‘That prat, I can’t believe he would actually do that! Well, what else can you expect t from a Slytherin? I should have known that Malfoy was only up to no good, why would he actually help me and be nice to me otherwise?’ Hermione thought angrily as she made her way to the Library. The rest of the way there, she speculated on what the prank they were planning could be; by the mischievous look on Zabini’s face, it was definitely something that she wouldn’t like.
Hermione arrived at her destination a while later and pushed through the door of the Library; her safe-house. She gave a curt nod and sent a smile in the direction of Madame Pince and head off to the table towards the back that she labeled at hers. Hermione had claimed this table on her First Year of Hogwarts when she came to the Library to escape all of the teasing. Ever since then it had become a spot of safety and security for he and she visited it often.
‘I better get started on homework,’ Hermione thought sitting down and placing her bag beside her, ‘Now, I should probably start with the Charms essay first; Switching Spells might take me a while to explain fully and properly.
For the next forty-five minutes, the Book-Worm worked in a comfortable silence that was broken only by the scratching of her quill on the parchment or the occasional noise from the other scarce inhabitants of the Library. Just as she was putting the final; touches on her 3-foot, 2-inch essay, she heard the doors open and Madame Pince’s screech of “No brooms allowed!” Hermione look up as she heard this – ‘Who would be foolish enough to bring their broomsticks?’ – Only to find her two best mates entering.
‘Only Harry and Ron would come to the Library after Quidditch Practice with their brooms ’ the third member of the Trio thought, rolling her eyes.
“We just need to get Hermione, we aren’t staying” Harry tried to convince the stern Librarian.
“Well then get out! I can’t have you two disturbing the other students; they actually try to do their work.” Pince reprimanded.
Not wanting them to get into another spot of trouble, Hermione placed her now completed essay in her bag and calmly walked over to them, reassuring Pince with “Don’t worry, Madame, we’re just leaving now.”
“Alright then,” She replied, looking a bit relieved now that she didn’t have to deal with two boys and their broomsticks. She turned to address the other two and stated, “Now, you don’t ever come in here with those silly contraptions again, understood?”
“Yes Madame Pince” The Gryffindors confirmed in unison. The Trio, now reunited, walked out of the Library and back into the corridor.
“So how was practice?” Hermione began the conversation
“It was alright,” answered Harry, “Ron was doing well, he saved nearly every ball.” He looked at his friend, who despite the compliment, had a scowl on his face”
“What’s got your wand in a knot, Ron? Harry said you were doing really well.” Hermione inquired
“Slytherins, that’s what.” The red-head curtly responded, frowning.
“We quite literally ran into Malfoy and Zabini, and well, let’s just say that they weren’t exactly friendly.” Harry elaborated.
“You too? I don’t understand why they constantly aim to mess with us….”
“I know, but – wait, ‘too’? They tormented you?” Harry demanded lightly, being protective of his friend.
“On my way to the Library, yes.” She confirmed.
“What did they do? I swear, if they did anything to you-”
“Harry! Don’t fret, they didn’t hurt me,” Hermione told him, making the boy relax a bit, “Malfoy helped me actually, he was being nice.”
“He’s up to something then” Ron spoke, clearly still annoyed.
“Oh, he was. Zabini came and basically told me it was all for a prank they were going to pull on the Gryffindors.”
“No wonder Malfoy seemed angry at him, the twat probably realized that Zabini ruined things for him and started chasing him.” Ron guessed. Harry had a look of concentration on his face, as if he was in deep thought. “I want to know what they were planning,” He told them, “I want to stop it. Did they let anything else slip, Hermione?”
“Well, he said that it was going to be in our Common Room, if that helps at all. He also might have mentioned that it ‘came it’ so they had probably ordered the materials from somewhere.” She recalled from her encounter with the two Slytherins.
“We should probably protect the Common Room then, just in case.” Harry replied, being as cautious as ever.
“I was just thinking that too. We have the upper hand now, and it would be best to take advantage it” stated the bright witch.
As her stomach gave a soft growl, she thought, ‘It should be lunch now, right? I’m getting a bit hungry’ and to her delight, she saw that it was nearly time for the students to start filing into the Great Hall. Just as she was about to announce this to her companions - it would sure cheer Ron up a bit- the bell ran as if on cue. On the thought of eating, her stomach made a louder noise, altering the two boys and taking their minds off of two specific Slytherins temporarily.
“Hungry, are you?" Harry asked
“Starving! Let's go." Hermione replied, pulling them along.
