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Chapter Thirteen: Gryffindor Risotta and Cho's Reminder

By the time Ron and Neville arrived from Care Of Magical Creatures, Harry was able to have the balloon clearly swaying back and forth, and by the end of the lesson, Harry had managed to make the balloon spin very slowly and gently round in a circle. Ron wasn't overly impressed by the lesson, until Alrister called him up to practice, and when he came back, he was brimming with self-pride and looked a great deal happier. Apparently, he'd made the balloon blush, first time. When end bell went, everybody was sad to leave the classroom, quite wanting to stay, and the moment they left the room, Ron pulled out his now-battered timetable and scanned it eagerly.

"Wednesday next lesson. Wahey, it's a double! And you've got it too! That Alrister guy's alright, really, isn't he? Maybe he's not such a prat. You know, just... slightly pratty."

Harry nodded, grinning. He felt strangely energetic, as though he wanted to run outside and try to blow things up with his fingers. "I can't believe you thought he'd be like Lockhart."

Ron laughed. "Yeah, well. Everybody makes mistakes."

"Harry! Ron!"

Hermione was hurrying towards them from the Runes corridor, and when she reached them, she gabbled, "What was it like, what was it like?"

"Pretty cool," said Harry, grinning.

"We were trying to move these balloons, and I made it go red! First attempt!" Ron smiled, tilting his head back proudly, as though he'd single-handedly saved the world. "He says I'm obviously a hard-working student."

"Oh wow," she breathed, enviously, though she clearly didn't give two hoots about whatever Ron had managed to do to his balloon. "He sounds like such a good professor... I was talking to Padma Patil and she had him after first break... Come on, I'm starving, you can tell me all about it!"

"Oh, wait..." said Harry, realising with a disappointed flicker in his stomach. "I've got to go and arrange my detention with Snape... straight after end bell, he said."

Ron smiled weakly. "Oh well. Just make it quick and do what he says, then we'll see you in the Great Hall, okay?"

"Okay," said Harry.

Ron and Hermione headed off towards the hall, Ron talking animatedly about Pure Arts and Hermione asking awed questions every now and then. Harry went the other way, down the cold stone corridor to the dungeons, feeling his high spirits ebbing away. Snape would probably have him doing something horrible. He always did. Dejected, he paused in front of Snape's office and knocked three times on the heavy oak door.

"Enter," drawled Snape's voice lazily from inside.

Harry twisted the handle and stepped in, not looking up, "I'm here to arrange my dete-"

There was a flurry of movement, and Harry caught a flicker of silvery-blonde hair and green robes as a figure streaked out of the room and knocking the door with a clatter. He raised an eyebrow.

"Who was - "

"None of your business, Potter," Snape growled, though Harry spotted what was unmistakably Draco Malfoy's scruffy old bag on a chair in front of the desk. "Now, your detention," said Snape, wrenching Harry's attention back. "For talking back to a professor and spending un-necessary time out of lessons."

"It was necessary," Harry said, without thinking.

Snape looked up at him, his eyes narrowed. "I'm sorry, Potter, I almost thought you spoke back to me again there. I must have been mistaken. Even you wouldn't be that foolish now, would you?"

Harry didn't say anything.

"Good." Snape slid a diary from across his desk, with a black velvet cover and the Slytherin snake emblazoned across it. He flicked idly through the pages, the tip of his quill tracing over the various entries. "My week is already fully book with detentions to stupid pupils like you, causing trouble on their first day... ah, yes, Friday. That should do nicely." He let go of his quill, and it remained standing, ready to write. "Harry Potter, detention, Friday."

The book gave a loud noise like somebody passing gas. Harry stared. So did Snape.

"I said Harry Potter, detention, Friday!" he commanded again.

Another rude noise came from the pages. Harry wondered whether Snape's luck was now so bad that even his quill was disobeying him, but next second, the book started to speak, in what was unmistakably Albus Dumbledore's voice.

"I'm sorry, but under the order of the headmaster, Harry Potter is not to have any detentions set on Friday. This is because he needs to run the DA, which has higher priority than punishment in my opinion. Please choose another day."

Snape sneered as the voice faded away, grabbed the quill and flicked the page over, jabbing it in the Saturday box. "Harry Potter, detention, Saturday, nine PM!" It scribbled it in obediently and then fell still. Snape snatched it up, shut the book and glared up at Harry. "Well? What are you still here for?"

