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Hermione and the New Girl

Part One

By Mena Baines

Hermione was having a particularly good morning. She had gotten up a little early and had time to look over her homework, and she was feeling extra prepared and ready to face anything her teachers could throw at her. The breakfast that morning was her favorite—hash browns, eggs, bacon, muffins and a pile of fat slices of cantaloupe. Hermione grabbed a glass of tangerine juice and took her usual seat between Harry and Ron at the Gryffindor table. As Ginny and Seamus came over to sit across from them, Hermione couldn’t help noticing how perfect everything was. Bright sunlight streamed in through the huge windows in the Great Hall, lighting her friends faces and making the glassware sparkle keenly. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood—even Ron, who was often grumpy and disagreeable in the early morning.

“ Did you see Snape’s face yesterday in class when Neville dumped the screeching potion all over Dean?” Seamus said, laughing, “ Classic!”

Hermione giggled. “ Poor Neville,” she said.

“ Poor Neville, nothing!” Ron said with a wicked grin, “ Poor Dean! It must’ve hurt to screech that loudly!”

Harry elapsed into laughter, “ Are you kidding?” he said, “ I’d love to be able to aggravate Snape as much as he did—without even trying!”

“ Quite an idea,” Hermione said, nibbling a slice of cantaloupe, “ He couldn’t quite blame you for that, could he?”

“ I think all the teachers have learned to put up with Neville’s clumsiness.” Seamus said with a chuckle.

“ Don’t pick on him,” Ginny said, “ I think he tries as hard as all of us—“

As if on cue, they heard a loud crash from across the Great Hall, and turned to see Neville, hurriedly trying to clean up a glass of milk he’d dropped on the floor.

“ Poor Neville,” Hermione said, “ I’m going to go get some milk before he spills it all.”

“ Here,” Harry said, handing her his glass, “ You can have some of mine.” Hermione blushed and thanked him. Ginny winked at her across the table and Hermione grinned, taking a careful sip of Harry’s milk.

Hermione felt she was making real progress with Harry. Well, I should be, she thought, after having my eye on him for seven years! He did little things for her now—things she shouldn’t notice but she did; like pulling out her chair or opening doors for her. The other day in class her robe had slipped off her shoulder as she was working out measurements for a potion, and Harry had casually reached over and pulled it back up for her with a quick smile. What a stupid thing for me to dwell on, Hermione had thought, when he obviously thinks nothing of little gestures like that. But still, when she thought about it she couldn’t suppress a veiled little grin.

“ Let’s go to Hogsmeade this weekend.” Harry was saying. “ We’ve all been studying too much lately.”

“ There is no such thing as too much studying!” Hermione said, and all the boys groaned. She couldn’t really help saying things like that—but she didn’t expect them to understand. Who was Hermione Granger if she wasn’t the top of the class?

“ Come on,” Harry said, putting a friendly arm around her and shaking her, “ I know you want to stuff yourself full of candy and get scared out of your wits at the haunted house as much as the rest of us do!” Hermione beamed. No fair, she thought, you can’t put your arm around me and expect me to say no.

Harry’s arm slid off of Hermione’s shoulders as Professor McGonagall approached the table. She surveyed the group of teenagers sternly until her eyes fell gently on Hermione.

“ I need to borrow Mrs. Granger for a moment.” She said.

Hermione swallowed, “ Am I in trouble?” she asked, though she doubted it.

“ Hardly,” was all McGonagall would say.

“ Hogsmeade,” Harry whispered as she got up to go, “ This weekend—don’t forget!” Hermione smiled.

“ I won’t” she whispered back. How could she? Hermione had everything Harry had ever said to her filed away carefully in her memory, stored behind an untouchable heart-shaped lock.

****************************************************************************

“ Hermione, you’re our most responsible 7th year student,” Professor McGonagall said as they made their way to her office. “ Well-- forget 7th year—you’re the most responsible student in the whole school.” Hermione glowed—a compliment from Professor McGoganall meant more to her than anything.

They came upon the Professor’s office, and she stopped and turned to look at Hermione. “ I need to trust you with something important.” She said, “ We’ve had…a little situation in the magical community recently. The details aren’t important—but it’s resulted in the American Wizardry School sending one of their students to finish at Hogwarts.” McGonagall paused to let this sink in.

