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Chapter 10

 

Professor Moody opened the door of the wardrobe slowly. There was dead silence in the Great Hall where the students were watching the contestants’ fight against their boggarts. It was the first half of the D.A.D.A. test.

 

Hermione Granger was the first, she was waiting for her shapeshifter boggart to appear with racing heart, her wand ready in her hand.

 

To everyone’s surprise Professor McGonagall was released from the wardrobe who started to talk to Hermione with her usual strict expression on her face.

 

’Hermione Granger failed all the exams.’

 

Hermione got pale but pulled herself together and pointing her wand at the fake teacher, she shouted the boggart banishing spell.

 

’Riddikulus!’

 

In the next moment the boggart-McGonagall’s conservative look disappeared and the students could see an old lady with tattoos, piercings, lots of make-up and green and purple spiky hair.

 

While the students were laughing and clapping their hands, the fake McGonagall walked back into the wardrobe sadly and the real one blushed crimson sitting between Dumbledore and Snape.

 

It was Malfoy’s turn. When his father stepped out of the wardrobe heading threateningly towards Draco, saying ’I’m really disappointed in you, my son,’ the blond Slytherin hesitated for a moment, then clenched his jaws, and with the boggart banishing spell he turned Lucius Malfoy into an Elvis impersonator, wearing a white studded jumpsuit and a black wig with sideburns.

 

Cedric had to face a crowd of screaming girls spilling out of the wardrobe towards him but the spell turned the floor of the Great Hall into ice so the girls slipped and fell one by one.

 

Many of the students wondered what boggart the always calm Luna might have had. To everyone’s surprise the vision of a very pretty and sexy Cho left the wardrobe, whispering ’Cedric, I still love you. Don’t say it’s over.’ But she could hardly finish the sentence, her body got fatter and fatter as Luna inflated her like a balloon and floated her to the ceiling just like Harry had done it once with his ’auntie’ Marge.

 

The members of the audience, except for McGonagall and Cho, enjoyed the show and were sorry when it ended.

 

In the second half of the D.A.D.A. exam the contestants were sent into the Maze where each of them had to find the way out with the help of his or her patronus.

 

The cheering crowd could hear the exclamations ’Expecto Patronum’ of the four competitors one by one. Then, some minutes later the silvery phantom shape of a Unicorn appeared at the exit of the Maze followed by Cedric Diggory. The second contestant who could get out was Hermione Granger, helped by her silver Otter. Draco Malfoy walked out of the Maze as proudly as his White Peacock. The last one was Luna Lovegood, right behind her silver Hare.

 

Cedric was given a ten, Hermione a nine, Malfoy got eight and Luna seven points. There were only two tests left: Potions and Quidditch.

 

OOOOO

 

Last night I had a dream about a Venice Carnival night. The guests filled the ballroom of the magnificent Baroque palace. The Venetian mirrors, the 18th century frescoes and the golden ornaments made me immerge in an ancient and enchanting world…

The richly decorated silk and velvet period costumes with the nicely elaborated mysterious masks were bathing in the glittering lights of a thousand candles…

I was strolling alone wearing my beige coloured lace and velvet costume, listening to the soft melodies of the orchestra when I saw you in a Casanova hat and cape, wearing a black half-mask and a white wig. You were standing in front of a Murano mirror, sipping a cocktail.

You smiled at me and without asking anything you held my hand and took me to the dancefloor. And we danced and danced… It was a waltz, the composer Khachaturian’s Masquerade Waltz. You held me tight and we danced across the floor gracefully, faster and faster as the music got more and more passionate…

Then we left the palace and climbed into a gondola to boat on the canals of Venice. In the dark you drew closer, I could see your lips were about to touch mine and you slowly took off your mask… But suddenly I woke up and I still don’t want to believe it was just a dream…

 

Hermione finished writing, sighed and closed the diary. She had to go to the Quidditch pitch to train with the Gryffindor team.

 

OOOOO

 

Ginny welcomed Hermione on the Quidditch pitch with a big smile.

 

’I look like an idiot,’ Hermione complained. ’Are you sure I need to wear these shin guards? And the goggles? I can’t see anything.’

 

’Okay, take off the goggles,’ Ginny said. ’Where’s Harry?’

 

They looked around.

 

A guy in quidditch kit, walking out of the pitch caught Hermione’s eyes. His white hair was tied back. He looked like the mysterious Casanova in her dream.

 

’Who’s that?’ She asked breathless.

 

’Over there? The guy with the pigtail? Malfoy.’ Ginny was surprised. ’You don’t recognise your arch-enemy? The Slytherins have just finished their training session.’

 

She should have recognised him. Malfoy had grown his hair lately and he tied back the shoulder-length blond locks not to irritate him during Quidditch. He looked really sexy. But Hermione Granger was disappointed and angry. How could she feel attracted to Malfoy? Even if it was just some seconds’ time. What a shame.

 

OOOOO

 

When Hermione opened the diary that night, there was another entry below hers.

 

I’d dance the night away with you. Even without masks. Even if you look like Moaning Myrtle. I don’t care. I have feelings towards you I’d never had. Tell me when you’re ready to meet me. I’ll be there. I’m willing to take off my mask any time. And not just in your dream.

 

Hermione bit her lower lip then a smile crossed her face. She closed the diary and buried her head in her pillow. She hoped to dream of him again.

 

End of Chapter 10

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