during the tournament. Dragons, acromantula, merpeople.”
There was much impressed muttering from around the room.
“Yeah I did do all that,” admitted Harry, “but I had a lot of bloody help.”
“Not with that dragon,” said Justin.
“That was some pretty impressive flying,” nodded Terry.
“Yes well,” Harry muttered.
“Or the Dementors last Summer,” added Susan.
“That’s true,” said Harry. “I did do all that stuff but I had a lot of help.”
“So are you trying to tell us that you can’t do any of that stuff?” asked Zacharias getting up.
“Shut up Zach,” said Justin through clenched teeth.
“He’s called us all in here and now he’s telling he can’t do any of that rubbish.”
“Look Zach,” said Ernie standing up, “either shut up and sit down, or leave!”
Zacharias glared at the others before sitting back down reluctantly and folding his arms across his chest.
“Anyway,” said Hermione, “do we all want to learn defence from Harry?”
There were general amounts of assent from throughout the pub.
“It cant clash with any Quidditch practices,” pointed out Angelina.
Cho and Zacharias both nodded.
“Look we can find a night that suits everyone,” said Hermione getting exasperated, “but surely there are more important things in this world than Quidditch practise and exams. Voldemort is out there and he’s not going to wait long.”
“Here here!” said Ernie, “I firmly agree with Hermione here. These classes might even be more important that our OWLs.”
“I personally cannot understand why the Ministry has foisted us with such a terrible teacher this year,” he continued.
“We get the point Ernie,” muttered Hannah indicating for him to shut up.
“We think that Umbridge doesn’t want us trained in Defence because the Ministry has some strange idea Dumbledore is trying to build some kind of private army,” explained Hermione.
“So he should, Fudge already has one,” said Luna cheerfully.
“What?” asked Ron confused.
“He has an army of Helipaths,” she beamed.
“Later Luna,” muttered Persephone trying to quieten Luna before people starting calling her Loony again.
“So how often do me actually want to meet up?” asked Irwin.
“Once a week?” offered Harry.
Everyone nodded in agreement.
“Where are we all going to meet though?” asked Ginny.
Whilst everyone was wondering about empty classrooms Anne already knew the perfect place.
Hermione got them all to sign a piece of parchment so that she knew who had come to the meeting and she could tell them all where to meet and when for the first lesson.
In the evening, when they got back to school Anne managed to pull Harry aside and get him alone.
“It’s not too late for you to back out of this you know sis,” said Harry.
“What do you mean?”
“If we get caught Umbridge will be furious,” Harry pointed out.
“You think I don’t know that?” asked Anne.
“I know where we can meet,” she explained.
Harry looked at her confused.
“The Room of Requirement,” she beamed.