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The next morning was rough for me. Right as I woke up, I put on my clothes, put my Rememberall inside my pocket, and did my best to find the courage to join the others who were heading to the Great Hall for breakfast. I was going to walk down with Seamus and Dean, but all they wanted to talk about was Quidditch, and I didn't care for it that much, and the last thing I wanted was to feel like a third wheel around them.
I caught up with Hermione, and after we talked for a while, we both agreed that staying away from that giant dog was better for both of us. Mostly because we didn't want to get detention with Mr. Filch, or worse, Professor Snape. And we both didn't want to get expelled, which is why we decided that hanging around with Harry and Ron wasn't the best, especially if Malfoy tried to pull another prank like he did with the duel. Which was absolutely fine with me.
"You know", started Hermione, "I've been thinking of taking extra classes to help me prepare for end of the year exams. Maybe it will do wonders for the O.W.L.S we're set to take fifth year."
"Sure", I said, realizing I still had homework to do, wondering what would happen if I didn't do it, would I held back?
"Well, I for one, am excited for the exams. They'll help us decide what we want to do after Hogwarts. Not that I've put much thought to it, but it doesn't hurt", she informed me.
"I suppose. You know, Hermione, you are aware you don't have to rush to grow up. Aren't you okay being 11?", I asked as we walked down the steps, trying to avoid Peeves, who was tugging at girls hair.
She shrugged her shoulders. "My parents have always told me I'm mature for my age. And since I never had any interest in playing with the kids in the muggle world, I spent a lot of my time reading books. Which is why the first day at Diagon Alley, I bought the books we needed plus more, and read them all in less than six weeks. That way I'd be prepared for anything."
"Wow. And all I was worried about was making sure I remembered to wear pants", I said. We both laughed. "Oh! That reminds me". I grabbed my Rememberall from my pocket and squeezed it. The red mist filled the object, telling me I forgot something. "I'm still not sure what I forgotten!". Hermione bit her lip, trying to help me out, and looked me over.
"Oh! I know! You forgot to put your robes on!", she said, obviously happy to help. I immediately looked at myself and felt stupid I hadn't realized it before.
"Thanks. I'll put them on after breakfast". With that we walked into the Great Hall, and sat at the Gryffindor table.
"Um, Neville, you share a room with Harry and Ron, right?", she asked.
"Do they ever say anything about me? I want the truth", she said. I got nervous as she glared at me.
"Well, to be honest, Ron calls you bossy a lot. Harry doesn't say much, he agrees with Ron some of the time. Seamus, Dean, and I stay out of it though." She didn't seem too happy with this, but accepted it.
"Do you think I'm a know it all?", she asked.
"Yeah, but that's not a bad thing, Hermione. No! Honestly! Do you know how much I wish to be as smart as you are?!". That seemed to cheer her up.
With her buck toothed smile, she beamed. We watched as other Gryffindors joined us, and began to eat. When the owls were delivering mail, six screech owls were carrying a package that was larger than any other piece of mail I've ever seen. The minute the parcel landed before him, Harry read the letter attached to it, and didn't touch the package after he read it. It wasn't difficult to see what it was; it was in the shape of a broom after all. We heard Ron announce it was a Nimbus 2000. I wonder who would send that to Harry, not trying to sound rude, but what he told us of his aunt and uncle, they didn't exactly give him everything he wanted.
I saw Harry and Ron take the parcel and run out of the Great Hall, probably to open it in our dorm. Malfoy grabbed Harry's gift from him and refused to give it back. Not wanting another confrontation with Malfoy, I looked away towards Hermione who looked annoyed.
"Unbelievable!", she exclaimed. "They almost get us into trouble and he's being rewarded with a present like that!? If that would have been you or I, we would have gotten a month's detention!", she said, as she stabbed her eggs with her fork.
"None of the teachers found out about it as far as we know", I my best to comfort her. She seemed to consider this.
"Still, they're both lucky we didn't lose all of Gryffindor's points. If anyone had known I was involved, I'd be getting made fun of than I already am, apparently". We ate the rest of our breakfast in silence, while I heard Oliver Wood talking excitedly to Fred and George Weasley about Harry's broomstick.
"If we had that broom, we'd win the House cup for sure!", said George.
As everyone left the Great Hall to go to classes, I decided to quick run up to my dorm to put on my robes. I walked out the entrance, only to become engulfed by a crowd of every year students, finding myself getting a bit claustrophobic at being stuck in this large group. I broke free and took a minute to stand by an entrance that led to the courtyard. I sat on a windowsill and watched the crowd pass me by.
I saw a bunch of first year girls laughing and talking to one another, pointing at their books. I recognized the girls, Hannah, Parvati, Lavender, Su, Sarah and Lisa. Sarah was clutching her book very tightly against her chest, her head down so her hair was dangling in front of her face, but I could see her eyes, and how red and puffy they were. Knowing full well why she was crying I didn't dare try and talk to her, thinking the last person she wanted to see was me. She looked sad as she followed the other girls to class.
Choosing to abandon the task of retrieving my robes, I grabbed my books, and joined Seamus and Dean on the way to Charms. Suddenly, Harry and Ron came up beside me. I was shocked to see them with someone like me, but I didn't question it out loud.
