Unofficial Portkey Archive

Alice Evans and the Prisoner of Azkaban by hermy_madness

Alice Evans and the Prisoner of Azkaban


Breaking the Mould

"Merry Christmas boys!" Hermione burst through the door to the boys' dormitory as Alice followed in her wake.

Ron groaned and turned over in his bed. "Just for once," they heard his muffled grumble emerging from the pillow, "I would like to be able to sleep in on Christmas day!"

"Don't be a grump," Alice chastised as she perched on the end of his bed. "It's Christmas!" She waved her wand and hundreds of tiny paper snowflakes began descending from the canopy of his bed.

"Alright, alright I'm up!" He was grinning really. "Hey Alice," he exclaimed sitting up and examining one of the snowflakes, "these are really cool."

"No, that's the snow outside," Harry pointed towards the window which snow was falling rapidly past. Ron sighed in dramatic despair at his friends before leaping towards his presents and ripping through them.

"Thanks Hermione!" Alice, opening her own in a much more controlled manner, revealed another charm to add to the bracelet Hermione had given her in first year. This one was of a tiny hour-glass. "It's perfect!" The two girls smiled at each other across the dormitory as they shared the secret before Hermione glanced reflexively down to make sure that the real Time Turner was safely hidden. As she struggled to attach the charm to her bracelet, which she still wore all the time, she was suddenly attacked by a great quantity of wrapping paper as Ron threw it away in his haste to get at what lay inside. "Ron!"

"Oops," he peered guiltily up from the floor where he was surrounded by a collection of sweet boxes, a Weasley jumper and what looked like a Chudley Cannons shirt - not to mention several presents still unopened. "Sorry, Alice."

Laughing she shook her head in despair as she went to open her own gift from Mrs Weasley, which was endearingly predictable. Harry who had also just unwrapped his own Weasley Jumper held it up with a grin. "Do you reckon we've got enough of these now between us to open a shop and start selling them?"


Once they had opened their gifts the girls set about collecting up all the scraps of wrapping paper and stuffing them into a bin that was really too small for purpose. Just as Alice was emerging from under one of the beds with a handful of elusive paper and string she heard Hermione exclaim: "Hey, Harry, you missed one over here!" They all looked to see what she was talking about and sure enough, there, sitting on a chair by the dormitory door, was another package. Harry crossed the room to pick it up, turning the brown papered object over in his hands as he searched for a note or a tag to say who it was from. Finding nothing he shrugged and tore it open.

Beneath the paper lay a long, blue leather case, the sort that glasses or particularly expensive jewellery might come in. Frowning thoughtfully Harry flipped the lid open. He stopped.

"What is it Harry?" Hermione began to cross the room to get a look.

"Who's it from?"

"They're glasses," he held up a pair of large, wire framed spectacles. As they caught the light Alice saw that there was a fractured crack all along one of the lenses, almost as though they had been dropped or trodden on.

"Why would someone send you broken glasses?" Hermione asked curiously as she took them to examine them.

"Maybe they broke in the post?" Hazarded Ron. "If the owl was anything like Erroll then it's possible."

As Alice moved to join the group Hermione raised her wand. "I'll mend them for you if you like." She opened her mouth to say the spell, but as she did so Harry suddenly snatched them from her.

"Wait!" he dashed across the room and rummaged through his trunk. Within seconds he had found the photo album they had all been looking at the other night and flipped through it quickly until he found the page he was looking for. Alice and the others watched him in silent incomprehension. For a moment Harry scrutinised one of the images and a look of realisation crossed his face, with confusion hot on its heels. "I think," he hesitated for a second. "I think these were my Dad's."

"What?" They stared at him for a moment as he looked reverently back at the spectacles in his hand; his eyes were shining with sudden tears.

"Let me see." Gently Alice took the album from him and cast a glance between the man in the photograph, who looked so like Harry, and the object in his hand. They certainly looked the same.

