Chapter 6 : Corbin's Revenge
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"No." replied Hermione.
"But you don't even know what I'm going to ask."
"No." replied Hermione.
"But you are so much better than I..."
"No." she repeated.
"But think what you can do with an extra library ticket borrowed for say, one month?"
"Deal. You could have pushed me to three you know." Harry smirked.
"I would have settled for one if you'd insisted." Hermione's smirk was somehow twice as wide.
"So, you agreed to drink polyjuice potion and take my place?" joked Harry.
"No, I agreed to prepare some information on Corbin's Revenge for you as you well know." affirmed Hermione. "You might not like to read books but I read you like one."
"Thanks Hermione. I know it's a lot of trouble for you so it's really appreciated." answered Harry more seriously. "It will save me researching time that I just won't have."
They arrived at the Gryffindor common room and Ron and Harry flunked down in a couple of armchairs. Hermione sat at a side table which she had made her own for convenience as it had several drawers in which she kept extra books and notes. She busied herself in a deep side drawer of her table, methodically flipping through some papers neatly stacked between card separators, each with its letter of the alphabet.
"Here we are. Corbin's for one." Hermione handed over two large sheets and a diagram.
"You had it already prepared?" choked Harry.
"For two months library!" groaned Harry. "I've been had."
Hermione smiled briskly and gathered up her books. "You really just need to get organized you know and stop frittering away your free time." and she went up to the girl's dorm.
"She's right you know Harry. Hermione is always right. ... Fancy a game of chess?" added Ron, oblivious of the unintended irony.
"Sure. We can... No, wait. I'd better get on and learn this right now then do a refresher on Wednesday morning. I won't have another free time before then."
Almost forty minutes later Harry stared at his fallen King. "another?" asked Ron.
"No I really, really, must learn this."
"How hard can it be?" Ron said, but without conviction.
"Help me with this and I'll help you with yours." offered Harry.
"Plus three chocolate frogs and two "Every's.' Corbin's is harder than mine."
Harry sighed and resigned himself to an hour or two of boredom.
An hour and a half later he recited to himself for the umpteenth time the stirrings, incantations and counter-stirrings.
"Vindicata, al.. I understand the potion's name now. I reckon Corbin must have had a tough life and planned his revenge on the entire world making this dumb potion..."
"You'd better read it to me, Harry." said Ron.
"Well to rehearse when you tell the class. And no notes."
"Impossible. I am so dead. Ron, would you consider polyjuice..."
"Haha, nice one Harry but there are not enough chocolate frogs in the known universe to get me to stand up in front of Snape and take the stick that he hands out to you, especially in a lost cause like this. If you're thinking of something devious you should try that oratoria thing."
"What?" asked Harry, suddenly more alert.
"Orario something or other I forget. Fred told me about it. Useful for giving speeches at weddings and such. Kind of a nerve tonic."
"Why didn't you tell me before? This is just what I need."
"Harry, it's serious cheating. You could get..." Ron tailed off as Harry ran to call Hermione.
"No way, Harry. Cheating in a school test is punishable with worse than detention." said Hermione, firmly.
Harry thought, "Worse than two hours of mind-numbing pointless imprisonment with your most hated teacher?" but said, "But it wouldn't be cheating. It would be creatively circumventing an impossibly difficult situation." Harry squirmed defensively.
"Oratio Inspiratori is not circumventing - it's cheating plain and..."
"How do you spell that?" interrupted Harry. Hermione rolled her eyes. "Don't worry - Gotta go!" He dashed off heading for the library.
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