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Chapter 2 : Of Professor Dianna de Loustre and Triple Pirouttes
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“Granger!” Bang. Bang. Bang.
Hermione groaned and rolled over, pulling the sheets over her head. What in Merlin’s name..?
“Granger!!” Bang. Bang. BANG.
“Aargh! Go away Malfoy!” She threw her pillow over her head.
There was silence for a moment and then he yelled back, “Fine! But class starts in fifteen minutes!” and then she heard him stomp away down the stairs.
She sat bolt upright. Fifteen minutes! She had overslept? Hermione tumbled out of bed and scrambled, fighting with her covers, trying to locate the shoes she had thrown off last night. Once they had been coaxed out from beneath the bed she threw her robes on and was halfway down the stairs when she realized she had forgotten her books and bag upstairs and had to run all the way back up to retrieve them.
When she finally reached the common room she was in a right foul mood, which was not quelled by the sight of the Head Boy, strewn out across the common room’s large squishy couch with a cup of steaming liquid in his hands.
“What are you doing?” She was halfway to the portrait. “Class is starting!” She had now reached the portrait and was pushing it open when laughter reached her ears. She stopped cold.
“You’re pathetic, Granger.” He swung his legs back over the couch and she realized he was dressed in loose black pants and a cotton undershirt, not his school robes.
“What are you laughing at?” she growled.
“Oh! Help!” He threw his hands in the air and fell back against the couch, overcome with his own sick humor. “I’m going to be late!”
She dropped her messenger bag and stomped over to him. “You’re a git, Draco Malfoy! A foul, loathsome, dimwitted, ignorant, ghastly, arrogant, evil little cockroach! With greasy hair!!” she added.
He stood slowly from the couch and started walking towards her. Fearfully she backed away until she felt the cold wall at her back. She was trapped. He put one arm against the wall, blocking her in on one side and simply stared at her. He didn’t have to say anything for her to know he wasn’t laughing anymore, he was ticked off as could be, and he had the upper hand. Then he pushed off the wall, turned on his heel, and disappeared up the staircase.
Hermione, who hadn’t realized she was holding her breath, gasped in air. How was she supposed to live with him for a year?
After she had collected herself she gathered her things and checked her watch. Foul git. There’s still an hour until class. Breakfast had just started so she exited the common room. She’d much rather sit down there alone until Harry, Ron and Ginny came down than endure the Head’s common room knowing he was lurking somewhere.
Upon entering the Great Hall Hermione was instantly calmed by the overwhelming aroma of cinnamon, scrambled eggs, French toast and the like. She took a deep breath, allowing the smells to permeate every nook of her senses and then ambled her way to the table.
She looked up towards the rasied dais where the teachers sat and waved to Hagrid with a smile. She scanned the table. Professor Flitwick was deep in conversation with Professor Trelawney, who, considering the devastated and confused expression on his face, seemed to be being told of his certain untimely death-per usual. She rolled her eyes. Further down the table, Professor Sprout was perched next to a pinch nosed man with dark hair that fell over his eyes who wore a high collared robe; Professor Pintalis, the Dark Arts teacher who had set the record by holding the job for an entire year and returning for a second.
She plopped into a seat and pulled a bowl of cinnamon porridge to her and was sprinkling it with sugar when Professor Dianna de Loustre walked in. Hermione had suspected that Dianna de Loustre was a muggle-born, but this just threw all doubt out the tower window. The professor was wearing a bright ruby silk robe that covered a white track-like jacket and shorts. Her shoes were flat; she had flesh-pink colored tights and those ballet leg warmers that fell over your feet and shins. Hermione almost dropped her porridge filled spoon in her lap in surprise.
“Whoa,” Ron ungracefully plopped into the seat to her right and Harry appeared more gracefully on her left. “That’s quite a statement.”
“That’s an understatement,” Harry mumbled into his goblet and Hermione snorted in a very unlady-like way.
A few moments later most of the student body had groggily entered the Great Hall, taken their seats, and the room was coming to life as they began to wake up.
