Hello, old chums of mine. It's definitely been a while, and yes, I know, I haven't popped out another parody as promised. And I'm very sorry, but what can I say—I had a little idea for an AU fic that sort of bloomed or sprouted or one of those stupid sayings. And a hundred pages later, here we are. I hope the fact that this isn't a parody like my other stories won't stop you all from reading.

I'm not trying to be bigheaded, but I really do love this story—it took me so long, and halfway through it was deleted—how cliché, I know—so I had to salvage everything I'd written from emails to my beta and translate all the warbled symbols back into real punctuation. It was traumatizing, chums, I'm telling you, and what a heroic story of much dedication, perseverance, and swearing.

So anyway, I've got the entire first part written and I'm working on the second. I hope those of you who are willing to give it a chance enjoy it.

!DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER!

Bah. Forgot this the first time, as usual. Don't own anything. Er, insert something witty. Whatever.

!END DISCLAIMER END DISCLAIMER!

Ahem…..I'd like to dedicate this to my beta, Jenny Weirdlyyours, go read her if you're into that…shudder…anime stuff who actually waded through all my errors and made it all a little less monstrous, and my lovely muse Abby Poetic License who is responsible for much of the plot and who I should thank profusely for talkin' nerdy to me.

Where We Start

Chapter One: Friendship

Ron made his way back to the Charms classroom, his pace a little harried. There might be some Slytherins left in the room, and they didn't look too kindly on his house—well, any house for that matter. Luckily, there was only that bushy-haired Ravenclaw girl, he noticed as he picked up the book he'd left on his desk after Flitwick's lesson.

She glanced at him and smiled. "Are you here for discussion on Charms theory too?" she asked, the lights flashing off her rather large front teeth.

Ron ran his hand through his flaming hair. "No," he said, a little embarrassed. The girl's smile faded and a cold, haughty expression replaced it. "Oh. Well, I shouldn't expect anything more from a Hufflepuff, I suppose."

Ron left the room and the girl even faster and feeling more rotten that when he'd entered.

Hermione had thoroughly enjoyed discussing Charms with Professor Flitwick at lunch, but once she'd returned to the Ravenclaw common room, it only emphasized the fact that, here, she had nobody to talk to.

The first few years, she'd told herself they simply were jealous of her brain—they were Ravenclaws, after all, and valued smarts as competitively as she did. Then, in third year, she'd come to the conclusion that they didn't like her as a whole.

Fourth year had brought upon a stint of trying to dumb herself down and hoping for friendship. But it'd crushed her to do it and by now the bushy-haired newly-made prefect had finally come to terms with the fact that she wouldn't have friends.

Oh well, she told herself, settling down in an armchair with a book. More time for reading.

Harry stormed through the castle, mind intent and prefect's badge crooked but gleaming. He finally found his target lounging outside the Great Hall. Green eyes blazing, Harry faced the other boy and crossed his arms in a tense stance. "Malfoy," he acknowledged him.

The Slytherin leaning against the wall replied with a nod: "Potter."

"I hear you bullied some kid at dinner today for a box of chocolate frogs," Harry began accusingly.

"I sure did, Sir Prefect."

Harry stood still, waiting. Finally, when he realized the boy wasn't going to follow up on that, he burst out: "Well, go on, you little wanker, did you save some for me?"

Malfoy smirked and withdrew several packages from his robes, throwing a few to Harry. "You know I did, stupid." Harry grinned and unwrapped a frog, scarfing it down.

"Come on, Potter. You're a prefect now. All sorts of fun things we can do this year. All sorts of rewards." He raised his half-eaten frog in a toast and turned towards the dungeons. Harry laughed, took a bite of his second frog, and followed his best friend to the common room.

Very short, I know, but it does get longer. I actually think my author-notes were longer than the chapter. Once again, please don't hate me for not giving you another parody :

What do you all think? Leave me some reviews please. Though I, FFF, am but a humble parody-writer, I really am trying to put out something with a little seriosity, so it'd be lovely if you told me whether I'm on the right track.

Thanks, chums.