Jenna's Notes: I applaud Mr. Daniel Alan Radcliffe for his performance in an episode of "That Play What I Wrote". I know nothing about it, but his pictures of the said performance have a very...lasting effect on this poor demented fanfic author. :)
A fair warning to you all: don't read this chapter if you're eating, especially something gooey.
Many thanks to J.A.A. a.k.a. dindranesdefender, Alli and Amy for the beta.
Hermione Granger scowled at what she was seeing. Aside from the noise made by the Gryffindors running around and yelping, the Common Room was a big, gooey, disgusting mess—thanks to Fred and George Weasley's new invention.
But Hermione the Fifth-Year Gryffindor Prefect didn't know that yet. She was about to raise her wand to call everyone's attention when something round and red, the size of a golf ball, came flying towards her—and burst right in front of her face, spewing a gluey kind of substance all over her head.
The noise immediately stopped. Everyone turned to stare at Hermione, who was brushing sticky bangs off her forehead.
"All right," she growled, glaring at every shocked face in the room, "who did that?"
A hand slowly went upwards. Hermione rolled her eyes. Fred was looking like a young boy being reprimanded by his mother.
Hermione wiped the sticky substance from her face. "What is this?"
"Our latest invention," he said proudly. "Snot Balls."
Hermione's jaw dropped. "This...is...snot?"
Fred grinned sheepishly. "Yeah."
Hermione paled. She pointed her wand at her face, muttered a spell, and the snot suddenly came off. She glared back at Fred. "That'll be ten points from Gryffindor, for attacking a prefect and messing up the Common Room. Be glad that's all I'm taking away."
"Yes, ma'am," said Fred, glancing at George. George was shaking his head. Hermione was all right to hang out with, really, but when she was wearing the silver prefect badge and meaning business, she acted a lot like their elder brother, Percy. Having Hermione as a prefect was like having Percy back, although to a lesser degree, thankfully.
"All right, everyone," she said to the Gryffindors. "I've got an announcement to make. Please sit down." Everyone scrambled for a seat, casting charms to remove the snot stuck on places. "All right, all right. Good. Now, as you all probably know, the people of Hogsmeade are planning to build an orphanage in their village. At the moment, they're asking for donations from everyone, from private donors up to the Ministry of Magic. However, money still seems to be tight, and Hogsmeade still needs a few more Galleons to start the building of the orphanage."
Hermione glanced around the room. "And that's where we—the ever-generous, ever-supportive Hogwarts students—come in," she said dramatically. "The prefects had a meeting this morning regarding the matter, and we decided to start a fundraising activity."
Hermione paused again for effect, as if enjoying everybody's bated breaths, when half of them were actually bored. She pulled out a scrap of parchment from her pocket. "The fundraising activity is going to be really fun. It's...a beauty contest."
The Gryffindors stared at her blankly.
"It's a one-of-a-kind beauty contest, I assure you. Have you people ever heard of the Miss World or the Miss Universe pageants? Well, Miss Hogwarts will be something like that—it's got a talent portion, a question-and-answer portion—"
"A swimsuit competition?" Seamus Finnigan added hopefully.
"There's a swimsuit competition?" Lee Jordan repeated.
The whole room suddenly erupted with cheers from the males. The girls all groaned.
"No, no, there's no swimsuit competition, sorry, and thank you for reminding us all, Seamus," Hermione went on, much to the boys' disappointment. "Now, like I was saying, it'll be like any beauty pageant—except for one thing."
Again, the blank stares from her fellow Gryffindors. Hermione savored their lack of reaction, for she knew that her next words would drop like a bombshell.
"Only male Hogwarts students are allowed to join."
It took a few seconds for the words to sink in to every Gryffindor present in the common room. Finally, George spoke up. "Male...male students?"
"The ones who haven't experienced—or rather, hate the idea of wearing a wig, lipstick, ribbons and dresses, yes," Hermione confirmed, smiling. "Yes, one of you guys is going drag."
"Drag?" Lavender Brown asked. "You mean...they'll go all girly and stuff?"
"Not just girly, Lavender—they'll be up on stage, strutting around in their ball gowns. All for the sake of charity...and, okay, House points."
All the girls shrieked in laughter. The boys, however, looked horrified at the idea.
Hermione looked down at her parchment. "Now, each House must have its own representative. The winner will earn his House two hundred points. The funds will be raised through the ticket sales. Eight sickles a ticket for entrance to the Great Hall, where the contest will be held on Halloween night."
"Hey, that's not fair to us men!" cried Fred. "Why do we have to lose our dignity? What are you girls going to do?"
"Excuse me, Fred," said Angelina Johnson, who was the new captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, "but aren't you man enough to be a girl?"
"Well said, Angelina!" Ginny Weasley called out, clapping with the rest of the girls.
"Fine then," said George. "Can you find anyone here who's man enough to go drag? That's definitely not me."
"Of course it's not you," said Fred, shaking his head sadly. "You're a genetic mishap."
"Very funny." George called Fred something less than brotherly.
"No bad language here, please," Hermione reprimanded George. "But George has just raised a very important question: who in here is man enough to go drag?"
No one spoke for a while. It was probably because no one ever imagined Hermione Granger actually trying to convince the boys to...be girls.
"Well," Lee began thoughtfully, "he has to look a bit like a girl."
"And he has to have a lean build," added Angelina.
"He has to be funny enough to make the audience laugh," Lavender offered. "Talented—you know, for the talent portion. And clever for the question-and-answer portion."
"It wouldn't hurt if he were a bit popular around here," said Seamus.
Something about what Seamus said made Fred's face brighten, as if a light bulb had flashed in his head. "Most of all," he said, "he has to be really willing."
Hermione raised her eyebrows at Fred. Ginny, the youngest of the Weasley siblings and in fourth year, was looking at him curiously.
"Ah yes," George affirmed, nodding. "Really willing. Someone who has a soft spot for orphans."
Hermione's mouth gaped open.
"Someone who's not here to bash us all with what we're planning," said Fred.
"Someone who's in detention right now with dear Ronniekins," said George.
Everyone in the Common Room, save for Hermione and Ginny, burst into laughter.
"You...you..." Ginny sputtered, "you can't mean...him?"