“ Now I know what happened last week with the Centennial Vampire makes this seem rather ominous.” She said. This was quite an understatement. Last week a vampire named Lywellyn had claimed to be a transfer student and had come after Hermione, targeting her rare blood type. It had been quite an ordeal and was really very frightening.

“ The only reason Lywellyn managed to sneak in here was that he claimed to be the transfer student we were actually receiving.” She sighed, “ As you know, Hogwarts doesn’t except a lot of transfer students, so the truth got lost in the process.” McGonagall reached over and pushed open the door to her office, where a girl sat waiting. “ Here is the REAL transfer student—your new roommate, Rosa McNally.”

Hermione returned the new girl’s friendly grin. But inside she was terrified. The new girl looked almost IDENTICAL to the appearance Lywellyn had taken on when he came to Hogwarts. She was pale and beautiful with flawless skin, long, straight black hair, and eyes with an eerie depth that appeared to glow in the low light of McGonagall’s office. Also, like Lywellyn, she had what looked like ten to twenty piercing in her ears. The only difference between she and Lywellyn appeared to be that she was a girl. If the administration at Hogwarts had made the mistake once—couldn’t they make it again? When Rosa stood to shake Hermione’s hand, Hermione almost jumped. She hoped the new girl didn’t notice how jittery she was.

“ Hermione, it’s nice to meet you.” Rosa said, grinning. Hermione flinched—her American accent made Hermione’s name sound like an awkward HERM-OINE rather than the proper Hair-mio-ne.

“ Good to meet you, too,” Hermione said, forcing a nervous smile, searching the girl’s eye for vampiric traces.

“ Oh!” Rosa said, laughing loudly, “ Listen to that cute English accent. I tell ya’ everything here is just adorable.”

“ Um—“

“ It’s so much cleaner than that DUMP back in the states—“ Rosa said, rolling her eyes, but McGoganall cut her off.

“ Alright then.” She said quickly, “ Now that you’ve met, Hermione will show you to your room. We’ve moved Janet Footscray out, Hermione, so that you can help Rosa get adjusted. Please see that she gets to all her classes.” With that, McGonagall brushed them out of her office and shut the door.

“ Geez, what a welcome wagon,” Rosa said sarcastically, and Hermione didn’t know what she meant. “ I suppose my reputation proceeds me.” She added, reaching into her pocket and pulling out a small white package.

“ Cigarettes!” Hermione exclaimed, “ You can’t smoke in here.”

“ Bummer,” Rosa said, lighting one anyway. Hermione shuddered. This girl was definitely vampire material. “ So show me where we crash.” She said, and Hermione frowned.

“ Pardon me?” she asked, waving clouds of smoke away from her face.

“ Oh, right, I keep forgetting the whole English thing.” Rosa said with a grin. “ Where’s our room? In America to “crash” means to sleep.” She explained.

“ How strange,” Hermione muttered. She realized she’d never met an American person before. “ This way,” she said, walking towards the Gryffindor house, “ In England “crash” means to um…well, to crash.” She added. Rosa just raised an eyebrow and blew smoke out of the corner of her mouth.

****************************************************************************

By the time Hermione had helped Rosa to unpack and was on the way to Divination with her, she was almost sure the girl was a vampire. There was no way any human could be so ANNOYING. But Hermione didn’t realize how much the new girl was going to get to her until they arrived in class.

“ Whoa, this is spooky,” Rosa said loudly of Professor Trelawny’s classroom once they’d walked in. “ Much more decorative than what we had back in the states, though.” Rosa said.

“ Hey,” Ron said, as Hermione took her seat with he and Harry, “ Where’v ya been? What did McGonagall want? Who’s…that?” he asked, looking haltingly up at Rosa.

“ Rosa M. McNally, at your service,” she said cheerily, throwing out her hand for Ron to shake. He grinned sheepishly and shook her hand while his ears turned red. Hermione wanted to puke—had he never seen a good-looking girl before?

“ Yes, well, Rosa is the new—“ Hermione began, but no one was listening.

Rosa whirled to face Harry, who was sitting down at the table behind her. Her smile widened and she grabbed his shoulders. Harry jumped.

“ Um, hi…”

“ Harry Potter!” Rosa exclaimed, excited. “ In the flesh! UN-believeable—I thought I saw you when we walked in—I knew you went to Hogwarts—but to have you in one of my classes, I must be the luckiest American witch in England.” She laughed, “ Well, that’s a joke, Harry, but really, it is great to meet you. I’ve been reading about you all my life—did you know you have a fan club in America?”

