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Chapter 31

Dating Business


“Hermione? Help is on the way…” A soft, cool voice said to her and she felt someone grab her hand. Hermione opened her eyes to see a very handsome face, dark long hair framing his face.

Hermione…

“Sirius?” Hermione whispered and her eyes focused on his grey-blue eyes. She gasped as she saw the pleading in Sirius’ face. Please hurry…

“What was that?”

Hermione’s vision finally cleared, and she could focus on deep dark brown eyes that were looking at her with concern. She was looking perplexed at the handsome boy that looked back with worry. Had she imagined Sirius’ voice and face? Hermione gasped as she realized that Sirius was probably trying to communicate with her. She must tell Harry! Hermione winced as she tried to move. The boy gently pressed a hand against her to keep her from moving.

“Don’t move, I think you’ve got a broken rib,” Terrence said to her with a frown,
“Leslie went to get help,” he said and Hermione nodded, struggling against the pain that had suddenly become alive now that she was awake. Tears welled up in her eyes, and she closed them trying to control the pain.

“Merlin Dear!” Professor Sinistra exclaimed as she clambered up the steps, Leslie Dimitrev, a 7th year Prefect from Ravenclaw, was following behind.

“What happened?” She asked as she knelt next to Hermione.

“We were walking to class from the Prefect Bathroom when we heard a scream and someone tumbling down the steps,” Leslie began, “so we ran this way up the stairway; we found her like this,” she added.

Professor Sinistra paralyzed Hermione to keep her from moving, and charmed her body to levitate it. She was afraid of letting her move for fear that the broken rib would puncture her lung. Leslie collected Hermione’s book bag, as Terrence conjured a stretched and gingerly moved it directly underneath Hermione. Hermione whimpered as she was released and was gently set onto the stretcher.

Sinistra instructed Terrance to head over to McGonagall’s classroom and inform her of Hermione’s condition since she was her head of house, while she levitated the stretcher to the Hospital Wing.

Harry sat with Ron in the Transfiguration classroom and looked nervously at Hermione’s empty seat. Professor McGonagall entered the room, her eyes flicked to Hermione’s seat and Harry thought she saw a flicker of a frown.

“Good morning class, today we will begin the presentations on your team projects…” There was a knock on the door, and the Head Boy appeared.

“Mr. Granchester, may I help you?” McGonagall asked noticing the tall young man at the door. She walked over to him, and they spoke in hushed tones, then she nodded.

“Thank you,” she said as she dismissed him.

“Please continue practicing transfiguring your ears into rabbit ears, the instructions are on page 357 of your books. I need to depart for a few moments,” she said and her eyes lingered on Harry and Ron before she stepped outside the classroom. She returned about ten minutes later.

“Potter, Weasley… may I have a word with you…” she said and Harry and Ron looked at each other. Hermione still had not showed up, and they wondered if something was wrong.

McGonagall closed the door of her classroom, and faced them.

“Harry, your presentation will have to be re-scheduled to next week. It seems that Miss Granger has suffered an accident…”

“What sort of accident?”
“What happened?”

“She fell down the staircase leading down from the sixth floor to the East Wing. She’s suffered a few broken bones, and some bruises… but she will be all right. It will take her a good part of an hour to mend her bones, but should be good as new by lunch time. Now, let’s get back to class and you can go to the Hospital Wing to visit her once class is over.”

Harry felt as if the bottom of his stomach had fallen off. He really hoped that their earlier argument wasn’t the cause of her accident. Once Transfiguration was over, the pair ran all the way to the Hospital Wing. Just before they reached the set of double doors, Veronica spotted Harry.

“Harry…!”

“I’ll see you in there,” Ron said and went through the set of double doors, while Harry waited for Veronica to catch up.

“What’s wrong?” She asked seeing his concerned face. Harry quickly told her that Hermione was injured and in the Hospital Wing.

