The Yule Ball, Revised Pt. 6

Note: This is a work of fanfiction and nothing else. All rights to Harry Potter belong to J.K. Rowling and I do not claim to own this. This story was originally published on fanfiction.net under my penname of TheTruthIsInsideOfYou. This is the first new chapter, which I will post both here then on fanfiction.net tomorrow.

Chapter 6

“How do I breathe underwater?” Harry slammed 1001 Magical Herbs and Fungi shut and looked at Hermione. “Honestly, they’re going to kill us with this task.” Hermione rolled her eyes at Harry’s actions before rubbing his back.

“We’ll figure it out Harry.” She opened another book in the stack next to her and looked at Harry again. “I don’t suppose you could transfigure your head into a shark’s head?” Harry’s blank look made Hermione chuckle.

“Human transfiguration? Hermione I had trouble learning the summoning charm! I don’t even know how to swim!” He stood, pacing and glancing at Madame Pince, who was watching him with her vulture-like eyes. He lowered his voice. “How am I supposed to learn to swim before this task?”

“Oh Harry…” Hermione shook her head at her boyfriend. “We can go back to the Prefects bathroom and practice. But that’s not what you have to worry about. You have to be able to breathe underwater. Maybe an Aqua Lung?”

Harry looked at Hermione as though she was speaking a foreign language. “Er, what’s that?”

“You know, like muggle scuba divers use. So they can stay underwater for long times. I wonder if we could even get one delivered here.” She had that look on her face now, the one that said she’d had a revelation. “Maybe I can ask mum?” She flipped through the book, frustrated she couldn’t find any more information on breathing underwater. Harry looked at her, grinned and then frowned.

“Err-Hermione? I’ve just thought of another problem. I don’t have any swim trunks.” His face turned red as he spoke. “The Dursleys never bothered, probably figured if I died it would be no problem for them.”

“I’ll just owl mum and ask her to send some. What’s your pant size?” Harry’s face fell.

“Pant size? I don’t know Hermione. Madame Malkin never told me and all I had before Hogwarts was Dudley’s old ones.” He shrugged at Hermione’s incredulous looks.

“Harry, that’s not….” She stopped. “I’ll just ask mum to send a few. She should be more than happy to.” Harry nodded his thanks. “I wonder… Hermione, do you think House Elves might know anything about breathing under-” His statement was interrupted by a crack and the appearance of a house elf. He wore Hermione’s knitted hats, the shapeless fabric stacked atop his head.

“Dobby?” The house elf smiled. “Dobby is be hearing that Master Harry Potter sir is be needing helps with his TriWiz task?”

Hermione looked at Dobby, her eyes narrowing. “Dobby why do you have all the hats from the common room?”

“Dobby is being sorry Miss Grangy, but the other house elves is being not wanting to clean the tower because of the hatses. Dobby is now being the only elf cleaning Gryffindor tower.” He turned to Harry, his eyes wide in admiration. “Is Master Harry be needing help?”

Harry, trying to contain his mirth at Dobby’s explanation to Hermione, found tears in the corners of his eyes. “Dobby, do you know how I could breathe underwater for an hour?” Dobby’s ears began bobbing and the hats nearly tumbled from his head.

“Dobby is be hearing about something in the staff room. Professor Moody is being talking about Gillyweed, Dobby thinks its called.” Hermione smacked her head, dashing off to another part of the library, muttering what sounded like how could I be so stupid. It reminded Harry of their first year and the whole Philosopher’s Stone research.

“Thank you Dobby.” Harry grinned at his friend and watched as the house-elf disapparated, the hats nearly falling off of his head. Hermione returned with a book.

“What’s that?” Harry was curious, watching as Hermione opened the book.

“1001 Magical Herbs and Fungi Harry. It was a textbook from our first year, or did you not bother to open it?” Hermione’s tone was serious and Harry couldn’t be sure if she was joking or not.

“Uh…. Right. So what is gillyweed?” Harry moved closer to Hermione, his breath on her neck as he looked at the text with her.

“Gillyweed. It, uh, allows you to breathe underwater for an hour.” Hermione’s voice was slightly breathless as she spoke, Harry’s breath affecting her more than she would care to admit.

“So, if I can find some, I can breathe underwater? But how does it work?” He was excited, not noticing the tone of Hermione’s speech.

“I, uh, it’s not clear here. Maybe Neville would know more? But you should owl order it as soon as you can. And get extra, so you can practice with it.” Hermione closed the book, slipping away from Harry.

“Harry?” The voice of the Durmstrang champion cut through Harry’s musings.

“Victor.” Harry’s voice was pleasant. “What did you need?”

“I vas vondering if I could speak to you about Hermioninny?” Harry looked up at the champion, and looked for Hermione.

“Uh, she should be back in a moment. Just let me tell her I’m speaking with you.” He caught her eye and she nodded, having heard the conversation between them. Harry walked with Victor, strolling out of the library.

“Vas it improper of me to have taken her to zee ball? I see zhat you are close.” Victor looked down at Harry as he spoke.

“Oh, uh, no. That uh, that all happened after the ball Victor. I would like to thank you for taking her actually, until Ron spoiled the night it was great.” The Durmstrang boys face darkened at the mention of the redhead.

“Da, I do not like the way he looks at Hermioniny. I am glad zhat it was not an affront to have taken her to zhe ball. I am most interested in making friends with you. I understand zhat you are a great Quidditch player?” Victor had a smile on his face as he spoke.

Harry was dumbfounded at the question. “Well, I’m a fair flyer I guess, but not as good as you, I mean I don’t play professionally.”

“Well zhen, we should play Quidditch sometime, no?” Harry nodded at Victor’s suggestion, wondering how Ron would feel about him getting asked to play Quidditch with his idol, but shook off the thought. Ron would have to prove that he was his friend again before Harry would let him know about this. He didn’t need any more of Ron’s jealousy issues.

“Well, I’d enjoy that sometime, but right now I’m still working on the egg clue. I should go back to Hermione, we were going to have lunch after this.” Victor nodded, waving to Harry as he left for the library.

“Hermione?” He walked to their table, looking for his girlfriend. He found her in the history section, reading about the Merpeople and their culture. He tapped her on the shoulder. “Should we head to the Owlry then the Great Hall?”

So, here’s the next update on my story. I will be posting part 7 next Friday, with the lead up to the Second Task and the Second Task. Also, be on the lookout for an interview I’ll be posting with Bert Entwistle about self-publishing and freelance writing. Happy Reading, 

Jessica. 

Pt 1 Pt 2 Pt 3 Pt 4 Pt 5

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