“ Er, no—“ Harry said, looking startled.

“ Well, you do, I was going to be the Vice-President, in fact, but they wouldn’t let me join clubs at my old school.” She rolled her eyes. “ Really, they were very prejudiced against me from the start, because of my mother. But I suppose the incident with the tornado in the cafeteria didn’t help matters.” She giggled. Harry smiled back at her kindly. Hermione wanted to kill him.

“ D’you get transfered here?” Ron asked, stupidly in Hermione’s opinion. “ What for? By the way, I’m Ron.”

“ Well, Ron,” Rosa said, not skipping a beat, “ That’s actually quite and interesting tale…” By now half the class had gathered around the new girl, and they were listening intently. “ The headmaster and I had always been at odds with each other, I mean he was such a stuck-up, conservative nerd—can you believe he gave me and my friend Nail detention for releasing a flock of hippo at a Quidditch game?”

Harry and Hermione exchanged a look. She mouthed to him that they needed to talk, and he nodded and followed her away from the flock of students listening to Rosa’s story of expulsion.

“ Doesn’t she remind you of anyone?” Hermione whispered once they were out of earshot.

Harry nodded. “ The vampire. I know—she’s almost a carbon copy.” He said. “ Only she’s, um…well, for one she’s a girl…”

“ Oh, what does it matter?” Hermione said, getting aggravated by the way Harry was looking at her from across the room. “ Girl, boy—they’re all the same. If she’s a vampire then I’m in serious trouble! McGonagall put her in my room! She wants ME to show her around.”

“ Hmm,” Harry said, “ That was quite insensitive.”

“ Yes I thought so,” Hermione said, pulling on her amethyst necklace. “ What should I do?”

“ Well,” Harry said, scratching his head thoughtfully, “ First we need to be sure she’s a vampire. Then we can tell Dumbledore. But let’s not do anything until we’re positive, okay?” he said.

Hermione nodded. “ I’m pretty sure already,” she said, “ I mean—she shows all the signs—pale, dark hair, total disregard for rules—“

“ And charming.” Harry said. Hermione gave him a sideways look. “ I mean…look how those…other kids are hanging on her every word.”

“ Uh-huh.” Hermione said, feeling a strange anger arise in her stomach. Who was this creepy American girl to come here and turn everything upside-down?

“ So anyway,” Rosa was saying as they walked back to the group, “ It turns out that the Headmaster thinks I was trying to overthrow him, when I only meant to posses him for a day or two.”

Harry and Hermione looked at each other, eyes as wide as saucers—Lywellyn had not only said that he over-threw his headmaster, he’d also possessed Hermione so he could drink her blood. Hermione was almost happy, though—if Rosa did turn out to be a vampire at least she’d be GONE. Hermione wanted nothing more than to see this chatty new girl flying away in the form of a bat.

****************************************************************************

Rosa asked Hermione to walk her back to their room before lunch, to “ get something.” She had a funny little smirk on her face that made Hermione nervous. What’ll I do if she corners me? Hermione wondered, cursing her blood type. She rubbed her neck—she still had bruises there from where Lywellyn’s fangs had pierced her skin. She shuddered as she thought of them serving as a sort of “X marks the spot” for Rosa.

Rosa was going on about this and that—mostly saying how different Hogwarts was from her old school. Hermione wasn’t really listening—she couldn’t get a word in edgewise, anyway. That was, until Rosa mentioned Harry…

“ So that Harry Potter, eh?” she said, smiling at Hermione, “ What a hottie!”

“ What a what?” Hermione said, thinking maybe she’d caught some vampire terminology.

"He's gorgeous!" Rosa said, laughing, “ You know what that means, right?”

Hermione made a weird choking sound without meaning to.

“ I mean, I’ve seen pictures of him in books and stuff, but all those were when he was a kid—practically a baby.” Rosa went on, “ I didn’t expect such a—well , you know!” she said, laughing, “ Every witch in her right mind has been in love with Harry Potter since birth, anyway.”

“ How do you figure that?” Hermione asked weakly. She felt sick to her stomach. If Rosa was her competition for Harry then she was doomed…

“ Well, I mean,” Rosa said, “ He saved us, you know? How could you not love a guy who, like, saved the world, and also happens to be your age.”

“ Um,” Hermione said, her steps faltering. It was true—she HAD loved Harry as she read about him in her history books, before she’d ever set foot on the Hogwarts Express, stumbled into his compartment and started nervously babbling about Neville losing his toad… Stupidly, though, she’d assumed she was the only one who felt that way.