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear, I guess I won’t keep you, but I just wanted to ask you something quick… will you be my tutor for flying lessons? I didn’t get an acceptable in my OWL, and I guess in England I can’t go for an apparition license if I don’t get my flying permit…” she said a bit crossed.

“Yeah, no problem… when do you want lessons?” He asked wondering how he would fit it all in his busy schedule.

“We will be using flying class time with personal tutors, so Fridays, the last class of the day.”

“Yeah, that’ll work.”

“Great! Thanks… I’ll see you then,” she said and gave him a hug and quick kiss on the lips. “Hope Hermione is ok,” she added as an afterthought as she hurried to go to the Great Hall for lunch.

Hermione opened her eyes when she heard Ron’s voice asking Madam Pomfrey to see her.

“I’m sorry I yelled at…”

“Shhh, don’t mention it. I know you didn’t mean it,” Ron said smiling at her.

“Thanks.”

“How are you feeling?” He asked taking a seat next to her.

“I’m all right, I just have to wait for this last potion’s sideffects to wear off a bit before I can go,” she replied and Ron noticed her fallen face, and her eyes flick over to the door way. His face fell a little wondering what she was thinking and sighed.

“Harry’s coming. Veronica caught up with him just as I came in,” he said and smiled, albeit feeling a bit defeated.

The set of double doors opened and Harry strode in. He looked grim as he took a seat next to Hermione. He gingerly clutched her hand.

“Hermione, I am so sorry…” he began.

“It’s all right; I was rather being a bit of a pain about the whole project thing,” she said and smiled at him.

Harry smiled back glad to have that over with. He promised her that he would dedicate all of tomorrow, except for Quidditch practice time, to her and the project. Hermione beamed at him. Ron felt himself shrink in his seat, and finally realized he had dug his nails into his palms.

“What happened?” Harry asked breaking the silence and Hermione told them about what she could remember.

“You couldn’t really see who it was?” Ron asked furious. Hermione shook her head.

“Who else!?” Harry said with venom, “Malfoy! That’s who!” he said as he clenched his fists.

“I don’t know for sure,” Hermione said although she too had a nagging feeling that it had been him.

“Who else would enjoy seeing you fall, and probably even hope that you broke your neck and died at the bottom of the steps!?” Harry spat seething with anger.

“I know, but what if whoever did it didn’t mean for me to fall down the steps, and they ran because they were afraid of actually what happened? Let’s just not do anything stupid for now and see if we can actually find out before we do anything,” Hermione said and Harry and Ron reluctantly agreed.

“So, what did Veronica want?” Ron asked to change the subject, and Hermione flinched, but she said it was the potion working on her bones. Harry understood; he’d once had his bones re-grown which was far worse than just mending them. Ron’s face seemed to darken. Hermione looked uncomfortable, but Harry didn’t notice either of their reactions.

“She asked me to be her tutor for flying lessons,” said Harry.

“She’s taking flying lessons?” Ron asked surprised trying to get his other thoughts from his head. Hermione frowned.

“Yeah, she said that in Honduras they didn’t have lessons or tests or anything for flying, so she failed the test here to get an equivalency grade,”

Hermione frowned some more.

“What’s wrong?”

“I completely forgot about the tutor thing,” she said hastily, and turned to Ron, “can you be my tutor for flying?” She asked and Ron looked at her. Hermione looked away.

“Lavender… uhm… she asked me this morning during breakfast and since you hadn’t asked either one of us we thought maybe you didn’t need one… I already told her I’d do it,”

“Oh,” Hermione replied and nodded. “I guess I’ll just have to ask someone else then, Madam Hooch did say that there are a few volunteers for tutors for class, so maybe I’ll just speak with her then,” she replied and then asked about Transfiguration. Harry wasn’t quite sure what was going on, but there was this sudden tension between the three of them. It was as if neither wanted to be anywhere else at the moment, yet at the same time they couldn’t bear to be together. He had seen the way Ron and Hermione were acting, and a tiny voice had told him not to be surprised. He’d known all along that Ron had feelings for Hermione, and he thought Hermione reciprocated them. In fact, he remembered wishing last year that they would wake up and get it over with. He hadn’t expected this horrible feeling of dread that was making his chest feel as if a vice had been placed on his heart. Maybe he was just afraid that if Ron and Hermione got together, their friendship would suffer, and the trio would break up.