Hermione was startled as Professor McGonagall appeared behind her and handed her a thick piece of cardstock. She scanned her schedule over greedily as soon as it was handed to her. “Potions first?” She peeked over the piece of parchment and Harry nodded. She looked to Ron, who frowned.
“I have Sinistra first,” Ron said.
“Astronomy? In the morning?” Harry raised an eyebrow.
“Sprout second?” Hermione wondered hopefully. Both boys nodded. Her eyes continued down the page and she groaned. “Loustre third?” They nodded again. “Well, thank Merlin you’re in that class with me.” Harry was frowning. “Well don’t look so pleased about it.” She mumbled.
“Did you see who we are double blocked with?” Harry wondered.
Hermione glanced back at her schedule. “Slytherins!“ Of course. Obviously they were grouped with the Slytherins. That was the way the unvierse worked.
The conversation was brought to an abrupt halt as the Great Hall began to empty for the first class of the day. Harry and Hermione said their goodbyes to Ron and then set off to the dungeons for potions. There was nothing quite like having Professor Snape first period to brighten up one’s day.
Hermione and Harry claimed a table as close to the back of the room as was possible and had just gone to sit down when the door was pushed open, slammed against the stone wall, and Professor Snape breezed in.
“You think he could ever make a quiet entrance?” Harry wondered and Hermione giggled in agreement.
“Take out your cauldrons and begin this-” he pointed his wand at the board and script began to scrawl across it “-potion. And I suggest doing it correctly as you will be testing it on each other.”
By the time Hermione had finished brewing the potion and tested it on Harry (with no side effects, unlike Harry’s potion which had left her with webbed fingers and pink cat-like ears for a quarter of an hour) and transplanted the newest batch of fanged fly traps for Professor Sprout she was tired, dirty, and not at all in a good mood.
She had to trudge her way back to the common room to shower and change into the tights and leotard that were required for Professor de Loustre’s class. After looking in the mirror she had also opted to throw a pair of cotton pants and a tee shirt over the ensemble.
She was making her way to the newly renovated third floor corridor that had been restricted in their first year, where the class was being held when she met up with Harry and Ron who were wearing the loose black pants and form fitting white tee that, humorously, she had seen on Draco Malfoy that very morning and were the required dress for the males in the class.
“Good times here, huh?” Harry gestured to the corridor.
Ron groaned. “I’d rather not remember them if it’s all the same to you, mate.”
“It’s not fair that you guys get to wear pants while we have to wear these contraptions.” She pulled at the leotard as they finally came to a door that had “Dance Studio” etched into the wall next to it.
“I guess this is it,” Harry pushed the door open and stopped cold.
The dance studio was nothing like the outside corridor, nor any other classroom in Hogwarts for that matter. The floor was polished and hardwood, the walls were lined with barres at about waist height. There were similar barres off in one corner that looked like they were portable. There was a large pile of mats in another corner. One side of the room was an entire wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor mirror.
On a table at the far side of the room was a black box, blaring sound next to a pile of smaller, thin rectangular boxes.
Hermione raised an eyebrow. “I didn’t know there were any electrical outlets in Hogwarts.”
“Electra-whatsits?" Ron asked. “And where is that noise coming from?”
“The radio over there on the table,” Harry said.
“Rahdi-who?” Ron stared in wonder.
The conversation was interrupted as a woman in a red leotard, flesh colored tights, and red ballet flats entered the room. Her hair was slicked back in a tight bun at the base of her head. She pointed her wand at the radio and the sound died away.
The class was divided, Slytherins on one side, Gryffindors on another. The woman walked forward, silently scanning the mass of students disapprovingly.
