Taking down a troll

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Cassia's POV

Today was Halloween, and my last class of the day was Charms, with Professor Flitwick. Did I mention how short he was? No? Well, in case I didn't, I'll say it again: he had to stand on BOOKS just to see us. "One of a wizard's most rudimentary skills is levitation, the ability to make objects fly. Now, do you have your feathers?" he asked.

Hermione and I held up ours.

"Good," Professor Flitwick said, "Now, don't forget the nice wrist movement we've been practicing. The swish and flick. Everyone?"

We all did the wrist movement with him. "Good. Oh, and enunciate: Wingardium Leviosa. Off you go, then," he instructed.

Everyone tried to make their feathers fly, and they didn't seem to be having much luck.

"Wingardrium Leviosar," Ron recited. He started shaking his wand at the feather.

"No. Stop, stop, stop, stop," Hermione interrupted, stopping him. "You're going to take someone's eye out. Besides, you're saying it wrong. It's levi-o-sa, not leviosar."

"You do it then, if you're so clever. Go on, go on," Ron encouraged.

Hermione and I looked at each other and recited, "Wingardium Leviosa." We did the wrist movement -- properly -- as we said it, and both of our feathers rose up into the air.

"Oh, well done!" Flitwick praised us. "See here, everyone, Miss Granger and Miss Potter have done it! Splendid!"

"Wingard Leviosa!" Seamus recited, waving his wand the wrong way. He said the spell again and the feather exploded, burning him again. Some people -- *cough* the Slytherins *cough* -- laughed at his misfortune.

"I think we're going to need another feather over here, Professor," Harry said, not taking his eyes off the feather.

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I walked with my brother, Ron, and Seamus as we left the classroom, heading back to Gryffindor Tower so we could start on our homework before dinner.

"It's levi-o-sa, not leviosar," Ron mocked Hermione. "She's a nightmare, honestly. No wonder she hasn't got any friends."

Someone knocked into Harry as they hurried past us. It was Hermione.
I caught a glimpse of her face--and was startled to see that she was in tears.

"I think she heard you," Harry said to Ron.

I smacked Ron in the arm. "Ow! Cass, that's not nice!" he scolded me.

"Neither is you insulting Hermione!" I retaliated, before running after Hermione. "Hermione!" I called out, "Hermione, wait!" She headed into the girls' bathroom, and I immediately followed her inside. I could hear her sobs coming from the very last cubicle. She was definitely very hurt by what Ron had said. To say I was mad at him would be an understatement.

I knocked on the door. "'Mione? It's me, Cassia."

"Go away," Hermione sobbed.

Giving the door a gentle pull, I saw it was unlocked, and I went inside. Hermione was sitting on the toilet, her face buried in her hands. I came closer to her and got down on my knees, placing a hand on her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her. "Mione, don't listen to Ron. He doesn't mean all that stuff he said about you," I assured her.

"No...no, he did. And he's right. My being a know-it-all is the reason why no one likes me," she whimpered.

"That's not true, Mione. Harry and I think you're a wonderful person," I said.

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