Happy Holidays! Hope you all are having good time! Enjoy

Chapter 9

The teacher was just staring at him with wide eyes. Poorly hidden disbelieve was clearly visible on McGonagall's face.

"And I said yes." Hermione felt her face getting red again. This whole situation somehow reminded her of Ron and the scene of humiliation that she had to go thru earlier. Did everyone have such a low opinion of her as a girl?

"Did you now?" The elder witch pursed her lips in disapproval as if Hermione just lost precious House Points for some stupid reason. "What Mr Potter thinks about it?"

"I do not ask Potter to Ball!" Hermione opened her moth in surprise and turned to look at Viktor who turned bright red after his little outburst. She was honestly impressed; she did not think that the Bulgarian could say anything in English so fast. The teachers comment was taken as a personal insult. He looked peeved and now was openly glaring at the witch.

Hermione nearly smiled. Somehow Viktor looked... childish. The way he raised his chin and pressed his lips together made him look.. young. Or was it just that strange expression he had in his usually hard and concentrated eyes. It was then that Hermione realized it, there was no feeling in those eyes when he just walked around or ate with his friends and talked to his fans He always looked grim, but now he was much more alive it was so different from that somehow soft look he always gave her. Hermione's heart skipped a beat making her freeze in place with that shocked expression on her face. He looked so... handsome.

"Mr Krum! Please, mind your manners. " Her Head of House was not used to being spoken back to. She had a short temper... just like all Gryffindors when they did not get their way.

"Professor! I think Harry will be happy on my behalf." Hermione forced her head to turn to be facing her Head of House again. The brilliant and dependable brain was slightly jamming. Hermione blinked furiously chasing the image of Viktor's profile away. It seemed to be imprinted into her iris and became a filter that she a saw the world thru for a split second. The image faded becoming a liquid wild exitent that spread from her eyes into her body carried by the blood stream. She gulped. It was tiny needles in her fingers and butterflies in her stomach... her mind went blank.

Was she sick?...

McGonagall made a sour face and Hermione liked her lips. What were they talking about again? Her professor was looking at Krum... Right! Krum and her!...

'Crap. Harry.'

Harry was a good friend. It was a solid fact that she had more faith in then the copy of Hogwarts a History and that said a lot. She knew he was going to be happy for her if she was going to be happy. It was called friendship.

Professor took of her glasses wiped them with a slightly jerky hand and put them back on as if expecting that the view of this whole situation would changed somehow. It didn't come out as she has meant it.

It was still Krum standing next to Ms Granger. She could do so much better! Such a brilliant girl! She did not give her Time Turner because she was from Gryffindor. Hermione Granger had a better head at her fourth year then some of the Professors around!

"Ms Granger..." she felt tired. Minerva honestly thought that being the Head of Gryffindor required to have a pair of eyes for each student... and at least a dozen for Mr Potter, Mr Weasley and Ms Granger. Each of those shortened her life by at least a decade with every school year and that bearing in mind that most likely not all of their escapades became know to her. Suddenly the professor blinked and stepped forth to the pair. "What... what is this?" She was sure that Hogwarts school uniform of any house did not contain fur. Pity really. Some winter evenings could get positively arctic around here.

Hermione Granger blinked looking at the fur again. "Oh, This? Fur scarf, it's been a bit chilly today."

"Very useful to have one in this weather. Just please don't forget to return it to Mr Krum once you will not need it anymore, Ms Granger." It was part of the Dumstrang uniform after all. She gave the two a hard look. They were not getting off the hook so easily. "Mr Krum." The witched looked as the boy stood up even straighter if that was possible. Like a soldier waiting for an order to march forth into a battle.


"We were just talking. We did nothing wrong." Ms Granger had the tendency to speak too much... well basically every day on any occasion. "And we are in the library because we have met here. Actually not here, I have seen him first at the Quidditch Finals, but that is beside the point. You would not imagine what is like to get five minutes of quiet in here these days. If not Viktor's Fan club than it's Cedric's and Now even Harry has one, I mean, honestly. Where can you talk these days without being interrupted?"

"So the two of you decided to meet at the back of the library late evening, Ms Granger?"

"It was not the way it looked like. The hug was completely harmless; we did not break any school rules."

The Transfiguration Professor watched as her favourite student stood like a wall for the famous Seeker. Why it had to be a girl from her House to be going to the Ball with him? There were other three Houses full of young ladies to choose from. Besides Ms Granger was fourteen. The headache increased tenfold at that thought.

"Mr Krum, how old are you exactly?"

"I am eighteen, Madam." Krum answered short blushing to the roots of his military style cut hair. He could see where that was going.

"Are you aware how old Ms Granger is?"

"Yes." Professor lifted her strict looking eyebrows waiting for a more accurate answer. "Since she is in her fourth year. Fourteen."

"Fifteen actually. My birthday is in September." It did not make much impression on the Professor.

"I am aware of that Ms Granger I am your Head of House." Merlin was her witness; she wished she wasn't right now. She could already see where that was going. Trouble. Mr Potter was probably going to be one of the few people that might understand. Unlike Mr Weasley no doubt. The boy was denser than his father. Molly had dragged him to the altar for him to realize his feelings for her. It looked that Ms Granger was not going to look into Ronald's clear eyes for 12 years and wait till the knutt drops. Not that she could be blamed. Even angel's patience got a limit, not speaking about Gryffindor's.

