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A/N: I love writing this story. I won’t even lie. (I do not own anything related to the Harry Potter franchise. I am not JK Rowling.)

It was a lovely golden sort of morning, and Hermione Granger woke up feeling radiant. Today she was going to make a new start. She was going to be a new sort of witch. She would do all of her homework in class, so she could have free time to relax and collect herself. She would be utterly kind to Ron and not correct Harry’s appalling grammar even once. She would even try to be patient with Parvati Patil’s insipid giggling. In short, she was planning on taking that extra step to reach actual perfection.

This lasted all of twenty seconds.

It ended as soon as she actually got out of bed, looked in the mirror, and saw her hair. Normally bushy, today it looked like the sort of African jungle explorers have to whack through with machetes. It looked like her head was engulfed in a cloud of frizzy, curly, tangled, teased, and aerodynamic brown tentacles. She shrieked.

Lavender Brown sat up abruptly, half asleep, “Who set off the fire alarm?”

Parvati, standing at the other mirror, looked over condescendingly. “No one, Lavender. Hermione’s just having a bad hair day.” She giggled, and Hermione briefly considered the consequences of taking a machete to her vocal cords. “It looks like you have a bloody afro, ‘Mione.”

“Don’t call me that,” Hermione replied habitually (she hated when people tried to make nicknames from her rather unusual birth name.) “And don’t say bloody, it’s vulgar.”

Parvati snickered, and Hermione glowered into her reflection. When her hair was in this sort of mood, a hairbrush wouldn’t make a dent. She sighed, pulling her school robes on over her pajamas, a sure sign that she wasn’t going to be up for much today. Parvati, however, did not get the hint. “Sorry…wouldn’t want to be vulgar around innocent little ‘Mione,” she said, convulsing with giggles.

It took all of Hermione’s considerable willpower to keep her from actually bashing Parvati’s skull in with her wand. Magic be damned, she wanted her victim to suffer! But she stopped herself. Trying to retrieve some hint of her prior radiance, she held her head high and started for the common room.

She had barely started to walk down the stairs, when she heard Harry’s groggy morning voice, “Blimey, look at that!” She grimaced…er…smiled, and saw him pointing at her head.

“What?” she asked, voice icy.

“Erm…Don’t you not know about your hair? It’s huge, Herm’.”

Hermione took a moment to collect her thoughts and come all the way into the fairly empty common room, before turning to face Harry and fairly screaming, “It’s ‘do you not know’, not ‘don’t you not know’, double negatives cancel each other out! And of course I know, idiot. Unlike you, I generally look in a mirror in the morning…and for the last time, call me Hermione. I hate nicknames!”

Harry looked rather confused, a perennial expression of his, and replied. “I look in a mirror, sometimes.”

Hermione made an unintelligible sound that was somewhat akin to a frustrated shriek, grumble, and moan, all at once. Arrrghackt! Then she turned on her heel and climbed out of the portrait hole, hair stretching to encompass the entire opening. As she strode down the hall, she could hear the Fat Lady’s voice behind her, “In all my days at Hogwarts, such unkemptness…I never. I knew that Hermy-girl would come to a bitter end.” Hermione stopped dead in her tracks, hand gripping her wand.

I must not curse a portrait. I must not curse a portrait. Oh, that bloody cow had it coming to her…No! I must not do magic in the corridors. I must not do magic in the corridors…NO MAGIC!

She practically flew to the Great Hall.

Unfortunately, as soon as she arrived at the Gryffindor table, a familiar irritating voice greeted her. “Ermio!”

She whipped her head around to see Ron’s grinning freckly face. “What. Was. That?”

“Just thought I’d try it out…you know…” he paused uncertainly, “it’s the middle section of your name…”

Hermione stood up and her voice became so shrill that dogs all over Scotlandhave howled in pain.“I bloody well know that it is the middle section of my name, you git. And you bloody well know that I hate it when people try to give me nicknames!”

Ron looked sideways at Dean Thomas, “Must be put off about her hair…”

They both laughed, and Hermione carefully sat down, and deliberately ground her heel into Ron’s foot until she heard something crack unpleasantly. She then stood and left Ron sitting there gasping wordlessly in pain.

Hermione was seething now, and her hair seemed to have become exponentially bigger in response to her anger. As she came into the Entrance Hall, it looked rather like a brown bushy monster was attempting to eat her whole. Not knowing what she wanted to do, and wondering how her day could have possibly gone so wrong in so short an amount of time, Hermione headed for the main doors, thinking that a stroll around the grounds might help her to calm down.

Unfortunately, just as she was leaving, Hagrid was coming in. He smiled and hailed her with a friendly, “Mornin’, ‘Mione,” that made her whole body shake, and her teeth grind.

Hagrid looked rather frightened, and asked, “Allrigh’ there, ‘Mione?”

Hermione was visibly twitching now. She said, in a strangled sort of voice, “I. Hate. Nicknames.”

Hagrid laughed, “Aww…but it ain’t a nickname, it’s just how I be speakin’, ‘Mione. I know whole names’re important—Don’ be mad.”

Hermione’s body slackened, and she looked up into Hagrid’s concerned eyes. “Do you have any garden gnomes you need removed? Because I really want to throw something.”

He nodded. “Thas righ’...healthy ‘spression of anger…thas the key.”

Hermione just smiled serenely, and walked out the doors.

A/N: Advice for aspiring fanfic writers: Don’t be lazy. Type Hermione’s whole name, or she will kill you in your sleep. ;) Please review!

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