Chapter 3 : The Mosquito Dance
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Harry stared at Hermione. So did the rest of his friends. In all of his years at Hogwarts, including the time in his first year when they had run into the three headed dog, Harry had never seen Neville look so scared. Hermione, however, seemed to be delighted. She kept on talking and talking and talking, apparently unaware of the incredulous stares that everyone was giving her.
"... and of course we'll need to make a shelter, but I'm not sure how, or what we'll make it out of, but it has to be waterproof - oh, but what about clothes? I can't wear my robes forever, but maybe we - what about food? And I sure hope that the Amazon river isn't salty ... no, of course it isn't, it holds 20% of the worlds fresh water! And what about -"
"Hermione!" said Neville weakly, tugging at the sleeve of her robe. "Haven't you realized what a terrible situation we're in? There are creatures here that eat people like me, like ... um ... toucans!"
"Neville, don't be so silly!" said Hermione, as everyone else burst into laughter. "We'll be fine. All we need are the basic needs of life: food, water, shelter, and clothing. We have temporary clothing, and a fresh water source right at our feet. As for food and shelter ... well, we'll mange somehow. We've been through worse before now," she concluded confidently.
That was before it started to rain.
Harry soon realized why the Amazon was called a rainforest. They all tried to shelter themselves under several large trees covered in umbrella-like leaves, but it didn't work to well. By the time the rain stopped twenty minutes later, Harry's robes were completely soaked through. Hermione, looking grim, was the first one to emerge from their leafy shelter, squeezing her hair to get rid of rainwater.
"Well, I guess we should start on a more permanent shelter," she said. Neville looked very tempted to say "I told you so", but wisely decided against it.
"Hermione, look at the sky!" Ron pointed out. Hermione realized that the sky was slowly getting darker, to her surprise; she hadn't realized that it was so late. "We can't do everything today. Let's get some sleep, and when we get up tomorrow we'll be ready to work. I promise." Hermione sighed. Ron was right for once - they did need to rest, seeing as Ginny was yawning and Harry was swaying on the spot. She helped Ron pull leaves from the surrounding trees and spread them out on the ground, despite a tiny voice inside her head telling her that she was probably hurting the trees, and therefore disturbing the delicate balance of the rainforest ecosystem. And it probably isn't good for me to listen to my conscience all the time, thought Hermione angrily to herself. Look what it did to me in my first year: Ron said "no wonder nobody can stand her", or something along those lines.
"Well, good night," said Luna sleepily, laying down on their bed of leaves. "Don't let the Blibbering Humdingers bite." Chuckling, her companions followed suit. Before long, they were asleep, while the night sounds of the forest filled the air ... and Ron's snores, of course.
Hours later, Hermione awoke with a scream. Clouds of mosquitos surrounded her, buzzing loudly and angrily. Horrified, Hermione tried to swat at them, but they just kept coming back to attack her. Hermione jumped up and began to wave her arms frantically, leaping from side to side and bouncing up and down, trying to keep them from biting her already itching body. Everybody else was still asleep - a good thing, because Hermione knew she probably looked ridiculous.
Suddenly, she heard some sticks snap from the bushes nearby. Hermione stood absolutely still, her heart starting to pound. Was some sort of flesh-eating animal planning to make her their midnight snack?
Luckily, the flesh-eating animals must have been busy elsewhere, because Ginny emerged from the bushes, giggling hysterically.
"Ginny!!!" Hermione hissed angrily, feeling slightly confused. "What's so funny? You nearly scared me to death!"
"It's ... nothing," gasped Ginny, trying to control her laughter. "Just ... well, your ... mosquito dance ... was ... hilarious!"
Hermione was very glad it was dark, because she felt herself turning very red. "What were you doing, anyway? Hiding in the bushes waiting to terrify the first person awake?"
"No," Ginny said with a frown. "Do you seriously think I would do that to anyone besides Ron? I was in the bushes because there isn't exactly a washroom hidden between the trees, is there?"
"Er ... no," said Hermione sheepishly, deciding that it was time to change the topic. "Um ... do you happen to know a way to keep the mosquito's away?"
"Sorry, Hermione. Just ignore them. Or you could always find something to cover you, but I don't see anything that would work."
The rainforest isn't so bad, thought Hermione several minutes later as she lay on her bed of leaves, Ron's sleeping figure draped protectively over her. There may be lots of bugs, but at least there are ... advantages.
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