~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was all over the school by sundown—Professor Dumbledore had been overheard announcing to the staff by an unknown source that the next week—which just happened to be Halloween—there was going to be a Halloween Ball! Ginny Weasley was in her room, which she had gotten specially because she was Head Girl. She was very proud of it—and who wouldn't be? It was nearly as large as the Great Hall and in red and gold, so bright Ginny was surprised she hadn't gone blind.

She was, as is often the case with our beautiful heroines, staring out the window, contemplating the future of the Wizarding world, which looked quite horrid at the moment. "Poor Draco," she sighed, a tear dropping onto the essay she was supposed to be working on for Professor Snape. He was so conflicted, and it nearly tore her heart in two—but she couldn't let him know any of that. If he knew she cared about him, he would laugh at her and Ron would hate her.

Quite suddenly, she was jerked out of her thoughts when someone on a broom appeared outside her window. She gasped—it was Draco! "What are you doing?" she whispered.

He grinned mischievously at her, motioning for her get on the broom. Normally she would never obey the commands of such an arrogant boy, but the sight of Draco in tight leather pants and a silk shirt made her mind go to mush. She climbed on the broom precariously, knowing that he was a skilled flyer and would no doubt catch her if she fell. "Oh, Draco," she sighed, leaning back against him.

Draco breathed in the scent of her cinnamon-colored hair. It smelled like peaches, apples, oranges, and—was that chocolate? "Ginny," he sighed.

They flew around the castle, right by Professor McGonagall's bedroom window. But of course, she did not wake up because all the teachers take five sedatives before they get into bed to make sure they do not interrupt any student's trysts by waking up at the wrong time. However, when they flew by Professor Dumbledore's bedroom window, he waved merrily at them, not docking any house points at all.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Meanwhile, Hermione and the Durmstrang exchange student, Tyler, were in the Astronomy Tower, snogging to their hearts' content. "Ah, 'Er-my-knee, you are so beautiful," he sighed.

Hermione burst into tears.

Tyler looked shocked, but promptly pulled her into his arms—hadn't she already been there?—and rubbed her back. "My dear, what es the matter?"

"How can you tell me I'm beautiful when I'm really so utterly ugly?" she wailed.

"But you are beautiful!"

"Don't tell such lies," she sobbed.

Tyler said nothing, but continued rubbing her back. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw two other students beginning their own tryst. He shrugged it off.

By the time Hermione stopped crying, it was almost morning, and Tyler was fast asleep. She shook him, and he woke up immediately, having no morning breath or squeaky voice. It was just something about those Durmstrang students, she supposed.

"'Er-my-knee, are you all right now?"

She sniffed, but nodded, and they proceeded to finish what they had been doing before she began crying.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

One week later on Halloween, all of the girls were rushing around, getting ready for the wonderful Halloween Ball their Headmaster had announced.

"Oh, Hermione!" Ginny sighed. "I cannot believe you didn't think to get a dress before this! Now we've no time at all to go to Hogsmeade!"

Hermione, tossing her sleek, mahogany-colored hair, said, "I don't see why I need to get all dressed up."

"It's a ball!" Ginny exclaimed. "Parvati! Lavender!" she called. The two appeared, immaculately dressed and coiffed, from behind their respective bed curtains. "I need help—we must make Hermione beautiful!"

"But—" Hermione tried to interrupt, but was quickly sedated by the immense amount of hair spray being directed her way.

Five and a half hours later, Lavender wiped her brow. "Oh, thank goodness you were here," she said, directing her comment towards the French girl, who had appeared nearly five hours earlier. "I don't know how we would have figured out what to get her to wear."

"Oh, yes," Parvati said, nodding. "It's simply wonderful that you know so much about fashion!"

"Ah, eet iz nut-ing," the French girl replied, waving a manicured hand delicately in the air.

Ginny glanced at Hermione, who was unconscious in her chair in front of the mirror. "Do you think we should wake her?" Ginny asked.

"Yes, definitely," Lavender said, nodding. "However, I believe I will head to the common room first, don't you, Parvati?"

Both girls disappeared faster than one could mutter, "Quidditch," which Ginny did. The French girl, too, had mysteriously disappeared. Ginny sighed. "Ennervate."

Hermione awoke to an empty room. She looked at her reflection and gasped, nearly going under again. She looked like a bloody clown! Well, not a bloody clown, but she looked like a clown!

The mirror chuckled at her expression. "Deary, what's the matter? You look simply gorgeous."

"Oh, do shut up," Hermione hissed. She gasped as she glanced at the clock. Merlin's knickers! It was only ten minutes until the ball began—she didn't have time to change at all. She hurried down the stairs, ignoring the many thumps that came upon her entrance from boys simply overwhelmed by her beauty.

"Hermione," the gum-snapping American said, pronouncing her name 'Her-me-own,' "Would ya care to come down ta the Great 'All wit me? Ah'm afraid Ah don't have a date."

Hermione, though startled, said, "Of course," feeling it was her duty to escort any dateless girls to the ball.

As soon as the two entered the Great Hall, they were promptly swept away by those men simply waiting to grab hold of them. "Professor!" Hermione gasped, as they danced the mambo, quickly clearing out any competition. "I didn't know you could dance!"

"There are a lot of things you don't know about me," Professor Snape replied devilishly, leaning down to kiss her senseless.