Minerva glanced at the boy. She did not want to know what Karkaroff was going to tell him about his choice. The man was a Death Eater once for Merlin's sake!

Did those two were ready to face the music when the time comes?

The Professor looked at them together. They looked determinate. Ms Granger gave the boy encouraging smile as he turned his head to glance at her. They were young. It was their time to make mistakes and learn. Not that she would have minded if they have decided to learn AFTER graduating, but she never had that kind of luck. On the positive side neither Mr Weasley nor Mr Potter have discovered their balls and started going after the opposite sex. With their luck it would mean only one thing to their Head of House. Early retirement.

And having in mind this resent development with the Tournament. Albus should have listened to her and...


"huh? Yes. Mr Krum. You may go. Ms Granger... Please stay."

"Madam! Hermeownee..." McGonagall's eyebrows went up at the pronunciation of her student's name.

"Her-mi-o-ne, Viktor. Oh, never mind. Its fine the way you say it anyway."

"Her-meo-nee?..." the boy tried again for a second forgetting about the teacher.

"Close enough. I really have heard worse..."

Suddenly Minerva was struck by thought that redeemed her speechless. Krum was head over heels for Ms Granger and not the other way around. She has seen it before, that look in his eyes. The headache turned into a migraine.

"MS GRANGER!" she tried really hard not to shout as it would hardly change the situation at hand. The woman's full attention was on the girl.


Minerva couldn't say a word. It had to be a bad dream. She just stood there looking at the two young people and wondered if she should start thinking about a nice little cottage somewhere in the moors and finish her book.

She did not want to think how it would look like if someone were to....

"Granger?!" An angry shout echoed in the deserted library.

Hermione froze with mouth open and an expression of utter horror on her face. She knew that voice. It came to haunt her in the worst moment possible.

What happened next was something Hermione haven't done since she has turned seven. It was a reflex really. That aunty that lived next door to her used to terrify the hell out of her. So whenever she heard that woman's voice she did one thing.

She dived under the table. Yes, that was what she did. Hermione Granger turned around dropped to her knees and crawled under the table so fast that from a side it had to look like one single move. Her mind was blank with shear panic. Not because that was Flint and her bottom was still on fire, but because she was in a semi dark corner of the library with her Head of the House and Viktor Krum. She did not need to know what kind of rumour Flint would make out it. Potter's best mate and Head of House cornering Krum in the dead of the night in the back of the library! He would demand her to go to the ball with him for keeping silent or something similar to that. She did not need to make her miserable life any more complicated.

Hermione sat down under the table and hugged her knees and nearly jumped and bumped her head at the same time. Flint's slaps reminded her about the earlier encounter with vengeance and she barely swallowed a pain filled yelp.

A second later Hermione was too shocked to care about her own ridiculous behaviour as Professor McGonagall took place beside her under the library table at the speed that a woman her age should not be able to move in.

'What the hell?' Hermione's eyes were popping out. Surely the Professor is not intimidated by Flint... Right? Her silent question was soon answered.

"Mr Flint, pray tell me what exactly gives you the right to raise your voice in the library like you own it?" you could never mistaken the low and threatening voice of Professor Snape with anything else. Well... if you don't count a Basilisk that is.

At least the reason why her Head of House was next to her was clear. All she needed to know now was why Viktor have squeezed his giant frame on her right...

For a few very long and agonizingly quiet seconds she could have sworn that none of the three of the breathed.

"And apart from that, Mr Flint. What urgent business do you have to Ms Granger at this hour in a place such as this?"

She could feel as her two companions turned to her also interested to know the answer. Hermione started thinking that maybe she should have piled the tables together and jumped out the window when she still had time. Maybe it was not too late?...

"Hermione has a book that belongs to me, Professor. I didn't think anyone would be here at this hour. Apart from her that is. I apologise."

If there was a time when Hermione felt like she was going to faint from relief it was that very moment. Flint came up with a reasonable and completely possible excuse that she could easily corroborate.

Viktor shifted somehow uneasily on her right and Hermione spared him a glance. He was glaring at her. Ok. He was not biting the book excuse. She glanced at her Professor. The woman looked like she calmed a little. One out of two was still something.

"And which book of yours does Ms Granger has in her keeping, Mr Flint?"

Make it that one out of three. That wasn't very good. She crossed her fingers as Flint spoke again.

"Transfiguration, sir." Hermione cursed mentally. How on earth could she possible have his Transfiguration book?!

"Really?" Unmasked surprise in Snape's voice.

"Yes, sir. As a matter of fact we were supposed to meet here today, but unfortunately I have been held elsewhere and she must have left." There was something in that explanation that Hermione did not like. She couldn't put her finger what exactly...

"Are you telling me you finally found someone to help you with your transfiguration?"

"Yes. She is brilliant and doesn't tell anyone that she is giving me a hand. I might just pass my NETWS with her help."

Hermione was sure that Viktor hissed at her in the middle of Flint's bonkers explanation. Who on earth would believe that she was helping him in Transfiguration?! She was sure Snape knew that they were not in the same year!

"You might want to use my classroom next time, Mr Flint since it is not occupied at such time. Then you would not have to go around attracting attention nor wasting Ms Granger's time. That is provided that Transfiguration is the only subject you want her helping hand in."