Harry nodded and turned to go, but as he did, Snape remembered something.

"Oh, one moment Potter... Draco, get back in here."

Harry stopped and glancd over his shoulder, watching as the door creaked open. A very worried looking Malfoy slid into the room, hovering nervously behind his professor, hand curled around his pendant. Harry wondered whether Blaise had been telling the truth, and if it did contain one of Lucius Malfoy's hairs.

Snape sat back in his chair, lazily, glancing from one to the other. "Sit."

Harry sat reluctantly next to Malfoy in the chairs in front of Snape's desk, acting as though he didn't know the Slytherin was there at all.

"Blaise Zabini, Potter." Snape studied him closely, looking for any reaction. "Tell me."

Harry looked back into those cold black eyes, suddenly wishing he could do an Alrister and make Snape explode, then run. "You mean... what happened in the owlery..."

Snape frowned. "No, Potter, I mean a completely different event which has nothing to do with Malfoy, or you, and happened several years ago." The sarcasm in his voice was nearly painful. "Use your brain. Of course I mean what happened in the owlery." He sat forward, placing his hands together, glancing between them over steepled fingers. "Malfoy says you were a possible witness."

"Possible," Malfoy mumbled.

Harry nodded, numbly. "I heard what happened. But I only heard, I didn't actually see - "

"What did you hear?" Snape said, lazily.

"I... I was going up to the owlery, and I heard Blaise Zabini and some other Slytherins up there. Malfoy - I mean, Draco - was telling them that... that the brooms had been seized. And so they had nothing to fly on. Blaise said that Draco was off the team, then there was a crack and M- and Draco fell out of the door, he nearly went down the stairs but I caught him."

"And then...?"

"Then he went off down the stairs," said Harry. "And I went to the owlery. Oh, Blaise and the old Slytherin Quidditch team was there. Blaise laughed and said they should go and check whether Malfoy had cracked his head open at the bottom."

Snape nodded, apparently satisfied with this version of events, drawing out a piece of paper from a drawer. "Then I shall speak to Zabini. Potter, you can go. Malfoy, you're staying here," he added, as Malfoy stood up to leave as well.

"Can't I...?"

"No. Sit down."

Malfoy sat reluctantly down before his Head of House, looking at his hands, as Harry slipped out of the room, feeling rather numb. That wasn't the Draco Malfoy he remembered at all. Then again, Harry reminded himself, seeing your father murdered and then being force-fed veritaserum and made to live it all again... that probably changed a person. The thought of Neville then came to Harry's head. Had he been a happy, energetic, high-spirited child before his parents were tortured to insanity?

As Harry walked silently towards the Great Hall, he was suddenly struck by just how many lives Voldemort had ruined. He wasn't the only lone suffering-hero. Malfoy, Neville... there were probably hundreds of children out there without fathers or mothers because of the Death Eaters. So many once-happy families, now empty, with only shadows left. He could imagine Malfoy sitting in some dark, hidden place with his mother, nothing left at all but the pendant around his neck and the memories of his father. Yes, Lucius Malfoy had been evil. Any supporter of the Dark Lord was. But it was Draco who was paying the ultimate price for his father's actions.

Dinner was chicken and chips, one of Harry's favourite meals. He sunk down between Ron and Hermione, loading up his plate, turning to Ron to tell him what had just happened, though to his surprise, he saw Ron frowning at his plate, toying idly with a single chip.

"What's up?" Harry asked.

"Dunno," said Ron. "I just feel weird. Don't want to eat."

"You shouldn't have had all those puddings yesterday then, should you?" said Hermione. "I told you so. You've only got yourself to blame."

"No, it's weird..." said Ron. "My stomach hurts and I feel really... really weird. I don't think I can eat this." He pushed his plate away, looking rather green and sickly.

"Maybe you should go and lie down," said Harry, worriedly.

"Yeah," said Ron. "Yeah, I will... see you later."

He left the hall, swaying slightly as he walked.

Hermione sighed, shaking her head. "I warned him. I really did."

But it didn't look as though Ron's love of sugar was to blame. Up and down the Gryffindor table, more people were looking a bit peaky. Seamus Finnigan was very green indeed, and Lavender was rubbing his arm nervously.

"Hey, Seamus, are you okay?" said Harry.

