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That New Girl ~Chapter 2: A Violent Encounter~
“Oooh are Thestrals pulling those?” Danielle asked curiously, pointing to the carriages that would take them up to the castle. “Yeah, can you see them?” Harry asked her. “No…and I don’t really think I want to, if you know what I mean,” she said. She didn’t bother asking Harry if he could see them; she knew he’d seen death. “’Ey! Alrigh’ you three?” came a firmiliar booming voice from high over the little first year’s heads. “Hia Hagrid!” Harry, Ron and Hermione said in unison and they stepped aboard an empty carriage. Danielle followed. Right when the carriage door closed she asked, furrowing her brow, “Who’s that? Quite a big dude…” Hiding his confusion of the word “dude”, which he’d never heard before, Ron replied, “Oh, that’s just our friend Hagrid. He’s the Care of magical Creatures teacher.” “He’s also a half giant, incase you were wondering,” Hermione said, half laughing. “Neat! Could you guys introduce me? He sounds intresting,” Daniel remarked. “Yeah sure, I bet he’d like you…” Harry said, smiling at her. Hermione, once again, rolled her eyes. “Cool…” she replied, smoothing her robes. When they reached the castle, they all got out accordingly and preceded thought the magnificent entrance hall towards the Great Hall. Before she had a chance to gape at it’s beauty, Danielle heard someone call out her name. “Miss Danielle Fitzgerald?” Danielle looked towards the direction of the voice and saw a middle-aged woman with her hair in a very tight bun and glasses. She looked very strict. “That’s McGonagall,” Harry whispered to her. “You’d better go. I assume she wants to sort you.” Danielle nodded before telling them she’d catch them later, and made her way through the thick crowd of students. “That girl is bloody brilliant, I tell you,” Ron said to them over the low mumble of students as they found a space at the Gryffindor table. “Yeah, she’s something…” Harry added a bit dreamily. “Oh for heaven’s sake, you two! She’s not all that special…” Hermione argued. “Yes she is! She’s-” Ron said before she cut him off. “Shh…the sorting’s beginning….” Professor McGonagall entered the hall with the first years carrying the Sorting Hat and a stool. After all of the new students filed in, the trio saw Danielle enter. She was positively beaming. They watched as she made her way past the other three House tables and towards the Gryffindor table. Ron and Harry grinned. “Hey!” she said in a muffled voice, sitting down next to Harry, aross from Hermione and Ron. “Great, your in Gryffindor!” Ron whispered happily. “Congratulations!” Harry mouthed. Hermione faked a smile. Great. Her sarcastic thoughts were cut short, however, when the Sorting Hat burst into it’s annual bit of song. When it had finished, everyone applauded warmly. Professor McGonagall quickly read through the list of names, resulting in the sorting of nine new Gryffindor first years, all of whom looked extremely horrified and excited, just as every new year of first years always did. As food magically filled the plates in front of them, Harry, Ron, and Danielle automatically broke into conversation, which, unfortunately, did not include Hermione. Feeling somewhat betrayed, she just stared down at her food and pushed it around the perimeter of her plate, her brown hair falling in front of her face. “Hey, Hermione, want some sweet potatoes?” came Danielle’s sweet voice from in front of her. “Er, no thanks, I’m not very hungry,” she told the girl coldly. Danielle shrugged and returned to the conversation, but not before eyeing Hermione sadly, as if to say we’ll talk later. All throughout dinner, Hermione realized that many, many people were staring at her, mostly boys. Even some of the Slytherin males had their eye on her. She didn’t know why, but this made her very sick, and she completely lost her appetite. Thankfully, the meal was soon over, and Albus Dumbledore’s voice began to boom throughout the Great Hall. “Welcome, welcome. Well, that was a very refreshing feast, I think you’ll agree.” He began, scanning the students happily over his half-moon spectacles. “Before we