The three of them had lunch in the Hospital Wing as they waited for Hermione to finish healing, but they barely spoke with each other.

Finally Madam Pomfrey deemed Hermione completely healed and the three of them headed to the common room so Ron and Harry could collect their brooms, and Hermione went to drop her things.

They walked out to the Quidditch pitch where 6th and 7th year flying class was held. Since it was only a handful of students from 6th year and 7th year who didn’t pass the flying test, both years were taught together.

Veronica waved to Harry and she joined the group. She held one of the school brooms in her hand. Lavender joined the group as well, and Hermione excused herself to go talk to Madam Hooch. Both Harry and Ron watched her go.

“Thanks for helping me out with this,” Lavender spoke catching Ron’s attention.

“Wha.. uhm, yeah, no problem…” Ron said and felt his ears turn red when he finally realized the way in which Lavender was looking at him. He turned to look at Harry, who was holding Veronica’s hand but was barely paying attention to what she was saying. He seemed to have found Veronica’s fingers quite fascinating at the moment.

As Hermione approached, she saw several girls crowding around Madam Hooch and a tall young man she recognized as Terrence Granchester, the Head Boy. He appeared aloof, and was completely ignoring the girls who were obviously trying to get his attention. Then his eyes focused on Hermione. He moved forward without looking at anyone but her, the other girls parted to let him pass, then glared at Hermione.

“Hermione, I am glad to see you’ve recovered,” he said with a soft, steady voice.

“Thanks for your help,” she said and he nodded.

“Ms. Granger, did you ask someone to be your tutor?” Madam Hooch interrupted, looking at the clipboard in her hands.

Hermione was about to shake her head, when Terrence spoke.

“I can offer my help to Miss Granger,” he said in a cool voice. The glare from the girls around Madam Hooch intensified, and Hermione couldn’t help but feel a blush crawl up her cheeks. “…if you wouldn’t mind, of course?” He said lifting an eyebrow to her.

“Uhm, no… not at all…” she said and smiled.

“Good, now, let’s see… Fentley, Rogue, Begleban… who else needs a tutor?” Madam Hooch asked turning her attention to the gathered girls.

“I didn’t know you were taking this class,” Terrence said as the pair began to walk towards Harry, Ron, Veronica, and Lavender.

Hermione blushed furiously, thoroughly embarrassed. Terrence didn’t wait for an answer. “I’ve volunteered every year since I’ve made the Quidditch team,” he said and turned to her, “if it hadn’t been for my tutor, I would have never made it into the team,” he said and gave her a small, almost private smile.

“Really? I wouldn’t guess that from the way you fly,” she said smiling back feeling a bit better. Here was the Head Boy telling her that he had also needed help. She also couldn’t remember the last, or first time, she had seen him smile. It seemed rare, yet precious in a way. Terrence Granchester had the reputation of being a loner; he was polite, courteous, but also aloof. He didn’t hang out with anyone, yet he was known by many. Hermione had always seen him under the shade of a large tree by the lake, always alone. She had wondered how he ended up being Head Boy. He rarely spoke during the meetings with the prefects, only to give out enough information to get the job done. He was rarely ever in the Great Hall during meals, and yet, half of the school female population almost swooned whenever he passed. Hermione hadn’t really thought that there was anything attractive in him, besides his handsome face.