Seamus shook his head vaguely, his eyes unfocused on a point before him. "I don't feel so good..."

Hermione got up out of her seat as Seamus wretched, closing his eyes, and she hurried back a few moments later with Professor McGonagall in tow.

"What is it, Finnigan?" she said.

Seamus swayed dangerously. "I feel sick..."

"Mmm, you look it. Miss Brown, Mr Thomas, get him to the hospital wing, and be careful," said McGonagall. "Does anybody else feel ill?"

"Ron went up to Gryffindor Tower a few minutes ago," said Harry. "Shall I go and look for him?"

"Yes, I think you should, Potter." Professor McGonagall looked over her shoulder. "Odd. None of the other houses look ill."

"Maybe it's our food," said Hermione at her elbow.

McGonagall picked up one of the chips from the plate in the middle, studying. "No, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. What did you all have for lunch?"

"Seafood risotta," said Hermione. "Do you think it could be that, Professor?"

"More than likely... seafood is notoriously bad for causing food poisoning in muggles. I think it's just a bug." She raised her voice and called down the table. "Anybody who feels ill, please follow Miss Granger to the hospital wing. I'm sure Madam Pomfrey can sort this out."

Madam Pomfrey, it turned out, couldn't sort it out. She handed out food poisoning medicine, but the Gryffindors were still ill. Ron and Seamus were the worst. By the time the next morning came, Ron was weak and shaking, pale in the face and clammy to the touch. He couldn't even get out of bed, and so Harry and Neville both ran down the corridor to the nearest professor's office in their pajamas. Flitwick called Madam Pomfrey, and Ron was levitated to the hospital wing, watched by a worried crowd of Gryffindors. None of the other houses seemed to be affected at all, though the state of Gryffindor's health slowly got worse and worse. Over the week, more and more people were admitted to the hospital wing.

By the time Friday came, the Gryffindor Common Room was looking very thin indeed. Harry was quite disappointed, as a lot of the house had said they were coming to DA that night, but it looked as though he would be one of a small number. The last lesson of the day for him was History Of Magic, which ended at three o' clock. DA started at six o' clock, after dinner, and so Harry decided to go and visit Lupin and finalise what they were planning to teach tonight.

The Dark Arts professor was huddled over a huge glass tank when Harry slipped into the office, and he appeared to be dangling tiny pieces of meat into the cage.

"You got it!" said Harry, hurrying over.

Lupin smiled up at him. "I did. The ministry wasn't happy about bending the import laws, I'll admit, but Dumbledore beat them down. He said that the students needed to learn."

"What breed is it?" Harry asked, awestruck, gazing down into the tank.

Lupin chuckled at the eagerness in his voice. "A Common Welsh Green." The little baby dragon in the tank gave a hiccup and a small jet of flame shot out of its nose, scorching one of the nearby shrubs Lupin had planted in its habitat. "Just young at the moment. Dangerous enough to amuse the boys, cute enough to enthrall the girls. The perfect subject."

Harry grinned. "Can I feed it?"

"Of course you can. You're going to be feeding it tonight, you might as well get some practice now." Lupin handed him the box of meat scraps. "Just one at a time, dangle it over the cage and he'll jump for them."

"Is it a he?" asked Harry, absent-mindedly taking a chunk of meat and hanging it into the tank.

"I didn't think it wise to check," Lupin mused.

The door suddenly opened behind them, and Hagrid's huge hairy form hurried into the room. "I've got yeh s'more chickens, Professor Lupin. How is he?"

"He's fine, Hagrid," said Lupin, smiling, taking the sack from Hagrid. "Come and have a look."

"Well... shouldn't really... got lots ter do, gotta clean m'hut and everythin'... but if yeh insist."

Harry grinned and shifted up for Hagrid to shuffle forward and peer into the tank. A smile creased his face underneath his beard.

"Byootiful," he said, with glossy eyes. "Reminds me o' Norbert... bless 'im... have yeh got a name for 'im yet, Harry?"

"A name?" said Harry, blinking. "Why? Are we keeping him?"

Lupin smiled. "Professor Dumbledore thinks that a dragon would be a good addition to the school defences," he said, pleasantly. "So this is our new guard dragon, and yes, he needs a name. We can't just call him Dragon, now, can we?"

Harry shook his head, grinning. "So what are we going to call him?"