“ So is he available?” Rosa asked, “ Or what?” Hermione swallowed the urge to slug her in the face and knock out some of her perfectly aligned teeth.

“ LOOK,” she said, “ I would DULY appreciate it if you didn’t talk about Harry like this with me. It’s very awkward—“

“ Oh, I get it—you’ve got the brother and sister thing going on, right?” she said with a nod. “ Got it. Man I’d hate to hear anyone talking about my friend Nail in the romantic sense.” She winced, “ We’ve known each other since infancy, it’d be WEIRD to hear about him that way. I totally see what you mean.”

“ Eh-heh,” Hermione forced a chuckle, trying to remain calm. You just said every witch in her right mind is in love with him—do you think that excludes me??!

“ Hey, come’re,” Rosa said in a rushed whisper, grabbing Hermione’s arm and pulling her away from the stairs to Gryffindor tower.

“ What are you doing?” Hermione asked nervously, “ Our room is this way—“

“ I want to show you something, remember?” Rosa said with a wicked grin that reminded Hermione of Lywellyn’s. “ Come on, it’s outside.”

“ What? No, I’m not going out there right now, I, uh, have to get to lunch,” Hermione stuttered, but Rosa yanked her out the door. Oh man, Hermione thought, rubbing her traumatized neck, how do I get myself into these things… ?

“ Come, on, it’ll be worth it.” Rosa said, leading her to the empty courtyard. For you maybe, Hermione thought, wondering if anyone would be around to save her this time.

Rosa lead her over to a patch of bushes. “ Okay,” she said, smiling, “ Close your eyes.”

“ NO!” Hermione protested, a little louder than she’d meant to.

“ Ta-da!” Rosa said, reaching into the bushes and pulling out something that looked like a motorcycle with no wheels. It was white and sleek looking, and beneath Rosa’s touch it floated gracefully beside her. “ Why travel on a rickety old broom when you can have one of these babies!” Rosa said proudly.

Hermione was still waiting for her to bite her. “ Huh?” she said, totally confused. “ What is that thing?”

“ This,” Rosa said, hoping into it’s seat, “ Is a sort of American-Muggle device for driving on water. It’s called a Waverunner.”

“ A Muggle machine?” Hermione said curiously, “ But—“

“ I have taken the liberty to enchant it and—Voila!” Rosa said, throwing out her arms and grinning. “ A comfortable, compact device for on-air travel! No more cramps from riding brooms! No more irritable flying cars to run off on you!” she smiled. “ So? What do you think?”

“ I think you better UN-enchant that thing right this minute!” Hermione said, “ Before someone sees you and you get thrown out of another school! Don’t you know it’s illegal to enchant Muggle devices?”

“ Well it shouldn’t be,” Rosa said, “ I’ve always been sort of a genius with Muggle machinery myself. It’s all very fascinating.” She said, and then motioned for Hermione to join her on the flying Waverunner, “ Come on, Hermione, experience the transportation of the future! One ticket into town for the smartest witch in school.” She said with a friendly grin.

Hermione refused to take her compliment, or her ride. If she got me up in the air, then she could really get me with no witnesses, Hermione thought savagely. “ No thanks.” She said, “ I don’t care to get in trouble today.”

“ Aw, come on—we’ll be back before lunch ends and they won’t even notice!” Rosa insisted. “ Ron says there’s a great trick shop in town and I really do need to stock up. It’s no fun to go alone. What d’you say?” she asked, offering Hermione her hand.

“ I say absolutely not.” Hermione answered, almost feeling bad but telling herself she shouldn’t. Rosa was probably definitely a vampire. This was all part of the attack…

“ Suit yourself.” Rosa said with a shrug, ascending higher on her Waverunner. “ But you’ve got to lighten up, Herm-oine. She said, pronouncing her name wrong and making her cringe. “ We’ll have some fun later tonight. See ya in Potions!”

With that she flew off, and Hermione watched her go until she was just a speck in the sky, descending towards Hogsmeade. Rosa was almost being nice, but Hermione didn’t care. Any fellow admirer of Harry’s was no friend of hers.

****************************************************************************

“ So what do you think?” Ron was asking that night in the Gyffindor common room, while Hermione tried to finish her troublesome Divination homework. Ron glanced over at Rosa, who was sitting across the room by the fire, laughing with Dean Thomas like they were old friends. “ She can’t be a vampire, can she?” Ron asked hopefully.