head to our dormitories, I would like to remind all students to please remember that the Dark Forest is forbidden, as always, and Mr. Filch would like me to remind you that Dungbombs are not aloud anywhere inside the castle. Now, I’d also like to introduce a new student we have had the pleasure of receiving, who has moved here recently from the States. Please welcome Miss Danielle Fitzgerald, of Gryffindor House!” Pleasant applause and excited whispering filled the air, and Hermione forced her hands together a couple of times before staring back up at the Headmaster. “And now, if you’ll allow me, I have the results of this new year’s quest for new Quidditch Captains for Hufflepuff and Gryffindor, both of whom’s old Captains graduated last year. May I introduce Hufflepuff’s new Captain and Chaser, Miss Olga Brenandow.” Applause once again filled Hermione’s ears. “And, may I introduce Gryffindor’s new Captain and Seeker, Mister Harry Potter!” Loud cheers erupted from the Gryffindor table as Harry’s name was called, and Harry received lots of back-patting and hair ruffling from his friends. “And now, my students, you may depart to your dormitories and get yourselves some well-earned rest! Goodnight!” And with that, all of the Hogwarts students stood up and stated making their way towards their common rooms, either yawning or rubbing their eyes. Ron, Harry, and Danielle were in conversation again, and Hermione was walking slowly behind them. Harry and Ron didn’t seem to care whether they left her out or not. Actually, they didn’t really seem to notice. What is happening to my friends? And why the bloody hell am I so jealous? She scratched the back of her head and shrugged it off. They’ll come around, she thought, I mean, she’s just a girl! Right?
* * *
The next morning at breakfast, Harry received an owl from Hagrid, inviting them to tea. “Says we should come at our break,” he told Ron, Hermione, and Danielle, who was sitting with them again, much to Hermione’s dismay. “Oooh, can I come?” asked Danielle happily. “Coursh you can,” Ron said with a full mouth. Hermione scowled. Her dislike of this girl was growing with every minute, and she still didn’t know why. “Yay!” Danielle squealed. “Is he nice? I mean, I’ve heard about giants…” “Oh, but he’s only a half giant,” Harry told her, “and yes, he’s very nice. We’ve been friends with him forever.” “Where does he live?” she asked them. “On the grounds?” “Yeah,” Ron chimed in, “in that hut by the forest.” It was then that Professor McGonnagal came by with their class schedules. “Damn,” Ron exclaimed, “Double Potions first with the Slytherins.” “Who teaches it?” Danielle asked. “Snape,” Harry growled, jerking his head towards the teacher’s table where Professor Snape sat. “He’s the head of Slytherin.” “He’s a ruddy awful teacher. Hates Gryffindors,” Ron added. Danielle nodded to show her understanding as she looked over the rest of her schedule. “After Potions I’ve got Arithmancy and Ancient Runes. D’you guys take those?” She asked all three of them. “I do,” Hermione said, looking up at her. “These two don’t. They say it’s a ‘waste of time.’” “Well, at least I’ll know someone then!” Danielle exclaimed, looking happily at Hermione, who faked a smile. The day went by quickly, and before they knew it the newly-founded foursome were making their way down towards Hagrid’s wooden hut. “You’re gonna love Hagrid,” Ron was saying to Danielle as they passed the Whomping Willow. “I’m sure I will,” she replied happily, as they continued to walk. Harry knocked on the wooden door, and Hagrid’s boarhound Fang erupted in a barking fit. “Back, Fang, back!” Hagrid scowled at the dog before she opened the door. “Well, ‘ello there, Harry, Ron, ‘Ermione. An’ who’s this?” he asked leaning down to examine Danielle. “My names Danielle Fitzgerald, it’s a pleasure,” she said sweetly, raising her petite hand to meet his humungous one. “Oh, you’d be tha’ new studen’ from the States, then?” he asked as Danielle nodded. “Well, c’mon in!” He boomed, opening the door wider for them to enter. Danielle told Hagrid about herself, and they talked with him about their classes and schedules. It was obvious that Hagrid