"Who would send you your Dad's glasses?" Hermione took the album and proceeded to do exactly what Alice had just done.

"Maybe it was Dumbledore; he sent me the cloak in first year after all."

"It might be…" she speculated, it was possible he had sent them by way of apology for concealing Harry's sister, "but then again, if he had had them then why not just give you them at the same time? And why send these anonymously? I mean the Cloak helps you break school rules so I understand why he did it then, but those," she gestured at the glasses in his hand, "well they're just glasses."

Ron tried to contribute. "Maybe it was Lupin, he did know your Dad - but I suppose," he interrupted himself, "he could have given you these when he told you that." They all pondered the problem for a moment.

"Maybe it was your Aunt?" Having seen her over the summer Alice doubted this, but she thought it was worth mentioning anyway. It wasn't as though she could think of anyone else.

In response to her suggestion Harry snorted in amusement and dug in his pocket. "This was my Christmas present from the Dursley's," he held up a single crumpled tissue, "so I don't think it was them. They wouldn't want to outdo themselves."

"Well… I don't know then," Hermione was evidently at a loss. There were another few moments of considered silence as they all wracked their brains and Harry continued to gaze at the broken glasses as though they were the greatest treasure in the world; which, Alice supposed, to Harry they were.

"Anyone fancy breakfast then?" Ron's hopeful question broke the mood and they all laughed.

Christmas at Hogwarts that year was a much smaller affair as so few students had stayed for the holidays, but that didn't mean it was any less spectacular. If anything the school had gone out of its way to compensate for the lack of people by being more brash, more colourful, and more festive than usual. The Great Hall was festooned with colour; there were so many trees that Alice felt it was rather like eating Christmas dinner in the middle of a forest, all be it one where everything was covered in streamers and fairy lights. Enormous garlands hung so low from the sealing that when Hagrid stood up from the table at the end of lunch and wobbled off - having drunk rather too much Fire Whiskey - he was in danger of scraping his head off of them.

If Harry's glasses had been from Dumbledore or Lupin, neither of them mentioned it. Alice didn't see the glasses again that day, but every so often she would catch Harry with a far away look in his eyes and she knew he was thinking about them. Then he would snap out of it, catch her watching him and smile to show that he was fine. Typical boy!

By the end of the day Alice was exhausted and it was all that she could do to eat yet another mince pie in the common room in front of the roaring fire, play yet another game of exploding snap with Fred Weasley (which she won) and then stumble off to bed feeling happy and contented.

The glasses had reminded her however of her promise to find something to cheer Harry up, and after several days of careful thinking she managed to formulate a rough plan. The problem was that a part of the plan would involve talking - not her strongest attribute. In the end she decided that if she over thought the whole thing she would just increase her nerves even more, so she made up her mind to just get on with it.

Abruptly she stood up from her seat in the common room where she had been sitting reading with her friends and announced that she had something she needed to do. Without explanation she set off at a trot through the empty corridors and tried to keep her mind clear of all thoughts until she reached her destination. Eventually she stopped at a solid wooden door and before she could talk herself out of it, raised her hand and quickly knocked. There was a moment of silence. Perhaps no one was there?

"Come in."

Pausing in the corridor she took a deep breath and tried to arrange her brain properly. "Oh for goodness sake," she chastised herself before pushing the door open; what did she have to be nervous of?

"Ah Alice," Professor Lupin smiled slightly when he saw her. He straightened up from the Grindylow tank he had been bending over. "What can I do for you today? Did you have a nice Christmas?"

"Yes, thank you Professor." She hesitated. "Harry told us that he came to talk to you a few days ago."

"Ah," Lupin nodded slowly and then went to sit on the edge of his desk, "I see." He folded his arms and looked at her searchingly. "Did he tell you what we talked about?"

"Yes," Alice fiddled with the end of her plait. "He said that he came to ask you about his sister -" Lupin winced - "and that you told him that you went to school with his parents and Sirius Black… And that Black was his godfather."