“I was in first form and I really wanted to be able to try out for Quidditch, no one from first year had ever made it into a team for more than a century or so, but I tried anyway. I was knocked unconscious by a bludger, and I was so afraid to get back on a broom after that. I failed Flying misserably my first year. Kathy Kettlebuns was my neighbor and she really encouraged me back on the broom. She was made captain of the Ravenclaw team during my second year, and if it hadn’t been for her… I would have never gotten back on a broom again. I told her I owed her, and she said that the way to pay her back was to do the same in kind to someone else,”

“She must have been a great instructor, now you’re the team captain,” Hermione said intrigued by the story, it completely showed a person that she couldn’t imagine it being him. “Kathy Kettlebun? I remember her…” Hermione said after thinking for a bit, “she was always in the library during my first year; she was always helping someone or other with their homework.”

“Yes, that sounds like her… she was always helping everyone. She’s now a Healer in St. Mungos. We still keep in touch…” Terrence said as they joined the others, and Hermione noticed that the smile had left his face.

“Hey guys, this is Terrence Granchester, he’s going to be my tutor,” Hermione introduced Terrence to everyone.

“Terry, please call me Terry,” he said looking at Hermione, almost ignoring everyone else.

“Hello Terry,” Veronica said and beamed at him, he nodded at her, but he didn’t smile back.

“Potter, Weasley,” he said acknowledging their presence. Hermione turned to introduce Lavender, and didn’t notice the glare coming from Harry and Ron. Terry seemed oblivious, or didn’t care about their glare. Harry and Ron knew him since he played as a chaser for the Ravenclaw team, and now that Roger Davies had left Hogwarts, he had been made Team Captain this year.

“This is Lavender Brown, she’s in my year… ” Hermione said introducing Lavender who excitedly shook his hand, and acted a bit like those girls fawning over Terry.

There was a whistle from Madam Hooch who explained how to use their time with their tutors and left them each to practice. She would be around for help.

Harry and Ron could barely concentrate on their pupils, as they constantly watched Terry and Hermione. They didn’t seem to be practicing flying, but were instead deeply discussing something. Madam Hooch approached them, and after a few words with them, she left them. They still didn’t even mount their brooms. Finally, when the class was over, they headed back to the castle in a group. Terry held Hermione back for a few moments, then retreated to his favorite spot. Hermione caught up with Lavender, Ron, Harry, and Veronica going up the staircases.

“What the hell were you talking to him about the whole class?” Ron asked trying to not sound annoyed.

“He was telling me lots of facts about brooms, and flying…” Hermione replied defensively.

“That won’t get you to fly!” Ron replied.

“How do you know?” She said and hurried up the staircase. Lavender looked at Ron, smiled a bit coquettishly, and went after Hermione. Ron looked confused.

Veronica sniggered a little bit; “I’ll see you during dinner…” she said and kissed Harry on the cheek “Chao Ron,”

“Erm, What? Oh, yeah… bye…” Ron said and watched her go down a different set of stairs towards the Ravenclaw tower.

“Let’s get to the common room,” Harry said feeling a ball of mixed feelings in his stomach.

“Women,” Ron grumbled as he followed Harry up the steps.

****
Harry plopped down on a couch in the common room and lied down; his head was buzzing. Today’s lesson in Occlumency with Snape had been even worse than the last time. Harry did feel a bit satisfied about the Tarantallegra hex he had inadvertently sent to Snape when Snape had almost seen Harry’s memory of meeting Veronica that first night. It had been utterly humiliating to Snape as his feet began to do a stupid dance in front of Harry. Still, Harry had paid for that one few seconds afterwards.

Ron entered the common room with a foul looking face.

“What’s wrong with you?” Harry asked intrigued.

“We’ve just had a Prefect meeting and guess what?” Ron replied as he shoved Harry’s feet violently from the couch and sat down on the spot Harry’s feet had occupied.

“What?”

“There’s going to be a stupid Halloween ball, and Prefects have to attend; we can’t skip! The last ball I went to was a disaster…” Ron huffed, thinking about his date with Padma Patil. Also, visions of Hermione with Krum entered his mind.