was enjoying Danielle’s company just as much as everyone else in the school was. Hermione was becoming very agitated with the girl’s perfection. The foursome said goodbye to Hagrid and left, making their way up towards the castle. Ron spotted some Slytherins hanging out by the Quidditch pitch. “Oh, lordy…” “Just ignore them,” Harry whispered. They tried to walk around the pitch unnoticed, but it was too late; Malfoy had spotted them. “Well, well,” he drawled, “If it isn’t Scarface, Weasle boy, and Bookworm. What’re you doing? Visiting that large oaf you call your friend?” The Slytherins laughed stupidly. Draco smirked. “Oh, and who is this? Fresh American scum?” More laughter. Danielle, who had been standing behind, cracked at the rude remark she had received. She walked briskly through her new friends and straight up to Malfoy, who was still laughing. Before anyone knew what had happened, Draco was on the ground under Danielle’s foot, wand pointed straight at his neck. “So, you must be Draco Malfoy, eh?” She said, mockingly. Draco was having trouble breathing; Danielle had kicked the wind out of him. The Slytherins were silent. So were Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but out of shock, not fear. “I’ve heard soooo much about you!” Danielle continued. “Now, would you mind refreshing my memory about what you’ve just said? About my friends and myself?” She waited. All was silent. Draco smirked. “You heard me. You’re fresh meat. American scum.” “Oh,” Danielle said, now very angry, “why thank you for that little refreshing tidbit. It’s just what I needed.” Without warning, Danielle took her foot off of Malfoy’s chest and raised her wand, but to everyone’s surprise, Malfoy followed it. He was dangling in the air right next to Danielle’s wand tip, now cowering in fear. With a quick and graceful flick of her wand, Malfoy was hurled through the air before knocking hard into one of the Quidditch goal posts. He slid down the poll and crashed to the ground. He was still conscious, but only just. No one moved, but Danielle let out a smirk. Then Draco spoke up. “I-I’m a prefect, you know! You’ll pay-” but before he could finish, Danielle’s wand was moving him again, raising him in the air about 10 feet and dropping him again. She let out a bark of laughter before, once again, raising her wand, but this time not at Malfoy. She raised it straight up over her head and shouted a spell. A large, silver, blanket-looking thing shot out from her wand and began to hover over everybody’s heads for about 5 seconds, before it disappeared. “Now listen up!” she shouted, “If any one of you wretched scumbags even coughs the words ‘Danielle attacked Malfoy’ near a teacher or a parent, large, pus-filled boils will erupt all over your skin. All over,” she repeated, smirking. “And putting it into writing won’t work either, so you can forget about it.” She smiled wickedly. “Now get out of my sight.” She turned around and grinned at her new friends as the Slytherins scattered behind her. They were speechless. “That…was…bloody…BRILLIANT!” Ron shouted, running over to hug her. He was beaming. Harry was still speechless, but managed to run over to her as well and pick her up, twirling her around. Danielle was laughing. Hermione walked over, amazed. “How did you…where did you learn that secrecy spell? I’ve only just read about it!” “Like I’ve told you, we learn some pretty wicked things over at Fleetwood,” Danielle explained. “Amazing…brilliant…fantastic…HA!” Ron was saying. He looked as if he’d died and gone to Heaven. “You were excellent, Danielle! EXCELLENT! I can’t WAIT to tell Fred and George…they’ll want to marry you! HA!” “With you around, Malfoy will never bother us again!” Harry cried happily. “This is GREAT!” Hermione stayed silent. Of course, she was thrilled that Malfoy finally got what he’d always deserved…but she only wished that it hadn’t been Danielle who’d executed the punishment. “Looks like you’ve got some competition for best witch in the whole damn school, Hermione!” Ron exclaimed, giving Danielle a good pat on the back. Hermione felt like she’d never be happy again.

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