"Well… yes…" Lupin ran a hand across his tired face. "What was it you wanted to talk to me about exactly?"

"I…" How to ask? "The thing is Professor we've all been a bit worried about Harry, he's been really upset by everything - although he wouldn't admit it," she added with a wry grin. "Nothing seems to be going right for him this year and I just wondered if… Well I saw on the train at the start of term that you managed to repel those Dementors and I was wondering if you would teach that to Harry. At least if he could do that he might not feel so… powerless about everything that's happened." She paused, waiting for an answer.

"I don't see why I couldn't," he replied after watching her carefully for a moment. "If Harry is willing to learn that is; it would be difficult but he has shown an aptitude for Defence Against the Dark Arts. Yes, I don't see why not," he smiled at her and as he did so the years fell away from his face.

"Thank you," she reciprocated. At least that was one part of Harry's life that was looking up, now she only had to complete the other part of her plan.

She was about to edge uncertainly towards the door when Lupin spoke again. "Alice," she stopped in her tracks. "You know you're very -" He paused and seemed to change his mind about what he was about to say. "Astute. You're very astute, for someone so young."

"Thank you Professor." She skipped a beat before the question she really wanted to ask popped out. "Professor, what were Harry's parents like?" She was genuinely curious.

For a long moment nothing in the office moved, it was as though she had strayed onto sacred ground somehow; Lupin stared hard at her for a moment as though trying to fathom her motives in asking. Then, just as she began to wonder if she had done the wrong thing, he broke the silence. "They were wonderful people, the best of friends a man could ask for. James was very like Harry, not just in looks although I'm sure you have all heard that often enough. He was impulsive and adventurous, fun-loving and he had a certain disregard for the rules -"

"Like Harry," she laughed at the thought. "What about his Mum?"

Lupin sobered. "Lily was one of the most uncommon women I have ever met. She was beautiful and kind, warm… she was very strict, she always made sure that we behaved ourselves. Fiercely intelligent…" Lupin tailed off. The thought occurred to Alice that perhaps Lupin had been a little in love with her himself, he certainly seemed a little more withdrawn when he was talking about her, as though it was private or there was a secret somehow. "Why do you ask?"

"I…" Why had she asked? "With everything that's happened recently… And then Harry showed us some pictures of his parents and I was curious. " She shrugged uncertainly.

"Well," the barrier around Lupin that seemed to have fallen whilst they were talking returned, "tell Harry to come and see me when he can and we can discuss those lessons."

"Thank you Professor." Alice backed towards the door.

It wasn't until term had restarted that she was able to put the second part of her scheme into operation, that was because phase two of `Operation cheer up Harry' required input from someone who was rather reluctant to play their part.

"Alice, can you not just drop it?" Hermione blushed trying to hide her face by busying herself with her hairbrush in a vain attempt to flatten her hair somewhat - she wasn't succeeding.

"Oh come on Hermione, you like him and you know he likes you. All you have to do is ask him. It'll be two days before Valentine's Day too so it will be really sweet. It's simple, come on, repeat after me: Harry, would you like to go to Hogsmeade with me? Ten words. Simple." She smiled winningly at her.

"Well it sounds fine when you say it like that." Her friend huffed in irritation. "I'd like to see you try."

"Yuck." Alice wrinkled her nose. "Me and Harry?!" She shuddered. "That would just be awkward and… wrong."

"Ha. Ha. You know what I meant." Hermione swatted her with the brush then bit her lip as she gave it some thought. "Alright," she took a big shuddering breath and then grinned nervously at her best friend. "But… let me do it in my own time alright?"

"Sure," Alice beamed at her.

"You know," Hermione laughed after they had sat in awkward silence for a moment, "it's at times like this that I'm so glad that you aren't Lavender or Parvati; if you were you would have spent the last five minutes squealing at me."

"I can if you really want me to." Alice smirked as Hermione looked at her sceptically.

