There was certainly more energy with it being a Friday, with the Hall completely packed by the entire school. Walking down the Gryffindor table, they found most students were packing in tightly closer to the stage. Noticing Fred George and Edward, Rose gave them a wave and a look of amusement as she nodded towards the front of the Hall. Grinning in return they beckoned them over.
"Hey." Rose said sitting down opposite George and Edward. "Is the karaoke really good here or something?"
"Everyone seems to be going a bit mental for it don't they?!" Ron said bemused as he and Harry sat down on her right.
"You would think so wouldn't you" Fred answered. "When actually no, it's up there with the Frog Choir."
"Ooh dear." Rose said wrinkling her nose, making everyone else laugh.
"I think you're really going to hate it." George laughed " They don't even sing, just mime."
"But there are instruments up there?" Rose said pointing towards the piano and drum kit.
"They mime that too." Edward said amused.
"What is it with this school and wanting to ruin music?" Rose said abashed.
The boys all laughed at her comment, until Lee interrupted them.
"They used to have live music and school plays here you know? Hogwarts even went and did singing competitions with other schools." Lee told Rose seriously. "They even had a school radio that was really popular. They have the radio kit in an old classroom next to the library."
"That sounds awesome!" Rose said eagerly. "What happened for everything to stop"
"No one really knows, apart from the fact Beauxbatons School is involved somehow. Something happened and the singing stopped overnight, apart from the controlled environment that the Frog Choir is created in. It all happened about fifteen years ago."
"But there is nothing stopping some of it coming back right?"
"What are you thinking Rose?" Ron asked amused intrigue on his face.
"Imagine a school radio Ron!" Rose said excitement clear in her voice. "Like actually good music being played."
"It would be pretty cool." Fred said next to her. "but you have one problem, it hasn't been done in over fifteen years."
"And the person you would have to ask, wouldn't agree to it."
"Who?" Everyone asked Lee in integument.
"Snape." He said bluntly.
"Snape!?" Rose said in disbelief. "Seriously?"
"He was the manager of the radio when he was at school and now the most experienced."
"Have you asked him Lee?" Rose said intrigued.
"You are joking right? That's a death wish. Know one is crazy enough to ask him."
"I think you're looking at the one person who is crazy enough to do just that." George grinned, locking eyes with Rose.
"Your going to ask him, aren't you?"
"Yep." Rose answered, returning his grin.
With all the excitement of the news Lee had told them, no one had noticed the Friday night dinner arrive. A choice of lamb or pork chops and steak, with chips and salad. The meal was simple but delicious. The group had a relaxed dinner with jokes and laughter consistently present. Harry in particular was really laughing at how the twins made jokes and teased Rose and Ron, with them in return bantering back. As dinner began to clear itself away a teacher Rose didn't recognise came over to speak to Edward. Not wanting to overhear what was possibly a private conversation, Rose cut up some of the fat from her plate and ducked under the table to place it in Smutz's bowl.
"You really do spoil that dog Rose." Fred joked as he quickly glanced to see what she was doing.
"Fred, you've been feeding him half the evening! Did you really think I hadn't noticed?"
"Maybe" He answered eyebrows wiggling.
"What did Hooch want?" Lee inquired to Edward.
"Wanted me to know Gryffindor has met its highest interest in applicants in Quidditch this year." Edward answered.
"Well that's good news!" George said eagerly. "We might have a chance at the House Cup this year."
"Don't you think that most of the girls have applied because of Oliver and not because of skill?" Lee looked at George.
"Who says it's just girls that have applied?" Rose said with a pinch of annoyance in her voice.
"I just meant that its pretty strange that this is the first year Oliver is the Captain and.…"
"Oooh I see." Rose said nodding at Lee. "So us girls only ever apply for anything when it directly involves a boy? And not because they like to play Quidditch?"
Lee looked trapped looking at the twins for help. They on the other hand were laughing along with Edward, Ron and Harry, finding it hilarious that Lee didn't have a leg to stand on.
"I didn't want to offend you Rose." He said embarrassed.
"You didn't." She said looking at him with an amused stare. "But don't judge every girl by the same brush please."
As she looked away from Lee, her eyes met with Edwards, who was mouthing the words ''thank you.'' Subtly nodding her acknowledgment, she started a new conversation with Ron.
The candles gradually started to dim, creating a dramatic atmosphere in the Hall. The stage was now the only thing lit in the room. Professor Flitwick came onto the stage, muttering "Sonorus" and his voice was instantly amplified.
