Categories > Books > Harry Potter > We're In This Together

Enter the Map, Exit Scabbers

by zugrian 0 reviews

Scabbers fakes his death, causing a rift to develop. Harry receives the map, and Pansy starts Project Makeover.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Humor,Romance - Characters: Dobby,Harry,Hermione,Pansy - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2018-10-16 - 4896 words

Disclaimer: Still don't own Harry Potter.

Author's Note: I went back and checked, having not read PoA in several years, and was shocked to find that Wormtail faked his death a couple of days before Black's attempted attack after the quidditch match. I thought he faked his death afterwards, as that would make more sense to me- responding to the greater threat of Black successfully entering the school for the first time in 3 or 4 months and making it into the Gryffindor tower. Oh well, in this story, it happens the other way around compared to canon.

On with the story.


She was poking him awake for a change.

"Are you ever getting up, Harry?"

"Do I have to?" he groaned.

"Dobby told me an interesting story this morning."

"What's that?"

"He told me that someone tried to break into our quarters last night. That you fought this person off, getting stabbed in the process, and that it was probably Sirius Black."

"Uh, yeah, I guess."

"Is there a reason you didn't wake me and tell me any of this?"

"It wasn't a big deal."

"Harry, getting stabbed is always a big deal."

"It didn't bleed very much."

"Harry," she growled. "Why didn't you wake me up?"

"I told Dobby to make sure you were safe. No one got into our quarters, and it was all over in less than a minute. And for the record, it was Ron's rat that was trying to sneak into our quarters. The shadowy stabber just appeared out of nowhere. I banished him across the Gryffindor common room and then he took off. At least, I'm pretty sure it was a he."

"Please tell me that disgusting little thing didn't get into our quarters."

"No, I made sure he got back to Ron. I'm not letting anyone in here, especially while you're sleeping."

"Harry, if you're in danger, I deserve to know about it. Why didn't you at least wake me up once it was all over?"

"I just wanted to go back to sleep. It was about three in the morning, I was tired. Plus, you looked really cute, so I just snuggled up behind you."

"Don't smile at me like that, Potter- I'm mad at you."


"You think I'm cute now?" Pansy was glaring at him, but he just couldn't stop grinning at her.

"Yes. Even when you're cranky or mad at me."

"You're crazy, Harry."

"Maybe. Look, I promise, the next time a knife-wielding maniac attacks in the middle of the night I will wake you up. But when you're grouchy from loss of sleep, I will remind you that you told me to do so."

"You missed breakfast, you prat. Go take a shower, it's almost noon."

"Okay." Harry stretched and climbed out of bed. "Will you come with me?"

"Don't bother with the puppy dog eyes. I said I'm mad at you. Go on."



That was a rather minor disagreement compared to the shouting match to come later that afternoon.

True to her word, Pansy was staying mad at Harry for awhile, so he was talking with Hermione in the Gryffindor common room. She was rambling about how much she enjoyed their most recent Arithmancy project. Now, the math itself wasn't too hard for him to handle, but the overall idea of finding magical patterns in the breeding habits of post owls was both obtuse and boring. At least, it was to Harry. It was right up Hermione's detail-obsessed alley.

Unfortunately, even her droning was pleasant compared to the angry clamor coming from the boys' dormitories.

Moments later a red-faced Ron came down the stairs carrying his sheet.

His bloody sheet.

For just a flash, Harry's mind tried to make three different, incredibly rude jokes. But that half-second was shattered by Ron's angry declaration.

"Look!" He thrust the bloody sheet at Hermione.

"Um, Ron, why did you bleed on your sheet?" Harry asked, trying to forestall whatever this argument was going to be about.

"It's not my blood, Harry." He turned angrily back to Hermione. "It's Scabbers'. Her cat killed him."

"Wait a second, how do you know that? There are three other cats just in Gryffindor, Ron."

Hermione looked thankful at Harry standing up for her.

"Here!" Ron thrust out a couple of ginger hairs.

Harry lifted the hairs up to the light. He then held them over by Ron's head while his friend scowled at him.

"What are you doing?"

"Just making sure that these aren't just from you shedding. You may be right, they're too light to have come from your head and they do look close to the shade of Crookshanks."

"I've been telling you for months to keep that bloody cat away from Scabbers. Now he's gone."

Hermione looked almost in tears as Ron kept laying into her. Harry noticed Lavender and Parvati smile at thought that the rat was dead. They were two of the more vocal members of the 'nasty rats don't belong here' crowd, which Harry had to admit had a good point. They were known for carrying diseases, and Scabbers, even at his best before being stressed out this year, was pretty shabby looking. After having Crookshanks chase him around for the last few months, he looked downright ghastly. His fur had become patchy and he had lost weight.