"No thanks," she put down her brush, clearly accepting that her hair was always going to be bigger than her head. "Right come on then let's go down and see if Harry is back from his lesson with Lupin yet - What?!" She protested as Alice smiled knowingly again, "I'm just curious, Patronuses are really rare pieces of magic I want to know how he got on with his first try. My interest is purely technical."

"Of course it is." The two girls laughed as they made their way down to the common room. Harry however, hadn't arrived yet.

"Where had you two gotten to?" Ron asked looking up from the game of chess he was currently beating Neville at.

"Nowhere," they sat down in front of the fire. "Isn't Harry back y-" Hermione started to ask but before she had finished her sentence, the object of her question walked I into the common room. "Harry!" She exclaimed brightly. "How was your lesson with Lupin?"

"Alright," he collapsed heavily on the sofa next to them. "Tiring." The smile that greeted them was strained and set in a pale face. "Do you want a piece?" He held out the bar of chocolate in his hand. "Lupin gave me some after facing the Dementor."

"No, that's fine. He made you face a Dementor? That's really dangerous Harry!" Hermione sounded alarmed.

Their friend however shook his head as he took a loud, snapping bite. "Not a real one, it was a Boggart. I told Lupin that's what I thought I feared most so he went and got the Boggart we had used in class so that I could practice on it. He said that would be better than just trying to conjure a Patronus in an empty classroom. It still felt real though."

"Did you manage to make a Patronus though?" Alice asked, sympathy mingling with her curiosity.

"Yeah, not a proper one though, but he said that what I did produce was really good for a first attempt."

"I'm sure it was brilliant," Hermione beamed at him now that she was satisfied he hadn't been in imminent danger. "At least now if the Dementors turn up at the match again next week you'll be able to hold them off long enough that you won't have to practice sky diving again."

"I doubt they will," Ron opined with an air of wisdom, "Dumbledore was absolutely livid, but I don't get why they turned up in the first place anyway."

Alice noticed Harry shift uncomfortably in his seat and suddenly become very interested in his half-eaten chocolate. "Harry, what is it?"

"Hmm?" He avoided her gaze, trying to look nonchalant.

"Harry," Hermione warned sternly, "what's wrong?"

"Nothing," he eventually met her gaze, trying to look innocent; Hermione was having none of it. "Alright," he sighed. "Just before the Dementors appeared there was a flash of lightening and I thought I saw… something."

"What do you mean?" Ron moved until he was on the edge of his seat, drawn forwards by the mystery.

"There was something - someone - in the stands, right at the top where hardly anyone every goes. A big, black shape… I only saw it for a second so I'm not exactly sure."

Alice glanced nervously across at Hermione who had gone very pale; she didn't like the sound of this. There was a niggling feeling in the pit of her stomach that told her, more than any description that Harry might have been able to give what, or who, had been in the stands during the match. The thought made her blood run cold.

"Do you think it was Sirius Black?"

"It must have been," Hermione answered Ron's question before Harry had a chance to open his mouth. "Oh Harry! Why didn't you tell us about this sooner? You have to tell McGonagall!"

"I don't know what I saw for sure; it was just a shape, it could have been a trick of the light! It was raining and then the Dementors appeared so fast I didn't have time to check properly."

Hermione looked unconvinced, but she bit her lip and stared worriedly in the direction of the spiral staircase instead.

"Look, it's done now," Alice decided to be diplomatic, "let's just forget about it shall we?"

Reluctantly the others agreed. Over the next few days however Alice noticed that Hermione seemed to be increasingly preoccupied about something, fleetingly the thought occurred to her that she was perhaps up to something with the Time Turner again, but she dismissed the idea. Before Hermione had told her about her magical necklace she had just been very tired and disappeared randomly, but this was different. Now she would just catch Hermione frowning out of windows or into fireplaces whenever she thought no one was watching her, or staring blankly at a book instead of reading it. The latter definitely told Alice that something was wrong, Hermione never missed and opportunity to read whatever was in front of her. Whenever she asked her though, her friend denied everything and grinned at her unconvincingly. It was quite by accident however that in the second week of term she found out exactly what was troubling her.

