Chapter image by jetaway @ The Dark Arts.

"Kylie. Why did you kidnap Adelle and Mary?" Laine asked, her face hard. Kylie gasped. The people in the Common Room stared with stunned looks on their faces. Laine felt guilty for causing such a scene. Eventually, Kylie had to admit it, and say it was a dare. She explained that people didn't usually dare Prefects - especially Hufflepuff Prefects - to kidnap people, but some very brave, foolhardy Slytherin did so. Her friend, Jillian, knew of the deeds, and had tried to slip Laine a potion to warn her, but being an inept potion maker, got it all mixed up.

"But no-one in the right mind would do that -" Laine was broken off.

"What choice did I have? He would have beaten me up if I hadn't. He's got muscle, that boy. I mean it." Kylie interrupted.

"Oh." Laine, Adelle, and Mary chorused together.
Later that week, Kylie and the boy were expelled. Jillian was appointed Hufflepuff Prefect, and managed to reverse the effects of the potion which had been causing Laine's nightmares. Adelle and Mary managed to recover from the shock of it all. Hogwarts was back to normal. But within Hufflepuff, there was one, small difference.

Thanks to Kylie, Hufflepuff's reputation had been tarnished. None of the other houses knew of the incident, thankfully, or there would have been awful teasing. After settling down after their small adventure, Laine, Adelle and Mary did brilliantly in their classes.

At the end of the year, the entirety of Hogwarts gathered in the Great Hall, eager to find out just who had won the House Cup. No-one knew it was going to end with a great surprise.

"In 4th place," announced Professor Dumbledore, "with 356 points, Slytherin. In 3rd place, with 489 points, Gryffindor. In 2nd place, with 561 points, Ravenclaw."

"That means -" gasped Adelle.

"That means, in 1st place, with 674 points, the House Cup goes to Hufflepuff!" congratulated Professor Dumbledore.

Anyone standing outside the Great Hall would have thought someone had fired a gun. The noise was thunderous. Laine, Adelle and Mary hugged each other. Everybody expect the Slytherins threw their hats in the air. For it had been 150 years ago when Hufflepuff had last won the House Cup.
Mina, Laine's snowy owl, fluttered through the window. Laine pulled the letter off her leg and read it aloud to Adelle and Mary.

"Dear Laine,
I am sorry for kidnapping your friends. It was truly wrong of me. Who won the House Cup? Mum and Dad were SO mad at me when I got home and told them the whole story. I'm going to Beauxbatons Academy of Magic next year, so Mum's signed me up for French classes. Please reply soon.

Laine laughed. She picked up a pen.

"Dear Kylie,
That's OK. I suppose Slytherin is the cause of everybody else's wrongdoings in the school, eh? You wouldn't believe it, but HUFFLEPUFF won the House Cup! It's a pity you tarnished our reputation. Oh well. Good luck at your French classes and Beauxbatons!
P.S. Adelle and Mary say hello."

Laine handed it to Mina and watched as the owl flew away into the distance.

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