But now, Harry needed to say something to cut Ron's tirade off before Hermione started crying.

"Ron, wasn't Scabbers pretty old?"

"Yeah. Percy had him for years before I got him. But that's not-"

"He had him for years? Then you should really just be glad he lived as long as he did. Rats don't usually last for more than two or three years at most."

"So? Her cat killed him!"

"Ron, as I recall, Scabbers was already sick when you got on the train. You told me you had to get medicine for him before we even came back to school."

"I can't believe you're taking her side on this! You're supposed to be my friend!"

"I'm both of your friends. Look, I'm just trying to get you to calm down. Scabbers was already old and sickly. It could have been any one of a number of cats at Hogwarts that would have gotten him eventually. If you really wanted him kept safe, you should have kept him in a cage or something. I know just last night he was loose as he tried to climb into my room."

"You bloody traitor!" Ron looked ready to punch Harry, but he turned back to Hermione with a scowl. "I hope you're proud of yourself, Hermione! Not bad enough that your stupid cat killed Scabbers, now you've got Harry going against me too!"

And with that, Ron stomped back upstairs, dragging his bloody sheet with him. He started to trip on it only to catch himself. Harry stifled a laugh, and he realized that if he hadn't Ron might never forgive him.

But seriously, it was a nasty little rat. The only reason Harry hadn't publicly agreed with the many Gryffindors that didn't want Scabbers around was for the sake of his friendship with Ron. He was not sad to see Scabbers go.

Hermione, though, was unable to suppress her tears any longer. She too fled up the stairs to her dorm.

Harry sighed, as he knew this was going to be a vicious, and potentially long lasting, argument between his friends. And Ron might even be blaming him for being in the middle of it as well. He gathered up the books and parchment that he had been looking over with Hermione and asked Parvati to take her things up to her.

She agreed and made some subtle skin contact as he handed them over to her. He might not have noticed regularly, but Parvati had been flirting just a hint more with him over the last couple of weeks. Nothing too overt, which he was glad of.

He was a bit flattered actually. Parvati was fun, sociable, and very pretty. She would make a good girlfriend to most guys.

But Harry wasn't most guys.

And after what had happened with Narcissa, any temptation towards other women turned his stomach.

Besides, what other girl could possibly handle the things he and Pansy were dealing with together? How many of his class mates had any idea the amount of enemies he had out there? Probably only another daughter of a Death Eater could, and even then, how many of them would want to side against their family? The four Slytherin boys he knew to be sons of Death Eaters were all following proudly in their fathers' footsteps.

Kathryn Nott might have thought she was interested in him, but Harry would never have trusted her to help him in a fight against her own father.

Harry processed all of this as he made his way back into his quarters. Pansy didn't look up from her work as she sat on the couch.

"I've got two pieces of what you'll consider to be good news."


"First of all, Crookshanks apparently finally caught Scabbers. And Ron is now mad at me because of it."

"Why would he be mad at you?"

"I tried to reason with him when he came shouting down the stairs and acting like this was all Hermione's fault. He didn't take that well, and he even yelled at her for getting me to "go against him" despite the fact that I don't think she said a single thing when he tried to yell at her."

"That's surprising, Granger always has plenty to say. About everything. I guess her crush on Weasley must make her stupider than I thought."

Harry ignored the insult.

"I knew she would be upset so I jumped in trying to deflect things. I've seen enough of their fights. I guess it just wasn't enough. Ron stormed off to his dorm to pout and Hermione ran off crying."

"I'm sorry that you had to deal with that, Harry." But she was smirking as she said it.

"Thanks. You don't have to be quite so happy that my best friend might not be speaking to me though."

"I thought I was your best friend. Or Hermione, if I don't count since I'm your girlfriend."

"Fine, my third best friend is mad at me. And you're happy about it."

"You know I don't like him. Plus, that rat shouldn't have been allowed here, and I am very glad it's gone. Rats are nasty little disease carrying monsters. Good fucking riddance. I need to buy Crookshanks some catnip or something as a reward."

Harry chuckled at her venom towards the deceased.

"See, even you aren't sad that the rat is gone."

"No, you're right about that. I just never said anything about it for Ron's sake."

"You let him get away with too much, Harry."

"Anyway, it made me realize something. Your idea of trying to get Hermione and Neville together badly needs to happen. I don't know if Ron and Hermione would even be friends without me to act as a buffer. She might not fancy Neville, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't yell at her all the damn time."