On Thursday morning Alice had been left on her own to go to Transfiguration whilst Hermione went off to repeat the hour in Muggle Studies (which Alice could never understand why she took) and Divination (which Hermione couldn't understand why she was still taking.) On her way to the classroom she realised that in her hurry to get ready before breakfast she had left her copy of Intermediate Transfiguration lying on her bed. Hoping that she had enough time she sprinted up to the common room to fetch it.

"Hermione?" She stumbled to a halt in the common room, which would have been deserted had it not been for her friend who had jumped up guiltily from an armchair next to the fire when Alice had dashed in out of breath and slightly dishevelled. "What are you doing in here?" Her friend was staring at her with wide, shocked eyes and a slightly guilty expression.

"I… erm… I was just - nothing!" Hermione couldn't lie to save her life.

"Hermione," Alice's eyes narrowed suspiciously, "what have you got behind your back?"

Her best friend stared at her for a long moment and she could almost see the thoughts ticking through her brain, trying to work out whether or not she could dissuade Alice. Having known her for three years it wasn't long before she huffed reluctantly and drew her hands out from behind her back, revealing what she had concealed. Alice frowned.

"Erm… Hermione, why have you got Harry's Dad's glasses?"

Her friend was worrying at her lip again, a concerned crease had appeared between her honey-coloured eyes and she was twirling the broken spectacles agitatedly between her fingers.

"Hermione?" She repeated when her friend still didn't answer.

"I was going to give them to McGonagall alright?!"

"I… Why?" Whatever response Alice had been expecting that hadn't been it. Why on earth had Hermione snuck up to the common room and taken the glasses to give to McGonagall? It didn't make sense.

"After the other day when Harry said that he had seen - thought he had seen Sirius Black at the Quidditch match, it got me thinking: if Black had been friends with Harry's parents at school then he -"

"He might have sent them to Harry," Alice whispered her brain finally catching up with Hermione's. "Is this what you've been worrying about for days?" Hermione nodded miserably. "You should have said something," She looked back at the glasses in Hermione's hand again, "and you should definitely have said something to Harry."

"I know, but they're his Dad's and I know what he would say if I suggested handing them over to a teacher. He's so stubborn, but what if they were cursed or something? I mean it's possible isn't it?" She looked eagerly at Alice for confirmation.

"Yeees… I suppose…" She wasn't sure. With Black anything could be possible, but surely if they were cursed something would have happened to Harry by now, he had owned them for nearly two weeks after all. Then again, would it not be better to make sure. "But to take them without telling Harry? Really? He would never forgive you."

"I know!" Hermione sank into the chair she had sprung up from and hung her head so that her bushy hair fell like a curtain across her face. "I don't know what to do. If I give them to McGonagall he'll never speak to me again and I don't think I could bear… But if I tell him he'll probably think I'm over reacting and still get angry."

Sympathising with her plight, Alice quickly crossed the room and perched on the side of the chair as she put an arm around her friend's shoulders. "Look, I don't think you're giving Harry enough credit here. Certainly don't hand over the spectacles without telling him; I'm not saying he'd never speak to you again - I don't think Harry could last long without talking to you," she was pleased to see Hermione smile slightly at this, "but he'd certainly feel betrayed. Unless you leave it and don't do anything," an option she was positive her friend wouldn't take because it just wasn't in her nature to let things lie, "then I think you're going to have to tell him."

"But what if he won't let McGonagall look at them? I mean if I tell her I think they're jinxed then she'll probably want to strip them down and you saw how protective Harry was when I offered just to mend them. He'll have a fit if he thinks people are tampering with them."

