"Oh Merlin, Oh Merlin, Oh Merlin. . . ."
"Shut up already, Granger!" Pansy snapped, giving her oversized robes a frustrated sneer as she held up the hem again. While a part of her was upset about the situation, she was surprisingly optimistic, in a haughty my-father-can-soooo-pay-off-the-Ministry way.
"Shut up?" the witch squeaked. Hermione, usually the calmest person in a desperate situation, was panicking, searching every inch of the classroom in haste. "Don't you understand? I can't find my notes! They were the whole reason I experimented with those blasted drugs in the first place."
"Why don't you just admit the crime in court, too!" the Slytherin Princess hissed, grabbing the other girl by the elbow and gesturing toward the open classroom door at an impatient looking Professor Minerva McGonagall who appeared to have her back to the small group.
Ginny was perched on one of the table tops, a nervous edge to her gaze as Luna tried to comfort the red-head, ignoring the other two girls in the room.
"I'm sure you didn't sleep with your brother," the blonde girl was whispering. "And if you did, no one will blame you—Ron's really not that bad looking. If I had a brother that looked that handsome in a quidditch uniform, I'd. . . ."
"LUNA! Please don't complete that sentence!" Ginny snapped.
"Well, if crazy moon is quite finished, I can insure you, Weaselette, that you did not stroke the King Weasel's furnace," Pansy drawled, crossing the room with Hermione in tow. "Sure, you were the meat between a bit of whole grain and white bread, but your brother wasn't involved at all."
Ginny lost all color in her face. "But we. . . .all of us were. . . . involved in. . . ."
Pansy shrugged. "I was as stoned as you were. I only faintly remember a contraceptive spell being used on a certain. . . ." She looked dazed a moment before catching herself and releasing a very rare blush. "Nevermind."
"Ladies, if you're quite ready," McGonagall finally said, "Headmaster Dumbledore is ready to see you. Come along."
Nine seats were crowded into the small space in front of Headmaster Dumbledore's desk, all of them currently occupied with students. From Gryffindor house, there sat Harry Potter, Ron and Ginny Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Neville Longbottom. Representing Slytherin were Draco Malfoy, Pansy Parkinson, and Blaise Zabini. The lone Ravenclaw, Luna Lovegood, sat amidst the group as well, making faces at a portrait on the wall. All of them were prime (though not necessarily upstanding) members of their houses, and they were all gathered here for one reason. . . .
Ehem. . . .A few similar reasons.
"Possession of an illegal substance, possession of a stolen bong, disregard of school classes, use of illegal substance on school property, display of sexual behavior on school property, and public nudity. . . .The list goes on." Dumbledore looked up from the long roll of parchment, over his half moon spectacles. "Do you have anything to say for yourselves?"
The students' eyes traveled to and from their school mates' in silence.
"It was Malfoy's fault!" Ron shouted.
When no one spoke, the red-head shrugged. "Worth a shot," he muttered.
"We're so sorry, Headmaster," Hermione spouted suddenly. "We deserve to be punished for breaking school rules; but, sir, we did it in hopes of a better education for tomorrow! Perhaps the reason why drug usage became necessary was that it was something unknown—all knowledge of it kept from us. And one can not help but want the unattainable. Why if the Ministry had not made the drug illegal, then we'd never have. . . ."
"Yes, Miss Granger," Dumbledore interrupted, nodding. "I believe I know where you're going with you zealous speech. However, you must know that what you did was dangerous. While Dragon's Breath does not cause the same harmful effects of muggle drugs, it still, regrettably, caused the lot of you to break several school regulations."
The old wizard turned, looking at the two doors to his office where Severus Snape and Minerva McGonagall stood, stoical expressions on their faces. "Severus, would you please give Miss Granger her parchment. Don't give me that look, my boy. I know you have it."
Snape frowned, pulling a stack of parchment scraps from his robes. He shoved them at Hermione. The young witch's eyes widened when she noticed what they were.
"These are my notes," she muttered.
"Indeed they are," Dumbledore said with a sigh. "And I must say, you gave very interesting details on the drug's effects, including the fourth phase. In fact, you gave a very descriptive account of an encounter with a Mr. Blaise Zabini."
The dark Slytherin gave her a wink.
"As well as several illustrations," Snape muttered.
Hermione blushed, reading over the parchment. "Oh dear. . . ."
"Hey! You went with Zabini?" Ron screeched.
"Who were you with, Ron?" Hermione snapped in reply.
The young wizard opened his mouth to speak, but seeing the tarty smirk on Pansy Parkinson's face, he shut it again.
Dumbledore was nodding sagely. "As you see, children, there are always consequences. Thankfully, the Ministry will not possess the evidence you're holding in your hands. It is, how do I say this gracefully, blackmail."
"Blackmail? Who's being blackmailed?" Harry asked.
The old headmaster had a glimmer in his eye, and the younger wizard's mouth quickly closed.
"You see, none of you will be going to trial for possession of Dragon's Breath," Dumbledore smiled. "While exposing the new Minister of Magic's previous relationship with the drug would probably be enough to get you off, it was the Ministry spy who ruined the case. It seems that Miss Granger noted the Ministry worker in a compromising situation with Miss Lovegood, an under aged witch."
Hermione stood quickly, looking back at the other students. "That's brilliant!"
"Don't you see! The Ministry could never bring us to trial without revealing a huge scandal! The public would have a field day with that news—not to mention that the spy would be imprisoned for having sex with Luna! This is fabulous."
"Yes, it was rather nice," Luna said with a dreamy grin.
"I'd be disgusted if I wasn't so thrilled," Harry commented. "Then we're off the hook?"
"Oh, it's never that easy," Malfoy commented with a snort.
"Mr. Malfoy is correct," Dumbledore agreed.
The group of students quieted once more, panic taking all of their enthusiasm.
"Detention?" Neville asked feebly.
"House points?" Ginny asked with a frown.
Nervously, Hermione chipped in, "Expulsion?"
"Oh, no," Dumbledore answered quickly. "Nothing like that. I do say, you may actually enjoy this punishment." The wizard reached into his desk, pulling out a long box. He opened it carefully, revealing its contents to the teens.
"Brilliant!" Ron laughed.
There were nine buttons lined in a row, each of the, embossed with the emblem of a serpentine dragon circling a small flower. And a banner crossed through each, reading the two words that would forever change the lives of witches and wizards everywhere: LEGALIZE IT.
The students burst into laugher and sighs of relief, but Dumbledore raised a hand to silence them.
"This is a greater responsibility than any of you can possibly imagine. You will face the public, the Ministry, your own housemates and professors. But, if you choose to accept these buttons, than you will be working for a great cause, the legalization of Dragon's Breath. So I ask you, do you accept this challenge?"
The horde looked from one to another, expressions gleaming in silent agreement.
Draco rolled his eyes when he saw Harry puff up his chest in pride, ready to speak for the group. "Bloody hell, don't be so dramatic!" the Slytherin snapped. "We agree already!"
Dumbledore smiled. "Very well. Your campaign begins this summer. Good luck!"
"Oh, and my bong, Headmaster. . . . ?"
"Don't push it, Mr. Malfoy."
End Notes: Well, I hope you enjoyed the tale. Be sure to drop a line and let me know what you thought.
Oh, and there will be a similar follow up one-shot. It's called "Moony and Snivellus: Up in Smoke". It's about a bit of confiscated drugs.