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An Alternate Yule Ball by Hermione_Crookshanks
Chapter 2 : Snape, Karkaroff, and Hagrid
 
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Okay, well you all kept on asking for another chapter, so here it is...Yes, it is short, but remember, I'm on my tennis team, which holds three hours practices Monday through Friday, and I have five honors classes... AKA A lot of work and little free time. I felt it better to put this up then let you wait longer.

Enjoy, and remember, I do not own Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire OR the Harry Potter characters. Have fun reading, and REVIEW! Thanks for all your support, guys! :-)

Note: Parts from Rowling's book are in BOLD. This is NOT my writing. Please remember that.


*****

The new couple walked in the moonlight. Hermione was telling Harry how pretty the fountain was, and to look at the stars, when she suddenly stopped.

“What is it?” Harry asked, wondering why she, who was always passionate about whatever topic she was on, had cut herself off without reason. But Hermione simply put a finger to her lip and went, “Shh.” She crept down, signaled for Harry to do the same, and hid them behind a bush. Harry realized why. They could hear voices, and Harry, after listening for a few second, figured out that it was Karkaroff and Snape.

…don’t see what there is to fuss about, Igor.”

“Severus, you cannot pretend this isn’t happening!” Karakaroff’s voice sounded anxious and hushed, as though keen not to be overheard. “It’s been getting clearer and clearer for months. I am becoming seriously concerned, I can’t deny it—”

“Then flee,” said Snape’s voice curtly. “Flee — I will make your excuses. I, however, am remaining at Hogwarts.


Suddenly, Snape and Karkaroff came around the corner, and, to Harry and Hermione’s horror, spotted the two. The couple jumped up in surprise under Snape’s menacing glare.

“What are you doing here?” he spat angrily. He was breathing heavily, and obviously this was a worse time to come across his path than usual.

“We, were, uh…” Harry stuttered. He didn’t know what to say.

Hermione, luckily, cut in, “We were snogging professor,” she said, with no trace of embarrassment. Harry couldn’t help but admire her. He’d be mortified to say anything like that, even if it was true.

Snape’s lips curled into a nasty grin. “So, Potter and Granger are together now, are they?”

Harry nodded, gaze still on Snape, but now it had changed from a look of slight fear to bitterness. Oh, he was going to be in for it now… Snape wouldn’t let this go in class. And, to prove him right, Snape sneered, “How precious.” Then he glared at the two and said, “Go to your common room immediately!”

“But the ball!” Harry protested, looking wildly back towards the Great Hall.

“Go,” Snape hissed. “Now. Or it will be a week of detention for both of you.”

Harry nodded quickly, after glaring at Snape for a second, and then ran, dragging Hermione along, towards the main entrance. He didn’t go through the Great Hall, as he wanted to avoid another embarrassing scene of clapping…and Ron. Anyway, Snape might think they wouldn’t go back to their common room.

In the back of his eye, Harry saw Ron walking where he and Hermione had just been, sulking. Harry shrugged, and then, instead of walking inside, pulled Hermione towards the lake.

“Harry!” Hermione whispered urgently. “What are you doing?”

“We’re going to take a walk by the lake,” he told her, with a slight smile on his face. Walking with Hermione under the moonlight sounded like much more fun than going to the common room, where people could disrupt their conversation.

Why?” she asked him. “Snape told us— ”

“To heck with the git,” Harry said. “This is the Yule Ball, and we’re going to have some fun.”

“Well,” said Hermione thoughtfully. “It would be romantic.” She smiled at him, and then began to lead the way.

*****

Harry and Hermione walked into the main hall. Hermione was giggling from after their walk, and Harry was smiling broadly. However, they both stopped suddenly as Cedric ran up to Harry. He stopped, breathing heavily.

“What’s up?” Harry asked him, bewildered.

“Can I talk to you Harry?” he asked. He then looked at Hermione. “Alone?”

Hermione gave Harry a slight hug, said, “Meet you in the common room,” and disappeared.

Harry turned back to Cedric. “Yeah, I guess.” Cedric grabbed Harry and dragged him to a corner of the hall.

“Look, you helped me with the dragon,” Cedric said in an undertone, “so I just thought I’d give you some advice about the egg.”

“What?” Harry asked, staring at Cedric in surprise.

“Look,” said Cedric, sounding rushed, looking around to make sure no one could hear them. “Take a bath.”

“Take a…?”

“It will help,” said Cedric firmly. “In fact, use the prefect’s bathroom. The password is ‘Pinefresh.’” A group of fifth years were coming around the corner, so Cedric said, “Must go,” leaving Harry completely baffled.

Go take a bath? Harry had told Cedric what the first task was, and in return, he gets told to take a bath? Not only was that insulting, but it was of no help whatsoever.

Harry rushed over to the common room, wanting to tell Hermione what had just happened. However, all of this was blown from his mind as he walked into the middle of a very loud argument between her and Ron.

“What is your problem?” Hermione bellowed, her face red with rage.

“I don’t have a problem!” Ron yelled back. “I’m not the one going off and snogging their best friend.”

Hermione turned red. “We didn’t snog!” she said angrily. “We kissed! There’s a difference you know! And what’s it to you?”

“While you two were off having fun, you left me all alone!” he cried back at her, his face now a slight shade darker than his hair.

Harry rushed in between the two, and said, “Shut up, will you?” He gave Hermione an apologetic look, and then turned back to Ron, angry. “Quit yelling, all right?”

