Disclaimer: noun – a) piddly little statement squeezed into the top margins of a fanfic, with no legal fortitude whatsoever, that supposedly protects one from being sued by richer people whose property will be blatantly stolen and exploited in the pages to follow, but really just amounts to a poor college kid begging.

The Gossips

           "That's Potter's girlfriend, Loony Lovegood."

           "Cute face.  Looks dumber than bricks."

           "She's kinda spacey, but she's got a sodding scary memory and reflexes like a tiger when she wants to.  I saw her curse Goyle once when he tried to steal her hat right off her head.  Didn't even turn around, just waited for the hat to settle back in place and kept on walking along, humming like she was on a stroll in the park."

           "I thought Harry was dating Hermione Granger?"

           "No, I know what you're thinking of but you've got it mixed up.  Hermione was dating Ron Weasely two weeks ago, but Ron accused her of cheating with Harry Potter so Hermione dumped him.  You didn't hear about it because it was the last day of Yule break, but it was bad.  Big, public fight.  He had three different girls from Gryffindor come up and slap him in the face the next morning."

           "No shit.  Why?"

           "Couldn't rightly say.  But it was funny, in a sad way.  Jus' walked up, smacked him, and walked off.  No explanations."

           "All the exciting stuff happens when I go home."

           "They'll probably make up again soon, in some big, gushy and romantic display.  Overly-emotional Gryffindors, you know.  Live for dramatics and take everything to the extreme."

           "But if she cheated with Harry, how are you so sure that they'll make up?"

           "Nobody thinks she did, except Ron.  Potter's been dating Luna since the beginning of the year, and barely a harsh word between them in that time.  At least that's what Collin told me, and I admit I've never seen them fighting in the halls or anything."

           "Maybe Harry got bored."

           "It's possible, but I don't think so.  I mean, maybe, but Hermione and Ron have been his mates since first year, and Potter's not bad guy."

           "Seemed pretty snappish in Charms this morning, if you ask me."

           "I suppose he does sulk a lot."

           "Sulk?  I mentioned something about the repairs going on at the Ministry and he damn near spelled my foot off.  Aren't girlfriends meant to make you more balanced and in touch with your feelings?"

           "Maybe she does, and this is the milder version.  He didn't used to be this touchy; I had him for first year Divinations and he was quiet, but friendly.  He's different this year, even worse than last.  Life of stress, makes you weird."

            "Tell that to my big toe.   I think it's bruised."

            "Maybe that's because you keep falling on it."

            "I can't help that!   Besides, Potter, sulk, spell, foot, remember?   Besides, my feet have just grown faster than the rest of me, that's all.   It'll catch up."

            "Not the way you've been drinking coffee this semester."

            "What are you now, my mother?   And I wouldn't be drinking coffee if bloody Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy and their stupid feud didn't scare the crap out of everyone last year with Umbridge and force all the rest of us onto a liquid diet out of pure nerves!"

            " … "

            " … "

            "That's sad, mate.   Really sad."

            "Shut up.   When does class start?"