"You could make sure that they're given back in the same condition. Or," she was thinking out loud now, reasoning things out as she went along, "if he does kick up a fuss about it then just let him know that you're going to go to McGonagall anyway."

"Are you sure?"

Alice nodded and gave her friend an affectionate squeeze.

"Alright, hang on then." Her friend rose and dashed back up the stairs to the dormitory; Alice could only assume that she was replacing the glasses. Seconds later she was back again, checking her watch as she strode across the common room looking much more like her usual efficient self. "We're going to be late for class now, it started ages ago. I guess we'll just have to use the Time Turner, sorry." She glanced up at Alice apologetically as she fished said object out from under her robes.

"Are you kidding?" Alice felt a fizz of excitement shoot along her spine. "I've been dying to have a go of that thing all term!" From the soberness of moments before Alice was practically bouncing up and down as Hermione threw the long golden chain around her neck. Magic had become such an ingrained part of her existence now that sometimes it was easy to forget that there was anything particularly out of the ordinary about it. She loved moments like these when she was re-inspired by something to do with it; what greater expression of the extraordinary was there than time-travel? If anyone had asked her the things she had most wanted to do with magic when she had first started at Hogwarts this would have been one of those things right up there with Apparition, being able to levitate things and Transfiguration.

With wide, shining eyes she watched as Hermione held up the Time Turner, its golden edges sparkling enticingly in the winter light, and flipped it back a half turn. All at once the world became a swirling cloud of light and colour; the common room around her dissolved and she felt as though she was being yanked off her feet and thrown backwards, or falling horizontally - the sensation didn't last long enough for her to work out which. As quickly as the motion started it was over and she found herself standing in a deserted corridor outside the Arithmancy classroom, swaying slightly on the flag-stone floor as her body adjusted to the shock of transition. "Wow," she mumbled trying to take in the fact that she had just travelled in time and marvelling at how easy it had been. "I… Wow." There weren't really any other words.

"Oh, come on!" Hermione whisked the chain from her neck and pulled her quickly along the corridor towards a nearby classroom. "In here before someone spots us." She towed Alice into the deserted room and turned back to peek through the crack she had left open in the door. "Once we both leave the room, then we can just slip back in and carry on as though nothing had happened, alright?"

"Alright," Alice was aware she was still grinning like an idiot and tried to straighten her face with difficulty. A few moments later there was a huge commotion out in the corridor as students began pouring out of classrooms shouting and screeching at the tops of their voices.

"Right, that's us." Hermione had to raise her voice over the din. "Are you ready?"

Alice nodded and the two girls slipped back out into the corridor and rejoined the flow of students. Even though she knew her other self - how strange to think of it like that - was somewhere upstairs, Alice couldn't help but keep peering around her to make sure that she didn't bump into herself. Thankfully being small had some benefits because even if she had, for some inexplicable reason, encountered a second self in the corridor she would be unlikely to spot herself through all the taller students crushing around her. Even thinking that sentence made her head hurt.

It wasn't long before the girls reached the Transfiguration classroom and slipped into their seats next to Harry and Ron.

"What are you two grinning at?"

"Nothing," Alice smiled enigmatically, "Just having a good day that's all."

"Well do you fancy passing some of that on?" Ron moaned. "We've just spent an entire lesson with Trelawney telling us we're all going to keel over at any moment and now we've got to try and turn these shoe brushes," he brandished one of the said objects which were lying on every desk, "into something impossible! I could use some `good' right now."

"Oh." Something suddenly dawned on Alice and she slapped herself on the forehead. "I am such an idiot!" She couldn't believe how scatterbrained she was.

"Any particular reason why, or is this just an observation?" Harry teased.

With a giggle Alice turned back to explain to Hermione. "Can you believe after all that I forgot to pick up my Transfiguration book?!" Hermione glanced up from her own copy which she had been reading over before class. She met Alice's eyes for a split second before bursting out laughing too.

"I don't get it," Ron complained grumpily, "what's so funny about that?"

