Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, or any other character in this story. And after months of promises and excuses, I have finally posted this chapter.

Notice: I just noticed a huge Plot hole where I've stated Dumbledore is both Dead and Alive. I have finally fixed it where Dumbledore faked his death at the end of book 6.

Gossip
Chapter 4: Distractions

Harry Potter has very good instincts. He needed them as a child in order to know which way to turn around corners, and where to find the best hiding spots when trying to keep himself from getting beaten up by Dudley. When that became second nature, Harry then used it to keep himself out of Vernon and Petunia's way, and keep the punishments to almost nothing. After discovering that he was a wizard, Harry's instincts kept him up to pace, or even one step ahead, of those who wanted to kill him since he started Hogwarts.

Of course, they've also gotten him into more trouble than he can shake a wand at. He trusted his instincts, but he won't follow them blindly.

That is why Harry also has an incomparable amount of willpower. He can even throw off an Imperious from the Dark Lord. So, when the impressive Aura of a full-blood Veela slammed into him and his instincts demanded to take her on the Headmaster's desk, which she was immediately in front of, he used that willpower to beat that instinct into a far corner of his mind, where it could plan a recreation of the situation in the room of requirement… except without so many people.

"Harry!" Apolline greeted in an only slightly accented tone as she walked toward the boy in question. "It is so good to see you."

The full-figured Veela swiftly embraced Harry before leaning back just enough to gain access to Harry's face, where she placed a soft peck on each cheek. Apolline then gave him a light kisson the lips, although it lingered too long for some of the younger girls in the room's comfort. "How have you been, Harry? You have hardly sent me a note since you returned to Hogwarts."

Harry blushed as Apolline still hadn't released him from the embrace. Then again, he hadn't released her either. "Well, I've been busy keeping myself out of trouble. That's a full time job, you know! If I drop my guard for one moment I may end up finding myself fighting another Troll or Dragon, and we can't have that now can we?"

"It's good to hear you've been keeping yourself out of trouble, Harry," said the Headmaster. "But one must wonder at how long you will be able to keep it up."

"Not very long if he keeps that up," mumbled Ron before being elbowed by Hermione.

The brunette quickly stepped forward to address the Headmaster, more impatient than ever to get back to her earlier plans. "Professor Dumbledore, Professor Delacour, I mean no offense but may I ask why Harry needs to be here? We really were in the middle of an important conversation-"

"I have no doubt, Ms. Granger, that whatever you were doing before I summoned Harry here was very important." The Headmaster interrupted. "However, I must ask that you postpone those matters for a moment, as Harry needs to fulfill one of his Head Boy duties."

Harry blushed lightly. It had taken some time to get used to the idea of being a Head Boy, especially considering he had never even been a prefect. "Yes sir, Professor Dumbledore. What do you need?"

"First off, I would like for you to call me Albus," The Headmaster's eye twinkled merrily. "After defeating the Dark Lord, you've more than earned the right. Secondly, I need you to show Mrs. Delacour to her new furnishings and classroom, and then answer any questions she may have to ensure she knows how to get around the castle. As she has decided it would be best for her not to take the rooms in the dungeons, please take her to the largest Teacher's quarters in the eastern section of the fourth floor."

"Very well, Albus." Harry acquiesced before turning to his friends. "I'll catch up with all of you later."

The other students nodded briefly before Harry turned to Apolline and offered his arm. The beautiful Veela gracefully accepted it, and the two gracefully made their way out of the room.

Before they could walk out the door, however, Dumbledore quickly added, "Oh, and do try to avoid running into too many students on your way to her quarters. I'd like to try to keep Mrs. Delacour's appointment quiet until Monday."

Harry nodded and made his way out the door. Seeing as the meeting was apparently over, the Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors quickly exited the Headmaster's office and began meandering through the hallways, in no particular rush to get anywhere. After all, Hermione still wanted answers from those around her to spill what happened the night before, and the 'Puffs had no plans now that Susan's "plan" was officially thwarted.

"Great," Hermione huffed. "Now we're going to have to wait until Harry comes back before I can figure out what happened yesterday."

"No you don't," Terry stated. "I can easily tell you right now. I have no reason to lie, and didn't drink so there's no way I could be mistaken in what happened. Although I wouldlike to know what you're planning to do once you find out the truth."

Hermione was hesitant to answer. "Well, I… I'll make sure whoever lied to me won't do so again."

"How?" Terry inquired. "By breaking up with Ron? Are you going to stop being friends with Harry? Or will you Curse either so badly they will have to go to the hospital wing?"

"Of course not!"

"Then what does it bloody matter?" Terry pressed, "Both Harry and Ron had a spat yesterday, which led into a bit of rumors. Big deal; this sort of thing happens all the time. Is knowing exactly what happened going to have any permanent effect on your feelings for either of them?"

For once, Hermione had no answer.

"Exactly. And for your information, Ron didn't say you two shagged." Ron let out a sigh of relief. "But he didn't make a very good case that you didn't either."

Ron froze in shock, once again, as Hermione glared at her boyfriend. "Really? What do you mean, Terry?"

Terry grinned and took a moment to appreciate the fact that everyone was hanging onto his every word. "The note Fred and George sent Ron did say he got 'into the bookworm's knickers,' but Ron denied it. That sent everyone into a back and forth about that 'trio dating rule' which sent Harry and Ron into their little tiff…"


"That's drunk logic," Harry countered.

"It's still logic, damn it." Ron grumbled. "You can't date until we break up."

"Then I feel bad for you come tomorrow, Ron." Harry replied, grinning like a loon.

"Oi, you're sounding pretty confident there." Seamus piped in. "That's pretty hard to believe, considering Ron's already gotten into Granger."

"Yeah mate," Dean added. "You really think you can break that up? Anyone who can make a girl howl like Ron did Hermione must be doing something right."

"Sod off, I told you it's not like that." Ron sputtered for a few minutes, trying to break through his alcohol-induced haze to find the right words. "Hermione's too… subtle for that stuff."

Dean fell off of his chair laughing. "What do you know about subtle, Ron? I know you're drunk now!"

Ron tried to glare at Dean, but failed miserably. "Look, it works like this; you get a kiss here and there, then if you do it right she'll squeak. It's not like she's made my head explode from senso… censor… sensory overload or nothing."

"Ugh," Seamus groaned. "I don't need to be knowin' bout your head explodin'."


Silence reigned for a moment while Hermione digested this new information. "That has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

"I think my intelligence just dropped because of hearing that." Hannah agreed.

Ernie and Terry shrugged. "I told you it didn't matter if you knew, but noooooo! You just had to know what happened. C'mon Ernie, I wanna see what people have been saying about how Colin was at the party yesterday, or what ended up happening to Michael."

"What are you talking about?" Hannah called after her boyfriend and his best friend, all thoughts of punishing the boys for going to a party temporarily on hold. "What happened with Michael and Colin yesterday?"

X X X

A/N: I recently realized I've misspelled the name I gave Fleur's mum in the last 2 chapters. It's supposed to be "Apolline," not "Appoline." Also, I now this is half the size of the last chapter, but it's been sitting on my hard drive for over a year nowwith very little change, so I thought it best to simply post this as is and move on rather than attempt to improve it. Maybe now I'll finally muster up the creativity to start writing the next few scenes I have in my head.