“It can’t be that bad,” Harry replied off-handedly. This year he had someone to take as a date, and wouldn’t resort to the last minute date like last time. Ron looked a little hurt and betrayed.

“Are you going to ask anyone?” Harry said looking at Ron.

Ron blushed, “Yeah.” Harry thought he heard Ron mumble something along the lines of ‘this time I won’t wait to the last minute.’ Harry tried to grin, knowing very well who Ron was thinking about, but somehow he truly didn’t feel it.

“Who?”

“Hey,” Hermione said as she motioned Harry to sit up right and sat down in between Ron and Harry. Ron had seemed to jump about 10 feet from the couch, startled by her. “Did you tell Harry about the party?” Hermione asked him.

Ron nodded as he nervously fumbled with his hands.

“I’ve just put up the poster…” Hermione said and sure enough, a group of people were already starting to crowd around the notice board. Ron at that moment seemed to make up his mind when he noticed Neville giving Hermione a nervous look. Harry had to bite his tongue to keep from crying out.

“Herm…”

“Excuse me? Ron?” A small voice said from behind them, interrupting him. Ron turned around to look at who was calling his name, and saw Bianca Malfoy standing nervously there.

“Yeah?” Ron asked puzzled, and a little annoyed. He was about to ask Hermione out to the dance with him.

“Haveyouaskenyonetotheballyet?” Bianca blurted in one word.

“What?” Ron asked alarmed, and a little flabbergasted.

“Have you asked anyone to the dance?”

Harry, Ron and Hermione looked at each other stunned. Bianca came around the couch to face the three of them.

“No, but I was…”

“Oh good,” Bianca exclaimed then rushed to continue… “…because I want you to take me to the dance…” she said to him.

“YOU WHAT?” Ron said with disbelief, and began to laugh. Harry and Hermione looked at each other, their mouths were open.

“Oh… that’s a good one Malfoy…” Ron noticed that Bianca hadn’t left, nor that she looked at all like she was laughing. He stopped laughing. “You don’t actually expect me to take you to the dance, do you?” Ron said with disbelief.

She nodded all too serious.

“You can’t ask me to the dance anyway!” Ron said becoming annoyed, “you’re only a first year and the ball is for fourth years and up,” he replied to her a bit roughly.

“That’s exactly why you will ask me to go with you,” Bianca replied in an off-handed way.

“I think you have completely fallen of your rocker if you think that I’m going to ask you to the bloody dance!” Ron spat now glaring openly at her as he stood up. He didn’t care that the whole common room was now staring.
Harry and Hermione were surprised to see that Bianca didn’t seem faced by this. A smirk crossed her face that made her look too much like her brother.

“You pretty much don’t have a choice…” she replied calmly.

“You are testing my patience Malfoy! Leave before…”

Bianca cut him off. “I am not leaving until you pay me what you owe me. I won a match of chess against you and we bet that the winner would ask anything and the loser would do it. As you have pointed out, I can’t go to the dance unless someone asks me… I want you, as payment of your bet, to ask me and take me to the dance!” She replied and waited expectantly for his response.

“I am not taking you anywhere!”

“Yes, you will… you promised and we shook hands remember? That’s a magically bounded contract, either you do this that I ask or it will be worse if you break that promise,”

Ron’s face fell into a look of horror-stricken disbelief. His mouth opened, closed, then opened again, then closed. The color in his face was turning from a light shade of red to purple. Harry thought that Ron was about to explode.

“You. better. not. expect. me. to. dance!” Ron finally managed to say through gritted teeth. Harry and Hermione gaped at Ron. Had he just agreed?

“I don’t need you to stay with me, I just need you to get me through the doors,” Bianca replied as she lifted her nose in the air, turned around, flicking the sheet of golden blond hair to her back and walked away.

Ron sat down fuming, his hands clenched into white-knuckled fists.

“Are you seriously going to take her?” Harry asked not sure he really believed it.