"Well, you and the rest of the DA will be looking after him, with Hagrid and I's supervision." Lupin fed the little green dragon another chunk of chicken, watching it snap at the soft meat hungrily. "Hungry little fellow, isn't he?"

"How abou' Munchy?" Hagrid suggested.

Harry looked at the baby dragon, savaging the next piece of meat and growling softly, making a noise a little like a kitten on a ball of string. "No, he doesn't look like a Munchy. He's a bit like a cat, really... Mrs Figg has loads of cats. He's like some of them... well, the ones who aren't mad..."

"Yes, Arabella is fond of her felines," said Lupin, nodded knowledgably. He tossed the dragon another strip of meat. "Of course, he's not going to be cute for much longer. Common Welsh Greens can grow to huge sizes. I daresay he'll outgrow even the dungeons in a year or so."

"Kibbles," said Hagrid.

Harry looked down at the dragon. It had a piece of meat in its mouth, and was flinging its head from side to side, mewling and snarling. He smiled. "I like Kibbles. Kibbles the Common Welsh Green."

"Then Kibbles it is," said Lupin. "I must admit, something a little more fierce would strike fear more effectively into the hearts of the Dark Lord's minions, but Kibbles will do."

Harry grinned and tossed Kibbles a few more pieces of meat, watching him spin around happily, snapping at them all and mewing pleasantly. "Should be fun to look after you... so long as you don't eat me," he added, smiling.

"How many people have come?" Hermione said in an awed voice, gazing out through a gap in the door. She, Harry and Lupin were just putting the last finishing touches to tonight's meeting, though really, Harry was starting to think it was more like a show. The Great Hall was absolutely packed with people, all talking excitedly, waiting for the evening to start.

"I'd just leave it at a lot, if I were you," said Lupin, wisely. "There's no need to get nervous."

Harry glanced through the door, thinking that having half the school staring at you and expecting to learn was defiinitely a reason to get nervous. "Hermione, how can you want to be a professor? You'd have to do this everyday of your life."

Hermione tidied her hair neatly as she spoke. "Classes are a lot smaller than this, and students aren't in class by their own accord. They have to learn. But people here can leave if they want, so there's more pressure here."

Lupin chuckled. "You've never had to teach last thing on a Friday. Then you'll understand the meaning of pressure, Hermione." He glanced out through the door, checked everything was in order and then stepped back. "Well, Harry. Off you go. I'll just stay in the background and assist if you need it."

For a moment, Harry was tempted to fake stomach pains and fall over with the mysterious Gryffindor Risotta bug, but he didn't think Professor Lupin would believe that for one minute. Pulling the door open, he wheeled out the trolley with Kibbles balanced on top in his tank. Hermione walked at his shoulder, looking rather nervous, though once Harry had cut a path through the people to the single house table left out as a stage, it wasn't so bad. He took a quick glance at the crowd, checking for people who didn't like him, but he couldn't see anybody. He smiled, encouraged, and he and Hermione levitated Kibbles's tanks onto the stage carefully. The little dragon was asleep in the burrow he'd dug himself at one end of his cage, and so there was a great murmur of interest as to what was in there.

Harry stood up on the table, looking out nervously across all the faces turned towards him. "Uh... hi," he said. "Well... thanks for coming. It's a shame we're kinda missing some people because of Gryffindor Risotta, but anyway... I thought that with doing curses and so forth in Defence Against The Dark Arts, I'd do some dark creatures, so... here goes..."

He took a handful of meat from the pouch tied to his waist, and scattered it loosely about the cage. Everybody gasped and with an eager squeak, Kibbles came pattering out from his burrow and lolloped across the tank, snapping at the meat Harry dropped. The crowd all surged forward for a better look, and Harry found himself smiling and remembering why he'd started to teach DA in the first place.

"What sort is it?" asked a second-year behind Harry.

"It's a Common Welsh Green," he replied, crouching down so people could get a better look. He had a sudden urge to put his arm around the second year and point out all the fascinating features of the dragon and their uses.

Hermione hadn't been able to fight that urge, and was surrounded by a knot of first years who were absolutely ecstatic with excitement at the baby dragon. She was going through what makes a dragon most dangerous, and her little fan club was almost trembling with each word she said. Harry grinned. She caught him watching and grinned back. For a moment, Harry had a fleeting glimpse of the future, seeing Hermione as a professor, teaching whatever she wanted, and he had to admit, the thought suited her quite well.