"Welcome everybody to our first Friday night sing-a-thon" He announced energetically. "For our first years who have never been to this before, we have four singers, one from each house who will compete for house points. They have to impress all five judges with the winner getting a bonus one hundred house points!" He said proudly.
"Who is the judging panel?" Rose asked leaning back into Fred.
"Snape, Sprout, Dumbledore, Flitwick and Granny" Fred replied placing his chin on Rose's head.
"Seriously?" Rose said with an exhaled laugh, looking towards the teachers table.
"I'm telling you, this is so bad it becomes good." Fred said cheekily.
"So without further ado, May I present to you our first act from Gryffindor. Normally you may know her as Alicia Spinnet, but tonight you will see her preform as Madonna, with her song "Like a Prayer.""
There was a round of polite applause and Alicia came to the stage dressed as Madonna, wearing the signature leather Jacket. She did a neat bow, and the music began. She jumped energetically around the stage, miming the words, mostly on time with Madonna. Alicia didn't stop moving, her energy never running out, clearly enjoying every moment she was on the stage.
"She has great errm enthusiasm." Rose muttered to Fred.
"No kidding, I'm surprised she can still breath." He muttered in reply.
"Please don't make me laugh, I don't want to look rude." Rose whispered.
"We are all thinking it, let's be honest. Worst thing is she isn't actually too bad. You wait, by week three of this, you will be tearing your hair out."
The song finished with Alicia taking another bow. Next Barnaby Lee from Slytherin attempted to rap "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-lot,. Rose couldn't resist a silent giggle to this, as the attempt by the seventh year was to be frank awful. The way he grinded his bum in the air was too much to take with Rose shaking her shoulders into Fred, whilst he roared with laughter. The thought of Professor McGonagall's face as well as Snape's making it ten times worse. Penelope Clearwater was next for Ravenclaw, with her impersonation of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler. Theoretically there was nothing wrong with the rendition, it just lacked personality and enthusiasm, with Penelope taking her roll as Bonnie Tyler way too seriously. By the end of the song everyone was half asleep. Penelope on the other hand bowed proudly, smiling with a look of triumph on her face. A "wahoo" was echoed down the table from Percy, making Rose and Fred to look at each other in shock and giggle uncontrollably again.
"And finally! Our last contestant this evening we have Cedric Diggory singing "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi.""
Cedric Diggory confidentiality came on stage as Jon Bon Jovi. With a frizzy wig and leather waistcoat showing off his torso, he certainly had the biggest amount of cheering so far, with a couple of wolf whistles from the crowd, making Cedric grin.
"Didn't put Diggory down for doing this!" George shouted across the table to Fred.
"He knows the ladies love a bit of man flesh." Fred replied cheekily.
"I though this was social suicide." Rose said amused by the crowds reaction to Cedric.
"For most people it is, but Cedric is the Hufflepuff equivalent to Mr Wood over here, a Hufflepuff God "
Fred answered as they both looked at Edward who was watching Cedric with a look of great amusement.
The music started and the room went silent as Cedric started strumming his feet to the beat of the bass guitar. His confidence was clear as he seemed to absorb the rockstar persona personality perfectly, owning the stage and the crowd. By the time the chorus hit, most of the Hufflepuff table had started to sing along, waving their arms around and having a fantastic time. Their good mood was catching as by the time the chorus came round again the majority of the school, if you didn't include the Slytherins were singing and shouting along. Rose couldn't resist shouting the lyrics
"Woah, we're half way there,
Woah, livin' on a prayer!"
Along with Fred, laughing and swaying along to the tune of the music. George was also doing some Dad dancing towards Ron, purposely trying to provoke a reaction. Harry looking at Ron and then George started to join in the dancing, with Ron getter redder and redder. The only other person who wan't joining in was Edward. He sat there shaking his head, with a bemused expression on his face. The song ended and the room erupted in cheering and clapping. It was the clear winner by miles. Flitwick got back up onto the stage clapping along with everyone else. Clearing his throat he spoke to the crowd;
"Thank you Mr Diggory for your enthusiasm! Whilst the judges go over their votes, I think a spot of dessert is needed for you all and all our volunteer contestants."
"They volunteered?" Ron said with utter disgust in his voice. "What on earth possessed them to do that?"
"Its the only form of entertainment around here Ron, and people do desperate things for attention sometimes." Edward replied, clearly finding Ron's remark funny.
"So you wouldn't do it then Edward?" Rose asked cheekily.
"Absolutely not." He replied curtly, bringing Rose to grin at his reply.
