Chapter 9 : We the undersigned...
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On a happier note...I do own my OC's and this storyline! (yay!)
Thanks to enchantress @ TDA for the Chapter Image
“Potter, I’d be careful if I were you. If you don’t stop that you’ll develop a twitch.” ~Tabitha Hart
The Monday before Hallowe`en was as good a day as Tabitha could remember.
Firstly, they had a quiz in Herbology, which she, of course, scored top marks on. She smiled smugly at Alexander Shreve who sulked over his parchment with its two wrong answers as Professor Longbottom distributed their marked work.
Secondly, the first Hogsmeade weekend for the year was announced. It was that coming Saturday, and it also happened to be Hallowe`en. Any student in third year or above was positively bursting with the excitement of a Hogsmeade visit during the day followed by a feast that evening.
Thirdly, Professor Sprout called a meeting in her office for all the prefects. This in itself, whilst being slightly out of the ordinary, was nothing terribly exciting. The subject of the meeting however, was.
Monday evening after dinner, Tabitha and Rowan set out for the Headmistresses office, followed closely by Annie, Natalie, Rheydyn and James. Annie had delivered her petition to the Headmistress first thing that morning at breakfast, complete with over two hundred signatures of students from all four houses, many of whom were prefects or captains of various teams. She had even convinced the head boy and girl to sign. Annie’s excited whispers surrounded them as the party of Gryffindor’s made their way through the darkened corridors.
“What do you think she’ll say? Do you think she’ll agree to it?” She whispered, not to anyone in particular.
“Sprout’s a good sort, she’ll be up for it.” James replied.
“Oh do you think? I’ve put all that effort into it…”
“Don’t worry Annie,” James laughed. “You’ve got that many prefects on side, how could she say no? You even got Hart here to sign!” Tabitha ignored this comment, but straightened her back a bit and kept walking towards Professor Sprout’s office. When they reached the gargoyle, Rowan gave it the password they had been told and he and Tabitha ascended the stairs, leaving the other four to wait in the corridor below.
There were already several prefects in the office when Rowan and Tabitha entered. Professor Sprout was chatting animatedly with them about the various plants around the room.
“Ah, Miss Hart and Mr. Bennett. Welcome!” She beamed as they entered and then turned back to the Slytherin boys with whom she had been talking. Tabitha and Rowan found seats on one of several comfortable settees that had been placed in a circle near the Headmistresses desk. Tabitha struck up a conversation with a Hufflepuff sixth year from her Muggle Studies class, while they waited for the last few people to arrive. When the head boy had taken a seat, Professor Sprout beamed at them all proudly. “Well, what a lovely group of young people here tonight!” She began. “I don’t call too many meetings with the Prefects if I can help it, I trust you all immensely to keep to your duties as prefects of these hallowed halls. Your heads of houses inform me that you are all keeping your rounds schedule and serving your houses well.” The prefects all sat silently, listening as their Headmistress heaped praise upon them, but all really wondering when she would get to the point. Professor Sprout seemed to sense this, and thus turned wordlessly to her desk and picked up a rather long roll of parchment. She unrolled it and Tabitha smiled at Rowan as she caught sight of the little blue snowflakes, still dancing on the page.
“Miss Moore was kind enough to bring this to my attention this morning.” The professor spoke, an amused sort of smile playing with the corners of her mouth. She pushed her golden spectacles up on her nose and peered down at the words on the page. “We, the undersigned students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, do henceforth formally request the installation of a Ball at the school. The details of our request can be found on the attached manifesto.” She smiled warmly at the gathering and her eyes twinkled in an amused sort of way. She held up a second, smaller, piece of parchment, upon which Annie had carefully listed all of her suggestions for the Ball. “You are wondering, I assume, what my verdict is on the matter?” Still no-one spoke. The students all stared at her in anticipation, waiting for the answer. The professor smiled again at them all. “I have decided the following…”
Annie pounced on them the second the Gargoyle opened.
“What did she say? Oh don’t tell me, I couldn’t bear it if it was bad news! No, wait! I must know, good or bad, I have to know. Did she say yes? Oh I put so much work in to this – she just has to say yes! What did she say???” Tabitha simply waited for Annie to finish her outburst; after this many years of friendship she had grown accustomed to Annie’s ways of dealing with pressure. “Oh don’t toy with me! Please tell me the answer!” She was almost shrieking now, and James, who was trying his best to hold back laughter, caught Tabitha’s eye and grinned. She almost smiled back until she realised who it was she was smiling at. Instead she turned back to Annie.
“Annie, she said yes.” Tabitha smiled, and was immediately deafened by the high pitched squeal of excitement that burst forth from Annie’s lips. Annie then threw herself upon her friends, one at a time, in a series of celebratory hugs. Eventually, fearing they’d disturb the professor and she would subsequently change her mind, they trooped back to the common room, led by a Euphoric Annie.
“So what did she say? When is the ball to be?” She asked, practically skipping down the passage.
“Christmas Day.” Rowan replied. “She said that all the good Balls were always held on Christmas Day, so there you have it.”
“Ooh how romantic!” Annie gushed. “Won’t that be lovely, with the snow falling outside and the castle all decorated and lit up for the holidays!” Tabitha herself was in two minds about the Christmas Day decision. On the one hand, it excited her that she would be attending a ‘Yule Ball’ just like her mother, and yet the idea of not returning home for Christmas saddened her somewhat. She wondered if her father would be very upset about spending Christmas alone. They all climbed through the portrait hole into the common room, where Annie started dancing around with an invisible partner, announcing the exciting news to the rest of their house. Tabitha couldn’t help but smile, Annie’s mood was infectious. She was glad she had faced her fears and given in to the Ball plan after all.