“From now on you will be at the barres and ready to begin warm ups the moment you arrive,” she pointed to the barres that lined the room. “Ladies will have their hair pulled back in a tight bun, as mine is,” she gestured to her head. “You will also remove the pants and jackets,” there was snickering from the males in the group “-Ladies.” She finished with a scornful glare. Hermione scanned the room to see that every girl had had the same idea she had and had thrown some type of covering over their tights and leotard. “The dress code for this class is flesh-pink tights with a black leotard for women, and black dance pants and a form fitting white tee for men. And your dance shoes, of course. I need to be able to see your bodies.” She began to walk among them, ensuring they were following her instructions to remove the clothing that she had specified. “My name is Professor de Loustre,” she stopped as if she was waiting for something. “Well, say it,” she ordered.
They all attempted valiantly and she raised her hands to stop them, her eyes scrunched as if the sound caused her physical pain. “Dianna will do," sge conceded. "To the barres please.”
Everyone moved slowly to the barres, having no idea what was going on, all except Draco Malfoy who strode to the center of the center barre. “Chop, chop, people!“ Dianna clapped her hands, scaring them all into moving quicker.
“You will observe me doing the specified exercises here on this center barre and then replicate them exactly.” She levitated one of the portable barres to the center of the room and then flicked the radio on. A waltz tune began to filter through the room as she positioned herself at the bar. “First position!” she called out.
“First position?” Ron, who was next to her, mumbled questioningly. “She hasn’t moved.”
“Her feet Ron! Look at her feet!” Hermione whispered back as she turned her feet in the same manner.
“Plie!” the woman cried as she bent low to the ground.
“I don’t think my body does that,” Harry grumbled from Hermione’s other side.
Dianna was watching them struggle disgustedly in the mirror. “Isn’t there one of you who has danced a day in their lives?!” Her eyes fell on the blonde haired young man before her.
“You,” she pointed to him.
At first he was so caught up in his warm ups that he hadn’t heard her. An elbow in his side from Blaise Zabini caused him to raise his head.
“What is your name?” Dianna crossed her arms and leaned against her bar.
“Draco Malfoy,” he replied. Great. Just great. He had been hoping he could get by without attracting any attention; he didn’t want everyone to know about his past time. Of course, in a room full of people like this, his training stuck out like a sore thumb.
“Come out here and show me what you were doing,” she gestured to the barre as she stepped away from it.
He grasped it tightly and took a deep breath. No one else in the room mattered, not when his hand was on this barre. This barre was home. It was safe.
He began his warm ups, which may have begun in a plie in first position but certainly didn’t end in one. He had devised his own warm up routine years ago and apparently Dianna de Loustre had never seen the likes of it. She raised a perfectly groomed eyebrow in his direction. “How long have you studied?” she asked him in an extremely unconversational voice.
He counted silently in his head. “Seven years,” he answered and there was an audible gasp from the class.
Dianna was now walking in vulture-like circles around him. “I see. What styles have you studied?”
He flinched. So much for my reputation, he thought bitterly. “Jazz, lyrical, ballet, and ballroom.”
“You’ve already studied ballroom?” she wondered disapprovingly.
“Merengue, mamba, samba, cha cha, and the tango,” he answered.
“There’s a delicious image,” a girl quipped and was shushed immediately by her Slytherin friends.
“Tango, huh?” Dianna said. She pointed to the floor before the mirror. “Show me a backwards triple pirouette. “
He shrugged and walked forward. She stopped him with a loud noise and raised a finger. “But start with an amalgamation of an anchor step followed by a ball-heel step to the right. Bend your knees; I don’t want sloppy moves. You will then chassé turn into your triple pirouette. Carriage must be high. No limp arms.” Dianna stepped back and half the class’ mouths fell open.
“What did she just say?” Harry asked in awe.
“An amalgamation is a combination of two or more movements,” Hermione answered softly, her eyes to the ground and an odd expression on her face.
Draco stepped back and closed his eyes. Deep breath. It was a piece of cake. She was testing him. There was no dance that those steps would be used in because they were from three different styles. He opened his eyes and smirked at the reflection he saw in the mirror.
Piece of cake. Eat you’re words, amateur.
He launched into his anchor step and followed it with a ball-heel step then his triple pirouette, which he landed perfectly.
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