Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
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’Twenty points from Gryffindor!’ Professor Snape’s cold and strict voice broke the silence of the corridor. Ron Weasley and Lavender Brown jumped, being interrupted during snogging each other to death. Ron blushed, gulped and looked sheepishly at the black Potions teacher who cast a disgusted glance at the two students and stormed away. Ron frowned, Lavender shrugged her shoulders, and a second later they were in liplock again.
Hermione, who witnessed the scene heading to the Great Hall, couldn’t help but agree with Snape this time. It was way too irritating that Ron was so into that silly chick and that they always got intimate in public. Kissing and cuddling, they left such a huge quantity of fingerprints and DNA samples on each other’s bodies that they could have made a whole group of forensic scientists happy.
Hermione sat down to the Gryffindors’ table in the Great Hall. Next to her Harry and Ginny were holding hands, smiling at each other tenderly. Hermione tried to concentrate on her breakfast and forget about the fact that she had nobody to smile tenderly at.
It was the first day of the spring holiday, most of the students had left Hogwarts to spend Easter at home. There were only about fifteen students to stay in the castle, Hermione wished she hadn’t been one of them. Mr and Mrs Granger were to go on a cruise in the Caribbean to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary and Hermione wanted them to enjoy the romantic journey without their know-it-all daughter. She knew she would regret her decision soon: to see the happy faces of her lovey-dovey friends and to be neglected by them… It would be hell.
She sighed and watched the small crumbles of the cornflakes floating in her bowl of milk. Why had Ron chosen Lavender? He should have chosen her, Hermione. Ron and Hermione, Harry and Ginny… Everything would have been perfect. They could have been the fantastic four of Hogwarts.
But now it was too late.
Was it? Hermione scowled. Maybe there was still some hope. ’They say I’m a clever witch,’ she thought to herself. ’So I should be able to come up with something… To find a way to get Ron… To win his heart…’ She bit her bottom lip. ’Harry started to fall for Ginny when she began dating Dean Thomas. Maybe I should try to find a guy… A guy who pretends to be my boyfriend to make Ron jealous. A guy who won’t make fun of me and my lack of experience.’
Her gaze shifted to a blond, blue-eyed Gryffindor, Nils Hansen. The good-looking but quiet Norwegian boy was munching on his toast. Hermione watched him for a minute, then she made up her mind. She started sipping her tea in a much better mood. Only now did she realize Dumbledore had been making a speech.
’… so I thought I could make the spring holiday more exciting for those who are feeling bored. Working in pairs, your task will be to solve some riddles, to uncover some secrets of the city I’ll send you to. The first prize is a vial of Felix Felicis. If you feel like joining the competition, come to my office and I’ll give you the first clue, a photograph.’
’Felix Felicis,’ Hermione’s heart started to beat faster. With the help of that potion she would be able to do anything… Anything. Even to get Ron.
’Harry,’ she whispered thrilled.
’What do you think of it?’
’Of what?’ He asked absent-mindedly, gazing at Ginny head-over-heels in love.
’Entering the competition. To win the vial of the lucky liquid.’
’What for? I’m totally happy without that. I’m the luckiest guy in the world.’ He winked at Ginny.
Hermione tried to hide her disappointment and faked a smile at Harry. She didn’t notice that someone was watching her. Cold bluish-grey eyes narrowed at her, the mixture of hatred, contempt, curiosity and anger in them. The eyes were Draco Malfoy’s, sitting alone at the Slytherins’ table.
’The Mudblood wants to get the potion,’ he thought bitterly when he saw her whisper something into Harry’s ear. ’But I won’t let them win this time,’ he clenched his jaws. ’I must get the vial. A day when I succeed in everything… I could be the ruler of the world…’ He got more and more excited.
’But who can I work with?’ He looked around nervously. All the Slytherins had left Hogwarts for home. Malfoy Manor was being renovated, Lucius and Narcissa had employed the best wizard architects of the day. Malfoy wasn’t interested in his parents’ arguments about the colour of the Rococo ornaments of the staircase, so he chose to stay in Hogwarts.
’If I can’t get the lucky liquid on my own, I should turn into someone else… Maybe a Gryffindor… A Gryffindor who can be around Potter’s trio unobtrusively.’ His gaze shifted to Nils Hansen. An evil grin appeared on Malfoy’s face. The blond Slytherin stood up and hurried out of the Great Hall. He had to brew Polyjuice Potion. Lots of it.
End of Chapter 1