Harry Potter and the Juggernaut's Resolve
I apologise for the late posting but I just wasn't feeling up to writing the ball so I decided to pretty much skip it. Also I had work and such but then again I'm also lazy hehehe
The fatigue Harry felt after the First Task was visible to everyone who saw him the day after. After he completed his morning ablutions he stared at himself in the mirror and did not enjoy what he saw when he felt the tingle that he associated with J trying to speak to him.
'You look terrible Harry.'
'Thank you very much J' Harry snarked back, tone slightly sharp from the stress but mostly good humored.
'None of that cheek Harry. I know you're tired but its best if you don't act like it. You never know who's watching.' J replied, tone understanding as he knew that what Harry had accomplished was things spoken of in legends.
'What are we gonna do now?'
'Now you take a break for a few days before we get down to figuring out the Second Task. Which means no training.'
'No training?' Harry looked horrified at the thought. 'What am I going to do? I need to train J.'
'You can take a day or two off. It's not like you're always in a life or death situation.'
Harry just sputtered at this before coughing and gesturing around himself as if to highlight everything around him.
'Right... You know what I meant...' J was looking rather sheepish as he remembered the fact that Harry was indeed in a life or death situation. 'Enough stalling. Go wake up Neville and meet Hermione and the Twins downstairs. Try building something with your powers. Think of it as lego'
Harry was speechless at this suggestion. 'You want me to use my powers, which just yesterday were used to slay a dragon as lego... LEGO.'
'Yes, now get to it.' J boomed out before chuckling at his expression.
'I'm just waiting for you to tell me that this is joke and that we're going to be doing something that doesn't sound ridiculous.' Harry was unsure if he should be taking this seriously or not.
'OI. Fine. You want to be like that then. Your next assignment is to build a life-sized replica of the dragon you fought using your powers as blocks. Satisfied brat?' Harry couldn't help but sweatdrop at the tone that J used to give him his task. It sounded almost like he was pouting but he wasn't sure if he wanted to confirm whether he was right or not.
Figuring it wasn't worth confirming whether his only positive adult role model was pouting like a child or not he exited the bathroom to find Neville getting out of bed and preparing to do his own ablutions.
"I'll be down in the Common Room Nev. We'll wait for you before we go down" Harry supplied, his tone questioning as to give Neville the option to decline. Neville merely nodded groggily before staggering into the bathroom.
Harry just laughed and made his way down before sitting at a table near the window, legs crossed staring out over the horizon looking all the more like a king looking over his kingdom.
He was lost in his thoughts when he felt a tingling in the air making its way down the girl's dormitory staircase which snagged his attention. He stood and turned, a smile blooming onto his face as he saw Hermione walking towards him with an excitement that he felt reflected inside himself.
"Good morning Mister Potter. Glad to see you're doing well after slaying your second magical beast. I can see the headlines now. Harry Potter, Beast Slayer." Hermione ribbed at her partner, colorful sparks leaping around her hair showing that what she said was out of jest.
"Good morning Miss Granger. Let's hope that the masses see it as something like that. Maybe the fangirls will give up then." They both shuddered at that, the fear that is fangirls was truly horrifying.
They stood there for a few minutes, trading flirts and as the distance slowly shrunk between them the aura became so sickly sweet that when the Twins came down they started gagging and imposing themselves onto the two.
"Knock it off you two. We don't want the ickle firsties to overdose on sweetness." Fred said from where he was draped over Harry's shoulder.
"Let's get down to the Great Hall. At least that way you can sweeten the coffee and tea for everyone." Joked George as they escorted them through the Portrait Hole and down to the food.
Harry shrugged Fred off and moved to take Hermione's hand in his own causing sparks to jump between them and their personal magic's' twining between the two through their hands bring smiles to both their faces.
Just ahead of the two the Twins were mucking around and pretending to choke on the cuteness that was being displayed by the two.
"Go on without me Fred. I won't be able to make it."
"Don't leave me George. We can make it. We have to."
Everyone in the Entrance Hall were laughing at the Twins and how they were acting, including said couple who were subtly being made fun of.
"Ready to face the world Potter?"
"You know it Granger."
The two shared a smile before bracing themselves and striding into the Great Hall. Hermione's hand had gravitated from Harry's and settled with her arm being looped through his. Their strides matching, they gave off a distinctly regal aura and made their way down to the Gryffindor table where Harry helped Hermione sit before sitting himself next to her.
