Episode 1: Snakes and Charmers

*Upbeat/vaguely wizarding music plays*

BLAISE ZABINI: I may be a Slytherin, but I am not a snake.

DEAN THOMAS: I’m a team player, but I’m always ahead of the pack.

DESIREE WARBECK: My cookies are always served with tea.

ALEX JOHNSON: I may be the youngest, but I can teach these old bats a thing or two.

HERMIONE GRANGER: Books and cleverness? There are more important things…like justice.

LAVENDER BROWN: You can’t predict the future, but I can.

Pan out to reveal all six wizards, each holding out their wand over the words THE REAL HOUSE-STUDENTS OF HOGWARTS.

A series of shots: Hogsmeade, Hagrid’s hut, the Hogwarts skyline, and then: Professor Sinistra’s classroom where BLAISE ZABINI and DESIREE WARBECK are setting up chairs for the first Hogwarts BSU meeting of their sixth year at Hogwarts. Desiree sets a tin of biscuits on the front desk, and Blaise seems a little nervous as he rolls up the sleeves of his shirt.

BLAISE CONFESSIONAL: Blaise wears a brilliant set of emerald velvet robes, hair is freshly cut. He scowls, but it is clearly because of his discomfort at being in front of the cameras. I’m Blaise Zabini, sixth year Slytherin and…President of the Hogwarts BSU.

DESIREE CONFESSIONAL: Desiree is in black robes, but her Afro puff is decorated with sunflowers and gold powder dusts the tops of her cheeks. She beams brilliantly. I’m Desiree Warbeck, sixth year Hufflepuff and Treasurer and Resident Baker of the Hogwarts BSU. I suppose the latter isn’t really an official title but (she shrugs) I can’t eat all those biscuits and sponges on my own can I?

Back in the classroom, Blaise and Desiree are using their wands to move the desks to the perimeter of the room and the chairs in a circle in the center.

BLAISE: So…you had a good summer?

DESIREE smiles: Yeah, my Nan came to visit. She’s been touring in the States so it was good to see her.

BLAISE smiles softly: That’s nice. I’d have liked to meet her.

DESIREE blushes: Yeah, well I barely heard from you all summer. So…

BLAISE coughs: Right. Well, I was traveling a lot. With my mum.

DESIREE: Hmm.

BLAISE CONFESSIONAL: He shifts uncomfortably. Me and Des are…complicated.

DESIREE CONFESSIONAL: We’re friends. Just friends. She doesn’t look happy about it, but doesn’t say any more.

Back in the classroom, DEAN THOMAS enters. He looks relaxed as he waves to his friends.

DEAN: Hey Blaise! Hey Des!

Blaise nods in greeting.

DESIREE: Hi Dean!

DEAN CONFESSIONAL: Dean wears a West Ham football jersey under his open robes. He lounges back in his seat, his short afro freshly picked. I’m Dean Thomas, sixth year Gryffindor and Vice President of the BSU. I pretty much keep Zabini accountable (he then grins and straightens up), and I guess he does the same for me. There’s not a lot of us Black students at Hogwarts so we sort of look out for each other despite the rivalry.

Back in the classroom, ALEX JOHNSON enters behind Dean. He pulls the quill out from behind his ear as he searches in his bag for some parchment.

ALEX CONFESSIONAL: Alex is in neatly-pressed robes, the sides of his high top slowly filling in. He sits up straight, looking into the camera with confidence. I’m Alex Johnson. Most folks know me as Angelina’s kid brother, but I’m a fourth year Ravenclaw, the BSU’s Scribe, and I’ve got the highest marks in my year.

The four of them choose seats near each other. Dean turns his seat around before sitting, leaning forward on the backrest.

DEAN: So…why’d you call us here early?

BLAISE shifts in his seat beside Desiree: Well, I figured, you know, first meeting back and all. (He takes a breath and sits up straighter) And also, I wanted to talk about some changes.

Dean and Desiree exchange a glance, but Alex is too busy writing down everything to also look surprised.

DESIREE: What kind of changes?

BLAISE doesn’t look at her: I want to step down as BSU President.

The camera pans around the room. Dean frowns at Blaise, Desiree looks shocked and upset, Alex is still scribbling furiously on his parchment.

DEAN CONFESSIONAL: What in Merlin’s scratchy five o’clock shadow?

CUT BACK TO BLAISE still not looking at anyone: It’s just…there’s a lot going on out there and I think it’ll be…safer…if I’m not so out in the open, you know?

BLAISE CONFESSIONAL: I started the BSU with Dean third year because I wanted to make space for other Black students at Hogwarts, and I don’t regret doing that but…but with the Dark Lord out in the open, I just feel like it would be more prudent for me to take a back seat.

DEAN CONFESSIONAL: This is some Slytherin bullshit.

CUT TO DEAN eyebrows raised at Blaise: So does that mean you’re leaving BSU for good?

BLAISE: No, I still want to attend, but I think you should be the new President. And Des should be VP.

DEAN CONFESSIONAL: His arms are folded, face dubious. I’m not sure how my being Muggle-born and running a Black club would be more safe than it would be for Blaise to do it.

DESIREE CONFESSIONAL: She looks confused and annoyed. Was Blaise Confunded on the way here?

CUT TO DESIREE: I’m not going to be the Vice President. Alex should do it.

ALEX finally looks up from his notes, face brightening: I have loads of ideas for where we could take the BSU this year. We could have a campaign focusing on getting Black students more support from the school, or run a drive to help younger Black wizards prepare for entering Hogwarts, or a dance where we can raise—

DEAN CONFESSIONAL: Dean lets out a long sigh, his eyes rolling to the ceiling.

