Chapter 1 : It Started With A Troll
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Chapter One: It Started With A Troll
"There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them." - Philosopher's Stone, UK Version, p. 132.
“She’s so annoying. Bloody Know-It-All. Thinks she’s better than everyone else. Doesn’t even brush her bloody hair.”
Ron Weasley’s sentence fragments were becoming more nonsensical the more he talked. His older brothers Fred and George were on the receiving end of his rant, which was taking place in the Gryffindor common room. Fred had quite clearly stopped listening and was playing with his red and gold tie. George was banging his head off the edge of the couch.
“Swish-and-flick...Wingardium Levi-o-sa...I’ll give her Wingardium Leviosa. She can’t even pick up a bloody broomstick...”
“Shut up!” George cried, finally ceasing his head-banging. Ron's rant had been going on for twenty minutes straight.
“Seriously Ron, grow a pair. She’s just a girl,” Fred pointed out, “Don’t let her get to you.”
The truth was, Ron was trying to convince himself that he shouldn’t feel guilty for what she heard him saying. She was a nightmare, after all. She had no friends. It wasn’t like he was lying. Why should he feel guilty for speaking the truth? And so what if she’d skipped her afternoon classes? That wasn’t on him. She was probably just being dramatic, trying to get attention. Or maybe she was ill and had to go to the hospital wing. Or maybe she decided to go home because she realised she didn’t fit in at Hogwarts, bossing everybody around and showing off in every single class.
“Who’s he even talking about anyway?” George asked Fred, “I wasn’t listening.”
“Hermione Granger,” Fred told him, “You know the short one that looks like a chipmunk?”
“All firsties are short,” George pointed out, “But yeah, I think I know the one.
“And Ron, even if you do hate her as much as you say you do,” said Fred, “You’re forgetting one thing.”
“One major thing,” George chipped in.
“One very crucial thing that you must remember for the rest of your life,” said Fred.
“Something I’m sure we’ve told you before,” George said, scratching his chin.
“We really don’t care,” Fred finished.
Ron decided to push Hermione from his mind and go down to the Halloween feast with Harry. He’d been looking forward to the feast all day and he wasn’t going to let her ruin it for him. He was, however, distracted by the highly annoying giggles coming from fellow first years Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil, who were coming down the stairs in front of himself and Harry. They were almost as annoying as Hermione.
“She’s in the toilets, crying!” Parvati giggled.
“She’s crying?” Lavender laughed, “She’s so weird.”
“Really weird,” Parvati agreed, “I mean, she hardly ever talks to us.”
“I know,” Lavender scoffed, “She thinks she’s so much better than everyone else.”
Ron inwardly thanked God that he was a boy and didn’t have to engage in mindless gossiping and bitching like girls do. He vaguely wondered where they got their energy from. He also wondered who the girl on the receiving end was. Harry grinned at him and rolled his eyes. They really didn’t understand women.
“I’m surprised she hasn’t pulled a muscle putting up her hand so quickly in class,” Parvati laughed. Ron suddenly got a sick feeling in his stomach. He had a sneaking suspicion of who was crying in the bathroom. And of who was responsible for it.
“A complete weirdo, that Hermione Granger,” Lavender concluded. Harry looked at Ron, looking a bit guilty himself, even though he wasn’t the one who made Hermione Granger cry. Ron said nothing, but tried to ignore the shame building up inside him. As annoying as Hermione was, he didn’t want her to cry because of something he said. The only reason he’d said that she was a complete nightmare was because he didn’t think of her as a real person with real feelings. She didn’t act like one, most of the time. She seemed like the kind of person who would brush something like that off and continue on with the next annoying thing.
Ron managed to forget the guilty feeling that was buried deep in his stomach by filling it with the best food Hogwarts had to offer. The Great Hall was decorated so fantastically, the food smelled so delicious and the general atmosphere was so exciting that all thoughts of Hermione crying in the girls’ bathroom were pushed completely from his head – until after his first helping, anyway. Until Professor Quirrell interrupted...
The girls’ bathroom smelled horribly like a public toilet, but Hermione had adjusted to the rancid smell after being locked in there all day. Every time she worked up the strength to stand up and dry her eyes, Ron Weasley’s words would echo in her head and she’d burst into tears again. He was such a pig. She knew she shouldn’t let him get to her, but he had voiced every single insecurity she had felt about herself. He was brutally honest about her and it hurt.