The school was positively abuzz with talk of the Ball throughout the rest of the week. The prefects had all been given notices to pin up in their common rooms, announcing the Ball and explaining that it would be held on Christmas night for students fourth year and above. Lily Potter had grumbled quite loudly about this until Tabitha pointed out to her that third years were allowed to come if they were invited to be the date of an older student. James, having heard this conversation, looked strangely like he had swallowed a large flobberworm. He then proceeded to tell Lily exactly why she would not be going with an older student, and anyway, she probably wouldn’t be asked. Tabitha smiled to herself because she knew as well as James did, that pretty Lily, with her long red hair and mother’s charms would not have any trouble in securing an invite from an older boy.
“I’m going to write to Mum about this.” She heard James say as he turned and started up the stairs to the boy’s dormitory.
“Fine, go ahead! She went to the Yule Ball when she was in third year because an older boy asked her, so she’ll probably say yes!” Lily retorted, yelling at her brother in the way only a younger sister can. James seemed to consider this argument for a moment, before a smile lit up on his face.
“Ok, I’ll write to Dad then!” He crowed and bounded up the stairs, two at a time, to write his letter. Lily didn’t look concerned though. She smiled at Tabitha.
“If mum says I can go, I’ll be allowed to go. Dad always gives in to her. I’m going to go write to Mum and ask her if it’s alright.” And with a toss of flaming hair, she ran happily up to her own dormitory.
Lily wasn’t the only third year scheming her way to a Ball invitation. Any unattached boy, fourth year or older, was becoming subject to a barrage of battering eyelashes and flirty smiles. James found this absolutely delightful and spent so much time winking at groups of passing girls that Tabitha couldn’t help herself from saying one morning,
“Potter, I’d be careful if I were you. If you don’t stop that you’ll develop a twitch.” They were sitting across from each other at the Gryffindor table eating breakfast. Tabitha, completely engrossed in her new copy of ‘The Enchanted Gardener’ a wizarding plant magazine she had received by owl-order that morning. James stopped making eyes at a group of giggling Hufflepuff third years and smirked at Tabitha.
“Aw Hart, not getting jealous are we? You can’t complain, I did ask you to go with me after all.” He said, a little too loudly for Tabitha’s liking as Annie and Natalie, sitting next to her, both turned their heads curiously at James’ words. She buried her head back in the pages of the magazine until she thought it was safe to head off to Transfiguration. Unfortunately, Natalie and Annie both caught up with her in the hallway, linking arms with both of hers so she couldn’t escape.
“So we couldn’t help overhearing,” Annie began sweetly, “That a certain good looking, eligible Quidditch captain asked a very pretty prefect to the Ball.”
“I bet you could have helped overhearing if you weren’t so nosy.” Tabitha grumbled under her breath. Both her friends heard this, but just laughed at her.
“Did you really turn him down?” Natalie asked. Tabitha gave her a disdainful stare. “Well, I mean most girls don’t normally say ‘no’ to James Potter when he asks them out now do they?” Natalie added. Tabitha sighed.
“It wasn’t like that. He didn’t really ask me out. We were having an argument – ”
“Oh there’s a surprise. You and James arguing, how original!” Annie chirped in a sarcastic yet cheery voice that only she could pull off. Tabitha ignored her and continued.
“And he asked me out sort of as an insult. Don’t worry though, I got him back. Told him I’d rather go with Moaning Myrtle. The look on his face was priceless. You know, I don’t think he’s ever been rejected before.” She mused. “Not that it was a real offer anyway.” She added hastily. Annie was staring at her in disbelief.
“Tabby! I can’t believe you did that! I know you have your differences but he’s James Potter!” She gasped in a stage whisper.
“Oh Annie! He’s not a god! It’s not like he can smite me down for refusing him. Can you honestly say you’re surprised?” Tabitha laughed at her friend.
“You’ve got a point there.” Natalie piped up. “The day you agree to go to the Ball with James Potter is the day I kiss Peeves the Poltergeist!” The three girls giggled as they entered the Transfiguration classroom still arm in arm. They took a seat at a table together. The rest of the class was still filtering in, and Tabitha decided to take the focus off of her for a while.
“So Annie, have you picked a suitable date yet?” Annie had been receiving a steady stream of offers since the morning after the Ball had been approved. At this point, she was up to fourteen different boys and in true Annie style, she hadn’t given any of them a straight answer yet.
“Hmmm…not quite sure yet. Peter Smythe, that Ravenclaw seventh year, you know the really handsome one with brown hair and dreamy eyes? Well he asked me yesterday and I’m seriously considering it, although I am thinking about Donovan Thornund, you know that Slytherin who plays on their Quidditch team?” She nearly swooned.
“Donovan Thornund? Oh no Annie, you can’t! Why would you go with him?” Natalie exclaimed, completely disgusted at her friend.
“Oh I know he’s a complete moron, but he’s got that whole sexy, bad-boy thing happening.” She gave a little shiver, causing Tabitha and Natalie to break into synchronised eye-rolling. “Well what about you Natalie? Has a certain prefect plucked up the courage to ask you yet?” Annie asked, giving the dark haired girl an inquiring smile. Natalie went bright red and ducked her head.
“…don’t know what you’re talking about.” She mumbled to the table top. Tabitha and Annie exchanged amused grins. However, at that moment Professor McQuillen cleared her throat and began the lesson, saving Natalie from having to answer any more questions.
AN: As always I hoped you liked this chapter. I know it's a little bit fluffy but it's good to have some fun, silly chapters in there right?
Thanks to everyone for the lovely reviews...pretty please keep reviewing! Massive huggles to Mintleaf for her reviews and help with this story.
I'm currently trying to get chapter images for all of the chapters so please check back to see once they're updated =)
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