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Chapter 18: Payback. Harry awoke early the next morning. He had a strange feeling, like butterflies in his stomach. Yet it wasn’t out of dread or fear. For a moment he sat up in bed thinking about everything that had happened the night before. Finally it hit him, like a cool breeze washing over him on a sticky summer’s day. Ginny. He remembered how the red head had explained her long suppressed feelings toward him, and how he too, had admitted his secret longing for her. And then it had happened. Ginny had kissed him. On the lips! The butterfly feeling seemed to intensify as the brief encounter replayed over and over in his mind. He hadn’t noticed Ron stood at the foot of his bed looking at him strangely. ‘Er- Harry? Harry? Oi, mate!’ Harry was dragged from his thoughts by his best friend’s shouts. He quickly rearranged his expression into that of sleepy confusion. Ron just continued to stare at him before a smirk flitted across his lips. ‘Come on, we’re going to be late for breakfast if you don’t hurry up,’ Ron finally announced, causing Harry to jump up quickly before falling to the floor as his legs were twisted in the bed sheets. Ron laughed. ‘Ha ha, very funny! Tell Hermione I’ll be down in a minute,’ Harry answered as he managed to extricate himself from the sheets. ‘Okay, but don’t take too long!’ Ron called as he closed the dormitory door behind him. Harry quickly raced into the bathroom to get ready. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Harry entered the great hall with Ron and Hermione either side of him. They were arguing over him; something about Ron’s grotesque eating habits. Silently Harry agreed with Hermione; Ron’s manners at the dinner table were enough to put anyone off their food! Not that he would ever tell Ron that of course. They reached the Gryffindor table and Harry instantly noticed that Ginny was already seated opposite from him. She blushed and gave him a small nervous smile as she caught him looking at her, to which Harry returned inconspicuously as he realised that Ron and Hermione were still next to him. Ron grabbed four rashers of bacon, a large helping of toast and some fried egg, then poured himself some pumpkin juice. He then continued to see how many bits of toast he could place inside his mouth at the same time, much to everyone’s distaste. ‘Ugh, Ron! That’s disgusting!’ Hermione exclaimed, earning Ron a few disgusted looks as people turned to see what he was doing. ‘What?! I’m a growing boy!’ Ron whined in a mock way, causing Hermione to roll her eyes at him before continuing with her own breakfast. Harry turned his attention to the doors as a lot of yelling could be heard. ‘What the-?’ Harry began, but his question was soon answered as a very angry Draco Malfoy entered the great hall. ‘Professor Snape! Do something! Professor?!’ Malfoy called desperately to the staff table. Although it appeared that Snape was not at the table. Only a sniggering Minerva, chuckling Dumbledore and hysterical Remus who were all hiding behind their hands. Harry tried to contain his laughter along with the rest of the hall as Malfoy entered with magically charmed hair that was continuously changing colour from luminous pink, to yellow, to green, to blue and then back to pink again. Harry noticed that Malfoy’s robes had a pink tint to them too. He finally burst out laughing as the words: ‘Gryffindor’s Rule!’ appeared across them. Malfoy screamed as he too noticed the words and ran from the hall as fast as he could. ‘That was priceless! Did you see the look on Malfoy’s face!? I wonder who did it?’ Ron questioned, whilst wiping tears of mirth from the corners of his eyes. Hermione had forgotten all about her argument with Ron, and she too was laughing along with everyone else. Harry turned still smiling and noticed Gabey for the first time. She winked at him with a mischievous smile before taking a sip of her pumpkin juice. ‘You?’ Harry mouthed soundlessly in awe of her creative talents. Gabey smiled again before nodding. Harry smiled back. Gabey may have paid Malfoy back this time for what he did to Ginny, but if he ever tried something with her again, it would be he, who paid him back. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Harry, Ron and Hermione had already left the great hall when professor Dumbledore approached Gabey at the Gryffindor table as she was re-arranging her bag for class. ‘Miss Newton? May I have a word with you outside?’ Gabey looked up into Dumbledore’s twinkling blue eyes and nodded. ‘Of course professor,’ she replied politely. Dumbledore led Gabey out of the main doors and into a side corridor that was previously unoccupied, he then turned and looked at Gabey seriously. ‘Miss Newton, I know that it was you who, shall we say, pranked, Mr Malfoy earlier this morning. I was wondering if you could enlighten me as to why?’ Dumbledore asked softly. There was no sternness in his voice only keen interest as to her reasoning. ‘I was merely repaying a debt, professor,’ Gabey answered cryptically. Dumbledore nodded his understanding. ‘I see,’ he answered. There was a pause where Gabey wondered what was going to happen next, she suddenly wondered if pulling a prank on someone, even someone as vile as Malfoy, was an offence worthy of expulsion? ‘Well, that will be all Miss Newton, try not to pull too many pranks. Although, I dare say, we could all use a laugh in such times,’ Dumbledore announced smiling slightly. Gabey nodded, also smiling, and with a quick, Thank you professor, she was running toward her next lesson. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Harry rested his head between his hands as he read from the overly large text book that had been assigned for that years’ Transfiguration classes. Professor Mcgonagal had asked everyone to read the first chapter of the book called, ‘Transfigure the world around you and those in it successfully’, by Miranda Goshawk, before attempting the spell that would allow the caster to transfigure a piece of furniture, such as a desk or chair, into another inanimate object, ranging from anything between a lamp or a ball. The end result was reliant upon the caster’s thoughts. So far, Hermione had successfully transfigured a chair into a ball, Ron had unsuccessfully tried to transfigure a desk into a lamp, and Harry had managed to transfigure a chair into a muggle alarm clock. ‘Wow Harry! It’s difficult to get the clock to work as well as to transfigure it exactly as it should be. What with all the workings inside the clock for it to be able to work! How did you manage that?!’ Hermione exclaimed as she closely examined the clock that was working perfectly. Harry shrugged before picking up the small clock. ‘I don’t know. It was the first thing that came to mind- my muggle alarm clock at Privet Drive.’ ‘Ten points to Gryffindor, Mr Potter. That’s an advanced piece of transfiguration you’ve accomplished there Potter, well done!’ Mcgonagal praised before moving over to help Neville, who was having trouble with his desk as he had somehow managed to bring it to life, and it was now chasing him around the room. By the end of the lesson, Ron had only managed to transfigure half his desk into a lamp, making the desk look like some sort of weird invention out of a muggle sci-fi movie. ‘What’s next?’ Harry asked as they left Mcgonagal’s classroom. He couldn’t be bothered to pull out his own timetable that would most likely be at the bottom of his backpack by now, and instead relied on Hermione, who seemed to be able to retain all three of their timetable’s in her memory perfectly. ‘Charms,’ Hermione answered without a moments hesitation. Ron groaned. ‘Its not that bad! We’ve got lunch afterwards, then defence and then potions,’ Hermione supplied, causing Ron to groan even louder. ‘Great! That means I’ve got bloody Trelawney and Firenze later,’ Ron mumbled. Harry turned to look at his friend having forgotten that Ron was taking Divination this year. ‘I still can’t believe you passed your OWL in that, Ron. How’s it going anyway?’ Harry inquired interestedly as they headed toward the tiny professor Flitwick’s class. Ron seemed uncomfortable for a moment and dragged a large hand through his carrot-top hair. ‘Er- fine, you know,’ he replied shortly. Hermione raised an eyebrow but remained silent as they approached the classroom. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ‘Ugh, charms was murder! I’m never going to pass my NEWT in that class!’ Ron complained as the trio entered the great hall for lunch. It had been a revision lesson mostly of what they already knew, but for some reason, Ron couldn’t seem to concentrate, in the end after three destroyed quills, and two explosions later, he had finally given up. ‘Don’t worry, I’m sure it’ll get better, Ron,’ Hermione reassured whilst Harry just nodded to her words. Ron sighed before tucking into the copious amounts of food that he had added to his plate. Gabey entered the hall and approached the Gryffindor table taking a seat next to Hermione and opposite Harry. ‘Looking forward to the duel then?’ Gabey asked as an attempt to engage Harry in some conversation. Harry looked at her questioningly. ‘Er- what duel?’ Harry asked uncertainly. Gabey rolled her eyes and laughed. ‘Don’t tell me you forgot, Harry!? You know, our duel… in Defence?’ Gabey urged. Finally, realisation dawned on Harry, and with it the butterfly feeling again. Although, this time he was certain that it was from nervousness. Gabey was extremely good at duelling from what he had seen. Gabey smiled reassuringly having seen Harry’s eyes widen slightly at the mention of the duel that would be after they finished lunch. ‘Don’t worry, from what I’ve heard, I’m sure you’ll of beat me before I can even fire an offensive spell!’ Gabey laughed. Harry laughed with her, albeit nervously. ‘Anyway, see you in a minute,’ Gabey called as she got up and left the Gryffindor table again, having not eaten. ‘I don’t know why you’re so nervous Harry? I’m sure you’ll win,’ Hermione reassured him once Gabey was out of sight. Harry blinked. ‘I’m not nervous of my duel with Gabey!’ he replied defensively, to which Ron and Hermione both turned to look at him with raised eyebrows. ‘I’m not!’ he cried desperately. ‘Boys! Honestly!’ Hermione replied in an exasperated tone of voice as she rolled her eyes. ‘Come on, we don’t want to be late to Remus’ class, do we?’ Ron and Harry gathered their things up quickly and proceeded to follow Hermione out the double doors. As Harry followed slightly behind his two friends and they descended to the second floor corridor, he couldn’t understand why his feeling of unease would not go away, or why he had snapped so defensively at Hermione the way that he had. He realised he was lucky that she was mature enough not to snap right back at him, and thanked Merlin for small mercies. Soon he found himself inside the defence classroom waiting for Remus to appear, as he took a seat at the front of the class between Ron and Hermione. Harry turned to see Gabey sat by herself at the back of the classroom busy reading a rather large book that Harry didn’t recognise as being part of the required reading for any of the courses. The sound of the door opening and closing brought his attention back to the front of the classroom, and he smiled when Remus entered the room and leaned against the front of the desk that Harry sat in front of. ‘Good afternoon class. As promised, today we will be finishing the small duelling contest that began in your last lesson. Now if my memory serves me correct, I believe that our final contenders are Mr Potter and Miss Newton,’ Remus announced. He turned firstly to Harry and then to Gabey as he called out each of their names, indicating for them to come to the front of the class. Harry was still getting out of his chair when Gabey swept past him from the back of the class, wand in hand. She’s keen, Harry thought. Remus turned to look at Harry as his thoughts drifted to Remus’ mind too, but he remained silent as he waited for the two to take up battle positions at the front of the class. ‘On my count, 3-2-1!’ Red sparks emitted from Remus’ wand and Harry was the first to strike with, ‘Expelliarmus!’ ‘Protego!’ Gabey hollered, successfully blocking Harry’s disarming spell. ‘Furunculous!’ Gabey yelled and Harry side stepped the spell before it hit him. ‘Rictusempra!’ Harry cried to which Gabey quickly yelled ‘Protogeum!’ sending Harry’s own spell back at him. Surprised by the spells switch in direction, Harry threw himself to the floor and allowed the spell to pass over his head and hit the wall behind him. He looked up to see Gabey smiling mischievously at him, and he couldn’t help but roll his eyes at his own stupidity to not know what she was going to do. He quickly got to his feet again and fired ‘Stupefy!’ at Gabey who remained where she was. Harry’s heart raced as he realised that he was going to win, that he had beaten her, when suddenly, Gabey whirled around. Her robes spiralling around her and her long hair, that she had worn down for the day, fanning out as she did so. Harry watched in awe as his spell hit the wall behind where she had stood, and gaped at Gabey when she stopped spinning, and was now stood far off to the side of where she had been only moments before. Harry realised that it must have been some type of spell that she had used, in order for her to dodge his quick-fire spell unscathed, but decided to question her about it later, he was still in the middle of a duel after all. ‘Serpent Sortia!’ Gabey yelled and a large cobra sprang from the end of her wand and headed toward Harry, its fangs bared and ready to strike. Harry took a step back from the snake and lowered his wand, thinking that he would use the snake to his advantage. Harry concentrated on talking to the snake, and in what sounded like English to himself and was Parsel Tongue to everyone else he said, ‘Hey, you don’t really want to attack me do you? I’m all skin and bone!’ Harry watched as the snake stopped in its tracks, obviously contemplating what Harry had said. Gabey watched with wide eyes as she heard Harry speaking in Parsel Tongue, but she quickly regained her composure and raised her wand ready to strike again. ‘Want to play a game?’ Harry asked cryptically of the snake. The snake considered him for a moment before nodding his head. ‘Okay, see that girl over there?’ Harry asked, indicating Gabey, to which the snake replied with a hiss, ‘Yes.’ Harry continued. ‘Well, what I want you to do is…’ Remus watched with interest as Harry conversed with the snake for some time. He hadn’t known of Harry being a Parsel Mouth and vowed to ask him about it later when he got the chance. Movement from the snake drew his attention back to the duel. Harry couldn’t help but chuckle slightly as he watched Gabey back away in fear from the snake that was now skirting dangerously close to her ankles, continuously raising its head and arching its body as though ready to strike. Of course, it wouldn’t though. Harry had seen to that. ‘Nice snake. Good snake…’ Gabey said timidly, apparently afraid of snakes, causing the class to laugh as she jumped up onto a desk to escape its fangs. Harry laughed at the scene but decided to give her a chance by getting rid of the snake, he wanted to see just how good she was, without a giant cobra chasing after her. ‘Ipera Evanesca!’ Harry called, successfully ridding Gabey of the presence of the snake. Gabey looked at Harry surprised, but quickly smiled at him before jumping down from the desk; ready to continue the duel, having learned never to use the snake summoning spell when duelling with Harry again. ‘Querrempus!’ Gabey yelled at a surprised Harry. A purple light struck Harry in the chest and he was thrown into the air and held there, floating. Harry waved his legs frantically, finding that he was stuck where he was for the time being. ‘Stupefy!’ Harry hollered from his new position in the air. He watched as Gabey merely side-stepped the curse, the red beam hitting the opposite wall. ‘Combinus Tarrenstupus!’ Gabey yelled. This time, two beams of light flew toward Harry, a red and a blue. Not wanting to know the effects of a combined spell, Harry quickly pointed his wand at himself saying ‘Finite Incantatum!’ Remus winced as Harry ungracefully dropped himself to the floor from three feet up, landing in a heap on the floor as the combination spell soared over his head. Harry dragged himself to his feet, deciding that he’d had enough, it was obvious that Gabey was good at duelling, that was undeniable. He vowed to ask her to teach him some of the spells she had used, but not before he beat her in the duel. Gabey and Harry now stood 10 paces apart, as they had done at the beginning of their duel. A look of determination on Harry’s face whilst Gabey’s expression was unreadable. ‘Rictusempra!’ Harry shouted, successfully striking Gabey with the tickling charm. Some of the class laughed as Gabey tried to contain her laughter at being tickled to death by the curse, whilst Harry decided to use the opportunity to his advantage. ‘Mobilicorpus!’ Harry called, pointing his wand at Gabey. The spell hit her squarely in the chest and using his wand, Harry directed for her giggling form to be manoeuvred behind him. Harry smiled as he realised that his plan had worked, Gabey now had her back to him, and for her fit of uncontrollable laughter, could nothing to stop him. ‘Finite Incantatum! Petrificus Totalus! Accio Wand!’ Harry yelled in quick succession, making Remus and Hermione smile at his quick firing. Firstly, Gabey was released from the tickle charm but before she could react, she was hit by the full body bind and then finally her and taken from her by Harry’s summoning charm. Harry had won, Gabey had lost; but Harry had to admit that it was far from an easy win. ‘Well done, Harry!’ Remus congratulated as he freed Gabey from the body bind. ‘Class dismissed!’ Harry smiled to Remus before approaching Gabey. ‘Here,’ he offered his hand to her once she was in a sitting position. Gabey looked at his hand and then smiled as she took hold of it. ‘Thanks, and sorry, about the um, Querrem spell, I didn’t realise you hadn’t studied it here at Hogwarts yet, I never would have used it otherwise…’ Gabey began, blushing more and more as she babbled on and on. Harry laughed. ‘Your sorry!? I don’t mind, really!’ Harry added as he noticed the disbelieving look on Gabey’s face, ‘I should be sorry, you know, about telling the snake to pretend that it wanted to eat you, and then with the tickling charm…’ Harry explained. Now it was Gabey’s turn to laugh. ‘Don’t worry about it, Harry! Merlin, we are a pair aren’t we!?’ ‘Well, how about we teach each other some of the spells then?’ Harry asked. Gabey seemed uncertain for a moment before nodding yes. ‘Okay, sounds good. Will you be doing the um… DA? Is it?’ Gabey asked uncertainly. Harry cocked an eyebrow. ‘How do you know about the DA? It was a secret organisation last year.’ ‘Hermione told me last night in the dorm room,’ Gabey replied simply. ‘Oh, well that explains it then,’ Harry answered, ‘Well, since you know about it, you might as well join, that’s if you want to of course?’ ‘Of course I’ll join, if you’ll have me. But your definitely doing it then? Only, Hermione didn’t seem sure whether you would or not?’ ‘Yeah, I haven’t spoken much about it to them yet, but I’ll talk to you about it later. Come on, we’re going to be late to potions!’ Harry exclaimed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Snape had already began the last lesson of the day as Gabey led the way into the large dungeon like classroom. ‘Miss Newton, Mr Potter you are late! Do not be in future classes, or I shall be forced to give you both detention! Take your seats,’ Snape ordered. Harry and Gabey gave each other a significant look before heading toward the back of the classroom. ‘Instructions are on the board, I expect silence whilst you brew this potion, and I warn you to think twice before you decide to disturb me! Begin!’ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Severus Snape watched as the students began to carelessly gather ingredients and cauldrons from the back of the room. Satisfied that he was unneeded, he began reading through his latest notes. ‘Still need the blood and werewolf hair. Hmm. The next full moon is in a weeks time, that puts the potion back another five weeks… Oh well, who cares, its only for them! Now, how am I to get the blood?’ Severus thought to himself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ‘That was the weirdest potions class yet! Snape didn’t even come to inspect our work! Or to criticise yours, Harry! I wonder what he’s working on?’ Hermione mused as they headed toward the great hall for dinner with Gabey, and where they had planned to meet Ron. ‘Who cares!? I think I actually managed to get the potion correct, what without Snape sneering over my shoulder at it every five minutes! I may of actually gained a decent grade for once!’ Harry exclaimed as he shook his head. ‘Well, whatever it was, its obviously important,’ Gabey said. Hermione nodded in agreement as they entered the great hall to find Ron wasn’t there yet. ‘Hmm, guess Ron’s class hasn’t been let out yet?’ Hermione observed as she scanned the Gryffindor table for people she knew to be in Ron’s Divination class. ‘Didn’t you hear?’ someone from the Hufflepuff table asked. Hermione and the other two turned to notice that it was Ernie McMillan. ‘Hear what? Hermione asked interested. ‘Well, no ones sure what happened exactly, but we were in Divination and Ron just kind of, I dunno, flipped out!’ Hermione gasped while Harry stared at Ernie wide-eyed. ‘What d’you mean? Flipped out?’ Harry asked worried for his friend. ‘Go see for yourself, last I heard Firenze took him to the hospital wing…’ Harry, Hermione and Gabey shot off out the doors before Ernie could even finish what he was saying, and headed toward the hospital wing that was situated on the first floor, luckily enough, (Firenze wouldn’t have made it up the steps.) Harry entered first, followed by Hermione and lastly Gabey. Ron was laid on a bed furthest away from the door just staring up at the ceiling, apparently he hadn’t noticed their arrival. ‘Um, maybe I should wait outside?’ Gabey asked shyly, not really feeling as though she should be there. ‘Er, yeah okay, give us a minute,’ Harry answered as Gabey slipped back out through the doors. ‘No, no, absolutely not! I will not allow visitors to see Mr Weasley, when he is in such a fragile condition! You’ll just have to wait until tomorrow…’ Madam Pomfrey reprimanded as she noticed Harry and Hermione in the room. ‘Please Madam Pomfrey, it might be good for him to have visitors!’ Hermione tried uselessly. The nurse simply shook her head no, and ushered them back outside the doors to where Gabey was still waiting for them. ‘Well, can you tell us what’s wrong him then?’ Harry asked frustrated at not being allowed to talk to his mate, ‘Please?’ The nurse sighed dramatically before checking the corridor for eavesdroppers. ‘Fine!’ she cried exasperatedly. ‘Mr Weasley suffered a severe er migraine during class and has since then not allowed me to examine him, neither has he spoken about what apparently happened. Now, that is all I can tell you for now. You’d best get back to dinner. You may come back tomorrow morning if you wish,’ Madam Pomfrey offered. ‘Thank you,’ Hermione answered the nurse as she swept by them to enter the infirmary. ‘There’s something more to this, I just know there is,’ Hermione whispered to Harry and Gabey. ‘We’ll check on him in the morning, see what he says then, okay ‘Mione?’ Harry asked to which she nodded, casting a longing look at the closed hospital doors as they headed back toward the great hall for dinner. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hey Guys! I am sooooo sorry that this took forever for me to post! I’ve tried to make it up to you with this extra long chapter (it’s longer than I planned it to be! :) and it has lots of various things in it like a bit of sappy romance, some action with the duelling, a little bit of Remus, some more Gabey mystery stuff with the spells that she knows… um, oh, Snape too! Lol and the thing with Ron which is also a mystery at the moment! :p I’m planning on updating sometime soon but I’ve just been given my exam paper for photography A Level (Good luck to everyone taking exams at the mo. Or soon! ;) ) so I’m going to be extra special busy for a while, so I’ll try my best okay?? Anyway, don’t forget to review! :p And, to all those people who read but never review I just wanted to say, Pwease!!!!! Two seconds is literally all it takes to review, you just write something like ‘Good!’ or ‘:D’ or ‘Bad’ or ‘Okay’ or ‘Update Soon!’ Or whatever you want to write!!! Lol. Just, please could you review??? Thanks! :D ~Sam. PS) Recommendation: Cinema: House of flying Daggers! (With Subtitles) I thought it was Brilliant! :) Oh, and ‘Meet the Fockers!’ (Funny!) lol

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