"What do they eat?" asked a voice behind Harry.

He scooped out a handful of meat and held it out, showing the people nearby. "It's mostly chicken, but they like ham and other meat too." He tossed the scraps into the cage, and Kibbles set about them, snarling and rolling over and over, as though hunting them.

The voice behind Harry chuckled. "It's really cute... nearly as cute as you."

Harry looked around, shocked, and very nearly fell backwards into the tank with Kibbles. Cho stood behind him, smiling, her hair tied back into a blue bow.

"Why didn't you answer my letter?" she asked, casually, still smiling.

Harry tried to wipe the horrified expression of his face. "I... I didn't get a letter from you."

"Oh... my owl might have lost it," she said, idly, leaning on the table and gazing up at him. "I really hoped you'd read it. I wanted to say sorry for last year... how jealous I was all the time..."

"It's okay," he muttered, embarassed, turning away and wishing he wouldn't blush like this. In his mind, he'd played this conversation a million times, how he'd turn away from her and then walk off and leave her to it. He always promised himself he wouldn't go red or forgive her, and he'd just done both those things.

"Could I talk to you for a minute, Harry?" she asked, softly.

He glanced down at her over his shoulder, trying to be cool, but his hand was shaking so much that he ended up throwing a lump of chicken at some Ravenclaws on the other side of the tank. "Not now," he said.

"After the meeting?" she said. She blinked hopefully at him, her pretty eyes round and sweet.

"Yeah, maybe," he said vaguely, turning back to Kibbles and filling his water bowl with a jug from the trolley. Part of him wished she'd just burst into tears again and run away, so he wouldn't have to talk to her. He suddenly wished that Ron was here to give him support.

Taking the next best option, he drifted vaguely around to stand near Hermione and her first year club, handing her some scraps of meat to feed the dragon with. "Cho's here," he muttered, under his breath.

Hermione looked up, scanning the crowd and then spotting Cho, who was talking to Ernie Macmillan and gazing at the dragon in awe. "Oh," she said, stiffly.

"She wants to talk to me after the meeting," he said, keeping his head down, flicking more pieces of meat vaguely at Kibbles. "What do I do?"

"Just talk to her," Hermione suggested coolly, handing out some meat for the first years to give to the dragon. "Tell her what you think. It's not a big deal, Harry, remember you've got some control over the situation."

Harry nodded numbly, watching the first years throwing meat into the tank and gasping with excitement as Kibbles set about their offerings. Hermione was now talking to Luna Lovegood, who'd seemingly appeared out of nowhere with a dreamy smile on her face, and Harry didn't want to press the subject of Cho much. Reminding himself it was just talking and he had control, he tried to calm himself as he answered some more questions about dragons asked by a fourth year near his ankles.

It's just talking. No big deal. I am completely calm.

Help me, he thought, an hour and a half later, as he hid in the backroom connected to the Great Hall. Professor Lupin had wheeled Kibbles back to his office, the students had all left to their common rooms and Hermione had gone to visit Ron. He was completely alone. Was Cho still out there? He found himself thinking very conflicting thoughts, both hoping she was, and at the same time, praying she wasn't.

He crept to the door, glancing out. The hall was pretty much empty. She must have gotten bored waiting for him. Sighing with relief, he opened the door and strode out.


He yelped with surprise as Cho spoke from behind him, where she'd been hiding out of sight. "Yahh! I mean... hiYahh, Cho, sorry about the wait..."

She smiled shyly. "That's okay."

There was a pause where Harry felt his rebellious cheeks reddening under her cool, pretty gaze. "So... so what did you want to talk about?" he said, nervously, though he knew well what she wanted to talk about.

She giggled. "You're so oblivious, Harry... I sometimes wonder whether you do it on purpose to make me laugh, or you're really that sweet." Harry felt his limbs all freeze up as she leant out and rested a hand on the side of his neck, just lingering. "You know what I want to talk about..."

"I - I - " he stammered. "I... um... well..."

"I made a lot of mistakes last year," she continued, calmly, as though she hadn't even noticed that he was shaking enough to register on the Richter scale. "And... I wanted to say sorry, Harry, because it wasn't fair on you. Cedric just meant a lot to me and it was hard when he died, and I took that out on you... though I shouldn't have... you deserve better than that."