The Hall which had previously been silent as they had made their way in burst into whispers, both excited and dismayed at the picture that they painted. Harry could have sworn he heard a wail from somewhere in the Hall, causing him to shudder.
Hermione merely looked at him with a raised eyebrow and a question in her eyes.
"Fangirls" was all Harry shared before the both of them shuddered again at the thought of the crazy demon spawn.
Over the next 20 minutes the Hall slowly filled as more and more made their way to fuel up for the day. As it looked like everyone was attending to their hunger Dumbledore stood up to make an announcement.
"It is my pleasure to announce that over Christmas we will be hosting the Yule Ball that is traditional to the Tournament. It is open to 4th years and over but younger years may be invited."
At the word ball whispers raced along the tables as girls gossiped about who they wanted to go with them and what they would be wearing whereas the boys merely groaned and more than one head hit the table.
Harry just looked at Hermione with an eyebrow raised and a jerk of his head before he received a smile and a nod in response to his unasked question.
"Of course I would Harry. It would be my pleasure. Although I do need to ask this now, do you dance Mr Potter?"
Harry just laughed sheepishly and scratched his head confirming her thoughts on the matter.
"I can teach you then. We'll need to find a classroom and music..." She was starting to get into her flow when Harry cut across her.
"We don't need to find a classroom. J wants me to build a lifesized replica of the dragon I fought out of magical lego but I can do that another day. I'll just build the room on the grounds, overlooking the lake with privacy spells built in to keep it just us."
"Are you taking me out on a date Harry?" Hermione smiled coyly at him, batting her lashes at him before thinking about what he just said. "Wait a second... magical lego?"
"Just roll with it. I don't even want to think about it..." was all the reply she got as they went back to eating.
The days passed by in relatively chilly neutrality as if the world itself was holding its breath, waiting to see what would happen next. The newest power-couple spent their days attending classes and part of their nights and off periods spent dancing, for one half of the pair at least, in a greenhouse made from Harry's 'magical lego' as he dubbed them.
The two had spent the last few hours just twirling away under the stars that showed through the translucent roof the adorned their current dancing spot, a hidden clearing located near the lake and covered by a large outcropping on one side and the lake on another leaving only one direction for people to approach them.
A slight buzzing could be heard as the wizarding radio that they had been dancing to made the noise that Hermione had charmed as an alarm went off. As they slowly stopped turning and just stood there, looking into each other's eyes, breathless from the physical activity and the close proximity between the two before the noise dialed down until all they could hear were their respective heartbeats and the sound of waves crashing against the rocks.
After seconds of standing like this Harry drew Hermione against the rocks where he leaned against them and pulled her so that he was sandwiched between the rocks and her. He then wrapped his arms around her stomach and lay his head on her shoulders and simply stood there content with the world and feeling her magic twine against his in a caressing manner.
"So how do I score for that session Miss Granger?" suddenly breaking the comfortable silence they had surrounding them.
"Quite well Mr Potter. We'll make a dancer of you yet, but let's go inside, I am quite famished."
"Agreed." The short reply was supported by the low grumbling that echoed throughout the box. As Harry offered his arm to Hermione, he waved his other hand to cancel the magic that he had placed around them, causing it to collapse in a similar way to the archway to Diagon Alley.
The pair walked up the grounds and through the Entrance Hall before Harry guides them to the right towards the kitchens. At Hermione's raised eyebrow he merely replied "Fangirls." She felt a shudder pass through his body as they both remembered the scene the day after the ball was announced.
Harry had just walked into the Great Hall when he paused and felt an eerie foreboding that warned him to run. Immediately. 'What was that feeling J?'
'Now I don't want to alarm you Harry but I would recommend you not to eat in the Hall for a few days out of the presence of your friends.'
'Why would I not want to eat alone?' Harry was quite confused at this piece of advice but then the warning feeling became ten times worse when there was a blinking noise that seemed to echo throughout the Hall.
He felt his face paling as if he was experiencing an out of body moment. He turned slowly, preparing himself to flee at a moment's notice as he took in what was happening before him. A crowd of girls was making their way to him slowly, as if they were a tide of ooze, slowly creeping forward. Eyes unblinking as they stared hungrily.
Behind the crowd he could see Neville and the Twins motioning for him to run long and hard and not stop for anything.
'If you're going to run now is the time. Make sure you have your bubble up first though' advised J nonchalantly as if it didn't concern him in the slightest. Which it didn't as he proceeded to remind Harry after picking up that thought.