"I can't believe they sung Muggle songs." Harry said to the group.
"What do you mean Harry?" Fred turned to Harry confused, nudging Rose, she moved up to sit up at the table properly.
"They were released into the Muggle music system, otherwise most artists wouldn't have too much of an audience to listen to their songs, but all the acts tonight were all witches and wizards Harry." George continued.
"And we listen to muggle music too." Edward continued. "Its one of the few boundaries between the 'two worlds' that collide"
"Thats so weird!" Harry continued."I always thought that the Wizarding community lived apart from the Muggles."
"Some do." Rose agreed. "They think that is safer that way, though it's a slightly old fashioned thought personally."
"So you would want to blend in with the rest of society?" Edward asked intrigued.
"I see no reason to live amongst Muggles no. They are human beings at the end of the day."
Edward nodded at her, agreeing to her point. "I couldn't agree more." He replied.
Banana splits and trifle had filled the table, along with more pitchers of pumpkin juice and water. Alicia joined Angelina and Katie who were sitting about six people away from George. Noticing that she was back, Lee poked George who turned and heckled.
"Nice moves Alicia!"
Blushing, she giggled and turned to to Angelina who nodded to what she had said. Turning to Katie who also nodded, they got up and came down towards the Weasleys. Upon approaching the group it was Alicia who spoke up.
"Would you mind shuffling down towards Harry Potter so we can join our friends?" In a polite but authoritative tone.
"They are part of the group Alicia" Fred said frowning at her comment.
"I totally get it." Rose said winking at Fred. "You want to talk to them about your performance and I have spent the evening with them."
Shuffling closer to Ron and Harry, Alicia sat next to Fred with Katie on Rose's left. Angelina who had gone to the other side of the table, had tried to sit next to Edward, but was unsuccessful as Lee also shuffled down, making her only option to sit in between Lee and George.
"How didn't you find it overall then Ron?"
Rose asked, helping herself to some of his banana split. He gave her a 'what do you think you are doing?' Look, before answering her.
"Bloody awful" He replied moving the large banana split platter towards her.
"Thanks!" She answered, taking a large spoonful of each component. "And you Harry?"
"I don't think you guys have even seen 'Stars In Their Eyes' have you?"
"No" Rose and Ron jointly said intrigued.
"Yes!" Edward replied with a chuckle. "I know exactly what you're thinking Harry."
"And what's that?" Rose said amused.
"Its a Muggle singing show that is literally the same concept as what we have just seen." Harry answered. "My cousin Dudley likes to watch it."
"And they actually choose to watch it?" Ron said abashed.
"There aren't really a lot of tv shows to choose from." Harry answered.
"What on earth is a tv?" Ron muttered, his eyes big.
"And you've seen this tv show too?" Rose asked Edward surprised, ignoring Ron.
"I've seen it in passing." Edward agreed. "Harry isn't the first person who has come from a Muggle family and seen the similarities.
After a further ten minutes of chitchat and debate, Flitwick again climbed onto the stage and tapped his throat to amplify his voice.
"Whilst you finish up your desserts, I thought we would announce todays results:
In fourth place we have Slytherin with 80 points. Thank you Mr Lee."
There was a polite applause with a small amount of booing from the Slytherin table.
"In third place we have Miss Spinnet and Gryffindor with 85 points."
Another polite applause with a Angelina loudly saying "You can't be serious?!"
"And then there were two!" Flitwick commented excitedly. "In second place with 90 points making Miss Clearwater popular with her peers we have Ravenclaw"
The Ravenclaw's clapped, but looked disappointed, with Penelope looking slightly downtrodden that she didn't win. Percy could be heard commenting "Travesty and poppycock." Clearly disagreeing with the results. The Hufflepuff's on the other hand were ecstatic, not only were they clapping their hands, but they were stomping their feet, cheering as they knew they had won this weeks competition.
"And that means…" As Flitwick tried to shout over the Hufflepuff noise. "Today's champion is Mr Diggory with not 95 points, but a whole 195 House points!
For all you eager participants including first years, please come and find me for the form to apply! Happy weekend everybody!"
And with that he sat back at the teachers table.
"They are generous with the house points aren't they!" Rose said to Ron and Harry.
"Yeah, it's a bit of shame that all of Alicia's points counteract the amount I lost from Snape earlier." Harry said shamefully.
"I wouldn't worry too much harry." Edward said matter of factly. "Fred and George are constantly loosing us house points, and no-one holds it against them."