Harry's legs felt as though they'd been turned to jelly. "Uh..."

"And I know that you and Hermione are just friends," she said, softly, and Harry suddenly realised she was mysteriously close to him, even though she hadn't moved. "I shouldn't have been so jealous... I just needed comfort then... but I'm better now. I thought about us, and... I wondered whether you wanted to give it another try..."

Say no! Say no! thought Harry. Say no! Push her away, stand up for yourself! Think of what Ron would say!

"She kissed you again, didn't she?" Ron said, as Harry sat dejectedly by his bed fifteen minutes later.

Harry didn't beat about the bush. He nodded in a numb, too-shocked-to-be-properly-shocked way.

"Hermione came in worrying about you," Ron continued. "She said you looked really nervous for all the meeting because Cho was staring at you."

Harry nodded again. He raised a hand to his cheek to wipe away a little more of the dampness left there.

"So," said Ron. "What was it like? Better?"

Harry shrugged. "I dunno. Wet again." He glanced at his hand and found traces of Cho's shimmery pink lipstick there, but for some reason, he didn't want to wipe it off. "And slippery."

"It's called lipgloss," said Ron. "And yeah, it probably would make it slippery. Get a tissue, it's all over your face."

"Thanks," said Harry. He took one of the tissues from Ron's bedside cabinet and dabbed it wearily across his face. "She said she wanted to give it another go."

Ron shrugged this time. He had been in the hospital wing for quite a few days now, and still looked a little peaky and slightly green, but he was a lot better than earlier on in the week. He could now sit up and have visitors, though Seamus couldn't. He was at the far end of the ward, protected by a curtain dragged around him, and only Lavender had been in once. She came out looking rather ill herself.

"I dunno, Harry... she messed you about last year, big time. And what about that other guy she's supposed to be dating?"

Harry realised he hadn't asked about that. "They probably split up." He wondered for a moment why he felt so pleased about this fact. "It's getting late Ron and I've got Potions homework to finish for tomorrow... got my detention with Snape."

Ron nodded. "Come and visit when you're done, alright?"

"Alright," said Harry. He stood up, put the tissue into the bin and with a last 'bye' to Ron, he left the hospital wing, heading up for Gryffindor Tower, feeling confused.

He didn't really know what he wanted with Cho. She was pretty, she was popular, she was kind... she was fun to talk to, even though they hadn't talked in a while. But she was also jealous and possessive. He knew about that from last year. He also felt a sense of guilt by thinking about her. Cedric Diggory had loved Cho, and now he was dead, Harry just didn't like the fact that he was dating Cho. It was like betraying Cedric's memory. He also knew that Cho still felt a great deal for Cedric. He remembered vaguely the time that there were in a small tea shop in Hogsmeade, and she's reminisced about how Cedric always brought her here. Cedric had been strong, hard-working, loyal, handsome. Why would Cho be interested in Harry instead?

He was so lost in his troubles that he didn't even realise he was in the Gryffindor Common Room until Hermione's voice spoke from near the fire. "Harry? What happened?"

"She kissed me," he said, hollowly.

"I can see that," she said, jumping up and hurrying over, taking a hankerchief from her pocket and rubbing at the lipgloss that Harry missed. "She's got it all over you Harry, you haven't been walking around like this, have you?"

He nodded, vaguely, and then said, "It was weird."

"Tell me about what happened," she said, taking his arm and leading him over to an armchair, sitting him down and studying him closely.

"She... she said she was sorry about being jealous... and that she wanted us to try again." He brushed a tuft of hair out of his eyes. "Then she kissed me."

She sighed, though it was a gentle, concerned sort of sigh. "You don't have much luck with her, do you?"

He shook his head. "No. I... I wish she'd leave me alone."

Hermione studied him closely for a moment, concern in his eyes, and then she moved forward, giving him a gentle hug. Harry closed his eyes and embraced back. Only Hermione could be so matter-of-fact and so sensible, but so sympathetic at the same time. After a moment, she drew back and smiled like the big sister he'd never had. "Want to copy my Potions homework?"

He smiled too. "Yeah, okay."

"Good boy," she said, pretending to pat him, then pattering away up the stairs to the girl's dormitory to fetch her homework. Girls were an odd species, he thought, sitting back in his chair, suddenly glad he had Hermione as a translator.


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