'Traitor' thought Harry as he unconsciously pouted and showing it on his face, sending a wave of sighs throughout the wave of girls, bring Harry back to the present and his quite possible demise.
Coughing gently to clear his throat, he sent a cautious question into the crowd.
"Can I help you ladies, in any way?"
Silence was all that answered him, silent and wavering, the crowd took on a red hue, with only the robes and hair providing flecks of different colours.
"Baaaaallllllll" came a slow, spine shuddering warble from somewhere in the middle of the crowd. At that point of time it became apparent to Harry that he should run and run he did. He sprinted up the stairs as fast as he could before approaching the wall on the landing.
The crowd surged after him but Harry proved that the additional physical training was to his benefit as he leaped up until he was three quarters of the way up the wall before performing a tumble roll similar to an Olympic swimmer and rocketing back down the stairs over the mob and sprinting out the doors.
"YOU'LL NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE!" He shouted hysterically as he ran onto the grounds and away to the lake. The mob followed him as they pushed and tripped themselves to be the first to reach him.
Hermione merely stood there on the landing entirely confused at what just happened and figured she'd just help him when he showed up to class and made her way down to breakfast.
Harry turned up to class 15 minutes late, which happened to be Transfiguration, cuts littering his body, twigs and leaves in his hair and clothing ripped, panting as he sealed the door with as many layers of shields as he could fit.
Professor McGonagall was not impressed as she took in his appearance with a raised eyebrow with the rest of the class sniggering at him.
"May I ask why you were not on time today Mr Potter?" drawled McGonagall, everything about her radiating disapproval.
Harry merely stood there panting as he fought to catch his breath, his vision going blurry.
"Fangirls…your fault….." was all he managed to get out before he fell to his knees and passed out on the floor.
"Oh my. I guess I should have seen this would happen. Longbottom, Finnigan and Thomas, help Potter to his seat. There's not much we can do about this. Fangirls are out of my expertise."
"Now let's get back to the Common Room before Filch catches us and threatens us with bodily harm and detention." Declared Harry after the two of them finished eating.
'Don't worry about the house elves Hermione. They're fine as they are.' J interjected as they climbed through the portrait hole.
"How can I…" gasped Hermione aghast. "It's practically slave labour. Do they get sick leave and pay and holidays? How can…" She was just getting started when J cut her off.
'It's the same thing as I have with Harry. It's a symbiotic relationship. He provides me with magic to live, I supply him with my own personal abilities. Hogwarts supplies the house elves with magic to live, the elves provide cleaning and cooking to everyone in the castle.'
"If you want to help them, try thinking about the laws rather than merely trying to free them?" supplied Harry gently, knowing fully well how she felt about such things before kissing her on the cheek and making his way up the stairs to his bed.
"I'll see you tomorrow 'Mione. Try to get some sleep."
"Night Harry" was the only reply he knew he was going to get as she was already deep into her thoughts, staring into the fire.
The days leading up to the ball were spent in the almost constant presence of Hermione with Neville, Dean and Seamus providing cover for Harry to run from class to class to escape the constant hounding of the fangirls until Hermione had finally put her foot down and confronted the mob of girls during lunch one day.
"THAT IS IT. HARRY IS MINE AND I AM SICK OF YOU GIRLS HOUNDING HIM DAY AND NIGHT. NOW LAY OFF AND KEEP YOUR DISTANCE OR YOU WILL FIND YOURSELVES FACING THE BUSINESS END OF MY WAND AND YOU WILL REGRET IT."
It might have been the fact that she was shouting, or the ozone smell permeating the air or simply the lightning crackling through her hair that finally got her point to the fangirls but to Harry's relief the fangirls finally decided to keep their distance.
People swore that for the next few days, girls could be seen bawling their eyes out throughout the corridors giving life to the rumour to the newest Hogwarts legend. The Week of Weeping.
The ball itself was not that impressive in Harry's opinion. He could only remember a few snippets of the night.
Hermione appearing down the stairs of the dormitory in a dress that hugged her curves that was made of a light blue almost white material.
Walking down at the head of the Gryffindor contingent with Hermione arm in arm.
Twirling around the dance floor with only Hermione in his eyes.
The kiss good night at midnight at the base of the dormitory stairs to the whistles and catcalls of the rest of their housemates.
Harry went to bed that night with all thoughts on Hermione and goofy smile on his face as he relived the dancing he did with her until he finally drifted off to sleep.