The room slowly started to vacate, as students started to make their way back to the common room. Giving Ron a poke on the arm to get his attention, Ron grunted to let her know he was listening.
"Shall we go upstairs and start on some homework?" She said gently.
"It's late on a Friday, do we have to?" His said whining.
"No. I suppose we could have the night off." She said amused. "But I want to have mine finished by tomorrow afternoon at the latest."
"Deal." Ron said eagerly. "Shall we take Smutz out for a last walk and head up?"
Looking at Harry to see if he agreed, Rose bent down to get Smutz, but he had moved to by Edwards feet.
"Smutz!" Rose spoke, tapping her leg to communicate for him to come to her. Stump of tail wagging to acknowledge he heard her, he lifted his head towards Edward looking at him.
"You can go with her, I gave you permission." He said jokingly.
As if he understood Edward, Smutz stretched, and casually walked under the table to Rose, bending down to give him a fuss, Rose stoke his head amused by his attitude.
"Yes hello Mr. I am your owner remember…."
Slowly getting up from the table, the three of them quietly left the table, not wanting to distract the others from their conversations. Opening up the heavy oak door that led to the Entrance Hall, the automatic calmness in contrast to the Great Hall was quite refreshing. Opening up the final door that led to the front of the castle, all noise now completely vanished. The grass was lit with the candlelit rooms on the lower floor of the castle, flooding the grounds in a magical warm light. Sitting on the castle steps the three of them watched as Smutz patrolled the grounds like a sniffer dog, randomly changing his direction of smell. Thinking over the events of the afternoon, Rose smiled as she embraced how much fun she was having already at Hogwarts, the thought slowly changed to guilt when she realised that she hadn't brought up Hermione yet with Harry, and that she hadn't seen her tonight at the meal.
"Did you manage to speak to Neville about Hermione?" Rose mentioned to Harry,
"Yes." Harry said with a sigh. "He isn't too sure what the matter is either, she seems a little distant and just stays in the library or the dormitory."
"I noticed she wasn't at dinner either." Rose replied.
"Each to their own." Ron said awkwardly.
"Ron, you don't always have to hold a grudge with everyone you know." Rose said gently. "Yes, she gave the wrong impression on the train, but she seems reasonable enough, she is hardly a Malfoy."
"I guess you're right." Ron said quietly. "I just don't like how bossy she is, when she doesn't know me."
"I get it." Rose said with a smile. "But I think she is struggling to fit in, and that's her coping mechanism, just try and see past it."
"And she is very good at getting Gryffindor house points." Harry continued.
Rose beamed at Harry, this was exactly the sort of thing she was trying to encourage, a little bit of optimism. Ron was the first to stand up after a few more minutes.
"Come on then, time to relax a little before bedtime." He yawned.
"That sounds like a good idea." Harry agreed.
By the time they made it back to Gryffindor tower, there was a miniature party going on, everyone was celebrating that Friday night feeing that was present. Most people were standing in large groups, with a pumpkin juice or Butterbeer in their hand. Party snacks and sandwiches were to the left of the fireplace and music was playing, coming from the windows. Looking over Rose observed Lee who seemed to be the DJ for the evening. Smutz staying close as he wasn't keen on too much loud noise, Rose looked around the room, making a quick search for their fellow first years. Noticing Seamus and Dean, who had stacked cups up into a pyramid, they were taking it in turns to knock the cups down with rolled up parchment that had been shaped into a ball. Lavender and Padma, were behind chatting with Neville, half watching the game. Joining the conversation Harry and Ron went straight into throwing their own paper balls at the tower.
"We attempted to start Snape's shitty homework." Seamus said with disgusted look.
"How did that play out?"Harry asked.
Seamus grinned, holding up the paper ball in this hand;
Laughing at his answer, Rose asked Lavender about Hermione.
"We haven't seen her since Potions." She said with a shrug.
"So she hasn't had anything to eat since Breakfast?" Rose said with her eyebrows raised.
"I presume so." Lavender said guiltily.
"Right that settles things then." Rose said bitterly. "I'll grab some snacks and find her."
Helping herself to one of each flavour sandwich, crisps, two cupcakes and grapes. Rose started to pour some pumpkin juice into a cup. Smiling at Percy as she passed he inquired whether she was okay.
"I'm just going to check on Hermione." Rose replied. "Where has all this food come from anyway?"
"Fred and George." Percy replied sourly. "They do this at any occasion they can."
"I'm surprised people are hungry after dinner."
"Oh it's not for now." Percy replied. "Its for in a couple of hours time, like an extended midnight snack."