“I have no choice, you heard her. I promised and shook her hand…” Ron spat with bad temper.

“All right, don’t bite my head off for your stupid bets!” Harry snapped, and Ron just glared at him, crossed his arms and didn’t answer.

“Is it true?” Ginny asked rushing to the trio, taking one of the nearest chairs, and looking at Ron with disbelief. Ron simply groaned, he supposed half the school knew by now.

Ginny engulfed Ron in a hug. “I knew you wouldn’t be such a prat…” she said and beamed at him.

“You want me to go with Malfoy’s sister?”

“I’m just glad you didn’t do anything stupid. She asked me what you would say if she asked you and I told her that you would bite her head off, but she said she’d ask you anyway… I am just sorry I missed the whole thing,” Ginny said sitting down next to them. Ron didn’t speak again, and Harry thought that someone should poke him with a sharp object because he was about to blow up from the pressure of his anger building.

“Are you asking Veronica?” Ginny asked startling Harry, and Harry nodded automatically.

“Are you going with anyone?” Harry asked in return.

“Yeah, I suppose I’ll go with Dean,” Ginny replied with a shrug. “What about you Hermione?”

“Well, no one has asked really,” Hermione said shrugging. Ron growled, and Harry felt his gut twist for some reason.

“Are you holding out for anyone?” Ginny asked with interest. Both Harry and Ron looked at Hermione expectantly.

“Not really, I guess I’ll pretty much go with the first one who asks…” Hermione said looking a bit crestfallen. Harry thought Ron looked like he was about to kick himself. At that moment, a large raven entered the common room and landed on the table in front of Hermione. A little note was clasped in its beak. It dropped the note in front of Hermione, and Hermione took it looking puzzled. The raven took off at once.

“Who is it from?”

“It’s from Zibiki! He says that he’s got a lead on the elven text we asked about and that he thinks he will be able to find it. He’ll let us know when he returns from his trip if he’s been successful or not,” Hermione replied looking at Harry.

“Who’s Zibiki?” Ginny asked interested.

“He’s the owner of the rare books store in Hogsmeade, Gathoka’s Rare collections,” Hermione replied and pocketed the note. “I’d ask for a really rare book that I wanted and he said he might be able to find it, but he would let me know. It’s pretty expensive, so I asked for a price as soon as he had it to see if I could afford it or not. He says in his note he’d let me know as soon as he knows the price,” Hermione replied with a smile.

A black owl swept into the common room and landed in front of Hermione.

“Who’s that from?” Harry asked as Hermione took the note, read it and re-read it, and a blush crept on her cheeks. The owl remained on the table obviously waiting for a response.

“It’s from Terry,” Hermione replied with somewhat disbelief.

“Boot?” Ron asked with shock and Harry thought he looked murderous.

“No, Granchester…”

“The Head Boy?” Ginny asked excited and shoved Harry from the seat next to Hermione, and took his spot to peek in her letter. Harry glared at her and sat across the table in a stuffed armchair. Hermione nodded and moved the letter towards Ginny. Ginny gasped and burst in a fit of giggles.

“What does he want?” Both Ron and Harry asked at the same time.

“He’s asking me to the dance,” Hermione replied quietly.

“TERRY GRANCHESTER JUST ASKED YOU TO THE DANCE!” Parvati squealed in a huge gasp making Hermione jump. She hadn’t noticed Pavarti was behind them. The whole common room seemed to have stopped conversation. Hermione felt her face would melt off her head.

“WHAT!??” Lavender screamed from a nearby chair where she was in conversation with Neville, ran to Hermione and shoved Ron out of the way to read. Parvati sat on the arm of the couch, and leaned over Lavender. The four girls read Hermione’s note again.

Dearest Hermione,

You managed to slip out of the meeting tonight before I had a chance to ask for a moment of your time. I know that this is not the best show of gallantry, but I fear that someone will ask before I have the chance to ask you properly. I may already be too late, yet I send this note with the hope that I am the first, and that you will accept my invitation to attend this year’s Halloween Masquerade Ball as my date.