"Ooh, you're giving me permission to scheme about something now?" She raised a teasing eyebrow at him, but Harry smiled and nodded.

"Not only that, I am firmly in favor of this scheme. I might not be of much help at figuring out how to make Neville catch her eye, but I think we both know two girls who would be thoroughly pleased to help you in your task."

"I'm surprised you want me to spend more time with the gossips. Won't you miss me?"

"I have a feeling I'm going to need to spend some time looking out for Hermione for awhile. Besides, we both know you secretly love hearing everything through Parvati and Lavender."


"And I will never admit to anyone outside these rooms that I sometimes find it funny as hell too." They both laughed at that, but it was true.

"Good boy."

"Does this mean you're not mad at me anymore?"

"I suppose. Less Weasley, even if you didn't mean for that to occur, is something worth a reward."

"Well, it also means I don't have much reason to leave this room for awhile, so I'm sure I could do a few other things to make you happier with me..."


Hours later...

"Harry, we should get up soon to go to dinner."

"Don't wanna," he mumbled, with his face still buried in her hair.

"We've missed enough meals lately. Especially after last night, you don't need to be hiding away. That would make people more likely to start rumors about you. And me."


He wanted to sulk, but he was getting hungry, so they both started to get dressed.

"I'm still a bit mad at you about last night, too."

"Look, I'm sorry. It really didn't seem like a big deal at the time."

Pansy was quiet for a moment before she responded.

"Harry, what do you think would happen to me if something serious happened to you?"

He hadn't looked at it like that before.

"Fuck, you're right. I swear I'll be a lot more careful from now on."

"That's what I wanted to hear. Next time someone tries to break in, just have Dobby kick their arse."

"Good idea, my love. Dobby?"

The trademark pop brought their little friend into their room as they were putting their shoes on.

"Master Harry sir?"

"Remind me in the future to let you check things out if something happens like last night. I have to be more careful for Pansy's sake."

"Dobby will take care of it!"

"Thanks. I think we both feel better knowing you are watching our backs. Sometimes, I just forget I don't have to do everything myself."


They were a bit late getting down to the Great Hall for dinner. As Harry had anticipated, Ron and Hermione were sitting far apart for once, and both of them had empty spaces nearby. He had already made up his mind before he had arrived- Hermione's tears mattered more than Ron's anger.

He wasn't surprised that Ron looked even angrier when he sat down by her, but Pansy's question earlier had made him much more thoughtful today. He had to make sure she was protected, and he had a couple of ideas about making sure of it. And in the light of something like that, the spat with Ron just didn't matter. Hermione needed him now. Ron could be pissed off by himself.

She was mostly quiet throughout the meal, but Harry kept trying to engage her anyway.

Fred and George came over and asked Harry to speak in private after eating. Hermione was going to the library to study. He patted her on the back and said he would join her there in a bit. Pansy excused herself to go find a couple of co-conspirators.


The twins led him to an empty classroom after dinner.

"Okay, what can I do for you guys?"

"Actually, Harry, it's something we wanted to do for you."

"After last night, with Sirius Black attacking you, we thought it was only right."

"What are you talking about?"

"We were listening last month when you were yelling at Hermione."

Harry blushed at that.

"You were right, you know? We can't trust the teachers to make things right. It was you who got rid of the dementors after they attacked during the quidditch match. Not even Dumbledore was able to do that."

"But more importantly, it was you who rescued Ginny. We would have lost our little sister if not for you. Our whole family will always owe you for that."

"Thanks, I appreciate that."

"You're welcome, Harry. And since you will obviously be dealing with Black since he seems to keep coming after you-"

"- and neither of us think any of the adults will catch him, so we wanted you to have another tool to help fix this problem. Therefore, we present to you..."

"The Marauder's Map," they finished simultaneously, brandishing an old piece of parchment.

"George, if you will do the honors."

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

And with those words, the old parchment revealed itself, spreading open to show a very detailed map of Hogwarts, the grounds, and even its inhabitants. He saw Hermione stationary in the library, while Pansy was walking up a stairway with Parvati and Lavender.

"Wow, this is amazing."

"We know. We owe so much to Moony, Padfoot, Prongs, and Wormtail."

"Who were they?" Harry asked.

"No idea. Geniuses, obviously, and men after our own hearts, but other than that, we really don't know."

"We found the map our first year, in Filch's confiscated items."

"This probably explains some of your exploits," Harry said with a smile.

"We have no idea what you're talking about."

"Sure, guys. Now, how exactly will this help deal with Black?"

