Harry was slumping on the Gryffindor bench, forehead on the table's edge and staring bleakly at the stone floor. His very bones were aching in the horror of being awake at Seven A.M. on a Tuesday Morning. Harry made a noise. It was probably supposed to be a groan, but it came out as more of a whimper.
Hermione turned a page on her book and sighed to herself. "Oh, Harry," she muttered to herself, shaking her head.
Harry distorted his neck enough to fire a glare at Hermione and her disgustingly large book. "Hermione, it is seven, in the merlin-forsaken morning."
Ron swallowed audibly. "You know what impresses me most about Lockhart?" he began, clearly feeling that he could not be further from impressed. "It's his reaction to Goyle talking. Sure, Goyle's a complete dunce, but you'd think Lockhart's mind was melting every time the oaf opens his mouth."
Harry gave his red-headed friend a disbelieving look, who proceeded to fork another mass of edible material into his mouth.
"Mmpghh," said the boy, waving his fork, "mate, 'dese hash browns are bloody good!"
Seamus sat down opposite the trio, the front fringe of his hair now cobalt blue, in stark contrast to the rest of his usual sandy locks. His best mate, Dean, was lying on the bench, muttering under his breath. Harry would occasionally hear fragments of words and phrases such as "dude," "that's so manly," and sometimes what sounded like a foreign language. Dean had been there since before Harry and his friends sat down.
An unhealthily energetic Luna Lovegood skipped into the Great and threw a jaunty wave in Harry's direction, which he returned, to scattered giggles from some of the older students.
A sleepy-looking trio of Gryffindor girls, comprised of Fay, Parvati, and Lavender, stumbled into the hall. They were then all knocked to the ground like bowling pins, complete with sound effects, by a cheerfully skipping Luna Lovegood. T
Colin Creevey stood on a table to call "Nice throw!" from across the hall. Harry groaned and let his head fall back to the table.
Basically, it was just like any other morning at Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft.
By their second year at Hogwarts, Hermione, Harry and Ron had firmly settled into a pleasant friendship. It wasn't perfect, the friends had a few conflicting ambitions and interests, but it was a happy, strong trio. Although, Harry could have done without a few of the conversations that came about. Not long after Halloween of her second year, an anxious Hermione cornered Harry in the common room.
"Um, Harry…" she trailed off.
"Erm…" she wrung her hands nervously.
"areubeingsexualyabusedorharased?" she spit out.
There was a long pause."Whaa?"
Hermione took a slow, nervous breath. "Do your relatives treat you well at home? They don't… touch you anywhere they shouldn't...right?"
"...Hermione, what are you talking about?"
Her hands flew up to cover her face. "I'm just worried about you Harry. We were talking about the Troll incident from first year, and I remembered that your reaction to getting grabbed was to scream rape, and that doesn't seem like a good sign to me."
Harry stared at his friend for another long moment. "What rates? I thought the goblins were pretty good but if you have a better-"
"Harry I'm serious! With a 'p', not a 't'-"
"No, you're not!"
"You're not Sirius Black. You're Hermione Granger."
She sighed. "Harry, who is Sirius Black? And why is he important?"
"Weeelll…" said Harry, dragging out the word as he scratched his head. "He's some barmy man in Azkaban I think. See, awhile ago I was in the library taking a look at some defence magic because Lockhart's a hopeless twat."
"He is NOT a hopeless twat, Harry. You really need to show mo-"
"Yeah, yeah. Anyway, I was looking through some defence books, and there were some cross-references to some court cases. I got curious and asked Pince to stop being a bird, please discontinue her ignorance of Newton's fourth law, and to show me where the court records were. Turns out she disguised as a pen on her desk, which I didn't even know were allowed at Hogwarts-"
"-and so she reached out and pulled the documents out of my ear. Kind of weird, eh? It was like magic, but not real magic, you see? The sort of magic you might see from some street performer, sleight of hand, but not real-"
"Oh pish posh, Hermione. So I read through a few cases and imprisonments, and get this: There's this guy, sitting in a max security cell in prison, and he didn't even get a trial. I mean, sure, he was witnessed to have killed a wizard and twelve muggles with a single spell, but still."
"Oh, Hermione," he mimicked, as Dumbledore walked out of the wall and moved towards the common room exit. Harry narrowed his eyes suspiciously at the lack of colourful robes the man was wearing.
"But Harry, that's completely beside the point. I'm concerned for you, I don't want you to have to go back to a home where you're sexually abused, or worse, raped."
