The week went somewhat smoothly after the next morning. A new set of
announcements were posted to the boards. It was now strictly forbidden
to do any magic outside of lessons. Boy and girl alike had been
resorting to drastic measures to track down or avoid people. More than
a dozen students had ended up in the hospital wing that first day. The
next announcement was for an unscheduled Hogsmeade visit that Saturday
so the students could do some shopping before the dance. However, every
student going would have to leave their wands behind, and all the heads
of house would be searching each student before they left the castle.
The last announcement made it against the rules to ask any student
during the course of a class. This was exactly what Harry needed; all
he would have to do is wait for class to begin and take off his Cloak
outside class. He would be chronically tardy but it was a risk he was
willing to take.
It was on his way to Potions that another
idea struck him. What if he also was banned from the dance? Surely
Snape would give him detention when he was late; perhaps he would ban
him as well. For once, Harry was actually happy to incur the wrath of
Snape. He waited for the bell to sound, stuffed his Cloak in his bag
and entered class.
“Ah, Mr. Potter. So good of you to join us.
Given the current state of the school I’ll refrain from taking points
from your house, but you will serve detention for your tardiness.
Please find your seat quickly.”
Harry smiled as he took his
seat. He didn’t even glance at Draco. In fact, he had the most
enjoyable day of potions he’d ever had. At the end of the lesson Snape
took Harry aside.
“I’m on to you, Potter. I know all about
your Cloak and your quest to keep away from the girls. If it weren’t
for the Headmaster I’d have five points from your house for every tardy
you will no doubt incur until the dance.”
Harry nodded. “I half expected you to ban me from the dance, Professor,” Harry said as drearily as he could manage.
smiled an evil smile. “Quite the contrary, Potter, I find it quite
entertaining watching you squirm under the onslaught of the throngs of
well-meaning girls. Why should I do anything to interfere?” With that,
Snape returned to his desk.
His hopes smashed, Harry donned his Cloak and headed for supper.
rest of the week was much the same. Harry’s roommates reported on
Friday that some of the girls had finally given up and had started
asking some of the other guys, trying to get in on the rest of the
desirable ones ahead of what they thought would be an official Harry
Potter announcement. The rest were waiting for Hogsmeade in hopes that
Harry would slip up and appear somewhere. Harry didn’t want to go, but
agreed when Ron asked him to help pick out some new clothes.
had reluctantly agreed to meet Harry in her office before the visit so
she could check for his wand. He then walked to the gathering place
under his Cloak and waited while everyone else was checked. Before long
he was sitting in the clothing shop giving Ron his opinion of the robes
he was looking at. He had to be discreet, though: everyone knew Ron and
Harry were friends and the girls all but followed Ron around everywhere.
Ron had his clothes he went to Honeydukes to stock up on their candy.
Ginny was serving her detention instead of coming, so Harry had given
Ron some money to buy her some chocolate frogs. His mission complete,
Harry headed back towards the coaches to wait for the return to
Hogwarts. He stopped short when he noticed Draco making a beeline for
Hermione. Harry had a very bad feeling so he followed Hermione closely
to see what would happen. Ron noticed too and did the same. Hermione
finally noticed Draco and stopped to let him approach.
“What do you want, Malfoy?” she asked impatiently.
“I heard about you and Ron. Well done. I always knew you two were meant for each other,” he said with a snarl.
“Why Malfoy, I didn’t know you cared,” Hermione responded smugly.
Mudblood and the blood betrayer together at last. The scum of wizard
kind have finally flocked together. It’s a good pairing, really: in one
fell swoop he’s associated with some brains and bucks, and you’ve
confirmed that pure blood is best, even if he is the runt of the
“You’re going to pay for that one, Malfoy!” Ron
yelled going for his wand and coming up empty. “When we get back to the
castle, I swear…”
“You’ll what, Weasel King? Hex me? What’s
the matter, can’t take me on without a wand? Besides, you wouldn’t want
to be banned from the dance, would you?” Draco said, triumphantly.
crowd had gathered by this time. Harry took up a position right behind
Draco. He had a plan, and he was going to make a good show of it.
“Oh, and like you know how to throw a punch, Malfoy,” he said loudly. The crowd got very quiet.
Draco turned around looking for Harry. “What’s the matter, Harry? Afraid to face me without your wand?”
pulled off his Cloak and tossed it to Ron. “I don’t need a wand to take
care of a punk like you, Malfoy. My cousin has at least ten pounds on
either of your cronies, and I can take him with one hand behind my
Draco sneered. “Really? Well, it’s not me who’s been
hiding from all the girls, Potter. What’s the matter, you need a note
from your mommy and daddy? Oh, I forgot, they’re…”
had a chance to finish his statement. Harry pulled back and landed a
beautiful punch right on his jaw. Draco twitched back and landed hard
on his side, blood dripping from his lip.
Draco looked up at Harry with a disgust he had rarely seen. “Crabbe, Goyle, take him.”
“MR. POTTER!” McGonagall yelled, breaking up the crowd. “Explain yourself!”
“Malfoy insulted my parents,” Harry said.
looked livid. “You two, take Mr. Malfoy back to the hospital wing at
once. You, Potter, come with me. The rest of you go back to whatever
you were doing. Now.”
The crowd didn’t argue. Ron and Hermione stepped off to one side and waited for Harry. McGonagall led him a few steps away.
spent the last week sticking my neck out for you so I could be sure you
could make it to the dance. I thought it would be a good way to get
your mind off of the events at the Ministry. I can now see that you are
determined to not attend, so I won’t bother trying any longer. Twenty
points from Gryffindor, detention, and you are banned from the dance.