Sincerely yours,

Terry Granchester


“That is soooo romantic!” Parvati said in a dreamy way.

“OH MY GOD! Hermione! The hottest boy in the whole 7th year has asked you to go with him!” Lavender said as she bounced up and down, almost throwing Parvati to the floor. “I am so jealous!” The owl hooted indignantly and ruffled his feathers in disapproval of the entire racket.

“You are saying yes! Right?” Lavender said giving Hermione a threatening look.

“Well…” Hermione blushed

“Of course she’s saying yes! She just said she would say yes to the first bloke that asked,” Ginny answered for her. Ron gaped at her.

“Here, you must answer him at once!” Parvati said shoving a glaringly bright pink quill into Hermione’s hands.

Hermione gave a sideways glance to Harry and Ron, took the quill and wrote a quick answer. She gave it to the handsome owl standing in front of her, which took it in its beak and took off.

Lavender began chattering about how exciting it would be to go to the ball.

“Oh, it’s going to be great, now I just have to get a date…” Lavender said and gave Ron a sideways glance which he didn’t notice because he was too busy brooding.

“Soooo, Ron? Fancy going to the ball with me?” Lavender said casually. Parvati giggled. Ginny threw a ball of parchment to Ron’s head. Harry and Hermione looked at Ron expectantly.

“Hey!”

“Lavender’s asking you out to the ball,” Ginny said and Ron blinked stupidly at Lavender who was blushing.

Ron growled something.

“What?”

“I said I’ve got to take Malfoy to the dance ‘cause I lost a bet…” Ron said crossing his arms and glaring at them all.

“Do you want to go with her?” Lavender asked and didn’t seem to mind.

“What? ME! Want to go to with Malfoy!? I’d rather eat a bucket of slugs!” Ron spat, his face darkened even more.

“Well, you don’t have to spend the whole time with her; I mean… she said she just needed you to get her through the doors…” Harry offered and Ron shot him a nasty look.

“So, what do you say? Want to be my real date to the ball? You can take us both to the dance,” Lavender said and Parvati shook her head and rolled her eyes.

“Yeah, whatever…” Ron said not in the mood to disagree.

“ ‘ello,” Joséphine said walking towards the group.

“Hi Joséphine.”

“Parvati, may I ‘ave your ‘elp?”

“Yeah, of course… erm, what with?”

“Neveelle Longbottom ‘as ask me to zhe ‘alloween ball and I ‘ave accepted,” Joséphine replied and they all turned to look at Neville stunned. He waved sheepishly, his face shining a bright pink.

“I don’t know if eet will be possible to receive a dress from France before the dance. I ‘ave ‘eard that your Aunt designs tres jolie dresses and disguises, I would like to consult a magazeene…” Joséphine said with a pleasant smile.

“Oh, I have tons of the newest catalogues. Here, come up to my room. They are all in my trunk…” Parvati said getting up, taking Hermione’s hand in hers and pulling her up. “There’s this gorgeous dress that I think you will look great in!” She said to Hermione. Ginny and Lavender followed them as they began to talk about what to wear. Harry noticed another 7th year girl join them along the way.

Neville came up to sit with Ron and Harry.

“Did you really ask Joséphine to the dance?”

Neville nodded his head with disbelief. “I was going to ask Hermione again; last time she said that she would have gone with me if no one else had asked, and I was practicing what to say, and Joséphine happened to walk by, and she said… ‘zat is sweet, yes… I will go with you,’ and gave me a kiss on the cheek,” Neville replied still incredulous. Then he grinned. “I guess that works out fine now that Hermione was asked by the Head Boy,” Neville said and began to talk about if he should order new robes. Harry and Ron looked at each other when they noticed the murderous look on Fred as George was dragging him out of the common room. They would have to keep an eye out for Neville.

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