“ Well, I don’t know, Ron,” Hermione said, not looking up, “ One can never be too sure about these things.” Actually, she was almost positive that Rosa was human. Today when she’d taken her joyride to Hogsmeade she’d been out in the sunshine for hours. When Lywellyn was here he hadn’t even wanted to walk outside on the way to the Herbology greenhouses. But she wasn’t about to admit to Ron that the charming new girl was here to stay.

“ I hope she isn’t.” Ron said dreamily, “ I think she’s nice.”

Hermione ignored him. It was hard for her to concentrate on her Divination work, as she was somehow still bothered by Rosa’s earlier comments. Harry’s such a…a…what had she called him? And the way Ron was staring at her as she talked to Dean wasn’t helping much. Hermione wished Harry would get back from Quidditch practice. She was sure his presence would calm her down.

Half the students had gone to bed by the time Harry got back to the Gryffindor common room. He looked exhausted, his robes were a dirty mess, and his sweat-soaked hair was even messier than usual. To Hermione he’d never looked better. He walked immediately to she and Ron’s spot by the fire, throwing himself into an armchair.

“ You look beat,” Hermione said, “ Has Quidditch practice ever been that long?”

Harry groaned. “ It’s no big deal.” He said, “ We needed the practice.”

“ That’s the spirit, Harry old boy!” Ron said, with a jokey over-enthusiastic grin. “ How about we go a few more rounds out there?” he said, shaking Harry’s armchair, “ Come, get your broom, what are you waiting for?”

“ Ron,” Harry said, trying to conceal a smile, “ I’m going to kill you.” Hermione giggled.

“ Hey, it’s the noble Seeker,” Rosa said, walking over to them, giving Harry a million-dollar smile. Hermione’s heart sank. She pretended to be suddenly very interested in her Divination work.

“ How is the Quidditch team here?” Rosa asked purposefully.

Harry shrugged, “ We’re pretty good.” He said modestly.

“ Pretty good!” Ron said, grabbing Harry’s shoulders, “ Are you kidding? You’re looking at the best Seeker this side of the Atlantic!”

“ Well, it hardly matters if I can’t find a decent Keeper.” Harry said, “ Mavis Bleecher has been filling in lately, but the position has been hurting our team since Oliver Wood left four years ago.”

“ I could give it a whirl.” Rosa said, “ I was a Beater for our team in America. I know my way around a Quidditch field, at least.”

Harry sat up, excited, “ Really? A Beater? Well, it is a defensive position, like the Keeper. Maybe you should try out. Mavis is getting tired of getting smacked around on the court—she isn’t really cut out for Keeper.”

Hermione’s heart sank. Harry was captain of the Gryffindor team—if Rosa joined then they’d be spending time together almost constantly…

“ Alright then,” Rosa said, beaming. “ I’ll show you what I’m made of tomorrow.” She said, making Hermione’s grip on her pencil tighten, snapping it in two. “ But I’m worn out myself. Goodnight, guys!” she said, getting up.

“ See you tomorrow,” Harry said with a sleepy smile.

“ Goodnight, Rosa!” Ron chirped, and he was echoed by the rest of the students in the common room, all sad to see the wonderful Rosa turning in for the evening.

“ Are you coming, Herm-oine?” Rosa asked her, affectionately patting her head.

“ No.” Hermione said flatly, suppressing the urge to swat Rosa’s hand away. “ I have to finish this.”

“ What about you, Harry?” Ron asked with a yawn.

“ I’ll stay,” Harry said.

“ Alright,” Ron said, getting up to leave, “ Just don’t wake me up when you come in.” He said, tugging gently at Hermione’s hair. “ Goodnight Herm-oine.” He whispered with a fiendish grin, imitating Rosa’s accent. Hermione rolled her eyes and pretended to punch him.

Once they had gone, Hermione looked up at Harry, who was lazily staring at her.

“ So what do you say, Hermione?” Harry asked, “ Vampire or no?”

“ Oh, you mean Rosa?” Hermione said innocently, as if she hadn’t thought about it, “ Um, I don’t know.” She didn’t want to lie to Harry, but she couldn’t bring herself to admit that Rosa was now one of them. Harry just stared back at her, smiling slightly.

“ What?” she asked, laughing nervously and pulling on her necklace.

