Chapter 2 : The Prank
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"Ron, what's going on?" Hermione asked.
At that moment Draco Malfoy stood up and climbed clumsily to stand on the table. In a high pitched voice he yelled "I AM A BLOODY GIT!" and started doing an odd dance, repeating himself with a glazed look in his eyes.
"Ron..." Ginny whispered. "Malfoy is dancing like YOU dance!"
"Yeah, mate. Your dancing sucks!" Dean interjected with a laugh.
Ron turned red and said with a huff "No it doesn't! Just keep watching!"
Malfoy wasn't alone on the table, now. Crabbe and Goyle had taken off their shirts and were swinging them around their heads, yelling, with the same blank gaze, "WE ARE MINDLESS SHEEP, WE ARE MINDLESS SHEEP!" the Great Hall dissolved in laughter.
The other Slytherins were pulling on Malfoys robes awkwardly, trying to get him to stop. "I AM A BLOODY GIT! I AM A BLO--"
Malfoy stopped yelling and froze. He collapsed on the table, shaking. His ears started bleeding profusely. Crabbe and Goyle both dropped onto the table too, and blood started leaking out of their mouths.
"That wasn't supposed to happen!! We have to get them to the hospital wing!" Harry exclaimed, his eyes widening. Ron and Harry, dumbfounded, both got up and ran to the boys.
"GET AWAY FROM THEM!" bellowed Snape from the far table. "ONE HUNDRED POINTS FROM GRYFFINDOR!"
He conjured up three stretchers and levitated the shaking boys out of the Hall. Harry and Ron stood staring, horrified. Professor McGonagall appeared suddenly behind them.
"This time, boys, I think you really have gone too far," she said quietly.
A week later Hogwarts was still gossiping about what happened. Hermione managed to weasel the truth out of Ron and Harry: they had broken into Fred and George's room back at home and found Imper-a-Juice, a drink that for two minutes causes the drinkers to embarrass themselves in whatever way the pranksters seem fit. The juice, unbeknownst to Ron and Harry, was still in production, however, and was not safe to use. Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle had just gotten out of the hospital the night before, and were soaking in the attention and pity they were getting from both students and teachers, while Ron and Harry were constantly getting death glares. Although most people hated Malfoy and his goons, they were shocked and disappointed in Harry and Ron for actually hurting them.
Hermione found the boys sulking in the common room. "Come on. Dumbledores called for a special announcement. You HAVE to come," she ordered. They slumped down to the Great Hall to listen to what Dumbledore had to say.
"In light of last weeks events, it has become clear that this school is more divided than ever before. I will no longer tolerate this. Your houses are like your families, yes, but that doesn't mean other houses are your enemies. It is not hate which keeps us strong, but love. For this reason, I have a special announcement to make,” Dumbledore said, with a twinkle in his eye. “I am arranging a ball to promote school unity, where dates are required. Every Hufflepuff with a Ravenclaw, and every Slytherin with a Gryffindor. Furthermore, I have bewitched the bag to pair every person with the person of opposite gender in the other house they have the most...” he paused. “Issues with. From now on, until the ball in one month, every student will be required to spend at least one class a day with their date. This is mandatory, and any student who does not comply with these rules will face me, myself. You will be assigned your partners back in your own common rooms.”
The Hall was silent. After a moment, Professor McGonagall stood.
“Gryffindors, come along,” she announced, and walked out of the doors to Gryffindor tower, leading her students behind her. The other heads of houses followed suit.
Sean Finnigan pushed Harry's shoulder as they walked. “Look what you got us into! Hope I don't get Pansy...” he said, worriedly. The Gryffindors finally arrived in their common room, and looked up at McGonagall.
“I know that this will be a rather difficult next month. I, myself, am required to go to the ball with Professor Snape. In my hands I have a list of your pairings,” she said rather queasily, before taking a deep breath.
“Lavender Brown with Gregory Goyle,” she read. Parvati Patil started hysterically laughing.
“You think that's funny, Ms. Patil? Let's see who you have. Parvati Patil with Vincent Crabbe.”
Parvati immediately stopped laughing.
As McGonagall continued to read through the list, reading in a seemingly random order.
“Ronald Weasley with Millicent Bulstrode,” she read.
“Bulstrode?” he exclaimed to Hermione. “Isn't she the one you dueled with second year?”
Hermione laughed. “More like the one who hexed you so badly a month ago you had horns growing out of your back. Remember that?”
“How could I forget...” he mumbled.
“Harry Potter with Pansy Parkinson,” McGonagall announced as Harry turned a dim shade of green. “And... Hermione Granger with Draco Malfoy,” McGonagall said, stunned.
Ron yelped. “That isn't possible. Dumbledore would never have allowed for that!”
“I'm sorry, Mr. Weasley, but he has,” McGonagall said. She swiftly left the students, who had moved from stunned silence to yelling in utter chaos.
Hermione felt lightheaded. “I-I-I-I'm going to the library,” she stammered to no one in particular. She grabbed her bags and ran, needing to get out of the crowd.
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