Disclaimer: The squid and
all other HP characters belong to J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury and Scholastic. No
money is made of this and no copyright infringement is intended.
For One Day
Voldemort’s creepy voice
carried through the thick, damp undergrowth of the Forbidden Forest, scaring
away any living creature in a two-mile area. Any creature, that is, but his
most faithful servant, the infamous Wormtail - who had once inadvertently
caused his master’s downfall by betraying the Potters to him. Lord Voldemort
had not been able to kill a little boy, and since then Harry Potter had posed
as an obstacle to his plans, but the boy’s chivalry gave a new life to
Voldemort in the end. Now it was time for Harry Potter and all his friends to
die a horribly slow and painful death.
“Wormtail,” the Dark Lord
“Do you have all the
ingredients for our special Halloween surprise?” A thin, cackling laugh escaped
from Voldemort’s cruel lips.
Wormtail, formerly known as
Peter Pettigrew, bowed conspicuously low to avoid his master’s gaze. He was no
fool, even if he behaved like one, and he could read Voldemort’s moods well –
tonight the Lord was out to kill.
“Yes, sir. Of course,
sir. It’s all here.” And with that he
placed the heavy cauldron he had been carrying in front of his Lord’s feet, and
immediately lit a magical fire beneath it. After he had dropped the ingredients
in the steaming potion, he backed away from his
master, careful not to attract his attention again. It was better to stay clear
of the Forbidden Forest tonight.
Voldemort did not notice
Wormtail’s disappearance; too enthralled was he with the making of his newest
evil creation. This potion, simply called Drought, when generously distributed
to the waters of the Hogwarts lake, would end all his petty problems.
His evil laughter spread
through the forest again, and this time there were no living creatures left to
flee from him.
* * *
The giant squid did not
reside in the lake in front of Hogwarts for appearances only. It was her job to
cleanse the water and render it drinkable – not only to allow the Merpeople to
live at the bottom of the lake, but also for use at Hogwarts. Where else would
they get their water, if not from the lake? The Giant Squid loved her job and
had never complained about anything until now.
Dumbledore watched Hagrid
while the half-giant listened to the magnificent sobs of a very purple, very
disturbed Squid. The headmaster sensed evil deeds and wondered whether
Voldemort was involved in any of it. But what would be gained by poisoning the
Giant Squid? Sometimes Voldemort’s twisted thoughts were beyond even
A grim smile played on the
Headmaster’s lips. He wouldn’t allow Voldemort to destroy tomorrow’s Halloween
party - the students needed a night of fun and laughter for a change. Things
were tough enough with a war at hand and Death Eaters killing innocent Muggles
left and right - his students deserved this break from reality, with a real
Muggle-costume-party. He knew for a fact that
even certain Slytherins were thrilled with the idea of dressing up and being
someone else for one day.
He returned to the castle and nothing else of
importance happened that night.
* * *
The houses were alive with silly chattering,
laughter and preparations for the costume ball. A pair of blue eyes watched as
Lavender Brown tried her best to convince Hermione Granger that dressing up as
Yeti would not be the best choice for a costume, especially not if she wanted
to attract *that* kind of attention. Lavender’s eyes strayed to the boy
watching them, shaking her head – probably wondering for the thousandth time
what her roommate saw in him. Shrugging, she
seemed to resolve to leave it be and help someone who deserved her valuable
* * *
Hermione, however, did
obviously not want to attract that kind of attention ever again, not after he
had reacted so violently and critically. He was her best friend after all, and she couldn’t stand losing him. And if that meant
giving up any hope of a romantic relationship with him, then she would gladly
oblige. Or so she told herself over and over again. The sweet kitty costume
that was hidden deep down in her trunk and emphasized her curves in all the
right places – that was saying something else entirely.
* * *
From a corner of the
Gryffindor Common Room, two pairs of eyes looked on as Hermione fought off
Lavender’s extremely – questionably? - beneficial comments. Harry Potter, the
boy who lived and a great Seeker, watched the scene in some amusement, but his
eyes rested almost as often on his best friend, Ron Weasley. He couldn’t help
but grin when he was faced with the totally oblivious Ron, who had been in love
with their other best friend Hermione since at least third year, if not
“Must be a spell of some
sort,” the redhead muttered.