CUT TO DEAN: Whoa whoa, mate, do you have all of this written down?

ALEX: Of course.

DEAN: Great, we can chat about it later.

BLAISE: So…we’re good?

DESIREE CONFESSIONAL: Her arms are folded. No, we are not ‘good.’

DEAN CONFESSIONAL: Dean snorts and shakes his head.

CUT TO DEAN: Yeah, I guess.

DESIREE mumbles: Sure.

A great bush of hair appears at the open doorway. It’s HERMIONE GRANGER, peeking in.

HERMIONE: Am I too early?

DESIREE glances at Blaise in frustration before saying: Nope, come on in!

HERMIONE CONFESSIONAL: Hermione is in plain robes and minimal makeup. Her hair is held back by a burgundy headband, and explodes all around her. She slouches a bit, but looks determinedly into the camera. I’m Hermione Granger, sixth year Gryffindor. Most people know me as the best friend of Harry Potter. Others like to call me a know-it-all, but really I just apply myself and study hard. N.E.W.T.s are only 20 months away, after all! I’m also really passionate about equality for all magical creatures, which includes freeing house-elves from the shackles of oppression put on them by wizards.

Hermione strides in, making straight for Blaise, looking determined. Blaise leans back a bit, eyeing her warily.

HERMIONE: I wanted to add something to the agenda. I’m having a knit-in for S.P.E.W. and need volunteers to help promote and run the event.

Blaise stares at her but doesn’t say anything right away, looking more and more dubious.

HERMIONE CONFESSIONAL: S.P.E.W. stands for the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. We strive to create safe and free spaces for house-elves, are committed to paying them fair wages for their work, and are working to dismantle the entire system of enslavement the Wizarding World was built on. I started it in my fourth year after learning about their egregious treatment, and I have a few supporters, but we really need funding to keep our momentum.

DESIREE CONFESSIONAL: S.P.E.W. is…(she looks away from the camera and bites her lip)…a good cause I suppose.

DEAN CONFESSIONAL: I didn’t even know Spew was still a thing (he shrugs).

BLAISE CONFESSIONAL: Spew is dumb.

CUT TO BLAISE who clears his throat and motions to Dean: You should talk to Dean, he’s running the meeting today.

DEAN shoots an annoyed look at Blaise before fixing a friendly smile on his face as he looks to Hermione: Sure, er, what’s a knit-in?

HERMIONE: Well you all know house-elves can only be freed if you present them with clothes. I’m thinking of setting up in the Great Hall — since the elves here make all of our food — and everyone can knit clothing for them. By the end we’ll have raised awareness about the cause and have made more clothes to free them with!

Blaise looks like he is about to say something, but Desiree touches his hand and shakes her head. He keeps his mouth shut.

DESIREE CONFESSIONAL: Hermione is…intense. I mean, don’t get me wrong, helping house-elves is a great cause. But…I don’t know. Tricking them into freeing themselves is…a choice.

Cut back to the classroom, where other members of the BSU are filing in. Dean is watching Hermione, looking as though he’s trying not to laugh. Alex is still writing everything down despite no longer being the Scribe.

ALEX CONFESSIONAL: It just helps for me to write things down. I suppose we’ll have to find another Scribe but I want to stay on top of my game, be a great VP, you know? I’ve got some big shoes to fill.

CUT TO HERMIONE: Anyway, I know you’ve already said we can’t talk about S.P.E.W. in meetings, but I really just want to pass around a sign up sheet. No one’s required to do anything if they don’t want.

As she speaks, LAVENDER BROWN approaches, overhearing the conversation. 

LAVENDER CONFESSIONAL: Lavender wears soft pink robes, one side of her thick curly hair pinned back with glittery purple butterfly clips. She has faint pink eyeshadow and penciled-in eyebrows. I’m Lavender Brown! I’m a sixth year Gryffindor and aspiring Seer. Professor Trelawney told me my Inner Eye is blossoming, so I think it just might come true!

CUT BACK TO LAVENDER: Are you talking about your Spew event?

HERMIONE looking annoyed: It’s S.P.E.W.

LAVENDER shrugs: I can help if you’d like.

The others, including Hermione, stare at her in surprise.

DESIREE CONFESSIONAL: I have to admit, I did not see that coming.

CUT TO HERMIONE: Really?

LAVENDER: Yeah! I could set up a tea leaf reading station. People could pay a few Galleons to get their fortunes told. I’d donate the money to you, I just want the practice.

HERMIONE face dropping: Oh, er…I’ll let you know.

HERMIONE CONFESSIONAL: Absolutely not.

CUT TO DEAN who stands: Go ahead, Hermione, I don’t see the harm. (To the rest of the students who have filtered into the room). Everyone let’s take our seats. Des, you wanna pass out those biscuits?

BLAISE (V.O.): This season on the Real House-students of Hogwarts…

DEAN CONFESSIONAL: Burying his face in his hands. I can’t believe Blaise stuck me with this mess.

CUT TO HERMIONE running around like a Blast-Ended Skrewt is on her tail: What do you mean we don’t have green yarn?!

CUT TO ALEX CONFESSIONAL: I just don’t think I’m being heard, you know? They all think I’m just some kid.

Cut to Blaise hurrying after Desiree down the hall.

BLAISE: Come on, Des, just talk to me.

Cut to Hermione and Lavender, inches apart, fists clenched, fury on their faces. Desiree is standing between them, pushing Hermione back while PARVATI PATIL pulls Lavender back by her hand.

LAVENDER screaming: You’re so fake! That’s why no one likes you, not even Ron!