"Hermione, I don't even know what rape is. Or that other thing, seconds a-bruised. I didn't know time could be damaged." He looked over at the Weasley twins, who at some point had come over and begun watching the conversation like a particularly fascinating game of badminton. Though personally, Harry didn't get the appeal of badminton, it seemed dead boring in his opinion. Maybe if you set the paddle-thingies and net on fire. And the ball-thingy. And the players. "Did you know that, Fred?"
"Can't say that I did," said one of the twins. "What about you George?"
"I'm no more enlightened than you, brother-o-mine. Harry, why don't myself and George over here give you two a chance to better solve this perplexing dilemma you've uncovered?"
"I find myself in perfect agreement with you, George." The twins turned back to their younger housemates, crossing their arms and leaning back in unison. Harry raised an eyebrow and looked at Hermione.
"Harry, this doesn't make any sense. Why would you be screaming that sort of thing if you didn't know what it meant?"
Harry shrugged. "It was what Aunt Petunia did occasionally when she didn't like the look of someone. And she told my cousin to do that if anybody ever tried to touch him. I was listening in the other room, and it came back to me when I saw the troll. I really didn't want it touching me."
"Wait wait wait, back up," interjected one of the twins.
"Yeah, this is a matter concerning the good of mankind," his brother continued.
"You're Aunt and Uncle-"
"The ones we saw when we rescued you, man looked like a troll himself-"
"and his wife looked like a horse-giraffe alchemy accident…"
The twins looked at each other, then back at Harry, speaking in unified horror. "They had a child? Sex?" The older boys shuddered together at the very thought of it.
"Fred, I'm starting to wish we hadn't stayed for this rapidly worsening discussion. Argh, no! Those images are going to be my nightmares!"
"What have we done?" moaned George, or maybe Fred, or Gred, or Forge.
Hermione and her friend stared at the two shaking redheads. Harry was still slightly confused. "What's sex?" he asked innocently.
It was like someone had flipped a switch. The twins jumped to their feet, grinning maniacally. "Oh, do we have something to tell you, Harrikins. Isn't that right Fred?"
"Indeed, my less handsome brother," said the supposedly better-looking twin. Hermione buried her face into her hands. "Say, Fred, should we perhaps take this elsewhere? Don't want to give our poor dear Prefect brother a heart attack now, do we."
"Right you are Fred, I was just having the same, slightly more intelligent idea myself." Fred and…Fred pulled the younger boy off the couch and hooked one of their arms through each of Harry's. "Shall we commence, Forge Washington?"
"We shall, Gredrick Douglas" then, taking on a pompous American accent, "come along now Mr Potter, we have a whole new world to open to you."
Hermione watched between her fingers as the twins frog marched her best friend out of the common room. "Oh, Harry…"
"They think me and Luna did what?!"
Two hours later, a very red Harry Potter climbed back into the Gryffindor common room and marched straight past his bushy-haired friend and up to the boy's dormitories, muttering about positions. Hermione watched him go with a look of concerned exasperation. Ron burped something that sounded like *Triwizard Tournament*, but no one thought anything of it.
Fred and George both looked as though the cat had got the canary, then dove head first into a bucket of catnip.
AN: I looked up the proper name for a badminton ball, in case it was actually obvious and I was just being an idiot by forgetting it- and it's called a shuttlecock. A shuttlecock. That was too perfect, I died laughing.
Props to FrostFriday (from ) for the suggestion about Luna and Harry, it fitted perfectly into what I wanted to write and I was happy to use the idea. If you have irrational, weird, potentially stupid ideas, shoot them at me. I make no promises to use anything, but I enjoy getting the ideas. I have literally 2 pages of my own little brainstorm blurbs, and I'm not afraid to add to the list. Here's a couple non-spoilery quotes from the basket for y'all to look forward to:
- This shit is more confusing than a fucking acid trip
- "Look, I can tell you're speaking English, but I've no fucking clue what you're saying."
- "Cause I was over on the bench!" - John Mulany
I am also over on AO3 with this story, under the same username. Personally, I like that site better, what with the different options and tags and stuff. So, there might occasionally be times when AO3 gets the next chapter significantly earlier than FFnet, like for this chapter, where I didn't get around to posting this until a day later. This shouldn't happen often, and chapters will still go up on both sites regardless, but the first update will usually be on AO3. This feels tangential and like I'm wrapping my thoughts back on myself, so gonna end. I am very tired. Goodnight.