"We know there are seven secret passages that lead from Hogwarts out to Hogsmeade and vice versa. It could be that Black has used one of them to sneak into the castle."

"That would make sense," Harry admitted.

"Right, so Fred and I thought that you could use it to keep an eye out for him. We briefly thought about taking it to the aurors, but well..."

"We trust you more than them, at this point. Besides, we figured you might let us borrow it in the future, if our need is great enough."

"Thanks a lot. Can you point out these secret passages to me?"



Pansy led Patil and Brown into a different empty room on the sixth floor.

"Ladies, I have a proposition for the two of you. I have a project that I think you would be perfect for, but I need to be assured that you won't go spreading around any gossip about this. At least until it's over, then feel free to go nuts."

"Ooh, this sounds fun," Lavender answered. "What sort of project?"

"Making a wizard we know into such a catch that even a clueless witch won't be able to ignore what's right in front of her."

"Which wizard would we be making over? Surely not Harry?" Parvati asked.

"Of course not. However, I need both of you to promise not to spill this secret until after we've done our work. If everything goes right, the happy couple will be grateful and others might even come to you for similar help. You could become the make over aficionados of Hogwarts."

Brown and Patil looked at each other and nodded. Pansy knew this was too good an offer for them to pass up.

They both promised to keep this secret until their task was completed.

"I really hope you don't let this slip. Harry would be terribly disappointed if this got out."

Patil gulped and blushed, while Lavender paled and managed to squeak out.

"We won't disappoint Harry, you can count on that."

"That goes doubly for me."

"Good. Because our subject and the object of his affection are both Harry's friends. Harry found out that Longbottom fancies Granger. He and I both think it could be good for them."

"Especially getting Hermione away from Ron- I'm sure Harry would appreciate that. Sometimes, I think we all would appreciate less of Ron," Patil sighed.

"Ron's not so bad, you know. I mean, sure, he's a clueless guy who acts without thinking, but he's kind of cute," Brown giggled.

Patil chuckled while Pansy made gagging sounds.

"I take it you disagree then, Pansy?"

"I don't like gingers in general, but I especially don't like that rude slob. I'm not sure what Harry sees in him. What about you, Patil? Do you think Weasley is cute too?"

"He's not really my type," she admitted.

'Oh, I know who your type is,' Pansy thought to herself. She suppressed her smirk.

"Anyway, getting back on topic, our goal with Project Makeover is to get Granger to notice Longbottom. I think Harry might help us work on Longbottom's confidence; he's probably done some of that just helping him in classes this year with spells. Making Longbottom more attractive is our job."

"This sounds like a lot of fun," Brown smiled.

"Do you think Neville will agree to let us work our magic on him?" Patil asked.

"Oh, don't worry about that ladies. I'm sure I can convince him. If I really need to, I can always get Harry to give him a push as well."

"Then let's go see what we are working with," Brown squealed with delight. Patil laughed with her and Pansy followed them out into the hall and up towards Gryffindor tower.


"You don't have to hide in here you know."

Hermione looked up from her table full of books. Harry was just glad that she hadn't appeared to have cried anymore recently.

"I'm not hiding, Harry. I have a lot of work to do."

"You always have a lot of work to do. Even more so this year. I'm just saying you have every right to be back in the common room. Don't let Ron's attitude bother you."

"He hates me. All because of his stupid rat. You were right, he should have kept that thing in a cage. He always got mad at me for not keeping Crookshanks locked up but he never even thought of doing the same thing with his pet."

"Ron not thinking about things really shouldn't be a surprise by now," Harry snorted. "How many times has he said or done something rude or foolish because he never thinks things through?"

"Plenty," Hermione sighed. "Why aren't you defending him though? He is your best friend. That's what I would have expected from you, Harry."

"I can be friends with someone and still see they have flaws, or when they are wrong. Believe it or not, you're not the only one who can do a little critical thinking," he chuckled as Hermione finally smiled a bit at his teasing.

"I'm glad I've rubbed off on you then."

"Besides, you're my best friend. Not that I don't like Ron, but he just doesn't understand me or my life anymore."

"I'm not sure I do either, Harry."

"Maybe not, but you're at least trying. It's been months now and Ron still acts sometimes like Pansy is just going to disappear one of these days or that it's wrong that I'm friends with someone from Slytherin. Not that she's really in Slytherin anymore for any practical purposes."

"Her points still go there."

"Yeah, and her uniform still has green trimmings. But I'm okay with that; Pansy looks better in green. Just like you look better in red."