You will also return immediately to the castle and spend the remainder
of the day in your room. Your friends may accompany you if you like.”
Harry hung his head. “I didn’t realize that’s what you were doing, Professor. I’m sorry I disappointed you.”
“See that it doesn’t happen again, Mr. Potter,” McGonagall said, and with that she was gone.
Harry rejoined Ron and Hermione. Ron gave him back his Cloak. Harry hung it over his arm.
“You’re not going to put it on?” Hermione asked.
“No. McGonagall banned me from the dance, and I have to go back to the castle.”
and Ron sighed. “Thanks for standing up for us, Harry,” Hermione said,
“but I’m disappointed you got yourself banned from the dance. We really
wanted you to go.”
Harry nodded and hung his head. “I don’t
know what to tell you. I just have no desire to go. I can’t explain
it.” He looked back up. “You two enjoy your visit. Don’t worry about
me. I’ve ruined your day enough, and you deserve to have a good time.
I’ll see you guys later.”
Ron and Hermione nodded. Ron handed
Harry the chocolate frogs for Ginny. Harry took them and turned and
left. He suddenly felt like he had let down his head of house and his
friends just because he didn’t want to go to a stupid dance. Would it
have been so hard just to go? Why was he being so selfish? He thought a
lot about this as he rode back to the castle and walked back to the
tower. He entered the common room to find Ginny reading a book by the
fire. She noticed him come in.
“Well, you’re back early,” Ginny said offhandedly.
“Yeah, well, that happens when you get in trouble,” Harry sighed.
Ginny put down her book, a concerned look on her face. “Uh oh, what happened?”
“Malfoy. He insulted Ron and Hermione, then he insulted my parents, so I punched him.”
“You punched him?” Ginny asked, amazed. “Harry, that was so irresponsible! I can’t believe you did that.”
“Yeah, I know,” Harry agreed.
Ginny couldn’t hold back her smile. “Did you get him good?”
Harry lost control as a grin split his face. “You know it. He went down hard. They had to take him to the hospital wing.”
Ginny regained her serious nature. “What was your punishment?”
“Let’s see: twenty points, detention, sent to my room and banned from the dance.”
“Oh wow, now we’re both banned. Well, at least I’ll have company,” Ginny said.
“Oh, by the way, these are for you, since you didn’t get to go today,” Harry said, handing Ginny the frogs.
“Thanks Harry, that was sweet of you,” Ginny said happily.
for a friend,” Harry said, heading up the stairs. He took his time and,
before he entered the stairwell he looked back at Ginny. She had
returned to her book, but was watching him leave. He got the distinct
impression she wanted say something, but he didn’t press. He just waved
and headed up to his room where he put his Cloak away and waited for
his roommates to return. It was nearly supper time when they did.
entering the room, Dean, Neville and Seamus took up positions around
Harry’s bed. Ron came around and handed Harry a Butterbeer, then took
his position with the others.
“A toast to Harry Potter for giving Malfoy his just desserts!” Ron said very officially.
“Here, here!” the four of them yelled before chugging their Butterbeer. Harry chuckled and chugged his own.
“Well done, Harry. I didn’t know you could fight,” Seamus said.
“Yeah, where did you learn how to punch like that?” Dean asked.
cousin, Dudley,” Harry admitted. “Like I told Malfoy, Dudley is bigger
than either Crabbe or Goyle, and he’s always been a bully. He liked to
use me as a punching bag until I started fighting back.”
you’ll be happy to know the word is out about your banishment so the
girls shouldn’t be bothering you anymore,” Seamus announced.
Harry watched his roommates closely. As he did, he noticed smiles starting to creep onto their faces. All but Ron, that is.
“You three got dates, didn’t you?” Harry asked.
should have seen it, Harry,” Ron said. “At least twelve girls appealed
to McGonagall to lift your banishment. They only relented when
McGonagall threatened to ban them too. After that, it was like they had
set the hounds loose at a fox convention. Of course, these three just
stood in the middle of the street and waited for the inevitable.”
Harry looked at them expectantly. “So? Who are the lucky girls?”
Seamus and Dean looked at each other, then back at Harry.
“We were asked by the Patel twins,” they said in unison.
red flag in Harry’s mind shot straight up. Why was Ginny letting Dean
go to the dance with one of the Patel twins? Though Ginny was very
strong minded and tended to do things her way, this still seemed very
uncharacteristic of her. Harry made a mental note to ask her later.
“Congratulations. How about you, Neville?”
Neville blushed wildly. “I’m going with Luna.”
Harry could tell Seamus and Dean were trying to contain their snickers. Ron was watching Neville and soon Harry knew why.
“And just what’s so funny about that?” Neville asked.
“Well, Neville, Luna’s not exactly… erm, normal, you know?” Seamus said.
happen to think she’s very interesting, Seamus,” Neville rebutted.
“Besides, she went to the Ministry last year, remember? She fought in
the battle. I’m honored she asked me to go. What do you have to say
“He’s right, you know,” Harry agreed.
Dean and Seamus both were speechless. Finally, Dean said, “We forgot about that. We’re sorry, Neville.”
accepted,” Neville said. “Now, what are you lot wearing? I wasn’t sure
what to buy, so I got something the clerk suggested. Let me show you…”
amused himself by giving pointers on his roommates’ outfits, though he
really didn’t have any fashion sense to speak of. They all looked fine
in his estimation, really, even Neville who came across looking
particularly sharp. He found himself admiring Neville’s progress,
having come so far last year during D.A. sessions and now defending his
date in front of his roommates and doing it quite well. Harry thought
Neville was just as brave as he liked to think he and Ron were.