"Father!" a girl yelled. The music stopped abruptly, and it was suddenly very quiet. A girl, about seventeen years old, ran across the dance floor and threw herself at Professor Snape. "Father, it's you! I knew it would be!"

Hermione fainted, thought she was skillfully caught by Professor Snape, despite the seventeen year old girl hanging off his front. That girl pulled away, saying, to a very quiet and curious crowd, "My name is Alicia Rhianna Lillian Emerald Willamette Snape." She brushed back her unruly black hair, continuing, "I've been living in a Muggle orphanage for nearly sixteen years, ever since my mother was murdered by Voldemort."

Half the crowd fainted at the sound of Voldemort's name, the other half catching them. Blaise Zabini looked quite happy with two girls in his arms.

"No, Ally," Snape put a restraining hand on his daughter's arm. "You must not tell them."

"I must and I will," she said, straightening to her full height of approximately six feet, her emerald green eyes flashing. "My mother was Lily Evans, my father is Severus Snape, and I have a twin brother whose name is Harry."

There was a terrified scream quickly identified as Harry Potter's, who, though seemingly slow, had promptly understood that everything he had known for years was now wrong! Severus Snape was his father! And he had a twin sister! Ron, meanwhile, had fallen to the floor, unable to move or make a single sound.

Snape dashed to his son, who was looking very overwhelmed while the entire crowd of third years on upwards (though there were very many first and second years, who had easily snuck into the party despite the many wards in place because they are all incredibly smart) watched the display. "Harry," he said, placing a hand on his son's arm. "Son, I am so sorry I couldn't tell you sooner, but if I had the Dark Lord would have killed you, my last link to my wonderful, wonderful wife, Lily."

Harry blinked. "But he already wanted to kill me."

Snape put a hand over his eyes, facing away from Harry. He said, with a barely restrained sob, "But he would have wanted to kill you more!"

"Oh, Severus," Hermione said, who had luckily regained consciousness just in the nick of time, and dashed over to hug the professor. "It's all right, dearest, I'm here now!"

"Attention!" Professor Dumbledore called, standing at the Head Table. "Alicia Snape will be attending Hogwarts from now on, despite the fact that up until this point she has had no Wizarding schooling whatsoever." His eyes twinkled merrily as he continued, "Minerva! Would you please fetch the Sorting Hat?"

However, Minerva, goddess that she was, had already known that the Sorting Hat would be needed, and appeared in less than five seconds with the Hat and stool in hand. She placed the stool down and set the Hat upon the tall girl's head.

"Ah, yes," the Sorting Hat said in Ally's ear. She nearly jumped, having not known much of Wizarding devices until this very moment. "Plenty of courage, that's for sure. And a thirst to prove yourself… Oh, my, you would do very well in Slytherin, wouldn't you? But such a wonderful mind, I would hate to put it in the company of such filth—and such talent!"

'Er, excuse me,' Ally thought hard in the direction of the Sorting Hat. 'Where's my brother?'

"Harry? He is in Gryffindor… Which, I believe, is just where I'll put you!

"GRYFFINDOR!" the Hat shouted. A short silence, followed by loud clapping from almost every direction, given that all of the students were freely mixing with everyone else.

"We've got Ally, we've got Ally!" The Weasley twins, who had, for some extremely odd and unknown reason, decided to forget their dreams of owning their own joke shop and stay in seventh year until all their siblings were graduated.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Meanwhile, in a secluded garden on the far side of the castle, a garden which not even Filch, the smarmy git, knew about, there sat two people, simply staring at the stars. Ginny, who was one of those people, sighed. She and Draco—who was the other person—had had to dance together for the first five dances because they were the Head Boy and Girl.

"And that one," Draco said, pointing above them, "is Draconis."

Ginny nodded, squinting. Although she was the smartest in the entire castle, Astronomy was simply beyond her and she was grateful that Draco had offered to help her learn the stars and their constellations, or she knew she would fail the class.

"Oh, Draco," she sighed, placing her hand in his.

"Ginny, dearest," Draco said, rolling over and looking deeply into her eyes, "if my father finds out about us, he will kill you. We must keep our relationship a secret."

"But I wanted to tell all my friends about you!" Ginny said, her eyes filling with tears.

"Oh, so you like dating a million gad-zillionaire, is that it? You don't care about me?"

Ginny looked alarmed, placing a hand on his arm. "Oh, of course not, Draco! I care about you!" She looked away suddenly.

"Oh, Ginny! You care about me?" Draco asked.

"Of course I do, can't you tell? I nearly faint whenever you touch me."

"You should have said something," Draco said matter-of-factly.

"Well I didn't realize you were so dense," Ginny snapped.

"Don't be made, Ginny-Winny," Draco said, rubbing her cheek.

"I love it when you call me that," she sighed.

Quite suddenly, Draco was bodily heaved off of Ginny and thrown to the ground, tackled by a red-headed tornado. "Don't you ever call her 'Ginny-Winny'!"

Ginny gasped. "Ron, no!" She ran forward, easily throwing her brother, who probably weighed fifty pounds more than she did and was nearly a foot taller, off her boyfriend, who was busy gasping for breath and rolling on the floor, even though he was two inches taller than Ron.

"Oh, Draco," she gasped, kissing his wounds while Ron groaned. Why on earth had he ever taught her to punch?

And while Ginny was kissing Draco's wounds, and Harry, Ally, and Snape were staring at each other, attempting to figure out what to say, Minerva and Albus prepared to get into bed for a bit of hanky-panky before going to sleep.