“ Nothing.” His gaze was unmoving. Hermione tried not to notice the emptiness of the common room. Only she and Harry remained…and he was looking at her, like…

“ You want me to fetch you some tea or something?” Hermione said quickly, not allowing herself to get her hopes up. You saw the way he was looking at the new girl, she thought sadly, don’t be a fool.

Harry just laughed. “ I’m fine.” He said. “ I haven’t even done my homework.” He said with a groan, looking at the clock. “ I’ll have to do it tomorrow, at breakfast.”

Hermione wanted to say something equally banal, but only prose and lines from songs popped into her head. How high will you fly without me there to be your sky… Hermione shook her head to get the tune out of her mind.

“ What do you suppose we’ll do after we graduate?” Harry asked quietly, suddenly looking very serious.

“ You—you and me?” Hermione asked.

“ Yeah,” Harry said, “ I don’t know what I’m going to do with the rest of my life, do you?”

“ Well,” Hermione said, “ I had thought about teaching.” She said carefully. Actually she thought about it quite a lot, how maybe nothing would change if she stayed on to teach Transfiguration, Harry could take the Defense Against the Dark Arts class (he’d certainly had the experience) and Ron could coach Quidditch. Nothing would really have to change, Hermione thought, even if Harry never fell for me, at least we could be together at Hogwarts, like always.

Harry laughed, “ The next Professor McGonagall.” He said.

“ It’s not such a bad thing to be.” Hermione said, embarrassed, her eyes falling to her homework papers.

“ Hey,” Harry said, sympathetically, climbing out of the armchair and kneeling beside Hermione. “ You know anything you do will be—will be—oh, you know, Hermione—you’re perfect!”

Hermione’s eyes shot up. “ I wish everyone wouldn’t think that of me!” she said, upset. “ You know, I’m just a normal girl, not some, some, walking brain!” With that she hurriedly gathered up her things and stormed off towards the girls dorm.

“ Hermione!” Harry shouted after her. “ Hermione, where are you going?”

“ To bed!” Hermione shouted. “ If that’s okay with you.” She added coldly.

“ I don’t believe this!” Harry said, following her out of the common room. “ You’re mad at me for saying you’re perfect?!”

“ Oh, shut up, Harry!” Hermione said, reaching for the door to the girl’s dorms. “ You don’t really mean it!” she said, disappearing inside and shutting the door loudly behind her. She was shocked with herself—she’d never been mad at Harry before. It’s all Rosa’s fault, she thought savagely, she’s gotten me all confused.

She stomped into her room, and glared menacingly at Rosa, who was asleep in Janet Footscray’s old bed. Rosa rolled over, and looked up at Hermione.

“ Hey,” she said, her voice low, “ Where’ve ya been?”

Hermione sat down heavily at her mirrored dresser, her head falling into her hands. “ Fighting with Harry.” she muttered.

“ Oh, right.” Rosa said, getting up and walking over to her. She stood behind Hermione at the mirror for a moment. “ Can you believe me?” she said, “ I left all my eyeliner in America.” She laughed. “ Sounds like the lyrics to a folk song or something: ‘ Left all my eyeliner in America’.” She sang. Hermione didn’t respond. “ Anyway,” Rosa said, “ Do have any I can borrow for tomorrow?”

Hermione shook her head. “ I don’t wear makeup.” She said.

“ Really?” Rosa said, “ Wow. I couldn’t live without it.” She bent her head next to Hermione’s and looked at the reflection of their faces in the mirror. “ Well, you are naturally beautiful.” She said with a smile. Hermione wished she would stop saying things like that. It made her want to be her friend.

“ Anyway,” Rosa said, “ I should get to bed. Got to have my beauty rest—I’ve got a date on the Quidditch field with Harry Potter tomorrow!” she said, grinning enormously. Hermione automatically hated her again.

“ Thanks for being so nice to me, Hermione.” Rosa said, as she climbed into her bed. “ Tonight I’m exhausted, but tomorrow we can stay up all night and talk, okay?”

“ Uh-huh.” Hermione said unenthusiastically. Rosa was such a nice girl, after all, and quite far from being a vampire. It was too bad she didn’t look like a troll, or the two of them could have been friends.

But no, Hermione thought darkly as she changed into her nightgown. If it’s a war over Harry she wants, then that’s what she’ll have. No one ever said Hermione Granger gave up easily. May the best girl win, she thought, giving the sleeping Rosa a menacing look before she climbed into bed.

TO BE CONTINUED...