The three walked together in a sort of silence that could only be described as a thinking silence. Each was lost in their own world hidden amongst buzzing thoughts and feelings, but every one was centered on one specific occurrence of the day. All three do-gooders had their own little spat with two cunning boys; each which of which having ulterior motives that the Gryffindors have yet to realize. The Trio was unknowingly thinking about the same people that were thinking of them; all planning or attempting to figure out something that had to do with the other. It was odd how one small event could cause such suspicion and start all of this conflict. And, unbeknownst to them, it would cause even more. There was one problem, however, as the result of distraction. Stuck on the suspicion of the Slytherins, Hermione never told her friends about the Ravenclaws and what they were doing. Perhaps if she had recalled, if those Slytherins had never begun to act odly and take up thoughts, things would have been halted from the begining, before events started.
The first to shatter the silence and train of thought of the others was Ron; interrupting them with a sudden angry cry of “Why are they so ruddy good at this?"
The other two exchanged a confused glance before Harry responded to his outburst saying “Good at what, Mate?”
“Getting in our heads! Something as simple as being nice to Hermione for a prank and it’s got us all worried and burning brain cells thinking about it!” Ron explained agitatedly
“It’s because of their House,” Hermione reasoned, “If it happened with Hufflepuffs or Ravenclaws we would have blown it off as harmless. But given the Slytherins’ history, we make everything they do seem sinister.”
“That… is very true. But mainly everything they do does have some hidden reason behind it, we’re just trying to be careful." Harry explained.
“Well, they Gryffindors have had their fair share of fun at the expense of the Slytherins.” Hermione remembered a bit disapprovingly.
“But they always get back at us, and theirs is always worse for us” complained Ron, groaning
“Yes, but only because they don’t care what happens to others or the risk of getting I trouble, only about themselves” Hermione bitterly stated
“And it comes right back to the Houses, as you said Hermione. It’s all very stereotypical and expected of.” Harry deduced
“Why don’t we brake that, then?” Ron asked hopefully. The other two gave him a quizzical look; he hardly ever has good ideas, and this certainly isn’t one of them.
“And how do you propose we do that then? Harry asked, much to Hermione’s dismay
“I want revenge” Ron answered as the three walked through the doors of the Great Hall and took their usual seats at the Gryffindor table.
“Ron-” Hermione, being the voice of reason, tried to get the idea out of Ron’s head before the latter rudely interrupted her
“Look, they do all kinds of nasty things to us, and get away with it. For once, I want to actually get back at them evenly!” He exclaimed
“We’d get caught! It’s not a good idea, right Harry?”
“What’s life without a bit of risk? Besides, we've got you, and you're clever enough.” He replied by repeating his Godfather’s words to him as they all piled their plates with food and started to dig in.
“Knowing them, they’ll only do something even more evil to us which will make us strive to do better, and so on. It will never end.” Hermione tried to reason with them, but the oh-so persistent boys wouldn’t hear of it.
“C’mon, Hermione, wouldn’t it be fun to have a bit of revenge for once?” Ron begged as he characteristically stuffed his face with food, causing Hermione’s face to contort in disgust.
“Once one dives into the noble art of revenge, they can never back out. And I don’t fancy being stuck in a cycle of non-stop getting even, thank you very much.” She stated matter-of-factly, making Ron and Harry sigh.
Knowing that they weren’t going to win -at least not yet -they continued to devour the delicious food made by the Hogwarts House Elves. But for one that was watching the Trio intently, as one person was, they would notice that the shoulders of the two male members had fallen dejectedly and were eating their food in silence. There was none of the usual chatting and laughter emitted by the Gryffindors. The onlooker observed those two for a bit longer wondering what got them looking so down-trodden. His eyes flitted suddenly to Hermione, who, after a few moments, looked up feeling someone’s gaze on her, ‘Why is he staring at me?’ Hermione thought to herself suspiciously. She held his gaze with a slight glare, almost challenging him, until Ron tapped her shoulder, snapping her away.
“What’re you doing looking at him for?” He questioned before forking another chunk of meat and placing it in his mouth.
“Nothing, Ronald. I just- never mind… maybe we should give them a taste of their own medicine…” She responded before turning back to her plate. Harry and Ron both looked up and grinned before continuing to eat; they knew not to push their luck with Hermione
‘Maybe the art of revenge wouldn’t be so bad to get into, as long as I don’t fall in too deep…’