Hermione knew she was unpopular. Even in primary school she found it very hard to make friends. Hogwarts was supposed to be a fresh start for her, somewhere she could form true friendships with people. She was a difficult, stubborn person and something of a know-it-all and these unattractive traits meant that she was completely friendless. On her very first day she had made a real effort with Neville Longbottom by helping him to find his toad. She had tried to help people out by telling them everything she knew about Hogwarts, but people found this boastful and kept clear of her.
Except Ron Weasley, that is. He was rude and upfront about everything and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind to her. He always spoke his mind and she quite enjoyed arguing with him, and thought that he enjoyed it too. Until today – he called her a nightmare. He said that no one could stand her. And it was true. Her social skills left a lot to be desired, but she had tried and failed miserably to make friends. And if a horrible pig like Ron Weasley couldn't stand her, then she didn't stand a chance with normal people. Throughout the day as people came in and out of the bathroom, she could hear them whispering and giggling among themselves because they knew she was in there, crying. She may have been clever and bright, but Hermione Granger had absolutely nothing else going for her. She would be alone forever. Suddenly, the next six and a half years at Hogwarts seemed horribly daunting.
A loud crash lifted Hermione from her state of self pity, and from the toilet seat. There was a deafening grunt, almost like a roar and she immediately knew what it was. She’d read about them in –
What did it matter what she’d read it in?! Books wouldn’t help her now – there was a bloody troll in the bathroom! This was it – this was how she would die. Alone, crying in a smelly bathroom, mauled by a troll. She was shaking violently and remained still and quiet, hoping that the troll would leave when it realised that the room was empty. She stood up on the toilet and peaked out over the top of the door of the cubicle and there it was – twelve feet tall, grey, smelly and terrifying. The troll was the opposite end of the bathroom, so Hermione opened the door of the cubicle quietly and rushed to the exit, only to find to her absolute horror that she was locked in. Somebody had locked the door of the bathroom! The troll turned around, spotted her and she paled – this was it. She was dead. And it would be all Ron Weasley’s fault.
Ron couldn’t quite believe it. It wasn’t the fact that there was a twelve foot troll lying unconscious at his feet. It wasn’t the fact that it was thanks to him (and Harry) that the troll was laying there. It wasn’t even that he’d earned five points for Gryffindor, despite blatantly breaking the school rules. No, what Ron couldn’t quite believe was – Hermione Granger had lied to a teacher! And she’d done it to save his (and Harry’s) skin. Granted, they had just saved her life, but Ron was still amazed. And a bit impressed at the same time. Maybe Hermione wasn’t as bad as he made her out to be.
Harry and Ron invited Hermione to sit with them in the common room that night. The Halloween feast had been sent up to the common rooms after the evacuation of the Great Hall and all of the Gryffindor students were placed around the common room, eating and chatting. When Harry got up to help himself to seconds, Ron found himself alone with Hermione. He still felt guilty and she looked embarrassed. There was an awkward silence between the two.
“Er, listen, Hermione,” Ron started, feeling his ears turning red, “I just wanted to say thanks for not ratting us out to the teachers.”
“Forget about it,” she said immediately.
“And...erm...sorry. About what I said earlier.” Ron was never very good at apologising. It made him feel very uncomfortable.
“It’s fine,” said Hermione, not looking at him. His guilt had not yet subsided, so he continued.
“I think you’re....”
“What?” asked Hermione sharply.
“Well...you’re not that bad, really.”
Harry came back with his plate full of food and the three recounted the story of the troll again, now able to joke and laugh about it. Hermione noticed Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil looking at her, giggling, but for once she didn’t care.
She had friends now. And maybe Ron Weasley wasn't as bad as she thought.
A/N - I know, yet another story. I have so many WIPs...I think I have an addiction!
Anyway, this is a Missing Moments story, in case you haven't figured it out! So basically I left out the whole troll fighting scene because you guys know what happened then and I don't want to have just rewrite JKR's fantastic work. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter, please review!
P.S - Thanks to Violet for helping with the story title! :)