Harry walked over to Hermione, and Ron glared at the two of them, and then sat on a red armchair, arm’s crossed.

“Er…” said Harry, awkwardly. What do you say after telling your supposed best friend to shut up? “Hi,” he said lamely.

Ron suddenly stood up again, and walked over to them. “Did you know that Hagrid was a half-giant?” he asked the two angrily.

Harry looked at Ron in surprise, forgetting the irrational fight between he and Hermione immediately. “Hagrid? What…? Half…giant?” Hermione, however, had just shrugged, still shooting looks of resentment at Ron.

“I had figured as much,” she said finally, sitting down on a couch, and pulling Harry down to sit beside her. Harry swung his arm over her shoulder, and Hermione laid her head on his arm, much to Ron’s disgust. “I mean, he’s so large, isn’t he? There was no way he couldn’t have giant blood.”

“Well, he is!” Ron announced to them, fury still apparent in his eyes.

“How did you find out?” Hermione asked suspiciously, lifting her head slightly from Harry’s body.

“I went for a walk after you two abandoned me,” he said rudely.

“We didn’t abandon you!” Harry cried out indignantly. “You were glaring at us like we were a bunch of Slytherins!”

“Don’t be stupid,” Ron sneered. Harry was going to respond, but Hermione touched his arm gently and whispered, “Forget it. Just find out about Hagrid.” Harry kept his mouth shut, although he found, after the shouting match that had occurred between his two best friends, Hermione was in no place to tell him not to respond.

“So, you went for a walk,” Hermione prompted Ron coldly.

“I went for a walk, and I overhead Hagrid speaking with Madame Maxime.”

“You spied on them?” Hermione said, with a disapproving look upon her face.

Ron rolled his eyes. “It was a little hard not to, what with Hagrid speaking at the top of his voice. He told her how he was a half-giant, and then asked which side of the family it came from in her case, as it was his mum who had been a giant. She got really offended, and stormed off. If she’s not a half-giant, as well, I’ll kill myself. Just look at the size of her!”

“What’s so wrong with being a giant?” Harry asked, confused. “Why would she be so angry at being called one?”

Ron shook his head in disbelief. It was situations like this that made Harry wish he had grown up in a wizarding family. The constant feeling of ignorance always hung over him. “Giants are violent,” Ron said. “They’re known for killing many people. They’re bloody, as well…and were in league with You-Know-Who before you came along,” he finished.

“It’s no wonder Madame Maxime was offended,” Hermione informed Harry. “Even if she was part giantess, I doubt she’d want anyone to know.

“Anyway,” said Hermione, turning back to face Ron, rather bravely. “We have some news, ourselves. Right, Harry?”

“I already know you two are a couple,” Ron said spitefully. “The whole school does. What with— ”

“I wasn’t talking about that!” Hermione interrupted, her brown eyes lighting on fire. “And cool off, okay? I don’t know what your problem is, but deal with it. What I was going to tell you is that Karkaroff and Snape were having a weird conversation – we overheard it, as well,” she added on a side note. “Snape was telling Karkaroff that he could disappear, he would cover for him, but he, Snape, would stay at Hogwarts.”

“Karkaroff also talked about something being clearer,” Harry said, bemused. “I wonder what he meant…” He looked at Hermione, hoping for an answer, but she shrugged.

“I honestly have no idea,” she said quietly. Harry sighed, and then yawned. Realizing how tired he was, he said, “I’m off to bed.” He stood up and gave Hermione a peck on the cheek. She looked up, smiled at him, and sat on her knees so that her mouth was at his ear.

“Goodnight,” she whispered. Harry could feel her breath on his skin, like he had earlier that evening, and he smiled.

“’Night,” Harry replied, and, after giving her one last peck, he climbed up the stairs to the dormitory, Ron stomping at his heels.

When they reached the dormitory, which was empty (Seamus, Dean, and Neville were most likely still at the Ball), Harry sat down on his bed, and stared at Ron, who sat down on his four-poster.

“What the Hell is your problem?” Harry asked him finally, frowning at him.

Ron turned away from him. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Quit lying to me and being such a prat,” Harry told him, aggravated. “Why are you so angry at Hermione and myself? Are you mad because we got together and ‘left you behind’?”

“No!” exclaimed Ron. “It’s not that, it’s— ”

“What?” Harry demanded. Ron went pink. It then hit Harry. “You like her,” he whispered.

“Of course I like her,” Ron said, annoyed. “We’ve been friends since—”

“No, I mean you like like her,” Harry said, narrowing his eyes at Ron. This was not good. His best friend having feelings for his girlfriend? Definitely not good.

Ron sighed. “I’m not in love with her, Harry. At least, I don’t think I am.” He looked confused now. “I don’t know!” he said, throwing up his hands. “I mean it just hit me that she’s not ‘one of us.’ She’s a girl.”

“Very insightful,” Harry said, more cruelly than intended, as he himself had just realized that only a couple of weeks ago.

Ron sighed. “I’m not going to try and take her from you, Harry. I don’t even know if I do feel that way. I’m just…confused. Look,” he continued. “I’m sorry for being such a git.”

Harry shook his head. “It’s okay. Just don’t do that anymore, okay? It really makes you out to be a prat.”

Ron smiled. “All right. No more being a prat.”

Harry gave a sigh of relief. “Thank you!” And he lay down and went to sleep, the image of the kiss he had shared with Hermione repeating in his dreams.

*****

So...what did you think? Like it? Hate it? Please review!

~Hermione_Crookshanks


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