"Thanks," Hermione blushed. "You don't have to try so hard to make me feel better."

"Sure I do. That's what best friends are for, isn't it?"

Hermione leaned her head on his shoulder as Harry wrapped an arm around her.

"Let's get whatever books you want to check out and head on up."


One trip through the castle later, and they were standing outside Gryffindor tower together. Harry put his left arm over her shoulders.

"Don't let Ron get you down."

"Are you sure about this, Harry? You don't need to make him mad at you too."

"I think it's too late for that. Besides, maybe this will help Ron grow up some. He could certainly use a little more maturity. And if he wants to let his anger and ego run things, then that's his decision. I'll be happy to tell him I'm sorry his rat is gone as soon as he stops being such an arse to you."

"Okay. I'm ready."

One password later, they stepped into the common room together. Harry did not remove his arm from around Hermione. Ron looked up and scowled at them from the chair he was sitting in off in a corner. He angrily stood and stomped off up the stairs.

Harry felt Hermione deflate a bit, but he just guided her over to an empty table and she began setting down the books she'd brought from the library. She went up to her room to get more of her things for the three assignments she was determined to work on for the rest of the night. Harry sat and waited for her to come back down.

He noticed Pansy at a table maybe ten feet away. She looked up and offered him a rather evil grin. He had an idea of what she must be getting up to, especially as she was whispering with Parvati and Lavender, and he hoped that it would be a fun diversion for them.

He had a couple of things of his own to do. Supporting Hermione was only one of them. Harry could have spent more time on some of his own school work, but that was a very minor concern. The map he now had gave him a couple of different ideas, and he was sure that he would be spending plenty of time studying it.

First, though, he had a letter to write to Sam.

"Longbottom!" her commanding voice made Harry look over at Pansy again. "Come over here for a minute."

Poor Neville looked terrified but did as Pansy told him. Parvati and Lavender were looking him over critically. Harry chuckled quietly as Neville was told to stand up straight, then made to turn in a circle for the trio of girls. He was clearly panicking as Parvati whispered something to Lavender, who giggled but made a few notes on the parchment spread out before them. They released Neville after a few moments, and he slowly backed away.

'This is going to be hilarious,' Harry thought. It might even work for Hermione. Or at least make her laugh. And right now, as she returned to his table with the typical arm load of course work, she really could use something to cheer her up. Harry briefly thought of giving her another shot at working on the Patronus, but Hermione might not be in the best frame of mind for that to accomplish anything other than frustrating her more.

He patted her back and gave her a brief smile as she got busy with an essay for muggle studies. Harry didn't even hassle her anymore over taking the class. It was her life, and if she would respect his decisions, then he would have to respect hers as well, even when he disagreed with them.

He began writing his letter.


The next week passed quickly. Harry had taken to looking over the map every night. In fact, he often left it spread open on the table in front of their couch when he was in their private quarters. There were no further signs of Black, or anyone else, sneaking into the castle at night.

He was looking forward to the coming Sunday. It was going to be his first Valentine's Day with Pansy, and he had planned a couple of things to try to make it memorable.

Pansy had been keeping busy with her plan to help Neville try to impress Hermione. She had roped him in on part of the plot, and he had been doing his best to help Neville with the practical work in all of their classes where they got to use their wands. He didn't need help with Herbology, thankfully, as Harry disliked that class owing to how it reminded him of the Dursleys and their never-ending chores. He couldn't help Neville much with History of Magic, Astronomy, or Potions either, but Neville did seem to be gaining a small amount of confidence with his wand. At least, he wasn't stammering as much, and though his aim was still poor, he could at least usually get the spell to work properly when Harry worked with him.

The fact that Ron wasn't speaking to him also gave Harry more time to get other things done.

He wasn't surprised by his friend's stubborn behavior, although it did mean he had to keep Hermione's spirits up. Pansy had warned him months ago that they were growing apart due to Ron's immaturity, and he wondered if this would be something that they would be able to get past.


Pansy awoke feeling wonderful. Sleeping in Harry's arms had become so comforting and normal to her. The night before had been a lot of fun too. She had gotten Harry wound up and they had shagged like animals. Then almost an hour soaking in the tub before bed. Life was good. If suffering the years with her parents had led to this, then it was worth it.

She looked over at the side table and saw a vase with a red rose in it. It had definitely not been there when they had gone to sleep. Dobby was great. He took care of his family, but she was also very pleased that Harry was so thoughtful to have something waiting for her when she woke.

He probably deserved a reward for being such a good boyfriend.

And she knew just what she could do to wake him up in the best of moods...
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