Harry almost burst out
laughing when he realized what his best friend was on about. “A spell?” he
Ron, eyes widening, tried
to cover up his slip-of-the-tongue. “I… uh…” Well, Ron certainly wasn’t the
most articulate boy on the planet when it came to the single most important
Harry raised his brow,
reining in the grin that threatened to reveal his thoughts. Ron couldn’t stand
his inquiring gaze for long and spilled the whole confusing story about how
*something* had been affecting him for a while now, making his head all dizzy
and his heart flutter. Harry couldn’t hold it back any longer and burst out
laughing. Ron scowled.
* * *
All of Hogwarts went to bed
with Halloween and costumes on their minds, but two Gryffindors in particular couldn’t find sleep at all. They kept thinking of
knowing that nothing would come of tomorrow night except embarrassment and
frustration. Each looked decidedly the worse for wear the next morning, and
each had a mood to match – they were both touchier than landmines.
Hermione and Ron had
somehow managed to get very angry at each other for no reason whatsoever. The
Gryffindors kept well out of the line of fire. Still, by lunchtime, their new
fight was common knowledge in the whole of Hogwarts. Maybe it was defiance, or
annoyance - we may never find out - but
Hermione decided to be the sensual cat instead of the timid Yeti at the ball.
Walking into the Great Hall
with more than a little panic, she looked around for Ron and Harry, but the
myriad of costumes made it impossible to recognize anyone for sure. She took
another deep breath and just let herself be swept away by the animated
atmosphere. She kept dancing with a tall boy in a Spiderman costume. She didn’t
know why, but she felt inadvertently drawn to him. That would show Ron, she
thought to herself, amused, dancing with the
enemy, and one dressed as a spider, no less.
The teachers had, after
many fights and arguments with Dumbledore, agreed to join in the fun and dress
up as well. It was no big surprise that Professor Snape’s costume looked
suspiciously like Count Dracula and Professor Sprout had dressed up as an Ent.
The fact that they danced – with each other – was a shock though. Even
Dumbledore and his staff seemed to be enjoying themselves when suddenly a flash
of lightning broke the air, and Voldemort appeared with his goons. Hermione was
about to ask how they had managed to Apparate onto school grounds when she
realized how silly that would sound, swallowing her remark. A Portkey was the
only logical conclusion.
Now, Voldemort is a scary
sight, but imagine the darkest of dark wizards and a group of ten or more Death
Eaters huddled around a pumpkin – with a bunny carved in its shell. Scattered
laughter soon evolved into a roaring cacophony of laughing boys’ and girls’
voices. Dumbledore himself laughed heartily before he addressed the cause of
all this commotion. His eyes were suddenly bare of all humor.
“Whatever brought you here,
The Dark Lord obviously
seethed with anger and frustration at being mocked. “I’m here to take what’s
mine – and should have been for the longest time.” Despite the gravity of the
situation – in most students’ minds the fact had registered that they were
facing the real Voldemort – the involuntary rhyme sent the students into new
fits of laughter. Sometimes, in a situation like this, laughter is the only
thing that keeps one sane.
“Stop your cackling,”
Voldemort yelled, causing the hall to fall silent almost immediately. “Your
water was poisoned with a potion called Drought. It draws all the magical
energy from the person who drinks it. You’re all at my mercy now!” The strange
noise escaping from his lips must have been his excuse for laughter.
Dumbledore only smiled.
With a flick of his wand, the Portkey activated again, sending the Death Eaters
and Voldemort back to whatever hell they had come from. McGonagall raised an
inquiring eyebrow at her mentor and friend, her eyes sparkling with something
akin to admiration. Hermione herself didn’t know how he could have done it.
When she strained her ears all she could make out was a comment about “bottled water
from France” before the headmaster asked Professor McGonagall to dance.
When Dumbledore and
McGonagall began to sway to the music, others fell in, and soon the hall was
filled with couples waltzing the night away.
surprise was waiting for her when she turned around. The Spiderman had pulled
the mask from his face, revealing telltale red hair and freckles.
Staring in the eyes of one
very disturbed Ron, who had chosen to dress up as Spiderman for several reasons
- none of them being the form-fitting outfit, Hermione swallowed the assortment
of anger, pride and fear and held out her hand to dance.
Ron took it, his mouth
slightly opened with unspoken questions.
* * *
Ron’s mind was occupied
with love-spells and potions and the gravity of Voldemort’s appearance when he
took Hermione’s hand to dance. He was surprised at how good and right it felt
in his own, larger hand.
“No spell then?” he
whispered in her ear and it a statement – not a question.
“No spells, no potions.”
They locked eyes. “This is real.” It was a promise more than anything else.
And so passed another
Halloween with evil madness, a sickly squid and love at Hogwarts School of
Witchcraft and Wizardry – not necessarily in that order.