Harry, Ron, and Hermione turned their attention back to stage two, where four girls had recently taken the stage. Parvati and Lavender stood on one side, wands raised and glaring fiercely, while Cho stood on the other side, equally ready, though with a reluctant Marietta at her side.
George made sure everything was in order before shouting, "Ready… set… DUEL!" He blew on his whistle in a good imitation of Madame Hooch and then dove off the stage in order to get out of the way of Parvati's spells.
"And Miss Patil begins this duel in a ferocious fashion, with a Stunning spell that narrowly misses--ah, will someone go check on Colin Creevey over there, he seems to be unconscious--and blimey! Miss Edgecombe's hair has caught on fire!"
Marietta shrieked and ran around the stage in a panic while Cho tried to extinguish the fire with an Aguamenti spell. She missed several times before succeeding in dousing Marietta with a jet of water, causing the dueling stage to become very wet and slippery, as Lavender soon found out.
Lavender dodged a jinx Cho had shot and shouted, "Petrificus total--eek!" She slipped and fell onto her back, rendering her dazed and immobilized for a moment.
"Lavender!" Parvati shouted, jumping out of the way of a Stunning spell from Marietta and performing a cartwheel to dodge a second Stunning spell from Cho. There were cheers from the stands and a whistle from George.
"I'm okay--" Lavender began to say, but was stopped by a Silencing spell from Marietta. Lavender furiously opened her mouth, but nothing came out. Cho followed up with a Body-Binding spell.
"And Miss Brown can't speak or move at the moment…looks like Miss Patil is on her own for now…and she is doing quite well! Oh look! Miss Chang has sprouted rabbit ears!"
Cho's eyes opened wide and she felt the top of her head. Marietta stopped in the middle of a jinx to stare at Cho's new ears.
Parvati took full advantage of their preoccupation and, with a well-aimed curse, caused Marietta to yelp as she grew a pair of donkey ears to match Cho.
Lavender, by then, had regained use of both her limbs and her vocal cords. She laughed loudly with Parvati, and soon the both of them were rolling around on the floor, gasping for breath.
Meanwhile Cho and Marietta were staring at each other, horrified.
"Your ears are twitching!" exclaimed Cho.
"Yours are waving at me!" screeched Marietta.
"Put us right!" they both wailed at Parvati, who ignored them completely, and continued guffawing with Lavender.
"Fine! You win! I didn't really like Harry anyway," said Cho, pouting and stomping her foot.
Everyone in the stands turned to look at Harry, who determinedly looked at the ceiling. Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Did--you--get--that--George?" Parvati gasped between laughs.
George scratched his nose with his quill. "Parvati and Lavender win…9.3 points for Patil, 5.1 for Brown…4.5 each for Chang and Edgecombe--"
"Wait, where are you going?" whined Marietta to Parvati, who had walked off the stage and was accepting congratulatory handshakes and high-fives from gleeful Gryffindors. "Get rid of my donkey ears first!"
"And my rabbit ears!" Cho cut in furiously, pointing a shaking finger at her dancing bunny ears.
Parvati left Dean Thomas hanging and turned around. "Hmm…I don't really want to, you see."
To drown out the stream of profanities coming from the two Ravenclaw girls, George quickly shouted, "Our next duelers are Longbottom and Lovegood against Malfoy and Parkinson!" Then he did a double-take. "What?"
He wasn't the only one. Nearly all the Gryffindors and Ravenclaws had dumbfounded looks on their faces. The Slytherins, however, looked as though Christmas had come early.
"We're going to duel Longbottom and Loony?" drawled Malfoy, standing up with a snickering Pansy draped on his arm. He had a few bruises dotting his pale skin, but
otherwise had recovered from his duel with Blaise Zabini.
"Her name is Luna," snapped Ginny Weasley.
"That's what it says," said George, his eyebrows raised so high they had almost disappeared under his red bangs.
"That's right!" said Luna brightly, standing up and marching down the stands toward the dueling stage. Neville seemed to have lost his earlier confidence, and now looked like he had half a mind to flee from the scene.
"You can do it, Neville!" said Hermione encouragingly. Harry nodded vigorously. Ron was already laughing.
"Neville! Neville! Neville!" the Gryffindors began to chant. Neville slowly made his way to the stage, where Luna, Malfoy, and Pansy were already assembled.
George hid his disbelief and took out a fresh sheet of parchment. "On your marks…get set…DUEL!"
Neither Neville nor Luna moved. Neville was frozen with fear. Luna was gazing at Malfoy rather vaguely.
Her dreamy stare seemed to faze Malfoy, who looked uncomfortable. "What are you staring at?"
