Soft winter light filtered from the ceiling of the Great Hall, down onto the many students enjoying their breakfast. Chatter filled the spacious room and bounced off the walls, making it sound as though it were twice as full. Harry shuffled to his usual spot at the Gryffindor table, still not fully awake. Ron and Hermione, her nose stuck in a book, followed him closely. Harry silently wondered how she walked around with her nose hidden all day and kept from seriously injuring herself. He had to be careful not to trip over his own feet of late, and he could see where he was going.
"Oi," Ron grunted, "pass the toast."
Harry took two for himself and then pushed the tray toward his friend, dully noting Ron's pale complexion.
"What's up, mate?" Harry queried, taking a bite of his marmalade-laden toast.
Ron shrugged and shoveled an overflowing forkful of scrambled eggs into his mouth before answering, "spos hich kam."
Harry, who by now was used to Ron's morning routines and eating habits, knew just what he had said and replied with a nod. Hermione, however, huffed noisily, and without so much as looking up from her book said, "Ron, would you please refrain from speaking with your mouth full? It's a wonder you can enunciate at all!"
"I said," Ron glared at the back of the large tome that concealed Hermione's face, only a tuft of her frizzy locks poking above the book, "that I suppose it's the game. You know, Quidditch, Gryffindor versus Slytherin, today. Or have you completely forgotten?"
"No," said Hermione, her attention still focused on the pages in front of her. "I'd never forget…and I know that you're going to trounce them because you're a brilliant keeper."
This abruptly shut Ron up for about thirty seconds, his face aflame.
"When are you going to put that stupid book away and let us see your face?" Ron finally got out.
"When I'm good and ready," was her tart reply.
Harry rolled his eyes, polishing off his last bit of toast. He didn't hear their further arguments because at that moment, a familiar swooping sensation overcame his stomach as his eye caught a certain young lady. She was the reason he was having trouble walking, the reason he stumbled over himself, almost got hit by a bludger, was found with his leg stuck in the trick stair, and received detention last week from Filch (for not only knocking over one suit of armor, but five. Yes, five. "Why did they have to be placed so close together?" Harry had exclaimed to the old Squib. "Once one went down, the rest were sure to follow!" Damned domino effect.).
Ginny sat down directly across from Harry, pushing her locks behind her ear, making it difficult for him to concentrate on swallowing his already chewed toast. Why does she have to wear her hair down in the mornings?
"Hi," she said cheerfully, eyeing the selections of breakfast foods. "You lot ready for the game this afternoon? I can't wait!"
"Mmmm," Harry mumbled, not able to articulate much more at the moment.
He wished there were something to distract him. Anything to keep himself sane, for it was nearly impossible not to stare at her smile or her sparkling eyes or her freckled nose or….
"Harry? Hello? Earth to Harry!" She was waving her hand slowly in front of his face, trying to get his attention.
"What?" Harry said a bit louder than he intended. He realized he was doing just what he had been telling himself not to do, staring stupidly.
"Are you OK? Have you heard a single word I've said?"
Luckily Harry didn't have to respond, for at that moment an owl dropped Hermione's Daily Prophet right into Ginny's cereal, making milk splatter onto the table and the wrist of her robes.
"Dratted thing…." she murmured as she cleaned up the mess.
Hermione finally let the book fall from her face to pay the owl for its delivery, but soon her face was once again shrouded behind paper. Suddenly she shrieked, letting the newspaper fall to reveal her ashen and anxious face.
"What! What's happened?" they all demanded at once, each huddling their heads close to the paper that now lay in the middle of the table. Harry knew at once that it couldn't be good.
Statute of Secrecy Broken: Muggle Author Exposes Wizarding World
Daily Prophet special correspondent Don Stoddard reports that there has been a breech in concealment of the Wizarding World. Apparently a Muggle has gotten hold of some information on the Boy Who Lived and has been writing detailed accounts of his dealings with You-Know-Who. Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge first denied any such breech, stating it would be "utterly and in all ways inconceivable." However, after providing proof of these detailed manuscripts, he stated that they had to have been written by Potter himself, in "one of his attention craved moments." However, after interviewing said author, Ms. J.K. Rowling, she stated for the record that she did, indeed, write the five volumes concerning him and our world, with the intention of writing two more to round out the series. Her books have won numerous awards and I personally think that they're breathtaking. She also stated that she has yet to meet Mr. Potter but would "love to." We have yet to discover how Ms. Rowling got wind of Mr. Potter's story, as she wouldn't say, but we are determined to investigate further.
There is no need to say what problems this could create for our cause in this war. We hope, of course, that our Muggle friends will be quick to arm themselves against Lord Thingy.
"What a nutter!" Ron said. "Who would have thought that some woman would be interested in you, Harry?"
"Hey, thanks a lot!"
Hermione chewed her lip nervously and kept glancing at the head table where their teachers conversed seriously. "Harry, what are you going to do?"
"Let her I suppose. I mean, how many would believe her anyway?"
Ginny smiled. "I think it's great. Who was that author again? I wouldn't mind reading them for myself."
Harry blushed as he frantically searched for somewhere to focus his eyes, finally settling on the scrunched up napkin in his lap.
"Yeah," said Ron, his eyes starting to glaze over in a dreamy way. "I wonder if I'm in them?"
Harry surreptitiously glanced at Ginny, who was now rereading the article, but drew his eyes away quickly. Hermione rolled her eyes in exasperation before covering her face once more with her book.