"Hey Neville. Look, I just wanted to say if it hadn't been for you, I wouldn't have gotten on the Quidditch team, so thanks", said Harry. It took a minute for me to process what just happened, and I started shaking my head like an idiot.
"Okay. And thank you for getting my Rememberall back for me", I said.
"No problem", he said, and walked the rest of the way with Ron in tow.
Potions was the class I dreaded out of any other class at the school. I don't know what happened this time when my cauldron once again spilled and this time, the icy blue potion froze on the floor and when it leaked under other kids shoes, it made them stick to the floor.
I could feel myself turning red as Professor Snape stared at me, while he cleaned up my mess again. "Longbottom, see me after class. 10 points from Gryffindor", she said, his voice low. The sound of both of the Gryffindors moans, and the Slytherins giggles, made me feel horrible, and I wished the end of this class would never come so I wouldn't have to speak to Professor Snape.
When we were dismissed, I reluctantly waited until everyone else left the room to walk over to his desk. It made me feel slightly better when Hermione and Seamus smiled at me with concern. I dragged my feet over to his desk and stood in front of him for a few minutes. He didn't say anything at first, but continued to read a bit of parchment, before signing it and finally looking at me. I couldn't stop twiddling my fingers and biting the inside of my cheek. Doing my best to stare at him in the face, but the darkness of his eyes gave me the impression he as staring into my soul.
"Mr. Longbottom, you do realize the point of this class is to teach you concentration, something you appear to be lacking?", he said, his voice as cold as ever.
"And you understand if you don't pay attention in my class, you will most likely never succeed?"
"Yes, sir". That was all I could say, too afraid to say anything else.
"In your years at Hogwarts, you will be taught potions that will become more deadly than the simple ones I'll be teaching you this year. And I expect you to actually use your brain and pay attention. Unless you expect to pass Potions as though it is the easiest class here, I suggest you actually listen and read what is in your textbook. Understood?"
"Good, now get out". I did as I was told, almost forgetting to grab my things before I walked out of the silence, I couldn't bear to stay in.
The rest of my classes were okay. I still wasn't sure why Snape hated me so much, almost as much as he hated Harry it seemed. I certainly never met him before, and I've never done or said anything to him. Maybe if I was in Slytherin he'd appreciate me, or in Ravenclaw. Or maybe, he just hated Gryffindors, either way, it wouldn't make a difference. He'd probably hate me no matter what I think or do.
After Charms, I saw a heated discussion between Ron and Hermione. He already didn't like her, and I wondered what he was saying to her.
During dinner in the Great Hall I got my answer. I, along with a few others, heard Lavender and Parvati talking to each other about how Hermione was crying in the girls bathroom. I knew Ron was responsible, and I wanted to say something to him, because Hermione was kind of my friend. But I talked myself out of it; I didn't want to be on thin ice with someone in my House, like how I was with Snape or Malfoy.
The Great Hall was decorated for Halloween, we could tell by the amount of live bats that were flying around with the ghosts, and the pumpkins that were lit up. I personally didn't think it was safe for us to have animals near us while we ate, but then again what did I know. The elves did a good job of making the food so it would fit with the spirit of Halloween, with food shaped like skulls, different creatures, and a fancy drink that I could quite tell what it was.
All of a sudden, Professor Quirrell ran into the Hall screaming at the top of his lungs, "TROLL! IN THE DUNGEONS!". Seeing he caught our attentions, he tried to fix himself. "Thought you ought to know", was all he added, before he fainted on the hard floor.
Everyone started screaming and running from their seats, not knowing what to do. I stayed sitting, even though I was scared that there was a large, probably dangerous creature roaming the castle, what was I going to do about it? I was a small child, horrible at magic as it was.
I looked up and saw purple explosions in the air that came from Professor Dumbledore's wand. The loud noise, caused some of the kids to cover their ears, as everybody became silent.
Professor Dumbledore looked strangely calm as he put his wand away and addressed us. "Prefects, lead your Houses back to the dormitories immediately!". A select older number of students, did as they were told, and began to yell for their Houses to follow them from the Hall. Following orders, I followed Percy out of the Hall and into the main corridor where a bunch of students were trying to follow their correct Prefect. One or two Ravenclaws realized they were with the Slytherins and tried to find their own House.
As I looked wildly around to see what else was happening, the Hufflepuffs had passed us, I saw a few trip over their own robes, and onto the floor, just like Quirrell had done, (except they didn't faint); I hoped he was okay. The one Hufflepuff with short, black hair who had fallen stood up, placed a finger under her nose, and saw red. I quickly forgotten concern for myself and rushed over to her.
"Are you alright?", I asked, just now remembering that she was still mad at me. By the look of her face, she hadn't forgotten and with her clean hand, shoved me away, yet again.
"Get away from me!", Sarah shouted. She turned her back towards me and walked beside Ernie, who took notice of me, and glared at me before turning a corner. I went back to my own group, and by the time we reached the Fat Lady, Percy had quickly given the password, and let us in first before getting in himself and closing the entrance.
Most of us stayed in the common room so we could rest, without worry of getting harmed. The older kids did their best to calm the first and second years, who were crying from the commotion that had occurred. Deep in my own thoughts, I didn't realize Hermione had come in, until she had sat next to me.
"Where have you been?" I asked her. "Did you hear about the troll?".
She leaned back into her chair, looking completely exhausted, but managed to smile. "Yes. I sure did."