"Oh, nothing," sighed Luna. "I was just wondering why your hair is so light. Maybe you have Veela blood in you."
"Actually, I do," said Malfoy with a bit of a swagger.
"Or maybe, when you were a baby, you were attacked by a Blurgy monster," said Luna, edging closer to Malfoy, who took a step back.
"What the hell is a Blurgy?" he said.
"They're these crazy tiny creatures that suck the color out of life," said Luna, waving her arms around. "That's why you're so pale. It only worsens when you get older. Soon you'll be completely colorless and white."
Pansy stared at Luna. "What is this nonsense?"
Luna turned serenely to Pansy. "It's not nonsense. It's true. And I think I see one hovering by your left ear right now."
Pansy screamed and started flapping her arms around her head. Malfoy gave a muffled yell and began batting the air around him in attempts to ward off the Blurgy monster.
Meanwhile, Harry had been motioning furiously at Neville to do something. Neville finally got the hint, fumbled for his wand, and yelled, "Expelliarmus!"
Malfoy's wand flew out of his grasp. "What--LONGBOTTOM!" Malfoy dove on top of Neville and they began a match of Muggle wrestling.
With a bang from Luna's wand, Malfoy was blown off the stage, albeit with his wand in his hand. He fell into the stands, landing on top of a group of squealing third-year girls. Luna looked surprised.
"How dare you do that to my Drakie--" Pansy shrieked, when she was hit with a Silencing spell from her fellow Slytherin.
"Don't call me that!" shouted Malfoy angrily, aiming a Stunning spell at Luna, who dodged it neatly. Pansy opened and closed her mouth, but no sound came out.
"And Longbottom and Lovegood seem to be winning this duel," said George, clearly amused. "Malfoy has grown tentacles! He doesn't look very happy with those tubular, squishy-looking, purple things coming out of his head…. Parkinson attempts to rid him of these tentacles, but seems to have only made them worse…. Cool, Malfoy's tentacles change colors now! Red, green, pink, orange…hey Pansy! How'd you do that?"
"Shut up!" Pansy shouted at George.
"Well, somebody has obviously gotten her voice back--"
"Furnunculus!" Pansy shrieked. George ducked just in time and the jinx sailed over his head to bounce off of Colin Creevey's newly erected Shield Charm. The jinx rebounded around the room and finally hit Fred Weasley over at stage three, who gave a roar of pain and indignation when his skin erupted into boils.
"Who the hell did that?" he said, turning his back to a duel between a couple of seventh-years.
Everyone pointed at Pansy.
"Morpho trollius!" shouted Fred, and a jet of hot pink light flew across the Great Hall right to its target.
At first, nothing seemed to happen. Later, Fred admitted to George that he had made up the spell at the top of his head. But after a few more moments of intense dueling, the effects of the spell finally appeared, and Pansy ran off the stage in tears. She had caught sight of her reflection in the window and discovered that her face now closely resembled that of a troll's, much to Hermione's delight.
"Eurgh!" said Malfoy when he saw his girlfriend's face.
"What happened? Why do I look like this?" Pansy screamed, running around in a panic. "Help me, Draco!"
"Eurgh!" said Malfoy again, backing away from an advancing Pansy. "You look like a troll!" This was when Pansy ran away bawling.
Neville shot a Jelly-Legs jinx at Malfoy, who nearly hit the floor again when his legs gave out on him, and his tentacles flapped around his face.
"This is so humiliating," groaned Millicent Bulstrode in the stands, burying her face into her hands. Theodore Nott said nothing. Crabbe and Goyle stared dumbly at their tentacle-covered, wobbly-legged leader.
"Let's finish him off!" shouted Neville at Luna as the two of them leapt out of the way of Malfoy's jinxes.
"Okay," said Luna calmly. "On the count of three--one--two--three!"
"Stupefy!" said Neville.
"Mutatus ferretus!" said Luna.
"What?" said Neville.
For an answer, Luna pointed at Malfoy, who was now not only unconscious but also slowly transforming into a human-sized ferret.
"You're amazing," said Neville, and then quickly turned pink.
"What?" said Luna.
"Erm, I said, Luna, willyougooutwithme?" Neville was red as a tomato now.
"Pardon?" said Luna.
"Will you go out with me?" Neville practically begged.
"Oh." Luna blinked. "Yes, Neville, I will."
Neville breathed a sigh of relief, and the two of them walked off the stage, hand in hand, into the cheering crowd.
There's the third chapter! Please, please, please tell me what you think. Reviews really encourage me to continue writing. Thank you to everyone who has reviewed before.
This is turning out to be longer than just a short story. I will update soon! REVIEW, please! Queen Luna
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