Chapter One - Food

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Feeling sensitive, the famous Harry Potter slid down in the burgundy red Gryffindor common room chair, his potions book grasped firmly into has fragile hands. So far, his year had been far from uneventful of course. He held great suspicions that Draco Malloy was becoming a Death Eater, and these thoughts drowned him whenever he was alone. He was alone often. Ron was typically off with Lavender, as she has been maddeningly obsessed with him ever since Gryffindor won their Quidditch game against Slytherin. Ron didn't purposefully resent Harry, and Harry knew that his was Ron's first admirer, so respectfully let him have his fun. Hermione on the other hand, was heartbroken by the loss of her best friend. It was quite obvious that she had fancied Ron's attention a bit, but whenever Harry sought to talk to her about it, she quickly changed the topic.

Harry had strong feelings for Ginny during the summer, but those feelings were quickly diminishing as he saw her relationship with Dean. She truly was happy, even if it did seem like she was leading Harry on only to end up with someone else. So, Harry dealt with many people in the very way he dealt with his friends : he let them be.

Despite the fact that Hermione cringed whenever Harry mentioned Ron's name, they had been spending quite a bit of time together, from trying to solve the mysteries of the Half Blood Prince, and trying to further their relationship with Horace Slughorn, and understanding the Vanishing Cabinet twins. They remained what they always were, best friends, and Harry enjoyed having someone in his life that he could trust like a sister.

Dazed out of his thoughts, his very best friend burst through the portrait hole with a stack of books blocking her face, stumbling over her own feet because she couldn't see. She sat down next to Harry and set the books on the table in front of her. Her hair was nicely done neatly in a tight French Braid that trailed down her back, and her eyes sparkled as she eyed the stack of informational books in front of her.

"I've searched everywhere. I looked in the library three times, and then I spent a total of four hours in the restricted section, and I even asked McGonnagall, who rudely snapped at me to go back to my dormitory..."

"Mione," Harry interjected.

"But I've got loads of stuff on the Vanishing cabinets, it's very vague, but I assumed that if we stared at the parchment long enough, something would come to us,"

"Hermione!" Harry said.

"What? Is something wrong?"

"No, not at all. It's just, not four days ago, you told me not to worry about any of this, that Draco was not a death eater and had nothing to do with a silly cabinet, and you were jealous because I have the greatest book in the entire class for Potions."

Hermione twitched. "I was not jealous. You were cheating."

"I was simply using the given resources to my advantage. Not cheating. But back on the subject of you.." Harry knew Hermione was just trying to busy herself up so that she could avoid trying to fix unresolved issues with Ron.

"I'm fine, Harry." Hermione said quickly. She sighed. "Ron can be with whoever he wants to. It's not me. I'll get over it."

Harry smiled sadly. "Well then, what did you find?"

Hermione grinned, and the sparkle in her eye returned. "Well, I know what it does. It's like a passageway. You put an object in one of the cabinets, say a spell, and it appears in the other. The twin Cabinets act off of each other."

"And one of them is here, in the castle."

"And the other is in Borgin and Burke's, where we saw Malfoy."

"Still don't think he's trying to become a Death Eater?" Harry asked.

"You have history with him, and his father. Of course you want to think he's a Death Eater, but there's just no hard evidence that that's what he is doing." Hermione stated. "Besides, even if he were leaving the castle that way to lead his double life as a Hogwarts student slash Death Eater, wouldn't it show up on the map?"

Harry shrugged. "I dunno, but I do know his family. I know his father. I know how angry Voldemort must have been when Lucius destroyed the prophecy last year. He has to be." Harry responded.

Hermione, knowing that last year was extremely difficult for Harry, sought to change the subject. "Are you hungry? We can go down for supper now."

"Ron and Lavender are going to be down there," Harry said with a frown.

"I know. I haven't eaten in a while though, and quite frankly, I don't care. I have you. We'll go down together, and not give a damn."

"Hermione Granger? Swearing? What has become of you?" Harry said in a shocking tone.

"Oh, come on you prat. I'm starving."

**

Hermione piled mashed potatoes, two chicken legs, squash, a slice of apple pie, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, and a little bit of ice cream onto her plate, as Harry sat next to her and watched in awe. He was even more surprised as she used her fork to shovel all of the food into her mouth, and even licked the plate clean. She finalized her show with a ten out of ten belch. When she noticed that half of the Great Hall had turned their attention to her, she scowled and ignored them, and eventually they did too.

"Hermione-"

"I swear, Harry James Potter if you ask me if I'm alright one more time I'm going to stab you with my fork!" Hermione shrieked with her sharp fork poised and ready for attack.

A lot of giggling was suddenly heard and both Harry and Hermione looked up to see Ron and Lavender snogging each other passionately and playing with each other's food in the far corner. Ron had moved from his original spot at the table.

"Well at least they aren't right in front of us, I mean how nasty would that be!" Harry said happily, trying to clear the frustration off of Hermione's face.

Hermione looked down before piling another helping of food onto her plate and inhaling it quickly. As she did so, Harry put his face into his hands, somewhat embarrassed of what Hermione was doing to herself, and the fact of the matter that she refused to let him help.

After her second belch, half of the Gryffindor table had gotten up and left the Great Hall, feeling disgusted by Hermione the book worm's new eating habits.

"Harry, I don't feel so good," Hermione said wearily as she pushed her plate away from her.

"Well Hermione, that's what happens when you eat too fast." Harry said disappointingly. "Here, get up, let's get out of here."

Harry held out his hand and Hermione hesitated before taking it and using his help to stand up. She placed her head on his shoulder as she carefully guided him out of the Great Hall, feeling a mix of shame, sadness, regret, and pure sickness.

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