"You sound disapproving." Rose said amused. "Why don't you go to bed if you're not in the party mood tonight."
"I can't do that Rose!" Percy said appalled, "I'm the Gryffindor Prefect, it is my duty to make sure that no riffraff goes on!"
"Of course you do." Rose said sincerely, biting her cheek to not give away her amusement. "Well good luck in your duties tonight, I might see you later."
Elegantly moving in-between groups of students, Rose managed to open the door leading to the dormitories and then the first year dormitory door, Smutz staying very close to her ankles. The room was eerily quiet, with Rose half convinced that their was no-one there apart from herself. Walking up to the drawn bed curtains to Hermione's bed, Rose gently spoke up, feeling the awkwardness in the quietness of the room.
"Erm Hermione, is it okay if I come and sit with you?"
"Please leave me alone." She squeaked.
"If that's what you want, of course I will respect your wishes." Rose said gently, "I have brought some food and a drink up for you as I'm aware you haven't had lunch and dinner. I'll leave it on my bedside table and you can get it once I've left."
Putting the items down on her bedside, Rose looked down at Smutz who was looking at her, tail gently wagging.
"Come on then boy." She whispered.
Turning her back to Hermione's bed, Rose and dog made their way to the door entrance.
"Wait." A little voice muttered.
"Yes?" Rose said warmly.
"Did you really get these just for me?"
"Yes, there is a miniature party going on downstairs with food and snacks and it occurred to me that you hadn't eaten."
"Thank you." Hermione paused. "I'm just struggling to fit in at the moment."
"Your doing just fine." Rose said kindly. "Do you still want to be by yourself?"
Shaking her head, Rose walked back to the other end of the room, sitting at the bottom of Hermione's bed.
"Why do you think you're not fitting in?" Rose asked, looking straight at Hermione.
"Because I don't have any friends."
"I thought Neville was your friend?" Rose asked confused.
"I guess…" She said quietly.
"Do you want to be my friend?" Rose asked seriously.
"I don't think your cousin is keen on me." Hermione replied
"I'm not asking about Ron's opinion." Rose said honestly. "I'm asking whether you want to be my friend."
"I don't know." Hermione stuttered. "If I'm being truthful, I've never had a real friend before, I've always found it easier to be by myself."
"But doing that is making you upset." Rose replied, even more confused.
Getting up she picked up the glass and plate and walked back handing the items to Hermione. Smutz lazily lying on the rug next to them.
"How about we take baby steps." Rose suggested. "We can be friendly towards one other, but not friends. If you feel more comfortable in the future, we can adjust our relationship."
"Thank you." Hermione sniffed.
"Not a problem." Rose smiled. "I'm just going to go and clean my teeth. You really should eat something, you'll feel better I promise."
Rose could tell that Hermione didn't want to talk but needed the company, she considered the possibility of doing some homework, but decided that a book would suffice instead. She was just about grab her pyjamas to go back into the bathroom, when a knock was heard on the dormitory door. Looking at Hermione and then back to the door, Rose confirmed that she would go and check who it was. Opening it she was pleased to see it was Lavender and Padma, Rose was hoping that they had come to check on Hermione but soon realised that this wasn't the case.
"Hey Rose, we were just checking whether you were coming back to the common room?" Padma said eagerly in a staged whisper.
"There is a competition of boy vs girl, and we wanted you to join in." Lavender continued.
"And there are loads of boys!" Giggled Padma.
"What an invite!" Rose said with a touch of sarcasm. "But I'm actually going to have an early night and hang out with Hermione. Will you say goodnight to Ron and Harry for me?"
"Seriously?!" Padma said her nose wrinkling in disagreement. "But why?!"
"Ive had a very busy day, and I guess I'm not in the mood." Rose shrugged. "Have a good time with the boys." Rose said with amusement.
Shutting the door and walking to the other end of the room to the bathroom, Rose smiled as she thought how silly the two girls just sounded. When she had returned to the dormitory, Rose purposely left her bed curtains open so that Hermione was still visible. No conversation was further spoken between the two girls, with Rose content in reading her book, her dog at her feet, and Hermione happy for the company slowly making her way through the party food. After an hour Hermione had fallen into a gentle sleep, slow peaceful snores filling the quiet air. Getting up and closing both Hermione and her own curtains for privacy, Rose sat down on her bed, hoping she had made Hermione feel slightly better. Thinking of different ways she could help it the future, Rose made a pact to herself to make Hermione feel more welcome even if it was going to be at an arms length.