"Girls," Harry told him with all the wisdom of his thirteen years. "Don't ask."

The four of them found themselves rather busy over the next few days and so it wasn't until after the Quidditch match on Saturday, where much to their chagrin Ravenclaw were narrowly beaten by Slytherin, that Hermione had an opportunity to broach the subject of the spectacles with Harry.

"No." His tone brooked no argument and he had set his jaw in an expression of stubbornness that Alice had seen all too often before. Hermione however, tried to reason with him.

"But Harry, they could be dangerous! I'm not saying that you should destroy them or anything just let McGonagall or Flitwick or someone have a look at them. For your own safety!"

"No," he repeated. "If they were going to curse me or something wouldn't it have happened by now? Just because I don't know where they came from doesn't mean that they're dangerous; I mean look at the cloak, I didn't know where it came from at first did I?"

"But that was completely different," Hermione was clearly trying to be patient with him, but a note of irritation was creeping into her voice as Ron and Alice watched their argument in silence, neither wanting to get involved. "You didn't have a mass murderer trying to hunt you down then."

"Voldemort taking a holiday that year was he?"

"You know what I meant," her brows lowered dangerously. "Fine!" She exclaimed when he continued to look unmoved by her pleading. "Answer me this then: if I'm right and those spectacles were sent by Black, and you don't do anything about them, what are you going to do if something happens?"

"I don't think that sentence even made sense."

"It's not a joke Harry! You know exactly what I meant; how are you going to feel if someone gets hurt and you could have prevented it? Curses aren't always instantaneous, look at what happened to Ginny last year."

"That was completely different," Harry muttered looking sullen.

"Was it? She thought that diary was completely innocuous too. So did you if I remember rightly." She threw out the last statement like a challenge and the minute she said it Alice could sense that her friend had gone too far.

"Your point being that you didn't I suppose," Harry was really angry now, his green eyes flashed dangerously in the firelight as he turned deathly pale. "As always Hermione Granger knows best while the rest of us just wander around like brainless idiots."

"You know I didn't mean it like that." Her bushy hair seemed to crackle with electricity as her own temper was roused by Harry's mocking comments. "But now that you mention it, yes I warned you about that too. And I was right wasn't I?"

"Ugh," Harry threw his hands up in frustration, "I don't have to listen to this!" He spun on his heel and stalked towards the staircase that led to the boys' dormitory.

"FINE!" Hermione yelled at his retreating back as she too made for the staircase. "That's the last time I try to give you advice! Just don't come crying to me if it turns out that I was right!" The only response she received was the sound of a distant door slamming forcefully. Letting out a strangled scream of frustration she stomped up the stairs to her own room.

"Well," Ron eventually broke the protracted silence that had descended over the room. "I suppose it makes a change from me and Hermione shouting at each other."

Alice frowned worriedly towards in the direction which her friends had angrily flounced; the last thing she wanted was another falling out within the group. How were Harry and Hermione ever going to get together if they weren't even speaking? She had faith that they would work it out eventually, they were too good friends for them not to, but this would surely mean another delay in Hermione having that chat with Harry that she had promised she would. She rolled her eyes; honestly, people.

The two of them turned back to the homework they had been doing before the row erupted, but it wasn't long before they heard a pattering of feet racing down the stairs again. They both glanced up curiously as Harry strode briskly across the room, spectacles in hand and a determined look on his face. He didn't seem to register his friends still sitting by the fire where he had left them earlier and probably would have steamed on by without a word had Ron not piped up.

"Mate, where are you going?"

"McGonagall." Was the curt response as he reached the portrait hole. Seeming to consider for a moment he paused and looked back at them for a second before disappearing through it. "Don't you dare tell Hermione."

Alice couldn't help it, the minute the portrait swung closed behind him, she burst out laughing. Boys were utterly ridiculous sometimes.

A/N: Because at the end of the day, as we all know, Hermione is nearly always right! Please R&R as always!